Pretraveller Top 10 Posts of 2014

Relaxing in the hot springs pool at the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre, NSW Australia
Relaxing in the hot springs pool at the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre, NSW Australia

The Pretraveller blog has now been running for almost three years and 2014 has been another period of growth and learning.  Thank you to my regular readers for your support over this period.

Overview of 2014

Over 2014 I have seen my site traffic grow significantly.  I set growth goals for all of 2014 in January 2014 and was amazed when I rapidly achieved them in April 2014!  And the site has continued to grow since then.  My site traffic has doubled since Jan 14 and so have my number of followers across social media and other options.

2014 has also been the year where I have transitioned Pretraveller into a professional travel blog, where I have worked with a number of sponsors throughout the year.  Overall working with sponsors has been a learning experience and I have a very different vision regarding where to from here than only a year ago.

Finally, here are the top 10 most read Pretraveller posts of 2014!

1.   10 Hedonistic Australian Artesian Hot Springs You Haven’t Tried Yet

Anne’s Comment:  This article has been a consistent performer since it was first published in June 2013 after being inspired by our visit to the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre.  I have since gained a better understanding of WHY it has been a consistent performer – this is a classic case of the article having good long tail keywords where there is little competition, although it occurred by accident rather than by design.

As I eased my tired and tense body into the 40C (104F) hot artesian springs I felt a sense of relaxation which had eluded me for a while.  Soaking in peace in a swimming pool sized hot spa bath was an unmissable pleasure of visiting the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre.

Across outback northern New South Wales and Queensland lies a string of ten towns which have affordable artesian swimming pools which are outback Australia’s unique version of hot springs.  The naturally hot mineral rich water is pumped from the hidden Great Artesian Basin which lies underneath approximately one fifth of Australia’s landmass.  Read more…

Relaxing in the hot springs pool at the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre, NSW Australia
Relaxing in the hot springs pool at the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre, NSW Australia

 

2.   Top 50 Australian and New Zealand Travel Bloggers as at 19 April 2014

Anne’s Comment:  This article was the second metrics based top travel blogger article that I published, with the first one being at number 3 below.  I have had such a great response to the article that I have recently launched a new website called Travel Blogology which aims to connect travel brands with the right travel bloggers.

Welcome to the second edition of the ranked list of the top Australian and New Zealand travel bloggers as assessed on 19th April 2014.  Read more…

3.   Top 40 Australian and New Zealand Travel Bloggers (1st Edition)

Anne’s Comment:  This was the first metrics based top travel blogger article I published at the start of 2014 and it received a great response!  I quickly published a second article in April 2014 which is at Number 2 above after I received so many submissions requesting inclusion by additional travel bloggers. 

Welcome to the first edition of the ranked list of the top 40 Australian and New Zealand travel bloggers.  There is a proliferation of Australian and New Zealand travel bloggers who share travel information about both their home countries and their trips around the world.  Read more…

4.   10 More Hedonistic Australian Hot Springs You Haven’t Tried Yet

Anne’s Comment:  I wrote this article in September 2013 to leverage the success of the first article at Number One above.  This article receives consistent good traffic from the search engines.

In most countries there is a definable link between volcanic activity and hot springs.  Australia is the exception to the rule as there are no live volcanos on continental Australia.  Yet there are a surprising number of hot springs across the Australian continent.

Australian hot springs come in one of three types.  The first type are more traditional hot springs which come from geothermal sources which are a legacy of Australia’s long past volcanic activity.

The second type are hot springs which emerge from the Great Artesian Basin of Australia.  The Great Artesian Basin is a vast underground reservoir of water which covers one fifth of the Australian landmass which is mostly accessed via drilled bores deep underground.  Some of the drillers have unexpectedly discovered very hot water, and enterprising drillers have then transformed those waters into artesian baths.  In Ten Hedonistic Australian Artesian Hot Springs You Haven’t Tried Yet we explored an impressive array of hot artesian springs across central New South Wales and Queensland.

The third type of hot spring is very rare and you unfortunately cannot swim in this type of hot spring.  The third type of hot spring is detailed below as a bonus item following the swimmable options!

Here are ten more locations (plus the bonus) where publically accessible hot and warm springs are available.  However you may come across other options which the locals are keeping quiet!  Read more…

Zebedee Hot Springs at El Questro Station, Western Australia
Zebedee Hot Springs at El Questro Station, Western Australia

5.   6 Super Australian Sand Dune Slides You Haven’t Tried Yet

Anne’s comment:  This article was published in December 2012 and has since been a steady performer.  It was inspired by our family trip to outback NSW in 2011 where we went sliding on the red sand dunes at the Perry Sandhills which was fabulous!

The steep divots up the red sand dune seemed to go on forever.  On what felt like my 100th trek up the hill with my surprisingly energetic children I decided that this was the last time.  After finally reaching the top I took a moment to catch my breath with a side benefit of being able to enjoy the amazing view across the red sand dunes.

Getting back to business I set up the snow toboggan to share with one of my children and we were finally ready to go.  3-2-1 and we sped at mach speed down the dune shrieking all the way until we stacked at the end!  10 minutes of exertion, 5 seconds of absolute pleasure…  Maybe I could climb the hill again…

There is a basic human urge to slide down sand dunes where ever possible.  Australia has a surprising range of sand dune sliding options across the countryside which are readily accessible to most people to enjoy the thrill!  And get some exercise on the side…  Read more…

Sand sliding, Perry Sandhills, Wentworth, Australia
Sand sliding, Perry Sandhills near Wentworth, NSW

6.   Awesome Australian 2WD Road Trips: Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) on the Stuart Highway

Anne’s Comment:  Over the early part of 2013 I spent considerable time and effort researching and writing the Darwin to Uluru road trip series.  As a result while I have already visited parts of the route I am personally very keen to do this road trip in the future. 

This article was the final part of the series and was published in September 2013 and it has since been a consistent performer.

The Northern Territory road trip between Darwin and Uluru (Ayers Rock) is regarded as an essential Australian outback experience.  A diverse range of experiences are available along the route, ranging from the awesome spectacle of Uluru, thermal hot springs and amazing National Parks.

To make the most of the road trip you need to be prepared to take some side trips, however in the Northern Territory these will be limited for a 2WD vehicle.  All of the options described in this article are accessible by 2WD vehicles such as cars and vans.  Read more…

Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the Northern Territory, Australia
Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the Northern Territory, Australia

7.   Road Trip: Darwin to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Anne’s Comment:  This page aggregates the full set of articles I researched and wrote about the road trip from Darwin to Uluru and has been another consistent performer.

The Northern Territory road trip between Darwin and Uluru (Ayers Rock) is regarded as an essential Australian outback experience.  A diverse range of experiences are available along the route, ranging from the awesome spectacle of Uluru, thermal hot springs and amazing National Parks.

To make the most of the road trip you need to be prepared to take some side trips, however in the Northern Territory these will be limited for a 2WD vehicle.  All of the options described in these articles are accessible by 2WD vehicles such as cars and vans.  Read more…

Stuart Highway Road Sign for Darwin and Tennant Creek
Stuart Highway Road Sign for Darwin and Tennant Creek

8.   Awesome Australian 2WD Road Trips: Sydney to Coffs Harbour on the Pacific Highway

Anne’s comment:  After being published in November 2012 this article quickly made it into the 2012 list, and has also made it into the 2013 and 2014 lists as well. 

This was the kick off article for my Australian road trip articles which now cover the routes from Sydney through to Bowen (I will one day write the final article through to Cairns and Cooktown!), and also from Darwin to Uluru.

The road trip between Sydney and Brisbane is fittingly one of the most popular in Australia.  The combination of beautiful beaches, national parks, Australian history and gourmet food and wine experiences make the Sydney to Brisbane road trip an attractive option for many visitors.

Interestingly most of the best places to visit are within a short distance of the main route so to make the most of the trip you need to be prepared to go on regular side trips.  All options described in this article are accessible by 2WD vehicles such as cars and vans.  The Legendary Pacific Coast website has good information about different places to visit and a variety of itineraries.

This article covers the section of the Pacific Highway road trip from Sydney to Coffs Harbour.  Read more…

Ebor Falls on Waterfall Way in Australia
Ebor Falls on Waterfall Way in Australia

9.   5 Top Tips to Prepare Your Car for a Big Road Trip

Anne’s Comment:  This article was published in January 2013 and it has received a steady flow of traffic since then.  I also cross linked it into all of my Australian road trip articles which has helped to drive the traffic.

Everyone loves a road trip.  There is a feeling of freedom as you get started, knowing that you can do as much or as little as you like.  But it is important to get ready for your trip to ensure you are prepared for most eventualities.  Here are five tips to ensure you are ready to get started and get home safely.  Read more…

Road Trip - Car Preparation

10.   Travel Planning Templates

Anne’s Comment:  Linda Fairbairn from the Journey Jottings travel blog mentioned how I like to plan my travels and asked whether I had any templates available for other people to use.  I quickly set up this page and it receives a surprising amount of traffic!

I have been asked several times for a copy of my travel planning templates.  As a result I am attaching them here to enable you to get a template and start using it!

I primarily use Microsoft Excel to plan my travels, but do not be scared, they are very basic spreadsheets with nothing fancy apart from some basic equations to add up the trip costs!  Read more…

Way Forward for 2015

I spent a lot of time putting together the Top 50 Australian and New Zealand Travel Bloggers article using a metrics based approach which has been an overwhelming success.

As a result I was inspired to create my recently launched new site called Travel Blogology, which aims to connect travel brands with the right travel bloggers for marketing and PR campaigns.  I am leveraging the work I have already done to create the first Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific) travel blogger directory which is scheduled to be launched in early 2015, which will be followed by directories for the other world regions.

2015 is going to be a busy year.  I plan to continue to grow the Pretraveller travel blog, and also focus on further developing my new Travel Blogology site.

I am also planning to upgrade the Pretraveller WordPress theme to a more contemporary option, and do some further refinements of the site set up.

I hope you have enjoyed a reflective journey through the Pretraveller 2014 archive.  It will be interesting to how 2015 goes!

Join the Pretraveller Community by Subscribing via  Email.

Thanks for your support in 2014 and I look forward to a great 2015 with you all.  Please let me know in the comments below if any of these articles struck a chord for you.

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4 Comments

  • Great list Anne, and I’m interested to see that like mine, your list contains a number of “old” posts that continue to perform well.

    Even as our blogs grow, and we become better bloggers (and all that that entails), it just goes to show that interesting content will always win out……

    • Jo, thanks for your comment. I was also interested to see a similar occurrence on your 2014 wrap up article. It is great to see how many posts do actually have a longer life, and inspires me to more carefully research my article topics to have a better chance of finding those key topics of interest.

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