Tucked halfway between the energetic Gold Coast, and the zen town of Byron Bay you’ll find a hidden paradise; a collection of small beachside towns that offer respite from the usual hordes of tourists.
Three of my favourite sleepy beach towns along the Queensland-NSW border are conveniently lined up just south of Tweed Heads. Kingscliff starts off the trio, and a bit further south you’ll encounter Casuarina and Cabarita Beach.
Setting yourself up in this part of northern NSW allows you to enjoy three delightful beach towns for the price of one, though only one of these towns is home to a lavish Balinese-style retreat (hint: it’s Casuarina).
Smack bang in the middle of these three often overlooked beachside getaways, Casuarina is quite the hidden secret … and we got the distinct impression that locals prefer it stays that way!
This is where Gold Coast locals come to escape the tourism that floods into their city; and as soon as you step through the colossal automatic bamboo doors at Oaks Santai Resort Casuarina, you’re instantly transported to Bali.
Chris Hemsworth. Matt Damon. Natalie Imbruglia. Pat Rafter.
The golden beaches, turquoise waters, and zen mentality are just some of the reasons celebrities from all around the world are drawn to the Australian town of Byron Bay.
Byron Bay overflows with both energy and beauty, while at the same somehow offering a place where a chilled out vibe takes centre stage. Though there are two very distinct and opposite experiences here: one backpacker, one luxury.
After the latter?
Situated far away from the backpacker chaos, yet just a 10-minute drive from the colorful boutique shop windows and trendy cafes, Byron Bay’s award-winning beachfront resort Elements of Byron provides the type of experience that draws the world’s biggest celebrities.
One thing I love about Tasmanian beaches is that you can often have one all to yourself. Unlike the crowds that pack Bondi, or the long line of skyscrapers that cast afternoon shadows across the Gold Coast, Tasmania’s beaches feel more natural, and you can easily walk for miles without seeing another soul.
Tasmania has many iconic beaches; Bay of Fires, Wineglass Bay, and Hazards Beach. But equally as stunning are its lesser known stretches of sand that seem to pop up out of nowhere in the many small towns that dot the coastline.
One such gem is Spring Beach.
Conveniently tucked away just over an hour’s drive from Hobart, and only 15 minutes from the ferry that connects the wildlife rich Maria Island, Spring Beach is one of Tasmania’s biggest hidden gems.
Accommodation on Maria Island itself is rustic. You can book a bunk-bed in an 1800’s convict penitentiary, or opt for primitive camping. We were as such quite thrilled to find a much more comfortable alternative.
When there’s a 3 bedroom, beachside Picturesque Cottage Rental just around the corner from the ferry terminal, who needs camping when there’s an option for luxury glamping!
Sport is a crucial part of the social fabric in Australia, and if you’re a fan of the spectator atmosphere, you certainly won’t be bored in New South Wales (NSW).
Nowadays, the internet comfortably allow sports fans to watch their favorite games virtually anywhere in the world, but there’s something truly magic about soaking in the atmosphere of an actual event. Physically being there, in the middle of the action, yelling and cheering among fellow Aussies.
The NSW sporting calendar is packed with electrifying events every year, with events like the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, State of Origin Rugby, and championship trials in athletics, tennis and cycling.
While there are many action packed games you can catch throughout the State, here’s a taste of some of the most premiere sports events in NSW you won’t want to miss.
Even for those of us who aren’t sporty ourselves, or even interested in sports, most of us still have a bucket-list of sporting events we would travel for.
The Olympics typically tops this list, followed by the World Cup, or maybe you’re more interested in hitting up the polo to try and land yourself a prince (Harry might be taken, but there are still many single European royals!)
Often it’s not even about the sport, but rather, being part of something bigger than yourself, and getting caught up in the electrifying atmosphere; staying out late with locals as buildings tremor from street celebrations; losing your voice as you scream alongside 100,000 others in a packed stadium.
Tasmania might not be the obvious choice for sporting capitol of Australia (that title goes to Melbourne), however the small island State does throw some incredibly epic annual events.
With cheap flights from all major Australian cities, the following are 5 more reasons to add Tasmania to your bucket-list (though don’t wait too long, this hidden gem of a State can only remain secret for so long!).
While we don’t have a choice over the country we’re born in, these days we often do have control over whether or not we choose to stay.
There are 195 countries in the world today, which presents almost endless possibilities for those wishing to live overseas. And when it comes to setting up your life in a new country, most nations are very welcoming!
People move abroad for many different reasons; for business, study, wanderlust, or simply to seek better life opportunities. Either way, to experience life as part of a new culture and have the chance to discover an exotic new land is a romantic adventure quite a lot of people entertain.
If you’re considering moving abroad but haven’t yet figured out where you want to go, the following are the best countries to live in as an expat, as well as important things you need to know!
Byron Bay is like nowhere else in Australia, and it’s worth visiting at least once. It may not be a big destination, but it packs plenty of punch in terms of counterculture, nature, atmosphere and fun.
Gone are the days when Byron Bay was a sleepy little hippy haven; it’s still very popular with those into the alternative scene, but on any given day it is teeming with visitors from all walks of life.
One of the great things about Byron Bay is that it doesn’t have to cost much. Those on a budget can still have a fabulous time here, as this inviting seaside town is chock-full of cheap and free activities, and surrounded by incredible nature for miles around.
Whether you want to party, dip in the lakes, waterfalls and oceans, hike through wild nature, browse the many markets or just relax in the serene vibes, you’ll find it easy in Byron Bay. Use this list for inspiration during your stay.
Australia is a county shaped by migrants; it is said that one in four Australians were born overseas, and this rich, cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths.
While European settlers started the trend in the late 1700’s, Australia today sees migrants from more than 190 countries; from India, the UK, and, most notably, China. (Fun fact, Mandarin has become the most spoken language in Australia after English).
Australian cities have become a melting pot of cultures, and no-where is this more prevalent than the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill. Home to Melbourne’s largest Chinese population, well over half the population of Box Hill was either born in China or has Chinese ancestry. And this is a fact that Melbournians are incredibly proud of.
One hotel that has embraced and showcased this beautiful ethnic diversity is the Art Series Hotel – The Chen. Named for the Chinese born artist Zhong Chen, who migrated to Melbourne as a teenager, The Chen is a boutique hotel that celebrates not only Chen’s abstract art, but Australia’s rich multiculturalism.
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most scenic drives. A 250 km route that hangs precariously on soaring sea cliffs along Victoria’s coastline, it winds between pretty towns and beaches, all set against the backdrop of Australia’s few temperate rainforests.
Though for one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, most visitors to the area sadly see very little, and most of that through a car window. But you won’t see the best sights from your car.
While the road can technically be driven in a day, you’re doing yourself a great disservice by not setting yourself up in one of the lovely towns along the route and making that your base for several days.
Much more than a scenic highway, this region is home to a myriad of coastal tracks, rainforest trails, and hikes which connect historic seaside villages, taking in ocean views and dramatic waterfalls.
While there are several towns offering accommodation along the route, if you’re looking to stay directly on the beach, one of the best options is Mantra Lorne.
I often say that travel is an art. It’s not simply as easy as booking a plane ticket, hotel room, and tours. Art is how we express ourselves and showcase our creativity and uniqueness.
How we travel should be no different than how we paint, sculpt, dance, or sing. It’s not simply about finding a destination that inspires us, it should be an avenue for creating your own unique journey. And that’s what I love about Adelaide.
Yes, South Australia’s capital has many notable attractions, but this isn’t a city that defines itself by a top 10 list. I found Adelaide to be a city that prides itself more in offering unique travel experiences than pushing must see attractions down your throat.
Adelaide is a destination where expressing yourself is the focus, and that begins from the moment you check into The Watson Art Series Hotel. Australia is home to several Art Series Hotels; a brand which looks to provide travelers with artistic comfort to inspire a unique journey.
Oscar Wilde said that “life imitates art far more than art imitates life”. Art has the ability to alter our perception of life, so we were more than happy to let the The Watson Art Series Hotel alter our perception of Adelaide.
No place in Australia offers such a diversity of natural landscapes than South Australia. From stunning beaches to the rugged and arid Outback, you’ll find some of Australia’s greatest natural treasures here.
And when it comes to wildlife, experience a wide variety of iconic Aussie animals in the wild by visiting places like Kangaroo Island, and come face to face with critically rare species from around the world at the Adelaide Zoo.
Adrenaline seekers can dive with great white sharks, go underground into caves filled with the remains of prehistoric beasts, explore sinkholes filled with lush gardens, and enjoy incredible underwater cave diving.
You can embark on the incredible Ghan railroad to Darwin or remain in the state to cross the Nullarbor Plain and see the Dingo Fence.
With outdoor adventure all around, the only trouble is finding enough time to experience it all. To make things easier, I give you some of South Australia’s greatest natural attractions and wildlife experiences.
Growing up in Australia in the 90s, my knowledge of Broken Hill came about from the cult film Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Being only five years old I may not have fully understood the plot line at the time; of two drag queens who make their way across the Australian Outback from Sydney to Alice Springs, but I do remember it being both comical and colourful.
Much like Priscilla, I had only ever passed through Broken Hill briefly en route to Alice Springs to witness Uluru. However, this year I decided that needed to change.
A town named by the early explorer Charles Sturt, for he wrote in his diary that the site looked like a Broken Hill, this year we based ourselves in town for a couple of days.
Made famous by mining, Broken Hill has become the capital of Outback Australia. While I had always thought of the town as a quick stopover, I would end up being pleasantly surprised at the many offerings the town has along with the beautiful landscapes that surround it.
Red Earth Motel proved to be the perfect luxury Outback base.
Set on the banks of the Murray River and the edge of the outback, Mildura is what you get when you combine all the charm and hospitality of a small town with the seemingly limitless offerings of a major city.
A harmonious blend that goes down as well as fine wine (something Mildura also knows a thing about), it’s no wonder Melbournians look to Mildura as an escape from the hectic chaos of gridlocked traffic, never-ending construction, and overcrowding.
Embraced by the beautiful Murray River, Mildura is a multifaceted destination that offers abundant outdoor recreation (both on and off the water), stunning outback landscapes, a bustling food scene, and incredible wildlife experiences.
To visit Mildura is to experience life as it was meant to be. It’s life simplified, yet adventurous and exciting at the same time. See why Mildura has become one of our favorite Australian escapes. Create your itinerary off the following things to do.
Having recently been named one of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 cities for 2018, Canberra has been receiving a lot of hype and attention.
Rare among Australia’s large cities in that it isn’t situated along the coast, Canberra is instead flanked by wild nature reserves where iconic wildlife roams, surrounded by wine country, and picturesquely nestled alongside Australia’s highest alpine peaks.
The well thought out and completely planned city may be nearly a 2 hour’s drive from the closest beach, but we found Canberra to offer more than enough excitement within the city to keep us entertained and not needing sand beneath our feet.
With a perfectly positioned base for exploring Australia’s bush capital in Pacific Suites Canberra, go behind the political scenes and discover a beautiful city surrounded by the calls of bushland wildlife that easily drowns out the shouting of MPs!
Living in Tasmania means I have well over 200 waterfalls to choose from that are scattered all across this wild and rugged island state.
While they may not be as massive or notable as Iguazu, Niagara, or Victoria Falls; the many cascades of Tasmania can be enjoyed in peace without the mass attention and tourism more popular waterfalls are flooded with.
Many of Tasmania’s most loved waterfalls are easily accessible and can be reached by short easy hikes. Others require a bit more stamina and navigation to reach, while some are just plain secretive and a bit of a challenge to experience.
Here are the top falls you’re sure to fall in love with.
Ask any resident or visitor to Tasmania about the biggest highlight of the island and most will say Cradle Mountain. Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park makes up part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which is one of the largest conservation areas in Australia. Home to a wide array of rare and endemic plants and animals, it showcases the best nature and wildlife Tasmania has to offer.
According to latest statistics, half of all travelers to Tasmania come to see its wildlife and many natural attractions. Most travellers place Cradle Mountain on their itinerary due to its ease of access and range of facilities available.
The Cradle Mountain Hotel offers the chance to take in this wild and rugged natural Aussie icon in comfort and luxury. Our own personal Cradle Mountain Hotel experience was one we will never forget and already has us planning our next getaway to this remarkable part of Tasmania.
Every year during September and October, tulip season in Tasmania is one of the most spectacular draws to the Cradle Coast.
A tulip farm atop a 12 million year old volcano, Table Cape Tulip Farm features acres of patchwork fields that fly into a rage of color each spring.
Unsurprisingly, people come from far and wide to see this spectacle, and delight in wandering through the farm. In fact, these are the largest tulip fields in the Southern Hemisphere that you can actually wander in.
If you’re off on a camping adventure around Australia, you’re in for a serious scenic treat, not to mention an experience like no other. The landscapes you will see will blow your mind, the wildlife is unlike anywhere else in the world, and camping facilities throughout the country are first class.
Of course, any epic trip needs serious planning and consideration, and when it comes to packing, you need to seriously look at your requirements; this isn’t a trip you want to be missing something from!
What you need specifically depends on how you want to travel, how long you are going for, and how many people you are travelling with, but there are a few common items which should appear on everyone’s list of essentials. The following are the main items you will be needing for your epic Australian camping adventure, whichever direction you head off in.
Australia may be known for its large cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, but scattered across the country are many small town gems.
And it’s here, among the small local communities where you will discover true Australian culture, with many offering a laid back atmosphere, and access to some of the country’s most stunning natural beauty.
Many small towns throughout Australia can be accessed by nearby regional airports or within a short drive from the larger capital cities where it’s easy to book affordable flights.
So get off the beaten path and avoid the overwhelming crowds of Australian tourist hotspots by visiting some of these best Australian small towns.
Australia’s only tropical capital city, there are many reasons travelers include Darwin in their Australian itinerary.
Some travel for the access to the Outback, using the city as a gateway to the spectacular wilderness the Northern Territory has become famous for. Iconic national parks like Kakadu and Litchfield are only a few hours’ drive away, and the unique Tiwi Islands are a boat-ride away.
Gazing confidently out across the Timor Sea, and one of the best places in the world to catch a barramundi, some travel for the seafood.
A small yet cosmopolitan city, Darwin is certainly removed from the rest of the country, with a relaxed lifestyle, unique multiculturalism, and diverse history. It’s closer to Indonesia than Sydney, and makes for a truly unique trip regardless of the time of year you plan to go.
Australia is one-of-a-kind country for many reasons. It comprises the entire Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and countless smaller islands. It boasts a wide variety of landscapes, with mountain ranges, tropical rainforests, and a dry desert.
Australia is the smallest and the driest continent on Earth. Fantastic desert or semi-arid land commonly known as the Outback covers most of the land. Nevertheless, the waters that surround the continent feature almost as much variety in landscapes as the surface: vivid corals, tropical fish, massive rock formations, and historic shipwrecks. Nature here is omnipresent and features a diverse range of unique species as well as the most dangerous ones.
Whether you’re looking for a calm spectating experience, heart-pumping adrenaline rush, or maybe something in between – Australia has a lot to offer. The above combination makes the country a real wonder for tourists from all corners of the world looking for an unforgettable adventure.