VIP Backpacker’s top 10 destinations for 2014

A new year means new travel plans. And with that in mind here’s a summary of our top 10 list of destinations to consider in 2014 covering everything from the beach locations of Australia to Europe’s ancient cities and the best party action around the world in 2014. To view the list in full click here to see the latest newsletter.

Whitehaven beachWhitsundays, AustraliaBy Joanne LaneMACKAY

Mackay makes for an excellent base for excursions out to the superb Whitsundays, fabulous island and reef cruises, the wonders of Cape Hillsborough National Park, tours through Eungella Forest and an array of other adventure activities on sea and land. Located on Queensland’s central coast, it has also avoided the big tourism hits of places such as Airlie Beach nearby despite its superb access to the aforementioned attractions. The Bluewater 20km trail is something else worth checking out – dedicated pedestrian paths and bikeways connecting various attractions. The annual Festival of Arts in July is also worth planning for with cheese tasting, live jazz, dance, music and other performances. The River Sessions Festival is held in June.

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Perth easily gives Sydney a run for its money with its seaside location, great weather and relaxed manner. Not only is it appealing place to live for locals but a fantastic place for a working holiday or at least a holiday. The city also borders the Swan River adding a further attraction to cosmopolitan centres such as Fremantle, the wonders of Cottesloe beach, excellent local markets, the beauty of Kings Park and Boanic Gardens or wine tasting in the nearby Swan River area.

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FRANZ JOSEF, NEW ZEALANDFranz Josef GlacierSouth Island, New Zealand

Located on the west coast of the south island of New Zealand, Franz Josef is a must stop off in this part of the country. This area is part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site park with a whopping great 12 km glacier, plus the 20km Fox Glacier just 20km away to the south. The village of Franz Josef is just 10km from the face of the glacier and has a busy heliport offering walking tours and even heli skiing on the glacier. Most tourists book into guided walks on the glacier – an incredible experience.

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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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Tour Australia with the Ashes

The Commonwealth Bank Ashes Series is coming to Australia between November 2013 and January 2014. With tests in six different cities, touring with the Ashes offers the traveller a fantastic way to explore the country while enjoying prime sporting action. Here’s your guide to adventure with details of the schedule, the cities and places to stay..

November brings cricket action to Brisbane which is an excellent time to make the most of the city’s main attractions: Southbank Parklands with its incredible man-made beach, numerous walking and biking tracks, and access to the beautiful islands of Moreton Bay.. VIP Backpackers has plenty of central accommodation that isn’t too far from The Gabba, Brisbane’s hallowed cricket grounds. We also have an array of tours on offer including river cruises, abseiling, bike hire and more.
Dates: Thursday 21 – 25 November 2013 Australia V England; The Gabba, Brisbane
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10 September events to get to downunder

With winter over and spring now on our doorstep, it’s time to let your hair down. Festivities are getting ready to explode around the country throughout September. The 10 events listed below feature racing action, jazz, performance, food and the arts. And with VIP Backpacker accommodation and tours also on offer in these places, they make for excellent holiday destinations this spring.

Noosa Jazz Festival (29 – 1 September) QLD
Music lovers should head to Noosa at the end of August and beginning of September for several days of excellent music and food by the sea. The festival features both outdoor concerts and restaurant shows.
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March events downunder

Xavier Rudd, Byron Bay Blues and Roots - www.visitedplanet.comUpcoming March events in Australia and New Zealand:

Canberra Comedy Festival – Split your sides at these local, Australian and international acts. Held over seven days.

Sydney Royal Easter Show – The annual Easter show in Sydney is one of the biggest in the country. With showbags, carnival rides, livestock and plenty of entertainment its family friendly and fun for everyone. Held over the Easter week.

East Coast Blues and Roots Music Festival, Byron Bay – Held the Easter weekend every year this is a real feast of music for those who love rhythm, soul, funk and blues. Continue reading