Huddled under our blankets, we waited patiently. It had just gone 9 o’clock and the light was slowly fading – it wouldn’t be long now. Like most spectators at the nightly Penguin Parade on Phillip Island, we were getting giddy with excitement at the thought of seeing hundreds of the world’s smallest penguin – the ‘Little Penguin/ ‘Little Blue Penguin’ or even cuter, the ‘Fairy Penguin,’ return to shore after an epic day at sea. Out in the Southern Ocean little penguins might swim anything from 15-50 kilometres and dive down as far as 20 metres in search of fish. Measuring in at just 33 centimetres tall and weighing as much as a large bag of sugar, the little penguin is native to the southern coastline of Australia as well as the coastal mainland and islands of New Zealand where they also go by the Maori name of Kororā. We…

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‘Now this looks like a good spot to call home’, Gordon thought to himself. High up in the leafy eucalyptus trees at Kooloonbung Creek, Gordon Firie was settling into his new surroundings following a stint in Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on the east coast of Australia. After a very lucky escape he was delighted to be back in the wild once more where he could carry on enjoying the quiet life in New South Wales. Sporting a bright yellow new fashion accessory, Gordon was hopeful the yellow tag in his left ear would make him stand out to other koalas and to the little people who pass by from time to time and look up excitedly and point at him. He hoped they would know there was something different about him, something special – and there was…he had been on an adventure. Gordon was surrounded by the sounds and smells…

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This morning we had a wonderful experience snorkelling with turtles and beautiful marine life, barely a five minute speedboat ride away from the shores of bustling Byron Bay on the east coast of Australia. This afternoon we tried our hand at surfing for the first time and did our best to catch some waves, all the while being surrounded by a soft, white sandy beach and nothing but blue skies overhead. Wait a minute. This all sounds a little too idyllic…though it does on reflection tick all the boxes for a successful social media post where the norm seems to be to paint a picture of perfection no matter what you’re doing or where you are – something we’re all guilty of from time to time. In the spirit of telling it like it is, here’s what really happened… We snorkelled away happily with the turtles (that part is true…

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Where is it? Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia What do you love about it? When I look at this photo the happiest of memories come rushing back through me. I was sailing on Condor, a world-famous Maxi sailing yacht which has won every major ocean race in the world, twice, including the Sydney to Hobart. I was sailing with a group of like-minded, adventure-hungry travellers eager to explore the Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 islands off the coast of Queensland. We snorkelled by day surrounded by the vibrant, colourful marine life which inhabits the Great Barrier Reef. By nightfall, we looked on as the blue skies gave way to glowing embers from the burning sun, before a show of deep reds, purples and dusky pinks. Why does it make you smile? Each time I think back to this memory, I am giddy inside with a wholesome feeling of unrelenting happiness. I was 19 years…

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It was dark, I hadn’t long arrived and I wasn’t quite sure where I was when I caught my first glimpse of Sydney. I climbed up a few steps to see the city lit up against the dark, night sky with not a single person around. In my travels, I’ve often found that the best views are just stumbled upon by chance when the guide book is packed away in your bag. Inside I was bursting with excitement to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but at that moment I was content at taking in the view of the skyscrapers from afar and trying to believe my luck at being in a city I’d dreamed of visiting. The next day, I hurried to the Bridge, or the ‘Coathanger’ as it is known to Sydneysiders. It was no ordinary coathanger, that’s for sure. There are several places that give terrific views of…

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