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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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.
Accommodation | Tours

noosajazz_finalartist

Pic: noosajazz.com.au

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Support Queensland tourism

Our thoughts go out to all those affected across Queensland by the wild weather of late. We understand flooding is still causing trouble in some destinations but please don’t cancel your plans to visit Queensland entirely because of this.

Much of the region is open for business and the sunny weather has returned to a lot of the state. Plus operators need your assistance now more than ever.

If you have some plans in place, contact the operators you have booked with first before you make cancellations. Hostels, tour companies, airports and roads are still open. Here are some useful websites for you to double check your plans:

QLD Alert – updated emergency, weather and travel information including road closures
RACQ – a list of road closures and advice on driving in bad conditions
Bureau of Meterology – updated weather conditions, satellite maps

The same goes for whatever plans you have for New South Wales post floods and fires, and Victoria and Tasmania post fires. Please support these parts of the country and visit if they are still open for business.

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Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact Jo at viplounge@vipbackpackers.com

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.

NEW SOUTH WALES

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

Blowing kisses, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Pic: Joanne Lane, http://www.visitedplanet.com

Sydney Festival (Jan 5 – 27)
www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2013
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)
www.flickerfest.com.au
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)
tcmf.com.au
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)
www.mardigras.org.au
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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Woodford to light up soon with annual folk festival

And there’s good reason for this. Here you can engage your mind, marvel at circus acts, dance or sing yourself silly with some incredible bands and just enjoy the forum of ideas that is Woodford. It all happens here.

It’s a fabulous place to chill for a few days post Christmas and ring in the New Year in a fun but meaningful way.

Go and see for yourself. Here are some pics from previous festivals from previous visits we’ve taken (courtesy Visited Planet) to give you a bit of an insight into the fun, the folk and the frivolity of Woodford!

Where: Woodford, Sunshine coast hinterland, Queensland
When: December 27 to January 1
Cost: varies, see www.woodfordfolkfestival.com (or volunteer!!)
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