Beaches

Congratulations and Caution: the best job and huge spiders Down Under

Image of a spider's web
Look out Ben…

Lucky Ben Southall was today announced as the new Caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef, but he’s going to want to keep an eye out for these hairy chaps who have taken up residence in one unlucky Queensland town…

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Last chance for festive cheer in Australia this Christmas!

Saw this ad at the weekend from Trailfinders showing availability on JAL (Japan Airlines) flights to Australia for Christmas for £999. Not a bad price for this time of year, and is quite possibly the last chance to book a ticket to ensure you get a cliche-laden ‘Bondi Beach BBQ’ 🙂

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Mauritius as a sunny and relaxing stop-over to Australia

Just got back from Mauritius…

Image of sunset on Turtle Beach, Mauritius
The sun sets on Turtle Beach at the Maritim Hotel, Mauritius (while I enjoy a piña colada!)

Wish I was still there… although another day longer, and the effect of the all-inclusive delicious food and yummy piña coladas would have meant no doing my jeans up for a while 🙂 As it is, they are pretty tight!

So while we ‘only’ went to Mauritius on this trip, I know that you can easily incorporate it with a trip to Australia as Air Mauritius have connections through to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. There are some prices here with Austravel from £875 return with the option to stop in Mauritius in both directions.

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Beautiful ‘wish you were here’ photos of Byron Bay, Australia

While I like to think I take a good snap myself, I thought you might enjoy these lovely photos of Byron Bay that Conde Nast Traveller have just published on their web site.

Byron is one of my favourite places in Australia, as it has great (and I mean really great) beaches, a laid-back appeal, some beautiful surrounding hinterland and, of course (this is me, afterall!), some really good places to eat.

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A one-week holiday in Australia. It’s entirely possible…

There is a great article in this month’s Sunday Times Travel Magazine that suggests it’s entirely possible to take a holiday to Australia (and enjoy it!) in just a week.

The plan is that you fly to Perth, and from there take a few days in the city, then explore the Margaret River region (south of Perth, about 3 hours drive), and/or fly up to Exmouth area to explore the Ningaloo Reef.

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My perfect Australian beaches…

First, I have to explain my beach criteria (of course!)

  1. There cannot be a road by the beach.  The perfect beach should be reached either through palm trees, sand dunes, climbing down a cliff, etc… but not be visible from a road. I just don’t think you get that ‘beach seclusion’ just-me-and-the waves feel if there is traffic trundling by
  2. No pebbles. Sorry, just can’t have them!
  3. Warm (ish is OK, just not nail-biting freezing) water
  4. A great beach has decent depth of sand strip (you see I take this quite seriously!) between the edge of the beach and the water
  5. The perfect beach can not be too crowded (and by this I mean not very crowded at all i.e. you go for a walk and see a handful of other people, not a concert hall amount in a concert-hall-size space)
  6. The beach must have a view. Here I mean something like a bay curving round, or some islands offshore.

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Secret Sydney Beach

Am thinking not so secret now that I, and quite a few other people, have read about it in the Sunday Times over the weekend!

Nonetheless, given that it can only be reached by kayak, I reckon it will still be pretty tranquil when you get there — read about Store Beach here.

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A little taste of Melbourne…

Image of West Beach Restaurant, Bournemouth
Our little slice of Melbourne – WestBeach restaurant

“WestBeach is a simple, bright, airy room that looks as if it has been dropped in from Melbourne” AA Gill recently reported in the Sunday Times (read the review here).

As the sun was shining yet again yesterday, we decided to have lunch on the seafront, at our very own little slice of Melbourne here on the South Coast. I am guessing Mr Gill was thinking of somewhere like the Stokehouse in St.Kilda when he wrote this (although give me the Stokehouse any day!), but it’s about as antipodean as it gets round here, and a damn fine place for a spot of lunch, nonetheless www.west-beach.co.uk.

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Scary Sharks!

As it’s Halloween, I thought I would cover a ‘scary’ topic: Sharks!

I am sure like anyone else who watched Jaws when they were little (or big!), you might have a certain amount of trepidation when swimming in the sea when you can’t see your feet…? Not helped of course by the fact that Australia is well known for its resident shark population. However, what you need to remember is that a shark attack is VERY unlikely…

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