10 Places To Explore In Tobermory

Tobermory is nestled in Bruce Peninsula, 4 hours north of Toronto. This place is incredibly beautiful and breathtaking. It’s hard to believe that it’s only 4 hours away from home. Surrounded by luscious beauty and clear blue waters, you wouldn’t want to leave once you get there.

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Here are a few things you can do besides admiring the clear blue Lake Huron water:

1. Fish & Chips

Lake Huron has one of world’s cleanest water, making it transparent and beautiful. Since Tobermory is surrounded by water, fishing is very popular in this area. You can enjoy the fresh caught fish at some of the restaurants here:
I. The Fish & Chip Place
II. Shipwreck Lee’s Pirate Bistro

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2. Big Tub Harbour

Kayaks can be found to rent here. You can take a kayak and check out the underwater wrecked ships. Snorkeling/scuba diving are also options to get up close and personal with the wrecked ships! This is very close to the lighthouse.

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3. Light House

The lighthouse is not very far from the main area (especially if you’re driving). It’s a 10 minute drive. You can check out this historic site and enjoy the views from there.

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4. Flowerpot Island

The flower pot island is a 4-5 hour trip. You would have to take a boat from one of the cruise lines (insert here). It gets really busy during the summer time so make sure to do your bookings ahead of time. Flowerpot Island is a beautiful place consisting of flowerpots along the gorgeous coast. Swimming seems blissful here, however beware of the extremely cold glacier water here. There are short hiking trails on this island and don’t say I didn’t warn you to look out for snakes! You will spot many rattlesnakes here. Please watch out and it is best to not provoke them if you do come across any.

5. Bruce Peninsula National Park

With hiking trails to cliffs rising from turquoise blue waters to beautiful and unique species of animals and plants, this place will completely leave you wanting more. You can also visit the Grotto here. The Bruce Peninsula hiking trail is very long and you can easily get carried away. This is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, consisting of 782 km hiking trail. This happens to be Canada’s oldest and longest trail. There are camp sites here as well, allowing you to take breaks and spend some nights on your way to completing the entire trail.

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6. Singing Sands Beach/Park

A bit of a hidden place. You would have to drive here from the main town. Biking won’t be too bad either. It’s a big beach and grass on the sands and water being shallow. It’s a nice park to stroll around or stargaze on a clear night. There’s also a short trail where you can go hiking if you’re up for an adventure.

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7. Little Tub Harbour

Surrounded by shops and restaurants, this harbour has boats and ships that are docked here. There are also cruises that leave from here to the Flowerpot Island and other places. The gift shops here have creative pieces that you’d surely want to take home with you.

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8. Fathom Five National Park

A great place to see sparkling waters, 22 shipwrecks, ancient rock formations. This is a great place to explore nature and admire the beauty of Canadian landscape.

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9. The Grotto

Located in the Bruce Peninsula National Park, this place is the most popular attraction of Tobermory. Most people visit this town just to see the Grotto. It gets very crowded there during summers so you would have to book your parking spot from ahead of time. There are 4 hour parking time slots and this is more than enough if you are just visiting the Grotto at the national park. The hike from the parking lot to the Grotto is not very long (about half hour). Many people go diving but I would advise to be careful if you are not very good at swimming or have not gone diving before. There are no lifeguards or anyone to help you so go diving at your own risk!

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10. Explore the Coasts

There are many hidden gems in Tobermory. All you have to do is look at the map and find the beaches and coasts by the water. You will be amazed by your discovery!

Transportation: You can book buses that bring you from Toronto to Tobermory or drive for 4 hours from Toronto.

Accommodation: Princess Hotel is right in the heart of Tobermory. There are other hotels but very limited, since it’s such a small town. If places are booked, you can also stay nearby in Lion’s Head or Owen Sound, keeping in mind that you’d have to drive 30-60 mins every day to get to Tobermory during your stay.

Top 10 Things to do when in Byron Bay

Byron Bay is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to. I left a piece of my heart there. Living there for a few months sure changed me as a person. I’ll be giving you tips on things to do in Byron from a local perspective.

Byron is a super laid back beach town with a unique culture and atmosphere. There are no corporations or malls or big buildings. It is a paradise. In the main town there are a few things to do. Alternatively, you can also rent a car and visit the towns nearby. There are surrounding towns that are SUPER beautiful so driving there is definitely worth it. 

1. Main Beach

The main beach is very accessible since it’s right by the main town. I would usually go there for the beautiful sunsets and the drum circle at sunset!

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Main beach Byron Bay

 2. The Pass

If you walk a bit further east from the main beach, you will end up at this beach called The Pass. My favourite! 

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The Pass

 

3. Wategos Beach

Wategos beach is a small beach with really nice views. A place where you can spot dolphins from!

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Wategos beach

4. Tallows Beach

From the lighthouse, you will have breathtaking views of the Tallows beach. The coast looks amazing from here! 

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 It’s like having a private beach to yourself! In midpoint of this beach, you will spot a tea tree lake. It’s amazing because it’s right across from the ocean and the colours of tea tree lakes are quite different and unique than any other water body that you have ever seen! It’s known to be good for your skin so swimming in a tea tree lake is highly recommended.

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Tea tree lake in Tallow’s

5. Broken Heads

Broken Heads in 7 mile beach road. This place is INCREDIBLE! Referring back to my “Camping on the beach”  blog, this place is a great place to just go and camp out at night. There are about 9 beaches along 7 mile road and every one of them is gorgeous. 

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Just hiking up Brays Beach
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Brays beach
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King’s beach

6. Lennox Head

 This is a small town near the airport. You will pass this on your way to or from the airport in Ballina. It has breathtaking views and it is just by a residential area so it has a different homely vibe!

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Lennox Head

7. Minyon Falls

It’s a half hour drive from Byron Bay.  When you walk around the park, you will see the stream and it’s such a serene and calm feeling that you can just sit there and meditate.

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Minyon Falls

8. Brunswick Heads

A park here with the ocean on one side and lake on the other. The wave currents there are quite strong. I haven’t seen many people going there for swims. However, it’s a nice place to go and have a picnic. The small beach there on the other side almost has no wave.

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Brunswick Heads

 

9. Light House

Going on a coastal hike from The main beach to the lighthouse is incredibly nice! You can start at the main beach and go through “The Pass”, Wategos beach and take the stairs all the way up to the light house. You might even spot some dolphins on the way if you’re there around May-August! Breathtaking sunrises can be seen from the light house – the most easterly point of Australia!

10. The Local Bars

Cheeky Monkey’s

The Northern Hotel – live band music

The Rails Friendly BarREALLY GOOD live band music

And there, you have it. All the places that you can possibly go to while in Byron! They are all incredibly beautiful and amazing!!!

Click to view Tips for Accommodations

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Sunset from the most easterly point of Australia

Cairns, Queensland

I started the year of 2015 by flying to Cairns early in the morning and what an amazing start! Cairns is very up north along the coast of Queensland. It has very hot temperature and this is usually a gateway to the great barrier reefs. 

 

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One thing I’ve learnt from this trip is to stay away from Flight Centre, because their deals will rip you off. It’s best to just do your own bookings because you save quite a lot. I went with a couple of friends and didn’t really look through this but you live and you learn, right? 
I was there for 2-3 days. It was a short trip but fun! Cairns is really hot, especially in the summer time. The heat is actually exhausting there. It’s true that I would rather have hot than cold any day! Cairns is a small town. The downtown side of it is quite lively since many tourists go there. Unfortunately Cairns doesn’t have any beaches except for this man made pool area called the Esplanade. This is where most people go to cool off and there’s even a DJ that plays music. I would rather prefer a beach but sadly Cairns lacks this. What I noticed in town was that there are more flying foxes (bats) than people. Holy hell, they are just everywhere! I find them cute because their faces are like foxes, hence the name. They are quite noisy during the day, when they are hanging by the trees since this is their bed time. The ones in Cairns were much bigger than the ones in New South Wales. You can’t miss them, they have literally taken over the entire town! I miss flying foxes though… You can’t find them in Ontario. 

 

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Flying foxes hanging from the trees

Food

 
The restaurants there are also quite expensive but the food is amazing. They have everything you want; lobster,  kangaroos, crocodile… Yes crocodile! Very Australian. I have only tried kangaroo and it’s actually not as bad as the thought of it.

 

Nightlife

 

Cairns also has a nightlife which consists of a few clubs. It has a nice atmosphere. You can still hangout by the pool at the Esplanade. There are some bars along the street as well. It gets kind of crazy in the night time.

 

Beaches

 

The nearest beach is Palm Cove beach. If you’re not driving, your best bet is to take the public bus which takes about an hour. I assure you this journey will be worth it. Palm Cove is such a nice beach with beautiful scenery. You will notice danger signs for crocodiles in water and so they recommend that you swim within this huge net that they put up. It is quite scary and I haven’t heard of any mishaps but I can imagine it won’t be a fun experience to be attacked by crocodiles. Many people also go fishing by Palm Cove. 

 

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Palm Cove Beach

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Great Barrier Reef

 
I did a day trip to the great barrier reefs from Cairns. They took us to a pontoon which was in the middle of the ocean. This was not good for me since I get so much anxiety from big waves. The currents, I felt, were strong and there was no shore to go to. Since I fear drowning in water, this was not good!!! I always feel safer when I see the shore or a beach to go back to. This had just the pontoon and once you leave the pontoon, the water is quite deep and the currents are quite strong so you can feel the force. I tried to snorkel near the pontoon but sadly enough didn’t get to go far. I wish to overcome this fear one day, although it seems quite impossible at the moment. There was an underwater observatory also, where I spent most of time. The things you see underwater – it’s a whole another world down there and it’s so colourful and beautiful! 

 

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If you have this phobia as I do, I would recommend you stop over the “Green island” or there are a few islands within the great barrier reef where they take you to snorkel or dive. When they say “Great barrier reef” they mean the middle of the ocean. I prefer the islands because you can at least kind of walk around and explore, then also get to snorkel in shallow water. Well, this really depends on your preference but if you are anything like me then you would prefer the islands rather than the pontoon. 

 

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Stopover at this island before the Great Barrier Reef (Pontoon)
 

The Blue Mountains 

Background history

Blue Mountains is a beautiful place located west of Sydney in New South Wales. It is just a train ride away from Central Station in Sydney. It takes 2 hours from central to katoomba and you can easily walk up to the Three Sisters. There’s an incredible viewpoint. It is a rock formation in the blue mountains and is known to be an Australian (Aboriginal) legend. Apparently three sisters from a tribe fell in love with three brothers of a different tribe. There was a battle because marriage was forbidden amongst the two tribes and so the three sisters were turned into stone by an elder for protection.

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Hiking

Followed by Three Sisters we went on a hike just beside the viewpoint. It led us to these beautiful waterfalls. Along the way, we witnessed these gorgeous birds including cockatoo birds. They look so pretty especially because they’re easily distinguishable.

 

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Cockatoo
The waterfalls were a mission and a half to get to. We went through a rainforest and there were a bunch of danger signs along the way. However we managed to slide through the hill and get there somehow.

Highly recommended trip if you’re close to Sydney! Just a 2 hour train ride 🙂

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Camping on the beach

Camping at Kings Beach in Broken Head was the most amazing experience ever.

A lot of tourists in Byron Bay don’t know this but only a 15 min drive from town is the most magical place on earth. This road is called Seven Miles Road in Broken Head. It’s a hill along the coast and has about 8-9 national parks.  They are all very gorgeous. It can be steep hiking down but totally worth it.

My first time camping there and I absolutely loved it to pieces. Would do it over and over again. The weather was perfect for it. The moon so bright you could see everything. Sky full of stars. Star gazing and falling asleep to the   sound of the ocean was simply magnificent.

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