Australia

Australia

on Wednesday, 07 September 2011. Posted in Australia

Australia Edge of Paradise ,The Australian coast,which forms the border of the world;s only island continent is incredibly diverse,environmentally rich,culturally significant and stunningly beautiful in all its part.The coast line stretches 35877 kilometres. Offshore lie 8500 territorial islands,which when included in the total ,brings the length of the Australian coastline to an impressive 60 000 kilometres.What we refer to so simply as the coast incorporates 10 000 mainland beaches and countless coves,inlets,points,peninsulas,estuary openings,harbours,reefs and rock shelves.It includes the sultry mangrove inlets of the far north,the palm fringed island of the tropics,the iconic all Australian foreshores of the Pacific,with their rolling waves,yellow sands and balmy climes,the wave-battered cliffs fronting the Southern Ocean,and the blue-green water and white-sand coves of the 

Indian Ocean.The coast's great beauty competes with -but never overshadows-an extraordinary rich ecology. On the Great Barrier Reef alone,1500 species of fish dart across cities of brilliant coral;in the south huge colonies of plump seals haul-out on rocky islands;and in the west,the world's largest fish cruises the shallows,unfazed by the small bands of curious divers that occasionally drift by.Beyond its exquisite beauty and natural wonder,the coast is a place of cultural significance. The bush and outback may be the source of many myth but it is the coast that overwhelmingly dominates contemporary life and thought. With expectation of Canberra all Australia's capital cities are located on the coast. The bulk of the Australian population,around 95 percent,live within an hour's drive of the beach. Australians holiday on the coast,retire there and engage in fantasies about dropping out of the mainstream society and leading a simpler life in Byron Bay, Broadbeach or Barwon Heads. The rest of the world understands what it is to be Australian through the images of beaches that appear in television soaps and films and,enticingly,on travel posters;ask a non - Australian to describe and the phrase sun,surf and sans will figure prominently

.For many,the Australian coastline is much a state of mind as it is a location.For holiday-make,the coastline is avast and limitless pleasure ground.It caters to every level of fitness,interest,ability,budget and inclination.It offers every possible kind of Holiday experience,from a sojourn at an international -style resort,to a week in a tent in a national park campground.It is for children,couples,singles and elderly.Overseas visitors take to it passionately;local spend their lives in a constant state of gravitational pull towards it,knowing that for however long they live and far they travel,there will always be another beach to explore,another dune to clamber across,another headland to stand upon.

Adelaide & Yorke Peninsula Australia

on Saturday, 30 July 2011. Posted in Australia

Adelaide And Yorke Peninsula
This region extends from the wide sandy beaches of Adelaide to the heritage mining towns and fishing ports of Yorke
Peninsula and the busy industrial centre of Port Pirie. At the tip of the peninsula lies the ruggedly beautiful coastline of Inness National Park. Adelaide is renowned for its parks and churches, elegant stone architecture and prestigious arts festival, but its coastline remains something of a secret. The 60 km of shoreline, reaching from Outer Harbour in the north to the quaint township of Port Noarlunga at the beginning of the Fleurieu Peninsula, is an enticing stretch of easily accessible sandy beaches, offering the full gamit of coastal holiday experiences. One and a half hour’s drive away is York Peninsula-reaching out into Gulf St, Vincent and Spencer Gulf – a patchwork of waving barley and grain, vineyards and silvery olive groves, framed by a scenic coastline. The north has a distinctive mining history and strong Cornish heritage. The ocean floor in both gulfs is littered with shipwrecks, providing first – rate diving sites Anglers will find excellent jetty and offshore fishing. At the southern tip is Innes national Park, where the terrain is pockmarked with salt lakes and craggy cliffs and high sand dunes are shaped by the pummeling waves of the Southern Ocean. The park is a wonderful environment t for walking, swimming, surfing, fishing and wildlife-watching.

Adelaide: Golden, sandy beaches sweep north and south of Adelaide, facing the waters of Gulf St. Vincent. This coast is relatively undeveloped, in many cases evoking old – fashioned Australian beach holidays. Swimming, surfing, picnicking, beach cricket and, of course, fishing are enjoyed along these shores.

Glenelg: The best known of the capital’s beaches is historic Glenelg, on Holdfats Bay. South Australia was officially proclaimed a province here in 1836 and the seaside suburb has been at the heart of Adelaide’s life ever since. Iconic trams bring beachgoers from the city centre, as they have for more than a century. There is plenty of action – a busy shopping precinct, exhibitions in the imposing 1875 town hall, a grand five – star hotel, foreshore parks, a long jetty for promenading, a sleek new marina with elegant cafes and smart restaurants, and beach volleyball courts.

Port Adelaide: Heritage –rich Port Adelaide, established in 1840, is a tangible reminder of colonial life. Its nautical
past is brought to life with old waterside pubs, landmark colonial buildings, restored sailing ships and a clutch of informative museums. Join a walking tour, visit the Maritime Museum, climb the 1869 lighthouse tower, or book a cruise on the handsome 1919 sailing ketch Falie. The historic steam tug Yelta, river cruise boats and fishing charter boats are based here. In fact, it is still a busy port. Nearby is an intriguing archeological site-Garden Island Ships’ Graveyard, with abandoned vessels dating from 1856? The wrecks create a haven for bird – and marine life. You can view the sights s on a cruise from the historic centre, or hire a sea –kayak and explore the partly exposed hulks, tidal creeks and mangroves. Watch for the bottlenose dolphins that inhabit these waterways.

Bathurst

on Saturday, 13 August 2011. Posted in Australia

Bathurst is one of Australia's oldest inland cities built at a site personally chosen by Governor Macquarie in 1815. In 1851 it was the scene of Australia's first gold rush and many fine buildings remain, a legacy of the era. The Victorian Renaissance court house with a double story portico and large octagonal central dome is now home to the Bathurst Tourist Centre which has a fine collection of pictures from the gold rush. A wing of Government House, built in 1817 by Macquarie is still standing and the home of Ben Chiffley a former Prime Minister is preserved as a national memorial.

Beechworth

on Saturday, 13 August 2011. Posted in Australia

Beechworth is one of Victoria's best preserved former gold mining towns, situated in the north-east of the state between Wodonga and Myrtleford, and is a popular detour when traveling along the Great Alpine Road between Wangaratta and Bright. Beechworth's commercial center extends along Camp Street and Ford Street, presenting an almost unbroken series of elegant buildings and historic shop-fronts, many of which date back to the 19th century. The post office was built in 1869, the former Bank of Victoria (now a gold jewellery store) dates back to 1857, and there are several historic hotels and churches located in the town center. The Historic and Cultural Precinct, located in Ford Street, is a major attraction, comprising of the town's old court house, telegraph station, town hall, a museum, and a dark cell which at one time housed the infamous bush ranger Ned Kelly. Adjacent to this precinct is the Beechworth Gaol, still in operation after having been built between 1859 and 1864. Beechworth is known for its attractive streets and parks lined with deciduous trees which create an intense colourful display in the autumn. La Trobe University's Beechworth campus occupies the site of the former Mayday Hills hospital (Beechworth Lunatic Asylum) which was established in 1867. Attractive gardens, located at the southern end of Albert Road. Located just east of Beechworth's commercial centre is the Lake Sambell Reserve. Fronting Albert Road, the reserve also includes a Chinese garden with a couple of ponds, honouring the district's Chinese gold rush pioneers. Lake Sambell is the starting point of the Beechworth branch of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail walking and cycling path which links up with the main track that goes between Wangaratta and Bright. For a scenic drive close to the town centre, follow the one-way 5 kilometre Gorge Road route. It begins at the junction of Sydney road where the Golden Horseshoe Monument commemorates the election in 1855 of a local to parliament. It then runs along the edge of the Beechworth Historic Park with its network of walking trails, geological features and relics of the region's gold mining history including a powder magazine built in 1859 .The Bridge where Gorge Road crosses Spring Creek offers an interesting view of the creek as it cascades downhill along a rocky bed. Gorge Road ends at the Newtown Falls near Ford Street. A viewing platform provides good views of the falls and the Newtown Bridge which was constructed from granite in 1874. Beechworth's location at the foot hills of the Victorian Alps offers visitors the opportunity to explore a number of surrounding vineyards and to enjoy several scenic drives through the countryside in the area the area worth visiting are the Murmungee Lookout (south of the small town of Stanley), the Mount Stanley summit (7 kilometres south-east of Stanley) and the Mount Pilot lookout, around 15 kilometers north of Beechworth on the road to Chiltern.

Bellingen

on Friday, 19 August 2011. Posted in Australia

Bellingen, Dorrigo & Urunga Welcome to the magic of Waterfall Way - world heritage wonders, wildlife and... well, wonderful people. Book your accommodation here and set out to discover the festive feel of Bellingen, the majestic marvels of Dorrigo and those sun-blessed beaches around Urunga - all on Australia's Coffs Coast. The people of the Bellinger live in one of the most picturesque valleys in Australia and the inspiration is apparent in the creativity of the locals. Every week you can catch great live entertainment and a vibrant festival program ensures highlights in all seasons. Take a stroll around Bellingen or Dorrigo to unearth gifted artists in one of the great range of galleries, emporiums and craft shops. Holiday Entertainment Bellingen has developed a reputation as the biggest little festival town in NSW. From the highly-acclaimed world music of Global Carnival in spring, to the swinging highlights of Augusts’ Bellingen Jazz & Blues Festival, the town swells as thousands flock to revel in the atmosphere. These events are complemented by  Camp Creative’s week of workshops in January, Bellingen Art Prize & the bi-annual, mid-winter color in motion at Flamenco Festival. In October, the Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival gets the plateau jumping, while Urunga turns it on for the Urunga Food & Wine Festival every Father's Day. You might think this festival program would keep the locals busy but they still find time to organise regular sessions showing off the talents of the many jazz, blues, folk & rock musicians from around the area.  Click here to search the monthly events calendar...Markets are a great place to measure the community spirit and you need go no further than Bellingen Community Markets, on the 3rd Saturday of every month to see the life of this thriving region. On the first and fourth Saturday, you can taste organic and regional produce at the Bellingen Produce Markets. Nature Trails & World Heritage the natural attractions and features of the region are almost endless as the coast and valleys rise into vast tracts of protected mountain rain forest. You can spot dolphins and whales, see kangaroos, koalas, platypus in their natural environment, or see a flying fox colony in downtown Bellingen. The extraordinary range of birdlife includes kookaburras, owls, crested hawks, pelicans, sea eagles, and cockatoos. The pristine waters of the Bellinger run through National Parks, Nature Reserves, rainforest and rugged gorge. All of these experiences are linked by one of Australia's top scenic drives, Waterfall Way.Gondwana World Heritage Area on the Waterfall Way Dorrigo National Park contains one of Australia's most accessible and magnificent stands of lush rain forests, World Heritage listed for their exceptional natural beauty, diversity and conservation significance. Perched on the dramatic eastern escarpment of the Great Dividing Range, the Dorrigo Rain forest Centre provides a hub from which to plan your rain forest experiences - from short elevated boardwalks to challenging wilderness walks.

Benalla

on Saturday, 13 August 2011. Posted in Australia

Benalla is situated mid-way between Euroa and Wangaratta on the main road and rail route between Melbourne and Sydney. Benalla's busy commercial center begins at the eastern bank of Lake Benalla, mainly centred along the thoroughfare of Bridge Street and neighboring Nunn Street. Historic buildings in the town center include the Commercial Hotel (built in 1860), the town hall (1882) and the National Bank. In 1974, the Broken River, which the town lies on, was dammed, creating an attractive and wide waterway known as Lake Benalla. Swimming and boating activities are popular on the lake which is surrounded by parkland and walking tracks. On the western bank of the river lies the town's botanical gardens which feature an art gallery, the Sir Weary Dunlop memorial statue and Benalla's famous rose gardens which are home to a large variety of colorful roses. The eastern bank of Lake Benalla is lined with a recreational park adjacent to the council offices and a network of bicycle and walking tracks which traverse the several islands that exist in the lake. North-east of Benalla is the Winton Motor Raceway which hosts car, motorcycle and super kart racing. Near the raceway is Lake Mokoan. This artificial lake was created in 1971 by flooding an extensive wetland system resulting in a large body of water of almost 8,000 hectares in size which was used for irrigation and recreation purposes. Due to water quality issues, plans are in place to decommission the lake and return it back to its natural wetland state, providing a habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna. The attractive holiday township of Bright is situated on the scenic Great Alpine Road between Porepunkah and Harrietville in the beautiful Ovens Valley. Bright is a popular tourist center due to its close proximity to the mountain and ski resorts of Mount Buffalo, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek, and other natural attractions such as the Alpine National Park and Mount Buffalo National park. The commercial center of Bright extends from the Great Alpine Road to the war memorial tower located at the roundabout in front of the Alpine Hotel, and then south along the wide boulevard of Ireland Street. The towering mountains of the Victorian Alps provide a scenic backdrop in all directions from the town centre. A number of attractive parks and reserves are located within Bright. Howitt Park stretches along the Ovens River from Star Road to Morses Creek, while Centenary Park continues along the Ovens River from the Morses Creek junction and out to Mountbatten Road. Both parks feature attractive picnic spots and grassy areas which extended right down to the river. There is a water slide and designated swimming area at the junction of the Ovens River and Morses Creek, accessible via a footbridge. To fully appreciate Bright, several lookouts located within the surrounding mountains provide good views over the town and adjacent forests.

Bendigo

on Saturday, 13 August 2011. Posted in Australia

Bendigo Located mid-way between Ballarat and Ararat, Beaufort is situated in a rich pastoral district. Gold was first discovered around Beaufort in 1852 which saw the town's population rise dramatically, however it was short-lived with most of the alluvial gold gone around 10 years later. A number of historical buildings in Beaufort today date back to the gold rush days including the post office, several churches and the railway station. At the western end of Beaufort's commercial centre along Neill Street is an octagonal band rotunda which was built in 1908. On the other side of Neill Street at Livingstone Street is an attractive triangular shaped park with a war memorial surrounded by a rose garden. Off King Street, to the north of town, is the Camp Hill Reserve. It features picnic areas, a BBQ shelter and a lookout which offers scenic views across the countryside and towards town. Beaufort Lake, accessed via Lake Road to the south of town, is surrounded by parkland, recreational facilities Bendigo is Victoria's fourth largest city, located around 150 kilometers north-west of Melbourne. Bendigo has a rich and prosperous heritage dating back to the days when gold was discovered in the area in the 1850s. Since then, Bendigo has been the second highest producing goldfield in Australia and remains the seventh largest in the world. Bendigo's rich gold history has produced a city of unparalleled opulence and grandeur. Stunning architecture and manicured gardens are all symbolic of Bendigo. One of Bendigo's most elegant streets is Pall Mall in the city centre. At its southern end stands the grand Alexandra Fountain which was built in 1881 out of granite. Further along Pall Mall is the elaborate old post office (built between 1883 and 1887) which now houses the Bendigo Visitor Information Centre, and next door are the law courts (built between 1892 and 1896), also of similar architecture. On the corner of Pall Mall and Williamson Street is Bendigo's most famous hotel, the lavishly adorned Shamrock, which was built in 1897. Bendigo's shopping precinct extends along Pall Mall, Hargreaves Street (including the Hargreaves Mall), Queen Street, Williamson Street and tree-lined Mitchell Street. Attractions for visitors include the Central Deborah Mine complex which offers underground mine tours and the Talking Tram which takes passengers on an almost 5 kilometer journey passing many of the city's attractions. Rosalind Park, in the city's centre, features a lookout tower offering impressive views across Bendigo, while Bendigo's Sacred Heart Cathedral, built in 1896, is the largest Gothic cathedral in the southern hemisphere. Other attractions include several art galleries and the Golden Dragon Museum which is a tribute to the city's long history with Chinese people and culture. Bendigo city is situated in a fertile valley, surrounded by a number of hilly suburbs featuring wide tree-lined streets, bush land, and a several large reserves, creating a pleasant and green environment for residents and visitors. Welcome to Bendigo Impressive Victorian buildings line the wide streets of Bendigo, as a reminder of the rich history built from one of the world's most exciting gold rushes. Today there are new treasures to be discovered in this thriving city. Bendigo is a place where art, culture, food, wine and heritage attractions are in the abundance, as was the gold of the late 1850's. Every corner you turn in Bendigo reveals another living treasure; another vivid reminder of the city’s glorious and heady past – whether it is the outrageous opulence of a boomtown hotel, or the simple piety of a wooden church.  The best 19th century cities combine grant scale and fine detail and there are few better than Bendigo. Many of Victoria’s cities and towns owe their origins to the gold rushes of the 19th century and Bendigo is one of them.  In fact there was very little gold on the surface at all.  Most of it was far underground in rich quartz reefs stretching out over 3,600 hectares around the city. The gold rush began in 1851 when the first diggers rushed to the Bendigo fields and continued until 1954 when the last winch on the city’s last gold mine raised its last bucket of ore.  In recent years mining for gold has re-commenced deep under Bendigo and continues today. During the city’s first golden century, Bendigo became a melting pot with its own unique ethnic character – the Irish at St Killians, the Cornish at Long Gully and the Germans at Ironbark Gully.  These groups were just some of the many communities that helped to build Bendigo.  German architects W C Vahland and Robert Getzschmann, along with Bendigo born William Beebe, were responsible for many of the city’s finest buildings.  One of the most enduring and distinctive contributions was made by the Chinese.  Bendigo’s Chinese heritage is well represented to this day, with the Historic Joss House and the Golden Dragon Museum and Classical Chinese Gardens. The influence of the gold rush can be felt in the very fabric of the city.  Bendigo owes its broad and regular boulevards to the ambitious town plan prepared in 1854.  Other streets follow the paths beaten by fossickers as they followed gullies and leads in search of gold.  The city’s ostentatious public buildings and gardens attest to the flamboyance of the gold rush era.  So do the richly decorated privates homes. The Bendigo Pottery is justly famous, with its display and sales complex set around vast old beehive kilns.  The Bendigo Pottery was created by George Duncan Guthrie, a Scot who was an apprentice potter by the age of 12.  By 1888 11 kilns were in operation and the site employed 130 people.  Today domestic pottery is made in the historic kilns. The site offers a total tourist experience an Interpretive Museum, a sales gallery and café. Another rich aspect of the Bendigo cultural landscape is the Chinese history.

 

Bendigo is a grand and gracious city.  It was the place of one of the world’s most exciting gold rushes, with more gold found here 1850 and 1900 than anywhere else in the world.  The city is literally built on gold, gathered from the rich gold-bearing quartz reefs.  Around nine billion dollars worth of gold was found in Bendigo, making it the second highest producing gold field in Australia after Kalgoorlie, and seventh richest field in the world. Historic and elaborate bank buildings line the main streets, with gold smelter chimneys an ever-present reminder of the riches from the gold fields.  People came from across the world to seek their fortune in Bendigo in the mid to late 1800’s.  Alluvial gold was discovered along the banks of the Bendigo Creek in 1851 and resulted in a major gold rush. The discovery is usually attributed to Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Farrell, the wives of two of workers on the Mt Alexander North pastoral property. In Christmas 1851 there were 800 people on the field and by the following June, 20,000 diggers had arrived in the alluvial field. Alluvial gold production was dominant in the first ten years of the field to 1860 and is estimated to account for up to four million ounces or almost one fifth of the total gold won from the Bendigo goldfield. Deep, often speculative, shaft sinking remained the pre-eminent exploration tool throughout the early productive life of the field (1851 to 1954). Throughout the mining history of the Bendigo goldfield in excess of 5,000 shafts were sunk.  At least 140 shafts exceeded 300 m in depth, 67 exceeded 600 m, and 11 were over 1,000 m deep. The Bendigo goldfield represents the largest concentration of deep shafts anywhere in the world. To experience shaft mining, Central Deborah Gold Mine is a real gold mine that now operates as a tourist attraction. Pop on a hard hat with its miners light and take a mine experience tour 20 storeys below to Level 2 of the mine and learn about the fascinating history of gold mining in Bendigo. For the daring take an adventure tour to Level 3 of the mine. You'll climb ladders, operate drills and search for real gold. Yes you will be able to see gold in the quartz reef on the mine's tunnels. Central Deborah is the real thing! The Central Deborah Gold Mine was the last commercial mine to operate in Bendigo. In the period from 1939 to 1954 almost one ton of gold (929kg) was unearthed from the mine, worth around $17,000,000 AUS in today's prices.   The mine closed for a number of years until 1986 when it was re-opened for underground tours and miners once again ventured below with visitors to explore the fascinating tunnels below

Bourke

on Friday, 19 August 2011. Posted in Australia

Bourke On the banks of the Darling River almost 800km north-west of Sydney, the once thriving river port of Bourke was the highest town on the Darling from which barges filled with cargos of wool could be shipped downstream. Although surrounded by dry plains the town is surprisingly green owing to the irrigation for citrus orchards and cotton crops. Founded by explorer Thomas Mitchell, who in 1835 built Fort Bourke, a wooden stockade, where a cairn now stands, was laid out 25 years later and became a coach centre. The Carriers Arms was once a Cobb & Co Inn and temporary home to Henry Lawson in 1892. There are some fine examples of 19th century architecture including the old wharf, Manston lodge and St Ignatuis Church. Cobar is Located 700km west of Sydney Cobar sits on the edge of the outback and is headquarters for a shire covering 44 065 square km. A copper mining town founded in the early 1870's started as a mining camp of tents and huts and quickly reached its peak population of 10 000. Several buildings remain as reminder of it heyday, such as the Great Western Hotel which claims its verandah, over 100m long is the longest in Australia and the mining company's office which is now the Pastoral, Mining and Technological Museum. The town has been brought back to life with the building of a 135km pipeline from Nyngan bringing water to the once dusty town. Lightning Ridge. Famous for Black opals Lightning Ridge is the principle opal mining town in NSW. There are many old mines to visit and cutting demonstrations to watch. Amateur fossikers are welcome to try their luck. Artesian bore waters supply a minerals-rich bathing pool to relax in, and there are many local displays from arts and crafts to opals and jewellery. Brewarrinna. The small town of Brewarrina lies 100km east of Bourke on the Barwon River. The river was a natural fishery for the Aboriginal people and their fish traps, consisting of a complex pattern of partly submerged stone boulders, can still be seen. The Aboriginal Cultural Museum operates special walkabout tours which give an incredible insight into Aboriginal culture. Moree. Situated on the Gwydir River, Moree is famous for its Artesian Spa Baths which attract thousands of sufferers of rheumatism, arthritis and other disorders each year. The Moree Art Gallery houses an extensive collection of Aboriginal art. Narrabri. The cotton capital of Australia, Narrabri sits on a branch of the Namoi River and if visited in April-June the fields are covered with the "snow" of ripe cotton plants. Some attractions in the area include the Australia Telescope at Culgoora, just west of town, which is linked with other telescopes in western NSW and Mt Kaputar National Park to the east Orange, a town of leafy parks and trees is the center of a huge apple and pear growing industry.

Brisbane & Gold Coast

on Monday, 01 August 2011. Posted in Australia

Brisbaneand Gold Coast
The Gold Coast attracts around three million visitors each year with world-class facilities and plenty of bustle; nearby, off Brisbane coast, a handful of beautiful Pacific island offer an antidote of natural beauty and tranquility. Brisbane sits on the edge of the protected waters of Moreton Bay. While the foreshore is more ecological than scenic interest, the offshore island-and the furthest is only two hours from the mainland by ferry-are spectacular: quiet, partially wild retreats with surf and calm-water beaches, forests and bush land, lakes and dunes, and opportunities for surfing, fishing, swimming, wildlife-watching, walking and boating, South of Brisbane, about an hour by car, the Gold Coast stretches to the state border, an unbroken line of sun-light high rise buildings and shopping plazas, flanked by the blue and gold glories of the 42 km surf coast. The region has a subtropical climate
and is comfortable year –round, although the summer months
are humid. School holiday periods are very busy and bookings should be made well in advance of travel. Brisbane and the Gold Coast have domestic and international airports.Brisbane Foreshore. Brisbane turns inland, arranging its city centre around the banks of the Brisbane River and relegating its outer suburbs to the Morton Bay foreshores. The beaches of Morton Bay are tidal flats and the water is shallow and often muddy. Nevertheless, there are some lovely places for walking and bird watching and a handful of scenic seaside suburbs offering waterside dining, marinas and access to the Moreton Bay Island and the
sensational fishing opportunities in the bay. The Manly-Wynnum area is 15 km east of the CBDand, with its large recreational harbor, is a base for sailing, fishing and cruising activities on Moreton Bay. Further south is the district of Redlands, centered around the suburb of Cleveland, where the signature attraction is the sensational Cleveland Bayside Market, held each Sunday.
Redcliffe Peninsula lies 30 km north of Brisbane. Edged with distinctive red volcanic cliffs, the peninsula’s sandy beaches provide for swimming, fishing and sailing.

Broome

on Sunday, 31 July 2011. Posted in Australia

Broome WA Broome WA is an exotic pearling town and offers some deliciously indulgent eco-resorts, dotted across itsspectacular landscape.Broome's Cable Beach, with 22 kilometres of white sand,kissed by warm, crystal waters, is justifiably world famousand the ideal place to watch the sunset on a balmy,tropical night.
From fiery red ochre cliffs contrasting with bright turquoise waters to pearl diving sagas and dinosaurfootprints - the history of Broome is as captivating as the scenery.Situated in the State's far north, a two and a half hour flight from Perth, it's an oasis of colour, culture and eclectic characters. The chilled out vibe, colourful lifestyle and vibranl landscape have made Broome a mecca for artists, writers and musicians.The town's multicultural mix was shaped by a romanticpearling history when Japanese, Filipino and Malay pearl divers arrived in droves seeking their fortune.
Today, thanks to Broome's unpolluted waters, South Sea pearls are among the most coveted in the world. Witnessfirst-hand how Broome pearls are cultured at a local pearl farm. Pearl showrooms line the streets of Chinatown - splash outon a pearl (or two!) as the ultimate memento of your trip. This is also where you'll find art galleries, shops andcafes - the perfect place for some retail therapy. One of Broome's natural treasures is the Staircase to the Moon. For three days after the full moon from March to October, reflections stretch out across shiny mudflats creating the beautiful illusion of a long silver staircase. Another interesting natural attraction is Gantheaume Point, where you can see dinosaur footprints believed to be more than 130 million years old. Accommodation-wise, there are plenty of plush hotels, up- market resorts and eco retreats to choose from. For the budget traveller, there's a good selection of hostels.
For those planning on travelling to Broome with a pooch we suggest planning ahead and checking the availability of dog-friendly accommodation options before you travel.

Byron Bay

on Saturday, 13 August 2011. Posted in Australia

Byron Bay is the eastern most point of Australia 's mainland on the New South Wales ' north coast. It is famous for its alternative lifestyles and attracts people from all walks of life. Captain James Cook named the area on May 15, 1770. He named the area Byron after John Byron, the grandfather of Lord Byron (the famous poet) and a navigator. Byron Bay was once a whaling station and is still a popular stop for tourists to go whale watching and experience some of the world's best eco tourism. It is now home to people from all socio economic levels and is a world class holiday resort with its magnificent beaches. Byron Bay has a subtropical climate all year with the cooling coastal winds in summer a relief. Cape Byron is a 107 meter high rocky promontory at Australia 's most eastern point. It protects Byron Bay and the Cape Byron lighthouse stands tall upon its top. Its light beams more than 40 km out to sea to warn sailors to beware of the treacherous coastline. While you explore the Byron Bay area, take a walk to the top of the Cape and take in the breathtaking views. If you are feeling really brave, try jumping off and hang glide your way to the bottom. Take a stroll from the lighthouse through 47 ha of remnant vegetation down to the old whaling station at the coast. During July and September, you can watch the humpback whales migrating off the coast. The Julian Rocks Marine Park is an underwater wonderland for divers to explore. It is where temperate and tropical currents meet. This area became part of Cape Byron Marine Park in 2002. Byron Bay is a place of mystery, myth and legend. Stories of the sailors and the traditional owners of the land are legendary. It is famous for relaxed its lifestyle and has many interesting people living in the area. Throughout the Byron Shire, you will find the markets in towns like Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads and Byron Bay. These local markets come alive with singers, dancers and musicians while the local falafel vendor competes for customers against the hot dog seller next door. And hand in hand with this cultural mix come the music and the music festivals. The accommodation is as diverse as the locals. Staying at Byron gives you the best of both worlds with the Gold Coast only 40 minutes up the road.

Cable Beach

on Sunday, 31 July 2011. Posted in Australia

Cable Beach takes its name from the telegraph cable that was laid between Broome and Java in 1889 and today it provides the perfect location to enjoy the magnificent Broome sunsets. There are a variety of water sport activities available. For a really unique experience you can join the sunset camel rides that operate daily along the beach. A playground on Cable Beach Reserve will keep the children amused while parents soak up the relaxed atmosphere and spectacular views. With the ocean as its backdrop, the outdoor Cable Beach Amphitheatre plays host to a wide range of cultural events throughout the dry season and is a popular location for picnics during sunsets.With restaurants nearby, a visit to the beach can extend into a leisurely lunch or dinner as you unwind and let yourself succumb to "Broome Time”. At Gantheaume Point near Broome see ancient dinosaur footprints that are more than 120 million years old. You can see the footprints in the rocky reef area when the tide it low. A plaster cast of the tracks has been embedded at the top of the cliff for anyone who visits at high tide, or if you don’t want to walk on the reef. As well as harbouring these unique dinosaur footprints, Gantheaume Point offers stunning coastal scenery. Here, the fiery red cliffs meet the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean in dramatic fashion. On the northern side of Gantheaume Point is Anastasia’s Pool. This rock pool was built by a former lighthouse keeper for his wife who was crippled with arthritis. Gantheaume Point is a five minute drive from the centre of Broome.

Cairns

on Saturday, 13 August 2011. Posted in Australia

Cairns, Cairns are buzzing. Queensland most northerly city. Some 1766 kilometres from Brisbane, it is the tourist gateway to far north Queensland with its fertile southern Tableland, Great Barrier Reef resorts and wonderful rainforests.Blessed with an international Airport, the 60,000 or so inhabitants of Cairns are host to one of the largest tourist developments in Australia. The city of Cairns has grown around Trinity Bay. It started life as port handling tin and gold from inland mines and the oldest parts of the city are found around the harbour area, along Esplanade and Wharf Street. Here, the many old buildings have wide verandas to provide shade.The harbour itself is for the local fishing industry. And what an industry it is. Above all else, Cairns is a marlin fishing centre, attracting game-fishermen from all over the world. Marlins feed about 50 kilometres offshore and are prized for their fighting qualities. Crowds gather at Marlin jetty during the season to watch the boats returning from their sport, hoping to see a huge black marlin of 500 kilograms or more being brought ashore. Tuna, Shark, barracuda and sailfish are also caught in these waters. Fish and coral are also to be seen at the Cairns Reef World, just behind the jetty, and at the Windows on the Reef show at nearby Green Island Wharf. Cairns is a tropical City. Brightly colours birds, exotic palms, fig trees and brilliant displays of flowers are in evidence everywhere. The visitors can enjoy this paradise aboard a horse-drawn wagon or take an inland tour on a paddleboat through the port and on to Admiralty Island to the south. On foot, a place to look out for is the recently opened Cairns Museum which is in the School of Arts building .The Museum holds early Aboriginal artefacts and material, and there are displays of goldmining in the region and on the building of the Kuranda railway. Beaches are not Cairns’ strong suit. Most visitors use Cairns as a base for exploring further afield, travelling north along the coast to find other beaches or taking day trip to Green Island, or coral cay, where they can swim and snorkel. More Exclusive Island Holidays are available at Lizard, Orpheus and Dunk Islands which can be reached by air, or at Fitzroy Island which is under on hours from Cairns by Boat. Inland from Cairns, the Atherton Tableland-part of the Great Dividing Range forms the Barriers between the tropics and outback Queensland to the west. The scenic Railway, built 100 year ago from Cairns to Kuranda, is the most popular first stage in reaching the tablelands from Cairns. The one and a half hour journey winds through deep gorges and sugarcane fields to the base of the Macalister Range and then climbs steeply through tunnels to Kuranda at the top. The panoramic views are spectacular. You can see the coast around Cairns and the Ocean stretching out to the Reef, huge rocky escarpments, and waterfalls at Stoney Creek and in the wet season at Barron Falls. The Tableland beyond Kuranda are rich green, for this is some of Australia’s most fertile arable farmland. It supports a large tobacco industry, crops of potatoes and onions, and for the travellers, pleasant walks along the shores of volcanic lakes, by picturesque waterfalls and in the Chilagoe limestone caves.

 

Canberra Australia

on Saturday, 30 July 2011. Posted in Australia

Canberra Print Page Learn about Australia’s culture, history and way of life in our nation’s capital. Explore our political past and modern democracy at the Museum of Australian Democracy and Parliament House. Find out more about our sporting heroes at the National Institute of Sport and Science and experience an earthquake at Questacon. Once you’ve exhausted the monuments and galleries, get into the great outdoors. This culturally-rich capital is famous for its lake, parklands and native bushland surrounds. Beneath the foliage, Canberra offers stylish restaurants, hip bars, boutique shopping and a non-stop calendar of festivals and events.
Five things to enjoy in Canberra
Parliament House, ACT1. Capital attractions: visit national attractions to modern Australia Delve into Australia’s political past at the Museum of Australian Democracy and watch Australian politicians debate current issues at Parliament House. Discover Australia through the eyes of our artists at the National Gallery of Australia. For interactive, family-friendly fun, don’t miss the National Museum of Australia and Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre. You can learn about our military history at the Australian War Memorial or the secrets of green-and-gold sporting success at the Australian Institute of Sport. Pore over records, photos and stories at the National Library and check out Australia’s first constitution at the National Archives.
Floriade, ACT2. Fantastic festivals: from hot-air balloons to hotted-up cars Start your year with the smell of burning rubber at January’s Summernats car show. Or celebrate Australia Day with two non-stop days of entertainment, including a cricket match and live music in the grounds of Parliament House. Join the Australian Prime Minister and Governor General for the Anzac Day dawn service at the Australian War Memorial. In autumn, Canberra’s skies fill with hot air balloons for the Canberra Balloon Fiesta. In winter you can warm your heart and fill your stomach at the Fireside Festival in the Canberra countryside. In spring, Canberra’s parks come alive with the colour and scents of Floriade, Australia’s celebration of spring.Canberra, ACT3. Sports galore: to watch or play Test out the world-class mountain biking trails at Mount Stromlo or in Brindabella National Park, nestled in the Australian Alps.  Nearby Namadgi National Park is great for rock climbing, hiking and horse riding, as is the inner-city bushland of Canberra Nature Park.  Meet elite athletes and test your skills at virtual rowing, wheelchair basketball and football at the Australian Institute of Sport. Watch rugby league and rugby union at Canberra Stadium or catch a cricket or Aussie rules game at the historic Manuka Oval.  For rev heads there’s the Rally of Canberra and the Summernats Car Festival, which combines racing events with a showcase of customised street machines.
Ngunnawal Rockart, ACT4. Namadgi: a national park of riches Follow the Yerrabi Walking Track which offers impressive views of the rugged Bimberi wilderness, home to some of the least disturbed eco-systems in the Australian Alps. Or explore forests of snow gum and alpine ash on the Square Rock walking track. Four wheel to the top of Mt Coree, fish from trout-filled streams and cross-country ski the winter slopes. See kangaroos, wallabies and northern corroboree frogs and explore snow-gum woodlands, wetlands and wildflower-cloaked plains. See the campsites, ceremonial stone arrangements and rock art sites left by the Ngunnawal people thousands of years ago. Then trace the trail of pastoralists and gold hunters and see the memorial to the Apollo space tracking station at Honeysuckle Creek.
Poachers Trail, ACT5. Food and wine: on the Poachers Trail Follow the Poachers Way to some of the 140 vineyards and 33 wineries dotting the tranquil countryside around Canberra. Take a gumboot tour through the vineyards and learn about the factors that shape the region’s diverse styles - from sangiovese to riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz. Stop in at a farm for cheeses, oils, chutneys, jams, wood smoked meats and homemade wine. Or team a bottle of last year’s vintage with a wood-fired pizza at a winery. Visit local studios and galleries showcasing handmade art, glassware and pottery.  At the end of the day, stay in a boutique bed and breakfast, historic homestead or a luxurious country retreat.

Central and Mid-North Coast

on Saturday, 14 April 2012. Posted in Australia, Holiday Destinations

Centraland Mid-North Coast

This region extends from the magnificent lower reaches of the Hawkesbury River, on Sydney’s outer limits, past historic Newcastle and a chain of serene coastal lakes, to popular Port Macquarie.A deeply indented span of coastlines-a succession of inlets and estuarine lakes, ragged headlands and wave worn rocky shores, with sandy beaches lapped by the Pacific Ocean – runs north from Sydney to Port Macquarie. budget accommodation,last beds,

The lower reaches of the region are on the perimeter of Sydney’s urban sprawl. In fact commuters make the 160 km return trip from Gosford to the Capital. A freeway puts Sydney within easy reach (a two –hour drive) of Newcastle, the state’s second largest city, an industrial powerhouse that managed to retain its stunning surf coastline. A string of towns, fishing hamlets with weekenders and beach shacks, smart resorts such as Terrigal, and larger centres such as vibrant Port Macquarie spread a sizable population along the coast. This is classic family holiday territory, inviting swimming, fishing, walking and picnics. hotel bookings,hotel accommodation,

Pockets of National park protect remnants of littoral rainforest, majestic headlands, extensive coastal lakes and idyllic beaches, providing visitors with a chance to experience the coast’s precious natural beauty. Another wonderful experience is wildlife-watching, includes the thrill of seeing giant humpback and other whales migrating season.motels,
Gosford: On the northern shore of Brisbane Water (an estuary system feeding into Broken Bay), in a setting of steep hills and valleys, is the busy commercial city of Gosford. Its beachside suburb stretch for miles and some residents make the daily commute to Sydney: Visitors and residents alike enjoy fishing, fine beaches and easy access to water sports and national parks. cheap hotel stays,Gosford offers the full gamut of accommodation, though Terrigal of the Entrance, right on the coast, may be more relaxed holiday option.backpackers,

Brisbane Water National Park:Brisbane water National Park, 11500 ha of rugged sandstone country, is noted for its spectacular wildflowers-spring-flowering waratahs along Patonga Road, followed by massed Christmas Bells. The Dharug and Darkinjung people occupied parts o the park for at least 11000 years and the sandstone rock engravings at Bulgandry, in the distinctive Hawkesbury style, are among the finest in the Sydney region. Bushwalking (a network of walking trails cross the park); canoeing and bird watching are favourite activities. Waratah Trig and Staples Lookout provide stunning water views. There is limited bush camping (BYO everything). The best fishing tends to be in the southern section of the estuary, during summer and autumn.cheap hotels motels,

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* Note: Room prices change constantly. You should check the latest availability as in many cases the room price can be even lower than the listed price on the LastBeds website.