Make tracks to Australia’s largest national park – the Kakadu

by Stephanie 26/10/2010 14:38:00

Kakadu National Park has some of the most
breathtaking landscapes in Australia. Take a dip! 

Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory is Australia’s largest national park: and nothing makes you feel like an adventurer than exploring 20,000 square kilometres. To give you some idea, the Kakadu is the size of Israel, a third the size of Tasmania and nearly half the size of Switzerland  so you’ll need plenty of time to explore it fully.

The place to start is at the Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre on Beatrice Hill, approximately 60 kilometres from Darwin. You'll easily see the upswept line of the Visitors Centre roof, and there is plenty of information there to give you some idea of things to do.

The Arnhem Highway takes you across five of the eight rivers as you travel between Darwin and Jabiru, the main township in Kakadu and the gateway to the national park.

The name Kakadu comes from the Gagudju Aboriginal people who once lived here. They left a rich heritage and with more than 50,000 years of heritage, this land has one of the longest historical records of any people in the world. There are more than 5,000 recorded rock art sites along and ancestral trails known as Dreaming Tracks across the landscape.

Kakadu National Park was first inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1981 so it has impeccable environmental creds as well. Around one-third of all Australia’s bird species can be found in the Kakadu!

Jim Jim and Twin Falls are among the most spectacular natural sights in the top end but you’ll need 4WD to get there and it’s only accessible in the dry season.

If seeing a crocodile in the wild is on your ‘to-do’ list – this is probably your best chance, as both ‘salties’ and ‘freshies’ live in here, so take notice of the signs! And you can’t miss the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre - it’s built in the shape of the local pig-nosed turtle.

From Jabiru you could take a scenic flight for a bird’s-eye view; or take a boat trip on the East Alligator River and experience the ever changing palette of nature’s best scenery. See the land through the eyes of the local Bininj people by spending the night at the Kakadu Culture Camp.

The Mary River region is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the Top End and a day should be set aside to explore it fully. Other areas to visit are Yurmikmik in the wet season or Gunlom in the dry. Ubirr, the most famous of Kakadu’s art sites is not to be missed; while Nourlangie Rock, Kakadu’s second greatest art site, has the image of Namarrgon, the lightning man.

The Kakadu has six seasons, not four, with each revealing its own wonder – from torrential rain to mud-cracking drought. That’s just one of the reasons Kakadu is a must-see Australian destination.

- Happy and safe travelling on your Australian working holiday!

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Get some adventure in your Australian gap year!

by administrator 14/10/2010 16:28:00

If you are keen for a bit of adventure, then you are in the right place. Australia’s dramatic outback, wilderness areas, mountain ranges and waterways give an exciting edge to some amazing activities!


Get started on your adventures by warming up a little, scaling the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge! You have the choice of three exhilarating tours with Bridge Climb. The original Bridge Climb takes you along catwalks, up ladders, and up to the bridge’s summit. There are panoramic views across the city, the harbour and to the Sydney Opera House. The Discovery Climb takes you inside the Bridge’s structural ironwork on your journey to the summit and the Express Climb is the newest climbing adventure and the fastest way to the top of the Bridge.

If you would rather go a little faster than your two legs will take you try zipping around the beautiful harbour at full throttle, before a sideward slide and a powerbreak stop on a jet-boat with either Ozjetboating, Harbour Jet and Thunder Jet Boating.

Another awesome experience is diving with huge grey nurse sharks, giant stingrays, sea turtles, wobbegong sharks, and moray eels at Oceanworld Manly.

Plus Australia is also one of the best places to learn to surf, and the guys at Manly Surf School in Sydney can help you catch some great waves. All Visa Bureau Platinum Card holders get a free surf lesson when you book three, so pretty soon you should be on your feet on the board.


One of the most visited areas on Sydney’s fringe is the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park. There are awe-inspiring canyons, thick rainforest, and plunging waterfalls to be discovered along the tracks. Take some sandwiches and water (and other essentials) and plunge into the wilderness!

If you are keen to learn a bit more about the area, see things differently with Aboriginal Blue Mountains Walkabout. Along the way your Aboriginal guide will show you ancient art and ceremonial sites, and recount dreamtime stories. Then there’s ochre bark and body painting, bush tucker tasting, wildlife spotting, and the chance to bathe in a crystal clear billabong.

There is a bit of an art to rolling down a hill in a big inflatable ball – but zorbing is something you have to try for yourself! Zorb Gold Coast will strap you in and give you a push. The wild ride also comes with a 20 per cent discount for Platinum Card holders, so take a look at the full deets here.

Australia is a big place, and among the most adventurous ways to see it is by hiring a motorbike and taking to the road. Several companies rent bikes, among them Motorcycle Holidays Australia.
Hop aboard a Harley Davidson Softail Heritage, or a BMW, and head off from Coffs Harbour on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales to explore local rainforests and unspoilt beaches. Or you could take a self-guided tour through the Outback to Uluru, or even head north to the Great Barrier Reef.



See things from a different perspective: try running down the side of the building in a forward facing abseiling technique! It’s called ‘rap jumping’ and you can do it at Urban Central.

Or head to Phillip Island, just outside Melbourne, for an adrenaline spin around the Grand Prix Circuit in a high performance rally car. Phillip Island is the home of the World Superbike Grand Prix, but it’s also the best place to see the morning march of the fairy penguins in the wild.


Delve into the deep wilderness of the island state of Tasmania from a two-person kayak and see nature as close as possible. Roaring 40°s Ocean Kayaking has a three-day Wilderness on Water experience with a unique journey to Tasmania’s remote south-west tip, at the centre of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. There are no roads, no settlements, and very few tracks but you will explore pristine bays, beaches and headlands in the best possible way: by paddle power!

Rafting the untamed waters of the Franklin River in Tasmania is one of the world’s greatest adventures. This World Heritage-listed waterway carves its way through rugged and inaccessible rainforest wilderness where platypus, wallabies, and marsupial cat-like creatures called quolls are plentiful.



Experience the open plains and huge blue skies in the South Australian outback, the red dusty landscapes that are iconic of Australia’s interior. You can go touring by yourself in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, or join a tour operator out of Adelaide.

A highlight is Lake Eyre, which was in flood in 2009. When there is water in the lake tens of thousands of waterfowl, including pelicans, arrive to breed and feed before the water evaporates and the lake reverts to a vast saltpan.

In Western Australia you can find the Kimberley region, a massive area of rugged red ranges, cooling water holes, and remote coastline recently immortalised in Baz Luhrmann’s epic movie ‘Australia’. A self-drive adventure along the famous Gibb River Road takes you through breath-taking landscape layered with Aboriginal spirituality.

In the Kimberley you can also explore ancient rock art and cave paintings, including the world-famous Bradshaw paintings. These are believed to be up to 50,000 years old.

Another self-drive adventure option is the Golden Quest Discovery Trail. This takes you through some of West Australia’s outback gold-producing areas. Running from Coolgardie to Laverton, the trail takes in historical mining towns, legendary country pubs, the fascinating Gwalia ghost town, and remote salt lakes.

If you would prefer to the outdoors as more of a blur, then off-road rally driving could be more your thing. You choose to be the driver or a passenger in the world beating Subaru WRX STii rally cars at WRX Experience in Pimpama, Queensland. You can go from 0 to 100kms in 4.5 seconds, so it is one high speed experience. You can also get 10 per cent off any of the activities offered the WRX Experience, so check out the details at the Visa Bureau Platinum Card site here.


In Queensland, the ‘Reef to Outback Journey’ links two of Australia’s most iconic natural attractions – the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef with the magnificent Queensland outback.

Start off by exploring the coral gardens of Lady Elliot or Heron Islands, or visit Mon Repos Conservation Park to see the largest turtle rockery in the Southern Hemisphere.

You can master the open sea with a proper Barrier Reef sailing adventure and see lush tropical islands, turquoise waters and pristine beaches – but best of all your Visa Bureau Platinum Card will get you a 15 per cent discount with Whitsundays Sailing Adventures in Airlie Beach. They also have racing yachts where you can take the wheel and hoist the sails as part of a team. Take a look at the discount offer at the Platinum Card site here.

Then make your way to Queensland’s outback for a spot of bush camping in one of the region’s 42 National Parks.
Along the way you can expect to see some of the finest Aboriginal rock art in Australia, plenty of kangaroos and koalas, and you can immerse yourself in real ‘Aussie’ outback towns.

- Check out the Visa Bureau Platinum Card site for full discount and offer details to make the most of your Australian working holiday!

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Hostel of the month: Westend Backpackers!

by Stephanie 13/10/2010 14:41:00

Westend Backpackers! Nice eh?  

Settle in and then head out for a big night:
Westend is right in Sydney's centre!

If you are planning a trip to Australia, there is a good chance one of your first stops will be the cosmopolitan Emerald city: Sydney!

So what better place to base yourself to explore the city than at the legendary Westend Backpackers, easily one of Sydney's most famous backpacking hostels.

Westend is in a great central location, with all the best of Sydney on your doorstep, plus a great vibe, friendly staff and clean and secure surroundings.

There are heaps of things to do in Sydney, like see the Sydney Opera House and climb Harbour Bridge (with a professional outfit, not on your own). Get a photo taken with a Koala at the Sydney's Taronga Zoo, check out Luna Park, bask on any one of 40 beaches or see the lot from the top of Sydney Tower.

Westend also have some great free stuff for your stay: you'll get a FREE airport transfer (minimum three night stay), FREE job advice, FREE travel talks / travel advice, FREE quiz nights, FREE games & fun, FREE linen and blankets, FREE use of their pool table and more!

Platinum Card holders also get  more freebees: book four nights in a four share room with a private bathroom and you get one night FREE plus a FREE airport transfer to Westend!

Book your stay with Westend  and get your free nights here.

- The Visa Bureau Platinum Card can help you make the most of your Australian Working Holiday with free nights in hostels, discounted tours and heaps more!

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Big Day Out music festival announces 2011 dates and headline acts

by Stephanie 01/10/2010 13:29:00

Do you like Germans? Explosions?
Then you are gonna love Rammstein.

Big Day Out, Australia’s largest and most enduring music festival, has announced its headline acts with Tool, Rammstein and Iggy And The Stooges all to rock next year’s festivals.

Tickets will go on sale in the next few days, so if you are keen to grab a spot for you and some mates at one of the best music festivals in Australia now is your chance.

Bloody Beetroots, Death Crew 77, MIA, Primal Scream, and The Black Keys are other acts announced, along with a strong showing of Australian artists including the John Butler Trio, Wolfmother, Angus and Julia Stone, Birds Of Tokyo, Bliss N Eso and Gyroscope.

What is it?
Big Day Out tours around Australia
in January and February each year -
bringing big overseas acts together
with Aussie talents for a
massive festival!

The festival will play in Auckland, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth across dates in January and February. Tickets go on sale via and on October 6, with a limit of four per person.

But if you are watching the pennies, and spending some time in Melbourne, you can check out the epic summer line up of live music at Federation Square. Fed Square Live Presented by The Push is a series of free, all-ages gigs every second Thursday at Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne from 7 October 2010 to 21 April 2011.

There are varied genres with indie, blues and roots, world music, dance and rock performances by top independent acts and emerging local and national talent.

Over the coming months, there will be the funk and soulful sounds of Kylie Auldist; the theatrical rock fusion of [ME] and indie pop-radio darlings, The Naked and Famous, and The Lajamanu Teenage Band from Lajamanu near the top of the Tanami Desert in central Australia with fresh, fast and furiously fun talents.

- Have a summer of music and fun on an Australian Working Holiday!

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

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