Tag archives for Western Australia

6 Things That Australians Love About Living in Parramatta Sydney

If you have never been to Parramatta before, it’s probably well-known for having a rugby league team named after a slimy river and being Sydney’s Western Center Business District. There are so many constant discoveries that Parramatta brings such as hundreds of high towers and Powerhouse Museum. However, it would always be the little things that make this part of the city a wonderful place to live.

The city of Parramatta is filled with diverse population composing of almost a quarter of a million people. Although, the central area is busy with the bustle of building, shopping, and dining, just five minutes out of the heart of Parramatta is a quiet suburbia. Here are some of the top seven things you can also love in Parramatta like how Australians also do.

1. Near to Sydney CBD

Sydney CBD

Parramatta is not really that far away from the city and there are different modes of transportations that can take you there. The easiest way is the 25-minute express train that leaves Central half an hour.

If you ever miss the train, don’t worry because it will only take five minutes for the next train to come. If you plan to drive your way there using your car, it’s just as bad as anywhere else during peak hours. Most Australians take the Parramatta River Ferry which will take you on a smooth and fun journey from Darling Harbour to Parramatta Wharf in just over an hour.

2. Great Food

Parramatta truly has some great eats that every first-timer should try. Look for Church Street and you’ll find two yummy restaurants. First one is the Singapore institution, Temasek, which is great if you love seafood and spicy foods. You should try their mountain of chili crab with a loaf of white bread on the side to sweep up the sauce. The other one is, Honey Persian, home to a fantastic biryani!

Want great coffee? Visit Circa Espresso. Also if you’re looking for great top pho, look for Pho Pasteur. For a fancy menu, then head over to Courtney’s Brasserie. Of course, after trying that fancy menu, you might want to try some legendary street food destinations such as Cabramatta, Fairfield, and Canley Vale which is a 20-minute drive away.

3. Cool Off at Parramatta Lake

Australia is already known for its pristine shorelines, so why not try taking a nice swim on a man-made lake? Hunts Creek was dammed in the 1850s for the area’s water supply but good thing is you can now swim in Parramatta Lake when the heat is scorching.

This is a great place to take your family with you. Most Australians, enjoy long walks and meaningful picnics with their loved ones here and they also roast some great BBQs as they admire the beauty of the lake on a hot day.

4. More Parks

This is the reason why most Australians are fit! Most of their houses are just a 20-minute walk of about 10 different ovals. Most of North Parramatta’s public parks have a range of various sports taking place every evening. If you simply enjoy nature and love being outdoors, you must visit the one and only Parramatta Park itself composing of 85 hectares of trees just next to the Parramatta CBD, together with the World Heritage-listed Old Government House in the middle and a modern unique playground next to Domain Creek.

5. Fun Community Events

There have been numerous times that Vivid and Sydney Festival shows and exhibitions take place in Parramatta. Also, the city also showcases the amazing Parramatta Lanes food and cultural festival, which is packed with the city’s smaller streets with foods trucks, pop-ups, and music. When winter is out, they would set up an ice skating rink in the park and a number of nights and weekends celebrating the multiculturalism of the city, including the energetic Parramasala.

6. Easy to Find Colonial History

Parramatta is Australia’s oldest inland European settlement which just makes colonial history easy to learn and discover. The Elizabeth Farm is must-visit for every tourist that visits the country, plus Parramatta is rich with various heritage-listed cottages, cathedrals, and hospitals throughout town.

There are multiple churches in the city–there’s also Buddhist, Hindu and Murugan temples and the local mosque. Parramatta is a great city that openly celebrates multiculturalism by having many fantastic excellent food options, diverse people and culture that every Australian is proud of.

The post is by Ivandrea Ollero is a resident writer for Holiday Inn Parramatta, one of Australia’s contemporary luxurious hotels that also offers a great historical experience for tourists. Ivandrea provides hotel tips and hacks for a blissful best vacation.

7 Camping Meals You Can Prepare in 15 Minutes

camping mealsThe Australian Outback offers backpackers, adventurers, and campers with numerous choices of activities such as trekking, hiking, wildlife watching, birdwatching, kayaking, or just breathing in the beauty and splendour of valleys, tropical beaches, gorges, rock formations, riversides, and creeks.

The vast continent features natural wonders such as the Ayers/Uluru Rock, Kalbarri, Bamurru Plains, Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay, and hundreds of other sites. You may want to plan camping or backpacking for your next vacation, but before you leave for the trip, make a list of the camping gear you will need.

Aside from the usual tents and sleeping bags, you should also bring simple and portable cooking equipment which will help you whip up simple dishes to satisfy your hunger while in the wild.

Before camping

Make a list of camping equipment to bring that includes cooking supplies such as the following:

  • Chopping board;
  • Portable stove with a Butane canister;
  • A set of cooking saucepans;
  • Mixing bowls;
  • Paring knife;
  • A set of cutleries;
  • Travel picnic set;
  • Scissors;
  • Large knife; and
  • Dutch oven

Here are some simple recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner that you can make under 30 minutes on your next camping trip.

Breakfast Recipe

Stuffed Croissants

Ingredients:

  • Croissants;
  • Cooked bacon or ham;
  • Filling (A choice of spread: Cheddar cheese, Dijon Mustard, or fruit jam);

Process:

  1. Slice the croissants in half.
  2. Add the cooked bacon or ham.
  3. Spread with a choice of filling.
  4. Cook over the coals until the cheese melts. Be careful not to burn the croissants.
  5. Add some greens if desired.

Campfire Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of 500 grams of ready- to- use Pancake flour;
  • 2 to 3 eggs;
  • 1 bottle of maple syrup; and
  • Canola oil;

Process:

  1. Mix the readymade Pancake flour.
  2. Add the egg.
  3. Whisk thoroughly until it reaches a thick consistency.
  4. Pour canola oil in a non-stick saucepan.
  5. Use a plastic measuring cup to portion the pancake mixture.
  6. Cook in moderate heat. Flip the pancakes when it turns slightly brown.

Brunch

Omelette

Ingredients

  • 7 eggs;
  • Salt and pepper;
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley;
  • 50 grams of grated cheese; and
  • 2 slices of tomatoes;

Process:

  1. Crack the eggs in a bottle and store for camp use.
  2. At the campsite, pour the ingredients in a microwave steam cooking bag. Use only cooking bags that have patented steam vents that allow the bag to maintain optimal steaming pressure so the food retains its moisture.
  3. Mix the ingredients.
  4. Put the bag in boiling water.
  5. Open the bag to release the steam.

Lunch

chilli cornOne pot chilli con carne

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar;
  • 1 crushed garlic clove;
  • 500 grams of canned kidney beans;
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar;
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano;
  • 500 to 1000 grams of ground beef or pork;
  • 400 grams of canned chickpeas;
  • Olive oil;
  • ½ teaspoon cumin;
  • 1 to 2 beef bouillon cubes; and
  • ¼ tsp chili powder

Process:

  1. Toast the cumin, crushed garlic, dried oregano and chili powder in a saucepan to extract their oils.
  2. Set aside for later use.
  3. Add the beef and sauté until they are brown and add the toasted spices, cumin, garlic and chili powder.
  4. Add the beef bouillon dissolved in water and sugar.
  5. Boil and simmer until the sauce gets thick.
  6. Adjust the flavour if desired such as by adding more water and spices.
  7. Add the can of kidney beans.

Dinner

One pot macaroni with cheese

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams of Macaroni;
  • 250 grams of Cheddar cheese;
  • 1 can of evaporated milk;
  • 1 cup of water;
  • 1 chopped garlic and onions; and
  • 1 chicken or beef bouillon cubes

Process:

  1. Boil the macaroni in water with olive or canola oil and a pinch of salt until it becomes al dente which is an Italian term meaning “cooked as to be still firm”. Pasta is usually cooked under eight minutes to be al dente.
  2. Rinse in cold water to avoid overcooking the pasta.
  3. Sauté the garlic and onions.
  4. Add a can of evaporated milk and the bouillon cube.
  5. Simmer and add salt to taste.
  6. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese.

Salad in a jar

Ingredients:

  • Chopped parsley;
  • 1 sliced onion;
  • Five cherry tomatoes (sliced in halves);
  • 1 cup of corn;
  • 1 red bell pepper (sliced);
  • 1 romaine lettuce;
  • 10 Olives (sliced in halves); and
  • 1 cup of dressing (d lemon juice mixed with olive oil or balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste)

Process:

  1. Place the ingredients layer by layer in a jar.
  2. Pour the dressing.
  3. Seal the jar and refrigerate in a portable cooler.

Note: You could add more ingredients such chicken or tuna flakes and change the dressing.

Hawaiian Kebabs

For the skewer

  • ½ kilo chicken breasts (portioned and diced into medium cube pieces);
  • 1 large onion (diced and separated into square and thin pieces);
  • 1 can of pineapple titbits;
  • 2 green and red bell peppers (thinly sliced and deseeded); and
  • 2 large tomatoes (sliced in halves)

For the sauce or marinade

  • ½ cup of ketchup;
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil;
  • ¼ cup of pineapple juice;
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar;
  • ½ cup of soy sauce;
  • 2 pinches of salt and pepper;
  • ½ cup of pineapple juice;
  • 1 sliced lemon as a garnish; and
  • Olive oil

Process:

  1. Skewer the chicken bell pepper, pineapples, onions, and tomatoes.
  2. Marinade the skewer.
  3. Grill the skewer for five minutes on each side.
  4. Garnish with olive oil and lemon wedges.

How can OutbaxCamping help?

Outbax Camping can help you find outdoor gear and camping accessories which include handy cooking equipment like a camping grill and other cooking tools.  Since 2012, Outbax has been providing campers everything they need to enjoy a hassle-free visit to the Outback. For more details, visit outbaxcamping.com.au.

Aussie Family Campervan Adventure

Campervan AdventureIf the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “vacation” is coast, you need to branch out! Campervan vacationing is an excellent alternative here – it can be a very exciting, educational and fun experience. However, going from the habit of enjoying relaxing beach or resort vacations to all the challenges of outdoor tourism is quite a leap forward, so you should definitely get familiarized with a couple of essential tips before making the decision. We’re going to use Australia as our campervan adventure destination due to its vastness, variety and beauty.

Selecting the van

Unlike the traditional vacation types, your campervan is literally going to be your home for the duration of your excursion, so picking the perfect one is of the absolute essence. Start researching, get familiarized with various vehicle models and their amenities and add-ons. For instance, a mini fridge, running water and a gas stove are absolutely necessary. On the other hand, depending on the size of your family, you might need a rooftop sleeper. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the van, the more gas it will guzzle, especially on camping trips, so carefully consider how much space you need – camping trips weren’t made for luxury; on the contrary, you’re supposed to reimagine your life in the humble confines of nature.

Pick your destination

The very point of your campervan trip is being mobile, and it would be a shame (and very boring) if you were to stay in a single spot during the entirety of your vacation. Driving a campervan across Australia is a unique experience; there’s a reason why every year, thousands of STA travelers explore the Aussie land using vans as their homes. Here’s a list of neat locations to get lost in if you decide to take your camping vacation to this gorgeous continent.

  • Grampians National Park, Victoria – If breathtaking views of towering summits, mighty waterfalls and vast forests are your thing (of course they are), there is no place like the Grampians National Park. Some three hours’ worth of driving north of Melbourne, this national park offers you a chance to park your van and take a walk around, soaking in all the gorgeous sights that surround you.
  • Coober Pedy, South Australia – If you and your family are history enthusiasts, then you’ll love visiting this 80-million-years-old view. This historic opal-mining center offers awesome desert landscapes, but its main feature is quite a strange one. This town is mostly situated underground!
  • Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia – What good would an Australian camping vacation be if you weren’t able to catch some sun on this continent’s gorgeous sandy beaches. If you happen to find yourself anywhere near Esperance, take a 45-minute drive to the Cape Le Grand. Set up camp at the Lucky Bay to go snorkeling and swimming, and perhaps even see a kangaroo or two!

Preparation is essential

The preparations are just as important for a camping trip as for any other type of trip. Your itinerary is most likely to include wildlands and, especially in Australia, this means potentially hundreds of miles without a living soul around.
Every good preparation process starts with making a list long before setting off. Imagine your journey – think about everything from the bare necessities such as food, water, money, medicine, warm/light clothing, maps, flashlights and devices, to cards and board games for when the weather turns treacherous. Even a DVD player might not be such a bad idea!

If you’re planning on visiting national parks and other vehicle-inaccessible sites (which Australia is full of), think about bringing along bicycles, especially if you have enough space to store them!
Here’s a pro tip: the pros at Shimano offer high-quality spare parts and maintenance equipment that might turn out essential for your biking excursions.

Eating

The campervan experience offers a unique opportunity for cooking while on the road. On the other hand, the fact that you’re frequently moving around means that you should definitely not miss out on some of the local delicacies. The trick is walking the fine line between the two. Oh, and steer clear of high-sugar snack foods, take advantage of the local markets and make sure that each family member plays their part in meal preparation.

An Aussie campervan adventure offers a myriad of interesting opportunities, and without proper research and preparation, you might miss out on a whole lot! Although selecting the perfect van is the most important factor, there is a lot more ground to be covered – from packing and destination picking, to eating and having fun inside the campervan. Prepare yourself properly and you’re in for an unforgettable experience!