Subscribe to isango! RSS feed
World’s leading site for travel experiences - Tours, Activities, Shows, Excursions and more
Find amazing experiences Book before you go. Local rates. Handpicked suppliers Find out more >>
Home Blog Support Why isango!
call us +44 (0) 870 049 2331
We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts in ‘Things to do in Australia’

By Land, Sea and Air: The Best Things to do in Cairns, Australia

0

CairnsCairns, Australia is a magnificent fusion of sea, land and air. Its close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest make it a fantastic destination for travellers from all over the world. There are plenty of things to do and after travelling to Cairns and being swept off my feet by its beauty, I’ve realised that the best way to get the most out of your trip to Cairns is by designating time for activities on land, in water and in the air.

Land

Cairns is nearby some of the most majestic rainforests in the world. Daintree Rainforest is the world’s oldest surviving rainforest and the largest continuous stretch of rainforest in Australia. Having said that, it only takes up about 0.1% of Australia’s land mass, yet is home to 30% of the country’s frog, reptile and marsupial population. Daintree is part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Site, in particular because some of the oldest species of plants grow here including 7 families of ancient fern. Daintree is also unique in that its dense tropic forest ends on the very edge of white sandy beaches leading to crystalline sea water. If you are interested in exploring this exotic and ancient rainforest, we offer a Cape Tribulation & Daintree Rainforest Tour From Cairns that takes visitors on a life changing trip through the primordial forest.

For those animal lovers out there, a trip to Cairns offers several opportunities to come into close contact with some of the strangest creatures in the world. The Cairns Zoo presents the unique opportunity to explore the zoo at night and meet its nocturnal residents. Late-night visitors are treated to a true Aussie barbeque and then led by torch through the dark zoo. It’s a spooky adventure that I would do again in a heartbeat. I even got to pet a koala, which made my night.

Petting a Koala

For those who want to see animals in the daylight, there are plenty of ways to do that too. The Rainforestation Nature Park is an excellent option because it combines exploration of the rainforest with Australia’s largest Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary. Rainforestation is part of a 100 acre World Heritage Park and offers visitors truly unique activities such as riding an army duck through murky rivers under the canopy of one of the most beautiful rainforests in the world. While I was there I held a koala, threw a boomerang (I ran away instead of trying to catch it when it came hurtling back at me) and tried my best to play the didgeridoo.

If you happen to have an unappeasable desire to see some crocodiles up close and personal, then head over to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure. At Hartley’s, you get the opportunity to see the terrifying head shake and death roll of some of the largest crocodiles you’ll ever see. You also get the chance to hold a crocodile (I opted to take a picture kissing the nose of a baby croc…of course, his mouth was rubber banded shut so it wasn’t the scary ordeal that it sounds like it could be.) You can also go to the Snake Show and discover some of the most deadly snakes in the world, including the Australian Brown Snake, one of which slithered by my foot while hiking in the outback on a separate trip to Australia. I highly recommend seeing one at the Snake Show instead… Crocodile

Sea

Underwater World
Of course, what Cairns is best known for is its location right on the Great Barrier Reef. Visitors from all over the world come to swim with the thousands of tropical fish, explore the islands just off the coast from Cairns and cultivate their tan in the hot Australian sun. The number one thing to do, at least in my opinion, is to explore the aquamarine depths of the reef. It is an entirely foreign aquatic world down there, just waiting to be explored. There are plenty of ways to get to the reef, one of which is by a Quicksilver Catamaran which boasts an impressive Underwater Observatory and acts a platform from which you can go snorkelling. The observatory is perfect for those wanting to see all of the brightly-coloured fish without getting wet (some of my friends staying on the boat and actually watched us swim up to the window of the observatory).

For those wanting to dive a bit deeper into the good ol’ ocean blue, diving expeditions are the ways to go. Whether you are diving at night, diving with sharks or just plain old diving, the experience is sure to be one you will never forget. Inky blue water below, turquoise water above and thousands of fish all around comprise the traditional dive. If you want to stay out on the water for longer than an afternoon, 3 and 4-day Diving and Marine Life Cruises are available. They are essentially aquatic hotels that allow you to get the most out what is sure to be a surreal diving experience. Boat

If you are simply looking for a romantic and relaxed time on the water, Cairns is the perfect place to be. There are a number of Evening Dinner Cruises that are perfect for a dreamy night with your beloved. Gaze at the mangroves that line the water as you sip on champagne, let the delicious food and gentle rocking of the boat lull you into contentment and gaze at the stars in the arms of your sweetie on the deck. It certainly will be a delightful evening not soon forgotten.

Of course, not all of the things to do in Cairns are stress-free. Thrill seekers can get their adrenaline pumping on a Tully River Rafting Excursion. The tour takes you on an incredibly fun white water rafting excursion through the rainforest. It’s led by expert guides and concludes with a delicious meal cooked on the ‘barbie’.

Air

Who doesn’t dream about flying every once in awhile? To be honest, I can’t imagine a prettier place to fly over than the emerald jungles and hypnotic turquoise waters of Cairns.

Plane

Now, there are two main ways of seeing Cairns from above. The first is with a Scenic Flight that takes you from the wild rainforests to the white cays and aquamarine ocean. The flight will take you over the Great Dividing Range in the rainforest near Cairns. You may feel like you are flying through a scene from Jurassic Park (I know I did). The rainforests really do look as ancient as they are. From the sky above the rainforest, you will travel to the coast. It is a surreal experience, looking out at the reef from your plane and seeing the shimmering colours of the coral refracted by the water above them. For those who, after seeing the water, need to be in the water, there are also flights that will then stop and allow you to go Snorkelling at Sandy Cay.

Another, more leisurely way to explore the sky space above Cairns is via Hot Air Balloon . Of course, in true Aussie fashion, the balloon flight isn’t entirely relaxed. While up in the balloon, you will get to experience a balloon chase, which is essentially exactly what it sounds like: Your balloon will chase another balloon across wide open country and vice versa. It’s a very fun time and not stressful in the slightest, but it does add a bit of pace to the otherwise lovely, leisurely and scenic flight.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Exploring the Dreaming Rock: The 5 Best Things to Do at Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia

0

Uluru To the aborigines of the wild and desolate Australian outback, Uluru is a sacred and mystical site. To travellers from around the world, Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a thing of wonder and mystery. Uluru is one of Australia’s most distinctive landmarks. The giant red rock rises out of the land like the sun rises above the horizon, inspiring photographers, painters and nature-lovers with its exquisiteness. When I first gazed upon the Dreaming rock, I was astounded by the natural beauty and spiritual energy vibrating through the air.

Uluru towers above the earth, reaching 318m at its highest points. It is made of arkrose sandstone and is 8km in circumference. It is considered an inselberg, which literally means “island mountain” and stands along with the nearby Kata Tjuta formation as the only two testaments to the evolution of the earth in an otherwise flat landscape. Archaeological findings suggest that humans first settled in the area around Uluru approximately 10,000 years ago. Europeans first explored the area in 1872 when Ernest Giles first mapped Uluru and named it Ayers Rock.

The Anangu, the aboriginal people who have lived near the formation for hundreds of years, consider Uluru a sacred dreaming site. The Dreamtime was when the great spirits created everything upon the earth. The concept of ‘Dreaming’ can refer to several things; it can be an individual’s spirituality, such as when a man or woman says they are part of Kangaroo Dreaming or Dingo Dreaming. ‘Dreaming’ is also the place where each person’s spirit lives eternally. The aborigines believe that every spirit existed before its time on earth in the Dreaming and that it continues to exist after the death of the body. The Dreaming pervades every aspect of an aboriginal Australian’s life. It is a complex and unique network of stories, faith, knowledge and practices. The aborigines believe that there is a hollow space beneath Uluru that houses Tjukurpa, the Dreamtime.

1) Discover the Legends surrounding Uluru- Visit the Museum

In order to visit Uluru, visitors must buy passes to enter the park. These can be purchased through our Uluru Pass. Once you have entered the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, it is best to begin your adventure by visiting the cultural centre located near Uluru’s base. Not only does the centre have an extensive list of all of the activities happening in the park but also introduces you to the culture of the Anangu. The centre presents material relating to traditional culture and park history. The entrance to the cultural centre tells the story of the Anangu people and the various aboriginal beliefs and stories that involve Uluru. There is also an art centre in the vicinity that sells incredibly intricate aboriginal art. It’s nearly impossible to resist buying the incredible pieces they have in the store (I bought a hand-woven aboriginal pillow cover that reminds me of Uluru every time I sit down on my couch). Uluru

2) See Uluru from Every Angle

When you see Uluru, you realize why the aborigines believe it to be the centre of their spiritual existence. The sheer size of it is enough to inspire awe in anyone. The colour of it reminds me of the embers of a fire; the oranges and reds seem to intensify as the sun moves on its path through the day. To really experience the majesty of Uluru, you need to get up close and personal with the giant monolith. Our Uluru Pass, besides getting you into the park, also includes several walking tours. Visitors to the park can walk around the entire base of Uluru, while also witnessing the flora and fauna of the beautiful Outback. Keep a sharp eye out for Malu (red kangaroos) and echidnas as they are not found anywhere else in the world outside of Australia. Explorers and adventures can also discover the rugged beauty of the Kata Tjuta formation. Kata Tjuta is close to Uluru and with its deep gorges, unique rock colouring and exotic flora it is not a destination to be missed.

3) Experience Night-time in the Outback

A night in Uluru There is nothing like the outback after the sun has gone down. Stars blaze brightly above, the air gets cool and refreshing and if you listen closely, you may hear the lonely sound of a dingo’s far-off howl. Star gazers and romantics will find the Sounds of Silence Dinner particularly entrancing. Diners get to sample real bush tucker, including kangaroo, emu and barramundi, and sip on champagne as the sun sets on Uluru. After the delicious dinner experience, explore the heavenly stars above with an experienced Star Talker who will walk with you through the net of constellations hanging in the sky. Night in the Red Centre is an otherworldly experience; my friends and I felt as if we had travelled through the mists of time back to a primordial land.

4) Take to the Skies above the Red Centre

The Anangu consider Uluru to be one of their most sacred sites. When tourism began in Uluru, they were dismayed to witness visitors climbing up and down Uluru’s lofted peaks. Today, the local indigenous community requests that visitors do not climb Uluru. The path that leads to the top of the monolith crosses a sacred dreaming path, a fact that has caused the traditional owners of the rock much anguish. Though the path is still accessible, it has become smooth over the years from visitors’ feet and the path remains closed for most of the year. Those who wish to see what Uluru looks like from above but desire to respect the wishes of the Anangu will delight in a breath-taking Helicopter ride over Uluru and Kata Tjuta. If you choose to see the formations this way, you will witness some of the most awe-inspiring views Australia has to offer.

5) Experience the Bushman Lifestyle

A trip to the outback is not complete without experiencing the bushman’s lifestyle. Bushmen are the wild cowboys of the outback; they drive cattle, work farms and sheer sheep on a farm circuit they call the Wallaby Track. Needless to say, Bushmen are a fiery bunch (think Hugh Jackman’s rough and tough portrayal of a drover in the blockbuster Australia). Bushmen, after a long day’s work droving cattle, often sit around the campfire telling stories and eating bush tucker. You too can experience this sort of lifestyle, albeit in a slightly more comfortable way, by setting off on the Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon 3 days camping safari. Campers will explore Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon over the course of three days, with two nights lodging in the permanent campsites at Uluru and Kings Canyon that boast off-the-ground beds and a hearty supply of bush tucker.

The Outback

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Diving – a reviving experience

2

Take advantage of our Great Barrier Reef diving tours and have a once in a lifetime reviving experience!

The isango! team

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Have the climb of your life

0

Don’t miss out on the Sydney bridge climb – it’s one of the top 10 things to do in Australia’s most visited city!

The isango! team

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Uluru / Ayers Rock Tours

0

We have just launched a page listing the best things to do at the Australian Outback’s most popular tourist attraction, including sunrise/sunset tours, helicopter rides, 4WD tours, even dining under the stars in the middle of the desert! Choose from one of many spectacular Uluru tours and start planning your trip to Australia.

The isango! team

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The best theme parks in the Gold Coast (Australia)

2
Gold Coast (Australia) Theme Parks

Gold Coast (Australia) Theme Parks

 The Australian Gold Coast region is located south of Brisbane. The Gold Coast is home to the best theme parks in Australia and is a well known surfers paradise. Here is an overview of the best Gold Coast theme parks, with links to online purchase for Gold Coast theme park tickets.

  • Gold Coast: Warner Movie World theme park Pass
    Warner Bros. Movie World brings the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the Gold Coast. From heart-thumping thrills like Batwing Spaceshot to the colorful but gentle Looney Tunes River Ride to the fun-filled shows, this fantastic park has something for everyone.
  • Gold Coast: Wet’n’Wild Water World theme park Pass
    Little ones can set sail for their very own aquatic adventure at Buccaneer Bay. This attraction has an elaborate pirate theme taking children into an imaginative and exciting world and offering hours of entertainment. Older thrill seekers can get their kicks on the heart-thumping Surf Rider. Feel what it’s like to ride some of the world’s largest waves when you plummet 30 metres on a giant surfboard.
  • Gold Coast: Dreamworld theme park Pass
    Looking for an adrenalin rush? Then brave six of the most spine-tingling, heart pumping scream rides in the country. Plunge 120 meters on the Giant Drop, the world’s tallest free-falling ride. Or watch your knuckles whiten as you experience the amazing power of G-force on The Tower of Terror.
  • Gold Coast: Sea World theme park Pass
    Discover the deepest secrets of the oceans and meet some of the most magnificent marine animals on the planet at this entrancing venue. You can learn the truth about sharks, enjoy close-encounters with incredible rays, see polar bears swimming under water, meet friendly seals, dolphins and the cutest penguins on the planet.
  • Gold Coast: Three Theme Parks super pass
    Unlimited entry for 14 days to each of the 3 parks – Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World. Admission to Dive ’n Movies screenings when available at Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World.

Here are a few other blogs discussing travel and things to do in the Australian Gold Coast.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

A to Z of Places to See (Cities N-S)!

1
Orlando Fireworks - d4rr3ll

Orlando Fireworks - d4rr3ll

N is for Nice, France: Ideally situated between vineyards, hills, and the hotspots of the French Riviera, Nice is, well, quite nice. With shopping, museums, Roman ruins, warm beaches, and plenty of nightlife, the city is a tourist’s paradise, without all of the crowds.

O is for Orlando, Florida: The ultimate family destination, Orlando is easy to navigate, and full of child-friendly destinations. Take the kids to Sea World or Universal Studios. Spend a day at the beach, and swim with the dolphins, or dine with a NASA astronaut. And, for kids of all ages, Walt Disney World is located just south of the city!

P is for Pamplona, Spain: In need of a little adrenaline boost? Come to Pamplona for the San Fermín festival. Running each summer from July 6-14, this festival hosts the “running of the bulls”. Though you can catch a bullfight almost anywhere in Spain, only in Pamplona do you actually get the chance to hop the fence and run along with them. Think you can handle it? continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Stand next to a woolly mammoth in Sydney

0

Travellers on Sydney tours will be offered the unusual opportunity of standing toe-to-toe with a woolly mammoth at a special exhibition running over the coming months.

Tourists will be able to visit the When Mammoths Roamed display at the Australian Museum until June 24th.

Visitors can learn all about these fascinating creatures that wandered the icy plains of North America, Europe and Asia over 20,000 years ago.

Arguably the highlight of the exhibition for many people will be the collection of life-sized models of the great animals, which were nearly four metres tall and could weigh up to five tonnes.

The display also includes films, interactive exhibits, pieces of art and much more for visitors to get their teeth into.

People planning Sydney tours before August 1st this year will also be able to visit the Australian Museum to see Up Close and Spineless, an exhibition of photographs of invertebrate animals.

Sydney – Take a cruise of Sydney Harbour or relax on the white sands on Manly Beach.qADNFCR-1652-ID-19126368-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

New Australia driving tour launched

0

Travellers taking Australia tours this year will have the opportunity to take advantage of a new driving route that has been opened in the state of Victoria.

Tourism Victoria announced that the new self-drive tour links the state capital of Melbourne with the Yarra Valley wine region, Mornington peninsula and Phillip Island.

These destinations form a rough triangle in south-east Australia, making them particularly convenient for tours.

There are nearly 100 wineries to visit in the Yarra Valley, including the Australian base of Moet and Chandon, as well as other activities including hot-air balloon rides.

A Mediterranean feel pervades the Mornington peninsula owing to its olive groves, vineyards and waterfront cafes, while Phillip Island is known as a wildlife haven and every evening hosts a penguin parade.

Tourism Victoria recently announced the launch in Melbourne of Australia’s first city tour run by street artists, which introduces visitors to Melbourne’s underground art scene and explores winding lanes and alleyways filled with graffiti.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19120396-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Relaxing Vacations in Oceania

0

As the continent most known for Australia’s walkabouts in the outback and the largest population of dangerous and deadly creatures anywhere, Oceania is a paradise only for the out-doorsy adventurer right? Well, maybe not. Companies have begun launching new cruises and services to make your trip down-under more of a luxury and less of an effort. Those who want to explore the world but not necessarily hike mountains or bunjee jump into the Pacific can now experience even the most rugged of terrains and discover their peaceful neighbors.

continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS