Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Explore Cockatoo Island: Sydney’s holiday island

<p>Cockatoo island is the largest and only island in Sydney Harbour where you can stay overnight. During the day you can lazily watch the sailboats, take an audio tour of the island, do one of many activities available or attend one of the events that regularly occur there.</p> <p>More recent events held there include the Red Bull X-Fighter World Championships, the 18th Biennale of Sydney, the All Tomorrow’s Parties music festival and the Cockatoo Island Film Festival. </p> <p><a href="http://www.cockatooisland.gov.au/">Cockatoo Island</a> is administered by Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and is a UNESCO world-heritage-listed island. It has a colourful history that includes being the location of convict barracks, a girls’ school and a wartime shipyard. </p> <p>Part of a regular ferry route, Cockatoo Island is only minutes from Circular Quay and the Sydney CBD. So, consider your time there a sort of mini holiday away from the hustle and bustle of city life. </p> <p>A popular accommodation option on the island is the permanent tents down near the water. The campground features excellent amenities including hot showers, toilets and a large camping kitchen. This includes 10 barbecue areas, a fridge, microwaves and a zip boiling water system. Campers need to supply their own cooking utensils, cutlery and plates.  </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxrSYr9BqW-/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxrSYr9BqW-/" target="_blank">Don’t give up life can go from zero to 💯 real quick ❤️✨</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tamdottam_/" target="_blank"> Tamara💙</a> (@tamdottam_) on May 20, 2019 at 12:42am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The camping options range from BYO tent at $45 per night, a camping package (BYO sleeping bag, pillow and torch) starting at $89 per night or glamping and mini-glamping packages (yes, this is the luxury option) starting at $130 per night.</p> <p>Up the hill, there are also heritage houses, with room for up to 10 guests, and all with views over the harbour or across to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Most recently, renovated two-bedroom self-contained apartments that once housed the medical officer’s assistant and the police are now available.</p> <p>Cockatoo Island also has a range of dining and drinking options. Depending on the season, including Societe Overboard (sandwiches, breakfasts, burgers, hot and cold drinks, beer and wine), Marine Centre Café (sandwiches, snacks, coffee, beer and wine) and the Island Bar (Italian-style lunches, dinners and snacks).</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxd_bc_BcvZ/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxd_bc_BcvZ/" target="_blank">what we do in architecture😎🙄</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/a_song111/" target="_blank"> Amy Song</a> (@a_song111) on May 14, 2019 at 8:46pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>For campers and glampers, a BBQ pack prepared by Societe Overboard is available if you <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/http:/www.cockatooisland.gov.au/visit/places-eat-and-drink">order in advance</a>. The brekky packs ranged from a Simple Breakfast, $15, of Turkish toast, milk, muesli, jam and butter to a Breakfast Pack, $30, of bacon, eggs, sausages, bread and condiments. Dinner packs range from the BBQ Vegetarian Pack, $35, to a BBQ Pack 1 and Pack 2, $45, which includes everything you need. Bottles of wine are also available as no alcohol can be brought onto the island. </p> <p>Whatever your style of camping, you’re sure to have a great time.</p> <p><em>Written by David McGonnigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/cockatoo-island-sydney%E2%80%99s-holiday-island.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

3 hotels in Perth to suit every budget

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Perth, despite being the capital city of Western Australia, is a country town that woke up one day and realised it was a city. That’s how the residents describe it, but Ryan Mossny agrees. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He told </span><a href="https://www.escape.com.au/destinations/australia/western-australia/best-new-hotels-in-perth-for-every-budget/news-story/538a9e7d07dda1092d0f4ebb14f90ebb"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Escape</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The appeal of Perth is near perfect weather, pristine beaches, an amazing restaurant and bar scene,” he explains</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“(There’s) lots of things to do.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ryan says the highlights can be found within the city in Fremantle and Scarborough.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The city for obvious reasons,” he says. “Freo [Fremantle] is spectacular with its convict-built buildings, bohemian lifestyle and the only licensed beach in the country. With the Scarborough redevelopment, you now have lots of cool places to eat and drink, night-time markets and the pool.”</span></p> <p><strong>1. Budget</strong></p> <p><strong>Hostel G, Northbridge</strong></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq84rIOnhhG/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq84rIOnhhG/" target="_blank">It's a treat! 50% off all beds | Soft opening . . . . . #softopening #discount #50% #glife #perth #hostelgperth #hostel #perthlife #perthcity #igperth #hostellife #design #modern #graphic #pattern #backpacking #backpackers #hostelworld #travelforlife #comingsoon #backpackerlife #traveladdicts #discoverhostel #exploringaus #seeaustralia #studio #coworking #coliving #travelaustralia #aussiestyle</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/hostelgperth/" target="_blank"> Hostel G Perth</a> (@hostelgperth) on Dec 3, 2018 at 8:04pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Although your view of hostels might be soured by one bad experience, the Northbridge-based Hostel G was designed by architecture expert Woods Bagot. With a focus on stylish accommodation, a private twin room which comes complete with an en-suite, twin beds and bed lockers, costing you $96 per night.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The hostel is a fifteen-minute drive from Perth Airport and only a four-minute drive from the CBD, so you’re close to the vibrant restaurant life that Perth has to offer.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Mid-range</strong></p> <p><strong>DoubleTree by Hilton, Northbridge</strong></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BwWj-XoDndv/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BwWj-XoDndv/" target="_blank">Mother's Day is just around the corner... how about treating Mum and the family to an indulgent Mother's Day Brunch at the James St Bar + Kitchen?⁣ ⁣ With a huge selection of cold, hot and even dessert brunch options, every Mum (and everyone else) will be spoiled for choice. Plus, all the Mums get a complimentary glass of bubbles.⁣ ⁣ Adults $45, Children $20 and those under 6 eat free. ⁣ ⁣ Call us on 08 6148 2000 to book.⁣ ⁣⁣📸@jru4real⁣ ⁣ #doubletreenorthbridge #doubletree #jamesstbarkitchen #northbridge #northbridgeperth #northbridgeeats #perth #perthisok #perthlife #perthfood #pertheats #westernaustralia #perthtodo #perthcity #mothersday #mothersday2019 #happymothersday #mum #giftideas #family #instagood #breakfast #foodstagram #breakfastinperth #perthfoodies #perthbrunch #perthgram #instafood #brunch</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/doubletreenorthbridge/" target="_blank"> DoubleTree Northbridge</a> (@doubletreenorthbridge) on Apr 17, 2019 at 3:00am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel opened in December in the cultural district of Northbridge. Guests are welcomed with a warm DoubleTree cookie upon check-in before heading to their room of choice, with prices starting from $175 for a King Room.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Each room is fitted with Crabtree &amp; Evelyn bath products, and the entry level king room comes with an LCD TV, king bed and desk. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Guests are also able to enjoy Western Australian produce on site at James St Bar + Kitchen, which offers food such as tapas and big plates. The hotel is an eighteen-minute drive from the airport and a five-minute walk from the CBD.</span></p> <p><strong>3. High-end</strong></p> <p><strong>QT Perth, Perth</strong></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo8sDHhDvD2/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo8sDHhDvD2/" target="_blank">Welcome to a world of relaxation...🖤</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/qt_perth/" target="_blank"> Perth/Hotel/Restaurant/Bar</a> (@qt_perth) on Oct 15, 2018 at 2:11am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">QT hotels offer creative flair, out-there style and on-point design for those who are looking to enjoy the heart of Perth’s shopping hub.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With an industrial but glamorous aesthetic that’s reinforced by a range of onsite luxuries, including an LCD HDTV, ensuite bathroom with double rain shower, WiFi and coffee machine access being complimentary.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Guests are also able to enjoy the Mediterranean-inspired Santini Bar &amp; Grill. QT Perth is a twenty minute drive from Perth Airport and a seven-minute walk from the CBD.</span></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

10 reasons to explore Queensland's great beach drive

<p>The Great Beach Drive is a new circuit from Brisbane or Noosa that takes in Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach plus the lesser-known delights of Tin Can Bay and the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. It’s an exciting new travel concept for SE Queensland that was launched in April 2015 by the tourism offices of the Sunshine Coast and the Fraser Coast.</p> <p>Travel Editor David McGonigal took five days away to play in the Queensland sand and completed the drive. Here's 10 reason to take the trip:</p> <p><strong>1. Sand driving</strong></p> <p>If you enjoy adventurous driving this will be a fun holiday. We picked a Nissan Patrol with raised clearance and a kit to extract it from the sand from Tony at Coastal 4WD Hire The cautionary orientation talk before you are handed over the keys to the vehicle is worth close attention. While the beach driving was relatively straightforward the interior of Fraser Island - the largest sand island in the world – reveals itself to be both challenging and filled with surprises such as the crystal-clear creeks and spectacular flora. The roughest section for us was from Kingfisher Bay Resort to Lake McKenzie, however, this can change day to day.</p> <p><strong>2. Fraser Island by air </strong></p> <p>It is very rare to have an airline that has a surf beach as its registered airport and an <a href="http://www.airfraserisland.com.au/">Air Fraser Island</a>has been in operation for some 40 years. The sandy take-off and landing are exciting but the aerial views of the island, its lakes and forests is exquisite. </p> <p><strong>3. Dolphins</strong></p> <p>Did you know there’s a place in Australia where you can stand in the water while dolphins nuzzle against your fingers looking for fish? If you’re thinking WA’s Monkey Mia then you may find a delightful alternative at Tin Can Bay, Qld where a family of dolphins have turned up every morning for decades. It is a must-see!</p> <p><strong>4. The 'M' Town</strong></p> <p>Maleny is a picturesque village poised on a mountain ridge north of Brisbane. The Saturday markets here are busy and worth a trip. Also take time to visit the Maleny Botanic Gardens. It is a pretty private garden just outside town that offers amazing views of the Glasshouse Mountains plus some truly great scones (with jam and cream, of course). Nearby Montville is a quaint spot with a spectacular glass chapel perched on the edge of the mountain.</p> <p><strong>5. Mary Poppins' Maryborough</strong></p> <p>Okay, while the town wasn’t actually named after her, this was where her creator P L Travers was born in 1899. There’s a statue of this very famous nanny outside her birthplace and there is even a Mary Poppins festival held in the town each June-July school holidays. See <a href="http://www.marypoppinsfestival.com.au/">Mary Poppins Festival</a>.</p> <p><strong>6. The Maheno Wreck</strong></p> <p>The goal for most driving up the beach on the east (surf) coast of Fraser Island is to reach the wreck of the Maheno that ran aground here while under tow in 1935. While she’s not ageing well, the distinctive wreckage is a photographer’s delight and fascinating to see close up.</p> <p><strong>7. Lake Mckenzie</strong></p> <p>This is spectacular and situated in the middle of Fraser Island, roughly equal distance from the main two places to stay on the island - the upmarket resort of Kingfisher Bay and the more functional but very well run Eurong Beach Resort. There are many lakes on the island but this beautifully clear lake with its white sand, tiny fish and aqua waters is the prime destination for travellers for good reason.</p> <p><strong>8. Wild Dingos</strong></p> <p>It’s unusual to see dingo in the wild so the 200 or so who live on Fraser Island are likely to be some of the nation’s most photographed. The ancestors of these wild dogs are believed to have been living in Australia for roughly 4,000 years. We saw a lean one quietly trotting along the beach, apparently oblivious to passing traffic until it opportunistically approached a parked van to see if any food had been left out.</p> <p><strong>9. Coloured Sands</strong></p> <p>The most spectacular stretch of the whole beach drive is between Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point. Here you cross multi-hued patches of sand while hemmed in by the surf on one side and rainbow coloured cliffs on the other. Getting the tide right is important!</p> <p><strong>10. Beach Highways</strong></p> <p>The wide expanse of hard-packed sand below the tide line is a natural highway only interrupted by eroded freshwater washouts of various depths. The speed limit is 80 km/h but fishermen, family groups, driftwood and washouts often make drive considerably slower.</p> <p>What's your favourite Qld beach and why? Leave a comment below.</p> <p><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/10-reasons-to-explore-qld%E2%80%99s-great-beach-drive.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

The best things to see and do in beautiful Ballarat

<p>There’s plenty to do and see in Ballarat. Here are a few things that you can do whilst you’re visiting the town in Victoria.</p> <p><strong>Gold country</strong></p> <p>The grand streetscape of Melbourne was created from the wealth of the goldfields, specifically Ballarat and Bendigo in the 1850s. Both cities now have populations of less than 100,000 but boast grandiose buildings you’d expect in much larger cities. These, too, were funded by gold.</p> <p><u><a href="http://www.sovereignhill.com.au/">Sovereign Hill</a></u> is a sprawling open-air museum at Golden Point, a suburb of Ballarat. It’s a clever recreation of a goldfields town, complete with volunteer actors. Some of the buildings have been transported here and others have been built from the original plans. Even if you can’t find kids to bring along it is definitely worth a visit. Watching over $150,000 worth of molten gold poured into an ingot can induce gold fever in the most stable personality. Or you can have fun panning for gold yourself. The Gold Museum tells the history of the goldfields, displays gold in all its forms – and you can even buy a gold nugget of your own in the gift shop.</p> <p><strong>Afternoon tea</strong></p> <p>A surprise highlight of the adventure was churning butter. Perhaps it was Enid Blyton’s depiction of bucolic English farm life but I’ve always wanted to do this (ideally followed by a picnic tea complete with lashings of cream of course). Ask at the desk because at various times during the day, cream and pikelets are made in the Postmaster’s kitchen. Be aware that you’ll earn your treat because after you ha vebeaten the cream and it seems to be firm you’ll still be only about a quarter of the way to ending up with butter and buttermilk.</p> <p>Sovereign Hill, along with the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island’s penguins, attracts over half a million visitors each year. One show that’s certainly for adults is the sound and light spectacular entitled “Blood on the Southern Cross” that tells the controversial tale of the Eureka Rebellion across the open-air set. Don’t miss it.</p> <p><strong>Downtown Ballarat</strong></p> <p>In downtown Ballarat it is a joy to simply wander around and take in the streetscape. One of the most impressive buildings is the Mining Exchange that now houses a gold shop with the main hall used for functions. <u><a href="http://www.artgalleryofballarat.com.au/">The Ballarat Art Gallery</a></u>, Australia’s oldest regional gallery, houses remnants of the original Eureka Flag and an impressive permanent collection. The Town Hall and Her Majesty’s Theatre are also worth a look, as is the historic George Hotel.</p> <p>A unique feature of Ballarat is Lake Wendouree, set in the middle of town but still around three kilometres from the CBD. The <u><a href="http://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/lae/gardens/ballarat-botanical-gardens.aspx">Ballarat Botanic Gardens</a></u> cover 40 hectares on the western side of the lake and is a stunning formal garden surrounded by open parkland. It’s a significant cool-climate garden with many well-established trees and a begonia weekend each March. In 1884 the gardens were adorned with several statues brought from Italy. The garden’s Prime Ministers Avenue is lined by the busts of the 26 Prime Ministers since federation.</p> <p><strong>Famous historical faces</strong></p> <p>There’s one place in town where history, architecture, the paranormal and horse racing all come together. From the heavily decorated street lamps to the large rooms, imposing façade and turrets, <u><a href="http://www.craigsroyal.com.au/">Craig’s Royal Hotel</a></u> at 10 Lydiard St at the heart of the city has long been a grand hotel. Prince Alfred stayed here in 1867; Adam Lindsay Gordon operated the stables behind the hotel at that time; Lord Kitchener and Mark Twain also chose this as their Ballarat address. In 1911, Dame Nellie Melba serenaded the city from Craig's balcony. It has recently been through an extensive four-year restoration and has transformed into a fine boutique heritage hotel.</p> <p><strong>Fascinating stories</strong></p> <p>One of Australia's most endearing horse racing stories is based around Craig's. The flamboyant Walter Craig, who bought the hotel in 1857 when he was 32, told everyone of a dream he had in which his racehorse "Nimblefoot" won the 1870 Melbourne Cup. In the dream, when he approached the jockey to congratulate him, Craig asked why he was wearing a black armband. The jockey replied "because the horse belonged to Walter Craig who died three months ago". So Craig backed his horse heavily but expected not to see the win. The story was well known and even appeared in a newspaper a day before the Cup. Nimblefoot did indeed win the race at long odds. The jockey was wearing a black armband for Craig who had died three months earlier.</p> <p><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/discover-beautiful-ballarat.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Are these Australia’s best holiday destinations?

<p>Australia is home to such a diverse array of urban and rural tourism hotspots for every type of traveller.</p> <p><strong>Australia’s favourite places to holiday</strong> <br />Interesting domestic travel trends were uncovered by the National Visitor Survey by Tourism Research Australia. Spending and numbers of visitors increased in all Australian states, but Tasmania and Western Australia had the biggest increases.</p> <p><strong><em>Did you know? Aussies spent a whopping $55.7 billion on domestic travel in the past year. That’s a six per cent increase on the previous year.</em></strong></p> <p>While NSW remained the top destination state, Tasmania has an increase of 22% for overnight visitors, and expenditure grew by a whopping 34%. In the Northern Territory, there were 14% more overnight visitors and they spent a lot more money!</p> <p>On a city-by-city basis, Sydney lost visitors to Melbourne, while Gold Coast travellers redirected their wallets to the Sunshine Coast. The Gold Coast dropped from the fifth most popular region down to the seventh, overtaken by Perth and New South Wales’ South Coast. New South Wales’ North Coast retained its coveted place in fourth position.</p> <p>Despite so many rare and unique locations, Australian travellers often overlook exploring the incredible sites and undertaking the exciting and varied activities within our own backyard. It seems that regional tourism, particularly in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia is also on the rise, as more of us are exploring the heart of Australian culture.</p> <p><strong><em>Did you know? Australian travellers spent an amazing 312 million nights away from home over the past year! Nearly two thirds of all overnight expenditure in Australia was generated by domestic visitors.</em></strong></p> <p>Want some quick ideas about amazing places to visit (or revisit) next? Here is a list of some of Australia’s fastest growing tourist destinations among domestic travellers and great ideas about how to spend your holiday time there. The best news? You can put together a holiday fast and be enjoying an amazing holiday destination this time next month, without breaking the bank!</p> <p><strong>North Coast, New South Wales</strong><br />The NSW North Coast has always been a treasure trove of outdoor activities and authentic ‘hippie culture’. <a href="http://www.byron-bay.com/">Byron Bay</a> and the stunning surrounding areas of Kingscliff and Bangalow have long been revered for their touristic value among locals. But it has only been in more recent decades that the sun, surf, markets, laneways and cute beachside coffee shops been discovered by the rest of us. It is still a wonderful area to get some much needed R&amp;R in a beautiful location. Want to spot a humpback whale in the wild? Byron Bay is also a fantastic spot to go <a href="http://www.byronbaywhalewatching.com.au/">whale watching</a> between June and November.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxZqV1gFD9H/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxZqV1gFD9H/" target="_blank">My favorite spot so far 🌊 #byronbay #australia #thepass #surf #surfing #longboard #ocean #wave #waves drone #mavicpro #viewfromabove #beauty #nature #wild #travel #traveling</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/inesgoret/" target="_blank"> Ines Goret</a> (@inesgoret) on May 13, 2019 at 4:25am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Perth, Western Australia<br /></strong><a href="http://www.westernaustralia.com/en/Destinations/Experience_Perth/Pages/Experience_Perth.aspx">Western Australia</a> is often overshadowed by a national focus on the East Coast, yet it has begun to emerge from the shadows and prove its appeal to national and international visitors alike. Perth has the illustrious <a href="http://www.viator.com/Perth-attractions/Art-Gallery-of-Western-Australia/d389-a12082?pref=02">Art Gallery of Western Australian</a> which was founded in 1895 and the <a href="http://museum.wa.gov.au/">WA Museum</a> (for those who are more culturally aware), a phenomenal aquarium and Adventure World for the kids, as well as a whole suite of nearby locations including John Forrest National Park, Heirisson Island and of course the brewery capital of Australia, <a href="http://www.westernaustralia.com/au/Pages/Destination.aspx?n=Fremantle&amp;pid=9009597&amp;cid=dgm:sem:au1516:inter:Fremantle&amp;gclid=CNP_-o3b0scCFRJxvAodXhsCaw">Fremantle</a> (or Freo as it is known by the locals) is a quick 30 minute drive from the city.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxbyi-FBY1S/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxbyi-FBY1S/" target="_blank">Painting is a poem without words. 🖼 #artgallery #perthart #lifemeaning #humanbeing #visualart #streetart #wallart #art #tagblender #artist #artistic #artists #arte #artwork #illustration #graphicdesign #graphic #colour #colorful #drawing #paintings #watercolour #creative #sketch #sketchaday #bestart</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/kateiscolorful/" target="_blank"> Kate</a> (@kateiscolorful) on May 14, 2019 at 12:15am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Australia’s North West, Western Australia</strong> <br />If you’re heading to the West Coast, then why not combine a trip to Perth with a voyage to the increasingly popular <a href="http://www.australiasnorthwest.com/">North West</a>? As far as rural and outdoor Australia goes, this area has it all - lush rainforests, stunning coastlines, true blue outback areas, phenomenal landmarks, natural formations, historic settlements and idyllic country towns. What’s not to love? Download a North West Outback Drive Trail <a href="http://vivid2.blob.core.windows.net/australiasnorthwest/default-document-library/warlu-way-print-logic.pdf?sfvrsn=2">here</a>.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BhpAWZxhU6B/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BhpAWZxhU6B/" target="_blank">Broome, West Australia // “Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”- Mattie Stepanek // 📸: @paulmichael // #WPPlacesToGo</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/williampainter/" target="_blank"> William Painter</a> (@williampainter) on Apr 16, 2018 at 11:04am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Melbourne, Victoria</strong><br /><a href="http://www.visitmelbourne.com/">Melbourne</a> has an eclectic mix of interesting venues, exciting events and myriad of cultural offerings. A trip to Melbourne is not complete without a visit to the beachside suburb of St Kilda and the picturesque landscapes Wilsons Promontory, a shop and a stroll through the city’s bustling Chapel street precinct, a coffee in the hipster suburb of Fitzroy, an enlightening visit to the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art or an AFL game at the buzzing Melbourne Cricket Ground. Did you know the MCG is the oldest sporting club in Australia and you can do a fantastic behind the scenes tour? Find out more <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/travel/go-behind-the-scenes-of-the-sporting-mecca-melbourne%E2%80%99s-mcg.aspx">here</a>.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxZzuGJAMbR/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxZzuGJAMbR/" target="_blank">This is the fourth grandstand to be built on the northern side of this great stadium, after the MCG opened in 1854. The first dates to 1876, but was destroyed by fire in 1884. Its replacement was extended in 1897 to double capacity and demolished in 1955 for the previous Olympic Stand (built in time for the 1956 Olympic Games), which stood for 49 years, until this grandstand was constructed 15 years ago, in time for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. #eastmelbourne #cityofmelbourne #melbourne #mcg #theg #g #since1854 #melbournecricketground #olympicstand #stadium #olympicstadium #yarrapark #homeoffootball #sportsmad #commonwealthgamesstadium #thisismelbourne #visitvictoria</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/philipbutton/" target="_blank"> Philip Button</a> (@philipbutton) on May 13, 2019 at 5:47am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Sunshine Coast, Queensland</strong><br />The <a href="http://www.visitsunshinecoast.com.au/">Sunshine Coast</a> has a natural allure with a smorgasbord of charming coastal towns. The best way to experience the Sunshine Coast is to rent a holiday home and act like a local by visiting the huge offering of hidden beach locations and quaint local cafes and restaurants. The Sunshine Coast is ideal for family holidays, groups of friends looking for a fun and simple getaway, or as a romantic couple’s escape. A diverse array of water sports, natural attractions and adventure activities also make it the perfect location for adrenaline and nature-junkies. Once you discover your favourite spot on ‘the coast’ you’ll go back again and again. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxEseXfheW2/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxEseXfheW2/" target="_blank">BLUSH Rosy sunset over Mudjimba Beach this afternoon. #visitsunshinecoast #queensland #canonphotography #australia #seeaustralia #thisisqueensland #saltmag #sunshinecoast #sunshinecoastdaily #qldbeaches #wotif #sunshinecoastcouncil #skycaptures #sunshinecoastphotographer #beachphotography #wow_australia #mudjimba #australia_oz #sky_brilliance @canonaustralia #visualsofearth #exploringaustralia #mint_shotz</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/saltimages_/" target="_blank"> S A L T I M A G E S</a> (@saltimages_) on May 5, 2019 at 1:00am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>Tasmania </strong></p> <p>Deciding which part of Tassie to visit is like choosing a favourite child! Do yourself a favour and give yourself plenty of time to explore all of the Southern Isle’s beautiful spots.</p> <p><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/travel/hobart-six-don%E2%80%99t-miss-sights.aspx">Hobart</a> is, of course, a must-visit area, offering the renowned Salamanca Markets, Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), brewery tours and the scenic Mt Wellington. Outside of the capital, be sure to explore Freycinet Peninsula, Cradle Mountain, Bruny Island, Port Arthur and the Franklin River. Plus, if your itinerary allows for it, visit the towns of Strahan and Launceston.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxWfhOdgl8Y/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxWfhOdgl8Y/" target="_blank">Taking in epic views of mountain and sea with @_aswewander on the Freycinet Peninsula. The squeaky, white sands of Wineglass Bay and the towering peak of Mount Freycinet are just two of the spots experienced walkers may visit on the 2-3 day Frecyinet Circuit walk. Like all of Tassie's multi-day treks, walkers should ensure they are up-to-date on the latest weather conditions and have appropriate gear for a safe and comfortable adventure along our @eastcoasttasmania. 👣🗺️🌊 Thanks for tagging #discovertasmania, Luke and Jess!</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tasmania/" target="_blank"> Discover Tasmania</a> (@tasmania) on May 11, 2019 at 10:53pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em>Written by Editor. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/are-these-australia%E2%80%99s-best-holiday-destinations.aspx"><em>Wyza.com.au.</em></a></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

New light installation to illuminate Darwin this October

<p>Bruce Munro is no stranger to illumination. In 2016, the English installation artist immersed the Australian desert with <em>Field of Light</em>: a large-scale, site-specific, light-based artwork that spread across Uluru.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BP5xkfbBnI5/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BP5xkfbBnI5/" target="_blank">Have you seen the Field of Light display at Uluru? It's on for another year so you really should take the opportunity. Remember there is so much to see and do while you're there. Walk around Uluru, take a camel ride and visit Kata Tjuta to name a few. #traveloutbackaust</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/traveloutbackaustralia/" target="_blank"> Travel Outback Australia</a> (@traveloutbackaustralia) on Jan 30, 2017 at 12:57pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em>Tropical Light</em> will be the largest of Munro’s undertaken exhibitions, and is predicted to attract large crowds of domestic and international visitors.</p> <p>His new exhibition, Bruce Munro: Tropical Light will no doubt take Darwin by storm comparably. The glowing spectacle will run from October 2019 to April 2020, and run through the Darwin CBD and Waterfront precinct.</p> <p>The display will feature a collection of both existing and new work, heavily influenced by Australia and the Northern Territory: both its landscape and its people.</p> <p>“Every city has its own unique fingerprint and Darwin is no exception to the rule,” Mr Munro said.</p> <p>“It is a very relaxed, cultural and culinary melting pot located at the top end of Australia between a vast tropical forest and an aquamarine coastline. Darwin is a veritable jewel that shines bright after each tropical downpour…it’s a place of adventure and inspiration.”</p> <p>We’re looking forward to seeing Tropical Light in all its glory this October.</p> <p><em>Written by Jemma Newlyn. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/light-installation-darwin-october/"><em>My Discoveries.</em></a></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Is Rottnest Island home to the cutest animals on earth?

<p>Discover the stunning beachfront home of the cutest Australian wildlife the quokka. With 63 beaches, 50 kilometres of roads to and 65,000 years of history to explore you’ll love Rottnest Island’s unique natural attractions.</p> <p>It’s a beautiful island populated by perhaps Australia’s most endearing animal. So what was Dutch Captain De Vlamingh thinking in 1696 when he spent six days here and, thinking the hopping, marsupial quokkas were rats named the island Rotte Nest. He probably would have thought platypus were furry ducks.</p> <p>Today we know the island as Rottnest, the national park, historical site and quokka home some 18 km off Fremantle. So it’s even more western than West Australia.</p> <p>For generations of Perth residents “Rotto” has been the family holiday home. Now it’s been revitalised and attracts visitors from all over Australian and all around the world.</p> <p><strong>How to travel</strong></p> <p>Whether you catch the <a href="https://www.rottnestexpress.com.au/">Rottnest Express</a> from Fremantle (inevitably trimmed to “Freo”) or cruising down the Swan River from Perth, it takes less than half an hour up to 90 minutes to arrive at the dock at Thomson Bay, Rottnest’s main settlement. It’s likely that less than five minutes after disembarking you’ll meet your first quokka.</p> <p><strong>The home of the Quokka</strong></p> <p>Quokkas are small marsupials, a relative of kangaroos and wallabies. But they are small, cute and apparently totally lacking in fear – and seem to have the ability to smile.</p> <p>Walk along Sommerville Drive, the settlement’s main street, and you’ll encounter them everywhere. There are signs on the shop doors indicating that quokkas aren’t allowed inside. Now there’s a sign of admirable animal intelligence.</p> <p>Early Dutch explorers seemed to have little skill as naturalists. In 1658 Volersen thought quokkas resembled Asian civet cats but with brown hair. De Vlamingh who named the island said it was a kind of rat as big as a common cat.</p> <p>Fortunately, quokkas have taken one of their Aboriginal names but, sadly, that name is from an area of WA where they are no longer found.</p> <p><strong>Visit the island for a day</strong></p> <p>If you are a day visitor and so not staying in one of the many casual resorts around the island, then consider arranging your own transport. Cars aren’t permitted and buses are infrequent, but the island is pretty flat and well suited to bicycling. You can even include bike hire with your ferry ticket.</p> <p>A scan of a map of the island will convince all but the very keen that it’s too far to cycle around the island in a day. You can do it, but it won’t allow enough time to explore. Cape Vlamingh and the seal viewing platform at Cathedral Rocks are about 10km from the settlement.</p> <p>One option to get around this is to book a 90-minute Adventure Boat Tour and see the whole island – and its offshore whales and seals – from the water. A bonus is you’ll get to experience an exciting burn in a very fast vessel.</p> <p><strong>Explore by bike</strong></p> <p>If you are exploring by bike, then it’s a matter of which way to go first? My suggestion is to take an anti-clockwise course and don’t forget swimmers and towel. So, after leaving town then the golf course behind you’ll be at The Basin, the first of many secluded sandy coves that will prove irresistible after a hot ride.</p> <p>The ideal is to bring a picnic lunch to the island and ride till you find the perfect beach to declare your own and stop there for a swim and lunch. Alternatively, the settlement has cafes, restaurants, bars and a bakery – or a general store if you wish to make your own.</p> <p><strong>Discover fascinating history</strong></p> <p>On our ride, we cut back across the middle of the island, through the picturesque lagoons and via the central Wadjemup Lighthouse.</p> <p>There’s a lot of history on Rottnest (from salt farm to prison to military base to nature reserve) and the best way to make sense of it is to have a look through the museum then take the free daily one-hour walking History Tour around the settlement. The quaint old colonial buildings take on new meaning afterwards.</p> <p>Best of all, the guided walk took us past the Pioneer Cemetery to the Lakes Walk where we encountered a family of shelducks. But this was wild quokka territory where there was a quokka under every bush and groups sitting out in the open.</p> <p>We only had to sit for a few minutes before the quokkas came over to say hello. Soon we had quokkas sitting in our laps and exploring our backpacks for the food (that we all knew they weren’t allowed to eat). It was a wonderful moment with nature.</p> <p>As we left on the last ferry for the day, we swore that we’d come back to Rottnest to stay and experience the tranquillity that must descend when the daytrippers depart. Of the half million who visit Rottnest Island each year only a third stay overnight.</p> <p>We also swore to be more diligent in applying sunscreen - there’s not much shade when you’re out on a bike all day.</p> <p>The main reason we’ll be back, however, is that spending just one day with quokkas is not nearly enough.</p> <p><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/uncover-the-natural-beauty-of-rottnest-island.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

The big change you didn't know coming to your Qantas flight

<p>Qantas has debuted what has been touted as the world’s “first zero waste flight” in an initiative to slash waste and cut 100 million single-use plastics by the end of 2020.</p> <p>Passengers travelling from Sydney to Adelaide on Wednesday were provided with recyclable water bottles, containers made from sugar cane and digital boarding passes as the Aussie airline marked the first stage of its plan to eliminate 75 per cent of its waste by the end of 2021.</p> <p>Dubbed as “the first-ever commercial flight to produce no landfill waste”, the Wednesday QF739 flight replaced about 1,000 single-use plastic items with sustainable alternatives, including cutlery made from crop starch and coffee cups made from plant matter instead of oil.</p> <p>Some items, such as mini milk sachets and individually packaged servings of Vegemite, were removed altogether.</p> <p>“In the process of carrying over 50 million people every year, Qantas and Jetstar currently produce an amount of waste equivalent to 80 fully-laden Boeing 747 jumbo jets,” said Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David.</p> <p>“We want to give customers the same level of service they currently enjoy, but without the amount of waste that comes with it.”</p> <p>The carrier said to reach the target, Qantas and Jetstar will replace 45 million plastic cups, 30 million cutlery sets, 21 million coffee cups and 4 million headrest covers with more environmentally friendly options.</p> <p>David said while the initiative may incur initial expenses, it will not lead to airfare increases as the costs for waste disposal would be cut down.</p> <p>Qantas is the latest air carrier to embark on waste reduction programs. In January, the world saw its first <a href="https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2019/01/08/plastic-free-airline-hi-fly/">plastic-free flight</a> from Portuguese airline Hi Fly, which took off from Lisbon to Natal, Brazil. Last month, Etihad also operated a <a href="https://www.harpersbazaararabia.com/people/culture/etihad-are-launching-the-worlds-first-plastic-free-long-haul-flight">long-haul plastic-free flight</a> from Abu Dhabi to Brisbane on Earth Day in a bid to raise awareness of the dangers of plastic pollution.</p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Grab your winter woolies: The coldest and wettest day of the year is here

<p>The Bureau of Meteorology has warned that temperatures are looking to drop by up to 10 degrees as a cold front makes its way over the country.</p> <p>The weather system is bringing cold as well as windy conditions from the Southern Ocean, with Melbourne set to face its coldest and wettest day of the year.</p> <p>Some suburbs in Melbourne are going to get up to 30mm of rain.</p> <p>The bureau issued a road weather alert for reduced visibility in Melbourne.</p> <p>“Heavy rain will make road conditions dangerous during Friday in the inner, western, northern, eastern and southeastern suburbs,” the weather service said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Weather Update: Cold front, showers and storms moving over southeastern Australia. Video current 11.30 am AEST, Thu. 9 May. Check <a href="https://t.co/4W35o8zIoh">https://t.co/4W35o8zIoh</a> for forecasts and warnings; follow advice from emergency services. <a href="https://twitter.com/ABCemergency?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ABCemergency</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/SA_SES?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SA_SES</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/vicsesnews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VicSESnews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/tasalert?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TasAlert</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/NSWSES?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NSWSES</a> <a href="https://t.co/NF0vsJ7Km0">pic.twitter.com/NF0vsJ7Km0</a></p> — Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) <a href="https://twitter.com/BOM_au/status/1126326269711224832?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Melbourne isn’t the only one to feel the chill, as New South Wales is looking to be hit, especially in the west.</p> <p>The west is set to see the first significant cold front of the season, which will be unusual due to an unseasonably warm winter.</p> <p>Snow showers are also expected in the Southern Tablelands and alpine areas. The temperature in Thredbo dove down to -17.4 degrees overnight due to the cold snap.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Snow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Snow</a> expected down to 1100m Friday am on S. Tablelands, Alps, Brindabella Ranges. Light snow also likely on some elevated W. areas of the Central Tablelands Friday pm. Wind chill will make much of NSW (incl. Sydney) feel 5–10°C cooler than actual temp. <a href="https://t.co/vJsSEfmFiO">https://t.co/vJsSEfmFiO</a></p> — Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) <a href="https://twitter.com/BOM_NSW/status/1126354009789534208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The temperature also dropped to 11.6 degrees in Sydney and an icy 6.5 degrees in Melbourne overnight. This is a harsh contrast for Melbourne, as the temperature peaked at 42.8 degrees just weeks ago.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Feeling cold across inland <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NSW?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NSW</a> compared to last week?<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bathurst?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bathurst</a> min temp 3rd May 13.5C, last night was minus 1.2C<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cobar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cobar</a> min temp 3rd May 17.7C, last night 7.2C<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dubbo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Dubbo</a> min temp 3rd May 17.2C, last night 1.8C<br />23 days till <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/winter?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#winter</a><br />More at <a href="https://t.co/QM7XJrpUqk">https://t.co/QM7XJrpUqk</a></p> — Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) <a href="https://twitter.com/BOM_NSW/status/1126278465169362944?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Minimum temperatures are expected to drop as the nation approaches winter, but the bureau is expecting that the 2019 season will be warmer than average.</p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

New report reveals grim reality for Sydney homebuyers

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to new research and economic analysis of data conducted by EY, renters are better off renting in Sydney and maintaining an ASX200 investment instead of buying a home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This flips the old mindset that renting is dead money, as Sydney residents are better off renting than buying in 60 per cent of cases over the last 25 years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The analysis compared capital gains by individual who purchased a home against those who invested in a leveraged share portfolio, keeping to a savings plan and renting in an area where they can afford to buy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We would caution against just assuming that home ownership is the only way to create future wealth,” EY chief economist Jo Masters said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s time to give up on the mindset that renting is dead money. Yes, when you’re paying rent to a landlord, you’re not investing in an asset that you own – but with today’s property prices, you could be better off renting somewhere affordable and investing the cash you’ve saved.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s important to note that when EY removed the ability for the lender to be able to leverage their ASX investment, results shift in favour of the homeowner.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">EY also found that while the Sydney property market has cooled, the affordability for housing is at a historical low. The average house in Sydney costs 10.9 times more than the average NSW income, which is $83,517 according to the </span><a href="https://www.livingin-australia.com/salaries-australia/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Australian Bureau of Statistics</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This means, that despite many wanting to own property, the buyer of an average Sydney home needs to save for more than 9 years to make the 20% deposit that’s required by most banks. This goes down to 7 years when saving for an apartment.</span></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Enchanting Yulefest returns to the Blue Mountains this winter

<p>A regional tradition since 1980, mid-winter Yulefest is the season for which Australia’s first tourist destination is most famous. A sprinkle of magic, and maybe even a coating of snow, will fall over the Blue Mountain this July.</p> <p>Bon bons and plum pud among myriad teapots. Belly laughs and classic humour. River cruising, luxury digs and dining accessed by vintage motorcars and modern glitzy wheels. Even a chance of snow flurries around one of the most famous landmarks on the planet.</p> <p><span>After the exhilarating zing of a chilly day spent exploring the lookouts and bushwalking tracks of the Blue Mountains, shopping at charming villages and visiting attractions, sojourners are warmly invited indoors for steaming drinks, fireside dining and rousing entertainment.</span></p> <p>Numerous hotels, guesthouses, B&amp;Bs, cafes and restaurants celebrate the winter festival, enlivened by warming entertainment.</p> <p>“Yulefest in the Blue Mountains offers the European-style atmosphere people associate with Christmas – a chilly landscape outside and cosiness inside with roaring fires, hot food and drinks, traditional decorations and festive music, but without the stress and frosty relatives. Sometimes there’s even snow," explained Meagan Iervasi, who is the Guest Services Manager of Escarpment Group.</p> <p>Book your Yulefest bed, table and experience early so you’re not left out in the cold. Here are some of the top treats to look out for.</p> <p><strong>Blue Mountains Limousine and Vintage Cadillacs</strong></p> <p>Vintage vroom or modern glitz: you choose how you make a grand entrance this Yulefest.<strong><br /></strong></p> <p>Guests will be collected from and returned to any location between Hazelbrook and Mt Victoria in the Blue Mountains. Your local driver, dressed in formal attire, will roll up in a stretch limo or LaSalle model Cadillac.</p> <p>Arrive the long way round after exploring the breathtaking scenery of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area or cruising upmarket Leura Mall for head-turning effect.</p> <p><span>Bookings available between 4pm and midnight any Friday and Saturday during July. Minimum two passengers per trip. Prices start from $59 per person. </span></p> <p>Go to <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://bluemountainslimo.com.au/" target="_blank">bluemountainslimo.com.au</a>, email <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="mailto:info@bmlimo.com.au" target="_blank">info@bmlimo.com.au</a> or phone Robert on 0400 500 542  or Don on 0455 352 976 for more details and bookings.</p> <p><strong>Bygone Beautys Treasured Teapot Museum and Tearooms, Leura</strong></p> <p>Dine among one of the world’s largest private collections of teawares, including more than 5,500 teapots from all over the world and spanning five centuries, most of which were collected within Australia.</p> <p>At the Yulefest luncheon, guests can tuck into a traditional Northern Hemisphere Christmas-style feast with all the trimmings (bon bons, serviettes and table decorations). Begin with a canape platter and soup, followed by a traditional roast with seasonal vegetables. Top it off with a plum pudding or pavlova dessert, tea/coffee and homemade shortbread.</p> <p>To book, call (02) 4784 3117 or email <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="mailto:info@bygonebeautys.com.au" target="_blank">info@bygonebeautys.com.au</a>. Find more information at<span> </span><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://bygonebeautys.com.au/" target="_blank">bygonebeautys.com.au</a>.</p> <p><strong>Mountain Whispers, Leura and Katoomba</strong></p> <p>French champagne on ice, handmade chocolates, and scattered fresh rose petals. A private chef to cook a three-course festive dinner and a personal waiter to serve it. Wait, there’s more. Round out the day with an in-house massage and/or facial in opulent surrounds.</p> <p>Whether it's a romantic getaway, or an escape with great friends, every minor details matters at Mountain Whispers MW Collection.</p> <p>“While Christmas is about family, Yulefest is a great time to take a mid-year break to focus on romance or time with your friends to indulge and escape the daily grind,’’ says owner of the Mountain Whispers, Lorraine Allanson.</p> <p>Each of the multi-award winning, self-contained heritage properties promises a luxurious getaway in total privacy and comfort for couples and small groups. Choose between the emaculate Varenna, Leura Rose and Strawberry Patch in Leura and The Gatsby and Chatelaine in Katoomba.</p> <p>Find more information at<span> </span><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://mountainwhispers.com.au/" target="_blank">mountainwhispers.com.au</a> or call 1300 721 321.</p> <p><strong>The Goon Show LIVE! Dinner and a show</strong></p> <p><span>The cult comedy tour de overacting incorporates loads of sound effects, silly voices and a platoon of crazy characters which promise to have audiences belly laughing all evening.</span></p> <p>It regales the stories of Neddie Seagoon, a good-natured and hairy sort, albeit short and rotund and the victim of a terrible weakness – greed. Coupled with his innate gullibility, Neddie’s covetous nature makes him easy prey to confidence schemes courtesy of the conniving cads Grytpype-Thynne and Moriarty.</p> <p><span>Peppered with one-liners, the high energy show will feature characters including the world’s most famous idiot Eccles (yes, even more infamous than Neddie), the squeaky-voiced boy-scout Bluebottle (who reads his stage-directions out loud), Major Dennis Bloodnok a devout coward, and Miss Minnie Bannister the sexy senior citizen who lives in sin with crumbling, fumbling old man Henry Crun.</span></p> <p>The dinner and show will be held in le Salon Grand at the Palais Royale, Katoomba, each Saturday night from June 29 to July 20. A a special afternoon tea on will be held on July 14. Tickets cost $135 for Saturdays, $80 for Sundays. Afternoon tea, seniors and group discounts available. For bookings and details, visit <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://deephill.us14.list-manage.com/track/click?u=64cc2a5bb3b194bece5e88667&amp;id=988d4bbceb&amp;e=a63adc298f" target="_blank">www.goons.com.au</a>.</p> <p><strong>Nepean Belle river luncheon cruise, Jamisontown</strong></p> <p><span>`Tis the season to cruise the tranquil waters of the Nepean River aboard the regional aquatic icon on your way to or from the Blue Mountains.</span></p> <p>The heritage-style Nepean Belle paddlewheeler will be festooned with decorations. Guests will board to the strains of popular carols against the picturesque backdrop of the Blue Mountains escarpment.</p> <p><span>Tuck into a two-course Yulefest fare with all the trimmings. Begin with a shared platter of succulent roast turkey with fruit seasoning, a tender roast pork with apple sauce and gravy, garnished with honey-roasted vine tomatoes and accompanied by creamy sautéed potato; a selection of hot seasonal vegetables; steamed broccoli, carrots and peas; and a Greek salad with feta.</span></p> <p>A dessert platter of festive favourites will follow, with White Christmas, chocolate rum balls, fruit cake, chocolate mud cake and rich butter shortbread biscuits, washed down with your choice of freshly brewed tea or coffee.</p> <p>On weekdays, tickets cost $59 per adult, $53 per senior, $39 per teen (13-16 years), and $20 per child (3-12 years). On weekends, $65 per adult, $58 for seniors, $39 for teens, $25 for children. To make a booking, visit<span> </span><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://nepeanbelle.com.au/" target="_blank">nepeanbelle.com.au</a> or call (02) 4733 1274.</p> <p><strong>Hydro Majestic Hotel, Medlow Bath</strong></p> <p><strong>A night in Vienna</strong>: In the lead-up to Yulefest, relish the romance of Austria’s operatic golden age against the magnificent backdrop of the Megalong Valley. On June 22, enjoy an unforgettable evening of entertainment, led by Opera Australia, Oper Köln, Opéra Comique &amp; Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris and English National Opera tenor, Brad Cooper. The Wintergarden Restaurant performance will be matched with a five-course degustation dinner. Tickets cost $135 per person. Bookings can be made by calling (02) 4782 6885.</p> <p>Sink into the refined 5-star surrounds to nibble on delicate finger sandwiches, fluffy scones with homemade jam and fresh clotted cream, and a selection of Yulefest sweet treats beside a cosy fire place.</p> <p>For the ultimate Yulefest decadence, the hatted restaurant in the historic home of former Chief Justice of NSW Sir Frederick Darley will serve five and seven-course degustation dinners each Friday and Saturday throughout July with special winter flavours.</p> <p>Can’t decide which events to attend? We can help craft customised itineraries for Yulefest travellers, including flights, accommodation and attractions. Get in touch today on <strong>1300 404 606</strong> or email <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/yulefest-2019-blue-mountains/info@mydiscoveries.com">info@mydiscoveries.com</a></p> <p><em>Written by Editorial Staff. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/yulefest-2019-blue-mountains/">My Discoveries</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Inside Cathy Freeman's spectacular $3.5 million Melbourne home

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>The former house of Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman is back on the market.</p> <p>The five-bedroom, tri-level Melbourne residence is now on an "expressions of interest campaign" with a $3.4-$3.7 million price guide.</p> <p>The iconic Australian sprinter owned the Kew property from 1996 to 2006, when she sold it to the current owners for $1.75 million.</p> <p>According to selling agent Anton Zhouk, the “beautiful home” has not changed much since Freeman’s time in there.</p> <p>Spanning 1,033m², the house is situated in the Studley Park enclave opposite Yarra Bend Park. It is equipped with two garden areas and three separate verandahs, one of which is overlooking a pool.</p> <p>Inside the house, the highlights include a private sauna, a main bedroom with walk-in wardrobe and ensuite, a well-fitted study and polished Tasmanian Myrtle floorboards.</p> <p>The floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining, living and family rooms also allow residents to enjoy the view of Yarra River. The current owners also told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.realestate.com.au/news/cathy-freemans-old-kew-digs-going-for-gold-on-the-market/" target="_blank"><em>realestate.com.au</em></a> that the “regular visitors” from native wildlife – including tawny frogmouths and fruit bats – makes it feel “like you’re living in the treetops”.</p> <p>Click through the gallery above to take a look into Cathy Freeman’s contemporary former home.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Top 3 restaurants with the most spectacular views of Vivid 2019

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vivid Sydney attracts millions of visitors each year to check out the amazing light displays scattered all throughout Sydney.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As there are a fair amount of people all trying to see the same thing, it’s safe to say that crowds can be attracted to the lights.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, with a bit of planning ahead, you’re able to beat the crowds and enjoy a lovely meal at the same time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are a few restaurants that have ideal views of the best spots of Sydney.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Aqua Dining, Milson’s Point</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This restaurant boasts authentic Italian food and offers a gorgeous view right near the iconic Harbour Bridge. This places you in the ideal spot to see the lights hit the bridge instead of being amongst the crowds. This is perfect for those looking to experience a high-end Vivid dining experience.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Hacienda, Circular Quay</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This restaurant offers breathtaking views and offers a bar menu full to the brim with flavoursome Latin American dishes. Some of the food you can get includes tuna ceviche and flathead tortilla. With dishes starting from $14, this is an ideal night out for those on a budget who still want to see the amazing lights Vivid has on offer.</span></p> <p><strong>3. ARIA, Circular Quay</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This restaurant is for those who have a refined palette and a bit more to spend. It’s so close to the Sydney Opera House you can taste it, and it boasts a menu curated with celebrity chef Matt Moran’s finest. It also offers the best views of the Sydney Harbour to boot. What more could you want? </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, if the crowds don’t seem too bad, there’s some spectacular lights to see. With lights showing for three weeks from the 24</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">th</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of May to the 15</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">th</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of June, there’s plenty of time to see and enjoy the light show Sydney puts on every year.</span></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Turn your dream into reality at Daydream Island Resort

<p><span>Dust off the suitcase and prepare to hit the beach. Daydream Island Resort is ready to reopen in 2019 following an extensive $100 million renovation.</span></p> <p><span>The hugely popular Great Barrier Reef resort closed in 2017 after it sustained severe damage in Cyclone Debbie. Two years of renovations have meant that Daydream Island is now bigger and better than ever before.</span></p> <p><span>“The re-opening of Daydream Island is a huge milestone after the devastation caused by Cyclone Debbie,” Jayson Heron, Daydream Island’s director of sales and marketing says.</span></p> <p><span>“It will have been a two-year journey and we are excited to welcome our loyal regulars and new guests to the island to experience the new premium offering.”</span></p> <p><strong>The restaurants</strong></p> <p>Daydream Island Resort will have three restaurants: Graze Interactive Dining, Infinity and Inkstone Kitchen and Bar.</p> <p><span>No matter which restaurant you choose – expect seasonal fresh local produce. Daydream has hired executive chef, Bradley Martin, formerly of Taumeasina Island Resort in Samoa to lead the resort’s premium dining destinations.</span></p> <p><span>Through simple, yet creative menus Mr Martin plans to showcase local produce and flavours.</span></p> <p><span>“I have been meeting local farmers and producers in the Whitsundays region and am excited by the quality of food that surrounds us,” he says.</span></p> <p><span>“My food is prepared with love and respect and my menus will show this through simple yet modern dishes.”</span></p> <p><span>Graze Interactive Dining, off the main lobby, will serve a modern buffet for breakfast and dinner. It looks and feels like paradise. In keeping with the tropical surrounds, huge baskets of plants are scattered across the rooftop, dangling ferns above diners. Huge glass windows overlook the pool.</span></p> <p><span>The first-floor Infinity restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and has expansive views over the Whitsundays. Infinity has a private Teppanyaki Suite for an unforgettable dining experience.</span></p> <p><span>Inkstone Kitchen and Bar will showcase modern Australia dishes. If you book a deluxe room or suite – this is your breakfast spot. All other guests can enter for lunch and dinner.</span></p> <p><span>Daydream Island now has three bars – Barefoot Bar, Tonic and Silica – where guests can quench their thirst.</span></p> <p><strong>The rooms</strong></p> <p>The newly premium resort will have 277 rooms, including interconnecting rooms, suites and special access rooms</p> <p>“Our deluxe rooms offer the perfect sanctuary for over 50s guests, with large east-facing terraces, king bed, lounge and coffee tables, they are a gorgeous retreat post a day in the sun,” Mr Heron says.</p> <p><span>Daydream Island also has more than 40 sets of interconnecting rooms and suites for families, making it a great resort for multi-generation getaways. These rooms will be poolside on the ground floor or on level one with pool or ocean views.</span></p> <p><span>“The majority are Superior King Room &amp; Twin (2 Queen Beds) combined, but the resort also has options for three, four and even five rooms to be connected together for larger families, groups of friends or multi-generational families,” Mr Heron says.</span></p> <p><strong>The pool</strong></p> <p>When it opens, Daydream Island Resort will have a revitalised pool landscape which winds through tropical gardens and under bridges. From the sun lounges, you can expect to have unparalleled views over the Whitsundays.</p> <p>The poolside bar will serve gourmet burgers, sliders, pork ribs and chicken wings as well as smooth tropical cocktails, draught beer or wine.</p> <p>Want to indulge? Try a scoop of ice-cream from the Movenpick Ice Cream Bar.</p> <p><strong>The Living Reef</strong></p> <p><span>One of the best things about Daydream Island was the resort’s “living reef” and we’re delighted that it is back.</span></p> <p><span>The free-form coral lagoon wraps around the central hotel building. It will hold 1.5 million litres of water and meander for 200m. Keep your eyes peeled for seastars, sea cucumbers and crabs – they are all in there.<br /></span></p> <p><strong>Getting there</strong></p> <p><span>Daydream Island Resort is one of seven islands of the Molle Group of the Whitsundays. Getting here is easy – with access from Queensland’s Airline Beach and Proserpine Airport.</span></p> <p><span>The island is small – just 1km in length and 400 m at its widest point. You can watch sunsets over the water and take walks around the island at sunrise. The highest point on the island is 51 metres above sea level. Grab a kayak and paddle all the way around the island after breakfast. Then flop down by the pool for the afternoon.<br /></span></p> <p><span>Daydream Island is surrounded by reefs – offering a great chance from some gently snorkelling. Dive in and explore the marine world below. You will be able to see tropical fish, stingrays and the occasional turtle.<br /></span></p> <p><span>The resort will also arrange tours out the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, where you can see the famous Heart of the Whitsundays and find Nemo hidden in the coral.</span></p> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/daydream-island-resort/">My Discoveries</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Why thousands of people are leaving Sydney for this one spot in Australia

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sydney is losing its appeal, and fast.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cash-strapped Sydneysiders are heading out of the state fast due to unaffordable house prices.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Where are they heading? Queensland.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Alysha Sladden and her family have joined the leavers and headed to the Gold Coast. Their family was solely driven by housing affordability. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Speaking to </span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/thousands-of-people-are-fleeing-sydney-each-month-as-the-city-becomes-unliveable/news-story/0f75211c5b4acb406ec9bebe37e5249b"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> she said, “Our two-bedroom unit in Dee Why wasn’t going to be sufficient anymore, so we started looking for somewhere else to live.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This was due to her falling pregnant with twins. Despite the drop in housing prices, the cost of a home large enough to have a family is driving many people out of Sydney.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If we stayed and bought a house in Sydney, we would’ve had this huge mortgage hanging over our heads,” Alysha explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I would’ve had to return to full-time work straight away too. You only get one shot at the early years with kids, and it’s nice to be able to spend time with them.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For one-third of the cost of a property on the northern beaches in Sydney, the Sladden family bought a four-bedroom house with a yard and a pool.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was beautiful on the northern beaches but this is something else. It wouldn’t have been as much fun in Sydney with so much debt and far less money,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was a bit sad to leave family, especially when we have young children. I was a bit nervous too. But the fun of it and the huge benefits have surpassed our expectations. It’s such an adventure.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Of course, we’re not working as much, and so I think we’re not as stressed as we were in Sydney. The kids probably benefit from that.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Australian Bureau of Statistics showed 11,490 people moved from NSW to Queensland in the three months to September.</span></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Australia’s animal extinction crisis “inevitable” under current conservation laws

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Senate inquiry report recently released painted a grim picture for the native animals of the native Australian landscape. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The report explained that the current approach to wildlife protection was “incapable” of stopping the spiralling rates of extinction and recommended a “complete overhaul” of legislation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Suzanne Milthrope, national nature campaign manager at the Wilderness Society, said that three native species have been wiped out in the last decade.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The evidence is clear — Australia is in an extinction crisis,” Ms Milthorpe said to </span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/conservation/australias-animal-extinction-crisis-worsening-and-inevitable-under-current-conservation-laws/news-story/7c19cb36c26de897c95477a07567f889"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’re number two in the world for species loss, and if we keep turning a blind eye to major threats to wildlife like deforestation, even iconic animals like the koala will go.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The World Wildlife Fund said that the equivalent of 14 football fields of habitat for koalas is bulldozed every day in NSW.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">WWF- Australia conservationist Stuart Blanch said that there are currently less than 20,000 koalas left in NSW and they are set to be extinct in the state by 2050.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Koalas will disappear from NSW unless the state increases legal protections of mature forests and woodlands,” Dr Blanch said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It is a wakeup call for our east coast to appear alongside notorious forest destruction hot spots such as the Amazon, Congo Basin, Sumatra and Borneo,” WWF-Australia boss Dermot O’Gorman said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Senate has called for an independent environmental protection authority with powers and funding to enforce compliance with laws. Ms Milthorpe agrees.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We welcome the recommendation for strong national environment laws that can actually stop the threats to wildlife and an independent watchdog with teeth to enforce them,” Ms Milthorpe said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But we need more than recommendations. Positive action on the environment is showing up as a huge issue in both national polls and the recent NSW election.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What that tells us is neither party can be a credible candidate for government without having detailed, costed policies on how they’ll deal with major causes of extinction, like the legacy of 200 years of inappropriate deforestation and the worsening impacts of climate change.”</span></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Why you should visit McLaren Vale in South Australia

<p>McLaren Vale is a magical region just 30 minutes south of Adelaide known for its many wineries, stunning vistas and amazing fresh produce.</p> <p>Always fancied going skinny dipping? Being a spectator at Australia’s nude games? Or a plane joyride in a Tiger Moth? There is certainly more to McLaren Vale than delicious wine and cuisine.</p> <p><strong>Planning a visit? Pick and mix your favourite experiences at McLaren Vale.</strong></p> <p><strong>1. Get on your bike!</strong><br />This delightful region is famed for its vineyards that run across rolling hills, friendly and passionate locals in quaint villages and spectacular ocean drives. All of these enticing images will be beamed around the world when<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://mclarenvale.info/towns-beaches/welcome-to-mclaren-vale/" target="_blank">McLaren Vale</a> hosts its stage of the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.tourdownunder.com.au/the-race/tour-details/stages/stage-5" target="_blank">Tour Down Under</a><span> </span>bike race in January 2016. Not visiting during the big race? Why not hire a bike for a leisurely three hours for $15 from<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.oxygencycles.com/" target="_blank">Oxygen Cycles</a>.</p> <p>More of a serious cyclist? Consider doing the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://mclarenvale.info/adventures/coast-vines-trail/" target="_blank">Coast to Vines trail</a> - a spectacular 37 kilometre journey through the area incorporating highlights such as Christies Creek Trail, and the Shiraz Trail, which runs from the town of McLaren Vale to Willunga. A community initiative, the Shiraz Trail offers a unique (and delicious) food and wine trail experience.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://cdn.wyza.com.au/media/338112/566543ad83cebcf3afeb16459f57a2a6_500x278.jpg" alt="566543ad 83cebcf 3afeb 16459f 57a 2a6 (2)" width="500" height="278" /></p> <p><strong>2. Discover wine and cheese to please</strong><br />With over 70 cellar doors across the region it is easy to spend your whole day sampling the regions many wines. Producers such as D’arenburg, Coriole, Kay Brothers and Chapel Hill have amazing cellar doors with friendly staff to help you to experience the liquid gold from the surrounding vineyards. A great place to start the day is at Blessed Cheese on the main street in McLaren Vale. Here you can collect a cheese tasting hamper full of goodies and get a map which will guide you through a trail of four wineries where you can taste wines matched perfectly with cheeses.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://cdn.wyza.com.au/media/338109/mclaren-vale_500x320.jpg" alt="Mc Laren -Vale" width="500" height="320" /></p> <p><strong>3. A very unusual sporting event</strong><br />Maslin Beach can lay claim to being one of the prettiest and most pristine beaches in South Australia yet has a further title of distinction as it is famed as Australia’s first official nude beach. It is proud home to Australia’s <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.pilwarren.com/pilwarren_maslin_beach_nude_games.htm" target="_blank">nude games</a>. Just in case you are interested this next unique event is scheduled for January 2016. Always wondered what a naked three legged race looks like?<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.pilwarren.com/pictures3.htm" target="_blank">See here!</a></p> <p><strong>4. Nude swimming for those who dare to bare</strong><br />If you aren’t around for this spectacular sporting event but are feeling game, a section at the southern end of this three kilometre long beach permits nude sunbathing and swimming. The waters are cool and inviting and the cliff top provides a great picnic spot or sunset viewing. The locals are friendly and if going skinny dipping has always been on your bucket list here is your chance!</p> <p><strong>5. Fly high in a Tiger Moth</strong><br />Imagine the joy and sheer romance of an open cockpit flight along McLaren Vale’s stunning coast line. Based at the charming Aldinga Airfield,<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.adelaidebiplanes.com.au/" target="_blank">Adelaide Biplanes</a> offers scenic flights in a Tiger Moth. While sitting up front in this historic plane you will experience the wind in your hair and the romance of a bygone era. The flights take in the regions rich panorama of vineyards, rolling hills, unspoilt beaches and stunning cliff tops.</p> <p><strong>6. Produce the (fresh) goods</strong><br />Open every Saturday morning come rain, hail or shine the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.willungafarmersmarket.com.au/" target="_blank">Willunga Farmers Market</a> in the Town Square was the first farmers’ market to be established in South Australia and is considered to be the best. ‘Meet the grower and taste the region’ is the theme for this market which consists of more than 60 stalls showcasing fresh and seasonal produce from the regions farms. These markets are family friendly and certainly are a foodies nirvana!</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://cdn.wyza.com.au/media/338113/6a1a58a393f41d45fa108ff423f9b529_500x333.jpg" alt="6a 1a 58a 393f 41d 45fa 108ff 423f 9b 529" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p><strong>7. Take an idyllic beach drive</strong><br />Aldinga Beach allows vehicles to drive straight onto the beach. For a small donation to the local scouts or surf club volunteers who man the entry ramps you can drive right to your desired spot and unpack for the day. What’s not to love about that?</p> <p>In summer there are rows of families who set up mini compounds completed with cabanas for shade and plenty of cool refreshments to keep everyone happy. Games of beach cricket ensue along the beach and only stop when someone calls lunch or if a car is passing at low speed.</p> <p>This magnificent strip of white sand and clear blue water is a favourite summer holiday spot for Adelaide families to unwind and enjoy and even the family pooch gets to come along as this beach is pet friendly. Aldinga Beach is perfect for everyone as you don’t need a 4WD to enjoy a drive along the beach from Aldinga down to Sellicks beach where on a good day you can spot a number of hang gliders launching from the cliff tops and soaring in the thermals. However, take note of the high tide mark is as this will save you from the embarrassment of being woken from your afternoon snooze by the incoming tide flooding your picnic spot.</p> <p><strong>8. Experience spectacular cliff top dining</strong><br />Located just north of Aldinga beach, Port Willunga is home to the famous shipwreck<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://starofgreece.com.au/about.html" target="_blank">Star of Greece</a> and a <a rel="noopener" href="http://starofgreece.com.au/" target="_blank">restaurant</a><span> </span>of the same name. The restaurant was born from humble beginnings as a1950’s beach kiosk and is in tune with its cliff top surroundings by offering Mediterranean style of cuisine with plenty of local seafood options.</p> <p>The beach kiosk aspect of the Star of Greece offers simple fish and chips accompanied by the coldest of beers and certainly can bring back memories of beachside holidays from a bygone era and also create wonderful new memories. After lunch enjoy a dip in the cool blue ocean or a walk along the beach to explore the many caves that were dug out of the cliffs by fishermen long ago. These caves and the jetty ruins invoke childhood fascinations and images of shipwrecks and pirates.</p> <p><img src="https://cdn.wyza.com.au/media/338114/sorimage10_495x160.jpg" alt="Sorimage 10" width="495" height="160" /></p> <p><strong>How to get there: stay and play</strong><br /><a rel="noopener" href="http://mclarenvale.info/" target="_blank">McLaren Vale</a> has plenty of accommodation options for you to stay and play in the region. Ranging from well appointed tourist parks and cosy bed and breakfast cottages to motels and beach house rentals there really is something for every budget and taste. Enjoy a weekend or stay for a week or two.</p> <p><em>Have you been to South Australia? What were the highlights? Join the conversation below…</em></p> <p><em>Written by Lynton Jones. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/why-should-you-visit-mclaren-vale-in-south-australia.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

The ultimate guide for a holiday on the Gold Coast

<p>A holiday on the Gold Coast is paradise in the making.</p> <p>Whether you’re a respected retiree, part-time worker or valued volunteer, you would have no doubt reached a point in your life where choice is paramount for the privilege of being richly rewarded.</p> <p>The Gold Coast is a mecca for sun, surf, glamour and excitement. This international travel destination is also a haven for leisure and pleasure seekers who have come to expect the finest in a beachside escape with world-class finesse.</p> <p>For those who possess inveterate style, a taste for excellence and eye for value, the ultimate holiday awaits you on the Gold Coast.</p> <p>A great range of premium-quality accommodation options for any budget is available at <a href="https://au.hotels.com/"><em>Hotels.com</em></a>.</p> <p>No matter which corner of this golden region you choose to make your own, with Hotels.com, the most appealing hotel and resort selections are assured. You can also opt to include free airport transfers, Wi-Fi, on-site gyms, restaurant facilities and complimentary breakfasts.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7826074/2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b443482de24b4d16a83d8919c224093b" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Q1 Resort and Tower</em></p> <p>Holidaymakers could start at the top, with an eye on the surrounding world at the Q1 Resort and Tower.</p> <p>A one-bedroom ocean spa apartment is the suite of choice for an extended stay at this five-star establishment in central Surfers Paradise.</p> <p>You can also achieve maximum altitude with a visit to the SkyPoint Observation Deck, which – at 230 metres above sea level – is the highest viewing and dining precinct in the Southern Hemisphere.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7826075/3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c8508de2127440f795c7cfbc012c1675" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Palazzo Versace</em></p> <p>Take in the coastline's panoramic sights, north to Brisbane, southwards to Byron Bay and every natural and built landmark in between. Timeless and ageless fashion mavens would also love an extended stay at Palazzo Versace. This luxurious resort, within easy reach of exclusive Marina Mirage, is the ultimate in designer style. Unparalleled opulence and breathtaking landscaped surrounds, including the palatial on-site beach pool, are complemented by Palazzo Versace's selection of award-winning restaurants and live entertainment options.</p> <p>The Star Grand in Broadbeach is another style-setting resort that is making waves on the Gold Coast. The King View Terraces, with their state-of-the-art facilities and luxurious touches – such as L’Occitane toiletries – add refined relevance to the concept of spa therapy. The resort’s in-house casino is also a sure bet for channelling your inner James Bond.</p> <p>For your dining pleasure, there is no finer experience than a lunch or dinner reservation at the French-inspired Little Truffle at Mermaid Beach.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7826073/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e41193eb158e4bd68488b4b4c7385906" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The Star Grand</em></p> <p>The lavishly appointed interiors are designed for true romance and Little Truffle’s haute cuisine menus (a la carte and degustation) feature flavours that also stay in favour with the hip crowd.</p> <p>For a palate-enriching aperitif or digestif, tasteful couples might choose to make their way to The Scottish Prince, a hidden den of rare Celtic charm that serves the finest imported aged whiskies in the region.</p> <p>When you tire of all that glorious sun, surf and sand on stunning Main Beach, you could always indulge in a sunrise hot air ballooning adventure, high over the Gold Coast’s winding canals and surrounding hinterland, with a gourmet Champagne breakfast adding a fitting finale.</p> <p>There are several expert providers online to help you book this unforgettable high-flying experience.</p> <p>But for the ultimate in luxury, choice and affordability to match, turn to Hotels.com for all your <a href="https://au.hotels.com/de23616/accommodation-gold-coast-queensland/">Gold Coast accommodation</a> options.</p> <p><em>This sponsored content is brought to you in conjunction with </em><a href="https://au.hotels.com/"><em>Hotels.com</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Explore Australia with a road trip: Alice Springs to Darwin

<p class="Body">Running north for 1600 km from Alice Springs to Darwin, the Stuart Highway makes for a classic Australian road trip. Part scenery and part history, much of what makes it special are the characters along the way.</p> <p class="Body">Leaving Alice Springs town centre, you soon pass the<span> </span><span><a href="http://alicespringstelegraphstation.com.au/">Telegraph Station</a></span>. This first Overland Telegraph station was built in 1871 beside a spring named after Alice, the wife of the South Australian Postmaster-General. It operated until 1933, linking Australia’s main cities to Europe. It is well worth visiting in its evocative setting.</p> <p class="Body">About 30 km north of town, you’ll see the marker for the Tropic of Capricorn. For the rest of the drive, you’re in the tropics, though the landscape doesn’t change for quite a while.</p> <p class="Body">As you head up the track, you’ll find a series of classic outback pubs. The one in tiny Barrow Creek is welcoming but is best known for the 2001 dramatic<span> </span><span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Peter_Falconio">murder of Peter Falconio</a></span><span> </span>at the hands of Bradley John Murdoch and the miraculous escape of Joanne Lees.</p> <p class="Body">One hundred kilometres further along you’ll reach the<span> </span><span><a href="https://northernterritory.com/us/en/tennant-creek-and-barkly-region/destinations/karlu-karludevils-marbles-conservation-reserve">Devils Marbles or Karlu Karlu</a></span>, a series of granite boulders that litter either side of the highway for several kilometres. Some of the larger ones stand precariously balanced on tiny bases. They were once part of one solid block, broken and gradually rounded by wind and water erosion. The local Warumungu Aboriginal people believe they are the fossilised eggs of the Rainbow Serpent.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">Tennant Creek</strong></p> <p class="Body">Just over 500 km from Alice Springs,<span> </span><span><a href="https://northernterritory.com/tennant-creek-and-barkly-region">Tennant Creek</a></span><span> </span>was the site of Australia’s last gold rush, after gold was discovered here in 1932. The town is 11 km from its namesake creek, and local legend says that a cart carrying timber to build the first pub at that creek became bogged and it was decided to erect the hotel on the spot.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BvEE9__jcIU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BvEE9__jcIU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Northern Territory - Australia (@ausoutbacknt)</a> on Mar 16, 2019 at 2:12am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p class="Body">With its tree-lined double highway and a population of 3000, Tennant Creek, one of the Northern Territory’s four main townships has several sites to explore. Visit<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.nyinkkanyunyu.com.au/">Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre</a></span>, the<span> </span><span><a href="https://nt.gov.au/leisure/parks-reserves/find-a-park-to-visit/tennant-creek-telegraph-station-historical-reserve">Tennant Creek Telegraph Station</a></span><span> </span>and<span> </span><span><a href="https://northernterritory.com/tennant-creek-and-barkly-region/see-and-do/battery-hill-mining-centre">Battery Hill Mining Centre</a></span>, and<span> </span><span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennant_Creek_Catholic_Church">Christ the King Catholic Church</a></span><span> </span>to find out why it’s dubbed "the longest church in Australia". </p> <p class="Body">Just 25 km north of Tennant Creek is the Three Ways junction of the Barkly Highway that leads to Mount Isa in Queensland. Nearby is a<span> </span><span><a href="http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/people/religion/display/80251-john-flynn">memorial obelisk to Reverend John Flynn</a></span>, the founder of what is now the<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/">Royal Flying Doctor Service</a></span><span> </span>and a genuine Australian outback hero.</p> <p class="Body">Further along the Stuart Highway north from Tennant Creek, the tiny township of Renner Springs marks a geographical and climatic end to the long, dry journey. Renner Springs represent the end of the higher country and the southern extremity of the monsoon-affected plains.</p> <p class="Body"><span><a href="http://www.dalywaterspub.com/">Daly Waters</a></span>, 900 km from Alice Springs, is worth a pause for a drink at the oldest pub in the Territory. The low stone building, once a refreshment stop for drovers on the overland cattle drives, was first licensed in 1893. The droving days have since given way to the era of the road train, and the north is now crisscrossed with a network of routes by which these huge trucks convey the cattle to market or railheads.</p> <p class="Body"><span><a href="https://www.visitkatherine.com.au/surrounding-regions/mataranka">Mataranka</a> </span>is an unlikely oasis that was the setting for “We of the Never Never” — a classic novel by Aeneas (Jeannie) Gunn who lived at the huge Elsey Station property in 1902. The surprise attraction is<span> </span><span><a href="https://nt.gov.au/leisure/parks-reserves/find-a-park-to-visit/elsey-national-park">Elsey National Park</a></span>, with tropical forest comprising palms and paperbark trees surrounding sparkling thermal pools — a real oasis amid the north’s arid surrounds. </p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">Katherine and Nitmuluk</strong></p> <p class="Body">Katherine, 108 km north is the Top End’s second most important town after Darwin. It has a well-developed infrastructure of shops, camping grounds, hotels, and motels. Since colonial days, it has been an important telegraph station and cattle centre, and it is from here that the Victoria Highway strikes west towards the Kimberley region of Western Australia.</p> <p class="Body">Just before the WA border, there is a turn-off to<span> </span><span><a href="https://nt.gov.au/leisure/parks-reserves/find-a-park-to-visit/keep-river-national-park">Keep River National Park</a></span>. Like the formations across the border in the<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.australiasnorthwest.com/destination/bungle-bungle">Bungle Bungle Range</a></span>, Keep River features a series of fascinating banded sandstone towers which shelter a wide range of vegetation and animal life.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BdJWjJ_hVB2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BdJWjJ_hVB2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Riekie Wandrag (@riekiewandrag)</a> on Dec 25, 2017 at 4:56pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p class="Body">To the east of the Katherine township,<span> </span><span><a href="https://northernterritory.com/katherine-and-surrounds/destinations/nitmiluk-national-park">Katherine Gorge</a></span><span> </span>is one of the best known features of the Territory. It’s a great canyon of sandstone cliffs rising to over 100 metres above the Katherine River, best explored by water. There’s a series of gorges for 12 km before the river widens out again. It’s all part of<span> </span><span><a href="https://nt.gov.au/leisure/parks-reserves/find-a-park-to-visit/nitmiluk-national-park">Nitmiluk National Park</a></span><span> </span>that deserves several days of exploration. There are several walking trails in the park that follow the top of the escarpment, looking down into the gorge.</p> <p class="Body">Katherine is only 340 km from Darwin and in the vastness of outback Australia this sort of distance qualifies as a relative short trip into town.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">World record drive</strong></p> <p class="Body">Readers of a certain vintage may remember tales of a Jaguar XK120 Roadster that set a world open road record for the<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.whichcar.com.au/features/classic-wheels/vanishing-point">drive between Darwin and Alice Springs in 1951</a></span>.</p> <p class="Body">The road had only been converted from a dirt track alongside the telegraph line during World War II, when it was a main supply route for men and supplies to defend Australia’s north. Still it was a pretty rough road — particularly south of Tennant Creek where the bitumen ended. There was a 65 km/h speed limit and the NT police refused permission for the attempt saying “otherwise every silly bastard would be trying it”.</p> <p class="Body">Les Taylor and Dick Rendle completed the course in 10 hours 32 minutes for an average speed of 145.89 km/h — or 90.5 mph over 954 miles. Les was arrested when they arrived in Alice Springs to great fanfare — and was subsequently fined £20.</p> <p class="Body"><em><strong>Have you done any road trips around the Top End? Share your route below!</strong></em></p> <p><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/road-trip-alice-springs-to-darwin.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

The Gold Coast: All grown up

<p>The Gold Coast has all grown up. Instead of being known as the playground for kids, there's now plenty for the adults to see and do.</p> <p><strong>The beach</strong></p> <p class="BodyA">If you're wondering whether or not the Gold Coast has moved beyond its sun, sand, and schoolies past, this should convince you. Australia’s first vegan, cruelty-free marketplace and restaurant precinct has opened at<span> </span><span><a href="http://thelovechild.com.au/lovechild-laneway-miami-gc">Love Child at Miami</a></span>.</p> <p class="BodyA">For those craving Asian food, Cavill Lane has<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.8street.com.au/">8 Street</a></span>, a new hawker-style food market that can accommodate up to 1000 diners at six restaurants and more than 30 street stalls.</p> <p class="BodyA">Of course, the main attractions of the Gold Coast centre around the beach. You can just grab a towel and head down for a swim, or you can get organised and take surfing lessons from<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.cheynehoran.com.au/">Cheyne Horan</a></span>,<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.goldcoastsurfingcentre.com/">Dave Davidson</a></span>, or the award-winning<span> </span><span><a href="https://getwetsurf.com/">Get Wet Surf School</a></span>. There’s also some great whale watching opportunities just off shore — and the high-rise of Surfers Paradise makes a great backdrop if the whales breach.</p> <p class="BodyA">The beach, the narrow strip of land, then the canals and waterways behind, are best seen from the air so consider taking a helicopter flight for a bird’s-eye view. An alternative is to head up to<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.skypoint.com.au/skypoint-observation-deck">Skypoint Observation Deck</a></span><span> </span>which looms 230 metres above the beach.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BsNi1GYh_T9/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BsNi1GYh_T9/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Mila Sinica 🍭 (@mila_sini)</a> on Jan 4, 2019 at 3:52am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p class="BodyA">Then there are the theme parks that have gravitated here, where everyone is in holiday mode. Particularly if you’re travelling with kids,<span> </span><span><a href="https://movieworld.com.au/">Warner Bros. Movie World</a></span>,<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.dreamworld.com.au/">Dreamworld</a></span>,<span> </span><span><a href="https://seaworld.com.au/">Sea World</a></span>,<span> </span><span><a href="https://wetnwild.com.au/">Wet’n’Wild</a></span>,<span> </span><span><a href="https://paradisecountry.com.au/">Paradise Country</a></span>, and<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.dreamworld.com.au/whitewater-world">WhiteWater World</a></span><span> </span>are likely to feature on your itinerary.</p> <p class="BodyA">Another sign of the Gold Coast’s growing sophistication is revealed when it comes to dining. The<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.goodfood.com.au/eat-out/good-food-guides/good-food-guide-2018-all-the-winners-and-hats-at-the-inaugural-national-good-food-guide-awards-20171015-gz1kt6">2018 Good Food Guide Awards</a></span><span> </span>gave hats to several Gold Coast restaurants, including<span> </span><span><a href="http://thefishhouse.com.au/">The Fish House</a></span><span> </span>and nearby<span> </span><span><a href="http://rickshores.com.au/">Rick Shores</a></span><span> </span>in Burleigh Heads,<span> </span><span><a href="http://socialeatinghouse.com.au/">Social Eating House and Bar</a></span><span> </span>and<span> </span><span><a href="https://mamasanbroadbeach.com/">Mamasan Kitchen and bar</a></span><span> </span>at Broadbeach, and<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.star.com.au/goldcoast/restaurants/kiyomi">Kiyomi</a> </span>in the Star complex.</p> <p class="BodyA"><strong class="bigger-text">The hinterland</strong></p> <p class="BodyA">Chalk and cheese may have more in common than the Gold Coast and the Gold Coast hinterland. The coast is high-rises, bright lights, and the ever-present feeling of sand between your toes. Yet just an hour away, there’s the cool green sanctuary of the hinterlands where parrots chatter in the trees and giant trees shade beautiful walking tracks. It has been described as “the green behind the gold”.</p> <p class="BodyA"><span><a href="http://visittamborinemountain.com.au/">Tamborine Mountain</a></span><span> </span>is a good place to base yourself for some tranquillity. It’s the gateway to the scenic rim — the remains of a ridge created as part of the rim of a volcano, 22 million years ago. The elevation provides a cool yet sub-tropical climate and the rich volcanic soil ensures that just about anything grows anywhere. So there are palm groves, tropical flowers, and rainforests, but there’s also galleries, markets, and wineries. The walking is great and so are the various scenic drives.</p> <p class="BodyA">The<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.rainforestskywalk.com.au/">Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk</a></span><span> </span>provides the rare opportunity to walk through the canopy of trees, far above the ground. Or you can head in the other direction and venture underground to the<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.glowwormcavetamborinemountain.com.au/">Glow Worm Caves</a></span>.</p> <p class="BodyA"><span><a href="https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/lamington/">Lamington National Park</a></span><span> </span>on the Queensland side of the NSW border is a wild place of high mountains and deep valleys. For experienced walkers, it provides a wealth of opportunity. For the rest of us, there are two legendary retreats:<span> </span><span><a href="https://oreillys.com.au/">O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat</a></span><span> </span>and<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.binnaburralodge.com.au/">Binna Burra Lodge</a></span>. They are at either end of a wonderful track that can be walked in a day. Both provide a high degree of comfort, great views and good food, and a long list of local activities to experience.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BwQvjcKHskf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BwQvjcKHskf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">Antarctic Beech trees. Image: Ron Owen #trees #moss #nationalparks #qldparks #connectandprotect #green #conservation</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/nationalparksassocqld/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> National Parks Assoc. of QLD</a> (@nationalparksassocqld) on Apr 14, 2019 at 8:46pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p class="BodyA">Diversity is a significant part of the appeal of the Gold Coast. It’s not just the extreme contrast between the coast and the mountains, there’s also considerable variation in the coastal communities that get lumped into the all-inclusive “Gold Coast”.</p> <p class="BodyA">Some may recall when Surfers Paradise was more a crass concept than a real town and<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.metermaids.com/">meter maids</a></span><span> </span>roamed the streets. Back then, you crossed the border from NSW and you were in the village of Coolangatta. Currumbin was just up the road and you’d certainly stop to see the abundance of rainbow lorikeets at<span> </span><span><a href="https://currumbinsanctuary.com.au/">Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary</a></span>, opened in 1947.</p> <p class="BodyA">After<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/burleigh-head/">Burleigh Head National Park</a></span>, you were in a strip of motels all the way to Broadbeach, and finally to Surfers Paradise and Southport. There was once bush between these towns and the current canal-side communities like<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.destinationgoldcoast.com/places-to-see/mermaid-waters">Mermaid Waters</a></span><span> </span>didn’t exist. To some extent, each community has kept some of its original character so you can find the point on the dial between “laidback” and “hyperactive” at whatever level suits you best.</p> <p class="BodyA"><em>What are your memories of the early days of the Gold Coast? What appeals to you about the updated city? Share your thoughts below!</em></p> <p class="BodyA"><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/gold-coast-all-grown-up.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel