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Ditch the device: Top 3 ways to reconnect without the tech

27th May 2020

Here’s a question: how many hours today have you been more than a metre away from your mobile phone?

For most people, the answer will be a few hours or less. For others, it may even be no time at all. And, when you’re not looking at your phone, there’s a strong chance you’re looking at a computer or watching TV, or home entertainment streaming services. Then there's your work life. So many jobs today involve staring at a computer screen for large portions of the day.

If you're anything like us, in recent times especially, we have relied on our devices to help keep us connected to our loved ones, and to stay entertained (even if that means binge watching Friends for the ump-teenth time!). And while staying in touch digitally has been more important than ever, dialling down on the tech also has its benefits!

The benefits

According to BeyondBlue the five key benefits to a digital detox are:

  • A more content, and calmer you
  • You'll be more productive
  • Healthier relationships
  • Improve physical health
  • Improved sleep 

Our top five ways to ditch the device, and reconnect without the tech

It's all well and good to say "just put down the phone", but while this isn't always possible - what are some realistic ways we disconnect from our tech in search of what makes us truly shine? We hear you!

According to a US study, time in nature or scenes of nature are associated with a positive mood, and psychological wellbeing, meaningfulness, and vitality. So what does that mean? Spending time in nature is great for our mind, and our body - no need to convince us though, have you seen our backyard?

“SCIENCE SUGGESTS WE MAY SEEK OUT NATURE NOT ONLY FOR OUR PHYSICAL SURVIVAL, BUT BECAUSE IT’S GOOD FOR OUR SOCIAL AND PERSONAL WELLBEING.”

In a world where being contactable is almost essential, many of us find it difficult to go ‘off-grid’ and detox from our Tweets, work emails, and group messages. However, the rising trend in tech-free tourism has made this simpler than ever, and with Australia's most iconic landscapes all within an hours drive, Townsville North Queensland is filled with a variety of beautiful locations to help inspire us to concentrate on ourselves and nature rather than phones and laptops. 

But how do you organise a digital detox holiday? Firstly, decide how you want to keep your attention active so that you don’t start craving your Facebook feed.

  • Have you ever fancied taking up snorkelling? The Great Barrier Reef is our underwater playground.
  • Think long hikes with your partner would help? Then lace up those boots and hit the trails.
  • Don’t get the chance of fresh air? A trip to the open horizons of the Outback, or the luscious rainforests should take care of that!

Our top 3 ways to ditch the device, and reconnect without the tech

We're lucky to be on the doorstep of some of Australia's most iconic natural landscapes, so we are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to planning the ultimate digital detox in nature. And while these locations don't have a strict "no tech policy" (you will need to show some restraint), they do offer untouched natural beauty, encounters with our furry friends, and - most importantly - connection with some of the quirky local characters who call this place home. So where will you take your tech-free holiday - here's a few options!

1. UNDERWATER PLAYGROUND

It's nature’s greatest gift to the world and it’s right on our doorstep! Townsville North Queensland is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef - a majestic underwater playground, a mosaic of colour and life, and an international living treasure. 

How to experience

  • If you want to experience the Great Barrier Reef and get amongst the magic of this underwater spectacle, you can’t go past a dive or snorkel trip to the outer reef. Take a tour with Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive* to Lodestone Reef or for the more experienced divers, head out to SS Yongala – Australia’s best dive site and one of the world’s top wreck dives!

  • Head across to Cape Cleveland with a thrill via jetski with Townsville Watersports*. Hold back on hitting full speed though – there’s plenty of wildlife along the way including dolphins, turtles, and an array of fish.

  • You can experience the Great Barrier Reef at any pace you like, even sailing into the sunset with a glass of bubbles in hand! Soak up the colourful hues of the spectacular skyline whilst enjoying a tropical cheese platter as you take in the endless horizon. Heading out on a sailing trip is a breeze with Pilgrim Sailing and Big Mama Sailing.
  • Take a self-guided snorkelling tour of the fringing reefs around Magnetic Island at Geoffrey Bay and Nelly Bay.

*From 12 June 2020

2. OUtback outing

Looking for that authentic outback experience? Time to dust off the cowboy boots and Akubra and saddle up for a true Aussie encounter in the ever charming Charters Towers. This historic town started with humble beginnings until they struck gold (literally!) and by 1890, Charters Towers was Queensland’s second largest town affectionately nicknamed “The World”. Today the quaint outback town is a little more than humble, with glimpses of yesteryear evidenced in the beautiful ornate buildings in the town centre and the stories of local legends.

How to experience

  • Nicknamed the “Horniest place in Australia” take a trip to see the famous Texas Longhorns** just on the outskirts of Charters Towers. Begin your all Aussie adventure on a horse-drawn wagon or safari vehicle to meet some of North’s Queensland most unique cattle, including the 2013 Guinness World Record holder for the longest horns – JR. Take a moment to admire the pristine property over a cup of billy tea, you may even be greeted by the family’s pet kangaroo “Penny”. 

  • Trek up Towers Hill to take in the vast views of the Charters Towers township and endless horizons.
  • Embark on a history lesson - but not one from a book or computer - as you marvel the many historical period buildings from the gold-mining era that continue to stand proud throughout the town's city centre.
  • Get up-close-and-personal to some of the furry residents that frequent Towers Hill at sunset (Tip: stay until dark and catch an epic view of the milky way).

**Check online for open times - currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

3. Rainforest ramblings

Home to some of the world's oldest continually living rainforests of the Wet Tropics - take a stroll (or epic hike - you pick the trail) in the Paluma Range National Park or Girringun National Park. Spectacular examples of pristine rainforests - you can smell the difference in the air, and feel the cool of the forest almost kiss your skin. Whether you're up for a leisurely wandering through the trees, or a more challenging multi-day hike - a rainforest visit will definitely leave the tech world behind you!

How to experience

  • Visit Paluma Dam atop the Paluma Range, for the perfect rainforest meets lake experience. Clock up the 10,000 steps on one of the many trails, hit the water for a refreshing paddle, or simply take in the natural surroundings (perhaps with a book?).
  • Home to the Southern Hemisphere's largest single drop waterfall - Wallaman Falls - a brisk stroll to the base of this jaw-dropper will get you right in the splash zone, and literally immersed in the nature that surrounds this natural wonder.
  • Take a tour with North Queensland Tours through the Paluma rainforest - learn from the locals, and find out what makes their home so incredibly unique.
  • Chase waterfalls with the wicked waterfall trilogy. After you tick off the 'big daddy of waterfalls' with Wallaman Falls, be sure to add these hidden gems to your list; perfect for a weekend adventure.

Plan your next regional road trip!

There’s no denying Queenslanders love a road trip, and Townsville North Queensland has you covered!

We’ve done the planning with road trip itineraries to satisfy every traveller. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, fill up your tank, and buckle up – the open roads are calling!

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