Domestic Travel

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Chris Hemsworth to visit the NSW central west

<p dir="ltr">In a bid to attract tourists to the small town of Cowra, population 13,000, the town’s tourism team put together an amazing ‘Get Chris to Cowra’ campaign – and it worked! The Chris in question being Australia’s favourite of the Hollywood Chrises, of course: Chris Hemsworth, best known for playing Thor in the Marvel movies.</p> <p dir="ltr">The campaign launched last week with an entertaining video showcasing all of the amazing things Cowra has to offer, as well as giving viewers a glimpse into the process behind getting the campaign off the ground. The primary goal behind the campaign was to boost tourism after years of drought and the COVID-19 pandemic, with attracting Chris Hemsworth himself surely feeling like a pipe dream.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9z6_2FA38R8" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">The campaign includes a proposal for a ‘Big Chris’, in the style of Australia’s Big Landmarks like the Big Pineapple and the Big Prawn. The statue would be “four storeys tall and a beard like spun canola” according to the campaign<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.getchristocowra.com.au/the-big-chris" target="_blank">website</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The website says of the proposed statue, “standing over forty metres tall, the proposed Big Chris will stand testament to mankind's ingenuity, daring, and engineering skills, and will be a glimmering beacon for international and domestic visitors alike. The Big Chris will be the crown jewel in the rich tapestry of visitor sights and experiences that is Cowra.” Plus, they want the statue to be “constructed from chiselled marble (much like Chris Hemsworth's jawline)”. Who could resist visiting such a marvel of modern engineering?</p> <p dir="ltr">And now the town might have to actually follow through on their proposal, because the God of Thunder himself has taken to Instagram to accept the town’s gracious offer, promising to visit the town next year.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CVJppLMhS9e/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CVJppLMhS9e/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Writing on Instagram on Tuesday, Hemsworth said, “Big love to all the folks in Cowra for this amazing campaign, warmed my heart and made me smile! I’m off shooting a film over seas soon but upon return next year I’m comin in hot!!</p> <p dir="ltr">“Like many regional towns around Australia, Cowra has suffered from a lack of tourism due to COVID-19 pandemic. So when things open up be sure to check out all the amazing places Australia has to offer!”</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-19/chris-hemsworth-agrees-to-come-to-cowra/100549628" target="_blank">ABC</a>, Cowra Tourism manager Glenn Daley said he was experiencing “a little bit of disbelief”, understandably so. "I was actually out in the paddock doing some farm stuff, and the assistant manager called and said 'we've got him'!"</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Cowra Tourism, Jun Sato/GC Images</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Run errands the easy way with 13cabs

<p><span>As Australia starts to open again, running errands is becoming a lot more like pre-covid times. If you want to run errands with ease and avoid crowds, you can do it by leaving the car at home and travelling with 13cabs.</span></p> <p><span>Luckily, <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.13cabs.com.au/" target="_blank">13cabs</a>, Australia's biggest taxi network with 10,000 vehicles, ensures that getting around is safe and affordable. 13cabs vehicles have plenty of space for walkers and wheelchairs, and drivers are trained to work with vision and hearing-impaired passengers. </span></p> <p><span>To help you choose the right travel choice, here are some benefits to choosing 13cabs. </span></p> <p><strong><span>100% Price Guarantee</span></strong></p> <p><span>13cabs offers a <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.13cabs.com.au/app/#price-guarantee" target="_blank">100% price guarantee</a>. While typical ride-sharing apps may provide convenience, they can’t guarantee the price. Depending on the time of day, the traffic and the wait time, the cost of your trip can escalate quickly. </span></p> <p><span>The price guarantee is a fixed price set at the time of booking within the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.13cabs.com.au/app/" target="_blank">13cabs app</a>. This price is the final price you pay after getting from point A to point B. There are no hidden fees or surcharges once you book. </span></p> <p><span>Now, when you need to get to a doctor’s appointment, you can sit back and enjoy the ride without having to check the meter every time you arrive at a red light. Plus, it gives you certainty while comparing prices when making travel decisions. </span></p> <p><strong><span>Choose a vaccinated Driver </span></strong></p> <p><span>With so many businesses adding an extra layer of protection for their customers, 13cabs is doing the same. Now, passengers have the option to choose a vaccinated driver or disability service driver. </span></p> <p><span>This program is in addition to their industry-leading ride-sharing sanitisation program, which includes mask-wearing and a supply of Aqium hospital-grade hand sanitiser in every vehicle. In addition, booking a vaccinated driver doesn’t cost extra. </span></p> <p><span>Plus, all drivers are professionally trained, uniformed and NDIS qualified, and the 13cabs app gives you the ability to save your favourite drivers using MyDriver. That way you can book them again in the future. </span></p> <p><strong><span>On-demand courier service </span></strong></p> <p><span>Recently, 13cabs have introduced <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.13cabs.com.au/services/parcel-delivery/" target="_blank">parcel delivery</a>. The feature is like having your own on-demand courier service. So, if you have something you need to get somewhere fast, such as a gift for a loved one, you can organise a parcel delivery on the website. </span></p> <p><span>Furthermore, you can also schedule 13cabs to pick up parcels for you. For example, they can pick up scripts on your behalf from the chemist. All you need to do is give the chemist a call to let them know a 13cabs driver will be arriving to collect your parcel. </span></p> <p><span>Keep in mind, 13cabs parcel delivery service will deliver almost anything door to door, if it can easily fit inside a large sedan SUV or a MAXI TAXI. In addition, the service is available 24/7, and they don’t charge for priority delivery, so prices never surge. </span></p> <p><strong><span>Fixed price</span></strong></p> <p><span>Finally, every cab in the 13cabs fleet comes with multiple built-in GPS tracking devices. These are monitored 24/7 by the Australian-based contact centre for both you and your driver's safety. So, no matter where domestic travel takes you, trust 13cabs to get you there and never pay more than you need to. </span></p> <p><strong><em><span>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with 13cabs.</span></em></strong></p>

Domestic Travel

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Snorkellers discover rare, giant 400-year-old coral – one of the oldest on the Great Barrier Reef

<p>Snorkellers on the Great Barrier Reef have discovered a huge coral more than 400 years old which is thought to have survived 80 major cyclones, numerous coral bleaching events and centuries of exposure to other threats. We describe the discovery in <a href="http://nature.com/articles/s41598-021-94818-w">research</a> published today.</p> <p>Our team surveyed the hemispherical structure, which comprises small marine animals and calcium carbonate, and found it’s the Great Barrier Reef’s widest coral, and one of the oldest.</p> <p>It was discovered off the coast of Goolboodi (Orpheus Island), part of Queensland’s Palm Island Group. Traditional custodians of the region, the Manbarra people, have called the structure Muga dhambi, meaning “big coral”.</p> <p>For now, Muga dhambi is in relatively good health. But climate change, declining water quality and other threats are taking a toll on the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists, Traditional Owners and others must keep a close eye on this remarkable, resilient structure to ensure it is preserved for future generations.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/416672/original/file-20210818-19-anzpts.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="coral and snorkellers" /></p> <h2>Far older than European settlement</h2> <p>Muga dhambi is located in a relatively remote, rarely visited and highly protected marine area. It was found during citizen science research in March this year, on a reef slope not far from shore.</p> <p>We conducted a literature review and consulted other scientists to compare the size, age and health of the structure with others in the Great Barrier Reef and internationally.</p> <p>We measured the structure at 5.3 metres tall and 10.4 metres wide. This makes it 2.4 metres wider than the widest Great Barrier Reef coral <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00345677">previously</a> measured by scientists.</p> <p>Muga dhambi is of the coral genus <em>Porites</em> and is one of a large group of corals known as “massive Porites”. It’s brown to cream in colour and made of small, stony polyps.</p> <p>These polyps secrete layers of calcium carbonate beneath their bodies as they grow, forming the foundations upon which reefs are built.</p> <p>Muga dhambi’s height suggests it is aged between 421 and 438 years old – far pre-dating European exploration and settlement of Australia. We made this calculation based on rock coral growth rates and annual sea surface temperatures.</p> <p>The Australian Institute of Marine Science has investigated more than 328 colonies of massive Porites corals along the Great Barrier Reef and has aged the oldest at 436 years. The institute has not investigated the age of Muga dhambi, however the structure is probably one of the oldest on the Great Barrier Reef.</p> <p>Other comparatively large massive Porites have previously been found throughout the Pacific. One exceptionally large colony in American Samoa measured 17m × 12m. Large Porites have also been found near Taiwan and Japan.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/416650/original/file-20210818-23-wt3kj.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Mountainous island and blue sea" /></p> <h2>Resilient, but under threat</h2> <p>We reviewed environmental events over the past 450 years and found Muga dhambi is unusually resilient. It has survived up to 80 major cyclones, numerous coral bleaching events and centuries of exposure to invasive species, low tides and human activity.</p> <p>About 70% of Muga dhambi consisted of live coral, but the remaining 30% was dead. This section, at the top of the structure, was covered with green boring sponge, turf algae and green algae.</p> <p>Coral tissue can die from exposure to sun at low tides or warm water. Dead coral can be quickly colonised by opportunistic, fast growing organisms, as is the case with Muga dhambi.</p> <p>Green boring sponge invades and excavates corals. The sponge’s advances will likely continue to compromise the structure’s size and health.</p> <p>We found marine debris at the base of Muga dhambi, comprising rope and three concrete blocks. Such debris is a threat to the marine environment and species such as corals.</p> <p>We found no evidence of disease or coral bleaching.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/416678/original/file-20210818-21-13b0f9w.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="to come" /></p> <h2>‘Old man’ of the sea</h2> <p>A Traditional Owner from outside the region took part in our citizen science training which included surveys of corals, invertebrates and fish. We also consulted the Manbarra Traditional Owners about and an appropriate cultural name for the structure.</p> <p>Before recommending Muga dhambi, the names the Traditional Owners considered included:</p> <ul> <li>Muga (big)</li> <li>Wanga (home)</li> <li>Muugar (coral reef)</li> <li>Dhambi (coral)</li> <li>Anki/Gurgu (old)</li> <li>Gulula (old man)</li> <li>Gurgurbu (old person).</li> </ul> <p>Indigenous languages are an integral part of Indigenous culture, spirituality, and connection to country. Traditional Owners suggested calling the structure Muga dhambi would communicate traditional knowledge, language and culture to other Indigenous people, tourists, scientists and students.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/416682/original/file-20210818-23-nmb1be.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="coral rock under water with sky" /></p> <h2>A wonder for all generations</h2> <p>No database exists for significant corals in Australia or globally. Cataloguing the location of massive and long-lived corals can be benefits.</p> <p>For example from a scientific perspective, it can allow analyses which can help understand century-scale changes in ocean events and can be used to verify climate models. Social and economic benefits can include diving tourism and citizen science, as well as engaging with Indigenous culture and stewardship.</p> <p>However, cataloguing the location of massive corals could lead to them being damaged by anchoring, research and pollution from visiting boats.</p> <p>Looking to the future, there is real concern for all corals in the Great Barrier Reef due to threats such as climate change, declining water quality, overfishing and coastal development. We recommend monitoring of Muga dhambi in case restoration is needed in future.</p> <p>We hope our research will mean current and future generations care for this wonder of nature, and respect the connections of Manbarra Traditional Owners to their Sea Country.</p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-smith-515741">Adam Smith</a>, Adjunct Associate Professor, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/james-cook-university-1167">James Cook University</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nathan-cook-1261134">Nathan Cook</a>, Marine Scientist , <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/james-cook-university-1167">James Cook University</a></em>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/vicki-saylor-1261504">Vicki Saylor</a>, Manbarra Traditional Owner, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/indigenous-knowledge-4846">Indigenous Knowledge</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/snorkellers-discover-rare-giant-400-year-old-coral-one-of-the-oldest-on-the-great-barrier-reef-166278">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Richard Woodgett/Shutterstock</span></span></em></p>

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Feral horses will rule one third of the fragile Kosciuszko National Park under a proposed NSW government plan

<p>The New South Wales government has released a <a href="https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/parks-reserves-and-protected-areas/park-management/community-engagement/kosciuszko-national-park/draft-kosciuszko-national-park-wild-horse-heritage-management-plan">draft plan</a> to deal with feral horses roaming the fragile Kosciuszko National Park. While the plan offers some improvements, it remains seriously inadequate.</p> <p>Feral horses trample endangered plant communities, destroy threatened species’ habitat and damage Aboriginal cultural heritage — all the while increasing in numbers. The draft plan would keep many horses in the national park, locking in ongoing environmental and cultural degradation.</p> <p>The number of horses has grown dramatically in recent years under the <a href="https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/bills/Pages/bill-details.aspx?pk=3518">Wild Horse Heritage Protection Act</a>, which became law in 2018 and was championed by then NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro. He and others argued the horses were important to Australia’s history of pioneering, pastoralism and horse trapping, and were related to rural legends and literary works.</p> <p>But the cultural heritage of an introduced species should not override the needs of a highly vulnerable alpine environment. Barilaro <a href="https://theconversation.com/nsw-deputy-premier-john-barilaro-quits-as-state-government-faces-three-byelections-169156">quit politics this week</a> – and with the driving political force behind feral horse protection now gone, we have an 11th-hour chance to safeguard this significant national park.</p> <h2>What’s in the draft plan?</h2> <p>On the positive side, the draft plan aims to:</p> <ul> <li> <p>remove feral horses from 21% of the park</p> </li> <li> <p>reduce feral horse numbers to 3,000 by 2027</p> </li> <li> <p>prevent feral horses from invading new areas.</p> </li> </ul> <p>These are critical measures. As the draft plan notes, achieving them will need a set of carefully considered control methods, including ground shooting and putting down trapped horses.</p> <p>Contrary to recent <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/no-excuse-government-releases-trapped-feral-horses-back-into-koscuiszko-20210402-p57g7s.html">counter-productive management</a>, reproductive-age females will no longer be released back into the park after being trapped.</p> <p>But on the flip side, the plan will also:</p> <ul> <li> <p>allocate one third (32%) of the national park to feral horses</p> </li> <li> <p>maintain 3,000 horses within the protected area in perpetuity</p> </li> <li> <p>attempt to control horse numbers without using the most humane and cost-effective method: <a href="https://pestsmart.org.au/toolkit-resource/aerial-shooting-of-feral-horses/">aerial shooting</a>.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Aerial shooting is ruled out because of fears around losing social licence to remove horses from the park. But this may make it impossible to achieve <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/emr.12350">effective horse control</a> across rocky, difficult-to-access terrain.</p> <p>It also means feral horse control will drag out over years. This will result in larger numbers of horses being culled, compared with completing a cull within one year. Maintaining 3,000 feral horses in this reserve means accepting the removal of at least 1,000 animals every two years in perpetuity, based on a <a href="https://reclaimkosci.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Feral-Horses-in-Kosciuszko-National-Park-Population-trends-2000-20-1.pdf">conservative rate</a> of population growth.</p> <h2>Over 14,000 horses, and rising</h2> <p>To understand the challenge, it’s important to understand the numbers. The chart below – <a href="https://reclaimkosci.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Feral-Horses-in-Kosciuszko-National-Park-Population-trends-2000-20-1.pdf">using population data</a> collected by ecologist Don Fletcher for a Reclaim Kosciuszko report – compares the number of feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park since 2000, with the number removed by trapping.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/425149/original/file-20211007-15-ct2am1.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/425149/original/file-20211007-15-ct2am1.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">Error bars are 95% confidence limits.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Don Driscoll</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p>The number of horses in Kosciuszko was last measured in November 2020 at just over <a href="https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/research-and-publications/publications-search/kosciuszko-national-park-wild-horse-populations-survey-2020">14,000</a>.</p> <p>With an the ongoing rate of increase of 18% per year and two years of population growth, numbers will have increased by 5,500. This means there’ll likely be almost 20,000 feral horses before control can start in 2022, under this plan.</p> <p>Compare this with the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jun/27/alpine-brumbies-destructive-feral-hoofed-beasts-or-a-heritage-breed-to-protect">3,350 horses trapping has removed between 2008 and 2020</a>, and it’s clear culling, including via aerial shooting, is urgently needed.</p> <p>The huge, growing number of horses roaming Kosciuszko combined with the likelihood of immigration from outside the park, is also the main reason <a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/wr/pdf/WR17136#:%7E:text=Committee%20extensively%20reviewed%20methods%20of,%2Dmanagement%20areas%20(HMAs)">fertility control cannot work</a>. The draft report is therefore right to reject fertility control as a workable solution.</p> <h2>33 threatened species in greater peril</h2> <p>We are most concerned about the draft plan’s allocation of one third of the park to at least 3,000 feral horses, and likely many more given the limitations on control methods. These areas harbour important ecosystems and threatened species.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/425150/original/file-20211007-23-eisnwp.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/425150/original/file-20211007-23-eisnwp.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">The overlapping distribution of feral horse retention areas under this draft plan, and threatened species.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Desley Whisson</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p>Using publicly accessible data from <a href="https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/animals-and-plants/biodiversity/nsw-bionet">NSW Bionet</a> and <a href="https://www.ala.org.au/">Atlas of Living Australia</a>, we estimate at least 33 threatened species live within the horse retention zone. About half of these are either already known to be impacted by feral horses or we suggest will likely be impacted because they’re vulnerable to trampling, grazing or habitat damage.</p> <p>For example, the only place the critically endangered <a href="https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/834870/Stocky-Galaxias-Spatial-Dataset-Profile.pdf">stocky galaxias</a> – Australia’s most alpine-adapted fish – occurs is within the horse-retention area.</p> <p>This hardy fish was recently <a href="https://theconversation.com/double-trouble-this-plucky-little-fish-survived-black-summer-but-theres-worse-to-come-139921">rescued from bushfires</a> and faces grave risks associated with the <a href="https://theconversation.com/snowy-2-0-threatens-to-pollute-our-rivers-and-wipe-out-native-fish-135194">Snowy 2.0 scheme</a>. It’s currently protected from feral horses thanks to a stock-exclusion fence, and the draft plan notes fencing is only a short-term solution.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/153706/4534633">endangered Riek’s crayfish</a> also has a restricted range within Kosciuszko. If horses are removed in the southern part of the park, as the draft plan outlines, then damage to their habitat will decline by 2027. But horses remain a threat to their habitats in the north.</p> <p><a href="http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/b08acec6-6a27-4e71-8636-498719b253b4/files/alpine-sphagnum-bogs.pdf">Alpine sphagnum bogs</a> and associated fens are a nationally threatened plant community with a stronghold in Kosciuszko. It is particularly vulnerable to impacts from feral horses, and we calculate 28% of its distribution in Kosciuszko will be inside the horse-retention zone.</p> <h2>Horses heritage value a non-sequitur</h2> <p>The draft plan’s main reason for keeping feral horses in the national park is to protect heritage values. However, the plan does not explain why heritage must be celebrated by keeping 3,000 feral horses in a national park.</p> <p>In our view, while the horses have cultural heritage value to some, letting them continue to damage a fragile national park is an unacceptable trade-off.</p> <p>Consider the recent <a href="https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/-/media/OEH/Corporate-Site/Documents/Animals-and-plants/Pests-and-weeds/Kosciuszko-wild-horses/kosciuszko-national-park-wild-horse-aboriginal-cultural-values-report.pdf">Aboriginal cultural values report</a>. It noted Indigenous Australians share similar heritage associations <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/01/real-life-man-from-snowy-river-was-aboriginal-new-book-argues">as skilled horse riders</a> on farms since early colonial times. However, the report recommends acknowledging this heritage with information in a visitor centre.</p> <p>Preservation of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-ethical-and-cultural-case-for-culling-australias-mountain-horses-64602">huts and interpretive signs</a> are another way of acknowledging the heritage values of pastoralists past.</p> <h2>A social license</h2> <p>Research <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S000632072100375X">released this month</a> surveyed 2,430 Australians and found 71% accept that feral animals can be culled to protect threatened species. As the researchers write, this sentiment is not fully reflected in existing policy and legislation.</p> <p>Barilaro’s exit may be an opportunity for NSW politicians to capitalise on this social licence.</p> <p>This <a href="https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/parks-reserves-and-protected-areas/park-management/community-engagement/kosciuszko-national-park/draft-kosciuszko-national-park-wild-horse-heritage-management-plan">draft plan</a> is one step towards protecting our native species, natural places and Indigenous heritage, and will be open for submissions until November 2.</p> <p>But if aerial culling was also on the table, those goals could be achieved with fewer horses culled and at lower cost.</p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/don-driscoll-17432">Don Driscoll</a>, Professor in Terrestrial Ecology, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-m-watson-12669">David M Watson</a>, Professor in Ecology, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/charles-sturt-university-849">Charles Sturt University</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/desley-whisson-158359">Desley Whisson</a>, Senior Lecturer in Wildlife and Conservation Biology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/maggie-j-watson-191544">Maggie J. Watson</a>, Lecturer in Ornithology, Ecology, Conservation and Parasitology, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/charles-sturt-university-849">Charles Sturt University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/feral-horses-will-rule-one-third-of-the-fragile-kosciuszko-national-park-under-a-proposed-nsw-government-plan-169248">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Indigenous knowledge and the persistence of the ‘wilderness’ myth

<div class="copy"> <p>According to the Oxford English dictionary, wilderness is defined as:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote is-style-large"> <p>A wild or uncultivated region or tract of land, uninhabited, or inhabited only by wild animals; “a tract of solitude and savageness”.</p> </blockquote> <p>Aboriginal people in Australia view wilderness, or what is called “wild country”, as sick land that’s been neglected and not cared for. This is the opposite of the romantic understanding of wilderness as pristine and healthy – a view which underpins much non-Indigenous conservation effort.</p> <p>In a <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.pnas.org/content/118/40/e2022218118" target="_blank">recent paper</a> for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, we demonstrate how many iconic “wilderness” landscapes – such as the Amazon, forests of Southeast Asia and the western deserts of Australia, are actually the product of long-term management and maintenance by Indigenous and local peoples.</p> <p>But this fact is often overlooked – a problem which lies at the heart of many of the world’s pressing environmental problems. Indigenous and local people are now excluded from many areas deemed “wilderness”, leading to the neglect or erasure of these lands.</p> <h2>The Anthropocene and Indigenous people</h2> <p>“Anthropocene” is the term scientists use to refer to the time period we live in today, marked by the significant and widespread impact of people on Earth’s systems. Recognition of this impact has sparked efforts to preserve and conserve what are believed to be “intact” and “natural” ecosystems.</p> <p>Yet, the Anthropocene concept has a problem: it is based on a European way of viewing the world. This worldview is blind to the ways Indigenous and local peoples modify and manage landscapes. It is based on the idea that all human activity in these conservation landscapes is negative.</p> <p>The truth is, most of Earth’s ecosystems have been influenced and shaped by Indigenous peoples <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.pnas.org/content/118/17/e2023483118" target="_blank">for many thousands of years</a>.</p> <p>The failure of European-based “western” land management and conservation efforts to acknowledge the role of Indigenous and local peoples is reflected in recent scientific attempts to <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07183-6" target="_blank">define “wilderness”</a>. These attempts lay out a strict and narrow set of rules around what “human impact” is, and in so doing, act as gatekeepers for what it is to be human.</p> <p>The result is a scientific justification for conservation approaches that exclude all human involvement under the pretence of “wilderness protection”. The disregard for the deep human legacy in landscape preservation results in inappropriate management approaches.</p> <p>For example, fire suppression in landscapes that require burning can have catastrophic impacts, such as <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.pnas.org/content/112/15/4531" target="_blank">biodiversity loss</a> and <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.mdpi.com/2571-6255/4/3/61" target="_blank">catastrophic bushfires</a>.</p> <h2>Our case studies</h2> <p>In the Amazon, forest management by Indigenous and local peoples has promoted biodiversity and maintained forest structure for thousands of years. Areas of the Amazon considered “wilderness” contain domestic plant species, <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_preta" target="_blank">anthropogenic soils</a> and significant earthworks (such as terraces and <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.pnas.org/content/114/8/1868" target="_blank">geoglyphs</a>), revealing a deep human legacy in the Amazon landscape.</p> <p>Despite playing a key role in maintaining a healthy and diverse Amazon forest system, Indigenous and local peoples struggle constantly against wilderness-inspired conservation agendas that seek to deny them access to their homelands and livelihoods in the forest.</p> <p>Similarly, the forests of Southeast Asia and the Pacific are some of the most biodiverse regions on Earth. These forests have been managed for thousands of years using rotational agriculture based on small-scale forest clearing, burning and fallowing. Scientific attempts to define the last remaining “wild places” falsely map these areas as wilderness.</p> <p>Rather than being wild places, agriculture has actively promoted landscape biodiversity across the region, while supporting the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Indigenous and local peoples.</p> <p>In the central deserts of Australia, areas mapped today as “wilderness” are the ancestral homes of many Aboriginal peoples who have actively managed the land for tens of thousands of years.</p> <p>Removal of Traditional Owners in the 1960s had catastrophic effects on both the people and the land, such as uncontrolled wildfires and biodiversity loss. Unsurprisingly, a return of Aboriginal management to this region has seen a <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/april/martu-burning-australia-042910.html" target="_blank">reduction in wildfires, a significant increase in biodiversity and healthier people</a>.</p> <p><em><strong>Read more: <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth/sustainability/although-we-didnt-produce-these-problems-we-suffer-them/" target="_blank">‘Although we didn’t produce these problems, we suffer them’</a></strong></em></p> <h2>A way forward</h2> <p>By framing landscapes created and managed by Indigenous and local peoples as wilderness, we are denying the land the care it requires. The effects of this neglect are evident in the catastrophic wildfires and environmental degradation occurring in Australia, northwest America and the Amazon – all lands invaded and colonised by Europeans.</p> <p>Climate change is now making these problems worse.</p> <p>Science alone has failed to solve these problems. Imposing land management approaches developed in Europe have failed. The idea of wilderness is destructive, and must be abandoned. We need new ways of engaging with the world around us if we’re to live sustainably on this planet.</p> <p>Indigenous and local peoples must be engaged in the full range of efforts that affect their lands. This includes developing and implementing environmental initiatives and policymaking, the production and execution of research, and environmental management.</p> <p>There are models that can be followed, such as developing Indigenous and community-conserved areas, Indigenous-protected and -conserved areas, or similar rights-based initiatives that merge the science and technology with the power of Indigenous and local knowledge.</p> <p>This is one way forward in effectively decolonising conservation and making the Earth healthy again.</p> <p><em><strong>Read more: <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth/sustainability/indigenous-stewardship-linked-to-biodiversity/" target="_blank">Indigenous stewardship linked to biodiversity</a></strong></em></p> <p><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-shawn-fletcher-99786" target="_blank">Michael-Shawn Fletcher</a>, Associate Professor in Biogeography, <em><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722" target="_blank">The University of Melbourne</a></em>; <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lisa-palmer-1166017" target="_blank">Lisa Palmer</a>, Associate Professor, School of Geography, <em><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722" target="_blank">The University of Melbourne</a></em>; <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rebecca-hamilton-1006537" target="_blank">Rebecca Hamilton</a>, Postdoctoral Fellow, <em><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/max-planck-institute-for-the-science-of-human-history-3416" target="_blank">Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History</a></em>, and <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/wolfram-dressler-162824" target="_blank">Wolfram Dressler</a>, Senior Fellow, Development Geography, <em><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722" target="_blank">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>This article is republished from <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/indigenous-knowledge-and-the-persistence-of-the-wilderness-myth-165164" target="_blank">original article</a>.</p> <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=167769&amp;title=Indigenous+knowledge+and+the+persistence+of+the+%E2%80%98wilderness%E2%80%99+myth" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div>

Domestic Travel

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14 staycation ideas for a great getaway close to home

<p><span>Holidays are one of life’s best pleasures, but sometimes your mini-getaway is not an option – like now, for many of us! </span></p> <p><span>Whether it’s because you’re travel ideas have been curtailed by lockdowns, it’s not in the budget this year, you don’t have enough time off, or you just feel safest staying local, you can have all the fun with way less hassle by trying one of these staycation ideas.</span></p> <p><strong>Have a pillow fort sleepover</strong></p> <p><span>Don’t just build a pillow fort; build the best pillow fort ever! </span></p> <p><span>Go all out, draping sheets over furniture and building an indoor adventure. Hang fairy lights. Bring in a TV. Whip together recipes for a picnic. Break out the classic board games. </span></p> <p><span>The dress code is strict: Jammies only! Then when it’s bedtime, you have the perfect setup for a sleepover.</span></p> <p><strong>Have a fondue night</strong></p> <p><span>Eating a fondue meal is a unique culinary experience, and it’s one you can bring to your home. </span></p> <p><span>Heat up a fondue pot (or two!) and lay out a spread of dippables. </span></p> <p><span>Start with savoury dishes like meat cubes, bread and steamed vegetables dipped in melted cheese. </span></p> <p><span>Then finish with dessert, dipping fruit, cake and marshmallows into melted white and dark chocolate.</span></p> <p><strong>Visit a nearby national park</strong></p> <p><span>Our national parks are underrated treasures. </span></p> <p><span>With over 500 of them, there’s bound to be something for everyone. </span></p> <p><span>There’s plenty of hiking, but most national parks have other things to do as well, including wildlife spotting, horseback riding, swimming or kayaking, and so much more.</span></p> <p><strong>Set up an outdoor movie theatre</strong></p> <p><span>Projectors have gotten better and cheaper, making it easier than ever to set up a DIY backyard movie theatre. </span></p> <p><span>Pick a blank side of your house (garage doors often work great), set up your laptop and projector, and pick a holiday-themed movie. </span></p> <p><span>Invite your neighbours to bring their lawn chairs (if you’re able), add popcorn and drinks, and you have a perfect night out, err, in.</span></p> <p><strong>Tour your own city</strong></p> <p><span>Every state has some must-see tourist attractions. </span></p> <p><span>When people come to visit, you probably have a list of sights they should see and things they should do.</span></p> <p><span> Now is the time to use that list yourself! Visit a museum, go to a concert, check out historical buildings, walk on the pier, or hike those hills. </span></p> <p><span>View your city as a tourist might. Heck, you can go so far as to buy the souvenir mug.</span></p> <p><strong>Go to a drive-in movie</strong></p> <p><span>It’s true that there aren’t nearly as many of them as there once were, but those remaining drive-ins offer a much safer big-screen experience than a regular cinema. </span></p> <p><span>Find a drive-in movie theatre near you, check show times, and stock your car with goodies to eat and drink. </span></p> <p><span>Or find a friend with a pickup truck and put a mattress in the back for more comfortable viewing.</span></p> <p><strong>Take a bike tour</strong></p> <p><span>Riding a bike is a great way to see your city or a destination. </span></p> <p><span>It’s faster than walking, but you don’t have to worry about parking a car or finding an Uber. </span></p> <p><span>Plus, you get to be in the fresh air. Many places offer guided bike tours, or you can come armed with a list of sights to stop.</span></p> <p><strong>Indulge in a spa day</strong></p> <p><span>Tired mums will love getting a day to relax and pamper themselves, although this is definitely one of the staycation ideas that most people will enjoy. </span></p> <p><span>You can schedule a full day at a local spa and get the deluxe treatment, or you can put one together at home. </span></p> <p><span>Get a fluffy bathrobe, stock up on sheet masks for your face, and choose a new nail polish. </span></p> <p><span>T</span><span>hen top off your glass of wine and fill the bathtub for a relaxing soak.</span></p> <p><strong>Have a girls' or guys' night in</strong></p> <p><span>Some of the best types of holidays are guys’ or girls’ weekend getaways. </span></p> <p><span>Don’t want to risk it during the pandemic? Host your pals at home for the night. </span></p> <p><span>Invite a small group friends for a girls’ or guys’ night in (current restrictions notwithstanding!). </span></p> <p><span>Mix a signature drink, play a fun game, watch a movie, or just talk. </span></p> <p><span>Or set up the guest room and make a weekend of it.</span></p> <p><strong>Have an outdoor dance party</strong></p> <p><span>Dancing with others is fun and good for you. </span></p> <p><span>But going into crowded dance clubs probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list right now. </span></p> <p><span>Thankfully, all you need for your own dance party is an outdoor speaker and a flat spot for dancing.</span></p> <p><span> String up some lights, fill a couple of coolers with drinks, and invite your neighbours or some close friends.</span></p> <p><strong>Hit the beach</strong></p> <p><span>This is one of the most popular staycation ideas and for good reason. </span></p> <p><span>A day at the beach is like its own form of meditation. If there’s a body of water nearby, chances are there’s some type of beach. </span></p> <p><span>Bring a beach picnic, set up a sun umbrella, lay out your towels, and spread out the sand toys. </span></p> <p><span>Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen.</span></p> <p><strong>Take part in a house swap</strong></p> <p><span>Got friends that live in fun places? </span></p> <p><span>If you’re not in a locked down area, you can still skip the hassle and uncertainty of a hotel by swapping houses for a weekend. </span></p> <p><span>Each of you gets to check out a new place with a comfortable home base to come back to at night. </span></p> <p><span>Be sure to also swap lists of the must-see sights in your areas.</span></p> <p><strong>Camp under the stars</strong></p> <p><span>Avoid crowds, stay close to home, and take in the night sky by going camping. </span></p> <p><span>Keep it simple and head to a nearby scenic spot for one night. </span></p> <p><span>Pack a light backpacking tent, but if temperatures are mild and skies are clear, you may not even need it. </span></p> <p><span>Sleeping under stars is one of those life-changing experiences that we’ve nearly forgotten about in modern society, making it one of our favourite staycation ideas.</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/travel-hints-tips/14-staycation-ideas-for-a-great-getaway-close-to-home?pages=2" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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“Only in Canberra”: Locals rescue kangaroo from lake

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Three Canberra locals have had an unlikely run-in with a kangaroo, after finding it standing in the cold waters of Lake Burley Griffin.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Passer-by David Boyd filmed the moment two men rescued the marsupial from the water, which was later on a Canberra group Facebook page.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This was my morning - only in Canberra - well done to these two guys,” Mr Boyd wrote.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">ONLY IN CANBERRA. From David Boyd 📸 <a href="https://t.co/KFc5Qmg4hw">pic.twitter.com/KFc5Qmg4hw</a></p> — Julian Abbott 💉💉 (@JulianBAbbott) <a href="https://twitter.com/JulianBAbbott/status/1440097357614379008?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 20, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the clip, the nervous roo allows the men to carry it out of the water and back onto land.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Then, the kangaroo offered its paw to ‘thank’ its rescuers for their help.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Aw, he’s thanking ya,” Mr Boyd can be heard saying in the background.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844339/kangaroo.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4d2ecbbcca2040c7b5d0eaf2b665c856" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: David Boyd / Facebook</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The video, which has been viewed over 400,000 times, received a flood of comments from concerned viewers wondering whether the animal was okay.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Boyd confirmed that the kangaroo “came good”, while another onlooker revealed that the animal ended up back in the lake again, prompting a second rescue.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 375px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844341/242490125_10157139604002185_4809991376119986184_n.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8f7f9c7559234f6dae9aa044af038177" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Penelope Twemlow / Facebook</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The kangaroo ended up back in the lake so a second group of people rescued it again (twice over), only to see it deliberately jump back in the lake so we ended up calling the rangers,” Penelope Twemlow wrote.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: David Boyd / Facebook</span></em></p>

Domestic Travel

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4 top tips to save money on a long holiday

<p>When time is no object in holidays of lengthy duration, more is more when you look and book online at Hotels.com.</p> <p>By Reader’s Digest, in partnership with Hotels.com</p> <p>A long holiday is its own reward, but this concept is amplified in accommodation savings that only serve to increase exponentially, the longer you stay. That is, of course, if you know where to go to seek the source of holidaymakers in the know.</p> <p>When time is no object in holidays of lengthy duration, more is more when you look and book online at <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://au.hotels.com/" target="_blank">Hotels.com</a>.</p> <div id="firstFloatAd"> <div data-fuse="21861530567" data-fuse-code="fuse-slot-21861530567-1" data-fuse-slot="71161633/DIRP_readersdigest/article_mrec_1"> <div id="fuse-slot-21861530567-1" class="fuse-slot" data-google-query-id="COPwieP8kfMCFQpVjwodd-cLqg"> <div id="google_ads_iframe_71161633/DIRP_readersdigest/article_mrec_1_0__container__"><iframe id="google_ads_iframe_71161633/DIRP_readersdigest/article_mrec_1_0" title="3rd party ad content" name="google_ads_iframe_71161633/DIRP_readersdigest/article_mrec_1_0" width="1" height="1" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0" role="region" aria-label="Advertisement" srcdoc="" data-google-container-id="2" data-load-complete="true" tabindex="0"></iframe>The saving grace of extended stays amounts to huge value in quality time, but also in a fiscal sense.</div> <div><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/nothing.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c51567d0578f49e0829ece6bf520e288" /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.127129750983px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844318/last-minute-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c51567d0578f49e0829ece6bf520e288" /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>1. Be richly rewarded</strong></div> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hotels.com not only offers a wealth of cut-price savings from luxury resorts to budget-style accommodation, but it also extends the staying power with the <a href="https://au.hotels.com/hotel-rewards-pillar/hotelscomrewards.html">Rewards</a> programs. When you collect 10 nights’ accommodation at a massive range of selected hotels and accommodation offerings, you’ll be richly rewarded with one extra night’s stay. Members choose how their 10 nights stack up: whether during a complete stay or as single-night visits, which can quickly add up to the count of 10. Redeem your free night’s accommodation at a range of options and locations: from top-of-the-the-range hotel chains and five-star resort to boutiques, villas and apartments of every description*.</p> <h4>2. Shop around</h4> <p style="font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit;">It’s important to instill time and patience in the online booking process. Arm yourself with prior research to ensure you plan your stay closely centred to coveted landmarks, sites and for convenience to public transport options, supermarkets and all budget-oriented amenities. There’s a handy online guide for the average price of all star-rated properties at every holiday destination to be found online at Hotels.com. Read up on the crucial differences between property features and decide whether you can forgo an on-site gym or swimming pool in favour of stretching your legs in the great outdoors and taking an invigorating daily dip in the ocean instead.</p> <h4 style="font-style: inherit;">3. Book early or late: the savings are equally great</h4> <p style="font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit;">Hotels.com prides itself on offering unlimited special deals on all of its accommodation options. Built-in value is the name of the game, whether you plan to stay for a good time or long time. Booking early is always advised to ensure availability of your preferred options, but equally, last-minute specials can produce unexpected delights to be found at dream properties that are ultimately priced within your holiday budget.<a href="https://au.hotels.com/hotel-deals/">Deals Finder</a> and <a href="https://au.hotels.com/hotel-deals/last-minute-hotel-deals">Last Minute Deals</a> are your go-to zones for the best possible savings, whether you’re booking your stay early or late.</p> <h4 style="font-style: inherit;">4. Live like a local</h4> <p style="font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit;">Once you’ve finally arrived at your dream destination, the key for keeping costs to a minimum depends upon splashing out only when absolutely necessary. Advance planning ensures you need never miss out on maximising the sightseeing and experiential potential of your holiday location. Allocating part of your budget to a select few must-do-and-see holiday desirables is essential. But a memorable holiday also means not blowing the bank, so be sure to eat or pack most meals and drinking water from your accommodation base; boutique browsing rather than splashing the cash on designer labels; sticking to nature-based activities that don’t cost the earth and ultimately revive the spirit and senses are your best bet for returning home from a long holiday richly rewarded for your cost-saving measures.</p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/tips/4-top-tips-save-money-long-holiday">Reader’s Digest</a></em></p> <p><em> Images: Reader’s Digest</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Northern Territory to offer travel incentives for vaccinated Aussies

<p>The Northern Territory to become the first jurisdiction in Australia to incentivise travel for tourists fully vaccinated against COVID-19.</p> <p>Tourism NT today launched a $5 million campaign aimed at attracting interstate travellers to the Territory during the wet season, offering discounts of up to $1,000 on tourism packages.</p> <p>The campaign, now in its second year will this time be exclusively available to double-jabbed tourists, who will be able to access a $200 discount for every $1,000 spent on flights, accommodation, tours, attractions and/or vehicle hire.</p> <p>This comes just days after Chief Minister Michael Gunner unveiled the North Territory government’s stage 3 reopening roadmap, which will see further travel restrictions lifted when the overall NT vaccination rate hits 80 per cent and mandates vaccinations for workers in ‘high-risk’ settings.</p> <p>NT tourism and Hospitality Minister Natasha Fyles said incentivising travel for vaccinated Australians was about protecting Territorians and other visitors to the NT and rewarding those doing their bit to counter COVID-19.</p> <p>“We don’t want them to come in and potentially be unwell and burden our health system. This is an incentive – it’s not saying you can’t come to the Territory if you’re not unvaccinated. But the NT government is putting its money where we believe good public policy is, by saying if you’re vaccinated, you’re eligible for this significant discount.”</p> <p>Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade deputy chief executive Andrew Hopper said to prove they had been fully vaccinated and receive the discount, tourists would have to show their vaccination certificates to travel retailers as part of the scheme.</p> <p>He said the campaign would further position the NT as one of the safest tourism destinations in Australia.</p> <p>“Tourism NT will be the first Australian tourism body to offer a vaccine incentive, cementing the Northern Territory as the premier COVID-safe travel destination,” he said.</p> <p>“As the NT heads into its summer season, it is imperative that we continue to drive bookings, grow the value of the holiday market and position the NT as an accessible, safe and affordable tourist destination, to support the NT’s tourism sector.”</p> <p>The tourism campaign, which is dubbed the Summer Sale, will run from the 1st of October 2021 to the 31st of March 2022.</p>

Domestic Travel

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It’s Never Too Late To Be Bold and Chase Excitement

<p>A seemingly nonsensical suggestion led Gail MacCallum to uproot her life and follow her dream.</p> <p><strong>Some people get more averse to risk as the years go by.</strong> Not so Gail MacCallum, who at age 40 quit a secure job and left the city she had enjoyed her whole adult life in order to leap into the unknown. But she had to learn to be bold.</p> <p>MacCallum moved quite a bit in childhood and spent her formative years outside Canberra in a farmhouse without electricity. She read the books of animal observer Gerald Durrell and relished the freedom of the natural world. In her teens she and her family moved into the heart of inner-city Sydney, and she found she adored that too. “I was 14 and it was the perfect time. I loved the excitement of the city.”</p> <p>She continued to love it over the following decades as she moved through jobs including coffee-roaster and bookseller before finding her calling in book publishing and then magazines. In 2002 MacCallum and her then partner had a daughter, Amelia. They wanted to make sure that despite being a city kid Amelia had plenty of natural encounters so they sought out places to climb trees, watch lizards and spot turtles. But one day MacCallum realised her little girl was more at ease with busy streets than bushland. “When she was about seven, we were visiting a friend whose place had a beautiful lawn. Amelia called out to me from the verandah and said, ‘I can’t go into the wild!’ We decided we had to let her experience a wider world and two months later we were in a campervan heading off around Australia.”</p> <p>MacCallum admits she felt daunted. “I thought we’d need to know things like how to whittle your own clutch plate. I didn’t know how much it would all cost or what we’d do about money. But I thought the worst thing that would happen is we’d have an adventure and a holiday. I figured if we only make it two weeks in, so be it.” As it happened, the van they’d bought broke down just 90 minutes into the trip. But after repairs they set off again and travelled the country for six months, during which Amelia became an avid adventurer adept at digging fire pits. They returned to the city purely because the money had run out. “That trip helped me understand that success doesn’t have to be assured,” MacCallum says. “I realised that you can start something and just work it out as you go along.”</p> <p><strong>Four years later she and her current partner Ian Connellan </strong>were on a brief holiday in Tasmania, enjoying the chance to get up close to wildlife including “the fluffiest wombats in the world”, when they ran into some friends-of-friends, soon to move interstate, who asked them to dinner. The next day, recalls MacCallum, “They said, ‘We think you should buy our house.’” With no intention of uprooting their lives she and Connellan thought this was “entirely ridiculous”, yet they got so excited talking about the possibilities such a move might present they missed their plane home. “We stayed at a hotel that night, woke up the next morning and said, ‘Let’s give it a go.’”</p> <p>They resigned their publishing jobs and in January 2013 moved to Hobart to start not just a new life but a new business. Individually and together, both are intrepid, independent travellers who had spent time with scientists and conservationists working in various remote spots around the world, including Papua New Guinea and the Galapagos Islands. They wondered if they could make a living supporting such work by helping others to experience those unique places for themselves. The two decided to set up a company that specialised in organising trips to places where important scientific and environmental research was taking place.</p> <p>Naming the new company Curious Traveller, they began taking paying customers to remote locations including Western Australia’s Kimberley region and islands off South America. “For us the travel business comes out of a love of science,” MacCallum explains. “It works brilliantly. Scientists get helpers and funding. Guests get to see what scientists do and how the world is changing because of it. They leave excited and inspired, having had an awesome experience in a place they otherwise might never have seen.”</p> <p>Two-and-a-half years in, the pair still have to supplement their incomes with some freelance writing and editing, but the business is growing and within five years they hope to be helping fund half a dozen research projects. It’s a big task. “Some days we think it would be great to turn off and have making it all work become someone else’s problem,” MacCallum says, “but when we see the wonder on the face of a person who is experiencing somewhere like the Galapagos for the first time we know we’re living a fabulous, lucky life.”</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/nothing.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5f0c645b37b24c14b8304fa17e82ae63" /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.3411078717201px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844052/follow-yr-dream-2-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5f0c645b37b24c14b8304fa17e82ae63" /></p> <p><strong>The Expert View</strong></p> <p>The type of business MacCallum started, which aims to do good as well as provide a living, is known as social enterprise. Celia Hodson is CEO of an institution specially created to give such people the business savvy they’ll need to survive – the School for Social Entrepreneurs.</p> <p>The desire to create a business with broader aims than just making money is gaining ground. “When we used to put a call-out for people who thought they had an amazing social enterprise idea we’d have maybe 20 applying.” says Hodson. “Now we get 120.” Some leap straight in, but most make the transition while establishing the business: “Typically they taper off their paid employment as their idea starts to gather speed.”</p> <p>The rewards are great, but it’s important to be realistic. “We sometimes ask people who come to us, ‘Where in your cash-flow is your salary?’ They’ll say, ‘Oh I don’t need money.’ Yes, social impact is what it’s about but to make it sustainable you need to ask yourself, ‘Is it going to pay me a salary?’ And you need to think about how to measure the difference you’re hoping to make.”</p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/inspirational/Never-Too-Late-To-Be-Bold">Reader’s Digest</a></em></p> <p> </p>

Domestic Travel

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It’s Never Too Late: How I Ran Away With The Circus

<p>Volunteering his expertise to help isolated students led a delighted John Smyth into the lion’s den.</p> <p>As a kid in the bush, John Smyth didn’t have much chance to see the circus in person, but he had a treasured picture book about life under the Big Top. More than 60 years later, Smyth got to become part of the Stardust Circus world, not as a tumbler or lion tamer – but as a teacher.</p> <p>Back in 1999, the career high-school teacher decided it was time to retire and, together with his wife Helen, embark on an epic journey around Australia. They covered 33,000km in six months. When they returned, Smyth found he missed the classroom, so came out of retirement to spend ­another eight years doing casual teaching – but, eventually, his wanderlust returned and he and Helen headed back on the road.</p> <p>Today, the 75-year-old physics and mathematics teacher slots in time with his grandkids around a packed diary as a volunteer teacher to school students who live in remote locations, under a scheme known as Volunteers for Isolated Students’ Education (VISE).</p> <p>VISE pairs up energetic people with educational experience – usually retired teachers, such as John – with children whose schooling is largely done remotely, because they live too far away from towns and cities to attend regular school. With their classes conducted via satellite hook-ups, Skype or whatever other methods are available, the children have virtual contact with a paid teacher for several hours a day. The rest of the time they are given assignments to complete. VISE volunteers go and stay with these remote families for six weeks at a time to provide encouragement and practical help to the students.</p> <p>John grew up in the country and was immediately intrigued when he heard about the scheme. Helen was just as keen. “We love the bush,” he says. While the teacher’s partner isn’t required to contribute, they often help around the home, in the garden or around the property. Since volunteers typically stay for the full six weeks, it’s important for couples to agree on the locations they apply for.</p> <p>“We’d decided we wouldn’t take a placement where we lived in the house with the family,” John says. “We opted for ones where we could take our own caravan or we’d have a ‘donga’ hut or a cottage, so that we had somewhere we could get away.”</p> <p>After eight VISE postings, and encountering some challenging families and students, John is still keen to do more. “Occasionally I have had to take a stand and say, ‘If you want my help, here I am, otherwise I’ll pack up and go home – I’m too busy to be sitting around here if we’re not going to work.’ But it’s always turned out really well.” He remains in fond contact with a number of his former students.</p> <p>He’s racked up stints in some of Australia’s most remote locations, including a 38,000-ha sheep property where they had to meet the mail plane to get school materials, and an 80,000-ha National Park that was 500km from the nearest supermarket. Then John nabbed one of the most sought-after placements in the scheme: a travelling post with Stardust Circus. “It was just wonderful,” he says of the weeks he and Helen spent on the road last year, working with the children in a specially equipped mobile schoolroom.</p> <p>The lesson timetable was built around the kids’ performance schedules. “The eight-year-old I tutored was a fabulous gymnast who was part of the teeterboard act,” he explains. “A big bloke would jump on the other side, he would swing up in the air, do a couple of twirls and land on his uncle’s shoulders … and his uncle was standing on the boy’s father’s shoulders!”</p> <p>The circus still includes some animal acts, including lions, monkeys, horses, goats and pigs. John and Helen found it extraordinary enough to drift off to sleep to the sound of lions roaring, but then one day the lion-tamer, Matt, accorded them a very special privilege, inviting them in to meet four 13-month-old cubs in person.</p> <p>While it was understandably a little scary at first going into their enclosure, John says it was “an absolutely fantastic, never to be forgotten experience” which just goes to show it really is never too late: “In my 75th year I finally got to realise my boyhood dream of running away with the circus!”</p> <p><strong>If You’re Tempted</strong></p> <p>National Seniors Australia chief executive Michael O’Neill says John’s approach is increasingly common. “We’re seeing more and more people moving from full-time work into other areas of activity that are not traditionally associated with retirement or the later years of life.”</p> <p>In fact, he says, ‘retirement’ is “almost a dirty word now. People want to enter into new experiences, using previous life knowledge, rather than sitting back and ‘retiring’ as we came to know it in previous generations.”</p> <p>As in John’s case, many are keen to continue giving back to society, but O’Neill says the way we do this has also changed.</p> <p>“Many will now say, ‘I’m happy to volunteer and give my time for this particular cause, but let me be clear: I want to contribute my knowledge and skills to your organisation. Don’t think I’m going to be down the back making cups of tea.’?”</p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/inspirational/never-too-late-to-run-away-with-the-circus"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a></p> <p><a href="mailto:https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/inspirational/never-too-late-to-run-away-with-the-circus"><em> </em></a></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Swimming With Whale Sharks

<p><strong>Snorkelling in the Indian Ocean</strong> just off Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia means blue infinity in every direction – but what’s that eerie pale oval approaching under the surface? Widening and narrowing and growing larger by the second, it resolves into the enormous gulping mouth of a whale shark. Stand by – or rather, swim by – for one of Australia’s grandest marine spectacles.</p> <p>Unsurpassed globally for regular, reliable and accessible whale shark encounters, World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef runs 260 km along Western Australia’s remote North West Cape, about 1300 km north of Perth. Every year – from April to July – these normally elusive filter-feeders arrive for an annual mass-spawning of coral, which, aided by fortuitous currents, turns the outer reef into a nutrient-rich soup of plankton and krill. A relatively recent addition to this prehistoric dinner engagement are gatecrashing, snorkelling <em>Homo sapiens</em>, drawn to feed their sense of wonder on sharing salt water with the largest of all shark species.</p> <p>The adventure begins on very dry land. Although flanked by vast tracts of water – Exmouth Gulf on one side, the Indian Ocean the other – North West Cape is an arid, baked wilderness bisected by the rocky heights of Cape Range, an extinct limestone reef from the region’s deeper past. Anchored off a lonely desert boat ramp 38 km from Exmouth township, the 17 m <em>Draw Card</em> is amid a tiny gaggle of whale-shark boats (there are eight Exmouth-based tour operators) ferrying their patrons aboard by inflatable Zodiac.</p> <p>First on the agenda is a morning snorkel on the reef, a handy acclimatisation and a superb experience in itself. Amid a kaleidoscope of colourful sea life, the crew’s two whale-shark ‘spotters’ – Ellece Nicholls and Emma Goodfellow – and videographer Meg Green, free-dive with mermaid-like agility, pointing out creatures of interest. Usual Ningaloo suspects include parrotfish in all hues of green and blue, frilly orange lionfish, giant clams, tawny nurse and leopard sharks, whitetip and blacktip reef sharks, barracuda and bull rays. The easily found sailfin catfish (small, black and fantailed) is one of 50 endemic species.</p> <p>The <em>Draw Card</em> cruises south through shallow turquoise waters, heading for one of only three navigable passages to the open ocean – soon revealed by a gap in the white line of offshore surf. The shark-spotting plane radios success and the deck ripples with excitement. As we power into position several kilometres out to sea, the 19 tourists aboard are divided into two snorkel groups and re-briefed on protocols – no touching, no duck-diving, keep 3 m clear of any whale shark (and 4 m from the tail).</p> <p>Whale-shark watching works for one simple reason. “They’re sun worshippers,” spotter and marine biologist Ellece Nicholls says. On clear days plankton rises to the light, attracting whale sharks to the surface where they linger to hoover up the bounty. The biggest enemy is heavy cloud cover, rarely a problem at Ningaloo.</p> <p>Think of it as a game of marine leap-frog. The boat stops ahead of a shark and the first snorkellers tag along as it passes, with the Zodiac deployed to aid any stragglers. Group two drops in further along the shark’s probable path. After the whale shark leaves its first escorts, the boat collects them and moves ahead of group two (now in shark conference) to repeat the process.</p> <p>Group one don fins and stride off the duckboard, looking for the spotter’s hand signal. Ellece points and faces go under – nothing. Then a casual over-shoulder, underwater glance reveals a blue-grey speckled bulk the size of a van. Veering before reaching us, the silent giant had almost slipped by unobserved behind our backs.</p> <p><strong>Gentle titans</strong></p> <p>Wondrous as it is, there’s no time to stop and wonder. Admiring a whale shark is not a passive activity. It’s time to snorkel as fast as humanly possible, which inevitably falls short of any whale shark in middle gear. But following its wake is unforgettable. The towering column of tail sweeps with effortless power, slowly shrinking and dissolving a gentle titan into the deep blue curtain of ocean ahead.</p> <p>Minutes later, adrift in the open sea, we regroup for pick-up. Ellece says we saw a juvenile male, “only” 4 m long but with a barrel-like girth. While 12-m whale sharks have been seen here, the typical Ningaloo visitor is a 4-7 m male.</p> <p>Far sooner than expected, we’re ready for another dip into his world. “This is what we call a blind drop,” Ellece says, meaning no-one knows exactly where the shark is. But in we go and there he is. Afterwards comes an unexpected bonus, a hefty green turtle flapping through the blue nearby, a marine bumblebee in flight.</p> <p>Leaving our teenage shark to another nearby boat – the industry here is amiably co-operative – we shift closer to the reef wall for whale shark number two. Here the seabed is dimly visible, with shadowy coral clusters far below, the length of a tall building away. Festooned with remoras and trailed by a retinue of golden trevallies, this slightly larger shark gives a clear view of its white-spotted, ridged back, the starlike pattern imitating sunlight dappling the surface.</p> <p>The day’s final shark is further out. Over the abyss again, a diffuse star of light beams from below, but it’s only a trick of the sun. Our largest (5 m-plus) specimen’s head-on approach is signalled by the flattened white oval of Exmouth’s biggest mouth. Dipping gently up and down, feeding at a leisurely cruising pace, it scoops invisible fare with every rise. From the corner of the sack-like maw, a much smaller eye watches its watchers keeping pace for those few precious minutes. Afterwards on deck, we’re treated to a topside view when it skirts the boat ahead of group two, its broad head emerging from the deep like a submarine milky way.</p> <p>Five swims with three individuals filled an hour of shark time (the maximum allowed). The exhilaration of eye contact with our planet’s biggest fish lingers throughout lunch and the post-shark reef snorkel. The lasting impression is one of great peace and beauty, the awe of approaching creation writ truly large.</p> <p><strong>Endangered species</strong></p> <p>Plenty of mystery accompanies this majesty. While Exmouth is a leading centre for tagging and research, the whale shark life-cycle remains largely unknown – and if they really do migrate north from Ningaloo to breed in Asian waters, as some experts contend, why do so many travel south along the reef? South is definitely the safer option for them right now, given their popularity as a soup garnish in several Asian countries – a single whale shark can fetch thousands of dollars for its fins. In March 2016 the species’ Red List conservation status was altered from vulnerable to endangered (a ‘very high’ risk of extinction). The example of Exmouth, however, gives hope that countries still slaughtering whale sharks will be inspired by the economics of ecotourism – and the sheer wonder of the creature itself – to spare the world’s biggest fish.</p> <p><strong><em>For more info go to </em></strong><a href="https://www.whalesharkdive.com/"><strong><em>www.whalesharkdive.com</em></strong></a><strong><em> or </em></strong><a href="http://www.visitningaloo.com.au"><strong><em>www.visitningaloo.com.au</em></strong></a></p> <p><em>By David Levell</em></p> <p><em>Image: Reader’s Digest</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on </em><a href="mailto:https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/activities/swimming-whale-sharks"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Travel the smart way with MediclAlert

<p>As many older Australians and New Zealanders are fulfilling their desire to travel overseas or cross country, there are greater risks for those with medical conditions if they’re not properly prepared.</p> <p>Visiting loved ones over the holiday season can take some planning, especially if you need to travel. Whether you’re travelling to see friends abroad, going on a beach holiday or staying with family during the festivities, being smart about how you travel will save you a headache in the long run.</p> <p>Regardless if you’re setting off halfway across the world or meeting a friend for coffee around the corner, those with medical conditions can find it hard to step out of their comfort zone when it comes to travel.</p> <p>As many older Australians are fulfilling their desire to travel overseas or cross country, there are greater risks for those with medical conditions if they’re not properly prepared. Having the essentials when travelling, such as your <a href="https://www.medicalert.org.au/?utm_source=readers-digest&amp;utm_medium=MREC&amp;utm_campaign=readers-digest-2019">MedicAlert</a> ID can help if this go wrong, no matter where you in the world.</p> <p><strong>Check off your necessities</strong></p> <p>Travel insurance can offer peace of mind for those who are going on trips as it covers lost baggage, cancelled flights and hospital fees. However, while insuring your possessions is important, it’s your health and wellbeing that should be at the top of your priority list.</p> <p>You may create a travel checklist, with your clothing, shoes, toiletries and documents, but without accounting for your MedicAlert ID – health and safety may be left up to chance. It’s impossible to carry a briefcase with any medical or health history around with you on holiday, or even just the names and dosages of your medications may be difficult to remember if there are more than one. During the rush of an emergency or if a health issue occurs – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to let doctors or nurses know all of your conditions, medications and allergies, especially if you’re in pain.</p> <p>Whether you’re in a country with language barriers or you’re unable to speak, health professionals or medical personnel can quickly and safely determine your needs; with training in searching for body-worn medical identification during an emergency, your information is readily available to them during moments of chaos.</p> <p><strong><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.3953488372093px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843887/medicalalert-2-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/51aa7a20d8c44905818e0da2b0af4353" /></strong></p> <p><strong>Make memories without worrying</strong></p> <p>With MedicAlert’s ID being recognised globally you can rest assured that no matter where you travel, your family or loved ones are looked after. When severe allergies come into the mix, it seems easier to avoid places where miscommunication is likely to occur, but with our 24/7 emergency response service and the ability to easily access health records on the go from medical professionals, you can have peace of mind that you’re safe anywhere around the world.</p> <p>Your schedule may be full of high-energy activities and jam-packed with adventures, and while it’s a blast planning your trip, the thought of accidents happening naturally comes to mind. With your updated medications, implants and allergies in one place, your mind is at ease if anything were to happen. Protecting members in Australia for almost 50 years, MedicAlert is your safety net when travelling; spend less time worrying about emergencies and more time dreaming about relaxing on your holiday.</p> <p>If you have suffered from an injury or medical implication, you shouldn’t let fear stop you from going to the places you love. Just like 80-year-old MedicAlert member Lois Job, who recently put her ID bracelet to the test when she fainted after lunch with her husband and daughter at a local café. Lois is just one example of a member who hasn’t let previous health incidents stop her from socialising.</p> <p>Not letting fear rule her life, Lois says “if anything goes wrong anywhere, they’ve [MedicAlert] got my back. I love going out with my friends and family, and I don’t want to have to give that up because I’m scared.” Lois explains that a lot could have gone wrong during her incident as she is a Type 2 Diabetic, has suffered a pulmonary embolism and has allergies to a number of drugs, as well as complications relating to number of her medications.</p> <p>As a member at MedicAlert – a not for profit organisation – for 21 years, Lois reiterates “this tiny little thing around my wrist gives me the extra strength and reassurance to keep doing what I love. I’ve been telling every man and his dog to join MedicAlert, and finally I could tell them exactly why.”</p> <p><strong>Adapting to the travel bug</strong></p> <p>While you are enjoying the holidays with family and friends, your health or medical conditions don’t take a break because you are. Travelling over the busy summer period can take a toll on your health while changes in weather, time zones, new cuisines or a sudden decrease in your medication could result in an incident.</p> <p>Whether you’re susceptible to driver fatigue, increase your levels of exercise, changes in diet or exposure to new insects, emergencies happen when you least expect. In this instance, medical personnel will immediately check for your medical conditions and access more detailed information by calling the 24-hour emergency number engraved on your MedicAlert ID.</p> <p>No matter what time of year you are planning on travelling, being smart about travel means taking precautions such as having enough medication to last you the trip and updating your details online. While healthcare providers will assist you in emergencies taking care of yourself is still your responsibility when travelling.</p> <p>It’s easy to jam-pack your trip with activities while in the planning stage, but in reality, you should know your physical limitations. Going over the top with back-to-back flights, activities, day trips and sightseeing can stop you from truly enjoying your time away. Travelling takes a lot of energy out of even the fittest people; knowing how you cope with drastic changes and increased movement will allow you time to breathe and soak it all in.</p> <p><strong>Final thoughts</strong></p> <p>If you’re spending the holidays abroad or close to home, having your custom engraved MedicAlert ID will offer peace of mind as health professionals or medical personnel can access your secure electronic health record during the moments that matter the most. MedicAlert wishes you and your family a healthy, safe and joyful festive season.</p> <p><a href="https://www.medicalert.org.au/?utm_source=readers-digest&amp;utm_medium=MREC&amp;utm_campaign=readers-digest-2019">This is sponsored content brought to you in conjunction with MedicAlert.</a></p> <p><em>Images: Reader’s Digest</em></p> <p><em>This </em><em>article originally appeared on <a href="mailto:https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/travel-the-smart-way-with-medicalert">Reader’s Digest</a> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Domestic Travel

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From the Red Centre to the green tropics, Australia’s Outback presents a palette like no other

<p><strong>By Reader's Digest, in partnership with APT</strong></p> <p>From the sunburnt sands and ochre-hued escarpments of its Red Centre to the lush green rainforests of Tropical North Queensland, Australia’s Outback packs a punch when it comes to the kaleidoscope of colours on show. <a href="https://www.aptouring.com.au/?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_medium=advertorial&amp;utm_content=20200302_outback2020_readersdigest_native&amp;utm_campaign=outback2020">APT</a> has been operating tours in the Outback for more than 50 years, and are experts in tailoring holidays to showcase the best of each magical region.</p> <p><strong>A world of rainforest and reef</strong></p> <p>In Cape Tribulation, rainforest-clad mountains tumble down to meet the coastline, where pure white sands and turquoise waters dazzle. This is the only place on Earth where two World Heritage-listed sites meet – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. The Daintree is the oldest tropical lowland forest in the world and is home to thousands of species of birds, animals and reptiles. Here, giant fan palms, emerald green vines and ancient ferns tangle together, forming a dense rainforest that makes you feel as though you are stepping into Jurassic Park.</p> <p><em style="font-weight: inherit;">On tour</em></p> <p>APT offers an 11-day 4WD adventure through Cooktown &amp; Cape York. Arrive in Cairns and transfer to Port Douglas, where you’ll spend a night at the luxurious Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort. Travel to Mossman Gorge in Daintree National Park and set off on a Dreamtime Gorge Walk. Explore Cape Tribulation and Cooktown then visit Split Rock, an intriguing Indigenous rock art site. Take a helicopter flight into the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve before continuing north to the tip of Cape York. Here, set out on a walk to the tip of the peninsula and enjoy a helicopter flight for an aerial perspective on this incredible landscape.</p> <p><strong style="font-style: inherit;">Be moved by the outback’s heart</strong></p> <p>As the light shifts and changes throughout the day, so does the landscape at Uluru – the Outback’s spiritual heart. At sunrise, feel an overwhelming sense of calm as you watch this mighty monolith come to life against a pastel-coloured sky. In the afternoon, Uluru appears as an ochre-brown hue, scored with dark shadows. As the sun begins to set, it bathes the rock in burnt orange, then a series of deeper and darker reds, before it finally fades into charcoal as night falls. Spend a night at the Field of Light and savour dinner under the stars, accompanied by the soothing sounds of the didgeridoo. With Uluru in the background, watch in awe as 50,000 soft lights cover the desert floor behind you.</p> <p><em style="font-weight: inherit;">On tour</em></p> <p>On APT’s 11-day Central to South Explorer tour, start your journey in Uluru, where you’ll embark on a base tour at sunrise and experience a night at the Field of Light. Learn about the history of opal mining in Coober Pedy then travel along the iconic Oodnadatta Track to WIlliam Creek. Take an included scenic flight over spectacular Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre before journeying to Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. While here, spend two nights at the Ikara Safari Camp – the perfect base for exploring Wilpena Pound National Park. A winery lunch in Adelaide’s Clare Valley is the perfect ending to your journey.</p> <p><strong style="font-style: inherit;">Getting your fill of Lake Eyre</strong></p> <p>Few sights in Australia stir the soul more than that of the normally dry Lake Eyre filling with water and suddenly teeming with life. The lake, properly known as Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, relies on monumental rains in Queensland and the Northern Territory for water to begin to flow into it. Last year saw the lake reach levels unseen for almost half a century, and it is hoped that 2020’s northern monsoon season will see the region once again alive with fish surging through the rivers that feed Lake Eyre, and its surface thronged with an array of birdlife including hundreds of thousands of pelicans. In a land battling drought and bushfires, the vision of water shimmering on the surface of the lake is life affirming. And it is something to be treasured and celebrated, so take this rare chance to go with the flow.</p> <p><strong><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.413612565445px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843793/red-centre-2-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1ef8aa559b194a00b0a26c2255414afe" /></strong></p> <p><strong>Paradise found amid corals and blooms</strong></p> <p>Stretching over 1,100 kilometres of seemingly untouched coastline, Western Australia’s Coral Coast is a marine paradise like no other. Here, waves lap lazily on pristine white-sand beaches and turtles sweep through sheltered turquoise bays.</p> <p>The crystal-clear waters of Ningaloo Marine Park harbour the world’s largest fringing reef. Beneath the surface, you’ll find dolphins, dugongs, manta rays, and more than 500 species of fish. There’s more to discover on land, where colourful blankets of native wildflowers burst into bloom between August and September along the spectacular Wildflower Way. For a whole new perspective on the region, take to the skies on a helicopter flight over the Dampier Archipelago. The staggering contrast between brilliant white beaches, aquamarine waters, and the rugged red Pilbara landscape is a breathtaking sight – one that can only be experienced from the air.</p> <p><em style="font-weight: inherit;">On tour</em></p> <p>Board the MS Caledonian Sky in Broome and navigate the remote islands of Western Australia’s Coral Coast on a 15-day small ship expedition cruise and 4WD adventure. Discover life below the surface while snorkelling the clear waters of this marine paradise. Disembark in Geraldton and continue the adventure as you explore Kalbarri National Park and the eerie limestone Pinnacles. To finish up your journey, there’s a stay in a luxury eco-tent on the beautiful Rottnest Island.</p> <p style="font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit;"><em style="font-weight: inherit;">This </em><em>article originally appeared on <a href="mailto:https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/from-the-red-centre-to-the-green-tropics-australias-outback-presents-a-palette-like-no-other">Reader's Digest.</a></em></p> <p><em>Photos: Reader’s Digest</em></p>

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Olympic and Paralympic athletes light up Sydney Opera House

<p>As the Paralympic cauldron was extinguished, celebrating the end of the Tokyo Games 2020 in the National Stadium on Sunday night, a show of another kind was unfolding on the sails of the Sydney Opera House.</p> <p>With various states of lockdown still affecting many in Australia, there was no chance for ticker tape parades and crowded streets of cheering supporters to celebrate our returning athletes.</p> <p>So, a modern twist for an age-old tradition was found. Athletes and their families everywhere – whether still in Tokyo, in quarantine back in Australia – could tune into a five-and-a-half-hour livestream like no other.</p> <p>All 665 of Australia's Paralympians and Olympians had their faces and names projected onto the Opera House sails for 30 seconds each, giving them their moment in the spotlight.</p> <p>Two official photographers captured thousands of photos from the livestream along with Olympic and Paralympic montages and ‘Thank you Tokyo’ shots, with every athlete to receive a personalised image as an Australian-made gift to remember their Tokyo experience.</p> <p><strong>Largest show of this kind at the Opera House</strong></p> <p>According to the NSW government this was the largest collection of images ever projected onto the Sydney Opera House.</p> <p>Working with the Australian Olympic Committee, Paralympics Australia, Sydney Opera House and The Electric Canvas, the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet managed the project, collecting every athlete's image over two weeks then mapping them onto a design concept to fit the Opera House sails.</p> <p>The Games have been credited with giving people in every state and territory a positive boost and a break from the stress of lockdown and the seemingly never-ending coverage of COVID.</p> <p>Australia's athletes were impressive right to the end, with Madison de Rozario winning the women’s Paralympic marathon while teammate and marathon newcomer Jaryd Clifford, finished with a silver in the men's event on the final day.</p> <p>While the Games are nothing without the athletes, and they deserve their Opera House tribute, many of them will tell you their own lasting memories will be of the volunteers who for days on end stood in the heat and humidity directing busloads of competitors and officials.</p> <p>They were also making sure the fridges stayed full of water, or were simply charged with reminding every single person that passed through the security gates to "please, sanitise your hands".</p> <p><strong>Some of the best quotes of the Paralympic Games</strong></p> <p>As a final tribute, the Olympic Information Service in Tokyo compiled some of the best quotes of the Paralympic Games, which we share with you now as a final farewell:</p> <p><em>"I wouldn't change anything. I'd break my neck again if I could."</em> - Australian wheelchair rugby player, Richard Voris on "living the dream" after his friend accidentally jumped on his neck while swimming, leaving him quadriplegic.</p> <p><em>"When I modelled for (US fashion label) Tommy Hilfiger I had this realisation that this perfect body does not exist; only a handful of people have this type of body, this lifestyle. If you look around, all of us have little bumps and bruises all over us and we are all imperfect."</em> - US swimmer Haven Shepherd, who lost both her legs at 14 months old when her parents strapped a bomb to themselves and held her in their arms in an attempted family suicide in Vietnam.</p> <p><em>"I love what the Paralympics represents – it represents more than sport, it represents people with disability, succeeding in what they love, it gives us purpose, it gives us a passion, it changes cultures, changes perceptions. We can work, we can get jobs, we can be teachers, we can be mums, we can be dads, we can travel, we can be partners, we can have kids, we can do so much."</em> - Australia's tennis quad singles gold medalist Dylan Alcott, on the power of the Paralympics.</p> <p><em>"It was so good to have a female on the podium – that just happened to be me."</em> - British track cyclist Kadeena Cox who won the gold medal in the C1-5 750m team sprint, reflecting on being the only woman in the mixed team final.</p> <p><em>"I was literally swimming using one lung. I risked my life by coming here because my right lung is not functioning. But I came here to deliver a message representing millions of refugees around the world. There are thousands and thousands of disabled refugee athletes who are counting on me, so I didn't want to let them down."</em><br />- Syrian-born swimmer Ibrahim Al Hussein, representing the Refugee Paralympic Team, revealing he competed at Tokyo against the advice of his doctor.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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Five reasons why train travel is a winner

<p>Many of us love travelling by train. Maybe we did a lot of it when we were a child or perhaps it was simply the best mode of transport for the area we lived in.</p> <p>Planes have taken over quite a bit when it comes to travelling but once you've tried train travel and experienced how much fun it is, it's hard to feel quite the same about plane travel.</p> <p>Sure, if you prefer travelling by plane, it’s usually because of the convenience and the speed at which you can get to places.</p> <p>But beyond getting somewhere far or fast, we usually find it hard to come up with things we like about airline travel. But when it comes to travelling by train – there is so much to like.</p> <p>So here are our top five reasons train travel is a winner.</p> <p><strong>Ease of departure</strong></p> <p>It can take a long time to get to and from an airport and then through all the security mazes, domestic airline travel can take longer than you think.</p> <p>But with train travel there are no long lines, no X-ray machines, no removing shoes, belts, electronic devices etc. Want to bring your own drinks on the train? Or little bottles of liquids in various sizes? Go ahead!</p> <p><strong>Space and comfort</strong></p> <p>There’s a lot more space and comfort in a train. Seated on a train, most of us can fully extend our legs without touching the seat in front!</p> <p>You’re able to have your carry-on bag with all your knick knacks right next to you on the floor, not stuck up in an overhead compartment which is hard to get to.</p> <p>So, whatever you need, you can access it. Snacks, games, books - whatever you need – it’s easily accessible.</p> <p><strong>The scenery</strong></p> <p>Many train trips feature spectacular scenery and if you want to really immerse yourself in a country and get a feel for it, travelling by train through the country is one of the best ways.</p> <p>There are many famous train trips including: the Transiberian train trip through Russian; the Ghan in Australia; the Orient Express in Europe; Switzerland's Glacier Express; Japan's bullet trains; India's Palace on Wheels; the Garden Route through South Africa; through the Rockies in Canada; and past Machu Picchu in Peru.</p> <p><strong>Freedom of movement</strong></p> <p>It’s feels far less restrained travelling on a train so it makes for a more comfortable trip. If you happen to be travelling with family or grandchildren, they’ll be much more comfortable as well.</p> <p>Because there’s so much more space it all ends up being good for your physical and mental health. You can get up and stretch while traveling and train travel makes that so much easier.</p> <p>You can go for a stroll down to the snack car, or to the observation car, and then back to your seat. It’s far easier to point out interesting sights along the way, as no-one’s being distracted by driving or being quiet on a plane.</p> <p>A train ride is a more out-of-the-ordinary experience. It’s definitely a case where the journey can be just as interesting as the destination!</p> <p><strong>The cameraderie</strong></p> <p>Train travel is just friendlier than travel by plane. And more relaxed. People tend to chat and converse with each other more.</p> <p>Because a train trip is usually longer than many other kinds of trips, you can settle in and talk for a long time with fellow passengers. You can walk up to the restaurant car and have a meal together and take in the scenery while you continue talking.</p> <p>These are the reasons train travel is often a winner in any seasoned traveller’s books.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty Images</em></p>

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Nine top Aussie camp sites - with a view

<p>While it may be off our radar right now, travelling around Australia will be back soon and who doesn't want to fall asleep under a blanket of stars and wake to some of the best views in the country? So, take a look here at our top nine Aussie camp sites.</p> <p>Australia really is the lucky country. Every state and territory is home to a diverse range of rich scenic grandeur an it’s ready to inspire us. The great thing about camping is it gives you the best seat in the house to enjoy the wonder of it all. Here you’ll find our picks of the top 9 camping and caravanning campsites with a view.</p> <p><strong>Alpaca Magic Stud, Sutton, NSW</strong></p> <p>Canberrans, this one is for you. While this campsite is technically located just across the ACT border in NSW, it’s only a 30-minute drive from the Canberra CBD. And you’ll be warmly welcomed by fields of alpacas, llamas, donkeys, and miniature cattle studs.</p> <p>The site is suitable for self-sufficient campers – which means BYO water, toilet and shower amenities – who leave no trace.</p> <p><strong>Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort, Monkey Mia, WA</strong></p> <p>Monkey Mia is one of those rare places in Australia where dolphin visitation is daily, rather than seasonal, and the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort offers a human-dolphin interaction program for free. This absolute beachfront camping resort is in the heart of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. Spend your day’s snorkelling or boating in crystal clear waters, partaking in a camel ride or an Aboriginal Cultural Walk.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/nothing.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2efd197bd5834a0ca654e11ac447b830" /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843586/monkey-mia-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2efd197bd5834a0ca654e11ac447b830" /></p> <p><strong>First Sun Caravan Park, Byron Bay, NSW</strong></p> <p>Cape Byron is the most easterly point of Australia’s mainland, and <a href="https://www.firstsunholidaypark.com.au/">First Sun Caravan Park</a> reaps the benefits of its plum position on the foreshore of Byron Bay’s main beach. Let’s just say you’re guaranteed to be the first to witness the sun each day.</p> <p>For the most part, guests are also treated to unobstructed views of the ocean with sites located right alongside the beach. Yet, you’re also within strolling distance to all the major attractions.</p> <p><strong>Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, NT</strong></p> <p>With its remote desert location, deep cultural significance and spectacular natural beauty, <a href="https://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/accommodation/ayers-rock-campground">Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park</a> is home to one of Australia’s most unforgettable attractions – and, without a doubt, offers one of the best campsite views in the world.</p> <p>Due to Uluru’s cultural importance to the local Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people, the closest you can camp is 15 kilometres away in Yulara at the Ayers Rock Campground. But don’t worry, it isn’t called The Rock for no reason, you will still be treated to jaw-dropping views from this distance.</p> <p>In addition to its grassy campsites, you’ll also have access to a swimming pool and it’s a great place to base yourself to explore the park’s numerous walking tracks, rockpools and Aboriginal rock art sites. It’s worth allowing a couple of days to explore and observe the changing moods of the Rock.</p> <p><strong>Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, Flinders Ranges, SA</strong></p> <p>The rugged mountains which rise above grassy plains to form <a href="https://www.australiantraveller.com/sa/outback-sa/flinders-ranges/">the Flinders Ranges</a> are more than 600 million years old. The Aboriginal Dreamtime stories that tell the tale of how this area was created have been passed down between generations for more than 40,000 years.</p> <p>In the northern part of this epic location, you’ll find <a href="https://www.arkaroola.com.au/caravan-camping">Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.</a> Its campsites deliver some of Australia’s most spectacular mountain views and offer numerous eco-tourism-accredited guided tours.</p> <p>Whether you love birdwatching, bushwalking, geology, wildlife spotting or 4WD adventures, this wilderness sanctuary offers a multitude of activities for the outdoor enthusiast. They even have three fully equipped observatories, so you can get an even closer look at the incalculable number of stars at night.</p> <p>Pitch a tent among 600 million-year-old relics.</p> <p><strong>Lucky Bay National Park, WA</strong></p> <p>Gone are the days of paying top dollar to sit around an overcrowded resort because yes - your own personal paradise awaits you at Lucky Bay.</p> <p>You’ll find Lucky Bay just past Esperance in WA’s far south, and the campsites, which are situated almost on top of the sand, couldn’t offer more luxurious views: lush, turquoise waters lapping at gloriously white sand, a dramatic framing of rocky outcrops and beach-going kangaroos lazing about in the sunshine (yes, really).</p> <p>Swim, fish or opt for a bushwalk on one of the many trails that wind through the park past freshwater pools and a dazzling blanket of wildflowers (if you happen to be there in spring). </p> <p><strong>Green Patch, Jervis Bay, NSW</strong></p> <p>The campsites at <a href="https://parksaustralia.gov.au/booderee/camping/green-patch/">Green Patch</a> book out months in advance, so you do need to book ahead. You’ll find Green Patch tucked away in Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast. The lucky few who get in early can expect white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, and kangaroos bounding in the distance.</p> <p>The neighbouring beaches are perfect for swimming and sun-worshipping, while nearby bushwalking trails deliver several shaded picnic spots to sit and enjoy a meal with a view.</p> <p>Bathrooms, hot showers and water are all in ready supply, as are barbecues and wood fireplaces – so bring plenty of supplies for a barbie under the stars and a night-time bonfire. And don’t forget the wine.</p> <p><strong>Jan Juc Caravan Park, Great Ocean Road, Vic</strong></p> <p>Considered to be one of the world’s most <a href="https://www.australiantraveller.com/vic/great-ocean-road/the-best-itinerary-for-driving-the-great-ocean-road-in-three-days/">scenic coastal drives</a>, Victoria’s Great Ocean Road gives you the opportunity to see the iconic 12 Apostles, get up close to native wildlife, and take in iconic surf breaks, pristine rainforests and misty waterfalls.</p> <p>The natural beauty of this area draws visitors from far and wide. To truly drink in the stunning scenery, pitch a tent at the <a href="https://www.janjucpark.com.au/">Jan Juc Caravan Park</a>. And if you also want to check out the world-famous Bells Beach surf break, the park is as close as you can sleep to the action. There are barbecues, powered and unpowered campsites and cabins available.</p> <p><strong>Freycinet National Park, Tas</strong></p> <p>It’s no secret that <a href="https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-parks/freycinet-national-park">Freycinet National Park</a> is home to some of Tasmania’s most incredible camping spots, which may explain why you have to enter a ballot system to camp during peak times (Easter and Christmas).</p> <p>Pitch a tent here to wake to breathtaking ocean views. Your days will be spent exploring the beautiful bays: Honeymoon Bay, Sleepy Bay and Wineglass Bay – with the panoramic views of wondrous Wineglass Bay the main drawcard for visitors.</p> <p>The views on offer at Alpaca Magic Stud are essentially in the name – fields upon fields of peacefully grazing animals. But if the view alone isn’t enough to entice you, book into one of the many workshops on offer: Conversations with Cows, Breakfast with the Alpacas &amp; Llamas, Needle Felt workshops, Fleece Spinning workshops, and the very popular Llama Walking Experience.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty Images</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

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The real reason we have to use flight mode on a plane

<p>With flying for vaccinated passengers looking like it will happen soon, we could be back on a plane some time soon and putting our phone on flight mode is always one of the things we have to do when we get in our seat.</p> <p>Most of us think if we don’t do this as soon as possible, there could be a major problem somehow but we don’t really know why we have to do it. Sometimes we think - does it even matter?</p> <p>But now, thanks to TikTok, we finally have the answers from a flight attendant called Cierra Mistt who’s shared the real reason we must put our phone on flight mode.</p> <p>Already her TikTok video has gathered more than 1.7 million views.</p> <p>As Mistt says in her video: “There are approximately 45,000 flights that happen every single day, with about 2.9 million passengers on board,” she explains in the video.</p> <p>“And how does all this flying happen successfully? Believe it or not, pilots actually aren’t in charge of flying.”</p> <p>Mistt explains that although the pilot is operating the plane, it’s the communication between the ground and the pilot which is even more critical.</p> <p>“From the moment the boarding door closes to the moment we’re landing, the pilots are following specific instructions given to them by a group of people on the ground called Air Traffic Control,” she says.</p> <p>“In order for the pilot to be able to communicate with air traffic control, they use frequencies. Yep, just like the frequencies we use to send messages, stream video and insta-stalk our fave influencers on our phones,” she adds.</p> <p>Cierra goes on to explain that sometimes these frequencies collide, causing a complete loss of signal.</p> <p>“Picture how bad it would be for a pilot, who is taking directions from ATC on the ground to all of a sudden lose signal and [need to] start flying blindly. All because the frequency of a passenger’s phone has intercepted it.”</p> <p><strong>Many commented, thanking her for the explanation</strong></p> <p>Mistt received a lot of comments and thanks for the fact that she finally explained the full reason behind the need to use flight mode.</p> <p>As well, there were one or two sceptics and clarifications from experts in the field, particularly around the terminology used in the video.</p> <p>One electrical engineer said the real reason for flight mode was “unintended radio waves emitted by phones and other devices” or “intended radio waves being inadvertently picked up by the pilot’s equipment”.</p> <p>He added that nowadays, “our devices don’t emit or accept unintended waves as much” and questioned whether flight mode was still “absolutely necessary”, but added: “Out of caution, do it.”</p> <p>So, after watching this video, it’s great that we know more about why we need to use flight mode – and given it’s such a small, simple thing to do, it hardly seems like a big thing to ask of passengers.</p> <p><em>Photo: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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New Tourism Australia ad has nothing to do with Australian destinations

<p>Tourism Australia has taken a drastic new approach to their latest marketing campaign in an attempt to get Aussies travelling again. </p> <p>Rather than boasting scenic shots of Australian destinations, their message is simple: get vaccinated. </p> <p>Tourism Australia is encouraging more Aussies to explore more of their own backyards and take up more domestic travel opportunities for the sake of our mental well-being. </p> <p>However, with lockdowns continuously extending and borders remaining closed, the message portrayed in the newest ad is to encourage Aussies to get the jab.</p> <p>The campaign launches on Friday and is called "It's Our Best Shot for Travel", which will be rolled out across major newspapers, TV stations and social media platforms. </p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 375.9259259259259px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843216/screen-shot-2021-08-18-at-94951-am.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/12019c2ceba941f098b74b6cb8dfa188" /></p> <p><em>Image credit: Tourism Australia</em></p> <p><span>“We need to claim back our way of life so that we can visit friends and relatives, get back into the workplace, get our kids back to school, travel domestically and internationally again, and welcome the world back to enjoy all that Australia has to offer,” Tourism Australia’s managing director Phillipa Harrison said.</span></p> <p><span>Ms Harrison told an online webinar that domestic travel recovery plans have been a huge focus for Tourism Australia as Aussies remain locked down, saying the industry has “a tough couple of months ahead of us”.</span></p> <p><span>As Scott Morrison announced that Australia could move into the third phase of the pandemic's exit plan once 80 percent of Aussies are vaccinated, it is clear that the tourism industry shares the same goal. </span></p> <p>Ms Harrison said it was “very clear now that the pathway out of this is vaccinations, and it’s going to be hugely important to us.”</p> <p>“I think we have a little bit of clarity now that this isn’t going to go away, and even if you’re not in a lockdown market, you are certainly being affected by the fact that the two largest domestic source markets are in lockdown,” she said.</p> <p><span>Many parts of the tourism industry have taken a pro-vaccination stance as it continues to suffer from the effects of lockdowns and travel restrictions.</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Tourism Australia/Shutterstock</em></p>

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