Travel Blog With Heffernan’s Travel & On The QT
A big welcome to our new Travel blog!
Each month Heffernan’s Travel together with On The QT will post a brand new article with actual experiences and photos from some of the World’s most beautiful travel destinations, holiday abroad, summer sun, winter sun and loads more!
Holidays abroad with Heffernan’s Travel & On the QT – From Dubai to The Great Barrier Reef and further afield, we give you our experiences and recommendations so you too can be part of the fun!
Summer sun holidays, Winter Sun holidays, cruises, snorkeling, ski holidays – all this and more coming up!
October 2016 - SKY DIVING, MISSION BEACH, QLD.
It’s always a good idea to make a bucket list, however , it’s all well and good writing things down on a page… we must not forget to actually do them! We’ve had skydiving on our list for a while now… and couldn’t have been more excited to tick it off our list on our recent trip to Mission Beach, QLD, Australia!
Of course we had to choose the highest skydive in all of Australia! Jumping 14,000 feet out of a moving plane was the most exhilarating, adrenalin pumping, and unforgettable adventure I have ever been on! After getting strapped and harnessed to my tandem partner (who I was about to trust my life with!) – we hopped onto our bus and headed for the airport!
We bundled into a tiny aeroplane, all sitting on the ground huddled next to our instructors, and after some last minute instructions, we took off on our adventure! The views of 14km of pristine white beaches, lush rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef and tropical islands took my breath away as we soared up past the clouds! Lucky for me I was sitting next to the exit door and so my instructor opened the door to allow me stretch my hands out and touch the clouds! It was surreal!
Before I knew what was happening, my instructor opened the door, we turned around and without even asking if I was ready… (I probably would have said no anyway!) out we jumped… literally… into the sky! For a split second I panicked, but once I relaxed and opened my eyes I felt like a bird soaring through the sky! It was a 60 second free fall at a speed of just over 200km/hr…. by far the most exhilarating thing I have ever done!
As the beautiful white sanded Mission Beach came into our sight, we opened the parachute to glide down! My instructor even allowed me to steer down to our landing! I pulled on one string so we twirled around taking in a 360 degree of the most idyllic scenery! We landed softly on the sand… although I was so excited my feet were barely touching the ground!
If you’re even thinking about doing a skydive on your next trip to Australia… I HIGHLY recommend you to do so! It was simply incredible! Happy Travels x
September 2016 EXPLORING THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
Located off the coast of Queensland in north eastern Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on Earth, it is even visible from outer space! The 2,300km-long ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of hard and soft coral. The area is home to countless species of colourful fish, molluscs and starfish, plus turtles, dolphins and even sharks!
We knew the best way to explore this amazing wonder of the world was to hop on a boat and go diving… so off we went out to sea! As I sat on the upper deck of our beautiful boat absorbing the warm rays of sunshine, I admired the glittering turquoise ocean all around us!
A quick briefing, and an underwater sign language lesson so that we would be able to communicate during the dive– we were ready to hit the water! I barely contained my excitement! The crew helped us get ready making sure we had enough oxygen, de-mister on our masks and triple checked we understood how to use the equipment!
We then jumped in and after a few safety check we swam down… and down… and down until we were 10 metres under and I felt like a fish!There were so many colourful species all around us I barely knew where to look, we saw fish in every shape, size and colour. We swam over clams and watched their reaction (they close up), touched the coral that was permitted (our instructor pointed them out) and we were even lucky enough to see turtles!
Genuinely it was one of the best experiences of my entire life! If you’re feeling a little nervous about the breathing just remember to stay calm and it will be so much easier! Don’t be afraid… its well worth it! You can do it! It is most certainly a day I will remember for the rest of my life! What an amazing experience!
August 2016 SAILING THE WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS!
There is no limit to the sheer beauty of The Whitsunday islands! Lying in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, in the warm waters of Australia’s coral sea are the 74 stunning tropical islands.
Most of the islands are uninhabited, due to the fact that they are covered by dense rainforest, however these islands make for excellent hiking trails and have beautiful white flour-like sanded beaches to relax on! Sailing around the islands is extremely fun… but also essential are there is no other method of transportation between them!
We chose to sail a boat called the New Horizon… which more than exceeded our expectations! Our 3 days on the boat were action packed, we did everything you could think of: snorkelling, scuba diving, stand up paddle boarding, synchronised diving, sliding down our water slide into the sea, fish feeding, learning how to sail, and even taking a hand at the wheel! Each evening we played card games and board games from different countries around the world, before relaxing on the deck under a blanket of twinkling stars.. some of which were shooting stars! It really and truly was an incredible trip!
My absolute favourite part of the trip was our visit to Whitehaven beach… I genuinely didn’t realise places as pretty as this existed in real life! The crystal clear aqua waters and pristine silica sand (which cleans your teeth and your jewellery!) stretch over seven kilometres along Whitsunday Island , the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays! As soon as you get there you’ll understand why it is the most photographed beach in all of Australia and has won numerous awards for its beauty!
At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach is Hill Inlet, a cove where the tide moves the sand and the sea creating a beautiful fusion of colours. As the tide shifts, the white silica sand and turquoise shades of the inlet blend seamlessly to create a breathtaking view of swirling Whitsunday colours….which is a different pattern each and every single day!
I couldn’t recommend a trip to The Whitsundays more… even if its the only thing you visit in Australia you must go! Whether you wish to cruise through the islands and drop an anchor for a snorkel or scuba diving trip, spend a fun day at the famous Whitehaven Beach, or pick an island, and go off the beaten track amongst the hillside national park trails on foot/mountain bike I assure you… you will have the time of your life!
JULY 2016 DUBAI
Here at OnTheQT we recently took a trip to Dubai, a glamorous city in the United Arab Emirates renowned for luxurious shopping, innovative architecture and a lively nightlife scene! The best tips are always local knowledge or from people who have been to the city and explored themselves… so we are going to be that person for you!! We’re here to share some of our top tips from Dubai!
- Go on a desert safari: Ever wanted to take a trip to the desert? Well here is your chance! It is a must do to visit the magical Arabian desert (we went on our tour with Symphony tourism) We were picked up in a lovely jeep which we shared with 4 other passengers and headed straight for the Arabian Desert, stopping only once to reduce the tyre pressure. As soon as the jeep tyres hit the desert sand, we started an activity known as sand bashing! Our driver literally drove up, and over steep sand dunes and down the other side, it was like a rollercoaster on land! We arrived to the top of one of the largest dunes just on time to catch sunset, it was gorgeous! We were then dropped to a camp where we enjoyed several other activities including: camel rides, quad biking, henna painting, shisha bars, traditional dress up booths, a belly dancing/ fire show and a tasty BBQ dinner! As we drove back towards Dubai in the dark across the desert I scanned through the days photos and thought to myself how lucky I really was!
Get lost in a giant shopping mall:
- Eat some delicious food: As a refreshing snack in the hot sunshine I ate as much fruit as I possibly could!
Lychees were my absolute favourite! I had never tried them before, and although they look a bit daunting to even attempt to eat at first… its like an explosion of juice and flavour once you take a bite! (Just watch out for the stone inside!)
I also enjoyed a fantastic meal at a Lebanese restaurant called Burj Al Hamam located right next to the Burj Khalifa!
It was the perfect view as we enjoyed deliciously exotic cuisine and rich fruity red wine!
If you like to shop…. you will LOVE the shopping malls in Dubai – all easily accessible on the metro! With some of the biggest shopping malls in the world… you’ll be sure to shop till you drop! We particularly loved the Dubai Mall which has an aquarium inside, and the Emirates Mall (which is the biggest shopping mall in the world) and among other things has an an indoor ski- slope! No wonder we couldn’t find our way out! #Impressive
Watch the fountain display at the Burj Khalifa:
You will most definitely have to visit the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world! There is a fantastic fountain display to enjoy, which is set on the 24 acre Burj Lake featuring jets as high as 140 metres (the equivalent to a 45 storey building). The display was designed by the same creator as the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas! The beam of light shining upwards from the fountain can be seen from over 20 miles away, it’s even visible from space!!
Visit the Global Village:
The global village is similar to a mini theme park with a separate section for each country around the world! There were stalls, street food, traditional clothes and shows to match each country, it was a great cultural experience! I found myself making a brand new bucket list of countries to visit! Definitely worth a trip!