Australia’s 2013 Great Victorian Bike Ride Heads Down The Ocean Road

We’ve noted before just how popular cycling holidays have become in recent years as active and adventurous travelers look for new ways to explore their favorite destinations. Few of those holidays can rival Australia’s annual Great Victorian Bike Ride, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year by riding the Great Ocean Road, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful routes that you could ever hope to pedal.

The 2013 edition of the GVBR will get underway on November 23 and run through December 1. The nine-day tour will set out from the spectacular Blue Lake, located near the town of Mount Gambier in South Australia. From there, the route will wander for 610 kilometers (379 miles) along the Great Ocean Road and into the Otways, a lush and ecologically diverse rainforest punctuated by dramatic rock formations and towering waterfalls.

Tickets for the 2013 GVBR went on sale a few days ago and are already moving fast. The ride is limited to just 6000 participants, which sounds like a lot but previous years have actually sold out quite quickly. Anyone interested in joining in on the fun should book early to avoid getting completely shut out. Organizers say they have already seen a record amount of interest in the ride this year with entries going quickly.This is a fully catered camping tour that provides riders with such amenities as luggage transport, a medical team, traveling cycling repair facilities and a cafe. That frees up participants to just climb on their bikes and enjoy the ride, which should be a spectacular one along a very scenic route. It also gives the riders an opportunity to interact with the local Aussies and experience the hospitality that they are so famous for.

Entry fee for the GVBR is $895 AUD for adults, $655 AUD for children ages 13-17 and $330 AUD for kids 6-12. Riders who are 5 and under can join the tour for free.

If you’ve been considering a cycling tour but weren’t sure exactly where you’d like to go, the Great Victorian Bike Ride may be just what you’re looking for. It is a wonderful blend of adventure, scenery and Australian hospitality that shouldn’t be missed. For an idea of what to expect on the road, check out the video below.

Diving With Great White Sharks In South Australia

In honor of the upcoming Shark Week beginning on August 12, we’re bringing you some unique big fish fare. One prime destination for shark diving is in South Australia’s Neptune Islands, where divers can have a very out of the ordinary experience.

Most often, divers can see the sharks from the surface; however, to get up close you’ll need to actually get in the water. On the Neptune Islands, divers will throw on a wetsuit and put themselves in a rock-solid cage to be submerged into the ocean with great white sharks.

There are two main touring operators to do the dive with. The first is Calypso Star Charters, the area’s only Advanced Eco Certified one-day charter operator with a license to use chum to attract the sharks. While chumming is a tried and true method of getting sharks to come near a dive boat, the other operator, Adventure Bay Charters, uses a more unique approach. The company has discovered that great whites can be lured using low frequency, hard rock music. Therefore, your captain will blast AC/DC tunes like “If You Want Blood” and “Shook Me All Night Long” because they are so compatible with the very sensitive hearing of sharks.

“I’ve seen the sharks rub their faces on the cage where the sound is coming from as if to feel it,” explains tour operator Matt Waller.

For a more visual experience of shark diving in South Australia, check out the gallery below.


[Above image via Pterantula; Gallery images via South Australia Tourism]

Quirky Tour Option: The Flying Outback Pub Crawl

If you’re interested in exploring South Australia‘s Outback in an unusual way, now is your chance. Goin’ Off Safaris is offering a Flying Outback Pub Crawl where visitors will fly around the Outback in a turbo prop plane stopping at local pubs.

The quirky pub crawl leaves out of Adelaide, and takes you through many different areas of the Outback. Along with drinking Cooper’s Ale, you’ll also explore Australia’s first official mosque in Marree, learn about Australia‘s historical Cooper Creek, canoe in Innamincka, take a walking tour of the famous Birdsville and more.

As of now, scheduled pub crawl dates include:

Price per person for the excursion is $3,130, all inclusive. For more information, click here.

10 Alternatives To The Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are well known for their endemic wildlife, unique flora and strong ecological philosophy. However, the destination isn’t the only place in the world to experience an unparalleled natural setting. In fact, islands in Asia, South America, Europe and even the continent of Antarctica all feature one-of-a-kind encounters for those interested in seeing something new in the outdoors.

Scuba dive one of the most diverse coral reefs in the world in Vanuatu, relax on pristine white beaches on Brazil‘s Fernando de Noronha and witness the hundreds of sunbathing sea lions on Kangaroo Island in Australia. These are just a few of the experiences to be had in these worthwhile destinations.

For a more visual idea of these Galapagos alternatives, check out the gallery below.


[Image above via Jessie on a Journey. Gallery images via Big Stock, mariemon, Hairworm]

Tourism Australia’s New TV Campaign Makes An Obvious Mistake

Next time you send a message to your boss with a typo, don’t be so hard on yourself. At least you didn’t spend $242 million dollars on a 17-language TV advertising campaign, only to include an obvious mistake.

A new Tourism Australia campaign is attempting to get away from the stereotypical image of boozers and beach babes, and give the country a sophisticated facelift. Unfortunately, the editors overlooked a scene including a couple walking unaccompanied along a beach on South Australia‘s Kangaroo Island, clutching a bottle of wine. Not only is alcohol not allowed on the beach, but visitors are required to be accompanied by a ranger. To combat the guffaw, Tourism Australia’s managing director Andrew McEvoy is looking at the positive aspects of the ad, like high-quality shots, products and experiences. Likewise, the website has been revamped to include new language, containing words like “sophisticated,” “contemporary” and “inspiring.”

Most likely, the average viewer will not recognize the mistake; however, you’ve got to wonder how the tourism board overlooked this especially after spending such an exorbitant amount of money.

To see Tourism Australia’s latest ad, check out the video above.