Fun Down Under!

Be it wildlife, nature or off-the-road experiences, Australia has it all. If it’s a fun-filled holiday you are after, then the Land of Oz is the place to go. Here’s a list of the top attractions across Australia that might help you plan your dream vacation — with fun and family in mind!

1. Commune with Wildlife

Perth

Join one of the many free walking tours of the island and meet adorable quokkas on Rottnest Island, just a 25-minute ferry ride from Fremantle, Perth. Don’t be afraid to walk up to the “world’s happiest creatures” for a selfie or two! With Rottnest’s warmer temperatures, families can also swim and snorkel in its waters, home to more than 135 species of vibrant tropical fish.

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Queensland

Ever dreamed of getting up close with dolphins in their natural habitat? Turn your dream into a reality by staying in the Tangalooma Island Resort and signing up for their wild dolphin feeding activity. The resort is only a 75-minute ferry ride from Brisbane to Tangalooma, off the coast of Southeast Queensland. Alternatively, transfers for the resort’s guests are provided from the Gold Coast.

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Canberra

Live among bears, lions and giraffes at the Jamala Wildlife Lodge, which offers a once-in-a-lifetime overnight safari experience. Located within the National Zoo & Aquarium, close to Canberra’s city centre, experience the thrill of feeding giraffes or hearing the soothing snores of bears from your balcony — truly an adventure to remember!

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2. Go Off Road

Swan Valley 

Take a 25-minute drive east of Perth to Swan Valley for vineyards and wildlife. Go cellar door hopping for a taste of fine, local wines or visit the Caversham Wildlife Park to cosy up to koalas and wombats. The fresh food lovers among you can also fill baskets full with gourmet goodies and fresh produce from roadside stalls and stores!

 Cruise with Crocodiles

Want a change from the usual adrenaline pumping activities when exploring rainforests? Explore the world’s oldest surviving rainforest in Daintree by taking a river cruise along the Daintree River, one of the longest rivers on Australia’s east coast to spot crocodiles, colourful birds and mighty barramundis. The Daintree village also has a number of eateries and souvenir shops for you to unwind at after a day of Discovery Channel-worthy adventures. Daintree is just an hour’s drive north of Cairn.

Float in a Hot Air Balloon

Feel the wind in your hair and enjoy spectacular views while welcoming the sunrise in a hot air balloon. There are many launch sites across Canberra for your convenience. If you like, you can also top off the morning with a gourmet breakfast at a cafe after the flight.

Feast and Forage: a Taste of Australia’s Freshest   

From fruit picking to truffle hunting, Australia offers dining straight from the source.

Why wait for your food when you can have it ASAP? That’s right, you can pick your food straight from the forest, trees or seas across Australia. Stretching from Perth to Tasmania, you can dig into some of the freshest and juiciest produce gathered straight from its source.  With truffle hunting and oyster shucking on the menu, you will surely be unable to resist these food-centric expeditions.

Truffle Kerfuffle (23–25 June)

Forage for one of the world’s most prized delicacies, the black Perigord truffle, at the annual Truffle Kerfuffle festival in Manjimup, a three-hour drive from Perth. Don’t miss out on the chance to join truffle hunts with resident hounds, tuck into meals prepared by some of Australia’s top chefs and hone your cooking skills with truffle master classes. You will be delighted to know that many chefs incorporate regional produce such as chestnuts, cherries and wine into their dishes. Soak in the festival atmosphere, catch free demonstrations and entertainment on the festival grounds, and learn about the farmers, producers, winemakers and community that make up the Southern Forests.

Tropical Fruit World

Less than an hour’s drive from the Gold Coast, you can check out the world’s largest variety of tropical fruits at the Tropical Fruit World plantation, which takes visitors on guided tours and unique fruit-pairing tastings. Have you ever tasted a cheese fruit or ice-cream bean? Intrigued? Sign up for a fruit-tasting session where your taste buds will be tickled by exciting and exotic fruity flavours you never knew existed.

And what’s a fruit farm visit without authentic experiences? Enjoy a taste of fruit-farm living by riding a tractor train and sampling seasonal harvests on a plantation safari.

Tasmanian Seafood Seduction

Savour the best of Tasmania’s produce at its freshest by embarking on the Tasmanian Seafood Seduction cruise. Starting from Hobart, the cruise, which takes up to 12 guests per trip, sails past breathtaking coastal scenery while you enjoy a range of fresh local produce including freshly shucked oysters and rock lobsters. Sit back, relax and breathe in the crisp air while your guide dives for Tasmanian abalone and sea urchin. Then be thrilled as the fresh catch is turned into a delicious seafood feast, paired with local gourmet produce and Tasmanian wine, beer and cider. Visitors will also get a peek into local aquafarming practices, with a visit to the Tassal salmon farm — benchmarked as the world’s leading salmon farmer.

A Must-Visit Place in Adelaide – Adelaide Central Market

Established since 1869, the Adelaide Central Market is touted as one of the largest under cover market in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting over 8 million visitors annually.

Travel photographer, Jensen Chua rated the Central Market as a must visit place in Adelaide. What he enjoyed the most was the feel and dynamism of the locals that you usually get when you visit the city or town main market of a country.

Read more on his blog

Australia’s Oldest Surviving German Village – Hahndorf

Hahndorf is a small town in the Adelaide Hills within South Australia. This place is accessible within an easy 30min drive via the South Eastern Freeway from Adelaide. The German influence in Hahndorf noticeable and is seen in the traditional fachwerk architecture of the original surviving buildings.

Jensen Chua recently explored the restaurants and shops in the town serving German cuisine. He also visited the German migration museum, where he got to learn about stories behind the artefacts.

Read his blog

 

4 Epic Australian Road Trips to Ring in the New Year

From a foodie’s road trip across markets, festivals and farms to a self-driving route that will take you swimming with manta rays, there’s no better way to kick-start 2018 than with the road trip of a lifetime in Australia

Get ready to hit the open road with the windows down, music turned up and a cooler filled with refreshments. Here are four road trips across Australia, from Tasmania to the Northern Territory that will give you a serious case of wanderlust.

The Food-first Driver

If food is what drives you, take your taste buds for a spin in Tasmania.

Pick up farm-fresh produce from Salamanca Market and gourmet food and wine at Taste the Harvest, an annual festival held in Devonport in March that celebrates the local produce of Tasmania’s northwest. If seafood tickles your fancy, take a short trip to Freycinet Marine Farm for a feast of fresh oysters, mussels and abalone. Later, satisfy your sweet tooth by popping over to Bruny Island for a day of artisanal cheese, truffles and chocolates.

The Trigger-happy Driver

VIC; Great Ocean Road; Roads; Self Drive, Credit Tourism Australia

Take your travel photos to the next level on the Great Southern Touring Route, an epic four-day trip that features enormous sea cliffs, incredible beaches and the iconic Twelve Apostles in Victoria.

Get snap-happy with more than 100 painted sculptures in Geelong before taking a refreshing dip at Bells Beach in the surfing town of Torquay. Then, wind along the Great Ocean Road to witness the rugged splendour of the Twelve Apostles rising from the Southern Ocean.

For a walk on the wild side, take a cruise out from Port Fairy to Lady Julia Percy Island to see penguins, dolphins and Australia’s largest colony of fur seals year-round. If you are planning a road trip in the middle of the year, stop by the historic whale-watching town of Warrnambool and be treated to sights of southern right and blue whales between June and September.

The Thrill-seeking Driver

Make lifelong memories on the Nature’s Way drive, which will take you across the vast wilderness and thrilling wildlife of the Northern Territory via Darwin — an easy five-hour flight from Singapore. .

Go “swimming” with a saltwater crocodile at Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin. Hunt for waterfalls, in full flow between November and April, and experience a live crocodile-feeding demonstration at Kakadu National Park. Then, take your trip to the next level by soaring over sheer rock walls and magnificent gorges in a helicopter at Nitmiluk National Park. You can also explore these rock formations via a river cruise or by foot.

The ‘Dora the Explorer’ Driver

The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park, Western Australia, Credit Richard Rossiter 2013

Alien landscapes, colourful underwater worlds and ancient cliffs culminate in a road trip like no other across the Coral Coast in Western Australia.

Come face-to-face with thousands of limestone pillars, formed some 30,000 years ago, at the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park, a three-hour drive from Perth. And yes, it really does feel like you’re on the moon!

Snorkel with an array of fish, including manta rays and whale sharks between mid-March and mid-July at the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef further up north. Then, round up your trip at

Kalbarri National Park, which features deep, winding gorges and 400-million-year-old cliffs that adventure seekers can hike or abseil down.

Swim with Tuna at Victor Harbour, South Australia

Oceanic Victor is an Australian privately owned company established by Mick Dyer and his wife, Yasmin and their business partner and friend, Tony Santic. Their objective is to provide others the opportunity to experience and understand the diverse marine environment that we lived in.

Those who are curious to know what to expect should read this story written by Jensen Chua. He shares his photographs from experience of feeding the tuna underwater. Thanks to his profound skills, you can get a glimpse of how the fastest fish in the ocean, Southern Bluefin Tuna looks like.

 

Read his story

3 Days Road Trip Guide To Kangaroo Island

Located close to Adelaide is the nation’s third largest island, Kangaroo Island popularly known for some of the most unique wildlife experience. As you may have guessed, these marsupial mammals are only found in Australia.

Travel photographer, Jensen Chua made a trip to Kangaroo Island. His experience justified that a longer stay at this underrated attraction was necessary. He captured and documented his 3-days road trip itinerary of this island, which was once inhabited by Australian Aborigines through photography. He also wrote about his cuisine pit-stop along the journey and reasons for his selection.

Read his story

Places Visited by Jensen Chua


Seal Bay Conservation Park


Flinders Chase National Park
Remarkable Rocks
Admirals Arch
Little Sahara
American River
Cape Willoughby Lighthouse
Clifford’s Honey Farm

Update Your 2018 Travel Bucket List With Some Brand New Australian Experiences

You don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth for incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Update your 2018 travel bucket list with some of the very latest must-not-miss Australian experiences now!

Not many of us have the luxury of travelling the world, or checking items off travel bucket lists one far-flung destination at a time. Luckily, some of the world’s rarest sights and experiences are only a flight away in Australia.


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Swim With Gentle Giants Of The Ocean

Just over three hours from Perth to Exmouth by plane, the tropical Ningaloo Reef is home to one of world’s most elusive creatures — the whale shark. Score a once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim and snorkel with the world’s biggest but gentlest sharks, which congregate at the World Heritage-listed reef every year between April and July.

Whale Sharks, Credit: Western Australia Tourist Commission

Scale The Sydney Harbour Bridge

If you are not easily scared of heights, then this experience should go right to the top of your bucket list. Scale the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which stands at 134 meters above the harbor as the world’s largest steel arch. For an even more unique twist to this experience, lap up the city’s highlights from a whole new perspective at twilight or later in the night!

BridgeClimb Sydney. Credit: BridgeClimb Sydney

Take On A World-Class Rollercoaster

Just when you thought that you had seen everything, Warner Brothers’ Movie World on the Gold Coast unleashes the fastest and highest roller coaster in the southern hemisphere. Release your inner speed demon on Movie World’s DC Rivals Hyper Coaster, which sends you through thrilling twists and turns at more than 61 meters high. Labelled one of the best roller coasters in the world, it is less than an hour’s drive from Brisbane and also offers adrenaline junkies the option of riding it in reverse. Yes, you read correctly.

Credit: Warner Bros. Movie World

Immerse Yourself In An Underwater Playground

Who says you need a wet suit to go underwater at the Great Barrier Reef? The newly opened Cairns Aquarium in Far North Queensland lets you get up close with rare and unusual underwater inhabitants from two World Heritage-listed sites — the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics — in a single location.

Meet majestic sea creatures, including hammerhead sharks and leopard stingrays, the highly endangered freshwater saw fish and, the whip-tail stingray: the largest freshwater ray in the world. Looking for a fresh dining experience? Tuck into modern Australian-Italian cuisine at the on-site restaurant AquaLuna, complete with a 13.5-meter shark exhibit.

Cairns Aquarium. Credit: www.cairnsaquarium.com.au

Put that wanderlust into action!



 


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Fauna; Whale Sharks, Credit Western Australia Tourist Commission

Postcard-Perfect Beach Paradises of Australia

Shake up your beach holiday with picture-perfect backgrounds, delicious Aussie fare and eclectic shopping — just a stone’s throw away from Australia’s city centres

Home to over 10,000 beaches, it’s unsurprising that Australia has some of the world’s most pristine and picturesque coastal precincts. From beaches lined with multi-coloured bathing boxes to sculptures along spectacular coastlines, we handpick the country’s three finest stretches of paradise that will have you raring for a quick seaside escape pronto.

Bondi, New South Wales

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, NSW Credit Tourism Australia

Bondi Beach may be one of Australia’s most famous stretches of sand but come October and November, the iconic beach turns into an outdoor art gallery. Be dazzled by Sculpture By the Sea, a free exhibition featuring sculptures of every shape, colour and size along the coast from Bondi to Tamarama Beach, roughly 30 minutes from Sydney’s city centre by train and bus.

Looking to whet your appetite? Whether you’re hungry for food, drinks or shopping, Bondi’s Campbell Parade has it all. Shop for eclectic pieces at its stylish boutiques or visit the Bondi Beach Markets on Sundays for great bargains on handmade jewellery and vintage clothing.

Cottesloe, Western Australia

Sun, surf, pine trees and a lively boulevard — that’s Cottesloe in a nutshell.

Less than 30 minutes away by car, the precinct boasts a beautiful beach where you can have a dip in the sea, snorkel or sit down to a seafood lunch in a striking art deco building overlooking the Indian Ocean. If you prefer to keep your flip-flops sand-free, head inland towards Cottesloe Esplanade and picnic on a sprawling lawn shaded by giant Norfolk pine trees.

Brighton, Victoria

Brighton Beach Huts, Brighton, Credit Visit Victoria

Get snap-happy at Brighton Beach, renowned for its 82 bathing boxes previously used primarily as private changing facilities for swimmers in the 1800s. Strike a pose in front of the rainbow-coloured bathing boxes plastered with kangaroos, waves and the Australian flag, just a half-hour drive from Melbourne.

Brighton’s quaint charm doesn’t end at its shores. Hit the Bay Street shopping strip, just a five-minute drive away, for your fill of cool cafes serving affordable brunch classics like smashed avocado on toast and fresh salad bowls. Palace Cinemas, with its selection of art house films and plush interior, is also a must-visit for film buffs.

Now who’s ready for that much-needed seaside getaway?

A Self-Drive Adventure in Tassie

Deciding whether to go on self-drive route in Tasmania could be daunting as you’d want to cover wilderness, food scene and scenic trails. Hobart easily impresses anyone with that calm city vibe subtly hinting the beauty of Mount Wellington in its backdrop. As explained by a travel blogger, Jensen; Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary would be a great stop to greet the Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, Echidna and other unique wildlife.

There’s a reason why oyster lovers should visit Freycinet Marine Farm. Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park possess such incredible colors captured by Jensen. He accurately describes the rugged mountains, snowfall encounter, fresh produce and of course, he puts his talent capturing star trails into use in this trip.

Go on and read Jensen’s experience in Tasmania 🙂

Read his blog

Places Visited by Jensen Chua


Curringa Farm


Mount Field National Park
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Richmond Bridge
TAS Live Abalone
Mount Wellington
Willie Smith’s Apple Shed
Tahune Airwalk

 

Freycinet Marine Farm
Freycinet National Park
Ashgrove Cheese Farm
Table Cape Tulip Farm

 

Cradle Mountain-Lake St.Clair National Park.
Sheffield – Town of Murals
Launceston Cataract Gorge
Stars Trails and Milky Way @ Tasmania Gourmet Sauce Company