Canberra, the capital city of Australia

July 23rd, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

View from Mount Ainsle, showing the Australian War Memorial, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) parade and the parliment house © Petaholmes/cc-by-sa-3.0

View from Mount Ainsle, showing the Australian War Memorial, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) parade and the parliment house © Petaholmes/cc-by-sa-3.0

Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of 400,000, it is Australia’s largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne. A resident of Canberra is known as a “Canberran”. Although Canberra is the capital and seat of government, many federal government ministries have secondary seats in state capital cities, as do the Governor-General and the Prime Minister.   read more…

The Rocks in Sydney

July 18th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

The Rocks Area from the water © flickr.com - Alex Proimos/cc-by-2.0

The Rocks Area from the water © flickr.com – Alex Proimos/cc-by-2.0

The Rocks is an urban locality, tourist precinct and historic area of Sydney‘s city centre. It is located on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, immediately north-west of the Sydney central business district. The Rocks became established shortly after the colony’s formation in 1788. It was known as Tallawoladah by the Cadigal people. The original buildings were first traditional vernacular houses, of wattle and daub, with thatched roofs, and later of local sandstone, from which the area derives its name. From the earliest history of the settlement, the area had a reputation as a slum and the arriving convicts’ side of town, often frequented by visiting sailors and prostitutes. After November 1790, many of the inhabitants were also aboriginals. In 1823, the district had a population of about 1,200. During the late nineteenth century, the area was dominated by a gang known as the Rocks Push. It maintained this rough reputation until approximately the 1870s.   read more…

Q1 Resort & Spa in Gold Coast

May 1st, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month

Q1 Resort and Spa © flickr.com - paul (dex) bica/cc-by-2.0

Q1 Resort and Spa © flickr.com – paul (dex) bica/cc-by-2.0

Q1 (an abbreviation of Queensland Number One) is a supertall skyscraper in Surfers Paradise in Queensland in Australia. The residential tower on the Gold Coast lost its title as the world’s tallest residential building to the 337-metre The Marina Torch in Dubai on 29 April 2011. It is now the sixth tallest residential tower in the world and is the tallest building in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere and the second-tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, behind the Sky Tower in Auckland in New Zealand. The Q1 officially opened in November 2005. The landmark building was recognised as one of Queensland’s icons during the state’s 150th birthday celebrations.   read more…

Theme Week Queensland – Gold Coast

October 13th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Entrance to Surfers Paradise Beach © Rocky88/cc-by-sa-3.0

Entrance to Surfers Paradise Beach © Rocky88/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Gold Coast is a coastal city in Queensland, approximately 66 kilometres (41 mi) south-southeast of the state capital Brisbane and immediately north of the border with New South Wales. With a population of 640,000, The Gold Coast is the sixth-largest city in Australia, making it the largest non-capital city, and the second-largest city in Queensland. The first settlement in what is now South East Queensland was as a penal colony at Redcliffe. The Gold Coast region remained largely uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach. The hinterland’s red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century. Later in 1875, Southport was surveyed and established and grew a reputation as a secluded holiday destination for wealthy Brisbane residents. The Gold Coast region grew significantly after the establishment of the Surfers Paradise hotel in the late 1920s. The area boomed in the 1980s as a leading tourist destination and in 1994, the City of Gold Coast local government area was expanded to encompass the majority of the Gold Coast’s metropolitan area, becoming the second most populous local government area in Australia after the City of Brisbane. Today it is a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate and has become widely known for its surfing beaches, high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland. It is also the major film production hub for Queensland. The Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.   read more…

Theme Week Queensland – Fraser Island

October 9th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

© panoramio.com - Korkut Tas/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio.com – Korkut Tas/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fraser Island is located along the southeastern coast of the state of Queensland in Australia. It is approximately 250 kilometres (160 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane. It is a locality within the Fraser Coast local government in the Wide Bay–Burnett region. Its length is about 120 kilometres (75 mi) and its width is approximately 24 kilometres (15 mi). It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1,840 km². It is also Queensland’s largest island, Australia’s sixth largest island and the largest island on the East Coast of Australia. Estimates of the number of visitors to the island each year range from 350,000 to 500,000. The chance of seeing a dingo in its natural setting is one of the main reasons people visit the island. The use of boardwalks and marked tracks by visitors is encouraged to reduce erosion. Fraser Island has over 100 freshwater lakes, as well as the second highest concentration of lakes in Australia after Tasmania. The freshwater lakes on Fraser Island are some of the cleanest lakes in the world. A popular tourist area is Lake McKenzie which is located inland from the small town of Eurong.   read more…

Port Stephens in New South Wales

July 14th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Jimmy's Beach (Winda Woppa) toward Yacabba Headland © J.lyle

Jimmy’s Beach (Winda Woppa) toward Yacabba Headland © J.lyle

Port Stephens, an open youthful tide dominated drowned valley estuary, is a large natural harbour of approximately 134 square kilometres (52 sq mi) located in the Hunter Region of New South Wales and is larger than Sydney Harbour. Port Stephens lies within the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park and is situated about 160 kilometres (99 mi) north-east of Sydney. The park was established to protect the wide variety of sea life that inhabit the port and nearby coastal areas of the Tasman Sea from just south of Forster to the northern end of Stockton Beach. The harbour lies wholly within the local government area of Port Stephens; although its northern shoreline forms the boundary between the Port Stephens and Mid-Coast local government areas. The port was named by Captain Cook when he passed on 11 May 1770, honouring Sir Philip Stephens, who was Secretary to the Admiralty. Stephens was a personal friend of Cook and had recommended him for command of the voyage. It seems Cook’s initial choice had actually been Point Keppel and Keppel Bay, but instead he used Keppel Bay later. Port Stephens is a popular tourism destination with a strong focus on aquatic activities such as whale and dolphin watching, fishing and recreational boating and swimming.   read more…

The Ovation of the Seas

June 1st, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month

© Matthias Süßen/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Matthias Süßen/cc-by-sa-3.0

MS Ovation of the Seas is a cruise ship operating for Royal Caribbean International (RCI). The vessel is the third ship in the Quantum class, which surpasses RCI’s earlier Freedom-class ships by over 14,000 GT, becoming the second largest class of passenger ships behind RCI’s Oasis class ships on a gross tonnage basis. The sister ships are Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.   read more…

Port Melbourne

April 19th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Bay Street © Bmorey/cc-by-3.0

Bay Street © Bmorey/cc-by-3.0

Port Melbourne is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 5 km south-west from Melbourne’s Central Business District. It is split between the local government areas of Melbourne and Port Phillip. The area to the north of the West Gate Freeway is in the City of Melbourne. The area to the south is in the City of Port Phillip. The suburb is bordered by the shores of Hobsons Bay and the lower reaches of the Yarra River. Port Melbourne covers a large area, which includes the distinct localities of Fishermans Bend, Garden City and Beacon Cove. Historically it was known as Sandridge and developed as the City’s second port, linked to the nearby Melbourne CBD. The formerly industrial Port Melbourne has been subject to intense urban renewal over the past decade. As a result, Port Melbourne is a diverse and historic area, featuring industrial and port areas along the Yarra, to open parklands, bayside beaches, exclusive apartments and Bay Street’s restaurants and cafes. The suburb also forms a major transport link from east to west, home to one end of the West Gate Bridge.   read more…

Adelaide in South Australia

April 7th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Chinatown on Moonta Street © Scott W./cc-by-2.5

Chinatown on Moonta Street © Scott W./cc-by-2.5

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia, and the fifth-most populous city of Australia. In June 2014, Adelaide had an estimated resident population of 1.31 million. South Australia, with a total of 1.7 million inhabitants, has the most centralised population of any state in Australia, with more than 75 percent of its people living in greater Adelaide, while the other population centres in the state are relatively small. The demonym “Adelaidean” is used in reference to the city and its residents. Adelaide is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges which surround the city. Adelaide stretches 20 km (12 mi) from the coast to the foothills, and 94 to 104 km (58 to 65 mi) from Gawler at its northern extent to Sellicks Beach in the south. Named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for a freely-settled British province in Australia. Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide’s founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens, in the area originally inhabited by the Kaurna people. Light’s design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and entirely surrounded by parklands.   read more…

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