We have been so fortunate with the Autumn weather here in Melbourne. Never so late in the month of April have we had consecutive temperatures in the mid to high 20Cs. I am loving it.

Of course we’re not going to waste this fine weather and I’ve been getting out and about at every opportunity. That may even mean escaping the home office during the week where I run my virtual assistant business. Nothing like wagging work!

Here’s a few snaps via Instagram of recent places visited;




More evidence of Autumn in #Melbourne #garden #gardening #lovenature #fairywonderland A photo posted by Kirsty Wilson (@kirstywilsonva) on



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The Sunshine State is not called that for nothing, or do you think 300 days of sunshine a year is not enough to earn that title? Occupying Australia’s northeast, Queensland is known for its dazzling beaches, scenic landscapes and vibrant cities. It is the home to some of Australia’s most notable highlights, such as Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, but it hides some of the country’s less known gems. So, if you are planning a trip Down Under, and are not sure where, we give you 5 reasons why Queensland should be your choice.

Rich Urban Life

Brisbane, Queensland

There is a lot to see for a city slicker visiting Queensland – from the bursting capital with many attractions, happenings and thriving nightlife, across small towns and islands, all the way to Cairns, which is a true traveler’s mecca. Art galleries in Brisbane are always great to visit, because you can see amazing works of contemporary art of the entire Pacific. The Railroad Museum in Gold Coast will fascinate both the kids and the adults with its interesting stories about the history of trains. And when the day is over, you can enjoy fine dining in some of the most exquisite restaurants in Australia. The pulsing nightlife of the cities, especially Brisbane, will keep anyone entertained. There are many extraordinary festivals in Queensland, but Brisbane is the home to the coolest one – Soundwave.

Beautiful Nature

Australian Animals in Queensland

The Sunshine State is the home to various animal species, birds, snakes and lizards among them. You can see native Australian animals here (blue tongue lizards and kookaburras), but also the more exotic ones (Eastern Bearded Dragon Lizard and Masked Lapwing). Also, more than 14, 000 native species of algae, lichens, fungi and plants can in Queensland. Some of the most amazing Nature’s work of art in Queensland are Noosa National Park, Lakefield National Park, especially, Lakefield is Red Lilly Lagoon and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, located just 12km away from Brisbane’s centre and a home to more than 100 koalas, plus possums, kangaroos, wombats, and other.

Stunning Beaches

Queensland beaches

There are more than a thousand sandy strips in Queensland and every single one of them is absolutely sublime. With the perfect climate, golden sand, turquoise-azure waters, Queensland’s beaches are surely a sight to see. These beaches are also great surf spots, and some of them even dive locations. One of the most beautiful coastlines and the best recreational beach in whole Australia is North Kirra, located in the Gold Coast. Queensland is home to some of the backpacker’s favorite destinations, such as Rainbow Beach, where there is abundance of activities and opportunities to have a pleasant time. You can choose from diving, snorkeling, surfing, or opt for a bit more casual water sport and get yourself a stand up paddleboard for catching the waves.

Amusement and Theme Parks

Queensland Amusement Parks

Aussies love to have fun, and that is why there are several fantastic amusement parks in Queensland. One of the most popular is Warner Bros. Movie World in Oxenford lures you with its planet of movie heroes and superheroes and offers you world-class entertainment. Queensland is also home to Australia’s largest theme park with five roller coasters, more than 40 rides and attractions – Dreamworld in Gold Coast.  Last, but not the least – Aussie World, the most amusing amusement park on the Sunshine Coast. It is not nearly as big as previous mentions but it is just as fun.

Amazing Islands

Great Barrier Reef

The islands of Queensland can be described in one word alone – majestic. Australia’s most famous wonder of nature is located in this state. We are, of course, referring to Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef. Observe it from a helicopter or take a hot air balloon ride to see it in its full greatness or you can snorkel, scuba dive or surf. Other scenic islands to see are Whitsundays (74 islands spread through the coral sea) and Lizard Island (group of five islands where the main one has rocky terrain combined with white beaches).

The Sunshine State should be on everyone’s bucket list, and these were just five reasons for that, we could go on forever.

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Turkey is a vast country. If you were driving along the coast from the tip of the Datca Peninsula to the point east of Adana where the coastline soon heads south on out of Turkey you will have driven over 1200 kms. It is a stunning coastline with warm, crystal blue seas for most of the year, and an equally impressive climate. The spring and autumn are both pleasant while the main weeks of summer and hot and cloudless when a refreshing swim in the sea is ideal to cool off. Suntans are guaranteed but the memories of cruising in a yacht or gulet will remain long after the suntan fades.

Olympus Beach

The airports of Dalaman and Antalya are geared to handle the huge number of tourists to the area and those flying into Antalya are only an hour from a town that has expanded with the increase in tourists and which has an impressive marina that welcomes boats on a daily basis. Kemer.


There was a time when Kemer was certainly best accessed from the sea and sailors will say it is still the case even though there is a modern road linking this expanding town to Antalya to the east. Kemer sits below the mountains that rise as high as 2,200 metres. The setting is as stunning as the coastline itself. A Kemer port cruise offers the chance to sail east or west to visit existing settlements, the ruins of historical cities that date back to the Lycians, in the years before Christ, and the Romans.

Kemer used to be just a small fishing village and the daily catch is still welcomed by restaurants serving typical Turkish cuisine including the freshest fruit and vegetables and by captains who intend to feed passengers on board. There is nothing to stop tourists actually catching their own fish and putting it straight on to the BBQ.

Turkey Gulet Charter 21


The next port of call heading east is the city of Antalya. It has a population of well over a million but that does not mean that it holds no attractions for those wanting a genuine Turkish experience. Antalya’s origins date back to the time when its small harbour was of strategic and trading importance. Kaleici, the Old Town, is still a charming cobbled street district that was important to the Romans. The district is filled with old Ottoman style houses, pensions and shops selling carpets and typical crafts and souvenirs. The Hadrian Gate and impressive wall separate Kaleici from the modern shopping areas of Antalya.

The City was important to the Byzantines subsequently and obviously to the Ottomans whose Empire lasted centuries until finally collapsing completely with the First World War.

An Alaturka Cruise Kemer takes in places such as Antalya but there is the alternative of heading west as well. The road actually heads inland for periods but boats never leave the stunning seas.

Turkey Gulet Charter 34


This modern town is the ancient site of the Lycian City of Myra and the home of the Church of Saint Nicholas, the person the modern world regards as the fictional figure, Santa Claus (don’t tell your children!). It is a delight because even though visitors come to see Saint Nicholas’ tomb, it is never overcrowded. It is a fertile region growing a wide range of produce year round, with pomegranates being one of the popular fruits though the crop is picked late autumn.

The sunken city of Kekova and Simena Castle are two interesting sites to visit, mixing a little history and culture with the simple pleasures of relaxation.

Simena Castle

Some people travel to Turkey and select a private villa, apartment or hotel and stay in a single place. Perhaps they do an occasional day trip but the main aim of the holiday is to relax, get a suntan and enjoy good bars and restaurants by night? Sailing the Turquoise Coast deprives no one of any of these pleasures but offers so much more.  The sea is just a dive off the boat and a suntan certain. The small towns along any of the available routes mean that an evening at a local restaurant is no problem at all. Think of the extra pleasures sailing provides with the calm waters comfortable for even nervous sailors.

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If you want to capture amazing photos of wild predators in action, head over to South Africa. The favorite filming destination for wildlife photographers, the southern regions of the Dark Continent are home to some of the world’s rarest animal species such as cheetahs, leopards and rhinos and if you are daring enough, you may get a chance to see them during a safari in one of the continent’s picturesque national parks. But before you close the door and set out on your wild African adventure, make sure you have all the essentials for the trip safely packed and ready for use. Here are top five tips on how to capture Africa’s wildlife during a safari and create pictures worthy of the title of a photography masterpiece.


Bring along tons of digital storage

As you will probably be busy filming fascinating creatures during the safari, ample storage space for your images is a must-have. Africa is known for sluggish internet service, so do not rely on cloud storage or fast network posting, and pack multiple microSD cards which you will be able to swap on the fly. Or better still, bring along an external storage device with a fail-safe backup system that will enable you to transfer the files without the need for a PC and minimize card replacement hassle. Another option is to have your laptop always at hand as it will allow you to transfer images faster, organize them on the spot, upload them to an online photography platform such as EyeEm and minimize the risk of data loss.

Go for long lens shots

When filming animals on a safari, you probably will not always be able to get close enough for a good shot. This is why bringing along a set of different lens is not only recommendable but also necessary for capturing quality pictures. If you intend to use prime lens only, go for 300mm lens and above – but if you want sheer photography eye candy, bring along a 100mm telephoto zoom lens just to be on the safe side.


Pack lots of power

An often neglected aspect on photography tours, additional power for your electronics can be a major problem in wild Africa. To avoid battery drain on the go, pack a power inverter or solar panel to charge your gear in areas with no stable electricity supply. Also, make sure you bring along tons of extra batteries – a hefty power brick stock will have all your bases covered in case other charging options go awry.

Make notes at the end of the day

In order to keep you pictures organized and remember every detail of the trip, take notes about the experience at the end of each day or during breaks of the safari. A notebook and a pen are a convenient way to capture the names of animals, locations and other details about the trip you consider important – and the good old-fashioned ink and paper also allow you to capture your own thoughts and emotions about the adventure.


Hire a pop-top vehicle

Though roll-tops are a great ride for people looking to film birds and sky, most photographers prefer pop-tops for filming animals and the surrounding scenery. Pop-tops do have a limited filming area, but they provide ample shade during the ride, and this can be a precious asset on a long safari day of a hot African summer. Check with your operator which types of vehicles they have on offer, compare the prices and pick the one that suits your budget and photography style best.

Africa’s national parks are the best destination for an exciting photography tour. If you want to capture fascinating wild creatures on film, consider embarking on a safari across the untamed landscapes of South Africa – it is an experience you will remember for the rest of your life.


Author bio:

Oliver Hyde - 150x150Oliver Hyde is an experienced business consultant from the UK. His job allows him to travel, which also happens to be one of his greatest passions. Recently, he discovered the truth behind the saying “The only man I truly envy is the one who has not yet been to Africa… he has so much to look forward to.” Being a wanderer, he rarely stays at the same place for a long time, but Africa stole his heart. He had been travelling through the continent for more than a year. You can follow his travel adventures on Twitter.

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