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Things to do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs

Free Things to do in Toowoomba

There are so many things to do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs we discovered lots which we found really interesting and very worthwhile visiting.

Toowoomba is the Garden City of Queensland so beautiful gardens are definitely on the list and they are free for visitors and locals to wander through and admire the flowers, trees, water features and other features of the different parks and gardens.

Another fascinating thing about Toowoomba is that it is rich in history. There are so many amazing old buildings.

You can do self-guided walking tours where many notable landmarks are highlighted. Some of the buildings in Toowoomba date back to the 1860s and one in particular has a quirky significance.

Toowoomba and the Darling Downs is full of interesting things to do.

Queens Park Toowoomba - one of 10 Free Things to do in Tooowoomba

Here is our list of Things to do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs

  1. Carnival of Flowers
  2. Japanese Gardens
  3. Laurel Bank Park Gardens
  4. Qld State Rose Gardens
  5. Russell Street Historical Walk
  6. Toowoomba Street Art
  7. Oldest Men’s Public Urinal in Queensland
  8. Cobb & Co Museum
  9. Toowoomba Farmers Markets
  10. Picnic Point
  11. Table Top Mountain
  12. Spring Bluff Railway Station
  13. Chocolate Cottage, Highfields
  14. Highfields Pioneer Village
  15. Cooks Soft Drinks, Pittsworth
  16. Kaimkillenbun, Queensland’s Longest Named Town
  17. Dingo Barrier Fence, Jimbour

Things to do in Toowoomba, the City of Gardens

Discover the beauty of Queens Park during Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

The most well known park in the City of Gardens is Queens Park.

The optimum time to visit Queens Park is in Spring during the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, the longest running floral event of its kind in Australia. The fabulous floral festival has flourished into an annual iconic event since it first began in 1949.

The Botanical Gardens in Queens Park is spectacular all year round but especially comes alive in Spring.

Even in Autumn at the time of our most recent visit there are still a number of flower beds bringing vibrant colour to the gardens.

Spread over 26.3 hectares, the heritage listed Queens Park is a fabulous parkland with plenty of walking paths and wide open space and playgrounds for children to play.

Queens Park Toowoomba
Japanese Garden - One of the free things to do in Toowoomba

Stroll around the Japanese Garden

The beautiful gardens in Toowoomba definitely feature highly in our list of things to do in Toowoomba.

The Japanese Garden is just one of the popular gardens to visit when exploring the City of Gardens.

Nestled in suburbia at Darling Heights on the northern side of the University of Southern Queensland grounds is the Japanese Garden.

The gardens are jointly owned by the University and Toowoomba Regional Council.

There are 3 hectares of gardens with bright orange bridges, a waterfall and a lake filled with turtles, ducks and birds.

The Japanese Garden is open between 7am and 6pm daily and entry is free!

Japanese Garden

Explore Laurel Bank Park Gardens

As Toowoomba is so well known as the Garden City of Queensland, be sure to make your way around the beautiful gardens of Laurel Bank Park.

We discovered the beautiful flower beds, colourful mini windmills, topiary sculptured animals, an awesome Thomas the Tank sculptured hedge, a water feature and a scented garden with perfumed plants and herbs.

After it was suggested by The Downs Association for the Blind, the Scented Gardens were developed in 1980. We saw a small bus load of visually impaired people visiting the gardens while we were there.

Laurel Bank Park Gardens are well worth a visit and they are one of the great free things to do in Toowoomba.

Laurel Bank Park Toowoomba

View the video below to see some of the things we discover in and around Toowoomba:

Qld State Rose Garden

Admire the Beautiful Roses in the Qld State Rose Garden

Queensland’s State Rose Garden in Newtown Park in Toowoomba boast over 2,000 roses. These fabulous flowers tantalise your sense of smell with their perfume and are absolutely beautiful to the eye.

Besides the numerous garden beds filled with a great variety of roses showcased in all different colours, the special feature is the Heritage Roses in Australia Collections.

One hundred and eighty roses, of species introduced before 1900, were planted in the Heritage Rose Garden. They provide a spectacular display especially in Spring.

This sensational Qld State Rose Garden was established in 1999. The roses are usually in bloom for everyone to enjoy nine months of the year.

Qld State Rose Garden Toowoomba

Things to Do in Toowoomba City Centre

Walk back in time on the Russell Street Historical Walk

Combine one of the free things to do in Toowoomba with its rich history by doing the self-guided Russell Street Historical Walk.

It takes you past some historical old buildings of Toowoomba. The tour starts with the magnificent old Heritage Listed Toowoomba Railway Station that was built in 1873.

A significant feature of this historic station is the refreshment rooms, memorial honour board, rest room/retiring room/powder room plus the inclusion of two air-raid shelters.

Toowoomba Railway Station
Toowoomba Street Art

Venture down Laneways and find Toowoomba’s Street Art

Another of the free things to do in Toowoomba CBD is to venture down the laneways in the city centre and you will come across some amazing Street Art.

There are loads and loads of street art murals and you could literally spend hours wandering down the laneways and exploring the streets of Toowoomba in search of these incredible pieces of art.

The best part in searching for the street art is that it’s just one of the things to do in Toowoomba for free and it is also great exercise!

Toowoomba Street Art

Check out the Oldest Men’s Public Urinal in Queensland

One of the quirkiest things that Toowoomba is known for is it has the Oldest known existing Public Urinal in Queensland!

Now that’s one quirky claim to fame!

Originally built in 1919, this famous roofless Men’s Toilet amazingly survived the disastrous floods in 2011.

Due to roadworks this iconic toilet building was pulled down in 2013. They then rebuilt it brick by brick in exactly the same location.

Qld oldest Mens Toilet Toowoomba

Things to do in and around Toowoomba

Cobb & Co Museum

Cobb & Co Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Toowoomba and certainly is not to be missed.

We wandered through the Ancient Rome Exhibit which was currently showing, browsed through the workshop areas and the National Carriage Collection prior to the start of our tour.

Museum Tours run daily at 10.30am and 2.30pm.

We were extremely fortunate to have a one on one experience with our tour guide as we were the only two on the 2.30pm tour. Learning the history and just some of the stories was fascinating.

  • The Cobb & Co Mail and Passenger Service used 9,000 horses to travel 30,000kms across the 39-40 different routes per week.
  • They would change horses every 1.5hrs which ensured the speed of service

Cobb & Co Museum is open from 9.30am – 4pm daily.

Cobb & Co Toowoomba

Stock up at the Toowoomba Farmers Markets

Every Saturday morning, you can stock up on your fresh fruit and vegies at the Toowoomba Farmers Markets.

The markets are held under the Windmills at the Cobb & Co Museum each Saturday from 7am to 12pm.

This is a great opportunity to buy direct from the farmers including seasonal fruit and vegetables, meat, hand-made bread, pasta, jam, honey and eggs just to name a few.

There’s also a range of local artisan stalls selling hand made soaps, jewellery, leather work and much more.

Take in the magnificent views from Picnic Point

For breathtaking views, a visit to Picnic Point is a must. Picnic Point is the highest point in Toowoomba with an elevation of 2,300 feet. 

It’s the perfect spot for a picnic and to take in the magnificent views from this fabulous vantage point.

Picnic Point offers direct views across to Table Top Mountain and the Lockyer Valley plus you look down on the roadway that weaves up the steep range to Toowoomba.

More extensive views of the Table Top Mountain and the Lockyer Valley can be enjoyed from the lookout on the Tobruk Memorial Drive.

The Picnic Point Parklands and Lookout has long been very popular for locals and visitors. The first portion of the parklands was set aside back in 1886.

A mushroom shaped water tower constructed in 1963 is also a distinct feature alongside the Picnic Point Cafe and Restaurant.

The now Heritage listed Picnic Point and adjacent Parkland is definitely high on the list of the top things to do in Toowoomba.

Picnic Point is one of the Free Things to do in Toowoomba

Hike Table Top Mountain

If you are fit and energenic, take a hike up to the summit of the Table Top Mountain.

Table Top Mountain in Rangeville on the outskirts of Toowoomba is the distinct flat top mountain that you can clearly see from Picnic Point.

Quite a number of years ago, Kev and a couple of mates hiked Table Top Mountain which stands at 597 metres. The 2km hike is Grade 5 classification. For most people the walking time is approx 2hrs 20 minutes.

Sections of the walk are quite steep and there are also sections which entail climbing over medium sized rocks.

As you near the summit, it is mostly large loose gravel and exposed rocks. The circuit at the summit offers exceptional views from all around the mountain top.

Table Top Mountain Toowoomba

5 Essentials – Outside RV Accessories

  1. To plug your RV with standard 15amp in to standard residential 10amp power source you will need a converter. We love our waterproof Ampfibian and after over 4 years it’s still perfect.
  2. Most people carry a Generator for back up power. 4wd Supacentre has a good low cost and popular generator while the Yamaha 2000w is a robust yet quiet excellent performer.
  3. A 20m 15amp Power Lead will ensure you reach your power source in Caravan Parks and Campgrounds.
  4. You will want a good blue Drinking Water Hose. Your typical green garden hose is not suitable for drinking from.
  5. A 4 way tap handle will help you find water whenever you need it
Spring Bluff Railway Station

Things to do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs Region

See the historic and spectacular Spring Bluff Railway Station

Just a 20 minute drive out of Toowoomba is one of the prettiest old Railway Stations around Australia – The Spring Bluff Railway Station.

Another that is equally as impressive is the Kuranda Railway Station just out of Cairns in Far North Queensland.

We leisurely strolled around the Spring Bluff Railway Station checking out the beautiful gardens and the preserved old railway station.

Spring Bluff is on the main railway line between Ipswich and Toowoomba and they regularly run a steam train into Toowoomba during the Carnival of Flowers.

The Cafe on the hill at the old Spring Bluff Railway Station is open throughout the Carnival of Flowers.

In the grounds of the old Spring Bluff Railway Station, there is a picnic area and playground. Plus, there is a gazebo that is often used for Weddings.

There is also a grand old tree to the right of the station. This enormous London Plan Tree is the last of the 5 planted in 1870.

Spring Bluff Railway Station is a must see. Take care if you are heading there from the New England Highway like we did.

It has a very steep 21 degrees decent.

We highly recommend not taking this route if you are travelling with a caravan or in a motorhome. Fortunately we were in our 4WD and not our motorhome!

Spring Bluff Railway Station

Chocolate Cottage Highfields

If you love chocolate, you will love the beautiful hand made Chocolate Cottage at Highfields which is just 15 minutes from the heart of Toowoomba.

When you step inside the Chocolate Cottage you are actually stepping inside the beautifully restored 1877 original Highfields School House. It was transformed into the Chocolate Cottage in April 1997.

This delightful chocolate store is open from 8am – 4pm each day except Tuesdays.

We made it just in time before closing to enjoy a Hazelnut Cream, Lime Cream, Passionfruit Cream, Orange Cream and a Musk Cream, all super yummmm!

Chocolate Cottage

Sit outside and savour the deliciousness of your choice of choccies. The ambience is awesome and the views from Highfields are stunning.

Also located in The Village Green are a number of other quaint specialty shops encircling the grassy outdoor sitting area.

These cottage style stores offer a range of fashion, footwear, antiques, art, homewares, jewellery and more.

Chocolate Cottage HIghfields

Highfields Pioneer Village

The Highfields Pioneer Village is a celebration of Australian history and a heritage attraction in Highfields just north of Toowoomba.

The village features a Fire Brigade Museum, Ambulance Museum, Queensland Energy Museum, Miniature Steam Train, Model T Bus and other authentic buildings.

Highfields Pioneer Village is also now home to The Big Cow. It was mooved from its original location on the Sunshine Coast and officially became part of the pioneer village on 20 September 2020.

Opening hours are 10am to 4pm daily.

Quench your thirst at Cooks Soft Drinks

Only 40kms from Toowoomba is the town of Pittsworth where you can find Cooks Soft Drinks where they make soft drinks the old fashioned!

We popped in for a visit and were fortunate to be able to have a chat with the owner Brendan who was very busy at the time supplying the Pittsworth Show with Cooks Soft Drinks.

Brendan bought the Cooks Soft Drinks business 6 years ago from a couple who were retiring all while he was still working for Ergon. Brendan now operates the factory most of the time on his own.

All of the soft drinks are made the old fashioned way, bottled and packed into cartons on site before being distributed throughout the Darling Downs and Brisbane Valley region.

They also have a retail shop at the front of the factory where like us you can buy hot or cold soft drinks. We purchased a large bottle of Double Sars, Creaming Soda, Portobello and Ginger Beer.

We asked Brendan what the most popular flavour was and it just happens to be our favourite as well – Double Sars!

Take a drive to the Longest Named Town in Queensland

Have you ticked the Longest Single Named Town in Queensland off the list of things to do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs region?

We can now say we have visited Kaimkillenbun which is commonly known as ‘The Bun’. You can certainly understand why they shortened it to The Bun, can’t you!

Not only is Kaimkillenbun famous for being the longest single named town in Queensland, there are also a number of other interesting facts about this small town which is just an hour and ten minutes drive from Toowoomba.

  1. It was the setting for the television mini-series starring Nicole Kidman called ‘Chase in the Night’
  2. Inside the Bun Pub is a framed Linen Cupboard Door which has the (now faded) signatures of 18 World War I Diggers along with photos of the soldiers
  3. The very small town with the longest name was where Adele’s Grandfather and his family nearly moved to in the 1940’s. How different could life have been if they moved to the Bun instead of Brisbane!
  4. Consisting of just 7 streets long and 7 streets wide, the locals work hard to keep the tiny town of Kaimillenbun tidy and it has often been a finalist in the Tidy Towns

The Bun Pub is well worth a visit and has a lot of quirky features including a vintage car perched up on a stand behind the pub, a vintage ute permanently parked on the front corner of the pub that looks like a Jack Daniels Commercial plus a truck head that is bursting out of the front wall of the pub!

Head out and see the Start of the Dingo Barrier Fence in Jimbour

The Dingo Barrier Fence starts in Jimbour on the Darling Downs near Dalby and finishes in Fowlers Bay, South Australia.

The fence stretches 5614 kms through 3 states – Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.

Construction began in 1880, was completed in 1885 and is one of the longest man made structures in the world.

Originally it was built as a rabbit proof fence to stop the plague of rabbits spreading across the state borders.

By 1914, after it was proven to unsuccessful as a rabbit proof fence, it was converted into a dog fence to keep out dingoes and wild dogs.

For more on exploring historic Toowoomba click on the video below:

Toowoomba Lamington History

Five Fun Facts about Toowoomba

  1. Toowoomba proudly held the Guiness World Record for just over 9 years for the Largest Lamington.

    The giant lammie weighed 2.361kg. Made by Quality Desserts and the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce on 11 June 2011 at the Newtown Rugby Club.

    However New Zealand Charity ‘Cook’s Night Off’ has since broken Toowoomba’s record on 22 July 2020. Their record breaking 2.770kg lamington was the equivalent to 50,000 individual lamingtons.
  2. Australia’s First Appendectomy performed on a patient in Toowoomba on 11 March 1893. The Appendectomy procedure performed on Emma Webb in her own home on the kitchen table.
  3. Toowoomba’s Quirkest Fun Fact is they have the Oldest known Public Urinal still existing in Queensland. The iconic roofless public men’s toilet built in 1919. Amazingly it survived the floods in 2011.

    In 2013, the toilet was pulled down. It was later re-built brick by brick in exactly the same location. The unique Men’s Toilet building on Russell Street is where the heritage listed building stands today.
  4. Toowoomba can lay claim to Queensland’s First Brewery built in 1867. Originally named the Downs Brewery, it then became known as Perkins Brewery and ultimately became part of Castlemaine Perkins.

    Within 2 years it was one of the largest breweries in the Southern Hemisphere.
  5. Alderman Nellie Elizabeth Robinson was voted as Mayor of Toowoomba in 1967 making her the First Lady Mayor in Queensland.
Picnic Point Cafe

Places to Eat in Toowoomba

Picnic Point Cafe

Combine breathtaking views with scrumptous food while dining for Breakfast or Lunch at the Picnic Point Cafe. With the Cafe sitting approx 700 metres above sea level it provides the perfect location to eat out in Toowoomba.

Enjoy a cup of coffee, glass of wine, a fabulous meal or even just an ice-cream while taking advantage of the panoramic views at the same time.

The Cafe is currently open from 8.30am – 5pm Mondays to Fridays and 8am – 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Address: 164 Tourist Road, Toowoomba

George Banks Rooftop Bar & Bistro

George Banks Rooftop Bar

Another fabulous eating place in Toowoomba with a view is the George Banks Rooftop Bar and Bistro.

Located right in the heart of Toowoomba CBD, it sits atop one of Toowoomba’s treasured old Bank buildings.

George Banks is open for lunch each day from 12pm except Mondays and Tuesdays. They are also open from 5.30pm – 9pm for dinner or a cocktail on Wednesdays and Thursdays and some Friday nights.

Choose from a range of starters, share platters, pizzas, burgers, a lunch time steak and other mains or the popular Chef’s Signature Wings. There is a kids menu available as well as desserts.

Address: 206 Margaret Street, Toowoomba

Gelatissimo Cafe Toowoomba

Gelatissimo Cafe

Everyone loves ice cream, don’t they?

We can never go past an ice cream shop so it was always going to be inevitable that we call into Gelatissimo Cafe.

We had definitely earned an ice cream after our Sunday stroll through the city of Toowoomba checking out the architecture of the historic old buildings and finding lots of street art tucked away in the laneways and on the sides of buildings.

That’s our excuse and we are sticking to it lol 🙂

Address:  446 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba

Gelatissimo Toowoomba

GPO Bar & Cafe

The Old Post Office in Toowoomba has transformed into the GPO Bar & Cafe.

Open Mondays to Saturdays from 6.30am – 4pm and close at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday hours are 7am – 2pm.

The GPO Bar & Cafe, known for their excellent service and great food. They offer a great range of Asian and Australian cuisine. 

It’s also a quiet relaxing place with great atmosphere to catch up with family or friends for coffee and cake.

Address: 140 Margaret Street, Toowoomba

GPO Bar & Cafe Toowoomba

Check out these other interesting blogs:

Pin – Things to Do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs

Other great places to stay in the region:

Toowoomba Showgrounds
Stunning sunsets while we stayed at the Toowoomba Showgrounds

Have you visited Toowoomba? Do you know of any other Things to do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs to add to our list?

Safe travels   

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Adventurers Diary

Cairns to Port Douglas, my thoughts…and they may surprise you!!

The drive from Cairns to Port Douglas is considered one of Australia’s most scenic routes.

It takes you past beautiful Palm Cove before you venture along a winding road with a spectacular coastline, through magical rainforest where your greatest challenge is keeping your eyes on the road if you are driving.

Along the way you will come to Rex Lookout, where hang gliders dare to take off and soar with the extraordinary views of Trinity Bay below.

Within an hour you will finish your drive from Cairns to Port Douglas, although it will probably take you much longer after several stops and so much to see along the way.

Cairns to Port Douglas

Tropical Port Douglas was once the place to be with mega rich celebrities often jet setting in to stay at places like the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort.

We have been to Port Douglas 3 times, first time was for a conference where we stayed at the 5 Star Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort which backs on to the beach and has it’s own fabulous golf course.

Built by Christopher Skase in 1987 it transformed the sleepy former fishing village in to an Internationally recognised mega getaway for the rich and elite.

Since those glory days Port Douglas now trades on it’s past success and remains a prominent destination for Australian and International travellers.

But is it really that good and worth seeing?

Trinity Bay - Cairns to Port Douglas
Trinity Bay

How to get from Cairns to Port Douglas

The distance to drive from Cairns to Port Douglas is 58kms and takes approximately 1 hour but give yourself much longer, there’s some amazing scenery along the way worth stopping for. More about that shortly.

You can also choose to go from Cairns to Port Douglas by shuttle bus. There are several shuttle bus services operating from the Cairns airport which will take you to Port Douglas.

The cost for a shuttle Bus is approx $40 one way for an adult.

Look at companies such as Cairns Airport Shuttle that operate out of the airport and do the Cairns to Port Douglas trip.

Con-x-ion also offer a shuttle service from Cairns to Port Douglas.

Excellence Coaches are a family run business that also provide tours and can help get you from Cairns to Port Douglas.

You could catch an Uber ride from Cairns to Port Douglas and the cost is approximately $80. Confirm any costs when contacting Uber.

A Taxi ride from Cairns to Port Douglas is around $200, once again confirm a figure with the taxi company when you contact them.

Rex Lookout - Cairns to Port Douglas

What makes the drive from Cairns to Port Douglas so great?

The drive from Cairns to Port Douglas winds its way directly along the pristine coastline providing some extraordinary views and genuinely interesting places to stop and soak it all in.

Palm Cove

As you leave Cairns and head north you will go past Palm Cove, a beachfront town which is very popular and has lots of fabulous cafes and restaurants along the waterfront.

On the First Sunday of the month there are street markets worth visiting. The dates may change depending on the season and other events so it’s best to check their website for exact dates.

Palm Cove Markets: https://palmcovemarkets.rotarycairnssunrise.org.au/

Palm Cove - Cairns to Port Douglas
Palm Cove Beach

A short walk takes you to the jetty where you will find lots of fishing opportunity.

Take a walk along the beach or you might want to go for a swim in the net enclosures. This is stinger region and crocodiles are possible so only swim where it is safe to do so.

Personally we wouldn’t swim here but many others do and they have local Surf Life Savers competitions on the beach at Palm Cove as well.

From Palm Cove you are about to begin one of Australia’s most scenic drives from Cairns to Port Douglas.

Ellis Beach

You will soon pass Ellis Beach and this is where you need to make sure you keep your eyes on the road. The views are simply gorgeous.

Wangetti Beach

Soon you will reach Wangetti Beach and not long after you will come to Hartleys Crocodile Adventures.

We didn’t visit Hartleys Crocodile Adventures as we had already done Koorana Crocodile Farm, Whitsunday Crocodile Safari in Proserpine River and the Adelaide River Jumping Crocs in Kakadu.

From all reports however, Hartley’s is very good and we may yet experience it there in the future.

Rex Lookout - Cairns to Port Douglas
Rex Lookout hang gliders

Rex Lookout

Next place to stop is Rex Lookout with it’s magnificent views out over Trinity Bay. Here you will see hang gliders as they take off over the cliff edge and use the winds to soar high above.

If you’re reaslly keen, they do tandem jumps from the cliff top if you want to go for a ride.

Pebbly Beach

Near the end of the drive is Pebbly Beach it’s worth stopping to see all the Rock Cairns people have built and to make one of your own.

It’s good fun and a bit like playing Jenga in trying to get the balance perfect lol.

It’s not far now before you arrive in Port Douglas.

Pebbly Beach - Cairns to Port Douglas
Rock Cairns Pebbly Beach

 7 Essentials – Tours to Experience

  1. Reefsleep in the Whitsundays is an amazing adventure. Spend the night on a pontoon sleeping in a swag on Hardy’s Reef in the Great Barrier Reef
  2. The Ocean Rafting tour from Airlie Beach is a truly fun day out. They took us to the best snorkeling places and the entire day was amazing
  3. For the best Full Day Island tour in Cairns we recommend the Fitzroy Island tour
  4. The Humpback Whale Swim in Exmouth remains one of our ultimate highlights of our time around Australia. We highly recommend doing this tour
  5. If you are on the East Coast, you can swim with Humpback Whales on the Sunshine Coast. The tour leaves from Mooloolaba
  6. Swimming with Whale Sharks at Exmouth is also extremely popular and a great day out with the team from Eco Adventures on Lattitude 22
  7. One of Tasmania’s best tours is the Tasman Island Cruise with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys out of Port Arthur. Three hours of cruising the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere and enjoying an up close look at hundreds of seals as well as dolphins and birdlife.

So what’s great about Port Douglas?

Port Douglas has been long known for the place to visit for the Rich and Famous.

Since Christopher Skase built the luxurious Sheraton Mirage Resort for a reported $100 million back in 1987 and ever since it has been a mecca for worldwide superstars to visit.

With that kind of attention it would seem expectations should be high of a place that competes on a grand scale of must see destinations.

For me personally, it’s over-rated. Very, very over-rated.

Port Douglas International Luxury Rated Accommodation

Unless you want to hang out at a resort, sip lattes in town, dine in over priced restaurants and play Golf (The Palmer Sea Reef Golf Course is very highly rated) then Port Douglas doesn’t really offer much else.

Given its luxury rating as an ocean and beach destination I’d at least expect magnificent beaches with great swimming but the truth is, for me, they just don’t match the publicity.

Port Douglas Beach
Port Douglas Beach

Port Douglas Beaches

Maybe we are very fortunate to have seen so many of Australia’s most remarkable beaches.

This leaves us comparing Port Douglas, given it’s hype, to these places and for us it just doesn’t compete at any level.

The sand is nothing like the Whitsundays, Jervis Bay or even the Gold Coast let along so many in Western Australia. The beach is compact, almost brown in colour and even in the shallows the water is cloudy.

Not sure about you but in a region known for Salt Water Crocodiles and deadly jellyfish I found it very unnerving swimming in water that is very cloudy at best.

I feel safer swimming on Fraser Island!!

Flagstaff Hill
Flagstaff Hill

You can take a tour out to the Great Barrier Reef but in a high speed catamaran it’s still an 80 minute journey. You can have the same or better experience in the Whitsundays in half that time or even less.

The Ningaloo Reef in WA is just a matter of wading out from the beach and you’re standing on it.

If you’re going to spend an hour and a half on a high speed boat you better make sure you have taken your sea sick tablets or it’s a very calm day.

Otherwise by the time you get there you may not feel like enjoying your day.

You can go up to Flagstaff Hill lookout which is nice but the views aren’t really that great.

Hemmingway's Brewery
Hemmingway’s Brewery

Port Douglas Dining Vibe

There was one thing I did specifically enjoy in Port Douglas which was Hemmingway’s Brewery located at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina.

It has a great vibe, an awesome range of beers and ciders, food is amazing and there’s a good atmosphere.

Within Port Douglas though I can’t think of anything else that particularly stands out as a must see or do.

Mossman Gorge
Mossman Gorge

What else is there to do around Port Douglas?

Just a short drive further past Port Douglas is the fabulous town of Mossman.

Here we were able to relax, see the amazing Mossman Gorge and go Barramundi fishing.

We based ourselves here at Mossman with our Golden Retriever as we visited the Daintree. It was around half the cost of staying at Port Douglas.

From Port Douglas to Mossman it is just a short easy 20 minute drive so if you want to do a tour to the Great Barrier Reef it’s easy just to drive back there.

Read more: Mossman Caravan Park near Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge
Swimming Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

The Mossman Gorge is a fabulous walk through dense luscious rainforest.

Take the walking trail alongside the Mossman River where you will have an opportunity to stop and swim amongst the rock pools.

Be ready when you jump in and go swimming, the water will be cold but in the tropics of Far North Queensland it’s a relief from the humidity after your walk.

The good news is there are no crocodiles as this part of the Mossman River is too far and difficult for crocs to venture.

Daintree River
Daintree River crossing

The Daintree and Cape Tribulation

From Mossman it is just 25 minutes to the Daintree where the ferry will take you across the Daintree River to the incredible Cape Tribulation where the rainforest meets the ocean.

The Daintree and Cape Tribulation remains one of Australia’s most wonderful, untouched, natural wonders.

Hook-a-Barra

Just north of Mossman at Wonga Beach we decided to stop in at the Hook-a-Barra for some fun fishing.

Hook-a-Barra is a multi award winning salt water fish farm with over 3 hectares of ponds with water from the Daintree River.

Hook-a-Barra

The staff were fantastic and when our first session didn’t achieve anything they took us to a pond where the action was full on.

All up we spent 2 hours at Hook-a-Barra and had a great insight into Barramundi fishing.

There’s not much better fun when fishing then hooking on to a Barramundi and the challenge to bring it to shore.

Is anyone noticing anything about all the pros about Port Douglas?

None of them are actually in Port Douglas!!

All the best places to see and visit are all out of Port Douglas.

There’s lots of great restaurants and boutique clothes shops in Port Douglas and a couple of excellent golf courses.

If you want adventures and experiences then the best things to see and do are away from this, in my opinion, over-priced, over-rated town.

Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas
Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas

Port Douglas Camping Accommodation

On the first leg of our trip we tried to book and stay in one of the several Port Douglas Caravan Parks.

We were no chance as our crime was to be travelling with our beautiful Golden Retriever. There was nowhere to stay in a Port Douglas Caravan Park with a dog as part of our family.

Read more: Travelling Australia with our dog MACKS

As we returned to North Queensland 12 months later we gave Port Douglas another shot at staying.

We were now pet free and figured we were potentially acceptable to the high end expectations and graces of such a salubrious destination that is Port Douglas.

Nope, all booked out.

We went back to Mossman again and enjoyed yet another terrific stay.

Don’t even think for one moment about Free camping or low cost Campgrounds at Port Douglas!!

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Other great places to stay in the region:

Cairns Esplanade

Check out these other great blogs:

Pin – Cairns to Port Douglas

Is it just me?

What were your thoughts of Port Douglas?

Have you witnessed the Cairns to Port Douglas Scenic Drive or visited Port Douglas?

Safe travels   

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Adventurers Diary

49 Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Amazing Things in Western Australia Feature

Australia is without doubt an incredible country with so many amazing places to visit and experience. Western Australia alone has at least 49 amazing things to do!

Every State has something unique and wonderful about it.

But Western Australia is just something else. It’s wild rugged coastline, long distances between townships, vast barren land away from the beautiful turquoise waters, red dirt and spectacular sunsets make it a very special place to visit.

If like us you are from the Eastern States it’s also a long way and you may only get one shot at experiencing everything magnificent about Western Australia.

Amazing Things to do in Western Australia Horizontal Falls

Our 49 Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Here are 49 Amazing Things not to miss when you go to West Australia.

Amazing Things to do in Western Australia around Broome & the Kimberleys

Horizontal Falls

Without doubt Horizontal Falls is one of the best experiences you will have in Australia. Located high up in the Kimberleys it’s a day jam packed in fun and extraordinary adventure.

We did the day trip from Broome which included visiting the One Arm Point Aquaculture Hatchery, Cape Leveque, Beagle Bay and flights over the Buccaneer Archipelago.

Website – https://horizontalfallsadventures.com.au/

Cape Leveque - Amazing Things to do in WA

Cape Leveque

An epic region north of Broome in the Kimberleys is Cape Leveque. Put it high on your list of places you have to visit in WA.

Cape Leveque is a remote region with a strong Aboriginal heritage, the most amazing beaches, incredible fishing and the fantastic adventures.

Take a full day 4wd tour to Cape Leveque and visit Beagle Bay, Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, One Arm Point and enjoy morning and afternoon tea and lunch.

Book your Cape Leveque 4WD Tour here>

Broome Camel Ride - Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Ride a camel on Cable Beach

One of the amazing things to do in Western Australia is the unmissable camel ride on the spectacular Cable Beach.

This iconic experience is safe and enjoyable for all ages and makes for an awesome photo as the friendly camels parade up and down the beach especially at sunset.

There are a number of tour groups offering the popular camel ride on Cable Beach. We chose Red Sun Camels.

You can also just watch the single file camel train as the camels parade down to the beach in the afternoons ready for the tours to commence.

Website: https://www.redsuncamels.com.au/

Gantheum Pt Sunset

Gantheaume Point Sunset

Gantheaume Point in Broome features truly spectacular Western Australian sunsets.

At very low tide you can even see dinosaur footprints in the rocks around the base on the beach.

Check out all of the small rock pools along the beach at Gantheaume Point.

Matso's

Matso’s Brewery

When Kev discovered Matso’s Brewery, he discovered his first favourite alcoholic Ginger Beer. We stopped into Matso’s Brewery for lunch and a drink and he has been a lover of Matso’s ever since.

Make sure you try their Ginger Beer and the Mango Beer or if you like a bit of spice check out their Spice Ginger Beer. They now also have added fruity flavours to their range.

Read more about: The Best of Broome, Western Australia

Witness the Staircase to the Moon

For just three nights of every month between March and October, there is the iconic staircase to the moon in Broome. This spectacle is showcased when the moon rises across the exposed flood plains of Roebuck Bay.

As the glow of the moonlight rises it creates an illusion of a staircase rising from the sandy beach all the way up to the moon.

People gather at a number of locations but we chose the Mangrove Hotel to witness this magical event. Go to the Visit Broome website for Staircase to the Moon dates.

Barn Hill - Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Stay at Barn Hill Station

One of our favourite stays in Western Australia is Barn Hill Station and it comes in at No. 5 in our Best Campgrounds in all of Australia.

If like many people you plan to only stay for a couple of days, you might find yourself staying for a couple of weeks or more!

Barn Hill Station has a small shop that sells coffee and excellent home baked treats and even has a lawn bowls bowling green.

There’s heaps to do as Wednesday night is the Communal BBQ Night with travelling buskers entertaining guests and on Saturday nights you can enjoy a meal and a live band. On Sunday morning they also have a craft market.

Check out all of: Our Best Low Cost Campgrounds in Australia

Cossack Ghost Town

Amazing things to do in Western Australia from Broome to Perth

Cossack Ghost Town

Just 15kms from Roebourne just out from Karratha, you’ll find Cossack an historic ghost town. Once a thriving little town during the gold rush years and the birthplace of the pearling industry, the town has also endured a number of cyclones.

The main stone buildings constructed in 1880s fortunately still stand and are heritage listed.

After the decline of the gold rush and following the move of the pearling industry to Broome, the town of Cossack was abandoned in the 1950s and has been a ghost town ever since.

Turquoise Bay

Turquiose Bay

Located in Cape Range National Park at Exmouth, Turquoise Bay is an absolutely stunning beach with Ningaloo Reef at your fingertips.

Snorkel out over the reef and bommies to witness amazing marine life on one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches.

It certainly lives up to its name with the beautiful turquoise waters.

Humpback Whale Swim Exmouth

Swim with a Humpback Whale

One of our favourite and amazing things to do in Western Australia has certainly been swimming with Humpback Whales in the Ningaloo Reef off Exmouth.

This once in a lifetime experience is truly awesome and one that immediately comes to mind as one of our favourite experiences as we travel Australia.

The thrill of a humpback whale swimming beneath you is unbelievable and has to be experienced first hand.

Book a Humpback Whale Swim here>

Monkey Mia

Monkey Mia

Hundreds of people flock to the water’s edge to experience the wild dolphins come into the shallow waters at Monkey Mia. Monkey Mia is just 25kms northeast of Denham in the Shark Bay Marine Park.

It certainly is one of the most popular of our amazing things to do in Western Australia. Only a very small number of people however are chosen to feed the dolphins so the vast majority are just spectators to this world famous event.

Geraldton Lobster

Hold a Giant Lobster at Geraldton Fisherman’s Co-operative

Would you love to know what it is like to hold a giant live lobster and valuable item of seafood in your hands?

The Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative is known as Western Australia’s largest exporter of rock lobsters and conduct tours of the factory which are really interesting and educational.

Seeing how they grade and sort the lobsters in the working factory is really interesting. For just $10 per person, we found it was well worth taking this tour during our visit to Geraldton.

Quobba Boardwalk

Quobba

Our favourite snorkelling location in the country.

Walk off the beach into the most amazing coral reef and swim amongst the beautiful and extraordinary marine life. Add to that fresh oysters off the rocks, Quobba Blowhole and stunning sunsets.

Definitely put snorkelling at Quobba on your bucket list.

Fortescue Falls - One of the most Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Fortescue Falls

It is really hard to choose which of the amazing things to do in Western Australia is our favourite and especially hard to identify just one in all of Australia.

Karijini National Park does feature extremely high on our list of favourite places in our beautiful country.

Fortescue Falls is just one of the many stunning features of Dales Gorge and only one of the spectacular gorges in the incredibly amazing Kariijini National Park.

Karijini National Park is a definite must visit.

Shell Beach

Shell Beach

Tiny white shells cover the entire 60km stretch of this unique beach in the Francois Peron National Park only 45kms from the town of Denham.

These little cockle shells just don’t lay on the beach they extend down a depth of 7-10 metres.

Shell beach is one of only two beaches made up entirely of shells in the whole world which certainly makes it an amazing thing to do in Western Australia.

Amazing Western Australia

Pink Lake

Have you ever seen a Pink Lake? The Pink Lake at Port Gregory is a very striking colour pink.

The reason that lake is a pink colour is due to the algae that live in the water and when exposed to sunlight it produces carotene which is like a natural food colouring.

This lake is pink all year round whereas the Pink Lake near Esperance hasn’t been a pink colour for quite a number of years.

Nature's Window - Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Nature’s Window

Nature’s Window is a stunning feature of the Kalbarri National Park and one of the most photographed spots in Western Australia.

The wind eroded opening in the layered sandstone rocks makes the perfect picture frame of the Murchison River below.

It is just a 500 metre walk from the car park to one of Western Australia’s most iconic natural wonders.

Natures Window Leak

Best view when taking a leak

For Men Only! The best view when taking a leak is from the urinal of the Men’s Toilet in the Nature’s Window Carpark.

It’s hard to concentrate on the task at hand when you have these views.

At the carpark for the walk to Natures Window, men be sure to take a quick trip to the loo, whether you need to or not, just to witness the loo views.

Carnarvon Space Station

Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum

A visit to the Carnarvon Space & Technology Museum is one not to be missed. The huge 12.8 metre wide Casshorn antenna commonly known as the sugar scoop was built back in 1966 and the larger 29.6 metre wide steerable antenna was built in 1969.. 

On the iconic day of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the casshorn antenna which stands beside the OTC Dish relayed the first steps on the moon by Neil Armstrong.

The OTC Satellite Earth Station is now the site for the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum. NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin officially opened Phase One of the museum in 2012.

Dales Gorge - Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Dales Gorge

Karijini National Park boasts some of Australia’s most incredible scenery and you really have to discover Dales Gorge.

Amazing walks, waterfalls and swimming holes makes it a vast natural beauty.

Enjoy Circular Pool, Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool and the fairly easy walk between them past amazing rock formations and small streams.

Wave Rock

Surf Wave Rock

A giant boulder shaped like an ocean wave, in the middle of nowhere, miles from the beach.

Welcome to Wave Rock.

This amazing rock formation looks just like an ocean wave and is 15m in height.

Take a Day Tour from Perth to Wave Rock – Book here>

Super Pit

The Super Pit

Kalgoorlie is home to the worlds largest mine pits.

We were lucky enough to be there to witness the explosions and take in the incredible view over this huge mine.

The Super Pit in Kalgoorlie is an open cut gold mine and you can see it from the viewing deck for free.

Questa Casa Brothel

Visit a Brothel

Be like us and visit a brothel for the very first time!

It is a fun and lighthearted afternoon when you take a tour of Questa Casa, Kalgoorlie’s only remaining brothel. It’s also one of the longest operating brothels in the world.

You can’t miss the ‘Pink House’ which was built in the 1890’s during the gold rush era.

The hour long tour takes you through the historical working areas of the brothel which are still used today.

Lake Argyle Sunset Cruise - Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Lake Argyle Sunset Cruise

The Lake Argyle Sunset Cruise is one of those special experiences you really must do around Oz.

The incredible beauty, the amazing wildlife and marinelife, and the expansive, enormous body of water that could fill Sydney Harbour 18 times over is best witnessed on this Sunset Cruise in Western Australia’s north west just a few kms from the Northern Territory border.

Did we mention you can go for a swim with 30,000 crocodiles? It’s true and so much fun.

Catch a beer as they are thrown off the back of the boat and enjoy a spectacular sunset.

Website: https://www.lakeargylecruises.com/

Spider Walk - One of the most Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Spider Walk

The Spider Walk is one of the hardest walks but most famous walks in Hancock Gorge which is part of the stunning Karijini National Park.

Hancock Gorge is accessible after climbing down a ladder into the gorge. This 5 Class Walk includes walking through water and along narrow ledges of the rock walls, then you straddle the narrow gap with your arms and legs like a spider before arriving at amazing Kermits Pool.

Definitely a must if you are fit and able!

5 Essentials – Outside RV Accessories

  1. To plug your RV with standard 15amp in to standard residential 10amp power source you will need a converter. We love our waterproof Ampfibian and after over 4 years it’s still perfect.
  2. Most people carry a Generator for back up power. 4wd Supacentre has a good low cost and popular generator while the Yamaha 2000w is a robust yet quiet excellent performer.
  3. A 20m 15amp Power Lead will ensure you reach your power source in Caravan Parks and Campgrounds.
  4. You will want a good blue Drinking Water Hose. Your typical green garden hose is not suitable for drinking from.
  5. A 4 way tap handle will help you find water whenever you need it
Swan Valley Funk Cider

Amazing Things to do in Western Australia around Perth

Swan Valley

Just a short drive from the city of Perth is the highly under-rated wine region of Swan Valley.

We enjoyed it so much we visited numerous times during our stay in Perth. There’s such a huge variety of Wineries, Distilleries, Cider House and there’s Chocolate, Lavender and Ice Cream too.

Relax and enjoy a full day tour of Swan Valley winery region – Book your tour here>

Freemantle Gaol

Fremantle Gaol

Go to jail, directly to jail. Do not pass Go and do not collect $200!

Seriously, the Fremantle Gaol is the state’s only World Heritage-listed building and there are a operated as a maximum security gaol for 136 years until it was decommissioned in 1991,

You can ‘do time’ with an experienced guide on one of the three fascinating day-time tours – Convict Prison, Behind Bars and True Crimes tours.

For the more adventurous, you can go 20 metres below the prison on the Tunnel Tour or if you don’t frighten easily take the spooky Torchlight Tour at night.

Little Creatures

Little Creatures Brewery

The Little Creatures Brewery in Fremantle, open from Thursdays to Sundays, has an awesome atmosphere and is a great place for an ice cold drink and aa bite to eat.

Sit inside the brewery hall or enjoy the outdoors and beautiful views of the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour.

Offering a selection of beer, wine, spirits and cocktails there is something for everyone. They also offer a selection of meals, pizzas and share plates.

Perth Mint

Perth Mint

A tour of the Perth Mint, Australia’s official bullion mint is really interesting. It was established in 1899 and along with the Royal Australian Mint, it produces Australian coins for circulation.

From 1899 to 1931, the Perth Mint made over 106 million gold sovereigns and approx. 735,000 half-sovereigns.

During World War II they began minting Australia’s lower denomination coins from base metals right through to 1983.

The Perth Mint is home to the World’s Largest and Heaviest Gold Coin.

Creating the coin from 99.99% pure gold, it is approx. 80cms in diametere, 12cms thick, weighs 1012kgs and valued at $53.5 million broke the previous record by the Royal Canadian Mint.

Kings Park - Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Kings Park

Kings Park has over 3000 different species of unique flora.

It is the perfect spot for a picnic as the views of Perth and the Swan River are absolutely magnificent.

There are open grassed parkland, botanical gardens and natural bushland covering over 400 hectares to wander through so it is very worthwhile spending time to enjoy this beautiful park which overlooks the Perth CBD.

The Pinnacles

At Cervantes in WA you can head to the Nambung National Park nearby to witness the limestone formations known as The Pinnacles Desert.

Drive through the 4km track of yellow sand base and stop to enjoy this intriguing and fascinating landscape.

Quokkas on Rottnest Island - Amazing Things to do in Western Australia
Rottnest Island Quokka

Meet a Quokka

Meeting a Quokka on Rottnest Island is a fabulous experience.

Quokkas are native to Rottnest Island and are also only found in small numbers on the mainland of the south west Western Australia as well as Bald Island near Albany.

We were very excited to get up close to these unique little creatures.

Even though Quokkas are mainly nocturnal, we encountered them in a number of different areas while we explored Rottnest Island for the day.

Book a Rottnest Island Guided Bus Tour here>

Bell Tower Perth

Ring the bell in the Bell Tower

Ring can ring my bell…..ring my bell!

A tour of the Bell Tower overlooking the spectacular Swan River in Perth is one place you can go behind the scenes into the ringing chamber and chime the royal bells.

The premium tour includes an up close look at the legendary ANZAC bell which weighs 6,500kgs.

Tours are available Thursdays to Saturdays with General Admission from Thursday to Sunday.

Kimberley Rum Factory

Kimberley Rum Factory

The Great Northern Distillery which is home to the Kimberley Rum Factory in the Swan Valley soon became a place we frequented a number of times while staying nearby in Perth’s midlands.

Kev naturally favoured their internationally award-winning Cane-fire Rum while Adele enjoyed their cocktails.

We may have visited the Tasting Room on multiple occasions but whose counting.

Ye Old London Court

Ye Olde London Court

The village atmosphere of Ye Olde London Court has you really thinking you are walking through a London courtyard when in actual fact you are walking through the three and four level open shopping arcade in the middle of Perth’s central business district.

It was built in 1937 by Claude de Bernales, a wealthy gold financier and businessman and has been designated as a world heritage site in 1996.

Rottnest Island - Amazing Things to do in Western Australia
Parker Point Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island

Catch the ferry across to Rottnest Island from Fremantle or from Perth. It’s either a 25 minute ferry ride from Fremantle, 45 minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbour or  90 minutes from The Barrack Street Jetty in Perth.

Amazingly this small island has 63 beaches, is home to the cute little quokkas and is the perfect place to go whale watching during migration season.

We visited on the day of our Son Matt’s Birthday, which allowed him to travel on the ferry for free, and we were treated to some whale watching as we did the speed boat tour around the island.

One day is not really enough time to explore this magnificent island.

Book your Rottnest Island Ferry Transfer from Fremantle here>

Penguin Island Trio

Penguin Island

Just a short 5 minute ferry ride from the mainland at Rockingham south of Perth is Penguin Island.

As the name suggests it has been home to many penguins over the years however in recent times the numbers have dwindled.

The island is now home to the Penguin Island Discovery Centre which has shows each day.

Discover the Islands of the Dampier Archipelago

From Karratha take the island tour with Discovery Touring and enjoy the amazing local islands of the Dampier Archipelago.

Website: http://www.discoverycruising.com.au/cruises/day-cruise/

Margaret River Beaches - Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Amazing things to do in Western Australia around Margaret River

Margaret River

One of Australia’s premier wine regions, Margaret River is so much more.

With beautiful beaches, timber forests and incredible cave systems it is a region that is so amazing you’re guaranteed to fall in love with it.

Read all about: Things to See and Do in Margaret River

Busselton Jetty - Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Busselton Jetty

The Busselton Jetty is over 1.8kms long. This heritage listed jetty is the longest timber piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere and opened back in 1865.

You can take a train road to the end of the jetty and near the end of the jetty is an underwater observatory which is the perfect location to watch the fish and see local coral.

Margaret River Bubbles Tour

Take a tour of Margaret River wines

The Margaret River Wine Region has over 200 vineyards and 90 cellar doors. That’s a lot of wineries and after only visiting a small number of them in 2016, Kev is up for the challenge of visiting them all.

A return visit is definitely on our agenda but not sure whether he will reach his goal but he is certainly willing to give it a go.

For something a little different, we took a Bubbles Tour through the Margaret River.

This enabled us to taste not only wines but a few bubbles, have a delicious lunch and check out a few of the beautiful beaches around Margaret River.

Website: Margaret River Bubbles Tour

Jewel Cave

Jewel Cave

There are a number of magnicent caves in the Margaret River region.  Jewel Cave is just a 10 minute drive from Augusta.

It is hard to choose from the different caves but we chose to do the tour of Jewel Cave for its enormous chambers.

There is also Lake Cave which has a permanent lake inside, Mammoth Cave and Ngilgi Cave at Yallingup.

These spectacular limestone caves were formed approximately 1 million years ago and it is truly amazing to see the intricate limestone crystal formations.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

Amazing things to do in South West Western Australia & Esperance

Cape Leeuwin

Drive to Cape Leeuwin in the most south westerly point of Western Australia and visit the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

Here you are overlooking where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet.

The old Lighthouse Keepers cottages also remain in place.

The Gap, Albany

Visit the Torndirrup National Park in Albany and walk out on the boardwalk directly above the wild ocean as it continuously pounds the cliff face below.

You can stand on the cliff edge on a viewing platform 40 metres above the sea and looking straight down on the dangerous and wild ocean beneath.

Also visit Natural Bridge while at Torndirrup National Park.

Greens Pool

Greens Pool

Greens Pool in the William Bay National Park is famous for, you guessed it, its turquoise green waters and white sandy beaches.

Unfortunately we were not blessed with fabulous weather on the day of our visit. On a beautiful sunny day with bright blue skies Greens Pool is a magical place to visit.

These sheltered waters of this little piece of paradise are great for swimming and are only 15kms west of Denmark in Western Australia’s South.

Elephant Rocks

Can you see the shape of elephants in these rocks?  The aptly named Elephant Rocks looks like a herd of elephants wading in the shallow water.

Elephant Rocks and Elephant Cove are right alongside Greens Pool in the William Bay National Park, just 15kms from Denmark.

Cape Le Grande - One of the most Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Cape Le Grande National Park

Cape Le Grande National Park is a absolutely spectacular region.

To see the breathtakingly bright turquoise waters and the contrast of the brilliant stark white sand is certainly one of the most amazing things to do in Western Australia.

Lucky Bay, Hellfire Bay and Cape Le Grande Beach are all simply stunning and offer beachside campgrounds so you can stay and enjoy the magnificent beaches.

Great Ocean Road West Beach - One of the most Amazing Things to do in Western Australia

Great Ocean Drive

The Great Ocean Drive in Esperance is one of the most amazing scenic coastal drives in all of Australia. Along the 40 kilometre circular loop route are a number of stunning beaches.

All with brilliant blue turquoise waters and as equally brilliant white sand.

You can walk or cycle the 18km Great Ocean Trail but we chose to drive the Great Ocean Drive route and stop off at each and every one of the fabulous beaches.

Pemberton Tree Climb

Gloucester Tree Climb

If you like heights and climbing trees this is an adventure you’re sure to enjoy.

The spikes in the trees allow you to climb straight up the 153 pegs for 53 metres for spectacular views where normally only birds enjoy the scenery.

In 1947, the Gloucester Tree was chosen to be a fire lookout and it’s the second tallest in the world. It’s also one of eight lookout trees in the South West region.

Feed a Stingray

The Stingrays at Hamelin Bay have become very familiar with the timetables of the fishermen as they return in their boats.

Visit either in the morning between 9am – 10am or in the afternoon as this is your best chance for spotting them.

Also the summer months are the best time to see them as the water is more calm and there is usually less seaweed about.

We hand fed these awesome creatures with some pilchards.

Lucky Bay Kangaroos - One of the most Amazing Things to do in Western Australia
Kangaroos on the magnificent Lucky Bay

 

Great Places to Stay in WA

Pin – 49 Amazing Things to do in WA!

How did we go showcasing the 49 Amazing Things to Do in Western Australia? Naturally these are just the ones we have experienced on our travels.

Share in the comments below some of the awesome things that you have discovered that you would add to our 49 Amazing Things to do in Western Australia.

Safe travels   

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave 

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

_______________________________________________________________________

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

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Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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Adventurers Diary

Cape Hillsborough Camping by the Beach

Cape Hillsborough Camping Feature

Cape Hillsborough Camping is an awesome experience with a number of different locations all offering camping by the Beach.

Within just a 35 – 40 minute drive from Mackay in North Queensland you could be stepping on any one of 4 beaches below.

All of these beach locations in and around Cape Hillsborough National Park have a campground where they offer camping right alongside the beach or overlooking the beach.

  • Smalleys Beach
  • Seaforth
  • Ball Bay
  • Halliday Bay

The most magical experience of Cape Hillsborough Camping is seeing the roos at sunrise.

It is definitely worth getting up early and heading to the beach at Cape Hillsborough to not only see the roos on the beach but to see the stunning sunrise backdrop.

Camping by the beach around Cape Hillsborough offers a quiet and relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of town for holiday makers and for travellers just wanting to take a break.

Relaxing on the beach, swimming and fishing are all on offer at these quiet seaside Cape Hillsborough camping spots.

You can do as much or as little as you please.

Cape Hillsborough Camping prices range from $13.50 for 2 people per night to $45 per night for 2 Adults.

Smalleys Beach

Smalleys Beach Camping

How far is it from Mackay?
40 minute drive – 48.8kms

What Facilities are available at the Smalleys Beach Campground?
There are toilets which are reportedly clean but no showers.

Drinking water is available and all sites are unpowered as you would expect in a National Park Campground.

Sites are quite private and well marked with some semi-shaded by trees. A few sites are large but access to some are a little tight for bigger rigs.

The Smalleys Beach Campground is right alongside Smalleys Beach, some sites with ocean views and each site with a track to the beach.

Access is via a 4km stretch of gravel road and is suitable for caravans, motorhomes, campers and tent camping.

Generators and chainsaws are not allowed.

Mosquitos and Midges can be an issue at times therefore be sure to bring along insect repellent.

How much does it cost?
$6.75 per person, per night and $27 for families

Maximum Stay:
N/A

Is it Pet Friendly?
No – Domestic animals are not permitted as it is National Park.

Are you allowed to have a fire?
No however you are allowed off-ground fire containers.

Telstra Mobile Coverage:
Phone coverage is poor

Contact Details:
Phone:
13 74 68
Address:
Smalleys Beach Road, Cape Hillsborough
Website:

Read more about: Winning the War against Midges or Sand Flies

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Seaforth

Seaforth Camping Reserve

How far is it from Mackay?
35 minute drive – 44.9kms

What Facilities are available at the Seaforth Camping Grounds?
There are toilets and coin operated showers are old but clean. Drinking water, barbecues, playground and a Camp Kitchen are all available.

All sites are unpowered but generators of 2kva and below are allowed during the hours of 7am – 7pm.

This seaside camping reserve offers big grassy sites with great ocean breezes. It is suitable for caravans, motorhomes, campers and tent camping.

There is a Dump Point at the Seaforth Camping Reserve.

When parking your caravan or motorhome along the front sites, you are required to have the back of your van or motorhome facing the water.

Seaforth Swimming Enclosure

The Seaforth Camping Reserve is just a 20 metre walk to the beach where there is a stinger free swimming enclosure. with ocean views and each site with a track to the beach.

Mosquitos and Midges can be an issue at times therefore be sure to bring along insect repellant.

How much does it cost?
$ 27 per night or $156 per week. Additional person $15 per night
Bookings can be made by phoning 0427 373 358 or 07 4966 4359 and Eftpos is available at the Seaforth Booking Office

Maximum Stay:
N/A

Is it Pet Friendly?
There is a allocated dog area with 26 allocated sites for people travelling with pets. Please declare your pet at time of booking and ensure dogs are on a leash at all times

Are you allowed to have a fire?
No

Telstra Mobile Coverage:
Yes and other mobile providers

Contact Details:
Phone:
0427 373 358 or 07 4966 4359
Address:
Seaforth Reserve Road, Seaford, Queensland
Website:

Seaforth

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Ball Bay Camping

How far is it from Mackay?
39 minute drive – 48kms

What Facilities are available at the Ball Bay Camping Area
The Ball Bay Camping Area facilities include toilets, cold beach showers and wood barbecues.

Drinking water is available and there is hot water in the Camp Kitchen.

All sites of the small secluded beachfront campground are unpowered and pre-booking is not available. Sites are grassed and suitable for caravans, motorhomes, campers and tent camping.

Bushwalking
Bushwalking in the Cape Hillsborough National Park

The Campground offers close proximity to the Cape Hillsborough National Park Walking tracks.  During the summer months you may witness flatback turtles hatching in the early hours.

Generators are not allowed.

How much does it cost?
$15 per night as of March 2021 (Previously $27 per night)
Council attendants visit daily to collect camping fees. Cash only

Maximum Stay:
7 Day Limit

Is it Pet Friendly?
No – pets are not permitted

Are you allowed to have a fire?
No

Telstra Mobile Coverage:
No coverage

Contact Details:
Phone:
07 4959 0695
Address: 
Cnr Coconut Grove & Ward Esplanade, Ball Bay, Queensland
Website:

Read more: Travelling Australia with our dog MACKS

Cape Hillsborough Lookout
Breathtaking views from Twin Beach Lookout in the Cape Hillsborough National Park

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Halliday Bay

Halliday Bay Camping

How far is it from Mackay?
41 minute drive – 48.9kms

What Facilities are available?
The Halliday Bay Resort Golf Course & RV Park offers another great Cape Hillsborough Camping Area close to the beach.

It is available for fully self-contained Caravans and Motorhomes only. No tents allowed.

Facilities include toilets but no showers. Drinking water is available and there is a Dump Point as well.

Powered sites and unpowered sites are available at the waterfront Halliday Bay Camping Area. There is a netted swimming enclosure.

Play a game of golf on the international designed golf course, enjoy a drink or meal at the Captain’s Bar and Restaurant. Sit down bistro meals or takeaway meals and light snacks are available.

Gas refills are available from the Halliday Beach Resort.

How much does it cost?
$35 per night for power and water
$22 for unpowered

Maximum Stay:
N/A

Is it Pet Friendly?
Yes

Are you allowed to have a fire?
No

Telstra Mobile Coverage:
Yes and other mobile phone coverage

Contact Details:
Phone: 
0402 228 295
Address:
Headland Drive, Halliday Bay, Queensland
Website:

Halliday Bay

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Cape Hillsborough Beach

Cape Hillsborough Camping

The most famous location for camping is at Cape Hillsborough itself.

At the Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park you can either camp in their campground on the lower level right on the beach or stay in the upper level of the park with the comforts of power and water.

We have stayed there 3 times now in the last 5 years and it has the special advantage of the roos at sunrise on the beach right on the doorstep of the Caravan Park.

How far is it from Mackay?
40 minute drive – 48.6kms

What Facilities are available?
Facilities include three Amenities Blocks one on the lower campground level and two on the main level.

There’s a great Swimming Pool with 2 slides, a Licensed Bar as well as a Cafe serving a delicious lunch menu and takeaway meals on Friday and Saturday nights .

Other general facilities include Laundry, Playground, Barbecues, Camp Kitchen and TV Games Room. Fun activities also available including Mini Putt Putt, Dyno Karts and Outdoor Movies.

Roaming roos

A Dump Point is available on site. Wallabies and kangaroos roam freely around the park.

Mosquitos and Midges can be an issue at times therefore be sure to bring along insect repellant.

How much does it cost?
$45 – Powered Site
$40 – Unpowered Site

Maximum Stay:
N/A

Is it Pet Friendly?
No – Domestic animals are not permitted as it is National Park.

Are you allowed to have a fire?
No

Telstra Mobile Coverage:
We were able to get Telstra coverage from our campsite during our last visit in late 2020

Contact Details:
Phone:
07 4959 0152
Address:
51 Risley Parade, Cape Hillsborough, Queensland
Website:

Read more about: Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park

Cape Hillsborough Beach

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 7 Essentials – Tours to Experience

  1. Reefsleep in the Whitsundays is an amazing adventure. Spend the night on a pontoon sleeping in a swag on Hardy’s Reef in the Great Barrier Reef
  2. The Ocean Rafting tour from Airlie Beach is a truly fun day out. They took us to the best snorkeling places and the entire day was amazing
  3. For the best Full Day Island tour in Cairns we recommend the Fitzroy Island tour
  4. The Humpback Whale Swim in Exmouth remains one of our ultimate highlights of our time around Australia. We highly recommend doing this tour
  5. If you are on the East Coast, you can swim with Humpback Whales on the Sunshine Coast. The tour leaves from Mooloolaba
  6. Swimming with Whale Sharks at Exmouth is also extremely popular and a great day out with the team from Eco Adventures on Lattitude 22
  7. One of Tasmania’s best tours is the Tasman Island Cruise with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys out of Port Arthur. Three hours of cruising the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere and enjoying an up close look at hundreds of seals as well as dolphins and birdlife.
Cape Hillsborough Roos

Things to do while Camping in the Cape Hillsborough Area

Roos at Sunrise

When camping at Cape Hillsborough, one thing that you certainly must not miss is to see the roos at sunrise.

It truly is a magical experience and the photo opportunities of the roos at sunrise are amazing.

The roos have for a long time headed down to the beach at Cape Hillsborough just as the sun is rising to feed off the mangrove pods.

In recent years, you will see one of the rangers laying out small mats for the kangaroos and wallabies to feed on special pellets.

Adele with roo at sunrise
Adele with one of the roos deciding to get up close and personal to her on the beach at Cape Hillsborough

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Discover secret Rockpools around Cape Hillsborough

Discover the beautiful rockpools hidden in the rocks on Wedge Island which can be accessed from southern the end of the Cape Hillsborough Beach, but only at low tide.

They are tucked away on the opposite side of the island that is rocky and takes a bit of rockhopping to find them. Kev made it to this one on his own as Adele didn’t make it all of the way over the loose rocks.

If you are the adventurous kind, you will love these hidden rockpool gems. Just pop on your rock shoes and hop on over!

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Walk over to Wedge Island at Low Tide

It is awesome to take advantage of the low tide and walk over to Wedge Island. Head over from the southern end of the beach at Cape Hillsborough.

Walk across with your fishing rods as the fishing out from Wedge Island is very good with Mangrove Jack, Barramundi, Salmon, Flathead and Whiting among the fish you can hook onto.

On the eastern side of Wedge Island you can cast a lure for Reef fish as well.

The view looking back over to Cape Hillsborough from Wedge Island is awesome.

Be sure to allow enough time to be able to walk back across the natural pathway to the mainland, you don’t won’t to be left stranded on the island. It’s a long wait between tides!

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Cape Hillsborough

Explore the Cape Hillsborough National Park

At the southern end of the Cape Hillsborough Headland and  on the edge of the Cape Hillsborough Tourist Park is the Andrews Point Walking Track.

This popular track in the Cape Hillsborough National Park takes you up to a number of lookouts with magnificent views.

One of the lookout platforms provides breathtaking views looking back over the Cape Hillsborough Beach and across to Wedge Island with another looking down on the turtles below.

It is a somewhat steep climb up for the first part of the walk but it is worth the effort.

Once you reach the lookouts it is a fairly flat easy track that meanders across the top of the headland before it takes you back down to the beach.

Turtle Lookout Cape Hillsborough NP

You can wander back along the beach as long as the tide is low which will shorten your walk and also means you won’t have to retrace your steps along the same track to the original starting point.

We have enjoyed walking the Andrews Point Track two out of our three times we have camped at Cape Hillsborough. On our first visit we endured 100m of rain overnight so bushwalking was not an option.

Other bushwalking tracks in the Cape Hillsborough National Park include:

  • Beachcomber Cove Track
  • The Diversity Boardwalk
  • Yuibera Plant Trail

For more information on these three walks check out the Queensland Parks website.

Cape Hillsborough National Park
Cape Hillsborough Bushwalk

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Visit the Old Station Teahouse

The award winning Old Station Teahouse at Cape Hillsborough offers a range of delicious homemade goodies including cakes, scones. brownies and desserts and a great place to pop into when you are camping at any of the Cape Hillsborough Camping spots.

The Teahouse came about back around 1904 when a permanent railway station was built in the township of Marian with the station serving the community well for 90 years.

In 1994 the new owners had 4 weeks to transfer the beautiful old building to where it is in Cape Hillsborough and has continued to thrive for the last 27 years.

The Old Station Teahouse is open Thursdays to Sundays from 9am – 3pm.

Phone:  07 4959 0528
Address:  231 Cape Hillsborough Road, Cape Hillsborough, Queensland

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The Leap Hotel Statue

Drop into The Leap Hotel for lunch or a drink

The Leap Hotel is steeped with history and is a great place to stop off for a drink or lunch as we did on the way to your favourite Cape Hillsborough Camping spot.

Learn about the legend of Kowaha. A huge monument depicting the event stands at the front of The Leap Hotel.

Phone:  07 4954 0993
Address:  954 Bruce Hwy, The Leap, Queensland

Read more: Mackay – Whitsundays region, so much to see and do

The Leap Hotel

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How to get to Cape Hillsborough National Park

Head out from Mackay along the Bruce Highway for 20km before turning right onto Seaforth Road.

Then travel for another 20kms and take a right turn onto Cape Hillsborough Road.

Coming from Proserpine, travel south along the Bruce Highway for 104kms. Turn left onto Seaforth Road.

After following Seaforth Road for 20kms, turn right into Cape Hillsborough Road.

Other great places to stay in the region:

Pin – Cape Hillsborough Camping

Pin - Cape Hillsborough Camping
Pin - Cape Hillsborough Camping
Pin - Cape Hillsborough Camping

Have you been camping at any of these beachside campgrounds around Cape Hillsborough? Tell us about your Cape Hillsborough Camping experience.

Safe travels   

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

_______________________________________________________________________

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

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Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more, in fact we’ve sourced out some great deals for you. Thank you for supporting us.

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