Top Things To Do in Melbourne

Things To Do in MelbourneHearing the word Melbourne uttered by the locals is like music to everyone’s ears. It might just single-handedly be the reason why you want to visit the world’s most livable city. Those who live here are shamelessly proud of their city and, in fact, it’s not hard to understand why.

Often told to be comparable to great and internationally-known cities of New York and Paris. The city of Melbourne, which is also the coastal capital of its home state, has been making waves in the tourism industry since its makeover that started in 1835, after the discovery of gold. It’s booming wealth is what has brought it to magnificent heights. And now, it’s something that we all can enjoy!

If you happen to be travelling in Australia, make one of your stops (or make it your only stop) Melbourne in the southeastern state, Victoria. Even with four million residents you’ll find your place here. It has been said that Melbourne has been competing with its older brother, Sydney, for years, but we’ve listed down what makes the Second City the first in our wanderlust hearts.

Shall we get started on our self-drive adventure?

Here are top things to do in Melbourne:

Art and Architecture

When showered with beaches and coasts, perhaps Melbourne was the last to come—the scarcity of water attractions and aquatic destinations could prove this theory. Still, Melbourne was lucky enough to be gifted with an artistic hand—carving intricate buildings out of stone and colouring walls with a dose of urban art.

Melbourne’s streets are sprayed and brushed with street art so ingeniously thought of and expertly executed that they at gloriously at par with those in Berlin and New York. At the South Bank, meanwhile, you’ll see modern public art displayed in the tree-lined alleys. As for the architecture,  the streets of Collin, and Bourke will have you awestruck with the old-age charm of the buildings while Fed Square mixes old and new through its wondrous tenants.

Sports and Shower Houses

Are you a big fan of anything sports related? Well, Melbourne us too. The locals treat their sports here a religion—something they must have a dose of weekly, nay, weekly. The city is regarded widely as the world’s sports capital. Several sporting events are held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a tantalizing arena that capitalises on being the place to play the sport. If you’re not entirely convinced, well just drop some truth bombs: Melbourne is home to the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Rules Football and the Australian Tennis Open.

Not really related to sports but similarly celebrated largely in Melbourne are the Brighton Bathing Boxes. Noted to be dating as far back as 1862, these World Heritage Listed figures are an icon in the city and a true wonder among all jewels.

Discovery and Adventure

We know that learning and recreation is not really uniquely Melbournian but is so full of twists and turns that missing out on any of this attractions will cause a serious problem on your road trip. After all, how can we neglect fun while self-driving?

First up is the Luna Park, one of the oldest in the world but definitely not one to put last on the list. Enjoy the historic and family-friendly amusement park’s whirlwind of attractions! The Australian Centre for the Moving Image, which is up next, presents you with an immersive experience in the world of film, television and digital culture. For culture, go to the National Gallery of Victoria, the Immigration Museum and for aquatic adventures, try the Seas Aquarium.

Home and Food

By now, we all know that the city of Melbourne is among the most livable cities not only Down Under but in the entire world are there are so many things to do! It has continuously and continually topped lists and research so that’s just no rumor. It’s a fact. But what does make it so anyway? According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s survey, the city scores a perfect rating in the areas of healthcare, education and infrastructure and tops other areas like culture, environment and stability. Its final rating: 97.5 out of a hundred.

Not among the factors that make a city livable (according to the survey) but surely of great importance to locals and travellers alike is the food. Head on to Queen Victoria Market for the city’s freshest of produce from artisanal products and homemade trinkets to seasonal fruits and the crispest of vegetables. Restaurants in Ligon and Acland street are the best. Enough said.

Coffee, of course

You really didn’t think we’d forget coffee did you? We’re just saving the best for last. Forget everything else we said about Melbourne and visit the city just because of its coffee. We’re serious. This is imperative.

The coffee capital introduces us to some lip-smackingly great new tastes and familiar fragrant blends in all of its corners and cafes. Must taste coffee places are Market Lane Coffee and Two Birds One Stone Cafe.

Travel today to Melbourne on a Salamanda campervan or motorhome. We’ve got the best fleet to partner with your upcoming best experiences in the city. Call our friendly customer service team today!

We’ve got one thing to leave you with: just do it!

Top Things To Do in Sydney

Things To Do in SydneyWe didn’t want to state the obvious but there’s definitely no denying that the sparkling city of Sydney is the ringleader—THE most popular of all in Australia.

Harbour City, which is a nickname christened to the city due to its location by the coast, is often mistaken as the country’s capital due to the immense worldwide recognition it garners. It is home to OZ’s most iconic landmarks, the Sydney Opera House—a stunning multi-performance centre doubling as an architectural masterpiece—and the Coathanger or the Sydney Harbour Bridge—the world’s largest  and widest steel-arch bridge. The Sydney Tower also makes the list—a golden glory and the city’s tallest freestanding structure.

*Fun facts: The Sydney Harbour Bridge is nickname because of its shape and the Sydney Opera House’s intricate and unique design almost didn’t make the cut when the contest was on-going. Meanwhile, to support the Sydney Tower’s skyscraping height, it is filled with water.*

Things To Do in Sydney

You may know Sydney because, well, everyone does but we’re here to give you a quick guide on how to travel in Sydney and all the things to do while travelling with motorhome or campervan. Without further ado, here are (in no particular order) Salamanda Travel’s top seven:

The rainbow beauty of Vivid Sydney!
The rainbow beauty of Vivid Sydney!

Vivid Sydney Festival and more!

It’s not Sydney if the calendar is not bursting to the seams with activities and festivities. Any day you visit there’s sure to be a celebration somewhere in the city. It’s extremely difficult to choose a favourite but if we think of something we’d never forget, it would be Vivid Sydney. A festival of elaborate technicalities, the event projects a stunning display of lights projected to the Sydney Opera House’s walls synchronised to fantastic music. Oh, by the way, if you need help prepping up for a festival, we’ve got you covered.

Prawn delight in Sydney!
Prawn delight in Sydney!

Seafood Satisfaction

We really do feel so sorry  those who have allergies with seafood because they just won’t be able to take the plunge like us. One of Sydney’s main draws lies on its seafood from prawns, lobsters fish and other edible sea creatures transformed into culinary masterpieces. In the city, all you need to do is drive to Darling Harbour to find really cheap and always fresh seafood. If you’re up for some quality cooking, head on to some of the top-rated restaurants like The Sardine Room, ONE6EIGHT Balmain, Slide or Tetsuya’s.

Sydney as seen from The Rocks.
Sydney as seen from The Rocks.

The Rocks

While we’re on the subject of food, never EVER forget The Rocks. The urban locality rounds up some of Sydney’s top calibre restaurants fit for opulent dining; some are well-known even outside the city and have become favourites in the country. The Rocks mixes old and new with its charming like feel brought to life with exciting and trendy boutiques, shops, bars, museums and markets. You can get here by train, bus or by ferry but the best ways is always through a campervan because you have everything you need within your reach.

Bondi Beach from the air.
Bondi Beach from the air.

Bondi and 99 more beaches in Sydney

If you’re up for some quiet relaxation, Bondi Beach is not really the place to be. The fine gold and white sands and stunning shores are buzzing with activity from sunrise to sundown. There are plenty of things to do aside from people-watching. Many beginners travel here for the surf schools while those with experience move on to the beach’s south end for their fair share of ecstatic beach life. To see more of the other beaches, take the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk with the Guides. Plus, since it’s only 10 kilometres from the city centre, most celebrations and festivals are done here. Now that’s what we call exciting!

The Sydney Observatory
The Sydney Observatory

Family Fun

So if you still might not entirely convinced to add Sydney to your road trip itinerary, get this: Sydney is family-friendly too! The city houses a collection of cool places for the entire family to enjoy. Drive to, yes you guessed it, Darling Harbour and visit Madame Tussaud’s for wax figures of celebrities and watch a flick at the world’s largest IMAX Theatre.  At The Rock’s, go to the Sydney Observatory for some science and technology. Next up, drive a little further, arrive at Circular Quay and learn even more at the Australian Museum.

Visit Sydney’s Most Popular

This seems like a cliche but it never is a true-blue Sydney road trip if you’re not going to see the best of the city. First up, take a snap with the the most photogenic and most photographed building in Sydney Opera House. After that, get tickets to see the variety of shows and performances. Head on to Bradfield Highway, park your car and climb the skyhigh Sydney Harbour Bridge. BridgeClimb Sydney will equip you for the climb of your life! Next, the Sydney Tower, a member of the World Federation of Great Towers,  doesn’t stand for naught. See the bridge from top to bottom through a knee-bending skywalk!

The Chinese Garden of Friendship
The Chinese Garden of Friendship

Relax!

When all seems to be buzzing in a blur, that’s when you need to take a few minutes of respite. Heck, make it a day! The Chinese Garden of Friendship, which is located only a few minutes away from Darling Harbour, is often described as the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Stroll across lush vegetation, feed some carps or contemplate. If you want a real get away but one that is not too far, go to the Blue Mountains in the west, drive to Gerringong or Jervis Bay or visit Kangaroo Island, Hunter Valley or Bowral.

See, we always knew that there was so much things to do in Sydney! With Salamanda Travel, you can have all these and more with a campervan or motorhome! Book with us today by calling our friendly customer service team at +61 (0)7 3265 9295. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates!

*Photos from Flickr (Creative Commons)

Top Things To Do in Brisbane

Things To Do In BrisbaneMuch has been said about city of Brisbane and the bustling metropolis that it is. The capital city, which is Queensland’s most popular and most populous, is social, sunny, and sophisticated; it has never been one to charm its visitors with an idle calm known in other regions in the land of OZ. In fact, as one of the top three cities for local and international travel in the country, it has always been the contrary.

With all there is in Brisbane, listing down the best might not be fair. There are hundreds, literally, of things to do but we had to list down our picks and here they are, without further ado.

Things To Do in Brisbane

Eat Everything from Everywhere

Food in Brisbane is mouth-watering and tastebud-popping!
Food in Brisbane is mouth-watering and tastebud-popping!

Foodie or newbie, you’ll find Brisbane spellbindingly amazing and full to the brim with spectacular food. Food in Australia, like most parts of its culture, is largely influenced by its neighbours; all fusing into one giant (and awesome) pot of gold. The city is basically a mecca for all the best food not only from Australia but also from all over the world. Brissie takes it gastronomy seriously from bite-sized wonders, full course meals, great-tasting and classic wine and coffee, and the freshest produce from the street markets.

Here in Brisbane, discover delicious and explore endless food possibilities. Some of the must try hotspots are Sono Japanese Restaurant, La Vue Waterfront Restaurant and Miel Container for the a taste of authentic Aussie.

Find yourself having the time of your life kayaking in the Brisbane River.
Find yourself having the time of your life kayaking in the Brisbane River.

Adventure Awaits

Energetic and electric, suffice it to say that Brisbane is eclectic—one will not run out of things to do among the variety of activities. Whether it is for the entire family or for a group of thrill-seekers, there are adventures from mild to wild. Play or watch a game of rugby, cricket or tennis, cycle, paddle or kayak along Brisbane River, go on ghost tours in Toowong Cemetery with friends, or, better yet, simply go camping. If you’re going out with the family, visit the Warner Brothers studio or Dreamworld.

Night falls in Brisbane but life never stops.
Night falls in Brisbane but life never stops.

Rest and Relax

We know, we know. We said that Brisbane isn’t really the place for relaxation but when you come to think of it, amid all the busy, there’s always a place where you can recharge and relax. After a full day’s worth of adventures in Brisbane overflowing plate, you need a day or two step back, relax and enjoy the silence. Go on a cruise in Brisbane River, one of the most sought-after things to do. If you crave for more idle ordeals, unwind and be one with nature in the City Botanic Gardens or at Roma Street Parklands.

Cool art and graffiti can be found in Brisbane's streets.
Cool art and graffiti can be found in Brisbane’s streets.

Art Appreciation

Upon your arrival in Brisbane, you’ll find that it is one of the most diverse places you’ll ever visit in Australia.The city is offers a mix of cultural influences from all over the world particularly in Asia and United Kingdom That being said, part of the variety that was passed on over generations is appreciation for art. The city’s calendar is bursting to the seams with festivals of art, music and entertainment. Aside from visiting one of the many museums, view public art displayed along the River. Plus, street art has been rampantly making waves; graffiti decorated (yes, decorated) on walls making the already young vibe even fresh

See all there is in the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
See all there is in the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

Meetings and Greetings

Brisbane will welcome you with open arms on your visit here. The Brisbane Greeters will make you feel at home. They are a group of locals who “love the city so much” that they want to share with you what makes Brisbane so sunny, sophisticated and definitely social. See, you’ll never be actually travelling solo, after all!

They say that one of the best ways to see the city is through cycling. But when you don’t want to be tired from the exercise, well, you know what to do. Hire a motorhome, a campervan or a car through Salamanda Travel and we’ll find you the best deals for all vehicle types in our fleet! Take advantage of our deals and specials. Call our customer service team today to book the vehicle and explore all the things to do in Brisbane!

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Iconic Food From Australia


Iconic Food From AustraliaMost countries have food (and an entire cuisine) stemming from long histories and traditional cultures that they could truly and easily call their own. Italy has a wide range of Italian classics like spaghetti and pizza. China takes pride in ownership and the origin of noodles while the Japanese have ramen, sushi and Pokemon (oops, that last one is not food at all).

But what about Australia? Indigenous Australians or the Aboriginals had a hunter-gatherer diet known as bush tucker or bush food. And yes, you guessed it right, this is mostly drawn from the available flora and fauna in the surroundings such as nuts, leafy green veggies, and even kangaroos. The end of the war has also done good to the food culture—paving the way for global influences. Fast forward to the modern era, lines have blurred and restaurants and food stores are multicultural and international. But we’re not complaining. We love the fusion.

If you happen to be looking for a true Aussie food experience while on a road trip Down Under, in no particular order, here are some of the most iconic (sometimes weird) food you should try:

Iconic Food From Australia

Lamingtons

Truly one of the most iconic, a lamington, Australia’s National Cake, so to speak, has made the list. The dessert, which is often argued to be of New Zealand origin though created by and named after then governor of Queensland Lord Lamington, is a layers of sponge cake smothered in chocolate sauce and sprinkled with desiccated coconut.

Vegemite on Toast

Verily, it never is a true list of iconic Aussie food without Kraft’s well-loved (and often hated) Vegemite. People have mixed feelings towards the vegetable yeast extract spread (with spice additives) but it has cemented itself to be one of most OZ food ever. The food past, which has a salty taste, is eaten with toast and butter. It was made in 1922 by Cyril Callister in Melbourne, Victoria.

Tim Tam

They say that the best way to eat a Tim Tam is with coffee. What you have to do, though, is bite off the corners, (or both ends) and suck the chocolate filling while it is dipped in coffee. The triple threat, created and manufactured by Arnott’s, is made up of two chocolate biscuits stuck together by a light chocolate filling and coated with (guess what) more chocolate! Yes, we can imagine you drooling. We are too.

Pavlova

The Pavlova is another world-class dessert argued to be originating from Australia or New Zealand. Wherever it came from, we know that we love the meringue based cake. Soft on the inside and crispy and crusty on the outside, the Pavlova is topped with sugary sweet whipped cream and fresh fruits like kiwi, berries and mangoes. The thing is, it’s up to you which fruits you want. The beauty was made upon celebrating the visit great Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, in Australia.

The B List

The next set of food you are about to read may all start with the letter “B” but they are nothing short of being part of the A List. First up, who wouldn’t know the phrase “shrimp on the barbie”? Though “prawn” would be a much better term in the land of OZ, we can all agree that we love to eat barbecue, prawns all kinds of seafood.

Australia likes to go big on our burgers. Sure, you’ll argue that burgers are more American but burgers with beetroot are originally from home. Macass even decided to create one especially called the McOz. Another thing that’s big is beer and Barossa Valley’s wines. Not only are are these two partnered best with burgers all sorts of Aussie food, they can stand on their own because of their great taste!

The Barramundi or Asian Seabass translates to “large-scaled river fish” in the Aboriginal language. The fish is often served as a steak with herbs and is best eaten pan-fried and seared.

Chicken Parmigiana

The original parmigiana might have originated from Italy with eggplant as the main ingredient but the chicken variant sure made it’s way to the Aussie hearts. Accompanied by the classic tomato sauce and melted cheese, the chicken parmigiana has become a local pub favourite and is best partnered with some equally awesome beer.

Meat Pies

Some may find it weird  to have meat stuffed inside pies as they are mostly used to the fact that pies have fruit inside them and are eaten for dessert. In Australia, however, the “dog’s eye”, as it is colloquially known,  is a very common food to be eaten on the go and even after a long night’s partying. They even say that you’re not a full-fledged Aussie if you haven’t at least tried it.

Kangaroo, Crocodile and Emu

Are we on the wrong list? Nope, we’re not. The kangaroo, crocodile and emu are some of the most iconic animals in the country; the first one even going as far as being a coat of arms in Australia but through the years, they have been added to the country’s gourmet dishes. All three can be made toppings on pizza, for pie stuffing and can stand alone in various restaurant delicacies.

You see, travelling is not all about the places to go. Sometimes, it about going to taste and have a bite of the best food around the country! Travel for the most iconic food from Australia today! With Salamanda Travel, we can go ‘round in all the states and hunt down the food for some gastronomic adventures! Visit our website and check our Facebook page for some cool info!