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The lush setting was quite a contrast to some of the red dirt sites where we stayed in the Australian Outback. In the background are big, tree covered hills, part of the Conway National Park, which surrounds the area. You come upon views of the Coral Sea and islands around almost every corner. Wildlife is plentiful, especially birds, from lorikeets and cockatoos, to curlews and kookaburras, even the odd bush turkey. There are plenty of bushwalking trails in the National...

Not The Whitsundays, Australia, Part 2

Not The Whitsundays, Australia, Part 2The lush setting was quite a contrast to some of the red dirt sites where we stayed in the Australian Outback. In the background are big, tree covered hills, part of the Conway National Park, which surrounds the area. You come upon views of the Coral Sea and islands around almost every corner. Wildlife is plentiful, especially birds, from lorikeets and cockatoos, to curlews and kookaburras, even the odd bush turkey. There are plenty of bushwalking trails in the National Park ranging in length and difficulty.Shute Harbour is just that, a harbour for the island cruises, including a vehicle ferry. There is a secure multi-story car park to leave your car while you're away, or you can catch a bus from your park. There is, however, an excellent lookout, just above the harbour, and easily accessible by road. This is provided by the Lions, and has parking for big rigs, while you take your photos of the Whitsunday Passage.Airlie Beach does not have much of a beach, as such. Visitors always ask, "where are the White Sandy Beaches?". Unfortunately, the answer is only on the Islands. The mainland beaches are all coarse yellow sand, or mud. Shingley Beach, doesn't have shingle either - more mud, or, to be kind, coarse grey sand. This is probably due to the well set out extensive marina in the bay there, no doubt a worthwhile alternative.Another marina is being developed around the headland, and certainly it will look great when completed, but we felt sorry for the people in the resort hotels and apartments who had paid for their ocean view.What Airlie does have, is a beautiful long lagoon. This extends along the ocean front, and has its own beach, shallows, and water up to two metres deep. It has stinger free water, (a hazard in the tropics) with permanent lifeguards, places to sunbathe, showers, shady areas and barbecues. And it is free. A boardwalk extends around the shoreline for most of Airlie, and provides places to stop and admire the views.A typical resort village, Airlie caters for everyone from backpackers to the spare-no-expense holidaymaker. There are many restaurants with almost every kind of cuisine. Nine eating places in one short street and double that in the surrounding area. Shopping centres in the area have the usual big supermarkets and discount chain stores you will be familiar with, plus many of the specialty shops. There is a booming night life, hotels, bars and clubs provide everything you could wish for.If you don't have your own get-around vehicle, you can rent anything from a car to a push-bike, including four wheel drives, scooters and mokes. We have our own transport, and found it essential for what we wanted to do.

Have A Big Time Vacation Without Spending Big Bucks

Have A Big Time Vacation Without Spending Big Bucks

Everyone loves vacations because they allow us to escape from the real world for a few days or weeks. Planning and paying for vacations is often stressful, which is not ideal for relaxation. Many people are unaware of the many different options available to help their planning and budgeting to be a breeze. In an effort to help with the planning of your next vacation, the following tips are being provided for your consideration.- Transportation by train is much more affordable than airfare, so dont overlook a scenic railroad trip to get you to your next destination. The most affordable ticket will be coach class, which includes a comfortable chair. For long trips, onboard suites are also available on some trains. - Make hotel reservations online where you can often get an internet only rate. In addition, many hotels offer senior rates, AAA rates and special discounts for children. Its very convenient to have all of this information written in front of you when making reservations. Additionally, you will be able to choose from a selection of rooms, including smoking or non-smoking and possibly even a choice of number and sizes of beds. After the reservations are completed, a confirmation number is provided and is often e-mailed to the individual for their records. This is so much more convenient than having to hold the phone, make reservations and try to jot down the confirmation number and total cost with a pen. When you make reservations online, you not only save money but you also save a lot of time.- If possible, try to handle all of the vacations planning yourself. When you pay a travel agent, you are only paying for the convenience of having someone else make your vacation plans for you. The truth is that, thanks to the internet, you can get excellent rates on your own and you can save a lot more money if you take care of planning your own vacations yourself.- If you plan to take a road trip, you may be considering renting an automobile. Many people choose this option when taking vacations for a variety of reasons, including not putting their own automobile through excessive wear or to save it from all of the little dents and dings that often happen along the way. One of the most logical reasons that many people choose to rent a vehicle for their vacations is because their own automobile may not be able to make the trip. If you cannot afford a rental, simply take your vehicle to a local mechanic and ask for an inspection. Let them know that you are going on a road trip and want to make sure that your car is safe enough for being driven on the trip. - Did you know that you can put your vacation on layaway? It may sound like a strange idea, but its true. WalMart.com offers an interesting concept that allows an individual to put their next cruise on layaway by making a deposit and agreeing to make regular payments on the trip. Certain terms and conditions apply, so be sure to read them carefully. While making your reservations, you will be able to select the room type, location and amenities that you will enjoy while onboard. For those who are on a budget and would be more comfortable in making small payments toward dream vacations, layaway is the perfect option to having a dream vacation without paying for it in one lump sum.The most important tip for planning vacations is to have fun! Afterall, isnt that what a getaway is all about?

New York Hotels Near Broadway

New York Hotels Near Broadway

Of course, the Big Apple has an allure that most U.S. cities simply do not have, yet most people cannot tell you what it is that is so magical and mysterious about NYC. One of the most enticing things about going to Manhattan is the idea of walking up and down Broadway and, of course, seeing a show or two. While some people go to Manhattan to see the museums and to go shopping, many travelers want to go in order to see what really happens on the Great White Way.New York hotels are somewhat more expensive than hotels in the rest of the U.S., but most travelers going to the city are prepared to pay more for their accommodations. Most travelers, even those going to NYC for the first time, realize that finding a place to stay in the city can be a daunting task. On the other hand, finding affordable accommodations is possible, even in Manhattan. If there is an area of the city where you prefer to find your accommodations, it is still possible to find something on the more affordable end of the price range that is within that location.There are plenty of large New York hotels that are situated near major attractions such as Broadway and Lincoln Center. These larger hotels are often listed at prices that match their high-end addresses in Manhattan. On the other hand, there are a few smaller establishments within this area of the city that offer rooms at much more affordable prices than the larger corporate names. The key to finding accommodations in these smaller establishments is to plan your trip early by choosing your dates and then searching online to choose your accommodations.When it comes to finding accommodations in NYC, the option of sorting New York hotels according to their locations is an important one for a lot of travelers. If you would like to be near the theater district, you will notice that the big corporate hotels are very expensive. If you are trying to meet a specific travel budget, you will want to look for smaller, boutique hotels with fewer guestrooms and, in most cases, without an elevator. If these features sound okay to you, choosing one of the small, privately run establishments will help you to meet your set travel budget while letting you enjoy all that the city has to offer.Essen Travel at http://www.essentravel.com offers comprehensive searches for New York hotels. The website allows searches by price to find cheap hostels or more luxurious suites. A drop-down menu for lodgings near major landmarks narrows the search even further. Airfare and rental car accommodations are also offered on the site.

Escaping To Beautiful Boracay

Escaping To Beautiful Boracay

Of the 7,107 islands that make up the Republic of the Philippines, one particular island has made it to the list of the top ten beaches of the world. Shaped like a butterfly, the island of Boracay has become a popular vacation destination. As of 1997, over 150,000 tourists have visited this beautiful island. That number has been steadily increasing over the years. Boracay is located in Western Visayas, at the northwestern end of Panay. Majority of the people that visit this island paradise come from Asian countries such as Korea. Its powdery, sugar-white beaches and affordable accommodations make it an ideal retreat from the stress of work and all other aspects of everyday life.Getting ThereThe most practical and hassle-free way to get to Boracay is to board a plane from Manila to Caticlan. However, this might be difficult during the high season, which is from November to June. A good alternative would be to book a flight to either Kalibo or Roxas, which are just about two to four hours away from Caticlan.Pump boats ferry people between Caticlan and Boracay every fifteen minutes, beginning at 6 am to 6 pm. The boats dock at either of the three boat stations on White Beach, which is the most visible and most populated among all three of Boracay's beaches. The other two beaches are Bulabog Beach, which is to the east and Puka Beach, which is to the north.Fun ActivitiesThere are lots to do in Boracay. Numerous resorts and sport centers offer boating and different water sports, diving and snorkeling, golfing, horseback riding, massage, and even shopping.For the athlete, water sports can be organized from hotels, resorts, or water-sport centers located along the beach path or from one of the many vendors that roam around, selling trips and activities. Among the exciting things offered are boating, jet-ski rentals, kayaking, skim boarding, and kite surfing. For diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, there are over 30 dive sites around Boracay to explore. These dive sites are just minutes away from each other and boast of gorgeous corals and majestic fishes.For the shopaholic, there are vendors selling clothes, accessories, and novelty items. Some vendors set up stalls along the beach path, while others prefer to carry their wares with them as they roam about the beach. Boracay also has an outdoor mall called D'Mall, which houses shops, restaurants and bars.A good massage is the best way to end the day after hours of sports or shopping. Massages can be arranged through the hotel or resort, or through the vendors. Dining out is an experience in itself, with the great food that different restaurants in Boracay have to offer. Bars offer wild, crazy and exhilarating evenings. Happy hour usually begins at around 4 or 5 pm. Most bars close at around 1 am to 3 am.Consider Boracay when planning your honeymoon, your next family vacation, or bonding time with your friends. It is the best island to escape to when you just want to get away.

Don't Forget To Pack For Sea Sickness

Packing your bags for a cruise vacation or any vacation is part of your vacation management. You will want to make sure that you have everything that you could want to need with you and that you have all the information needed that you may ever be asked for. Things like your medical and health supplies need to be packed because you need to be prepared for anything. You will also find that there are cruise ships that dont mention for you to bring your medical equipment or even a care taker. This is important that you take steps to plan for anything. You will probably spend most of your time on the deck and enjoying the scenery. You will find that a cruise is something that will give you a wonderful experience. You should be aware that you are going to have more than just enjoyment, but you are going to have wind, rain, and a lot of sun. This is why you need to make sure hat you have suntan location and other things like a hat and lip balm to allow you to stay comfortable. Youll be able to buy them on board, but it can be very expensive for you to purchase and by brining these objects yourself, youll be able to save some money. When it comes to the deck, it is where you will find everything. You will also find that the swaying will make you sick too. It is important that you have your medication if you think that you are less than a natural born sailor. You will find a wide range of foods will be served as well. You dont went to forget this for upset stomach or anti-acids for heartburn. You will also want to bring things that are over the counter medications like aspirin, cold medications, flu medications, and other things that you might think that you may need. Youll be able to save some money since they will be very expensive on the ship.Also, do not forget the medications that are prescribed to you. Also, bring in the prescriptions just in case you are questioned about the medication. You will want to take a lot of caution when it comes to leaving things onboard out of your eyesight. You should not reply on other people to care for you and your health needs. You will want to make sure that you pack all the medications that you need yourself so that you can prevent having a headache or something more serious onboard without treatment.

Popular Spain Attractions In Large Cities

Spain is a popular destination for tourists from all over Europe and around the world. There are many Spain attractions in larger cities and small villages throughout the country. Museums, palaces and old churches give the traveller an opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the various regions in the country.Popular Spain Attractions in Large CitiesBarcelona is located near the border of Spain and France. In this city, you can see a mixture of the various cultures that have influenced it over the course of history. The influence of Rome, France, Carthage and the Moors can be seen in architecture and history.There are many attractions in the Old Town area of Barcelona. There are several old churches in the city. La Rambla is a tree lined road with street vendors and cafes. The Picasso museum showcases art works by the artist. Picasso spent a good part of his youth in this city. The Columbus museum is located on the site where he departed for the New World.Barcelona comes alive at night. The city has a vibrant night life. Dinner is generally served late, at about ten oclock each evening. The bars and clubs in the city really come alive after the dinner hour.Madrid is the capital of Spain and a vibrant city. It is located in the center of the country. Many people visit the city for the famous museums and art collections. The old town area is great for shopping and places to eat. There are a variety of trendy night clubs with live music, if you love the night life.The Golden Triangle is located in the center of the city. This is the location of three famous museums: the Prado, Thyssen Bornemisza and Reina Sofia. In addition to the great museums, the Royal Palace is a major attraction. This palace is used for ceremonial purposes. The throne room and gardens are popular with tourists. If you like bull fighting, visit the Plaza de Toros de las Ventas. This is among the most famous of all bullfighting rings.Seville is the capital of Andalusia and the Province of Seville. There is a lot to see and do in this city. The old quarter has many attractions, including picturesque plazas. The fountains in the plazas are a good place to stop and rest and make a great background for pictures.The Seville Cathedral is an ornately decorated cathedral that was constructed in the fifteenth century. The cathedral is home to an amazing collection of religious art. The tomb of explorer Christopher Columbus is located inside this cathedral.The Alcazar is a royal palace that is open for tours. There are beautiful gardens on the grounds of the palace. The Torre del Oro tower is a maritime museum. This structure was originally part of a fortification built by the Moors to defend the city against invasion. The museum has a number of interesting exhibits on display.Spain Attractions on the Mediterranean CoastThe Costa del Sol is a popular destination to sunbathe in the summer and escape the cold of the winter. There is beautiful scenery and a number of attractions to explore in the cities around this region. Malaga is a popular destination on the Costa del Sol.This region has increased in popularity for golf vacations in recent years. There are a large number of golf resorts and golf courses located here. It has been nicknamed the Costa del Golf by some avid golfers. The weather in this region is great for golf all year round.The Costa Blanca is among the most popular tourist destinations in the country. This area is especially crowded in the summer season. Most visitors fly into Alicante airport and travel from here throughout the region. The Alicante airport is home to many large and discount airlines. Book your reservations well in advance to get the best fare for your trip.The Costa Blanca is home to larger tourist areas such as Benidorm and smaller villages with quiet resorts. The city of Torrevieja is located in the southern part of the region. This city is known for its salt production and salt baths. The salt baths are said to have curative powers for arthritis and skin conditions.

Summary

The lush setting was quite a contrast to some of the red dirt sites where we stayed in the Australian Outback. In the background are big, tree covered hills, part of the Conway National Park, which surrounds the area. You come upon views of the Coral Sea and islands around almost every corner. Wildlife is plentiful, especially birds, from lorikeets and cockatoos, to curlews and kookaburras, even the odd bush turkey. There are plenty of bushwalking trails in the National...