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Aromatherapy enhances your wellbeing

Aromatherapy is an ancient method of using the sense of smell to promote feelings of calmness, balance, peace, and harmony in peoples’ lives.

However, it was not until the 1920s that it got this name as we know it today. Aromatherapy uses essential oils to enhance a therapeutic feeling in your body and mind and can help both your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Aromatherapy has gained much recognition in science and medicine today. Even though this form of therapy is almost a thousand years old, there have emerged many modern ways of reaping its benefits in the present age.

In this article, I will take you through how you can make it a part of your home and life using products like aromatherapy essential oils and aromatherapy candles.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Australia Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.

1. Aromatherapy essential oils

Essential oils are derived from plant extracts by steaming or pressing various parts of the plant like flowers, leaves, bark, or fruit. This method helps to capture the elements that produce a beautiful fragrance. A single bottle of essential oil might have to be made using several pounds of a plant. Aromatherapy essential oils are available in clean and modern bottles.

The different varieties of essential oils include spruce, peppermint, lemon, grapefruit, and tea tree. These contain antibacterial properties that are a great way to refresh your mind and body. Aromatherapy essential oils are a natural remedy for many ailments, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Low appetite
  • Dry mouth

Aromatherapy essential oils can be used through aromatherapy accessories such as necklaces, key chains, and bracelets that can be sniffed throughout the day. You can also purchase aroma sticks from the market. These are plastic sticks that have an absorbent wick to soak up the essential oil.

2. Oil burners

Oil burners are a very efficient way to fill up your home with soothing scents. The traditional oil burners come in the shape of a tripod that holds a beaker. The beaker contains scented oil. So here, you need to put a candle below the tripod, which heats the oil and releases the fragrance across the room.

Nowadays, there are electric oil burners available in the market as well. All you need is some water and a few drops of essential oil, and you are ready.

The rest is taken care of by the electricity, which helps release the scent into the air.

These electric oil burners are available in different shapes and styles like pot-shaped, porcelain, spherical, etc. These burners not only make your home smell good but also give it a visual aesthetic touch.

3. Aromatherapy candles

Aromatherapy candles have become immensely popular these days because of how easy they are to use and their long-lasting ability. These are usually available in a container that has wicks attached all the way through. All you need to do is find a safe place and light the wick. The candle is scented with fragrances like lavender or clary sage. Lighting these aromatherapy candles as you take a rest after a long day’s work can be a great stress relief.

4. Reed diffusers

Another way to enjoy your aromatherapy essentials is by using reed diffusers. Pre-blended oils are available, and these come with diffuser sticks made of charcoal or wood in most cases. You can also make your blends depending on the aroma you like and even build a diffuser using materials already available at home.

5. Non-reed diffusers

While reed diffusers are a great way to enjoy your aromatherapy essentials, there is also the option of using non-reed diffusers that function equally well. These are found in all shapes, sizes, styles and made using different materials. You can use non-reed diffusers in multiple settings. All you have to do is place a few drops of the essential oil on the stone, and the scent will get released instantly. Woodgrain diffusers are also available, which are not just meant for aromatherapy but also function as humidifiers.

6. Tech-based aromatherapy

It is a fact of the human body that when we smell the same fragrance for a long time, we build ‘scent fatigue’. Here, our scent receptors become saturated with the same smell, and it stops sending the scent information to the brain. As a result, we stop receiving this smell.

However, with technology, you can have a more versatile experience of aromatherapy. You can connect this device with your smartphone and switch from one scented aromatherapy essential oil to another.

Which essential oils are the best for you?

There are a wide variety of essential oils available in the market today. Which essential oil is best suited to your senses depends on what you are expecting from aromatherapy. However, there are a few aromatherapy essential oils liked by most people. These are:

  • Lavender oil– This oil has proven to reduce stress and promote good sleep.
  • Peppermint oil– Research has shown that peppermint oil can relieve the symptoms of Irritable Bowel (IBS) Syndrome.
  • Lemon oil– Many people find the citrusy smell of lemon oil to be an instant mood lifter. This can be a great fragrance after a hard day to bring your spirits up.
  • Tea tree oil– Originally, the Australian aboriginal people used this aromatherapy essential oil for healing wounds. The oil has a refreshing fragrance and is also used to treat acne or insect bites.

To sum up

In modern times, when we all are swamped with work or something else at all times, aromatherapy is a great way to treat our stressed mind and body.

While all the items mentioned in this article are beneficial in helping you relieve your body of all stress, try something more dramatic, like creating the perfect ambience to go with the fragrance.

So take a shower, get those essential oils ready, lean back on your bed, close your eyes, and meditate for some time as the beautiful scents surround you. Doing this will surely freshen you up for the day.

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October is Mental Health Awareness Month and with it comes a flurry of stories on suicide in the news. This is an important time to talk about suicide prevention, and also how suicide affects families, friends, and communities. In this article, I’m sharing some words from ABC’s chief online political writer Annabel Crabb that tell why conversations matter, and how her recent presentation in Hervey Bay mattered to me.

Annabel Crabb: ABC’s chief online political writer on her brother’s suicide

Suicide in the news - lady presenter

When ABC’s chief online political writer Annabel Crabb was first billed as the keynote speaker for the annual Lines in the Sand festival on the Fraser Coast, I was one of the first to book a ticket.

However, the Covid pandemic put her talk on hold for three years.

So, in September 2022, when she could finally talk in person at the resurrected festival, it was a long-anticipated event.

I didn’t know what her topic would be, but that didn’t matter.

As a former journalist and long-time fan of her work, I knew it would be worth hearing, regardless.

A topic she spoke about during the Q&A session afterwards, however, resonated with me to a far greater extent than anything else she’d prepared about her life’s journey from a small farm near Adelaide to reporting on politics in Canberra.

Early in the session, she told us she was taking a break from her long-service leave to speak, but later, while talking about music and how songs can evoke memories, she elaborated further, sharing some insight into her family’s recent tragedy.

Behind the smiles and laughter of her witty presentation was great sadness—she was grieving the loss of her brother to suicide.

“I don’t mean to get too depressing, but I’ve had a very weird, horrible year because my brother died in January (2022),” Annabel said.

“He took his own life, which was very confronting for me and my family. That’s part of the reason I’m on leave now, to fall apart a little bit.

“You know, I made a decision early on after that happened, to talk about it in podcasts because one of the first things I learned as a ‘baby’ journalist was that we didn’t report suicides.

“Looking back on that, it’s the cruellest thing.

“I know that at the time that was our policy, because, you know, to deter copycats, but what a lonely thing it is to lose someone in your life and have people pretend it didn’t happen.

“It’s horrible. Horrible!

“So, when you’re going through something very dark like that and you’re surrounded by friends, then, that is the way through.

“There’s no easy way, but having company is very helpful.

“Also, having people tell you totally inappropriate jokes throughout, is something that I’ve really learned.

“People often worry about what to say to bereaved people.

“I remember when Leigh Sales’s father died suddenly, she had just finished writing her excellent book Any Ordinary Day, which is all about this.

“I’d just finished reading the proofs of that book, so when she rang me and said ‘Dad is in hospital; it’s not good’, I went straight around to her house.

“I didn’t feel awkward and I wasn’t afraid because I’d just read her own bloody book, which she’d written on how to handle this situation.

“How is that for prep? It’s a great book, by the way! Everyone should read it.”

How conversations on suicide can help the bereaved

I was grateful that Annabel spoke so candidly about her brother’s suicide at her presentation.

Back in the 1990s, when I was a budding journalist, I too learned that reporting on suicide was off limits to the media, and we respected the theory of the day.

Tragically, in 2013, my husband died of suicide and I’ve found the silence still exists, not just in media but throughout our society.

I’ve found most people avoid talking about suicide, and while I agree it is difficult, open conversations are important in helping bereaved families with their grief.

Annabel recommended reading Any Ordinary Day: Blindsides, Resilience and What Happens After the Worst Day of Your Life, so I’ve purchased a Kindle version to do so.

For anyone else wishing to read it too, just click on the image and follow the link.

Feeling down? Help is just a phone call away!

If you or anyone close to you is distressed or experiencing an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) as soon as possible.

Counselling support services include:

 

Kim’s botanical skincare: eco-friendly, vegan, sustainable

Looking for something new to treat your skin? Meet Kim Guseli of Hervey Bay, Queensland, who has just released her first range of sustainable, vegan, eco-friendly skincare products under the label Botanical Skincare Lab. Kim talks with JOCELYN MAGAZINE about her new venture and what inspired her to become a professional cosmetic chemist.

Kim’s journey to becoming a cosmetic chemist

Botanical Skincare - Kim Guseli

Kim Guseli and Dexter, one of her two beloved Dachshunds.

One night, Kim Guseli was dabbling with her one of her creative passions—making natural skincare products—when she thought: “How awesome would it be if I could write my own formulas?”

Kim loved mixing the formulas, but following other people’s recipes was limiting her creative streak.

That lightbulb moment soon set the nature-lover on an exciting path of transformation from corporate officer to cosmetic chemist.

“I knew I needed to know the science behind making cosmetics, so I studied to become a qualified cosmetic chemist, and I absolutely loved it,” Kim said.

“I just wanted to keep studying. The more I learned, the more that things came together, and the more I wanted to know even more.”

Now, as a member of the Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists and the International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists, she has launched her own business: Botanical Skincare Lab.

“Researching all the different ingredients fascinates me, and working out the most effective combinations is captivating. And getting into the lab and testing out my formulas is exhilarating.”

Her business has become her “job” and she gets to do what she loves while helping people take care of their skin.

“I’ve got all the proper equipment. I even had some equipment sent over from France because I wanted all the correct gear,” Kim said.

“The ethos of Botanical Skincare Lab is to provide clean, nourishing, luxury skincare which is scientifically formulated and powered by nature.

“We support local and Australian businesses when purchasing ingredients and supplies. Even my labels are Australian-made.”

Originally from Perth, Kim runs her business from the Hervey Bay home she shares with husband Stefano Guseli, an artist and teacher, and their two loveable Dachshunds Lucia and Dexter.

“I love being able to work from home where I’m with Lucia (black and tan) and Dexter (chocolate and tan) all day long.”

The beauty of skin chemistry

With the excitement of a pre-schooler opening a tub of play dough, Kim wakes each morning thinking of all the fun she’ll have that day with her ingredients.

“I just can’t wait to play with all my ingredients,” she said.

Kim said she was still settling into her daily routine because she often responded to people’s requests on a need basis.

“I want to find out what things people are looking for and make products they want to use.

“If there are any gaps in the market, I love to hear about them because I can write formulas to suit.

“As it is, I’ve got so many ideas for formulas that I want to write that it’s hard to prioritise them.

“And I’m hoping to get some products into some local shops soon, so it all depends on what shops I can get into and how often I need to deliver.

“I like to make everything fresh, so I do it in small batches of about half a litre at a time.

“If you order something from large manufacturers, you don’t really know how long it’s been sitting on the shelf, but this way, I can assure customers what they’re buying is fresh.

“My products have a good shelf life, so they can sit on shelves for some time, but I don’t want that. You can really notice the difference when they’re fresh.

“Why not give people the opportunity to have fresh skincare?

Botanical skincare - chemistry

PHOTO: Shutterstock

Kim’s top 5 favourite cosmetics

Kim has so many “favourite” products that she loves for different reasons, so picking her Top 5 was difficult, but for Jocelyn Magazine, she relented and named these:

  1. Pink Clay Face Mask: “I’ve formulated this so you only need to put a thin layer on your face and leave it on for just five to 10 minutes. I’ve always found the face masks I’ve bought previously I’ve had to leave them on for at least 20 minutes, but for me, that’s too long because you’re limited what you can do during that time.”
  2. Golden Jojoba Face Cream: “This has Sea Buckthorn that gives it the beautiful golden colour I love.”
  3. Velvet Rose Light Day Cream: “I made this one so it leaves your skin feeling really smooth and light, particularly on humid days as we get in Hervey Bay’s summers. It’s lightweight, fast-absorbing and moisturising for when you don’t want anything thick on your face, but you still need some moisturizing. In humid weather, when you get out of the shower and you start sweating already, this cream feels light and cool on your skin.”
  4. Sunflower Cleansing Face Polish: “This one is a cleanser, but it’s also got some ground walnut grains, so it polishes your skin as well, which is really nice.”
  5. Hyaluronic Glow Intensifying Serum: “I didn’t know this formula would make your skin feel so nice. Sometimes if I run out of it and use other things, I can really notice the difference in my skin. I like it when Stefano puts it on too because it makes his skin feel nice.”

Looking for eco-friendly, sustainable and vegan skincare?

Botanical Skincare Lab’s products are eco-friendly, sustainable, and vegan – that’s official!

“When you make skincare properly, it needs to meet industry standards and qualifies for insurance,” Kim said.

“The ingredients used in my formulas are from Australian suppliers and come with documentation certifying the quality of the ingredients.

One of the reasons my products are classed as sustainable is because I make and distribute them mainly locally, so they’re not being transported all around the country and sitting in warehouses.

“Another benefit from purchasing all of the ingredients in Australia is that they haven’t come on ships from overseas so that helps the environment with decreased pollution from transportation.

“We’ve got solar panels on our roof and I make everything in the daytime so the energy comes from the sun. Even my packaging is recyclable.

“My cosmetics are also vegan because they don’t contain animal products and haven’t been tested on animals in any way.

“And, there are no synthetic fragrances and the natural preservative system is Ecocert certified.

“That means too, there are no strong overpowering smells, but only light aromas like the Velvet Rose Light Day Cream that contains some rose water for its skin benefits.

“I’ve done that for people with sensitive skin who might otherwise have allergic reactions.

“Many people are even allergic to essential oils, so I’ve made my products so that people with sensitive skin don’t have reactions to them.”

Visit the Botanical Skincare Lab website

If you’re looking for a new natural skincare line to source online, or are on holiday in the Fraser Coast region and want to check out some local eco-friendly products, head over to the Botanical Skincare Lab website. You won’t be disappointed!

Botanical skincare - chemistry

PHOTO: Shutterstock.

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A World Without Love: How Would We Survive?

Love is in the air! No, really, it is. Love fills our lives with happiness and warmth on Valentine’s Day and every day.

But what would happen if love disappeared? What if we lived in a world without love?

This month marks the 58th anniversary of the release of Peter and Gordon’s single ‘World Without Love’ in February 1964.

The song explores what life would be like without that powerful emotion.

So, where would we be without it?

We’d be deprived of romantic love, as well as parental, sibling, friend, pet, and community love, to name just a few.

Love-pathy is all too common

Love is all around us, but it appears much of the world’s population has been infected by a kind of “love-pathy”.

Too many times I’ve heard people say: “I don’t do Valentine’s Day.”

Are these people being honest with themselves?

Perhaps it’s really that they don’t do the over-commercialisation of Valentine’s Day. Fair enough.

Or, either they can’t afford to buy gifts, flowers or chocolates, or don’t want to?

Or, perhaps they don’t want to show more affection for one person than another?

Whatever their reasons, if they want to, there’s always a way to show affection without it costing a mint: sing a song, recite a poem or do something nice for your special someone.

But to deny the celebration of love is to deny the celebration of life itself.

Life is love. It’s all around us and Valentine’s Day is a special time to celebrate love.

There are so many different types of relationships in this world, from the most emotional and intimate bonds between two people to wider families or communities with their own unique traditions around celebrating romance.

Valentine’s Day truly embodies what we should be doing every day: living life fully.

How did Valentine’s Day begin?

The traditions of St Valentine’s Day are old and rich, dating back to AD 496 when Pope Gelasius I established it to honour the martyred Roman saint who died on February 14 back around 250 AD.

The romantic notion eventually became associated with Valentine’s Day in the 14th and 15th centuries due mostly because people began pairing up as “lovebirds” do in springtime.

When England became a more formal society in the 1700s, people began the tradition of expressing their feelings for each other by giving flowers and sending greeting cards.

These gifts and cards were, and still are, known as valentines.

Valentine’s Day symbols

Symbols representing Valentine’s Day have been around for centuries.

The heart-shaped outline was used in ancient Rome to symbolise love, while doves are considered a sign of peace because they’re known as “the bird of happiness”.

You might even see an image labelled “Cupid” on some valentines; this figure is traditionally winged and often holding his bow (to represent affection) or arrow (for accuracy).

In Italy, people give valentine keys to romantic lovers as an invitation to unlock their hearts, according to legend.

Keys are also used in Italy for children who have epilepsy – Saint Valentine himself is said to have created this tradition so the children could be protected from the condition’s evil effects.

Open hearts to Valentine’s Day

Today, we need more people to be aware of the powerful emotion and to open their hearts and minds to it.

The feeling of love is so powerful that it can make our lives worth living.

We need this to stay happy and healthy, not just for ourselves but also those around us who depend on how we act in order to provide them with stability too.

This Valentine’s Day, I ask you: how can we live in a world without love?

Let’s all feel the warmth and make sure that doesn’t happen.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Love is definitely all around us.

Whether you’re celebrating with your partner, your friends, or by yourself, enjoy the day.

 

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Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

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So, if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here.

 

Learn how mysterious opal brings inner peace

Opal is a stone that has been revered for its healing properties for centuries.

It is said to encourage hope and optimism while promoting inner peace and harmony.

The mysterious stone is usually opaque but can also appear translucent when cut properly so that light gets through them – just like stained-glass windows!

If you are looking for a gemstone to wear in a piece of jewellery that can help promote overall good health, opal might be the right choice for you.

 

Disclosure: As an Amazon Australia Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.

Opal is the #1 gemstone for mental health

Opal is one of the most fascinating and mysterious gemstones.

Many people believe opal is beneficial in alleviating stress and anxiety, as well as curing various other ailments.

It brings peace and calmness to you and your environment, which is why people who struggle with anxiety or depression often choose to use wear opal jewellery.

Opal also promotes self-confidence and personal growth by enhancing creativity, imagination, intuition, wisdom, cheerfulness, love and beauty– all qualities that will help you feel more at home with yourself.

In some cultures, opal is considered to be a stone with mystical powers.

Ancient Greeks and Romans particularly believed the stone to have special powers.

They used it to improve their mental health and ward off evil spirits.

Today, opals are still popular gemstones for jewellery.

People wear them for their beauty and because they believe that opals have healing properties.

Some of these include:

  • Improving mental health
  • Warding off evil spirits
  • Enhancing creativity and imagination
  • Helping with emotional problems

You too can wear opal jewellery to bring you happiness, improve your mental health or attract love.

Keeping an opal gemstone in your pocket when going through hard times, is believed to help ease your pain.

If you are interested in learning more about the mysterious opal gemstone, here are some books to help get you started:

Choosing the best opal jewellery for you

Here are some opal jewellery pieces that you can consider when shopping for an opal gemstone piece!

Opal necklace

This Blue Green Australian Fire Opal Triplet Necklace is simple and elegant. The gemstone is set in a gold-plated sterling silver setting on a delicate chain. This necklace is so versatile. It can be worn with anything from your favourite dress to more casual outfits.

Opal ring

This women’s opal ring is an eye-catcher for any occasion and makes the perfect gift for your wife or girlfriend. The opal gemstone adds an elegant and chic touch to the sterling silver setting.

Opal earrings

These minimalist white opal stud earrings for women are simple and classic at the same time – two words that also describe this gemstone perfectly. They feature a stunning opal gemstone in a sterling silver bezel setting. Add these light and dainty earrings to your outfit for a touch of elegance.

Opal pendant

This Blue Australian Opal Pendant is simple, yet stunning. It features a beautiful opal gemstone in a modern sterling silver pear shape classic setting and comes on a delicate chain. This pendant would be perfect for everyday wear or special occasions.

Opal bracelet

This opal bracelet is delicate and pretty. It features a beautiful round Cabochon White Ethiopian Opal in a sterling silver bracelet. It would be the perfect addition to any jewellery collection.

So, if you’re looking for a gemstone that has many healing properties, opal is definitely one to go for.

PHOTO GALLERY: WINTON

Want to hunt for your own mysterious opal?

Discover where and how the Outback Opal Hunters do it at the Winton Opal Festival.

Resources:

  • ‘The Opal: A Study In Color And Light’ by G. Neri
  • ‘Opal: The gemstone of the gods’ by John H. Betts
  • ‘The gem and mineral guide: a field guide to over 1500 gems, minerals & gemstones’ by Jack Stormonth

Discover The Beauty of K’gari (Fraser Island)

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s tough to find a place that lets you truly switch off and unwind.

Thankfully, the tranquil beauty of the World Heritage-listed K’gari (Fraser Island) offers the perfect place to recharge and relax.

As the world’s largest sand island, K’gari (Fraser Island) is undoubtedly a genuine paradise.

In fact, ‘Paradise’ is the literal translation of the island’s name, K’gari!

Alongside the breathtaking beauty, the island also offers a wonderful array of attractions for visitors, making it popular with tourists from throughout the world.

K'gari (Fraser Island - Forest

 

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A brief history of K’gari

The Traditional Owners of K’gari are the Butchulla people, with historians estimating that they have lived amongst the stunning landscape for upwards of 50,000 years.

Having always focused on care and respect for nature, the Butchulla people continue to live in harmony amongst the seasons, land, and sea today.

The 166,000-hectare island is a place of natural beauty, with the stunning coastline, rainforests, sand dunes, and perched lakes slowly forming over thousands of years.

For visitors today, the region is a space to escape the busy world, switch off their phones, and connect to the world.

K'gari (Fraser Island) - Nautalis Shell

The best things to do on K’gari

As one of the best tourist spots in Australia, K’gari (Fraser Island) is packed with a vast array of cultural activities suitable for all the family.

Some of the most popular include:

1. Take a trip to Lake McKenzie

While the island is surrounded by incredible beaches, a trip to Lake McKenzie should be on everyone’s list. Formed thousands of years ago, this unique lake features sand that is 98% silica, which means it is not only the whitest sand you will ever see, but it also reflects the sunlight, ensuring it remains cool to touch.

This unique sand also offers increased filtration of rainwater, helping to give the water the iconic azure colour recognised across the globe.

2. Check out the eastern sand dunes

Taking a trip to Eli Creek on the Eastern side of the island is the perfect opportunity to see the stunning sand dunes, and the incredible coloured sand the region offers.

Thanks to the leaching of oxides, each grain of sand on K’gari comes in an array of different colours with 72 shades found across the island.

3. Absorb the views from Indian Head

For thousands of years, the Traditional Owners of K’gari have climbed the island’s most northerly point, Indian Head, to take in the gorgeous viewpoints.

Arguably one of the best views on the entire island, Indian Head offers stunning sights across not only the land but across the sea, too, where it is not uncommon to see humpback whales.

4. Visit the rainforests

Driving from Eurong Beach along to Kingfisher Bay will reveal the stunning rainforest, the only place in the world where tall forests grow on sand dunes!

Growing to great heights, these trees have been growing for thousands of years and walking through them is an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime.

5. Take a trip through history at the Cultural Centre

Fun for the whole family, the Fraser Coast Cultural Centre gives takes visitors through the incredible history of the island, educating them on everything from the UNESCO-listed beaches to the countless wildlife that calls K’gari home.

K'gari (Fraser Island) - Photo Montage

Where is K’gari?

You’ll find K’gari (Fraser Island) off the southeast coast of the Wide Bay-Burnett region.

The best way to get there is to take a barge from Rainbow Beach or River Heads at Hervey Bay, about 300 kilometres north of Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane.

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PHOTO GALLERY

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Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you tantalize your taste buds and indulge your curiosity while also discovering history and culture—all that Australia offers.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!