5 amazing places to go in Darwin

Performer at Darwin’s famed Mindil markets. Pic: Joanne Lane, http://www.visitedplanet.com

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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Ice cool – Queenstown winter festival underway

If you love snow, ice, fun, food, wine and plenty of action head to Queenstown in New Zealand for one of the best weeks of the year – the annual winter festival!

Action got underway for this event on the 22nd but it runs through til next week (July 1) so there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the festivities.

Action includes:
* the ice rink 10am-10pm daily
* fun run events

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Ord Valley Muster gets underway this weekend

It’s not a question of what you can do at the Ord Valley Muster – it’s what you can’t do.

If you want to experience Australian country music, a cattle station, a real outback muster, an aboriginal art rock tour, visit a diamond mine, watch a bunking bronc (horse) and more then you need to get up to Kununurra in northern Western Australia now!

The annual Ord Valley Muster gets underway this weekend (May 25) and will run for 10 fabulous days (until June 3) showcasing the art, culture, landscapes, sports and pursuits of the Kimberley. Continue reading

What’s on in Australia this May

Pic: perthcomedyfest.com.au

If you like a good beer, a full on belly laugh, a long walk and plenty of food and wine check out some of these exciting things happening around Australia this month!! Take a look.

> Perth International Comedy Festival (2-20), Perth, WA
For some good belly laughs in the WA capital visit during the annual comedy festival with 40 events and 140 performances in just 19 days.
Accommodation: Perth

> Celtic Festival (3-6), Glen Innes, NSW
Glen Innes in the NSW hinterland is renowned as the Celtic capital of Australia. The beautiful town puts on a good show with plenty of food, dance, costumes and merriment of a Celtic theme.
Accommodation: nearest in Coffs Harbour / Byron Bay Continue reading

Money saving tips for travel down under

We all know the Aussie dollar is high right now and the cost of living is going up but that doesn’t mean you should put your travel holiday of a lifetime on hold!

In fact this is one of the best times to go because it’s not as crowded as usual and with the winter season approaching it’s far more enjoyable for those not used to hot climates. And we’re keen to help you out so here’s some tips:

Book with VIP Backpackers
Become a VIP member and you instantly get a saving on your accommodation and tours. You also get a mobile SIM pack and 500km free travel with any Greyhound kilometre travel pass. Plus we frequently advertise good deals on our website so keep in touch with us and we’ll score you the deals!

Here’s a summary of member benefits for great savings:
QBE: Travel Insurance 40% Off
Greyhound: 15% bonus kms on kilometre passes! 10% off other tickets,
Adventure Tours Australia: up to 10% OFF selected tours,
Oz Experience: 5% OFF select national passes,
Mojo Surf: $10 OFF 5 day surf adventure,
Reef Encounters: 10% OFF,
Heading Bush: 5% OFF,
Bunyip Tours: 10% OFF Great Ocean Road Tour,
Mountain Designs: 10% OFF,
Taxback.com: 5% OFF (make getting an Australian income tax refund fast and easy!)
VIP: %1 OFF accommodation 1200 hostels worldwide,
Great Southern Railway: Up to 55% off,
Premier Coaches: 10% OFF,
Way Outback Desert Safaries: $30 OFF,
Traveller’s Autobarn: $49 OFF

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