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Australia Day in Melbourne: St Kilda

by rosemarry 28. January 2015 06:07

Australia Day, or “Straya Day” as it’s sometimes pronounced by thick-accented Aussies, is the official national day of Australia. Every year on the 26th of January the country celebrates with a public holiday. This year in Melbourne, Monday the 26th of Jan was a bright and sunny Monday.

Many people celebrate Australia Day with a good ol’ barbie (barbecue) in the back yard with their nearest and dearest, but for those who ventured beyond their garden fences, the popular beachside Melbourne suburb of St Kilda delivered on all accounts.

Australia Day is about more than just the 26th of January – it’s about the long weekend. Sunday the 25th, Australia Day Eve, offered up a great build-up with a Beach Party festival adjacent to St Kilda Beach. Headlining the event was Melbourne DJ duo Nervo, who were joined by KazJames, Finnebassen, Grant Smilie, Generik, Andy Murphy, Winston Wolf, Jesus and Josh Brown. Some of Melbourne’s favourite food trucks joined the party, too, serving up international fare to the hungry masses between dances.

Republica is the epitome of cool. It’s a bar that fuses Aussie beach life with the lounge ambience of Café del Mar in Ibiza. A mix of hanging egg chairs, picnic-style benches and dining tables dot an outside lawn nestled right along St Kilda Beach. And being right along the promenade, it’s the perfect spot to people watch.

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Lounge music plays throughout the day, and at night a band often comes on to get the crowd dancing. Fill your belly with some great seafood dishes or tapas while sipping away at a crisp white wine or beer as you watch the sun dip behind the sea.


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Hitting St Kilda Beach is a great day out regardless of the day, but over the Australia Day weekend the atmosphere gets a serious boost. You’ll see families, groups of young people and tourists all loving this sandy beach. It’s located just off the main St Kilda strip, too, where you’ll find a great selection of quirky coffee shops, froyo stores, hipster bars, restaurants and fashionable shops. You’ve got everything you need for a fun day at the beach.


Those with kids, or who are kids at heart, piled into Melbourne’s iconic beachside theme park, Luna Park. The park operated extended hours, too, in order to keep people entertained for longer (it was open from 11am till 11pm). Both Aussies and travellers enjoyed a bit of adrenaline-pumping fun followed by a snag (Australian slang for a sausage) and snow cone to refuel and refresh.

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Luna Park is famous for its entrance – you walk through a giant mouth – and this whimsical entrance sequence is befitting of the carnival vibe that ensues. There are historical carousel rides as well as those that are not exactly for the faint hearted. It might not be the largest theme park going, but it certainly has lots of character and unique flair.

With all of these sun loving Australia Day festivities, beach parties, and barbie events, your day is spent commemorating with the natural beauty of my beautiful country. Happy “Straya Day!”

Article by - Christina Wylie

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Reasons to visit Bora Bora – the “Pearl of the Pacific”

by amit.uniyal 15. January 2015 02:32

Bora Bora has been called “the most beautiful island in the world” by James Michener, famous author and writer of ‘Tales of the South Pacific’. Yet another renowned 18th-century British explorer James Cook has been effusive in describing the beauty of this placed and termed it as the “Pearl of the Pacific”.

This fascinating tropical getaway with its warm waters, sunny skies, dormant volcanoes, lush jungle, luxurious resorts and friendly locals is the perfect place to spend your holidays. Though this is a year-round destination, but the months of November through April are the best to visit this amazing island destination. Here are some of the reasons why you should visit Bora Bora.

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Things to do in Bora Bora

  • Spend a day at the extremely popular Matira Beach. It is among few public access beaches here. Its crystal clear water and soft sand are biggest attractions.
  • Make adventure tour to the extinct Mount Otemanu volcano situated in the centre of Bora Bora. The clear blue skies and rain clouds at the peak are just awesome.
  • Discover the gorgeous coral reef on a small islet just east of the main Bora Bora Island. The amazing Coral Gardens are not far below the water. Bring some snorkeling goggles to watch the colorful fish.
  • Visit the beautiful Bora Bora Lagoonarium. This natural aquarium, situated on a small island, just east of the main island, is a family-owned attraction. You can snorkel here and watch rays, turtles, sharks and several kinds of ocean fish with the help of wildlife guides.

If you haven’t visited Bora Bora at all, then make your holiday plans immediately. The varied attractions and adventure options will fascinate you endlessly and make your vacations quite memorable.

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Costa Rica – Visiting world’s most naturally splendid region

by amit.uniyal 14. January 2015 05:09

Costa Rica has been described as “the rich coast” by Spanish conquistadors who first arrived here in 1502. Today, it is renowned world over as the biologically diverse and most naturally splendid regions. The country is not only a gateway to world-class sportfishing, diving and surfing, but also attracts a large number of tourists from different parts of the world every year with its numerous attractions such as gorgeous beaches, rare bird and wildlife species, misty cloud forests, smoldering volcanoes, deep river valleys, and surfeit of natural wonders. Here are some of the important reasons why you should consider visiting this beautiful country.

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Why not to miss visiting Costa Rica

  • Great year-round weather and family-friendly culture make it a popular destination.
  • It’s a famous eco-tourism destination offering many attractions such as Tortuguero National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park and Selvatura Park.
  • Catch a glimpse of the Arenal Volcano in the Arenal National Park.
  • Get a thrilling experience by hiking through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.
  • Visit the fascinating Playa Grande on the Nicoya Peninsula. It is among the few nesting sites in the world where endangered leatherback sea turtles can be found.
  • There are some 200 stunning waterfalls here that are just great to be explored. Most of the waterfalls are found at Isla del Coco and drop right into the sea.  
  • Pay a visit to the remote beautiful Drake Bay to see crystalline waters bordering primary rainforest.

These are some of the prominent reasons why you shouldn’t miss visiting Costa Rica.

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Plethora of things to see and do while vacationing in Colorado

by amit.uniyal 14. January 2015 02:58

Colorado is a perfect destination for adventure and a great vacation. Just sample all that this fascinating place has to offer to its quintessential visitors. It offers 300 days of sunshine round the year. The four distinct seasons offer great vacation values. Its diverse landscape – deserts, gushing rivers, majestic mountains and expansive prairie grasslands – will keep you spellbound endlessly.

There is so much to see and do in this magnificent highest-altitude state in the United States. Get ready to be enthralled with a wide selection of unbelievable natural wonders and wildlife. Cultural treasures abound here. This is aptly reflected through its frontier forts, dinosaur fossils, mining museums and narrow-gauge railways. No matter whatever you might be looking for all these and much more are available in Colorado.

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Major Highlights in Colorado

  • The bubbling natural hot springs emanating from underground streams flowing across the Rockies are there to soothe you and provide utmost relaxation. The popular hot springs worth visiting include Ouray, Glenwood Springs or Steamboat Springs.
  • The tallest sand dunes in North America sitting right up against steep mountains are to be found here. Exploring the Great Sand Dunes National Park is truly a unique experience.
  • The Colorado History Museum and the Southern Ute Cultural Center are two important places to visit here. Get acquainted with the history of early settlers as well as modern-day achievements during your visit to the Colorado History Museum. A visit to the Southern Ute Cultural Center is equally fascinating as you will be offered an interactive experience paying remarkable tribute to the Ute Indians.

These are among some of the important highlights in Colorado that will prompt you to visit this fantastic place more often.

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Visiting breathtaking Goa – the “Rome of the East”

by amit.uniyal 13. January 2015 07:01

The small State of Goa, situated on India’s western coast, is also popularly called the “Rome of the East” as well as the “Pearl of the Orient”. The palm-fringed mesmerizing beaches, rocking nightlife, culinary delights, ornate temples, beautiful churches, elegant old Portuguese mansions and majestic forts – all these and much more has brought fame to this exotic land world over.

This magnificent state is a must visit for every domestic and foreign tourist. This fascinating place is ready to keep the visitors spellbound with its stunning natural beauty, and offer a glimpse into the cultures, traditions and lifestyle of the local people. But before you decide to spend your holidays in this amazing destination, here are some of the basic facts you need to know about Goa.

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Important facts to know about Goa

  • The months of October through March are the best time to visit the state. A salubrious climate will please the visitors during this time.
  • Goa can be easily reached by air from major cities of India and also some foreign countries as well. The main Dabolim Airport, situated 29 km from the capital city of Panjim, handles full service airlines and major low cost carriers.
  • The state offers many tourist attractions. The famous attractions here include Agauda Fort, Colva Beach, Saint Augustine Church, Calangute Beach, Spice Plantation Garden, Dona Paula, Anjuna Beach, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Manguesh Temple, Mayhem Lake, Dona Paula, Chapora Fort and Dudhsagar Fall.
  • The state is also an ideal destination for adventure tourism. Some of the popular water sports and adventure activities here include windsurfing, angling, scuba diving, swimming, parasailing, snorkeling, diving and water-skiing.

With so much to see, do and enjoy here, Goa is absolutely one of the best destinations in India to spend a leisurely and fabulous vacation.

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Things to know about Cancun before visiting resort destination

by amit.uniyal 12. January 2015 05:01

Cancun, a key resort destination in Mexico, is also acknowledged as one of the prominent destinations in the Caribbean with all the modern amenities and infrastructure rivaling popular leisure destinations worldwide. Cancun was essentially built for tourism and the city has ever since been catering to over 3.3 million tourists from different parts of the world every year. With its plentiful natural beauty, cultural treasures and endless activities, the city is one of the most sought after destinations for a relaxed and luxurious vacation.

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Here are some of the important facts about Cancun you need to know about before visiting this beautiful resort destination.

  • Cancun is divided into two parts – Zona Hotelera or Hotel Zone and El Centro or Cancun City Downtown. The Hotel Zone is spread in a 22-km sandy strip with numerous hotels here. El Centro is on the mainland and home to several Mexicans.
  • Cancun was developed in 1967 to boost tourism in Mexico. The city was considered to be an important part of the ancient Mayan civilization and is still acknowledged as a gateway to El Mundo Maya or fabled Mayan World.
  • The city is presently the most visited tourist destination in Mexico. With over 25,000 hotel rooms, the tourists find it convenient to stay in the city and enjoy their vacations.
  • Cancun is known for its remarkable biodiversity. With over 1200 plant species, 100 different kinds of mammals and 475 bird species, the city also offers itself as a popular destination for eco-tourists as well.  
  • The easy accessibility from many North American gateways, natural beauty and pleasant weather has made the city quite popular with tourists from the United States and Canada.

These are some of the basic facts that are pertinent to know before you make plans to spend your vacations in Cancun.

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Egypt – Exploring the oldest tourist destination on Earth

by amit.uniyal 9. January 2015 04:43

Egypt is considered to be the oldest destination on Planet Earth. The very name of this country conjures up images of the Pharaohs, Sphinx, the Great Pyramid and mighty River Nile. A visit to this magnificent country is indeed fascinating. The tourists are offered varied attractions. Let’s take a look at all that you can see and do in this beautiful place.

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Major Highlights in Egypt

  • A tour of Egypt will enthrall the visitors with its many attractions. These include the Valley of the Kings, the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, Sphinx, the Great Pyramid, the Giza Plateau, Temples along River Nile, and many more.
  • visit to Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, offers great sightseeing opportunities. Some of the important attractions in this seething megalopolis include medieval mosques, old-fashioned bazaars, fortified gates, skyscrapers, villas, museums, the pyramids at Dahshur, and the vast necropolis of Saqqara, among others.
  • Explore the Nile Valley. It’s a major tourist attraction. The Theban Necropolis housing the remains of Tutankhamun and other famous pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings is just great to visit.
  • The magnificent temples of Karnak in the town of Luxor are cynosure of all eyes. The southernmost city of Aswan also provides a lovely setting on the River Nile providing a languorous ambience.  
  • The country also has plenty of natural wonders. The Sinai Peninsula with its amazing coral reefs provides excellent snorkeling and diving options.
  • The resort destinations of the Gulf of Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh are simply great to visit. They shouldn’t be missed at all costs.

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Cairo – A trip to Africa’s largest city

by amit.uniyal 8. January 2015 02:47

Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, is presently the largest city in both the Muslim world and African continent. Sometimes, also called Misr el-Qahira, it is renowned world over as the “Gateway to the East”. This historic city has transformed over the centuries and is now an alluring modern city interspersed with populous Arab dwellings and bazaars coexisting harmoniously with European-styled high-rise blocks, squares and streets. The city is home to many popular attractions and visited by millions of tourists from different parts of the world every year.

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Here are some of the top rated attractions in Cairo that a quintessential tourist would always want to visit.

  • Visit the Postal Museum housed at the Head Post Office building near the Opera Square. It is functioning since 1940 and has over 1,200 exhibits, including air mail, stamps, postal equipment and statistics.
  • Explore Old Cairo, the historic part of the city lying within the walls of historic Old Babylon. With its rich history and culture, this area is among the top tourist destinations in the city. The Coptic Museum and Church of St Sergius are among major highlights here.
  • The famous Liberation Monument at the spacious Midan el-Tahris or Liberation Square is a must visit. It is the main hub of this modern city. It is home to the National Assembly, American University and major government buildings.
  • Spend time visiting the Egyptian Museum. It was founded in 1857 and is the best tourist attraction in the city. It is presently home to the world’s largest collection of Greco-Roman and Egyptian artifacts. The major highlights here include jewelries, mummies, Tutankhamun Mask, Tutankhamun Coffin and treasures of Tutankhamun.

Apart from these, there are many other attractions in the city that are just waiting to be explored.

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Reasons to visit Brazil during December-February

by amit.uniyal 7. January 2015 04:29

Brazil with plenty of natural attractions and adventure activities options, and, of course, warm climate, is a perfect holiday destination to visit round the year. Its two major cities – Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon – are simply fabulous destinations to visit. Rio de Janeiro attracts millions of tourists from around the world to its gorgeous beaches and the famous Rio Carnival, while the Amazon is a major attraction for eco-tourists with its biodiversity and abundant natural attractions.

If you are planning a vacation to Brazil, then the summer months of December through February are the best and most popular with the tourists. Here are some of the things that you can look forward to when visiting during these months.

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What to expect in Dec-Feb  

  • Surfing - being the best season of the year. Visit Santa Catarina known for its fabulous beaches. You will love surfing along its coast.
  • Angling and boat excursions  - head to Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes, the tributaries of River Amazon ideal for this adventure sport.
  • Celebrate Christmas – visit the mountains of Campos do Jordão. Many attractions and a series of events await you. The celebrations take place from late December to January 6. Get ready to enjoy amazing fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.
  • Rio Carnival - visit Rio de Janeiro for the world-famous carnival marked by samba dance, music, floats, parades and many other competitions. It will take place from February 13 through February 18, 2015.
  • Summer festival in Blumenau - an important event in Santa Catarina city, a German immigrants-dominated area. The Sommerfest will be marked with weekly celebrations of German dancing, music and food. It will be held throughout February at Parque Vila Germanica.


These are undoubtedly the popular events held during the summer season in Brazil and provide enough reasons to visit this beautiful country.

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Eco-tourism and sightseeing opportunities in Dominican Republic

by amit.uniyal 5. January 2015 04:15

Dominican Republic is a land of myriad natural wonders. It’s the most geographically diverse nation presently in the Caribbean region. The country has plethora of natural attractions such as desert expanses, mangrove swamps, alpine ranges and tropical rainforests. With its excellent eco-tourism and adventure travel options, this popular Caribbean destination has become a hotspot for watersport enthusiasts, trekkers, mountain-bikers and others who love outdoor activities. Apart from nature’s wonders, the country also offers myriad sightseeing opportunities for those interested in art, culture and history. Here are some of the best things that a quintessential visitor would like to see and do in this beautiful place.

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What all to do and see in Dominican Republic

  • Visit the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo. It’s a must for every tourist who wants to know more about the country’s colonial past. It is home to some important historical buildings in the Americas.
  • Make a visit to the Columbus Lighthouse to see the remains of the legendary explorer Christopher Columbus being kept here and fully preserved under a majestic sarcophagus. This huge cross-shaped monument also plays the role of a world museum.
  • Spend time at the vast Casa de Campo resort, where you can pursue various kinds of activities such as playing golf, riverboat fishing, scuba diving, tennis, shooting and horseback riding. The golf course named “Teeth of the Dog” has received acclaim from worldwide.
  • If you are traveling to the Dominican Republic particularly during the month of February, you will be fortunate to take part in the annual carnival in the city of La Vega. This takes place during the last weekend of the month. This most raucous and colorful carnival in the country attracts more than 100,000 carnivalers on to the city’s streets.

These are only some of the important reasons that become prime attractions for the tourists to visit the Dominican Republic. Do remember to visit this beautiful country to explore the unexplored.

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