Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Dry Season in the Top End of Australia

The sheer size of Australia means there are many different climates that converge at different times of the year. In the Top End, which refers to the area including Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu, and Arnhem Land, there is a topical climate that promises two distinct seasons every year: the wet season and the dry season.

The dry season runs for around six months between April and October and boasts warm sunny days and cooler nights – the ideal temperatures for exploring this spectacular part of the country. Temperatures at this time of year hover between 21 degrees Celsius and 32 degrees Celsius, whilst the humidity levels remain much lower than in the wet season.

Visiting the Top End in Dry Season

Though the dry season is technically winter in Australia, it is also the best time to visit many of the places in the Top End. In fact, it is the most popular time to visit Kakadu National park, where the majority of visitor sites are open in the cooler temperatures, and Darwin. During this time, the skies are clear blue, while the nights are balmy.

If you’re planning on taking any Kakadu tours at this time, be sure to book in advance, as the popularity of this time of year means many places get booked up quickly.

Which is the Best Month in the Dry Season?

The dry season spans half the year, which means it’s difficult to pinpoint when exactly during those six months is the best time to go.

If you’re planning on seeing lots of wildlife, your best bet is going towards the end of the dry season in September or October. The sprawling floodplains that are prominent in the wet season have dried up into smaller billabongs by this point, which means that incredible amounts of birdlife and animal species congregate in a smaller space.

The shoulder seasons (early and late dry season) are less busy than the central months in the dry season. There are less tourists around and the region feels a little more peaceful. Towards the end of the dry season (in October and pushing into November), the temperatures begin to rise. If you’re used to hot weather, this is great, but for those used to cooler climes, the heat can feel a little oppressive at times.

Regardless of your plans, the dry season is a great time to visit the Top End of Australia. There is plenty to see and do, and the weather is incredible.

Tour of the Week: 5-Day Kakadu Tour With Koolpin Gorge

This 5-Day Kakadu tour with Koolpin Gorge exposes you to five incredible landmarks in the national park. Throughout the adventure, you’ll have the chance to discover some of the region’s most breath-taking waterfalls and soak up the rich Aboriginal history that imbues the area.

On the first day, we take you straight to Kakadu, only stopping on the way at the picturesque White Lily Billabong for a cup of morning tea. Afterwards, we make our way to Gunlom Falls, one of the best-loved waterfalls in the park, and hike to the top to enjoy stunning views in every direction. If you’re feeling a bit sweaty, you can cool off in the rock pools or lie out on the sandy beach at the base of the falls.

The next day is the day for exploring Koolpin Gorge. Because the area is only accessible with a special permit, it remains uncrowded and relatively untouched by tourists. You can take a walk through the wilderness surrounding the gorge, stopping off at pretty rock pools along the way.

On the third day, you’ll get to experience the third major landmark – Maguk. We’ll spend the day here hiking, swimming, and exploring, before we take you on to Jim Jim Falls.

The fourth day means yet another natural wonder. We’ll hop in a 4WD and head to Twin Falls right after breakfast, where you can take an exciting walk along the top of the falls and cool off in the refreshing pools as you go. After the adventures at Twin Falls, we’ll move on to Jim Jim Creek to enjoy spectacular views from Budjimi Lookout and wander through lush vine forests.

On the final day, you’ll get to experience the rich and fascinating Aboriginal history of the area at Nourlangie Rock. Here, you’ll soak up myths and legends that have imbued the land for centuries, and discover some of the incredible rock art that is etched on the cave walls. We’ll stop off at the Bowali Information Centre, too. On the way back to Darwin, we’ll make a quick pitstop at Mamakala wetlands so you can enjoy the colourful birdlife in the area, and we’ll take a wildlife cruise on the Correborree Billabong.

This tour is the perfect introduction to Kakadu and Koolpin Gorge and, not only will you discover some of the major landmarks, you’ll also get to camp out under the stars and tuck into traditional Aussie BBQs each night.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Marvel Exhibition in Brisbane

Brisbane is bringing comic books to life at the Marvel Exhibition this winter. If you find yourself on Brisbane tours during this time, you might want to head along to find out all about the backstories of your favourite characters.

Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe will be on show at the Gallery of Modern Art and takes the title of the very first major Marvel exhibition in the country – and the largest ever to be shown in an art museum. Organised and put together by the Queensland Art Gallery and Marvel Entertainment, the show will only be available to see in Brisbane.

Behind closed doors, you can follow the story, ideas, and concepts behind the likes of Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk, and Hawkeye, as well as their numerous allies and enemies as the show takes you on a journey from comic to cinema screen. Throughout the exhibition, you can learn more about the interconnectedness of the films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and discover hidden secrets about your favourite characters and plotlines.

With over 500 artworks from the expansive archives and private collections of Marvel, you can see some of the franchise’s most famous props, including Thor’s hammer, Captain America’s shield, and Iron Man’s armour.

When put alongside the original comic books, the films come to life as dynamic works of art in this exhibition. On show, there are more than 60 of the original costumes from the best-loved films, as well as more than 150 props and set pieces from the latest Thor film that have never been seen before by the public.

As you wander around the exhibits, you’ll pick up fascinating details about Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and the Avengers when they work as a team, and dive into some of Marvel’s other key comics, like Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

The exhibition itself has been curated by QAGOMA and provides visitors with the chance to get an encompassing look at all things Marvel, particularly at how the iconic comic books have been turned seamlessly into blockbuster films. This all comes together in a fine show of set designs, storyboards, pre-visualisations, costumes, and props. And, if that wasn’t enough, look out for the interactive elements throughout the exhibition that let you delve even deeper into the magnificent Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The exhibition takes place from the 27th May 2017 to the 3rd September 2017.