International Travel

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More of us are opting for 'digital detox' holidays

<p>John Briggs, a 40-year-old on holiday, texted his wife Shirley: "Look at the glacier out there." He waited for the reply, which came through on his mobile. At the time they were sitting next to one another on board the deck of their small cruise ship, along northern Alaska's icy shores.</p> <p>This interaction was reported to us during our research on digital behaviour. Results to date show that for many people digital communication now trumps natural conversations – and the appreciation of the present scenery has begun to elude many online devotees.</p> <p>A corrective to this addiction has now emerged: the digital detox holiday.</p> <p>Depending on which country you're in, the experience might be labelled variously as "black hole resorts", "offline escape retreats", or "dead zone holiday options". At its core, this emerging holiday trend is defined by disconnection from the usually omnipresent online and social media.</p> <p><strong>The concept of digital detox has changed</strong></p> <p>To assess attitudes toward this rising trend, we conducted a range of focus groups in Australia. We also plotted the changing ways the idea is being presented in the international media, analysing several hundred articles and documents from the past ten years.</p> <p>Aside from some early references in 2009 and 2010, serious media coverage of digital-free holidays began in 2011. The experience was first offered as an elite product targeting the wealthy few. By 2016 and in 2017, digital-free holidays went from a niche product to one that appealed to a broader consumer base.</p> <p>Even more interestingly, the kind of value sought in such an experience has also shifted over time. In the early years, these holidays were discussed as a means of escape and a way to de-stress. Last year, the emphasis was much more about building skills and attributes which could endure beyond the holiday.</p> <p>The next phase of the work is to examine these skills more closely. Early indications suggest that couples and families use these experiences to learn to engage more fully with one another, undertake joint challenges. They appreciate that holidays offer bigger screen shots of the world than the view available on the mobile phone or laptop.</p> <p>The opportunity to be offline will likely need to be coupled with a new suite of activities for tourists to enjoy. These may include photography, astronomy tourism, wildlife viewing, dancing and competitions, night treks and cooking classes.</p> <p>But these skills may be secondary to the chance of immersing oneself in conversation and joyous moments with travel companions. In the near future, there may indeed be a growing number of options for people like John and Shirley, our cruise holiday texters, to enjoy a retro holiday style where connectivity is an afterthought, not a central plank underpinning life and relationships.<!-- 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/99740/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>Written by <span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/philip-lovell-pearce-396538">Philip Lovell Pearce</a>, Foundation Professor of Tourism, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/james-cook-university-1167">James Cook University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/li-jing-514501">Li Jing</a>, PhD Candidate, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/james-cook-university-1167">James Cook University</a></span>. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://theconversation.com/more-of-us-are-opting-for-digital-detox-holidays-99740">The Conversation</a></span>. </em></p>

International Travel

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5 clever packing hacks: How to travel light

<p>Travelling light with carry-on comes with a lot of benefits – apart from saving money on luggage allowance, you could also skip the long wait at baggage claim and move from one destination to another more easily.</p> <p>Most airlines will allow you to bring up to 7kg on board – and with the right tricks, 7kg is all you need. Here are some of the things you can do to cut down your carry-on weight.</p> <p><strong>1. Invest in a lightweight luggage</strong></p> <p>With the right luggage, you can cut 2-3kg right off the bat. A wheeled suitcase can be a convenient option, but weekender bags also work. Keep in mind that most airlines will have size limits for carry-on luggage. While the dimensions may vary, in general they need to fit under the seat or in the overhead lockers.</p> <p><strong>2. Go digital</strong></p> <p>In today’s world, there’s little need to bring bundles of paperwork to the airport. Digitise your travel documents by using apps or saving them to your phone, a cloud drive or a USB stick. This not only helps save space and weight, but also eliminates any worries about losing important docs on the go.</p> <p>You can also swap heavy paperbacks for an e-Book reader device – or better yet, have the e-Books ready on your tablet or smartphone.</p> <p><strong>3. Wear your heaviest items</strong></p> <p>For light travelling, it is best to opt for a small number of versatile clothing items to pack. However, if you need to bring a heavy coat or a pair of boots, you can wear them to the airport to minimise the carry-on weight. </p> <p><strong>4. Minimise toiletries</strong></p> <p>Depending on your destination, you might not need to bring basics such as shampoo and body wash. Still, you can bring your personal toiletries without going over the airline’s liquid limits by going for the mini travel-sized version of the products. If your favourite brand does not offer this, you can decant them into smaller containers, which you can purchase in pharmacies.</p> <p><strong>5. Get a travel scale</strong></p> <p>Avoid the surprise of being charged excess baggage fees at the airport by weighing your bags with a luggage scale before check-ins. With portable, compact size and affordable price – some of the scales on the market cost as low as $9 – there’s no reason not to get one.</p> <p>Do you have any other hacks to keep your luggage light and breezy? Share them in the comments.</p>

International Travel

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Say goodbye to airport boredom with these global Wi-Fi passwords

<p><span>One of the many downsides of flying is having to get to the airport hours before you actually board the plane.</span><br /><br /><span>You can try to pass the time by playing cards, reading, or exploring the airport, but that gets old pretty fast.</span><br /><br /><span>Something that makes time go a little quicker, browsing through social media or catching up on your TV shows.</span><br /><br /><span>The only problem is that most airports give you a time limit for how long you can stay on the Wi-Fi or make you pay for it.</span><br /><br /><span>Anil Polat, blogger, computer engineer, and avid traveler, understands everyone’s struggle with airport boredom.</span><br /><br /><span>After a lot of research, he created a map with Wi-Fi passwords from hundreds of airports around the world.</span><br /><br /><span>Polat’s blog is all about teaching others to travel smarter. This map certainly does that.</span><br /><iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=1Z1dI8hoBZSJNWFx2xr_MMxSxSxY" width="640" height="480"></iframe><br /><span>You can zoom in a different areas and click on the location of the airport you’re at. It will give you the name of the free, secure Wi-Fi network, or the name and password of a protected network.</span><br /><br /><span>You can contribute to this map too, because it’s constantly getting updated.</span><br /><br /><span>Polat encourages his readers to add any new network information that they find out to his map.</span><br /><br /><a rel="noopener" href="https://foxnomad.com/2016/04/26/map-wireless-passwords-airports-lounges-around-world-updated-regularly/" target="_blank">You can contact him to add more</a><span>.</span></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Morgan Cutolo</span>. This article first appeared in </em><span><em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/say-goodbye-airport-boredom-these-global-wi-fi-passwords">Reader’s Digest</a></em></span><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><span><em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN87V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></em></span></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

International Travel

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Seniors tips for long haul flights

<p class="">Travel has no age limits. But a few simple considerations will make it easier as your years advance. </p> <p class=""><strong>Plan well</strong></p> <p class="">The more you plan before you go the less you will have to do as you travel. Consider speaking to travel agents about your needs. They can help you find accommodation that is accessible and advise you on the fitness requirements for tours. </p> <p class=""><strong>Consider a cruise</strong></p> <p class="">Cruises are travel made easy. You unpack once and visit multiple destinations. Days at sea allow you to enjoy all the activities and entertainment on board. Cruises are also a great option for multi-generational holidays as everyone can find something they want to do. </p> <p class=""><strong>Consider a tour</strong></p> <p class="">Tours are a great option for anyone, but especially for seniors. The tour company looks after all the organisation – they book the accommodation, the transport and sometimes the flights. All you have to do is relax and enjoy the view. Tour guides also get fast tracked into attractions so you won’t have to spend hours waiting in lines. </p> <p class=""><strong>Choose the right airline</strong></p> <p class="">Pick your airline carefully. Avoid smaller regional airlines, particularly at airports, as you may have to walk up and down stairs to board the flight. Larger airlines also cater well for seniors. You can book you assistance to walk to and from the gate, wheelchairs or help with getting into your seat. </p> <p class=""><strong>Get travel insurance</strong></p> <p class="">We can’t stress this one enough. Travel insurance is a wise purchase. You can’t predict what will happen as you travel, so be prepared. Check the details of the policy and ensure it covers your health conditions as well as emergencies. </p> <p class=""><strong>Keep active during your flight</strong></p> <p class="">Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious concern for anyone over 50 travelling long distance, particularly those with heart disease or circulatory problems. The risk of DVT is increases by sitting still for long periods at a time. Do arm, leg and foot exercises on board, get up and walk the aisles when possible and wear compression stockings to increase the blood flow to your lower legs. </p> <p class=""><strong>Keep hydrated</strong></p> <p class="">Make sure you keep drinking water on board the flight. The low humidly on board can be dehydrating. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they dehydrate you faster. Bring some moisturiser for your hands and face to keep your skin feeling fresh. </p> <p class=""><strong>Pack spare glasses</strong></p> <p class="">If you lose or break a pair while overseas, you will be glad you did. </p> <p class=""><strong>Keep prescription medication in your carry-on</strong></p> <p class="">Make sure you have all the medication you need with you. Do not put it in your check-in bag – just in case that bag gets lost. It’s also a good idea to keep a list of all the medication you are taking with you and to keep a list online or with a family member. </p> <p class=""><strong>Scan your travel documents</strong></p> <p class="">Keep a copy of your passport and your travel documents, including your travel insurance policy safely online. Scan them in and upload them just in case you loose them. Carry a copy with you and keep it separate from your main luggage and leave another copy with a family member or friend at home. </p> <p class=""><strong>Schedule in rest days</strong></p> <p class="">Slow down. Enjoy your time. There’s no need to rush. A schedule that is too packed will add to your fatigue. </p> <p class=""><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/seniors-tips-for-long-haul-flights/">MyDiscoveries</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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Photo of toddler and passenger at airport goes viral and will melt your heart

<p>It seems like a normal, everyday scenario but a father who has posted a picture of his daughter playing on an iPad has gone viral, garnering over 405,000 reactions and 21,000 comments.</p> <p>Kevin Armentrout was inspired by an experience he and his daughter shared with a kind stranger at an airport – so much so he posted it to Facebook.</p> <p>He wrote: “Last night, while waiting to board our plane, @_carterjean_ was being her usual inquisitive self wanting to meet and say 'hi' to everyone she could, until she walked up on this man. He reached out and asked if she wanted to sit with him.” </p> <p>The father says that from there on, the two strangers bonded over cartoons and snacks.</p> <p>Continuing on Armentrout explained: “He pulled out his tablet and showed her how to draw with it, they watched cartoons together, and she offered him snacks. This wasn’t a short little exchange, this was 45 minutes.”</p> <p>The father took a heartwarming image of the two friends who were both intently staring at the iPad screen.</p> <p>Armentrout then gave an inspiring message, somewhat explaining why he decided to upload the image to social media of his daughter, Carter Jean, and the man who has been identified as Joseph Pat Wright.</p> <p>“Watching them in that moment, I couldn’t help but think, different genders, different races, different generations, and the best of friends. This is the world I want for her,” Armentrout added.</p> <p>“In a country that is continuously fed that it’s so deeply divided by beliefs, I want her life to be filled with moments like this...</p> <p>“Not liberal or conservative republican or democrat, socialist or capitalist, just HUMAN.”</p> <p>Carter Jean’s dad even thanked Wright for his gesture of kindness writing: “Joseph from @samsungus in Oklahoma, if this should happen to find you. Thank you for showing my daughter what kindness and compassion looks like. Continue to shine your light in the world. #HateIsLearned”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FKevinArmentroutOfficial%2Fposts%2F653618321722379%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="709" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>The comments reached up to 21,000 – the post even reaching Wright’s family members who shared their thoughts.</p> <p>Linda Taylor, Wright’s sister-in-law, said she was not surprised by his kindness.</p> <p>“He’s a true blessing and your little girl is an angel herself. She’ll have a friend forever in him.”</p> <p>Users on Facebook even took to Wright’s page to thank him for his friendliness.</p> <p>One user who commented they were from Australia wrote: “I just read about your lovely interaction with the little girl at the airport. You are a wonderful person and exactly what this world needs. Have a great day!” Another commended Mr Wright saying, “The world needs more kind people like you!”</p>

International Travel

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What the Sydney Opera House could have looked like

<p>Ask anyone about Australia and the first thing that immediately springs to mind is the iconic Sydney Opera House.</p> <p>The focal point of the city’s beautiful harbour has made a name for itself over the years, providing a perfect backdrop to tourist photos and nights sipping cocktails.</p> <p>The famous landmark became a vision in the minds of architects in 1956, when the then-Premier of NSW Joseph Cahill announced a global competition to build “a National Opera House at Bennelong Point, Sydney”.</p> <p>The rest was history. Architects were given full creative control without having to worry about a budget and being able to submit as many entries as they deemed fit.</p> <p>In total, there were 223 entries – with the winning design by architect Jorn Utzon.</p> <p>Despite not being able to picture Sydney harbour without the contemporary landmark, thanks to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.budgetdirect.com.au/blog/what-the-sydney-opera-house-could-have-looked-like.html" target="_blank">Budget Direct</a> we can take a look into what the Opera House could have been.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to take a look at the entries for the Sydney Opera House.</p> <p><strong>1. Philadelphia Collaborative Group’s design</strong></p> <p>The design, while reminiscent of a submarine, took out second place in the competition. Meaning there was a high chance that this could have been the Opera House today.</p> <p>Inspired by the structure of a seashell, the entry was a group effort with seven designers from Philadelphia collaborating to nab second best.</p> <p><strong>2. Paul Boissevain and Barbara Osmond’s design</strong></p> <p>Coming in at third place was this Dutch-British design, as judges were impressed with the extravagance of the building. But does it scream iconic landmark? You decide.</p> <p><strong>3. Sir Eugene Goossen’s design</strong></p> <p>Sir Eugene Goossen was at the forefront when it came to campaigning for the Opera House to be built. Not only was he the conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, but he was also the director of the NSW State Conservatorium.</p> <p>His design, while regal and illustrious, was never submitted into the competition, but regardless, one can’t deny that it’s certainly lavish.</p> <p><strong>4. Peter Kollar and Balthazar Korab’s design</strong></p> <p>The most popular entry from an Australian, the urban design was created by two communist refugees from Hungary, Peter Kollar and Balthazar Korab.</p> <p><strong>5. S.W. Milburn and Partners’ design</strong></p> <p>While the design may be a bit dull, Stanley Wayman Milburn and Eric Dow’s design was created more for practicality than aesthetic.</p> <p>With a helipad on the roof, it ensured those wanting to be in and out of the city were able to do so effortlessly.</p> <p><strong>6. Vine and Vine’s design</strong></p> <p>This design was thought of by British company Vine and Vine, complete with a restaurant, adequate outdoor space and bright colours.</p> <p>Unfortunately, judges put it in the “no” pile as the suggestion of two auditoriums was considered excessive.</p> <p><strong>7. Kelly and Gruzen’s design</strong></p> <p>The American architects sure knew how to make an impact, but unfortunately, their design fell short as it appeared to look more like a casino than the perfect tourist destination.</p> <p>Despite the countless entries, we think it’s safe to say that nothing beats the iconic Sydney Opera House as we know it today. The classic design and the white sails have proven to be one of the 20th century’s most distinctive buildings.</p> <p>Which design is your favourite? Do you think then-Premier of NSW Joseph Cahill made the right choice by choosing winning architect Jorn Utzon's Sydney Opera House design? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><strong>References:</strong></p> <p><em>Gintoff, V. (2015) <a href="https://www.archdaily.com/773828/alternative-realities-7-of-the-most-radical-could-have-been-buildings">Alternative Realities: 7 Radical Buildings That Could-Have-Been.</a> archdaily.com</em></p> <p><em>McKie, R.  1957. <a href="https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/46931438/4931224">Controversial design.</a> The Australian Women’s Weekly. 20, Feb. p. 18-19.</em></p> <p><em>Meacham, S. (2006) <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/opera-house-appeal-for-lost-first-drafts-20060916-gdoeiz.html">Opera House appeal for lost first drafts.</a> The Sydney Morning Herald.</em></p> <p><em>Miklós, V. (2013) <a href="https://io9.gizmodo.com/designs-for-great-architectural-landmarks-that-were-nev-1339821619">Designs for Great Architectural Landmarks that Were Never Built.</a> gizmodo.com.</em></p> <p><em>Opera House Committee. 1957. <a href="https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/Galleries/Sydney%20Opera%20House/Sydney%20Opera%20House%20Memorandum%20to%20Competitors%20NRS12703.pdf">Opera House Competition: Memo to Competitors 1957.</a> Department of Local Government, Public Works Buildings.</em></p> <p><em>Smith, O. (2018) <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/oceania/australia/articles/rejected-designs-for-the-sydney-opera-house/">Rejected designs for the Sydney Opera House.</a> telegraph.co.uk.</em></p> <p><em>UNSW Archive. 2005. <a href="https://www.recordkeeping.unsw.edu.au/documents/Origins9.pdf">Origins No. 9. </a>University of New South Wales.</em></p> <p><em>Watson, A. 2006. <a href="https://books.google.com/books/about/Building_a_Masterpiece.html?id=ODRUAAAAMAAJ&amp;source=kp_cover">Building a Masterpiece: The Sydney Opera House.</a> New York City: Powerhouse Publishing.</em></p>

International Travel

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5 reasons to visit Canberra

<p>Canberra is both the home to our nation’s shrines to the Anzacs who lost their lives and a thriving capital city. Here are five reasons to plan a trip there soon.</p> <p><strong>1. Australian War Memorial</strong></p> <p><span>On Monday 25 April the </span><span>Australian War Memorial</span><span> in Canberra will host </span><span>three functions</span><span> to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli: the Dawn Service, the National Ceremony and the Last Post Ceremony. Of course there will also be a host of other </span><span>Anzac Day</span><span> ceremonies around Australia, from major cities to small country towns, but the nation’s capital hosts the most significant.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BbyfDGfFlAy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/BbyfDGfFlAy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Alexander Hafemann (@mlenny)</a> on Nov 21, 2017 at 11:17pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Indeed, the<span> </span><span>Australian War Memorial</span><span> </span>is regular rated Canberra’s Number One attraction and is much more than a memorial. It certainly has prime position, at the northern end of Anzac Parade that runs down to the lake and forms one end of the ceremonial axis that extends to Parliament House on Capital Hill.<span> </span></p> <p>It’s a grand building that consists of the shrine, the museum and the records section. Open every day, with free admission and changing events and exhibitions it provides great insight into our nation’s development.</p> <p>The permanent display in the First World War Gallery has just been renewed at a cost of $33 million - the iconic dioramas have been restored and remain on display. There are regular, free, guided tours of the galleries throughout the day.</p> <p><span>Every day the Australian War Memorial closes with a moving Last Post Ceremony at 4.45pm that includes the national anthem, a piper, a reading and ode before the sounding of the Last Post.</span></p> <p><span>While most visitors find that more time is needed at the memorial than they expected, that’s true for much of Canberra. There are many other highlights.</span></p> <p><strong>2. The Parliament Houses</strong></p> <p><span>Parliament House</span><span> </span>is often referred to as “New” Parliament House despite the fact it opened in 1988. Still, it does distinguish it from Old Parliament House that is now a museum. While some criticise the national psyche that would hide our leaders under a grassy hill, the building is an architectural triumph both inside and out.<span> </span></p> <p>Fortunately visitors are welcome to the heart of our government. While admission is free, access inside depends whether parliament is sitting or not so check before you go.</p> <p>The free guided tours are highly recommended as is attending a sitting of either the House of Representatives or the Senate. An absolute highlight is viewing one of the originals of the Magna Carta, a defining moment in the development of democracy.</p> <p>The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House is worth a visit not just for its exhibitions into the defining moments of our history and its dated architecture but also to see how modest the needs of government were just a few decades ago. It’s an enlightening step back into the past and is open daily from 9am to 5pm at a cost of $2 for adults, $1 for children and concessions and $5 for a family.<span> </span></p> <p><strong>3. Art galleries and an iconic library</strong></p> <p>The<span> </span><span>National Gallery of Australia</span><span> </span>is very concrete and cubic but it houses Australia’s largest art collection. It has the world’s most extensive collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. It is open from 9am to 5pm and admission is free for the permanent exhibitions.</p> <p>Nearby, the<span> </span>National Portrait Gallery<span> </span>brings you face to face with many of Australia’s most influential people throughout our history. You can also find out more about what made – or makes - them special.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BfVcsPlAR18/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/BfVcsPlAR18/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Will Mac (@will_mac89)</a> on Feb 18, 2018 at 2:44am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>A personal favourite of mine is the<span> </span><span>National Library of Australia</span><span> </span>in a building that looks great from the outside and holds so much knowledge within. It’s worth visiting simply for Leonard French’s stained glass windows but take a look at the treasures from the library’s collection that include James Cook’s journal and Dampier’s account of his exploration of the West Australian coast.</p> <p><strong>4. The new capital of cool</strong></p> <p>Canberra has come a long way from its rather drab image of the past. It has very good restaurants and some interesting neighbourhoods like Lonsdale Street, Braddon with its cafes and bars, NewActon that’s a fun newly evolved urban precinct as is Kingston Foreshore as well as ever-popular Manuka.</p> <p>If you have a car take a drive around the diplomatic precinct of Yarralumla to see how various countries wish to present themselves to us. Interpret the architecture as you like because some are stylish and some aren’t.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BkhmkPUllKb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/BkhmkPUllKb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Manuka Gardens (@manukagardens)</a> on Jun 27, 2018 at 3:38am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Places to stay include the wonderfully<span> </span><span>Art Deco Hyatt Canberra</span><span> </span>and the newly refurbished<span> </span><span>Hotel Kurrajong</span><span> </span>that was long the preferred venue for political intrigue since it opened in 1926. Alternatively, there’s the new<span> </span><span>Vibe Airport Hotel</span><span> </span>or the ground-breaking<span> </span><span>Hotel Hotel</span>.<span> </span></p> <p><strong>5. Stunning nature and animals</strong><span> </span></p> <p>The<span> </span><span>Australian National Botanic Garden</span><span> </span>on the slopes of Black Mountain should be on your list, if only for the 10-minute walk through the lush Rainforest Gully.<span> </span></p> <p>While the National Arboretum will be much more impressive in future when the trees have grown more, it also houses the exceptional<span> </span><span>National Bonsai</span><span> </span>and Penjing Collection. There are some 80 trees and plants on display and each is a living work of art.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs4T2gQh3Ky/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/Bs4T2gQh3Ky/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Jamala Wildlife Lodge (@jamalalodge)</a> on Jan 20, 2019 at 6:28pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The most unusual accommodation in Canberra is the remarkable and stylish<span> </span><span>Jamala Wildlife Lodge</span><span> </span>at the National Zoo and Aquarium. At this fantastic private zoo you can sleep very close to a giraffe, bear or even a big cat such as a snow leopard or white lion. It is well worth a visit even if you don’t stay here.</p> <p>Have you visited Canberra before? Let us know in the comments!</p> <p><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/5-reasons-to-visit-canberra.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

International Travel

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Explore the beauty of Australia at Kakadu National Park

<p>Can you believe it has been 32 years since<span> </span><em>Crocodile Dundee</em><span> </span>was released in 1986? Time to plan a trip to Kakadu to revisit Australia’s Northern Territory.</p> <p>On 30 April 1986,<span> </span><em>Crocodile Dundee</em> was released following its premier screening in Sydney, leading to the biggest revolution in Australian tourism since the arrival of the jumbo jet in the 1970s. The film cost $10 million to make and grossed $300 million.</p> <p>The success of the film in America and around the world put the spotlight firmly on Australia’s unique outback and larrikin culture. For Kakadu, a fledgling tourism industry was supercharged overnight, with the now legendary<span> </span><span>Crocodile Hotel</span><span> </span>being built as a result of the new interest in the destination.</p> <p>Developed by the local Indigenous Gagudju people, the Crocodile Hotel highlighted the power of the ‘crocodile’ in marketing the region, with nearby Yellow Water Billabong established as one of the most popular locations for cruises to catch sight of crocodiles in their natural habitat.</p> <p>Yellow Water starred in the croc‐horror film<span> </span><em>Rogue</em><span> </span>a decade later. While crocodiles may have had a fearsome reputation in the wild,<span> </span><em>Crocodile Dundee</em><span> </span>converted the reptiles into one of Australia’s biggest tourism drawcards.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BoQhqMQHKHs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/BoQhqMQHKHs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Hunting for Paradise (@huntingforparadise)</a> on Sep 27, 2018 at 10:33pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Crocodiles certainly took centre stage in<span> </span><em>Crocodile Dundee</em>. They feature in the film almost from the start as American journalist Sue Charlton comes to Kakadu in search of a bushman reported to have lost half a leg to a saltwater crocodile.</p> <p>Sue Charlton, played by Linda Kozlowski, arrives at ‘Walkabout Creek’ and her first encounter with ‘Mick’ Dundee (played by Paul Hogan) is when he announces his arrival at the pub she is staying by throwing his hunting knife at the bar and wrestling a stuffed dead crocodile.</p> <p>While Sue finds that he hadn’t lost his leg, she does find lots of outback action, involving kangaroo shooters, snakes, buffaloes and, of course, crocodiles. Mick decides to show Sue ‘his’ country, and this is where the audience gets to see the spectacular Kakadu scenery.</p> <p><strong>Ubirr</strong></p> <p>Ubirr is the rock formation in Kakadu National Park where Mick Dundee climbs to the top, points toward the horizon, and says "This is my backyard and over there is the Never Never" while the movie camera panned across the flood plain.</p> <p>One of the icons of Kakadu, Ubirr's galleries contain the world's most panoramic sweep of history with drawings ranging from the thylacine to arrival of Europeans. Ubirr is easily accessible by 4WD and standard cars (during the dry season) and Parks Australia provides free guided tours and talks of the site and its art galleries from April through to October.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BsvPD-AAcya/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/BsvPD-AAcya/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Damon (@dundeedamo)</a> on Jan 17, 2019 at 5:53am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Mick and Sue head further into the bush but are stopped by a water buffalo that refuses to budge. In the film, which was shot on the road between Jabiru and Gunbalanya, Mick solves the impasse by hypnotising the water buffalo. Charlie the Buffalo is now immortalised at the<span> </span><span>Adelaide River Resort</span><span> </span>where he’s stuffed and standing on the bar.</p> <p><strong>Angbangbang Billabong</strong></p> <p>Mick then has the chance to show Sue his outback skills, including a cruise in his tinnie on Angbangbang Billabong, where you see crocodiles and birdlife. It gives Mick an opportunity to demonstrate his bush skills, including a clever ruse where he pretends to tell the time by looking at the sun though this part of the scene is filmed at Gunlom Falls.</p> <p>‘Mick’s country’ includes spectacular footage of Angbanglang Billabong where crocodiles and birdlife are featured, along with the very distinctive Nourlangie Rock. In the movie, it is where Mick Dundee and Sue spend their first night in the wilderness—or to be more precise, it’s where we see them preparing to face the day after they spend their first night in the wilderness.</p> <p><strong>Nourlangie Rock</strong></p> <p>The large rock outcrop in the background is Nourlangie Rock. Nourlangie is the site of important Aboriginal rock‐art “galleries”. It is estimated that Aboriginal people have been using this site for around 20,000 years. The entire area is archaeologically important, as it is believed that this is where some of the earliest tropical settlement of Australia occurred. The people in this area developed grinding stones for crushing seeds and later used the grinding stones to crush ochre for painting.</p> <p>Nourlangie Rock and surrounding early art sites are among the reasons Kakadu National Park was made a World Heritage Site. The richness of the ecosystems here is another reason for protecting the area.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BI9UpJfhmeB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/BI9UpJfhmeB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Will Owen (@_thewonderstuff_)</a> on Aug 10, 2016 at 11:21pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Nourlangie and Angbangbang can be viewed throughout the year. Guided ranger tours and talks are available from April through to October.</p> <p>After being offended by Mick's assertion that as a "sheila" she is incapable of surviving the outback alone, Sue heads off into Kakadu, where she stops at a billabong to refill her water bottle only to be attacked by a crocodile. Fortunately, Mick had been following her and was on hand to wrestle with and kill the croc, thereby justifying his ‘Crocodile’ tag. This scene is actually filmed just outside Darwin in Girraween Lagoon.</p> <p><strong>Gunlom Gorge</strong></p> <p>Gunlom Gorge is the location where Mick Dundee spears a fish and cooks bush tucker. Gunlom Gorge was previously known as UDP Falls (after the Uranium Developing and Prospecting Company); in the<span> </span><em>Crocodile Dundee</em><span> </span>movie it is referred to as Echo Pool. Crocodiles aren’t found in these waters, but never let facts get in the way of a good scene‐stealing moment.</p> <p><strong>Gunlom</strong></p> <p>After surviving the attack, we see Mick and Sue swimming in the spectacular Gunlom rock pool, now one of the favourite tourist locations in Kakadu. We also see Mick spear fishing for barramundi and cooking goanna for Sue.</p> <p>Gunlom offers a beautiful, big swimming pool below the waterfall and if you walk to the top you find more pools to swim. The drive through the so called "southern hills and basins" is an experience in itself. Millions of years of erosion have left awesome scenery of rugged hills and broken ridge lines. The now exposed rocks are 2500 million years old.</p> <p>Depending on the time of the year you may find anything between a roaring waterfall and a gentle trickle falling down the cliffs. From the upper half of the track you have fantastic views over southern Kakadu. Signs along the track explain the geology of the area and the different ways in which Kakadu National Park can be seen: the white man's, and the Aboriginal view.</p> <p>Gunlom is accessible during the dry season. Spirit of Kakadu 4WD Adventure Tours takes visitors to Gunlom from May – October (depending on weather conditions).</p> <p><strong>Indigenous culture and history</strong></p> <p>In the film, the ‘Aboriginal view’ is represented in a typically laconic fashion. In the bush Mick and Sue come across a fully painted Indigenous man, played by David Gulpilil. </p> <p>The Warradjan Cultural Centre, near Cooinda, is a fascinating exhibit that shines a light on Kakadu’s indigenous culture and history.</p> <p>Interactive displays explain hunting techniques used in different seasons, bloodlines and marriage rights, tribal elder stories and the effects of white settlement in the Top End. Local art and craft is available for viewing and purchase. Entry is free.</p> <p><strong>3 travel tips to help you save in Kakadu</strong></p> <ol> <li>Free<span> </span><span>ranger talks and tours</span><span> </span>are offered by Parks Australia.</li> <li>The best time is go is the shoulder periods in May or Sept/Oct. You can expect to save over 30% just on accommodation.</li> <li>The last wet season was relatively dry, so it will be a very early start to the season this year. Much of the Park will be open in May, though waterfalls might dry out faster than usual. So get there early - and save.</li> </ol> <p>Have you been to Kakadu before? Let us know in the comments!</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/explore-the-beauty-of-australia-at-kakadu-national-park.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></em></p>

International Travel

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Summer camper trailer holidays

<p>For many Australians, the holidays involve going bush. So, where are some great options for camping in comfort?</p> <p>I think Australia is the best place in the world for camping. It’s certainly an option year round — when it’s too hot and wet in Tropical North Queensland and the Kimberley, it’s perfect around Tasmania, the NSW South Coast, and Gippsland.</p> <p>While you may have to work a bit harder than you did a few decades ago, it’s still possible to drive a few hours from Sydney or Melbourne and find a beach you’ll have all to yourself. And nowhere in the world offers such diversity of landscape as Australia — from the perfect beaches to the lush forests, and the expansive Red Centre.</p> <p><span><em>Explore Australia by Camper Trailer</em></span> by Lee Atkinson (published by Hardie Grant Books) does a good job of revealing the wealth of camping opportunities throughout Australia.</p> <p>The first question, of course, is why is the book restricted to camper trailers? As it explains, “Camper trailers offer the perfect middle ground between rolling out a swag and hitting the road with a monster caravan in tow”. The advantage over a campervan — the other option — is that you can set up a camper trailer and leave it, exploring with just the vehicle alone. That makes it more adaptable than the alternatives.</p> <p>The book offers advice on how to select a trailer, looking at considerations such as weight, sleeping arrangements, off-road vs on-road, and hard floor vs soft floor. Prices range from $5000 to $70,000.</p> <p>The focus of<span> </span><em>Explore Australia by Camper Trailer</em><span> </span>is on to where to go. Perhaps it should come with a wire brush to relieve the itchy feet that are sure to result from even a quick browse!</p> <p>Of course, there are some families who head for the same destination, the same campground, even the same campsite — year after year. But if you want to consider your options, how do you decide between the 320 campsites detailed across 50 regions?</p> <p>Do you take a couple of days to camp near Narooma, south of Sydney, or Wilsons Promontory out of Melbourne? Or should you leave town indefinitely to spend time at Corner Country — where NSW, Queensland, and South Australia meet? As you read, the romance of life on the road (as a grey nomad!) has growing appeal.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BtGF5Sjl62i/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/BtGF5Sjl62i/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Australia_o n e l o v e❤ (@australias.love)</a> on Jan 26, 2019 at 2:55am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The joy of Atkinson’s research lies in the detail, whether it’s listing “one of the best righthand surf breaks in the country” at Crescent Head, the ever-present wombats by the Kangaroo River (and in NSW), or the difficulty of getting tent pegs into the hard surface by the beach in Western Australia’s Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.</p> <p>If you're thinking of going bush, this book is like a weekend session with a well-travelled friend who has plenty of good, practical advice and endless enthusiasm for everything that rural Australia has to offer.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">The regions</strong></p> <p>Organising a guide to Australia has its challenges. The lazy choice is to organise it by state, but that can be disjointed for someone who simply wants to drive along the coast from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast, for example. Rather, this book divides the country into four topographic regions plus off-road adventures that include some epic drives.</p> <p>Coastal is the largest section, starting on the NSW Mid-north Coast before heading clockwise through Victoria, SA, WA, Queensland, and finally Tasmania.</p> <p>Country Heartlands includes the NSW Central West, the Riverland, the Victorian Goldfields, inland Queensland, and Southern Tasmania.</p> <p>High Country features a lot of NSW and Victoria, plus the Flinders Ranges and Tasmanian Highlands.</p> <p>Outback covers the vast heart of Australia including the Nullarbor, Kimberley, Kakadu, and the Red Centre.</p> <p>Finally, there are four great drives: the Oodnadatta Track, Gibb River Road, Western Australia’s Desert Tracks (many of which follow the path of legendary surveyor Len Beadell), and Cape York.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BtPDOX6n3T_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/BtPDOX6n3T_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Andrew Magill (@andrew.magill79)</a> on Jan 29, 2019 at 2:25pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>When you read Atkinson’s description of the Gunbarrel Highway beyond Carnegie Station as “bone-shattering corrugations, deep ruts, rocks, tyre-impaling mulga stakes, and deep, gelatinous bogholes” you’ll understand why each chapter begins with an honest “Why go?”.</p> <p>Then there’s a good description of the area, details of camping sites, and useful information on local attractions — whether that’s a waterfall, kangaroos on the beach, or a great pub lunch. Even in this GPS era, the book’s detailed maps reveal a lot that electronic devices don’t.</p> <p>The ultimate accolade for an author is to hear that their book is life-changing. I expect most of us have read a novel that fundamentally changed the way we look at the world. I didn’t expect a travel guide to have such an effect on me but I finished this book with Google searches on 4WD vehicles and camper trailers open on my computer. See you on the road!</p> <p>Where are your favourite trailer holiday destinations?</p> <p><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/summer-camper-trailer-holidays.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></em></p>

International Travel

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5 epic train trips you need to try

<p>Travel by train is a great way to really experience the countryside. These are the top five train trips in the world.</p> <p><strong>The Original Trans-Siberian Express</strong></p> <p>Spanning 9288km of track, this is perhaps the most famous of rail journeys and the longest passenger train route in the world.</p> <p>With an average speed of just 77km/h, the trip from Moscow to Vladivostok isn’t for those on a tight schedule – you’ll need to set aside a minimum 146 hours, 8 minutes (six and a bit days), and most journeys include stopovers.</p> <p>But for that investment, you’ll cross multiple time zones and witness the breadth of Russia’s majestic terrain, from verdant woodlands, through mountains and desert, to grassy steppe. While itineraries vary, most journeys break at Irkutsk, one of the largest cities in Siberia, with ornately decorated 19th-century buildings, just 70km from World Heritage-listed Lake Baikal.</p> <p><strong>The Canadian</strong></p> <p>The trip from Toronto to Vancouver is a sleepy 83 hours long – but considering you’ll be winding through the steep and snow-capped Rocky Mountains and Canadian Shield forests, the pace suits anyone looking for relaxation, rest and peaceful views.</p> <p>Huge glass windows make the most of the scenery as the train wends its way across 4466km of Canada’s diverse landscape.</p> <p><strong>The Blue Train</strong></p> <p>South Africa’s famous Blue Train spans 1600km of track linking Pretoria with Cape Town.</p> <p>More like a hotel on rails than a train, there are lounge carriages where passengers can mingle in comfort and some suites contain full-sized baths. High-tech additions like the driver’s eye camera view meet classic decor and a butler service.</p> <p>The journey takes 27 hours from start to finish and crosses some of the most diverse and picturesque scenery on the African continent. Don’t expect to feel the rush of wind through your hair though, as its average speed is just 57km/h.</p> <p><strong>The Indian Pacific</strong></p> <p>Departing from Sydney, it takes about 70 hours for the Indian Pacific to traverse the Australian continent on its way to Perth.</p> <p>Stopping at the mining town of Broken Hill, Adelaide, and Kalgoorlie you’ll cover 4352km at an average speed of 85km/h. At that rate, you’ll catch the full glory of the sun setting across the horizon on the longest stretch of straight rail track in the world.</p> <p>Travel in spring for the best of Western Australia’s wildflowers.</p> <p><strong>Jinghu High-Speed Rail</strong></p> <p>For those who like their train travel to evoke the future rather than the past, China is calling. The showcase of China’s modern rail fleet was launched in 2012 and shaves 20 hours off the 1303km trip from Beijing to Shanghai, delivering passengers to their destination in five super-fast hours. It is currently the fastest long-distance passenger train in the world, reaching speeds of 300km/h.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/top-5-train-trips/">MyDiscoveries</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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Choosing the best travel insurance

<p>Experts are often quoted as saying, "If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel." But what if you can’t get travel insurance — do you just take the risk? We look at the issues and the options.</p> <p>A lot can go wrong when you travel: some things can be annoying — like items pilfered from your bag, some can be wildly disruptive — like a lost passport, and some can be catastrophic — like a major medical event that puts you in hospital.</p> <p>When you’re young, the medical part of travel insurance is most likely to come into play in the event of an accident, but the most likely claim is for something lost or stolen.</p> <p>However, when you are older, you need to be covered in case you have a significant medical event overseas. Insurance companies will tell you of paying out half a million dollars for clients hospitalised in North America — I have friends who had to re-mortgage their home after one of them ended up in a US hospital for a week without insurance.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Age limits</strong><br />Some travel insurance companies simply opt out of covering older Australians. The cut-off age may be 59, 74, or any age between 30 and 100. You need to do a lot of homework to pick the right travel insurance policy, so select one that you can continue to renew for a few years.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Credit card, annual or single-trip?</strong><br />As is often the case, the best place to get independent advice on travel insurance is<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.choice.com.au/" target="_blank"><span>Choice</span></a>. The consumer advocacy group has examined the most common pitfalls of travel insurance and analysed specific policies in all categories. It also rates how good each company is with claims and how suitable their policy is for seniors, but its coverage is not comprehensive.</p> <p>The time to take out a travel insurance policy is either before you book a trip, or at the time of booking. That way, you’ll be covered if you break a leg walking out of the travel agency and can’t take your holiday. However, the insurance policies offered by travel agents are unlikely to be the cheapest or the best — and while you have your head full of transfer times in Singapore, it may not be the best time to study the fine print of an insurance policy.</p> <p>An alternative is to take out and rely on the travel insurance policy that may be attached to your credit card. Choice found many of these could be recommended, but remember to check if you have to pay for all of your travel or just your airfares to receive this coverage — and whether your spouse and dependants are covered, too.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Annual policy</strong><br />If you travel a few times a year, including within Australia, it’s a good idea to consider taking out an annual policy. You can do that as an individual, a couple, or a family (generally including dependants up to 25 years of age). Once you have the policy, there’s one less thing to worry about when planning each holiday.</p> <p>However, there are a couple of things to consider — besides the issues that apply for every policy. First, annual policies may have a lower age cut-off than one-off policies, so check when making your shortlist. Second, there’s likely to be a maximum number of days of coverage for each overseas holiday — typically between 30 and 60 days.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Medical and evacuation</strong><br />Ensure that the policy covers unlimited costs for medical expenses and evacuation. You simply don’t know how much it may cost to keep you alive. A doctor friend once had to call on an executive jet to lift a patient out of the Himalayas, and I’ve had to sign a form on a beach in Antarctica saying I’ll pay the $US 45,000 for the medical evacuation flight if the insurance company didn’t (fortunately, it did).</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Pre-existing conditions</strong><br />Dreaded pre-existing conditions. Have you got high cholesterol, a lung complaint, arteries that are obstructed (even to a minor extent), or other ailments that may come with age? If so, expect that many insurance companies simply won’t cover you and those that do will charge a significantly higher premium.</p> <p>One option is to roll the dice and accept that you won’t be covered if you have a medical event overseas related to that condition. But what’s the point of buying travel insurance if it doesn’t cover the most likely event?</p> <p>The terms of the policies are really conservative, too. If a doctor has ever diagnosed you with high cholesterol (that’s over 5.5 mmol/L), then that’s what you have. It would be foolish to not ask your doctor how healthy your heart is but once you get the answer, you have to report it to your insurance company. Indeed, if you find out anything adverse even halfway through an annual policy, the insurance company may require you to report it.</p> <p>If you do have to seek travel insurance when you have a pre-existing condition, you are likely to encounter one of three scenarios. The most desirable is that it’s a pre-existing condition that the insurance company automatically accepts. However, you may have to fill out a questionnaire that the insurance company will judge you on, or you may be required to undertake a medical examination.</p> <p>If you have a medical condition that’s likely to concern an insurance company, you may want to start thinking about what travel insurance you need well before booking your trip.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Reciprocal healthcare</strong><br />Australia has an agreement with the following countries to provide subsidised treatment for essential services to anyone with Medicare: Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, NZ, Norway, Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, and the UK.</p> <p>You may think you don’t need travel insurance if you’re only visiting those countries, but that is not the case. The agreement doesn’t cover you if your luggage is stolen or if you get sick in transit, nor does it cover an expensive repatriation flight to get you back to a hospital in Australia.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Parents at home</strong><br />Many of us have aging parents. Check the conditions of your policy to ensure you’re covered if there’s a medical emergency at home that you need to rush back to.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Rental car excess</strong><br />If you rent a vehicle overseas, it’s likely you’ll be asked to pay a high daily fee to reduce the excess on the vehicle’s insurance. So, you may get the car for $40 per day and then pay $35 per day to cover the excess. One way around this is to rent the car through an Australian company like Driveaway Holidays, who has a more reasonable excess of $10 per day. Or you may find that your travel insurance covers the excess (most do) and you can pay a little more to cover an even more exorbitant excess fee.</p> <p>A note of caution is necessary here. In Canada, I’ve been told by one of the major rental car companies that they provide absolutely no insurance on the vehicle — so if you don’t pay their ridiculous rate, the car has no insurance.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Activities and the rest</strong><br />If you are going to be doing any activities on your holiday, check they are covered. This is particularly true for motorcycling, climbing, or scuba diving. And if you’ll be engaged in any snow sports, expect to pay an additional premium.</p> <p>There are a lot of other events that may be covered by your travel insurance that may turn out to be useful. However, if you are covered for medical, disruptions, and baggage, you can travel with some sense of security. See you at the airport.</p> <p>What’s your experience with travel insurance? Or have you ever needed it and not had it?</p> <p><em>Written by <span>David McGonigal</span>. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/choosing-the-best-travel-insurance.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></span>. </em></p>

International Travel

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Beautiful Bruny will blow you away

<p class=""><span>Head south from Bruny Island and the next stop is Antarctica. This spectacular Tasmanian wilderness has an incredible food culture and link to Tasmania’s dark history.</span></p> <p>Bruny Island is actually two islands – North and South Island which are separated by a narrow isthmus called “The Neck”.</p> <p>Don’t be tempted to think you can come here on a day trip. The islands are nearly 100km long. You will need at least a few days to uncover the island’s secrets.</p> <p>Both islands are a farmer’s paradise with rich soil producing berries, cheese, whisky and wine. The ocean also produces delicious oysters. </p> <p>Bruny’s South Island is hilly, timbered, contains large pockets of rainforest. This is where you will find South Bruny Lighthouse, the second-oldest and longest continually staffed lighthouse in Australia, and the townships of Adventure Bay, Alonnah and Lunawanna. </p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7823031/adventure-bay-tasmania.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b2e3ea0156754a1296838bee28461c23" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Adventure Bay, Bruny Island</em></p> <p>The highlight of the South Island has to be South Bruny National Park, which has towering cliffs overlooking white sandy beaches, coastal heathland and underwater kelp gardens. It’s also home to several <span>endangered plants and animals including </span><span>the hooded plover, swift parrot, ground parrot, and forty-spotted pardalote. The coast is dotted with mutton bird (short-tail shearwater) and penguin rookeries. </span><span>Other residents include echidnas, possums, pademelons, and wallabies.</span><span></span></p> <p>Bruny Island was once home to the Nuenonne people. Remnants of their settlements can still be seen on the South Island. The most famous resident was the Indigenous Australian Truganini, often incorrectly known as the last Indigenous Tasmanian. She was the daughter of the chief Mangana and is believed to have been born sometime around 1812.</p> <p>After the arrival of the Europeans, Truganini’s life of searching for shellfish and hunting in the bush changed forever. By 1829, her mother had been killed by sailors, her uncle shot by a soldier, her sister abducted by sealers, and her fiancé murdered by timber-getters.</p> <p>Truganini died in Hobart in 1874. Her body was on display in the Tasmanian museum until 1951. In 1976, more than a century after she died, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community requested that she be cremated and her ashes scattered in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel near her homeland. The request was granted.</p> <p>Truganini Lookout at The Neck offers some of the best views on the island, a fitting tribute to the Indigenous elder whose life was turned upside down by European settlement.</p> <p>The island also has a fascinating European history. It was partly charted by Abel Tasman in 1642. Tasman sailed the Zeehan and Heenskerck along the coast and briefly entered Adventure Bay but was prevented from landing due to gale force winds.</p> <p>Captain Tobias Furneaux visited with Captain James Cook in 1773. Cook was sailing the HMS Resolution and Furneax the HMS Adventure – after which Adenvture bay was named. The sailors entered the bay replenish their water and wood supplies.</p> <p>Four years later, in 1777, Cook returned to Bruny on the HMS Bounty with a botanist named Nelson. The pair were said to have planted some seeds which they had brought with them from the Cape of Good Hope. In 1792, Captain Bligh arrived in Bruny Island and found an apple tree had grown from one of the seeds. According to local legend, this is how the apple isle first got its nickname.</p> <p class="">Evidence of whaling stations can still be seen on the islands particularly around Grass Point.</p> <p class=""><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7823035/tasmania.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/59901cda100e4d15841d26de5881c842" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;" class=""><em>Grass Point, Bruny Island</em></p> <p>The name Bruny Island comes from French explorer Bruni D’Entrecasteaux. Originally Bruni, the spelling was changed to Bruny in 1918. The Indigenous name for the islands was Lunawanna-alonna – which is reflected in the names given to the two towns on the South Island.</p> <p>Access to the island is by vehicular ferry departing from Kettering. The trip takes 15 minutes and arrives at Roberts Point on North Bruny. The island has a population of around 620 and is deceptively large – being about 100 kilometres in length.</p> <p><strong>What can you do there?</strong></p> <p>The island has several spectacular walks. The challenging three-hour Fluted Cape walk from East Cove carpark to Grass Point offers stunning coastal views and the opportunity to spot White Breasted Sea Eagles. For a shorter, easier option, try the Clennett’s Top Mill Site. This 30 minute walk passes through rainforest on the western side of Coolangatta Road to an old mill where you can see ancient machinery.</p> <p>One of the best things to do is to eat.<span> </span>Bruny Island Tourism<span> </span>have a list of all the delicious options on the islands including Bruny Island House of Whisky, the Get Shucked Oyster Farm and the Bruny Island Cheese Company.</p> <p>Have you been to Bruny? What was it like? Let us know in the comments!</p> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/why-you-should-go-to-bruny-island-in-tasmania/">MyDiscoveries</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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Summer holidays – Byron and beyond

<p>Every summer, it seems that just about every conversation in Sydney includes either the phrase “when I was in Byron last week”, or “when I’ll be in Byron next week”. Clearly, the migration is on.</p> <p>Geographically Byron Bay is special – the Cape Byron Lighthouse marks the easternmost point of continental Australia. Historically, the ubiquitous Captain Cook named it after Admiral John Byron in May 1770 – not the admiral’s grandson, the more intriguing Lord George Gordon Byron (despite the fact that other English poets lend their names to many of the town’s streets).</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Please note: from April 1, 2019, the Diploma of Positive Psychology &amp; Wellbeing will be increasing in price by $100 due to supplier cost increases. To get in there before this cost increase, there are a few places left on our Byron Bay retreat in March!<a href="https://t.co/mfKBgEGjwc">https://t.co/mfKBgEGjwc</a> <a href="https://t.co/X0F5dZEZPR">pic.twitter.com/X0F5dZEZPR</a></p> — The Langley Group (@thelangleygroup) <a href="https://twitter.com/thelangleygroup/status/1088166756009607168?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 23, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Scenically, it’s spectacular – from hang gliders floating past the headland to surfers along the long beaches south and north. There really was an era when Byron was a sleepy little coastal village visited only by surfers and fishing folk. Those days are long gone and the houses in the best streets of Byron Bay attract sale prices not far removed from prices in the top suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne.</p> <p>However, it’s still a beach holiday destination and visitors need little more than a towel and pair of swimmers to have a good time here. That word has certainly extended to the international backpacker community that arrives in a solid stream throughout the year.</p> <p>There are hundreds of miles of pristine beach along the East Coast so why does Byron get so much of the attention? Of course, the climate helps – it’s far enough north to be warm and semi-tropical but not far enough north to be monsoonal. However, that is true for much of the NSW North Coast. It has the population centres of Brisbane and Sydney to draw visitors from, as do coastal communities from Coffs Harbour to Tweed Heads.</p> <p>Byron is a melting pot of surf and alternative lifestyle, rich and poor, surfer and hippy, traveller and local. The hills behind are arguably more beautiful than the coast and have their own rich culture, or counter culture. It’s as if this easternmost point attracts an intensity of lifestyles.</p> <p>In Byron there’s an array of beaches to chose from. To the south there’s less-frequented Tallow Beach. From the lighthouse heading along the northwest shore you’ll find secluded Little Watego’s then Watego’s; Clarkes Beach attracts surfers to its break; Main Beach is patrolled and busy with everyone from yoga classes to buskers; the Wreck has a right-hand break and Belongil Beach is far enough from the crowds for clothing to be optional.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Good morning Byron Bay... 📷 @rkbaart<br />・・・<br />Sunrise magic 💫 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nofilter?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#nofilter</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sunrise?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sunrise</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/byronbay?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#byronbay</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/belongilbeach?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#belongilbeach</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/visitbyron?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#visitbyron</a> <a href="https://t.co/nJmQupchcP">https://t.co/nJmQupchcP</a> <a href="https://t.co/LGGAeXhtpP">pic.twitter.com/LGGAeXhtpP</a></p> — Byron Bay (@byronbay) <a href="https://twitter.com/byronbay/status/928362737926836224?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 8, 2017</a></blockquote> <p>Byron Bay has a thriving Farmers’ Market (every Thursday morning) as well as an Artisan Night Market (weekly each summer Saturday) and the Community Market (first Sunday of the month plus third Sunday of December and January) is huge with food, music, produce and as many alternative ways of living as you could ever wish. The September/October long weekend, the first week of January and Easter Saturday see the Beachside Markets set up over half a kilometre of Main Beach to sell everything from clothing and home wares to glass works and sculpture.</p> <p>However, if you are in the area on any Friday morning the place to be is the Farmers Market in Mullumbimby. This is as much a social and cultural gathering as it is a food outlet. The hinterland is a haven for alternative lifestyles in a rich rainforest environment and “Mullum” is just one of several quaint communities up in the hills.</p> <p>Whether your interest is arts and crafts or mind and body, Byron and its environs is the place to be. If your focus is less internal, you can go horse riding on the beach, beer tasting at a craft brewery, kayaking on the Brunswick River or mountain biking up in the hills. On the water you can kayak or fish, whale watch or learn to surf, scuba or snorkel, or go catching mud crabs. You can also try hang gliding, ballooning or fly in a glider out at Tyagarah. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">It's about perspective! Floating down Brunswick Heads River looks like a great angle for a lazy Sunday. <a href="https://twitter.com/acunome?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@acunome</a> (via IG) caught this perspective while playing with a drone. You can fly from Newcastle to Ballina Byron Bay Gateway Airport via FlyPelican Airlines in 1h 15mins. <a href="https://t.co/7lP7eOJvjh">pic.twitter.com/7lP7eOJvjh</a></p> — Newcastle Airport (@NTLairport) <a href="https://twitter.com/NTLairport/status/1086731304480182273?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 19, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Besides its excellent spa and wellness centre, the Byron at Byron is a haven in a natural wilderness just minutes from the heart of town. There’s myriad other accommodation options for all budgets. The tourist office can help out here.</p> <p>Of course, all this intensity can become overwhelming. Many locals will tell you that they get away from the Byron Bay rush by heading a short distance up the coast to Brunswick Heads, which operates at a slower pace and has the sprawling Hotel Brunswick if you just wish to relax in a coastal beer garden.</p> <p>On the other hand, if all this nature and self-awareness becomes too much, it's less than an hour’s drive north to cross the Tweed River and enter Queensland’s Coolangatta and the Gold Coast. But that’s a whole other story.</p> <p>What's your favourite holiday spot along the coast? Let us know in the comments!</p> <p><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/summer-holidays-byron-and-beyond.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

International Travel

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Insider’s guide to Noosa

<p>Looking for natural charm combined with casual sophistication and wonderful local produce? There’s no better place on Australia’s east coast to take in the good life than Noosa, on the aptly named Sunshine Coast.</p> <p>Start the day like a local and enjoy brunch while watching the local beach life sitting in Noosa’s chic, sun-soaked beachfront café,<span> </span><span>Bistro C</span>. It’s the perfect spot to watch the crowd go by while enjoying amazing local produce with changing menus to suit the seasons.</p> <p>Long-time owner Lorri Banks and her team bring panache and passion to this establishment. Enjoy the fruits of their labour.</p> <p>Those in the know accept that it’s not a proper visit to Noosa without a casual promenade down the main street, Hastings Street, that runs parallel to the beach. Take in the glamorous collection of fashion boutiques, cafes and charming restaurants as you go.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7822979/food-at-bistro-c.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/6846fb5af8f34e3d8153c32692238b34" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Food at Bistro C</em></p> <p><span>Enjoy a cocktail at Aroma’s or Miss Moneypenny’s and capture some of the history of Noosa at </span><span>Café le Monde </span><span>while enjoying fresh shucked oysters direct from the grower. Across the road, drop by Massimo’s Gelateria. The many boutiques carry both international labels and brands unique to Noosa – and can be forgiving on the more mature figure.</span></p> <p>Visit Gordon Herford, a master jeweller in his Poeta shop that is among some of the best designer shops on the strip. Take to the beach with a Noosa LongBoard handcrafted surfboard. NL can help surfers of all abilities.</p> <p>Check out the sand artist along the boardwalk for the finest sand sculptures. Next, leave your towel on the beach and head to an old beachfront favourite,<span> </span><span>Season Restaurant</span><span> </span>for a casual Noosa-style lunch.</p> <p>Walking in the Noosa National Park is a must for everyone; whether you choose the coastal or the rainforest track on a morning run or a stroll any time of the day.</p> <p>If you’re up early enough, watch out for those koalas on the pathways and keep your eyes alerted to their mates sleeping in the eucalypts.</p> <p>The coastal track runs from Noosa to Sunshine Beach. If you enter from the Sunshine Beach end, you are more likely to see pods of dolphins swimming in the bays or migrating whales from the headlands.</p> <p>Watch the currents when you swim at beautiful isolated Alexander Bay - they can be wild, and it is unofficially ‘clothing optional’ at the southern end.</p> <p>Whichever entrance you use, walk to Hell’s Gate, the half-way headland. Some of the best surf spots are in the park and the ideal swimming spots are Tea Tree Bay and Granite Bay.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7822977/tea-tree-bay.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/40d2a18233d845c4964f5b193aca8d69" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Tea Tree Bay</em></p> <p>Little Cove Beach, a short walk along the seaside boardwalk towards the entrance to the Park is worth a stop – well protected with gentle surf.</p> <p>While in Sunshine Beach, don’t miss a coffee at the Golden Bean award-winning<span> </span><span>Costa Noosa Espresso</span><span> </span>among the Duke Street shops and cafes that add to the Sunshine Beach charm. Best of all, head to the Sunshine Beach Surf Life Saving Club perched on a headland with great views of the ocean for a casual drink and a steak or seafood.</p> <p>Watch out for the next artist to sing at their Sunday afternoon concerts – it might just be your favourite! There’s a modern Asian restaurant, Embassy XO Restaurant and Bar too, try the beef cheeks! Cocktails, wine list and tapas are good at the Marble Bar.</p> <p>To stock up on your weekly food supplies, head to the Farmers Market every Sunday morning at the AFL ground on the road to Noosaville. The local farmers set up their stalls by 7am – don’t be too late or you’ll miss seeing the basket-loads of local produce – fruit and greens all grown in the region, tapenades, nuts and spices, take-home pork, seafood, spatchcock and duck. There is a first grade cheese maker who makes a rich burrata and mozzarella and Gympie Farm Cheese, run by French born Camille Mortaud has delicious handcrafted goat's chèvre and handmade butter.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7822980/embassy-xo.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/eca6cd39d71a49069081f936700aab53" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Food at Embassy XO</em></p> <p>If you’re serious about your health then you won’t regret shopping and eating at Organika supermarket and café on Gibson Road, Noosaville. Stroll along Gibson Road to take a peek into the homeware, swimwear and giftware shops of OneWorld and Gibsons of Noosa Homewares &amp; Deli Café. You will definitely find a gift to take home or a new swimsuit.</p> <p>Fuel up for the afternoon with a healthy food basket packed by<span> </span><span>Belmondos Organic Market</span>, tucked in the industrial back streets of Noosaville. It stocks local products, including Eumundi meats, Clandestino coffee and a range of local Ayuvedic health supplements, Yukti Botanicals. Relax and ease away any tension at Noosa Springs Golf and Spa with a hydro-massage and full body massage.</p> <p>Eumundi markets are a short drive from Hastings Street, opening on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. This market is full of the most exquisite local handicraft and a good place to go for your morning cappuccino and pastry or freshly made lemonade.</p> <p>Whether it’s lunch or dinner you want, head to Wasabi or Ricky’s restaurant on the river. Take the ferry, water taxi or a gondola to both. Check the time of sunset before booking, to see the sunset view across the glittering Noosa river from these award-winning restaurants.</p> <p>The 2-hatted Wasabi has been in Noosa for many years offering refined Japanese cuisine using produce grown on their Honeysuckle Hill Farm. Next door, devour a six-course tasting menu at Ricky’s. Want to cook like the chefs at Wasabi and Ricky’s? Enrol in a course at the Noosa Cooking School in the same complex.</p> <p>Exhausted after the eating and shopping? Don’t forget the beach…</p> <p>What is your favourite Australian destination? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Written by Fay Geddes. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/insiders-guide-to-noosa.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

International Travel

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Two of the coolest places for a short break

<p>Coolest? We don’t mean climate, otherwise we’d be talking about Australia’s High Country and snowfields — depending on the time of year. Or, our wonderful Tassie.</p> <p>No, there’s the more modern meaning of “coolness” — not exactly favoured by those of us who grew up before the ‘60s, when “cool, man” was the statutory ending to every sentence.</p> <p>So, Canberra? Orange? How do they qualify?</p> <p>Each boasts unique attractions which make them a great place for a short break. And, while already easily accessible from Sydney by train, plane or car, Tigerair now offers direct flights from Melbourne and Brisbane to both regional cities.</p> <p>Of course, there’s a huge difference between the nation’s capital and a regional city, but there are similarities as well.</p> <p>The common defining factor may well have something to do with fresh country air, great regional produce and wine, a range of activities from very active to quite passive, and simply a surprising “vibe” — to use another of those ‘60s words that have crept into our language.</p> <p>Let’s see what each city has in store:</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Canberra</strong><span> </span></p> <p>If you’ve thought of<span> </span><span>Canberra</span> as a place for “serious” tourism — Federal Parliament, the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery, and so on — you’d be right. Those places should be high on every Australian’s bucket list.</p> <p>But you’d only be half-right. There’s another side to the city, which is attracting a new wave of visitors looking for fun, excitement, good food and wine — and lots of activities that will keep you busy with Facebook or Instagram posts for everyone back home to see. It's no wonder it's been ranked the third best city in Lonely Planet's<span> </span><em>Best in Travel 2018</em>.</p> <p>For example, hot air ballooning on a frosty winter morning is one way to get the pulse racing. It may sound a bit nerve-racking, but ballooning is statistically safer than driving down the street and it’s a lot more fun. In the hands of experienced operators such as<span> </span><span>Balloon Aloft</span>, you get a wonderful bird’s eye view of the city and the picturesque countryside — a joyflight you won’t easily forget.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BgMvxqclT0o/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/BgMvxqclT0o/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Em (@_capitalgirl)</a> on Mar 11, 2018 at 3:09pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Ballooning is just for starters. Here are more fun things to do in Canberra:</p> <ul> <li>Stay at<span> </span><span>Jamala Wildlife Lodge</span> at the heart of the National Zoo &amp; Aquarium. Here, you can choose a room or suite “up close and personal” with a lion, tiger, bear or cheetah — or next to a shark tank! Our favourite is the Giraffe Treehouse where you can feed the handsome Humbekhali from your balcony.</li> <li>Take a Segway tour around<span> </span><span>Lake Burley Griffin</span> — it certainly beats walking and the guides give an amusing commentary.</li> <li>Try your hand at glass blowing at<span> </span><span>Canberra Glassworks</span>, a unique workspace for glass artists where visitors can get arty and make a glass paperweight under the patient guidance of a professional artist.</li> <li>Visit the new<span> </span><span>Capital Brewing Company</span> in Fyshwick, an industrial area fast becoming a trendy urban precinct. Enjoy superb craft beers, and tasty food from the famous<span> </span><span>Brodburger food truck</span>.</li> <li>Spend an hour (or three!) at one of many wineries in the district. The closest to town is<span> </span><span>Mount Majura Vineyard</span> and if you’re anything like us, you’ll want more than a sip of their excellent Tempranillo.</li> <li>Dine at one of Canberra’s hot eateries like<span> </span><span>Italian and Sons</span>,<span> </span><span>ONA Manuka</span> for great locally roasted coffee, or<span> </span><span>Pialligo Estate</span> on the banks of the Molonglo River which incorporates a vineyard, olive grove, market garden and smokehouse for a true gourmet dining experience.</li> <li>Book well ahead for<span> </span><span>Floriade</span> in September 2019 — one of Australia’s premier flower and garden shows, now in its 32nd year.</li> </ul> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Orange</strong><span> </span></p> <p>Many may remember the motor events of the past, at the<span> </span><span>Gnoo Blas</span> car races, which set out to rival Bathurst’s<span> </span><span>Mount Panorama circuit</span> with famous drivers like Jack Brabham and Bob Jane competing.</p> <p>Today, motor events have given way to food, wine, art, and music festivals, attracting a very different kind of visitor. In addition to the usual procession of Sydneysiders and interstate grey nomads in shiny rigs, direct flights from Brisbane and Melbourne are bringing trendier lifestylers seeking new pastures for grazing and graping.</p> <p>Regional wine is at the forefront of the<span> </span><span>“New Orange”</span>. This is made apparent by a visit to the<span> </span><span>Orange Wine Festival</span>, showcasing a huge selection of cool climate varieties from mainly family-owned boutique wineries.</p> <p>The emphasis here is on high quality, limited production, with altitude the key defining attribute, along with the usual variables of terroir: geology, soils, climate, and temperature.</p> <p>According to Justin Jarrett, President of the Orange Region Vignerons Association, the annual Wine Festival has had extraordinary success since it started in 1999; it now runs over ten days and last year’s attendance topped 23,000. That’s a lot of sips at the various venues, translating to the sellout of many vintages on offer. The bubblies were a particular favourite, encouraging the plantings of more grapes for Prosecco — popular with the Surry Hills and Carlton crowd.</p> <p>But the city offers more than wine, of course. The foodie scene in Orange and nearby Millthorpe has been recognised with several Chef’s Hats, and top reviews at places like<span> </span><span>Charred</span>, the<span> </span><span>Agrestic Grocer</span>, and<span> </span><span>The Greenhouse</span> in town; and<span> </span><span>Tonic</span>, the<span> </span><span>Old Mill</span>, and<span> </span><span>Le Billot de Boucher</span> in the quaint Millthorpe village.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BsfaaPBh4pf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/BsfaaPBh4pf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Agrestic Grocer (@agrestic_grocer)</a> on Jan 11, 2019 at 2:24am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>To top it off, there’s the<span> </span><span>Origin Organic Chocolate</span> factory where you can make your own bespoke chocolate in a Masterclass, and pair it with local wine, beer, and cheese.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">The ideal road trip</strong></p> <p>Perhaps the perfect way to spend a week or so would be to combine visits to Canberra and Orange in a single road trip — they’re less than four hours apart by car if you don’t dally along the way.</p> <p>But then, you’d miss some beautiful country scenery and some excellent coffee stops. So, why rush?</p> <p><em><strong>What's your favourite short break destination?</strong></em></p> <p><em>Written by Phil Hawkes. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/two-of-the-coolest-places-for-a-short-break.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></em></p>

International Travel

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Easy Northern Territory adventures you need to try

<p>The Northern Territory is on everyone’s wish list and these incredible Northern Territory adventures are going to make you want to go sooner.</p> <p>We’ve found camel tours, helicopters, fast boats and slow canoes. Here are 10 unique ways to immerse yourself in the Northern Territory</p> <p><strong>Segway tour at Uluru</strong></p> <p>One thing many people don’t realise about Uluru is that it is huge. The walk around the base is 12km.</p> <p>To see Uluru from all-angles, why not jump on a Segway?</p> <p>Segways move when you lean forward. They are sturdy, easy to manoeuvre and safe for over 50s.</p> <p>Uluru Segway Tours run trips from most resorts to and around Uluru. Our favourite is the Uluru Sunrise and Segway Tour. The organisers will pick you up at your hotel 60 minutes before sunrise. Between May and September, the mornings can be chilly – so bring warm clothing and gloves.</p> <p>Once there, you can enjoy a magical sunrise with a light breakfast, tea and (most importantly) coffee.</p> <p>An experienced local guide will lead you into the Mutitjulu Waterhole. It’s an easy walk from your breakfast spot. Then hop onto a Segway for the cruise around the full 12km base of the rock. This tour takes about five hours.</p> <p>Where: Uluru Northern Territory<br />Price: Tours start at $129<br />Contact: <a href="https://www.ulurusegwaytours.com.au/">ulurusegwaytours.com.au</a></p> <p><strong>Camel ride at Uluru</strong></p> <p>Segways not your style? You could opt to see Uluru by camel.</p> <p>Australia is home to the world’s largest herd of camels. Up to 750,000 of them roam free in the outback. The camels were imported into Australia in the 19th Century from Arabia, India and Afghanistan.</p> <p>Then the combustion engine came along. Camels were no longer needed, and thousands of them were released into the wild.</p> <p>To ride an outback camel really is a uniquely Australian experience. Uluru Camel Tours has sunrise and sunset tours of Uluru as well as an express camel ride.</p> <p>The sunset tour takes 2.5 hours and offers incredible views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Skilled cameleers tell families stories of the territory, its flora and fauna. But the highlight has to be the spectacular sunset, watched from a sand dune. On return to the farm, guests can indulge in outback foods such as damper and enjoy a cool glass of beer, wine or sparkling wine.</p> <p>Where: Tours depart from 10 Kali crt Yulara NT<br />Price: From $80<br />Contact: <a href="https://www.ulurucameltours.com.au/">ulurucameltours.com.au</a></p> <p><strong>Quad riding at a cattle station</strong></p> <p>Undoolya Station, 15 minutes from Alice Springs, is the oldest working cattle station in the Northern Territory. The property is named after the Indigenous word meaning “shadow”. The Government granted Edward Bagot a pastoral lease for the station in 1872. William Hayes bought the property in 1907 and the sixth generation of his descendants still continue to run this incredible working cattle station.</p> <p>Undoolya and the neighbouring Garden Station, also owned by the Hayes Family, are 3500 square kilometres combined. That’s almost the same size as Luxembourg.</p> <p>Apart from cattle, the Hayes family also grow grapes.  Rocky Hill Table Grapes has 60,000 white grape vines over 60 hectares of the property.</p> <p>The Undoolya Discovery Tour departs from Alice Springs and takes families through this unique outback property on quad bikes. You will need to wear enclosed shoes and comfortable clothing. Long pants, sunglasses and sunscreen are a must. Choose from the Quad Rush, a fast thrilling tour for adrenaline-lovers, or the more relaxed outback discovery tour where you can spot some of the unique territory wildlife at a slower pace.</p> <p>The station also has four-wheel drive tours across both properties.</p> <p>Where: Undoolya Station Alice Springs<br />Price: From $140<br />Contact: <a href="https://outbackquadadventures.com.au/">outbackquadadventures.com.au</a></p> <p><strong>Hot air balloon ride in Alice Springs</strong></p> <p>One of the best things about outback Australia is the silence. A balloon tour keeps that peace and quiet and offers stunning views over this unique landscape.</p> <p>Wake before dawn to catch the best part of the day. Outback Balloon Adventures has 30-minute and one-hour balloon flights with views over the West MacDonnell Ranges.  Keep an eye out for wallabies and red kangaroos as you drift over the desert and mulga scrub. At the bush landing site, indulge in fruit juice cocktails, banana bread, muffins and champagne.</p> <p>The balloons fit between two and 24 people. Outback Balloon Adventures also does exclusive charters.</p> <p>Where: Hotel Pickup, Alice Springs, Northern Territory<br />Price: $295 – $390<br />Contact: <a href="http://www.outbackballooning.com.au/">outbackballooning.com.au</a></p> <p><strong>Four-wheel driving in Iytwelepenty / Davenport Ranges National Park</strong></p> <p>Looking for a remote adventure? Want to see the real NT? This is the tour for you. The Iytwelpenty or Davenport Ranges National Park is the traditional home of the Alyawarr, Wakaya, Kaytete and Warumungu people.</p> <p>It’s also a refuge for waterbirds and has an extensive network of waterholes. The best place to swim is the Old Police Station Waterhole. But beware of submerged logs and rocks. Do not jump or dive into the water.</p> <p>Hire a reliable 4WD and head to the park via the Stewart Highway. Turn off either at Bonney Well along Kurundi / Epenarra Road of at Taylor Creek along Murray Downs / Hatches Creek for a more scenic route. Experienced four-wheel drive travellers can take the Frew River Loop 4WD track off the Murray Downs / Hatches Creek Road for 17km of challenging driving.</p> <p>Where: Davenport Ranges National Park Stuary Highway Davenport NT<br />Price: Free<br />Contact: Tennant Creek Ranger Station phone: (08) 8962 4599</p> <p><strong>Helicopter flight over Nitmiluk Gorge, Katherine</strong></p> <p>Nitmiluk National Park is a three-hour drive from Darwin. It has rugged sandstone cliffs, spectacular waterfalls and deep pockets of lush rainforest. It’s pronounced Nit-me-look which means “cicada place” in the Jawoyn language.</p> <p>This is the land of the Rainbow Serpent (Bolung) Dreamtime story. A helicopter flight allows you to appreciate the geography, the scale and the incredible colours of this unique landscape. From above, the snaking 13 gorges are all visible.</p> <p>Helispirit offers helicopter tours over Nitmiluk Gorge in Katherine. Choose from 8, 12, 15, 20, 30 or 45-minute flights through the gorge. If you are travelling with pets, you can leave the dog in the shade at base camp while the fly. Expect to fly over sheer canyon waterfalls, past rocky escarpments and through deep cool canyons. This is a once-in-a-lifetime thrill.</p> <p>Our top tip: Read the Rainbow Serpent story before you fly. According to the Jawoyn people the Bolung still lives in the deep pools of the gorge and care must be taken not to disturb him.</p> <p>Where:  Lot 5449, 1425 Gorge Road Katherine NT<br />Price: $95 to $485<br />Contact: <a href="https://www.helispirit.com.au/">helispirit.com.au/</a></p> <p><strong>Guided canoeing tour through Nitmiluk Gorge</strong></p> <p>If you prefer your adventure on the ground, check out the Katherine River canoe tours.</p> <p>The sheer sandstone walls of Nitmilik Gorge were formed by layers and layers of compressed sand once deposited by an ancient sea. Movements in the earth’s surface split the rock, creating fault lines that eventually filled with water.</p> <p>Nitmiluk Tours takes families on a scenic cruise to the second gorge. From there, you can pick up a canoe and travel as far as the ninth gorge. You can camp overnight, but you will have to book a spot. Day-trippers should only canoe to the fifth gorge if you want to make it back home on time.</p> <p>We recommend the Malappar Traveller Tour. It takes 4.5 hours at a relaxed pace in single or double canoes. The canoe tours are seasonal, running from June to November. The tours begin once the National Parks have completed their annual safety and crocodile survey.</p> <p>To catch a glimpse of the gorge’s spectacular wildlife you will need to be quiet and patient. You should be able to spot water monitors, cormorants, northern snake-necked turtles and barramundi. Crocodiles are rare. If you do see one, do not approach it.</p> <p>Where: Nitmiluk National Park<br />Price: $42 to $164<br />Contact: <a href="https://www.nitmiluktours.com.au/">nitmiluktours.com.au/</a></p> <p><strong>Yellow Water Cruises, Kakadu National Park</strong></p> <p>Kakadu’s rich ever-changing wetlands are home to one-third of Australia’s bird species including the distinctive Jabirus and brilliant brolgas. Crocodiles lurk on the banks and in the water and buffalo roam the floodplains.</p> <p>Kakadu Tourism is the only company that can take you to the sensational Yellow Water Billabong. The company has six cruises each day from 90 minutes to two hours. The most popular tours are the sunset and sunrise cruises.</p> <p>The cruises offer a fascinating commentary on how the Indigenous Bininj people use the wetland’s flora and fauna.</p> <p>Where: Kakadu Hwy, Kakadu NT<br />Price: From $72<br />Contact: <a href="https://www.kakadutourism.com/tours-activities/yellow-water-cruises/yellow-water-cruise/">kakadutourism.com</a></p> <p><strong>Darwin Airboat, Darwin Harbour</strong></p> <p>Hop on board a custom-built V8 airport for a unique thrill. The 45-minute tour starts at Stokes Hill Wharf in Darwin and heads through Darwin Harbour towards the city’s scenic mangroves.</p> <p>Your heart will race as the tour guide pumps the accelerator for a “hot lap”. Expect to also spend some time chilling out and scouring the landscape for birds, fish and reptiles – especially crocodiles.</p> <p>Where: Dock 1, Stokes Hill Wharf<br />Price: $165 adults, $115 kids<br />Contact: <a href="http://mattwright.com.au/tours/darwin-airboat-tours/">mattwright.com.au</a></p> <p><strong>Pristine plunge pools of Litchfield National Park</strong></p> <p>Ever seen those amazing photos of people in a natural plunge pool gazing over rugged outback scrub below and thought – I need to go there? That is Litchfield National Park. And it’s just as stunning as it looks in photographs.</p> <p>Litchfield has seven main waterfalls and pools to explore: Wangi Falls, Florence Falls, Bluey Rockhole, Walker Creek, Cascades, Tjaynera Falls and Surprise Creek Falls.</p> <p>Take your pick. They are all amazing. Cool off in the crystal clear water, then enjoy a scenic walk. Some of the waterholes also offer camping.</p> <p>Before you go, <a href="https://nt.gov.au/leisure/parks-reserves/find-a-park-to-visit/litchfield-national-park">check to make sure the pools are open and croc-safe</a>. Rangers do daily sweeps. If a waterway does not have a swimming area sign – do not swim there.</p> <p>Where: Litchfield National Park<br />Price: Free<br />Contact: <a href="https://northernterritory.com/darwin-and-surrounds/destinations/litchfield-national-park">NorthernTerritory.com</a></p> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/easy-northern-territory-adventures-you-need-to-try/">MyDiscoveries.</a></em></p>

International Travel

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The top 10 travel bucket list adventures

<p>Sailing to Antarctica, cruising the Galapagos Islands and travelling along the Trans-Siberian Railway are the top three trips every traveller must take in their lifetime, according to US-based Flight Network’s World’s Best Once-In-A-Lifetime Journeys 2018 list.</p> <p><a href="https://www.flightnetwork.com/blog/worlds-best-journeys/">The 50 destination list</a>, compiled by the <a href="https://www.flightnetwork.com.au/">Flight Network</a> and more than 500 representatives from various travel industries, includes three entries from Australia – driving the Great Ocean Road (19), hiking the Blue Mountains (42) and driving the Australian Outback (28). Read on for the top 10</p> <p><strong>1. Expedition to Antarctica</strong></p> <p>You can catch ships bound for Antarctica from Ushuaia, Argentina. If you choose to take that route you will need to fly into Buenos Aires, then take a connecting flight to Ushuaia’s Malvinas Argentinas International Airport.</p> <p><strong>2. Cruise the Galapagos Islands</strong></p> <p>You will need to do some serious legwork to get to the Galapagos Island. They are located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, some 973 km off the coast of South America.</p> <p><strong>3. Travel the Trans-Siberian Railway</strong></p> <p>The Trans-Siberian Railway is the world’s longest train journey at 9,300km and offers a classic, 7-day trip starting from Moscow and ending in the port city of Vladivostok.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs4mcxXDHd7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/Bs4mcxXDHd7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Marek Jasiński (@jasinski.marek)</a> on Jan 20, 2019 at 9:11pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>4. Trek to Machu Picchu</strong></p> <p>To travel to Machu Picchu you will need to land in the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco, Peru.</p> <p><strong>5. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway</strong></p> <p>The 951-kilometre highway is a legendary drive that takes roughly 15 hours to complete.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsk6LuDA17A/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/Bsk6LuDA17A/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Jade ✈️🌎 (@jade_woodall)</a> on Jan 13, 2019 at 5:38am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>6. Drive Iceland’s Ring Road</strong></p> <p>The 1,332 km drive starts in Keflavik, and weaves around the entire island taking in glaciers, waterfalls and an ice tunnel.</p> <p><strong>7. Cruise to Alaska</strong></p> <p>This cruise through Alaska was named the number one cruise in the world. With Vancouver, British Columbia a handy departure point for Alaska, it’s pretty easy to get to.</p> <p><strong>8. Camino de Santiago</strong></p> <p>Begin the trek by flying into Biarritz Pays Basque Airport – a 52 km drive from St. Pied de Port, France, which marks the starting point of the Camino Francés.</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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs08Vi2F2ip/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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="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/Bs08Vi2F2ip/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by 🔝 Best pictures of Greece 🔝 (@greece_united)</a> on Jan 19, 2019 at 11:05am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>9. Sail the Greek Islands</strong></p> <p>Why stop at one island when you can take your time and see them all? Hire a sailboat and cruise through the Greek Islands at your leisure.</p> <p><strong>10. Drive the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia</strong></p> <p>The Dalmatian Coast is located 23 km southeast from Dubrovnik in the town of Cilipi.</p> <p>To view the list of all 50 destinations, <a href="https://www.flightnetwork.com/blog/worlds-best-journeys/">click here</a>. </p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/aussie-travel-destinations-make-top-50-travel-bucket-list">Reader’s Digest.</a> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN87V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>. </em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

International Travel