Travel Blog

A trip exploring the outback

The outback is the heart and soul of Australia. If you’re gearing up for your gap year, or you’re looking forward to adventure travel down under, it’s well worth taking time out to explore the outback and enjoy an authentic Australian experience.

Exploring the outback

There are various options open to you if you’re keen to discover the wonders of the outback. You can either be an intrepid explorer and embark on a road trip, organise a home stay in the outback, or join an organised tour. If you’re eager to meet new friends and enjoy the experience with others, bus tours are a great option. You can choose from a range of itineraries and experience all kinds of different activities and excursions on your travels.

Outback highlights

The Australian outback is vast. It’s impossible to explore it in its entirety unless you have months at your disposal. Here are some highlights to include in your itinerary:

Parachilna: if you’re travelling from Adelaide to Darwin, stop off at the beautiful Clare Valley wineries to enjoy the open views and sample some of the local produce.

Flinders Ranges National Park: Flinders Ranges National Park is a sprawling area jam-packed with mesmerising geographical features, including gorges, canyons, mountains and rumbling creeks. You can try all kinds of activities here, from hiking and kayaking to mountain biking and fishing. En route to your next stop, visit the salt-covered shores of Lake Eyre.

Coober Pedy: prepare to be transported back in time when you visit rustic Coober Pedy. This mining town is an outback gem, which supplies around 75 per cent of the world’s opals. Once you’ve brushed up on your outback history, it’s time to meet some of Australia’s cuddliest creatures with a visit to the local kangaroo sanctuary.

Alice Springs and Uluru: on your way to Alice Springs, you’ll cross the infamous Moon Plain, so-called because of its similarity to lunar environments. Spend time exploring Alice Springs before heading to one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks, Uluru. Home of Ayers Rock, this is an opportunity to witness the wonders of the burning red rock and hone your photography skills.

King’s Canyon: King’s Canyon is a sight to behold. Grab your walking boots and limber up for a trek, which will treat you to breathtaking views.

Kakadu National Park: a vast expanse, Kakadu National Park is a beautiful place to unwind or get your adrenaline pumping. Try out some outdoor pursuits, or while away the hours taking in the views.

Darwin: round off your trip in style with a visit to the stunning Litchfield National Park, where you’ll find rivers, waterfalls and rugged outcrops.

Sydney’s best sunning spots

If you’re heading down under for your gap year, or you’re planning an adventure travel extravaganza, you’re probably looking forward to soaking up some sun and trying Australia’s beaches for size. Here are some of the best sunning spots in Sydney to top up your tan and enjoy some sun, sea, and sand.


Manly Beach

Just a short ferry trip from Sydney Harbour, Manly Beach is a stunning spot to catch some rays, play beach games, and enjoy a chilled out day with friends. The boat ride is an adventure in itself and it gives you fantastic views of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Take a picnic, or make like the locals and fire up the barbeque.


Bondi Beach

It would be crazy to write about Sydney’s sun spots without including the world’s most famous beach, Bondi. Bondi is a tourist trap of giant proportions. You’ll find huge crowds throughout the day most days, as people flock to catch the waves, enjoy the sun and take in the vistas. If you’re eager to enjoy the best of Bondi, visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon. In the summer, it’ll still be lovely and warm, but the crowds will be much smaller.

If you’re eager to take in panoramic views in luxurious surroundings, head to Icebergs, an outdoor pool located above Bondi Beach. This is an idyllic place to cool down with a refreshing dip and enjoy a tropical cocktail.


Milk Beach

If you’re looking for somewhere to relax and unwind, Milk Beach is the perfect place. This is a secluded spot, ideal for sunbathing in perfect peace and quiet and enjoying romantic sunset strolls.


Watson’s Bay

A tranquil retreat a boat ride away from the bright city lights, this is a great spot to bask in the sun, grab a refreshing drink and watch the sunset with traditional fish and chips.


Wylie’s Baths

If you’re walking from Bondi to Coogee, stop off at Wylie’s Baths for a swim in the clear, shallow waters. Overlooked by rugged cliffs, this sheltered lagoon offers beautiful ocean views. You can also enjoy a massage in the water.


Sydney is packed with sights and attractions, but nothing beats a day at the beach. If you’re visiting in spring or summer and you’re looking for city sun traps, look no further. Work your way through the list, and don’t forget your sunscreen.


Top 5 stunning views along the Great Ocean Road

The open road, sun glistening off the bonnet and the wind through your hair as you gaze out on the ocean: The Great Ocean Road, Australia’s prize stretch of tarmac along the south eastern coast, has been giving travellers that very feeling ever since it opened in 1932.


With rock stacks, surf beaches, resort towns, rainforests, waterfalls and postcard views aplenty, the 243km connection from Torquay to Allansford has been dramatically shaped by powerful storms, leaving it more and more iconic each time the clouds clear.


You can quite comfortably travel the Great Ocean Road in just a couple of days if you zip along: the question is where to stop off. Here are some essential viewing points for some incredible photo opportunities.


Teddy’s lookout


Just south of the town of Lorne, this photo spot gives you the perfect angle for capturing the views of the surf breaking into the mouth of the Saint George river, the water turning deep blue to turquoise as it approaches the coast. Behind the beach is a spectacular rainforest-covered gorge. Picnic locations don’t get any more scenic.




A key stop-off along the Shipwreck Coast towards the end of the route, the big draw here is the chance to see whales surfacing so close to the coast that you may not even need to leave your car to see them. Point Ritchie/Moyjil is a significant Aboriginal site in the area, and taking in Australia’s indigenous heritage as you look out across the ocean to a setting sun is an experience you won’t forget.


The Twelve Apostles


This set of massive rock formations standing proud off the coast is one of the most majestic sights in the whole of the Southern hemisphere. One collapsed back in 2007, and it may only be a matter of time before another tumbles, so make sure to get to the viewing platforms to catch them while you can. Coordinate your visit around a sunset for the most magical vista, or book a helicopter tour for an incredible bird’s eye view.


Kennet River 

If you want to add a close-up view of koalas, parrots and cockatoos to your Great Ocean Road photo album, make sure to plan in a stop at Kennett River. This seaside town is home to an easy-to-find grove of trees where a quick crane of your neck is all you need to see these animals amongst the leaves.


Great Barrier Reef ranks first as world’s best place to visit

The world’s largest coral reef system and Australia’s greatest natural wonder has ranked No. 1 in U.S. News & World Report’s World’s Best Places to Visit rankings for 2016-17.Successtories_Greatbarrierreef


Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is a favourite amongst travellers, leading all world destinations ahead of Paris in second and French Polynesia’s Bora Bora in third.


The rankings are based on combined opinions of travellers and experts, with more than 250 travel destinations evaluated for this year’s ranking.


Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) CEO, Leanne Coddington, said the Reef’s status as number one was a vote of confidence in its world-wide tourism appeal. “The Great Barrier Reef is a living treasure and a major tourism drawcard for visitors to Queensland,” Ms Coddington said. “It is an unrivalled experience that tens of thousands of people are enjoying every day.” Ms Coddington said tourism to the Reef contributed almost $5.2 billion to the nation’s economy. “The Great Barrier Reef welcomes more than 1.9 million visitors each year,” Ms Coddington said. “It’s ours to protect and share, and this latest result reaffirms just how important the Reef is to Queensland’s tourism economy.


“Experiences like the Great Barrier Reef help inspire visitors to experience Queensland, the best address on earth.” U.S. News & World Report is a leading provider of service news and information, with a signature Best of series of consumer guides across a range of different categories.


Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently promised funding of $1 billion for the protection of The Great Barrier Reef after reports of its deteriorating condition raised an alarm.


‘The Reef Fund’ aims at investing in clean energy projects in a bid to secure its name on the World Heritage list. The Australian government will ensure the delivery of $1 billion over 10 years, which will be invested in projects targeted towards minimizing emissions, apart from keeping the water clean.



Jewel in the cruise crown to dock in Australia

Hobart HarbourCruise operator Norwegian Cruise Lines has announced that its Norwegian Jewel vessel will be sailing around Australia for the 2017-18 holiday season.


After heading over from Vancouver to its Sydney start point, the Norwegian Jewel will begin its Australasia itinerary from October 2017.


The ship will undertake seven round-trip cruises departing from Sydney, all of which include a five-night trip to Tasmania. Overall, the voyages will be a nine-night journey stopping off in, amongst other exciting locations, beautiful coastal town Eden and superb wildlife hotspot Kangaroo Island, home to kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, fur-seals and many bird colonies.


Also on offer to passengers will be itineraries lasting between 10 and 16 nights taking in the sights of both Australia and New Zealand. These trips will run between Novermber 2017 and February 2018.


On 20 February 2018, Norwegian Jewel will embark on a jumbo journey between Sydney and Singapore totaling 18 nights and calling at Queensland, Darwin and Indonesia’s Komodo Island.


The ship, which made its maiden voyage in 2005 and once starred as the location for a task in Donald Trump’s U.S. version of The Apprentice, has 16 dining options, 15 bars and 1,100 ship crew. Passengers can enjoy a dip in the pool, a relax in a covered hot tub or a pamper session in the spa.


Steve Odell, Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Senior Vice President & Managing Director for Asia Pacific, said the ship is expected to homeport in Singapore and Japan. Asian itineraries will include trips to Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and South Korea.


Popular road trips around Australia

By Georgina Parkinson

Great Ocean Road


When it comes to holidays, there’s nothing quite like the feel of the wind in your hair and views of the open roads. If you’re travelling down under and you’re hoping to combine working or relaxing with adventure travel, there’s no better way to explore than a road trip. Here are two of Australia’s best road trips to get you thinking.

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Victoria’s five best beaches

By Georgina Parkinson

Surf Coast Victoria

When you think of Australian beaches, your mind may automatically wander to the crowded golden sands of Bondi. While nobody would begrudge any tourist a trip to this much-loved honeypot site, Australia has much more to offer in the sandy stakes. If you’re looking for a day off adventure travel, look no further than Victoria’s stunning beaches. Here, you can escape the maddening crowds, take in the views and enjoy some fantastic weather.

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Australia’s Cape York

By Matt Tewhatu


Australia's Cape York

Quite frankly, a visit to Cape York Peninsula in the top section of Queensland is a visit to one of the most remote places in the country. However, if you really want to get off the beaten track and away from it all for at least a few days, there isn’t a better place to escape to.


Famous for its isolation, its crocs and its sunsets, here’s a short list of where you need to visit during you ozadventure to the Cape York Peninsula.


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Airline to launch direct flights to China

By Matt Tewhatu


Airline to launch direct flights to China

Popular airline Virgin Australia has requested regulatory permission to launch daily flights from Australia to Hong Kong and Beijing, two of China’s biggest and most popular destinations.


The request comes just a day after the announcement that China’s HNA Aviation would take a 13% stake in Virgin Australia, also receiving a board seat. This can almost be attributed directly to the new board and business arrangement.


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Australia’s longest train journey breaks more records

By Matt Tewhatu


Australia's longest train journey breaks more recordsThe Ghan train trek across central Australia has broken another record, becoming Australia’s longest passenger in more than a decade after pulling 44 carriages from Adelaide to Darwin.


Leaving Adelaide on 22 May, the train hauled two locomotives, 22 guest carriages and 11 restaurant and lounge carriages, along with extra carriages for crew and baggage. In total, the train stretched more than a kilometre (1,096 metres), 200 metres longer than the standard length of the train.


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