Livin the traveller life

I cannot believe in just 2 weeks, I’ll be off on a 6 week trip to round out 2013 and take on so many more new adventures. This year has simply flown by and I cannot keep track of what has happened and how much I have been doing.

Apologies again for a severe lack of posting, to be honest, some days I feel truly overwhelmed by the amount of content I have to share and the amazing things that have been happening that I just instead hide away and share nothing. But I love this blog and I love sharing stories and I’m excited to focus the next 2 months on getting back on track with the blog.

So, why have I been absent? What have I been doing? A few highlights and a few of the places I’ve been in the last few months.

  • Finished off the ski season with a 5 day trip to Perisher with the incredible DWA- Disabled Wintersports Australia – coupled with a road trip from VIC to NSW with 2 lovely ladies

 

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  • A weekend of frivolity at Falls Creek with some good friends for “Two for Onesie” weekend. Great deals and amazing outfits led to a lot of fun

 

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  • Working at the Sydney Blues and Roots Festival and meeting so many amazing artists.IMG_4340

 

 

 

 

 

Jetting to Borneo to meet the beautiful orang-utans and experience some of the island lifeIMG_7933 IMG_7712 IMG_7928

 

 

  • Popping to Singapore for a conference and catching up with wonderful friends

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  • Sydney for my brothers birthday amongst other things, a beautiful week of sunshine and fun

 

 

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Family road trip for the first time in years to the incredible Great Ocean Road, VictoriaIMG_4619 IMG_4655 1

 

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  • Working with the incredibly talented Charlie A’Court (Canada) on his Australian Tour  – seeing gigs in Sydney, Melbourne and Sydney Blues and Roots Festival in Sydney again.

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  • Having some gal pals visit me in Melbourne for the race that stops the nation, Melbourne Cup 2013!

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And there’s so much more to come!

A trip to Sydney next week, a visit from 2 separate Sydney friends and then off to Europe  for 6 weeks -Finland, Germany, Austria, UK and maybe more….

Stay tuned for more stories to come!

 

I love hearing stories from all my travelling friends and sharing tips and tricks so please do write and let me know what you have been doing.

Top 5 DriveNow romantic getaway road trips from Melbourne

A romantic couples getaway doesn’t have to be an extravagant event with months of planning. You can simply fly into Melbourne airport, hire a DriveNow campervan or rental and zip off to some of the amazing road trip destinations in Victoria. You’ll be relaxing in just a few hours in these Top 5 romantic road trip getaways.

DriveNow

Great Ocean Road

This has to be one of the most famous drives in Melbourne. With every turn, you’ll catch breathtaking views as you wind around the curling road that hugs the cliffs and the sea. It takes just 1.5 hours from the Melbourne airport to reach the beginning of the Great Ocean road and you can weave along at your leisure until you reach the incredible 12 Apostles. Don’t miss sunset, it’s incredible!

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Dinner Plain

Ready for a mountain escape? No matter what time of the year, Dinner Plain in the Australian Alpine region is beautiful. In summer it’s a chardonnay on the balcony in the afternoon and walks through the great Aussie bush. In winter it’s skiing by day and hot chocolates by the fire at night in this Christmas like village.

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Dandenongs

Just 1 hour from the CBD and you step into the rainforest and wooded area of the Dandenong ranges. Unique boutiques, romantic B &B’s and cute cafes are hidden amongst the trees in this natural escape. Why not take on the adventure of climbing the 1000 steps and emulating a small part of the Kokoda trail.

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Yarra Valley

What is a weekend away without a good glass of wine. Drive 1.5 hours from Melbourne Airport and you will find yourself in the famous wine region of Victoria. Whether you take up a B&B on a vineyard or jump on a tour for a day, you are sure to sample some amazing produce on this relaxing getaway.

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Wilsons Prom

3 hours south of Melbourne you will stumble across this secret gem of Victoria. Bushwalks in the National Park, stunning views of Bass Straight and a beach just 10 minutes from the main accommodation area. There will be plenty to do in this seaside nature haven.

Source: therealexperience.com.au

Source: therealexperience.com.au

For more information on how to book your next romantic road trip, visit DriveNow: http://www.drivenow.com.au

Melbourne: Ideas for a one week visit

Melbourne is now my home! I moved here two years ago and I love exploring my own city. In that time I’ve probably been away for about 6 months of that time if not more with 2 x 2 month overseas trips, week long trips to Sydney, other parts of Australia and overseas. When I am here – I love embracing the arts that this city has to offer and indulging in the many wonderful cuisines offered at great restaurants and bars around the city.
Here is my list of activities and things you can do while visiting for a week. There is a lot more on offer but in a week, I think this will keep you rather busy.
Beautiful Melbourne

Beautiful Melbourne

Things to do in Melbourne:
– Arts Centre – plays
– Shopping on Chapel Street
– St Kilda Beach and Luna Park
Watch a play here!

Watch a play here!

– National Gallery- Monet exhibition
– Melbourne Aquarium – baby penguins there for another 6 months until they are all grown up!
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– Draculas – Theatre dinner restaurant (This is a MUST – dinner and show. Very famous!!)
– Eureka Skydeck – 89 floors, view of Melbourne – you could also have a wonderful meal there, 5 course degustation menu. www.eurekaskydeck.com.au/
Winter Cocktail Evening at Eureka

Winter Cocktail Evening at Eureka

– Great Ocean Road = 2 days
– Phillip Island – 1 day, drive there and back. Penguin parade and animal park
– Rooftop Bar
Best place to be in the afternoons, Rooftop Bar

Best place to be in the afternoons, Rooftop Bar

– Shrine of Rememberence – War memorial
– River cruise on the Yarra River through the city.
– River boat to Williamstown for Fish and chips.
– AFL Match at the MCG – or stadium tour.
MCG tour

MCG tour

I think this should be more than enough for one week!
If you are up for the Dinners, you should book these in advance so you don’t miss out.
Enjoy my city! There is so so much to do here!

Rough Itinerary for 4 weeks in Australia

In June/ July I have some dear friends coming to visit me in Australia. It’s my turn to play host and tour guide…. which I love!

I have put together these rough ideas of an itinerary for them of what to see and how to get the most out of Australia. I would love to know what you think and if this is a trip you would take:

 

I suggest spending 5 days in Sydney firstly. Then hire a car from Sydney and drive to Canberra – it’s about 4 hours driving. You can spend 2-3 days there and this is where you will gain the most history of Australia.
Then drive to Melbourne 5-6 hours. You can stay with me, both of you or I can suggest a hotel – but please, you are welcome as my guests. We can spend 2 days in Melbourne together, and then I suggest we go all together on a drive to the Great Ocean Road and sty over night, and then to Phillip Island and stay over night. Back to Melbourne and then perhaps it’s time for you to drive back to Sydney – 1 day.
Opera House Sydney when I was 8 with my American relative.

Opera House Sydney when I was 8 with my American relative.

You can then go to Queensland – Cairns and see the great barrier reef and do some snorkelling and enjoy the sites there. Maybe for 5-6 days? So we are up to 18 days. You could then fly from there to Northern Territory to see Uluru. If I have the money at the time, I would LOVE to join you as I am also yet to see this. I would say 3-4 days at Uluru and Alice Springs.
Tropical Queensland, Magnetic Island

Tropical Queensland, Magnetic Island

Then come back to Sydney for 3 days and see some more there and so some last minute shopping!
It’s a lot to do in a short time but I think it shows off the best of our beaches, history, landmarks and culture. I can’t wait to share this with my friends!

Emma from Sydney, Australia

Emma Page is my charming, delightful and lovely friend from Sydney. We are both obsessed with travel and spend many hours a week planning our next adventures. Unfortunately, both of us have recently had our travels cut short by broken vertebrae during our travels. We are now on the mend and ready for frivolity and fun abroad!

Learn Why Emma Loves her country AUSTRALIA so much and her tips on what’s hot in the land Down Under.

Name: Emma Page

Occupation: Journalist

Country of Residence: Australia

Country of Origin: Australia

Why do you love Travel? To escape familiar settings and embrace discovery and adventure. There’s no better way to experience the world than to actually get out there and see it. You can read a one thousand page itinerary on Paris, gaze at photos of the Dalmatian Coast or watch a movie about La Dolce Vita in Rome but none of it compares with being physically present in a cultural landscape where you can taste, touch, smell and feel what it’s all about. I compel everyone to travel at least once in their life…no doubt you’ll want to go again!

Favourite place in your home country and why? There is no city I love more than Sydney. A born and bred Sydney girl, I think this stunning Harbour metropolis offers the best of everything. It combines spectacular natural beauty – craggy headlands overlooking a sparkling blue ocean and pristine national parks – with the best of cosmopolitan Australia. You’ll find the best international foods – from Japanese sushi to Persian fairy floss to Mediterranean degustations – at your fingertips. There is also a gamut of watering holes, an eclectic mix of museums and galleries, high-end and bargain shopping haunts and lots of free and cheap entertainment options. Sydney is Australia’s largest global city with a booming population but manages to retain a relaxed, chilled vibe amidst the Manhatten-esque pace of life.

Best place for tourists to visit in your country? I’d definitely recommend taking a trip into Alice Springs – the dry, dusty heartland of Australia – and spending time in Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock). Watching the rock at sunset as it changes from dull terracotta to blood orange to muted mauve is breathtaking. It’s easy to appreciate the spiritual significance this place has to Aboriginal people.

Also on the list is Kata Tjuta or The Olgas (a short drive from Uluru) and the breathtaking Kings Canyon.

Stay in Alice Springs town (Crowne Plaza recommended) to experience a unique and exciting melting pot of different cultures in the very centre of Australia. Browse the Friday night markets along Todd Street Mall, have a flutter at the Casino, nurse a python at the Reptile Centre and tour Desert Park (it’s about $20). The walk takes you on well beaten paths through the reserve where you’ll inspect waterholes with thriving bird life, see nocturnal exhibitions, cross river beds, explore sand country and get up close and personal with red kangaroos.

Here we go my sweet....
What other country would you life in if you had to leave your country? Either France or Croatia.
Everything in France is beautiful. From the opulent shop facades and finely-wrapped chocolates in Paris to the sublime Alps, romantic wine valleys and shimmering azure waters lapping the Nice coastline – France has an exquisite landscape for everyone.

My mum hails from Privlaka, a small fishing village on the northern Dalmatian coast in Croatia – about a half hour drive from Zadar and three hours from Zagreb. I have visited this village twice and I cannot wait to go back. The people are lovable characters who usher you inside their homes for homemade delicacies such as stuffed capsicums or prosciutto with Pag cheese. In summertime you can watch local lads display their incredible footsal skills, swim in sapphire blue Adriatic waters, drink Karlovacka beer at rustic bars and sing traditional pjesme (songs) to a classical guitar on the beach under moonlight. A highlight would definitely be celebrating Privlaka Noc – a summer festival with Croatian rock legends, klapa bands, food stalls, fireworks over the moonlit sea and hundreds of eager-eyed faces. Spend a summer in Dalmatia and you’ll return home with tears in your eyes because nothing can ever quite compare to that magic.
Best travelling experience anecdote in your own country? I remember visiting World Heritage Listed Fraser Island (located along the southern coast of Queensland) and being astonished that the entire island was made of pure white, fine grain sand. In fact, it is the world’s largest sand island. I travelled around Fraser in a four-wheel drive to behold spectacularly coloured sand cliffs and trekked through natural rainforests where centuries old trees had grown not from soil but sand. The island houses 100 freshwater lakes, the colour of aquamarine, which are difficult to float in without any salt content keep you buoyant. We spotted dingoes, goannas, lorikeets and an abundance of other native species roaming freely on the island. Fraser is a rare gem that ranks among Australia’s most prized natural landscapes such as The Great Barrier Reef and Uluru.

Favourite activity when around your city? If it’s hot I’ll make a beeline to the water. Yachting around Sydney Harbour is spectacular, as is finding the perfect sunny spot in the Botanic Gardens, flopping out on a picnic blanket and watching the passer bys/harbour life. Fish and chips at Watsons Bay, breakfast at Bondi, coffee at Balmoral and swimming at Cronulla are also favourites.


Do you feel you know your country well, or is more exploring of your homeland needed? I know parts of Australia well but there are still many places I’d love to explore such as Tasmania, Cairns, Darwin, the Great Ocean Road and Adelaide. Many tourists often know more about our own backyard than Aussies do!
Any warnings for travellers visiting in your country? Always swim between the flags at surf beaches. Australian waters are notoriously rough and for inexperienced swimmers, strong rips, large waves and sudden potholes in the sand can be treacherous (if not lethal!). Also, if bushwalking wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and boots if possible – we have many poisonous snakes and spiders here! Research is your best tool – read up before you go.
Must see movie featuring your country and Why? Baz Luhrmann’s epic romance ‘Australia’. It captures our beautiful but dangerous desert-country and voices important perspectives in Australian history, including the larrikin drover, the aristocratic English colonialist and the mixed race Aboriginal boy. The film is set against the backdrop of the bombing of Darwin during WWII.

The best book to read before visiting your country? May Gibbs’ ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ (a splendidly illustrated children’s classic), Bill Bryson’s ‘In a Sunburned Country’ (Audio CD) or anything by Tim Winton or Bryce Courtney – two bestselling Aussie authors.

The must eat dish or delicacy of your country? We have lots of international eats here but do try a pie or sausage roll from Harry’s Café de Wheels in Woolloomooloo. Opera Bar serves the best Sydney Rock Oysters – washed down with a glass of white wine, you can’t beat it!

The top three sayings to make travellers stay in your country easier?


– Cheers/ no worries mate (to thank someone for their help)
– Where is the nearest bus stop/ train station?
– How much does it cost?
Best time of year to visit? Spring/ summer

The 4 words that best describe your country: Vibrant, colourful, welcoming, diverse.