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Destinations for the discerning traveller

Austr alia and the South Pacific Islands

Experience the Gold Coast

from First Class to Mountain Bliss

South Pacific

Vanuatu An escape you will never forget Tahiti Indulge in award-winning luxury resorts

Byron Bay and beyond The region of natural wonders Sunshine Coast Explore the extraordinary Tropical North Queensland Where the rainforest meets the reef Fashion








Food & wine

$8.95 Inc GST March 2012

Win a trip to Tahiti valued at $10,000

Sophistication, O N


Accom Whitsunday’s properties allow you to escape the crowds and enjoy an independent and luxurious holiday, with all of the benefits of resort living. • PRESTIGE HOUSES • LUXURY APARTMENTS • 2, 3 & 4 BEDROOM APARTMENTS • FAMILY AFFORDABLE


Style & Luxury

Email: Phone: 07 4946 2018 • Reservations: 1800 466 600

ve o C m l a P s a l g u o ce n a D in t r o F h P c a y e a B B ie n o l r ir y st A a o C e Vanuatu B in sh n ib r u T S e p il a a r C T d e n in a sl W n e e e it u hQ t r o N l Coast Gran a ic p o r T s d n a Isl Tahiti Golf Lotus MANAGING EDITOR Vicki Sly PUBLISHER/DIRECTOR Samantha Pearse MANAGING DIRECTOR

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbo(u)r. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Charles Werb GRAPHIC DESIGNER Spellbound Creative ONLINE DEVELOPER Dargan Parminder PRINTER Kingswood Press ADVERTISING

Editor’s Letter

Ph: 0418 984 019 CONTACT DETAILS Chalya Pty Ltd PO Box 533 Broadbeach Waters QLD 4218 Ph: 07 5538 5156 Mobile: 0420 645 153 / 0418 984 019 © DESTINATIONS for the discerning traveller

LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER Welcome to DESTINATIONS for the discerning traveller. The idea to create a magazine like DESTINATIONS for the discerning traveller for those who are active and self-funded grew from the realisation that this group was not catered for by the magazines currently in the Australia market. People who are busy, have money but are short on time also needed somewhere to go for new luxury travel ideas, and this is what we have aimed to create. From the printed page and website, to digitised magazine content, DESTINATIONS aims to bring you rare and exclusive experiences and with over 24 years in publishing, the team at DESTINATIONS can also count on the experience of working on and launching over 12 new titles.


Welcome to the inaugural edition of DESTINATIONS for the discerning traveller - the first travel and lifestyle magazine of its kind in Australia dedicated to those who love luxury and who have a passion to see Australia and the South Pacific Islands. Just like Mark Twain, we understand the important role that travel plays in all of our lives; the experiences it affords and the richness that it adds. We also know that the time to do it is now! Our aim at DESTINATIONS for the discerning traveller is to open up a new world to you - the active and affluent traveller – by focussing on exploring the best that Australia and our neighbouring South Pacific Islands have to offer. To discern is to recognise that something is distinct or different, whether it be through sight or any of our other senses. DESTINATIONS for the discerning traveller aims to appeal to all of your senses by delivering authoritative information that will take into account the luxury traveller’s lifestyle; be it articles on fashion and style, food and wine, resorts and retreats, books and art, or money and motoring.

In this our first edition we travel the east coast of Australia from Byron Bay to Far North Queensland; explore the stunning South Pacific islands of Tahiti and Vanuatu; consider luxury travel by ship and train; and reveal the hottest trends in motoring, fashion, art, finance and travel gadgets. During the journey in putting this first edition together we learnt a lot about the power of social media. You could compare it more to a mountain climb than a walk in the park. More than one billion people use social networks daily so we asked social media consultant Amanda Kendle to shed some light on the subject for us. We appreciate that our readers are active and passionate about living a full life and living it well and no matter the type of traveller that you are – adventurer, explorer, wine and food buff, super shopper, art and cultural connoisseur or just plain beach bum – we promise something new and exciting for you. So let’s get out there and explore, dream and discover.



Meet our Writers Samantha Stevens Lotus Exige 260S Final Edition

Samantha is one of Australia’s few female motoring journalists, a television presenter, professional driver and driver trainer. She joins our team as our expert motoring writer. Cars are her life, livelihood and passion – a love that begun at the age of five with a golf buggy-powered Mighty Boy called ‘The Brat’. Fast forward a few years and Samantha now has her own all-girl rally team and with her navigator Claire Ryan has won a national title, and recently became the first woman to win a national rally outright in Australia. In this issue, Samantha test drives the Lotus Exige 260S Final Edition at Chuckwalla Raceway in the deserts past Palm Springs.

John Pond Cruising

John is a cruise writer/editor for many magazines, papers and websites. His early career was as a producer/director in the Australian and American film and television industry and he also worked in advertising for J. Walter Thompson and McCann Erickson as group head of TV. In the US, John worked for 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures as a producer and was co-creator of a top network show. Later switching to hotel and casino management, he was an executive with Caesars Entertainment and a VP with Playboy in the USA, responsible for worldwide PR and marketing. In recent years he set up government training programs and taught hospitality and media studies. John’s passion for travel writing and photography sees him cruising and writing year round.

Laur a Pattar a

In this issue Laura visits Byron Bay, Queensland, Tahiti and Vanuatu Laura was born in 1973 in a small seaside Italian town. Her family migrated to Australia in 1986, where she developed an extreme fondness of warm temperatures. After a trivial yet cataclysmic ‘a-ha’ moment in 2004, Laura left behind all that was familiar, safe and warm and embarked on a six-year stint as an overland tour guide. Her travels saw her discover South America (over and over again) and venture into the black depths of Africa, from where she emerged tanned and happy. A year-long stint through the Middle East cemented her belief that she is inherently tropical, and has spurred her onto the next adventure: a motorbike trip from Europe to Australia. Crossing Siberia in winter is most definitely not in her agenda…yet.

Jessica Peletier

Overcoming the Fear Factor and Getting Educated Jess is a private investor who had the misfortune of starting her trading adventure in July 2008. She is currently trading shares and using CFDs to trade selected commodity and equity indices and intraday FX. The markets are her tool of choice to create a life worth living, so a lot of her time is devoted to learning about the markets and, as an extension, herself. She is also a fledgling property investor, having completed two projects – a renovation and a new build – and is currently on the brink of a new reno/subdivision project. She is fascinated with investing and everything that goes with it, and loves sponging inspiration and knowledge from various mentors and experts in their fields. Jessica is a contributor to Your Trading Edge Magazine and writes a blog that explores the emotional and psychological impact of trading. You can subscribe for free at

Greg Pope

Luxury Train Journeys of Australia and how to make the most of your Frequent Flyer Points Greg was born travelling. Growing up in the highlands of Papua New Guinea where his parents were missionaries, he then spent much of his unusually long adolescence traipsing around Asia where he mastered several languages. While in theory completing an impressive honours degree at the University of Melbourne, most of his time was actually spent in some of the most obscure parts of the world learning about people and places that would be of no use whatsoever. Luckily, several years in China equipped him with the language skills, networks and knowledge to manufacture and import useful things which served to keep him in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed. He now enjoys writing of his exploits, consulting to companies that need a hand doing business in China, and dragging unsuspecting victims (often his wife and two-year-old son) to new frontiers. His favourite parts of the world include Western China, Mongolia, Pakistan, Morocco and France.

Christopher Hoole

Travel, news and reviews copywriter

Christopher was born in the year 1980 in the sleepy town of Edgeley, Greater Manchester. Originally a marine biologist, Christopher spent the early part of his adulthood jumping from job to job, often taking on completely different roles. Although frequent career changes allowed him to visit various parts of the UK, Christopher was unsettled and yearned for adventure. With a mind filled with exploration, and a name far too exotic to remain in England, Christopher began to travel the world. Since then, working on a Bolivian pig farm, travelling across Africa and experiencing Christmas in the Australian sun are just a few of his many accomplished adventures. Now completely hooked on travelling, the adventure doesn’t show any signs of stopping, with a trip to Sao Paolo on the cards.


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ByronBay By Laura Pattara


Reclining on a sundeck chair, you take a sip of your mouth-watering mojito and savour the day’s last rays. The hypnotising jazzy tunes waft in the background, as you close your eyes and feel the gentle caress of a refreshing sea breeze. This feels oddly familiar, you think to yourself. You’ve had this daydream for months now. Overworked, overstressed, underpaid and underplayed. The only reclining you’ve done lately is on your office chair; fantasising about being anywhere but there, doing anything but work and drinking anything but bland, boring, filtered coffee. But something is amiss. You can’t detect the buzzing of computers, the ringing of phones or the annoying shrilling voice of the new receptionist. Instead, all you hear are the waves crashing on the seashore. The music still lingers as you lift the glass to your lips, just to double-check you’re not hallucinating. Nope… there’s the proof…the world’s best mojito. And so it is that today, after months of planning, saving, sloggin’ and sweatin’, you find yourself luxuriating in one of the most beautiful places in the world: Byron Bay, Australia’s living daydream. It may not be such a hidden gem anymore, but Byron Bay, an idyllic beachside town in far-north New South Wales, still remains one of the top destinations for travellers worldwide. And for good reasons. Byron boasts no less than 14 swimming and surfing beaches in the region, innumerable world-class eateries and astounding scenery; all complemented by a sexy, dynamic and energetic night-life. It’s no wonder that over a million tourists visit Byron each year. And who could blame them?

The Villas of Byron –

Escape t o Bali in Byron Bay It was true. I was in dire need of a holiday and while a quick trip overseas to Bali sounded enticing, I just didn’t have the time or energy to organise a flight and make all of the necessary arrangements. When I mentioned this to a friend, she suggested I try the Villas of Byron instead. As I walked through the 300-year-old handcrafted Javanese doors, I thought I had been transported to the heart of Asia. I was suddenly in a world far removed from the daily grind; a world where the best in Balinese and Japanese design elements had been combined. I was in unique luxury accommodation where solitude and spiritual rejuvenation were considered a high priority. I was just where I needed to be! At the Villas, the Balinese music and Eastern-inspired ambience artfully blended with modern comfort and convenience to set a new standard in luxury accommodation— all of which were guaranteed to bring some peace and calm to my life. There were five exclusive villas to choose from, with oneand two-bedroom options; each designed with the utmost luxury in mind and each a fully-equipped private sanctuary completely hidden from the outside world. Tucked away in wonderful Byron Bay, this group was built for those who enjoy a touch of lavishness on their breaks without having to rack up the flying distance. I chose a one-bedroom villa (which also comes in “grand”) and what awaited me was high bamboo ceilings, a private heated pool and spa, an outdoor rain shower, a massive balcony, a Balinese day bed and heated marble floors. Other features included a king-size bed, a full gourmet kitchen, espresso machine, air conditioning and wi-fi. It is the type of luxury that the discerning traveller can get use to and I was ready to get use to it. Once I started to unwind there was no way I was going to leave the sanctuary of my villa - not with beauty rituals, private yoga and meditation sessions, gourmet hampers and an in-villa dining service available on request. Chances were I was never going to leave at all! If you do decide to venture out, the Villas of Byron are conveniently located just a stone’s throw from the worldfamous stunning beaches, vibrant town centre and the popular Buddha Bar and Restaurant, Byron Bay Brewery, Pighouse Flicks and the Buddha Gardens Day Spa. Byron Bay is an ideal holiday destination for many reasons whatever time of year you decide to travel so the Villas of Byron has designed a number of packages to suit all tastes – Ladies Pamper Getaway, Midweek Escape, Cheeky Weekend Away, Rejuvenation Retreat and Honeymoon Bliss. Whatever the reason, you will find exclusivity, indulgence and luxury at this fantastic resort. Once you visit, you will no doubt find every reason under the sun to return! I’m working on my next reason….

Samantha Pearse Publisher/Director

The Villas of Byron’s Services

Located in the heart of Byron Bay, the Villas of Byron is a truly exquisite sanctuary where the meaning of luxury is taken to a whole new level. The Villas offer an array of services designed to enhance your stay and make your visit an unforgettable one.

Pamper perfection Why not indulge in the exclusive pamper menu? It starts at the airport with a luxury transfer and ends with an extended check out. Everything else in between is only limited by your imagination. You and your sweetheart will be treated to a dozen long-stemmed red roses and some Moet & Chandon champagne before getting stuck into some serious relaxation. Ever dreamt of a rose petal bath in a room filled with 100 candles, champagne on ice, music and chocolates? How about a hand, foot and face beauty ritual, a full-body massage and even a private yoga lesson. The entire experience can be tailored to your needs; all you need to do is ask.

Hamper delight If you’re looking for some gastronomic indulgence, you can order from the Villas of Byron’s generous hamper menu which has eight different options covering breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Each hamper is generously packed, contains more than enough to feed two people at any time of day, and can be enjoyed by your own pool or at one of the regions many stunning beaches or rainforests. You can choose from a ploughman’s, continental, Australian, beach, Tuscan or provincial menu. If money’s no object, why not sample a new one each day or head straight for the Pure Indulgence Hamper which is filled with smoked salmon, caper berry and olive antipasto, Yarra Valley fish roe, champagne, a baguette, rolled stuffed chicken breast with tomato concasse, rocket and parmesan salad with balsamic vinaigrette, char-grilled vegetable and goats cheese terrine, nougat, a fresh fruit plate, chocolate hearts or fruit flan.

In-villa dining If you holiday means taking a break from the kitchen or if you’ve had a long day of exploring or even just relaxing on the beach, you might consider having a talented chef prepare a delicious feast for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own villa. If you’ll be celebrating a special occasion during your stay, this is the perfect way to make sure that the day is a memorable one. Dining is not limited to two but also includes group dinner parties where a three-course meal can be prepared and served by the chef in your own villa. What a great treat for your family or friends!

Weddings and events For couples considering tying the knot in Byron Bay, the Villas specialise in weddings, which are arranged through an exclusive wedding co-ordinator. The Balinese-inspired garden sanctuary provides the ideal intimate setting for any type of function including corporate getaways and wellbeing events such as yoga and detox retreats. The Villas of Byron prides itself on its expertise and ability to arrange the area’s finest suppliers, event coordinators, wait staff and entertainment to complement your event, whatever it may be.

Byron Bay

Whilst still a very popular backpacker’s haunt due to its temperate climate and relaxing atmosphere, Byron Bay and its surroundings offer something to satisfy all desires, budgets and age groups. An increasingly ‘green’ Byron sees most people walk or cycle to visit the lighthouse in Cape Byron, Australia’s most easterly corner. Should you be lucky enough to travel between June and November, you may even spot southern right whales off the vertiginous rocky cliffs. But don’t despair if you happen to be visiting in the off-season for whale watching, the Cape Byron Marine Park is a world-class Mecca for divers and the scuba diving and snorkeling will more than make up for missing the whales. If it seems like you really can’t go wrong in Byron, it’s because you really can’t. Blimey, even the whales are right! The weekly nomadic markets in the bay area (held on alternate weeks in Byron, nearby Channon or Bangalow) are certainly a highlight not to be missed. A headspinning assortment of locally grown fresh produce, bizarre and original crafts made by local artists and exotic imported wares, will entrance you for hours. When the shopping get all too much, stop and refuel at one of the many food stalls, where you can savour local specialties cooked to perfection. Worried about the husband getting bored? No chance! Book him a neck, shoulder or fullbody massage in the ‘relaxing’ pavilion. He’ll soon be so happy; he may even hand over that second credit card he told you nothing about. Mine did! While you’re at it, go for gold and collect extra-super-brownie-mum-points from the kids at the face painting stalls. Of all the beaches encompassed in the Byron Bay area, Main Beach is probably the most popular, and most photographed. Undeniably pristine, it is a mere stroll from the city centre and cradled between luscious green hills and sparkling ocean waters. Whilst I wouldn’t begrudge Main Beach its popularity, finding a quiet, perhaps even romantic sandy spot is not hard to do in this neck of the woods. Whites Beach, a short 10-minute drive south of Byron town, is an amazingly secluded gem; it may be a little tricky to find, but your efforts will be amply rewarded. Your birthday suit is all that’s needed to visit Kings Beach! Whilst not an official nudist beach, it’s considered one by the locals and is the perfect place to sunbathe… no strings attached. A family favourite would have to be Wategos Beach, where the shallows, parklands and endless shore offer plenty of entertainment for even the youngest swimmers.

The Byron Bay Bluesfest

With a 22-year long reputation as one of the best music festivals in the world, the annual Bluesfest is held over the Easter long weekend and attracts acts and visitors from all corners of Australia and the globe. While it may have had humble beginnings, pulling a 6,000-strong crowd on its 1990 debut, the festival has blossomed exponentially over the years and is one of the biggest drawcards to the state’s north. Recently relocated to a 120 hectare property in Tyagarah, only 10 km out of Byron Bay, Bluesfest showcases world-class performers such as BB King and Bob Dylan amongst

countless others, on no less than five enormous stages. The 17,500 daily visitors expected in 2012, will have three bars and two food halls at their disposal, as well as plenty of market stalls and even child minding facilities! A brilliantly organised event, the eclectic celebration of music that is the Byron Bay’s Bluesfest is not to be missed if travelling here at Easter time.

Byron Bay Hint erland

Regarded as one of the most picturesque areas in Australia, the Byron Bay Hinterland is a fusion of tropical paradises, breathtaking landscapes and historic farming towns. Just out of the town centre, you’ll find the World Heritage-listed Nightcap National Park, offering a myriad of bushwalking opportunities, none more famous than the one to Minyon Falls. A visit to the park after a rainfall will see you enveloped in a mystical haze, the otherworldly feeling a lasting memory for the few lucky enough to experience it. For a marvellous vista of the area, visit Scarabelloti’s Lookout on the Voolampon Scenic Drive. Extensive allround views take in the Byron Lighthouse, Mt Warning and Mt Chincogan. Visit at sunset and take a bottle of wine along, you’ll be gifted with one of Mother Nature’s most overwhelming paintings. The scenic Whian Whian Forest Drive bequests unequaled scenery, picnic and camping spots and perhaps even a chance to spot a koala or two. The local council erected signs showing you where they should be, but no-one took into account that koalas can’t read, so you may just have to search a bit! The country roads abound with locally made produce stalls. As this area is swathed in volcanic rock, it is one of the most fertile in Australia, and was the birthplace of the country’s agricultural industry. Juicy tropical fruit, aromatic herbs and homemade honey are just a few of the goodies on offer. If the heat gets too much, refresh your toes (and more) in one of the many rock pools along the way. Continuing west you’ll soon reach the lovely town of Nimbin, which somehow seems to float in a hippie world all of its own. The Hemp Museum is worth a look, but I think it helps if you can actually remember the 60s. Nimbin enjoys a healthy tourist industry thanks to its relaxing, yet effervescent charms. Go nuts in Dunoon! Considered to be the Macadamia Capital of Australia, Dunoon is home to one of the country’s largest plantation of the famous nut, and a visit to the processing plant is sure to tantalise your tastebuds. The possibilities are infinite here, and most of the towns along the route are of historical importance. However, let me give you a tip here…stop. The car. Find a rustic little pub, order some local grub and down a coldie with the locals. The Byron area may be beuuuuutiful, but so are the people. They’re welcoming, relaxing and fun. I’m an avid believer that a place is epitomised by the people and cultures which inhabit it. So don’t forget to experience those too.

Buddha Gardens Day Spa – the ultimate indulgence

Are you looking for the ultimate indulgence? Buddha Gardens Day Spa is the only day spa in Byron Bay which boasts tropical gardens, a heated plunge pool and a sauna. Inspired by Balinese traditions and treatments, the spa menu is packed with an array of tempting treatments and relaxing massages for you to choose from. There’s certainly enough there to while away an entire day in beautiful Byron Bay in total luxury. Buddha Gardens Day Spa’s new skincare range Always putting their customer’s experience first, Buddha Gardens Day Spa has chosen to use the fantastic USPA skincare range within their treatments. USPA is a locally, handcrafted range of products that is used in some of the most exclusive day spas in Australia and the world. USPA takes care to combine herbal and scientific technologies to create its sophisticated and unique products. USPA is all about healthy skin, and all of its time and energy is dedicated to providing just that to their customers. USPA uses only pure elements and natural extracts from plants. Wherever it can, it uses locally-grown, organic ingredients from Australia. USPA has excellent standards and boasts some outstanding results for its customers, both male and female.

Buddha Gardens – an experience you will never forget If you’re holidaying in the beautiful Byron Bay area, do make sure to block out a day to take in the pure indulgence of a day at Buddha Gardens. The trained therapists will help you to construct your perfect menu of treatments and massages to awaken your body and calm your mind. The Orchid Room for couples features a spa bath set in natural rock, waterfall, an open air shower and a Balinese day bed. All packages include a fruit platter and champagne. The gardens are truly spectacular, providing a wonderful environment to relax in before or after your treatment while enjoying a cup of Byron Bay Herbal Tea. The heated plunge pool and the sauna give you the opportunity to unwind completely before heading off at the end of the day. Come and enjoy! 15 Gordon Street (adjacent to Villas of Byron) Arts Factory Village, Byron Bay NSW 2481 Ph: 02 6680 7844

A sanctuary of flowing waters and peaceful ambience

A Tropical Spa Retreat for Health, Beauty & Relaxation

The Only Day Spa in Byron Bay with Tropical Gardens,

Heated Plunge Pool and Sauna.

C/- Arts Factory Village • Skinners Shoot Road, Byron Bay. NSW. 2481 Tel: +61-2-66807844

Email: Web:

Colin Heaney - An Icon of Byron Bay Colin Heaney is a man who understands the ‘art of luxury’. The Canadian-born artist and designer arrived in Australia in 1967 on a surf trip and discovered the beautiful town of Byron Bay. An extremely creative individual, Colin flourished in this wild and beautiful environment, surrounded by a rich diversity of life and people, including many fellow artists. He experimented artistically with an array of varying dimensional forms, including wax metals, stone and many found objects. He then launched into glass design, virtually teaching himself to blow and manipulate hot glass; his instantaneous spirit evident in all of his pieces. For almost 25 years Colin became an internationally renowned glass artist, creating truly unique, highly technical and stunning glass pieces, inspired by his home Casa Blu and the Byron Bay surrounds. His pursuit of artistic and aesthetic excellence resulted in glass designs that were almost infinite in their variety and beguiling in colour, patterning and shape. His magnificent glass creations still feature in private and corporate collections around the world. Always searching for new ways to explore his vision, Colin began to experiment with images of both his glass art, and Casa Blu, transforming them into visually stunning, truly

unique designs. The potential of his new artistic medium resulted in the dawning of his fashion and homewares collection. Colin fuses his own wonderment of the digital world with the patterning and unique forms of nature to create his highly-acclaimed collection. Colin began by printing his designs onto silks, entranced by the fabrics’ luxurious lustre and divine, flowing quality. Silk kaftans became the perfect canvas for his art, and so using the latest digital technology to achieve his artistic vision, elements of Colin’s vibrant glass practice leap directly onto the fabrics. From the highest quality silk kaftans to a full swimwear collection, a wardrobe is simply not complete without a Colin Heaney piece. His aim is to infuse his collection with the passion and love he feels for items of true beauty, and to ensure that each piece complements the female form to perfection.

For further information visit

Fashion & Homewares

Phone: (02) 6685 7798

Dunes on Shelly Beach DuneS on Shelly Beach is situated in the beachside town of Ballina, in the northern rivers region of New South Wales. Perched upon the northern headland of Shelly Beach, the two acres of bushland, surrounded by coastal rainforest and rugged cliffs, provides a private retreat overlooking the beautiful Angels Beach. DuneS on Shelly Beach is linked to many walking and hiking trails, and a cycleway which follows pristine beaches down to the Richmond River and links all that Ballina has to offer – such as cafes, restaurants, patrolled beaches, iconic surfing breaks, protected waterways and fishing hotspots – all without crossing a road. DuneS on Shelly Beach caters for all occasions – conferences, camps, health retreats, workshops, family reunions and weddings. The wedding packages ensure your special day is unique and something to cherish. Treat your guests to a memorable ceremony at the picturesque outdoor chapel with ocean views. DuneS has numerous areas for breathtaking wedding photos, or why not venture down to Angels or Shelly Beach for some photographs. Your reception can be held in either of the two large function rooms.

And to make it a one stop wedding destination, why not take advantage of the accommodation on offer? No designated drivers needed at DuneS on Shelly Beach. Catering for all types of camps, surf schools, youth camps, school groups and sporting groups, in the past, large school groups from all around Australia have come to stay. DuneS is also able to offer special deals on learn-to-surf packages as well as local venues to help teachers plan awesome excursions. Clubs and sporting groups that might be looking for a place to meet or to stay are also welcome. The location is also ideal for large or small conferences with or without accommodation. Government agencies and trainers find the facility perfect for their needs, as it is private, can facilitate large numbers and the area is highly usable. Located 20 minutes south of Byron Bay and only a short drive to the many attractions the north coast is renowned for, the secluded location is very accessible to guests wanting to get out and about.

Bay Royal Apartments The Bay Royal Apartments offer sublime luxury and style in the heart of Australia’s beautiful and popular Byron Bay. Located in the best spot, you will find Bay Royal Apartments across from the main beach. Rub shoulders with the cheerful locals and laidback surfers as you relax with all amenities close at hand. When you hole up at Bay Royal Apartments, you’ll be a mere stone’s throw away from everything that Byron Bay has to offer. There’s a wide range of shopping options, some incredible spas offering luxurious wellbeing treatments, restaurants, cafes and bars. It’ll all be on your very doorstep. From the exterior, the apartment building is incredibly impressive with its stunning greenery and beautiful balconies. Head up to your balcony for a long cocktail and gaze out over the wide expanse of white sand to the lighthouse at Cape Byron Headland. Sheer bliss!

The apartments The premier, self-contained Bay Royal Apartments are available in one-, two- and three-bed sizes and come with all the mod cons you’ll need for a relaxing stay. Every apartment

is designed and furnished for your optimum comfort. The main bedroom boasts its own en suite, and the gourmet kitchen will allow you to prepare some fabulous meals to enjoy either at your dining area or out on your balcony.

The townhouses If you really feel like spoiling yourself, there are two luxury townhouses within the Bay Royal complex. The houses comprise three stories so offer plenty of space and can comfortably house six to eight people. There are two separate living areas and a fantastic rooftop area so you can relax in the sunshine on your own private terrace. Within the complex, each accommodation is privately owned and so have each been designed with the owner’s taste in mind. They are all decorated to an extremely high standard and offer all the comforts of a home away from home. It’s lucky they are located in one of the most exciting holiday destinations Australia has to offer else tenants would struggle to leave the comfort to get out and about!

The best beach in Australia now has the best accommodation. Lose yourself in the luxury and style of Byron Bay’s premier self contained apartments. Located directly across from Byron’s Main Beach and only a short stroll to all of Byron’s restaurants and shopping facilities.

B AY R OYAL a p a r t m e n t s 24-28 Bay Street Byron Bay NSW 2481 Australia Telephone: 02 6680 9187 Fax: 02 6680 9205 Email:

Byron Bay Venture south to Lennox HeaD

For a memorable day trip, why not head to Lennox Head? Situated just 20 kms south of Byron, this splendid beach, now part of the National Surfing Reserve, is an absolute mustvisit whilst holidaying in Byron. What started as a sleepy seaside town has quickly become a popular hot-spot for surfers, windsurfers, hang-gliders and all-round sun-worshippers. Yet Lennox Head has retained an intimate and laid-back atmosphere; making it a great destination for those wishing to relish in some couple time. Indeed many tourists, who wish for a more intimate holiday, chose to stay in Lennox Head and simply make day trips to Byron. The culinary delights which await you in Lennox Head are on par with anything you’ll find in Byron. From international restaurants offering the very best Thai, Italian, Mexican and Chinese fare, to traditional Australian joints offering fusion cooking using only the freshest local ingredients. A personal favorite would have to the Seven Mile Restaurant located on Pacific Parade, right in the centre of town. From the sweeping ocean views to the delectable menu, this is one of those places which will entice you time and time again. The unpretentious menu highlights the philosophy that, when using fantastic ingredients, you really don’t need to mess about with them too much. Enjoying a five-course degustation menu (which includes baked cheese soufflé and a scrumptious seared scampi and crab salad!) whilst sipping a drop of Australia’s best vino and enjoying one of the area’s best vistas, is an experience that will never be forgotten. If you’re looking for the best spot to enjoy a sundowner, then head to The Lennox, a relaxed and friendly waterfront pub. A classic and iconic Australian institution, The Lennox is regarded as one of the best beach pubs in the whole country. An extensive and enticing menu on a waterfront verandah will ensure you’ll enjoy your dinner with optimal views. Live bands perform a few times a week, and they add an authentic and inviting touch to the hotel.

The Seven Mile Beach is an obvious starting point for daytime activities. Boasting strong currents and challenging waves, the beach is a magnet for lovers of all wind-propelled toys. Don’t worry if you don’t intend participating! Sitting on the beach and simply observing the master surfers doing their thing is quite the entertaining activity.

A truly relaxing spot to enjoy calmer waves is found just north of Lennox Head village. Lake Ainsworth is the perfect spot for families with young children, or keen amateur surfers. The fresh water lagoon is protected by high sand dunes and there isn’t a breath of wind to be felt here. I do urge you not to be perturbed by the colour of Lake Ainsworth. Yes indeed, it seems like you’re swimming in a weak cup of tea (the brownish tinge not overly attractive) BUT, if you must know, this is due to the surrounding tea-tree plants and in fact, the water is said to have therapeutic and rejuvenating effects. I certainly won’t argue with that, and thoroughly enjoyed a tranquil swim here after the adrenaline-filled one at Seven Mile! Lake Ainsworth is well serviced by surf, kayak and catamaran hire centres. Looking for an unforgettable way to end your day out in Lennox Head? Then I suggest you walk up to the Pat Morton Lookout for priceless views of the village, the beaches, and to enjoy a truly breathtaking sunset.

Credit: Colin Heaney

For the more relaxed visitor, a spectacular reef off the southern end of the beach provides brilliant snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities. A vast array of endemic sea life, including stingrays, blue gropers, bream, kingfish as well as nudibranches and sea stars are all visible merely 15 m below the water surface. A night-time dive could see you come face-to-face with a rock lobster, a curious nocturnal crustacean that prefers to hide in caverns during the day.

Pandanus @ Tallows Situated only 150 m from the perfectly unspoilt vista of Tallows Beach, this incredible property offers everything you could need from your beach-side holiday accommodation. The beach extends from the lighthouse at Cape Byron all the way to the Broken Head National Park to the south, offering miles of soft, inviting sands and soothing, rolling waves. This is a property where everything has been designed to provide exceptional levels of luxury and comfort to its guests; all of the furnishings are styled along Asia-Pacific lines and add to the ambience and luxury of the entire property.

Luxury indoors and out At Pandanus Tallows, the lush rainforest that surrounds the property can almost be brought indoors when the broad bi-fold doors are opened out and the tropical gardens are revealed. One of the unique features of the gardens is the beautiful Javanese pavilion; crafted from solid teak it is over 120 years old and provides the perfect place to sit and relax whilst enjoying the surroundings. The pavilion offers views over the luxurious and spacious heated outdoor spa and outdoor dining area with gourmet barbecue facilities. While you are in the gardens, the tropical surroundings offer privacy and seclusion and an intimate environment cut off from the world outside.

There are also bathing facilities outside in the form of a Villaroy Bosch shower and bath should you with to indulge in the stunning tropical surroundings.

Fabulous Pandanus facilities The property boasts a well-equipped kitchen equally suited to entertaining or romantic meals for two, and two bedrooms which have wonderfully luxurious queen-sized beds with high-quality bed linen. The beautiful master bedroom has a stunning en suite facility, whilst the second bedroom opens out onto the beautiful private courtyard gardens. The outdoor spa makes the perfect place for a spot of evening relaxation with a glass or two of champagne, or you could relax in front of the large plasma TV watching a movie together from the in-house DVD library. Shop 7, Suffolk Park Village Shopping Centre Suffolk Park NSW 2481 Phone: 02 6685 4039

Tallows Beach most stylish holiday apartment Complete with Asia pacific furnishings to set the tone for a perfect luxury escape

Timber bi-fold doors open to view a lush tropical setting complete with a unique Japanese pavilion, spa plunge pool and a spacious sun drenched deck

Located only a short 150 metre stroll to the beautiful unspoiled Tallows Beach Ph 02 6685 4039 or

Lawson’s On Byron Bay Designed by talented architects, Lawson’s in beautiful Byron Bay ticks every box for the discerning traveller. If you’re thinking about planning your next luxurious escape to Byron Bay but are undecided about where to stay, you need look no further than Lawson’s. It is located on magnificent Tallow Beach which offers 15 km of golden sand and sheer relaxation. The beach benefits from fantastic shelter due to it being tucked behind Cape Byron, so even when the rest of Byron is experiencing high winds, you’ll often find shelter at Tallows. This beach is the ultimate place to watch the sun rise and it’s a sight you’ll enjoy every morning during your stay.

The accommodation Lawson’s is pure beachfront luxury. The relaxed, beach atmosphere is perfectly combined with a modern, stylish approach to living, and everything you could possibly wish for is at Lawson’s. The property has a state-of-the-art kitchen so you can cook up a storm for yourself and your guests; and you can enjoy your creations out on the timber deck from where you can admire your own private pool and stunning tropical gardens.

The property features enough room to comfortably sleep up to eight people. There are four bedrooms: two king-size and two single. Two of the rooms have their own en suite and there’s one communal bathroom and toilet in the property as well. Lawson’s has sophisticated air conditioning throughout to keep you cool during the hot season, and if you’re visiting at a less-toasty time of year, there’s a fireplace in the deluxe living room so you can snuggle up with a glass of red and escape the cold.

Other features The large bedrooms feature supremely comfortable beds and walk-in wardrobes. One of the rooms even has its own private east-facing balcony affording you some spectacular views as you get ready in the morning. All of your linen will be provided in the rental cost. In addition, Lawson’s also has its very own media room where you can relax in front of a film or your favourite TV show on the massive flat screen.

An architecturally designed property that combines modern convenience with a free and easy beach lifestyle

Three steps from the beach, this home is ideal for entertaining boasting state-of-the-art amenities and luxury décor Enjoy the best of Tallows Beach or relax by the pool and treat yourself to a luxurious holiday Ph 02 6685 4039

The long way nort h t o Tweed Heads

For a trip off the beaten track, I suggest you hire a car and head to the centre of Australia’s Green Cauldron, one of the most fertile, varied and unique landscapes in the country. The ancient caldera, once a formidable volcanic crater, stretches from Byron Bay in New South Wales, all the way past Queensland’s Gold Coast. Tweed Heads, the town bordering the two states, is a prime destination for discerning nature lovers and a great base for a couple of days’ explorations. Don’t miss the chance to see more of the area’s attractions by making stops along the 80 km northbound drive. Your first port of call should be the Crystal Castle in Mullumbimby, merely 20 minutes north of Byron, off the Pacific Highway. This enchanting place, renowned for its meditative and tranquil ambience, is a wonderland of natural beauty fused with spiritual essence. While having a photo taken of your aura may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the right beverage can always be savoured in the ground’s café. The perfectly manicured gardens, and the mystic statues which adorn them, are a world away from the bustle of the busy beaches, and a morning walk in Crystal Castle is a wonderful way to rebalance your aura. If you happen to have misplaced yours don’t worry…you need not be crystal-crazy to enjoy a visit here! Should you be more inclined to start your day with an invigorating activity, then hire a kayak at Brunswick Heads and enjoy a leisurely paddle instead. There are various routes and trip suggestions, and the most popular canoe and kayak rental company is located in Banner Park, right on the convergence of the Brunswick River and Simpson Creek. Once your arms have had their morning work-out, your legs may feel a little neglected, so head to the Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve across the river. This bushwalking haven is the best place to spot some native wildlife. Once you’re back on the Pacific Highway, keep heading north and drive the remaining 50 kms to Tweed Heads. As you exit the highway and enter the town, stop at the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre. The centre showcases various exhibitions depicting the spiritual importance of the area for native Australians. Mount Warning, the looming high-peak which can be seen when looking inland, was named so by Captain Cook to serve as a reminder of the treacherous reefs which hampered many naval voyages of the surrounding areas. What he was unaware of, was that the mountain had great spiritual significance for the Bundjalung tribe, who considered it sacred. For sweeping views of the entire area, including Mount Warning, drive to the Point Danger Lighthouse, located just a couple of kilometres north-east of the town centre. Once there, you can admire the Captain Cook Memorial, an 18-metre high monument commemorating Australia’s very first foreign visitor. Whilst you could spend the whole day up here, simply enjoying the far-reaching views (you can spot Surfer’s Paradise on a clear, sunny day), I also suggest you take a cliff-side stroll along the well maintained walking track. This is the perfect dolphin spotting lookout, and don’t be surprised if you come across an Easter Water Dragon or two, worshipping the sun gods. The state border runs right along here, so you can enjoy skipping between States and even time zones if you happen to visit in summer!

Byron Bay

BanG aLOW G U E S T H O U S E a unique escape

Byron Bay and beyond

LakeSong in Lennox Head LakeSong is a beautifully designed townhouse situated beside a village, lake and the ocean in northern New South Wales. Located near Lake Ainsworth –an extraordinary black tea-tree lake with the softest natural fresh water —LakeSong is also right alongside the magnificent Pacific Ocean beach of Lennox Head. This is a natural environment of wonderful contrasts from lake to heathland, and vast beaches to magnificent coastal headlands. The house opens onto a private courtyard and tropical garden which is cooling in summer and flooded in northern sunshine in the winter months. It is a wonderful retreat in an enviable location. LakeSong is also pet friendly and sleep a maximum of six persons so there is no need to leave you much-loved pet behind. Next door is LakeSong’s sister holiday let ‘Lennox Beach Break’ for those larger groups planning a holiday together. Well appointed with all conveniences, LakeSong is the perfect destination for a special holiday experience. Designer furniture, appliances and fittings provide all the comforts you would expect from a luxury home. The master bedroom has an Asian-style low queen bed and the second bedroom has two single ensemble beds that can be made up into a king-size bed on request. The sunroom sofa can be made up as a double bed if required. Upstairs there is a lightfilled sunroom with sleep-out sofabed and second DVD and TV. Off the sunroom are two bedrooms and the bathroom with a deep soaker bath. 81A Stewart Street, Lennox Head NSW 2478

Ph: 02 6619 0226

Shambhala @ Byron Hidden away along a private road in the exclusive Belongil Beach enclave, this spectacular oasis affords total privacy, yet it is only a few minutes walk along the beach to the heart of Byron Bay. With the ocean to the east and the river to the west, this nature’s playground was sought out prior to its completion by Sting who as the first guest had this to say, “Inspirational, beautiful and restful…..Perfect!” “I had no idea Bali was in Byron Bay,” wrote one guest on the Balinese and Buddhist sculptures and statues on site. “Chic meets divine,” another remarked about the rainforest setting accentuated with an array of giant Brazilian crystals amongst the cascading sounds of ambient grooves through the outdoor sound system, which swirl into the welcoming smell of incense as you arrive. Unique to Shambhala is the privacy that each cottage affords, yet there is also the possibility of several families or friends being able to share a slice of heaven together. Truly magical at night, the waterfall changes colour within the rainforest as you glide along the floating walkways. The giant steam room and hot rock sauna will dissolve any worries away, especially when combined with the private jacuzzi inclusive to each cottage. If its exercise you’re after you’ll enjoy the fully-equipped gym. For those seeking stretching and deep relaxation or meditation, the yoga pavilion is the perfect space to contemplate, with mats, blocks and all other accessories provided. Alternatively, use this space to chill out on a bean bag and utilise the cinema-style projector screen. The Pavilion is adorned with a stunning antique Moroccan rug and the dappled light spills through the curving bamboo roof which highlights the rainforest vista beyond. Shambhala is uniquely a rainforest retreat at the beach. 14 Childe Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Ph: 1 800 742 624

Byron Bay and beyond

Get Captured by Donatella Parisini Want to get captured in Byron Bay? With her Italian background and her vast experience in the world of fashion, Byron Bay photographer Donatella Parisini’s work is quite something to behold. Donatella specialises in wedding photography so if you’re getting married in the area, why not contact her to see if she can provide the photography for your big day? Her passion and flair will inject a special something into the shots of your magical day to create some lasting memories that you can share with your loved ones. This is one wedding photo album that you won’t want to miss out on! Are you heading to the area for a family trip? Why not use this as an opportunity for Donatella to photograph you using the beautiful Byron scenery as a backdrop for your family shots? Or are you expecting your first child and enjoying one last trip together before becoming parents? Donatella would be more than happy to schedule a parentsto-be shoot to capture your pregnancy and the anticipation of what is to come. Byron Bay NSW 2481 Ph: 02-6685-3884 M: 0421-648-286

Outrigger Bay Apartments If you are looking for somewhere to relax and unwind then Outrigger Bay gives you the perfect opportunity to do so in luxurious surroundings. The resort offers direct access to golden beaches, crystal waters and stunning tropical gardens. A short walk from the heart of Byron Bay with its excellent restaurants, cafes and night-life, Outrigger Bay is luxury accommodation at its best. The apartments are designed for maximum comfort. Stylishly furnished with either king- or queen-sized beds plus loft bedrooms, the apartments are a place to rest and recoup. Take breakfast on your balcony before a dip in the resort’s heated saltwater pool. Direct access to the beach means the golden sands are only footsteps away. Relax and unwind in the evenings in the outdoor spa tub, or take a walk around the beautifully landscaped tropical gardens that wrap around the resort. The resort staff take immense pride in the level of service that they offer to guests so you can be assured that they can cater for any extra requirements you may have. 9 Shirley Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481 Ph: 02-6685-8646

Byron Bay Ballooning Ballooning is gentle, romantic, and it’s the best way to experience the breathtaking views across Byron Bay’s stunning landscape. You know you are in safe hands when you fly with Byron Bay Ballooning. With 14 years of experience, chief pilot Thomas Dattler is the current Australian Ballooning Champion and will represent his country in the United States this year. Senior Pilot Chris Dewhirst is Australia’s most decorated balloon pilot and holds the prestigious title of being the first to fly over Mount Everest in a hot air balloon. There are a number of different flight options available depending on the type of experience you are looking for. Invite friends and family and set off together in a number of balloons. Up to 28 people can be accommodated easily for an adventure unlike anything they will have experienced before. So, whether it’s intimacy and romance or an experience of a lifetime with a small group, drifting gently across this beautiful part of Australia will lift your hearts and fill you with memories to last a lifetime. Ph: 1300-889-660


Byron Bay and beyond

Crystal Creek R ainforest Retreat Set in the heart of a subtropical rainforest, Crystal Creek offers guests luxury and privacy, all within stunning natural surroundings. This boutique rainforest retreat boasts 10 luxury bungalows bordered on three sides by a World Heritage national park which ensures that privacy is guaranteed. All have been expertly designed and placed in such a way that none of them are in sight of another, further guaranteeing privacy. Choose from Creek-side cabins; the contemporary Tamarind Bungalow; the luxurious Rainforest Canopy bungalow or to truly feel a part of the rainforest, the Glass Terrace bungalows which are practically encased in glass. The ultimate in luxury takes the form of the new Luxury Mountain View Lodges or the Luxury Rainforest Lodge which is complete with a heated pool and indoor/ outdoor bathroom. The philosophy at Crystal Creek is simple – strive to achieve the highest possible standards in everything. From the standard of the guest accommodation to the gourmet meals that are delivered to your door, everything is tailored to ensure that guests enjoy the ultimate rainforest retreat experience in private and intimate surroundings. 201 Brookers Road, Upper Crystal, Creek via Murwillumbah, NSW 2484 Ph: 02-6679-1591

La Vista Byron Bay La Vista will show you that bed and breakfast accommodation has been raised to new heights of opulence and elegance. This hidden gem is only five minutes away from the centre of Byron Bay, with its stunning beaches and fabulous night-life. The ambience exuded one of privacy and tranquillity. Boasting its own well-maintained, landscaped tropical gardens, four beautiful private villas are set around the hexagonal pool, each villa opening out onto one of its sides. Each of the villas has its own specific character and is furnished with fabulous designer furniture and is very tastefully decorated. Built by craftsmen from the local area and harnessing local materials and supplies, La Vista is indeed a solid representation of the very best that the region can produce. The finest Italian marble provides a luxurious finish to the en suite facilities, adding to the luxurious feel of the villas. Each villa has a private decking area, covered to protect guests from the heat of the sun, perfect for sipping champagne on as you watch the sun set over this tropical paradise. 13 Cape Vista Drive Ewingsdale NSW 2481

Ph: Damien 0422-036-770

Ripples on the Creek Ripples on the Creek is based near beautiful Kyogle and ticks every box for the discerning tourist. It is a collection of wooden cabins that feature all of the modern conveniences you would expect from luxury accommodation. Each cabin has a fantastic private outdoor spa bath that you can relax in with a glass of wine as you watch the creek gently flow past or sit inside near the gas log fire, which makes the lounge exceptionally cosy in the evenings. If you don’t feel like leaving the cabin for dinner, Ripples on the Creek provides a romantic dinner for two delivered to your door. There is also an exceptional restaurant on site which features a delicious menu created using fresh, local produce, and all dietary requirements are catered for. Located two hours south of Brisbane, Ripples on the Creek is based at the foothills of the Border Ranges National Park. Kyogle (20 minutes due north) is known as the ‘gateway to the rainforests’ so there’s plenty to explore during your stay. 602 Grady’s Creek Road, Grady’s Creek via Kyogle NSW 2474 Ph: 0400-331-264


enrich your spirit

In the magical hills of Byron Bay is an enchanting experience that is far from the everyday. Explore magical gardens of giant crystals and sacred statues, walk the ancient labyrinth, and marvel at exquisite jewellery and treasures. Enhance your spiritual connection with aura photos and readings.

†—Ž‰‡‹Ž‘…ƒŽ–”‡ƒ–•ƒ†…‘ơ‡‡ƒ†•ƒ˜‘—”–Š‡ƒ‰‹Ƥ…‡–Š‹–‡”Žƒ†˜‹‡™• while the kids play in the gardens with the crystal dragon. Inspiration, tranquility and breathtaking beauty... enrich your spirit! ͙͠‘‡–”‹˜‡ǡ—ŽŽ—„‹„›Ȉ02 6684 3111 Open 7 Days 10am-5pm (NSW time)

Byron Bay and beyond

Byron Plantation For beautiful, secluded and fully self-contained accommodation, look no further than the homestead at Byron Plantation. This is a homestead with a difference, and the difference is that it is set with 100 acres of outstanding natural beauty just minutes away from beautiful Byron Bay. With both Byron Bay and Bangalow just minutes away offering access to all of their fabulous amenities and attractions, this truly is a wonderful place to be whatever the occasion. If you choose to visit the Byron Plantation you will be staying in accommodation that overlooks the ocean and offers amazing views in every direction. With four large bedrooms that can be adapted to accommodate either one huge king-size bed or two king singles, this property has enough space for a whole family to go on holiday together, making it the perfect location in which to host a family celebration. The property features a distinctive wrap-around deck area, allowing you to take in the views on every side of the house. For those chilly hinterland evenings, there is a wonderfully cosy and welcoming log fire, and for those who just can’t bear to be cut off from civilisation for too long, a plasma TV and state-of-the-art Bose sound system are also available. The kitchen in the homestead is a gourmet’s dream, fully equipped with modern appliances. To further add to the appeal of the property, as if it needed anything else, there is also a 17 m long swimming pool for guests to enjoy.

M: 0413 123 000

Ecoasis Luxury Hinterland Chalets If ever there was a place where beauty and tranquillity combined to offer visitors the very best getaway location, then it is here amongst the ecOasis Luxury Hinterland Chalets. Breathtaking scenery and stunning accommodation combine to provide a luxurious haven in which to forget about the humdrum world of work and responsibilities. And what’s more, the focus at ecOasis is on sustainability so your stay will have as little impact on the beautiful natural environment as possible. The chalets are a two-hour drive from the city of Brisbane but they feel as though they have been set apart in time, nestled in the wonderful hinterland of New South Wales. Here guests can enjoy breathtaking sunsets and stunning views of the majestic Mount Warning, which are nothing less than inspirational. The Forest Chalet is built over two storeys and is elegant and sophisticated, providing unparalleled levels of comfort. Intimacy and privacy are paramount and whilst this property offers incredible views out across the valley, nature is always within arm’s reach. All of the chalets at ecOasis are two storey and share access to a very welcoming saltwater pool. Some are equipped with double spa baths, others with showers and spas. Views can range from stunning Hinterland vistas that take in the mountains and the valleys whilst others allow guests to experience life amongst the tree-top canopies of the rainforest.

55 Tatyewan Street, Smiths Creek (Uki) NSW 2484 Ph: 02 6679 5959 1

Byron Bay Tweed Heads has much in common with Byron Bay: its vibrant atmosphere, pristine beaches and innumerable eateries make it the ideal spot for an overnight visit. On your way back to Byron, drive north into Queensland for just 8 km and make a pit stop at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. A very unique and brilliant park, this is one place which offers you the chance to not only explore and admire the native wildlife and endemic rainforest, but also gives you the chance to completely interact with the environment and have a ball whilst doing it! There are Segways Tours to join, crazy flying foxes to attempt with abandon and plenty of animals to cuddle. The 27-hectare property is superb and perfectly maintained, making it an ideal mix of wildlife and adventure park. The entry ticket includes various animal shows, the adventure treetop rope challenge and entry into one of Australia’s busiest wild animal hospitals. A mustvisit for nature and animal lovers alike, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a great fun day out for the whole family. As you head back to Byron Bay, feel free to spend your time contemplating how to write that resignation letter to your boss and convince your loved ones to make a sea-change. If you happen to be now still reclining on your office chair daydreaming about a trip to Byron Bay, do yourself a favour. Go for it!

Granite Belt wine region… a little

piece ofheaven By Laur a Pattar a

I distinctly remember a quote by Benjamin Franklin, who said that “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.” While I am not particularly religious, I am certainly willing to make an exception when a superlative drop of red is concerned. I certainly don’t claim to be the world’s greatest wine connoisseur by any means, but I can indeed discern a good drop from a terribly bad one. So it was with great vigour that I recently accepted a writing assignment to Queensland’s Granite Belt wine region. After all… a little spiritual enlightenment never hurt anyone. The Granite Belt is the largest wine region in Queensland, and is fast becoming one of Australia’s most beloved holiday destinations. Perfect for that long-awaited weekend away, the region offers a myriad of activities, natural retreats and innumerable wine and culinary delights. The main hub of Stanthorpe is located just over 200 km south-west of Brisbane and is the

best base for all your adventures. With the enormous influx of Italian immigrants to the area in the early 1920s, it was only a matter of time before they began producing wine. And aren’t we glad they did! We should also thank the Italians for the exceptional restaurants and for introducing the concept of ‘la dolce vita’ in every nook and cranny of

this glorious place. Being of Italian heritage myself, I would also like to thank them for fighting what must have been strong urges to deplete the Girraween National Park of its granite (to built table tops, columns and statues of course!) A day out walking through this spectacular park is a feast for the eyes. Amazing natural granite arches adorn the park and precarious boulders, covered with natural wildflowers in spring, are a sight to behold. The park is located merely half an hour’s drive from Stanthorpe, and offers various walking tracks; I’d highly recommend bringing a packed lunch and spending a full day in this magical rock-maze. To get the most of your visit, I suggest you organise a Granite Belt


Top 4 Granite Belt Girr aween Environmental Lodge

Nestled in the middle of Girraween National Park are 10 architecturally designed chalets that allow guests to experience the life of luxury in the midst of natural outstanding beauty. Girraween Environmental Lodge offers peace and tranquillity. All of the chalets have been built using reclaimed timber and contain king-sized beds, double spa baths and romantic wood heaters. The chalets are all fitted out with everything you could need for the duration of your stay.

Bush trails are mapped out from your chalet door and can take you along a number of routes through fabulous forests filled with kangaroos and wild flowers. The area is also home to a number of excellent boutique wineries and award-winning restaurants so you can be certain that when you choose to eat the food and wine, it will be best the area can produce. Pyramids Road, Ballandean QLD 4382 Ph: Kelly 07 4684 5138

Harrington Glen Wines Situated in the Queensland Granite Belt just south of Stanthorpe, Harrington Glen Wines is setting the pace with award-winning wines and the proud promotion of wine tourism. The conversion of a Melbourne train into unique accommodation has to be one of the most luxurious places you can choose to stay at in the region. In addition, Harrington boasts an established art gallery showcasing talented local artists. Harrington has won gold, silver and bronze placings at the Queensland Wine Awards, the Australian Small Winemakers Show and the Cairns Show. In both 2009 and 2011, the 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon took out Gold at the Queensland Wine Awards; the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon won Queensland Best Red at the Australian Small Winemakers Show in 2008, and the 2008 Cabernet did equally as well in October 2011. 88 Townsend Road, Glen Aplin QLD 4381

Ph: 07 4683 4388

Hidden Creek Vineyard, Winery and Café The Hidden Creek Vineyard located in Queensland’s Granite Belt is a great place to visit to experience unique wines. At almost 1,000 m above sea level, the location and the climate make the wines here rich and unique in character and flavour. If you choose to visit the vineyards during the winter months, you could be forgiven for thinking you had arrived in Europe. But this Australia wine company is making the most of the elements, as its wines have won numerous medals and awards for excellence. The vineyard holds master classes in wine appreciation and international wine dinners where guests can learn to differentiate wines from the various wine-producing regions of the country. Guests can even try their hands at blending their own wines at some of these ticketed events, with a prize being awarded for the best blend. Eukey Road, Ballandean QLD 4382

Ph: 07 4684 1383

Ridgemill Estate If you are looking for somewhere to have an enjoyable weekend away then look no further than Ridgemill Estate situated just a couple of hours outside of Brisbane in the heart of Queensland’s Granite Belt; unmistakable wine country. The watchwords at Ridgemill are elegance and finesse, and these apply to everything from the excellent award-winning wines to the styling of the luxurious self-contained cabins on the estate. At almost 850 m above sea level, the vineyards are north/south facing to get the greatest benefit from the sun and the varieties of grapes that are grown at Ridgemill are cultivated to produce a range of wines with very distinctive characters and tastes. The Ridgemill Estate offers elegantly designed cabins, each with its own individual style and everything you could possibly need during your stay, including a very well-equipped kitchenette area and wood fire. 218 Donges Road, Severnlea QLD 4380

Ph: 07 4683 5211

wine tour from Stanthorpe (it really pays to have someone else be the designated driver), and hire a car for the remainder of your stay, so you can explore the Girraween National Park, and the surrounding areas, at leisure. A small country town nestled deep within the Granite Belt, Stanthorpe is known as the ‘Apple and Grape Capital of Australia’. As the area is wide-reaching and sparsely developed, Stanthorpe is where you’ll find accommodation, restaurants and tour companies. The options are endless and there is something here to suit all ages and budgets; from rustic bed and breakfast accommodation to exclusive villas and cosy cottages. The town has much to offer the discerning traveller, and considering its modest size, has an abundant amount of superior Italian and modern Australian eateries, which are idyllic retreats after a hard day’s walking, wine tasting or, as I like to call it…researching. The Granite Belt is home to over 50 wineries, each with its own unique and incomparable blends. Most are family owned, and the inherent passion which obviously goes into the making of the wines can be tasted in each and every drop. Rich in fruitful flavours and aromas, the Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and sparkling Shiraz I savoured were indeed extraordinary. What I enjoyed most, actually, was the personal interaction with the winemakers at every door step. They are certainly proud of their efforts and, unlike busier wine regions in the country, taking a private tour of a winery here feels like you’ve been invited over to a friend’s house. My tour was enlightening, enjoyable and thoroughly recommendable. I now have a confession to make. I did the unthinkable for lunch and ordered a portion of lasagne at a local restaurant. I never normally do this, as everyone knows it is a punishable offence under the ‘never compete with Italian mother’s cooking law’. I must say it was sensational, and could give my mum’s some stiff competition. Of course I’ll never admit to this in public (not even under extreme torture), but do yourself a favour and don’t forget to give your tastebuds an allround feast whilst holidaying in Stanthorpe. Just don’t tell mamma! A weekend away in Stanthorpe could just be the escape you’ve been dreaming about. With outstanding national parks to explore, wineries to visit and restaurants to discover, don’t be surprised if you get the feeling that this glorious place is truly blessed.

Discover the colours of

The Gold Coast

Golden beaches, blue skies, green hinterland, red wines... Australia’s Gold Coast is a place of contrast and diversity. Celebrated surf beaches along an uninterrupted 70 km coastline are bordered by chic urban precincts and cradled by World Heritage-listed rainforest just beyond the city centre. The Gold Coast is one big, non-stop adventure waiting to be discovered and visitors to the region are encouraged to set their compass in search of adventure and fun. From the pure, adrenaline-packed version to natural indulgence, the Gold Coast can deliver every holiday experience you could desire in one friendly place. The northern areas are all about entertainment, night-life and shopping. There are world-famous attractions and the lively entertainment precincts of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach and Broadbeach – plus the everactive Broadwater and Southport Seaway. You can easily fill your day with thrill rides, water slides, jet boats, shopping havens, surf breaks or simply lounging around. It’s just as active by night with bright lights, dining and dance venues, bustling bars and a casino. Head south, take a deep breath and unwind among the relaxing quiet of the ‘green’ Gold Coast. The southern reaches of the region are a mix of coastal and hinterland surrounds boasting renowned eco-friendly hotspots. Organic local produce is available for sale at weekly markets which is used by many of the southern Gold Coast’s top restaurants. The general feel of the area is an environmental purist’s ideal. You’re guaranteed a leisurely paced getaway among the golden white sands of Currumbin, Kirra and Greenmount, which are cradled by valleys and creeks. This panoramic setting of mountain landscapes, tropical views and listed national parks is highly suitable for family fun, whether it be in the water or hiking along nature trails. The Gold Coast boasts 30 different beaches, each with their own personality. Wide expanses of sand are ideal for walking, while the more secluded enclaves offer an intimate, private feel. World-famous surf breaks to the south include Snapper Rocks, Duranbah, Coolangatta, Kirra and Currumbin Alley; while South Stradbroke, Narrowneck and the Seaway are the picks to the north. For family fun, you can’t go past the popular swimming spots of Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Northcliffe and Broadbeach, plus Tallebudgera and Currumbin Creeks. Burleigh Heads provides the complete package with barrelling waves and a scenic headland. A vast range of complementing waterways makes the city a haven of fun-filled pursuits with good times assured among numerous aquatic attractions. The Broadwater caters to every on-water activity imaginable, where thrillseekers can choose from jet boating, parasailing, kite surfing, diving, jet-ski safaris, snorkelling, tall-ship cruising and yachting. A learn-to-surf class guided by a world champion is a must-do, as are paddling and kayaking explorations. Board a catamaran and enjoy deep-sea fishing, marvel during a whale-watching tour, take in a guided cruise of the waterways or simply swim among the surf at some of the best beaches in the world.

Animal Encounters


It isn’t just the beach and the rainforest where you can encounter native wildlife up close on the Gold Coast as the wildlife sanctuaries and theme parks have created habitats that offer extraordinary real-life experiences with native Australian icons. Cuddle a koala, mix with kangaroo herds, swim with dolphins, handfeed lorikeets, nurse a baby crocodile or caress a full-sized snake. You can even feed sharks and stingrays, steal a kiss from a seal or take a sneak peak at a platypus. Gold Coast animal encounters offer truly memorable experiences for kids and adults alike. There are plenty to choose from including Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, , Sea World, Dreamworld, Paradise Country, Australian Outback Spectacular, Numinbah Valley Horse Trails or Tangalooma Island Resort to name just a few.

With some of Australia’s largest retail centres and most stylish fashion precincts, even grocery shopping on the Gold Coast is an enticing prospect. Browse the generous complexes, take a shopping tour, peruse the boutiques, wander through the piazzas and pay particular attention to the factory outlet precincts. This grand assortment of Gold Coast retail experiences will surely satisfy every taste in fashion. Among the host of opportunities available to willing travellers are several key shopping districts that are an essential feature of the Gold Coast retail trail and are all within easy reach of accommodation outlets



There is no comparison to the Gold Coast’s choice of attractions and experiences that continue to evolve every day. It is an offering which has been built over generations and will hold the city in good stead well into the future. Enjoying an ideal year-round climate and an amazing variety of natural landscapes, the region has been attracting visitors for many years. Today, natural wonders are complemented by the largest selection of family theme parks, golfing greens, shopping centres and restaurants. A city jam-packed with adrenaline rides, jet boating on the Broadwater, whale watching and themed attractions offer extensive opportunities to create some exciting holiday memories. Internationally regarded golfing experiences are also in easy reach of the weekend hacker or the serious swinger with more than 40 championship and resort golf courses located throughout the region.

Designated tours are a great option if you need some direction. Local guides will enhance your Gold Coast itinerary with their general knowledge and experience. Expand your culinary boundaries through food and wine tours of the hinterland or explore the natural wonders of the local area by directing your four-wheel drive expedition through a wide selection of eco-tours. Specialised cruises, sightseeing and shopping excursions allow you to maximise your time on the Gold Coast. Australia’s Gold Coast is a 24-hour destination with night tours a major part of the entertainment mix. Exclusive access to the country’s large population of nocturnal native animals can provide the opportunity of a lifetime. Similarly, a waterways adventure through the many canals and beautiful Broadwater will further increase your appreciation of the funfilled Gold Coast. Whale watching is also popular and the Gold Coast lays claim to numerous operators only too happy to welcome you aboard during the peak June-November season.

Try Something Different While there are the stunning, white sandy beaches and the hinterland to explore, there are also many adventurous and excitingly unusual things to try on the Gold Coast. The all-new Racecentre in Surfers Paradise provides the world’s most advanced driver training simulators and a chance to test your driving skills on the Surfers Paradise track and many other worldfamous circuits. You even get to choose your vehicle from F1, V8, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche designs. For the little ones, there’s a vast range of interactive opportunities including the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium in Cavill Mall, Infinity light and laser spectacular within Chevron Renaissance and the Dracula’s Haunted House maze of spooky horrors. All of these attractions are located in Surfers Paradise. Head south where you can gain instruction from national and international standup paddle boarding champions at JM Surf in Palm Beach, or enjoy an exclusive Segway adventure at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Theme Parks


When it comes to man-made attractions that stimulate the senses, the Gold Coast is unmatched as home to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest collection of theme parks. Dreamworld, Sea World, Movie World, WhiteWater World and Wet ‘n’ Wild can all be found within 25 minutes of Surfers Paradise but you may need more than a day to take them all in. The hardest part will be choosing where to start! Sea World has just introduced the new Jet Stunt Extreme Show featuring some of the world’s best jet-ski stunt riders performing a range of adrenalincharged aerial acrobatics. And already proving popular within the precinct is Penguin Encounter – an amazing frozen world which is home to the world’s second largest penguin species, the King penguins, as well as the Gentoo penguins: If you want to make it a hands-on experience, you can go back of house during an Antarctic Adventure. Dreamworld’s bone-chilling thrill ride is BuzzSaw which is so extreme it’s been added as part of the Big 7 mustdos while visiting. Dreamworld has also added a new exotic animal exhibit, ‘The Lair,’ and adventure ride, ‘Shockwave’, where you experience 360-degree spins of fury at over 50km/h. SkyCoaster is the newest heart-pumping attraction to hit Wet‘n’Wild, promising to challenge even the wildest thrillseeker! From 53 m off the ground, riders plummet face first on a suspended cable reaching speeds of up to 100 km/h.

The multicultural nature of the Gold Coast has brought about a successful food and wine industry, cultivating everything from soft-shell crabs and goat cheese to locally bred Wagyu beef and award-winning boutique wines. Having attracted prominent restaurateurs and operators from the southern capitals, and around the world, to help progress this dynamic region has ensured locations such as Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Coolangatta and the hinterland remain highly regarded for their delectable choice of dining options. Similarly, beachside cafes, snack bars and budget priced eateries are in abundance to ensure a taste to suit every style. Be sure to pop by the Citrique restaurant at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa or if you’re looking for a unique buffet experience, it is hard to go past Bazaar within QT Gold Coast. Pizza, pasta and salad are on the menu at Vapianos in Cavill Mall or head to the Hilton Surfers Paradise complex and enjoy the delights of the Groove Train. Go inhouse and sample from Luke Mangan’s signature Salt Grill restaurant or indulge in Mediterranean cuisine at La Rustica Surfers Paradise. Main Beach’s Tedder Avenue is where Chill and Goa Indian Fusion are on the must-do dining list, as is Glass just up the road at Marina Mirage, plus fine dining at Vie, Palazzo Versace. Try the Watermark’s Amalfi Restaurant or you may prefer to settle in at Broadbeach where Moo Moos, Lauxes, 1two3 Mediterranean and Room 81 at the Sofitel come highly recommended. Also worth noting are Oskars on Burleigh, the Alleys Restaurant at Currumbin RSL or if you want to sample some local delights of the hinterland, book in at Songbirds or try Liquid Amber within the Witches Chase Cheese complex at Mt Tamborine. Looking for a complete night out? Take in dinner and a show at Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant, the seasonal on-stage performances at Jupiters Hotel & Casino or all-time family favourite Australian Outback Spectacular.

a d r o f Af

e c n a g a v a r t x E e bl

AffordAble extrAvAgAnce is whAt you will find At liz clift internAtionAl boutique. If your Lifestyle is casual or sophisticated you will have your fashion desires fulfilled at Lizs` exquisite and timelessly elegant boutique at Benowa Gardens shopping centre. Liz travel overseas constantly sourcing new and exciting designer labels from Europe and U.S.A Her labels express a unique attitude, modern elegant and casual chic. Her shoe and accessory boutique next door compliments her stunning garments. Travel wear is a speciality. Clients from around the country fly in to select their travel wear. Liz and her in house travel wardrobe experts will discuss your needs, taking into account, climate, business or recreational wear. Let Liz and her specialized team take the worry out of packing so you can concentrate on your business trip or holiday. As cruise wear specialists, learn how to maximize your travel wardrobe with mixing and matching, that way leaving space for the inevitable purchases along the way. No matter if you are XS or beautifully curvaceous, there is something for everyone. A must see are the sensational Ultimate Travel Shoes. They have taken the world by storm. Take one pair of shoes and as many interchangeable tops as you like. A must for travelling light. Liz is overseas or interstate every 6-8 weeks and has packing down to a fine art. For an obligation free appointment phone 07 55970000 or pop in and see Liz at Benowa Gardens shopping centre Ashmore Rd Benowa Gold Coast 4217.

Destinations for the discerning traveller

Austr alia and the South Pacific Islands


Sunburn is your one stop shop for swimwear for all ages, sizes and figures. Stocking a remarkable swimwear range from Seafolly and other great Australian swimwear brands such as Jets, 2Chillies and Sunseeker, Sunburn is also one of a limited number of stockists of Isola by Megan Gale. An important element of their success has been the strength of their staff’s product and fit knowledge, each staff member is a trained Swim Stylist and fit specialist. Their Swim Stylists truly understand the emotional investment that goes into the purchase of swimwear, so they are always prepared with product knowledge that is second to none! At Sunburn you really feel that they strive to make every customers experience, in store or online, one that will forever change the way they feel about shopping for swim. Their aim is to leave customers feeling gorgeous, stylish, confident and empowered in their hot new swimwear! With the launch of a new-look and highly functional website, Sunburn have upped the ante when it comes to an online shopping experience. The new website is as close to an in store shopping trip as can be, with features that take the place of their Swim Stylists in an online environment. The website styles the outfits by offering matching and appropriate tops and bottoms and suggesting other products that you might like to complete the look. Visit the store at Marina Mirage on the ground floor or the website at let Sunburn revolutionise the way you shop for swim!

Shop 8 Marina Mirage 74 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach QLD 4217

(07) 5528 0690

Osborne+Gr ace Gallery This luxury shopping destination at the Marina Mirage presents a boutique blend of beautiful Australian and international jewellery, art and antiques in elegant surrounds. The collections at Osborne+Grace Gallery exemplify creative design and high quality, with an eye for the unique and desirable. A strong artistic focus is evident in the carefully curated collection of exceptional fine jewellery, drawn from a range of Australian and international designers and jewellers. A visit to the Gallery will immerse you in a world of exquisite treasures created in 18ct gold, diamonds, emeralds, tanzanites, sapphires and other beautiful gems. Osborne+Grace Gallery has an enviable reputation for stocking desirable and hard-to-find international jewellery labels like the Clio Blue collection direct from the boulevards of Paris. Lovers of contemporary styling will swoon for German labels Breuning and Bastian Inverun, while those of a more bohemian bent will be delighted with Baltic Amber from Poland and Navajo and Zuni turquoise jewellery from the Southwestern United States. The international collections are complemented by the work of extremely talented Australian designers. Sydney label Bouvier is a perennial favourite with the style set, featuring designer Rebecca Raft’s voluptuous and sophisticated designs in hand cut and beaten sterling silver. The Gallery also showcases

the work of individual Australian jewellery artisans who create pieces in a diverse range of styles and mediums. Fine art, sculpture and European antiques provide a rich backdrop for the Gallery space. There are paintings, lithographs and etchings by Australian and international artists, with a strong focus on international works on paper sourced primarily from Paris and New York. Sculpture plays an important role, with limited edition works in bronze by sculptors David Harrison, Zygmunt Libucha and Laila Bell. Australian artist Noel Hart completes the collection with his vibrant blown glass sculptures which explore themes of biodiversity.

Shop 120 (Upper Level) Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach QLD 4217 Ph: 07 5532 2282

Bliss Fashion Emporium As a designer with 20 years of experience in the fashion industry, Sonia Stradiotto of Bliss Fashion Emporium has developed a unique approach to style and service, which has put her at the forefront of fashion design in Australia. In an industry that is constantly changing and evolving, Sonia had moved and adapted with the times whilst managing to maintain the integrity of her design values, keeping her focus very much on the women who wear her clothes rather than the impression they make on the catwalk. Her philosophy is based around her designs being a tool for releasing the inner beauty of the woman who wears them, allowing them to feel special while wearing her designs. There is a time and a place for couture and Sonia still loves very much to create the unique ‘one off’ made-to-measure couture pieces. However, she never loses sight of what it is that her customers want from her every day – an excellent choice of good-quality, well-designed clothes. Sonia certainly knows what she is doing, as a winner of over 20 fashion awards, she has had unrivalled success with her catwalk shows and is something of a fashion icon in Queensland. She has created Bliss to encourage women to dress in such a way as to release their inner goddess, and if this means crossing haute couture with feminine curves, then so be it.

Glamorous gowns, evening wear and race wear all combine to make her collection something incredibly unique and very easy to wear. She has also managed to bring a new look to the board room with a range of specially designed office wear, bringing colour back into the corporate world. Her Italian background shows through with her choice of fabrics and accessories, designing clothes that bring a youthful look to the women that wear them. The clothing, combined with the handbags and accessories in her designer ranges, all work together to give a woman a stylish and elegant, yet contemporary look.

Level 1, shop 127A Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach QLD 4217 Ph: 07 5528 5099

Esteem Medi Spa Highly qualified, internationally trained professionals provide a top-to-toe range of holistic therapies designed to make you look and feel beautiful at the Esteem Medi Spa. From manicures to anti-ageing treatments, you can be sure that you are in expert hands if you choose to visit here. Specialist training is given to all members of staff in the area of anti-ageing therapies and treatments which ensures that procedures and techniques are as up-to-date and cutting edge as they can possibly be. There are a number of specialist anti-ageing therapies to choose from at the spa including ‘peels’ which provide intense exfoliation and stimulate the production of collagen in the skin, improving skin elasticity and resulting in a more youthful appearance; and ‘microdermabrasion’ which again is an intensive exfoliation procedure which can work well with certain skin conditions as it provides the skin with a detoxifying, deep clean. Facials come in a number of forms using the spa’s specialist products aimed at rejuvenating, moisturising, cleansing and lifting the appearance of the skin, plus offering a relaxing moment of indulgence at the same time. There are a variety of pampering skin treatments to indulge in too as well as specialist spa treatments for your hands and feet.

There are a variety of massage therapy treatments at the Esteem Medi Spa. Enjoy having your muscles warmed and relaxed by the application of hot stones. This is a method that has been used for centuries to stimulate blood flow and rid the body of toxins, and this ancient therapy is as much in demand today as it ever was. From the ancient you can go straight to the contemporary with a specially designed massage for pregnant women, to ease muscle aches and restore energy. Beauty therapies including spray tanning, shower therapies, brow bar and a whole host of other treatments. Bridal packages ensure that brides to be are totally prepared for their big day, right down to their wedding day make-up.

Shop 115-118, Level One Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach QLD 4217 Ph: 07 5539 1000

Mariners Cove Gold Coast

Jet Ski Safaris

Jet Ski Safaris specialise in serious fun and adventure as they lead you on an unforgettable journey that will have you either coming back for more or racing out to buy your own jet ski. After 12 years in the game they’ve got it down to a very fine art with an immense amount of return trade to back them up; they are renowned for being unquestionably the very best in the business. With multiple guides on every tour they are able to tailor make each trip to suit everybody’s individual need for speed. You can guarantee that there will be one guide who is dedicated to ride with white knuckles, at full throttle, all the way for all the speed freaks of the group. There’ll be another guide who sits out in front of all the easy riders who wish to just cruise around at a bit more of a leisurely pace, and yet another guide who rides nice and slowly for anyone in the group who would rather just take their time and have a bit of fun. So if you like going fast, you’ve come to the right place. Feel free to blast off and hold it flat out all the way without having to stop or slow down to wait for anybody else. And if that’s just not your cup of tea, just take it easy and enjoy your ride by taking one of our slower paced tours. Jet Ski Safaris’ tours are unique to the industry which nobody else can offer. Get out there amongst it all and explore the wild blue yonder with miles of pristine sandy beaches and untamed mangrove jungle passages that snake their way through the hidden islands of the Gold Coast’s jet ski paradise. It doesn’t get any better than this!

Shop 7A, Mariners Cove, Main Beach Surfers Paradise QLD Ph: 07 5526 3111

M: 0409 754 538

Rivers Cruises Gold Coast There is perhaps no leisure activity more relaxing than a river cruise. Whether you combine it with sightseeing or fine dining, there is something special about being out on the water at any time of day or night. Rivers Cruises on the Gold Coast has harnessed this unique appeal and developed a range of incredible river cruises to appeal to everyone. Cruises have been designed to allow you to indulge in a fabulous seafood buffet with entertainment too; whatever appeals to you, there will be a wonderful floating function venue just waiting to welcome you aboard. They also provide the perfect location for celebrations or corporate events, no matter how many guests you have, so before you book that featureless hotel function room, remember to check out what is available on the water first and provide your guests with a unique and memorable cruise experience. Whale watching offers an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. There is something about these majestic creatures of the deep that calls to our very hearts, and a sight of one up close provides memories to treasure for a lifetime. The tour takes place on board the ‘Explorer’ one of Rivers’ faster vessels. For three hours you will hear informative and entertaining commentary and be fed refreshments that have been freshly prepared on the cruise. And perhaps one of the best features of the cruise is the promise that if your tour is uneventful and no whales are sighted, you can take another tour free of charge. A stunning seafood buffet set against the backdrop of the Gold Coast, all on board a luxury, fully air-conditioned vessel. Add some music and dancing to the mix and you have yourself one amazing night out. You may find that you are enjoying yourself so much that the three-hour cruise flies past in the blink of an eye, especially if you are intent on dancing the night away.

Shop 17, Chevron Renaissance, 3240 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217 Ph: 07 5527 6361

one the esplanade

MULTIMILLION DOLLAR REFURBISHMENT OF ONE THE ESPLANADE DESTINATIONS is proud to report to our readers that the recent multimillion dollar refurbishment of the apartments formerly known as Allawah Apartments has now been completed – and the final result is quite the sight to behold! One the Esplanade Based in the ubercool, uberpopular Surfers Paradise, One the Esplanade now offers one- and two-bedroom fully self-contained regular and deluxe apartments that have been decorated and kitted out with the best views of Surfers Paradise fashion. If you’re planning a visit to Surfers Paradise and you’re looking for somewhere contemporary, comfortable and luxurious, One the Esplanade is definitely the perfect choice for you.

The Apartments

Extra features

These exclusive apartments are designed primarily with the affluent traveller in mind. A far cry from your basic hotel room, they are of generous size and have been renovated with deluxe being the most recent. Each apartment features a bathroom for each bedroom and a large, north-facing balcony from which you can enjoy the bustling excitement of Surfers Paradise. There is free cable TV, air conditioning and a fully-fitted kitchen complete with washing machine and clothes dryer.

Also available to guests of One the Esplanade is a large heated saltwater pool, perfect for a bit of exercise or relaxation after a long day of sightseeing and exploring. There is secure undercover parking for all residents and lifts to all levels of the building. You can book for anything up to a seven-night stay, with longer stays being available on application. Bookings and enquiries can be made through the new website.

The spacious lounge is perfect for relaxing with a good book and a cocktail before dinner, and the dining area is large and tastefully decorated. The one-bedroom apartment is comfortable for one to two people and the two-bedroom apartments can accommodate up to four people comfortably. Special deals may be available at certain times of the year so check ahead to find the rates that pertain to your stay.


As soon as you step out of the front door of One the Esplanade, you’ll find yourself right in the heart of one of the most fashionable districts in Australia. The beach is a hit with surfers and holidaymakers alike, and is fully patrolled for maximum safety.

At DESTINATIONS we love Surfers Paradise and can thoroughly recommend it as an exclusive must-see for your beachside holiday. There are plenty of accommodation options but don’t settle for second best, be amongst the first visitors to sample the luxury and comfort of One the Esplanade.

A 1 The Esplanade Surfers Paradise Qld 4217 Ph 07 5538 3154

Boasting an absolute beachfront location, One the Esplanade is a sought-after address for your stay in Surfers Paradise. If you tire of the beach, there are plenty of other activities for you. Cavill Mall is the central shopping district which offers plenty to see during the day and also has a thriving nightlife. Nearby you can also enjoy theme parks, fishing expeditions, the Hinterland and the many other options available to you on the Gold Coast.


Gold Coast

Australia’s Gold Coast is ever evolving on the events landscape. Significant national and international proceedings are complemented by the presence of more and more activities which enhance the entertainment experience for visitors and locals alike. Calendar mainstays including the Armor All Gold Coast 600 motorsports festival, Gold Coast Airport Marathon, BMW Magic Millions horse racing extravaganza and Gold Coast RACV Australian Ladies Masters Golf have successfully created peak visitation times for the region. There’s now a seasonal windfall with the advent of the Gold Coast’s national sporting teams in AFL, rugby league, soccer and basketball. The Gold Coast is also home to Quiksilver and Roxy Pro surfing spectaculars, the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, plus countless musical and cultural festivals so it’s always good to check out what is coming up during your stay in the region. Following are some key events for the next few months.

Quiksilver and Roxy Pro(25 February - 7 March) With some of the greatest waves in the world at the doorstep, the Gold Coast is the natural home to the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro, the first event on the ASP World Tour and ASP Women’s World Tour – unrivalled as the most prestigious surfing competitions.

Sail Paradise (21 - 25 March) Sail Paradise is becoming one of Australia’s premier east coast yachting events. It will be sailed on courses set just off the surf line of some of the Gold Coast’s magnificent beaches.

Australian Surf Life Saving Titles (26 March - 1 April) The 2012 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships are held at Queensland’s iconic Kurrawa Beach. The Aussies will bring together surf lifesaving clubs and members from across the country, with athletes of all ages contesting over 300 exhilarating surf life saving events.

Accommodation North Top 2

Gold Coast

Chevron Renaissance The heart of Surfers Paradise has to be one of the most popular destinations along the entire Gold Coast, and the Gold Coast Holiday Rentals’ Chevron Renaissance is certainly in the perfect place to take advantage of it. The apartments here offer stunning ocean views or breathtaking views of the hinterland and Nerang River, and are literally only a two minute stroll from the soft and welcoming sands of the well patrolled Surfers Paradise beach. All of the local amenities of stores, boutiques, bars and restaurants are only a short walk away making these apartments incredible well located. A stroll along the palm lined boulevards allows you to browse the specialist stores and boutiques of the Chevron Renaissance’s own award-winning shopping precinct before returning to your light, elegant and stylish apartment. Whether you choose to holiday as a couple or a family you will find that you have everything you need close to hand here, and plenty of space for everyone to relax and enjoy their time in this amazing location. Full details of each and every Gold Coast apartment and holiday home are shown on the Gold Coast Holiday Rentals website, including photos, floor plans and virtual tours: what you see is what you get. Book a stay at Chevron Renaissance and you are guaranteed of knowing in advance its position, style and amenities. All you have to do is to walk in, unpack your bags and relax.

38 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217 M: 0418 658 694

Norfolk Beachfront Apartments – Main Beach The Norfolk Beachfront Apartments are perfectly positioned on Main Beach on the stunning Gold Coast. The location offers peace and relaxation with the soft sands of Main Beach less than 100 metres from your front door. This is the ideal destination for a luxury week away and with everything you could need right on your doorstep; you will wonder why you hadn’t visited sooner. The apartments offer access to a well-proportioned heated outdoor saltwater swimming pool, sauna, heated spa facility and barbecue area, in addition to providing secure underground parking for guests. With three bedrooms and two bathrooms there is more than enough space for a family to enjoy relaxing together without the need for anyone to feel cramped or have their personal space invaded. The master bedroom opens out onto a balcony that offers ocean views. Is there any more perfect way to start the day? The kitchen is fully equipped with everything required to cater for the family, but with so many excellent cafes and restaurants within walking distance, is seems a shame not to pay them a few visits. All of the boutiques, cafes and bars you could possibly require are also all within easy reach, and the shops for all of those holiday essentials and luxurious treats, as well as all of the excitement and fun of Surfer’s Paradise are literally a stone’s throw away from your apartment.

38 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217 M: 0418 658 694



Gold Coast

La Gr ande Luxury Apartments Offering fabulous beachfront accommodation at beautiful Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, La Grande Luxury Apartments are much more than just a place to rest your weary head. The apartments form a Mediterranean-style village in one of the prime locations on the Gold Cost, providing a luxurious haven for those looking to get away from it all and indulge in some well-earned rest and relaxation. Here the twoand three-bedroom apartments all offer stunning views and excellent facilities to all those who seek tranquillity and peace, whilst remaining within walking distance of Broadbeach’s vibrant entertainment and amenities. Many families prefer the ground floor apartments here as they all have their own private courtyards whereas those looking for something more sumptuous, plump for the sub-level penthouses which are split over two floors. All of the apartments are air-conditioned with kitchens boasting a range of state-ofthe-art equipment should you wish to cook for yourself during your stay, though there are plenty of excellent restaurants close by if you would prefer not to. A wonderful saltwater pool has pride of place in the courtyard area – it is heated throughout the winter to ensure that it can be used year round – and the gardens offer wonderful surroundings in which to relax and unwind. Guests also have access to a fully equipped gym filled with fitness equipment and an indoor spa and sauna area too.

126 Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach QLD 4218 Ph: 07 5592 5350

Prestige in Par adise Prestige in Paradise is not your ordinary luxury holiday home; this is a mansion that is fit for heads of state and the Hollywood elite. The seven-bedroom property is set in an incredible waterfront location in the very heart of the Gold Coast. The level of privacy and intimacy offered by this amazing accommodation is second to none and it would make the perfect location for a film or photography shoot, a business rental or a luxury family getaway. Its wonderful northern outlook opens onto Main River (Broadwater) and the property boasts a full 24 metres of water frontage and the ocean is only a short boat ride away from the property’s own moorings, along the Gold Coast Seaway. This location offers unparalleled levels of privacy and yet it is only a couple of minutes’ walk from beaches, cafes and the fabulous shopping precincts of Main Beach, including the exclusive Tedder Avenue. There are a total of seven bedrooms within the mansion property with either luxurious king- or queen-sized beds, and the six beautiful bathrooms ensure that everyone has access to them when they need. The master bedroom is fitted with king-size facilities and the en suite bathroom should be seen to be believed. Guests here can relax in their own spa bath before heading out onto their private balcony which looks out onto the river and the stunning Gold Coast skyline.

Melaini Lewis M: 0402 026 306

Fax: 07-5535 4482


The Cooly Classic: Coolangatta Ocean Swim (15 April) Coolangatta is world famous for its surf culture and the Cooly Classic celebrates the very essence of this iconic location - sun, sand and surf. Swim the Cooly Classic and conquer three of Australia’s most revered surf breaks - Snapper Rocks, Coolangatta and Kirra.

Gold Coast Film Festival (19 - 29 April) Two of the biggest cultural festivals in Australia have formed an exciting alliance. In 2012, the Gold Coast Film Festival is joining forces with the Supanova Pop Culture Expo to bring an unprecedented entertainment experience to the Gold Coast.

Gold Coast Triathlon Luke Harrop Memorial (22 April) This event includes community activities, evening entertainment programs, corporate events and functions, along with one of the biggest sport and lifestyle expos in the Southern Hemisphere. There will be something for everyone.

Nissan/BRW Corporate Triathlon (5 May) The Nissan/BRW Corporate Triathlon National Series has been an iconic event on the Australian triathlon scene for many years. What began in 1988 as a small-scale challenge has grown into one of Australia’s premier corporate sporting events.

Prime Minister’s Cup (5 May) The Prime Minister’s Cup race day boasts six Black Type thoroughbred races headed by the Group 2 A.D. Hollindale WFA Stakes. The event’s honour board includes Australian champions Scenic Shot, Shogun Lodge, Rough Habit and dual Australian Horse of the Year, Might and Power.

Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (24 - 27 May) Situated in Australia’s leading leisure boat building region, Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show attracts buyers and marine industry executives from around the world. The 2012 four-day event marks the 24th annual show.

Blues on Broadbeach (24 - 27 May) Transcending the barriers of age, gender and culture, Blues on Broadbeach is one of Australia’s iconic Blues Festivals. The Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival feeds on the unique village-like atmosphere and relaxed ambience that is Broadbeach.

Cooly Rocks On (1 - 11 June) More than 1,000 spectacular classic cars close the streets during this annual Show ‘n’ Shine spectacular throughout Coolangatta and Tweed Heads. Enjoy the free music and dance performances staged as part of the festival which is a total celebration of the bygone rockabilly era.

Surfers Paradise Festival (20 June – 14 July) The Surfers Paradise Festival, an unparalleled feast of music, art, food and lifestyle. Whether it’s top music acts, award-winning food and wine events, world-class street entertainment or adventures on the entertainment fringe, the Surfers Paradise precinct will have ‘culture’ written all over it.

Gold Coast Airport Marathon (30 June - 1 July ) This event includes a marathon, a half marathon, a 10 km run, a 5 km challenge and junior dash races over 2.25 km and 4 km for the kids. Runners crave the magnificent running conditions of the Gold Coast in winter, as well as the flat, fast and beautiful course that runs alongside the Pacific Ocean surf beaches and Broadwater.

Accommodation Top 4

Fiona Cochr ane Executive Homes Holiday letting makes tremendous sense when one weighs up the advantages on offer. Think luxury waterfront accommodation, gourmet cooking facilities and multiple entertaining areas. Factor in proximity to local restaurants, entertainment and Gold Coast attractions and you have an incredibly costeffective holiday for families and groups of friends.

Holiday-makers who relish the best the Gold Coast can offer are enjoying the attractions of Broadbeach in record numbers and Property Manager Fiona Cochrane has a number of homes on offer to suit the needs and budget of the discerning traveller in this most centrally located of suburbs. Fiona’s association with Broadbeach Waters spans over a decade of owning and developing property in the area and she brings a wealth of experience and attention to detail to her latest venture. From the boutique three-bedroom Monaco to the private five-bedroom luxury of Sheridan Park, Fiona will personally supervise your reservation and meet you at your residence. Special requests can be catered to. Fiona has supplied flowers and champagne for anniversaries, and a Christmas tree and gifts for visiting families. The personalised nature of a private holiday home with the convenience and comfort of five-star luxury is a choice that guests appreciate. Because of this, Fiona says that almost all of her guests ask to rebook, and that she finds it a really satisfying experience when her guests enjoy their stay so much that they want to come back. Contact Fiona at and view her properties online on Sheridan Park The Monaco

Gold Coast Holiday Rentals When you are searching for the perfect Gold Coast holiday accommodation, make a point of looking at the range of properties and services offered by Gold Coast Holiday Rentals. With an incredible collection of waterfront homes and apartments to choose from, you can be certain that you are selecting accommodation that offers sweeping ocean views along with high standards of luxurious comfort. Here you can select your own accommodation based on authentic photographs of the property so you have the ability to weigh one against the other, allowing you to find your perfect accommodation. Full details of each and every Gold Coast apartment and holiday homes are shown on the website, including photos, floor plans and virtual tours: what you see is what you get. You are guaranteed of staying in the particular holiday house or apartment accommodation of your choice, and know in advance its position, style and amenities. All you have to do is to walk in, unpack your bags and relax. Gold Coast Holiday Rentals has some excellent budget accommodation available so you get to spend more your holiday activities. Options include the Monaco Beachfront Apartments, Artique Resort, HiSurf Beachfront Apartments, Chateau Beachside, Chevron Renaissance and Palm Beach Residences. With a variety of apartments and houses to choose from, with Gold Coast Holiday Rentals you are sure to find somewhere that will make your stay absolutely perfect. 38 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217 M: 0418 658 694


Central Gold Coast

La Gr ande Luxury Apartments

Offering fabulous beachfront accommodation at beautiful Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, La Grande Luxury Apartments are much more than just a place to rest your weary head. The apartments form a Mediterraneanstyle village in one of the prime locations on the Gold Cost, providing a luxurious haven for those looking to get away from it all and indulge in some well-earned rest and relaxation. Here the two- and three-bedroom apartments all offer stunning views and excellent facilities to all those who seek tranquillity and peace, whilst remaining within walking distance of Broadbeach’s vibrant entertainment and amenities. Many families prefer the ground floor apartments here as they all have their own private courtyards whereas those looking for something more sumptuous, plump for the sub-level penthouses which are split over two floors. All of the apartments are air-conditioned with kitchens boasting a range of state-of-the-art equipment should you wish to cook for yourself during your stay, though there are plenty of excellent restaurants close by if you would prefer not to. A wonderful saltwater pool has pride of place in the courtyard area – it is heated throughout the winter to ensure that it can be used year round – and the gardens offer wonderful surroundings in which to relax and unwind. Guests also have access to a fully equipped gym filled with fitness equipment and an indoor spa and sauna area too. 126 Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach QLD 4218 Ph: 07 5592 5350

Circle on Cavill in Surfer’s Par adise Right in the very heart of Surfer’s Paradise is Circle on Cavill, a revolutionary new development in retail, leisure and accommodation which is now a focal point of prosperity in this rapidly developing and innovative city. The apartments within the Circle development offer a level of luxury not generally seen outside of the very best five-star hotels. The apartments, as well as the rest of the amazing facilities, are located in two striking towers, nestled in a multimillion dollar retail and leisure development that provides incredible opportunities for enjoyment and relaxation. All of this is perfectly situated within very easy reach of all of the amenities and attractions of Surfer’s Paradise, and the stunning Gold Coast. For those wanting to get out and about, the major attractions of Sea World, Movie World and Dreamworld are all only a short car journey away from the Circle on Cavill, as well as the beauty of the hinterland that is just waiting to be discovered. Guests of the apartments have access to a whole host of recreational activities and facilities, including use of the four pools, an outdoor barbecue area, games room, children’s play area and a sauna and steam room. There is also a modern state-of-the-art gym on site and an incredible, private theatrette. Nothing has been omitted from the range of facilities required to make your time here as pleasurable as possible. 38 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217 M: 0418 658 694


Accommodation Top 4

Beachfront Stunner Situated on Millionaire’s Row on the stunning Gold Coast, this fabulous holiday home offers guests a four bedroom, three bathroom property with a media room and absolute beachfront access for the perfect holiday getaway. Millionaire’s Row is known for the incredible luxury accommodation it provides and what must be the most incredible views along the entire Gold Coast area. The property is light and airy with open-plan living accommodation and the most stunning ocean views. The beach (Palm Beach) is away from the main tourist beach destinations and offers an extra level of privacy that some other properties in the area may lack. There are four incredibly well-proportioned bedrooms on offer at Beachfront Stunner along with a well-equipped media room which can also be turned into a bedroom with the aid of a sofa bed. The master bedroom houses a luxurious king-sized bed, whilst the second and third bedrooms have queen-sized beds with the addition of a trundle bed if required. Bedroom four is a good-sized single room that can either provide a king or two singles, perfect for the children. The three bathrooms ensure that there are no morning queues and that everyone has a good level of privacy during their stay in the incredible property. Properties of this quality are always in demand and as the Beachfront Stunner has not been on the rental market for very long, it is sure to be booked quickly.

Melaini Lewis

M: 0402 026 306

Fax: 07-5535 4482

Hedges Beachfront Holiday Home What could be better than a break in a beautiful holiday home in an absolute beachfront setting? This is a very spacious property with plenty of room for two families to stay without being in each other’s way as each has their own living space. It can sleep between 10-12 people at any given time which really does make it the perfect choice for a family holiday by the ocean. The property is light and airy and finished to a high standard throughout. Upstairs there are three bedrooms; the master has a king-sized bed as well as spacious walk-in wardrobes and a modern en suite facility. The second bedroom has a queen-sized bed and the third bedroom has a single bed with a trundle. There are also two bathrooms on this floor so there will be no need for bathroom arguments. The fully equipped modern kitchen is open plan for ease of use, and along with the dining area and lounge, it opens out onto a fabulous outdoor decking area which has the most amazing ocean views. Downstairs there are a further two bedrooms. Bedroom four has a king single and trundle, and bedroom five has a queen-sized bed. There is also a fold out double bed in the lounge, and a third bathroom on this floor. Should the kids get tired of the beach and the surf, there is a wide screen TV with surround sound, cable TV and a DVD player.

Melaini Lewis

M: 0402 026 306

Fax: 07-5535 4482


Gold Coast

Mermaid Beach House It can be difficult to find a totally true beachfront property along the Gold Coat, but Mermaid Beach House is just that. Here on ‘Millionaires Strip’ on the beautiful Gold Coast this fabulous property has been used by international actors and filmmakers whilst filming movies along coast. This really is a dream home and it contains more luxury than you will see in a five-star hotel. The property offers breathtaking 180-degree views of the coast which are uninterrupted by anything other than the odd luxury yacht on the horizon or a passing humpback whale or two. It is split over three storeys, so no matter whether the beds are filled to the capacity of 12 guests there will still be plenty of room for everyone to enjoy their own space. The living space is open plan and very well designed and thought out. The designer kitchen is well equipped to cater for everyone’s needs, and the open-plan dining and lounge area looks out onto the ocean. The lounge opens out onto the patio and decking area which is only a footstep away from the beach. The Mermaid Beach House also has a study and full laundry facilities. The next level up has three large bedrooms, each of which has its own personal walk-in wardrobe and private bathroom. The top floor features the master bedroom which has a spacious walk-in wardrobe, en suite and balcony which looks out over the ocean.

Melaini Lewis

M: 0402 026 306

Fax: 07-5535 4482

The Deck at Mermaid Beach Is there anything more liberating that stepping out from your holiday home straight onto the soft sands of the beach as they are kissed gently by the rolling ocean waves? The Deck at Mermaid Beach offers its guests an absolute beachfront location that provides the perfect holiday environment for relaxing and unwinding, and makes the ideal location for a family holiday. The Deck has three spacious bedrooms and provides guests with an incredible level of luxury both in the fixtures and fittings and in its choice location. The house is only a few years young, is a single-story dwelling and manages to blend in and be a part of the incredible surroundings of Mermaid Beach keeping the charm of a home rather than a hotel. The outside is brought inside with the amazing, large sliding glass frontage of the property which adds to the feelings of light and spaciousness. The flooring and the walls are all timber, giving the property a very natural feel. Of the three bedrooms at the property, the master bedroom is definitely an outstanding feature, the bed is luxuriously king sized and the master has access to a private en suite facility. The second bedroom also offers a king sized bed. The children’s wing has a third bedroom which is equipped with three sets of bunk beds, plus its own children’s lounge area fully equipped with their own flat screen television, cable TV and beach access.

Melaini Lewis

M: 0402 026 306

Fax: 07-5535 4482

Bird’s eye view

Segway tours

SkyPoint Climb is Australia’s highest external building walk, taking climbers on a guided journey reaching 270 m into the sky on top of the Q1 Resort & Spa building. Dressed in a full body climb suit and harness, climbers step into the open air via SkyPoint Observation Deck on level 77 after taking a 42.7 second elevator ride. Nothing here for the faint hearted! An informed guide will then highlight major landmarks and share some of the region’s best kept secrets. SkyPoint-Climb

Segway (solar-powered two wheeled self-balancing personal transport) tours which are popular on the streets of Berlin, Chicago, Paris and Singapore, are becoming an off-road hit in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Operating out of O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, tourists can ride the segways through the rainforest region near Lamington National Park.

Water park Zagames Paradise Resort Gold Coast has launched the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest resort water park. The entire central resort area has been transformed into a massive aqua playground featuring a giant central pool, large heated spa and two enormous aqua play attractions which are three stories high. They boast slides, water cannons, climbing nets and a giant bucket that fills with 600 litres of water before emptying every few minutes over guests below. Smaller children can also enjoy specially designed slides, paddling area, and gently sloping beach entry.

Free movies Free outdoor movies have come to the Village Green at Sanctuary Cove every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month. Grab a rug, pack a picnic and be there for a 7.00pm start under the stars!

Racing simulator If you would love to experience the same sensations that professional racing drivers feel when they are on the track, then Racecentre is the place for you. There are very few professional racing simulation centres open to the public around the world, and now Australia can boast one of its own on the Gold Coast.

Eco tours Eco Safaris Queensland now conducts luxury, personalised winery tours to Tamborine Mountain. Surrounded by lush, sub-tropical rainforest where the air is clear and the views spectacular, Tamborine’s wines are sourced from rich volcanic soils from both the local region and the Granite Belt. Enjoy olive oils and antipasto platters with your wines on your tour of up to five gorgeous boutique wineries.


New and Exciting

Gold Coast

Accommodation Top 4

enRich Retreat & Spa A wellness day spa and executive retreat, enRich caters to the person seeking an escape that will inspire and support you to live a healthier life, as well as empowering and equipping you with simple, yet profound tools and strategies that will enrich your life. Ranging from two-day experiences designed to support you in stress release and lifestyle design, to more corporate ‘slow down to speed up’ retreats, enRich provides the perfect setting for growth and implementation. Described by the Daily News as “The Nirvana of the corporate world” and a “relaxation paradise”, enRich offers the space to breathe, destress, and unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Accommodation is only available when participating on one of the retreat programs. Unique and majestic, the enRich Retreat & Spa is like no other. With its authentic Balinese style and lush sub-tropical gardens and vegetation, the property emits a calm and healing energy and tranquillity. Nestled on three acres in beautiful Tweed Heads, it boasts spectacular views of Lake Terranora. enRich has four Balinese suites and a ‘Serenity Lounge’, ideal for relaxing and unwinding. Consciously created to only cater for a limited number of guests, the retreat maintains an atmosphere of intimacy and privacy. The day spa is perfectly designed for a total immersion experience and the Aqua Pavilion compliments this with your choice of saunas, spas, a steam room and a beautiful tropical pool. Intimate and special, enRich will seduce you with its magic and charm.

Ph: 1300 855 865

International: +61 (0) 75590 9552

Palm Springs Residences When you are searching for the perfect Gold Coast holiday accommodation, make a point of looking at the range of properties and services offered by Gold Coast Holiday Rentals. In an absolute beachfront location overlooking the golden sands of Palm Beach, the Palm Springs Residences offer more than enough to make any family holiday memorable. Right at the southern end of the Gold Coast you will experience the vista of the Pacific Ocean from your apartment balcony, and enjoy lazy days on the warm sands, soaking up the golden rays of the sun and relaxing in the wonderful ambience of this incredible location. All of the apartments here are fully self-contained and offer everything that you may need for the duration of your stay. You will begin to relax the moment you step through your apartment door and see your private balcony and the vast expanse of the ocean. There are plenty of excellent bars, cafes and restaurants close by that cater for a variety of tastes, eliminating the need to cook for yourself in your excellently equipped apartment kitchen. Families can relax here knowing that they are not going to be disturbed by noisy bars and clubs, yet those with a taste for exciting nightlife will find what they need only minutes away. There are pools to occupy the children an; this is the perfect location for a family holiday.

38 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

M: 0418 658 694


Southern Gold Coast

k atta on currumbin Beach houses mean different things to different people, yet “katta on currumbin” is like nothing you may have imagined. With incredible views of the Gold Coast and the Currumbin Hill rainforest and bushlands, the house is light, airy, contemporary and stylish throughout, offering an amazing beachfront location. So stunning and exceptional is the design of this home that it won the 2006 RIAA Award for Best House in South East Queensland. This fabulous location offers access to The Alley, one of the most famous surfing locations in the country, and the bars, cafes and restaurants are all within easy walking distance, as are the wildlife sanctuary and surf club. The beach house is split over three levels with three well-proportioned bedrooms and bathrooms. There is also one floor of rumpus room with extra beds making it a perfect location for a family holiday, a wedding associated weekend or just a getaway. With an onsite Pilates’ studio – Fluent Body Pilates – the house is also available for small surfing/yoga/Pilates retreats. The beautiful open aspects allows the wide outdoor decking area to almost become a part of the property interior, and the views out across the water from the open living area are simply breathtaking. The bedrooms are well styled and follow the light and airy theme of the rest of the accommodation, with sliding glass doors that open out onto a verandah with views straight into the lush foliage of the rainforest.

M: 0412 467 034

Magic Mountain Resort High up on Nobby Mountain in Queensland is the Magic Mountain Resort. It is the perfect place for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday and in fact this is the only resort of its type along the entire length of the Gold Coast. From the accommodation here you can admire wonderful views of the ocean and the lush hinterland landscape. Even though you are nestled within your own private haven you will find all of the tourist beaches, retail outlets, cafes, bars and bistros of the main beachfront all within an easy distance. The penthouse block offers incredible views over the Pacific Ocean. Inside the accommodation is stylish, elegant and fitted with everything you need to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Guests have access to a well-equipped state-of-the-art gym facility, and for those looking to spend more time relaxing than working out, there are sauna and pool facilities to enjoy. One pool is lagoon style with its own beach area,the second is a heated rock pool complete with a waterfall and the third is an infinity pool. All of this is just a moment’s walk from Nobby Beach and its excellent restaurants and entertainment facilities. The penthouse apartments are elegant and luxurious and offer a whole 237 square metres of spaciousness to enjoy inside whilst outside there are another 76 square meters of private terrace from which to admire the spectacular views.

38 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

M: 0418 658 694


New Accomm Gold Coast

There are so many options when it comes to places to lay your head on the Gold Coast. Here is just a taste of what is available.

Based in the ubercool, uberpopular Surfers Paradise, One the Esplanade now offers one- and two-bedroom fully self-contained apartments that have been decorated and kitted out in luxurious fashion. If you’re planning a visit to Surfers Paradise and you’re looking for somewhere contemporary, comfortable and luxurious, One the Esplanade is definitely the perfect choice for you. The Q1 tailor-made resort is unique in the Gold Coast area. The impressive Q1 tower not only provides visitors with ex-

cellent accommodation but also offers unrivalled views across the landscape for as far as the eye can see. The unique design of the resort has made it well known around the world. The top of the tower is home to Skypoint, an amazing observation area where guests can sit and relax and enjoy a 360° view of the surrounding area, from Brisbane in the north to Byron Bay in the south. Live it up in luxe accommodation at Palazzo Versace including valet parking, high-speed Internet, bountiful breakfast, access to the brand new Palazzo Versace Fitness and Wellbeing Centre and Australia’s first water salon poolside cabana experience. It is everything you would expect from the world’s first fully fashion-branded hotel. It is home

modation to three award-winning restaurants, private marina and Versace Boutique. Absolute five-star luxury and hospitality has arrived in the heart of Surfers Paradise with the opening of Sea Temple Surfers Paradise which offers absolute beachfront accommodation located in the centre of the multi-million dollar Surfers Paradise Foreshore redevelopment. Sea Temple Surfers Paradise has been fashioned with the utmost style and sophisticated luxury in mind. The amazingly appointed 77-level tower is made up of elegantly designed two- and three-bedroom apartments, with every apartment boasting spectacular uninterrupted ocean views. The Hilton Surfers Paradise has opened its doors offering a combination of guest

rooms and holiday residences. Bookings can now be made for the property, which features an unprecedented range of accommodation options to suit the needs of all holiday-makers including 169 guest rooms and 250 modern one-, two- and three-bedroom residences. Peppers Broadbeach is one of the most cutting-edge five-star properties in Australia, harnessing the latest in portable technology and guest services. The architectural design of the property includes 505 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in two towers, and it reflects a distinct fusion of city sophistication and coastal relaxation. Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa Gold Coast has announced a $20 million refurbishment that includes all 293 rooms

and suites, lobby, grounds, pool area, lounges and restaurants. Completed just this year, the new luxurious rooms will include the new Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds, flat-screen televisions, wifi access, custom woven carpets, designer furnishings, stylish bathroom fittings and refreshed marble surfaces. Opening in February are the Sky Lodges, Binna Burra’s new one-, two- and three bedroom apartments with breathtaking views across the Coomera and Numinbah Valleys. The lodges have been built with the use of stone, slate and wood and come with fully equipped self-contained cooking facilities, spa baths, fire places, flat screen TVs and wireless Internet. Other features include BBQ and laundry facilities.

Gold Coast


Just 30 minutes drive from the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast is a hinterland of subtropical rainforest, interspersed with quaint mountain villages, farmland, vineyards, national parks and rainforest. The World Heritage-listed Springbrook and Lamington National Parks, plus the extended township of Tamborine Mountain, offer access to some amazing landscapes. In addition, there are wineries, boutique distilleries and breweries, restaurants, cafĂŠs, rustic homesteads, plus local produce, arts, crafts and jewellery stores scattered throughout this rural setting. There is so much to explore in the region that you may need longer than a day trip to take it all in; like taking a sip of a great red wine without time to drink the glass! So grab a few glasses and take yourself to the top of the mountain to share the view and the whole bottle over a number of days!

If you’re feeling active there are plenty of ways to see the region whilst at the same time trying your hand at new experiences. With so much to see and do in the hinterland, it’s difficult to know where to start. Why not start at the very top? Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk is a 300m-long elevated walkway which allows visitors a different perspective on the rainforest canopy. Here you will be able to fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and take in some of the most spectacular scenery Australia has to offer along a 1.5km journey. Care to go even higher still and get some serious fresh air into your lungs? A 60-minute flight in a Tiger Moth over the region taking in Springbrook Waterfalls, or a gentle hot air balloon drift over the rainforest is bound to leave you feeling on top of the world.

Davidson rides for the wild child in you. Or saddle up, and hit the tracks via horseback for what is guaranteed to be one hell of a ride.

Like to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground instead or consider yourself in Jane Austen’s league as a good walker? The Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk is a three-day hike covering a distance of 54 km between Lamington and Springbrook National Parks. The track conditions depend on the weather so it is best to tackle it between March and October before the tracks get too wet.. It is recommended you do this walk from west to east, leaving from O’Reilly’s in the Green Mountain section of Lamington National Park and ending in Springbrook at The Settlement campground.

The Gold Coast Hinterland is famous for its fabulous scenery and luxury accommodation. It is the perfect place to escape to, relax and unwind, far away from the stresses of everyday life;and being so close to the Gold Coast, is a great option for a break, be it just for a weekend or longer. When it comes to accommodation, the options are endless so it just comes down to what type of experience you are after. Kick back in a luxury villa with a private spa and sweeping views to the coast or head undercover to the heart of the rainforest.

Too far I hear you cry! If you prefer something less challenging, more in the way of a stroll or outing for the family, then there are 12 walking trails on Tamborine Mountain and most are no more than 3 km in length. These walks are all safe and ideal for twitchers. For some serious night-life there are a number of guided walking tours available for you to visit the rainforest by torch light, observe Australian glow worms in action and take in some serious stargazing away from the distraction of bright city lights. If you are short on time and would prefer to take in the hinterland under the steam of some wheels there are four-wheel drive tours, all-terrain vehicle adventures and even Harley

A wine tour, either in a half or full day, is a popular option given the number and variety of wonderful wineries in the region. Wineries can be found from the rainforest region of Mt Tamborine through to Albert River and Canungra Valley which equals a large diversity of grape varieties. Choose from verdelho, chambourcin and semillon, through to merlot, cabernet franc, shiraz and viognier. If wine is not your preferred drop then you may wish to take in a refreshing stop at one of the many breweries or distilleries, which includes Australia’s most internationally-awarded Tamborine Mountain Distillery.

To the holiday maker, the famous Gold Coast experience represents Australia at its best. The collective voice of more than 11 million visitors each year is a clear indication of the region’s ability to continually offer up new and innovative things to see and do all-year long. Such strength lies in the natural and manmade diversity of a destination which is scenic and peaceful as much as it is fast paced and active. From rural Beenleigh in the north to picturesque Kingscliff beach in the south, west to the hinterland region and the famed Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach in between; the Gold Coast experience is large and diverse. Go to for further information.

Tamborine Mount ain – rainforest, romance and adventure

The picturesque townships and villages around Tamborine Mountain on the gently climbing Border Ranges between Brisbane and the Gold Coast is holiday heaven. This region is famous for growing avocados, rhubarb and grapes but fun and adventure are now the focus. Cedar Creek Lodges at Thunderbird Park is one of the most popular Scenic Rim destinations. Nature meets adventure on this 112-hectare rainforest property. It is ideal for short breaks, longer holidays and romantic escapes. On site accommodation styles include contemporary rooms and luxurious private lodges. Choose a Cedar Creek Lodge and enjoy a rainforest romance. These lodges feature double spa baths, wood-burning fires and all the comforts of home against a backdrop of ancient rainforest and the lulling sounds of the tumbling creek. Relax under the sun or the stars and add to the pleasure with a pampering treatment. Start the day with a hearty barbecue breakfast with the birds, take a picnic to a lovely location, enjoy pizzas from the wood-fired oven on the terrace or dine in style at the Rainforest Restaurant and Bar. Award winning chefs create mouth-watering dishes from the freshest local ingredients and herbs from the kitchen garden.

This eco-friendly resort features ancient tropical rainforest, rare plants and brightly coloured native birds including a resident peacock. Guests can meet kangaroos and wallabies plus a number of other friendly Australian wildlife species. Relax and enjoy the tranquillity and the scenery or choose from a raft of adventures. Swim in the resort pool or take a dip in the natural rock pools along Cedar Creek Take the challenge of Australia’s highest and longest ropes course at Adventure Parc, find gemstone-filled thundereggs formed when dinosaurs roamed the earth, go horse trail riding or play laser skirmish in a rainforest battlefield. Take a 45-minute walk through beautiful rainforest at The Knoll National Park and picnic at Witches Falls. On Sunday mornings hang gliders and para-gliders add to the scene as they leap off the mountain at the Rotary lookout. Nature lovers will see crystal clear waterfalls, unusual cycads (relics of plants from 150 million years ago), the rare Albert’s lyrebird, the world’s largest skink and birdwing butterflies. Nature is only part of Tamborine’s charm. There are interesting shops, galleries and cafés. Vineyards and wineries flourish in the Tuscany-style terrain between huge stretches of carefully preserved rainforest and national park reserve. Drive around or take a guided tour on the San Francisco style Tamborine Trolley bus. Visit Australia’s smallest operating distillery, sample international award winning liqueurs and hear interesting stories. Stroll along Gallery Walk and see a range of gifts, homewares and jewellery. See artisan style cheese and gourmet ice cream in the making at Witches Chase. Buy farm fresh produce at the local markets or play a round at Tamborine Mountain Golf Club and take in the stunning panorama. Tamborine Mountain is less than an hour by road from the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

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Springbrook Mountain Manor Boutique Hotel Nestled within the spectacular surroundings of a World Heritage-listed rainforest a short drive from Brisbane is the beautiful and stately Springbrook Mountain Manor Boutique Hotel. Designed in the style of the Tudors, this unique building is surrounded by well-established gardens and filled with picturesque lakes, ponds and hidden corners where romance awaits. A summerhouse on the lake makes the perfect wedding venue; guests will be in awe of their stately surroundings whilst the photographer will be spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning locations for your pictures. The manor‘s interior is both stylish and luxurious with an air of historical elegance. All of the suites are furnished with more than a passing nod to the elegance and style of a bygone era. Filled with beautiful queen or four-poster beds, beautiful wooden furniture and excellent artwork, each suite perfectly reflects the ambience that the manor is aiming for. All suites are fully air-conditioned and have all of the amenities you would expect to find in such a stately establishment. Each suite has its own private en suite and guests will also find a complimentary bottle of port in their suites upon their arrival.

There are a range of recreational activities on offer; many of which fit nicely with the old-world charm of the manor itself. Try your hand at a spot of archery or challenge your partner to a light hearted game of croquet on the lawn. All of the activities are complimentary and the manor staff will provide you with any equipment you should need. The manor is also equipped with grass tennis courts which are floodlit should you wish to play after dark, a perfect nine-hole golf course and a beautiful camellia maze. With its indoor spa and sauna, the manor offers guests the complete package when it comes to pure escapism and relaxation. For a perfectly elegant fine-dining experience, treat yourself to dinner at Manners Restaurant. The menu is filled with ‘specials’ that are based on traditional English dishes, all of which perfectly reflect the refined theme of the hotel. 2814 Springbrook Road, Springbrook QLD 4213 Ph/Fax: 07 5533 5344

Be Enchanted...

Springbrook Mountain Manor

Located in the heart of a magnificent World Heritage Listed Rainforest

An exclusive and stately Boutique Hotel providing.. Accommodation Manners Restaurant Recreational Facilities Conferences & Weddings 2814 Springbrook Rd Springbrook Qld 4213

P 07 5533 5344

Relax & Rejuvenate An escape with a difference Mountain Edge Studios is located on a small plateau near the top of stunning Tamborine Mountain about 30 minutes from the Gold Coast and one hour from Brisbane. There are breathtaking panoramic views across to the coast by day, but at night the magnificent light show begins. When the Gold Coast turns on its lights, you can see the twinkling from your bedroom, bathroom, lounge and patio. Whatever you wish to call them—studios, chalets, villas or cottages—they come with options, one-bedroom romantic getaway or two-bedrooms to share with friends or family. Colour-coded for fun, you can enjoy a spa bath and Romantic Red studio, unwind in the peaceful Green, or cool off in the Blue with stunning views across the hinterland and Gold Coast. Red, blue, green or yellow, each studio has a log fire, spa or giant bath, air conditioning, a kitchenette, TV, DVD and CD players. The two-bedroom lodge is also disabled friendly. If you really need to unwind you may wish to consider pampering yourself with an in-house aromatherapy massage. A qualified therapist can visit your studio so you don’t even have to leave your room! Options include facials, aromatherapy foot massage and body scrubs.

If you feel the need to get out and about, there are some excellent tours along the scenic rim of the mountains visiting local wineries along the way. This is all done from the comfort of a bus which means there is no excuse for you to drink and drive. Your hosts at Mountain Edge Studios will organise your daily breakfast, which is provided, and customise a package to suit your needs which may include dinner, winery tours, mountain exploration and massages. If you have always wanted to shout your love for someone from the top of a mountain then Mountain Edge Studios is the place to do it. Weddings can be customised for all individual tastes and budgets with catering for 45 or 60 more casually. 387 Henri Roberts Drive, Clagiraba QLD 4211 Ph: 07 554 53437 M: 0407 453 437

Restore romance Escape

to the sky Get lost in the night

Boutique Accommodation Studios and Lodge Special Packages Weddings & Functions 387 Henri Roberts Drive, Clagiraba QLD 4211 P: 07 5545 3437 M: 0407 453 437

Top 6

Must see, do and stay Seaview Farm Retreat

Nestled in the stunning surroundings of Tamborine Mountain, Seaview Farm Retreat is an idyllic place to relax and unwind. The retreat is the perfect choice for couples looking for a holiday willed with love and romance. The views are stunning – a fabulous 180° panoramic view of the Gold Coast is laid out before you. Complete with a spa and wood burning fireplace, it has everything needed for a romantic hideaway weekend. The Cottage offers slightly larger accommodation perfect for a family stay. The Seaview Farm Retreat also offers excellent food and both of the properties are self contained with full kitchen facilities. The retreat will put together food baskets for guests with all the items needed for sumptuous meals which you can cook at your own leisure.

112 Golf Course Road, Mount Tamborine QLD 4272 Ph: 07 5545 0766 M: 0419 750 820

Cedar Creek Estate Winery The Cedar Creek Estate offers visitors an unforgettable experience. The vineyard and winery alone are enough to make a day here special, but why not combine that with the experience of the Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves, an exclusive in-house art gallery and the facilities to enjoy a fabulous lunch overlooking the beautiful landscape? Cedar Creek is also a popular wedding venue. Couples can opt to marry in the quaint stone chapel which overlooks the lake or can choose to be wed in the open air by the wild duck lake. Cedar Creek has its own team of professional wedding co-ordinators to make sure your day goes exactly as you want and provides you with lasting memories. The vineyards award-winning wines will compliment your choice of wedding menu.

104/144 Hartley Road, North Tamborine QLD 4272 Ph: 07 5545 1666

Tamborine Mountain Tours Tamborine Mountain Tours provides visitors with a number of options for exploring the mountain, from tailor-made tours to a ‘hop on – hop off’ facility that allows you to tour as much or as little as you wish. The Mountain Master chef Tour takes visitors to the Tamborine Mountain Distillery, Witches Falls Winery and then to the Tamborine Cookery School. Here Master chef Terri Taylor will hold a cooking class and prepare a gourmet lunch for the group using fresh local produce. Separate wine tours offer visitor the opportunity to ride the mountain’s famous tram-like trolley bus. Children love the trolley bus, and on this four-hour tour there are lots of activities to keep all members of the family occupied and amused including a visit to Thunderbird Park and the rainforest skywalk.

106 Long Road, Eagle Heights, Tamborine Mountain QLD 4271 Ph: 07 5545 4321 or 07 5545 4444

Hinterland Gold Coast

Aaronlee Retreat

The Aaronlee Retreat is perched right at the top of the fabulous Tamborine Mountain, amid 10 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens. The retreat is perfect for both families and couples to stay and enjoy the mountain air and amazing scenery. Views from the retreat take in much of the Gold Coast area including Mount Warning and Lamington National Park. This lovely homestead offers excellent cottage-style accommodation and suites with spa bathing facilities, romantic fireplaces and private balconies where you watch the majestic sunsets each evening. All accommodation has kitchen facilities for when you just don’t want to eat out and a dining area and comfortable lounge with TV if you get tired of the view. The cottages here allow you to enjoy the natural environment of the mountain and would make the perfect base for exploring the surrounding area.

13 Munro Court, Mount Tamborine QLD 4272 Ph: 07 5545 3121

Albert River Wines Nestled by the banks of the Albert River in the Gold Coast Hinterland, this awardwinning boutique winery, restaurant and wedding venue reflects everything that is great about Australian wine and hospitality. Views from the vineyard take in the beautiful Tamborine Mountain and surrounds. It is home to Tamborine House, Auchenflower House and the original Kingaroy Lutheran Chapel, which is just perfect for traditional weddings. Guests at the winery can experience a tour to learn about farm operations and watch an authentic sheep dog demonstration before trying their hands at traditional Aussie whip cracking. The wines produced here are only available to buy through the winery itself, which is why it is classed as boutique. Quality grape varieties grown at Albert River Wines include chardonnay, viognier, merlot, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and the recently added sweet white variety of Petit Mensang.112 Golf Course Road, Mount Tamborine QLD 4272

869 Mundoolun Connection Road, Tamborine QLD 4270 Ph: 07 5543 6622

Coast to Bush Tours Coast to Bush Tours can provide you with an unforgettable experience in the Gold Coast Hinterland no matter what kind of excursion you select. From upmarket wine tours to a visit to an alpaca farm for morning tea, they aim to provide clients with the perfect tour experience. Locations include wineries, waterfalls, rainforests and botanical gardens as well as animal encounters and farm experiences. Wine tours are available in either half or full day packages and includes up to four wineries. Enjoy a visit to Tamborine Mountain’s Gallery Walk where you will have the opportunity to choose from everything on offer, from arts and crafts to indulgent treats. Touring of the national parks is done with the assistance of a four-wheel drive vehicle. Locations include Lamington National Park, Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook National Park. Tours can also be chartered for private parties if required.

Trevor: 0410 611 589

Kay: 07 5572 3171

Hinterland Retreats

Gold Coast

The Panor ama

Open-plan living has never been as luxurious as it is at Panorama. Peace, quiet and an amazing standard of luxury living await guests here. This property boasts the largest entertainment deck along the entire coast, which is only one of its fabulous features. It is situated only a short drive from Pacific Fair, the major shopping centre in Queensland and 8 minutes from the Robina town centre. The fabulous beaches of Broadbeach and Mermaid are similarly close by, and within an easy 15 minute reach are Sea World and Movie World. With a total of nine separate golf courses in the area, make sure you bring your clubs as you’ll be on the greens before you know it. The property is fully air-conditioned to provide cooling comfort on even the hottest days and there is also a good range of entertainment facilities available such as a home theatre, DVDs and stereo equipment. The most impressive feature of the property has to be the incredible panoramic views it offers, hence the property name. A gourmet barbecue area allows you to cook and dine outside whilst enjoying uninterrupted views of the Gold Coast. The property is nestled within eight acres of land with offers a choice of walking trails where you can meet some of the local wildlife. This is a stunning two-storey property which has six incredibly wellproportioned and appointed bedrooms, along with four stylish and contemporary bathrooms.

M: 0407 037 811

Wings Hinterland Retreat Spectacular, amazing and stunning are all words that have been used to describe the incredible Wings Hinterland Retreat. Within excess of 1,500 square metres of living space and beautiful views from every window, this is a property with rock-star status. If when you look at the images of the property it looks somehow familiar, it could be because the house has appeared in the TV series of Mission Impossible. Despite the appearance and feel of intimacy and privacy, the property is actually only a short drive from Surfers Paradise, Burleigh and Broadbeach. If you are looking to treat your family to a vacation they are never going to forget, then this is the property in which to do it. Included in the fabulous accommodation is a 14-person sauna facility, an impressive outdoor pool, two spas, tennis court and for alfresco entertaining, an outdoor bar and dining area. Inside there is a full-size billiards table with a full-size bar to match. You can even bring your au pair or nanny on holiday with you as the property has a fully self-contained granny flat, or it could be used to house security personnel too. There is enough parking for 14 cars also. One thing this property is definitely not short of is space. The five upstairs bedrooms are all either king or queen-sized with en suite facilities and downstairs there are two bedrooms accessible from the outside of the property. With a combination of double and single bunks, these rooms share a bathroom and make great rooms for the teen members of the family. The chef’s style kitchen is fitted out with all of the labour-saving devices you could ever need and is designed to be able to cater for whatever the circumstances dictate, whether a romantic meal for two or a party for 22. A fully equipped state-of-the-art gym allows you to work out and, in addition, the incredible pool seems to suspend you over the mountain side giving you the most amazing views of the landscape.

M: 0407 037 811

Golf Holidays

in Queensland

All golfing aficionados know there’s nothing better than hitting the greens on a much-anticipated holiday. Why? Well, because golfing is a true passion, and what better way to spend your holidays than indulging in your most beloved passion? Golfers have long known about the destressing effects of a game; hanging out with like-minded people and perfecting your swing rejuvenates the body, mind and spirit. There’s only one little hiccup here…what if your muchanticipated holiday happens to be a family holiday? And what if said family is not particularly partial to golf? Do you drag the wife and kids onto the course, duct tape a 3-iron in their hands and force them to enjoy the game? Shame on you if you do! Instead, we suggest you opt for an all-inclusive golf resort in Australia’s sunshine state: Queensland. Not only will you be privy to some of the world’s most elite courses (and yes, they really are spectacular), but the extra-curricular activities on offer,

amongst some of the world’s most renowned natural attractions, will ensure your loved ones will be kept happily entertained. Glorious Queensland is renowned as one of the best golf-holiday destinations in the whole country, and certainly one of the best in the world. The perpetual tropical climates, abundance of nature and superlative golf courses act as a magnet for discerning golfers in the know. Queensland is home to the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, the Whitsundays, the Sunshine and Gold Coasts and innumerable other attractions, and there’s a perfect golf resort to be found in every corner of this heavenly state. There’s nothing more exciting than playing in an unknown course, so pack your bags, your clubs, the kids and get ready to hit that hole-inone! Following is our top pick of the best golf clubs in Queensland:

Top 6


Capricorn Golf Club at Mecure Capricorn Resort Yeppoon The beautiful Capricorn Resort Yeppoon features not one but two championshipquality courses at its excellent golf club. As you follow each course (either resort or championship) you will find yourself playing through native scrubland, walking onto beautifully styled links, and entering out onto open areas of ground for relaxed, enjoyable play. Both of the courses take you across protected wetland areas in this beautiful coastal region. The championship course features plenty of dog-leg holes, both to the left and the right, so no-one can claim an advantage. There is plenty to challenge players of any skill level and lots of water to pit your wits against. Even though you have come to play golf on the amazing courses, take time to explore the whole resort and take advantage of the excellent, high-quality service that it offers its guests. Address: Phone: Website:

Farnborough Road Yeppoon QLD 4703 07 4925 2621 Email:

Par adise Palms Resort & Country Club Ideally situated between two natural wonders – the World Heritage rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef - Paradise Palms Resort & Country Club is a firstclass destination just 20 minutes north of Cairns in the heart of Tropical North Queensland. Home to one of Australia’s top 100 golf courses, and one of the most picturesque you will ever see, Paradise Palms is the perfect destination for golfing fans enjoying a quiet break in Queensland. The award-winning course not only offers a great day out; you can also choose to bed down for the night there too. The club offers a range of packages for those who want to make the most of the golf course during their stay, including uniquely tailored excursions that will ensure there’s never a dull moment. Address: Clubhouse: Email: Website:

Paradise Palms Drive Kewarra Beach QLD 4879 07 4059 9999 Golf Bookings: 07 4059 9900

Pelican Waters Golf Club The Greg Norman designed course at Pelican Waters is stunning and natural, with an often challenging landscape. It is a full 18-hole, 6,359 metre championship course. Rated at PAR 72 with a total of 66 bunkers, golfing enthusiasts can enjoy a very unique course with one of the world’s most stunning views as its backdrop. Ranked No. 1 Golf Course on the Sunshine Coast by Golf Australia Magazine, the high-quality service and welcoming atmosphere attracts members who appreciate and enjoy the finer things in life. Set in a natural bushland surrounding, complete with lakes and stunning terraces, Pelican Waters is a great place to visit. With a five-star resort and spa, and a variety of golfing packages on offer, there is something for everyone. Stay and play packages have been designed for visitors to experience the best the area has to offer. Address: Phone: Website:

40 Mahogany Drive Pelican Waters QLD 4551 07 5437 5000

R ACV Royal Pines Resort Ranked in the top 60 public golf courses in Australia, RACV Royal Pines Resort is a wonderful example of east-west fusion at its very best. Made up of 27 holes, the eastern 18 was designed by Japanese golf course architect Tomojiro Maruyama, with the 9-hole western side of the resort being the work of Graham Marsh. The championship layout provides three challenging, 18-hole course combinations, with undulating terrain and magnificent greens in a lush, tropical setting. Amongst numerous noteworthy tournaments, RACV Royal Pines Resort is the proud home of the RACV Australian Ladies Masters on the Gold Coast, a tournament that has become a cornerstone of women’s professional golf in Australia and now attracts players from at least 20 different countries. Members and amateurs are welcome at the course, driving range and golf clinics. Address: Phone: Email: Website:

Ross Street, Benowa, Gold Coast QLD 4217 07 5597 8700 Toll Free: 1800 886 880

Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club If golf is your favourite pastime, there is no better place to indulge your passion than at the exclusive Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club in Queensland. With two golf courses, a double-ended driving range, three full-scale practice holes and bunkers, plus chipping and putting greens, Sanctuary Cove has everything to enable a golfer of any skill level to improve their handicap. A stunning 25 m outdoor pool, tranquil yoga room and a fully equipped weights room are available for members who fancy a break from the immaculate greens and well-kept fairways. The promotion of fitness is central to Sanctuary Cove and with a fivestar gymnasium available to members; good fitness is more than achievable. Membership to this world-class establishment entitles you to unparalleled access to everything that the club has to offer. Address: Clubhouse: Email: Website:

The Parkway, Sanctuary Cove QLD 4212 07 5699 9000

Twin Waters Golf Club Twin Waters Golf Club is based in beautiful Pacific Paradise, Queensland and is recognised as one of the top six resort courses in Australia. The 18-hole course, designed by champion Peter Thomson and his partner Mike Wolveridge, is laid out to guarantee and deliver a fantastic golfing experience. Twin Waters is home to one of a mere handful of aquatic driving ranges in Queensland. This range provides a unique practice opportunity for new and experienced golfers. It’s always good to test the steeliness of your reserve by driving your golf ball out into a body of water! The clubhouse restaurant and bar is open all day to those using the golf club, and the restaurant (and its surroundings) is available as a wedding venue, as well as for conferences and other events. Address: Phone: Website:

151 Ocean Drive, Twin Waters QLD 4564 07 5457-2444 Email:

Destinations for the discerning traveller

Austr alia and the South Pacific Islands

© All photos provided courtesy of Sunshine Coast Tourism

The Sunshine Coast, a 100 km strip of idyllic Queensland coastline, is arguably Australia’s fastest growing tourist Mecca. Whilst some say it lacks the pizzazz of the Gold Coast, most claim it is this very reason which makes it so appealing. Low rise, laid-back and extremely unpretentious, Sunshine gems like Caloundra, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore rely on the natural beauty of their surroundings, rather than ultra-polished and outlandish man-made structures, to attract tourists.

Mind you, the natural attractions here are world class! If the stretch of pristine beaches is not enough, spectacular Glasshouse Mountains act as a wonderful backdrop to the coast, and the stunning Blackall Range, home to countless lakes, rivers and forests, provides a refreshing playground in the Sunshine’s hinterland. Add to that year-long average temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius, it’s little wonder the area is gaining popularity with discerning travellers, both local and international. Activities abound, the local cuisine is exquisite and the sun seems to shine eternally. Interested much?

Sunshine Coast

a road trip with a difference By Laur a Pattar a

Beautiful sandy beaches, pristine national parks, seaside resorts and charming hinterland towns: Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, located one hour’s drive north of Brisbane, will leave you relaxed, revitalised and naturally refreshed. The southern end of the Sunshine Coast starts at Caloundra, the perfect playground. Cycle or walk the scenic shorelines of the coastal path, take a dip in the ocean front swimming pool at Kings Beach or explore the spectacular waterways of Moreton Bay Marine Park by boat, jet ski or kayak.

boast some of Australia’s most vibrant and exciting beach front destinations which showcase the laid back, cafe worshiping, water-loving way of life. Whether shopping on Hastings Street, eating sumptuous cuisine in Noosaville or spotting a koala in the magnificent National Park, Noosa’s lifestyle is an enticing mix of sophistication, beach culture and natural beauty. Or take a visit to the Cooloola National Park and explore the area in a four wheel drive.

“From the moment you arrive and feel the sand between your toes, you’ll begin to feel different...relaxed, revitalised and naturally refreshed.”

The heart of the Sunshine Coast Marcoola, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Alexandra Headland and Cotton Tree

The Hinterland is the perfect place to revitalise your soul. You can experience waterfalls, rainforests and stunning views of the Glass House Mountains and panoramic vistas of the coastline. Visit friendly country towns where you can

stroll through quaint villages, discover unique art and sample locally grown food. Perhaps take the easy option and visit by limousine tour. For those who like to feel the breeze through your hair, why not join a Harley tour of the Hinterland. Relax over a long lunch in one of the charming villages, sample local wine and cheese, discover unique arts and crafts or stay in a cosy bed and breakfast. Refresh and invigorate the body with action and adventure. Thrill seekers who want some excitement can hire a jet ski or learn to kite surf, go tandem skydiving, hang gliding, abseiling or diving. Ride, walk or cycle the numerous coastal and hinterland trails or go horse riding on the beach. Why not hire your own private plane and put your foot print on the largest sand island in the world -–Fraser Island. Take the board walk through Fraser Island’s rain forest, have a swim at one of Fraser Island’s fresh water lakes or just relax on the beach. Wildlife encounters abound on the Sunshine Coast. Australia Zoo offers wildlife action every day where you can cuddle a koala, hand-feed Asian Elephants, walk with a Sumatran Tiger and watch a crocodile launch from the water’s edge. Mooloolaba’s UnderWater World offers an adrenalin-pumping dive with huge sharks or the chance to swim with the seals. For a natural encounter with nature, the Pumicestone Passage Marine Park is a bird and marine habitat with a permanent population of dugongs. The Sunshine Coast is blessed with a unique style of cuisine from paddock to the plate which features local produce grown in the lush hinterland and plucked fresh from rivers and surrounding ocean. You can browse the famous Eumundi

For more information go to

Sunshine Coast Naturally refreshing

Market or Noosa Farmers’ Market for the best of what’s in season; taste award winning ice-cream and cheese; buy freshly-picked tropical fruits from the farm gate; devour a kilo of prawns at Mooloolaba or indulge in a choice steak at a pub. There are plenty of choices available to dine in an elegant restaurant whether it is overlooking mountains, rivers or the sea. If you’re feeling inspired by the great food in the area, become your own cuisine king or queen at one of the many cooking schools such as the Spirit House in Yandina, Spicers Tamarind and Spicers Clovelly in the Hinterland or Freestyle Escape Cooking School in Dulong. Pick fresh produce and learn the art of the masters, then take your skills home and dazzle friends at your next dinner party. The Sunshine Coast is a hub for golf lovers who are spoilt for choice with over 20 courses to choose from. There are five championship courses: the worldclass Australian PGA championship course at the Hyatt Regency Coolum, the Greg Norman-designed Pelican Waters Golf Club, Noosa Springs, Peregian Springs and Twin Waters Golf Club. These championship courses are served by international standard luxury accommodation and world-class golfing facilities. The Hyatt Regency not only offers golf, but a chance to relax at the end of the day with some pampering at their newly refurbished spa - the largest day spa in the southern hemisphere! Indulging in a luxury spa treatment to nurture and pamper the senses is the perfect opportunity to relax and recharge. Ikatan Day Spa, Noosa’s Balinese inspired sensation, claims to offer a

complete sensory experience and has been nominated four times for Best Destination Spa in the Australian Travel and Tourism Awards. Alternatively the spa at Noosa Springs has been designed for all-out indulgence with features including a unique Hydro Massage Pool, Australia’s only Flotation Pool, Geisha Spa and treatment rooms opening to private courtyards with soothing water features. The spa menu offers an extensive range of massages, facials and body treatments and package combinations to help you relax. The naturally refreshing Sunshine Coast is home to an endless number of exceptional natural and man-made attractions and boasts entertainment, festivals, music and sporting events year round. The climate is perfect for an outdoor lifestyle and atmosphere which makes the Sunshine Coast a special holiday destination.

Indulge at one of the many restaurants and eateries along the coast; wander through the numerous markets which showcase local produce and handmade crafts; enjoy a coffee along the Esplanade; catch a fish; cruise the waterways; hit a golf ball: relax, revitalise and refresh on the Sunshine Coast.

For more information log on to

Southern Sunshine Coast

Š All photos provided courtesy of Sunshine Coast Tourism

The Playground of the Sunshine Coast


And so it was with little hesitation that I recently accepted the challenge of going on a reconnaissance trip to discover the treasures of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. My ‘significant other’ (from herein referred to as S.O.) packed his bags even before I did, so I found myself equipped with an assistant (as he insisted on being called) and, of course, his supplementary credit cards (which I insisted on him bringing). We soon settled on the main points: five ports of call in just over a week and a hire car for added convenience and independence. We also agreed to research individually and ‘surprise’ each other with various secret activities along the way. The only trouble we were having was deciding where to start! “Let’s pick a beautiful place!” I exclaimed early one morning, oblivious to the aggravation on my S.O.’s face. “Every place looks beautiful here!” he said, exasperated whilst studying an online interactive map. “Hang on,” he commented a minute later, “did you know that Caloundra is an Aboriginal word which means beautiful place?” Coincidence? I think not!


After a short flight from Sydney, we picked up our hire car at Caloundra Airport and proceeded to ‘head to the beach’. Easier said than done let me tell you. Caloundra is, quite literally, a collection of stunning beaches. The city is located merely 90 km north of Brisbane and is considered to be the Sunshine Coast’s southernmost point. Cradled within a protective harbour, the waters at Caloundra are said to be heavenly calm and a real treat for families holidaying with young children. Whilst having none ourselves, we nevertheless opted for Kings Beach, just 3 km east of the city centre. Apparently, this is the calmest of all the beaches and, considering I was on holidays, fighting mighty surf was not very high on my agenda. Rest and relaxation was all I desired. A sun-worshipper’s delight, Kings Beach is a fantastic introduction to the Sunshine Coast. Beautifully set up with barbecue facilities, infinite shaded picnic

areas, a saltwater beachfront pool and a myriad of kite and surfboard rental joints, I was almost ready to call off the rest of our trip right there and then. I’d found my paradise! Kings Beach Park, right next to the shore, is ideal for enjoying a picnic lunch and encompasses a fun kids’ playground. Getting my S.O. off the rides was my only challenge of the day. He claimed to be testing the Operational Health and Safety requirements of the amenities, but I was getting dirty looks from all the parents so I eventually coaxed him away with the promise of a gigantic gelato. At least he’s easily distracted! Feeling particularly re-energised after our first day on the beach, my S.O. insisted on heading to Golden Beach where he revealed the first ‘treat’ he had organised for me. He had booked, and paid for, my very first surfing lesson. Now, just to make this absolutely clear: I don’t like surfing. I have a hard enough time keeping my head above water in the bath tub, let alone trying to stand on a slippery-fibreglass-thingy, riding a vertiginous wave, while looking stunningly graceful in my new diamantestudded bikini. Let’s just say I was a little apprehensive. “It’ll be just like our last winter holiday!” my S.O. said reassuringly, “remember how easy you found snowboarding? Well…surfing is just like snowboarding! Don’t worry, you’ll love it!” An hour later I concluded that yes, surfing is just like snowboarding, except that snow covered hills don’t usually move, and most of the time you try avoiding avalanches, not aim to catch one for a faster ride downhill! Diabolical it was! The five-year old next to me though the whole thing hilarious and kept giving me hints on how to ‘stand properly’. Smarty pants…if I knew how to stand properly I wouldn’t be looking like an elephant on rollerblades now would I? Never mind, I picked up what little remained of my dignity (and the diamantes) and headed for terra firma. My S.O. looked almost distraught, tears streaming down his cheeks and his

face red as a tomato. It’s possible he’d been slicing copious amounts of onions while I fought for my life, or he may just have been laughing hysterically. I guess I’ll never know. What I do know is that the smile which adorned his face mysteriously disappeared as soon as I insisted we spend the rest of the afternoon shoe shopping on Bulcock Street, the main shopping and dining road in Caloundra. “Oh you’ll love it,” I said in my most sarcastic tone, “trust me…it’ll be just like sitting in front of the TV watching a Sunday game”. Seeing him squirm and suffer from store to store was almost enough revenge for my unsolicited colonic irrigation. Deciding to take time away from the sun and the surf (or rather the shops and the waves), we made a joint decision to visit the majestic Glasshouse National Park, only 30 km south-west of Caloundra town centre. The Glasshouse National Park is an incredible collection of extinct volcano cores over 26 million years old! There are various hiking tracks available, and you can also climb many of the high peaks in the park. The vegetation is a mix of native dry shrubbery, verdant forests and even lush rainforest. The views are incredible and the air crisp and clean. If you’re in Caloundra, make sure not to miss at least a day exploring this natural wonder. The lookout information provides all the info you need on identifying summits and planning your day’s walk.



Accommodation 4 Caloundr a Holiday Centre coastline is nothing if not magnificent and the area around Caloundra is especially so. Caloundra Holiday Centre has been assisting holidaymakers find their perfect getaway for over 25 years and has a large selection of holiday accommodation to choose from. Holiday apartments are available with one, two or three bedrooms, and contain all of the facilities that you would expect from any quality accommodation. All include a balcony where you can appreciate the beautiful views and relax with a glass or two of something chilled as the sun goes down, or take breakfast as the sun rises. Caloundra Holiday Centre wants you to experience the holiday of your dreams and the staff will do everything that they can to make this possible. Their standards of service are excellent and all staff, whilst friendly and accommodating, maintain an air of professionalism that gives you confidence in the quality of the experience they can provide. Everyone employed by Caloundra Holiday Centre has received excellent training and understands just what it takes to create the perfect holiday experience.

When you arrive at your chosen holiday home you will find an informative newsletter which offers up-to-date information about the area, providing details of entertainment and activities you may enjoy so you don’t need to miss a thing. How you enjoy your time in Caloundra is up to you, but you will certainly enjoy your time on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. 1/78 Bulcock Street, Caloundra QLD 4551

Ph: 07 5491 5444

Gemini Resort Caloundr a Gemini Resort has the envious location of being completely on the beachfront. There are no roads to cross and no short walks to reach the golden sands; you simply open the door and walk onto the beach and down to the water’s edge. It is perhaps this fabulous feature that makes the resort popular with families who are looking for the perfect tropical getaway with peace, relaxation and everything you need right on your doorstep. Gemini Resort is also a very popular wedding and honeymoon destination mainly due to its fabulous location and ambience. All the apartments at Gemini Resort are self-contained and have between one and three bedrooms. They offer stunning views over the ocean and the surrounding area, and are furnished to provide guests with the utmost comfort during their stay. The resort has a heated swimming pool in the style of a tropical lagoon as well as excellent sauna and spa facilities. A floodlit tennis court is available for those looking to enjoy a game or two with equipment available in the resort for hire. Kayaks are available for hire and give visitors the chance to take themselves over to Bribie Island before paddling back to relax on the beach. Bicycles are also available for hire within the resort and there are a number of different cycle tracks to follow that will take you around the beach and resort area.

49 Landsborough Parade, Golden Beach, Caloundra QLD 4551

Ph: 07 5492 2200

The Playground

Southern Sunshine Coast Meridian Apartments The Meridian Apartments are nestled along the Alexandra Headland, only an hour away from Brisbane and within easy walking distance of all of the headland’s attractions and amenities. Offering exceptional views of the beach and the ocean, these incredible apartments are set in the very heart of the Sunshine Coast. Relaxing ocean views and private balconies offer the perfect place to unwind and absorb the sun whilst you listen to the sound of the surf rolling onto the beach. The soothing heated pool and spa facilities will work to unwind every one of your aching muscles. Those with a sense of adventure and boundless energy will enjoy shooting hoops at the half basketball court, the range of water sports available just a stone’s throw away and all of the clubs, bars and eating establishments of the headland. There is more than enough to keep you entertained all day, every day.

The accommodation is all fully self-contained and offers the choice of one-, two- or three-bedroom apartments, along with penthouse and sub-penthouse apartments which have exclusive access to a beautiful roof-top terrace area perfect for a special celebration. All of the apartment balconies face out over the beach with some of the apartments having a second balcony at the rear that offers views out over beautiful parklands, the lake and the children’s play areas. Each of the Meridian Apartments is stylish and contemporary, which makes them feel light and airy throughout. Corner Burgess and Albert Street, Caloundra QLD 4551

Ph: 07 5491 0600

Windward Passage Apartments Imagine your perfect beachfront location, all that lies between you and the warm sands on the beach are beautifully landscaped gardens which are soft underfoot. Where the gardens end, the beach begins, and so does your day of relaxation and enjoyment. That is just what you get when you book a break at the Windward Passage Apartments on the Sunshine Coast. All of the apartments have spacious balconies which offer incredible views of the coastline and Bribie Island, as well as the beautiful landscape of Caloundra. You can choose from apartments, suites and even a penthouse to fulfil your accommodation needs. There are also spa facilities and air-conditioning; with the added convenience of a heated pool should you prefer it to the beach. The apartment kitchens are fully equipped with state-of-the-art appliances to ensure that you have everything you need for the perfect holiday. For those with special needs, Windward also has specially designed apartments for guests with disabilities; nothing here has been overlooked. If you are into water sports, then the beachfront location of these incredible apartments will be just what you need for ease of access to the water. Wind surfing, snorkelling, diving and fishing are all available right on your doorstep. The waters here are safe and clean and the beach is sheltered from the elements by an incredible pumice stone passageway which makes it excellent for families with young children. 31 Landsborough Parade, Golden Beach, Caloundra QLD 4551 Ph: 07 5492 3666

Central Sunshine Coast

© All photos provided courtesy of Sunshine Coast Tourism

The heart of the Sunshine Coast


Our next port of call, Mooloolaba, has received many accolades in the last few years. Among them: trendy, vibrant, stylish, up-market and hosting an incredible amount of fine-dining options. But I’m here for another reason. If my S.O. thought I had forgotten all about my little surfing humiliation he was sadly mistaken. I may not have uttered a single word about it since, but the old saying really is true: when a man is quiet he’s just relaxing, when a woman is quiet she’s hatching a plan. And so I was. I had heard that one can swim with sharks in the UnderWater World in Mooloolaba and I just couldn’t drive past this golden opportunity. Well, considering my S.O. was forever commenting “Oh I can do that!”, whenever he had watched Steve Irwin wrestle a croc, he was bound to find this soooo easy don’t you think? Yes, I thought so too.

My plan was sent back to the drawing board as soon as we arrived at the front counter however; where we were informed the Shark Alive Zone was temporarily closed for renovations. Unfortunately, throwing my S.O. into a tank full of ravenous sharks was just not possible! Oh well…win some lose some. I did ask if it was possible to pay for an ‘interactive’ experience in the crocodile enclosure instead, but the young lady at the front desk looked puzzled at first, then deeply concerned. She obviously didn’t have a S.O. Fortunately the Sharks Alive experience is only one of many offered at UnderWater World and we ended up spending the entire day frolicking with seals and otters, and taking a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the marine park’s latest additions. All the baby animals you get to meet are utterly gorgeous! The aquarium is a fantastic introduction to the endemic sea life of the Great Barrier Reef and I would

suggest your diving experience in open water would be much more enjoyable once you’ve learnt all about the reef’s residents. The park is very much involved in conservation, (especially of endemic turtles), making this the ideal educational day out for families with young children.


Just north of Mooloolaba city centre is the famous resort town of Maroochydore; yet another tranquil seaside haven. The tree-lined esplanade is well served by cafés and shops, but we headed instead to the Sunshine Plaza, the largest shopping centre in the Sunshine Coast. I must admit I’m not partial to shopping centres generally, but the amount of recommendations we’d both received about this place could not be ignored. And, sure enough, it did turn out to be lovely indeed. Built on the edge of Cornmeal Creek, the riverside

walkway (on both sides of the river) was just the perfect setting for an early morning breakfast. This centre really has it all, there are major chain stores as well as supermarkets, boutiques and an infinite amount of restaurants. What I loved about it most is that it is low-rise and widely spread out and the style fits perfectly with a seaside town like Maroochydore. A strong espresso at Toscani’s saw us ready to finally divulge our day’s plan. Apparently, my morning was going to be all about indoor climbing, mini-golfing, water-sliding and overall having a grand old time at the Top Shots Adventure Park. I did remind my S.O. that I am a few decades past my 10th birthday, but he assured me that I would love it. We all remember what happened the last time he said that, so needless to say I took his conviction with a grain of salt. He did have a very similar reaction, however, when I told him his afternoon

would include a deep cleansing facial, manicure and pedicure at nearby Spa Vitality. To be honest, I really don’t think he would’ve looked this scared swimming with sharks! Of course I booked just a little pampering for myself while I was at it…wouldn’t want him to suffer alone. The Top Shots Fun Park, located just 7 km west of Sunshine Plaza was actually an absolute blast. The extreme trampoline was a great way to challenge breakfast, and the blaster boats and mini-golf were a little more sedate, but just as much fun. The sun was shining and the fact I got drenched within five minutes was a welcomed relief. The best thing about it was the entry price: for just $20 you get two rides and unlimited golf, which was perfect for us as we’d only planned to stay there a few hours. There are also family packs which make it a really worthwhile outing, considering a family of four can spend the entire day there for just $100.


4 Accommodation Alex Seaside Resort

Beach-side accommodation really doesn’t come much better than this. The Alex Seaside Resort is nestled between Maroochydore and Mooloolaba on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, literally only a couple of steps away from the soft white sands of the beach at Alexandra Headland. The resort offers a variety of accommodation from couple’s studios to fully contained holiday apartments, all of which offer beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding coastline from their private balconies. All of the accommodation is styled in a casual yet elegant way which keeps the apartments light and airy. If you book your stay in the right season the balconies make the perfect place to watch the dolphins play. Guests have access to a heated pool and spa as well as a barbecue area for some alfresco dining. A games room is available that features a range of activities from electronic gaming to exercise bikes. A unique feature of the resort is that all guests have access to the rooftop which provides the most breathtaking views and plenty of stunning photographic opportunities. Children will love the play park, the skate park and bowling alley that are close by. Alexandra Headland is one of the main tourist destinations along the Sunshine Coast and there is a wealth of activities for visitors to enjoy. Jetskiing and water skiing are very popular here, as too is sailing, and all are activities that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

146 Alexandra Parade, Alexandra Headland QLD 4572

Ph: 07 5479 5055

Bli Bli House Bed and Breakfast Bli Bli House is a stunningly unique interpretation of a bed and breakfast establishment. As you step through the doors of Bli Bli, you are immediately transported back in time to an era filled with elegance and style: tasteful décor and beautiful furnishings all add to the ambience of the house. This is a house that has not only been renovated and restyled; it has truly been brought to life by its owners. Here the styling is very definitely Victorian and it suits the house very nicely. This beautiful old Queenslander dates back to 1874 and was originally located in Gympie, Queensland before being relocated to the glorious Sunshine Coast. There are lots of hotels and guest houses along Australia’s Sunshine Coast that market themselves as being top-class luxury accommodation, but none of them offer the kind of accommodation that you find here at Bli Bli House. Billiards and pool are both available for those who like a challenge; and for those of you who can’t quite say goodbye to the outside world, there is an extremely well-equipped media room. For those who can immerse themselves fully, there is a peaceful reading nook that is perfectly suited for those who want to lose themselves in a book, glancing up occasionally to gaze through the Tudor-style windows across the beautiful landscape before them.

600 David Low Way, Pacific Paradise QLD 4564

Ph: 07 5448 9914


M: 0413 750 289

The Heart

Central Sunshine Coast Horton Apartments Offering a stunning range of park and lakeside options, Horton Apartments in Maroochydore, boasts excellent accommodation in a unique and idyllic location. Each and every one of the apartments overlooks the Horton Park Golf Course. With Sunshine Plaza just a stone’s throw away, everything you need from cafes to cinemas is in easy reach of your apartment. With air conditioning and state-of-the-art facilities, the apartments are the perfect accommodation for using as a base to explore this fabulous part of the county.

Apartments come with one or two bedrooms. The luxury one-bedroom apartments have everything you could require for the duration of your stay. Self-contained kitchens with modern state-of-the-art equipment, as well as laundry facilities, are included in the designs of the apartments. Living areas are spacious with plenty of room for relaxing and unwinding and a private balcony looks out onto the beautiful and well-maintained golf course, offering a tranquil vista for residents. There are excellent facilities on offer to residents like a swimming pool, barbeque and gymnasium, which are all available for use whenever guests like. The bedrooms are roomy and contain either king or queen-sized beds and come complete with en suite facilities. The two-bedroom apartments offer even more space and are focussed on open plan living making them very light and airy throughout. These apartments also have the added benefit of a dining area and a dishwasher. Again the furniture and decor throughout is stylish and comfortable. 1 Mungar Street, Maroochydore, QLD 4558

Ph: 07 5430 9600

Oceans Mooloolaba Resort Oceans Mooloolaba Resort is the Sunshine Coast’s newest luxury resort and offers the very best in accommodation. Boasting penthouses and suites, each private balcony has been architecturally designed to provide visitors with a maximum view of the coastline and designer furnishings have been imported from Europe to add to the impact of the sophisticated styling of the entire resort. This fabulous boutique resort offers the only five-star accommodation in the area, setting it apart from everything else on offer along this glorious stretch of coastline. Stone, marble, glass and natural timbers provide tactile natural surfaces throughout all of the suites, giving everything a calm and serene air. King-sized beds, fabulous en suites and incredible attention to detail make this accommodation unlike any other. There are not many resorts that can offer guests use of a private cinema. The theatre offers state-of-the-art touch screen technology and can seat up to 14 people in luxurious leather chairs, all of which can be hired by guests for a private viewing of their choice. The resort also offers an excellent spa facility with specialist treatments and therapies to help you relax and unwind. For the more energetic guests, there is a gym available for use as well as a steam room to soothe aching muscles after a workout. The resort has a fabulous heated pool, with decking for lounging and soaking up the sun, as well as a tailor-made children’s wading pool. 01-105 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557

Ph: 07 5444 5777

F +61 7 5444 6677


© All photos provided courtesy of Sunshine Coast Tourism

Truth be told, I had so much fun that I almost felt guilty about what was coming up next. Almost… Refreshed and a tad worn out we headed to famous Spa Vitality, a sanctuary of blissful relaxation located at the eastern end of Aerodrome Road. I was surprised to learn this spa has a crèche (never seen one in a spa before!) which I thought was pure genius. For just $5 an hour, mums can indulge in some loveliness while the kitty-kats are kept busy with games and activities. What a great idea! I realised just how reluctant my S.O. was, when he offered to babysit rather than indulge in his treatments. Where’s the gratitude I ask you? Bah! To drive the point home even further, I sneaked in an ‘eyebrow wax’ for him at the last minute unbeknownst to him. Oh I know, I know… I spoil him rotten! I left him in the capable hands of a lovely young girl who looked sweet but assured me (with a wink and a smile) that she would be extracting, scrubbing and waxing with a vengeance. I liked her very much. My own goddess of beauty worked her magic on me and I must say, these were very enjoyable hours indeed. The screams of agony from the next room were a tad distracting (who could that be?) but I managed to block it all out and relished my pampering session nonetheless. Once my S.O. was escorted out of his treatment room it was my turn to suppress a fit of hysterical hyena-style laughter. The look on his face was pure magic! He was unusually quiet for the rest of the day, and looked a little shell-shocked. His eyebrows, however, were groomed to perfection, thanks ladies!

Central Sunshine Coast

The heart of the Sunshine Coast


Northern Sunshine Coast

The lifestyle of the Sunshine Coast



© All photos provided courtesy of Sunshine Coast Tourism

The next stop on our itinerary did not need many introductions. Noosa, a well renowned Queensland hot spot, is considered the northernmost point of the Sunshine Coat. Noosa Heads, our base for a couple of days, is the epicentre of the action and home to the main shopping drag of Hastings Street. Up-market, elegant and avant-garde is how Noosa has been described and, while I definitely get the comparison to the seaside shopping experience of international cities like Monaco and Cannes, the feel here is still very different. After all, Queensland has the enviable knack to do haute-everything whilst still retaining a relaxing and cosy atmosphere. You may rub shoulders with the rich and famous here, but they’re much more likely to be wearing shorts and thongs (the flip-flops variety). This, about Australia, I dearly love… and something you won’t find anywhere else. Apart from gourmet eateries and designer boutiques, Noosa is also a great base for some organised trips to nearby areas. We took a cruise to the Great Sandy National Park and sailed the whole length of the Noosa River past some spectacular lakes. The knowledgeable guides make for an informative experience. You have the option to do either a half day or full day tour and they can be booked through the many agencies in town. I’d highly recommend taking the full day option, which includes a barbecue lunch. No need to be rushing when exploring paradise. Noosa is also a fantastic spot for water-sport enthusiast. Surfing, snorkelling, diving and kayaking are endlessly available in every nook and cranny of the Sunshine Coast and Noosa is no exception. Have more time up your sleeve? Don’t forget to visit Fraser Island and its phenomenal wildlife! Single and multiple day-trips can be booked from Noosa and you have a choice of touring by bus or four-wheel drive.



Accommodation 4 Caloundr a Holiday Centre coastline is nothing if not magnificent and the area around Caloundra is especially so. Caloundra Holiday Centre has been assisting holidaymakers find their perfect getaway for over 25 years and has a large selection of holiday accommodation to choose from. Holiday apartments are available with one, two or three bedrooms, and contain all of the facilities that you would expect from any quality accommodation. All include a balcony where you can appreciate the beautiful views and relax with a glass or two of something chilled as the sun goes down, or take breakfast as the sun rises. Caloundra Holiday Centre wants you to experience the holiday of your dreams and the staff will do everything that they can to make this possible. Their standards of service are excellent and all staff, whilst friendly and accommodating, maintain an air of professionalism that gives you confidence in the quality of the experience they can provide. Everyone employed by Caloundra Holiday Centre has received excellent training and understands just what it takes to create the perfect holiday experience.

When you arrive at your chosen holiday home you will find an informative newsletter which offers up-to-date information about the area, providing details of entertainment and activities you may enjoy so you don’t need to miss a thing. How you enjoy your time in Caloundra is up to you, but you will certainly enjoy your time on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. 1/78 Bulcock Street, Caloundra QLD 4551

Ph: 07 5491 5444

Gemini Resort Caloundr a Gemini Resort has the envious location of being completely on the beachfront. There are no roads to cross and no short walks to reach the golden sands; you simply open the door and walk onto the beach and down to the water’s edge. It is perhaps this fabulous feature that makes the resort popular with families who are looking for the perfect tropical getaway with peace, relaxation and everything you need right on your doorstep. Gemini Resort is also a very popular wedding and honeymoon destination mainly due to its fabulous location and ambience. All the apartments at Gemini Resort are self-contained and have between one and three bedrooms. They offer stunning views over the ocean and the surrounding area, and are furnished to provide guests with the utmost comfort during their stay. The resort has a heated swimming pool in the style of a tropical lagoon as well as excellent sauna and spa facilities. A floodlit tennis court is available for those looking to enjoy a game or two with equipment available in the resort for hire. Kayaks are available for hire and give visitors the chance to take themselves over to Bribie Island before paddling back to relax on the beach. Bicycles are also available for hire within the resort and there are a number of different cycle tracks to follow that will take you around the beach and resort area.

49 Landsborough Parade, Golden Beach, Caloundra QLD 4551

Ph: 07 5492 2200

The Playground

Southern Sunshine Coast Meridian Apartments The Meridian Apartments are nestled along the Alexandra Headland, only an hour away from Brisbane and within easy walking distance of all of the headland’s attractions and amenities. Offering exceptional views of the beach and the ocean, these incredible apartments are set in the very heart of the Sunshine Coast. Relaxing ocean views and private balconies offer the perfect place to unwind and absorb the sun whilst you listen to the sound of the surf rolling onto the beach. The soothing heated pool and spa facilities will work to unwind every one of your aching muscles. Those with a sense of adventure and boundless energy will enjoy shooting hoops at the half basketball court, the range of water sports available just a stone’s throw away and all of the clubs, bars and eating establishments of the headland. There is more than enough to keep you entertained all day, every day.

The accommodation is all fully self-contained and offers the choice of one-, two- or three-bedroom apartments, along with penthouse and sub-penthouse apartments which have exclusive access to a beautiful roof-top terrace area perfect for a special celebration. All of the apartment balconies face out over the beach with some of the apartments having a second balcony at the rear that offers views out over beautiful parklands, the lake and the children’s play areas. Each of the Meridian Apartments is stylish and contemporary, which makes them feel light and airy throughout. Corner Burgess and Albert Street, Caloundra QLD 4551

Ph: 07 5491 0600

Windward Passage Apartments Imagine your perfect beachfront location, all that lies between you and the warm sands on the beach are beautifully landscaped gardens which are soft underfoot. Where the gardens end, the beach begins, and so does your day of relaxation and enjoyment. That is just what you get when you book a break at the Windward Passage Apartments on the Sunshine Coast. All of the apartments have spacious balconies which offer incredible views of the coastline and Bribie Island, as well as the beautiful landscape of Caloundra. You can choose from apartments, suites and even a penthouse to fulfil your accommodation needs. There are also spa facilities and air-conditioning; with the added convenience of a heated pool should you prefer it to the beach. The apartment kitchens are fully equipped with state-of-the-art appliances to ensure that you have everything you need for the perfect holiday. For those with special needs, Windward also has specially designed apartments for guests with disabilities; nothing here has been overlooked. If you are into water sports, then the beachfront location of these incredible apartments will be just what you need for ease of access to the water. Wind surfing, snorkelling, diving and fishing are all available right on your doorstep. The waters here are safe and clean and the beach is sheltered from the elements by an incredible pumice stone passageway which makes it excellent for families with young children. 31 Landsborough Parade, Golden Beach, Caloundra QLD 4551 Ph: 07 5492 3666

Sunshine Coast Hinterland

The soul of the Sunshine Coast

The Hinterland

Located on the Blackall Mountain Range, Montville is 400 metres above sea level and its greater area boasts a population of about 750 people. We really didn’t think there would be THAT much to see and do but, alas, we were wrong. Nearby hiking opportunities are priceless, as is the surprising amount of wineries, rustic B and Bs, restaurants, cafés, art galleries and antique stores. There’s even a cheese factory! Actually, to be honest, it seemed as though my S.O. and I were the only ones just learning about this place. Buses of day-trippers were coming in from all directions and the town obviously enjoys a very healthy tourist industry. I kind of felt like I’d been living under a rock…how did I not know about this place? The Main Street looked like something out of a 1960s movie and the country feel is very much alive in the local cuisine, pubs and souvenirs available. Montville was by far the biggest revelation of our entire trip. Mostly because we’d hardly heard of it! Whilst the coast met and exceeded all expectations, the hinterland was just an absolute treat and offered some delightful diversity. Lovers


of all thing fine (like arts, food and produce) will be well advised to plan a few days in Montville, you won’t regret it one bit. The town was first established in the late 1800s and many of the buildings here are original and heritage listed, at least the ones which survived the numerous bushfires of the 1920s. Montville Village Hall displays a great selection of photos depicting the history of the town and is a fascinating collection to view. The choice of accommodation is brilliant and there’s something here to suit all budgets. But Montville is only one of the many villages to visit in the hinterland. There are many picturesque country towns bursting in history and charm, and while they may seem a world away from the sun and the surf, they are in fact effortless day-trip destinations from the coast. Isn’t it about time you went on a road trip of your own? I can not promise yours will be as eventful as mine…but that may not necessarily be a bad thing. Plan your trip the Sunshine Coast today and come see for yourself why this rates as the best holiday address in Queensland.

The Hinterland’s other great secrets… Maleny and Hunchy


The village of Maleny is a secret gem perched high in the hinterland overlooking the Sunshine Coast. With breathtaking views to the Glasshouse Mountains, rolling green hills and spectacular forests, the town is a honey pot for artisans and is famous for its painters, potters, sculptors, musicians and writers. It also plays host to an array of markets, art exhibitions and special annual events such as the Maleny Wood Expo and Gardening on the Edge. If you plan to head to the region in April, be sure to check out “Footprints on Timeless Land” which exhibits from 14-29 April at Art on Carincross. Here you will be able to see the latest works from Sunshine Coast hinterland resident and artist Rex BackhausSmith. Or visit on 5-6 May for the expo which showcases the work of local wood artisans using beautiful native timbers. Watch them at work and take home one of their creations to treasure forever.


Below the ridge of the Blackall Range lies the community of Hunchy in a lush secluded valley. The first settlers ran cattle, planted bananas and small crops, and descendants of these settlers still live in this idyllic area. Now the community boasts two premier accommodation houses – Hunchy Hideaway and The Country House –at Hunchy in this hidden valley where the bird life, nature and the peace and quiet make this one of the Sunshine Coast’s best kept secrets. Close proximity to Montville and Flaxton with their cafes, shops and restaurants make this destination one of the best.


Montville Country Cabins The Montville Country Cabins offer everything you need to thoroughly enjoy your stay in the beautiful Sunshine Coast Hinterland. There are nine self-contained cottages and cabins to choose from, each of which offers guests incredible comfort and privacy. Nestled within 16 acres of beautiful grounds which include a lake, the cabins are surrounded by stunning national park. The cabins are ideal for couples looking for a romantic escape. Make the most of the natural environment or take a trip to the nearby town and indulge in a different kind of therapy. The location of these beautiful cabins means that all of the area’s attractions are in easy reach. The accommodation at Montville Country Cabins has won numerous awards and once you visit for yourself it will become clear why. Each cottage and cabin has a wood fire and a double spa bath, which are perfect for setting the romantic mood. Combine those with private balconies that offer views across the gardens and the picturesque landscape and you have the ideal combination for your perfect weekend. Breakfast hampers are included in all of the accommodation packages at Montville Country Cabins and dinner hampers of seafood or barbeque are available on request; all of the ingredients are provided for you to cook yourself in the cabin’s wellequipped kitchen and barbecue areas. Enjoy a candlelit dinner before retiring to the spa then curl up together in front of a crackling log fire. 396 Western Avenue, Montville QLD 4560

Ph: 07 5442 9484

Montville Lake Terr ace When the time comes to ‘get away from it all’ and you need somewhere to retreat to, make sure to pay a visit to Montville Lake Terrace. This is a stunning property that can accommodate between two and 10 people so whether you feel in need of a luxury break as a couple, with family or with a few close friends, this beautiful house gives you the space and the privacy that you not only need, but deserve. The house is nestled deep within nine acres of private land and offers views over an amazing landscape. This is a heritage building with interior décor that is very clean, light and professionally styled. The ground floor has a king bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe and en suite facility and makes an idyllic honeymoon suite. With double doors that open out onto its own patio area, it makes the perfect place to enjoy your morning coffee. The décor throughout the house follows the same light theme which adds to the overall elegance of this wonderful holiday home. A beautiful country style kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances has everything you need to cater for you and your guests, right down to the French style fridge and espresso machine. The dining room offers spectacular views from its wrap-around windows, bringing a sense of togetherness at meal times. On this floor there are two queen-sized bedrooms with views over the large manicured lawn. 226 Western Avenue, Montville QLD 4560


Ph: 07 5478 5298

The Soul

Sunshine Coast Hinterland The Old Dairy at Arley Farm If you are looking for holiday accommodation with a difference, plus a location that will delight the children, then you should book a stay at The Old Dairy on Arley Farm. It is, exactly as its name suggests, an old dairy on a full working farm. The property has been delightfully renovated and adapted to meet the standards required of residential accommodation, yet remains very much a part of this 160 acre cattle farm. No matter whether you are in search of a true taste of life in the country or an idyllic rural retreat, you fill find it here. The property is spacious enough for families and offers unique accommodation close to Maleny in the heart of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The Old Dairy has two well-proportioned bedrooms with queen-sized beds, a spacious lounge and a dining area. It comes complete with a cosy log fire and the property is equipped with a TV and DVDs for cosy evenings beside the fire. With so many families now living in large towns and cities, often the only animals that children come into contact with are the family pets, which is why somewhere like The Old Dairy and its farm are important. Children can learn about the farm and why the animals are important, and gain hands-on experience with them in their natural environment. There is always something exciting about collecting the eggs from the free-range hens.

150 Kings Lane, Maleny QLD 4552

Ph: 07 5435 2397

Top of the Hill Top of the Hill is a unique accommodation complex that also caters for functions in its wonderful landscaped grounds. It is situated only a short distance from the picturesque villages of Montville and Maleny and all of their excellent facilities. There are a total of six well proportioned, luxurious and private cabins that make up the accommodation at the complex. All cabins are air-conditioned and have their own private decking areas and each is equipped with a double spa bath from which you can relax and take in the spectacular views from the cabin. Bathrobes are provided for the duration of your stay and are perfect for snuggling in together after your spa bathing experience. The accommodation at Top of the Hill also contains all of the other extras that you would expect from such a well-presented establishment. Dinner served at Top of the Hill is generally Mediterranean cuisine and can be served either in the main building or if the weather allows, alfresco on a canopied and decked area that overlooks the stunning valley below. There is also an outdoor dining area complete with kitchen. No matter what you find to fill your time here, you will always be surrounded by some of the most fabulous scenery that Australia has to offer. Majestic mountains and lush rainforest canopies make this a stunning part of the world to visit. Hovard Road, Maleny QLD 4552

Ph: 07 5494 3680


The Country House at Hunchy If you are looking for the perfect holiday escape, then look no further than The Country House at Hunchy. The setting of this fabulous house is perfect for a romantic getaway. Nestled in the stunning Hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, only 5 km from Montville, it is close enough to all of the village amenities, yet far enough away to remain secluded. If relaxation is the only thing on your mind during your stay here, take advantage of the opportunity to have some massage therapy in the privacy of your own suite, or arrange for a beauty treatment at one of the high quality village salons. It’s your holiday and staff at The Country House aim to make it perfect in every way. The Country House offers luxury and privacy to its guests. With views of Blackall Range and the coast, the house is located amongst some of the best scenery to be found in the Hinterland. Everything about the accommodation here is designed to promote peace and tranquillity. All of the suites are air-conditioned and offer either king-sized or twin beds. Guests can indulge in a spa bath and relax in the soft robes that are provided for the duration of their stay. Enjoy a drink on the verandah as the sun goes down or take a dip in the cool swimming pool, everything here is geared towards relaxation so make the most of it. 813 Hunchy Road, Hunchy Qld 4555

Ph: 07 5442 9249

Hunchy Hideaway A private cottage hideaway in a secluded location makes for the ultimate romantic getaway, perfect for popping the question or celebrating an anniversary. That is just what the Hunchy Hideaway offers its guests. Situated high in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and surrounded by rainforest, it offers a spectacular destination for those seeking something that little bit special. Hunchy Hideaway has its own lovely waterfall which can be accessed by a short walk down the hill. Cool your feet in the pools below the waterfall or just sit and listen to the water in this romantic setting. Kondalilla and Mapleton Falls, which offer spectacular waterfall experiences, are also nearby. Accommodation here takes the form of stunning cottages, each of which has been especially designed to offer privacy and intimacy for its guests. Whichever cottage you choose for your romantic getaway, you will find a romantic log fire, a double spa bath and a private verandah with a barbeque; perfect for romantic outdoor dining.. The way that the cottages have been designed and positioned can make you feel like you are the only people in the entire rainforest. The beautiful Gum Nut Cottage and Rainforest Villas are at the side of the valley and are completely surrounded by spectacular rainforest. Fig Tree Cottage has a unique large open brick fireplace; the decking overlooks a tranquil fish pond for relaxing evenings outside. 609 Hunchy Road, Montville QLD 4560

Ph: 07 5478 5470


The Soul

Sunshine Coast Hinterland Lillypilly’s Country Cottages Take a visit to the area between Montville and Maleny and you will come across the fabulous accommodation that is Lillypilly’s Country Cottages. Offering stunning views of the beautiful valley landscape and surrounded by gardens and trees, the cottages offer a level of intimacy and seclusion perfect for the most romantic of weekend getaways. Anyone who has been to Lillypilly’s will tell you that the service provided by the owners is far more than just friendly and helpful. Both Adele and Josef are well known for going out of their way to ensure that each guest has the most enjoyable stay possible. Guests are welcomed in their cottages with a selection of local fruits and cheeses as well as the most fabulous homemade scones and biscuits. The cottages are all air-conditioned and are maintained to a very high standard with a lovely country décor. In-house massage therapy is available to assist in removing those last elements of stress and strain, and combined with the double spa baths in each cottage, you are left with nothing else to do but relax. Fresh local produce is used to create an array of stunning dishes that are served to you in your cottage, by the chef himself. What could be more romantic that a freshly prepared, gourmet candlelit dinner for two overlooking the valley as the sun sets? After dinner, the log fire will provide the perfect ambience for the rest of your evening. 584 Maleny-Montville Road, Maleny QLD 4552

Ph: 07 5494 3002

Maleny Tropical Retreat A relaxing spa, a crackling fire and a glass of something chilled; does this sound like a little piece of heaven to you? This is just what you can enjoy at the beautiful and peaceful Maleny Tropical Retreat. With only three fabulous guest rooms in this amazing bed and breakfast facility, the Maleny Tropical Retreat offers exclusive accommodation to a select few. Views of pasture and tropical rainforest await you here, along with a beautiful private creek you can paddle along and a private decking area to view the outstanding natural beauty of the area. Maleny Tropical Retreat is located 5 km from the lovely, picturesque village of Montville and 9 km from Maleny in the Sunshine Coast’s fabulous Hinterland. The guest rooms here are designed around a traditional Balinese theme which is aimed at promoting tranquillity and harmony at all times. As you enjoy your private spa, you will be able to look out over Lake Baroon and be able to listen to the sounds of Obi Obi Creek as its winds its way through the pastures below. The guest rooms all have very comfortable queen beds and excellent en suite facilities. A large corner spa is just made for relaxing and the wood fire is perfect for cuddling up in front of with the one you love. All guest accommodation has air-conditioning and every other facility you would expect from a top quality residence.

540 Maleny Montville Road, Maleny QLD 4552

Ph: 07 5435 2113



Sunshine Coast

Ik atan Spa Noosa For the ultimate in pampering treatments and total relaxation, Ikatan Spa in Noosa offers all of the luxury of a traditional Balinese day spa. They must be doing something right as the spa has been nominated in the top five ‘Best Destination Spa’ in Australia a total of four times. Everything is focussed on celebrating the natural environment and relaxing in the beauty that surrounds you here in this little piece of paradise. Ikatan Spa has been designed to resemble a traditional Balinese village concept where the treatment rooms are individual villas set in the beautiful gardens. Guests have a choice of double or single treatment rooms, all of which are private air-conditioned and have their own shower facilities. Indulge in any number of massages, body treatments and luxurious skin treatments to make you feel and look fabulous. Then treat the inside of your body to some excellent food which is provided by Rolling Dolmade Catering, available when booked prior to arrival so that a private area is reserved for you in to enjoy your food with complimentary herbal tea or champagne surrounded by the magical tropical gardens that envelop the entire spa.

46 Grays Road, Doonan, Noosa QLD 4562

Ph: 07 5471 1199

Tropicsurf - the pioneers of luxury surfing Though it might sound an odd turn of phrase for the uninitiated, ‘luxury surfing’ is about attitude and style. It involves fivestar accommodation and luxury transfers that take you to the best surf beaches where you can have the experience of a lifetime. Singles, couples and families can all be included in the luxury surfing philosophy and it’s guaranteed that this will be a holiday experience unlike any other. The guides at Tropicsurf are experts in choosing the right location at the right time, so that the amount of time spent surfing in the water can be maximised. The Tropicsurf philosophy is that everyone needs to step outside of their comfort zones now and again to rediscover just who they are and what they can achieve. Throughout the journey you will be placed amongst waves that suit your skill-set and encouraged to transform your skills into something amazing. All of this is backed up with five-star luxury and accommodation. It’s not always easy to come up with a holiday option that can include all members of the family in the same activity; that’s one of the things that makes a break with Tropicsurf so special. Surfing is an activity everyone can enjoy. It doesn’t matter if dad is an experienced surfer, the kids have only ever body boarded or that mum has never surfed. By the time you have finished your week-long journey with Tropicsurf, everyone will have learnt a new skill.

Ph: 0414-369-076

Tahiti –pearl the

of the

South Pacific By Laur a Pattar a

Best known for overwater bungalows, crystal-clear blue lagoons and volcanic vistas, Tahiti is paradise on earth in the heart of the South Pacific. From heavenly beaches with champagne-coloured sand and fragrant tropical flowers to iridescent lagoons fringed with soothing palm trees, it’s no wonder Tahiti and her islands offer some of the most coveted holidaying in the world. A beguiling blend of Tahitian and French culture exists right across the country’s 118 islands and atolls. As well as offering its own distinct personality and breathtaking backdrop, each island is home to an intricate natural tapestry: lush gardens fuse with dazzling lagoons that are home to vibrant underwater worlds teeming with marine life and rhythmical reefs that rise and fall to a natural, island beat. The crew of the HMS Bounty mutinied to remain on Tahiti’s sandy shores, artist Paul Gauguin abandoned his family to paint paradise there and actor Marlon Brando was so entranced by Tahiti’s beauty and mystery that he bought his own private French Polynesian island.


Maeva Bienvenue Welcome

Ia Orana and welcome to Air Tahiti Nui, the International Airline of Tahiti and Her Islands Step aboard Air Tahiti Nui’s modern wide-body aircraft, and you enter into the world of Tahiti, rich in colour, culture and beauty. Our award winning crew are dedicated to sharing with you the warmth and hospitality of our beautiful islands. From the welcoming Tiare ower presented upon boarding, to the delicious blend of Polynesian, French and International cuisine we serve. The spacious, bright and airy cabins of our Airbus A340-300 eet are a haven for rest and relaxation. Personal entertainment screens are featured in every seat, and complimentary French wines are served throughout.



Los Angeles

Tahiti Sydney


Air Tahiti Nui - where the journey begins

Tahiti’s charm lies not only in its unrivalled beauty, but also its versatility. Visitors can swim in a turquoise wonderland, whale watch in rarelyvisited waters, quad bike along forested ridgelines, cruise on luxury yachts, indulge in a spa, taste wine from a tropical vineyard, shop for a Tahitian pearl, surf one of the world’s best-known breaks or do absolutely nothing. Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of islands in French Polynesia. It reaches across an immense stretch of the South Pacific Ocean so vast that if the French territory was superimposed with a map of Europe, it would reach from Russia to the United Kingdom. Nudged up against the Tropic of Capricorn, Tahiti enjoys a year-round tropical climate that entices visitors from every corner of the world. For Australians, paradise is only a sevenhour flight away. Among the more famed islands Moorea and Bora Bora, visitors will find a truly magical, tropical destination. Nowhere in the world are the colors more vibrant, the waters warmer and the people friendlier. Even a mere mention of Tahiti and her islands conjures images of breathtaking blue lagoons, vibrant tropical flowers and graceful palm trees.

Meet the locals

The warmth of the people is second to none. French Polynesians are proud of their islands and eager to share their slice of paradise with all who visit. Expect to be greeted with a smile, a lei, a warm ‘Ia orana’ (Tahitian for hello) and maybe even a song and dance. Tahiti combines two very different but complimentary cultures. While it is famous for its distinctive Polynesian culture, it is also very French. Residents speak French and Tahitian, serve French cuisine along with Polynesian specialties, and resorts incorporate European refinements with laid-back South Pacific style. This intriguing mixture of tropical island culture and French sophistication comes together to form the ideal holiday destination.


Taste the treats

Tahitian food is really a wonderful mixture of cuisines gathered from the many races which have come together over the centuries. Despite being half a world away, some parts of Papeete seem like a distant suburb of Paris. As in France, it is easy to find creperies, boulangeries, sandwich shops and pizza places, while local supermarkets stock pâté, baguettes, cheeses and plenty of French wine. Asian influences include the Chinese – who were amongst the earliest settlers – while close links to Hawaii have produced plenty of Japanese sushi bars and restaurants. Papeete is home to the biggest concentration of restaurants including stylish lagoon-side dining at Pink Coconut and fine French cuisine at Le Cocos. But for the budget conscious, there are also inexpensive ways of sampling local specialties at Les Roulottes, a collection of port-side food trucks that serve everything from hearty meals of steak and chips to crepes and pizza. Polynesia’s rich volcanic soil means just about anything grows. There are 300 different types of bananas alone, as well as avocados, coconuts, papaya, breadfruit, taro and acidic Tahitian limes which are crucial to Tahiti’s classic dish poisson cru. Basically a salad of fresh, raw tuna chunks, tomato, cucumber, coconut milk and lime juice, Tahiti’s trademark dish is healthy and simple. The best place to see all the fresh produce is at the Papeete markets where gleaming banks of fish are on sale beside crabs and local lobsters, piles of copper-red bananas, prickly pineapples and the mainstay of Polynesian meals – starchy sweet potatoes, cassava, taro root and breadfruit. The large tin building also houses stalls selling an endless selection of souvenirs including colourful pareos, shell jewellery, hand-woven handbags, coconut and vanilla-scented treats and toiletries, and tiare – traditional flowers worn in the hair. The market comes to life on Sundays as locals stock up for weekly family feasts.



Escape Escape

Suite by Renae Pocklington

Blessed with natural beauty, all day sun, charm and sophistication, Tahiti oozes appeal. She encapsulates everything that is wonderful about the Pacific Islands and so much more. She has the laid-back attitude of a Pacific island, yet boasts a bustling city full of numerous eateries, shops, galleries and a large market selling everyday food supplies, arts and crafts. Not forgetting the night-life, which can only be described as incredibly entertaining. Tahitians love to dance and they have a particular two step style which is a mix between a waltz and a lambada, you’ll be spellbound for sure!

The city of Papeete has come a long way over the years. The once dusty port has been transformed to a beautiful city with boardwalks and park areas making it a delight to wander through the streets. Cafes overflow onto the pavements, lanterns line the streets and boats are anchored to the waterfront, giving it that European feel that is part of Tahiti’s DNA.

Tahiti is a natural island with magnificent mountains, imposing yet accessible waterfalls, parks and gardens. A short drive out of the city will find you in the heart of small villages scattered around the island, she is the cradle of cultural heritage, at the heart of the Polynesian triangle; she offers religious sites alive with bewitching ancient tales and interesting museums. Of all of her 118 islands, the island of Tahiti offers the largest range of land and water activities, so for those interested in more than just the sun and sea escape, the island of Tahiti has much to offer and can be a great base for also visiting the island of Moorea, just a short 30 minute ferry ride away. Where better to stay than at the perfectly located Radisson Plaza Resort, Tahiti. The 128-room resort is situated in historical Matavai Bay, overlooking Lafayette Beach, only 12 km or 20 minutes from the airport and 7 km from downtown Papeete. Keep an eye out for the graceful dolphins and majestic whales frequently seen playing in the waters of this bay. Every spacious room, suite and apartment enjoys ocean views and boasts a tasteful mix of contemporary style and Polynesian influence. The hotel offers facilities you would expect, such as an infinity swimming pool, an on-site spa, gym, business centre, restaurants, bars, boutiques, conference facilities, activities and entertainment. There are many free inclusions which add value to your stay, including free Internet, free hammam and sauna, free daily shuttles to

town, free aqua-gym, free yoga, free daily cultural activities and guess what…a free kids club too!

Their French chef Stéphane offers a delightful and varied cuisine so you can experience the local tropical specialties, as well as classic French gourmet gastronomy cooking, inventive cuisine of mixed origins and, of course, the classic international favourites. Or visit the local supermarket and create your own masterpiece if you are self-catering in one of their apartments. The choice is yours!

If romance is on the cards, sip champagne in your starlit jacuzzi, enjoy a walk on the beach, and relax at the sound of waves against the backdrop of an unforgettable sunset. This is truly an ideal retreat for a romantic escape.

For a journey to complete relaxation, a visit to their award winning ‘Le Spa’ is a must. Indulge in a selection of exclusive spa treatments offered by experienced therapists. Tahitian traditional massages, exfoliation using black sand from their beach, fresh papaya wraps, flower baths with coconut milk – prepare to be pampered. What are you waiting for? Tahiti Travel Connections are offering a fabulous deal for seven nights from $2,750pp, twin share ex Sydney or Melbourne. It includes airfares, accommodation at the Radisson Plaza Resort, Tahiti for seven nights in a onebedroom Ocean View Suite, free buffet breakfast daily, complimentary two-course lunch or dinner, a full day city and island tour and a complimentary Le Spa credit. For further information check out this link: tahiti/radisson-plaza-resort-tahiti/lafayette-laze/

Tahiti It seems appropriate that one of the archipelagos is called the Society Islands, because Polynesians just might be the most sociable people on the planet. They love any excuse for a big meal and the ahima’a – Tahitian oven – is one helluva way to enjoy Sunday lunch. On Bora Bora, a seafood restaurant called Bloody Mary’s has become as famous as the island’s picture-perfect blue lagoon. Established in 1976 by Polish immigrant Baron George Van Dangle, the huge thatched hut with its sand floor and coconut-stump stools provides appetisers and mains of freshly caught fish described to diners in several different languages. An impressive roster of celebrities, immortalised on two boards at the entrance, have helped make Bloody Mary’s an integral part of the Bora Bora experience. On lush and beautiful Moorea, just half an hour by ferry from Tahiti, a road that hugs the coast is flanked by resorts, hotels and tiny communities offering everything you need. Some

restaurants are set in truly stunning locations, where visitors can dine while soaking up million-dollar views. French Polynesia is also home to a rare tropical vineyard. To unlock the secret of island viticulture, visitors head to Rangiroa to learn about the wine-making process and taste the crisp vin de Tahiti. Good restaurants have extensive wine lists with vintages as diverse as Italian and Chilean, while red wines are often served cold. Hinano, named after an indigenous flower, is the refreshing local beer.

Explore the Islands

The five archipelagos that make up French Polynesia are picture-postcard beautiful. Home to the main island of Tahiti and the ultimate honeymoon destinations of Bora Bora and Moorea, the Society Islands are the best known of the five

groups. The 15 main islands of the archipelago offer jagged volcanic peaks, electric blue lagoons and a mixture of familyrun hotels and luxurious accommodation. Tahiti Nui is the largest island in French Polynesia and home to the capital Papeete, the entry point for international visitors. An exterior fringed with hotels, museums and the endless lapping of the South Pacific, in her heart, natural beauty thrives. Fast-flowing streams meet steep-sided valleys and blast into waterfalls that plunge hundreds of metres down vast mountain sides. Soaring volcanic peaks soar into the tropical sky high above lush rainforests of ancient trees that hold centuries of secrets and history in their mossy bark. Taking a day trip is the best way to see the natural wonders of Tahiti. In scenic Papenoo Valley, Tahiti’s largest; a dramatic bridge spans the island’s longest river. Faatautia Valley is so lovely and unspoilt that it has been served as a dramatic backdrop in many feature films. At the Arahoho Blowholes

along the coast, powerful ocean waves dash against the jagged coast, bursting out like geysers. On Tahiti’s south coast, the Maraa Grotto, situated below a dramatic cliff, offers another outstanding view. At the base of the mountains are the lava tubes of Hitiaa, where visitors wade and swim through a maze of lava tubes filled with grottoes, waterfalls, streams and caves. Just off Tahiti’s west coast is Moorea, a breathtakingly beautiful island capped by lush green mountain peaks surrounded by magnificent lagoons. Less developed than Tahiti, Moorea is ideal for visitors wanting to capture the essential charm of Tahiti and her islands, and no visit to Moorea is complete without making the climb to Belvedere Point in the centre of the island. The spectacular view to the north includes Moorea’s two bays – Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay – separated by towering Mount Rotui.



Author James Michener proclaimed Bora Bora the most beautiful place in the world. Who could disagree? The mountains rise up more steeply than elsewhere, providing an imposing backdrop to the dense growth of brilliantly coloured flowers, bushes, and palm trees encircling its perimeter. Several hotels make the most of the clear turquoise waters with dozens of overwater bungalows jutting out into the lagoon. While Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora are the most popular destinations for honeymooners, the other Society Islands, including Raiatea, Taha’a, Huahine, and Rangiroa also offer visitors beauty, adventure, and romance. Smaller and lessdeveloped, they provide an even greater chance to sample paradise while enjoying the comforts of modern resorts. Jet skis offer a fun way to skirt around the lush island of Huahine, Raiatea is home to Tahiti’s cradle of culture, the seductive scent of vanilla fills the air on Taha’a, and Rangiroa’s giant atoll offers some of the best diving in the world. In addition to being treated to an unparalleled view of the green mountains jutting up beyond the coast, riders can enjoy the exhilaration that comes from skimming across the glassy surface of the ocean. Dolphins, whales, sharks and stingrays

frequent the pristine waters around Tahiti and her islands and there are ample opportunities to have a close and personal marine encounter. The coral reef that encircles each island holds back the waves of the Pacific, creating the beautiful lagoons that make diving into the water an irresistible pleasure. Visitors can spend endless hours snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, canoeing, waterskiing, jetskiing, parasailing, fishing, and of course, swimming. Colorful parrot fish, Picasso trigger fish, zebra unicorn fish, butterfly fish, wrasse, puffer fish, Javanese moray eels, trumpet fish, tang, snapper, goatfish, grouper, and longhorned cow fish can entertain for hours. The stunning atoll of Fakarava recently achieved UNESCO heritage status to ensure the intricate coral gardens remain untouched and undamaged for incredible underwater viewing. The only thing better than gazing at the seemingly endless blue lagoons is getting out on them. A popular aqua adventure includes travelling to a small island – a motu – by outrigger canoe, kayak or under sail. Tour operators prepare tropical fruits on the seemingly secluded islands offering visitors a real Robinson Crusoe experience.

Harvey World Tr avel –

Exclusive Tahiti Tr avel Agent Is there is any other destination on the planet that exudes all of the charm, beauty and luxury that Tahiti offers? Stunning tropical islands filled with hidden coves and secluded lagoons; each containing a little bit of paradise, and all of them just waiting for you to arrive and discover them for yourself. One of the best and most luxurious ways to explore this tropical haven is on a fabulously decadent and wonderfully luxurious cruising holiday. What could be better than sitting on the deck, watching the sun set behind one tropical isle as you begin the journey to another, sipping champagne whilst travelling (in the most relaxing way possible) between islands? With excellent food, fine wines and colourful entertainment, you will be travelling on a very exclusive, luxury floating hotel.

The Travel professionals Strongly committed to providing high-quality service and impeccable professional standards, the staff at Harvey World Travel, Chatswood are confident that they can secure for their clients the best possible deals on all aspect of Tahiti travel, from transportation to luxury accommodation. All members of staff at Harvey World Travel are only a phone call away and would be happy to give you any advice you need surrounding booking your perfect Tahitian holiday experience. As a member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents and a licensed and bonded member of the Travel Compensation Fund, your booking comes with an unshakable guarantee.

TahiTi cruise holidays Cruise around Tahiti and the Society Islands in total luxury. By choosing to book with an exclusive Tahiti travel agent you can be sure that everything has been taken care of before you arrive. Start your trip by flying into Papeete for a luxury threenight stay before embarking on a seven-night cruise around the islands. Whilst in Papeete you will be staying in a luxurious hotel with fabulous ocean views. As you cruise you will be able to experience exclusive access to a private beach with clean white sands and crystal waters where you can swim, snorkel or soak up the wonderful ambience of Bora Bora. Spend the following day on the exclusive private islet of Motu Mahana, where there are a variety of water sports available for you to try. A bar and excellent barbecue will also be provided and you can experience Polynesian hospitality at its best. Your cruise around these idyllic isles will leave you feeling totally relaxed and in awe of the stunning beauty of this fabulous part of the earth, with a deep longing to return again. harvey World Travel chatswood ph: 02-9415-2144

Tahiti from $2,749pp*

Return Flights from Sydney with Air Tahiti Nui 2 Nights at the Intercontinental Tahiti (Twin share) 5 Nights at the Intercontinental Resort and Spa Moorea (Twin share) Meet and Greet Transfers + Ferry Transfers Breakfast Daily Guided Tour of Moorea / 90 Minute Catamaran Sunset Cruise

Harvey World Travel Chatswood (02) 9415 2144

*Conditions Apply


Where to stay?

Accommodation ranges from guesthouses, family hotels, backpackers and even camp sites to five-star luxury spa resorts and overwater bungalows – a French Polynesian trademark. After a long day in the sun, returning to one of the latter is the best way to unwind. The romance island Bora Bora is best known for its overwater bungalows where couples can wake to the sound of tiny waves gently lapping below before diving into the turquoise lagoon lit up by the sun’s first rays. Glass coffee tables offer a window into the sea and its inhabitants below. Honeymooners can even ask for breakfast to arrive by boat. Apart from its serene South Seas appeal, Tahiti and her


islands are perhaps most famous for their black pearls. Pearl farms are dotted across a range of lagoons, using a complex process to produce the coveted gem. With surgical precision, each oyster is opened just wide enough to insert a little round nucleus made from shell. A tiny piece of oyster meat, chosen for its colour, is also inserted. Over the next two years the mother will coat this foreign body with several layers of nacre which becomes the pearl that will range in colour from the darkest black to shimmering shades of blue, green, bronze and pink. Prices vary wildly depending on quality, colour and size. Whether lured by the mystery and intrigue of a Tahitian pearl, the warm island culture, exotic fusion of foods or the desire for love and luxury, French Polynesia provides unmatchable relaxation and romance.

Sunsail, offers a perfect avenue for those wishing to sail the seas of the South Pacific and experience the charm and tranquillity of island life. The magnificent sailing grounds of the South Pacific hold exhilarating adventures at every turn and are the perfect choice for anyone looking for an indulgent cruise through paradise. Imagine sailing through Tahiti or Tonga, both locations that perfectly encompass the exotic and idyllic life typical of Polynesian Culture. Sunsail have established bases in the region and state of the art yachts and catamarans, making it easy for you to charter a vessel either bareboat or with a skipper and create your own private cruise to sail where you want at your own pace, discovering the magic of the South Pacific. Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, the stunningly exotic islands of

French Polynesia offer dramatic volcanic coastlines rich with lush tropical slopes of scented vanilla and hibiscus; spectacular turquoise lagoon-waters and colourful coral reefs ready for exploration and discovery. From picturesque Tahaa to romantic Bora Bora, the natural beauty of these islands will truly make a charter in these tropical waters the trip of a lifetime. The Kingdom of Tonga, made up from an archipelago of exotic and unspoilt islands, provides the perfect sailing destination for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With easy line-of-sight cruising from one spectacular palm fringed island to another, brightly coloured coral reefs teaming with tropical fish and marine life

and the chance to swim with one of nature’s most magical creatures, the Humpback Whale; make it easy to see why this area of outstanding natural beauty will inspire such fond memories. Sunsail offers something for everyone; from seasoned sailors to those with no sailing experience whatsoever. Whether you want to start learning the ropes, relax on deck, meet like-minded people, set sail on a yacht charter or enjoy a sailing adventure with your own skipper at the helm; we can help you find what you’re looking for. For more information call 1800 803 988 or visit

Let Us Be Your New Year’s Resolution

What We Do! Yacht Charters Flotilla Holidays Beach Clubs Sailing Schools Skippered Charters Sunsail Racing Corporate Events

70% Water 100% Fun!

Start your year afresh and on the right foot – travel on a Sunsail holiday on either a bareboat or skippered charter, on a fleet of over 800 monohulls and catamarans. You can visit 30 amazing destinations including the Whitsundays, Tahiti, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and many more! It’s the New Year’s resolution that’s easy to keep - the perfect chance to spend time with family & friends, release the stress from work and just enjoy life!

Where You Can Do It! The Whitsundays Asia Pacific Mediterranean Caribbean

CALL 1800 803 988 EMAIL OR VISIT

Robinson’s Cove Looking for a secret cove? Robinson’s Cove is located along a small private beach in the heart of the stunning island of Moorea, only 30 minutes from Tahiti by ferry. Robinson’s Cove Beach Villas are located in an exceptional site, right by the lagoon in Opunohu Bay, surrounded by the magnificent mountains of Moorea. The breathtaking surroundings make it a popular choice with the movie industry and historical films are regularly shot in the cove (namely the 1984 Bounty which featured Mel Gibson). Robinson’s Cove offers complete tranquillity and an excellent shelter for private yachts anchoring by, as it did for Captain James Cook who was the first to moor there in 1777; nothing has changed since that time! Several beach villas, fully equipped for self-catering, rest by the water which will literally lap at your feet. The exclusive wooden villas are suitable for honeymooners, families with children, or groups of friends looking for an unforgettable experience. Each beach villas will delight with its sophisticated design and amenities. Sliding doors open onto a large deck which surrounds the villa and shelters a dinner area and an external living room facing the beach. There is enough room to house between two to eight people, depending on the villa you choose. The main villa includes two double bedrooms with airconditioning, including one large bedroom opening directly

on the beach, two bathrooms with spacious showers, a large lounge, fully-equipped kitchen and office, and a mezzanine level with one double bed and two single beds. A property manager will help you organise leisure activities during your stay, whether you choose to fill your time with activities and adventure, or with simply lazing in the sun. Free activities include fins and masks for snorkelling, as well as kayaks, perfect for paddling around the lagoon. Further activities that can be arranged through the villa’s partners include diving, lagoon excursions, sunset cruises, boat rental, horse riding, fourwheel drive excursions, quad bikes, etc. For further details see, the lodging reservation centre for Tahiti, Moorea, Bora-Bora and surroundings islands. Lowest rates directly from hotels and guest houses owners. CDFV - Robinson Cove Villas BP 4118 VAIARE 98728 Moorea French Polynesia Ph: Moorea: (+689)-799-538

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Cruising Words and pictures by John Pond

CATEGORIES OF CRUISE SHIPS Cruising comes in many forms, sizes, shapes and price ranges. It is often difficult for firsttime cruisers to comprehend the many differences and categories available to select from. Broadly, let us categorise them under the following headings: luxury, premium, mid-range, adventure/small ship and river cruising To complicate matters further, one could say Discovery and Expedition fall in several categories such as four and five star. There are also other alternatives such as cargo ships that carry a small number of passengers. Universally, the five-star rating is as high as one can get; although some ships rate themselves at six stars. Let’s try to describe some of them. I recently sailed on a “so called” five-star yacht (I would call it a small cruise ship) which although offering many little luxuries such as copious amounts of champagne and caviar, in my opinion this “yacht” should not rate higher than four stars due to a lack of balconies, limited dining facilities and little entertainment. The rating system is still very personal and depends on the tastes of the reviewers giving out the ratings. I, for one, am not a drinker and dislike caviar, so these “little luxuries” do not rate high on my star scale. A free ice cream bar may score higher on my list! What I am trying to say is don’t let the star rating affect your final choice. A ship which uses the terminology yacht, that is often applied to small luxury vessels, usually with around 100 passengers, may be rated five stars but if I were to rate this vessel, it may only receive four stars. It is so much a matter of personal opinion. Ships such as the “Queens” e.g. Queen Mary and all the Cunard fleet are rated five stars. They have many more formal

Cruising evenings during which their guests, mainly in the 55 and over bracket, love to dress up. Conversely, many five star ships such as the Silversea Line place more emphasis on elegant casual, or as the American’s like to say, “country club casual”. They have occasional formal evenings during a voyage. One may avoid these evenings by dining in the alternate restaurants or buffet, or if feeling anti-social, by dining in one’s stateroom. Bigger ships have a greater choice of alternate dining rooms but often these ships may only be rated four stars, when in fact they offer some superb dining options that are often better than food found on five-star ships. These options are often charged for, with the usual optional extra dining charge around $30 to $50 per person. The food found in the main dining rooms of four and five star ships is excellent and there is no additional cost for dining there. Many passengers shun the optional extra charge dining venues, but I find it is a nice experience to occasionally dine in these more intimate venues, especially on longer cruises. As a rule of thumb; the bigger the ship, the greater the entertainment options. Medium to large ships, apart from offering two shows a night in the main showroom, offer various alternate shows and bands in other onboard venues. Comedy acts may be held in bars and the larger ships boast many different bands and piano options, from bands playing poolside, to intimate piano bars, to the frenetic disco scene for the young at heart. On the larger ships there are bars to suit every taste, from intimate piano bars to specialty martini bars and loud rock music bars and discos. The larger ships have entertainment departments that carry out a multitude of tasks, from dancers that teach crafts during the day to hosting duties. Members of this department may also be involved in everything from boat drill safety, to child minding tasks. Let’s look at some of the cruise options. I have listed some of the ships that fall into the various categories mentioned. These are ships most widely used by Australians and New Zealanders. There are so many ships that space does not let me list them all and they are in no particular order.

luxury & Premium


Cruising Let’s start at the top category, bearing in mind those listed below are my ratings and may differ in other reviewer’s opinions. New ships, enhanced onboard amenities and exclusive shoreside adventures are making five-star luxury cruises an even better vacation value. The recession of the past two years has done little to slow the burgeoning growth of the cruise business. Public and media attention has focussed on the increasing size of the newest mass-market cruise vessels. In recent years Carnival Cruise Lines added the largest ship in its fleet, the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream, followed by rival Royal Caribbean’s introduction of the world’s largest ship: the 16deck, 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas. Norwegian Cruise Line launched the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Epic, and Royal Caribbean christened Oasis’s equally massive sister ship, Allure of the Seas. But if you’d rather not go to sea in a giant floating mega resort to rub elbows with thousands of fellow passengers guzzling umbrella drinks, there is good news. The luxury segment of the cruise business is expanding as well. Not only are new (albeit considerably smaller) five-star ships joining the fleets of the luxury lines, but new onboard amenities, shoreside options and enhanced pricing policies are making upscale cruising a more attractive vacation possibility. In addition to offering a more intimate cruise experience than the floating behemoths mentioned above, the luxury lines have other distinct advantages for discerning travellers. Their smaller ships can call at ports where the big boys can’t go; the vessels have larger passenger accommodations – some are all-suite vessels – and an increased focus on white-glove personal service, such as butlers, concierges and a higher staffto-guest ratio; they offer varied

itineraries that span the globe, instead of repeating the same seven-day Caribbean or Alaska schedules week after week; and their pricing is generally more inclusive than the mass-market lines, often covering cocktails, wine with dinner and crew gratuities in the cruise fare instead of constantly nickel-and-diming you with extras.

NEW lUxURy SHIPS Last December Silversea Cruises launched its largest ship yet, the 540-passenger Silver Spirit (its other ships hold fewer than 400 guests). Some 95 per cent of the new ship’s staterooms have verandahs, and the vessel offers six dining venues and a spa that provides innovative treatments such as Botox injections, acupuncture and a Chinese herbal medicine program. This addition comes after Silversea had already bolstered its fleet with the addition of the Prince Albert II, a small luxury expedition ship that visits the farthest corners of the world. The Yachts of Seabourn, whose first three vessels each carry 208 passengers, recently introduced the 450-passenger, all-suite Seabourn Odyssey, followed by a sister ship, the Seabourn Sojourn. The new Odyssey has four restaurants with menus from celebrity chef Charlie Palmer, six outdoor whirlpools, a mini-golf course and even a private diamond showroom. In January 2011, Oceania Cruises’ newest vessel, the Marina, hit the waves. This 1,258-passenger ship – by far the largest in the company’s four-ship fleet – boasts 10 restaurants, one of them the first shipboard venue by master chef Jacques Pépin. Other amenities include a state-of-theart culinary studio for cooking classes sponsored by Bon Appetit magazine, as well as a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub.

Cruising If sails are your thing, look out for Sea Cloud Cruises’ new Sea Cloud Hussar, launched in 2011. It has 28 of them. The company claims that the Hussar is “the largest full-rigged, three-mast passenger ship ever built,” yet the five-star vessel carries just 138 passengers in 69 cabins, all of them facing the sea. Two other popular luxury lines – Crystal Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises (a sister company of Oceania) – don’t have any new ships scheduled to launch, but they have made some major improvements. Crystal recently finished a $25 million refurbishment of the Crystal Symphony, giving the ship new Swarovski crystal chandeliers, sunken jacuzzi bathtubs by Philippe Stark and a new Italian eatery from famed restaurateur PieroSelvaggio, among other enhancements. The 490-passenger, all-suite Regent Seven Seas Navigator was the last of the line’s three vessels to undergo a bow-to-stern makeover; like its fleetmates, the Navigator has a new American steakhouse among its dining options, and its spa was remade into a Canyon Ranch SpaClub.

Pricing innovations Luxury cruises are certainly more expensive than mass-market or premium lines, but few travellers pay the full brochure price for any cruise these days. Even the fivestar companies resort to discounts and value-added deals when they have unsold cabins to fill, often using such promotions as lowcost business-class air upgrades, “kids sail free” offers for children who share a stateroom with their parents, shipboard spending credits and so on. Super shoreside options Luxury lines tend to offer many exclusive shoreside tour options you’ll never see on mid-priced cruises. Silversea has introduced a concierge service to assist guests with making customised, private shore arrangements, and the line

offers escorted golfing excursions on a number of cruises each year. Among the shore trips available with Silversea sailings recently were a two-night excursion in Borneo to see orangutans in the jungle, and a 13-hour side trip from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Antarctica. Crystal specialises in packaging superexclusive shoreside options for its passengers and in the past has offered a three-night add-on to the British Open and VIP access to the Wimbledon Championships. You can also expect to find select departures that offer onboard “enrichment” programs featuring notable guest lecturers, performers and possibly celebrities who will make presentations to – and mingle with – passengers focused on a special interest. For example, a Silversea 10-day Baltic Sea cruise featured a World Leaders Symposium with Condoleeza Rice and Mikhail Gorbachev, among others.

PREMIUM CRUISES Between the large mainstream cruise lines and the upper-tier luxury cruise lines are several premium cruise lines that cater to more discerning travellers, and often feature sophisticated dining experiences, more refined services and fewer passengers. A premium cruise might be compared to a Fairmont, or a fine Hyatt or Westin resort. Some premium cruise lines are also attractive to experienced travellers because they generally don’t offer mega-size cruise ships, but specialise in smaller ships or mid-size vessels.

is a Premium cruise vacation for you? Premium cruises often attract the well-travelled that appreciate the finer things in life, but prefer not to pay for, or feel they don’t need to have, the best that luxury cruise lines provide. A premium cruise delivers a more satisfying vacation

experience and a little less “mass market” than popular mainstream cruise lines.

How to Pick tHe rigHt Premium cruise Every cruise line has its own style and every ship its own personality, especially within this category. Some ships are smaller and others much larger, some have contemporary style while others more traditional, and some are better suited to families. Premium cruise experts will provide you with information on the premium cruise that best meets your requirements for the destination you wish to cruise.

average Pricing for Premium cruises A cruise v acation on a premium line will cost a bit more than a moderately priced line, but the price difference is often made up for by the added value provided. Pricing will certainly vary, and range from $250 - $1,000 per person per day.


FirSt ClaSS ServiCe

at Sea

MSC Cruises is launching its third Fantasia Class Megaliner in May this year that will include the PP* renowned MSC Yacht Club “ship within a ship” offering.

ly $1598

TA • TUNISIA • SPAIN MSC Cruises is delighted to announce the launch of MSC Divina. The new megaliner will be christened in May this year in Marseille. The ship is part MSC Cruises enhancement program that brings its Fantasia class to three, joining MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida. The vessel includes five restaurants, 10 bars and lounges, four pools, a variety of onboard shopping options and well over 20 spa and entertainment options from casinos and live shows through to an art arcade and outdoor cinema. MSC Divina will be the liner’s third vessel to include the MSC Yacht Club. The “ship within a ship” is an offering that provides privacy, and additional luxury for discerning cruise guests. A Yacht Club guest can look forward to a variety of exclusive inclusions like 24-hour butler service, complimentary beverages, a private restaurant, bar, OFFER pool and Aurera spa facilities, and dining timesUPGRADE that suit you. As well as this, Yacht Club guests Receive Cat private 4 or 5onboard Ocean shopping view are offered times with personal delivery to your Receive Cat 6, 7shore or 8 excursion Ocean view suite, exclusive offerings, and your favourite daily Receive Cat 9, 10, 11 Balcony cabin broadsheet newspaper delivered to your door daily from anywhere in the world, even while at sea. Managing+Director of MSC Cruises Australasia Lynne Clarke said: “The Yacht Club is fantastic offering for Gala dinners Port charges guests who want  to cruise, but value their privacy. All Yacht Club suites

the world with MSC and receive rade to a higher category on rand Mediterranean cruises.

Splendida and MSC Divina, r newest luxury ships, on these g East and West Mediterranean u’ll visit fascinating ports of call, g treated to the finest hospitality

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have sea views, and are extremely good value from only $35 per person per day over and above Balcony Suite. “Yacht Club guests also enjoy VIP check-in services and their own private reception, further ensuring their privacy. Given the added value, high-level service and additional extras, the cost to upgrade into the Yacht Club is truly excellent value” Mrs Clarke added. As well as 69 Yacht Club suites on the MSC Divina, the vessel also includes 28 Aurea Suites. Aurea Suites are located beneath the Yacht Club and include a welcome cocktail at the Aurea Spa Bar, unlimited access to the thermal suite, private consultation with the spa doctor, a solarium session and both a 30 minute Balinese massage and facial treatment. MSC Cruises has a promotional offering for the MSC Divina. The liner is delighted to offer Australian guests free upgrades for Grand Mediterranean bookings made now until the end of May 2012 on MSC Splendida and the MSC Divina for travel in October 2012 as an introductory offer to the new vessel. The Grand Mediterranean combines two of the family owned liners most popular cruises, the Eastern and Western Mediterranean with a free land transfer between Venice and Genoa connecting passengers from their Eastern vessel to their Western one. “The promotion is simple,” Mrs Clarke stated. “Simply pay for an inside category one cabin and you will be upgraded to a category four to five ocean view cabin. “That means guests will enjoy enchanting ocean views from only $1,598 per person for twin share

bookings,” she said. “That’s 14 nights for $115 a night with the free transfer between ships (Venice and Genoa) thrown in – fantastic value.” MSC Divina will cruise from Venice to Bari, Katakolon (Olympia), Izmir, Istanbul and Dubrovnik before returning to Venice. Guests will then be provided a free overland transfer to Genoa to meet MSC Splendida which will cruise through to Barcelona, Tunis, Valletta, Messina and Civitavecchia (Rome) before returning to Genoa. The number of inquiries and bookings for MSC Cruises programs continue to grow at an astronomical rate with Mediterranean cruises remaining the cruise line’s core strength with many Australians opting for a Grand Mediterranean experience. On the launch of MSC Divina Mrs Clark said, “This will be an especially important year for MSC Cruises as we launch our 12th member to the fleet. The MSC Divina, which will be christened by screen legend Sophia Loren at a gala ceremony in Marseille in late May,” said Mrs Clarke. “The ship’s maiden voyage will be a six-night voyage from Marseille to Venice before it begins a series of seven-night East Mediterranean cruises, prices from $939 per person twin share,” she said.

MSC Cruises, for bookings phone 1300 028 502, or visit or

Affordable LUXURY AT SEA

with MSC Cruises

UPGRADE TO MSC YACHT CLUB From only $35 per person, per night!*

Want to be pampered and experience exclusive luxury at an affordable price? Upgrade from a regular balcony suite to a MSC Yacht Club suite on board MSC Splendida, MSC Divina or MSC Fantasia and enjoy these extra inclusions, from only an additional $35 per person, per night. MSC YACHT CLUB EXTRA INCLUSIONS  Reserved check in area with priority access

 Direct access to MSC Aurea Spa

 Private 24 hour Butler service

 Thermal Suite, including one sauna and one Turkish bath

Exclusive VIP Panoramic lounge at forefront top level of the ship

 A wide range of on board entertainment

 Included mini bar within your suite

 Daily delivery of your favourite world newspaper

 Complimentary beverages in the Top Sail VIP Lounge

 Exclusive pool, whirlpool and sun area

Complimentary dining at L’Olivo (MSC Splendida), L’Étoile (MSC Fantasia) and Le Muse (MSC Divina).

Luxurious Egyptian cotton linen & aromotheraphy products in your suite

Choose from 3 ships and a gorgeous array of itineraries in the Mediterranean, visiting ports of call in Italy, Spain, France,Tunisia, Morocco, Canary Islands, Malta and more!

7 night cruises in the exclusive luxury of MSC Yacht Club start from only $2499pp* Phone MSC Cruises on 1300 028 502 or visit your local travel agent.Visit *Conditions apply. Valid new bookings only and subject to availability. Prices are per person AUD twin share based on MSC Splendida departing November 2012. Not valid with any other offer or promotions. All prices, maps, itineraries & inclusions are subject to change or withdrawal at any time without prior notice. MSC Cruises (Australia) Pty Limited ABN 55 003 526 725 Lic # 2TA003126 as General Sales Agent for MSC Crociere S.A.

Cruising Mid-R ange

Cruising If you are budget-conscious, enjoy being entertained and intend travelling with children, think mid-range cruise ships that offer a classic, contemporary experience. These ships aim at appealing to all age groups, which makes them particularly attractive to multi-generational families. They also tend to be large ships that carry more than 1,600 passengers and these days, with the introduction of the mega liners, they can carry more than 6,000 passengers. These massive vessels allow cruise lines economies of scale, which is why cruise companies can offer wonderful itineraries and memorable onboard experiences at prices that suit budget-conscious holidaymakers. This is also the area of the booming cruise market that is growing the fastest. This means cruise lines are launching new ships that offer even more extraordinary experiences or they are revamping their older vessels in order to compete. The pay-off for passengers is that the ships become destinations in themselves – they are wonderful resorts that provide a range of experiences that could only be bettered by a land-based theme park. These ships are designed to please as many people as possible, which makes them perfect for family holidays. During the day, the kids can disappear into the kids’ clubs, which are usually divided into distinct age groups: toddlers (two to four years), juniors (five to seven), intermediate (eight to 10), tweens (11 to 13) and teenagers (14 to 17). There, they will be entertained by activities or hang out in their clubrooms and, on some ships, in their dedicated swimming pools. Meanwhile, parents and grandparents can attend dancing or cooking lessons, play sports, enjoy massages and snooze in adults-only retreat areas. In the evening, guests of all ages can dine together. Afterwards, the youngsters can head off to the kids’ night program or be minded while the adults see a Las Vegas-style show, relax over a romantic drink or go dancing. If this sounds like your dream holiday, be sure to check that the ship on which you intend sailing offers night supervision for children – most do, but find out what’s available on your cruise. When you’re booking, also ask about highchairs,

baby food and cots if you require them. Many lines offer special rates for a third or fourth person sharing a cabin and some lines allow under 18s to cruise free when sharing a cabin with parents or grandparents, although there may be charges for port taxes. If you intend holidaying as a couple, rest assured that large ships are designed to make your fellow passengers “disappear”. This means the ships never seem crowded. But whether you are travelling as a duo or in a large group, a cruise provides value for money, especially when you take into account that your transport to different destinations, accommodation, main meals and entertainment are typically included in your fare. No wonder mid-range cruising is so popular.

in a nutsHell Ships are 2.5 to 4 star Mid-range vessels suit: • All ages, especially those who are young at heart. • Young adult couples and singles. • Families with tots to teens. • People cruising for the first time. • Those who enjoy city life. • People seeking lots of activities and entertainment. • Those who want friendly service. • Extroverted types who like upbeat surroundings. It should be pointed out that shipping lines in the mid-range category can range from three to four stars and that some of the ships have been around for “a few years”, well let’s tell the truth, they are old, but often very loved. Some of the older ships have a dedicated following and are booked out, especially on their world trips from year to year. In fact, some dedicated cruisers virtually live on these ships. In the mid-range category I include the mega ships that are virtually cities afloat. Dedicated cruisers usually shun these giants but they offer a great many attractions to families and new cruisers. To me, it’s like visiting the latest local mall, but teenagers especially love these ships.

Cruise Holidays a cut above

Cutting-edge cruise ships, a vast range of itineraries and all-inclusive pricing have made cruise holidays a top option for Australian holidaymakers. Whether it’s partying across the Pacific Ocean aboard a mammoth ocean liner, relaxing in tranquil surrounds on a European riverboat or taking in the sights of the world’s most famous cities on a stopover, cruising has an option to suit passengers of all tastes. Australian travellers took to the seas in droves last year with recent figures released by the International Cruise Council Australasia (ICCA) recording a 27 per cent spike in cruise passenger numbers for 2010. Travellers have more options than ever before to discover the world from the water with cruise ships taking Australians everywhere from the fjords of Alaska to the Greek Islands. Super liners such as Royal Caribbean International’s Radiance of the Seas, SilverSea’s Silver Shadow and Cunard Cruise Lines Queen Mary II will be travelling to Australian shores in the near future with neverbefore-seen features offering Australian passengers a cutting-edge cruising experience. The current strength of the Australian dollar has also driven demand in Australia with all inclusive pricing on several cruise lines offering excellent value for money. Strong competition, booking specials and seasonal promotions have enabled travellers to pick up bargains right across the market and increase the popularity of cruising with travellers of all ages. With so much travel now booked online, the traditional travel agent has become redundant in many sectors. However, when it comes to deciding on and organising the perfect cruise, Cruiseabout’s many satisfied clients agree that the personal touch offered by an in-store specialist really helps to tailor a unique and genuinely special holiday. This is why Cruiseabout is backing the trend and expanding its physical store presence.

While the holidays represented by Cruiseabout can all be investigated and booked via its website, the personal touch represented by talking to one of its highly-specialised and motivated travel consultants is one of the things that makes the company a world leader in its niche. Its consultants really know the ships, lines and routes they discuss with clients, and have a true understanding of what the sophisticated and discerning traveller is looking for. Cruiseabout consultants travel the world, picking up exceptional local knowledge about some of the most exciting and outstanding destinations, and this is the value that they add to the holiday-planning process. Whatever kind of cruise holiday you are looking for, Cruiseabout will know how to match your ideal with one of the myriad of options available today. The consultants can also open you up to possibilities and destinations you may never have considered before but which can offer you truly unique, memorable experiences that will be remembered forever. Now with over 25 stores all over Australia, it has never been easier to meet with one of Cruiseabout’s expert consultants to discuss your own holiday planning needs. With a combined experience of hundreds of years in the travel industry and countless miles travelled, the staff in these stores live and breathe cruise travel and will make it their mission to put together the perfect, no compromises, luxury holiday for you. Whether you are a seasoned cruise enthusiast or looking for a new way to holiday in luxury and style, Cruiseabout is the premier Australian company to help you plan the ultimate trip. As its continued success and expansion shows, Cruiseabout knows how to truly tailor holidays to suit its clients and provide cruise holidays that transcend the normal and represent the outstanding.

To book your next cruise holiday, contact cruising specialists Cruiseabout on 1300 450 133 or see for more details. For the latest deals and news in the cruise industry, sign up to Cruiseabout’s weekly E-newsletter at http:// 8

South Pacific cruises from $999*

EXCLUSIVE DEAL South Pacific 8 nights

r 2012. parts Sydney, 19 Ap on Pacific Jewel, de more. ea, Isle of Pines and HIGHLIGHTS Noum on board the ship. ls & entertainment * WITH all main mea* . Balcony from $1799 Outside from $1399 ide from Ins

$200 onboard ^ credit included



1300 887 170 Applies to genuine cruise quotes from all cruise lines and registered travel agencies and websites. Quote must be in writing and must be presented to us prior to booking. Fare must be available and able to be booked by the general public when you bring it to us. Fares available due to membership of a group or corporate entity or subscription to a closed group are excluded. Quote must be for same dates and cabin category. We will beat price by minimum $1. For full terms and conditions see *Travel restrictions and conditions apply. Please ask us for further details. Prices and taxes are correct as at time of publication 3 Nov 11, include all discounts, are in Australian dollars, per person and are subject to change without notice. Such changes may be due to (without limitation) adverse currency fluctuations, cruise liners increasing prices, increases to fuel surcharges, taxes and airfares. Prices quoted are on sale until 31 Jan 11 unless otherwise stated or sold out prior. Prices are based on lead inside category accommodation (unless otherwise stated). Accommodation and/or cruises are based on twin share and airfare is not included, unless otherwise stated. The cruise line may deviate from, increase prices, amend or cancel any published itinerary without prior notice. Cruise inventory is allocated at the cruise lines discretion. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply depending on date of travel. Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes, levies, government charges and other applicable fees. Airfare not included unless otherwise stated. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge. Prices shown are for payments made by cash in store. Cancellation and amendment fees apply. Other sailing dates may be available at alternative prices. Extra nights may be required pre/post-cruise to connect with flights. ^Credit is on board per cabin. Flight Centre Limited (ABN 25 003 377 188) trading as Cruiseabout. Lic No. NSW 2TA002719, VIC 31089, ACT 18800224, QLD TAG262, SA TTA254, TAS TAS031, WA 9TA589, NT 008. CAM49194



River Cruising

River cruise ships are smaller than ocean-going cruise ships, typically holding 90-240 passengers (though there are ships that take only five passengers and others can carry 1,000 passengers). Due to their smaller size and low draft, river cruise ships can go where ocean cruise ships cannot, and sometimes to where no other transport is practical: rivers are an excellent way to reach some attractions, for example in Russia, China and the Peruvian Amazon. During river cruises the countryside is usually in view, so they are especially relaxing – and interesting – to those who prefer land nearby. River cruises usually last from seven to 15 days, although some can last three weeks or longer. Some river ships resemble fivestar hotels, with sun decks, dining rooms, lounges, fitness facilities, swimming pools, casinos and other entertainment. Accommodation, meals onboard, entertainment and special events (holidays, festivals, contests, concerts, etc.) are usually included in the cruise price, while bar expenses, sauna, massage, laundry and cleaning, and phone calls are not.

Most cruises have a variety of onboard and onshore activities. The latter include guided tours to historic and cultural sites, visiting local attractions, museums and galleries, and other points of interest. Guides also give a running commentary while sailing. A river cruise provides travellers a unique way to travel. Popular river cruises include trips along the Nile, the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Yangtze, the Mekong, the Danube, the Rhine, the Seine, the Volga, or the Po river in Italy. There are several dozen river cruise companies each with one to 18 ships. A little word of warning, although river ship companies may use English as their first language, not only in all announcements and sightseeing, but all the crew are fluent in English, there are also many fine river ship companies throughout the world where you may find that English is the third or fourth language spoken on board and that by the time you hear announcements spoken in English, you may have had to listen to announcements in German, French, Italian, Spanish and more. Very frustrating.

Where the river ship company has a majority of English speaking passengers, English will be used. APT tends to have mainly Australians on board so the first language will always be English. As a proud Australian, I generally like to mix with English speakers from other countries, so I look forward to being on ships that have a mix of Americans and British. This tends to make for more interesting dinner conversation. River ships have evolved into luxurious floating hotels. They are now one of the most popular ways to see Europe and beyond. They can be found not only throughout Europe and Russia, but also in Africa and Asia. My river ship experiences have been a delight. The cabins are, in most cases, superior to those found on the best five-star ships. Dining is much more intimate and with limited passenger numbers, one gets to know most of their fellow passengers. Onboard chefs usually purchase fresh produce at the different ports and tend to design the daily changing menus to suit the areas visited.

Cruising China’s Yangtze Helen Wong’s Tours Style To venture along the mighty Yangtze aboard one of Victoria Cruises’ luxury vessels is more than a mere river cruise . . . it’s an experience, a trip of a lifetime. Whether you begin the journey from cosmopolitan Chongqing or near lesser-known and much smaller Yichang in Hubei province, prepare for a trip filled with treasured moments, where the giant Three Gorges Dam commands almost as much tourist interest as the breathtakingly beautiful, naturally-carved Three Gorges themselves. Locals will tell you that more than 1.4 million visitors converge on the giant dam project – completed in 2009 as the world’s largest – each year, such is its appeal. Why not? It measures a massive 2,335 metres long, 185 metres high and generates electricity for a sizeable slice of China – a design from which to be proud. For differing reasons, The Three Gorges – Xiling, Qutang and Wu – are as magical as they are portrayed on the postcards. At 8 km long, Qutang is the shortest, yet its narrow passage makes for a dramatic pass. In contrast, Xiling is the longest at around 65 km (it actually comprises seven gorges), its features varied and spectacular, while Wu is known for its overall beauty – forest covered peaks and sheer cliffs included. For those boarding one of the river cruise ships – as sold in a number of group tours offered by leading China specialist Helen Wong’s Tours – the welcome is warm and friendly. A cover of cloud adds much mystique to the region, cameras constantly snapping to capture the atmosphere. After dinner in one of the ship’s two restaurants and a good night’s sleep, first stop for those cruising up river from Yichang the next day is the dam at the entrance to

the Xiling Gorge and a chance to see and marvel over the giant man-made design on a guided coach tour. In the evening, the vessel moves into the first of a series of locks as diners are treated to a captain’s reception before sating on Chinese cuisine or Westerninfluenced dishes in the ship’s alternative al a carte restaurant. After dinner, the focus is on the colourful “Dynasties Show”, a traditional costume presentation starring the ship’s multi-talented crew. Apart from soaking up the atmosphere of the Three Gorges from the privacy of the cabins’ balconies (or from the upper deck), passengers have the chance to explore one of the tributaries in smaller craft; of note is the side trip from Wushan along the Daning River. This “side trip” takes groups through the Three Lesser Gorges – Dragon Gate, Misty and Emerald Green – where monkeys are seen at play on the banks and in the trees, and a large coffin, which dates back 2,000 years when the Ba people inhabited the region, continues to “hang” in a cutting on a cliff about 50 metres above. Another popular stop along the Yangtze – historic Fengdu – is known as the “ghost city” and is noted for its collection of Buddhist and Taoist temples. Although thousands of residents were moved across the river to create a new city (relocated for the damming of the Yangtze and rising waters), the original centre continues to thrive as a tourist hot spot. So too does Shibaizhai, a Chinese “architectural gem” – a nine-storey red pavilion which hugs one side of a rocky formation and soars 220 metres. It, like many of the attractions along Asia’s longest river, makes for a memorable cruise.

Helen Wong’s Tours includes the Yangtze cruises (on board Victoria Cruises luxury vessels) in a number of its groups tours. Among them is the 15-day Yangtze Wonders, priced from $4,450 per person, twin share,from Australia, including visits to Shanghai, Xian and Beijing. Another is the 19-day Jewels of China, priced from $5,580 per person, twin share from Australia, including visits to Chengdu (home of Helen’s adopted Panda Ankali), Jiuzhaigou, Shanghai, Guilin, Xian and Beijing. All of Helen’s Yangtze River tours include a free “Boutique Lifestyle Upgrade” for all passengers onboard Victoria Cruises.

Details: Helen Wong’s Tours, phone 1300 788 328 or

Yangzte Cruise Experience the magical Three Gorges with Helen Wong’s Tours

RIVER CRUISING AT ITS BEST MIGHty yaNGtze 3 Genuine value for money 3 Guaranteed balcony cabins 3 Intimate group sizes 3 Free upgrades 3 ‘Helen’s Choice’ bonuses 3 No hidden extras

18 Days from $5630

SpleNDID yaNGtze

3 Shanghai 3 Zhouzhuang 3 Yichang 3 Yangtze River 3 Three Gorges 3 Chongqing 3 Guilin 3 Xian 3 Beijing

Inclusions: Return Airfares - 4 To 5 Star Quality Accommodation - Most Meals - Sightseeing - Evening Entertainment - English Speaking Guide - Travel Kit - Visa For Australian Passport Holders - Taxes

Visit or see your travel agent or Call 1300 788 328 Conditions: Prices are per person twin share ex. SYD, MEL, BNE, ADL, PER & includes taxes and fuel surcharges, valid for departures from Apr’12 – Jun’13, seasonal surcharge apply. Please check with Helen Wong’s Tours for exact departure dates. Prices & taxes are current at time of printing 01 Apr ’12. and are subject to availability and change without notice. All other conditions as per Helen Wong’s Tours current brochure range. 3072 Lic.No.2TA4103

26 Days from $7600 3 Shanghai 3 Wuzhen 3 Hangzhou 3 Suzhou 3 Yangtze River 3 Chongqing 3 Guilin 3 Kunming 3 Lijiang 3 Xian 3 Beijing

Indulgent, relaxing and and effort less

river cruising with APt is A

truly unique experience

APT is delighted to announce the launch of its exclusive, innovative 2012 Europe River Cruising touring program.

Featuring Europe’s most luxurious fleet of 10 river ships; new and exclusive itineraries; exquisite cuisine and accommodation, and the most varied and exciting touring options on offer from any European tour operator, the 2012 European holiday experience offered by APT is truly beyond comparison. Joining their award-winning fleet of vessels in 2012, the MS AMACERTO is a new and luxurious addition to the Concerto Class family of ships. APT’s 10 floating five-star hotels continue to set the standard when it comes to boutique river ships on Europe’s waterways, offering fine-dining experiences, stylish fittings, revolutionary twin balcony suites and attentive staff. A testament to their high standards of service, APT was voted Best River Cruise Operator at the Cruise Passenger Magazine’s 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards, where one of their ships also took the coveted award for Best River Cruise Ship – an award APT is delighted to have received for the second year running. Along with their partners at AMAWATERWAYS, APT has also been recognised at the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards, taking both Gold and Silver for Best River Ship and for Best River Cruise Operator. APT’s commitment to creating innovative holiday programs that offer the most extraordinary features means that 2012 will be a great year to discover Europe. APT is excited to present brand new and exclusive itineraries designed to bring travellers all the highlights of three of Europe’s great rivers – the Rhine, the Rhône and the Moselle. Many operators offer tours along one or other of these majestic waterways, which flow by some of the most beautiful sights in the world, but only with APT can you cruise all three in the same extraordinary journey in 2012. Complementing their extraordinary itineraries is the unique range of sightseeing available only during

APT cruises. The company recognises that different travellers have different interests, so it has expanded its exclusive range of Freedom of Choice touring experiences to offer even more variety to travellers. Alongside included Onshore Excursions and Signature Experiences, APT guests enjoy a wide selection of excursions when sailing through some of the most beautiful sights in the world. Catering to those with interests in food and drink, technology, history, art, architecture, sport and more, the menu of activities will inspire every guest. With more Freedom of Choice Touring options offered in more exciting destinations, these unforgettable cruises mean our travellers are truly spoiled for choice during their European odyssey. In offering as much choice as possible to their valued customers, APT allows their travellers the chance to enjoy Europe’s beauty at their own pace. Many sightseeing activities are geared for the more adventurous traveller and offer opportunities to experience Europe’s rural and urban landscapes in a most unique way. Adventures range from guided cycling tours and indoor cross-country skiing, to canoe and kayak experiences and guided Vespa tours around Florence. And, knowing that not everyone is a ‘morning lark’, APT has introduced sightseeing options for late starters in many destinations. Offering the widest range of sightseeing on offer than any other operator, it’s only with APT that you can truly tailor your holiday. And with luxury river ships, unparalleled hotels, world-class cuisine, included drinks and an unmatched reputation for service from your APT Tour Director, APT cruises are the perfect combination of luxury and adventure. Join APT in 2012 for a stylish, unforgettable and life-enriching departure from the ordinary.

Contact APT on 1300 229 804, visit or see your travel agent for further details. 36


Europe RIvER CRuIsINg 2012 Indulgent, relaxing and effortless, five-star river cruising with APT is a truly unique experience. With unparalleled insight and passion, APT sets the


standard on Europe’s waterways, ensuring you discover Europe’s historic sights in absolute comfort and style. europe’s Most innovative ships – APT’s state-of-the-art river ships are the most luxurious and innovative in Europe. They feature more space per guest than any vessel of their kind, boast the largest set of suites and offer the widest range of exclusive public areas. exclusive Twin Balcony suites – APT’s Concerto Class ships are the only river ships in Europe that feature Twin Balcony suites. With a spacious Outside Balcony as well as an AmA Private Balcony, these suites represent a true revolution in river ship design. A Wealth of Dining options – APT presents the largest range of onboard dining experiences of any river cruise operator in Europe, including three specialty restaurants and our exclusive ‘Erlebnis’ Chef’s Table restaurant.


Cochem Moselle River

Rhine River Cologne GERMANY Main Prague River CZECH REP. Nuremberg

Basel Main-Danube Canal Gruyéres SWITZERLAND Lyon Lake Geneva Trévoux Tournon Rhône River Avignon Arles Monte Carlo


SPAIN Barcelona

Rhône, Rhine & MoseLLe TReAsuRes RiveR CRuise Amsterdam to Arles 15 Days from $6,995* including flights. 18 & 21 Day tours available.

Vienna Budapest HUNGARY

MAgnifiCenT euRope RiveR CRuise Amsterdam to Budapest 15 Days from $6,495* including flights. 18 & 21 Day tours available.

CALL 1300 514 603

for a brochure or see your travel agent *Conditions apply. Prices are based on Cat. E suite travelling in Nov. 2012. Prices correct as at 20 Oct. 2011 but may fluctuate due to changes in surcharges, fees & taxes. FLY FREE: Includes taxes up to $850 per person. Flights in economy class with Malaysia Airlines (or Emirates for selected itineraries), and are subject to availability of airline & booking class. Once sold out surcharges apply. Flights must be booked by APT. Information correct as of 20 Oct. 2011. Australian Pacific Touring Pty Ltd ABN 44 004 684 619 Lic. No. 30112 MKT9821




& Small Ship


Adventure cruising itineraries include destinations that may be difficult for larger ships to reach, such as going up the Amazon or visiting Antarctica. Although I am not an adventurous kind of guy and prefer to sit back in five-star luxury, I recently had both five-star service and adventure in the one package on an Orion cruise sailing in Australia’s Kimberley region. I was not quite sure what to expect and thought that it might be a bit too adventuresome for a senior. To my surprise, I was not the oldest.

The more than helpful crew assisted me to get in and out of the rubber zodiacs for shore excursions. This ship had all the little luxuries one would expect on a larger cruise ship, excellent food, outstanding service and comfortable cabins, plus limited entertainment. I will certainly be returning for more adventure cruises. There are many smaller ships offering adventure packages, but in my opinion, many of these are for the more agile and don’t offer many of the little luxuries found on the larger adventure ships.

H av e y o u se e n t h e

Kimberley Coast ?

There’s a place in Australia unlike anywhere in the world. Sky-high waterfalls plunge straight into the ocean. One thousand islands scatter across the sea, inhabited only by wildlife. Whales, fishing, remote beaches, waterholes and sacred Aboriginal art sites. This place is called the Kimberley coast. Blessed with a balmy climate during the dry season (April – September) and breathtaking scenery, this unique region has become an ecohaven for travellers who want to experience the world’s last great tourism frontier. There are no roads along this coastline; it’s wild and untamed. The only way to access this pristine area is by cruise boat. The Kimberley Cruise Centre offers guests 15 different cruising vessels to select from, varying in levels of luxury, capacity and duration. Cruises vary in length from 6-14 days and can depart from Broome, Darwin or Wyndham, port to Kununurra. Every day in the Kimberley presents new opportunities as the area has one of the world’s largest tidal ranges (up to 11 metres). You will be cared for by knowledgeable crew and a chef who is sure to tempt with a succulent feast of the day’s catch. Find yourself calm water cruising through bays and tributaries and showering underneath waterfalls. Most vessels have shallow drafts for accessing rivers and inlets and each is equipped with expedition tenders for your daily explorative shore excursions.

Kimberley cruiSe SeASOn

Kimberley Cruises operate during the dry season. The dry season in the Kimberley runs from April through to September; this is the Kimberley at its most comfortable. Low humidity, warm balmy days and clear blue skies with a rare chance of rain make Kimberley cruising the ideal escape during the Southern Hemisphere’s dreary winter months! Join a cruise in April or May and be rewarded with waterfalls at their most spectacular. Cruising between July and September will afford you the opportunity to spot for humpback whales on their migration. For the keen angler, a visit during the shoulder season months of March, April, September or October will reward you with fantastic barramundi fishing.

Kimberley cruiSe highlighTS You too can experience the rugged beauty of the Kimberley coastline, just step aboard! The southern Kimberley coast, between Broome and the Hunter River/ Mitchell Plateau region, features a 1,000 island archipelago, unusual rock formations, tidal phenomena (including the Horizontal Waterfalls and Whirlpool Pass), fantastic fishing and cascading waterfalls. The northern Kimberley coast, between the Hunter River/Mitchell Plateau region and Wyndham,

presents you with massive gorges, huge fish, amazing birdlife and waterfalls that reach for the sky – such as the King George Falls. This is adventure cruising at its best! Indigenous culture and history will be explored throughout your Kimberley cruise adventure. Wandjina rock art sites visited are found mainly in the southern Kimberley. These figures tell stories of an ancient world and people, where their connection to land was life. The northern Kimberley coast reveals many Bradshaw art sites (also known as Gwion Gwion). The delicate and fascinating Bradshaw figures are possibly the oldest paintings known to man.

bOOKing A Kimberley cruiSe The Kimberley Cruise Centre is the place to book your Kimberley cruise in North-Western Australia. Family owned and operated for more than 10 years, it is the leading provider of Kimberley cruises and will ensure that you are presented with the best available cruise options to suit your budget and needs. Cruise vessels represented include: True North, K2O, Kimberley Quest II, Odyssey, MV Diversity, MV Great Escape, MV Orion, Coral Princess, Oceanic Discoverer and many more.

Freecall 1800 677 830 to book your Kimberley cruise adventure or log onto for exclusive specials, there has never been a better time to cruise the spectacular Kimberley coast!









Cruising entertainment There are usually onboard entertainers like pianists and singers and additional entertainment consists of various guest artists coming on board at the cities and towns visited. They disembark after their shows, before the river ships depart to their next destination. This is usually late evening as most of these vessels travel during the late night hours to facilitate their early arrival at the next city or town.

sHore excursions In most cases, included shore excursions start each morning after breakfast. Coaches are waiting on the dock to carry passengers to their destination, returning in most cases for lunch on board. Optional tours are available in the afternoon and evenings and these usually attract an additional fee. On returning to the ship after an excursion, one is usually greeted with hot/cold towels and a welcome-back beverage. Thanks to the electronic age, all passengers are issued with their own new earpieces which they keep for the duration of the trip and a small electronic box, issued each day that enables one to hear the guide’s commentary independently. This means no bunching up in small groups trying to hear. One can walk at their own pace and still hear clearly all the interesting details from the guide. Each bus has its own local guide that joins the group in each town. The Englishspeaking guides have a wealth of local knowledge. River cruising is one of my favourite ways of seeing certain parts of the world. The intimacy of smaller groups means many firm friendships are made. River cruising is also the fastest growing segment of the cruise industry as more and more people discover its advantages.

cHildren and sPecial interest grouPs Another category all on its own involves family-focussed cruising. Here is where one line has the market completely to itself; that company is Disney Cruises. Disney cruise ships

now operate on the east and west coasts of the USA and focus primarily on their younger passengers. Although I have yet to travel on a Disney ship, I am told that adults have almost as much fun as the children. This cruise line has introduced many innovative features including giant portholes in their inside cabins. How is this possible? The portholes are actually giant flat screen TVs that project continuous live vision of the passing scenery. This unique idea is bound to be replicated by other shipping lines. Naturally, the live Disney characters abound throughout the ship.

sPecial interest grouPs Virtually any ship can be purpose hired for groups. Groups may be part of a regular cruise, or in some cases, these special interest groups or companies take over the whole ship. There are corporate sailings, gay cruises, rock n’ roll cruises, comedy cruises, gourmet food and wine appreciation cruises and some travel agencies charter entire ships to give their clients cheaper fares. So whatever your wish is, there is probably a cruise for you.

disabilities Most of the newly built ships coming into service have special cabins catering for passengers with disabilities. The entire ship may be wheelchair friendly and special cabins boast wider doors and larger bathrooms with appropriate fittings. I love all cruising and whether you are on a large super liner, an adventure yacht or a river ship cruise, there is something that will appeal. Generally, the really large cruise ships offer a vast array of options and are ideal for families with children. The more upmarket and smaller ships have little or nothing to offer children. Seniors tend to appreciate the smaller to mid-size ships and river ships, but no matter what your age, there is something for everyone in the plethora of cruise ship options.

g n i s i u r C y p p a H


the secret’s out

By Laur a Pattar a


Convincing the boss to send me off on another tropical island travel assignment was proving to be a tad difficult. He mumbled something about my ‘innate ability to blow a budget out of all proportions’, but I wasn’t buying any of his meager excuses. I was a travel writer on a mission! Having recently read a list of the ‘top 10 countries to visit in 2012’, I noticed a cluster of tropical islands in the South Pacific just itching to be visited. Especially by me. “Do you know that on one of the islands, Prince Philip is considered a God and revered on a regular basis?” I said, in a last ditch effort to convince him. “Fancy that…the man is deemed a faux pas expert in most of the western world, but there are approximately 20,000 people on a remote island who literally worship his every blunder. This must be investigated!” It did the trick. Or at least I think that’s what convinced him. Nevertheless, I took my return ticket to Vanuatu and ran like the wind before he had the chance to change his mind. The Republic of Vanuatu is an archipelago which consists of 83 tropical islets, located in the Pacific Ocean about a threehour flight from Sydney. What’s on offer once you get there? Everything! Volcanic in origin, the islands’ coastlines are rugged and their vegetation lush. Visitors can climb active volcanoes, soak in hidden lagoons, admire scenic waterfalls, discover remote villages and feast upon succulent seafood. Having all this at my fingertips made me feel like I’d just won the holiday lottery. The best part is that whilst millions of tourists flock to overcrowded tropical beaches around the world every year, only few know enough about Vanuatu to choose it as their holiday destination.


Landing in Port Vila on a gloriously sunny morning made for a good start. Within seconds of clearing customs I was greeted by a group of native musicians; their exotic tunes filling the arrivals lounge. Apparently this musical welcome was not for my benefit alone, but I’d like to think locals, telepathically sensing my perseverance, were duly rewarding my efforts. In the name of research (and to convince my boss I intended sticking to my budget at least once), I declined the option of an airport transfer. Besides, using public transport in a foreign country propels me into culture shock, something I dearly cherish. I had barely stepped outside when an elderly gentleman, perhaps in his mid-70s, offered to help. Walking with a cane and radiating a bright smile, he escorted me all the way to my bus stop and waited until it arrived. I seriously have no recollection of encountering such friendliness before. At first I was convinced I’d just met one of the travel angels I’m so fond of – the odd few human beings who go out of their way to help a perfect stranger. But five minutes was all it took to change my mind. The bus driver helped me with my suitcase, a lady made room for me to sit and a teenager even offered me a full bottle of water. Either everyone on the bus was related to the little old man, or I had just landed in the friendliest country on the planet.




Port Vila is Vanuatu’s capital and is situated on the island of Efate. Of all the inhabited isles – 18 in total – Efate is by far the busiest and most populated. For this reason, many tourists prefer to skip sojourning in Vila, but I decided to dwindle for a few days. I’m glad I did. Vila is a glorious looking city; cosmopolitan and chic in one way, but with the added bonus of a very relaxed atmosphere and sociable locals. Havannah Harbour to the north was the perfect setting for my first sundowner. I was particularly impressed by its cleanliness, both in and out of the water. I spotted a coral reef without even getting my toes wet! Nearby craft stores reeled me in like a moth to a flame, my curiosity awakened by all things pretty. I relished my first spot of shopping: bartering is not accepted in this neck of the woods, and it made the whole experience hassle-free and very enjoyable. No pushy sales people or extravagant prices; just gorgeous wares at fixed prices. Needless to say, my second purchase was an additional suitcase! A healthy expat community guarantees fine dining in the capital, as evident by the dozens of international restaurants. Personally, I couldn’t wait to try some local Melanesian specialties and, on several recommendations, headed to the local food markets. Exotic produce, all grown organically on the island, could be found at every stall. A dinner of steamed fish, bananas and sweet potatoes left my tastebuds jumping for joy and set me back just a few dollars. The cuisine is light and tasty, as food is usually grilled on hot stones or steamed.

Visit Vanuatu

The best way to get the most out of a visit to a fabulous destination like Vanuatu is to book your trip through a specialist travel agent. Visit Vanuatu is just that. It provides tailor-made packages for clients to enjoy a luxurious break in this stunning part of the world. Not only is this island paradise the perfect wedding or honeymoon location, it offers everyone the chance to indulge in the luxury of their surroundings and leave the ordinary world behind. Located only 2.5 hours from Brisbane and 3.5 hours from Sydney, Vanuatu is easily accessible and close to home!

AttrActions The rugged yet beautiful landscape of the area is covered in tropical rainforests and dense jungle vegetation. The island has a mix of European styles with both the English and the French having great influence over the development of the area. Many of the houses are still traditionally thatched cottages, which makes the scenery even more picturesque. The local culture is rich in tradition and music and you will find yourself falling in love with both the place and the people.

Activities For those with a sense of adventure, the natural landscape lends itself to climbing and abseiling. The best way to see the island is from the air and a seaplane experience offers you a chance to get the best holiday snaps ever! Or if you are after something completely different, try a jungle safari. A beach buggy is your mode of transport for this island adventure. Take to the water in a glass bottomed kayak, or try your hand at snorkelling. A horse ride along the beach will give you a whole new perspective on this stunning island. The island also has an excellent golf course for visitors to enjoy with perhaps one of the most spectacular backdrops in the world. If you are looking for something a little more exclusive and private, then try a private waterfall tour with the chance to swim in the most fabulous lagoon, far from the other pleasure-seeking visitors to this island paradise. 311 cornwall street Greenslopes QLD 4120 Ph: 1300 34 84 87

Visit VANUATU and have the holiday of your life!

Call us: 1300 34 84 87 Your specialist Vanuatu Travel Agency Email:

Many tours are offered on Efate, and most can be booked directly from your hotel. You can partake in a cultural tour, or overnight cruise to the surrounding islands Hat, Moso, Lelepa, Nguna and Kakula. Why not test your fear of heights by abseiling down one of the many waterfalls? Water sports such as snorkelling, diving or jetskiing can also be arranged directly on the harbour. There are several luxury resorts and health spas on Efate, built in such a way as not to disturb the serenity of the natural habitat. For investigative purposes (of course) I sacrificed myself with a pampering session at the Lotus Day Spa and I must say, my goddess within gave them a five-star rating. The magnificent décor, delicious scents and soothing sounds were the blissful accompaniment to a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure and rainforest shower. I do hope the boss appreciates my efforts. A late evening stroll through town was the perfect end to my stay on Efate; this part of the world is completely safe, even


for solo travellers. Pop into one of the many waterfront bars for an icy refreshment and you won’t be left on your lonesome for very long. Locals are keen on conversing with foreigners and their friendly demeanour seems to rub off on tourists, who appear friendlier here than elsewhere.


The next stop on your itinerary should definitely be Tanna Island, and not only to solve the mystery of the Prince Philip cult! Largely unspoilt by modern civilisation, this isle offers a natural escape like no other. The biggest attraction is Mount Yaser, one of the world’s most accessible active volcanoes. Various hiking tours are available, depending on your age, fitness level and time constraints. The summit view is absolutely breathtaking, as is your private display of natural fireworks emanating from the crater. While Tanna can also be visited on a day trip from Efate, I’d highly recommend staying at least one night in order to enjoy the sunset from Mount

Futuna cultural village

Yaser’s rim. Adrenaline junkies can hire sandboards for a faster descent, which can be as revitalising as a health spa visit. Just remember to scream with your mouth closed so you don’t end up with a lungful of crunchy ash! The main town, Lenakal, is the perfect place to refuel and do some (more) shopping, especially for locally-made clothes. Blending in has never been easier! Should you wish to sound like a Vanuatuan however, practice is the key. Bislama, the local language, is a hybrid between Creole and English and to the uninitiated visitor may sound like pidgin English. The first word I learnt was ‘halo’, closely followed by ‘me hanggre’. Utter these three words together and a plate of Melanesian delicacies will appear before you, as if by magic. An extra day on Tanna will also give you the chance to visit a village and learn more about subsistence farming, indigenous cooking and traditional medicine. If you visit at the right time, you can also attend one of the many island ceremonies. Whilst Vanuatuans are not exactly camera shy (children are particularly inclined to pose) it is always best to

ask permission before going snap-happy. I found the people more than willing to have their lives documented and to share their rituals with respectful tourists. The only objection may be your own: the landscape and its inhabitants are so photogenic, you run the risk of experiencing Vanuatu only through the lens of your camera. Another amazing way to discover Tanna is via my favourite mode of transportation: horseback! You can gallop along pristine beaches or take a ride into the hinterlands. Experienced guides are always at hand, in case you’re not used to four-leg drive. As expected, water activities abound as well; absolute musts are the Blue Hole and Lemnap Underwater Cave. Snorkelling and diving in this constellation of colourful live coral, tropical sea life and dazzling blue waters is a once in a lifetime experience. I really had no time to explore the Yaohnanen tribe’s obsession with Prince Philip. Quite frankly, anyone living in paradise can be excused eccentricities.



The largest island in Vanuatu is home to some of the most stunning white sandy beaches you’ll ever see. Most popular with divers are the world-class sites Million Dollar Point (priceless) and the SS President Coolidge wreck dive, a former luxury cruise liner which sank during WWII. Join a kayaking or hiking trip through Espiritu Santo’s pristine rivers and dense jungles and be rewarded with a few hours of relaxation at one of the numerous swimming holes hidden deep within the island. You can also hire kayaks and isle-hop at your own pace, a perfect way to spend a day with your loved one, cherishing the tranquillity of this haven. Never one to shy away from physical exertion, I decided to hike to the Millennium Cave, a staggering 50m-high cavern full of bats, stalagmites, stalactites and bizarre rock formations. Located just an hour’s drive from Luganville, it’s an excursion I’d highly recommend. There’s plenty of time to soak in waterfalls along the way and a plethora of picnic spots to enjoy a packed lunch. Ending the walk with a swim through a gorge was an absolute blast.


You’ll be spoilt for choice in Vanuatu as far as accommodation is concerned. From authentic and inexpensive village stays to top-notch private island gems like the Ratua Resort, there really is something here to suit all budgets and tastes. Vanuatu must have some of the most beautiful beachfront villas I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Thanks boss. Mid-range hotels are also available on the major islands and they all come complete with water sport facilities and outstanding restaurants. As for the cuisine, Vanuatu is your oyster. The wonderful influence of French cuisine is deliciously infused with native cooking custom. The local cuisine, known as aelan kakae, includes fish, yams, taro, beef, flying fox and many different types of tropical fruits and vegetables. Most dishes are cooked with mouth-watering coconut milk. Gastronomic delights abound and I guarantee the cuisine will leave you salivating for more.

Break as Beach Resort Ten years ago, the very first ‘up-market tribal bungalow’ was developed by Breakas Beach Resort and aimed at travellers who were looking for something a bit different; something far removed from the standard hotel room. Many more bungalows swiftly followed due to increased demand for the romance of their Melanesian aesthetics and unusual architectural features. There are now 63 ‘fares’ (bungalows) to choose from and with the adults-only policy, this is a fabulous destination for those seeking a bit of romance and escapism. Situated directly on a large, 2 km private beach, the complex is just 10 minutes from the wonderful capital, Port Vila. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect location!

ProPerty features Aside from being beautifully designed with tropical influences, the bungalows benefit from a host of amenities including an infinity pool, two restaurants and a beach bar. You will also have use of the day spa, Internet access, a games room, cable TV, reef and snorkelling equipment, laundry/valet service and room service. No luxury is spared at this resort and nothing will be too much trouble for the friendly managers. There are fewer beachfront fares, so if you want to book one of these, be sure to get in early, though the garden-front fares enjoy a fabulous botanical view from their balconies.

Celebrate at breakas If you’re looking for something super special for your celebration, be it for your wedding, honeymoon, anniversary or ‘just because’, Breakas Beach Resort has it all sewn up for you. With special packages available for those looking for a romantic getaway, there’s certain to be something that fits the bill. There is a selection of wedding packages to choose from and Breakas can take care of the majority of the planning for you. Experience an unforgettable union at sunset with the stunning backdrop of the turquoise Pacific Ocean, perfect for the most memorable wedding. And when you’re officially a married couple, celebrate your honeymoon in a stunning beachfront fare. What could be more perfect? australian Mobile: 0413 109 975


The National Arts Festival, held at the end of the year, is an event not to be missed. Arrays of local performances are on display, highlighting the distinctive features of this yet to be tainted civilisation. The Water Music Festival is performed by the female inhabitants of Gaua Island, where they use water to produce the most divine music. The terrifying, and ever popular, Land Dive Ritual (N’gol), can be witnessed on Pentecost Island every Saturday between April and June. The Land Dive is the world’s original bungee jump, minus all the safety nets and elastic chords. Originally meant as a way to show courage

and masculinity, men jump off a wooden tower almost 30 m high, with only a pair of vines strapped to their ankles. Men take note: no matter how macho you think you are, you’ll never be this cool. So if you think you’ve seen all this marvellous planet has to offer, think again. Should you wish to experience a world you thought was lost forever, book your trip to Vanuatu now and discover this remarkable secret. While you’re at it, you may also want to splurge and blow your budget…I’d hate to think I was the only one who did that. Turns out that Vanuatu is one of the top 10 countries to visit ANY year!

Mangoes Resort & Restaur ant If you desire the tropical, wild beauty associated with the Vanuatu archipelago, but you also want the fantastic shopping and recreation possibilities of a decent sized town, then the capital Port Vila has everything you need. Mangoes Resort & Restaurant is Port Vila’s premier resort, and is set in beautiful private grounds in a prime location close to Port Vila’s vibrant atmosphere.

Deluxe anD secluDeD accommoDation

Mangoes offers guests the chance to stay in one of its beautiful private bungalows, which boasts a unique, locallyinspired design and a quiet, secluded ambience, as well as spectacular views. These bungalows are child-free, which makes it even more perfect for a relaxing, much-needed vacation as a couple.

Delightful Dining anD bar facilities

Open from breakfast until late into the night, the stunning Mangoes Restaurant offers exquisite gourmet cuisine made from the best locally-sourced produce. Specialising in sumptuous seafood and authentic local dishes, the restaurant is available both to those staying at the resort and those who

have chosen to stay elsewhere. So, it is worth a visit if you are coming to Port Vila for the day from one of Vanuatu’s other resorts. Spectacular wedding and honeymoon opportunities For couples who want to experience their wedding (or blessing or renewal of vows) on an island paradise, where their every romantic idea can be indulged by helpful, dedicated, local staff, then Mangoes is proud to offer spectacular bespoke wedding packages. It is also an ultra-romantic destination for honeymooners. Mangoes is a genuinely special resort and restaurant where even the most seasoned traveller will be impressed by the quality and luxury of everything on offer. With outstanding accommodation and customer service, as well as plenty of activities available to guests, this is the perfect resort for people who want to experience the very best of Vanuatu and come away with unique and treasured holiday memories. Po box 862 Port Vila, Vanuatu Ph: +678 24923

Iririki Island Resort & Spa Iririki Island Resort & Spa Vanuatu is a stunning private resort across 69 acres with lush tropical gardens, a private beach and great snorkelling in its surrounds. Only minutes from Port Vila, Iririki is an ideal getaway location for travellers who are looking for an exclusive holiday in a tropical paradise.

dining options

HigH-class on-site features

WHy Vanuatu?

Iririki Resort & Spa offers many exclusive on-site features including: a four-tiered cascading lagoon pool, an infinity pool, a spa retreat, restaurants and bars, a gym, two tennis courts and complimentary non-motorised sports equipment. Port Vila is only a five-minute boat ride away and a complimentary ferry runs 24 hours a day.

accommodation at tHe iririki resort & spa There are 130 guest rooms at the resort, with offers to suit every budget. The ideal options for the discerning traveller are the exclusive penthouse suites. Set over two or three levels, they are the ultimate in luxury. They feature private spas and doors which open out onto the ocean. If the penthouse suites are slightly beyond your budget, the deluxe apartments are the next best thing. You can choose either an ocean or pool view and each room comes with a private hot tub.

Guests can choose from two gourmet restaurants and two café bars. The restaurants serve a variety of gourmet cuisine including exquisite French meals at the Michener and some truly exotic Asian-inspired meals at the Watermark. Vanuatu is an absolutely stunning, tropical island and what better way to spend a week in paradise than at an exclusive resort and spa? There are dozens of entertainment options including beach parties and a casino and lots of physical activities to take part in, including jetskiing, scuba diving, snorkelling and beach volleyball. Of course, there is also a spa retreat which comes complete with champagne and canapés. Best of all, you can take a ride in a private seaplane for a bird’s eye view or an exclusive sunset cruise around the islands! po Box 230, port Vila, Vanuatu ph: +678-23388 fax: +678-23880

No better place to unwind Idyllic beaches, tropical gardens and crystal clear seas

Relax and escape to a tropical paradise +678 23388 I I

Sar aotou

The sumptuous Saraotou is one of a kind. Set on the forgotten island of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu, this gorgeous new six-star beach shack is about as exclusive as it gets. With most boutique resorts, however high the quality, you cannot be guaranteed total privacy at all times. But at Saraotou Plantation, that’s exactly what you receive. This beach shack is built for two people and two people only.

ToTal seclusion Saraotou is based on its own private lagoon and the fine, white sand and turquoise waters are shaded by 600-year old Numbungura trees. Based a handy 10 minutes from the international airport, Saraotou is perfect for couples looking for a romantic, private getaway that they will never, ever forget. The king-size luxurious bed is just 10 metres from the water! You are not entering a resort; you are entering a private, romantic home for two.

Weddings aT saraoTou Saraotou prides itself on being able to organise low-fuss, romantic beach weddings. If that’s what you’re after, all you need to do is tell them and they will take care of absolutely everything. If you’re looking for the ultimate in intimate weddings, this is the place for you. They will take care of all the necessary paperwork as well as sorting out your submission to the Vanuatu Government of your intention to marry. A

local celebrant or minister will be organised to conduct the ceremony for you and flowers will be sourced and delivered for the big day. As with weddings in other countries, witnesses are required at the marriage and this will also be taken care of. For the ceremony, you can choose from a local church choir or a string quartet. After the ceremony, you will enjoy a lavish wedding dinner with champagne and wedding cake. Imagine enjoying your first meal together as a married couple whilst overlooking the beautiful lagoon and beach? And after the whole day is over, you can begin your honeymoon in the very same spot. Total luxury, total idyll and total happiness await. russell & Julie chandler espiritu santo, Vanuatu Ph: 61-3-9808-2204 M: 61 (0)-411-551-524

Total seclusion

The sumptuous Saraotou is one of a kind. Set on the forgotten island of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu, this gorgeous new six-star beach shack is about as exclusive as it gets. With most boutique resorts, however high the quality, you cannot be guaranteed total privacy at all times. But at Saraotou Plantation, that’s exactly what you receive.

PERSONALISED SERVICE… we only accept one couple at a time • Exquisite blend of earthiness and luxury • Outdoor Bathroom with a position to die for                                                                                                   • Swim or Canoe in our Private Lagoon • 6 Star Beach Shack • Explore the spectacular Coral Sea Life • Total Privacy • Freshly squeezed and local cut • Waterfront Decks breakfast daily

SARAOTOU PLANTATION Champagne Coast Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu •

Er atap Beach Resort Eratap Beach Resort in the breathtaking Vanuatu archipelago offers everything the luxury-seeking traveller could want from a relaxing tropical holiday. The resort comprises a whole peninsula, just 20 minutes from Vanuatu’s capital. Its setting includes eight acres of beautiful parkland, and three private beaches, exclusively for the use of guests at the resort. On the stunning island of Efate, Eratap’s location is kept secluded and private by the coastal forest, so guests can really feel like they have found their own secret tropical paradise. Stylish, well-equipped accommodation Despite owning the whole peninsula, Eratap has aimed for luxury and privacy, and so accommodation at the resort comprises just 12 beautiful private villas. Depending on the size of your party you can opt for one-, two- or threebedrooms, all of which are air-conditioned and beautifully decorated using local and Asian furnishings and artwork. The resort also has two honeymoon villas with their own plunge pools, specially designed to give the most romantic ambience possible. All villas are true waterfront properties, with outdoor lounge areas perfect for relaxing or sharing a meal.

Activities on your doorstep Eratap is built for luxury relaxation, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do. The resort is fully equipped for guests to be able to easily participate in all sorts of activities, from surfing, kayaking and fishing to more relaxing pursuits like snorkelling, boating and hiking. With so many ways to explore the beautiful region of Eratap, guests are guaranteed a truly unique and memorable experience throughout their stay. Eratap is an ecologically-responsible resort, so you can also be sure that while you are enjoying the surroundings you won’t be harming the wild and beautiful natural environment. Of course, should you want to, you can easily venture beyond the resort to see more of Efate or some of Vanuatu’s other picturesque islands. The resort offers a daily shuttle service to Port Vila and can organise any of the many tours available throughout Vanuatu. po Box 3037, port vila, vanuatu ph: (678)-554-5007

R atua Island Resort Located in the beautiful Vanuatu archipelago, Ratua is a private island dedicated to giving its visitors the very best in eco-friendly luxury. With all of the wild and exotic natural beauty you would expect from Vanuatu, Ratua is an enchanting, breathtaking unspoilt island paradise. The island itself is home to many fascinating types of plant, animal and bird life, and domestic ponies, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs also roam free. With its lush trees and fabulously clear waters, Ratua has everything you would want from a tropical holiday destination, and as a private island resort, it offers the very best in luxurious accommodation and hospitality.

Deluxe, environmentally-frienDly travel Ratua is an environmentally-responsible resort, and you will find that great care has been taken for the resort to operate in harmony with its natural surroundings. Ratua understands that the beauty of its island and the wild creatures that live there are its greatest resource, so you can be sure that by choosing the Ratua Resort, you are being eco-friendly, without compromising on luxury.

Beautiful, worlD-class accommoDation The resort comprises three specially-designed villages, which are made up of a total of just 15 200-year old villas, built in a truly authentic local style but equipped with everything you need for a stay that is beyond comfortable. Each villa is decorated with eclectic art pieces, meaning that no two are alike and you can really get a sense that the local culture of this amazing place has been considered in the resort’s aesthetic design. The resort is well catered for when it comes to other amenities too, and offers luxury fine dining as well as spa and health club facilities. You will be hard pressed to find anything to miss during your stay, but should you want to explore beyond Ratua then other, more populated islands are within easy reach by boat.

a yachter’s paraDise Ratua has a yacht club, and with its sheltered, temperate waters and teeming sea life, it is a great place for any kind of sailing, water sports activity or game fishing. Bp 396, luganville, vanuatu ph: + 678-300-20

Vanuatu Activities

Across Oceania 360° Unwind and relax on the unspoiled archipelago of Vanuatu and let the azure waters, warm breeze and friendly locals welcome you to paradise. Complete with sunken wrecks and volcanoes to explore, Vanuatu is an island playground for adventurers; as well as a tropical retreat for those seeking to relax and luxuriate in their idyllic surroundings. You can experience this blissful haven for yourself with a limited edition travel experience from Across Oceania 360°.

If you choose to holiday with Oceania 360, you will stay for seven nights in the sumptuous surroundings of the fabulous boutique-styled Fatumaru Lodge, in one of their luxurious waterfront apartments. Breakfast and transport to and from the airport is included in the cost of your trip. Fatumaru Lodge is situated on a relaxing sandy beach in Fatumaru Bay. The apartments are stylish and contemporary, filled with local Melanesian art, each depicting a story about the history of the location. The apartments are filled with beautifully crafted teak furniture, and each has its own private terrace where you can enjoy an unspoilt view of the bay. During your stay you can enjoy a day on the water with a Coongoola Cruise and travel to secluded beaches. Afterwards you can relax and enjoy an sumptuous beach barbeque before returning to your luxury apartment. In addition, you can experience the waterfall tour and dive into a crystal rock pool before venturing into the heart of the island’s tropical rainforest.

PO Box 1324, Port Vila, Republic of Vanuatu Ph: +678-546-2445

Atmosphere The best way to explore Vanuatu is to take a tour, and with Atmosphere you can do it first-class all the way. Whether you want to explore Vanuatu in the daytime, after the sun has set or indulge in an exclusive cruising tours, you can be assured of first-class services. Day tours From tranquil lagoons to local villages where you can learn about traditional crafts and watch amazing dancing and fire walking displays, there is much to see and do along the way. Learn about the historical significance of the Banyan Tree to your ancestors. After lunch, learn about the modern history of the area at the World War II museum before moving on to visit Havannah Harbour and Vanuatu’s Survivor Beach. Evening tours Touring the area in the evening adds a whole new dimension to the tour experience as the atmosphere of the island changes and the colours become less vivid. Stops include indigenous island villages where you can sample a traditional alcoholic beverage, beer tasting at a local micro brewery, complete with a Texas-style barbeque and live music. The tour ends with a visit to one of the best local viewpoints.


Villa 25

Internationally recognised as one of the Pacific’s best new destinations, Villa 25 is a boutique retreat on its own secluded beach in an exclusive location only minutes from Port Vila, Vanuatu. It boasts three spacious, beautifully appointed luxury villas, an enticing horizon swimming pool and a gorgeous Pacific-style lowana (gathering place), all overlooking a sheltered private beach.

This is paradise. Designed by award-winning architect Pierre du Toit to maximise both privacy and views, each of the three villas is furnished and decorated to the highest standard. The setting is sublime. The privacy, spectacular location and understated luxury make this the perfect destination for a group of friends, a family get-together, a romantic wedding or honeymoon, an executive retreat or a secluded, inspirational getaway. Food markets and the fusion of French, Pacific and Asian restaurant flavours are just some of the many reasons to enjoy the sumptuous seclusion of Villa 25, a boutique oasis. The villas are decorated to the highest standard and equipped with everything needed for an ideal escape in Vanuatu and beautifully finished with an infinity pool on the beach edge. Villa 25 also boasts a superb private chef who will come and cook in the kitchen situated in the beach and pool lowana where there is an entertaining area right on the waterfront.

They have their own masseuse and beauty therapist who will come to your villa, fishing, scuba diving and snorkelling right off the beach and private vehicle or helicopter airport transfers as required. Stunning cooking facilities give guests the option to purchase the abundant local produce – be it French cheeses, organic beef, fresh fish or juicy mangoes and other local fruit from the market – adding the convenience of inexpensive entertaining to your stay. Or, if you prefer, they will arrange to have a chef prepare gourmet cuisine for you. In a very short time Villa 25 has gained a reputation as being one of the finest boutique accommodations Vanuatu has to offer. To ensure your reservation we suggest you book as early as possible. 25 dream Cove, Wharf road, port Vila, Vanuatu M: +678 776 4439

, y r u x u l t s u j n a h t e r o m h t c n o r f Mu r e t a w romance &a n i n o i t a d o m accom pical island paradise.... tro +678 776 4439

Poppys on the Lagoon and Friendly Bungalows Luxury Vanuatu accommodation doesn’t get much better than Poppy’s on the Lagoon in Port Vila. The awardwinning resort has its own private beachfront location and is situated a handy 15 minutes’ walk from Port Vila’s charming centre. The resort caters to both families and adults, with dedicated areas for each, including family friendly three-bedroom villas as well as more private spa bungalows located in the adults-only area. Poppy’s is a four-star, self-contained resort boasting three beautiful swimming pools and restaurants and is perfect for both a tropical break away or as the perfect place for your South Pacific wedding.

Friendly Bungalows

The owners of Poppy’s, Peter Rotteveel and Joanne Wade, have set up a separate venture named Friendly Bungalows. Focusing on the wellbeing of the island’s community, the company set up eight bungalows in Lowekal Cove on the east coast of Tanna, a remote island 40 minutes south of Port Vila.

Experience the bungalows

Your main concern whilst holidaying in Friendly Bungalows is swimming, sunbathing and relaxing. If you start to get itchy feet for some exploration, you could journey across the ash plains and head up to the rim of the volcano for some spectacular views or journey through the jungle to the hot springs, the waterfalls and custom villages.

Good for the community

Every major decision that is taken at Friendly Bungalows is made with total consideration for sustainable tourism. The day-to-day running is in the hands of local Tanna elders, Mary and Jessel Niavia. They live on site in a traditionally-built house made with local materials including wild cane, natangora roofing, and coral and rock walls for the bathrooms. A percentage of every booking made at Friendly Bungalows is generously given to Lona and Lonasunan. These donations benefit the local communities; giving back into the local areas that bring so much pleasure to their guests. Friendly Bungalows employs local people to cook and clean on site, and also take guests on knowledgeable guided tours through the rainforests. All donations given to the local community are taken in by village elders who then decide how best to use the funds every year.

PO Box 920 Port Vila, Vanuatu Ph: (From Australia): 1300 709 838 Ph: (Outside Australia): +678 23425

Frequent Flyer Points

take you further!

Make them

By Greg Pope

So you’re sitting on a pile of frequent flyer points, or maybe you only have a few and you’re wondering how to use them. Maybe it’s because you travel frequently, or more likely, for those that are really sitting on bucketloads of points, it’s because you’ve been clever enough to channel some sort

of corporate spending through a credit card that has given you these points. Whatever your situation, make sure you use your points wisely. It’s amazing how many people don’t know the best way to get the maximum value out of the points they have.

The first thing to remember is that these are a form of currency. They can be traded, and they have a dollar value. So how much is each worth? That depends on how you spend them. They can be worth anything from as low as next to nothing, through to over $100 per thousand points. The trick is to know where to spend them. To get the best value from your points, here are five tips:

Frequent Flyer Points

take you further!

Make them

By Greg Pope

So you’re sitting on a pile of frequent flyer points, or maybe you only have a few and you’re wondering how to use them. Maybe it’s because you travel frequently, or more likely, for those that are really sitting on bucketloads of points, it’s because you’ve been clever enough to channel some sort

of corporate spending through a credit card that has given you these points. Whatever your situation, make sure you use your points wisely. It’s amazing how many people don’t know the best way to get the maximum value out of the points they have.

The first thing to remember is that these are a form of currency. They can be traded, and they have a dollar value. So how much is each worth? That depends on how you spend them. They can be worth anything from as low as next to nothing, through to over $100 per thousand points. The trick is to know where to spend them. To get the best value from your points, here are five tips:

Tr avel tips Tip #1 – Calculate the dollar value of your points on the flight you are considering. Before spending your points, work out the value you are getting. If the flight you are looking at costs 8,000 points plus $20 taxes, and you could buy that flight for $80 cash, then your 8,000 points gives you $60 value, or $7.50 per thousand points. I would rate anything below $10 per thousand points as extremely bad value, so in this instance you would pay the cash. If the same flight, however, was to cost $160, you would be getting $140 of value from your 8,000 points, or $17.50 per thousand points, which makes it worth considering.

Tip #2 – Don’t use points for taxes. Airlines will let you pay for your taxes and surcharges with points, however the exchange rate they offer is so poor, you’ll always be better to pay for them with cash. They are calculated at a rate of $8 per thousand points, which is extremely poor value.

Tip #3 – Stick to ‘award’ seats. Known as ‘classic awards’ on Qantas, and ‘award seats’ on Virgin, these are the only seats to consider. Both airlines have an ‘any seat’ or an ‘award option’, but like the taxes, the exchange rate on these seats is so poor that it is not worth considering.

Tip #4 – Obscure destinations offer better value than popular routes. Both airlines’ points schemes are calculated by distance. The cash price on fares, however, is governed by all sorts of factors, but as a general rule, the busier the route and the more competition between airlines, the cheaper the price. In points, it costs the same to fly between Sydney and Ayers Rock as it does between Sydney and Cairns, yet in cash, the former costs double the latter. International flights have the same discrepancy. To fly to Santiago costs less on points than it does to fly to Los Angeles, yet the South American route costs nearly twice as much if you were to pay with cash.

Tip #5 – Business and first class offer better value for points than economy. On both airlines, award flights in business class cost exactly double that of economy. The cash price on business class, however, is normally around triple the lowest economy price. This discrepancy makes business class seats using your points great value. If you enjoy flying business class from time to time, then a ‘cash for economy, points for business’ motto would generally be a good one to stick to. For international flights offering first class, this discrepancy widens again, as a first-class seat is triple the points, while often more than five times the cash price.

So armed with this information, which scheme is better? The frequent flyer schemes of both Qantas and Virgin Australia have their advantages. As part of Virgin’s rebranding into Virgin Australia, they have revamped their awards programme. Domestically, they offer cheaper awards seats than Qantas does, and on any given day, the availability of their award seats seems to be better. Qantas, however, has a much more comprehensive network, both domestically and internationally. Keep in mind that while both airlines do have partner airlines with which you can use your miles, not all of these partner airlines offer seats on points at a reasonable rate. In short, Virgin Australia offers better rates, but Qantas offers more choice. With these tips in mind, you should be able to stretch out your points further. Remember, the bubbly on any flight tastes better if you haven’t paid for it in cash, so make your points go further!

Airlie Beach...

Gateway heaven More Than the


By Laur a Pattar a

Long renowned as simply the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach has lazily transformed itself into a haven all of its own. A vibrant atmosphere, innumerable activities and a myriad of entertaining venues are just a taste of what is on offer at this glorious seaside town. Triumphantly, Airlie Beach has become the sort of top-notch holiday destination where a tour to the Whitsunday Islands becomes a side trip. The perennially tropical climate is the perfect ingredient for a relaxing, yet exhilarating holiday. Consider Airlie Beach as a blank canvas with which to

create an inspiring portrait as eventful or minimal as your heart desires. This place has it all: accommodation to suit all budgets, gourmet restaurants and a host of food stalls, water sports galore and plenty of sparkling white sandy beaches to laze the days away. The picture you take home…will be purely unique. Airlie Beach boasts a night-life most cosmopolitan cities only dream of! Bars, clubs and pubs burst with vigour every night and live bands add to the allure and make this one of the most sought-after party towns Down Under. The hypnotic atmosphere assures many extend their stay in Airlie, and keeps even more coming back year after year. But never fear, should you be in search of a more romantic or private vacation, there are plenty of secluded nooks you can disappear to. The area is also renowned for its countless festivals, none more celebrated than the Blessing of the Fleet on Whit Sunday. Captain James Cook first visited the area in 1770 and named the cluster of isles just off Airlie Beach as Whitsunday Islands; believing to be traversing

© All photos provided courtesy of Tourism Queensland

We had long been dreaming of a holiday in paradise: perfect weather, turquoise waters, delectable food and more fun than we could handle. Australia’s Whitsunday Islands seemed to be the perfect destination, but it wasn’t until we reached Airlie Beach that we realised not all was as it appeared. Turned out heaven was even closer than we thought.

Š All photos provided courtesy of Tourism Queensland

them on the Christian Pentecost holiday. Tradition has remained and both locals and visitors thank the powers that be who brought a foreign sailor to discover such a beautiful coastline.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO? When all is said and done however, it is the activities on offer here which draw the biggest crowds. A stunning artificial lagoon has been constructed on the shore of Airlie Beach to provide a safe swimming area free of stingers and box jellyfish. Kayaking, sailing, diving and snorkelling day trips to the Great Barrier Reef are offered by more than a dozen different companies. Taking a day offshore and exploring one of the Mother Nature’s most incredible wonders is a definite highlight of a trip to Airlie Beach. Most islands in the cluster are single or at most, double-resort owned, meaning a day trip to places like Lindeman, Hamilton and Daydream islands would essentially just be resort hopping. Instead, we suggest you consider a day trip from Airlie Beach to one the many uninhabited islands. You’ll be sharing your spoils with fewer people! Whitehaven is the most popular day-trip destination and the most iconic and photographed shoreline in the Whitsundays. Home to what is considered one of the best beaches in the world, Whitehaven features a 7 km stretch of glistening white sand, transparent aquamarine waters and luscious emerald meadows. The fusion of colors, textures and senses make the scenery here second to none. Your biggest challenge on a day trip to Whitehaven will be tearing yourself away.

Money-conscious travellers can hire snorkelling gear and take a day ferry to one of the islands for some private fun in the sun; whilst a half-day helicopter ride, snorkel and romantic gourmet lunch could be just the perfect way to indulge in some holiday luxury. Skydiving, parasailing and yacht cruises offer a more hands-on experience and can easily be organised from Shute Harbour. Should the adrenaline and sensory overload get too much, you can always pop into a day spa where you will find massages on the menu that are ideal to unwind after a full day out and about. A day trip to Hook Island should be high on your to-do list as well. A brisk hike up the hill will gift you with one of the most majestic views you’re ever likely to witness. We admit we went a little snap-happy at first, the overwhelming vista a chance too good to pass up. But photographs can’t really do it justice, so we suggest you take a few moments to simply enjoy this pocket of earth so heavenly blessed…and then take some photos! For those with a little extra time up their sleeve, Airlie Beach may be the idyllic setting for investing in that always dreamt of sailing or scuba diving licence. Various courses are available and suitable to all ages and levels of expertise. What better way to test your newly acquired skills than in and above the best barrier reef in the world? The area surrounding Airlie Beach is well worth discovering too. The hinterland is home to one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests at the Conway National Park. You can join a tour or hire a four-wheel drive for a self-drive trip like no other. Unique landscape and wildlife will mesmerise and captivate all who

visit. Walking tracks through the rainforest provide the perfect chance to stretch your legs. A horse ride through the Dryander Mountains is a fabulous way to visit some of Australia’s oldest sugarcane plantations, and a chance for you to enjoy the scenic valley without exerting too much oomph. After all… you are on holidays! But really…who are we kidding…it’s all about the food! While holidaying in Airlie Beach your culinary pleasures will of course be fulfilled with fresh and scrumptious seafood. The best mud crab in town is to be devoured at Fish d’Vine, a wonderfully atmospheric joint open till the wee hours of the morning; perfect for that middle-of-the-night crab craving! Many more seaside eateries will vie for your tastebuds, but don’t forget to explore Get That India and Sorrento’s for some superb modern Australian fusion fare. While in Airlie, don’t forget to check out the beachside Saturday markets, a great way to pick up local garb on the cheap and taste some mouth-watering local produce. In case you’re travelling with little tykes, keep in mind that there are many activities on offer to keep even the tiniest tot entertained. There are numerous hotels and resorts with in-house kids’ clubs providing peace of mind…and a few hours of adult fun for the parents! Kids’ camel rides on the beach are the norm in summer. As we always like to leave the best till last, one final mention must go to the sunsets. Not only are they free of charge and widely available, but the ones on Airlie Beach are among the most magnificent we’ve ever seen. All you need to do is grab yourself a sundowner and pick a top spot, and let nature do the rest.


Top 4

Airlie Beach...

Airlie Beach Hotel, hub of the Esplanade The fabulous Airlie Beach Hotel, hub of the Esplanade can be found in the very heart of Airlie Beach so why not rest up here for a while, and wake to the sound of the Coral Sea before setting off to explore the beautiful Whitsundays and surrounding region? There are three types of rooms at the luxurious Airlie Beach Hotel: beach view, village view, and motel rooms. Other features include a tour desk, key access undercover parking, guest laundry and swimming pool. You’ll be spoilt for choice when you’re hungry for a spot of dinner or thirsty for a long, cool drink at the Airlie Beach Hotel. There are three restaurants on site for you to choose from according to the cuisine you fancy that day! Head to Capers at the Beach if you are looking for modern Australian cuisine served up in chic surroundings. They will delight you with a wide range of tapas dishes, all washed down with signature cocktails. Or if you’re after Tex Mex, get down to Cactus Jack’s where you can dine out on the Esplanade for some serious people watching. Sizzling fajitas are the signature dish and you can crank up the heat to whatever level you fancy! Finally, there’s Mangrove Jack’s where the order of the evening is to kick back, relax and enjoy surveying the bustle of Airlie going by.

16 The Esplanade, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

at Hotel Group Only the very best holiday accommodation is presented by ‘at Hotel Group’. With four incredible hotels from which to select, you can be assured that once you arrive at your destination, everything will be in place to ensure that you get the most out of your time away, with all of high expectations being met with exceptional service and attention to detail.

at Waterfront Whitsunday Retreat 18+ at Waterfront Whitsunday Retreat is a luxury boutique hotel offering accommodation to adults only. Situated in Pioneer Bay, there is a choice of spa suites and penthouses, with inspiring views across the Port of Airlie, and the Coral Sea. The spa baths on the balconies allow for relaxation whilst the penthouses offer guests the added facility of a rooftop jacuzzi.


Ph: 1 800 466 233

Intl: (+61 7) 4964 1999

at The Water’s Edge Resort at The Water’s Edge Resort you will find beautiful apartments that offer peace and tranquility in the most amazing location. These stunning ocean-view apartments offer seclusion and privacy to their residents whilst being only 100 m away from the centre of Airlie Beach.

at The Marina Shores With 50 incredibly well-designed luxury waterfront spa apartments and spa penthouses overlooking the marina and the Whitsundays, this accommodation is both luxurious and highly fashionable.

at Whitsunday Vista Resort For ultimate relaxation, the Whitsunday Vista is the place to head. Across from the Port of Airlie, the accommodation here places you within easy reach of all of the local boutiques, restaurants and bars, whilst offering privacy and luxury to its guests.

Gateway to the Islands Harcourts Q Rentals at Airlie Beach

Waves of the Whitsundays

When it comes to finding accommodation in the beautiful Airlie Beach, Harcourts Q Rentals has a fantastic list of amazing holiday option in the area. Read on for a small taste of what they have available.

This stylish and contemporary apartment is located right in the heart of Airlie Beach. Sleeping four comfortably in two double rooms with a bathroom each, this apartment has everything you might need. Whip up a gourmet meal in your kitchen and enjoy dining with your friends al fresco out on the balcony as you watch the world go by below.

Studio Eight

Seaview House

As the name implies, this property is the height of sophistication, clean design and modern architecture. Studio Eight is situated close to the beach and to the centre of Airlie. There’s one spacious bedroom with a queen-sized bed so it’s perfect for a romantic getaway. With gorgeous glimpses of the ocean from your private balcony, what better place to relax with your loved one? 4 Waterson Way, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

If you’re looking for something a little roomier (well, a lot roomier!), Seaview House on Dingo Beach will comfortably house even the largest of families with two double beds, four singles and a room with single bunks and a further double bunk. The views over Nellie Bay and Dingo Beach are truly magnificent; enjoy them over a long and leisurely breakfast with your loved ones and you’ll never want to leave! Ph: 07-4948-7900

Ocean R afting for the Ride of Your Life For a truly exhilarating experience why not try an Ocean Rafting adventure? Not only does the day involve the thrill of rafting, but you will also visit the stunning Whitehaven Beach in Queensland, be able to snorkel around a fabulous coral reef and take a walk in a beautiful national park. There is so much to experience in this action-packed day that you may have to find the time to catch your breath. Just be warned though, as soon as you catch it is will be taken away again when you start the next activity. The rafts are semi-solid and fast, very fast. They were originally designed as rescue craft; measuring 11 metres in length they can carry up to 28 passengers at one time, making it a nice intimate group experience. Passengers are not exposed to the heat of the sun during travel either as the craft offers adequate shade. Ocean Rafting has exclusive access to the beautiful Hill Inlet Beach and incredible sites for snorkelling at both Border Island and Hook Island. Permits have also been granted to this amazing adventure company to access protected areas of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Once at the exclusive Hill Inlet Beach, rafters will be able to observe the incredible and rare stingrays that live in the estuary. A guided walk to a lookout point allows you to view the stunning beach laid out below.

Ph: 07-4946-6848




Daydream Island This relative small island is known as a mecca for those who love to sail. It is situated in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and being only 1 km long and 400 metres wide, intimate is a word that springs to mind. Daydream is popular due to its natural beauty and easy access from airports, including that on the nearby Hamilton Island. The island has three beaches which are perfect for the range of water sports on offer; snorkelling and scuba diving, sailboarding and kneeboarding, waterskiing and jetskiing, kayaking and banana boat rides, and an array of fishing experiences. The biggest problem will be how to fit it all in! One of the highlights of the island is the Living Reef which is one of the world’s largest man-made living coral reef lagoons filled with over 130 species of fish and coral. Here visitors have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the inhabitants of the Great Barrier Reef with the opportunity to hand feed local residents: the sharks and stingrays that is! If you are a walker then you may want to explore one of the several walking tracks across the island. The highest point through the centre has tropical vegetation with enough birds to keep any twitcher happy.

Fr aser Island Located 200 km north of Brisbane just off the coast of Hervey Bay is the World Heritage listed Fraser Island. It holds the trophy for being the largest sand island in the world and is 120 km long and around 25 km wide. It is also the only place in the world that you will find rainforest growing on sand. It is a unique natural environment that has developed over 800,000 years and with more than 100 freshwater lakes; it is home to an array of mammals, birds and reptiles and is definitely the place for nature lovers to visit. Fraser Island is definitely four-wheel drive country and if you have your own wheels then you can explore in your own time. The Cathedrals are a must-see. They are spectacular multi-coloured sand cliffs that have been carved over time by the forces of nature and are best viewed in the early morning light. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own car as you can join a guided driving tour, which is often the best choice when visiting an area for the first time. You can get to Fraser Island either by boat or barge across the Great Sandy Strait or make a grand entrance via a chartered flight or helicopter.

Green Island This coral cay – small island composed of sand and coral – is located 1,700 km north of Brisbane approximately 27 km off the coast of Cairns in northern Queensland. It is perfect for day-trippers with the boat journey taking about 45 minutes from the mainland. The island has an unspoilt rainforest, white sandy beaches and a reef that is close enough to shore for safe snorkelling. If you are looking for an adventure like no other, one of the popular activities to try on Green Island is sea walking. No experience is necessary and no fancy equipment or lessons are involved. You don’t even have to be a swimmer and your face and hair stay dry! Basically you have the opportunity to walk along the sea floor with a large bubble over your head while experiencing all the wonderful sea life and coral that surrounds the island. You are the live bowl in the water rather than the water being in the fish bowl! The walk is fully guided, as too are the nature walks for those wanting to keep completely dry. If you plan to stay a little longer than a day, the Green Island Resort offers the best in luxury accommodation, boasts a day spa and an award-winning restaurant.

Tropical Islands in Queensland

Hamilton Island One has to envy the local population on Hamilton Island, of which there are around 800 regulars, as they are living the dream. With its natural beauty, wildlife park, secluded beaches, warm weather and an infrastructure to support and pamper visitors, no wonder it is one of the most popular destinations in the region! What to do first? I guess one of the obvious choices has to be a visit to Whitehaven Beach which according to the British Broadcasting Corporation, is the number one beach to see before you die! It also features in our Top 10 Beaches to see in Australia. Here is 6 km of wedding-white sand fringed by a blue ocean that words cannot do justice to. Next on to Hardy Reef, the home of a permanent floating platform called Fantasea’s Reefworld, which is a must for visitors who want to experience the underwater world. Other things to do on the list include: playing golf on Australia’s only island champion course; trekking to the highest point on the island, Passage Peak, to take in 360-degree views of the surrounding islands; sailing a catamaran to a secluded spot; or just watching the sun set with a cocktail in hand.

Heron Island Like Green Island, Heron is a coral cay located about 540 km north of Brisbane and around 70 km north-east of Gladstone. The island is situated on the western side of Heron Reef which boasts around 900 types of fish species, almost two-thirds of the amount found on the whole Great Barrier Reef! This is a diving mecca and can truly claim to have some of the best diving and snorkelling along the Queensland coastline. There are about 20 dive spots to explore, many of which are only 15 minutes off the beach. If you are not a diver, you may wish to join an island walk, take a stroll along the reef or join a tour on the coral submarine which takes a look at life under the sea from above. Heron is only 800 metres long and 300 metres wide and you can walk around it in 20 minutes, but it is packed with bird and animal life and is home to the nesting grounds of the Green and Loggerhead turtles. It is not accessible to day-trippers so once you arrive and check in at the Heron Island Resort, it is time to sit back and relax.

Long Island A walker’s paradise! This is just one of the many reasons visitors travel to this island in the Whitsunday Island group. That and the fact that it is only 1 km off the mainland and takes just 20 minutes to travel to make it easy accessible and popular. Long Island is 9 km long and only 400 metres wide but is extensively national park with over 20 km of bushwalking tracks. For those who like to get their feet wet, there is every kind of water sport that you can think of, as well as a fringing reef only 150 metres offshore for discovering the local sea creatures. Then there are the hammocks in the shade and cocktails to be had from one of the three resorts that are located on the island. Each has its own style of accommodation ranging from budget to world-class luxury. Long Island is proud of its night-life and after the sun goes down the pace picks up again with live music, beach parties and, for those who love to belt out a tune or two, karaoke! The island welcomes couples, groups and families.

GETTING THERE Getting to Airlie Beach is an absolute breeze; its accessibility testament to the town’s popularity. The closest airport is at Proserpine, only a 30-minute drive from Airlie. A little further away is the Whitsunday Coast Airport, which is serviced by both Virgin Blue and Jet Star, operating flights from most major Australian cities. Should you wish to drive here, note that Airlie is approximately 1,000 km north of Brisbane and 600 km south of Cairns. There are also numerous long-haul coach companies operating on the east coast of Australia should you wish to bus it instead. The train ride from Brisbane, on the recently installed Tilt Train, is an experience in itself. It’s like travelling on a business class long-haul flight! The seats recline, you have a personal entertainment unit and quite frankly, the beautiful views out the windows are much more enticing than endless clouds. Once you reach Proserpine, just hop on a bus for the 30-minute ride to Airlie Beach.

Destinations for the discerning traveller

Austr alia and the South Pacific Islands

Hi-Head Beanie ($69.95) If your holiday plans include heading to colder climates or skiing then the Hi-Head Beanie may just be your cup of tea. The Hi-Head is much more than just a warm beanie for your head. In fact, it incorporates removable high-performance speakers that allow you to listen to your favourite music at all times – perfect for skiers and adventurers that like to keep their earphones on even in the bumpiest of situations. The Hi-Head also includes a handsfree function for your cellular phone, so you can answer calls and have a conversation with your friends without getting cold. It is compatible with: iPhone family, iPod family, a lot of mobile phones and every music source through the universal 3.5 mm earphone jack.

Olloclip ($99.95) The Olloclip is a quick-connect lens solution for the iPhone 4/4S that includes fisheye, wide-angle and macro lenses in one small convenient package that easily fits in your pocket when travelling. The Olloclip connects to the iPhone within seconds so you’ll be sure to capture the image you want…if you don’t see the picture you’re looking for, just flip it over to switch lenses. The fisheye lens captures approximately a 180-degree field-ofview and produces some striking images. The wide-angle lens is great for when you need that extra field of view; approximately double that of the normal iPhone. The macro lens applies roughly a 10X multiplier and allows you to focus the iPhone within 12-15 mm of the subject. The macro lens is cleverly concealed within the Olloclip and can be accessed by unscrewing the wide-angle lens that is normally attached to it.

If it’s new & cool Beezer is northern irish slang something cool, amazing

PowerMonkey-eXplorer Solar Charger ($119.95) From the heart of Africa to the Hardanger Glacier in Norway, the Apple™ approved powermonkey-eXplorer portable solar charger has proven to be an invaluable piece of kit, providing essential power in the most remote locations. Incorporating the Solarmonkey solar charger, the powermonkey-eXplorer lets you charge wherever, whenever. The powermonkey-eXplorer is not just for adventure travellers. Compatible with the majority of mobile phones, iPods (now including iPhone 3GS/4), MP3/ MP4, PDAs and portable games consoles, including the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS & DS-Lite, powermonkey-eXplorer is a portable charger for your devices. It gives you 96 hours of standby on your mobile, 40 hours on your iPod, five hours on your games console, 48 hours on your PDA and six hours on MP3/MP4 players. The powermonkey-eXplorer can be charged one of three ways: via the included universal mains charger, via USB or via the included solar panel.

TM collections/travel-gadgets-on-special

STM Jet Roller Laptop Bag ($179.95) The STM Jet Roller Laptop Bag is a dream for any gadget-laden traveller wishing to stay both organised and relaxed. The wheeled bag is carry-on safe and provides you with all the storage space you need for your clothes and valuable gadgets. The high density padded laptop compartment will accommodate most 17-inch laptops but that’s just the start. You’ll find room for your iPad, iPhone, chargers and cables, compact camera and sunglasses. You name it; there is a pocket ready. Each compartment is super easy to access and the handy front pockets are perfect for quick access to your travel documents. For long, tiring journeys you will be thanking the smooth, sturdy wheels for saving your back from another trip to the chiropractor.

it’s a Beezer! used to descriBe or cracker.

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit ($79.95) If you are an adventure traveller then this one is for you. Bear Grylls, the ultimate survivalist, has put together this life-saving kit in conjunction with Gerger, manufacturers of survival tools since 1939. It is a survival kit built for hostile environments. Stick the Ultimate Survival Kit in your backpack and hope your never have to use it. If you do, it has everything you need to survive in even the toughest spots. The 16 piece kit includes: needle nose pliers, wire cutters, a fine-edge knife, Phillips screwdriver, small flat driver, medium flat driver, lanyard ring, bottle opener, tweezers, waterproof bag, miniature light, hand saw, signaling mirror, survival blanket, fire starter, waterproof matches, cotton ball - fire tinder, snare wire, emergency cord, waxed thread, fishing kit, sewing kit, lanyard whistle, lightweight, rip-stop nylon bag with waterproof zipper, land-toair rescue instructions and Priorities of Survival - Pocket Guide. Ready for an adventure?

SECU4 Bags ($99.95) The SECU4 Bags is a simple security device to stop you doing the worse thing possible on your holidays - losing your bag! The unit itself is the size of a credit card and is placed into the bag that you want to ensure does not leave your side. The device works by connecting, via Bluetooth, to your mobile device. It is compatible with all mobiles that have Bluetooth functionality. Once set up, the device will emit a 100dB alarm if separated from you by more than your preset distance between 5-30 metres. Not only does this stop you from committing a holiday-ruining faux pas such as leaving your bag in a restaurant, but it will also deter thieves from running away with a screeching alarm. The Swiss design and development ensure 100 per cent accuracy and is a must for any traveller.

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Port Douglas and Daintree

a food lover’s guide By Laur a Pattar a


Port Douglas is fast becoming Australian’s number one holiday destination. Boasting not one, but two UNESCO World Heritage sites at your doorstep tends to have that effect on a place. But if the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest were to magically disappear, don’t be surprised if Port Douglas’ popularity was to remain the same. In case you haven’t heard, Port Douglas also boasts an enviable collage of some of the best eateries in the entire country! Its uniquely fertile environment, coupled with the area’s famed multiculturalism, has ensured the gastronomic feasts on offer in Port Douglas are second to none. Fresh seafood, local organic produce and unique exotic fruits are served in over 60 exceptional cafes and restaurants in town. Taking a stroll down Macrossan Street, it’s soon evident that Port Douglas rivals any major world capital for gastronomic distinction. Queensland’s pride and joy may well have had humble beginnings, as Port Douglas started out as a small fishing village, yet it’s transformation into an elegant and refined holiday destination has not tainted its inherent traits. In a town where palm trees still reign supreme over the skyline, the atmosphere it still typically laid-back, unpretentious, and totally captivating.

The glorious food…

It should come as no surprise that a haven like Port Douglas also attracts world-class chefs. The attraction of cooking with topnotch ingredients –and the enviable lifestyle a tropical paradise such as this provides – proves to be a temptation few can refuse. Choosing any of the restaurants here will be an instant guarantee of a phenomenal meal, as each and every one follows the same credo: ‘only use the freshest ingredients and then cook them to absolute perfection’. Indeed finding a restaurant par excellence is as easy as finding Nemo on the Barrier Reef! To help you navigate the vast array of eateries however, we’ve taken on the unbelievably difficult task of scouring (and relishing!) the food on offer and gladly suggest a few of our personal favourites. No need to thank us, really…it’s our pleasure.

Salsa Bar & Grill is preceded by its fantastic reputation as one of the city’s very best restaurants. The restaurant has won many awards and is a favourite of rich and famous personalities who vacation and live here. The main reason why this place is so popular is that not only does it offer a vibrant atmosphere, delectable cocktail and wine lists and amazingly unique dishes, but the menu is constantly changing, making this a top choice for local residents as well. It may take you a while to book a table, but we guarantee it will be well worth the wait! On the Inlet Seafood Restaurant actually has its own loading pontoon; seriously…how fresh can dinner get? The guys at Harrison’s are known as the shellfish experts of Port Douglas, and for a romantic dinner like no other, we suggest you head to Nautilus. The magical rainforest setting, combined with attention to every detail and outstanding menus, go far in setting this place apart from all the rest. Nautilus is definitely the one for that very special dinner during your stay in Port Douglas. Planning to head to Daintree? Excellent choice…and we don’t just mean for the incredible flora and fauna awaiting your arrival! Activities abound in the Daintree National Park, and you should plan at least a couple of days to take in all this incredible gem has to offer. From nocturnal walks, to canopy swinging, croc spotting and reef cruising, the Daintree is a destination like no other. Especially when you consider the amazing restaurants one finds deep within the forest’s bosom! For an exclusive jungle-dining experience, head to Julaymba Restaurant, the signature restaurant of the Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa. If Tarzan and Jane were world-class tree-swingers, this is where they’d land for lunch. The Daintree Tea House has been here longer than any others, so it deserves a special mention: survival of the fittest in the jungle is not to be taken lightly…it’s brutal out there! The lemon myrtle oil available to purchase in the Park may smell like it’s good enough to eat, but it is the area’s most renowned essential oil, and is released by local endemic plants. This unique product is the perfect souvenir to take home. For an unforgettable experience, and a feast for all your senses, head to Port Douglas and take your tastebuds take on the gastronomic trip of a lifetime.


Port Douglas Peninsula Boutique Hotel The Port Douglas Peninsula Boutique Hotel is the ideal accommodation choice for discerning tourists who are visiting the town or making their way through to the Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef. Overlooking the Coral Sea and Four Mile Beach, visitors have five different room options. The hotel is brimming with facilities to ensure that every guest’s stay is special. There are a variety of unique swimming pools and a waterfall jacuzzi for guests to enjoy. Sun lounges dot the poolside so relax and top up your tan. Further facilities include a spa, guest laundry, a guest library, in-house massage and office facilities. All rooms are wi-fi enabled. There is also an in-house restaurant which features a full buffet breakfast daily. Serving a variety of meals from numerous different cuisines, guests are sure to find something they enjoy on the extensive menu.

9-13 The Esplanade, Port Douglas QLD 4877 Freecall: 1800 676 674 Ph: 07 4099 9100

White House Okay, so it may not be the home of US president Barack Obama, but the White House in Port Douglas promises to be just as thrilling and much closer to the beach. If you are heading to Far North Queensland and are looking for an “authentic experience”, then the White House is for you. The White House Holiday Apartments are a unique four-star complex of nine apartments set amid tropical gardens overlooking parkland filled with birds—perfect if you are a twitcher or just love to wake up to tweets! Built in the classic “Old Queenslander” architectural style, large doors and deep, shaded verandahs welcome a cool breeze from the nearby ocean. Located metres away from the famous Four Mile Beach, you will only need to step out the door to feel sand between your toes.

19 Garrick Street Port Douglas QLD 4877

Ph: 07-4099-5600

Wellness Day Spa at Port Douglas Take a day out of your busy schedule and visit the wellness@port located in the heart of the beautiful Port Douglas area. Whichever indulgent treatments you opt for – detoxifying, nourishing or nurturing – you can be sure that you will leave the spa feeling better than ever. Awarded with “Best Spa Experience” in 2011 by the readers of Port Douglas Magazine, wellness@port offers a full range of spa treatments. You can go for a nurturing spa facial, relax in the steam room, indulge in a body exfoliation and body wrap or get fit again with a relaxing, medium firm or remedial massage. There is a spacious couple’s suite to enjoy some relaxing time with your partner, or come with a group of friends and indulge in a day out at the spa where you enjoy exclusive use of all spa facilities plus individual treatments that will have you asking for more spa pampering.

Shop 7/32 Macrossan Street Port Douglas QLD 4877


Ph: 07 4099 5099

Port Douglas

& the daintree

Executive Retreats Executive Retreats specialise in the management of premium holiday rental properties and unique venues in tropical locations including Port Douglas and Cairns. Offering a selection of the finest luxury lifestyle properties, absolute beachfront homes and villas, chic apartments, spa retreats, townhouses and condominiums, Executive Retreats will ensure your next trip to paradise will be unsurpassed. A destination...A luxurious journey to relaxation. With a wealth of local knowledge and privacy assured, the Executive Retreats team are on call as your concierge to tailor make your dream holiday come true. Explore the local area, or stay in...and let our qualified spa therapists and in house chefs cater to your every desire. the ‘Art of Tropical Living’. PO Box 204, Port Douglas QLD 4877 Ph: 07-4098-1418

Sher aton The Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas is an absolute beachfront oasis of five-star luxury. With the Coral Sea lapping onto its pristine grounds, it is uniquely nestled between the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. A haven set in 130 hectares of lush tropical gardens with two hectares of sparkling, swimmable blue lagoons, the resort features 294 superbly appointed rooms and 100 split-level luxury villas. Experience a world of cuisine at the award-winning restaurants and bars or be challenged at the stunning golf course with views of the Daintree mountains. Recently awarded ‘Best Environmental Practice’ at this year’s Queensland Hotel Association for Excellence, Sheraton Mirage was also voted by the readers of 2011 Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of the Top 5 Resorts, ‘Worlds Best Service’ for Australia, N.Z. and the South Pacific.

Davidson Street, Port Douglas QLD 4877 Ph: 07-4099-5888 overview/index.html?propertyID=370

Cape Tribulation Cape Tribulation Farmstay is a set of five private eco-style cabins with bed and breakfast accommodation in the heart of Cape Tribulation and adjacent to the Daintree in far north Queensland. Set on a tropical fruit orchard, the farmstay overlooks Mount Sorrow and is only a five-minute walk from the beach. Each cabin has a private bathroom and deck overlooking the orchards and mountains, and cooking and laundry facilities are available in the common farmhouse which is also a great central meeting place for guests. The farmstay is a working tropical exotic fruit plantation with the main commercial crops being Durian, Mangosteen and Rambutan. Guests are welcome to wander through the orchards and enjoy the fresh fruit in season. Close to restaurants and adventure activities, this is a natural retreat for eco travellers, bird watchers, and animal and nature lovers. Cape Tribulation Road, Cape Tribulation QLD 4873 Ph: 07 4098 0042


Port Douglas By Vicki Sly

Where two World Heritage areas collide


According to research carried out by Tourism Australia, it is nature more than any other concept which motivates visitors to travel to Australia each year. And let’s face it; nature is something we do on a grand scale. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world; Uluru, the largest sandstone rock; and let’s not forget the Great Barrier Reef. Not only is it one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, it is also the world’s largest coral reef and the world’s biggest single structure made from living organisms, which can also be seen from outer space. As Australians, I think it is important for us to sometimes stop and appreciate how lucky we are to live in a country with all of these wonders, and we should let the rest of the world know how we feel! This is one of the reasons the Great Barrier Reef was formally inducted into Australia’s National Landscapes Program on 2 March 2012. The program is a joint initiative between Tourism Australia and Parks Australia which brings together conservation and tourism to highlight Australia’s most iconic landscapes of outstanding natural beauty and cultural significance It was inspired by the concept that world travellers associate the term ‘national park’ with some of the biggest names on the ‘1,000 places to see before I die’ list that apparently we should all be working on. There’s Yellowstone National Park, Serengeti National Park and Yosemite National Park, to name but a few. With over 600 national parks to

choose from in Australia, it can be difficult for tourists to know where to start. This program aims to help clarify Australia’s national landscapes of significance. Think the Alps, Flinders Ranges, Great Ocean Road and the Kimberley as in indication. Anyone in Port Douglas will tell you that as the closest mainland port to the Great Barrier Reef, it is the perfect starting point to appreciate some of our natural wonders. It is also the only place on earth where two World Heritage areas meet – the Great Barrier Reef and the world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree. To take in this first wonder, there are 12 tours operating daily from Port Douglas to the reef and you can choose a number of different options on how you plan to get there. There are intimate sailing boats, large catamarans, luxury charter yachts, kayaks (where you have to do the work) and even a helicopter for a breathtaking aerial view. Whether you wish to snorkel or dive to see some of the 1,500 species of fish that live on the reef, meet minke whales, watch out for humpbacks migrating or simply soak up the enormity of the reef, everything can be hired, bought or booked from Port Douglas. One back on land you can turn your attention to the pristine forest that has the world’s most complete record of the evolution of plant life dating back to the beginning of time, some 3.5 billion years ago. It is staggering just to consider the age of this forest and a visit will certainly give you some understanding of the importance of preserving the unique plants and animals found here. Rare

and threatened species such as Boyd’s forest dragon, the musky rat-kangaroo and the southern cassowary can be seen here. There are plenty of ways to tour the Daintree National Park, through guided tours or at your own pace. Visit an interpretive centre along the way to gain an understanding of this unique environment and learn which animals and plants you can expect to see. A tour will ensure you see even more of the wildlife and understand the symbiotic relationships within the rainforest. Here are some quick facts about what you may encounter in the rainforest which may just entice you to start ticking off your bucket list right here and now in wonderful Port Douglas: • The beautiful Cairns Birdwing can be seen at Mossman Gorge. It is the largest butterfly in Australia with a wingspan of up to 18 cm. • Australia’s largest fern, the King fern, with fronds as long as 5 m is found in the Daintree Rainforest. • The world’s smallest kangaroo, the musky rat-kangaroo, is found in the Daintree Rainforest. • Australia’s largest frog species, the white-lipped tree frog, is found in the Daintree Rainforest. It can grow up to 14 cm in length. • The Daintree Rainforest’s Ulysses is a frantic flyer, spending more time flitting from tree to tree than other butterfly. • Victoria’s Riflebird is one of Australia’s four species of Birds of Paradise and is only found in the Daintree Rainforest.


Adventurous by nature

We know how to unwind. It’s in our nature. When nature puts you in the picture. When you check your body clock by the seasons. Where food always tastes like it should. And, where there’s time to enjoy it all. Here is a destination so perfectly designed chance had no hand in it. Framed between the mist capped mountains of the Daintree and the shimmering ribbons of the Great Barrier Reef is a region of beauty rare. World Heritage-listed for the pleasures of future generations. And accessible to all who enjoy the true pleasures of life.

To discover more about Port Douglas & The Daintree

Palm Cove

Par adise Palms Resort & Country Club

Paradise Palms Resort is operated by Vision Hotels and Resorts – a brand name synonymous with distinctive service and quality facilities based on the award-winning formula of its sister property, The Lakes Cairns Resort & Spa. The club offers a range of packages for those who want to make the most of the golf course during their stay, including uniquely tailored excursions. The rooms are fully furnished and airconditioned for supreme comfort. The three-night ‘stay and play’ package is just one of the packages on offer. You’ll receive three nights accommodation in a resort room or one-bedroom apartment and a delicious, leisurely breakfast each morning. The package includes two rounds of golf for you and your partner on the 18-hole course. Prices for this package start at $719 for two adults.

Paradise Palms Drive, Kewarra Beach QLD 4879 Ph: 1800 666 614 or 07 4059 9999 Ph: 07-4059-9900 for golf bookings

reef house Spa – Palm Cove Reef House Spa is known as the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of Palm Cove –‘Spa Capital of Australia’. This beautiful nurturing spa boasts a fusion of professionalism with a touch of the holistic and a smidge of the spiritual. Operated by the multi-award winning Exclusive Spas Group Australia, the spa has been a winner of the Conde’ Nast UK Spa Awards each year since its inception in 2003. It is recognised as the most lauded of all Australian spas. Designed to compliment the colonial charm of its surroundings, the Reef House Spa fuses ancient Aboriginal therapies with hydrotherapy, herbalist principals and LI’TYA natural spa products. It offers five ambient treatment rooms including two dual treatment rooms with private jacuzzis. All treatments at the Reef House Spa begin with an ancient foot ritual and an Aboriginal ‘smudging ceremony’.

99 Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove QLD 4879 Ph: 07-4098-2600

Northern Exposure realty For those who are seeking an excellent choice of holiday accommodation, Northern Exposure Realty is second to none. Mainly focussed on the beautiful and everpopular Palm Cove area, holiday homes are offered to suit all budgets and meet any requirements you may have for your perfect holiday rental home. Holiday homes are offered under the umbrella of Cairns Holiday Rentals and Palm Cove Holiday Homes and aim to provide clients with the best possible experience. Holiday accommodation is available to suit everyone’s needs, from the adventurous adrenaline-seeking water sports enthusiast to families looking to have the perfect holiday together away. With the added option of being able to look for suitable residential properties for investors, and undeveloped land for sale to developers, they really do provide an all-round service to people looking to invest in the property and land market around the region. 28 Bokissa Road,, Palm Cove QLD 4879 Ph: 07-4059-0111


A soft refreshing sea breeze caresses my face, as the sun’s last rays bid us farewell. I turn to my love, who seems to be lost in blissful thought. We were warned in advance that Palm Cove is a true lovers’ paradise, but what they failed to mention is the amorous effect this place can bestow. I’m serious! Hubby’s convinced there’s something in the water. You see, he threw his dirty socks on the bed this afternoon and I quietly proceeded to pick them up and place them in the laundry bag without even a hint of irritation. He thinks I’ve been drugged, or that I’ve caught some tropical disease which has disabled the wife-winging gene. I told him that I was fine, ‘never felt happier’ were my actual words. And I mean it. No amount of dirty socks could ruin my love-hood here. We’ve been in Palm Cove for four days, and I’ve already fallen in love many times over. I’m in love with the food, I’m head over heels with the amount of activities on offer, I’ve got a definite crush on the shopping centres, I can’t get enough of the perfect weather and, to top it all off, I’m completely addicted to the sunsets. The most alluring of all the beaches north of Cairns, Palm Beach is not only a glorious haven surrounded by unique natural wonders, but is also a luxurious retreat if indulgence, pampering and romancing are what you’re looking for. Renowned for its world-class dining and shopping, Palm Cove is the ideal choice for the discerning traveller who wants nothing but the best.

Where to stay? When it comes to accommodation, Palm Cove really is your oyster! From beach-side bungalows and self-serviced apartments, to all inclusive luxury resorts, you’ll find something here to suit all your needs. Many places offer special wedding packages, honeymoon deals and all are geared toward that special romantic getaway. Luxurious spa resorts are Palm Cove’s forte and if you’ve ever wanted to indulge in some blissful pampering, then Palm Cove is the place for you. Massages, treatments and relaxation packages for couples are a sure-fire way to have you both feeling refreshed and rejuvenated during your stay.

What to see and do? The activities on offer in Palm Cove are not only plentiful, but also superb. With the Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef as neighbours, it’s only natural that outdoor activities be the number one attraction here. Day trips and overnight excursions are on offer, with diving and snorkelling in the crystal clear Coral Sea an absolute must-do. For a spot of shopping, and to book the above-mentioned activities, head to Paradise Village Shopping Centre, on the northern end of Williams Esplanade. Here you’ll find agencies specialising in trips to the reef and rainforest, as well as a myriad of designer boutiques. Local exclusive jewellery can be found here too…what better way to put the sparkle back in your romance then by buying some?


Romancing Palm Cove To help you better plan your romantic escapade, we’ve tried and tested the most romantic activities on offer. While the options are many, we’ve picked our top three favourites. To really get the heart pumping, we suggest you follow our lead and do all three in one single day. Trust us…there’s no way you’d complain about dirty socks on the bed either, if this is how you spent your time in Palm Cove! There’s no better way to start your day of love and lusciousness, then by taking a sunrise hot air balloon ride over one of the most beautiful corners of the world. Seeing the sun slowly peeking from behind the Atherton Tablelands is simply breathtaking. You’ll enjoy extensive views over Cairns, Palm Cove and the Reef. The early morning start is well worth the magical experience. Oops, almost forgot to mention the champagne breakfast you’ll enjoy after your ride! After such an exhilarating start to your day, it’s safe to assume you’ll be up for some serious R & R. Let the gods and goddesses of Palm Cove work their magic ALL over your body (and that of your beloved) at one of the many spas in town. The Spa Strip, as it is known, is a 2 km stretch featuring some of the most divine treatment salons in the country. Spending a few hours side-by-side while being massaged, mud-wrapped, exfoliated, Vichy showered and oiled is bound to leave you floating on clouds. To end your perfect day in Palm Cove, book a dinner at Flames of the Forest, a surreal dining experience right in the middle of the rainforest. A romantic candlelit dinner, enjoyed under the canopy of the world’s oldest rainforest, is nothing short of enchanting. The food is exquisite (all seven courses!), the service faultless and the included performance of Indigenous live music makes this a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Love Palm Cove

Where is the In


of course!

By Laur a Pattar a



Lotus Final Edition Exige 260S

The Toyota Corolla is simply not a cool car. As an A-to-B transport option, it does the job, and at least its 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine is frugal with enough power to flit about town or the country in a painless, if sometimes painful, way. And yet, the Toyota Corolla power plant actually beats inside one of the most ballistic on-track weapons this side of the showroom window.

By Samantha Stevens

The diminutive Lotus Exige is a stark contrast to the wheeled whitegood which shares its engine: aggressively styled for aerodynamics, compromised by function, and with the buzz-box befitting its killer-bee look aggressively screaming its way to 8,000 rpm right behind your ears. The 1.8-litre Toyota donk is not long for the Lotus world – ironically, the demand from the Corolla camp will see the contract between the British car maker and Japanese giant come to an end this year. But it has served the Exige and Elise well; and well enough to earn a final farewell wrapped in rubberised paint with some extra kick.

Motoring Enter the Lotus Exige 260S Final Edition. America is the only place that gets this limited edition variant outside of its native England, and a test drive at Chuckwalla Raceway in the deserts past Palm Springs, before a long haul back to Los Angeles, set the stage for a fitting last hurrah. Lotus is set to change the game yet again with a brand new car by the end of 2012 featuring a distinctly different design inside and out – more creature comforts, easier entry and egress, and a different level of performance. Whether that level is higher, or just different, remains to be seen. But it still won’t stray from original Lotus creator Colin Chapman’s pioneer design of the current tub chassis, where the driver essentially sits within the car’s platform between the front and the driven rear wheels. That’s right, the bare aluminium that lines the cabin up to hip height is, in fact, the car’s skeleton. And skeletal it is, the cup holder that slides out from under the dash looks like a Sumo wrestler’s loincloth, and the ‘lightweight’ carpeting, air con and radio are actually part of the Final Edition’s ‘luxury’ features… Otherwise, the cupboard is bare. There isn’t much to see out the back either – while that mid-mounted engine thrums just behind your head and the air ducting for the supercharger flows from a gaping scoop above it, said ducting actually fills the entire rear window with its black plastic casing. The rear-view mirror is purely for homologation purposes. The pay-off for its spartan interior, the body origami needed to get in and out, and its total lack of rearward vision, is a connection to the road that can only usually be

found in an open-wheeler – and they don’t have this car’s lauded suspension. The Lotus sits standard on roadlegal semi-slick race tyres and hangs from coil over shocks and springs that soak up the jitters and ride the bumps, all the while sticking limpet-like to the ground thanks to a skinny kerb weight of less than a tonne and, of course, those aero mods. When you get it right, the Lotus rewards you with dollops of power and pure handling via an unassisted rack for constant feedback through hands, feet and backside. Get it wrong, however, and the Exige will bite; its short wheelbase and light, mid-engined set-up makes it skate and try to half spin on cold tyres. The Exige engine doesn’t really get going until the 5,500 rpm mark, despite the supercharger typically hauling torque up from the lower rev range, and the engine is happiest near its 7,800rpm peak. Only the strongest Corolla hire cars have seen such heights! But said renters would still be a more comfortable option for the long haul home: Palm Springs to LA is far too long to travel in a matte black car with little luxuries on a prime truck route at night. After some big rigs trying to stomp on the little Lotus – unable to see it at all, no doubt – the final insult was trying to extricate oneself from the cabin at journey’s end. It required some planning and contortion, even for a five-foot-six femme. But the fact that large men are often the ones to awkwardly climb out of these little Lotii is the best advertisement for the passion and adrenaline this car can create. Compromised? Absolutely. Worth it? Without a doubt.

The Engine Formerly using Rover engines, the current batch of Lotus cars utilise the Toyota 2ZZ 1.8 L four-cylinder petrol engine that used to power the Celica coupe. It develops 179 kW at a high 7,800 rpm, with 215 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm thanks to the addition of a Roots-type supercharger. While those figures don’t exactly raise the eyebrows, the car only weighs 965 kg; it has a power-to-weight ratio similar to a Porsche 911 Carrera.

The Wheels The 16-inch alloys on the front and 17-inch on the rear offer awesome grip, but are a pain on a track day without the ability to rotate the tyres front to rear.

The Fuel While it needs premium (95 RON) fuel, the car only sips around 8.5 L/100 km – a good thing given the tiny 43 L fuel tank.

THE SPECS – Final Edition • • • • • • • •

US$69,990 1.8 L I4 engine, supercharged 190 kW@ 8,000rpm 235 Nm @ 6,000rpm 6-speed man w/OD transmission Rear-wheel drive 942 kg Driveline traction control, rear diff, forged black alloys, rubberised matt black paint, luxury touring pack. Only 50 made.


Beating Written by Jessica Peletier

Overcoming the Fear Factor

As 2012 kicks off, it’s easy to look back at the year just gone and conclude that it’s a terrible time to be considering any major investment. 2011 saw property prices falling across the country and after a brief hesitation, share prices joined the party, plummeting with enough volatility to give a girl whiplash. Adding to the worrisome reality of our investment markets were the hideous headlines coming out of


Europe – the old ‘multiple countries plagued by debt/Euro under pressure/incompetent policy maker’ combo has ensured that things do indeed look rather bleak for the future. But should all this fear and worry be enough to stop us in our tracks and start jamming into the bunkers? Or is now the time we should be toughening up, putting our hands on our ears and searching for great opportunities in spite of all the negative headlines? Prominent Australian author and property investor Steve McKnight of recently revealed that he’s just entered into his biggest investment ever. It goes to show that while it is difficult to ignore the horror stories in the press, there are definitely opportunities for astute investors. It’s essential to focus on facts that are real and known – like quality research and due diligence – rather than absorbing media-promoted panic related to events that may never occur. Mr McKnight suggests that a good way to determine whether you’re over-worrying is to break down the perceived problem into ‘Ifs’.


As an example, we’ll pretend the fear that’s stopping you from investing is that the imminent implosion of Europe is going to make life so horrendous you won’t be able to afford to repay your investment loan. The reality might look like this – IF Europe implodes and IF you get the sack and IF you can’t find another job and IF interest rates skyrocket and IF your tenant defaults on his rent then you might not be able to afford your loan repayments. That’s a lot of ‘ifs’. There is a long chain of events that would have to materialise to realise your fears, and in the event that one of those things did happen, it would not necessarily mean all the links in the chain would occur. Even if Europe did implode, it wouldn’t mean anything if the other factors stayed the same. It’s quite illuminating to cut through the noise of the media and focus on the facts in front of you. Noone knows for sure what the future holds, but with careful planning, focus and a wisely chosen strategy, there are great opportunities for savvy investors to prosper, right now.


Getting Written by Jessica Peletier

Whether you’re a seasoned investor looking to expand your empire, or a newbie just getting started in your investing adventure, it is essential that you take the next step of your journey with a strong understanding of the strategy you’ve chosen to get you there. The excitement involved in any new venture can be exhilarating. It can be very tempting to throw caution to the wind, dive in head first and proceed to learn ‘on the job’ – and while there is value in this approach, going down that path is undoubtedly the fast-track to a lighter wallet and a rockier marriage. A much more effective way to preserve your money and your marriage is to piggyback off someone who has already blazed the trail you’re hoping to proceed down yourself. No matter who you are or how much success you have, there is always someone out there with more experience who is willing to share their secrets with you through private mentoring or investment courses. So how do you find these extraordinarily clever people who are willing to mentor you? And how do you know that they’re for real? The truth is that out there in ‘investment world’ there are all kinds of shady folk (otherwise known as investment spruikers) lying in wait, hoping to lure you in with their grand promises; the promise that if you do their course you will soon be earning $3k in your lunchbreak trading Forex. The promise that


massive wealth is just around the corner if only you would invest in a new sheep/goat hybrid – which for the sake of this argument we will call ‘shoats’. You’d think common sense would protect you from these shady deals, but in truth, the people behind them can be so compelling that before you know it you’ve signed on the dotted line and are the proud owner of a herd of shoats.


There are some simple steps you can take to ensure that you’re signing up with a real investment guru rather than just a slick salesman. The Internet is your friend. If only you’d known in advance that shoats were blind and had a predicted life span of six weeks. If only you’d realised that the charming guy who sold you your shoats was doing a damn fine job selling cat food just nine months earlier. Awkward situations like these can easily be avoided just by doing a quick background check on both the people involved and their product.


It’s a fact in life that the people who ask the most questions get the most answers. If someone has passed your background check, go forth and annoy them with questions! Make them qualify themselves before you hand over your hard-earned cash. Some questions worth asking are:

Are you actively trading shares/ developing property/breeding healthy shoats? There are a lot of people out there who pose as experts, but actually make their money selling products rather than being active in their area of ‘expertise’. Don’t make the mistake of being sucked in by a salesperson rather than a genuine expert. How long have you been successfully doing what you do? There’s a quote I like by Douglas Jerrold that goes “Fortunes made in no time are like shirts made in no time; it’s 10 to one if they hang long together”. There are hundreds of ‘experts’ who come out of the woodwork during a bull market who have, legitimately, made a fortune. However, the real test comes when the tide turns and conditions are no longer quite so favourable. As an example, look at the last 10 years in the Australian share market. People everywhere made a fortune during the 2003-2007 bull market, but were then savaged by the global financial crisis. And if that didn’t reduce their equity to dust, the sloppy market we’ve been enjoying for the last two years most likely would have. If your educator-to-be has withstood the test of time and has successfully invested through the good times and the bad, then you can be confident you’re in good hands. As prominent Australian share trader and author Louise Bedford said, “If your trainer hasn’t been around long enough to see


the valleys as well as the peaks, you’ll be in for a bumpy ride on your way towards achieving success.” Make sure the person you choose isn’t a one-hit wonder. What happens to me once I’ve finished your course or program? This is actually really important. It’s easy to spend a small fortune pursuing your education only to find out at the end of the course that you’ve been turned loose by your educator without a backward glance. All the elation and excitement you felt during the course will soon fade into frustration if you’re left to take your first real steps forward alone. After-course support is essential and will allow you to implement what you have learnt with confidence, knowing that

you have an experienced mentor or teacher supporting you. Is your course going to teach me the skills I need to learn, and do your strategies mesh with my own? Now, I do realise this seems rather obvious, but you might be surprised. Imagine you want to learn share trading. You’ve found a great mentor and you’re raring to go, but as soon as the course starts you realise your mentor is a day trader who sits in front of his screen all day. You, on the other hand, have a full-time job. This guy ticks all the boxes, but his strategy clearly doesn’t. On the other hand, you might be interested in property and have found a highly successful property investor to mentor you. It all seems

perfect until you realise his highly leveraged and debt-laden strategy doesn’t mesh with your own very conservative risk profile. Investment gurus have often authored books that outline their strategy. These are well worth a read as a $30.00 outlay for a book could save you thousands in wasted course fees, as well as giving some further insight into the trainer themselves. Investment courses don’t come cheap and really are an investment in yourself. By putting in the time and effort to educate yourself well, you’ll be able to proceed with confidence knowing you have access to all the skills, knowledge and support required to make your next venture a success.



Train Journeys of Australia By Greg Pope

In an era when many of us travel in planes more often than buses, and where an airline lounge or business class seat is not the prelude to a relaxing time away but simply another breakfast on the run, a well-earned break needs to be, well, more unhurried. So when was the last time you took a train journey? Not the daily commuter-type train journey, not the backpack around Europe-type train journey, and certainly not the ‘how many people can they squeeze into a Third World carriage’-type journey. No, I’m talking about a luxury train journey, where the destination is less important than the journey itself. Relaxing in style while the ever-changing landscape passes you by can be a pensive and reflective experience, an incursion into history, a romantic encounter or a decedent family adventure. Luxury train travel began when Pullman introduced his ‘Pioneer’ passenger car that was first used as a funeral car for President Lincoln in 1865. The President’s final journey must have been a comfortable one because by 1867, the high demand prompted the introduction of hotel cars, for dining and sleeping. By 1880, these carriages were spread across America, and by 1883, Europe had caught the trend with the maiden voyage of the Orient Express, later immortalised in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. There are over a dozen so-called ‘luxury’ trains in operation around the world and here in Australia, we are lucky enough to have our fair share. Two transcontinental

journeys provide the traveller with a unique glimpse of Australia’s magnificent, natural diversity. The Ghan spans the country linking the north with the south, and the Indian Pacific from east to west. The Ghan, operated by Great Southern Rail, travels the 3,000 km, 48-hour run between Adelaide and Darwin and is one of the great train journeys of the world. Named after the Afghan cameleers who once traversed the route, you can be sure that your journey won’t be like theirs. The Ghan’s Gold, and recently introduced Platinum Service, come complete with every indulgence you could expect, and many you wouldn’t have dreamt of. The magic of this journey is the ever-changing landscape. As you cross the continent, you be offered unsurpassed views of South Australia’s rich farmland, the rugged Flinders Rangers and the vast desert, as the landscape gradually changes shades to become the iconic red earth we associate with central Australia. Don’t miss the sunrise; the red sun’s first morning rays illuminating the red earth. The journey’s midpoint is Alice Springs, with its host of attractions. Beyond that, on the stretch of track that was only opened in 2004, you’ll pass through remote outback towns, as the desert gradually gives way to the lush tropics of the Top End. The Indian Pacific does the 4,352 km between Sydney and Perth. The whole trip takes three nights, but like The Ghan, it is not necessary to do the whole trip, as you can travel between the stations of your choice. A popular option is the two nights between Adelaide and Perth, which is a truly memorable way to experience Australia’s vast

open spaces as you traverse the seemingly endless expanse of the Nullarbor Plain. It too has both Gold and Platinum Services. In addition to the two transcontinental journeys, Great Southern Rail periodically runs the Southern Spirit, covering the four capitals of the eastern seaboard. Linking Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, this service ran twice in February and will run again twice in May, also with Gold and Platinum Services available. The Gold Service offers a beautifully appointed private cabin with all the trimmings. Platinum Service offers an even larger and more luxurious cabin with an en suite and dedicated on-call cabin steward. For those without cash to splash, there is also the red service, with cheaper sleepers or seats offering a more basic service. For those that require it, in any service, your car can also be taken at an additional cost. On the Gold and Platinum Services you’ll be treated to a magnificent fine-dining experience. Breakfast, two-course lunches and threecourse dinners are all included, featuring gourmet Australian fare. Dining is in the elegant, classically furnished Queen Adelaide Restaurant Car. Between meals, should you choose to leave the comfort of your cabin, you can relax in the Outback Explorer Lounge, a great place to drink a cocktail, enjoy the passing scenery and mingle with your fellow passengers.

Australia’s Great Train Journeys Platinum and Gold Service guests dine in the elegantly themed Queen Adelaide Restaurant Car where they enjoy a choice of fine food freshly prepared by the onboard chefs. The seasonal menu features distinctly Australian mouthwatering dishes such as saltwater barramundi and grilled kangaroo fillet. Meals can be complimented with a selection of premium Australian wines and beverages. The Ghan is an incomparable way to travel to the two jewels of Australia's Northern Territory – the Red Centre and the tropical Top End. One of the great train journeys of the world, The Ghan is named after the Afghan cameleers who once traversed this route, from one edge of this continent to the other, through the very centre of Australia. An extended stopover in Alice Springs to see the sunrise over Uluru, or a stay at the remote Bamarru Plains on the Mary River Flood plains west of Kakadu National Park, is an ideal option for those looking to experience the seclusion of the Australian Outback in luxury style. The Indian Pacific travels an impressive 4,352 km between Sydney and Perth. The journey winds through the stunning Blue Mountains to outback Broken Hill then skirts the Flinders Ranges and Spencer Gulf on its way into Adelaide. Guests can choose to enjoy an extended stay in Adelaide and take a side trip to Kangaroo Island. Or, swim with the dolphins off the coast of Adelaide and a tour of South Australia’s famous wine regions. There’s no finer way to immerse yourself in the ancient beauty of this rugged land, than from guests west to the Nullarbor The journey then takes Plain and Adult the longest straight stretch of rail track in the world. The train the magnificently appointed and spacious cabins of our Platinum Service. Discover a whole Adelaide < > Darwin on The Ghan then crosses through the Western Mallee and the gold-mining new level of sophistication and comfort as you are pampered by our steward service in your city of Kalgoorlie before entering the West Australian wheat belt premium and private cabin, or luxuriate in our fine dining restaurant, The Queen Adelaide. and winding through the stunning Avon Valley into Perth. The exquisite style and service onboard both The Ghan and Indian Pacific, is truly befitting Train travel is the best way to experience all that Australia Adult two of the world’s great train journeys. There are only a few of these exclusive cabins has to offer and available, with everything from short city bus tours to Sydney < > Perth on the Indian Pacific so don’t delay in making your booking. The journey of a lifetime awaits outback you. expeditions on offer, Great Southern Rail know how to make a great train journey an enriching and memorable part of your holiday experience. For more information on The Ghan, or to make a reservation, please visit the Great Southern Rail website or call 13 21 47. Australia's Great Train Journeys are steeped in the history of Australia. The nostalgia and romance stems from the grand old days of Australian rail travel when steam locomotives hauled the Indian Pacific and The Ghan through Australia’s harsh interior. Today, Australia’s Great Train Journeys gives travellers a unique window to outback Australia. Aboard The Ghan and the Indian Pacific, guests experience the journey of a lifetime, from one side of Australia to another, all in comfort and style. Dining aboard Australia’s Great Train Journeys is the highlight of the trip for most travellers. Enjoying fine Australian wines as the spectacular scenery passes by the window is an experience to remember.

Platinum Service, where it all comes together.





To book your next luxurious train journey call 13 21 47, visit or speak to your licensed travel agent.

$3188 price based on Platinum Service on The Ghan Adelaide to Darwin or vice versa. $3576 price based on Platinum Service on the Indian Pacific Sydney to Perth or vice versa. For bookings until 31 June 2012, for travel until 31 March 2013. Fares based on twin share per person, with single supplements applicable. Booking, credit card and amendment fees may apply. All fares include fuel price surcharge, and will be subject to availability at the time of booking. Offer not available in conjunction with Pension Concession rebate or GSR Seniors Concession Travel Card nor any other offer except $99 – $299 Motorail offer. All fares quoted in Australian Dollars. Conditions apply. For general terms and conditions of carriage please visit Travel Agent License No.TTA164190. 01936CDGM

Platinum Service, where it all comes together. There’s no finer way to immerse yourself in the ancient beauty of this rugged land, than from the magnificently appointed and spacious cabins of our Platinum Service. Discover a whole new level of sophistication and comfort as you are pampered by our steward service in your premium and private cabin, or luxuriate in our fine dining restaurant, The Queen Adelaide. The exquisite style and service onboard both The Ghan and Indian Pacific, is truly befitting two of the world’s great train journeys. There are only a few of these exclusive cabins available, so don’t delay in making your booking. The journey of a lifetime awaits you.

3188 Adult


Adelaide < > Darwin on The Ghan

3576 Adult


Sydney < > Perth on the Indian Pacific

To book your next luxurious train journey call 13 21 47, visit or speak to your licensed travel agent. $3188 price based on Platinum Service on The Ghan Adelaide to Darwin or vice versa. $3576 price based on Platinum Service on the Indian Pacific Sydney to Perth or vice versa. For bookings until 31 June 2012, for travel until 31 March 2013. Fares based on twin share per person, with single supplements applicable. Booking, credit card and amendment fees may apply. All fares include fuel price surcharge, and will be subject to availability at the time of booking. Offer not available in conjunction with Pension Concession rebate or GSR Seniors Concession Travel Card nor any other offer except $99 – $299 Motorail offer. All fares quoted in Australian Dollars. Conditions apply. For general terms and conditions of carriage please visit Travel Agent License No.TTA164190. 01936CDGM

Cruise Holidays Premium Cruise Holidays is a division of Brandons Travel, an organisation which has been established since 1950. As a premium cruise specialist, Premium Cruise Holidays is committed to providing customers with outstanding expert knowledge, experience and the best advice in the industry. The staff have a love of cruising and have personally experienced many cruise ships worldwide. The director David Brandon has experience all of the six star cruise lines including: Silversea Cruises, Regent Seven Sea Cruises, Crystal Cruises, The World, Seadream Yacht Club, and The Yachts of Seabourn. Premium Cruise Holidays have every kind of cruise available in every corner of the globe. Here is just a small taste of the latest featured cruise companies.

Luxury cruising on SeaDream Yacht Club SeaDream yachting is different from big ship cruising: only 55 couples are pampered by an award-winning crew of 95. Your all-inclusive SeaDream voyage includes ocean-view accommodation, gourmet meals, wine with lunch and dinner, open bar with selected premium brands, gratuities, use of water toys, mountain bikes, golf simulator, board games, books, DVDs, CDs and SeaDream Champagne and Caviar Splash.

Seabourn Cruises From the moment you first step aboard The Yachts of Seabourn, you’ll be part of an exclusive circle, the privileged few, who have discovered the true joys of yachting. Aboard one of these intimate yachts, you will feel like a welcomed guest. The captain and officers will seem like old friends. Everyone on the professionally trained staff – more than one per suite – not only knows you by name, but knows your personal preferences as well. The days and nights are carefree and ultra luxurious. Personalised service is a way of life. Never lift a finger while you’re a guest of ours, unless it’s to signal a waiter for another bottle of vintage Bordeaux from the fully stocked wine cellar.

Silversea Silversea is a cruise company reflecting generations of maritime and travel experience. In the early 1990s, the Lefebvre family of Rome, former owners of Sitmar Cruises, conceived and organised a unique cruise company pledging to build and operate the highest quality ships in the ultraluxury segment. The name “Silversea” was chosen because it connotes quality and luxury as well as capturing the romance and special sensations of the sea.

cruising the world while offering impeccable personalised services, remarkable dining and generous included amenities. Enjoy... it’s all included

Crystal Cruises Aboard the two highest-rated ships in the world, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, you will discover the hallmarks of Crystal... extraordinary service, abundant space, exceptional quality and incredible choices. This is the very essence of Crystal Cruises; this is the Crystal difference. A steadfast commitment to excellence has earned them unprecedented recognition as the World’s Best for an incredible 16 years – an accomplishment unmatched by any other cruise line, hotel or resort anywhere in the world.

Oceania Cruises Formed in 2002 by luxury cruise industry veterans Joe Watters and Frank Del Rio, Oceania Cruises is the world’s only upper-premium cruise line. Cuisine, comfort, service and outstanding value are the pillars that define Oceania Cruises’ five-star product and have positioned the line as the cruise company of choice for travellers seeking a truly refined and casually elegant travel experience. Oceania’s intimate and luxurious ships allow you to explore the world in unequalled style and comfort.

Amazara Club Cruises Azamara is the new, deluxe cruise experience for discerning travellers who long to reach out-of-the-ordinary destinations and indulge in amenities and service unparalleled on the high seas. The unique offerings of Azamara are beyond compare: butler service is provided in every suite; shore excursions are designed to let guests become part of the fabric of life in each destination, instead of merely being an observer; the enrichment programs offer everything from culinary to photographic explorations; two specialty restaurants provide the finest cuisine at sea; live entertainment can be enjoyed nightly; and the level of service offered is unmatched. If you choose to book through Premium Cruise Holidays, the luxury cruise specialists, you will automatically become a preferred member of the “Luxury Travel Club” with exclusive privileges which include: exclusive invitations to ship inspections in Australia, email alerts for great savings and exclusive deals, a quarterly newsletter entitled From the Bridge and 24-hour continuous service and support. For further information, please visit the website www. Managing Director: David Brandon

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Ph: 1800 266 190

Enjoy the most all-inclusive cruise experience ever! This is cruising as it was meant to be – a world where everything is included, without exception and without compromise. With all-suite accommodation – Regent ships are perfect for




Mention this ad and receive US$300* per suite onboard credit on the following cruise lines – Crystal Cruises, Seabourn Cruises, Regent Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. Condition: Cannot be used in conjunction with any other onboard credit offer.



BRANDONS TRAVEL & PREMIUM CRUISE HOLIDAYS Toll free Premium Cruise Holidays: 1800 266 190 email: • website: Premium Cruise Holidays is a division of Brandons Travel. Lic TAG23

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RaceWeek – August 2012 Warm up in the Whitsunday’s this winter! Visiting the Whitsundays also allows you to: • Visit the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach • Relax in your self contained accommodation and the majestic Whitsunday views • Enjoy in an array of water, land and air based activities and rejuvenation services.

Free Call 1800 466 600


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e: w: *Conditions apply: Race Week Special – Pay for 9 nights, 10th night free on Hamilton Island, Pay for 6 Nights, 7th Night Free in Airlie Beach. ** Conditions apply: Subject to availability in participating properties. Valid: 1 May – 31 July 2012. November - 20 December 2012.

0865-Accom Whitsundays AT Ad March 2012 D1.indd 1

3/12/2012 12:55:09 PM

DESTINATIONS for the discerning traveller  
DESTINATIONS for the discerning traveller  

DESTINATIONS is the first travel and lifestyle magazine dedicated to the affluent, self-funded and very active who have a passion to see Aus...