Top iPhone travel apps for Australia

While some travellers head to Australia to get away from it all, increasing numbers are finding their adventures enhanced by handy iPhone apps.  Some make getting around easier, others help to document your experiences or provide recommendations; most will require an internet connection.  These top picks are all free, available on iOS and especially handy for your Aussie odyssey.

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Family holidays on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast, stretching along 60 kilometres of East Australia’s pristine coastline, with theme parks, great beaches, rainforest and activities galore, makes for a perfect family holiday location.  There are plenty of family orientated hotels and resorts available, ranging from luxury options to those designed for the more budget conscious. Below are some of the best:

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Floriade, Australia

As a celebration for the coming of spring, Australia’s Floriade festival is the largest flora and fauna show in Australia, with over one million blooming flowers being showcased.  The festival runs for 4 weeks from mid-September each year in Canberra’s Commonwealth Park and entry is free.  The event attracts approximately 400,000 people each year from across Australia, as well as international visitors.

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Hippest hotel bars in Australia

A stay at a great hotel is undoubtedly enhanced by the typical Aussie hospitality provided by a cool hotel bar.  Some are so great that it’s not only the hotel guests that are attracted for a drink or two. Below are the top 5 hippest hotel bars in Australia, worth checking out even if you’re not checking in.

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Izakaya, Australian style

An Izakaya is a type of Japanese bar, traditionally with a relaxed and casual atmosphere, serving good drinks and an accompanying food selection.  From its origins of allowing customers to sit in the shop selling sake to its popularity throughout Japan, the appeal of good drink, sake and Japanese tapas style food has crossed the Pacific Ocean to Australia which is now proud to host several of its own Izakayas.  Check out the top 5 below:

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To and from the airport in Australia’s cities

Melbourne

Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport is located 22km outside of the city centre with several travel options available to those arriving or departing from Victoria’s capital.

Sky Bus – an express bus service running direct between the airport and the city centre. The service is available every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including all public holidays.  Tickets can be bought at the bus stop at the airport or Southern Cross Station.  For up to date pricing check www.skybus.com.au.

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Top city bike rides in Melbourne

A great way to explore Victoria’s bustling, cosmopolitan capital is on wheels.  Melbourne has been voted one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities; its scenic cycle trails take in the city’s sights and sounds, perfect for getting to grips with the layout and experiencing all the charms and flavours on offer.  What’s more, there are no time restrictions on a bike ride so urban adventures can be enjoyed at any pace.  The Capital City Trail in its entirety is a 30km loop which, for die-hard cyclists, can be completed in one go.  Alternatively, shorter sections can be enjoyed more thoroughly.  Cycling each part of the trail is the most comprehensive way to cover the city including its inner suburbs and classic landmarks, all on car-free, dedicated and signposted cycle paths.  It is mostly flat but there are a couple of flights of steps including the infamous Abbotsford steps on Gipps Street.  Follow these trails to discover another side of Melbourne:

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Wine lovers guide: Australia

Australia is becoming increasingly popular with wine lovers.  Growers in the new world are not subject to as many regulations as in the old world and have the freedom to be more experimental which has resulted in exciting new tastes being developed all over the country.  A great way to get to know what is available is to visit the source.  Vineyard tours and cellar door tastings are fun, informative ways to spend sunny days enjoying wonderful flavours and aromas.  Tour operators and hotels offer guided excursions around nearby wineries many of which include transportation, entry fees and wine and food at all locations for full, fuss-free enjoyment.

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Tallest Hotels in Australia

Australia had a decent but modest cluster of high-rises for decades. That is until the aughts. The last decade has produced not one but two stunners in Melbourne’s Eureka Tower – the tallest skyscraper in the country from base to roof – and Gold Coast’s Queensland Number One (Q1) – the fifth-tallest residential tower in the world.

Not all of that choice real estate is for office space and plush flats either. A slew of hotel towers proliferates from Perth to Sydney and makes the urban hospitality scene in Australia one of the most progressive and impressive in Asia Pacific.

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Best Short Trip Destinations in Australia

Australia is arguably the motherland of day trips, weekend trips and, indeed, road trips in general. The abundance of excellent, singular sights and destinations is a foremost cause but so too is the country’s geography.

Think about it. Name another country with a city as cosmopolitan and vibrant as a Melbourne, Perth or Sydney that, as it happens, has so many rare gems on the doorstep. And by gems, we mean epic UNESCO World Heritage Sites and national parks, from the Gondwana Rainforests to the Greater Blue Mountains, world-class wine regions and historic towns.

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