Domestic Travel

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It’s Never Too Late To Be Bold and Chase Excitement

<p>A seemingly nonsensical suggestion led Gail MacCallum to uproot her life and follow her dream.</p> <p><strong>Some people get more averse to risk as the years go by.</strong> Not so Gail MacCallum, who at age 40 quit a secure job and left the city she had enjoyed her whole adult life in order to leap into the unknown. But she had to learn to be bold.</p> <p>MacCallum moved quite a bit in childhood and spent her formative years outside Canberra in a farmhouse without electricity. She read the books of animal observer Gerald Durrell and relished the freedom of the natural world. In her teens she and her family moved into the heart of inner-city Sydney, and she found she adored that too. “I was 14 and it was the perfect time. I loved the excitement of the city.”</p> <p>She continued to love it over the following decades as she moved through jobs including coffee-roaster and bookseller before finding her calling in book publishing and then magazines. In 2002 MacCallum and her then partner had a daughter, Amelia. They wanted to make sure that despite being a city kid Amelia had plenty of natural encounters so they sought out places to climb trees, watch lizards and spot turtles. But one day MacCallum realised her little girl was more at ease with busy streets than bushland. “When she was about seven, we were visiting a friend whose place had a beautiful lawn. Amelia called out to me from the verandah and said, ‘I can’t go into the wild!’ We decided we had to let her experience a wider world and two months later we were in a campervan heading off around Australia.”</p> <p>MacCallum admits she felt daunted. “I thought we’d need to know things like how to whittle your own clutch plate. I didn’t know how much it would all cost or what we’d do about money. But I thought the worst thing that would happen is we’d have an adventure and a holiday. I figured if we only make it two weeks in, so be it.” As it happened, the van they’d bought broke down just 90 minutes into the trip. But after repairs they set off again and travelled the country for six months, during which Amelia became an avid adventurer adept at digging fire pits. They returned to the city purely because the money had run out. “That trip helped me understand that success doesn’t have to be assured,” MacCallum says. “I realised that you can start something and just work it out as you go along.”</p> <p><strong>Four years later she and her current partner Ian Connellan </strong>were on a brief holiday in Tasmania, enjoying the chance to get up close to wildlife including “the fluffiest wombats in the world”, when they ran into some friends-of-friends, soon to move interstate, who asked them to dinner. The next day, recalls MacCallum, “They said, ‘We think you should buy our house.’” With no intention of uprooting their lives she and Connellan thought this was “entirely ridiculous”, yet they got so excited talking about the possibilities such a move might present they missed their plane home. “We stayed at a hotel that night, woke up the next morning and said, ‘Let’s give it a go.’”</p> <p>They resigned their publishing jobs and in January 2013 moved to Hobart to start not just a new life but a new business. Individually and together, both are intrepid, independent travellers who had spent time with scientists and conservationists working in various remote spots around the world, including Papua New Guinea and the Galapagos Islands. They wondered if they could make a living supporting such work by helping others to experience those unique places for themselves. The two decided to set up a company that specialised in organising trips to places where important scientific and environmental research was taking place.</p> <p>Naming the new company Curious Traveller, they began taking paying customers to remote locations including Western Australia’s Kimberley region and islands off South America. “For us the travel business comes out of a love of science,” MacCallum explains. “It works brilliantly. Scientists get helpers and funding. Guests get to see what scientists do and how the world is changing because of it. They leave excited and inspired, having had an awesome experience in a place they otherwise might never have seen.”</p> <p>Two-and-a-half years in, the pair still have to supplement their incomes with some freelance writing and editing, but the business is growing and within five years they hope to be helping fund half a dozen research projects. It’s a big task. “Some days we think it would be great to turn off and have making it all work become someone else’s problem,” MacCallum says, “but when we see the wonder on the face of a person who is experiencing somewhere like the Galapagos for the first time we know we’re living a fabulous, lucky life.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.3411078717201px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844052/follow-yr-dream-2-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5f0c645b37b24c14b8304fa17e82ae63" /></p> <p><strong>The Expert View</strong></p> <p>The type of business MacCallum started, which aims to do good as well as provide a living, is known as social enterprise. Celia Hodson is CEO of an institution specially created to give such people the business savvy they’ll need to survive – the School for Social Entrepreneurs.</p> <p>The desire to create a business with broader aims than just making money is gaining ground. “When we used to put a call-out for people who thought they had an amazing social enterprise idea we’d have maybe 20 applying.” says Hodson. “Now we get 120.” Some leap straight in, but most make the transition while establishing the business: “Typically they taper off their paid employment as their idea starts to gather speed.”</p> <p>The rewards are great, but it’s important to be realistic. “We sometimes ask people who come to us, ‘Where in your cash-flow is your salary?’ They’ll say, ‘Oh I don’t need money.’ Yes, social impact is what it’s about but to make it sustainable you need to ask yourself, ‘Is it going to pay me a salary?’ And you need to think about how to measure the difference you’re hoping to make.”</p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/inspirational/Never-Too-Late-To-Be-Bold">Reader’s Digest</a></em></p>

Domestic Travel

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It’s Never Too Late: How I Ran Away With The Circus

<p>Volunteering his expertise to help isolated students led a delighted John Smyth into the lion’s den.</p> <p>As a kid in the bush, John Smyth didn’t have much chance to see the circus in person, but he had a treasured picture book about life under the Big Top. More than 60 years later, Smyth got to become part of the Stardust Circus world, not as a tumbler or lion tamer – but as a teacher.</p> <p>Back in 1999, the career high-school teacher decided it was time to retire and, together with his wife Helen, embark on an epic journey around Australia. They covered 33,000km in six months. When they returned, Smyth found he missed the classroom, so came out of retirement to spend ­another eight years doing casual teaching – but, eventually, his wanderlust returned and he and Helen headed back on the road.</p> <p>Today, the 75-year-old physics and mathematics teacher slots in time with his grandkids around a packed diary as a volunteer teacher to school students who live in remote locations, under a scheme known as Volunteers for Isolated Students’ Education (VISE).</p> <p>VISE pairs up energetic people with educational experience – usually retired teachers, such as John – with children whose schooling is largely done remotely, because they live too far away from towns and cities to attend regular school. With their classes conducted via satellite hook-ups, Skype or whatever other methods are available, the children have virtual contact with a paid teacher for several hours a day. The rest of the time they are given assignments to complete. VISE volunteers go and stay with these remote families for six weeks at a time to provide encouragement and practical help to the students.</p> <p>John grew up in the country and was immediately intrigued when he heard about the scheme. Helen was just as keen. “We love the bush,” he says. While the teacher’s partner isn’t required to contribute, they often help around the home, in the garden or around the property. Since volunteers typically stay for the full six weeks, it’s important for couples to agree on the locations they apply for.</p> <p>“We’d decided we wouldn’t take a placement where we lived in the house with the family,” John says. “We opted for ones where we could take our own caravan or we’d have a ‘donga’ hut or a cottage, so that we had somewhere we could get away.”</p> <p>After eight VISE postings, and encountering some challenging families and students, John is still keen to do more. “Occasionally I have had to take a stand and say, ‘If you want my help, here I am, otherwise I’ll pack up and go home – I’m too busy to be sitting around here if we’re not going to work.’ But it’s always turned out really well.” He remains in fond contact with a number of his former students.</p> <p>He’s racked up stints in some of Australia’s most remote locations, including a 38,000-ha sheep property where they had to meet the mail plane to get school materials, and an 80,000-ha National Park that was 500km from the nearest supermarket. Then John nabbed one of the most sought-after placements in the scheme: a travelling post with Stardust Circus. “It was just wonderful,” he says of the weeks he and Helen spent on the road last year, working with the children in a specially equipped mobile schoolroom.</p> <p>The lesson timetable was built around the kids’ performance schedules. “The eight-year-old I tutored was a fabulous gymnast who was part of the teeterboard act,” he explains. “A big bloke would jump on the other side, he would swing up in the air, do a couple of twirls and land on his uncle’s shoulders … and his uncle was standing on the boy’s father’s shoulders!”</p> <p>The circus still includes some animal acts, including lions, monkeys, horses, goats and pigs. John and Helen found it extraordinary enough to drift off to sleep to the sound of lions roaring, but then one day the lion-tamer, Matt, accorded them a very special privilege, inviting them in to meet four 13-month-old cubs in person.</p> <p>While it was understandably a little scary at first going into their enclosure, John says it was “an absolutely fantastic, never to be forgotten experience” which just goes to show it really is never too late: “In my 75th year I finally got to realise my boyhood dream of running away with the circus!”</p> <p><strong>If You’re Tempted</strong></p> <p>National Seniors Australia chief executive Michael O’Neill says John’s approach is increasingly common. “We’re seeing more and more people moving from full-time work into other areas of activity that are not traditionally associated with retirement or the later years of life.”</p> <p>In fact, he says, ‘retirement’ is “almost a dirty word now. People want to enter into new experiences, using previous life knowledge, rather than sitting back and ‘retiring’ as we came to know it in previous generations.”</p> <p>As in John’s case, many are keen to continue giving back to society, but O’Neill says the way we do this has also changed.</p> <p>“Many will now say, ‘I’m happy to volunteer and give my time for this particular cause, but let me be clear: I want to contribute my knowledge and skills to your organisation. Don’t think I’m going to be down the back making cups of tea.’?”</p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/inspirational/never-too-late-to-run-away-with-the-circus"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Swimming With Whale Sharks

<p><strong>Snorkelling in the Indian Ocean</strong> just off Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia means blue infinity in every direction – but what’s that eerie pale oval approaching under the surface? Widening and narrowing and growing larger by the second, it resolves into the enormous gulping mouth of a whale shark. Stand by – or rather, swim by – for one of Australia’s grandest marine spectacles.</p> <p>Unsurpassed globally for regular, reliable and accessible whale shark encounters, World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef runs 260 km along Western Australia’s remote North West Cape, about 1300 km north of Perth. Every year – from April to July – these normally elusive filter-feeders arrive for an annual mass-spawning of coral, which, aided by fortuitous currents, turns the outer reef into a nutrient-rich soup of plankton and krill. A relatively recent addition to this prehistoric dinner engagement are gatecrashing, snorkelling <em>Homo sapiens</em>, drawn to feed their sense of wonder on sharing salt water with the largest of all shark species.</p> <p>The adventure begins on very dry land. Although flanked by vast tracts of water – Exmouth Gulf on one side, the Indian Ocean the other – North West Cape is an arid, baked wilderness bisected by the rocky heights of Cape Range, an extinct limestone reef from the region’s deeper past. Anchored off a lonely desert boat ramp 38 km from Exmouth township, the 17 m <em>Draw Card</em> is amid a tiny gaggle of whale-shark boats (there are eight Exmouth-based tour operators) ferrying their patrons aboard by inflatable Zodiac.</p> <p>First on the agenda is a morning snorkel on the reef, a handy acclimatisation and a superb experience in itself. Amid a kaleidoscope of colourful sea life, the crew’s two whale-shark ‘spotters’ – Ellece Nicholls and Emma Goodfellow – and videographer Meg Green, free-dive with mermaid-like agility, pointing out creatures of interest. Usual Ningaloo suspects include parrotfish in all hues of green and blue, frilly orange lionfish, giant clams, tawny nurse and leopard sharks, whitetip and blacktip reef sharks, barracuda and bull rays. The easily found sailfin catfish (small, black and fantailed) is one of 50 endemic species.</p> <p>The <em>Draw Card</em> cruises south through shallow turquoise waters, heading for one of only three navigable passages to the open ocean – soon revealed by a gap in the white line of offshore surf. The shark-spotting plane radios success and the deck ripples with excitement. As we power into position several kilometres out to sea, the 19 tourists aboard are divided into two snorkel groups and re-briefed on protocols – no touching, no duck-diving, keep 3 m clear of any whale shark (and 4 m from the tail).</p> <p>Whale-shark watching works for one simple reason. “They’re sun worshippers,” spotter and marine biologist Ellece Nicholls says. On clear days plankton rises to the light, attracting whale sharks to the surface where they linger to hoover up the bounty. The biggest enemy is heavy cloud cover, rarely a problem at Ningaloo.</p> <p>Think of it as a game of marine leap-frog. The boat stops ahead of a shark and the first snorkellers tag along as it passes, with the Zodiac deployed to aid any stragglers. Group two drops in further along the shark’s probable path. After the whale shark leaves its first escorts, the boat collects them and moves ahead of group two (now in shark conference) to repeat the process.</p> <p>Group one don fins and stride off the duckboard, looking for the spotter’s hand signal. Ellece points and faces go under – nothing. Then a casual over-shoulder, underwater glance reveals a blue-grey speckled bulk the size of a van. Veering before reaching us, the silent giant had almost slipped by unobserved behind our backs.</p> <p><strong>Gentle titans</strong></p> <p>Wondrous as it is, there’s no time to stop and wonder. Admiring a whale shark is not a passive activity. It’s time to snorkel as fast as humanly possible, which inevitably falls short of any whale shark in middle gear. But following its wake is unforgettable. The towering column of tail sweeps with effortless power, slowly shrinking and dissolving a gentle titan into the deep blue curtain of ocean ahead.</p> <p>Minutes later, adrift in the open sea, we regroup for pick-up. Ellece says we saw a juvenile male, “only” 4 m long but with a barrel-like girth. While 12-m whale sharks have been seen here, the typical Ningaloo visitor is a 4-7 m male.</p> <p>Far sooner than expected, we’re ready for another dip into his world. “This is what we call a blind drop,” Ellece says, meaning no-one knows exactly where the shark is. But in we go and there he is. Afterwards comes an unexpected bonus, a hefty green turtle flapping through the blue nearby, a marine bumblebee in flight.</p> <p>Leaving our teenage shark to another nearby boat – the industry here is amiably co-operative – we shift closer to the reef wall for whale shark number two. Here the seabed is dimly visible, with shadowy coral clusters far below, the length of a tall building away. Festooned with remoras and trailed by a retinue of golden trevallies, this slightly larger shark gives a clear view of its white-spotted, ridged back, the starlike pattern imitating sunlight dappling the surface.</p> <p>The day’s final shark is further out. Over the abyss again, a diffuse star of light beams from below, but it’s only a trick of the sun. Our largest (5 m-plus) specimen’s head-on approach is signalled by the flattened white oval of Exmouth’s biggest mouth. Dipping gently up and down, feeding at a leisurely cruising pace, it scoops invisible fare with every rise. From the corner of the sack-like maw, a much smaller eye watches its watchers keeping pace for those few precious minutes. Afterwards on deck, we’re treated to a topside view when it skirts the boat ahead of group two, its broad head emerging from the deep like a submarine milky way.</p> <p>Five swims with three individuals filled an hour of shark time (the maximum allowed). The exhilaration of eye contact with our planet’s biggest fish lingers throughout lunch and the post-shark reef snorkel. The lasting impression is one of great peace and beauty, the awe of approaching creation writ truly large.</p> <p><strong>Endangered species</strong></p> <p>Plenty of mystery accompanies this majesty. While Exmouth is a leading centre for tagging and research, the whale shark life-cycle remains largely unknown – and if they really do migrate north from Ningaloo to breed in Asian waters, as some experts contend, why do so many travel south along the reef? South is definitely the safer option for them right now, given their popularity as a soup garnish in several Asian countries – a single whale shark can fetch thousands of dollars for its fins. In March 2016 the species’ Red List conservation status was altered from vulnerable to endangered (a ‘very high’ risk of extinction). The example of Exmouth, however, gives hope that countries still slaughtering whale sharks will be inspired by the economics of ecotourism – and the sheer wonder of the creature itself – to spare the world’s biggest fish.</p> <p><strong><em>For more info go to </em></strong><a href="https://www.whalesharkdive.com/"><strong><em>www.whalesharkdive.com</em></strong></a><strong><em> or </em></strong><a href="http://www.visitningaloo.com.au"><strong><em>www.visitningaloo.com.au</em></strong></a></p> <p><em>By David Levell</em></p> <p><em>Image: Reader’s Digest</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on </em><a href="mailto:https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/activities/swimming-whale-sharks"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Travel the smart way with MediclAlert

<p>As many older Australians and New Zealanders are fulfilling their desire to travel overseas or cross country, there are greater risks for those with medical conditions if they’re not properly prepared.</p> <p>Visiting loved ones over the holiday season can take some planning, especially if you need to travel. Whether you’re travelling to see friends abroad, going on a beach holiday or staying with family during the festivities, being smart about how you travel will save you a headache in the long run.</p> <p>Regardless if you’re setting off halfway across the world or meeting a friend for coffee around the corner, those with medical conditions can find it hard to step out of their comfort zone when it comes to travel.</p> <p>As many older Australians are fulfilling their desire to travel overseas or cross country, there are greater risks for those with medical conditions if they’re not properly prepared. Having the essentials when travelling, such as your <a href="https://www.medicalert.org.au/?utm_source=readers-digest&amp;utm_medium=MREC&amp;utm_campaign=readers-digest-2019">MedicAlert</a> ID can help if this go wrong, no matter where you in the world.</p> <p><strong>Check off your necessities</strong></p> <p>Travel insurance can offer peace of mind for those who are going on trips as it covers lost baggage, cancelled flights and hospital fees. However, while insuring your possessions is important, it’s your health and wellbeing that should be at the top of your priority list.</p> <p>You may create a travel checklist, with your clothing, shoes, toiletries and documents, but without accounting for your MedicAlert ID – health and safety may be left up to chance. It’s impossible to carry a briefcase with any medical or health history around with you on holiday, or even just the names and dosages of your medications may be difficult to remember if there are more than one. During the rush of an emergency or if a health issue occurs – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to let doctors or nurses know all of your conditions, medications and allergies, especially if you’re in pain.</p> <p>Whether you’re in a country with language barriers or you’re unable to speak, health professionals or medical personnel can quickly and safely determine your needs; with training in searching for body-worn medical identification during an emergency, your information is readily available to them during moments of chaos.</p> <p><strong><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.3953488372093px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843887/medicalalert-2-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/51aa7a20d8c44905818e0da2b0af4353" /></strong></p> <p><strong>Make memories without worrying</strong></p> <p>With MedicAlert’s ID being recognised globally you can rest assured that no matter where you travel, your family or loved ones are looked after. When severe allergies come into the mix, it seems easier to avoid places where miscommunication is likely to occur, but with our 24/7 emergency response service and the ability to easily access health records on the go from medical professionals, you can have peace of mind that you’re safe anywhere around the world.</p> <p>Your schedule may be full of high-energy activities and jam-packed with adventures, and while it’s a blast planning your trip, the thought of accidents happening naturally comes to mind. With your updated medications, implants and allergies in one place, your mind is at ease if anything were to happen. Protecting members in Australia for almost 50 years, MedicAlert is your safety net when travelling; spend less time worrying about emergencies and more time dreaming about relaxing on your holiday.</p> <p>If you have suffered from an injury or medical implication, you shouldn’t let fear stop you from going to the places you love. Just like 80-year-old MedicAlert member Lois Job, who recently put her ID bracelet to the test when she fainted after lunch with her husband and daughter at a local café. Lois is just one example of a member who hasn’t let previous health incidents stop her from socialising.</p> <p>Not letting fear rule her life, Lois says “if anything goes wrong anywhere, they’ve [MedicAlert] got my back. I love going out with my friends and family, and I don’t want to have to give that up because I’m scared.” Lois explains that a lot could have gone wrong during her incident as she is a Type 2 Diabetic, has suffered a pulmonary embolism and has allergies to a number of drugs, as well as complications relating to number of her medications.</p> <p>As a member at MedicAlert – a not for profit organisation – for 21 years, Lois reiterates “this tiny little thing around my wrist gives me the extra strength and reassurance to keep doing what I love. I’ve been telling every man and his dog to join MedicAlert, and finally I could tell them exactly why.”</p> <p><strong>Adapting to the travel bug</strong></p> <p>While you are enjoying the holidays with family and friends, your health or medical conditions don’t take a break because you are. Travelling over the busy summer period can take a toll on your health while changes in weather, time zones, new cuisines or a sudden decrease in your medication could result in an incident.</p> <p>Whether you’re susceptible to driver fatigue, increase your levels of exercise, changes in diet or exposure to new insects, emergencies happen when you least expect. In this instance, medical personnel will immediately check for your medical conditions and access more detailed information by calling the 24-hour emergency number engraved on your MedicAlert ID.</p> <p>No matter what time of year you are planning on travelling, being smart about travel means taking precautions such as having enough medication to last you the trip and updating your details online. While healthcare providers will assist you in emergencies taking care of yourself is still your responsibility when travelling.</p> <p>It’s easy to jam-pack your trip with activities while in the planning stage, but in reality, you should know your physical limitations. Going over the top with back-to-back flights, activities, day trips and sightseeing can stop you from truly enjoying your time away. Travelling takes a lot of energy out of even the fittest people; knowing how you cope with drastic changes and increased movement will allow you time to breathe and soak it all in.</p> <p><strong>Final thoughts</strong></p> <p>If you’re spending the holidays abroad or close to home, having your custom engraved MedicAlert ID will offer peace of mind as health professionals or medical personnel can access your secure electronic health record during the moments that matter the most. MedicAlert wishes you and your family a healthy, safe and joyful festive season.</p> <p><a href="https://www.medicalert.org.au/?utm_source=readers-digest&amp;utm_medium=MREC&amp;utm_campaign=readers-digest-2019">This is sponsored content brought to you in conjunction with MedicAlert.</a></p> <p><em>Images: Reader’s Digest</em></p> <p><em>This </em><em>article originally appeared on <a href="mailto:https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/travel-the-smart-way-with-medicalert">Reader’s Digest</a> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Domestic Travel

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From the Red Centre to the green tropics, Australia’s Outback presents a palette like no other

<p><strong>By Reader's Digest, in partnership with APT</strong></p> <p>From the sunburnt sands and ochre-hued escarpments of its Red Centre to the lush green rainforests of Tropical North Queensland, Australia’s Outback packs a punch when it comes to the kaleidoscope of colours on show. <a href="https://www.aptouring.com.au/?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_medium=advertorial&amp;utm_content=20200302_outback2020_readersdigest_native&amp;utm_campaign=outback2020">APT</a> has been operating tours in the Outback for more than 50 years, and are experts in tailoring holidays to showcase the best of each magical region.</p> <p><strong>A world of rainforest and reef</strong></p> <p>In Cape Tribulation, rainforest-clad mountains tumble down to meet the coastline, where pure white sands and turquoise waters dazzle. This is the only place on Earth where two World Heritage-listed sites meet – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. The Daintree is the oldest tropical lowland forest in the world and is home to thousands of species of birds, animals and reptiles. Here, giant fan palms, emerald green vines and ancient ferns tangle together, forming a dense rainforest that makes you feel as though you are stepping into Jurassic Park.</p> <p><em style="font-weight: inherit;">On tour</em></p> <p>APT offers an 11-day 4WD adventure through Cooktown &amp; Cape York. Arrive in Cairns and transfer to Port Douglas, where you’ll spend a night at the luxurious Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort. Travel to Mossman Gorge in Daintree National Park and set off on a Dreamtime Gorge Walk. Explore Cape Tribulation and Cooktown then visit Split Rock, an intriguing Indigenous rock art site. Take a helicopter flight into the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve before continuing north to the tip of Cape York. Here, set out on a walk to the tip of the peninsula and enjoy a helicopter flight for an aerial perspective on this incredible landscape.</p> <p><strong style="font-style: inherit;">Be moved by the outback’s heart</strong></p> <p>As the light shifts and changes throughout the day, so does the landscape at Uluru – the Outback’s spiritual heart. At sunrise, feel an overwhelming sense of calm as you watch this mighty monolith come to life against a pastel-coloured sky. In the afternoon, Uluru appears as an ochre-brown hue, scored with dark shadows. As the sun begins to set, it bathes the rock in burnt orange, then a series of deeper and darker reds, before it finally fades into charcoal as night falls. Spend a night at the Field of Light and savour dinner under the stars, accompanied by the soothing sounds of the didgeridoo. With Uluru in the background, watch in awe as 50,000 soft lights cover the desert floor behind you.</p> <p><em style="font-weight: inherit;">On tour</em></p> <p>On APT’s 11-day Central to South Explorer tour, start your journey in Uluru, where you’ll embark on a base tour at sunrise and experience a night at the Field of Light. Learn about the history of opal mining in Coober Pedy then travel along the iconic Oodnadatta Track to WIlliam Creek. Take an included scenic flight over spectacular Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre before journeying to Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. While here, spend two nights at the Ikara Safari Camp – the perfect base for exploring Wilpena Pound National Park. A winery lunch in Adelaide’s Clare Valley is the perfect ending to your journey.</p> <p><strong style="font-style: inherit;">Getting your fill of Lake Eyre</strong></p> <p>Few sights in Australia stir the soul more than that of the normally dry Lake Eyre filling with water and suddenly teeming with life. The lake, properly known as Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, relies on monumental rains in Queensland and the Northern Territory for water to begin to flow into it. Last year saw the lake reach levels unseen for almost half a century, and it is hoped that 2020’s northern monsoon season will see the region once again alive with fish surging through the rivers that feed Lake Eyre, and its surface thronged with an array of birdlife including hundreds of thousands of pelicans. In a land battling drought and bushfires, the vision of water shimmering on the surface of the lake is life affirming. And it is something to be treasured and celebrated, so take this rare chance to go with the flow.</p> <p><strong><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.413612565445px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843791/red-centre-2-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5655363ea89d4bf1b0684a7bf50cfbba" /></strong></p> <p><strong>Paradise found amid corals and blooms</strong></p> <p>Stretching over 1,100 kilometres of seemingly untouched coastline, Western Australia’s Coral Coast is a marine paradise like no other. Here, waves lap lazily on pristine white-sand beaches and turtles sweep through sheltered turquoise bays.</p> <p>The crystal-clear waters of Ningaloo Marine Park harbour the world’s largest fringing reef. Beneath the surface, you’ll find dolphins, dugongs, manta rays, and more than 500 species of fish. There’s more to discover on land, where colourful blankets of native wildflowers burst into bloom between August and September along the spectacular Wildflower Way. For a whole new perspective on the region, take to the skies on a helicopter flight over the Dampier Archipelago. The staggering contrast between brilliant white beaches, aquamarine waters, and the rugged red Pilbara landscape is a breathtaking sight – one that can only be experienced from the air.</p> <p><em style="font-weight: inherit;">On tour</em></p> <p>Board the MS Caledonian Sky in Broome and navigate the remote islands of Western Australia’s Coral Coast on a 15-day small ship expedition cruise and 4WD adventure. Discover life below the surface while snorkelling the clear waters of this marine paradise. Disembark in Geraldton and continue the adventure as you explore Kalbarri National Park and the eerie limestone Pinnacles. To finish up your journey, there’s a stay in a luxury eco-tent on the beautiful Rottnest Island.</p> <p style="font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit;"><em style="font-weight: inherit;">This </em><em>article originally appeared on <a href="mailto:https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/from-the-red-centre-to-the-green-tropics-australias-outback-presents-a-palette-like-no-other">Reader's Digest.</a></em></p> <p><em>Photos: Reader’s Digest</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Five reasons why train travel is a winner

<p>Many of us love travelling by train. Maybe we did a lot of it when we were a child or perhaps it was simply the best mode of transport for the area we lived in.</p> <p>Planes have taken over quite a bit when it comes to travelling but once you've tried train travel and experienced how much fun it is, it's hard to feel quite the same about plane travel.</p> <p>Sure, if you prefer travelling by plane, it’s usually because of the convenience and the speed at which you can get to places.</p> <p>But beyond getting somewhere far or fast, we usually find it hard to come up with things we like about airline travel. But when it comes to travelling by train – there is so much to like.</p> <p>So here are our top five reasons train travel is a winner.</p> <p><strong>Ease of departure</strong></p> <p>It can take a long time to get to and from an airport and then through all the security mazes, domestic airline travel can take longer than you think.</p> <p>But with train travel there are no long lines, no X-ray machines, no removing shoes, belts, electronic devices etc. Want to bring your own drinks on the train? Or little bottles of liquids in various sizes? Go ahead!</p> <p><strong>Space and comfort</strong></p> <p>There’s a lot more space and comfort in a train. Seated on a train, most of us can fully extend our legs without touching the seat in front!</p> <p>You’re able to have your carry-on bag with all your knick knacks right next to you on the floor, not stuck up in an overhead compartment which is hard to get to.</p> <p>So, whatever you need, you can access it. Snacks, games, books - whatever you need – it’s easily accessible.</p> <p><strong>The scenery</strong></p> <p>Many train trips feature spectacular scenery and if you want to really immerse yourself in a country and get a feel for it, travelling by train through the country is one of the best ways.</p> <p>There are many famous train trips including: the Transiberian train trip through Russian; the Ghan in Australia; the Orient Express in Europe; Switzerland's Glacier Express; Japan's bullet trains; India's Palace on Wheels; the Garden Route through South Africa; through the Rockies in Canada; and past Machu Picchu in Peru.</p> <p><strong>Freedom of movement</strong></p> <p>It’s feels far less restrained travelling on a train so it makes for a more comfortable trip. If you happen to be travelling with family or grandchildren, they’ll be much more comfortable as well.</p> <p>Because there’s so much more space it all ends up being good for your physical and mental health. You can get up and stretch while traveling and train travel makes that so much easier.</p> <p>You can go for a stroll down to the snack car, or to the observation car, and then back to your seat. It’s far easier to point out interesting sights along the way, as no-one’s being distracted by driving or being quiet on a plane.</p> <p>A train ride is a more out-of-the-ordinary experience. It’s definitely a case where the journey can be just as interesting as the destination!</p> <p><strong>The cameraderie</strong></p> <p>Train travel is just friendlier than travel by plane. And more relaxed. People tend to chat and converse with each other more.</p> <p>Because a train trip is usually longer than many other kinds of trips, you can settle in and talk for a long time with fellow passengers. You can walk up to the restaurant car and have a meal together and take in the scenery while you continue talking.</p> <p>These are the reasons train travel is often a winner in any seasoned traveller’s books.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty Images</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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The real reason we have to use flight mode on a plane

<p>With flying for vaccinated passengers looking like it will happen soon, we could be back on a plane some time soon and putting our phone on flight mode is always one of the things we have to do when we get in our seat.</p> <p>Most of us think if we don’t do this as soon as possible, there could be a major problem somehow but we don’t really know why we have to do it. Sometimes we think - does it even matter?</p> <p>But now, thanks to TikTok, we finally have the answers from a flight attendant called Cierra Mistt who’s shared the real reason we must put our phone on flight mode.</p> <p>Already her TikTok video has gathered more than 1.7 million views.</p> <p>As Mistt says in her video: “There are approximately 45,000 flights that happen every single day, with about 2.9 million passengers on board,” she explains in the video.</p> <p>“And how does all this flying happen successfully? Believe it or not, pilots actually aren’t in charge of flying.”</p> <p>Mistt explains that although the pilot is operating the plane, it’s the communication between the ground and the pilot which is even more critical.</p> <p>“From the moment the boarding door closes to the moment we’re landing, the pilots are following specific instructions given to them by a group of people on the ground called Air Traffic Control,” she says.</p> <p>“In order for the pilot to be able to communicate with air traffic control, they use frequencies. Yep, just like the frequencies we use to send messages, stream video and insta-stalk our fave influencers on our phones,” she adds.</p> <p>Cierra goes on to explain that sometimes these frequencies collide, causing a complete loss of signal.</p> <p>“Picture how bad it would be for a pilot, who is taking directions from ATC on the ground to all of a sudden lose signal and [need to] start flying blindly. All because the frequency of a passenger’s phone has intercepted it.”</p> <p><strong>Many commented, thanking her for the explanation</strong></p> <p>Mistt received a lot of comments and thanks for the fact that she finally explained the full reason behind the need to use flight mode.</p> <p>As well, there were one or two sceptics and clarifications from experts in the field, particularly around the terminology used in the video.</p> <p>One electrical engineer said the real reason for flight mode was “unintended radio waves emitted by phones and other devices” or “intended radio waves being inadvertently picked up by the pilot’s equipment”.</p> <p>He added that nowadays, “our devices don’t emit or accept unintended waves as much” and questioned whether flight mode was still “absolutely necessary”, but added: “Out of caution, do it.”</p> <p>So, after watching this video, it’s great that we know more about why we need to use flight mode – and given it’s such a small, simple thing to do, it hardly seems like a big thing to ask of passengers.</p> <p><em>Photo: Shutterstock</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Hidden Aussie beach cracks the top 10 in the world

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Sydney-based content creator has gone viral for his footage from beaches that are very definitely off-the-beaten track.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Adam Rikys shares clips on </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@adamrikys/video/6985683756568808706?lang=en&amp;is_copy_url=1&amp;is_from_webapp=v1" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tiktok</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> where he drops a pin on a new location in Australia using Google maps, then zooms in with stunning images of the beach, proving we’re a country full of hidden beachy treasures.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In one of his latest videos, the creator chooses Turquoise Bay in Western Australia.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Found in Cape Range National Park near Exmouth, Turquoise Bay was ranked as the sixth best beach in the world in Trip Advisor’s 2021 Travellers’ Choice Awards earlier this year.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CLqMB0vJg2E/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CLqMB0vJg2E/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Perth is OK! (@perthisok)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With its crystal clear waters and white sand, it’s easy to see why it scored a top spot.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, the area is prone to strong currents, with inexperienced swimmers advised to take caution.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Venture Wanderer / Instagram, Hike Australia / Instagram</span></em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Aussie beach nabs #2 spot in world ranking

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The world’s top-50 beaches for 2021 have been announced, with an Australian beach taking the runner-up spot.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In their annual </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://bigseventravel.com/the-50-best-beaches-in-the-world/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">‘Best Beaches in the World’ list</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, global travel authority Big 7 Travel included Queensland’s Whitehaven Beach in their scoring of stunning beaches from around the world.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When citing why they decided on Whitehaven as the second-best, the judges cited the famed beach’s soft sand and named it “among the purest in the world”.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CRS0mbBja_e/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CRS0mbBja_e/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Whitehaven Beach Day tour (@whitehavenxpress)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Found on the Whitsunday Islands, the beach boasts 7km of white silica sand and is “one of the world’s most unspoiled and beautiful beaches”, according to Big 7 Travel.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Because of the silica, the sand doesn’t retain heat, so it’s a fantastic place to walk on barefoot, even on a hot day.”</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CNQVw1RspWZ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CNQVw1RspWZ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Norge 🇳🇴 Norway (@nortrip)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The top spot was taken out by Vaeroy beach in Norway, which offers amazing coastline views from its clifftops and surprisingly warm waters.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: The Whitsundays Queensland / Instagram</span></em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Be amazed by Queensland’s new 65-million-year old attraction

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Talaroo Hot Springs, Queensland’s latest attraction, has officially opened to the public.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 65-million-year old hot springs are found in the heart of Queensland’s outback brimming with soaking pools that reach a surface temperature of up to 68C.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The destination also features a new campground, caravan park, and elevated walking tracks for visitors to explore.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The site also offers 40-minute sessions in private soaking pools, which are the ideal size for couples.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The region has been managed by Ewamian rangers, the Traditional Owners of the land, and is considered an Indigenous Protected Area and Nature Refuge.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rangers also encourage visitors to learn about the secrets and history of the land.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Every part of our country tells a piece of our story,” said Ewamian Elder and Talaroo cultural advisor Jimmy “JR” Richards. “From the plants we’ve used for thousands of years to the history and culture of our people and to the future we’re building right here. It’s an incredible evolving journey that mirrors the constantly changing Springs at the heart of our land.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Travellers can book campsites and activities on Talaroo’s </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.talaroo.com.au/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">new website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Talaroo Hot Springs / Instagram</span></em></p>

Domestic Travel

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The golf widow

<div><em>Homestead Bay on Lake Wakatipu.</em></div> <p>I’ve never understood my husband’s obsession with golf. Hitting a little white ball around acres of perfectly-manicured grass on gently undulating terrain is not my definition of exhilarating exercise . . . but he loves it despite the frustrations that seem to accompany the game.<br />So while Chris and his mate chased little white balls around the immaculate golf course at Jack’s Point near Queenstown, I set off to explore far more rugged terrain on my ebike, totally happy to be a golf widow for a day. I had scintillating companions — the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu — which dominate the landscape.<br /><br />I’ve always felt a strong affinity for the Remarkables dating back to my childhood days when we spent holidays at our little crib in Arrowtown. I regarded the sawtooth pinnacles of the Remarkables as mystical, my ‘maunga tapu’ (sacred mountain).They are especially dazzling in winter when white snow accentuates the jagged jet black rocks near the summit.<br /><br />One summer, as a dewy-eyed teenager, I climbed the mountain with a friend and camped up there for the night. The mist came swirling in with cold, damp fingers at about 3am which was eerie and far from romantic — but the sunrise was magical.<br /><br />The mountains towered over me as I skirted the golf course and cycled along a stunning lakeside track with Wakatipu sparkling in the sunshine. The weather was glorious and I had the day to myself so I meandered along any track that caught my eye. With a 100-kilometre battery range, I knew I would not run out of power on my Wisper Wayfarer. I cycled through the multi-million dollar property development at the far reaches of Jack’s Point, marvelling at the sprawling mansions under construction and the magnificent views the occupants would enjoy.</p> <p>Late in the day, I discovered Homestead Bay, a perfect spot to park our Maui motorhome overnight. With the snow on the Remarkables turning pink in the sunset and the lapping waters of Lake Wakatipu just a few metres away, it was an idyllic place to stay. The views were even better than the fancy mansions at Jack’s Point.<br /><br />But without knowing for sure whether freedom camping was permitted there, Chris decided it was safer to park in his golf mate’s driveway rather than risk a hefty fine. That’s another great thing about motorhoming. You can invite yourself to stay with friends without imposing on their space. He lives right on the edge of the golf course with a great elevated view of the lake and the mountains.<br /><br />Sticking with the golf theme, next day we cycled around the five-star Millbrook Resort set on 650 acres near Arrowtown. Chris wanted to check out the resort’s world-renowned golf course for future reference while I was keen to see what had become of the rolling farmlands and pretty little stream that I remembered in my youth.<br /><br />I had always known there was once a mill on the site but learning the full story was fascinating. In the 1860s, at the height of the Central Otago gold rush, French brothers John and Peter Butel from Normandy established a 450-acre wheat farm near Arrowtown to feed hungry goldminers. It was known as Mill Farm. The Butel brothers helped create Arrowtown’s first water race which can still be seen around the resort today. Originally built as a service to miners, it became the main water supply for the emerging township. Peter Butel was the first in the district to install electricity, running a generator off the water wheel he used for the mill.</p> <p><img style="width: 300.78125px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839353/5-the-mill-stream-babbles-its-way-through-millbrook-resort.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/08d90a01049942c1aa11ce11c146d776" /><br /><em>The mill stream babbles its way through Millbrook Resort.</em></p> <p>In the early 1900s, Millbrook became a camp for the Wakatipu Mounted Rifles and during WW1 it was converted to a hospital for injured Kiwi soldiers returning from Europe. After World War II the land reverted to farming.<br />Four decades later, the Ishii family came up with a plan to establish a lifestyle and golf resort of international standing on the land, and in 1993 Millbrook Resort opened to the public.<br /><br />In 2014 Millbrook purchased the neighbouring farm and in 2018 work began on a new nine-hole golf course which will see the complex grow from a 27-hole to a 36-hole golf course.<br /><br />Nowadays, Millbrook is a five-star resort with luxurious accommodation, four onsite restaurants, a soon-to-be 36-hole championship golf course, day spa, health and fitness centre and conference venue.<br /><br />While Chris was drooling over the prospect of playing 36 holes of golf, I was more interested in the rustic remains of the old farm machinery, the restored mill wheel and buildings and the stately avenue of trees still standing after 150 years. It’s a peaceful, picturesque place surrounded by spectacular mountains. The old mill stream babbles its way through the property, feeding tranquil lakes and ponds that reflect the beauty of the landscape.</p> <p><em><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839354/1-i-cycled-along-a-stunning-lakeside-track-with-wakatipu-sparkling-in-the-sunshine.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fcc7d5669edc426e8963929017bce464" /><br /><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839354/1-i-cycled-along-a-stunning-lakeside-track-with-wakatipu-sparkling-in-the-sunshine.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fcc7d5669edc426e8963929017bce464" />I cycled along a stunning lakeside track with Wakatipu sparkling in the sunshine. Photos by Justine Tyerman</em></p> <p>We sat in the sunshine and had coffee at the Hole In One Cafe before heading to our next destination. That was the closest Chris got to playing golf that day. Two days of golf widowhood would have been one too many on an ebike holiday.<br /><br /><em>To be continued...</em></p> <div><span>Read <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=2fFzQ1wtyiodwskIBQ4JVvViBc68KsIaXL7JozY1KCD6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2fheading-for-paradise" target="_blank">part 1</a>, <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=BBsJo-eUsUQYSrWM2VT2uxp14hUBYiAkph4kEzYecoD6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2fturning-greener-with-the-years" target="_blank">part 2</a>, <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=iBcmRS80gDFdRO80aBdHytOmh-n8EZJl54oaf9flot36lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2fin-the-company-of-giants" target="_blank">part 3</a>, <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=AdZ5KLNAxMnSOVg9b6YxTitSqNh5QRX_JRdfbp5QSYD6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2fside-tracked-with-justine-tyerman" target="_blank">part 4</a>,  <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=sot8tH660q6Wk4pBtTPTdbhItB3lA7lYLqq94tU-6Uj6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.oversixty.com.au%2ftravel%2finternational-travel%2ffreewheeling-with-justine-tyerman" target="_blank">part 5</a> of Justine’s Central Otago road trip here.</span></div> <div></div> <div><em>Justine Tyerman travelled courtesy of <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=bLkS9zYVJYJv3cQdm0_X1ZQB_1o4x1s2ikYto_9uL2n6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fRRP8C71RRPFmwDJT8y37E%3fdomain%3dmaui-rentals.com" target="_blank">thl</a> in a <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=6W8lckCI1tg0XRjV7mnS7Jf_p7XphCrKPnhc3WsW1cD6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2frbTkC81VVQFjEoKS1P9YD%3fdomain%3dmaui-rentals.com" target="_blank">Maui 4-berth Cascade motorhome,</a> and rode a <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=iwo5gWMw0OwkyXR-zqiLaN1D_KuAQgmwEtBzG_Z0sHj6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fQUVkC91WW0FmDGpT3BLtX%3fdomain%3dwisperbikes.co.nz%2f" target="_blank">Wisper Wayfarer ebike</a> courtesy of <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=o2YxOLzo4dxmUUl80mMJJFkRJoJmjv8dl7kyMtP8lhD6lEC3C7LYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fMa6oC0YKKGC2p1LUWBkIy%3fdomain%3delectricbikes.co.nz%2f" target="_blank">Electric Bikes NZ</a></em></div>

Domestic Travel

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In the company of giants

<p>The remote, beautiful land at the head of Lake Wakatipu richly deserves to be called Paradise but I discovered, with some disappointment, that it is so-named not for the heavenly scenery but for the eponymous duck!</p> <p>Despite its remoteness, the magnetism of Paradise has been a magnet for adventurous travellers since the 1880s when hundreds used to sail up Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown by steamer. Disembarking at Glenorchy, they would travel by dray and coach to Paradise Homestead where owner Granny Aitken used to feed 120 for lunch and host as many as 28 overnight guests.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838796/2-justine-and-her-brand-new-wisper-wayfarer-ebike-en-route-to-the-greenstone-valley.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a814bbc3eee141b49bd22148347db7ed" /><br /><em>Justine and her brand new Wisper Wayfarer ebike en route to the Greenstone Valley. Picture by Justine Tyerman</em></p> <p>The spectacular landscape has also attracted the attention of film-makers from all over the world. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, Mission Impossible, X-men and Vertical Limit were all filmed amid the region’s breath-taking mountains, rivers, lakes and forests.</p> <p>The dramatic terrain was sculpted by glaciers in the last Ice Age. The deeply-weathered silver schist face of Mt Earnslaw, the tallest mountain in the area at 2,830m, dominates the landscape, while wedge-shaped Mt Alfred, 1,365m sits right in the centre of the valley, dividing the Dart and Rees rivers. Surrounding the valley are the magnificent Richardson and Humboldt ranges... and many mountains named after Greek gods.</p> <p>Over the next few days, Chris and I spent much time in the company of these mighty snow-capped giants and became familiar with their many faces – sparkling silver after a frost, rosy pink with the sunrise, glowing gold at sunset or veiled in diaphanous mist just before dawn.</p> <p>We explored the region on our brand new Wisper Wayfarer ebikes courtesy of Electric Bikes NZ. It was such a novelty for me to be able to cycle effortlessly uphill and keep up with my super-fit husband.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 300.78125px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838797/4.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/593e68b9701e45968c792c651b059aae" /><br /><em>Let me in - it's cold out here! Justine is keen to warm up at the end of a long day's cycling. Picture by Chris Tyerman</em></p> <p>We headed for Kinloch and rode along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the Greenstone Valley. Lake Wakatipu is seldom like a mirror but that day, the whole lake was glassy calm.</p> <p>The only traffic we encountered on the back country road was a 4WD vehicle and a young mum out for a walk with her baby and dog.</p> <p>The undulating gravel road took us through beech forests and across clear mountain streams. I was busy congratulating myself for managing to stay dry while fording the streams but the last one was deeper than the rest and I panicked and stopped half way across. Hubby heroically came to the rescue so we both ended up getting wet. Fortunately, it was a mild day and we dried out fast in the sunshine.</p> <p>We also paid a visit to Paradise Trust Lodge to see the rebuild of the property after fire destroyed the historic homestead in 2013, a few months after we had stayed there on our first-ever cycle trip with Matt and Kate Belcher’s Revolution Tours.</p> <p>The lodge has been painstakingly rebuilt retaining three stone chimneys as a memorial to the original homestead.</p> <p>We cycled a loop track through the forest, past rustic cottages with outside baths and saunas to a vantage point high above the Dart River as it carves its way from deep within the Main Divide. Here in Paradise, we were literally in the presence of the gods, surrounded by mountains named Chaos, Poseidon, Nox, Cosmos, Minos, Pluto and Cosmos.</p> <p>Thanks to our zippy Wispers, we covered a huge distance in no time.</p> <p>While in Glenorchy, we were delighted to hear that Ngai Tahu Tourism-operated Dart River Adventures are due to reopen in December so their powerful Hamilton jetboats will once again be thundering up the river and deep into the heart of the Mount Aspiring National Park and the southern reaches of the Main Divide. Encircled by the magnificent mountain peaks of the Southern Alps, gleaming glaciers, frozen waterfalls and hanging valleys, the park’s outstanding natural beauty has earned it UNESCO World Heritage status. It’s an outstanding experience - I’ve done it twice and would do it again in a heartbeat.</p> <p>There’s a lake-edge DoC (Department of Conservation) camping site at Kinloch so we parked our Maui motorhome there for the night, keen to linger in this exquisite, remote and tranquil part of Aotearoa. Nearby Kinloch Lodge serves superb cuisine if you feel like dining out. The historic lodge, a mecca for travellers since 1868, retains its authentic, old-world charm... and it has an outside hot tub. Bliss at the end of a long day cycling.</p> <p><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/heading-for-paradise">Read story #1 here.</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/turning-greener-with-the-years">And story #2 here.</a></p> <p><em>To be continued.</em></p> <p><em>Justine Tyerman travelled courtesy of <span class="gmail-msohyperlink"><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=-xHEHhRYAVw9CNAFNuTivSsD7VqzBFs6UUwpjSJ6L0sHdb_veYfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fCf4DCWLVV3CwNTK6ntP%3fdomain%3dmaui-rentals.com" target="_blank">thl</a></span> in a <span class="gmail-msohyperlink"><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=Rr0taEuzZcVbO2f5WlI1D_SoDcA4oIeWlgg1HMTh9NQHdb_veYfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2f99a6CXLWW8C7kIkVRdv%3fdomain%3dmaui-rentals.com" target="_blank">Maui 4-berth Cascade motorhome,</a></span> and rode a <span class="gmail-msohyperlink"><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=ZLTL3hhOHzowCF2AeJcWywwC2Zc9WNGVxDK1KMtqClkHdb_veYfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fezm9CYW883HojIMAGFW%3fdomain%3dwisperbikes.co.nz%2f" target="_blank">Wisper Wayfarer ebike</a></span> courtesy of </em><span class="gmail-msohyperlink"><span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=2qwV6bEr40LVS92yaaSA_-v9XJCxHJEEtlrbuC_DYGQHdb_veYfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fprotect-au.mimecast.com%2fs%2fWNUBCZY117CnXfPtHR2%3fdomain%3delectricbikes.co.nz%2f" target="_blank"><em>Electric Bikes NZ</em></a></span></span></p>

Domestic Travel

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Now's your chance to own a ghost town in remote WA, deserted 70 years ago

<p><span>Urban explorers and the paranormal curious, listen up — you could soon the be proud owner on an entire abandoned town in remote Western Australia.</span></p> <p><span>The former township of Cossack, on the coast, is now up for sale after laying abandoned for 70 years.</span></p> <p><span>The ghost town, established in 1863, was once a thriving hub for the pearling industry, located on the Butchers Inlet.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>However over time, the population left to be absorbed into larger towns, eventually deserting the area completely.</span></p> <p><span>Today, Cossack's historic buildings all lay abandoned, trapped in an eerie timewarp.</span></p> <p><span>Tourists pass through, using the nearby hiking trails and paying a visit to the beautiful beaches — the town is surrounded by a coastal reserve.</span></p> <p><span>As well as 12 historic buildings and nearby Jarman Island, the town boasts archaeological sites dating back to the 1870s, some of which contain evidence of the impact of European settlement on the Aboriginal communities.</span></p> <p><span>The WA Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage are seeking buyers with proposals that will bring social and economic benefits to the region, so the idyllically-located town may just be a future tourism hotspot.</span><span>While no price tag has been assigned to the town, proposals that prioritise innovative low-impact tourism ventures will be top of the list, with things like eco accommodations, camping, dining venues, museums and galleries that will help support the regeneration of the town among the governement's criteria.</span></p> <p><span>Those keen to place a bid can do so before November 20, at 2pm, with proposals and registrations of interest to go to LJ Hooker Commercial Perth.</span></p> <div class="styles__Wrapper-sc-2o34ro-0 cmwkBV"> <div class="styles__Column-sc-2o34ro-3 jJDKrX"> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Katherine Scott. This article first appeared on <a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/a-wa-ghost-town-deserted-70-years-ago-is-now-on-sale/44e8a83b-18fc-4c23-b84b-cfe9cd84b150">Honey</a>.</em></p> </div> </div>

Domestic Travel

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Inside Chris Hemsworth’s lavish holiday to Lord Howe Island

<p>When it comes to a celebrity visit, you can’t beat Aussie celeb royalty Chris Hemsworth.</p> <p>The Thor actor took a trip to Lord Howe Island with his wife Elsa Pataky and their three children.</p> <p>Joining them was director Taika Waititi as they explored the beautiful island for a week.</p> <p>Hemsworth also brought his brothers Liam and Luke along with him with the entire family being the first to stay in the island’s newly completed luxury accommodation, dubbed the Island Lodge.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGOGPmbJCxm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGOGPmbJCxm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">2020 has been incredibly hard for communities who depend on tourism. Obviously not everyone is able to travel at the moment but once it’s safe to do so let’s support our fellow Aussies by taking a holiday at home in @Australia @visitlordhoweisland is one of the most sustainable destinations in the world with only a few hundred visitors allowed at any one time. This paradise is home to one of the most unique ecosystems in the world, but like many small communities, it relies on tourism. Thanks to @islandhouse.lhi for the hospitality 🤙🙏 @avminaircharter #holidayherethisyear #lordhoweisland</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/chrishemsworth/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Chris Hemsworth</a> (@chrishemsworth) on Oct 11, 2020 at 3:37pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Hemsworth shared photos of the trip to the off-grid destination in support of the local tourism industry, saying “2020 has been incredibly hard for communities who depend on tourism”.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGQ8rHhphz8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGQ8rHhphz8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">“Can we go snorkelling dad?! “Sure can kids” Unfortunately we weren’t near a beach this day but being the dad I am we got geared up and went for a stroll #makingdreamscometrue</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/chrishemsworth/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Chris Hemsworth</a> (@chrishemsworth) on Oct 12, 2020 at 6:14pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Obviously not everyone is able to travel at the moment but once it’s safe to do so let’s support our fellow Aussies by taking a holiday at home,” he wrote on Instagram.</p> <p>But while it seemed to be all fun and games, Hemsworth’s stay was in part under his as the tourism ambassador with Tourism Australia.</p> <p>His stay coincides with the launch of Tourism Australia’s new $7 million ‘Holiday at Home’ campaign, which hopes to claw back at the billions lost in tourism because of COVID-19.</p> <p>Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison said it was “great to see Chris and his family out and about experiencing parts of Australia with our wonderful tourism operators”.</p>

Domestic Travel

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Expert slams Americans by comparing photographs of Australia: “Only Australia crushed COVID-19”

<p>Australian life is slowly returning to normal as Bondi beach reopens and restrictions continue to loosen amid the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>The way the country has handled the severity of COVID-19 and its citizens has become a rarity throughout the world, as Australians look toward a less bleak future.</p> <p>Unfortunately, developed nations including the United States are not able to tell the same story as death told soared past 50,000 within the last week.</p> <p>The death toll from the virus in Australia sits at 84 and new infections have completely slowed down as NSW reported five new cases in one day on Monday.</p> <p>Harvard Professor David Sinclair took to Twitter to blast the state of California and all its citizens by sharing a side-by-side comparison that show both Australia and the U.S at completely odd ends.</p> <p>In the caption above two images of an empty Bondi Beach and an overcrowded Newport Beach in California, he wrote: “California &amp; Australia have similar populations but only Australia crushed #COVID-19. New cases = 1000 vs 9 per day. While the pundits argue about the cause, see if you notice a difference between Newport &amp; Bondi. It’s a clue.”</p> <p>“I miss the days when we were the role model for how to get things done,” he wrote on Twitter.</p> <p>Professor Sinclair also went on to show a timeline of how Australia has combated the virus, closed borders along with the country’s testing measures and strict social distancing rules.</p> <p>California Governor Gavin Newsom criticised locals for flocking to the beach as soon as the warm weather hit over the weekend.</p> <p>He warned their behaviour could mean reverse progress.</p> <p>“We can’t see images like we saw, particularly on Saturday, in Newport Beach and elsewhere,” Mr Newsom said.</p> <p>“The virus doesn’t take the weekend off because it’s a beautiful sunny day around our coasts,” he added.</p> <p>Australian states NSW and Queensland could begin slowly easing back open as soon as next week.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">California &amp; Australia have similar populations but only Australia crushed <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19</a>. New cases = 1000 vs 9 per day. While the pundits argue about the cause, see if you notice a difference between Newport &amp; Bondi. It's a clue. <a href="https://t.co/TNHbFpiqJu">pic.twitter.com/TNHbFpiqJu</a></p> — David Sinclair, PhD (@davidasinclair) <a href="https://twitter.com/davidasinclair/status/1254834144204521472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 27, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>However, QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned “If we do see mass gatherings, I will not hesitate to clamp back down.”</p> <p>Victoria however is not so ready to ease restrictions and Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Tuesday he wants to see at least 100,000 people get tested for coronavirus within the next two weeks before a decision is made on whether they will ease state restrictions.</p> <p>“This is the biggest public health testing program that our state has ever seen and it will give us the data that will underpin the options that we will have in just a couple of weeks’ time,” he said on Monday.</p>

Domestic Travel

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Prince William and Kate’s sweet message to Fire Fight supporters

<div class="body_text "> <p>Prince William surprised fans at Sydney’s ANZ stadium for the Fire Fight Australia concert as he shared a message of support about the devastating bushfires that have ravaged the country.</p> <p>The message was beamed to the tens of thousands inside the stadium as well as countless others watching the live broadcast at home.</p> <p>“Hello, everyone. Catherine and I just wanted to say that we were very shocked and saddened to see the damage and devastation caused by the bushfires recently,” Prince William said.</p> <p>“We know it’s been a terrible time for all of those affected by the bushfires.</p> <p>“We want to commend the bravery and resilience of all Australians involved, particularly the volunteer firefighters who have put their lives on the line to protect lives, livelihoods and wildlife. We think that’s been a fantastic effort all ‘round by everyone down there looking after each other.</p> <p>“We know there’s been lots of incredible acts of generosity as well and communities coming together to support each other.</p> <p>“We wish you all the best for the rebuild and have a good evening.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Thank you Prince William. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FireFightAustralia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FireFightAustralia</a> <a href="https://t.co/uA66Ga4Xor">pic.twitter.com/uA66Ga4Xor</a></p> — Channel 7 (@Channel7) <a href="https://twitter.com/Channel7/status/1228961282251870208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sent their message of support ahead of the pair’s expected tour to bushfire-ravaged parts of the country.</p> <p>Communities on the bushfire-destroyed NSW south coast hope that a potential royal visit will boost tourism to the region and showcase its reconstruction efforts.</p> <p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that a formal invitation to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be extended “soon” once discussions with Kensington Palace are concluded.</p> <p>Cabinet minister Simon Birmingham said that previous visits from members of the royal family have boosted tourism.</p> <p>“We hope that can all be locked down with an announcement from the royals pretty soon because it is going to be a great opportunity to remind the rest of the world that Australia is still a fantastic place to visit full of rich and amazing experiences,” the senator told the Nine Network last week.</p> <p>It would be the couple’s first visit since 2014.</p> </div>

Domestic Travel

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Sharp increase in whale shark injuries might be due to boat encounters

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Almost one-fifth of the whale sharks in Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef Marine Park are showing signs of major scarring or fin amputations, with the number of injured animals increasing in recent years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">New research has shown that due to the distinctive scar patterns, it’s being strongly suggested that many of the injuries are due to boat collisions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whale shark scientist Emily Lester from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is horrified by the latest findings.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Some of the major scars were probably bite marks from predators, but most were the marks of blunt trauma, lacerations or amputations arising from encounters with ships, particularly propellers,” Ms Lester said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To make the finding, Lester and colleagues from AIMS and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) reviewed moving and still images of 913 whale sharks taken by Ningaloo tour boat operators between 2008 and 2013.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Of these, 146 or 16 per cent of the whale sharks suffered from serious injuries.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Due to the whale sharks migration patterns, it is difficult to tell where the injuries happened as whale sharks migrate thousands of kilometres beyond the boundaries of the marine park.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Mitigating the impact of scarring from vessel collisions is challenging, particularly outside of our jurisdiction of State waters,” said DBCA research scientist and co-author Dr Holly Raudino.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B63AFyvB-GV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B63AFyvB-GV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Whaleshark hanging out at Ningaloo Reef😁🐋🦈 . Like and tag an ocean lover in the comments❤👍💬 . Shot by @jesshaddenphoto . Follow @scubapilgrim for more! Follow @scubapilgrim for more!</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/scubapilgrim/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Diving Traveler</a> (@scubapilgrim) on Jan 3, 2020 at 5:36am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“One possible explanation is that there is an increase in shipping activity throughout the whale sharks’ range – inside Ningaloo and out – and collisions are becoming more frequent,” said Ms Lester.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The data is unable to reveal the amount of fatal ship collisions as the whale shark is “negatively buoyant”, which means that when they die, they sink to the ocean floor.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“A collision between a large ocean-going vessel and a whale shark wouldn’t be felt by the ship, as a result, it’s likely that we’re underestimating the number of mortalities from ship strike, since our study could only document sharks that survived their injuries,” Ms Lester said.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><a href="https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13173"><span style="font-weight: 400;">research is published</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in the </span><a href="https://www.int-res.com/journals/meps/meps-home/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Marine Ecology Progress Series</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></em></p>

Domestic Travel

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The coronavirus will hit the tourism and travel sector hard

<p>The spread of infectious diseases is invariably linked to travel. Today, tourism is a huge global business that accounts for <a style="font-size: 14px;" href="https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/regions-2019/world2019.pdf">10.4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 10 per cent of global employment.</a></p> <p>Nothing seems to slow its growth as year-over-year <a href="https://unwto.org/world-tourism-barometer-n18-january-2020">increases outpace the economy</a>. The United Nations World Tourism Organization is predicting further <a href="https://unwto.org/world-tourism-barometer-n18-january-2020">growth of three per cent to four per cent in international tourist arrivals for 2020</a>, with <a href="https://unwto.org/world-tourism-barometer-n18-january-2020">international departures worldwide particularly strong</a> in the first quarter of this year.</p> <p>But that was before a new coronavirus (formally known as 2019-nCoV) hit China and then very rapidly started spreading to the rest of the world with <a href="https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6">20 countries and counting</a> isolating cases.</p> <p>Officials in China and those in the rest of world have been much quicker to take more drastic action after learning bitter lessons from the SARS outbreak in 2003, which also started in China.</p> <p>The impact on travel to and from China of this new coronavirus, however, has been devastating. Airlines, including <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/coronavirus-air-travel-1.5444326">Air Canada</a>, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/29/business/british-airways-coronavirus/index.html">have cancelled all flights</a> or <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/29/business/american-airlines-suspends-china-flights-coronavirus/index.html">significantly reduced the number of flights</a> in and out of China. <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-30/russia-closing-border-with-china-to-affect-people-not-goods">Russia closed its land border to passenger travel</a> with China and <a href="https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/n7jebz/hong-kong-is-closing-its-borders-to-keep-coronavirus-out">Hong Kong shut down its borders, cross-border ferries and railways</a>.</p> <p>How does the impact of 2019-nCoV differ from that of SARS, which also affected tourism dramatically?</p> <p><strong>SARS has higher death toll so far</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.who.int/csr/sars/country/en/">World Health Organization</a> confirmed 8,096 cases and 774 deaths in 26 countries as a result of the SARS coronavirus. First detected in late February 2003, it had run its course five months later.</p> <p>The coronavirus first appeared in December 2019 but has already <a href="http://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2001316">surpassed the total number of SARS cases in just two months</a>, albeit with a much lower death rate. Infectious disease experts expect it <a href="https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/wuhan-virus-experts-say-outbreak-will-last-months-at-least">to last for several months</a> yet with tens of thousands afflicted before it runs its course.</p> <p>SARS accounted for a <a href="https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ST.INT.ARVL">drop in international tourist arrivals of almost 9.4 million</a> and a loss of between US$30 billion and $50 billion. But in 2002, China’s role as both a travel destination and a source country was relatively minor, receiving fewer than 38 million tourists and sending about 17 million tourists abroad.</p> <p>Compare that to 2019 when it is estimated China received <a href="https://www.china-mike.com/china-travel-tips/china-tourism-statistics/">142 million inbound tourists and the Chinese made 134 million trips abroad and 5.5 billion trips domestically</a>.</p> <p>The severe travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese government on its citizens and the stern warnings from Foreign Affairs offices, <a href="https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/china">including Canada’s</a>, to avoid all non-essential travel to China and all travel to Hubei province (Wuhan is its capital and largest city) means that the economic impact of this coronvirus will be felt in every corner of the world and almost every sector of the economy.</p> <p>The market response has been swift, with <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/coronavirus-economic-impact-1.5437393">share prices of major airlines, cruise lines and tourism companies dropping several percentage points</a>.</p> <p>With the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus <a href="https://www.who.int/">a public health emergency of global concern</a>, Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (<a href="https://www.wttc.org/search-results/?query=coronavirus">WTTC</a>) fears that this escalation could have a damaging and lasting economic impact on the sector. She’s <a href="http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/356089/wttc-issues-coronavirus-economic-impact-warning">expressed serious concerns</a> that airport closures, flight cancellations and shuttered borders often have a greater economic impact than the outbreak itself.</p> <p><strong>Hundreds of thousands die from seasonal flus</strong></p> <p>These concerns are well justified when one considers that <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1213-flu-death-estimate.html">between 291,000 and 646,000 people worldwide die from seasonal influenza-related respiratory illnesses each year</a>, which does not lead to any of these warnings or drastic measures.</p> <p>Canada saw <a href="https://www.who.int/csr/sars/country/en/">251 SARS cases and 43 deaths</a>, but it cost the Canadian economy an estimated <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/coronavirus-economic-impact-1.5437393">$5.25 billion and 28,000 jobs</a>. At the time, China was a Canadian tourism market of less than <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=2410000301">100,000 visitors annually; that dropped by 25 per cent due to SARS</a>.</p> <p>Today, China is Canada’s second-largest overseas market, accounting for close to <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=2410000301">800,000 arrivals</a>, and its highest spending market with more than<a href="https://www.destinationcanada.com/sites/default/files/archive/869-Market%20Highlights%20-%20China%20-%202019/MarketHighlights-CN_EN%5B1%5D.pdf">$2,800 per trip</a>.</p> <p>Depending on how long the restrictions and warnings are in place, losses could easily double of those in 2003. The pain will be felt in every industry as tourism’s supply chain involves everything from agriculture and fishing to banking and insurance. The hardest hit will be its core industries of accommodation, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation and travel services.</p> <p>While Air Canada will <a href="https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/china-travel.html">refund fares for cancelled flights</a> to and from China, other airlines may only <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/28/business/delta-american-united-coronavirus-wuhan-china/index.html">extend change fee waivers</a> or provide credit towards future flights.</p> <p>But this may not be the case for connecting flights from Beijing or Shanghai, the cities most commonly served by North American airlines.</p> <p>A growing number of hotels are also waiving changes and cancellation fees for bookings in China scheduled for the next few weeks. But many travellers to or passing through China may not be able to recover all their money, even if they bought insurance. That’s because most basic travel insurance plans do not cover <a href="https://www.aarp.org/travel/travel-tips/safety/info-2020/insurance-coronavirus-coverage.html">epidemics as a reason for cancellation</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/130872/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marion-joppe-952990">Marion Joppe</a>, Professor, Law and Economics of Tourism, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-guelph-1071">University of Guelph</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-coronavirus-will-hit-the-tourism-and-travel-sector-hard-130872">original article</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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"I like the Nick Kyrgios doing this": Nadal's reaction to epic battle

<p>Rafael Nadal has spoken up and says he wants to see more of the positivity and cunning spirit from Nick Kyrgios displayed in their gripping centre court match.</p> <p>The world no. 1 won the game in four sets, with Kyrgios battling hard against his fierce opponent. After losing the third-set tiebreak and smashing a racquet, the Australian unfortunately had an going down 6-3 3-6 7-6 7-6.</p> <p>It’s a surprising turn of attitude from Kyrgios who gave a more considerate and mature post-match performance than he has made a habit of displaying in the past.</p> <p>The star said he may have been shattered by the loss at his home major, but said “overall, this summer has been fun. I feel like I’ve made progress as a human,” he said.</p> <p>Kyrgios admitted he’s sourced inspiration and strength from his idol Kobe Bryant.</p> <p>The NBA basketball legend passed away at the age of 41, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a horrific helicopter crash.</p> <p>“It’s horrible news. If anything, it motivated me. If you look at the things he stood for, what he wanted to be remembered by, I felt like, if anything, it helped me tonight,” Kyrgios said.</p> <p>“When I was down a break in the fourth, I was definitely thinking about it. I fought back.”</p> <p>Both Nadal and Kyrgios have had their fair share of ups and downs, especially in 2019 when the loud and proudly outspoken Australian said Nadal was “super salty” and his “polar opposite”.</p> <p>Nadal had bit back and complained Kyrgios “lacked respect”.</p> <p>However, it seems the feud was left on the court on Sunday, after the world no. 1 praised his contender’s skill and spirit this summer.</p> <p>“It was a very tough match,” Nadal said in his post-match interview.</p> <p>“Against Nick you are never under control.</p> <p>“If you have a mistake, like I had in the second set with one serve of mine that I had a mistake, then he has a break it is so difficult to break him again …</p> <p>“What can I say about Nick? I think when he is playing like today with this positive factor he gives a lot of positive factor he gives a lot of positive things to our sport.  I encourage him to keep working like that, because he is one of the highest talents, honestly he is one of the highest talents that we have on our Tour.</p> <p>“And I like the Nick Kyrgios doing this.”</p>

Domestic Travel

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Russell Crowe shows incredible impact of recent rain on his property

<p>Hollywood star Russell Crowe has shown the incredible difference rain has made on his rural NSW property, only a few months after it was destroyed by a bushfire.</p> <p>Located 25km northwest of Coffs Harbour, Crowe resides in Nana Glen which was affected by the recent bushfires in November last year as it destroyed homes and land along the way.</p> <p>The actor owns 400 hectares of land around the area and said at the time that he was “overall very lucky” that his home was saved.</p> <p>At the time, the fire had left his property completely blackened, as everything from the trees to the grass was burnt to crisp.</p> <p>But due to the heavy rain the state has seen in the last few days, his home has gone through an incredible transformation.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">My place 10 weeks ago after the fire had gone through, and this morning after a big weekend of rain. <a href="https://t.co/oOWz0gG5hp">pic.twitter.com/oOWz0gG5hp</a></p> — Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) <a href="https://twitter.com/russellcrowe/status/1219031928071843840?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">19 January 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Taking to Twitter, Crowe posted photos of the before and after.</p> <p>“My place 10 weeks ago after the fire had gone through, and this morning after a big weekend of rain,” he wrote.</p> <p>The first photo which was taken 10 weeks ago shows the entire area completely burnt, a complete juxtaposition to the most recent photo which was snapped this morning where the grass has turned a vibrant green colour.</p> <p>The Hollywood heavyweight wasn’t in Australia at the time of the fire but returned home to inspect the damage and rally a crew for the clean up.</p>

Domestic Travel