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So Sorry Sydney, Melbourne wins the hearts and wallets of Tourists to Australia in 2015

THIS is going to hurt. Melbourne is the top destination for summer holidays in Australia after narrowly outscoring Sydney in the hotel booking stakes. Source: PerthNow

Hotel price comparison site HotelsCombined.com found Melbourne recorded more bookings than the Harbour City, in December, January and February combined. Okay, it was by a mere 1 per cent, but a win nonetheless.The Gold Coast retained third place, followed by Perth and Brisbane. Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, Cairns and Coffs Harbour rounded out the top ten.

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And in addition to winning the travel wars, Melbourne exceeds other cities in Australia by offering amazing mansions that are both old world opulent and modern times sleek and luxurious

Melbourne’s most expensive mansions revealed

 

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Beaches

Relax in the summer sun on calm bay beaches across Melbourne from the popular swimming spots and shoreside diners at St Kilda to the colourful landmark bathing huts at Brighton. Most beaches are patrolled by surf life savers during the warmer months, school and public holidays.

POPULAR MELBOURNE BEACHES

St Kilda Beach
One of the most popular of the Port Phillip Bay beaches, St Kilda is a wide, sandy beach that is suitable for swimming and a host of other activities. St Kilda Pier is a favourite for promenading and taking in excellent city skyline views and fabulous sunsets. A ferry service operates to Williamstown and Southbank whilst, the marina has extensive boating facilities, including ramps. Nearby reserves have picnic, barbecue and play facilities and there are paths suitable for bicycling, walking and rollerblading.

Brighton Beach
This long stretch of safe, sandy bay swimming beaches includes Dendy Street beach, Middle Brighton and Brighton beaches. The area is famous for quaint colourful bathing boxes along the beach set against the spectacular Melbourne city skyline. Extensive foreshore reserves have barbecue and play facilities. There is windsurfing, yachting and boating and a walking and cycling path.

Port Melbourne, South Melbourne and Middle Park
These sandy, swimming beaches on the bay are close to central Melbourne. With playgrounds as well as walking and bicycle paths, they make up a series of favourite ‘top of the bay’ beaches. Some areas allow off-leash dog walking and Middle Park is also a popular spot for kitesurfing and beach volleyball.

Paradise In Down Under, The Gladstone Region

Paradise In Down Under, The Gladstone Region

Queensland is a majestic work of art coming from Nature. Its unscathed scenic beauty has earned it as the most sought tourist spots in the world. It is world-renowned inviting various walks of life to enjoy and savor the finest preserved nature. The preservation of the Great Barrier Reef proves that its settlers are serious in their goal to achieve a more harmonious and greener world. Undoubtedly it is a part of the wonders of the modern world. There are other unexplored terrains in this state one of which is the Gladstone region.

Gladstone Admittedly this harbor city is a paradise unknown to many. Located in the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef, its majestic scenery is exemplified outstanding lake shores, poignant scenery and long beaches. It is also a home to a variety of national parks for those who would want to experience the great outback. The spirit of nature can greatly reflect on the breathtaking peaks of Mt. Castle tower National Park. Amazingly this ragged beauty that provides recreational escape and rejuvenating soul for both its settlers and tourists.

The Port City to the World is also the Engine Room of Industry for Queensland. It production of alumina is the largest in the world. No wonder its economy is stable despite industrial economic crisis. Queensland has maintained a stable spot in the industry of trade, investment and commerce. There are a number of good Gladstone Accommodation options available.

Historically Captain James Cook and his crew were enticed with its sub- tropical weather setting foot on this land in 1770. It is an ideal getaway towards outdoor activities such as fishing, swimming, boating and surfing. These are just a few of the activities you can do year-round in this once called ghost town. Currently tourists are encouraged to join sport fishing to appreciate its marine abundance. The most sought fishes would be the red emperor fish, Spanish mackerel and coral trout. One can fish near the reef where they are mostly located. Obviously the development of this charter boats departure point has grown dynamically in a progressive town.

Lake Awoonga Most tourists could not wait to go to Lake Awoonga. This inland waterway in between Calliope and Dawes Ranges is a home to the most renowned barramundi. The large plateau also serves as a home to 300,000 fishes and 200 species of birds. There is also recreation areas where you can go for swimming and hiking. If you are lucky you might get free barbecues.

National parks have been maintained to add to its cinematic experience. The vast region is covered with evergreens and unexplored areas. Exploring it can be rejuvenate the soul and clear our minds. Its coastal topography excites nature lovers thus they often consider four-wheel drive racing in its uneven terrain.

Australians are good caretakers of our environment. Preserving marine life has been the passion of this city. Museums and sanctuaries were established throughout Queensland to preserve endangered marine species including turtles. No wonder its white shores is filled with unscathed eggs and turtle hatch-ling.

The natural beauty of Queensland amazingly has withstood the change towards modernization. Despite the existence of technology the legacy of maintaining the best of Nature has lived throughout the ancestry. It is a complete balance of nature and technology.

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Visiting Freycinet National Park

Visiting Freycinet National Park

From the soft white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters of sheltered Wineglass Bay, to the stunning pink granite peaks of the Hazard Range, Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park is one of the most spectacular corners of Australia. For generations, it has been a majestic magnet for vacationers who want to experience the beauty first hand by swimming, kayaking or hiking, and for those who just want to kick back, relax, and enjoy the view.

Nestled on the east coast of Tasmania, about one hundred kilometres north of Hobart, Freycinet is the oldest national park in Tasmania, founded back in 1916. The park covers most of the Freycinet Peninsula, a sunny plot of land, covered with eucalyptus forest, and ringed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. On average, this stunning peninsula sees more than 300 days of sunshine every year.

Being one of the oldest national parks in Australia, there have been plenty of facilities built here to suit every visitor and every kind of vacation. Whether you want to spoil yourself with luxury Freycinet accommodation, incredible views and world class restaurants, or you would prefer a more back-to-nature experience at a campground, you can find the perfect place in Freycinet.

You can stay right in Freycinet National Park itself, at a lovely campsite or at the historic Freycinet Lodge. There are also lots of charming hotels, bed and breakfasts and self-catering villas and cottages all around the region, and the nearby villages of Coles Bay, Swansea and Bicheno offer a wide range of accommodations.

Whether you are looking for a family beach vacation in a perfect ocean cottage with a view, or a romantic escape at one of the stylish private cabins at the Freycinet Lodge, a visit to Freycinet will put you in the heart of some of Tasmania’s most stunning scenery.

The peninsula was home to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people for more than 30,000 years, trading and hunting across the entire east coast. It was named in 1802 after the French navigator Louis de Freycinet, and settled by Welsh immigrants who built the towns and the farms out of the rocky headlands. Once a centre for whaling and bushrangers in the 19th century, today peaceful Freycinet is a vacationer’s dream.

Wineglass Bay

The perfect half moon-shaped curve of Wineglass Bay has been named as one of the top ten beaches in the world by several international travel magazines. Whether you spend your day scuba diving or kayaking along the picturesque shores, or just playing in the soft white sand, this sheltered cove offers everything you need for a lovely day at the beach.

Another of the top draws in Freycinet is hiking. Whether you plan a short 20-minute walk around the lovely Cape Tourville, or you take on the challenge of the two-day Freycinet Circuit, the varied terrain, dramatic seaside cliffs and incredible coastal views offer some of the most scenic walking trails in all of Australia.

Birdwatchers come here to watch the sea eagles soar, the gannets dive, and to visit the Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve, a rich and diverse wetland. Food lovers come for the fresh ingredients and the world class cuisine. Wildlife enthusiasts love the whale watching excursions into the Tasman Sea, where humpback whales migrate and dolphins play.

Whatever you plan for your perfect vacation, whether it’s a week of camping and rock-climbing, or a weekend getaway of wine and fine dining, you are bound to find what you are looking for in Freycinet, Tasmania.

St Helens Tasmania, a Fishermen Paradise

St Helens Tasmania, a Fishermen Paradise

St Helens aerial

You can be forgiven if you have never heard of St. Helens, Tasmania. Even though it is the largest town on the northeast coast of Tasmania, St Helens boasts a population of just 2000. Established in 1830, when tin was discovered in the nearby Blue Tier Mountains, the town quickly became a fishing port, thanks to its sheltered location on Georges Bay and its abundance of fish. Today, the town continues to lure fishermen from all over Australia and, increasingly, the world, but that is just one of the reasons why it is so easy to find a St Helens accommodation in this stunningly picturesque town.

While its unspoiled natural beauty and mild climate attract visitors all year ’round, St Helens really comes to life in March each year, when the St. Helens Gaming Fishing Classic is held. As the records tumble and fishermen from all over the world learn about the St Helens Fishing boastsabundance of game fish in the waters off north-eastern Tasmania, the Fishing Classic is increasingly achieving world renowned status. Over 20 Australian records have been broken here over the years and a further half dozen world records for southern bluefish tuna.

Aside from the fact that 120kg (nearly 265lbs) blue fin tuna are regularly caught off the shores of St. Helens and that marlin fishermen have caught as many as 200 of these elusive trophies in a single season, another remarkable fact about fishing in St Helens is that you needn’t look very hard to find them. You can be doing serious deep water fishing within half an hour of leaving the boat ramp on one of the many chartered fishing vessels that are available in the area.

As the largest town in north-eastern Tasmania, St Helens also serves as the place where northern Tasmanians go for entertainment. The biggest event of the year is the annual Suncoast Jazz Festival, held here each year in June. The biggest names in Australian jazz turn up each year, both to entertain the crowds and to play with each other. One of the highlights of the festival is the “mix and match” registration system, which teams individual musicians with each other for 30 minute sessions. For 16 hours a day in late June, music fills the air in St. Helens. Close your eyes and you could be in New Orleans! The grand finale of the Suncoast Jazz Festival is a huge public concert and street parade.

Needless to say, you can enjoy some of the finest seafood in the world in St. Helens. Aside from seafood, though, St. Helens offers an abundance of other culinary delights. Apples, blueberries and raspberries are free for the picking in surrounding areas and many of the vegetable dishes on offer are locally grown in the rich soil of the surrounding region. Wine lovers will not be disappointed, either, since many award winning cool climate wines are produced in the region.

St. Helens, Tasmania may have a small population, but it is large in attractions in the Freycinet area. While the fisherman in the family is out breaking world records, everyone else can enjoy the magnificent scenery while bushwalking and feasting on wild blueberries. Back in town, you can spend hours browsing in the quaint shops, enjoying fresh and delicious food (St Helens is famous for its “Elephant Pancakes” – both sweet and savoury) or just relaxing in this wonderful and unspoiled corner of the world.

St Helens Fishing boastsabundance of game fish in the waters off north-eastern Tasmania, the Fishing Classic is increasingly achieving world renowned status. Over 20 Australian records have been broken here over the years and a further half dozen world records for southern bluefish tuna.

Aside from the fact that 120kg (nearly 265lbs) blue fin tuna are regularly caught off the shores of St. Helens and that marlin fishermen have caught as many as 200 of these elusive trophies in a single season, another remarkable fact about fishing in St Helens is that you needn’t look very hard to find them. You can be doing serious deep water fishing within half an hour of leaving the boat ramp on one of the many chartered fishing vessels that are available in the area.

As the largest town in north-eastern Tasmania, St Helens also serves as the place where northern Tasmanians go for entertainment. The biggest event of the year is the annual Suncoast Jazz Festival, held here each year in June. The biggest names in Australian jazz turn up each year, both to entertain the crowds and to play with each other. One of the highlights of the festival is the “mix and match” registration system, which teams individual musicians with each other for 30 minute sessions. For 16 hours a day in late June, music fills the air in St. Helens. Close your eyes and you could be in New Orleans! The grand finale of the Suncoast Jazz Festival is a huge public concert and street parade.

Needless to say, you can enjoy some of the finest seafood in the world in St. Helens. Aside from seafood, though, St. Helens offers an abundance of other culinary delights. Apples, blueberries and raspberries are free for the picking in surrounding areas and many of the vegetable dishes on offer are locally grown in the rich soil of the surrounding region. Wine lovers will not be disappointed, either, since many award winning cool climate wines are produced in the region.

St. Helens, Tasmania may have a small population, but it is large in attractions in the Freycinet area. While the fisherman in the family is out breaking world records, everyone else can enjoy the magnificent scenery while bushwalking and feasting on wild blueberries. Back in town, you can spend hours browsing in the quaint shops, enjoying fresh and delicious food (St Helens is famous for its “Elephant Pancakes” – both sweet and savoury) or just relaxing in this wonderful and unspoiled corner of the world.

Melbourne Victoria: Australia’s Style and Trend Capital

There has always been a good natuerd competition between Melbourne and Sydney, Australia’s largest cities. Sydney is the oldest city in Oz and Sydneysiders sometimes refer to Melbourne as Australia’s “2nd city.” Melburnians like to think of themselves as more culturally aware than the “beach bums” in Sydney. Who’s right? Each has their point, but when it comes to culture, Melbourne is definitely not second rate.

Melbourne Victoria

Melbourne got off to a quiet pace as a metropolis. The historical European settlers didn’t arrive directly from England or the continent, but by way of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). Its natural harbor was its primary draw at the time. That was in 1837, almost 50 years after the original settlers arrived in Australia. As the largest city in Victoria, it was declared the capital of the State in 1851.

Later in the 1850s, a lot of gold was found in Victoria and the Gold Rush began. The pace of life in Melbourne picked up dramatically and it became one of the world’s wealthiest cities. During the 2nd half of the 19th century, many of Australia’s most majestic mansions and public buildings were constructed in Melbourne. Even today, they hold their own against the more modern skyscrapers that dominate the Central Business District (CBD) skyline.

Melbourne’s claim to being the cultural centre of Australia is not without merit. It is the birthplace of the Australian film industry and the world’s first feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang, was produced in Melbourne in 1906. It is also the home of the world-renowned Australian Impressionist art movement and the birthplace of widely recognized Australian dance styles. On top of that, Melbourne is where many of Australia’s top traditional and contemporary musicians come from.

Melbourne has received many other accolades over the course of its history as well and continues to receive them. It has consistently been voted one of the world’s top three most livable cities since 2002 and one of the world’s top ten University towns since 2006. In 2006, UNESCO declared Melbourne a “city of literature.” When you add it all up, it is little wonder why Melbourne can make the boast that it is Australia’s cultural capital.

The great thing about Melbourne is that both high culture and popular culture mingle freely in this cosmopolitan city. The Palais Theatre, one of Melbourne’s top venues for international acts, is located in the bohemian district of St Kilda. It is a “fair dinkum” Australian city that despite its rich heritage and cultural achievements neither encourages nor tolerates the snobbishness so often seen in other major world cities.

Melbourne Trams

Most overseas visitors to Australia make Sydney their first stop. If you are one of them, be sure to put Melbourne next on your list of “must see” Australian destinations. Thanks to its having the world’s largest tram system, it is an easy city to explore, even if you don’t have a car. Don’t take the Sydney-Melbourne rivalry seriously: it’s “all in good fun,” as Australians say. Find a Melbourne accommodation and expect to stay awhile. There is so much to see and do in Melbourne, you won’t want to leave.

Discover why Bicheno is gaining a reputation as the perfect vacation spot

Discover why Bicheno is gaining a reputation as the perfect vacation spot

Nestled on the east coast of Tasmania, near the picturesque Freycinet Peninsula, the quaint seaside resort town of Bicheno is gaining a world wide reputation as a perfect vacation spot for its soft sand beaches, quality food and wine, and incredible scuba diving.

Countryside around Bicheno

The town is about a two-hour drive north of Hobart, and it offers an incredible variety of holiday activities. From golf and hiking, to scuba diving and boating, to just lazing around in the sun and going out for dinner, there are endless ways to spend your days in the sun all around Bicheno.

The town was originally called Waubs Boat Harbour, named for an Aboriginal woman who is said to have saved two settlers whose boat smashed on rocks in a storm in the 19th century. Once a whaling centre , then a coal town, Bicheno was almost abandoned in the late 1800s when local miners left to follow the Victoria gold rush. For years, it stayed a sleepy fishing village, until the 1940s, when vacationers discovered the region was still rich in tourism possibilities.

Bicheno is natural playground. The coastal waters are home to incredible coral reefs and migrating humpback whales. On land, there are dozens of lovely wineries, pristine golf courses and incredible nature hikes. The nearby Freycinet National Park has incredible walks along the beautiful East Coast headlands, and nearby Wineglass Bay is said to be one of the best beaches in the world.

When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay, there are great Bicheno accommodation options for every kind of vacation. From pretty campgrounds and caravan parks, to vacation cottages and guesthouses, to full-service beach resorts, there are great choices available for everyone here.

Whether you are bringing the love of your life for romantic dinners, wine tours, and long walks at sunset along the soft beach in Wineglass Bay, or you’re coming to explore the history of the town at the Old Court House and Gaol, your visit to Bicheno promises to be memorable.

The kids will love walking along the sandbar at low tide to spy on the colony of fairy penguins living on nearby Diamond Island, and a visit to the dozens of species making their home at the East Coast Birdlife and Animal Park.

If you want to play in the water, there are deep-sea fishing excursions, scuba diving, snorkelling, swimming and even glass bottom boat tours. You can also spend hours exploring the shoreline and the waves in a sea kayak.

Bicheno Foreshore Red Granite rocks

Make sure to work up an appetite! The rivers and coast line are rich with Australian salmon, scallops and abalone, which makes its way into the fresh and wonderful cuisine in the region’s world class restaurants.

You must also make sure to pay a visit to Bicheno’s famous Rocking Rock, a massive granite boulder that actually sways with the movement of the tide, creating a spectacular blowhole that will soak you if you get too close.

Bicheno Blow Hole and Rocking Rock

So whether you’re planning an active family escape of swimming, scuba and sunshine, a golf trip with friends, or a relaxing vacation of fine dining and fine wine, you can find exactly what you need right in the heart of Bicheno, Tasmania.

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Current Trending Travel Discussions for OZ Travel 2015

Current Trending Travel Discussions for OZ Travel 2015

 

Australia

Australia

I am meeting my adult daughter in Kangaroo Island in May and am at a loss as to where to stay. I am very interested in staying at one of the Lighthouse Cottages in Flinders Chase and am wondering if anyone
I am meeting my adult daughter in Kangaroo Island in May and am at a loss as to where to stay. I am very interested in staying at one of the Lighthouse Cottages in Flinders Chase and am wondering if anyone
Author: dutyfree
Posted: March 27, 2015, 12:44 pm
I was amazed to find frequent flier seats for family of four (young adult daughters) next Christmas. Now what to do? Arriving Melbourne Dec. 26, with 14 full days in Oz before departing Cairns Jan. 10.
I was amazed to find frequent flier seats for family of four (young adult daughters) next Christmas. Now what to do? Arriving Melbourne Dec. 26, with 14 full days in Oz before departing Cairns Jan. 10.
Author: PortiaLucy
Posted: March 27, 2015, 12:33 pm
Watch this Topic Which Australia hotels are on sale? mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy See hotels Browse forums All South Pacific forums Australia forum Australia forums Vaclavvv Prague posts: 19 Save this Post Europcar
Watch this Topic Which Australia hotels are on sale? mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy See hotels Browse forums All South Pacific forums Australia forum Australia forums Vaclavvv Prague posts: 19 Save this Post Europcar
Author: vaclav
Posted: March 27, 2015, 9:04 am
We are picking up a car from Sydney airport and driving direct to Katoomba on Saturday. It will probably be about 1pm before we leave the airport. Have you any suggestions on where to stop after about an
We are picking up a car from Sydney airport and driving direct to Katoomba on Saturday. It will probably be about 1pm before we leave the airport. Have you any suggestions on where to stop after about an
Author: shandy
Posted: March 26, 2015, 6:16 pm
Do Sydney taxi's at the airport take USD or credit cards, or should I exchange at ATM before exiting terminal? Thanks.
Do Sydney taxi's at the airport take USD or credit cards, or should I exchange at ATM before exiting terminal? Thanks.
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Posted: March 24, 2015, 2:29 pm
Australia- Whitsundays There is a great new land based Rainforest survival guided walk. I recently did this and highly recommend it. Survival training in rainforest. Airlie Beach has been lacking in land
Australia- Whitsundays There is a great new land based Rainforest survival guided walk. I recently did this and highly recommend it. Survival training in rainforest. Airlie Beach has been lacking in land
Author: darienjacobs
Posted: March 24, 2015, 9:32 am
I need a flight from Cairns to Darwin on a Friday in late October. We are planning to take a 3 day 2 night tour to Kakadu leaving Saturday morning. Jetstar has a direct flight that would arrive in Darwin
I need a flight from Cairns to Darwin on a Friday in late October. We are planning to take a 3 day 2 night tour to Kakadu leaving Saturday morning. Jetstar has a direct flight that would arrive in Darwin
Author: Canon
Posted: March 23, 2015, 8:45 pm
A Perth tradition I'll really miss, the annual Sculptures by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach...it's this event that has always given me hope, as it means 'winter is coming':) As it happens, this year I'll have
A Perth tradition I'll really miss, the annual Sculptures by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach...it's this event that has always given me hope, as it means 'winter is coming':) As it happens, this year I'll have
Author: Melnq8
Posted: March 22, 2015, 4:19 am
We were planning on going to Great Barrier Reef in Feb. 2015 but were told that this is the rainy season and can be iffy. When is the best time to go. Would March be better?
We were planning on going to Great Barrier Reef in Feb. 2015 but were told that this is the rainy season and can be iffy. When is the best time to go. Would March be better?
Author: honestgal
Posted: March 18, 2015, 6:26 pm
I can't seem to get a website to work to apply for an ETA. What is the correct website, thank you.
I can't seem to get a website to work to apply for an ETA. What is the correct website, thank you.
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Posted: March 16, 2015, 8:02 pm
My husband and I are embarking on a madcap honeymoon to Australia, New Zealand, and Bali. We are short (ish) on time, but long on adventurous spirits, and I am trying to make a specific itinerary work,
My husband and I are embarking on a madcap honeymoon to Australia, New Zealand, and Bali. We are short (ish) on time, but long on adventurous spirits, and I am trying to make a specific itinerary work,
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Posted: March 15, 2015, 6:28 pm
Does anyone have any thoughts on REX Airlines on the short flight between Adelaide to Kangaroo Island? I had planned on doing the ferry but after realizing the time,stress and high prices it seems like
Does anyone have any thoughts on REX Airlines on the short flight between Adelaide to Kangaroo Island? I had planned on doing the ferry but after realizing the time,stress and high prices it seems like
Author: dutyfree
Posted: March 15, 2015, 12:00 am
Instead of shoveling my paycheck into the coffers of AAT Kings or the various local guides, we'd like to determine how to structure our own trip in and around Sydney - specifically, bushwalking, whale watching,
Instead of shoveling my paycheck into the coffers of AAT Kings or the various local guides, we'd like to determine how to structure our own trip in and around Sydney - specifically, bushwalking, whale watching,
Author: BigRuss
Posted: March 13, 2015, 4:20 pm
I am working on the various parts of our 5 and a half week trip to Australia and New Zealand in October/November in different "chunks". I'd appreciate help with the Tasmania part from all the experts. We'll
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Author: FromDC
Posted: March 12, 2015, 4:34 pm
Going on a cruise from Auckland and ending in Sydney. Looking for a hotel in both places.
Going on a cruise from Auckland and ending in Sydney. Looking for a hotel in both places.
Author: mhwhite
Posted: March 11, 2015, 7:42 pm

Sydney’s allure is indisputable -– a beautiful, exotic, multicultural destination on the other side of the world where travelers come to explore and escape.

As Australia’s most populous city and the capital of New South Wales, this is a bustling metropolis indeed, where rich culture, creative cuisine and endless activities create a treasure trove of experiences. And Mother Nature -– from the water’s edge to the tops of mountains -– reigns supreme here, too. Never been Down Under? Consider going during Vivid Sydney, a new 18-day festival that brings iconic landmarks to life with music and multi-colored lights, schedule this year from May 22 to June 8.

Here are a few of the other special ways to experience Sydney:

Skip the Cab, Bike The bicycle is an excellent way to take in the sights and sounds of Sydney’s CBD, or Central Business District. Sydney Bike Tours helps you figure out where to go with several self-guided tours that are also themed, like “Bike the Bridge,” Opera House & Hyde Park” and “Fish Market & Harbour Explorer.” Their two-wheelers come in various sizes and feature 27 gears, disc brakes and road tires. Rentals, available seven days a week, come with helmet and lock, and, to help you travel lighter, include a full-day locker rental. Kids’ bikes are discounted.

Skip the Bike, Walk Actually, walking may be an even better way to take in many of Sydney’s iconic landmarks. In fact, inside the CBD, and along its perimeter, you’ll find a ton of must-see sights, like Harbour Bridge and the Opera House; consider breaking up your touring stroll over two or three days. For a historical throwback, spend a few hours walking Sydney’s Rocks district. And for a respite from the city bustle, walk the water’s edge. My colleague Alex Vershen, a producer in Travelzoo Australia’s Sydney office, says, “There are tons of kilometers-long walking trails along the harbour that make you feel like you’re a million miles away from the city.” She suggests the walks from Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach and from Spit Bridge to Manly Beach. “They’re super-easy to get to by public transport and you won’t spend half your day getting to them,” she adds. “Plus, many have swimming spots along the way.” Also consider the saunter from famous Bondi Beach to the suburb of Bronte, which features spectacular scenery.

Skip the CBD, Head to the ‘Burbs For some real Sydney flavor, visit its suburbs. Vershen, a Toronto native who moved to Sydney three years ago, has a few favorites. “Newtown has an alternative vibe, some cool street art hidden in alleyways between terrace houses and is known for its cheap and affordable restaurants,” she told me. “Chic Darlinghurst/Paddington has higher-end shops, and the Centennial Parklands are nearby. And trendy Surry Hills has wonderful bars and cafes.”

Jindabyne is a year round holiday resort

Jindabyne is a year round holiday resort

Located right at the end of artificial Lake Jindabyne, the town of Jindabyne plays a supporting role for the nearby ski resorts of Thredbo and Perisher Blue, both located in the Snowy Mountains. During the summer, however, visitors shouldn’t overlook the superb trout fishing throughout the area. About 60 kilometers from Cooma and 500 kilometers from Sydney, Jindabyne is perched at an altitude of 991 metres above sea level.
Lake Jindabyne – Lake – Flickr.com

Lake Jindabyne – MD111 – Flickr.com

Today, Jindabyne has activities year-round, with a cosmopolitan mix of brand new residents and pioneers that have been around since the town’s founding.

During winter, Jindabyne comes alive with skiers heading towards the nearby resorts. When the snow melts, folks head to the mountains for bushwalking, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking, while the lake has great water sports available.

East Jindabyne, though tiny, is worth your time. It’s up on top of the far side of the dam-you can’t miss it!

Nelson Bay – the unsung secret of New South Wales

Nelson Bay – the unsung secret of New South Wales

Nelson Bay, NSW is one of the unsung secrets that allot of tourist seems to know about. If you’re looking for a fun vacation laced with affordable accommodation, warm locales and a number of other different aquatic activities to engage in, then Nelson Bay, NSW is your superlative location. Located in Port Stephens, Nelson Bay offers miles and miles of calm coastal beaches, sky blue water and a rich, colourful local history. Every year, many tourists visit Nelson Bay, NSW to enjoy its many delights. Few people every leave unsatisfied.

It’s hard deciding what the strongest selling point Nelson Bay, NSW is. Its marine offerings are without doubt impressive. There is great surfing action for people who want to enjoy the thrill of riding the waves. If you’re more of a viewer than a spectator, it is possible to go dolphin watching out in the waters or visit some of the aquatic reserves within the region. You may also go canoeing and fishing with friends.

With calm waves against the shore, Nelson Bay has a number of the safest beaches in the world. However, most of the tourists to Nelson Bay inevitably end up taking of their shoes and diving into the cooling waters of the bay. The coastline of Nelson Bay is full of beautiful marine wildlife which makes it the perfect location for scuba diving and snorkelling. Regions such as Looking Glass are firm favourites because of the spectacular view of the local marine wildlife that it provides.

Tomaree National ParkAside from enjoying the countless aquatic pleasures that Nelson Bay provides, there are other events and things to do. Tourists can for instance go walking along the paths of Tomaree National park which offers many amazing views. They may also get memorable views by visiting the Gan Gan lookout.

Nelson Bay, NSW has several outstanding architectural buildings reflecting its evolution over the years. One of these is the Nelson Head Lighthouse. Erected in 1872 and presently still active, the lighthouse is among the stronger visitor attractions in the region. Just like a few of the lookouts within the region, visitors in the Nelson head lighthouse can enjoy beautiful views from the top of the tower.

Like most towns, Nelson bay has its own share of festivals and traditions. You will get an even better experience out of your vacation by scheduling your trip for any one of these. A hugely popular event is the ‘Festival of Whales’ which is held annually to mark the seasonal migration of whales. During the period, you’ll be able to view art displays, enjoy local music and engage in some whale watching.

When all is said and done, Nelson Bay, NSW is a perfect spot for anyone who is looking for the perfect holiday with some splashing in mind. You’ll be able to find and reserve suitable Nelson Bay accommodation options with little or no difficulty depending on what your preferences are. The legend of Nelson Bay is a constantly repeated song. Don’t just listen to it. Take a visit to the town and join in the global troupe.

Visit Katoomba to see the natural beauty and splendor of the Blue Mountains

Visit Katoomba to see the natural beauty and splendor of the Blue Mountains

This area has been drawing adventure seekers and nature lovers alike for over 150 years. No visit to New South Wales would be complete without seeing Katoomba, the home of the legendary Three Sister and Echo Point resting atop a 170 meter steep cliff.

When visiting the beautiful Blue Mountains, this is the perfect place to stay. With exceptional dining, shopping, lodging, and attractions everyone is bound to discover something in this area they enjoy. One popular choice for lodging is the relaxing Bed and Breakfast.

Katoomba Three sisters Bed and Breakfasts can be found from the cliffs of Echo Point, overlooking the exquisite Three Sisters, to the tree lined avenues of the city itself. This quaint little town is excellent for taking a relaxing stroll, shopping for antiques, or just enjoying the local bistros and wine.

During your stay at Blue Mountains there many good Katoomba cottage options available to the traveller for lodging. Some might enjoy getting closer to the outdoors by either camping or RVing. While others still might wish for a relaxing spa like retreat as a way to unwind. Wherever your taste fall on the comfort scale Blue Mountain has just the right room for you.

If you desire a unique way of seeing all Blue Mountain has to offer farm stays or cave renting are something you may want to check out. Farm stays offer a real life snapshot of life in New South Wales. As you stay at a local area farm and see firsthand the joy of simple farm life. During a farm stay you will have excellent accommodations but also gain an appreciation for a farmer’s way of life. There is also a cave, Hatters Hideaway, which can be rented the same as a hotel or resort room.

If it is history you seek, this region is rich in history. At the numerous assorted local antique and book shops. From Bygone Beauties in Leura to Mr. Pickwicks Fine Old Books in the heart of town; your imagination can soar to the mountain peaks as you are whisked back to the old days of this charming mountain village.

Blue Mountain has a great many modes of transportation available to its many visitors including trolleys, city rail, chartered buses, and local taxis. Chartered buses are the best way to see the sites for larger groups. Trolleys offer and excellent and relaxing way to take in the sites. One of the favorite off the beaten path ways to see a different view of the city are the ghost tours. This area is rich in mysteries and secrets many will be shared on the Blue Mountain Ghost Tour. Along with secrets this tour offers many of the less popular but very beautiful sites such as the rain forest and waterfalls. Sure to please any traveller, try your hand at the evening Ghost Tours available.

Whether your interests involve horseback riding, bush walking, rock climbing, or just spending time with nature, Katoomba has something for you. With interesting and friendly local people just waiting to accommodate you, your visit to scenic New South Wales Australia and gorgeous Blue Mountains will be the best trip you ever take to anywhere.

Take Your Next Family Holiday In Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast Australia

Take Your Next Family Holiday In Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast Australia

With something for everyone, the Twin Waters suburb of Queensland Australia is a suburb of the Sunshine Coastal area. This region is a big tourist district and has wonderful shopping, nightlife and of course, water activities. A group of friends or family vacationers could hang about an all inclusive resort which has a bit of everything right there so that no one has to go out of the area unless they want to do a bit of sightseeing or perhaps a museum visit.

Mt Coolum Golf Club For the golfers in the group there are beautiful, scenic golf courses starting with the Mount Coolum Golf Club. This golfing range sponsors a monthly metal competition, typically held on the first Saturday of each month and there are different prizes for the winner. This championship, 18 hole, par 72 course is not for the faint of heart. There are other games of golf in and around town including the Golf Qld, Golf Australia and Sunshine Coast Golf.

If lying on the beach, soaking up the sun is more your style, then the Mooloolaba beach is the perfect choice. The white sandy beaches and lots of water sports will keep people busy all day or all week. There is snorkelling, deep sea fishing, wind surfing or boogie boarding. For those who like their water activities a little calmer, there are hundreds of chairs for lounging by the shore to soak up the sun and maybe take a dip in the surf.

Australia Zoo Also along the Mooloolaba region is the famous Australia Zoo which was home to the late Croc Hunter and now his lovely daughter, Bindi. This is a great zoo in which to spend a day with the many different animals. And spend the day one will; an individual can play, pet and feed many of the different species and breeds of wildlife.

Known for its various different shopping and restaurant experiences and Mooloolaba holiday apartments, this region is also popular for the unique and unusual architectural built structures one could admire and visit while on their trip. After that, head to the Aussie World amusement park that has over 30 games and rides to choose from to thrill and entertain you. There is also the Big Kart Track that allows its guests a place to navigate chicanes, wild bends and hairpin turns in the small highway, what an adrenalin rush.

Cotton Tree is another great place to visit while vacationing in the Waters of Twin region and it’s one of the best kept secrets. This area lies between the ocean and the opening of the river. Each Sunday morning features a market of produce, different types of wares and handicrafts. Thousands of tourists and locals flock to the market every weekend and this is a great holiday destination for hundreds of travellers.

the Big Pineapple Also a symbol of Queensland it the Big Pineapple, a major iconic symbol of the area on the Sunshine Coast and for many years, it has been amusing visitors. The plantation train will help take people around the farm to see everything they have every wanted to see about the pineapple.

A drive along the Blackall Range is where a lot of the tourists take their peaceful and relaxing drives to view and visit the Flaxton with the examples of the different early ‘Queenslanders’ with their solid timber houses and lots of character in their buildings, many with the verandas of spacious build. Viewing is never a problem here for they sit atop a ridge and the Twin Waters is not far so a quick day trip would be in order for a group of travellers or a family.

Lend a Hand on Your Next Holiday

Planning a holiday soon? Then why not do it while lending a hand in preserving some of Australia’s most iconic landscapes? Wild Mob (www.wildmob.org) is a not-for-profit, non-political organisation dedicated to protecting Australia’s unique biodiversity through practical conservation and rehabilitation programs. Volunteers on the one-week trips can expect a balanced mix of environmental work, biodiversity education and plenty of time to enjoy the natural surroundings by hiking, snorkelling or simply relaxing. Each project offers its own experience, from a secluded island in the Whitsundays to rugged coastline in Tasmania to views of Australia’s highest mountain peaks.

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The most popular project is on Brampton Island, located off the central Queensland coast. Volunteers work to remove invasive weeds from the national park’s sensitive beach scrub habitat, clean beaches of plastics and other ocean debris and conduct informal wildlife and coral surveys. A guided hike offers insights to the area’s unique biodiversity and the interactions between the island, surrounding reefs, ocean and mainland. During free time, volunteers have the opportunity to go snorkelling, explore the island’s hidden beaches or just sit under a tree with a good book. Project dates run from April to November. For more information on Wild Mob’s Brampton Island conservation project, visit:

http://www.wildmob.org/projects/brampton-island-conservation-project

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Wollemi National Park plays host to another of Wild Mob’s environmental conservation programs. This newly created project is based just west of Sydney, set within Wollemi National Park’s breathtaking views of canyons, cliffs and undisturbed forests. Volunteers take part in species surveys, designed to help track and eradicate introduced feral cats, dogs and other animals, along with general park maintenance work. Informal Indigenous cultural education helps volunteers better understand the region’s natural processes and the customs of the local Wiradjuri people. For free time, volunteers can swim in the area’s pristine waters, hike its remote forests or canoe through its quiet wetlands. Project dates run from April to October. For more information on Wild Mob’s Wollemi conservation project, visit:

http://www.wildmob.org/projects/wollemi-conservation-project

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Wild Mob’s other conservation projects include coastal restoration work in Tasmania, endangered wallaby protection in Queensland, and invasive weed eradication in Mt Kosciuszko National Park. Wild Mob supplies all tents, food and equipment for projects. Groups are always welcome – including school groups and families, and private bookings can be arranged. For more information, visit www.wildmob.org, call (0)7 3369 9665 or e-mail info@wildmob.org.

Milton is a great place for a long weekend or a short vacation

South of Sydney on the eastern coast of Australia, lucky tourists will have discovered a small rural town steeped in agricultural tradition. Milton is small but has begun to spill over into towns like Ulladulla and Mollymook. Still it retains individuality including its own festivals and attractions.

Visitors and locals alike look forward to events which celebrate the agricultural background of Milton. Their March Agricultural and Horticultural Show looks a lot like a county fair, with a dog show and displays of livestock like sheep and cattle. Live music, a rodeo and rides provide plenty of enjoyment for the whole family. The Settlers Fair also honours a colourful past. Witness historic displays, sheep shearing, even some magic. Listen to story telling, watch street theatre, or take a history walk. You might find souvenirs to bring home too. The Scarecrow Festival offers similar opportunities, though this time the community comes together to celebrate harvest season.

Arrive at just the right time and take a look at a monthly village market. Find unique items for yourself or to give as gifts such as jewelry, crafts and clothing. Visitors will also have the chance to purchase produce at the market to nibble while exploring or to take back to their accommodation for later meals. Many craft shops line the streets here along with galleries that show off the skills of talented citizens. Some work with paints, others with pottery. View their displays and purchase their unique pieces.

For skill of a different kind, head to a vineyard. Cupitts Winery invites tourists to the cellar door for a taste of their varieties along with bottles for sale. Tourists can always just come and enjoy beautiful scenery from this location. They also serve food so arrive in time for lunch or supper. Visit the town for a south coast wine event featuring public tasting of products from numerous wine makers representing the region. Maybe sip a winner.

GZone Flower Farm always has something flowering. Witness the evidence of their environmental commitment including an intensive recycling policy. Here you can also explore a gift shop for more novelties and food.

If you love to get outside and keep moving, your location could not be better. In Morton National Park take a bush walk or climb Pigeon House Mountain. Lake Conjola provides a lovely location for swimming, water skiing, fishing or sailing. Should you prefer to watch rather than play, just dip your toes in the water and relax.

Many options exist for Milton accommodation. Set yourself up with self-catering or look to a bed and breakfast for shared facilities and personal treatment. Hire a room at an art studio. Opt for a camp site, motel, or restored heritage home. Whatever your choice, historic Milton rests only minutes away.

Take a walk through Milton yourself to admire historic buildings throughout. The National Trust has listed the town thanks to many preserved examples of early nineteenth century architecture, including several churches. Another option is to join a walking tour and learn more about Milton hauntings.

Wollongong & Grand Pacific Drive

Wollongong is NSW 3rd largest City and only 1 hour south of Sydney CBD and international airport and only 3 hours drive north east of the nations capital Canberra. Located in a narrow coastal strip Wollongong is home to over 200,000 residents, beautiful landscapes and one of Australia’s finest universities the University of Wollongong.

Wollongong is located 80 kilometres south of Sydney on a narrow coastal strip bordered by the Royal National Park to the north, Lake Illawarra to the south, the Tasman Sea to the east and the Illawarra Escarpment to the west. Wollongong enjoys a magnificent natural environment from rainforests to spectacular sea cliffs and unspoilt beaches.

If you are a visitor, you want to know that you have the most upto date information and where better to get it from than Wollongong’s official tourism Website. Giving you everything you need to know about accommodation, restaurants, recreation activities and other features of our city. Visitors and residents alike can enjoy Wollongong’s great shopping facilities and the many recreational activities on offer, from our 17 patrolled beaches, parks and cycleways to cultural experiences such as the Nan Tien Temple and Wollongong Science Centre.

Grand Pacific Drive encompasses 140km of some of NSW most spectacular scenery and coastline. From the Royal National Park (world’s second oldest) to Wollongong and beyond, the route takes you through coastal rainforests, spectacular driving scenery, coastal villages, the bustling coastal city of Wollongong, and beautiful coastal towns of Shellharbour and Kiama. The drive ends in the spectacular Shoalhaven region and from here you can experience the Southern Highlands, greater South Coast and Canberra!

Once you get to Wollongong you won’t know where to start with all the attractions available to you!

Whether you are here on a short break or an extended visit there certainly won’t be a shortage of thing to do:

The Royal National Park is the second oldest national park in the world, it begins and is apart of our scenic Grand Pacific Drive.

After some high impact adventure and fun why not try hang gliding or sky diving with Skydive the Beach, perhaps even spend the day at Jamberoo Action Park NSW largest water theme park.

Wollongong is gaining an international reputation for its excellence in the arts and cultural activities. Home to the biggest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere, The Nan Tien Temple. This is a must see in the Illawarra. Along with other activities such as our Illawarra Museum, City Art Gallery or come in time for one of our many festivals.

Bald Hill Lookout will give you outstanding views of the Illawarra and its escarpment, spend some time exploring the atmosphere before heading down the cliff hugging roads hanging above the ocean. See for yourself how the mountains meet the sea.

The benefits of Wollongong’s cultural mix are reflected in the excellent collection of restaurants and cafés, all offering a high standard of service and cuisine. First class seafood at Lagoon Seafood Restaurant & Harbourfront Restaurant. For specialty cafe’s visit Diggies North Kiosk, Levendi or Austi Beach Cafe. Coming with the family? Dine at Bomborra Seafood, Oscars at Towradgi Beach Hotel, Hogs Breath Cafe or Outback Steakhouse.

The Wollongong coastline offers 17 sparkling surf beaches that are patrolled by lifesavers from September to April. All beaches are in easy walking distance from shops, hotels and clubs. Enjoy over 60 kilometres of easy bicycle/walkway as you make your way from Bulli Beach in the north to Lake Illawarra in the south.

Exploring the popular Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains

Exploring the popular Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains

Jenolan Caves, situated at the Western end of the Blue Mountains in Jenolan National Forest, is one of Australia’s most popular country destinations. Over a quarter of a million visitors visit the caves each year to marvel at their wonders and explore the many caves that are open to the public.

Jenolan Caves

The extensive and as yet still not fully discovered network of Jenolan caves is what is known as “Karst Caves.” These limestone caves are formed over millions of years as water soluble limestone is dissolved away from surrounding insoluble rocks. The result is a spectacular labyrinth punctuated by stalagmites and stalactites. The early aborigines dubbed them “Binoomea” or dark places and did not explore them. The first European credited with exploring the interiors of the caves was James Whalan, who first entered them in 1838. However, James McKeown, an ex-convict, is widely recognized as having preceded Whalan. McKeown was not as interested in exploring the caves as he was in using them as a hideout, though, so Whalan’s credit is deserved.

Other explorers followed Whalan and his group and by the 1860s, several major caves had been discovered. Word spread and the Jenolan Caves became a tourist destination. The first tourists treated the caves with little respect and evidence of their vandalism remains to this day. Fortunately, it was made illegal to remove any material from the caves in 1872, so the damage has remained minimal. John Lucas, a local member of Parliament, is credited with this accomplishment and the Lucas Cave has been named in his honour.

Although there is no public transportation system to and from the Jenolan Caves, there are regular bus services from Katoomba in the Blue Mountains as well as tours from Sydney. Getting to the caves by road is as enjoyable as visiting the caves themselves as you pass through the spectacular Blue Mountains and wind your way down beautiful country roads on the hour long journey from Katoomba. Once there, you can take any of the regular guided tours of the caves that are held each day. After you have finished exploring, you can buy souvenirs and gifts at the “Things Jenolan” gift shop inside Caves House, the only hotel at the site.

Caves House

There are places to eat at Jenolan Caves, but many visitors prefer to use the many picnic and barbeque facilities that have been set up around the parking lots. Those who prefer dining in style do so in grand style at Jenolan Caves House. This magnificent, rambling structure was rebuilt in 1898 after the original Caves House was destroyed by fire.

Jenolan Caves House is the closest Jenolan Caves accommodation to the park and is a landmark in its own right, but others can be found in nearby Oberon and nearby Jenolan Cabins, perched on a hill with breathtaking 360 degree views is another popular place to stay. If you wish to stay anywhere near Jenolan Caves, it is best to book your room well in advance, because there are few accommodations in the area and they fill up fast, especially during the peak seasons.

Pokolbin Hunter Valley is a great choice for a sort break away

Pokolbin Hunter Valley is a great choice for a sort break away

Pokolbin is located in the Lower Hunter Valley wine region in New South Wales Australia, an area famed for its vintners. Pokolbin is not a town but a rural area found between the towns of Cessnock and Branxton. Because of its famed wineries and vineyards, it is a popular destination for wine lovers. It attracts other holiday makers with its day spas, resorts and local art.

Wine tourism is the Hunter Valley’s mainstay and this brings numbers of people the area. Based here are the large multinational wine companies, small home vintners and everything in between. The countryside is primarily used for the growing of grapevines. Shiraz and Semillion predominate but one will also find Chardonay, Cabernet, Sauvignon and even a little Pinot Noir.

Vintage Hunter Wine and Visitor Centre is the nerve centre of the area’s wine tourism. It can be found at 455 Wine Country drive and one finds directions here to restaurants, Pokolbin hotels, resorts and public events. Of course, one can also find a directory and maps to the wineries and cellars. Some of those located in the Valley are Vinden Estate Wines, Thalgora Estate, Blueberry Hill Vineyard, Tyrrell’s Wines and Morgan Family Wine Growers.

Pokolbin Village is the heart of the Valley and serves as a starting point from which to explore the wine country. It is at the centre of Pokolbin and is located so that the area wineries can be reached by foot. Pokolbin Village is a resort designed like a rustic town, and has spacious grounds amidst which suites, villas and even a homestead provide lodging for extended stays. The staff will aid visitors in the arrangement of winery visits and can inform them of area events and festivals.

One may also visit or stay at the Hunter Valley Gardens. This is the creation of award-winning landscapers Bill and Imelda Roche. Twelve themed gardens lie upon over 25 hectares of land. Vacationers may stay at the Mercure Resort and participate in the varied events that are offered besides the daily garden tours.

Here can be visited the Rose Garden, a corkscrew patterned garden of over 8,000 roses of more than 150 kinds. Also the Sunken Garden, made to appear like a sunken grotto beneath a large waterfall and shaped around a pond the size of five Olympic swimming pools and planted with a variety of evergreen and deciduous trees. The Chinese Garden and the Oriental Garden feature Chinese, Korean and Japanese motifs such as moss covered rocks, bamboo stands, gardens of raked gravel, pagodas amidst gingko trees and lily covered lakes stocked with Asian fish.

Both a State Forest and a National Park, Barrington Tops allows visitors to partake of nature pursuits. Huge cliffs, rain forest and fishing streams proliferate. This World Heritage site rests atop a twenty-five kilometre plateau and is home to a great variety of flora and fauna, some of it very rare. Here one can engage in canoeing, kayaking, cycling and hiking on trails and mountains, bushwalking and camping.

Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast of Australia is a Beach Front Paradise

Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast of Australia is a Beach Front Paradise

The Sunshine Coast of Queensland is dotted with numerous small towns that swell with visitors every year. Right in the centre is Maroochydore, on the Maroochy River. Visitors to the area can plan for a busy stay or relax by the soothing waters of sea or river.

Start slow with a trip to a local Sunday Market to purchase unusual souvenirs. Spend some time on the beach catching some of that famous Australian sunshine. Choices lean towards the active visitor, but you can take a quiet break here too.

Hire a bicycle and take a professionally guided or self-guided tour of the area. Walkers rejoice: Bli Bli offers both cruises and boardwalk access to the Wet Lands Sanctuary. Spend some time observing the swamps and mangroves plus wildlife protected here, if you are quiet and patient enough to watch for signs of them in the tall reeds. The Bellingham Outdoor Maze will also keep guests on their toes as they navigate their way out. Enjoy other puzzling activities here too set up for children and adults who like a challenge.

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Of course, being situated by the water, you may want to get out and try playing in it. Arrange for lessons in knee boarding, tubing and more. Kite surfing is a popular pass time to witness or try but if you want to start slowly there is room for all abilities. Even kids can take a class in some kind of water sport and enjoy some thrills.

Try a four wheel drive safari for comfortable transportation. Tours will take you swimming in clear lake waters, snorkelling and more. View dolphins, tour rain forests, admire the view and meet people from across the globe.

2006 Kids are bound to love Sunshine Castle. Explore the genius of a re-created castle built to Norman-style design. Ascend to the circular look-out tower, gazing down over a moat and drawbridge to the imagined enemy below. View the throne room, courtyard and stage. Observe a fairytale diorama, Lord of the Rings display and even send kids on a treasure hunt. This spot should keep everyone busy for a full day.

Get your gifts and supplies at Sunshine Plaza, including extra clothes if you packed the wrong things for Maroochydore weather. This is a shopping mall with a difference featuring not just cinemas and shops. Relax next to a natural waterway with your shopping bags and a snack.

The Plaza food court offers up a wide variety of menu choices. Dip into Turkish food or sushi. Order a coffee or tea. Even indulge in the delights of cocoa at the Spanish chocolate bar.

You can choose to stay at a caravan park or budget friendly, cheerful motel with colour TV and private bathroom. On the other hand, expect high quality lodgings at Cotton Tree, an up market suburb or Maroochydore. Select from self-contained Maroochydore apartments and chalets or opt for resort style rooms with luxurious amenities. Retreat into the bush, rest on the river, or gaze out over gardens from a private balcony.

Sydney’s Popular Darling Harbour

Sydney’s Popular Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is one of Sydney’s major attractions for tourists and locals alike. With its stunning harbour side location, dozens of gift shops and boutiques, restaurants and excellent conference and exhibition facilities, it’s little wonder that virtually everyone who visits or lives in Sydney goes to Darling Harbour.

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour wasn’t always what it is today. In fact, prior to 1988, it was a dismal, neglected industrial park with a haunted feeling to it. Back in the 19th century until well into the 20th century, Darling Harbour and neighbouring Pyrmont hummed with activity throughout a long period of manufacturing. Then, when the manufacturing industries moved away from the city, the factories and warehouses closed one by one until the massive brick buildings were finally left derelict.

As Australia’s Bicentennial approached, civic leaders lead by Premier Neville Wran decided it was time to reinvigorate Darling Harbour for a new era and it was formally re-opened just in time for the 1988 celebrations. Then, when Sydney prepared to host the 2000 Olympic Games, a further $1.5 billion was poured into Darling Harbour. This massive influx of funds is what made Darling Harbour what it is today.

You don’t need a reason to enjoy Darling Harbour. On a warm spring day, there’s nothing more enjoyable than taking a stroll across Pyrmont Bridge and then along the long promenade that stretches along the waterside in front of the development. If you’re feeling hungry, there are dozens of cafes, restaurants and take-out stalls to choose from. It’s a great place to bring the whole family. The kids love to take the miniature train tour and, for a big day out, there’s the Sydney Aquarium, one of the world’s largest, the IMAX theatre and the fascinating National Maritime and Powerhouse Museums.

Powerhouse Museum

There are so many things to do and see in Darling Harbour, many Sydney residents return again and again and do something different every time. If you’ve taken the kids to see the aquarium, you’ll want to bring them back again to see Sydney Wildlife World with its 6000 varieties of Australian wildlife. Then, for a night on the town without the children, you can enjoy the spectacle of Star City Casino. Inside the casino, Sydney’s Lyric Theatre and Star Theatre are two of Sydney’s premier entertainment venues.

Back outside, you can enjoy a ride on the Sydney monorail and get a bird’s eye view of Sydney or you can see the city from a dolphin’s perspective aboard a Sydney Harbour cruise. Then again, if you feel you need a bit of peace and tranquillity, a visit to the beautiful Chinese Garden of Friendship, with its wonderful gardens, lakes and waterfalls is sure to put your mind and spirit at ease.

All of these things and more are at your fingertips at Darling Harbour. It’s no wonder so many people choose to stay at a Darling Harbour accommodation when they visit Sydney. There’s no better place to begin your day, end your day or enjoy your day than Darling Harbour.

Sydney: There is No Other Place Quite Like It

Sydney: There is No Other Place Quite Like It

Sydney: There is No Other Place Quite Like It

There is an advertising slogan that says, “There’s no place in the world like Sydney.” That’s true enough, but what’s different about it? It has a harbour and a famous bridge, but so does San Francisco. It has an iconic architectural symbol in the Sydney Opera House, but Paris has one too, in the Eiffel Tower. It has some of the world’s greatest beaches at its doorstep, but so do a few other great cities of the world. So, once again, what’s so different about Sydney.

Sydney Opera House and Bridge

The temperature has something to do with what makes Sydney special. San Francisco is virtually surrounded by water, just like Sydney, but it’s hard to enjoy it when it’s almost always freezing cold in San Francisco, inside or outside of the water. For most of the year, the water and air temperature in Sydney is ideal for beach and water lovers. Just cool enough to be invigorating and just warm enough to be inviting, it’s no wonder that the beaches in Sydney are some of the best in the world.

There is no denying that Paris is a great city and there is nothing wrong with its being so, well, Parisian. But Sydney is a melting pot of people from around the globe. You can go to a café in Glebe and get great Greek food. In Balmain, you can find dozens of restaurants that serve modern Western cuisine. In Surry Hills, you can find a little café that serves the best Italian dishes you’ll find anywhere this side of Florence. Then there are the Asian restaurants and the . . . . The list goes on and on.

New York is a great city, but you wouldn’t really feel comfortable walking around in NYC in a pair of shorts and a tee shirt. In Sydney, it’s not only accepted, it’s the norm. Among world financial centres, Sydney has to get first prize for being the most laid back and relaxed. That’s not to say they don’t take care of business in Sydney. They just do it Sydney style.

Sydney harbour

What other large metropolitan city can you commute to from your mountain top retreat? Thousands of Sydney workers commute to the city from the beautiful Blue Mountains every day. At the end of the day and on weekends, they are surrounded by pristine wilderness, while during the week they are part of the action in the dynamic Sydney city centre. As a visitor to Sydney, you, too can enjoy the Blue Mountains. They are just a short train ride away.

Sydney is in Australia. No other metropolis of Sydney’s size can make that claim. Sydney is steeped in Australia’s unique lifestyle. When you visit Sydney, you get to enjoy one of the friendliest, most relaxed cultures in the world.

From your Sydney accommodation anywhere in the city, you can easily enjoy everything this great city has to offer. The public transportation system is extensive and modern. Take the train or the bus anywhere you want to go, from Bondi Beach to the heart of the Central Business District. Don’t worry about changing your clothes. Nobody will bat an eye is you’re walking through the financial district wearing flipflops on your feet and have a beach towel thrown over your shoulder.

Take Your Next Family Holiday In Coolangatta on the Gold Coast

Take Your Next Family Holiday In Coolangatta on the Gold Coast

Coolangatta is the southernmost town in Australia’s Gold Coast. It is situated in the state of Queensland, just over border from its New South Wales “twin town”, Tweed Heads. Originally, a convict station, and named after a schooner which had sunk in the area, the town then developed as a centre for the logging of Queensland’s red cedar timber, and as a fishing port. Nowadays tourism is important to the area, but the good fishing remains, and provides fresh catches for the local speciality sea food restaurants. Coolangatta Airport, now called Gold Coast Airport, is near the town, and anyone holidaying here will be close to the many attractive localities around the Gold Coast area.

The area has some interesting historical connections. Mount Warning and Point Danger got their names from Captain James Cook, the British explorer, who sailed up the coast here in 1770. Point Danger is an excellent place for watching marine life, dolphins and occasionally humpbacked whales can be seen from here, as well as all sorts of sea birds.

After a short career as a convict station, Coolangatta became an important focus for the logging of red cedar from the area. The Tweed River developed as a port and the twin towns of Coolangatta (Queensland) and Tweed Heads (New South Wales) developed on either side of the state boundary. With the arrival of the railway the area began to see its first tourist visitors, coming from Queensland’s state capital, Brisbane, and from New South Wales.

The Victorian tourists frequented the three north facing local beaches: Greenmount Beach, Coolangatta Beach and Rainbow Bay, and just after that era (in 1911) the first surfing and life saving club in Queensland was founded here. Guest houses began to be built in the beach areas.

Nowadays Gold Coast Airport is found just five minutes drive from town. The local beaches are still enjoyed by swimmers and surfers, and other visitors choose to explore the coastline on foot, or by hiring bicycles.

In the centre many interesting shops and boutiques can be found, as well as many good cafes and restaurants, and lively pubs and clubs. The local fishermen ensure a regular supply of fresh catches from the Pacific, and sea food restaurants are numerous. Pubs and clubs in the area often have live music and other entertainment. There are a number of Coolangatta holiday apartments and other accommodation options available

Coolangatta is a good place to see in the New Year (NB Northern hemisphere visitors should remember that this is summer time in Australia). Because New South Wales and Queensland are in different time zones you can see the New Year in twice, first in New South Wales, and then in Queensland. Even if you stay on the Queensland side of the border you can watch the Tweed Heads firework display at 11 pm Queensland time.

Other attractions of the Gold Coast are easily reached by car from the town. There are over forty golf courses in Gold Coast, some of Australia’s largest theme parks for families, and the Gold Coast hinterland is a World Heritage area, protected by several national parks.

Hamilton Island: Luxury in Paradise

Hamilton Island: Luxury in Paradise

Hamilton Island, on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, is an island designed with one purpose in mind: to pamper its guests. Sometimes called the Honeymoon capital of Australia because of all the wedding facilities and the romantic atmosphere offered by many Hamilton Island accommodation options, it is sometimes overlooked as a family destination. While it is true that there are no budget accommodations on the island, you might be surprised to discover that a family holiday in a Hamilton Island resort can be quite affordable.

Hamilton Island

If it’s value for money you’re looking for, then take another look at Hamilton Island. If you get a family package deal, you get a luxurious room to stay in and access to many facilities that would cost you extra in another location. Hamilton Island is an uncrowded paradise, with quiet beaches, reefs and coves to explore at your leisure. Grab a mask, snorkel and fins and explore some of the crystal clear waters virtually at your doorstep. If you want to explore a little further afield, you are welcome to use a safe, stable kayak and go snorkeling at a Hamilton Island reef.

For more adventurous divers, Hamilton Island is truly a paradise. The Great Barrier Reef needs no introduction. It is spread out before you and you can take your pick between a number of fabulous diving adventures. These can be short, guided excursions to some of the nearby reefs or longer scuba diving tours.

For a truly unique reef experience, you can book an excursion aboard a catamaran and go to Reefworld. Reefworld can best be described as two manmade floating islands on pontoons right in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. Every effort is made to both preserve the reef and make it accessible to the public. For the children, there is a special swimming enclosure to ensure their safety. For first time snorkelers, there is an easy to use snorkeling platform to launch from. If you don’t want to get wet, you can take a ride on a glass hulled, submersible vessel.

Back on land, just five minutes from Hamilton Island is the world renowned Dent Island 18 hole golf course. Imagine playing 18 challenging holes on a course designed by a world champion golfer, surrounded by the glittering Coral Sea and the spectacular Whitsunday Islands. Hamilton Island golfing vacations are so popular, you can often find great special deals for weekend golf packages.

Hamilton Island Marina

There are so many world class amenities on Hamilton Island, you might think that it has been overdeveloped. Nothing could be further from the truth. Viewed from above, most of the island is lush and green and its native habitats meticulously preserved. It’s not all off limits, though. There are many ways you can explore the island. If you’re the adventurous type, try a quad bike tour of the island. In order to protect the environment, you will stick with the fire trails, but that won’t stop you from taking in the most breathtaking views the island has to offer.

As you can see, there is much more to a Hamilton Island vacation than its reputation as an upscale resort for honeymooners and the wealthy suggests. All of these attractions and more are available on a family budget. Of course, if money is no object, you will be treated like a king on Hamilton Island. On the other hand, no matter what your budget, you will feel like royalty on this stunning tropical resort island.

Relax with a Weekend in the Hunter Valley

Relax with a Weekend in the Hunter Valley

As far as weekend trips are concerned, the beautiful Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia, has everything it takes for a perfect getaway. Plus, it’s only 2 hours north by car from Sydney, making it accessible to tourists from all over the world. In fact, every year, 2.5 million people visit the area to take advantage of the winery tours, hot air balloon, and many other attractions the Hunter Valley has to offer.

Hunter Valley Accommodation is easy to find throughout the entire region, no matter your budget or the type of occasion. But the three most popular places to stay are Pokolbin, Cessnock, and Lovedale.

Pokolbin
Pokolbin can be found at the heart of the Lower Hunter Valley wine region. This area is not only the oldest wine region in Australia, but it’s also one of the country’s most famous. It has over 120 wineries, the oldest of which are nearly 200 years old. Take a tour and try the acclaimed Hunter Valley Semillon or the popular Australian Shiraz that are made here.

In addition to wineries galore, you will also enjoy Pokolbin’s selection of more than 60 restaurants and have your choice of over 160 places to stay. Golfers can get a bit of exercise at one of the region’s world-class golf courses. Visitors to this area can also take a stroll through the southern hemisphere’s largest rose garden, which is found in the 60-acre Hunter Valley Gardens, along with shops, restaurants, a chapel, and other attractions.

Cessnock
The picturesque Cessnock area is Pokolbin’s neighbor. A group of the small towns Paxton, Millfield, and Bellbird make up this area, which was named after Scotland’s Cessnock Castle as a tribute to the area’s early Scottish settlers. Cessnock marks where the Hunter Valley wine region starts and is also visited for is collection of antique shops, craft shops, and art galleries.

Lovedale
Finally, you have Lovedale, which much like Pokolbin and Cessnock, is a great place for wine tours. But along with its many wineries, Lovedale also has exciting activities to offer, like hot air balloon and horseback rides, which are great for visitors looking to quench their thirst for adventure while taking in the breathtaking landscape.

The great food and wine of the Hunter Valley in Australia

The great food and wine of the Hunter Valley in Australia

Located in the central coastal region of the Australian state of New South Wales, the gorgeous Hunter Valley (also known as the Hunter Region) is quite simply one of the most remarkable destinations within the country. With rich cultural traditions and ase-inspiring vistas, it has long been producing some of Australia’s best boutique wines, something which is delightfully matched by the region’s excellent gastronomical offerings: from premium beef as well as dairy products to a cornucopia of fresh fruits and veggies. All of this, topped off by the breathtaking settings which can be explored in various different and unique ways, make the Hunter Valley a natural choice as a top Australian destination (clearly attested to by the 2+ million annual visitors).
Cheese tasting – Hunter Valley

Fine dining is one of the defining features of the valley, strongly focusing on local products. With cattle raisers throughout the valley that supply many areas of the country, a good steak is always going to appear on the table of one of the outstanding restaurants visitors will likely get to know. Among such establishments are the Pokolbin area’s Casuarina and San Marino restaurants; the Lovedale area’s Mojo’s on Wilderness and Lynkeys of Lovedale restaurants; and the Mount Broke Wines’ Cow Cafe.

Following the gastronomical theme further, the valley’s many cheese farms are well worth a stop and will receive visitors warmly, offering up what all wine lovers know to be the best accompaniment possible to a tasty cup. Give your taste buds a real treat and liven up your day of touring by checking out places like the Smelly Cheese Shop, the Hunter Valley Cheese Company or Binnorie Dairy.

There are many world-class wineries waiting to receive visitors and indulge what is surely their top priority while exploring the Hunter Valley. Having been turned into the outstanding wine country which it is known as today by the Hunter River and its tributaries (constituting one of the nation’s principal river networks), the valley is particularly clogged with vineyards in the areas of Pokolbin, Wollombi Valley as well as Broke Fordwich. As you tour through the region, you’ll probably enjoy the exceptional flavors bottled by Tintilla Estate, the Adina Vineyard and the Private Moorebank Vineyard, among many more.

Your trip through the Hunter Valley could be that much more unique by opting to get around via less usual means, such as a hot air balloon ride, horse and carriage, in a luxury limo or even just on bike. Then, to end each day in the right way there are many exceptional Hunter Valley accommodation choices, from the Belford Cabins to the Capers Guesthouse and Cottage to much more.

Discover Hervey Bay on the Queensland coast of Australia

Discover Hervey Bay on the Queensland coast of Australia

European settlers first came to Hervey Bay in the early nineteenth century, raising cattle and planting sugar at different times. These days, a diverse array of people call the city home. In fact, numbers continue to grow here so that the town you see today may look quite different a year or two from now. A visit to this coastal city provides the chance for golfing under the sun, sky diving, or just relaxing on the beach.

Hervey Bay humpback whales One thing that will stay the same is amazing scenery. Find a great shoreline outpost or board a dedicated cruise boat in search of humpback whales. These sea visitors make a regular appearance, wowing the patient viewer who has his binoculars trained out to the watery horizon.

For a different kind of cruise, get on board a four wheel drive vehicle for a tour of Fraser Island. Hervey Bay provides an launching pad for those desirous of a look at this World Heritage site. Features of note include sites of significance to the Aborigines who first populated the island plus over two hundred species of birds. Be very patient and quiet: you could see a dingo.

Tour operators like to make things as easy as possible for out of town guests. Most will pick visitors up from their city centre hotel. The horseback riding guides are among these, taking clients out to meet their equine rides for a two and a half hour tour plus refreshments. There are so many ways to meet new friends on the road.

Kids and parents with a competitive streak take heed: Golf n Game activity complex offers the chance to engage in some serious mini-golf competition. While father and son tee off, mom and daughter can enjoy a refreshing splash at the water slides. A free and fairly new water attraction has also opened up in Hervey Bay. Here there are interactive water games for kids under five and over five to take part in respectively. One can also walk the boardwalk, enjoy a drink at the coffee shop, and marvel at the use of recycled rainwater which supplies the park.

A different kind of competition pits man against fish: in this case, varieties of perch, trout, cod, snapper and more. Best your aquatic nemesis from one of many locations on land or out at sea. Other popular sports include diving and sailing.

Backpackers rejoice: Hervey Bay knew you were coming. There are several locations for you to stop and sleep, saving money for adventure instead of spending it on silk sheets. Select from a homestead or hostel style location where a common room, pool and other amenities await your enjoyment. If you brought the family in your RV, maintain a tight holiday budget by choosing a caravan park.

Not everyone has to choose between well-appointed room and enjoyable activities. Start with a Hervey Bay motel offering single or family rooms and just a bit of luxury. Move on to resorts and apartments with spas and self-catering amenities. Even look into a time share arrangement.

Jervis Bay one of the true gems of the New South Wales South Coast

Jervis Bay one of the true gems of the New South Wales South Coast

For years, New South Wales’ south-east region has been known both locally and internationally as one of the most spectacular places in Australia. Amazingly, Jervis Bay only recently received much deserved recognition in being named a National Park.

The clearest blue water and the whitest sand in the world can both be found at Jervis Bay. Watch as dolphins glide through the water. Dolphins aren’t the only creatures that call these waters home. Whales are often seen along the Bay. Humans enjoy the tranquil surroundings as well: fishing, diving, and other water sports are all popular ways to explore the area.

The Botanic Gardens and Booderee National Park are nearby and won’t disappoint. Beautiful locations in the National Park include the Hole in the Wall, Bristol Point, Scottish Rocks, and Green Patch Beach. From the National Parks Visitor one can find more information about boat ramps, bushwalking trails, picnic and barbecue equipment and camping areas. Another interesting site of the area is the old, demolished lighthouse just south of Jervis Bay.

The most spectacular point in the area is probably Greenpatch Beach. The views from this spot offer an interesting contrast, with the HMAS Creswell set amidst the immaculate natural bush and vast ocean. The already magnificent colors of Jervis Beach are intensified by the sun’s reflection, giving the ocean its clear blue color and the coast its brilliant white sand.

If Jervis Bay sounds like your kind of destination then visit our website to find some great Jervis Bay Accommodation.

Explore the natural beauty of the North Coast at Nelson Bay

Explore the natural beauty of the North Coast at Nelson Bay

Right on the North Coast of New South Wales lies a beautiful little spot called Nelson Bay.

If you are looking to explore the natural beauty of the North Coast, then Nelson Bay is the premier place to visit. Port Stephens, Raymond Terrace, and Hawkes Nest are all close to Nelson Bay, making it an excellent location. A jaunt into the Hunter Valley wine district makes for a fine day trip.

Port Stephens boasts its own attractions, with friendly bottlenose dolphins enjoying the perfect subtropical climate. About a two hour drive north of Sydney, Port Stephens is easily accessible to all. From Nelson Bay you can catch a cruise to see the friendly dolphins or see the local fishing fleet.

There are tons of opportunities for fishing and scuba diving, both of which make for a great way to experience Nelson Bay. Inland, there are also vast stretches of untamed wilderness waiting to be explored. So if this sound like the perfect place for your next holiday you can find some great Nelson Bay Accommodation here.

Burleigh Heads is a great spot for your next holiday on the Gold Coast

Burleigh Heads is a great spot for your next holiday on the Gold Coast

The suburb of Burleigh Heads is found on Australia’s popular Gold Coast in the state of Queensland. It has a population of around 8,000 residents. Perfectly positioned in the middle of 2 resort towns, Coolangatta and Surfers Paradise, it provides the ideal holiday destination for those who want warmth, sea and sunshine.

The climate is ideal all year long. Temperatures during summer days average at 28 degrees (Celsius). Temperatures during winter days average at 22 degrees (Celsius). The temperature of the sea water during summer averages 22 degrees (Celsius), and during winter the average water temperature is 17 degrees (Celsius).

The area is a perfect alternative from other towns on the Gold Coast which swarm with tourists. Burleigh Heads provides a more peaceful setting. James Street is situated in the centre of the suburb and has a village-like atmosphere. Here you can find an assortment of delis, cafes, shops, pharmacies, hairdressers and restaurants. There a number a different accommodation option available. Choice from motels to luxury Burleigh Heads Apartments.

Gorgeous lines of pandanus trees and pine trees flank the main shopping center. Industry booms in the western part of Burleigh Heads with a variety of international manufacturing and exporting companies. This is where the Billabong brand has its headquarters.

The locals refer to the headland as ‘The Point’. During weekends it is a popular site for cricket matches, surfing and barbecues. Every Sunday afternoon, crowds gather to enjoy a ‘dance and jam’ session with music provided by local musicians. Burleigh Heads has a very religious community, and the main beliefs are Hare Krishna, Christianity, and Buddhism.

The local residents have a great sense of humour and are laid back, friendly and helpful. This makes visitors feel relaxed and welcome. The area is very child friendly which is the reason why so many families come to this part of the world for holidays. There are lots of fun activities for children.

The sea provides excellent surf breaks, making conditions ideal for swimming, body boarding and surfing. The beaches are bordered with pretty parklands that have barbecue and picnic sites, and showers. There are a number of first class restaurants close to the beach. Enjoy a meal and then browse through the wares at the arts and crafts markets.

During your stay, you could book an overnight tour to the waterfalls and rainforest. After enjoying a guided walk, tuck into a gastronomic picnic near the waterfall. In the evening you will be served a three-course candle-lit dinner in a garden. Overnight accommodation is provided by a guest lodge.

Discover what Bundaberg in Queensland Australia has to offer

Discover what Bundaberg in Queensland Australia has to offer

Found on the Burnett River, Bundaberg City has got a lot in store for locals and tourists alike. Situated around 229 miles from Brisbane, and found in Queensland, the city actually offers a lot of waters and beaches to the people. Locally known as ‘Bundy, ‘ the city itself is well-known for its exquisite beaches and other oceanfront sights.

Aside from the ocean, there is definitely a lot to see in this town. The Bundaberg Rum Distillery, as well as the Mon Repos Turtle Rookery are some of those tourist spots. Head on over to the Bundaberg Barrel, as well, or take a dip in the stinger-free beaches. Of course, who can forget about the Great Barrier Reef? If you love driving, on the other hand, grab a 4WD and drive around the National Parks, or you can also fish in the parks without the crowds as that of typical cities.

Bundy is found at the centre of the Wide Bay-Burnett. The name of the city, as said to be an artificial combination, came from the Kabi Aboriginal word ‘important mean, ‘ plus the German suffix for ‘mountain.’ It is also called as the “Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef” because the city is situated near the southern part of the reef. It is also quite near the Islands of Lady Musgrave Islands and Lady Elliot.

Don’t be surprised if you see flying foxes around the city all throughout the day. They live around the Burnett River’s northern part, just between the Don Talon bridge and the Burnett bridge. They leave their habitat during dusk, and then go around the city to find food.

The Mystery Craters are also found in South Kolan, where holes are mysteriously filled up with water. However, beaches are very popular in this city, as well. The Moore Park itself has golden sandy beach of over 20 kilometres. Aside from the Moore Park, there are numerous beaches around the south Burnett River. However, the Kellys Beach is the most popular for families during the summer months.

Bundaberg City has a subtropical climate, with rather mild winters but hot summers. The average rainfall every year is around 1141 millimetres. Typically, its temperature is very pleasurable to tourists and locals who love water sports and sunbathing.

The city has an airport which services flights to the Lady Elliot Island and to Brisbane. Besides flights, you may also reach the city by bus which travel to other parts of the country, as well. The airport sits beside the Central Queensland University, whose main campus is found in North Rockhampton also in Queensland.

Bundaberg is sister cities with Settsu City found in Japan, and Nanning in China. Its industry is mostly composed of sugar cane and sugar, as refineries and mills for sugar cane. They also export sugar to other countries, as well. Vegetables and fruits are also some famous industries in the country, with tomatoes, watermelons, legumes and others as some popular crops. The local beverage producer, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, is also found in the city.

Bundaberg Resources

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The massively popular Byron Bay

The massively popular Byron Bay

The town of Byron Bay, Australia’s easternmost town on the far north coast of New South Wales, is anything but a big city. The town itself has a permanent population of only about five thousand and the entire shire has a permanent population of only around 30,000. While Byron Bay locals may be small in number, they are big on hospitality, hosting over 1.5 million visitors per year.

Byron Bay

The massive popularity of Byron Bay is a fairly recent phenomenon. Until the late 60s, it was just a peaceful country town whose only claim to fame was as the largest producer of dairy products in the Southern Hemisphere. Back then, the only tourists were the surfers who came there to ride the “secret spot” known only as The Pass. The Pass didn’t remain a secret for very long, though and when the Flower Children heard about Byron Bay from the Soul Surfers who discovered it, it quickly developed into a haven for the seventies’ alternative lifestyle community.

These enterprising new arrivals started many of Byron Bay’s first tourist oriented businesses. They opened surf shops, gift shops, galleries, arts and crafts shops, cafes and, most importantly, backpackers’ resorts. Word spread about Byron Bay largely by word of mouth and by the early eighties, it was on every young globetrotter’s “must see” list. Attracted by the laid-back lifestyle, the spectacular beaches and the magnificent surrounding countryside, they came in droves.

1990 marked a turning point and challenge for Byron Bay. That was the year the first “BluesFest” music festival took place at the Arts Factory. Even the organizers of the event had no idea how popular it would become. It quickly outgrew its original venue, but continues to this day, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.

BluesFest

Byron Bay’s new-found prosperity led to further development, but it has always been kept in check by the locals’ fierce determination to keep it from becoming another highrise resort town like Surfers Paradise. Their efforts have largely paid off and to this day, Byron Bay somehow manages to retain its unique atmosphere and yet still cater to the millions of visitors who flock there every year.

Byron Shire is more than you see from Lawson or Jonson Streets, the main streets in town and the centres of the tourist activities. Take a stroll out to the world famous Byron Bay Lighthouse and, after you’ve feasted your eyes on the glittering Tasman Sea from Australia’s easternmost tip, turn around and look to the verdant hills behind the city. Tucked away in the hills are many fascinating towns and villages, all of which can be easily visited by car or shuttle bus.

Main street in Byron Bay

Although Byron Bay also caters to families and well-heeled travellers looking for luxury resorts and five star cuisine, it still retains the best of its alternative lifestyle appeal. Whether you choose a backpackers lodge or a luxurious resort as your Byron Bay accommodation, it will be designed with your comfort and minimal environmental impact in mind. The grounds will be beautifully landscaped with native flora and the atmosphere will be wonderfully relaxing. Byron Bay is almost synonymous with laid back, so soak it up as long as you can.

In and Around Hobart

In and Around Hobart

Tasmania is a beautiful island state of Australia where the bounty of nature is the rule rather than the exception. A largely undiscovered paradise, visitors are greeted by natural beauty and many small, lightly populated towns, making the atmosphere one of relaxation and harmony.

Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, has a wonderful mix of the historical mingled with the cosmopolitan and offers a variety of attractions including art galleries, fine dining, a lively music and theatrical scene and plenty of outdoor activities nearby. If wine tasting is on your agenda, just outside of the city are some of Tasmania’s best wineries.

Hobart from Mt Wellington.

As a central point for a holiday, Hobart offers ample dining and accommodation options while just a short distance from the city the unique features of the area are waiting to be explored.

Nearby Mount Wellington offers spectacular views of the area from its high vantage point, offering a panoramic look at the city of Hobart and its harbour, the Derwent Valley, Kingston, Bruny Island and the Tasman Peninsula. On a clear day it presents a great opportunity for photos and is well worth the 21 km drive.

A bit further from the city, a great experience is waiting at Devil’s @ Cradle. Located near the entrance to the Cradle Mountain National Park, this sanctuary is dedicated to the preservation of the Tasmanian Devil and is a wonderful addition to a holiday itinerary. The best time to visit is during the evening feeding, as the Tassies are very active at that time and you might even get a chance to pet one of the cute creatures. Contrary to popular myth, the Devils are typically more curious than aggressive. The sanctuary is run by a dedicated and knowledgeable staff with the goal of protecting the species and educating the public.

Walking along the treetops is a fantastic adventure and not to be missed if coming to Tasmania. Tahune Forest Airwalk at Geeveston, which is about a 90 minute drive from Hobart, allows visitors the chance to traverse the Airwalk and gain a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area and the forest canopy from several steel walks suspended at 20 meters above the forest floor. There are also suspension bridges that overlook the Huon and Picton Rivers with beautiful views of the mountains off in the distance. Once completing the Airwalk, there are plenty of walking paths on the forest floor that offer beautiful scenery throughout the area.

airwalk

There are many other destinations worth exploring. Hobart is a wonderful destination for the entire family and Tasmania is a bit of Heaven on Earth.

Step back in history in Newcastle Australia

In New South Wales, Australia, one city remembers its links to early European settlements and the important role convicts played in its construction. Newcastle embraces connections to the past as well as its ongoing relationship with the sea that lashes its shores. Today, visitors come to be wowed by past and present attractions.

The Lock Up The Lock-Up presents a bleak view of past penal life with its tiny cells. Tourists may come away feeling saddened for the people imprisoned here, knowing that many suffered simply for the courage to voice an opinion. Tour museum relics and displays with your family or as part of a school group. Take the time to view art by many locals whose work is presented in bright contrast to their sad surroundings.

Christ Church Cathedral has shown its resilience against war and an earthquake, standing tall today for visitors to admire its grace and beauty. Many tall stained glass windows were designed and created by famous Pre-Raphaelite painters from England. This sacred building maintains a bright aspect, along with exquisite marble flooring. Materials came from Australia and Italy, the latter in particular when earthquake repairs were required.

No one knows where the Nobbys gets its name, but this oddly-dubbed island performs a serious role. While welcoming vessels into Newcastle Harbour, it also offers the protection of a lighthouse. Many ships have been wrecked along this coast and numerous lives lost. The most recent wreck of merely a few years ago ended well with the ship re-floating and no lives lost. Guides will show the curious resting places of many unfortunate vessels.

At Lee Wharf on Hunter River enjoy active displays run by the Maritime Centre. Gain a better understanding of important sea-based industry to the people of Newcastle since the city first became official around 150 years ago. Bogey Hole marks the spot of an odd, sometimes dangerous pass time. Residents like to jump into this busy bathing hole from the cliffs above, or risk the waves which rush in during a storm, holding onto chains or getting washed out to sea. During good weather, safely soak up some sun without getting sand in your bathing suit.

Fort Scratchley displays relics from its 1870s origins and action during the Second World War. Guns fired here to defend the city over sixty years ago remain for the perusal of interested visitors. Guide yourself throughout the museum or join a tour, but make sure you go up top. A wide view over the harbour and sea may afford a glimpse of whales or dolphins passing through.

Enjoy all kinds of snacks and cuisine during a wander along the city streets. Precincts combine art galleries, pubs, cafes and restaurants serving Greek, Italian and more. The pubs get pretty busy along here, so if you hope to meet other tourists like yourself, this could be the place to do it.

Stay on a severe budget with backpacker accommodation or bring your young family to a resort. Newcastle Hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts will locate tourists in the city or suburbs. All kinds of lodgings wait for your booking. Rent an apartment with friends helping to cover the cost. Visit a spa for some self-care. Opt for the tranquility of a vineyard retreat.

Take a few days off in Mollymook on the NSW South Coast

Take a few days off in Mollymook on the NSW South Coast

Pirates, aborigines and white settlers all found Mollymook idyllic in nature. Blessed with a treasure trove of temperate weather, mysterious caves and gleaming beaches, this little town located along the New South Wales coast is just waiting to be discovered by the individual or family looking for fun and adventure in a hedonistic setting.

Those afraid that such a place will be hidden too far off the beaten path will be pleased to discover that this bit of paradise is actually quite handily located almost equidistant from Sydney and Canberra a short and scenic three hour road trip. It is in the perfect spot to serve as a short get a way or as a longer family vacation.

While its is based around tourism retail and the lodging income, it creates no problem as anything one might need is available only five short minutes away in Ulladulla.

The beaches of Mollymook have already been discovered by those connoisseurs of great water, surfers. Each year sponsored festivals, contests and surfing competitions draw surfers from all over to take part. These clean and safe beaches also draw swimmers of all kinds as well as those less inclined to leave their comfy beach lounges preferring to enjoy to view and the sun.

They take care of their visitors with a plethora of Mollymook beach accommodation that take in preferences from luxurious, with 5 star hotels, to those who prefer to ‘rough it’ in the modern campgrounds available in the area. They haven’t forgotten the gustatory pleasures of a vacation either, providing familiar fast food, hearty buffets and even opulent dining experiences for those looking for an elegant night after an adventurous day.

The town enjoys the ease of such amazing neighbors as Morton National Park, known for its breathtaking waterfalls and striking foliage and Pigeon House Mountain and Murramarang. These parks offer adventure, discovery and an unmatched opportunity to experience the land as it once was. Both parks offer bushwalking with choices for those who need an easier trail and for those who want a chance to explore caves, coal mines and climbing the cliffs.

It was Captain Cook who stepped onto the shores here in 1770 where he discovered the area already inhabited by Aborigines and reported that the natives “appeared to be of a black or very dark colour”. Later the local caves and artifacts that have been discovered proved that, indeed, it had been called home by a number of diverse Aboriginal groups before the white settlers arrived in 1859. The name itself seems to have come from a local species of albatross called the ‘mollymawk’. There was also a community house built by these settlers known as the “Molly Moke”, all of which could be differing spellings that have wound up today as “Mollymook”.

This is a ‘don’t miss’ destination for everyone of any age. The beautiful drive alone, a ribbon of clear road stretching between breathtaking cliffs and sparkling water calls you to a different place, a different time, a different adventure. Next time you plan your family vacation, take a look at Mollymook.

Orange Australia is a great choice for a sort break away

Orange Australia is a great choice for a sort break away

The glorious extinct volcano Mt. Canobolas is the setting for the city of Orange. The name Canobolas means twin shoulders or twin heads in native aboriginal language. The city has spectacular views and wonderful ambiance that one can greatly enjoy.

A rush of people found gold in this place and it grew the town as people tried to found their fortune. This occurred in early eighteen hundreds and after the gold the region became growers of pears, peaches, cherries, apricots, plums and lots of apples. While the name of the city implies that a specific fruit was grown here, in fact, the name came from people paying tribute to Prince Orange of Denmark.

With the amazing production of their fruit this region became so prolific that it produced ten percent of all the apples in Australia. The fruit still grows here and is used locally. The European nod its settlers has left a mark on the town itself as it has a certain European flavor and design to it. The town is like strolling down a cobblestone street in Europe.

There is nothing more enjoyable than watching seasons change. From the gorgeous leaves of the fall to the warmth of a summer day, this city has been called a colour city. Anytime of the year you can experience the beauty of the region and the love Mother Nature has shown here. Why not head here for a winter break and snuggle with your loved one while sipping hot chocolate. Or sit beside a lake and dangle your feet in cooling water as the sun beats down in the summer.

orange Because the proximity to Sydney is close it is a wonderful quick getaway spot. There are different festivals to enjoy especially the Food Festival that takes place in April. The Australia National Field Days is held here in October. This is an old agricultural fair that lets you see the history and wonder of products grown for food. This is one reason why the region has the distinction of being the Fruit Basket of Australia.

The town has a long history behind it that allows you to visit and learn while you enjoy a holiday. There is a place to pan for gold just like the settler did ages ago. Maybe you will find your fortune and can stay on a permanent vacation. Or you can simply walk the streets of the town and feel the ambiance that it offers.

Or spend some time breathing in cool, crisp, fresh air at the top of Mt. Canobolas. The hike there is gorgeous and exhilarating. Once atop the mountain take the scenery that lies below you. The man made Lake Canobolas gives you the opportunity to swim, camp, or simply lounge atop the water under a tranquil sky. With this region beauty abounds and you can find something to bring a smile to your lips.

The fruit growing is evident in over fifty vineyards growing around the area. Bringing the grapes in this fertile and agriculturally rich area is bringing a whole new type of attention to the town of Orange. There are so many tasting rooms that you can try every variety of wine available.

There are some good Orange hotels nsw options available so whether you have a long vacation or a short getaway the town of Orange will afford you all that you desire. Be active by hiking and swimming or simply wander through historic buildings and take in delicious food and wine. Whatever your choice a visit to Orange should be on your agenda.

Terrigal – A Little Town With So Much to Offer!

Terrigal – A Little Town With So Much to Offer!

Terrigal may only be a little seaside town, but there’s no doubt it has so much to offer! Famous for its beautiful long beach, its vibrant café culture, its superb dining, and its upmarket boutiques, this Central Coast town will not disappoint those who visit it.

Four Kilometres of Pristine Beach
The beach is undoubtedly the main attraction in Terrigal, and at 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) long it’s easy to see why! The pristine sand offers a place to relax for many tourists, or enjoy the swimming and the surf in the Pacific Ocean. The calm waters of Terrigal lagoon are popular too, especially for families with children, while off the coast between May and October you may spot some of the whales that frequently pass through this way.

More Than Just The Beach!
Even if Terrigal only had its beach to offer there’s no doubt it would still be a very popular little seaside town, but visitors to Terrigal can enjoy so much more. The Skillion, for example, is the town’s top landmark; rising above the coast this lump of rock is just asking to be climbed, and the views from the top are wonderful!
Terrigals Skillion (Broken Head)

Terrigal lagoon is perfect for swimming in, though a little further outside the town is Wamberal Lagoon which serves as a haven for protected birds and animals. If you enjoy watching wildlife and birdlife this is a great place to do it.

Terrigal’s Vibrant Café Culture
Once you’ve enjoyed the beach, hit the town and soak up some of Terrigal’s famous café culture. There are many great little cafés here where you can sit and watch the world go by, admiring the views all around. Once refreshed, do some window shopping in the high class boutiques that Terrigal has also become famous for, then end your day with a fabulous meal in one of the renowned restaurants. There are many to choose from, serving both local and international fare that’s been cooked by top class chefs!

Spend More Time in Terrigal
Once you’ve visited Terrigal you may be tempted to stay a while and enjoy the relaxed pace of life. Like the restaurants, cafés, boutique shops and long sandy beach, accommodation in Terrigal is renowned for its quality too, and there’s something for all tastes here.

Yamba is a far cry from the many coastal tourist traps

Yamba is a far cry from the many coastal tourist traps

There aren’t many destinations in Australia (or the wider world for that matter) that stand to be compared with Yamba, New South Wales. Situated in the northern reaches of the Pacific Coast of this state, Yamba happens to be the most easterly seaport in Australia and also lies directly along the largest estuarine system in the eastern half of the nation–really, it’s a unique place in all regards!

Yamba is a far cry from the many coastal tourist traps that are dominated by clubs and nightlife. To the contrary, it’s a down-to-earth place without many pretensions that offers nothing but the most quality relaxation and wholesome fun for the whole family. Here, people get up early and hit the sack early as well, living at a pace that reflects the paradise-like natural setting.

One of the most significant attributes of Yamba is the world-class surf conditions, such as the incomparable break point at Angourie; visitors should take notice of the fact that only experienced surfers should venture out into the water here, and that you’re on your own!

In downtown Yamba, beyond the many swanky (though well-priced) boutiques and shops, visitors will discover the Port of Yamba Historical Society. The museum operated by the society is widely considered to be among the most enchanting museums that any small town in this region of Australia has to offer. Its photography display, the prime exhibit, captures the essence of more than a hundred years of life in Yamba; it and other displays make the museum well worth a visit while in town.

Without a doubt the most capturing quality of Yamba and surrounds is the imposing natural setting, which offers unique treats no matter what direction you strike out in from the town’s centre. Headed south, visitors will find the Yuraygir National Park with its cliff-strewn, rocky stretch of coastline; headed to the north, visitors will discover the Iluka Nature Reserve, which houses what remains of a significant rainforest that is also listed as a World Heritage site. Headed north yet again, visitors will also find Bundjalung National Park, a natural expanse containing one of New South Wales’ few remaining wild rivers.

There are abundant of Yamba accommodation opportunities to be considered, and no matter whether visitors are on a solitary backpacking voyage or have the whole family in tow, they’ll find the accommodations that fit their necessities. A sampling of popular options to be kept in mind when in Yamba would include the Yamba Links Villa, the Sands Beachside, the Castaways, and the Convent Cottage.

Australia’s Deadliest Creatures

Australia’s Deadliest Creatures

Saltwater Crocodile
The ‘world’s largest reptile’ the Saltwater Crocodile can reach up to 7 meters in length. This protected species is difficult to see when its swimming, adding to the danger of a sneak attack.

Blue Ring Octopus
BlueRingFound in the shallow waters of Australia’s reefs, the Blue Ring Octopus has a golf-ball sized body, and venom that can cause motor paralysis leading to cardiac arrest and death for which there is no known antidote. The Blue Ring Octopus, so-called for its blue ring markings, is both beautiful and deadly.

Stonefish
StonefishLurking in the shallow waters of coastal Australia is the brownish-colored Stonefish, which appears to be a rock when in the water. Its thirteen sharp dorsal spines inject venom causing shock, paralysis, and even death.

Red Back Spider
RedBackFound across Australia, the Red Back Spider hides in common insect spots. Only about 1 centimeter long and recognizable by a red stripe down her back, the female Red Back’s venomous bite causes acute pain, but fortunately deaths by Red Spider bite are rare.

Brown Snake
BrownSnakeThe Brown Snake, found mainly in Eastern Australia, is famous for its deadly venom. Seeking treatment quickly is vital to survival after a Brown Snake bite.

Tiger Snake
The Tiger Snake’s venom when left untreated can result in death, but today deaths are rare because of widely available anti-venom. This non-aggressive snake is found in southern regions of Australia.

Taipan
The fast moving Taipan lives throughout Australia, and is famous for its extremely toxic venom, which could kill up to 100 adult humans with a single bite. A Taipan will attack aggressively when threatened.

Explore the vineyards and historic attractions of the Barossa Valley

Explore the vineyards and historic attractions of the Barossa Valley

The Barossa Valley just outside Adelaide is famous for its vineyards and as a tourist getaway in South Australia. Let’s take a look at the historic attractions and things to see and do in the towns here. Also included are overviews of Barossa Valley accommodation choices.

Most towns in the valley carry the heritage and customs of either English or German settlers. Other than the stunning landscape and the winery tours, what tourists like the most is the trip back in time, with historic Churches and restored cottages which go back all the way to the early and mid 1800s.

Gawler, for example, is one of the earliest towns established in South Australia in 1839 on the North Para River’s banks. Visitors can pick up a tourist brochure at the Visitor Centre and take a guided walking tour of the town’s historic architecture. Don’t forget to take a picture of the Gawler Clock Tower.

Tanunda is where you go for a taste of 19th century German life. Some of the cottages of the first settlers are still standing, and the community has expanded so much that it now has four Lutheran Churches. Don’t forget to take a walk down the Tanunda Heritage Trail for a peek into how German settlers built roads when they first came to South Australia.

The most tourist friendly towns are Eden Valley, Williamstown and Angaston. Eden Valley is the most beautiful of the lot, with green carpet hills and famous wine producers. There’s also a historic hotel – the Eden Valley Hotel, which dates back to 1866.

The Whispering Wall, Williamstown Williamstown is a treasure trove of historic attractions, parks and wineries. Must-visit attractions include the Barossa goldfield, the acoustic ‘Whispering Wall’ of the Barossa Reservoir, and Mount Crawford Forest. There are plenty of modern facilities for tourists, including hotels, shopping and dining options. The same attractions are also accessible for visitors staying in Cockatoo Valley, which additionally offers the Para Wirra Recreation Park for wildlife and nature enthusiasts.

Angaston, with its trendy cafes, wine bars, Farmers Market and antique shops, is the touristy heart and soul of The Barossa Valley. There are a number of fine Bed & Breakfasts and shops that offer everything a visitor might possibly need. Visitors looking for Barossa Valley accommodation are sure to find the best options in one of the aforementioned three towns of Eden Valley, Williamstown and Angaston.

It is, of course, possible to stay in Adelaide and visit The Barossa on a day trip. But that hardly seems fair, considering the number of towns and attractions that fall into the must-visit category. Besides, a wine country destination like this needs a relaxed and slow-paced getaway.

There are so many more hamlets, not to mention the big towns along the Barossa Valley Way other than Angaston such as Nuriootpa and Lyndoch. Each of these has its own peculiar attractions, but the wineries and wine tours are common to most. Bottom-line is that The Barossa Valley is not only worth visiting, it is worth visiting on an extended holiday.

A Travellers guide to historic Rockhampton in Queensland Australia

A Travellers guide to historic Rockhampton in Queensland Australia

Head north from the Tropic of Capricorn and you will find the quaint and lovely Queensland city of Rockhampton. Resting along the Fitzroy River banks, these were once lands occupied by the Darumbal Aborigines in ancient times. European settlement touched this area of Australia in 1854 when two brothers named William and Charles Archer found it while conducting a search for suitable grazing land.

The grazing industry dominates the economy of the city even in modern times. The city embraces its reputation as the Beef Capital of Queensland and proudly displays statues of the bull breeds that figure into the local economy in prominent locations about town.

The highest concentration of office buildings, both government and corporate, is situated in the central business district. Tree lined streets separate buildings designed and built during pioneer days using the colonial architecture that was so prevalent at the time. More than two dozen buildings of historical significance including the Supreme Court, the Customs House and Heritage Tavern can be seen on the walking tour that meanders through town.

The subtropical climate beckons to those who enjoy spending time outdoors. With more than three hundred days of sunshine every year there is plenty of time to explore the surrounding areas. Native animals and plants can be found at nearby Mount Archer National Park and the panoramic city view is worth the hike to the summit.

Opened in 1988, the Cliff Kershaw Gardens sits on the former location for the city rubbish yard. A massive make over brought in flora native to the central region of Queensland. A man made waterfall sits alongside the highway and is dramatically lit after dark.

Capricorn Caves The privately owned Olsens Capricorn Caves has been open to public viewing since 1884. The amazing limestone caverns were discovered by John Olsen, a Norwegian immigrant, in 1882 and they represent Queensland’s oldest tourist attraction.

For a trip back in time, visit Rockhampton Heritage Village where you will experience pioneer life dating back in time from the era that spanned 1850 to 1950. Tours are led by guides dressed in period costume and include stops at various shops demonstrating the ancient trades like blacksmithing and woodcutting. Guests are even invited to stop by the village schoolhouse and attend a class.

The Darambal Aborigines originally occupied the land now used by the Dreamtime Cultural Centre. Along the northern creek bank, the outdoor areas feature a large waterfall and native plants along with the main building. Guided tours through the Torres Strait Islander’s Complex focuses on the lifestyle and ancient beliefs shared by native people. Boomerang lessons, dance demonstrations and didgeridoo performances highlight the various activities found at the Centre. Stop by the Aboriginal Traditional area to view replica rock art and gunyahs along with burial and ceremonial sites. A native plant exhibit and sandstone cave recreations are set up as self guided tours to allow you to explore at your own pace.

From historic sites to relaxing outdoor gardens tours, take advantage of all that that the gateway to the Capricorn Coast has to offer in sunny Rockhampton. If planning a trip to this area visit our website to find some great Rockhampton accommodation options.

The magical Kangaroo Valley

The magical Kangaroo Valley

Kangaroo Valley is a magical area located less than 100 miles (160km) from Sydney. The village of Kangaroo Valley, with a population of just 360, is a National Trust listed village and the valley itself is often cited as “the most beautiful valley in all of Australia.” Many people who have visited the region argue that this is an understatement, believing it to be one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. The only way to judge for yourself is to book into a unique Kangaroo Valley accommodation and experience it firsthand.

Kangaroo Valley

Whether you approach Kangaroo Valley from Canberra or Sydney, the drive takes only 2 hours and much of that is through beautiful rolling hills. It can truly be said of this valley that “getting there is half the fun” and often travellers find that the drive takes much longer because they make so many stops along the way. Once you get there, you are treated with a taste of old Australia before you even enter the town when you cross the historical Hampden Bridge, a beautiful sandstone bridge built in 1898. This suspension bridge is the oldest surviving bridge of its kind in Australia.

Hampden Bridge

Kangaroo Valley’s beauty has been appreciated ever since the first settlers discovered it in the 19th century. Unlike other areas which were exploited for their natural resources, it was the rich, fertile soil of Kangaroo Valley that attracted the early settlers. Surveyor/explorer George Evans, who made the first European discovery of the valley in 1812 commented that “no painter could beautify” the landscape he viewed from atop Mt Tapatallee. It was perfect as it was. The aborigines, who lived in and around the valley for over 20,000 years, hold it in the highest esteem, viewing it as an important spiritual and healing centre.

Although they are few in number, Kangaroo Valley arguably has more creative and artistic local residents per capita than anyplace else in Australia. Their artistic and environmental sensitivities make the village one of the most beautiful in the country. It seems to fit in perfectly with the landscape and although small, visitors can spend days exploring the galleries, gift shops and restaurants within the village itself. One popular spot on “the other side of the bridge” is the Old Barrengarry Store, which enjoys legendary status for its range of sweet and savoury pies. In the village itself, be prepared for a treat as you explore the antique shops, the galleries and the boutiques before settling down to a gourmet meal.

Of course, you won’t want to stay indoors too much when you’re in Kangaroo Valley. The scenery is simply too spectacular. Bush walking is as popular today as it was with the aborigines 20,000 years ago. Remarkably, you can literally follow in their footsteps, because many of their trails remain. There is an abundance of wildlife in the valley and on the surrounding slopes. The locals only ask that you tread lightly and treat their unspoiled paradise with the respect it deserves. You won’t need to be reminded, though. There’s something about Kangaroo Valley that makes you want it to remain exactly as it is forever.

Only a short drive from Sydney experience Wollongong

Only a short drive from Sydney experience Wollongong

Wollongong city in New South Wales is easily accessible from Sydney. It is a multi-ethnic city and is famously known as ‘the Gong’. Its name is synonymous with pristine beaches, breathtaking coastlines, beautiful parks, industries and coal mines. The meaning of the word Wollongong is believed to be ‘the sound of the waves’ in the native language.

The influx of settlers in the 1800s was followed by rapid town-building. The settlers came from all over the world- Britain, Greece, Italy, China and India, bringing their culture and festivals. Today, these immigrants, along with the native Aborigines, form a very vibrant society.

The city has several miles of breath-taking coastline and beaches. Its pristine beaches are legendary. They are the hubs of activity during the scorching summer. People indulge in all kinds of sports like swimming, fishing and surfing. The other summer hangouts include the various parks in the city like the MacCabe park and the Botanical Gardens. Their cool shade provides the walkers and joggers relief from the summer heat.

Wollongong Lighthouse The light houses are must-visit on the to-do list. Some of the buildings like the old lighthouse, St. Michael’s Cathedral and the Courthouse are heritage buildings. They are of historical as well as architectural importance and interest. A group of islands called he Five Islands are located off the city’s coast and they serve as a rich eco-hub with hundreds of species of wildlife.

The city has a vibrant social scene with all kinds of shows, folk festivals and sporting events. The Illawara folk festival is one such event where the shows are so popular that huge crowds throng the city. Other performing arts festivals like Viva la Gong are held yearly as mediums to showcase the city’s rich culture.

Another important thread in the fabric of Gong society is art. The beauty and scenic locales inspire the artists to create wonderful masterpieces that adorn the walls of some really fabulous galleries. The arts and crafts of the region draw heavily from the native Aboriginal culture. The city also has much to offer in terms of entertainment at the Performing Arts Centre, WIN Entertainment Centre for sporting events and its other malls, nightclubs and quaint cafes.

The city’s location on the coast serves as a blessing as it enjoys pleasant breezes throughout the year. However the summers, for the same reason, can be scorching, with temperatures as high as 35 degrees and a few times, they have known to have even touched the lower forties. Thankfully, the summer weather is interspersed with soft breezes. It is also common to have slight rainfall almost throughout the year. The city can easily be reached from Sydney by road, rail and air.

The residents display the famous Australian passion for sports and outdoor activities. Popular activities include surfing, mountain climbing and biking. People sharing these passion will have a very enjoyable vacation here. It is as ideal for a family holiday as for a personal break. Wollongong is at its best during the summer when all the festivals, events and activities are in full-swing.

If heading down south from Sydney for a few day find some good Wollongong accommodation nsw, attractions and other travel related information about the area.

Discover what Mudgee in Australia has to offer

Discover what Mudgee in Australia has to offer

Mudgee has the air of a quiet hamlet waiting to welcome you when you arrive. The name means nest in the hills in the aboriginal language. Nestled right up in the foothills it offers a pastoral and relaxing ambiance of warmth and agricultural. Take a seat and enjoy a glass of wine while the town shows you her beauty.

The wine culture of Australia is fast becoming important not only in New South Wales but in the world. That means that this little hamlet has a front row seat to some amazing new varieties of wine from the over forty wineries that make their home here. Where you have wine you have food. Mudgee delivers on that front too. The restaurants are filled with local agriculture more than just in your glass. All this is set in a town that boasts four National Trust of Australia buildings. Take a historic walk through the town before or after you enjoy your lovely meal.

With wine and agriculture brings new types of delicious goodies. The honey from this area is special and delicious. It is a great gift to bring back after your vacation away. Try also the olives and the olive oil that is a budding industry for this region.

The proximity to Sydney makes this the perfect spot for a weekend vacation. Go to the beauty of this area and unwind from the hustle and bustle of your world in one of the many Mudgee accommodation nsw options available. Enjoy a glass of wine and a delicious meal while you settle into the relaxing day in front of you.

The area is a plethora of not only wonders for the taste buds but sights for the eyes and spirit as well. For the adventurous there are many natural places to roam. The Coolah Tops National Park is the view to show the land below you and admire the beauty of the region. Or enjoy meandering the Goulbum River in a canoe and stop on the shore to enjoy a picnic lunch. There are four National Parks here so there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Mudgee Observatory is open to see more than just the landscape but peruse the skies above. The vistas are huge and the astronomers can fill you in on all the stunning stars, planets, and galaxies you can see.

Take a helicopter ride to survey the region, vines, and all the beauty of the land below you. Rent bikes and take a tour through the vines and stop to taste wine along the way. Maybe you want to sit back and relax and let someone guide you to wonderful wines. Pack a picnic basket with goodies like local honey and olives and enjoy a blissful day of delicious tastes.

Planning your getaway around the various festivals that occur here is another way to see the town of Mudgee shining. Savour the new and exciting varieties of wine at the Wine Festival that occurs in September. Or find your inner movie star at the Short Film Festival that happens in March. The Music Festival is in December to bring your year to a musical close.

Ballina is a nature lover’s amusement park

Ballina is a nature lover’s amusement park

Surrounded by 32 kilometres of pristine white sand beaches and shimmering clear waterways, the island town of Ballina is a nature lover’s amusement park. Located at the mouth of the historic Richmond River, Ballina offers something for everyone: boat cruises on the river, opportunities to canoe into the untouched North Creek wetlands, and four-wheeler adventure tours into the bush. Absorb Ballina’s gorgeous coastline from kilometres of paved cycleways, or time your trip to view the annual humpback whale migration from Skennars Head or the lighthouse. For anglers, there is the renowned Flat Rock or Angels Beach, and if you wet line at Ballina’s North or South Walls, be prepared for a feast.

The perfect mixture of a secluded seaside getaway and lively resort town, Ballina is the heart and soul of the shire. The open streets that cross the town are brimming with cafés and restaurants offering the legendary local seafood. Also impossible to miss are the classic country pubs.

In addition, Ballina boasts numerous museums, theatres, galleries and expos showcasing the region’s history, culture and creativity of the area’s many artists. This is the perfect place to find holiday family fun and satisfy your shopping itch at funky boutiques and name-brand stores. Find a range of great Ballina Accommodation on ‘Book it Now’

Australia outback

Australia outback

There are lots of people travelling Australia for its famous beach or famous Opera house, however Australia is not only about beach, Opera house, the habour bridge, it is also famous for its outback. For those travellers who are seeking to experience and connect with nature at its wildest in calm and tranquil, one should travel to the unique Australia outback.

 The incredible landscape, superb formation of rocks, unique flora and fauna has made Outback Australia to be one of the most popular tourist destination. There are also many cheap hotel, cheap phone card or calling card deals in Australia.

For adventure lover, be sure to bring your hiking shoes and always accompanied with binocular to witness the incredible view of the outback. Record your travel experience using a good web hosting

Stuart Highway is the well-known road to travel to Australia Outback.

Below is some of the well-known outback destination:

the Alice Springs Desert Park Discover many of the secret of Australia desert in Alice spring Desert Park.

 In Alice Spring Desert Park, you can see, smell and experience the desert habitats, Desert River, woodland habitat, superb range of plants, animals and also enjoy the cinematic journey through the desert evolution. After leaving the desert Park, you will have a new knowledge of Australia desert and it is sure unique!

Uluru (Ayers Rock)

One of the most famous tourist attraction in Australia, Icon of Australia, and a must place to visit is Uluru (Ayers Rock). Uluru is said to be the real Australia outback icon and the view is unbelievingly incredible. It is about 2.2 miles length, covered in moody rock which constantly changing colour from pink to dark red and to mauve. Have your magical moment in Uluru!

the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park

Other than the spectacular Uluru, adventurous seeker might also have interest in taking ” The Valley of the Winds” walk in Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park . It is a scenic, tranquil and challenging walk. Just make sure to bring water, hat and sunscreen for your walk.

 Kings Canyon (Alice spring)

Another Australia outback tourist attraction is Kings Canyon, located about 300 km from Uluru. Rent yourself a 4 wheel drive and explore the spectacular colourful desert landscape, rock formation and endless horizon of space and freedom of King canyon, Western Mcdonnel Ranges, Palm Valley, Hermannsburg, chamber pillar

hot springs at Mataranka

After hiking or travelling in outback Australia, its time to relax your body and muscle in the warm water of Mataranka thermal pool. It is a natural hot spring, with water flow from Rainbow spring. You can also walk through the tropical rainforest that surround Mataranka hot spring Katherine Gorge.

 340 km southeast of Darwin (the capital Northern Territory) is the gorgeous Katherine Gorge. Unique rainforest in Katherine Gorge, accompanied with unique species of bird an animals. One of the best way to enjoy the full Katherine Gorge is by taking a cruise as canoeing and swimming might not be an option

 Kakadu National Park (Australia’s largest national park )

Kakadu National Park ,which believed to be aged more than 2 billion years old and located in Darwin, has wide variety of wildlife, aboriginal art, wetlands, gorgeous waterfalls, gorges, and rainforest. Kakadu National Park is also a well known place to do barramundi fishing . the Kimberley region. One of the world’s last great wildernesses surrounded by pure beaches, gorges, gum trees, wallabies, crocodile and blue skies.

 Go to Australia outback for those also search for a getaway from hectic life

Prepare yourself before travelling to Australia outback and drink lots of water during your outback adventure. For budget traveller, book for cheap hotel deals, bring phone card or calling card and record your travel adventure provided by good web hosting

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