As Australian TV’s longest running travel weather presenter, Channel 9’s Steve Jacobs has observed more of his home country over the last 12 years than many would see in a life. Regularly travelling across five states in a week on the Today show, he’s undergone the very best places and destinations Australia has to offer.
As Steve moved to Weekend Today’s network services in Melbourne, Natalia Cooper took on the weekday reins and within only eight months she’s clocked up an astonishing number of frequent flyer miles. Here, the traveling duo shows a listing of their favorite Australian destinations.
On the far south coast of NSW roughly five hours out of Sydney is the best coastal city of Narooma. Its name comes from an Aboriginal word meaning “clear blue water”, which it certainly has in abundance. Actually, the water is so clean and clear that a sea grass grows here unique to the area. With the sea on one side and lovely Wagonga Inlet on the flip side, Narooma is ideal. It’s tired and relaxed but also includes lots of water sports, world-class fishing, fish restaurants plus a top rated 50-rated golf course with amazing views. This region is also home to a number of the best wineries in the nation and not far in the cheese-making city of Bodalla.
Not so hidden anymore, but there’s still something magical about Byron Bay. In the diverse mixture of hippies dancing down the road giving out flowers to the multimillion-dollar mansions in Wategos Beach, it really has something for everybody. The beaches are sublime and the locally sourced produce makes for a flourishing paddock-to-plate food landscape. Gorgeous sunrises, surf breaks, whale viewing, lively music, yoga and much more dreadlocks than the usual Bob Marley movie; this can be boho chic at its very best. Do not forget to head into the hinterland and see the breathtaking cities of Bangalow, Newrybar and Federal. Fire dance with the neighborhood drumming circle are on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights on Belongil Beach.
It’s three times the magnitude of England and among the planet’s last great wilderness frontiers, but surprisingly, it’s still someplace Australians do not seem to think about considerably in their traveling itineraries. It’s wild, remote and sparse, with reddish landscapes that appear to extend into infinity. Stop by an outback station and fulfill an authentic Crocodile Dundee personality, swim in an unbelievable freshwater pit on the side of a hill or stroll through a labyrinth of canyons that appear to be carved by nature to take away your breath with their amazement and beauty.
Natalia is a proud WA woman, loves her home country, and Rottnest Island is just one of her favorite spots in Australia. It is only a brief ferry ride from Fremantle before you are immediately in paradise. The water is a very clear and vibrant blue, the sand blindingly white and the reef teeming with fish.
There’s nothing quite like the comparison between the reddish shore, the white sands and the turquoise water of the Kimberley. It is such a special part of Australia, having holidayed there several times. Using its camels and epic sunsets, Cable Beach is a must-visit. However, it’s also advisable to trek north to Cape Leveque to your greatest camping or glamping adventure.
Queensland is understandably renowned for its Great Barrier Reef, charming islands such as the Whitsundays and amazing shores – hi, Whitehaven! But among her favorite things about the Sunshine State is its own wonderful festivals. Natalia says her number 1 has to be the Birdsville Races. Birdsville is an incredible outback city that’s a 30-hour drive from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. It is distant and magnificent. When the festival is on the population swells from 120 to approximately 8000.
Australian shores will start trialing drones that may spot sharks in the water and send alarms to people in the region. The drones utilize an artificial intelligence – called “SharkSpotter” – to discover shark moves with as much as 92 percent accuracy, as compared to 30 percent precision with the naked eye from the ground.
The drones uses automated software testing services to differentiate sharks from other sea dwellers such as stingrays, dolphins or individual swimmers. The drones record a live video, which can be sent back to some drone owner on the shore. If they discover a shark, then the drones may emit a warning in several languages through megaphone. Dr Nabin Sharma, a research associate in the University of Technology Sydney’s School of Software, explained that it isn’t about substituting human beings all together, it is about helping human beings to find the job done in a much better manner with much more precision.
And even if sharks aren’t about, the drones can nevertheless be lifesavers. In its agile automated testing course the device was found to deliver flotation apparatus to swimmers within 10 minutes at a rescue mission. Queensland and New South Wales shores will start testing the drones after this month. This past year, there were 26 shark strikes on Australian shores. Sixteen of these attacks caused accidents, and two of those strikes were deadly.