Journey from Canberra to Alice Springs

If you are planning a trip to the heart of Australia, you’ve come to the right place! We are going to tell you everything you need to know for this 2500 km long journey. By the time you finish reading this article, you will have a better idea about which form of travel suits you best.

Flights

There are two things you need to be aware of. First, only Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia (best connections to New Zealand as well) fly to Alice Springs. Second, there are no flights to Alice Springs in Canberra. In other words, you will have to go to the Sydney Airport if you want to get there by plane. The average one-way adult ticket costs about 240$ and the flight lasts around three hours.

Airport tips

If you opt for travel by air, you should know that the Alice Springs airport is 15 km south of Alice Springs. To put it simply, you can’t see the town from the airport. The airport is very small and has two sets of toilets. We will tell you one secret: instead of going to the first lot of toilets, go through the security area and turn left. There you will find the toilets that the locals always use, and they never have a queue in front of them (you’re welcome).

You can book a shuttle drive at the airport’s shuttle desk (at the front of the airport near the baggage carousel area) that will transport you directly to Alice Springs. If you are a backpacker, many backpacker hostels offer free shuttle drives from the airport. There are also plenty of private car hires and taxis. But if you want to hire a car, it will be much cheaper to hire it in town rather than at the airport.

Driving

This is probably the best way to get to Alice Springs. You will have an a great time and see amazing scenery, such as Stuart Highway , Port Augusta, Uluru, Coober Pedy, etc. In other words, you are going to live and experience the full size and beauty of Australia (and it will be cheaper than flying).

But driving also has its downsides. The travel itself is going to be a bit more exhausting because you will need to add 3 extra days of travel time, and the fuel costs are going to be big. Along the Stuart Highway fuel costs from $1.80 – $2.30 per liter.

Train

If you are an Aussie you probably already know about the legendary Ghan train service. With the train, you will experience the pleasure of meeting new and different people, and enjoy the cheerful service and comfort of the train itself.

Bus

There are many different options for buses, but if you are in a group, you should check charter bus rental in Canberra. Just imagine you and your family and friends traveling alone in a spacious and fully equipped bus, relaxing and enjoying the view. Grab some playing cards, beer and food and you will experience the best possible road trip.

If there are only a couple of you, or you are travelling alone, there is actually a regular Greyhound bus that goes up and down the Stuart Highway directly to Alice Springs. Consider getting a kilometer pass since they last for a year and you can hop on and off the bus whenever you want until you run out of kilometers.

Rental Car

This is definitely the cheapest option for those that just need to get to Alice Springs, or get out of Alice Springs. Basically, you rent a car at one location and your rental finishes at your final destination. In other words, you don’t have to worry about returning your car to the original rental office. The cost can be as cheap as 1$ per day hire plus fuel. The downside is that sometimes the rental company can give you a really short time limit between the two locations so you won’t have time to look around. They book very fast and if you are travelling alone, you have a lot of driving to do in a very short period of time.

That would be it for Alice Springs tips. We would love to hear about your Alice Springs experience, so feel free to share it with us in the comment section. You can never get too much information and advice.

Top 3 Excursions Around Sydney

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There are so many things that Australia’s Sydney has to offer. In the midst of all the possibilities and excitement, it can get a bit tricky to organize your time well and actually decide on your itinerary. If you ever happen to be in such situation, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by booking some of the most popular excursion tours around Sydney. The following three are the best of the best and you should definitely try to squeeze them in your schedule.

Hunter Valley Wine Tasting

Enjoying some of the best wines in the country is undoubtedly something most people would enjoy. There are many ways for you to get to the Hunter Valley. You can go by train that leaves from Sydney’s Central Station; by coaches and tours that depart from Sydney regularly; by car or take a bus. It will take you about 2 hours to get there by car, while the bus or train takes longer (around 4.5 hours). Leogate Estate Wines should be your first place to visit in Hunter Valley where you can taste some of their award-winning wines. Afterwards, you can relax and have a delicious lunch at the Hunter Valley Resort. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery as you eat your meal and sip on some wine. Afterwards, make sure to check out McGuigan Wines because they are one of the best in the world. Nothing can complete your day here as much as Hunter Valley Gardens. You’ll be able to shop, spend time in great cafés, taste amazing food and liquor and admire the view altogether.

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Snowy Valleys Way

The beauty of Snowy Valleys Way is only matched in fairy tales. Taking a trip here is absolutely wonderful and pleasant all year round. It will take you almost 4 hours to get there by car if you go on the M31, or around 6 hours via Great Western Highway. Bus rides usually take longer, around 8 hours. Still, even though Snowy Valleys Way is a bit far from Sydney, it is well worth the experience. There are always some cool outdoor activities as well as seasonal events to keep you entertained. From the picturesque Gundagai, your next stop should definitely be at Tumut, which is known for its spectacular autumn colors. Continue to Batlow and Tumbarumba. All through Corryong to Tallangatta and even further, you’ll enjoy some amazing sights and sceneries as well as the rural charm of this region.

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Gundagai

Poachers Way

A three hour drive to Canberra, or almost 5 hour trip if you take the bus, will provide you with the impeccable start to your excursion and exploration of Poachers Way. There are several places that you should visit in this region. Since there will be a lot of important stops during the excursion, it might be better to book a bus charter than to drive yourself. The differences in the travel time are minimal. Murrumbateman, which is around 45 minutes from Canberra is definitely a place to start. Horseback rides, tasty chocolate and numerous cellar doors are just part of the fun. Half an hour further and you’ll reach Gundaroo, where you can soak up on the wine culture and get incredible historical insights. Another half an hour and you’ll reach Bungendore, where you’ll get the chance to visit incredible cellar doors liquor stores, but amazing village antiques and wood works gallery as well. Wrap up this journey with Hall, which is about an hour away. Make sure to try Pankhurst Wines and check out the One Tree Hill Lookout Walk. Finally, end your journey in Yass, that’s only half an hour away, and get a complete picture of the amazing culture that Poachers Way has to offer.

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Bungendore

Be sure to catch the weather forecast before visiting all the mentioned places. Since most of these tours include wine tasting, forget about your diet restrictions and eat proper meals whenever you have the chance.

 

This article was written by Roxana Oliver, a travel enthusiast and an occasional blogger from Sydney, Australia.

The Best and Worst Foods to Try in Japan

Japanese culture has become a global phenomenon in recent years, with the western world striving to learn more about their cousins in the orient. Part of the impact Japan has had on this corner of the globe has come in the form of the introduction of several new foods. However, not all of them are as mouth-watering as others.

Today we’re going to take a look at some of the best and worst cuisines which have come out of the Asian nation.

Best: Sushi

Kicking things off with a well-known classic, sushi has become one of the most popular dishes the world over – with London alone playing host to literally hundreds of restaurants dedicated to the craft.

I’m sure we don’t need to tell you the dish is usually comprised of raw fish, which has been wrapped up in a bed of cooked rice. It’s often garnished with the likes of cucumber and other vegetables.

Worst: Basashi Ice

Brace yourself for this one – Basashi Ice is quite literally ice cream which has been flavoured to taste like raw horse meat (which is itself oddly considered a delicacy in Japan – named Sashimi).

I don’t know about you, but frozen dead horse certainly isn’t our idea of a delicious post-meal treat. That said, you’re unlikely to ever find such a unique flavour combination anywhere else in the world, so it might be worth a try.

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(Image credit to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/takoyaki_king/)

Best: Soba

Soba is effectively the Japanese answer to China’s Chow Mein – with this offering comprising of long buckwheat noodles which have become a staple of most people’s diets in mountainous regions.

The noodles are often accompanied by Soy sauce and are at times served up in a type of broth – although this version of the cuisine is considered by many to be untraditional and inferior to the original.

Worst: Shirako

It’s fairly commonplace to enjoy the delights of fish roe in a lot of cultures, but the Japanese take that one step further by serving up a meal which quite literally consists of male sperm which is still encased inside its natural membrane.

Yes, you read that correctly. We’re not sure who the bright spark was that came up with the idea for this dish originally, but we’d suggest they seek professional help. Worryingly, it seems to have taken off with the Japanese people, regardless.

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(Image credit to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ayk/)

Best: Okonomiyaki

This delicious delight takes the likes of pork or cabbage and sees them wrapped inside a scrumptious savoury pancake – with Okonomiyaki serving as the ultimate in Japanese comfort food.

Some restaurants have even been known to allow their customers to grill their own pancakes, such is the simplicity of the dish. While it might not be the classiest item on a menu, Okonomiyaki is well worth trying out at some point.

Worst: Gizzard Soup

Finishing off our list is a dish which sees a hotpot made from the intestines and stomach lining of things like cows, goats and sheep. Sounds lovely, right?

The sloppy goo which accompanies the broth isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but it does apparently go down a treat with a bevy of Japanese diners after a hard day’s work.

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(Image credit to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/)

Interested in trying any of these dishes (perhaps even the disgusting ones) for yourself? Why not give one of them a go the next time you’re over there?