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We all know that planes are not the most environmentally friendly mode of transport, but if you’re planning a trip to the other side of the world, time constraints usually mean it is still an inevitable way to travel. If this is the case you will need to compare your air travel options to make sure you get the best deal out there.
Flying to your destination doesn’t mean that you can’t be eco-conscious during your trip. If you are escaping to sunny Australia how about considering travelling up the beautiful east coast by train, where you can get a feel for the changing landscape of this huge country.
If you book an East Coast Discovery Pass before you go there are lots of options available depending on the time you have and the places you really want to see. You can travel all the way from Melbourne to Cairns with this pass (or the other way round), and then catch a plane back home from your final stop off.
Sydney is a great place to start your coastline tour. For fantastic views climb the Harbour Bridge at sunset, or if you’re on a tighter budget travel 250 metres up Sydney Tower. No trip would be complete without the obligatory picture outside the Opera House, and don’t get caught out if the locals ask you how many tiles you think it has (1,056,006). Catch a 30 minute ferry ride over to the beach town of Manly and treat yourself to an ice cream there.
Once you’re on the railway (in a train, hopefully), you can stop off as many times as you like as long as you are headed in one direction (north or south). 480 miles north of Sydney is Byron Bay, a surfers’ paradise, where you can sky and scuba dive or just bring your snorkel along and enjoy the scenery.
120 miles up from Brisbane is Fraser Island, a World Heritage Site and the largest sand island in the world. You can reach the Island by stopping off at Hervey Bay, where the hotels do package tours and you’re told not to pet the dingoes or crash the 4WD before being put into the groups that you travel and camp with. The Island is a beautiful mixture of cliffs, rainforests and freshwater lakes you can take a dip in, and there’s also the poignant shipwreck of the S. S. Maheno which was used as a passenger and hospital ship and later for bombing practice during the Second World War.
What better way to finish your Australian adventure than exploring one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World? Travel up to Cairns and catch a boat out to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef can be seen from outer space and supports a huge variety of marine life, including fish, whales, dolphins and turtles. Take an underwater camera and bask in its beauty, but try not to poke a Giant Clam as I expect they’re getting rather tired of it.