From Sydney With Love: Five Spots for a Nearby Getaway

Sydney is home to droves of unforgettable sights, but even the most dedicated locals need to sneak away for a change of scenery. Where can you experience a killer getaway without venturing beyond Oceania’s borders? These destinations are bound to wow. 

The Weekend Trip: Gold Coast


Welcome to a surfer’s paradise. Perched on the southwestern edge of Queensland’s shore, the Gold Coast is equal parts beach town and modern metropolis, and you’ll find more than enough local treasures to keep you occupied for a weekend, week or beyond. With more than 35 miles of coastline, this is an ideal place to catch a few waves, but don’t discount the more city-centric shopping areas and thrilling theme parks. They’re a crucial part of what makes this fun-filled destination tick.

The Natural Wonder: Cairns

When dreams of the Great Barrier Reef come calling, the best way to answer is with a trip to Cairns. Surrounded by tropical vistas and some of the most lush landscapes this side of Sydney, this gem of northern Queensland is truly remarkable. A trip to the colorful coral of the reef is essential, but dedicate a little time to the above-sea-level sights; the Atherton Tablelands and Daintree National Park are pieces of paradise in their own right. Stock up on your Australian travel insurance, and make a beeline for this must-see spot.

The Romantic Escape: Fiji

In the mood for an island escape? Hideaways don’t get much more romantic than iconic Fiji. This South Pacific paradise offers beauty of the highest order: More than 330 individual islands feature swaying palms, sultry breezes and endless spots to soak up the sun. Head to Suva for the impeccable cuisine and most bustling atmosphere, but consider Kaduva if you’re hoping to do a little diving. Its Great Astrolabe Reef is a sight for sore eyes.

The Multicultural Marvel: Auckland

New Zealand’s most sprawling city is more than just a cosmopolitan break: It’s among the most multicultural spots in all of Oceania. Asian and Polynesian populations abound here, and you’ll uncover a multitude of shops, cafes and restaurants that help you get acquainted with the local atmosphere. Boating enthusiasts will think they’ve died and gone to heaven, but even those who favor dry land will find plenty to adore in the charming neighborhoods and picturesque bridges.

The Capital Excursion: Wellington

No destination gets to the heart of New Zealand quite like its stately capital. Anchored by hillside, harbor and historical sights, Wellington offers a little something for every type of traveler. Explore the 19th-century architecture and fascinating museums, browse the art galleries and entertainment districts, or kick back with a cuppa at one of the famously exuberant cafes. You’ll be singing Wellington’s praises in no time.

Top Six Reasons to Choose Australia for your Next Vacation

Australia has fast become one of the ultimate vacation destinations that people from all over the world choose to visit. You will soon discover that there is plenty on offer, regardless of your taste or budget with a vast multicultural society. With so many excellent affordable flights and package holidays, you have no reason not to visit this wondrous island.

Wherever you have decided to visit in Australia, the country certainly has it all. This beautiful island offers stunning beaches, magnificent surf, excellent cuisine, and friendly people. There are stunning landscapes and majestic deserts, alongside cosmopolitan cities. Australia has everything you could possibly want and so much more.

Affordable holidays– this is one of the top reasons why people choose Australia as they can achieve so much on a small budget. You will discover that alongside hotels, there are cheap backpacking places, and lodgings for you to choose. Food and drink are affordable, and even the tourist sightseeing tours are not that expensive.

Unusual native animals- every country has their own distinct wildlife, but in Australia, you can get up close and personal to many different species. Kangaroos, koalas, kiwis and crocodiles are all roaming free. Sheep are also seen everywhere, and it is now estimated that there is ten sheep to every person in Australia.

Outdoor activities- if you enjoy adventure, and want to explore the magnificent outdoors, there is plenty on offer. Kayaking and canoeing are becoming popular, but surfing remains the top water sport. If you want to remain on dry land, you should explore in a 4WD and see the outback.  If your budget is larger, helicopter tours are also a brilliant way to see the island.

Visit the outback- there is something magical about the outback as it is peaceful, vast and offers magnificent views. With lush green waterholes nestled alongside scorched deserts, you can experience so many different places in one day. If you are lucky, you will see the Aboriginals, who have been living in their tribes for over 40,000 years.

Enjoy the vibrant city- Australia has some incredible cities, offering a dynamic atmosphere mixed with exciting architecture.  Sydney is considered the gateway to Australia and has plenty to offer travellers. Visiting the cities can be exhausting, which is when you may want to retreat back to your hotel and enjoy some online gambling. Log on to and relax whilst away from home enjoying the activities that you do everyday.

Magnificent beaches- are one of the many reasons why travellers choose Australia as the sand is stunning and the waters inviting. There are over 50,000 kilometres of beaches to enjoy, and whether you want to simply lie on the sand, or enjoy the water, there is something for everyone. You may have never surfed before in your life, but once you have visited Australia, you will think you are a professional.

Things That Will Make Your Aussie Vacation Amazing

In Australia, the culture and lifestyle is so diverse as it’s such a vast place. You could relax in a bar, with a cocktail in hand one minute, only to be on foot exploring the outback the next! With so many things to do in Australia, it can be easy to get disorientated and overwhelmed. That’s why I’ve put this post together – so you can make your Australian vacation amazing. The following activities should not be missed:

Trekking Through the Daintree Rainforest

This rainforest is famous for homing some of the most diverse plants and animals in the whole world. There’s so much to do here, including bushwalks and river cruises. You can even go crocodile spotting! Your family will probably want to know that you’re ok after this kind of thing, so make sure you let them know for cheaper calls to Australia, visit

Taking a Helicopter Ride Over Great Ocean Road

A helicopter ride will give you an amazing view on sites like the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and the 70 metre high Gibson Steps.

Swimming in Lake McKenzie

Lake McKenzie, located in Fraser Island, is a tranquil, bright blue lake surrounded by a soft beach and forest. You won’t believe it, but the lake is 100 m above sea level, in the sand dunes!

Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most famous things about Sydney. You scale 134 meters up this iconic bridge, tethered to it obviously, and get the most amazing view of the harbour, opera house, and beautiful city. The majority of Aussies won’t have even seen this view! Don’t worry, the climb isn’t particularly difficult – I bet just about anyone could do it!

See the Sunset Over Uluru

You may have heard this place referred to as ‘Ayers Rock’. It’s a famous sandstone rock found in Australia’s red centre. It’s huge, and the whole area is a World Heritage Site. It’ll take you around 2-3 hours to navigate around, but make sure you get there on time to see the sunset over it. Amazing!

Make Friends with Wild Crocs

Australia has a remote top end that many people neglect to explore. Here you can take tours that Steve Irwin himself would be proud of! You’ll make friends with wild crocodiles, tame scary snakes, and see awesome rock art amongst other things on your travels.

Swim With Dolphins

Monkey Mia is a small West Australian town, a one day drive away from Perth. You won’t find monkeys here, but you will be able to swim with the bottle nosed dolphins when you visit the town’s tranquil shallow beach. If you manage to get there between 8am and 1pm, you can relax and wait for them to show up. They turn up nearly every day, so you can hop in and swim with them to your heart’s content! Much better than paying extortionate prices at a sea life centre or zoo.

Don’t miss these activities if you want a fun filled, adventure packed holiday to Australia!


Image credit

What to Do If You Get Tired of All Those Beautiful Beaches (Seriously)

Australia is one of the best destinations on the planet if you like to relax on a beautiful beach with warm weather and friendly locals.

Having said that, what about when you finally get tired of those stunning stretches of sand and lovely water? It might sound like something that could never happen but if you are on a long trip to Oz then at some point you are sure to want to check something else out.

Play Some Games

You might think before you leave home that there is no real reason to take your laptop, phone or tablet away with you. However, there are sure to be times when you just want to play some games or get in touch with people back home.  In terms of playing some games and maybe having a wager here and there, you will find full details on a recommended site here. This is a wonderfully relaxing way of enjoying a bit of time away from the beach by doing something different. You might also decide to enjoy some quiet time in your hotel or in a restaurant to organise your photos and get them posted online. These days, a gadget like this is pretty much an essential accessory for most of us when we go on such a long trip, no matter how much we love the beach.

Go For a Drive

If you have always wanted to go an exhilarating road trip then the good news is that Australia is one of the planet’s best countries in which to do so. The Great Ocean Road is possibly the route you have heard most about it. It is certainly an amazing drive and at 152 miles a reasonable distance to get you started. Longer and more adventurous drives are to be found all over Australia, from the incredible Savannah Way to the blockbuster Highway 1 trip round the coast of just about the entire country. If you have time on your hands and adventure on your mind then this is an unforgettable experience which comes highly recommended. If you are travelling on your own then finding a group of like-minded tourists to travel with shouldn’t be too difficult.

Find Out About the Culture

While you might look on Australia as being a relatively new country, it actually has a rich and fascinating history. In fact, it is one of the oldest landmasses on the planet and the Aboriginal Australians who live here have been in Australia for some 50,000 years. One of the finest places in all of Australia for you to begin to explore the national culture is Uluru / Ayers Rock. This incredibly picturesque rock is great to look at but also has a deeper meaning for the indigenous Australians. While you are here you could take the chance to find out how it fits into their belief system and way of life. The country is also filled with interesting museums, theatres and other places where you can enjoy soaking up the national culture and heritage.


5 Places You Should Make The Effort To Visit When In New Zealand

If you are planning a trip over to New Zealand in the near future, you need to head over to to see the great bargains available there on hotels and other forms of accommodation.  However, if it is going to be your first trip to one of the most beautiful countries on the planet, you are spoilt for choice with places that you could and should visit.  To help you work out an itinerary for your trip, we have listed 5 of the places that we reckon no trip to New Zealand would be complete without visiting.

The Champagne Lake

One thing that New Zealand is famous round the world for is its hot springs.  While some holiday resorts have been built round a number of the most popular, there are still some that are completely untouched.  The hot spring that you should make the effort to visit though is called The Champagne Lake and it is located at Wai-O-Tapu in Rotorua.  It is so called due to the size of the bubbles it produces.  The mineral salts in the water produce a truly amazing spectrum of colours the ranges from orange to turquoise and everything in-between.

Milford Sound

Rudyard Kipling, the famous author of the children’s classic The Jungle Book, dubbed Milford Sound as the 8th wonder of the world.  Situated on the south of the island, it is an awe-inspiring fiord.  Take a trip there to see the rain-forest covered cliffs and magical waterfalls of 1200 metres and more.  The scenery owes a debt of gratitude to the fact that it rains for around 182 days a year and produces an annual amount of rainfall that comes close to 7 metres.  In the sea you will find dolphins, seals, penguins and even whales, if you are fortunate.


Queenstown is a regular haunt of tourists and travellers who love extreme sports such as bungee jumping, paragliding, snowboarding and skiing.  However, if you are not that much of a snowboarder or a skier Queenstown was one of the many places used for location shooting for Lord Of The Rings and has a reputation of having a wild and exciting nightlife.

Tamaki Maori Village

You will find many Maori traditions and influences on modern New Zealand life.  The towns, cities and villages have kept their original, traditional names and New Zealanders use the Maori greeting of kia-ora.  However, there is one place that you should visit to get a real sense of what it is like to live in an authentic Maori village – at the Tamaki Maori Village.


Christchurch is known as Garden City and with good reason – it is one of the prettiest cities in New Zealand and has various beautifully designed and maintained gardens and parks.  Although the city is still recovering from the effects of the earthquake that ripped it apart (it was actually one of the most devastating and powerful earthquakes in recorded history), the city is still bursting with life.  There is a certain English influence in the Gothic architecture and the trams that makes this city a living, breathing portal to the past.

Important Things To Consider When Looking For Travel And Health Insurance Before A Vacation

It is surprising the amount of people who purchase the first travel insurance policy offered at a cheap rate or choose a policy solely based on the fact it is a company they have done business with in the past.  As well as leaving you out of pocket by spending more than you need to on a policy, it could also mean that you end up with an insurance policy that doesn’t include sufficient enough cover that meets your own needs. 

Although it is a lot easier nowadays to find and compare insurance policies because everything has moved online, you still need to keep your wits about you.  TO help you make the right decision, we now give you some insight into the important parts of a travel insurance policy that you should be looking closely at before signing the dotted line.

The Cost Of The Premium And Excess

Price alone should never be the main reason you choose a particular policy.  However, it is still important to make sure that the type of cover you are receiving is worth the price you are paying for it.  Look also at the amount of excess you will have to pay before you can access your insurance money if you need to make a claim.

The Benefits And Exclusions

You should make sure you understand the various exclusions and benefits associated with a particular policy, to avoid any unwanted surprises when you go to make a claim and are told your policy won’t cover the incident/accident.

Pre-Existing Illnesses And Conditions

Each and every insurance company has different ways of treating pre-existing medical illnesses and conditions on their policies.  There should be a full description of what is and is not covered in the product disclosure statement.  If you discover that your particular condition is not covered, it is recommended that you contact the company to discuss your options.

24 Hour Emergency Assistance

This is perhaps the most important benefit that you should make sure is available on an international travel insurance policy.  If you become ill or seriously injured in a foreign country, you want to know that you have the peace of mind that you will be looked after.

Your Insurance Company Is Easily Contacted

With regards to the above it is also important to make sure that as part of your policy you will be able to contact your insurer easily while abroad.  Most good insurance companies provide a 24 hour support line for their customers.

Documentation You Should Carry

Rather than leaving you stranded without the right sort of proof when you are thousands of miles away from home, check with your insurer the documentation you should take on holiday with you and the documentation you will need if you need to make a claim.

Looking for and purchasing travel insurance and health insurance when you are heading out on vacation is a necessity, but it doesn’t need to be stressful.  By following the advice above, you should be able to find the exact policy that suits your needs and requirements.  Incidentally, one great place to find great deals on travel health insurance is Covad.


Australia’s Most Relaxing Holiday Destinations You Need To Check Out This Year

There are many reasons why people travel to Australia for their holidays, and admittedly, most of them do relate to the weather. Still, this country is one of the best in the world for a relaxing vacation, and so you’d do well to check it out at some point during 2014. You see; there’s a lot more to Australia than we see on our TV screens, and even some travel documentaries forget the mention the most impressive sights. With that in mind, today I’m going to highlight a number of areas you might consider visiting during your trip. They won’t all appeal to everyone, but they should inspire and educate you about what’s on offer.

I’ve personally been to the land down under around nine times in the last two decades, so I really do know what I’m talking about. And before you start thinking I’m just a ozzy-nerd, I’d like to point out that during that time I have also traveled to many other countries and experienced life there for a while. Even so, I find myself constantly drawn back to this wonderful place, and many others do too. So, without any more delays on my part, here are just some of the relaxing destinations you don’t want to miss…

Cable Beach

This coastline is located in Western Australia and over the last ten years, it’s become one of the most desirable locations for tourists and residents alike. With no less than 22 km of idyllic white sand beaches and turquoise Indian Ocean water, who could ask for more? In fact, the coastline is so long that it’s always possible to escape the crowds and find somewhere slightly more private to chill out. If you do choose to visit here, I’ll bet you take a look at some of the land plots for sale at Emerald Park because after seeing these beaches, emigration will sound very tempting indeed.

Port Douglas

Port Douglas is one of the most beautiful and inviting destinations in the whole of Queensland. So, if you find yourself in this neck of the woods, it’s definitely worth stopping by for a look. Here you’ll find the Great Barrier Reef, the awe-inspiring Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation National Park. It’s the perfect location for snorkeling, but if you don’t like getting your hair wet, there’s also lots of interesting paths, so you can simply take a stroll and check out the scenery.


This is by far the most modern city in the whole of Australia, and while there are parts you’ll want to avoid when trying to relax, it’s far less manic than you might think. People who live in Oz tend to keep a relaxed attitude towards life, and so nobody is in much of a rush to do anything. Here, you’ll get to sample cuisine from Michelin star restaurants before heading out to perhaps the world’s most recognisable building for some light evening entertainment. Obviously, I’m talking about the Opera House.

So, now you know about the best and most relaxing holiday destinations in Australia, I hope you’ll bite the bullet and make your booking sometime soon. At the end of the day, if you fail to do this, both you, and your partner will miss out on something truly special.

Catch you soon!



Flickr photograph credit

Why You Must Travel To Australia At Least Once In Your Lifetime

Australia is one of the most remote countries in the world, yet it’s one of the most popular places you can choose to visit – especially with backpackers and people travelling on a budget. It’s quite a while away from everything, so going to Australia can be a big decision for Americans, Britons, and people from other countries. The flights are very long, and can be ridiculously expensive (unless it’s a business trip and you’re saving money with You probably only have a few weeks of travel too, so wasting a few days on flying isn’t too appealing. However, as much hassle as it can be, you must travel to Australia at least once in your life. Why? Read on to find out:

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most famous in the whole world, legendary due to it’s gorgeous marine life and awesome diving opportunities. One trip here and you’ll enjoy turtles, sharks, vibrant coral, beautiful fish, and more! It’ll be everything you’ve heard and more. You could even spend a couple of days diving this reef.


Sydney opera house, harbour and bridge are all iconic landmarks you should see at least once – as well as the many parks, tasty dishes, surfing, and free stuff to do. There are gorgeous restaurants, entertainment venues, and places you can go to simply enjoy the tranquil water. The nightlife is highly recommended too!

The Great Aussie BBQ

Australians take their barbeques very seriously indeed, and they’re awfully good at it. It’s a serious tradition here, and the majority of parks and public spaces have multiple BBQ pits. Choose a lovely warm night, a 4 pack of your favourite lager, and perhaps some tasty kangaroo meat – you’ll love it!

The Wine

For all of the wine connoisseurs out there, Australia is perfect. Some of the most amazing wine regions include Margaret River by Perth, the Barossa Valley near Melbourne, and Hunter Valley by Sydney. There’s bucketfulls of good wine to taste while in Australia – I recommend the Shiraz or PInot Noir. Day trips to the wine areas are great, but you could even sample the wine while cooking some shrimp on the barbie – getting drunk in the park is totally acceptable here.


Surfing is a big part of Australian culture. Visit the East Coast if you want to ride a few waves! Bondi beach and Queensland have some amazing surfing opportunities.

Gorgeous Beaches

There’s over 50,000km of gorgeous coastline in Australia…the beautiful beaches are abundant. You’ll never be without a space to relax in! Coral bay, Noosa, Manly, and pretty much any beach in Perth are all amazing.

The Laidback Lifestyle

You’ll love the laidback lifestyle that the Aussies adhere to. They love balancing their work life and home life perfectly, and although they’re hard workers; they know how important it is to take some time to themselves.

Visit Australia for the amazing views, sites, culture, and experiences you could enjoy – it’s like nowhere you’ve ever been before!


Image Author: Flickr


Some Tips For Saving Money On Your Health Insurance In Australia

Health insurance is a necessity, but also a very costly one.  It can be a daunting task trying to search for the cheapest, but, best health insurance cover suitable for your own situation and requirements.  In the following article we will discuss different ways to consider saving money by switching your health insurance policy.

Review Your Current Health Insurance Cover

There is a tendency amongst people to apply and sign up for health insurance without ever looking at the cover.  One constant thing in life is change, and this is no different when it comes to their health needs.  Likewise, the premiums and benefits of policies change regularly.  This means that you could still have a health insurance policy that is not actually suitable for your current situation.  Therefore, it is important to thoroughly check your current policy before switching, to see if it provides appropriate cover.

Switching Policies

The majority of Australians can probably only name around 4 to 5 of the different insurance policies available.  However, there are at least a dozen operating in the country, many of which have incredibly competitive premiums and cover.  The great thing about switching is that nowadays there is legislation in place that means you don’t need to serve new waiting periods when changing from one policy to another.  This is the case even when there is a pre-existing condition or illness.

Mix And Match

Nowadays, you are not restricted to buying for example your hospital cover and extras from the same company.  If you choose to take on two different policies for these parts of health insurance, you will open yourself up to a far wider range of options.  By taking a more savvy approach you may be able to find a different policy for each component to save you money and give you better rebates.

Choose An Excess Amount

When you choose the excess on your hospital health insurance cover, you are contractually agreeing that you will pay part of your hospital bills, if you are admitted.  In exchange for this agreement, the company will give you lower than normal premiums.  The general rule of thumb is that the more you agree to pay, the lower the premiums will be.  Your excess could range from $100 to $1000, depending what suits your situation and budget.

Save Tax

There is an extra charge that you may have to pay in taxes over the standard 1.5% Medicare Levy.  This is known as The Medicare Levy Surcharge and could be anything from 1% to 1.50 % on top of the standard.  You have to pay this if you do not receive hospital cover and have an income of higher than $88,000 (taxable) if you are single and $176000 if you have a family.

If your policy is up for renewal and you want to save a reasonable amount of money on your health insurance policy, contact Frank Health Insurance.


The Ultimate Pre-Australian Holiday Checklist

Whenever you’re going away on holiday, it’s important that you double check everything to ensure you’re not leaving anything behind. This is even more vital when heading somewhere really far away like Australia because you definitely won’t be able to nip home to pick it up. With that in mind, the post you’re reading at the moment will serve as a final checklist that can be used just before you plan to leave for the airport. Obviously, it won’t contain everything you want to take away, as I realise some of you have trouble leaving even the kitchen sink at home. However, it should cover all the essentials.

I’ve personally forgot one thing or another on every single one of my last five holidays, so I know all too well that it’s like to overlook things like this. Even so, I also know how to plan well in advance, and so I’m 100% confident I’ve got everything I need this year. Considering this, take a look at my checklist and see if it might be useful for your Australian vacation.

Airline Tickets

You would think it almost impossible to forget your airline tickets when you know the first place you’ll be visiting is an airport, but many people do this time and time again. In fact, almost every time I travel I encounter at least one individual standing at the check-in desk with a look of worry on his face. So, make sure you’ve got yours to avoid disappointment. If you jack an inside jacket pocket, put them in there just before your taxi arrives.


Again, a truly shocking number of people forget to take their passports when attempting to leave the country, and this always ends in disaster. Either a close friend or family member has to get out of bed, break into your home and bring it to the airport in time, or you have to get a new one fast-tracked if yours has been mislaid. This still takes a few hours, and it costs a small fortune. On top of those inconveniences, you also have to pick up the new document from a regional passport office, and depending on where you’re flying from, this could be miles away. If your plane departs from Canterbury, you’ll have to visit the London victoria passport office, and this could result in you missing your flight.

Camera Equipment

It’s certainly not the end of the world if you forget your camera, but when visiting a beautiful country like Australia, you definitely want more than a disposable, and so this should be added to your final checklist. Remember to bring all the different lenses too, as you’ll want to get some professional looking snaps of the family. While you could just buy a new camera while you’re out there, this would no doubt eat into your spending money, which you will obviously want to avoid.

Hotel Booking Information

Lastly, we all know how much of a pain it can be when you turn up to a hotel and they have no record of your booking, right? This is why printing off your confirmation and keeping it in your pocket at all times during your journey is a wise move.

So there you have it my friends. Never again will you kick yourself for leaving important items at home. Alongside all the things mentioned on this list, you’ll also want to pack enough clothes for the week, but I’m sure you’ve got that one covered.

Have fun!


Picture author credit