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Monday, August 31, 2009

Ten things every Australian should experience before retirement

Why put off that well-earned holiday until tomorrow? With plenty of great Australian holiday deals on offer, experts are encouraging us to not hoard our annual leave until we retire, but to use it to experience Australia and escape the pressure of the workplace for a few days or more.

Getting out of the office and taking a holiday not only benefits our health and can help us reconnect with family and friends, it can also provide long-term professional benefits, improving productivity and increasing morale when returning to work.

Acting as a timely reminder of the importance of taking your entitled annual leave, especially during times of reduced resources and increasing workloads, Tourism Australia’s No Leave No Life program aims to encourage Australian employees to take their leave and explore Australia’s many experiences on offer.

Research shows that Australian workers who work long hours also tend to take work home to complete and these hours do not necessarily equate to productivity. Long hours are a good predictor of role overload, work interference with family, alongside burnout and physical and mental health problems which are not sustainable over the long-term*.

For anyone needing further incentive or inspiration, here is a checklist compiled by the State Tourism Organisations of quintessential Australian experiences that every Aussie SHOULD think about doing whilst on holiday:

1. Embrace the wide open space which can be only truly experienced in the Outback and get back to basics. Kick off your shoes and walk barefoot upon Australia’s famous red dust and gaze up to the sky for nature’s show of shooting stars.
2. Feel energised again. Breathe in the fresh air and feel the salt spray wash away the cobwebs as you wander out to Australia’s most easterly point, Cape Byron and be the first to welcome in the new day.
3. Dreaming of a Mediterranean escape? Fill a basket full of local goodies, find some grass for a rug and picnic amongst vineyards and olive groves along the Mornington Peninsula.
4. Get active and kit up for one of the world’s most amazing snorkelling experiences. Dive into crystal clear water and immerse yourself in the magical underwater world at one of the greatest natural wonders in the world - the Great Barrier Reef.
5. Bring out the artist within and rediscover your creative streak. Feel inspired as you lose yourself for the day amongst 100,000 impressive works featured in the National Gallery of Australia.
6. Remember what it’s like to “feel alive” and get the adrenaline pumping as you glide like a bird over Tasmania’s Hollybank Forest Reserve on a treetop tour.
7. Join the festival merry-go-round in Adelaide with friends this summer. Allow yourself to be tempted and spoilt by the finer things in life and
indulge in the array of food and wine, sporting and musical events on offer.
8. Reignite romance and passion with your loved one. Take a slow camel ride along Cable Beach at sunset and upon return enjoy a glass of
bubbly and private dinner for two on the water’s edge.
9. Get away from your computer and rediscover the true meaning of adventure. Hike through Kakadu’s National Park of lush green valleys and
be guided by the sound of Gunlom Falls’ water cascading for your next “cool down”.
10. Recharge the batteries. Pack the car and kids and set off on a road trip following Australia’s famous coastline. Spend the days building sandcastles, exploring rockpools, and playing cricket on the sand. Pitch the tent, take long walks along the beach, cast the rod, catch some dinner and fire up the BBQ.

The program’s website www.noleavenolife.com provides regular, up-to-date tips and tools to help every Australian tackle the issue of stockpiled annual leave and plan an unforgettable holiday in Australia.
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