Tag - Australia

Top family outing ideas in Sydney

Families are one of the best things we can be gifted with and nothing can beat the fun times we get with our near and dear ones. Be it beaches, caves, underwater life, cruising, or outer space experience; Sydney has the best of everything. Here are some amazing ideas for family outings for those in Sydney: 1. Experience underwater life at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium With six million litres of water, 13000 animals and 700 different species; Sea life aquarium is one of the largest in the world. Shark walk and the ocean walk through the tunnels are the highlights of this aquarium that homes the largest varieties of sharks and rays. Sea Life Acquarium Located in the most loved Darling Harbour, this is one of the top spots to cover while in Sydney. It also has the famous dugongs, little penguins and platypus that attract a large crowd from all over the world. Gift your kids a wonderful underwater life experience in Sea Life Aquarium. 2. Spend the evening in Bondi Beach: Bondi beach is one of the most loved in Sydney for its picturesque landscape. The adventurous can go for snorkelling or scuba diving. There are plenty of restaurants and shacks that serve mouth-watering food. Be it snacks, beer or wines you can have a relaxed time here. No air of pretence makes this a perfect place for a lovely family evening. Bondi beach If you are up for it, and you have grown up kids, try taking the Bondi to Coogee walk or you can choose to relax at the Iceberg. The walk route is filled with the best Mother Nature has to offer. 3. Explore the underground Jenolan caves: Get to the Blue Mountains and go exploring the Jenolan Caves. Be it summer or winter, these caves are at 15 degrees all throughout the year. There are 11 stunning caves that are among the oldest and finest in the world. The Limestone formations and underground rivers give you a breathtaking experience. Jenolan caves There are night tours, children’s tours, bushwalks and underground activities to fit people with any level of fitness. It has facilities for all your needs that come in a varied range to suit your budget. Give your family the magical experience that comes in your budget too. 4.Take a family cruise on Sydney harbour: Sydney harbour is every Sydney-siders pride. Pick one of the cruises to get the best view of the harbour while relishing your food along with your family. It is a great alternative to any waterfront restaurant because from a cruise, you get the best view of the harbour while you relish your meal and it also comes for the same price Sydney Harbour With Vivid Sydney festival commencing soon, the wide windows on the catamarans provides the best view of the harbour and climate controlled cabins give you the ultimate cruising experience. It’s a great way to witness the Vivid Light Festival on a cruise. 5. Watch the universe come alive at Sydney Observatory: Get mesmerised at the observatory watching the starts, the planets and even those nebulae systems that are light years away from us. The 3D Space Theatre brings, through the advanced 3D technology, the entire universe in front of your eyes. Sydney Observatory During the day, you can even see the Sun and the other brightest stars and planets in the sky. You can just relax in the heritage gardens and enjoy the view of Sydney Harbour. The observatory is a public observatory and is open both day and night. They are closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. So just pack your bags and get set for a wonderful time with your family. Don’t forget to carry water, light snacks for the kids (just in case) and yes! The camera to cover your wonderful family moments.

Go on a Gourmet Ride of Tropical Queensland

Tropical Queensland is typically synonymous with majestic coral reefs and lush green ancient rainforests, but have you ever thought of traveling to this tropical gem of Australia for the great food and wine it has on offer? If not, this post shares some reason why you should.

image002When it is about sampling the taste of tropical delicacies, Cairns and region have a plethora of dishes to offer its visitors. The balmy weather and demographic diversity of the region make it suitable for different agricultural products and industries.

From mango, banana, sugarcane, coffee and dairy products to, not to mention, the fresh sea food, you’ll find a complete gastronomy feel while here. Cairn’s enchanting history and its top position as a Queensland travel gateway considerably inspire the unique food scenes of the city.

Cairns – A Queensland Heaven For Connoisseurs

image004Cairn is a melting pot of many different culture that form today’s dynamic and bustling city gleaming with an extensive chain of world-class restaurants. A great variety of cuisines available in these restaurants are capable of satisfying any peckish stomach, whether you are in search of an awesome dining experience or a quick bite of snack.

Buy best services of  motorhome rentals in Cairns and explore the incredible food scenes of the city and its surroundings in ultimate style and comfort. Pay a visit to some cosy eateries for a romantic outdoor dining with ocean views or the chic restaurants located near CBD.

However, if you are enjoy taking a walk alongside the Cairns Esplanade & Boardwalk and looking around for a shade, don’t miss to sample iced coffee by heading to one of the famous cafes on the breathtaking Esplanade. Besides relaxing and putting down the thirst, you may also enjoy a herd of other travellers passing you by.

And don’t miss to appear at one of the popular ice-cream and frozen yogurt places; no matter what age you are, you are bound to get delighted! Like smart travellers, you can check out the internet for some blogs sharing best places to eat and drink in and around Cairns before you leave for the tour.

Rusty’s Market

No tour to Cairns is complete without visiting its Rusty’s Market, which is held between Friday to Sunday every week, between Grafton and Sheridan Streets. Agriculture producers from the whole region arrive here to check in out the beautiful display and smell the countless different local produces.

Exploring the exotic smells and sights of Rusty’s market is a feast for both locals and visitors alike. Meandering through the narrow alleys of the market to find the local produces at the most reasonable prices is a great fun.

Go beyond CBD

In order to find the best delicacies of Cairns and region, you can’t be restricted to CBD area alone. Palm Cove in the northern beaches area is home to a large number of eateries located near seaside. These eateries offer something for every style and budget. Majority of the located are boarded on the picturesque Esplanade and offers heart-stopping views of the sea.  Palm Cove is also quiet famous as a wedding destination, so be ready for a fine buffet dinning food indeed.

If not short on time, drive your four wheels outside the city exploring other popular food prescient of tropical north of Queensland such as the Tablelands and Port Douglas.

So, when are you traveling to Cairns?

Happy Holidaying!

About the Author: Jennifer is a professional web content writer and a seasoned travel blogger. She enjoys traveling around tropical Queensland with motorhome rental  in Cairns.

Get Sydney Campervan for Your Holiday

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

You can fly from Sydney to Brisbane but you then would miss each of the exciting, sparkling white sand beaches, wonderful spots to swim, snorkel, dive or surf in glistening azure blue waters. Have a fantastic time and see all of it in a rental campervan.

Camp along the way and get leisurely strolls by way of quaint villages, lush rainforests, wineries, and find time for you to relax within the sun, meet the friendly locals, and make new close friends the real up close and personal knowledge of Australia. Your alternatives for this street journey is a guided motor coach tour, your own personal automobile, rental auto and staying in hotels or if you want for being free and adventurous lease a self-drive employ campervan in Australia. Make up your very own Walkabout! Stay in caravan parks and campsites along the way in which, knowledge freedom about the road whilst you cruise the roads in comfort within a motor house or Sydney campervan hire.

To get a bushwalk on this all-natural reserve fringed by lush rainforest, cliffs of sandstone, and secluded beaches. North of Sydney about an hour up the road you come on Avoca Beach, an extended crescent shaped golden-sand beach and popular spot for households, holiday guests, surfers, and recognized as an angler’s paradise. Retain the services of water sports activities tools, stroll the seashore, or unwind and enjoy the sun. Outdoor holidays have grown to be very common amid all classes of individuals; couples, households as well as backpackers are trying to find new spots and new experiences to investigate.

This has also resulted in the recognition of the camper van retain the services of as this is actually the greatest method to tour places rather than make bookings and rely upon public transport methods. Also, today it is possible to employ these vans to a wide selection of spots which you have by no means noticed before.

Although the options are countless, employing a camper van is perfect if you would like to investigate country sides, lakes and mountain landscapes. There are several rewards of travelling in your personal camper van; it really is practically like having a hotel on wheels. One of the largest benefits of this mode of transport is it truly is extremely affordable. Airfares have gone up tremendously inside the recent many years and so have hotel bills. A camper van is excellent to get a value successful holiday especially in the event you have massive loved ones. The ride can also be thrilling, fascinating and stress-free; you will find no tensions of reserving tickets or hotel rooms in advance. You happen to be at your own will and can discover every single area spending time when you want instead of adhering to a routine.

A camper van retain the services of can very easily be created today; you are able to both go to a rental agency and employ on the internet based on the kind of van that you are considering. Essentially the most exhilarating part of travelling by a camper van is the fact that you are able to quit more than at just about any location that you simply wish. The journey by a camper van is very relaxed and it is just like travelling with your own property. If you’re going to Australia, consider certainly one of these straightforward to drive, small scale economical cars, which come stocked with every little thing you need to your holiday trip, except food, obviously.

You will find handy campervan rental pickup and drop-off areas in Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, and Melbourne creating a self-drive employ campervan excellent for everyone, backpackers, households, seniors, camping holidays, or anyone on the spending budget. Expertise Oz your way cruising down the highway.

My yearlong trip to Australia

australia

Sydney- Australia

After graduation from high school I decided to take a year off before I went to college, I wanted to see Australia which had always been a dream of mine.  Australia is one of those places that just seemed so majestic in nature with the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, and the wilderness that surrounded it.

During my youth my parents traveled quite often for work, sometimes I got to go along with them, we stayed in different places; some of them were quite nice, really nice actually.  I especially remember one really great rental in Vienna, Austria that was booked via Tellavista.  Unfortunately, you can’t  book a rental in Australia through Tellavista; however, there are plenty of other options available.  I wasn’t really concerned as you can look here to find different rentals in different areas of Australia.

I planned to be there for about 2 months, I wanted to see a lot of different things in many different places.  It wasn’t a time to rest and relax, it was a time to see and try.  Although I didn’t have any plans in mind, I did have a few different things that made it to the top of the “to do” list.  Over the next couple weeks I stayed in Sydney.  I was able to see a performance at the Sydney Opera House which has been just amazing.  I have always been a lover of the performing arts, so this was a real treat to me.  During my time in Sydney there was so much to try that I decided to be the quintessential  tourist.  I think I might have eaten in every restaurant within 30 miles of my apartment.

One of the things that was on that “to do “ list was the Great Barrier Reef.  Ever since I was a young boy it has always been something I wanted to do.  I found a guided tour that takes you to the most beautiful parts of the reef to dive and snorkel.  Fortunately they know just about every inch of the reef so they know where to go that were the best.  I spent the next couple weeks in different areas around the reef, seeing different parts of it, taking different tours to explore more and more.

As the days were ticking by, I came to realize that doing everything I wanted to do wasn’t going to happen; there is simply too much of Australia, and not enough time.  While it wasn’t the easiest choice, I decided since this is a once in a lifetime experience, I was going to take more time to be here.  Since I didn’t have to be back in the states for a while, I opted to make this my home for the next year.

Australia has so many places to visit and so much to do, as a tourist, I didn’t really know where to begin.  I have heard of people backpacking through Europe for a summer trip so I decided to do that through the land down under.  It was an experience like no other, long days, exciting sights, and great food.  I was able to experience things that I never could imagine.  During my backpacking I would stop for a week or two, maybe pick up a side job for a local and get some additional cash.  I learned so much in so little time that I was even impressed with myself.

Now and then I would find a place, stay for a week or so to recuperate and relax.  During these times I would meet people and talk to the locals there, find out what was around the place and then go there.  It was the most difficult experience I have ever been through, I walked hundreds of miles, got sick a couple times along the way, but the experience and knowledge I gained was priceless.

The year I spent in Australia was a life experience that I will never forget.  It was full of surprises, new adventures and a lot of things you just won’t find in the states.  While not every single day was jammed packed with excitement, the main focus was to broaden my horizons and to experience all that I could.  It was during the time I was there that I made a decision that I would travel to a new country about every five years.  I think my next trip will be in Mexico.  The culture that they have there has always interested me and I believe it will be a great time.  With any luck it will be able to compare to Australia.  That’s a tall order but it’s going to be a great time anyway.

Brad Williams loves travelling and checking out new places (who doesn’t).  It was his wanderlust and the love for penning down his experiences that compelled him to become a travel writer.

The Best Nightlife Hotspots in Melbourne this Year!

Melbourne

Melbourne

by Mona. M,

Melbourne, one of the Australia’s most populous cities, boasts of a broad variety of tourist attractions, not least amazing amusement parks, zoos and museums. One of the most popular attractions here is the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which serves as the country’s biggest and most iconic sports stadium. With a capacity of 100,000 spectators, this stadium is easily one of the biggest worldwide, and visited by millions of people every year, it has hosted various cricket tournaments in recent times.

If you’re on a holiday in Melbourne, exploring the city’s rich nightlife simply can’t be missed, with the narrow lanes and broad boulevards full of nightclubs and bars where you can enjoy a drink with friends. Let’s take a look at some of the best nightlife hotspots to check out in Melbourne this year!

The Everleigh

The everleigh

The everleigh

The Everleigh stands out against all the other bars and nightclubs in Melbourne, mainly due to its unique architecture which features giant vintage chandeliers, pressed metal on one side of the entrance counter, beautiful tiled floors and a golden glow that shines on the tableside candlelight. The bar is a true American-style cocktail bar, operated with the local Aussie sensibility, and while you’ll get to enjoy some of the finest drinks in the country, there’s a very chilled and laid-back atmosphere here, meaning you’ll be able to meet some likeminded tourists!

Billboard Nightclub

Billboard Nightclub

Billboard Nightclub

For over 40 years, Billboard has been providing some of the best entertainment scenes in Melbourne, and there’s no doubt that it’s the top bar in the city. This nightclub has played host to numerous Australian as well as international performers including Tina Turner, AC/DC,Cut Copy, Carl Cox, Presets, Todd Terry, Battles, Pnau, Roisin Murphy and Faker.Billboard is not only an upscale, multi-purpose venue that is ideal for concerts and university events, but it also holds a number of charity balls and theatre events too.

Charlton Entertainment Complex

Strategically located at the end of a busy laneway, on the 2nd floor of a multipurpose building, Charlton has a spacious pool hall and a karaoke bar that is sure to keep you entertained till dawn. The complex also has numerous pool tables that you will enjoy playing with a group of friends, and there’s a 6-7pm happy hour every Saturday too!

If you’re looking for great deals on airfares to Melbourne this year, be sure to check out cheapflights.com.au/flights-to-Melbourne  for the biggest and best offers!

Black Pearl

Black Pearl

Black Pearl

Unlike other bars and nightclubs in Melbourne, Black Pearl combines some of the finest cocktails in town with amazing music and a great atmosphere. The club has recently been split into two bars, with the Attic upstairs serving a broad array of classic drinks in a well-decoratedspace. Here,the main tunes are those of the swinging 60s,attracting a great crowd every weekend!

In the downstairs part of the club, most peoplego straight for the cocktails, as the bar tenders are known for their fantastic concoctions! The Bloody Maria (considered the Bloodiest of the Bloody Marys and comprising with tequila rather than vodka) is one of the guest favorites, as well as the Toronto (mixture of rye, FernetBranca, lemon twist and sugar).

Melbourne: Traveling Solo

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, Australia

by Jason Hall,

The cultured and hip city of Melbourne, with its welcoming layout and plentiful attractions, is a wonderful destination for the solo traveler. Here are some handy tips for getting around along with some suggestions for what to see and do there while visiting solo.

Situated on the Yarra River, Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is very friendly to navigate and it offers the diversity of different vibes in different neighborhoods, keeping things entertaining and engaging.  There are plenty of galleries, museums, cultural, entertainment and sports attractions, and whether you choose a Budget car hire, use public transportation, or take advantage of both, they’re all easily accessible.

If you opt for a car hire, it’s useful to take a drive around town to orient yourself, or jump on the city circle tram which runs on the half hour from stations at four different stops (Flagstaff, Parliament, Melbourne Central, and Flinders Street stations). If you’re an experienced frequent solo traveler, you probably already know the importance of getting your bearings as soon as you arrive in a new city. If it’s a new way of traveling for you, putting this routine into practice on your first solo trip will help you get the most out of your Melbourne experience. By spending some time lazily roaming about without a hard and fast itinerary, you’ll get a sense of the city.  If you prefer a more regimented schedule, pick a destination, then do your wandering before and after you visit it. There are many options that are excellent for solo travelers. The Melbourne Zoo, for example, is a good choice, located convenient to the city’s center.  After admiring the fauna, the nearby Queen Victoria Market with its multicultural vendors is the perfect place to relax, have a snack, and of course, check out the crowd. Ask the vendors about what’s going on in town during your visit; they’re a friendly, knowledgeable bunch who often love to chat with travelers about their communities and the unique experiences they have to offer.

When you’re ready for some action, you might want to attend a sports event. Football is hugely popular, played at several fields around the city, most often Friday through Sunday, and attracts big crowds. A great option is The Melbourne Cricket Ground, a top venue which hosts both football as well as cricket, depending on the time of year.

Want to snap a few breathtaking photos? Try Rialto Towers, which has a wonderful observation deck that offers sweeping views of Melbourne.

Good dining options are plentiful in Melbourne, but for solo diners, Chinatown, located in the heart of the city, is particularly suited, especially if you’re watching your wallet. There are dozens of options ranging from humble noodle shops to extravagant gourmet banquets, and many of them have their menus posted on their windows and doors so you can check them all out first, and then pick the one that most appeals to your taste and budget

When you’re looking for some rest and relaxation, head to The St. Kilda Beach and Pier. The beautiful sandy white beach is sparkling clean and there’s a pathway for pedestrians and cyclists, making it another great place to people watch or to get lost in conversation with a fellow traveler’ or perhaps one of the local residents. Aceland Street is located near the beach and is deservedly famous for its sweet shops, great places to recharge with a coffee after a few lazy hours on the beach. On Sundays there’s a large flea market there too, with handicrafts, art, and souvenirs;  it’s another good place to meet fellow tourists and trade Melbourne recommendations and experiences. To enjoy more natural wonders after leaving the sea, head over to the Dandenong Ranges in Belgrave. This remarkable national park, with its lush foliage and lovely winding trails, is less than an hour away, and it’s easily accessible by car.

Winter Wonderland vs. Summer Fun: What’s the Right Holiday for You?

Winter VS Summer

Winter VS Summer

The idea of flitting to the other side of the world is a tempting one, but if you’re planning on travelling to Australia this summer, you must remember you are heading into winter … which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! You could also make the most of the summer weather and head across the ditch to the likes of a city like Paris. Here’s the deal on both kinds of holidays so you can decide what works best for you!

The Lowdown on Paris in Summer

Paris city breaks are always a good idea. Whatever the season, Paris is an undeniably magical city. It comes alive even more so during the summer, as tourists from all over the world make the most of a European summer. The temperature in Paris over the summer period sits around a pleasant 25 degrees — quite different from the likes of stifling Rome. During this period, it rarely dips below the mid-teens, with over eight hours of sunshine per day. Occasionally, these pleasantries are interrupted by a shower or two as Paris receives over 60mm of rain each summer.

The atmosphere of a Parisian summer is electric; an assortment of tourists and locals, all embracing the beautiful weather and the city’s wonderful food, fashion, art, fun and festivities. The one downfall is that prices are hiked up for attractions and accommodation during this period — although this is the same for most of Europe as well.

The events Paris has from June through September are awesome. Besides the usual attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Notre Dame, Palace of Versailles, Champs-Élysées, and Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris is host to a number of great events and attractions over the summer months. Three of the most noteworthy include the Rock en Seine, Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) and Cinéma en Plein Air (outdoor film).

Taking place at the end of August, the three-day annual Rock en Seine festival attracts music lovers from all over. This year, the line-up features huge international acts such as System of a Down, Franz Ferdinand and The Bloody Beetroots. Tickets start at €49 and camping facilities are available. The Paris Plages is a wonderfully unique and free event that started in 2002. Throughout August, three areas of the Seine are transformed into beaches complete with sand, water sports and outdoor concerts. It’s suitable for the whole family. One of the other top attractions is the Cinéma en Plein Air, the outdoor cinema that runs over the summer months at Parc de la Villette in northern Paris. Kick back with a glass of champers on a fold-out chair and enjoy some recent Hollywood movies as well as classic French favourites.

The Lowdown on Sydney in Winter

Booking city breaks to Sydney over the U.K. summer means you’re heading into a New South Wales winter. This coincides with the off-peak tourist season, which can lead to some great savings on accommodation, flights and attractions. It also adds to a more chilled-out atmosphere with fewer tourists and backpackers. The weather in Sydney over the summer is quite different from that of the U.K. in winter. It’s mild and dry, with average air temperatures sitting around the mid-teens and a sea temperature of approximately 19 degrees – so don’t rule out swimming!

Sydney during winter offers a wonderland of festivals and attractions including the Bondi Winter Magic Festival, whale watching, day trips to the snow, and if you’re lucky, some swimming and surfing. The Bondi Winter Magic Festival is one of the highlights of a Sydney winter. The beach suburb of Bondi comes alive with art, music, food and winter-themed entertainment. Two of the best events are Art on the Streets and Music on the Streets. These are both designed to showcase local talent. Other highlights include the kite-flying festival, The Festival of the Winds, which takes place on the 8 Sept. and the world-famous Sculpture by the Sea. During Sculpture by the Sea, the beautiful coastal walk between Bondi and Tamarama is transformed into an art gallery.

Winter in Sydney also coincides with two important other seasons: ski season and whale-watching season. Some of the best skiing in Australia is located a few hours from Sydney at the Thredbo and Perisher resorts. The coast of NSW is also one of the best places in the world to see whales. They make their annual migration over the winter from Antarctica up past Sydney’s east coast searching for the North Tropical Queensland’s warmer waters.


Safety Tips When Staying In A Caravan Park

motorhome

motorhome

As any motorhome enthusiast will tell you; there’s nothing quite like getting out onto the open road with your vehicle. Whether you follow a set route, or just drive where the fancy takes you, going on a holiday in a caravan or campervan is a great trip for all ages. At the end of a long day, it’s great to park up somewhere where you can have a decent meal and a shower, and that’s why caravan parks are a welcome sight for travellers to see. Whether you’re spending the night, or staying for longer, here are a few safety tips to ensure you have a happy holiday.

Check your van

Before you leave for a long journey, there are a few checks you should make to your car, campervan, or caravan. This includes checking fire alarms and other safety equipment, as well as basics such as:

  • Checking your towing equipment
  • Getting tyres inflated and making sure you have a spare
  • Collecting your breakdown insurance information
  • Checking the structure of your caravan
  • Inspecting for any damage

If you are hiring your van, then a thorough inspection will be done before you drive away, but don’t be afraid to take your time and ask questions before you take the vehicle.

Valuables

When you park your car in a public place, you know not to leave valuables on display, and the same goes for your caravan or campervan. Crime in caravan parks is extremely rare, but it’s best to take precautions and to ensure your vehicle isn’t attractive to thieves. Make sure valuables are left out of sight, and use a locked compartment for wallets, phones, and other essential items.

Additional security

Check the locks on your caravan before you leave it unattended, and make sure you use any additional security devices you have such as tracking systems, wheel clamps, or security posts. If you are renting from a company such as Darwin campervan hire, you’ll receive all the security products that you need for your particular vehicle, and this can give you great peace of mind when you’re on a day out.

One of the best ways to protect your caravan is to get to know others in the park. They will keep an eye out on your vehicle, and vice versa, meaning it’s easier to spot any suspicious activity.

Check your insurance

If you’re renting, then insurance is often included, but if you’re a caravan owner then you’ll often need extra cover on top of your car insurance. Call your insurer to check what you’re covered for, and to see what they recommend for your individual circumstances. Some people may have their personal possessions covered by their home contents insurance, so if anything gets lost or stolen while they’re at the park, they are covered. However, it’s always best to check the fine print on your own policy.

Take your time

Caravanning is a more relaxed pace of life, and you can’t expect to reach your destination as quickly as you would with your car alone. Be sure to allow plenty of time to get to your caravan park, and take regular breaks so that you’re fresh and alert. Most caravan parks and campsites have flexible hours where you can check in, so just call ahead if you’re late rather than rushing.

Most caravan parks are safe, secure places where you can leave your valuable possessions, but just as you wouldn’t take risks at home, it’s worth taking precautions to ensure your holiday goes smoothly. If you’re hiring a van, make sure you follow any instructions, and you’ll be sure to enjoy your holiday travelling on the open road.

Family Holidays: About the Journey or the Destination?

Road Trips Australia, Cr-australia.com

Road Trips Australia, Cr-australia.com

The old cliché, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”, still gets tossed around the 21st century Australia. We knowingly say it to each other with a bit more profundity than we ought to, especially considering the fact that most of us shun any form of travel that doesn’t involve some element of high-speed.

But who can blame us, really? When families try to coordinate a summer holiday, Mum and Dad both have to take off work, the kids need to be pulled from any extra-curricular summer programmes and the budget needs to be scrutinised  to determine exactly how much we can afford to part with this year. Best case scenario: most of us can swing about two weeks of holiday time.

When that’s all you’re working with, it’s natural to focus on the place you’re going to visit. We settle all of our reservations and bookings ahead of time, plan the itinerary and probably have a good idea of which restaurants we’re going to eat in. We have decisively made it all about the destination. In fact, the moment we arrive, we start dreading the end.

Where’s the journey in this?

Family Journeys Can Be Fun

In a country like Australia, where you’ve got immense open spaces and a well-planned system of highways, a journey-based family holiday has serious potential. You can arrange campervan hire in Melbourne and then strike out on an in-depth tour of Western Australia. Likewise, you could plan a similar excursion on the opposite shore and connect the dots between the major state capitals. This is an epic journey, and in Australia, there’s a great deal to explore.

When you plan a holiday that capitalises on the journey, you’re definitely taking a risk. The kids get restless, the weather could turn on you, and there is such a thing as highway fatigue. But you’re also giving the family a memorable event that they’re going to keep with them for the rest of their lives.

That said, most families choose to fly to their ultimate destination and languish there for a week or so before heading home. Many travel advisors even recommend approaching a family holiday from this direction – plan it out, book early and eliminate the possibility of surprises. In short, make it as dull and mundane as possible.

Why Road Trips Trump Family Air Travel

For certain families, the road trip will always be the king of travel, and here’s why:

  • Travel as experience

When you’re in that campervan, every inch of pavement between home and the onward destination passes directly beneath you. The sights, smells – even the weather. Everything you pass is in its rightful context.

  • Affordability

This is especially true for families with multiple people in tow. Petrol is probably going to be cheaper than airfare multiplied four or five times. Accommodation is more affordable; and there are no hidden baggage fees.

  • Family bonding

In a campervan, you’re actively engaged with each other the entire time you’re travelling. You can play games, eat together without falling under the watchful eyes of others, or – if necessary – purposefully ignore each other. Nothing’s passive. It’s just like being at home, but with fewer getaway options. Family bonding is practically a requirement.

  •  Flexibility

Not everyone will agree with this one, but once you’ve planned a holiday down to the minute, any hope of spontaneity goes out the window. Half the fun of striking out in a campervan is the chance to stop by a waterfall you didn’t know existed, to enjoy lunch with an unexpected view or to hunker down in this park rather than that one, because, as it turns out, the brochures just weren’t doing it justice.

Exciting Activities to Do in the Australian Outback

Tasmania Australia

Tasmania Australia

by Alicia Howard,

Whether you’re a nature lover or an extreme sports enthusiast, there is no doubt that the Aussie Outback is one of the top tourist destinations on Earth. Of course, since it’s so vast, there is plenty to see and do while there. To help you with planning your itinerary for this epic adventure, make sure to include the following activities. While this is only a taste of what you’ll experience, it’ll at least get you started on the road to enjoying your next Australian outback holiday in the best way possible.

Driving

Since the distances are so immense here, you’ll find yourself in the car for lengthy stretches of time. Thus, the driving becomes an activity in itself, forming both a challenge and a way to experience the natural beauty found in some of the country’s more isolated spots. Once you fly into one of Australia’s airports, you’ll then be in the car most of the time as you zigzag across the country. This is not to say that the time will be boring. On the contrary, having your own transport means that you can come face-to-face with some absolutely spectacular landscapes and abundant wildlife.

Hiking

Once you get out of the car, you’ll then find yourself setting off on foot to one of Australia’s countless numbers of natural attractions. From canyons to meteorite craters, there are plenty of destinations for you to experience. Just remember to bring along enough water as the interior climate can be quite harsh. You should also be aware of where you’re going, bringing a paper map. You phone’s GPS tracker won’t work in these remote locations as there aren’t any broadcasting towers there. With a little preparation though, you can find yourself walking through some absolutely amazing settings in the outback.

Swimming

Even though the initial image of the outback is a harsh, arid environment, there are still plenty of spots to cool down. In fact, the region also extends to the coast where you’ll find plenty of pristine beaches. As most travel destination guides will tell you, there are a few dangers to watch out for here. From crocodiles to box jellyfish, the Australia outback is home to plenty of critters. Check first whether that particular watering hole or beach is safe to swim before taking a dip. With the right guidebook, you should be able to make a smarter decision while travelling. Australia is full of spots in which you can safely cool down during your trip.

Horse & Camel Riding
Camel Riding

Camel Riding

In some special locations, you can also hop onto a trained horse or camel and enjoy the outback scenery in this way. Of course, the horses will be in the hospitable regions while the camels will be found in the more arid zones. Regardless of the animal you choose, this can be an enjoyable way to experience these more isolated destinations in safety and comfort. You’ll need to book a tour group for this, meaning that you’ll be travelling together with a guide and other individuals. This will give you the ability to relax while your animal leads you to wherever you’re heading for.

Rock Climbing

Lastly, the Australian Outback is peppered with excellent climbing spots whether you’re interested in abseiling, bouldering or something else. The natural ruggedness of the landscapes here has created the perfect climber’s paradise, offering ascents for all skill levels. There is also the option of going independently or with a tour group, allowing you to partake in this extreme sport in the manner that you prefer. Let the Aussie outback take you to your limits and back with its range of climbing destinations.

Author Bio: Alicia Howard writes for an online travel agency that is owned by an Australian and has over 30 branches all around New Zealand. The company offers cheap international flights as well as domestic ones.

Camel Riding = Photo Credit: agfg.com.au, Tasmania Australia = Photo Credit: webecoist.momtastic.com

Best Places to Have a Beer In Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia by night

Melbourne, Australia by night

by Bill Grant,

With summer almost coming to an end, why not make the most of the warmer weather and organise a weekend away in Melbourne? Considered to be the culinary and cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne is the perfect location for a trip away with friends. After a long day of sight seeing, you can relax knowing that you have a huge selection of fantastic bars to grab a nice long beer. Melbourne’s bar scene is continually on the increase with new and exciting bars being established with interesting themes, great locations and a wide selection of beers to choose from. So get your friends together, organise your TravelGuard trip insurance, get on the plane and come to where the beer is good!

The Local Taphouse

Located in St Kilda, The Local Taphouse is a fun and relaxed pub owned by two beer enthusiasts, Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone. They sell a wide range of local and international craft beers with over 350 different beers rotating on tap. 184 Carlisle Street, St Kilda.

Bimbo Delux

The Bimbo name is infamous in Melbourne as their well-priced beer and $4 pizza specials can’t be beaten. A recent upgrade to include a rooftop courtyard and regular entertainment gives even more reason to spend your afternoon/ entire day at Bimbos. Crn Brunswick and Rose Streets, Fitzroy.

Riverland

On a sunny afternoon, what better way to spend your time with a refreshing beer on the banks of the Yarra? Riverland is located down from Princes Bridge away from Federation Square and brings together suits, hipsters, tourists and families at their relaxed outdoor seating area. 1-9 Federation Wharf, CBD.

The Croft Institute

Part science laboratory, part ladies’ ablution blocks, part gymnasium with roll-out turf bar, the Croft Institute is certainly an entertaining place to grab a beer. Located in a small alleyway in Chinatown, their main focus is their cocktail menu but they assure you their beer is cold. 21 Croft Alley, CBD.

Rooftop Bar

Located on top of the seven storey Curtain House, the Rooftop Bar is one of the most popular hangouts during the summer. Come here for spectacular views over the CBD while you sip your beer, and why not stay for their rooftop cinema. 6/252 Swanston Street.

Section 8

Located within a deserted car park and constructed mostly from large shipping containers, this is definitely one of Melbourne’s more ‘alternative’ bars. Grab a seat on a packing crate, keep warm in winter next to the one of the massive gas burners and groove the night away listening to some in-house tunes from a local DJ. 27 Tattersal Lane, CBD.

James Squire

For a quality and reliable Australian brew, the James Squire name is always a sure bet. Great hand crafted beers, tasty pub grub and waterfront location, it is a great place for a fun night out with your friends. 16-17, 439 Docklands Drive, Waterfront City, Docklands.

Still can’t decide? Why not download an iPhone application such as the Best Melbourne Pubs & Bars app that will provide you with information on over 200 bars in the city.

Penniless in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Australia

Sydney Australia

How to Enjoy This Great City for Free

With all of the fantastic attractions, shopping, nightlife, restaurants and bars to enjoy in Sydney, Australia, it can be very easy to part with your money. If you are planning a trip on a small budget, you might be wondering whether or not you will be able to enjoy the city without spending a fortune. However, there is no need to worry. It is completely possible to have a fantastic time in Sydney without having to spend a penny.

Here are some of the best free activities that you can enjoy in this great city.

  • Walk Through the Botanical Gardens

The beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens feature an array of beautiful natural trails and sites, including a Sydney Tropical Center and a garden for rare and endangered plants. It is also a great spot to take some fantastic photos of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

  • Check Out the View from Sydney Harbor Bridge

This is the largest steel-arch bridge in the world and a symbol of Sydney, so it is a must-see on your visit. If you walk across the bridge, you will have an excellent vantage point for gazing over the entire city and harbor.

  • Visit a Free Art Gallery

Sydney has many excellent art galleries, many of which are completely free to enter. The Museum of Contemporary Art usually has some interesting and thought provoking exhibits and the Gallery of New South Wales has five levels of rotating exhibits.

  • Watch the Street Performers at Circular Quay

Circular Quay is the hub of the Sydney Harbor and it has a very lively and fun atmosphere. Most of the time, you will discover musicians, acrobats, magicians and other street performers putting on a show for the crowds. On a sunny day, there is nothing better than relaxing at the Quay and watching the free performance. If you enjoyed the show, you might even want to give the performers a little tip!

  • Walk From Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach

This gorgeous walk takes you all along the coastline and gives you the opportunity to visit several parks and beaches along the way. The views of the ocean are breathtaking and you could even stop and enjoy a picnic while gazing out at the blue waves.

Useful info:

http://www.flightcentre.com.hk/landing-pages/cheap-flights/Sydney

Travelling on a budget: free walking tours

    Free Walking tours

Free Walking tours

Travelling doesn’t have to break the bank – for travellers on a budget, numerous free walking tours are on offer around the world. Explore the history, culture and lifestyle of some of the globe’s most popular cities alongside knowledgeable tour guides in an affordable way.

Australia:

I’m Free Walking Tours offer free walking tours of Sydney and Melbourne in rain, hail or shine. Explore Sydney’s history in a 3 hour, easy-walking tour that includes the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Town Hall and Pitt Street Shopping Mall. Melbourne’s 3 hour tour encompasses the most popular sites of Australia’s culture capital: Federation Square, Chinatown, Royal Exhibition Centre, Princess Theatre and Bourke Street Shopping Mall.

Europe:

Sandemans New Europe, christened the home of the famous free tour, is committed to providing visitors – regardless of their budget – with the best tour available. Local expert guides share their insights to help travellers discover the beauty and history of as many cities as possible. Currently, Sandemans offers free walking tours in London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Prague, Paris, Madrid, Jerusalem and Copenhagen. The company has plans to expand to Brussels, Tel Aviv, New York and Barcelona.

USA:

Free Tours by Foot presents the only free, tip-based walking tours of America’s most well-known cities. The tour company aims to educate and entertain guests with creative tours in an affordable manner. Cities currently on offer include New York, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Boston and Charleston. Travellers are encouraged to pay what they feel the tour was worth after tour completion, helping to motivate the company’s guides to give his or her best effort on each and every tour. For a list of free walking tours around the world, visit the following link.

Sources:

I’m Free Walking Tours

Sandemans

freetoursbyfoot.com/”rel=”nofollow”>Free Tours by Foot

Free City Tours

Copyright © STI

The Australian Outback – A Road Trip Survival Guide

The Australian outback is one of the world’s most desolate yet beautiful wonder’s and has become the traditional backdrop to life in Australia through the eyes of the rest of the world.

    australian-outback-landscape-no-water

Australian-outback-landscape-no-water

Taking time to travel through the outback when visiting Australia is a must, but its magnificent views and landmarks hide a treacherous world that can be fraught with danger for the unknowing and unprepared traveller.  So here I’ve listed the top 5 things to keep in mind the next time you pack your car and tackle the Australian outback.

1. It is big. And I mean REALLY big.

A large portion of Australia’s landmass is classed as rural outback and whilst a lot of the land is used for farming and mining, there is also a whole lot of nothing. There are many ways a traveller can tackle the outback but perhaps the two most popular are the Adelaide to Darwin and Adelaide to Perth route. The first is a vertical route straight through the dusty heart of the country and in its entirety stretches for over 3000km. The second is across the completely barren Nullabor plain and is slightly shorter at 2,550km. Both routes have their own scenic advantages but their immense distance cannot be underestimated, even by Australian standards, a road trip through the outback is a big endeavour.

    Australian-outback-landscape

Australian-outback-landscape

2. Allow enough time Due to the distance

Many tourists are unaware of exactly how long it can take to do either of the main outback routes. Having taken two weeks return to do that Adelaide to Darwin route myself, I can vouch for how much of a feat it is. Even if you are stretched for time try not to commit yourself to more than 5 or 6 hours of driving each day. Any more and you will get tired which could impend on your driving skills and you will end up missing most of the scenery that you drove into the outback to see in the first place. If you are wanting to stop at the tourist sites along the way (and you will need at least a full day at Ayres Rock) allow for at least 4 days to get to Darwin. Keep in mind that a lot of the top tourist spots are also quite a bit off the main highway, and these apparent “short” detours can eat into your travelling time and put you behind if you find yourself on a deadline. Moral is: try to have a flexible schedule if possible.

3. Watch out for wildlife

Because 90% of the outback is so sparsely populated, a large amount of native wildlife roam around after being pushed out of the more heavily populated coastal regions. It is not uncommon to come across a gathering of kangaroos, camels, emus or dingoes on the side of the road – or in fact on the road itself. Luckily, due to the lack of roadside trees or buildings it is fairly easy to spot one coming along the flat horizon. If you come across an animal, or animals, blocking the road don’t panic. The best thing to do is wait for them to move, or try to go off the road a little to avoid them (be careful if you are not in a 4WD enabled car as this could cause some bogging issues!). If you must, a short beep of the horn will normally be enough to move them on, but you will see how nonchalant they are about being in the way; remember you are invading on their territory.

4. Pack spare everything

If you forget something on your outback road trip there is no supermarket that you can just pop down to so it is very important to pack smart. There will be a petrol station in every major (and minor) town along the way but if you take a little detour off the main highway you may find that when you get back on it again, you will run out of petrol before you reach the next town. So always carry a spare petrol tank and keep it full. Same goes for water and oil and anything else you might need for your vehicle. It is also a good idea to pack a cooler bag to keep any food items cool, as even in the winter it can reach mid 30′s during the day, which could very quickly spoil your milk and your trip if you are not careful. Despite the often hot temperatures during the day, the nights in the desert are freezing so pack a range of clothes and be prepared to be constantly changing!

5. Appreciate the outback for what it is

The outback is not supposed to be a luxury road trip. There is nowhere you can stop to have a mud spa or your nails done, in fact there are barely any places to stop to buy bread and water. There is not a lot of phone or television reception but it is the perfect chance to escape the rat race and just be one with the landscape. You could go a whole day without meeting a single soul and hours and hours without passing any other cars. But it is the isolation of the outback that has thousands of international tourists spellbound every single year. The scenery is so untouched and with the native flora and fauna right outside your tent, there is no need to go hunting for the best outback experience: it will come to you.

For more information on planning your next Australian outback adventure visit http://www.outbacknow.com.au/

Best Locations to Enjoy Scuba Diving

Belize-City-Scuba-Diving-Dive-in-Belize

Belize-City-Scuba-Diving-Dive-in-Belize

The mystery and the depth of the sea have always been point of attraction for the adventure freaks. It appeals many people for being a different world deep down the water. It is truly a different experience, in which scuba drivers swim underwater by using their swim fins attached to the feet and carry their source of breathing gas. The photographs of divers exploring the deep waters are so thrilling that sometimes people wonder that they should experience it once.

Scuba diving is becoming popular day by day as a number of curious people has been increased who are willing to discover a world under water that is unknown. For people like them, we have made the list of the places offering best opportunities for scuba diving. What you need to do is explore the relatively cheap airfare deals to reach any of these destinations and enjoy the most thrilling moments of your life.

Ari Atoll, Maldives

A breathtaking deep sea diving destination, Maldives boasts of myriad of exclusive dive sites to explore. Ari Atoll is one of those sites offering high quality of the sea diving. Topographically, here diving is different from several other sites in the Maldives as it does not has long stretches of barrier reef. In fact, here atoll lagoons work as places of marine aggregation. While diving in the sea, divers come across variety of sharks, eagle rays and several other oceanic playing in the waters of Maldives.

 Caño Island, Costa Rica

One among the several wonderful diving locations of Costa Rica, Caño Island is home to experience a marvelous multiplicity of marine life. It makes great sense to endeavor here for enjoying an unforgettable scuba. It is a tropical paradise that allows you exploring the real wealth of sea life. From sharks to mantas and from angelfish to stunning coral reefs, the site has everything to offer for enjoying a perfectly thrilling scuba diving.

 The Red Sea, Egypt

Lying between Africa and Asia, The Red Sea has three main sites that appeal the divers in a different way. The Red Sea is called with this name because of the occasional algal blooms that arise here and give the sea a reddish touch.The divers here can discover gorgeous coral, a huge variety of fishes, protected reefs and wrecks. The location is ideal for scuba diving as it witnesses small wave actions and water is relaxing & warm.

 The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

One among the most wonderful sites to enjoy scuba diving in Australia, The Great Barrier Reef is on the top of the list. Stretched over 2,000 km from the north down to the south, it is the world’s largest coral reef system that can be noticed from space. Popular as the finest spot to explore aquatic life, it allows the divers meet the turtles, dolphins, whales and porpoises. It features 125 species of sharks. With all these features, it turns a wonderful destination to enjoy scuba diving.

 by Amrita who is working for EaseMyTrip.com, an online travel portal offering best deals in flight booking, hotel reservation and holiday packages.

7 Tips to Ensure an Amazing Golf Getaway

Lady golfer with clubs

Lady golfer with clubs

by Monty Macgregor,

There is nothing more satisfying than exploring new golf courses, whether in Australia or overseas. Teeing off during your holiday is a great way to unwind. Flying or driving to the golf course of your dreams requires a little bit of preparation particularly if you choose to take your own golf clubs with you instead of hiring local gear.

Bulky and heavy golf gear isn’t the most practical luggage. On top of that, without any preparation of getting your gear travel-ready, you might find yourself flustered and your clubs in less than perfect condition on your arrival.

Follow these simple tips and ensure your golf getaway is as relaxing as you’d hoped for:

Pick the Right Bag

Your everyday golf bag may not be suitable for taking your gear overseas. Does the bag close tightly? Are all zippers in good condition and can you lock them with a padlock? Take the time to check your bag is still in good condition and don’t leave it until the night before.

Plan Your Pick-up and Drop-Off to Hotel

Before your trip, make transportation plans to get to your hotel, to the golf course and to any other destinations you’ll visit during your stay. Ask whether the hotel can arrange pick-ups and drop-offs which will help you alleviate carrying your luggage and gear at the same time. If you decide to rent a car, research quotes for insurance on travel, rentals and valuable. Car insurance companies will usually offer an easy-to-read comparison online to help you figure out what coverage meets your needs.

Prepare Your Gear and Wrenches

Prepare your gear by cleaning it out from old score cards, tissues or anything else that may have accumulated over time. Cleaning your clubs, bag and shoes is crucial as quarantine rules of other countries may apply. Keep in mind you’ll need to clean it again before your return to Australia. Your gear may carry soil or spores, which can be harmful to different environments. Quarantine officers can delay your way through the airport significantly. Also, protect your wrenches with head covers or old socks.

Check Your Luggage Limit

Cheaper tickets may only allow you very little luggage, which you easily exceed with your golf bag. Before you make a booking, ensure that you have the maximum luggage limit you can get and weigh your bag before heading to the airport. Excess luggage can be very expensive.

Relax at the Airport

Once you land at your destination, don’t panic if you don’t see your golf bag with the rest of the luggage at baggage claim. Remember that, due to their weight and bulkiness, golf bags are placed at the oversize luggage area not on the baggage carousels.

Prepare Yourself for a New Golf Course

There is nothing more frustrating than going through the effort of taking your clubs with you and then realising your score is above average due to a new and unknown golf course. Many clubs offer information about their course and it’s a great idea to read up on as many details as you can and familiarise yourself before teeing off.