Browsing Category

Australia

Travelling to Perth? Read this first.

1024px-South_Perth_Foreshore_gnangarra

Perth is having a moment; there’s no way to deny it.

From the local brews to the hipster central hotspots, Perth is Australia’s new must-see destination and it’s not hard to see why. Awesome barrier reefs, expansive desert landscapes, wine country, white sand and blue water beaches, creative little creatures, and more are all rolled into one fantastic hotspot on Western Australia’s Coast and it’s a great place to vacation.

While I tend to take the road less travelled—beer tours! music festivals! fancy eats!—there’s a guide to getting the good stuff like a local as well, and this one is it. So sit back and relax; I’ve got suggestions to where to stay, where to play, and where to shop in an ultimate guide to living it up in Perth.  

Where to Stay

Perth is bursting with things to excite someone who really loves finding their niche in the travel market through accommodation; from great Airbnb rentals to state of the art boutique hotels, there’s plenty to excite a person who prides themselves on making a particularly excellent choice.

For lovers of the quiet B&B atmosphere I suggest Pension of Perth in Northbridge; with it’s classic, rustic-chic bed and breakfast style, it’s perfect for a couple taking a romantic getaway or for a writer’s retreat that ends with you writing the next screen adaptation for Australia. There’s private rooms and a townhouse, and it’s all minutes walk from Perth Central without being in the middle of the hustle and bustle—this means you get to eat, drink, be merry, and then come back home to relax.

Anywhere I go, I always suggest checking out Airbnb, especially if you’re looking for a local experience, or plan on going with a lot of people. There are some really great finds, from chic, luxe getaways close to the city and the beach, to huge Fremantle palaces to bring the whole family along, it’s hard to find something that won’t fit. Plus, you’re benefitting from the locals who are always inclined to give you good recommendations for eating, playing, and beaching!

And my ultimate recommendation for accommodation comes from personal experience at COMO The Treasury, and I’m fairly sure it’s the best place I’ve ever stayed (and there’s a lot of great options in Perth). Stark, modern interiors, specifically crafted restaurants and cafes, and a storied past (it used to be a government building), COMO by far is the coolest digs in Perth. If you’ve got the extra pocket change, splurge for a room here with modern art made by local and international artists on the wall, a meal at their rooftop hangout Wildflower, or a lazy day hanging around their in house library. Can you imagine anything more sumptuous than that?

SwanRiverEastFremantle_gobeirne

What to Do

Do. There’s plenty to play with in Perth; from the Kings Park (the largest city green space in the world) to Cottesloe Beach, taking a tour of Perth’ must-sees are super fun, sometimes off the map, and impossible to miss. For a look at the native creatures up close, check out Perth Zoo. For an overlooking view that makes for great panoramic shots, go with the Lotterywest Federation Walkway. For a history lesson, The Perth Mint is the oldest functioning mint in the world and the Old Mill is a quaint relic of life in the mid-19th century.

  1. Think Perth is just about the wine tours in Swan Valley? Think again. The microbrewery revolution in Perth has hit its stride and spending an afternoon tasting all the hops is certainly a great way to taste the flavor of WA. Check out favorites like Mash Brewing, Colonial Brewing Co., and Indian Ocean Co. for classic tastes that are always good, or strike out and make a date with Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery and Feral Brewing Co.—either way you roll, you can’t go wrong.
  2.  Perth has a great many music festivals (that also happen to be conveniently located on their stunning beaches) that shouldn’t be missed. Sets on the Beach is Perth’s hottest beach party, both literally and figuratively. Featuring both local and international talent, Sets fest banks on the beautiful summer weather and killer beach sunsets, not to mention it’s awesome lineups,  to give you the best time around. For urban and underground music, check out The Origin (it’s Perth’s answer to the growing hip hop scene), and try St. Jerome’s Laneway for an international fest that hits up locations all over Australia and Southeast Asia, bringing some really big acts and a whole lot of jamming fun.
  3. Do you consider yourself to be a bit of a foodie? Then Perth is going to be your taste bud heaven. From one of a kind gourmet grilled cheeses at Toastface Grillah to streetside food trucks offering excellent bratwurst at Run Amuk, you’re going to go hungry and come back really full, really satisfied, and really in love. Hit up La Veen for a flat white, The Raw Kitchen as an ode to the clean living revolution, and Lot Twenty for some great outdoor vibes. For dinner, make sure you don’t miss No Mafia’s Australian-Italian menu or The Old Crow for a 5-course style eatery that mixes authentic gastronomy with local favorites and trendy dishes.

What to Buy

Anything Quokka. This fluffy marsupial always wears a happy smile and has been deemed the happiest animal on the planet (truth is, if I were this cute I’d be perpetually happy too), and is a much smarter find than going for the run-of-the-mill kangaroo. While we love our two-legged pouch friends, the quokka is the younger, more adorable cousin that makes for a perfect stuffed animal to take home to just about anyone. Don’t miss your chance, these furries are one of a kind.

Aboriginal Art. How can you go into a cultural mecca and not partake in the local arts? So when in Perth, grab some great Aboriginal pieces that won’t only be a talking point for all those dinners but also will enrich the community and keep the incredible artistry alive. Hit up galleries like Japingka and Creative Native Perth for some clever finds.  

  1. As a colony of Britain and just excellent located for some international trading, antiques are not hard to come by in Perth, and spending a day searching for treasure might just be your perfect answer for a rainy day plan. From awesome furniture finds to old fishing equipment, even if you don’t plan on taking anything home, it will certainly make you feel like you’ve just encountered old pirate’s booty after a day in Curio Warehouse or Bluebird Vintage.
  2. Okay, maybe this one is a bit of a stretch if you’re imagining the airfare it would take to book an extra street just for your new favorite instrument, but there’s no harm at all in going to Didgeridoo Breath and trying one out on your own. Grab a picture (and maybe a tiny souvenir from the shop) and turn that moment into a great postcard from Postagram or a magnet from Sticky9. It’s going to be way better than anything you imagined picking up at one of those tiny tourist shops.  

Any additional places, things, eateries, or stays that I missed in my list? Let me know what makes Perth your favorite place to visit, and I’ll be sure to check it out next time I’m there. Until then, bon voyage!

Featured image credit: Gnangarra…commons.wikimedia.org [CC BY 2.5 au (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

First image credit: Greg O’Beirne (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Most beautiful cycling routes in Australia

1024px-Just_4-23

Australia is indeed a land of many riches among which, some of the most beautiful cycling routes in the entire world. Both Australian roads and Australian landscapes are simply ideal for a lengthy excursion on your bike. Furthermore, the weather of this amazing continent is quite favorable for this sport which is why Australia has one of the greatest cycling communities in the world. Here are some of the favorite routes of Australian cyclists.

The Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

Great_Ocean_Road
Any decent bucket list cannot be complete without visiting The Great Ocean Road at least once in your lifetime. Even though some people constantly stand amazed at the creation of man just one look at these incredible landscapes will be more than enough to prove them nothing in the face of the force of nature. A rich tapestry of life that can be seen here is simply amazing since this route consists of everything from seaside towns and dairy farms to wild rainforests beaming with all sorts of life. All else pales, in comparison to the dazzling beauty of these natural riches of Victoria.

Great_Ocean_Road_Apostle

Temperate climate of this part of Australia is simply perfect for cycling. One more thing, this region represents a perfect combination between the first world touristic destination and a primal beauty of the newly discovered world. In other words, even though here you can see the most amazing wildlife, you also travel on some of the most quality roads in the world. These two notions are truly not one would expect to see in one place.

The Gap to Mt Glorious via Mt Nebo, Queensland

Bike_Australia
Now for some of the most daring and adventure craving cyclists there is nothing that could top The Gap to Mt Glorious via Mt Nebo, Queensland. Even though its beauty is in no way inferior even to The Great Ocean Road, the most curious thing about this bike track is that is quite difficult to handle indeed.
Mount_Nebo
Unfortunately, this would have to exclude all but the most physically ready and experienced cyclist. That is, unless you are willing to get an electric bike. Not only would this allow one to enjoy this incredible bike route but also to go there without worries whether or not they will be able to carry on once they get tired. Your safest bet for getting a bike of an adequate quality would be from electric bikes retailers based in Australia.

Sydney and Blue Mountains, New South Wales

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Seeing how Sydney is the largest and most recognizable city in whole of Australia it is an obvious Touristic choice for tourists from all over the world. However, what most people don’t know about it is that it has some of the best places for urban cycling in the world. Entire city is incredibly bike friendly, but if you still don’t feel like going for a ride around such a crowded and hectic place you can always take a tour around Blue Mountains. Known as one of the most incredible places in whole of Australia, this is just yet another of this continent’s incredible natural landmarks that you simply cannot afford not to visit.
Blue_Mountains

There is nothing better than using your tour to see new places, witness new sights and expand your horizons. Still, if you want to break the common practice on going on same old, organized tours, you can come up with a plan of your own. Set your own destination and most important of all, plan your own mean of commute. If you ever wanted to go on a bike tour and visit some incredible landscapes, than Australia might be the place where your dream is going to come true. The world is your oyster!

Photo credit for featured image: By Jesse Millan from Portland, U.S and A (4:23) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What to Pack for an Australian Cruise

Pic 1 - Main pic

Going on a cruise vacation is the smartest decision that any tourist can make today. The variety of different tourist and natural attractions that cruise vacations offer is incomparable to anything else. Also, cruises are a perfect chance to meet people from many different parts of the world and even become friends with them. If you have doubts about where to go on a cruise, think no more; choose Australia and its breath-taking sights. However, do not forget to pack the following essential items for a comfortable cruise.

Pic 2(1)

Bank Cards

The major thing that you really need to have a relaxed vacation is money. When you have enough cash with you and money in your bank accounts, you can buy whatever you want. But, be wise and scatter your money throughout several bank accounts. Also, ask for a bank card for each and every account. It is a proactive way of ensuring that you will be able to access your money, even if it happens that you lose some cash or one of your cards on vacation.

Passport

The second condition to be met for a careless vacation is bringing your passport. That little booklet is the first step in enabling you to get to Australia with ease. In addition to carrying your passport with you, you also need to check if you need to get a visa to get Down Under. Here you can find out more about a short-stay Australian visa.

Pic 3(1)

Power Transformers

If you’re coming from North America, you have to bring power transformers that will make your gadgets and chargers work in facilities you visit in Australian. On the other hand, when it comes to the cruise ship itself, you have to ask in advance about their power supply system.

Proper Clothing

Although the majority of tourist cruise ships have a casual dress code, there are always special night parties or events that require elegant gowns and suits. Make sure to ask the cruise manager or your tourist guide about such occasions before you come aboard. Also, since Australia is exposed to strong UV radiation, never leave your arms or legs uncovered during the hot hours. In addition, a hat and proper sunscreen should also be a part of your personal cruise kit.

Pic 4

Bad Weather Gadgets

It is hard to believe that rain or a storm could spoil your Australian vacation, but it might happen, especially when your ship moves away from the coast. So, you might have to spend a whole day in the cabin or in the ship lounges. This is why you should pack as many gadgets as you can. For instance, listening to your favorite band or playing Sudoku games can be great fun on a rainy day.

Photo-Taking Devices
Having a close look at the Great Barrier Reef or the beauty of the Island of Tasmania is nothing if you do not have a camera to record those unique moments. Every tourist going on an Australian cruise should bring a camera and a photo-friendly smartphone, to take photos of all the beautiful areas along the Australian coast.

Pic 5

Known as one of the most attractive and popular countries in the world over the last few decades, Australia is becoming a major destination for vacation cruises as well. So, get your visa, pack your things, and go on a life-changing Australian cruise.

Pic 6 - Author(2)

About the author

Marie Nieves, student of economics who loves unusual trips and have a plan to travel the whole world. She has always loved to travel, and she loves to talk about her experiences. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and loves to surf the Internet. An avid lover of photography and regular author on several blogs.

Photo credits:

1. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mugley/1938719997/
2. https://www.flickr.com/photos/rodeime/7524878856/
3. https://www.flickr.com/photos/rodeime/14845740004/
4. https://www.flickr.com/photos/rodeime/14661564779/
5. https://www.flickr.com/photos/brewbooks/4020596888/

Active Weekends in Sydney

1024px-Sydney_Opera_House_-_Dec_2008

Loved by its citizens as well as international tourists, Sydney is a true cosmopolitan. It is home to a thriving arts and culture scene, world-class shopping, top restaurants, captivating beaches, national parks, and many more breath-taking attractions just waiting to be rediscovered by you. With its packed calendar of events, this vibrant city offers many ways to explore it and have fun all year round.

Here are some ideas for an active weekend in Sydney:

active weekends in sydney

Hug the Harbour

This is one of the must-do Sydney tours. Sydney Harbour, with its 240 kilometres of shoreline, is regarded as one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world. Walk the harbour shoreline, or embark on a charted ferry passing by some of the most famous landmarks, and enjoy the scenic views. Cross the much loved Coat Hanger on foot, or climb it. Sydney Tours R Us organise tours with a stop at Milsons Point for another magnificent view of the iconic Sydney Opera House, and city skyline. Watch the sun set over the harbour’s sparkling waters from a beachfront restaurant.

 active weekends in sydney

Hyde Park

Australia’s oldest park is home to hundreds of exotic and native trees and several monuments, including the Archibald Fountain, ANZAC Memorial, and the Pool of Reflection. It is a perfect spot for a picnic, or to take a seat and have a breather, or to sunbath lazily on one of the many benches. Don’t miss St. Mary’s Cathedral on the edge of Hyde Park.

 active weekends in sydney

Bondi Beach

Australia’s most famous beach was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2008, but it has been a hub of entertainment in Sydney since the dawn of time. This kilometre long expanse of golden sands attracts tens of thousands of people each year, who come here to walk, jog, surf, or simply relax in numerous cafes, bars and seafood restaurants. Swimming is permitted, water temperature is around 21 degrees in the summer months, and there is a shark net to keep swimmers safe.

active weekends in sydney

Step Back in Time in The Rocks

Since 1788, when the first settlers stepped ashore, the birthplace of modern Sydney, The Rocks, has transformed from a convict-built settlement into a thriving neighbourhood featuring many sleek hotels and funky bars. Discover the heritage sandstone buildings, cobblestone streets and monuments . The precinct is also an arts and cultural hub, so be sure to check out some of the art galleries or museums it offers. Visit The Rocks Weekend Markets, with over 200 stalls selling anything from designer clothing to cookware, but most importantly – delicious food.

How would you spend your weekend in Sydney?

Featured photo credit: By Diliff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Beaches in Sydney

1024px-Bondi_1

Australia’s favorite pastime is surfing. Sweeney Report claimed that there are two and a half million surfers in Australia (Andrew Start for CoastalWatch.com, 2010). This means that all those amazing and wonderful beaches in Australia are packed with people. The beaches are big and long, so even though it is crowded, it is never too busy so that you cannot enjoy your stay there. Here are some of the most interesting and most famous beaches that you may want to check out while in Sydney.

The Big Bondi Beach

Bondi
This is not only one of the most famous beaches in Australia, it is one of the most famous beaches in the world. For those that love the outdoor sports, especially beach volleyball, visiting Bondi will be a real treat. This is where the court for the beach volleyball for the Olympics 2000 was erected and it is still there. You will have the chance to play on that very court. The usual swimming, surfing and sunbaking activities are always available. If you get up really early, you will see a different face of Bondi. A lot of people come to jog, swim or do some other sort of exercise before going to work. On Sundays, you can even check out the Bondi Market that is always busy and fun.

The Families’ Favorite Coogee

Coogee
There are many amazing activities that make this beach a perfect beach for families. The first are the great natural and artificial sea pools where kids can freely swim and have fun. Another thing are the many rides and activities for kids. There is also a free petting zoo for kids. On the top of all that, there is a Coogee Family Fun Day where everything gets turned into fun for families. Besides being the place where families and surfers have all the fun, sunsets are amazing at here and Coogee makes a very romantic place for couples and those long walks.

The Hidden Long Beach and Fisherman’s Beach

long reef golf club
For those that want something far more romantic, you need to go and find the Long Beach and the Fisherman’s Beach. These romantic and secluded beaches make perfect beach wedding venues in Sydney. They are small and secluded, but they have amazing views and they give you the privacy that you cannot get on the big beaches around Sydney.

The Amazing Manly

Manly
Manly is also one of the most well-known beaches in the entire Australia that is busy with people during the night and the day. The outdoor activities of all sorts are available, as well as many cafes, bars, food stands and restaurants. For something really amazing and unique, you will need to make a move from the crowd and go toward the great North Head. It is a nice walk and not a short one, but it pays off. North Head is one of the best whale spotting places there are. If you do not want to walk, find some of the whale watching tours that guarantee that you will spot the whales. It is remarkable experience.

Needless to say, the majority of beaches in Australia are perfect for one or another type of surfing. On most of them, you can go swimming and you can dive. However, after a day or two, you will be compelled to search the surrounding and find other ways to enjoy these places, as well. Luckily, these amazing beaches have a lot to offer.

Featured photo credit: By Adam.J.W.C. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Boutique Hotels in and Around Sydney

1024px-Sydney_skyline_at_dusk_-_Dec_2008

Sydney is a city that is filled with many interesting activities. From chilling on a beach, to sailing, dining, cultural events or shopping, the city has got you covered. You can also find great quality accommodation options, and the number of boutique hotels in Sydney is getting bigger and bigger. What follows is a list of 5 beautiful boutique hotels in this magnificent city.

Establishment Hotel

Establishment is a luxurious hotel in the very center of Sydney. It is conveniently near the Sydney Harbour, the botanical gardens and the Opera House. Establishment is an award winning hotel as it won the Best Boutique Hotel award in 2013.

Before it was a hotel, the Establishment was a warehouse in the city centre. Now, it has 31 guest rooms, 2 Penthouse suites and 3 restaurants with Asian and Australian cuisine and three bars. You can also enjoy a fine breakfast in the elegant garden terrace.

The Darling

This is the first 5-star hotel built in the 21st century. It is rather young and very luxurious. It boasts cutting edge technology and modern design, combined with aesthetically pleasing interior and exterior. The Darling is a redevelopment of the Star complex, located near the Sydney Harbour.

What is another benefit of staying here are the stunning views of the Blue Mountains and the Harbour Bridge, other than the amazing view of the Sydney’s skyline. Furthermore, the hotel offers a pool which scented with eucalyptus, rooms that are equipped with Egyptian cotton sheets and a Japanese restaurant.

Avonmore on the Park

This hotel is in a close vicinity of the University of NSW, the Royal Randwick Racecourse and the Prince of Wales hospital. It is a beautiful historic property, built in 1888 as a Victorian mansion. Right now, Avonmore on the Park is a charming building renovated into a 4-star boutique hotel.

The hotel has 23 luxurious heritage rooms, 1 large meeting room and 7 suites. What radiates with historic flavour is the hotel’s grand terrace, but it also features pressed metal and wood carvings and stained glass which gives it a specific elegant touch. This is one of the best accommodation options in the Randwick area.

QT

This is a hotel with staggering 200 suites! It is located in the center of the town in a building that was once the State Theatre. If you want to go stay somewhere unique, this is definitely the place to be. It is designed in the art deco and Gothic style and the staff that will welcome you is matched to the interior. They wear high heels, red wigs, berets and stockings, so you can go back in time and feel this special 18th century vibe.

QT has its own traditional barber, a coffee parlour, a chic cocktail bar and many other interesting features. You can indulge in quirky food such as chocolate covered bacon, and drinks that follow suit. This will definitely satisfy your need to get away from the ordinary world.

Sangoma Retreat

If you wish to stay further away from the city, then the Sangoma retreat in the Blue Mountains is the perfect option. In the Zulu language, sangoma translates to ‘healer’, and with a good reason. Here you can rest your soul and body and regenerate your overall physical and mental state. You will be close to nature in all of its calmness.

This is an ecological retreat with a proper certification and it boast a sauna, an infinity pool, and open plan lounge and five suites that are surrounded by nature. Some of the suits have beautifully designed window walls and charming fireplaces which make it ideal for a stay with your loved one.

There are a lot of boutique hotels in and around Sydney, so you can find literally anything that your heart desires. If you prefer something more modern or luxurious, an artsy place or a historic mansion, even a nature getaway, then Sydney will definitely meet all of your criteria. Enjoy yourself, immerse yourself in the parallel world of reworked buildings turned hotels and find a peace of mind in this hectic world that we find ourselves in.

Photo credit: By Diliff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Places in Sydney that Guarantee Perfect Romantic Moments

1280px-Sydney_Harbour_Bridge_night

When the great Harbor Bridge was built, who would have thought that it would inspire people to be romantic so much? According to Daily Mail article from September 2014, Harbor Bridge has been a place of over 4000 reported proposals. This puts it into the very top of the most romantic places. However, this is far from being the only romantic place in Sydney. There is a lot to see and do if you are a couple looking for some nice time together.

Botanical Garden

Botanical_Garden_Sydney
The diversity of different parts of the garden will make the whole day of exploring its magical corners a real thrill, perfect for couples. It is not just about the nicely cut grass and lovely looking trees. The garden itself has different areas with different types of plants. This means that the atmosphere and the vibe of those spots is unique and charming. Moreover, you can get a nice view of the Sydney Harbour in the back if you want to catch the famous landmark while the sun is setting and the two of you are having a nice picnic.

Luna Park

Luna_Park_Sydney
This park is full of awesome rides and attractions that can make your romantic day unforgettable and packed with adrenaline. Scientists say that a certain amount of fear increases the need to hug and kiss. What better and more fun way to do this, then to get into the Luna Park and try all those crazy rides. Besides, there is nothing as cute as your man winning a teddy bear prize for you.

Cruises

Cruises_Sydney_Perfect_Moment
If you choose a cruise for your romantic day in Sydney, you will experience all that this great city is about: water, sky and a beautiful coastline. The cruises usually go pass the most important landmarks in different parts of the day. You will be able to see tons of places and fantasize about that perfect wedding photography in Sydney. Many cruise captains offer a nice meal for two on the deck or in some of the lovely harbors. Either way, this is the perfect way to spend a day with your loved one.

Chinese Garden of Friendship

Chinese_Garden
The Chinese Garden of Friendship is in the Darling Harbor and it is a symbol of friendship between two cities: Sydney and Guangzhuo. This combination of the ancient Chinese culture of the relationship with nature with the high Sydney buildings in the background perfectly reflects the unity of two different spirits. That just might be a perfect metaphor of some couples. This makes it a great spot for a proposal, as well. A nice day of walking along the diligently organized garden is a memorable experience for couples.

Balloon Ride

Baloon_Sydney
Flying over the wonderful Sydney and many other places along the way is among the most romantic things that you can do. The adventure and the adrenalin spice up the entire experience. That kind of happiness is genuine. Holding hands while observing the skyline and the entire city below you is definitely among the most romantic things you can do with your time.

Experiencing the city together is a great idea on its own. With the love of your life, even a simple walk down one of the streets is enough to make the day special. However, when you spice that together-time by organizing a day at some of these great spots, the whole experience is even more magical.

Photo credit for featured image: By Diliff (taken by Diliff) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

4 creative weekend getaways in Queensland

Pic 1 - Brisbane River, Queensland, Australia

Queensland, the Sunshine State, is the second largest state in Australia, and a great place to visit if you are planning a week-long getaway from everyday life. A long weekend will do just as well.

What makes this state so popular is the fact that it is bordered by Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean, which makes it perfect for sunbathing, swimming and diving adventures, as well as for fieldtrips in the country.

Take a closer look at what it offers to tourists who want to get away from exhausting cities for a quick weekend adventure.

Pic 2 - Fraser Island

Take a day trip to an island

If you are a fan of sandy beaches and would like to visit the biggest sandy island in the world – take a day trip to Fraser Island, which even deserved its UNESCO World Heritage status back in 1992. And with good reason!

Fraser Island is located east of Australia, opposite Hervey Bay, and its nature will leave you breathless – creeks, woods and more than one hundred lakes which are perfect for swimming. It should definitely be your next stop this holiday.

Another great place to visit is Magnetic Island, on the Great Barrier Reef. This tropical idyll is a great place to spend your weekend on especially if you love palm-lined beaches and wildlife full of koalas and kangaroos.

Pic 3 - Cairns Australia

Diving and snorkeling locations

If you are open to diving adventure, Cairns is the right place for you.

Atherton Tablelands, a place with great historical background and diverse nature, lay near this city and you can visit it after you have had a snorkeling/diving adventure in the Great Barrier Reef.

And in the evening, you can watch the sunset in one of the city’s beautiful restaurants, parks as well as the swimming lagoon.

Since the tropical season lasts from November to May, you should definitely visit Cairns somewhere from June to October.

Pic 4 - Spa

Healthy holiday without stress

Many agree that mental health is the key to happy living. So, if you want to run away from everyday city noise, life-changing mental health retreats in Living Valley are the key.

Take a long weekend off from work and revitalize your body, mind and soul. You can either have a one-day spa treatments, make a three-day rejuvenator plan, or make your stay seven days long in a healthy and relaxing holiday package, or extend it to fourteen days long detox treatment in the best place on Earth.

Festival time is on!

Pic 5 - Noosa Food & Wine festival

And as for festival lovers, there are some wacky ones, such as the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival each May, and the Chinchilla Melon Festival in February.

More on food. Noosa International Food & Wine festival is being organised each year at Noosa Heads, where you can enjoy great food and beverages on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

And when it comes to music, if jazz is what you like, visit the Jumpers and Jazz in July Festival in Warwick.

Garden City organises Toowomba Easterfest which lasts for three days, so make sure not to miss it!

As you can see, Queensland is a territory full of surprises. There is practically not a minute during the day – and the year – which will stop you from moving – once you are there, you will run to see all that nature Queensland has to offer – and honestly, there are a lot of things to see.

About the author

Pic 6 - Author (revised)
Marie Nieves, student of economics who loves unusual trips and have a plan to travel the whole world. She has always loved to travel, and she loves to talk about her experiences. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and loves to surf the Internet. An avid lover of photography and regular author on High Style Life.

Photo credit:

1st photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/88572252@N06/19915485178

2nd photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikethemountain/4288455576

3rd photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/julzart/9200374394

4th photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/taraangkorhotel/5918685504

5th photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nifw/12279273173

Sailing Spots Around Australia

Over 70% of our blue planet is simply water. However, not all of it is sailable. Sailors rely on good winds and navigable currents, which are rare enough, when you look at the big picture. Things are easier near land, and the horizon is certainly lusher. Australia is a large country, but a small continent, and the majority of its coastal transportation is done over water. You can trust any Aussie to be in touch with all the best places to spend a weekend sailing.

sydney harbour sailing

Most Australian sailing is done around the densely populated east coast, and Sydney is the largest city on the water’s edge. Obviously, most sailing trips start there. Sydney Harbour is a magnificent sight of man-made construction blending into the vast ocean. The city is best approached from the Harbour, for the full experience. And setting off from the Harbour is the first step to exploring one of the many popular sailing nooks nearby. Starting with Manly Heads and then the bays, Watsons, Vaucluse, Rose Bay, Double Bay, Rushcutters bay and then Sydney Cove, before finally returning to the city and the Circular Quay. It is a very busy Harbour, for the better and the worse. A lot can happen there to the unwary foreign sailor, not all of it pleasant, so it is wise to be careful – though this is the same advice you can give anyone, at any given port, or larger city.

A two hour flight from Sydney would get you to the sailing heaven of not only Australia, but the world – the Whitsunday Islands.  The best thing about going for a day trip to the Whitsundays is that the quality of the trip does not depend on the quality of your vessel. You could be on a custom built boat or on a chartered boat with a group of other tourists, but the Whitsundays will remain as beautiful. They were not named for the fine white sand that covers them, but they might as well have.

fraser island beach sailing

The next destination is in Queensland, and it is the Great Sandy Strait – an estuary separating the World Heritage Site Fraser Island from the mainland. Though the name brings forth thoughts about shipwrecks, the Sandy Strait is more pleasurable sailing than sandy sailor-bait. Berthing on Fraser island does not come for free (it is around $25 per day), but it is a great way to explore its numerous inland lakes, mangroves and estuaries. The 325 different kinds of birds will keep an adventurer busy for a long time, but that is merely the start. Fraser Island is that is the famous home of the wild dingoes, echidnas, possums, wallabies and flying foxes.

tasmania sailing

Going further south, a willing sailor will encounter the island of Tasmania, or Tassie as the locals call it. There are more than a few nice spots in the region – D’entrecasteaux Channel is a real must for a serious sailor. Geographically, it is close to Bruny Island and it is heavenly. The waters around Bruny and D’entrecasteaux are most often tranquil. For some more action, however, February is the season for the famous Bruny Island Race to watch or participate in. Tasmanian beaches are less commercial and furnished than the ones on the mainland, which only means they are charming in a more natural way. And when company is needed, there is always a local pub to visit for a pint.

There are many more wonderful places to sail around in Australia, but the last destination on this list is on the other side of the continent, in the region of Western Australia. The glorious Geographe Bay is a place where the sky above is painted bright blue and warm, and sandy beaches are discreet and remote. Getting seafood anywhere in coastal Australia is a safe bet, the fish is always fresh. In Western Australia, however, the art of the seafood platter is mastered, and washed down with a fine vintage of Cape Mantel wine.

The Top Five Fun Things to do in Australia

australia

Every tourist destination in the world has a standard list of ‘Things to do’. These are the things that you will usually come across in guidebooks or hear from a tourist company just before a trip. There are many wacky and fun things to do in a destination which you will never read in a guidebook. We look at Australia which is truly unique and diverse country. You can come here every year yet still not do those things which actually characterize Australia as a fun destination. A visit to the Ayers Rock or a boat cruise around the Sydney Harbor seems to be the norm but there are fun things to do here.

1) Melbourne Sunrise Balloon Flight
You must experience the early morning balloon flight over the beautiful city of Melbourne and then follow it up with a wonderful champagne breakfast at the Hilton. There is much to see from above – the sheer variety of lovely gardens, the sporting arenas, the Yarra River, the Central Business District and the sparkling blue waters of Port Philip. The balloon will depart from East Melbourne and move towards a pre-determined location. The tour lasts for an hour and gives you a great view of the sights of the city. As soon as you land you will be taken back to the Hilton for the delicious champagne breakfast.
Cost: Around AUD$370

2) Dive and snorkel at the Reef
The Reef is among the top 10 places to visit in the world. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest and the only living organism that is visible from space. Just choose an environmentally friendly tour operator for your diving and snorkelling tour. You can come very close to some of the exotic marine species and enjoy their playful antics. If you are new to the sport then you can also undergo scuba diving classes.

australia2

3) Jumping Crocodile Cruise
This will be of great interest to all wildlife lovers. Experience a thrilling cruise on the Adelaide River and observe the ancient predators in their natural environment. This is a 90-minute tour and guests are usually picked up from their respective hotels in Darwin. There are more than 1600 ferocious saltwater crocodiles in the Adelaide River. The river offers the best opportunity in the world for crocodile viewing. You can witness their raw power as they jump out of the water fully to get the food offered by the guide.

4) Go Underground!
Have you ever wonder what it would be like to spend an evening in Wartime Bunker? Well, here is your chance to have this unique experience. There are 20 such bunkers in Brisbane which are now sued for accommodation. So enjoy a beautiful evening in this quirky but fun set-up.

5) Uluru-Kata Tjuta Helicopter Adventure
This 30 minute helicopter ride gives you the rare opportunity to fly over the iconic Red Centre in Australia. You will fly over the 30 odd huge domed monoliths that rise from the desert. The tallest, Mt Olga, almost touches you in the sky. This is a must do fun activity in Australia if you are willing to get a completely different perspective of The Rock’ just by flying over it. The tour departs daily and the actual tour is of 1.5 hours duration.
Cost: Around AUD$305

If you are already inching to travel to Australia at the earliest opportunity then you must know that all foreign nationals require an Australian Visa to enter the country. However, there are certain exceptions under which a person need not apply for the Australian visa. The following people are exempted –
• A citizen of one of the 36 eVisitor eligible countries
• A citizen of 9 ETA eligible countries
• A citizen of New Zealand
• All people who are eligible for visa-free travel under Special Purpose Visa