May 30, 2011
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The “East Coast” of Australia spans over 3 very distinct and different states Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. From the Great Barrier Reef through the Great Dividing Range to the Great Ocean Road Cairns to Melbourne covers a variety of different destinations each offering unique experiences. You can work this trip in either direction starting from Melbourne or Cairns and working your way north or south. The trip in total is approximately 3,800kms if you stick to the coast the whole way which is 48 hours worth of direct driving. If you follow the coast from Cairns to Sydney and then take the inland route between Sydney and Melbourne it is around 3,400kms. If you have a limited amount of time as most travellers do, the most popular section would be going either Cairns to Sydney if you have a little more time then you can fly from Sydney to Melbourne from $59 and complete the trip that way!
Cairns to Sydney is one of the most popular destinations/routes in Australia. The Northern part of the East Coast of Australia is renowned for relaxed coastal living with adventures at your doorstep.
Cairns is one of the most northern parts of Queensland and the east coast. It offers an abundance of tourist destinations as well as some of the most renowned natural beauties of the world. Cairns itself is a small city however it is the central departure point for access to its surrounding areas including but not limited too The Great Barrier Reef, Cape Tribulation, Tully River, Atherton Tablelands and more.
The Great Barrier Reef is an internationally renowned natural wonder, comprised of over 2,900 different individual reef systems and coral cays and approximately 900 islands stretching for over 2,600kms covering an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres. The Great Barrier Reef is blessed with the breathtaking beauty it contains an abundance of marine life, with some of the worlds most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, and pulling away from it, and viewing it from a greater distance, you can understand why. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space.
Cape Tribulation is a headland situated approximately 110km north of Cairns and is known as one of the only places in the world where 2 ecosystems meet. The headland is covered by the breathtaking Daintree Rainforest and has gorgeous exclusive beaches as well as near by rivers and gorges filled with various rainforest wildlife.
Airlie Beach and The Whitsunday Islands: Airlie Beach is the first major stop below Cairns along the East Coast. (Cairns to Airlie Beach 624kms or 8 hours drive) Airlie Beach like Cairns is the mainland hub for the surrounding attractions and destinations. The real gem of this area is The Whitsunday Islands, comprised of 74 islands meaning the Whitsundays form the largest offshore island chain on Australia’s coastline. The bulk are beautiful, tropical, deserted islands, but eight offer a variety of resort accommodation all with the Great Barrier Reef and fringing coral reefs at their door step. Weather you want a romantic getaway, and adventure packed experience, a lazy resort retreat or somewhere to take the kids these islands will have something to suit you.
Hervey Bay has often been called the jewel in Queensland’s crown. A scenic 3 1/2 hours drive north of Brisbane (Queensland’s Capitol or 875kms south of Airlie Beach 11hours) or a short flight Hervey Bay is an easily accessible holiday destination. The city has a wonderful subtropical climate. Temperatures range from 22 – 29 degrees celsius in November and rainfall is lower in this area than most other Queensland holiday destinations. Hervey Bay is also the access point for Fraser Island. The Worlds largest sand Island. You cannot take many rental cars over onto the island so most people do a guided day tour or up to a 3 day tour.
Byron Bay is the most easterly point of mainland Australia, located its famous light house has been illumintating this are for many years. There is so many reasons why Byron Bay is one of the most well-known popular destinations not only on the east coast but in the whole of Australia. The internationally renowned surf breaks, the beautiful weather nearly all year round due to the subtropical climate, the culture due to the highest number of resident artist and artesian in any given area in Australia, the health and wellbeing lifestyle, endless resorts and beaches and always something new to discover. Byron Bay is also situated east of Mount Warning the first place the rising sun hits in Australia.
Sydney is home to those iconic sites like the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Bondi and Manly Beaches. Founded by Europeans in 1788, Sydney is Australia’s first city, and the historic Rocks district offers glimpses of those bawdy early years. Sydney’s essential experiences include the Harbour Bridge Climb, a harbour cruise, visiting the beaches, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, the ferries, North Head and so much more. Just west of Sydney are the beautiful Blue Mountains, World Heritage listed this is a remarkable area with spectacular gorges, sandstone escarpment, eucalypt forests, waterfalls, quaint towns. Don’t miss The Three Sisters at Echo Point, Govett’s Leap, Wentworth Falls, the Jenolan Caves, Zig-Zag Railway and the Scenic Railway & Flyway Cable Car rides at Scenic World. Only 3 hours north the Hunter Valley is Australia’s original wine region, world famous for its quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Semillon and Chardonnay.
Greyhound Passes covering the east coast start at $324 with packages going to $1155
Come in store to arrange a personal Itinerary that suites you!
May 29, 2011
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The Northern Territory has two distinct areas “The Top End” and “The Red Centre”.
“The Top End” has a tropical atmosphere, its home to a vast variety of World Heritage Listed national parks including Kakadu, Leitchfield and Nitmuluk. Other areas include Tiwi Islands, Arnhem Land, Katherine (and Katherine Gorge) and of course Australia’s most northern city Darwin. Weather in the Top End in November is on average 24.9 – 33.3 degrees celsius and has an average rainfall of 140mm. November is the start of the Northern Territory wet season. To give you an idea of distances from Darwin
to Kakadu it is 256km (3hrs drive)
to Katherine it is 317km (3 1/2hrs drive)
A trip through the top end will have you seeing iridescent floodplains, beautiful beaches, thick vibrant tropical national park land, breath-taking gorges, waterfalls and magnificent Aboriginal rock art and culture.
“The Red Centre” is known as the warm, red heart of Australia. With Alice Springs nestled between the beautiful McDonnell Ranges and world-famous icons such as Ayres Rock/ Uluru, Kata Tjuta (The Olga’s) and Kings Canyon the Red Centre is an inspiring landscape 2000 million years in the making. Weather in the Red Centre in November is on average 17.8 – 33.6 degrees celsius and has an average rainfall of 28.7mm.
Distances from Alice Springs
to Uluru is 464km (4 3/4 hrs)
to Kata Tjuta (the Olga’s) is 496km (5 1/4 hrs)
The Red Centre is big on adventure, the Red Centre gives you the opportunity to explore the magnificent wonders of the true Australian Outback. One of the world’s oldest living cultures is waiting to embrace you in the art music, dance and story telling of the indigenous people. Explore the unforgettable sights, see the unimaginable sunsets and soak up the way of life and wisdom that will stay with you forever.
It is generally excepted that 4 days in Ayres Rock is sufficient if you wish to cover; Alice Springs, Ayres Rock, Kata Tjuta (The Olga’s) and Kings Canyon. If you wish to also see Darwin, Kakadu. Leitchfield and Katherine Gorge you will need more time (6-10 days). To get between the 2 areas the most notable way is The Gahn Train but you can also fly, catch a bus or join a tour!
On Saturday Katti and I met up at Circular Quay to go on Captain Cooks Main and Middle Harbour Coffee Cruise. The boat was older but the staff where lovely and the views were spectacular! They served Tea Coffee and muffins and biscuits on board which kept your tummy full for the 2 hour cruise. It was a great way to see the harbour and a real treat to see North and South Head from the boat.
When disembarking the boat we picked up the free Sydney Morning Herald on our way out that they offer as well so we could keep up with the news of Sydney.
After a short break we then jumped on the City Sightseeing hop on hop off explorer bus. This was again fantastic! With the open top double decker bus and beautiful clear blue skies we took to the streets of Sydney learning about historical facts and little bits of funny trivia. We used both the Bondi and Sydney busses and explored until our heart was content and of course we needed a drink.
We ventured up the Sydney Tower to take in the beautiful sights once more but from the air and went to the 360 Bar and ordered a cocktail each to finish off the day watching the sunset from our revolving bar, definitely an experience for anyone visiting Sydney! And the best bit is it didn’t break the bank too much!
Sydney Tower Entry $25
Experience of Sydney by Sky Land and Sea in a day Priceless!
April 3, 2011
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The Blue Mountains national park is a major icon near Sydney. You can experience fresh mountain air as you rise above Sydney and enter the spectacular Blue Mountains region. The Blue Mountains is perfect for exploring the best that nature has to offer. There are so many ways to get to The Blue Mountains but we still believe one of the best ways is a guided tour.
Gray line offers several levels on their tours, I did an all inclusive tour which meant everything was prepaid and there was no hassle for the whole day.
I had an early start meeting at the Gray Line office (Star City coach terminal) @ 7:55 am. Then the lovely started. The coach was big and comfortable; seating place big enough so that I was comfortable throughout the day (there was also there is bath room on board). We crossed The Sydney Harbour Bridge heading to our first stop Featherdale Wildlife Park (45 mins away from Sydney). It’s very friendly zoo, I really liked it. All animals are native. You can cuddle up to a koala take a picture for FREE!!! Hand feed kangaroo, wallabies and emus or just relax in the parks kiosk. We stayed there around 45mins to 1 hour.
Katoomba was our next stop, which is in the heart of the Blue Mountains National Park and is the location of the Three Sisters. We got off at Echo Point which is the best lookout to see Three Sisters rock formation. We then rode the scenic cableway across to scenic world. On the cableway you can get really awesome 360 degree view of Blue Mountain and waterfalls. We had our buffet lunch at scenic world; it is revolving restaurant while you eating you can still enjoy the beautiful view of the Mountain. After lunch we take another 2 rides the skyway and the (Worlds Steepest) railway and have a little time to walk around.
The little garden village LEURA is our next destination. We have 30mins to wandering around. Then we are on our way back headed for the city. Our driver sends us to Homebush bay ferry terminal then we take a Captain Cook river cruise back to Sydney Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. If you get off at Circular Quay you can see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge from the water.
Our lovely Blue Mountain trip ends at Circular Quay!
Hope you enjoy
Best of NSW
April 1, 2011
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On The Rocks Ghost Tour you can listen and be apart of “authentic ghost stories, learn the bizarre facts that lurk beneath the surface of Sydney’s historic rocks as you are led by your ghost host on a lantern lit walking tour”.
It was quite different to what I expected but very good. The Ghost Host of the tour was very theatrical and good at keeping the group in order. I never had any trouble hearing him and I found the story telling was superb. We started at Cadman’s cottage and worked our way up through the rocks and under the bridge, ending at an archaeological site in Milsons point. The rocks at night is very different to during the day.
The tour was not very scary, though there were a few moments that were a little spooky. Mostly the tour was just funny. The guide had a great sense of humour and managed to tell each of the stories in a way that had me smiling through most of the tour. Each participant of the tour was also given a role to play for each of the stories which kept everyone involved and really added to the experience.
A couple of the stories were a bit inappropriate for younger kids but it was all handled very well by the host. All and all I was amazed by how fun the tour was and how quickly it went, in compared to the rocks walking tour.