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Posts in ‘Things to do in Australia’

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

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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

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Diving – a reviving experience

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

The isango! team

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Have the climb of your life

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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

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Uluru / Ayers Rock Tours

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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

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The best theme parks in the Gold Coast (Australia)

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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.

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

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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

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Stand next to a woolly mammoth in Sydney

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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

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New Australia driving tour launched

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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

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Relaxing Vacations in Oceania

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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

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Travellers invited to Drive the NT

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Travellers could squeeze even more into their Northern Territory tours this year by using the latest driving guide launched by Tourism NT.

In conjunction with the Northern Territory News, the tourism agency has revamped its Drive the NT guide to encourage visitors to spend more time in the state and explore regional areas.

Available from visitor information centres across the Northern Territory, the publication provides details on driving routes that take in attractions including Uluru, Kakadu National Park and the cities of Adelaide and Darwin.

Tourism NT chief executive Maree Tetlow said the region boasts "an array of fantastic options for driving holidays".

She added: "The information will enable [visitors] to slow down their trip and get more from the places they visit.

"There is a bit of a misconception that you have to have a four-wheel drive to travel in the Northern Territory, and while we boast some exciting and challenging adventure routes, most of our best known attractions can be accessed by two-wheel drive vehicles."

Tourism NT this year launched a new promotion to boost the number of backpackers visiting northern Australia.

Uluru/Ayers Rock – Visit the Aboriginal sacred site which is Australia’s most visited tourist attraction.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19113891-ADNFCR

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