ANCHORED: Europe’s Ultimate Week Long Festival Cruise

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My summer plans just got a whole lot better. With the rise in popularity of throwing music festivals at sea, Unique Cruises announced their brand new 7-day nautical adventure called ANCHORED, and it looks almost too good to be true. From June 11th – June 18th, over 2,500 people will embark on the European vacation of a lifetime.

The 7 Best Music Festival Cruises To Experience Before You Die

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Attending a music festival on a cruise ship is definitely something you must experience at least once in your life.  However, I should warn you, that after you spend a few days raving at sea, the idea of going back to camping festivals might not sound too great.  It’s honestly the most comfortable way to enjoy a festival, because it’s also an incredible vacation.  The destinations are always beautiful, the cruise amenities are top-notch, and the sunrises / sunsets you’ll witness while onboard the ship will leave you speechless.  If you’re looking for the best cruise music festivals, I strongly suggest you add these to your festival bucket list.

1 ) Groove Cruise

When:  October 7-9, 2017 (Los Angeles) — January Dates TBS (Miami)

Departing:  (January) Miami, and (October) Los Angeles

Destination:  Various locations.  Bahamas, Grand Turk, Mexico, etc…


Groove Cruise is the OG festival at sea, and will definitely be one of the best experiences your life!  I’ve now attended two different Groove Cruises, and it’s simply unlike any other festival I’ve ever attended.  Check out my articles on why Groove Cruise is the Ultimate Festival Vacation & Groove Cruise Miami:  96 Hours of Atmospheric Bliss to get a better understanding why.  There are two separate editions every year, so start planning now and join the loving #GCFAM !


When:  Every January (2 Weekends)

Departing:  Port Canaveral, Florida  

Destination:  Various locations:  Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, etc.


Having just successfully finished their 8th and 9th voyages, HOLY SHIP has made some major waves in the cruise festival scene.  Their line-ups are always stacked with an eclectic mix of bass / electro/ G-House artists, and the previous destinations they’ve sailed to are absolutely gorgeous.  The main reason I want to go on Holy Ship is to witness the legendary Destructo Sunrise Sermon Set!

Photo via Facebook

Party on the back of the boat! #SpiceH2O #HolyShip #ShipFam

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3 ) Shipsomnia

When:  June 14-18, 2017

Departing:  Barcelona, Spain

Destination:  Ibiza, Spain


Unoffficially nicknamed “Tomorrowland Of The Sea”, Shipsomnia is guaranteed to be a party you never forget.  It’s maiden voyage sailed from Singapore – Thailand, and was one of the best festivals in South-East Asia.  They are now preparing for it’s second edition leaving from Barcelona, and making it’s way to everyone’s favorite party island. This event is likely to sell-out rather quickly, so plan well in advance to ensure your spot on the “Tale of the Kraken”.

4 )  Inception At Sea

The world’s first ever floating spring break music festival!

When:  March 13-17, 2017  

Departing:  Miami, Florida

Destination:  CocoCay & Nassau, Bahamas


“The second annual Inception at Sea Spring Break Cruise will be setting sail March 13-17, 2017 from Miami to multiple destinations in the Caribbean for a 4-night music festival experience, with 96+ straight hours of music and partying.”  I’m personally going on this festival in just a few weeks, and can’t wait to share my experience with everyone!

Photo via Website

5 ) Anchored By Unique Cruise

7 Days.  7 Events.  7 pool Parties.  2500 People!

When:  June 11-18, 2017  

Departing:  Rome, Italy   

Destination:  Santorini -> Mykonons -> Monte Carlo -> Cannes  


This week long voyage sounds almost too good to be true.  Sailing to four destinations, in three different countries, this will be a vacation of a lifetime  This is the first ever edition, so if you don’t have plans in mid-June, you should definitely check this out!  The line-up is looking amazing already, and I know this is going to be a full-week of nothing but groovy house and techno.

“A fresh and innovative cruise looking to combine some of the very best of the nightlife you would normally find in Ibiza along with all the glamour of yachting and cruising.  Our vision is to be an exclusive holiday choice for the influential and glamorous.”

Double tap if our line-up has got you buzzing to get #Anchored17 this year! Tag your shipmates!

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6 ) The Ark

When:  August 31 – September 3, 2017

Departing:  Barcelona, Spain

Destination:  Ibiza, Spain & Marseille, France


ELROW ON A SHIP FOR FOUR DAYS!?  Is this real life…?  This cruise simply looks like it’s be the experience of a life.  Take a look browse through the website and check out all the incredible stages, trip packages, and information about the venue of “the Feedom Of the Seas“.  It honestly won’t take you much convincing to start planning your trip!

“Four days long the ship will cruise the Mediterranean Sea in a tropical setting making sure mankind would not only survive, but to be fruitful, joyful and most of all: for mankind to create. To create an atmosphere in which any animal would duplicate. To create an environment in which everybody is loved, accepted and musically connected. To create conversation where likeminded people share stories and discuss the strings of life.”

7 ) Mdrinity Cruise

The First 100% Underground Electronic Music Cruise

When: September 16-20, 2017

Departing:  Genova, Italy

Destination:  Barcelona -> Mallorca -> Ibiza  


“Setting off from Genova, this wild 4-night Mediterranean voyage, with stopovers at Barcelona, Mallorca, and Ibiza, will soon be the exclusive settings for an unforgettable party experience!

Each of 5 stages, including the main dance floor which is located above deck, will have its own unique atmosphere and a befitting line-up to go with it, providing an insane 24h a day music offer!”


8)  It’s The Ship *BONUS*

When:  November (2017 Dates TBA)

Departing:  Singapore

Destination:  Langkawi, Malaysia


This is Asia’s largest festival at sea, and should absolutely be added to your travel / festival bucket list!  They’ve had two successful voyages in the past that both have had massive line-ups, and sailed to beautiful tropical destinations!  I spent almost two years traveling around South-East Asia, and one of my biggest regrets is not attending It’s The Ship!  While 2017 dates / information haven’t been released, you should definitely keep this in mind if you’re planning a trip out to South-East Asia!

Our Day 1 pictures from #ITSTHESHIP2016 are up on Facebook! Check it out shipmates! ⚓️

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Am I Missing Any Epic Cruise Festivals…?




3 Days on Fraser Island: Beaches, Lakes, and Bumpy Rides

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No trip along the east coast of Australia would be complete without exploring the massively beautiful Fraser Island.  I had heard so much about this place before actually going, and I can now say that it definitely lives up to the hype. 

The island is just so wonderfully diverse, and it almost doesn’t even seem real if you try to explain it to someone.  At one moment you’d be walking through lush green rainforests, and then stumble onto a perfectly white sand beach with crystal clear water.  It’s pretty trippy.    

You’d then hop back onto the bus and bounce in your seat along windy sand roads that cut through the island, only to find yourself than driving along the beach as the waves splash below the tires. 

Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island, and a 2-3 day trip will leave your days jam packed with adventurous explorations.  There really is a lot to see on the island, and getting around the island can take quite a bit of time. 

If you want to explore Fraser Island on your own, it’s actually a pretty complicated task.  You need to have your own 4×4 vehicle and camping gear, and navigating your way through the island can be a bit tricky.  It’s common for cars to get stuck on these paths, and the idea of car troubles and having no reception scared the hell out of me.

So I’m extremely happy that I joined Cool Dingo Tours for their awesome 3 Day / 2 Night Fraser Island Trip.  It was a damn good time, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone traveling Australia!  It took out all the stress of visiting this unique island, and it was easily one of the best organized tours I’ve ever been on.   

Day 1 Highlights

Lake McKenzie

While this is up to debate, I would argue that Lake McKenzie is the island’s most beautiful lake (competing with over 200 for the title).  I was pretty excited to visit this place, as it is one of the few attractions on the island I had seen plenty of pictures of before arriving, and it was even more beautiful than I had imagined.

There’s just something so interesting about walking onto this pristine white sand beach located in the middle of a sand rainforest.  It’s also awesome the distinct color change that occurs when the depth of the lake changes suddenly.   It’s unlike any other lake I’ve ever seen before.

This was actually the only place we spotted the infamous “Dingo” on our entire tour as well.  From what I’ve been told, sightings of these wild animals have become quite rare, so it was a special treat for all of us on this tour.  There are “Dingo Safety” signs spread all over the island, which basically just tells you how to act if you encounter a dingo.  I was actually hoping to see one or two more throughout the tour, but I’ll be happy with my one Dingo puppy spotting.

Lake Basin & Rainforest Treks

After a relaxing morning swim at Lake McKenzie, and a tasty buffet lunch up at the picnic area (chicken & ham sandwiches, potatoes, and salad) — we made the short drive over to Lake Basin for a quick photo opportunity.  This lake might not have been as ideal for swimming, but it really was beautiful.  

The group then went on two different forest treks through Central Station, Pine Valley, and walked along side Wanggoolba Creek.  One of the best parts and crowd pleasers of these treks was that the water flowing in the creek is absolutely crystal clear, and you can even drink from it (which tasted amazing).

Filling up water bottles in the creek…

Sunset Beers

In my opinion, there is no better way to finish a day then to watch the sunset while knocking back a few beers.  The sunset was absolutely gorgeous, and definitely one of the best I have seen while in Australia.  Being an island on the east coast of Australia, watching the sunset on Fraser Island is one of the few places where it looks like the sun is setting over the horizon.

I was also having a damn good time taking heaps of photos!  What do you think?  Which one is your favorite?

Day 2 Highlights

Flight over Fraser Island

After a delicious buffet breakfast (which I may have overindulged and put myself into a slight morning food coma), our group loaded onto our 4WD Pink Cool Dingo Tour bus, and began our drive over to the eastern part of the island.  We were told that at some point during the day we would have the opportunity to take a quick scenic flight for those that were interested, and it just so happened that it was our first stop for the day….

Having just recently done helicopter and sea plane rides over the Great Barrier Reef & The Whitsundays, I knew that I couldn’t say no to getting back up in the air!

For only 80 AUD, you’d take off and land from the beach, and have a brief 10-15 minute in the air while taking pictures of Fraser Island.  Our group were extremely lucky, as we were granted an extra 10 minutes and were flying for nearly 25 whole minutes.  My pilot actually told us that he gave us the extra time because he really likes out tour guide Hayden, and likes to take good care of his tours.

Flying over Fraser Island will definitely give you an appreciation for how massive it is, and it really was epic to fly over all the various sand dunes, lakes, landscapes, and beaches.  Thanks to Air Fraser for a smooth and informative ride.

The Pinnacles

After getting back on solid ground, we made our way to the first scheduled stop for the day, the colored sand cliffs called the Pinnacles.  I actually spotted these from the plane, and was hoping that we would be making our way back to see them a bit closer up.

Champagne Pools

While it may be a bit difficult to pick a “favorite stop” along this tour, I will say that this is easily in my top three.  We were blessed with gorgeous weather, and the views of these naturally formed rock pools were simply stunning!  We stopped here for over an hour for some pre-lunch swimming, tanning, and relaxing.

The brief 10-minute walk from where we parked the bus to the Champagne pools was incredible as well, with views of the impressive beaches and coastline of Fraser Island.  There were so many great lookouts and vantage points.

We even spotted a few jumping dolphins, as well as one guy who was having himself a little surf.      

Can you see him…?

Beach Lunch

While the group would normally eat lunch up at Champagne Pool carpark, we decided to make the drive down the beach (in search of a breeze).  We unpacked our containers filled with chicken and vegetables, and prepared ourselves two big tortilla wraps.  Not a bad place for a meal, hey?

Indian Head Lookout

When our tour guide, Hayden, said that we needed to prepare for a “little hike” to the top of Indian Head, I wasn’t too thrilled at the idea because it must have been over 95 degrees (35 for your Celsius folk).  But the walk was quickly done, and we were rewarded with two stunning lookouts of beaches and the coastline.

SS Maheno Beach Shipwreck

The SS Maheno washed ashore on Fraser Island by a cyclone in 1935, and it now remains as a popular tourist attraction for people visiting the island.  We only stopped for a brief 10-15 minutes to take some photos, but was really cool to see.  There was a photo book that was passed around the bus while our tour guide explained in detail the history of the SS Maheno.

SS Maheno from above…

Eli Creek

Have you ever been to a water park and floated around in a “lazy river”…?  Well, that’s exactly what you’re going to do when you make it to Eli Creek.  This stop was awesome, and I honestly could have stayed for another couple hours just floating down the creek.  The water was a bit chilly, but actually felt amazing due to the fact it was blistering hot outside, and my skin was feeling a bit warm from some minor sunburns.

Cool Dingo Tours provided some inflatable tubes for the group to blow up, and carry down the walkway to the beginning of the creek.  You’d sit back, relax, and let the stream take you back to the beach.  It was a relaxing activity in a beautiful setting, and I know everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.  For those who didn’t manage to have an inflatable tube, you could just swim down the creek as well.  It really was an awesome feeling.  I even saw a few locals doing the same with beers in hand.  😉

Fraser Island Sunset Day 2

Being a travel-blogger, I’m obviously obsessed with getting the perfect sunset shot.  So when the opportunity arose to head back down to the beach to watch the sky change colors, I knew I couldn’t say no.

My favorite shot of the entire trip….

Day 3 Highlights

SUP Lake Birrabeen

Our group (which had basically been cut in half due to the 2 day / 1 night crew departing the night before), all met for breakfast and then boarded the bus to our first stop for the day — Lake Birrabeen.

The main activity here was just relaxing on the beach, soaking up the sun, and having some Stand Up Paddleboard fun.

The lake is truly beautiful, but the best part was that we had the whole lake to ourselves.  Compared to the crowded Lake Mackenzie, this was a much more relaxing stop.

Hammerstone Sandblow & Lake Wabby

The time had come the last stop on our tour…

Lake Wabby is definitely one of the most unique highlights on the islands, but you had to work a bit harder for the reward.  Our group walked the approximately 3KM trek through the rainforest, over the Hammerstone Sandblow, and then found ourselves at the very beautiful Lake Wabby!

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this place before.  It felt like a strange oasis in the middle of desert (because of the sand), but then on the other side of the lake was just lush green rainforest.

Do you know understand what I mean that Fraser Island is trippy…?

Our group all eagerly stripped down to our bathing suits, and couldn’t wait to jump into this refreshing lake to escape the heat, and wash off all the sweat we had acquired along the 45 minute trek.

The water was great for swimming around, but the funniest part was all the tiny fish that would eat at your dead skin cells.  If you’ve ever seen a “fish spa”, that’s exactly what it felt like.  It was a little scary though, because ya know — everything in Australia wants to kill you, and the water did look prime for some man-eating monster.  Luckily, we all managed to leave Lake Wabby alive and well.

Fraser Island with Cool Dingo Tours

Overall — this trip was an absolute blast, and I would highly recommend it to anyone traveling the east coast of Australia.  Fraser Island is one of the most unique, beautiful, and interesting places you will ever visit, and Cool Dingo did a great job at showing us this little slice of paradise.

I’ve actually been a tour guide in Europe, and this trip just seemed to run perfectly.  You could tell that they’ve just got this figured out, because everything was very organized and well-planned.  The bus transportation was comfortable (yet bouncy), the food throughout the entire trip was delicious, and we had a really solid group of 32 awesome travelers and backpackers from around the world.    

I have to give a massive shout-out to our tour guide Hayden!  If you’re booking a tour with Cool Dingo Tours in the future, try and see if you could arrange the dates to be on his next tour.  He is an absolute legend, and knows so much about Fraser Island.  I know everyone on our group adored him!  THANKS HAYDEN!  

This was honestly a trip that I’ll never forget, and I think I took the pictures to prove it!  After the trip ended, it took me a couple days at the Hervey Bay YHA to go through all of them, delete the bad ones, and go on an editing rampage.

While my travels in Australia are coming to an end rather soon, I know that I’ll find myself back on Fraser Island again…


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Groove Cruise Miami: 96 Hours of Atmospheric Bliss

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Alright…so it’s been two weeks since GC Miami, and I’m finally finding the time / energy to write about my experience.  The question is, where do I start…?

To even begin explaining how truly special the 4 days spent onboard the Carnival Victory is near impossible. I sit here mindlessly staring at my computer at a complete loss for words… So before you continue reading it is important you understand that nothing I write nor photo I upload will ever completely capture the magical atmosphere that came to life during Groove Cruise Miami.

So now that you have been adequately warned – I am going to try my absolute best to paint this picture for you and give you an understanding why…

These really were 96 of the best hours of my entire life

However, first things first, I want to give the biggest shout out to EVERYONE who attended Groove Cruise Miami 2017. I think we can unanimously agree that it will live to be an exceptional highlight in all of our lives, and even though I obviously couldn’t get the chance to meet everyone on board…we are all part of one giant family!

If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram for a while, you will most likely know that I was offered the opportunity to pop my Groove Cruise cherry in Cabo back in 2016.  That was an experience I will never forget, and it changed my life in multiple ways.  Not only was it one hell of a party, but I forged some strong connections with some of the most loving, incredible, and inspiring people I’ve ever come across, and I know that it was only the beginning…

Check out my article “11 Reasons Why Groove Cruise Is The Ultimate Festival Vacation“.

When I boarded my flight from Sydney to Miami, I was absolutely exhausted from the past 2.5 months of traveling around Australia.  While my life as a travel-blogger might look amazing on social-media…full-time travel takes a severe toll on your energy levels.  However, it goes without saying that when the opportunity came to hop-on Groove Cruise again, the only possible answer (as the Aussies would say) was “Fuckin Oath! YEAH!”.

I was no longer a Groove cruise virgin, so I knew exactly what I was getting myself into…

I was actually kind of nervous that it wouldn’t live up to my previous experience on Cabo though.  Have you ever had so much fun at one event, that you think that nothing will ever come close, or be able top it…?  Now, trust me when I say that in hindsight I have realized that thought process was severely illogical, because I’ve learned that Groove Cruise just gets better and better every year you go.

GC Miami 2017  exceeded my expectations in every single way, and these are my top highlights:  

1  )  The GC Fam Atmosphere

I remember reading a Facebook post from a GC Veteran explaining the mentality on Groove Cruise, and how (unlike many other events) “there are no “cool kids” or “losers” on this boat… just family.”  I have never heard truer words spoken. This universal sensation offers the perfect atmosphere for everyone to let their guard down, meet new people, and just enjoy the party.

Everyone I met while on GC Miami were nothing but unbelievably friendly, and I honestly never experienced a single negative vibe.  I would walk past people I had never met, and they would just come up, introduce themselves, and give me a hug without hesitation.

While this can be rather standard at music festivals, the connections you make on Groove Cruise surpass normal fleeting “festival friendships”.  This is a rather intimate event with only 2500 attendees, so the people you meet and party with on Day 1, you will inevitably keep running into around the ship.  This is especially true for all you after hours addicts and “We’re Never Going Home” squad – you know who you are!  If you don’t run into GC Miami MVP Bryan Lubliner at least once or twice a day…you’re doing it wrong!

What makes the GC Family so incredibly unique is that it’s a community that has blossomed over the past decade.  There are people who have been attending every year since Whet Travel began, and it really makes this festival stand knots apart from the other parties at sea.

With the average age of Groove Cruise attendees being around 32-33, it’s a much more mature and respectful crowd who embrace the “work hard, play hard” mentality…

“There’s doctors, and lawyers, and business executives”  *Cue Weeds Theme Song*…. and they are all on board for the same reasons: great music, amazing vibe, and to escape the real world for a few days in paradise.   

It’s difficult to explain, but walking around that cruise ship you just feel this energy that is unlike any other place in the world.  You can go ahead and tell our pal Walt I said this because I will shout it from the top of Magic Kingdom if I have to…

F**k Disneyland…Groove Cruise is the happiest place on earth!

2  ) Engagement & a Wedding

Love truly was in the air on the Carnival Victory.    

During Sam Feldt’s set on night 1, my good friend Joe had an important question he was dying to ask his beautiful girlfriend Melissa.  As he grabbed the microphone, got down on one knee, and proposed…the crowd anxiously waited for her reply:

“Yes! Abso-fucking-utely!”

Photo via Adam Hahn

I was stoked to be there to capture the moment they Skyped Melissa’s mother to share the happy news.  <3  If you didn’t get the chance to meet these two, keep an eye out for them on future Groove Cruises!  They are absolutely amazing, and spread nothing but love and good vibes to everyone around them.  I can’t wait to fly to Thailand for their wedding !!

Next — it was 6 A.M, and UMEK had just finished his monster techno set at the AFT Pool Deck.  I was snapping some photos of the sunrise, and someone came up to me and asked if I was going to go the wedding…?

I’ll admit I didn’t even know there was a wedding scheduled — so I quickly scurried over to the other side of the ship, and fortunately had arrived just in time to witness the magic!  It was a beautiful ceremony, of an even more beautiful couple.  Officiated by DJ Mimosa, and with a massive crowd of GC FAM, it was definitely a special moment onboard GC Miami.

  As the sun pushed up over the horizon, the confetti canons went off, and they shared their first kiss as husband & wife.


3 ) Every Set at the AFT Pool Deck

While the hard-core trance fans may argue with me over this one, the best music on Groove Cruise was definitely heard at the after-hours parties at the back at the ship on the AFT Pool Deck.

Anthony AttallaLee Foss, Cocodrills, Chus + Ceballos, and Roger Sanchez had me completely in awe.  Real proper underground house and techno blasted from the speakers, and as as the sun slowly began to appear each morning, there were beautiful party people dressed in their elaborate costumes spread out on both levels of the AFT pool deck.

OH…and can I just take a moment to discuss how much of an absolute legend DASH BERLIN is!  One of the best aspects about Groove Cruise is being able to party with the DJ’s, but I never expected Dash to be such a rager, lol.  He was up with the rest of the after-hours animals and was getting after it.

Photo via Veranmiky

When you look ridiculous as fuck, but still need to take a picture with DASH BERLIN

4 )  #TranceFamily in the Theater

While I haven’t listened to too much trance in recent years, the trance line-up on Groove Cruise Miami was undeniably stacked!  With heavyweights like Markus Schulz, Andrew Rayel, Cosmic Gate, Jochen Miller, and of course Dash Berlin all playing sets in the theater, I knew I was going to hear nothing but the best from these trance legends.

As usual, I was completely correct, and every time I wandered into the largest indoor stage, I was pleasantly surprised with some hard-hitting yet emotional music.  I wasn’t a big fan of the set-up of the theatre because there were all these rows that inhibited any sort of dance floor, but the production and sound were truly epic.  THOSE LAZERS!!

5  )  Beautiful People in Crazy Costumes

Last but certainly not least – one of the best parts about attending Groove Cruise is that it is perhaps the most impressive costume party you will ever witness.  There were two different themes every day, and people seriously go above & beyond with their themed attire.  

(Since I flew all the way from Australia, I didn’t really have enough time to properly prepare for all the costumes, but I still did my best at looking festival ready)






Photo via Adam Hahn


Photo via Adam Hahn


Photo via Veranmiky


Photo via Adam Hahn

Groove Cruise Miami really was the most insane ending to my recent 3-month adventure, and while it has quite literally taken me weeks to recover (which is why it took me this long to write this article), I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Check out my full Groove Cruise Miami Facebook Album for all of my pictures from the festival!

I swiped my V-card boarding the Groove Cruise Cabo…but Groove Cruise Miami turned me  into a life-long GC devotee. 



October 6-9, 2017.

Tickets go on sale February 16th, and this event will sell-out!

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Paradise Found: Sailing Through the Whitsunday Islands

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I remember the first time I saw a picture of Whitehaven beach…I thought like it looked too perfect for words.  I vowed to myself that I would make it there someday, and now that I finally have — I’m still in disbelief that it actually exists.

Like, seriously…?  WOW!  It really is the most picturesque beach I’ve ever seen…  

The perfectly soft white sand feels like heaven for your feet, and when you combine that with the the stunning shades of blue water, and the ideal swimming temperatures, it make Whitehaven the best beach I’ve ever been to.

 Stepping foot onto Whitehaven beach was something I had dreamed of for quite a long time, and it completely exceeded my expectations, but that was just one of many aspects of my one-day sailing through the Whitsunday Islands.

While most people embark on either a 1 / 2 Night Whitsundays Sailing Trip, my plans were actually changed last-minute to simply doing the full-day trip out to Whitehaven Beach & Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef.

So I joined Explore Whitsundays on their ship the “Southern Cross” for one of my favorite experiences I’ve had so far in Australia.

Morning Sailing to Whitsunday National Park

I got picked up at the YHA Airlie Beach at 7:45 A.M, and was shuttled down to Shute Harbour to board our vessel.  After a few important safety lessons and boat rules, we were ready to make the 90 minute journey to the entrance of the Whitsundays National Park.

Just from the very start of the day I knew that we were in for an amazing time out sailing.  We had amazing weather, a really great group of people from various countries (mainly Germany & England), and the staff on board The Southern Cross were tons of fun.  We’re bumping groovy tunes, chatting with new friends, soaking in the scenery, and taking turns steering the ship.

Hill Inlet Lookout

We made it to our first stop on the tour, and were shuttled via the smaller boat to Whitsunday Island.  It’s just a brief 5-10 minute walk through the island before we came through the clearing to one of the most spectacular views you will ever see.  We all took some photos, snapped our necessary selfies, and then started to lather up in sunscreen in preparation for what came next.

Whitehaven Beach

It really is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

While I like to think I got some pretty epic photos of the place, I still feel like they don’t do it justice.  You really have to experience this place for yourself!  I was constantly thinking…”holy shit — this is amazing.”

One of my favorite parts was walking through the crystal clear water in between the sand pits and having small lemon sharks swim by my feet!  It felt like a dream.

The water was the absolute perfect temperature, and was ideal for swimming.  I tried not to stay in the water too long though, because I was riskily not wearing the recommended “Stinger Suit” to avoid the box jelly fish.  You have to remember, everything in Australia wants to kill you.  As a wise man once said, “every paradise has a dark side”, lol.

You know you’re doing something right in life when you’re relaxing on this beach… 🙂

Lunch Time & Sailing

After spending a bit over an hour on Whitehaven Beach, it was time to make our way back to the Southern Cross.  We were all starving, and to my surprise lunch was prepared and ready to be served.

Ever since my time sailing in Indonesia, I’ve been a little skeptical about meals on ships.  I was actually very happy with the meal provided though.

Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling

I’m not gonna lie — I had no idea the Great Barrier Reef stretched as far down the coast in Australia.  For some reason, I always just thought it was almost entirely along the north-east coast around Cairns.  Well that is definitely not the case, and I have recently learned that the Great Barrier Reef stretches as far down along the coast down to Bundaberg!

So after everyone on the boat was fed, we strapped on our snorkel masks and put on our fashionable stinger suits, and jumped for some underwater explorations.

We stopped at one snorkeling stop for about 40 minutes at this beautiful reef in the Whitsunday Islands.  It was really great snorkeling, and I might have even liked it a bit more than what I had experienced up in Cairns.

There weren’t as many fish as I had hoped for, but the colors of the reefs were stunning, and there was heaps of different areas to swim around and explore.

Sailing back to Airlie Beach

We had finished our snorkeling, and I had maxed out the memory card on my GoPro, so it was the perfect time to make our way back to Shute Habour.  I was give the chance to play some of my tunes, which was a stellar 4-hour mix from German deep-house duo Andhim, that to my surprise, people seemed to enjoy.

The whole group chatted and swapped various travel stories and tips, and I graciously passed around a box of Tim Tam’s that I had purchased for our day out on the boat.  When in Australia — you snack on Tim Tams! 

Overall — it was an absolute amazing day filled with wonderful people and beautiful scenery.  I’ll never forget the feeling of walking along Whitehaven Beach, and will definitely be encouraging everyone I know to experience it for themselves!

Thanks to the amazing staff at Explore Whitsundays for being so amazing.  They were the perfect mix between fun and professional, and showed us all an amazing time.

Have you been to the Whitsunday Islands before…?  If you haven’t, then definitely add it to the list!  It’s easily one of the best places I’ve ever been!


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The 10 Best Music Festivals in Sydney, Australia


When it comes to music festivals in Sydney, there really are so many incredible ones to choose from.  I lived in Sydney for a year, and made it my mission to attend as many music festivals in Australia as I possibly could.  While I haven’t been to ALL of these on this list, I’ve actually been to my fair share of them.  The Australian festival culture is alive and vibrant, and I can guarantee you’ll love all the music and atmosphere at these fantastic events!

So check out my list for what I think are the 10 Best Music Festivals in Sydney, Australia:

1 )  Lost Paradise

Located just a short 80 minute ride from Sydney, this 3-day camping festival is hands down one of the best New Years Eve Festivals in Australia.   Three incredible stages are spread out in the Glenworth Valley, all with a diverse line-up of live-music and proper underground electronic dance music.  I’ve personally attended this one, and it became my favorite of all the music festivals in Australia!  They just finished their edition, but you honestly would think it was their 10th.  It’s a perfectly executed music festival with comfortable camping, incredible stage production, and delicious food and beverage.  Skip the fireworks — head to Lost Paradise.

Read my full festival review:  Lost Paradise:  Truly a Hidden Wonderland

2 )  Return To Rio

I’ve now attended two different Return To Rio’s, and I would 100% recommend it to everyone looking for an epic weekend of camping, dancing, and boozing.  There’s two every year marking the “beginning and ending of summer” parties, and I promise it will be 3-days you will never forget.  Located about an hour north of Sydney in Wiseman’s Ferry, Return to Rio provides a much needed escape for fans of proper underground house music to come together, dress up in crazy costumes, and forget about the stress of everyday life.

Read my full festival review — Return To Rio; The Ultimate Weekend Away

3 )  Subsonic

When it comes to 3-day camping festivals located just a bit outside of Sydney, Subsonic is the absolute best one to attend (from what I’ve heard).  While I haven’t had the opportunity to check it out for myself, all my favorite festival friends swear by it.  The venue, Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort, is absolutely gorgeous, and perfect for an event of this size.  The music DOES NOT STOP, so you better be ready for a proper bender #TeamNoSleep.  Everyone is also all about the community, and it’ll be hard to find people at Subsonic that will not greet you with a smile and a huge.  Subsonic happens every year at the beginning of December.  Check it out!

Photo via Facebook

4 )  Days Like This

When it comes to one-day festivals in Australia, you’re going to have a hard time finding one with as good of a line-up as Days Like This.  While the line-up has elements of diversity, it’s clear that the main focus of this is quality underground house  & techno. With heavyweights like Dixon, AME, DJ Tennis, and Recondite — this is guaranteed to be one of the best events musically in Australia.  If you find yourself in Sydney on March 11th, make your way to the Randwick Racecourses, and don’t forget comfortable shoes!

5 )  Electric Gardens

Having just successfully finished it’s 2nd edition, Electric Gardens has shown it’s a festival that’s here to stick around for many years to come.  The 2017 Sydney line-up had big names like Eric Prydz, Jamie Jones, and Sasha — just to name a few.  While Electric Gardens does throw editions in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane as well, Sydney will always be it’s home base.  I attended the 2016 edition, and had an absolutely incredible time.  It’s well organized, excellent production, and it attracts the perfect Sydney party crowd.

Read: Electric Gardens Festival Review 

6 )  St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival

This Asian & Australian touring festival needs no introduction, but the Sydney edition definitely needs to be on your Australia Festival bucket list.  Every line-up I’ve seen from Laneway has been so diverse and unique, and could only imagine the soundtrack of the day is nothing but perfection.  It’s a one-day festival right in the city, and definitely shouldn’t be missed.  Laneway Sydney happens every year in early February.

Photo via Facebook

7 )  Field Day

What are your plans for January 1st…?  Well, if you’re smart, you’ve booked your tickets to Field Day well in advance, because this one-day Sydney party is the absolute best way to start off the year.  This one-day mega festival is spread out over 4-5 stages at the beautiful venue, The Domain.  Every year the line-up will impress you with top-notch international artists, as well as plenty of domestic talent.  I went to Field Day in 2016, and it was definitely a good time.  It was a bit overcrowded at times, but the production was fantastic, and it’s proper Aussie festival vibes.

8 )  PURE Festival

Carl Cox, the king of techno, is back once again for his one-day festival at the Hordern Pavillion.  With support from techno champions Adam Beyer + Noir, this is an event that should not be missed.  If you’re looking for some real proper techno, this where you need to go.

9 )  HarbourLife

“Since 2003 Harbourlife has become Sydney’s premiere dance music event. This spectacular Sydney party will return to its spectacular waterside venue at Mrs Macquarie’s Point in Sydney. You can celebrate the start of summer in beautiful green surroundings, the perfect view of the Sydney harbour / skyline and party with a carefully hand-picked selection of quality house acts providing the perfect soundtrack.”

Tickets sell out for this event fast, but if you don’t manage to snag some, you can still make your way over to the Royal Botanical Gardens and listen to the music from the top of the festival.  That’s what I did one year, and there were plenty of people enjoying a free-party with top-notch music.

Photo via Facebook

10 )  FOMO Festival

Do not MISS out on FOMO when it comes to Sydney!  This one-day mega party in Parramatta is absolutely fantastic.  While the line-up is a little bit mainstream / hip-hop for my personal taste, it’s still an incredible day of partying in Sydney.  The whole purpose of FOMO is that it’s only one massive stage, so you don’t “miss out” on anything!  The sound is great, the venue is ideal, and it’s just a really fun day.

Those are what I believe to the best music festivals in Sydney!



Travels, Festivals, & Photography: 2016 In Review

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We’re now two weeks into 2017, and I’m just finally posting my annual round-up article.

Sorry for the delay, but the past couple months I’ve been traveling, festivaling, and photographing Australia — and I’ve barely had any time to slow down and catch up on work.

2016 was a huge year of growth for me — both personally and career wise.

From beginning the year living in Sydney, traveling through Sri Lanka & Europe, spending a couple months back home in California, and finally exploring Australia — this year has definitely been full of adventures.

Countries Visited:  13

Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, France, Belgium, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, U.S.A       

Festivals Attended: 13

Field Day, Electric Gardens, Yacht Social Club, Return to Rio, Groovin The Moo, Voodoo Village, Balaton Sound, Brussels Summer Festival, CRSSD Festival, Dirtybird Campout, Groove Cruise, Return To Rio, and Lost Paradise

If you haven’t already, take a read through my Highlights of 26 Months of Travel post.  This goes into much more detail about the earlier months of 2016.

And if you want to stalk me a bit further, feel free to read my 2014 Annual Review & my 2015 year in Review

January – May  (Living in Sydney)

I started out the year finishing off my Working Holiday Visa in Australia, and to be honest — I wasn’t quite ready to leave Sydney.  As I discuss in my blog post about long-term travel and saying goodbye, this city has become much more than another stop in my nomadic life — it’s my second home.

The only reason I left the country was because of this “backpacker tax” that the Australian government decided they would enforce, which I even got interviewed about in the Australian Financial Review.  You can read that article here.  That was a really cool opportunity for me, and it opened up some doors for future travels (long story).

Everything happens for a reason though, because leaving Sydney ended up being a very important deciding factor for the rest of the year.  I had made enough money working full-time to fund my summer travels, and I was ready to hit the road again.

June in Sri Lanka + TBC Asia

This was my second trip to Sri Lanka, and was definitely one of the highlights of the year.

The main reason for it being so influential was it gave me the motivation to continue on with Jones Around The World.  

The truth is that travel-blogging takes a lot of damn time, and I had lost some of the original spark I had for this site.  I had a full-time job while in Sydney, and whenever I got home from work I just didn’t have the energy to write new content.

So attending TBC Asia and having the opportunity to network and travel with like-minded bloggers was exactly what I needed.  I learned quite a lot about the business side of blogging, and found some much needed inspiration.

Read all about my Sri Lanka adventures:

Beach life is the best. Especially when there is warm water, soft sand, and beautiful blue skies. I'm gonna miss these Sri Lankan beaches.

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

Two Months Traveling Europe (July-August)

At the beginning of June, I hit the 2-year mark of being away from California (the longest I have ever spent away from home).  I actually was meant to fly back to Los Angeles, and spend the summer in the States…but when I was selected to be apart of TBC Asia, that included a free-flight to Europe, so I couldn’t say no to that.

Where did I go?

Paris -> Brussels -> Budapest -> Balaton Sound (Music Festival) -> Belgrade -> Bosnia & Herzegovina -> Montenegro -> Albania -> Greece -> Brussels

These were two of the most-action packed months of travel.  I’ve already written extensively about how much I enjoyed Balaton Sound, but the real highlight had to be the Balkan road trip.

If you’re thinking of the best places to go in 2017, then I would strongly recommend visiting The Balkans in Eastern Europe!

I think I'm gonna move to the mountains in Montenegro, build a house, and adopt 12 dogs. Yeah…that sounds like a good plan.

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

Shoutout to Dan Flying Solo & Lili’s Travel Plans for an epic road-trip!  

UBERing, FESTIVALing, and EXPLORing CALIFORNIA (September – October)

First stop:  In-N-Out

I was back home in California for about 2.5 months, and they honestly flew by so quick.  I had one main goal:  save up as much money as possible.  I didn’t have time to get a “normal job” because of interviews, training, and putting in “two weeks notice” before embarking on my next travels — so I signed up to be an Uber & Lyft Driver in California.

I actually loved my time being a driver!

C-A-L-F-O-R-N-I-A Oh, how I've missed you….

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

I would honestly say that 95% of the people who got into my car were really great, and it was also a really fun way to tell people about my travels, and make some new friends!  Yes, I made friends with my passengers!

With Lyft — there was a $2,000 Sign-Up Bonus if you complete 500 Rides in the first 60 days, and I was completely committed to reaching that goal.

It was a lot of hours on the road, but I saved up enough money to buy a new iPhone, Nikon D750, 2 FX Lenses, and a Drone.

Mmerica. #California #PCH #RoadTrip PC- @danflyingsolo

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

I also had the opportunity to attend 3 incredible music festivals!  You can read the reviews of each of these by clicking the links:

CRSSD Music Festival

Dirtybird Campout

The Groove Cruise

When it comes to The Groove Cruise, this was honestly one of the best experiences of my entire life.  Not only was it one epic party, but it was when I discovered my passion for festival / event photography.

Check out my Groove Cruise Album on Facebook.  I think I got some pretty epic photos, and love that I was able to capture some beautiful moments on board that ship.

 I’m slowly starting to book some more work as a photographer, and can’t wait to improve my skills!

Finally Traveling Australia (November – December)

G’day Mate!  How ya going…?

If you’ve been reading my blog and following along on social-media for awhile, you probably already know that I was working my ass off my entire time while living in Sydney.  I moved to the country with basically zero money, and heaps of credit card debt.  Over the first few months in Sydney, I was able to pay off my debt, and slowly begin to build up my travel fund.  The plan was to travel the country during my working holiday visa, but I never got the chance.

So I emailed YHA Australia and asked if they’d be interested in partnering up and sponsoring me for Australia trip.

This was the first big sponsored trip I’ve done as a professional travel-blogger, and it really taught me a lot!

My trip along the east coast of Australia was truly incredible, and I’m completely in love with this country.  There really is so much to explore, and I met some really awesome people.

Read all about it:

What’s Next in 2017…?

If you asked me this a few months ago, I would have responded that I’d be moving to New Zealand…

"I don't know where I'm going from here…but I promise it won't be boring" — David Bowie

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

But now…I don’t think that’s happening just quite yet.

Since I’ve discovered that becoming an official festival / event photographer is something I want to pursue (as well as being a full-time travel blogger)…New Zealand just isn’t a place that is known for it’s mega festivals or vibrant nightlife scene.  So I’ve decided to put this idea on hold.

I’m planning on spending February – May in California.  I’ve been a traveling nomad for so long, and I’m ready to spend some time back in America.  I am hoping to do a couple mini trips to Colombia, Arizona, and maybe a couple countries in Central America.

During June & July, I’m hoping to fly over to Europe to check out a couple more different music festivals.  But we’ll see if that ends up happening, and if the USD is still relatively strong after Trump takes office, haha.

In August, I’m coming back to California, and will be trying to attend Burning Man.  I had tickets to go in 2016, but had to sell them due to being financially responsible.  I’m happy about that though, because in the past few months I’ve met a ton of inpsiring people that I’m planning on going with this year.

SYDNEY. One of the best cities in the world, especially for photography! Have you ever been?

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

September & October I have no plans, but in November I’m going to Mexico to shoot my first wedding!  Then I’m hoping in December I can return to Australia for another Christmas / New Years Eve festival?

With all that being said — my plans are constantly changing, and I highly doubt these plans will stay in tact.  I’m always open to new adventures and seizing opportunities when they arise. 



Lost Paradise: Truly A Hidden Wonderland

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While most tourists and travelers who flock to Sydney over New Years Eve come for the spectacular firework display over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House — I knew that the only place I wanted to welcome in the new year was at Lost Paradise.

This is THE festival I had been dying to attend ever since I started researching the best music festivals in Australia, and now that I’ve experienced it for myself, I’m actually still in awe about how incredible these 3 days were.

This was only the third year that Lost Paradise has been thrown, and it doubled it’s attendance numbers from 5,000 up to 10,000 tickets sold.  When most festivals would struggle with that level of rapid growth, Lost Paradise delivered a perfectly executed music festival experience complete with an amazing crowd, gorgeous venue, and carefully curated line-up.

Besides the overwhelming heat, and the rather long entrance queue into the festival — Lost Paradise was truly “your hidden wonderland”, and the perfect ending to 2016.

Welcome to Glenworth Valley

The entire time when I was walking around Lost Paradise, I kept thinking to myself — this venue could not be more perfect.  The picturesque valley lined with tall trees, the peaceful creeks for daytime swimming, and the large open fields that were easy to navigate were simply ideal.

On the outskirts of the all the campgrounds there were plenty of trees which provided much needed shade for people who didn’t want their tents to feel like saunas in the morning (especially for the camping rookies who didn’t bring a gazebo).

The Lost Disco Stage

For fans of underground house and techno, this stage was popping off all three days!  

The Funktion One sound system was heard loud and clear from all areas, there were four different stands to dance on and enjoy a view of the crowd, and the LED screen / lighting brought everything to that next level!

Whoever designed this stage must be a festival angel, because it really was beautiful…but more importantly had a vibrant cover which gave us protection from the relentless Australian sun.

Arcadia Stage

If you prefer your music with a bit more live-instruments, then you probably spent quite a bit of time here at the Arcadia Stage.  While I myself didn’t listen to many sets here, the stage had plenty of wide-open space, excellent sound, and incredibly talented musicians perform throughout the day and night.

Paradise Club

Nestled on top of a hill in the corner of the festival was this third and final stage of Lost Paradise.

As far as scenery and atmosphere goes, Paradise Club was uniquely awesome.  Complete with the DJ’s playing in a log-cabin, decorative spider webs, and colorful trees lit up at night — I fell in love with the vibe at this stage.

During the day you could escape the sun, relax in a hammock, and groove to some quality house music.

Paradise Club was also the only stage that played music until 3 A.M, so it was poppin’ off for all the late-night party people.

Completely Cashless

Lost Paradise is the first music festival in Australia I’ve attended that has implemented this amazing system!

This payment method has become increasingly popular in the past few years, and just about every festival in Europe I’ve been to has utilized this cashless system.  It makes everything so easy and simple, and waiting for drinks never took more than a few minutes.

You also never had to worry about losing your cash / wallet, because your money is attached to your festival wristband.


Every purchase of a drink at Lost Paradise included a $1 can deposit, so if you returned the can to the recycle station they’d refund $1 per can.  To my surprise, everyone was still just finishing their beers and tossing them on the floor.

So the smart people at the festival were just walking around with a trash bag for an hour or two, collecting as many cans as they could find, and depositing a hefty drink balance onto their wristband.

If you left Lost Paradise with money remaining on on your wristband, check out this article on the Lost Paradise blog:

How To Get A Refund On Your Wristband 

Food & Drink

Located right in the middle of the festival is where you’ll find The Lost Village.

While the vendor lines did get bit a tad bit too long in the mornings / afternoon, the attendees of this festival were given quite a large selection to choose from.  A few of the popular vendors were the Turkish Gozleme, Cuban Cantina, and the delicious asian burrito known as a “Spurrito”.

Prices ranged at each vendor, but for a decent sized meal you should be prepared to pay between $13 – $21 dollars.

Lost Paradise does not allow you to bring in your own alcohol into the festival, and drinks will cost you between $9-13 dollars.

The Lost Feast

This long-table communal dining experience is something I would strongly recommend to everyone attending future events.  While I didn’t get to actually taste it for myself, I was there to photograph the Lost Feast on Saturday and everything looked / smelled incredible.

Complete with excellent music provided by a one-man band, delicious beer & wine, and a beautiful ambience — it’s well worth the $65 per-person cost.

 Yoga & Workshops


A trip out to Lost Paradise wouldn’t be complete without making your way over to the Shambhala Fields for some yoga, relaxing massage, or listening to one of the thought-provoking speeches.  There are plenty of yoga sessions to join in on from 8:00 A.M – 8:00 P.M, all ranging in various styles and practices.

I was also there to listen to some of the “Lost Paradise: Rites of Passage Talk”, and it was really great!  It was something I’ve never seen at any other music festival, and you could really tell that Lost Paradise works really hard to make this an all-encompassing 3-day experience.

Top 8 Sets

I’m a big fan of underground electronic music, so I was pretty much just loving every artist at the Lost Disco (TRIANGLE) stage.  Yes, I did hear that acts like Sticky Fingers, Flight Facilities NYE set, and Gang of Youths all played incredible sets, I unfortunately did not witness them…

1 ) Tristan Case ->  2 ) Robbie Lowe  (Day 2:  15:30 – 18:30 A.M)

These two local Sydney legends played one after the other on Saturday, and every single track I heard was superb.  I’ve seen both these guys play at Return to Rio, and they absolutely slay it every time they hit the decks.  I actually didn’t even know they were on the line-up until a couple days before the festival!  So if you’re in Sydney and looking for a proper party, take a look at when they’re performing next.

3 ) Doorly ->  4 ) Eats Everything (Day 2:  22:30 – 2:00 A.M)

This was easily the best 3.5 hours of music I had heard during the festival.  It was my first time seeing both of these DJ’s play, and they completely crushed it!  The lighting was out of this world, the bass was loud, and the song selection was nothing but the best.  I was standing right behind Eats Everything while he impressively managed playing all-four CDJ’s to a massive crowd, and that was an experience I’ll never forget.

5 ) HEIDI -> 6) Kolsch ( Day 3 20:30 – 00:00)

The last four hours of music of 2016 were simply incredible.  I had seen Kolsch at a festival in the Netherlands back in 2013, and have been dying to see him again ever since.  Heidi warmed up the crowd extremely well, but Kolsch brought it home with an epic house and techno set.

7 ) Young Franco & 8) Set-Mo

Both of these acts might not have the world-wide recognition that they deserve, but they have grown absolutely massive down here in Australia.  Their sets were both fun, energetic, and played to massively supportive crowds who were dancing the entire time.  Kudos to these Aussie legends!

Lost Paradise TIPS

1 )  Arrive a Day Early

Lost Paradise gives it’s attendees the option to buy an “extra-day” ticket, and that allows you to arrive to the festival one-day early.  While it will set-you back around $50, I think it’s definitely worth it.

2 )  North Campground

This is the main reason I’d recommend buying the extra-day ticket, because it will allow you to camp in the north campground, which is right next to the festival!  I was actually in the south campground, and it wasn’t that far of a walk (but if I had a choice, I’d definitely choose the north).

3 ) Fancy Dress is Important

Australia festival people take fancy dress very seriously, and you have to dress up to be apart of the fun!  Just go all out!  Coordinate a costume / shirt design or something with your friends to become the ultimate festival squad.

4 ) Sun Protection + Staying Hydrated is Vital

This probably isn’t news to anyone who has attended a music festival before, but I have to reiterate how extremely hot and sunny it can get at Lost Paradise.  Protect yourself, party safe, and bring a reusable water bottle.

5 ) Bring Food to Save Money

You can bring in as much food as you want, so unless you want to spend $45 on food every day, then bring your own grub.  I would strongly recommend sampling some of the food items though, because it is pretty damn great.

6 )  Be a Festival Camping Pro

The most important things to bring are gazebos (multiple for shade), one table, folding chairs, portable music player, power chargers, water, gatorade, fruit, sleeping bag, tent, blow-up air mattress, and shade for your tent as well!

7 )  Bring a Spray Bottle

The (amazing) people I camped with brought a couple spray bottles, and I had no idea how much it would help to keep us cool during those hot festival days.

8 ) Collect Beer Cans for Recycling

I honestly can’t recommend this enough!  If you put in just a little bit of work, you won’t have to pay for a single drink while at Lost Paradise.  You will earn $1 per can collected…it’s so easy!

9 )  Leave No Trace

There are plenty of areas to leave your trash before leaving the festival, so be a respectful festival attendee and properly clean up your campsite before leaving.  It’s our duty to keep this venue beautiful!

10 )  Read The Lost Paradise Blog

Seriously.  It’s amazing.  The best posts are “The Lost Paradise Bible” which is filled with heaps of important information, and “The 10 Festival Camping Commandments“, which is just important common sense rules, tips, and guidelines for camping.

Lost Paradise completely exceeded all my expectations, and it’s probably the best organized and entertaining festival I’ve attended while traveling through Australia.

To conclude this festival review…I have to give a massive shout-out to everyone who attended this 2016  edition of Lost Paradise!   The crowd and energy at this festival was simply spectacular, and there wasn’t a bad vibe in all of Glenworth Valley.  I had so much fun running around and taking photos of everyone, and I’m looking forward to seeing you guys at another festival soon!



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Top 10 Tips For Traveling South-East Asia on a Shoestring


Traveling South-East Asia truly changed my life in many ways, and I’m always recommending people to plan a trip out this beautiful region of the world.  So many people think that traveling is expensive, but that honestly can’t be further from the truth.  South-East Asia is the perfect place for budget travel, and I’ve learned quite a bit during my time out there.  So if you’re looking for some travel tips for Asia on a shoestring, I’m here to help!

1 )  Travel Slow

To begin, when I was backpacking through South-East Asia, I had all the time in the world.  I arrived in Bangkok on a one-way ticket, and had no set return date.  If you’re in the same situation, then my absolute best tip I can give you is to travel slow.  Stay in each destination a bare minimum of 4-5 nights.  This is going to give you the opportunity to get to know each destination, figure out the best and affordable accommodation, and learn your favorite budget places to eat.  You never know, you might enjoy a place so much you will find yourself getting a job at the local pub-crawl or hostel.  However, if you’re on a ‘Travel Talk Tours’ Thailand Tour then you’ll be on a bit more a time schedule.

2 )  Eat Like The Locals

South-East Asia is the street food capital region of the world.  In almost every place you will visit, there will be night markets with delicious food stalls, and I can guarantee they will always be cheaper than any restaurant.  This is especially crucial if you are in Thailand, which is my personal favorite for street food dining!  I stayed in Chiang Mai for one month, and the food was absolutely incredible!

3 )  Stay at Hostels

This should be an obvious one for anyone looking to save money in Asia.  There are so many incredible and budget friendly options to choose from, and you can find beds for as low as $5 per night.  I always like to do ample amount of research on Hostelworld before I book anything, and try to find a hostel with a lively backpacker atmosphere!  Traveling is all about the people you meet, so you want to be in an environment where it’s easy to meet like-minded travelers

4 )  Practice & Master Bargaining

You’re definitely going to get ripped off once or twice.  Don’t worry — it happens to all of us, but you will need to practice and master your bargaining skills.  The locals in these countries will try and get as much money out of you as possible (especially in Vietnam), so know how much you should be paying for each item, and bargain them down!

5 )  Bring Your Own Drinks

If you were to walk into a restaurant in the U.S or Australia with your own water bottle, you might be told that that’s not allowed or get some awful looks.  Well, in South-East Asia it is completely fine!  I NEVER ordered drinks when I ate out, because the price were always much higher than what you would find at the 7-11 across the street.  It’s a tip that I think can save tons of money throughout your trip in Asia.

6 )  Pre-Game Wisely

South-East Asia is one of the best places to party, but just like anywhere in the world, drink prices will add up.  That’s why I always recommend buying a bottle of a local spirit, and play some drinking games at the hostel before you go out.  It’s a fantastic way to start your night, make some friends, and save some money (since you won’t have to spend a lot out at the bars).

7 )  Don’t Buy Souvenirs

As a long-term solo traveler, I never had the space nor budget for souvenirs.  It’s my personal belief that the best souvenirs and pictures and the memories.  Obviously, if there is something you really want, then definitely get it!  Just be careful, it can be very easy to see all these fancy little tourist shops and want to buy stuff, only to realize you don’t have the space or need for any of it.

8 )  Join The Facebook Groups

While this may not be an actualy money saving tip, these groups are absolutely essential!  You can ask all your important questions here (or feel free to email me), and learn about cool stuff going on in each destination.  I was an active member in the south-east Asia backpacker groups during my time out there, and truly found them useful!

Check out these ones:

9 )  Overnight Busses & Trains / Cheap Flights

While some people may disagree with me on this point, I always found that the overnight busses and trains were a great way to save money.  They can get you from Point A – Point B in a decently comfortable way, and they save you a night of accommodation.  With that being said, South-East Asia has some incredible budget airlines that you can find some great deals on!  If you can take a 2-hour plane ride instead of a 12 hour bus…then why not?

10 )  Download My Free E-Book

If you’ve found these tips helpful, then you will absolutely love my Free E-Book “77 Amazing, Helpful, Money Saving Tips for Backpacking South-East Asia“.  I wrote while I was staying on Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia — and tons of people have said they really love it!  It’s short, easy to read, and you will learn a lot.  *Download link below post*

If you’re ever planning a trip, feel free to email me and ask me any question you can think of.  I love helping people plan their travels!


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& Add Me On Snapchat: — JonesATW

Top 10 Incredible Things To Do in Cairns

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Cairns, which is typically referred to as the “Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef” is an absolute must-see destination in Australia.  I spent five full days exploring Cairns, and could have easily stayed another week or two.  When you walk along the city streets, you’ll see countless travel agents selling a variety of different trips and activities, but these are the top 10 things to do in Cairns.

1 ) Helicopter Ride over the Great Barrier Reef

When I was planning my trip to Cairns, a friend of mine told me that I had to do a helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef.  Well, I took his advice and I had the most incredible experience.  You simply can’t appreciate the beauty and magnitude of this place until you’ve seen it from above.  I took a 30-minute scenic flight with Nautilis Aviation, and would highly recommend them.  If you can, try to snag the seat in the front!

2 )  Full-Day Scuba-Diving / Snorkeling Trips to the Great Barrier Reef

This is probably the single-most important thing to do while visiting Cairns.  You need to get out to one of the reefs and experience the beautiful coral, fish, and scenery.  You can read all about my experience snorkeling the Great-Barrier Reef, and go from there.  The main three reefs are Moore, Green Island, and Fitzroy Island.  I did the full-day trip to the outer reef of Moore Island with Sunlover Cruises and had an awesome day.  Great ship, friendly staff, and beautiful scenery!

3 )  Explore The Esplanade & City By Night

Cairns is not a very big city, but walking around at night is so much fun!  You can head down to the lagoon for a night swim, or just stroll past the massive trees that are lit up so perfect.  I personally think the lagoon is one of the most interesting parts about Cairns.  It almost looks like it’s a 5* Resort with a massive infinity pool, but it’s just the public pool for locals and tourists to enjoy.

4 )  Kuranda Scenic Railway & Skyrail

A visit to the old town of Kuranda is a must while visiting Cairns.  You can either rent a car and drive up there yourself (which is a pretty great drive), or you can opt-in for the full-day trip with the scenic railway and round-trip skyrail pass.  These prices can add up to around $150, but the views really are amazing.  If you book it with a package, you could probably score a discount.  Make sure you also check out the little market in Kuranda, and take some photos of Barron Falls!

5 )  Captain Cook Highway to Port Douglas

When it comes to scenic drives in Australia, I feel like the list would be never-ending.  With that being said, the drive from Cairns – Port Douglas is simply stunning, and it should not be missed!  The coastline is just so massive, and it reminded me of Hawaii.  You will truly understand the meaning behind the slogan, “Where The Rainforest Meets the Ocean”.

6 )  Mossman Grove

This rainforest is just a short 20-3o minute drive further north from Port Douglas, and it really is stunning!  While during my visit there it started raining within 5 minutes and forced us to leave a bit early, I really enjoyed the visit.  You have to park your car down in the lot, and then take a $10 shuttle bus up to the rainforest, but it’s definitely worth it!

7 )  The Cairns Botanical Gardens

This is free to enter, and absolutely awesome.  Beautiful trees, forest walks, and vibrant butterflies are a few things to expect during your visit.  You could easily spend a few hours here just getting lost in the nearby rainforests.

8 )  Fitzroy Island Relaxation

If you’ve got some spare time, then take the ferry over to Fitzroy Island for the day.  The beach is the perfect place to relax all day, watch the sunset (if you stay overnight), and so some snorkeling!

9 )  Barron Falls 

Located in Kuranda, this beautiful waterfall is massive and breathtaking.  It’s just a brief 10-minute walk from the carpark, and is a perfect photo opportunity that only takes about 30 minutes or less to experience.  When I visited the waterfall wasn’t flowing that heavt, but it was still worth the visit.

10 )  Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation

While it may be a bit further away from Cairns, a trip up to Cape Tribulation definitely needs to be discussed when it comes to top things to do in Cairns.  It’s one of the highlights of visiting the east coast of Australia, and you can’t miss out.

Dreaming of my next beach getaway. ? #beachvibes #beachlover #capetribulation

A photo posted by Kansas Girl Travels World (@kansasgirltravelsworld) on


The Best New Years Eve Music Festivals in Australia

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Bust out your fancy dress outfits, camping gear, and get your squad together — because New Years Eve is upon us, and there are some epic festivals in Australia to choose from!  

In my opinion, there is no better place to party than at a music festival.  The energy and atmosphere that’s created when you’re surrounded by friendly people, incredible music, and beautiful scenery is simply unbeatable.

When it comes to music festivals in Australia, there really is no shortage of quality events.  So since I’ve found myself in the country for another NYE, I decided to do some research and find out the best festivals in the country to celebrate the new year.  If you don’t have your new years eve plans sorted yet…definitely look into one of these awesome events!

These are my top 5 New Years Eve Music Festivals in Australia!

1 ) Lost Paradise (December 29-31)

Glenworth Valley, NSW (75 minutes outside Sydney)


One of Sydney’s most popular music festivals is back for another 3 days of camping, music, food, art, and yoga.  The festival community you’ll find while at Lost Paradise is what makes this event so special, and from what I’ve heard it’s actually one of the best music festivals in Australia.  Every year they bring a top-notch line-up, and with artists like Flight Facilities, Fat Freddys Drop, Eats Everything, Kolsch — I know the 2016 event is going be absolutely amazing!

I’m personally attending and photographing this festival, and I can’t wait to experience it for myself!!

While tickets for this festival have been sold-out for a few weeks now, you might be able to snag a couple tickets on GumTree by asking people on the Facebook page.

WebsiteFacebook Event

2 ) Beyond The Valley (December 28 – January 1)

Lardner Park, Victoria (90 Minutes outside Melbourne)

WOW!  Just look at that line-up!!

“Beyond The Valley, now on the way to delivering it’s third successful annual event, is a distinctive, unique and most of all carefully curated music festival over the New Years’ Eve period.”

This 4-Day festival is guaranteed to be an experience you’ll never forget.  I personally think that Beyond The Valley has the best line-up of all the festivals on the list, and if I were down in Melbourne over NYE — this is where I would be…

My Top 10 Artists to see:  Guy Gerber, Hermitude, ZHU, Carl Craig, Eats Everything, Kolsh, What So Not, Claptone, Safia, and Skream.


4-Day General Admission + Caming:  $420 + $14.70 Service Feee

3-Day General Admission + Camping: $380 + $13.30 Service Fee

New Years Eve Only Pass:  $189 + 6.62 Service Fee


WebsiteFacebook Event

3 ) Fall Festival (Various Dates)

 Lorne, Victoria — Marion Bay, Tasmania — Bryon Bay, NSW — Fremantle WA 

“The Falls Music & Arts Festival has been at the forefront of the east coast Australian festival scene, defining the real different between a mere music festival and a true festival experience. Capturing the essence of the Australian summer spirit, Falls embraces diversity, sustainability and community within a contemporary music event like no other. Transcending the common festival model, taking the time to curate a sophisticated experience that properly respects and honors time, people and place.

Falls Festival is one of Australia’s longest running music festivals, and each edition they seem to manage to top the previous years.  The festival always provides incredible line-ups, massive stage productions, and a solid festival atmosphere.  What’s even better is they have four different events throughout the country, so they make is pretty easy to catch at least one of the events.

Tickets only Available for Marion Bay location

3-Day Festival Ticket (Camping Included):  $289 + Booking Fee

2-Day Festival Ticket (Camping Included): $249 + Booking Fee


If you’re looking for tickets for the sold-out events, I’d recommend checking out GumTree or the Falls Festival Lorne or the Falls Festival Byron Bay events..


4 ) Origin NYE (December 31)

Claremont Showgrounds, PERTH

 “Since 2006, Origin has pulled together some of the top underground performers, DJ talent and house music for the biggest new year party in Australia! Celebrating Ten Years in 2016, Origin NYE returns to Claremont Showgrounds, in what is set to be the biggest year yet.”

For the all the Perth party people — there’s no better place to ring in the new year than at ORIGIN.  The line-up has got a little bit of everything, but seems to be a bit more Hip-Hop & Drum & Bass heavy, so this is event is going to be a pretty hectic party.

Final Release:  $179 



5 ) CODE NYE (December 31)

The Greenwood Hotel, SYDNEY

When it comes to New Years Eve in Sydney, there really are just so many different venues to choose from.  I think it all really just depends on your preferred style of music / atmosphere you’re looking for.  With that being said, for all those underground house and techno fans — you’d be a fool to miss out on CODE NYE at the Greenwood Hotel.  The line-up is absolutely stacked for this one-night event, and I’m really bummed I’ll be missing out.

I’ve seen the headliners Guy Gerber, Mano Le Tough, and Umek before — and they’ll smash their sets.  With that being said, make sure to check out local Sydney favorites like Tristan Case, Robbie Lowe, and Ed Wells!  I’ve seen these guys crush it at events like Return to Rio + Yacht Social Club, and they always deliver top-notch sets..

This event is thrown by the same people who put on Electric Gardens, so you know it’s going to be a damn good time.  With 4 different rooms, and 30+ DJ’s — this is the place you want to be if you’re staying in the city for New Years Eve…

Second Release:  $85.00 + Booking Fee



This is the first year this event is happening, so I’ll just leave you with this incredible Guy Gerber Essential Mix from 2013.  FUEGO!!

So where will you be spending New Years Eve…?

I’ll be partying it up for 3-days at Lost Paradise, but I really wish I could attend every single one of these!  New Years Eve is defintiely one of the biggest festival times of the year, and Australia is ready to bring in 2017 with some epic events…

  If you’re coming to Lost Paradise, look out for me!  I’ll be wearing my signature Zebra Onesie & Cat In The Hat top during the majority of the festival, lol.


Follow my adventures Around The World on FacebookInstagram, Twitter 

& Add Me On Snapchat: — JonesATW

Featured Image via Lost Paradise

The 10 Best Music Festivals in Melbourne, Australia

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Melbourne is easily one of the best cities in the world I’ve ever visited!  I could definitely see myself living there someday, especially because there are so many incredible music festivals in Melbourne!  If you haven’t visited yet, then do yourself a favor and plan a trip soon.  Whether you come to explore the beautiful graffiti found on the various laneways, soak up the coffee culture, or party it up at one the amazing clubs — you’re guaranteed to fall in love with Melbourne.

Check out my list of what I think are the Top 10 Music Festivals in Melbourne, Australia

1 ) Beyond The Valley

  • When:  4 Days over New Years Eve
  • Where:   Lardner Park, South-Eastern Victoria, 75 minutes outside of Melbourne
  • Website:  
  • Why:  “A distinctive, unique and most of all carefully curated music festival over the New Years’ Eve period. From December 28th to January 1st, thousands upon thousands of people make their way to the spectacular site in Lardner Park, Victoria to see what’s in store for them each and every year.  Our beloved main stage is a whopping 60 metres in width, housing truly breathtaking visuals, lighting, stage production and decor to bring the performances by our nationally and internationally acclaimed artists to life.”

Photo via Facebook

2 ) Rainbow Serpent

  • When:  Every year at the end of January
  • Where:  Lexton, Victoria  (2 hours outside of Melbourne)
  • Website:
  • Why:  “For many of the 15,000 people that attend each year, Rainbow has become an institution, and annual reunion, a marker in the year that’s looked forward to for months in advance.  For others it’s a fresh discovery of opportunity and escapism, a chance to connect with like minded individuals and to celebrate nature, community and harmony.  No longer just an electronic music festival these days you can expect to experience a unique combination of music, art, performance, spiritual discussion, relaxation and healing.”

Photo via Micah Dunshea

3 ) Strawberry Fields

  • When:  Every year Mid-November
  • Where:  Australian Bush, 2-3 hours outside Melbourne
  • Website:
  • Why:  Strawberry Fields is an annual celebration of art, sound and creative expression held for three days each November, a few hours outside of Melbourne, Australia. Each year we bring you a diverse selection of both renowned and breakthrough electronic music from both Australia and overseas.  Indulge yourself in a sensory feast, including soul shaking sound, world class decor, dozens of eclectic market stalls, artistic installations, live performance art, workshops, forum discussion and more.

Photo via Facebook

4 )Babylon Festival

  • When:  Mid March
  • Where:  Carapooee West, Victoria
  • Website:
  • Why:  “Babylon is an enchanting music and lifestyle camping festival that will be set deep in the heart of the Australian wilderness; taking place across three days. Featuring an inspired curation of local and international live and electronic music artists, alongside a unique world of art, mindfulness and community exploration.”

Photo via Facebook

5 )  Earthcore

  • When:  Annually at the end of November
  • Where: Pyalong, Victoria  (80 Minutes North of Melbourne)
  • Website:
  • Why:  “What is this Parallel Universe that beckons beyond the darkness?” Set on 1500 acres of pristine land one hour drive from Melbourne feat 5 epic stages across 5 days, Boutique Camping, Worlds Beyond Speakers Forum, Fractured Reality Art Zone, Yellow Sunshine Chill Out, Muffplex Cinema, Elemental Planet Lifestyle City, District 13 Theme Camp Zone, DIY Social Calendar, Kinky Karnival Freak Show, Mind Bending Art Installations, your closest mates and you!

Photo via Facebook

6 )  Let Go Fest

  • When:  Beginning of February
  • Where:  Mornington, Victoria
  • Website:
  • Why:  A Festival For The Mornington Peninsula, With Multiple Stages and Multiple Genres, Nothing But Great Day Out With Friends!  The 2017 edition had Australian heavyweights like RUFUS, Set Mo, and Hayden James to name a few. Pure

Photo via Facebook

7 )  Electric Gardens

  • When:  End of January
  • Where:  Moonee Valley Racecourse, Moonee Ponds
  • Website:
  • Why:  Electric Gardens just made its Melbourne debut on Australia Day 2017.  Featuring a staggering lineup, full to burst with international house and techno legends!  The open-air event is bridging the gap between the Australian and European style festival experience, packed full of top tier artists from all around the globe.

Photo via Facebook

8 )  Maitreya Festival

  • When: Every year, Mid-March
  • Where:  Lake Wooroonook, Charlton, Victoria
  • Website:
  • Why:  Maitreya Festival emerged from the cosmic counter culture organic superfood soup bowl ten years ago!  The ultimate intention was to provide a global platform for investigation into the self, the setting within which we live, and the places we might be able to go together as a species of intrepid travellers and explorers! Any revolutionary platform without art and dancing is definitely not one worth having, so we wanted to present you with an immersive visual and aural experience as well!

Photo via Facebook

9 ) Golden Plains Festival

  • When:  Mid March
  • Where:  Meredith, Victoria (110 Minutes from Melbourne CBD)
  • Website
  • Why:   Firstly, and Eleventhly, Golden Plains will Happen, on an Epic Long Weekend, as usual, in the Meredith Supernatural Sweetspot.  Secondly, GPXI will take place under a Full Moon.  Playing at the fulcrum of the Supernatural Spectrum is an astronomically talented troupe of Full Moon Partyists from across the universe divine, some in the glow reflecting off the Moon and arriving 1.26 seconds later into The Sup’

It is staged in Autumn so the weather is warm and stable. Afternoon goes on all day, the sun like honey on the trees, then a giant spike of excitement goes kabloooey at nightfall.  Join for an electric line-up, amazing food, and solid festival atmosphere.

Photo via GP Website

10 )  The Town

  • When:  Over Easter Weekend
  • Where:  Strathbogie Ranges (2 Hours Outside Melbourne)
  • Website:
  • Why:  ‘A place of like-minded folk who’ve declared the real world a joke. We’re heading back to bikes and letters and the simplest of pleasures. From sustainable partying and funky-ass tunes, we invite you to get wild under the Easter full moon’.  Welcome to our interactive Village, part parodying every-day life with absurd theatrics and awesome set design, and part exploring what makes a healthy sustainable Town, all to a soundtrack of incredibly fun music. We aim to deliver a wacky new experiment never before seen on our Festival circuit.

Photo via Facebook