Tigerair Australia set to resume flights to Bali

Airbus A320Tigerair Australia is expected to resume flights to Bali from February 3rd after overcoming the developments that forced the airline into putting a temporary pause on all flights due to what the company described as “new administrative requirements” imposed by the Indonesian Government.

Tigerair has announced that they have now received “key approval” to fly to Bali using the Airbus A320 instead of the 737s that they had previously been using to service the route. The fleet of A320 aircraft, which have a slightly shorter range, will be used until Indonesia grant Tigerair approval to operate 737s independently (after previously flying under Virgin Australia’s license).

The airline plans to resume sales for flights to Bali on or before the 3rd of February after the route had to be paused due to ongoing negotiations with the Indonesian Government. Bali is one of the most beloved destinations in the world, with serene beaches, volcanic mountains and clear blue waters. The island is in huge demand from tourists all over the world, but it is especially popular with Australians, whose close proximity means they can conveniently make a quick hop over to the island. With the loss in ticket sales and refunds being provided for all passengers who have missed flights, Tigerair will surely be relieved to have reached this new agreement.

All flights between Australia and Denpasar (the capital and main gateway to Bali) in the period of January 20th to February 2nd have been cancelled, stranding thousands of passengers, but in the meantime the subsidiary of Virgin Australia Holdings is being helped out by Virgin Australia, who are continuing to transport passengers who were scheduled to fly as best they can.

Australian nature at its finest at Noosa National Park

Located just 120 km from Brisbane, Noosa National Park occupies an enviable spot within easy reach of rolling waves and lush green forests. Stretching more than 4,000 hectares, this is one of Australia’s prize assets. If you’re working on plans for a personalised Australia holiday, you won’t regret making time for a trip to Noosa.

 

What’s so special about Noosa National Park?

Noosa National Park is spectacular for many reasons. One of the best things about this area of natural beauty is the diversity of scenery, as well as the incredible views. From one angle, you’ll be greeted with verdant canopies and an endless stream of treetops. From another, you can watch the waves crashing against the cliffs. Everywhere you go, you’ll see something different.

Noosa is incredibly important because it provides a home for several endangered species and an amazing collection of trees, plants and flowers.

You can take part in an array of activities here, including hiking, bush walking and wildlife spotting. A walk along the coastal path comes highly recommended.

 

Noosa National Park wildlife

Noosa National Park is home to a collection of mammals and birds. If you’re keen to see Australia’s most iconic resident, the koala, keep your eyes peeled and look up to the treetops. These cuddly creatures can often be seen lazing in the sun amidst the branches. You may also be lucky enough to spot glossy black cockatoo, ground parrots and wallum froglets.

 

Highlights

When you visit Noosa National Park, you won’t want to miss:

Hell’s Gates: an expansive inlet, which is a great place to spot osprey and sea eagles.

Devil’s Kitchen: the headland here offers stunning views of the rugged coastline up to Alexandria Bay.

Alexandria Bay: this beautiful bay is an ideal place to spend the day if you want to hit the beach. Avoid swimming here, as there are no lifeguards on patrol, and the riptides can be strong and unpredictable.

Dolphin Point: Dolphin Point is an acclaimed lookout, not just because it overlooks the crashing waves, but also because you can often spot dolphins slipping in and out of the sea.

 

If you’re visiting Noosa, don’t leave town without spending a day or two exploring the treasured trails of the national park. All you need is some sturdy shoes, a good camera, and plenty of water and snacks, and you’re guaranteed a day to remember.

Discover the ancient desert sculptures of the Pinnacles

Found standing tall in the midst of the Nambung National Park are the ancient desert sculptures of the Pinnacles. These limestone pillars that rise out of the yellow sand dunes are a magical, otherworldly sight and an experience like no other. And just beyond the statues, the national park provides some superb secluded white beaches with clear turquoise waters great for swimming, snorkelling and surfing.

Located roughly 200km north of Perth, the Pinnacles are a majestic fixture in the shifting sand dunes. However, they were relatively unknown until the late 1960s, when the department of lands and surveys agreed to add the area to the existing national park, leading to the Pinnacles finally being recognised as one of the best tourist attractions on the west coast. The desert has significant aboriginal ties, with the area being home to the country’s indigenous people for many years. For the Aborigines, the area and the Pinnacles themselves are sacred, and the statues are testimony to the peace-loving culture and respect for the area and its natural assets for which the Aborigines stand.

The Pinnacles desert discovery centre takes you on journey of appreciation of the natural and cultural heritage value that this area holds. The discovery centre allows visitors to explore the history of how the Pinnacles were formed 25,0000 to 30,000 years ago after the coastal winds of the Indian Ocean eroded the surrounding sand, leaving the limestone pillars exposed to the elements. The display of how the pillars have evolved over the years is particularly enlightening.

The desert landscape is spectacular, attracting a wide range of wildlife which includes emus, galahs and kangaroos, so don’t forget to watch out for these stalking through the spires. As well as providing a natural habitat for an extensive array of native animals, the national park provides a selection of bird life which can often be spotted from the Pinnacles look-out point. From here you can also appreciate the ghostly shadows formed later on in the day by the intriguing shapes of these limestones rocks, which reach up to 4 metres tall at their highest.

The Nambung National Park runs alongside the beautiful turquoise coral coast. The beaches surrounding the Pinnacles are some of the best in western Australia, offering flawless swimming and snorkelling conditions that allow you to see some of the best marine life living around the coral reef. Visitors can also try activities such as windsurfing, deep sea fishing expeditions or even off-shore cruises, where if you’re lucky there’s a chance of spotting sea lions and bottle nosed dolphins.

 

Soar above the landscape on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in Cairns is one of the world’s most unique rainforest experiences. You soar over the Barron Gorge National park in the Wet Tropics of Queensland’s World Heritage Area, and if you visit during the wet season that runs from December to March, the greenery glistens in the splendour of the Aussie sun.

The Skyrail Rainforest journey – which you can get on board all year round – allows you to immerse yourself in the fabric of the rainforest, giving you the chance to learn about one of the most diverse areas on earth whilst feeling right at the heart of the tropical environment. The beautiful 7.5km journey takes in both the panoramic Cairns Tropical region and the sparkling waters of the Coral Sea beyond.

The Skyrail journey takes approximately 1½ hours one way, or 2-2½ hours return, and begins at Smithfield Terminal – located just 50 minutes away from Port Douglas or 15 minutes from Cairns. As you start your journey and begin to ascend the McAlister Range, you’ll enjoy stunning coastal and rainforest views of the Coral Sea and Tropical Cairns, before you then gently start to descend into the rain forest to your first stop, the Red Peak Station.

Situated 545m above sea level, the Red Peak Station is nestled amongst the surrounding towering trees and unspoilt rainforest. Here you can walk along the 175m boardwalk, offering a relaxing way to absorb the rainforest and the grand scale of the ancient forests. Once you have explored all that Red Peak Station has to offer, you can continue your journey to Barron Falls Station.

The approach to Barron Falls provides some of the most spectacular views of the Barron Gorge, with the walkways around the station proffering various different vantage points on the Gorge and Falls. The Station is home to the state-of-the-art Rainforest Interpretation Centre, built in conjunction with the CSIRO (Australia’s scientific research organisation). The touch-screen computers, videos and tutorials allow for a visual and interactive learning experience about the rainforest environment, which enhances your enjoyment of the tour.

The final 1.7kms to Kuranda Terminal takes just under 10 minutes and delivers you to a lovely village in the rainforest which is home to many attractions including Australia’s largest butterfly sanctuary, Kuranda Koala Gardens and a diverse range of shops and restaurants. You can return to Cairns either via the Kuranda Scenic Railway or on the Skyrail – both options will give you a spectacular final taste of the beauty of the Tropical North Queensland rainforest.

Australian Zoo celebrates first echidna births in 30 years

The first baby echidnas in almost 30 Years have been born in Taronga Zoo, keepers at the Sydney attraction have revealed.

The Zoo only recently made the announcement that three new baby echidnas, or puggles as they are better known, had been welcomed into the world – despite the fact that they had hatched from their eggs in August.

This is because the keepers wanted to monitor the early growth stages of these unique-looking creatures before going public with the news. Happily, zoo officials have now been able to announce that the three echidna babies have survived that critical period, in which they cosy up in their mother’s pouch until they grow their characteristic spines and hair for protection – both signs of good health.

The babies have opened their eyes and have been transferred to underground tunnels, where they can remain protected and warm. The zoo has also built special nursery burrows to house the new arrivals as part of its new echidna-breeding facility. The baby echidnas’ mothers will return to the burrows every few days to feed the babies whilst they develop – though most of the babies’ time will be spent sleeping! They will then be removed from the burrows early next year.

Echidnas are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity and in fact their numbers have decreased in their native Australia due to loss of habitat. The timid creatures, one of only two Australian mammals that lay eggs, are elusive and hard to observe in the wild, making it difficult to track their progress. Through the breeding program, zookeepers have been able to develop a much broader understanding of their growth and development cycle through constant monitoring.