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Fascinating Things to See in the Otways of Victoria

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Otways Nature Walks near the Great Ocean Road

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The Great Ocean Road is one of Victoria’s most sought after destinations, with countless tourists to Melbourne taking the time to visit. Trips down the Surf Coast tend to focus on the coast here, and with attractions like the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge, it’s easy to see why. Just don’t make the mistake of overlooking or simply driving past all the many things to see in the Otways while you’re at it.

The Otways, the general name for the Great Otway National Park and Otway Ranges, aren’t that hard to find. You literally drive through its rainforest when travelling on the Great Ocean Road. Just past Apollo Bay you’ll veer away from the coast and weave through gorgeous nature for a bit. That’s the Otways, or at least a glimpse of what it offers. Read on to find a selection of places to visit there, but full disclosure, this guide has a heavy focus on the Otways waterfalls.

 

The Otways Waterfalls

Off the top it’s important to highlight just how many waterfalls in the Otways there are. The rainforest is brimming with them, although most are found near the Otway Ranges rather than down by the coast.

Even spending one day driving from one waterfall to the next, I only managed to see a few in the area. That’s a little on me being slow to get going, but also on the amount of walking it takes to get down to the falls. I mostly focused on waterfalls near Apollo Bay, so I missed farther ones like Stevenson Falls which look very impressive.

It’s worth pointing out, that there are are also other waterfalls on the Great Ocean Road, beyond the confines of the Otways.  Some of the region’s most famous waterfalls like Erskine Falls and Henderson Falls are over near Lorne. Then there’s Hopkins Falls out the other way near Warrnambool, giving you lots of options depending on the trip you have planned.

 

Hopetoun Falls

Hopetoun Falls, Otways Waterfalls

During my trip down the coast, the one waterfall that really stood out to me was Hopetoun Falls near Beech Forest.

What makes Hopetoun Falls so special is its flawless rainforest setting. To reach the falls you follow a long series of stairs down from its dirt road carpark to reach a modern viewing platform on the Aire River. From there, you can look up stream past ferns and dense forest to see the 30-metre-drop of Hopetoun Falls.

While there is an upper platform to see the top of the falls just by the car park, that view doesn’t do the falls justice. So I’d highly suggest doing the 30-minute return walk to the bottom, that is unless handling 200 stairs down and then up again is too much.

 

Beauchamp Falls

Beauchamp Falls Victoria

A strong contender to compete with Hopetoun Falls, in that they’re somewhat similar, is Beauchamp Falls. This waterfall isn’t actually too far from Hopetoun Falls either, making them an easy pair to visit in one go.

What makes Beauchamp Falls nice to visit, in my opinion, is that it has two viewpoints that really show different sides to the falls. From the river’s edge, you can see the falls seemingly emerge from the rainforest out of nowhere. Up at the constructed viewpoint by the top of the falls, you have a completely different view that lets you see the 20-metre-drop up close. The upper viewing platform also allows you to see all the ferns clinging to the mossy rockface around the waterfall.

The only problem with visiting Beauchamp Falls, is that it is harder to get to than Hopetoun Falls. To reach its viewpoints, you’ll need to take the steep trail down from Beauchamp Falls Campground. They say to allow 1 to 1.5 hours return to get there, and if its muddy like it was when I went, the longer time feels more appropriate.

 

Triplet Falls

Triplet Falls, Waterfalls near Apollo Bay

Sometimes waterfalls just don’t look great in photos, even when they are actually quite impressive. That’s definitely the case with Triplet Falls over near Weeaproinah. And yet, there’s one of the most remarkable waterfalls in the Otways.

I guess the problem is that, true to their name, they’re split into three cascades that are hard to view all at once. That’s even from the elevated walkways and platform built into the forest to reach it. Still, you do get to see Triplet Falls, just section by section as you approach and reach the main viewpoint.

Seeing Triplet Falls isn’t the only perk of a visit here though. The 1-hour walking circuit to the falls meanders between Mountain Ash trees across the site of original Knott’s No.1 Mill.

As you walk, you’ll actually see remnants of the mill, including metal machinery and carts now crawling with moss. Looking around at the size of some of the trees, it makes sense why logging used to be such a thriving industry here.

 

Maits Rest Rainforest Walk

Maits Rest Rainforest Walk

While the above Otways waterfalls are all nice to visit, they are a little way from the Great Ocean Road. If you don’t have the time to take the detour, Maits Rest Rainforest Walk is a great place to stop. Sitting just off the Great Ocean Road, this walking trail lets you go for a walk through the rainforest and conveniently enjoy its serene beauty.

The Maits Rest Rainforest Walk can be completed comfortably within 30 minutes and is a very gentle stroll. But there’s no sense rushing your walk here, as slowly admiring its nature is kind of the point. Here you’ll see trickling streams, dense trees, and moss and ferns everywhere.

But there are also opportunities to spot more unusual local features, such as the endangered Otway Black Snail, a carnivorous snail with a jet black shells. I never knew meat-eating snails existed, but apparently they do!

 

Ferguson Museum

Ferguson Museum

Who would have thought that my random choice of lunch spot would turn out to be so interesting on its own. Located at the junction of C159 and C155, the Ferguson Museum is a roadside cafe/museum in a building built like a big farm shed. I stopped in here between visiting waterfalls for food, but quickly became fascinated by its décor and walls of photos.

This entire region on the northern side of the Otways sits on the fringe between farmland and rainforest. For the longest time, forestry was its primary industry. Across the walls of the museum are photos and newspaper clippings reflecting that history, from the “Old Beechy Railway” from 1902 to the “Otway Timber Mill” from 1848. There are also all sorts of logging tools hanging on the walls.

There’s no price of admission to the museum, but buying lunch, coffee, or a snack seems like a fair trade. It helps that the food here is pretty delicious, with the kinds of things you expect from a county bakery.

 

Tips for Visiting the Otways

1695191889 706 Fascinating Things to See in the Otways of Victoria

This may not be the longest list of things to do in the Otways, but this is just what I saw in one day or so driving about. I’d love to return and visit more Otways waterfalls, but maybe not at such a rainy time of year. Going in late winter has its trade-offs; lots of rain means mud and likely getting wet, but makes the waterfalls more prominent.

A word of warning regarding tours that say they come to the Otways. These tours are primarily for the Great Ocean Road and mostly just pass by the Otway rainforest. Some do actually stop though, like this one which includes time at Beauchamp Falls. If that’s enough for you, then a tour can be a viable way to visit.

As for advice on planning a visit to the Otways, I’d suggest following the same general rules as visiting the Great Ocean Road. Staying somewhere like Apollo Bay is wise, due to its range of options and convenient location. If you want to know where I stayed, it was the Sandpiper Motel Apollo Bay and I’d recommend it for an inexpensive option.

 


Had you travelled to the Otways in Victoria before? What was your favourite things to do there? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Cultural destinations

These Are The Top 7 Beach Destinations In 2024 According To Travel And Leisure

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mallorca spain coastline

A comprehensive list of the top destinations for 2024 has been put together by the Travel and Leisure experts.

Numerous magazines have released their favorites for the upcoming year, and they all appear very different. While some are fully off the grid, others are popular hotspots.

In the end, you have to determine what interests you enough to plan a fantastic trip. Travel & Leisure divided up their best recommendations by category rather than covering all 50 locations.

Let’s examine the top 7 “beach vibes” for 2024 as listed by Travel & Leisure:
Florida’s Anna Maria Island
There are several locations in Florida that make for the perfect vacation, which is why the state continues to draw enormous numbers of visitors.

Miami and other major American beaches and cultural centers are located in this sunny state. However, a lot of people decide to take the ideal family vacation to Orlando.

Tampa is one place that gets overlooked despite having so many beautiful beaches close by. Travel and Leisure declares Anna Maria Island to be the greatest in Florida because of its friendly locals, breathtaking sunsets, and lack of skyscrapers that obstruct the view.

Your stay will be more enjoyable and accessible with new hotels and more flights to nearby Sarasota.
Italy’s Campania coast
This striking area is experiencing a hotel boom on some of the most picturesque coastline in the nation.

With four destinations to pick from for your European beach getaway—Amalfi, Positano, Capri, and Sorrento—Coastal Campania offers quadruple the pleasure.

Italy’s breathtaking beaches will wow you; many visitors associate the nation with ancient sites and excessive wine and pasta consumption.

You can still indulge in excessive amounts of delectable food and drink locally produced wine, but why not do it against the breathtaking backdrop of azure waters, undulating hills, and classic architecture?
There are several hotel alternatives available to travelers, ranging from luxurious accommodations with cliffside pools to intimate boutique styles.

Soon, American and Delta will begin offering direct service to the neighboring Naples.
There isn’t a single Costa Rican beach that Travel and Leisure recommended visiting in 2024. T and L essentially advise you to “just pick one” beach because they are all so lovely.

Any beach in Costa Rica is a good choice, however some are busier and more well-known than others.
While some may choose for more quiet spots to have a wonderful beach all to themselves, many small towns have a thriving surfing community that gets together to surf the waves.

Travelers adore visiting the land of pura vida, despite the fact that it is usually more expensive than nearby nations.

Travel & Leisure also adore it. Indeed, they have selected Costa Rica as the “Destination of the Year” for 2024. Whether traveling alone, with company, or on a family vacation, everyone will find their place in this stunning nation.

There are plenty of enjoyable excursions to discover the breathtaking beauty and culture of the country, and lodging options ranging from cozy hostels to opulent hotels are easily accessible.
Dominica  Over the past year, Dominica has been increasingly popular. Travel is on the rise, and more people are looking to discover bright new places to visit.

This Caribbean island features picture-perfect waterfalls, verdant jungles, and unspoiled beaches, making it a veritable paradise.

trekking enthusiasts should prepare their trekking shoes, as the breathtaking Waitukubuli National Trail spans more than 100 miles across the island.

More lodging facilities, including upscale establishments like InterContinental, are opening up. A major lure for tourists is sustainability, with charming eco-lodges.
Hawaii Island 🙠
We are all aware of the destruction Hawaii experienced earlier this year. After a wildfire decimated Maui, there has been debate in the travel industry over whether or not it is still safe to visit.

Travel and Leisure claims that Hawaii is prepared for tourists to return. Without requiring a passport, Hawaii offers one of the most unusual environments.

Stunning beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, and cliffside vistas are just a few of the main attractions for tourists.

Travelers are urged by the tourism sector to treat any island as if it were their own home and to be careful of their stay.
Mexico’s Los Cabos
With the cleanest beaches in all of Latin America, Los Cabos is among the most picturesque locations in Mexico.

“Is Cabo worth the price?” is the query that vacationers should be asking themselves. The top hotels, according to reports, are now charging an astounding $1000 a night on average!

With its boujee resorts, immaculate beaches, and exciting entertainment, Cabo is among the most opulent vacation spots that are accessible to most people.

In 2024, more opulent resorts are planned to open, and more flights are leaving from American airports.
Spain’s Mallorca
This gorgeous island in Spain is ideal for a romantic beach vacation. It is the location of the lovely city of Palma, which is overlooked in favor of Spain’s other major towns. Outside of the city are some of the most tranquil beaches the country has to offer, complete with dazzling waters, wide-open areas, and relaxed residents.

In between beach days, explore the amazing downtown streets for an abundance of tapas and mouthwatering wine. From boutique lodging to a Four Seasons resort, the quaint hotels will win your heart.

With United’s new direct route from Newark, getting to Mallorca is now easier than ever.

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Cultural destinations

These Are 5 Of The Top Destinations In Southeast Asia’s Cheapest Country

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Aerial View Of A Beach Area In Nha Trang, Central Vietnam, Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, sometimes abbreviated as SEA, is the ideal destination for backpackers.

Vietnam is a very diverse subcontinent where foreigners are welcomed and hyperinflated Western prices are not a regular concern. This year, its popularity has increased due to lax visitation laws and less bureaucratic tourist visa processes, but no nation has shown itself to be as fashionable as Vietnam.

This tropical treasure borders the turquoise East Sea and is considered the cheapest destination in the South East Asia region. With extremely low consumer costs and a devalued national currency that enhances the spending power of the typical Westerner, it’s your best choice for an off-the-beaten-path tropical holiday that won’t break the bank.

After spending a lot of time exploring Vietnam, we have selected the top five places to go this winter that are affordable and rich in culture:
Mui Ne
Mui Ne, a tranquil fishing hamlet in South Vietnam, is undoubtedly the most underappreciated coastal location in the nation since it offers culture and wellness all in one place.

It’s got an emerging development strip with new resorts opening every few months, including the delightful boutique hotel The Anam that we featured earlier this year, as well as pristine reserves, sand dunes, family-run eateries, and historic Cham towers that date back hundreds of years.

With nightly rates as low as $114 and a prime location near Mui Ne’s high street rather than in a far-off place away from the activity, The Anam is the perfect starting point for visitors wishing to explore the town and the larger province.

The area is well-known for its seafood, particularly its fish sauce, and there are several authentic restaurants outside the resort complex that serve Vietnamese specialties, like rice noodle soup and sea snails, for as little as $5.
As Hoi An
Hoi An, the crown jewel of Vietnam, is a superbly maintained medieval river port with dwellings that have a yellow tint, winding alleyways, and a history that dates back more than 2,000 years.

A reminder of the successive colonization periods and the multicultural nature of Hoi An, it is situated in Central Vietnam, halfway between the country’s two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Its eclectic architecture, influenced by Chinese, Japanese, and European styles, is evident throughout its bustling streets, which are home to medieval Sino pagodas, striking displays of colorful, brightly painted paper lanterns, a Japanese temple bridge that spans a picturesque canal, and several French-built civic structures that date back to the French Indochina period.

Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit location if you’re traveling from North to South Vietnam or the other way around. Like other Vietnamese hotspots, it fits your budget—a three-day stay typically costs about $50, not including lodging.

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and the political and cultural center of the former capitalist state of South Vietnam. Despite no longer serving as the country’s capital, it is still known by this name.

Still the most Westernized and outward-looking city in the nation, HCMC has changed with the times thanks to the support of a strong expat population, making it one of the top investment and business destinations in Southeast Asia.

HCMC, home to 8.4 million people, is a popular destination for digital nomads and young entrepreneurs. With its impressive French colonial architecture, war museums, and exciting nightlife, it’s a vibrant city that visitors shouldn’t miss when exploring Vietnam.

Cu Chi Tunnels, used by Viet combatants during the War, the Independence Palace, the former South Vietnam Government’s headquarters, and the Notre Dame Cathedral, a French Neo-Gothic structure, are just a few of the city’s top attractions.

When compared to other major cities in the subcontinent, HCMC is surprisingly affordable. Budget tourists could anticipate to pay a meager $30 per day, not including lodging.
Ha Trang
With over 500,000 residents, Nha Trang is one of Vietnam’s largest cities and the nation’s go-to sunny spot. Holidaymakers tend to flock there during the peak travel season, which runs from November to February when less precipitation is recorded.

Nha Trang is the new favorite digital nomad destination in Southeast Asia. It is another well-liked beach resort and bustling coastal metropolis lining the East Sea, where tall hotel towers and skyscrapers are bounded by a long stretch of white sand.

Not so well-known Nha Trang is fast rising to prominence as one of Southeast Asia’s most sought-after options for a seaside city break, thanks to its array of opulent hotels surrounding the shoreline and its abundance of top-notch restaurants serving traditional seafood from Central Vietnam.

In general, visitors should budget only $41 a day on average in Nha Trang, plus an extra $27 per night for lodging.

In addition to the stunning beaches and commercial malls, tourists may fully immerse themselves in Vietnamese culture by visiting the nearby Po Nagar ruins, an old temple that was established as early as the eighth century by the now-extinct Cham civilization.

Hanoi
A discussion of Vietnam’s most interesting travel locations would be incomplete without discussing Hanoi, which served as the country’s capital after the Reunification War and is now regarded as the country’s second-most important commercial and cultural hub after Ho Chi Minh City in the South.

The main draws of Hanoi are its broad, green boulevards in the European style and its greater degree of social development in comparison to other less developed areas of Vietnam:

Being the government’s capital and a major financial center, it has greater infrastructure than the typical Vietnamese city and is much cleaner, with less hectic traffic.

Not only is Hanoi a popular destination because of this, but visitors also enjoy it because of its high concentration of historic temples, French colonial landmarks, and large, open green spaces that offer a brief respite from the fast-paced city life.

Furthermore, because Hanoi has connections to off-beaten routes in North Vietnam, travelers frequently use it as a base for exploring the region’s wild nature, which includes stunning mountain ranges, the UNESCO-listed Halong Bay, and golden rice fields.

With an average daily cost of $50 for tourists, Hanoi is undoubtedly the most costly option out of the five; yet, even by Western standards, it is extremely affordable and definitely less expensive than other Asian metropolises like Singapore or Hong Kong.

Are you planning a trip to Vietnam soon? Find out more about this Southeast Asian treasure and some of the guidelines for visiting.

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These 5 U.S. Airlines Are Most Likely To Experience Flight Delays Right Now

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Woman Waiting at Airport

The holidays are quickly approaching, resulting in some of the busiest travel weeks of the year. Flight delays are typical this time of year, particularly around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Flying may be a stressful experience in and of itself, but delays can make it even more so.

Booking with an airline that has a high proportion of on-time flights and booking a ticket early in the morning are two of the greatest strategies to avoid flight delays.

According to recent statistics from UpgradedPoints, the following airlines in the United States are most likely to face flight delays right now.

1. Frontier Airlines.

Frontier Airlines is currently the worst airline for flight delays. This low-cost carrier’s flights have a 31.9% risk of being delayed.

Rather of taking a chance and risking a one-in-three possibility of your flight being delayed, it’s best to select a more dependable airline for flights this winter.

Frontier is also dealing with other concerns, including as a class-action lawsuit against the airline’s $599 “unlimited flight” pass, which was introduced earlier this year.

2. Southwest Airlines

Last year, just around Christmas, Southwest Airlines experienced a catastrophic meltdown, resulting in thousands of flight delays and cancellations.

Many tourists questioned if booking with Southwest was safe in light of the complete breakdown of operations. While Southwest is likely to strive extra hard to avoid a similar disaster this winter, you may not want to take any chances.

Furthermore, according to historical statistics, Southwest flights have a 31.8% risk of being delayed, making the airline nearly as unreliable as Frontier.

3. JetBlue Airways

JetBlue is another untrustworthy airline with a significant likelihood of flight delays. When it comes to on-time flights, this New York-based carrier does not have the finest track record.

Although not as awful as Frontier or Southwest, going on JetBlue still means you have a staggering 30.8% probability of experiencing flight delays.

4. Allegiant Airlines

Allegiant Air is the next carrier on the list of possible delays. This low-cost airline is not very dependable, so although you may save money by booking your ticket, you may also face unexpected delays.

Allegiant Air flights are delayed 29.2% of the time.

5. Spirit Airlines

Finally, there is Spirit Airlines. Although this low-cost carrier is the brunt of many jokes for being a less-than-ideal mode of transportation, it isn’t as awful as some other US airlines when it comes to delays.

When flying with Spirit, there is a 28.1% risk of a flight delay.

Which Airlines Experience the Fewest Delays?

Now that you know which airlines are most likely to have flight delays right now (and which to avoid! ), here are the airlines with the fewest delays.

Although ultra-low tickets with airlines such as Frontier or Spirit may entice you, it may be worth the additional money to book with a more dependable airline.

The top three airlines with the fewest delays right now are:

  • Alaska Airlines has a 20.3% probability of being delayed.
  • Delta Air Lines has a 19.1% probability of being delayed.
  • Hawaiian Airlines has a 15.6% probability of being delayed.

Flights can be delayed for a variety of reasons, including aircraft faults, personnel concerns, weather, and other factors, but these three airlines have the fewest delays.

There is no foolproof technique to avoid flight delays (as lovely as that would be! ), but you may read this article for further advice on how to avoid the dreaded delay or cancellation.

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