The ultimate Brisbane weekend itinerary

The ultimate Brisbane weekend itinerary

-Updated September 2017-

I’m a Brisbane local through and through. I was born here, grew up here, and though I’ve traveled the world, I think I’ll always call Brisbane “home”. Brisbane has just about everything that you could want; the convenience and variety of a big city, friendly locals and easy access to great beaches, rainforest and country scenery. There are so many things to do in Brisbane, but if you’ve only got limited time (i.e. a weekend stopover), here are some of the best things I’d recommend. Rather than a set itinerary, I’ve listed lots of things that you can pick and choose from to create your own adventure to suit your taste, budget and weather!

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Top 14 School Holiday Activities for Brisbane Kids

Top 14 School Holiday Activities for Brisbane Kids


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Finding school holiday activities for Brisbane kids can be a challenge, especially if the weather is not cooperating. But, don’t stress! We’ve gathered together some of the best things to do around Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. You’ll find some classics in there (like the museum) but we’ve been on the hunt for some more interesting ideas, too. Many of these activities would make great birthday party ideas. Maps are included for some listings to help you find the closest venue, and Queensland school holiday dates are at the bottom. As always, if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments below!

School Holiday Activities for Brisbane Kids Updated 2017

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Australia Unearthed: The Most Beautiful Places In Australia That Aren’t Commonly Heard Of

Australia Unearthed: The Most Beautiful Places In Australia That Aren’t Commonly Heard Of

Australia is a notoriously beautiful and amazing place but, truth be told, much of the country has been left relatively unexplored. Almost larger than the continental United States, there should be little surprise that there are many areas of natural splendour that have not yet been made popular tourist destinations.Australia vs USA map

If you are planning a trip ‘down under’ and want to stray from the usual tourist spots, consider checking out a few of these totally beautiful but relatively uncommon destinations.

Esperance

Twilight Beach, Esperance

Credit: Chris Fithall on Flickr


Home to Australia’s whitest beach, Lucky Bay, this area on the southern coast of Western Australia was a dream come true for a beach lover like me. The stunning seascape has views of the 110 islands of the Recherche Archipelago. I was looking for adventure and picturesque coves and bays for swimming, snorkelling, and surfing — and I found that all in Esperance. The cobalt blue water, dramatic coastlines, and vibrant wildflower-filled landscapes were some of the highlights from this heaven on earth.

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is located just south of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, and was the perfect place to escape from everyday life. Luckily, I have a friend with a house there so I was able to experience some of the 500 kilometers of coastline last year. I was almost overwhelmed by the abundance of amazing activities including culture tours, eco adventures, and sanctuaries to visit. The pristine beaches, bushland, wildlife, and flora and fauna of the land were unlike any other in the world. Easily one of the most gorgeous destinations in Australia, Kangaroo Island was an awesome place to explore.

Wilsons Promontory National Park

Wilsons Promontory National Park

I was in serious need of a weekend spent outside of the city and fortunately Wilson’s Prom is only a short drive from Melbourne. This quaint but plentiful national park is the epitome of natural beauty. Fern gullies, salt marshes, mountainous forests, granite ranges, and pristine beaches? What more could you want?  Wilsons Prom is also inhabited by a variety of wildlife. I didn’t have to go to the zoo to see emus, reptiles, birds, amphibians, wombats, wallabies, and kangaroos, this national park has got it all.

Glasshouse Mountains National Park

Glasshouse Mountains National Park

Just an hour north of Brisbane, this national park was like a dream come true for me (and other nature lovers). I would recommend devoting enough time to truly be able to experience the many rainforests and magnificent hiking tracks. Glasshouse Mountains National Park will forever have a place in my heart for the breathtaking panoramic views that I was able to see. This heritage-listed national park is certainly a one-of-a-kind destination and I can’t wait to go back.

Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island

After crossing the Great Barrier Reef off my bucket list, someone suggested that I head north to Magnetic Island, just off the coast of Queensland. This island is a truly hypnotic destination that boasts an average of more than 320 days of sunshine per year. While I was there I fell in love with the natural parks, some with pockets of rainforest — all with opportunities for adventure. I spent the day exploring the various walking tracks and checking out the spectacular lookouts. In the evenings, I relaxed on one of the stunning beaches while watching the beautiful and colorful sunset.

Bay of Fires

Bay of Fires

While this state is relatively underrated and unknown to even many Australians, Tasmania was and forever will be one of my favourite places in the world. This region of Tasmania is home to breathtaking white beaches that are a backdrop for even more beautiful crystal clear blue water and rocks covered with brilliantly coloured orange lichen. The Bay of Fires was so isolated and remote that I felt like I travelled back in time. Surrounded by reserves and national parks, this is an ideal and magnificent location to camp, hike, fish, swim, walk, surf, bird watch, or simply take in all the natural wonders that the northeastern coast of Tasmania has to offer.

 

“Broome is certainly underrated when it comes to all that it has to offer”

 

Norfolk Island

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Credit: Thomas Huxley on Flickr

If tranquil lagoons, picturesque views of pines and ferns, and dramatic towering cliffs are your thing, then Norfolk Island is the place for you. I feel so happy to have heard about this Pacific island, one of Australia’s external territories. Norfolk Island is home to less than 2,000 people and known for its natural beauty (specifically, the Norfolk Pine tree). I felt like I discovered a secret slice of paradise as soon as I arrived and was immediately surrounded by the lush green landscape and stunning beaches.

Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park

Credit: Bryn Pinzgauer on Flickr

Located in the Northern Territory, just south of Darwin, the natural park is truly a sight to be seen. I was mesmerised by the countless swimming holes and numerous breathtaking waterfalls. The 1,500 square kilometres of national park offer so many opportunities for adventure and beautiful sights — just thinking about it makes me want to go back right now.

Broome

Broome

Although I had heard of this one before travelling here, Broome is certainly underrated when it comes to all that it has to offer. Located in an extremely remote location, it is typically too far for most travellers, contributing more to its appeal as a somewhat secret destination. Broome is home to a rich Indigenous heritage and pristine white beaches. Considered to be one of the world’s last wildernesses, the tropical climate, world-famous beaches and abundant wildlife make Broome one of the most beautiful and unique places I’ve ever been.

Conclusion

As you can see Australia is home to some amazing and beautiful places. So which one are you going to visit first?

Top 5 places to visit in Australia: A backpacker’s travel guide

Top 5 places to visit in Australia: A backpacker’s travel guide

Australia is one of those countries I did not immediately list as my top destination for backpacking. To my amazement, when I had reached there, I found it was one of the best decisions I had made. Initially it was tough for me as I was looking for a good destination to travel with my backpack. As a backpacker, I try to find places that have a good combination of beauty, affordability and comfort. After visiting a number of places in Australia I want to share my top 5 places to visit in Australia. Let’s get started.

The Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

Image Credit: Tourism Victoria

Do you like scenic coastal drives like me? You are going to love the Great Ocean Road then. The best part that I liked about the Great Ocean Road is the native wildlife. Obviously, the surf breaks and the rainforest will mesmerise you. If you are a fan of waterfalls, you will find a few to be happy with.

Most backpackers choose to do a variety of activities when they are on the Great Ocean Road. Don’t be deceived by the term “road” anyway. This road is more than a simple road. Bushwalking is very popular. I had to try bushwalking as I had never tried it before. I am not a surfer (I am afraid of water) but hey, you can still watch and enjoy, right?

Another popular activity to do is mountain biking. If you are a fan of art then there are other activities that will excite you such as gallery or museum visits.

From a backpacking point of view, you will find you are not alone. You are so close to beautiful nature; the sea, koalas and kangaroos. They are always there to be with you anyways so you are never alone. The Great Ocean Road is definitely one of my top picks.

Wilsons Promontory National Park

wilsons promontory

Credit: view of norman beach on FreeAussieStock

This national park is known as the largest coastal area in Victoria. Well, if you are a regular backpacker here, you will know that people refer to this place as the Prom. What’s the reason behind that? The reason is because this is a place to love. If you are romantic and still an alone backpacker like me, this is a great place to have a good time.

The reserve is literally huge. Do not expect to see a small “park” when you come here. The reserve is around 50,000 hectares in terms of length and the whole thing is a gem for the beauty seekers.

Let’s talk about activities now for a second. What can you do there? The most common activity among backpackers is camping. Camping is fun and when you have a clear sky and rivers all around you, it gets even more enjoyable. The only thing that I would want to warn you about is the heat. Australia can be a hot place at times. Make sure that you know about the temperature and plan accordingly. It is ironic that the sky is the clearest when the weather is hot. Overall, a great place to spend a day whether you are a backpacker or a couple madly in love.

Sapphire Coast – Between Sydney & Melbourne

Do you like beaches? I know, right? What’s new in a beach? They are crowded anyway and the unwanted attention is everywhere. If you think the same, this coast is going to change your mind. The Sapphire Coast is a mix of great trails and beautiful beaches. I have been to other beaches before including some really good ones but this is different. This beach is all about sanity and calmness.

I know that not every backpacker seeks for calmness and saint beauty. But if you are of my type, you will love this place. So basically, the reason that most people do not end up being here is because this is a joint point between Sydney to Melbourne. The Sapphire Coast will come in the middle point when you are going to Melbourne and oh boy, the scene is amazing!

Goldfield might not be the most appealing thing on earth but this is definitely one of the least common things that you will be able to experience. Also, the old towns along with great food (their oyster is very famous) will appeal you. Basically, it is a china town with some differences. The differences being calmness, a great beach and forest.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island aerial

Image Credit: Tourism Queensland

In my backpacking experience, I have found some geeky backpackers who only visit places that have beautiful islands. If you are one of them, I am sure, you know about Fraser Island. Unlike the top 3 picks of mine, this is a popular one as this has been featured in different movies. There’s a chance you’ve seen it in a movie.

Fraser Island is known to be the largest sand based island in world. This is a world heritage and as a bonus, you get to see a beautiful rainforest too along with the island itself. What does this offer? Hold your nerve!

Have you ever climbed a sand blow? You can do that here! You can also swim in one of the many freshwater lakes. When I say many, I literally mean 100s of them. If I had to pick one negative thing about this Island, then that would be the crowd. As this is a popular destination, it keeps on being overcrowded.

Uluru / Kata Tjuta / Kings Canyon

The Outback and red center of the country is in absolute contrast to the 36,735 coastal kilometers of the Australian mainland. Desert, steppe, red sand, dried-up bushes, water springs for bathing, dingos, emus and a lot of natural beauty.

If you take a trip through the middle of the country via Uluru (the native name for the Ayers Rock), you will be surprised by a rocky cliff rising about 350 meters high. Uluru is situated about 340 kilometers southwest of Alice Springs and is located in the “Uluru-Kata-Tjuta National Park.” For the Aboriginal people of Australia, this rock is very special. It is considered a sacred place to the “Anangu”; i.e. the traditional Aboriginal owners of Uluru.

A walk around the sacred rock is worthwhile, as there is a lot to discover: wall paintings of the Aboriginal people, water holes as well as different stone structures and shapes. Although there is the possibility to climb Uluru, however, the local Aboriginal would prefer visitors not to climb Uluru. Uluru is a holy landmark, which should not be climbed, and on the other hand, they do not want to be responsible for causing people to be injured in the ascent. Over 35 people have been injured in the past year.

This is the place where you can experience the Aboriginal culture, but at the same time it is confronted with the sad aspects of the European settlement of the country and learns more about the enormous importance of the Australian landmark for the country’s tourism. There are free guided tours of rangers as well as paid tours from different providers. A hike (or bike ride) around the Uluru is very worthwhile. Particularly the sunrises and sunsets are very impressive, for which special platforms and viewing area have been made. Uluru is remarkable for changing color at different times of day and night. The rock is made of sandstone which reflects the light of sunset and sunrise.

From Uluru, you can visit Kata Tjuta, an extraordinary rock formation consisting of 36 different mountains. Here, too, you can undertake different hikes and explore the special surroundings. Since the temperatures can be over 40 degrees during the day it is worth starting early. (Hint: enjoy sunrise from the less visited point of the Kata Tjuta).

If you are already in the middle of the country, a visit to the Kings Canyon in the Watarrka National Park is also recommended, even if this is still 300 kilometers north-east of Uluru-Kata-Tjuta National Park. The 100-meter high rock walls offer impressive views and great hiking possibilities. The “Rim Walk” (6km, 3-4 hours), a circular route along the top edge of the canyon is particularly impressive. Also due to the high temperature start your journey early or late during the sunset.

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Australia is a huge country and there are countless stunning places to visit and see. Take as much time as possible for an Australian trip. You will be impressed by its beauty of nature, the nice people and the relaxed lifestyle.

I enjoyed Australia a lot and didn’t regret it one bit. This is not the case with most of my backpacking experiences. These recommendations are based on a trip from Melbourne along the east coast to the north via Sydney and Brisbane to Cairns, through the Outback to Darwin and via Alice Springs and Adelaide back to Melbourne. For this reason, you will not find any recommendations and travel tips for Western Australia.

7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Bungle Bungles (Purnululu National Park)

7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Bungle Bungles (Purnululu National Park)

I’ve been blessed with opportunities to travel around the world. I’ve seen the beaches in the Philippines and lived in quaint towns around Europe, but it still left me wanting for more. During my recent trip to the Gold Coast in Australia, I looked to extend my stay in order to quench my thirst for excitement and adventure. I scoured the web for a holiday that can provide me with a truly unique experience. This led me to discover Purnululu National Park in Western Australia, also known as the Bungle Bungles, a world heritage site that features landscapes and wildlife unrivalled in magnificence and splendour.

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