FIVE OF THE BEST Hikes near Brisbane
10 reasons to visit the Rockies in summer
ARMCHAIR TRAVELLER A visit to beautiful Kyoto
TRAVEL INSIDER What to see, do & where to play
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HIGHER GROUND New Zealandâ€˜s Great Walks
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FROM THE CEO
WELCOME To our Inspiring Vacations’ customers and community, Welcome to the September/ October issue of Inspiring Vacations magazine! We hope you enjoyed our last issue and found some inspiration between the pages of what is a new and very exciting project for us. In this issue, we take you to breathtaking New Zealand to discover the country’s most famed and beautiful walks. We also show you five of the best hikes to take in Brisbane and the 10 reasons to visit the Canadian Rockies in the summer - what to see, do, play – keep this one handy if you’re planning a trip to Canada next year or beyond. I’ve loved bringing interesting stories from
around the world right to your living room; I hope you’re enjoying coming on this journey with me so far. Don’t forget to sign up to gain exclusive magazine access and please use #InspiringVacations on your social media travel photos for the chance to win a $100 e-gift card! As always, please get in touch to share your thoughts – your feedback is very important to us. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 88 66 88. See you in the next issue!
Paul Ryan CEO
WHAT’S ON September/October events, online and offline
IN THE KNOW All the travel news you need to know
07 08 10 14 18
Editor Vanessa Mulquiney
Art Directors Richard Lee & Julie Lee Contributors Emily Humphrey, Shannon Kilgore, Cassandra Trezise
FIVE OF THE BEST Brisbane hikes
Marketing Julia Reymond
UNDERRATED TRAVEL Broken Hill ISLAND HOPPER Fiji
HOLIDAY AT HOME 10 great New Zealand walks GLOBETROTTER Reasons to love the Canadian Rockies in summer
Q&A Edouard Reymond Sommelier & restaurateur
ARMCHAIR TRAVELLER A visit to Kyoto, Japan
Contact For editorial and advertising enquiries, please email email@example.com or phone 1300 88 66 88 (AU)
SS PLA Y
COVER IMAGE: MILFORD SOUND, FIORDLAND, NEW ZEALAND PHOTO CREDIT: WILL PATINO/TOURISM NEW ZEALAND
INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE
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Inspiring Vacations Magazine is published bimonthly by Inspiring Vacations (ABN 22 623 610 711), Level 2, 420 St Kilda Rd Melbourne VIC 3004. © 2020. All rights reserved. Articles express the opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of Inspiring Vacations.
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WHAT’S ON No matter where you are in the world this September and October, there’s plenty of events – both online and offline – to enjoy
What better place to spend International Hobbit Day?
VIETNAM October 1 Time for lion dancers and mooncakes! Celebrate the harvest with the magical Tết Trung Thu (Mid-Autumn) festival, an ancient tradition which dates back to 1520,000 years ago.
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY 12 September – 11 October
PHOTOS: HOBBITON TOURS/FACEBOOK; FLORIADE/FACEBOOK; LORENZO DUASO
Floriade: Reimagined sees Australia’s biggest celebration of spring bloom across Canberra’s suburbs and city this year, with some virtual events to boot.
Click here to register for deals and announcements
NEW SOUTH WALES 26 September Catch a glimpse of the finalists in our nation’s favourite art award when the Archibald Prize opens at the Art Gallery NSW. A touring exhibition sets off in January.
28 October – 18 November
Some of the biggest names in jazz feature alongside talented up-and-comers at the Voll-Damm Barcelona International Jazz Festival.
Yes, Hobbit Day is a thing, and it’s best celebrated with a tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set at dusk before enjoying a marketplace, games, traditional Hobbit fare and roving entertainment.
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4 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2020
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TRAVEL TRAVEL NEWS NEWS
IN THE KNOW What to see, do and where to play
FASHIONABLE FOOD Given that Japan’s third-largest city is hailed the nation’s foodie capital, it seems fitting that Louis Vuitton has opened their first restaurant and cafe on the top floor of the brand’s Osaka flagship. Behind a secret door, Sugalabo V is as lavish as you’d expect: silver LV chopstick rests, a monogrammed trunk holding black truffles, open kitchen with LV-clad staff. The restaurant is referral only – no, really – but Le Café V is open to the masses.
WINE WINDOWS Italy has revived the 17th-century tradition of buchette del vino or wine windows to safely serve customers as lockdown restrictions ease. The windows were last used during the Italian Plague (1629-1631) but thanks to COVID-19 they’ve experienced a renaissance with restaurateurs serving contactless wine, coffee, and cocktails.
PHOTOS: JOHAN SWANEPOEL/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM, BUCHETTE DEL VINO, BEYOND CINEMA
ESCAPE INTO THE WILD
ALL ABOARD In the heart of Kruger National Park, a boutique train-hotel permanently stationed on a historic bridge will open in December. It harks back to rail tours at Kruger in the 1920s, when trains would stop overnight in this same spot high above the Sabie River. Nearly a century later, it’s a sleek affair onboard Kruger Shalati: The Train on the Bridge, with 31 luxury glass-walled rooms boasting an inimitable African design.
A medieval tower deep in the Tasmanian wilderness is the state’s newest luxury digs. The Keep, perched upon a 650-metre rocky pinnacle offers panoramic views of the Tassie wilderness. Take a private walk, soak under the stars in a 300kg granite outdoor bath or do absolutely nothing at all.
BOAT IN! Move over, drive-ins. There’s a new twist on outdoor film screenings. At Beyond Cinema’s floating cinema, the movie theatre is made up of 12 to 24 mini boats, each seating up to eight people. The cinema is travelling around North America, stopping for one week in each city, before landing in Melbourne in October.
PARADISE AT 5 STAR SPICERS TAMARIND RETREAT Enjoy 2 luxurious nights on the Sunshine Coast with room upgrade, daily breakfast & more
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INCLUSIONS › 2 nights in an UPGRADED Luxury Falls Villa
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FIVE OF THE BEST
Visit QLD Parks & Wildlife Service
1. NOOSA NATIONAL PARK COASTAL WALK
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Located in the Eastern Downs, a couple of hours drive from Brisbane, Girraween National Park is known for its granite outcrops, large angular tors, and precariously balanced boulders - a landscape you won’t find anywhere else in the south east. The 3.6km Pyramid Trail will challenge both your legs and your nerves - the views atop the granite dome make it worth your while but a good level of fitness and stamina to climb steep sections are a must.
4. SUMMIT TRACK, MT COOT-THA RESERVE
3. MT GLORIOUS
PHOTOS: TOURISM & EVENTS QUEENSLAND
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2. THE PYRAMID, GIRRAWEEN
For a leisurely walk with spectacular coastal views (especially at sunrise) the Noosa National Park Coastal Walk is our pick. Beginning at the eastern end of Hasting Street (known for beachside fine dining), the 5.4km coastal track offers exceptional views out to the Pacific, and in June and November you might be lucky enough to spot humpback whales (don’t forget your camera!).
D’Aguilar National Park is a habitat for native plants, animals and birds and is a great place to relax and unwind. Mt Glorious is perfect for a family hike, there are seven tracks with broad walks to safely traverse tricky terrain, our pick is the 4.3 km Greenes Falls Circuit, which starts from the Maiala Picnic. On your way home be sure to call into Samford Village.
Located just 15 minutes west of Brisbane, Mt Coot-tha backs onto D’Aguliar National Park and offers hikes of all lengths and difficulties. Our pick is the Summit Track (number 58), a 1.9 km moderate hike through a 1600-hectare eucalyptus forest.
Inspired to visit to Queensland? Check out our tours here.
5.CEDAR CREEK FALLS - MT TAMBORINE
Cedar Creek Falls is one of Mount Tamborine’s most popular tourist attractions with stunning views over an open canyon, waterfall and rock pools, all of this just an hour from Brisbane. A rather short track starting at Cedar Creek Falls Road, just 1400 metres in total, down to the amazing rock pools, this trail is great for all fitness levels and offers a stop at the lookout along the way. Don’t forget to pack a picnic!
Dotted with greenery, red dirt for miles and a glittering night sky, Broken Hill is the destination you never knew you wanted to visit
UNDERRATED TRAVEL BROKEN HILL
n the far west of Outback NSW and set against a desert landscape, Broken Hill isn’t your usual holiday spot, but it should be. With a rich mining history, passionate art scene, proud Indigenous culture, fabulous drag performances and friendly locals, it’s an underrated travel spot begging to be discovered.
MAIN: Antique windmill and historical church in Silverton; TOP: Eddie Harris Indigneous mural on the wall of the Maari Ma Building; BELOW: Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery; glamourous hosts roll through Main Street during the Broken Heel Street Parade
Outback Art Prize is on now until November 14, 2020. An annual highlight is the Maari Ma Indigenous Art Awards, on display between February and May, which showcases works by artists residing in the Far West. In Wilcannia, the Queens Head Hotel has recently been transformed into a gallery, with exhibitions by local artists and a calendar of events. Also in town you’ll find works by acclaimed Aboriginal artist Eddy Harris from the Barkandji clan, who draws on the land and its history for inspiration. He also offers tours showing local flora and fauna, bushfood and culturally significant sites.
STORY AND IMAGES SUPPLIED BY DESTINATION NSW
Culture lovers: drag, art and film Broken Hill has been associated with drag since the iconic Australian film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was released in 1994. Scenes were filmed in the historic Palace Hotel – you can stay in the same room that the characters stayed in, which has been renamed the Priscilla Suite and decorated flamboyantly. The Broken Heel Festival is a yearly four-day extravaganza (9-13 September 2021) where the best queens from around Australia descend on the town. You can see comedy, live music, social activities and a street parade, Main Drag in Drag. Mad Max 2 was shot around Broken Hill and released in 1972. Mad Max buffs can visit the Mad Max Museum in Silverton and wander through the large collection of photographs, costumes and memorabilia. The region has a long history of engendering and attracting artists, inspired by the surreal landscape. Two of the region’s well known painters were Pro Hart and Jack Absalom; both popularised Outback painting and have galleries in Broken Hill. You’ll find contemporary artists at Willy Nilly Art Gallery, which houses the paintings of fourth-generation resident Amanda Johnsen. Broken Hill Regional Galley has an excellent calendar of exhibitions - the Pro Hart
An ancient history The Wilyakali people have occupied the lands around Broken Hill for thousands of years and continue to care for the environment and maintain their traditional knowledge to pass onto the younger generations. The Barkandji people are from the lower Darling River area and part of Menindee Lakes. A day in the Mutawintji National Park is a uniquely Australian experience – along with the ruggedly beautiful desert landscape, you’ll find evidence of continuous use by Aboriginal people for thousands of years, including hand stencils and other important cultural sites. Take part in a tour by Mutawanji Heritage tours – all are run by Aboriginal accredited guides. The half-day Kulluwirru Dreaming tour takes you to the historic site with rock engravings and ochre stencil, or join a full-day bush tucker tour. Red desert and a glittering night sky Broken Hill and the surrounding area offers a breathtaking range of diverse landscapes, with vibrant green amongst the ochre desert and incredible clear views of the stars. Photography enthusiasts will love capturing the golden light – especially at the Living Desert Reserve. In it are 12 sandstone artworks which highlight the skyline, each with its own story. Also in the reserve is the Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, 180 hectares of native plants with a cultural trail, Sturt Pea wildflower display and Aboriginal attractions. Stay at the historic homestead Bindara Station to explore local wildlife on your doorstep. Located on the banks of the Darling River in between Menindee and Pooncarie, you can explore the river flats and sand hills, home to kangaroos, emus, echidnas, turtles and many reptiles. During spring and after rain the landscape will burst to life with native flowers. A self-guided walk will take you to the
TOP: Sunset at The Living Desert and Sculptures; BELOW: A feather boa adorns the welcome sign to Broken Hill
old cemetery, with headstones from 1877. The Mundi Mundi Plains near Silverton is the perfect spot for a champagne picnic at dusk. From the top of the hill, the flat plains stretch out for eternity and watching the light change as the sun sets is unforgettable. Malt milkshakes and hearty steaks The Silly Goat Café is an on-trend spot for breakfast with a frequently changing menu of dishes such as smoothie bowls, breakfast panna cotta and smoked salmon bagels. Coffee comes from Seven Miles Coffee Roasters and bread comes from nearby Sufi Bakery. Trinders Restaurant at The Astra in Broken Hill has a modern Australian menu as well as a more casual menu of tapas and bar food. The hotel also offers the city’s only cocktail bar with Red Lush. If you’re after a hearty pub meal, The Palace Hotel or the Broken Hill Pub offer burgers, steaks and schnitzels.
10 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2020
UNDERRATED TRAVEL BROKEN HILL
The flat plains stretch out for eternity and watching the light change as the sun sets is unforgettable Bells Milk Bar is one of the best examples of a classic Aussie milk bar in NSW – it’s been open since 1892 and much of the décor remains the same as it was in the 1950s. Sip on a soda spider or malt milkshake and try a simple apple pie, then browse the history section to get a glimpse of café culture over the years. Sleep under the stars or underground From bush campsites to rooms in simple pubs and fine heritage homesteads, there’s plenty of accommodation in Broken Hill and the Central Darling region. In Broken Hill, stay in a stone miner’s cottage at A Miner’s Rest, suites at the Art Deco Royal Exchange Hotel, or the fourstar The Astra in a restored 1890s heritage building right in the centre of town. Another memorable stay in Broken Hill is a restored 1911 church — Broken Hill Outback Church Stay has king suites with ensuite bathrooms as well as comfortable accommodation in the Presbytery or Church Cottage. The historic Mt Gipps Hotel, which began serving thirsty travellers in 1890, has been reborn as the Broken Hill Outback Resort. Just 10 minutes outside of Broken Hill, the
TOP: Pro Hart Gallery in Broken Hill; RIGHT: Artwork by local artist Kevin Charles “Pro” Hart on display at his gallery
complex includes spa cabins, caravan and camping sites, swimming pool, playground, bistro, fine dining restaurant and bush walking trails. The Silverton Hotel has famous film credentials (Mad Max 2, Razorback, The Craig) and offers an iconic pub atmosphere along with spacious, modern rooms. About 30 minutes from the town of Silverton, in the Mundi Mundi Plains, Eldee Station provides a quintessential country experience with open-plan eco-friendly rooms and swag hire in a rural setting with animals to see, a plunge pool to cool off in and tours such as stargazing and mountain biking. For something unique, White Cliffs Underground Motel provides a honeycomb of whitewashed rooms deep within 120-millionyear-old sedimentary rock. It’s the world’s largest underground accommodation. The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service offers heritage accommodation in the heart of Outback NSW’s national parks as well as bush campsites. In Paroo-Darling National Park spend the day exploring the Darling River and stay in the Coach and Horses bush camp with views up and down the river. The Kinchega Shearers’ Quarters in Kinchega National Park are traditional workers’ quarters offering guest rooms, a along with a fascinating insight into Australia’s pastoral history. Inspired to visit Broken Hill? View our tours here and here.
In celebration of Fiji Day on October 10, hereâ€™s a reminder why this beautiful slice of paradise needs to be on your bucket list
rom water-based exploration to world-class wellness programs, adrenaline-pumping adventures and parties in the middle of the Pacific, there are nearly as many reasons as there are islands in Fiji to visit, but here are 10 to whet your appetite.
EXPLORE THE SOFT CORAL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD Dive into happiness with Fijiâ€™s colourful network of 4,000 square miles of coral reefs, including the world-famous Great Astrolabe Reef. With around 1,000 species of fish and several hundred types of coral and sponges, Fiji offers some of the best diving and snorkelling experiences in the world. Swim with manta rays and hawksbill turtles from April to September.
experiences. Many are creating on-site vegetable and herb gardens for a more sustainable approach to their food and beverage offerings too. Hotels such as Nanuku Auberge Resort & Spa, Kokomo Likuliku Lagoon Resort Fiji, Namale Resort & Spa, Six Senses Fiji and Jean-Michel Cousteau Island Resort are utilising the lush tropical landscape in abundance to capitalising on what Fiji naturally offers.
HAVE A FARM TO FORK EXPERIENCE Many hotels around Fiji are adopting farm-to-plate or dock-to-dish
12 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2020
MAIN: Ocean views along Lavena Coastal Walk on Taveuni Island; BELOW: Cloud 9, floating bar hot spot
along with natural rockslides and even sand dunes – the Sigatoka Sand Dunes is something straight out of Arabian Nights.
STORY SUPPLIED BY TOURISM FIJI
BE AMAZED BY THE NATURAL BEAUTY Ignore the postcards: Fiji isn’t just white sand beaches (although you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s all on offer). From waterfalls, lush tropical rain forests, rugged coastline and dramatic mountain tops, there’s so much to explore. There is a reason why Taveuni (the third-largest island) is known as the Garden Island of Fiji—80% of the island is covered by tropical rainforests,
TOP: Test your surf skills at the famed Cloudbreak; BELOW: Soft coral reef off the coast of Taveuni Island; INSET: Bula! Fijian man greets guests at The Blue Lagoon on Nanuya Lailai Island
FAMILY-FRIENDLY LOCALS Teaching children the importance of connecting and contributing to the communities they visit while in Fiji is easy. Many of the island nation’s family-friendly experiences educate kids with hands-on activities based on local traditions and conservation projects, helping them to gain a greater perspective of life as a local. The Bula Club at Jean-Michel Cousteau Island Resort has a complementary award-winning programme focused on exploration and educational activities; the Little Treasures Kids’ Club at Treasure Island Resort includes daily turtle feeding displays for kids and ocean release. Nanuku Auberge Resort & Spa’s Lailai Adventure Club involves children in customary rituals that allows them to develop a more complex understanding of Fijian culture. HANG LOOSE ON A SURF BREAK Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, there are plenty of waves to catch in Fiji. For those after leisurely longboard breaks, head to white-sand Natadola Beach on
WATCH TOURISM FIJI’S TRAVEL SPREE PRESENTATION HERE PR
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the Coral Coast where other activities on offer include tubing and horse riding. But for those wanting to put their skills to the test, world-class Cloudbreak (which regularly appears on best and most challenging waves in the world lists), or Restaurants, also known locally as Cloudbreak’s ‘little brother’ are a couple of the best options for expert surfers. Seasonally May to October is the ideal time of year for surf, however there are incoming swells year-round.
STAY ON A PRIVATE ISLAND With 333 islands in Fiji, it is no surprise that there is more than one private island you can call your own – for one night at least. Feel like a true castaway at an intimate private island resort while you enjoy seclusion in the middle of the South Pacific, with incomparable experiences at Vomo Island Resort, Wakaya Club & Spa, Dolphin Island and Yasawa Island Resort, to name a few.
7 MAIN: Archipelago off the coast of Dravuni Island with coral reef view; TOP: Horse rides during the tranquil Fijian sunset; BOTTOM: Wainibau Waterfall on Taveuni Island; LEFT: Sunset at Coral Coast on Viti Levu Island
PARTY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC A floating bar equipped with its own pizzeria, DJ, and water sport toys—this is what a party on the sea or Cloud 9 is all about. Located in the Mamanuca Islands, Cloud 9 lives up to its name: lounge on a daybed, go snorkelling, indulge in wood-fired pizza and fruity cocktails or jump off their two-storey bar into the crystal-clear waters. Cloud 9 is only a 45-minute boat ride from Port Denarau.
RESET AND RECHARGE From personalised meal plans to spa treatments, herbal medicine and specialised workouts, a trip to Fiji will get you back on track to feeling like your best self. If you’d like some guidance along the way, sign up for a wellness programme, often run by the resorts. Six Senses Fiji has a wellness expert who guides guests through detoxing and meditation sessions; Nanuka Auberge Resorts Collection (voted number one Resort in Australia and the South Pacific by Conde Nast Traveler’s 2019 Reader’s Choice Awards), has an on-site medicine man and wellness guru, while Vomo Island Resort has created VOMOfit, a free daily exercise programme for guests to follow during their stay.
9 You haven’t experienced happiness until you’ve experienced Fiji happiness
HAVE AN ADRENALINE-FILLED ADVENTURE Spend the day away from the poolside lounge chair and sign up for some bloodpumping adventures! Whether it’s kayaking or rafting on the Navua River, jet boating up the Sigatoka River, or zip-lining through tropical rainforests, there are adventures for everyone of any age and taste. For more offthe-grid escapes, head to Kadavu or Taveuni to explore a taste of untouched Fiji.
GET ADDICTED TO THE BULA SPIRIT You haven’t experienced happiness until you’ve experienced Fiji happiness. The 2017 Gallup International’s Happiness, Hope, and Economic Optimism Survey found that happiness was disappearing at a time when there’s never been more wealth in the world. The same survey also identified that people in Fiji were the happiest in the world. In Fiji, bula is more than just a greeting. It’s a wish for happiness, good health and the energy of life. You’ll hear “bula” everywhere you go in Fiji, and it’s impossible not to smile when you do. Inspired to visit Fiji? Check out our tours here.
WAY Golden beaches, mountain passes, or glacier-carved valleys – New Zealand has a spectacular walk (or two) for you
hether you’re an active hiker looking for a 3-day challenge or a leisurely day walker seeking new trails, New Zealand has some stellar walks all over the country, with 10 very special destinations designated ‘Great Walks’ by the Department of Conservation. Here we explore the 10 Great Walks on the South and North islands.
16 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2020
HOLIDAY AT HOME NEW ZEALAND
GREAT WALKS ON THE SOUTH ISLAND Milford Track The Milford Track is in Fiordland, New Zealand’s largest national park. Visitors spend four days/three nights following historic Maori routes through a dramatic landscape of forest-covered valleys, mountains and steep fiords from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound. For this popular route, bookings are necessary well in advance, for both independent and guided walks. Routeburn Track The Routeburn Track boasts some of the most diverse scenery: forests, alpine flora, lakes, several waterfalls and panoramic views. The three-day trek covers 39km (24 miles).
STORY SUPPLIED BY TOURISM NEW ZEALAND; PHOTOS: STEWART NIMMO, ROB SUISTED
Kepler Track The Kepler Track follows a loop that begins and ends at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in Te Anau. It takes four days and traverses lakeside forest and open tussock grasslands, with one day spent walking along the mountain tops above the bush line.
Abel Tasman Coastal Track The Abel Tasman Coastal Track, at the top of the South Island, only requires light walking shoes for the 50km (31 miles) route lined with golden beaches. Along the way, five huts and 21 campsites offer accommodation, but transport has to be arranged from one end or the other. Rakiura Track Wilderness explorers wanting to experience the ‘end of the earth’ should head for Stewart Island, New Zealand’s southernmost and least populated island. The Rakiura Track has the most birdlife, unpredictable weather and conditions but planked walkways keep feet dry and ensure the three-day walk is possible year-round. It has gentle gradients – never more than 300m above sea level – and two huts provide accommodation.
MAIN: Routeburn Track, Fiordland LEFT: Milford Sound; TOP: Milford Sound, Fiordland BOTTOM: Rakiura Track.
Heaphy Track The Heaphy Track, in the northwestern corner of the South Island, has undemanding gradients over 80km (around 50 miles) and takes about five days to complete. The track is accessible year-round, but winter snow can make the higher sections chilly. Attractions on the Heaphy Track include the nikau palm-lined beach at its western end, red tussock downs, lush beech forests and fields of alpine herbs. The Paparoa Track In Paparoa National Park on the rugged north-western South Island coast, this trail traverses the Paparoa Range, revealing spectacular limestone landscapes, verdant rainforest and astonishing views. The track travels from Blackball to Punakaiki and includes parts of the existing Croesus and Pororai River tracks. The 55km trail is of significant meaning to the locals and will act as a tribute to the 29 Pike River miners who lost their lives in the 2010 disaster. The national park has been extended by 3971 hectares to include the Pike River area.
MAIN: The western end of Heaphy Track LEFT: Heaphy Track; RIGHT: Otago Central Rail Trail
18 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2020
HOLIDAY AT HOME NEW ZEALAND
INSPIRED TO VISIT NEW ZEALAND? Check out our tours here
GREAT WALKS FOUND ON THE NORTH ISLAND
PHOTOS: GRACE THANG/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; MILES HOLDEN/TOURISM NEW ZEALAND
Tongariro Northern Circuit The Tongariro Northern Circuit is a loop track of three to four days, starting and finishing at the foot of Mount Ruapehu. Few places equal the drama of this active volcanic region with its lava formations, tussock grassland, fumaroles and geysers, and emerald green mineral lakes – the setting for the scenes in New Zealand director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Altitude and climatic conditions mean the Tongariro circuit is best walked from late November to March. The Tongariro Crossing – one section of the circuit – is one of New Zealand’s most renowned day walks.
TOP: Lake Waikaremoana; BOTTOM: Bridge to Nowhere Mountains to Sea, Whanganui National Park
Lake Waikaremoana Track Lake Waikaremoana is situated east of the central volcanic plateau, in one of the North Island’s most remote regions. The 46km track encircles the lake, providing a four to five-day walk. Apart from one day climbing a steep bluff, the track follows a leisurely path through rainforest. Whanganui Journey It’s a Great Walk, but the Whanganui Journey is actually a 145km kayak or canoe journey down the Whanganui River. Beginning in Taumarunui, this journey takes about five days to complete and provides an early New Zealand history experience. For hundreds of years the Whanganui River was an important Maori route; later, in early European settlement days, it became a steamboat highway. The winding river and surrounding lowland forest are now a national park.
USEFUL INFORMATION Weather conditions can change rapidly, especially in the mountains, and it is essential, even in summer, to carry warm, waterproof clothing. No hike should be undertaken without consulting a detailed guidebook and a map. Bookings are required for accommodation in huts, but permits or admission fees are not required for day walking. Bookings can be made through the Department of Conservation.
From hiking among the clouds and spotting grizzlies in the wild to relaxing in hot springs, there is something truly special about the Rockies in summer WORDS: SHANNON KILGORE
CANOEING ON LAKE LOUISE At the heart of Banff National Park, surrounded by snowy peaks and famous for its turquoise coloured water, lies Lake Louise, the so-called Jewel of the Rockies. It’s a stunning location all year-round, with endless activities for all ages, but visiting in summer allows you to get out on the lake (which thaws between mid-June and October) for a paddle in one of Canada’s most mind-blowingly beautiful locations. Rent a canoe from the Fairmont Chateau Hotel’s boathouse – first thing in the morning
20 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2020
PHOTOS: RONNIE CHUA/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM, CHANTAL DE BRUIJNE/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
REASONS to LOVE THE ROCKIES IN SUMMER
or early evening is best – and head towards the majestic Victoria Glacier for an experience that will stay with you forever.
WHITEWATER RAFTING ON THE KICKING HORSE RIVER Whether you’re an experienced rafter or not, the Rockies are home to some of the wildest and most spectacular white-water rafting in the world, and there are few better spots to hurl yourself downstream than Kicking Horse River in British Columbia. Named after a Scottish explorer who was kicked in the chest by his not-so-trusty steed in the 1850s, the route drops 350 metres over a 6km stretch of river in Yoho National Park with seemingly endless twists, turns and dips along the way.
HIKE TO ABBOT PASS For some real solitude, set off from Lake Louise and follow the signs to the stunning Plain of Six Glaciers – arguably one of the most jaw-dropping hikes in the world. This steady, picturesque trek will take you through the lush forest until you are high among the snowcapped mountains with views that are to die for. At 2,925 metres, Abbot Pass is high, so you’ll need to go prepared, but you’ll be rewarded with some of the best scenery in the world, not to mention tea and scones at the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse along the way.
GO UNDERGROUND IN CANMORE
The Plain of Six Glaciers is arguably one of the most jaw-dropping hikes in the world a protected landmark that is only accessible with a guide or special permission. The cave is home to a seemingly endless assortment of ancient formations, including stalagmites, stalactites and fossils. It’s also not for the fainthearted; once you’re in the cave the only light will be generated by your headlamp and at several points along the way, you’ll have to climb, crawl and wriggle your way through some seriously tight spots.
HAVE A CUPPA AT CANADA’S OLDEST TEAHOUSE This is not your typical teashop, that’s for sure. For one thing, you’ll have to work for that brew – the trail from Lake Louise to Lake Agnes takes you up to 2,135 metres. But the views and the scenery along the way is worth it. Built in 1901 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Lake Agnes Teahouse has since been rebuilt, but it hasn’t lost any of its charm, iconic red door or period furniture. All supplies are hiked up to
Don’t be put off by the name – a tour of Rat’s Nest Cave will be a highlight of any visit to the Rockies. Located east of the town of Banff in Alberta, the cave – the longest in Canada – is
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E S S P L AY
MAIN: Canoeing on Lake Louise, Banff National Park LEFT: Spirit Island, Jasper National Park; BOTTOM: Lake Agnes Tea House, Banff National Park; RIGHT: Mount Robson National Park
the teahouse by its staff and occasionally by horse and even helicopter. So, doff your hat to them as you sit back and relax with your piping-hot tea and a slice of cake in one of the most spectacularly located teashops in the world. Starbucks this ain’t.
UNWIND WITH A SOAK IN A NATURAL HOT SPRING While there are more than a few hot springs to soak your weary muscles after a long day on the trail, Miette’s is often hailed as one of the finest in the Rockies. For one thing, its allnatural waters are the warmest (a relatively balmy 40C). For a ‘pleasurable’ shock to the system, plunge into one of the two cold pools nearby. Your body will thank you for it – the spring waters here are packed with natural minerals.
RIDE A GONDOLA TO SULPHUR MOUNTAIN
SPOT A GRIZZLY AT MOUNT ROBSON
TOP: Banff Gondola BOTTOM: Horse riding on Lake Agnes Trail
What trip to the Canadian wilderness would be complete without an encounter with a bear – from a safe distance, of course! Mount Robson Provincial Park, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a utopia for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is home to 42 species of mammals and 182 species of birds, including bears, elk, mountain goats and the iconic golden eagles. To catch a glimpse of the
grizzly or black bear, your best bet is to go in mid-April as they wake from their annual hibernation and head to the south-facing slopes to fill their bellies.
SADDLE UP IN BANFF There’s really no better way to explore the trails of Banff National Park than by horseback. With tours from local ranches to suit all levels of experience, you can spend anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days living the cowboy life and riding high above the waters of Lake Louise and its surrounding backcountry. If horseback riding isn’t quite your style, you can even take in the views from a horse-drawn carriage instead.
STAND ON SPIRIT ISLAND This tiny island in the middle of Maligne Lake is one of the most photographed spots in Canada, not just the Rockies. Once you see it for yourself, you’ll know why. The Stoney Nakoda First Nation believe the spirits of their ancestors are reflected in the surrounding mountains, thus the island’s moniker. To make the most of your visit to this difficult-to-get-to island, take a boat tour from Home Bay. If the setting wasn’t picturesque enough already, the closer you get to the island the more emerald the water becomes thanks to the nearby glaciers.
Inspired to visit Canada? Check out our tours here
22 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2020
PHOTOS: STATSUO NAKAMURA/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM, THE NOUN PROJECT
Looking for a less strenuous way to access some of the Rockies’ most famous viewpoints? Look no further, the Banff Gondola has you covered. The ride to the top of the 2,281-metre Sulphur Mountain offers breathtaking views in every direction. Once you’re up there, take a walk along the ridgetop boardwalk to the newly rebuilt observation deck and meteorological station. And if all that beauty gives you an appetite, there’s even a top-class restaurant to welcome you.
6 DAY PORT DOUGLAS GOLF ESCAPE
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› Sunset cruise including cocktails
› INCLUDED 2 rounds of 18 holes at world-class golf courses with electric cart
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› 18 holes at the world-class Sheraton Mirage Country Club
› Sailaway Reef & Islands Great Barrier Reef Cruise, including morning tea and lunch
› 18 holes at Palmer Sea Reef, Australia's Australia’s only tropical links style golf course
› 7 DAY GUARANTEE - Free date change up to 7 days prior to departure for COVID related travel disruption
Travel from October 2020 to June 2021
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NAME EDOUARD REYMOND OCCUPATION RESTAURATEUR/ SOMMELIER COUNTRY AUSTRALIA
You’ve been a sommelier since you were 20 and have taken part in the winemaking process at different wineries. Do you have a particular treasured region or style? (your dad’s love of Burgundy is well known!) A: Like father like son! I am a Chardonnay and Pinot man. I guess this stemmed from Sunday night dinners when I was younger. They were very important for dad as that was the only night he was home. He would always open up a couple of wines with dinner. Always Chardonnay and Pinot and mostly from Burgundy. He always had a story about who the winemaker was (always his best friend!). He taught me the most important thing about Burgundy is knowing the producers and knowing how to read the labels correctly. Burgundy can be an overwhelmingly complex region to understand. Q
You grew up in a renowned food family. What traditions or memories around food do you create, or enjoy carrying on, with your own family now? A: Roast chicken once a week and once the children are older I can’t wait to have long Sunday night dinners and share my favourite wine with them. Q
24 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2020
Meet Edouard Reymond, Melbourne restaurateur and sommelier
Q It can be overwhelming facing a wall of wine at the bottle shop. What are your tips for a wine novice on choosing a bottle? A: When I go to a bottle shop, I first think what would I like to drink – white or red; then think about grape variety and lastly the price. I also always check with the shop assistant if I have specific concerns (for example I don’t like sweet whites). They know the wines that they sell best so use their knowledge instead of getting home and not liking it.
Best value red and white under $30? A: White: Fraser Gallop Chardonnay, Margaret River. A delicious, rounded and subtle oaked Chardonnay with great fruit and acidity. Red: Mengoba Mencia, from Bierzo in Spain. Very similar soft, red fruit structure to Pinot Noir, slightly gamier and grippier tannin structure. Q
Q Where’s the first place you’ll be travelling in 2021? A: Would love to say Europe but I think that’s off the cards. We have family in Apollo Bay and love it down there so that will be first I’d say.
Bistro Gitan bistrogitan.com.au L’Hotel Gitan lhotelgitan.com.au Frédéric frederic.com.au
3 FREE GOLD SHIRAZ plus save $126
+ 12 RICH REDS PLUS 3 FREE SHIRAZ SAVE $126 – DELIVERED FREE
If you love deep, rich, flavoursome reds (and a freebie or three!), then you’ll love this special offer for Inspiring Vacations members. Enjoy 3 FREE bottles of TRIPLE Gold-winning McLaren Vale Shiraz from Steve Maglieri’s 5 Red Star Serafino estate (worth $75) with this superb collection of reds, perfect for spring. Plus FREE DELIVERY!
For just $11.67 a bottle, enjoy sumptuous reds including the stunning Miles From Nowhere Cabernet Merlot with a Gold medal, a Double Gold, two Top Golds AND a Trophy, a marvellous 92pt Malbec from 5 Red Star Bleasdale (also with Gold!), Leogate’s lovely Gatecrasher Central Ranges Shiraz from NSW – and more. The price? Just $139.99 – you SAVE $126. Don’t miss this!
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Terms and conditions: Offer available while stocks last. Valid for new customers only. Three bottles of Serafino Sorrento McLaren Vale Shiraz per household. Order acceptance and the contract between you and us will only be formed on the dispatch to you of the product(s) ordered. Orders not accepted (nor will wine be delivered to) persons under the age of 18 years. Most orders are fulfilled within a week but please allow a few extra days if you live in a remote area. We do not deliver to parcel lockers, and unfortunately due to rising delivery costs and current liquor laws are unable to deliver to the Northern Territory. If a wine becomes unavailable, a similar wine of equal or greater value will be supplied. If you are unhappy with the substitute we’ll refund you. The Wine Handbook will only be sent to new customers. $126 saving applies to the reds case only, worth $226. RRP of the mixed case is $254 with savings of $114. RRP of the whites case is $248 with savings of $108. Retail prices are provided by the wineries. All our wines are covered by our guarantee – if you don’t like a wine for any reason Wine People will refund you and arrange to collect the wine. Please see our full Terms and Conditions of Sale available here: www.winepeople.com.au/terms or call us on 1300 762 832. ©2020 Wine People Pty Ltd. LIQP770016550. Level 2, 407 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010. All rights reserved. You must be 18 years of age or over to order wine from this site. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18.
ARMCHAIR TRAVELLER A visit to Kyoto, Japan
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I loved the quiet places in Kyoto, the places that held the world within a windless moment. Inside the temples, nature held her breath. Pico Iyer, author
26 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2020
PHOTO : KYOTO, JAPAN OCTOBER 2018. Â© INSPIRING VACATIONS
VER E OR 9
Kimberley Wilderness Adventures APT’s small group 4WD tours take you into the wilderness in style and comfort, enjoying great food and amazing sights. These are epic adventures which lead you into some of Australia’s most remote places, as you go off the beaten track with our expert driver-guides in our state-of-the-art vehicles.
Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge
• Stay at APT’s exclusive network of Wilderness Lodges.
• Admire ancient Wandjina and Bradshaw (Gwion Gwion) rock art.
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• Enjoy a glass of bubbly as the sun sets over the Bungle Bungle Range. • Soar over Mitchell Falls on an included helicopter flight.
• Relax as you soak in Zebedee Springs and leave feeling revitalised.
Emma Gorge 1
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er Rd Riv
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Mitchell Falls Helicopter Flight
15 days Broome return —— From $9,195* per person, twin share.
Wyndham 2 Kununurra Lake Argyle 2
Purnululu National Park
Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge NT
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*Conditions apply. SEE: aptouring.com.au/SpecialDeals for full conditions. Book by 31 December 2020, unless sold out prior. Price is per person (pp), AUD, twin share and includes savings. Price is correct as at 29 July 2020. Price based on GKC15: 2 September 2021. ALL OFFERS: Limited seats and offers on set departures are available and are subject to availability. DEPOSITS: a non-refundable deposit of $3,000 pp is due within 7 days of booking. ~QANTAS FREQUENT FLYER: You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer Member to earn Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer Terms and Conditions, available at qantas.com/terms. Qantas Frequent Flyer members can earn 1 Qantas Point per AU$1 spent on all APT holidays. See aptouring.com.au/Qantas for full conditions. 28 INSPIRING VACATIONS / OCTOBER 2020 Australian Pacific Touring Pty Ltd. ABN 44 004MAGAZINE 684 619. ATAS| SEPTEMBER accreditation #A10825. APT-2099
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