Travelers caught in the Sydney sandstorm

There is quite the violent sandstorm engulfing Sydney, Australia today.

TravelPod bloggers are right there on the ground, spitting sand out of their mouths and documenting the phenomenon on their blogs.

Here are a few of the latest updates:

An ominous Maroubra Beach

An ominous Maroubra Beach

Just now Sydney is experiencing a spectacular sandstorm that brings the Simpson desert feeling right into the city. In the morning the orange light was spectacular… A photographer`s delight… 🙂 And no, I didn`t use any filters or photoshop…Feeling_alive

Hughieanddoris explored the boardwalk outside their hotel in the early morning

Hughieanddoris explored the boardwalk outside their hotel in the early morning

Well…. today started with a big surprise. Hughie rose at 7am, surprised that it seemed to still be dark. He looked out the net blind and said it was foggy… When he looked again though he realized it was the like the dust storm that had been mentioned in the Canberra news yesterday, and went outside to take photos…. By the time we left the hotel, the air had cleared a bit, but everything was covered with orange dust, and many people were going around with masks on. It was blustery, not the weather we’ve become used to. The ferries had started again by then, but the eateries around had thick dust on the tables and the breeze made it better to have breakfast in a nearby indoor food court. The dust was causing extra work for a lot of people… Tonight we’ve heard on the news that it was the worst dust storm here for at least 70 years. So we’re here when history is being made.Hughieanddoris

Gatzby endured the haze while sightseeing

Gatzby endured the haze while sightseeing

A huge dust storm hit Sydney over night and the City was covered in a haze – not very good for sight seeing. Plus, it was a bit cold and windy.Gatzby

Check out this member blog from a member in the Sydney sandstorm

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50 places to see before you die

BBC came up with a list of 50 places to see before you die and see them you did! TravelPod bloggers have covered all of them. How many places have you seen? Will you see them all before you die? I’ve seen 11, how about you?

1. Grand Canyon

Willandluce on Guano Point in the Grand Canyon

Willandluce on Guano Point in the Grand Canyon

We woke up just in time to catch our transfer to Boulder City from where we boarded a small prop plane and after a bumpy flight over the Hoover Dam, landed at the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. There waiting for us was a helicpoter which then took us down the 4,000 foot drop into the pits of the Canyon and landed us on the banks of the Colorado River. – Willandluce

2. Great Barrier Reef

Stevenmoody snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

Stevenmoody snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

We had a total of 3 stops each with about an hour to an hour and a half free time to snorkel around the area. It was amazing to think I was 60 km away from land and I was snorkeling in the ocean which was only 10 meters deep where we were! Saw so many amazing things in the water including the Nemo and Doris fish! A turtle and a Shark!!! I tried to swim close enough to shark and got within about 15 foot of it and just about got a picture. – Stevenmoody

3. Florida

Lgthib at Sanibel Island, Florida

Lgthib at Sanibel Island, Florida

While walking over the inland waterway to get to Bowman Beach, the girls spotted a manatee and watched it amble under the foot bridge we were on and swim off into the distance. The tide was too high for great shelling today on the sand, but Bri & Gabi went in the water and dove for shells, finding lots of nice treasures. Squadrons of pelicans flew low across the waves, and groups of White Ibises marched along the wet sand probing for food with their long, downward curving bills. – Lgthib

4. South Island, New Zealand

Leehorscraft and friends on the South Island

Leehorscraft and friends on the South Island

We arrived at Lake Rotoiti, which was mind blowing, possibly my favourite bit of scenery in NZ. The lake is beautiful, surrounded by gorgeous snow-capped mountains. It took my breath away. – Leehorscraft

5. Cape Town

Horvathck1 climbing to the top of Lion's Head Mountain

Horvathck1 climbing to the top of Lion's Head Mountain

Today after work the interns arranged a hike up Lion’s Head mountain because of the full moon. It is apparently tradition here in Cape Town. The trail wraps around the whole mountain, beginning as gravel/clay paths, and ending with large boulders you must climb with ladders, chains, and just your bare hands and feet (with shoes, of course). It was a challenging but REALLY fun hike, and the view from the top was my favorite thing I’ve seen yet!!!! There was a group of South Africans singing at the top–it was an incredible experience. We just sat, talked, and watched the sun set and the full moon come up, while eating some bread and cheese, and some brought wine. To be sitting at the edge by myself, thousands of feet above the city, legs dangling, and watching the golden/orange ball sink under the horizon of the ocean was probably a highlight of my life so far — a moment I will never forget. The beauty of God displayed in his creation tonight honestly left me speechless. I wish I could wallpaper my room with that 360 degree view. – Horvathck1

6. Golden Temple

Nomadic1 at India's Golden Temple

Nomadic1 at India's Golden Temple

Once you enter the complex you find yourself in a massive high walled courtyard with a huge, square pool of water in it that takes up all but the edges of the courtyard. In the center of that pool sits the aptly named Golden Temple. It was just after mid-day and the sun was shining brightly causing the gold covered temple to gleam. Supposedly, the temple is gilded with over 750 kilograms of pure gold. It certainly looked it from where I was standing. – Nomadic1

7. Las Vegas

Kirstine of Andyandkirstine outside her hotel in Las Vegas

Kirstine of Andyandkirstine outside her hotel in Las Vegas

It’s entertainment at its most vulgar. It’s the only place I have ever visited in the world where it seems you can get anything you want at any minute of the day. Just walking up the street slurping on our yard of frozen margarita in novelty glasses, we saw a midget elvis shaking his pelvis in the street and a rap-off eight mile style which was being filmed..awesome. – Andyandkirstine

8. Sydney

Tracymiller visited many of the sights in Sydney

Tracymiller visited many of the sights in Sydney

I made my way to the water where there are an array of different harbours. I found myself in Darling harbour to start which is quite touristy but very pleasant and picturesque. This is where i spent most of the day, just taking in the sights such as the Maritime museum, the aquarium…which i usually don’t bother with but was well worth it with a grand display of sharks, dugong, sting rays, plethora of fish and what not…all in a huge walk-in aquarium, so that itself took 2 hrs. And the rest of the time just took pictures of the harbour, and enjoyed the sun and the waterside cafes. Then i walked to Port Jackson harbour where the iconic Sydney Opera House is, for dusk to get some pictures…was a bit slow as it was dark by the time i found it. – Tracymiller

9. New York City

Pelooyen under the Brooklyn Bridge

Pelooyen under the Brooklyn Bridge

Sitting under the Brooklyn Bridge on the Brooklyn side. The view is PHENOMENAL. I have always wanted to be here and now I am here. I just sit and soak up the view, as well as take lots of artsy photos. I am amused and fascinated by a orthodox jewish school excursion who are taking the kids to see the bridge for the first time. – Pelooyen

10. Taj Mahal

Martininindia in front of the Taj Mahal

Martininindia in front of the Taj Mahal

I’m not exactly the most euphoric person out there, but the Taj Mahal is simply marvelous. We went at 6am before the tourist crowds arrived. The white palace looks exactly like on pictures, but there is something hypnotizing about the monument that doesn’t let you take your eyes off it. Kipling called it “the embodiment of all things pure”, for me it’s more the emanation of perfect harmony. No matter from what angle or distance you look at it, it always looks balanced and never overbearing or pretentious. Anyways, in the morning light, you can see the countless nuances of the white marble; every single building block and every gem in the marble inlay unique, but as a collective the perfect unity – ‘e pluribus unum’. I don’t want to push the analogies to far, but I get a similar sense when I look at an Indian bazaar or busy street: ordered chaos. – Martininindia

11. Canadian Rockies

Mady142's three sisters in front of the "Three Sisters" mountain range

Mady142's three sisters in front of the "Three Sisters" mountain range

We drove to Canmore so that I could get a photo I’ve wanted to get since I was in Banff with Mike in 2004. The 3 sisters in front of The Three Sisters mountain range. – Mady142

12. Uluru

Kkherbst and friends at Uluru

Kkherbst and friends at Uluru

Then we checked out the cultural center briefly before doing a very short into walk at Ayers Rock. That’s the large rock you always see when they advertise Australia. We watched the sun go down on it while drinking some beers and having some quality relaxation time before heading to the local grocery store to pick up candies for the night. – Kkherbst

13. Chichen Itza

Claraz8's family at Chichen Itza before her wedding

Claraz8's family at Chichen Itza before her wedding

Leading up to our wedding celebration we had a week packed with amazing adventures. Friends and family began arriving on Saturday the 20th and we had a blast. From scuba diving off the Isla reef, to dinner in Playa del Carmen, to Chichen Itza and cenotes on Wednesday, and good old fashioned lounging around at the beautiful Le Meridien pool the week could not have been any better. – Claraz8

14. Machu Picchu

Codownsean at Machu Picchu

Codownsean at Machu Picchu

It is breathtaking and awe inspiring and I really just cannot beging to take in what I’m looking at. The sense of expectation after the 4 day hike and the sense of reward are conflicting and I just find it so hard to take in. We carry on down the trek – stopping at every corner for a different photo. Truly unbelievable and already – this has become the new highlight of the trip. Surely nothing else can surpass this. – Codownsean

15. Niagara Falls

Reneltrek enjoying the sunshine in Niagara Falls

Reneltrek enjoying the sunshine in Niagara Falls

The Canadian side has the best views. The city is one big roadside attraction. I have not seen so many people since Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It was an international crowd; we didn’t hear a lot of English. The Falls are a natural spectacle surrounded by a carnival. At night they had fireworks and a light show. It was a fun 4th. Niagara Falls should be experienced once in a life time. – Reneltrek

16. Petra

Richymariner at the monastery in Petra

Richymariner at the monastery in Petra

Today the tour took us to the insanely vast site of Petra. The place is huge, and walking through the Siq tothe treasury is worth the price of admission alone! It is very popular and as such the best photos without too many people can be obtained later in the day (when the light is better anyway). Also took in the Royal Tombs (had a geek out moment with the scene from Mortal Kombat 2!) and took the long (but definitely worthwhile) walk up to the monastery and sacrificial high places. – Richymariner

17. The Great Pyramid of Giza

Kmidgette on the Great Pyramid

Kmidgette on the Great Pyramid

Giza was amazing! The site contains the Pyramids of Menkaure, Khafre, Khufu, and six smaller Queens pyramids. I was able to climb all the way up to the sarcophagus rooms of both the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Khafre. Giza also includes some smaller tombs including the Tomb of Seshemnufer IV and Senegemib. This is also were you find the Sphinx. I hired a camel so that I could go off into the desert for a great view back at the pyramids! What an awesome experience! – Kmidgette

18. Venezia

Jamierand enjoying the canal views in Venezia

Jamierand enjoying the canal views in Venezia

We spent most of our time just wandering the streets on foot. We walked across the Rialto Bridge to the Rialto district where we found the outdoor markets. That is where we did most of our shopping, and enjoyed some excellent dinners of homemade basil ravioli, and excellent fresh produce. There are also a lot of fish vendors selling pretty much anything you can imagine. It’s a little tough to look at the waters around Venice and then go eat seafood. Not exactly the crystal clear seas we saw on the other side of the country. – Jamierand

19. Maldives

Eastcoastrod and his wife in Maldives

Eastcoastrod and his wife in Maldives

The resort was spread out over two islands, consisting of a combination of beach and water villas, six restaurants, two bars, two spas and Maldives finest underwater wine cellar. There is also a diving and sea sports centre, a gymnasium, an inviting swimming pool, and beach chairs and hammocks set up all over the two islands; all this in the middle of the Indian Ocean with an endless horizon of sea, sky and clouds in sight. Indeed, Robinson Crusoe would have been so green with envy. – Eastcoastrod

20. The Great Wall of China

Maaske and her family spent a year on the road, stopping in China

Maaske and her family spent a year on the road, stopping in China

Admittedly, we can’t say we can recite the historical significance of each part and how, when and why a particular section was built but we stare in amazement at the sheer enormity of the Wall and see not stone placed upon stone but the story it tells. When I walk the Wall I know that far more than we think is possible is actually possible. The Great Wall was built 400-2000 years ago over 5000 km long on top of mountain ridges that you and I would not normally even hike. The wall is an inspiration to me that great things are possible when we work together. – Maaske

21. Victoria Falls

22. Hong Kong

23. Yosemite National Park

24. Hawai’i

25. Auckland

26. Iguassu Falls

27. Paris

28. Alaska

29. Angkor Wat

30. Himalayas

31. Rio de Janeiro

32. Masai Mara

33. Islas Galapagos

34. Luxor

35. Roma

36. San Francisco

37. Barcelona

38. Dubai

39. Singapore

40. La Digue

41. Sri Lanka

42. Bangkok

43. Barbados

44. Iceland

45. Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses

46. Zermatt

47. Angel Falls

48. Abu Simbel

49. Bali

50. French Polynesia

Uncategorized

Top 5 water activities in Sydney, Australia

This list comes from the Daily Telegraph, by way of TravelPod Local Expert, introducinlyric.

1. Historical sailing

The James Craig in the tall boat festival

The James Craig in the tall boat festival

Today we had a lovely time eyeing out the boats at the wooden boat festival. Some of the tall ships were there….The Young Endeavour, “James Craig” and a pirate ship with no name. – Karana

2. Jet-boating

Dallbrooke on the Harbour Jet in Sydney

Dallbrooke on the Harbour Jet in Sydney


The Harbour Jet ride was amazing. It was similar to the Shotover Jet in Queensland, NZ that I had braved as a kid on a family holiday. Mum: You’ll be glad to hear that there were no jagged rock faces in sight – phew! I got completed soaked to the sound of music blasting from the boat which was fun at the time but as I met up with Bec and her friend later that day for a night out I wasn’t exactly looking great with my matted, salty hair!Dallbrooke

3. Fabulous ferries

cvzc

Anniebanany on a ferry to Darling Harbour

I took the ferry from CQ to Darling Harbour. The travel pass that I bought is so handy for jumping on and off ferries, trains and buses. Mine will be worn out by the end of the week! – Anniebanany

4. Harbour cruising

Billy-123 on a cruise in Sydney

Billy-123 on a cruise in Sydney

I had quite a good day today, for we went on two boats (both were great).The first one – which was called Captain Cook Cruises – was really good because we went on a harbor cruise around Sydney. It told you about the places we saw, my favourite place the special rock, where they hanged a man and left his skeleton swaying in the wind as a warning to others – only for 4 years : > ( . – Billy-123

5. Paddle power

Phillypheet suited up for kayaking

Phillypheet suited up for kayaking

Of course the guide decided to give Kirsten and I the double kayak – I have never used a double and Kirsten has never kayaked so it was an interesting start to say the least (we may have collided with a boat or two). We did get the hang of it though and although we ended up soaking wet and got stuck on a sandbank, it was a lovely time. – Phillypheet

Hot places

Best 10 things to do in Australia

Here we have another competing list on Australia from TravelPod forum frequenter, Cheli. Her list is very different from the others. Let me know what you think about it.

1. Broome in Western Australia

Sunset in Broome with camel

Sunset in Broome with camel

It was great fun and the sunset was stunning, but I was glad to get off as the old glutes were starting to ache. – Kiannmac

2. Melbourne – nothing in particular it’s all awesome and you’ve heard me go on about it before

Brad at a Melbourne comedy festival

Brad at a Melbourne comedy festival

Brad was excited to find out the International Comedy Festival was going on here. We saw a Maeve Higgins (female Irish comedian) on Monday and Des Bishop (Irish) and a Canadian Comedian on “Tight Arse Tuesday”. – Bradandsandi

3. Kakadu in the Northern Territory

Aboriginal rock art in Kakadu

Aboriginal rock art in Kakadu

We went to another are of Kakadu National Park to view some Aboriginal rock art. There was a Wallaroo milling about and some rather large Golden Orb spiders everywhere. – Trizzyb

4. The Chinese and Japanese Garden in Darling Harbour, Sydney

Allmans in the Chinese Garden

Allmans in the Chinese Garden

It was very peaceful (you wouldn’t believe that you were in the middle of a city), and all its features were explained so you knew what their significance was. – Allmans

5. Jervis Bay (again!) in New South Wales

Bradandsandi tracking kangaroos on the beach

Bradandsandi tracking kangaroos on the beach

We saw several kangaroos on the beach in Peebly Beach and at Murray Beach (Jervis Bay). – Bradandsandi

6. The Grampians in Victoria

Slpbls on top of a mountain in The Grampians

Slpbls on top of a mountain in The Grampians

It was like going to another climate, by the time we reached this area it was arid, warm and sunny. – Slpbls

7. Jenolan Caves and the Blue Mountains in New South Wales

Clairebr before descending into the caves

Clairebr before descending into the caves

They are the most celebrated of several similar groups in the limestone of the country being the oldest discovered open caves in the world. – Clairebr

8. The Kimberleys in Western Australia

Amandaseims relaxing in the Kimberleys

Amandaseims relaxing in the Kimberleys

That night we were witness to the first storm of the wet season – it was amazing to see but we quickly discovered that our tents weren’t too waterproof! – Amandaseims

9. Tasmania – hiking

Nickyloo in the Tasmanian mountains

Nickyloo in the Tasmanian mountains

It’s a beautiful country, a lot of people say similar to Scotland. Apart from the fact that it was green with mountains, I couldn’t see the similarities until it started to rain…..when I could have been in the highlands. – Nickyloo

10. Cairns, Daintree Rainforest and the Barrier Reef in Queensland

Jimandnat going out to the Great Barrier Reef

Jimandnat going out to the Great Barrier Reef

The coral formations were astounding because of the sheer variations in shapes, sizes and colours. There were so many fish to see and it was especially amazing as just before we stepped in, the heavens opened as a large shower passed over us – a little unexpected on the Great Barrier Reef. – Jimandnat

Hot places

16 Most Livable Cities in the World… and more

Mercer releases its list of the most livable cities in the world every year. Here’s a list of the top selections, complete with thoughts from TravelPod bloggers who have been there. I went up to 16 because Ottawa is the city where I live!

You can click on the other cities and find more blogs about them on TravelPod.

1. Vienna, Austria

Llucas at Schonborn Castle

Llucas at Schonbrunn Palace

Today we visited Schonbrunn Palace, and tried to figure out just who was who. – Llucas

2. Zurich, Switzerland

Hardiek says "it's as cold as it looks"

Hardiek says "it's as cold as it looks"

The prices are stratospheric! That’s in the upper stratosphere, right at the stratopause, next to the mesosphere, where temperatures are supposedly about the same as on the ground here.Hardiek

3. Geneva, Switzerland

Megmary in Geneva

Megmary in Geneva

What I’m trying to say here is that Geneva is beautiful. And very clean. – Megmary

4. Vancouver, Canada

Beach near the city in Vancouver

Beach near the city in Vancouver

I checked out Stanley Park, it’s like a mini national park right next to the city. – Jess_stewart

5. Auckland, New Zealand

Jamesburford's friends at the docks in Auckland

Jamesburford's friends at the docks in Auckland

It has a similar feel to the Australian cities and is clean and modern but is just so much smaller. – Jamesburford

6. Düsseldorf, Germany

Jrutledge in the streets of Dusseldorf

Jrutledge in the streets of Dusseldorf

About 83 percent of Dusseldorf was destroyed in World War II. The parts they’ve rebuilt display beautiful modern architecture. – Jrutledge

7. Munich, Germany

Beer and pretzels with Sarahindenmark

Beer and pretzels with Sarahindenmark

All the sites in Munich are really really close together so it’s a great walking city. – Sarahindenmark

8. Frankfurt, Germany

Azcelt loves Frankfurt

Azcelt loves Frankfurt

The city nicknamed Mainhattan or Bankfurt holds a special place in our hearts as we lived here for many years. – Azcelt

9. Bern, Switzerland

Travelingdiva was a little cold in Bern

Travelingdiva was a little cold in Bern

It’s easy to get around, well signed, and a lot of the sights are fairly close together. The only problem was that it was incredibly cold there and I could have used a few more layers. – Travelingdiva

10. Sydney, Australia

Codownsean bridge climbin' in Sydney

Codownsean bridge climbin' in Sydney

It is a pleasant place full of character in spite of the teaming tourists – though market day today ensures that its busier than normal. – Codownsean

11. Copenhagen, Denmark

The devil frightening tourists in Copenhagen

The devil frightening tourists in Copenhagen

We rested up from the long train ride and then we went to the National Musset. They had a really great exhibition on the pre-modern peoples up until the Vikings and also on the history of the Danish people. – Deacnightowl88

12. Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington from on high

Wellington from on high

The next afternoon we had to scrape ourselves out of bed because we wanted to go to the National Museum, Te Papa. We weren’t disappointed. – Alandrach

13. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ninabrosig walking around in Amsterdam

Ninabrosig walking around in Amsterdam

Also on Saturday it was very warm and in the evening we had a lot of fun visiting the red light district and sitting at a coffeeshop. – Ninabrosig

14. Brussels, Belgium

Brittany-randy in Brussels

Brittany-randy in Brussels

The train/tram system here is quite confusing, made worse by the fact that paper maps of the system are (seemingly) impossible to find. – Brittany-randy

15. Toronto, Canada

Danfa at the top of the CN Tower

Danfa at the top of the CN Tower

After visiting the tower we headed down to an ice rink we had seen from the tower. We hired some skates and got down to the frozen pond. Dan got around several times but I only made it around once but with only 1 spill!!! – Danfa

16. Ottawa, Canada

Szm52 at Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Szm52 at Parliament Hill in Ottawa

I have walked along the ice canal and been Snow Shoeing (this is basically wearing tennis rackets on my feet), I tested out a night clubs (wherever you go the nightclubs are the same), I have also tried a local Canadian dish called Poutine (this is Chips. Cheese and Gravy) – Szm52

16. Berlin, Germany

18. Melbourne, Australia

19. Luxembourg, Luxembourg

20. Stockholm, Sweden

21. Perth, Australia

22. Montreal, Canada

23. Nuremberg, Germany

24. Oslo, Norway

25. Dublin, Ireland

26. Singapore, Singapore

26. Calgary, Canada

28. Hamburg, Germany

29. Honolulu, United States

29. San Francisco, United States

29. Helsinki, Finland

29. Adelaide, Australia

33. Paris, France

34. Brisbane, Australia

35. Boston, United States

35. Tokyo, Japan

37. Lyon, France

38. Yokohama, Japan

38. London, United Kingdom

40. Kobe, Japan

41. Milan, Italy

42. Portland, OR, United States

42. Barcelona, Spain

44. Washington, D.C., US

44. Osaka, Japan

44. Lisbon, Portugal

44. Chicago, United States

48. Madrid, Spain

49. New York, United States

50. Seattle, United States

Hot places

10 things to do in Australia

TravelPod member shazlex, has come up with her favourite 10 things to do on the east coast of Australia in this thread about our favourite things in our home countries. Here they are, with links to some fantastic blogs about each one.

1. Jungle Surfing at Cape Tribulation

Tommy-elaine jungle surfing

Tommy-elaine jungle surfing

The hard thing is when your sitting on the platform is to push yourself off and to trust that your harness is going to hold you. I’ve started to realise now how freaked out of heights I am. – Tommy-elaine

2. Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef

Charliekelli and her snorkeling friends

Charliekelli and her snorkeling friends

I hung out in school after school of fish, captivated again and again. I saw sea creatures I had never even imagined, and was shocked at the way they allowed me into their world without hesitation. – Charliekelli

3. Cruising Whitsunday Islands

Denzilandthedoc at the helm

Denzilandthedoc at the helm

We spend two nights aboard a maxi round the world racing boat. It’s been made a bit more tour group friendly since racing days but it’s a real hands on experience. – Denzilandthedoc

4. Gold Coast Theme Parks

Andyandkirstine at Movie World

Andyandkirstine at Movie World

We went to a car stunt show that was impressive and cheesy and a couple other attractions which were great – but the best one was the Superman rollercoaster! – Andyandkirstine

5. Climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge

Danandhat on top of the bridge

Danandhat on top of the bridge

Once we climbed the four sets of ladders, which were situated between the two outer lanes of traffic (quite unnerving) we were stood on the top arch of the Harbour Bridge.- Danandhat

6. Skiing in the Victorian Alps

Bluesummit skiing in Australia

Bluesummit skiing in Australia

It was so slippery and was hard to balance. But the little kids skiing makes it look so easy. – Bluesummit

7. Rafting down the King River

Hottubtour on King River

Hottubtour on King River

All went off without a hitch and we were soon cruising, me at the helm down the gorge at a rate of a very few knots. – Hottubtour

8. Traveling the Great Ocean Road

The twelve apostles on the Great Ocean Road

The twelve apostles on the Great Ocean Road

The 12 Apostles is by far the most photographed attraction on the Great Ocean Road and that’s what it’s famous for, is the limestone formations caused by the wind and the waves. – Cmukon

9. Shopping in Melbourne

Shopping in St. Kilda with Slpbls

Shopping in St. Kilda with Slpbls

Melbourne has a reputation for really good food and good shopping and several different hot spots for both, so I checked out this area first and had a great meal. – Slpbls

10.Port Arthur Ghost Tour

The Port Arthur Ghost Tour with Tina_campbell

The Port Arthur Ghost Tour with Tina_campbell

It was a great experience as we found out about the lives of the ‘ghosts’, and a little bit of the history of the site. – Tina_campbell

Hot places

Top 10 things to do in Australia

Here’s a list of the most popular things to do in Australia,

1. Uluru (Ayer’s Rock)

Trizzyb at Uluru

Trizzyb at Uluru

“It was awesome to sleep under the stars in the middle of the outback. We saw several shooting stars and heard some dingoes before falling asleep.” – Trizzyb

2. Sail the Whitsundays

Sailing a catamaran in the Whitsundays

Sailing a catamaran in the Whitsundays

“I recommend a two days-two nights sailing or longer on one of the smaller sailing boats for anyone bound for Whitsundays.” – Edtaepn

3. Sydney Harbour on a sunny day

Jimmyandkristen in Sydney

Jimmyandkristen in Sydney

“The Ferry ride across to the zoo takes you from Darling Harbour into Circular Quay (pronounced “key,” annoying…) and by the Opera House and under the Harbour Bridge and everything, so it’s a sweet boat trip in and of itself.” – Jimmyandkristen

4. Kakadu National Park

Melmax in Kakadu National Park

Melmax in Kakadu National Park

“We managed to get impressed by the huge crocodiles we spotted in the Adelaide river during a “jumping crocodile” cruise we took during the tour.” – Melmax

5. Cable Beach, Broome

Cable Beach at sunset

Cable Beach at sunset

“We made good time and arrived at cable beach where we found a great campsite and even better the clocks hadn’t changed at all – We even had time for a cold beer before going to watch the sunset – Magnificent.” – Kevandrach

6. Drive the Great Ocean Road

Beth on Great Ocean Road

Beth on Great Ocean Road

“The 12 apostles, of which there are only 7 remaining are immensely popular but the part I enjoyed the most was the Loch Ard Gorge, location of the deadliest shipwreck in Australia.” – Bethpelletier

7. Kayaking at Freycinet National Park

Liz at Douglas Apsley Gorge

Liz at Douglas Apsley Gorge

“We were not disappointed as it is even more beautiful than all the images we had seen. That feeling may be partly due to the effort involved in getting there.” – Lizdavid

8. Swim at Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach with Chrisquared

Bondi Beach with Chrisquared

“I probably bought the worst frisbee known to man for $5 and headed down to the clothing optional beach… very niiiice (Borat voice).” – Chrisquared

9. The Kimberly and Bungle Bungles

Thefiveyears visiting the Bungle Bungles

Thefiveyears visiting the Bungle Bungles

“The Bungles are pretty rock formations, the park is well worth a couple of days visit.” – Thefiveyears

10. The Great Barrier Reef

Diving the Great Barrier Reef

Diving the Great Barrier Reef

“The colours of the corral and the variety of fish is truly something.” – Samndoug

TravelPod Buzz

April Fools Day jokes on the road

Just because you’re traveling doesn’t exempt you from pranks and jokes on April Fools Day.

Here are a few wandering pranksters’ shenanigans we’ve heard of:

Hellotara emptied out her flat’s entire kitchen cabinet last night:

And the cupboards were bare...

And the cupboards were bare...

Darren and I just finished up emptying out the kitchen pantry entirely, so that when everyone wakes up tomorrow, they will have no utensils, plates, cups, pots, pans, etc. We hide everything in our laundry room cabinets and in two other closets in the flat.

-from “London on Lockdown” – London, England, United Kingdom

Andy1985 had his hostel room toilet papered by some fellow travelers in Argentina:

Andy's room toilet papered

Andy's room toilet papered

They thought it would be a good idea to toilet paper our room and steal our bags, but we managed to work out who it was and steal all their blankets and pillows and hide them in our lockers, but neither one would admit to it so it was a pretty interesting April Fools day this year.

-from “very hungover” – Bariloche, Argentina

Shawnte519 watched as her roommate found her room newspapered:

Jenna's room was newspapered

Jenna's room was newspapered

Our neighbors thought it would be a good idea to newspaper my roommates entire room!! She’s such a good sport.

-from “Still hanging in there . . . .” – Sydney, Australia

TravelPod Buzz

Top 10 blogging destinations

This year’s top 10 blogging destinations are pretty predictable. The top three haven’t changed since 2003! London, Bangkok and Sydney are your favourite destinations to blog from. Here are the rest, and a quality example of popular activities from each destination.

1. London

Latest quality entry: “London” – London, United Kingdom

Gfleming's view of Big Ben

Gfleming's view of Big Ben

Gfleming spent an inexpensive and classic weekend in London, paying only £14 for a bus ride there.

2. Bangkok

Latest quality entry: “Bangkok!” – Bangkok, Thailand

Jimandnat at the Royal Palace

Jimandnat at the Royal Palace

Jimandnat did the rounds in Bangkok, visiting the Royal Palace, the Reclining Buddha and Chatuchak Market.

3. Sydney

Latest quality entry: “Sydney’s where it’s at!” – Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Danstrip2009 at Sydney Harbour

Danstrip2009 at Sydney Harbour

Danstrip2009 marvelled at Sydney Harbour and at the architecture of the Sydney Opera House, on her way to the beach.

4. Paris

Latest quality entry: “First few weeks in Paris” – Paris, Ile-de-France, France

Samchalmers in Paris

Samchalmers in Paris

Samchalmers toured the French Alps, saw the Eiffel Tower and took a trip down the Seine River.

5. Beijing

Latest quality entry: “The Forbidden City” – Beijing, China

Scottshangguan in the Forbidden City

Scottshangguan in the Forbidden City

Scottshangguan is one of TravelPod’s Local Experts for China. He loves Beijing and the Forbidden City, a must see for visitors to China.

6. Buenos Aires

Latest quality entry: “Bienvenido a Argentina” – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tango dancers in Buenos Aires

Tango dancers in Buenos Aires

Vicky193 saw some tango dancers and visited La Boca, Recoleta, Palermo and San Telmo. She mentions she was warned of rampant crime, but witnessed none.

7. Singapore

Latest quality entry: “Singapore so far” – Singapore, Singapore

Tumblehome at the National Orchid Garden

Tumblehome at the National Orchid Garden

Tumblehome visited the National Orchid Garden and took in the sights of the city from a river tour last week.

8. Rome

Latest quality entry: “Rome” – Rome, Italy

Coreythess choosing gelato

Coreythess choosing gelato

Coreythess hit all the major sites in Rome, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Forum. Oh yes, and of course, he sampled the gelato.

9. Melbourne

Latest quality entry: “Getting to Oz and first days in Melbourne” – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Kkherbst and Dame Edna

Kkherbst and Dame Edna

Kkherbst hung out in Federation Square, met some “quokkas” and enjoyed all the free amenities for tourists, including a free 1.5 hour tram tour of the city.

10. Auckland

Latest quality entry: “Ode to a Lost Love” – Auckland, South Island, New Zealand

Elopfamily dropping his ring!

Elopfamily dropping his ring!

Elopfamily had an extreme adventure, traveling throughout New Zealand for seven weeks. They saw glaciers, went camping, hiking, bungee jumping and generally had a blast.

Looking back at the top 10 places you’ve blogged from in the last few years, not much has changed. Your top three stayed the same since 2003!

Here’s to 2009.

Where are you going?

TravelPod Buzz

New Zealand Local Expert profile: Callum Hatton

Callum Hatton is TravelPod’s third Local Expert from New Zealand. Joining the team with Scottwoz and nztravelguide, he can help you plan your trip to the islands with ease.

Why did you become a TravelPod Local Expert?

I became a Local Expert for Auckland as I have spent so many years living here that I want to give any new travellers to the city that little extra bit of inside knowledge that can’t be found from Tour Guides,such as the best times to do things or even the best little places to eat at.

seal

Callum Hatton: Auckland Local Expert

What are the best and worst things about living in Auckland?

The best thing about living in Auckland would have to be the scenery hands down. With beaches lining either side of the city its just a wonderful city to live in and visit, as you are only about 20minutes drive from the sea which is something you can’t really get in other countries.

As for the worst thing, well like most places around the world, it will be the traffic. The problem is with the may the Highway system is setup and with one bridge crossing Auckland Harbour into the CBD it gets clogged up very quickly and can last for hours.

What are the top five or 10 things for travelers to do in your area?

For any traveller visiting New Zealand, the top 5things they can do in Auckland will have to be :

5. Walk along the Waterfront from Auckland Ferry Building to Kohimarama Bay and Back, the mix of breath taking sea views and stylish cafe’s scattered along the Waterfront makes it a perfect day out.

4. Kelly Tarlton Underwater World, not any ordinary Aquarium as you get to experience it more than just giant fish tanks.

3. The Auckland War Memorial Museum for the history buffs, as it has indepth displays on the history of New Zealand and other south pacific nations. And there are incredible views across the harbour from the steps of the Museum.

2. Piha Beach. One of Auckland’s most famous beaches. For any people who aren’t confident of swimming in swells Please leave this off the list, but beautiful black sand beach, wonderful surf and scenary. Pack those speedos.

1. Take a ferry out to Rangitoto Island for a walk up to the Summit of Auckland’s largest dormant volcano. And nestled in the Haukari Gulf gives some unbelievable views of the Gulf and the City as you look back towards the West from the summit.

What are some of your best travel experiences?

My best travel experience so far would have to be the Moose Network tour which I took in Canada in June / July this year. The trip started in Vancouver and ended in Calgary. Some of the best people I ever met and the guides were the most laid back that you could have. Made lifelong friends on that trip.

What is your worst travel experience?

I would have to say that for my worst Travel Experience, it would have to be anytime that I have flown with Air Canada, especially on a flight from Calgary to Vancouver in July this year. The inflight entertainment was not working so it was a rather boring flight, and then give all of us a card to log onto their website and get compensation the next time we fly with them. That is the last time I will fly with them.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

To have grown up in a loving family enviroment, and been able to start travelling on my own.

Where are you planning on traveling in the future?

I am actually planning a Roadtrip starting in Vancouver, Canada and hopefully finishing in Sydney, Australia.

What do you do with most of your time?

Most of my time is spent either at work, or involved with Surf Life Saving either at a Lifeguard Patrolling level or Event First Aid at the Regional Level.

It starts pretty early around 6am with work and finishes when ever the job is completed so that can be from 4pm till 3 – 4am if need be, but that doesn’t happen as often as it use to.

TravelPod Local Expert profiles

Catholic Mass with Pope Benedict

As the Pope’s tour of France comes to an end, I’m taking the liberty of highlighting some TravelPod blogs about people who made their way to observe Sunday mass with the leader of the Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

Schmans1 took some incredible photos, just steps away from Pope Benedict, before he delivered mass in Vatican City.

250,000 people in the streets of Paris to see the Pope

Rnriggins watched as over 250,000 people lined the streets of Paris to hear the Pope speak. He took the opportunity to head to the top of the Eiffel tower, just in time to shoot some great aerial photos of the city, teeming with life.

Carneyt2 and her friends at World Youth Day

Carneyt2 and her friends at World Youth Day

Carneyt2 bluffed her way into World Youth Day ceremonies in Sydney, where she came upon gigantic crowds of pilgrims waiting for mass with the Catholic leader.

Have you seen the Pope? When and where?

Tell me about it in the TravelPod travel forums.

Louise Brown

TravelPod Community Manager

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