As We Travel » Oceania http://www.aswetravel.com Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog Thu, 18 Dec 2014 01:52:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Five Money Saving Activities for Gap Year Students to Enjoy Sydney http://www.aswetravel.com/five-money-saving-activities-gap-year-students-enjoy-sydney/ http://www.aswetravel.com/five-money-saving-activities-gap-year-students-enjoy-sydney/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 19:29:26 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=46578 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Sydney is well known for being a city of excitement, culture and adventure. As a popular destination for gap year students, there is a lot to discover upon arrival but as we know flights to the other side of the road in Australia aren’t exactly cheap. However, that should not stop anyone from pursuing an […]

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Sydney is well known for being a city of excitement, culture and adventure. As a popular destination for gap year students, there is a lot to discover upon arrival but as we know flights to the other side of the road in Australia aren’t exactly cheap.

However, that should not stop anyone from pursuing an Australian adventure holiday and having the experience of a lifetime. So here are some activities that won’t break your bank balance but will ensure that you have an incredible time.

Sydney Australia

Photograph the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Home to one of the most astonishing views in Sydney, the Harbour Bridge is loved by all. Just as you can see everything from it, you can also catch sight of the bridge from all over the city. The best way to experience the views is by foot.

A footpath runs right across the eastern side and will provide you with a totally free and true Sydney experience, as well as a lovely stroll. If you are not quite fulfilled by this view then you can climb the bridge itself for a few hundred dollars!

Free admission at the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery NSW Sydney

Fancy some culture? The Art Gallery of NSW has free entry, which considering its fantastic reputation in Sydney society is definitely something to take advantage of. There are three permanent collections: Australian, post sixteenth-century European, and Asian. They offer free guided tours on the hour from 11am-2pm on Tuesday-Sunday. Along with the art collections there are also concerts, screenings and celebrity talks – not one to be missed!

Amuse yourself at Luna Park!

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Walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Rock is Luna Park. This 1935 amusement park is well-known for providing a fun-filled day out, and you could take some other travellers with you to enjoy the fun!

Known for the staple Ferris Wheel, Big Dipper and Flying Saucer, as well as many others, it can provide a good combination of nausea and excitement. The park is free to enter, and you can either pay as you go on the rides or buy an unlimited height restriction pass.

Visit the second oldest National Park in the world

Royal National Park

The Royal National Park is a breathtaking coastal park. It’s the second oldest National Park in the world, including dramatic cliffs, golden beaches and amazing rainforests. Aspects such as the coastal walk from Bundeena or the opportunity to go surfing at Gari or Burning Palms are all very popular attractions.

Walking around the different areas of the park is free, but to make the trip that little bit more special you can also hire rowboats, canoes and kayaks from Audley Boat Shed for about AUD$45 a day in order to paddle up Kangaroo creek or the Hacking River.

Peruse the stalls of Paddington markets

Paddington Markets

Paddington markets provide the perfect Saturday afternoon experience in Sydney. They are long established markets and turn Paddington upside down with their quirkiness. They started back in the 1970s and used to be where the more alternative crowd of punks, skinheads and hippies used to hang out together. Now it is a little more mainstream but more than worth a visit for its variety of stalls.

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Top Three Things to do in Wellington http://www.aswetravel.com/top-three-things-wellington/ http://www.aswetravel.com/top-three-things-wellington/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 19:20:41 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=46588 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Things to do in Wellington Often basking in the shadow cast by popularly celebrated Kiwi retreats such as Auckland and Queenstown, it is rather easy to forget that New Zealand’s capital city Wellington also boasts wonders of her own with many things to do in Wellington. New Zealand is best traveled by car so you […]

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Things to do in Wellington

Often basking in the shadow cast by popularly celebrated Kiwi retreats such as Auckland and Queenstown, it is rather easy to forget that New Zealand’s capital city Wellington also boasts wonders of her own with many things to do in Wellington.

New Zealand is best traveled by car so you can take in that world class panoramic views on isolated highways and for those embarking on self-drive tours of New Zealand’s North Island; Wellington is approximately just over a seven hour ride away from Auckland with a total distance of 395.3 miles.

Sitting at the base of the North Island and ringed by mountains – notably Mount Victoria – the city exists in idyllic surroundings given her location on the Cook Strait where a splendid harbour and boutique eateries are never a million miles away from rural backwoods and hiking pursuits.

Here is our list of the top three things to do in Wellington.

Scale Mount Victoria

Mount Victoria

Already mentioned in our introduction, Mount Victoria is the perfect lookout spot over central Wellington and her surrounds.

Rising to 740ft, the peak allows travelers to complete a 360 degree turn at the top, witnessing Wellington Airport and the high rise CBD in the foreground while rolling mountains collide with typically rainy, yet marvelous looking clouds and the waters of Wellington Harbour and further afield, the Cook Strait.

This is definitely one for those fascinated by geography.

Wellington Cable Car

Things to do in Wellington

Things to do in Wellington

One of Wellington’s most cherished treasures; you’ll be fascinated to hear that the Wellington Cable Car has been running for as long as over 100 years with the attraction celebrating 110 years of service in 2012.

Running from Lambton Quay based in the city centre to the Kelburn Lookout – another great panoramic spot – the attraction is much more than a ride alone and at the latter terminus, the Carter Observatory and Cable Car Museum mean you can lose yourself for the best part of the day while marveling at two of the original cable cars that took to Wellington’s hilly slopes way back when in yesteryear.

Te Papa Tongarewa

Te Papa Tongarewa

Wellington is home to New Zealand’s national museum, or in Maori – Te Papa Tongarewa. Situated right down by Oriental Bay on Cable Street, the museum reinforces and places emphasis on the importance of Kiwi culture and being.

Boasting six floors of exhibitions – with some carrying a small fee – general admission to the facility is free; meaning a great interactive, fun and intriguing day out can be had for next to nothing.

For more things to do in Wellington, New Zealand or holiday ideas, visit freedomnewzealand.co.uk.

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Driving in Australia – Tips To Consider
 http://www.aswetravel.com/driving-in-australia-tips-to-consider%e2%80%a8/ http://www.aswetravel.com/driving-in-australia-tips-to-consider%e2%80%a8/#comments Sat, 28 Sep 2013 13:45:13 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=44913 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Australian drivers enjoy the same clear, concise driving rules and publicly posted directions like most countries of the world. Driving in any new city or country is always a challenge, even more when you need to drive on the “wrong” side of the road! The key is in knowing the basics, keeping the rules in […]

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Australian drivers enjoy the same clear, concise driving rules and publicly posted directions like most countries of the world.

Driving in any new city or country is always a challenge, even more when you need to drive on the “wrong” side of the road!

The key is in knowing the basics, keeping the rules in check and just acting like you’re a local!

There are five key things to consider before you head out on a road trip in Australia:

  1. 
Take time before you travel to study roads and maps of the areas you’ll be visiting.
  2. Review rules of the road in major all major Australian cities as these may vary
  3. Plan an itinerary to avoid unfamiliar travel routes
  4. When a service such as  Budget Rent a Car, request any extra information or driver manuals they might have that are specific to visitors
  5. Do your best to become familiar with the terminology of road use (Like “hook” turns)

Roads and Maps – A Traveler’s Best Friend

Travel agents often supply maps of major highways and roads in Australia.

Study these to gain insight into the intricacies of road and highway configurations.

 

With a little bit of effort, it is possible to work towards feeling more comfortable on the road once you arrive at your destination.

Rules of the Road – Learn the Variables

Traffic signals aren’t very difficult to understand in Australia and they provide strict interpretation of each change in color.

One thing that may take some getting used to is that there are no right turns allowed when a traffic signal is red.

Always make sure to take your time and study their traffic signals and posted signage.

Plan An Itinerary – Avoid Unfamiliar Travel Routes

With advanced planning, travelers who plan to rent a car, should advise the agent of their travel itinerary.

You’d be surprised how often you’ll meet helpful, knowledgeable people who offer assistance with unfamiliar travel routes.

Most agencies have mastered the art of getting travelers in Australia from one destination to the next, so make sure you take advantage of this.

Request a Driver’s Manual For Visitors

Request a driver’s manual for visitors that reflects Australian driving habits and tips on how to navigate traffic in large cities.

 

You can also hop online and search for other specifics as well as tips and tricks.

Any information you manage to find beforehand is a great reference to have and makes for good reading whilst you’re traveling.

Become Familiar With Terminology of Road Use

There are certain terms used to describe Australia’s roads.

 

In some parts of the world, a traffic circle is referred to as a “round about”. When travelers encounter right turn arrows at busy intersections, this is similar to the “yield” signs seen elsewhere.

Also, don’t forget you’ll be dealing with a steering wheel on the right side of the car as this will be the trickiest part of all!

(Photo 1, 2, 3, 4)

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Tips for Going Walkabout on an Aussie Road Trip http://www.aswetravel.com/tips-for-going-walkabout-on-an-aussie-road-trip/ http://www.aswetravel.com/tips-for-going-walkabout-on-an-aussie-road-trip/#comments Fri, 30 Aug 2013 11:33:03 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=44589 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Australia is a big, big country. Its terrain is dramatic and varies greatly by region; snow-capped mountains give way to tropical coastlines, while the red center contains out-of-this world rock formations. It’s impossible to see it all, but from watching fairy penguins on the Southern coast to trying bush tucker in Alice Springs, an Australian […]

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Australia is a big, big country. Its terrain is dramatic and varies greatly by region; snow-capped mountains give way to tropical coastlines, while the red center contains out-of-this world rock formations.

It’s impossible to see it all, but from watching fairy penguins on the Southern coast to trying bush tucker in Alice Springs, an Australian road trip guarantees memorable moments and unforgettable sights.”

Here are some considerations for planning an Australian road trip, whether you are planning a weekend trip or are ready to go walkabout:

Immerse in a Coastal Paradise

Most of Australia’s major cities are on the coast, and they make great starting points for road trips — Melbourne is a popular entrance point for the Great Ocean Road, with its sweeping coastal vistas and the iconic Twelve Apostles rock formation.

Driving from Sydney to Brisbane puts you on the Pacific Coast Touring Route, which includes Hunter Valley’s wine country and the verdant rain forests of Barrinton Tops National Park.

Perth is the gateway for the Coral Coast, where visitors can experience the Pinnacles Desert, snorkel next to reefs in Coral Bay or Shark Bay, and swim with manta rays, dolphins, whale sharks, and hundreds of tropical fish.

Perth is also only a short boat trip from spectacular Rottnest Island where visitors can bike across the island to stunning beaches and encounter native quokkas along the way.

Cairns is a good place to get on the Great Tropical Drive, which parallels the Great Barrier Reef and provides access to the Undara Lava Tubes.

Get Native in the Red Center


The Outback, Australia’s dusty and sparsely-inhabited center, can be explored easily and safely by sticking to major roads. The massive sandstone formation of Uluru is a must-see, as is Kata Tjuta nearby.

Towns such as Broken Hill or Alice Springs allow a glimpse into outback life, and the MacDonnell Ranges and Kings Canyon are great places to see gorges and water holes, to admire Aboriginal art, and to take in fiery sunsets.

Australian Road Trip Tips

Tourists accustomed to driving on the right side of the road should take time to familiarize themselves with driving on the left before tackling any difficult routes and should pay attention to local driving hazards such as tram lanes in Melbourne or wildlife on rural roads.

An infographic by the team at motoring.com.au provides helpful tips when planning your trip across the great country.

It’s important to recognize the distance between services while driving through the Outback and to plan accordingly: Extra water is essential, and extra fuel couldn’t hurt.

Avoid driving at night if possible, as many of Australia’s most famous animals are nocturnal, and a kangaroo through the windscreen is one wildlife encounter that should definitely be avoided.”

Most importantly, in the case of car trouble, tourists should stay with their car instead of setting off in search of help. If in doubt about the advisability of a route, ask a local for advice.

Photo Credits:  (1, 2, 3)

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Australian Outback Adventure in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park http://www.aswetravel.com/australian-outback-adventure-in-uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park/ http://www.aswetravel.com/australian-outback-adventure-in-uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park/#comments Wed, 28 Aug 2013 14:06:12 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=44579 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Uluru (often called Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (also known as the Olgas) are located deep in the outback in central Australia.  Visitors can reach the area by 200 km car trip after flying into Alice Springs.  Another option is to connect through Darwin or Adelaide with flights found here.  The area includes many breathtaking […]

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Uluru (often called Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (also known as the Olgas) are located deep in the outback in central Australia.  Visitors can reach the area by 200 km car trip after flying into Alice Springs.  Another option is to connect through Darwin or Adelaide with flights found here.  The area includes many breathtaking natural wonders and reveals some of the mystical heritage and culture of the Aboriginal people.

Here are a few reasons why you can’t miss these spots on your next trip to Australia:

Views Like No Place Else

Uluru is considered a sacred site by the Aborigines. The massive monolith extends 348 meters above the plane and over 2 kilometers below ground.

Uluru offers visitors a spectacular site as it changes colors throughout the day with the variations of light refraction. Uluru is composed of a sandstone and feldspar mixture called arkose.  Arkose is grey and white in color, but a thin layer of iron oxide coating over the mineral gives it a rust colored appearance.

As the sun changes position in the sky, the distance the light travels through the atmosphere also changes.

Near sunset, the blue light waves of the spectrum are bent away, leaving high intensity red light waves to reflect off the rock providing spectators an incredible view of the magnificent red colored behemoth.”

Kata Tjuta is a set of domes consisting of 36 formations. At its highest elevation, Mount Olga rises 546 meters.

Kata Tjuta are thought to have been at one time a single rock formation and the domes were created by weathering. Trails throughout the areas offer spectacular views designated sunset viewing areas are marked for visitors.

Both Uluru and Kata Tjuta are  exceptional viewing areas for wilderness scenery with emus and kangaroos native to the region.

A Window to an Incredible Culture

Because Uluru is the site of sacred ceremonies for the Aboriginal People; visitors are restricted from some areas. Visitors can become better acquainted with Aboriginal culture by visiting Pulari, a site where women came to give birth.

Other areas that men used for initiations may be passed along trails, but they are not to be entered because they are considered sacred.

Along the base of the rock many drawings appear that tell stories of “dreamtime” experienced by the Aborigines.

Uluru and Kata Tjuta provide visitors with one of the most incredible experiences in Australia. The spectacular beauty of the location and the legends of the people create a one of a kind adventure.

Photo Credit (1, 2, 3, 4)

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Exploring Queensland – 5 Stops Along The Way http://www.aswetravel.com/exploring-queensland-5-stops-along-the-way/ http://www.aswetravel.com/exploring-queensland-5-stops-along-the-way/#comments Tue, 28 May 2013 12:00:10 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=40771 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Queensland is one of Australia’s most exciting states, famous for its many world heritage sites and natural wonders – there are a lot of places to visit and things to do in the state so before visiting you should definitely do some planning. Here are 5 places we recommend putting on your itinerary when exploring […]

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Queensland is one of Australia’s most exciting states, famous for its many world heritage sites and natural wonders – there are a lot of places to visit and things to do in the state so before visiting you should definitely do some planning.

Here are 5 places we recommend putting on your itinerary when exploring Queensland …

Fraser Island

Made up of sand that has been accumulating for 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock, Fraser island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world.

But unlike many sand islands, it’s actually a lush island with an abundance of plants and wildlife (thanks to some funghi in the sand) – the island has over 100 freshwater lakes with some of the cleanest water in the world, with Lake McKenzie being the most popular to go swimming.

The champagne pools is another swimming spots on the island and nature’s on jacuzzi, formed by waves crashing into rock pools – taking whale watching tours from the island is also popular, but you can even spot them from the Seventy-Five Mile Beach between June and September.

Cairns

One of Queensland’s most northern cities, Cairns is becoming more and more popular as people start to find out just what a great hub it is for bucket-list adventures.

Everything from hot air balloon riding to white water rafting, game fishing and wild life exploring, the outskirts of Cairns are a playground for outdoor activities – meaning Brisbane is the ultimate base.

Many people also choose Cairns as their base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef

Perhaps Australia’s most beautiful and famous natural wonder, the Great Barrier reef is an experience unlike any other.

Being the world’s largest coral reed system stretching over 2600 kilometers, composed of 2900 individual reefs and 900 islands, diving Great Barrier Reef is simply any diver’s must0-do!

But you don’t have to be a diver to enjoy the reefs, just bring some snorkel gear along and you will be able to see a ton of incredible fish and corals.

Noosa

Noosa is one of our favorite towns on the Sunshine Coast, it has a really nice relaxed and yet sophisticated lifestyle – the beaches are gorgeous, and the surf is perfect for beginners. Everyone seems to be out enjoying sports, from backpackers to retirees who in their late 60’s are out paddle surfing.

Noosa is also a good base for exploring the narby Noosa National Park and Great Sandy National Park.

Also make sure to visit Australia Zoo, run by the Irwin family (you know Steve Irwin, “The Crocodile Hunter”). It’s a great zoo and you can tell that they treat their animals very well.

Lamington National Park

It might be surprising, but Queensland isn’t all about beaches. Situated only two hours south of Brisbane, this is a good end to your journey if you’re planning to fly out from Brisbane.

The national park is absolutely stunning, so peaceful and an abundance of wild life – many claim that it features some of the best walks in the country with views, creeks, waterfalls and forests.

Spend the night in Binna Burra, an eco lodge founded in 1933 in one of the most beautiful areas of the park.

What are some of your favorite places in Queensland that you would recommend?

(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5)

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Spectacular Movie Locations in New Zealand http://www.aswetravel.com/spectacular-movie-locations-in-new-zealand/ http://www.aswetravel.com/spectacular-movie-locations-in-new-zealand/#comments Sun, 26 May 2013 12:00:37 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=40840 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Movie Locations in New Zealand New Zealand has been a popular destination for making films since the 1970s. Using New Zealand as a location for filming has spiked in popularity in the last fifteen or so years. Best of all, it’s easy to visit many of these spectacular movie locations in New Zealand – to […]

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Movie Locations in New Zealand

New Zealand has been a popular destination for making films since the 1970s. Using New Zealand as a location for filming has spiked in popularity in the last fifteen or so years.

Best of all, it’s easy to visit many of these spectacular movie locations in New Zealand – to begin your journey through cinematic history, start by looking at what car rental New Zealand has to offer, pick your vehicle and get ready to roll.

The Last Samurai

movie locations new zealand

Watching Tom Cruise’s the Last Samurai; it would be difficult to tell that the filming took place in New Zealand and not in Japan.

This movie was released in 2003 and centres around the traumatised American Captain Nathan Algren who, in 1876, agrees to train conscripts for the new Japanese Meiji government. Algren is captured in battle and begins to embrace the culture of the Samurai he was initially hired to destroy.

During the filming, Mount Taranaki made a nice stand-in for Mount Fiji in Japan. According to Maori legend, the mount once lived with other volcanoes on North Island, but fell in love with a hill called Pihanga.

The hill was the wife of another volcano, Tongariro and, after a fiery battle, Taranaki was exiled from the central region. His tears were responsible for creating the Whenganui River as he fled to his current location.

This is also a great place to learn and interact with native Maori tribes. There are eight tribes that still live in the region, and many experiences combine adventure with traditional Maori practises, such as going for a waka ride and following it up with a quad bike ride through native bush.

The Chronicles of Narnia

While much of the adaptation of this famous and beloved book, the first in a series, was filmed on a stage, several locations around New Zealand were used for outdoor scenes.

The movie tells the story of two children who are magically transported into the fantasy land of Aotearoa and become embroiled in a battle between the brave lion Aslan and the frosty White Witch.

Locations such as Woodhill Forest, which was used for the White Witch’s camp, were used in the movie. Other locations include:

  • Flock Hill - Just 90 minutes from Christchurch, this area was used for the Great Battle
  • Purakaunui Bay - South of Dunedin, the castle of Cair Paravel was superimposed on the cliff tops of this beautiful coast.
  • Elephant Rocks - This ancient outcropping of rocks became Aslan’s Camp in 2004. The town of Oamaru nearby makes a great base for exploring the area.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Perhaps the most well-known movie filmed in the area is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The tales of the hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring against the vile forces of Sauron and the machinations of the One Ring are well-known to movie and fantasy buffs everywhere.

There were many locations used to film the movie. Some highlights include:

  • Matamata, Waikato - Used as the hobbit village, Hobbiton, you can still peek into the hobbit holes that remain.
  • Kawaru River - This was the location of the iconic Pillars of the Kings on the Anduin River, though the pillars were computer generated.
  • Kepler Mire - Remember the creepy swamp with the floating dead? That was in fact the Kepler Mire wetlands of Te Anau.
  • Southern Alps - The treacherous Misty Mountains of Middle Earth the Fellowship tried to pass through in the Fellowship of the Rings were actually the Southern Alps.
  • The Shotover River at Skippers Canyon - This is where the elf Arwen defeated the ringwraiths.
  • Tongariro National Park - You might know this World Heritage site better as Mordor. Fortunately, one can simply walk into Tongariro.
  • Mount Ngauruhoe - This active volcano is gorgeous. It was also the body double for Mount Doom.

With so many great films having made such extensive use of New Zealand’s beautiful natural resources, movie fans will love being able to visit the shooting locations of their favourite flicks. Such a visit is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 3)

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5 Reasons To Visit Cairns, Australia http://www.aswetravel.com/5-reasons-to-visit-cairns-australia/ http://www.aswetravel.com/5-reasons-to-visit-cairns-australia/#comments Fri, 24 May 2013 12:00:04 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=40746 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Cairns is one of Australia’s biggest adventure sports capitals, and there is a long list of things to do to get your adrenaline pumping and tick off more than just a few bucket list experiences. Here are 5 reasons why you should visit Cairns next time you’re in Australia… Ballooning If you’ve attempted Ballooning before […]

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Cairns is one of Australia’s biggest adventure sports capitals, and there is a long list of things to do to get your adrenaline pumping and tick off more than just a few bucket list experiences.

Here are 5 reasons why you should visit Cairns next time you’re in Australia…

Ballooning

If you’ve attempted Ballooning before but had to cancel due to bad weather, your next try should be Cairns. It has some of the best weather for ballooning in the world, trips are rarely canceled and you can do it year-round.

Seeing the landscape of the region from above is definitely a unique experience, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to do it. Hot air balloon rides in Cairns are the cheapest in the whole southern hemisphere.

Tropical Wines

North Queensland is one of many wine regions in Australia, but what sets them apart is that you won’t find your standard Chardonnay or Shiraz there, because the winemakers are instead looking towards the use of tropical fruits to create their wine.

Rather than vineyards, you will find fruit orchards with mangos, bananas, passion fruit and pineapples.

Cairns is known as the world’s first tropical fruit wine region, and it’s well worth a visit to try their unique wines and liqueurs.

Great Barrier Reef

Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and many choose to base themselves in the city and take trips and tours from there.

Even those who don’t base themselves there and arrange Cairns holiday packages, still often go to Cairns first as the tour operators often offer tours to the Great Barrier Reef that are cheaper than elsewhere in the country.

Tip: Whether you’re going snorkelling or diving, the smaller dive boats provide the best experiences. Sure, the larger ones often have better food, more activities and faster boats, but the actual underwater experience is not as good as the areas these large boats visit are heavily overused and ruined.

White Water Rafting

When going white water rafting in North Queensland you get to ride through the world’s oldest continuously growing tropical rainforests on rivers that still run totally wild.

There are different routes in different levels, you can choose from half-day rafting or full-day rafting and some routes like the Barron River tour only takes 20 mins to reach from Cairns.

Whale Watching

Once you have swam amongst the small colorful fish in the Great Barrier Reef, it might be time to see some big fish.

From may to september (with the peak season running from July to September) it’s possible to go whale watching.

The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is an important breeding sanctuary for approximately 30 species of cetaceans (whales and dolphins), which is around 35% of the world’s total living cetacean species.

The Humpback Whales, Dwarf Minke Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins are the most commonly spotted on whale watching tours.

(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4)

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Traveling the East Coast of Australia http://www.aswetravel.com/traveling-the-east-coast-of-australia/ http://www.aswetravel.com/traveling-the-east-coast-of-australia/#comments Tue, 26 Feb 2013 13:00:24 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=39612 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

As We Travel - Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog

If you are traveling down under it is hard to know which travel route to take, as there are so many! But one itinerary that is a stand-out for many, is traveling up the East Coast of Australia. Here are some tips on key stops when driving along the east coast … Sydney Sydney is […]

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As We Travel - Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog

If you are traveling down under it is hard to know which travel route to take, as there are so many! But one itinerary that is a stand-out for many, is traveling up the East Coast of Australia.

Here are some tips on key stops when driving along the east coast …

Sydney

Sydney is Australia’s most famous city due to its iconic bridge and Opera House that sit near each other in the Sydney Harbour.

Sydney has a great range of activities for all ages: climb the Harbour Bridge for an incredible view of the city, attend performances at the Opera House, explore the history of colonial times around The Rocks and Darling Harbour or even head to the famous Bondi Beach for some fun by the sea.

Port Stephens

Once you’re done with the vibrant sights of Sydney, hire a car, van or jump on one of the many tours onto the Pacific Highway and up the coast.

Along the way you’ll drive through many towns with their own charm and character, as well as some of the most beautiful pristine beaches in the world.

Essential stops include Port Macquarie, Nambucca Heads and the idyllic Port Stephens, which is about a two and a half hour drive from Sydney – most of its beaches are untouched and it is a great place to go dolphin watching – in fact, it has been coined the dolphin capital of Australia.

Byron Bay

Heading up further north in the state of New South Wales, you’ll find the relaxed town of Byron Bay – it is located just off the Pacific Highway around 800kms from Sydney.

Most travelers love this spot due to its great surf conditions, friendly locals and hippie vibes – there are plenty of activities; you can explore the arts and crafts stores, attend the local markets for fresh produce, visit the Cape Byron Lighthouse or explore the lush national parks.

Hervey Bay

After visiting the fun town of Byron Bay you’ll head back onto the highway and travel north into the state of Queensland – on your journey you’ll pass many small towns and beaches and depending on your time limit, you could spend weeks and even months exploring them all.

You’ll pass Surfers Paradise, Brisbane, Noosa, and then find yourself at Hervey Bay. Hervey Bay is about 290km north of the city of Brisbane.

While Port Stephens may be the dolphin watching capital of Australia, Hervey Bay is definitely the whale watching capital down under.

It is the perfect place to hop aboard one of the many chartered boats with your camera, and take beautiful pictures of whales breaching.

When passing Noosa we highly recommend you stop over for a night, the town has an awesome vibe, the beaches are beautiful and perfect for beginner surfers.

Whitsunday Islands and Cairns

The last stop (if you choose) on your East Coast of Australia itinerary is the 74 beautiful islands of the Whitsundays. The islands are located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Site and are the ideal location to snorkel and dive due to the abundance of marine life and underwater delights, such as tropical fish and incredible coral formations.

You can also visit the nearby island resorts and the city of Cairns which is a great spot for bungee jumping or hiring a 4WD to explore the nearby rainforests.

Once you have finished your adventure along the East Coast of Australia you’ll feel relaxed, invigorated and ready for more. Indeed, Australia is the idyllic location for any beach going adventurer.

(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5)

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5 Most Scenic Drives in Australia http://www.aswetravel.com/5-most-scenic-drives-in-australia/ http://www.aswetravel.com/5-most-scenic-drives-in-australia/#comments Sun, 27 Jan 2013 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=39287 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

As We Travel - Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog

If you are visiting Australia, there are some drives that you absolutely must try. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. If you rent a car or go with a friend, travel in a vehicle that is comfortable and robust. A durable SUV is recommended. If you are ready to view Australia at its finest, consider these […]

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As We Travel - Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog

If you are visiting Australia, there are some drives that you absolutely must try. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. If you rent a car or go with a friend, travel in a vehicle that is comfortable and robust. A durable SUV is recommended.

If you are ready to view Australia at its finest, consider these Australian scenic drives. Here are my top five favorites.

1. Blackall Range Tourist Drive

If you want an exquisite view of Sunshine Coast, explore Glasshouse Mountains Road and Blackall Range Tourist Drive. There are some of the views that give the full range of the mountains to the coast. This can be viewed for Maleny.

The drive takes you through the towns of Montville and Mapleton. The end of the drive ends in Nambour, which is a popular town in Australia.

2. Eyre Peninsula Drive

Eyre Peninsula Drive is an impressive 745 kilometres that spans the entire peninsula. Most people are impressed by this scenery.

3. Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road allows drivers to travel along one of the most spectacular portions coastline. The scenic road begins in Melbourne. Along the route, you will travel through some incredible seaside towns. Along the way, you will view The London Arch, The Grotto, 12 Apostles and The Blowholes. The limestone formations of the 12 Apostles are also memorable.

Great Ocean Road is also an old war memorial. The road is 1000 kilometers in length. Many people travel to the area to walk along the waterfront and to take long walks. Mount Gambier can also be reached from this scenic drive. Some of the best wineries are also along this route.

4. Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula is only an hour away from Melbourne, Australia. The scenic drive is an ideal place to drive. Along the drive, there will be vineyards, olives groves and sandstone cliffs.

Many people enjoy this drive and consider it to be one of the best. Try the Mornington Peninsula and take time to try some of the best Australian wines along the way.

5. The Great Tropical Drive

If you want to be engulfed by lush and tropical greenery, try Great Tropical Drive. This stretch of road from Cairns to Townsville is lined with rainforest and beaches with palm trees. Drivers will pass through Port Douglas and Daintree. The famous Great Barrier Reef and Mission Beach is also along this route.

These top five scenic drives in Australia can be calming and awe-inspiring. If you are impressed by the landscape of Australia, these five scenic drives will provide a cross-section of the splendor that Australia has to offer.

Consider taking several scenic drives when visiting Australia.

Written by Alex Kurt
Alex is a motor enthusiast. He has recently purchased his dream car, a BMW M5, online from www.cars4saleaustralia.com.au and is ready to bid farewell to his old Honda. He also loves vintage car and organizes vintage car shows in his local area

(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 –  5)

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