3 Must-Have Gadgets For Your Australian Holiday

The gadgets any traveller should never go without.
The gadgets any traveller should never go without.

 

Whether you are visiting Australia for the first or fiftieth time, being prepared is always the best way to enjoy your holiday. We’re not just talking about your travel documents (passports, travel VISAs, tour itineraries) or travel outfits here. Today, we are listing the top 3 gadgets that you – as a traveller – should never go without.

 

1. Smartphone

If you have never been to Australia before, you will find that it is very easy to get lost in the country even in cities like Brisbane or Sydney so it is always good to have your smartphone with you.

Travel apps like Google maps or Waze make it easy to find your way around metropolitan areas  and locate tourist spots.  Make sure too, that you have arranged to have call roaming capabilities before travelling. This way, you can easily communicate with folks back home, wherever you are.

 

2. MP3 Players/Bluetooth Speakers

Suppose you’re taking a long self-drive to Tassie, or you would be driving down the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles, you need to have something to accompany you while you’re behind the wheel of your car or campervan. Playing your favourite tunes in the background helps keep you alert throughout the trip.

Bluetooth speakers are lightweight, and connects to your phone or portable music players easily. Need help putting together a playlist for your road trip? Here’s our list of road trip songs you can check out.

 

3. Cameras

Yeah, we know this should have been at the top of this list, sorry for that but we just thought keeping communication lines open with your loved ones back home is more important. Plus we’re music lovers, who doesn’t enjoy great music on road trips? So – on with the cameras.

Although many travellers use their smartphone’s camera to capture the highlights of their trip, it is best to still have digital cameras along for the ride. Besides, today’s DSLR cameras are very user-friendly so you are sure to take postcard worthy photographs every time.

If you’re going to take on Australia’s top surfing spots, you better invest in a good quality underwater camera so you can take snaps of all your adventures on the beach. Whether you plan to go snorkelling, sunbathing or diving, you can easily find a waterproof camera that fits your needs and budget.

Video cameras on the other hand, are very helpful if you want to have more than just still images of your trip. You can also check out waterproof video cameras that you can take with you when you go have fun at sea. Like most DSLRs today, video cameras are very easy to use and are lightweight. You would not have any trouble taking them with you on your trip.

 

You do not have to be very tech savvy to use these three must-have gadgets on your upcoming trip to The Land Down Under. As long as you know the basics, have a good eye for detail and a heart for adventure, you are well on your way to documenting one of the best  vacations of your life.

Tell us about your travel plans today by visiting our website, liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter! Keep on travelling!

 

Tips On Driving Through The Great Ocean Road

Image courtesy of Kristina D.C. Hoeppner via Flickr/CC By-SA 2.0
Image courtesy of Kristina D.C. Hoeppner via Flickr/CC By-SA 2.0

 

When visiting Victoria for the first time, many travellers make the common mistake of rushing through the Great Ocean Road. It’s understandable really, considering that you have the London Bridge and Twelve Apostles to look forward to. Breathtaking limestone rock formations aside, the 250 km drive from Torquay to Warrnambool has a lot to offer the first time Victoria traveller. Summer is just a few weeks away mates, so make sure you are enjoying your self-drive through the Great Ocean Road to the fullest. Here are a few tips that can help make that happen.

 

Tip #1 : Keep Calm And Drive On

Yep. Keep calm. Don’t freak out. The Great Ocean Road may look intimidating especially if you are making the drive for the first time. The road is narrow and there are many areas with only one lane. However, this stretch of road provides the most beautiful views in Victoria and you really cannot say you have experienced the best of the state without driving through the Great Ocean Road.

Plan ahead and carefully study maps to determine which parts of the drive can be a little tricky. If you are still a little worried about making the drive yourself, ask a more experienced driver to take the wheel. This way, you can sit back and enjoy the ride.

Tip # 2:  Stop To Admire The View

Don’t just pass by that breathtaking scenery. Stop by the side of the road, get out of your vehicle and take in the sights of the beautiful coastline you are about to drive along. You can actually do this before you start down the road, so feel free to breathe the fresh air and take photos from the cliffs of Anglesea overlooking the ocean.

Now, get back to your vehicle and drive down the highway to Devil’s Elbow where you will experience the most challenging part of your drive. Expect single lane roads and dense treetops from the national parks surrounding the area.

Before reaching Lorne, take a well deserved rest stop and – yes, congratulate yourself on your exceptional driving skills at this point – take more photos. Please remember though, that the area surrounding the Great Ocean Road are mostly national parks and the government is doing its very best to preserve the area’s natural fauna and flora. Do your part and keep the national parks safe for the plants and animals by properly disposing food containers, plastic bottles, and other rubbish.

Tip #3:  Explore The Coastal Towns

There are several towns along the Great Ocean Road and all of them has something to offer the adventurous traveller.  Do you want to go on a weekend hike with your friends? Angelsea has several cliff and beach hikes you will enjoy. If you love trying local cuisines, Lorne has several restaurants that serve fresh seafood all day, every day.

Bell’s Beach at Torquay is the place to go for avid surfers. If you’re travelling this way during Easter, do not miss the annual Ripcurl Pro event. Go fishing on Apollo Bay and immerse yourself in the town’s culture. Not only do you make the most out of your self-drive through the great Ocean Road, you also give your mind and body a much needed break. This way, you are refreshed and more alert when you get back behind the wheel.

Tip#4: Take Your Time

Unless you have a very tight schedule, take your time and do not do all your sightseeing in one day. Chances are, you may miss tourists gems like Airey’s Inlet Lighthouse. Take your time driving to every town along the road and ask the locals about their most recommended activities and places. You’d be surprised at how much more Victoria has to offer. Remember, you are on a holiday and the best way to make the most out of your Great Ocean Road trip is to stop in every town, and take photos of the sights that capture your heart.

Whether you’re visiting Victoria for the first time or have travelled in the state before, Salamanda Travel helps make your trip more memorable. Ask us how by visiting our site, liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter today!

 

The First Time Traveller’s Guide to Sydney

The Harbour City never fails to delight first time or returning visitors
The Harbour City never fails to delight first time or returning visitors

 

When people hear someone say “Australia”, the first city that immediately comes to mind is Sydney. The capital of New South Wales, Sydney is home to the famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge, and is often mistaken as Australia’s capital – deeply sorry, Canberra. The city welcomes millions of domestic and international visitors every year and if you’ve set your sights to spending your summer in the Harbour City, here are a few things that you, as a first time visitor, should never miss doing.

 

Take In The Sights At Sydney Harbour

Regardless if this is your first or hundredth time visiting, you should never miss out on the breathtaking sights of Sydney Harbour. Start the day by taking a leisure walk along the waterfront around Farm Cove and be transported by the serene greenery of the Royal Botanic Gardens.  Take perfect snapshots of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House by walking down Lady Macquarie’s Chair, which is the perfect vantage point for photographing the city’s most famous landmarks.

After your tour of the Opera House, head on over to Circular Quay and enjoy the gastronomic offerings of various restaurants in the area. You can also buy ice cream or fresh gelato from the cafes that you can eat while strolling down the harbour.

 

Enjoy The Sun and Surf at Bondi Beach

You should never leave Sydney without getting that Bondi Beach tan. This one-kilometre stretch of beach is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Australia and welcomes thousands of tourists every year. One of the best things about spending time in the beach is you can meet a lot of people – and we do mean a lot. People from all walks of life, from multi-millionaires to backpackers flock to Bondi Beach during the summer to have fun and relax.

While it is at its busiest during the summer, Bondi Beach is host to various local and international music events and festivals such as the annual City to Surf Fun Run and Festival of the Winds Kite Flying Fest. So whether you are visiting Sydney at the height of summer or any other time of the year, you can bet you won’t run out of things to do and see.

 

Take a Ride on the Wild Side

If you are travelling with your kids, Sydney is filled to the brim with attractions, city tours, and places where they can get up close and personal with Australia’s iconic animals. Take your family to see the wild animals at Taronga Zoo and enjoy the zoo’s commanding views of the city. If you want to go somewhere near Darling Harbour, you can take everyone to see the animals at Wild Life Sydney Zoo.

And because you are in the Harbour City, you shouldn’t let your kids miss out on seeing Australia’s aquatic animals at Manly Sea Life Sanctuary. Apart from various marine animals, the sanctuary has a rescue and protection program that it actively promotes to visitors.

 

 Spend a Day of Fun and Learning at Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is home to the the Sydney IMAX Theatre, one of the largest screens in the world so make sure you take your family for a movie night out. You can also take selfies with your favourite celebrities’ wax figures over at Madam Tussauds. Afterwards let your kids climb ropes, play water games, and enjoy a picnic in the large free playgrounds of Darling Quarter.

The Australian Museum is also a great place to spend a day of exploration and learning. The museum has a very popular dinosaur exhibit, featuring complete skeletons of 10 dinosaurs. For more interactive exhibitions, take your family to the Powerhouse Museum which has the most diverse collection of decorative arts, engineering, and science exhibits in the country. There are 12 permanent exhibitions, and regular tours and workshops for kids of all ages.

 

Sydney has more to offer than simply being one of the most beautiful cities in Australia. With it’s impressive skylines and breathtaking landmarks, the Harbour City emits an energy that draws the love of travel out of anyone. Regardless if you’re an Aussie or international tourist, the city never fails to impress. Ready to plan your Sydney trip with friends or family? Check out our Facebook and Twitter  page and tell us how we can help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Things To Do in Queensland

Things to do in QueenslandYou can expect no time will be idle in Australia’s Sunshine City! After all, Queensland is not nicknamed so just for naught.

Concentrated mostly on the borders of the state are 14 points of interest just waiting to be discovered! You may find the drive through the coasts, one destination at a time, a bit off-putting but you’ll soon be perplexed by how much harder it is to leave for your next stop.

You’ll be begging to stay, even just for a few more moments, to marvel at the beauty of the state which is named after Queen Victoria, no less.

Ask the friendly locals and the most seasoned of travellers for the best way to press on Queensland, and they’ll answer simply by making you have a self-drive through a campervan or motorhome. From the teeming tropical North to the “wild, wild west” (Outback Queensland) down south we’ve listed the five destinations (and the top things to do) so you would never miss them.

Things to do in Queensland

Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef and tour the Daintree Forest in Tropical North Queensland

Step one means going a step back and a step upwards to Tropical North Queensland where we are tied between two of Australia’s World Heritage Sites.

The fantasies with the seas your adventurous soul craves for are satisfied. Plunge deep into the visual explosion that the Great Barrier Reef provides. A dive in the pristine sapphire waters will surge you to a marine wonderland of coral reefs, fishes and many other aquatic life.

The Daintree Forest, meanwhile, takes you on a journey seemingly back in time when the plains were lusciously green and the flora majestically diverse. Zipline through the dense forest and feel a fresh rush of cool wind blow through you. Feel even more rush with 4WD adventures plus exciting water sports.

Frolick in the Whitsundays

Still and tranquil, The Whitsundays is a haven for those who seek respite. Crystal clear aquamarine married with splashes of teal and indigo water envelope the islands of pearly and powdery-white sands often accompanied by a luscious emerald expanse.

The mystifying 74 islands of The Whitsundays are most notable for being unparalleled. Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you as what are found on photographs translate to reality, stunning you with the vistas that would never, in a million years, disappoint.

Australia Zoo adventure in the Sunshine Coast

Perhaps the reason why Queensland is aptly described as eclectic is because of the elaborate blend of adventure and relaxation found within its borders. When the former ravenously dictates, the Australia Zoo is the sure way to have the ultimate wildlife adventure. Located an hour north of Brisbane, go on unique encounters with wildlife, join on conservation projects and learn more about animals in the Australia Zoo.

Wine from the Southern Queensland Country

While many a natural adventure can be found within the Queensland frontiers, nothing beats the relaxation the sound of exquisite wine being poured for your own pleasure. In the Southern Queensland Country, you are spoiled, in the best possible way, with all things bright and beautiful.

The tour will never be completed without a pour of some of the best-tasting wines from award-winning wineries made fresh by local producers; their smiles aplenty and charm captivating.

Sleep under the star-studded skies of Outback Queensland

If there is a place you’d want to call home while on the road in Queensland, one that you would never expect to welcome you with open arms is the Outback, found on the west side of the region. The Outback may be far from comfort, challenging you in ways that will give you battle scars to boast about but this is exactly the reason why you’ll fall in love.

If that’s not enough for you, consider a night under its starry skies, dream-like but real, sleep in the town of Charleville.

You’ll never want to visit elsewhere when you see the wonders of Queensland. Some may even begin to say that its beauty is otherworldly, and in this lovely state, that might just be a possibility. Travel today with Salamanda Travel! Book a vehicle today and enjoy low rates and specials! Follow our Facebook page and Twitter and stay connected!