Escape Beach – Hamilton Island

Escape Beach – Hamilton Island

Park your caravan in Airlie beach and catch a boat over to Hamilton Island for some amazing walks that will not only challenge you but will leave you wanting to explore more. Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island in the Whitsundays, with its own airport and school its population is about 1200 people, with thousands more heading over by boat, plane or ferry to relax and enjoy the serenity.

adventures from where you want to be

There are walks to huge lookouts where you can look over the island, to walks to private beaches where you can enjoy lunch peacefully by yourself.

Make sure you bring lots of water, a phone or camera to take lots of photos and enjoy the peaceful serenity that is The Whitsundays.

We love Hamilton Island, it is one of our favourite destinations to visit not just for ourselves, but as a family. There are so many fun things to do from, the Wildlife Park, heaps of pools, water sports, kids club, shopping, the beaches, jet skiing, massages, food, the list is endless.

One of our favourite things though is to walk the many scenic trails around the island. Our children love the Clownfish club so we always make sure they can find a program they are interested in and we venture off just the two of us to explore.

On our last trip to Hamilton Island the first walk we did was the walk to Escape beach. When wanting to explore the scenic trails there are a few places that you can start your walks from, but we decided to start behind the resort. It was easy to park our golf buggy and head off on our walk.

Hamilton Island

 

The walk is approximately 3300 metres each way. For this walk you need to be relatively fit as there are some steep parts, as well as near the end it feels like the track seems to disappear and you are left clambering down the hill to Escape Beach.

Hamilton Island

Most of the way there is uphill so make sure you bring lots of water, however, the advantage of that is most of the trip back is downhill 🙂 This is a great track to start off with as Passage Peak whilst shorter is much steeper and has stairs that go on forever.

There are great places to stop along the way and catch your breath whilst you catch the view.You will see so many beautiful butterflies and other wildlife along the way.

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island

But once you get to the final 200 metres and descend the steep hill to your own idyllic private beach.

Hamilton Island escape beach

We bought our own lunch with us and sat back on a rock in the peaceful surrounding with no one else in sight, I don’t know if it was the fact we had just walked 3.5kms, but that Lunch was probably my favourite of the whole trip.

escape beach Hamilton Island

On the walk back we headed through mangroves, climbed up steep hills to catch a view of the island and by the time we had finished our walk of over 8kms, we were exhausted. Thankfully a quick swim and a bite to eat at the yacht club left us refreshed and ready to walk passage peak the next day.

Escape beach Hamilton Island Escape beach Hamilton Island

Escape beach Hamilton Island

Escape beach Hamilton Island

Have you been to Hamilton Island before, the Whitsundays?

What is your favourite location in the Whitsundays?

 

Escape Beach – Hamilton Island. Head to Hamilton Island for some amazing walks that will not only challenge you but will leave you wanting to explore more. Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island in the Whitsundays, with its own airport and school ...
Escape Beach – Hamilton Island. Head to Hamilton Island for some amazing walks that will not only challenge you but will leave you wanting to explore more. Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island in the Whitsundays, with its own airport and school ...
Escape Beach – Hamilton Island. Head to Hamilton Island for some amazing walks that will not only challenge you but will leave you wanting to explore more. Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island in the Whitsundays, with its own airport and school ...

 

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Towerhill Nature reserve

Journey into a Volcanic Crater at Towerhill

Just out of Port Fairy on your way back to Warrnambool is the magical, picturesque Towerhill. There is something magical about driving down the road into the crater of a dormant volcano. Driving past ash deposits, large hills, and vibrant flora and fauna.

Towerhill Nature reserve is only 14kms from Warrnambool, right on the main road. The crater itself is 4kms across and 80 metres high, and when you are inside it, you are immersed in a beautiful vibrant wetland reserve.

Back in 1892 it became Victoria’s first National Park, and later in 1961 was declared a state Game reserve.

This nature reserve is a must have stop on your trip down the great ocean Road. It is full of wildlife from Koalas, Emus, Kangaroos and other waterbirds, just watch out for the Emu’s if you decide to pack a lunch as we learnt first hand that they love to steal your lunch. Our children watched in shock as an emu made a beeline for our table and decided that our Lunch would make a tasty treat. The ensuring panic as four children made a very hasty exit with the remaining untouched food would have been very comical to all those watching.

Towerhill reserve

Whilst emu’s are not supposed to be that violent, we where not willing to risk it, and we sat eating the rest of our lunch in the safety of the car.

The Nature reserve is the Centre of the Tower hill Maar volcano crater, inside this large crater there is also a visitor centre that is run by the Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Cooperative. The visitor centre was commissioned back in 1962 to be designed by Robin Boyd. Finishing 7 years later in 1969. Robin Boyd simple circular structure made from Stone with a sloping roof is reminisce of the Towerhill’s volcanic island hilltops that surround it.

The visitor Centre is a great place to grab a refreshing drink, whilst looking at a range of cultural displays and local aboriginal art and craft, that you can purchase, as a lovely keepsake. The visitor centre is open from 10am – 4pm daily.

Whilst camping in Camper vans, Tents and Caravans is prohibited, the area itself is open 24 hours.

Their are Electric BBQ’s, picnic tables and toilet facilities, but be prepared with plenty of water and to take all your rubbish home with you, as their are no Rubbish bins, or drinking taps.

Walks around the reserve.

Towerhill Nature reserve is so much more than a fun place to enjoy Lunch. It is also a great place to enjoy some walks in the area. Many people don’t realise until they start driving down the The Great Ocean Road that is a fantastic place to get active with great walks like the Sheoak Falls and Swallow Cave walks all around the area. The Towerhill reserve is no exception. From long walks to shorter walks perfect for all ages.

TowerhillTowerhill

Explore some of the amazing walks around the reserve. Parks Victoria have some great links to walks in the reserve. There are some self guided walks, as well as guided interactive walks led by experienced guides, both during the day and night. The nighttime walk opens your eye up to the huge range of nocturnal animals in the reserve.

TowerhillTowerhill nature reserveTowerhill nature reserve

If you manage to head into the Visitors centre you will see it features a great range of cultural displays and local aboriginal art. Whilst the reserve has access at all times, the visitor centre is open from 10am – 4pm daily.

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Nature’s Window – Kalbarri

See the view through Nature’s Window at Kalbarri.

6 and a half hours north of the Perth is the beautiful coastal town of Kalbarri it is the perfect place to see Nature’s Window.

Kalbarri is a gorgeous coastal town where the Murchison River meets the Indian Ocean, it is a beautiful spot known for its seaside cliffs, gorgeous beach and seaside pelicans.

There are daily opportunities to feed the local pelicans, at the Pelican Feeding Point. Nearly every 8:45 am opposite the Murchison Caravan Park, you can help feed the Pelicans with a Gold Coin donation. The volunteers share their knowledge of the amazing birds and great local information as well. The Pelicans have been being feed at this point since 1975 when a local by the name of Cliff Ross started feeding them. Cliff Ross used to own a museum in Kalbarri called fantasyland.

Kalbarri is a great place to fish, walk and relax. The National Park has great gorges with some fantastic walks. There are so many places to visit Mushroom Rock, Red Loop, Z-Bend.

Another great attraction in Kalbarri is the amazing range of Wildflowers. These are in bloom between July and November and there are an amazing 800 species in Western Australia.

The gorges carved by the Murchison River in Kalbarri National Park provides great short and long walks to see some spectacular lookouts.

The standout would be the walk to see “Nature’s Window”. This is only 400 metres from the carpark is a natural rock arch that frames the Murchison river perfectly.

If you are up for a long walk it is part of an 8km loop that begins and ends at “Natures Window”.

The sandstone rock is a great photo opportunity and the view looks different depending on the angle, lighting that you see it through.

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

So make sure you stand at Nature’s Window and gaze out at the glorious view. See the rich colours in the rocks and marvel at how amazing Australia is.

Kalbarri is well worth a visit when you go to Western Australia.

 

 

 

 

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Sheoak Falls and Swallow Cave -Lorne

Just fifteen minutes out of Lorne on your way to Apollo Bay, along the magnificent Great Ocean Road is a great walk within the Otway National Park.

There are five walks available from the Sheoak Falls carpark.

  1. Sheoak Falls (600m – Oneway)
  2. Swallow Cave – via Sheoak Falls (about 1km – Oneway) if you go to the base of Sheoak Falls, about 800m without Sheoak Falls
  3. Sheoak Picnic Area, via Sheoak Falls, Swallow Cave, Castle Rock (7kms – Oneway)
  4. Cumberland River circuit, via Sheoak Falls, Swallow Cave, Castle Rock (11.5kms – return)
  5. Cumberland falls via the Cumberland River circuit, via Sheoak Falls, Swallow Cave, Castle Rock (13.5kms – return)

Sheoak Falls

The first walk to Sheoak Falls is about fifteen to twenty minutes along the path on a mostly uphill section. The path is a mixture of gradual inclines, very steep steps, shorter steps and long windy straight sections.

As you arrive close to the Falls you have a choice head down to the Right to the base of the Gorge to see the falls from the bottom, or head right up the stairs to see Swallow Cave first.

We headed down to the base of Sheoak falls and it was worth the view.
After watching the water cascading over the 15 m cascading Falls, we ventured up towards Swallow Cave, it is almost all uphill from there, and some of the steps are almost twice the height of normal steps, so keep in mind if you have small children or back issues.  But it is worth the walk.

There are two vantage point of the fall, the first lookout point allows you to see the falls, but the second part lets you really experience it.

After the first lookout, you continue your journey uphill until you get to a small river crossing (this should only be attempted if the water is not high, and covering the stones that you cross with). This is the perfect place to sit on the rocks and put your feet in the water after your climb.

But the best is still to come just 100m down the hill is the bottom lookout of Swallow Cave. From there you can see the little birds fly in and out of the caves. (Birds are normally there between spring and autumn.)

Have you been to the Great Ocean Road before? Have you seen the Beacon of Hope, Cape Otway Lighthouse? Walked the Sheoak Falls, Swallow Cave.

What are some of your favourite places to stop along the way?

Let us know in the comments below

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Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon

After 4 hours of driving from Yalara to Kings Canyon, four stiff bodies were eager to stretch their legs and go for a hike up and around Kings Canyon. We arrived at Kings Canyon at 3 o’clock in the afternoon and began the hike towards the Canyon.

Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon

 

At the beginning of the walk, we read up on the history of the canyon and noticed the hiking guidelines. Signs suggested allowing 3-4 hours to complete the Kings Canyon walk. Upon reading this sign, we were filled with a little concern, knowing that the sun sets at 6 pm, and so we would need to be off the canyon and back at the car by that time. This only allowed us three hours to complete the walk. Despite this realization, we decided to take the gamble and started off on what we would soon find out to be a fairly challenging walk. The first few hundred meters of the Kings Canyon walk is stairs up to a steep incline. It is also known as “heart attack hill”. It took us 45 minutes to climb the steps of this first mountain. We were filled with comfort once we arrived at the top of the mountain, as we found a defibrillator and radio hanging on a pole. Whilst none of us required the defibrillator, we did pause for a moment once at the top to regain our breath and energy.

Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon


At this point, the hardest part of the walk was over, and we began to walk around the top of the canyon. It took us a further 45mins to get to the middle of the top of the canyon. From this point, we could see the entire canyon, and a long way into the distance; a continuing great expanse of red dirt. The view was absolutely dazzling. We could see people lining the opposite side of the canyon, standing on the edge yelling out ‘Koo-wee’! The echo was incredible!

 

A few minutes later we rounded a corner and stopped. We stood still and listened. We could hear the silence. It was deafening. Such a surreal feeling.

Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon

 

Fifteen minutes later we were walking down steps into a stunning place called ‘The Garden of Eden’, which was a little paradise hidden within the rocks of the canyon. There was a small river running through the bottom, trees, plants and flowers all over and a little wallaby hopping along. We crossed the bridge over the river, and began the ascent out of the Garden of Eden, back up to the top of the Canyon.

 

We continued to follow the arrows around the canyon until we began the descent back to the carpark. As we were walking down the last mountain we looked out at the stunning view of the sun setting in the outback.

Once back at the car the four tired bodies climbed into the car to head to the Kings Canyon Resort cabin which they were staying at, for a well-earnt sleep.

If hiking the Canyon doesn’t interest you, here are some suggestions of other things you may like to do or see:


Sleep Well – There are a few properties not far from Kings Canyon where you can rest your head. Kings Creek Station is close by and is an operational camel and cattle station. Kings Canyon Station has camping, glamping and safari cabin options, and you can request dinner under the stars. You can also enjoy a special five-course dinner under the moonlight while staying at Kings Canyon Resort. This ‘Under a Desert Moon’ experience is held four nights a week between April and October. Kings Canyon Resort has standard and spa rooms in the hotel, as well as caravan and campsites in a holiday park.

Fly – Take flight over King Canyon on a scenic helicopter from Kings Creek Station. The flight takes in breathtaking mountain Carmichael Crag, as well as the Garden of Eden and Kathleen Springs. Kings Creek Station also runs quad bike tours over the red sand dunes.


Whether walking, flying, or riding you are sure to have a magnificent time exploring one of Australia’s most popular tourist spots; the Kings Canyon.

 

To see more about Northern Territory, Western Australia check out these posts.

 

weekend wanderlust

Are you into travelling, join in the fun with weekend wanderlust

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Point Lonsdale to Queenscliff Walking trail.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the City with a visit to Point Lonsdale. Point Lonsdale is a beautiful seaside town just over 100kms from Melbourne.


Point Lonsdale is one of the Headlands (along with Point Nepean) that frame the Rip or the heads, the only entrance for shipping coming into the port of Melbourne. It is a beautiful place to visit, to stop and have a coffee, for the kids to play at the large playground and a magical place to walk.


Point Lonsdale / Queenscliff now has an amazing walking trail along the beach that shows off the best of the Bellarine Peninsula’s Beaches.


The trail is called ‘the quality of life trail’ it is a walking, jogging, and cycling trail that connects Queenscliff to Point Lonsdale, (or the locals may argue connects Point Lonsdale to Queenscliff.


The local decided that they wanted to encourage locals and tourists alike to enjoy the area, whilst getting fit and healthy and the 5.5km long, largely flat trail was the outcome. The trail is great for people of any fitness level, whether prams, cyclists, joggers or people wanting a more leisurely stroll. The trail is 5.5kms one way or 11kms return.

Every 500 metres there are markers to let you know the distance, there are entrances back up to the road, or down to the beach.


On my recent walk, as I journeyed along snug in my beanie, gloves and warm coat, I watched in awe the amazing men and women climbing into the icy water with nothing more than bathers and a swimming cap to keep them warm. There were many other people braving the cold water on surf and body boards.


If you are lucky you may see some freighters going through the heads, or depending on the time of year you may see Humpbacks and Southern Right whales.

Point Lonsdale

Have you visited Point Lonsdale?

Where are your favourite seaside walks?

 

 

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Lake Wendouree – Ballarat

Lake Wendouree – Ballarat

A visit to Ballarat would not be complete without a visit to “The Lake” Lake Wendouree.

Who would have thought that this gorgeous lake a tourist draw card of Ballarat that has over 3,860 ML of water was dry from 2004 until 2010, especially now with the Lake overflowing flooding 90% of the boat sheds dotted around.

Lake Wendouree is a large shallow lake located in Ballarat, it is an artificial lake that was made when the Yuille swamp was dammed back in the 1850s for use as the water supply during the Gold rush.

The name Wendouree (which is also the name of the neighbouring suburb comes from the WS Yuille the initial surveyor of the swamp. When he arrived at the swamp he found a local indigenous women there. Interested about the local name he asked her and she replied “WENDAAREE” and with that the name was recorded, incidentally what she was trying to tell him was to “Go away”.

So the Lake name means “Lake go away”

lake wendouree

lake wendouree

lake wendouree

lake wendouree

lake wendouree

lake wendouree

lake wendouree

Now is a great time to go for a walk around the lake with 6k of great walking / jogging / riding track. There are 4 great cafe’s / restaurants dotted around, a kiosk and on the weekends an ice -cream tram.

There is also a historic vintage electric tramway that operates around the botanical gardens side of the lake.

Paddle steamers, Rowing, Canoeing and fishing also make up a large reason that it is a big tourist drawcard in Ballarat.

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Grampians – Great Walks around Australia

Grampians – Great Walks around Australia

Situated only an hour and a half from Ballarat is the picturesque Grampians national park, a great spot to stay, or day trip.

The Grampians has a huge variety of walking experiences from short (children friendly) walks to multi day walks.

My favourite family friendly walk is “Venus Baths” a 2.3km round trip.

This is a shady track, that is easy to walk and ends up at a beautiful rock pool “Venus Baths”

It’s a loop with one way you end up crossing a marvellous footbridge and the other follows a track along the creek.

If you love wildflowers then this is a great place to visit, the home of more than a third of Victoria’s wildflower species. Whether you look up to the horizon or down to the wildflowers the views are spectacular.

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Three Capes track – Tasmania

Australia’s great Walks

Three Capes track – Tasmania

The gorgeous Three Capes track walk was only recently opened and starts and ends at the Historic Port Arthur Site. The Path itself is about a meter wide and is often made up of gravel, rock or timber surfaces. The Path itself has no fences blocking your view of the amazing site.

Its a Four day / 3 night walk with easy to moderate terrain.

Along the way you stay in Cabins that are equipped with comfortable beds, Gas cooktops, dining tables, so you don’t need to cart your tent with you.

www.threecapestrack.com.au

QUICK FACTS
46 km walk over 4 days
Grade – Easy – moderate
SKILL LEVEL – You need to be able to comfortably walk 4 hours a day for 4 days in a row.
Accommodation – Shared Cabins with bunk facilities and Host Ranger stying at each location to answer questions, toilets, Cabin on 2nd night has cold water shower, Charging stations for mobile phones
Mobile coverage – Mobile coverage is quite good on Day 1 and 2, intermittent on day 3 and 4.
Long term parking available for your car and caravan at Port Arthur site

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Awesome walks around Australia – Part 2 Walks near Alice Springs

Awesome walks around Australia – Part 2 Walks near Alice Springs

Now what if you are travelling with young children in your Jayco Ballarat Caravan but still want to get out and go for some walks around Australia in part 2 we have compiled a list of Family friendly walks around Alice Springs

Standley Chasm

Standley Chasm is a relatively easy walk located only 50 km from Alice spring via a sealed road.

It is located on Aboriginal land so costs $10 for adults ($8 for Concessions/seniors) $6.50 for children. There are family tickets available for $25 (2 adults and 2 Children)

Gates are open between 8am and 5pm and the view at the end is simply magical.

The walk is easy, when we did this walk our daughter was 22 months old and she was able to walk some of the way (we also piggy backed her a bit) it took us about 40 minutes return including taking lots of photos.

There are some rocky sections so I would recommend good walking shoes.

Glen Helen Gorge and Homestead – Walk through the Dry Finke River

A short ten minute walk takes you to the Finke River and waterhole, the water was cold but the view was magnificent. Our children loved that they walked through the dry river bed and then once they got to the end where the water was had a great time paddling in the cold clear water.

The homestead is the perfect place for lunch with an amazing selection of lunch meals available in the Outback bar, between 11am -2:30pm
Their is also dinner available in the Namatjira Gallery Restaurant

Ormiston Gorge and Waterhole

Just 12 km from Glen Helen Homestead is the iconic waterhole.

When we visited it was just a little two cold for a swim, in saying this our 7 and 9 year old where quite happy to get their feet wet.
The walk down to the waterhole was very easy, so easy and flat in fact you could push a stroller down near the water’s edge. Only takes about 5 minutes.

There are a couple of other walks that go from Ormiston Gorge,

The Ghost Gum Lookout walk

will take you about 20 minutes to get to the edge of the Roe Creek, the walk illustrates the native plants of the area with scattered signs giving you insight into the flora and fauna of the area.

The Ormiston Pound Walk

is much longer about 3-4 hours and completes a full circle from the Visitor Centre, wanders through hills, dropping into the flat expanse of the pound, then returning along the gorge via the main Waterhole.

The last walk is the Ochre pits

, this is only a very short 300m walk so easy our 22 month old walked the whole way, and it is definitely worth it.
The colors are amazing, you want to bring your camera for this one.

So pack your runners and go for some walks around Australia, and see the countries natural beauty.

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