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Child-friendly Places to Visit in NSW

From wildlife sanctuaries to amusement parks and more, the state of NSW is full of places and activities that are perfect for children and adults alike. Check out some of the best places in NSW to keep your little ones entertained on your next Australian adventure.

 

Taronga Zoo & Taronga Western Plains Zoo

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With a spectacular location overlooking Sydney Harbour, award-winning Taronga Zoo is an unbeatable destination for animal lovers and budding zoologists. With over 4,000 animals to see and more than 20 shows to catch per day – as well as guided tours and the occasional concert – there’s always something happening at Taronga Zoo.

Those looking for an immersive experience can even stay overnight in safari-style tents, surrounded by the calls of Taronga’s native and exotic inhabitants.

Located in Dubbo, roughly 400 kilometres inland from Sydney, Taronga Western Plains Zoo is Australia’s oldest open range zoo.

Instead of gates, walls and fences, Taronga Western Plains Zoo uses concealed moats to separate visitors from animals, allowing you to imagine what an encounter in the wild would feel like!

 

Note: Although Taronga is NSW’s most famous wildlife institution, there are plenty of fantastic venues to explore across the state. For more animal adventures, check out Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside, Blackbutt Reserve in New Lambton, Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh, and Mogo Zoo on the NSW South Coast.

 

Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures

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Do your kids have an adventurous streak? Then head to one of NSW’s treetop adventure parks for the chance to embrace this spirit in a safe and scenic environment.

Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is one NSW’s most popular treetop adventure parks, offering different experiences to suit all ages and abilities. The Treetop Walk winds 1500 metres through the beautiful rainforest canopy on a walkway suspended 20-30 metres above the ground. Although this walk is suitable for all ages, Knights Tower (a viewing platform situated at the end of the walkway) is not accessible to prams.

If your children are at least 5 years old and over 105cm tall, they can also choose to embark on a Zipline Tour. This thrilling journey involves crossing suspension bridges and flying along a series of steel cables strung 35 metres above the forest floor!

With professional guidance, breathtaking views, and the option for parents to ride tandem with smaller children, Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is perfect for the whole family.

 

Luna Park

Photo Credit: Pixabay

For some old-fashioned fun with a modern backdrop, there’s no going past Luna Park Sydney. Built in 1935, the huge grin which marks the entrance of Luna Park has become a beloved icon for generations of Sydneysiders.

Take your children to Luna Park to experience the nostalgia and simple joys of times gone by. Here, you can saddle up on the hand-painted carousel, marvel and laugh inside the Big Top, grab a bite to eat at the Coney Island Café, and clatter along the tracks of a rare wooden roller coaster.

Round out your visit with a ride on the ferris wheel, whose colourful carriages enjoy magnificent views of Sydney Harbour and a skyline from a completely different era.

 

Billabong Ranch

Make a trip to Echuca, found on the NSW-Victoria border, for a crowd-pleasing outing that’s perfect for groups with a range of interests. Billabong Ranch sprawls over 390 acres and includes a fun-filled activity centre with enough activities to interest practically anyone.

Horse lovers will be spoilt for choice – the ranch has a range of trail rides designed for both experienced and inexperienced riders, as well as pony ride options for younger guests. Guests can also get active on the bouldering wall, challenge themselves on the obstacle course, or strike up some friendly competition with a game of table tennis, beach volleyball, or ten-pin bowling.

As if that wasn’t enough, there are also friendly animals for petting, bungy trampolines for bouncing – even camels for riding! The archery and mini-golf courses are especially popular during wet weather, so you can all have a great time at Billabong Ranch at any time of year.

 

Jamberoo Action Park

Less than two hours south of Sydney, Jamberoo Action Park is one of the wildest places to cool off in NSW. This theme park features 15 rides spread over 40 hectares of landscaped parklands near Kiama.

Ideal for children and parents alike, Jamberoo Action Park delivers high-speed thrills as well as more easygoing entertainment. Take the little ones for a paddle at Billabong Beach – a play area designed specially for young children – or join your budding adrenaline junkies on hair-raising rides such as Funnel Web and The Perfect Storm.

New to the park in 2016, Jamberoo’s latest ride hurls riders along a 290-metre trajectory to reach speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour! Of course, you can always float around in the wave pool instead.

 

So get organising and plan your school holiday adventure now!

 

About the Author

Alex is a 23 year old lover of life, brunch & adventure. After moving to Sydney when finishing a journalism degree, he began his blog Inspire A Better Life to positively influence others to get out there and see all life has to offer. Join Alex as he discovers this life one day at a time, documenting his thoughts and other along the way!

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Australia’s Best Diving Sites

Australia is a country renowned for many things – great food and drink, friendly locals, the Sydney Opera House and of course, some of the world’s most amazing beaches.
But for those who love the outdoors, a trip to Australia is on most people’s travel bucket lists, especially if you enjoy diving. The very second you think of underwater fun in this area of the world, the famous Great Barrier Reef springs instantly to mind, which is understandable.
However, Australia has a number of great diving spots that offer just as much of a reward as diving around the Great Barrier Reef itself.
Let’s start just off Queensland, where the protected waters of the Lizard Island National Park offer divers a vast selection of underwater life to view during every session. From the stunning corals to the elegant manta rays and giant clams, the warm waters found here attract a number of species. The island is a popular diving site for beginners to try their hand at diving, although due to the stunning underwater views, divers of all abilities tend to come back here again and again.
It isn’t just the reefs that are popular For a dive with a difference, head out to the shipwreck site of the Yongala passenger ship that sank back in 1911 on a routine journey from Melbourne to Cairns. Now, the wreck teems with wildlife, offering the chance to see potato cod, clown fish and sea snakes. In winter you might meet a humpback whale or two, whilst in the summer months, you will be greeted by hundreds of tiny colourful fish. Beware though, as the wreck is very popular and is visited by around 10,000 divers each year.
Another popular spot is the World Heritage Site at Heron Island. Again, it is popular with beginners as it is easy to access by a quick boat ride out to a number of terrific dive spots. Try Heron Bommie, the Coral Cascades or Blue Pools where you might just see loggerhead turtles, wobbegong sharks or moray eels, among others.
Head to Byron Bay for plenty of action
Our last two suggestions take us to the well-known area of Byron Bay, which is the perfect destination if you want to mix relaxing days on the beach with a spot of diving. The Bay offers a different climate to other Australian diving sites, mixing the warm waters of the north with the cool waters of the south. Because of this, you will find an amazing selection of underwater wildlife all attracted by the unique water system.
First try Julian Rocks, two small islands that sit within their own Marine Park and a great place for seeing larger species such as humpback whales and leopard sharks. Alternatively, head out to the Whitsunday Islands where the corals flicker with colourful underwater life. The islands are perfect for beginners as they house a dedicated diving centre and just a short boat ride will take you to some fantastic spots just outside the Great Barrier Reef.

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4 Day Travel Guide to Western Australia

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

Do you have an upcoming short trip booked to Western Australia and you want to be absolutely sure you make the most of your time there? If so, we’ve got you covered as we’ve put together the perfect four-day travel guide and itinerary. This guide highlights the very best that Western Australia has to offer and gives you a real taste for the region, the culture, and the adventures.

Take in the Sights at Perth

Founded 200 years ago, Perth just so happens to be known as Australia’s sunniest capital city, so you can bet you’re in for some fabulous weather here and it also acts as the perfect home-base for a four-day tour. Situated right on the ocean, you can enjoy all aspects of beach life and then explore the city when you’re ready for a break. There is no shortage of restaurants, bars, shopping, and parks. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous you can even sign up for a swim with the dolphin adventure.

Speaking of adventures, Perth features some of the most rugged and raw landscape that you can find. This makes for some pretty exciting adventure activities and sports. Finally if you happen to be a foodie, this area of Australia is well-known for its wineries. You may enjoy a tour of a winery and a tasting of course.

Be a Part of Nature

How would you like to be a part of nature? When you head to The Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk you will be one with these towering trees. These are some of the very tallest trees on earth, never mind just in Australia. These trees, called Tingle Trees, are the perfect spot for a treetop canopy walk that snakes through 600 meters of forest.

The experience is both exhilarating and peaceful all at the same time. It’s a wonderful way to get a 360 degree view of Australia’s beautiful and unique landscape. If you’re heading to this walk from Perth be prepared for about a 4.5 hour drive, so you may want to spend the night in a nearby town and turn this into a full day-trip.

A National Park That has Been Two Billion Years in the Making

No trip to Western Australia is complete without a trip to Karijini National Park. This is easily one of the most awe-inspiring natural attractions in the region, possibly the country. It has literally been two billion years in the making, and features stunningly clear rock pools, deep and rugged gorges, and peaceful yet powerful waterfalls.

Besides taking in the beauty there are also a number of activities to enjoy in the park such as paddling, hiking, swimming, camping, four-wheel drive tours, and more. You can book a tour that leaves straight from Perth making it convenient.

The World’s Most Majestic Mammals

Before you cap off your four-day tour of Western Australia, you’ll want to be sure you book a whale watching tour from Perth with WA Fishing, https://www.wafishing.com.au/. These mammals are known for frolicking through the area from May all the way through to December.

Four Days Just Isn’t Enough

One thing that is for sure is that at the end of your four day journey you’ll wish you had more time in this lovely and intriguing area of Australia, as four days just isn’t enough.

 

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Your Australian Adventure Begins: Discover Victoria


If you’re planning on an Australian adventure this year, and plan to visit Melbourne, expand your trip throughout Victoria. As Australia’s most densely populated state, it offers a thriving cultural scene, along with unrivalled coastal and wildlife experiences. Everything is easily accessible, within a few hours drive. Fly directly into Melbourne Airport from numerous worldwide destinations.


Melbourne


You can’t visit Victoria without spending some time in its capital city. This sprawling metropolis is located on the bay of Port Phillip and expands outwards to the Dandenongs, Mornington Peninsula, and Yarra Valley. Take the City Circle Tram which stops at many areas of note. Grab a coffee on the banks of the Yarra River. Melbourne boasts the highest density of cafes and restaurants in the world, so you’ll be spoiled for choice.


A unique way to experience the city and everything it has to offer is via the Eureka Skydeck. This is the tallest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere and provides outstanding views of the city and surrounding areas.


Shopaholics will love Queen Victoria Market. It is one of the largest open-air markets in the world and is open five days a week.


Ballarat


Located on the Yarrowee River in the Grampians region of Victoria, Ballarat is a short drive from Melbourne. Hotels like The Lake View Hotel in Ballarat provide a friendly and comfortable stay. Enjoy the elegant buildings of Victoria’s largest inland city and immerse yourself in its rich history. Here you can enjoy theatre, fine art, and delicious local cuisine. Or explore the banks of Lake Wendouree and stroll around the stunning botanical gardens.


Dandenongs And Yarra Valley Wineries


Wine buffs will love exploring Victoria’s wine region. Sample the local wines and take in the magnificent views by hot air balloon.


The Dandenong ranges are just an hour out of Melbourne. Visitors enjoy discovering this area on foot, by car, or by Puffing Billy, the area’s historic steam train.



The Great Ocean Road


Travel light and take a trip along the Great Ocean Road from Torquay to Allansford. This is one of Australia’s most famous road trip routes. You’ll drive through stunning coastal towns, rainforests, and under canopies of lush trees. There are lots of isolated beaches to discover, along with lighthouses and thick forests. You could spend at least a week travelling this route and still not see everything.


Yarra River


The banks of the Yarra River are a great place to dine as the light begins to fade. The city’s lights are reflected in the water as you eat at one of the region’s most sought-after restaurants. Cuisine covers everything from traditional fare to French, Italian, and Japanese. There’s plenty of choice and something to suit all pockets.

If you’re considering a trip to Australia, be sure to take in the stunning Victoria region with its bustling cities, stunning coastline, and beautiful forests. You can shop, hike, surf, eat, or find an isolated beach and while away the days. Each member of the family is catered for in terms of food, accommodation, and activities. And you’ll be assured a warm Aussie welcome.


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Making Australia Your Best Trip Yet

Posted in Australia, travel, travel tips
on August 4, 2016

Australia has something for everybody, whether you want to relax on some of the prettiest beaches you’ve ever seen, or see some amazing sights. Australia can be travelled on a luxury budget, but it’s not impossible to do it when you’re short on cash either. You just need to be smart. Whatever you require, it’s possible to make Australia your best trip yet. These pointers will help you to plan a trip you’ll never forget:


Consider Working As You Travel


If you want to travel Australia indefinitely, as many do, then it’s a good idea to consider working as you travel. You won’t need to turn up with a fortune in your back pocket. All you’ll need is a working visa so that you can get work, save up, and travel around. However, you want to avoid the trap of staying in Sydney and only ever associating with the backpacking crowd. This is what many people do, and they never end up saving more money to travel or seeing any of Australia properly. Many people who have worked and travelled Australia admit that they worked more than they travelled and absolutely loved it. This could be an option for you if you’re unable to save the thousands you need to make your way around.

Shop Around For Your Flights

Always shop around for your flights. The flights to Australia will always be the most expensive thing about the trip. You may need to look into connecting flights, or flights from different airlines to find the best deals. Using a comparison site will help you to do this with minimal hassle.

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Arrange Airport Transfer In Advance

Arrange your airport transport in advance to get to where you’re going with minimal fuss. All the major airports will have this available, so make sure you book.

Don’t Forget Your Visa

Everybody will need a visa to visit Australia unless you are a citizen of New Zealand. Make sure you apply for your visa in plenty of time so you don’t experience any delays.

Get Through Customs Safely

Getting through customs as safely as possible will help you to avoid delays and any hassle. You will need to be aware of what you can and can’t take through. It goes without saying you should leave any dangerous items at home. You will also need to declare your cash if you’re taking more than $10,000.

Always Take Out Insurance

Always take out insurance. Australia can be an amazing place to visit, but it can be dangerous depending on what you’re doing. Regardless of whether you’re taking part in exploring and adventure sports or not, you should take out an appropriate level of insurance cover to protect you. You never know what could happen.

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Know Climates In Different Areas And Plan Accordingly

Different places in Australia have different climates. Some have very hot temperatures, while others will be freezing cold. Plan and pack accordingly. You’ll usually still need to take a high SPF with you to avoid burns, as you can still get burns from the sun when the weather is cold. You don’t want sun stroke or anything like that to ruin your trip. Stay hydrated too!

Research Accommodation

Research your accommodation to make sure you find what you are looking for. If you’re a backpacker, you’ll be able to find plenty of backpacking hostels to accommodate you. There are hostels that offer more of a party atmosphere, and some that are quieter. If you’re travelling in luxury, look at places like this Sorrento accommodation so you know what is available to you.

Create The Perfect Itinerary

Create the perfect itinerary for yourself so you know what you want to do and when. Don’t be rigid here; leave a little room to do your own thing and explore, as you’ll definitely find things to do once you arrive. It’s OK to stray from your itinerary for something worthwhile. If you don’t feel confident creating one of these yourself, find one online and go from there. You can use it or edit it as you see fit. Learning from somebody who has already done it is a great idea!

Australia is a popular place for tourists, with good reason. You’ll likely change as a person once you’ve visited Australia. You’ll experience a new culture and learn so much. You’ll also make memories that last a lifetime. Whether you’re a backpacker or a luxury traveller, these tips apply to you. Good luck and have the most amazing time!


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Not Your Usual Australian Vacation

Posted in Australia, destinations, places of interest, travel tips
on July 19, 2016
If you have wunderlust like me, you probably like to see the more unusual side of the places you visit. If you are thinking of going to Australia anytime soon, make sure you get to see the many weird and wonderful things that this amazing country has to offer with my guide below.


Don’t forget Tasmania


Poor old Tasmania, it often gets left off of tourist merchandise because it’s not part of the Australian mainland! But is is an Island state of Australia and just a short trip from the southern coast. Tasmania’s is worth visiting for a number of reasons. Firstly you should check out Sheffield. It’s used to be a town on the verge of extinction, but the locals got creative by creating their own tourist attraction to reinvigorate the place. What they did was to paint lots of murals on the size of the houses, making the town a living artwork.  Then there is Hobart, Tasmania’s capital city. It is the oldest city in Australia apart from Sydney itself, and its a great mix of history and beach. Check out Battery Point, where you can get a ‘back in time’ experience surrounded by all the Victorian architecture.


Cattle Stations


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Another unusual thing to do while you are in Australia is to visit the cattle stations on the Kimberley, in the North Western Territories. Some of them are so large that they use helicopters to drive the cattle! You can stay on a ranch and get an authentic taste of what life is like out there, as well as explore the amazing scenery and wilderness. Whether you fancy camping out under the stars or a luxury lodge is more your style, you can find some more information about station stays Australia on the internet.


Broome


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Another place to check out while you are in North Western Australia is Broome. A town with a fascinating history of pearl farming, there are a few thing that you don’t want to miss here. Visit the traditional Japanese Cemetery, a leftover of the early pearl trade. Or check out the Staircase to the Moon, an interesting natural phenomenon. It’s where the tide goes out under a full moon, and there seem to be steps in the sea leading up to it. The residents of Broome have realized that this is a pull for tourists and now run and craft and food market on staircase nights.


Pink Stuff


If you want to see some unusual, crazy stuff, then you just can’t miss the Pink Lake.  Located in the South West, Lake Hillier is a pink lake. No one knows why the lake is pink for certain, but seen from the air, it’s a crazy bold pink color. When you get up to the lake, of course, the water is transparent, but it’s still pink! Not to be missed!


Then pop along to New South Wales to see the pink slugs! That right they have bright pink invertebrate there. Mount Kaputar is a 10×10 km square section of rainforest that is home to species found nowhere else in the world.
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Perth: Why This Easy Going City Is Worth Visiting

Perth is the laid back city in Western Australia. As close to Bali as it is to some of Australia’s Eastern cities. With its combination of beaches, big city attractions and laid back living there is something for everyone in Perth. As this city is a place to visit I thought I would share with you some of the ways you can see it. There’s a few tips as well as some suggestions of things to do. You will be booking your flight before you know it.


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Visit the big attractions


Perth is Australia’s only city where you can experience a vibrant beach life and a relaxed bushland experience. The only place where you can sample fine wines while watching an ocean sunset. It’s such a diverse place. Perth is situated along the Swan River, seeing the city at night with its glittering lights reflecting in the river is a sight worth seeing. With Kings Park and the Botanic Garden, which is one of the biggest inner city-parks in the world. However it isn’t just pretty scenery this city has, you will be spoilt for choice of the amount of museums on offer. Showcasing wonderful art and architecture. If music is more your thing, then a must-see would be to head to Swan Bells. Which fills the air with sound from one of the largest musical instruments in the world. There is so much to do the only tough decision would be where to start first.


International Airport makes visiting easy


With daily flights into Perth from all major cities, and plenty of regional flights coming and going. Heading to Perth has never been easier wherever you are in the world. Australia is so expansive that you may even live there and not had a chance to visit this city. But air travel is so easy and frequent that it has never been easier to head there.


Get around by car


Whether you land at the airport or head into Perth from another mode of transport, there are plenty of ways to get around. However, the best way would be by car as the area is so big. There is car hire from Perth Airport making it easy to kick off your vacation from the word go. Not only is the city iconic but you also have some of the smaller places that are worth visiting, places like Mount Eliza and Freemantle.


The weather is great


Perth is the sunniest state capital in Australia with an average of 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. It has a real Mediterranean style climate meaning that it is warm for most of the year. However, February is the hottest month of the year. You do still get a little rainfall, but that would be mostly during the winter months of May to September. However, one of the great advantages is the sea breeze you feel in the afternoon. Making this city livable even though it is known as the hottest city in Australia.


I hope this has inspired you to book a trip to Perth in Western Australia. You won’t be disappointed.
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