Travelling in Australia: The Benefits of Hiring a Campervan

When you think about visiting Australia for a holiday, you normally just think about being settled in one place. However, why go to just the one place, when you can take in so much more? This is all possible through the nostalgic campervan.

For most people, when you take a holiday to Australia, you’ll fly into one of the main airport hubs. There are plenty of companies offering campervan hire in Sydney, as well as most of the other major cities.

In terms of locations, you’re spoilt for choice. Here are just a few of the destinations on offer, made all the better through travelling the country via a campervan:

Ayer’s Rock

This is one of the gems in the Australian crown. Its popularity isn’t a coincidence. It’s recommended that you try and visit either at sunrise, or at sunset, where spectacular views will await you. If you want to explore the site in more depth, you’ll find an Aborginal centre nearby, which is great if you want to learn more about the local people and their culture.

The Great Barrier Reef

If you travel along the coast, please ensure you make enough time to stop off and take in the Great Barrier Reef. There are plenty of dive sites along the way, should you want to take a boat out and swim amongst the coral and it’s wild inhabitants.

Fraser Island

Not as well-known as either Ayer’s Rock or the Great Barrier Reef, but still very much worth a visit. For those that haven’t heard of Fraser Islands, it’s the world’s largest sand island. Here you can camp, take in the lakes and hike. It’s about taking in one of Australia’s natural wonders. It’s extremely popular with both locals and tourists, so don’t be afraid to make a few friends along the way.

The Daintree

You don’t need to travel to the Amazon to take in a Rainforest. The Daintree may not be the biggest rainforest, but it’s the world’s oldest. It’s everything you’d expect from a rainforest, dense with high peaked mountains and jaw-dropping waterfalls. It’s recommended that you try and visit Cape Tribulation if you want to experience some peaceful jungle ambiance.

Melbourne

If you’ve come straight from the hustle from Sydney, Melbourne is definitely worth a visit. It’s a much more relaxed city, with laid back bars, gardens and some amazing eateries. Melbourne is Australia’s food capital, making it a must visit location for people who love their food.

The Outback

From the laid-back city of Melbourne to the desolate Australian Outback, no trip to Australia is complete without taking in its natural, brutal, yet beautiful terrain. It’s recommended that you visit the Red Centre, especially for those you want to become the next Crocodile Dundee. It’s not for the faint hearted, with its valleys, lakes and scorched red desert.

You can visit all these places, and lots more, all by campervan. So, if you’re looking at travelling to Australia soon, consider this adventure the adventure of a life time!

Explore the amazing world of Australian art!

If you’re a fan of our blog you won’t be surprised to hear that there is much more to Australia than surf, beer and barbeques! Our picturesque coastline (and interior) is scattered with dozens of amazing art centres, spaces and galleries, a veritable feast for the art – and travel – lover.

For a different tour of Australia, why not focus your travel down under on Oz’s thriving art scene? Australia has undergone an art boom in the past decade and some of worlds most respected contemporary art centres are now happily hosted by our land down under.

From Melbourne to Sydney, from Adelaide to Canberra, from Brisbane to Cairns, here is our list of must-visit art galleries Australia today, with a focus on contemporary art. Why not use this as a starting point to develop your art-inspired travel itinerary of Australia, you culture vulture you?!

1. Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne

Part art commune, part atelier, part gallery space, Heide shows that Melbourne is a high-level cosmopolitan city. The core of the museum’s Collection was assembled over five decades by Heide founders John and Sunday Reed who collected a broad range of art from figurative to abstract, expressionist to realist.

2. Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide

Adelaide has plenty of museums but the first name in contemporary art is the CAC of South Australia. The organisation publishes the influential Contemporary Visual Arts and Culture Broadsheet quarterly, currently in its 40th year of publication.

3. Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, or GOMA, is a design-forward depot of contemporary art by Architectus and describes itself as Queenslands premier visual arts institution. The Gallery is part of the Queensland Cultural Centre.

4. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

As Australia’s largest art museum, the National Gallery’s modern collection is impressive and includes seminal works by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, David Hockney and Lucian Freud.

5. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Founded in 1861, it is the oldest public art museum in Australia. The NGV’s Australian art collection encompasses Indigenous (Australian Aboriginal) art and artefacts, Australian colonial art, Australian Impressionist art, 20th century, modern and contemporary Australian art.

6. Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne

Housed in a vast converted warehouse in the suburb of Fitzroy, Gertrude Contemporary was opened in 1985 and is centred around not only the presentation and exhibiting of contemporary art but the creation of it as well.

7. Nellie Castan Gallery

This highly respected gallery is interested in not only new contemporary artists but those who are established to a certain degree, past exhibitions displayed a very diverse and wonderfully experimental group of works.

8. Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne

This not-for-profit organisation consists of five spaces showcasing the most current and up-to-date photography of the time, including Australian and International works from both new and established artists.

9. Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns

The permanent collection at this gallery can be described as experimental, with multi-media sculptures and wall-art by the territory’s indigenous population reflecting the consciousness of northern Queensland.

10. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

The gallery’s permanent collection is world-class, with expansive rooms again showcasing highly varied artworks from indigenous, Australian, Asian and Pacific bark paintings, weaving and sculpture to contemporary and Western installations, photography and oil paintings.

If you have the art bug but can’t physically make it to one of these museums, there are some great websites to check out – we love these vintage bally posters on Picturestore.

Jonas_Burgert_painting_admirers_at_Denver_Museum_of_Contemporary_Art

 

Private health insurance as part of a salary package

Salary packaging is an arrangement often made between an employer and employee where the employee agrees to forgo part of their salary or wages which their employer then uses to provide them with benefits, such as private health insurance.

The average weekly salary sacrifice in 2012 was $45, according to a May 2013 release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Superannuation is by far the most popular salary benefit, with 44.5 per cent of all salary sacrificed among Australian workers going towards superannuation payments.

Private health insurance is another common salary packaging choice, allowing Australian workers to cover themselves and their family via an untaxed portion of their wage.

This system is beneficial for both the employee and the employer for a number of reasons.

For the employee, salary packaging allows untaxed income to be used to pay for these benefits, which can ultimately lead to paying less income tax each financial year.

Individuals who obtain health insurance cover through this method may still be eligible to collect their Private Health Insurance Rebate at the end of the financial year. However, salary packaging can affect the amount of rebate available to the employee.

The employer may benefit from salary packaging due to potential reductions in the required superannuation contributions and workers’ compensation tax.

Additionally, salary packaging has been associated with improved staff attraction and retention as employees are more likely to want to work for a company that offers this benefit.

Salary sacrificing also reduces the administrative burden and frees up cash flow for both the employer and the employee.

Whether you are an individual investigating your packaging options or an employer planning to offer salary sacrificing, it pays to complete a thorough private health insurance comparison to make the sure the cover you receive is the most suitable on the market.

DT: Obtaining private health insurance as part of a salary package can be beneficial to both employers and employees.

The Amazing Truth About Living in Australia

It seems just about everybody is either migrating to Australia, or wants to migrate to Australia. I know of at least 4 people who went there to live/work in the last couple of years, and I’m sure you probably do too. But do you ever wonder, ‘what’s so great about Australia anyway?’? Why exactly is Australia, ‘the place to be’? I mean, it doesn’t look that amazing on Neighbors or Home and Away…does it? It’s obvious that Australia has some amazing qualities that draw people to it year after year – so if you want to know what they are, here’s the amazing truth about living in Australia:

Image Author: Flickr

The People and Lifestyle

This country has amazing values and a wonderful view on life, whether you’re in a big city or a small town. In Australia’s laws, all residents have the right to express their beliefs and cultures, and are allowed to participate freely in life in Australia. The people of Australia believe that everyone is equal, and should be; respected, allowed freedom of speech and allowed to follow whichever religion they choose.

Australians also love art (there’s a vibrant art scene) and sport (you’ll find a mix of sports from all countries and cultures, to suit every age), and take a laidback approach to work. That’s not to say that Australian’s don’t work hard – they work very hard indeed. They just encourage an attitude where workers take time to recuperate and enjoy time off. If you want to move to Australia, the country also insists you bring value to them. You need to have a good job, skills or a talent, and enough money to get by. They don’t just let anybody become an Australian citizen!

The Beaches

Australia has basically a never ending summer, with beaches stretching from coast to coast. Some of the best beaches in the whole world reside here, like the famous Bondi Beach. Tourists, sunbathers, surfers – you’ll find them all on the beaches of Aus. Cable beach, Cottesloe beach, Gold coast, and Noosa Heads, are just a few of the beaches you could chill out on in Australia.

The Scenery and Wildlife

The scenery and wildlife in Australia is like no other. We’ve already mentioned the stunning beaches, but what about the koalas nestled high in the trees or the kangaroos hopping around in the distance? It’s true that you’ll find some of the world’s deadliest animals here; snakes, spiders, crocs, and sharks – but you’ll also find some of the most interesting that you’ll never see anywhere else.

You’ll also find some amazing natural beauties in Australia; the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser island, The Pinnacles, and The Kimberleys. They’re all waiting to be explored! Why not take a look at Kimberley Holidays to see them for yourself?

Whether you’re planning to migrate to Australia, go for a short holiday, or a couple of months; you’ll soon realise what all the fuss is about. Before you go, get up to date on Australian slang so you can chat with the locals with confidence!

Saving Money on the Family Holiday

If you have school-age children you cannot have failed to have noticed how the price of taking holidays during the school holidays is far, far greater than it would cost to holiday during term time. Perhaps you remember those heady days of your pre-children days when you and your loved one could jet off to wherever you fancied on a whim, without having to pay through the nose to do so because you could travel whenever you wanted to.

There is, of course, a reason for the price of holidays to increase during school holidays: it is the economic principle of supply and demand: the more people there are who want to buy (holidays, in this case), the higher the seller can set their prices. The travel companies and hoteliers also know that people with children tend to spend less money when they are on holiday compared to single people or couples, who like to treat themselves when away.

Going on holiday with children is expensive enough without also eating out every night or paying for pricey excursions. So they charge a premium price for travel and accommodation during school holidays. Similarly, they change their prices (upwards) if you book far in advance and/or if you book at the last minute, knowing that you’ll want to get the exact holiday of your choice or that you have decided that no matter what you are going to take a foreign holiday this year!

However, there is a company that does not do this. Owned by French company SNCF, iDBUS bus travel offers everyone the chance to travel to European cities for the same low price regardless of when they book their tickets or whether the planned journey falls in a school holiday or not. You can travel with iDBUS from London to Paris for a Mini Price of £33 per person each way, during the Christmas holidays!

A journey by coach naturally takes about as long as it would take to drive yourself, but when you add up European insurance and break down cover, plus the cost of the petrol and the stress of navigating and driving in unfamiliar territory you can see how attractive the price of taking the iDBUS from London to Paris is in comparison.

Remember that you can book an overnight journey, allowing you all to get some shut eye during the trip. Or you can take your electronic devices and take advantage of the free on board Wi-Fi and plug sockets, or take travel games and books to while away the hours.  You can also choose your seats when you book so you can all sit together, and the journey starts at London Victoria coach station and ends in the heart of Paris at Paris Bercy (or other central coach stations in various cities across Europe).

All that for a very low cost whenever you want to travel – and the prices stay the same no matter when you book.