It’s time for the movies: open air cinemas around Australia

Every summer Australia’s cities come alive with open air cinemas that utilise the balmy night temperatures at feature locations around the country. If you fancy seeing your favourite movie at a key location overlooking the Brisbane river, Sydney harbour or Melbourne’s St Kilda beach, this kind of cinema might just be your thing.



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10 of the best road trips downunder

Car caked in mudBirdsville, QueenslandAustraliaby Joanne LaneIn our August newsletter we detailed the incredible East Coast overland route from Sydney to Brisbane that is so popular with backpackers, particularly those with their own vehicle. It’s not the only amazing overland route however should you wish to tackle such a journey downunder. Here’s a list of some other routes to consider.
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September newsletter online: Hanging ten in the Northern Territory


The latest VIP Backpackers newsletter is now online featuring the full low down on our tours and services in the Northern Territory. Discover where to stay, what to do and when to visit with the festivals, destination information and hostel reviews on offer. Here’s a snippet:


Haven Backpacker Resort, Alice Springs
New, modern and stylish Haven Backpackers takes pride in its clean facilities and friendly welcome. Just 10 minutes from town with a swimming pool, free transfers from the airport/train/bus, luggage storage, breakfast and parking. There’s a good kitchen, TV room, BBQ and laundry also. Come to relax and have a good time! …………. Book & Read More HERE
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What’s on downunder over summer

The summer is heating up in Australia and so are the events. Here’s some that are happening in the next few months.


Blowing kisses, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Pic: Joanne Lane,

Blowing kisses, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Pic: Joanne Lane,

Sydney Festival (Jan 5 – 27)
It’s already begun but there’s still time to catch more than 1,000 performances happening in the city include song, dance and DJ.

Flickerfest (Jan 11 – 20)
The nation’s short-film festival Flickerfest brings fun and excitement to a superb setting on Bondi Beach with domestic and international productions.

Tamworth Country Music Festival (Jan 18 – 27)
This country town, 420 clicks north of Sydney, boasts belts, buckles, boots and jeans every January when bluegrass, rock, folk and country singers come to town.

Sydney Mardis Gras (Feb 12 – Mar 4)
This is the 35th year of the Sydney Mardis Gras and it’s going to be a big one. The event celebrates gay and lesbian culture in a number of events including dance parties, music and the parade of floats, glam and glitter through the CBD.

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5 amazing places to go in Darwin

Performer at Darwin’s famed Mindil markets. Pic: Joanne Lane,

Darwin has embarked upon some really great urban renewal projects of late – something I discovered when up in the NT capital for the Beer Can festival. I was struck by the number of new developments that were there from the last time I visited in the mid 2000s and how impressive they were. They’ve really made the city far more attractive and liveable with plenty of amazing venues, great eating places and fantastic markets.

I was also amazed at how popular it is amongst travellers coming on working holiday visas. Maybe they’ve all been reading Lonely Planet’s top 10 picks for 2012? Darwin was one of these.

Here are some of my favourite things:

The deck chair cinema
This totally wonderful outdoor cinema lets you recline in real old deck chairs – loved it. The choice of movies was pretty good with a lot of current flicks on, and while a little pricey at AUD$15 entry it was totally worth it. They also serve great meals at the cinema and they have RID on hand so you can ward off those Territory mozzies while you watch the show. You do need to come early to line up – an hour before is advised.
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