Venom antidote at the ready…

So it’s nothing new to hear that Australia’s home to some pretty scary wildlife – but how about the top 10 deadliest? Well, The Telegraph has compiled this lovely list for you so now you know what REALLY to watch out for!

Think in two years I’ve had run ins with about 5 of these guys and made it out unscathed – not bad for a novice!

Check out the article in the link below:

Australia’s Deadliest Creatures

For loads of information on working and travelling in Australia, check out Work Anywhere: Australia the book today!

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Music Spotlight: Little May

This week’s music spotlight is for all you guys and gals out there who are a bit hippy at heart. Little May are a gorgeous 3 piece girl band from Sydney, whose music influences include “Local Natives, Bon Iver and Fleetwood Mac”, and giving their songs a listen it’s easy to spot this. ‘Hide’ is the hauntingly beautiful first track off their self-titled EP, which is due for release later this year, and once you hear it you’ll be sure to agree with me that this is a band with a big future ahead of them.

Following on to their second single release – ‘Boardwalks’. This is a track that will leaving you wanting to just head out on a long drive and discover somewhere new. Real hippy stuff. Watching their videos and see the girls play their own instruments also makes you feel like, unlike many of the chart toppers these days, these guys really understand their music.

Let’s hope they get the recognition they deserve this year, and I’ve put Soundcloud links to their 2 tracks below, so give them a listen! As always, let me know if there’s any new Australian talent you think is worth knowing about 🙂

What’s On: Mardi Grass – Nimbin (3rd-4th May)

No, that’s not a spelling mistake. Unlike the Mardi Gras celebrations held the world over, Nimbin’s ‘Mardi Grass’ really is a festival with a difference. Let’s just say it’s a little on the green side.

For those of you unfamiliar with the little town of Nimbin in NSW, the best way to describe it would probably be that it caters to those with more alternative lifestyles (otherwise known as hippies). Famed for it’s cannabis counter-culture, this commune has become a popular stop of for many a backpacker on their Australian travels, with organised tours running daily so you can experience this strange place without any fears of disappearing forever.

So back to Mardi Grass. This annual festival is a celebration of everything green, held on the 3rd & 4th May and is well worth heading to if you want to see a completely unique side to Australia. Compiling of events such as the ‘Hemp Olympix’, the ‘Nimbin Cannabis Cup’ and the ‘Global Marijuana March’, the real challenge will probably be seeing how much of it you remember once it’s over!

Tickets are on sale now, with prices ranging from AU$50 for a one day ticket, to $100 for a weekend pass with 3 nights camping. You can purchase these at www.nimbinmardigrass.com.

Cover photo: http://www.peacebus.com

 

What’s On: ANZAC Day 25th April (All Australia)

On the 25th April every year, Australians and New Zealanders take a moment to remember those who served and those who died “in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations” thoughout history. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and the remembrance day is held on this date to mark the first campaign in the First World War when these forces suffered major casualties and deaths.

This day is as important in Australia and New Zealand as our Remembrance Day is to us, so if you are over there do treat it with the respect it deserves. Also, if you are in Canberra on the 25th, you can visit the Australian War Memorial for its Dawn Service, a truly memorable experience.

Your Free Day Out: Sydney

Think there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Well how about a free whole day out? Being a backpacker often means that you can find yourself a bit strapped for cash, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your time in a city. I want to show you how you can have fun in any city in Australia without having to delve into your pocket once. Now that’s what I call budget travel.

Never run out of things to do again with this great list of ideas/attractions to keep you busy, all without spending any dollar!

First stop – Sydney.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk – Like walks? Like bridges? Well then this will be just the thing for you. Walking across the bridge is a great day out as it’s a chance to stretch your legs without trekking too far and you’ll be rewarded with some stunning views, especially when you get to the opposite side and look back at the Opera House. Great alternative to the bridge climb if you don’t fancy forking out $200

Bondi to Coogee Walk – Another walk (you can see a common theme here…) but really worth it if you’re willing to put the legwork in! The full walk is about 6km all along the coast, but if you’re not up for walking the whole distance there are plenty of beaches you can stop off at on the way. Also, make sure to head down end of October/start of November for ‘Sculpture by the Sea’, an annual exhibition of around 100 sculptures by local artists, placed along various points on the walk. For a bit of added beauty (and to avoid the crowds) do the walk at sunrise – absolute perfection.

Vivid Sydney – Every year from the 23rd May to 9th June the ‘Vivid Sydney’ festival is on  – a celebration of the city’s creativity through lights and music. During this time buildings all over the city have stunning light projections displayed on them, with accompanying music, making it a real feast for the eyes and ears. You can pick up a free map of what’s on and where from information points, so grab one and take a night to discover a new side to Sydney. Don’t miss the Darling Harbour nightly music, light and water show, truly spectacular!

Art Galleries – The Art Gallery of NSW and White Rabbit are two fantastic art galleries, completely different from one another and both completely free to visit. The NSW Art Gallery was established in 1871 and is home to a diverse range of Australian and International artwork, covering all styles from traditional to contemporary. White Rabbit, on the other hand, is a reflection on Australia’s Asian culture, hosting one of the largest collections of Asian contemporary art in the whole country. Why not check them both out, and fill your boots with culture!

Royal Botanic Gardens – If you’ve been to Sydney before, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the city’s Royal Botanic Gardens, but that’s no reason not to head down for a visit if you’re looking for something free to do! Pack yourself a picnic and sit in the sunshine, admiring the wonderful views (and a great spot of people watching!), then walk along to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for possibly the best viewpoint of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge combined.

So if you’re stuck for something to do in the city, give these a go and enjoy some great days out whilst saving your pennies. More posts to come with ideas for free days out in other big cities, so keep your eyes peeled!

Cover Photo: http://www.vividsydney.com

Music Spotlight: Timberwolf

If you’re thinking, like me, that the weekend can’t come soon enough, fear not – I’ve found a wonderful track to help you drift through the next few days. Timberwolf is the alias of the uber talented Chris Panausakis, a 22 year old singer/songwriter from Adelaide. His song ‘Grace’ from his debut album ‘Man & Moon’ is a soulful, folksy track guaranteed to spring you into Summer, even on the rainiest of days!

If you’re lucky enough to be sunning it up in Oz, this is the perfect song for taking a bit of time to enjoy the rays, and if like myself you’re at home in the still slightly wintery UK, it’s a chance to close your eyes and think how lovely summer’s going to be.

Give it a listen and let me know what you think 🙂

For information on working and travelling in Australia, check out ‘Work Anywhere: Australia’ the book on Kindle today.

Happy St Paddy’s Day!

It only comes around once a year, then you spend the remainder of the year getting over it…it’s the delightful celebration of good ol’ St Paddy. Whilst most of you might be feeling the burn from a weekend of pre-celebrations, let’s not forget that today is in fact the big day – yet another reason to let your hair down one more time!

And with practically half the population of Ireland moving Down Under over the past couple of years, let’s just say that it’s not going to be difficult to find some good craic if you’re in Oz for the big day.

So let’s forget about work for one more day and focus on celebrating what the Irish do best – drink.

Cheers!

What’s On: White Night Melbourne (22nd Feb)

Looking for something to do this weekend? Well if you’re in Melbourne you need look no further. This Saturday the city’s streets, lane ways and its many cultural venues are going to be transformed into an art and music extravaganza, buzzing all through the night from 7pm to 7am the following morning. White Night is back again.

With its 2013 debut attracting over 30,000 Australians and visitors alike, White Night really is a street festival like no other. This year it’s offering an even wider range of events and activities for people to take part in, from the breathtaking light projections all over the city, to indie film premiers and outdoor bands to keep the party going through the night.

The events are a mixture of free and ticketed, so you can style your night to your budget, but it’s recommended buying tickets in advance if there is anything you really want to see, as they sell out fast!

Get down there and see what Melbourne has to offer.

For more information on working and travelling in Australia, check out ‘Work Anywhere: Australia’ the book on Kindle today.

Cover photo Copyright: http://www.urbanmelbourne.info

Happy Australia Day!

That great day has come around once again, and that means one thing – an excuse to throw a party! All around the country flags and glasses are being raised in celebration of a momentous occasion in the nation’s history, and, more importantly, a day off work.

“But what is Australia Day all about?” I hear you cry.

Well, kids…

Australia Day was invented to mark the anniversary of the first fleet of British ships to arrive in Sydney in 1788. Packed full of convicts, there was no way this was a bad idea. Luckily enough though, it worked out alright in the end, and those crafty Pommies thought they would quite like to stay for good. Yay!

Nowadays, Australians use it as a day to celebrate the country’s diversity, and has now become the nation’s largest public event, with families and friends alike gathering together for fun and festivities.

The holiday has also been nicknamed ‘Invasion Day’ by many in the Aboriginal community for, well, obvious reasons.

So that’s the history lesson over folks. Time to sit back, relax and enjoy the day.

Whether you’re beaching, boozing or barbecuing (or if you’re lucky, all three) I hope you have a fabulous Australia Day!