Welcome to the Land Down Under, where gorgeous cityscapes meld with the rough outback and sunburns are indicative of a day well spent. This continent/country is tailor-made for the wide-eyed adventurers. Expansive rainforests, canyons, mountains, and world-famous beaches beckon thousands of visitors every year, but what exactly is the best way to get the most out of a tour in Australia? Eschew the plane in favor of a 4WD! Cruising the open road guarantees the best sights and experiences, so here are 8 of the best road trips in Australia.
- The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road leads you along some of Austalia’s most stunning coastlines. Gawk at cliffs, rainforests, and shipwrecks and don’t forget to spend a moment taking in the beauty of the Twelve Apostles – a collection of limestone structures just off the shore of Port Campbell National Park.
Recommendation: Twelve Apostles is Port Campbell National Park’s most iconic spot, but don’t forget to wander further. Check out Lock Ard Gorge for the stunning 19th century shipwreck, the Island Archway, and snap a few photos of the Gibson Steps rock formation.
Distance: 243 kilometers
Starting and ending point: Torquay to Allansford, South Australia
Duration: 2-3 days.
Best time to go: February-March or October-November for warmer weather and off-peak prices away from the crowds.
- Gibb River Road
A road trip through the Gibb River Road is definitely one for the books, what with its magnificent displays of wildlife and wilderness. Touted as one of Australia’s greatest 4WD adventures, this road trip takes you through Kimberley where you can explore gorges, waterfalls, outback cattle stations, rock art, and Aboriginal sites.
Recommendation: The Bell Gorge can be a challenge to reach, but the sight itself is worth all the effort. Marvel at cascading waterfalls while swimming in its natural pools!
Distance: 660 kilometers
Starting and ending point: Derby to Wyndham, Western Australia
Duration: One to two weeks.
Best time to go: Catch the dry season from April to September when waterfalls are fully fed by the previous rainy season. The road is closed December to March due to heavy rains and flooding.
- The Great Eastern Drive
For adventurers seeking a little solace, the Great Eastern Drive offers the peace and quiet of Tasmania with the hustle and bustle of only its wildlife. From Orford to St. Helens, this reflective journey takes you through the east coast wine country, forests, beach towns, and stunning farmlands. The region’s bountiful produce and seafood guarantee you’ll be munching something along the way.
Recommendation: The Freycinet National Park is a worthy detour with its crystal-clear bays, waters and rich birdlife.
Distance: 176 kilometers
Starting and ending point: Orford to St. Helens, Tasmania
Duration: 2-5 days.
Best time to go: The autumn months of March-May for crowd-free travel.
- Roadtrip to The Tip
Looking to get lost in the wilderness? A trip to Cape York, one of Australia’s most remote landscapes, offers more than a thousand kilometers of untamed and rugged rainforest beauty. This picturesque route features river crossings infested with crocs, ancient rock art, and two World Heritage sites in the Wet Tropics. Beautiful as it may be, here’s some bad news for your social media followers: Cape York has very limited phone reception, so bye-bye Instagram (that’s right, take this time to reconnect with Mother Nature!)
Recommendation: Take a guided tour through the Quinkan Galleries at Laura to gawk over 30,000-year-old rock art.
Distance: 1000 kilometers
Starting and ending point: Cairns to Cape York, Queensland
Duration: One to two weeks
Best time to go: During the cooler months of June to October. Other times of the year might be met with road closures and floods.
- Australia’s Coral Coast
Nature lovers, buckle up your seatbelts. This trip from Perth to Ningaloo promises to offer you the best that Mother Nature has to offer. Here, the sprawling Indian Ocean converges with the rugged outback, offering countless adventures on both land and water. Explore the Pinnacles Desert and the Kalbarri National Park for land-dwelling creatures and the World Heritage Shark Bay to spy on manta rays, dolphins, and whale sharks.
Recommendation: Dedicated divers must check out the Navy Pier – one of the world’s top 10 on-shore dive sites.
Distance: 1200 kilometers
Starting and ending point: Perth to Ningaloo, Western Australia
Duration: 1 week
Best time to go: Come between June to September for a stunning display of vibrant wildflowers.
- Great Alpine Road
Cruise along the continent’s highest accessible sealed road to marvel at scenic mountain ranges, deep valleys, and spectacular wine regions. The waterways of the Gippsland Lakes region are a must visit. Looking to reflect? The journey is studded with charming historic towns, such as Omeo, Beechworth, and Bright.
Recommendation: Visit Mt. Hotham, Victoria’s highest alpine village, for rejuvenating mountain air and absolutely breath-taking alpine views. Lots of action here for snowboarders, skiers, and sledders!
Distance: 500 kilometers
Starting and ending point: Wangaratta to Metung, Victoria
Duration: 3 days
Best time to go: Any time of the year, but some roads may be closed during winter (June to August)
- The Savannah Way
Our penultimate road trip will have you traveling 3,700 kilometers across five World Heritage sites and 15 national parks, all without ending up in another country or kissing the ocean. This epic road trip may be grueling, but this is one journey that truly offers the Australian outback experience. Expect lots of time spent in nature from grassy plains to lush rainforests, waterfalls, ancient rock art, remote cattle stations, and turquoise waters.
Recommendation: The Boodjamulla National Park is a must-visit. Gawk at magnificent gorges, 25-million-year-old fossils, emerald waters, and orange sandstone cliffs.
Distance: 3700 kilometers
Starting and ending point: Cairns, Queensland to Broome, Western Australia
Duration: 10 days to 3 weeks.
Best time to go: Come during the dry season between May to September.
- The Big Lap
Ready for an adventure of a lifetime? The Big Lap is for die-hard road-trippers – an epic road trip that encompasses the entirety of Australia. If you have 6 months or more to spare, this road trip promises more than just spectacular sights and the full Australian experience, you’ll also get lifelong bragging rights. Highway 1 links Australia’s seven capital cities and skirts around Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Broome, Esperance, Hobart, and Adelaide. The Big Lap offers everything Aussie: verdant rainforests, bustling cities, coastal towns, the rough outback, and crystal beaches. This is one road trip unlike any other.
Recommendation: Add more to the experience by including Alice Springs, Kakadu, and Uluru, all accessible via the Stuart Highway in NT.
Distance: 15,000 kilometers
Starting and ending point: This is an epic road trip around Australia with no definite start or end points. You will be cruising along Highway 1 which skirts around the entire continent, with some divergences if you want to explore key cities
Duration: Six months to a year
Best time to go: If it’s summer, December to Australia head south. During winter, June to August, head north or explore the red center. Wet seasons from November to May may close roads and national parks.
If you want an amped up travel experience, explore Australia on four wheels. The greatest part of a road trip isn’t about arriving at your destination and this rings true in the Land Down Under. This continent offers a myriad of sights and adventures you just might miss when traveling on air!
4 Essentials for Travelling in Comfort
If you’ve ever read our blog before, you know that we prioritize comfort above all else when we’re preparing to visit a new city, country, or continent. Of course, we’ve got our jandals with us, but there are a number of other travel essentials we’re sure to bring along on all of our adventures.
Looking for ways to maximize your comfort while you’re exploring the globe? Read on to learn all about our 4 essentials for travelling in comfort.
Your luggage is essentially the star of the show when we’re talking about travelling in comfort. After all, you’ll be lugging it around from the train station to the airport and everywhere in between. Needless to say, you’ll want to have something that’s easy to transport, practical, and light so that you’re not struggling to make departure times or barely managing to get your bag up a flight of stairs.
There are a few different options to consider when choosing the right luggage set for your preferences. Let’s take a look.
- Backpacking packs: If you tend to pack light and travel for long periods of time, a backpacking pack could be the most practical option for you. They’re generally pretty lightweight, can be used as carry-ons if they’re small enough, and they’re easy to haul around with you as you move onto your next destination.
- Rolling suitcases: If you’re not so keen on holding the weight of all your belongings on your back, a rolling suitcase might make the most sense for you. Plus, they’re available in plenty of sizes so whether you pack heavy or on the lighter side, you’ll surely be able to find a suitcase that suits your needs.
In addition to your travel jandals, you’ll probably want to pack a few other options so that you can fit in with the culture of your destination and be able to do all of the activities that you travelled for in the first place. A pair of dress shoes would be useful if you fancy going out for nice meals or enjoy spending your evenings out on the town. And if you need a pair of comfortable tennis shoes to get you from point A to point B, a pair of stylish athletic shoes like Nikes or Inov 8 shoes would be perfect for exploring the city on foot while also fitting in with the local fashion.
Travelling isn’t always as glamorous as social media makes it out to be. Sometimes, you’ll be feeling tired, disheveled, and in desperate need of a place to call home, if only for a few days. Which is why we’re recommending that you make an effort to have clean clothes always at the ready. Trust us, it’ll make a massive difference! No washer or dryer? No problem, just handwash your clothes with some all-purpose castile soap and you’ll feel fresh, clean, and ready to take on your next adventure!
While it’s exciting to be en route to your next travel destination, taking a long flight is anything but comfortable. But just because you’re not in first-class doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the luxury on the other side of the divide. Building yourself an in-flight care package is a great way to get the comfort of luxury travel while staying in the range of your budget.
Here are a few items to include in your care package:
- A reusable water bottle
- A neck pillow and blanket
- A book or magazine
- Hand sanitizer
- A change of clothes
- Facial wipes
Travelling might be all about stepping outside of your comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable while you’re doing it. In order to travel in comfort, simply make an effort to:
- Buy practical luggage
- Find comfortable shoe options
- Clean your clothes
- Pack yourself an in-flight care package
If you use these four tips, you’ll be able to hop from adventures in Sydney, Australia to relaxing vibes in Austin, Texas totally at ease. Have any travel tips of your own? Be sure to share them with us in the comment section below.
Planning A Family Trip To The Canadian Niagara Falls
If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that we are big fans of the Niagara Falls. Over the years, we have written about visiting this fantastic tourist destination several times. But, the other day we realized that we have never put together one that is designed for families to use. So, here is our short guide to visiting the Canadian side of Niagara Falls as a family unit.
Spend at least one night in a Fallsview Hotel
As you can see from this website there are some fantastic hotels in the area. There are several five-star hotels that offer family rooms with a view of the waterfalls. Everyone is sure to remember staying in a room like that, especially if you are there to see the light show and fireworks display that takes place at various times during the year.
Take the Hornblower cruise
Getting a panoramic view of the waterfalls from your room is one thing, but to truly experience them you really do need to get closer. The Hornblower cruise is one of the best ways to do this. During the tour, you are taken very close to the base of the waterfalls. The noise is phenomenal and you end up really appreciating just how powerful all of that gushing water is. Just make sure that everyone wears the waterproof poncho that is provided. There is a lot of spray and even during the summer months, the water is very cold.
Journey Behind the Falls
If, for some reason, you don’t fancy getting on a boat take the Journey Behind the Falls tour instead. You start your tour by getting into an elevator that takes you deep into the earth so that you are level with the base of the waterfalls. After a short walk through some caves, you emerge onto a walkway that is located just a few meters from the base of the waterfalls. This tour provides you with some great photo opportunities.
Enjoy the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory
The self-guided tour at the butterfly conservatory only takes between 10 and 30 minutes to complete. So, this is an attraction you can easily fit into your itinerary.
Enjoy the Botanical Gardens
If you have enough time, explore the Botanical Gardens. The Butterfly Conservatory is located in the gardens.
Visit the Great Canadian Midway
This is a 70,000 sq foot arcade that features hundreds of games. You could be in there for days and still not get around them all. It is a great way to let the kids relax.
Enjoy a trek with your kids
If you enjoy hiking with your kids you are in luck. The area has plenty of family-friendly trails for you to enjoy. There is something for everyone from beginner to advanced hikers. You can find out more about what is available from this website.
Be sure to plan ahead
Regardless of what you decide to do, our advice is to plan carefully and consider booking tickets in advance. Some of the attractions we mentioned above get very busy. If you already have your entrance tickets you can skip the queues.
Top 3 Trekking Destinations in Nepal
Nepal is a country of diverse topography, having destinations for splendid trekking adventures. A combination of scenic pleasures and warm hospitality wherever you travel is what trekking in Nepal offers.
The diversity of land formations facilitates to trek in Nepal at any time of the year. Here are the top 3 trekking destinations in Nepal to choose from the list for your next adventure.
Trekking to the lap of Mt. Everest stands as one of the most exciting treks you can do in Nepal. You have a wide range of options for trekking in the Everest region, including Everest Base Camp, Three Passes, Everest-Gokyo, and Everest Panorama.
From walking through the foothills of the world’s highest mountain to glacial lakes and high passes, the Everest region has all the essentials for a great trekking adventure.
The most popular trek in this region is the Everest Base Camp Trek which takes you to the base camp of Mt. Everest. The trekking trail takes you through subtropical forests to 5,545 meters at Kala Patthar. You get the best views of Mt. Everest and the surrounding mountain peaks from Kala Patthar.
The main highlight of trekking in the Everest Region is the mesmerizing mountain views of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Changtse, Pumori, and Nuptse. You can find comfortable teahouses and lodges en-route the trekking trails of the Everest Region. These offer services like twin beds, local food, hot showers, and squat toilets.
However, if you prefer a more comfortable trek, you can choose the Everest Base Camp Luxury Lodge Trek. The luxury trek adds up features like comfortable beds with luxury mattresses, WiFi services, full-body massages, varieties of food choices, and a scenic helicopter ride back to Kathmandu from Kala Patthar.
Autumn is the best time for trekking to Everest Region. In this season, the skies remain clear as there is little chance of rain. The temperature ranges from 15 degrees Celsius at night to 24 degrees Celsius in the day.
Dashain and Tihar, two of the most significant festivals of Nepal, also fall in this season. However, you have to make an advance booking if you choose the world-famous Everest Base Camp Trek in Autumn.
Likewise, spring is a good season for trekking in this region. The temperatures are slightly higher than during autumn but still favorable for trekking. A few rain showers may take place but nothing too heavy to disturb the trek.
En-route the trekking trails, the forests are lush green and filled with blossoming flowers. Teahouses are less crowded and quieter as compared to autumn.
Adored by trekking enthusiasts from all around the world, the Annapurna Region is another popular trekking destination in Nepal. The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a world-famous trek. Along with it, Jomsom-Muktinath, Poon Hill, and Mardi Himal are other best trekking destinations in the Annapurna Region.
The Annapurna Region is a perfect blend of subtropical forests, high valleys, high passes, traditional villages, and breathtaking views of the high Himalayas. The main highlight of trekking in this region is the majestic mountain views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Hiunchuli, Lamjung, and Nilgiri.
The Annapurna Conservation Area is home to 1,226 species of flowering plants, 105 mammals, 518 birds, 40 reptiles and 23 amphibians. The rich flora and fauna diversity of the Annapurna Sanctuary is a highlight of its own.
The Annapurna Region is also great for backpacking Nepal alone. Since signposts and accommodation facilities are well marked along the trekking trails, you won’t need to worry about getting yourself lost in the woods.
Spring is the best time for trekking to the Annapurna Region. In this season, the temperature ranges from 16 degrees Celsius at night to 25 degrees Celsius in the day. The forests of the Annapurna Sanctuary are fresh green and filled with colorful blossoms.
Autumn is also a suitable season for trekking to the Annapurna Region. Lively teahouses amidst falling leaves decorate the entire trekking routes.
However, due to the popularity of the trekking trails, autumn can be a little overcrowded. You may struggle to find excellent accommodation and timely flights. On top of it, the crowded trails may end up decreasing the overall adventure of the trek.
You may have to pre-book if you choose the world-renowned Annapurna Circuit Trek in Autumn.
Nepal has several restricted areas that you can trek to have adventure experiences. Some of the best trekking destinations are Manaslu, Upper Mustang, and Tsum Valley. All of these trekking destinations lie in Rainshadow areas, so these regions are trekkable throughout the year.
The trekking routes in the Everest and Annapurna regions are wet, slippery, and unfavorable for trekking in the Summer season. However, restricted areas are where the rain shadow regions shine. The backdrop of the mountains is free from the rainy clouds with little chance of rainfall throughout the year.
The main highlights of trekking in the Restricted Region are the mountain views of Manaslu, Ganesh, Himchuli, Sringi, Boudha, and Nilgiri.
The secluded and serene trails are best for vloggers pursuing unexplored landscapes. Also, the restricted regions of Nepal offer some of the best footages for beginners trying to start a vlog to show the world. For instance, the Forbidden Kingdom of Lo and the rustic trans-Himalayan terrain of Mustang are a few to name the highlights of trekking to the restricted regions.
The restricted region is an excellent choice for trekking in Nepal during the Monsoon. Most of the restricted areas like Manaslu and Upper Mustang are rain shadow regions.
Even in the rainiest months of the year, these regions are sunny and dry. The temperatures range from 22 degrees Celsius at night to 27 degrees Celsius in the day. However, the temperatures may fluctuate at elevations higher than 4,000 meters.
Don’t get me wrong though; the restricted regions are trekkable during the autumn and spring as well. The temperatures are favorable, and there are accommodations available throughout the trekking trail.
There are lots of trekking destinations to explore during your visit to Nepal. Choosing any region from the above list of top 3 trekking destinations in Nepal offers its peculiarities for you to enjoy during your journey.
Some of the regions may be favorable for one season while some are for other seasons. Nevertheless, Nepal boasts various locations for trekking in every season.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
New on Four Jandals
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