Search Results For -australia

1
Deciding to Live Down Under : Part Five : Winter in Australia
2
Going to Live in Australia: Part 4 The Blue Mountains
3
Deciding to Live Down Under: Part 3 Summer in Australia
4
Going to Live in Australia: Part 1
5
Christmas in Fuerteventura: Where Santa dives and windsurfs!
6
Top 24 Brunches in the world to make you drool
7
The real story on the best destinations 2014
8
Quite Possibly the Best Dinosaur Theme Park in the World
9
A night less ordinary: the Majestic Minima Hotel in Adelaide
10
Purple 10 Bucket List Ideas in the Water

Deciding to Live Down Under : Part Five : Winter in Australia

It seemed really strange that winter over here is June, July and August! We planned to go to the Lismore Lantern Parade, which  is an annual community arts festival held on or around the longest night of the year – the Winter Solstice. This year, the Lismore Lantern Parade was held on Saturday 23 June 2012 and the theme was ‘Harvest’.

Each year, the Lantern Parade attracts in excess of 25,000 people. The festival celebrates community, art and nature with arts, crafts, workshops, regional cuisine, markets, a spectacular parade, lanterns, bands, street theatre, music, carnival dancers, illuminated puppets, fire art and pyrotechnics and much, much more…

The festival takes place in the heart of the Lismore CBD with lantern making workshops held in the months and weeks before the festival begins. Local businesses actively participate in the festival and decorate their windows to complement the theme for each year.

School holidays were in July and we did a bit of exploring around the local area. We went to Protestors Falls – they were amazing- you enter through the Rainforest and end up at a glorious sparkling waterfall. It was where protestors chained themselves to the trees years ago so they couldn’t be cut down and you could see why. Then we went to Nimbin. Nimbin is a hippy town and one of the few places where you can indulge in drugs…. We were offered drugs 4 times whilst we were there in the street.

A few days later we headed off to Australia Zoo. Steve Irwin’s wife Terri and kids – Bindi and Robert fed the crocs and were in the show. Then, as we had put in before we even came to Australia for our permanent residency visas, we left to go to New Zealand for a couple of days, whilst they granted the visas.

Jack and I went through and jumped on the plane to Christchurch. We arrived at 11.20pm and there was a 4.6 earthquake at 11.30pm but we didn’t feel the earth move one bit. Guess the airport was too far out. We got to our motel – The Towers in the Park in Riccarton and chilled. Jack was most impressed with the free sky movies and Internet. I went out and explored Christchurch. It was good to see that the spirit of the people was really good and even though a lot of the city was still very damaged people were determined to get the city back to being as beautiful as it once was.

I also found where in 2006 we had gone punting on The River Avon which was beautiful and then went for a walk through the Botanic Gardens. We had a few beautiful winter days. On the last day, we visited the Antarctic Centre and saw the fairy penguins. Gorgeous. There were snow storms and 4D shows and it was really interesting. We went on the Hagglund vehicles and went up and down hills set up as if they were in the Antarctic. We then went to the airport and waited through the night for an early flight- we were amazed at the number of people who actually slept at the airport whilst waiting for flights – they were there armed with their sleeping bags and pillows!!!

Our visas were granted for Australia so we re-entered the country as Australian residents which was great!

Read more from Liz Bethell on her personal Blog.

Click here for Part Four

Going to Live in Australia: Part 4 The Blue Mountains

Part four of the series from our guest blogger, Liz Bethell on her decision to  live in Australia. This week, she talks about visiting the Blue Mountains.

The Blue Mountains

On one April morning, we headed off a place called Leura to meet our friends,  Shane and Janette. We rented a three-storey house, with beautiful views across the Blue Mountains. I kept watching to see if any wallabies appeared but no joy! We headed out to the Jenolan Caves and went into the Lucas Cave on an hour and half tour. The caves were breathtakingly beautiful and the guide was excellent. Then we headed out to Katoomba (meaning place of shiny water) where we went on a skyride across the mountains and the floor cleared so you could see right below. We saw the Three Sisters and went down in the world’s steepest cog train down the mountain – although we had done that last time we were here in 2007, it was great to do it again.

The sunsets and sunrises are beautiful in the Blue Mountains, but it was pretty nippy- much more like a brisk spring morning in the UK. After a week, we headed back up north to the warmer climate (thankfully!). We picked Rachel up in the morning at Sydney airport- another exchange teacher who is working at Broken Hill, which is pretty isolated so we are going to show her around Byronshire and Ballina area for a week.

We did a road trip – you have to do at least one when you are in Oz – from the Blue Mountains and through Sydney back up home, which took a whopping ten hours.  The next day we got up early and went to Shelley’s Beach cafe again. This was in East Ballina and was just a beautiful spot on the beach with water dragons around in the courtyards. Then we went out for the day with Dave and Tiffany, friends from school. They took us around the local area and we really explored. We met Dave’s parents who live on a beautiful 30 acre farm and there were two gorgeous owls in the tree in the garden. We had stopped in Bangalow for a lovely lunch and then headed back home early evening after a wonderful day. A nice way to finish off the last day, my husband Ralph was with us before we had to drop him off at Brisbane airport.

Anzac Day

It was Anzac Day on 25th April 2012 I went to the very moving Anzac Dawn Service at 5:30am. There were a lot of people there, including four soldiers and a bugle player, and the service was lovely. At the end everyone sang the Australian National Anthem, which started with God Save the Queen.

Lest We Forget

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.

Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

… They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Then we had a quiet couple of weeks. I was busy at school and Autumn was coming in. The temperature dropped to 23 degrees which seemed fresh and cool and had everyone reaching for their jumpers! Funny as in England we would be taking the jumpers off, guess we really acclimatised.

It’s also funny how everything we take for granted after being here for five months. The rainforest trees that we had awed at when we first arrived now just seemed normal and everyday. And the views across the hills as I drive to work with the low mist each morning are still beautiful, but it feels like we have always been here so are just used to them.

Beef Week

We went to Beef Week at Casino on 26th May with two of the girls from work. Jan said I needed to experience Beef Week as Casino is the capital of Beef for Australia and was a week long festival. We met Deb George there and her husband Thomas George, the Lismore Councillor. He was presenting a lot of the day. The cattle were amazing – gleaming and so healthy looking. It was a bit sad when they got auctioned off for meat, but it didn’t stop us tucking into steak sandwiches… Afterwards I was going to stay for the rodeo but decided to wait until Ralph comes out, especially as the other thing on offer was a trip to the Thomas’s brother’s local pub Hotel Cecil with Deb, Thomas and their friends.

It’s a totally cool pub.  We met some more very friendly Australians, especially one very friendly Aussie man. He said I reminded him of his second wife, but that he has only been married once…. He also said I have a great Pommie accent, which was nice of him.

Actually, if you include the stranger outside the pub who hugged Deb and I and then came back for another hug before vanishing down the street,  two very friendly Aussie men!! Could definitely get used to this life.

Read more from Liz Bethell on her personal blog.

Click here for Part Three

Deciding to Live Down Under: Part 3 Summer in Australia

Part Three of the series from our guest blogger, Liz Bethell on her decision to  live in Australia. This week, she talks about summer down under.

January had passed and then we were into February, which is the hottest month. It seemed so strange to have seasons at the opposite ends of the year! I started at my new school and the first week passed quite quickly. I have 22 children in my class and they are certainly a lively bunch! They gave me a good trying out in the beginning but as the weeks went on, I found I was loving them more and more. They have such characters and personalities and the staff are lovely and so friendly. It is a lot more relaxed teaching in Australia than England, in terms of planning and work load, so far anyway, and the curriculum is totally different which takes a bit of getting your head around, but such a fantastic place to be.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

After school we have kept up swimming 20 laps, 4 times a week at the Olympic Pool in Alstonville and then on Friday we went for a meal at our local, The Pioneer Tavern, Wollongbar, with Janette and Shane, two lovely friends we have made. On Sunday we had been invited to the welcome party BBQ for the new exchange teachers up at
Brunswick Heads, about 40mins up the coast from us. We all met by the Australian Flag at the Torcini River at noon and then spent the afternoon meeting other teachers who have exchanged from the UK or Canada and also Australian teachers coming back from the UK.

We spent a day up at Sea World too – Fantastic Day. We saw whales, dolphins and sting rays as well as many more sea creatures. What an amazing day! Jack and Shane really enjoyed soaking people in the boat ride and we all ended up pretty wet! Absolutely gorgeous day too! Soo much to do out here, a lifetime is not long enough!

Seaworld

Then in February I had to go to Sydney for the Exchangees Conference. We listened to talks on living in Australia for the year and the police came in and explained that we shouldn’t speed unless we wanted a $280 fine – about 200GBP!! Then went for a meal in a pub where you buy the raw steak and then cook it yourself on a barbi! Following that, we walked around Sydney Harbour – absolutely amazing by night and then equally beautiful this morning. Opera house was impressive as ever. The Aussie’s seem to use planes like we use trains and buses in the UK, just hop on one and get about!!! Did The Rocks market this morning too, was lovely! Sydney is an amazing place and we will head down there for a couple of days before going home. One thing we plan on doing is the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb- up and over the top!

When I got on the plane, as I walked through to board one of the ground crew asked me if I was prepared to assist them in the event of an emergency! Thought I must have looked ultra efficient until I got on the plane and realised I was on the front row next to the emergency exit, which basically means you have to open it if things go wrong……. Wonder if they knew what they were doing giving me that kind of responsibility…….

Fish Heads Byron Bay

February was pretty hot although there had been a lot of rain. It seemed to stick around 30 degrees. Then there would probably be a storm later to break it up and go a bit cooler. We often think about how lucky we are to be living here. We walk Boomer to the magnificent scenery of hills and stunning rainforest trees around Wollongbar and then I drive to work through beautiful surroundings of rolling hills and lush green scenery. So beautiful, no stress, everything is totally chilled. Australia is certainly the lucky country.

We went and spent a weekend in Yamba, further down the coast. Yamba is supposed to be the most beautiful place in Australia apparently so should be good to see. Although it rained a lot we still had a good time and met some friends. In March we went to the Channon Market at Lismore. The markets are a big thing in the country life
with stalls set out in a very pictoresque fashion. There are clothes stalls, jewellery, massage cubicles, live bands playing, foods from all over the world and so on. So cool. Met a strange man who was dressed in a white wedding dress. Apparently he usually dresses up as a fairy or a baby. He told us he’s the most normal one there and there are some strange ones!! We had a nice coffee and mooch about with friends, Kathleen, Mark and Terese. The market was really lovely.

My birthday approached and we all descended on Fish Heads Restaurant at Byron Bay. Awesome seafood! I had bugs, mussels, prawns and spaghetti. The seafood is really good out here. Janette and Shane said we had to watch a movie called Castle which apparently is almost an initiation to Australia! It was very funny!

The next morning we were off to Lennox Head for breakfast with more friends- Deb and her
husband Thomas. The clock went back in the morning but nobody told the kookaburras, who sing beautifully and very distinctively so instead of waking up at 6am I woke up at 5am! Don’t mind though as the mornings are beautiful.

Read more from Liz Bethell on her personal Blog.

Going to Live in Australia: Part 1

Part One of our new weekly series from guest blogger, Liz Bethell about going to live in Australia.

Everyday in life we are offered opportunities.  Whether we choose to recognise or act upon those opportunities or just ignore them, is up to us as individuals. I believe that when an opportunity presents itself, we must not ignore it – if it is possible to take it, we should. It’s like learning to dance in the rain instead of waiting for the rain to stop. And God forbid those opportunities we could have done end up on the bucket list, and we later think “Why didn’t I try that?”, but it’s suddenly too late.

This happened to me in 2006. We came to Australia on a 4 month extended holiday with the idea of seeing if we liked it and possibly moving out here at a later date. We met some amazing people back then who have stayed quality, genuine friends as the years have gone by. One friend was an American girl, Kristen, over in Australia doing a teaching placement and through her we met a Canadian teacher doing a Teacher Exchange- actually swapping lives with an Australian counterpart for a year- house, job, car- only keeping the same partner and children! When I heard that I thought how awesome it was- what an amazing experience.

I went home to life as I knew it. I asked about the Exchange at work, but as I was then working in the Reception class and the exchange to Australia started mid-year for the British participants, it was felt that there would be too much upheaval for the little ones and would be better when I had an older class. So a few years later, when I had been teaching in Year 3 for a few years, I approached my head teacher and put forward an application through the Commonwealth Scheme to swap and move Down Under for a year.

It wasn’t as straight forward as usual. The tough year with the government meant that they withdrew a lot of funding for the organisation and there was doubt as to whether it would continue running- a shame as this has run now for 100 years. Then finally CYEC Commonwealth Youth Exchange Committee took it over and everything started moving fast in the last few months. My Australian Exchange Teacher, Fiona had her application sent to my school where it was considered by the head and the governing body and likewise mine was being done by the Principal in Australia.  Fiona and I spoke a lot on the phone and got to know each other and emailed and set up networks of people to help us both settle in on either side of the world! We researched the area and I couldn’t believe it- if I could have chosen the area I would have loved to go to it would have been Byron Bay- the place where we met Kristen- our American friend and through her, Bob and Chris and other friends. People who now live 15 minutes from where we are living this year. Pretty amazing when you consider that you can’t choose where you want to go- and the size of Australia! I knew it was meant to be. Visas had to be sorted and police checks and housing had to be sorted out. People usually swap the houses they are living in but as my partner, Ralph works offshore in the diving industry I knew he wouldn’t be able to give up his job for the year and so would need to go home for some of the time. So I decided to rent a house for Fee, Eric and her girls, Ellen and Adi. This worked out well as it was near school for them.

Finally the end of December came. I hung back so I could actually meet the Aussies as we had got on so well on the phone. They arrived Christmas Day. We had a big Welcome/Leaving Party on December 28th in Liverpool and then on 29th December my son Jack and I hopped on a plane bound for Sydney, Australia. We would be met by Nicolette and Ross, some more fantastic friends we had made back in 2006 and were going to spend New Year with them before heading up to our new home and life up on the East Coast of Australia. I didn’t know it then but this was going to be the start of an experience that was more awesome than even I could have imagined! And I haven’t finished it yet!

Read more from Liz Bethell on her personal Blog.

Read part two of Going to live in Australia here.

Christmas in Fuerteventura: Where Santa dives and windsurfs!

Christmas Holidays in Fuerteventura

You might have wondered what happens in more sunny corners of the world when the cosy and cold Christmas festive season is about. You might have seen pictures of Australians partying on the beach with swimsuits and Christmas hats on and wondered how it would be if you spent a sunny Christmas by the beach yourself. Well wonder no further because you are guaranteed to have all that and much more if you book for Christmas in Fuerteventura! As with most places, Fuerteventura has its own customs and traditions when it comes to Christmas and some of them are magic indeed. So without further ado, here is our guide to enjoy your Christmas in Fuerteventura while soaking up the sun rays of this mostly sunny island!

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Top 24 Brunches in the world to make you drool

It’s brunch o’clock! 
Brunch o'clock!

Straddling between breakfast and lunch time, brunch has become the hottest trend these days… our favorite leisure break! It’s story was framed in the late 1800s by English and its’ fame was escalated after 130 years in the U.S. However, the word itself was first appeared in Hunter’s Weekly content when Guy Beringer asked the public to have only light meals before going to church on Sunday afternoon. He said that brunch gives you a more jaunty temper and you are instantly like an upbeat ‘’looney kid’’. He even suggested the local restaurants and pubs serving beer with a nice plate of delicacies instead of the typical English tea or coffee. However, there was a short mention on the Punch magazine in 1876 saying that when you eat at times which are a bit closer to breakfast, this is brunch… Read More

The real story on the best destinations 2014

It’s official, Trip Advisor the world renowned travel site has awarded a host of awards for best destinations 2014. The annual Traveller’s Choice Awards includes the vast city of Istanbul in Turkey which tops the poll, with Rome, London and Beijing following close behind. Each city or place earned its review through the reviews and opinions of visitors the site. “If you’re looking for trip inspiration, look no further than the Travelers’ Choice Destinations,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Our global travelers are the tastemakers for uncovering the best places to visit around the world.” The awards in its 6th year picks out 500 of the absolute best places to visit in the world.

Best destination collage Square 640But what are these places really like? I’ve asked some of the Purple Travel family to share their thoughts on the top destinations 2014. Some they loved and some… well, you’ll see for yourself. We’d love to hear what you think, good or bad about the official list!

1. Istanbul, Turkey Fantastic city full of sights and culture. The people are so friendly and eager to help. This place has it all. – Gary
I think the best of the best way to taste the Turkish food, and experience the Turkish mentality, is to eat this giant hot dog with fish and cabbage at the Bosphorus coast on the Asian part of Istanbul. There are cooks on floating boats, preparing the grilled fish, that are then placed on these huge bagel and stuffed that with cabbage, fried potatoes and mustard. You cannot imagine! Also don’t miss the old guy outside the Blue Mosque who sells bagels and gives you for free La vache qui rit portion! – Soso
2. Rome, Italy What can someone say about Rome, about the Italians, their food and their language? I think my best moments in Rome were when we were walking around from the Piazza di Spagna, to the Colosseum, and the Fontana di Trevi. Suggested hotels-the newly built Caravel hotel (just two stops by bus from Piazza di Spagna) with nice big rooms and a lovely receptionist and Hotel Trevi, with its traditional style in the very centre of the city!!! loved them both, love Rome! – Soso
3. London, England Massive dump, ok for day trips but get out before it chews you up. – Gary

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Quite Possibly the Best Dinosaur Theme Park in the World

If visiting a real Jurassic Park is high on your bucket list, then listen up? Ok we wouldn’t exactly call Palmersaurus a real Jurassic Park, but it’s the next best thing.

Palmersaurus logo

Image via @ PalmercoolumResort

Newly opened, the Australian dinosaur theme park is home to 160 life size robot prehistoric delights, ranging from 22 metres long, to 10 metres tall. There are velociraptors, T-rexs and lots of other ancient carnivores come to life.

The dino theme park is the work of a billionaire mining boss, who’s recently been elected an MP. Clive Palmer is also responsible for an exact replica of the Titanic, aimed at tourists from China. The park rubs shoulders with a luxury golf resort and spa next door, so it really is a culture clash!

Image via @ PalmercoolumResort

Scary or not? Take a look for yourself.

A night less ordinary: the Majestic Minima Hotel in Adelaide

Every week, we keep an eye out for the most weird and wonderful hotels on earth. From caves to igloo styled hotels, expect the unexpected and a night less ordinary. This week, the Majestic Minima Hotel in Adelaide, South Australia.

majestic 1

Image via @ www.majestichotels.com.au

What’s the gimmick? Art buffs, visiting Adelaide in South Australia can now enjoy a unique artistic experience in a hotel, whose rooms have been turned into true paintings. Opened in 2008, the Majestic Minima Hotel has won a place among the city’s most alternative and special accommodation. The Majestic Minima Hotel made an avant-garde renovation, turning its rooms into exceptional works of art.

Why stay? Guests can spend a night in an art room, which they will choose from the hotel’s online gallery. Options are ample and extremely interesting, as room themes vary, from romantic patterns to colourful designs.

The WOW Factor? Many South Australian artists were called to visually represent their take on the theme of ‘creativity and creation’ in each one of the 46 rooms. The walls and ceiling in every room have been adorned with reliefs or wall paintings similar to the art of graffiti.

Stays at this one of a kind hotel start from £65 per night. 

Purple 10 Bucket List Ideas in the Water

Give your holiday an extra edge with our top 10 bucket list ideas in the water. Swim with giant tortoises, take a dip in an infinity pool, whatever takes your fancy!

Galapagos

Image via @ Derek Keats

1. See giant tortoises and sea lions in the Galapagos Islands

soak-in-the-steamy-waters-of-the-blue-lagoon-outside-of-reykjavk-iceland

Image via @ Vesna Middelkoop

2. Soak in the steamy waters of the Blue Lagoon, outside of Reykjavík, Iceland

Cenote

Image via @ schnappi

3. Bathe in a cenote (a deep natural sinkhole) in the Yucatan, Mexico

Water-bungalows

Image via @ ciamabue

4. Stay in a water-bungalow over the clear aqua water in the Maldives

Marina

5. Swim at the edge of the world at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore

visit-each-of-the-five-villages-of-italys-cinque-terre

Image via @ BusinessInsider

6. Visit each of the five seafront villages of Italy’s Cinque Terre

play-with-sea-turtles-on-a-black-sand-beach-in-hawaii

Image via @ Scott Carpenter

7. Play with sea turtles on a black sand beach in Hawaii

relax-in-the-thermal-pools-of-ischia-an-island-off-the-coast-of-italy

Image via @ Nicolo Lazzati

8. Relax in the thermal pools of Ischia, an island off the coast of Italy

Dead-sea

Image via @ visitisrael

9. Float in the Dead Sea in Israel

great-barrier-reef

Image via Wikicommons

10. Snorkel at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

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