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  • Planning To Travel After Covid-19? Here Are 10 Best Road Trips in Australia You Need To Check Out

    Planning a getaway to restart your life after the pandemic? Great idea! Why not plan for a road trip, especially in Australia since it has some spectacular routes and scenic drives as you traverse this large island continent? A road trip will also give you an opportunity to revive long-standing relationships with friends whom you have been social distancing from recently. And, you can do this while taking in the awe-inspiring scenes, hidden natural wonders, and some out-of-the-way places which can only be reached via a road! What is more, a road trip does away with the tedious tasks of extreme budgeting, applying for visas, considering travel restrictions, and embarking on a long flight to reach your destination. It allows you to travel at your own pace, it can nicely work out on a limited budget, and there is no fuss on what to wear – comfort-wear is the way to go! Most importantly, it enables you to create your own unique route while traveling.  Road trips are a convenient way for you to travel with your friends after Covid-19 and it is expected to rise with domestic travel will begin to recover first. To help you plan for your next road trip, here are 10 best road trips in Australia!  via GIPHY  1. The Great Ocean Road, Victoria Image Credit: Mateusz Glogowski on Unsplash This is one famed road trip route taking you across the southern coast of Australia from between Torquay and Warrnambool, Allansford, or a little further to Port Fairy in Victoria. The Great Ocean Road, completed in 1932 as a First World War memorial, showcases breath-taking clifftop vistas, wildlife, shipwrecks, and the never-ending coastlines while passing through quaint towns and rain forest. Things to do and see: Bells Beach, 12 Apostles, Erskine Falls, Apollo Bay, Port Campbell National Park, Loch Ard Gorge, the Island Archway, the cliff-face Gibson Steps, Cape Otway lighthouse, Great Otway National Park, Lorne, Anglesea, Peterborough, the historic fishing village of Port Fairy, and many delicious eateries along the way. Time frame: The route is about 9.5 hours (approximately a 250-kilometre drive). So, a day-trip is possible and done often if you want to enjoy only the passing scenery. But the best way to take in all the sights and sounds and venture further afield is a three to four-day road trip along these most famous road trip routes. 2. The Great Beach Drive, Queensland Image Credit: Tim Foster on Unsplash; You can get a nice view of the beautiful sunrise at Hervey Bay while on this route. For those of you living in Queensland, you need not go too far to catch some scenic views and some of the best routes for a road trip. The Great Beach Drive is the famed road trip on some of the Sunshine Coast’s most stunning beaches leading to Fraser Island and the Fraser Coast while meandering through UNESCO Heritage sites, national parks, and many historically significant landscapes. While traversing this most wonderful of road routes, you will be privy to whale, dolphin, turtle, platypus, kangaroo, and rare bird sightings. Don't miss out on the Hervey Bay; you can get a nice view of the beautiful sunrise and sunset here! Things to do and see: Noosa Biosphere, Great Sandy Biosphere, wildlife sightings, picnics, camping inside national parks, off-road driving, Double Island Point lighthouse, Hervey Bay, Teewah beach, Rainbow beach, surfing, kayaking, swimming, Great Barrier Reef, hiking and trekking, and Fraser Island - the largest sand island in the world. Time frame: The route is about 168 hours (a 380-kilometre drive). Take a three to seven-day road trip along the Great Beach Drive or even longer, depending on how long you want your getaway trip to be and what you want to explore with your friends. 3. The Grand Pacific Drive, New South Wales Image Credit: Mara Page on Unsplash; The Grand Pacific Drive will lead you to some of the iconic places in Australia such as the whitest sand beach, Hyams beach at Jervis Bay. For those in New South Wales, the Grand Pacific Drive will lead you along some of the territory’s most memorable places and coastal scenes through a 140-kilometre bitumen road. Things to do and see: Sydney’s Royal National Park, Wollongong, Shellharbour, Sea Cliff Bridge, booming blowholes at Kiama, Austinmer Beach, Nan Tien Temple, hang-gliding, paragliding Minamurra Rainforest, whitest sand beaches in the world at Jervis Bay, and Jamberoo Action Park. Timeframe: The route is just a few hours (approximately a 140-kilometre drive) and an ideal one-day road trip for anyone from Sydney, Canberra, or other neighboring areas. However, there is nothing to stop you from making this road trip a longer vacation by staying over in any one of the towns or reserves along the way. 4. Great Alpine Road, Victoria Image Credit: Linda Xu on Unsplash; Experience the beauty of lush mountains at Mount Buffalo National Park  Another scenic drive starts off at Wangaratta in Victoria and traverses through the Victorian High Country and ends at Metung in the Gippsland Lakes region. The Great Alpine road trip will stun you with its fabulous Alpine scenes, mountain ranges, deep valleys, wine country, and sparkling waterways. This route will let you revel in the beauty of the mountains while enjoying some relaxation time with close friends whether you live in New South Wales or in Victoria! Things to do and see: Be inspired and rejuvenated by the lush mountains and rain forests, Mount Buffalo National Park, Gorge Lookout at Mt Buffalo, unique rock formations, and waterfalls. You can also try activities like mountain biking, trekking, and horse riding with your friends. Drive through Victoria’s highest alpine village, and view the 1,750 meter above sea-level Mt Hotham. Don't forget to visit towns such as Beechworth, Bright, and Omeo to experience the local hospitality.  Time frame: The road trip is approximately 500 kilometres and best enjoyed through a week where you can take in the scenes and enjoy the local hospitality. 5. Cairns to Cape York Peninsula, Queensland Image Credit: Photo by Pierre-Henry de Soria on Unsplash; Drop by the Palm Cove while on this route, and spend some time with your friends, catching up.  A Sunshine Coast epic journey is the road trip starting from Cairns and ending at the Cape York Peninsula. While this route is not common, unlike the Cairns to Cape Tribulations road trip, it will take you through the World Heritage-listed, Great Barrier Reef to the ancient World Heritage Daintree National Park across red sand, rain forests, many national parks, indigenous history and culture, and scenic views like no other. While the drive is said to be bumpy and does not boast much comfort, it is a once in a lifetime adventure and a chance to experience a simple lifestyle! Things to do and see: Palm Cove, Port Douglas, Daintree National Park, river crossings, ancient rock art at The Quinkan Galleries at Laura, rainforests, Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge, camping, Lakefield National Park, traverse the Old Telegraph Track, and walk to The Tip – the northern most point of Australia. Time frame: The route is about 14 hours (approximately a 1,000-kilometre one-way drive). Considering the dirt roads, raw terrain, and the need to do a round trip while exploring places and experiences the region, a minimum two-week road trip is called for. If you really are short on time, consider a one-way drive and return by air. 6. Gibb River Road, Western Australia Image Credit: jancolaco from Pixabay; Enjoy the Kimberley gorges on the Gibb River Road.  Western Australia’s Gibb River Road is another epic Australian road trip route for the adventurous. This route beginning and ending from Derby to Wyndham, or vice versa, will take you through the Kimberley region. Traveling through the outback on dusty roads will require a four-wheel drive, but the journey will take you through national parks, waterfalls, plateaus, gorges, natural wonders and lets you soak in the 50 to 60 thousand-year-old indigenous Australian culture. Things to do and see: Crocodile sighting; Windjana Gorge National Park; Mitchell Falls and Mitchell Plateau; El Questro; ziplining; King Leopold Ranges; visit outback cattle stations; compare and contrast between the Adcock, Manning, Galvans, Leonard, and Bell Gorges; Zebedee Springs; and Tunnel Creek. Time frame: Approximately a 660-kilometre route with only two roadhouses along the way – at Imintji and Mt Barnett. An ideal road trip would be a week-long, and more if you plan to stay and visit some out of the way places. Be prepared with extra fuel which can be expensive to purchase. 7. Red Centre Way, Northern Territory Image Credit: Philippe Wuyts on Unsplash; Kings Canyon, a must-visit to enjoy spectacular views!  The Northern Territory’s Red Centre Way is another epic and very cliched Australian road trip over sealed and unsealed roads. The route takes you through several mountain ranges, red earth deserts, isolated rocks, fresh swimming holes, ancient Aboriginal rock art sites, and historic towns. So, get ready for one epic Australian outback road trip experience! Things to do and see: Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, and West MacDonnell ranges; walking and hiking; Finke Gorge National Park; Watarrka National Park, the only place to see the red cabbage palm; the spirited lands of mulga forest; and the spinifex. Time frame: A loop route of about 1,135 kilometres starting at Alice Springs and taking you through Uluru and Kings Canyon is a 5 to 6-day road trip. 8. The Nullarbor Plain, South Australia to Western Australia Image Credits: Simon Maisch on Unsplash; Create unforgettable memories with your friends here at Nullarbor, South Australia If you are living somewhere in South or Western Australia, consider taking the Nullarbor Plain road trip which stretches across Ceduna/Adelaide in South Australia and Perth in Western Australia. While quite remote, the desert highway is an easy route meandering through the goldfields of Western Australia and the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. If you enjoy off-road driving, then use a four-wheel drive to ride through wide-open spaces, sand dunes, and wooded hills while re-hashing some legendary UFO stories and old-time myths with friends.  Things to do and see: Bragging rights to having seen and driven on the largest piece of limestone on earth; strange landscapes which the Nullarbor Plain is renowned for; wildlife such as giant wedge-tailed eagles, emus, kangaroos, dingoes, and camels; whale watching beneath the world's longest line of sea cliffs; the world’s longest golf course; unique caves; riding over sand dunes; ruins of Eucla Telegraph Station built in the 1870s; and camping under the starlit skies. Time frame: An ideal 6-day road trip of 1,256 kilometres which requires some preparation due to it being remote. So, carry enough fuel, water, and other essential supplies. 9. Heritage Highway, Tasmania Image Credit: Samuel Scrimshaw on Unsplash; Rural Building at Tasmania, Australia.  Living in Tasmania? No worries… This little island has quite a few road trips on offer from the Tassie Loop, to the route from Hobart to Freycinet, and of course the famed Heritage Highway. The Heritage highway which runs between Hobart and Launceston is a 200-year-old road built by convict road gangs in the 1800s. The highway meanders through some scenic views of farmlands, Georgian villages, grand rural estates and the authentic scenes of Tasmania’s historic midlands. Things to do and see: Visit the towns of Oatlands, Longford, Evandale, Cressy, and Perth; enjoy some gourmet food; Heritage Highway Museum and Visitors Centre in Campbell Town; Shene Estate & Distillery; and the Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary. Time frame: A short 2 to 3 days road trip of approximately 200 kilometres. 10. The Big Lap, Australia Image Credit: Martyna Bober on Unsplash; Visit the Bondi Beach at Sydney, one of the most famous beach destinations.  Last but certainly not the least… we have “The Big Lap”, a spectacular adventure around the entire country. Try this fabulous road trip of 15,000 kilometres using Highway One around the edge of Australia as you take in the changing scenes and landscapes of the country’s diverse territories and mixed natural environs. The big lap route will take you through seven capital cities, ride through rain forests and the red earth deserts, cruise along the coastline, and enjoy the vast emptiness of the outback. Things to do and see: Everything and anything that you fancy from the coastline between Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Broome, Perth, Esperance, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Hobart. Time frame: To truly experience the big lap, you will need at least six months, so, consider this a final hurrah kind of road trip adventure!   In ending this article, let me say that depending on the amount of time you have for a vacation, some of these road trip routes can be combined with some fun activities to make it a super adventure. So, take this chance; do not agonize about limited overseas travel, but instead, make the most of exploring your own country and enjoying a relaxing, fun-filled time with your friends! Don't forget to download the HalalTrip App, here, for more travel tips, prayer times and Qibla Direction, and many more!    via GIPHY...

  • According to Hong Kong's Street Photographers, These Are The Best Places to Capture Hong Kong

    FOODS! SHOPPING! THE BIG BUDDHA! Feeling a bit drained by all the touristy things to do in Hong Kong? This article might get you something out of the typical travelling lists! Fancy immersing yourself into the local community by wandering around in the most local area with your camera? Or maybe trying to do a camera hunt in the centre of Hong Kong? Here is a list of places where you should hang out with your beloved camera in Hong Kong! via GIPHY Do it for the Gram! With the vintage but otherworldly architecture, the Hong Kong public estate definitely stands out for photographers! Michael Wolf is definitely one of the most famous admirers of this architecture. His most important work is best known to be the serried building shots in Hong Kong. His works perfectly bring out the contrast between the closeness of residency and the shortage of intimacy of the community. Amongst many, Lok Wah South Estate and Choi Hung Estate would be the two most iconic examples! Lok Wah South Estate; A popular spot for locals and tourists Above the car park of Lok Wah South Estate, you can find a row of blue walls with a hole running through the middle. With the dreamy color and compositions, this spot easily becomes one of the most popular portrait points for both the locals and tourists. If possible, visiting in the afternoon is recommended to let the sun bring out the shadow of the vertical bars for a little bit of icing on the cake.  Choi Hung Estate; A well-known spot that was featured in foreign entertainment shows  Meanwhile, in Choi Hung Estate, you can immerse yourself in rainbows by visiting the basketball court of the estate. Being featured in some foreign entertainment shows, the beauty of this classical estate is of no secret. A little reminder: Remember to bring a wide-angle lens! You might want to shoot some wide shots with both the basketball and the buildings in it. Gem of the City - the Centre-west Side of Hong Kong Island Centre-West Side of Hong Kong Island; The mingling of traditional Chinese culture and Western culture  One of the most captivating things in Hong Kong is how traditional Chinese culture and western culture mingled. A day tour in the centre-west Hong Kong Island side would be the best way to experience this unique side of Hong Kong. On the tour, you can visit each special area in Hong Kong, namely Central, Sheung Wan, Sai Wan. Central Central; Being the central district of Hong Kong, it is considered as the Western side of Hong Kong  Being the central business district of Hong Kong, Central is considered the western side of Hong Kong: full of modern skyscrapers, full of international brands, and full of office workers. If you are a fan of modern architecture, Central would definitely be your favorite spot in Hong Kong. Sheung Wan By walking along Pottinger Street, also known as the Stone Slabs Street, you will reach Sheung Wan, where independent galleries, cafes and bars are located. One of the highlights in Sheung Wan would be award-winning Tai Kwun. Formerly known as the central police station, Tai Kwun now serves as a centre for heritage and arts. Besides the art exhibitions, the architectures alone are worth visiting. After the revitalization, Tai Kwun now is a prime example of how heritage and modern interior design can co-exist. In the JC Contemporary, you can find fascinating modern stairs. Meanwhile, you can find the actual prison and washroom of the prisoners on the other side of Tai Kwun. Sai Wan Sai Wan; The Instagram Pier is a must-visit spot in Sai Wan  Sai Wan is a district made up of Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town. By walking towards the west from Sheung Wan, you can easily reach Sai Wan. One of the most iconic, or local spots in Sai Wan is the Dried Seafood Street. In Chinese food cultures, dried seafood, for instance, oyster and scallops, is a common ingredient for dishes. The dried seafood stores are often eye-catching with its reddish and densely packed goods. Yet, the vivid store design is not the only thing for photographers!  Petting a cat is one of the many secret rules of traditional Hong Kong stores. Here you can easily spot cats in stores, and do feel free to take photos of these little stars! Photographer Marcel Heijnen did a photobook purely about the cats here (Hong Kong Shop Cats - Marcel Heijnen). Another spot worth visiting in Sai Wan is the Instagram Pier. Officially known as the Western District Public Cargo Working Area, it gets famous by the rare emptiness in Hong Kong. Unlike the typical spots in Hong Kong, you can hardly find any shops or buildings here. With the tranquillity, you can enjoy a beautiful sunset and try to shoot some more spacious shots! How to do the Tour? There are actually more options than walking for the tour! If you are not in a hurry, the tram would be your choice.The tram would be the best alternative as it is CHEAP (Saving more money for more rolls of films!), SLOW (Taking photos without the worry of handshaking) and LOCAL (Enjoying how local people used to travel within Hong Kong Island). The tram operates in 2 ways: East-direction and West direction. If you travel from Central to Sai Wan, you can take the tram with west direction (P.S. Sai means West in Cantonese!), and vice versa. Please note that there is more than 1 terminal for each direction. You might want to check if the terminal reaches the place you plan to visit. Film Scene in Hong Kong Kowloon; If you live in the Kowloon side, Tsim Sha Tsui would be the best spot for your "Film Day" With the rise of the analog scene in Hong Kong, film development and purchase are getting more accessible nowadays. If you live in the Kowloon side, Tsim Sha Tsui would be the best spot for your “Film Day”. Most film and vintage camera stores are located here. If you are looking for a film camera, Champagne Court would be the place you are looking for. The staff in the camera shops are friendly and speak English! Feel free to seek advice from them. They have a wide range of film cameras and accessories - you might be able to find your dream camera here! For film development, Dot Well and HK camera both provide same-day development of films. If you happen to be in Mongkok, Showa would also be a choice for camera and film development. They do have a store in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island too; it would be more convenient if you live on the island side. Besides Dot Well, other stores are located in old buildings. By checking the street number in front of the building entrance, you should be able to reach the store! List for Camera and Film Development:  Champagne Court: Kimberley St, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong (The old mall at the intersection of Carnarvon road Kimberley Road)  Dot Well: 44 Carnarvon Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong HK Camera: 1/F, 59 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. Showa (Causeway Bay): SHOP 1H Po Foo Building, 1-5 Foo Ming Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Showa (Mongkok): 3/F, 66 Sai Yeung Choi, Street South, Mongkok, Hong Kong   We hope that the list of places listed in this article would be useful for you and give you a rough idea of where you should hang out with your beloved camera in Hong Kong! via GIPHY ...

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