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STA Travel Blog

5 spots to get your live music fix in Melbourne

Sydney may have the glamour and glitz of the Harbour and Bondi, and Brisbane may have endless sand and backpacker bar-crawl carnage but every Aussie knows cosmopolitan Melbourne is the place to go for some electrifying live music. Victoria’s capital has always had more of a communal vibe and its music scene has consistently led the way Down Under.

You’ll find local bands testing out their own tunes at practically every other pub North of the Yarra River, whilst Southside has loads of breezy, open bars with polished outfits banging out covers. With so much to choose from, you can almost feel like you’re lost on a musical Walkabout, so we’re here to help!

From classic rock dives to sophisticated jazz bars, here’s our five favourite venues to check out in marvellous Melbs!

1. Prince Bandroom, St Kilda.

We have to start with this legendary spot in the Prince Of Wales pub on Fitzroy Street. It’s been hosting eclectic live music for 60 years now and is a Melbourne institution. Dark and grungy with a low stage and ceiling that crams everyone into a heaving, rocking mass, it’s exactly the authentic no-frills experience that draws everyone in town here at some point or another.

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We know because we go: Our Top Tips – Aussie style

Australia is the sixth LARGEST country on the planet. Like a delicious All-You-Can-Eat buffet, it’s hard to know where to start. You don’t want to fill up on salad, you need to save room for the best bits. So, with that in mind, we thought we’d get sentimental with a few wanderlusters here at STA, to find out their favourite memories Down Under and give you some hot tips to help you get stuck in!

Luke (Social team)

The best thing I did in Aus was buying a camper-van (a 1983 Nissan beast named ‘Roy’) with three good mates. We were on the road for two months (probably the best 2 months of my life!) travelling through every state. We had no itinerary, no set plan and no time restraints… just a map and a boot full of goon (for whoever wasn’t driving, of course!) Yes, there were sketchy moments e.g. close encounters with kangaroos, spiders, snakes and echidnas; But the laughs, sights, stories and memories I have from those two months will live with me forever.

TIP: I would 100% recommend buying or renting a campervan and going as far as you can. It’s the freedom to drive where you want, when you want that makes it the ultimate adventure. Buying can mean you can then sell your camper before you leave, and recouping a lot of dollar! But admittedly, renting is a lot simpler and more hassle free.

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Top 8 hotspots from Cairns to Brisbane

Planning to make the long trip from Cairns to Brisbane? You could travel 19 and a half hours straight but then you’d be missing 2,200 km of sights and delights! Lucky for you, Greyhound Australia has your transport sorted so you can check all the hotspots below and more along the way.
Cairns
Home of the flyboard, you can’t come to Cairns and not try it! You might struggle for the first ten minutes but think of the muscle tone you’ll get to reverse that coach potato physique you worked so hard for. Speaking of potatoes, if you’d rather be under the sea than on top of it, then dive into the cod hole with the friendly potato cod fish that basically looks like a rock.

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8 off the beaten track destinations in Australia

Looking to take the road less travelled in Australia? Ditch the same old tourist route, hop in a camper and do things your way. For a country that spans over 7 million miles there are an abundance of secret spots to uncover, here’s a few of our favourites to get the ball rolling.

Kakadu National Park

Experience rich Aboriginal culture in all its glory with over 5000 aboriginal art sites across the park. A 2WD can cover the majority of the park, but make sure one of your stops is Ubirr for the ultimate in sunset goals.

Measuring in at the size of Slovenia, it’s a hard one to miss when in the Darwin area!

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Devil’s Marbles

Nearly 400 km north of Alice Springs, the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve is definitely remote but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth making the effort to visit. Huge granite boulders scatter the valley so take a short self-guided walk to get amongst them or scramble from boulder to boulder. If you can, get there for sunset when it’s less toasty out and makes for even more spectacular photos.

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Coober Pedy

This place looks straight out of a movie – probs because it is! This opal mining town was the set for the 1985 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdrome and it’s this apocalyptic landscape that attracts people – plus the chance of finding their very own opal. Coober Pedy is hot hot hot and to survive the heat while digging for opals, the hardy people of the town decided to dig and live underground meaning you can enjoy underground hotels, churches and restaurants!

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Nullarbor Links

Do you like golf? Would you like over 1,000 kilometres of golf? Yep that’s right, the world’s longest golf course – an 18 hole-er with a par of a humungous 72 can be found in South West Australia. Running along the Eyre Highway, each hole is in a participating town or roadhouse, making it a great way to break up monotonous travel and is also plain good fun!

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Phillip Island, Victoria 

Phillip Island is only an hour and a half from Melbourne making it a great stopping point if you’re travelling through the East Coast. Especially if you love penguins. Get ready for cuteness overload as you watch the world’s smallest penguins come home after a long day fishing. Your admission also helps support the conservation of these little guys too -win win!

Arnhem Land

Home of the digeridoo and the Yolngu people, this region of Australia is an incredible insight into aboriginal heritage and culture. You’ll need a permit to visit and we recommend joining an organised tour. Make sure you see Gunbalanya with its ancient rock art, listen to Dreamtime stories and find out how the Yolngu people live off the land.

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Karijini National Park

Head west for freshwater pools, unforgettable views and a natural spa. After a long day of walking across mighty gorges and swimming in spring-fed pools beneath Fortescue Falls, you’ll want nothing more than to sink into the heart-shaped spa pool at Hamersley Gorge.

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How do all these places sound? Like they belong on your bucket list?

There’s nothing worse than getting somewhere you love and having to jump to catch a scheduled flight or bus out of there. With the flexibility of a camper van, you can spend as little or as much time you like so you can explore every corner of Australia on your terms.

How to be a Great Barrier Reef Warrior

This month we teamed up with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef to offer one of our travellers a once-in-a-lifetime internship to work on this unique eco-system. Here’s why we need your help.

We’ve all seen Finding Nemo. If you were a fish, the Great Barrier Reef would be the Beverly Hills of ocean real estate. However, this 2,300km long underwater natural wonder has been having a hard time of it of late: under threat from climate change, water quality and crown of thorns starfish.

As self-proclaimed globetrotters, we’re not only all about exploring planet earth but when Mother Nature offers us so much why not give a little back? Here’s four ways how you can get involved both home and away…

 

 

1. Go see it.

Yes, tourism can actually help aid the conservation of the reef. The money spent on tours to this magical marine park makes an important contribution towards its management and protection. What’s more, tour operators and activities are regulated and kept in environmental check. They’re only allowed to venture into the marine park when these high standards are met.

So snorkel, scuba and even observe the reef from the air knowing you’re not only experiencing one the world’s largest coral reef system, but you’re also doing your bit to conserve this underwater paradise.

2. Use your voice.

We understand not everyone can hop on a plane destined for Australia (if you can, why are you still here?), so get involved from the comfort of your sofa. We’re a unique generation of digitally connected nomads who, when we shout online, someone on the other side of the world can hear. So why not use this to yours and our good pal Planet Earth’s advantage by joining a reef conservation group or charity and even telling your friends about it too?

3. Choose greener

Fact: Only 7% of the natural resources we take are actually then re-used again. Not only should we be making an extra effort to re-use and reduce our own waste, do a little research and choose brands that are making the effort to become more sustainable, support environmental projects and help reduce climate change.

4. Get involved

Go one step further and support the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef – a social movement dedicated to protecting the reef and sharing its story. This year, we partnered with these turtly awesome, planet-saving humans to offer one of our travellers a once-in-a-lifetime internship to get hands-on and work with them on the reef. You can hear about their story here > . And if you’re feeling inspired, get in touch with the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef to see how you can help.

So there you have it. Four ways to make Mr. Attenborough proud and keep this underwater hot spot thriving with marine life. Want to find out all the places you can visit the Great Barrier Reef? Read more here >