It’s time to brush up on your Aussie twang, and take a trip down under with our holiday blog dedicated to all things Australian. We’ve also included New Zealand in our blog, so in effect you get two for the price of one! Find out about national parks, local wildlife, sport, events, and the local tipple. There are plenty of tourist attractions to blog about too, and if you take a trip to Australia or New Zealand so much you don’t want to come back, we have advice on working there too. Are you ready to come to the Southern Hemisphere with us?
If you are travelling in New Zealand make sure to save a day to make the coastal walk over to the Red Rocks that will allow you see a large fur seal colony in Wellington.
Of course, given the fact that it will take you about a day make sure to pack some lunch and a few drinks with you as well. The walk starts out on the southern coastline of Wellington and in about thirty minutes to an hour will lead walkers over to the Red Rocks area.
The Red Rocks are a formation of rocks and cliffs that were formed about 200 million years ago by volcanic eruptions that were occurring under the seas. The ion oxide that remains in the rocks offers them their very distinctive red color today. Of course, local folklore is a bit more colorful explaining the colour of the rocks via the tale of an explorer that bled onto the rocks staining them dark red.
There are four beach houses or baches as the locals call them, registered as historic areas in the Red Rocks by the New Zealand Historic Place Trust. Each of the baches was constructed during the early 1900s and has been carefully maintained to offer the same historical heritage.
From the Red Rocks the walking trail continues onwards towards Sinclair Head where the fur seal colony is located. During the months of May until October the colony is mostly made up of bachelor males that were not able to win the title of breeding males within the colonies that are found on South Island.
Due to the fact that there are no females the colony is considered to be less aggressive. However, due to stressful circumstances regarding food and weather the seals can still be aggressive at times and people are asked to keep a safe distance while observing them.
Along the route there are also some great historical places to stop into for a look around including some great fun emplacement and plenty of lookouts that were constructed during the early 1900s.
A camping trip in New Zealand could be just what the doctor ordered however to stop it becoming a logistical nightmare, it is extremely important that you properly plan and prepare all of the aspects of your holiday. Plan what you want from your holiday; are you willing to step out of your comfort zone?
By all means plan an adventure filled break if that is what you really want, but don’t just do it because it is the ‘in’ thing to do. You have to consider your own wants and needs for a holiday, so if you would prefer a relaxing break plan properly for that.
Would you prefer a cabin, camper van or tent? Obviously because tents are a lot cheaper they are more popular. They also have other advantages though as they offer a greater flexibility in where you can stop and are traditionally a part of New Zealand holidays, however they are not everyone’s idea of fun.
Summer months in some parts of the country can be a bit hit and miss, so plan carefully where you are going. Difference in weather on your holiday can spoil your holiday or make it more fun, depending on how you view it. Check average temperatures of the area before you leave and keep an eye on the forecasts. Make sure you book your holiday well in advance as the best places to stay are usually booked up months before the busy season starts.
Have your itinerary properly planned if you want to fit a lot in. Book any activities you have planned ahead of you going so as not to be disappointed. Have a backup plan in case the weather turns against you and plan your week’s menus so you only take what you need and it will last until the end of your holiday.
You need to make sure you have all of your essentials so don’t forget: a basic first aid kit; cooking equipment; cutlery; good walking shoes; hat; insect repellent; pillows: sleeping bag and mattress; suitable clothing; sunblock: tent (with all equipment); toiletries and torch with batteries.
A trip to Australia conjures up images of bush walks, surfing and all manner of outdoor activities, and those who seek rest and relaxation and a chance to recharge their batteries may be forgiven for thinking they will struggle to find somewhere to suit their needs. Fear not, however, as the twin towns of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs in Victoria are collectively known as Australia’s Spa Centre, and for very good reason.
If there was anything wrong with this area it is the way that it is sometimes marketed, making it sound just a little too good to be true and painting it as some kind of fairytale spot that has stepped straight out of Sex and The City. It claims to refresh body and soul, encourage total indulgence and somewhere where all body and mental ailments are both treated and abolished, leaving you as a whole new person with a completely new outlook on life.
It is a shame that many may be put off by this OTT marketing, when in fact it is a wondrous placed offering every kind of pampering you can imagine as well as offering boutique resort accommodation, fine dining of the highest calibre and the chance to rejuvenate your body through massages, luxury spas and the like.
Is is in the perfect location set above ancient volcanic basins with Australia’s largest concentration of natural springs bursting with minerals. The water from these springs effectively leaches the minerals from the surrounding rocks which are reckoned to be 450m years old.
A combination of outstanding natural beauty, an abundance of local produce and a climate akin to the Mediterranean are just three of the things that define Mildura. Sitting upon the mighty Murray River in North West Victoria, the region saw settlers move in from Europe in the back end of the 1840′s the consistent weather, good wool prices and the early trade from riverboats gave the station a booming economy.
The Mildura of the modern era is founded on the work done by the Chaffey brothers who made the trip from California back in 1887 to set up their irrigation colony on the station site whose economy had fallen on hard times due to an extreme drought. There is now a self drive tour for visitors, the Chaffey Trail, which takes in all the historical landmarks which starts with a short film at the Mildura Visitor Information and Booking Centre.
Stopping at Lock 11, Mildura Weir and at the Psyche Pumps brings the irrigation story to life whereas the earlier life of the station is displayed at stops such as the Old Mildura Homestead, which is a loving reconstruction of the first station from 1847, the Mildura Grand Hotel and the Rio Vista house, an ornately decorated building which was W.B Chaffey’s home during the 1890′s.
The true sense of Mildura, however, is best experienced through the food. The orchards, market gardens, restaurants, cellar doors and markets provide a sensory assault that nobody should miss out on. The climate encourages abundant growth of mushrooms, olives, asparagus, citrus fruits, melons and much more, along with the Mallee lamb that is produced here.
This is an area of Victoria that everyone should visit if they have a chance, as the modern cities do not give you a sense of the history and early colonisation of Australia that is clearly evident in Mildura
Te Kaha, situated at 70 km from Opotiki and 264 km from Gisborne was once an old whaling settlement and the setting of missionary activities and was also a site that underwent many sieges by invading tribes.
It later became dependant on farming as whale hunting got more and more difficult. The area’s perfect climate has transformed the region in a major kiwi production resource.
Te Kaha also boasts fabulous sandy beaches and bays and is a very popular holiday location. There are various comfortable and luxury lodges to choose from, these offer choice accommodation and reasonable prices.
For a fantastic panoramic view you must not miss the Maungaroa Scenic Drive, where you can admire spectacular views of the coast and lush vegetation. Following the drive you will arrive at the Maungaroa Station Horse Treks from which you can head onto horseback adventures through the outback.
If you keep on driving along the Pacific Coast Highway and pass Marae you will arrive at Maraetai Bay or School House Bay, a sheltered sandy beach ideal for sun bathing and a nap. Near there you may also visit the Maungaroa Marae, which has the ‘Greyhound’ whale boat on display for visitors.
Continuing along from there near two beautiful pohutukawa trees is the tomb of the Princess Te Rangi Pai and her husband John Howie. These two people were very famous in the area and appreciated by the locals.
The great white shark is considered one of the ocean’s most terrifying residents. This predator can swim thousands of kilometres when migrating, and many actually return to the same original home area. This discovery has been made by New Zealand scientists after a six-year study.
On Thursday this study was issued, and it was found that there are common destinations for the great white shark, mainly the waters around New Zealand’s remote islands. Tonga, New Caledonia, Fiji, and Vanuatu have been named as popular sites for sharks.
There have been inquiries into behaviour and habitat of the great whites, specifically those that are found in places like the Chatham Islands and the southerly Stewart Island. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and the Department of Conservation, (NIWA and DOC respectively,) and the University of Auckland have been looking into great whites feeding on fur seals in these areas during autumn and winter.
However, during the winter and spring time period great whites have been found by New Zealand scientists to spend months at a time in more tropical climates. This shows quite a migratory diversity in the species, and adaptability to changing weather conditions.
Scientists were able to tag 27 great whites around the Titi Islands, located near Stewart Island off the northeast cost. This is a record number, and has been added to the 31 sharks that had been identified and tagged since 2005, reports the NIWA.
“It is our hope that we can collect some breakthrough data that can identify the time and location of each shark. Since they exhibit strong tendencies to migrate to the tropics, we expect more activity during autumn and early winter. Not as much is expected to happen during late winter to summer, since they will be ‘vacationing’ in the tropical areas,” states Dr Malcolm Francis, principal scientist of NIWA.
“Things are slowly starting to shape up in terms of our understanding. We previously understood that the sharks would migrate from New Zealand and take a vacation in the tropics. Our research now has revealed that a lot of them or even the majority will return back to precisely the same New Zealand location,” Francis explained.
Clinton Duffy of the DOC science team explained that Ella, one great white being studied, was found between New Caledonia and the Great Barrier Reef.
DOC scientist Clinton Duffy said one shark, named Ella by the research team, was tracked to the remote Chesterfield Islands in the Coral Sea, between the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia.
An open letter that was published in January in the Nature Climate Change journal claims that as global warming continues to grip the globe coastal areas of Australia, along with Antarctica and Indonesia, will hard hit with much stronger winds and bigger waves. This is in sharp contrast to the northern hemisphere where, according to the researchers, the waves and wind will probably lessen.
Those who carried out the research have said that these findings not only have implications for those who live in coastal area, but also those who work in the fishing industry and the entire ecosystem in general.
The letter was prepared by the researchers from several institutions who came together on the project, including Kyoto University’s Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Princeton University, the Centre of Australian Weather and Climate Research and Uppsala University.
The research involved studying 3 different models of climate and then used them as a basis for their predictions regarding the expected increase in the westerly winds that blow across the southern hemisphere. These winds will, in turn, create higher, stronger and much more frequent wave in several southern hemisphere regions.
High pressure systems coming from the Pacific Basin will have the almost opposite effect in the northern hemisphere which will result in the North Atlantic in particular experience less winds and much smaller waves.
Yalin Fan, a co-author of the letter and an atmospheric scientist from Princeton, says that the effects of these climate shifts will be mixed as there will be less beach erosion in the north but a loss of wave power for those countries which have implemented this as an energy source. Another of the authors, Kyoto University’s Nobuhito Mori said that fisherman from Japan would benefit from the calmer seas.
Once considered the shy sibling of Melbourne and Sydney, the city of Brisbane is finally stepping out of the shadows and enjoying its time in the East Coast sun. There is nothing bad that can be said about Brisbane; they love their sports, have galleries galore to explore, enjoy one of the best coffee cultures in the world and are just a short distance away from two of the largest natural attractions in the world; the Great Barrier Reef and the Scenic Rim.
To most of us, coffee is a morning livener that gets us ready for the day ahead in Brisbane, however, it is very much a way of life. Strolling around city and the suburbs you cannot fail to notice the sheer volume of coffee shops with their glorious smells wafting in the air and drawing you in for a pit stop. It doesn’t come much better than sitting outside a boutique coffee house, a cup of freshly ground beans in hand, enjoying the Aussie sunshine.
A 60 minute drive from Brisbane brings you to the natural splendour that is the Scenic Rim. This national park is an absolute delight with hidden towns, miles of rolling hills and more than enough country pubs to satisfy anyone’s thirst. The park begs to be explored and the numerous hiking trails that wind their way throughout the countryside give you the chance to spot wildlife and stop off for some wine tasting as you go.
Art lovers have found their utopia in Brisbane, with more galleries than you would expect to find anywhere. Ranging from the traditional to the contemporary, you can wander around the Queensland Art Gallery, the Queensland Museum and Science centre and the absolute must see, the Gallery of Modern Art, or GoMA. Whether you want to gaze upon indigenous Aussie art or take in displays from the entire Asia Pacific region, you will be spoilt for choice in Brisbane.
A new study has come out showing that Australia might just well be the world leader in regulating shark based tourism industries these days. The new data shows that the laws and policies governing two of the shark visiting projects have been done by the Macquarie University in collaboration with UWA.
The research looked into the legal and management systems that are being used along with the economic and environmental sides of some activities like snorkelling within the sharks’ environment. This is especially the case in the Ningaloo region, and it is diving with white sharks that is causing a lot of the attention in the Neptune Islands.
Western Australia in particular is seen as one of the most regulated region on the globe thanks to its focus on these species. It has also been created over multiple years alongside scientific studies. Dr Erika Techera from UWA says that both law and policy have to be influenced by science. In the future, there will need to be continued monitoring for the effects of tourism as deemed necessary.
Over 40 countries and offer shark based tourism, and opportunities established themselves for conservation, but this is not without risk to people or animals. Worldwide, a large amount of shark species are threatened and legal systems at a national level need to cope.
The data also shows shark based tourism is growing fast and is soon to be an important tool for marine conservation. Both whale and great white sharks migrate around the sea, staying only a small amount of time in Australian seas, so it is crucial that regulation matches in several countries to allow proper control.
Meanwhile, greater standardisation of the various rules and regulation has been recommended by the scientists working on this study, with Australia providing some of the best practices for other countries who are interested in developing shark based tourism of their own. Only through those efforts will regulators be successful in this process, and reach a useful conclusion.
A new initiative called Best Jobs in the World by Tourism Australia is seeing a lot of success, with over half a million applications being received in less than four weeks. The UK is actually topping the list for the most entries, with over 75,000 English citizens wanting to apply to these jobs, and 300,000 people worldwide.
There are six work offers so far from Tourism Australia and the package includes benefits worth around £67,000 for six months of work. The roles that these people will fulfill include chief funster in New South Wales and even a master taster in Western Australia.
There was a big response to the recruitment campaign, but the increased demand for working visas also help show the need that young British people have to want to live an Australian lifestyle. Wanting to swap the challenging financial environment in Britain for a new adventure in Australia is no surprise. Tourism Australia has a new regional manager, Rodney Harrex, and he is piloting this programme.
He said that the year-on-year data shows 16% more people applying for work visas than before, all coming from England. This new scheme was created to help promote Australia as a viable working visa programme to people from all over the world. More than 40,000 people from England made the trip down under last year.