Whether it’s a chance encounter with a dugong, or a run-in with a giant mud crab in a Chinese street market, Queensland is full of unexpected experiences.
The Gold Coast’s stunning string of squeaky-clean white sand beaches needs no introduction. From the family-friendly Rainbow Bay at the state’s border to Main Beach further north, the Gold Coast offers some of the best beaches in the world.
Sunshine Beach can be found at the far end of the koala-stuffed Noosa National Park. Natural and unpretentious, this is a great spot for sunbathing and is away from the crowds that can be found at the more touristy Main Beach.
Arguably Australia’s most picturesque beach is Whitehaven on the Whitsundays. The fine white sand and turquoise water make Whitehaven a desirable place to sit and soak up the sun. However, the best time to visit this stunning locale is the Aussie winter, when the venomous box jellyfish are not in the waters.
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Sydney is a beautiful city with so much to see and do. To stretch the holiday dollars a bit further, Sydney.com shared five things you can do in the city for free:
- The Sydney Harbour Bridge is free to walk across. From this prime position, you’ll have spectacular views of the city; use the opportunity to get your camera out and capture the harbour, Opera House and other Sydney landmarks forever.
- For a glimpse of Australia’s unique plant life, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Gardens bring together many of the country’s plants and trees. It’s also a perfect picnic spot and the paths can be explored for hours.
- The Art Gallery of NSW is packed with international and indigenous works, whilst the building itself is spacious and offers magnificent views of the city.
- There’s always something going on in Darling Harbour, so head over there for guaranteed entertainment.
- Darling Harbour is also the location of the Australian National Maritime Museum. Free to enter, the museum explores ocean life and there are activities and experiences here that the whole family will enjoy.
Given the popularity of last minute deals, it may be tempting to delay booking accommodation until as late as possible, perhaps even leaving it until the plane lands at your chosen destination. But then you are faced with hunting for a bargain without the luxury of time, so what’s the best approach to uncovering a last minute deal?
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, having a couple of relevant apps preloaded on your smartphone can help. Searching dozens of sites can take up a lot of time without a guarantee of success, so pick your favourite booking sites and get their apps onto your phone or tablet before you depart so that you can make a quick search if you need to.
A new survey shows that domestic travelling will be the preferred choice for holidaymakers next year.
According to TripAdvisor‘s accommodation and traveller survey, 2014 will be a year of holidaying closer to home, but in 2015 Australasia will be in many people’s minds as they plan global trips. A spokesperson for TripAdvisor, Julio Bruno, said that the survey results may indicate a boost to international inbound tourism markets in two years’ time.
A new breed of bar is cropping up in Sydney and proving a real hit.
Boutique bars – some specialising in one type of drink, others intimate watering holes – have found a home in Sydney after licensing laws changed to allow smaller bars a chance to thrive in New South Wales. The subsequent influx of boutique drinking establishments has led to a cultural change, welcomed by the bars’ owners.
Travelling light might be a great concept, but sometimes a few extra items will make life on the move much simpler. ZDNet‘s roundup of the best gadgets to take travelling will help you organise your luggage, keep in touch on the go and stay connected wherever you are:
- Grid-it holds your small items safely within its grip, keeping everything together during transit.
- Travelon luggage tags will help differentiate your bags from the dozens of others on the airport carousel.
- Keep all your gadgets charged with Kensington AbsolutePower. Its adapters can handle a variety of laptops and smartphones.
- Universal plug adapters are essential if you’re travelling overseas with electronic items. Buy a couple before you set off.
- The Nokia 301 is useful for frequent travellers. It takes foreign SIM cards to enable you to make cheaper phone calls abroad.
- Charge USB powered items without the need for a laptop by using the Logiix USB Power Cube.
- Compact luggage scales will keep you on the right side of airline luggage weight restrictions. EatSmart Precision Voyager’s are accurate and light enough not to eat into your luggage allowance.
- If you have switched from a laptop to a tablet for easier transportation, the Kensington Keyfolio Pro 2 is a keyboard and stand for tablets to make typing easier.
- Replace your holiday reading with the Kindle Paperwhite, which has a long battery life and the capacity to hold hundreds of virtual books.
- The Joby GorillaPod is a flexible tripod for your camera or smartphone, to make taking shots easier.
Sydney’s metropolitan centre belies its hidden wilderness not so far away. For a taste of the bush without leaving the state capital, the New York Times suggests walking Sydney’s coastal trails, one of which is the Spit Walk.
Just a few kilometres from the central business district, the Spit Walk runs from the Spit Bridge in Mosman to Manly town (and vice versa). A guided tour of the area with Sydney Coast Walks begins with a water taxi to the walk’s starting point. The knowledgable guide will tell you about the plants and wildlife around you and even provide a picnic lunch at a suitably picturesque spot amongst the houses, trails, bush and beaches. The tour ends with a ferry ride back to Sydney.
The inaugural Corporate Travel Innovation Summit was hosted by CAPA Centre for Aviation in Sydney in August. The main topic up for discussion was the changes occurring in the Australian marketplace.
According to the Centre for Aviation, more than 160 delegates attended the summit. Speaking at the event, Andrew Kelly, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) regional director for Australasia, said that Australia had shown growth in the market against an overall downward trend – a good sign for the country’s corporate travel industry.
Sydney is at the top of its game, so there’s no better time to head over and experience the city’s energy for yourself. Here are the Daily Mail‘s Sydney highlights:
- Visit the theatre. Australia’s acting talent is reportedly keen to remain part of the local arts scene, so there’s a good chance of seeing a big name at the Sydney theatres.
- Take a tour. My Sydney Detour is a tour with a difference: instead of jumping on a coach, visitors are chauffeured around in a classic car and shown a less obvious side of the city by a well-informed guide, Richard Graham.
- Embrace the arts. The Daily Mail highlights the White Rabbit Gallery (in Chippendale) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (The Rocks) as particularly excellent examples of modern art collections.
- Sample the wine. Rather than hitting the Hunter Valley, Mudgee is tipped to be the next great wine region in New South Wales. Fly there, or experience a spectacular drive to reach it instead.
Sydney’s George St spans several kilometres, from The Rocks to Central Station. It’s fast making a name for itself as the place to be both weekdays and weekends, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
From the birdcages of Angel Place to the Strand shopping mall, George St is packed with sights and sounds. It’s also heavy on choice when it comes to eating. For a snack or sweet treat, Lorraine’s Patisserie is making its presence felt in tiny Palings Lane. For a meal, options include another new arrival, Mr Wong, or the more established Neil Perry’s Rockpool. Est, located within The Establishment, offers Australian fare, whilst The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room does drinks and dinner.