Don’t Want to Do Touristy Things with other People! Which is better Tourism or Mining?

sweetlip-fish-the-great-barrier-reef

Don’t Want to Do Touristy Things with other People! Which is better Tourism or Mining?

 

I guess a touchy subject depending on which side of the fence you get your pay check.

 

Mining generally produces the raw materials we all need to drive our cars, build our houses and just about every other man made product we consume!

 

I decided to write a little article on these two comparisons!

 

The Great Barrier Reef vs Mining!

 

Sometimes I have travelers come into our travel shop and say ….. I want to visit the Great Barrier Reef but I don’t want to go with other people and I don’t want to go to where the reef is trashed!

 

It’s strange some people have this impression that the reef is trashed.

 

So this got me thinking about tourism, and what are the benefits and downfalls that tourism presents to an area.

 

So people don’t want to go with other people to visit the reef. I guess it’s the herd mentality if there are other people out on a day trip with you this offers a lesser experience. I understand that overcrowding on a day trip will not be a pleasant experience.

 

But visiting the reef on a vessel and system that is made to carry larger amounts of people to offer the same experience is still a better option than mining! Isn’t it?

 

So when I get these questions I start to think about, what if Cairns didn’t have tourism. What if we had heavy industry mining out on the reef to collect the large sums of crude oil and gas sitting under the reefs.

 

Would this be a better option than tourism for our region?

 

I’m not having a go at mining but I’m trying to state the obvious. People, we need to work, run business, earn money, buy a house and raise a family. If 70 – 80% of all business in Cairns is directly affected by tourism is this a good thing?

 

Don’t get me wrong, tourism has large peaks and troughs and with it brings plenty of stress to business owners. But over a one year cycle, tourism is a major generator for the local economy.

 

Tourism helps to maintain and sustain the local environment for future tourist to come and enjoy.

 

Speaking to many reef tour company owners this is our bread and butter. So everybody is in the same boat to preserve and protect, maintain and sustain our beautiful natural environment for future tourists and children to visit.

 

Just another topic in relation to how we consume. There is a saying I remember hearing a shark or reef fish sitting on your plate for dinner earns about $50. Left swimming around out on the reef is worth 200 – 300 thousand dollars in tourists spending money to go out there and take a picture of it in the wild.

 

We do all need to eat, so fishing is a part of our lives but also the conservation of our marine parks for the future tourism dollars to roll is paramount. It’s all about trying to find that balance.

 

A great example of tourism helping an economy is Fiji. Without tourism, many Fijians would not be living the lives they are today. The tourist dollar allows an entire country to grow, prosper and work with the natural environment to sustain it for future tourism business.

 

Tourism allows the preservation of a landscape, allows humans to live there, earn money and also manage and protect it to the best of current human technologies and abilities.

 

If we say let’s forget tourism and go down the heavy industry mining path ….. what future will that bring to our local World Heritage environments?

 

So Cairns having a large scale modern tourism industry, you will find large scale tour boats, pontoons and platforms taking large groups of people to see this amazing part of the world.

 

But just have a think is it better to share your experience with other people, in turn helping to preserve the very thing it is you paid to come and see.

 

Or let’s bag out the tourism industry and bring in the heavy industry sector and see what ends up of our beautiful piece of paradise.

 

 

In Conclusion:

 

So next time your somewhere touristy, think a little bit about the infrastructure behind it and how many local people and families that sustainable approach supports.

 

Tourism is not the bees knees in solving all our commercial, environmental, sustainable options, there is always room for improvement. It is just a much better option than some of the other ways we treat the planet to produce money.

 

What are your thoughts? Let’s continue the discussion below:

 

Clint-Carroll-Avatar
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clint Carroll is an adventure travel enthusiast, travel blogger, avid scuba diver and founder of Greenbuddy.com.au. based in Cairns, Australia. Connect with Clint on Twitter.

 

 

India is set to overtake China – ITM15 Bangalore, Indian Travel Mission

India is set to overtake China - ITM15 Bangalore, Indian Travel Mission

Mitch and Apurva Marda, director of Vibrant Holidays, based in Mumbai.

ITM15 Bangalore, Indian Travel Mission

I have been to my fair share of tourism events and promotions both domestic and international (mainly China), but for my first trade mission in India, held just recently, I was chartering into unknown territory.

India is set to overtake China as the most populous country on the planet, so having the chance to promote a new product to a market of this potential was a very exciting opportunity. However, as I had always been ‘China focused’ due  to my specific expertise, I began to wonder about the possible challenges and differences in business culture I would come across.

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Capturing the laid back and friendly nature of Australia at networking function, Sheraton, Bangalore

I am pleased to say that these worries would prove to be unfounded, as due to the amazing organizational efforts of Tourism Australia, the event was smooth, stress-free and extremely valuable in a business sense.

One thing that struck out the most to me was the quality of the appointments. Almost all of the people I conducted appointments with were either business owners, directors or decision makers of some kind, which as anyone in this game knows is extremely important.

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Appointment Schedules were fast and furious, as seen here

Tourism Australia have been working hard to train agents to be specialists in selling Australia, and now there are currently more than 2,114 travel agents/consultants from 1,462 travel agencies throughout the main markets in India who are qualified Aussie Specialists*.

The ‘ITM15 Bangalore’ was composed of two days of frenzied of appointment schedules in which I showcased Australian skydive product to over 75 agents. However, the real value came in the form of  networking sessions which varied from an informal ‘board shorts and flip-flops’ pool party to a more formal suit and jacket evening. It was at these events where I learnt of the great warmth and welcoming nature of our Indian counterparts. Sometimes, events such as these can be a little stiff and cold, but I have never experienced anything such as the relaxed, fun attitude of this event, which leads to an environment open to discussion and getting to know people.

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Catching up for some well deserved ‘down time’ after the appointments concluded

I have been told that in this market, friends and relationships come first, and the business comes (maybe) after.  If this recent mission is anything to go by, I feel like I have already made friends to last a lifetime and looking to the future, with China and India being two of the biggest economies in the world, I see it as an investment in the long term future to be involved in these massive emerging and dynamic markets!

 

* Source – Tourism Australia

 

(Stay tuned for more on India…)

Mitchell-Callander-Avatar
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mitchell Callander is a freelance Chinese marketing consultant specializing in the Asian markets, specifically China, Japan, Korea and India. He speaks fluent mandarin, conversational Japanese and is developing an online social media based channel completely in mandarin, called Strange Rice TV.

Papua New Guinea Dive Night Cairns, a Success Story The Australian Premier of Escape To Papua New Guinea, Wednesday – 05th AUGUST 2015.

Papua New Guinea Dive Night Cairns Australia

The Papua New Guinea Dive Night Cairns. Held at Event Cinemas Cairns, Wednesday – 05th AUGUST 2015.

Australian Premier of
Nature Documentary Film:
“Escape To Papua New Guinea” –

 

There was a palpable buzz of anticipation and excitement in the air. As soon as I walked into the room, I could feel the energy of the audience.

 

There was such a positive turn out, and it was just fantastic to see so many familiar faces at the very first Papua New Guinea Dive Movie Night in Cairns, last Wednesday – 05th AUGUST 2015.

 

Stay tuned for the next Papua New Guinea Dive Night in 2016 – We have some very special international guest speakers and world famous underwater photographers presenting on the evening. Join the E-Newsletter so you don’t miss out – Sign Me Up Scotty!

 

A sell-out crowd attended from many parts of the Cairns tourism/dive travel industry. It was so great to see, especially since this was the very first time it was being held in Cairns.

 

 

It really shows how the Cairns community has a thirst for nature, adventure, diving and generally everyone coming together to see fantastic outdoor adventure films. I think this is also why the Cairns Underwater Film Festival is always a great success.

 

However, what really got me excited was that this was also The Australian Premier of Nature Documentary Film “Escape To Papua New Guinea!“. It was an opportunity for the Cairns adventure tourism industry to catch a glimpse of the amazing natural landscape, rich culture and stunning underwater marine life that exists in PNG.

 

With tremendous attendance, the PNG dive night featured 3 main events.

 

For the first feature for the evening we presented a short 4-minute dive film which was filmed by Japanese underwater videographer – Hajime Ishikawa,edited by Mr Yasunori Iwamoto & produced by Takashi Yamada from the Tourism Promotion Authority in Japan. The short film, labelled “The Best Diving In Papua New Guinea” shows spectacular underwater footage from Papua New Guinea’s amazing marine environment.

 

Following Hajime’s short film, we were delighted by the second feature of the evening, a special guest presentation from Jürgen & Stella Freund from Jürgen Freund Photography.

 

Jürgen & Stella presented beautiful images of amazing natural landscapes, underwater scenes and beautiful photos of Papua New Guinea’s native culture. Originally commissioned by the WWF, Stella & Yogi gave us a brief insight to their work as they documented their journey thru the Golden Triangle which incorporates Papua New Guinea.

 

Jürgen & Stella Freund from Jürgen Freund Photography

Jürgen & Stella Freund from Jürgen Freund Photography

The Australian Premier of “Escape To Papua New Guinea”

 

After Jürgen & Stella’s entertaining, yet educational presentation, we presented the main feature film; the Australian Premier of “Escape To Papua New Guinea“. This nature-based documentary film is produced by Czech filmmakers Libor Spacek and Petra Dolezalova. and is the fifth installment of their 10 part Escape To Nature Series.

 

The film presents a rich in depth view to the lives and culture of the Papua New Guinea people. There were spectacular cultural scenes captured from the Crocodile Festival in the Sepik, as well as magnificent underwater scenes from Papua New Guinea’s amazing natural marine biodiversity.

 

I really think the film “Escape To Papua New Guinea” captures magnificent underwater scenes, rich in depth culture and beautiful tropical landscapes! This was a great opportunity for the Cairns adventure travel community to catch a glimpse of what it is like to scuba dive and travel in Papua New Guinea!

 

Please watch the short film clip from the night!

Our videographer for the evening Phil Warring from PhlipVids captured many attendees thoughts and feelings about the film.

 

Want to stay in touch for next years event?

Join the E-Newsletter so you don’t miss out – Sign Me Up Scotty!

 

Stay tuned for next years Papua New Guinea Dive Night – 2016. We have already started working on the program to bring you some very special international guest speakers and photographers! Stay tuned for more!

 

Clint-Carroll-Avatar
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clint Carroll is an adventure travel enthusiast, travel blogger, avid scuba diver and founder of Greenbuddy.com.au. based in Cairns, Australia. Connect with Clint on Twitter.

Travelling to Australia? Has the World Currency Market Dumped the Dollar in Your Favor!

Travelling to Australia? Has the World Currency Market Dumped the Dollar in Your Favor
Travelling to Australia? Has the World Currency Market Dumped the Dollar in Your Favor

Travelling to Australia? Has the World Currency Market Dumped the Dollar in Your Favor?

 

Thinking of taking that long awaited holiday to Australia? Is it on your bucket list of places to visit?

 

Just imagine, finally a chance to see Koala’s, Kangaroos, Ayers Rock, The Sydney Opera House and the ultimate wonder; The Great Barrier Reef!

 

Only after the idea has set, do we start to think about money! Only to be able to afford the international airline tickets. As the dream slowly becomes a reality the mind wonders; how long could you actually stay at $150AUD a night in 3 star hotels?

 

As the global monitory systems grinds on, something has been secretly working in your favor! The demise of Australian mining industry! Well its not as bad as that, but it is moving in a definite downward trend! What does that have to do with taking a holiday to Australia you may ask? Well its getting cheaper for starters!

 

The demise of the Australian dollar seems to have allot more to do with China than Australia. Simply put China has reduced its consumption of Iron Ore, Copper and Coal. These where the main resources it used to buy from Australia! According to economists China is still developing, just not at the pace it was 2/3 years ago.

 

Australia acted as one of China’s main source’s for raw materials. So now the demand is easing off, the big investment money has headed offshore to healthier and happier returns. In doing so the Australian dollar has headed into a downward spiral ever since. Economists are predicting it will tumble even further! Struth!

 

That is spectacular news for you the potential traveler! No really! At the time of writing this article, the Google machine suggests one British pound is worth 2.14 Australian Dollars! That’s a 50% saving on all Australian tour and travel product!

 

Ok so its the long haul international flight that’s the issue! Wait a minute, what about those fantastic deals coming out of Europe stopping thru Abu Dhabi, Dubai and even Singapore.

 

Did you know there are now direct flights between Singapore and Cairns in Northern Australia? Cairns is still regarded as The Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia! Check out Silkairs new service, you can fly London to Singapore to Cairns direct! Just awesome! Come and have some fun in the sun!

 

So back to our holiday calculations, a full day reef trip out on the Great Barrier Reef departing from either Cairns or Port Douglas is going to set you back around $200 Australian Dollars. Convert that to British pounds at today’s rate and it’s only £93.40.

 

Seriously what can £93.40 buy you in the UK? Well you could get 2 x 30 min joy rides on the Coca Cola London Eye from £75.90.

 

Is visiting the Great Barrier Reef; the largest living organism in the World, the most Spectacular Reef System on the planet worth £93.40. I should hope so. Don’t forget lunch, morning / afternoon tea and all of your snorkeling equipment is provided! Also a portion of that money goes to the preservation of the reef!

 

I know I hear you, add the international Flights, Food, Hotels and Transport and yes things do start to add up. But for the last 10 years this is nearly as good as it gets! or should I say as good as its been for a very long time!

 

Brent Crude oil is another factor that comes into play; cheap oil is making it more affordable to get to and from Australia. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner was designed to be 20% more fuel efficient! Add to the equation major competition between carriers and we have an air price war, where at the end of the day the consumer wields the power!

 

Fuel at the petrol bowser in Australia is still pretty high, its strange considering crude oil prices are as low as I can ever remember. Your still looking at around $1.48 per liter to fill up your car.

 

So renting a car or camper gives you the freedom to roam the wide open plains. But you will end up paying for it at the petrol bowser. It’s still much cheaper to fly in Australia than it is to take your car.

 

So is Australia Cheap? Has the World Currency Market Made it more Affordable?

 

In some regards, I would have to say yes! As a whole I wouldn’t say Australia is cheap destination to travel. For example a meat pie and can of coke will still set you back around $7.50AUD.

 

But I would say at the time of writing this article the World currency market has now created a positive exchange rate in favor of our British, European and American Travelers.

 

In fact; if you look at history, it hasn’t been this good for well over 10+ Years!

 

So as time moves on, the kids get a little older and the mortgage is paid down. Is it time to splurge a little on that long lost wild destination called Australia? I think so, if not its getting very close.

 

Come on out and enjoy the blue skies and sunshine. You may even find you’ll have a dollar or two left over for a souvenir Koala photo! Struth Mate!

 

Happy traveling everyone!

 

Clint-Carroll-Avatar
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clint Carroll is an adventure travel enthusiast, travel blogger, avid scuba diver and founder of Greenbuddy.com.au. based in Cairns, Australia. Connect with Clint on Twitter.

Trekking in Henan Province, China

Trekking in Henan Province China
Trekking in Henan Province China

Trekking in Henan Province China

Trekking in Henan Province, China

When most people think about China, the big attractions such as Beijing (Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City), Xian (Terracotta Warriors) and Shanghai are usually first to come to mind. However, China is a huge place with a plethora of diverse and amazing places to visit. If you love getting off the beaten track and challenging yourself to some real cultural experiences there are countless numbers of places which are out there to be discovered.

 

I first moved to China in 2005, and chose the city of Zhengzhou, Henan to live and work. Henan is a centrally located province and one of the most populous in China. The famous Yellow River runs through it, so the area often referred to as the ‘Cradle of Chinese Civilization’.

Trekking-in-Henan-Province-China-02

After living and working in the concrete jungle of Zhengzhou for a few months, I managed to find a trekking club, who organised camping trips to the countryside on the weekends and holidays. Finding this club was definitely a game changer for me and enabled me to experience Chinese culture on a whole new level.

 

Henan province is extremely mountainous, and despite many cities relying on heavy industry, you can easily escape to the rural areas, which are steeped in dramatic scenery and ancient history.

 

Some of my most memorable personal moments include the challenge of communication with my trekking colleagues, none of whom spoke any English (this was to be a big factor in my Chinese level improving), the generous nature of the Chinese, who would constantly be sharing fruits and snacks with each other during the expedition, and climbing out of my tent in the mornings to the crisp mountain air and noodles for breakfast, boiled on gas camp stoves.

 

Trekking through tall, misty mountains and coming across old stone bridges and remote villages was an awe inspiring experience for me, and getting my lungs full of fresh air was just the tonic from the bustling industrial city of Zhengzhou. Also, just spending time with my Chinese trekking club was an experience in itself, as I learned so much about language and culture when travelling and spending time as a Chinese person would.

 

As a born and raised Queenslander, another big difference was the changing seasons. Seeing the beautiful hues of red, yellow and orange of Autumn on the mountainside while following old paths for me was a highlight, as was the snow in winter.

 

I guess the point of this article is to highlight that no matter where you go and what you do, you can always go deeper. Speak to locals, find the people who share similar passions within that country, and you will have experiences and find places which otherwise, you may never have known existed. Not to mention, you will make new friends, connect with people and share cultural experiences beyond that which you may have ever previously expected.

 

Mitchell-Callander-Avatar
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mitchell Callander is a freelance Chinese marketing consultant specializing in the Asian markets, specifically China, Japan, Korea and India. He speaks fluent mandarin, conversational Japanese and is developing an online social media based channel completely in mandarin, called Strange Rice TV.

Eating Out In Cairns! When Garlic & Ramon Collide! – Noodles with Attitude!

When Garlic & Ramon Collide Noodles with Attitude Eating out in Cairns
Eating out in Cairns! When Garlic & Ramon Collide - Noodles with Attitude!

Eating out in Cairns! When Garlic & Ramon Collide – Noodles with Attitude!

Eating Out In Cairns! When Garlic & Ramon Collide! – Noodles with Attitude!

 

Welcome to our latest article on Eating out in Cairns!

 

One of the fundamental enjoyments of traveling is unquestionably stuffing our mouths with great food, right?

 

Well, maybe not necessarily stuffing, but tasting the exotic flavor’s of a foreign country is definitely pertinent to gaining a deeper insight to the everyday lives of locals.

 

Here, we are going to try to discuss the question:

 

“Is the local food being served in Cairns a true representation of the local people?”

 

Arriving – As weary travelers stumbling into a new town or city, we observe new smells, colors, people and weather conditions. Cairns has a thick, heavy and humid climate, especially in Summer. You will most definitely feel this as soon as you step off the plane!

 

With backpacks laden and all the comforts of home inside, the traveler dodges the throngs of people hustling and bustling their way out of the airport.

 

Now to find the hotel, you flag down a taxi or take off on an airport shuttle. Eventually, you arrive at your new home! Now, that wasn’t too hard, wasn’t it?!

 

Firstly, take the weight off your shoulders and store your bags. You’ve now arrived at your eco-luxury tropical escape! Well, maybe not quite that luxurious, but you will be able to at least call it home for the next few days!

 

It’s right about at this point in time I find the belly starts to rumble! For me this is where the real fun begins! Eating!

 

Exploring any new city or town is an absolute joy, new streets, architecture, buildings, different people, faces, language, fashion, cars, motorbikes and for me, the main event ….food!

 

As mentioned before, I always ask the question; is the local food a representation of the local people? From my experience, I would have to say yes!

 

No trip to Paris would be complete without a freshly baked croissant from the local Boulangerie, would it? Certain foods most definitely represent the local inhabitants, don’t you think?

 

A fantastic example of food representing people is right here in Cairns. This little city is one of my favorite eating cities in the world. Well actually I’am a little biased, mainly because I live here!

 

We have a huge variety of international cuisines and multicultural flavors right on our door step! Firstly, just take a walk down to our famous local fresh fruits and vegetables market, Rusty’s Markets Cairns! Here you will find all walks of life and more importantly all the flavors of the world! Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings!

 

How did we arrive at this multicultural food revolution you may ask? Well it wasn’t as strenuous as Che Guevara’s struggle’s to freedom in South America.

 

A lot of it has to do with the International flight connections that come in and out of Cairns from our neighboring countries! Also, the work forces required to service the ever growing Cairns Tourism Industry!

 

The Top 5 Secret Food Places Eating out in Cairns? Only the locals know!

The Top 5 Secret Food Places Eating out in Cairns? Only the locals know!

The Top 5 Secret Food Places Eating out in Cairns? Only the locals know!

 

When Garlic and Ramon noodles collide there is only one Japanese restaurant like it … the Sensei of Japanese Ramon in Cairns – Gumbarumba Ramon Noodles Cairns on Spence Street. Ramon noodles to die for at a fantastic price. With awesome service, try their hot cooked Gyoza’s & soy sauce, I promise you wont be disappointed.

 

Next on the Cairns street food trail is Ocha Cha Japanese Restaurant Cairns , upstairs behind the old defunct Blue Sky brewery on Lake Street. This is a local secret, a little golden gem, hidden far from view. Don’t blink or you will miss it! Beautiful set menus at an excellent price, this really feels like you’re in Tokyo!

 

No traveling adventure to Cairns would be complete without a visit to one of the very best Korean Restaurants in Cairns – Corea Corea Restaurant Cairns , upstairs at Orchid Plaza in the heart of the city! Fantastic speedy service, amazing hot rock BBQ Beef bowls with tantalizing chili and garlic flavors! You really should try the Beef Rib Soup! Get in early as it gets very busy here!

 

There are many more food institutions in Cairns worth their wait in Gold, these include the finer dining restaurants of Barnacle Bills Seafood Restaurant , one of Cairns local favorites. Also you cannot go paste the beautiful Dundee’s Restaurant on the Cairns Esplanade, complete with spectacular harbor views and a delicious variety of wines!

 

So, going back to my theory; does a food represent the local culture? I mentioned a bunch of beautiful Japanese and Korean restaurants, so does that mean we have a lot of Japanese and Korean people living here in Cairns?

 

Well the answer is yes! Due to direct air access and the large tourism industry that operates here in Cairns, many tourism companies employ foreign speakers to deal with the large volumes international tourists that visit the region. Cairns is also very popular for International students studying English at one of the many Cairns English Language schools.

 

Read our recent article on how Cairns is voted 4th in the top 10 Destinations to visit in Australia by Trip Advisor 2015!

 

With direct flights from Tokyo and Osaka to Cairns on Jetstar Airways up to 3 days per week and at just 7 hours to get here, it’s no wonder we have fantastic international restaurants right on our door step.

 

It’s so nice to be able to walk the streets of Cairns and with a little local knowledge pick a restaurant based on your taste buds desires!

 

Eat well my traveling buddies, try one of the many restaurants mentioned above. You wont be disappointed, especially now you know where to go!

 

Like the article? Would you like to receive more updates from Greenbuddy Cairns? Join our email list and keep those taste buds watering!

 

Clint-Carroll-Avatar
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clint Carroll is an adventure travel enthusiast, travel blogger, avid scuba diver and founder of Greenbuddy.com.au. based in Cairns, Australia. Connect with Clint on Twitter.

Cairns, voted 4th in the top 10 Destinations to visit in Australia by Trip Advisor 2015!

Cairns, voted 4th in the top 10 Destinations to visit in Australia by Trip Advisor 2015!
Cairns, voted 4th in the top 10 Destinations to visit in Australia by Trip Advisor 2015!

Cairns, voted 4th in the top 10 Destinations to visit in Australia by Trip Advisor 2015! Photo – Clint Carroll

Cairns, voted 4th in the top 10 Destinations to visit in Australia by Trip Advisor 2015!

 

It’s a harsh tropical winter this year, just 28 degrees, imagine skies of deep blue, warm golden rays from the sun, smell the warm salty air. That doesn’t sound like a cold nasty wet winter! Nope that’s a winter in the tropics, North Queensland style mate!

 

Not just cold 4X beer, sausages on the BBQ, and maybe a few flies hindering your lunch! Although the cold beer and snags are a great way to spend a day at the beach! Welcome to the modern cosmopolitan city of Cairns!

 

This once sleepy little town has morphed into one of the leading tourism destinations of Australia! Wow, how did that happen? Hard work, long hours, years of marketing and clearly 2 distinct World Heritage Listed National Parks standing side by side! Welcome to the Kingdom of Nature!

 

Trip Advisor for 2015 has pinned Cairns as the 4th leading tourism destination out of there top 10 destinations to visit in Australia! Wow fantastic and what an achievement! Click Here

 

Well it’s the people’s choice it seems! I don’t know any of the fundamental details of how Trip Advisor calculates its rating algorithms, but I’m guessing the results are user generated! The travelers have spoken!

 

I’m also convinced it has something to do with the largest living organism in the world …… The Great Barrier Reef! No not the one Greenpeace and Government agencies have all been squabbling about, we are talking about the real deal!

 

Understandably there will always be confusion in the marketing and public perception of a destination in the eye’s of the media, also the people who will use it for there own advantages and causes. But we will leave all that up to the politics of the conglomerates to battle out.

 

I’m more interested in sharing with you my first hand experiences of what possibly are the top 3 things to see and do in this beautiful little city called Cairns, located in Tropical North Queensland, Australia.

 

As the only Northern city in Queensland to have an international airport with direct flights from China, Japan, Singapore, Guam, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea. Cairns must have something going for it!

 

Alas welcome to what is more commonly know by many people around the world as the Gateway to The Great Barrier Reef! Now this is a controversial issue, but I only ask people to look at local marine charts. How far is it from Cairns to Green Island? or should I say the mainland to Green Island. Google has a great measuring tool – Google Maps

 

Cairns steeped with a strong tourism background, created from a handful of young, inspirational adventurers in the late 70’s and 80’s. These people pioneered what the city is today, one of the leading tourism destination in Australia. Wow that’s an achievement!

 

Lets talk about the top 3 things to see and do in Cairns.

 

01 – Visit The Great Barrier Reef

Well you guessed it, Visit the Great Barrier Reef! This is the absolute must do and the fundamental reason Cairns is what it is today. Try snorkelling or scuba diving from one of the many day reef tour operators. They are all fantastic with great customer service and all have a variety of different reef sites to choose from. My only advice, just get out there and enjoy it! See it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

 

02 – Visit Kuranda Village by Train & Skyrail

Visit the quaint little village of Kuranda, a true original little hippie town, now re-incarnated as more of an ecologically functioning eco village in the rainforest. Beautiful markets, gardens, art studios and fantastic food, the French Crepes are to die for! Go Le Petit Cafe Creperie!

 

Kuranda village is to be accessed by the historic Kuranda Scenic Train. Enjoy fantastic views on the 1hour 15min journey. This is a hand built railway line traversing thru Barron George National Park. After your visit to Kuranda village, enjoy another round of scenic views returning on the scenic Skyrail, a rainforest cable car system that meanders all the way back down the Great Dividing Range.

 

03 – Visit Cape Tribulation National Park

Visit Cape Tribulation National Park, grab a car and drive yourself North of Cairns. Venture off into this thick tropical Northern jungle. Think Jurassic park but without the living breathing dinosaurs! Although the Rainforest is home to many pre-historic trees and plants.

 

Cape Tribulation and Daintree National Park also seem to be one of Sir David Attenborough’s favourite tropical rainforest locations in the whole world. At least that’s what he told Jonathan Ross from the BBC’s The Jonathan Ross Show, see the YouTube video Click Here.

 

Imagine thick tropical jungle, the Daintree River full of wild ankle biting saltwater crocodiles and of course the beautiful Cape Tribulation beach, a photographer’s paradise!

 

With the top 3 basics covered you can rest easy knowing you have only just scratched the surface of what can be found in and around this little Great Barrier Reef city.

 

Hopefully we have inspired you to dig a little deeper and find out why Cairns would be voted 4th in the Trip Advisors top 10 Destinations to visit in Australia 2015!

 

Struth mate! Grab a coldie and stock up the Barbie! Is it 5’Oclock yet!

 

Clint-Carroll-Avatar
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clint Carroll is an adventure travel enthusiast, travel blogger, avid scuba diver and founder of Greenbuddy.com.au. based in Cairns, Australia. Connect with Clint on Twitter.

The Great Social Media of China

No Facebook or Youtube, Just Weibo and Wechat?
No Facebook or Youtube Just Weibo and Wechat!

No Facebook or Youtube Just Weibo and Wechat!

No Facebook or Youtube, Just Weibo and Wechat?

 

Most of us are aware now that the ‘Great Firewall of China” blocks out social networking sites such as Facebook and Youtube (which many of us couldn’t imagine a world without). So, if Chinese aren’t using these, what social media are they using and are they as infatuated with it as we are?

 

The short answer to that question is ‘yes’ – the Chinese are at least as much if not many times more infatuated with social media as we are in the west. As a matter of fact, the first question you will usually here from a Chinese traveller upon arrival will be ”is there free WIFI?’

 

Let us go back a little, to Weibo and Youku. You can think of Weibo as the Chinese version of twitter or facebook. A user can blog using photos and text, subscribe to accounts, follow others, scroll the home page for days – you get the picture. Youku, on the other hand, is basically Chinese Youtube and is used for video sharing.

 

Weibo was HUGE, and amassed a massive number of users. However, such is the speed of change in China, it has already been superseded by an absolute giant of social media. Wechat. Wechat works on a ‘Whatsapp’ principle (and the logo even is a little similar – coincidence, maybe?) of using WIFI to message and text, however it has many functions which make it very appealing. Think of Wechat as a combination of every kind of social media app we have. It has already eclipsed the 350 million user mark.

 

Companies even use ‘public wechat profiles’ which are basically like mini – websites.  These public profiles are not easy for Australian companies to get a hold of, as they need to be registered in China so that content can be monitored (of course). Also, believe it or not,  but wechat QR codes are being used to make payments when shopping, acting as a credit card of sorts!

 

Personally, I was in denial about needing Wechat until I heard a Chinese friend tell me frankly: ‘No Wechat, No Business,’ so I uploaded it immediately.  Since then,  I have realised just how much it is used in doing business in China. If you do business with China and don’t have it, I suggest you download and English version of Wechat yourself from the app store.

 

Just be careful… Once you get started, you may get a Wechat addiction too.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mitchell Callander is a freelance Chinese marketing consultant specializing in the Asian markets, specifically China, Japan, Korea and India. He speaks fluent mandarin, conversational Japanese and is developing an online social media based channel completely in mandarin, called Strange Rice TV.

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