7 rewarding one-day Australian mountain climbs

There’s something special about climbing a mountain, and it’s a feat that conjures up a whole range of thoughts and feelings. You start by psyching yourself up for the challenge, ooze energy and enthusiasm as the climb begins, question your sanity part way through, and then, with elation, enjoy a huge sense of achievement when you reach the summit.

Holidays are the perfect time to tackle a mountain: you literally have all day to play with and plenty of recovery time.

With this in mind, we thought we’d share with you our favourite Australian mountain climbs. We’ve highlighted those that can be conquered as part of a daytrip from your BIG4 accommodation; yet still present a decent challenge. And the further you read, the tougher the climbs become!

It’s time to put on your walking shoes and prepare to encounter these incredibly rewarding Australian mountain climbs.

Hiking within Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is incredibly rewarding.
Hiking within Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is incredibly rewarding.

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The Gold Coast is not just theme parks and beaches

Blog contribution by Jennifer Adams, presenter of the popular TV travel series Places We Go.

“We’re just off to the Goldie to do the theme parks”.

It’s obviously my age and having a seven-year-old daughter (let’s face it, what kid doesn’t love the thrill of a good old-fashioned roller-coaster?), but this statement has become increasingly popular among my friends lately when they refer to a family holiday on the Gold Coast…

Oh, and of course everyone expects clear blue skies and that irresistible long stretch of white sandy beach where the waves illuminate as they curl in the afternoon sun and families happily play beach cricket.

I am sure most Australians would have their own holiday memories of the Gold Coast. I remember a visit to Sea World to swim with the dolphins when I was about the same age as my daughter; and then taking her to Wet’n’Wild a year ago and watching her squeal with excitement as she ploughed down the enormous slides.

The Gold Coast skyline
The Gold Coast skyline

The Gold Coast, or the ‘Goldie’ as many affectionately call it, has been famous for being a fun tourist destination since the boom of the ‘80s. Go back a hundred years and, with its rolling surf beaches and inland waterways, it held a reputation for being a secluded holiday destination for upper-class Brisbane residents.

Today, of course, it’s anything but secluded! It’s a major tourist hotspot, a go-to place for a bit of fun in the sun, with theme parks, skyscrapers, and a shiny nightlife for all the family. But let’s be clear, I believe it’s a lot more than that. With its sub-tropical climate and lush rainforest hinterland, it has a few gems that are well worth the visit. And the kids will love them!

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Top 6 Australian flower festivals to brighten your spring

Nothing better signals the arrival of spring than a display of bright, colourful flowers carpeting the landscape. It’s a comforting sign, indicating that the cold and wet of winter has passed (for many Australians) and plenty of sun-kissed days lie ahead.

A stack of destinations around Australia embrace the floral theme by hosting flower festivals each spring. In fact, some of these festivals have a history that dates more than half a century, and they attract big crowds. And with more than 180 parks scattered across Australia, BIG4 has fantastic accommodation that can put you at the heart of the action.

Here are half a dozen annual Australian flower festivals that have caught our eye.

Ruston's Rose Garden is centre of attention for South Australia's Renmark Rose Festival in October.
Ruston’s Rose Garden is centre of attention during South Australia’s Renmark Rose Festival each October. Credit: SATC.

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6 scenic cycling trails you must complete

For much of Australia, spring is a great time to strap on the helmet and push the pedals along a magnificent cycling trail.

The relatively favourable weather conditions allow two-wheel exploration of our scenic country to be reliably achieved without you sweating up a storm or, conversely, finding your fingers frozen to the handlebars.

Cycling is a fantastic activity to enjoy when on holidays and you don’t have to be a Tour de France wannabe to participate. Relatively flat cycling paths abound, enabling the whole family to come along for the ride, and bike hire is available in many locations.

Whether checking out the sights of a major city or exploring a regional centre, there is a plethora of superb Australian cycling paths to plant the wheels along.

We’ve put together a list of our favourite ‘leisurely’ cycling trails – those that can be tackled within a day – which are easily accessible when staying at a nearby BIG4 park.

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Top 5 things to do in Victoria’s High Country

Blog contribution by Jennifer Adams, presenter of the popular TV travel series Places We Go.

Enjoying the slopes of the High Alpine Country.
Enjoying the slopes of the High Country.

Think crackling fire, red wine, scrumptious local produce, then throw in a day on the slopes (with or without the kids!), a visit to the famous Bright Brewery, and perhaps a drive through the King Valley, and you have yourself a recipe for a brilliant winter’s break in Victoria’s north-east, in the charming alpine High Country town of Bright.

Bright is the gateway to a weekend of adventures, or a destination in itself.

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Top 5 things to do with kids in the Grampians

Blog contribution by Jennifer Adams, presenter of the popular TV travel series Places We Go.

Jen and Charli on the rocks
Jennifer Adams and daughter Charli perched on the rocks in Grampians National Park.

“Mum, look to the left…shhh…just look to the left,” my seven-year-old daughter Charli whispers, barely able to contain her excitement. “Come on, we’ll creep over and they won’t see us,” she says. We quietly get out of the car and, right in front of us, three grey kangaroos stare right back at us. They don’t move, and nor do we. To see wildlife in its natural environment is captivating, no matter your age.

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2016 caravan and camping show dates

The annual caravan and camping shows are a fantastic opportunity to research and plan your next adventure.

Each show has displays of hundreds of the latest and best caravans, camper trailers, motorhomes, tents, camping equipment, and more. The caravan and camping shows are ideal for those who are hungry for information and entertainment, as there are always plenty of seminars where you can pick up tips and tricks from the experts in the industry.


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Essential tips for purchasing a caravan

A home is possibly the biggest purchase you’re ever likely to make, but buying your ‘home away from home’ is a huge investment, too.

Purchasing a caravan is a tricky proposition. There’s so much choice and a lot to consider: size, weight, style, and features all come into play. Then, of course, there’s cost.

To help with the process, BIG4 asked experts in the field to steer us in the right direction. Caravan Industry Association Victoria Chief Executive, Rob Lucas, and Jayco Australia RV regional sales coordinator, Chris Hooper, have provided us with great advice if you are considering buying a caravan.

Preparation is essential when purchasing a caravan.

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8 amazing Australian golf courses you must play

From Port Stephens to Port Hedland, Australia teems with beautiful golf courses. Better still, most are easily accessible to the general public.

For some travellers, golf clubs are the first item to be packed when taking a break. The accessibility and wide variety of Australian courses ensures that playing golf when on holidays is a popular pastime.

Rather than compile yet another list of Australia’s best golf courses, we wanted to highlight for you those layouts that provide the average player with an interesting yarn that can be shared when returning to their BIG4 accommodation.

Whether unique, quirky, novel, or ancient, we introduce you to eight Australian golf courses that you must play.

Playing golf on holidays is done with ease in Australia.
Playing golf on holidays is enjoyed with ease in Australia.

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