Mount Cooke

After a long, cold winter what better way is there to celebrate the first sunny weekend than exploring the onset of the wildflower season in the Darling Range. At 582m Mount Cooke is the highest of the peaks along the scarp and having been burnt the previous year it promised to put on a spectacular wildflower show.

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Arakwal National Park

Situated in the heart of Byron Bay, this national park stretches three stunning kilometres  south from the town’s iconic lighthouse. Infamous for being the most easterly point on mainland Australia, Tallows Beach is also well loved by its hippie locals for its good surf, fishing, sunbathing and whale watching. For more information on this slice of paradise visit here.

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Killen Falls Nature Reserve

Located near Ballina, Killen Falls is an easily accessible destination that offers a lovely short walk through regenerating sub-tropical rainforest to a refreshing watering hole. Surrounded by cliffs on three sides, the cosy pool is nested in a gully of ferns and is fed  by the Emigrant Creek dam shortly upstream at the aptly named Fernleigh. The bed of the pool is quite rocky so don’t forget to bring reefs sandals and if you are lucky enough you will see the resident turtles that inhabit this gem of a place.

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Morocco – Toubkal National Park

Travelling west across Morocco, climbing deep into the High Atlas mountains, the landscape changes quickly. Pine and juniper trees give way to a desolate mix of rocky scree and smooth, domed expanses dusted in a rainbow of colours. The steep roads wind past areas of greens, oranges, yellows, reds and even blacks as they approach the highest mountain pass in all of Morocco. The Tizi n’Tichka pass, situated at 2260m altitude, affords sweeping vistas and is also surprisingly a hotspot for enthusiastic salesmen peddling geod rocks.

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Morocco – Todra Gorge

Heading west from the desert plains in Morocco the landscape abruptly cleaves into sheer gorges. Towns perch precariously on the sides and in the valleys shaded by lush date palmeries. The valley floor is a slice of bright green contrasting against the monochromatic rock and is striped with rows of crops either side of the life-giving thread of silver water. Simply lounging on a terrace here, watching the birds soaring in the sky or reading a book, is a grand way to pass a day. Another invigorating option is to wander down to the public Hamam baths with the locals for a chat and a traditional scrub with black soap made from olives.

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