Hiring a Campervan for a Trip along an Outback Track

The route you choose to take affects your choice of a campervan when you visit the Outback of Australia. If you are a true adventurer, then you need to make sure your campervan offers such features as four-wheel drive, especially if you plan to navigate an off-road course. One of the iconic tracks in this respect is the Birdsville Track, a travel route that spans 517 km from Marree to Birdsville. A drive over this route takes you across a harsh and remote landscape.

A Desert Oasis

Despite the extremely dry atmosphere, the land adjacent to the track is good for raising cattle. A rare rain and flooding from the north can transform the sunburnt land into a spring – a basin that enables cattle to survive during spells of drought. If you take this remote course, you will be surrounded by a desert landscape, including the Tiari and Sturt’s Stony deserts in the central and southern part and the Strzelecki and Simpson deserts to the north.

Hiring a Campervan

Whilst you may think your efforts to hire a campervan may lead to boredom or fatigue, you will find that such a trip is anything but mundane. Although you may come across featureless stretches of land, sand dunes and creek beds will greet you as well. Marree is about 650 km north of the city of Adelaide, and Birdsville is approximately 1,583 km due west of Brisbane.

Large pebbles or gibbers cover the Birdsville Track, although dune crossings present no problems for drivers. You will want to make sure your campervan is a four-wheel drive to manage and navigate over the precipitous trail. This particular track is historical as it was first established in the 1860s.

A Review of the Track’s History

At one time, the Birdsville Track served as the primary stock route for ushering cattle from the centre of Queensland to the Marree railway. In those days, the track had a formidable reputation, as both people and cattle died along the trail. Because of a dearth of surface water, the government created artesian bores along the route. In turn, fewer animals and people suffered fatalities. In early times, crossing the Natterannie sand hills along the track was difficult. However, the dunes have been clay-capped and do not cause any issues presently.

You do not want to plan this kind of travel without hiring the right campervan. Discuss your travel plans with the campervan dealer to make sure you are on the right course for a choice in a vehicle. The vans today are both luxurious and well-equipped, so choosing the right van is not difficult.

When you choose the right van, you can enjoy such sites as the Cannuwaukaninna Bore. This bore is the easiest bore to access along the Birdsville Track. However, you need to be careful, as the water that pours out of the artesian spring is practically near the boiling point. This spot is also good for picnicking and watching birds. You will be glad you stopped at this point if you are an avian enthusiast.

Rihanna and Drake fuel romance rumors with Amsterdam date

The rapper/singer is currently touring Europe and his former girlfriend Rihanna sparked rumors they might be back together when she joined him on stage at a gig in Paris, France last month (Feb14).

They have now sent gossips into a spin after they were pictured dining out together at a sushi restaurant in Amsterdam on Thursday.

The stars dated briefly in 2010.

great things to see and do in Northern Spain

1 Look out for dolphins on the overnight ferry trip over to Santander. Book a cabin for the journey from Portsmouth and start your holiday with a ‘mini cruise’. www.brittanyferries.com

  1. Follow in the footsteps of the Spanish royal family and walk the headland in Santander, the Peninsula de la Magdelena. The park is surrounded by beaches and used to be their summer retreat. The free ‘zoo’ area has seals and penguins. www.spain.info/en_GB

  1. Take to the skies with the spectacular gondola trip to the top of the stunning Picos de Europa mountains, 20 kilometres inland from the coast. Catch the Teleferica (gondola) at Fuente De. www.cantur.com/instalaciones/actualidad/5-teleferico-de-fuente-de

  1. Sleep in a castle in the Mediaeval town of Olite. The fairytale-like Palacio Real do Olite (Royal Palace) had hanging gardens and a zoo with a lion house in the 15th century. Now part of it has been turned into a state-owned hotel. www.parador.es/en

  1. Discover why Rioja wine taste so good. Head for the pretty town of Laguardia, filled with ancient wine cellars dating back to the 12th centuryTuck in to tapas in Santander. Head for the centre of town and the Restaurante Canadio. Join the locals and stand at the bar. The mini ‘beef burgers’ are delicious. Be stunned by the sparkle from the titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The curved building, designed by Frank Gehry, opened in 1997Explore the old town area of San Sebastian and cool down with a glass of sangria in one of the bars. Bartolo serves up great food tooVisit France for the day. The charming Spanish town of Hondarribia is right on the French border and a ferry trip across the bay to the French marina at Hendaye takes just 5 minutes.

  1. Follow the route of the ‘bull run’ in Pamploma. For six days each July runners try to avoid the horns and outrun the raging bulls in this ancient custom

Chinatown Heritage Centre reopens

The rejuvenated Chinatown Heritage Centre has been officially opened to unveil a refreshed visitor experience that tells a richer story of Chinatown’s evolution from its early days as a Chinese migrant settlement to today’s vibrant heritage precinct

The rejuvenated Chinatown Heritage Centre has been officially opened to unveil a refreshed visitor experience that tells a richer story of Chinatown’s evolution from its early days as a Chinese migrant settlement to today’s vibrant heritage precinct.

Visitors to the Centre can expect a more comprehensive Chinatown story narrative that goes beyond the 1960s, more in-depth collection of personal stories from the Chinatown community, deeper exploration of Chinatown’s multi-ethnicity, clan associations, nightlife, heritage businesses, and enhanced multi-sensory features in the form of soundscapes, multimedia content, interactive story panels, olfactory experience and mood lighting. These will be complemented by a line-up of tours and events.

The Centre, which underwent rejuvenation in October 2014, was officially reopened by S Iswaran, minister for trade and industry. The rejuvenation aims to strengthen the centre’s content and presentation style. It will be operated by Chinatown Heritage Centre, a consortium between Singapore River Cruise, Journeys, and Splash Entertainment.

Mr Kenneth Lim, director of cultural precincts development, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), said, “As Chinatown evolves and increasingly discerning visitors seek more authentic and in-depth experiences, we saw the need to rejuvenate the Chinatown Heritage Centre to reflect the dynamic nature of the precinct, including that of a new generation that is continuing the legacy of their forefathers. We hope that the Centre will be a living interpretive centre that will inspire visitors to explore the precinct at a deeper level, and for the locals to gain a deeper appreciation of their heritage.”

The Centre will also host a regular line-up of temporary exhibitions and community events in a new exhibition gallery and event space, as part of STB’s vision for the centre to be a key platform for community engagement. The first exhibition, by a group of students from Nanyang Technological University’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information, features the Chinese New Year customs and traditions of the various dialect groups. The exhibition runs till March 8, 2016, and is part of ‘My Father Tongue”, a social campaign that aims to revitalise the use of dialects among youths.

Visitors can also look forward to tours led by guides acting as iconic characters of Chinatown, such as a Samsui Woman or Trishaw Rider.

Png Yiow Beng, director, Chinatown Heritage Centre, said, “Chinatown Heritage Centre is the first step for visitors to discover Chinatown, and the collective expertise between Singapore River Cruise, Journeys and Splash Entertainment in heritage and tourism will ensure well-curated programmes and tours for visitors. I also look forward to working with the local community to create memorable experiences for locals and tourists.”