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…

THANKS FOR READING!!


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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!

THANKS FOR READING!  

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The 10 Best Music Festivals in Sydney, Australia

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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

www.electricgardens.com.au

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

http://sydney.lanewayfestival.com/

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

https://www.facebook.com/events/1802680236671710/

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

https://www.fomofestival.com.au/

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!

THANKS FOR READING!


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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. 


THANKS FOR READING!


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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.

REFUND SYSTEM

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

“IF MUSIC IS THE HEARTBEAT OF LOST PARADISE, THE YOGA, WORKSHOPS AND SERENITY OF SHAMBHALA IS THE SOUL.

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!

THANKS FOR HAVING ME LOST PARADISE!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!  HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!


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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


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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)

LOST PARADISE WAS BORN OUT OF A LIFE-LONG DREAM TO BRING TOGETHER KINDRED SPIRITS FOR A GOOD OLD FASHIONED PARTY AMONGST NATURE…”

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.

VERY FEW TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE:

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

BUY TICKETS


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

BUY TICKETS


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..


    WEBSITE | FACEBOOK PAGE


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 

BUY TICKETS


 WEBSITE | FACEBOOK EVENT


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

BUY TICKETS


WEBSITE | FACEBOOK EVENT

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.

THANKS FOR READING!!


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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:  http://www.beyondthevalley.com.au/  
  • 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:   https://www.rainbowserpent.net/
  • 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:  http://www.strawberry-fields.com.au/
  • 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:  https://babylon.net.au/
  • 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:  http://www.earthcore.com.au/
  • 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:   https://www.facebook.com/letgofest/
  • 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:  http://www.electricgardens.com.au/
  • 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:  http://www.maitreyafestival.com/
  • 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)
  • Websitehttp://2017.goldenplains.com.au/
  • 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:  http://culturejam.com.au/
  • 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


THANKS FOR READING!

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Two Days on Magnetic Island: The Bungalow Bay Experience

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Magnetic Island was right at the top of my Australian bucket list, and it completely exceeded all my expectations.

I was only on the island for exactly 48 hours, but I can confidently say that I made every single minute count.  Magnetic Island is definitely a special destination, and I now fully understand why it’s one of the most popular stops for backpackers and travelers exploring the east coast of Australia.

I’m currently sitting on a Greyhound bus down to Airlie Beach, but all I’m thinking about is how incredible the past two days were on “Maggie Island”.  If I were on a Working Holiday Visa, I definitely would have taken up the offer to work at Bungalow Bay in exchange for accommodation and one meal / drink per day.  Alas, this is not the case, and I continue my travels in Australia, only with a plan to someday return to this beautiful idyllic paradise for further explorations.     

So what made these two days so amazing…?  Let me try and explain, and impress you with some pretty photos at the same time. 

The Bungalow Bay YHA — Magnetic Island

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The minute I stepped foot into the reception area at The Bungalow Bay, I already had an amazing feeling about the place.  This wasn’t just another comfortable YHA hostel to get a night’s sleep at — this was an all-encompassing Australian experience.  You would stroll by Koala & Kangaroo crossing signs to find your bungalow while the colorful birds were chirping from above.

The entire time you’re at the Bungalow Bay, you really feel one with the Australian wilderness.  You’d walk to the bathroom at midnight only to be greeted by friendly wallabies who are just out for their nighty bounce around the property.  If that doesn’t sound cool to you, than you defintiely have a problem.

I also found the hostel vibe really strong here.  The communal kitchen area was clean and organized, and the pool was absolutely beautiful.  Everyone seemed super happy as they walked around the hostel, which is expected though when you’re spending your days exploring paradise.


Canary Feeding

I arrived right around 4 P.M at Bungalow Bay, and was told that I couldn’t miss the daily canary bird feeding at 4:30 P.M.  So after dropping my bag off in my room, splashing some water on my face, and getting 20 minutes of camera charging time in — I was ready to go. 

These canaries are so colorful, friendly, and were flying all over the place.  I honestly didn’t even know this type of vibrant bird existed, so the was an extra bonus to my stay at Bungalow Bay.  🙂

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The Forts Walk During Sunset

This is one of the absolute must-do’s for anyone coming to Magnetic Island.  Not only is the walk relatively short and easy, but you’ll be rewarded wit stunning view points, and even spot a few Koala bears in the wild!  I’d also recommend doing it during sunset because it’ll be a lot less hot, and the views from up at the fort are unreal.  It was a cloudy night when I was up there so the sunset wasn’t all that special, but still an amazing time.       

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Renting a 4-Wheel Drive

At first when I got to Magnetic Island, my plan was to rent a scooter like I used to do all the time in South-East Asia, but I quickly learned that the only way you can properly explore the island is with a 4-Wheel Drive.   So I called the amazing family-owned and operated Isle Hire Rentals and organized to rent their only automatic 4-Wheel Drive van left. 

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My car was an absolute bad-ass, and it’s name was called “The Red Beast”.  If you’re going to Magnetic Island anytime soon, I’d highly recommend driving it.  When you’re driving on some of these roads, you’ll be really glad you’re in a massive car like this one.  

Trust me — you’ll need a 4 Wheel Drive car to get the full Magnetic Island experience. 


Exploring All The Bays

When you first look at a map of Magnetic Island, you might feel a bit overwhelmed about all the different areas there are to go.  Don’t stress.  It’s actually a pretty small island, and you can easily knock out all of the different bays during your visit.  If I could do it in just 48 hours, than I’m sure you can do it as well.  


Arthur Bay

Absolutely gorgeous look-out point, and from what I’ve heard is an excellent snorkeling spot as well.

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Radical Bay

The farthest bay and one of the more challenging to get to, but it’s beautiful.  I unfortunately only stayed on this bay for a total of 10 minutes, as my friend I was traveling with slipped and busted open her chin, so we had to make a quick little detour to the hospital!

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Alma Bay

Locataed right off the main road, this is a very quick, easy, and beautiful spot to relax for an afternoon.  There’s a park right before you hit the beach, and I saw people chilling out in the shade while enjoying a nice little picnic.

This is also where they do a lot of the scuba certification dives.  

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Horseshoe Bay

The biggest and largest bay with the most stuff going on.  There are a couple of restaurants and bars along the main street, beautiful trees on the beach, and an enclosure which makes it safe for swimming.  If you walk all the way to the right there are these big rocks you can climb and explore.  Tons of beautiful views of Horseshoe bay!

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George Bay

I didn’t really spend any time here, but this is where you need to go for the rock-wallaby feeding!

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Nelly Bay / Picnic Bay Look-Out

The staff at YHA told me about this amazing view-point that overlooks both Nelly & Picnic Bay, and it was absolutely worth it!  From the main road, it’s only a brief 10 minute walk up to this big rock.  Definitely a must!

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Balding Bay

THE NUDE BEACH

To get to this little nude bathing paradise, you’ll have a brief 20 minute walk from Horseshoe Bay, or about a 10-15 minute from Radical Bay.  It is probably the most beautiful bay on the island.  When I made my here there weren’t any naked people, but you might run into some naturists when you go.

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Feeding The Rock Wallabies

This was without a doubt one of my favorite things I did while on Magnetic Island.  I find wallabies to be the cutest little animals in the world, and I really just want one as a pet.  So when the staff at Bungalow Bay told me that I could just rock up to these rocks with a bag of food, and they’ll eat out of my hands — that became a top priority.  

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Westpoint for Sunset

There’s no better place to watch the sunset on the island than at Westpoint.  I’ve seen my fair share of beautiful sunsets in Australia, but I think this might have been the best so far. 

This is actually another reason why renting that 4-Wheel Drive Van from Isle Hire is an absolute must! 

You simply can’t get to Westpoint without a car that can handle extreme driving conditions.     

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The Koala Experience!

Last but certainly not least — a trip to Magnetic Island wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the incredible 2-Hour Koala / wildlife trip at The Bungalow Bay.

Complete with a turtle, baby crocodile, two cockatoo’s, various lizards, one snake, and of course — the cutest little Koala Bears. 

You obviously can’t leave Australia without the signature tourist shot…

There are 3 Daily Wildlife Presentations at 10:00 A.M, 12:00 P.M, and 2:30 P.M

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——-

If you couldn’t tell from my pictures, I really did have two of the most incredible days on Magnetic Island.  If I wasn’t on a bit of a tighter schedule for my travels along the east coast of Australia, I would have easily stayed for another couple weeks.  I don’t know when I’ll be going back, but I know it will happen someday. 

Thanks to everyone at Bungalow Bay YHA for such an amazing visit.

THANKS FOR READING ! ! ! 

Exploring The Great Barrier Reef: Incredible Day Of Sun, Snorkeling, and Scenery

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Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always dream of witnessing the beauty of the The Great Barrier Reef, and just two days ago that wish finally came true.  It’s obviously one of the biggest tourist attractions in Australia, and was one of the activities I was looking forward to the most on my current Australian adventure.

There are a ton of different options when it comes to exploring the Great Barrier Reef.  The main three that have tours going to often are Moore Reef, Fitzroy Island, and Green Island.  After doing some research, I decided that the best way for me to explore the GBR would be to join SunLovers Reef Cruises on their Full-Day Trip out to the Outer Moore Reef.

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I woke early in the morning, packed my bag, and made the short walk from YHA Cairns down to the harbour to get checked-in and board the ship.  The first thing that shocked me was how absolutely massive the SunLover vessel is.  Normally when I board these snorkeling day-trips around Asia, they are much smaller rigs, and rather uncomfortable.  This was definitely not the case this time, and the ship was large with plenty of space and never felt overcrowded (even with the huge amount of tourists onboard).


Heading to Cairns?  Get your Australian Visa here.


Fitzroy Island

After a brief safety demonstration, overview of the activities included on the tour, and rather comedic lesson on how to snorkel (for the first-timers), we arrived at the gorgeous Fitzroy Island.  I was only on the Moore Reef tour, but you could combine the two places into one full-day package which starts at an earlier time.

We might not have been able to get off the ship, but just from docking at Fitzroy you can tell it’s a beauty of a destination.  We stopped for a few minutes, picked up the passengers joining us on our adventure, and the continued our journey for about 45 more minutes to the SunLover Pontoon out the Outer Moore Reef.

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Buffet Lunch

Right around the time we docked at the Pontoon, lunch was served.  I had skipped breakfast, so I was pretty damn hungry, and I was pleasantly suprised with a delicious buffet meal.  Knowing myself, I tried to keep myself from eating too much to avoid feeling full while snorkeling, so I kept it to two plates, lol.

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Semi-Submarine

There were a few activities that are available for everyone to partake in while docked at the pontoon, but the only one I decided to join was the semi-submersible coral reef viewing boat.  I felt like the “glass-bottom boat” was a bit childish and wouldn’t be able too see too much, and at least the semi-submarine would get you down into the reef.

To be honest, it was a little anti-climatic, but it was only a brief 20 minutes out of the day, and I’m glad I did it.  Just being down in the sub was a cool feeling.  We did the reef just right outside the windows, but yeah — just wasn’t all that exciting if you’ve done a lot of snorkeling before.

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Snorkel Time

The moment I had been waiting for…

The time had come for me get up close and personal with the Great Barrier Reef.

I made my way down to the beautiful Pontoon with all the scuba & snorkel gear, picked up my gear, and was ready to go.

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The area of the Moore Reef that Sunlover Reef Cruises docks at is simply beautiful, and the area is marked with these white buoys for where to stay in.  It’s a pretty big area, and took me  a few different trips out to explore every area of it.

I was armed with my GoPro Hero 5, and was talking pictures and videos of everything I could.

The reef really was stunning, and out on the outskirts of the snorkeling area was the epic drop-off.  That’s where I found the best snorkeling to be, and was having an awesome time exploring this section of The Great Barrier Reef…

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Was it everything I hoped it would be…?

No.  I can’t say that it was…

I’ve already written about the best snorkeling I’ve ever witnessed, and I was simply expecting something of the same caliber.  Don’t get me wrong — the snorkeling at the Moore Reef was fantastic, but it can’t compare to what I’ve seen in Indonesia or Malaysia.  Maybe I just sound like a spoiled travel-blogger though, lol…

If this was someone’s first time ever snorkeling or witnessing marine bio-diversity, I’m sure they would be absolutely blown away!!

But the truth is that the Great Barrier Reef has been a bit damaged from the massive tourism over the years.

Should you still visit the Great Barrier Reef…?

ABSOLUTELY, YES!

This was by far my favorite day of my travels so far in Australia!  

The scenery above land while sailing out to the Moore Reef is gorgeous, and the snorkeling really is spectacular!

 

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Sailing back to Cairns

After a solid 4-hours at the Moore Reef, we began our sail back to Cairns.  Once again, we were treated with stunning views of the ocean and landscape.

I’ve learned that I really just love being on a ship.

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This really was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time, and I can officially say that I’ve experienced the Great Barrier Reef.  While I may have only snorkeled at one particular reef, it just gives me a reason to come back to Cairns and check out more of the other options

I’m really keen on finally getting scuba-certified and doing a 1-2 night live-aboard, because everyone has been telling me that it’s an amazing experience.

Special thanks to Sunlover Reef Cruises for hosting me for this incredible day!  The staff were all so incredibly helpful, the food was delicious, the equipment worked perfectly, and the ship was large and comfortable.  I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!


Have you been to The Great Barrier Reef before…?  What was your experience like?  Let me know!

THANKS FOR READING

My Australian Adventures Awaits: East Coast Explorations

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The time has come for me to finally travel Australia!

When I moved to Sydney last year, I always had the plan to travel around the country for a year while I found work along the way (which is actually the purpose of the Working Holiday Visa).  The problem was that I simply fell in love with living in Sydney.  It became much more than just another travel destination on my 26 month global adventure, it became my 2nd home.

But when there were some major political issues about a proposed “backpacker tax”, and I was offered some exciting new travel opportunities — I decided to leave the country without getting the real Australian backpacker experience.

That all changes tomorrow!

I’m partnering up with the YHA Australia, so I’ll be staying at the nicest hostels in the country, and I’ve got myself a Hop-On / Hop-Off Bus pass with Greyhound.

I’ve always dreamed of traveling Australia, and I know this is going to be the trip of a lifetime.


So Where Am I Going…?

Let’s take a look…


SYDNEY //  November 9 – 19

Dates haven't been confirmed yet…but I'm stoked to share that I'm heading back to SYDNEY!

A post shared by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

There’s no place like home…

It’s been 5 months since I left Sydney…and I can’t wait to get back!  There’s so many people to catch up with and things to do that I never got the chance to when I was living here.

But one of the main reason I’m heading back to Australia now, is for one my favorite festivals I’ve ever attended — RETURN TO RIO.  It was hands down my favorite weekend I had while living in Sydney, and I couldn’t stand the idea of missing out.

So I’ll be making my way up to Wiseman’s Ferry with my best mates for 3-days of camping, dancing, and boozing.  It’s going to be quite the welcome party.  While I am still extremely exhausted after attending The Groove Cruise, I am always ready for another epic party.

The one-and-only CARL COX is headlining the festival, so I know we’re in for a solid weekend of music, costumes, and good vibes.  

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CAIRNS // November 20 – 23

Since I have a hop-on / hop-off bus pass, I realized the past way to travel the east coast was going to work my way down south.  So I booked a flight on Webjet, and will travel from Cairns – Sydney.   That way I can travel at my own pace, and when I get back to Sydney (or possibly all the way to Melbourne), I can then book a flight and head out to wherever I go next.

My time in Cairns is going to be so jam-packed with beautiful places:

THE GREAT BARRIER REEF

Stunning view of #GreenIsland from above ? Have you been on a scenic heli flight? Photo by @tommii__x #exploreTNQ

A post shared by Tropical North Queensland (@tropicalnorthqueensland) on


DAINTREE RAIN FOREST


CAPE TRIBULATION DAY TRIP


Mission Beach // November 24-25

I’ve seen countless people post about Mission Beach before, and I’ve heard it’s definitely one of the top beaches in Australia.  It looks beautiful, and is also one of the top spots to skydive in country.  I think I’ll only be there for one night, but it’s a perfect spot in between Cairns and Townsville.

#missionbeach #missionbeachaustralia #straya #fnq #farnorthqueensland

A post shared by @ride_maine on


Magnetic Island // November 25-27

I’m heading over Magnetic Island for 2 nights to do some exploring.  I’ll be going to a Koala Sanctuary to finally cuddle a Koala, a full day of snorkeling, nature hikes, and staying at this amazing Bungalow Bay Koala Village.


Airlie Beach & Whitsundays // November 28-December 2

I’ve had a few friends live in Airlie beach during their times backpacking in Australia, and it seems like a great place to kick back, relax, and have a few beach days.  At this point I’ll have a ton of photo editing and writing to catch-up on, and am pretty sure I’ll be doing a bit of drinking and hanging with other backpackers.
Then I’m all set for a 2 day/1 night tour with food and meals on-board with Explore Whitsundays!  I remember the first time I saw a picture of Whitehaven beach, I swore to myself that would be one of the first places I visited when in Australia.  I’m so excited to get there myself.
Photo via: DanFlyingSolo

Photo via: DanFlyingSolo


Hervey Bay & Fraser Island // December 3-7

It’s a really long bus ride (around 10 hours) from Airlie Beach down to Hervey Bay, which is the jumping off point for my Fraser Island tour.  I really have no idea what there is to do there besides that, but I’m sure I’ll find something cool to explore.

Then I’m heading on a 3-day / 2 night tour with Fraser Explore Tours, and this might be what I’m looking forward to the most.  This trip is jam packed with beautiful beaches, gorgeous landscape, and 4WD adventures.  If you look at the trip highlights you’ll know what I mean!  Wow.  Can’t wait for this one.
Photo via: DanFlyingSolo

Photo via: DanFlyingSolo


Noosa & Sunshine Coast // December 8-11 ?

Now I haven’t researched this area at all — and have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing here or seeing, so ANY help would be greatly appreciated.  But I just know it’s definitely one of the top places to see in Australia on the east coast.  From the pictures I have seen on Instagram, it looks like a pretty beautiful place.


Brisbane // December 12 – 13 ?

The Capital of Queensland and Australia’s 3rd most populous city is a must-visit during my east-coast adventures.  I’ve heard there is some decent nightlife, great restaurants, and some cool stuff to see.  I know some people have absolutely loved their time living and working in “Brissy”, but I’ve actually heard it can be quite dull.  I guess I’ll have to go and see for myself.


Gold Coast / /December 14-16 ?

Many years ago when I was backpacking in Cambodia, I met two of the coolest and nicest Australians.  I’ve stayed in touch with them through the years, but unfortunately I never made it up to the Gold Coast to visit them when I was living in Sydney.

So I’m stoked to get to reconnect with them, and visit the famous Surfer’s Paradise.  It’ll be nice and warm, so it’ll be prime time for some day explorations, surf sessions, and nightlife shenanigans.


Byron Bay // December 17-20 ?

Everyone loves Byron Bay!  Haven’t you heard?  This popular backpacker hub is apparently amazing, and there’s a few really cool music festivals here.  I know it’s kind of a hippy destination as well, so I’m looking forward to chilling out a bit.


But where to next…?

The main issue is CHRISTMAS & New Years Eve

I’d actually kind of prefer to get back to Sydney, and spend the holidays with my squad.

I’ve also toyed with the idea of flying back to California for Christmas, but that would mean cutting this Australia trip pretty short…

So I could continue my travels further south and check out Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Newcastle, etc…but that would mean spending Christmas alone, or with travel friends (I know I’ll meet along the way, which would also be pretty cool)

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens…


If you have any Australian travel tips, specifically about these places…please let me know by shooting me an email or leaving a comment below!  All help is appreciated!

CHEERS MATES!

The Top 7 Things I’m Shocked I Didn’t Do While Living in Sydney

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I lived in Sydney for a total of 9 months, and it was hands down one of the best decisions of my entire life.  My time in Australia changed me so much, that I’ve decided that I want nothing more than to move back to Sydney on a more permanent basis. 

My 9 months in Sydney were jam packed with fun stuff such as:  adapting to the local language, the stunning Bondi – Coogee Coastal walk, and attending some of the best music festivals in Australia. 

Unfortunately, my time was cut short in Australia — and I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to do in Sydney and the surrounding areas.  So let me discuss the top 7 things I never did.  I’ll be using this as my “to-do” list for when I get back to the land down under.  🙂 

1 )  The Blue Mountains

Hot damn.  They look so beautiful…

Epic indeed! The shot and the sentiment @david_wimble 🙂 #bluemtsaus #bluemountainsaustralia #govettsleap

A photo posted by Blue Mountains Australia (@bluemountainsaustralia) on


I know.  I know.  How could I live in Sydney, especially as a travel photographer, and not make the 2-hour drive out to the Blue Mountains.  I honestly don’t even have a valid excuse. 

My roommates in Australia were avid mountain climbers, canyoners, and kayakers.  They invited me countless times to join them in their outdoor adventures, and I always found some dumb reason not to tag along.

Well, when I get back — this will not be the case.   

2 )  The Figure 8 Pools

They just look so cool!


These stunning natural rock pools are about an hour drive outside of Sydney, and I never got the change to go. 

The main reason is that it’s basically impossible to get there without a car.  I did actually think about getting a Budget Car Rental during my last couple weeks, but I decided I would just save up for my return.

I’ve decided that when I get back to Sydney, I’ll definitely be renting a car and exploring these for myself.

Tip:  Make sure you plan ahead with the tide, because you can only visit these during low tide.  Also — be very careful.  These can get pretty dangerous at times. 


3 )  Explore the North Shores Beaches

No.  I’m not talking about Manly Beach.  I’ve obviously been there.  I’m not that dumb. 


But when I first arrived in Sydney, I stayed at my mate’s house all the way up in St. Ives. 

One of the first weekends I was there, we went to this epic beach called Curl Curl.  I remember thinking how amazingly beautiful it was, and that I wanted to spend an entire week exploring the beach up in Northern Sydney.

Well, once I landed myself a full-time job, and moved down to Coogee Beach — time really slipped away from me.

When I get back to Sydney though — I can’t wait to drive around and explore the North more. 


4 )  VIVID Sydney

Sydney is one of my favorite cities in the world to photograph, and VIVID is clearly the best time of the year to do it. 


But I made a horrible mistake.

I booked a flight out of Australia 2 days before VIVID started!  I should have done more diligent research about it, because I was absolutely gutted what moronic mistake I had made. 

5 )  Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

IMAGINE THE VIEWS!!


Yes.  It’s one of the most touristy things you can do while in Sydney, but I feel like it is something worth experiencing.  I’m not the biggest fan of heights, but I know it’s completely safe — and I’m keen to get some awesome photographs of the city from up there.   

6 )  Surfing

Manly Beach Australian Open of Surf


This one is totally my fault.  I lived close to the beaches, and had several opportunities to go surfing.

Why didn’t I go…?  Well, because I had never really been great at it.  I had tried a couple different times, but failed miserably.  Australia is known as a top surfing destination, and I didn’t want to be that rookie surfer out there stealing people’s waves and then not even getting up.

I will say this though, after my time in Sydney I traveled to Sri Lanka, and went surfing.  I absolutely loved it, and it’s got me keen to practice more when I get back to Australia. 


7 ) Taronga Zoo

I’m not a big fan of “zoos” in general, but I feel like the Taronga Zoo is a must experience for anyone living in Sydney. 

I mean c’mon, I lived in Australia for 9 months and never even got a selfie with a Kangaroo.  How does that happen? 

When I get back — that is my top priority.


Have you been to Sydney?  What’s your favorite part about visiting this amazing city?


Thanks for reading!  

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& Add Me On Snapchat: — JonesATW