Australian Travel · National Parks · New South Wales · Travel Photography · Words of Wisdom

Guest Post – must sees in rural NSW

Guest post brought to you by Destination NSW

 

Australia’s New South Wales is known for its beautiful beaches and coastlines to die for. However the state has so much more to offer than laid back beach towns, with a gorgeous coastline, white covered snowfields and a winery or two in between.

 

Regardless if you are after a quick trip away or setting off on a two week long adventure, there are a bunch of things to do in the state of New South Wales, and rather than guide you to places you’ve heard of a million times; here a few of my favourite rural destinations.

 

Mudgee

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Photo Credit: Pexels

 

The town of Mudgee boats local produce, fine dining and delicious wine! Located just north-west of Sydney, the area is made up of gorgeous greenery, farmlands and rolling hills.

 

You can always find something to do here in Mudgee, but some of our favourite things are bushwalking by Dunns Swamp, going wine tasting at one of the 40 family owned wineries, or spending a night under the stars at Goulburn River National Park.

 

Morpeth

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Photo Credit: Foundry

Just two hours North of Sydney, situated in the infamous Hunter Valley lies the historic town of Morpeth. The colonial buildings in the main street are filled with amazing restaurants, eclectic stores selling a bunch of local products and delicious food outlets.

 

There is a lot to do in Morpeth that embraces the history and culture of the town like eating lunch riverside, enjoying a heritage walk and tasting a slice or two of the famous Morpeth Sourdough. Go back in time and explore just how popular the river port was in colonial times with a trip through the Morpeth museum.

 

Armidale

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Photo Credit: Melent

 

Located smack bang in the middle of Sydney and Brisbane, the stunning Armidale has a lot to offer visitors and locals alike. Being the home to Australia’s second highest waterfall, World Heritage national parks and scenic landscapes, Armidale is one to add to the travel bucket list.

 

If you are one for walking amongst nature, you will be thrilled with all the walking trail options in Armidale, like the Oxley Walking Track or the Chandler View Circuit Walk. However if hiking isn’t really your thing then you can take a leisurely stroll through the Armidales Farmers Markets. This is held on the first and third Sunday of each month so make sure you check your calendar and pick yourself some local produce.

Bellingen

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Photo Credit: PattyJansen

On the banks of Bellinger River, just half an hour from Coffs Harbour sits the rural town of Bellingen. If you are a fan of kayaking, canoeing and rainforest walks then this might be your new favourite place. Bellingen is a great place to base yourself while you immerse yourself amongst the nature that surrounds the local area, like the Bangalore Falls or the World Heritage listed Dorrigo National Park.

 

Kangaroo Valley

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Photo Credit: Giraphic Design

 

The Kangaroo Valley is one of Australia’s most hidden gems, located in between Canberra and Sydney along the Kangaroo River. With the river flowing throughout the valley, the whole area has become very popular to go camping, and enjoy a variety of watersports like canoeing and kayaking.

 

To make sure you’re experiencing all Kangaroo Valley has to offer, make sure you stop in to the Kangaroo Valley Pie Shop. This heritage listed shop is home to the ‘World’s Best Pies’, however if you’d rather something else they also offer great local treats as well.

 

 

 

Australian Travel · Travel Photography · Words of Wisdom

Guest Post – do you have all the gear but no idea? Mark Shotkit talks travel tripods!

Hi there! I’m Mark from a Shotkit, a site all about the camera equipment and photography.

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Today we’ll be discussing a list of what I believe are the best travel tripods for Shaun, Sarah and all you awesome Norris Around Australia fans who want a steady shot on your next holiday.

Before we dive headfirst into the world of our 3-legged friends, you should ask yourself, do I really need to take a tripod on my next trip?!

In most situations, even if you need a steady shot (for a long exposure night shot, or for a selfie with your family etc), you’ll usually be able to find a level place to put your camera to achieve the same thing. Lugging a tripod around on holiday, even if it is one of the best travel tripods, isn’t my idea of fun!

Having said that, for those of you who really need a tripod in your dslr backpack, these are my picks of the 5 best travel tripods available this year.

Let me know in the comments what tripod you’re currently using!

  1. Joby GorillaPod Focus Flexible Tripod

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Whilst every other tripod manufacturer concentrates on making lightweight tripods with rigid legs, Joby has been turning the rulebook upside down for years with this little gem of a tripod that was built to flex. Wrap the legs of the GorillaPod around anything you want to achieve that shot that a rigid leg tripod can only dream about!

The Joby GorillaPod Focus Flexible Tripod is available here.

 

  1. MeFOTO Aluminum Roadtrip Travel Tripod/Monopod

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Multi-function should be the name of the game for all your travel gadgets, and the MeFOTO Aluminum Roadtrip achieves this with its neat ability to switch from a tripod to a monopod. Choose from fourteen colours (9 aluminium and 5 carbon fiber), then smile all the way through customs since the MeFoto weighs only 1.6kg – quite respectable for a tripod that extends up to 156cm tall.

The MeFOTO Aluminum Roadtrip Travel Tripod/Monopod is available here.

 

 

  1. Manfrotto BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod

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From the Italian tripod manufacturer Manfrotto comes the Manfrotto BeFree Compact, with my favourite feature – flip-lever-locking legs (as opposed to twist to lock). Sliding each leg into itself and rotating it 180 degrees back on itself allows the legs to nestle neatly into the grooves of the sides of the ballhead. This kind of design is unique to the Manfrotto BeFree, and is testament to the attention of detail of Manfrotto products.

The Manfrotto BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod is available here.

 

  1. ZOMEI Z699C Portable Carbon Tripod

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Even though aluminium gives the best bang for the book when it comes to price vs features with tripods, carbon fiber is definitely the gold standard. Usually the price of carbon fiber pushes it out of reach, but this isn’t so with the ZOMEI Z699C. For a relatively unheard of brand, this travel tripod has an impressive feature set, and an even more impressive price! If you’re willing to try something new, the ZOMEI Z699C is the most affordable way to get a carbon fiber lightweight travel tripod into your backpack.

The ZOMEI Z699C Portable Carbon Tripod is available here.

 

 

  1. Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod

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The aforementioned GorillaPod isn’t the only ultra-compact tripod on the block. If you’re not a fan of the GP’s bendy legs, then the Pedco UltraPod II really is your next best choice. Weighing in at a carry on friendly 119g, the Pedco UltraPod II can just about fit in your jacket pocket, but allows an impressive 2.7kg load to be supported to provide a stable shot (i.e. more than enough for a mirrorless camera + lens).

The Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod is available here.

 

 

So that’s my short and sweet selection of some of the best travel tripods available in 2017.

I didn’t want to bore you with all the nitty gritty, but if you want to dig deeper into the topic of the best travel tripods (and find out the other models that made the cut), head over to my site Shotkit.

 

While you’re there, be sure to check out our most popular posts on the best cameras under $500, the best camera bags, the best Fuji lenses and the best mirrorless cameras – all information that you Norris Around Australia fans will find useful for your next travel adventure.

 

Thanks again to Shaun and Sarah for having me on their awesome travel site and I look forward to seeing the photographers amongst you on Shotkit soon.

 

Guest post by Mark Condon, a British wedding photographer based in Sydney. Mark is the founder of Shotkit and author of the Shotkit Books, Lightroom Power User, More Brides and LIT.

 

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Australian Travel · Home on the Road · Motivation · Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction · Words of Wisdom · Writing & Reading

Life isn’t always greener

12301501_972324566140240_8452318694570986748_nLife isn’t always greener on the other side,

but this should NOT hold you back.

A lady recently asked me if I had ever heard the saying; “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

Of course I had!

Hasn’t everybody?

Her comment was made in the context of my lifestyle choices and our nomadic existence. She went on to say; “you may never find what you are looking for.”

It caught me off guard. I have never thought of it that way.

We live this life by choice. We are not looking for something in particular. We are not escaping something, not trying to improve on what has been or to run away from something horrible. We choose to live a life, full of change and exploration and there is nothing wrong with that. But it scares people because it is different.

My conversation with this lady really got me thinking. People have this life mentality hammered into them from very early in life. But what is wrong with dreaming of a different path or working towards a big life change or a completely new life? We all have the power to design our own life. We can change the aspects we don’t like or build upon the parts we do. You may go down several paths before you find the right one. But don’t let the unknown scare you from pursuing them. The grass may or may not always be greener but sometimes you need to spend some time amongst brown grass to move forward, to evolve, to change. You can always turn the sprinkler on, throw on some fertiliser and grow new green grass wherever you are. At the same time of wanting more you can appreciate what you currently have. Life is a journey. Our journey is constantly growing and evolving. We often get asked; “Why don’t you stay put?” We could ask in return; “Why do you stay?” But we don’t. Everyone is entitled to build and live their life their way. You need to be HAPPY within yourself. You need to build confidence in your choices. We are all capable of AMAZING things and whether that is building your dream home and raising your family or whether that is travelling across the countryside, it is completely your choice. There is nothing wrong with staying in one spot but this is not the way we live our life.

Why do people need to judge others to justify their choices? Is it human nature or is it purely to reassure themselves? Don’t be afraid of what is unknown to you. Next time a friend or family member tells you their plans or life dream don’t scoff at it or try to hold them back because you don’t agree, support them. It is their dream, not yours.

Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction · Words of Wisdom · Working on the Road · Writing & Reading

how decluttering at home can help you travel easier

Little Pretty

If you live simpler at home it is easier to travel.

Bold statement I know!

But it is true.

How can you live simply at home?

declutter, declutter, declutter

Get rid of any excess stuff or white noise from your home! Do you have 50 frypans but only use one or two? OR do have a favourite outfit that you haven’t worn for 15 years but will wear it again “one day”? We don’t need all this STUFF to live fulfilled lives. When we travel we strip our life back, why not live this life at home?

The more we live simpler at home the easier it is to experience the best travel can offer. Travel is about collecting moments not things.

To live we need minimal “things” like shelter, food, water etc

At home it goes a bit further than this we need/want a bed, cooking appliances, clothing, some luxuries and so forth!

Here is how we have been de-cluttering at our placw these past few weeks:

  • Culling our clothes. (Vinnies now have 6 BIG bags of our clothes!)
  • Cleaning out our kitchen of excess items and double ups.
  • Culling out our pantry!!! Do we really need that can of whatever from 1999?
  • Removing our DVD collection from DVD cases and placing them in DVD wallets. Same with the CD collection.
  • Giving away our myriad of books.
  • Selling items which haven’t been used….. do we need 3 DVD players? NO! A second TV?
  • Setting our bills to e-mail to cut back on how much paperwork we have lying around.

What do you need to de-clutter at your place?

Next job for us is our linen closet and office/study !!

Welford National Park

Australian Travel · Health & Wellness · Motivation · Preparation · Words of Wisdom · Working on the Road · Writing & Reading

we have only one life

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Life is full of wonderful highs and devastating lows.

We have one life and one life only.

It is important to make the most of everyday. Appreciate the little things!

Live a life you love. Surround yourself with people you love and people who love you.

Do something that makes you happy every single day.

Yes there are going to be things that happen that break your heart and knock you down.

Cherish the good times and hold on to the precious memories you have accumulated thus far to get you through.

AIM HIGH.

DREAM BIG.

Let go of your burdens and live simply.

Don’t hold onto things or people who bring you down.

Surround yourself with people who raise you up.

Don’t let people scoff at your dreams.

If you can dream it you can live it.

Again, life is full of ups and downs.

But you can live a life you love.

We have only one life.

No regrets.

Never give up.

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Australian Travel · Destinations · Finance · Queensland · Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction · Travel Photography · Words of Wisdom · Working on the Road · Writing & Reading

to Longreach with love

To Longreach with love, 

We all love a sunburnt country, but we really need our rain. 

As we drove by drought-stricken paddocks, we saw your heartache and your pain. 

With each mile of endless dryness, and each dusty patch of dirt. 

We pray you get the rain you need, and pray it heals your hurt. 

You are strong and resilient, though this drought has pushed you far. 

Your strength and perseverance, shows us what Australians really are. 





Attractions · Camping · Caravan Parks · Destinations · Finance · Four Wheel Driving · Free Camping · Home on the Road · National Parks · Preparation · Random Thoughts · Words of Wisdom · Working on the Road

no excuses

Haven’t been away for ages?

Do you feel like your Facebook news feed is full of friends, family and random travelling and flitting about everywhere? Meanwhile you are sitting on the couch, watching re-runs of Mash and daydreaming of your next holiday. Or you are so busy you haven’t had time to think straight when one day you realise it has been 6 months since your last weekend away?

STOP!!!!

You can be out there too.

No excuses.

We are the makers of our own misery and by the same token the makers of our own happiness. Chose to live a life you love.

Money tight?

Why not go for a cheap camp-out? National parks are great, low-cost and are quite accessible for most no matter which town you reside in. There are also endless free camp sites dotted across Australia. Keep meals simple and easy to reduce costs further.

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Time poor?

One night away is better than none? A night at the coast sounds lovely doesn’t it. Or why not hop in the car for a drive and see where you end up. Stay the night and enjoy the sites and head back home the next day.

Day 59: Our Time in Griffith is Ticking Away

 

Too busy at work/school/study/life?

It will all be there when you return. Our lives are forever fast-paced but we have earned at least one to two days here or there! Haven’t we? You don’t need to head off on a 12 month voyage to have a good time. Plan around your schedule! Fit in some time to getaway. Make the time.

Day 88