Wood Flooring Prices

Adding wood floors to your house can literally cost you thousands of dollars. However, the beauty and class of hardwood floors can certainly be worth the price that is going to cost you. Not only that, but it can drastically increase the price when you sell the house as natural hardwoods are much more marketable than carpets. If you are looking to decrease your investment in wood flooring prices, this article will give you some advice on how you can save money.

Where should I shop?

Generally speaking large discount hardware stores such as Home Depot or Lowes are not going to give you as good of deals as discount dealers such as Lumber Liquidators. For instance, in Atlanta, Georgia one of the best places to get cheap hardwood floors is Builder’s Surplus which is a store that most people do not know about. There are certainly places that you can get wholesale prices on discounted hardwood floors in your area as well, it just may take a little bit of searching.

How much are wood floors going to cost me?

This is a very difficult question to answer. For pure hardwoods such as oak flooring expect to pay about $3.00 per square foot plus the price of installation. However, if you learn how to install hardwoods yourself and if you buy at a discount store you can probably get a deal as low as $1.70 per square foot plus the price of renting the equipment and stain for the floor itself. Wood flooring prices are not nearly as high when you are willing to do some of the work yourself.

Do I need to stain the hardwood floors?

This is very dependent upon which type of hardwood floors that you purchase. If you purchase bamboo or other very thin types of hardwood floors that are going to be nearly impossible to install yourself then expect that you are going to need someone else to stain the floors for you. However, if you are installing your own oak flooring then staining your own floor should not be too difficult. Just remember that once you stain your floors that you should stay off the stained floors for a day or two until the stain has soaked all the way into the wood.

Should I use Polyurethane?

In nearly 100% of cases you should use Polyurethane because you will find your wood flooring lasting quite a bit longer than if you only use stain. In addition, your floors will shine way more if you decide to use Polyurethane because this chemical protects your floors as well as giving your floor that new floor shine.

Can I really install wood flooring myself?

Actually, yes you can as long as you have just a little bit of handyman within you. This will save you a significant amount of money on wood flooring prices. You can go to stores such as Home Depot or Lowes and they offer training on how to install your own floors. Sometimes they will even offer training to install tiling along with the installation instructions on how to install your own flooring. In many cases this training is even free! Anytime that you can do installations yourself you are going to save yourself a significant amount of money and installing hardwood floors is no different. However, remember that you are going to have to buy the nail gun machine as well as the floor flattener yourself. These are generally going to run you $40-$50 per day if you are shopping at the Home Depot which is where I normally shop. If you can get this done within one day then expect to spend $100 or two days then expect to spend $200. That is still quite a bit less than the $2 they are going to expect you to pay per square foot if you get the floors professionally installed. However, you will also have to pay for the stain and the polyurethane. But do not be discouraged because these are generally $10 or so for a rather large can at your local home improvement store. If you consider yourself even somewhat of a handyman, then installing hardwoods by yourself may definitely save you some money.

How long does hardwood flooring last?

In England there are hardwoods still around that have lasted hundreds of years. However, certain woods like teak are way more resistant to disintegration over time so you need to keep in mind that cheap hardwoods might degrade much more than some of the more expensive hardwoods. That being said, you can expect your hardwoods to last much longer than your lifetime if you are purchasing oak, maple, cherry, or bamboo which are the most popular wood flooring at this point in time. Although hardwood flooring prices are a bit more than laminate, they can certainly be worth the price if you can afford it.

Is wood flooring worth the price that it costs?

The answer is a resounding yes as long as you are purchasing a house that is worth more than a couple hundred thousand dollars. If you are only purchasing a house that is worth $100,000 then you need to be absolutely certain that the amount of money you are paying for hardwood floors is actually worth the amount that you are going to spend on the flooring itself. For instance, if you are going to spend $12,000 to get hardwoods throughout your entire house when your house is only worth $90,000 then you better be certain that with hardwood floors that your house would sell for at least $102,000. There are way too many people out there that make the mistake of assuming that any upgrade to their house will give them additional money when they sell the house. That is just not how the housing market works. Every investment that you make, you must be certain that you are going to reap the rewards when you sell the house. In general, hardwood flooring is a good way to spend your money if you own a rather expensive house, but you should do your research if you own a house that is lower middle class.

Why spend my money on wood flooring over granite, cabinets, etc?

Well, hardwood flooring is generally going to cost you less than a full kitchen or bathroom remodel. Wood floors by themselves are usually enough to spice up your home whereas granite counter tops might only make your kitchen or bathroom look better. If you decide to get hardwoods throughout your entire house it is going to make your entire house shine for a similar price than a full kitchen remodel. IF you can go out there and find some good prices on hardwoods or if you decide to install wood flooring yourself then it might only cost you $10,000 for a 3000 square foot house. However, a full kitchen remodel with cherry cabinets might very well cost you $30,000 or more if you are looking for cherry wood flooring with a level 3 granite counter top.

If you are looking to save money on wood flooring prices then make sure you look out for great deals such as discount hardwood dealers or online wholesalers. Just keep your eye out for good deals and you will very likely be able to save yourself a bunch of money. If you can try a do-it-yourself approach then it very might well save you thousands of dollars as well. Overall, wood flooring is a very nice addition to your house but you should definitely weigh your options before spending the thousands of dollars on purchasing hardwood floors.

Flooring is an important part of any house, which is why most people take their time when choosing the kind of material they want for their floors. While there are many different kinds of flooring materials, wood flooring is perhaps the most popular and the favorite of many. It has become a popular feature in many houses primarily for its beauty and for its versatility. Wood flooring prices vary depending on the material. Naturally, the more expensive the wood, the more expensive the price. There are two general categories for wood flooring; solid and engineered.

Solid Wood Flooring

Each plank of solid hardwood flooring is made of solid wood and is milled from a single piece of timber. This kind of flooring comes in a wide array of styles and sizes. Originally, solid hardwood floors were used primarily for structural purposes and to strengthen the support of a building. However, these days wooden support beams are rarely used in construction and solid hardwood flooring is mainly just used for its aesthetic value. The largest dimensions for this kind of flooring is typically 5 wide and 3/4 thick. While solid wood adds a very nice appeal to ones home or any establishment for that matter, it does have its limitations. Expansion and contraction of wood can be hard due to moisture and temperature fluctuations, adding a lot of restrictions when it comes to the use of solid wood for flooring. Solid wood flooring prices can vary on the material as well but generally this kind of wood costs more than other kinds. The prices for pre-finished solid hardwood can range anywhere from $7 to $15 per 3/4 x 21/4 planks.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring is typically made from two or more layers of wood that form one plank. The top layer is the visible part once the flooring is installed. The top layer is attached to the core, which provides stability, by using a strong and durable kind of adhesive. Some people often confuse engineered wood flooring with laminate wood flooring,vinyl and veneer wood flooring due to the similarity in the installation process. Laminate flooring uses an image of wood on the surface whereas vinyl uses plastic that is designed to look like wood and veneer uses a thin layer of wood for its core.

Engineered wood flooring is perhaps the most common type of wood flooring that is used in most households and establishments. Engineered hardwood flooring prices are generally cheaper than solid wood flooring prices. One plank of engineered hardwood with dimensions of 5/16 x 4 costs around $4.99 to $7.99, depending on the kind of wood used.

It can be rather difficult to compare engineered wood flooring and solid wood flooring because the former comes in a wide range of floor qualities. However, since solid wood flooring poses many limitations, many people turn to engineered wood instead. Also, since engineered wood flooring prices are generally cheaper than solid wood, more people prefer it. Though, it is important to note that there are some types of engineered wood that are much more expensive than solid wood flooring.

Limitations of Solid Wood Flooring

Solid wood flooring cannot be installed directly on top of concrete nor can it be installed below basements. Solid wood flooring is also limited when it comes to plank dimensions. Since solid wood is thicker, it is typically installed using nails. The installation of solid wood flooring is generally more expensive than engineered flooring because it requires more skill, time and effort.

Benefits of Using Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring prices varies significantly on the kind of wood used for the flooring but it has several benefits over solid wood. Engineered wood flooring are much faster to install and very easy to replace. Since installation does not require the fastening of planks on top of each other, it is easier to repair than solid wood flooring. Engineered wood is much longer and wider than solid planks, limiting the amount of material used. While the top layer of engineered and solid wood flooring have the same hardness and durability, people still prefer engineered wood over solid wood because of its benefits.

Types of Wood Flooring Finishes

There are two common types of floor finishes used for wood. The type of finish used can greatly affect wood flooring prices. The two most popular types are oil and polyurethane.

Oil Wood Flooring Finish

Oil finish is the most common type of floor finish used all over the world. Oil finished flooring is made from naturally derived drying oils. Pre-finished oil floors can be UV cured for durability. Oil finished floors that use vegetable oil is typically all-natural and does not contain any VOCs. Oil finished wood flooring prices vary depending on the type of wood and the type of oil used.

Oil finished floors can be brushed and oiled at the same time. These types of floor are typically brushed with the use of steel brushes. This method can remove the splinters on the wood, making it more desirable. After the wood has been brushed, it is oiled.

Polyurethane Wood Flooring Finish

This type of floor finish was first introduced in 1940. While there are several types, the two most common types are oil-modified polyurethane and straight polyurethane. These two types are marketed under different names that include but is not limited to; varnish, urethane and lacquer. Wood flooring prices for floors with polyurethane finish depends highly on the type and the manufacturer.

After the wood flooring is installed, it goes through a process called sanding. Sanding is done to smoothen an installed floor and to make sure that all surfaces are evenly textured. Wood flooring prices are not affected by sanding, as it is a different cost altogether. Sanding can also be done to renew the appearance of old wooden floors. Most homeowners have their wooden floors undergo sanding every few years or so to preserve its natural beauty.

Wood flooring prices are subject to change, depending on the availability of certain types of wood. If you want to save on your wood flooring, it wold be best to watch out for a sale or two, as you can save up to 50% off if you are lucky.

Pine Wood Flooring Prices

 

Pine wood flooring prices vary depending on the quality of the wood and the measurements of the floor.

Generally, pine wood is known to symbolize healing, protection, fertility and money. These symbolisms are what makes it a very popular choice for homes, aside from the aesthetic value that comes from this flooring choice. This type of wood produces textured flooring that is uniform in appearance. Sometimes, there are pieces that are strongly marked with a lot of annual rings. One of its common characteristic is that it dries very easily and it is known not to shrink or even swell in situations where there are changes in air moisture content due to environmental conditions. This guarantees pine wood flooring that is quite durable given its resistance to these changes.

Pine wood flooring prices are relatively cheap given the demand. This type is considered to be one of the most commercially important of all the species that are used for timber. This is also the most popular choice in places that are temperate and tropical. These environments are in need of furniture pieces that will be able to withstand the possibility of moisture loss. This makes pine wood a wise choice to make for both ones flooring and ones furniture.

This type of wood is also considered to be one of the fast growing softwoods in plantations. It is able to grow in conditions that are considered to be relatively dense. Also, its chemical composition allows for it to be able to ward off other competitors in nutrients that might make it difficult to grow these types of resources. The needle-like leaves of a pine tree are known to be very acidic. This prevents the growth of other plants that might compete in terms of acquiring nutrients in the cropping lot. This makes it very self sufficient as a crop allowing the bountiful growth of the trees.

Once you decide to lay your floors with the choice pine wood flooring, it is best that you make sure you are aware of the measures that should be taken in order to maintain the beauty of your floors. Keeping away small things such as dirt and dust, guarantee that you have good condition floorings for a long period of time.

Keeping it looking good as new for many years to come lies in knowing that cleaning your wooden floor is not the same as you would clean a carpeted floor or a tiled one. There are special measures that must be kept in mind in order to make sure proper care is given.

When wiping spills it is important that you don’t use cleaning detergent to scrub off the stain. This is the common instinct for most households when it comes to dealing with messes. Bear in mind that pine wood flooring will require a different and less chemical method in order to fix such stains. A spill is easily fixed up by wiping the surface with a damp cloth.

Bear in mind that water can immediately ruin the finish of your flooring. Even if its just a little spill, you run the possibility of creating permanent water marks on your floor. This is why it is not advisable to use water to scrub off stains, all the more chemical cleaners as they might create discolorations on the surface of your flooring. When accidental spills happen, it is important that you act on it immediately. Keeping your floor as dry as possible is what ensures a beautiful wooden finish for a longer period of time.

Cedar Wood Prices

Cedar wood is an especially good type of wood for durability. It can handle nasty weather and even rain. In addition, it has a golden shine that makes it very distinctive compared to other types of wood. The best part is that finding cedar wood prices is easier than ever with the invention of the internet, and you will be shocked at how low prices can be on this type of wood compared to the expensive hardwoods such as cherry or teak.

 

If you are looking for cedar wood furniture then there are some really great places to shop out there. Start by looking for discount furniture stores that will carry a variety of solid cedar furniture that can be both comfortable and stylish. If you are unsure of how much to pay, check out places like Google shopping to find out about how much you should pay for cedar furniture. This varies quite a bit depending on whether you are buying a chair, a nightstand or something in between.

 

Cedar is also great for wood flooring. Because of its durability and distinct texture, it makes a very good type of wood for hardwood floors. You might be surprised at how little people actually choose to put this type of wood on their floors so it is definitely more of a unique style. Most people choose oak, maple or cherry for their hardwood floors so you can go your own way by checking out cedar wood prices.

 

Cedar is also ideal for cabinets. Since it does come in a variety of styles including fine grained, it can make a very elegant set of cabinets. Again, it is less expensive than your typical cherry cabinets so you can save yourself some money without sacrificing style.

 

Some people even use cedar wood for barbequing. It has such a distinct flavor and smell that it really makes a great barbeque roast.

 

When comparing cedar wood prices try not to go above $2.00 per board foot unless it is significantly higher quality than your standard wood. Expect places like Home Depot or Lows to charge you even up to $2.50 per foot with an extra $2.00 per foot in labor charges as they tend to be much more expensive than your local discount wood outlets. But cedar can definitely be worth the price.

Bamboo Wood Flooring Prices

Bamboo floors give any home that instant Zen feel. This particular type of flooring has gained popularity all throughout the 21st century particularly because of its perceived environmental benefits and its highly exotic look. Bamboo flooring is often marketed and promoted to be incredibly hard and massively durable, but the truth of the matter is, bamboo is just as hard as a Walnut trees and Maple trees, both of which are considered as soft wood. Bamboo is gentle to the feet and makes fantastic flooring for Asian-themed houses where members of the family often go barefoot. It is a rapidly renewable resource, so purchasing bamboo for flooring is a very practical choice.

When it comes to bamboo wood flooring prices, prices vary in terms of the type of finish and the kind of wood used. Bamboo wood flooring prices can begin below $2 per square feet and can skyrocket to more than $8 per square feet. Price becomes one of the most significant deciding factors when it comes to bamboo flooring, and it might be somewhat overwhelming for a first-time buyer because prices vary enormously. The cost of the finishing in a bamboo floor plus the labor involved adds quite an exorbitant sum to the final price; plus, the cost it would take you to have the flooring installed. A standard finished bamboo flooring can vary from around $1.99 to $4.99 per square feet, but other factors can influence this price such as the length of your floor’s warranty or whether your plans are snap-lock or straight-edged.

The bamboo floor’s coating has a huge effect on its price. Coatings that are low on formaldehyde are incredibly environmentally-friendly but cost more to produce and replicate. Always remember never to choose a type of bamboo flooring in terms of the lowest price, most especially if the coating or the finish used is a health hazard, which is most likely to affect your health negatively in the long run.

Bamboo wood flooring prices are also influenced by the type of warranty that comes along with it. Some bamboo floors have no warranties while some have warranties that last a lifetime; so before purchasing your flooring, always take into consideration how often your floor will be stepped on and what might cause its wear and tear. If you will only be using your floor for five years, then select bamboo flooring with the appropriate warranty so you can save money. A longer warranty always equates to higher bamboo wood flooring prices.

The type of installation also influences bamboo wood flooring prices. Bamboo planks with built-in snap lock or click lock joints cost much more than those without. If you are determined to put in more work for your flooring, then opt for those without locks instead. But if you want a quick, hassle-free installation, then purchase bamboo floors with snap locks. You will be paying a slightly higher price, but it’s very much worth it.

The World Wide Web offers a huge selection of bamboo floors with enormously varying prices. The best way to arrive at the best one is to select the type of bamboo floors with a warranty, price and installation procedure that suit your taste the most.

Wheelchair Lift – Improving the Quality of Your Life

 

Wheel chair lifts are the ideal solution in serving people bound on wheelchairs gets up and down in homes, buildings, hospitals and many other establishments

Wheel chair lifts are not just made to improve ones accessibility to travel but the inner purpose is that it makes the disabled one to live life normally, independently and conveniently.

The product have been the source of hope for people that are physically challenged. Traveling from one place to another, having sightseeing or even transporting via land, air and water wouldn’t be that impossible as the lift itself is created just to function as which.

This type of lift is also known as platform lift as it typically uses a platform to carry wheelchair-bound people. Varying from different types like residential wheelchair lifts, vertical lifts and many more, the lift has great features to suit your everyday needs.

It also comprises of different kinds in nature to work with its corresponding environment. Some of those are the electric wheelchair lift, hydraulic wheelchair lift, wheelchair stair lift, and many others.

A wheelchair lift is designed to allow those wheelchair-bound persons easier access to shops, restaurants, businesses, and any other public facility.

Wheel chair lifts can be operated manually when one of the power sources fails. Saving money by eliminating the needs for expensive elevators or ramps while allowing anyone the freedom to be able to move on various locations easily is what wheel chair lifts dedicatedly offered.

Residential wheelchair lifts tend to be a little narrower than wheelchair lifts normally installed in public buildings or businesses as it is generally used at homes while wheel chair lifts that are mainly utilized on public places are wider as different types of wheelchair and even scooter occupy the platform.

A wheelchair lift can be in a form of a retractable platform or a fold up type. Safety features of a wheelchair lift are railings, straps and barriers to prevent possible accidents from happening.

Electric wheelchair lift has helped many people find convenience in their lives because it allows them to go where they want without the hassle of loading a wheelchair into a car or van.

 

 

 

 

 

Investing on Vertical Wheelchair Lift

Vertical wheelchair lifts are no doubt to be useful and operational once it is installed. It will not only satisfy people with disabilities but also helps your business to create a good name out of it.

Vertical wheel chair lifts are one of the priorities of modern business nowadays to serve their customers much better, bringing long lasting customer accessibility.

The innovation and high quality manufacturing of today’s vertical wheel chair lifts gives building owners, managers, as well as architects of a modern approach to vertical functionality for a reliable and longer wheelchair lift usage.

There are permanently installed vertical wheel chair lifts applicable for new, renovations, and modernization building plans which is flexible enough to give construction engineers and building owners an outstanding balance in design and reliability to support heavier loads.

Other optimal application and deployment of wheelchair lifts includes schools, hotels, auditoriums, commercial buildings, government facilities, and many more.

If you are aiming for good service, then vertical wheel chair lifts are worth an investment. Also, the safeness of vertical wheel chair lift is an important requirement before you plan to invest.

Do you want to build loyal customers? Then you know the answer.
Choosing a Vertical Wheelchair Lift

Now you have decided to purchase a wheelchair lift, what should be the next action you need to do?

That is to know the features a convenient, reliable, and safe vertical wheel chair lift must possess.

1. Choose a heavy-duty lift. For long-term operation and good service, it is better to pick a wheelchair lift, which can handle various wheelchair and user weights even simultaneously.

2. Longer warranty. To test for the company’s reliability, can they provide long period of warranty? 10-year warranty is the standard and it should be one of your basic requirements. Longer ones are good enough.

3. ADA Compliant. Always keep in mind this one quality. It just means that the lift itself has been tested and approved to use by disabled people. Stick with the standards.

4. Company track record. Never miss this one. There are lots of companies that protect their name and products for long-term business success.

Choose the one with proven track record in manufacturing high-performance vertical wheel chair lifts.

When planning to purchase a vertical wheel chair lift, keep in mind that you’re not only investing on a service for disabled people, but also, you want to keep a happy customers with more reason to go back and transact or go to your place because they find convenience and safety.

Recognizing your facility as a place that cares is very important to achieve your long-term business goals. Lots of companies, facilities, and other business types lack a good customer service.

There are lots of disabled people as well who desires convenient services whenever they go. Investing on a vertical wheel chair lift can really help your business to excel in customer service.

It also provides credibility of your business in the eye of your customers. So whether you are planning to renovate, creating a new building, or simply wants to achieve long-term success, invest on a vertical wheel chair lift.

Yamba is a far cry from the many coastal tourist traps

Yamba is a far cry from the many coastal tourist traps that are dominated by clubs and nightlife. To the contrary, it’s a down-to-earth place without many pretensions that offers nothing but the most quality relaxation and wholesome fun for the whole family. Here, people get up early and hit the sack early as well, living at a pace that reflects the paradise-like natural setting.

One of the most significant attributes of Yamba is the world-class surf conditions, such as the incomparable break point at Angourie; visitors should take notice of the fact that only experienced surfers should venture out into the water here, and that you’re on your own!

In downtown Yamba, beyond the many swanky (though well-priced) boutiques and shops, visitors will discover the Port of Yamba Historical Society. The museum operated by the society is widely considered to be among the most enchanting museums that any small town in this region of Australia has to offer. Its photography display, the prime exhibit, captures the essence of more than a hundred years of life in Yamba; it and other displays make the museum well worth a visit while in town.

Without a doubt the most capturing quality of Yamba and surrounds is the imposing natural setting, which offers unique treats no matter what direction you strike out in from the town’s centre. Headed south, visitors will find the Yuraygir National Park with its cliff-strewn, rocky stretch of coastline; headed to the north, visitors will discover the Iluka Nature Reserve, which houses what remains of a significant rainforest that is also listed as a World Heritage site. Headed north yet again, visitors will also find Bundjalung National Park, a natural expanse containing one of New South Wales’ few remaining wild rivers.

There are abundant of Yamba accommodation opportunities to be considered, and no matter whether visitors are on a solitary backpacking voyage or have the whole family in tow, they’ll find the accommodations that fit their necessities. A sampling of popular options to be kept in mind when in Yamba would include the Yamba Links Villa, the Sands Beachside, the Castaways, and the Convent Cottage.

Revisit the Gold Rush in Beechworth

Stepping foot in Beechworth should immediately give the indication that one has somehow left the modern era and traveled back in time. As one of Victoria’s most historic and best-preserved gold mining towns, Beechworth enables visitors to really get a sense of what life was like back in the 1850s and 1860s. Besides, with over 32 buildings listed by the National Trust as both historical and cultural, the town continues to shine and illuminate from its rich, rich background.

Originally starting in 1852, the Australian gold rush arrived to the small grazing area in full force, changing not only the town’s name from Mayday Hills to Beechworth but also transforming the landscape. Soon after its discovery and with gold on people’s minds, the mining craze brought in a massive amount of people to the remote, isolated area, founding the town.

Going hand in hand with the rush, of course, were the crazy characters and gold-tinted legends that only could have occurred in Beechworth. One particular example is the Golden Horseshoes legend of 1855, where during the first election campaign, candidate Daniel Cameron rode into town on a horse with gold horseshoes. Although he the horse only walked a mile in the solid gold shoes, legend has it that the shoes weighed one ounce less once they were removed. Needless to say, Cameron won the election and the story is still commemorated in Beechworth during the Golden Horseshoes Festival on Easter weekend.

Although the rush successfully thrived for only 14 years, before it began to wither away in 1856, Beechworth continued to see its fare share of interesting characters, not to mention the extraction of over four million ounces of gold during the rush’s heyday. One notable individual is none other than infamous Bush Ranger Ned Kelly, who was tried on a few occasions in the town’s courthouse – along with his mother in one instance – for attempted murder as well as other minor crimes. In fact, the Ned Kelly weekend festival occurs every year around August.

Luckily, the town was smart enough to invest a lot gold rush money into important city infrastructure such as hospitals and buildings, allowing the continued progress of the town’s economy. Because of this, the town’s historic and cultural precincts are unmatched, with amazing 1800s architecture and beautiful parks and gardens. Not to mention that a lot of Beechworth accommodation, such as hotels and bed and breakfasts, are located in many of these ancient buildings. So, every aspect and experience during a trip to Beechworth is literally like a blast from the past.

Penguins to Prom Two Day Tour

Southern Australia is a special part of the world—one of the last inhabitable places before the South Pole. Rocky coastlines border vast forests abundant with wildlife. A bustling metropolis showcases modern Australia. See the best of the big city, national parks, and native wildlife along the way through an intimate, small-group tour with Australian Coastal and Mountain “Penguins to Prom” two-day tour. Enjoy lunch and dinner provided on Day 1, as well as a full breakfast and a BBQ picnic on Day 2. Refreshments are provided throughout the Penguins to Prom experience.

Tours begin in Australia’s most European city, Melbourne. Known for its café culture, winding alleyways, and beautiful architecture, Melbourne exemplifies Australia’s past and future. The “Penguins to Prom” tour starts with admission to the Eureka Skydeck, an observation deck far above the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s streets. See the winding Yarra River, the die-hard footy fans in the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground), and the not-so-far away mountains beyond the cityscape. Afterwards, enjoy the Philip Bay coastline on the way to Mornington Peninsula, a sleepy fishing village south of the city. See the true Australia in small-town life along the way. Head to nearby Hastings to catch the Philip Island Ferry across the bay. Observe Melbourne’s skyline in the far distance as the tour heads to Philip Island, home of the famous “little penguins” who emerge from the sea each day at dusk to return to their nests in the sand. Hundreds of these miniature black-and-white penguins waddle across the sand, creating a rare wildlife show for visitors to observe. After a day of sighseeing in the city and the sea, the tour returns to one of two luxury resorts in nearby Inverloch—Silver Water or RAVC. Tour includes twin accommodation at either resort.

The Australian experience continues on Day 2 as the tour heads to one of Victoria’s most loved nature reserves—Wilson’s Promontory National Park, affectionately known to locals as the Prom. See wildlife exclusive to the Australian bush: wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, and other beautiful birdlife. Experience fern gullies and a stringybark forest during a trek to Mt. Bishop Summitt, a moderate 3.7 km track with beautiful coastal views from the top. A rewarding BBQ picnic will be prepared before leaving the park and heading back to the big city.

Experience the best of both worlds—big city and rural life, all in the span of a few days. Charge for the “Penguins to Prom” tour is $625.00 per person, which includes admission to the Eureka Skydeck, Philip Island Ferry, Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Center and park entree to Wilson’s Promontory. Accomodation at either luxury resort in Inverloch, as well as transportation, is also included in the price. Make the most of your Australian experience by taking advantage of the intimate setting provided by Australian Coastal and Mountain Tours, as well as the vast knowledge of their staff and tour guides.

 

Mallacoota is the perfect escape for the city dweller

 

If the daily 9 to 5 grind in Sydney or Melbourne is starting to take its toll, then it might be time to head out on the Princess Highway to Mallacoota, an isolated paradise, and not just for golfers.

With tons of surrounding forests and wildlife, the small fishing town of Mallacoota is the perfect escape for any city dweller to trade in their stress-filled life for either relaxation or exploration. Not to mention that with Croajingolong National Park surrounding the town, over 87,500 hectares of coastal woodland and temperate rainforests offer the adventurer a wide array of activities, from hiking, walking, canoeing, swimming and even fishing, although a license is required. Additionally, anyone can camp out at one of the many campgrounds within the park to really vast in all that is Mother Nature’s glory.

A visit to Mallacoota without a trip to Gabo Island, however, is basically just a waste of time. Located only 16km from the town, Gabo Island houses one of the largest populations of small penguins, as well as the second tallest lighthouse in the country, fabricated out of locally cut pink granite. The ancient and aesthetically pleasing structure was completed in 1862, originally constructed out of wood and was designed to prevent many of the shipwrecks that had occurred in the shallow waters between the island and the mainland. One particular wreck was the Monumental City shipwreck, were 30 people died in 1853 near Tullaberga Island.

Besides lighthouse touring, individuals can go fishing, swimming and even snorkeling off of the island’s coast at Santa Barbara Bay. Not to mention that for the lucky, dolphin, whale and seal spotting can sometimes occur. Of course, the island is also a great place for a great walk or a picnic lunch with the family.

Although the only lodging facilities on the island are the 8 person accommodations at the residence of the assistant light keeper, the quick boat ride back to the small coastal town offers a wide variety of places to stay. In fact, the large selection of Mallacoota accommodation options range from beachfront apartments to cozy bed and breakfasts. Moreover, with the ocean breezes and mellow climate, Mallacoota is the perfect place for a week long vacation at almost any time during the year.