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An Australian Sunset Road Trip

By Roxana Oliver

There is something magical about sunsets. Everybody loves watching them and soaking up the sweet energy and colours they bring. If you happen to be in Australia, you cannot miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime to see the most mesmerizing sunsets in the world.

The Best Waterfront Sunset Spots in Australia

Pack your things, gather your closest family and friends and hit the road for a magical sunset road trip hitting these five stops.

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria

twelve apostles australia

You can start your road trip on the Great Ocean Road and move your way north. However, don’t miss out on seeing the most amazing sunsets the Great Ocean Road has to offer. This is one of the most iconic places in Australia, which can be busy with tourists during the day. Since your mission here is to capture the sunsets, you will manage to avoid the touristic chaos. The biggest star of the show is the Twelve Apostles, with its rocky coast and colourful sunsets. Sit down, unpack some snacks and drinks and watch the horizon. The colours will change magically, from bright orange to the most calming pink reflecting on the water and providing tranquillity and joy.

St. Kilda Beach, Melbourne

melbourne australia beach

Your next stop is Melbourne itself, with its stunning beaches and great atmosphere. Just as you ride into town, you should make your way to St. Kilda Beach. Melbourne is famous for its beaches filled with peace and landscapes, but on this one you can experience some of the most amazing sunsets. Watch the sun go down while you’re sipping some wine and having a snack and enjoy the view of the warm changing colours and calm clear waters. If you get the chance to take a boat out, you will be able to see the most amazing view, filled with silhouettes of boats showered in the sun and share it with your close ones.

Byron Bay, NSW

Byron Bay New South Wales

As you progress with your road trip, you should head east. Go to Byron Bay if you want to be present for some of the most amazing sunsets on the east coast. As you wait for the sun to set, you can take a long stroll along the beach and enjoy its sweet smells and calming sounds and colours. You can even visit the Cape Byron Lighthouse and snap some stunning photos of the most calming sunsets on the east. However, since the road is long from Victoria, and Byron Bay can be quite long, you can easily rely on charter bus rental agencies to provide you with the most comfortable vehicles for your long road trips on your sunset adventures.

Moreton Island, Queensland

Moreton Island Queensland

If you continue along the east coast, you are on the road to more memorable sunsets. Moreton Island can be your next stop and it is just an hour’s drive from Brisbane. This island is a peaceful oasis that can help you forget about the hustle and bustle of urban life and it will provide some compelling sunsets. This island features some of the most wonderful beaches, untamed forests and massive sand dunes, and if you find just the right spot before the sun goes down, you will witness something amazing. Since this island is filled with shipwrecks, the sunlight will reflect from the water and hit the corroded metal and it will provide a colourful oasis of light, shadow and tranquilizing colours that are worth seeing.

Daydream Island, Queensland

Daydream Island Australia sunset

This island lives up to its name. It is a perfect place for finishing up your road trip and enjoying the last sunset of this adventure. The whole island is filled with a romantic atmosphere and as the sunset comes, it becomes even more dreamy and passionate; that’s why it is a perfect place for couples to enjoy. The rocky waters make the greatest music found in nature, while the shades of orange will shift and create a great setting for sipping wine and leaning against someone’s shoulder.

If extreme adrenaline-rising adventures are not your thing, don’t despair. A sunset adventure can be equally as exciting, because you can see the most amazing views and beaches on your trip. Pack your bags, consider renting a vehicle and hit the road filled with colours and joy.

 


roxana guest post

Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on twitter.


 

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Best Honeymoon Destinations for Surfers in Australia

By Marie Nieves

Planning a honeymoon can be stressful as it is, let alone when you’re looking for a place that’ll satisfy your thirst for adventure. So, what actually happens when two surf-lovers fall in love and get married? Well, they start planning a perfect honeymoon getaway in a place that might help them consolidate both their romantic and adventurous desires. Look no further from Australia, as this is the place where all your dreams come true. Being renowned as the destination with the most amazing natural splendour, romantic waterfront resorts and the best surf beaches in the world, Australia is the number one holiday retreat for anyone looking for an active honeymoon.

Where To Go For A Surf-Lover’s Honeymoon in Australia

So, without further ado, here are some of the best honeymoon destinations for surfers in Australia.

Alley to Noosa Main Beach AustraliaPhoto via Flickr by yarra64 

Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Home to magnificent beach resorts and some of the best surf spots in Queensland, the Sunshine Coast makes for the perfect surfer’s getaway. One of the most common surfing locations is the Noosa Main Beach, where the annual Noosa Festival of Surfing is held. Other popular surfing locations include Mooloolaba, Dicky Beach and the Buddina Beach. The Sunshine Coast also has more national parks than any other region in Queensland, making it a true nature-infused vacation for anybody up for the task.

Byron Bay, New South Wales

The beachside town of Byron Bay is a popular tourist destination mostly because of its amazing scenery, impeccable wildlife and beautiful beaches. Tallow Beach is one of the most favourable surfing spots, while you surely won’t make a mistake by visiting Suffolk Park or Clarkes Beach. The ocean way leading to the Byron Bay lighthouse is a great setting for a midnight walk, but the Cape Byron Marine Park is the best way to experience the open ocean and the tidal waters of the Brunswick River and its tributaries.

Whitehaven Beach AustraliaImage via Flickr by Chilli Mimi

Whitsunday, North Queensland

A collection of continental islands off the central coast of Queensland is an appealing location to many couples looking to indulge in the breathtaking sights of the Great Barrier Reef, enjoy seaway and short walks on the Ngaro Sea Trail or simply lay back and relax on the white sands of the Whitehaven Beach. Airlie Beach is the best option not only for beach surfing, but for windsurfing, kiteboarding and sailing.

Margaret River, Western Australia

Margaret River is the name of a small town south of Perth, mostly known for its craft breweries, wineries and several hundred caves. The humid Mediterranean climate and a charming rural appeal, it makes for a popular couple’s destination. What’s interesting is that the west coast of this alluring little town is a renowned surfing location and has acquired worldwide fame for its surf breaks.

Granite Island AustraliaImage via Flickr by Jocey K

Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia

Located south of Adelaide, Fleurieu Peninsula has some amazing surfing spots, some of the most prominent ones being Waitpinga and Middleton. The peninsula is also known for its Fleurieu wine zone with beautiful vineyards, which is a great way to add a touch of Tuscany to your Australian honeymoon. There’s a variety of charming beachside cottages, secluded beaches and captivating restaurants that’ll definitely make your honeymoon something to remember.

Sydney, New South Wales

When talking about the best surfing destinations, local cuisine, mesmerizing beaches, romantic waterfront spa resorts and beautiful scenery, we shouldn’t fail to mention Sydney. One of the largest and definitely one of the most famous cities in Australia offers a wide array of activities, suitable for anyone’s taste, which is why this is one of the best places for planning an active honeymoon. Sydney is very well known for its rich cultural content, as well as entertainment with the Sydney Opera House, The Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as well as the Royal Botanical Garden being located here.

The North Shore and northern beaches of Sydney are especially appealing, but nothing more than the eastern suburbs where some of the most affluent resorts are found. Manly Beach is one of the most popular holiday destinations, but if you want something more secluded the Maroubra Beach in Randwick is the best pick for you. This suburb has an enchanting aesthetic appeal known for its rich history and fine, heritage buildings. Booking a Randwick boutique hotel is a great choice, as its charismatic surroundings makes a perfect setting for an active honeymoon, with a variety of surf beaches in close proximity.

 

Australia is, without a doubt, an undisputed champion when it comes to romantic holidays, permeated with lots of action and adventure. If you’re feeling adventurous and are looking for a heavenly destination that’ll satisfy all your needs, then you can rest assured, knowing that they’re all listed right here.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mmary nieves profile picarie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest or HighStyLife where she is a regular author.


 

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The Best Hikes In New Zealand

By Rea & Nejc

New Zealand is a one-of-a-kind country with amazing coffee and friendly people but most notably, it has the most diverse and stunning nature we have seen on our travels so far. In this small island country you can find absolutely everything: from beautiful beaches, wild ocean, jungle and forests to photogenic mountains, glaciers, active thermal areas, lakes, fiords and much more. We have spent one whole year working in New Zealand and discovering this amazing country and travelled to almost every corner of it.

Exploring New Zealand By Foot

As big nature lovers, we decided to explore as much of New Zealand’s nature as possible on foot. We were absolutely impressed by the thousands of possibilities that this country has to offer: from simple one day hikes to advanced multiple day hikes which are all very well marked and preserved. The truth is that New Zealand is undoubtedly one of the friendliest hiking destinations.

No matter where you are, the simple one to three hour walks will always be available to stretch your legs and breathe in the beauty of the surrounding nature. The best way to see what short hikes are available in the area is to simply pop in to the local i-site and have a nice chat with whomever may help you. Also, if you are on a road trip, you will see countless brown boards along New Zealand’s highways indicating points of interest. Just pick the ones you might be interested in visiting and you’ll discover many off-the-beaten paths you didn’t even know existed!

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However, if you’re a hiker by heart and you would like to spend more days exploring New Zealand’s nature, there are also many multiple day hikes available all over the country. Nine of them are named as the New Zealand Great Walks and get pretty busy during the season (October – April), but there are also many others that are less crowded and also well, cheaper!




If you go for a multiple day hike, you have two options of spending the night: you can either decide to carry all your camping gear with you and spend the night in provided campsites, or you can stay in a hut, sharing a bunk bed with other people. Either way, you will have to book the hut or the campsite in advance as they get really busy in the summer. However, this only goes for the nine great walks – all the other walks should be done without previous bookings. You know how it goes: first come, first served!

5 Of The Best Hikes In New Zealand

In one year in New Zealand, we’ve done a lot of hiking, and we are now ready to share our favourite ones with you, the ones we think are the best hikes in New Zealand!

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing

tongariro-alpine-crossing-new-zealand

When planning your hikes in New Zealand, this hike will probably be the first one you will come across. It is referred to as the best day hike in the world by Lonely Planet, and we’ll be honest, once you’ve done it, you will understand. With its indescribably beautiful volcanic landscape, it is certainly the best hike we’ve done so far.

The day before the hike, we booked a shuttle bus that picked us up early in the morning and took us to the Mangatepopo car park where we started the hike. Although you can do the hike from either direction, it is recommended to start from here for two simple reasons: first because you’ll get much better views from this side, and second because it makes the hike much, much easier to start from this point.

The morning was cold, but the sky was clear, and even before the sunrise we knew we were going to have a perfect day. It happens very rarely that you have a sunny day without wind when crossing the Tongariro, and we were one of the few lucky ones.

The first part of the hike already blew our minds: with its spectacular views over Mt Ngauruhoe (also known as Mt Doom from The Lord of the Rings), it was simply the perfect way to start the morning. After we warmed up our bodies, we slowly started ascending and reached the South Crater where we stopped for a short break. We then continued to the Red Crater (the highest point of the track if you decide not to climb to the top of  Mt Ngauruhoe), and then slowly descended to one of Tongariro’s biggest highlights: the Emerald lakes. Allow an hour to stop here for lunch and take pictures, as I am pretty sure you will want to take many of them. With its crazy green colours, these lakes are one-of-a-kind! Recharged with energy, we continued our way to the Blue lake, and then all the way down to the Ketetahi car park, trying to capture the best views over lake Taupo on the other side.

The Kepler Track

kepler-track-new-zealand-best-hikes

Being part of the nine New Zealand’s Great Walks, the Kepler track is well worth the effort. This 60 km loop track can also be done from either direction but spending your first night in Luxmore hut, and thus doing the track from this direction, would be a much better option.

The Kepler track is part of the Fiordland National Park, the third wettest area in the world, and having good weather during this 4 day hike is like winning the lottery! The bad thing about the New Zealand Great Walks is that you have to book the huts or campsites in advance and therefore you can’t postpone the track if the weather is bad. Well, I guess we were one of the few lucky ones again as the weather was on our side.

We left the car park early in the morning, still with some clouds surrounding the valley of Te Anau. The first hour of the track was an easy walk, but it got much harder once we started making our way up through the beech forest. We reached the Luxmore hut in early afternoon, with enough time for a cup of tea while enjoying the beautiful views on the golden tussocks all around us. We thought the second day would be easier than the first one, but we couldn’t have been more wrong! The first steep ascend was still bearable and well worth the views over Fiordland, Lake Te Anau and the surrounding mountains.=, but once we started to descend deep down into the valley, we started to feel our legs, our knees, and even our arms; we were tired and hungry, but happy as ever.

The third day was not as exciting as the second one, but still very nice as we walked out the forest, overlooking the mountains, but this time from the bottom to the top. The weather forecast for that day wasn’t very promising, and we started checking the alternative options to finish the track earlier. Although we already booked the night in the last hut, we ended the track a day earlier at the Rainbow Reach car park. We were quite happy we made this decision as the rain started to fall late in the afternoon, and continued throughout the whole next day.

The Routeburn Track

routeburn-track-new-zealand-best-hikes

Another New Zealand’s Great Walk, The Routeburn track is the second most popular right after the Milford track, and is therefore extremely busy. We tried to book the huts more than two months in advance, bud sadly figured out that there were no beds left to be booked. Tracking the Routeburn was high on our bucket list, and after doing some research, we figured out we could actually do it without spending the night.

This 32 km long track can be done in 2 to 4 days from either direction. This information was the key for our decision to do half the track and head back from one direction, and then do another half from the other one. The big disadvantage about this track is that it starts on one side of the mountain range, and finishes on the other one, meaning that there is no direct road connection through the mountains between the two points. To get from one side to another, you have to drive over 300 km around the mountains, which makes this track very inconvenient. The good news is that it is totally manageable the way we were planning to do it: splitting it in half.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do the first half of the track that starts on the way to Milford Sound as it was pouring rain for days, and we got a little tired of waiting for the sun to show up. Fortunately, the opposite was true when we attempted the other half that starts in Glenorchy, near Queenstown.

The first part of the track didn’t seem very promising as the valleys and the mountains were completely wrapped up in clouds when we started walking early in the morning, but once we reached the Harris Saddle, the highest point of the track, the sky suddenly cleared up completely and the most amazing views were revealed in front of our eyes: the beautiful hills, topped with yellow tussocks on one side, and the majestic mountains, covered with glaciers of Mount Aspiring National Park on the other one. It was a perfect day.

routeburn-track-best-hikes-new-zeland

Once we started making our way down back to where we started, we could perfectly enjoy the beautiful views we missed on our way up, and we reached our starting point in late afternoon.

Attempting this track in two halves is certainly not for everyone as you’ll walk over 30 km in one day for about 10h. However, if you’re a fit hiker and decide to do half the Routeburn up to the Harris Saddle and back, you will probably have the walk of your lifetime.

Roys Peak

roys-peak-new-zealand-best-hikes

I don’t actually believe I am saying this, but Roys peak nearly beats Tongariro crossing in terms of the amazing views. This demanding one day hike above Lake Wanaka is simply a must do experience. It could be quite hot during summer as there is almost no shade to hide yourself from the sun, but we did it at the end of March and it seemed like perfect timing.

The hike itself is not as diverse as other New Zealand’s tracks, but once you get to the top of the mountain, your mind will be literally blown away. Getting to the top is quite a challenge as the hike is a steep and constant 3 hour climb, but don’t give up: the view over Lake Wanaka, its town and the mountains of Mount Aspiring National Park in the background is simply breathtaking.

The Abel Tasman National Park Walk

abel-tasman-national-park-new-zealand

Again one of the nine New Zealand’s great walks, Abel Tasman track is very unlike the others. It is actually a coastal walk that can be combined with kayaking, and doing both activities is a must! We decided to kayak through the upper part of the national park, the marine reserve, and walk the other half back to the starting point.

There is no other way to kayak through the marine reserve but by booking a guided tour, and we were a bit skeptical about the whole thing as we usually don’t do “tourist activities”. Turns out it was one of the best trips, and we would absolutely recommend it to anyone. By kayaking you’ll get a different perspective on the beaches, as well as be able to see the typical New Zealand’s coastal wildlife: different kinds of birds and sea lions will be your constant companions.

Walking on the coast line and ascending up and down through the hills surrounding it is just as amazing as kayaking. Between hopping from one beach to another, to climbing up on the hills to get the beautiful views over the sea and the whole national park, it makes it a perfect hike if combined with kayaking.

 


Curious wanderers profile                                         ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rea & Njec, of Curious Wanderers, are a travelling couple from Slovenia who found a mutual passion for discovering new countries and cultures. Together, they sold their belongings and left their country to travel the world! With a love of nature they also explore the outdoors of the countries they visit, especially by navigating many a hiking trail! You can also follow their travels on Facebook & Instagram!


 

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6 Secret Beaches in Sydney For A Romantic Getaway

By Roxana Oliver

‘Beach’ is synonymous with the word ‘romantic’, but how does that work when they are full of crowds, children screaming, volleyballs flying above your head and curious eyes all around you? To be honest, not very well. So, considering this fact, we must presume that for a beach to be actually romantic, it should be a secluded beach… a secret beach. Luckily for Aussies, Sydney is filled with such beaches where loving hugs can be exchanged and where statements of love can be spoken out loud instead of in whispers. It is at those secret beaches in Sydney where trips to the beach become romantic activities with the ones who hold our hearts.




Here are six of those secluded beaches in Sydney, where couples can enjoy spending a romantic day or evening in privacy.

Discovering The Secret Beaches in Sydney

Chinamans Beach

CHinamans beach secret beaches in SYdney

A stretch of no more than 250 meters of sand, Chinamans Beach is a perfect little getaway from the crowded and loud city. The beach is located in a pretty quiet residential enclave in Mosman and it is well secluded inside the Middle Harbour. It is an ideal setting for a romantic picnic by the sea or a relaxed swim. Chinamans provides a great deal of intimacy, because not many people know about it and it is uninteresting for surfers, usually scouting around these areas. So, bring a blanket, pack a picnic basket, cool a bottle of wine, and head to Chinamans.

Shark Beach

Shark Beach Sydney Romantic Getaway

Despite its very terrifying name, Shark Beach gives you nothing to worry about. On the contrary, as a part of Nielsen Reserve, this beach has reliable shark-net protection and it is perfectly safe. The Shark Beach is hidden in Vaucluse and it provides plenty of foreshore walks, sheltered areas and calm waves. Plus, it is a great chance to explore the reserve itself and start a mini-Sydney adventure. Even locals are not so familiar with this ground.

Long Reef Beach

Long Reef Beach Sydney Secret Beaches in Sydney

Elegantly nestled on the northern end of Dee Why Beach, Long Reef is not only perfect for romantic picnics and relaxing, but it is also the ideal backdrop for beach weddings. Because it is not as well-known as some of the other northern beaches, this one is a true hidden gem made of 2 km (approx 1.25 miles) long sand stretch where you can spend your time together and enjoy your privacy. Long Reef is also great for day trips, since it has free electric barbecues, picnic spots and amazing waves for the surfers.

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach Sydney

Located between Coogee Beach on the north and Clovelly Beach on the south, Shelly Beach is a scenic little bay with an atmosphere of a sheltered oasis. The serene blue waters and friendly waves are made for everything from swimming to surfing and snorkeling. Since it is a part of protected aquatic zone of Gordon Bay, Shelly Beach is well guarded, clean, peaceful and pleasant. It also offers picturesque view of the Northern Beaches and North Headland if you take a walk down the bush track.

Reef Beach

Romantic Getaways Sydney Reef Beach

This beach is situated in Balgowlah Heights and offers prime views across Sydney’s North Harbour all the way to Manly. Once heaven for both sun lovers and dedicated naturalists, the Reef Beach is today mostly deserted and we assume that couples that discover it are very lucky because of that. This beach is made for those kick back days when you feel like doing nothing but catching the sun rays. Add to that its historic significance and Aboriginal carvings on the rocks and you will get a nice and unique day trip in Sydney.

Collins Flat Beach

Collins Flat Beach Sydney

Just north of the city in one of Sydney’s most fabulous cluster of beaches, you will find Collins Flat Beach and its scenic view to the harbour. It stands out from the other beaches in the crowd by the special atmosphere of being a world away from the bustle of the city, while being so near the Sydney’s CBD. Whether you are planning a picnic or an overnight stay at the local heritage accommodation, you will find this piece of romantic heaven just perfect.

 

We have done our part and told you about some of Sydney’s best kept secrets, now it is up to you to explore them and feel the love in the air.

Looking for more romantic activities around the world? Planning a romantic anniversary trip? We’ve got a list of great romantic getaway ideas for any couple!

 


roxana guest post

Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on twitter.

 


 

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