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Venus Bay

Venus Bay

Victoria

Beyond the vegetated sand dunes of the South Gippsland town of Venus Bar lie wild waters and golden sands - no less than five superb surf beaches as well as sheltered swimming beaches. Venus Bay has a population of around 500, but can surge into the thousands as anglers, surfers and families converge during holiday periods. Just outside the town are the five surf beaches patrolled by surf lifesavers in the summer months. The state's longest sand spit at Anderson Inlet is where you can find safe, sheltered beaches ideal for swimming. The coastline from Venus Bay to Cape Liptrap offers visitors the chance to see an old lighthouse and native Australian plants and wildlife. The Point Smythe Nature Trail traverses thick coastal vegetation, while the Tarwin Lower boardwalk follows the Tarwin River - a good spot for fishing. View abundant bird life and mangroves at Bald Hill wetlands, close to Tarwin Lower and heading towards Walkerville. The Tarwin Lower to Venus Bay Pathway is a scenic and easy cycle between two towns that follows the banks of the Tarwin River on a gently undulating shared pathway. Venus Bay is approximately 170 kilometres from Melbourne, or around two hours and 10 minutes by car along the M1 and South Gippsland Highway.

Quorn, Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Quorn

South Australia

The pretty Flinders Ranges town of Quorn is home to the Pichi Richi Railway, a treasured steam journey which chugs its way through glorious rugged countryside to Port Augusta. Quorn retains much of its old world character, with charming street frontages and a pub on almost every corner. Stop in at a cafe for coffee and cake, or wander through bric-a-brac stores and an art gallery. The discovery of rich mineral deposits in the Flinders Ranges and the opening up of the Willochra Plains for agriculture made it necessary to construct railways to serve the north of the state. To meet these needs the town of Quorn was surveyed and proclaimed in 1878 and soon became an important railway town. Mount Brown 14 kilometres south, is the highest peak rising majestically over 900 metres. Nearer to the town, Devil's Peak and Dutchmans stern overlook the valley with their rocky outcrops richly coloured, to the north where Warren and Buckaringa Gorge carve through the hills to Mount Arden. You can find accommodation at the Quorn Caravan Park.

Ranges of Olinda

Olinda

Victoria

One of the highest villages in Victoria's Dandenong Ranges, Olinda's pronounced seasons are reflected in its gardens and scenery. Spring blooms, autumn colours, crisp summer days and occasional light snowfalls are all on show throughout the year. Olinda is well known for its magnificent public and private gardens. A particular jewel is the National Rhododendron Gardens, which contain thousands of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and daffodils. There are also the quirky sculptures hiding in the William Ricketts Sanctuary, rare and historic plants at Cloudehill, and botanically important trees at Pirianda. Lyrebirds lurk amid the tree ferns in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, there is tranquil forest in RJ Hamer Arboretum, and Olinda Falls reward a strenuous walk. Resident emus, wombats, possums and echidna companions can be found if you look carefully as you tour the area. Olinda village reveals a treasure trove of art and handicraft galleries and antique and vintage stores, as well as eateries serving famous Dandenong Ranges Devonshire teas. Local restaurants treat regional produce with respect and serve up delicious meals to cap off a day full of fresh air and spectacular scenery. Olinda is 44 kilometres east of Melbourne or just under an hour's drive. Travel along the Eastern Freeway and continue onto Eastlink tollway. Exit at Burwood Highway and follow the road to Upper Ferntree Gully, or exit at Canterbury Road and follow the road to Montrose and onto the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road.

Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise

Queensland

Surfers Paradise is the jewel of Queensland’s Gold Coast and one of the most popular holiday destinations in Australia. Surfers Paradise is where you’ll find the perfect fusion of city and beach lifestyles set amidst a spectacular skyline and brilliant stretch of coast. Once you arrive, you’ll soon feel that you’ve literally arrived in paradise. Vibrant and eclectic, Surfers Paradise provides non-stop action. With an abundance of theme parks and family attractions all in easy access, you’re never short of finding things to do. The trouble instead may be finding enough time to do everything. Surfers Paradise invites exploration. Whether it’s through the winding streets lined with alfresco dining restaurants or the art galleries that showcase local artists’ works and Aboriginal exhibitions. There’s the unending shopping options from top-end designers to outlet bargains and nighttime beachfront markets. Surfers Paradise is enticing in every way imaginable. And when nightfall comes, Surfers bursts into action with 24-hour excitement. Bars and nightclubs start pumping with live music and dance beats, while non-stop events keep you entertained. And of course, there’s the Indy Races, which jumpstarts Surfers Paradise into action every October. And the next day when you’re tired from all of the action, grab your towel and hit the beach. Learn how to surf or watch the pros make it look so easy. If you’re around in March, you’ll be able to witness incredibly fit athletes competing in the Quicksilver Pro-Surfing Competition and the Surf Life Saving Championships. It’s all in a hard day’s work at Surfers Paradise. So now, it’s time for you to come to experience ‘Australia’s playground’ for yourself…Surfers Paradise.

Ginger Factory, Yandina

Yandina

Queensland

This is the famous 'Ginger Town' of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, which boasts some of the most beautiful country in Queensland. Yandina lies just to the north of Nambour, the centrally-located retail and service town for the central Sunshine Coast hinterland. This area is extremely rich in natural rainforest parks and reserves. Native animals such as kangaroos, koalas and wombats, which can often be elusive in the wild, are on constant show here. Yandina is home to the Ginger Factory, where you can sample all things ginger, and taste the delights of the award-winning Spirit House restaurant. Yandina is 107 kilometres north of Brisbane.

Warragamba

Warragamba

New South Wales

The gateway to Sydney's water supply, the village of Warragamba is a quiet retreat nestled by the side of Warragamba Dam. A visit to the village will reveal some quaint shops, houses, and narrow streets giving visitors insight into life during the construction of the dam. Silverdale is a fine example of urban growth containing a mix of small to medium and large residential allotments surrounded by rural outskirts.

Nundle valley

Nundle

New South Wales

The historic town of Nundle is located 60 kilometres east of Tamworth at the start of the Fossickers Way Touring Route. It is surrounded by picturesque countryside of fertile river flat farms and rich grazing lands. An old gold mining town from the 1850s to 1880s, there are ruins of old mine workings and equipment throughout the valley. Chinese migrants moved to Nundle to work as miners, storekeepers and gardeners and their contribution to the town is celebrated at the annual Nundle Go for Gold Chinese Festival in Easter. Try your hand at fossicking or visit the Mount Misery Gold Mine museum. Explore the Nundle Woollen Mill and enjoy the kaleidoscope of yarn spun on vintage machinery. Or take a leisurely drive up into the ranges of Hanging Rock for spectacular views from the lookout. Fish at Chaffey Dam or Peel River and pick berries at Koolkuna Berry Farm.

Tamworth Golden Guitar

Tamworth

New South Wales

The Tamworth region is a hidden gem inviting you to discover the beauty, natural wonders and tempting flavours on offer. In the heart of the New England North West, the region encompasses the villages of Nundle, Manilla, Barraba and the city hub of Tamworth and plays host to an array of events, experiences and opportunities. Easily accessible by car, plane or train, immerse yourself in their food and wine, arts and culture, outdoor and adventure, sport and lifestyle, kids and family, and shopping experiences. Tamworth is home to the largest Country Music Festival in the Southern Hemisphere. Don't be fooled though, there's much more to the city! Tamworth proudly proclaims itself as Australia's Country Music Capital and it is only one of the noteworthy reasons proclaiming visitors to sing its praises as a destination.

The Rocks and Circular Quay

The Rocks and Circular Quay

New South Wales

The Rocks precinct is the historic site of Sydney's first European settlement. Encompassing Circular Quay, the area bursts with a colourful history dating back to convict days and is a maze of sandstone lanes, cul-de-sacs and courtyards, jam-packed with shops, warehouses and terraces that were built in the early 19th century. While The Rocks was once home to Sydney's dockworkers and stevedores, it's now a magnet for international visitors, who flock to its many shops, boutiques, markets, pubs and restaurants. As a creative and cultural arts hub, a visit to The Rocks must include the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Argyle Gallery and The Rocks Discovery Museum.

Hot Air Ballooning at Nerang

Nerang

Queensland

Many travellers use the entry to Nerang as the benchmark that they have arrived at the Gold Coast. Indeed, it's like a golden gateway with the beaches to the east and the hinterland to the west. Punctuated by the beautiful Nerang River, this suburb has come a long way since its waterway was named "little" by its original Indigenous inhabitants. The river itself is a popular place for picnics, boating and fishing with a platform at Arthur Earle Park allowing easy access to catch the bream, flathead, whiting and trevally which inhabit these waters. Despite being inland, water seems to be the theme of Nerang, which is also home to Hinze Dam and its recreational facilities with state-of-the-art interpretative centre; lakeside parks; walking, bike and horse trails; and barbecue areas. A historic river mill built in 1910, with a café along the banks of the river, is also a highlight of a visit here. The river may be little, but Nerang's heart is big.