10 things to do in Australia before you die

Read on for the ultimate list of things to do in Australia.

1. Visit the rock
The great monolith, Uluru, beckons out in the middle of central Australia with walks, camping and the chance to learn about Aboriginal Australian heritage. An absolute must on your downunder list.

2. Drive the Great Ocean Road
You can’t beat the Great Ocean Road for romantic and scenic drives. Stretching between Melbourne and Adelaide it’s a good overland weekend trip, or you could make it longer stopping off to camp, surf, sight see and snorkel on the way.
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Escape to the Whitsundays this winter

Been dreaming of the perfect winter escape in Australia this August? Look no further than the Whitsundays on the Queensland coast.

The Whitsundays is the gateway to the Barrier Reef with blue skies to explore, turquoise waters to dive into, golden beaches to lie on, gorgeous islands to sail to, green forests to walk through and plenty of night entertainment to keep you occupied.

Read all the details in the August VIP Backpackers newsletter – out now!

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Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at blog@vipbackpackers.com

Five warm places to spend winter downunder

In the southern hemisphere the nights and mornings are getting cooler and, if you’re like me, it’s a little tougher getting out of bed! I don’t know about you, but I’m always in search of something warm to do when winter comes around.

So with that in mind here are five really warm places you could spend winter in Australia this year (and in our next blog we’ll do the same for New Zealand):

Wildlife in Kakadu. Pic: Joanne Lane, http://www.visitedplanet.com

1. Go troppo – Darwin, Northern Territory
Darwin is one of the most laid back capitals in Australia. And given it’s usually pretty humid most of the year, the winter really is the best time to go. Take a few days to see the city and experience the history of the town in the WWII and Cyclone Tracey damage, then head out to national parks such as Litchfield and Kakadu. Kakadu needs little introduction – aboriginal rock art, amazing landscapes, plenty of wildlife (including the croc variety) and terrific waterfalls. Litchfield may be less well known but is equally fantastic. It’s still warm enough to swim at the park’s many waterholes and waterfalls and those that have a healthy respect for crocs will be pleased to note it’s safe for swimming. Continue reading

Best places to spend the autumn downunder

Okay so it’s getting a little chilly now in parts of Australia and New Zealand as winter approaches. But that doesn’t mean you should head home just yet! Here’s a few places that are particularly enjoyable at this time of year.

Cairns, Queensland
Up in the top end of the country, the winter onset is much later. And come June it’s also the official end of the stinger season, those nasty and often fatal jellyfish that roam Australian waters and keep you out of the sea, although do note Cairns has stinger nets anyway. There’s an absolute smorgasbord of choice for VIP accommodation in Cairns and any number of activities you could enjoy also. For example you could scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef, visit the amazing Daintree Rainforest or enjoy the wonders of the Atherton Tablelands. And most importantly you’ll be warm! Even in winter maximum temperatures are up to 25 and 26 degrees.

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Best places to get a job downunder

Heading downunder and wanting a job? Here’s a top 5 list of places to look. Make sure you have your paperwork done before you come.

Grape harvest, Clare Valley, South Australia

1. Fruitpicking
If you didn’t know already, Australia has a big agricultural industry and seasonal workers are required on farms all around the country. That means you! If you think you have what it takes to pick apples, bananas, grapes or other fruits/veges and don’t mind getting dirty and sweaty there’s plenty of good information out there to get you started. In Australia you can freecall the National Harvest Information Service on 1800 062 332. Another useful online resource is The Harvest Trail, the official government job search website. It provides details of the season work in regional areas around Australia. You could also check these websites for insider details:
* www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com/fruit-picking-australia.html
* www.coastshop.com.au/jobs/index.html
* www.pickingjobs.com
Alternatively you could join an organization like WOOF (Workers on organic farms) for working in a largely voluntary capacity.

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