For the love of nature – Phillip Island Australia

Situated only 90 minutes from Melbourne discover unlimited coastlines and seaside villages, lavishing wildlife and an array of family attractions on Phillip Island.

The breathtaking natural beauty is perfect for everyone looking for the perfect holiday vacation.

The most popular attraction here is the penguin parade. Other attractions include koala and bird sanctuaries, remarkable rock formations, historic homesteads and fine pottery shops. Sports activities here include surfing, sailing, fishing, tennis, golf and bowling.

Phillip Island travel live learn penguins

 

The penguin parade at Phillip Island is an amazing natural spectacle. Every day at Summerland Beach, hundreds of little penguins waddle from the waters of Bass Strait to their burrows in the sand.

They have been doing this for many years for all seasons. On shore, the penguins spend their time preening themselves. Visitors watch them from raised boardwalks from the many penguin tours to Philip Island. Read more about a day in the life of penguins and tourists on Philip Island here, where Peter Dann comments:

“I can see quite clearly that tourism has been crucial in the protection of this colony and the visitors are playing an important role in the conservation of Phillip Island.”

 

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Seal Rocks is located at the western end of the Phillip Island.

At Sea Rocks, you can find Australia’s largest colony of fur seals. There are about 6,000 seals indulging in activities such as playing in the surf, resting in the sun or feeding their pups on the rocks.

The peak of the breeding season is around early December; hence, it is best to watch these fur seals during this time. Visitors can watch these fur seals through telescopes in the kiosk on the top of the cliff at Point Grant.

Alternatively, they can join an organised trip to view these fur seals. There is also a large koala colony on Phillip Island.

Phillip Island has a few fantastic beaches. Cape Woolamai, with its wild surf and red cliffs, offers fine walking trails, great surfing and good bird watching.

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There are some sheltered beaches on the north side. You can view Australia’s native fauna at the Koala Conservation Centre. The main town, Cowes, is located on the north coast.

In this place, you can find sheltered beaches, pubs, cafes, resorts and hotels. It is a peaceful town where you can enjoy swimming, eating and relaxing.

There is fine seafood served by restaurants. Cowes served as a tourist centre on the island.

During summer, when the number of visitors is at its peak, you can find the place extremely packed with holidaymakers and tourists.

Phillip Island is an interesting place to visit. Particularly, you can have a unique opportunity to view the amazing penguin parade.

Besides this, you can enjoy viewing fur seals, koalas, birds and Australia’s native fauna.

There are plenty of exciting activities for you to do here.

Apart from sightseeing, you can enjoy many kinds of sports activities. Explore the hidden treasures of nature that will forever be an exclusive experience you’ll ever find!

 

 

Top 11 places to visit in Tokyo

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Tokyo is fascinating, cool and colourful. It’s the most populous city of Japan and is officially called Tokyo Metropolis; founded in 1943 by merging Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo.

Generally Tokyo is mentioned as a city but it is administered as a ‘metropolitan prefecture’ – that is, both city and prefecture.

The city administers 23 special wards of Tokyo – which consists of the place formerly known as the City of Tokyo – and 39 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture.

Tokyo City was ranked first by TripAdviser in terms of “overall travel experience” and it also holds the first position in different categories like “nightlife, shopping, public transportation and cleanliness of streets”.

Despite a massive population, people of Tokyo are extremely polite, and it is considered one of the safest cities in the world which makes it even more pleasurable to visit.

Well-known for being technologically advanced, Tokyo is also rich in cultural heritage and people still value traditions and constructs of their civilisation.

With so much to experience, it’s difficult to know where to begin – here is a starting list of eleven places to visit in Tokyo – a city that will inevitably end up as one of your favourite destinations in the world.

11 places to visit in Tokyo

Sensōji

Situated in Asakusa, this is the largest and oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo and a spot of attraction for most of the locals and foreigners interested in Buddhism or different religions of the world.

The temple is associated with Guan yin, the goddess of mercy and was formerly associated with the Tendai sect which gained independence after World War 2.

Nakamise

Nakamise is the oldest shopping centre in Japan and it is located near Sensoji.

There’s a huge paper lantern here, painted red and black to show thundercloud and lightning, and visitors enjoy browsing the different stalls that sell local souvenirs and snacks.

Meiji Jingu

A Shinto temple dedicated to emperor Meiji and his wife Shoken. The temple has its own rituals to pay tribute to the emperor and to make wishes if one has any.

Rituals include a half bow when entering and leaving the temple, washing your left hand and right hand then left hand again and rinsing your mouth.

At the main shrine building if you want to make a wish, bow and clap twice, make a wish and then bow again.

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Imperial Palace and East Garden

Imperial palace (pictured above) is the residence of the Emperor of Japan and it reflects the political history of Japan.

This palace is not open to the public except on two days which are New Year’s greetings day and the emperor’s birthday (2 January and 23 December respectively). On these two days, imperial figures make public appearances on the balcony.

The imperial gardens are the part of the inner palace and are open to the public.

Tsukiji Fish Market

This is the largest wholesale market of seafood in the whole world. It manages more than 400 categories of sea animals from cheap species to expensive ones, from tiny sardines to 400kg tunas!

The most interesting part of this market is the tuna auction which can be seen in the early hours of the day in two shifts. You’ll need to purchase tickets and they are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you want to experience the tuna auction it is advisable to stay near Giza so that you can get a cheap cab early in the morning because no trains are operating at this time. If you are looking for other travel discounts then check out Groupon deals.

Tokyo Skytree

The 634m Tokyo tower is the tallest tower in Japan and is used for television and radio broadcast across the Shinto region.

It comprises of two parts which are the Tembo deck and Tembo gallery, and there’s a shopping centre at the base.

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Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

A popular park of 115 acres and based on the films produced by Walt Disney, this was also the first Disney theme park outside of United States.

Tokyo Disneysea is the world’s fourth most visited park, inspired by the myths and stories of Disneyland, this park is based on seven ports of call: Mediterranean Harbour, Mystery Island, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta, post-Discovery and American Waterfront.

Kabukicho

This is often called the ‘sleepless town’. The name Kabukicho comes from the desire to build a theatre named Kabuki here back in in 1940.

The theatre was never built because of financial reasons but the name stuck and Kabuki-Cho is a place with lots of hotels, dance clubs and bars; famous for its entertainment spots and Red-Light District.

Ginza

One of the high-end fashion centres in Japan and famous for its costly real estate, Ginza also boasts many of the five-star hotels and entertainment centres of Tokyo.

On weekends the roads are filled with flowing traffic, while in the daytime it is a haven for pedestrians.

Yasukuni Shrine

A shrine dedicated to those who died for a cause and for the emperor of Japan.

This shrine is also famous for a poem written by Emperor Meiji when he visited the shrine in 1874, the lines are:

“I assure those of you who fought and died for your country that your names will live forever at this shrine in Musashino.”

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Hachiko statue

This is one of the most touching and inspiring real-life stories in the world, and is particularly poignant for ‘dog people’.

Hidesaburō Ueno took in this dog as a pet and every day, loyal Hachiko greeted his owner on a nearby train station when he returned from work.

One day Ueno died unexpectedly because of a cerebral haemorrhage. He never came home.

Hachiko waited nine years in the same place for his master to come back, with friends and passers-by in the busy city often stopping with food for the dog.

Eventually, Hachiko became a symbol of loyalty and faithfulness and ended up with his statue being erected in the middle of the bustling city.

 

Do you have Tokyo tips to share? Please add them in the comments section below…

Wooed by Wollongong in New South Wales

It’s a beachside destination that is sure to take your breath away. Located an hour’s drive from Sydney is Wollongong, a holiday hotspot for Sydney-siders after a weekend or full-time coastal escape. Boasting a relaxed vibe, incredible beaches (perfect for surfing and swimming), rockpools, ocean baths, BBQ parklands and scenic walking tracks – ‘The Gong’ as it’s known has plenty to offer every type of traveller.

Wollongong in New South Wales Travel Live Learn

It was during a day trip that I stopped by to see what all the fuss is about. I’ve heard numerous people say it was a must-do destination in New South Wales and they weren’t wrong. Only downfall to my visit was not spending more time there, as there was so much to see and do.

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Here is how Wollongong wooed a city slicker like me to want to escape to the coast:

The beach is your backyard

Being situated right on the coast overlooking the Tasman Sea, it’s no surprise that the main activities and attractions for Wollongong are water-based. From learning to surf its crystal clear waves to snorkeling its lively reefs to frolicking in its ocean baths, locals and tourists alike love soaking up Wollongong’s beach lifestyle.

Wollongong in New South Wales Travel Live Learn

I spent most of the day exploring and unwinding on Wollongong City Beach. Only walking distance from the city centre, this pure white sandy beach spanned for kilometres, allowing beach-goers enough space to unwind and sprawl out unlike most of Sydney’s beaches.

At the top of Wollongong City Beach is a lush green lighthouse lookout area. From this point you can see right out to the ocean horizon, see surfers riding the ocean waves below, and also catch a glimpse of snorkellers lapping up the rocky reef waters.

Wollongong in New South Wales Travel Live Learn

A spiritual experience

One of Wollongong’s most renowned attractions is the Nan Tien Temple. Opening in 1995, this Buddhist Temple is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and has thousands of visitors each year. Only a 10-minute drive from the city, the Nan Tien Temple is an unforgettable spiritual attraction featuring grandeur architecture, artwork and splendid gardens and lotus ponds.

It’s a great spot to roam around and learn more about the Buddhist culture and its various temples and sites. The main temple area is quiet spectacular featuring intrinsic artwork, manicured lawns and my favourite, a large gold wishing tree. Here you’re able to purchase a wish ribbon for the year ahead, which is thrown onto the tree to hang.

TIP: Ensure you wear appropriate clothing (skirts/shorts below the knee and no midriff or spaghetti strap tops, they need to cover the shoulders and torso).

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Grazing at Graze Cafe

After a busy day soaking up the sea and Wollongong’s Buddhist culture, a trip to one of city’s newest balcony restaurants was in order. Graze Café located on the main shopping strip, Crown Street – it boasts a Mediterranean atmosphere and has lovely balcony views of the mall. The staff are welcoming and the dishes are both warmly and deliciously prepared. From beef medallions; smoked salmon pasta; Tuscan salad; and fluffy Nutella pancakes, the food at Graze Café is pretty irresistible.

Wollongong in New South Wales Travel Live Learn

During my visit, I couldn’t help but try and demolish both the Angus beef burger with waffle fries, and the Philly steak sub with cheese and bacon melted fries. And, didn’t these go down like a treat! Even if you’re not in the mood for a meal, this spot is still a nice place to grab a drink or coffee, and simply watch the world/shoppers go by.

Wollongong in New South Wales Travel Live Learn

Have you been wooed by Wollongong in New South Wales? If so, tell us your favourite spots.

About the writer

Danielle Muller (@stuffitgotravel) is a Sydney-based travel blogger and communications professional. Follow her travel adventures, stories and recommendations at www.stuffitgotravelling.com.