Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Archive for australia

The City of Gnomes

By Linda Tancs

Garden gnomes are regarded as symbols of good luck. Produced in Germany in the early 1800s, they were commonly referred to in German fairy tales. Their popularity reportedly increased when they reached English gardens in the 1840s, where groundskeeping is an art form. No less popular today, they’re ubiquitous in gardens and lawns around the world. So it should come as no surprise that these ornaments have their own community. You’ll find it at Gnomesville in Australia’s Ferguson Valley. The precise location is off the roundabout linking Wellington Mill Road and Ferguson Road. No one knows why the city of gnomes appeared but, apparently, a custom has developed whereby gnome owners may leave one at the site provided that they indicate its place of origin. Currently, the site boasts over 5,000 ornaments hailing from places like New York, England, Ireland and Spain. Needless to say, it’s quite a tourist attraction and offers a picnic area.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Scaling the Heights in Sydney

By Linda Tancs

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an Australian heritage-listed steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour. An iconic landmark, the span offers magnificent views of the harbor for pedestrians and cyclists. For the more daring among you, though, only a proper climb will do. You can do that with BridgeClimb, an experience offering a trek to the summit of the arch. Wearing a safety harness, you’ll ascend to a height of 440 feet for a bird’s-eye, panoramic view of the city. If that’s not enough, you can opt for an “ultimate” climb, walking the entire length of the arch from south to north and back again. BridgeClimb is located at 3 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, which is easily accessible by car and public transport.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Dinosaur Trees in Australia

By Linda Tancs

Just a couple of hours northwest of Sydney is Wollemi National Park, a national park and wilderness area in Australia. Bushwalking is a popular activity thanks to the pristine, rugged wilderness met with pagoda rock formations, sandstone escarpments and deep gorges, among other things. In fact, one of the most fascinating discoveries of all time, the last surviving grove of Wollemi pine, occurred in 1994 during a bushwalking expedition in the deep gorges. Once thought to be extinct, its link to the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods puts it squarely in the backyard of the dinosaurs, who no doubt looked to the trees as a food source. Despite this discovery, the scarcity of the tree makes it highly endangered, and its location in the park is a closely-guarded secret. No worries, though. There’s enough extraordinary landscape to keep you occupied, and the softer light of autumn provides a great backdrop for outstanding photography.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Nervous Sharks in Australia

By Linda Tancs

It’s hard to imagine a shark being nervous. Yet there is a species of shark called the nervous shark, so named due to its timid nature around humans. It’s one of at least 28 species of shark in Shark Bay. Located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, this World Heritage Site is approximately 500 miles north of Perth, on the westernmost point of the Australian continent. And don’t let the name fool you. The locale is home to more than 100 species of reptiles and amphibians, 240 species of birds, 820 species of fish and more than 80 coral and 218 bivalve species. It’s also a safe haven for some of the world’s most endangered species, including the loggerhead turtle, green turtle, dugong and four mammal species not found in the wild anywhere else. You can explore some of the area’s best spots by following the World Heritage Drive or book a tour at the World Heritage Discovery & Visitor Centre.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Rock Art for Members Only

By Linda Tancs

Quinkan rock art refers to a large body of significant Australian Aboriginal rock art of a style characterized by their unique representations of “Quinkans,” found among the sandstone escarpments around the small town of Laura in Queensland, Australia. It’s regarded by UNESCO as one of the 10 most significant bodies of rock art in the world. You can tour this remote area exclusively with Jarramali Rock Art Tours and admire an area regarded by archaeologists as a 20,000-year-old outback museum. The tour site is nearly six hours away from Cairns.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

From the Indian to the Pacific

By Linda Tancs

You’ll find one of the world’s great transcontinental train journeys aboard Australia’s Indian Pacific. Named for the two oceans the train encounters on its journey, the Indian Pacific travels between Perth and Sydney on a spectacular 2,700 mile-long crossing. The locomotive itself is equally breathtaking, averaging 2,500 feet with 30 carriages. Sights along the route include the Blue Mountains of New South Wales (home to the steepest passenger railway in the world), the barren expanse of the Nullarbor (home to the longest stretch of straight railway track in the world), the mining town of Kalgoorlie and a ghost town named Cook.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Australia’s Aurora

By Linda Tancs

So much attention is directed at the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) that it’s easy to forget about the Southern Lights, the Southern Hemisphere’s own light show. Known as aurora australis, this celestial ballet is best viewed from southernmost points like Tasmania. Unlike its northern counterpart, you can see it year round although the longer nights of winter present the best potential. A Tasmanian hotspot is Cape Bruny Lighthouse, the country’s second oldest and longest continually staffed extant lighthouse. Get ready for a colorful show of red, green, yellow, blue and purple.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Australia’s Many Heads

By Linda Tancs

The Red Centre is the beating heart of Australia’s Outback. Aptly named for color, it’s an extraordinary landscape of desert plains, mountain ranges, gorges and some of Aboriginal Australia’s most sacred sites. Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) is among its many natural wonders and cultural landmarks. Translated as “many heads,” Kata Tjuta comprises soaring, domed rock formations that glow at sunrise and sunset. The site is sacred to the local Aboriginal Anangu people, who have inhabited the area for more than 22,000 years. The best way to view this area is by walking one of the trails. One of the shortest walks is to the Kata Tjuta dune viewing area, which offers panoramic views of the landscape. If you’re eager to escape the crowds, then maybe the longest walk is for you. Known as the Valley of the Winds Walk, the 4.5-mile trail compensates for its steepness and difficulty with breathtaking views between the domes.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The Bellarine Trails

By Linda Tancs

Australia’s Bellarine Peninsula is a peninsula located southwest of Melbourne in Victoria boasting fabulous trails. First there’s the tasting trail, featuring the best of cool-climate wines that define the region. Along with nationally rated five-star wineries, the trail includes top suppliers of local produce, olive oil, cheeses, pies and seafood. You can walk off your gastronomic experience along the second route, the Bellarine Rail Trail. That’s a 20-mile walking and cycling track following the route of the former South Geelong to Queenscliff branch line. Pace yourself; the hike takes about eight hours to complete.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Old and New in Tasmania

By Linda Tancs

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania is the largest privately funded museum in the Southern Hemisphere. Its charm lies in the fact that you can view antiquities and modern art side by side in a mostly-underground facility located on a winery estate in Berriedale. Just a stone’s throw from Hobart by ferry or road, the MONA Roma Express bus operates between Hobart and MONA often and takes around 30 minutes one way.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

%d bloggers like this: