Australia – Music To Your Ears

Modern day music lovers who are set to be in Australia from December should make sure they do not miss The Good Vibrations Music Festival which is returning after a break. Normally the music festival starts in February but this year it is due to start on December.

The music festival was set up in 2004, looking to host top musical talent in basic venues such as natural amphitheatres.

Artists who have performed at Good Vibrations Festival include: James Brown; The Killlers, Snoop Dogg, Beastie Boys, Kanye West, Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxx, Scissor Sisters, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Damian Marley & Nas, Salt N Pepa, Busta Rhymes, Faithless, Gossip, Phoenix, The Ting Tings & Erykah Badu.

Wherever you are visiting in Australia you should find yourself close enough to one of the many festivals which make up this event, whether you are nearer to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Perth.Each venue, which range from parks to function complexes, will have a number of stages, a chill out area, cocktail bar and DJs.

The event is different to other music festivals as it aims to create a relaxing and inviting environment, claiming to aim for the “original festival spirit”.

good vibrations music festival

For great flight prices to Australia call Global Holidays on 0800 433 2300

Marvel at Melbourne

Australia often comes out on top of polls about what destinations holidaymakers are thinking about visiting next.

Travelling to Italy and Hawaii also come high up the list, showing that travellers seem to be going back to basics when it comes to holiday decisions, as trendy hotspots from last year such as Prague and Krakow fall out of favour.

And if you are to head to Australia, then perhaps the best city you can visit is Melbourne. The capital of Victoria prides itself on its wonderful diversity and vibrancy, claiming to be the culture capital of Australia.

Its multi-culturalism can be traced back to the big post-war immigration push that heralded the arrival of many Greeks and Italians to the area. It is the third largest Greek city in the world, and the largest Italian city outside of Italy itself. In total, a quarter of Melbourne’s population is born overseas.

Melbourne boasts a range of restaurants to tickle all tastebuds, it is fantastic for shopping, the nightlife won’t disappoint and theatre fans will also find plenty to entertain them.

As with most parts of Australia, you will be greeted by easy-going and friendly locals who are more than happy to make your acquaintance. But as followers of sports such as rugby and cricket will know, they are also a competitive bunch, and you will notice that their passion for outdoor activities is unparalleled.

Melbourne was the birthplace of that most typical of Aussie pastimes, Australian Rules Football, and also stages one of the world’s most famous horse races, the Melbourne Cup. This event is so big that it more or less guarantees grinding the entire nation’s workforce to a halt. Melbourne is also the annual venue for the Australian Open tennis and the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. For the time being though, don’t mention the cricket!

While most Brits would normally associate Down Under with endless sunshine, Melbourne actually has a reputation of weather that is more on the wild side, with locals joking that you can experience all four seasons in just one day. Nevertheless, you can be assured plenty of hot weather to maximise your time spent at the beach.

Perhaps the most famous Melbourne beach is that of St Kilda, delightfully picturesque, with plenty of funky cafes, music venues and restaurants. Sampling the fresh seafood is an absolute must, as it is as good as you will get. 

For great views of the city, head to the Melbourne Observation Deck, part of the World Federation of Great Towers. Soaring 253 metres above the city you will be impressed. Another good way to get a feel for the city is to go on a Melbourne River Cruise, which will allow you a closer look as you meander your way along.

One of the more recognisable features of Melbourne is the Shrine of Remembrance, on St Kilda Road, which commemorates the people of Victoria who served in the war, including some beautiful gardens.

Shopping lovers should make a beeline for Queen Victoria Market. It is open on Tuesdays, and from Thursday until Sunday, and perfectly reflects the diversity that Melbourne emanates as a whole.

Other fun attractions include a visit to Old Melbourne Gaol and Cook’s Cottage, while you can also explore radically different styles within the city by venturing into Chinatown or the Greek Precinct.

A 70 year old’s view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

I  climbed the Sydney Harbour Brdge a few years ago and I thought it was a fantastic experience. It was no where near as scary as some people were making out and the height didn’t bother me at all. Some bridge climbers I saw though did turn around before they reached the top as they found it too much !

When a customer of ours sent in his holiday report for us to publish on our blog I decided to put his story on our blog and not mine. The reason being that this customer is 70 years of age. If he can climb the bridge so can you !

Watch a video of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb then read the fascinating report

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhu7E7ONve8]

 A personal experience of the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb

We are all familiar with the five words of sensible advise “Don’t drink if You Drive” but when I visited Australia last year I encountered a slight variation to those words of well being-“Don’t Drink if You Climb” ! I am referring to the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, one of the best Sydney tours, where one of the requirements before you climb it is that you are breathalysed!

At the age of 70 I achieved yet another of my ambitions by climbing it during an around the world trip I made, and must admit the ascent was easier than I anticipated. In fact I would describe it more of a steep walk than the “Climb of your life” for which the ascent is billed. OK I suppose you could say I was reasonably fit for my age. I have to be seeing I am still actively engaged in two of my hobbies of SCUBA diving and mountain trekking.

It is stressed climbers must be physically fit with no fear of ladders which you have to climb up and down on many occasions during your walk of 1500 metres over the gentle metal curve of The Bridge sometimes nicknamed as the “Coathanger.” It should present no problem to the average reasonably fit person although I did hear a couple in my group complaining of aches in their calf muscles at times! As mentioned you will need to pass a breath test before the climb, so don’t have a drink beforehand! Other stipulations are climbers must be over 12 and you will be asked to complete a declaration form of the Bridge Climb’s terms and conditions. Continue reading “A 70 year old’s view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb”

The best city to live in is ….?

News just out about the best city in the world to live in doesn’t give us too many surprises. Vancouver in Canada has for several years been the number one city to live in but now it has been knocked off the number one position by Melbourne, Australia. Apparently, these wasn’t much to choose between the top ten cities but Vancouver slipped to third place because of something to do with the closure of a motorway!

Four cities in Australia are in the top ten which shows that despite the strong Australian Dollar, Australia is still a good place to live and work. No city in the UK was anywhere near the top ten, even though our home city of Leeds is a good place to live, we think so anyway, it can’t really compare with the lifestyle, space and weather of Melbourne.

If you don’t qualify for emigration to Melbourne then the next best thing is to go to Australia on holiday!

There is so much to see and do in Australia that you probably need to emigrate to see it all but a 2 or 3 week holiday will enable you to see quite a bit if it is planned properly and it will give you a flavour of the country so that you can return in the future and it might give you the enthusiasm to work on a permanent move in the future.

Melbourne is in the southern state of Victoria and is where you will find the famous 12 Apostles. These are rock stacks that rise up from the Southern Ocean and you can see them as you drive along the magnificent Great Ocean Road.

Created by constant erosion of the limestone cliffs of the mainland beginning 10-20 million years ago, the stormy Southern Ocean and blasting winds gradually eroded the softer limestone, forming caves in the cliffs. The caves eventually became arches and when they collapsed rock stacks up to 45 metres high were left isolated from the shore. View the 12 Apostles at sunrise and sunset as they change colour from dark and foreboding in shadow to brilliant sandy yellow under a full sun.

Melbourne is also home to famous Bells Beach. In Autumn and Winter you are likely to see some of the world’s best surfers as Bells Beach is for the experienced surfer. There are good vantage points along the cliffs.

In Melbourne itself there is plenty to give the visitor occupied. Melbourne has a thriving arts and culture scene with museums and art galleries. There is also public art at the Geelong Waterfront.

One way to see Melboune and the Great Ocean Road and, of course, some of the rest of Australia is by a self drive Motorhome or campervan. This is a flexible way to take a holiday in Australia. Here at Global Holidays we can organise various types of motorhomes from budget upwards. Give us a call on 0800 433 2300 or take a look at our Australia Self Drive Holidays page.

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16 Month Jail Sentence for Egg Smuggler !

Sometimes I watch that TV programme about the Australian border police and it reminds me of the time that I went to Australia and we had all our food and drinks confiscated as we entered the country. I even had to throw away my mints as I went through Sydney Airport Customs.

 Australian Customs are rightly very keen and there are strict rules about what you can and can’t take into Australia.

Meanwhile, a  53-year-old Western Australia man has been found guilty and sentenced to 16 months imprisonment for attempting to smuggle parrot eggs into Australia.Mr Kevin Gledhill pleaded guilty in the Perth District Court earlier this month, and was convicted of importing eggs into Australia contrary to Regulation 303CD of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. He was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment with a minimum of eight months to serve.

Customs and Border Protection Director Operations Investigations, Virginia Lynch, said this was a good result and others should take heed from Mr Gledhill’s conviction and sentencing.“If you attempt to smuggle wildlife into Australia you are committing a serious crime.””If caught offenders may face investigation, prosecution and penalties including jail time,” she said.“Customs and Border Protection continues to investigate and prosecute wildlife smuggling attempts into and out of Australia in a bid to end this cruel practice”, Customs and Border Protection officers stopped Mr Gledhill at Perth airport on 6 September 2009 arriving from Bali.During a baggage examination, officers became suspicious that the man was concealing prohibited items under his clothing. Further examination revealed the man was carrying 37 parrot eggs concealed in a specially made vest.

So, remember to be very careful what you take into Australia. Taking your favourite cut of beef to your relatives in Australia is a definite no no.

Global Holidays sells cheap flights to Australia and hotels in every major Australian city at discount prices.

Call Global Holidays FREE on 0800 433 2300.

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Dine with a View Down Under

Auckland Sky City Tower

Call Global Holidays FREE on 0800 433 2300 for holidays and flights to Australia

If you are heading down under to welcome in the New Year then you might want some recommendations on where to visit. Here are a few ideas on where you can dine with a view in New Zealand and Australia.

Auckland’s Sky Tower

New Zealand’s highest man made structure is over 300 metres high and at the very top you will find a restaurant called Orbit. Each hour the restaurant revolves 360 degrees giving you a unique view of the whole of Auckland.Travel up in the glass-fronted lifts to one of the three spectacular viewing platforms, or for more thrills and excitement, SkyWalk round the pergola at 192 metres up or SkyJump off the Tower!Relax with a coffee and light refreshments at Sky Lounge, enjoy a seafood feast at The Observatory Restaurant or dine at Orbit – Auckland’s only 360-degree revolving restaurant.

Sky Tower is one of New Zealand’s most exhilarating and spectacular tourist attractions, you will be amazed at what you can see and do under one roof!For more information about the Auckland Sky Tower click here

The Melbourne Eureka Tower

Eureka skydeck, MelbourneYou can eat in the clouds at the Eureka Tower in Melbourne. The Eureka Tower is the Southern Hemishere’s tallest residential building and the Eureka 89 restaurant is 300 metres high.Also, why not try ‘The Edge’ ?  This is a glass cube which projects 3 metres out from the building, with you in it – suspended almost 300 metres above the ground – a unique experience.

Admission prices

Eureka Skydeck 88 Price AUD The Edge Experience Price AUDAdult $16.50 Adult $12.00Children (4-16 years) $9.00 Children (4-16 years) $8.00Concession (any card) $11.00 Concession (any card) $10.00

Skydeck Level 88 Attractions• LED information displays projected across the floor, pointing to key landmarks, ie information about the Melbourne Cupis directed towards Flemington Racecourse, visible from the Skydeck• 30 Viewfinders – positioned at the windows with informative text which frames a particular building, view orgeographic place of interest, such as the MCG• Soundscape – a specially composed soundscape designed to provide ambient sounds relevant to the direction thevisitor is looking, for example F1 engine noise as the viewer looks at the Grand Prix circuit around Albert Park Lake.

The soundscape noises will also ‘move’ around the floor, with sensors detecting where people are standing• Lightscape – a unique system of ‘blades’ has been designed for the ceiling which can project synchronized lightingeffects and move both colours and patterns around the ceiling space. The lightscape can also match the sky’sappearance, ie white clouds, blue sky, lightning or thunderstorm effects.• The combination of using soundscapes and lightscapes in this way at Eureka Skydeck is unique• Large screens will display two presentations: a historical streetscape of Melbourne and weather effects from askyscraper’s perspective• Photo sales booth where visitors can buy photos of their Eureka Edge experience• Skydeck Kiosk – coffee, soft drinks, snacks• Radio booth – live radio broadcast facility• Skydeck Outdoor Terrace – open to the outside elements, enclosed by a wire grid. The Terrace is positioned next toThe Edge experience, so family and friends can view those inside.

Lifts• Two lifts exclusively service Eureka Skydeck 88. The fastest lifts in the Southern Hemisphere, they travel at over 9metres per second. It takes just 40 seconds to travel from the ground to the 88th floor

Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia

If you are looking for a luxurios meal to welcome in the New Year and you just happen to be in Broome, Western Australia then you might want to try a meal at the Sunset Bar & Grill at the Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa. This unique place where the ocean meets the outback.Like Broome itself, the award winning resort is a beautiful melting pot of cultural influences and architecture.

Dotted throughout the magnificent gardens is a range of accommodation options ranging from tranquil studios, to private villas and indulgent suites complete with private butler. You’ll also find two swimming pools, one for families, and the other a tranquil haven reserved solely for adults.To help you ease body and soul into “Broome time” make sure you visit the soothing Chahoya Spa, or meditative Buddha Sanctuary. The Grill Menu at $48 for adults and $23.50 for children is great value for money.

Bondi Beach, Sydney

If you want to mix with celebrities then the Icebergs Dining Room & Bar on Bondi Beach is worth a visit although the real star is the panormaic view of Sydney’s famous beach. There is a unique menu here – try stingray for a main and for desert you could try saffron Meringue, lemon curdc, sheep’s yoghurt, chianti poached strawberries and gelato.

Ausie Barbeque at Uluru

For the ultimate in dining experiences at one of the most unique places on earth you need to experience a half day tour to Uluru. You can watch the sun sink into the desert plain while you munch on beef, kangaroo and sausages. The view of Uluru changes with the setting of the sun. The rock’s colour can turn from a blazing fiery red to a brown glow as the light fades. With millions of twinkling stars above this is a one in a lifetime experience that you will never forget. If you stay at Ayers Rock Resort the trip costs from only £46 per person. For the money there can be no better dining experience!

Call Global Holidays FREE on 0800 433 2300 for holidays and flights to Australia

Bondi Beach – Surf, Sun & Lifeguards!

 I visited Bondi Beach in Sydney Australia a few years ago, but I chose the wrong day to go! I was on a 10 day trip to Australia with a bunch of other travel agents and we were taken to visit this famous beach.When we arrived at Bondi Beach it was grey and wet and windy and there was not a single person on the beach. It could have been anywhere but then we were greeted by the famous Bondi Beach lifeguards and they gave us a demonstration of their life guard techniques. There was no shortage of female volunteers to help with the demonstration I can tell you!

Bondi Beach is about one kilometre long and receives thousands of visitors throughout the year. Surf Life Saving Australia has given different hazard ratings to Bondi Beach in 2004.While the northern end has been rated a gentle 4 (with 10 as the most hazardous), the southern side is rated as a 7 due to a famous rip current known as the “Backpackers’ Express” because of its proximity to the bus stop, and the unwillingness of tourists to walk the length of the beach to safer swimming.The south end of the beach is generally reserved for surfboard riding. Yellow and red flags define safe swimming areas, and visitors are advised to swim between them.Somewhat surprisingly, in view of official warnings about the dangers of exposure to the sun, there are no parasols available on the beach, either free or for hire. Those not used to the sun should not let this lull them into a false sense of security as burns can occur much more quickly than expected.

There is an underwater shark net shared, during the summer months, with other beaches along the southern part of the coast. Pods of whales and dolphins have been sighted in the bay during the months of migration. Fairy penguins, while uncommon, are sometimes also seen swimming close to shore.In 2007, the Guinness World Record for the largest swimsuit photo shoot was set at Bondi Beach, with 1,010 women wearing bikinis taking part.Bondi Beach was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2008.

Are you looking for a cheap flight to Australia – Please call us FREE on 0800 433 2300.

Check out this excellent short video about Bondi Beach

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mASlBmaCR00]

Win A Trip To OZ

Cricket, tinnies, Crocodile Dundee and Kylie’s hot pants… Think you know Australia? Get real! Get off your sofa and get yourself down to the place where adventure and a laidback lifestyle are right on your doorstep. If you’re aged between 18 and 30, with a Working Holiday Visa you can live and travel anywhere in Australia for one year and do any job you like. ‘Course, you don’t have to work, but it’s a great way to get extra cash so you can do more and get to know the real Australia. Get your Aussie working holiday off to a flyer with this cool competition. Win a flight to Oz, and choose one of six great, month-long, paid job placements. It’s the perfect way to kick start your Australian adventure.. Make the ocean your ‘office’ and dolphins your ‘colleagues’ by becoming a dive guide near Perth·  Join the team at the award-winning Prairie Hotel in the South Australia outback·  Have a Red Centre adventure serving dinner under the stars at Ayers Rock resort·  Become an event organiser for the stars (celestial bodies that is!) at Sydney Observatory·  Or why not explore the magical Whitsunday Islands as part of a Tall Ship crew·  Or become a local working at a hip hostel in one of Melbourne’s coolest areasSo what are you waiting for? Click here to enter: http://www.myspace.com/workinozTourism Australia: Aussie Beaches & Coastal
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Snakes Miss The Plane In Australia

snake on a planeAustralia is a wonderful country and we can highly recommend a visit.

The border controls relating to customs and immigration though are very strict. For example, you are not allowed to take any food into the country and that is one of many restrictions. The Australia customs service can be seen on TV as they are the subject of a fascinating fly on the wall documentary TV show.

Now it seems Customs and Border Protection in Australia has continued its crackdown on wildlife smuggling by arresting a 24-year-old Sydney man for allegedly attempting to smuggle 44 native reptiles out of Australia through Sydney International Airport.

Included in the seizure was one Albino Carpet Python, an extremely endangered species with numbers estimated to be as low as 100, and worth approximately $20,000.

The reptiles were detected in the man’s checked bags during x-ray screening of outgoing passenger luggage by airport security staff after the man checked in for a flight to Bangkok on Friday.Customs and Border Protection officers attended and opened the man’s bags and found a number of live reptiles concealed in socks and cloth bags.

The bags were unpacked and allegedly found to contain 24 Shingleback Lizards, 16 Bluetongue Lizards and four snakes.  The snakes have been identified as three Black Headed Pythons and one Albino Carpet Python, both endangered species.Customs and Border Protection investigators responded and removed the man from the aircraft and subsequently arrested and charged him with attempting to export native species without a permit.

The reptiles in the smuggling attempt are estimated to be worth between $160,000 and $200,000 on the black market.  The reptiles have been transferred to Sydney Wildlife World where they have undergone health checks and are being cared for. This sounds like it could have been a real life “Snakes on a Plane” story, but luckily the snakes were detected before they reached the aircraft. This should not put you off visiting Australia. The 22 hour flight to Sydney is well worth it and the country provides a top quality holiday destination. 

If you are interested in flights or a holiday to Australia then give Global Holidays a call FREE on 0800 433 2300.

Amazing Australia Offer

Here at Global Holidays we get dozens of special holiday and flight offers everyday. It would take us hours to list them all so we have to choose the best ones. This offer for flights and a hotel in  Australia stands out as being an absolute bargain, so here are the details below. All flights are with Quantas Airlines.

Just call us FREE on 0800 433 2300 to ask about these great deals to Australia

Taste of Australia

11 days from £899 includes:International and domestic Economy flights with Qantas Airways5 nights 3.5* Travelodge in Sydney5 nights 3.5* Discovery Resort in CairnsAirport transfers

Spirit of Australia

11 days from £999 includes:International and domestic Economy flights with Qantas Airways5 nights 4* Vibe in Sydney 5 nights 4.5* Blue Lagoon Resort, Trinity BeachAirport transfers

Australia in Style

15 days from £1,599 includes:International and domestic Economy flights with Qantas Airways2 nights B&B 4.5* Sofitel Centara Grand, Bangkok5 nights 5* Radisson Plaza, Sydney2 nights 5* Shangri-la Marina, Cairns 5 nights 5* Sebel Reef House, Palm Cove

Private airport transfersConditions: All prices are per person based on two adults sharing. Accommodation is on a room only basis unless stated otherwise. Valid for travel 16 April – 9 June. Please call for prices for other dates.

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