Pre-Camping Checklist

Photo Credit - Nigel Allan Flickr

Photo Credit – Nigel Allan Flickr

As spring is almost here, the avid campers among you will be spending your next couple of weekends gearing up and preparing for the camping season ahead. This perfect time of year when it is not-too-hot nor not-too-cold, is when a lot of you will pack up and set out for a weekend adventure or two.

After your camping supplies have been lying dormant over the winter months, it’s important to go through the below checklist to make sure your supplies are in order. It could easily be too little too late if you receive a nasty shock when you roll out your tent at the campsite.

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Northern NSW: Where All The Rivers Run

Richmond-River-Woodburn

As a child, growing up in the southern state of Victoria, I spent a lot of time camping with my family on the mighty Murray River, that borders Victoria and New South Wales and runs through to The Coorong and to the river mouth in South Australia at Goolwa. They were the best times of my youth – spent boating, fishing, water-skiing, swimming and relaxing on the river and river-fed lakes and billabongs.

Riverside holidays can be equally as enjoyable as a seaside holiday, particularly in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales where all the rivers run. It is not called river country for nothing! There are more than eleven rivers to explore from Tweed Heads on the border of NSW/Queensland to Camben Haven on the NSW Mid North Coast.

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Lake Towada Japan: A Sea of Clouds

Views over Lake Towada

Views over Lake Towada

As we stood on the Kankodai Observatory overlooking the deepest section of Lake Towada we were in awe of this “sea of clouds”. It had a mystical dreamy appearance as though a sea monster was going to rise from the depths. We waited in silence, however all we could spy in the distance was a small boat and the long wake it left behind on the dark blue velvet waters.

Lake Towada is located in the Aomori Prefecture, Tohoku on Honshu, the largest of Japan’s islands. The double caldera lake was formed by volcanic activity eons ago and its outer rim consists of 600 to 1,000 metre high mountains, including Mt Towada and Mt Ohanabe. With a depth of 327m, it is the third deepest lake in Japan and is the largest crater lake on Honshu.

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Road Tripping: Brisbane to Cairns

Coastline North of Cairns

One of the great Aussie road trips is the 1700 Km drive along the Pacific coastline from Brisbane, the state capital, to Cairns in Far North Queensland. The trip, which is probably best broken up into seven comfortable segments, spending two days at each stop, over two weeks will take you from the stunning beaches of the Sunshine Coast, to the Fraser Coast, Capricorn Coast, the Great Barrier Reef through the cane fields to Townsville, the Great Green Way and eventually to Cairns.

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Let’s Stop the Scourge of ICE!!

AAIC

I am a strong advocate for the fight against recreational drugs in our society. I have not only seen the affect it has on the users, but also the impact it has on their families and friends. The drug called ICE, from the Amphetamine family, in particular shatters young lives into a million pieces and destroys families.

I see them almost everyday in my community in the streets, in the parks and in shopping centres; these crazed youths high on ICE. They are hyped up, jibbering to themselves and sometimes prone to violence. But users are also into a lot of illegal activity in order to get the money to buy the very addictive drug – ICE.

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Great Australian Hikes

Walk to Wineglass Bay Lookout

Walk to Wineglass Bay Lookout

In recent years walking or hiking is becoming more and more popular with travellers from all over the world. It is the ultimate way to explore a destination – just you and nature and an abundance of nature’s gifts plus in some cases a physical challenge, particularly when there are mountains or hills involved.

There are now travel companies that specialise in walking holidays, such as Australian Walking Holidays. Friends of mine toodle off every year to a new destination to complete a hike as well as take a holiday. Countries that they have hiked in include Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Italy and Sri Lanka. This year I believe they are planning to hike in Nepal.

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Re-visiting My Travel Bucket List

shutterstock_403615447

Travel bucket lists or wish lists – you either love them or don’t bother! However when I get together with friends we mostly talk about places we have travelled and where we intend to travel next. And because I am a travel writer I tend to subscribe to a lot of other travel blogs and travel sites because I love to learn about new and exciting travel destinations.

In December 2014 I prepared this travel bucket list of all the places I would like to travel to in the world. During the past 18 months I have been fortunate to tick two more, of the original 16 places, off my list of 25 – Mexico & Caribbean cruise and Tasmania. Plus I have travelled to Japan (but not to ski) and I did manage to visit one place in Cambodia this year on our South East Asian cruise. So maybe I could get half a tick each for these two!

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Where are the Most Pristine Beaches in Australia?

Pristine-Beaches-Australia

In terms of beaches Australia is teeming with them from north to south along both the eastern and western coastlines of this massive continent. We have beaches on the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Timor Sea in the far north.

State by state the beaches have their own uniqueness, with different colours and textures of sand, the sea water a palette of blues and greens and beautiful tranquil calm waters in little bays or big swells with thunderous waves lashing on the shores.

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Planning a Mediterranean Cruise

Cruise Ship in Kotor in Montenegro

Cruise Ship in Kotor, Montenegro

Cruises are becoming more and more popular as an option for seeing some of our big beautiful world. Once there was a stigma attached to cruising the high seas, with the perception that they were only for old people or that you spent the entire time puking over the side railing of the ship!

Last year, and earlier on this year, I was able to debunk these two myths about cruising. You see I spent 19 days cruising the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea in 2015, and in January this year, I spent 15 days cruising the South China Sea on a South East Asian cruise. On both cruises I experienced little or no seasickness and also discovered that a lot of younger people (under 50s), love to cruise.

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15 Things You Can Do in Coolangatta

Pacific-Village-Postcard

My first visit to Coolangatta (or Cooly), occurred sometime in the late 1970s when I came to the Gold Coast on a holiday with two girlfriends. I remember vividly going for a night out to Pacific Village Resort on Marine Parade at Coolangatta which was a party resort for the young in the 1970’s and 80’s.

These days Coolangatta, on the very southern end of the Gold Coast, is far removed from the above faded postcard image. Cooly now features world-class oceanfront hotels, restaurants and clubs and is still as popular as ever as a holiday destination. However in some ways it still exudes the charm of the beachside holiday from yesteryear.

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