prison tours

Unusual tourism destinations: the rise in popularity of prison tours

The global tourism market has added an unusual unique tour to its list of attractions – the prison tour. The industry has seen a rise in interest in this unusual attraction as travellers seek experiences that are out of the ordinary. Travellers opting for tours with a difference seek to satisfy their curiosity and fascination with what life can be like behind bars through prison tours.

What makes a prison tour so unique and enticing for visitors is that life behind bars is out of their normal life experience, and a prison tour is the closest they can get to experience such a life.

A look at some of the more popular prison tours around the world:

Alcatraz, USA
Over a million visitors a year walk through the gates of the former Alcatraz prison. The demand for these tours exceeds the capacity and visitor numbers need to be capped. This legendary prison that was once home to some of the US’ most notorious criminals such as the likes of Al Capone has also a wealth of natural beauty and wildlife.

Robben Island, South Africa
A World Heritage site due to its historical importance, the Robben Island tour is a hugely popular attraction. The former island prison served a place of banishment and imprisonment from the 17th to the 20th centuries. This once maximum security prison was once where the mentally ill and criminally insane were sent before becoming an institution for hard core criminals. The most famous inmate of the prison was Nelson Mandela where he spent 27 years of his life fighting apartheid.

The Old Melbourne Gaol, Australia
This was an active prison between 1842 and 1929. The prison’s fame was founded on the number of hangings that took place there – almost 150 hangings. Included in the tour is information about the prison as well as the source of its fame, the manner in which the hangings were conducted.

Clink Prison, England
Located in the city of London, this former prison has been converted into a museum. This was a private prison that became home to anyone who happened to earn the ire of the Winchester bishops. The prison destroyed in a fire in the 1780’s was reconstructed and turned into a museum.

Elmina Castle, Ghana
Elmina Castle’s fame arose out of it being a holding place for prisoners for 300 years en route to the New World. The prison cells could keep up to as many as 200 individuals. The prison is now a World Heritage site.

Tuol Sleng, Cambodia
Tuol Sleng was opened in 1975 by the Khmer Rouge. About as many as 17 000 people walked into the gates but few made it out as it was used as a place of torture and execution. The prison-turned museum now stands as a memorial for all the victims of the Khmer Rouge. Cells still stand as they were in its time of operation and there are photographic exhibits as well.

New Zealand

South African visa free destination of the month: New Zealand

The many star attractions of this island nation place it on the holiday map of many South Africans wanting a unique and fun travel experience. The fact that South African passport holders do not need a visa to enter New Zealand is also a contributing factor to this country being a holiday destination of choice. This month we shine the spotlight on New Zealand being the visa free destination of the month.

New Zealand, also referred to as “Paradise of the Pacific”, proudly boasts of picturesque natural beauty and wildlife unique to this part of the world. This holidaymaker’s playground offers adventure and fun of all kinds from extreme sport to wildlife viewing to cultural landmarks that tell stories of local history and culture.

The beauty of New Zealand and its boundless natural wonders looms large; after having being captured on celluloid a wave of tourists have been rushing into the country for a tour of film locations. Thanks to movies filmed there like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, Whale Rider and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe which celebrate the stunning diverse landscapes that shape this island nation; tourism has been given a major boost.

Stunning diverse natural landscapes that stretch across both islands that comprise New Zealand include glaciers, white-sand beaches, fjords, rain forests, alpine lakes, agricultural plains, and volcanic craters and cones that form the perfect backdrop for many of the adventure activities that can be enjoyed in this part of the world.

Widely regarded as a backpacker’s paradise, a visit to New Zealand can accommodate the tastes and comforts of all visitors. Whether you’re inclined to luxurious comfort, or eco-lodges, farm-stays or even comfortable bed and breakfasts; New Zealand has the proper infrastructure to facilitate an enjoyable travel experience.

Some of the star attractions that are highly recommended for holidaymakers to experience the wonders of New Zealand are:
• Hike the Tongariro Crossing which is said to be the world’s greatest one day walk or do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on North Island;
• Spot glow worms in the Waitomo caves;
• Sample a traditional Hangi feast in Rotorua;
• Enjoy a game of golf. New Zealand is home to three of the ‘Top 100 Golf Courses in the World’;
• View rare species of wildlife such as the Hooker Sea Lions, the nearly extinct Yellow Eyed Penguins and a 160 million year old fossilized forest in the Catlins region;
• The Bay of Islands is a 100-island maze which is a haven for sailing, boating, and big-game fishing;
• Queenstown has the reputation of being the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’. Hiking, skiing, paragliding, white-water rafting and kayaking opportunities abound in the surrounding landscapes of ski slopes, rivers, and alpine areas.

Family-friendly New Zealand offers a wide variety of entertainment activities that encompass a fun holiday experience for South African travellers. Why not mark this visa free destination for your next holiday adventure?

Nelson Mandela

A tourist’s guide to paying tribute to Nelson Mandela

For both local and overseas visitors wanting to remember South Africa’s famous freedom fighter, there is a wealth of significant landmarks across the country linked to Nelson Mandela that has been made accessible.


Nelson Mandela spent a significant portion of his time in the city of Johannesburg before his imprisonment on Robben Island and after his release. Here you will find the numerous museums linked to his name.

1. Constitution Hill. A former fort that served as a prison for white male prisoners. Nelson Mandela was held in this ‘whites only’ prison while awaiting the Rivonia Trial. Another famous inmate of this prison was Mahatma Gandhi.

2. Lilliesleaf Farm – this property has been awarded Heritage status which has been linked significantly with the liberation struggle in South Africa. It was once the headquarters for the banned military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe and where Nelson Mandela posed as a caretaker, the facade behind which he and other leaders planned the activities and campaigns of the ANC.

3. Vilakazi Street- arguably the most famous street in Johannesburg and South Africa. Its claim to fame is having been home to two Nobel Peace Prize laureates: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Nelson Mandela lived here for 16 years; his former home has been turned into a museum – The Nelson Mandela National Museum which is also a National Heritage Site.

4. Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Houghton. The Centre was inaugurated by Madiba himself in 2004 and makes available to the public an impressive source of information of his life and times. Visits are made by appointment only.

5. Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton City has a 6 metre tall bronze statue of the most loved first democratic president.

6. Nelson Mandela the Shadow Boxer statue located in the city centre, between Chancellor House and the Magistrate’s Court.

7. Chancellor House. At one time the only black-owned law firm was housed in Chancellor house. This building served as the law offices for Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo.

8. Nelson Mandela Yard. A small single room house in Alexandra Township was once his home for a short period, between 1941 and 1942.

9. Peacemakers Museum – South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize Laureates are celebrated here including Nelson Mandela.

10. Apartheid Museum – For visitors wanting a glimpse into what South Africa was like under the devastating control of apartheid, this museum is a must stop. The Nelson Mandela exhibition forms one of 22 insightful displays.


11. The Union Buildings proudly boasts of a 9 metre bronze statue of Nelson Mandela. This is one of the latest tributes, unveiled on 16th December 2013.

Cape Town

12. Robben Island – now a museum was once the home of South Africa’s freedom fighters against the oppressive apartheid regime. Nelson Mandela called the former prison home for twenty seven years where he held the beacon of hope for a democratic South Africa. Situated off the coast of Cape Town, the island is now a world renowned Museum and Heritage site that reflects the triumph of the human spirit. A reconstruction of Nelson Mandela’s prison cell with pictures and objects is on display.


13. Nelson Mandela Capture Site – the unassuming KwaZulu Midlands landscape is home to a dramatic sculpture that was commissioned to mark a moment that altered the course of South Africa’s history – the capturing and arrest of Nelson Mandela in 1965 that led to him being imprisoned for 27 years. The impressive sculpture comprises of 50 linear vertical steel columns that depict visually shifting images of Nelson Mandela.

Pretoria Union Buildings

16 Free Things to do in South Africa

The best part of a visit to South Africa is the plenty of family-friendly free things to do both locals and visitors can enjoy. Every major city in South Africa boasts of free activities a visitor can do. Here are some of our top picks:


1. Visit the largest transport museum in the country – the James Hall Museum of Transport.
2. Johannesburg houses world class art galleries such as the Johannesburg Art Gallery and the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank where illustrious names such as William Kentridge, Picasso, Monet and Degas adorn the walls.
3. Spend a wonderful afternoon with the entire family at Museum Afrika in the Newtown precinct.
4. Slow down the pace at Zoo Lake. The serenity offers a welcome getaway from the energetic pulse of the city.
5. Johannesburg’s botanical gardens and nature reserves are a tribute to the glorious beauty of Mother Nature. They provide the perfect spot for a picnic or photo opportunities with loved ones.

Cape Town:

6. The South African Astronomical Observatory hosts 45 minute presentations on Open Nights (held every second and fourth Saturday of the month in the evenings). Topics are announced before hand and the public are welcome to join the tour of the site and be amazed by star gazing opportunities.
7. A free tour that provides a fascinating and behind the scenes look into the creation of diamonds is the Diamond tours at Shimansky located at Clock Tower, V & A Waterfront.
8. A leisurely stroll along one of Cape Town’s many beautiful beaches offers wonderful scenic views.
9. Green Point Park is a stunning landscaped garden that features more than 300 indigenous plant species. Visitors of all ages will enjoy this cleverly designed greenway.


10. Durban flea markets are popular with both locals and visitors. Notable among the many markets in the city is the Essenwood Street Market which is open every Saturday morning.
11. Visit the most famous building in Durban designed in modern renaissance style – the Durban City Hall. Also on site are the eThekeini Art Gallery and the Natural Science Museum which features a unique range of stuffed animals, a dodo skeleton and the only ancient Egyptian mummy in the country.
12. The Durban Cultural and Documentation Centre has on show cultural artefacts, paintings, traditional clothing and jewellery of the Indian culture.
13. The Japanese Garden is a quaint landscaped garden characterized by oriental gardens, koi ponds and temples that provide unrivalled photographic opportunities.


14. Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary is a beautiful nature reserve with no entrance fee situated in central Pretoria where visitors can view fauna such as cranes and other birdlife, small sized deer and tortoises.
15. The terraced gardens, statues and monuments on the grounds of the Union Buildings are well worth a visit.
16. For architectural buffs, Church Square in the centre of the city displays a number of examples of 19th and 20th century designed buildings.

South Africa has a wide variety of entertainment activities that are free for international and local visitors to indulge in. The culturally inclined tourists and wildlife enthusiasts will find ample opportunities to take delight in and which showcase the extraordinary attractions the country has to offer.

New Years 2014

New Year’s Eve customs: 10 ways in which the world celebrates the New Year

One of the most significant moments of the year is how you bring in the new year. It is not uncommon to find that people all over the world take this time to celebrate new beginnings, pray for prosperity and symbolically get rid of the old patterns.

From weird and strange to funny customs, people all over the world have unique traditions to bring into their lives in the coming year plenty of love, happiness, wealth, health and good fortune. Here are some customs that caught our eye:

1. To bring in good luck, Romanians toss coins into the river.
2. Another tradition to bring in good luck and happiness can be found in Spain where when the clock strikes midnight, 12 grapes (each grape representing one month) are eaten. This tradition dates back to 1909 in the town of Alicante. In Chile, lentils are eaten at midnight to ensure a successful year ahead.
3. In Talka, Chileans spend the night before the coming year in the cemetery, near their deceased loved ones. This is a relatively new tradition which holds the belief that the new year should be welcomed in surrounded by dead relatives. Classical music and dim lighting set the ambiance in the cemetery.
4. Carols or janeiros as they are locally called in northern Portugal; are sung by children. Very similar to trick-or-treat in the US during Halloween, the children visit houses where they are given money and treats.
5. Latin American countries, including Mexico, hang a wool toy lamb from the front door to call in good luck.
6. In Paraguay and Colombia misfortune is kept at bay by the burning of an effigy called the “Año Nuevo at midnight with fireworks.
7. Armenians hold a ‘Ritual of fire’ to symbolically mark the end of all their troubles of the outgoing year.
8. Many South American countries such as Brazil and Bolivia hold the tradition of wearing colourful underwear at midnight. Not only does this herald good fortune, but also the finding of a partner. The colour red signifies a healthy love life whereas yellow relates to the desire for money and wealth.
9. In the Philippines, all round shapes is a reminder of the roundness of coins and prosperity, which is why many don clothing decorated with round shapes such as polka dots.
10. In Puerto Rico buckets of water are thrown out of windows on the eve of the new year which signifies ‘cleaning out’ the outgoing year. Homes are also cleaned and decorated that symbolizes the cleansing of the spirit.

While the manner in which people all over the world celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another may differ, there are common themes such as praying for prosperity, health and love that are universal and that bring us together. Whatever your tradition or belief on New Year’s Eve, we wish you a whale of a wonderful time and all good things in the coming year.

Cape Town

10 reasons to visit South Africa

South Africa is a land of diverse beauty; bursting at the seams with cultural and historical treasures that do not fail to amaze holidaymakers. The breathtaking varied natural landscapes, ancient historical roots, incomparable opportunities to appreciate wildlife and a rainbow of colourful cultural traditions, all make for a memorable holiday experience.

Whether you’d like to soak up some history or encounter amazing wildlife or enjoy an adrenaline-packed adventure, this is a favourite destination of choice. Top ten reasons to put South Africa on your travel map are:

1. The thrill seekers paradise
South Africa has ample adrenaline-driven adventures to offer thrill seeking holidaymakers. The coastal city of Durban, situated along the Indian Ocean, is famed for its Shark Cage Diving expeditions. The Bloukrans River Bridge in the Western Cape is the world’s highest bridge for bungee jumping opportunities.

2. Sun, surf and sand
Blessed with holiday-friendly weather, South Africa’s beaches are highly sought after. The southern city of Cape Town is the country’s top holiday beach destination with plenty of Blue Flag labelled beaches for safe and clean fun.

3. Unrivalled places of interest
For a unique and exciting line up of attractions, South Africa is hard to beat. Johannesburg, Africa’s iconic city, has ample cultural and historical landmarks to satisfy any tourist. World renowned art galleries, tributes to Nobel Laureates, spectacular landscaped gardens and the Cradle of Humankind all vie for the attentions of the holidaymaker.

4. Natural wonders
A wealth of natural wonders throughout the country waits to be explored by the imaginative traveller. World Heritage sites, mountains, waterfalls, brunt crater, caves, canyons and beaches create an overwhelming number of activities for the visitor to choose from.

5. Wildlife
South Africa is home to one of the largest game reserves in the world. The iconic Kruger National Park is a firm favourite with both locals and international visitors. The Elephant Sanctuary in Hartbeestpoort Dam, easily accessible from Johannesburg, provide an unforgettable experience with their walk with the elephants tour.

6. The Rainbow Nation
The friendly locals form part of the attractions of a holiday to South Africa. Dubbed the Rainbow Nation by the legendary face of freedom and democracy, Nelson Mandela; the country is home to diverse vibrant colourful cultures.

7. Value for money
South Africa makes for an affordable holiday destination. The weak Rand when compared to the stronger currencies such as the US dollar, Pound or Euro presents ideal opportunities to take advantage of world class attractions.

8. No language barriers
English is the dominant of the 11 official languages South Africa is blessed with. Engaging with the friendly locals, ordering at a restaurant or booking a city tour is hassle-free.

9. Excellent infrastructure
On a visit to South Africa a visitor may easily forget he or she is in Africa. The country boasts an excellent infrastructure that facilitates great self-drive adventures; and a developed telecommunication system to keep you in touch with your loved ones.

10. Food, Food, Food
South Africa’s local cuisine is influenced by its multicultural heritage. Traditional African, European and Asian influences mark the variety of dishes available. South African wine estates produce some of the world’s most favoured wines.

Tortue museum

7 Weird museums around the globe

The list of the world’s most weird and strange extends to include museums around the globe that have become tourist attractions noted for the bizarre collections housed within their walls. If ever you’re in one of the destinations listed below and find yourself wanting a taste of something different, a visit to one of these weird museums will definitely provide something out of the ordinary.

Dog Collar Museum – Leeds, UK

Leeds Castle, stretching across 500 acres of land, showcases a ‘unique collection of historic and fascinating dog collars’. The collection, which has more than 100 dog collars and other related items, tells a canine cuff tale which spans five centuries. Visitors can marvel at hunting dogs’ strong collars to 21st-century fashion bling collars. Also exhibited at the castle is a more conventional display of Henry VIII memorabilia.

The Museum of Bad Art – Boston, USA

The Museum of Bad Art is the only museum in the world devoted to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms. The museum has in its collection over 400 of terrible art pieces. Only 40 pieces can be exhibited at a time due to space constrictions. Specific themes on display include ‘blue people’, ‘poor traits’ and ‘unlikely landscapes, seascapes and still lifes’. Art pieces depict conflicting colours, disproportionate figures and a general lack of talent that do not fail to amuse visitors to the museum.

Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments – Prague, Czech Republic

Ever wondered how confessions were extracted in the Middle Ages? The Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments has on display more than 60 torture devices used to forcibly gain confessions from alleged heretics; one such instrument is the Head Crusher. Also on hand are tutorials which helpfully explain how each device is used.

Leila’s Hair Museum – Missouri, USA

The strange artifacts found in Leila’s Hair Museum consist of human hair. Wreaths, bracelets, pictures and other fascinating objects d’art have been fashioned out of beards, fringes and other human hair cut offs. More than 2 000 items are exhibited.

Parasite Museum – Tokyo, Japan

Where would you find 300 different varieties of parasites all in one place? The parasite museum in Tokyo, founded by four scientists specialising in parasites, also doubles as a research facility. Pride of place is given to a 30 foot tapeworm that was pulled out of a woman.

Museum of Funeral Carriages – Barcelona, Spain

Macabre it may be but the Museum of Funeral Carriages is a top attraction for visitors to Barcelona. Anyone wanting to have a look at 18th century flamboyant funeral carriages need to first report to the Municipal’s Funeral Services. They will then be directed to the basement by a security guard where the exhibition is under lock and key.

Currywurst Museum – Berlin, Germany

The city of Berlin boasts plenty of world class attractions. The existence of the Currywurst museum, in all its ketchup red splendor, may raise a few eyebrows but the currywurst is the national favourite dish in Germany. Learn all there is to know about this spicy sausage delight, experience a sensory explosion or be a pretend cart owner behind a mock currywurst stand.

walking tour

Experience the benefits of a walking tour on your next holiday

The attraction of walking tours affords a unique personal perspective from which to enjoy the local landscape, history and culture of your holiday destination. The benefits of walking tours are extensive, some of which include:

• You reap the benefits of an intimate experience with the city’s landscape or countryside’s history and architecture (depending on where you are travelling to),
• Walking tours is a guilt free eco-friendly way to tour a city or see sites of historical and cultural significance,
• Slow down the pace and discover the magic of your destination at your own leisurely pace if you choose a self-guided tour,
• All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes to walk in and a good guide book or book with a reputable knowledgeable tour guide company,
• You get to walk along the same paths as historic figures and personalities on a theme-based walking tour,
• Walking tours are a great way to see the sights and keep in shape.

How to prepare for a walking tour

Walking tours require a fair amount of walking, and even though it can be done at a pace you are comfortable with, you may need to prepare your body before you go on holiday. This is particularly important if you will be going on hiking trails over long distances or over rough terrain which may require a higher fitness level. If you are using a tour guide company, check with them on the fitness level required for their tours. Ask the locals for advice if you prefer a self-guided tour.
Protect yourself and opt for travel insurance with medical cover that would cover you should you travel to a remote location and the unfortunate happens and you get injured.
If you are travelling across time zones or to high altitude destinations, allow your body to adjust to jet lag or changes in altitude.

Recommended things to pack

If you have chosen to use a professional tour company, your guide should provide a recommend list of items that you would need. For self-guided walking tours, here is our list of essential items to carry:

• A pair of comfortable walking shoes or waterproof hiking boots which come more highly recommended by many tour operators,
• A good effective brand of sunscreen to protect your skin,
• A hat that provides effective cover from the sun,
• Sunglasses to protect the eyes from UV exposure,
• Depending on where you would be walking, insect repellent,
• Comfortable clothes that is suitable for walking and include an all-weather jacket,
• Bottled water, dried fruit or energy bars,
• A camera.

Some of your holiday’s most memorable moments are experienced on walking tours which are often the true way to uncover the essence and history of a place.

Flower show

7 Top fantastic flower shows around the world

For all flower and horticultural enthusiasts there are plenty of top international flower shows to add to your travel itinerary while on holiday. Flower shows are incredible tourist attractions that promise an explosion of delights your senses will thoroughly enjoy. Be inspired by great leaps in imagination and creativity. Here are our top 7 fantastic flower shows around the world (in no particular order):

1. Chelsea Flower Show, London
Arguably the world’s most renowned flower show, the Chelsea Flower Show is hosted on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and showcases over 20 show gardens designed by cutting-edge inspired and creative landscaping experts from around the world. Visitors can expect to be bombarded by dramatic bloom displays and inspiring garden designs and themes. This premiere event in the horticultural world attracts 157 000 visitors each year, attesting to its popularity.

2. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Cape Town

South Africa’s classic internationally acclaimed perennial flower show is one attraction that should feature on the itinerary lists of all visitors to the city. Reasons for including a stop at the ‘most beautiful garden in Africa’ include more than 22 000 indigenous plants and award-winning flowers shows that can be viewed all year round.

3. Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Australia
This 18 year-old international flower show is reported to be the largest flower show in the southern hemisphere. This stunning garden expo is held at a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens in Melbourne – where awe-inspiring avant-garde landscape designs are on display.

4. The Hong Kong Flower Expo
This flower show in Asia attracts more than 500 000 visitors and is characterised by its display of remarkable potted plants and spectacular garden displays by exhibitors from more than 20 countries around the world. Apart from the thrilling flower displays, visitors can also get expert advice from plant-care clinics and participate in guided walks.

5. Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, London
The world’s biggest flower show, the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is widely known for the enthralling show gardens on display as well as floral marquees and pavilions. The distinctive voice of this flower show is the spotlight on environmental concerns and horticultural education.

6. Philadelphia International Flower Show

This year the Philadelphia International Flower Show saw its 184th annual hosting in March. The indoor flower show plays to a theme every year with ‘Brilliant’ being the theme for this year. The spirit of competitiveness soars high among exhibitors which ensure that the creative landscaping talent brought to the event present riveting garden displays. Visitors can also enjoy garden teas, a kid’s zone and a Garden to Table Kitchen where culinary demonstrations are held.

7. Amsterdam’s Bloemenmarkt, Netherlands
The Bloemenmarkt is the only floating flower market in the world and is one of the top tourist attractions in the city for horticultural lovers. Established in 1862, the flower show floats on the Singel Canal. Visitors can ogle at magnificent charming bouquets from florists and flower shops which are a real treat.

Sydney Australia

8 Tourist attractions that oozes the charm of Sydney

Australia’s largest city is famed for its iconic landmarks, gardens and vibrant energy. The tourist attractions of Sydney perfectly portray the city’s unique charm and personality. The city is filled with an exciting line up of not-to-be-missed attractions.

1. Sydney Opera House
One of the most easily spotted landmarks in the world; the Sydney Opera House is Australia’s most famous symbol. Its unique distinguishing architectural and engineering design is an accomplishment for modern architecture. A visit to Sydney remains incomplete without a visit to the Opera House has housed over 1 500 performances attracting over 1.2 million audiences every year.

2. The Botanic Gardens
This family friendly attraction presents a delightful natural floral treat. The Botanic Gardens compliment the riveting vista of Sydney Harbour. Encompassing an area over 30 hectares, the immaculately maintained gardens are divided into a number of specialized gardens with each depicting an area of the world of plant life.

3. Bondi Beach
One of the city’s hotspot for both locals and visitors, Bondi beach is an ideal venue to enjoy the sun, sand and surf. Crossing the length of the white sandy beach is trendy Campbell Parade with a variety of eateries and restaurants to satisfy all sorts of culinary tastes.

4. Sydney Aquarium
Prepare for an underwater adventure with a visit to the Sydney Aquarium. The highly popular aquarium is home to a multitude of diverse marine life – tropical, cold, fresh and salt water fishes, mammals and dozens of other amazing species can be viewed. Walkthrough exhibits are accompanied by commentary. The seal show is definite must see.

5. The Queen Victoria Building
For an unforgettable shopping experience, The Queen Victoria Building promises elegance without skimping on shopping options. The very structure and design of the building is an architectural gem. The shopping hub features elaborate tiling, facades, metalwork, stained-glass windows and an amazing grand staircase.

6. The Blue Mountains
Providing the viewer with a myriad of spectacular contrasts and an escape from the accelerated pace of urban atmosphere, the Blue Mountain range is considered a major tourist attraction. Wentworth Falls, the Three Sisters and the Everglades add to the must-see attractions of the area.

7. The Chinese Garden of Friendship
Found at the end of Darling Harbour and within walking distance from China Town, the Chinese Garden of Friendship presents serenity and solitude amid ancient Chinese architecture. The idyllic gardens are a visual relationship with nature featuring waterfalls, colourful fish, lagoons, willow trees, pavilions and sculpture. Other popular attributes of the gardens include the Courtyard of Welcoming Fragrance, Dragon Wall, Water Pavilion of Lotus Fragrance, Rock Forest, and the Penjing.

8. The Sydney Harbour Bridge
Another world-renowned landmark is the Sydney Harbour Bridge or locally known as the ‘Coat Hanger’. For the more intrepid visitor is the exciting opportunity to experience a Bridge Climb which rewards bravery by offering an unforgettable rare sight of the Sydney cityscape.

Obtain an Australia visa
Other things to do in Australia