eens Great Barrier Reef, Qu
ov ering lif e unde r Th ere’s no th ing like di sc t Ba rri er Re ef from th e wa te r on th e Grea aw ay from Wa lly ’s th e fu rt he re st po in t ho i bu sin es s end. Jakes Jac ob son , Pu kilometres ef stretches over 2000 The Great Barrier Re over 1500 to me ho is d d coast an along the Queenslan Wrasse ing this guy, a Maori species of ﬁsh includ has become d extremely tame an called Wally. Wally is itors to the vis th wi his photo taken famous having had . So don your m all over the world Great Barrier Reef fro ater world of o the magical underw ﬂippers and dive int ular ﬁsh tac ec As well as the sp the Great Barrier Reef. rtles, tu ter un co u may also en and colourful coral yo Wally! to hi say to t ge Don’t for dolphins and whales.
Cable Beach, Wes
Australia Th ere’s no th in g lik e wa tc hi ng th e su ns et from th e ba ck of a ca m el as yo u m ea nd er al on g th e be ac h. M el an ie Pe ar ce
, St okes Va lle y
As the ﬁery sun falls toward the horizon the sky bu bright orange an rns a d the sea begins to glisten with th signs of moonlig e ﬁrst ht . Watching the sunset over the Ocean is an extra Indian ordinary experie nce, even more so you are perched when on top of a camel . A camel ride on the Cable Beach is an iconic Wes Australian experie tern nce, and one that people remembe for a lifetime. M r eandering along this vast, 22 kilom stretch of white etre sand with the In dian Ocean to fe eyes on will mak ast your e you feel like yo u are at the end earth... or maybe of the its heaven.
LAST MINUTE E
Book a selected AAT Kings tour and choose your own last minute bonus deal.
OR Free Day Tour in Darwin^
$200 OFF per couple $ e#
Bonus night per couplee t B
Top End Spectacular
Spectacular Bungle Bungle
8 day Premium tour from $3610 per person twin share*
11 day Premium tour from $7195 per person twin share*
Darwin to Darwin – Departs 1 May 2011
Broome to Darwin – Departs 20 June 2011
Top End & Red Centre
Red Centre Experience
11 day Cost Saver tour from $4195 per person twin share*
5 day Explorer tour from $2515 per person twin share*
Darwin to Ayers Rock – Departs 17 May 2011
Alice Springs to Ayers Rock – Departs 4 June, 2 July 2011
For more information call (0800) 500 146, visit aatkings.co.nz or see your local travel agent. *Conditions: Price is per person twin share, land only. Bookings are valid until tours sold out or departed. Book one of the advertised tours and choose one of the special offers advertised. ^Receive a free Jumping Crocodile Cruise day tour in Darwin per person when you book one of the advertised tours departing or returning to Darwin on selected departure dates only. #Receive a $200 discount per couple on advertised tours and departure dates only. Single travellers receive a $100 discount. †Receive one bonus night of accommodation pre or post tour in Darwin, Alice Springs or Ayers Rock only. Bonus night includes room only. Bonus night is not available in Ayers Rock on the advertised Explorer tours. Bonus night is not available in Broome. All offers are subject to availability and are not valid in conjunction wtih any other special offer or discount. For new bookings only. Please quote S&D897 when booking. AAT9045_NZD
UNFORGETTABLE ROMANTIC ENCOUNTER BREAKS
CARNIVALE! Wendy Dunlop joins
Graeme Sinclair, host
A spa by a Queensland
the crowds at the
of TV3’s Gone Fishin’
beach, a cottage in
annual Port Douglas
show, fell in love with
the Barossa Valley,
the giant creatures
a luxury resort on the
of Western Australia’s
Indian Ocean: add one
of food, fun, funk
loving couple and stir.
THE GREAT AUSSIE ROAD TRIP
FESTIVAL CITY Whatever time of
THE SPIRIT OF KAKADU
With a set of wheels,
year you land in
Kris Madden leaves
Adelaide you can
Darwin to immerse
a sense of adventure
be sure something
herself in the living
and time to spare you’ll
surprising will be
creating a buzz.
that is Kakadu
around every corner.
NED KELLY WAS HERE
ROMANTIC ISLE Lord Howe Island
An island retreat in
Bob Marriott pedals
is a beautiful refuge
the Northern Territory?
into the past
from the modern
The warm sands of
through a region
world. Peddle off
made rich by gold
The fun of an urban
and haunted by
beach? Check out
our top picks.
SMOKE ON THE HUON
The smell of wood
NATURE/ WILDLIFE EXPERIENCES
smoke, a glass of
Australia is a natural
to live-aboard sailing
Pinot Noir, apples on a
wonderland full of
on WA’s Ningaloo
roadside stall, dolphins
exotic flora and fauna –
Reef, we have
in the bay – welcome to
and you don’t have to
the latest Aussie
Tasmania’s Huon Valley.
go bush to find it.
From Vivid Sydney’s brilliant illuminations
ir, host of Graeme Sincla hin’ show, TV3’s Gone Fis the giant fell in love with estern creatures of W l Coast. Australia’s Cora Our shoot in Western Australia was talked about and planned for 12 months and at the end of all that planning the result was sensational. There were some concerns, however, about how my “life on wheels” [Graeme has multiple sclerosis] would be accommodated when it came to various fishing adventures and diving with the whale sharks near Exmouth. Western Australia is vast. Just north of Perth you fly over green, fertile-looking farmland, but the earth quickly acquires that red,
SON FIRST PERtheir re Kiwis sha n stories. Australia
severe, uncompromising look. The feeling of space becomes all-pervading. Wheeling across the tarmac in Denham at midday, the heat haze reflected a brilliant blue sky; a naked sun was cooled slightly by the faintest caress of a breeze. I laughed out loud, it felt so good just being here. And in front of us stretched days of adventure in a place that contrasted beautifully with New Zealand. There are so many whales, dugongs, turtles and dolphins along the west coast that all you
EXMOUTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
have to do is get on the water and eventually one of the ocean behemoths will try and run you over. It amuses me that they are totally oblivious to the endless fuss that accompanies organised trips out to view them. As we cruised on a catamaran that first afternoon across sparkling Shark Bay towards a pearl farm we were told that about 30,000 humpback whales navigate the coast each ALL PHOTOS BY TOURISM
season and the migration was just beginning. Certainly, sightings of humpbacks would become commonplace, but, just like spotting dolphins, I would never tire of seeing that spout, a fine, sparkling mist of whale breath hanging briefly under the tropical sun. It was the next dayâ€™s agenda that I had been focused on for some time. We were off to dive with whale sharks, compliments of Ocean Eco Adventures. I have always been at home in the water and we had a preliminary snorkel to establish our relative skill levels. I donned a suit, fitted a mask and snorkel and at my request was heaved off the duck board. Paul, my guide, hovered attentively. A humpback whale calf had been killed by a pod of orca, so that area of carnage was our first stop. We were just outside the reef; beautiful blue ocean water was being pounded to bits on the coral and in the distance was a fringe of fine yellow sand. By then the day was warming up and the early breeze dropping out. It became a familiar pattern in our travels up WAâ€™s west coast.
Bright blue sky, warm water and a sparkling ocean filled with life: it was very easy to get used to. A spotter plane was out looking for whale sharks and half an hour into our orca observations we received a call that a whale shark was nearby. We cruised for 10 minutes and the well-choreographed whale shark swim began in earnest. Paul and I had worked out a bit of a system and he became my outboard motor, finning me into position to watch this amazing creature glide by. They really are quite special and of all the face-to-face whale encounters I have had, this rated near the top. Big, gentle, wide-mouthed, brown-skinned with white spots and stripes, the shark hardly seemed to be moving its tail as it effortlessly left us in a wake defined as a small crease on the surface. Wow! That was something. With an accompanying troop of what appeared to be cobia, the beast and its entourage faded off into the gloom. People scurried back to the boat and Paul heaved me to the duckboard, from which I
was hefted aboard. Off we went again. Positioning ourselves in front of the whale shark, our spotter slid into the water and, once over the target, raised a hand in the air. We descended on the spot and the majestic creature materialised in front of us. The day was magic! Western Australia reminded me of the need to stay focused on the adventures I love.
SAILING IN THE BUCCA NEER ARCHIPELAGO
australia.com | 5
Some o f the b est… Ne w Sout h Wales
ROMANTIC BRE AKS
WOLGAN WOLG WO LGAN AN V VAL VALLEY ALLE LEY Y RE RESO RESORT SORT RT & SSPA PA Emirates’ Em mirra attes es’ luxurious lu uxu xuririou ous us Wolgan Wolg Wo lg ga an n Valley Val alle ley Resort Re eso sort rtt & Spa Spa a is is a stunning s retreat in th h rugged gg g ged ged e G re eat ater e B er lu ue Moun Mo ounta unta un tain ain ns Wo W orrlld He Heri eririta t ge ge Area. Encompassing the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage 40 free-standing luxury suites, each with its own private terrace and swimming pool, the resort offers the perfect romantic retreat. WWW.WOLGANVALLEY.COM WWW.WO
COTTAGE COTT CO TTAG AGE E IN TTHE HE B BAR BAROSSA AROS OSSA SA
South Austral ia
The TTh he lush, lush lu sh rolling r llllin ro ng h hi hills illl s o off tthe he B he Barossa arros a ossa ssa av valley allle a ey ar a are re under an hour’s drive from Adelaide. Stay in a romantic vineyard cottage, explore the region’s indulgent food and wine culture and share bubbles at sunset while W.SOUTHAUSTRALIA.CO.NZ/REGIONS/BA overlooking the vineyards. WWW.SOUTHAUSTRALIA.CO.NZ/REGIONS/BAROSSA
THE TH E LA LAKE KE H HOU HOUSE OUSE SE The spa town of Daylesford is just 80 minutes from Melbourne. Relax and indulge at The Lake House, where you and your special someone can enjoy fantastic dining and magnificent views, or indulge in a massage for two at the gorgeous Salus Day Spa. WWW.LAKEHOUSE.COM.AU
ROCKY ROCK RO CKY Y HI HILL HILLS LLSS RE RETR RETREAT TREA EATT This TTh his is beautiful bea eaut utififul ul architecturally arrc ch hiit ite tectur cttur c u al ally y designed des e ig gne ne wilderness retreat for two sits atop a mountain overlooking the dramatic east coast and Maria Island. Amenities include a Huon pine bathtub on the evening deck and fully q pp p p equipped private art studio. WWW.ROCKYHILLSRETREAT.COM.AU
PALM PA LM C COV COVE OVE E Austtra Australia’s Au rali alilia’ a’s friendliest f ie fr iend end ndlilies e t beach bea be ea is renowned for the plethora of spas and luxury resorts lining its beachfront. This sophisticated seaside village has earned an international reputation as the place to relax, rejuvenate and re-connect in tropical serenity. WWW.TOURISMPALMCOVE.COM
QUAY QU AY W WES WEST ESTT BU BUNK BUNKER NKER ER B BAY AY Bunk Bunker Bu B un nk ker er Bay Bay y is is located loca lo oca cated ted in te in the the he Margaret Mar arg ga are ret Ri Riv River v wine region, nestled alongside the crystal-clear waters of Bunker Bay and protected by the Cape Naturaliste promontory. Quay West Bunker Bay is a stunning, five-star resort with 150 luxuriously appointed villas. The award-winning Other Side of the Moon restaurant features alfresco dining overlooking Bunker Bay and the Indian Ocean. WWW.MIRVACHOTELS.COM/QUAY-WEST-RESORT-BUNKER-BAY
Western Austral ia
BAMURRU BAMU BA MURR RRU U PL PLAI PLAINS AINS NS Exclusive E l i wildlife ild dlif liif experience i on Swim Creek Station, just three hours from Darwin. Bamurru’s Safari-style accommodation is surrounded by savannah woodland teeming with wildlife, reptiles and birds. Luxury bungalows expose guests to the sights and sounds of the bush. Activities include 4WD safaris, wildlife-spotting tours and airboating trips across the surrounding floodplains. WWW.BAMURRUPLAINS.COM
EORGE, Y ALISON G PHOTO BY TTON PHOTOGRAPH CO MARTINE
PHOTO BY ALISON GEORGE RGE,
MARTINE COTTON PHOTOGRAPH
Revelling in a tropical backyard of beach, reef and rainforest, it’s no wonder Port Douglas has become a favourite destination. But visit during the annual May Carnivale and you’ll see the town in party mood, dancing its way through a 10-day programme that just begs you to stay and play. Port Douglas was founded in 1877 as a port for the Hodgkinson River goldfields. Together with thriving silver and tin mines, plus the burgeoning timber and sugar
cane industries, Port Douglas experienced an 80-year boom and (almost) bust. Then, in the 1990s, a new kind of gold came along in the form of tourists lured by the area’s many natural charms and attractions. The seeds of Carnivale were sown in 1994 when locals created a fiesta around the town’s annual yacht regatta. Nurtured and expanded year by year, Carnivale is now an extravaganza of the best food, fun, funk and finery Port Douglas
c can muster, rounding up 20,000 p participants from near and far. As the founding event, the E Exemplar Clipper Cup still lures y yachties to impossibly blue w waters and balmy tropical winds in a six-race series that is staged o over Carnivale’s two weekends. In between, there’s a mouthwatering menu of things so see, do, catch, match, wine, dine, share or join. The festival opens with the classy, celebrity-laden Longest Lunch that (believe me!) lasts well into the afternoon. The charity event is hosted by the elegant Sheraton Mirage, where folk who “love to lunch” can dress up and sit down to fabulous gourmet fare beneath a giant lakeside marquee. Later, Port Douglas comes out in full force for the evening Street Parade of colourful floats showcasing Carnivale’s chosen theme. For 2011 it’s “Wonderland”, a theme that, says Carnivale event manager Martine Cotton, reflects the “wonderland we live in”. Continuing the idea, Wildlife Habitat Wonderland Day has a range of fun family activities and gets you as close as you dare to Queensland’s scary, hairy and slippery critters.
FOUR MILE BE PHOTOS BY
Food and wine events are high on the Carnivale agenda, from the long-established Seafood Extravaganza to the Wharf Street Food Fair, a brandnew happening in 2011. Local chefs vie for the title of Port’s Best during Carnivale Food Fight, while alfresco fine dining and an eight-course wine-matched degustation menu are part of the Palates of Port programme. Premier Carnivale events are ticketed, but many others are free, allowing anyone to join outdoor concerts, campfire songs on the beach, art and craft exhibitions and market days. Throughout the festival, Carnivale Club, on the historic Sugar Wharf, is the hospitality hub to chill, meet, mix, mingle and be entertained with music and comedy club repartee. If activity beckons, Carnivale’s sports programme satisfies the serious, the spontaneous and the spectator. During Four Mile Beach Day, the hard-packed golden sands are perfect for cricket, softball, touch rugby and volleyball. Roping in family and friends – or strangers who might want a game – sporting tactics are discussed over the esky and friendly rivalry continues throughout the day.
As well as the established Port Douglas Golf Challenge and the Bullride Spectacular, three big-time USM sporting events will reach the finish line right on Four Mile Beach on the last day of Carnivale (Sunday, May 29): the Coral Coast Triathlon in and around Port Douglas; the hinterland RRR (Rural Rainforest and Reef) Mountain Bike Challenge, which has been running for 21 years; and the Great Barrier Reef Ocean Challenge, an inaugural event involving a 40km surf ski slog!
THE LONGEST LUNCH
FOUR MILE BE ACH FAMILY FUN
If you prefer leisurely biking, Port Douglas’ new Tour de Port is a gentle three-hour circumnavigation of historic goldrush sites with time to appreciate beach and views. But quite possibly the best party you will ever go to is A Taste of Port – 200 beautifully decorated tables beneath the coconut palms of Rex Smeal Park. Here, fabulous food and wine tents tempt your tastebuds, the ocean sunset is to die for and then (lights, camera, action) there are fireworks, magic music and 2,000 people dancing until whenever. Wow!
TOUR DE PORT
GETTING GETT GE TTIN TT ING IN G TH THER THERE ERE ER E Qantas Qa Q ant nta ass fliies es daily es dai a ly y from fro r mN Ne New ew Zealand to Cairns via Sydney or Brisbane. Air New Zealand flies direct to Cairns three days a week (Wed, Fri, Sun) and Pacific Blue twice weekly (Tues, Sat). For Cairns car rentals u see www.vroomvroomvroom.com.au
WHEN WH E TTO EN O GO Every Ev very erry seas se season ea asson h has ass iits a ttss c charms ha h ar in Tropical North Queensland. Coolest months are April-Oct; hottest Nov-March (though it’s the best time to visit the Reef and see flora and fauna activity); rainy season is Jan-March. Port Douglas Ca C arn niv val ale e runs ru uns ns from fro om Ma ay 19-29. Carnivale May
MORE MO RE INFO IINF NFO NF O www.carnivale.com.au ww w w ww. w.ca w. carniv rn niv ival ale ale. e..co com. m.a m. au u www.tpdd.com.au
S P E C TA C U L A R
of the Gold Coast and beyond . . .
Travel to the very top of the iconic Q1 tower and visit SkyPoint – Australia’s only beachside observation deck. Relax with a bite to eat or enjoy a skyhigh cocktail.
Level 77 of Q1, Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise +61 7 5582 2700 | www.skypoint.com.au
Th ereâ€™s no th in g like be in g ad ve nt urou s in Tropic al N or th Q ue en slan d.
An assortment of holiday packages are available to ensure you ďŹ nd that perfect holiday experience in the warmth of Tropical North Queensland, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the worldâ€™s oldest living rainforest.
Romantic Holiday FROM
pp (land only)
Four wonderful romantic holiday packages to choose from with a mix of experiences including luxury transfers, Hot Air Ballooning, evening sunset cruises, themed dinners.
Adventure Holiday FROM
pp (land only)
Four fantastic adventurous seven night holiday packages to choose from with a mix of experiences including an island stay, Great Barrier Reef trips, white water rafting and much moreâ€Ś
Family Holiday FROM
pp share quad (2 adults / 2 children) (land only)
Four fun-ďŹ lled family seven night holiday packages to choose from with a mix of experiences such as Great Barrier Reef tours, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and much moreâ€Ś
Visit www.houseoftravel.co.nz/tnq/home.htm or phone 0800 838 747 to book
*(1(5$/&21',7,2169DOLGIRUVDOHVEHWZHHQ)HE0D\Â‡$GYHUWLVHGSULFHVDUHFRUUHFWDVDW)HEEXWPD\YDU\GHSHQGLQJRQH[FKDQJHUDWHVÂ‡$LUIDUHVDUHDGGLWLRQDOÂ˛SOHDVHDVN\RXU+RXVH RI7UDYHOFRQVXOWDQWIRUWKHEHVWDYDLODEOHDLUIDUHWRVXLW\RXUQHHGVÂ‡0LQPD[VWD\VDSSO\Â‡3DFNDJHVDUHEDVHGRQFRQVHFXWLYHQLJKWVWD\VÂ‡)XOOSD\PHQWLVUHTXLUHGZLWKLQGD\VRIUHVHUYDWLRQEXWQRODWHUWKDQ SPRQ0D\Â‡3ULFHVLQFOXGH$XVWUDOLDQ*67ZKHUHDSSOLFDEOHÂ‡9DOLGIRUQHZERRNLQJVRQO\Â‡3ULFHVDUHSHUSHUVRQLQ1=GROODUVIRUFDVKRUFKHTXHSXUFKDVHRQO\Â‡*URXSSULFHVDUHQRWDSSOLFDEOHRQWKHVH SDFNDJHVÂ‡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
GREAT OCEAN ROAD
S TRACK, SIMPSON DESERT OLD ANDADO TRACK, BINN ALL PHOTOS BY TOURISM
The tradition of “going walkabout” has been around since the first Australians arrived some 50,000 years ago. Today you can do it in more style and comfort – and get a long way in a relatively short time. But Australia is mighty big, so if you’ve only got a few weeks, it’s best to choose a select few areas to explore. With six months to a year to spare you can cover some serious ground.
WEEKS WEEK WE EKSS Over O ver a ffew ew w weeks ee eks y you ou cou could cruise the east coast from SSydney to Cairns. Stop off in Yamba or Byron Bay and explore the lush hinterland around Mullumbimby and Nimbin before hitting Surfers Paradise. If you want a short break, detour to the pristine islands of the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Ocean Road runs between Melbourne and
Adelaide along a spectacular section of the Australian coast. Stop at Bells Beach to watch surfers riding the famous Southern Ocean swells, amble through laid-back seaside towns and ogle the strange 12 Apostles rock formations rising out of the sea. On the southwest coast of Western Australia you can explore the wine country and surf beaches around Margaret River and head south through towering kauri forests to the old whaling town of Albany. Here, between June and October, you can spot whales offshore. In a couple of weeks you can drive right around Tasmania. Head north from Hobart to Freycinet National Park and walk to Wineglass Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Continuing anti-clockwise, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park has some of the best hiking
in Australia. From there, loop back to Hobart via Strahan and the west coast. And if you yearn to see the heart of Australia, head for Alice Springs, hire a 4WD and drive the Red Centre Way. Explore the surreal gorges that cut through the red sandstone of the West MacDonnell Ranges. No Aussie road trip would be complete without a visit to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta. Watch the sunrise from the back of a camel and walk around Uluru with an Aboriginal guide.
MONTHS MONT MO NTHS HS Highway 1 is the longest long highway in the world and it will take you right around Australia. In six months you could explore half of it, but you’ll need nine months or more to make it all the way around. Follow the coast south from Sydney to Melbourne and the Great Southern Way to Adelaide. From here you can
cross the immense Nullarbor Plain, between the stormy Southern Ocean and the vast, empty desert. You can continue through Western Australia, up the coast from Perth, through Geraldton, Shark Bay and, with a stop at Ningaloo Reef, all the way to Broome. Turning east across the top of Australia, the Kimberley is
ULURU-KATA TJUTA NAT IONAL PARK
staggeringly beautiful, wild and ancient. Don’t miss the weird rock domes of the Bungles before crossing into the Northern Territory. Make laid-back Darwin your base to visit Kakadu National Park. The Savannah Way takes you from the Northern Territory through Gulf Country and a uniquely Australian landscape and drops you off in Cairns. Of course, you could stick to the coast all the way around the continent, but detouring along the famous stock routes that criss-cross Australia will take you into the heart of the outback and show you the soul of the land and its people. However you slice and dice the Great Aussie Road Trip, you’ll find adventure around every corner.
GETTING GETT GE TTIN ING G TH THER THERE ERE E Qantas Qa Q ant nta ass has has as regular regu egu eg ulllar ar direct ar d diriirrec ect o or c co onn nnec ecttiing flfliiights ec g tss from gh fro om NZZ to connecting most Australian centres.
WHEN WH EN TTO O GO SSeasonal Se eas a on onal al conditions al con ondi diiti d tion onss v on va vary ary depending on where you’re headed in this vast land. Check regional websites for local conditions when pl p la an nni ning ng y ou ur tr ttrip. trip rip p. planning your
MORE MO RE INFO I NF NFO O You’ll Y Yo ou’ u’llll fin nd d routes rou ro uttes e a and nd d it itin tin ner erar rar ariie arie es p lann la nnin ng ch c eck ec kllis lis ists t itineraries, planning checklists, self-drive packages, accommodation suggestions and much more at www.australianroadtrips.com
Adelaide is known as the Festival City and it’s not hard to see why. My three days in the city coincided with the Film Festival, the Spiritual Festival, the Cellar Door Wine Festival and the magnificent Adelaide Fringe. Although I didn’t have time to investigate them all, the festivals created a real buzz and there was always something unique and interesting to see and do around the city. The Fringe Festival in particular was a highlight and revealed an impressive cultural and artistic side to Adelaide that I hadn’t expected. The heart of the Fringe is the weird and wonderful Garden of Unearthly Delights in Rundle Park, which this year showcased 1,200 performances in elaborate carnival tents over a monthlong period (Feb 10-March13). The rich programme included comedy, acrobatics, cabaret, circus, theatre, live music, puppet shows and much more.
While the shows are ticketed, the Garden itself is free to enter and on the Friday night I went along it was clearly the place to be: thousands of people were already there and the queue outside the park stretched down the street. The Garden has a fantastic atmosphere, with young hipsters in vintage costumes, bright lights, carnival tents, rides, bars, food stalls and markets. I ventured along to a latenight puppet show at the Puppet Palace, where naughty, cursing puppets had the audience roaring with laughter. The next day, I caught the inaugural Cellar Door Wine Festival, which showcases South Australian wine. A$20 buys you a glass, tastings and a token for a full pour of wine. The event is held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, where separate spaces are set up to represent each of the wine regions in South Australia, including the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Adelaide Hills.
South Australia is one of the great wine-making regions in the world and I enjoyed the opportunity to taste wines from some of the 100-odd vineyards that attended and to chat with the enthusiastic winemakers. As well as the vineyard stalls, the festival features a series of master classes where you can learn more about winemaking and the finer points of wine tasting from experts from all over Australia. With so many festivals and events running thoughout the year in Adelaide, it’s easy to find something that grabs your interest and incorporate it into a South Australian holiday. In addition to its own myriad attractions such as a fantastic culinary and bar scene, great shopping, fine museums and galleries and lovely beaches, Adelaide is the gateway to many incredible destinations, including Kangaroo Island, the Barossa Valley, the Murray River and Eyre Peninsula.
Upcoming events for your South Australian itinerary:
OAKBANK EASTER RACING CARNIVAL
MCLAREN VALE SEA AND VINES FESTIVAL
Adelaide Hills. www.oakbankracingclub.com.au
McLaren Vale wineries. www.mclarenvale.info
BAROSSA VINTAGE FESTIVAL
BAROSSA GOURMET WEEKEND
APRIL 23-MAY 1
WHEN WH H EN TTO O GO O
Barossa Valley. www.barossavintagefestival.com.au
Barossa Valley wineries.
Year-round Y Ye ear a -r -ro ou und nd ((see se ee acco ac accompanying cco omp mpan pan anyin anyi yin yi panel for upcoming festivals a de e s) and events)
ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL
GETTING GETT GE TTIN ING G TH THER THERE ER RE Airirir N Ai A Ne New ew Ze ZZealand eal alan and has and has direct ha dirre di ectt fliights g from fr mA uc ckl klan lan nd to A de ela aide id de from Auckland Adelaide. Qantas offers frequent services to Adelaide via Australian centres.
MORE M MO RE E INFO INF NFO NF O www.southaustralia.co.nz w ww w ww w sso ou uttha aus usstr trra allia lia a co
this Winter in
t our u o k c e h C es! great rat Need a break this Winter? Hire a Britz Campervan and chill out in Australia. We have great rates on all 2WD and 4WD campers. For bookings call 0800 831 900 or visit www.britz.co.nz
Campervan, 4WD &
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NOURLANGIE ROCK PAINTINGS
ABORIGINAL DANC E – BARUNGA
WHITE EGRETS IN THE PARK
SPECIES – AMONG 280 BIRD
The Aboriginal people of Kakadu, the Bininj/Mungguy, have inhabited this land continuously for at least 50,000 years, one of the longest historical records of any group of people found anywhere in the world. This World Heritage-listed National Park is one of very few places in the world listed for both their environmental credentials and cultural significance. It’s also a shining example of cultural
tourism, representing a successful partnership between traditional owners, governments and the tourism industry. All these factors have ensured its inclusion in the suite of Australia’s National Landscapes (currently there are 12 National Landscapes, chosen for their natural and cultural significance). The sheer scale of Kakadu, which extends over an area of 20,000 square kilometres and seven distinct regions, means you should do your homework before you visit – and plan to stay a while: anything less than a week will probably leave you wanting more. The starting point for most tours is Darwin. If you’re planning to self-drive, Kakadu begins about 150 kilometres southeast of Darwin on the Arnhem Highway. Approximately 7km east of the South Alligator River on the Arnhem Highway, turn south and visit the fascinating Mamukala wetlands. In the late dry season (September to October) thousands of birds congregate to feed here. The Gu-ngarre Walk will take you on a two-hour circular trail through monsoon forest and woodlands alongside a billabong. Further along the highway is the town of Jabiru. The Bowali Visitor Centre is a helpful place to stop for advice about the region and you can sign up here for a variety of activities, including escorted tours of Arnhem Land or a flightseeing tour from the small airport at Jabiru.
M LE, GUNLO WATER HO
Kakadu is also renowned for its Aboriginal rock art. About 5,000 rock sites have been recorded and a further 10,000 are thought to exist. Take a stroll up to the art galleries in the rock shelters of Ubirr and Nourlangie. Even more intriguing is Nanguluwur, near Nourlangie Rock, where you’ll find paintings depicting first contact with a two-masted sailing ship. Northwest off the Kakadu Highway are the Yellow Water wetlands. Here, walking trails and boardwalks provide an excellent way to explore the wildlife; or you can take a commercial boat cruise to within a wing-beat of the area’s prolific birdlife. The biological diversity of Kakadu’s flora and fauna is stunning. There are about 65 different species of mammals, 120 species of reptiles and more than 280 bird species living in the park – about a third of all those found in Australia. If seeing a crocodile is on your to-do list, this place is your best chance, as many can be found here in the dry season. Take notice of the warning signs, though and do not swim in the waterholes or rivers that crocodiles call home!
JIM JIM FALLS, WET SEASON
For excellent information on the Aboriginal culture in Kakadu visit the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre – you can’t miss it; it’s built in the shape of the local pig-nosed turtle. In Kakadu’s southern stone country, one of the main attractions is Gunlom, which featured in the movie Crocodile Dundee. Climb to the top of Gunlom Falls for spectacular views of the escarpment and surrounding countryside and take a dip in the nearby Maguk plunge pool. A series of interconnected walking tracks called the Yurmikmik Walks provide an excellent wet-season experience. The major centre of Katherine, at the other end of the Kakadu Road, is a good place to rest, shop for souvenirs and sample the region’s local produce. Try the Walkabout Restaurant in the local Country Club for a famous feed of modern Australian bush tucker including camel, croc, barramundi and buffalo. After dark you might join a tour spotting crocodiles on the banks of the river and share your starlit dining room with the scaly locals.
In Aboriginal legend, Kakadu was shaped by the creation ancestors, and the tracks across the country left by these ancestors are known as Dreaming tracks. The descendants of those original inhabitants still live in the region today, and one of the best ways to explore this land is on a tour with an Aboriginal guide, who will unlock its spiritual secrets and help you understand what Kakadu is all about.
GETTING GE E TT TTIN IN N G TH THER THERE ERE ERE Qantas Q Qa Qan ant ntas ta ass o offers f er ff ers daily da aili y connections co onn nnec ecti tio ti via Sydney to Darwin from Auckland and Wellington and daily connections via Sydney to Darwin from Christchurch. Self-drive to Kakadu via the Arnhem Highway. The park’s northern entrance is about 150km southeast of Darwin. The roads are sealed and generally good, although they may be closed during heavy rain; check road conditions before starting out, es e sspe pe pec ecial cial ci ally ally l during dur d uriin ur ng the th he we w et se seas as as especially wet season.
WHEN WH EN N TO O GO From FFr rom om A April prrilil tto p o Au A Augu August ugu gust sskies k ess are ki are r clear and it’s less humid. MidAugust to October is hot and dry. Mid-October to December is the pre-monsoon season, with spectacular displays of lightning. The rains, when they come, are fierce but bring welcome relief ffrom fr rom rom om tthe he e ttropical ropi ro op piica call he h ea att. heat.
MORE MO R INFO RE I NF NFO O www.tourismnt.com.au ww w ww w..to tour uris ismnt ismn mn nt. t.com t.co com co m..au .au au w ww ww au austtra alilia co com/ m kaka kaka ka kad kad www.australia.com/kakadu www.kakadu.com.au
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Some o f the b est… Ne w Sout h Wales
PHOTO BY TO
GLENELG GLEN GL ENEL ELG G
COASTAL HOTS POTS
BYRON BYRO BY RON N BA BAY Y Sophisticated So op ph hissttiica ica ate ted luxury luxu lu xury ry a ry and nd da alternative ltt lifestyles, a thriving artistic scene and beautiful landscapes. From golden beaches and unspoilt bushland to fine dining and luxurious five-star resorts, arts festivals to alternative therapies, beautiful Byron has it all. WWW.VISITBYRONBAY.COM
Just JJu ust st 20 20 minutes miinu m nute es by tram tra am from Adelaide’s CBD is the city’s most popular seaside resort, Glenelg, always buzzing with people enjoying the sand and sea, foreshore parks and entertainment. Stroll along the jetty, browse through the hundreds of shops and dine at sidewalk cafes along Jetty Road.
South Austral ia
WWW.SOUTHAUSTRALIA.CO.NZ/ADELAIDE/GLENELG-AND-BEACHES WWW.SOUTHAUSTRALIA.CO.NZ/ADELA W.SOUTHAUSTRALIA.CO.NZ/ADELA AID
Victori a BAY BA Y OF IISL ISLANDS SLAN ANDS DS C COA COASTAL OAST STAL AL P PAR PARK ARK K
PHOTO BY WARRNAMBOOL. TOUR
Stre Stretching St retc etc ch hiing ng 3 32km 2k km fr ffrom rom mP Peterborough ette errbo boro rou ug gh to to n near ea ar W Wa Warrnambool arr rrna na na with ssp pe pe ec cta tacu cu ula ar ocean ocea oc ocea ean views, view vi ws the th he e park par ark protects prrot p otec ctss a variety va arriie e of rare and spectacular threatened flora and fauna species. The park also takes in the GOV.AU stunning Bay of Martyrs. WWW.PARKWEB.VIC.GOV.AU
BRUNY BRUN BR UNY Y IS ISLA ISLAND LAND ND
Bruny B Br run uny IIs Island, slla and n 30 30km 0k km m south sou outh t o th of Hobart, is a favourite holiday spot for locals: great beaches, picturesque coastlines, relaxed atmosphere and fine food and wine – in particular Bruny Island oysters and cheese. WWW.BRUNYISLAND.COM
MOOLOOLABA MOOL MO OLOO OOLA LABA BA Sun-kissed SSu unn-ki kisssssed ed d Mooloolaba, Moo oolo olo oo ollab aba, ba, a, 1 110km 1 north of Brisbane, is perfect for a Sunshine Coast holiday. Transformed from a sleepy surfing locality into an internationally acclaimed destination, there’s plenty to do. The Esplanade offers a variety of accommodation, boutique shopping and a whole host of dining options, including seaside BBQs. WWW.MOOLOOLABATOURISM.COM.AU
Western Austral ia
ROTTNEST ROTT RO TTNE NEST ST IISL ISLAND SLAN AND D A sh sshort hort orrt fe o fferry erry rry riride rr ide de ffrom rom Pe ro Perth, ert rth h,, R Rottnest o has some of the world’s finest beaches and bays, as well as unique plant and animal life, such as the kangaroo-like quokka. “Rotto” is a car-free zone and with 63 sheltered beaches to choose from, the island is refreshingly uncrowded. Attractions include guided walks, scenic flights, a family fun park, museum and various sporting and marine activities. WWW.ROTTNESTISLAND.COM
BANUBANU BANU BA NUBA BANU NU
Eco-wilderness E ild d retreat t t nestled t on Bremer Island, off Arnhem Land. A light aircraft takes you to the retreat, traditionally owned by the Yolngu people. Accommodation is for up to 10 guests, allowing you to create your own itinerary, which might include fishing, Yolngu culture, bird and turtle watching, swimming in the crystal-clear waters; or just doing nothing. WWW.BANUBANU.COM
NED KELLY STATUE, GLENROWAN
ALL PHOTOS BY TOURISM VICT
The wind is at my back and the sun’s on my face. I’m in the King Valley region of Victoria, biking down an Aussie rail trail and feeling pretty chipper. This is a quiet country area which most overseas visitors to Melbourne and probably more than a few locals are unaware of, and after the hustle and bustle of the big city it’s great therapy to spend a quiet few days in this lovely region.
Just a 2½-hour drive on the Sydney road will bring you to Benalla. Turn off the main highway here and you’ll find yourself in a world with a noticeable lack of traffic and drivers who are considerate to cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers.
The highways are mainly flat and ideal for cycling, a form of transport that is well catered for. You can stay on the quiet roads and take in some of the local vineyards, or choose from a number of well-defined tracks to suit cyclists of all types, from the steady peddler to the more adventurous looking for a challenge. In places, old railway lines have been torn up and the tracks sealed and put to good use as cycle paths, which are often used in combination with roads to form a well-defined trail through attractive countryside. A good mix of rail trail and road is the Bowser-Rutherglen-Wahgunyah, which takes about five hours one way, starting at the old Bowser
CHEVIOT TUNNEL, GOULBURN RIVER HIGH COUNTRY RA IL TRAIL
FIELD DAL ZOTTO ESTATE WIINES, WHIT
HIGH COUNTRY CYCLE RIDE
Railway Station and heading east towards Beechworth and Myrtleford. Being short on time, I took the easier option of the Beechworth Everton rail trail that covers only 15km, an enjoyable, exhilarating, mostly downhill ride that could be reasonably challenging from the opposite direction. Wherever you choose to do your pedalling, you’re sure to find lots of easy-on-the-eye scenery and places for refreshment, along with outlets happy to hire you the equipment and supply all the help you’re likely to need. Gold was discovered in the region in the 1850s and made a significant contribution to the local economy, leading to the establishment of several local towns. Others were transformed into places of importance almost overnight. Beechworth, established in 1852, is such a place. The town still has wide streets and beautifully preserved colonialstyle buildings where shopkeepers and café owners give you a genuine smile. Evidence of those rich goldrush days is
obvious in the town’s seven original banks, all now used for different purposes. A laid-back atmosphere gives you the feeling that you’ve been transported to an earlier era and you’re just as likely to hear the clatter of horses’ hooves as the sound of a car engine. Gold fever attracted a variety of characters – not all them law-abiding citizens. This is Ned Kelly country and the notorious bushranger’s name is widely preserved and often revered. The son of an Irishman who was convicted and transported to the colony, Ned made his presence felt around the Beechworth area and he and his cronies had several appearances in the local courthouse. A tour of Beechworth (drive, walk or hire a bike) will take in the Gorge Road, noting the old Powder Magazine built in 1859 and Kelly’s Lookout, often occupied by the Kelly Gang. There are also caves and magnificent rock formations. In the local cemetery is the grave of Antonio Wick, who was involved in a shooting by the gang. An effigy depicting Ned in the bullet-dented metal armour he wore stands in the forecourt of Freeman on Ford, once the Oriental Bank, (some windows are still barred), and now a classy B&B.
Sights associated with the outlaw’s short but exciting life include the Courthouse, built in 1859, where the original suits of armour used by Ned and his gang are on display. Kelly stood in the dock here in 1880 but for security reasons the trial was transferred to Melbourne, where he was eventually hanged. Stand in the cells where he was held and you can almost sense the atmosphere of those days. The Beechworth prison was commissioned in 1861 and Ned Kelly and his Mother Ellen were two of its most famous inmates. When Ellen was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in 1878, her supporters gathered outside the prison and burned down the wooden gates. The metal gates that replaced them are still in use today. The writer wishes thank Tourism Victoria for their assistance.
GETTING GETT GE T IN TT ING G TH THERE H ER ERE E Qantas Qa Q ant nta ass offers off ffers ers a regular er re eg gu ula ar sc schedule che h dule du ule le of flights direct to Melbourne from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Benalla is a 2½-hour drive from Melbourne on the SSydney Sy yd dn ney y road. rroa oa o oad. ad. d.
WHEN WH EN TTO O GO Any A An ny ti ttime. time ime me..
MORE MO R INFO RE IINF N O NF www.visitmelbourne.com/nz ww w ww. w.vi v siitm tmellb bo o our urrne u ne.c e.c com om/n m/n For downloads on the rail trails and other details, visit: www.murraytomountains.com.au
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On Lord Howe Island, theft is almost unheard of. There was no key to our hotel room and no lock for the bicycles that are the island’s the main form of transport. Indeed, there are only two road rules: bicycles must not exceed 25km/h and bike helmets are to be worn at all times. The island is so compact – 11km long and 2.8km wide – that you can ride from one end to other in less than an hour. Prepare for a culture shock of the nicest kind. Lord Howe is the genuine item: a subtropical island of great beauty where people actually live and work, and have done since 1833, when three New Zealanders and their Maori wives stepped ashore here. Officially part of New South Wales, Lord Howe is a place apart, with its own unique culture, colourful history and a very strong sense of identity. Because visitor numbers are strictly controlled, you never feel as though you are on a holiday island – just a beautiful refuge from the modern world.
PHOTO BY GRAHAME
The lack of tourist hoopla (there is no disco, pub or internet café) is what makes Lord Howe such a remarkable destination. A largely car-free island, just two hours’ flying time from Sydney or Brisbane, where there is always a deserted stretch of sand, a chilled glass of wine and delicious sunsets to gaze on, sounds like the perfect place for a romantic interlude. And it is. Accommodation ranges from older-style family guesthouses such at the popular Pinetrees Resort Hotel, to the exclusive, five-star spa resorts of Capella Lodge and Arajilla Retreat. Both are tailored to the
PHOTO BY GRAHAME
BEACH SUNSET ON A DESERTED
needs of couples in search of pampering, excellent food and idyllic locations. Capella offers uninterrupted views of Mount Lidgbird, while Arajilla is nestled under a canopy of kentia palms and banyan trees at the northern end of the island. Walking, cycling, birdwatching, snorkelling and scuba diving are the principal activities on the island. There are few gift shops, no coaches blocking the country lanes or bored people lolling around, although the island provides
LORD HOWE IS A MAGNET FOR SCUBA DIVERS
WALKING AT NORTH HEA D, PHOTO BY GRAHAME
MCCONNELL; PHOTO BY GRAHAME TOURISM NSW
plenty of secluded beaches; there’s even one called Lovers Bay, where couples can enjoy perfect solitude. Not that Lord Howe lacks things to do. One morning we got up early and climbed Mount Lidgbird, one of the two volcanic outcrops that dominate the island landscape. Our destination was Goat House Cave, a cliffside shelter used by the 19th-century kentia palm gatherers who were once the backbone of Lord Howe’s economy. It was a tough climb, but well worth the effort. The cave affords a panoramic view of the whole island and the sea-ravaged cliffs of Boat Harbour and East Point. Nearby we spied a masked white booby, one of the rarest birds on Lord Howe. At 500m or so the clouds seemed to skim the island beneath our feet. During the 2½-hour walk we did not encounter a single person. Locals are justifiably proud of Lord Howe’s 1982 inclusion on the World Heritage List. The island and the surrounding ocean are home to an astonishing number of plants, seabirds, fish and invertebrates. Some have called the place a “biological ark” because it shelters exotic seabirds on their long migratory flights across the Pacific. The surrounding ocean is equally precious, home to giant clams, sea turtles, clownfish,
lionfish and butterfly fish. The shallow lagoon on the western side of the island hosts the world’s most southerly coral reefs. No wonder that Lord Howe has, in recent times, become a magnet for scuba divers. The Pro Dive company operates regular diving trips to the nearby Admiralty Islands – and diving at Balls Pyramid, a remarkable offshore volcanic outcrop, is now almost obligatory.
Both Capella and Arajilla operate their own spas and promote aromatherapy and yoga. The refurbished spa at Arajilla specialises in ancient Indian Ayurvedic therapies. The spa is housed in a Mongolian yurt under some giant banyan trees. Facials, massage, and various body treatments are also available. The Pacific is not short of island paradises. But Lord Howe offers a rare blend of tropical magic and laidback Aussie culture, providing the authentic flavour of the “Old Pacific” and a genuine sense of calm. Believe me, you’ll never want to leave.
GETTING GETT GE T IN TT N G TH THERE H ER ERE E
TON MASKED BOOBIES ON MUT PHOTO BY DON FUCHS;
QantasLink Qa Q ant n asLi asLi as L nk k offers off ffer e s year-round y ar ye ar-rro ou und nd scheduled services to Lord Howe Island. Flight time is under two hours, with flights departing from Sydney on most days, and from Br B rissba ane e on on we w eek eek eke en nd dss. Brisbane weekends.
While the reef adventures, scenic flights and fishing charters are a strong lure, Lord Howe is also lifting its culinary profile and boasts a good range of restaurants such as Arajilla (international-style cuisine with a seafood emphasis), Pandanus (gourmet pizza, pasta and succulent lamb) and Capella Lodge (fine contemporary Pacific cuisine – but for in-house guests only).
WHEN WH EN TTO O GO G Lord LLo orrd dH Howe ow we Is Island sla land nd h has as a y yeare round mild climate. Sea breezes prevent summers from being too hot, while surrounding warm seas ensure pleasant winters. The most popular time to visit is between September and June, but even in winter the days can be sunny and warm, while at night roaring fires ke k eep eep ep tthings hiin ng gs co c osy y. keep cosy.
MO MORE O RE INFO I NFF O www.lordhoweisland.info w ww ww lord lo ord rdho dho owe weis eis isla isla and n i
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PHOTO BY JOHN DE LA ROCHE,
The story of Tasmania’s Huon Valley is beautifully simple. It spans rivers, orchards, forests, ungentrified towns, friendly locals and, to a lesser extent, homes where smoke from chimneys drifts without purpose when the yachts on the nearby bays are becalmed. A somewhat less coveted feature than the water is the great piles of firewood that fuel the insouciant smoke. Within wheel-barrowing distance of homes, as well as pubs, cafés and B&Bs, are truly impressive quantities of split firewood, most of it stacked neater than a newsreader’s suit. Nestling up to a fire in a pub or restaurant after you’ve been out watching whales, dolphins,
seals or albatross somewhere by the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, walking through caves or forests, or even tasting wines in vineyards, it’s hugely satisfying to know that there’s a pile of wood out back promising more warmth than Bambi. Somehow this knowledge compels you to order another glass of the local Pinot Noir after dinner (or lunch!). Once when travelling around Tassie I met a pair of Queensland women who giggled that they couldn’t drive past a café or pub if there was smoke coming out of the chimney. But for all that fireside PHOTO BY GARRY MOORE, TOURISM TASMA HUON RIVER
talk, Tassie isn’t as cold as you might imagine. It’s about the same distance from the equator as Rome. Huonville, just 40 minutes south of Hobart, is the region’s unofficial capital, named like the region after the 18th-century French explorer, Captain Huon de Kermandec. Bruny Island Charters, Peppermint Bay, the Tahune AirWalk and Hastings Caves are some of the region’s stars. The area is also renowned for its produce, including mushrooms, wine, seafood, and PHOTO BY BRETT BOARDMAN, TOURISM TASMANIA HUON VALLEY MUSHROOMS
ROADSIDE APPLE STAND PHOTO BY NICK OSBOURNE, TOUR
cheeses. Roadside stalls sell seasonal fruits at a fraction of the cost of supermarkets. Bruny Island is just off the Tasmanian coast and is easily accessed via a short ferry ride from Kettering. Bruny Island Charters takes visitors in search of those whales, seals and dolphins. It’s a thrilling ride in a powerful boat where the skippers have the wherewithal to get their passengers into sea caves and between narrow passages at the base of towering sea cliffs. Other watery pursuits include Huon Jet Boats, which blasts passengers 12km up the river at speeds up to 80km/h. The family-friendly Peppermint Bay restaurant puts the best produce of the Huon Valley on show. The menu focuses on local seasonal produce including organic beef, saffron, abalone, farm cheeses, and smokehouse fish. The restaurant, bar and provedore are housed in a stylish contemporary building that would be a monte for first place
“Bruny Island Charters, Peppermint Bay, the Tahune AirWalk and Hastings Caves are some of the region’s stars”
if the region ever decides to hold a beauty contest for bricks and mortar. Timber workers discovered the Hastings Caves in 1917. The Newdegate Cave, the largest of these 40 million-year-old dolomite caves, has some 1.6km of passageways. There are fully guided tours to about 400m of upper cave. One section is known as The Cathedral and you’ll understand why when you see it. The lighting in the Newdegate Cave is subtle and beautiful. Massive stalactites hang from the roof like chandeliers while stalagmites grow up from the floor. Near the cave entrance is a thermal spring that supplies water at 28C. There is a spring-heated swimming pool. Other points of interest on the Huon Trail are the charming towns of Franklin, Woodbridge and Geeveston. Franklin is forging a foodie reputation. With its waterside cafés – the Huon River runs by Franklin – it’s a good coffee or lunch stop. Geeveston is gatekeeper to the Tahune AirWalk, an ingenious conglomerate of steel almost 500m long where some walkways are suspended 48m above the ground. There are bird’s-eye views of southern forests, the Hartz Mountains and the Picton and Huon Rivers. The Huon Trail also loops to Cygnet and Woodbridge, past more fabulous water outlooks and by Fleurtys Café, set under gum trees and by the property’s essential oil distillery. You can walk off lunch through the nearby forest. The trails can be a thoroughly gentle introduction to Tasmania’s mighty World Heritage Area k in the great and glorious chunk of Tassie’s southwest.
GETTING GETT GE TTIN TT IN N G TH THER THERE ERE ER E Qantas, Qa Q an nttass, V Vi Virgin irg gin in Blue Blue lu ue and an a nd Jetstar Je Jets etsstta a all have daily flights into Hobart from Sydney and Melbourne. Huonville is a 40-minute drive south of Hobart along the A6 highway. Bruny Island is a 20-minute ferry ride from Kettering, al a lso o south south outh ou ho H oba art rt v iia a tthe h A6. also off Ho Hobart via
WHEN WH EN TTO O GO More M Mo ore re tthan ha h an an a anywhere ywhe yw h rre ee else lsse in Australia, Tasmania enjoys four seasons, each with its own unique pleasures and appeal. Autumn has calm, sunny days and is the best time to sample fresh Tasmanian produce at events like Taste of tth he Hu uon on. the Huon.
MORE MO RE E INFO I NF NFO O www.discovertasmania.com w ww w ww. w.d w. diisc co ov verrta asm ma an n www.tasmania4adventure.com.au PHOTO BY GA
HUON RIVER JE T BOATS
PHOTO BY ROB BURNETT, TOU
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… t s e b e h t f o e Som Ne w Sout h Wales
PHOTO BY TOURISM
KANGAROO KANG KA NGAR AROO OO IISL ISLAND SLAN ND
NA ATURE/ U
NATURE/WILDL IFE EXPERIENC ES
GREATER GREA GR EATE TER R BL BLUE UE M MOU MOUNTAINS OUNT NTAI AINS NS D DRI DRIVE RIVE VE An ne network etw twor ork o ork off ttouring ouriring rroutes ouri ou ou utes te es th through hrro oug gh th the e by b bywa byways yw wa ays ys a and nd dh highways of the G t B Bl l M ou ount unt ntai tai a ns ns W orrld o dH erit er itag age ag ge Ar A rea ea a n ea asy drive from Sydney. Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area an easy Take one of the 18 discovery trails and explore the heart of the dramatic World Heritage Area and its surrounds. WWW.GREATERBLUEMOUNTAINSDRIVE.COM.AU
South Austral ia
Thirty TTh hiirrty ty m minutes inutes in utes ut e b by y pl p plane an ne flfliight ightt or ig o a 2½-hour drive/ferry ride from Adelaide, d iis quickly i kl b ec e c Kangaroo Island becoming known as “Australia’s Galapagos”. Home to native Australian wildlife, with spectacular coastal scenery and amazing natural features, Kangaroo Island offers the ultimate island getaway. WWW.SOUTHAUSTRALIA.CO.NZ/REGIONS/KANGAROO-ISLAND PHOTO BY TOURISM
PHILLIP PHIL PH ILLI LIP P IS ISLA ISLAND LAND ND
JJustt 90 90 minutes i t from f M Melbourne, lb Phillip Island plays host to one of nature’s great sights: the iconic Penguin Parade, when you can watch groups of small penguins making their way across the shore to their beach burrows. WWW.PENGUINS.ORG.AU
Tasm ania PEPPER PEPP PE PPER ER B BUS BUSH USH H AD ADVE ADVENTURES VENT NTUR URES ES Specialising SSp pe ec cia ialilisi lisi sin ng g in in Tasmania’s Ta assm man ania ania a’ss wildlife wilildl dllifife and d and wilderness, an w Pepper Bush Adventures provide luxury private day and longer tours. Tours can include unique and relaxing gourmet campfire dining experiences, along with Tasmania’s best accommodation facilities and dining venues. WWW.PEPPERBUSH.COM.AU PEPPERBUSH.COM.AU
Queen sl an d
CURRUMBIN CURR CU RRUM UMBI BIN N WI WILD WILDLIFE LDLI LIFE FE SSANCTUARY ANCT AN CTUA UARY RY Famo FFamous Fa am mo ou ous uss for for or iits tss lorikeet lor oriik kee et feeding, feed fe ed e diin ng g,, Currumbin Cur urru rum rumb mb bin n is is a sanctuary sa an nc cttu u for hundreds i off Australian A t liian n wildlife. wilildl d ifife fe Cuddle Cud uddl ddl d e a koala, koal ko ala feed fee ed kangaroos, of species see wildlife and aboriginal shows. Includes Currumbin Wildlife Hospital xxh hilila arrat a in ng ttr ree eeto eto top and Green Challenge Adventure Parc, an e exhilarating treetop ro op course. WWW.CWS.ORG.AU ropes
Western Austral ia
WILDFLOWER WILD WI LDFL FLOW OWER ER SEASON SSEA EASO SON N Western We W estte errn Australia’s Austtra Au raliia’ a’s landscape land la ndsc scap ape bursts ape bu urs rsttss with w colour from June to November, when native wildflowers bloom across the state. Floral extravaganzas can be seen in all regions at different times throughout the season. Wildflowers are abundant and can be explored independently or as part of an organised itinerary. WWW.WILDFLOWERSWA.COM/EN/DEFAULT.HTM
PHOTO BY UN
TURTLE TURT TU RTLE LE TTRA TRACKS RACK CKSS
This Thi Th i SSea D Darwin i water-based t b tour offers vistas of remote beaches and weathered coastline on your way to turtle habitats and feeding grounds, where, guided by Team Turtle, you’ll witness the egg-laying ritual. Late in the season you may have the privilege of witnessing the eruption of baby turtles from their home under the warm sand. WWW.TURTLETRACKSTOURS.COM/MAIN/PAGE_HOME.HTML
Tips , Trip s, Tou rs and Tidb its
Wh at’s new Ne w South Wa les
South Austral ia T I G H T, VA L O F L IG T IV F E S TI S I C & ID E A M U S IC viidd Sydney
W IL I LD D ER N ES E SSS SA S A FA FA R IS
Thhee GGaawwllerer RRaang T nges, on thhe EEyyrere are Outback Australia at its bes Peninsula, Ranges Wilderness Safaris offers t. Gawler tours in luxury air-conditioned overnight vehicles. Highlights include Lake 4WD home to unique animal and plantGa irdner, on the coast, swimming with Au life and, sea lions and dolphins. The brave stralian a Great White Sh ark Cage Dive may prefer !
, Vi From M ay 2 7 to June 13installations and brings together big light ances, creative projections, music performsions and debates, ideas, stimulating discus a major creative all showcasing Sydney as gion. Unmissable. hub in the Asia-Paciﬁc re DNEY.COM
Vic to ri a
LO V E N E V E R D IE S
M elbourne hosts the Australi premiere of Andrew Lloyd aan Webber’s new musica l masterpiece, Love Never Dies w hich continues the romanti , saga of his blockbuster Ph antoc of the Opera. Opening night m M ay 28 at the Regent Theat is re. WW W.LOVENEVERD
Tas m an ia D OLD OFF OL MO UM SEUM U SE USE MUSEU MU ARTT W AR NEW N D NE AN AND
Museum of Old The stunning A$75 million M and New Art (MONA) in Hobart is home to an internationally signiﬁcant collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities and contemporary art valued at A$100 million. Opened in January this year, Australia’s largest private museum is free to visit. WWW.MONA.NET.AU WW
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Queens land G NG IN FIN R RFFI UR JU NG LE SSU S RS U UR O T TO PY CA NO
where Jungle Surﬁng: it’s a unique rain fforest tour h the your feet don’t touch the ground. Fly througtree trees on ﬂying fox ziplines, stopping at ﬁve views platforms to take in spectacular bird’s-eye s and over the treetops, down to cascading streamall ages. out to the Great Barrier Reef. Safe fun for Jungle Nightwalks for the less adventurous. .COM.AU
SA IL NI N IN N NG GA ALLO OO O RE EF
Explore the remote wonders of Wor ld Heri He tagenominated Ningaloo Reef Marine Park in splendid comfort aboard Shore Thing, a luxury live-board sailing cata maran built to accommodate up to 10 passengers in beautifully appointed cabins. Swim with manta rays, reef sharks, turtles and wha le sharks. See dugongs and humpback wha les in season.
Northern Territory E GE DG D L OD I LD ER NE SS LO A N W ILD I LD M AN W ILD
ated on the Just-opened Wildman Wilderness Lodge is situ DDarwi t een win Wetlands, hhalflfway bbetw beautiful Mary River W e, 10 and Kakadu. With a well-appointed 25-room lodgWildman air-cond itioned guest rooms and 15 safari tents, Australia’s Wilderness Lodge offers guests access to some of most majestic and accessible wilderness regions. SSLODGE.COM.AU
g n i n e p p a h d n Hot a MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
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JUNE JJU U NE N 3 3-27 -27
MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL
NINGALOO WHALESHARK FESTIVAL, EXMOUTH
OCT 29-NOV 5
NOOSA FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL
WALKING WALK WA W LKIN ING G WI WITH TH SSPI SPIRITS PIRI RITS TS
ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL JUNE 10-25 www.adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au
BAROSSA VINTAGE FESTIVAL APRIL 23-MAY 1 www.barossavintagefestival.com.au
CLARE VALLEY GOURMET WEEKEND MAY 14-15 www.clarevalleygourmet.com.au
SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW JULY 28-AUG 1
JULY JJU LY 30
CAIRNS BLUES FESTIVAL
DARWIN ABORIGINAL ART FAIR
FREMANTLE STREET ARTS FESTIVAL
MAY 25-JUNE 4
V8 SUPERCARS TRADING POST PERTH CHALLENGE
AL ALE SHARK FESTIV NINGALOO WH AUSTRALIA WESTERN PHOTO: TOURISM
APRIL 29-MAY 1 www.perth.v8supercars.com.au
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14 4 AUGUST A UG UGUS USTT 20 2011 11 www.city2surf.com.au ww www. ww w..ci c ty ty2s 2surrff..co 2sur com. om m..au au STIVAL AND WINE FE TIVAL NOOSA FOOD AND WINE FES CLARE VALLEY GO URMET WEEKEND
A FOOD PHOTO: NOOS
“There’s nothing like ying to Australia with Qantas”.
John Travolta, Pilot and Qantas Ambassador at large since 2002.
When it comes to flying to Australia,
There really is nothing like Australia.
we believe your journey should be as
Our cities, beaches, rainforests and
memorable as your destination.
magical outback are surprising in so
Step into one of our new generation
many ways. And there’s nothing like
Boeing 737-800s and you’ll be greeted
our curious wildlife! A visit to Australia
by our friendly crew and shown
is truly a unique experience. It’s an
adventure in food and wine, a chance
Once in the air, you can relax with
to get to know our Aboriginal culture
a glass of wine, which has been
and most of all an opportunity to relax
carefully selected by industry judges
and enjoy the company of the friendly
locals. And no other airline knows
Those enjoying the Business cabin
Australia better than Qantas. We ﬂy
can choose from a Neil Perry inspired
to 53 destinations across the country,
menu, accompanied by the perfect
taking you from the spiritual landscapes
drop from New Zealand and
of the Red Centre to the dazzling
Australia’s finest vineyards. In-flight,
Great Barrier Reef. There’s nothing
you can enjoy over 300 on-demand
like Australia and there’s nothing like
experiencing it with Qantas. Make your next destination qantas.com
Published on May 2, 2011
Explore is the high-end, custom-published Australian travel magazine targeting 100,000 of New Zealand’s wealthiest and most frequent travell...