10 Beach Bag Essentials | Vacation Check

Beach bag essentials

The top 10 Beach Bag Essentials

Sand between the toes? Oh, what a wonderful feeling special when the mercury takes a strong dip in Melbourne, Australia.

Winter is in full bloom in Australia, I don’t hate it but neither do it love it, so as I pack my bags to head towards a warmer destination, here is what are the Basic essentials that get packed in.

I am heading to Australia’s hottest Tropical Destination that’s the Great Barrier Reef yet again but this time it’s the 74 Island wonders to celebrate my 6th Wedding Anniversary!

If you have missed reading about year-end vacation at the Cairns and the Fitzroy Island Resort, you can catch the Blog right here!

Book your next Tropical Escape here!

Booking.com
So, while I plan my hibernation into to a tropical paradise, here are the 10 Beach Essentials that is a must have in my beach tote/bag.

 

What’s in my Beach Bag?

10 Essential Beach Bag items:

  • The Bag

    I love to carry a big Beach bag, wherein I can pack almost every bit of thing I need for the day out on the beach. Whether I am spending the whole day at the beach or doing a beach hopping along with the city sightseeing, this bag, which I had picked from Ishka Melbourne, easily goes along.

 

  • Sunscreen Lotion

     The Australian sun is really harsh on skin and if you’re planning a sunny escapade in the Aussie land than a Sunscreen with SPF 50+ is a must to carry along. I have a super oily skin and can’t manage with an oily sunscreen, hence, this one pick from the Drug store is perfect for me.

 

  • Beach Bag essentials
  • Beach Hat:

    We love the sun but the sun always doesn’t love our skin, being the sun smart even during the vacay is an ideal thing to do. So I always remember to carry a statement hat throughout my Beach vacation

  • Sunglasses:

    I hate to carry my expensive pairs to the beach, I have this irrational fear of losing them or misplacing them eventually.So, 2 pairs of regular wear are something I generally carry on a beach day out.

 

  • Swimwear/Bikini: 

    Having an extra pair of swimwear comes always handy, I prefer to carry an extra pair of Bikini along with me. If you’re doing a beach hopping or doing snorkelling along the Great Barrier Reef, having a spare pair of swimwear is always preferred to be carried along. This two Swimwear which I recently picked up from Top Shop Australia, is a Beach holiday must have.

  • Sarong Dress:  

I am a big fan of Sarong Dress, rather than just a Sarong, something you can slip on immediately once you’re our of the water and want to grab some quick lunch or brunch. This dress of mine from Top Shop, Australia is a must have in my Beach vacation. Absolutely Casual chic and effortlessly can be worn post your beach day as well as for evening drinks on the beach. Personally, love this dress and I make sure that I pack a couple of simple ones in my Bag.

The Sarong Dress

  • Wet tissues:

    We love the sand between the toes but not always, not all the beaches have silky sand, some of the beaches higher up in the Northern Queensland are rocky and murky during high tide. Carrying an extra pack of wet tissues does come handy and is an essential element of my beach packing list.

  • After Sun Moisturizer:

    Sea water isn’t too friendly especially when you’re exposed to it for longer hours, hence a moisture-rich cream is something you need post the sun tan.

 

  • Flip flops:

    A smart pair of Flip-flops or sandals pairs well with the Sarong Dress or post beach city hopping! This gorgeous pair, which I had picked from Dotti is going in my Beach Holiday must haves.

 

  • Protective Phone Cover:

    Last but not the least, you don’t want to miss out on the Instagram moments in your vacation, so make sure that you have a water resistant case for your phone to capture all the fun. Use this cheat sheet to remind yourself what to pack for a Beach vacation and especially in your beach bag.

So, what are you packing in your Beach Bag?  If you find these tips worthy do let me know, also don’t forget to share your Summer Vacation Packing list here in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

William Ricketts Sanctuary | Mt. Dandenong

William Ricketts Sanctuary, Mount Dandenong!

 

The Dandenong ranges offer a plethora of attractions and being a Melburnian one can’t deny the fact how much we love our weekend road trips. So, here it is we decided to head to Mount Dandenong and experience a slice of the aboriginal culture in Victoria.William Ricketts Sanctuary, Mt Dandenong

Amidst beauty and tranquillity this place offers more than just mystical cemented sculptures on the tree barks! Just an hour drive from Melbourne, we reached this sanctuary which is well perched on the highway and easy to navigate. The sanctuary is a no food and trash zone, so make sure keep these things safe in your car. If you have any leave them in your car, there are nearby parks and villages where you can enjoy your hot lunch.

 


This place takes you back to the aboriginal era to experience a rustic storytelling with 90 evocative sculptures carved out of the trees, the settling in the ranges gives some different vibes while you enter the sanctuary. The entire setting looks larger than life and each carved faces has a different story to say. Take time to explore the pathway through the sanctuary while you explore your way to find a new character. Some of his works throughout the grounds also depict his feelings on the takeover and devastation of white man into the natural environment.

Navigating through the sanctuary was done in less than an hour, so decided to head to the village of Olinga and sassafras. Don’t forget to drop down to the Village tea shop or a cosy tea/coffee break, relaxing over a cuppa near a fireplace is the best thing you can do spending the evening with family and friends. If you still feel like cruising through the mount Dandenong, don’t forget to check out the 1000 steps.

 

So, before you think where to head this weekend, dont forgot to drive through this scenic sanctuary.

Want to read more on the day trip from Melbourne? Click here for the Adventures at the Grampians!

Also dont forget to subscribe if you love to get the daily doze of Travel!

My unique experiences in Adelaide!

The vibrant Southern Australian city of Adelaide is no less than a package of historical walk through, graphitic lanes, wildlife encounters, getting intoxicated at the wine estates and exploring the unknown beaches.

It offers something to everyone, Adelaide may be known for the world-famous Barossa Valley but there’s more to the city that makes it stand apart.

Located just appx 2 hours by flight from Melbourne, the city welcomed us with its warm and sunny weather despite the Aussie autumn

IMG_8741
Cultural Precinct, Adelaide

Day 1

  • Cultural Tour
  • Taking a walk down the Historical lane

IMG_8704IMG_8764IMG_8703

The vacation day 1 started with the city tour, around the cultural precinct, this place is centrally located in the Adelaide city, so just hop on the free city bus while they drop you right in front of the Cultural precinct.

Museum, Art gallery, National Anzac Memorial, Mortlock Library, Adelaide University, the Cultural arena comprises of all of these.

The huge stretch of historical buildings, does makes you feel like a tourist who has dropped into an era, where you keep admiring the beautiful architectural carvings.

IMG_8768IMG_8742

IMG_8776IMG_8789

Day 2

  • Barossa Valley/ Wine Estates
  • Toy Factory
  • Wild Life Encounter
  • Whispering Wall

The first-class wine region, does not allow you to be a teetotaller, just a short drive away lies more than 60 Winery estate that offers you all possible varieties of wine. The Adelaide Hills are closer to the capital city than any other wine region in the world.

Take a day tour or drive down yourself, all the wine estate is a visual retreat in themselves, drop down and you will be taken care by the bar manager with 5 variety of wines to choose from or taste all of them. I won’t get surprised, if you leave the hills intoxicated by the end of the tour, but no matter which state you are in don’t forget to carry some of these exotic wines for yourself or as a gift for someone who loves wine.

IMG_8949

IMG_8950
Barossa Valley!

IMG_8960

The big Rocking Horse at the Toy factory in Adelaide is considered as the no one aussie icon, a great place for school executions and family fun.

Just for 2$ you get an entry to get up and close to the Australian Wildlife and not only this, you also get to feed the Kangaroos.

Take a short tour around the Toy Factory to see how quality wooden toys are made in the working Toy Factory.

IMG_8842IMG_8852IMG_8853

IMG_8874
The Big Rocking Horse!

The Whispering Wall is one of Adelaide’s most interesting and playful spots. The acoustics of the Whispering Wall are responsible for the name. Words whispered from one side of the wall can clearly be heard across a 100 metre stretch and attract hundreds of visitors every year to test the walls abilities.

IMG_8888

IMG_8886
The Whispering Wall!
IMG_8890
Whispering Wall and Barossa Reservoir!

IMG_8881

Day 3

  • Victor Harbour
  • Granite Island
  • Countryside Tour

 IMG_9002IMG_9000

IMG_9004
Victor Harbour!

Victor Harbour is a countryside town, known for its scenic coastline, untouched islands, ride the Horse Drawn Tram across to Granite Island, catch one of the heritage Steam Ranger trains with the kids. Swim, surf, jet ski, snorkel, kayak, paddle or canoe around Encounter Bay’s reefs and islands.

We had our Brunch at one of the Beach cafe, their brunch menu is worth trying while you watch the waves and enjoy this slow paced countryside lifestyle.

IMG_9071IMG_9052IMG_9025

IMG_9037
Granite Island!

Granite Island is home to a small colony of wild Little Penguins, who return home from their day in the ocean at dusk. The island is easily accessible by foot or by the horse cart.

This countryside town offers a visual retreat who loves architectural buildings, a well planned town which has a small township and a good no of cafes that offers you a wide range of cuisines.

Day 4

  • Exploring Rundle Street
  • Indulging in Adelaide street cafes
  • Adelaide Botanical Gardens

The Rundle street is the place to be in Adelaide central, it has the historic charm with the modern sophistication. The best-known cafes, coffee parlours and International cuisines, the place has it all. Hot spot for party animals, this place transforms itself into the most happening corner of the city on friday night.

Grab a coffee and watch the sun go down, or catch a friend for a lunch with a glass of wine.

While you take a walk down the laneways, you could spot stunning street arts on the walls, don’t forget to get yourself click with them, wherever you spot one. If you’re a shopping freak, these laneways offers you some amazing boutiques and brands which you would love to explore.

IMG_9215
Rundle Street!

IMG_9213

IMG_9012IMG_9085

Autumn is the best time to enjoy the colours of nature, therefore we spend the last evening of our vacation amidst the blossoms.

Take a guided walk in the Garden to collect curious botanic bits such as seedpods and leaves, then create a cute critter to take home or visit their Tropical rain forests or the Rose Garden gallery. If you don’t wish to do any of these then visit their Dalian flower section and relax in the lap of nature.

This place is highly recommended if you happen to travel with kids as one of the spots you wouldn’t like to miss.

IMG_9188
Botanical Gardens , Adelaide!

IMG_9172IMG_9167

So, if your thinking where to head this Easter with Family, dont forget to give Adelaide a try. This short vacay will give you memories to last really long and if not get a wallpaper worthy pic on from their colorful walls.

Eyecessorize with Jolt Sunglasses!

You speak volumes about yourself with what you wear, even before you have a conversation with someone. Make your first impression as your best impression only with Jolt Australia Sunglasses.

Chic, Sturdy, durable and stylish, when you find one for all occasion, then you can’t say no to Jolt Sunglasses! Jolt is an Australian owned Brand, designed in Gippsland.

The extended summer in Victoria and my recent collaboration with Jolt , gave me an opportunity to try out their stylish range of shades!

I carried them to my adventure hiking’s, to brunch with friends and tagged them along for my business meetings! With an unique style, shape and color variations, they can be a part of your style statement as well. Personally, I am not an accessory person, but a shade is a must have in any accessory wardrobe to portray a bit of your personality while you move around.

IMG_7228
Elite-Black
IMG_8377
Wearing Bohemia

Bohemian sunglasses come finished in two options, stunning solid black lenses.

IMG_6984
Elite-Black


The frames of Elite- black are made with TR90 (Thermoplastic) in a black matte finish, its durability and tough frame makes it a must have while I travel.

IMG_6926
Fire

IMG_8381

Matte Red Wayfarer style sunglasses with Smoke Polarized lens and Revo Sunburst Red Orange lens finish. This design Fire from Jolt is my personal favorite I can carry it off with almost all outfits and the chic and trendy finish makes me stand out!

These trendy designs never die and are always in demand, so dont wait to grab one and look stylish every time you step out!

IMG_8361
Wearing Fire from Jolt!

IMG_8399

So, folks, get the look and choose your favorite from the big line up of trendy shades only from Jolt Sunglasses. Shop here for the look JOLT SUNGLASSES, Use the code “debs01″ for additional 25% off.

My Hiking escapade to the Grampians!

Think about adventure in Victoria and you have a plethora of things in your mind to choose from.One of them is the Grampians National Park, this place gives a taste of Aboriginal Culture, outdoor activities, adventurous hiking, walking trails, wildlife encounters and breath-taking rugged landscapes.

Perched at approximately 370 Kms drive from the Melbourne City, the smooth drive through to this National park takes you through the Ballarat, Ararat and a few countryside regions before arriving at the National Park.

IMG_7050
At Ballarat!

Before i arrived at the first stop Brambuk, National Park and cultural Center, i took a lunch stopover at the Halls Gap. This area is surrounded by the National Park and gives stunning views for a perfect picture moment!

IMG_7083
Halls Gap!
IMG_7079
Halls Gap

You will also get to spot not less than 10 varieties of Australian Origin birds along with the famous kookaburra here, however the kangaroos are only visible just before dusk.

IMG_7111
Halls Gap!

The Barmbuk, is the perfect place to experience Australia’s native flora and fauna and Aboriginal culture. The National Park and Cultural Center is 100 per cent owned and operated by Aboriginal people and is the longest running Aboriginal Cultural Center in Australia.If your keen in knowing the Aboriginal communities of Western Victoria this is your place to know it all, be it didgeridoo music, traditional dance, basket weaving, boomerang throwing and painting.

IMG_7121
Brambuk National Park!

IMG_7122

IMG_7138
Brambuk Cultural Theater!

IMG_7144

The first hiking begins at the Mackenzie waterfall this is just 20 kms drive from Halls Gap and a 1.9 kms steep trail to climb back. The iconic and spectacular Mackenzie Falls is a must for all visitors to Grampians National Park.There are couple of Lookout points like Mackenzie Falls Lookout Walk, Broken Falls Lookout and the Bluff Lookout.

But hiking down to the base of the falls is worth all the energy and effort, I was fortunate to spot a rainbow too, don’t get overwhelmed by the ice-cold water and the view as swimming is not permitted due to strong currents. However you can happily dip your tired feet’s and enjoy the cold splashes, while you enjoy this beauty.

IMG_7157
Mackenzie Falls Lookout!
IMG_7161
Mackenzie Falls Lookout point!
IMG_7207
Spotted a Rainbow too!
IMG_7221
Mackenzie Falls!
IMG_7190
Enter a caption

The Grampians features a striking series of sandstone mountain ranges, one of them is the Jaws of Death. This rock formation looks like a Jaw of a deathly animal, its prohibited to climb these rocks as there has been a few deaths in the past while climbing them. However, one can pose and take some lovely shots overlooking these deathly jaws.

IMG_7257
Jaws of Death!
IMG_7254
The Balconies!

Located within half an hour drive from Halls gap, Lake Wartook is a delightful venue boasting a serene setting perfect for all weekend and day trippers. It is also one of the largest and most renowned lakes in the Grampians region. However, the view from the tops were equally breath-taking. The blue haze that’s visible is due to the eucalyptus trees that gives this effect.

IMG_7246
Lake Wartook!
IMG_7281
Lake Wartook behind!

A day’s trip is short time to explore the entire Grampians, people spend weeks here, as there are many walking trails which ranges up-to several days and some hidden landscapes which is worth the hike.There are some amazing resorts and backpackers at the Halls Gap to stay back, if your keen to catch the sunrise in the mountains.

I said good bye to the balconies and headed back to the Halls Gap to catch the Kangaroos at dusk. So till the time the extended summer stays on, take advantage and head out on the roads to the Grampians.

Geelong: The land of Baywalk Bollards!

One can never run out of weekend gateway ideas in Melbourne, especially when you have a plethora of options at your disposal.

Last week, I was at Geelong for Cricket Australia National Inclusion Championship and I took this opportunity to explore Bellarine and Geelong.

img_5806

Just an hour and half drive away or if you wish to catch the V-line train from Southern Cross which takes approximately the same time. So, after finishing my work on Day 1, I headed straight to the famous Geelong Waterfront claimed to be Australia’s: One of the stunning waterfronts, I was overwhelmed by the massive stretch and meeting the local characters on the boardwalk.

img_5832
Geelong Waterfront

img_5816

Hop on to the beach and walk all along the waterfront stretch from one end of the City to the other where it connects to the beach. There’s no dearth of good food and drinks, with two major shopping centers. I wasn’t keen in exploring any shopping joints as the view from the restaurants opposite to the waterfront was worth the time.

So I found a cosy café for myself to grab on some munchies and a Beer, treating myself with the Gorgeous view and watching the kids and family having fun on the Promenade.

Be it Swimming promenade, Children’s pool, enclosed sea baths, diving platforms or shopping arena, the waterfront has everything to offer.

img_5813
Boardwalk!

Walk up the pier and enjoy the breath-taking views and make sure not to miss the Bay walk Bollards.There are more than 100 of these huge painted icons guiding visitors along the foreshore walking/cycling track from Rippleside Park, through Waterfront Geelong to Limeburners Point and the Botanic Gardens.

img_5849

Walk up the pier and enjoy the breath-taking views and make sure not to miss the Bay walk Bollards.

There are more than 100 of these huge painted icons guiding visitors along the foreshore walking/cycling track from Rippleside Park, through Waterfront Geelong to Limeburners Point and the Botanic Gardens.I spend the rest of my evening taking a long stroll along the broad walk and grabbing some gelatos from the mobile food trucks!

img_5824

img_5814

If you thought waterfront is the only thing Geelong had to offer, then you might be wrong! No, I am not talking about the botanical gardens nor the beaches, perched a few kilometers away from the Geelong station, the Deakin University Waurn Pond campus, it’s a must visit destination at Geelong.

I stayed at the campus for the next 2 days along with the National Inclusion Cricket Teams across Australia. A massive campus spread across several kilometers, this campus consists of quite a no of ponds and picturesque photo points.

img_5861
Deakin University, Waurn Pond

While exploring the campus, i stumbled upon a 150 years old chapel at the other end of the campus.You dont have to be a student to visit this place, drive along the signs to spot a pond or click yourself against a beautiful backdrop, that’s what i did.

img_5863
Deakin University, Waurn Pond Campus!

So the next time you plan Geelong with family or whether you travel solo, make sure to visit the Deaking Waurn pond campus and click a selfie with the Bollards.

Cairns: Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef!

The Great Barrier Reef has been on my Bucket list since long, and Cairns was the only Gateway to those gorgeous Coral Reefs, which stretches across 2300kms.

A region that encapsulates the stories of indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the Tropical rain forest with its wilderness, the home to various rare corals and turtles.

The 6 day long itinerary was planned up as enumerated below:

Day 1

√ Lazying around the Cairns Esplanade

√ Exploring the Cairn’s Wharf precinct

√ Pub hopping at the Cairns Waterfront

We started the day by city sighting, though Cairns city has nothing much to offer therefore the first thing we did is to grab a quick lunch at a Thai cafe at the Orchid Plaza. The 1st night we stayed at the Hides hotel, located at the Hides corner,City center. This is an 18th Century Hotel and was the first of its kind in the City.

The Esplanade is at a walking distance from the Hides corner, it has a Lagoon and a man made sandy pool, just the perfect place for the kids to jump in having loads of fun. There’s a small summer market, adjacent to this lagoon selling handmade crafts. My 3 year old enjoyed her water splash , while i was busy exploring the other side of the Lagoon. There are cafes and restaurants along the Lagoon and this would be a perfect hideout from the city chaos, specially on a lazy afternoon.

I would highly recommend the Woolshed Pub, its the no#1 party joint in the city and we simply loved the variety of cocktails it had in-store.

img_3452
Woolshed Pub!
img_3434
Lagoon
img_3416
Lagoon
img_3409
City Center

The Cairns waterfront is one of the recommended place to visit in Cairns City; and has one of the best scenic views on offer. After grabbing some drinks at the Lagoon shacks, we headed towards the much talked about waterfront.

The waterfront is located at the Reef Fleet terminal, the berthing dockyard for  all the Cruises and ferries that take off, for the great barrier reef. We enjoyed dinning at Mondo, its a fine dining restaurant, which (famously claims) to have the best view and indeed it did, we were just mesmerized.

img_4094
Cairns Waterfront
img_4641
Dinner at Mondo, Waterfront Cairns

img_4634
Sunset, by the Waterfront, Cairns

Day 2 / Day 3

√ Reef Fleet Terminal

√ Fitzroy Island Resort

√ Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island

√ Secret Garden, Fitzroy Island

√ Turtle Sanctuary

√ Rain-forest Walking Trail

√ Snorkeling

A trip to Cairns is incomplete without a stay at the Fitzroy Island Resort, an ultimate destination for all tropical island lovers.We hopped on the early morning Ferry from the Reef fleet terminal , Cairns city, cruising through scenic rain forest and abandoned islands to reach to this Luxury coral island.

15578560_10154151532240418_5385749173787247132_n
Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island Resort
img_3705
Fitzroy Island Resort

Our 2 day long stay in this Island on the Great Barrier Reef was no less than a dream. If your an adventure lover, then this island with Virgin Beaches, Secret Garden, rain forest trails is the place to be.

Do read my previous blog, Destination review on Fitzroy Island Resort here!

Day 4

√ Palm Cove Beach

√ Palm Cove Shopping Village

√ Pub Hopping

We wanted to extend our stay at the Fitzroy island resort, but we had to cover the remaining joints in the itinerary as well. Therefore we spent a free and relaxed day at the Gorgeous beaches of Pam cove. Palm Cove lies 27 kms North of the city Cairns, just 45 mins drive by car or by public buses that run every hour from the city center bus stop, Cairns.

A perfect family getaway, sit back, relax and enjoy the palm tree lined up Sandy beaches. Its not advisable to venture out in the waters due to the Jelly fishes, however, there’s a barricade made by the Queensland beach authority for families to swim within the restricted area. These islands, as you can see below are privately owned by the Chinese and they have their own private resort too.

There aren’t any dearth of beach shacks, pubs or restaurants, the other side of road has a wide plethora of options that spoil you to pass the correct judgement. We chose the option to go for the local branded beer and sat down at a pub enjoying the breathtaking sunset views. The Palm Cove Shopping village has many cuisines to offer and one must visit this small, heavenly yet cosy shopping paradise. The public buses run until late in the night, so even if your not driving there isn’t any hurry for you to return back to the city.

img_4141
Palm Cove beach, North Queensland
img_4220
Palm Cove Shopping Village!
img_4169
Palm Cove, North Queensland!
img_4199
Palm Cove, beach pub

Day 5

√ Green island Cruise

√ Green island Underwater exploration

√ Snorkeling

We were back with are 3 year old toddler to cruise yet again on the blue waters to explore yet another island on the Great barrier reef, known as Green Island. This is the smallest habituated island in this region,and the Big Cat Green island Reef Cruise connects this tiny island to Cairns. You can check Cruise timings here Timetable

A bumpy ride of an Hour and 15 mins in a open top Luxury Reef Cruise, brings upon you, this colorful Coral experience. The beaches are sandy and the water is much clearer, while snorkeling we could spot turtles and sea cucumber. Soak in the sandy waters or take a beer and chill at the Green island resort pool bar or walk down the National park to have a trail water guiding you along as you explore the island. The day trip is good enough to cover Green island, i wouldn’t personally recommend anyone for an overnight stay here.

We took the National Park trail walk and reached the other part of the island in less than 15 mins, the  beaches at this end are much more clean, clear and unexplored.There’s a Crocodile farm, a small souvenir shop and the water activity centers.While exploring the National Park in the Island you will get to read about the aboriginals natural and cultural heritage and how they evolved.

The day tour included a Submarine ride with its clear Glass bottom view cruising towards the deeper part of the Reef, to capture the scenic beauty of the Corals. This tour is recommended specially if you cant swim or dive deeper into the Coral sea.

img_4341
Green island, Great barrier reef!
img_4519
Green island Cruise
img_4604
National Park, Green island
img_4603
Green island, Great Barrier Reef!

Day 6

√ Port Douglas

√ Daintree Rain Forest

√ Mossman gorge

The last day of our vacation, we preferred to spend it in the wilderness of the Rain forest known as Daintree Forest and Mossman Gorge, is just one section of this vast Forest.

Port Douglas, lies further north of Queensland approximately 1.5 hours from the city center. We had pre-booked the day tour in advance, almost all the travel agents run similar tours daily.

img_4618
Port Douglas, North of Queensland!

There are several virgin beaches you may stumble upon, while driving towards Port Douglas, this was one of them where we made a stopover.

We explored a section of the Daintree Rain Forest, known as Mossman Gorge and a potion of the Rain forest as well. One can explore this part of the Daintree Rain forest in less than 6 hours, inclusive of several walking trails. The fresh water Gorge is worth a dip and was a much needed break from the sea water too, my daughter enjoyed this part of the Gorge to the max. The Gorge covers the entire section of the rain forest and is the major source of water fresh water as well ,so make sure to carry your bikini to enjoy in the fresh water

img_4678
Mossman Gorge
img_4684
Mossman Gorge
img_4712
Mossman Gorge

I went ahead to explore the remaining part of the rain forest and the walking trails, all i could hear was the shimmering sound of water from the Gorge that kept me company all along the Daintree forest. Make sure to have your walking shoes and drinking water with you as the trails are more than 5 kms long walk each way.

Waking up in Paradise at the Fitzroy Island Resort, Cairns!

Best Guide to the Fitzroy Island Resort

Have you ever dreamed of having a private beach to yourself? or may enjoy a family cocktail and dinner on a beachfront cafe? or waking up to the sound of the waves at the Great Barrier reef?

When you think of any Tropical islands, a beautiful post card picture appears in front of your eyes with emerald blue ocean and lush green mountains.The Fitzroy island is no way less than a paradise on the Coral sea on the North of Queensland, Australia and i was fortunate to spend 2 days in this Idyllic Island.

Well one doesn’t have to travel far to experience the serenity of this place, take the Fitzroy Island resort ferry from the Reef Fleet Terminal at Cairns City. A 45 mins long ferry ride among the inhabited islands and Rain forest is worth the time and money.

Located on the Great Barrier Reef, this island offers something to everyone and i loved every minute of my stay in this beautiful island resort.

img_3536
Cruising along the rain forest mountains!
img_3644
Enjoying the Ferry Ride!
img_3648
Crossing the inhabitant islands!

Click here for the Ferry Timetable

Once you reach the island your greeted by the hotel staff and handed over the Fitzroy Island map, that comes handy while exploring this 339 hectare continental island .With towering rain-forest mountains, a lighthouse, fringing tropical reefs, a turtle rehabilitation center , Virgin Beaches, along with several eating options, this island resort has everything to offer.

Click here for Fitzroy island Map

As we were traveling with our 3 year old toddler, so the first thing we did on day 1 was to hit the beaches. The island beaches are made of Coral rocks and are not quite comfortable to walk around, so make sure to wear shoes.One can hear a clinging sound while the waves hits the coral rocks on the shore, quite a musical sound it is.

img_3705

Snorkeling along the island we spotted colorful turtles and fishes, the corals around the islands are mostly white and off white in color, if your keen on diving into the deep sea you might be lucky to spot the colorful corals and the sea cucumber too. Its always advisable to wear sting suits as Jelly fishes are rampant during this time of the year.There are water sport hiring shops on the beach itself and special diving trainers too, if you wish to explore the deep underwater world.

The resort has a bar pool which has a kids section too, so while you enjoy the island cocktails, you can leave your toddlers at the kids pool to have their own fun.

Our Day 2 , on the Island stated with having hot breakfast on the beach, the sumptuous breakfast menu made us drooling for more. Their hot breakfast is a must try and is available for 22AUD/person and is worth the penny, specially with the  view!

img_3927
breakfast on the beach!

We were recommended by some fellow travelers to explore the Nudey Beach , which is on the other side of the island. Please  do not go by the name, you have to keep your clothes on in this Nudey beach though.A 25 mins trek through the bushes and the rain forest landed us up in this secluded beach. We trekked through the path with our 3 year old toddler and it wasn’t as tough as we thought it to be.

img_3776

This is a sandy beach in which one can snorkel and swim too unlike the other beaches on the island, at low tide one can get an easy view of the corals too.

If you happen to have a day tour, i would recommend that one should venture the Nudey beach instead of going to other beaches on the island, totally secluded and you have a whole private beach to yourself and your family, isn’t it amazing?

img_4000
Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island
15578560_10154151532240418_5385749173787247132_n
Nudey Beach, view from the top!

My little one was too excited to see the Turtle sanctuary on the island, where the injured and the old turtles are kept , kind of rehab place. There are 2 tours that runs through the day and the cost of the tours are like 8.5AUD/person and 5AUD/Child and the kids totally love this place, so did we.

The Island has a little Fitzroy island located adjacent to it and there’s a small lighthouse on it as well,there isn’t much on this baby island but you can swim , which is the only mode of travel to this smaller version of the island.

img_4508

I loved lazying around the Nudey beach and getting clicked, the place is too beautiful for not being photographed for memories and i made sure to carry these memories along with you.

Before we could catch the sunset while relaxing on the deck with our evening cocktails we decided to trek up to the secret garden on the Fitzroy island. This is 30-40 min trek along the rain forest before you could find yourself among the beautiful wild flower garden,if kids can trek that long, this place is worth the visit.

We bid adieu as we caught the last 5pm Ferry back to the cairns city, enjoying the sail as we saw the sun going down.

img_3687img_3673

I still feel 2 days is pretty short to enjoy this tropical paradise on the Great barrier reef, but i surely look forward revisiting this island once again very soon.

Till then , keep reading , while i am coming up with the Destination review of Cairns soon!

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to all my readers!

Lake Mountain: My First Victorian Snowy Encounter!

Being a tropical person, i am always left out with options during winter, but Melbourne does offer a couple of snowy encounters during winters; the nearest would be the Lake Mountain. Specially when your just 4 months into a brand new continent wherein your able to see all the four season at its best bloom.

Whenever you think about weekend and there are numerous options that comes up for road trips. As Australian winter is giving way to its Spring to flutter in, we decided to enjoy the last snowfall of the season at Lake Mountain Alpine resort in Melbourne.

IMG_0105.JPG

Situated just 120 minutes drive from the CBD of Melbourne, this place offers more than just a weekend gateway, its a all year round action packed family destination.

This 2 hour journey takes you through the Yaara ranges and its a feast to the eyes to enjoy the journey through the woods. There are points wherein you can stop and enjoy the pictorial landscapes.

15152394_10154077270245418_183038841_o

Me and my 2 year old toddler were excited to have some snow fun at the Alpine resort which had their yearly snowman festival. Dozens of families with their kids were seen participating in this festival; so did we.Victoria is always known to have the chilliest winters and this years winter was a prolonged one with heavy snowfall almost every single day.

Skiing and Toboggan are common snow games and whether your an adult or a kid one should trying skiing on Tobaggan, its super fun.

Lake Mountain Alpine resort has a retail store and a snow hiring equipment store too, for all you snow play needs. The retail store has a plethora of snow gadgets so if your missing on a gloves or a cap you can buy on at a nominal retail rate here.

Apart from snow-play, there’s a snow walking trial , which can be covered by foot and one should explore it.Though the path which we explored unknowing was entirely covered with 4cm of Snow as it snowed 2 days back on the mountain.

This path was not allowed for pedestrians and was solely for the skiers only, there’s an alternative path that runs parallel to this snow covered ski zone as well.

The Lake Mountain resort has a two cafes that offers variety of food and beverage offerings. You wish to enjoy in the snow or sit by the cafe window side and enjoy a hot cuppa while seeing others having the snow fun.

13958074_10153805362565418_1904228466946739995_o.jpgSo if you have missed 2016 snowy gateway to any of the Snowy mountains in Victoria, you can definitely plan your next road trip to this kids friendly Lake Alpine Snow mountain resort.

 

 

Mornington Peninsula:Gateway to Rugged beauty & Pristine elegance!

Perched just 60 kms away from the CBD of Melbourne, this sandy Inlets known as Mornington Peninsula offers a bit more just a weekend gateway.Drive down or catch the train this is easily accessible by the public transport (PTV) Please click here to download the map 

If you are using public transport you can get down at Frankston Station where you have various connecting buses that takes you to Dromana, Portsea, Sorrento and Rosebud the other side of the peninsula.Click here for the Bus timetable

From Rugged Coastlines , Hot springs, sandy bays, Stunning beaches and myriad native wildlife, this place definitely features as a no.1 escapade among the Victorians.

13102759_10153578090535418_7987401661374899506_n.jpg
Carrum Beach
12806230_10153475218890418_7746577779283604615_n
Rye Beach

The highlights of this beautiful peninsula are the colourful and iconic bathing boxes, this always figures out in lot of bollywood songs and movies wherein you can see the movie star dancing to tunes with the boxes at the backdrop.These bathing boxes are owned by individuals and are used for bathing and changing purposes.One can catch the glimpse of these bathing boxes across the Gorgeous coastline from Seaford, Mount Martha, Mornington, Rosebud,Rye, Portsea to Sorrento.

Frankston happens to be the last connected Public transport stop from the City, this place offers a plethora of activities to kids, one of them is the Sand sculpturing, Australia.

1914868_10153475219305418_8920596679203801718_n
Frankston

These sculptures change once in 3 months and are made of sand and glue so that they remain intact.There’s a kids play area section, where kids and toddlers can make their own sand castles too and spend some times exploring the area.

The broadway walk on the Frankston beach stretches along the entire peninsula and is a good walk for beachgoers, soak, play or swim  in these pristine water or for some water sports.

Sorrento is a popular destination on the peninsula and the “Seared ferries” that runs hourly connecting the other end of the peninsula which is known as the Queenscliff. Check out the Ferry timetable

The pier itself is a wonderful place to wander around . There’s a playground, cafes, resturant anda mini market for visitors to have a variety of  choices to choose from. Or you can simply relax and enjoy the Views across the bay and the landscapes are worth the watch.

The 45 mins ferry ride is worth the penny as they take you across some breathtaking mountain views along with Whale sighting, if indeed you happen to be lucky.

On disembarking at Queenscliff, one gets greeted with a plethora of eating joints which is set across at the Yacht club, enjoy having a pizza or pasta with the amazing view at the backdrop! There are whale watch tours that takes off from here as well Yacht hiring for private parties. The “Seared ferries” operates till 9 in the evening including the public holidays.

If you thought only beaches would sum up Mornington experience then you are probably wrong, head straight towards the world’s best Mineral hot spring Spa at Rye (this place isn’t accessible by public transport and one needs to drive from the Rye beach).This is a place is not to be missed for any visitor to the peninsula.From the mineral bath to sauna or spa, this place has it all.Book a spa package or combine with a luxurious stay overnight, they have it all.

The  Mornington Peninsula National Park offers wonderful view of the wildlife in Australia not only Kolas and Kangaroos but to many protected species of the Country.Have a personal encounter with a Kangaroo or wander along the trail.

The several beaches along the coastline of the peninsula offers something to offer for everyone, take a walk along the broadway or catch up with family over a coffee at the beach shack. There are many cafes which offers sumptuous breakfast and a must try if you arrive early in the morning!

These beaches are known for having stunning sunrises and sunsets, the best can be caught at Cape Schack and Hastings Jetty and Diamond Bay at Rye!

No matter how many times you visit this peninsula , you seem to discover something new always, i have been here 4 times in 6 months and i still want to go and explore more of this stunning peninsula!

*Images are clicked by me