Random thoughts of a casual traveller

As I sit at Sydney international airport I can’t help but see how far tech-toys have become ‘the norm’ when it comes to the casual traveller – those that travel overseas once every few years.

Spanning the terminal, the tables are awash with gadgets: tablets are so 2011, macs and assorted laptops are now taking up the space that was once adorned by travel diaries, notebooks and giant video cameras. As I am writing this the gentlemen sitting across from me wearing some sort of ‘metal shirt’ is watching cute animals on YouTube.

What did I pack gadget-wise for my trip to the US?

Mac – I am a mac virgin, having only jumped off the PC wagon 6 months ago, and have not looked back. Having never travelled with a laptop,  I was a bit nervous but so far the free airport wifi works like a dream.

GoPro – another newbie to this gadget – consider it an impulse purchase as a half hearted attenpt to convince myself that I can make even a theme park look as bad-ass as heli-skiing. Will see how that goes!

iPad, iPod and iPhone -I need my playlists, ebooks and social media accounts – what can I say?

Oh and I almost forgot to pack my compact digital camera – it is with me now but I am not sure how often I will use it when I can pull out the iPhone 5.

Maybe this casual traveller has become a little too ‘connected’ to city life. Is this normal? What will you pack for your next casual getaway?

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The Blue Mountains – getting away from the rat race for a weekend

My happy place is a rainforest setting, with a tranquil river flowing and sunlight breaking through the trees. I make it a point to get away each year to somewhere that resembles my happy place – my favourite being the Blue Mountains.

The Blue Mountains are located approximately 1.5hrs from Sydney and is a gorgeous mountainous region. The town of Leura is situated 5min from the mountains and makes a great base with a quaint little shopping village and range of accommodation.

Blue Mountains – Walkway at Scenic World

Once you arrive at the mountains – You can bush walk, or catch the cable car, unique Railway or Skyway – all part of the newly developed Scenic World. An unlimited pass for use across all these attractions starts from $35. You can scare yourself on the RailWay – the steepest railway in the world, or climb the Giant Stairwell to the Three Sisters, or simply take an easy stroll through the paved walkways and trails.

Cableway at Scenic World
CableWay at Scenic World

The best time of year to go – although you can go all year round – is during the winter months, there is a winter festival and lots of yummy food to keep you energised for the days walk or hike. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains

Why Uluru should top every Aussie’s bucket list

Most Australians favour an overseas adventure to a holiday in their own backyard. However there are some places in Australia that boast a beauty that is found in no other – one of those places is the Red Centre, Northern Territory. And the heart of the Red Centre, all 863 metres of it, is Uluru.

Sunrise at Uluru
Sunrise at Uluru

Uluru is more commonly known as Ayers Rock; it was named by William Gosse in 1873 after Sir Henry Ayers. Uluru is the Aboriginal and official name. You can fly directly to Uluru and take one of the many transfers to Ayers Rock Resort, where five different types of accommodation await, from camping grounds to Sails in the Desert, a five-star resort.

You can see Uluru from the air, walk around it (all 10km of it), the local tribes recommend you don’t climb it for spiritual reasons, or watch the sunrise on a camel.

Sounds of Silence dinner at Uluru http://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/sounds-of-silence/
Sounds of Silence dinner at Uluru http://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/sounds-of-silence/

A must-do is the Sounds of Silence dinner, winner of multiple tourism awards. Nothing showcases the beauty of this massive monolith than a candlelit dinner in the middle desert, complete with astronomer and a showcase by a local indigenous tribe.

Uluru at sunset
Uluru at sunset

Whether you stay for a weekend or 5 days, the red sand of Uluru exudes a positive energy which you feel as soon as you are in its presence, and there are not many places in the world where you can say that.