Europe in Summer is next level, out of this world amazing. We have had some incredible holidays and there are so many that we would recommend. However, we thought we’d put our top 5 most popular posts together that will make for one incredible European Summer vacation!

Our top 5 European Summer Destinations

#1 Sicily, Italy

There is no surprise that Italy is on this list (and more than once!). Sicily is one of those places where you truly feel like you’re in another country, minimal English is spoken and the food is devine. Don’t even get me started on the beaches. Simply amazing.

We spent 5 days driving around the beautiful island and recommend doing just that. Click here to read more and check out our suggested itinerary.

#2 Zakynthos, Greece

This is our most popular post by far and it isn’t hard to see why. Zakynthos, when we visited wasn’t all that popular or known. We simply knew it as the island that had the Trip Adviser photo (before they changed it of course!).

Click here to read more about visiting Zakynthos including how long we would recommend, how to get around and what to see on the island!

#3 Lake Como, Italy

What’s not to love about relaxing by one of the most beautiful lakes in the world? This part of Italy is truly breathtaking and absolutely worth a visit this summer.

Click here to read more about Lake Como, where to stay and what to do.

#4 Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

This place is cool. It is buzzing in the summertime and if you’re planning a trip to Croatia, then it’s only a short drive to get to Mostar and see the famous Stari Most.

Click here to read more about what to see in Mostar, and getting there from Dubrovnik via the beautiful Kravice Waterfalls.

#5 Sardinia, Italy

This would have to be one of our favourite summer road trip destinations we did! A week in Sardinia is a week in my life that I will remember forever. It was simply fantastic.

The beaches, the food, the people – what’s not to love about this part of Italy?

Click here to read about our favourite parts, getting around and what to see in Sardinia.

What do you think about this top 5? Where do you love visiting in the European Summer?

“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.” – Anna Quindlen


When it comes time to planning your trip to Tropical North Queensland, you have to factor in a few things. The time of year, how long you want to spend at each location, getting around and what you absolutely cannot miss.

We had 7 days to enjoy what Tropical North Queensland had to offer, and although more time would have been great, we found we were able to see and do everything we wanted to in this short time.

This was our itinerary. Please continue reading for links to individual posts for each day.

Day 1: Arrive in Cairns

Day 2: Cairns & Surrounds

Day 3: Driving from Cairns to Port Douglas

Day 4: Port Douglas (including Mossman Gorge, Cape Tribulation, The Daintree & Walks)

Day 5: Port Douglas (including Jungle Surfing)

Day 6: Port Douglas (including Ocean Safari and swimming with turtles)

Day 7: Depart Port Douglas for airport (via Hartleys Crocodile Adventures)

We visited in early January, which is rainy season. We were extremely lucky with the weather having only one afternoon of thunderstorms and rain but otherwise the days were beautiful, but VERY warm and humid.

Day 1

We arrived at Cairns Airport in the afternoon and after checking into our hotel, we explored what Cairns city had to offer.

Day 2

Wake up early and jump in your rental car and check out Kuranda and some of the beautiful waterfalls surrounding Cairns.

To read more about Cairns & the surrounding areas, click here.

Day 3

The drive from Cairns to Port Douglas is absolutely beautiful and something that should not be rushed. We stopped into plenty of beaches along the way and it was just beautiful.

To read more about driving from Cairns to Port Douglas and where to stop along the way, click here.

Day 4

There is so much on offer in Port Douglas. We drove up 3 days in a row to visit Cape Tribulation and The Daintree.

The first day, we enjoyed some of the walks that were on offer in the Daintree. If you have time on your way back down to Port Douglas, be sure to stop in at Mossman Gorge. It is worth stopping in for an hour or so and enjoy the beautiful scenery that is on offer.

For our recommended walking spots in the Daintree, click here.

Day 5

Jungle Surfing! Who doesn’t like the sound of that? Well it is a really fun way to spend half a day and it doesn’t matter what the weather is – they run in just about everything! To read more about what this is all about, click here.

Day 6

We really enjoyed our Ocean Safari on the Great Barrier Reef which gave us the opportunity to swim with turtles. This was incredible and absolutely recommended as something you need to do when you visit. To read more about this experience, click here.

Day 7

this was our last day, but with an afternoon flight had some spare time.

We left Port Douglas for Cairns, and enjoyed a quick stopover at Hartleys Crocodile Adventures. Click here to read more and our reasons why you should visit here! We then stopped for a bite to eat in Cairns before making our way to the airport to head home.

Swimming in Tropical North Queensland

Click here to understand why you are NOT able to swim in the waters in Tropical North Queensland at certain times of the year without the correct protective gear on.

Packing for Tropical North Queensland

You definitely need to be prepared for your trip to FNQ (Far North Queensland). There are a few essentials in my mind, one of which is, of course, mosquito repellent! Click here for a printable packing guide for your trip.

Where to stay in Cairns & Port Douglas

We stayed at the Pullman Cairns International. Click here for our full review and video.

In Port Douglas, we stayed at the Pullman Sea Temple. This is the perfect place to base yourself and to relax and unwind. Click here to read more.

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Alternative accommodation

If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison website

Located around 80km south of Sydney, New South Wales you will find yourself at one of the largest Buddhist Temples in the Southern Hemisphere – Nan Tien Temple.

We stopped into the temple on our way back from a long weekend in Kiama (which by the way we highly recommend!).

Getting to Nan Tien Temple

Getting to the temple is easy! It is located in the suburb of Berkeley, on the outskirts of Wollongong, which is a beautiful beachside town worth stopping into as well.

The physical address is 180 Berkeley Road, Berkeley, NSW 2506 or you can type Nan Tien Temple into Google Maps and it will take you directly there.

A bit about the temple

Founded in 1967 by Hsing Yun, it is one of the branch temples of the Taiwanese Fo Guang Shan Buddhist order. There are over 120 branches worldwide.

As mentioned earlier, it is one of the largest Buddhist Temples in the southern hemisphere.

There are a number of buildings that form part of the temple. All of which are accessible for those in wheelchairs or those with prams.

The list of buildings and a map of the grounds can be found at this link.

Opening Hours

It is important to note that the temple is not open on a Monday. It is, however, open 9 am – 5 pm Tuesday – Sunday including public holidays. For current opening times, click here.

Dress Code

It is a temple so there is a dress code you must adhere to. You need to be respectful and that means no shorts, singlets or thongs. You also much remove shoes and hats before entering the shrines.

For a full list of dress code requirements, click here.

Here are some more photos of our time at the temple.

Nan tien temple

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” – Babs Hoffman

Mount Coolum is an ancient volcanic dome located on the Sunshine Coast and was created around 26 million years ago. It offers incredible views both over the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast and also the ocean. On a clear day, you can see an incredible distance. It really is quite breathtaking.

Getting to Mount Coolum

Located 1.5 hours north of Brisbane, you will find yourself at Mount Coolum. Take the David Low Way exit which is located 6 km south of Coolum Beach. You will find the car park entrance near the intersection of Tanah Street (West) and Jarnahill Drive. Parking is quite minimal so you may find yourself parking on nearby streets.

About the hike

The summit walk is a Grade 4 hike and is 1.6km return. It doesn’t seem like a far distance, but I can promise you the summit is 208m above sea level and given it is a grade 4 walking track, I would recommend only for fit walkers.

The hike up is incredibly steep and there are some rocky sections. We visited early one morning and were impressed with the number of people running up and down the track. There were also heaps of families there. But if you do take your children, you need to watch them closely as there are many rocky edges.

You should allow around 2 hours return for the hike, plus additional time when you’re up the top to catch your breath and to take some photos!

The walk starts in the open forest and you will notice the incline starting pretty quickly and the type of soil and trees around you change dramatically.

The further up you go the more you will notice that only montane heath plants exist which due to the harsh conditions, are the only thing that can grow up there!

If you’re interested in birdwatching, you may be in luck to see some honeyeaters and you may just be lucky enough to see some falcons above you.

Throughout the winter months, if you are there on a clear day you may even see some migrating whales out at sea.

The hike is open during daylight hours only. This is primarily for your safety.

How incredible is this view?

Click here for the Mount Coolum National Park map.

Tips for the hike

In the summer months, try to walk in the early morning or later in the afternoon making sure you don’t run out of daylight to come down. Also, do not attempt to walk the track in wet weather. The rocks can become extremely slippery and very dangerous.

There are no toilets in the national park. You will need to make sure you’ve made a pit stop before starting the hike.

What to bring with you

  • Comfortable walking or hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Insect repellent, especially in the summer months
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera

Note: Remember to take your rubbish with you!

After the hike, why not stop into Coolum Beach for some relaxation and cooling off!

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide


If you’re looking for a lovely road trip south of Sydney, why not stop in at Wollongong, a beautiful coastal city located on the Grand Pacific Drive in New South Wales, Australia.

If you haven’t heard about the Grand Pacific Drive before, click here to find out more – it is truly a special road trip either heading to or from Sydney. The drive from Sydney is around 1.5 hours so you can easily make a day trip or a long weekend. We stopped into Wollongong on our way back from a long weekend in Kiama.

thewelltravelledman grand pacific drive sydney australia

Why visit Wollongong

If you’re into surfing, Wollongong has great surfing beaches and if you’re not, you’ll be able to find some rock pools to relax in.

The coastal town is perfect for thrill seekers or those wanting to relax. You can take part in skydiving and of course landing next to the beautiful beach, or just relaxing and getting some sunshine.

Wollongong Head Lighthouse

Actually, Wollongong Harbour is home to the only point on the eastern coast of Australia which has two lighthouses.

The point makes it a perfect spot for views over Wollongong and a pretty cool spot for a picnic if you have the time!

Where to stay and eat

Although we popped in only for a few hours, we stayed for lunch at Pepe’s on the Beach which we highly recommend!

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, you should check out the Novotel. If you’re a Le Club Accor club member of an Accor Plus member then you can definitely collect on some of the benefits!

What else to do in the area?

If you haven’t visited the Figure 8 Pools in the Royal National Park, I would suggest trying to add this onto your long weekend away but it is important to know when to visit – you can’t just turn up! To read more about this really cool spot, click here.

“He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de St. Exupery

As a child, you imagine spending time at rock pools, swinging from ropes into the water or jumping off rocks into waterways. Well, that’s pretty much what our childhood was about. Jenna grew up in Brisbane, so visiting the Gold Coast was something that happened frequently and so a trip or two to the Currumbin Rock Pools were definitely on the cards. The thing about South East Queensland is that there are so many incredible choices when it comes to visiting unique spots – we are certainly spoilt for choice.

We recently stopped by the rock pools and it is still just as popular as it was all those years ago.

Where to find the Currumbin Rock Pools

Located in Currumbin Valley, just a short 15 – 20-minute drive from Currumbin Beach (around 1 hour and 15 minutes from Brisbane City) you will find yourself at the Rock Pools. Just put in Currumbin Rock Pools into Google Maps and it will take you directly there.

The area is well signed, however, if you happen to arrive on a day where it is quieter, you may drive right past. However, no doubt you will see the line of cars that are parked underneath the trees along the road.

If you’re coming from the Pacific Motorway, take the Stapley Drive/Reedy Creek exit as that will be your most direct route.

The drive from the beach through the Valley is lovely and worth it even if you don’t want to stop for a quick swim.

About the Rock Pools

The water, when we visited, was quite cold! It certainly took your breath away but the beauty of these natural rock pools is that they are filled with fresh mountain water.

You will notice a variety of smooth sloping rocks, pebbled pathways and large boulders. A gorgeous little waterfall created the perfect spot (seat) for cooling off and people watch.

Always remember to be careful when jumping from any of the rocks into the water. Some areas are quite shallow and can often have rocks underneath the surface.

Facilities at Currumbin Rock Pools

The great thing about the area is the ample grassed area where families can bring their own picnic, or you can utilise the bbq facilities there and tables provided.

There is also a toilet block on site for those planning on spending some time there.

If you’re not one to bring your own food with you, or you happen to stay longer than planned and get hungry, there is a cafe across the road and they can arrange takeaway so you can take it back over to the pools.

What to bring with you

You need to remember you’re in Queensland and particularly if you’re visiting in summer, you will need to remember to pack for summer!

  • Swimmers
  • Towel
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Food & Water or you can use the cafe across the road
  • If you have rock shoes, bring them – it will make it easier!
  • A camera of course!

“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.” – Anna Quindlen




Photo Credit: Penang by marcustanyiwei is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The following is a guest post from Ryan and Carolyn, a like-minded couple who are traveling the world together. They’re thinking of starting their own travel blog, so they contacted us for some advice. We invited them to write a guest post on our blog so they could experience what it’s like. We hope you enjoy it.

Like Steven and Jenna who’ve had heaps of great tropical travel experiences in the last 12 months, Carolyn and I have had some absolute gems.

We got really lucky in 2017. Surfing the web for new places to travel to, we caught a great deal to visit Malaysia, which included a short stop in a place called Penang. I’ve got to be honest, it wasn’t at the top of our travel list, but that’s what’s so great about travelling – going to new, exotic places and being open to new experiences.

At the time we were considering buying a new car, but instead we decided to take another holiday! Penang, here we come!

We hooked up a great AirBnB near the centre of the main city in Penang called George Town. We did a bit of research and figured we could find tons of things to see and do within a small area, which limited how far we needed to travel each day. No point travelling further if there’s heaps to see and do on your doorstep.

George Town

George Town is capital city of Penang, located on Penang Island. The British founded it in 1786 as their first settlement in South East Asia, and became a trading town throughout the 1800’s. It attracted people from all over the world who brought their food and culture with them.

The place has been inhabited by Thai, Burmese, Chinese, Japanese British and countless other nationalities, so there’s this really exotic mix of different buildings, monuments and styles of food. You can almost feel the history everywhere you go.

We spent heaps of time just walking the streets, looking at all the old buildings. At some you could pay a dollar or two and go on a tour.

Photo Credit: Ernest Zacharevic’s Street Art, Penang Malaysia by elvizlow is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Tour time

The first day we took a hop-on, hop-off bus tour. It’s such a great way to see a new city and get oriented.

The next day we booked a full-day Penang Island tour so we could check out all the major attractions, without needing to do all the research ourselves. We’ve done these in heaps of places when we’re short on time.

First we stopped at the Reclining Buddha Temple. Then we went to the Penang Botanical Garden, which had a great waterfall nearby.

For lunch we stopped off at Hawker Centre for a plate of Nasi Kandar; spiced steamed rice with lots of different curries. Delicious.

After lunch we took a cable railway car up Penang Hill to get a look at the island. The views were absolutely stunning.

Photo Credit: Penang Hill by khalzuri is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Later we visited Kek Lok si temple, which had a huge 35-meter-tall statue of the Goddess of Mercy.

Things we loved

The street art was really quirky and interesting. It was everywhere, even where you least expected it. We’d be walking down a little alleyway and there’d be a cool little installation that someone had put together.

We took a few rickshaw rides around the city and down by the harbour. It was pretty hot and sticky so we didn’t mind getting a bit of breeze and giving our feet a rest.

One of our favourite stops was the Pinang Peranakan Museum. It’s an old merchant’s mansion and is full of original items. It’s like you’ve been transported back in time 200 years. It’s a must see if you get to Penang.

As interesting as all the old historical stuff is, sometimes we just needed a dose of modern civilisation. Fortunately, Penang had heaps of great malls to check out.

We only had a few days there, but we’re so glad we took the chance and visited. We probably wouldn’t go back again because there are too many other places in the world like Vietnam that we’re dying to see. But we’d definitely recommend a visit, especially if you’re going to Malaysia.


What they don’t teach you in school is how to be a great traveller. You might be taught about different cultures, languages and beliefs but what does that actually mean when it comes to travelling? This post will help you get back to basics on how to be a great traveller and something we should always consider, regardless of the number of countries you’ve visited in your lifetime.

thewelltravelledman mostar bosnia stari most

Learn some basic local words

Fact check, not everyone in the world speaks English! Obviously, you aren’t going to be able to learn an entire language before your trip, but try to learn the basics such as hello, goodbye, thank you and that will go a long way with the locals. If you’re really stuck and struggling to get by, try to ensure you have Google Translate downloaded offline with the relevant language so you can get by. We had to do this on our trip to Sicily as nearly no restaurant staff spoke a word of English, nor was the menu in English!

Know the dress code before you arrive

There are a number of countries around the world where they abide by a strict dress code. Always be respectful of other countries beliefs and don’t disrespect them. An example of this is travelling to the Middle East. Particularly as a woman, dressing can be difficult. Click here for our guide on what to wear in the Middle East.

thewelltravelledman what to wear in the middle east

Respect the local history

It is important to remember that depending on the country you’re visiting, you may hear conflicting versions of the same part of history. Don’t be that person who stands up in the tour group questioning everything and saying it’s wrong. What one country believes may be different to the next country you visit. If you’re hearing versions of the story that you don’t understand or agree with, approach your guide at the end of a private conversation. These guides are doing their job at the end of the day and I am sure don’t appreciate being accused of providing false information. There are always three sides to every story, both sides and of course the truth.

thewelltravelledman berlin germany

Travelling with children?

More and more people are travelling with children these days which is amazing – it’s a wonderful way to learn about the world. However, you need to teach your kids the importance of respect. If you’re visiting temples, tell them not to run or yell as it’s disrespectful, don’t touch everything you walk past, especially in a museum or a shop and most importantly teach them the importance of different cultures and that some people dress differently to others and speak differently – and that’s ok.

Don’t be a stereotype

I can’t stress this enough! As a couple of Aussies, it is often hard travelling and people just assume that because we’re from Australia, we must be ‘Bogan’, ‘loud-mouthed’, ‘Kangaroo riding’ people who love to ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie’. In most cases, that is not who we are as Aussies! We either hear one extreme or the other about Aussie travellers, that we are friendly, kind, helpful and relaxed or you hear the polar opposite, and that is that we are loud, abrupt and absolute bogans. Leave a good impression on our fellow countries so when we leave they think us Aussies are the best kind of travellers!

Do you have any other tips you would add to this list?

“He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de St. Exupery




Who doesn’t love fresh strawberries? You can’t get any fresher than picking your own punnet of strawberries and enjoying them in the beautiful gardens. The best part about this activity is that it is 100% free to walk through and enjoy the grounds, you simply pay for the strawberries you pick.

Where are the Strawberry Fields located

You will find Strawberry Fields’ Sunshine Coast farm in Palmview, located along the old Cob & Co Route, now called Laxton Road. If you’re heading south, take the Aussie World exit off the Bruce Highway.

When can you pick strawberries?

Strawberry picking season runs from June to November. You don’t need to pre-book if you are just wanting to pick strawberries.

We went with our Niece and Nephews and they had a great time!

They do run educational tours for school groups and vacation cares and also kid’s birthday parties.

Like I said above, the best part about the venue is that you can enjoy the gardens and eat your strawberries and if you have kids with you they can enjoy the tractor playground.

Once you’ve picked your strawberries, be sure to head to the shop to pay for your punnet!

Strawberry Fields Cafe

Once you’ve picked your strawberries, or if you happen to visit in an off-season, you can still enjoy the Strawberry Fields Cafe. They sell their famous homemade strawberry ice cream which seemed to be a massive hit with everyone who ordered one!

Strawberry picking

“You don’t have to be rich to travel well.” – Eugene Fodor

If you’re visiting Cairns or Port Douglas and you have some free time, Hartleys Crocodile Adventures is definitely worth a visit.

You get quite a bit included with your entry ticket and I’ll go through some of those extras below.

Where is Hartleys Crocodile Adventures

Located at Wangetti just off the famous Captain Cook Highway, you will find the adventure park. The best thing about the location is whether you’re driving from Port Douglas or Cairns, the drive is incredibly scenic!

The drive is around 40 minutes north of Cairns and 20 minutes south of Port Douglas.

Opening Times and Entry Prices

As at February 2018, entry is $39 per adult, $19.50 per child (4 – 15 years) & a family ticket for $97.50 (2 adults and 2 children). For current pricing, click here.

The park is open from 8.30 am – 5:00 pm every day, except Christmas Day, when you buy your ticket they stamp it so you can enter using the same ticket for 3 consecutive days at no additional cost. That’s pretty good value!

Crocodile Lagoon Cruise

What we were most interested in was the crocodile lagoon cruise. The lagoon cruise is included with your ticket and you decide on available time slots when you pay for your ticket, we wanted to see the Cassowary Feeding first, so chose a time slot soon after the feeding which worked perfectly for us.

During the boat ride, the staff feed the crocodiles so you get to see this first hand! It’s pretty exciting.

The grounds

The park has a heap of different animals to check out and plenty of talks throughout the day. Click here to take a look at the current timetable.

We really enjoyed the Cassowary Feeding. We were in for an extra surprise as we weren’t expecting to be able to feed these guys ourselves! But we were. And, there was plenty of food to go around so you don’t have to worry about missing out.

We spent the next couple of hours wandering around the park and getting to know the locals. We loved the baby koala, he was absolutely adorable!

And then, of course, the little kangaroos – we fed one some carrot and he seemed to love it!

Video and our experience

Due to a technical error, we lost all of our photos from our day at the park, but take a look at our short highlights video!

Remember to put the video on 1080p for a better quality viewing.

Visiting North Queensland?

For tips and ideas for what to see and do when visiting Cairns, click here.

Packing for Tropical North Queensland

You definitely need to be prepared for your trip to FNQ (Far North Queensland). There are a few essentials in my mind, one of which is, of course, mosquito repellent! Click here for a printable packing guide for your trip.

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

“Oh the places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

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