Category Archives: Australia

Experience the Offbeat Charms of Australia

Home to the world’s largest coral reef system – the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is one of the top holiday destinations. Over 8 million tourists visited this exquisite land last year.

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It was easily more than the number recorded in 2014. Thus, if you plan to explore ‘The Land Down Under’, we won’t be surprised! While most people seek the highly popular destinations, you can also explore some of the lesser-known ones.

Undara Volcanic National Park

Undara Volcanic National Park is a place where one can explore natural geological wonders. There is an abundance of wildlife here. Most interestingly, it is known for the remnants of the Earth’s longest flow of lava starting off from a single volcano. The park is also full of various colourful birds, including cormorants, herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills, kites, eagles, falcons, quails, emus, parrots, rosellas, and cockatoos.

Gunlom

Situated in the Kakadu National Park, Gunlom has a beautiful cascading waterfall and peaceful plunge pool. A not-so-easy climb to the peak of the waterfall offers great views of the southern-most parts of Kakadu National Park. A rejuvenating dip in the clear pools is an exhilarating experience.

Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay, a coastal town in Victoria, has several swimming and surfing beaches. Green hills overlooking the bay create an attractive backdrop. The restaurants and cafes serve mouth-watering dishes. Apollo Bay also hosts the yearly Great Ocean Sports Festival and Apollo Bay Music Festival.

Melbourne Graffiti Alleys

The overall atmosphere of Melbourne is distinctly vibrant! Travellers with an artistic bent of mind can find some of the best works by simply walking through the city’s alleys and lanes. The beauty of street art and creativity is apparent as you simply stroll along. It’s almost as if the walls have something to convey or express! So, don’t limit yourself to art galleries.

The Pinnacles

The Pinnacles – These are rather strange, if not totally ‘hidden’! The Pinnacles are limestone formations which rise out of yellow sand dunes in a bizarre way. They are often described as ‘Life on Mars’. The natives believe that the rocks symbolize the people who died over the years in the desert.

Best Christmas Markets To Explore In Perth In 2016

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With Christmas approaching fast, all kinds of shopping outlets will soon be dressed in their best Christmas decorations and offer unique gifts, handmade articles, local produce, and pretty arts and crafts.

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The ones travelling to the Australian city of Perth during Christmas or a little before, can check out such fantastic Christmas markets in or around the destination for an incredible Christmas shopping experience in ‘the Land Down Under’. Take a look at some of them.

Christmas Family Market Pinjarra

Visit the Christmas Family Market Pinjarra at the Civic Centre Pinjarra to shop for Christmas goodies on 3rd December, 2016. The shops here offer some fantastic gifting options as well as Christmas special deals on many items. The market will be held from 10 am to 2.30 pm.

Early Bird Christmas Market

Enjoy festive shopping at the Early Bird Christmas Market on 20th November, 2016. This is an indoor Christmas market, which will be held from 11 am to 3 pm. There will be more than 50 stalls selling a variety of Christmassy stuff such as handmade gifts and decor, home wares, jewellery, fashion accessories for kids, candles, and body care products. Visitors can get haircuts at cheap prices as well as neck and shoulder massages. Besides, there will be lots of festive cupcakes and sweet treats. There will also be free live entertainment by local musicians and a face painting stall.

QV1 Christmas PopUpmarket

QV1 Christmas PopUpmarket is a fantastic popup market catering to the Christmas needs of individuals. Attend this festive shopping venue from 6th to 8th December at the QV1 foyer in Perth. This market will include stalls by over 50 brilliant artisans and designers from all across Perth. Enjoy a fantastic shopping experience as you buy original handcrafted wares at the best prices.

St Michael’s Family Christmas Fete

This family Christmas fete is held every year at Perth’s St Michael’s Church on 26th November, 2016. The fete will offer a variety of festive shopping opportunities and celebratory events. The fete will be held from 10 am to 1 pm and there will be lots of live entertainment. The stalls will offer vintage clothing, local produce, plants, art & crafts, jewellery, gift baskets, books, CDs and DVDs, and a lot more.

Unbridled Merrymaking awaits you at Oktoberfest Brisbane 2016!

Visit Oktoberfest Brisbane 2016 to experience authentic German food, drinks, and festivities in Australia. Oktoberfest Brisbane is the largest German cultural and food and drinks festival in Australia.

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It will be held over 2 weekends; these are 7th to 9th and 14th to 16th October 2016. It is a fantastic occasion for people to understand German culture first-hand and to enjoy a fun day savouring German food and beverages amidst traditional entertainment, shows, and rides thrown in.

Following age old custom, the festival will open this year as well with the traditional ‘Anzapfen’ on 7th October, 2016. The tradition involves the city’s Lord Mayor to tap the first keg of beer, offer the first stein of beer to the Head of State and announce ‘O’zapft is’, which means ‘It is tapped’.

Beer, Beer & More Beer!

Of course beer will be the main attraction and will flow freely at the festival. However, apart from beer there will be various other beverages on offer, making sure that there is something for everyone at the festival. There will be soft drinks, water, non-alcoholic beer, energy drinks, and coffee and tea.

Travellers will be able to enjoy German and Australian wines, German Sekt (sparkling), champagne, Schnaps mixers, and hand-crafted German beers. There will be supplies from 343-year old Bavarian Brauerei (brewery) Tucher Bräu, offering Lager and Weissbier (wheat beer). Australia’s famous Burleigh Brewing Co. will offer delicious German-style Dunkelbier (dark beer).

Food

At Oktoberfest, enjoy authentic German cuisine as you savour delicious Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle), Bratwurst, Sauerkraut and Schnitzel. Savour many more specialities including baked potato dishes, pretzels, ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ (coffee and cake), Sacher Torter, and Apple Strudel to complete your German experience.

Some of the notable brands offering delectable delicacies are King of Cakes, Götzinger (sausages), German Sausage Hut, German Potato Hut, Haxen Haus, K&K Schnitzel & Burger Haus, Spaetzle Spectacular, Bald Rock Beef Jerky, the Organic Cotton Candy Company, Bunya Cheese and German Hut Biergarten Imbiss, and many more!

Events

Oktoberfest Brisbane 2016 will see a number of lively and vibrant events. There will be separate, dedicated activities and events for kids. Sundays will be special Family Fun-days, which will include singing, dancing, and yodelling! Participate in the Hat Dance or make merry with the Chicken Dance. Enjoy rides in the festival grounds, pat baby farm animals, and sit down for a German-style puppet show amidst roaming musicians and fashion shows.

There will be plenty of traditional German games, including the action-packed ‘Bavarian Strongmen’ competition. The team-based competition will include Jockey Race, Krapfen (Jam Donut) Eating, and Tug of War etc. Enjoy the Oktoberfest Brisbane Beardmeister competition – a competition looking for the perfect beard and moustache. The Miss Oktoberfest Brisbane is another competition to enjoy. The competition sees women compete through various feats including pretzel eating, stein holding, and milking cows!

Kids

This family festival warmly welcomes children. There will be dedicated areas for their entertainment offering a range of activities, rides, and hands-on workshops for toddlers as well as teens.

Tips for Exploring Australia – The Land Down Under

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Australia, also called Oz, is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. Vibrant cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and many others offer exciting activities and lovely attractions for all! According to Tourism Australia Corporate Website, there were 716,000 visitor arrivals during July 2016, which is an increase of 141 per cent over the same period of the previous year. Considering the fact that Australia is such a popular holiday destination, we thought it would be worthwhile to list some travel tips and tricks for visiting the destination.

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Climate

The northern part of the continent has a more tropically influenced climate. It’s hot and humid in the summers, and quite warm and dry in the winters. The southern areas are cooler with warm summers and cool winters. The central part has dry, desert regions with daytime temperatures being high, and low amounts of rain. During summers, bushfires are surprisingly common.

Money and Tipping

The national currency of Australia is the Australian Dollar. Notes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, while coins come in 5, 10, 20, 50 cents, and $1 & $2 denominations. Generally speaking, hotels and restaurants do not add service charge to one’s bill. Thus, although not mandatory, tipping is suggested. At top-notch eating venues, one can tip waiters 10% of the bill.

Food

Foodies will have a delightful time in Oz. The must-eat dishes of this country are Chicken parmigiana, Barbequed snags, Lamingtons, Pavlova, and Australian barramundi. All these dishes are extremely delicious and command a huge fan-following. There are a number of restaurants that have grabbed the attention of locals and tourists alike. These include Quay, Attica, Marque, and Vue de Monde. People should keep in mind that food isn’t cheap here.

Accommodation

Australia features countless accommodation facilities for travellers. Some of the best business hotels here are Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, Park Hyatt, Sheraton on the Park, The Westin Sydney, and Rydges World Square. The list doesn’t end for leisure travellers! For them, The Blackman, Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, and Tower Lodge can be good options. Those who don’t have deep pockets can consider Astor Private Hotel, The Vineyard Motel, and Comfort Inn Eastern Sands.

Transportation

Getting around in this country is easy! For covering large distances, flying is the perfect choice. Various domestic airlines are available for booking purposes. Bus travel is usually comfortable and reasonably priced. The vast network of well-connected roads allows people to go on road trips. If one intends to enjoy the scenic beauty, then train journey is a good option. Ferry Ride is just not to be missed!

Mini Guide to Brisbane Festival 2016

Art freaks, just hop into the Brisbane Festival 2016, which is being held from 3rd September to 24th September in Brisbane, to enjoy outstanding art events from around the world.

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The amazing city of Brisbane plays host to an audience of around one million people every year in September, who visit the city to attend the popular festival.

Step-in to the Brisbane Festival, a major international event, to celebrate all expressions of arts from around the globe in the form of theatre, music, dance, opera, circus, and public attractions including the Sunsuper Riverfire.

Why Attend The Festival?

The festival has been developed to link artists and audiences, to showcase unconventional ideas, and to draw people to this glittering city. The festival will focus on the themes and ideas of Ireland, the record label, snow white, and the little mermaid this year, with several events showcasing unconventional performances revolving around these themes.

2016 Major Events Line-Up

The festival will showcase events across multiple genres this year, including cabaret, circus, comedy, dance, family, food, music, opera, theatres, visual arts, films, and talk sessions. Check out some of the major events line-up in this year’s festival.

The Game – a bold theatre performance based on sex work in Ireland.

En avant, marche! – Brisbane brass band theatre, music, and dance performance.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – A comedy theatre performance.

Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid – is a musical cabaret theatre performance.

Three prominent Record labels have been invited for talk sessions.

You Should Be Dancing – a free-for-all dance performance.

Symphony for Me – a free-for-all Queensland Performing Arts Centre music performance.

Blanc De Blanc – is a circus featuring music, dance and cabaret.

Troppo – is a family-oriented circus performance.

Brisbane Airport 3d Street Art – is a free-for-all, family-oriented visual arts attraction.
Dave Graney ‘N’ The Coral Snakes – a musical performance.

Souvenir – a theatre performance.

Kaleidoscope Project – a free-for-all visual arts attraction.
Albert Herring – a comedy opera.

Hanako: Desire & Other Secret Weapons – theatre.

Unbuttoned // A Festival Of Gender, Art, And You – a film, theatre performance and talk session.

Sunsuper Riverfire

The Sunsuper Riverfire is a much-awaited public event. It is a massive fireworks display, which is held to mark the end of the Brisbane Festival. An incredible feature of this event is that the fireworks are exploded to the tunes of popular local music. Also, get enthralled by aerobatics performed by the Australian Defence Force with their RAAF Super Hornet and Army helicopters.

Food and Drinks

After witnessing the amazing performances, go straight to any of these six pop-up food stalls to savour sumptuous meals before the next performance.

Pourboy Espresso

Brisbane-based specialty coffee and cafe dining spot.

Fat Noodle

Owned by Vietnamese celebrity chef Luke Nguyen, Fat Noodle serves quick Asian-fusion meals.

Nitrogenie

Nitrogenie is an ice-cream parlour that uses liquid nitrogen to make ice-creams.

Mucho Mexicano

Mucho Mexicano serves contemporary Mexican cuisine with a twist.

Mister Paganini

Mister Paganini serves Italian cuisines in great Italian setting.

Tapas By Zen

Tapas by Zen is a fine dining spot.

5 Highlights on the Great Ocean Road, Australia

The Great Ocean Road of Australia is one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, explored extensively by foreigners and locals alike.

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Adventure buffs can participate in a number of fun-filled activities that take place here almost all year round. Moreover, foodies will have a delightful time as there are a number of outstanding restaurants in the area.

If you plan to drive on the Great Ocean Road, do not forget to explore some of the region’s most significant tourist highlights. We have mentioned few below:

The Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles is a set of limestone stacks resting near the shore of the Port Campbell National Park. At the moment there are eight apostles left. These structures have naturally been formed by constant erosion. Behind them are the majestic cliffs reaching a height of 70 metres! Until 1922 the site was known as the ‘Sow and Piglets’ which was later changed to ‘The Apostles’ and finally to ‘Twelve Apostles’.

The Grotto

The Grotto is a sinkhole geological formation that allows people to feel the peculiarity of the still, clear waters in contrast to the ocean beyond it. It is a naturally carved-out cave which stands up the cliff. The barrier that has been created in the viewing area is believed to be safe. So are the rock pools. However, hikers need to be cautious as certain parts of them can be slippery. Few rocks might be sharp-edged.

Triplet Falls in the Great Otway National Park

Triplet Falls is one of the iconic sites in the Great Otway National Park. One can learn about the history and the story of the rainforest, assisted by the signs that lead one around the place. Lying amongst the forests of Mountain Ash and Myrtle Beech, there are three striking waterfalls flowing through shady rainforests.

Bells Beach

Located in the coastal locality of Victoria, the Bells Beach is a renowned attraction that hosts one of the world’s longest running surfing competitions called the ‘Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival’. Top surfers come here to show their skills by tackling waves of up to five metres. Others can fish in the deep waters near the coast.

Lorne

Lorne is a rejuvenating destination that has grabbed the attention of holidaymakers for decades. There’s a wide variety of eating venues, accommodation options and attractions for all. More than 10 waterfalls are situated within 10 kilometres of this resort town. Artists will have a lovely time taking part in the Lorne Festival of The Performing Arts.

North Stradbroke Island – A Paradise in Australia

The North Stradbroke Island, or Straddie as locals call it, is an island located offshore Brisbane in the Moreton Bay in Queensland, Australia.

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With stunning and unique scenery, the island is a perfect beach destination, boasting an ideal combination of white sandy beaches, spectacular whale watching sites and wonderful lakes.

Beaches

The Stradbroke Island has the some of the most beautiful sandy white beaches in the world. The beaches stretch for miles and miles and are not much crowded. One can easily find a place to just sit back and relax.

Lakes

This beach island is home to around 100 lakes of various shapes and sizes. However, two exceptionally popular tourist attractions are the Blue Lake and the Brown Lake. The Blue Lake is of cultural importance to the local people and is also a subject of many environmental studies as the spring-fed lake has not been affected by climate change for around 7,500 years. The Brown Lake again is of cultural importance to the local people. A thick layer of leaves on the lake’s surface acts as an impermeable layer. The lake is tea-coloured due to the leaves that keep on falling into it from the surrounding tea trees.

Water Sports

There is a lot of scope for fun water-sports in this pristine beach island. Travellers can enjoy assisted scuba diving to the lovely warm waters of the beaches and the beautiful waves allow exciting water surfing opportunities. Bay kayaking under qualified instructors, is also a popular sport visitors like to experience in these waters. The lovely sand dunes of gentle slope as well as steep slopes offer the perfect opportunity for sand boarding. The ocean also provides a wonderful opportunity for deep sea fishing. One may avail fishing carters for this experience. Travellers can also join the various 4-wheeler safaris at the beaches to see the entire beach and its various attractions.

Whale Watching

The island is very famous for land based Whale Watching opportunities. Choose from among the many whale watching spots in the island and marvel at the thousands of Humpback Whales, dolphins, turtles, Eagle and Manta rays. Enjoy the sight of nature’s beautiful creations against a surreal backdrop and enjoy a wonderful holiday at the North Stradbroke Island.

Top 5 Experiences in Australia for a Fun-filled Holiday

With multiple theme parks, pristine beaches, unique wildlife and the largest coral reef on the planet, Australia is a hotspot for international travellers.

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Below, we have mentioned some of the fun-packed experiences that’ll make your trip to the country truly remarkable!

Skydive in Mission Beach

Mission Beach is an ideal location for adventure buffs wanting to skydive. Over 60 seconds of free-fall allows participants to enjoy the spectacular views of the Great Barrier Reef, tropical islands and rainforest all at once! This 14000 feet free-fall is accomplished with the guidance of first-class tandem masters. People should be wearing comfortable clothes and closed-in shoes. Children below 12 years of age are not allowed to participate in this activity. Experienced individuals can fly their own parachute.

Shark Cage Diving in Port Lincoln

Shark Cage Diving is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and totally unmissable! Participants are put into the ocean with Great White Sharks. Generally, the male sharks are 11 to 13 feet while the female sharks are 15 feet to 16 feet. During this dive, people are protected by only a cage! There are two main diving areas viz. North Neptune and South Neptune Islands, situated 30-40 Nautical Miles from Port Lincoln. These are the only islands in Australia that are permitted to perform Shark Cage Diving.

Drive on the Great Ocean Road

Travellers hoping to admire the beautiful views of Australia’s south coast must enjoy a drive on the iconic Great Ocean Road. This 243-kilometre stretch of road lies between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. Tourists can check out the art, and natural and cultural attractions located near it. For example, huge oceanic waves can be seen on Bell’s Beach. People can treat their taste buds at different restaurants and cafes of the region. Few of them are Fisho’s Torquay, Rebecca’s Cafe and Ice Cream Shop, Logan’s Cafe Restaurant, and Fen Restaurant.

Daintree River Cruises

Daintree River supports a stunning variety of marine life. While cruising down the river, people can spot saltwater crocodiles! A well-informed guide will share his knowledge about the predator, native plants and other natural surroundings. Solar Whisper Wildlife Cruises and Bruce Belcher’s Daintree River Cruises are two of the services that are being run here.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

Visitors can enjoy a 360-degree view of Sydney from the well-known Harbour Bridge that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district and the North Shore. Starting from the Climb Base below the Bradfield Highway, individuals will have to reach the top after passing Bridge’s outer arch on the Opera House side. All in all, there are 1,332 steps to climb.

The Romance of the Top 5 Trekking Trails in Australia

Australia offers some of the most rewarding trekking opportunities. These trail walks take one across the vast wilderness and beautiful landscapes of the country.

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Deep gorges, valleys, mountains and magnificent waterfalls will captivate your deepest senses as you trek along the trails.

Great Ocean Walk, Victoria

Stretching for around 104 kilometres, the spectacular coastline of Victoria offers a unique trekking experience and can be completed in about 8 days. The route passes through areas that are home to a wide variety of animals like koalas, wallabies, reptiles and several bird species. Different landscapes such as windswept cliffs, deserted beaches, marine sanctuaries and rugged coasts greet you along the route.

Overland Track, Tasmania

Widely acclaimed as one of the best hiking trails in Australia, this track in the island of Tasmania spans 65 kilometres and can be completed in 5 to 6 days. The diverse vistas and landscapes comprising of waterfalls, lakes and mountains make the journey all the more overwhelming. The season lasts from October to May and prior booking is recommended.

Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory

Snaking its way along mountains and ridges, this 223 kilometre long trek is said to offer the ultimate bushwalking experience due to its remoteness and rugged topography. It takes about 14 days to complete the trail but a quicker expedition is possible with the aid of a support vehicle. Summer temperatures can soar as high as 45 degree Celsius, so winters are a better time of the year to make this trek.

Thorsborne trail, Queensland

This 32 kilometre trail in the Hinchinbrook Island is an unspoilt tropical paradise that offers spectacular views of cloud-cloaked mountains while taking you through rainforests, swamps and pristine white beaches. The diverse wildlife comprising of bright butterflies, exotic birds, crocodiles, sea turtles, dugongs and dolphins along the trail render a sight to behold.

Australian Alps Walking Track, Eastern Australia

This trail offers an epic trekking experience along the Australian Alps. Covering a challenging distance of 655 kilometres, the trail passes through alpine national parks, high mountains and expansive high plains. Prior experience in trekking and skills in navigation go a long way in making this endeavour less daunting.

Are you a Daredevil? Well, prove it in Australia

Do you like to live on the edge? Do you like to challenge yourself with death defying adventures? Well luckily there is a place for all you daredevils and the place is none other than Australia.

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Sky diving, bungee jumping, rafting and surfing; the list of nail biting adventures that ‘Down Under’ offers is indeed long.

Bungee Jumping at Cairns

For some reason, throwing yourself from a height by harnessing yourself to a rubber rope seems to be the most desired of all adventure activities. And the setting of tropical Cairns is just perfect to live the thrill. ‘AJ Hackett Bungee Tower’ is one such place where the joy and thrill of jumping down to just above the earth’s surface can be accomplished.

Mountain Biking in the New South Wales

Mountain bikers are in for an experience of their lifetime as The Great Dividing Range in New South Wales has a deeply challenging terrain and is one of the most acclaimed off road biking destinations in the world. The road is full of surprises with twists and turns which requires expert maneuvers. Akuna Bay and West Head Loop, Barry Way and Lions Road Loop are some of most exciting mountain bike trails in the South Wales area.

Skydiving at Byron Bay

The sheer experience of skydiving at the Byron Bay is just amazing. The skydiving team at this place is very well equipped and boasts of zero casualties till date. Coming to Australia and not being a part of this escapade is a sin for all daredevils. No, this is not an exaggeration.

Scuba Diving at The Great Barrier Reef

The joy of scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, the only visible living structure from the space can be compared to none. An extensive biodiversity and mesmerizing deep water living organisms make this place a heaven for scuba enthusiasts. The shallow spots are just right for amateur divers while professionals can venture deep into the ocean for added thrill.

4×4 ride at Fraser Island

Imagine being on a journey with a few other backpackers sharing adventure stories while you embark on a trip across the largest sand island in the world. You can camp at different campsites, light a fire and let the serene beauty of the night sky overlooking the ocean mesmerize your senses.