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AUGUST 2020 Digital edition: www.issuu.com/accessnews


We’re in the Business of Travel

Discover the amazing Sapphire Coast Perfect region for Sydneysiders to enjoy a relaxing getaway  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM HE magical Sapphire Coast is the perfect region for Sydneysiders to enjoy a relaxing getaway during the Spring and Summer months of this most unusual year. When describing the Sapphire Coast, words like “pristine, wilderness, untouched” easily come to mind. Then throw “blue waters, unspoilt beaches, oysters, local beer, adventures” and…well, you get the idea, I love this region and so will you. You see, along this beautiful stretch of coastline you will find everything you need in a perfect holiday destination, all within a short, relaxing drive from Sydney Spring on the Sapphire Coast means standing on an ancient coastline, watching the whales as they come in close to shore. It means Indulging in the freshest oysters grown just metres from where you dine or laying down under a sky full of stars listening to the wildlife settle in and waking to the crisp, clear dawn and the sound of the ocean.


Only five hours from Sydney, you can take a break away from rush the rush and bustle of the city in serene surroundings. It is the perfect place to reconnect with nature during the prime whale watching season on the Sapphire Coast.

Australian Geographic has named the Coast as one of the best places to watch whales in Australia. Travelling in large numbers and staying close to shore with their young, there is nothing quite like a close encounter of this kind.

From Eden to Bermagui, either by boat or from shore you can easily be a part of this massive migration. The Sapphire Coast is one of the few Continued from page 25

Albacore Apartments

Experience Merimbula at its best in our 4.5 star fully self-contained accommodation. Centrally located opposite Merimbula Lake. Our 1 and 2 bedroom apartments feature large open-plan living areas, fully equipped kitchens, laundry, spa baths, heating and air-conditioning. Private balconies with lake views and lift to all levels. Enjoy secure undercover car parking, heated pool, BBQ’s and large courtyard.

Market Street, Merimbula NSW 2548 • Phone: (02) 6495 3187 www.albacore.com.au WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS AUGUST 2020


Travel Each little town has a CHARM all of its own ACCESS

VISIT to the Sapphire Coast is all about little towns dotted along a pristine coastline. Each town has a charm of its own, so leave plenty of time to explore each one on your visit to the region. Bega is the urban centre of the Sapphire Coast, but its heart is dotted with rich lagoons and galleries and it is surrounded by rich pastures and rain forests. Bemboka is “the Village in the Valley” and the road through Candelo leads to Wolumla and Wyndham to the South and onward to the Monaro and the Mountains to the north. Bermagui is a beautiful town that hugs the edges of its harbor. It is the perfect place to stay awhile and relax without a traffic jam in site. You will love exploring Bermagui’s laid back lifestyle and the famous Bermagui Blue Pool. Brogo: Just 19kms north of Bega is the stunning Brogo Dam, which is contained within the Brogo wilderness area and the southern section of Wadbilliga National Park. Candelo: Travelling inland along the valley of the Bega River, the road ambles through rich dairy and beef country, passing the historic pastoral estate of Kameruka and arriving at the delightful little village of Candelo. Cobargo: It combines the skills and craft of a working village with a genuinely historic past, its streetscape featuring the many turn of the century buildings that make Cobargo such an attraction for visitors. Eden: The region is known as the ‘humpback highway’ and every year, between September and November, its waters play host to thousands of humpbacks heading home to Antarctica. Merimbula: This true gem’s magic begins with a first glimpse of the beaches, brilliant beneath the bright sunshine. Pambula: Enjoy a timeless day at this pretty coastal village, which is big on history, with the discovery of gold in local rivers in the mid 1800’s. Some of Pambula’s lovely historic buildings date back to this industrious time. Tathra: Another gem, featuring sparkling shades of green and blue. It surrounds itself in the natural beauty of both Mimosa Rocks National Park to the north, and Bournda National Park to the south, home to many seabirds and an abundance of wildlife. Wonboyn: The stunning Wonboyn Lake 30km south of Eden, is surrounded by pristine forests, unspoilt beaches and abundant animal and birdlife. It is the perfect getaway renowned for its breathtaking beauty of water and wilderness and particularly significant for bushwalkers, birdwatchers, and fishermen.

Sapphire Coast



Images from the amazing Sapphire Coast.


Travel Discover the amazing Sapphire Coast ACCESS

Sapphire Coast

Experience the hospitality of the Sapphire Coast.

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places in south east Australia that whales nurse and rest as they migrate to their summer grounds in Antarctica. In Australia, their lives are played out across the southern hemisphere, forever migrating between the warm equator to birth their young and the frozen pole to feed. More than 25,000 humpback whales make this journey annually plus seen orcas, southern rights and minke whales. Once hunted for their oil and baleen, today the whales are considered guests of honor on the Sapphire Coast. Its ancient coastline and ports offer unique opportunities for encounters from sea and shore.

There are also many short walks to take, headlands to picnic on and a small fleet of passionate boat operators.

brewers, farmers and chefs. Home to farm gates, cellar doors, bespoke cafes and waterfront restaurants.

Reconnect with Nature

This is your chance to break away from the city life with all its trials and tribulations and reconnect with nature. My suggestion is to choose an isolated beach and settle in with a picnic or wander the many nature trails that take you along rugged clifftops. For those seeking a little culture and creativity, visit the many galleries that feature art inspired by nature and coast or just take some time out with a good book. You can even be pampered if you wish.

Warmer weather and longer days mean a hundred adventures to enjoy along the entire Coast. You can choose whale watching, wilderness kayaking, fishing, walk the epic coastline or just settle in with a picnic on the sand. A visit to the Sapphire Coast in Spring is also a delicious voyage of discovery with the local produce taking centre stage. The region is home to some of the most awarded oysters in the world. Home to some of the most awarded dairy in the world. Home to passionate growers,

Relax and Rejuvenate

For more information: www.sapphirecoast.com.au

Bermagui Bait and Tackle NSW Gift hers vouc ble a avail

· All bait & tackle supplied · Fishing licence provided · Quality fishing gear · Assistance cleaning your catch · 42ft Randell Flybridge Cruiser in 1C Survey for 16 + crew · Deep Sea, Kingfish and Game fishing optional

The continental shelf is just 20 km offshore from Bermagui– its closest point to the Australian mainland. This means exceptional deep-sea fishing. In particular, the town is known for its yellow fin tuna and the famed black marlin. There are countless opportunities for the visiting angler to ‘do their own thing’ in Bermi. However, there really is no experience like being on the water fishing with locals. Our Charter Skipper and Deck Hands understand variations in tides, water currents, moon phases and prevailing weather patterns.

Call Bermagui Bait and Tackle to book your Charter 02 6493 5444. Fishing Charters are available as an exclusive booking for your group or as individual fishers. WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS AUGUST 2020


Travel Stay at stunning Merimbula ACCESS

LBACORE Apartments is ideally located to explore the sparkling Sapphire Coast and is centrally located in Merimbula overlooking beautiful Merimbula Lake and only minutes’ walk to shops, clubs restaurants and the beach. Merimbula is just a leisurely six hours from Sydney, making this destination your perfect getaway. The Sapphire Coast offers abundant unspoilt natural beauty where National Parks meet a pristine coastline. Albacore Apartments offers a mix of generously proportioned and

Sapphire Coast

sip a cool drink on the balcony watching the changing tide or you can enjoy the heated swimming pool and sun-drenched private courtyard. Albacore Apartments offers a number of golf packages to suit your individual needs catering for couples or large groups on any or all of the seven local golf courses


well-designed one and two bedroom apartments all with magnificent lake views, Living spaces are open planned,

spacious and extend onto private balconies. After a tiring day on the golf course

Details: Your host at Albacore Apartments is Cathy 02 64953187 or via email Infor@albacore.com.au.

The Camel Rock Brewery

O visit to the Sapphire Coast is complete without a visit to the famous Camel Rock Brewery. The brewery is located within the BIG4 Wallaga Lake Holiday Park in a building known as Allawah House. Allawah House was originally built on the shores of Wallaga Lake in 1917 on Payne's Island. It played host to travellers on the new coastal road, offering drinks, food and accommodation. After a few moves and repurposing, the property was sold in the 1960s and became a caravan park. Allawah House itself was extended


and converted into five accommodation flats. Steve and Sharon Watson purchased the caravan park in 2015 and when they and discovered the history of Allawah House, they decided to renovate the building into a microbrewery and restaurant. The rest is history and the superb beer has gained a great reputation with visitors and locals alike. There is nothing like a cleansing ale or three on a warm Spring of Summer day and it can be accompanied by the excellent local cuisine. Visit: www.camelrock.com.au

See whales with Cat Balou HE perfect way to see whales along the Sapphire Coast is with the experts at Cat Balou Cruises. Cat Balou operates from Twofold Bay at Eden, named Australia’s Number One whale watching destination in 2014 by Australian Geographic. Cat Balou Cruises has been operating since 1987 and they are considered the most experienced whale watching operators in NSW. As a family owned and operated


business, they have gained the reputation of maintaining high safety standards, providing exceptional service and value on all cruises as well as sharing their love of the area and the ocean with their passengers. Cat Balou Cruises were inducted into the South Coast Tourism Hall of Fame in 2013, having won numerous tourism awards during the past 28 years.

Details: www.catbalou.com.au

BIG4 Wallga Lake Holiday Park www.wallagalakeholidaypark.com.au 186-188 Wallaga Lake Rd, WALLAGA LAKE, New South Wales, 2546

+612 6493 4655 BIG4 Wallaga Lake Holiday Park is located on the shores of Wallaga Lake only 5 minutes north of Bermagui NSW on the Sapphire Coast. Activities to keep all the family entertained include; 18 Holes of Gold Rush Fever Mini Golf, Giant Jumping Pillow, Pedal Carts, Canoe Hire, Kayak Hire, Stand Up Paddle Board Hire, Tinny Hire, Tennis Court, Swimming Pool, Brewery & Licensed Cafe, Service Station and Convenience Store.

Gold Rush Fever Mini Golf


Camel Rock Brewery & Cafe

BIG4 Wallaga Lake Fishing Tips

Canoe & Kayak Hire

Having a cool beverage or meal at Camel Rock Brewery


Travel The beautiful Loxley on Bellbird Hill ACCESS


ď Ž GRAHAM MAUGHAN HAD my first delightful experience at Loxley on Bellbird a few years ago when I was the Marriage Celebrant at a wedding. Since then I have heard from many people that it is not only a fantastic place for a short getaway but is also one of the best venues in Sydney for weddings, conferences, forums, or meetings. My wife Jenny who was also at the same wedding (of which I officiated) decided she wanted to celebrate her birthday in style and wanted the pleasure of staying at Loxley on Bellbird Hill in the heart of the beautiful Kurrajong Hills for a couple of days. We chose a chalet which consisted of a fantastic view of the valley, wood fire and spa bath. When we arrived, we were greeted by the owner Paul Maher and his son Brendon, who gave us a guided tour through-


Owner Paul Maher.

out the 30 acre (12.15 hectares) property which features a 200 year old Kauri tree. The tree seems to tower over the property's entrance road, the main function room, (The Kauri Room) and meeting room together with accommo-

dation areas, The Cellar, The Explorers Retreat, The Peppercorn Lodge, beautiful Chalets and of course the Honeymoon Suite. Paul emphasised the sustainability factor of the resort. They have their own

above ground water supply consisting of 400,000 litres sourced from a 400-footdeep natural spring. The water for the beautiful swimming pool is also sourced from the natural spring which means it is always crystal clear and clean without using chlorine or salt. When it comes to providing your taste buds with a "party" Loxley on Bellbird has it covered. Their chefs and service staff are first class. We received in our room on both days a superb breakfast and three course dinner with bubbly and chocolates in the afternoon. The next time you’re looking for a wedding, conference, meeting venue, or you need some space to unwind in a tranquil setting, consider Loxley on Bellbird. It's a world class destination with professional service and an award-winning venue which respects its heritage and magnificent environment. Graham Maughan is sales manager at Access News Australia and a seasoned traveller.

Ideal for weekend getaways, Loxley on Bellbird Hill.




Travel Yeppoon is an OASIS for Aussies looking to escape ACCESS


Popular playground with agreeable climate  WORDS AND IMAGES BY DALLAS SHERRINGHAM EPPOON has become a popular playground for Aussies looking to escape the big freeze down south. The rest of us can there all year round. People flock there in their thousands between March and October each year. It is particularly popular with families. It is close enough to comfortably drive there in a day or two from the southern states, yet it always seems to be warm. Nearby Rockhampton, which borders the tropics, Yeppoon has the best and most agreeable climate in Australia according to the scientists. You reach Yeppoon by veering east off the Bruce Hwy just north of Rocky and heading for the coast. It is the glittering jewel in the Capricorn Coast, a string of seaside communities stretching north and south. A tropical town, it lies 700 km north of the Queensland capital of Brisbane. Just off the coast, within sight, is Keppel Island which can be reached by daily ferry services. I drove to Yeppoon open minded about what I would find. I knew virtually nothing about this much touted holiday



Yeppoon is fringed by islands.

paradise. It turned out to be a typical seaside resort town with shops galore, a well-developed shoreline and the mandatory row of Norfolk Pines. Most people stay in the apartments that overlook the town and climb upwards over the steep hill besides the main street. The views are sublime. Sparkling turquoise blue waters, islands and palm trees combine in an intoxicating landscape. Downtown Yeppoon was less sublime. Hordes of tourists and long lines of traffic signalled “school holidays”.

Down at the beach I wandered down to the beach and was quite surprised to see people swimming. I thought all northern beaches were dangerous, with crocodiles and deadly jellyfish vying with the sharks for the tasty “humans”. There are beaches galore in this area and it is easy to find a secluded spot you have all to yourself. I had heard about the famous Capricorn Resort, so I drove for 20 minutes out of town until I came to the resort sprawled out over hundreds of hectares. It came as quite a shock to find it had

closed down. Worse still, the once beautiful championship golf course next to the resort had been allowed to “return to nature”, which was a quaint way of saying it had been abandoned. The other 18 hole course was still open and looked to be in good condition. Locals told me that the resort was being refurbished, but I think it has become another casualty of Australia’s high cost of holidays compared to cruise ships, Bali and Fiji. Continued on page 31



Sublime views across the tropical waters.

The main beach.

Apartments abound in Yeppoon.

Continued from page 30

It is cheaper to fly to Bali from Sydney and stay in a quality hotel for two weeks than it is to spend a week in Yeppoon. Still, there were thousands of people in the town so the closure of the resort didn’t


Byfield State Forest's pine plantations

affect Yeppoon as much as I thought. Yeppoon has only entered the national psyche in the past 30 years or so, but it has a long history dating back to the days of gold mining and sugar cane plantations. A railway used to link the town with Rocky and the station has been preserved.


In the hills to the north west of town is the quaint little town of Byfield. It is set in Byfield State Forest which looks more like a North American forest than Australia. Thousands of hectares of plantation pines have been cultivated. Nearby is Byfield National Park

which has some stunning waterways and sub-tropical forests. So, when the weather turns cool next year, may I suggest you head north to Yeppoon for a break. You won’t be disappointed. Feature supplied by: www.wtfmedia.com.au


Travel Experience the true joys of of EXPEDITION cruising ACCESS


 WORD BY DALLAS SHERRINGHAM  IMAGES BY MICHAEL OSBORNE HEN I set off on my first Expedition Cruise in the Kimberley several years ago I had absolutely no idea what to expect. After 100 plus cruises on conventional ships around the world, the whole concept of undertaking an expedition on board a small ship was totally foreign to me. I had sailed on smaller ships before, but never on such an exciting and extensive itinerary as this. Now, it is a part of human nature to be a little hesitant in suddenly surrounding yourself with a group of strangers. I was worried about having to spend the next 10 days with people I didn’t know. When I turned up at the wharf in Darwin to board the Coral Discoverer (then known as Oceanic Discoverer), I was greeted by half a dozen smiling faces, all eager to welcome me aboard and assist me with my baggage and camera gear. Little did I know these people would become firm friends as the cruise progressed and would turn my experience into the journey of a lifetime. Within a couple of days, I realised that Expedition Cruising is as much


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Continued from page 32

about making friends and sharing experiences as it is about exploring new places. Each day we would go out on the Explorer expedition boat and cruise through amazing gorges and go ashore on the wildest beaches anywhere in the world. As a group, we found these places together and revelled in their wildness and their majesty. At every footstep in new places, we were guided by experts in wildlife and the ancient culture of this region. This gave our explorations a layer of enjoyment and self fulfilment that is impossible to achieve on a conventional cruise. Then as the sun settled in the west, we would gather in the upstairs lounge for a cleansing ale or a glass of wine while our expedition leaders gave a short talk on the day’s experiences. This was followed by a sumptuous a la carte dinner in luxury surroundings. The ship was abuzz with my fellow passengers excitedly discussing the day’s adventures. After dinner we sat on the back deck in the warm, clean Kimberley air watching the stars hung like chandeliers just above our heads. We talked for hours about the amazing places we had seen, places most Australians never get to see. We talked about many things and along the way we all confessed we had been a little bit concerned about setting off for 10 days with total strangers. This is the true joy of Expedition Cruising. It is all about the sharing of wild places with friends and crew members who genuinely love what they do. You can find out more about expedition style cruising at www.expeditioncruisespecialists.com.au

The highlight of the cruise came when we anchored under the impressive cliffs of a legendary Kimberley landform known as Raft Point. The crew set up a bar and a smorgasbord on the top deck and we all gathered on high. The air was still and embracing. Coral Discoverer was shrouded in a golden glow as the sun began to disappear behind us. All eyes were fixed on Raft Point as it suddenly blazed in a deep, rich red colour. We stood in silent wonder at what we were witnessing. Yes, Expedition Cruising holds many joys for the experienced traveller, but its true joy is the shared experience of exploring amazing places with strangers who have become close friends. Feature supplied by: www.wtfmedia.com.au

Don’t put the FREEZE on your business meetings. Plan for success this winter. Day Delegate Package

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Profile for Access News Australia

Access Travel - August 2020  

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