Browsing Tag

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

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

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.

Experience Brisbane Attractions

Brisbane

Brisbane is a venue of many experiences. It is the largest city and capital of Queensland. This city offers you a riverside lifestyle with fun activities for everyone to enjoy. You can find adventurous, wild or lazy activities to do in this popular city. Brisbane is a city with an endless list of diverse things to do.

A popular activity is climbing the Brisbane Story Bridge. The bridge offers an impressive view of the scenic city. The climb can be done during four different times in the day. It is a moderate climb making it easy for most ages. The scenic view from the bridge makes it worth the climb.

Brisbane offers visitors a chance to explore year round since the weather is pleasant most of the time. The warm weather allows you to take a tour of the area and see impressive architecture and landmarks such as the Botanic Gardens, Cathedral Square and Parliament House. You can experience a popular casino, street entertainment and shopping in the mall. When you go exploring in Brisbane, you will want to take the opportunity to enjoy a scenic view from the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. After exploring, you can try some food at Chinatown.

The Botanic Gardens are one of the most impressive attractions in Brisbane. You can stroll through the gardens, take a bicycle ride or relax with a picnic in this beautiful area. The Botanic Gardens offers you a chance to rest in an oasis of calm after a day of exploring. The gardens are located close to a river which adds to its charm. You can take a guided tour to discover the history of the Botanic Gardens, and the tour guide can help you learn more about the plants in the gardens.

If you want to cuddle a koala, you will want to visit the Lone Pine Sanctuary. A scenic river ferry can take you to this sanctuary. Lone Pine is one of the world’s largest koala sanctuaries. It houses over 130 koalas, and it is famous for allowing visitors to experience cuddling a koala. You will want to bring a camera to capture this amazing moment. This sanctuary offers you hands-on experiences in a beautiful and natural setting. You can feed kangaroos, hold snakes and view the native wildlife. You can be part of various shows that offer you informative and interesting facts about the wildlife. The sanctuary offers a perfect atmosphere for a family outing.

Whale watching on the gentle ocean is an experience to enjoy. You can take a whale watching cruise to encounter the beautiful whales. The size of the whales and their agility is a sight to see in Brisbane. You may have the chance to spot a few playful dolphins when they try to chase the vessel. Whale watching is well worth the trip if you enjoy marine life.

The kids will love the Workshops Rail Museum. It offers hands-on activities that makes it an interactive museum. The kids will be entertained and educated at the same time. The exhibits showcase the history and development of the rail for this area. The museum is a learning experience that will keep the kid’s attention.

Brisbane is an adventure with unique opportunities. From museums to fabulous cuisine, you will want to see it all. You can take scenic cruises, go snorkeling, swim in beautiful lagoons or just relax at a famous restaurant. In addition, a port survey shows that the Port of Brisbane is the largest cargo port in Queensland, and it is the third busiest and bustling port in Australia. The port is important for this area since it exports and imports many items for the city.

Australian Travel Adventure – A Lifetime Experience

The popularity of all leading Australian adventure destinations has always been a hot topic of discussion among people all over the world. It can be described as a mind blowing experience and exotic beaches, harsh sun and remarkable wild life add great amount of thrill and excitement to Australian travel adventure. Australia is blessed with mind blowing adventure destinations and activities and you have the luxury of choosing from the plenty. Equally entertaining activities for young as well as old people can be found in this unique country and you will have to choose the most suitable one that goes well with your spirit of adventure.

It can be said that Australian travel without an adventure trip will be incomplete. In Australia, you will be able to experience the real excitement and thrill of adrenalin-rushing activities and the spectacular Australian outdoors will act as a perfect backdrop to your adventure as well. If you really want to experience the real excitement of Australian travel adventure a bungee jump in Cairns of North Queensland will serve the purpose in the best manner. Those, who prefer more earthbound activities, can think of water rafting in the Franklin River (Tasmania) or the Blue Mountain Canyons (New South Wales). Ardent lovers of skydiving can select Sydney because of the availability of top class amenities and the spectacular natural surroundings of Australia will make your experience an unforgettable one.

Some of the most popular Australian adventure destinations include The Red Center (Central Australia), Ningaloo Marine Park (Western Australia), Fraser Island (Queensland), The Australian Coast, Oodnadatta Track (South Australia) and Flinders Ranges National park (South Australia). The Red center offers plenty of options for you and they include Alice Springs and surrounds, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Kings Canyon and Watarrka National Park, Finke Gorge National Park and MacDonnell Ranges. At Ningaloo Reef, you will be able to see the big whale shark from close quarters and you can also see a lot of dolphins, manta rays and a good number of tropical fish species.

altattribute

Australian travel adventure experience will reach a new level altogether when you visit Fraser Island and this island offers exotic golden beaches, towering hardwood forests, sand blow deserts, blood red streams, barren heath land, pristine rainforests, freshwater lakes, prehistoric ferns, mosaic colored sands and many more. If you want to enjoy deep-sea diving the Australian cost will be the ideal option available and visiting the Great Barrier Reef will make your Australian travel extremely exciting. The Oodnadatta Track will provide great adventure for ardent lovers of horseback riding and it will be unfair not to mention about the abundant wildlife of Flinders Ranges National park (South Australia) as well. All these Australian adventure destinations will provide unique and captivating experience for the visitors. These places have become irresistible destinations for a huge number of people and people having an adventurous spirit will come back again and again to these unique destinations. That is exactly why a huge number of people talk about Australian travel adventure with great amount of enthusiasm and excitement.

To make your Australian travel adventure stress free and visit all of these places with ease don’t hesitate to rent a car at one of Australia’s best budget car hire agencies.

Three Historic Fine Dining Experiences in Newcastle.

Newcastle

Customs House Hotel, Newcastle

Custom House Hotel, II

No extra points for working out how this building was used before it became the stylish restaurant of today. It is a beautiful and impressive building with two function rooms upstairs, making it a grand setting for a wedding. The restaurant is intimate but definitely not small. An impressive cedar staircase draws the eyes skyward to the ornate ceilings and the white linen tablecloths sit beautifully against the deep wood features of the room. The veranda, set with small tables, offers a vantage point to view the harbour and impressive courtyard. The furnishings are rich and the menu decadent but not too extravagantly priced. If you aren’t in the mood for a meal the Oyster Bar, within the hotel, is a beautiful setting for some whiskey from the top shelf or fine wine from around the world.

Bacchus Restaurant, Newcastle

On the recommendation of a good friend we booked our airfares to Newcastle and arrived at this beautiful building on the foreshore of Newcastle. We were completely unprepared for the beauty and exquisite detail we were about to be pleasured with. The history of the place initially draws you in, when you understand that it began life as a Methodist Mission and was in turn used to house disembarked soldiers, feed influenza patients in the style of a soup kitchen, as well as host theatrical events including movies and a concert by Dame Nellie Melba. From the street the building oozes character with it’s arched windows and beautiful brick facade. Step inside and the room opens up with high ceilings, chandeliers, walled draped with thick red curtains and a long heavy bar, behind which is a wall full of wine bottles. Dining in this restaurant is like experiencing a piece of theatre. The elegant tables host plates of food that are all amazing artworks in themselves. The smells and tastes are delicious and well schooled wait staff attend to the task of choosing suitable drinks from the international selection on offer.

Lizotte’s Live and Cookin’, Lambton

Another reincarnation of a splendid building, this time King’s Theatre, Newcastle, hosts an intimate restaurant and live music venue. Not so much to look at from the outside, although the outer blue walls are very striking, it is on entry to the restaurant that you realize why it works so well. The luxurious red theatre curtains still frame the stage and as our entree drinks are served we realize that the food and ambiance are preparing us for the main event, which is the music. As a restaurant though, the food is much more than complimentary to the gig. If you choose the dinner and show package you select an entree, main and dessert from the mouth watering selection and it is all gently served with time to spare before the first act. We were wined and dined magnificently and left completely in the right frame of mind to enjoy the music when the artist graced the stage.

Attached Images:

Analiese Long+ enjoys finding great restaurants in her travels all over Australia.

Short Adventure Highlights in Perth and Surrounds

Perth has a reputation for being one of the most isolated cities in the world, however once you see it, you’ll feel much less sorry for the locals! Here are a few highlights within reach with a rented car or a tour for a short getaway from the urban sprawl.

Caversham Wildlife Park

For those who have yet to cuddle a koala this should be a peak experience! The park houses around 200 species of animals, including all the Australian staples such as wombats, dingos, wallabies, kangaroos, possums and many species of birds. Located a short drive into the suburbs of Perth, this is the perfect day out for families with kids and those with limited sightseeing time.

Nambung National Park

This is the gorgeous spot where you’ll be able to appreciate Australia’s own version of Monument Valley – albeit in miniature. Unique limestone pillar formations, called the Pinnacles, rise out of the desert sands, forming an unforgettable landscape and offering the perfect photo opp to share with friends and family back home! Located 162 km northwest of Perth, you’ll find plentiful beaches as well as bushland walks here. Head for a picnic to Hangover Bay (I kid you not, welcome to Oz and it’s creative approach to place-naming!), which offers BBQ facilities and a beautiful white beach with regular visits from bottlenose dolphins…

Lancelin Sand Dunes

I have to admit that personally, I love the desert landscape. It appears desolate and yet is full of life if you know where to look. Plus the silence and the starry skies above create an amazing atmosphere, if you get to camp in one overnight. But Lancelin, found 1.5 hour’s drive out of Perth, is primarily a destination for those who love the adventure sport of sand boarding, and it doesn’t get better than the pure white sand dunes in this area, which are the largest in WA and offer 45 degree angles! Watch out for avid motorbike and four wheel drivers though, and try and stay for the spectacular sunset.

Kalbarri National Park

Speaking of adventure sports, if abseiling is more your thing, head straight for a camping weekend at the gorgeous Kalbarri National Park, full of impressive gorges, the most famous being the 80km Murchison River Gorge. This park offers great hiking opportunities as well of course, and once you get super-sweaty, have a dip in the inviting waters of the Murchison river – a great reward just for making the effort to reach it! The park is located 485 kilometres north of Perth, so you will need to fly to Perth and make your way from there. It’s worth spending a few days exploring here, if your itinerary allows for it.

Monkey Mia Dolphins

If you’re after a longer vacation and a 10 hour drive does not put you off, Monkey Mia is one of the most famous spots along WA’s coast: it’s a dolphin paradise. Located in the Shark Bay Marine Park, a World Heritage Site where dolphins come inshore for a daily visit and feeding in the crystal clear waters, so you can get really close and personal with them. Shark Bay is also a prime sailing destination, with the park being home to abundant wildlife, including dugongs, sea turtles, pelicans and whales. Could you ask for more?

Featured images:

Patricia Bieszk is a freelance writer who loves to camp in Australia’s amazing national parks and explore their natural wonders.