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SHORT BREAKS & ROMANTIC ESCAPES

The Secrets to a Great Romance

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A SUPER LU XURY WEEKEND AW VALUED UP AY TO

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Luxury Lodges of

2012

contents summer

SUBSC

FEATURES 01

The Secrets to a

Great Romance

WIN

02-03 Riding in the Wolgan Valley 65

RIBE &

See pa ge for det 65 ails

Subscriptions

Page 34

NEW SOUTH WALES 4 The ‘Other Side’ of Sydney 6-7

The Blue Mountains

12-13 Rolling on the River Hawkesbury 16-17 Central Coast Charm 22

Discover Lord Howe

24

The World of Norfolk Island

26

A Moveable Feast in the Hunter

Page18

28-29 The Far North Coast QUEENSLAND 33-34 Vive la Montville 36

Noosa - Playground of the rich

and famous

38

Port Douglas Carnivale

40

The Whitsundays

Page 81

ACCOMMODATION DIRECTORY

VICTORIA

The Sebel Pier One

42

Driving down Apollo Bay

Lilianfels

Take the food trail at Yarra Valley

Echoes Boutique Hotel

10-11

The Boat House on Hawkesbury

TASMANIA

Kims Beach Hideaway

46

Kooindah Waters Noonaweena

44

The Tarkine

Vanuatu 48

Espirito Santo

NEW ZEALAND 50-51 Hawkes Bay 66-67 Milford Sound

Page 39

Hurakia Lodge

56

Peppers on the Point

57

Treetops Lodge & Estate

58

14-15

Eagles Nest

59

18-19

Huka Lodge

60

20

Lake Taupo Lodge

61

21

Auckland’s Waitakere Estate

62

Pinetrees Lodge

23

River Birches Lodge

63

Forrester Court

25

Bushland Park Lodge

64

Billabong Moon

27

Blanket Bay Luxury Lodge

68

The Villas of Byron

30

Fiordland Lodge

69

Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat

31

Grasmere Lodge

70

Timara Lodge

71

Spicers Clovelly Estate

5 8-9

34-35

Tourism Noosa

37

Claremont Country Estate

72

Executive Retreats

39

Pen-y-bryn Luxury Lodge

73

Paradise Bay Eco Escape

41

Remarkables Lodge

74

Chocolate Gannets

43

Otahuna Lodge

75

Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa 45

Sherwood Lodge

76

Corinna Wilderness Experience

47

Tiritiri Lodge

77

Ratua Private Island

49

Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet

78

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

52

Matakauri Lodge

79

Breckenridge Lodge

53

Bay of Many Coves

80

Earthsong Lodge

54

Stonefly Lodge

81

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

55

Page15

weekendsfortwo.com.au

Weekends for two summer 2012 Publisher: Larry Jamieson larry@jamiesonmedia.com.au Advertising Sales Manager: Phillip Punshon sales@we42.com.au Advertising Co-ordinator: Kaye Harris kaye@dawsons.com.au Art Director: Carolyn Jamieson production@dawsons.com.au Online Manager: Md Asaduzzaman md@dawsons.com.au Accounts: Julie Buchanan accounts@dawsons.com.au Subscriptions: subs@dawsons.com.au Distribution: Network Distribution Printer: pmgmedia

The Secrets to a Great Romance

1. Snorkel on The Great Barrier Reef

Jamieson Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 197, Cronulla NSW 2230 Australia PHONE: (61) 02 8522 0000 FAX: (61) 02 8522 0088

or soak up the sun’s rays on idyllic Low Isles. 2. Hire a scooter for a day and visit the many secluded beaches, rainforest tracks and swimming holes of the region. 3. Enjoy the thrill of a breathtaking helicopter flight over Port Douglas

WEB: weekendsfortwo.com.au

before landing on your own private island to swim and explore.

EMAIL: admin@we42.com.au

4. Sip on a ‘Paradiso Pearl’ cocktail at The Living Room restaurant in Port Douglas; a setting of tropical elegance.

Jamieson Publishing Pty Ltd would like to thank the following bureaux for their contribution to photography within this magazine: Blue Mountains Tourism Bureau, Central Coast Tourism, Hunter River & Hunter Valley Tourism, South Coast Tourism, Melbourne & Mornington Peninsula Tourism, Tourism NT, Lord Howe Island Tourism, Tourism New South Wales, Gold Coast Tourism, Sunshine Coast Tourism, Tourism Queensland, South Australian Tourism Commission, Tourism Tasmania, Tourism Victoria, Tourism Western Australia and Tourism New Zealand. Copyright 2012 Jamieson Publishing Pty Ltd. This publication may not, in whole or in part, be lent, copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine readable form without the express written permission of the publishers. While the publishers have taken all reasonable precautions and make all reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of the material contained in this publication, it is a condition of purchase of this magazine that the publishers do not assume any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in this publication, or from the use of information contained herein and the publishers make no warranties, express or implied, with respect to any of the material contained herein. Weekends for Two takes care in its selection of properties which it believes would most interest readers of this publication. The properties featured assist in funding part of the production cost of Weekends for Two.

5. Invigorate yourself with a swim in the rainforest at the stunning Mossman Gorge before visiting luxurious Silky Oaks Lodge for lunch. 6. Sunrise on Four Mile Beach is an enchanting hour to take a leisurely stroll, jog or simply enjoy the dawn beauty and the passing beach parade. 7. Pamper yourself and your partner with a luxurious couple’s treatment at a day spa in the Daintree Rainforest absorbing the sights, smells & sounds of nature. Finish your treatment with a swim in a private waterfall lagoon. 8. Dine at one of the many restaurants and cafés on Macrossan Street before dancing the night away at the infamous Iron Bar – keep an eye out for celebrities – they love it here! 9. Sail the tropical seas for free. Port Douglas Yacht Club offers visitors free sailing with local boaties every Wednesday afternoon – just register your name with the Yacht Club. 10. Indulge in a sunset journey to a private cove with a personal chef waiting to serve you mango daiquiris and a sumptuous catered meal.

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Fine Dining

Riding in the

Wolgan Valley

When the invitation came to visit the Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa I didn’t resist.

W

e climbed aboard the new Toyota Camry and after a scenic three-hour drive from Sydney we found the resort set amidst the stunning scenery of the Blue Mountains. It occupies just two per cent of a 4,000-acre conservation reserve and combines high-end luxury accommodation with the preservation of wildlife. Combine forty free standing cottages, each with its own private swimming pool and terrace, with world class dining and exemplary

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service, and it soon becomes apparent that the Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa is not just another luxury resort. The Wolgan Valley itself is composed of tall, almost vertical cliffs which contrast the gentle curve of the Valley floor. It narrows to a bottleneck where the Wolgan River cuts a deep gorge through the sandstone. A private dirt road follows the river through the valley to the property. It is a beautiful drive where we gave the Camry a workout on the dirt road. It

handled it all surprisingly well and we finally found the resort on a slope near the southern end of the valley, at the foot of Mount Wolgan. Horse riding is the ideal way to become familiar with the land. The resort offers guests keen to explore the reserve on horseback a Field Guide who will lead them on a trail of discovery. We were met at the Main Homestead and transferred to the stables to collect our trusty steeds. Mine was an ex racehorse named “Oscar”

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Wolgan Valley

After a weekend in the saddle it was time to take the reins of the Camry and head her for home. and we became great mates. A gourmet picnic was laid out in a relaxing spot by the river. After lunch the ride took an eastern route back to the resort following the Wolgan River with the sun setting at our backs. The extra time in the saddle lends itself to developing a bond with the horses. It is also a great way to observe

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the wildlife, with Wallabies calmly grazing as we rode past. The culinary skills of the Wolgan Valley chefs beautifully showcase Australia’s exceptional food and wines. Guests experience the finest food and beverages Australia has to offer; all presented and served in an elegant fashion. After a weekend in the saddle it was time to take the reins of the Camry and head her for home. We comfortably delivered it back to Toyota covered in the red dust of the Western plains.

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Sydney I NEW SOUTH WALES

Old Pub at Wiseman’s Ferry, Hawkesbury Valley Paul Blackmore, Tourism NSW

The ‘Other Side’ of

Sydney

People know and love Sydney as the harbour city.

T

he eastern side of the city has long been the star, featuring the famous icons of the Opera House, Circular Quay and the Harbour Bridge as the backdrop. All while the western side of the city known as Millers Point has languished. Now, with the proposed Barangaroo development, there is a new buzz in the air. Barangaroo is planned to fully integrate with the city and neighbouring precincts of Millers Point and the Rocks. It will feature new transport systems to ensure it is fully accessible to all Sydneysiders. The name Barangaroo commemorates the wife of the aboriginal Bennelong.

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Millers Point is a small suburb often thought to be a part of its neighbour, The Rocks. The area is full of interesting buildings from Sydney’s colonial past. The Garrison Church still stands in The Rocks. The first marriage took place there on October 23, 1843. I was married there 151 years later. The current Sydney Observatory building on Observatory Hill was completed in 1858. Two separate pubs in the area claim to be Sydney’s oldest surviving pubs, the Lord Nelson at Millers Point and the Fortune of War at The Rocks. Others in the area include the Palisade and the Hero of Waterloo. Barangaroo is the largest continuous harbour foreshore site in Sydney. It will be

a new place to enjoy the harbour through its natural headland park and foreshore walk. I recently did the walk from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay and highly recommend it. It is part of the new 14 kilometre Circle Walk which takes in the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, the ANZAC and Iron Cove Bridges as well as Milsons Point. It is a chance to see the “other side” of Sydney.

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Sydney | NEW SOUTH WALES

Sydney

the Sebel pier one The closest you can get to Sydney Harbour without getting wet! The Sebel Pier One Sydney is your idyllic Sydney hotel. People come to Sydney to see the icons. When you stay at The Sebel Pier One

P: +61 2 8298 9999 F: +61 2 8298 9788 W: sebelpierone.com.au E: reservations@tspos.mirvac. com

Enjoy the best of the waterfront location… take in the wonder of Sydney Harbour, explore the foreshore, wander through The Rocks or stop for a drink at one of the many historic pubs. The Walsh Bay suite features an ensuite

you have them on your door step. Absolute

bathroom with deep spa bath, perfect for a

waterfront, spectacular harbour views, first class

long, satisfying soak. Music is at your fingertips

service, the Sebel Pier One offers easy access to

with your own stereo system in your suite, as is

the CBD, The Rocks, Harbour Bridge and Opera

video entertainment on your flat-screen TV.

House. Location: Perfect.

You don’t need to leave your pampered

Escape to the heart of Sydney this weekend..

pooch behind. The Sebel Pier One Sydney is

Perhaps it’s time to catch up with your

your five star dog friendly Sydney hotel.

partner, a talk and a chat with your best

All guest rooms and suites at The Sebel Pier

girlfriend or maybe just a little pampering and

One Sydney come with a private in-room bar,

ADDRESS:

some “me time”. Whatever the reason, a Sebel

tea, coffee making facilities and individually

The Sebel Pier One Sydney

Pier One weekend escape is the ideal solution.

climate controlled air conditioning. You can

11 Hickson Road

You get to stay a night in a Waterside King

luxuriate in your rich cotton bathrobe, snuggle

The Rocks

Room overlooking Walsh Bay with a bottle of

up in your duvet and doze off supported by

Sydney NSW 2000

bubbly to welcome you, enjoy a bountiful buffet

comfy pillows.

breakfast and dinner with Sydney Harbour as your backdrop.

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The Sebel Pier One - a truly memorable weekend escape right in the heart of Sydney.

5

NEW Mountains NEW SOUTH SOUTH WALES WALES | | Blue Sydney

The Blue

Mountains

Left: Couple watching the sunset, Katoomba Photo: Adam Taylor, Destination NSW

The Blue Mountains is a magical place to visit any time of the year and a popular day trip destination from Sydney.

I

t glows in autumn, is cool in winter, colourful in spring and refreshing in summer. The Blue Mountains are densely populated by oil bearing Eucalyptus trees. The air is filled with finely dispersed droplets of oil, which, in combination with dust particles and water vapour, scatter short-wave rays of light which are predominantly blue in colour. This gives the mountains their bluish hue which can be seen from afar. The Three Sisters are the Blue Mountains most spectacular landmark. Located at Echo Point, Katoomba, around 2.5 kilometres from the Great Western Highway, this iconic visitor attraction is experienced by millions of people each year.

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The Three Sisters is essentially an unusual rock formation representing three sisters who according to Aboriginal legend were turned to stone. The Aboriginal dream-time legend has it that three sisters, “Meehni”, “Wimlah” and “Gunnedoo” lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe. These beautiful young ladies had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe, yet tribal law forbade them to marry. The brothers were not happy to accept this law and decided to use force to capture the three sisters causing a major tribal battle. As the three sisters were in danger, a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe turned the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm. While he

had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, the witchdoctor himself was killed. Only he could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former beauty. Now the sisters remain in their magnificent rock formation as a reminder of this battle for generations to come. The character of the Three Sisters changes throughout the day and throughout the seasons as the sunlight brings out the magnificent colours. The Three Sisters is floodlit until around 11pm each evening. They look spectacular set against the black background of the night sky. The Three Sisters stand at 922, 918 and 906 metres tall respectively. That’s over 3000 feet above sea level! A nice way to see more of this unique

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Blue Mountains Sydney | NEW SOUTH WALES

Aerial view of Brooklyn railway bridge, Hawkesbury River, Photo Hamilton Lund Destination NSW

Cascades near Katoomba Falls, Photo: Peter Lik, Destination NSW

Close up view of the Three Sisters, Photo Destination NSW

Above: Forest track, Photo: Adam Taylor, Destination NSW

area is the Greater Blue Mountains Drive. It links a vast and spectacular world heritage landscape which allows you to explore the many valleys which make up the mountains. Branching off the core loop of the Greater Blue Mountains Drive are 18 Discovery Trails - each one unique. These back roads are the heart and soul of the drive, taking you in amongst the mountains and valleys, the national parks and regional attractions. Each of the Discovery Trails offers a superb daytrip. A “stepping-stone” approach works well. Choose your region and base yourself in a handy local town. Spend a weekend exploring in different directions, then move on to stay somewhere new, then another, then another! You certainly won’t run out of things to see and do in the Blue Mountains.

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Couple dining, Photo: Paul Blackmore, Destination NSW

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NEW SOUTH WALES | Blue Mountains Sydney

Katoomba

Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa is a

of winter comes the famous Spring Garden

renowned haven of relaxation in one of Australia’s

Festivals of the Mountains, transforming the region

most beautiful destinations. The luxurious, five

into a spectacular rainbow of colours. Re-energise

star property in Katoomba, NSW, is housed in a

yourself with outdoor adventures – choose from

historic country mansion set amidst two acres of

bushwalking, bike riding, canyoning and tennis,

manicured gardens.

or set the mood for complete relaxation with

Just a short drive from Sydney, the hotel is a

Dining is of the highest order at Lilianfels

gourmets and a wonder for lovers of nature and

restaurant Darley’s. Steeped in history, Darley’s

the Blue Mountains. Lilianfels is the perfect base

Restaurant is set in the heritage listed, original

from which to explore the Upper Blue Mountains

homestead of Frederick Darley, the sixth Chief

including Katoomba, Leura, Mt Victoria and

Justice of NSW and is a tribute to a bygone era.

Blackheath.

Modern Australian cuisine is served in a romantic

At Lilianfels, you can be yourself whilst enjoying

F: (02) 4780 1300 W: www.lilianfels.com.au E: reservations@lilianfels.com.au

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setting that features beautiful stained glassed

all the creature comforts of an exclusive luxury

windows, original ornate fire places, and crystal

retreat. From the crispest sheets and fluffiest towels

chandeliers that offers guests a breathtaking view

to the individually decorated guest rooms, no

of the surrounding gardens and the Jamison Valley.

detail has been overlooked. Sink into an extra

P: (02) 4780 1200

one of our indulgent spa treatments.

breathtaking escape for romantics, a delight for

Darley’s is a multi award winning restaurant,

deep bath. The marble bathrooms offer a

most recently being awarded for 2011 the

separate bath and shower with plush towelling

prestigious “one chef’s hat” in the SMH Good

bath robes. Decorated in lush fabrics, including

Food Guide Awards. It doesn’t get any better

organza and silk, the 85 guest rooms invite you

than that. The restaurant was also named Best

to curl-up and wile away the hours.

Regional Restaurant in the SMH Good Food Guide

Relax and rejuvenate amidst the pristine

Awards 2010 and was nominated in 2010 to the

beauty of the Australian wilderness surrounded

Hall of Fame at the Australian Hotel Association

by forests of fragrant eucalyptus. With the end

Awards for Excellence. The extensive wine list

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Blue Mountains Sydney | NEW SOUTH WALES

offers vintage wine sourced locally from Mudgee and Orange as well as wines from other top Australian and international wineries. What better way to relax than in the hotel’s Lobby Lounge with a Whiskey Flight by the fire? Choose from a flight of three different styles of whiskies, or a superb malt whisky perfectly paired with a matching dessert or bold cheese. The flights will be a way of sampling a few of the 15 whiskies that are being added to The Lounge’s beverage list by Lilianfels’ Whisky Consultant, Alexx Stuart. Alexx has visited distilleries around the globe, spending time as a special guest at Glenfiddich and The Balvenie, while exploring the history and culture of malt whisky drinking in Scotland. Guests of Lilianfels will have the opportunity to share Alexx’s in-depth knowledge through detailed tasting notes supplied with the whisky flights. Executive Chef, Carl Middleton is more than happy to take on the challenge of matching these premium tipples with suitable culinary candidates. He believes there isn’t anything more satisfying on a chilly, mid-season evening than sipping a dram of Ardbeg 10 and nibbling pungent Stilton. So, where do I book in?

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NEW SOUTH WALES | Sydney

echoes’ boutique hotel & restaurant Echoes’ Boutique Hotel & Restaurant is perched on the very edge of the Jamison Valley at Echo

colour palette to luxurious furnishings and fittings. The unique location offers stunning panoramas

Point in the Blue Mountains. Its unique location

from every room, providing guests with the most

offers stunning panoramas of the National Park

breathtaking views of mountains, cliff edges

from every room, providing all guests with

and lush rainforest valleys. The Blue Mountains

ever-changing but always dramatic views.

most stunning icon “Echoes” unveils itself on the

Echoes is an intimate boutique hotel offering

very edge of the Jamison Valley with views right

the more personal style of service and

through to Mittagong, 80 kilometres away.

atmosphere found only in boutique establishments.

As one of the most stylish and sophisticated

The unique combination of fine dining and luxury

boutique hotels in the Blue Mountains region,

accommodation will provide that memorable

Echoes’ unique atmosphere of well-being

difference to any occasion whether it be a

combined with classicism and modernism provides

leisurely lunch or romantic dinner for two. All this

a harmonious retreat of luxury and relaxation.

and only 90 minutes from Sydney! Echoes Boutique Hotel is an intimate hotel nestled on the very edge of the World Heritage

Relaxation and recreation takes on a whole new meaning at Echoes Boutique Hotel. Rejuvenate with a brisk hike through the

P: +612 4782 1966

listed, Blue Mountains National Park. Set against

Jamison Valley or find peace and serenity with

(International)

an ever changing landscape, Echoes design

a pampering spa treatment in our private

P: (02) 4782 1966 (Australia)

makes a bold statement. By carefully preserving

sauna and spa.

F: (02) 4782 3707

and combining the building’s architectural

W: www.echoeshotel.com.au E: info@echoeshotel.com.au

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The award winning and eclectically designed

heritage, the look provokes the senses and the

building has both contemporary & stylish furnishings

imagination. Its 14 rooms boast individual

with generous indoor and outdoor seating areas.

personalities - from design, room names and

This allows guests to soak in the views as well as

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Blue Mountains Sydney | NEW SOUTH WALES

the lush cool air of the rainforest valleys below. There are open fire places throughout the Hotel with a cosy bar and lounge. Echoes’ Restaurant is set against the magnificent backdrop of Echo Point in the Blue Mountains with incomparable views of the Jamison Valley and surrounding cliff drops. The fresh air, myriad sounds of the bush and marvellous views are a feast for your senses whilst delighting in the creative cuisine and carefully selected high quality boutique Australian wines. Echoes Restaurant features modern cuisine with a creative edge and is a romantic enclave infused with sensual glamour that morphs from day to night. The restaurant itself has an atmosphere of modern elegance that complements the dramatic architecture of the original design. To add to the sophisticated ambience, the hotel celebrates its “breathtaking views” by serving breakfast, lunch and intimate dinners to in-house guests on the terrace. Whether you are looking for a savvy spot for lunching or making a reservation for two, Echoes Restaurant is the perfect setting.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

11

NEW SOUTH WALES | Hawkesbury

Rolling on the River

Hawkesbury Discover the ultimate short break just an hour from Sydney City CBD on the famous Hawkesbury River.

T

here are a host of small settlements along the river to discover. A ferry ride with the famous “River Boat Postman” can take you there. A certain “Wind in the Willows” feeling overtakes one when pottering along the river. There is a range of waterfront accommodation perfect for a special weekend away. Treat yourself to lunch at a waterfront restaurant, or relax in the comfort of your riverfront cottage or boatshed. If you haven’t kicked back and watched the tide go up and down, thrown a line into the water, listened to some great music and watched the sun go down over the sandstone escarpments, then now is the time. Brooklyn is the hub of road and boat access to the Lower Hawkesbury region. Just sixty kilometres by road or rail from Sydney, Brooklyn is one of those hidden

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gems on the river. It is four kilometres from the F3 freeway and on the main intercity northern rail line. An array of restaurants, cafes and a pub attract locals and day trippers alike. From Brooklyn get the Ferry out to Dangar Island. Dangar Island offers a taste of the tranquil “village” life of days gone by. The island is one of the few communities that have the benefit of a regular ferry service. The Dangar Island Ferry departs on a regular basis from the Ferry Wharf. This is also the starting point of the River Boat Postman which delivers mail to the Hawkesbury River settlements such as Milson’s Passage, Bar Point & Little Wobby Beach. There are a few townships along the Hawkesbury River with road access such as Spencer & Daleys Point. Spencer is affectionately known as The Hub of the Universe. It is the next township after

Woman shopping at Paddington Markets, James Pipino Tourism NSW

Brooklyn as you travel up river and a sleepy little hollow. Bar Point is a boat access only river settlement ten kilometres inland from the F3 Freeway. It is popular as a weekend destination being just a few minutes upstream from Milson’s Passage and

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Couple at a park in Berowra Waters Hawkesbury River, Photo Hamilton Lund Destination NSW

A weekend on the Hawkesbury River will leave you refreshed with memories to be treasured. Houseboat on Cowan Creek, Hawkesbury River, Photo Mike Skelton Destination NSW

relatively quick to reach from Sydney. Milson’s Passage is a cluster of charming cottages, boatsheds and weekenders. It is just five kilometres upstream from the Hawkesbury River Bridge facing north towards Milson’s Island and surrounded by the Mugomarra Nature Reserve. This community is especially popular as a weekend destination. Outside peak hour traffic the drive from Sydney to Brooklyn is less than an hour. Add a fifteen minute boat trip and you are there! Fisherman’s Point extends out from Marra Marra National Park and is just metres from Bar Island. Despite being just ten kilometres from the mainland at Brooklyn this peninsula is one of the most secluded. There are excellent cleared trails into the bush offering spectacular views from the ridge lines. A weekend on the Hawkesbury River will leave you refreshed with memories to be treasured. While only sixty kilometres from Sydney, it could well be six hundred.

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Aerial view of Brooklyn railway bridge, Hawkesbury River, Photo Hamilton Lund Destination NSW

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NEW SOUTH WALES | Hawkesbury River

Hawkesbury River

The Boat House on hawkesbury Every year more and more Sydneysiders discover

billiard table provide yet another dimension to

an escape from Sydney which belies its close

this magnificent property. And yet there’s even

proximity to such a large city. It only takes an

more, a rooftop with spa and table setting for 12

hour from the CBD to get to Brooklyn, from

ensure outdoor entertaining in style.

where you can access the beautiful Hawkesbury

P: 02 9985 8505 or 0418 282 224

Every level has expansive views of the

River and its hidden secrets. It is here that the

breathtaking waterway with the very pretty

Boat House on Hawkesbury can be found, only

Dangar Island and Brooklyn as the backdrop.

a two minute water taxi ride from Brooklyn to

If cooking with friends is your style, the fully

Wobby Beach.

equipped Boat House kitchen will not disappoint.

Boat House on Hawkesbury is a complete

If you prefer a weekend away from cooking,

holiday destination with 1200 m2 of indulgent

delicious seafood platters can be delivered to

space spread over 3 levels. The covered wharf

you from Life Boat Seafood’s. You may wish to

area makes an excellent fishing position for those

get the water taxi to Brooklyn and one of the

E: info@ boathouseonhawkesbury.

who like to try their luck for jewfish, flathead and

restaurants there. For a very special occasion

com.au

bream. Inside on the downstairs level, the indoor

why not have Secret Dining come to the Boat

Tariff: From $600.00

heated pool and spa lead out to a spacious

House and cook for you.

per couple/weekend.

entertaining area with BBQ. Whilst upstairs the

www.boathouseonhawkesbury. com.au

huge living /dining level complete with full size

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After a day full of enjoying all that the Boat House has to offer, retire to one of the 6 Double

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Hawkesbury River | NEW SOUTH WALES

bedrooms, all with ensuites and spas. Whatever

Hawkesbury leaves its guests with memories to be treasured.

your idea of a perfect weekend away with

The size, style and location of the Boat House leave only one

family or a small group of friends is, the Boat

ingredient to add: you and your special friends or close family.

House will not disappoint.

With heated indoor pool, outdoor BBQ area, large entertaining

Perhaps you have your own boat, and want

level plus rooftop with spa, the perfect backdrop for your

to spend time on the water combined with great

weekend is here. Six bedrooms, all with queen beds, ensuites

accommodation. The Boat House is a boaties

and spas, make a 12 adult stay perfect. Anniversaries, that

paradise, with its deep water wharf, mooring

special birthday, or an annual get together of special friends,

off the house, and mooring whips on the wharf

the Boat House delivers like no other holiday house can.

to protect your boat from damage. Spend time

“The Boathouse is an amazing house and location. It is

exploring this magnificent waterway, knowing

the perfect setting to celebrate a birthday. We danced, we

that you have the ideal base to come back to.

laughed, we played and relaxed. Good food, wine, tons of

A weekend at the Boat House on

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memories, we’ll be back”.

15

NEW SOUTH WALES | Central Hunter Region Coast

Couple at The Skillion, Terrigal

Just an hour’s drive from Sydney, the Central Coast feels a world away from the city.

I

t is an ideal destination for a weekend escape with fresh air, sun, surf and sand. The Central Coast has long been a favourite holiday escape for Sydneysiders. Centrally located between the cities of Newcastle and Sydney, hence “Central Coast”, the uncrowded beaches are fringed with wonderful coastal villages. It stretches from the Hawkesbury River in the south to the edge of Lake Macquarie in the north. On the Central Coast you will find yourself in a destination that has a distinctive change of pace. The essence of the region is a world of beautiful coastlines, golden beaches, alluring lakes and pristine National Parks. Whether you’re after beaches, forests, mountains or lakes, the Central Coast has it all. From galleries and craft shops to gardens and animal sanctuaries, you will find something to please everyone. The Central Coast offers amazing lookouts with stunning views over the hinterland or

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Central Coast

Charm

spectacular Australian coast line. With over 30 beaches, everyone has their favourite. Virtually every beach has a surf club and surf patrol. Learn to horse ride, scuba dive or surf – it’s all possible on the Central Coast. Experience the many villages throughout the Central Coast from the quaint village of Patonga to the city of

drive away for pony trekking. The more adventurous can quad bike, abseil or kayak along peaceful waterways. It’s a similar theme up and down the coast – at Avoca Beach relax on white sand or cross to Avoca Lake to hire a pedal boat, kayak or surf-ski. On the top end of the Central Coast at The Entrance, shops and cafés make it easy to have a relaxing kind of

The essence of the region is a world of beautiful coastlines, golden beaches, alluring lakes and pristine National Parks Gosford. Terrigal is the cosmopolitan heart of the coast. The village nestles at one end of its pine tree fringed beach offering an enticing range of fine restaurants. In Killcare try sailing or fishing in Hardy’s Bay inlet. Glenworth Valley is a short

beach holiday. Nearby Toowoon Bay offers shelter for less confident swimmers. Vast areas of natural bushland have been preserved in Bouddi National Park, Brisbane Water National Park, Yengo and Wyrrabalong National Parks and along

weekendsfortwo.com.au

CentralSydney Coast | NEW SOUTH WALES

the magnificent Hawkesbury River. Take a kayak tour and enjoy the drama of sheer sandstone cliffs and tranquil rainforests; visit a vast Banksia forest; or take a guided bushwalk to visit Aboriginal rock drawings and carvings. The waterways of Brisbane Waters, Tuggerah Lakes and Lake Macquarie offer outstanding fishing and water sports. For a break from beach and bush, try stepping back in time at Old Sydney Town; visit the Australian Reptile Park; enjoy a walk in the Forest of Tranquillity or watch the daily pelican feeding at The Entrance. The Central Coast offers every kind of accommodation from luxurious spas and five star hotels to the beachside cabin where you stay with the sand at your door. Flip over the page to see our review of some of the best.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

17

NEW SOUTH WALES | Central Sydney Coast

Toowoon Bay

kims beach hideaway Kims is one of my favourite weekend retreats and

cottages with big windows all around that open

run by long time friends. It is a place that, for

to the sea. This is a special retreat, unique among

me, restores my faith in the simple but important

luxury hotels. Here the emphasis is on comfort

things in life. The Patriarch of the family, Andrew

and life’s simple pleasures, a place where busy

Strachan, has taught me that it is possible to be

people and lovers can relax in complete privacy.

a successful businessman and sportsman yet

Luxuriously appointed bungalows and spa villas

still act as a gentleman. There are no excuses

spread along the beachfront or set beneath,

at Kims. They don’t blame this or that for poor

between and at treetop level in a forest of

quality food or service – they just make it

century-old Norfolk Island Pines.

happen - regularly. The Strachan family have

P: (02) 4332 1566

Here is a dining experience served daily

been involved at Kims since the 1950’s. Andrew

for over one hundred years. The Dining Room

and Maryjane Strachan, together with Andrew’s

where superb buffet meals are served overlooks

niece Diana and Peter Kershaw are your hosts.

the magnificent Pacific Ocean. Daily since 1886,

The sheer longevity of Kims must be a

the ships bell has caused great anticipation.

F: (02) 4333 1544

compliment to the family. Kims has succeeded

It heralds that a Kims meal is being served.

W: www.kims.com.au

in being a popular hideaway for Sydney people

They serve a superb buffet breakfast, lunch and

for over 100 years. The two attractions were and

dinner daily; these meals are included in your

still are the beach and dining room. Kims is the

daily tariff. Only the freshest, most wholesome

sort of beach retreat that, in a perfect world,

food is selected and prepared simply but with

E: kims@kims.com.au TARIFF: Midweek packages are inclusive of Dinner, Breakfast and Lunch and start from $285.00 per person per day.

18

everyone would spend summers at. It is the

great expertise. The menu changes daily, featuring

perfect environment to soothe the body and soul.

local seafood, an Australian and International

Accommodation is in individual timber

cheese selection and “home made” delicacies

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Sydney | NEW SOUTH WALES

including their own smoked salmon, ice cream, preserves and chutney. On hand is a selection of premium wines, some of which Andrew personally chose for me. What are mates for? The layout is perfect for languid consumption and peaceful digestion by the sea. Of an evening a Cocktail Lounge features live entertainment. A “Pampering Place� offers massage treatments. I have noticed that people come to Kims for one main purpose - to relax. Relax is something they do very well. Mother Nature has bequeathed a portfolio of natural wonders on Toowoon Bay. There is the location absolute beachfront, with a golden stretch of South Pacific sand and a luminous sea right on the doorstep. The air comes clean and clear across several thousand kilometres of ocean. There is a luscious forest filled with palms and tropical greenery, and then there are the birds. Hundreds of them. Whip birds and lorikeets and honey eaters, singing the mornings alive. Come to Kims. See you there!

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19

NEW SOUTH WALES | Central Sydney Coast

Central Coast

Mercure kooindah waters Mercure Kooindah Waters is an excellent place

Dining is a pleasure at Mercure Kooindah

P: 02 4355 5777

for a summer getaway. Located on the NSW

Waters. Karinyas Restaurant has a strong reputation

W: www.kooindahwaters.com.au

Central Coast, 90 minutes north of Sydney’s

on the Central Coast for offering a refined dining

E: reservations@kooindahwaters.

CBD, Mercure Kooindah Waters is an exciting

experience with an excellent seasonal menu.

destination with an impressive range of facilities

Guests also have the option of a 24 hour room

and accommodation. Nestled in bushland, this 4

service menu and onsite BBQ facilities in addition

1/2 star resort features an 18-hole championship

to the kitchens in the suites and villas.

com.au TARIFF: Summer Special. One night’s accommodation in a Standard King Room for two. Antipasto platter and a bottle of white wine on arrival. Complimentary late check out when available (11am). $199 per room per night. Valid for stays during December 2011 and January and February 2012. Subject to availability. Terms and

golf course, Karinyas Restaurant & Wine Bar and

With so much to do at the Resort you may

an endota day spa. Other facilities include an

not want to leave. If you do, Tuggerah Lake is just

indoor heated lap pool, outdoor swimming pool,

minutes away and offers an array of water sports

spa, sauna, gymnasium and tennis courts.

and nature based activities. The Central Coast’s

Contemporary accommodation options

pristine beaches are within a 30 minute drive. But

include Standard King Rooms, and one, two and

why not explore further afield and visit the scenic

three Bedroom Apartments, many overlooking

Dooralong Valley, or the Hunter Valley wineries

the golf course and the surrounding wetlands. All

which are less than an hour away?

conditions apply. Blockout dates

rooms feature wireless internet access and cable

Which ever option you take, Mercure

23rd December until 3rd January.

LCD TV, while our luxury apartments also provide

Kooindah Waters is a great destination for a

full kitchen and laundry facilities.

Summer Weekend for Two.

20

weekendsfortwo.com.au

CentralSydney Coast | NEW SOUTH WALES

Kulnura

noonaweena Noonaweena is a place of delightful contrasts.

available for couple retreats. The dwelling hosts

over Yengo National Park, this boutique haven is

two bedrooms with a large shared bathroom,

in the very heart of the bush, yet only 45 minutes

fully equipped gourmet kitchen, visual/audio

from outer Sydney and 45 minutes to Central

entertainment system and spacious living and

Coast beaches. It’s a striking example of

dining areas with access to the tennis court

contemporary architecture that’s totally in

and club house.

tune with its natural environment. Despite the

P: (02) 4376 1290

The stylish Boronia Cottage is also

Set high on a ridge commanding majestic views

Another option for the weekend stay is the

sophisticated interiors and modern facilities,

ultra-modern executive suite, Treetops. Fully

Noonaweena remains a welcoming country

self-contained with a large king bedroom, office

home, offering guests a unique opportunity to

area, spa bathroom, large modern kitchen/

connect with the land.

dining/living area, large deck with stainless steel

Noonaweena has an air of exclusivity,

BBQ, it’s an ideal couple’s retreat.

F: (02) 4376 1429

offering peace and privacy for family

W: www.noonaweena.com.au

celebrations, inspiring retreats, memorable

secluded nature trails that criss-cross the 100

E: manager@noonaweena.

weddings and corporate meetings. The property

acre property, take to the tennis court and

com.au

now also caters for couples seeking a restorative

afterwards enjoy a massage or revive in the

TARIFF: Weekend packages,

weekend bed and breakfast in a natural and

remarkable heated, freshwater horizon

including breakfast hamper,

serene environment.

swimming pool that seems to hang in mid-air

from Friday evening until

The newly-built Gymea House has five large

Spend your weekend exploring the

above the glorious blue-green valley.

Sunday afternoon are

bedrooms each with their own bathroom or

$600 for one couple and

ensuite, two living areas, gas fireplace, ceiling

paintball and horseriding nearby. But with

$1100 for 2 couples.

fans and air conditioning, and large kitchen and

Noonweena more than living up to the translation

Midweek specials available.

dining room. Outside, enjoy an entertaining area

of its Aboriginal name- “resting place in the

complete with BBQs and large heated spa.

bush” - chances are you won’t roam too far.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

If you can tear yourself away, you’ll find golf,

21

NEW SOUTH WALES | Lord Howe Island Sydney

Discover

Lord Howe

Lord Howe Island finally appeared out of the fog.

I

t was a stunning sight on my first visit many years ago. I arrived by yacht from the mainland and stumbled ashore cold and wet. The great thing about the island is that not much has changed. It became an annual escape for our family that everyone looked forward to. One of the things I continue to appreciate is the crowds - there aren’t any. The island has a permanent population of about 350 people and beds for a maximum of 400 guests. So, even at the height of the summer holidays, the biggest crowd you are likely to see will be the crowd around the buffet.

22

Pinetrees, the largest resort on the island, is now in the capable hands of the sixth generation of the same family. Dani Rourke, her husband Luke Hanson, and Rachel and Jim McFadyen are in charge. When I came ashore those years ago it was Dani’s mum who was there to greet me! The welcoming family atmosphere is still there. There’s a network of walking tracks around the island to see such sights as Malabar Hill, Old Settlement Beach and the wreckage of an RAAF Catalina flying boat that crashed in 1948. The mountains are the nesting grounds for thousands

of providence petrels and one of the few places these graceful birds breed. A major natural attraction is the lagoon. It’s the most southerly tropical coral reef in the world and the fish life and corals are among the best I’ve seen. On a recent visit my daughters and I swam off the beach to snorkel at Erscott’s Hole in the lagoon. The girls enjoyed teasing a small Galapagos reef shark. The tables turned when a number of these small sharks turned up and started to circle us. Suffice to say I have never seen my daughters swim so fast! Go to Lord Howe Island. You will love it.

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Lord Howe Island | NEW SOUTH WALES

Lord Howe Island

pinetrees LODGE Pinetrees Lodge is the perfect place to relax

the southernmost coral reef in the world. Guests

and escape the stress of everyday life. Pinetrees

can also challenge themselves on the Island’s

provides exceptional meals, personalised service

spectacular golf course.

and a stunning waterfront location. The boatshed deck on the beachfront is a great place for

world-class meals. The chefs create memorable

a hot shower after your early morning swim. It is

three course dinners and buffets featuring fresh

equally inviting for a cold beer or champagne

local kingfish. But it’s not just dinner, they’ll gladly

while watching the sunset.

pack a gourmet BBQ hamper and deliver it to

Pinetrees is the ideal place from which to

F: 02 9262 6638 W: www.pinetrees.com.au E: info@pinetrees.com.au TARIFF: from $660/couple/ night, all inclusive. See website for packages.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

one of the many idyllic barbeque spots on the

discover the beauty and adventure of Lord

island for your own private lunch. There’s no

Howe Island. The enthusiastic staff members love

additional charge, it’s just part of the Pinetrees

Lord Howe Island. Every morning at breakfast,

experience.

they’ll recommend where to go and what to P: 02 9262 6585

Pinetrees may be remote, but they provide

Choose from a range of accommodation,

do, depending on the weather and your level

including comfortable en-suite rooms, luxury

of enthusiasm. Some guests are happy to relax

one-bedroom Garden Cottages and 3 and 4

under the boatshed umbrellas, swim in the

bedroom family cottages. All of the rooms are

lagoon, or simply absorb the panorama of two

single storey and have flat access to the dining

of Australia’s most dramatic mountains. Other

room, lounge, bar, tennis court and boatshed.

guests like to keep themselves busy - they might

Stay at Pinetrees once and you’ll under-

catch a 15kg kingfish, walk through ancient sub-

stand why so many guests come back to visit

tropical forest, surf perfect waves or snorkel on

every year!

23

The World of

Photos courtesy Norfolk Island Tourism

Norfolk

Welcome to another world. This is the world of Norfolk Island.

I

t’s a world where the only fast food is pulled fresh from the soil or the sea. Time moves slowly on Norfolk Island. Elegant Georgian buildings are still in daily use. The Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area is now World Heritage Listed. It is an island of unspoiled natural beauty. Norfolk Islanders are a unique people, descendants of the famous Bounty mutineers. They speak their own special language and will welcome you in their own unique way. Norfolk Island is just a short flight from Australia or New Zealand.

24

Norfolk has a unique beauty with tall majestic pines, sheer cliff faces, coral reefs and beautiful beaches. Almost one third of the island is devoted to National Parks and Reserves. Norfolk’s seaside golf course is one of the world’s most scenic courses. One hole has been voted the best in the South Pacific! The main challenge is not being distracted by the views from the fairways. Encircling Norfolk Island is possibly the clearest, cleanest water you’ll ever enjoy. Diving below or paddling a kayak will take your breath away. Just offshore, the ocean floor descends to more than one kilometre below the surface. The skies above Norfolk Island have remained untainted by the modern world. With only a handful of streetlights, there’s zero light pollution. The night sky is brilliant. One of Norfolk Island’s many blessings is a subtropical climate, never dropping below 10 degrees or above 28. Around a third of islanders descend from the rebellious Bounty crew. There are eight common surnames, including Quintal, McCoy and Christian. The island’s telephone book is the only one in the world to be listed by nicknames including ‘Tarzan’, ‘Lettuce Leaf ’, ‘Diddles’ & ‘Shagsy’. I told you it was another world!

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Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island

Forrester court This unpretentious five star property exudes

tropical acres, yours to share with no more than

extraordinary natural beauty. Forrester Court

8 guests at any one time. This is an intimate, family

cottages are positioned on the cliff’s edge

owned eco- property; alive with native birds, where

with views overlooking Cascade Bay and

waterfalls can be seen from the property after the

beyond to Bird and Elephant Rock.

rains, pouring over at the cliffs of Cascade Bay

The cottages are beautifully appointed with P: +0011 6723 22838 W: www.forrestercourt.com E: af@norfolk.nf Tariff: from $450 per cottage night includes airport transfers, fully insured car and breakfast basket.

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These holiday cottages are located on 16 sub-

rest and tranquillity. It is truly a paradise of

absolute cliff top frontage and stunning ocean

above the old whaling station. Relax on the bench overlooking Cascade Bay

views out to the South Pacific and beyond.

and watch the Whales frolic in the Bay – a truly

They are self-contained and fully serviced; have

world-class experience. Forrester Court provides the

all the comforts of a ‘home away from home’,

perfect backdrop to begin exploring Norfolk Island.

perfect for those seeking the privacy and

Discover countless activities in our island’s pristine

convenience of self-catering with the option of

marine playground, lush hinterlands and rich historical

dinner prepared by the chef. She prides herself

tapestry. Come and be rejuvenated as soon as you

on sourcing fresh seasonal produce to create

touch down. It is no wonder Forrester Court has

an unforgettable dining experience.

earned accolades from past guests the world over.

25

NEW SOUTH WALES | Hunter SydneyRegion

A moveable feast at

the Hunter The Hunter Valley is Australia’s premier wine growing district

T

he serene beauty and tranquillity of the area give it a feeling of quiet country charm. Pokolbin is the centre of the Hunter Valley Wine Country and a great base for exploring the many wineries of the area. It is two hours drive north of Sydney. With boutique hotels, wine-tasting and award-winning restaurants, Australia’s oldest wine region has it all for the perfect weekend away. The Hunter Valley is a feast for the senses. Sample some of Australia’s finest wines and cuisine. Almost eclipsing the wine are the restaurants. You could spend the entire weekend wandering from one gourmet meal to the next. The Hunter Valley is renowned for its full-bodied whites, medium weight reds and some excellent ports. Some vineyards belong to big name companies such as Lindemans, McWilliams, Rothbury, Wyndham Estate and McGuigan. Others

26

like Tyrells and Draytons are very old family concerns which have been there for generations. A trip around the cellar doors provides an excellent introduction to the variety and quality of Australian wine. Visitors are provided with tasting glasses and given a small taste of each wine in the range of current vintages. Often the winemaker themselves explain each wine, what grapes it is made of, whether it needs to be cellared, and so on. Wine-tasting is also about being impulsive and stopping when you see a cellar door that looks intimate and interesting. For one last hurrah head over to Peterson House, a cellar door specialising in sparkling wine. Sit on the terrace overlooking the vines with a cold glass of sparkling wine (we’re not allowed to call it Champagne) and a plate of oysters or antipasti. Feel good? Ah yes, that’s what you came to the Hunter Valley for!

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Hunter Sydney Region | NEW SOUTH WALES

Pokolbin

billabong moon Expect a warm welcome from your friendly hosts

brick except Treetops which is elevated and

at this intimate escape for couples on Hermitage

features corrugated iron and timber. All have

Road Pokolbin, close to the Hunter’s many cellar

reverse cycle air-conditioning for instant warmth

doors and wineries, fine dining and great cafes.

during the glorious cooler months with their

In a natural setting on 25 acres of native forest

bright clear skies and crisp cool nights.

and lawn, it’s all too easy to see why guests feel

Romantic wood fires and timber floors add to

so at home at stylish Billabong Moon. Owners

the ambience of the living areas, while the

Andy and Jenny Birtchnell have designed the

baths and spas for two offer the chance to

property as a relaxing retreat in classic Australian

indulge in a sensuous Red Wine Bath.

design with wide verandahs and a fresh, contemporary décor. There are five spacious, self-contained

If food and wine is another passion you’ll be spoilt by the variety and quality nearby and, when you return to Billabong Moon, there are

cottages – Billabong, Casuarina, the Studio,

the romantic walking tracks, the all-weather

Sunset Ridge and Treetops – each thoughtfully

putting green the outdoor bonfire area and

designed and positioned to ensure total privacy.

the saltwater pool to add to the year-round

The outdoor hot tub at Casuarina is the

enjoyment of your holiday.

perfect spot to soak away the tension of the day before relaxing in front of the blazing fire and sipping a glass of the Hunter’s famous Shiraz. The P: 02 6574 7290

Studio has a bohemian atmosphere and enticing

W: www.billabongmoon.com.au

teak four-poster bed while Sunset Ridge and

E: info@billabongmoon.com.au

the elevated Treetops also have king beds and

TARIFF: from $220/couple/night;

larger spa baths – the bush bath at Treetops is a

$350/2 couples/night; $610/

favourite spot for those at one with the outdoors.

couple/2-night

At Billabong, guests can lounge on deckchairs as

weekend; $980/2 couples/ 2-night weekend.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

they fish for silver perch from the waterside deck or just enjoy the ever changing water view. The cottages are energy efficient double

27

NEW SOUTH WALES | Far North Coast

Alpine Way, Snowy Mountains

Byron Bay

Region The Far North Coast of New South Wales contains stunning beaches, World Heritage areas and character-filled villages. Byron Bay is one of them.

I

n recent years Byron Bay has come onto the international tourism radar of “cool places to visit”. Cape Byron is Australia’s most easterly point, 153° 39´ east. It is located 800kms (ten hours) north of Sydney, 175kms (two hours) south of Brisbane. Initially a favoured hangout for itinerant surfers only rivalled by Noosa in Queensland, it is now an international mecca for the young and young at heart seeking an alternative lifestyle by the beach. The Byron region is home to some of Australia’s most accomplished artists. Byron Bay has always attracted a diverse range of creative and alternative cultures. Also known as the “rainbow region”, the area in and around Byron is considered

28

to be the spiritual home of Australia’s hippy movement. Artists of all types have been attracted to Byron Bay due to its outstanding natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle. From international musicians and world renowned sculpters to surfies and novelists, the region continues to inspire people to create things and express themselves freely. You can often visit the artist’s studios and see their work at one of the many boutique galleries dotted around the region. With its numerous beaches, unspoilt hinterland and relaxed lifestyle, Byron Bay is a popular tourist destination. Average summer temperatures of 21 - 28C and winter temperatures of 15 - 21C allow both locals and visitors alike to enjoy plenty of

Surfer, Lennox Head Photo Mike Newling Destination NSW

outdoor activities throughout the year. Cape Byron deserves its international reputation as one of the most beautiful places in the world. It boasts rugged cliff faces with stunning views of the ocean from outstanding vantage points for watching whales and dolphins from the headland. All this in an area of natural beauty, steeped in Aboriginal and European heritage. Set aside time for a comfortable stroll around Cape Byron’s walking trail through coastal heath, littoral rainforest, Banksia forest and many beautiful outlooks.

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Far North Coast | NEW SOUTH WALES

Wategos Beach, Byron Bay Photo Stuart Owen-Fox Destination NSW

Streetscape, Byron Bay Photo Adam Taylor Destination NSW

Cape Byron lighthouse Photo The Legendary Pacific Coast

Cape Byron is Australia’s most easterly point, 153° 39´ east. The Cape Byron Lighthouse is perched 94 metres above sea level on the crest of a windswept headland. It was built in 1901 to reduce shipping hazards. The light is one of the most powerful in the southern hemisphere and flashes every fifteen seconds over a range of twenty seven nautical miles. There are regular activities throughout the year to enrich the Cape Byron experience for visitors of all ages, from fun summer holiday programs to special events during the popular whale watching season from July to October. Come to Byron for an alternative point of view.

Mt Warning NP - Northern Rivers NSW Photo Grenville Turner Destination NSW

NEW SOUTH WALES | Sydney Far North Coast

Byron Bay

the Villas of byron The Villas of Byron 19-23 Gordon Street Byron Bay NSW 2481 P: 02 6685 6746 W: www.thevillasofbyron.com.au

You are assured absolute privacy and freedom

heated plunge pool and spa, indulge in a

in your own Balinese inspired villa where

massage in the sanctuary of your villa or enjoy

no expense has been spared. Each Villa is

private dining with your own personal chef, once

luxuriously appointed ensuring your every need

you arrive you may never want to leave. The Villas

is catered for, with impeccable style and detail.

are only a short stroll to the town centre where

State of the art media centre, gourmet kitchen,

you will find Byron Bays renowned restaurants,

spacious king rooms, heated marble floors,

spectacular beaches and cultural nightlife.

sumptuous bathrooms and open air showers

This is truly a sanctuary for the soul, allowing

compliment the theme of spacious luxury where

guests the opportunity to retreat from the

a fusion of East meets West.

world, without being too far removed from the

The one and two bedroom self contained

breathtaking surrounds of Byron Bay, the perfect

E: escape@thevillasofbyron.

villas are nothing short of 5 star. Designed for pure

location for romantic occasions, honeymoons,

com.au

relaxation with quality finishes and extravagant

family stays or weekend getaways.

TARIFF: from $560/couple/night

furnishings from the Asia Pacific. Relax to the sound of flowing water, take a dip in your own

30

We invite you to come and experience a piece of Bali in beautiful Byron Bay.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

NEW SOUTH WALES | Tweed Valley

Sydney | NEW SOUTH WALES

Tweed Valley

Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat This perfect romantic getaway is exclusively

romantic enough, but your hosts go further,

in stunning old-growth rainforest in the

offering you the opportunity to add to the

gorgeously lush hinterland between Byron Bay

atmosphere with romantic touches such as

and the Gold Coast.

rose petal hearts on your bed and rose petal

The luxurious retreat has self-contained

W: www.ccrr.com.au E: relax@ccrr.com.au TARIFF: from $365-$575 couple/ night, minimum two nights.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

trails leading to a romantic setting for a glass

cabins, bungalows and the Lodge, each in its

of champagne, encircled by pole candles

own private setting, which have been created

beneath a 400-year-old fig tree on the 250 acre

with superb comfort in mind. There are king

property, complete with 8 kms of rainforest walks.

beds, double spa baths, fireplaces for cosy

P: 02 6679 1591

The privacy, luxury and simplicity could be

for couples, with designer accommodation set

It isn’t surprising, then, that many couples

evenings, flat screen TVs, polished timber floors

have chosen Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat

and floor to ceiling glass windows for uninterrupted

as their honeymoon destination while others

views of the rainforest.

just adore it as a romantic getaway for time

If you feel like indulging to the max, the

alone together. The Romantic Package is an

Luxury Rainforest Lodge is a 200 square metre

especially indulgent extra – beginning with a

retreat with generous deck areas and is 400

walk just before dusk during which time your

metres away from the nearest bungalow. The

hosts set your table with a white table cloth, a

luxurious marble bathroom has a double spa

dozen red roses, Moet on ice and candles to

with large sliding doors and windows for inside

add the finishing touch to the romantic mood.

out living and there’s a double-sided fireplace

After dinner you retreat to the candle lit spa.

and a heated plunge pool.

What could be more romantic than that?

31

QUEENSLAND l Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Langford Cays

Vive la Sometimes we all need to sit back, recharge the batteries and unwind from the world.

I

f you are looking for some romance in your life, or simply need to relax, then the old world charm of Montville might be the go for you. It is centrally placed on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast just forty minutes from Noosa, thirty five minutes from Mooloolaba and just over one hour north of Brisbane. Montville is about 430m above sea level which means glorious views over the Sunshine Coast. It also provides one of the most comfortable climates in the world. Montville, the jewel of the Blackall Ranges, will captivate you with the beauty of its national parks, scenic walks and inspirational lake views. Allow yourself the time to soak up the majesty of the

32

Montville rainforests and let the cool mountain air revive your spirit. The quiet beauty of this area makes Montville the perfect romantic getaway. From shopping to galleries, chic cafes to fine dining restaurants and exciting wineries, Montville has a well earned reputation for excellence. You’ll be amazed at the skill and craft of some of Queensland’s premier artists who offer a selection of contemporary and traditional artwork. Experience a world of original, inspiring and unique art, with galleries offering a selection of some of the finest works in Australia. History surrounds you at every turn in Montville, but it is the timeless quality of

the natural surrounds that impress. The rolling green hills, the ancient rainforest, the sparkling waters of lakes and rivers are all there. Boating, fishing, swimming and forest walks are at your doorstep. Montville offers you some truly delightful and award winning accommodation. From private cottages, cosy cabins, country lodges and luxury bed and breakfasts. The village of Montville and the Blackall Range can offer endless hours of exploration. Montville’s range of award winning restaurants, cafes, pubs and tearooms provide an array of tasty and sumptuous food at any time of the day. For aspiring gourmets, Spicers Clovelly estate holds

weekendsfortwo.com.au

Photos Tourism Queensland

Spicers Clovelly, Photo Tourism Queensland

a cooking school. The Estate’s in-house restaurant, The Long Apron, not only boasts exquisite French-inspired food but elegant decor highlighted by polished timber floors and stunning French doors leading to an outside courtyard that is ideal for dining al fresco. The restaurant gives you the opportunity to dine as French families do, by getting friends and colleagues together and sharing a delicious meal over the French Table. The table has a view of the kitchen and is the perfect place to enjoy great conversation, fine wine and a five course meal featuring beautifully presented central platters. They will be filled with dishes such as hearty seafood

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Montville - Baroon Pocket Dam, Photo Tourism Queensland

From shopping to galleries, chic cafes to fine dining restaurants and exciting wineries, Montville has a well earned reputation for excellence. bouillabaisse, cassoulet, duck confit, wagyu bourguignon and slow-cooked leg of lamb. Follow up with desserts such as chocolate terrine and tarte au citron. Finish with a large central Fromagerie board featuring

Australian and French cheeses. Warm, friendly and delicious, The French Table provides the ideal alternative to set menus for group get-togethers. Vive la France in the Sunshine Coast hinterland!

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queensland Sunshine Coast Hinterland QUEENSLAND | Gold Coast

Montville

Spicers Clovelly Estate Situated in a secluded setting on a hill lies an

top property all the way to the sea skirted

retreat and part European-style estate. Spicers

horizon. The overall ambience is one of luxury

Clovelly Estate enjoys a romantic setting and

and intimacy with as much emphasis on privacy

memorable dining with excellent service. It

as a guest would desire.

provides the essential ingredients to your perfect

Spicers Clovelly Estate offers a multitude of

French-inspired estate is ideal for an intimate

distractions. Each season brings a new mood

get together.

where cosy winters, clear autumn skies, fresh

suites. Every one is an oasis of calm so

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First settled by the Brown family in 1908,

weekend away. Set in beautiful gardens, the

Spicers Clovelly Estate has only 10 private

For reservations call: 1300 836 822 or email: clovelly@spicersgroup.com.au Spicers Clovelly Estate 68 Balmoral Road Montville Sunshine Coast Hinterland QLD 4560

There are expansive views from the mountain

intimate, romantic manor house that is part

captivating you may never want to step outside

spring days and sun soaked summers can be celebrated in their own distinctive way. Lush gardens and manicured lawns provide

your door. It is a 22 acre estate where ancient

the backdrop. Breathe the fresh country air as

figs, jacarandas and groves of magnolia and

you stroll through the terraced rose gardens

gardenia grace the grounds and invite you to

and orchard to the swimming pool, all set

amble. The style is tastefully French-provincial

overlooking the rolling green hills. Alternatively,

and the plush furnishings, luxurious fabrics, linens,

take a relaxing walk to the gazebo or find the

and architecture of the main house is inviting,

perfect picnic spot overlooking beautiful Lake

romantic and utterly unique. The friendly hosts

Baroon. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous,

are dedicated to providing a high level of

within walking distance of the main house is

professional yet personal service.

a two-kilometre rainforest trail with tranquil

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Sunshine Coast Hinterland Gold Coast ||queensland QUEENSLAND

waterfall and even a resident platypus! Maybe just relax inside and enjoy the large Bordeaux arm chairs complete with alpaca throws and recliners. A gourmet’s paradise, Spicers Clovelly Estate is also home to a fine dining restaurant called The Long Apron specialising in French-influenced cuisine, oldfashioned service and an innovative menu utilising fresh local ingredients. There is also an extensive wine list. From the moment you drive through the gates, you know you’ve arrived somewhere truly special. The stately grounds will soon make you forget that you are just 90 minutes from Brisbane. The stunning French-provincial architecture of the main house will not just invite you in, but tempt you to stay forever. Here, you could be in the heart of the French countryside of Provence instead of just 30 minutes from the beaches of Noosa. At Spicers Clovelly Estate, the tranquil Sunshine Coast hinterland provides an idyllic backdrop to a relaxing weekend for two with its mountain air, starry night skies and lush forests.

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QUEENSLAND | Noosa Gold Coast

Noosa

Playground of the rich and famous

One hour drive north from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast is the perfect weekend destination.

F

rom popular Noosa Heads and trendy Hastings Street to the holiday destinations of Caloundra and Marcoola, the Sunshine Coast has it all. Seductive sunsets, intoxicating views, sparkling waters and warm weather waits for you at Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Coolum and Noosa on the coast. In the hinterland find the enchanting Maleny, Montville, Mapleton and Mary Valley. With some of the world’s best beaches and the picturesque hinterland only minutes away, the Sunshine Coast is a great place to come and explore or simply relax. The Sunshine Coast has long been a popular holiday destination for Australians and is now popular with visitors from all around the world as they discover the beauty of its tropical rain forests and white sandy beaches. The Sunshine Coast stretches some 50 km from end to end with major tourism areas mainly on the narrow coastal strip and the Blackall Ranges. Most people are aware of the Noosa region which has long been regarded as the playground of the rich and famous. Noosa is without doubt

36

one of the most popular and sought after holiday locations on the Sunshine Coast. Separated slightly from the rest of the coast, Noosa Heads and Noosaville have all the ingredients of the perfect holiday. There is a beautiful sandy beach with calm waters for family swimming near the headland and good surfing conditions a little further out. The main action is along Hastings Street, packed full of restaurants, cafes, gift shops and fashion outlets. Surfing the menu here means sharing fresh fish and chips on the beach, sampling cutting edge coastal cuisine in a relaxed beachside cafe or lingering over a long lunch with friends

at an award winning restaurant. Many tourists and locals enjoy a drink at the Noosa Surf Club, which is right on the beach and has sensational ocean views. Noosa National Park, the Noosa River and the connected waterways present some of Queensland’s best natural scenery - along with excellent fishing and boating opportunities. From fishing in Caloundra’s Pumicestone Passage and spotting koalas in Noosa’s National Park, to exploring hinterland art galleries and meeting the locals at an organic farmers’ market, it’s all about taking time out to reconnect with your loved one and recharge your body’s batteries.

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Laid-back and leafy, Noosa is ideal for a rejuvenating getaway at any time of year. Beautiful beaches and waterways are bordered by national parks and forests, making it the perfect place for outdoor adventures and a range of touring choices. I have been travelling “up the coast” to Noosa every year for many years and have developed my own personal therapeutic routine: Eat, Sleep, Surf, Sun, Eat, Sleep, Surf, Sun, etc, etc. Works a treat! It’s not all about relaxation in Noosa. From beachfront horse rides and hitting the waves on a board, to boating experiences, cooking schools or a round of golf, there’s something just right for all levels of adventure. Holidays are also about treating yourself to the good things in life and leaving your daily worries behind, and there are plenty of pampering possibilities in Noosa! Noosa has a range of world class health and wellbeing services on offer. Some people visit Noosa so often that they decide to simply move there, including some of the world’s most talented restaurateurs and chefs. People like expatriate New Yorker Jim Berardo, doyen of Noosa restaurateurs whose establishments are a regular part of my Noosa regime. They have given the seaside haven, already known for its cuisine, a delicious new flavour. Dine beachside with ocean views and sea breezes, wind down with a relaxing meal overlooking the Noosa River or get amongst the eclectic choices in Sunshine or Peregian Beach. Indulge in some holiday retail therapy at stylish boutiques and outdoor markets. Noosa’s annual calendar of events means there really is something to celebrate all year around. From sporting and music events to the arts and food and wine, Noosa makes a festival of all the best things in life!

For a full calendar of events, or to start planning your next Noosa getaway, go to visitnoosa.com.au or call 1 3000 NOOSA.

QUEENSLAND | Tropical Gold Coast North & Hinterland

Port Douglas

Carnivale

May 18-26, 2012

Port Douglas Carnivale turns 18 this year and is allowed out to play!

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t’s a magical festival held during the last two weeks of May. There’s music, arts, sports, food, culture and all styles of entertainment - every reason to head to Port Douglas for a “taste of paradise”. For gourmet travellers there’s a feast of options. Carnivale’s food and wine festival runs throughout the first weekend starting with the Sheraton Mirage Longest Lunch – an excellent excuse for a very, very long

38

lunch and a superbly planned menu. Fine dining al fresco style and an eight course degustation menu is a feature of Palates of Port, while the local chefs vie for the title of Port’s best during the Food Fight, and everyone enjoys the fruits of the Coral Sea during the Seafood Extravaganza. There’s also the highly regarded cuisine event, “Food, Wine & A Taste of Port”, held outdoors under the coconut trees beside the sea.

During the second weekend, the focus turns to favourites like the Macrossan Street Parade and the Four Mile Beach Fun Day. These free events draw thousands of spectators and participants each year. If you’re adventurous, Carnivale’s program of sport will satisfy both players and spectators. There are tennis and golf tournaments, a regatta challenge, outriggers, kite surfing and a bull ride. Adventure is a daily option in Port Douglas with scuba diving, jungle surfing or 4WD safaris to the World Heritage-listed reef and rainforests. Arts, crafts and culture are all represented with a song writer’s competition, fashion awards, masquerade party, art and craft exhibitions at various venues around Port Douglas. Port Douglas Carnivale showcases the beauty of the region. It attracts over 20,000 people with a vibrant mix of tourists and visitors making the region shine.

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Port Douglas | QUEENSLAND

Port Douglas

executive retreats The Art of Tropical Living says it all. The people who have turned living in the tropical north into an art form are Hans & Wendy van der Wolf of Executive Retreats. It’s their world. So if Port

If this is the sort of break you yearn for, Hans

Douglas is about renting spectacular houses in

and Wendy can organise it for you. Here is just

the tropics, they are the people you need to

a selection of their luxury retreats for couples

know. Their concierge service and extra attention

and friends.

to detail make it all easy. They meet and greet

Shangri-La - Backed by the majestic Daintree

you at retreats, arrange in house catering, spa

Mountains this home becomes your own luxurious

treatments, babysitting/nanny services, tour and

hideaway. It is a holistic retreat to rekindle the soul

restaurant recommendations and bookings.

in absolute seclusion.

Executive Retreats specialize in holiday rental

rainforest” and the ultimate in tropical living with

areas of tropical north Queensland. Lifestyle

wet edge pool, sunken baths, swimming holes

Retreats, Beach Houses, Village Hideaways,

and rapids in own your private river.

Exclusive Beachfront Mirage Luxury homes, they

The Beach Villa on Newell Beach - Absolute

have them all.

beachfront – soak up the sun, lay under the

Cosmopolitan Port Douglas is laid back

P: 07 4098 1418 W: www.executiveretreats. com.au E: info@executiveretreats. com.au TARIFF: from $350.00

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Bali Hai - The address is “somewhere in the

of luxury houses in and around the sought after

moon and stars, enjoy balmy breezes from the

yet sophisticated. Port Douglas offers all the

Coral Sea.

conveniences and luxuries imaginable, and

Tranquilla - Tranquilla is all about relaxation and

Executive Retreats allows you to enjoy these

is surrounded by private botanical gardens that

benefits and escape to your own luxurious haven.

have taken over 20 years to establish.

Port Douglas is the dream boutique town where

Sundaram, Amanitva. Anandah and Niramaya

winter simply does not happen. Guests return to

Villa - at Balè Drive - Inspired by the tropical

Executive Retreats every year for their enormous

pavilion style living of South East Asia and close

variety of homes and locations.

to the beach.

Luxury, peace and privacy. A retreat in Port

Mystique Beach House - The cool gentle breezes

Douglas ticks all the boxes. Each year it becomes

from the Coral Sea make this the perfect

our little slice of heaven. We have a fabulous

absolute beachfront location any time.

time - the long strolls on the beach, dining under

Pearl on Newell Beach - A brand new seaside

the stars, sleeping to the sound of the ocean –

holiday home designed for North Queensland’s

it’s great!

tropical lifestyle.

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QUEENSLAND | Whitsundays Gold Coast & Hinterland

The

Whitsundays

The Whitsundays comprise 74 tropical islands that lie between the Queensland Coast and The Great Barrier Reef.

t

hey are like jewels floating in the warm tropical waters of the Coral Sea. Discovering the Great Barrier Reef is one of life’s must-dos and it’s easily accessible from the mainland at Airlie Beach. Airlie is a cosmopolitan and vibrant town filled with palm-fringed beaches, waterfront parks and alfresco dining restaurants. Is it possible to take a short break in

40

the Whitsundays from the southern cities? Certainly, my wife and I did it! With a flight time of just two hours and fifteen minutes from Sydney it’s not a problem. Step on the plane in a Sydney winter and step off into warm Queensland sunshine. Fantastic! With so many fly in fly out options, the Whitsundays are the perfect short break or weekend getaway. Within three hours my wife and I had escaped the city, flown

to Hamilton Island, boarded a yacht and were anchored in a sheltered lagoon off an uninhabited island. Job done! What a guy! The next day we explored the pure white silica sands of Whitehaven Beach and had over 74 unique island experiences at our fingertips. In a region of such natural beauty there are plenty of destinations to choose from including Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Whitehaven Beach, Lindeman Island, Long Island and the Great Barrier Reef. A weekend spent in the Whitsunday Islands will be one where you are surrounded by some of the most aweinspiring natural scenery in the country. Go sailing for the day, snorkel and scuba dive, water ski, explore rainforests, go horse riding or just relax in your luxury accommodation on a tropical island. A short break or weekend away in The Whitsundays will be an indulgence you will never regret.

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QUEENSLAND Gold Coast | Whitsundays QUEENSLAND

Whitsundays

paradise bay eco escape As you step from your helicopter on to the

or simply relax and indulge yourself with superb

pure white sand fringing an island blanketed in

food, wine and friendly, attentive service.

lush tropical foliage, it is clear – as clear as the dazzling azure waters that surround you - that

of Paradise Bay Eco Escape, with the hotel

you have arrived at no standard resort.

collecting important accolades and awards.

Paradise Bay Eco Escape is a place apart.

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Selected by hundreds of real travellers, it was

Luxurious, peaceful and private, it caters for

named as the number one hotel for service in

20 adult guests in spacious, stylish waterfront

the South Pacific and the best hotel for romance

bungalows just metres from the shore.

in Australia.

Nestled into a secluded nook in the

P: 07 4946 9777 W: www.paradisebay.com.au E: info@paradisebay.com.au TARIFF: From $498pp per night helicopter transfers $290pp return additional.

Clearly, the word is out about the delights

From your helicopter transfer to activities,

Whitsunday Island group within the Great Barrier

accommodation in absolute luxury and

Reef, Paradise Bay Eco Escape pays its pristine

indulgent dining – it’s all included. For a unique

surroundings the compliment of the lightest

island holiday experience away from the rest

footprint possible, using solar power, natural gas &

of the world, in environmentally sustainable

collecting rainwater to sustain this boutique resort.

comfort – welcome to Paradise!

There are no day trippers at Paradise Bay – its

Whitsunday Tourism Awards: Excellence in

deserted beaches and coral gardens are yours

Sustainable Tourism – Hall of Fame

to explore. Relax under the billowing sails of your

Whitsunday Tourism Awards: Best Hosted

catamaran while you visit private islands, snorkel

Accommodation

amid the aquatic wildlife, kayak the calm waters

TripAdvisor.com Travellers’ Choice Best: Service

41

VICTORIA | Great Ocean Road

Driving down

Apollo Bay

Great Ocean Walk, Photographer Mark Watson

Apollo Bay, Photographer Paoli Smith Pty Ltd

Consider a weekend in Apollo Bay, just 40kms past Lorne from Geelong on Victoria’s scenic coastal route, the Great Ocean Road.

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pollo Bay lies nestled between the Wye River and Cape Otway. It offers swimming and surf beaches, as well as a boat harbour which is home to a fishing fleet. The town features a good selection of restaurants and cafes overlooking the ocean.

Great Otway National Park, Photographer Mark Watson

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Panoramic views of Apollo Bay can be enjoyed from the Mariners Lookout at the northern end of town. There are views of the town centre, the harbour and up and down the coast. Under certain weather conditions the silhouette of the SS Casino, a steamship which sank in 1932, can be seen in the waters close to shore.

A popular scenic drive is along the Barham River Road inland from the coast through the rainforest of the Barham Valley, ending up at Mariners Falls. The seaside community of Marengo is located just south of Apollo Bay on the other side of the Barham River and offers quiet, sandy beaches. A five kilometre drive north of Apollo Bay takes you to Skenes Creek, another scenic seaside community. Fantastic views of the coast can be enjoyed at Evans Lookout, two kilometres inland from Skenes Creek on the main road to Forrest and Colac. The Great Otway National Park is easily accessible from Apollo Bay making it a great place to enjoy both the coast and the bushy hinterland. Stretching about 100 kilometres from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles, the popular Great Ocean Walk hugs much of the scenic and rugged coastline, passing through beautiful National Parks and allowing visitors to enjoy short, day or overnight hikes. Apollo Bay provides a great base from which to explore this interesting stretch of the Shipwreck coast.

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Great Ocean Lakes Road | Gippsland | VICTORIA VICTORIA

Apollo Bay

chocolate gannets Chocolate Gannets is built with the love and understanding of all the feel-good things we really want from a weekend away. Opposite the beach overlooking Apollo Bay,

from 100 per cent long staple combed cotton which is woven in a pique style, creating a

suit their setting. Sitting lightly on the hillside,

subtle geometric pattern and fine texture.

their wave-shaped rooflines reflect the surf

As well as being stylish, the fabric helps regulate

which rolls into the bay. The Sea Villas feature

the temperature – ensuring a superb sleep.

the coveted AAA Tourism Five Star Rating and

An extensive pillow menu awaits guests to make

AAA Tourism Green Star Accreditation, awarded

their personal selection.

‘green’ initiatives. The Sea Villas are perfect for an indulgent break

W: www.chocolategannets.

A new style of linen has been added to the villas and now features duvet covers made

Chocolate Gannets’ four villas are designed to

for commitment to the environment and

P: 1300 500 139

outdoor dining.

During the cooler months a warm stay is ensured with fully ducted central heating and a contemporary sleek wood fire. During the summer

for two, for two couples or maybe a family to

months air-conditioning ensures the temperature

share. Chocolate Gannets is one of the few five

indoors suits your exact requirements.

star self contained properties to welcome children. The villas have two bedrooms each with

Given Chocolate Gannets is only two and a half hours from Melbourne and ideally located

com.au (online booking service)

their own spacious luxurious living area and

along the Great Ocean Road, it is the ideal base

E: info@chocolategannets.

bathroom, complete with a spa bath room

from which to explore the area’s many famous

com.au

offering ocean views. The kitchen comes fully

attractions. Particularly popular is the two and

equipped with everything you need including

a half kilometre walk along the beach to Apollo

a built-in coffee machine. There’s a barbecue

Bay, where you’ll find great cafes, restaurants

on the wide decking area for cooking or

and a fisherman’s co-op.

TARIFF: from $305-$575 villa/ night.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

43

VICTORIA | Yarra ValleyLakes Gippsland

Take the Food Trail at

Yarra Valley Yarra Valley Dairy, photo: Yarra Valley And Dandenong Ranges Tourism Board Inc

Yarra Glen is only forty kilometres north-east from Melbourne’s central business district.

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t’s a scenic town located on the Yarra River and set amongst the rolling hills of the fertile Yarra Valley. The Yarra Valley is Victoria’s premier winemaking region. No matter what your taste, there is a wine for you in the area which includes over forty local vintners. Yarra Valley wines are Cool Climate wines grown in an area of mixed soil types.

Innocent Bystander Winery Restaurant, Photo: Cormac Hanrahan,Tourism Victoria

44

The main grape varieties represented are Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in white wines, with Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz representing red wines. The Yarra Valley Food Trail runs through the area. There are great restaurants and cafes all over the valley. The Yarra Valley is known primarily as a

wine region but visitors are often surprised by the quality of the food. Go straight to the heart of the pioneering agricultural and dairy farming history of Yarra Glen at Gulf Station, a working farm dating from the mid-nineteenth century. It would be hard to leave the Valley hungry and you can take home some wonderful local produce to prolong your ‘food and wine’ experience! Nestled between the Yarra River and the foothills of the Great Dividing Range with nearby Kinglake National Park and Toolangi State Forest, the natural landscape varies from the Billabongs by the river, to pasture for cows and horses, and of course the many vineyards, all with a backdrop of wooded mountain slopes providing shelter for Kangaroos and Cockatoos. Vineyards have been in the Yarra Valley since Victoria’s first vineyard was planted by the Ryrie Brothers at Yering Station in 1838. Spend a weekend in the stunning vinelaced surrounds of the Yarra Valley that you won’t forget. It’s a relaxing gourmet experience to share with a special friend.

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Yarra Valley | VICTORIA

Yarra Valley

balgownie estate vineyard resort & SPA Luxury in the Heart of the Yarra Valley For the ultimate choice of luxury weekend

Balgownie Estate Cnr Melba Hwy & Gulf Rd Yarra Glen VIC 3113 P: 03 9730 0703 F: 03 9730 0750 E: enquiry@balgownieestate. com.au W: www.balgownieestate. com.au

know that you have chosen the perfect Estate

getaway in Victoria, you can’t beat Balgownie

for your weekend away. The resort also boasts

Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa in the Yarra

Rae’s Restaurant providing exceptional service

Valley. There are some 65 spa suites with each

and the freshest of local produce, the Cellar

spa suite enjoying impressive views of the

Door with complimentary wine tasting, a health

picturesque Yarra Valley. Relax while you enjoy

club with an experienced pool attendant and

a glass of Balgownie Estate wine from your

numerous other leisure activities.

balcony or even from the comfort of your full size

The Natskin Spa Retreat at Balgownie Estate

spa bath. Accommodation in the Yarra Valley’s

offers private rooms and duo suites, signature

finest Estate will ensure you relax and unwind

spa treatments and a wide range of skin and

during your weekend away.

body treatments for complete relaxation and

Less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne, this

well being. Indulge yourself with luxurious

impressive resort and spa offers well appointed

beauty and spa treatments including massage

one bedroom spa suites. Balgownie Estate

therapies. Experienced spa hosts can tailor

Vineyard Resort & Spa is set amongst the vines

a customised program to suit your needs or a

with magical views providing the perfect back

combination of luxurious treatments.

drop to your special weekend away. As soon as you arrive in the picturesque Yarra Valley you

weekendsfortwo.com.au

will be inspired by the idyllic location and will

So for that special weekend away, Balgownie Estate offers it all.

45

tasmania | Corinna

The

Tarkine

Pieman River cruise Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Southern Cross Television

The Tarkine is a large wilderness area in north-west Tasmania.

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Tarkine Forest Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Blakers

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t is the largest temperate rainforest area in Australia and one of the largest in the world. It is a chance to see how the world looked millions of years ago. The area contains over one thousand aboriginal sites of significance and has been described by the Australian Heritage Council as “one of the world’s great archaeological regions�. The Tarkine is roughly bounded to the north by the Arthur River, east by the Murchison Highway, south by the Pieman River, and west by the Southern Ocean. It provides habitat for over 60 rare, threatened and endangered species of flora and fauna. The Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle is the largest eagle in the world. There are an estimated 130 pairs successfully breeding each year in Tasmania. The Giant Freshwater Crayfish, or Tayatea as it is known by its Aboriginal name, is the largest freshwater crustacean in the world. It can grow to one metre in length and is believed to live for up to 40 years. Its existence is dependent

Tarkine Coast Walk Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Blakers

on undisturbed old-growth forest adjacent to its riverine habitat. The large wilderness area comprises a number of wild rivers, exposed mountains and globally unique cave systems. There are also large sand dune areas extending several kilometres inland. These contain ancient Aboriginal middens. The Tarkine will inspire you. Take yourself fishing in the best trout fishing water in the world. The pristine, undammed rivers with limited access mean most of the fishery is untouched. Pan sized fish are in the rapids during the day and the serious fish come out of their holes in the evening. Go four wheel driving, swimming or surf some big west coast waves. Best of all; simply breathe in the cleanest air in the world.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

Corinna | TASMANIA

Corinna

Corinna Wilderness Retreat Corinna is your home in the wilderness -

We are truly carbon neutral and minimize our

an oasis in the heart of the Tarkine Forest.

footprint on this precious part of the planet.

Accommodation at the new wilderness retreats

wilderness retreats lie close to the hotel. The

amenities. The cottages all back directly onto

new Tarkine Hotel is a focal point for the Corinna

the Tarkine rainforest. They have their own

community. Fine Tasmanian wines and beers

verandas, fully equipped kitchens, rainwater

are served. It also houses the wonderful Tannin

tanks and heating. A stay in these cottages

restaurant, named after the tannin stained

provides the feeling of living in a remote mining

waters of the Pieman and its tributaries.

town - with home comforts. Each of the new

For Corinna accommodation:

The old miners’ cottages and the new

is built in the original style but with modern

The Tannin restaurant serves lunch and dinner

wilderness retreats is named after a pioneer from

year round. Tannin offers excellent food using

the area.

the freshest local Tasmanian ingredients. The

All cottages have gas heating and bath-

fine dining available in this remote location is a

rooms. The guest house boasts a beautiful log

tribute to the chefs involved. Tannin serves the

fire. While the cabins have a certain rustic exter-

finest local seafood & produce with exceptional

Email: sales@corinna.com.au

nal appearance, the experience inside is very

care and quality service while you enjoy being in

Online at:

modern. Comfortable beds, hot showers, gas

the Tasmanian wilderness.

www.corinna.com.au

fridges and modern cooking facilities mean that

Call: 03 6446 1170

you are “at home in the wilderness at Corinna�.

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Corinna is an experience found nowhere else in the world.

47

vanuatu BALI | Seminyak Sydney Kuta

Espiritu

Santo Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific fronting the Coral Sea.

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ighty three islands boast intact tribal communities, resorts, beaches, volcanoes and an underwater paradise offering memorable experiences. Espiritu Santo is the largest of those islands and has the most beautiful white sand beaches, amazing blue holes, caves, world renowned diving and snorkelling. It is a little known paradise off the beaten track just waiting to be discovered. With flights from Brisbane, Sydney and Auckland arriving five times a week, Espiritu Santo has never been more accessible. During World War II, one hundred thousand allied troops and support staff were stationed in Santo. The SS President Coolidge, a 22,000 tonne luxury liner turned troopship which sunk just off shore, has become a world renowned dive site. Divers and snorkellers can explore ship wrecks and sites like Million Dollar Point. Here thousands of tonnes of war surplus were dumped in the ocean by US troops, as well as amazing coral reefs and underwater caverns. Espiritu Santo was named by Pedro

48

De Quiros in the 17th century when he thought he had discovered the fabled great southern land of Australia. Despite the passing of three centuries, Espiritu Santo’s beauty is little changed. It is perhaps best known as the inspiration for James A. Michener’s classic “Tales of the South Pacific”, written during World War II while Michener and the US Forces were stationed in Santo. It was Santo that

inspired Michener to become a writer. For travellers, the beauty of Espiritu Santo is unmatched. Stunning jewel-like islands lay just a few hundred metres from coconut fringed beaches lined with powdery white sand. During my first visit I often thought to myself: where is everyone? The fact is Espiritu Santo has changed little from when Michener described it as a “beautiful backwater”.

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Ratua | vanuatu Sydney | BALI

Vanuatu

ratua private island On the tiny islet of Ratua off the southern coast of

succulent delicacies such as beef, pork,

Private Island, your tropical paradise. Think of it

chicken, goat, milk and eggs from the island’s

as your very own Robinson Crusoe experience,

free-range livestock; coconuts from the palm

something to remember and to share with loved

plantation; fruit from hundreds of trees planted

ones. It was established by a wealthy French

by resort staff and seafood supplied by local

gentleman following his sailing expedition across

anglers. Wines from the resort’s private cellar

the South Pacific. A man of unsurpassed passion

include many vintages from the owner’s own

for the environment and a keen eye for

vineyard in France.

eclectic design. A boutique eco-lodge integrated within its

RATUA PRIVATE ISLAND Luganville, Sanma, Santo, Vanuatu Tel:

+678 30020

Fax: Web:

On Ratua you dine 100% organic. Enjoy

Espiritu Santo in northern Vanuatu, stands Ratua

Ratua provides that private and exclusive atmosphere within reach of every traveller. It’s

natural surrounding environment, complimented

a barefoot philosophy, low-key, natural and

with a near-self sustaining organic garden,

unassuming. Meals are served in the Yacht Club

numerous farm animals, daily caught fish and

or on the beach dining area with the sand

seafood. This natural concept known as ‘rustic-

between your toes and warm tropical water

chic’ leaves few formalities yet maintains a casual

lapping at your ankles.

ambience, all in the very capable hands of

Ratua Private Island is all about freedom and

generous and caring hosts. Attentive and friendly

+678 30022

relaxation. Wake up, throw open the wooden

service gives guests plenty of space & privacy.

doors and gaze out to sea from the comfort of

www.ratua.com

Ratua compliments all stays with a series of weekly

your king-sized bed... Wander into the pristine

Email:

hosted events such as Evening Roast & Island Buffets,

waters of your own private beach for an early

management@ratua.com

Ratua’s very own String band performances,

morning swim. Plan a boat trip; enjoy a horse

traditional kava tasting and much more.

ride, swim, snorkelling or nothing at all!

weekendsfortwo.com.au

49

Hawke’s Bay

Credit: Chris McLennan

There is a place in New Zealand which is not too far away, where the sun shines down on beautifully manicured vineyards, on limestone cliffs that tower above the sparkling Pacific blue ocean, on long stretches of white sandy beaches and on cafes and restaurants tucked into superb Art Deco and Mission style buildings.

I

t’s called Hawke’s Bay and it has everything you need for a wonderful weekend away- fine food, great wine, stunning surroundings and plenty to see and do with sunshine all year. Hawke’s Bay is renowned for its Mediterranean climate with long hot summers and mild winters. The pleasant weather is one of the prime reasons to visit. It is also why the region is so well known for producing great wine and food. Located on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, Hawkes Bay spans from Mahia in the north through to Porangahau in the south, covering three hundred and fifty kilometres of Pacific Ocean coastline. The main areas of Hawkes Bay are Northern Hawkes Bay - encompassing Wairoa, Mahia and Lake Waikaremoana - Hastings, Havelock North, Napier and Central Hawkes Bay. Hawkes Bay is New Zealand’s premier wine growing district and home to over one hundred and fifty vineyards and ninety wineries, thirty five of which open their cellar door to visitors. Mission Estate Winery was New Zealand’s first winery

50

located in Taradale, Napier. Hawkes Bay offers stunning landscapes with unique wildlife, distinct architecture, a vibrant arts community and a rich cultural heritage. Visitors can satisfy their appetites at food and wine markets, awardwinning restaurants and vineyards, or quench their cultural thirst at museums,

art galleries, home studios or workshops. Napier is the bustling centre of Hawke’s Bay. Located beside the sea and offering one of the best climates in the country, it is a stunning city with Art Deco influences. Hawke’s Bay has glorious, unpopulated beaches stretching from Mahia Peninsula in the north to

Credit: Chris McLennan

weekendsfortwo.com.au

North Island | NEW ZEALAND

Art deco, Napier. Credit: Chris McLennan.

Picnic on the Estate. Credit: Chris McLennan

Hawke’s Bay is renowned for its Mediterranean climate with long hot summers and mild winters. Porangahau in the south. Whether you like to surf, dive, swim fish, explore rock pools, or just bask in the sun, the region has a beach for you. Mahia has safe, sandy beaches, perfect for swimming and picnics. There is access to excellent fishing and dive spots. Fresh seafood abounds and, with over twenty shipwrecks around the peninsula, fish life is spectacular. Whales and dolphins sightings are common at certain times of the year. Mahia also offers consistent, high quality surf. In Central Hawke’s Bay, between Blackhead and Aramoana beaches lies the Te Angiangi Marine Reserve covering around 1.3 square nautical miles. The best way to enjoy the fascinating variety of marine life is to go for a swim wearing a facemask. Hawkes Bay has over thirty five nature walks to explore and the Cape Kidnappers Golf Course is ranked in the world’s top twenty golf courses. After a day of all the outdoor activity that Hawkes Bay offers you will deserve the excellent food and wine for which the area is famed.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

Vintage architecture. Credit: Chris McLennan

Cape Kidnappers. Credit: Rob Suisted

51

NEW ZEALAND | North Island Sydney

Hawke’s Bay

the farm at cape kidnappers Late 2007 saw the opening of a new lodge

UK listed The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in its

by the Robertson family – The Farm at Cape

2012 Gold List and named it “Best for Food”

Kidnappers - bringing a five-star experience to

among an outstanding line-up of worldwide

New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay wine region! The

luxury hotels. In addition to the main dining

Farm at Cape Kidnappers is already regarded

room, there is also a wine tasting room, and the

as one of the world’s top luxury destinations with

Lodge’s wine cellar showcases top wines from

its spectacular setting, gorgeous suites, stunning

New Zealand and beyond.

golf course, restaurant and spa. Set on a 6,000 acre sheep and cattle farm with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean,

(UK) last year named the Cape Kidnappers

“The Farm” is like no other. It offers a range of

course as the Number 1 Golf Course in the

luxury accommodation including 22 spacious

World. Designed by Tom Doak, the course is

suites and a four-bedroom Owner’s Cottage.

ranked as 33rd best golf course in the world by

Suites have large balconies with stunning views

Golf Magazine and 13th in the world outside the

of the sea and the idyllic farm. A traditional rural

US in the 2009 Golf Digest rankings.

farm design theme runs through the property P: +64 6 875 1900 F: +64 6 875 1901

The golf course is truly world-class and a “must“ for golfers. The Telegraph newspaper

It is tempting not to venture off the fabulous

and creates a clever blend of rustic materials

property as there is much to do with spectacular

with state-of-the-art amenities.

walks and farm tours, lovely picnic spots, and

As the focal point of the property, The

a Day Spa where you can have a facial or

W: www.capekidnappers.com

Lodge resembles a cluster of farm buildings on

massage while gazing out across some stunning

E: info@capekidnappers.com

the exterior. Inside it gives way to a beautifully

landscape to the Pacific Ocean. Whether you

TARIFF: from NZ$620 per person,

appointed and graciously scaled lounge and

are coming for a romantic escape with a loved

dining room full of natural light designed to

one, a rejuvenating and replenishing retreat, or

capture the unparalleled views.

some well-earned time away with your family,

per night + GST. Rate includes accommodation, pre-dinner drinks, dinner and full breakfast.

Food and wine are highlights of any visit here. In fact, Conde Nast Traveller Magazine

52

the new Lifestyle Packages are sure to appeal with “no-fuss” short breaks at one inclusive price.

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NEWZEALAND ZEALAND North Sydney Island lll|NEW

Napier

breckenridge lodge If superb kiwi hospitality, a peaceful location

can safely walk or run alongside the vineyard

and gourmet food and wine are amongst your

and other rural properties in the area. There

pleasures in life you have come to the right place.

is always something interesting to look at and

Your host, renowned Chef Malcolm Redmond,

Malcolm Redmond Host Breckenridge Lodge 1 Breckenridge Lane RD3 Napier 4183 New Zealand P: 64 6 844 9411 F: 64 6 844 9410

you’ll return feeling refreshed and relaxed. Each

invites you to relax and enjoy private, luxury

private guest bedroom has a spectacular view

accommodation nestled in the picturesque

overlooking a vineyard and expansive rural

valley of Omarunui in the sunny Hawkes Bay Wine

landscape. All of the rooms are air conditioned

Region. Experience Malcolm’s exquisite cuisine

and have their own ensuite bathroom.

using only the best and freshest seasonal produce

Hawkes Bay has over 70 vineyards and is

from his organic garden and local markets.

New Zealand’s oldest wine region. Most of the

Malcolm hand picks Hawke’s Bay and other

vineyards have a cellar door to sample their

excellent New Zealand wines so you can take

different varieties. With many years experience

pleasure in an unforgettable dining experience.

in fishing Hawkes Bay’s rivers and the wine

Breckenridge Lodge is a unique architecturally

industry, Grant Petherick is on hand to offer

E: indulge@breckenridge

designed home. The Lodge has such a lovely

guidance on fly fishing and wine tours, tailor

lodge.co.nz‎

setting that you will want to venture outside and

made to your individual needs.

W: www.breckenridgelodge.

take a walk, either through the garden or further

co.nz

a field. If you want to build up your appetite in

only minutes drive from Napier, Hastings,

preparation for your “dining experience” you

Taradale and the Napier Airport.

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Breckenridge Lodge is conveniently situated

53

NEW ZEALAND | North Island

Great Barrier Island

earthsong lodge Romantic Earthsong Lodge on Great Barrier

private verandahs and sun-soaked courtyards,

Island with breathtaking views, warm hospitality

providing you a quiet haven with panoramic views

and exceptional cuisine, 30 minutes from

of the Hauraki Gulf, pristine Tryphena beaches and

Auckland - the perfect antidote to city life.

the Earthsong olive grove. Thick adobe-style walls

Five star Earthsong Lodge has been created from the essence of nature in a unique island paradise where earth sea and sky embrace you. Earthsong Lodge is one of New Zealand’s

P: +64 9 4290030 W: www.earthsong.co.nz E: info@earthsong.co.nz Tariff: from NZ$785 per night. Includes Ocean View Suite accommodation, pre-dinner cocktails, four-course fine dining evening meal and country-style breakfast, plus transfers to and from Great Barrier Island Claris airfield.

54

and hand-crafted furnishings create an elegant, timeless atmosphere of permanence. This virtually undiscovered paradise is easily accessible by scheduled 30 minute flights across

finest small and intimate five star accommodation

the majestic waters of the Hauraki Gulf from

Lodges. If you are looking to experience New

Auckland with breathtaking views of the

Zealand in a relaxing, beautiful location where

Coromandel Peninsula and outer Gulf islands.

every need is anticipated, the cuisine is divine,

Earthsong Lodge provides courtesy transfers

wine outstanding and service wonderful,

from the island airport. Private helicopter

Earthsong Lodge is the place for you.

charters are available to the Earthsong helipad

Each evening, International Slow Food member, chef Trevor Rendle creates a hand-crafted

for direct access. The essence of nature is captured on Great

culinary journey for his guests. This informal yet

Barrier Island. Lush subtropical forests, dramatic

sophisticated dining experience at Earthsong

landscapes, and white sandy beaches take your

becomes the highlight of a guest’s stay.

breath away. A highlight is to hike the groomed

Separate and private from the main lodge,

forest trails and soak in natural thermal springs.

the graciously appointed ocean view suites are set

New Zealand’s best island wilderness will soothe

in landscaped grounds. French doors open onto

the spirit and challenge the adventurous.

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North Island | NEW ZEALAND

Matauri Bay

The lodge at kauri cliffs

P: +64 9 407 0010 F: +64 9 407 0061 W: www.kauricliffs.com E: info@kauricliffs.com Tariff: from NZ$620 per person, per night + GST. Rate includes accommodation, pre-dinner drinks, dinner and full breakfast.

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Kauri Cliffs, located in the Bay of Islands region,

at Kauri Cliffs. Every suite offers its own private

is just a 40 minute flight from Auckland. Set on

porch, comfortable bedroom and sitting area

over 6000 acres near Matauri Bay, The Lodge

with gas fireplace, walk-in wardrobe and spacious

at Kauri Cliffs enjoys a commanding position

bathroom. The cottages are nestled on the

with spectacular 180-degree views of the

edge of native forest overlooking the ocean and

Pacific Ocean and overlooks the

golf course. The 2 bedroom Owner’s Cottage

championship golf course. The beautiful

is another step above, and graced the cover

lodge is built in the grand colonial style, and

of American design bible, Architectural Digest

the owners, the Robertson family, worked

(December 2008).

closely with interior designer Virginia Fisher to

In 2009 the world-class championship golf

achieve an understated effect, which allows

course was named #1 international in its World’s

the landscape to dominate. The main lodge

50 Best Golf Hotels.

hosts a range of gorgeous and spacious living

Non golfers, do not despair, Kauri Cliffs is also

and dining rooms ideal for relaxing and taking

named best hotel for leisure facilities by Conde

in the views, many opening on to covered

Nast Traveller UK, The Gold List 2012 and best

verandahs providing options for alfresco dining

spas by Tatler Magazine in 2009. Other popular

next to outdoor fireplaces and taking in the

activities are beautiful walks to the giant Kauri

mesmerizing views.

Tree, relaxing at Pink Beach or exploring the

Eleven outlying guest cottages, each with two guest suites, provide the accommodation

Cavalli Islands. To enjoy these activities ask for the new Kauri Cliffs Lifestyle packages.

55

NEW ZEALAND | North Island

Rakino Island

hurakia lodge Holidays are all about escape, and there is

complete privacy and providing 20 acres of

probably no greater escape than an island

island sanctuary to enjoy as you please. Built

retreat in New Zealand, accessible only by boat

to the highest architectural standards Hurakia is

– or helicopter.

eco friendly - 100% self-sufficient - it generates

Hurakia is an exclusive use villa on Rakino Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. A luxuriously secluded escape, accessible

E: info@hurakialodge.com Tariff: packages from NZ$3500 per night.  

56

Hurakia’s Master Suite and four guest bedrooms each enjoy 180° sea views and come

spectacular sea views and tranquil surroundings.

complete with ensuite bathroom, super king size bed, fine linen and are tastefully furnished in a

five double bedrooms, spacious indoor and

luxurious style. The Master Suite has a luxurious

outdoor living areas including pool and spa,

bath for two with magnificent views. The large

a personal chef and attentive host.

lounge and dining area offer panoramic views

Located on the southern headland of W: www.hurakialodge.com

its own water from rainfall.

only by helicopter or boat, the villa boasts Available only for private use, Hurakia has

P: +64 29 999 9999

power from solar panels on the roof and collects

Rakino Island in the Hauraki Gulf, Hurakia is six minutes away from Auckland City by helicopter or a 35-minute ride by boat. Onsite helipad and private jetty make for convenient arrival and departure. There is no road access to Hurakia ensuring

of the water and surrounding islands. There is space to relax and soak up the island life. Launch charter is available to surrounding islands. For the adventurous, deep-sea and Heli-fishing charters are available. Head out on a dolphin and whale-watching trip in the Hauraki Gulf.

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North Island | NEW ZEALAND

Rotorua

peppers on the point Surrounded by the sparkling waters of Lake

suites along with the owner’s residence -

Rotorua, Peppers on the Point is an intimate

The Lake Villa and a Two Bedroom Lake Villa

luxury retreat featuring spectacular views to the

Apartment, both available on application.

historic Mokoia Island. This historic property was

Without leaving the retreats surrounds you

a family home right up until 2004 and is perfect

can indulge in a heavenly massage at our onsite

for a serene and tranquil escape.

spa, try fly fishing from our private beach, enjoy

This stunning retreat offers the perfect base

P: +64 7 348 4868 F: +64 7 348 1868 E: info@onthepoint.co.nz W: www.onthepoint.co.nz Tariff: at Peppers on the Point we offer a number of accommodation packages to tempt you.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

water sports and tennis or even spend your day

for experiencing New Zealand’s rich culture or

boating. Peppers on the Point’s dining room is

you can simply relax and enjoy the tranquillity

also renowned for serving fabulous New Zealand

of this stunning location from the comfort of our

cuisine accompanied by the finest New Zealand

inviting entertainment rooms with open fireplaces.

and international wines, it is an experience not

Just five minutes from the heart of Rotorua City, Peppers on the Point is located on Kawaha Point

to be missed. Peppers on the Point, Rotorua is in the heartland

Road and comprises of an exquisitely furnished

of New Zealand’s Maori culture and is set amidst a

converted 1930s mansion. Accommodation

landscape of erupting geysers, hot thermal springs

within the retreat includes nine spacious, luxuriously

and bubbling mud pools. With so many sights to

furnished suites with most featuring stunning lake

see and cultural offerings within easy reach, we will

views. There are also two private lake cottage

have you immersed in relaxation upon your return.

57

NEW ZEALAND | North Island

Rotorua

treetops lodge & estate New Zealand, or Aotearoa, is a mythical land steeped in legend and mystery. Treetops Lodge

leisurely spa in your suite. Fine cuisine is an integral part of the Treetops

offers the ultimate in world class luxury

experience. Relax, unwind and relish the

accommodation. It is located in the heart of the

sumptuous spread. Share an intimate, candlelit

trout fishing capital of the world and that famed

dinner for two with fireside ambience in the

therapeutic thermal region, Rotorua. Nestled

library or share fascinating stories with fellow

amidst magnificent native forests and valleys,

guests in the main Dining room.

Treetops offers a unique experience. The Estate contains a virgin native forest

A diverse array of New Zealand’s finest food is on offer. Salmon smothered in caviar and

with 800 year old giants that would humble

succulent eye fillet steak, while luscious wine

even the greatest. The Lodge has an elegant

overflows from the well stocked cellar.

architectural style derived from New Zealand’s

By visiting Treetops you share in the dream

pioneering past. Timber and stone finishes echo

of founder and conservationist John Sax. In the

the beauty and simplicity of the great outdoors.

words of poet WB Yeats: “Tread softly here

A sanctuary and retreat of breathtaking terrain

because you tread on my dreams.”

P: +64 7 333 2066

includes 2,500 acres of secluded native forest

F: +64 7 333 2065

and game reserve, seven streams, four lakes

very best of what New Zealand has to offer.

and over 70 kilometres of hiking trails. After a

All are welcome to appreciate the beauty of

day in the wilds, return to the lodge and

nature, be refreshed and depart a little brighter

indulge in a luxurious massage followed by a

for the experience.

E: info@treetops.co.nz W: www.treetops.co.nz

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Treetops Lodge is a place that reflects the

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North Island | NEW ZEALAND

Bay of Islands

eagles nest Eagles Nest is located on the Tapeka tip of the

(lobster) and more. Eagles Nest personal chefs

Russell peninsula in the heart of the sub-tropical

will prepare this meal in your own private villa,

paradise of Northland’s Bay of Islands, New

giving you the opportunity to take in the breath

Zealand. The unique micro climate provides the

taking views, with a superb glass of New Zealand

best weather in the region and the ideal location to

wine from the Estates extensive cellar. Eagles

vacation year-round. This multi award winning 75

Nest also offers the services of its own resident

acre estate offers five private luxury villas. Each

personal trainer and spa therapists ensuring the

villa offers inspirational views across private heated

most indulgent of stays.

infinity edged lap pools to the Bay of Islands. Eagles Nest is a world class retreat over-looking

P: +64 9 403-8333 F: +64 9 403-8880 E: admin@eaglesnest.co.nz W: www.eaglesnest.co.nz

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The Bay of Islands is a world renowned holiday destination offering over 144 islands to explore

the spectacular Bay of Islands. Designed and

in a sub tropical paradise. World class big game

furnished in an eclectic international contemporary

fishing, scenic cruising, sailing, diving, kayaking,

style. Within easy walking distance of the historic

bush walking, mountain biking, helicopter flight

village of Russell, the estate offers five multi-award

seeing, and romantic picnics on your own

winning luxury villas, four of which offers its own

private island are some of the many options

private heated infinity edge lap pool.

available from Eagles Nest. With exquisite food,

The team of talented resident personal chefs

wine, unsurpassed service and amenities, Eagles

can spoil you for the evening. They will offer a

Nest offers everything you need for the luxury

specially designed menu of your choice featuring

experience of a lifetime. Eagles Nest…

freshly caught fish, venison, lamb, crayfish

somewhere between seven stars and heaven.

59

NEW ZEALAND | North Island

Taupo

huka lodge Founded in the 1920s, Huka Lodge is considered

those to be found at the four-suite Owner’s

by the world’s most discerning travellers – it

Cottage and the two-suite Alan Pye Cottage,

enjoys an unrivalled riverside location and offers

the Lodge offers a very exclusive hospitality

superb hospitality.

experience.

The first glimpse of the deep turquoise green

anniversary in your lives with time spent relaxing

Huka Lodge is located in Taupo, in the

amidst the romance and natural beauty of one

central North Island of New Zealand. The central

of the world’s most celebrated private retreats.

plateau enjoys a gentle climate, a leisurely pace

The “Time Together” package includes:

and spectacular landscape. Snow-capped

•A  ccommodation for two, for two nights in a

and lush wilderness, the clear blue waters of lakes and streams. Experience the simple pleasure of crisp clear air, birdsong and 17-acres of perfect peace and quiet. The attentiveness to your needs is as palpable as the force of the mighty river itself. F: +64 7 378 0427 E: reservations@hukalodge.com W: www.hukalodge.com Tariff: from NZ$14,180 per couple for the 2 day ‘Time Together’ package.

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Celebrate a special occasion or

waters of the Waikato River is an eye opener.

volcanic mountain peaks, wild tussock, green

P: +64 7 378-5791

With just 25 rooms in total, including

to be the iconic New Zealand retreat. Sought

The Lodge grounds are extensively planted and blend seamlessly into the bordering Wairakei Park Reserve beyond. Lovingly tended, they enclose a tennis court, a heated swimming pool, spa pools, petanque and croquet courts as well as many a quiet secluded corner to contemplate nature at its most bountiful and generous.

Lodge Room at Huka Lodge. •A  chilled bottle of French Champagne waiting on arrival. •H  elicopter transfers to and from Auckland Airport, landing on the lawn at Huka Lodge. •G  olf at the nearby Wairakei International Golf Course or at The Kinloch Club. • In-room couple spa treatments – one relaxing massage and one pampering facial. •P  rivate dining for the entire stay, subject to availability. •P  re-dinner drinks, superb five-course dinner and full country breakfasts – every day. •U  se of all Lodge facilities.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

North Island | NEW ZEALAND

Taupo

lake taupo lodge Relax your body, warm your heart and refresh

This secluded lodge has an innovative

your soul at this lakeside retreat in the volcanic

architectural design inspired by Frank Lloyd

heartland of New Zealand.  Lake Taupo Lodge

Wright that frames the view of the lake and the

is the perfect place for a break away from it

mountains. The focus is on gracious living,

all and small incentive stays for the important

personalized hospitality, delicious cuisine and

people in our lives.

New Zealand’s award winning wines. It’s a

Sink into the soft furnishings in front of the fire

heartening log fires, billiard room and spellbinding

gardens with an overwhelming sense of peace

lake views.

and tranquillity.  Share an intimate dinner for

F: +64 7 377 3226 E: lodge@reap.org.nz W: www.laketaupolodge.co.nz

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Accommodation is in 6 Luxury suites, super

two in the main lounge with the lights of Taupo

king double, or twin share with private en-suites.

twinkling in the distance or share fascinating

Local attractions include wonderful bush and

stories with fellow guests in the main dining room

volcanic mountain walks or trout fly-fishing.

overlooking the beautiful lake and mountains.

International Wairakei Golf Course and the Jack

This is a luxurious lodge overlooking beautiful

P: +64 7 378 7386

relaxed, welcoming atmosphere with

or recline on a sun lounge in the seclusion of the

Nicklaus Signature Course are close by. Also

Lake Taupo. Enjoy true Kiwi hospitality in the heart

popular are the Maori cultural villages and ther-

of a wonderful outdoor playground. In the centre

mal attractions nearby.

of New Zealand’s North Island, Lake Taupo is

Lake Taupo Lodge is 3 hours drive from

unquestionably one of the finest recreation

Auckland, 5 hours drive from Wellington. Regular

areas in the world. Lake Taupo Lodge is situated

domestic flights connect Auckland, Taupo,

above the beautiful Acacia Bay on the western

Wellington and Christchurch. A helicopter pad is

shores of the lake within park-like gardens.

located close to the lodge.

61

NEW ZEALAND | North Island

Auckland

auckland’s Waitakere Estate Escape to Auckland’s only rainforest retreat Feed the soul at this beautiful boutique hotel only 30 minutes from central Auckland. This rainforest retreat offers a unique opportunity

on the horizon. Explore the Waitakere Ranges by foot or jog the circuit. There is a squash court onsite and

New Zealand beauty spot in the Waitakere

croquet can be played in the beautiful gardens.

Ranges Heritage Park.

We can take you for a helicopter ride over the ranges, the west coast beaches and Auckland

gardens or savior the great outdoors from your

city or you can just hang out by the pool and

hotel room Juliet balcony. Take advantage of

unwind in the sauna. If you want adventure we

the excellent service and rediscover the beauty

can arrange kayaking, canoeing, mountain

and power of the rainforest.

biking and quad bike racing. We can also

Enjoy lush scenery and the dulcet tones of

F: + 64 9 814 9921

a different perspective with a sea of city lights

to unwind, indulge and enjoy a clean, green

Lounge in a luxury villa overlooking the

P: + 64 9 814 9622

native bush. At night take in the rainforest from

native birds with award winning cuisine in a warm, relaxed atmosphere. With an award winning chef rustling up

organise some great wine tours in the region. This is a world class destination which has just been refurbished. The design and ambience hits all the right notes and has been created for

E: info@waitakereestate.co.nz

mouth watering dishes the gastronome in you

the discerning traveller. Whatever your mood we

W: www.waitakereestate.co.nz

will be satisfied. Sit on the elevated deck and

can accommodate it; leisure, pleasure, action

soak in the full 360 degree view amid the lush

or just quiet contemplation.

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weekendsfortwo.com.au

North Island | NEW ZEALAND

Turangi

RIVER BIRCHES LODGE It’s one of the best kept secrets in the central

convenience of self catering, with the option of

North Island of New Zealand. Nestled in an idyllic

dinner prepared by Chef. She prides herself on

and peaceful garden alongside the mighty

sourcing only the very best fresh local produce to

Tongariro River, River Birches Lodge is in harmony

create a gourmet experience you’ll never forget.

with its stunning natural surrounds. The beautiful garden and secluded setting

River Birches is in the heart of an area that’s world renowned for its fly fishing, and hiking

makes River Birches Lodge the perfect spot

in the World Heritage Tongariro National Park,

for sharing special time together. Guests can

home to the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing,

choose from three stunning guest rooms in the

as well as skiing in winter. Enjoy riverside walks,

lodge or the new three-bedroom Cottage.

white water rafting, mountain biking, boating,

Each lodge room is a quiet haven of comfort and style, with its own deck, large luxury ensuite, and super king-size or super twin beds. All have beautiful garden views. Positioned alongside the lodge is The Cottage.

fishing and swimming or just relax and enjoy the lodge surrounds. For the ultimate in pampering, enjoy a relaxing massage in your room followed by a private candlelight dinner with a bottle of wine. Talk to

P: +64 7 386 0445

Set amidst the River Birches environment, The

us about the many options available for your

F: +64 7 386 0442

Cottage is a gorgeous self-contained property

special getaway.

E: enquiries@riverbirches.co.nz W: www.riverbirches.co.nz

weekendsfortwo.com.au

with full service options available if desired. It has

We look forward to welcoming you to River

all the comforts of a ‘home away from home’.

Birches Lodge, where genuine quality, attention to

It’s perfect for those seeking the privacy and

detail and exemplary service are second to none.

63

NEW ZEALAND | North Island

Coromandel Peninsula

bushland park lodge The Coromandel’s outstanding beauty of misty

haven of peace and tranquility surrounded by

rainforests and golden beaches lie on Bushland

New Zealand native forest and the sounds of

Park Lodge’s doorstep. Turn off the Coromandel

nature.

Highway and follow the road up the Wentworth

Petra & Reinhard Nickel Bushland Park Lodge 444 Wentworth Valley Road WHANGAMATA New Zealand

Check into the Lodge with a welcome glass

Valley to find the Lodge. It provides luxury

of bubbly and chocolate truffles. Spend an

accommodation and fine dining in the heart

evening by the open fireplace with European

of the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. Set

cuisine in the Lodge’s dining room cum wine-

in 5 acres of manicured grounds, host and

cellar. Enjoy a true five course European

owners Reinhard & Petra create a very personal

silver service dinner with private chef. Start

atmosphere for their guests. Reinhard is an

with a pre dinner aperitif, then a glass of wine

expert chef and the meals he cooks each night

matching the dinner course and finally a

are outstanding.

Digestive or Port.

At Bushland Park Lodge you will discover

For romantic star gazers, the private

P: +64 7 865 7468

towering Kauri Trees, native birds, streams

outdoor double slipper bath in the heated

E: info@bushlandparklodge.

and glow-worms in deep forest grottos. Enjoy

garden provides a perfect ending to a perfect

co.nz

the seclusion and ambience of a Lodge so

day. It comes with candles and champagne

W: www.bushlandparklodge.

exclusive that a maximum of only 3 couples can

in a tub filled with warm, foamy spring water.

co.nz

be accommodated at any one time. Bushland

Bushland Park Lodge provides a very special

Park Lodge gives you the luxury of silence: a

weekend for two.

64

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• Matakauri Lodge • Otahuna Lodge • Pen-y-bryn Luxury Lodge • Remarkables Lodge • Sherwood Lodge • Stonefly Lodge • Timara Lodge • Tiritiri Lodge • Treetops Lodge & Estate • Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet • Peppers on the Point • Hurakia Lodge • River Birches Lodge

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new zealand I Fiordland

Credit: Gilbert Van Reenan

Travel to Fiordland and visit one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand.

I

n a country as scenic as New Zealand that is a big claim. Fiordland has achieved World Heritage status and is renowned as the home of Mitre Peak and the Fiords of Milford and Doubtful Sound. Also well known are the Great Walks. These include the Milford Track as well as the Routeburn and Kepler Tracks within the Fiordland National Park and Mount Aspiring National Park. One of the most incredible and frequently overlooked features of Milford Sound is the journey to get there. The road to Milford Sound is considered one of the world’s finest Alpine drives. After leaving

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Milford Sound,

Fiordland

Te Anau, visitors follow one hundred and nineteen kilometres of sealed road on a stunning alpine drive. Visitors need to allow plenty of time to make the drive as it is a steep and windy highway. Numerous viewing points and short walking opportunities provide a chance to get out of the car and take in the spectacular scenery and the sheer scale of the landscape. Milford Sound is incredibly grand. Mitre Peak captivates photographers, and the fiord’s sheer cliffs command admiration. Milford Sound is by far the best known of all of the fiords and the only one that can be accessed by road. It is

approximately sixteen kilometres from the head of the fiord to the open sea. Visitors can comfortably travel the length of the fiord to the open ocean and return on one of the many cruise options available in one or two hours cruising time. In 1883 Explorer James Hingston wrote “For thousands of feet upwards the eye looks upon straight cut rocky frontages, not worn smooth by time, or by wind or water, but as sharply defined and as fresh looking in all respects as if riven asunder but yesterday by the stupendous wedges of Titanic Masons.“ James Hingston 1883 The Maori were the first to attribute

weekendsfortwo.com.au

Credit: Chris Sisarich

Credit: Rob Suisted

Credit: Chris Sisarich

Credit: Chris Sisarich

the creation of the fiords to a “titanic mason�, Tute Rakiwhanoa who hewed out the steep sided valleys with keen edged adzes. No other explanation seems to fit, as it is impossible to comprehend the sheer breadth of geological events that created this seemingly perfect sculpture, as sheer cliffs rise vertically upward from the ocean. Yet another unique feature of the Fiordland environment is life under the fiord. Beneath the water, the mountains continue to plunge down as steep rock walls until they reach the floor of the fiord at depths of 100-450m. Few visitors are aware that below the tide line there exists

weekendsfortwo.com.au

In country dominated by grand scenery, the Milford Sound area stands above the pack. a fascinating and unique world. A fresh water layer that sits on top of the seawater filters light to allow normally deep water dwelling species to exist very close to the surface. A visit to the Milford Discovery

Centre & Milford Deep Underwater Observatory allows access to sights rarely revealed to human visitors. In country dominated by grand scenery, the Milford Sound area stands above the pack.

67

NEW ZEALAND | Sydney NEW ZEALAND | South Island

Gl enorchy

blanket bay luxury lodge LORD OF THE RINGS Oscar nominee Sir Ian

against a backdrop of New Zealand’s finest

McKellan exclaimed: “Blanket Bay was really the

scenery 45 minutes from the resort town of

most splendid property, possibly the best in the

Queenstown, New Zealand’s activity and ad-

world and everyone should stay there when

venture centre. During the gold rush of the 1860s,

visiting New Zealand”.

miners came here seeking their fortunes.

The Lodge at Blanket Bay is acknowledged as

Today’s travellers come to Blanket Bay in

one of New Zealand’s finest, but it is the experience

search of peace and solitude. The area, with

that sets it apart. There is nowhere on earth

some of New Zealand’s finest scenery and visitor

where there are so many activities available so

activities, ensures guests have plenty of options

close by. There are endless ways to restore your

to choose from.

physical and spiritual well-being in this spectacular corner of New Zealand. From fly-fishing to hiking, jet boating to horseback riding, from heli-skiing to canyoning, art trails to vineyards, from hiking The Milford and

The Lodge is a brief helicopter ride away from the snow-capped Mt Earnslaw Glacier, the quiet trout-filled rivers of The Greenstone Valley and the dense pre-historic rain forests of Fiordland. Accommodation at Blanket Bay is provided

Routeburn Tracks to flight-seeing over The World

in five intimate Lodge Rooms, three generous

Heritage Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound.

Lodge Suites, and four superb Chalet Suites all

All of these options and many more are at the

filled with sumptuous furnishings and elegant rugs.

P: +64 3 441 0115

doorstep. It is no wonder Blanket Bay is consistently

Natural materials are showcased throughout,

F: +64 3 442 9441

rated as one of the best luxury lodges in the world.

echoing the Lodge’s natural interaction with

E: information@blanketbay.com W: www.blanketbay.com

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An elegant yet rustic alpine lodge framed by

the environment. All rooms within the lodge are

a crystal lake and majestic mountains, Blanket

placed to take full advantage of the magnificent

Bay sits at the north end of Lake Wakatipu

lake and mountain vistas.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

South NorthIsland Island | NEW ZEALAND

Te Anau

fiordland lodge Set in a World Heritage Area, Fiordland Lodge

experience. The open architecture of the lodge

offers the discerning traveller comfort and

reflects the vastness of the Fiordland National Park.

privacy. It is the perfect base from which to

High ceilings, full trunk pillars and a massive

explore Milford and Doubtful Sounds within the

riverstone fireplace provide a warm, spacious

surrounding Fiordland National Park. Te Anau

environment with a sense of solidity and style. The

and the surrounding area provide a wide variety

lodge’s comfortable dining area serves excellent

of activities from passive sightseeing to adrenalin

food coupled with superb wine from the cellar.

pumping adventure. Fiordland’s National Park

The Lodge has ten guest rooms. Also available

is one of the world’s most beautiful areas.

are two Log Cabins offering dinner, bed and

Fiordland Lodge is the departure point for the

breakfast. Fiordland Lodge is perfect for business

world famous Milford, Routeburn and Hollyford

as well as pleasure. Its elegant luxury and

walking Tracks. Fully guided golf tours of

serene setting make it an ideal venue for a

Southland and Otago are available, as are horse

corporate retreat.

P: +64 3 249 7832

trekking, 4-wheel biking and much more. For the

Fiordland Lodge is managed by Andy

F: +64 3 249 7449

more adventurous, local operators offer skydiving

Cunningham and owned by Ron & Robynne

E: Info@fiordlandlodge.co.nz

over the Te Anau landscape, or kayaking the

Peacock who also operate Fiordland Guides.

W: www.fiordlandlodge.co.nz

majestic waters of Doubtful and Milford Sounds.

Both Ron And Robynne have a long association

Tariff: Depending on season, from NZ$720 per night / based on two people including meals.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

The elegance and splendour of the Lodge is

and love of the Fiordland area and Fiordland

mirrored in the breathtaking views of Lake Te Anau

Guides is based on offering clients informative,

and Fiordland. Private and serene, the Lodge is

personal and professional experiences based

perfect for relaxation or as a base for your Fiordland

on local knowledge.

69

NEW ZEALAND | South Island

Cass

grasmere lodge Just 90 minutes from Christchurch, Grasmere

such as whitebait from the West Coast. They

Lodge is at the heart of an 6,000 hectare grand

are accompanied by an extensive wine list, which

pastoral operating station (ranch) surrounded by

comprises award-winning New Zealand wines,

stunning alpine scenery. 100% purely Kiwi owned

including a number from the local Canterbury

and operated Grasmere has been a proud

region. The carefully trained staff embodies

member of Small Luxury Hotels since 1995.

traditional southern hospitality, and is well-

The 150 year old Homestead houses character rooms such as the library, lounge,

informed about the region and all it offers. From the lodge enjoy horseback riding,

P: +64 3 318-8407

bar and evening dining rooms. Thirteen guest

walking, kayaking, mountain biking, clay bird

F: +64 3 318-8263

rooms spread through the lodge; chalet and

shooting, tennis or taking part in the daily 4WD

cottage boast panoramic views of lakes, rivers

station tour. Relax and rejuvenate in the

or rugged mountains.

Mountain Spa or by the heated outdoor

E: retreat@grasmere.co.nz W: www.grasmere.co.nz Tariff: from $NZ622.24 per person per night.

70

Meals feature the best of New Zealand

swimming pool. Gin-clear streams and lakes

produce and may include farm-raised venison,

challenge the fly-fisherman while scenic flights

lamb or salmon or regional delicacies in season,

from the airstrip entertain further afield.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

South Island | NEW ZEALAND

Marlborough

timara lodge Timara Lodge is set amongst 600 acres of land,

Highly skilled in the meticulous preparation and

including 25 acres of one of New Zealand’s most

presentation of local cuisine, Louis also has a

beautiful English style gardens and a five-acre,

profound knowledge of new and old world wines.

man-made lake. Adjoining our gardens is the

Louis’ menus feature plentiful seafood like lobster,

350-acre Spy Valley vineyard and winery.

scallops, oysters, mussels, salmon and fresh fish

Timara Lodge’s accommodation facilities

from the Marlborough Sounds. The best of New

ensure your stay is private, comfortable and

Zealand lamb, beef and game is carefully sourced

peaceful. Timara Lodge is truly a “slice of

daily from around New Zealand. Freshly harvested

paradise” in Marlborough, New Zealand.

produce and herbs from our own garden ensure

At the top of the South Island and in New

the freshest flavours to compliment Louis’ dishes.

Zealand’s sunniest province, Marlborough’s

With Louis’ European training and Michelin

Timara Lodge is ideally placed to offer its guests a

Restaurant experience, his delicately prepared

memorable experience. Marlborough is endowed

desserts are often a favourite with guests.

P: +64 3 572 8276

with a magnificent beauty and it’s central location

F: +64 3 572 9191

provides a base for wine companies and a

beautiful gardens or play a game of tennis.

E: timaralodge@xtra.co.nz

burgeoning gourmet food industry. Visitors to

For the active guest, a round of golf can be

W: www.timara.co.nz

the region often leave with bottles of wine from

played at the nearby Fairhall Golf Course.

internationally renowned labels such as Spy

After your day’s adventures, you can rest, read

Valley, Cloudy Bay, Montana and Hunters wines.

in the library or join other guests whilst enjoying a

Tariff: from $NZ800 per person per night

weekendsfortwo.com.au

Your host is Austrian born Louis Schindler.

Relax lazily by the pool, stroll through the

vintage wine, fine malt whiskey or cognac.

71

NEW ZEALAND | South Island

Canterbury

claremont country estate An exceptional luxury lodge experience in New Zealand, just 45 minutes from Christchurch airport. A stay in Claremont’s exclusive luxury lodge

is furnished with period antiques to create the

memorable, reminiscent of an elegant 19th

ambience and elegance of a bygone era. delightful, manicured flower gardens, fruit trees

mouth-watering cuisine with fine New Zealand

and landscaped grounds which include many

wines and will receive unobtrusive, personal

of the original shrubs, hedges and enormous

service and hosting.

specimen trees. This provides a wonderful orchestra of birdsong and will enjoy the sublimely

over 10 kilometres of direct river frontage. Feel

tranquil setting, adjacent to some of the most

free to walk over the extensive rolling farmland

spectacular scenery in Canterbury.

private nature reserve. Claremont Country Estate is one of Canter-

W: www.claremont-estate.com

72

mature garden setting. You’ll awaken to an

exclusive access to our 2,400 acre estate with

and explore the amazing natural wonders of our

E: relax@claremont-estate.com

The luxury lodge is surrounded by acres of

treated to sumptuous guest accommodation,

As a guest at our NZ luxury lodge, you have

F: + 64 3 314 7065

ultimate in comfort. This exclusive luxury lodge

accommodation in New Zealand will be truly century English country house. You will be

P: + 64 3 314 7559

It has been lovingly restored and modernised to provide the latest in amenities and the

Guests have the use of two extremely comfortable and gracious living rooms with warm open fireplaces, an extensive library,

bury’s truly authentic heritage country home-

shady vine-clad verandas and sunny, paved

steads offering luxury accommodation in New

courtyards. There is an all-weather tennis court,

Zealand. It was built in 1866 from hand-cut lime-

badminton and lawn croquet. Simply relax and

stone blocks quarried on the farm and is listed by

unwind or enjoy the many activities available

the NZ Historic Places Trust.

on-site or nearby. The choice yours!

weekendsfortwo.com.au

South Island | NEW ZEALAND

Oamaru

pen-y-bryn luxury lodge Built as a private residence in 1889 and set on a

architectural features, from the grand fireplaces

hillside overlooking historic Oamaru, Pen-y-bryn

and bookcases to the gothic style leaded

Lodge is a carefully restored and wonderfully

windows and panel doors, all of which are a

maintained historic mansion. It is located on the

part of the distinctly gracious ambience and

southern outskirts of historic Oamaru, and

elegance which is Pen-y-bryn. There are no room

approximately three hours south of Christchurch

numbers at Pen-y-bryn. Instead, each of the five

or 90 minutes north of Dunedin.

rooms is individually named and graciously ap-

At Pen-y-bryn, guests are surrounded with

pointed in specially selected period furnishings

natural views of the mountains, the ocean, and

and accents. The lodge has tastefully included

colonies of penguins along the North Otago

modern amenities in each room. As part of the

coast. World class fireside fine dining, impeccable

high standard, each room includes 100% cotton

service, attention to detail, and only five

bed linens, 100% pure wool underlay, duvet,

elegantly appointed rooms, enable guests to

and luxurious feather and down pillows. Plush,

enjoy a highly personalised experience.

specially embroidered, terrycloth bathrobes

Pen-y-bryn is a member of the Chaîne des

provide for an extra personal touch. From their

Rôtisseurs and the International Slow Food

in-room butlers’ tray, guests at the lodge enjoy

Movement and features the finest and freshest

traditional or herbal teas from fine bone china

P: +64 (03) 434-7939

of sustainable and organic foods, prepared to

tea services, or freshly ground coffee, with fresh

F: +64 (03) 434-9063

a high standard and artfully presented.

lodge-baked biscuits, New Zealand chocolates, or

E: admin@penybryn.co.nz W: www.penybryn.co.nz

weekendsfortwo.com.au

Pen-y-Bryn Lodge offers exclusive heritage

a selection of fresh seasonal fruits. Complimentary

accommodations in a unique historic setting.

high speed wireless internet is provided in the

The lodge resounds with original handcrafted

common areas, and in all guest rooms.

73

NEW ZEALAND | South Island

Queenstown

remarkables lodge At the base of the Remarkables Mountains, with

– whether you are a snow junky or enjoy more

uninterrupted views of the magnificent mile-high

sedate adventures like golf or visiting wineries.

mountain range, close to Queenstown but in a stunning rural setting is Remarkables Lodge. The estate’s history dates back to the Otago

stay. Or take a helicopter from the lodge

gold rush of 1861. Queenstown’s first European

grounds to the top of the mountains for a cham-

settlers founded the Remarkables Station. Since

pagne picnic. But just relaxing in the gardens

then four generations have farmed it. Lovingly

listening to the bell birds or enjoying a game of

restored and refurbished and extended, the legacy

tennis has its own attractions.

P: +64 3 442 2720

of previous generations makes Remarkables

F: +64 3 442 2730

Lodge a building of character and charm.

E: contact@remarkables.co.nz

The Lodge is adjacent to Jacks Point Golf course and green fees are included in a lodge

Remarkables Lodge is that rare combination

After a busy day, luxuriate in a claw footed bath filled with water from the lodge’s own mountain waterfall while the resident chef crafts

W: www.remarkables.co.nz

of impeccable service and delectable cuisine,

delectable cuisine using locally sourced fresh

Tariff: from NZ$1,115 for room,

luxurious rooms and stunning views, all the 5 star

produce, served with our world famous local

breakfast and dinner.

features – but with a warm, relaxed, and

wines. After dinner slip between crisp cotton

comfortable ambience. Take advantage of direct

sheets and gaze up at the star studded

flights from Australia and treat yourself to a luxury

southern hemisphere sky as the moon rises over

short break in New Zealand’s premier location

the mountains.

Per room per night including GST

74

weekendsfortwo.com.au

South Island | NEW ZEALAND

Christchurch

otahuna lodge Otahuna was built in 1895 for prominent Canterbury pioneer Sir Heaton Rhodes. An enduring

hallmarks of the Otahuna table. The spectacular 110-year old gardens stretch

testament to his love for the finer things in life, the

over 30 acres. Wide vistas over lawn and lake

homestead is considered one of the best examples

contrast beautifully with intimate walks which

of unspoiled Queen Anne architecture in

wind through heavily wooded areas. On the far

Australasia and is protected by a Category One

side of the lake, over a million daffodils welcome

listing from the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

guests to the property each spring. Meanwhile

Otahuna Lodge is an intimate, exclusive

the formal “Dutch” garden invites guests to

retreat offering seven individual suites. The 2

meander its hedged pathways to discover

master suites and 5 suites retain grand architectural

exotic trees, including some of New Zealand’s

features from the 19th century such as ornate

largest and finest specimens.

wood-burning fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained glass windows.

Situated at the base of the Banks Peninsula, Otahuna Lodge is just 20 minutes drive from the

P: +64 3 329 6333

Food and wine are an integral part of the

F: +64 3 329 6336

Lodge experience. The menu celebrates the

place from which to explore Canterbury. Wineries,

E: enquiries@otahuna.co.nz

best of fresh New Zealand produce with an

private gardens, championship golf, world-class

W: www.otahuna.co.nz

emphasis on seasonal estate-grown offerings.

fishing and even the world’s rarest dolphins are

Honest, uncluttered flavours, the finest ingredients

all just a short drive – or helicopter ride – from the

and elegantly restrained presentation are the

front door.

Tariff: from $NZ1100 + GST

weekendsfortwo.com.au

city centre of Christchurch, making it the ideal

75

NEW ZEALAND | South Island

Waiau

sherwood lodge

P: +64 3 315-6078 F: +64 3 315-6424

Surrounded by high country sheep and cattle

relaxed approach to life on their holiday,

stations in a spectacular river valley at the base

Sherwood Lodge is just the spot. There are no

of two mountain ranges, Sherwood Lodge is

noisy distractions, crowds or deadlines here.

the perfect place to be based and explore the

Instead, forgotten pleasures such as meandering

upper half of the South Island. Sherwood Lodge

along the river searching for fossils, lying back

is located approximately half way between the

in a hammock listening to the bird song with a

thermal resort town of Hanmer Springs and New

breeze in your hair, lively conversations enjoyed

Zealand’s whale watching mecca Kaikoura,

in deep armchairs in front of romantic open fires,

an easy one and a half hour’s drive north of

and warm hospitality for small, intimate

Christchurch, in the South Island of New Zealand.

groups abound.

Sherwood Lodge is a great destination for

Craig Aitken and Philippa Turley own and

E: sherwoodlodge@xtra.co.nz

long walks in the country, relaxing in front of an

live at Sherwood Lodge. It is clear they enjoy

W: www.sherwoodlodge.co.nz

open fire and enjoying good wine, food and

people staying and enabling their guests to

Tariff: from NZ$275 per person

company. It is ideal for those wanting to

experience a unique environment. Both have

twin share. Includes pre-dinner

experience more rigorous activities, with great

travelled extensively as tourists and on business,

drinks, 4 course table d’hote

trout and salmon fishing nearby, fantastic horse

and both understand the things that really

dinner, accommodation,

trekking in the surrounding hills, excellent jet boat

make visiting a place special - a spectacular

continental and/or full cooked

trips down one of the longest South Island rivers

setting, comfortable beds and spacious

breakfast, and full use of the

(the Waiau River), 4WD adventures and golf (5

accommodation, good food and wine, and the

lodge facilities.

courses within an hour’s drive).

chance to have the escape from the norm as

For people who enjoy a slower and more

76

you wish to experience it.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

South Island | NEW ZEALAND

Wanaka

tiritiri lodge Tiritiri Lodge is a sumptuous new 5 star retreat of

guest kitchen, an extensive book, cd and dvd

elegant environmental design with expansive

library, and a large cedar hot tub overlooking

views of Lake Wanaka and Southern Alps.

the waterfall.

Designed with meticulous attention to detail for

Wanaka means ‘a place of rejuvenation’.

the comfort and delight of guests, Tiritiri Lodge has

Here you can truly relax and experience nature

an Enviro Gold award for its environmental policies.

in its raw unspoilt form. The sheer beauty of the

Share the enthusiasm owner-hosts Denis

area will make your senses soar.

P: +64 3 443 2433

and Stephanie have for everything Wanaka has

F: +64 3 443 2443

to offer and enjoy their warm hospitality and

resorts including Cardrona and Treble Cone.

E: info@tiritirilodge.com

relaxed atmosphere.

Try our world class trout and salmon fishing. Or

W: www.tiritirilodge.com

Delight in the fabulous food. Tiffany the resident

In winter ski at one of the 5 nearby great ski

bicycle or walk into Wanaka along the beautiful

Tariff: from NZ$575.00 Twin

chef is passionate about growing her own organic

Wanaka lakeside track. Relax in the cedar hot

Share. Rates include full

produce. Experience a winemaker’s dinner with

tub after a day skiing. Or just curl up with a book

gourmet breakfast, evening

the great pinot noirs of Central Otago. After dinner

or your laptop in the sun in the window seat and

appetisers matched to

join Denis by the Bechstein grand piano.

watch the ever changing vista of Lake Wanaka.

boutique local wines, complimentary drinks and full use of all lodge facilities.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

The lodge has 6 guest rooms each with balcony. All have stunning views, the finest linen, under floor solar heating, free wi-fi and every luxury. Various guest lounges with open fires, a

Pamper yourself with a massage or learn how to cook raspberry shortcake with Chef Tiffany. Tiritiri Lodge is a member of the prestigious Luxury Lodges of New Zealand.

77

NEW ZEALAND | South Island

Wanaka

whare kea lodge & Chalet Situated above Lake Wanaka, one of New

the Kea is the world’s only alpine parrot making

Zealand’s most pristine natural glacial lakes,

its home in the mountains surrounding the lodge.

you will find luxurious seclusion in Whare Kea.

sweeping lawn and a hot tub nestled subtly

mountain views, peace, tranquillity and

away from the suites making it the perfect wind-

contemplation are just a few of the inevitable

down option after a hard day’s exploring.

feelings when experiencing this stunning property. P: +64 3 443 1400 F: +64 3 443 9200 E: admin@wharekealodge.com W: www.wharekealodge.com Tariff: from NZ$1,200 including 15% GST

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Whare Kea has its own private lake access,

With floor to ceiling windows and sweeping

With 6 exquisite suites comprised of ensuites

And then there’s the chalet… Perched high-up in the Buchanan mountain

and walk-in wardrobes, there are no excuses

range sits a hideaway so unique, it is helicopter

needed for ‘you time,’ as your in-house chef will

access only. With your own private guide and

be happily creating one masterful, melt-in-your-

bubbly chalet host, this 2 bedroom spectacle really

mouth feast after another.

has to be seen to be believed. Through incredible

Whare Kea, meaning ‘house of the Kea’ in Maori, captures everything Central Otago, as

forethought resulting in sustainable design awards, this Relais & Chateaux property is rivalled by none.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

South Island | NEW ZEALAND

Queenstown

matakauri lodge Matakauri Lodge is a boutique hotel with luxury

Queenstown. Fabulous food and a luxury spa

lodge style accommodation. It provides the

are all part of the mix at Matakauri Lodge.

perfect retreat in Queenstown. Recently named by Tatler Magazine as one of the world’s 101 Best Hotels and by Conde

spectacular scenery and adventure activities

Nast Traveller as best new hotel in the world,

such as white water rafting, paragliding, bungee

Matakauri Lodge offers eleven luxurious suites

jumping, jet boating and heli-skiing.

and is spectacularly situated on Lake Wakatipu. P: +64 3 441 1008 F: +64 3 441 2180 W: www.matakaurilodge.com E: info@matakaurilodge.com Tariff: From NZ $595.00 per person/per night + GST. Rates include accommodation, pre-dinner drinks, dinner, and full breakfast 

weekendsfortwo.com.au

Matakauri Lodge is your exclusive retreat while you get the opportunity to experience

Experience endless leisure pastimes of a

Each suite has private terraces looking across

more passive nature, such as hiking, horse

the lake to dramatic mountain views. The lodge

riding, wineries tours, trout fishing, scenic flights

gazes up at the peaks of the Remarkables

to places like the unforgettable Milford Sound,

mountain range. The extensive refurbishment,

hidden lakes… and much, much more.

which has been completed by the acclaimed

The lodge experience at Matakauri is

interior designer Virginia Fisher, ensures that

exceptional. Whether it’s a romantic escape with

Matakauri Lodge is the best accommodation

your loved one, a rejuvenating and replenishing

in Queenstown.

retreat or some well-earned time away with your

The lodge boasts an international gourmet

family, Matakauri Lodge has a range of fabulous

restaurant which provides guests with the

Lifestyle Packages which provide “no-fuss” short

very best cuisine and dining experience in

breaks with one inclusive price.

79

NEW ZEALAND | North Island

Marlborough Sounds

bay of many coves Deep in the Marlborough Sounds, the “Bay

in the stunning views. After dinner enjoy a soak in

of Many Coves” five star resort offers perfect

the hot tub under the stars or take a short hike to

seclusion in a pristine environment. Luxury

see the glow worms as they put on their evening

accommodation, world-class cuisine, stunning

show. Awake to the sound of tuis and bellbirds

scenery, adventure and romance deliver a

as you make your way down to the waterfront

great sense of relaxation.

for a sumptuous breakfast. Activities may include

The Bay of Many Coves Resort is a 60 hectare

in the dinghy, kayaking or hiking to the lookout

adjoining the Queen Charlotte track. The

for spectacular views. Treat your feet, indulge in

Marlborough Sounds is an adventurer’s paradise

a facial or try a hot stone massage in the Miritu

where you can indulge your sporting passions,

Day Spa.

challenge your senses and try new things you’ve always dreamed of doing. P: + 64 3 5799 771

a boat charter for sailing or fishing, a gentle row

property located in Queen Charlotte Sound

Enjoy fresh regional produce and world-class

Experience a six course degustation (tasting) dinner freshly prepared by master chefs. The optional wine matching is recommended to fully

F: + 64 3 5799 777

Marlborough wines. At the Bay of Many Coves

enjoy the flavours of Marlborough. After another

E: enquiries@bayofmany

Resort we have a passion for good food, fine

blissful night in the Sounds you can enjoy a lazy

coves.co.nz

wines and dining. And then there’s the view:

breakfast or brunch before you farewell the view

few places in the world offer such a luxurious,

and set sail for Picton and your journey home.

W: www.bayofmanycoves. co.nz

80

mouth-watering combination of the senses. Arrive to enjoy a glass of Taittinger and take

Pip and Nicholas Goodhew are your hosts assisted by friendly and experienced staff.

weekendsfortwo.com.au

SouthIsland Island||NEW NEWZEALAND ZEALAND North

Nelson

stonefly lodge Stonefly Lodge is situated on 56 hectares of

Private dining is also catered for and breakfasts

private forest on the banks of the Motueka

can be served on your balcony. The cuisine is

River, 50 minutes drive from Nelson. The Lodge

designed around seasonally fresh produce from

is centrally located between three spectacular

the extensive garden with home made produce,

National Parks (Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes and

local meats and fresh seafood. Special diets are

Kahurangi National Park) making it an ideal

easily catered for.

base from which to explore the region. Activities

“Matai Bar�, guests can relax after an exciting

tasting, white water rafting, rock climbing and

day of fly fishing or exploring the local region.

abseiling, horse riding and exploring the many

Four guest rooms are located upstairs complete

art and craft studios in the region.

with ensuites, heated towel rails and private

The Lodge has been built from natural

E: info@stoneflylodge.co.nz W: www.stoneflylodge.co.nz

weekendsfortwo.com.au

balconies overlooking the Motueka River and

stone and timber acquired from the property

mountains. The landing area above the dining

surrounds. The total complex is powered by

room is a quiet and secluded place where you

alternative energy sources built on site to

can tie flies, use the computer, indulge in a

reduce the environmental footprint. The Lodge

game of chess or relax with a good book.

interior focuses on the large stone double P: +64 3 522 4479

Complete with library, snooker table, and the

include, fly fishing, sea kayaking, hiking, wine

Stonefly Lodge is designed to meet the

sided fireplace which provides a warm and

needs of the most discerning traveller and

welcoming ambiance to the games room,

provide home comforts with personalised

dining room and sunroom. A large open kitchen

hospitality from experienced hosts. Your

adjoining the dining area offers a relaxed

hosts, John and Kate Kerr, have over 50 years

atmosphere where guests can dine together.

combined experience looking after guests.

81

Book in and enjoy your

Weekends for two

For an accommodation guide to short breaks or weekends away world wide visit www.weekendsfortwo.com.au In the drop down boxes to the left of the screen choose your destination: Choose: Country (eg; Australia) Choose: State / Province (eg; Queensland) Choose: Region (eg; Gold Coast) All accommodation choices in that region will then be displayed. You may further narrow down your choices by choosing from the categories on the right hand side of the screen.

Simply tick the box to choose from categories such as “Child Friendly”, “Pet friendly” or even “Meals available”. This will narrow your choice to appropriate accommodation choices to ensure you are not disappointed. When you have decided on your choice of accommodation hit the “enquire” button. An enquiry form will appear asking what dates you want to book in etc etc. Once completed the form will be emailed off to the hotel and they will get back to you with costs and availabilities. Once the enquiry form has been sent, you will be presented with the address and contact details.

www.weekendsfortwo.com.au


Weekends For Two