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Australia Travel Blog

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Head North for the Tropic Sun

Monday July 29, 2013
If you're not particularly fond of the winter cold — it's still midwinter in Australia — consider a trip north to Australia's tropical regions.

For those wishing to visit the Great Barrier Reef, one of the destinations of choice is Cairns in Queensland which is a popular jump-off point to the Reef.

If you're driving north along the Pacific coast, there are many coastal Queensland cities and towns from which you can take a ferry to one of the resort islands on the Reef. On the other side of the continent, there's Broome and Cable Beach in Western Australia to consider, and in the Northern Territory there's Darwin and Kakadu.

Photo: Snorkeling off Heron Island © Tourism Queensland

Ekka Is Coming

Friday July 26, 2013
Ekka ferris wheelBrisbane is holding Queensland's largest annual event, the Ekka, from August 8 to 17. Along with those of Sydney and Melbourne, the Ekka is one of the top three agricultural shows in Australia.

Officially, it's the Royal Queensland Show, and it's also called the Exhibition, from which the colloquialism Ekka is derived. Ekka Day, an official public holiday in Brisbane, is on August 14 this year. Photo: Carnival time at the Ekka, courtesy ekka.com.au.

Cairns Isn't Just a Jump-off Point to the Reef

Tuesday July 23, 2013
Mostly, visitors to Cairns think of this far north Queensland city as a springboard for diving into the Great Barrier Reef. Certainly the Reef is one of the most visited places in Australia, and Cairns is one of Australia's mainland cities closest to the northern part of the Reef. Green Island, for instance, is just off the coast of Cairns.

The thing is: When you're in Cairns, don't overlook the opportunities of exploring Cairns' own attractions.

This is the place where rainforest meets the sea, and both the Wet Tropics of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef are World Heritage sites.

And if local Indigenous culture interests you, be ready to be amazed at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.
Photo: Cairns as viewed from the air © Australian Tourist Commission

Arnhem Land: Aboriginal Homeland

Saturday July 20, 2013
With its awesome natural attractions (and dangers), Arnhem Land in Australia is the Aboriginal homeland where the Dreamtime lives in song and dance, where legend, myth and history interweave with today's realities, where innumerable sacred sites are forever hidden from prying eyes, and where the white man (or any other non-Aboriginal person) may not enter.
Photo: Arnhem Land water hole © Australian Tourist Commission

Indulge Yourself at Margaret River

Wednesday July 17, 2013
Just three to four hours out of Perth, depending on how you drive and how many stops you make, you'll find Margaret River, a region in Western Australia of fine wines and roaring surf.

Along the Margaret River valley, vineyards produce quality table wines, of which a number are exported to many parts of the world. Enjoy a leisurely wine tour at Margaret River.

As a surfing mecca, Margaret River is considered one of the most consistent, scenic and laid-back surfing destinations in the world, featuring more than 40 places to surf -- with conditions ranging from powerful reef breaks to fun beach breaks. Photo: Poolside at Quay West Resort, Margaret River wine region © Tourism Western Australia

Melbourne Museum - Cultural Treasures, Modern-Day Marvels

Sunday July 14, 2013
When in Melbourne, you may want to wander up to the Carlton Gardens and discover a fascinating blend of culture, history, art and modern-day technology with exhibits from dinosaurs to Phar Lap to digital wonders — all at the Melbourne Museum... Then there's the adjacent Royal Exhibition Building, first Australian man-made structure to become a World Heritage site, ahead of the Sydney Opera House.

Check out the tram routes and take the tram from the heart of the city. Photo: Melbourne Museum at Carlton Gardens, by John Broomfield, courtesy Museum Victoria

Experience the Past at Sovereign Hill

Thursday July 11, 2013

There's much of history in the Victorian goldfields and much to visit in Ballarat, Victoria's largest inland city. Certainly you can take a daytrip from Melbourne and return by nightfall, or take your time and spend a couple of days and nights, or more, in the storied goldfields.

At Sovereign Hill, experience colonial times and the search for gold, and at the Eureka Stockade, feel the breath of rebellion as miners take a stand against perceived injustice...

Photo: Sovereign Hill © Tourism Victoria

Snowboarding in the Snowy Mountains

Monday July 8, 2013
Yes, the snow has been falling in the Snowy Mountains and the Australian ski season is definitely on since the start of the Queen's Birthday long weekend.

There's good snow cover at the Thredbo and Perisher ski resorts, and already there's much skiing and snowboarding activity on the Snowy Mountains ski slopes.

For other Down Under ski areas, visit the high country of Victoria, parts of Tasmania and, of course, the skifields of New Zealand. Photo: Snowboarding in the Snowy Mountains © Australian Tourist Commission

Australia by Road - The 1 to Follow

Friday July 5, 2013
This hole in the rock is in the shape of Australia, and you'll come across it in Narooma on Highway 1, the Princes Highway, on the New South Wales South Coast.

But you don't need to simply look at the map of Australia — etched out of a rock or drawn on paper — you can, if you wanted to, take Australia's circumferential Highway 1 all around the continent with side trips to your destinations of choice.

Of course, there's no need to take the whole circle route but it's easy enough to travel convenient sections of it.

Unless you go inland, you'd miss the nation's capital, Canberra, which isn't on Highway 1. You'd also miss Tasmania across Bass Strait but you'd have the option to catch the ferry from Melbourne.
Photo: Australia Rock at Narooma © Larry Rivera licensed to About.com, Inc

Get Set for the Darwin Beer Can Regatta

Tuesday July 2, 2013
If you're in Australia's Northern Territory, you may just get the chance to join or at least view the Darwin Beer Can Regatta and have a beer or two.

A number of boats take to the water on Sunday, July 7, to compete in the regatta and, you guessed it, all the boats joining the Mindil Beach contest are made from beer cans.

Organised by the Lions Club, the Beer Can Regatta has been running for more than 35 years, and as usual all money raised goes to the specified charity.
Photo: Darwin Beer Can Regatta © Tourism NT
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