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January/February 2016 2015 Issue 761



GOING GREEN Epic eco-friendly adventures in NZ y


MARDI GRAS Get your glitter and high heels on and get loud and proud

A cheeky trip to Canberra


ng id Wollongo d n le p s ly u tr Coast in the th u o S W S N on the A weekend


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EDITORIAL Editor James Clark DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Design and production manager Lisa Ferron SALES Sales manager Jaqui Ward STARTRACK MEDIA LTD CEO Kevin Ellis Chairman Ken Hurst PUBLISHER Startrack Media Ltd PRINTED BY Spotpress PICTURES iStock | TNT Images | Supplied Cover image: Skydive Sydney-Wollongong TNT Magazine online


SEE for pick-up points

FROM THE EDITOR Canberra has seen a record number of Aussie visitors recently due to the drop in the Australian dollar. We figure that you may as well join them and have put together a feature about some of its highlights. Have you ever had a bath with a bear watching over you? No seriously, look within. South Australia is often overlooked by travellers who tend to favour New South Wales and the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. But South Australia, with its unforgettable wine, underground towns, thrilling wildlife and festivals galore, rewards a visit. We’ve put together a short feature on the top five things to see and do in this underrated state. From February 19 to March 5 Sydney is going to be painted all the colours of the rainbow and dipped in glitter. The whole of the city will be well and truly out of the closet again this year to celebrate the LBGTQI community across Sydney. This is the party of the year and one everyone should go to. If all else fails, join the 200,000 strong crowd watching the parade. Join Sydney based traveller Barry Johnson through the mosquito infested jungles of South East Asia as he crosses the line into Cambodia. Join travel writer and adrenaline junkie Jahn Vannisselroy on the adventure of a lifetime. He heads to North Island’s Rotorua for seven metre vertical drop into a swirling, bubbling cauldron of whitewater in a canoe, dives down a hill in a giant ball and peddles like a maniac through the Whakarewarewa Forest. If any of you fancy writing for us send me an email. We’re looking for sports, lifestyle, travel writers and reviewers.


TNT Magazine is printed on paper from sustainable forests. There is no business connection between the proprietors of this magazine and TNT Ltd, the worldwide transportation group. TNT Magazine does not assume responsibility for unsolicited submissions – material is sent at the owner’s risk. TNT Magazine accepts advertising material and other contributions in good faith, and takes no responsibility for claims, errors or omissions. Copyright here and abroad of all original materials is held by TNT Magazine. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden, except with permission of the publishers.

South Australia

The ‘Gong

New Zealand























FEATURES WE HEART MARDI GRAS 24 Embrace Sydney’s fabulous festival



Choosing just 5 beaches from the 27,000 miles of coastline around this amazing country is by no means an easy task but we give it a go!



Sometimes overlooked by the traveller Canberra is a great city with loads to offfer those who take the time to visit.



The best small footprint NZ activities



Find much more than mines and mozzies!





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SYDNEY FESTIVAL Until Jan 26 Sydney Exuberant, exciting and forever effervescent - the best time to experience Sydney is in January, when the city is in full celebratory mode. Sydney Festival presents the best of the world’s performing and visual arts. VAR

The Festival pops up beside one of Sydney’s most spectacular playgrounds where children and their adult friends will have a hoot. VAR

Times vary Village Green (North), Darling Quarter

Times vary Across Sydney

MUST DO MIDSUMMA FESTIVAL Jan 17 - Feb 7 Melbourne

Midsumma, Melbourne’s annual Queer Celebration, is a federation of arts and cultural events spread over 85 venues throughout Melbourne and Regional Victoria. The festival is presented over three weeks from mid January to February and, having been held annually since 1988, is a significant attraction on the Melbourne festival calendar. It’s a good opportunity to go wild.



FAT JOE TOURS Jan 25 Melbourne $43.95 - $103.95



The Latino rapper, who was born and raised in South Bronx New York, is responsible for some of the biggest urban club anthems of all time including “What’s Luv” with Ashanti, and “Make It Rain”, will be performing.

Revellers can expect a whole host of live musical talent, street entertainers, delicious food and drinks and an electric atmosphere second to none. The Rocks this Jan for the one of the biggest celebrations in Sydney’s calendar.

8pm Trak Lounge Bar

12.30 - 6.30pm Various


OPERA HOUSE SUMMER PLAYGROUND Until Jan 31 Sydney The Western Broadwalk and Foyers at Sydney Opera House has transform into an Italian Riviera. Expect Italian food, wine, ambience, music and even early morning yoga at the Opera House. VAR

Times vary Sydney Opera House

TROPFEST Feb 14 Sydney VAR

There was national outcry when the iconic event was cancelled earlier this year, but CGU’s support will now enable the Festival to be staged again this year. Tropfest is a great festival, providing unique platforms for talented filmmakers through its events and initiatives. Times vary Centennial Parklands


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Photo: Tropfest Margaret River Gourmet Escape Photo:

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SYDNEY CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL Until Feb 21, Sydney Celebrate the Lunar New Year at City of Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival. This vibrant arts Festival has a program bursting with cultural events, markets, tours, exhibitions and entertainment, most of them free. Times vary



Feb 15 - 17, Coogee Promising professional surfers from all over the world can look forward to four new World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 events, when the NSW Pro Surf Series kicks off on the NSW. It’s great fun, so I’d keep your diary dates free to avoid disappointment. VAR

8pm Various beaches NSW

SALUTE THE SUN YOGA FESTIVAL Feb 28, Melbourne Salute the sun together in a space open to everyone; experienced yogis and beginner yogis, meditators, families or those seeking mindfulness. Feel the fire of hundreds of yogis as you move your body, quiet your mind and live loud. $30

9am - 4pm

2-18 Spring Street

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Photo: Fun Run Pink and Triathlon Pink

Australia Day 2016 The Rocks, First Fleet Park: Tuesday 26 January, 12.30 – 6.30pm




LE1F (US) AUSTRALIA TOUR 2016 JAN 24 / 7PM / $15 - 35 Astral People and Handsome Tours are proud to present the return of eclectic NYC rapper, Le1f, to Australia.

BURLEIGH PRO 2016 JAN 29 - 31 / 9AM - 5PM / FREE The Burleigh Pro will be a World Surf League sanctioned event for both men’s and women’s. The event should provide a great warm-up for some of the best surfers in the world who will compete at the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro contests at Snapper Rocks.

AUSTRALIA DAY CELEBRATIONS JAN 26 / 2PM - 9PM / FREE With so many different food, sporting and firework events going on take a look on the website. Don’t know about you, but I love an Aussie barbecue.

Jack Rabbit Slim’s, 133 Aberdeen Street, Perth

FRINGE WORLD 2016 - THE MERGER JAN 27 - FEB 3 / 7.45PM / $29 Renowned stand-up and character comedian Damian Callinan returns with his hit one-man show. He’s hilarious. Bok Choy Ballroom, Perth

PERTH WILDCATS V SYDNEY KINGS JAN 15 / 5.30PM - 8.30PM / $10.20+ American excitement machine Casey Prather joins fan favourites Damian Martin, Shawn Redhage and Jermaine Beal. Perth Arena, Perth


66 Goodwin Terrace, Gold Coast

SAND SAFARI FEB 5 - 28 / 4PM - 10PM / FREE Now running over three weeks, Sand Safari will include the usual favourites; Kung Fu Panda and all his Dreamworks friends carved in large sand sculptures at the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships along the foreshore and the Gold Coast Sand Trail, plus some exciting brand new elements including Sand and Sea themed sculpture and photography exhibitions. With so many events going on you’d e best to take a look at the website. Surfers Paradise Beach, Gold Coast

Babinda Boulders Parklands, Cairns

CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL FEB 13 / 4PM / FREE The festival showcases the north Queensland’s cultural diversity and rich Chinese heritage through music, dance and cultural performances, food, market stalls, and a parade featuring the traditional Chinese dragon, lions and the 12 zodiac animals. The signature event, the Chinese New Year Street Festival will be held in Grafton Street between Shields and Spence Streets. Don’t drive to the event, the streets will be closed to all traffic. Grafton Street, Cairns jEh9SqwQ.dpuf


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JAM FESTIVAL FEB 2 10AM- FEB 5 4PM / $69 - 79 Set on the majestic Hawkesbury River in Lower Portland, JAM Festival is a participative wakeboard and music festival. Fully licensed, this event is Australia’s biggest participative wakeboarding event. With overnight accommodation, on site food, boat ramp and fuel sales, JAM Festival has everything for your ultimate weekend away.The JAM Festival line up will see Australian DJ’s and bands put on an outstanding show for festival goers.

V 4 AND ROTARY NATIONALS 2016 SHOW AND SHINE DAY JAN 30 / 9AM - 5PM / $18 With 4 and Rotary being New Zealand’s biggest automotive and lifestyle event, the extravaganza offers everything automotive and combines youth culture and entertainment, an annual event known to attract crowds from all corners of the Country. 4 and Rotary are not entirely for car enthusiasts however, for part of the young adult community we combine all the right elements of lifestyle, show and entertainment.

Cliftonville Lodge Resort, Lower Portland, Sydney

THE PRIDE - DARLINGHURST THEATRE COMPANY FEB 5 / MARCH 6 / VARIOUS $30 - 45 Two stories shifting from 1958 to the present and back again. In the first, Oliver and Phillip fall for each other but are forced to be strangers to both desire and to themselves. In the other, the rainbow-stickered present, anonymous sex and empty style collide with the human heart. Eternity Playhouse, Darlinghurst, Sydney

SYDNEY SEVENS FEB 6 - 7 / 9.30AM / $30 - 70 To be hosted at the 45,500-capacity Allianz Stadium in Sydney’s Moore Park, the event will host 16 of the top-ranked Rugby Sevens countries in the world in a weekend of free-flowing, fast-moving action. From the exciting Aussies to the flamboyant Fijians, the irrepressible New Zealand to the South African Blitzboks and the speed-kings of the USA to the old enemy England - the Sydney 7s will guarantee a weekend not to be missed. Driver Avenue, Moore Park, Sydney

SUMMERNIGHT MARKET DRAGON DANCE FEB 17 / 8PM - 8.25PM / FREE Celebrate the Year of the Monkey as the Hong De Dragon and Lion Dance Association perform a traditional dragon dance at the Summer Night Market. The sounds of fire crackers and drummers will rise above the Night Market crowd to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune to the New Year. Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne


ASB Showgrounds, 217 Greenlane West, Auckland

ENZED 2016 UIM JETSPRINT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP JAN 30 / 4PM - 10PM $35 Up to 60 high-powered boats, top teams and drivers from the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will battle it out for world titles across three classes: Suzuki Unlimited Superboats, Altherm Group A, Biolytix Group B (400s). These precision-engineered jet boats reach 0-100kph in under two seconds, and pull up to 7g’s and 130kph on the aqua-track purpose-built on the stadium’s rugby in-field. The stadium setting allows spectators to get up close to the racing action, providing 6-8 hours of thrills, spills and on and off the track entertainment. Baypark Stadium, Mt Maunganui, Bay of Plenty

CHRISTCHURCH LANTERN FESTIVAL FEB 27 - 28 / 5PM - 10.30PM+ / FREE The Christchurch Lantern Festival is back and celebrating the Year of the Monkey. Bring along your friends and experience Chinese culture amidst hundreds of vibrantly coloured lanterns, all specially imported from China. There will be delicious Asian food stalls, fireworks and nonstop entertainment including master puppeteers from Shanghai and the famous Second Hand Rose rock band from Beijing. An event for everyone in the city and not to be missed. The Lantern Festival has been part of Chinese New Year celebrations since the Han Dynasty. Usually held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, it marks the end of New Year festivities. North Hagley Park Events Village, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch

AUSSIE RULES The world of tight shorts, brilliantly over-the-top umpires and all-round anarchy returns in February with the 2016 NAB Challenge Fixture. Yes, the Aussie Rules Football season is getting underway once more. But don’t be too quick to mock, as this most Australian of sports is arguably also the country’s most popular. Indeed, an average attendance of more than 33,000 means that the NFL, Bundesliga and Premier League are the only other competitions on Earth to regularly pull in more fans. And that’s doubly impressive considering 10 of the 18 teams are based in Victoria. The main season runs for 23 rounds from March to September, when the top eight then play off in a four-round finals series, building up to the Grand Final, traditionally held on the last Saturday in September at an MCG crammed with 100,000 screaming fans. Catching a match, preferably at the MCG, is an Aussie experience not to be missed. Tickets can generally be had on the gate for around $20. Nationwide (mainly Melbourne)


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Don’t ditch the diet when eating out...

YONG GREEN FOOD – MELBOURNE, VIC This Asian-inspired restaurant is devoted to serving the best wholesome, nourishing and organic food. Yong shows its customers that vegetarian and vegan cuisine doesn’t have to be boring as the menu is packed with fresh ingredients and bouncing with fantastic flavours. Yum.

THE RAW KITCHEN – FREMANTLE, PERTH This restaurant brings together a plant-based menu, yoga and a studio space where their guests can ‘relax, explore and connect’. Serving an array of healthy vegan dishes, despite the name, you can order cooked food as well as raw. With such fresh ingredients, though, simple is best.

THE PADDINGTON A rotisserie-led menu

We headed upstairs, the space becomes more intimate with booth seating, panelled walls, a leather-fronted cocktail bar and mirrored tables. THE GRUB Rotisserie proudly takes the lead with specially-imported, custom-made French rotisseries forming the centrepiece of the pub. Think dishes such as lamb rump with red pepper and almonds $39; wagyu beef with artichokes $38, whole fish stuffed with olives, lemon and thyme $37; and of course, roast chicken with French fries $23 for half and $38 for a whole one. The rotisserie will be accompanied by a delicious selection of small plates including octopus, potato, confit tomato and black olives; smoked trout with English muffin and duck egg; spelt, roast cabbage, kombu and prawns; and parmesan custard with sprouted pulses. BEHIND THE BAR The wine list from Merivale’s Franck Moreau and Adrian Filiuta runs to an impressive reserve list, but there’s a good and reasonably priced selection of wines, like a 2015 SC Pannell pinot grigio from the Adelaide Hills ($12/$60), and cocktails from Palmer & Co’s Sam Egerton and Toby Marshall. Watch it, once you start tucking into these you’ll want to stay all night. BILL PLEASE Realistically you’re looking at around $75 a head each, excluding alcohol. VERDICT There’s not many other places that can boast such a lively, warm and friendly welcome in Sydney right now. The atmosphere tends to be electric even at lunch time, but we suggest going in the evening you’ll have the best time. James Clark THE SCENE

FIREFLY CAFÉ – TOOWOOMBA, QL If an all-vegetarian menu isn’t your thing try The Firefly Café (pictured), where the team strives to make every element of their dishes from scratch. A variety of veggie and non-veggie dishes are available, plus a number of breads made in their wood-fired oven. You are sure to find something you’ll love that’s good for you too.


The Paddington, 384 Oxford St Paddington NSW 2021


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THE EVERLEIGH Classy cocktails, Melbourne

One of the criticisms regularly levelled at the cocktail bar community is that it is prone to originality-sapping fads. So, it was with trepidation I read that The Everleigh on Gertrude Street, in Melbourne’s Fitzroy, is a Prohibition-themed speakeasy. Oh lore! Another? But originality really is the most overrated virtue, especially in the cocktail world. I don’t care how innovative your new cocktail ingredients are, the resulting concoction doesn’t taste better than a perfect Manhattan does it? And, let me be blunt: everything at The Everleigh is perfect. I could spends sentences effusing over the beautiful surrounds and flawless staff, but it’s the cocktails we need to get down to. BEHIND THE BAR I start with an Old Fashioned, which is comfortably the best I’ve had in this hemisphere. But it is my second drink that provides definitive evidence as to the special talent behind the bar. I ask the waiter for something bitter but fresh, and what arrives is a rye-whiskey masterpiece: it has levels of complexity I’m tempted to compare to a Marcel Proust sentence, but I won’t. THE GRUB If you asked for food here I imagine you’d be asked to leave. BILL PLEASE Cocktails from $20, Champagne from $15. VERDICT The best bar I’ve been to in Australia, so probably the best bar in Australia. Oli Jones THE SCENE

Level 1, 150-156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, 3065, Melbourne





If you fancy a chilled-out night where you can kick back and relax in a cool urban city setting, then this is the place for you. Grab a drink and a burger from the Burger Shack before settling in for the night to catch a movie under the stars.

The Sweethearts Rooftop Bar offers guests a sophisticated twist on the Aussie barbecue, come rain or shine. It’s a great spot to watch the (hopefully) beautiful sunset sinking behind the sparkling lights of Sydney.

With a bright and colourful design, you will feel as though you are enjoying a day on the beach at this rooftop space. It’s even better though, as you can tuck into mouth-watering food and sip on cocktails while you’re here.


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OZPUBS SYDNEY Anchor Bar 8 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach Bar Century 1/640, George St, CBD Beach Road Hotel 71 Beach Road, Bondi Beach Candy’s Apartment 22 Bayswater Road, Potts Point Coogee Pavilion 169 Dolphin St, Coogee DOME Bar 589 Crown Street, Surry Hills Donny’s Bar 7 Market Ln, Manly Flinders Hotel 63-65 Flinders St, Surry Hills Hotel Bondi 178 Campbell Parade, Bondi Hotel Steyne 75 The Corso, Manly

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In Situ 1/18 Sydney Rd, Manly Kinselas Hotel 383 Bourke St, Darlinghurst Marlborough Hotel 145 King St, Newtown Mount Batten Hotel 701 George Street, CBD New Brighton Hotel 71 The Corso, Manly Oxford Art Factory 38-46 Oxford St, Darlinghurst theberesfordhotel The Palace Hotel George St, CBD The Vanguard 42 King St, Newtown The White Horse 381 Crown St, Surry Hills Trinity Bar 505 Crown St, Surry Hills 3 Wise Monkeys 555 George St, CBD 4 Pines 29/43-45 East Esplanade, Manly Cherry Bar 103 Flinders Lane, CBD Corner Hotel 57 Swan Street, Richmond Eden Bar and Nightclub 1/163 Russell Street, CBD Esplanade Hotel 11 The Esplanade, St Kilda Northcote Social Club 301 High Street, Northcote Palace Theatre 20-30 Bourke St, CBD


Shamiana 420 Lonsdale St, CBD

Scary Canary 469 Kent St, CBD

Asian Beer Cafe Level 3 Melbourne Central, CBD

Star Bar 160 Clarendon Street

Scubar 4 Rawson Place, CBD

Bar Humbug 586 Little Bourke St, CBD

The Gin Mill 173 High St, Prahran

Side Bar 509 Pitt St, CBD

Brutale 18 Corrs Lane, CBD

The Hi-Fi 125 Swanston Street, CBD

The Beresford 354 Bourke St, Surry Hills

Black Pearl 304 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

Ryan’s Paragon Hotel Loftus St, CBD

The Night Owl 35 Elizabeth Street, CBD


The Night Cat 137-141 Johnston St, Fitzroy The Penny Black 420 Sydney Road, Brunswick The Tote 67-71 Johnston Street, Coll. Turf Bar 131 Queen St, CBD

ADELAIDE The Apple Bar 5-9 Synagogue Pl, CBD Earl of Leicester Hotel 85 Leicester Street, Parkside Electric Circus 17 Crippen Place, CBD Grace Emily Hotel 232 Waymouth St, CBD The Promethean 116 Grote St, CBD

PERTH The Clink 14-16 South Terrace, Fremantle


ANCHOR BAR, BONDI, SYDNEY The team over at Anchor Bar have got your health at heart, with a predominantly gluten-, wheat- and dairy-free menu of locally sourced wholesome goodies. They don’t appear to be too worried about your liver, though, with tequila-heavy cocktail offerings at the bar, including a guava and jalepeno-infused margarita, the Machete. 8 Campbell Parade, Bondi



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follow us on 14 Railway St, Wickham

Oriental Hotel 53 Bull St, Cooks Hill

Castros 5 Victoria Street

Premier Hotel 1 Brunker Rd, Broadmeadow

Glasshouse Nightclub 90 Crown Street sucasawollongong


Sunnyside Tavern 20 Broadmeadow Rd, Broadmeadow

34 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney 2010 Subiaco Hotel 465 Hay Street, Subiaco The Shed 69-71 Aberdeen St, Northbr. The Windsor 112 Mill Point Rd, Voodoo Lounge 174 James St, Northbridge

BRISBANE Canvas Club 16b Logan St, Woolloongabba GPO Hotel 740 Anne St, Fortitude Valley Hotel LA 68 Petrie Terrace, CBD Iceworks 157 Given Terrace, Paddington Pig ‘N’ Whistle Riverside 123 Eagle Street, CBD The Exchange Hotel 131 Edward St, CBD The Fringe Bar Cnr Ann St & Constance St, Fortitude Valley


Mary Ellen Hotel 57 Railway St, Mereweather

Silo Restaurant and Lounge 18/1 Honeysuckle Dr, CBD

Della Hyde gives a nod to those lobby bars of the grand hotels of days gone by. Serving up all your favourite fruity cocktails on the roof terrace. If hungry try out bar menu with a North African flair. Super Whatnot 48 Burnett Lane

GOLD COAST Benowa Tavern 117 Ashmore Rd, Benowa

Republic Bar & Cafe 299 Elizabeth St, North Hobart Shipwrights Arms 29 Trumpeter St, Battery Point The Duke 192 Macquarie Street CBD


Blush Nightclub 21 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Albion Hotel 72 Hannell St, Wickham

Coolangatta Sands Hotel Griffith St, Coolangatta

Bar Petite 5 King St, CBD

Shooters Superclub Shop 46 The Mark, Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Burwood Inn Hotel 77 Berner Street, Merewether

CAIRNS Ba8 Lounge Bar Shangri-La Hotel, The Pier at the Marina, Pier Point Dunwoody’s Tavern 317 Sheridan St, North Cairns Salt House 6/2 Pier Point Rd, CBD The Woolshed 24 Shields Street, CBD


The Met Nightclub 56a/256 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley

Bar Celona 23 Salamanca Sq, CBD

Toro Bar 416 Milton Rd, Auchenflower

Raincheck Lounge 392 Elizabeth St, North Hobart

Cambridge Hotel 789 Hunter St, CBD Cricketers Arms 61 Bruce St, Cooks Hill

The Northern Star 112 Beaumont St, Hamilton Wickham Park Hotel 61 Maitland Rd, Islington


Harp Hotel 124 Corrimal Street Ivory Nightclub 77 Crown Street OneFiveOne 150 Keira Street Questions Unit 5 123-125 Corrimal Street

DARWIN Ducks Nuts 76 Mitchell St, CBD

Byron Bay Brewery 1 Skinners Shoot Road

Squires Tavern 3 Edmunds St, CBD

Cheeky Monkey’s 115 Jonson St La La Land Level 1/6 Lawson St The Northern 35-43 Jonson St Treehouse on Belongil 25 Childe St Woody’s Surf Shack 90-96 Jonson St

CANBERRA Academy Club 15 Bunda St

Hamilton Station Hotel 2-6 Beaumont St, Islington

Cube Nightclub 33 Petrie Plaza

Hotel Delany 134 Darby St, CBD

ICBM Bar 50 Northbourne Ave

Kent Hotel 59-61 Beaumont St, Hamilton

Mooseheads 105 London Circuit

Lass O’Gowrie

Grand Hotel 234 Keira Street

Beach Hotel Bay St

Hamilton Hotel 442 Kingsford Smith Dve, Ham

King Street Hotel 15 Steel St, Newcastle West

WOLLONGONG Alibi 76 Crown Street

Royal Inn Hotel Waratah 61/69 Station St, Waratah



Shenannigans 69 Mitchell St, CBD The Deck Bar 22 Mitchell St, CBD The Tap Bar 58 Mitchell St, CBD

ALICE SPRINGS Bojangles Saloon 80 Todd St Chifley Alice Springs Resort 34 Stott Tce Firkin & Hound 21 Hartely St Monte’s Lounge Corner of Todd St & Stott Tce The Juicy Rump @ Lasseters 93 Barret Dr, Desert Springs

PJ O’Reilly’s 52 Alinga St

The Rock Bar 78 Todd St

Transit Bar 7 Akuna St

Todd Tavern 1 Todd St


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AUCKLAND Albion Hotel 119 Hobson St Brew on Quay 102 Quay St Bluestone Room 9-11 Durham Lan Cassette 9 9 Vulcan Ln Cavalier Tavern 68 College Hill Currach Irish Pub 78 Blackwell Dr De Fontein 77 Tamaki Dr, Mission Bay Doolan Brothers 414 Khyber Pass Rd, Newmarket Father Ted’s 1 Wellesley St W Fort Street Union 16 Fort St Gables Speights Ale House 248 Jervois Rd, Herne Bay Galbraith’s Alehouse 2 Mt Eden Rd, Grafton Garrison Public House 61/286 Mt Wellington Hwy, Mt Wellington South La Zeppa Kitchen 33 Drake St, Freemans Bay The Lumsden 444/448 Khyber Pass Rd, Newmarket


Malt Bar 442 Richmond Rd

Normanby Hotel 37 Normandy Rd, Mt Eden Parnell Bar & Grill 196 Parnell Rd, Parnell Queens Ferry Hotel 12 Vulcan Ln Shakespeare Brewery 61 Albert St Spitting Feathers 16 Wyndham St Sprig & Fern 2 Drake St, Freemans Bay

Tainui Tavern 33 Morrin Rd The Fox 85/87 Customs St W

The Welsh Dragon Bar 10/12 Cambridge Terrace, Mt Victoria


The Zookeeper’s Son 715 Mt Albert Rd

Bealey’s Speight’s Ale House 263 Bealey Ave

Three Lamps 1-3 St Marys Rd, St Marys Bay

Bailies Bar 1066 Colombo St, St Albans

4.20 bar 373 Karangahape Rd

Becks Southern Alehouse 155 Colombo St

WELLINGTON Arbitrageur Wine Room 125 Featherston St Bangalore Polo Club 63 Courtenay Pl, Te Aro Bodega 101 Ghuznee St

The Brewers Arms 177 Papanui Rd, Merivale Burgers & Beers Inc 355 Colombo St, Sydenham Calendar Girls 196 Hereford St Darkroom 336 St Asaph St

Four Kings Sports Bar 7-11 Dixon St

Empire Hotel Lyttelton 9 London St, Lyttelton

Havana Coffee Works 163 Tory St, Te Aro

Fox & Ferret Palms Palms Shopping Centre, 1 New Brighton Rd, Shirley

Hawthorn Lounge 82 Tory St, Te Aro J J Murphy & Co 119 Cuba St, Te Aro Mac’s Brewbar 4 Taranaki St Matterhorn 106 Cuba St, Te Aro MIghty Mighty 104 Cuba St, Te Aro Molly Malones 134 Courtenay Pl, Te Aro San Francisco Bath House 171 Cuba St, Te Aro Southern Cross Garden Bar 39 Abel Smith St, Te Aro Sprig & Fern 342 Tinakori Rd

Garden Hotel Bar 110 Marshland Rd, Shirley Pegasus Arms 14 Oxford Terrace Tequila Mockingbird 98 Victoria St The Brewery 3 Garlands Rd, Woolston The Twisted Hop Pub 616 Ferry Rd Monteiths Brewery Bar 53 Merrin St No. 4 Bar 4 Mansfield Ave, St Albans

HAMILTON Axces Bar 28 Alexandra St

Foundation Bar Maahanga Dr, Te Awa The Bank Bar & Brasserie Cnr Victoria St & Hood St The Cook 7 Cook St, Hamilton East Speights Ale House 30 Liverpool St Wonder Horse 236 Victoria St

WHANGAREI Dickens Inn 71 Cameron St, Vinetown Killer Prawn 26-28 Bank St McCool’s 14 Rust Ave pub McMorrisseys Irish Pub 7 Vine St, Vinetown Parua Bay Tavern 1034 Whangarei Heads Rd, Parua Bay Split Bar Rathbone St s The Old Stone Butter Factory 8 Butter Factory Lane

DUNEDIN Angus Restaurant & Bar 7 St Andrew St Alibi Bar 1 Princes St Captain Cook Tavern 354 Great King St, N Dunedin Luna Bar 314 Highgate Roslyn Manny’s Level 1/91 St Andrew St Stilettos Revue Bar 319 Princes St

The Apartment 25 Allen St, Te Aro

Bar 101 118 Victoria St

The Establishment Cnr of Courtenay Pl and Blair St

Cock & Bull 1 Cnr Maui & Church St, Pukete

The Green Man 25 Victoria St

CBD Corner Pub 26 Hood St

Lonestar Restaurant & Bar 60 The Esplanade, Inner Kaiti

The Malt House 48 Courtenay Pl, Te Aro

Easy Tiger Cocktail Bar 186 Victoria St

Soho 2 Crawford Rd, Inner Kaiti

GISBORNE Aladdin Bar/First Light Aikido 63 Peel St

The Poverty Bay Club 57/65 Customhouse St The Jolly Stockman 3 Saleyards Rd Verve Cafe & Bar 121 Gladstone Rd

NAPIER Guffle Bar 29A Hastings St, Napier South The Bank Sports Lounge 106 Hastings St The Dutch at The Bluewater 10 W Quay, Ahuriri The Gintrap Restaurant & Bar 64 W Quay, Ahuriri The Rose Irish Pub 64 Hastings St The Thirsty Whale 62 W Quay, Ahuriri

PLYMOUTH Crowded House Bar 93-99 Devon St E Gusto Restaurant, Cafe & Bar Ocean View Parade gustotaranaki.conz Peggy Gordon’s Celtic Bar 58 Egmont St The Mayfair 69 Devon St W West Bar & Cafe 41 Tukapa St, Westown

TAURANGA Imbibe Bar & Restaurant 19 Girven Rd Inbargo Bar & Bistro 4 Palmer Pl, Te Puke Major Toms Bar 297 Maunganui Rd, Mt Maunganui


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The Oxford Art Factory is pleased to announce that LA-based Kelela will be bringing her sultry blend of R&B and electronica to the Oxford Art Factory on the 22 January. Kelela is sure to woo her Australian audience over with her ethereal vocals and hypnotic trap beats. One of the most exciting artists to come out of LA, Kelala’s vocal range can evoke feelings of darkness and brooding in one moment, and transcend to angelic and airy in the next, thus having attracted comparisons to performers such as Janet Jackson and Aaliyah

THU JAN 21 Joanna Newsom Australian Tour $53 - 99 Sydney Opera House, Sydney

FR1 JAN 22 Hot Chip - Sydney Headline Show $59 - 89 Sydney Opera House, Sydney

SAT JAN 23 The Vamps One-Off Show Sydney $30.48 - 50.87 Allphones Arena, Sydney Electric Gardens 2016 Centennial Park, Sydney $275 The Radiators $30.60 The Brass Monkey, Sydney Rockin Juke Box Free Club Liverpool, Sydney

SUN JAN 24 Lloyd $20 - 30 Marquee: The Star Sydney


Felix Riebl - The Cat Empire $37.60 The Basement, Sydney El Vez £15 Newtown Social Club, Sydney

The Party Pirates $20 Hayes Theatre Co, Sydney

WED FEB 3 Bananarama 2016 National Tour With Wang Chung $69 Enmore Theatre, Sydney

Free Collaroy Beach Services Club, Sydney


Beach House $49 - 79 Sydney Opera House, Sydney

Slam N Jam $20 AWF Headquaters, Sydney

The Beards Farewell Tour 2016 $29.10 Sydney Showground, Sydney

Courtney Barnett Headline Tour $70.95 Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Out of Abingdon Long Hot Summer Tour 2016 Free DJango Bar, Sydney

The Jive Bombers Free Club Liverpool, Sydney

Steel Pulse $60.15 - 214.10 Metro Theatre, Sydney

Twilight At Taronga $39.90 Taronga Zoo, Sydney

The Big Foozle Open Mic Free Epping Hotel, Sydney

Jose Gonzalez 2016 Australian Tour $11.90 Sydney Opera House, Sydney


FR1 JAN 29 Tonight Alive - Album Preview Tour $138 Metro Theatre, Sydney

SAT JAN 30 Adam Lambert $101.85 Enmore Theatre, Sydney Dallas Crane - Scoundrels Album $23 Newtown Social Club, Sydney

FRI FEB 5 Diesel – Pieces Of Americana $40.78 The Bridge Hotel, Sydney Please Kill Me... The story of CBGB’s $28.80 The Vanguard, Sydney

SAT FEB 6 James Bay - Chaos And The Calm Australian Tour 2016 $60.15 - 214.10 Hordern Pavilion, Sydney

FR1 FEB 12 Delta Heavy Australian Tour $85 Chinese Laundry, Sydney Lennon - Through A Glass Onion $45 North Sydney Leagues Club, Sydney Common Kings $57.95 The Factory Theatre, Sydney Kotahi Groove

Photo: Wikipedia


Kerser $28.70 UTS Uni Bar - Glasshouse Bar, Sydney The Sun Records All-Stars $40 Revesby Workers’ Club, Sydney

SUN JAN 17 Cosmo’s Midnight - Moments Australian Tour $78 Oxford Art Factory, Sydney LIlly - The Swear Jar Tour $40.60 Metro Theatre, Sydney


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Lucky number 7s Excitement and big hits – as Sydney prepares for round four of the HSBC World Series, Rugby Sevens WORDS JAMES CLARK

International, 15-man rugby union has, over the last few years, seemingly done its level best to drive all but the most hardened fans away from the game. The constant tinkering with the rules, the speculative kicking duels and the constant re-packing of scrums (not to mention the collapse of a once proud Australian side) has done little to attract a new generation of fans to what is a truly great sport. Until now that is anyway. Rugby Sevens has fast become the most popular incarnation of the sport, with its shorter halves and focus on entertaining, running rugby and scoring of tries. And, of course, on the party atmosphere encouraged in the crowd. The HSBC World Series also takes various teams from around the globe to various exotic locales like Dubai, Vancouver, Singapore and Las Vegas, taking the colourful atmosphere with it, wherever it goes. The HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series kicked off in Dubai early December. Round three in Wellington is now firmly behind us, so we wait with anticipation for round four in Sydney 6 - 7 February. All the passion, vibrant colour and excitement of players and supporters from countries all around the globe will be on show. This is one party that you don’t want to miss. So, before round four kicks off on February 6th we’re going to try and preview the thing as best we can. Take a look at the likely winner on the field as well as all the fun and excitement that will happen off of it. Should be a bit of fun.

The final countdown Right, let’s get the important bit out of the way first – the 18

issue of which nation is going to win the tournament. See, now, that’s a bit of a tough one. In this humble scrivener’s opinion there are only two real teams in the race when it comes to who will be crowned champion, but deciding between the two is a much less cut-and-dried decision. Surely the final will come down to the two powerhouses of International Sevens, the vigour, pace and flair of the Fijian side and the clinical precision and discipline of New Zealand. These two nations have come to dominate the seven-a-side version of the game, almost since its inception and deciding between the two is extremely difficult. It will really come down to a matter of which team turns up best on the day. Fiji did of course win this competition again last year but you just never know. Keep an eye out for Savenaca Rawaca, he’s burst on the scene for Fiji last season and has built on that form over the first two rounds of 2015-16. While, for the Kiwis, get behind Sam Dickson, he could hold the key to New Zealand’s hopes of wresting the title from Fiji as so many of New Zealand's players seem to be suffering injury.

Coolest team award This one is a bit easier – it’s got to be Argentina. Los Pumas play the game of rugby with a kind of laconic elegance and abandon that can only come from being born in South America and speaking Spanish. They are all practically male models as well. When Argentina previously bowed out of the competition, their lap of honour took the best part of half an hour and was met by howls of anguish from every woman in attendance. A fair few


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half-exposed bosoms were signed along the way. It's a tough life being young, rugged good looking and Argentinian, but hey, somebody has to do it! You can always guarantee that the Argentine side will throw the ball around and try to put on a spectacle for their adoring fans when the whistle goes. They might not win every game they play, but you can bet they're going to put on a great show and have fun along the way!

most exciting events on the Aussie sports calendar.

Photos: Rugby Australia

What to wear


This is the best thing about the Sevens; you can (and indeed, are encouraged) to wear whatever the hell you want. The more interesting, colourful and funny the better! For example, we sent a delegation along from TNT to the Gold Coast 7s two years ago and they dressed up as Cotswold Morris Dancers. That made for quite a few amusing photographs, as I’m sure you can imagine. Amongst some of my favourites include a group of Smurfs in white, floppy caps and blue body paint, a couple of Avatars, a couple of pretty real looking Transformers and all the expected favourites, think Superman, Spiderman and the Hulk and Captain America. The possibilities are, quite literally, endless. It really comes down to how creative you and your friends can be! Put your heads together and have a little brainstorm, the better your costume is the more chance you have to win the ‘best Dressed Competition’ or get your photograph plastered all over the competition’s website. This event has consistently proven itself to be one of the TNTDOWNUNDER.COM

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The biggest challenge INTERVIEW JAMES CLARK

Tarran Kent-Hume was inspired to take on the biggest challenge that he could think of and being able to immerse himself in the South American culture for the first time seemed like an amazing opportunity and one that he wanted to commit to. He'd just finished competing in a Fitness and Body Building competition 22

in Los Angeles and wanted a challenge that would take him into the wild and this trip certainly did that. Tell us about your high points.... Getting to the start line was a massive effort in itself and a


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yearlong process, so getting to the source of the Amazon River and the beginning of the expedition was a huge high for me. Another moment came just after one of my lowest moments. We'd just entered Brazil and I'd become extremely ill. I was vomiting and had diarrhea in the middle of nowhere and with only my team mate, Olie around, I was exhausted and just wanted this to pass. Some 15 hours later we packed the kayaks and I gathered enough strength to kayak the 2 kilometers to the other side of the river where a small village was. Upon arrival, one of my worst moments become one of the best. This family invited us into their house and went off to get some medicine for me. I remember the grandmother of the family leaning over me with some medicine, she touched me on the shoulder and spoke softly to me, saying she was here for me and only wanted to see me get better. This for me was incredibly emotional as only a few hours earlier I'd been scared at how sick I had become. This for me was unconditional love, I had to leave their house for a moment as I began welling up with tears. They took us in and treated us like family, giving us dinner, we washed with them in the river and even watched their youngest son play soccer.  And your low points... After walking the 650 Kilometres we'd got in the kayaks and set off, passing through the most dangerous section of the Amazon River, the notorious RED zone where 70% of the worlds cocaine comes from. Our guide had been shot at 2 days earlier and then disappeared without a trace leaving on our own. After finding out he'd abandoned us, we set off again and entered the pirate zone, nicknamed this due to the amount of pirate activities, murders and robberies are common. We'd been kayaking maybe an hour when I heard some shots, then two more shots rang out as we kayaked faster and away from the oncoming boat which had now set a course to cut us off, before two more bullets fly past my head. For some reason that was it, they didn't rob us, just looked at us as they passed and started laughing.  What cultures did you mix with along the route? We mixed with the mountain people in Peru, those people that live in the Peruvian Andes. Peasants were common sight as were many of the road crews working on building new roads and transport links. Getting a chance in the RED zone to chat with the Ashkaninka tribe was an incredible experience. One evening I remember sitting around a hut with the chief of this little village, our guide and Olie, just drinking their traditional alcoholic drink Masato. We were just laughing, eating, talking and listening to music. I polished off many bowls of this local drink Masato which really is pretty disgusting. I later found out the process for making Masato involves the women of the tribe chewing the Yucca plant root, (sort of like a parsnip) and spitting it into a huge bucket, then they added water and let it ferment for weeks at a time, allowing the bacteria in the saliva to ferment and produce this


alcoholic drink. Yeah pretty disgusting I know! We also interacted with many of the river people, those that live on the river bank, they fish and wash in the river, and they live and die by the river. We'd been taken in by so many of these amazing folks. How did you feel crossing the finishing line? Exhausted and happy, we'd spent the final 22 hours in our kayak. at one point tied up to a mangrove tree waiting for the tide to turn in our favor again. The waves were huge 15 footers so we took a brief moment to enjoy this before getting the hell outta dodge and aimed for dry land. Some hours later after kayaking in the pitch back against the current we eventually reached the tiny town of Sao Cataneo where we slept beside a soccer pitch. What did you do that day? The next day we were picked up by a friend, Igor, who drove us to Belem where we slept for a few hours before he played host and took us out eating and drinking in the heart of the city. We danced until our bodies fell asleep. Do you have any advice for our readers thinking about doing something similar? Just do it. Plan it properly, but don't put it off. For me being a little naive is part of the fun, if you wait and wait you'll never do it. You need to commit early on in the planning stage, that way there will be no backing out. Don't listen to those negative influences, use the negatives as motivators and most of all believe in yourself and enjoy the journey, it's a hell of a ride. What's next? Well, I'm looking at a few different adventures now, I'm playing around with some ideas that will bring me to Australia next, I'll keep working on adventures until one inspires me so much that I can't shake it, and that'll be the one I'll do. TNTDOWNUNDER.COM

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BE PROUD, BE LOUD Top ways to celebrate the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras COMPILED BY CAROLINE GARNAR



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From February 19 to March 5, Sydney is going to be painted all the colours of the rainbow and dipped in glitter. The whole of the city will be well and truly out of the closet again this year to celebrate the LBGTQI community across Sydney, nay the country, nay the world. Gay, straight, curious or anything in between, this festival is a celebration of all things fabulous, and sends out an important and inspirational message, as well as being a hell of a lot of fun. From moving talks to poignant exhibitions, to fun runs to drag cabaret nights, the Sydney Mardi Gras is packed with awesome events, spanning just over two weeks. For the full programme of events, visit Here, though, we’ve picked our top Mardi Gras must-dos. Enjoy, darlings....

MARDI GRAS FILM FESTIVAL When FEBRUARY 18-MARCH 3 From Madonna to LGBT athletes, rodeo cowboys to surf lifesavers, the 23rd Mardi Gras Film Festival will deliver the best in LGBTQI cinema. Queer Screen is taking over Sydney’s Event Cinemas George Street with a wideranging medley of classic and contemporary queer films hailing from Australia and Spain, USA, Thailand, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia and more. While you’re not watching films, hang out at the event’s pop-up bar with top dance and electro acts, including Cunningpants and the Heaps Gay DJ, spinning the tunes from 6pm until late. Tickets: $19 for standard tickets; Feb 18-Mar 3, times vary; Event Cinemas, 505-525 George Street. DECCA-DANCE! When FEBRUARY 19

Decca-Dance! is a LGBTQI Foxtrot-cha-cha-samba-tango of an exhibition featuring a collection of multi-media artworks by Queer and colourful artists who love to celebrate the Sydney Mardi Gras with a ‘dosey-doe’ to your partner. This is the Gallery’s 21st Mardi Gras. Ceramics, paintings, sculpture, and feathered creations in a frenzy of colour by Janice Raynor, Peter Dwyer, Emily Valentine, Kerrie Lowe, Eric LeGuennec, Jason Ryan, David Edmonds and Tony Schlosser. Join the team at the opening: 6-8 pm Friday 26 February Tickets: Free Event; Feb 19 10am to March 8 5.30pm; Kerrie Lowe Gallery, 49-51 King St, Newtown. RAINBOW RUN When FEBRUARY 27 Dress up in your rainbow colours and join the fun run around Sydney Park to help raise money for the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby. You can walk or run two, four or six kilometres around the park, even donning your heels TNTDOWNUNDER.COM

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out some disco tunes under a disco ball, and it will all be recorded on tape... did we lose you there? Come on, you don’t have to show it to anyone! Tickets: From $218; Feb 25-March 1, 6am-8pm; Sydney Harbour Bridge HARBOUR PARTY When FEBRUARY 28

The 2015 Sydney Harbour party is the hottest event on the Mardi Gras calendar (and we don’t just mean temperature-wise). Attracting thousands of party-goers from around the world, the Harbour Party is set up at the Botanic Gardens, with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House as fabulous backdrops for the day’s festivities. This year’s special guests include singer of ‘Hideaway’ Kiesza, Bimbo Jones fronted by Lee Dagger, Kitty Glitter, Dan Murphy and Du Jour. Picture minimal clothing, beautiful tans, sunnies and that just-got-outof-bed-but-secretly-it-took-two-hours-to-look-this-way look. When the sun goes down, the real party starts heating up, so make sure you check out the view (and the landscape too). Tickets: $139; Saturday Feb 21, 3pm-11pm; Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Harbour DISCO T-DANCE When FEBRUARY 28

if you can. With a DJ, mischievous queens trying to ‘drag’ you down, and a barbecue afterwards, this is a brilliantly fun event, as well as a tick against your exercise chart. Tickets: $50; Saturday February 27, 9am-10.30am; Sydney Park, St Peter’s FAIR DAY When FEBRUARY 21

Fair Day is like the older, more responsible brother (or sister, whatever it wants to be) of the Mardi Gras Parade. Held in Victoria Park, this event is much more relaxed. With fairground stalls, comedy acts, drag routines, live music and some amazing competitions, Fair Day is a queer-friendly family day out for people (and their dogs) to relax, unwind and enjoy a day in the sun. More than 80,000 people are expected to gather for this year’s festivities with many heading down to King Street DISCO BRIDGE CLIMB When FEBRUARY 25-MARCH 1

We’ve all had a drunken karaoke sing-song and dance off, but have you ever done it on the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge? We’re guessing no, unless it happened that night you got really wasted and woke up on the North Shore... Best lay off the grog this time though, as you don’t want to be seeing double as you climb to the top of the iconic structure. Once at the top, you can belt 26

Remember the days when we loved the nightlife and got to boogie?” Mary Kiani presents “Disco T Dance” so lets play that funky music again and everybody dance. Young hearts will run free as we take you back to the days when the disco divas ruled the dance floor. Let’s groove and freak out under the glitter ball at the famous “home terrace”. Disco decadence delivered to you in the heart of the famous Darling Harbour. As we turn back the clock be sure to dig out your afro wigs, platform shoes and dance yourself dizzy. International DJ’s will be mixing the very best disco anthems. Live performances, drag queen hostesses and more surprises on the night. If you love the nightlife then this is the party you have been waiting for. Come and “shake your groove thing” because we are going to celebrate good times with our disco family and turn “home terrace” into a Boogie Wonderland. This is one disco you won’t want to miss. Tickets: $25 - 65; Saturday Feb 28, 12pm-8pm; Home Nightclub, Tenancy 101/1-5 Wheat Rd, Darling Harbour SUNSET CRUISE When MARCH 1

Again this year the Mardi Gras Sunset Cruise takes over the Harbour in what has now become one of the hottest tickets on the calendar. Presented in partnership with Planetdwellers, Australia’s largest tour operator for the


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Gay and Lesbian traveller and friends. What’s a cruise around Sydney Harbour without a drag act, we say? Step aboard the MV Sydney Glass Island, which, as the name suggests, has floor-to-ceiling windows so you can take in sweeping views of the city, and sip on champagne and nibble on canapés as the sun sets. Once the night has arrived, head downstairs for a musical drag act with host, Summer Salt, keeping the gags coming all night, so to speak. Tickets: $69 on the door; March 1, 6pm-10pm; Man’o’War Warf, Sydney Opera House THE PARADE When MARCH 5

Imagine 10,000 people sauntering along Oxford & Flinders Streets in a dazzling array of sequins, feathers, leathers and speedos to celebrate Pride and Diversity, all while more than 200,000 people cheer from the sidelines. The 38th annual Parade promises to continue to show the world all the beautiful colours of Australia’s rainbow community and be a fabulous opportunity for unbridled self-expression and love. Glitter litters the street, feather boas hang off every limb and sequins sparkle in the night light as the parade entices and excites thousands of onlookers. Originally established in 1978 as a protest march, the parade has become the main attraction for Mardi Gras activities and more importantly, a celebration of diversity. The parade collects hundreds of queer groups from around Australia – totalling more than 10,000 people – and shoves them into one fabulous three-hour show-stopping spectacular. You’ll want to get there early to grab yourself a good vantage point along Oxford Street or Flinders Street. There are few parties like this around the world so you won’t want to miss out on what’s guaranteed to be a suitably fabulous night. Free; Saturday March 5, 7.30pm-10.30pm; Oxford Street

Photos: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras


After watching the parade, you’re sure to be pepped up for a party, so you should head to the not-verycatchy-but-does-what-it-says-on-the-tin Playbill Venues and Entertainment Quarter. Here you will find DJs keeping the party going until 8am – yep, you read that right – across various venues, with more than 15,000 revellers getting together for one hell of a party. Line up announced so far includes Tracy Young, Mark Alsop, Buck Naked, Kitty Glitter, Maze & Masters and special guests. Tickets: $139.16+; Saturday March 5, 10pm-8am; Playbill Venues and Entertainment Quarter, 122 Lang Road, Moore Park TNTDOWNUNDER.COM

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your next adventure? TNT Tour Search is the easy to use tool that gives travellers the ability to search for tours in all the seven continents of the world. The new advanced search functionality allows travellers to search by most means necessary: • If you know the city you want to visit then we’ll show you the best deals around. • If you fancy visiting a country but want to know what’s on offer we can show you the various places to visit. • You may choose the continent and leave the rest to us. We will serve you up with all the top tours available. • If you’re on a budget or have an amount in mind you can tailor your search based on the value. • You may just know how long you want to go away for, so why not specify the duration. • It may be that you have an activity in mind. If so, we can be specific with this too. Or if you really know what you want, you can use a combination of all the above and we will show you tours that meet your exact needs. Whether it’s a weekend away in the Whitsundays or a 90 day tour around the world, TNT Tour Search is here to show travellers what is available from the leading operators at the best prices. With full booking functionality and customised search facilities travellers can tailor their searches from the thousands of tours available. Our new version of TNT Tour Search is a result of user feedback and operator input and the tool will be constantly updated and improved to ensure travellers are able to find exactly what they want, when they want and a price they can afford.

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Vivonne Bay Lodge Kangaroo Island



Vivonne Bay Lodge is in a great central location on the island, close to all the main attractions. Cook your own BBQ by the large deck and enjoy the great indoor and outdoor facilities provided. • Twin, family and dormitory style rooms • Shared bathroom facilities • Well equipped lounge/dining and recreation room • Large undercover deck, bar and BBQ • Complimentary use of bikes and kayaks with 2 night stay • Close to Little Sahara for sand boarding, Raptor Domain, Seal Bay, Hanson Bay Wildllfe Sanctuary and Flinders Chase National Park

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Photos: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Jeffrey Feng Photography

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have confirmed that the bearded beauty and 2014 Eurovision Song Contest winner is making a momentous debut at the official Mardi Gras Party on Saturday 05 March.The “Queen of Austria” hits The Party stage with Australia’s own Queen of Queens and Mardi Gras Global Ambassador, Courtney Act, for a show stopping 1am performance that pays homage to the art of drag.




South Australia is often over-looked by backpackers but you would be mad to miss this amazing little state packed with good stuff - we show you 5 of the best it has to offer

The Top 10 Destinations TNT-style ie not the obvious cards in the glittering deck that Australia has to offer but those a little off the beaten track instead.

We want you to experience some of the best tours without feeling guilty, so we’ve picked out the best eco-friendly adventures in NZ. TNTDOWNUNDER.COM

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ALEX SAYS: “One doesn’t have to go far in NZ for great shots. After a 45 minute walk from the car park I got lucky as the sun was setting over Fiordland.”


SANDRA SAYS: “This is a shot I took of New Zealand’s beautiful Lake Taupo at sunrise.”


WANT TO SEE YOUR TRAVEL SHOTS IN PRINT? Send high-res (300 dpi) jpegs with name, age, nationality and a description to: lisa.ferron@ Photos are judged by the TNT team at their own discretion. Photos may also be placed on TNT’s Facebook page. For T&Cs, see

32 TNTDOWNUNDER.COM WINNER SUNRISE SAILING: Sandra Linhardt, 24, Germany 761 HOTSHOTS.indd SANDRA SAYS: “This32 is a shot I took of New Zealand’s beautiful Lake Taupo at sunrise.” WE SAY: “We generally try to keep our Australian and New Zealand Hotshots separate, but sometimes a photo comes along that demands

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NSW MUSIC FESTIVALS THREATENED WITH CLOSURE Music festivals in NSW have been threatened with closure unless they reduce fatal drug overdoses. New South Wales Police Minister Troy Grant has warned organisers that the government is considering closing festivals that don’t meet duty of care requirements. His comments came after a 23-yearold woman was in a critical condition after an alleged MDMA overdose at Field Day in Sydney on New Year’s Day and two died at the Adelaide and Sydney Stereosonic electronic music festival last month. Kim Moyes of Sydney dance music veterans the Presets said “Threatening to shut down NSW music festivals and blaming the organisers for the choices of the attendees? Nuts,” he posted on Facebook. “Tragically, 10 people have been 34

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killed on NSW roads between December 20 and January 2, which has been reported as a ‘good result’ in relation to the previous year’s road death tolls. “I don’t want to trivialise their deaths but no government is threatening to shut down transport,” said Moyes.

NO, SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO MCDONALDS A Melbourne McDonald’s has introduced a dress code, shirts and shoes to get served. The branch in Oak Wood surprised regulars with a sign stating: “No shirts, No shoes, No service.” Customers claimed that it conflicts recent McDonald’s adverts which show bikini and bermuda short wearing surfers buying big macs. On behalf of McDonald’s a spokesperson told 9news “Our Oak Park restaurant had a number of customers


coming in wet from the nearby pool which posed a slip hazard. “The sign has now been removed and we are looking into alternate safety measures.” So does this mean that bikinis and Bermuda shorts are back in at the Oak Wood McDonalds? If you visit the store, be sure to let us know.

SHARK ATTACK AT HERON ISLAND An 11 year old has been attacked by a shark in knee deep seas off of Heron Island. The young tourist received a serious bite to his calf by a black-tip reef shark. Paramedic Brad Lawson said that they boy was pulled to safety by his father. “He was actually on the beach, just in the water wading near deep water and he said he actually saw the shark or he saw something and the next minute it bit him and Dad got him out of the water,” said Lawson.


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“The child was removed from the water by his father and presented to the medical centre, where he was treated by a registered nurse.” The boy is coping well with the ordeal.

A shortage of backpacker workers has been reported as the worst ever seen by fruit growers and it is threatening the harvest. Citrus Australia said the areas affected include regions in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. The number of working holiday visas to Australia has dropped by 34,000 in two years, according to growers. They say it is threatening harvesting because Australians do not want picking jobs. “The hard reality is locals don’t want to go out there, they don’t want to pick oranges,” said chairwoman of the growers’ group Citrus Australia, Tania Chapman. “They don’t want to travel from within 10-15 minutes of their home. They think it’s too hot out there, it’s too hard a work, so we’re heavily reliant on backpackers.” Ms Chapman said she has never known a shortage this bad and crops may go unharvested. “It is hitting us badly right at this point in time, she said.

Photos: Tourism Queensland


“Anybody who grows fresh produce of any sort knows that we only have a very short window of opportunity to get our produce off, to get it to market

in optimum condition. “The table grape season is about to hit on our doorstep so that flow-on will happen to them as well.”

Hangover cure The hangover clinic in Sydney has opened its doors promising to get rid of all the ill effects from a session the night before. Great news for the beer swilling backpacker. The surgery offers patients an intravenous drip full of vitamins for $140 for half an hour’s treatment and for an hour expect to pay

$200 and if you’ve really overdone it, headache tablets and oxygen therapy are on hand. It really does sound too good to be true, but as they say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. If any of our readers head to the hangover clinic, do let us know how you get on. We are really curious here at TNT to know more.....


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The deep south This is the NSW South Coast in 48 hours WORDS ALEX HARMON

DAY 1: The best scenic drives are the ones that take you on a journey of self discovery. And the winding scenic route from the Royal National Park, just 45 minutes south of Sydney's CBD, to the idyllic Shoalhaven region is one of the country's best. So make like Jack Kerouac, put on your best fedora hat and driving gloves and make tracks out of Sydney. Failing that, a cheap train fare from central station will take you there in around an hour! 8:00: Heading south on the Grand Pacific Drive (sydney. com) you'll start your South Coast roadtrip with a scenic cruise through the Royal National Park. The 'Nasho' or just 'the Royal' is the world's second-oldest national park, established in 1879. 10:00: Just when you think there is no end to the dense bush, you’ll emerge atop Bald Hill. Below you'll see Stanwell Park Beach which is where you'll be landing with Warren Windsports ( You're about to take a leap of faith and jump off the hill attached to a hang glider. Nothing says self-discovery like jumping off a cliff with nothing but nylon to keep you afloat. 11:00 Landing on the sandy shores after flying like a bird, it's time to get picked up and soar like an eagle on the back of a Harley Davidson. Just Cruisin' Motorcycle Tours ( will take you along the Grand Pacific Drive and over the magnificent Sea Cliff Bridge, a 665 metre over-the-ocean bridge completed in 2005. If you can pull yourself off the bike, stop here for a photo op.


13:00 Arriving in Wollongong, the south coasts’s largest city, make your way to The Illawara Brewery ( for a much needed feed. Try a range of handcrafted beers brewed in the area. The Koelsch cleaned up at the Australian International Beer Awards last year and goes down mighty fine with a plate of sliders. Kick back here for a few hours trying some of their brews while taking in views of City Beach. 16:00: Keep your spirits merry and meander over to The Little Prince ( This small bar in the heart of the Gong has happy hour from 4-7pm (Wed-Sat) where you can enjoy a Mojito for $10. If you're feeling peckish, choose a few dishes from their Tapas menu. 19:00: Before you skip off to dinner, unpack your bags at the Sage Hotel Wollongong (, your accommodation for the night. This spacious and ultra-modern hotel is a stone's throw from Wollongong’s foreshore and offers sweeping views of the ocean. 20:00: Stroll along Flagstaff Hill and take in the historical fort and lighthouse before heading to Bombora Seafood ( for a seafood dinner. Located on the water of Wollongong Harbour, the seafood is caught daily and is reasonably priced. Tip: order the caramelised garlic bread. It is simply amazing. DAY 2: 9:00: Wake up feeling fresh and hit the buffet at the Chifley. Try not to eat too much because you have a dizzying day ahead. Pick up your wheels, stopping off for a decent coffee. Hidden in North Wollongong is the little gem


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Get bitten by the Funnel Web

Ka-Fe. The baristas will make you a freshly roasted cup that will get you buzzing for your next level of self discovery. 10:00: Arriving at Southern Biplane Adventures ( you're about to hop into a sexy red Biplane, the Lilly Warra (try saying that 10 times when you're nervous). You're heading up into the sky for an aerobatic joy flight. Experience G forces of up to +6g and -5g as you twist, turn and tumble through the skies above the Illawarra escarpment and coastline. I hope you have a strong stomach. 12:00: With the Tasman Sea to the east and Lake Illawara to the west, Shellharbour is a mecca for nature enthusiasts. After your time hurtling through the sky, this area is perfect for unwinding. If you're a keen diver, Bushrangers Bay is good for spotting Moray eels, cuttlefish and big schools of fish. 13:00: You're no doubt feeling hungry again so settle in at Relish on Addison ( On the balcony you'll receive beautiful views of the village and sea. 14:00 Don't get too relaxed because action is just around the corner at Jambaroo Action Park ( After driving through the stunning green mountains, you'll arrive at the biggest theme park in the state. There are many thrills to be had including the new 'Funnel Web', the longest and gnarliest slide in the southern hemisphere. It will make your stomach turn just looking at it. A fitting end to a wild couple of days testing your abilities and reaching new heights. Well done. As Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, "Do one thing every day that scares you." The NSW south coast has you covered.

Wedding Cake Rocks in the National Park

Flying high above Stanwell Park Beach


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TRAVELWEEKENDER Wade welcomes Lisa to his office


Xxxxxxx This is [place] in 48 hours WORDS [NAME]

DAY 1: 00:00 Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx 00:00 Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx 00:00 Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx 00:00 Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx 00:00 Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx 00:00 Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx DAY 2: 00:00 Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx 00:00 Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx 00:00 Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx 00:00 Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx 00:00 Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx 00:00 Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx

Unsure about skydiving? We say man up! Skydiving is an incredible experience that leaves you wanting more. I had considered going skydiving for about 10 years but had always found an excuse not to do it: “Oh, I can’t afford it right now,” or “I’ve got bingo arms, they’ll look bad in the photos”. So when I finally booked it, I found the best coping mechanism was to ignore the fact that this would potentially be my last month on earth. D-Day arrives. I turn up at North Wollongong beach in a blissfully ignorant state. I check in at the office, step into a pair of oversized marching band pants, get my harness fitted and go through the safety instructions – all I can remember is that I must position my body to look like a banana. At the airport my tandem instructor Wade double-checks everything before we pile into the tiny blue plane. As we ascend I forget that I’m sitting on a strange man’s lap and am about to jump out of a plane; I actually enjoy the fantastic view over Wollongong. It’s at the five minute pre-jump warning that I start to pack shit. We reach 14,000 feet where it’s nothing but cloud. The plane’s side door opens and the first tandem skydivers quickly disappear. With only 10 seconds between jumps there’s no time to decide whether I want to go through with this. Wade and I, harnessed together for better or worse, slide our legs out the door and take a selfie. I’m so focused on perfecting the banana move that I forget to smile. Wade counts down, then we’re out the door, free-falling through cloud at over 200 kilometres per hour. I try to calmly breathe but I can’t stop screaming and my thoughts excitedly race everywhere. It’s such an intense rush that I struggle to process it as being real; I couldn’t have imagined skydiving would be so thrilling. After 60 seconds of free-fall the parachute opens up just as we emerge from the clouds. We are then treated to stunning views of Wollongong, from Mount Keira to the beach. “Welcome to my office,” says Wade. We float around for five minutes, upright like Mary Poppins, with every twist and turn of the parachute giving different views of the impressive Australian coastline. For the rest of the day I’m clapping in excitement and nothing can wipe the smile off my face.

Packages start from $269. See: 38


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25/01/2016 1:16 am

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Go to See webpage for terms and conditions. Winners will be selected at random.




KANGAROO ISLAND ADVENTURE TOURS Enjoy 2 days of fun and adventure with TNT and Kangaroo Island Adventure Tours! This prize entitles you to a 2 Day Wilderness Explorer Tour valid for 2 adults travelling with Kangaroo Island Adventure Tours. Inclusions: • Departing Adelaide, South Australia, with pick-up & set-down from selected city hostels • Return coach & ferry transfers to Kangaroo Island • Visit Rob’s Shearing & Sheep Dogs, Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery, Seal Bay, sandboarding at Little Sahara, Vivonne Bay, Hanson Bay Koala Sanctuary, Flinders Chase National Park, Remarkable Rocks & Admirals Arch • 1 night accommodation at Vivonne Bay Lodge with FREE use of kayaks, bikes & WiFi • Meals include 1 breakfast, 2 lunches & a BBQ dinner • Valid for travel until 31 March 2017 Enter at or

This prize must be redeemed in exchange for travel at a SeaLink Travel Centre or check-in facility. The prize is valid for services listed only and all services are subject to availability at the time of booking. This prize cannot be sold, is not redeemable for cash and cannot be used in conjunction with other special offers. This prize cannot be extended and if lost, cannot be replaced. If prize is not used in its entirety, remaining services will be forfeited. Travel Insurance is recommended for all customers. For travel conditions, please visit


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29/01/2016 6:12 am



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Here’s our top five things to see and do in South Australia. South Australia is often overlooked by travellers who tend to favour New South Wales and the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. But South Australia, with its unforgettable wine, underground towns, thrilling wildlife and festivals galore, rewards a visit. Here’s the skinny on the top five things to see and do in this underrated state.


THE WINE REGIONS Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valley- aka South Australia’s wine regions - are known internationally as some of Australia’s best. They are also some of the most varied regions for the production of great grapes including Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Riesling, Chardonnay and even the odd Sauvignon Blanc. Only a short drive from the capital, The Adelaide Hills are perhaps, the best place to start exploring the region’s wine gems. The Barossa Valley is one

of Australia’s oldest wine producing regions while The Clare Valley is one of the smaller wine producing regions. There are a whole host of wineries in the region, but one that has been tried and tested by us is a company called Wine Lovers Tours, a specialist company with the experience and skills to deliver a memorable wine drinking experience. Well that is if you don’t drink too much! Operating seven days a week, the Hills and Vales tour costing a $110 (all inclusive) and if you can get a group of five or more of you together you should be able to negotiate a discount. So what’s included in the price? Pick up, beaches, history, wine, cider, food (all local produce), coffee, ice cream, more food, more wine, sometime in Hahndorf Town and of course a lift back to Adelaide CBD. Groups can be up to 21 so a great opportunity to make some new travelling buddies.


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Of all Australia’s state capitals, Adelaide - voted the most livable city in Australia on more than one occasion, enjoys the most beautiful of settings Nestled between the majestic Adelaide Hills on one side and the crystal blue waters of the Gulf St Vincent on the other, few cities can match Adelaide for natural beauty. It is also fast becoming the culinary capital of Australia. The level of produce available is outstanding.

The Fringe’s phenomenal success lies in its openness – both in terms of its acts as well as its venues, which are spread throughout Adelaide’s CBD. The state also offers internationally renowned food and wine and music festivals - the Gourmet Traveller and WOMAdelaide anyone? Then there’s Santos Tour Down Under, a festival of international cycling which also doubles as part of the competitive world tour, and has a huge attendance.


Photos: Kangaroo Island Adventure Tours




Australia’s third largest island offers a wonderfully picturesque getaway full of kangaroos and numerous native flora and fauna. However it was once considered the most lawless and vicious place in the British Empire. Take the 45 minute ferry from the mainland where you’ll be treated to a huge range of water sports and other aquatic activities for visitors including scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing and fishing. The main town on the island, Kingscote is a good base from which to explore the rest of the island.

If you want to get out of the city in search of sun, sea and sand, the Yorke Peninsula is the place to go. Being just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide, the postcard worthy beaches will take your breath away. With a distinctive 700 km of coastline, it’s easy to find the perfect beach spot and let your worries melt away. The Yorke Peninsula can also brag about having some of Australia’s greatest surfing beaches with many wellknown surfing and body boarding competitions held over there. It’s the place to relax and unwind and to also have fun.


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Canberra Calling While Canberra may get a hard time, we discover just how stunning and innovative the politician’s meeting place can be WORDS ALEX HARMON & JAMES CLARK



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Canberra is on the receiving end of a record number of Australian visitors so far this summer. Due to the falling dollar (which is set to continue) Aussies are travelling closer to home and Canberra seems to be doing extremely well out of it. Questacon the National Science and Technology Centre has seen 15,000 people through its doors over the Christmas and New Year period. Craig Whelan from the centre veryfied that the increase in visitors is due to the low Australian dollar leading people to holiday closer to home. Questacon attracted 2,800 visitors through its doors on December 28, 29 and again on 30. “We would normally see in this period 2,200 people, so it’s 600 more each day,” said Whelan. It’s not just Questacon doing well out of the current economic climate, a staggering 4,500 more people visited the Australian War Memorial last week than for the same period last year and the National Library of Australia’s Celestial Empire exhibition is currently fully booked. So what’s Canberra got to offer? Let us tell you about it.

Making new memories Anyone who grew up on the east side of Australia can’t help but associate Canberra with the boring school excursion. At around 10-12 years of age you are shuffled onto a bus and subjected to a few days of learning about political history, architecture and science. If you’re really lucky you’ll get to go to McDonalds on the way home, that’s pretty much the pinnacle of the trip. Oh and it’s always in winter – so you freeze. As a result I became scarred by Canberra, thinking of it as the holiday equivalent of watching paint dry (on a bitterly cold day). Now, more than 15 years later, I am returning, but I promise myself to do so with an open mind. I am determined to make new memories and put to bed some of those myths about Canberra being boring.

Wheels in motion What better way to see the flat, man-made city of Canberra than on a Segway? Being my second turn on the twowheeled electric vehicle, I am much more confident to climb aboard. With a local guide, we whizz around the city taking in the National Gallery, Old Parliament House, Questacon and race around on a massive grass lawn.

Swag on our Sweg

We love science: Questacon

Parliament house Canberra’s political spikes turn off some people, but a visit to the home of Australia’s Parliament is a must, especially because it is the focal point of the city. The building - opened by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 1988 - offers a journey through the country’s history via a collection of art and architectural showpieces, filled with marble and timber and impressively dotted with mosaics and paintings. Make sure to check out Tom Robert’s painting and Red Ochre Cove, by local artist Mandy Martin, before making your way up to the roof for the spectacular view. Also, see if you can sit in on a Parliamentary meeting or Question Time while you’re there, or go on a free guided tour. TNTDOWNUNDER.COM

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Photos: Justin Steinlauf

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Clockwise: Kingston market; biking Canberra; the War Memorial

Australian War Memorial Having travelled extensively around the world (and hence visited many museums), it’s a great complement to list the Australian War Museum as one of my favourites. It commemorates the 102,000 Australians who lost their lives to war and is well worth spending a few hours sifting through. The latest exhibition space in ANZAC Hall offers the chance to see three different sound-and-light shows. I recommend Striking by Night; it recreates a night-bombing operation over Germany and provides a chilling insight. You can also score a free guided tour here.

Legoland Driving around the city to begin with (to get the agitation out of the way), has a certain element of “What the?” Lego-like avenues and higgledy-piggledy roundabouts make navigating around a rather arduous enterprise at times, although it can be so ridiculous, it’s funny (for the passenger). Expect to get lost a few times anyway. As far as the city’s design goes, it was heavily influenced by the “garden city” movement, meaning that it has loads of areas bursting with natural vegetation. So much so, that the city has earnt the title “bush capital”. “At least it’s got something going for it,” some cynics that consider Canberra to be the out-of-date meat in a state sandwich that rates Melbourne and Sydney more appertising, might say. But this city, I discovered, has more exquisite layers than people realise. If you’re going for a holiday or passing through, make sure to check out these must-see attractions 44


(along with King O’Malley’s: great food and atmosphere; and a walk around Lake Burley Griffin).

The Old Bus Depot If you’re in Canberra on a Sunday, this is the place to go (21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston). The Old Bus Depot markets - including more than 200 stalls - are an institution in the city, having run for more than 10 years. You’ll be able to treat yourself or someone else with their massive range of handcrafted items (jewellery, toys, textiles, designer knitwear, Japanese lanterns, hand painted scarves and wraps), plus feast on a lot of fresh produce straight from the farm.

Cockington Green Gardens The Cockington Green Gardens are something special. Family-owned and operated, they feature a display of miniature buildings from around the globe (particularly England) set in colourful landscaped gardens. Twenty countries are currently represented, so if you can’t afford the around-the-world ticket, have a compensatory look around here. It’s also a lovely place to enjoy a picnic or barbecue with plenty of facilities available.

Australian Institute of Sport If you’re anything like me, there was a time in your childhood when you wanted to be an elite athlete. The AIS shows you what it would have been like to be that person. You’ll be able to see where the athletes train before big competitions and live the dream, via an interactive sports exhibit. Football fans will enjoy the “penalty shoot out”, but


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“Hummer”, and Ketanga, Hummer’s little bro. These guys stand so tall, we feed them some vegetables from an elevated walkway. Next, it’s time to hang out with the grizzlies. The European brown bears - named Blondie, Dark Girl and Brutus - don’t scare me too much. They actually look quite cuddly. That is, until I’m asked to paint my palm with a mix of Weeties and honey and let one of them lick it off. Not only does this err on the side of icky, I’m wondering if they’re capable of having a little nibble on more than what’s spread on my hands. “They’re actually very gentle, it will feel a bit tingly more than anything,” the guide said. An interesting sensation, but once is enough of those sticky shenanigans, I decided.

Mingle with animals

be sure to take some time to see the memorabilia on display from sporting legends, such as Sir Donald Bradman and Rod Laver. Game, set, and match.

Go wild in the city KIM SMITH discovers Australia’s wild and wonderful capital, and ends up with a few locals eating out of her hand. As a Sumatran tiger leaps up and hovers over my head, I let out a shriek and think “that’s it, I’m dead meat”. The king size kitty is no more than a metre away and by the looks of its big hungry eyes and watering kisser, it’s ready to rumble. If I was to try to fend it off, where would I begin? I try to recall what ruse Mick Dundee from Crocodile Dundee used to put wild animals under his spell. A simple curl of the wrist, flick of the fingers and peeled beady eyes, is the picture I conjure and consider. Otherwise, make a run for it. Or, I could stop being such a chicken-hearted sissy and give the creature what it wants, without making such a fuss. As much as I’d like to (and for you to) think I’m brazenly trekking through pockets of the Indonesian jungle, I’m actually at Canberra’s National Zoo. A fence divides myself from the tiger which has no (obvious) desire to turn me into dead meat; it simply wants the chunks of it that are dangling from tongs in my shaking hands. His name is Berani which, in Indonesian, stands for “brave”. Determined not to be branded the Indonesian equivalent of the opposite, my third attempt is a success as I clink the tongs between the wire fence and the big orange cat manages to gobble my offering - this time before I take a startled jump back. I’m on a ZooVenture tour, one the most hands-on animal adventure tours in the world (costs $95 on weekdays and $125 on weekends) which offers rare and close-up animal experiences. “No kidding”, I think as, at the next stop, we’re throwing fish bait at a collection of oriental small-clawed otters from a perch so close, I might as well be flapping around in the drink with them. Next up (literally) are the giraffes: Humbekhal, aka 46

Canberra is also home to the Jamala Wildlife Lodge allows you to bath next to brown bears, eat under the watchful eyes of lions and feed giraffes from the hotel balcony. The recently opened hotel located in the National Zoo and Aquarium lets you stay as close to zoo animals as possible, where just a piece of glass is all that separates you.The hotel rooms are merged into the enclosures of many of the zoo’s animals, including; Bengal tigers, European brown bears, Malayan sun bears, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, black and white colobus monkeys, ring-tailed lemurs, hyenas, and snow leopards. David M on Tripadvisor said “My wife and I recently stayed at Jamala Lodge and it was a fantastic experience. Everything from the moment we arrived was way above our expectations. The accommodation was 5 star and each

The National Dinosaur Museum


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National Dinosaur Museum The

Open 7 Days 10 am - 5 pm Gold Creek Rd & Barton Hwy Nicholls 2913 ACT | 02 6230 2655 room had incredibly close encounters with the wildlife. We stayed in Terrace 2 which looked out over the lion and hyena enclosures but one of our windows also looked straight into the lemur enclosure. It was amazing to watch them play.” Owner Richard Tindale said in the Chronicle “It’s great for the animals: they’re going to get more space. It’s great for the viewing public; they’re going to get more things to see. It will be great for tourism.” Rooms can be booked for one night and profits go back into the zoo. However, if you fancy mixing a bit of history with your love of animals, the National Dinosaur Museum is a great place to spend an afternoon. The museum’s exhibits take you on a journey through time, from the Earth’s very beginnings to some of the most recent animals. So there you have it, our whirlwind tour of Canberra. The capital may get a hard time but you’re welcomed with open arms into a place of endless beauty with a wealth of things to see and do. Do not pass through - stay a while - it will surprise you. Damage and details: Parliament House and the War Memorial both have free entry;; bike hire from Mr Spokes costs $20/hour; entry to Questacon; guided Segway tours cost from costs $23; National Zoo & Aquarium $25 Open 7 days a week from 10-5 the National Dinosaur Museum costs $16.


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29/01/2016 6:28 am



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TASMANIA Australia’s ‘Apple Isle’, too often ignored by mainlandhugging backpackers, is like nowhere else in Oz. Which perhaps explains why the locals are mocked by those on the ‘North Island’ occasionally. Not that Tasmanians care – they know how good they’ve got it. Indeed, this magical wilderness of forests, mountains and waterfalls is in many ways more similar to New Zealand than it is the rest of its own country. Crammed with colonial history, incredible food and nature at its most spectacular (20 per cent of the state is World Heritage-listed national park) – and all in a handilysized and generally fairly cheap package – it’s hard to know where to start. We’d recommend though that you don’t miss..

CRADLE MOUNTAIN The imposing, craggy peaks of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park are like something straight out of a Rings movie. Only you’ll find no orcs lurking here. Just the occasional walker. And a few wombats. Sat almost in the middle of Tassie, just south-west of 48

second city Launceston, the jagged contours rise from a wild landscape of ancient rainforest and alpine heathlands. It’s truly stunning stuff. Climbing to the top and back can be done in a strenuous day and will offer plenty in rewards. The more hardy, however, should take on the six-day Overland Track, which is widely considered Australia’s best walk, a worthy rival to New Zealand’s legendary nine Great Walks. At the other end of the park, looking up at the forestclad mountains, wallows Lake St Clair, which happens to be Australia’s deepest.

PORT ARTHUR History buffs, take note. Port Arthur is arguably the most fascinating glimpse of Australia’s convict past that you could find in the land Down Under. Once known simply as “Hell on Earth”, this huge site with its partly ruined buildings was home to Australia’s worst convicts between the 1830s and 1870s. It’s now strangely peaceful, with the odd spooky vibe, and is somewhere you can easily lose a day.

Photos: Tourism Tasmania.

You can look on any travel website and the list of Top Ten things to see and do in Australia will be the almost exactly the same. Now don’t for one second think we are slamming Ayres Rock, The Great Ocean Road or the Sydney Opera House, bacuase trust me, we aren’t, however if you go home and that’s all you’ve done, then you have missed getting into the heart and soul of Australia. Tucked away in every state and in every corner of this amazing country are less well known but equally superb days out, weekends away or epic road trips that will literally take your breath away. Allow us to show you OUR Top Ten things to do in Oz - a little different and a little off the beaten track. Think of it as insider knowledge - you’re welcome...


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WINEGLASS BAY Along with Cradle Mountain, this spellbinding corner of Freycinet National Park is Tasmania’s major postcard pin-up. And yet the pictures still can’t do it justice. A mainstay on lists naming the best beach in Australia, sometimes the planet, Wineglass Bay really does have it all. Well, it could be a few degrees warmer at times… There’s a bit of a trek to get there, which means you get some gawp-tastic views of it on the way, plus the coach trip crowds don’t bother. Once there, it’s suddenly huge, and there are dolphins. And there’s even a campsite at the far end.


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LAKE EYRE AND OUTBACK TOUR This tour is the ultimate in bush experience, featuring an action packed itinerary of adventure activities. The four day small-group based interactive adventure takes you from the remote Oodnadatta Track to the beautiful Clare Valley wine tasting regions. See national parks, historic towns, outback ruins and rarely visited desert areas. Not only do you get upclose-and-personal with the environment, but it also includes a two hour flight over Lake Eyre, an eco-boat cruise of the Spencer Gulf and a visit to traditional aboriginal art sites. The company have the Eco-Certified Nature Tourism badge, meaning their tours leave absolute minimal impact on the environment.



KANGAROO ISLAND ADVENTURE The two day all-inclusive Kangaroo Island wilderness explorer tour covers what is considered to be all the essential experiences on Kangaroo Island. If you’re a spirited traveller who likes to get off the beaten track and share your experience with like-minded adventurers, then this tour is definitely for you. You get to stay at Vivonne Bay Lodge, which was voted best beach in Australia. It’s modern, well equipped and maintained and comes with free WiFi, bar, lounge, pool table and BBQ.






A journey to set the soul on fire, the 120-mile drive between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia is unbeatable and unforgettable. With national parks, vineyards and an extraordinary beautiful coastline that showcases the diversity of Australia. The best time to visit is in spring, when the landscape is covered with wild flowers, but the Margaret River wineries are open all year round.

Beyond Cooktown lies the remote Cape York Peninsula, at the northernmost tip of Australia (only 150km from Papua New Guinea). It is still one of the wildest and least populated parts of Oz. Unsealed roads, river crossings and crocs make the adventure one of the best roadtrips Down Under. Just don’t even think about it without a 4WD. If you’re not too sure about your skills, jump on a tour from Cairns.

To properly enjoy this tour you don’t need to be an expert; the excellent guides will be more than happy to show you the ropes. Chose between whether you want to surf or stand up paddle board (SUP) and get ready to get a little wet and wild. This package includes a fully qualified guide and coach tour, transport to and from the Margaret River, lunch and drinks, equipment and wetsuits. Epic.


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2 Day Wilderness Explorer

Enjoy 2 days of fun and adventure!

• Departing Adelaide with pic k-up & set-down from selected hoste ls • Return coach & ferry trans • Visit Rob’s Shearing & Sheefers p Emu Ridge Eucalyptus DistilleDogs, Seal Bay, sandboarding at Lit ry, Sahara, Vivonne Bay, Hansontle Koala Sanctuary, Flinders Ch Bay National Park, Remarkable Roase cks & Admirals Arch • Accommodation at Vivon ne Lodge with FREE use of kaya Bay ks, bikes & WiFi • Meals include 1 breakfast, 2 lunches & a BBQ dinner

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25/01/2016 1:33 am




8 Photos: Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia

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Experience sunset in the glorious Flinders Ranges of South Australia. The largest mountain range in South Australia starts about 200 km north of Adelaide. The region offers tour operators and self-drive experiences, give the visitor information a call (1800 220 980 or 08 8648 6419) to get the most out of Flinders. Also on offer; scenic walkways, the pichi richi railway, flights around the area, a camel tour, picnic areas and more.

The Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk operated by the local Aboriginal community offers an indigenous perspective on the rainforest. Stories and legends from a long time ago in local Kuku Yalanji language, takes visitors on a journey along private, easy graded tracks, visiting special places and culturally significant sites, past traditional bark shelters and cool rainforest streams.

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With motorised traffic all but non-existent (private vehicles are banned), the island is best experienced by bike and it goes a little bit like this: Cycle for a bit. Find an irresistible beach. Snorkel. Laze about. Feel happy, Cycle for a bit. Find another irresistible beach. Snorkel. Laze about. Feel happy. Cycle for a bit. Find an even more irresistible beach. Snorkel. Laze about. Feel happy. You can see how this works right?

Get ready for a three hour wilderness cruise exploring the most interesting and breathtaking parts of the coastline. You can expect to meet all manner of wildlife. Lunch options on the beach are available upon return, to soak in the last of the experience. A proportion of every ticket goes to the Tasmanian Coast Conservation Fund, which helps manage the national parks, coastlines, marine reserves and wildlife.


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Independent travellers can freestyle it or go the whole way with packages, island escapes and island hopping passes in Fiji’s stunning Yasawa Islands. Packages range from 5 to 12 days and include island accommodation, transfers, meals and activities.

For lovers of independent experience travel

Prices are in Australian dollars and are valid for travel until 31/03/16. Terms and conditions apply. See our website for full details.

For info & bookings see your Backpacker Travel Centre or contact us

our Pick up y brochure today




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Island Hopping passes from only $258 (5 days) All inclusive packages from $552 (5 days /4 nights) Island Stayputs from $184 (3 days /2 nights)

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OZLISTINGS TOUR FIRMS Adventure Tours Australia-wide tours 1800 068 886, Whitsundays packages 1800 677 119, Autopia Tours Tours around Victoria 03 9391 0261, Awesome Adventures Oz Whitsundays packages 1800 293 7663, Tours in Tasmania Tours around Tasmania 1800 777 103, Bunyip Tours Tours around Victoria 1300 286 947,

linking Adelaide, Alice Springs & Melbourne 1800 661 177,

Ocean Rafting Whitsundays tours 07 4946 6848,

Heading Bush Adelaide to Alice Springs outback tours 1800 639 933,

Oz Experience Hop on-hop off Australia-wide tours 1300 300 028,

Jump Tours Tours around Tasmania 0422 130 630,

Surfcamp Sydney to Byron surfing tours 1800 888 732,

Kakadu Dreams Kakadu tours 1800 813 266,

The Rock Tour Red centre tours 1800 246 345,

Kangaroo Island Adventure Tours Adelaide to KI tours 08 8202 8678,

Topdeck Tours covering all of Oz 1300 886 332,

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Adventures South Australia 1800 786 386,

Cool Dingos Fraser Island Tours 1800 072 555,

Whitsundays Sailing Adventures Whitsundays sailing 07 4940 2007 WhitsundaysSailingAdventures.

Explore Whitsundays Whitsundays packages 1800 675 790, Groovy Grape Getaways Tours

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Mojosurf Sydney to Byron surfing tours 1800 113 044,

Wildlife Tours Tours around Victoria 1300 661 730,

RENTAL FIRMS Apollo Motorhomes 1800 777 779, Mighty Cars and Campers (Formerly Backpacker Campervan Rentals) 1800 809 944 Boomerang Cars 0414 882 559,

Under Down Under Tours Tours around Tasmania 1800 064 726,

Kings Cross Car Market For buying and selling vehicles. 110 Bourke St, Woolloomooloo. 02 9358 5000,

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Wilderness 4WD Adventures Top end tours 1800 808 288, Wings Whitsunday Adventures 1300 859 853

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@tnt_downunder Wicked Campers 1800 246 869,

TRANSPORT Greyhound Australia Buses around Australia. 13 20 30, Jetstar Airline. 131 538, Premier Transport Group Buses along the east coast. 13 34 10, Qantas Airline. 13 13 13, Regional Express Airline. 13 17 13, Spirit of Tasmania Ferries to Tasmania. 03 6336 1446, Tiger Airways Airline. 03 9999 2888, Redline Coaches For getting around Tasmania. 03 6336 1446, Virgin Australia Airline. 13 67 89,

With great fares every day! . . . why not travel PREMIER class! Climate control air-conditioning • Experienced Coach Captains • Panoramic glare free windows • Comfy reclining seats Onboard video entertainment • Washroom • State of the art safety features • Seat belts

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• Flexible travel on a budget to suit you • One, three and six month PaSSeS available • Daily ServiceS from Melbourne to cairns

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SYDNEY STAY Base Sydney 477 Kent St. CBD.

Hordern Pavillion

Big Hostel 212 Elizabeth St. CBD. 02 9281 6030

Oxford Art Factory Sydney Opera House

Bounce Budget Hotel 28 Chalmers St. CBD.

The Annandale

Easy Go Backpackers 752 George St. CBD. 02 9211 0505, Eva’s Backpackers 6-8 Orwell Street Kings Cross 02 9358 2185, City Resort Hostel 103-105 Palmer St. Woolloomooloo 02 9357 3333 Sydney Central YHA 11 Rawson Place. CBD. Westend Backpackers 412 Pitt St. CBD. Boomerang Backpackers 141 William Street, Kings Cross. 02 8354 0488, Dlux Hostel 30 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross. 1800 236 213 Kangaroo Bak Pak 665 South Dowling St. Surry Hills. 02 9318 0902 Avalon Beach Hostel 59 Avalon Pde, Avalon Beach. 02 9918 9709, Bondi Shores Level 1. 283 Bondi Road, Bondi Bondi YHA 63 Fletcher Street. Tamarama. Lamrock Lodge 19 Lamrock Ave. Bondi. 02 9130 5063,

The Enmore The Metro

SURFSIDE BONDI BEACH BACKPACKERS 35a Hall St, Bondi Beach, Sydney. Dorms from $32 Right in the heart of Australia’s most iconic beach, this hostel is the perfect place to settle in and enjoy the Australian summer in style.


Glebe Point YHA 262-264 Glebe Point Road. Glebe.

Sydney Aquarium Darling Harbour.

Boardrider Backpacker Rear 63, The Corso, Manly. 02 9977 6077

Sydney Wildlife World Darling Harbour.

The Bunkhouse 35 Pine St, Manly. 1800 657 122,

Taronga Zoo Mosman.

Manly Backpackers 24-28 Raglan St. Manly. 02 9977 3411

Waves Surf School

Cammeray Gardens 66 Palmer St, North Sydney. 02 9954 9371

Skydive Central Coast Warnervale.

BYRON BAY Backpackers Holiday Village 116 Jonson St

The Arts Factory 1 Skinners Shoot Rd. Nomads Byron Bay Lawson Lane. Byron Bay YHA 7 Carlyle St. Skydive the Beach Byron Bay Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina 1800 302 005

COFFS HARB Coffs Harbour YHA 51 Collingwood St. Harbour City Holiday Park 123 Pacific Highway Hoey Moey Backpackers 80 Ocean Pde Solitary Islands Marine Resort North St, Wooli NSW 1462 1800 003 031



Maritime Museum Darling Harbour. My Sydney Detour Unique city tours.

Aegean Coogee Lodge 40 Coogee Bay Rd. Coogee. 04 0817 6634,

Powerhouse Museum Darling Harbour.

Surfside Backpackers 186 Arden Street. Coogee. 02 9315 7888,

The Entrance Backpackers 2/56 The Entrance Road, The Entrance, 2261 02 4334 5005

Byron Bay Accom 02 6680 8666,

Manly Surf School Manly Beach. 02 9977 6977,

Oceanworld Manly West Esplanade.

Coogee Beachside 178 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee. 02 9315 8511,

CENTRAL COAST Newcastle Beach YHA 30 Pacific St, Newcastle.

Backpackers Inn 29 Shirley St 1800 817 696

Wake Up! 509 Pitt St, CBD.

Lochner’s Guesthouse 27 Paul St. Bondi. 02 9389 5421

Coogee Beach House 171 Arden St. Coogee. 02 9665 1162,

BLUE MTNS Blue Mountains YHA 207 Katoomba St, Katoomba.

1800 350 388,

Skydive the Beach Wollongong. Sydney Olympic Park Darling Harbour. Sydney Tower and Skywalk 100 Market St, CBD. Sydney Harbour Bridge The Rocks.

JINDABYNE This small town in south-east NSW is an adventure junkie’s delight. Jindabyne is situated four hours south of Sydney near the Snowy Mountains and overlooks Lake Jindabyne. It is most well known for its accessibility to ski resorts in Kosciuszko National Park including Thredbo and Perisher. Jindabyne is a hub of extreme sports with several board and equipment shops, rental stores and a skate park. In the summer months it is a great destination for fishing, water skiing and wakeboarding on the lake.


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Backpackers Imperial Hobart 138 Collins St. 03 6229 5215,

Centre for Beer Lovers Boag’s Brewery, 39 William St. 03 6332 6300,

Hobart Hostel 41 Barrack St. 1300 252 192,

Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery 2 Invermay Rd & 2 Wellington St. 03 6323 3777,

Montgomery’s YHA 9 Argyle St. Narrara Backpackers 88 Goulburn St. 03 6234 8801,

Tasmania Zoo 1166 Ecclestone Rd. 03 6396 6100,

Pickled Frog 281 Liverpool St. 03 6234 7977,


Transit Backpackers 251 Liverpool St. 03 6231 2400,

HOBART HOSTEL 41 Barrack St, Hobart. Dorms from $24 Very clean and comfortable, a pleasing lounge with a plasma TV & DVD’s, air-conditioning, FREE internet/WIFI.



Cascade Brewery 140 Cascade Rd. 03 6224 1117 Mt Wellington Descent Bike tours. 03 6274 1880

PORT ARTHUR Port Arthur Historic Ghost Tours 1800 659 101,

Salamanca Markets Every Saturday, Salamanca Place. Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery 5 Argyle St.

LAUNCESTON DO Cataract Gorge

LAUNCESTON Arthouse Backpacker Hostel 20 Lindsay St. 1800 041 135,

Launceston Backpackers 103 Canning St. 03 6334 2327, Lloyds Hotel 23 George St. 03 6331 9906,

Tasman Backpackers 114 Tasman St. 03 6423 2335,

BICHENO Bicheno Backpackers 11 Morrison St. 03 6375 1651, Bicheno Penguin Tours 03 6375 1333,

CRADLE MTN Discovery Holiday Parks Cradle Mountain Rd. 1800 068 574 au/TAS


Mt Roland Budget Backpacker Rooms 1447 Claude Rd, Gowrie Park. 03 6491 1385

CRADLE DO Devils @ Cradle Tassie devil sanctuary. 3950 Cradle Mountain Rd. 03 6492 1491. Overland Track Six-day walk

FREYCINET Big 4 Iluka Reserve Rd. Freycinet National Park Brewery, Wineglass Bay camping. 03 6256 7000

STRAHAN, Strahan YHA 43 Harvey St.

STRAHAN DO Wild Rivers Jet Jet Boat Cruises. 0364717396 Water by Nature Extreme multiday whitewater rafting. 1800 111 142,


HOBART Tasmania’s capital has the perfect mix of old world charm, new-school pretentions and captivating natural surroundings. Hobart is a buzzing microcosm of Australiana; with a burgeoning arts scene, a lively coffee and bar culture, and repurposed waterfront, Hobart has everything you’d expect from an Aussie city, and more. It’s also been named by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2013. Its controversial museum, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), no doubt helped cement the city’s place on that list, but Hobart’s natural beauty probably didn’t hurt either.



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MELBOURNE STAY All Nations Nomads 2 Spencer St. Base Melbourne 17 Carlisle St, St. Kilda. Central Melbourne Accommodation 21 Bromham Place, Richmond. 03 9427 9826, Exford Hotel 199 Russell St. 03 9663 2697, Flinders Station Hotel 35 Elizabeth St. 03 9620 5100, The Greenhouse Backpacker Level 6, 228 Flinders Lane. 1800 249 207, Habitat HQ 333 St Kilda Road, St Kilda. 1800 202 500, Home at the Mansion 66 Victoria Parade. 03 9663 4212 Home Travellers Motel 32 Carlisle St, St Kilda. 1800 008 718, Discovery Melbourne 167 Franklin St. 03 9329 7525 Melbourne Central YHA 562 Flinders St. Nomads Melbourne 198 A’beckett St. Space Hotel 380 Russell St. 1800 670 611, The Spencer 475 Spencer St. 1800 638 108, Back of Chapel 50 Green St, Windsor College Lawn Hotel 36 Greville St, Prahran

Hotel Discovery 167 Franklin St

Melbourne International Backpackers 450 Elizabeth St Melbourne Metro YHA 78 Howard St Melbourne Central YHA 562 Flinders St, Melbourne St Arnaud 99 Park St, South Yarra, The Spencer City Central BP 475 Spencer St The Nunnery 116 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy Victoria Hotel Backpackers Victoria Hotel, 380 Victoria St

ST KILDA Back of Chapel Backpackers 50 Green St Base St Kilda 17 Carlisle St Coffee Palace Backpackers 24 Grey St Habitat HQ 333 St Kilda Rd, Oslo Hotel 38 Grey St The Ritz for Backpackers 169 Fitzroy St, St Kilda St Kilda Beach House 109 Barkly St, St Kilda

MELBOURNE DO Australian Centre for the Moving Image Federation Square. 03 8663 2200,

Claremont Guesthouse 189 Toorak Rd, South Yarra

Melbourne Aquarium Cnr of Flinders St & King St. 03 9923 5999,

City Centre Budget Hotel 22-30 Little Collins St

Discovery Melbourne 167 Franklin St.

Elephant Backpackers 250 Flinders St

Melbourne Cricket Ground Brunton Av. 03 9657 8888

Elizabeth Hostel 490 Elizabeth St King St Backpackers 160 King Street


Lords Lodge Backpackers 204 Punt Rd

DISCOVERY MELBOURNE 167 Franklin St Melbourne. Beds from $32 Located right in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD this hostel has just about everything you could possibly need in one place.

Melbourne CBD

Federation Square. Old Melbourne Gaol 377 Russell St. 03 8663 7228, Official Neighbours Tours 570 Flinders St. Skydive the Beach Melbourne 1300 798 843 Tourism Victoria Backpacking ideas. Wildlife Tours Australia Specialising in Victorian tours +61 3 9314 2225

GREAT OCEAN RD Anglesea Backpackers 40 Noble St, Anglesea. 03 5263 2664, Apollo Bay Eco YHA 5 Pascoe St. Great Ocean Road Backpackers 10 Erskine Av, Lorne. 03 5289 1070, Port Campbell Hostel 18 Tregea St, Port Campbell. 03 5598 6305, Surfside Backpackers Cnr Great Ocean Rd & Gambier St, Apollo Bay. 1800 357 263,


Melbourne Museum 11 Nicholson St, Carlton. 13 11 02

Bayplay Lodge 46 Canterbury Jetty Rd, Blairgowrie. 03 5988 0188,

National Gallery of Victoria

Sorrento Foreshore Reserve

Nepean Hwy. 1800 850 600, BIG4 Inverloch Holiday Park 2 Cuttriss St, Inverloch. 03 5674 1447,

Sorrento YHA 3 Miranda St, Sorrento. Tortoise Head Lodge French Island. 03 5980 1234,

BIG4 Phillip Island Caravan Park 24 Old Bridge Dr, Newhaven. 03 5956 7227,

DANDENONG Emerald Backpackers 03 5968 4086

Cowes Caravan Park 164 Church St, Cowes. 03 5952 2211,

MURRAY RIVER Echuca Gardens YHA 103 Av, Mitchell St, Echuca.

Koala Park Resort 1825 Phillip Island Rd, Cowes. 03 5952 2176,

Mildura City Backpackers 50 Lemon Ave, Mildura. 03 5022 7922, Oasis Backpackers 230 Deakin Av, Mildura. 04 0734 4251,

GIPPSLAND Prom Coast YHA Backpackers 0427 875 735 Cambrai Hostel Maffra 117 Johnson St, Maffra. 1800 101 113

PHILLIP ISLAND Amaroo Park YHA 97 Church St, Cowes. Anchor Belle Holiday Park 272 Church St, Cowes. 03 5952 2258, Avenue Apartments 204 Thompson Avenue, Cowes. 03 5952 6718, Beach Park Tourist Caravan Park 2 McKenzie Rd, Cowes. 03 5952 22113,

The Island Accommodation 10-12 Phillip Island Tourist Road. 03 5956 6123 au San Remo Holiday Park 4 Mary Grove, San Remo. 03 5678 5024

GRAMPIANS Grampians YHA Eco Hostel Cnr Grampians & Buckler Rds, Halls Gap. Tim’s Place 44 Grampians Road, Halls Gap. 03 5356 4288,

MILDURA Mildura City Backpackers 50 Lemon Avenue

STRATHMERTON Riviera Backpackers YHA 669 Esplanade


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NOOSA Noosa is located on Australia’s east coast and is home to several beautiful beaches, a stunning coast line, national park and pristine river as well as many events spread out over the calendar year. The list is endless when visiting Noosa, they range from visiting the world famous Eumundi Markets, shopping and dining on Hasting Street, soaking up the sun on Noosa beach or even going for a surf on some of Australia’s best surfing breaks, watching the sunset at Noosa River or spending the day cruising down the river. And it doesn’t stop there, the town offers visitors the chance to be pampered at a day spa, take a walk through the national park out to the headland or hire water equipment such as jet ski’s. It really is one of Australia best playgrounds.

BRISBANE STAY Aussie Way Backpackers 34 Cricket St. 07 3369 0711, Banana Bender Backpackers 118 Petrie Terrace. 07 3367 1157, Brisbane Backpackers Resort 110 Vulture St, West End. 1800 626 452, Brisbane City Backpackers 380 Upper Roma St 1800 062 572, Bunk Backpackers Cnr Ann & Gipps Sts, 1800 682 865, The Deck 117 Harcourt Street, New Farm. 04 3270 6666 Balmoral House 33 Amelia St, Fortitude Valley Brisbane City YHA 392 Upper Roma St The Elephant Hotel 230 Wickham St

58 Somewhere to Stay Cnr Brighton Rd & Franklin St The Palace Backpackers Cnr Anne & Edward St Tin Billy Travellers 462 George St

BRISBANE DO Australia Zoo Glasshouse Mountains, Tourist Drive, Beerwah. 07 5436 2000, Gallery of Modern Art Australian and international paintings, sculptures and decorative art. 07 3840 7303, Riverlife Adventure Centre Kayaking & rock climbing. Lower River Terrace, Kangaroo Point. 07 3891 5766, Story Bridge Adventure Climb 170 Main St, Kangaroo Point. 1300 254 627, storybridgeadventureclimb.

XXXX Brewery Tours & Ale House Brewery tours. Cnr Black & Paten St, Milton. 07 3361 7597, au

GOLD COAST Aquarius Backpackers 44 Queen St, Surfers Paradise. 1800 22 99 55, Backpackers in Paradise 40 Peninsula Drive, Surfers Paradise. 1800 268 621, Coolangatta YHA Pl, 230 Coolangatta Rd, Bilinga. Budds in Surfers 6 Pine Ave, Budds Beach, Surfers Paradise 07 5538 9661, Gold Coast International BP 28 Hamilton Ave, Surfers. 1800 816 300, Islander Backpackers Resort 6 Beach Rd, Surfers. 1800 074 393, Sleeping Inn Surfers 26 Peninsular Dr, Surfers Paradise.

07 5592 4455, Surfers Paradise Backpackers Resort 2837 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers. 1800 282 800, surfersparadisebackpackers. Surfers Paradise YHA Mariners Cove, 70 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise. Trekkers Backpackers 22 White St, Southport. 07 5591 5616,

Zorb 07 5547 6300

SUNSHINE CST Mooloolaba Backpackers 75-77 Brisbane Rd, Mooloolaba. 1800 020 120

RAINBOW BEACH Dingos Backpacker Adventure Resort 20 Spectrum St. 1800 111126,

Nomads Islander Resort 3128 Surfers Paradise Blvd,

Pippies Beach House 22 Spectrum St. 1800 425 356,

Surf & Sun Backpackers 3323 Surfers Paradise Blvd

Skydive Rainbow Beach 0418 218 358,

GC DO Dreamworld Theme park. Get Wet Surf School 1800 438 938 Seaworld

Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World Warner Bros Movie World

HERVEY BAY Aussie Woolshed 181 Torquay Rd 07 4124 0677 Next at Hervey Bay 10 Bideford St. 1800 102 989, Palace Backpackers 184 Torquay, 1800 063 168,


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Eurong Beach Resort 07 4120 1600, 259 Shute Harbour Rd. 1800 677 119

Palace Adventures 184 Torquay St, Hervey Bay, 1800 063 168

Airlie Beach YHA 394 Shute Harbour Rd.

Barefoot Lodge Long Island Colonial Village YHA 820 Boat Harbour Drive, Urangan, Hervey Bay Cool Dingo’s Rainbow Beach 20 Spectrum St Dropbear Adventures Williams Ave, Fraser Island. QLD 61 487 333 606 Frasers On Rainbow Beach 195 Torquay Terrace, Torquay, Kingfisher Bay Resort River Heads Road, Fraser Island Fraser Coast Top Tourist Park 21 Denmans Camp Road, Scarness, Hervey Bay Fraser Island Backpackers Cathedral Beach, Fraser Island Fraser’s on Rainbow 18 Spectrum Av, Rainbow Beach

Backpackers by the Bay 12 Hermitage Dr. 1800 646 994, Base Airlie Beach Resort 336 Shute Harbour Rd Magnums Whitsunday Village Resort 366 Shute Harbour Rd. 1800 624 634



BOWEN Bowen Backpackers Beach end of Herbert St. 07 4786 3433

TOWNSVILLE Adventurers Resort 79 Palmer St. 1800 211 522, Adrenalin Dive 07 4724 0600, Yongala Dive Yongala diving. 07 4783 1519,


and fast food joints to help with yourBase Gilligan's hangover. Magnetic Island 1 Nelly Bay Rd. The Friendly Hostel 13:00: Continuing north of Port Douglas you’ll land in 182 Torquay Rd, Hervey Bay Bungalow Bay Backpackers Gorge ( At Daintree Horseshow Bay. NationalWoolshed Park the gorge is a must-see.1800 Once you’ve trekked Backpackers 285 577, 181path Torquayyou’ll Road be able to give your along the feet a rest and Hotel Arcadia admire the crystal clear Mossman River that cascades over 7 Marine Parade, Arcadia Bay. granite boulders. 07 4778 5177, BUNDABERG 15:00: Heading back to the car and continuing north Federal Backpackers 221 Bourbong St. 07 4153 3711 Pleasure Divers you’ll find yourself at Cape Tribulation. Check out Ferntree 07 4778 5788 Rainforest Lodge ( Northside Backpackers which has classic tables. They 12 Queen St.huts with a bar and wooden MISSION BEACH 07 4154 1166 meals night and day. After eating it’s serve scrumptious Absolute Backpackers Wongaling Bundaberg time to enjoy theBondstore delights of the Cape28 with a Croc cruise Beach Road. Distillery tours. 07 4068 8317,wildlife cruise ( A one hour 07 4131 2999 that lets you spot wild animals in their natural habitat. Be Beach Shack DingoBlue Backpackers warned: don’t walk too close to any mangroves, you might 86 Porters Promenade 11 Burrum St, Bundaberg QLD 4670 get an unwanted 07 4152 0100 snap. 19:00: all that excitement it’s time to head back Scotty’s Beach House 167 Reid Rd. 07 4068 8676, Mid As Pointthe Backpackers towards Grand Cairns. evening settles, head straight into the 87-89 Bourbong St, Bundaberg 4670 city centre where 07 4151 0003 there is wide array of restaurants for you Jackaroo Hostel Mission Beach to pick from along the main strip. Frizelle Rd, Bingil Bay 19:00: And it wouldn't be true Cairns experience without TOWN OF 1770 Mission Retreat dancing the night away at The Woolshed Beach (thewoolshed. 49 Porters Promenade 1770 Backpackers Captain With Cook themed nights on night, try your luck Dr. 1800T-shirt 121 770, competitions or see how you fare in their in the wet CAIRNS STAY Mexican drinking games. Either way you'll end your Cairns 1770 Undersea Adventures Bohemia Central Cairns trip on a1300 high. 553 889, 100 Sheridan St. 1800 558 589,

. . . E R E H Y L L A IN F E ’R YOU

Our 5 Day PADI Open water course is the most popular way to do it.

We also specialise in Liveaboard dive trips and all levels of dive education. SHOP: Cnr Shields & Grafton Sts, Cairns FREECALL: 1800 353 213 PHONE: +617 4031 5255 RES: TNTDOWNUNDER.COM53 59

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QLDLISTINGS Bohemia Resort Cairns 231 McLeod St. 1800 155 353

Lot 5, Buchanan Creek Rd, Cow Bay. 07 4098 9166,

Calypso Backpackers 5 Digger St. 1800 815 628,

PK’s Jungle Village Cnr Avalon & Cape Trib Rd. 1800 232 333,

JJ’s Backpackers Hostel 11 Charles St. 07 4051 7642,


NJoy Backpackers Hostel Harbour 141 Sheridan St. 1800 807 055,

Innisfail Budget Backpackers Worker’s Hostel 125 Edith St. 07 4061 78337

Nomads Beach House 239 Sheridan St.

Walkabout Motel & ackpackers 07 4061 2311

Northern Greenhouse 117 Grafton Street. 1800 229 228,

CAIRNS DO AJ Hackett Bungy jumping & canyon swinging. 1800 622 888 Go Wild Jungle Tours Day tours to Daintree Rainforest. 07 4041 9440, Pro Dive 07 4031 5255 Raging Thunder Adventures Whitewater rafting. 07 4030 7990, Skydive Cairns POBOX 105N Cairns 07 4052 1822,

CAPE TRIB Crocodylus Village

PORT DOUGLAS Parrotfish Backpackers Resort 37 Warner St, Kuranda. 07 4099 5011,

GULF SAVANNAH Emu Creek Cattle Station 08 9943 0534

DAINTREE Koala Beach Resort Lake St, 07 4051 4933

MORETON ISLAND Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort

NOOSA STAY Flashpackers Noosa 102 Pacific Avenue, Sunshine Beach Nomads Noosa Backpackers 44 Noosa Dr Noosa Inland Noosa Backpackers

follow us on 9-13 William St, Noosaville Halse Lodge YHA 2 Halse Lane, Noosa. 1800 242 567, Dolphins Beach House Noosa 14 – 16 Duke Street, Sunshine Beach

NOOSA DO Australia Zoo 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Sunshine Coast The Discovery Group Noosa Everglades Drop Bear Adventures Fraser Island from Noosa Kanu Kapers Australia Noosa Everglades Noosa Learn to Surf Noosa Main Beach, Noosa Heads

PORT DOUGLAS Dougies Backpackers Resort 111 Davidson St Global Port Douglas 38 Macrossan St au/port-douglas Parrot Fish Lodge 37 Warner St Port O’Call YHA 7 Craven Close

Beach Front Towers 4 Aerodrome Rd, Marochydore

INNISFAIL Codge Lodge 63 Rankin St

Cotton Tree Beachouse 15 the Esplanade

Crown Hostel 25 Ernest St 07 4061 2266

The Duporth 6 Wharf St, Maroochydore

Backpackers Shack 7 Ernest St Farm work, Innisfail

AGNES WATER 1770 Beachside Backpacker 12 Captain Cook Drive 1770 Southern Cross Backpackers 2694 Round Hill Rd

ROCKHAMPTON Emu Park Resort 92 Patterson St, Emu Park Rockhampton Backpackers YHA 60 Macfarlane St Childers Eco-Lodge Off the Princess Highway

SUNSHINE COAST Amore on Buderim 27 Earlybird Dr, Buderim Buderim Motor Inn 45 King St, Buderim Bli Bli House B&B 600 David Low Way, Pacific Paradise.


TOWNSVILLE Adventurers Backpackers 79 Palmer St Civic Guest House Backpackers Hostel 262 Walker St civicguesthousetownsville. Foreign Exchange Accommodation Beachside 19 Eyre St, North Ward

MACKAY Gecko’s Rest 34 Sydney St

MAGNETIC IS Base Magnetic Island 1 Nelly Bay Rd Bungalow Bay Koala Village 40 Horseshoe Bay Rd

WHITSUNDAYS Wings Whitsunday Adventures 1300 859 853 Whitsundays Sailing Adventures Whitsundays sailing 07 4940 2007 WhitsundaysSailingAdventures.


MORETON BAY Each year, Australia’s entire whale population embarks on its annual pilgrimage to and from the Antarctic, and they don’t mind an audience. July to November is whale watching time, and you don’t have to go further north than Brisbane to catch these gentle giants breach, slap their tails and play around. Seeing whales up close and personal gives you a feeling of wellbeing and a sense of awe. Buses and trains run from Brisbane. Moreton Bay is only a 30-minute drive east of the CBD. Just follow the signs.



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Banyan View Lodge Darwin 119 Mitchell St. 08 8981 8644,

BIG4 Katherine Holiday Park 20 Shadforth Road. 1800 501 984,

Darwin YHA 97 Mitchell St.

Palm Court Kookaburra Backpackers Third St. 08 8972 2722

Elkes Backpackers 112 Mitchell St. 1800 808 365,


Frogshollow Backpackers 27 Lindsay St. 1800 068 686,

Airborne Solutions Scenic helicopter flights. 08 8972 2345

Gecko Lodge 146 Mitchell St. 1800 811 250,


Melaleuca on Mitchell 52 Mitchell St. 1300 723 437,

88 Mitchell Street, Darwin. Beds from $22 This independently owned hostel in the heart of Darwin was recently voted the 7th best hotel in all of Australia. You won’t be left howling.

Youth Shack 69 Mitchell St. 1300 793 302,

DARWIN DO Crocosaurus Cove Crocodile park and cage of death. 58 Mitchell St. 08 8981 7522, Deckchair Cinema Jervois Rd, Darwin Waterfront. 08 8981 0700,

Nitmiluk Tours Gorge cruises and kayak hire. 1300 146 743


Fannie Bay Gaol Heritage prison. East Point Road, Fannie Bay. 08 8941 2260, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 19 Conacher St, Bullocky Point. 08 8999 8264,

Oz Jet Boating Stokes Hill Wharf. 1300 135 595, Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise Adelaide River. 08 8978 9077, Wave Lagoon Waterfront Precinct.

TENNANT CREEK Tourist Rest Leichardt St. 08 8962 2719,

ALICE SPRINGS Alice Lodge 4 Mueller St. 08 8953 1975, Alice Springs YHA Cnr Parsons St & Leichhardt Tce. Haven Resort 3 Larapinta Drive. 1800 794 663,


Toddy’s Backpackers 41 Gap Rd. ONLINE Rock & Dorm SPECIALS FREECALL 1800 027027

ALICE DO Alice Springs Desert Park Larapinta Drive. 08 8951 8788, Alice Springs Reptile Centre Meet and hold lizards. 9 Stuart Terrace. 08 8952 8900, Outback Ballooning Hot air balloon rides. 1800 809 790, Royal Flying Doctor Service Base Museum and operations room. Stuart Terrace. 08 8952 1129, School of the Air Long-distance schooling museum. 80 Head St. 08 8951 6834, The Rock Tour 74 Todd St “3day Uluru only $350” FREECALL 1800 246345



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PERTH STAY Billabong Backpackers Resort 381 Beaufort St. 08 9328 7720,

Coolibah Lodge 194 Brisbane St


One World Backpackers 162 Aberdeen St, Northbridge. 1800 188 100, Perth City YHA 300 Wellington St. The Old Swan Barracks 2-8 Francis St. 08 9428 0000,

Wickham Retreat Backpackers 25-27 Wickham St, East Perth 08 9325 6398

Grand Central Hotel Backpackers 379 Wellington St 08 9421 1123

Emperor’s Crown 85 Stirling St, Northbridge. 1800 991 553,

Ocean Beach Backpackers 1 Eric St, Cottlesloe. 08 9384 5111,

Underground Backpackers 268 Newcastle St, undergroundbackpackers.

Easy Perth Backpacker 4 Francis Street, Northbridge

Britannia on William 253 William St, Northbridge. 08 9227 6000,

Globe Backpackers & City Oasis Resort 561 Wellington St. 08 9321 4080,


YMCA Jewell House 180 Goderich St

Hay Street Backpackers 266-268 Hay St

BILLABONG BACKPACKERS RESORT Experience the best backpacker and traveller hostel in Perth. Billabong Backpackers Resort Hostel caters for anyone travelling to Perth. Whether you’re a backpacker working your way around Australia or just someone visiting this great city. Perth Underground Backpackers 268 Newcastle St, Northbridge. 08 9228 3755, underground

Backpack City and Surf 41-43 Money St

The Witch’s Hat 148 Palmerston St. 08 9228 4228,

Cheviot Lodge 30 Bulwer St

Beatty Lodge 235 Vincent St

Coolibah Lodge 194 Brisbane St

Hotel Bambu Backpackers 75 - 77 Aberdeen St, Northbridge


Mountway Holiday Apartments 36 Mount St Ocean Beach Backpackers 1 Eric St, Cottesloe Perth Beach YHA 256 West Coast Hwy, Scarbrough Planet Inn Backpackers 496 Newcastle St The Shiralee Hostel 107 Brisbane St,

Aquarium of Western Australia 91 Southside Drive, Hillarys. 08 9447 7500, Art Gallery of Western Australia Perth Cultural Centre/Roe St, Perth. 08 9492 6600, Aviation Heritage Museum Bull Creek Drive, Air Force Memorial Estate, Perth. 08 9311 4470,


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Crown Perth Great Eastern Hwy, Burswood. 08 9362 7777, Kings Park & Botanic Garden Moonlight Cinema Synergy Parklan, Kings Park, Perth. Perth Mint 310 Hay St. 08 9421 7223, Perth Zoo 20 Labouchere Road, South Perth. 08 9474 3551, Penguin Island 153 Arcadia Drive (corner of Penguin Road), Shoalwater, Perth. 08 9591 1333, Perth Concert Hall 5 St George’s Terr., Perth. 08 9231 9900,

MONKEY MIA Monkey Mia (pronounced ‘my-ah’) is located on the Coral Coast, about 850km north of Perth. It’s become famous for the bottlenose dolphins that swim to shore and interact with people every day. As a result it’s become fairly touristy, but if you’re keen to see the finned ones up close, you’d struggle to find somewhere better. The dolphin interaction started in 1964 when a lady from one of the nearby fishing camps befriended the creatures and today there’s now a pod of around 300 that live in the bay. This amazing beach is part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, and with its relaxed vibe, year-round sunshine, clear blue water and extensive wildlife, it’s the perfect winter escape. If you’re not planning on staying, make sure you drop by early in the morning as generally all the dolphin feeds are done and dusted by lunchtime. out to the headland or hire water equipment such as jet skis.


St Mary’s Cathedral 17 Victoria Square,, Perth. 08 9223 1350, St George’s Cathedral 38 St George’s Terrace, Perth. 08 9325 5766, The Perth Mint 310 Hay Street,


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Perth. 08 9421 7376, The WACA Nelson Crescent, East Perth. 08 9265 7222,, Western Australian Museum James St, 08 9212 3700,

PERTH MUSIC Amplifier Capital Astor Belgian Beer Cafe Perth Arena Metro Cityl The Bakery The Ellington Jazz Club The Rosemount Hotel The Newport Hotel The Beat Megaclub Universial Bar Ya-Ya’s

FREO STAY Backpackers Inn Freo 11 Pakenham St. 08 9431 7065, Old Firestation Backpackers 18 Phillimore St. 08 9430 5454, Sundancer Backpackers Resort 80 High St. 08 9336 6080, Pirates Backpackers Resort 11 Essex St. 08 9335 6653,

FREO DO Fremantle Markets Henderson Street Fremantle 08 9335 2515, Fremantle Prison 1 The Terrace. 08 9336 9200, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre 1-9 Short St. 08 9335 5044,

ROTTNEST ISL Rottnest Island YHA Kingstown Barracks. Rottnest Express 1 Emma Place North Fremantle 1300 Go Rotto

MARGARET RIVER Margaret River Lodge YHA 220 Railway Tce. Harmony Forest 248 Sebbes Rd. 08 9757 7055, Surfpoint 12 Riedle Drive Prevally 08 9757 1777

ALBANY Albany Bayview Backpackers YHA 49 Duke St Cruize-Inn 122 Middleton Rd. 08 9842 9599,

MONKEY MIA Monkey Mia Dolphin Lodge Monkey Mia Road 1800 653 611,

NINGALOO REEF Blue Reef Backpackers 3 Truscott Crescent, Exmouth 1800 621 101, Ningaloo Club Coral Bay 08 9948 5100, Excape Backpackers YHA Murat Rd, Exmouth.

BROOME STAY Cable Beach Backpackers 12 Sanctuary Road. 1800 655 011, Kimberley Club 62 Fredrick St 08 9192 3233,

CORAL BAY Ningaloo Club Robinson St


The Shipwreck Galleries Cliff St, 08 9212 3700,

Blue Waters Lodge YHA 299 Goldfields Rd,

Fremantle Arts Centre 1 Finnerty Street. 08 9432 9555,

Pete’s Exmouth Backpackers YHA Cnr Truscott Cres & Murat Rd



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SALISTINGS Vivonne Bay Lodge Kangaroo Island

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Vivonne Bay Lodge is in a great central location on the island, close to all the main attractions. Cook your own BBQ by the large deck and enjoy the great indoor and outdoor facilities provided. • Twin, family and dormitory style rooms • Shared bathroom facilities • Well equipped lounge/dining and recreation room • Large undercover deck, bar and BBQ • Complimentary use of bikes and kayaks with 2 night stay • Close to Little Sahara for sand boarding, Raptor Domain, Seal Bay, Hanson Bay Wildllfe Sanctuary and Flinders Chase National Park

Adelaide Backpackers Inn 112 Carrington St. 1800 24 77 25, Adelaide Central YHA 135 Waymouth St. Adelaide Travellers Inn 220 Hutt St. 08 8224 0753,

My Place 257 Waymouth St. 1800 221 529, Shakespeare Hostel 123 Waymouth St. 1800 556 889,


Haigh’s Chocolates Factory tours. 153 Greenhill Rd, Parkside 1800 819 757, Temptation Sailing Dolphin swimming, Glenelg. 04 1281 1838




Vivonne Bay Lodge Knoefel Drive, Vivonne Bay 13 13 01

Adelaide Zoo Frome Rd. 08 8267 3255,

The two day all-inclusive Kangaroo Island Wilderness Explorer Tour covers what is considered to be all the essential experiences on Kangaroo Island.

Riba’s Underground 1811 William Creek Rd. 08 8672 5614,

Blue Galah Backpackers Lvl 1, 52-62, King William St. 08) 8231 9295,

Adelaide Oval Home to the Donald Bradman collection. War Memorial Drive. 08 8300 3800


Radeka Down Under 1 Oliver St. 1800 633 891,

Kangaroo Island YHA 33 Middle Terrace, Penneshaw.

Hostel 109 109 Carrington St. 1800 099 318,


COOBER PEDY Opal Cave Coober Pedy Hutchinson St. 08 8672 5028,

Backpack Oz 144 Wakefield St. 1800 633 307,

Glenelg Beach Hostel 5-7 Moseley St. Glenelg. 1800 359 181,

Call 13 13 01 or visit


Barossa Backpackers 9 Basedow Road, Tanunda. 08 8563 0198, barossa

RIVERLAND Berri Backpackers Sturt Highway, Berri. 08 8582 3144, Harvest Trail Lodge Loxton. 08 8584 5646, Nomads on Murray Sturt Highway, Kingston on Murray. Riverland Backpackers Labour Hire Services 08 8583 0211

FLEURIEU PEN Port Elliot Beach House YHA 13 The Strand, Port Elliot.

EYRE PENINSULA Coodlie Park Farmstay Flinders Highway, Port Kenny. 08 8687 0411 Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience Sea lion and dolphin swims. 08 8626 5017 Calypso Star Charters Great white shark cage diving. 08 8682 3939, Port Lincoln Tourist Park 11 Hindmarsh St. 08 8621 4444, Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions Great white shark cage diving. 08 8363 1788

FLINDERS RANGES Angorichina Tourist Village 08 8648 4842, Wilpena Pound Resort Wilpena Rd. 08 8648 0004,


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WHARARIKI The wild northwestern coast of the South Island is the perfect place for a day adventure. In this area you’ll find the Farewell Spit, with it’s distinctive Kiwi shape curving round Golden Bay; the massive cliffs at Cape Farewell, and the one of a kind Wharariki Beach. Be prepared for wind - when it starts to blow you can not only feel it but see it too!


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Keeping these guys happy and healthy

Easy being green We want you to experience some of the best tours without feeling guilty, so we’ve picked out the best eco-friendly adventures in NZ WORDS ROSEMARIE MARINO + ADELE ROGERS

If climate scientists, elected members of the Greens party and anyone who ever owned a hacky sack during University are to be believed, we humans are all bastards! Our insatiable lust for energy, food and fuel is cooking the planet, destroying the ozone and extinguishing all manner of animal species left, right and centre. These are indisputable facts, but some people refuse to believe them. These nay-sayers are the sorts of people who would rather listen to that 68

googley-eyed, beak nosed, cretinous twat Lord Monckton crap on about “natural heating cycles” then admit that they are a part of the problem, not the solution. These people are not many, but they walk among us. Their folly might not be obvious to them now, but one day it will be. But hopefully not to our costs. But just as surely as our every day habits are negatively affecting the environment, so too is the way in which we holiday and travel. That’s

where the eco-adventure tour has started to come in. We’ve made a selection eco-friendly adventures that fully deliver on all the things you’d expect of a holiday without damaging the beautiful, and at times, fragile ecosystems that they rely on for their businesses. Ecosystems that you and I so often take advantage of. Whether you’re looking for thrills and adventure or rest and relaxation we have a little bit of everything, and you can rest easy – they’re all green!


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WAIMANGU VOLCANIC VALLEY Wandering through a valley of hot springs and bubbling mud baths is something reminiscent of ‘middle earth’, and that’s what you will find at this spectacular geothermal destination. Only 20 minutes south of New Zealand’s thermal centre, Rotorua, visitors can walk through one of the world’s youngest eco-systems to marvel craters, hot lakes, unusual thermal plants and wildlife. Explore the magnificent valley with a self-guided walk or join one of the guided eco tours. Waimangu Volcanic Valley was created as a direct result of the Tarawera volcanic eruption in 1886, and is the only geo-thermal system in the world that can be pinpointed to an exact time and event. This remarkable ‘must-see’ attraction has won multiple eco-tourism awards for conservation and sustainability. AR Cost: $34.50. Where: 20 mins south of Rotorua

ELM WILDLIFE TOURS Join the enthusiastic and expert guides on the wildlife experience of a lifetime. This multi award winning tour offers absolutely unrivalled sustainable nature and wildlife experiences, visiting some of the most spectacular wildlife spots in New Zealand. The family owned and operated business, ranked #1 on Trip Advisor, pride themself on their conversation and sustainable nature and wildlife experiences. Visitors can choose from several tours of Otago Peninsula and the southeast Coast, with the promise of close encounters with nature in areas inaccessible to others. Tours are timed to coincide with the daily peak of animal activity; blue penguins, New Zealand fur seals, sea lions and rare yellow-eyed penguins are just a few. Elm Wildlife Tours are specifically planned to combine tourism and conservation without creating negative environmental impact. AR Cost: $99. Where: Dunedin

GREEN GLOW ECO-ADVENTURES A kilometre long cave stretch with seven entrances awaits you on the west side of Waitomo caves. There is something for people of all experience levels at Green Glow, including caving, abseiling, rock climbing and photography. Create your own unique tour consisting of your guide and whoever you bring with you! The maximum size is six people, and you can set your own pace. One of the many highlights of exploring the Waitomo caves is getting to stop and check out the glowworms when you turn out your light! This is a “dry” adventure, meaning you wear comfortable clothes and generally stay out of the water, as opposed to Black Water Rafting when you wear a wetsuit and sit in a tube up to your waist in cold water! RM Cost: from $190. Where: Waitomo


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ROTURUA CANOPY TOURS You will give Tarzan a run for his money zipping through this magical, untouched New Zealand forest. Roturua Canopy Tours is the only native forest zip-line canopy tour in New Zealand. The guided three-hour adventure will see you travelling a 1.2 kilometre network of zip-lines, swing-bridges and treetop platforms, 40 metres above the forest floor. The thrill of flying through breathtaking, peaceful, forested valleys, is unlike any other. The magnificent forest is also home to giant ancient trees and unique bird species. Roturua Canopy Tours is built on a reserve owned by the New Zealand Department of Conservation. Their inspirational conservation project aims to return the forest to a complete prehuman state for all New Zealanders and international visitors to enjoy. Since they started their conservation project and rat trapping in August 2012, a rare bird, the North Island Robin, has returned and visitors to the tour have been able to hear it. AR Cost: $129. Where: Rotorua

ECO-RAFTING For the ultimate extreme adventure, which won’t have a negative impact on the environment, you can’t go past ecorafting. These white water rafting adventure specialists offer unique experiences into the wilderness of New Zealand. The passionate team have chosen the West Coast for its wild beauty and number and quality of rivers that are available. Visitors can try everything from peaceful, gentle scenic floats, to the most full-on class-five white water rafting. There are full and half day tours available, all of which cover comprehensive water and rafting safety training. Eco-rafting follow strict environmental guidelines and work closely with the Department of Conversation to ensure the rivers are kept in pristine condition. They are proud to say, “we can drink the water from every river that we raft and we want it to stay that way”. AR Cost: $90. Where: West Coast NZ

WILSON’S ABEL TASMAN- SEA KAYAKING Want to explore the beauty of a protected marine reserve? Wilson’s Abel Tasman Sea Kayaking tours can help. These guys offer a range of packages, from three hours to five days. You have the freedom to create custom itineraries, add walking tours and overnight stays by the water. The Wilson family are one of few to hold a Tonga Island Marine Mammal Watching Permit, so get ready to see some local animals! The team at Wilson’s are also so committed to preservation of the environment that they were the first to be awarded the Qualmark Enviro Gold. To receive this they had to ensure the company demonstrated effectiveness in energy efficiency, waste management and water conservation, also the inclusion of social and environmental impacts on local communities. RM Cost: from $90. Where: Abel Tasman National Park



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Ooh yeah!


In town and on the lakefront

WANDERLUST GREAT LAKE TAUPŌ Date: 4-7 Feb 2016 Location: Great Lake Taupö Four-day Event


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NOMAD SAFARIS With 20 years experience, Nomad Safaris know exactly how to look after you. There are endless small group, tailored tour options to choose from. These include the exploration of historic gold mining areas and even a visit to filming locations from The Lord of the Rings movies! Take an invigorating 4WD adventure to Skippers Canyon, or perhaps a quad bike trail to Queenstown Hill, where you will get to experience 360 degree views. There are also options that include jet boat riding, and wilderness guided walks. For those of you who want even more of a personalised memory, there are private bookings available too. The team are Green Globe certified and do their bit by using natural cleaning materials and taking initiative to ensure that only clean water and natural products are put down the drains through waste water diversion. RM Cost: varies depending on tour. Where: 20 mins south of Rotorua

Photos: Tourism NZ, Wilsons Abel Tasman National Park, Waitomo Caves, Elm Wildlife Tours, Franz Josef Glaciers, Nomads Safaris, Wilson’s Abe Tasman Eco-Kayaking, Rotorua Canopy Tours.

FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER GUIDES The Franz Josef Glacier Guides are caring, informative and very committed to keeping the region you explore preserved. Their constant recycling of old equipment, visitor’s rubbish, compost and use of biodegradable cleaning products have gotten them a Silver Enviro Award Rating through Qualmark NZ. Ever seen Blue Ice? A major highlight of these glacier trips is the chance to witness this rarity. Try an Ice Explorer tour, which after a small heli-hop, takes you through a maze of ice leading to the incredible Hot Glacier Pools. There are also options for a glacier heli-hike, valley walk or the adrenalin filled heli-ice climb! To top it off, they throw in a goody bag and DVD on some tours, so you can cherish the memories for years to come. Full tuition and safety equipment is provided, so you can relax as you take in this natural wonder. RM Cost: $69 Where: Franz Josef, 5 hours from Queenstown

HIKING NEW ZEALAND ECO TOURS Hiking New Zealand are a small team of active hikers and bikers offering adventures up to 27 days long! The best part? They operate throughout the whole of New Zealand. From river canoes to skiing, prepare to see volcanoes, rivers, rainforests, canyons and a huge variety of flora and fauna. These eco-tours are approved by the Department of Conservation, proving they have passed all necessary environmental and safety standards that are set to keep the area preserved. The concession fees also go towards the management of natural and historic resources. Hiking NZ also run a great program called ‘Trees For Trampers’ where they will plant a tree on your behalf so everyone can do their bit for the environment, regardless of how busy you are! This encourages bird life and new plants to grow so future generations can see what you do. RM Cost: Prices vary. Where: All around NZ



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Our beds fill up early and clever guests book ahead to secure the best beds and rooms.

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follow us on experience necessary. 09 359 5987,

AUCKLAND In Maori language the city’s name is Tamaki Makau Rau, which translates as “the city of 100 lovers”. Auckland is admired for its cosmopolitan flavour, its sunny harbour for the fact that it makes every other city in NZ feel like a small town.

Auckland Museum See the world’s finest collection of Maori and Pacific Island artefacts. Explore New Zealand’s natural history, discover the largest bird that ever lived and experience a Maori cultural show. 09 309 0443,

i-SITE Auckland Atrium, skycity, Cnr Federal & Victoria Sts


Backpackers World Travel 16-20 Fort St, 09 300 9999, i-SITE Visitor Information 287 Queen St, 09 979 2333, Ferry Tickets Online (For inter-island ferry services) 39 Beach Rd, 0800 500 660, Department of Conservation Auckland Details on tramping, camping grounds, the Gulf Islands and exploring the regional parks. 137 Quay St Cnr, Princes Wharf, open Mon-Fri (9am-5am); SatSun (10am-4pm), 09 379 6476 Airport Transport The airport is 21km from the city and shuttle buses run every half an hour. Airbus Airport is every 20 mins. 0800 247 287, City buses Tickets and timetables are available from the 10 central city Star Mart stores. 09 366 6400, Auckland InterCity Travel Centre Buses around Auckland and the rest of New Zealand leave from here. Located beside the casino, Hobson St, 09 583 5780, Train Intercity trains arrive and depart from Britomart, 12 Queen St, Auckland. 09 366 6400,

AUCKLAND STAY Auckland Airport Kiwi Hotel 150 McKenzie Road, Mangere. 09 256 0046, Airport Skyway Lodge Backpackers (BBH) 30 Kirkbride Road, Mangere. 09 275 4443, Auckland International Backpackers 2 Churton St, Parnell. +64358 4584,


HOTEL WATERLOO & BACKPACKERS 1 Bunny St, Wellington. Dorms from $29 Charming backpackers set in an old art-deco building. Nice and clean with plenty of sunlight and great communal areas. Wellington

BK Hostel (BBH) 3 Mercury Ln, Central. 09 307 0052

Queen Street Backpackers 4 Fort St. 09 373 3471,

Borders Beyond 8 Nixon St, Grey Lynn. 09 360 9880,

Uenuku Lodge (BBH) 217 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. 09 378 8990,

City Garden Lodge (BBH) 25 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell. 09 302 0880

Surf ‘n’ Snow Backpackers 102 Albert St. 09 363 8889,

The Fat Camel (Nomads) 38 Fort St. 09 307 0181,

Brown Kiwi (BBH) 7 Prosford St, Ponsonby. 09 378 0191,

Freemans Backpackers (BBH) 65 Wellington Street. 09 376 5046 Freinz Backpackers (BBH) 27-31 Vitoria St. East. 09 307 6437 Nomads Auckland 16-20 Fort St. 09 300 9999, Jandal Palace (BBH) 38 Glenesk Rd, RD2. 09 812 8381, JJ House (BBH) 4 MacMurray Road. 09 214 9791

KR City Travellers (BBH) 146 Karangahape Rd. 09 377 6027, Verandahs (BBH) 6 Hopetown St. 09 360 4180, YHA Auckland City 18 Liverpool St. 09 309 2802, YHA Auckland International 5 Turner St. 09 302 8200,


Kiwi International Hotel 411 Queen St. 0800 100 411,

Explorer Bus Sightseeing around Auckland, 0800 439 756

Lantana Lodge (BBH) 60 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell. 09 373 4546,

Sealink Ferries can take you all over the harbour. Info about timetables and destinations are available online on the Sealink website. 0800 732 546,

Oaklands Lodge (BBH) 5a Oaklands Rd, Mt Eden. 09 638 6545,

Base Backpackers Auckland 229 Queen St. 09 358 4877,

Ponsonby Backpackers 2 Franklin Rd, Ponsonby. 09 360 1311,

Bamber House (BBH) 22 View Rd, Mt Eden. 09 623 4267,

Princeton Backpackers 30 Symonds St. 09 963 8300,

America’s Cup Sailing Experience A unique opportunity to participate as crew on an actual America’s Cup yacht. Take the helm, exert energy on the grinders or simply sit back and enjoy the action as you sail the beautiful Waitemata Harbour. The two hour sails departs daily from the Auckland Viaduct. No

Auckland Zoo See kiwi birds in the nocturnal house and over 900 animals. 09 360 3800, Coast to Coast Walkway A walk between Waitemata Harbour and Manukau Harbour. It takes about four hours and takes in Albert Park, Auckland Uni, Auckland Domain, Mt Eden, and One Tree Hill. Devonport A 15-minute ferry or bus ride across the harbour on the north shore, Devonport is an idyllic setting for a picnic or a stroll along the beach. Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World A seawater aquarium with a moving walkway through a transparent underwater cavern. Antarctic Encounter is a recreation of an Antarctic environment where you jump on a snow mobile and tour a penguin colony, get attacked by an orca whale. Orakei Wharf, Tamaki Drive. 0800 80 50 50, Mt Eden The highest point in the city, 4km south of the city centre with spectacular views. Get there by bus. NZ National Maritime Museum The museum celebrates NZ’s maritime heritage. 09 373 0800, Ponsonby West of the city, explore Victorian architecture and narrow streets with cafés, bars, clothes shops, art galleries and some lively nightlife.


cruises to Hauraki Gulf islands, with all-day passes and hop-on, hop-off options. 09 367 9111, Pride of Auckland The Pride of Auckland operates an impressive fleet of large, purpose-built yachts on the sheltered waters of Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour and is world famous for its sailing and dining cruises. Join them for a coffee, lunch, dinner, Waiheke sailing experience cruise or a full-day sailing adventure and experience the “City of Sails” for what it is known for. 0800 397 567, Auckland Bridge Climb Up and over the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Westhaven Reserve, Curran St, Herne Bay. 09 360 7748, Auckland Harbour Bridge Jump NZ’s only ocean touch bungy, 40m high. Westhaven Reserve, Curran St, Herne Bay. 09 360 7748, Canyonz Ltd Explore subtropical canyons and abseil down crashing waterfalls. 0800 422 696, New Zealand Surf Tours Learn to surf on uncrowded, beautiful beaches. 09 828 0426, Sky Jump Fall from the top of the 192m Sky Tower, 0800 759 586, Sky Walk Walk around the external 1.2m wide platform, 192m up. 0800 759925, Fullers Bay of Islands Tours One, two and three-day tours from Auckland. 09 367 9111, Awesome Adventures Three-day Bay of Islands tours. 0800 658 058,

Beaches Auckland is surrounded by great beaches, including Judges Queen Street Bay, Kohimarama, Okahu Bay, Auckland’s main boulevard with St Heliers Bay and popular shops, cafés and restaurants. Mission Bay. Whale & Dolphin Safari Aotea Square Markets See whales and dolphins from Every Friday and Saturday at Auckland’s doorstep. The Aotea Square, Queen St. NZ Hauraki Gulf is considered one fashion labels, retro gear, foods, of the most biologically and Pacific-style crafts, jewellery geographically diverse marine and furniture, 09 309 2677, parks in the world. See dolphins, whales, sea birds and/ or even penguins. Dolphins are Victoria Park Market viewed on over 90% and whales 3km from the CBD, an outdoor on 75% of trips. Departs daily market with fruit, veggies, from the Auckland Viaduct. books, clothes and handicrafts. Dolphin viewing guaranteed. 09 357 6032, GREAT BARRIER Fullers Cruises This unique island destination is Inner harbour cruises and longer dominated by a native forest a


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network of criss-crossing tracks. Orama Oasis Karaka Bay Rd, 09 429 0063, Stray Possum Lodge (VIP) Stray Possum Lodge is situated on the beautiful Hauraki Gulf 09 429 0109,

BARRIER DO Fullers Cruises Depart from the Ferry Building. 09 367 9111, Great Barrier Airlines Fly out of Auckland Airport or Auckland Shore Airfield. 09 275 6612, Fullers Great Barrier Explorers Cruise and tours, summer only (October-April). 09 367 9111,

WAIHEKE ISLAND A 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland. It is popular for its long sweeping beaches and craft shops.

WHANGAREI Whangarei I-SITE Visitor Centre 92 Otaika Rd, 09 438 1079

WHANGAREI STAY Bunkdown Lodge (BBH) 23 Otaika Road, 09 438 8886, Coastal Cow Backpackers (BBH) 299 Molesworth Drive, Mangawai Heads 09 431 5246, Little Earth Lodge (BBH) 85 Abbey Caves Road, 09 430 6562, Whangarei Falls Backpacker (BBH) 12 Ngunguru Rd, Whareora, 09 437 0609, YHA Whangarei Manaakitanga 52 Punga Grove Ave, 09 438 8954,


Hekerua Lodge Backpackers (BBH) 11 Hekerua Rd, Oneroa, 09 372 8990,

Dive! Tutukaka Poor Knights Islands dives, plus tours with kayaking, cave explorations, snorkelling, swimming, sea mammalspotting.

Kina Backpackers 421 Seaview Road, Onetangi, 09 372 8971,


HELENSVILLE The hot springs here have indoor and outdoor thermal pools and waterslides. Malolo House 110 Commercial Rd, 09 420 7262,

HENDERSON BAY North Wind Lodge Backpackers (BBH) 88 Otaipango Road, RD4, 09 409 8515

HIBISCUS COAST Orewa Beach Hillary Square, Orewa 09 426 2638, Pillows Backpackers Lodge (BBH) 412 Hibiscus Coast Highway, 0800 426 6338,


Paihia is one of the most beautiful towns on the North Island with equal parts love for adventure, nature and a raucous nightlife. AwesomeNZ Tours include Maori mythology, dolphin swimming and fast boats. Maritime Building, on the waterfront, 09 402 7421, Bay of Islands i-Site The Wharf, Marsden Rd, 09 402 7345,

PAIHIA STAY Base Backpackers Bay of Islands 18 Kings Rd 09 402 7111, Cap’n Bob’s Beach House (BBH) 44 Davis Crescent, 09 402 8668, Centabay Lodge (BBH) 27 Selwyn Rd, 09 402 7466,

Hen & Chickens Island and Sail Rock These offshore areas offer great sailing and diving. Boat trips leave from the area daily.

Admirals View Motel 2 MacMurray Rd, 09 402 6236,

Waipu Wanderer (BBH) 25 St Marys Rd, 09 432 0532

Mousetrap (BBH) 11 Kings Rd, 09 402 8182,

Peppertree Lodge 15 Kings Rd, 09 402 6122, Pickled Parrot Backpackers (BBH) Grey’s Lane, 09 402 6222, Saltwater Lodge (BBH) 14 Kings Rd, 09 402 7075, Seabeds (BBH) 46 Davis Cres, 09 402-5567

PAIHIA DO Haruru Falls Picturesque falls offering swimming, camping and kayaking opportunities – and a pub! Opua Forest The DOC provides a leaflet of forest walks, which features a small stand of Kauri trees. Drive into the forest via Oromahoe Rd or walk from School Rd. Te Rawhiti Cape Brett Walkway Guided tours include experienced local Maori guides, all meals, hut accommodation, transport by boat to hut taking in the famous Hole in the Rock, Maori culture, myths and legends and hangi, Waitangi Treaty Grounds The site where the historic Treaty of Waitangi was signed. Also see carvings that represent all Maori tribes in NZ and one of the largest ceremonial waka (canoe) in the world, launched every Waitangi Day (Feb 6). 09 402 7437, Boat cruises & dolphin watching Cape Brett “Hole in the Rock” Cruise Four-hour cruises, Dolphin Discoveries With the warmest water and friendliest dolphins (bottlenoses), this is a great place for swimming with the dolphins (conditions permitting). The high-speed luxury catamaran offers easy access to the water and hot showers. Or do a “Hole in the Rock and Dolphin Viewing Experience” and see dolphins, whales, birds and other wildlife. Visit Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island during your island stop and explore this amazing place. 0800 000 784, Dune Rider Unique Adventure Tour Make your way up to Cape Reinga while traveling to the Gumdiggers Park and drive along the famous Ninety Mile Beach. Climb huge sand dunes and boogie board back down on the way and stop at the world famous Mangonui Fish Shop for fish and chips. Departing daily from Paihia. Sale Lion New Zealand: “The Ultimate Day Sail in the Bay”

Join Lion New Zealand, NZ’s legendary maxi yacht. The friendly crew will show you the ropes and share the stories of the Bay and Legend of Sir Peter Blake. 0800 000 784,

pa on the headland at Matauri Bay. Travellers come here to dive the ship’s wreck.

WHANGAROA This area was once well known for its Kauri forests, but these days it’s more about game fishing. The scenery is ruggedly spectacular and sailing cruises are popular.

Awesome Cape Reinga Via Ninety Mile Beach – learn Maori myths and legends, navigate the quicksand stream, ride the dunes, visit a thousand year old forest. 0800 653 339,

Tourist info centre Boyd Gallery, 09 405 0230,

RUSSELL Catch a ferry to Russell, originally a sprawling fortified Maori settlement. Information Centre End of the Pier, Russell 09 403 8020,

Sunseeker Lodge (BBH) 12 Old Hospital Rd, 09 405 0496,

KARIKARI PENIN The Rusty Anchor 1 Tokerau Beach Rd, 09 406 7141,



Wainui Lodge (BBH) 92D Te Wahapu Rd, 09 403 8278,

The ideal starting point for Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach. Pukenui Lodge Hotel (BBH) Cnr SH1 & Pukenui Wharf Rd 09 409 8837,

Ferry Landing (BBH) 395 Aucks Rd, Okiato Point 09 403 7985,

Mainstreet Lodge (BBH) 235 Commerce St, 09 408 1275

Pipi Patch Backpackers 18 Kings Road, 09 403 7111.



A highlight of the sparsely populated town is the wonderful Maori village. There is also an historic Maori pa (fortress) and the Kerikeri Mission Station.

Ancient Kauri Kingdom Giant kauri tree stumps are fashioned into furniture and other trinkets.

KERIKERI STAY Kerikeri Top 10 Holiday Park & Aranga Backpackers Aranga Drive off Kerikeri Rd, 0800 272 642,

Far North Regional Museum Featuring all kinds of goodies, like the skeleton of a giant moa bird and salvages from local shipwrecks. Pack or Paddle Thoms Landing, 09 4098 445,


Hideaway Lodge Wiroa Rd, 0800 562 746

Kahoe Farms Hostel (BBH) 1266 State Highway 10, 09 405 1804,

Hone Heke Lodge (BBH) 65 Hone Heke Rd, 09 407 8170,

Endless Summer Lodge (BBH) 245 Foreshore Rd, 09 409 4181,

Relax a Lodge (BBH) 1574 Springbank Rd (SH10) 09 407 6989


MATAURI BAY A very well-kept tourist secret, Matauri Bay is Maori land, home to the Ngati Kura people, and has beautiful, quiet beaches. The Welcome Swallow Backpackers 249 Hikuru Rd, Off Matauri Bay Rd, 09 405 1019,

Tuatua Tours Guided quad tours of Ninety Mile Beach sand dunes. 3 Main Road, 0800 494 288,


The Rainbow Warrior A monument to the noble but doomed Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, sits on the site of a Maori

Heading south, you’ll hit Hokianga Harbour and the quiet twin towns of Omapere and Opononi. The Koutu Boulders are worth a look. Hokianga Information 09 405 8869,


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Okopako Lodge (BBH) – Farm Hostel 140 Mountain Rd, Whirinaki, 09 405 8815, nz/njandlv/

Te Awamutu District Museum 135 Roche St. 07 872 0085

Globetrekkers Lodge (BBH) 281 State Highway 12, Omapere, 09 405 8183,

KAWHIA The main attraction of this peaceful port town, 55km south of Raglan, is the Maketu Marae where you can experience the rich cultural tapestry of NZ’s indigenous history.

The Tree House Backpackers Lodge (BBH) 168 West Coast Rd, Motukaraka 09 405 5855,




On the road from Hokianga, the famous “Big Trees”, the native kauri trees of Waipoua Kauri Forest. Once in Dargaville, attractions include the masts from the ill-fated Rainbow Warrior and the fascinating bird sanctuary nearby. Dargaville Info Centre 4 Murdoch St, 09 439 4975,


7 Prosford St, Ponsonby. Dorms from $26 An unassuming little hostel, known for being gay friendly and also close to great shopping. Also boasts a neat garden courtyard.

Auckland DOC Office 73, Rostrevor St. 07 858 1000


Dargaville Holiday Park 10 Onslow St, 09 439 8296,

Backpackers Central 846 Victoria Street, 07 839 1928,

Kaihu Farm 334 State Highway 12, Kaihu, 09 439 4004.

Central Green (BBH) 846 Victoria St, 07 839 1928,

Greenhouse Backpackers (BBH) 15 Gordon St, 09 439 6342,

MATAKOHE Travellers Lodge (BBH) 64 Jellicoe Rd, Ruawai, 09 439 2283, Matakohe House B&B Hotel 24 Church Rd, RD1, 0800 492 452,

WAIKATO Waikato District Info Centre 160 Great South Rd, Huntly, 07 828 6406,, Shekinah Farm (BBH) 122 Pungapunga Rd, Pukekawa, 09 233 4464, Raglan Kopua Holiday Park Marine Parade, Raglan, 07 825 8283,,

Eagle’s Nest Backpackers 937 Victoria St, 07 838 2704, Microtel YHA 140 Ulster St, 07 957 1848, YWCA Hostel Cnr Clarence & Pembroke St, 07 838 2219,

HAMILTON DO Waikato Museum of Art & History Cnr Victoria and Grantham Sts. More than 3,000 items, with a permanent Maori War canoe. Gold coin donations welcomed.

MATAMATA Rural town famous for being turned into Hobbiton in those films – some of the set still stands. Hobbiton Movie Set Tours 501 Buckland Rd, Hinuera, 07 888 1505,

HAMILTON NZ’s largest inland city and is known for its parks and gardens. Hamilton Visitor Centre Corner Caro and Alexandra St, Hamilton, 07 839 3580


CAMBRIDGE This very Olde English town with its town square and abundance of trees is in the heart of Waikato. The region is famous for its horses and jetboating. Cambridge Info Centre

Cnr Queen and Victoria Sts, 07 823 3456

RAGLAN One of New Zealand’s best-known surfing beaches, Raglan is situated 48km west of Hamilton. Raglan Information Centre 2 Wainui Rd, 07 825 7076,

RAGLAN STAY Solscape Eco Retreat Backpackers (BBH) 611 Wainui Rd, 07 825 8268, Raglan Backpackers & Waterfront Lodge (BBH) 6 Wi Neera St, 07 825 0515, Karioi Backpacker Lodge (VIP) & Raglan Surfing School 5 Whaanga Rd, Whale Bay, 07 825 7873, Dream View Farmstays 430 Te Hutewai Rd, 07 825 8186 Raglan Kopua Holiday Park 61 Marine Parade, 07 825 8283, Raglan Farmhouse and Flashpackers 61 Marine Parade, 07 825 8747,

TE AWAMUTU Given that it calls itself the “Rose Town of New Zealand”, it’s not surprising the 2,000-strong Rose Garden is the town’s major attraction. Te Awamutu Info Centre 1 Gorst Ave,

Just 59km south of Hamilton, many travellers use this small farming community as a base for visiting the Waitomo Caves. Otorohanga Visitor Info Centre 27 Turongo St, 07 873 8951, Otorohanga kiwi House & Native Bird Park 20 Alex Telfer Drive, 07 873 7391,

WAITOMO Definitely one of the best adventure spots in New Zealand. There are a range of caving adventures here. Waitomo Caves Discovery Centre 21 Waitomo Caves Rd, 0800 474 839,

WAITOMO STAY Juno Hall (BBH) 600 Waitomo Caves Rd, 07 878 7649 Kiwi Paka Hotel Caves 256, Access Rd, 07 878 3395 Kiwi Cave Rafting (BBH) 95 Waitomo Caves Rd, 07 873 9149,

WAITOMO DO Dundle Hill Walk A two-day walk through native bush; limestone outcrops includes overnight with spectacular views at Kays Cabin. 07 878 7640 Marakopa Falls, Managapohue Natural Bridge, Piri Piri Cave, 30 minutes drive from Waitomo. Rap Raft ‘n’ Rock Blackwater adventures combining abseiling, rafting, glowworms, caving and rockclimbing all in one five-hour adventure. 0800 228 372, The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co Cave tubing in the blackness of the Ruakuri Cave river. 585 Waitomo Caves Rd, 07 878 6219,


TE KUITI Te Kuiti Information Centre Rora St, 07 878 8077. Dept of Conservation 78 Taupiri Street, 07 878 1080. Tiffany’s Cafe, 241 Rora St, 07 878 7640

TE KUITI STAY Casara Mesa Backpackers (BBH) Mangarino Rd, 07 878 6697, Coromandel Top 10 Holiday Park 636-732 Rings Rd, 07 866 8830,

OTOROHANGA Just 59km south of Hamilton, many travellers use this small farming community as a base for visiting the Waitomo Caves. Otorohanga Visitor Info Centre 27 Turongo St,

COROMANDEL PEN A series of towns loop around the peninsula, broken by rolling green hills. Highlights include Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove and the cosy little Coromandel township.

THAMES A great canyoning spot, with loads of natural pools and waterslides. Information Thames 206 Poland St, 07 868 7284 DOC Office Pahau St, 07 867 9180

THAMES STAY Dickson Holiday Park 115 Victoria St, 07 868 7308, Gateway Backpackers (BBH) 209 Mackay St, 07 868 6339, Sunkist International Backpackers 506 Brown St, 07 868 8808, Te Aroha YHA Hostel Miro Street, Te Aroha (south of Thames), 07 884 8739,

COROMANDEL Some 55km north of Thames is the town of Coromandel, home to the popular Driving Creek Railway. Coromandel Information Centre 335 Kapanga Rd, 07 866 8598,


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CORO STAY Anchor Lodge Backpackers (BBH) 448 Wharf Rd, 07 866 7992, Black Jack Backpackers Kuaotunu, 07 866 2988, Colville Farm (BBH) 2140 Colville Road, Colville, 07 866 6820 Mahamudra Retreat Colville Rd, 07 866 6851 The Pinnacles Backpackers (BBH) 305 Main Road (SH25), 07 864 8448, Lions Den (BBH) 126 Te Tiki St, 07 866 8157 Tui Lodge (BBH) 60 Whangapoua Rd, 07 866 8237, Tairua Backpackers (BBH) 200 Main Road, 07 864 8345,

OPOUTERE This is a good place to go to just chill out. The beach here is glorious and generally empty. Skinny dip anyone? YHA Opoutere 389 Opoutere Rd, 07 865 9072,

WHANGAMATA A real surfie town, Whangamata has one of the best surf beaches in New Zealand and a laidback atmosphere to match. Whangamata Info Centre 616 Port Rd, 07 865 8340 Southpacific Accommodation 245 Port Rd, 07 865 9580, NZ Surf n Stay (BBH) 227 Beverley Tce, 07 865 8323

WHITIANGA Whitianga, perched on pretty Mercury Bay, is the most popular stop-off point for travellers on the Coromandel. You can learn to make your very own bone carving, dive and surf to your heart’s content.

Cat’s Pyjamas Backpackers (BBH) 12 Albert St, 07 866 4663, Fernbird (BBH) 24 Harsant Ave, Hahei, 07 866 3080, On the Beach Backpackers Lodge (BBH, YHA) 46 Buffalo Beach Rd, 07 866 5380, Seabreeze Holiday Park (BBH) 1043 SH25 Tairua-Whitianga Rd, 07 866 3050 Tatahi Lodge (BBH) 9 Grange Rd, Hahei, 07 866 3992,

TAURANGA One of the fastest growing places in NZ, Tauranga combines a young population with a harbourside atmosphere. Enjoy diving, sailing, fishing and surfing. Tauranga i-site 95 Willow St, 07 578 8103 Department of Conservation 253 Chadwick Rd West, 07 578 7677

TAURANGA STAY Apple Tree Backpackers (BBH) 47 Maxwell Rd, 07 576 4001 Harbourside City Backpackers 105 The Strand, 07 579 4066, Bell Lodge (BBH) 39 Bell St, Judea, 07 578 6344, Just The Ducks Nuts Backpackers 6 Vale St, 07 576 1366, Kingfisher Backpackers Lodge (BBH) 122b Word Road, 07 552 0388, Loft 109 (BBH) 8/109 Devonport Rd, 07 579 5638,

Whitianga Information Centre 118 Oceanview Rd, 09 372 1234

Pacific Coast Lodge 432 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui Beach, 0800 666 622 / +64 7574 9601,

Baywatch Backpackers (VIP) 22 The Esplanade, 07 866 5481,

Seagulls Guesthouse (BBH) 12 Hinau Street, 07 574 2099,

Cathedral Cove Lodge 41 Harsant Ave, Hahei Beach, 07 866 3889,

Tauranga Central Backpackers 64 Willow St, 07 571 6222,

YHA Tauranga 171 Elizabeth St, 07 578 5064,

TAURANGA DO Waimarino Adventure Park 07 576 4233, Coyote Bar and Restaurant 107 The Strand, 07 578 8968.

TE PUKE Te Puke Information Centre 130 Jellicoe St, 07 573 9172

TE PUKE STAY Hairy Berry Backpacker Hostel 2 No One Rd, Te Puke, 07 573 8015, Kiwi Corral Backpackers 26 Young Road, 07 573 4530, Blue Tide Beachfront Retreat 7 Te Awhe Rd, Maketu Beach, 07 533 2033,

TE PUKE DO Kiwifruit Country Young Rd, 07 573 6340, Gotcha Paintball, 720 State Highway 33, Paengaroa, 022 649 1158

WHAKATANE For a very different adventure, visit White Island, an active volcano where sulphur-lipped fumeroles and roaring steam vents create a stark wonderland. Karibu Backpackers (BBH) 13 Landing Rd, 07 307 8276 Otapawa Farmstay (BBH) 255 Haunui Road, 06 376 7250 backpackers

23/29 Quay St. 07 307 0722

07 357 4747,

Wallys on the Wharf 2 The Strand, 07 307 0722,

Hell’s Gate Mud baths to heal and stimulate your body

ROTORUA Rotorua is a must for three reasons: the abundance of accessible Maori culture, the steaming volcanic scenery and adrenalin thrills. Tourism Rotorua & Visitor Info Centre 1167 Fenton St, 07 348 5179

ROTORUA STAY Astray Motel & Backpackers (BBH) 1202 Pukuatua St, 07 348 1200, Base Backpackers Rotorua 1286 Arawa St, 07 348 8636, Blarney’s Rock Backpackers 1210 Tutanekai St, 07 343 7904, Cactus Jack Backpackers 1210 Haupapa St, 0800 122 228 Crash Palace Backpackers 1271 Hinemaru St, 07 348 842, Funky Green Voyager (BBH) 4 Union St, 07 346-1754, Kiwipaka 60 Tarewa Rd, 07 347 0931, Planet Nomad Backpackers 1080 Eruera St, 07 350 2550, Oasis Hostel/Backpackers 33A Tarewa Rd, 07 343 6563,

Whakatane Hotel 79 The Strand, 07 307 1670

Rotorua Central Backpackers (BBH) 1076 Pukuatua St, 07 349 3285,

The Windsor 10 Merritt St, Whakatane, 07 308 8040,

Rotorua Downtown Backpackers (BBH) 1193 Fenton St, 07 347 1170,

WHAKATANE DO Dive White 168 The Strand, 0800 348 394, White Island Tours Departs Whakatane daily. 15 The Strand. 07 308 9588 The Wharf Shed Restaurant 2/2 The Strand E. 07 308 5698 Roquette Restaurant & Bar

Kaitiaki Adventures Extreme whitewater activities. Sledging and rafting trips on the Kaituna and Rangitaiki Rivers, 0800 338 736, Off Road NZ Sprint car racing, Monster 4X4, 4WD Bush Safari and more, 07 332 5748, Polynesian Spa Historical hot mineral water bathing spa on the edge of Lake Rotorua, 07 348 1328, Raftabout Whitewater rafting and sledging, 0800 723 822, Skyline Skyrides Spectacular Get the best views and luge down 5km of tracks, or take the 150ft skyswing, 07 347 0027, Waikite Hot Pools Natural hot spring water bathing. Provides private spas, BBQ area and campground facilities, 20 minutes south of Rotorua. Waimangu Volcanic Valley The location of the Pink and White Terraces which were destroyed in the 1886 volcanic eruption. Wet ‘n’ Wild Rafting Guided rafting options on five different rivers – the Wairoa, Rangitaiki, Kaituna, Motu and Mohaka, 0800 462 7238, Zorb Rotorua Get harnessed inside the perspex Zorb before rolling head-over-heels downhill, 07 357 5100,


Spa Lodge Backpackers (BBH) 1221 Amohau Street, 07 348 3486,

While you’re here, take the opportunity to see how the Maori lived before European settlment. The Maori Arts and Crafts Institute in Whakarewarewa is a good place to begin .

YHA Rotorua 1278 Haupapa St, 07 349 4088,

NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute 07 348 9047

ROTORUA DO Agroventures Five adrenalin activities in one adventure park, including bungy jumping, sprint boats and a wind tunnel. 1335 Paradise Valley Rd.

Tamaki Maori Village New Zealand’s Most Awarded Cultural Experience! Experience an evening of ceremonial ritual, powerful cultural performance, storytelling & hangi feasting. Hinemaru St,


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NORTHISLAND 07 349 2099 Whakarewarewa Thermal Village Maori village set amidst a landscape of geothermal wonders. Take a guided tour, see a cultural performance, check out Maori art. 07 349 3463,

LAKE TAUPO Taupo Visitor Centre 30 Tongariro St, 07 376 0027,

TAUPO STAY Berkenhoff Lodge 75 Scannell St, 07 378 4909, Blackcurrant Backpackers (BBH) 20 Taniwha St, 07 378 9292, Rainbow Lodge 99 Titiraupenga St, 07 378 5754, Finns Global Backpackers 8 Tuwharetoa St, 07 377 0044, Wairakei Lodge State Highway, 0800 737 678, budgetaccommodation Sportsman Lodge Backpackers Retreat 15 Taupahi Rd, 0800 366 208, Base Taupo 7 Tuwharetoa St, 07 377 4464, Taupo Urban Retreat 65 Heu Heu St, 0800 872 261, Tiki Lodge 104 Tuwharetoa St, 0800 845 456, YHA Taupo 56 Kaimanawa St, 07 378 3311, Silver Fern Lodge 118 Tamamutu St, 07 377 4929, Lake Maraetai Lodge 5 Totara Terrace, 07 882 8940,

TAUPO DO Craters of the Moon One of the most geothermally active areas in the region, full of boiling mud and steaming craters. Wairakei Park.

78 Huka Falls Take a relaxing walk up to Huka Falls where the water pours over the 35ft drop at up to 62,000 gallons per second. Hukafalls Jet Jetboating by the falls, 0800 485 2538, Rock ‘n’ Ropes Ropes Courses including the trapeze and Giant Swing. At Crazy Catz on Highway 5. 0800 244 508, Taupo Bungy Bungy from a platform 47m above the Waikato River. 202 Spa Rd. 0800 888 408, Tongariro Crossing Transport and National Park Links From Taupo and Turangi during summer months (NovMay). 07 377 0435, Taupo Tandem Skydiving Skydive from up to 15,000 feet (over one minute freefall). Free shuttle, DVD and digital photos. Yellow Hangar, Taupo Airport. 0800 275 934,

TURANGI On the southern shores of Lake Taupo, Turangi is known as the trout fishing capital of the world. It offers heaps of outdoor adventure activities and is a good base for venturing into the Tongariro National Park. Turangi Visitor Centre Tongariro St, 07 376 0027,

TURANGI STAY A Plus Samurai Lodge (BBH) 41 Iwiheke Place, 07 386 8979, Asure Parklands Motorlodge Cnr Arahori St & State Hwy 1, 07 386 7515, Extreme Backpackers (BBH) 26 Ngawaka Place, 07 386 8949, Judges Pool Motel 92 Taupahi Rd, 07 386 7892, The Lazy Dog (BBH) 3 Rangipoia Place, 07 386 0317, Riverstone Backpackers (BBH) 222 Tautahanga Rd, 07 386 7004, Settlers Motel 24 Arahori St,

BOOK NOW! 07 386 7745, Turangi Kiwi Holiday Park 13 Te Reiti Tamara Grove, 07 386 8754,

TONGARIRO Adventure Lodge & Motel (VIP) Carroll Street, National Park, 07 892 2991, The Crossing Backpackers Erua Rd East, 07 892 2894, daKune Lodge (BBH) 42 Park Ave, Ohakune 06 385 8448, Howards Mountain Lodge (BBH) 43 Carroll St, National Park, 07 892 2827, Skotel Alpine Resort Whakapapa Village, 07 892 3715, National Park Backpackers YHA (BBH) 4 Findlay St. The hostel runs transport to the Tongariro Crossing, 07 892 2870, Pipers Lodge 18 Millar St, National Park Village, 07 8922 777,

follow us on Makuhou Rd 06 388 1444,

RANGITIKEI DO Mokai Gravity Canyon Extreme flying fox, bridge swing and bungy jump. 0800 802 864 River Valley Rafting and horse trekking. 06 388 1444,

OPOTIKI Opotiki Information Centre Cnr St John and Elliot Sts, 07 315 3031 Central Oasis Backpackers 30 King St, 07 315 5165, Fruit Forest Studio 197 Omarumutu Rd, 07 315 8143, Opotiki Beach House (BBH) 7 Appleton Road, 07 315 5117

EAST CAPE As you head around the Cape the towns get tinier and the scenery more dramatic. At Te Araroa, you can thead around to the East Cape Lighthouse.

Plateau Lodge 17 Caroll St, National Park Village, 07 8922 993,

Maraehako Bay Retreat SH35, Whanarua Bay, 07 325 2648.

Ski Haus (BBH) Carroll St, McKenzie St, 07 892 2854,

Stranded in Paradise (BBH) 21 Potae Street, 06 864 5870,

Station Lodge (BBH) 60 Thames Street, The Junction, Ohakune, 06 385 8797,

Wainui Beach Motel 34 Wairere Rd, 06 868 5882,



The park’s showcase is Mt Ruapehu, an active volcano towering at 2,796m.

Flying Nun Backpackers (BBH) 147 Roebuck Rd, 06 868 0461,

Ruapehu Visitors’ Centre 54 Clyde St, 06 385 8427

YHA Gisborne 32 Harris St, 06 867 3269,

Whakapapa Visitor Centre SH 48, Whakapapa Village, 07 892 3729

RANGITIKEI The Rangitikei District is a top destination for adventure sports. Amongst stunning scenery, you can navigate grade five whitewater and take the leap of elasticated faith from an 80m bungy.

WAIROA Wairoa Visitor Information Centre Queen St, 06 838 7440 Haere Mai Cottage (BBH) 49 Mitchell Rd, 06 838 6817 DOC office for hut bookings Lake Waikaremoana, 06 837 3900


Rangitikei Farmstay 422 Makuhou Rd, 06 327 4495,

Napier is a beautiful, surprising city. Its “pleasing to the eye” status is actually the result of an enormous earthquake which meant the entire town had to be rebuilt.

River Valley Dorms

Visitor Info Centre 100 Marine

@tnt_downunder Parade, 06 834 1911 Depart of Conservation Office Marine Parade, 06 834 3111

NAPIER STAY Aqua Lodge (BBH) 53 Nelson Cres, 06 835 4523, Archie’s Bunker (BBH) 15 Herschell Street, 06 833 7990, The Art House (BBH) 259 Marine Parade, 06 835 5575, Blue Water Lodge (BBH) 471 Marine Parade, 06 835 8593, Criterion Art Deco Backpackers (VIP, Roamfree) - (BBH) 60 Whangapoua Rd, 07 866 8237, 48 Emerson St, 06 835 2059, Stable Lodge Backpackers (BBH) 370 Hastings Street, 06 835 6242, Toad Hall Backpackers (BBH) 11 Shakespeare Road, 06 835 5555, Waterfront Lodge & Backpackers 217 Marine Pd, 06 835 3429, YHA Napier 277 Marine Parade, 06 835 7039,

HASTINGS Hastings is 20km south of Napier and most notable for its fertile plains, which have given birth to a multitude of beautiful parks, gardens and farms. A1 Backpackers (BBH) 122 Stortford St, 06 873 4285, Glenross Lodge (BBH) Route 52, Rakaunui, 06 376 7288, Lochlea Farmstay 344 Lake Rd, Wanstead, +6468554816 The Rotten Apple Backpackers (BBH) 114 Heretaunga St, 06 878 4363, AJ’s Backpackers Lodge (BBH) 405 Southland Rd, 06 878 2302,

TARANAKI Best known for its snow-capped mountain, Mt Taranaki. Peaceful and impressive, Taranaki has skifields, excellent surf beaches, great walking and climbing.


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people, New Zealand’s most interesting city.

WELLY DO Cable car Walk down Lambton Quay and you will see a sign for the cable car which departs every 10 minutes past Kelburn Park to the Botanic Gardens, 04 472 2199

Wellington Visitor Info Centre Corner of Victoria & Wakefield Sts, 04 802 4860, DOC Information Centre 18 Manners St, 04 384 7770 Ferry to the South Island Boats to Picton on the South Island. Ferries can be booked up well in advance in holiday periods. Ferry Tickets Online 186 Victoria St, 0800 500 660,

Zealandia Many of New Zealand’s rarest birds, reptiles and insects are living freely in this awardwinning conservation safe haven. Look for kiwis on a guided tour by torchlight. Times vary and bookings are essential. Waiapu Rd, Karori. 04 920 9200,

WELLY STAY COROMANDEL PENINSULA Though just across the water, the Coromandel Peninsula couldn’t be further from the urbanscape that is Auckland. A mecca for eco-tourism thanks to its beautiful rainforests and stunning beaches – you can’t pass up on a trip out here. Highlights include: Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach (pictured) and Whitianga. There’s also the elusive Hairy Moehau, rumoured to be something like a giant ape that lives on the peninsula. It’s a wonder he hasn’t been caught, as summertime can be pretty damn busy. The area is host to kayaking, snorkelling/diving and game fishing, all in crystal clear waters.

MOKAU Palm House Backpackers

NEW PLYMOUTH Taranaki’s major town is New Plymouth. One of NZ’s finest art galleries is here (the GovettBrewster Art Gallery). It hosts a great café. Department of Conservation 55A Rimu Street, 06 759 0350 New Plymouth Info Centre Puke Ariki, 65 St Aubyn Street, 06 759 0897,

PLYMOUTH STAY EcoInn (BBH) 671 Kent Rd, between Egmont Village and New Plymouth on SH3. 06 752 2765 ecoinnovation. Egmont Lodge (BBH, YHA) 12 Clawton St, 06 753 5720, Seaspray House (BBH) 13 Weymouth St, 06 759 8934, Ducks & Drakes Backpackers (BBH) 48 Lemon St, 06 758 0404 Sunflower Lodge (BBH) 33 Timandra St, 06 758, 2842

PLYMOUTH DO Brooklands Zoo Brooklands, New Plymouth, 06 759 6060,

MT TARANAKI Stratford Heritage Lodge 103 Miranda St, 06 765 7482, Taranaki Accommodation Lodge (BBH) 7 Romeo St, Stratford, 06 765 5444,

TARANAKI DO Climbing Mount Taranaki It is possible to climb it and return to civilisation in one day, however the weather is notoriously volatile and you must always notify the DOC.

STRATFORD Stratford Information Centre Broadway Stratford (State Hwy 3), 06 765 6708, Department of Conservation Pembroke Rd, 06 765 5144

SOUTH TARANAKI Information South Taranaki 55 High St, Hawera, 0800 111 323, Wheatly Downs Farmstay Backpackers (BBH) 484 Ararata Rd, Hawera, 06 278 6523, wheatly_downs_farmstay/

WHANGANUI College House 42b Campbell Street, 021 852 100

Hikurangi Stay Place 1 Mount View Road, 06 343 333 YHA Whanganui 2 Plymouth St, 06 348 2301, Tamara Backpackers Lodge (BBH) 24 Somme Pde, 06 347 6300, Whanganui National Park The major attraction is the Whanganui River, snaking through picturesque scenery. Explore with a kayak or riverboat tour. Wanganui Information Centre 31 Taupo Quay, Whanganui, 06 349 0508, Department of Conservation Office 74 Ingestre St, 06 348 8475

PALMERSTON NTH Palmerston North Visitor Centre The Square, 06 350 1922, Department of Conservation Office 717 Tremaine Ave, 06 350 9700 Grandma’s Place (BBH) 146 Grey St, 06 358 6928, Pepper Tree Hostel (BBH) 121 Grey St, 06 355 4054,

WELLINGTON The nation’s capital is to many

Barnacles Seaside Inn (BBH) 3 Marine Parade. 04 902 5856 Base Wellington 21-23 Cambridge Tce. 04 801 5666

Mount Victoria The views are breathtaking. It’s damn windy so make sure you’re wearing heavy shoes. Walk, drive or bus it.

Cambridge Hotel (BBH) 28 Cambridge Tce. 04 385 8829, Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers (BBH) 1 Bunny St. 04 473 8482

Museum of Wellington City & Sea Queens Wharf, 04 472 8904

Lodge in the City (BBH) 152 Taranaki St. 04 385 8560 Moana Lodge (BBH) 49 Moana Road. 04 233 2010 lmoana-lodge-accommodation. Wellywood Backpackers 58 Tory St, 04 381 3899, Nomads Capital 118/120 Wakefield St. 0508 666 237,

The Setup (BBH) Level 3/15, Dixon Street, Te Aro 04 802 4779

YHA Wellington City 292 Wakefield St. 04 801 7280

Te Papa – The National Museum Experience the earthquake simulation room, find out what the early settlers went through and visit Te Marae, Te Papa’s living modern marae. Free entry, Cable St, 04 381 7000,

Harbour cruises The harbour is a handsome thing and the best way to fully appreciate its beauty is by boat.

Rowena’s Lodge 115 Brougham St. 04 385 7872,

Worldwide Backpackers (BBH) 291 The Terrace. 04 802 5590,

Parliament House Free tours. Visit the Beehive, a uniquely designed centre of government with a distinct style of architecture, 04 471 9503

Wellington Zoo Located in Newtown and home to a wide variety of weird and wonderful animal and bird life, 04 381 6755

Rosemere Backpackers (BBH) 6 MacDonald Crescent. 04 384 3041,

Wild Zebra Backpackers (BBH) 58 Tory Street.

Cosmic Corner Funk Store The funkiest store in the universe. Check out the legal highs and chat to the staff, who will happily point you in the right direction for parties, events and scenic spots. 215 Cuba St, 04 801 6970,

Wellington Rover Tours Small group day tours exploring Wellington, its stunning rugged coastline and the Lord of the Rings locations. 021 426 211, Beaches Wellington’s waterfront has cafés, restaurants and parks. Oriental Bay is good for a dip, but the water is cold and not always clean. It’s also good for a walk along the foreshore. If you are desperate for a swim, Scorching Bay is good or head up the coast towards Otaki where the best beaches in the region are found.


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SOUTHISLAND ABEL TASMAN The Abel Tasman National Park has great tramping with 56,000 acres to explore. The Coastal Track is one of the most popular walks in New Zealand, especially in summer when you can cool down at the stunning beaches. Nelson, Motueka and Marahau are all good bases for visiting the park. Sea kayaking is excellent here too.

ABEL DO Wilsons Abel Tasman Sea kayaking, water taxis and lodge accommodation. 03 528 2027, Abel Tasman Kayaks Ltd 0800 527 8022

NELSON Nelson is seen as the “sunshine capital” of NZ. Home to a string of attractive beaches, Nelson is only a short drive away from the famous Abel Tasman National Park. The town boasts great cafés and a strong artistic subculture. Nelson’s great climate is conducive to fruit growing and travellers can find plenty of work in the area. Nelson Visitor Centre Cnr Trafalgar & Halifax St, 03 548 2304, Airport Shuttle Nelson City Taxis 03 548 8225

NELSON STAY Abba Lodge (BBH) 11 Awaroa Bay, 03 528 8758, Amber House B&B 46 Weka St, 021 202 4961, Accents on the Park (BBH/VIP) 335 Trafalgar Square. 03 548 4335, Almond House (BBH) 63 Grove St. 03 545 6455, Alpine Lodge St Arnaud. 03 521 1869, Aurora Backpackers (BBH) 161-163 Trafalger Square. 03 929 5553, Beach Hostel (BBH) 25 Muritai St. 03 548 6817, The Bug (BBH) 226 Vanguard St. 03 539 4227 Villa by the Sea (BBH) 252 Haven Rd. 03 545 8365, Footprints by the Sea 31 Beach Rd, Tahuna Beach. 03 546 5441,

80 Tramways Hotel Nelson 66 Trafalgar St, 03 548 7049, Honey Suckle House (BBH) 125 Tasman St. 03 548 7576 honeysucklehouse. Hu Ha Bikerpackers (BBH) State Highway 6, Glenhope. 03 548 2707, The Palace Backpackers (BBH) 114 Rutherford St. 03 548 4691, Paradiso (BBH) 42 Weka St. 0800 269 667, The Prince Albert Backpackers (BBH) 113 Nile St. 03 548 8477 Courtesy Court Motel 26/30 Gold Rd, 03 548 5114, The Honesy Lawyer Country Pub 1 Point Rd, Monaco, 03 547 4070, Shortbread Cottage (BBH) 33 Trafalgar St. 03 546 6681 Tasman Bay Backpacker Hostel (BBH) 10 Weka St. 03 548 7950, Trampers Rest (BBH) 31 Alton St. 03 545 7477 Idesia B&B 14 Idesia Grove, Richmond, 03 544 0409 YHA Nelson 59 Rutherford St, 03 545 9988,

NELSON DO Abel Tasman Kayaks Ltd 0800 527 8022 Happy Valley 4x4 Motorbike Adventures Tours around spectacular private farm on chunky fourwheel motorbikes. 03 545 0304, Kaiteriteri kayaks Transport from Nelson. 03 527 8383, Skydive Abel Tasman Tandem jumps from 13,000ft over Abel Tasman. 0800 422 899,

NELSON LAKES Located 118km south-west of Nelson, the park comprises Lake Rotoroa and Lake Rotoiti, and is surrounded by forests and mountains. Apart from tramping and skiing at Rainbow Valley and Mt Robert in winter, the lakes offer fishing and other water activities.

BOOK NOW! MOTUEKA This is an alternative hang-out for creative types and those seeking to veer off life’s fast lane. Most people use Motueka as a base to launch an assault on Abel Tasman National Park, but if you take the time to look around your efforts will be well rewarded. Try Marahau Beach and Cobb Valley. Motueka i-SITE Visitors Centre 20 Wallace St, 03 528 6543,

MOTUEKA STAY Happy Apple 500 High St, 03 528 8652, Avalon Manor Motels 314/316 High St, 0800 282 566 Eden’s Edge Backpackers (BBH) 137 Lodder Lane, Riwaka. 03 528 4242, Motueka Garden Motel 71 King Edward St, 0800 101 911, Hat Trick Lodge Backpackers (BBH) 25 Wallace St. 03 528 5353, Laughing Kiwi (BBH) 310 High St. 03 528 9229, Old Macdonald’s Farm Holiday Park 03 527 8288, The White Elephant (BBH) 55 Whakarewa St. 03 528 6208, Equestrian Lodge Motel 2 Avalon Ct, 03 528 9369

MOTUEKA DO Wilsons Abel Tasman 265 High St, 03 528 2027, Abel Tasman Kayaks Ltd 0800 527 8022

TAKAKA Known as the “Heart of the Parks”, the much underrated Golden Bay region is a place of considerable natural beauty. If you venture slightly out of Takaka you will see the Te Waikoropupu (Pupu Springs), one of the largest freshwater springs in the world. Information Centre Willow St, 03 525 9136 Dept of Conservation Office 62 Commercial St, 03 525 8026

TAKAKA STAY Annie’s Nirvana Lodge (BBH, YHA) 25 Motupipi St. 03 525 8766,

follow us on Aquapackers Anchorage Bay, Marahau, Abel Tasman National Park. 0800 430 744, Golden Bay Barefoot Backpackers (BBH) 114 Commercial St. 03 525 7005, Kiwiana (BBH) 73 Motuipipi St. 03 525 7676 Kanuka Ridge (BBH) 21 Moss Rd, Marahau, Abel Tasman National Park. 03 527 8435, The Rocks chalets 2086 Takaka Valley Hwy, 03 525 8096, River Inn Golden Bay. 03 525 9425 Shambhala (BBH) 1234 Takaka-Collingwood Highway. 03 525 8463,

KAHURANGI NP The second-largest national park in NZ, Kahurangi includes the Heaphy Track. There are more than 100 bird species and an impressive cave system to be seen here. For info see the Nelson DOC office.

COLLINGWOOD North-west of Takaka is the tiny community of Collingwood (the people aren’t particularly small, their numbers are), a good base for expeditions to Farewell Spit.

@tnt_downunder Watson Way Backpackers (BBH) 56 High Street 03 572 8228

PICTON This pretty town is the opening to the South Island, where the North Island ferry comes in, a centre for the many activities in Queen Charlotte Sound. Airport shuttle bus 03 573 7125

PICTON STAY Atlantis Backpackers (BBH) 42 London Quay, 03 573 7390, The Buccaneer Lodge 314 Waikawa Rd, 03 573 5002, The Jugglers Rest (BBH) 8 Canterbury St. 03 573 5570, Fat Cod Backpackers (BBH) 9 Auckland St, 03 573 7788, Sequoia Lodge (BBH, VIP) 3 Nelson Sq. 03 573 8399, Atlantis Backpackers 42 London Quay, 03 573 7390, The Villa (BBH) 34 Auckland St. 03 573 6598,

The Innlet (BBH) 839 Pakawau Main Rd, 03 524 8040,

Tombstone Backpackers (BBH) 16 Gravesend Place. 03 573 7116,

Somerset House (BBH) 10 Gibbs Rd. 03 524 8624,

Parklands Marina Holiday Park 10 Beach Rd, 03 573 6343,

FAREWELL SPIT Arching east from the top of Golden Bay, this is a sand bar of epic proportions, home to some of the largest sanddunes in the world and some amazing birdlife. Golden Bay Visitor Centre 03 524 8454

MARLBOROUGH The Marlborough Sounds are a beautiful labyrinth of islands and bays, serving as an impressive gateway to the South Island. Hire a kayak to paddle the coves in style, or go swimming with the dolphins. Anakiwa 401 (BBH) 401 Anakiwa Rd. 03 574 1388, Copperbeech (BBH) 73 Maxwell Rd. 03 579 2246, copperbeechbackpackers@hotmail. com Hopewell (BBH) Kenepuru Rd. 03 573 4341, The Partage Resort Hotel Kenepuru Sound. 0800 275 373,

PICTON DO Dolphin Watch Encounters Picton Foreshore, 03 573 8040, Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company 03 573 6078, Southern Wilderness NZ Guided walk, wine trek and sea kayaking specialists. 0800 666 044, EcoWorld Aquaium Discover the animals that make NZ unique. 03 573 6030

QUEEN CHARLOTTE On the road-free outer Queen Charlotte Sound, everyone and everything travels by boat. The Queen Charlotte Track covers 71km and passes through magnificent forest, at times allowing spectacular views over the Marlborough Sounds. The whole track can be walked in four days, though you can also ride it by mountain bike.


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Endeavour Express Water Taxi Day-trips, round-trips and luggage transfers. 03 573 5456

HAVELOCK Nestled at the head of Pelorus Sound, Havelock is the best place from which to explore the Marlborough Sounds. For trampers and mountain bikers there’s the beautiful Nydia Track. DOC Office Mahakipawa Rd, 03 574 2019 Explore Pelorus Sea Kayaks 03 576 5251

HAVELOCK STAY Bluemoon Lodge (BBH) 48 Main Rd. 03 574 2212, Linkwater Motel 1594 Queen Charlotte Dr, 03 574 2600 Okiwa Bay Lodge 169 Anakiwa Rd, 03 574 2527,

PELORUS SOUND The largest waterway within the Marlborough Sounds, it can be accessed from Havelock, Linkwater or Rai Valley.

BLENHEIM The largest town in Marlborough, and considered (ahem, also) the“sunshine capital of New Zealand”. Whitewater rafting on the Buller and Gowan Rivers is great fun. Blenheim I-Site 8 Sinclair Street Railway Station 03 577 8080 Koanui Lodge & Backpackers (BBH) 33 Main St. 03 578 7487, The Grapevine (BBH) 29 Park Terrace, 03 578 6062, Arrow Backpackers (BBH) 107 Budge St, 03 577 9857, Leeways Backpackers (BBH) 33 Lansdowne St, 03 579 2213,

KAIKOURA Kaikoura is famous for its large sperm whale population and picturesque mountain range. You can also snorkel with dolphins or swim with the inquisitive NZ fur seals (Sept-May). Kaikoura Visitor Info Centre, West End, 03 319 5641

KAIKOURA STAY Albatross Backpacker Inn (BBH) 1 Torquay St. 03 319 6090, Bad Jelly Backpackers (BBH) 11 Churchill St. 03 319 5538, Dolphin Lodge (BBH) 15 Deal St. 03 319 5842, Dusky Lodge (BBH) 67 Beach Rd. 03 319 5959 The Lazy Shag (BBH) 37 Beach St. 03 319 6662 Lyell Creek Lodge (BBH) 193 Beach Rd. 03 319 6277, Sunrise Lodge (BBH) 74 Beach Rd, 03 319 7444, The Fairways at Ocean Ridge 1 Kersage Drive, 03 319 3055 YHA Kaikoura 270 Esplanade. 03 319 5931,

KAIKOURA DO Kaikoura is famous for its large sperm whale population and picturesque mountain r Albatross Encounter Enjoy the sight of the magnificent albatross so close to the boat you can almost touch them. 96 Esplanade, 0800 733 365 Dolphin Encounter Swim with the acrobatic dusky dolphins or if you prefer, join the tour to view them from the boat. 96 Esplanade, 0800 733 365, Fyffe House 62 Avoca St, Kaikoura’s oldest building, 03 319 5835. Kaikoura Kayaks Paddle with the playful fur seals, dusky dolphins and marine life of Kaikoura. Seal kayaking, kayak school, hire, retail and kayak fishing. 19 Killarney St, 0800 452 456, Seal Swim Kaikoura Swim with wild NZ Fur Seals. 58 West End, 0800 732 579,

CHRISTCHURCH Christchurch is the South Island’s major city and a lively, pretty base with a distinctly English feel to it. Throw in Mount Cook and Mount Hutt with their skifields (early June to late October) and the Canterbury area is well worth spending some time discovering. Christchurch & Canterbury i-Site Visitor Centre Rolleston Avenue (Next to the Canterbury Museum) Christchurch 8011. 03 379 9629

Department of Conservation 7 Rolleston Ave, 09 526 9743


This surf beach is also a great place to chill for a while. If you’re feeling adventurous, mountain biking, paragliding and surfing are just some of the activities you can try.


Around the World Backpackers 314 Barbadoes Street. 03 365 4363

Christchurch Backpackers Haka Lodge 518 Linwood Av, Woolston,. 03 980 4252,

At The Right Place (BBH) 85 Bealey Street. 03 366 1633


Avon City Backpackers Worcester Street. 03 389 6876, Dorset House (BBH) 1 Dorset St, 03 366 8268, Celtic Backpackers (BBH) 12 Dublin St, 03 377 4417, Chester Street Backpackers (BBH) 148 Chester St East. 03 377 1897, Foley Towers (BBH) 208 Kilmore St. 03 366 9720, Haka Lodge 518 Linwood Ave. 03 980 4252 Jailhouse Accommodation (BBH) 338 Lincoln Rd. 0800 524 546 Kiwi Basecamp (BBH) 69 Bealey Ave. 03 366 6770 Kiwi House 3 Devon St, Hanmer Springs. 03 315 5111, Point Break Backpackers 6 Union Street. 03 388 2050 The Old Countryhouse (BBH) 437 Gloucester St. 03 381 5504 Tranquil Lodge 440 Manchester St. 03 366 6500 Rucksacker Backpacker Hostel (BBH) 70 Bealey Ave. 03 377 7931, Vagabond Backpackers (BBH) 232 Worcester St. 03 379 9677


Banks Peninsula is a beautiful region with a stunning coastline chock full of mountains and wildlife. The two harbours of Akaroa and Lyttelton are craters of a once majestic volcano.


About 200km north of Christchurch, the Lewis Pass connects the west and east coasts on the SH7, with stunning surrounding scenery.

HANMER SPRINGS Hanmer Springs boasts the Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve, where the water can reach 40°C (03 315 7511, Mt Lyford offers good winter skiing and is a cheaper option to the South Island resorts. Department of Conservation 115 Ludstone Rd, Kaikoura 03 319 5714

Lyttelton is a quaint township with a beautiful scenic harbour and historic buildings. The harbour is a great place for boating, while the surrounding hills are good for mountain biking and walking.

The Hanmer Connection Christchurch to Hanmer Springs buses.

Lyttelton Information Centre 20 Oxford St, 03 328 9093


AKAROA Swim with dolphins, horse-ride and paraglide. If your tastes are a little more sedate, the foreshore is lined with cafes, galleries and boutiques.

Hanmer Backpackers 41 Conical Hill Rd. 03 315 7196, Jack in the Green (BBH) 3 Devon St. 03 315 5111,

Akaroa Information Centre 80 Rue Lavaud, 03 304 8600

Kakapo Lodge (YHA) 14 Amuri Avenue. 03 315 7472,

Akaroa Shuttle Christchurch to Akaroa buses. 0800 500 929

Waipara Sleepers (BBH) 12 Glenmark Dr, Waipara. 03 314 6003,

Akaroa French Connection Tours and shuttle bus, 0800 800 575

AKAROA STAY Bon Accord Backpackers (BBH) 57 Rue Lavaud. 03 304 7782, Chez La Mer (BBH) 50 Rue Lavaud. 03 304 7024, Double Dutch (BBH) 32 Chorlton Road, Okains Bay. 03 304 7229, Halfmoon Cottage (BBH) SH25 Barrys Bay. 03 304 5050,

Black Cat Cruises Wildlife Cruises on Lyttelton Harbour. Free shuttle bus from Christchurch, 03 328 9078.

Onuku Farm Hostel (BBH) 03 304 7066, Skydiving and training courses, 0800 697 593

Akaroa Museum 71 Rue Lavard, 03 304 1013

Aoraki Balloon Safaris Hot air ballooning, 03 302 8172,

Black Cat Cruises Offer a number of cruises in Akaroa. See Akaroa Harbour or swim with dolphins.


Swim with dolphins in Akaroa Harbour. 61 Beach Rd, 0508 365 744,


Dolphin Experience

CASTLE HILL Gateway to the Craigieburn Range. Chill Adventures Multi-mountain snow passes. Springfield Hotel State Highway 73, Springfield. 03 318 4812,

ARTHUR’S PASS This township is the HQ for the magnificent national park which offers tramping expeditions to skiing. National Park Visitor Centre 03 318 9211 Mountain House (BBH) Main Road, Arthur’s Pass National Park. 03 318 9258 Rata Lodge Backpackers (BBH) State Highway 73, Otira Arthur’s Pass National Park, 03 738 2822 The Sanctuary (BBH) 126 Main Road, Arther’s Pass National Park 03 942 2230, Smylies Accommodation (YHA) 03 318 9258,


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Methven is a small, friendly town popular with fishermen, hunters and backpackers. The area provides a variety of adrenalin thrills, including hot air ballooning, bungy jumping and skydiving. Mt Hutt also has the longest ski run in Australasia.

A stunning turquoise-coloured lake, 100km west of Timaru. The tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, built in 1935, frames the view beautifully. Activities include walking, watersports, fishing and skiing.

Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre 160 Main St, Methven, 03 302 8955, NZ Info on Coronet Peak, the Remarkables and Mt Hutt.

METHVEN STAY Brinkley Resort 43 Barkers Rd, Mt Hutt, 03 302 8885, Big Tree Lodge 25 S Belt, 03 302 9575, Mt Hutt Bunkhouse (BBH) 8 Lampard St. 03 302 8894, Pinedale Backpacker Lodge 11 Alford St. 0800 638 483, Redwood Lodge (BBH) 3 Wayne Place. 03 302 8964, Skiwi House 30 Chapman St. 03 302 8772, Breckenridge Lodge 49 S Belt, 03 302 8902,

TIMARU Despite being industrial, it’s picturesque with views of the Southern Alps, plains and sea. 1873 Wanderer Backpackers (BBH) 24 Evans St. 03 688 8795 Timaru Top 10 Holiday Park 154A Selwyn St, Waimataitai 0800 242 121 Anchor Motel 44 Evans St, 03 684 5067

GERALDINE As well as a wonderful old movie theatre and whitewater rafting on the Rangitata River, visiting the mighty Emily Falls is recommended. Geraldine Information Centre Talbot Street, 03 693 1006

YHA Lake Tekapo 3 Simpson Lane. 03 680 6857,

MT COOK Mt Cook National Park is part of a World Heritage area that forms one of the most amazing sights in NZ. The showcase is Mt Cook (Aoraki). NZ’s greatest climber Sir Edmund Hillary used it for practice before conquering Mt Everest, but Mt Cook has claimed the lives of more than 160 people. Discuss climbing plans with rangers before you go. Department of Conservation Visitor Information Centre Aoraki/Mt Cook Alpine Village, 03 435 1819 The Cook Connection Day trips to Mt Cook from Tekapo. Ph: 021 583 211,

MT COOK STAY YHA Franz Josef Glacier 2 Cron St, Franz Josef, 03 752 0754, YHA Mt Cook Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. 03 435 1820,

biking on the Matakitaki. Buller Gorge Swingbridge Adventure and Heritage Park 03 523 9809, The Lazy Cow Accommodation (BBH) 37 Waller St. 03 523 9451,

REEFTON The centrepiece of the town is Victoria Forest Park, the largest forest park in New Zealand.

Beaconstone Eco Lodge Birds Ferry Road Charleston 027 431 0491 The Old Slaughterhouse (BBH) Dean Creek, RD1, Highway 67, Hector 03 782 8333 TripInn (BBH) 72 Queen St. 03 789 7367


Karamea Information Centre 106 Bridge St, 03 782 6652. Rongo Backpackers 03 782 6667,

Rangitata Rafts Peel Forest, 0800 251 251

With crazy terrain skewed by mining and earthquakes, one of the major attractions of Murchison is its proximity to Buller Gorge, a wonderfully scenic cluster of cliffs and trees. Activities include rafting on the Gowan River and mountain


The tiny beach settlement of Okarito, near Franz Josef Glacier, sits at the mouth of New Zealand’s largest unmodified wetland – the Okarito Lagoon. Hike up to the Okarito Trig for excellent views.

Noahs Ark Backpackers (BBH) 16 Chapel St, 03 768 4868,

Bazil’s Hostel (VIP) – (BBH) 54/56 Russell St. 03 789 6410,

Visitor Information Punakaiki 03 731 1895 Barrytown Knife Making 2662 Coast Road, Barrytown, 03 731 1053,

PAPAROA STAY Punakaiki Beach Hostel (BBH) 4 Webb St. 03 731 1852, Te Nikau Retreat (BBH, YHA) 03 731 1111, Punakaiki Beach Camp Owen Street, 03 731 1894,

GREYMOUTH The west coast’s largest town is dominated by the Grey River. Highlights include the Monteith’s



The Old Nurses Home 104 Shiel St, 03 789 8881


right, it can’t look as good as that in real life. Hokitika Gorge is one of those places.

About 35km south of Harihari and one of the South Island’s prime fishing spots. Also the magnificent white heron (Kotuku) colony which thrillseekers can reach by jet boat.

Global Village (BBH) 42-54 Cowper St, 03 768 7272,

Visitor Information Westport 1 Brougham St, 03 789 6658


TranzAlpine Scenic railway from Christchurch to Greymouth, travelling through Canterbury Plains and the Alps. Departs 9am every morning. 0800 872 467

Reefton Old Bread Shop 155 Buller Rd, 03 732 8420,

This park is home to the amazing Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. These are a series of eroded limestone rocks moulded into what appears to be a giant stack of pancakes.


Visitor Information Herbert and Mackay Sts, 03 768 5101

Duke Hostel (BBH) 27 Guiness St. 03 768 9470


Karamea contains pleasant walks, interesting caves and the Oparara River, a great trout fishing spot. Walk along the wonderful Fernian Track or, try the more challenging hike up Mt Stormy.

brewery tour, as well as aquatic activities like rafting and canyoning.

Reefton Visitor Centre 67 Broadway, 03 732 8391

Rugged is the word often used when it comes to the South Island’s west coast. It’s quite an amazing place, sparsely inhabited, untouched in many areas and studded with geographical wonders. Don’t miss the two mighty glaciers, Fox and Franz Josef, or the Pancake Rocks.

Peel Forest Horse Trekking Wilderness adventures trekking through some gorgeous country, 03 696 3703,

Rawhiti House (BBH) 27 Hewlings St. 03 693 8252


Tailor-Made-Tekapo Backpackers (BBH) 10/11 Aorangi Cres. 03 680 6700

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Greymouth KIWI Holiday Park & Motel 318 Main South Rd, 03 762 6768, Kainga-RA YHA 15 Alexander St, Ph: (03) 768 4951,

HOKITIKA Greenstone, a form of practically indestructible rock that was used by the Maori to make weapons and ornaments, is the main attraction here. There’s also the Westland Water World for all things wet, the Glowworm Dell and some excellent whitewater rafting. Hokitika Visitor Info Centre Carnegie Building, corner of Hamilton & Tancred Street, 03 755 6166

HOKITIKA STAY Hokitika Holiday Park 242 Strafford St, 03 755 8172 Birdsong (BBH) 124 SH6, 03 755 7179 Drifting Sands Backpackers (BBH) 197 Revell St, Mountain Jade Backpackers (BBH) 41 Weld St, 03 755 5185, Riverview Cottage & Cabins (BBH) 154 Kaniere Rd, 03 755 7440 Stumpers Accommodation 2 Weld St, 03 755 6154,

HOKITIKA DO Whitewater Kayaking Hokitika Gorge Sometimes you see photos of a tourist spot and think yeah


Okarito Nature Tours 03 753 4014, Okarito Beach House Close to Franz Josef Glacier, 03 753 4080

FRANZ JOSEF The glacier is about 12km long and offers a wide variety of challenging activities. To get the ultimate perspective on the magnitude of Franz Josef, head for Sentinel Rock, which gives a sweeping view over both the Waiho Valley and the mighty glacier. DOC Visitors Information Centre Westland National Park, Hwy 6, 03 752 0796

FRANZ STAY Chateau Franz: Sir Cendrics (VIP, BBH) 8-10 Cron St, 0800 728 372, Glow Worm Cottages (BBH) 27 Cron St, 0800 151 027, Montrose Lodge (BBH) 9 Cron St, 03 752 0188, Rainforest Retreat (VIP) Cron St, 0800 873 346 YHA Franz Josef 2-4 Cron St, 03 752 0754,

FRANZ DO Alpine Adventure Centre Footage on a helimax screen, 03 752 0793 Franz Josef Glacier Guides Guided walks and heli-hikes on the Franz Josef Glacier 0800 484 337, Glacier Country Kayaks Explore the glaciers from the water 03 752 0230, Skydive Franz At 18,000ft, they currently offer NZ’s highest skydive. 0800 458 677,


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FOX GLACIER Similiar activities to Franz Josef only with fewer crowds. The best walk is up to the Welcome Flat Hot Springs. For stunning views, head up the wonderfully scenic Chalet Lookout Walk. Look out for the beautiful kea (grey-green mountain parrot). Nearby is Lake Matheson, with its stunning twin mountain reflection. DOC Visitor Centre State Hwy 6, 03 752 0796

FOX STAY Fox Glacier Inn (BBH) 03 751 0088 Ivory Towers (BBH) 03 751 0838,

FOX DO Fox Glacier Guiding Guided walks and heli-hikes on the FoxGlacier. 0800 111 600, Glacier Country Kayaks 20 Cron St, 0800 423 262, Skydive NZ: Fox Glacier 0800 751 0080,

HAAST PASS Running through Mt Aspiring National Park, this stretch of road is among the most scenic that you’ll come across in New Zealand, showing off pristine lakes, magnificent forests and waterfalls. DOC Centre Cnr SH 6 and Jackson Bay Rd, 03 750 0809 Wilderness Backpackers (BBH) Marks Rd, 03 750 029,

SOUTHLAND The top of your chest will quickly get sore as the South Island’s jaw-dropping scenery becomes more prevalent. From the adrenalin thrills of Queenstown to the achingly beautiful Milford Sound, there’s never a dull moment down south. Stop frequently, take deep breaths and enjoy one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Mt Aspiring National Park Visitor Info Centre Mt Earnslaw, 03 443 7660

LAKE WANAKA The cosy town and its crystal-clear waters which reflect the dramatic landscape is the gateway to Mount Aspiring Park. The World Heritage area has magnificent tramping and mountaineering. Lake Wanaka boasts almost as many adrenalintastic activities as neighbouring Queenstown, such as mountain

biking, jet-boating, canyoning, and whitewater sledging. It’s a favourite with snowboarders in winter, and has lively nightlife year-round. Boasting the most sceneray from those films with wizards and hairyfooted hobbits, there are great Lord of the Rings tours, too. Lake Wanaka Visitors Centre The Log Cabin, Lakefront, 100 Ardmore Street. 03 4431 1233

WANAKA STAY Holly’s Backpackers (BBH) 71 Upton St, 03 443 8187, LHH (BBH) 1 Capell Ave, 03 443 1224, Mountain View Backpackers (BBH) 7 Russell St, 0800 112 201, Matterhorn South (BBH) 56 Brownston St, 03 443 1119, The Purple Cow (BBH) 94 Brownston St, 03 443 1880, Wanaka Bakpaka (BBH) 117 Lakeside Rd, 03 443 7837, YHA Wanaka 181 Upton St, 03 443 7405,

WANAKA DO Adventure Consultants Mountaineering instruction courses and guided ascents, 03 443 8711, Aspiring Guides Guided mountain climbing and ice climbing instruction courses, 03 443 9422, Classic Flights Vintage Tiger Moth flights over Lake Wanaka. 03 443 4043, Deep Canyon Canyoning in the Matukituki Valley. Adventure Wanaka, 23 Dunmore St, Wanaka. 03 443 7922, Frogz Have More Fun Sledge down either the Clutha, Hawea or Kawarau Rivers. 0800 437 649,

Wanaka Rock Climbing One, three and five-day rock climbing courses for everyone. 03 443 6411, Wanaka Flightseeing Milford Sound flight and cruise from Wanaka, 03 443-8787, Wanaka Sightseeing Includes Lord of the Rings tours, 2 Anderson Rd, 03 338 0982,

LAKE HAWEA Thirty-five kilometres long and more than 400m deep, Lake Hawea is a great source of salmon and rainbow trout.

QUEENSTOWN Paradise for the energetic traveller, Queenstown is one of the world’s most action-packed towns. The town, which is surprisingly small compared to its big reputation, is located on Lake Wakatipu and rises up to the peaks of the aptly-named Remarkables (which you can ski in winter). In winter, the town is a centre for nearby skifields and in summer adventure activities and tramping take over. There’s also a hectic social scene which extends well into the wee small hours. Info & Track Guided Walks 37 Shotover St, 03 442 9708 Peterpans Adventure Travel 27 Shotover St Queenstown. Queenstown Travel & Visitor Centre Corner of Shotover & Camp Sts, 03 442 4100

Q’TOWN STAY Alpine Lodge (BBH) 13 Gorge Rd. 03 442 7220, Aspen Lodge (BBH) 11 Gorge Rd. 03 442 9671, Base Discovery Lodge Queenstown 49 Shotover St. 03 441 1185, Black Sheep Lodge (VIP) 13 Frankton Rd. 03 442 7289, Bungi Backpackers (VIP, BBH) 15 Sydney St. 0800 728 286, Butterfli Lodge (BBH) 62 Thompson St. 03 442 6367,

The Silver Demon Aerobatic flights. 03 443 4043,

Cardrona Alpine Resort Between Queenstown and Wanaka. 03 443 7341,

Skydive Lake Wanaka Freefall from 12,000 or 15,000ft with views of NZ’s highest mountains. 0800 786 877,

Deco Backpackers (VIP, BBH) 52 Man St. 03 442 7384,

Treble Cone Ski Field 03 443 7443,

Flaming Kiwi Backpackers (BBH) 39 Robins Rd. 03 442 5494, Hippo Lodge (BBH)

4 Anderson Hts. 03 442 5785,

0800 467 325,

The Last Resort Queenstown (BBH) 6 Memorial St. 03 442 4320,

Haka Adventure Snow Tours 03 980 4250, Mad Dog River Boarding River sledging & other actionpacked water activities, 03 442 7797,

Nomads Queenstown 5-11 Church St. 03 441 3922, Pinewood Lodge (VIP) Queenstown’s best value accommodation. We offer an excellent variety of accommodation, everything from deluxe en-suite rooms with private bathroom amenities, inexpensive double and twin rooms, dorm beds and selfcontained family cabins. 48 Hamilton Rd. 0800 746 396, 03 442 8273, Southern Laughter: Sir Cedrics (BBH, VIP) 4 Isle St. 0800 441 8828,

Milford Sound Flightseeing Scenic flights to Milford Sound, 0800 65 65 01, NZONE Skydive Skydive from 15,000ft. 35 Shotover St, 03 442 5867, NZ Info on Coronet Peak, the Remarkables and Mt Hutt, Queenstown Rafting Raft the Shotover, Kawarau and Landsborough rivers. 35 Shotover St. 03 442 9792

Scallywags Travellers’ Guesthouse (BBH) 27 Lomond Crescent. 03 442 7083,

Real Journeys Visitor Centre Doubtful Sound & Milford Sound daytime and overnight cruises. Te Anau glow-worm cave excursions. TSS Earnslaw vintage steamship cruises and Walter Peak High Country Farm. 0800 65 65 01,

YHA Queenstown Central 48A Shotover Street. 03 442 7400, YHA Queenstown Lakefront 88-90 Lake Esplanade. 03 442 8413,

Q’TOWN DO There are hundreds of activities to keep you occupied in Queenstown. Bungy, jetboating and rafting are all experiences not to be missed, and in winter, skiing the Remarkables is a must. To really appreciate the beauty of the region, take a scenic flight, or even jump out the plane. AJ Hackett Bungy Queenstown Jump off one or all of New Zealand’s most well-known sites. Nevis Highwire Bungy, the highest in New Zealand – 134m above the Nevis River. The Kawarau Bridge, the world’s first bungy – 43m above the Kawarau River. The 47m Ledge, 400m above the town which you can jump day or night. Access is by Skyline Gondola. 0800 286 4958

Shotover Canyon Swing Jump or be released 109m off the world’s highest cliff jump. 0800 279 464, Shotover Jet Jetboat ride. 0800 746 868 Sky Trek Hang Gliding 03 442 9551, Vertigo Mountain Biking Heli-bike and gondola downhill. 0800 837 8446,

GLENORCHY Just out of Queenstown is Glenorchy (or “Isengard”) which has some of the best walks in the area, including the Greenstone and Caples tracks. Department of Conservation Beech St, 03 442 7933

Awesome Foursome Bungy (Nevis – 134m), jetboat, helicopter, whitewater rafting,

Glenorchy Backpackers Retreat (VIP) Cnr Mull and Argyle Streets, Glenorchy,

Dart River Safaris Jetboating wilderness tours, 0800 327 8538,

Kinloch Lodge 862 Kinloch Rd, 03 442 4900,

Fat Tyre Adventure Mountain biking/heli biking, 0800 328 897, Fergburger Best burgers in NZ. Shotover St, Flight Park Tandem Paragliding Operates from Coronet Peak

ARROWTOWN Poplar Lodge 4 Merioneth St, 03 442 1466, Arrowtown Holiday Park 12 Centennial Ave, 03 442 1876


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SOUTHISLAND TE ANAU Home to the second largest lake in NZ, Te Anau is a beautiful little town, a good jumping off point for the World Heritage Fiordland National Park. The park is the largest in New Zealand and offers some spectacular sightseeing. The Milford Track is one of the most famous in the world, but often booked out. The Routeburn, ReesDart and Kepler are ace alternatives. Fiordland I-site Visitor Centre Lakefront Drive, Te Anau, 03 249 8900 Department of Conservation 03 249 8514 Te Anau Glowworm Caves Air Fiordland Flights to Queenstown, Milford and Mt Cook, 03 249 7505, Real Journeys Coaches to Milford Sound, 0800 656 503 Scenic Shuttle Daily between Te Anau and Invercargill in summer months, twice weekly in winter. Connects with the Catlins Coaster from Invercargill to Dunedin 0800 277 483 Top Line Tours Coach to and from Te Anau and Queenstown, 03 249 8059

TE ANAU STAY Barnyard Backpackers (BBH) 80 Mt York Rd, Rainbow Downs, 03 249 8006, Bob & Maxine’s (BBH) 20 Paton Place, 03 931 3161, Rosie’s Backpacker Homestay (BBH) 23 Tom Plato Drive, Lake Te Anau, 03 249 8431, Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers (BBH) 48/50 Lakefront Dr, 03 249 7713, Steamers Beach Backpackers (BBH) 77 Manapouri- Te Anau Hwy, 03 249 7737, YHA Te Anau 29 Mokonui St, 03 249 7847,

TE ANAU DO Adventure Fiordland 72 Town Centre, 03 249 8500 High Ride Adventures Quad riding and scenic horse trekking. 03 249 8591, Luxmore Jet Jetboating on the Waiau River, 0800 253 826,

84 Real Journeys Doubtful Sound daytime wilderness, small boat and overnight cruises. Milford Sound daytime, overnight scenic, nature and small boat cruises. 0800 656 501, Milford Track Day Walk Lake cruise and guided walk, 0800 656 501 Rosco’s Milford Sound Sea Kayaks 0800 476 726, Skydive Fiordland Dive 44 Caswell Rd, Te Anau, 0800 829254,

ANAU TO MILFORD The distance between Te Anau and Milford Sound may be 119km but the breathtaking scenery along the way makes the journey extremely enjoyable. Along the road watch out for the Mirror Lakes and the disappearing mountain. Another highlight is the 1.2km rough-hewn Homer Tunnel. It’s pitch black, having no lighting plus it’s pretty darn steep – a thrilling experience for those afraid of the dark.

MILFORD SOUND Green, wet and breathtakingly beautiful, Milford Sound is one of the most picturesque sights in the world. Much of the action in the Milford Sound takes place on the water and the best way to appreciate the beauty on show is on a cruise or kayak. Bottlenose dolphins, New Zealand fur seals and Fiordland crested penguins all hang out there.

MILFORD DO Real Journeys 0800 656 501, Great Sights On and under the water, 03 442 9445 Milford Sound Underwater Observatory Discover a coral reef beneath Milford Sound, 03 249 9442 Milford Sound Cruise & Observatory Visit 0800 656 501

BOOK NOW! Wanaka Flightseeing Milford Sound flight and cruise, 0800 105 105, 

MANAPOURI Manapouri is the proud owner of arguably New Zealand’s most beautiful stretch of water. This is where the boat trip on Doubtful Sound leaves from – most start the trip in Queenstown or Te Anau. From the boat you may see seals and possibly dolphins and penguins. Adventure Charters and Hires Real Journeys 03 249 6602

MANAPOURI STAY Freestone Backpackers (BBH) 270 Hillside Rd, 03 249 6893, Manapouri Lakeview Motor Inn 68 Cathedral Drive, 03 249 6652, Possum Lodge 13 Murrel Ave, 03 249 6623,

DOUBT SOUND If you’re not one for crowds, an alternative Fiordland option is Doubtful Sound – the deepest of the fiords, made up of 100km of waterways. Where Milford is all pointy peaks and endless cascading falls, Doubtful is rounded mountains – a serene sanctuary, inhabited by loads of interesting critters. Real Journeys Daytime wilderness, small boat and overnight cruises. 0800 656 502 Fiordland Navigator Pearl Harbour, Manapouri 03 249 6602, Deep Cove Hostel Doubtful Sound, 03 249 7713,


Milford Wanderer Cruises Day and overnight options with kayaking, etc. Coach connections, 0800 656 501,

The southernmost city in New Zealand, Invercargill is a farmingorientated community with a pleasant collection of parks and museums to keep you busy.

Tawaki Dive See Fiordland’s unique marine life on a day-trip with two guided dives in Milford Sound. Rental gear available, max four divers. 0800 829254,

Invercargill I-site Visitors Centre 108 Gala St, 03 214 6243

TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak Farm tours, barbecue lunches, horse treks and cycling.

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wildlife encounters. Farmstay options are available, 0800 304333,

STEWART ISLAND Stewart Island Flights Flights to Stewart Island, 03 218 9129, Bunkers Backpackers (BBH) 13 Argyle St, Halfmoon Bay, Stweart Island, 027 738 1796



CATLINS STAY Wrights Mill Lodge 865 Tahakopa Valley, 03 204 8424 Lazy Dolphin 529 Curio Bay Rd, 03 246 8579. Cedar Tree Lodge (BBH) 36 Hosptial Road, 027 611 7932. Happy Inn Backpackers (BBH) 11 Shakespeare St, 03 417 4161.

Southern Comfort (BBH) 30 Thompson St, 03 218 3838

Fernlea Backpackers (VIP) Moana St, Kaka Point, 03 412 8834

Tuatara Backpacker Lodge 30 Dee St, 03 214 0956,

The Split Level (BBH) 9 Waikawa Rd, Owaka, 03 415 8304,

SOUTH SCENIC The beautiful road west of Invercargill towards Fiordland is known as the Southern Scenic Route.

Surat Bay Lodge (BBH) Surat Bay Rd, New Haven, 03 415 8099,

Pepper Tree Hostel 121 Grey St, Palmerston, 06 335 4054,

Penguin Paradise Holiday Lodge (BBH) 612 Waikawa-Niagara Rd, Waikawa Village South Catlins, 03 2468 552,

Grandma’s Place 146 Grey St, Palmerston North, 06 358 6928,

Thomas Catlins Lodge & Holiday Park, 8 Clark St, Owaka 03 415 8333,

The Globe Backpackers (VIP) 144 Palmerston St, Riverton, 03 234 8527,

Wright’s Mill Lodge 865 Tahakopa Valley Rd, 03 204 8424

Harbison Backpackers 5 Harbison St, Otautau, 03 225 8715, Shooters Backpackers (BBH) 73 Main St, Tuatapere, 03 226 6250

GORE Gore spans the Mataura river and boasts some lovely scenery in the Hokonui Hills and the Country and Western festival each June. Oakleight Motels 70 Hokonui Dr, 03 208 4863,

THE CATLINS The beautiful Catlins is a sprawling mass of bush, forest and rivers, stretching all the way from Waipapa Point in Southland to Nugget Point in Otago. The best bit about the Catlins is the abundance of wildlife.

Dept of Conservation Office Don St, 03 214 4589

Catlins Community Info Centre 3 Main Rd, Owaka, South Otago, 03 415 8371,

Catlins Coaster Invercargill to Dunedin via the Catlins with many stops to the main natural attractions and

Elm Lodge Wildlife Tours Two-day camping trips, 0800 356 563,

DUNEDIN Dunedin is Celtic for “Edinburgh” and many Scottish principles endure here. One thing the locals do much better than their Scots ancestors is play rugby, so if there’s a game on at Carisbrook (the “House of Pain”) while you’re in town, beg, borrow or steal to get yourself there. Dunedin Visitor Centre 48 The Octagon, 03 474 3300 Dept of Conservation Office 77 Stuart St, 03 477 0677 Penguin Patch 9 the Octagon, 03 471 8571, Email:

DUNEDIN STAY Chalet Backpackers (BBH) 296 High St, 03 479 2075 Dunedin Central Backpackers (BBH) 243 Moray Pl, 03 477 9985, Pavlova Palace (BBH) 74 Elm Row, 03 477 34728 Hogwartz (BBH)


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277 Rattray St, 03 474 1487, Kiwis Nest (BBH) 597 George St, 03 471 9540, Leviathan Hotel 27 Queens Gardens, 0800 773 773, Manor House 28 Manor Place, 03 477 0484, On Top Backpackers (BBH) 12 Filleul St, cnr Moray Pl, 03 477 6121, Pennys Backpackers (BBH) 6 Stafford St, 03 477 6027, Next Stop Backpackers 2 View St, 03 477 0477, YHA Dunedin, Stafford Gables 71 Stafford St, 03 474 1919,

DUNEDIN DO Baldwin Street In the Guinness Book of Records as the steepest street in the world.

Cadbury World 280 Cumberland St, 0800 223 2879, Cosmic Corner Funk Store Check out the legal highs and chat to the staff about where to go for parties, events and the beautiful parts of New Zealand.  355 George St, 03 479 2949 Dunedin Public Art Gallery 30 The Octagon, 03 474 3240, Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony View blue penguins just metres away every evening at dusk. Waterfront Rd, 1-1/2 hrs north of Dunedin, 03 433 1195, Parachute Experience Skydiving from a great height 03 489 4113, Sinclair Wetlands and Educational Centre Freedom or conducted walks over 5km of walkways. Backpacker and camping facilities. Rapid no 854 Clarendon/Berwick Rd

(signposted on SH1 30km south of Dunedin), 03 486 2654 Speights Brewery Heritage Tours 03 477 7697 Royal Albatross Centre 03 478 0499,

OTAGO PENINSULA The Otago Peninsula is a beautiful stretch of rugged coast, home to a fascinating collection of rare and native birds such as the albatross and yellow-eyed penguin. Billy Browns (BBH) 423 Aramoana Rd, Port Chalmers, 03 472 8323, McFarmers Backpackers 774 Portobello Rd, Portobello, 02 5206 0640, Pinot Lodge (BBH) 102 Barry Avenue, Cromwell, Fiordland 03 445 1260,

OTAGO DO Historic Fort Taiaroa An underground complex built

in the 1880s, this fortified stronghold has been inhabited since earliest Maori settlement of the area. Tours available at the Visitor Centre. Fletcher House, Broad Bay, 03 478 0180

ROXBURGH Villa Rose Backpackers 79 Scotland St, 03 446 8761,

Larnach Castle Australasia’s only castle. The architecture is amazing and the intricate details (including a foyer ceiling that took nearly seven years to build) are breathtaking. NZ Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium Run by the University of Otago, the Portobello Aquarium and Marine Biology Centre (near Quarantine Point) is a refuge for a diverse collection of fish and reptile life. 03 479 5826 Elm Wildlife Tours 0800 356 563,

ALEXANDRA Alexandra and Roxburgh are the two main towns for fruit-picking work in the Central Otago region. Grasshopper Rock One of the world’s southernmost vineyards, situated on the Earnscleugh Rd.


OAMARU A charming little place noted for both its interesting collection of white granular limestone buildings and its large penguin population. Visitor Information Centre Thames St, 03 434 1656 Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony View blue penguins at dusk. Waterfront Rd, 03 433 1195, Ahuriri Backpackers (BBH) 5 Clay Cliffs Lane 03 438 9451 Chillawhile Backpackers (BBH) & Art Gallery 1 Frome St, Roberts Park, 03 437 0168, Coastal Backpackers (BBH) The Hall, Waianakarua Rd, All Day Bay, 03 439 5411, Buscot Station (BBH) 732 Omarama, 03 438 9646, Empire Hotel (BBH) 13 Thames St, 03 434 3446, Old Bones Lodge (BBH) 468 Beach Rd, 03 434 8115, YHA Oamaru, Red Kettle Seasonal (open September/ October to May/June only). Corner of Reed and Cross Sts, 03 434 5008, Swaggers Backpackers (BBH) 25 Wansbeck St, 03 434 9999,

MOERAKI Just 30km south of Oamaru lies a remarkable collection of eerie giant boulders.

OTAGO PENINSULA Overrun with a diverse population of wildlife, Otago Peninsula is one of the best and most accessible places to get a good look at penguins, albatross, fur seals and sea lions. The Royal Albatross Centre has all the info you could need on the massive seabird, and you can’t beat the feeling of seeing those huge wings soaring above you on the way in or out. Windy days are the best for sightings, usually in the afternoon too. After 4pm, in key locations, you can see the yellow-eyed penguins coming ashore after a hard day of fishing. There are hides built for your convenience, so stay out of the dunes, keep your voice down and turn that damn flash off! As for sea lions, they are best viewed from a tour or at Sandfly Bay and Allans and Victory Beaches.

Riverside Haven (BBH) 2328 SH1, Waianakarua, 03 439 5830, The Dubliner 105 Tiverton St, Palmerston, 03 465 8123


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Photos: Barry Johnson and iStock



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Crossing the Line in Cambodia With enough time in the jungles of South-East Asia, you’ll find much more than mines and mosquitoes

Photos: Barry Johnson and iStock


“Listen,” pleads my guide, “skull and crossbone signs aren't markers for buried treasure.” Even though we both knew the stories of Blackbeard and Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow, he still doubted we'd find buried booty in dense Cambodian jungle, hidden by pirates plundering the Asian coast. Joe's eyes and hands are suddenly animated as he shouted, “These are mine warnings – one wrong step and boom!” On a deserted trail outside Siem Reap, the lofty cast of Buddha faces from the distant Bayon temple still watched me intently. I was searching for the most isolated and until recently, undiscovered temple from the reign of the Khmer Empire. Just like Hiram Bingham and Howard Carter, I felt ecstasy at stepping where humans hadn't lingered for centuries. The swelling, mosquito-infested jungles of Southeast Asia ticked that bucket-list criteria. We'd been hiking for 3 hours, any hint of a clear trail a distant memory. It had taken me this long to find a rhythm to our bush-bashing, a mix of looking down to prevent a twisted ankle or snake bite then glancing up to brush aside eye-piercing palm fronds. Sharing my journey silenced my usual terrors of being hopelessly lost in a wilderness where blue sky was hidden by the towering foliage lusting for sunlight. Hunting for the latest rediscovered temple built by the Khmers meant leaving Angkor Wat – the honeypot drawing thousands of selfie-snapping tourists daily and venturing vaguely north for about 40 kilometres, even though it was feeling like 400km at our pace. The dirt underfoot was lined with stagnant bogs, sucking my boots down as the acrid water bubbled upward. At our hourly rest stops, the jungle was silent, peaceful – once my wheezing stopped. Serene, not frightening, unlike previous adventures in the late-night darkness of the Amazon when jungle neighbours howled at my presence – cicadas, then birds, wild boars and caiman. Pointing westward, Joe drew my gaze to a single stone pillar, obviously man-made despite the 12 centuries of dirt

and weeds coating it. I followed his lead, stepping onto the Mountain of the Great Indra, one of many ghost cities abandoned after the Khmer civilisation collapsed. The site threatened to give me whiplash, my neck turning in all directions to ogle at the bas-relief carvings sharing the stone with luminous green and orange moss. Hindu gods were stubbornly standing in temple shrines or comically toppled by the encroaching tentacles of trees reclaiming the site. Wish granted – walking on ancient ground, recently only seen by satellites and drones but I still felt goose bumps as the eternal gods' eyes bore through me. I didn't want to join the frozen watchers in the jungle. Not yet anyway.

Being watched in the jungle... TNTDOWNUNDER.COM

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Heavy hand of history Stepping off a bus in Siem Reap weeks ago, I sought out archaeological digs, following the throng of locals arriving at covered pits to join a few studious westerners. Negotiating with one of them seemed best – as he was a likely descendant of the original builders. In the 12th century, the Khmer Empire was the dominant civilisation in South-East Asia, ruling Cambodia and much of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. After the usual royal romances, heroic battles, political betrayals and monument building, the empire steadily collapsed in the 15th century, largely from that pesky climate change as droughts drained their advanced irrigation canals. Jump to 2015 because the intervening 600 years are probably worth forgetting if you had to endure them. Ruled by foreigners, beginning with their neighbours, then colonisation by the French, then Japanese in WW2 before locals took power. Sadly, these locals were Pol Pot and his misfits, the Khmer Rouge, a regime spawned from the Vietnam War during the 60s. They are dead now but the country's politics is still an ugly joke in Asia. The Khmer temples have silently endured, remaining one of the few sources of hope, pride and income for the average Cambodian. As tourists returned to the country in the early 90s, these temple cities received excited global coverage rivalling the wonders of the Incans and Pharoahs. The legacy of foreign rule hasn't been all bad. French, Vietnamese and Thai culture has influenced the language, architecture and food of the country. We can now enjoy a unique and delicious fusion in a new Cambodia. An island oasis Leaving from Phnom Penh, the complicated capital, I arrived here to find a city blooming around the airport and the most famous of the Khmer temples. It's a matter of dodging the chaos of dusty roads filled with tuk-tuks, bicycles and airconditioned coaches chugging toward garish hotels and resorts. At 24 sq. km, Siem Reap is only a small part of Cambodia, a country featuring the haunting Bokor Casino, abandoned in the 40s, the beach town Battambang and the vast Tonlé Sap Lake. Just like the Strip in Las Vegas and France's Disneyland, it's borne from the urgings of tourists, in this case, desperate to gawp at Angkor Wat during sunrise and Bayon at dusk. The place makes tumbling into a backpacker routine easy. A cycle of spicy street food, Angkor-branded beer, fried tarantulas and then collapsing into a pool until the sun rises to start again. Many tourists only visit the big 2 temples but there are over 50 other temples, honouring the vast roll-call of Hindu gods, the Buddha and the kings ruling the empire at its height. As I work my way through the long list surrounding my hostel, I jump off the merry-go-round of cheap delights and let existential questions fill my mind. I start my quest at West Mebon, an out-of-the-way temple in the middle of a reservoir. Without tidal waves, it's eerie as I wade into the artificial lake, trying to forget the crocodiles dumped in these moats centuries ago. Slowing closing on the island, a few hundred metres away, it felt more like 88

the endless Hindu sea of creation with each stroke. I finally staggered ashore, dripping and rasping, the elephants, cormorants and oxen etched on the stone looking on. The heart of West Mebon is empty, the Buddha statue plucked from the pedestal 50 years ago after a farmer dreamt it was begging for rescue from past flooding. The temple is now more ruin than hallowed hall, the wooden roof rotted away and only one of the walls standing against that flood. The heavens open Next morning, dreams of buried treasure and giant Buddhas wake me before sunrise, the fables I'd read and the graphic bas-reliefs had me running from hybrid beasts and demons. Leaving for Indra's Mountain with Joe, we hire a motorbike, sharing the riding once he's sure I can weave round the knee-deep potholes and dodge the looming tanker trucks barging from the capital. Stopping to refuel, I finish another bottle of water as he pours petrol from rusty metal drums by the roadside through a garden hose into our fuel tank. Lucky we're obeying the 'no smoking or mobile phones' safety warnings. By mid-morning, the sun blazing on my scalp, inhaling tepid, foggy air, we arrive on the outskirts of the temple, a slim mud track daring us onward. Wedging the bike into the undergrowth and removing the spark plug to ensure it'll be here for the return trip, we start walking, Aerogard burning


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with the creamy coconut sauces soaking into the rice and sweet potato. Icy cane-juice cools my skin, clinging to clothes that'll test the bravest laundry service. Joe gestures skyward, a signal we need to return to 'modern' civilisation. It's just long enough for this ancient shrine to etch into the part of my brain marked 'traveller's memories'. Joe sees my expression, his eternal smile proving he's way ahead of me. Join an ancient guild: Carve your own monument

my eyes. It's not long before the jungle's inhabitant’s howl at my intrusion, another slow-footed foreigner stumbling on ancient secrets. They are right to screech. Tourists have found graphic ways to get into trouble here – motorcycles slamming into trees, land mines tearing through cargo pants and Croc shoes, even a tumble from a roller-coaster. Joe, like all guides here, ignores these fears, his confidence earnt from decades of respectful exploring. Eventually the jungle gives way to the temple site, puffy clouds overhead. The outer walls crumble against barbed wire and crudely painted mine warnings on wooden boards. Standing in awe, the tales from King Jayavarman II alive in front of me, I agree to stay to the main complex, unmined by the US and Vietnamese soldiers 50 years ago, perhaps also scared of waking temple spirits. Cambodia's suffering isn't the first thing you notice in the smiles of the locals. Poverty – high, corruption – high, happy memories – few. But the cliché of happiness amongst the poorest people is real here. Fulfilment without endless TV channels and a smartphone? Maybe so. We step amongst the ruins, pondering our existence again in the same way the builders did, looking out to nature and listening intently for an eagle to chirp with the answer. Joe takes out a meal of Khmer curry, still warm from the tightly wrapped banana leaves, the chicken moist

After seeing the thousandth delicate sculpture teasing you with a myth starring multi-headed demons, cheap plastic souvenirs from street vendors don't deserve a place in your carry-on. Instead, you could spend a few hours at one of Siem Reap's Backstreet Academies. Don't be frightened – these aren't shadowy alleys filled with street-fighters, underground gambling and exotic 'substances'. The Academy is a collection of local artists, chefs, dancers and fighters teaching their skills in crash-courses for the hands-on traveller. Skills include stone carving, iron pencil drawing, aspara dancing, khmer warrior fighting, crossbow and knife making and 'evil khmer' cooking (not many thumbs up for this one). In the stone carving class, you'll sculpt a palm-sized Buddha, aspara dancer, lotus flower or exotic animal with sandstone just like the Khmer builders used. My teacher had a saint's patience, making sure the four-hour lesson wasn't an angry mix of coughing dust, crumbling rock and bleeding fingers. For only $25, it's easily worth the time to create your own masterpiece. Barry Johnson is a Sydney-based traveller leaving a trail of Aussie souvenirs scattered throughout homes around the world. Without a passport, he'd wouldn't have gotten lost in dense forest after watching the Blair Witch Project, built a giant Buddha on a Cambodian mountain, raced a camel in the Egyptian desert or taught English to Peruvian children as they taught him Quechua, the language of the Incas.

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Build a new life Australia and New Zealand are crying out for skilled migrant workers If a job Down Under is what you’re searching for, then you’ll find a host of opportunities in Australia and New Zealand’s construction sector, where there has always been a strong demand for skilled migrants. World mover Anglo Pacific says candidates should seize the moment. “Although requirements for Christchurch’s rebuild are well documented, skill shortages are becoming widespread across Australia and New Zealand,” sales director Jason Diggs explains. “Both nations are struggling to fill key skilled positions with home-grown talent alone. Currently 60% of our export business goes to these two nations – I suspect that figure will rise.” Reckon you could help? Here’s who they’re looking for...

Chippy The real opportunities for carpenters and joiners exist in New Zealand, where the Christchurch and Canterbury region is

going through one of the largest construction rebuilds ever due partly to recent earthquakes. Qualifications and experience: We recommend using a reputable migration agent, but in Australia you’ll need an AQF Certificate III including at least two years of on-the-job training, or AQF Certificate IV (ANZSCO Skill Level 3). In New Zealand you’ll need an NZ Register Level 4 qualification. You’ll have your skills accessed by the relevant authorities and, if you’re good but don’t have the right certificates, sometimes experience can open doors. In terms of licensing, it depends on which state you intend to work, whether you are being supervised or not and the value of the work. Pay: Carpenter jobs pay on average 18% higher than Europe. You should get about $900 a week, which will buy you a very nice lifestyle.

Sparky Qualifications and experience: It’s a similar drill, so we recommend using a reputable migration agent. The Vocational Education Training and Assessment Services (VETASSESS) will be able to provide an opinion on your qualifications. Of course, you can work using a Working Holiday Visa, but this restricts you to a maximum of six months with a single employer. Pay: Again, the pay is much better Down Under than in Europe, and you’re looking at about $55 an hour depending where you go.

Brickies Qualifications and experience: With bricklayers it can be tricky as the majority don’t have a formal qualification but do have significant experience. But don’t worry, they take that into consideration and experience goes down well. Pay: You’ll be looking to earn something around $3,000 per month, although this could be higher if you’re self-employed and charge per day.

Project manager Qualifications and experience: In both Australia and New Zealand you’ll need a bachelor degree or higher qualification to land a project manager job according to Australia’s Department of Immigration. It says, though, that at least five years of relevant experience may substitute for the formal qualification. Find yourself a decent migration agent to help out. Pay: Salaries are good and continuing to rise, so expect to earn a few dollars!



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