Sunday, September 2, 2007

Australia and the rest of the world

If you are looking for accommodation in Australia, try Australia vacation rentals. At time of publishing, only Queensland and Sydney are listed. By the time you read this, it may show more locations. Anyway, that site is not only for vacationers looking for accommodation, but also for property owners to list their properties, so Australian vacation rental owners, here is your chance. Just click on list your vacation rental at the top right corner and the rest is self explanatory.

If you are looking for accommodation for your holidays in any part of the world, Goin2travel vacation rentals will probably be able to find something suitable for you.

If you are looking for a peaceful place for a holiday and yet near to world famous theme parks, consider Kissimmee, Florida, United States. Kissimmee is a peaceful town with a few resorts, museums and art galleries, but perhaps will appeal more to nature lovers for there are some interesting wetlands and some may be interested in finding out how the Kissimmee River was restored. However, its main attraction may be its nearness to Orlando, the world capital of theme parks where Walt Disney World Resort, Epcot, Universal Studios, etc., are located. Orlando is an easy drive from Kissimmee and in fact there are hotels here that offers shuttle bus services to the resorts in Orlando. Plus you probably can get cheaper accommodation here than in Orlando. For accommodations, try Kissimmee vacation rentals.

Australians are beach lovers, and for that, they may want to check out Panama City Beach which have over 27 miles of beautiful white sandy beach and crystal clear emerald ocean great for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. You may also be interested in skiing, parasailing, diving or fishing.

Panama City Beach lay claim to the title of "Seafood Capital of the World" and you can actually find a wide array of seafood restaurants in Panama City Beach where you can enjoy fresh seafood newly harvested from the ocean.

Other attractions in Panama City Beach includes theme parks. Shipwreck Island is the largest water park around. From Panama City Beach, you can also join cruises of every kind, enjoy the beautiful scenery visit the Zoo World Zoological and Botanical Park which features a wide variety of animals, including rare and endangered species.

Remember to book your accommodation at Panama City beach vacation homes.

Another interesting place to visit in the Florida Panhandle is Fort Myers Beach. This place is for family vacation and for nature and beach lovers. This is a place where you can escape the crowd. If you love watching loggerhead turtles laying eggs, visit Lovers Key State Park during the nesting season (Spring and Summer). The park is also home to bottlenose dolphins, West Indian manatees, marsh rabbits, roseate spoonbills, and bald eagles. Matanzas Pass Preserve is an interesting wetland eco-systems containing one of the last maritime oak hammocks in the area. You can hike through 1.25 miles of trails that wind through the canopies of mangroves and the oak hammock while enjoying a view of the Estero Bay and watch the plentiful wildlife including dolphins, manatees, herons, egrets, pelicans and snowbirds, and also the native plants.

An interesting place to visit, but which is accessible by boat only, is the Mound Key, constructed with shells left by the Caloosa Indians over 1,000 years ago. Or visit the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford winter homes for a glimpse into the life of these 2 great personalities. Or take a stroll on the Fort Myers Beach Pier, which reaches about 600 feet into the gulf. Cast a line here and get a catch you can take a photograph with to boast about at home.

For accommodation, chose and book yours online via Fort Myers Beach vacation rentals.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cheap Travel Insurance for Australian Travellers

Some think that a very large part of Australia is desert and dangerous. But really the Australian Outback is not all desert or as dangerous as some think. My own nephew drove through the desert alone from Melbourne to Canberra, a driving distance of 660km and driving time of approximately 7 hours. He got my sister all worried, but she couldn't do anything. Well he survived the trip.

Some may be scared of poisonous snakes and spiders, but some seasoned outback travellers says it is not all that dangerous. Anyway, if you are worried, there is always air travel. There are regional airlines like Skywest Airlines (serving Western Australia), Regional Express (serving South Australia and a few neighbouring towns), Air Link (New South Wales), Brindabella Airlines (between Canberra and Newcastle plus Albury and Australia-wide charter service), MacAir Airlines (Queensland), Maroomba Airlines (Western Australia), Sharp Airlines (Victoria), Skippers (Western Australia), Skytrans Airlines (Queensland airline, including air charter), AirNorth (Northern Territories), Eastern Australia Airlines (New South Wales), Sunstate (Queensland), Regional Link (Northern Territory), Tasair (Tasmania) and Virgin Blues (throughout Australia plus New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga and Cook Islands).

And don't forget the international airlines including its own Quantas Airways. Then there are chartered flight operators like Airnorth (charter services throughout the Northern Territory, the Kimberley region of Western Australia and throughout South East Asia), Alliance Airlines, Corporate Air, and Sunshine Express Airlines (Queensland and New South Wales).

And of course Australians are not that provincial as to neglect international travel for vacations as well as for business. Whatever it is, if you travel, it is always wise to get travel insurance for your protection. If you are on a budget, you can look for cheap travel insurance where you can compare, buy online and save. They say they are recommended by Lonely Planet and they cover travellers from over 150 countries including Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and the UK. And they say you can claim online even when you are still away. If you are a frequent traveller, you should look for Multi-trip Travel Insurance which cover multiple trips within a year. Backers mostly travel for a long time, often for months and to it is not unusual for them to travel to remote places. They thus have different needs and should look for Backpacker Travel Insurance. For skiing (snow skiing) enthusiasts, there are special Skiing & Snow Travel Insurance. The site also cover for the needs of senior citizens, long term travellers, students and those travelling for adventures.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Adelaide Festivals

South Australia`s capital city is Adelaide which is the fifth largest city of Australia. It is located beside the Southern Ocean and its location was first chosen because of its closeness to the Torrens River. It is a pleasant city with wide boulevards, large public squares and is surrounded by parkland. Since it is the administrative and commercial center of South Australia, the government and financial offices are here and they are mainly located in the city center in the North Terrace boulevard, King William Street and in the metropolitan area. It host many festivals and is famous for its arts and sports and wine. It can be considered a cultural city.


The Adelaide Festival of Arts

The Adelaide Festival of Arts is a biannual event held in March (Autumn) every "even" year (meaning years like 2006, 2008, 2010...). It is an internationally renowned event and one of the world's greatest celebrations of the arts. The last one in 2006 had over 100 performances with about 30% of them sold out. Over 900 artists with nearly 30% international artists participated. Plan your visit to Adelaide for the next festival which will be from 29 February to 16 March 2008.

The Adelaide Festival of Ideas

The Adelaide Festival of Ideas is also a biannual event held over 4 nights and 3 days, attracting well known thinkers of different disciplines from around the world to exchange ideas. There will be forums, lectures and dialogues focusing on sharing of ideas, innovative thinking and intellectual debate which are mainly free to the public. The festival is held in many venues along the North Terrace boulevard.

This years Adelaide Festival of Ideas was from 5-8 July 2007 which mean you just missed it and you want to attend the next one you will have to wait another 2 years.

South Australian Living Artists Festival

The South Australian Living Artists Festival this year will be held between 3 to 19 August 2007 at the Adelaide Central Business District. More than 1400 artists from South Australia will present a range of exhibitions, displays and installations of their art to the public. It will be spread across 300 venues and visitors will get the opportunity to meet artists and see them at work.

The Adelaide Writers' Week

The Adelaide Writers' Week is Adelaide`s week long literal festival and bring together well known local and international writers and is a great opportunity for readers to meet their favourite writers. The Writers` Week in 2006 attracted an estimated 100,000 plus attendees. There will also be a book tent selling books. The next Adelaide Writers' Week will be held from 2-7 March 2008.

There are many other places of interest worth visiting in Adelaide and many events worth attending. I will blog about them next time or you can use the search box above (tick "Web" to search for them). But if you do plan on visiting Adelaide for its renowned festivals or for other reasons, do book your accommodation ahead of your arrival. If you are on a budget, try Cheap Hotels in Adelaide. Most festivals are held in or near the town center, so getting a Adelaide City hotel may be a good idea. You may even want to try their Last Minutes Deals. In all cases they offer a Lowest Rate Guarantee which promises that if you find a rate lower than the best available Internet rate on another web site for the same hotel/accommodation, on the same dates and inform them within 24 hours of booking your room(s) with us, they will honour that rate for the night(s) for which the lower rate was found and refund you the difference.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Why go to Buckingham Palace? You can see something more impressive in Stockholm

Australia is very close connected to Great Britain. As most of you know, the populating of Australia with people of European origin started with the sending of convicts from Great Britain, so many of the inhabitants of Australia will have ties with Great Britain. The Queen of Great Britain is also Queen of Australia, so it is probably natural for Australians to visit Buckingham Palace where the Queen resides and where you can see the daily changing of guards. But why visit Buckingham Palace? You can see a similar ceremony with greater pomp at the Royal Palace at Stockholm, the Swedish Royal residence. It is one of the largest and most classy palaces in Europe. It was built in 1754 on the remains of an earlier medieval castle. The changing of the guard takes place in front of the palace every day at 12.15pm. On Sundays, it will be at 1.15pm.

The Stockholm Royal Palace is located in Gamla stan (Old Town) with its cobbled streets and narrow 17th-century alleys. Gamla stan will be of interest to history buffs with many building of Swedish architecture from the 17th century. Shoppers will like Gamla stan with small and large shops lining the streets offering jewellery, souvenirs, rare books and gifts. You may also encounter street musicians. There is also the 13th-century Cathedral, the Storkyrkan.

Other major Stockholm’s attractions are the island of Djurgården with entertainment outlets, museums, restaurants and forested green space. It used to be the royal hunting ground, but now tourists hunt for souvenirs at the Handarbetets Vanner (handicraft centre). You can also visit the art galleries. Thrills and spills at available at Gröna Lund, Stockholm's amusement park. Skansen open-air museum is located at Djurgården where you can ogle at Nordic wildlife at the zoo. There will also be folk dancing. At Junibacken, you will find the National Museum of Cultural History and the Vasa Museum which shows the restored 17th-century vessel raised from Stockholm harbour. It was in 1628 that the ancient warship, Vasa sailed from Stockholm on her maiden voyage and sank. It was discovered in 1961, salvaged and restored. It is now the world's only well preserved 17th-century ship.

There are many other attractions in Stockholm which will be quite different from what you can find in Australia. Plan on a visit? If you are on a budget, you can probably find cheap hotels in Stockholm. If you plan to travel in group of 11 or more, or planning a conference at Stockholm , you can probably get discounts and conference facilities (if required) at the Group booking form. Want the convenience of staying in Stockholm city center. Book your accommodation at Cheap hotels in Stockholm City Centre. There are many other possibilities. Go check out their site for yourself.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Go to Hawaii if you have enough of Gold Coast, Australia

Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef are great places to visit, but if you go there often, it can become routine and boring. How about visiting Hawaii for a change? Things you can get there that you can't get at the Gold Coast include viewing the spouting humpback whales, dormant and active volcanoes, Hawaiian culture such as the Hula dance, etc. Hawaii stress on ecotourism, and there is plenty of nature you can experience and local culture you can sample there and it is ecotourism if you stick to the web definition of ecotourism: "Travel undertaken to witness sites or regions of unique natural or ecologic quality, or the provision of services to facilitate such travel." There is no mention of offsetting CO2 emission caused by the round trip travel by such tourism. I found an Australian site (which gave a lot of choices of departure and arrival points, even including non-Australian departure points at ClimateFriendly. I filled in a form and found that a round trip from Melbourne, Australia to Honolulu, Hawaii for 1 person will result in trip of 8874km and a carbon emission of 5.3 tonnes. For the environmentally conscious, there are sites that offer ways of offsetting that if you trust them. Just use the search engines to search for them.

Hawaii consists of six island (some says eight) and the biggest island is Hawaii Big Island. North of that is the interesting Maui Island, and at the southern tip of Maalaea Bay is Kihei. Kihei is a bustling place and yet can be a relaxing place to spend your vacation and is not as expensive as places like Wailea. You can find affordable accommodations as described in Kihei Maui Condos. You can get more information about Kihei condominiums at A Kihei Condominium at Fantastic Price.

As mentioned above, Kihei is part of the Maalaea Bay, a place where spouting humpback whales come to have their babies in winter. You can watch them from the shore or take a whale watching boat tour that departs from Maalaea Harbor daily during the seasonal migration. You can also enjoy the nice beaches in Kihei or other parts of the Maalaea Bay. You can also enjoy nice view of the Mt. Haleakala, a dormant volcano.

If Kihei is not the place you are planning to visit, you can get more information on other condominiums on Maui Island in Maui Condos are cooking

You don't have to restrict yourself to Maui Island or just condos. You can find Hawaiian Vacation Rentals, Hawaiian Condos, Hawaiian Hotels on other islands at Hawaiian Beach Rentals.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Scuba Diving In The Great Barrier Reef - Australia

Scuba Diving In The Great Barrier Reef - Australia
by: Chris Chew

One of the world's most famous scuba diving dive sites is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef, off the east coast of Australia is the only living organic collective on earth visible from outer space. The other is a man made structure, The Great Wall of China.

This reef is regarded as one of the wonders of the world and was declared as a World Heritage in 1981. It is the world's largest coral reef ecosystem. Being so huge, magnificent dive spots and beautiful marine life and sceneries abound.

The Great Barrier is more than 300,000 sq km in size and consists of more than 3000 reefs. Deciding where to dive in this huge diving destination can be a gigantic headache. Then again, that is a happy problem because of the many wonderful choices you have.

One of the greatest dangers to the reef, especially to the corals is the Crown of Thorns starfish. This starfish eat corals and have ravenous appetites. Vast stretches of underwater life had on many occasions been destroyed by the Crown of Thorns starfish. Do not try to save the reef by cutting up the starfish. It will not die that way, instead it multiplies just like viruses splitting themselves up to multiply their numbers.

Wreck diving is a favorite scuba diving activity. Amongst the many wrecks are Captain James Cook's ship "Endeavour". Another famous wreck is that of the HMS Pandora, which met its fate in 1791. There are about 30 shipwreck sites, most of them are opened to wreck divers.

More than 2 million people visit the reef every year spending about a billion US dollars collectively making tourism as the main pillar of the eastern Australia economy. Since tourism dollar is very important, it is vital for the Australian economy to protect the reef from destruction hence it is protected in many ways. As a form of protection, fishing is restricted in some areas and animals such as dolphins, whales, dugong (a seal look alike animal sometimes mistaken for mermaids) are protected.

For the more adventurous divers, there are dives to view shark feedings, especially the ferocious man eater, The Great White Shark. Divers are put into the water in steel cages to view these man eating sharks closed up. For non divers, there are island hopping cruises as well as whale watching cruises to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.

About The Author
Chris Chew has been scuba diving for more than thirty years. Read more travelling articles at his websites at and

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Be Crocodile Wise in Australia

Be Crocodile Wise in Australia
by: Jamie Stone

Many people have a lot to learn about the dangers of a saltwater crocodile while visiting northern areas of Australia. Many encounters are unintentional and often the results are devastating if not fatal. People should learn more about the crocodile, where they breed, how to spot for signs of crocodile, their most active periods of the year and general safety when camping near water. The following information is to help people realize the dangers of swimming in northern Australian waters.

Many accidents can be avoided with increased awareness.

It's common name, the Saltwater Crocodile, is also known as the Estuarine Crocodile and 'Saltie'. They are found around the coast of Australia anywhere north of the Tropic of Capricorn and inland for up to 100 kms or more. They are the world's largest reptile and have a closing jaw pressure of around 3000 pounds per square inch.

Saltwater crocodile attacks DO happen in Australia on a regular basis, though the majority of attacks occur mainly on cattle and wildlife. Any stories you hear about these creatures stalking other animals and humans, about their size and their strength is probably NOT exaggerated. Many deaths to people have happened over the years due to them not taking the threat seriously enough and ignoring warning signs.

Always read the "observe crocodile warning signs", these are to be taken seriously! They are erected in that particular area where a crocodile is frequently spotted and could still be living or even breeding in that area. These signs are there to warn the people of the risk and should never be ignored!

Just because you don't see a crocodile doesn't mean it's not there!

Their breeding season is from September to May and the warmer weather makes the cold-blooded animals even faster. Be particularly careful at night! A breeding mother is more aggressive, guarding it's eggs until they hatch. The nests are made from plant matter and mud, and usually found above tide level. Keep this in mind when setting up camp or just exploring the bush.

Avoid places where animals or cattle drink. That's where a crocodile would be waiting for an opportunity to attack. Saltwater crocodiles are very conservative with their energy. They stalk their prey and hide underwater and wait to pounce. A crocodile you can see is less dangerous than one you can't see, so stay well away from the water's edge even if you are camping, fishing or just going for an evening walk.

Crocodiles can launch out of the water; never stand on logs overhanging water and always keep your arms and legs inside a boat when fishing.

No warning signs? DO NOT SWIM no matter how hot or inviting the conditions may be. The "saltie" is mostly found in saltwater, but they are also found in freshwater rivers, billabongs and swamps. Consider swimming in any northern waters dangerous regardless if there is a sign or not!

A crocodile sliding into the water from a river bank will leave a characteristic mark; keep this in mind when setting up camp! Never clean fish at the water's edge or discard fish scraps in the water. Most important if camping always keep the camp site clean and free from food scraps and any smelly fish bait. Remember crocodiles are most active at night, food scraps and fish bait left outside your camp site can invite a hungry crocodile and a shocking midnight scare.

Adult males can reach sizes of up to 6 or 7 metres (20 to 23 feet).

Maximum weight varies, but has been known to exceed 1,000 kg in 18 to 19 foot adults. 5 metre adults are closer to 400 to 500 kg.

One of the largest crocodile ever recorded in Australia was 8 metres 64cm (28ft 4 inches) shot by Krystina Pawloski on the Norman River in North Queensland in 1957. Never torment or provoke a crocodile. They are a protected animal to stop poaching and should always be left alone.

Always remain crocodile wise when traveling to northern parts of Australia and always keep the previous information in mind to avoid any tragedies or loss of life.

Be safe and enjoy your trip!

About The Author
Jamie Stone
Australian Freelance Writer

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Surfing Capital Of Australia

The Surfing Capital Of Australia
by: Kadence Buchanan

If surfing is your thing, then you must check out Bryon Bay, the Mecca of surfing in Australia. There you will find a place where surfing is not just a sport or favorite past-time but a lifestyle and local obsession.

Set against a back-drop of warm weather year-round and spectacular beaches, Byron Bay is an inviting venue that promises a laid-back lifestyle. Why, you can even go native and be part of a teeming “alternative” community whose ranks are constantly being bolstered by an increasing number of writers, artists and filmmakers.

Byron Bay is nestled at the North Coast of New South Wales in Australia. It boasts of four main beaches. Byron Main, the most popular of the four, is perfect for surfing newcomers because of its smaller swell that usually breaks close to the shore. It has non-stop breaks and is great for swimming.

The Pass is the next most popular beach in Byron Bay just south of Byron Main. It is a favorite of long boarders who comb the beach in droves during summer.

Watego Beach is hidden from view and, as such, is ideal for surfers who want to avoid the crowds. The challenges it offers are more difficult for surfers, which is why the most advanced surfers prefer Watego Beach.

Finally, there is also Tallow’s Beach, the most isolated of Byron Bay’s four beaches. Most tourists have not discovered it yet especially since it is only visible from Byron Bay’s headland. It is rare to find outsiders wandering around Tallow’s Beach but the locals just love it.

Aside from surfing, Byron Bay is also a great scuba diving venue and one of these rare places where you can sit back and occasionally catch a whale or two passing by. At night, dolphins come out to play and it is not unusual to see these friendly creatures swimming side by side with people.

There’s also an excellent fine dining restaurant on Byron Bay called Fins which offers succulent seafood and an impressive wine list. Fins is one of Australia’s best restaurants.

Fine Dining

Fins Restaurant

Fins Restaurant offers fresh local seafood spiced with local herbs and supplemented by an attractive wine list. The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide has awarded FINS with two chef’s hats every year since 1998. Fins also received a Restaurant and Catering Award of Excellence as "Best Seafood Restaurant All Regional NSW" in 2005 as well as the award for "Best Seafood Restaurant in Australia" in 2004.

About The Author
Kadence Buchanan writes articles for The Travelling Lifestyle - In addition, Kadence also writes articles for The Outdoors Lifestyle and Recreation Source.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Steve Irwin: Crocodile Hunter – An Australian Icon

Steve Irwin: Crocodile Hunter – An Australian Icon
by: James Shenton

Occasionally – just occasionally – there comes along a TV personality whose enthusiasm and charisma engenders almost universal affection with audiences. Environmentalist, naturalist and documentarist Steve Irwin – known the world over as the Crocodile Hunter – was one of those rare personalities.

Born Steven Robert Irwin on 22 September, 1962 in Melbourne, Australia, Steve Irwin was the owner and manager of the Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland. The zoo, originally called the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park, belonged to his parents, Bob and Lyn.

As a young man Irwin worked as a crocodile trapper in Queensland, catching and removing crocs from populated areas. While he didn’t draw a salary, he worked on the condition that he could keep the crocodiles he captured for his parents’ zoo.

After taking over management of the zoo in 1991 Irwin met his future wife, American-born veterinarian Terri Raines. Following a whirlwind romance the couple married, and the video footage of their crocodile-trapping honeymoon was aired as the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter, the series that made Irwin an international celebrity.

The success of The Crocodile Hunter led the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet to commission several wildlife series from Irwin, including The Croc Files, The Crocodile Hunter Diaries and New Breed Vets. Known for his expansive personality and boundless enthusiasm, Irwin’s documentaries made him an Australian icon – often ridiculed, but just as often praised for his idiosyncrasies.

What made Irwin such a popular figure with audiences the world over was his fearless attitude to wild animals. Often seen chasing snakes, crocs and all sorts of dangerous creatures, audiences tuned in not so much to see the animals as to see Irwin’s unbelievable feats of courage and fearlessness. His documentaries gained such a huge audience that they were adapted to the 2002 movie The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.

Irwin’s enthusiasm for his subject matter, however, occasionally got the better of him, and his career was fraught with controversy. In an incident in 2004 he took his infant son Bob into the crocodile enclosure during a public show at the Australia Zoo, holding him in one arm while feeding a croc with the other. Irwin, however, refused to apologise for the stunt, insisting that the child was never in any real danger.

Again in 2004 Irwin caused controversy during a trip to Antarctica, facing allegations that he disturbed whales, seals and penguins while filming a documentary.

Irwin’s life came to a tragic end on the morning of September 4th, 2006 while filming an documentary on the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia. While filming a stingray he approached too close and was hit in the chest by a barb, causing a fatal injury, and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 44.

Steve Irwin is survived by his wife Terri and his two young children, Bindi Sue and Robert Clarence.

While Irwin always lived life on the edge, we never really expected him to be killed. There was just something about the confidence with which he handled dangerous creatures that made us think that he was invulnerable. His antics weren’t quite real – if they had been, we may not have been so quick to laugh.

It came as a surprise, then, for us to wake up to the news that he had been killed. Even more so, considering the manner of his death. After all, Irwin was only the third person to be killed by a stingray in Australia. Rays are usually considered to be relatively docile, and it’s even possible to feed them by hand under the right conditions.

Irwin’s death, though tragic, can perhaps be viewed as one final act of showmanship. He won our hearts with his death-defying stunts and it seems fitting that he should go out with a bang. While it would be crass to make light of his death, it could perhaps be argued that this is the way he would have wanted to go, while living right on the edge. Maybe that could come as some small consolation for the family of a man who died before his time.

In life, as well as in death, Steve Irwin was an Australian icon: a modern day, real life Crocodile Dundee. He was everything we think of as typically Australian: rugged, adventurous and dangerous, though not without a sense of humor. While Australians were often embarrassed by his antics, thinking of him as a caricature of Australian stereotypes, that’s exactly why the rest of the world adored him.

Steve Irwin was a passionate advocate for the environment, a tireless promoter of his country, a great entertainer and a loving husband and father. Often controversial, always entertaining, there will always be a place in our hearts for the Crocodile Hunter. The world is poorer for his absence.

About The Author
James Shenton is a popular celebrity gossip writer based in New York.

If you have found this article informative you can find similar writing –– from the latest TV shows to articles about other TV role models – at Elite TV Downloads, the Internet’s best resource for TV downloads.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil
by: Ric Wiley

Tea Tree Oil is one of the most useful products in nature. It has been used by some Aboriginal People in Australia for many centuries as one of their most useful medicines. Tea Tree oil is derived from Melaleuca Alternifloria which is a narrow-leafed paper bark tree that is native to certain parts of Australia. Some people think that it is called the Tea Tree because Captain Cook, who sailed from England in the 17th Century, used the leaves to make a tea from when they first voyaged to Australia, hence the name Tea Tree. Captain Cook found that it was good at combating scurvy a disease that many of his crew suffered from at that time due to a lack of fresh fruit and fresh vegetables.

Australia has more than 300 different kinds of Tea Tree, but only one of them is used to make the oil which is now world famous. Tea Tree Oil first came to prominence during the First World War in the early 20th century. Australian soldiers were seen to be using the oil to treat their infections. They had a great deal of success with this. During World War Two, Tea Tree Oil growers were exempt from National Service in Australia as their contribution to the war was to produce Tea Tree Oil for use by its troops.

Tea Tree oil has a number of fantastic properties making it an excellent treatment for many complaints. These are all external uses as Tea Tree oil should not be taken internally.

Tea Tree oil has been shown to be effective against Fungi, Bacteria and Viruses. It is extracted as an essential oil by steam or water distillation from the leaves and twigs of the Tea Tree. The oil is a water-white liquid or pale yellow-green. It has a fresh, spicy and slightly camphoraceous smell.

About The Author

Ric Wiley is an Internet researcher and author. Check out his latest web sites at Wealthy Best and First Choice Health.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Gold Coast Accommodation and Information for Families

Gold Coast Accommodation and Information for Families
by: Rebecca Greg

What does the Gold Coast have to offer?

The Gold Coast has absolutely everything a family could need for the perfect holiday.

Great stretches of golden sands and rolling waves as the Pacific Ocean greets Queenslands playground – the Gold Coast. World famous beaches such as Surfers Paradise, Palm Beach, Burleigh Heads, Broadbeach, Mermaid Waters, Nobby Beach and not to forget the beautiful South Stradbroke Island.

How to get to the Gold Coast

The Gold coast is easily accessible by air, with major airports at Coolangatta (at the southern end of the Gold Coast strip) and Brisbane. Brisbane is only 1 hours drive north of the Gold Coast. There is plenty of parking and things to do, hire a car at the Gold Coast and be free to see the sights.


Shop til you drop! Enjoy the leafy walkways and lakeside restaurants at Pacific Fair – one of Australia’s largest shopping centres. At Marina Mirage, overlooking the magnificent Broadwater, you’ll find local designer and imported fashions and accessories and enjoy casual dining, cafes and art galleries. If you are in Broadbeach, you can’t miss the Oasis Shopping Centre right in the heart of the fabulous dining precinct. Surfers Paradise and its famous Cavill Avenue is just as much Shoppers Paradise with a wide range of shopping centres, boutique lined boulevards and duty free stores. Cavill Mall is a must-see when you’re in Surfers. Dozens of cafes, eateries and bars to cater to all tastes and budgets.

There are also a wide and varied selection of markets to choose from including the Carrara Markets – the biggest markets in the southern hemisphere, offering great crafts, food, leather goods, novelties, books and rides. There are beachfront markets at Surfers Paradise every Friday night between 5:30 and 10pm. There are also markets at Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads, Coolangatta, Jimboomba and Tambourine Mountain.

Theme Parks

The Gold Coast is undoubtedly the theme park capital of Queensland. Dreamworld, the largest theme park in the southern hemisphere boasts 11 themed worlds of fun. Don’t miss Warner Brothers Movie World where the magic of screen comes alive. Sea World is a favourite with the delightful friendly marine life. For more hands on, take the plunge on Wet’n’Wild’s speed slide. Less famous but just as much fun are the smaller theme parks such as Ripley’s Believe it or not Cable Ski World, Frozen World, and numerous family amusement arcades.

Conrad Jupiters Casino

For entertainment without the kids, you can’t go past Conrad Jupiters Casino. A trip to the Gold Coast would not be complete without the excitement of a visit to this world famous casino. Open 24 hours with two floors of gaming tables, a high rollers room, fabulous live shows and a host of bars and themed restaurants, it is definitely worth a visit.

Nature’s Wonderland

For peace and nature lovers, don’t miss the Gold Coast. Follow the roads inland just a few kilometers from the beaches and a magical world unfolds. Don’t miss Lamington National Park, Mount Tamborine or the green mountains of O’Reilly’sEnjoy the tropical rainforests, mountain villages and other hidden treasures of the Gold Coast’s hinterland. Experience the natural beauty on one of the national park’s many walking tracks. These include Witches Falls, Border Rangers, Lamington, Mt Warning, Nightcap and Springbrook National Parks. All National Parks in the hinterland area offer maps to guide you on their walking tracks, which are designed for all levels of fitness. In addition, many day tour companies have guided walks through the rainforest with visits to natural swimming holes.

Don’t miss the largest collection of native animals in the world at Currumbin Sanctuary. Have your photo taken with a koala, feed the colourful lorikeets, walk among the kangaroos, see the fresh water crocodiles or come face to face with the Tasmanian devil – all in their natural environment.

Gold Coast Accommodation

Gold Coast apartments, Gold Coast hotels, Gold Coast resorts…whatever type of accommodation you are looking for you will find it. From the excitement and buzz of Surfers Paradise, to the peace and beauty of Palm Beach, you will find accommodation at the Gold Coast to suit your lifestyle and budget.

For help or bookings for all types of Gold Coast accommodation visit

Remember to take out travel insurance if you think that you may, for health or other reasons, be unable to travel to your holiday of a lifetime.

About The Author

Rebecca Greg

I am the marketing manager for HappyStay which is an Australia wide user friendly accommodation directory. We have all your travel needs covered including car hire, airline tickets, travel insurance and international accommodation.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Australian Outback: The Ultimate Journey

Australian Outback: The Ultimate Journey
by: James Sherard

It begins with an imperceptible quickening of the pulse upon seeing birds in flight, the muted flap of wings silhouetted serenely against the crimson backdrop of sunset. Or listening to the ephemeral caress of the wind rustling tranquilly through the trees, you perceive an ancient whisper suspended in time, gently urging you onward to a place where magic can still be found...

For those who long to "get away from it all", if even for a long deserved vacation, an area still remains where one can follow that inner voice which promises to free the spirit, and rejuvenate the senses.

The Australian Outback. Mysterious, vast and uncompromising, its awe-inspiring vistas and sun-drenched deserts await the intrepid traveler who believes the journey, is as important as the destination.

Although the word "outback" describes the arid interior of Australia, the term more accurately denotes a feeling rather than a precise set of parameters. The ethereal stillness and expansive quality of the land induces a state of psychological emptiness, a meditative paradise of subtropical wetlands, stunning sanguine deserts, breathtaking waterfalls, red rock formations, rain forest and savanna, all teeming with diverse, exotic wildlife.

The history of the outback derives from it's first inhabitants, the Aboriginal Anagu people, who have lived within the majestic solitude of Australia's sacred inner regions for more than 40,000 years.

Their deep respect for the land was forged from the belief that every significant event or activity occurring at a particular location leaves behind a vibrational imprint, which can be accessed by what they refer to as "Dreamtime".

Through "Dreaming", the hidden power of mountains, riverbeds, waterholes and rocks is revealed, reconfirming the inherent connection between man and nature, which, with the passage of time, has gradually been forgotten.

What better place to reestablish that bond than the legendary area known as Ayers Rock. Located in the heart of the continent, this formidable outcropping of sandstone looming above the desert plain symbolizes the essence of the Australian outback.

Also known as "Uluru" by the Aborigines, they believe that dwelling within the spectacular formation is a source of energy called "Tjukurpa'", and that light can often be seen emanating from it's timeless walls.

The surface of Uluru is also notable for changing color throughout the day, often appearing to glow inexplicably with various hues of red, blue, and violet... a dancing, sporadic play of lustrous iridescence that gradually gives way to twilight, the sun setting in regal splendor below the seemingly infinite horizon.

Uluru has been an important focus of the spiritual life of the Aborigines for time immemorial. Hundreds of paintings which depict Aboriginal life cover the walls of caves that are interspersed throughout the revered monolith, a pictorial testimony to the traditions and beliefs of a people who have lived in harmony with the natural flow of the earth, and in doing so, receive emotional and spiritual sustenance from the source of all that was, all that is, and all that will be......

About The Author
Jim Sherard is a freelance writer, traveler, and owner of Customer Service a site featuring Australian outback clothing.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Australian Working Holidays; No Longer Just For Students

Australian Working Holidays; No Longer Just For Students
by: Oonagh Baerveldt

No longer just for the backpacker, the Australian Working Holiday Program has broad appeal for those looking to undertake a life changing experience Down Under.

The Australian Working Holiday Visa used to be the domain of the gap year student, but now an increasing number of under 30 year old professionals are taking advantage of the Australian Government’s work/travel scheme. Known as career-breaks, these mini sabbaticals are challenging the way the Working Holidays are perceived both here in the UK and in Australia.

Amazingly, in 2004 over 93,000 Australian Working Holiday Visas were issued to travellers from around the world of which more than 35,000 were to UK nationals.

Under the Working Holiday Visa requirements, the primary purpose of an Australian Working Holiday must be a holiday; but the visa allows for employment for up to 3 months with any one employer. For those on a career break, the 3 month work periods offer an excellent opportunity to enhance skills through work experience or try something new altogether. However, the visa conditions are strict, and visa holders must be sure to abide those set out by the Australian Government.

To be eligible for the Australian Working Holiday Program, candidates must be between 18 and 30 (inclusive), have no dependents and be citizens of country where a reciprocal working holiday arrangement exists (these include the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and Canada). In addition, applicants must prove they have ‘sufficient funds’, roughly A$4,000 to support themselves for the initial period of their holiday plus a return or onwards air ticket (or an additional A$1000 to cover this expense) and be of good health and character. Criminal convictions are taken into account and may delay or extend the visa processing period.

In addition, applications for Working Holiday Visas must be made outside Australia. In other words, applicants cannot be on holidays in Australia already and apply from within the country. The visa is granted upon entry to Australia and is valid for 12 months from the entry date.

Unlike Australian tourist and visitor visas, Working Holiday Visas must be stamped into the holder’s passport. Travellers arriving at Sydney airport can have this done on arrival, otherwise passports must be posted to the nearest Department of Immigration office

A Working Holiday Visa allows for multiple entries to Australia, meaning travellers can visit other countries in the region while on their working holiday visa. However, any time spent outside Australia cannot be reclaimed.

As the criteria for the visa are straightforward, other considerations for backpackers and career breakers alike include processing time and the conditions imposed once the visa itself is granted.

A straightforward visa application can take anywhere from 2 days to 6 weeks to process. Generally, processing is under two weeks, but if applicants have medical or criminal considerations this period may be extended.

Once the visa is granted, the conditions imposed on the holder include the previously mentioned 3 month working limit for any one employer. This same condition extends to study and training.

An Australian Working Holiday Visa is activated upon entry to Australia for a period of 12 months from the date of entry. In November 2005, it became possible to apply for a second Working Holiday Visa. This 12 month ‘extension’ or second visa is available to applicants who worked as seasonal employees in a regional area. In this case, a seasonal work is defined as picking fruit, nuts and other crops, pruning and trimming vines and trees, general maintenance crop work and other work associated with packing or processing the harvest. Regional Australia is defined anywhere in Australia except Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, the NSW Central Coast, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne or the ACT.

Applications for a second Working Holiday Visa must be submitted with proof of the work completed and in what area.

About The Author

Oonagh Baerveldt is the Communications Manager at Visa Bureau, an independent immigration advisory company. The firm specialises in immigration and visas to Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada. Complete details of Australia's Working Holiday Program can be found at Visa Bureau.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter) Absolutely Brilliant Marketer!

Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter) Absolutely Brilliant Marketer!
by: Eric Graham

My daughters and I loved watching The Crocodile Hunter. Steve's Passion and enthusiasm for wildlife conservation were unmatched. But in addition to being a masterful entertainer and educator. Steve Irwin was also a brilliant marketer.

Instinctively he knew that to spread his message of conservation, he needed to first grab his audience by the eyeballs and get their attention.

A skilled showman and communicator, he could make the most mundane animals appear deadly and interesting. Captivating his audience by building suspense and tension that kept them riveted to his message.

With his hyper-animated presentation, colorful language (he introduced the world to his very Aussie catch phrase "Crikey") and unwaveringly khaki wardrobe he created a consistent and memorable personal brand. He was his own, walking talking USP (unique selling proposition.)

While many wanabes and knock-offs tried to copy his adventurous style and antics none of them ever came close to matching his level of success. He was truly one of a kind.

The Crocodile Hunter was also a master at generating publicity and working the media. Probably the greatest ambassador to the world Australia has ever had. Steve Irwin regularly made the rounds on every major television show imaginable, from small local news stations to Letterman, Leno, Larry King and Oprah. He was a walking, talking news hook. A publicists dream!

Even when his actions stirred up controversy (who can forget the image of him feeding a croc with his newborn baby in his arms...) his ratings and popularity only improved.

And if viral marketing is your thing, Steve was one of greats! The viral buzz his TV antics created around water coolers world wide was simply astounding. His exploits spread via word of mouth like wildfire as folks energetically recreated, described and relived the "close calls" Steve had on the previous nights show.

In fact in a recent blog post Michel Fortin identified three essential response-boosting ingredients for effective viral marketing. Curiosity, scarcity and controversy. (Steve was an absolute master of all three.)

• Curiosity? What's more "curious" than a man kissing a 14 foot crocodile on the head and saying, "isn't she a beauty"?

• Scarcity? There was (and will always be) just one "Crocodile Hunter".

• Controversy? Steve certainly had a knack for stirring up and leaving controversy in his larger-than-life wake.

And boy could he work the backend! His spinnoff products are almost countless...

>From toys and games to books and movies, Steve Irwin exploited the "Crocidile Hunter" brand to the fullest. He almost single handedly built the entire "Animal Planet" network on his coattails.

His face, logo and even his catch phrase "Crikey" found their way onto every imaginable product from lunch boxes to clothing lines.

And the amazing part is... he funneled the vast majority of the profit windfall his Croc Hunter brand generated into his beloved Australia Zoo and into other wildlife conservation based programs.

But in spite of the many powerful marketing lessons that can be learned by studying the life of Steve Irwin, I think the most important lesson we can learn from him is about PASSION.

This was the true secret to Steve Irwin's success. I've rarely seen anyone with more raw passion and enthusiasm for his mission in life.

His passion for life, his family, and the wildlife he spent (and gave) his life educating the world about, was evident in everything he did.

And... What Steve can teach us about passion is not just a lesson to apply to your marketing, but one to apply to your own life.

Live with passion.

Live with passion for what you do and communicate that passion to others. That's the key to real and lasting success.

If you're not passionate about what you are currently doing for a living... Find something you are passionate about, and do it to the fullest.

As Steve has shown us... Life is short. And the end can come at any moment. But a 44 year life of passion and adventure is far more rewarding than 100 years of "quiet desperation".

Steve Irwin lived his life to the fullest. He spent his days doing exactly what he loved and he transferred that love and passion to millions of others.

Rest in peace Steve. You'll be sorely missed mate…

About The Author
Eric Graham is the author of the free 28-page report, "7 Secrets of High Conversion Websites". Drop by for your free copy today.

Taking in Australia's Wine Country

Taking in Australia's Wine Country
by: Josh Cheak

The Enchantment of Australia's Wine Country

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Australia is usually not the wine. However, Australia has some beautiful wine country with five distinct regions in the state of South Australia. The wine is delicious, and the scenery spectacular. And, in typical Australian fashion, there is no reason to hurry through any of it.

In Adelaide Hills, you can enjoy the comforts and pace of the country, yet be close enough to one of Australia's major cities, Adelaide, with all of its attractions. The attractions of Adelaide Hills include plenty of vineyards to tour and wine to taste. It is close to the state of Victoria and you can even see some beautiful Victorian countryside.

Barossa. One of Australia's best wine producing regions, this valley is an absolute treat. Known throughout the world as a premier wine producer, Barossa's beauty and wine producing capabilities have attracted many European influences. Many of Barossa's villages resemble those found in Germany or England in terms of their architecture, tone and tradition. You can relax and enjoy an afternoon sipping local wine along with European specialties.

Clare Valley. Clare Valley boasts Australia's Reisling Trail. The trail is 27 kilometers long, and is considered a very fine bike ride. Most of the areas 40 cellars are on the route, and so you can stop and sample the local fare. There are also plenty of restaurants and hostels along the way, allowing you to complete the trail as quickly or as slowly as you would like.

Fleurieu Peninsula. Stretching from just south of Adelaide this peninsula continues down to Cape Jarvis. As you can make out from its name, this peninsula has some French influences, fine wines included. The highlight of the peninsula is a beautiful wine-producing district called the McLaren Vale with close to 60 cellars. The proprietors of these cellars are known for encouraging tasting and treating guests to their exemplary hospitality.

Limestone Coast bears the name because of the limestone that forms this part of the Australian coast. The wine produced in this region is of superior quality because of the rich limestone foundation. Limestone causes the soil to decay and it in turn breaks down into nutrients. The decaying process also creates natural aeration, which is ideal for growing vineyards. Limestone Coast is listed as a World Heritage Site because of some of the world's most acclaimed wines, and its system of unique underground caves.

There are many ways to enjoy any or all of Australia's beautiful wine country. You can choose to travel by bike, car, or even hot air balloon. Hot air balloons allow you to get a bird's eye view of the countryside. Many cellars allow you to land in their vineyards and welcome you with a glass of wine.

It is also enjoyable to bike ride through wine country. Clare Valley is not the only bicycle friendly place. You will find bike trails wherever you go. There is no doubt that wine country in Australia has as much style as it has substance.

About The Author

Josh Cheak runs a very interesting website at FRM Australia, there's a wealth of knowledge on the website, plus why not sign up for the free Australia newsletter. If you want to read more Australia articles go to:

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Shangri La Hotel in Sydney, Australia

The Shangri La Hotel in Sydney, Australia
by: Mary Hanna

One of the finest hotels in downtown Sydney, Australia is the Shangri La. The hotel is positioned between the gorgeous Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. Guests can enjoy the Sydney experience in the Shangri La's sumptuous comfort and style in this five star property.

The Shangri La is located in the historic Rocks district which was the colonial birthplace of Sydney. The area offers a huge variety of restaurants, bars and pubs as well as great shopping.

The Central Business district is walking distance from the hotel as well as major shopping facilities and tourist attractions. The ferry and jet cat terminal, Circular Quay, the train and bus stations and the famous Opera House are all near.

The views in all the rooms are stunning. The entire double glazed floor to ceiling windows offers the best of Sydney's picturesque views. These beautiful windows let you watch the bustling of the city, the harbor activity and the iconic Sydney Opera House.

The rooms are equipped with broadband internet access with computer data ports. There are high end telephones with voice mail, an electronic safe, mini bar and coffee making facilities. Each room has a full size executive writing desk with a cable TV and in-house movie channels.

The Shangra La provides each guest with impeccable service and facilities to match. Their principle is that each and every one of their guests experience five star treatments throughout their stay. Their amenities match that goal. There is 24 hour room service, butler service in the suites and a delicatessen and pastry shop. The business traveler is afforded a full functional business center, postal service and conference rooms. You can take advantage of airport transfers, limousine service, and car rentals or city shuttles. For families there is child care services and non smoking rooms. If you need a haircut there is a beauty salon and if you need a bouquet for a special occasion pop into their florists.

Health and beauty are taken seriously at the Shangra La. Both the spa and beauty centers offer a wide arrangement of treatments to pamper and relax you. Their pool is complimentary for all guests. It is a roman style pool and spa that will help you unwind and refresh. The gym has state of the art equipment if you feel the need to work off some steam or just take a walk around the sundeck for a peaceful experience.

The bar at the top of the Shangra La has stunning views of all of Sydney. Take advantage of their close proximity to The Rocks and tour around, stop at a pub or dine in one of their fantastic restaurants. One of the best seafood restaurants in the Rocks is Doyle's on the Beach. They have been serving quality seafood since 1885. It is a family run business located right on Watson's Bay with great views of the water. The atmosphere is casual and the clientele varied. It is a bit expensive but the food and the view is worth it. It is best to make a reservation.

One of the finest hotels in downtown Sydney, Australia is the Shangri La. The hotel is positioned between the Gorgeous Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. Guests can enjoy the Sydney experience in the Shangri La's sumptuous comfort and style in this five star property.

The Shangri La is located in the historic Rocks district which was the colonial birthplace of Sydney. The area offers a huge variety of restaurants, bars and pubs as well as great shopping.

The Central Business district is walking distance from the hotel as well as major shopping facilities and tourist attractions. The ferry and jet cat terminal, Circular Quay, the train and bus stations and the famous Opera House are all near.

The views in all the rooms in the Shangri La are stunning. The entire double glazed floor to ceiling windows offers the best of Sydney's picturesque views. These beautiful windows let you watch the bustling of the city, the harbor activity and the iconic Sydney Opera House.

The rooms are equipped with broadband internet access with computer data ports. There are high end telephones with voice mail, an electronic safe, mini bar and coffee making facilities Each room has a full size executive writing desk with a cable TV and in-house movie channels.

The Shangri La provides each guest with impeccable service and facilities to match. Their principle is that each and every one of their guests experience five star treatments throughout their stay. Their amenities match that goal. There is 24 hour room service, butler service in suites and a delicatessen and pastry shop.

The business traveler is afforded a full functional business center, postal service and conference rooms. You can take advantage of airport transfers, limousine service, and car rental or city shuttles. For families there is child care services and non smoking rooms. If you need a haircut there is a beauty salon and if you need a bouquet for a special occasion pop into their florists.

Health and beauty are taken seriously at the Shangri La. Both the spa and beauty centers offer a wide arrangement of treatments to pamper and relax you. Their pool is complimentary for all guests. It is a roman style pool and spa that will help you unwind and refresh. The gym has state of the art-of-the-art equipment if you feel the need to work off some steam or just take a walk around the sundeck for a peaceful experience.

The bar at the top of the Shangri La has stunning views of all of Sydney. Take advantage of their close proximity to The Rocks and tour around, stop at a pub or dine in one of their fantastic restaurants. One of the best seafood restaurants in the Rocks is Doyle's on the Beach. They have been serving quality seafood since 1885. It is a family run business located right on Watson's Bay with great views of the water. The atmosphere is casual and the clientele varied. It is a bit expensive but the food and the view is worth it. It is best to make a reservation.

If you are looking for a first class hotel while staying in Sydney, you won't do better than the Shangri La. The hotel is beautifully appointed, with an impeccable staff and a perfect location. Everything that will give you a G'day mate!

Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.

This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

About The Author
Mary Hanna has traveled the world by Air and Ship while writing eBooks, Software Reviews and Practical Articles on Internet Marketing, Cruising, Gardening and Travel. Visit her websites at: Cruise Travel Directory and Cruise Gold. You can read more of her articles at Article Bazaar.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

How to Drive Safely in the Australian Summer

How to Drive Safely in the Australian Summer
by: Barbara Thorp

A quick check-up can help prepare your car for the stress of high temperatures in the Australian summer and increase its reliability on road trips, whether they are long or short. To look at the range of new cars available at present log on to and browse the auto classifieds. Firstly, plan trips well to avoid unnecessary driving in extreme heat.


To help prevent dangerous and inconvenient tyre failure, examine tyres for uneven or excessive tread wear. Make sure all tyres, including the spare, are properly inflated and in good condition.


With the engine off, look for worn or cracked belts and damaged blistered or soft hoses. Inspect the antifreeze/coolant level and condition, making sure the proper 50/50 mixture of water and coolant.


Check motor oil level and condition. If driving under extreme conditions, such as very hot temperatures or towing a heavy trailer, switch to motor oil with higher viscosity. Check the owner's manual for specific oil recommendations.


A properly working air conditioning system also helps motorists keep their cool in summer heat.

When you run your air conditioner, you get much worse petrol consumption. Use your air conditioner sparingly. If you have a lower setting, use it. Turn it on until the car gets cool, then turn it off, and let the fan circulate the cool air. Never run your air conditioner with your windows open.

If needed, have the air conditioning serviced by a qualified technician. Do not use non-approved substitute refrigerants.


Because even properly maintained vehicles can break down, and you only want the best used car in Australia, check and you'll find free car listings that may help your search. In any Australian condition, RACV and the NRMA advise motorists to equip their vehicle with an emergency kit, containing at least the following items: A torch with extra batteries, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, a first-aid kit, extra water, and a mobile phone to get emergency assistance quickly.

You see, driving with precaution doesn't only keep you and your loved ones safe, it also lets you enjoy the scenery and enjoy the ride better!


Want the Best Deals in Australian Used Cars?

Check out OzFreeOnline , Australia's revved up free used cars classifieds. It's free to register here, free to post your used car for sale ads, and free to look around!

Save on gas! Let your finger do the walking at OzFreeOnline!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

6 Free activities for families in Sydney

6 Free activities for families in Sydney
by: Rebecca Greg

Can you take your family out for a day in Sydney and not spend a cent? Pack your lunch and your comfortable shoes and make your way to Circular Quay. From there, the world is your oyster. You won’t believe how much fun you can have without spending money.

1. Circular Quay

Since first European settlement, the Quay has been at the centre of Sydney’s maritime life and its heart of transportation. Circular Quay is situated around Sydney Cove and is the hub of Sydney Harbour. It is a stepping-off point and booking area for most attractions based around the harbour. Every few minutes, ferries leave for destinations on the harbour including Taronga Park Zoo, Manly, Watsons Bay and Mosman.

Along the ferry terminals are a number of small outdoor cafes. It is a busy pedestrian precinct and a magnet for buskers of every description. Follow the walkways to the Opera House and Royal Botanic Gardens to the east or the historic Rocks area and Sydney Harbour Bridge to the west. On the east side of Circular Quay are its many restaurants and stylish boutiques, along with the large Dendy Cinema. On the western side of Circular Quay is the historic Rocks area with a number of quaint shopping arcades and pretty restaurants.

Circular Quay is at the foot of the central business district and the older, historic end of the city. Buses depart here for Bondi and the eastern suburbs.

A 10 minute walk from Circular Quay is Government House . . .

2. Government House

Macquarie Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
t. 02 9931 5222
f. 02 9931 5208

Free guided tours of Government House are conducted every ½ hour from 10:30am-3pm from Friday to Sunday. The grounds are open daily from 10am-4pm. If you are traveling in a group, bookings are advised.

Government House, located in the Domain and overlooking the Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Opera House, was constructed between 1837 and 1845 and is the most sophisticated example of a Gothic Revival building in New South Wales. Don’t miss the outstanding collection of 19th and 20th century furnishings and decorations in the dining room, drawing room and ballroom. The upstairs rooms have been used as the private quarters for the Governor, Queen Elizabeth and other members of the Royal family and visiting heads of State.

Government House is within the Botanic Gardens . . .

3. The Royal Botanic Gardens

Mrs Macquaries Road
Sydney NSW 2000
t 02 6231 8111

The Royal Botanic gardens is open every day of the year (not including any areas assigned for private or ticketed events). Admission is free.

November-February: 7 am–8 pm
March & October: 7 am–6.30 pm
April & September: 7 am–6 pm
May & August: 7 am–5.30 pm
June & July: 7 am–5 pm

The Royal Botanic Gardens in the domain represent a 30 hectare oasis of “greenspace” in the centre of the city. Just a short walk around the harbour’s edge from the Sydney Opera House, the gardens occupy one of Sydney’s most spectacular positions. It is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful settings you will see anywhere. Enjoy a picnic lunch sitting on the grass, looking over the harbour, smell the roses, listen to the birds, get back to nature and view the outstanding collection of plants from Australia and overseas.

Enjoy a themed self-guided walk at your own pace or take advantage of the free guided walks. There is a free lunchtime tour departing at 1pm from the Palm Grove Centre every Monday-Friday (March to November). There are also free daily guided walks around the Botanic Gardens departing from the Visitor Information area at 10:30am. Enjoy the knowledge offered by the volunteer guides and gain an insight into the history and plants of these magnificent gardens.

While you are in the Domain, don’t miss the Art Gallery of NSW . . .

4. The Art Gallery of NSW

Art Gallery Road
The Domain, Sydney, NSW 2000
t 02 9225 1700
f 02 9221 6226
What’s On? Line 02 9225 1790
Australia-wide toll-free number 1800-NSW-ART (1800 679 278)

The Art Gallery of NSW is open every day from 10am-5pm with late closing every Wednesday – 9pm. Admission is free. (Charges apply to some exhibitions)

The Art Gallery is well over 100 years old and is the leading museum of art in New South Wales. It holds significant collections of Australian, European and Asian art, and presents nearly forty exhibitions annually.

Walk back to Circular Quay and follow your nose until you reach the Rocks . . .

5. The Rocks

Nestled between the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, The Rocks is Sydney’s most historic precinct. It is traditionally the home of the Aboriginal Cadigal people and is the site of the first British settlement in Australia. It was first settled as a penal colony in 1788. Convicts were put to work under the harshest conditions to erect public buildings and homes for government officials and free settlers. Cadmans Cottage is the oldest remaining building in Sydney and is a relic of this era. The Rocks eventually grew from an open-air gaol into a vibrant port community.

Call in to the Sydney Visitor Centre on the corner of Argyle and Playfair Streets and pick up the book “The Rocks Self-Guided Walking Tour” for just $1. The booklet lists 31 historic buildings and points of interest throughout The Rocks and guides you along a fascinating heritage walk. It provides one of the best morning (or afternoon) diversions you will get anywhere. Encounter a maze of narrow streets, laneways and interconnected sandstone cottages and terraces filled with shops, stalls, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Soak up the atmosphere and the tales of the days and characters of bygone eras – tales of shanghai’ed sailors, tough gangs and colourful lives.

There are approximately 33 galleries, museums and art institutions in the Rocks, many with free entry, including the Museum of Contemporary Art.

On weekends there is plenty of free entertainment with outdoor concerts and street theatre and great live bands in many of the pubs. The Rocks Markets are held every Saturday and Sunday at the northern end of George Street and as with any good markets, the enjoyment is as much in the atmosphere as the shopping.

There is a walkway from Cumberland in the Rocks leading to the Sydney Harbour Bridge . . .

6. The Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia's most well known and photographed landmarks. The general design for the Sydney Harbour Bridge were prepared by Dr JJC Bradfield after the end of World War 1 and the tender for an arch bridge was accepted. Construction started in 1924 from both sides of the harbour with cable support for the arches. The two arches met in 1930. It took 1400 men eight years to build the bridge at a cost of 4.2 million pounds. When it was opened in 1932, it was the longest single span steel arch bridge in the world. The main span is 503 metres, consisting of 52 800 tonnes of silicon based steel trusses. It is held together by approximately 6 million steel rivets.

Today it carries eight traffic lanes and two railroad lines. There is a pedestrian pathway on the eastern side of the bridge and a cycleway on the western side of the bridge.

Pylon Lookout, on the south side of the bridge, is well worth the small admission fee. Climb 200 steps to the very top of the Pylon, where you will be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of the city of Sydney. Find out how they constructed the world's greatest arch bridge, relive the magic of the opening celebration and all the history or the bridge through three levels of exhibits. The Pylon Lookout is accessible via the Bridge road deck pedestrian pathway.

For all your accommodation needs in Sydney, visit Happy Stays.

About The Author

Rebecca Greg is the marketing manager for Happy Stays which is an Australia wide, user friendly accommodation directory. HappyStays has all your travel needs covered including accommodation, car hire, airline tickets, travel insurance and international accommodation.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Australian Wines

Australian Wines
by: Chris Burd

Australia’s wine industry has boomed in the past ten years. Employers have had to triple their staff numbers to cope with the demand for Aussie wine. Considering the lower average national population of Australia, compared to say the United States or even South Africa, 30,000 (2001) workers is pretty high.

One of the main reasons for the demand on this skillful industry is that it has won an international reputation for quality and value. Australian wines have won many highly sought after international awards and labels and many innovative Australian winemakers are sought internationally for their wine making expertise.

Wine regions throughout Australia have continually had high ratings especially over the past four years. Most of these regions and especially the East and South coasts (New South Wales and Victoria) are averaging 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. Second to the brilliant winemakers, and a close second, is the great climates / weather that certain regions have for cultivating vines.

Wine is very much a part of the Australian way of life, closely associated with both business and leisure. Wine consumption is often linked to the country's outdoor-oriented lifestyle as well as to the cosmopolitan urban way of life of the bulk of the Australian population.

Australia exports more wine than that that is sold domestically. Out of a total of approximately 919 million litres bottled, 516.5 million litres is exported. The largest export market has been the United Kingdom and second has been the United States.

Researchers from the University College London have come up with a few very interesting facts. They found that drinking alcohol (including wine), even in small amounts, might be associated with higher cognitive ability, especially for women. You would be silly not to have a drop every night! I think Aussie are reasonably bright, it must be all the great wine they produce.

About The Author

Chris Burd

Website: Wineography

(c) 2004

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thinking Of Migrating To Australia?

Thinking Of Migrating To Australia?
by: Darrell Todd

Australia is often described as ' The Lucky Country ', it has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty, high standards of living and a prosperous, growing economy and enjoys the status of being the "most preferred migration destination in the world".

The Australian government migration program for 2004-05 has 120,000 places available for migrants, with a strong focus on attracting skilled people who agree to live in regional areas of Australia.

Migration is not all so simple, the use of a Migration Agent is certainly a positive step to success. The forms and advice booklets are available for all to read, but understanding these forms and procedures can be very difficult, which is where a migration agent can be particularly useful as they can guide you through the whole process.

Many agents offer a FREE service of information / advice regarding any matter on Migration; you usually just need to ask.

Reasons to move to Australia

• Jobs / Employment - Australia is the land of opportunity with over 100,000 vacancies being advertised each week and relatively low unemployment, currently around 5%.

• Cost of Living - The cost of living in Australia is relatively cheap when compared to other developed countries. It is estimated that UK and US residents would need to earn roughly twice as much to enjoy the same standard of living as those in Australia.

• Business - Australia has a booming economy and is one of the world’s biggest exporters. The high standard of living that most Australians enjoy ensures that consumer spending is also high. In short, Australia is an excellent country to base your business.

• Education - Australia has an excellent education system and its schools, colleges and universities are considered amongst the best in the world.

• Health Care - Australia has one of the best health care systems in the world and is internationally recognised for its high standards. All permanent residents pay a Medicare levy which entitles them to free or subsidised services.

• Multicultural society - Australia's is ethnically diverse and approximately half of the population has either been born outside the country or have at least one parent who was born overseas. Australian society is very tolerant and ethnic groups live together in harmony.

At the end of the day you may just be interested in living the dream. It’s well worth looking into.

About The Author

Darrell Todd runs [link: Thinking Australia] a full migration service for those looking to migrate to Australia. He offers “free migration assessments” [link: Migration ].

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Australia's Largest Flower Show

Australia's Largest Flower Show by Kerry Plowright

Wednesday 28th March, Sunday 1st April, 2007

Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens Melbourne Australia. The world renowned Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is entering its 12th year and is now regarded as the largest and most successful horticultural event in the Southern Hemisphere, rated amongst the top five flower and garden shows in the world.

Francine Rizza, of online Melbourne Florist says this prestigious flower show provides a great opportunity for a florist to showcase their skill's. Francine has exhibited her talent as a leading florist at the show and has won numerous awards for her skill as a fresh flower artist.

Francine continues; I was first selected about 8 years ago to exhibit in the Melbourne International flower show. The National Flower Centre Melbourne ran a competition to which they invited florists to submit an outline of a fresh flower display they wished to exhibit. My plan was a winner. Each florist was then given a $6,000.00 sponsorship to use to build their display. The florists were excited by this prospect and were then expected to order all flowers required as well as props. The florists created amazing flower displays. It was a real chance for the florist to really showcase their skill as a florist in a very large display and venue.

My display was featuring fairies in a beautiful woodland filled with pastel flowers. Even the fairies were adorned with costumes of flowers and moss! The male fairy was dressed in guilded leaves and was dressed in a costume of fresh bush moss. He carried a wand made from an agapanthus flower head. I hired huge urns and filled them with many different types of flowers including lizianthus, delphinium, roses, Lillies and purple and lilac carnations. All of my family as well as friend, butler trainer Josephine Ive were involved in the mammoth floral creation. I'm quite sure I must have been the only Australian florist with her own International butler!

Our flower display was a real "Show Stopper"! It was difficult for the crowd to advance.

At that time our florist studio was located in Kew, Melbourne Victoria. It was called 'In Vogue Flowers'. Not only were we delighted, our customers were very excited too. I had by now gained a lot of respect from them as a skilled florist. This was a great advancement for my career as a florist and we were now being described as a leading Melbourne florist!

The following year I was once again invited, this time by management of the flower show to participate. They offered me a huge floor space of 44sq metres on the main floor, amongst all the large fresh flower growers and wholesale florists. It took me 3 days to pick myself up off the floor and tell friends and family the good news. I just couldn't believe I had been asked. I was the only retail florist in Melbourne and Australia to be given this honour. My career as a leading Melbourne florist had really begun.

This time we were given a guideline, the theme the florist had to abide by was titled "Reflections". We were instructed not to think of mirrors or water reflections, but other meanings of reflections. My great plan was blown apart and I had to come up with another idea.

Suddenly it came to me! I would create a flower display using 2 huge 8 x 12 ft [2.4 x 3.6 metres], guilt frames back to back in the centre which would represent a mirror. I then hired 2 identical mannequins and had one made up with harsh make-up, black cropped hair and long black eye lashes. I dressed her in a black sequinned dress and high heeled shoes. The other lady I dressed as a lady from the 1900's. Her make-up was soft and pastel, her hair was jet black and was placed up in an elaborate style. I hired her costume from "Malcolm's Costume Hire", Collingwood. It was an elaborate, richly coloured gown from the opera "Don Giovanni". I place them either side of the mirror reflecting their image. They were twins, born 100 years apart looking at one another with fascination.

Now for the flower display, I hired huge Grecian terracotta pots, some standing as high as 5ft, [167.6 centimetres]. The pots varied both in size and shape. All had a matching partner and were placed to reflect one another. On the modern side of the flower display they were filled with brightly coloured flowers such as gerbera, heliconia and lilliums. The display on the opposite side representing the 1900's was all in pastel, white, cream and lemon flowers. It was real class! I hired 2 beautiful mahogany arm chairs and requested the restorer upholster them both in florists foam so they could be elaborately decorated in flowers. They were displayed in a reflective manner. The deception was complete!

I really knew I had achieved, when I overheard 2 ladies having a conversation, One remarked to the other; "Oh my god, it isn't a mirror"! She had been adequately deceived!

For me as a florist, having been asked to participate in the Melbourne Flower Show has been a highlight in my career for which I shall be forever proud and grateful.

Staged, within the world heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding south Carlton Gardens, the Melbourne International Flower Show is well established and features the best landscape and florist talent that Australia has to offer along side an extensive array of garden retail products.

The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is a celebration of Australian lifestyle and our great outdoors. Along with residents and visitors to Melbourne, florists can be inspired by the vast range of fresh flower displays and learn about the care of flowers direct from the fresh flower experts and the flower growers.

A few facts about the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show:

The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) is renowned for attracting record visitor crowds many from around the world. It is an established national "Hallmark Event" with a very successful nine year history. MIFGS holds the reputation of being the biggest and best annual flower and garden show in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Show attracts quality and leading edge florist and landscape designers. The venue, the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, is unique and second to none in its ambiance, which sets the event apart from anything else in the country.

The event has the support and participation of key industry bodies including NGIV, Flowers Victoria, the LIAV and AILA, plus active participation from leading Horticultural colleges and universities throughout Victoria and Australia.

The Melbourne
shop offers a diverse range of stunning fresh flowers
to the Melbourne area including interflora.

Article Source:

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Melbourne Restaurants – 4 restaurants in Melbourne providing a unique Melbourne experience

Melbourne Restaurants – 4 restaurants in Melbourne providing a unique Melbourne experience
by: Rebecca Greg

Melbourne restaurants are known as some of the finest in the world. If you are planning a trip to Melbourne and looking for a “uniquely Melbourne” experience, visit one of the following Melbourne restaurants for more than a dining delight.

1. The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant

Cruise the scenic streets of Melbourne aboard a converted 1927 tram that is the first traveling tramcar restaurant in the world. Enjoy first class cuisine and the very best of Australian wines as you take a journey into a little piece of Victoria’s history. The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant has become one of Melbourne’s star attractions since its inception in 1983. Expect all the comforts of a top Melbourne restaurant – air-conditioning, piped music, plush burgundy carpets, velvet covered seats, stately brass fittings and fresh flowers – all creating a cosy atmosphere reflective of the colonial period.

Enjoy a three, four or five course meal while gliding through the streets of Melbourne with all food prepared on the tram. The set price is inclusive of all food and beverages from the fully stocked bar. Tempt your taste buds with one of the delicious menus including grilled kangaroo fillet, Prime eye fillet of beef, a selection of Australian cheeses, and mouth watering desserts.

Luncheon is a four course meal and the tour is from 1pm-3pm. You can decide between an early dinner – 3 courses from 5:45pm-7:15pm or a full 5 course dinner from 8:35pm-11:30pm. The maximum party size is 108 people (36 people per tram) and the restaurant operates 7 days per week. It is advisable to book well in advance.

2. The Spirit of Melbourne Cruising Restaurant

If you are looking for the perfect romantic experience, what better place than aboard the Spirit of Melbourne, right in the heart of our vibrant river city? Savour the ever-changing city background reflecting the cosmopolitan culture that is Melbourne. Enjoy a luxurious dining experience while cruising the magnificent Yarra River. The Spirit of Melbourne caters for only 40 guests and the setting is intimate, yet relaxed with personalized service and attention to detail.

Delight in the fusion of international dishes and fine Australian wines. The extensive six course meal is freshly prepared on board by the gourmet chefs. All beverages, including Australian wines, beers, spirits, cognac and liqueurs are included. The Spirit of Melbourne is fully enclosed with air-conditioning and heating or enjoy a breath of fresh air on the alfresco deck.

The Spirit of Melbourne departs from berth no. 6, Southbank Lower Promenade at 7:30pm every Friday and Saturday evening and returns at 10:30pm. Bookings are essential.

3. Café 55, Melbourne Observation Deck

Café 55 is on the observation deck of Rialto Towers – the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest office structure and Melbourne’s most recognized building. The Rialto is 253m tall and was opened in July 1994. Climb the 1254 stairs to level 55 (or take the speedy lift) and spend time appreciating this amazing city. The birdseye view over Melbourne from the observation deck is breathtaking with a 360 degree outlook over the city and beyond.

Enjoy a meal and drink from the fully licensed bar at café 55 and make the most of this unique experience. Café 55 is open daily for lunch and dinner.

4. Chateau Yering Historic House Hotel

The famous Yarra Valley was originally settled at the current location of Yering by the Ryrie brothers in 1837. Grapevines were planted resulting in Victoria’s first vintage being produced in 1845. The original chateau at Yering was built in 1854 with hand made bricks made on site and extravagant fittings transported from Melbourne by bullock. Paul de Castella and Baron van Mueller (a world-renowned botanist) were responsible for the extensive gardens including the magnificent Chilean Wine Palm and two Bunya Pines. Both the house and the garden are listed for protection by Heritage Victoria.

Today, Chateau Yering is a country house hotel. Conveniently located only 1 hours drive north east of Melbourne, it is on 250 acres of land with 2.7km of river frontage onto the Yarra River. There are spectacular views across the Yarra Valley to the Great Dividing Range. The interior design or the Chateau Yering reflects its heritage and the new building blending seamlessly with the existing structures. All the bedrooms have been individually decorated with antique furniture, works of art and fine fabrics.

The original dining room has been extended and now houses Eleonore’s Restaurant. The elegant high back chairs, ornate cornices and ceilings and luxury fittings reflect the history and the vista from the restaurant is one of the finest in Victoria. Enjoy a comprehensive selection of Yarra Valley wines complementing the contemporary cuisine.

For a less formal setting, enjoy a more leisurely lunch or a coffee and cake at the Sweetwater Café. The Sweetwater Café is a lovely atrium connecting the old mansion with the new wing with outdoor views to the gardens.

For further information on Melbourne accommodation and restaurants, visit

About The Author

Rebecca Greg is the marketing manager for Happy Stays which is an Australia wide, user friendly accommodation directory. HappyStays has all your travel needs covered including accommodation, car hire, airline tickets, travel insurance and international accommodation.