Showing posts with label Queensland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Queensland. Show all posts

A Guide To The Gold Coast

I'm going to take a little detour from Europe to focus on some awesome Australian destinations. Since it's summer down under right now and we are all loving the sunshine and the hot days, what better place to focus on then some of my favourite local destinations that I haven't had the chance to write about before. As much as I love travelling overseas and exploring new countries and cultures, I also really like to travel interstate and explore as much of my own backyard as possible. Australia loves a public holiday and a long weekend, so I've been trying to make more of an effort to check out more local destinations whenever I can. 

Let's start with a popular destination for all Aussies, The Gold Coast. 


A Guide To Gold Coast Themeparks

If you're looking for the most heart-stopping thrill rides, biggest water parks and lovely wildlife experiences, you can't go past The Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. With five theme parks located close to the heart of the Gold Coast, it's the perfect place to really get your adrenaline pumping. Including Dreamworld, White Water World, Seaworld, Wet'n'Wild and Warner Bros. Movie World, this strip of theme parks absolutely have something for everyone! 

Day Trips To Brisbane

Brisbane. One of Australia's biggest cities and the capital city of Queensland. While often outshone as a holiday destination by it's very close neighbours the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane is a destination all of it's own and shouldn't be overlooked on your adventures around Australia, with fantastic warm weather almost all year round and very little need for jumpers or real shoes. As part of the Sunshine State, Brisbane offers that perfect Australian perception of sunny days, open air bars and restaurants and that laid back lifestyle. Here are some things you can't miss if you're travelling to the third biggest city in Australia.


The Mantra Portsea Hotel Review

On our recent winter getaway to Port Douglas we stayed at the Mantra Portsea. Located just three blocks from Macrossan Street, the main strip of shops, and one block from the famous Four Mile Beach, you definitely don't need a car to get around if you're staying here. With all types of rooms available, from small studio style hotel rooms to two apartments, the resort really caters for everybody.

For our stay we booked a one bedroom studio, so that we had just a little more room. Our main reason for doing this was that we wanted a balcony to relax on, which is offered for all studio and apartment rooms. We had a great view of the lap pool, and the lovely tropical greenery outside our balcony. The room was big and spacious and also included a kitchenette and all the appliances we could need! Keep in mind, the rooms at the Mantra PortSea are self-contained, which means they are not serviced daily. You can swap towels at reception for clean ones as often as you like, and for bookings of 8 nights or more apartments will be serviced on the 4th night.

The hotel includes a gymnasium, three swimming pools, pool bar, spa, sauna/steam room, tennis court, BBQ and outdoor dining areas, undercover parking, and a day spa. Bikes are available for rent so you can cycle around the town which I thought was a great idea. The only downside we found was that wifi wasn't free and was actually quit expensive. We purchased a three day wifi pack for $25, if you're an international traveller and don't have an Australian simcard this is really the only option unfortunately.

We had a really great stay at the Mantra PortSea. The location was super convenient and made getting around really easy. Breakfast was included with our booking, so we were able to start the day off with a big meal making it easy to get straight out and explore! With easy beach access and parking it was the perfect place for us to stay.

Prices start from $183 per night. Check out the hotel website here for more information.

Mantra Portsea
76 Davidson Street
Port Douglas, QLD

Kuranda - The Village In The Rainforest

Our last day in Tropical North Queensland was a little cooler and rainier than the other days so we thought we would spend it exploring around Cairns, before we had to get on a flight back to Melbourne. We decided to jump onboard the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and experience the rainforest from the sky this time, instead of the road. 

Road Tripping to Cape Tribulation

We had a spare day while we were in Port Douglas and thought that we would take a road trip to Cape Tribulation for something to do. We like road tripping and especially enjoy exploring new places, so we thought why not make the most of our time in North Queensland and really explore the area! Despite the warm temperature, it was still quite overcast and cloudy for most of the day. It was winter after all, even if the temperature was around 28 degrees. 

Low Isles & The Great Barrier Reef

After two trips to Hawaii and countless tours around Oahu looking for turtles, can you believe that I found one happily swimming off the shores of my own country. If you're on a crazy turtle mission like I have been I will say this - the Great Barrier Reef is the place to be. 

While we were in Port Douglas we hopped on a cruise to the Low Isles. We were both keen to go snorkelling in the reef, having both visited when we were younger with our families but not for many years. We booked a sailing cruise with Sailaway which would take us snorkelling on the reef just off Low Isles. Despite cloud in both the morning and afternoon, not that surprising considering it was June and winter in Australia, we were lucky enough that for the few hours we were actually in the water and on Low Isles the sun decided to come out and give us some really beautiful weather. It was perfect timing as well! Exactly when we needed it! 

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

Hartley's was completely unexpected. It wasn't something we knew about, were excited about or had planned for, but it ended up being such a fantastic afternoon. Thom had noticed a sign for it on Captain Cook Highway the night before as we drove from Cairns Airport to our hotel in Port Douglas and we decided to check it out as a spurr of the moment activity. In my opinion these are the best kinds of adventures! 

Mossman Gorge

Amongst the Daintree Rainforest we found this piece of paradise, Mossman Gorge. Home to the Kuku Yalanji Indigenous People and a significant part of the World Heritage Listed Daintree Rainforest, Mossman Gorge is part of the oldest, continuously surviving rainforest on Earth. From Indigenous culture to flora and fauna, there is so much to learn and see in the Gorge, and it's such a beautiful place to epxlore! 

The following is taken from the Mossman Gorge website"The Kuku Yalanji People are the Indigenous inhabitants of the land and have a history dating back 50,000 years to the earliest human occupation of Australia. They are the true rainforest people, living in complete harmony with their environment. It is part of them and they are pat of it. The Kuku Yalanji culture is built around a deep respect for nature and an intimate knowledge of its cycles. Their knowledge has been passed down through the generations - with the members of the community having learned all they know from their elders, parts, grandparents, uncles and aunties." 

There are lots of options when deciding how to experience the Gorge. All options start at the Mossman Gorge Centre, where there is lots of parking available for self-drivers. The first option is to take part in a Dreamtime Gorge Walk. Conducted by local Indigenous people, the walk takes visitors on a journey along private, gentle tracks, visiting special places and culturally significant sites, past traditional bark shelters and over meandering cool rainforest streams. The second option is to catch the shuttle bus from the Mossman Gorge Centre to the heart of the Gorge. For the tiny price of $8.90 for a return trip, the bus drives you the 4km into the rainforest. Buses leave from both locations every 10 to 15 minutes, very convenient! This way you are able to experience the Gorge at your pace, and take your time exploring everything this beautiful part of the rainforest has to offer. The third option is to walk from the Centre to the Gorge. Whilst this is obviously the cheapest option as there is no cost involved, it's important to note that there's no footpath on the way up to the Gorge, making the walk along the winding road a little dangerous. 


8 Things To Do In Port Douglas

Port Douglas is a wonderful alternative to Cairn's more hectic tourist scene. Only about an hour drive from Cairns airport, the beautiful beach town is a great place to base yourself if you're planning to explore Tropical North Queensland. Within easy distance of the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and Cairns, there's more to explore than you could imagine! 
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