Sydney

10 things not to miss in Australia

Quite simply, I love Australia!

I love Australia!

 

I have been there four times to date, each time doing different things and staying in different parts of the country. There is so much more that I need to see but, in the meantime here is my list of ten things not to miss in Australia.

 

 

Adelaide to Alice in 7 days
Embark on a wonderful adventure and see some of Australia at its best with a trip from South Australia’s capital to Australia’s red centre. Walk the paths of Kings Canyon and sleep under the stars near Uluru. Drive through the opal capital of the world, see huge salt lakes, hike in Wilpena Pound and much, much more. Make some more memories with this fantastic tour.

Website: www.adventuretours.com.au for further information of this tour and many more.

Uluru, Australia

Australia Zoo, Queensland
Australia Zoo is located about an hour north of Brisbane, in Beerwah near the Glasshouse mountains. The zoo is 100 acres and there are opportunities to see some fabulous animals, take guided tours, have animal encounters and a lot more. Australia Zoo is a team of passionate people who want to educate others about animal conservation. A vision that Steve and Terri Irwin have made a reality. A fabulous day out.

Address: 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah, Queensland 4519
Open: Daily, 9.00am-5.00pm
Admission: Adult $59.00; Child (3-14 years old) $35.00; Family 4 (2 adult + 2 child) $172.00; Family 5 (2 adult + 3 child) $189.00; Pension $47.00; Student; $47.00
Website: www.australiazoo.com.au

Australia Zoo, New South Wales

Barossa Valley, Adelaide
The whole of Australia is famous for its wine but the Barossa Valley is a must see in Adelaide. Barossa is home to more than 550 grape growing families, many with the sixth generation still working the same plot of land, supplying quality grapes to more than 170 wine companies.
There are many tour companies offering a variety of Barossa Valley tours; most include three of four tastings at different wineries, lunch and a drive through the beautiful Adelaide Hills with a stop or two at local attractions, such as the Whispering wall and Menglers lookout point.

Website: www.adelaidetours.travel/tours/barossa-valley to get an idea of what’s on offer.

Barossa Valley, SA
Source: www.ytravelblog.com/barossa-valley-food-wine/

Being a Jillaroo, New South Wales
If, like me, you love horses, an Australian Jillaroo or Jackaroo School is a perfect way to spend a few day in the Australian outback. Learn skills such as horse whispering, sheep shearing and cattle mustering. Look after your own horse for the eleven days and get involved with jobs around the farm. Leconfield is a working farm and you are there to help, so if you are willing to put the effort in then this is definitely an adventure worth doing. Rest assured there will be plenty of laughs along the way and you will come away with some fabulous memories.

Address: Leconfield Jackaroo, Jillaroo School ‘Bimboola’ Kootingal, NSW. Australia 2352
Website: www.leconfield.com

Jillaroo, New South Wales

Blue Mountains, New South Wales
If you are in Sydney a trip to the Blue Mountains is a must-do. The mountain range is truly spectacular and covers an area of some 10,000 square kilometres. It was declared a World Heritage Area by UNESCO in 2000.

Get to Echo Point lookout, in Katoomba, for fabulous views over the mountains and, in particular, the “Three Sisters,” a natural rock formation that stands proud over the Jamison Valley. Another highlight in the area is to travel down to the valley on the scenic railway. This is no ordinary railway. It is the steepest funicular railway in the world. Originally part of the Katoomba mining tramways, constructed between 1878 and 1900, it plunges deep into the valley floor. Once on the valley floor, there are many trails that are popular with hikers and nature lovers.

Website: www.bluemts.com.au for visitor information, how to get there and much more.

Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Source: www.australia.com

Circular Quay, Sydney
Circular Quay is a harbour located in the north of Sydney’s central business district. There are walkways, parks and restaurants around the quay and it’s also home to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are also many bars, cafes and restaurants and it’s a popular place for tourists and locals alike who come to enjoy the jazz bands and musicians that play regularly. Circular quay is also the place to go for ferries, trains and buses.

Website: www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/sydney-city/circular-quay for attractions, events and much more.

Circular Quay, Sydney

Fraser Island, Queensland
Fraser Island was listed as a World Heritage site in 1992. There are many tours to choose from, so choose wisely because there is so much to see. There is a large diversity of habitats; rainforests, eucalyptus woods, mangrove forests, sand dunes and coastal areas. It also hosts a wide range of fauna, from dingoes, whales and birds to the occasional salt water crocodile. It is the biggest sand island in the world. 80% is covered in plants and trees due to the mycorrhizal fungi which occurs naturally and is present in the sand. Visit 75 mile beach and see the Pinnacles and Eli Creek or enjoy one of the island’s 100 or so lakes.

Website: www.fraserisland.net for further information on Fraser Island.

Fraser Island
Source: www.australia.com

Indian Pacific; A Trip Across the Nullabor
The Indian Pacific train is one of the few true transcontinental trains in the world. The route: Three nights and four days via Broken Hill, Adelaide, Cook and Kalgoorlie, one way, 4,352km. Whether you’re journeying from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific or the other way round, enjoy travelling across the Nullarbor Plain, on the longest stretch of straight railway track in the world. It is definitely a trip worth taking.
Fares available include the Gold Service; Sydney-Perth $2529AUD or $2019AUD if booked in advance (based on a single cabin).

Website: www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/trains/the_indian_pacific for everything you need to know about the Indian Pacific.

Indian Pacific, Australia

Noosa Heads, Queensland
Noosa Heads is small town on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. You’ll find boutiques and restaurants which run parallel to the calm waters of Noosa Main Beach. A great way to spend the day is to explore the hiking trails for the chance of seeing local wildlife and wonderful views of the ocean. Or you can spend time relaxing on any of the beautiful beaches in the area.

Website: www.visitnoosa.com.au

Noosa Heads, Queensland

Walpole, Western Australia
When in western Australia, visit Walpole which is famous for its giant Tingle and Karri trees, and one of the best things to do there is go and see the “Valley of the Giants.” The elevated tree top walk is 40 metres high, making for spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Beneath the canopy walk there is also a pathway around the Tingle trees for walkers. There are also Eco tours and cruises and wildlife parks in the area.

Address: Valley of the Giants Rd, Nornalup WA 6333, Australia
Open: Daily, 9.00am-5.00pm
Website: www.valleyofthegiants.com.au

Valley of the Giants, Walpole, WA

Have you been to Australia? What was your favourite place? Or maybe you have a favourite activity that you did. I would love to hear from you. 🙂

 

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Travels Round Australia- Sydney

Two quick stops. Coffs Harbour, which apparently has the most liveable climate in Australia, with temperatures being 18-26 Celsius in the summer, and 8-20 Celsius in the winter. And Port Macquarie, where, in 1821, the town was founded as a penal settlement for convicts. The surrounding area has thick bush, ideal for any escapees to hide, but, sadly for them, the local aborigines were happy to return any convicts to the settlement in return for tobacco and blankets.

I arrived in Sydney at midday and got a taxi to the hotel. I had a wander to get my bearings-I always find that if you walk around, with or without a map, it’s the best way to get to know your way around quickly.

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I walked to Darling Harbour, which is one of my most favourite places in the world. It is a great place for people watching as you chill out in one of the many bars or restaurants.

When the sun goes down the office lights come on and they create reflections of different colours in the water. It really is a sight to see, especially when you can see the sun’s reflection in the buildings.

After a leisurely breakfast I walked to Circular Quay where you can see the Sydney Harbour Bridge across the water, and get up close and personal with the Sydney Opera House. The Opera House is impressive although, when you get up close to it, it doesn’t look as white as it does from a distance.

I stood for a while and watched a guy playing the steel drums while another random guy was dancing round in front of him. It was quite amusing as the random guy wasn’t dancing in time with the music. Not that I am any John Travolta but it was quite amusing nonetheless!

The following day I took a trip to Manly. It takes about 30 minutes to get there by ferry from Circular Quay. I got off the boat and wandered through the town to the beach. I had barely got settled on the beach, when the sun disappeared and it got really chilly. So I packed up my things and went in search of a bar.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manly_Beach
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manly_Beach

Bondi Beach was the next destination I wanted to visit, so I took a double decker train (Yes, train) from the city and arrived at Bondi Junction some eleven minutes later. It was only a short trip to the beach and first impressions are that it is a lovely arc shaped beach, nestled in a beautiful cove.

Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bondi_Beach_3.JPG
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bondi_Beach_3.JPG

However, in my opinion, it is completely over-rated and, from the way it is portrayed on TV and in images, it is actually not that big. It is certainly not the most beautiful stretch of sand I have come across. I stayed there for a couple of hours but the sun disappeared again, making it quite chilly. The sand was being blasted by the wind and this, in turn, meant that I was continuously blasted with sand. It wasn’t very pleasant so I wandered round the shops before heading back to Sydney.

It was my birthday so I went on a trip to the Blue Mountains. The tour bus drove through a couple of little villages, Leura and Blackheath, to reach a lookout point. This is a great spot to view the “three sisters”, a natural rock formation in the Jamison Valley.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Sisters_%28Australia%29
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Sisters_%28Australia%29

The story behind the three sisters, named Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo, goes something like this- the sisters fell in love with three men of the Nepean tribe but this was forbidden, so the three men decided to take the sisters by force. This resulted in battle, with the sister’s Katoomba tribe on the losing side. The leader feared that this daughters would be carried away by the enemy, so he turned them into stone to protect them, but he was killed before he could reverse his spell.

Afterwards we drove to the Blue Mountains resort and travelled down to the valley on the scenic railway. This is no ordinary railway. It is the steepest one in the world and it plunges deep into the valley floor. It was a little like being on a roller coaster, although it didn’t go as fast! At the bottom there is a board walk where you can walk through the many different species of trees, and learn about the old mining businesses that used to be there.

The Blue Mountains are spectacular. Their name comes from the blue haze that can be seen from a distance. This happens when incoming ultraviolet radiation gets scattered by particles in the atmosphere, which creates a blue colour to any distant objects. The mountain area covers around 10,000 square kilometres and was declared a World Heritage Area by UNESCO in 2000.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Mountains_%28New_South_Wales%29
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Mountains_%28New_South_Wales%29

On the way back we stopped off at the Olympic Park, which was a purpose built village where the Sydney Olympic Games were held in 2002. It was very impressive. Later that evening I went out to celebrate my birthday. I had dinner and found a nice bar, where I met some guys from Melbourne who helped me celebrate. I left around midnight feeling a little tipsy but happy that I had had another great day in Oz.

Next time: A tour around Melbourne 🙂 🙂