How to Prepare for Your Next Trip to Australia

Although Australia can be a bit difficult or expensive to get to depending on where you’re coming from, the country should definitely be on your list of places to explore. There’s a little something for everyone to enjoy here, from excellent outdoor activities to exciting metropolises and more. It’s a great place for a vacation by yourself or with friends or family. Whenever you’re travelling internationally, though, you should do a little research prior to your departure—even if you aren’t the type to set a firm itinerary, there are things like visas and regulations to think about! Here are some tips:

When to Go

picMost of the things you’ll want to see in Australia are open year-round, so you won’t have to worry about that—but remember that since Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed to what you’re used to if you’re coming from the US, Canada, or Europe! This means that if you travel there during June, July, or August, you’ll be there in the middle of winter—which although mild, can put a damper on that beach break you might have planned. If you travel to the northern part of the country during December or January, though, you’ll find that it’s quite wet at that time of year.

Things to Do Before Leaving Home

If you have a passport from any country other than New Zealand, you’re going to need to get a visa prior to departure, even if you will be travelling strictly for touristic purposes. Fortunately, the process can generally be done online, so you won’t have to worry about scheduling an appointment with a consulate or anything like that.

You’ll also want to figure out a couple things related to electronics. Australian outlets are a bit oddly shaped, so you will probably need a plug adapter. Travelers from the US or Canada might also need voltage adapters, since Australian outlets are generally at 220-240 volts whereas those in North America are usually set at 110-120 volts. And if you plan to watch Netflix or other streaming sites while abroad, you’ll need to set up a VPN first!

Figuring Out Your Itinerary

pic2Of course, we could go on for days talking about everything there is to do in Australia. Whether you’re there for the cities, the surfing, the snorkeling, the outback, the expat life, something else, or some combination of these things, you’re spoilt for choice. Check out Sydney, with its iconic Opera House and harbor. Or head to Cairns, an ideal base site if you’ve come to see the Great Barrier Reef. For culture and events, you’ll want to visit Melbourne. And then, of course, there’s national parks and the outback and everything else that makes Australia unique!

One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to—and probably shouldn’t attempt to—see everything there is to see in one trip. If you try to cram too much into your itinerary, you’re going to find yourself frustrated and exhausted and not enjoying the trip the way you should be. Instead, focus on a few highlights and really enjoy the things you do have the time to see.

Travelling Around the Country

Australia is a huge country—the sixth-largest country in the world, actually!—so if you want to travel around the country, you’ll likely want to do a bit of planning. Of course, renting a car is always an option, but it can take a while to get between places, and depending on how much time you have in the country, you might be better off flying. Just remember that budget airlines often charge extra for baggage, so if you plan to do a lot of flying, you’ll want to minimize the amount that you’re carrying around with you.

If you plan to hitchhike, know that this is illegal in some states, and that in all states, it’s illegal to walk along or stand on the shoulder of the highway. Another important thing to note is that fruits, vegetables, and honey are often not allowed to pass state or regional lines. If you attempt to bring produce from one part of the country to another, your bags might be searched, and you could find yourself stuck with a hefty fine!

Cuisine

Before travelling to any country, it’s a good idea to do a little research into the cuisine so you know a) what to avoid and b) what to actively seek out. Australia is home for a lot of expats, so you’ll find all sorts of international flavors on offer throughout the country, especially from Southeast Asia and the Pacific. That doesn’t mean Australia is lacking its own flavors, though!

Some interesting meats to try are kangaroo and crocodile, which can be found in some restaurants and even grocery stores. And of course, there’s plenty of seafood to be had! You’ve also probably heard of Vegemite, the salty, yeasty spread. If you’ve never tried Vegemite before, it’s best to spread it pretty thinly, regardless of what you might see the locals doing—it’s a bit of an acquired taste.

Regardless of how much time you have in Australia, you’ll find plenty to love and plenty to keep you busy. There’s a reason, after all, that so many expats choose to live in this country—it’s brimming with culture, museums, outdoors activities, good food, and everything else that will make your time there absolutely ‘aces’, in the local vernacular. Although you might not be able to do everything in just one trip, you’ll definitely find yourself preparing for a return trip soon!

All About Rugby League and Other Sports in Australia

If you go to Australia then there is a good chance that you end up watching some sport at some point.

The Australians are famously keen on sport, and many of them are extremely good it too. So if you going to enjoy a game or two here what will it be?

Rugby

Both rugby union and rugby league are hugely popular sports in Australia. Rugby league is regarded as possibly the most popular winter sport in the states of Queensland and New South Wales. The league version of game is also the country’s most watched sport on TV. You might hear it called “league” or “football”. As for rugby union, it is another highly popular sport in the Australian winter. The Super Rugby event is a fantastic competition with 5 teams from Australia and others from around the southern hemisphere. After this comes the National Rugby Championship.  Again, it is most popular in Queensland and New South Wales. Of course, any game involving the Wallabies is going to be exciting, as this is the nickname for the enormously successful Australian national team. If you want to liven up the game with a few bets then the best rugby odds are probably found at William Hill.

Australian Rules Football

If you want a typically Australian sporting experience then you can’t do much better than go to watch some Australian rules football. This is a fast, furious and physical sport that is great fun to watch, even if you don’t fully understand the rules. This is one of the most watched spectator sports in the country. In fact, the Australian Football League final is currently listed as the club championship event with the biggest attendance in the world, with close to 100,000 going to see it. Victoria is the state with most clubs currently playing in the AFL and is seen by many as the home of this sport.

Cricket

If you prefer to watch some cricket while you are in Australia then you will find plenty of games to choose from too. One of the great things about this sport is that it popular all over the county, which isn’t the case with most Australian sports. Incredibly, statistics show that over 90% of Australian watched at least some cricket action on the TV during the year.  The sport has been played here for over two centuries and there is usually a test series and a couple of one day series events played against foreign teams here each year. It is typically seen as a summer sport and a few days out under the sun watching top class international teams is certainly not to be missed if you love this sport.

Signs You Chose the Right Hotel

Every travel experience is different, and people go on trips for different reasons. Consequently, the kind of accommodation you seek will vary according to the type of trip you’re planning. If you’re taking a family trip to see the amusement parks in a certain city, you’ll want to be sure to book a suite that is near all the parks. When you’re planning a honeymoon, you may want to stay at a boutique hotel with unique furnishings. The following are a few of the most common signs that you chose a hotel that matches your needs and preferences beautifully.

The Kids Have Plenty of Things to Do

When you travel with young ones, you want to be sure that they will find plenty of activities to keep them occupied. Having easy access to child-friendly tourist attractions is always an advantage when you’re vacationing with your kids. If you see a theme park, aquarium, or petting zoo on the way to your hotel, you’ve probably chosen an appropriate location.

In addition to being in close proximity to local tourist spots, a kid-friendly hotel should also offer amenities that are suitable for young’uns’. A hotel with a swimming pool and play area is a good choice for a family. If you see an on-site burger place with a diaper-changing station in the bathroom, you can likely be confident that your children will enjoy their stay.

You Feel Free to Relax

If the purpose of your trip is to escape the hustle and bustle of your daily life, you may want to book a room at a spa hotel. When you arrive at such a place, you may be given a schedule of the spa services offered for the next week or two. Your room might be equipped with a whirlpool bath, an individual sauna, and aromatherapy candles. If you came to relax and forget about your hectic lifestyle, then this kind of hotel will probably be a good fit for you.

The Setting Is Unique

You might seek a hotel with a setting that is both charming and stylish. If this is the case, a boutique hotel could be the best option for you. If you’re on your honeymoon or celebrating an anniversary, you might enjoy a boutique hotel that offers a special experience. Such a hotel might have rooms that are each uniquely different in design and furnishings. You may feel as though you’re staying at a friend’s luxury apartment instead of in a hotel.

Universal Signs of a Great Hotel

Regardless of the type of hotel you select, certain signs are universal indications that you’ve made the right choice. A great hotel should always provide impeccable customer service. The dining choices should be tempting and delicious. You should always walk into a spotless hotel room, and the rest of the hotel should also be perfectly clean.

Choosing the right hotel is usually easiest when you know what your expectations are. Don’t wait until your arrival to start thinking about the amenities you require and the location you prefer; plan ahead! If you want to ensure that you make the best selection possible, be sure to consider the nature of your trip and the preferences of everyone involved.

The Great (Online) Outdoors of Australia   

Traveling to Australia is a unique experience all around. Think about it – a country that is also a continent, a one-of-a-kind ecological system that operates independently from the rest of the world. The scenery is breathtaking, the animal and plant kingdom are exceptional and the Homo sapiens roaming the continent are probably the most pleasant ones in the whole world.

Now, these nice people of the Australian breed – tall, smiley and a bit rough around the edges in the most accommodating way possible – have a special place in their hearts for slot machines, which they fondly refer to as “pokies”; not to be confused with “poker” the card game, or “Pokemon” the beloved Japanese species of anime characters and gaming sensation. (Quick J-trivia: Pokemon is an abbreviation for Pocket Monsters.)

But back to pokies. The light-gambling machines are to be found every-where in Australia. There are about 200,000 of them spread all around the country, through about 4,000 designated such clubs. For those traveling from countries that do not allow slot machines ‘out in the open’, like most of the US for example, or Japan, having the option to give a spin or two here and there is super fun.

For an American who wants to do some gambling in his or hers home country – we all deserve a little fun now and then – a lot or arranging is involved; asking for time off work, scheduling a flight, booking a hotel room for yourself, and one for your dog as well. Then it’s Vegas or Atlantic City, both will put a big dent in your wallet. So engaging in some casual pokie-time, for ten or fifteen minutes is nice, and affordable.

Even if you travel with children, many of the pokies clubs have an adjacent children’s play area, as well as a restaurant, so every member of the family can find something they enjoy doing.

Now the last thing advisable in Australia is staying indoors. If the term ‘The Great Outdoors’ wasn’t coined about Australia, well, it should have been. It is simply gorgeous, and the weather is mostly pleasant all year long, even during the winter months of June to September – southern hemisphere, that’s how.

I’m not a 100% sure about it, but I think that in some regions in Australia, it is actually illegal to stay indoors more than 30 minutes straight during daytime. The last thing you want while vacationing is a tussle with the law, so keep that in mind.

Everything is about balance in life, while living it and during vacation. When I was in Jamaica some years back I spent so much time in the first couple of days lying on the beach drinking pinna coladas, I had a really spooky nightmares about pineapples trying to harm me; pineapples can be really nasty when they want to. All I needed to do was leave the beach and explore the inland, throw some jerk chicken into the mix, and it all balanced out nicely; maybe the fact that all those pinna coladas met a completely empty stomach contributed to the nightmares, who knows…

If you still get the pokie-craving when marveling the wonders or mother nature, you can even have some online pokie time. Your phone, your tablet, you got one of those and you are good to go. It might sound strange to some, playing online instant scratchies and slots while on vacation but hey, don’t judge. I find it on the verge of insanity to read a book in a foreign country – you are in a new and unfamiliar place and you bury your nose in words and sentences printed on paper? – but I don’t go around telling all those reading tourists what I think about them, I let them be.

So what I think is, anything you can’t do at home, you should try out when on vacation (in the boundaries of the law, of course.) That’s what vacations are for, no?

My brightest memories from vacations are of when I did seemingly unrelated, illogical things: eating an Italian meal in Puerto Rico, playing a poker game in a carpet shop in Istanbul, watching a Meg Ryan film in South Africa, flying a kite in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, driving a truck in Barcelona. You do what you do because it feels right at that moment, who cares if it’s in the guide or not..?

Top Things to do in Australia

If you’re jetting off on an Australian adventure, there are plenty of things to see and do and there’s something to suit every age and taste. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a culture geek, a nature lover or just fancy getting to know the locals, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the wealth of adventures Australia has to offer. From Sydney to the Outback, here are just some of the essential things to do and see when you embark on your travels down under.

The Blue Mountains

This truly inspiring national park can be found just a few miles out of bustling Sydney and offers the perfect opportunity to explore the breathtaking and diverse scenery Australia has to offer. Climb down windy mountain paths into the vast green expanse of trees, ride the scenic railway or brave the cable cars above the forest and take in the spectacular views of the Three Sisters and the hazy eucalyptus glow.

Surrey Hills

If you’re spending time in Sydney, then the stylish suburb of Surrey Hills is certainly not to be missed and is packed with plenty of character. Peruse the rows of vintage shops, take in the sunshine and sip a cocktail in one of the Victorian or art deco style pubs and bars and step back in time at the Golden Age cinema and bar which plays exclusively vintage films 6 days a week. This charming suburb is a must for those interested in fashion and arts.

Margaret River

Located South West of Western Australia, the town of Margaret River is a popular wine making town, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world each year. Margaret River is perfect for foodies thanks to the generous amounts of gourmet foods and delicious local wines on offer. This colourful town has much more to offer than just food and drink and there are arts, crafts and theatre performances taking place throughout the year.

Cable Beach

A far cry from the tourist heavy beaches of Bondi and Coogee, Cable Beach can be found off the coastline of Western Australia. This resort is quite simply, heavenly, boasting pure white sands, red ochre cliffs and sparkling turquoise waters. Watch the sun rise and set whilst relaxing on the gorgeous sands, learn more of the area’s rich Aboriginal history and if you’re lucky, experience the incredible natural phenomenon – the staircase to the moon.

If you’ve not already booked your trip of a lifetime to Australia, then companies such as Flight Centre Limited have an abundance of great value offers available.

Smooth Sailing: How to Get Ready for Another Boating Season

Boating season approaches for Australians, but before setting sail, boaters address a number of essentials.  For one, boating insurance protects boaters from financial obligation in the case of an accident.  Secondly, no one should be at sea without respect for safety.

Get Apps

Boaters need to keep close watch of present and upcoming weather conditions, which change in real time.  Avoid getting stuck in severe conditions using online weather applications.  Additionally, don’t get too far off while sailing with limited experience.  Applications increase awareness but can’t help when you’re in an emergency situation.

Be Consistent

It’s easy to forget integral items or grow distracted before you set sail.  Form and follow a predeparture checklist each boat journey.  Consistency ensures best safety practices and lessens the chances of avoidable accidents.

Use Common Sense

Use common sense when operating your boat and be responsible for others.  Those operating should not drink alcohol or partake in other activities that distract attention or facilitate loss of focus.  Boating authorities are strict in enforcing laws and offer no leniency to those irresponsible.

Designate a Second Command

For longer journeys, designate a second in command.   In the case of an emergency, and the first in command is incapacitated or unable to attend to duties, the second in command ensures the crew and boat a safe return.  You’re taking a risk when taking a long journey alone; and, it’s more irresponsible to take others on long sails when you’re the only one with nautical awareness.

Share Plans

Share information related to your destination, route, and those who will be taking the journey with a family member or marina staff member.  Average float plans include names and numbers of passengers, trip itinerary, types of equipment on board, any limitations, etc.  Alerting others of your whereabouts creates another layer of safety.

Wear Jackets

A majority of accident victims do not wear lifejackets and meeting safety standards means knowing how to swim.  Do not let a person the boat if they’re not wearing a lifejacket.  Furthermore, ensure those who are on the boat know how to swim and have no fear of the water.  Lessons are available to beginner swimmers.  Advanced swimmers can take added lessons in nautical safety too.

Take a Course

Expert boaters know there is no comparison to experience, yet to gather experience, more learning is necessary.  Take boating courses focused on safety and nautical mastery.  There’s no limit to how many hours you can log at sea or how much you can learn about Australian boating safety.

Get a Safety Check

Ask local authorities for a safety check.  If you’re unsure of who to contact, ask marina employees.  For example, in America, the US Coast Guard provides complimentary boat examinations and information related to state and federal regulations.  Officials provide a checklist to keep track of maintenance needs and necessary annual paperwork.  Check online for nautical officials in your location.

Don’t Underestimate

Never underestimate the power of the sea and the need for added safety.  For example, it’s cute and fun to bring your pup along for a boat ride, yet don’t forget pets need safety jackets too!  Yes, there are lifejackets made for dogs and small pets.  Don’t cast off without erring on the side of caution and overestimating your need to meet safety standards.

Get Insurance

Survey boat insurance vendors who keep boaters protected from legal lawsuits and other penalties afflicting those without coverage.  There is a range of options and levels of insurance protection.  Ask a potential agent for help understanding the differences in coverage and to help prepare for insurance repairs.

Go Out with Others

It’s tranquil to take a solo cruise, yet going out to sea with other captains allows others the chance to lookout for your well being.  Search online for nautical clubs or ask marina employees about opportunities to meet others with boats.  Boating is a lifelong hobby.  There’s great opportunity to meet friends and stay safer on the water.

Gabrielle Victor is known as the boating fanatic among her friends. When she’s not working or driving her boat, she’s writing about it. You can read her helpful articles mainly on boating and recreation blogs and websites.

10 Carry-on Essentials for when Travelling to Australia

So you’ve booked your flight to Australia and you’re thinking about packing. What do you put in your hold luggage, and what do you take in your hand luggage?

As it’s such a long flight, it’s a good idea to be prepared early on so that you’ll have everything you need to hand to help you survive all those hours in the air. Here are 10 essential items you need to put in your bag right now!

1. Your mobile phone

Most of us would be lost without our mobiles, so this is a given. Be sure to download lots of travel apps too like the Bravofly iOS app to get you prepared for your travels!

2. A book

It’s a really long flight after all, so you’ll need something to keep yourself entertained. Books, kindles, newspapers and magazines are obviously great for this, and some airlines enable you to purchase some whilst you’re in the air on your way, too.

3. Compression socks

Your health is obviously really important, and compression socks are great for keeping the blood flowing round your body which is so vital when remaining seated for so long. You can get long and shorter ones, too.

4. A pillow

Keeping comfy is a great idea, and a good item for this is a pillow or blanket. You can get special small travel pillows that don’t take up too much room in your bag, either.

5. Moisturiser

As well as keeping your body hydrated with water when on board your flight, don’t forget about your skin. A little bottle of moisturiser can go a long way for keeping your face and hands in particular refreshed and hydrated.

6. Head phones

Ideal not only for listening to music of course, but also they’re great for drowning out noise if you want to get some sleep on the flight.

7. Sleeping pills

Sleeping pills aren’t for everyone, and some people can just fall asleep anywhere, but if you require a bit of help sleeping on flights, you might want to consider taking some. If you’re unsure about what to take, speak to your doctor or pharmacist beforehand.

8. Chewing gum

Ideal for making you feel a bit more refreshed on a long flight, especially if you’ve had a sleep or if you’ve had a lot of coffee to keep you awake! You could even take a travel toothbrush and toothpaste and brush your teeth in the bathroom.

9. An extra hoodie

Aeroplanes get pretty cold, so you’ll probably want something that will help keep you feeling warm and cosy. An extra hoodie will be perfect for this, and will make the seat a little comfier, too!

10. Sun cream

You’re going to Australia, after all! It may be freezing when you get on the plane, but chances are it’ll be the opposite when you get off! Being prepared early on will be great for avoiding nasty sun burn which may ruin your trip.

How to Take Care of Your Back While Traveling Abroad

Traveling abroad is something many people enjoy, for work and others for pleasure. Regardless of the reason you are traveling abroad, it is important to take care of yourself, especially your back. Nobody expects to experience back pain or a back injury while traveling abroad but if you do it may be difficult to continue your trip or find the proper treatment and care. The best way to ensure that all of your trips abroad go smoothly is to take care of your back at all times.

Travel Pillows

You have probably seen travel pillows in many department stores and pharmacies and thought of them as just another novelty item that will just sit in the closet and never get used. Travel pillows are actually quite useful and could help prevent back pain while traveling and back injuries as well. Travel pillows can help improve your posture, prevent stiff necks and backs, pinched nerves and muscle spasms. If you have a history of back trouble and are concerned that you may experience back pain while traveling abroad you should always bring a travel pillow.

Luggage

One of the easiest ways to hurt your back while traveling is carrying or lifting heavy luggage. When you travel abroad you may pack heavier than usual and lifting these heavy bags could easily injure your back. Even small carry-on luggage can be heavier than it appears and if you lift it too quickly, at the wrong angle or if you move or twist your body while lifting the luggage to put it in the overhead bin, you could pull a muscle or injure your back another way. Never strain to pull, push, lift or carry your bag and if your carry-on bag is heavy ask for help putting it in the overhead bin.

Shoes

You might not think that shoes could cause back pain, but shoes can change your posture and the way you walk which can result in back pain and injury. While traveling, always wear comfortable shoes and avoid shoes that change the way you step or walk. Certain types of shoes such as dress shoes and boots with slick bottoms, sandals and high heels can also cause you to fall and injure your back. If you need to wear one of these types of shoes for a business meeting or special event, make sure you have a pair of comfortable shoes such as sneakers on hand as well.

Sitting Position

According to the Laser Health Spa, a company that offers alternative therapy options, traveling abroad can require long flights, train rides and drives. This means a lot of sitting. When you sit in one position too long or in an awkward position you can put strain on your muscles and lead to back pain and pinched nerves. The easiest way to prevent such issues is to stretch often, at least every half hour. If you are in a plane or train, move around whenever possible and if driving be sure to stop every few hours to take a small walk and stretch your arms, back, neck and legs.

A back injury while traveling abroad can ruin your trip and cause you to spend most of it in your hotel room or even a hospital. In some cases you may have to return home earlier than planned and miss out on important meetings or special occasions and opportunities. Don’t let back pain or injury ruin your trip. Take care of your back while traveling abroad so you can enjoy your adventure.

This article was contributed on behalf of The Laser Health Spa, your number one choice when looking for a better back. Click here and see how they can help you!

Why You Should Stay Well-Rested While Traveling

It is important to get your rest and have a decent a sleep schedule when you are on the road traveling for work or for pleasure. While many headed out on vacation may plan on getting ample down-time, in reality many travelers may come home more wiped-out than when they left. There are many reasons why this occurs, and how to combat sleeplessness away from home. If you travel for work, it is even more important to be rested and rejuvenated, which can be a struggle when you are away from familiar surroundings.

Try the following sleep strategies to ensure that time spent traveling doesn’t sacrifice sleep, and to arrive home rested and ready to return to hectic everyday life.

Sleep Schedule

It is important to maintain a regular sleep schedule, whether traveling or at home. Some tips for achieving this may include such practices as avoiding working on your laptops or devices for an hour before you go to bed. This also encompasses getting out of bed. Sleeping-in, while it may be the goal of those on vacation, can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule and overall quality of rest. Take an alarm clock along on your trip, and try to match up your agenda during your travels that provides you with your average number of sleep hours when you are at home.

Sound Machine

A sound machine is a small device that provides serene, often natural sounds that can lull you to sleep. These are often found offering sounds such as water, rain, birds or music. According to Apnix (www.apnix.com), these are an effective way to drown out any distracting sounds or unfamiliar city noises when you are trying to sleep. Since these devices are typically small, they are no problem to pack and take along on your journey.

Indulge with Caution

While it is common to over-indulge and treat yourself when you are away from home, this can cause some interruption to your normal sleep routine. Use some practical sleep hygiene tips during your time away, which may include watching when you consume caffeine and what you eat before retiring. Since some foods can be more difficult to digest, you may find that late dinners and midnight snacks keep you awake all night. Also, be practical in regards to consumption of alcohol. While a nightcap is nice, overindulging can mess up your sleep and cause you to sleep in later than normal during time away from home.

Familiar Surroundings

Take a bit of home with you when traveling. According to Apnix, a company that can help you get the rest you deserve, this may be your favorite pillow or a blanket that you typically sleep with. These simple comforts can provide a sense of familiarity and security that helps you to nod off when you are in a strange bed. Even the smell of your favorite pajamas or a stuffed animal can be enough to help you slip into a restful, restorative sleep.

Natural Aids

You may want to visit your area pharmacy or drug store before departing to explore some natural sleep aids. It makes more sense to have these handy when needed, than it does to have to go find them in a strange place. These natural aids include supplements, such as melatonin, which is actually a hormone that helps to regulate sleep rhythms. Other suggestions include Valerian Root, which often comes in a small bottle with an eyedropper. Simply put a few drops in a cup of chamomile tea before bed for a restful night.

Getting good sleep during travel is essential, whether to maintain a clear head for directions or work-related duties, or to maintain health and a positive mood during vacations. Try these suggestions to get adequate sleep both on the road and at-home, which is an integral component of overall health and well being.

The top 5 places to visit during your holiday in Australia in 2015

Choosing the right means of transport, booking your ideal accommodation and planning to visit the best attractions in Australia are all important to make the most of your time in this vast far off destination.
People tend to have different approaches to Australia, some people wish to strip themselves of everyday luxuries by exploring new cultures and locations via backpacking while others prefer travelling at the height of luxury with private air charters like Chapman Freeborn and spending time absorbing the countries expansive luxury offerings.

Whatever your style these are the top 5 destinations in Australia you have to see in 2015!

  1. Great Barrier Reef

Still one of the most popular experiences in Australia is the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest and most pristine coral reef system which is comprised of 900 islands and over 2,900 individual reefs, and stretches over 2,300km. You can bask in the reef’s magnificent whilst snorkelling or scuba diving at one or more of the snorkelling and diving areas that scatter the islands, getting up close and personal with a wealth of rare, endangered and unique animals and plant species that inhabit the reef.

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Image URL: http://s.ngm.com/2011/05/great-barrier-reef/img/great-barrier-reef-diver-615.jpg

The best way to experience the reef without getting wet is to take a 2-3 luxury sailing trip/tour around the whole area, exposing you to the stunning views from the deck and letting you glimpse the underwater world through a glass bottomed floor. This will also expose you to all of the other luxuries and benefits of an actual boat cruise/tour, with a much more stunning backdrop!

  1. Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Image URL: http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2014/03/23/23/25/sydney-opera-house-293669_640.jpg

You simply cannot go on a holiday to Australia without visiting Sydney and experiencing all that the wonderful city has to offer. The iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are two of the best attractions in the city, and offer up a whole host of photo opportunities. Dressing up and visiting the restaurants and bars along the harbour whilst watching the sunset and the lights of the harbour ignite the sky is as good a way as any to spend an evening. The great Taronga Zoo is another must visit place, allowing you to explore all of the wonders of the zoo with Sydney’s stunning city skyline in the background.

  1. The Great Ocean Road

Widely recognised as one of the most beautiful roads in world and regularly used for television commercials by international car companies, the Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic drives in the world and it is definitely worth spending a day or two exploring this stretch of Australian coast.

The road hugs the coast line and offers up panoramic views of the ocean and cliffs as it passes through rain forests, with a number of beaches to stop and swim at during a leisurely drive. There are also a number of towns, hikes and superb viewing points where you can stop and enjoy the scenery make your time exploring the road so much better.

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  1. Mindil Beach Sunset Market

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Image URL: http://www.tourism.australia.com/images/media-releases/TA-108861-MindilBeachSunsetMarket.jpg

One of the best ways to appreciate and explore Australia’s, and more specifically Darwin’s, rich multi-ethnic mix is to visit this beach market, which is held from April to October every Thursday and Sunday evening. As you browse the market you can sample locally produced, handmade items like crocodile products, indigenous art, woodwork and jewellery. The market also has a wonderful selection of foods from around the world, letting you experience the best delicacies on offer whilst wondering along the beach, with the setting sun creating a wonderful backdrop.

  1. Byron Bay

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Image URL: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Byron_Lighthouse_looking_south_2004-28-12.JPG

A popular holiday destination for international tourists and Australians alike Byron Bay is a beautiful stretch of beach that marks the eastern coast of mainland Australia. Being home to kilometres of pristine beach, luxury beach clubs, amazing weather and water sports such as scuba diving and surfing makes it a natural choice as one of the top tourist destinations. At night the lighthouse improves the already unique backdrop and provides brilliant photo opportunities at sunset. A range of music festivals also grace the beach over the year, attracting international and local musicians and improving the already incredible atmosphere of the bay.