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Queensland Travel / Plane Spotting / Hamilton Island / Great Barrier Reef / Jetstar / Virgin Australia / → All Tags
We admit to heading to the airport with a few minutes to spare so we can watch airplanes take off and land. Sometimes we get lucky and we spy a new aircraft of a foreign carrier or just one in a new paintjob. On a recent trip to the tropical island of Hamilton Island in Queensland, we took note of the proximity of the airport to...well, everything.
While chowing down on a seafood lunch, we watched a Boeing 737 so close we could practically see the whites of the passenger's eyes peering out. So naturally, we hopped in our golf cart there are no cars on the islandto get a closer look. This place sees some arrivals from Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar, with most flights arriving around the same time.
Green Travel / Australia Travel / Great Barrier Reef / Diving / Ecotourism / Beach Travel / Travel News / Water Sports / → All Tags
Australia is quite well known for its endless beaches and dive spots and, now, clean waters and pristine views will be a guarantee for generations to enjoy for years to come. By creating the world's largest marine park, the Aussie government has ensured that more coastal waters than just the Great Barrier Reef will be clean and blue.
We all know that Australia has to protect its borders and, since it is an island, that border is allll water. The creation of what will be the world's largest network of ocean reserves means the continent's current reserves will double, from 27 to 60 areas set aside for sea creatures and coral to grow and flourish into the underwater spectacular we all know them to be.
Train Travel / Australia Travel / Queensland Travel / Queensland Rail / Hamilton Island / Great Barrier Reef / Whitsunday Islands / Island Travel / Beach Travel / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Sunset from Yacht Club
We have told you about the unique travel experiences that Queensland Rail offers to travelers, and even invited you in to have a look at the rail cars themselves. Now it's time to talk destinations, and this one's a doozy.
Boarding The Sunlander train in the Aussie city of Brisbane, the one-night rail journey was chockablock with wining and dining. After aperitifs, we retired to our berth to find it was magically made up into a single bed (You have to love top-notch customer service). When we awoke, we were just approaching the inland town of Proserpine, Queensland. Showering and breakfasting while whizzing past sugar cane fields is just one of those treasured, "only on a train" moments.
Wish You Were Here / Travel Snapshot / Australia Travel / Great Barrier Reef / Whitsunday Islands / Beach Travel / Island Travel / The Best Job in the World / Queensland Rail / Hamilton Island / → All Tags
There are very few things that can beat a tropical island. Today we came to you from a tropical island in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. More specifically, a group of islands called the Whitsundays. The exact island name is Hamilton Island, also known as the home of the Best Job in the World.
The group of islands were discovered by Captain Cook right after he "found" Australia. The infamous explorer's detour around the giant barrier reef led him smack dab into the middle of these palm-covered volcanic islands. The primitivity of the Whitsundays has long since disappeared, replaced by a whole crop of tasteful luxury resorts, but it's still very much paradise.
Travel Contests / Australia Travel / Queensland Travel / Drinking Travel / Dude Travel / Adventure Travel / Island Travel / Great Barrier Reef / → All Tags
Australian beer company XXXX has negotiated leasing a 15-acre island in the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef for a complete male paradise. What's more is that this Queensland company has it for the next three years! Just a tropical island, your best bros, and, you've guessed it, lots of beer. It's unabashedly a bromance honeymoon and it's open to a contest, of course.
The island, officially named Pumpkin Island, is a privately owned piece of sand that will be host to groups of four at different times, selected at promotional events. Winning visitors will enjoy the run of the island in addition to having input in what the island offers. While large enough for a few bars and eco-cottages, it is small enough to get guys together for a unique experience. A few ideas that have been knocked around are an "ultimate one-hole golf course," "unique beer delivery systems" and the usual water sports.
The tropical escape will be geared toward men, but will not exclude women if they choose to endure the testosterone-filled, bloke-tastic environment. To view the top votes for island activities or even enter yourself in the promotion, head on over here.
Google Maps / Google Earth / Travel Photography / Australia Travel / Great Barrier Reef / → All Tags
These "what will they think of next" posts about Google Maps are getting more and more frequentand more and more easy. We did a quick roundup at the end of last year, in the context of Google's airport maps. Since then they've added a bunch of useful featurescataloged hereand they've even begun inserting timestamps to Street View images. Helpful!
But there's an entire other part of Google Maps and Google Earth, which is the part where the images are just neat. There's enough material out there for entire galleries of wholly unintentional beautiful, weird, and even elegant photos (at least unintentional from Google's point of view; some of them were staged; hilariously). Not content with leaving things to chance, though, Google engineers have stepped up and mapped one of the world's most gorgeous areas.
Eclipses / Awesome Stuff / Australia Travel / Eclipse Viewing / Astronomy / Cairns Travel / Great Barrier Reef / → All Tags
Many people flock Down Under to bask in the sun, but now Australia has become a destination to also soak up some shade. According to NASA, some parts of the earth will be able to view a total solar eclipse this November. November 13th to be exact. The majority of Australia will be able to view, at least, a partial eclipse of the largest star.
According to NASA's website dedicated to the planetary phenomenon, the northern half of Oz will be able to witness the moon blocking our view of the sun. To be even more specific, the tropical city of Cairns will be one of the places to be in November. The sun's ray will be blocked by the moon for about 60 seconds casting an eerie twilight on most of the region, given clear skies.
Disasters / Great Barrier Reef / Australia Travel / Queensland Travel / Environment / Green Travel / → All Tags
Environmental and tourism authorities in Queensland went into full emergency mode over the weekend, when a giant Chinese tanker collided with the Barrier Reef and began leaking fuel into the surrounding pristine waters. Though it now seems like the worst-case disasters are going to be avoidedthe Shen Neng 1 doesn't look like it's going to break in half, which was the initial fearthere's still a two-mile slick floating above one of the world's most important and delicate ecosystems.
The clean up began almost immediately, with planes dispatched to spray chemical dispersants into the water. The tanker was using a particularly cheap and viscous kind of fuel, increasing the danger it poses to the marine life below. Tug boats were sent to carefully stabilize the ship and get it out of the area, and they're hoping to start on that in the next few hours. In the meantime, the tanker is disabled and continues to grind against the reef, risking more breaches and an all-out catastrophe.