BACKPACKER / ESSENTIALS / FEBRUARY 2016
ALTERNATIVE ROAD TRIP NORTH COAST NSW
CROATIA JEWEL OF THE ADRIATIC HOBART 2016 MUST-VISIT CITY
GEOTHERMAL NZ VOLCANOES, MUD BATHS & MORE
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INSIDE BACKPACKER / ESSENTIALS
LONELY PLANET’S TOP 10
TOP DEALS IN OZ & NZ
NEW ZEALAND'S HOTTEST SPOTS
VOL 20 / No 1 FEBRUARY 2016
MANAGING EDITOR Janet McGarry
A GOOD DOSE OF "BOHEMIA"
NEW ZEALAND EDITOR Brindi Joy DEPUTY EDITOR Melanie Tesoriero
YHA CONTRIBUTORS Leah Kmiec Rachel Seymour Di Caught
Buskers in Byron Bay Jimi Richardson
Backpacker Essentials is the member magazine for YHA Australia. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Association. No material may be reproduced without prior permission from the editor. All travel prices are subject to change and conditions apply. All hostel prices are YHA member rates and are subject to change. © YHA Australia ISSN 1328-6749. ®YHA Australia, Hostelling International and YHA house and tree logos are Registered Trademarks of YHA Australia Inc., PO Box A2462, Sydney South NSW 1235
ART DIRECTOR Justin Thomas GRAPHIC DESIGN Nicolas Chua
EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES The Editor, Backpacker Essentials, GPO Box 5276, Sydney NSW 2001. T: +61 2 9261 1111 F: +61 2 9261 1969 E: backpackeressentials@ yha.com.au
AUSTRALIA/NZ SKI WITH YHA / YHA NEWS / YOUR YHA
GET YOUR SNOWFIE FACE READY! Yes, we just combined snow and selfie into snowfie, whatever. But, start thinking and booking your ski holiday now for 2016. From the slopes in Thredbo to the fields in New Zealand, YHA has accommodation for you as a solo skier, or in a group of friends or family. Beds book out fast so set a reminder for when bookings become available. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t delay!
With snow hostels located near some of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best slopes, such as Queenstown and Wanaka, you want to get in fast before the snow hits the mountains! Book at yha.co.nz
New Zealand Ski Fields Treble Cone Ski
Early bird ski season bookings are available from 1 March 2016 with peak season prices starting from AU$199 for two nights. Book at yha.com.au
YHA COFFEE CRAZE Hunter Valley YHA, in NSW, has just opened its brand new café and reception area! With coffee machine, food options, scenic wall with winepress (perfect for pictures!) and reception area – it’s a shiny new addition to the beautiful Hunter Valley YHA! Because we know coffee drinkers are a special kind of people (knowing exactly where to get the best drop), here’s some of the other YHAs with great coffee. The perfect way to kick start your day with YHA!
HUNTER VALLEY YHA
MELBOURNE CENTRAL YHA
SYDNEY CENTRAL YHA
Hunter Valley YHA
YHA’S TOP HOSTELS FOR 2015 You stayed – you reviewed – now find out which YHA hostels rated top of the list! Big or small (and the ones in between) - YHA’s top rating Australian hostels range from northern Queensland all the way to south eastern Australia, and west to WA. From the snow-capped mountain views at Thredbo YHA to the idyllic vineyard settings at Hunter Valley YHA, our top-rated hostels are unique and popular in their own ways. Shark cage diving locations and beachside spots were favourites, including Port Lincoln YHA, Port Elliot YHA and Port Douglas YHA, as were purpose-built hostels on famous Australian islands, namely Phillip Island YHA.The stunning harbour views and prime location of Sydney Harbour YHA was popular, as was choosing to be locked up in a cell – and special mention to Fremantle Prison YHA for garnering the top spot in the extra-large category as it only opened in May 2015! Congratulations to YHA’s hardworking hostel managers and staff who are often named personally in reviews left by guests. We look forward to welcoming guests, old and new, to our 85 hostels in 2016!
Fremantle Prison YHA
Phillip Island YHA
TOP RATING HOSTEL
Small (0-50 beds)
Hunter Valley YHA
Medium (51-100 beds)
Port Lincoln YHA and Port Elliot YHA
Large (101-200 beds)
Port Douglas YHA
Phillip Island YHA
Extra Large (200+ beds)
Fremantle Prison YHA
Sydney Harbour YHA
YOUR YHA YHA NEWS FOR MEMBERS IN AUSTRALIA
MOVING TOWARDS ONE YHA IN AUSTRALIA YHA has taken a step closer to becoming a single national organisation in Australia, with the integration of Hostelling International Australia (HI-A) into YHA Ltd in early 2016. YHA in Australia started over 75 years ago and was originally a federation of state-based organisations, each responsible for operating youth hostels in their own area. A national organisation, HI-A, was also created to represent YHA internationally and to oversee national projects including the website yha.com.au. Over the past six years, several mergers of former statebased organisations have taken place with the goal of forming one YHA body in Australia. These mergers have increased the effectiveness of governance and operations, and created cost savings that are used to improve services for YHA members and guests. As a result of the integration of HI-A, some amendments are required to the YHA Ltd Constitution, along with some proposed governance and membership changes. Eligible members of YHA Ltd will be invited to vote upon these changes in March 2016. For more information see yha.com.au/about/yha-organisation/
YHA THROUGH THE AGES YHA Australia has been around for over 75 years - which means a lot of change has occurred! We thought weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d go through the archives and dig up a few golden oldies - YHA through the ages!
Mt Lofty YHA, 1948
The 2nd Adelaide YHA opened in 1971
Geehi Hostel, 1950 - 1977
Bundanoon YHA - 1909 formerly Lynbrook Guesthouse
LONELY PLANET'S TOP 10 / CAMBODIA / SPOTLIGHT ON CAMBODIA
TOP 10 CITIES 2016
With some old favourites making the list, Lonely Planetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s list of top 10 cities for 2016 includes a few that will inspire us to get off the beaten track. All the hard work has been done for you, and with Hostelling International hostels near each of these locations, your next holiday is only a few clicks away! Check out the list!
Kotor, Montenegro Shutterstock
/LONELY PLANET'S TOP 10
KOTOR - MONTENEGRO
The little - known city of Kotor is a coastal town in Montenegro with views to die for. It is one of the most photogenic spots in all of Europe and with a population of less than 15,000, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an untouched gem just waiting to be explored. Stay here
QUITO - ECUADOR
DUBLIN - IRELAND
Quito - the highest official capital city in the world is also one of the largest and bestpreserved historical centres in the Americas, and also lays claim to being the first World Cultural Heritage Site declared by UNESCO. Stay here
First thoughts of Dublin: Guinness, cold weather and buskers. Dublin is no doubt one of the must-visit cities in Western Europe and with 40 per cent of the population under 30, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a humming, buzzing city that contrasts beautifully against the Georgian buildings. Stay here
Kotor, Montenegro Shutterstock
Grattan Bridge, Dublin Shutterstock
Quito, Ecuado Shutterstock
/LONELY PLANET'S TOP 10
4 George Town, Penang Shutterstock
GEORGE TOWN - MALAYSIA
George Town makes the list as modern Malaysia’s art city. With streets lined with street art amongst the traditional Chinese shophouses, there are also exhibition spaces popping up all over the city, from avant garde, to film, music and dance. Stay here
ROTTERDAM THE NETHERLANDS
MUMBAI - INDIA
Located in southern Holland, Rotterdam is the Netherlands’ second largest city and is home to Europe’s largest port. It is also a city with experimental building designs, built after much of the city was destroyed in WWII. The mix of historical and modern buildings makes Rotterdam so unique. Stay here
Gates of Mumbai - India Shutterstock
Mumbai, the heartland of the Bollywood film industry, has everything you’d need for your Indian experience. The most populated city in India, it is also the wealthiest and was named an alpha world city in 2009. Stay here
/LONELY PLANET'S TOP 10
FREMANTLE - AUSTRALIA
MANCHESTER - ENGLAND
‘Freo’ as the locals call it is a maritime town gaining a reputation as a hipster’s paradise with its live-music rooms, bars and craft beers. Located in Western Australia, it boasts stunning beaches and Victorian architecture. Freo is an escape to paradise! Stay here
Fremantle , Western Australia Tourism WA
Manchester has seen several revamps and openings in recent years, turning the once-industrial city into a location for cultural gatherings in the United Kingdom. After London and Edinburgh, Manchester is the third-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors, so get moving! Stay here
NASHVILLE - USA
The country music capital of the world is none other than Nashville, USA. Think big guitars, big hair and big voices, Nashville is expanding and becoming increasingly gentrified as a more tech-based demographic moves in. Stay here
ROME - ITALY
Rounding out the list for 2016, this city needs no introduction. Refurbishments to the Trevi fountain finished late last year so you can see the beautiful unobstructed view again. Pope Francis also decreed 2016 as an official Year of Mercy so expect lots of crowds, as usual! Stay here
Nashville, Tennessee Shutterstock
UNESCO HOSTELS There are hostels around the world that can brag about being able to host travellers in UNESCO-World Heritage recognised properties or areas. Here are a few:
YHA NATIONAL PARK NEW ZEALAND Located on the North Island, YHA National Park is the closest hostel to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, the National Parks of Tongariro and Whanganui and dual World Heritage area. This hostel has views of volcanoes from the doorstop and is the gateway to the Alpine Crossing, Whakapapa ski fields and mountain bike trails.
YHA NATIONAL PARK u u
/UNESCO HOSTELS YHA MEI HO HOUSE Hong Kong’s historic Mei Ho House in Sham Shui Po received an honourable mention in the 2015 UNESCO heritage awards following its revitalisation. Mei Ho House is the city’s only surviving Mark I H-shaped resettlement block building which has now been preserved and converted into a hostel.
HOSTEL CARCASSONNE, FRANCE
MEI HO HOUSE, HONG KONG u u
SYDNEY HARBOUR YHA, AUSTRALIA Sydney Harbour YHA is built above the archaeological remnants of colonial Sydney, with viewing platforms allowing guests to be able to see the history that they’re sleeping on top of each night. Sydney Harbour YHA received the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for Culture Heritage Conservation in 2011.
The Hostel Carcassonne is built within a medieval walled city, the Cité Médiévale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The streets surrounding the hostel are often home to impromptu performances and concerts by modern troubadours.
HI CARCASSONNE u
FREMANTLE PRISON YHA, AUSTRALIA Located within Western Australia’s first World Heritage-listed building, you can spend a night in a cell previously occupied by prisoners! Built in the 1850s and occupied in 1855 until 1991, the women’s division of the prison is now Fremantle Prison YHA. Fremantle Prison is one of eleven Australian Convict Sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
FREMANTLE PRISON YHA u u
SYDNEY HARBOUR YHA u u
: N O T H G I SPOTL
A I D O B C AM
Angkor Wat, Cambodia Shutterstock
HI Siem Reap Deluxe in Cambodia is luxury hostelling, with its lovely pool and bar, plush accommodation and perfect location in Siem Reap - only a three minute walk to Pub Street, the liveliest part of Siem Reap. The hostel also provides training for staff to help them better their families and communities, so you know your stay is positively contributing to your host community. HI Siem Reap Deluxe is the perfect base to explore Angkor Wat, which is not far from the hostel. This, on top of social buffet dinner nights - including local Cambodian cuisine, hot buffet breakfast, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi and views over the river, is more than enough reason to book your stay when visiting Siem Reap!
HI SIEM REAP DELUXE u u
YHA DEALS IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
Womadelaide Grant Hancock
MURWILLUMBAH ADVENTURE PACKAGE
BLUE MOUNTAINS CANYON TOUR
ADELAIDE SEVEN DAY DEAL
Explore the stunning Tweed Valley and climb Mt Warning National Park for spectacular views of the valley and coastline. Spend three nights at Murwillumbah and kayak and stand-up paddleboard - the ultimate adventure trip just in time for the warmer weather!
Perfect for adrenalin-seekers looking for that mountain adventure and getaway. Explore the Blue Mountains, test your nerves and take in the breathtaking views the Blue Mountains has on offer from an entirely new angle - and height with canyoning!
With so much on in Adelaide during the amazing festival season, you’re not going to want to leave. There is the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide Arts Festival, Womadelaide Music and Dance Festival, Clipsal Car Race, Writers Week and more, all over the months of February and March.
Package includes: u u u u u
3 nights’ accommodation in a multi-share or twin/double 1 hour guided kayak tour Stand-up paddleboard hire Return Mt Warning transfers Sightseeing tour
From AU$211.50 per person. Valid until 30 September 2016.
+61 2 6672 3763 u email@example.com u
Package includes: u u u
Full day canyoning with lunch included 2 nights' multi-share accommodation Breakfast daily
From AU$229 per person. Valid until 30 April 2016.
BLUE MOUNTAINS YHA
u u u
2 nights' multi-share accommodation Premium Wi-Fi for one week One BBQ dinner
From AU$120 per person. Valid until 31 March 2016.
+61 2 4782 1416 u firstname.lastname@example.org
ADELAIDE CENTRAL YHA +61 8 8414 3010 u email@example.com u
PADDLE POWER IN PARADISE Make the most of Westland's alpine environment just minutes from Franz Josef Glacier. Paddle the glacial Lake Mapourika by kayak or paddle board and enjoy mirrored reflections of the mountains and glaciers. Navigate into some of Westland’s oldest untouched rainforest and get up close to nature in the protected habitat and kiwi sanctuary. No previous kayaking or paddle boarding experience necessary. Package Includes: u u u u
2 nights at YHA Franz Josef 3 hour glacier kayak tour or stand up paddle board lesson Transport Photos
Kayak: From NZ$153 per person multi-share or NZ$299 private room for 2 people. Paddle board: From NZ$109 per person multi-share or NZ$255 private room for 2 people.
BOOK NOW YHA FRANZ JOSEF +64 3 752 0754
Escape and explore the Snowy Mountains this summer with the Kosciusko Explorer Package! Sleep and eat with YHA then explore the mountain with the All Mountain Pass including scenic chairlift and bobsled rides, golf and tennis every day plus access to the Thredbo Leisure Centre and its pool, waterslide, gym and sports hall. Package Includes: 3 nights’ accommodation u Continental breakfast daily u 2-day All Mountain Pass (Adult) or 3-day All Mountain Pass for Family. u
From AU$174 per person. Valid until 20 May 2016.
Valid to 4 August 2016. Weather dependant.
KOSCIUSKO SUMMER EXPLORER
+61 2 6457 6376 u firstname.lastname@example.org u
EXPERIENCE BALLARAT’S GOLD RUSH HISTORY AT SOVEREIGN HILL Be transported back to the 1850s gold rush era and pan for gold, explore the working 19th century shops and factories and take an underground mine tour. At night take in the explosive ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ sound-and-light show. Package includes: u
1 night accommodation in multi-share, single or twin room u Entry into Sovereign Hill and the Gold Museum u Entry to the ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ sound and light show From AU$119 per person. This offer is not bookable online. Valid until 31 March 2016. Please call Sovereign Hill Lodge YHA on +61 3 5337 1159 to book. Terms and conditions apply.
BALLARAT YHA +61 3 5337 1159 u email@example.com u
CANBERRA YOU ARE HERE FESTIVAL Canberra’s festival of experimental art is a free 5 day curated showcase of independent and experimental arts in the Canberra CBD. Popping up in shop fronts, alleyways, cafes, streets, car parks, galleries, museums, cars and even in houses, immerse and engage yourself in over 40 unique projects and events including theatre, dance, music, performance, independent gaming and even food. Canberra City YHA is the official accommodation provider for the You Are Here Festival, with 10% off accommodation. Simply call or email the hostel and quote “YAH16” to receive 10% off your accommodation. youareherecanberra.com.au.
CANBERRA CITY YHA u u
+61 2 6248 9155 firstname.lastname@example.org
PORT STEPHENS ADRENALIN PACKAGE
SYDNEY CENTRAL MARDI GRAS DEAL
Just a few hours north of Sydney is your perfect getaway to Port Stephens. Stay in bungalows amongst rainforest gardens with koalas greeting you in the morning. While you’re there, get involved in all the adventure activities Port Stephens has to offer, including dolphin watching, sandboarding, surfing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. Your Port Stephens adrenaline package includes:
The Mardi Gras is arguably the biggest party to hit Sydney every year and you have to get in quick to secure your ticket to the party! Stay close to the action on parade weekend with our special. Package includes:
3 nights’ multi-share accommodation, upgrades to private room available for an additional cost u 2 hour dolphin watching tour with boom net and water slide, dolphin spotting guaranteed u Unlimited 1-day sandboarding u 2 hour surf lesson including gear u 2.5 hour kayaking discovery tour u 1 hour stand-up paddle board hire
3 nights’ in multi-share accommodation Continental breakfast daily at onsite café Available for 4- 6 March 2016 only.
From AU$160.50 per person.
From AU $232 per person. Valid until 22 March 2016.
PORT STEPHENS YHA +61 2 4982 1921 u email@example.com u
SYDNEY CENTRAL YHA u u
+61 2 9218 9000 firstname.lastname@example.org
CURRUMBIN KOALA EXPERIENCE
PORT LINCOLN SEAFOOD SPECIAL
See a wild variety of Australia’s flora and fauna in the one place! Set amid a tropical landscape you can hold a koala, feed the kangaroos and see crocodiles, wombats, Tassie devils, snakes, dingoes and many more. Cosy up with one of the resident koalas and have your photo taken. Package includes:
Port Lincoln is one of the seafood capitals of the world and this special deal gives you the opportunity to experience some of the finest freshest seafood around - with a bottle of local Boston Bay wine what’s not to like? Package includes: u 2 nights’ accommodation in a Queen Room with ensuite bathroom u A spectacular seafood platter u Breakfast daily
u u u u
1 night multi-share accommodation at Surfers Paradise YHA Entry to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Koala hug and souvenir photo Return transfer from Surfers Paradise YHA
From AU$260 for two nights. Valid until 13 December 2016.
Valid until 31 March 2016. From AU$90 per person multi-share.
SURFERS PARADISE u u
+61 7 5571 1776 email@example.com
PORT LINCOLN YHA +61 8 8682 3605 u firstname.lastname@example.org
RIDE THE TONGARIRO RAPIDS Navigate rapid after roller coaster Grade 3 rapids, travelling 14 kilometres on the Tongariro River. At the helm – your expert guide – shouting orders to “paddle!” and “rest” and “paddle paddle paddle!” which at times is easier said than done as the beauty of the spectacular and unspoiled volcanic bushclad gorge, pristine river and boulder gardens can be a bit distracting. Package includes: u u u u u u
2 nights' multi-share with YHA Taupo 2.5 hour white water rafting on the Tongariro River Wetsuit and helmet Drinks and snacks Hot shower Pick up/drop off to/from YHA Taupo
From NZ$164 per person in a multi-share. For experienced and novice paddlers. Valid until 4 August 2016.
YHA TAUPO u +64
7 378 9292 u email@example.com
EAST COAST HIGHLIGHTS PACKAGE Travel the popular East Coast of Australia with this great DIY package between Sydney and Cairns (or vice versa). You can stop off as you like at top spots along the coast, as well as enjoying tours to Fraser Island, the Whitsundays and Magnetic Island. This is a very flexible package for you to plan your own trip, but save along the way. Package includes: 10 nights' YHA accommodation pack - your choice of hostels. u 2 day/1 night Magnetic Island trip including ferry and Koala Sanctuary u 3 day/2 night Fraser Island tour u 2 day/1 night Whitsunday Sailing tour u
From AU$1,189 per person. You can also add Greyhound coach pass (Sydney-Cairns) from only AU$1,587 per person.
n. More Hostels. More Fu More of Australia! TEQ
SWIM WITH WILD DOLPHINS
CAPE TRIBULATION RAINFOREST ADVENTURE It’s time to chill and there’s no better place to experience paradise at a slower pace than Cape Tribulation and the Daintree. Where else in the world will you encounter two World Heritage Sites? Package includes: u u u u u
2 nights' multi-share accommodation 1 day guided Cape Tribulation tour including Daintree Rainforest and wildlife river cruise Visit Mossman Gorge and Aboriginal cultural experience Visit Port Douglas Morning tea and lunch
If it isn’t on your bucket list it should be now – the chance to swim with wild dolphins in an eco-tourism experience which does not interrupt the dolphins’ normal behaviour. Package includes: u
Wetsuits and snorkelling gear u Swim with dolphins in their natural environment u Light lunch and refreshments u Bus transfer from Perth Coach Stand u 20 percent off personalised DVD of the tour From AU$205 per person. Valid until 31 March 2016. Stay at Perth City YHA from only AU$33 per person.
Valid until 31 March 2016. From AU$195 per person multi-share.
CAPE TRIBULATION YHA +64 7 4098 0030 u firstname.lastname@example.org u
PERTH CITY YHA u u
+61 8 9287 3333 email@example.com
Centered on the North Island, the Thermal Explorer Highway is a 457 kilometre route anchored in Auckland and stretches throughout the land to Napier, giving visitors a taste of life on the edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Just be sure not to get burned.
You don’t have to stray far from the city to get a feel for New Zealand’s geothermal activities: the ground beneath Auckland’s feet is home to over 40 volcanic cones and explosion craters. The hills and craters were important places for pa-fortified Māori villages, with many of the craters used as large earthen forts.
The biggest volcanic force in the area is Rangitoto, a young and restless volcano at 600 years old. Despite jutting defiantly from the harbour, today it’s more of a picturesque hiking and picnic spot. The upside of Auckland’s volcanic pedigree is that you can experience an active volcanic field in a budget-friendly way. One of those ways? Take a walk up Auckland’s highest volcano, the evergreen Mt Eden, for some of the best panoramic views over Auckland and Waitemata Harbour. aucklandnz.com
Hauraki Gulf with Rangitoto Island Auckland Sea Kayaks
Mt Eden is the highest volcano in Auckland. Chris Mclennan
Frying Pan Lake in Waimangu Volcanic Valley near Rotorua covers around 38, 000 square metres. Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Puhuto Geyser amidst Rotorua's active geothermal field Chris Mclennan
In many ways, Rotorua is the Kiwi version of Las Vegas: big, bubbling and built for tourists. However, its steamy tourist appeal has firm roots in geothermal wonder and stunning beauty.
Pack the camera to capture the sinter terraces and spouting geysers throughout the area, including Pohutu, the southern hemisphere’s largest active geyser which blasts up to 30 metres high around twenty times per day (proving patience is a virtue). Take a stroll along the bubbling mud pools on the Craters of the Moon geothermal walk, or visit the largest hot-water waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere at Tikitere, also known as Hell’s Gate, a sacred Māori site with over 20 hectares of hot pools, steaming lakes, cooking pools, bush walks and a mud volcano. And if you’re keen to test the medicinal properties of a mud bath, this is the place to indulge your inner spa prince or princess, with high-end mud spas and a sulphur spa.
HISTORY: 101 Treasures lost forever: The Pink and White Terraces Tourists first flocked to Rotorua in the 1800s to visit New Zealand’s “eighth natural wonder of the world”, the Pink and White Terraces. A natural wonder, the geothermal creation was captured first by landscape painters and later, the first photographers.
Located just a few hundred metres apart, the Pink Terraces were known as Otukapuarangi, the fountain of the clouded sky, while the white terrace were called Te Tarata, the tattooed rock. Their popularity even extended to a visit by Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh who visited the area in 1870. However, in 1886 Mount Tarawera erupted in the early morning and consumed the Pink and White Terraces in volcanic ash and sediment. The eighth wonder of the natural world was lost – until 2011 when researchers announced they had found sections of the terraces lying at the bottom of Lake Tarawera. Sceptics have challenged the discovery but romantics can imagine what might have been on a visit to the buried village of Te Wairoa near Rotorua. mud spas and a sulphur spa. Similar to Pompeii, the 19th-century Māori villages were engulfed by ash during the same eruption and today have been excavated and opened to the public near the site of the original terraces.
Gently heated by geothermal springs, a few Rotorua mud pools are known to be safe for bathing. Adam Bryce
View from Orakei Korako. Destination Lake, Taupo
FREE & FEELING HOT HOT HOT While some of New Zealand’s geothermal spas burn your wallet as much as your bottom, there are a handful of natural hot springs that are completely free. Head to Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula at low tide, where two underground fissures – and a handy shop renting spades – allow you to dig your own warm spa in the sand (check the tides first). Fancy a little waterfall with your hot spring? Half
an hour south of Rotorua is Kerosene Creek, where hot water pulsing up underground mixes with the cold water from the creek. There’s a similar experience just outside of Taupo at Otumuheke Stream in Spa Park, where geothermal activity warms the Waikato River. For those who don’t feel like scrambling over rocks, at Mangatutu Hot Springs in Kaweka Forest Park the thermal waters are channeled into two neatly constructed
pools for picnickers. If the trails aren’t in flood, then a cold water plunge in the Mohaka River is also a must. And just to make sure the South Island isn’t feeling left out, visitors can soak their bones at the Welcome Flat Hot Springs on the overnight Copland Track, the perfect reward for a decent day’s tramp into the wilderness. Or at the edge of a river in the Lewis Pass at Sylvia Flats. Tap to return to story
Bring your own spade to Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel. Adam Bryce
Sylvia Flats Lewis Pass. Here's an experience you won't forget in a hurry, soaking in a naturally heated spa at the edge of a river. Ian Trafford
NZ’S HOTTEST SPOTS THERMAL EXPLORER HIGHWAY
WHITE ISLAND HANMER SPRINGS
HAMILTON ROTORUA TAUPŌ
Tap to return to story
NATIONAL PARK OHAKUNE
FEATURE / ROAD TRIP NSW
FUNKY COUNTRY TOWNS, SECRET SWIMMING HOLES AND A GOOD DOSE OF “BOHEMIA” ON A SUMMER ROAD TRIP FROM SYDNEY TO BYRON BAY. BY SERENA RENNER
Buskers in Byron Bay. Jimi Richardson
the third day of our road trip when we reached Bellingen YHA and met the manager, a lean man wearing a hiking shirt, unruly hair tamed by a ponytail and no shoes. “You have arrived,” he said. “This is the epicentre of Bohemia.”
My partner Kevin and I were on this trip to explore Australia’s edgier side. We had moved to Sydney a year prior from the Bay Area of California, arguably the capital of counterculture, and we were missing the free spirits that popped into our lives on what seemed like a weekly basis. Rather than go home to the States for Christmas, we decided to drive up the east coast to look for outsiders like ourselves. From Bellingen to Byron Bay, we’d see what characters, communes and left-of-centre customs we could unearth. We hired a vehicle, stocked it with surfboards and musical instruments and set forth for an imaginary place we called “Bohemia”. After camping over Christmas and Boxing Day in Hat Head National Park, we were in need of a hot shower, a kitchen and some social stimulation. That’s where the manager came in. Before we knew it, he was revealing all his local secrets, from a self-sustaining eco village called Bundagen that runs tours every Tuesday to a nearby enclave known as “Promised Land”, where swimming holes pool along the Never Never River. “It deserves its name,” he said. “The water is so clean you can drink it.”
WE HIRED A VEHICLE, STOCKED IT WITH SURFBOARDS AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND SET FORTH FOR AN IMAGINARY PLACE WE CALLED “BOHEMIA”.
Hat Head; Never Never Creek picnic, Bellingen (Top Left). Serena Renner
We instantly recognised the “alternative” interior to Bellingen’s heritage façade. There’s a hemp store and a solar centre, for starters, plus a fantastic growers market, an organic food co-op fortified by edible landscaping and street art which, on our visit, included a stencilled pot plant on the sidewalk and the word “Hippies” painted in bubble letters at the bottom of a skate park bowl. The place feels progressive without being too out there. It’s also surrounded by incredible nature, which we discovered on a soggy hike through the Gondwana-era palms, figs and ferns of Dorrigo National Park nearby. Why not spend a rainy day in the rainforest, we reckoned. It was a great idea, but not in thongs. At the end of the Crystal Shower Falls circuit, Kevin found a bloated leech burrowed under the strap of his sandal. I had one in my hair, which soon jumped to my eyebrow… Luckily, we weren’t far from Promised Land, that mythical haven of rock pools where we could wash the blood and mud from our bodies, even if it made the water less drinkable. The town of Bellingen. Serena Renner
Top to bottom: Dorrigo Skywalk; Bellinger River; Dorrigo National Park H Lund and DNSW, Coffs Coast Marketing, Tim Aickin National Parks and Wildlife Service
Mountain View, Nimbin; (Below) Relaxing at the Eternity Springs Art Farm. Lismore City Council
Yoga at Eternity Springs Art Farm Lismore City Council
Despite some warnings that “Nimbin is Bohemia on crack”, we had to see Australia’s most notorious hippy town, so we drove a scenic stretch of road between epic rock formations and intentional communities with names like Bird Song and Journey’s End to Nimbin’s main drag, which is littered with tie-dye, murals and “herb shops”. We briefly considered a vegan cafe fronted by bongo drummers and a zoned-out dancer for a drink, but opted for the spacious veranda of the Nimbin Hotel instead. A bearded man soon approached us with a joint, providing an opening to enquire about the town’s infamous drug scene. “Coppers have been around a lot, ever since the fire,” he said, referring to a bush fire that gave way to a raid a couple months before. “Taxi!” is the code word for police (since Nimbin doesn’t have any taxis), he added. On our way to Nimbin Rox YHA, which features dorm rooms, private yurts and hammocks that face impressive rock monoliths, as we received more than one solicitation starting with “Looking for something?” I was tempted to yell “Taxi!”.
It was time to hit the coast: the health- and surf-centred town of Byron Bay, a magnet for beach bums, yogis, shoppers and foodies. There we walked to the Cape Byron Lighthouse and surfed at the Pass on longboards. We also scoured the New Age streets of Mullumbimby in the hinterland and settled for not-so-conscious bacon burgers at the happening Poinciana Cafe. In the evening, back in Byron, live reggae riffs and sea breezes wafted through the Treehouse bar near Belongil Beach. Palm trees, grass-thatched umbrellas, lanterns made from recycled bottles and cushion-strewn velvet sofas set the scene. We got talking to a girl seated next to us who said she was from California. “This is my kind of scene,” she said. I had to agree; it was just our style of alternative.
Having fun at Belongil Beach, Byron Bay. Sharon Cairns Destination NSW
BREWS PLUS TUNES u
No. 5 Church Street, Bellingen
Dorrigo potatoes are as sacred as Promised Land’s water. Order the chips with fish, tacos or the green curry along with a Harvest Pale Ale from Bellingen Brewery and biodynamic peach gelato for dessert in a space outfitted with mismatched furniture draped in handmade crochet. Local bands take the stage several nights a week.
Nimbin Hotel, Nimbin
The giant patio at this renovated pub is a fantastic place to people watch and take in killer views of the Nightcap Range. Seventeen beers on tap include craft ales from Stone & Wood Brewery in Byron Bay, and there’s live music and pool tables to entertain patrons into the wee hours.
Canopied by palm trees and grass-thatched umbrellas, the Treehouse at Belongil has the vibe of an edgy house party, complete with vintage furniture and fairy lights. Settle in with a wood-fired pizza or roast and a creative cocktail – the Mexican Standoff has a fiery kick – and enjoy music from top local acts.
WET AND WILD Dorrigo National Park Even the drive to this World Heritage rainforest is defined by waterfalls, but there are many more concealed by Gondwana-era trees. The three-kilometre Crystal Showers Falls circuit loops out of the Rainforest Visitor Centre, while a more strenuous eight-kilometre track leads to the park’s largest cascade: Red Cedar Falls, named for the surrounding trees. Keep your eyes peeled for Lyrebirds. Promised Land Just 15 minutes from Bellingen is a place so special early pioneers named it the Promised Land. A road circling the Glennifer Valley accesses the jade green Never Never River and several rock pools where locals escape the heat. It’s no wonder a few famous Australians, including savant pianist David Helfgott from the movie Shine, live here.
The Pass Byron Bay’s most famous waves wrap around a rocky point crowned by the Cape Byron Lighthouse, marking Australia’s most easterly spot. After you’ve played with dolphins in the water, hike the headland to the now-automated beacon, constructed at the turn of the century. Then grab a coffee at the Pass Cafe and cheer on the surfers. Angourie This tiny town near Yamba is settled on the fringes of a National Surfing Reserve, home to sea turtles and a renowned right-hand point break. Two freshwater swimming pools, filling former bluestone quarries just up from the beach, are popular for cliff jumping and summer wading.
WHERE TO STAY Bellingen and Nimbin hostels are smaller, relaxed hostels in beautiful locations, whilst Byron Bay is a central spot for exploring both beach and hinterland.
BELLINGEN YHA (+612) 6655 1116 u firstname.lastname@example.org u
NIMBIN ROX YHA (+612) 6689 0022 u email@example.com u
CAPE BYRON YHA (+612) 6685 8788 u firstname.lastname@example.org u
BYRON BAY YHA u +(612)
6685 8853 u email@example.com
Cape Byron lighthouse. Bellingen YHA
PA CIF I
CH IG H
FEATURE / CROATIA
EUROPE’S JEWEL OF THE ADRIATIC WORKED ITS CHARM ON JOANNE BROOKFIELD.
View from Palace Belltower, Split. Joanne Brookfield
FRANCE ITALY SPAIN
anyone tell me about this before?â&#x20AC;? I felt like stomping up to anyone I'd ever met and shouting: how could you have kept this a secret from me? And for so long? Why didn't you tell me? This is pretty much the reaction I had to Croatia, which had inexplicably slipped under my travel radar. In a lot of ways, I can see why you would keep this magnificent destination a secret but frankly, it is too wonderful not to share. So let me be the one who says to you: Croatia. Go. Now.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA SPLIT
HVAR DUBROVNIK MONTENEGRO
For me, it wasn't part of my original plan. My trip was to visit some friends in Budapest, but when one mentioned she was taking some time in Croatia prior to my arrival, I re-jigged my dates to join her. This meant we departed Budapest and travelled overland to Zagreb, the six hour train ride allowing Croatia's beauty to gradually reveal itself. A brief stay in the capital was enough to be charmed by the old town and completely captivated with the far more contemporary Museum of Broken Relationships.
Zagreb. Joanne Brookfield
Split. Croatian Tourist Board
Sometime in the annals of history the Croatians demonstrated the good sense to snaffle themselves a sizable chunk of the Adriatic coast. In real estate terms, they hit the 'location, location, location' jackpot for this is a particularly pretty part of the world. Another six hour train ride would soon deposit us right on those glittering shores, in historic Split. Cruise ships and yachts bob about in the marina while mighty palms line the Riva waterfront, making it impossible to not feel like you're now on holiday. Just behind here are the significant remains of Diocletian's Palace, a former walled city whose polished limestone laneways and squares still bustle with life almost two thousand years later. This ancient sprawling architecture offers numerous options. To escape the heat, you can descend into the dark, dank palace basement, with its dripping water, moss covered walls and crypt. If you prefer views, you can climb the steep, rickety stairs within the belltower. If you focus on the fact there only appears to be a couple of steel bolts holding the whole lot to the wall, and gee, isn't all that salt water supposed to be corrosive, (note to self: stop doing that) then it'll be a nerve-wracking ascent but your instagram feed will thank you once you're at the top. Split, the Republic's second largest city, has a vibrant nightlife and plenty of options to enjoy all that turquoise water by day. Croatia has hundreds of islands sprinkled along the coast with Split being well located if you're wanting to get to popular ones like Hvar or Vis. From here you can also check out the glowing blue and green sea caves or you can even get an overnight ferry across to Italy.
Kastel Gomilica, Split. Shutterstock
Old town rooftops, Dubrovnik. Shutterstock
While Split had completely sold me on Croatia as a 'must see' destination the best was yet to come. Four hours away, and known as 'the pearl of the Adriatic' – or King's Landing, if you're into Game of Thrones - Dubrovnik is one of those places that lives up to every gushing travel cliché. Jaw dropping, breath taking, you name it, it applies to this magnificent old walled city. Despite the war during the 1990s, when eighty percent of the old city was damaged by bombs, you could not tell now, such is the quality of the restoration to this UNESCO protected site. I learn much about this time in the city’s history as I take the 'Walls and Wars' walking tour along two kilometres of the city walls, which in some parts are six metres wide and 25 metres tall. I see the city from every vantage point –within the walls, on top of them, and then even above them when I take the cable car up to the top of the hill behind. And later from the sea, when I take a cruise on the Sv Ivan, a wooden sailing ship which they say is the oldest boat on the Mediterranean. We do a lap of Lokrum Island and as we return, get a good sense of how other sailors would have first seen the imposing walls centuries ago. So much history to capture the imagination, so much beauty, so much to love about Croatia. Go, now. May it steal your heart in the same way it has mine.
Sunset Sailing, Dubrovnik. Shutterstock
Kotor Bay, Montenegro. Shutterstock
MONTENEGRO FOR A DAY If you're looking to collect an extra stamp in your passport, you can nip out of Dubrovnik for a day-trip to neighbouring Montenegro. Meaning Black Mountain, this small and young country (it only gained independence in 2006) boasts some worthy sites, which are covered by minibus in a twelve hour return trip. See more of that stunning Adriatic coast line before heading inland to Boko Bay, stopping to explore 2,000 year old Kotor for an hour and a half. Heavily influenced by the Venetians, there's a guided tour of this enchanting enclosed old town and
the option to enter the fortress walls and climb the 1200 zig-zagging stairs. Next stop is for lunch and a look around Budva, a destination popular with rich Russians in summer, giving it the nickname 'The City of Millionaires' this is a smaller old town. There's a couple of other stops for notable sites over the day and at the end, a car-ferry trip back to Dubrovnik in time for dinner. Too easy! u MORE INFO: Amico Tours run day tours from March to October for about AU$75. Just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget your passport!
â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;...BUDVA, A DESTINATION POPULAR WITH RICH RUSSIANS IN SUMMER, GIVING IT THE NICKNAME 'THE CITY OF MILLIONAIRES'. Budva Dancing Girl statue, Montenegro Shutterstock
WHERE TO STAY There are 14 YHA hostels in Croatia to enjoy including hostels in Zagreb and Dubrovnik. See more online u
3 MUST DO ACTIVITES 1. Zagreb: Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships Not a joke, although there is a good deal of humour on display, this is a real museum where people have anonymously donated items that represent lost loves and shared the associated story. Funny, sad, comforting, romantic, tragic, poetic, this is one of the most beautifully human places on earth. 2. Split: Buy lavender Market stalls abound here with many selling various lavender products. The result is a picturesque location – ancient arches, soaring belltower, sparkling sea – with the scent of lavender floating on the summer breeze. A vial of lavender oil can trigger happy memories once you're back home. 3. Dubrovnik: Do the Walls and Wars Walking Tour With no cars allowed in the old town, Dubrovnik hosts numerous walking tours but the Walls and Wars one gives a good historical overview while also providing a physical one. Up high, you can see it all as you make your way around the perimeter over two hours – the sea of terracotta rooftops, the islands, the sea, the rest of Dubrovnik. Wear sunscreen and take a camera. (top to bottom) Museum of Broken relationships; Split market-stall selling lavender; Walls & Wars Walking tours in Dubrovnik. Shutterstock
FEATURE / HOBART
hobart SENSORY OVERLOAD u
HOBART’S ILLUSTRIOUS PAST AND CREATIVE PRESENT COMBINE TO STIMULATE THE SENSES OF THE CURIOUS VISITOR, WRITES ROB GRANT.
BUILT ON OVER
200 years of history, and situated near Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s m o s t s o u t h e r ly p o i n t , Hobart is a unique spot. It can surprise new arrivals, with a quirky mix of sights, sounds and sensations. Forget any illusions of a sleepy town on the edge of civilisation. Hobart is a stimulating showcase of Tasmaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gourmet excellence and a melting pot of offbeat artists, craftspeople and entrepreneurs.
Salamanca Market. Rob Grant
Sullivan's Cove. Shutterstock
IN THE DOCK Hobart’s colonial story started in 1804 when settlers landed on the waterfront of Sullivan’s Cove. Over the centuries, the harbour’s piers and wharfs fueled the region’s commercial success. Times have changed. Elegant eateries, watering holes and artistic retail outlets now dominate. Constitution Dock is widely known as the finishing point of the 630 nautical mile Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Along with the adjacent Victoria Dock, it makes for an entertaining stroll at any time of day. Ocean fishing fleets compete for attention with luxury yachts, alongside a backdrop of renovated warehouses and factories. Ignore the sporadic eighties architecture. Take a coffee break at Jam Packed Café, in the atrium of a former jam factory which now houses the Henry Jones Art Hotel. Enjoy an al fresco lunch of freshly-landed seafood from a floating seafood stall at Franklin Wharf. Try Pirate’s Plunder (battered flake, calamari rings, garlic prawns and chips) at the fish-shaped Flippers. As the sun goes down, sip ice-cold, locally-brewed Cascade Draught Ale from Tavern 42 Degrees South on Elizabeth Street Pier.
Henry Jones Gallery. Shutterstock
Next to the docks, two adjacent sites demonstrate vastly different expressions of mankind’s pluckiness. As Bill Lark quaffed scotch whiskey, 23 years ago, he questioned why – especially with its crystal-clean spring water – Tasmania didn’t make whiskey. Sample his world-famous dram at Lark’s Cellar Door. Hobart was the base of geologist Douglas Mawson’s triumphant mission to Antarctica between 1911 and 1914. Step inside living replicas of the accommodation used at the Mawson Huts Replica, to relive their icebound adventures. Sufferers of claustrophobia watch out. Further uptown, a macabre site known as ‘the tench’ is well worth the stroll. Ranked by TripAdvisor as one of Australia’s top ten attractions, it started life as a convict penitentiary chapel and later became the city’s jail and courthouse. Spooky tunnels, tortuous cells and sinister gallows can be experienced via one of several tours available each day.
(Above) Lark distillery; (Here & left) The Tench penitentiary chapel. National Trust & Tourism Tas/ Rob Grant
CORNER THE MARKETS On the cove’s southern side, Salamanca Place is equally fun for aimless strolling, especially on Saturday, when it’s market day and all of Hobart jostles for room among the 300 market stalls. With all that action, you need to refuel. Try the legendary seafood spins on classic stadium fare, with a creamy scallop pie from Smith’s Speciality Pies or a salmon sausage sandwich from Silver Hill Fisch. Salamanca Art Market is a warren of quirky galleries, clothing stores and delis, housed in solid sandstone former warehouses overlooking the street. Perfect for escaping sun or rain. Artistic memories of Hobart are sold at Peter Barraclough’s studio gallery. Low budget travellers will love the $10 handmade postcards. Perched elegantly over the River Derwent, Battery Point provides a respite from the market madness. Up the steep, historic Kelly Steps, hewn from the promontory’s rocky base, lie quaint cottages, gourmet stores and refined parks. Locals adore the sweet treats at Jackman & McRoss on Hampden Road. Eat the goodies at the nearby, cute as a button, Arthur Circus park. Still want more market action? Back-up on Sunday with a visit to the Farm Gate Market on Bathurst Street. This one is for serious foodies and wannabe hipsters: bring knitted shopping bags and load up on nature’s finest.
Salamanca Markets. Rob Grant
STATE OF THE ART Thanks to the maverick vision of multi-millionaire, professional gambler and art patron, David Walsh, Hobart boasts a truly world-class art gallery. The Museum of New and Modern Art (MONA) is only five years old, but it’s a ‘must do’ which easily fills a fascinating day. The experience starts onboard the luxury boat that whisks you from Brook Street Pier to the gallery. Clad in military fatigues, it’s hard to miss at the dockside. The sheep-shaped seats of the upper deck forewarn you of an odd destination. After 30 minutes of water-side suburban housing and industrial complexes, the rusted iron façade of MONA looms ahead. Walsh ignored naysayers who said galleries need natural light and built the entire complex underground. Entry is down a 15-metre cylindrical shaft. Bizarre, controversial, political and explicit pieces fill the space. On the Road to Heaven the Highway to Hell depicts the twisted remains of a suicide bomber, sculpted from dark chocolate. Fat Car is exactly what it sounds like: a bright red, bloated replica of a Porsche convertible. Arguably most peculiar of all, Cloaca Professional is a fully-functional, mechanical model of the human digestive system. Watch it fed at 11am and defecate at 2pm. Satisfy your own appetite at the on-site winery and café, where you can eat on the lawn surrounded by artworks. Or try more hoppy offerings at the in-house craft brewery; be sure to include the Hefeweizen wheat beer in your sampling choices.
Mona Pavillion. Mona Gallery
The Museum of New and Modern Art (MONA). Tourism Tasmania
OUT-OF-TOWN Within an hour or two of Hobart, the list of attractions just gets better and better. Grab a car, join a tour or hitch a ride to these terrific sights: (Above & left) Franklin-Gordon National Park (then clockwise) Port Arthur, Tasmanian Devil Park, Huon Valley. Shutterstock, Tourism Tasmania: Kathryn Leahy, N, Osbourne, Alister Betts
WHERE TO STAY HOBART CENTRAL YHA This hostel is in a great location within walking distance of many spots in this article. Special: Enjoy a 2 night short break in Hobart including multi-share or private room accommodation and a great foodieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s day tour to Bruny Island. From $190 per person (share). Book online. u (+613)
Bruny Island. G Freeman and Tourism Tasmania
WHAT'S ON HERE’S OUR PICK OF EVENTS COMING UP IN YOUR REGION
ENLIGHTEN 4 - 12 March 2016
It’s the time of year when Canberra stays up late, opens its doors to its cultural institutions and shines a light on the nation’s most iconic attractions over ten days. Experience not only light spectacles, but also exciting events and experiences including live music, stand-up comedy, dining experiences and more. Check out the free and ticketed events for individuals BOOK and families alike. enlightencanberra.com.au.
u Stay at Canberra City YHA u +61 2 6248 9155 u firstname.lastname@example.org
STREET ART FESTIVAL: CHRISTCHURCH Until 17 April 2016 Get ready for the southern hemisphere’s largest street art festival with brash tints, bold tones and ballsy strokes of the brush and spray can in seven exhibition spaces and on ten city centre walls. Fifteen of the world’s best street artists descend on Christchurch for the SPECTRUM Festival to get amongst it in a celebration of artistic expression and inclusivity. Get lost in a Kiwi rainforest or urban jungle, relish simple letter forms and global artistic explosions. And it’s all free and open seven days. streetart.co.nz. u
Spectrum Luke Shirlaw
Stay at YHA Christchurch NOW or YHA Christchurch Rolleston House +0800 278 299 (NZ) +0800 278 299 (NZ) email@example.com
AUCKLAND ARTS FESTIVAL 2 - 20 March 2016 Kick off a sizzling world-artists-onyour-doorstep festival with French fire masters igniting thousands of flames on the Auckland Domain’s lower slopes. And that’s just the beginning. Hundreds of artists ply their trade over nineteen days, bringing epic drama from London’s West End, a flaming fairground from France, a revolutionary urban circus from Oz, seductive tango from Argentina, bellyaching slapstick from Belgium, great theatre and music from Aotearoa, and much, much more. aaf.co.nz
YHA Auckland City or YHA Auckland International firstname.lastname@example.org
WORLD SCIENCE FESTIVAL 9 - 13 March 2016
NOOSA FESTIVAL OF SURFING 2016 5 - 12 March 2016 The Noosa Festival of Surfing celebrates the spirit of surfing in one of the world’s great surf locations, First Point at Noosa Heads. The festival will feature professional men’s and women’s events, team contests and amateur divisions. Not only will there be great action in the surf, but the festival village on the sand at First Point also has a licensed beach bar, food stalls, a stage for live music and films and a surf product expo. The perfect place to enjoy the surf, sun, sand and more! noosafestivalofsurfing.com.
World Science Festival Brisbane is a supercharged celebration of science that will transform Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct into a cauldron of big ideas ranging from science theatre, expert debates, hands on science and a chance to delve into the minds of some of the world’s great scientific thinkers. worldsciencefestival.com.au.
Noosa Festival of Surfing
u u u
Stay at Brisbane City YHA +61 7 3236 1004 email@example.com
30TH ANNUAL GRAMPIANS JAZZ FESTIVAL 12 - 14 February 2016
u u u
Stay at Noosa Heads YHA +61 7 5447 3377 firstname.lastname@example.org
2016 marks the 30th year of the Grampians Jazz Festival, where over 150 bands and 5000 musicians perform across the weekend. Halls Gap comes alive with festivities – the air is filled with the sounds of music, venues overflow with jazz lovers, the streets are lined with stalls selling delicious foods and the Saturday parade ends in a combined performance by all participants. Check out the guide here. grampiansjazzfestival.com.au.
u u u
Stay at Grampians Eco YHA +61 3 5356 4544 email@example.com
MELBOURNE FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL 4 - 13 March 2016
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL 23 March - 17 April 2016
Be prepared to laugh and cry as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is back in town. From 23 March 17 April, comedians from all over the globe will descend on Melbourne, all with the ultimate goal of making you laugh. Enjoy internationally renowned acts or take a chance on a newcomer - you may be pleasantly surprised! The festival is running in venues throughout Melbourne. Visit comedyfestival.com.au for the full guide.
If you like to eat, you need to be in Melbourne for their annual Food and Wine Festival, where you’ll be able to feast your way across the city and surrounding suburbs. There are over 30 cuisines featured and 290 events, so get your tickets and enjoy the best that Melbourne’s food scene has to offer. For tickets and program, visit melbournefoodandwine.com.au.
Matt Okine u u u
Stay at Melbourne Metro YHA +61 3 9329 8599 firstname.lastname@example.org
SYDNEY ROYAL EASTER SHOW 17 - 30 March 2016
Stay at Sydney Central YHA or Railway Square YHA
Australia’s largest annual event is back! With something for everyone from show bags to rides to animals to food and of course entertainment. It’s the biggest carnival in the Southern Hemisphere and a celebration of Australia’s rich agricultural heritage. Grab your group of family and friends and head out for a quintessential day at the show. eastershow.com.au. u
Stay at Melbourne Central YHA +61 3 9621 2523 email@example.com
CUBADUPA 19 - 20 March 2016 Dive headfirst into the antipodeanstyle Mardi Gras atmosphere in Wellington’s bohemian quarter and hippest inner city street that will transform into a huge block party complete with dance, music, theatre, live street art, carnival, circus, street food and general get-togetherness. cubadupa.co.nz.
WANDERLUST FESTIVAL 18 - 21 February 2016
u Stay at YHA Wellington u u
0800 278 299 (NZ) 1800 242 191 (Aus) firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay Thredbo YHA WellingtonNZ.com
TOM ROBERTS EXHIBITION Until 28 March 2016 Experience the work of legendary Australian artist Tom Roberts this summer at the National Gallery Australia in Canberra. This extraordinary exhibition brings together Tom Roberts’ most famous paintings loved by all Australians including Shearing the Rams and A Break Away, which are among the nation’s best known works of art. nga.gov.au.
SYDNEY CHINESE NEW YEARS FESTIVAL 6 -21 February 2016 Stay Sydney Central YHA
Tom Roberts - Shearing the Rams
YOU ARE HERE FESTIVAL 13 - 17 April 2016 Stay Canberra City YHA
Stay at Canberra NOW City YHA +61 2 6248 9155 email@example.com
FREMANTLE STREET ARTS FESTIVAL 26 - 28 March 2016 You can’t miss Freo over the Easter long weekend for the Fremantle Street Arts Festival, a three day bonanza of street performances from around the world including busking, street theatre, circus, busking and comedy - making this one of Australia’s biggest street arts festivals! fremantlestory.com.au.
u u u
Stay at Fremantle Prison YHA +61 8 9433 4305 firstname.lastname@example.org
YHA.COM.AU YHA.CO.NZ Max Kordyl
BACKPACKER / ESSENTIALS
YHA.COM.AU YHA.CO.NZ NEXT ISSUE AVAILABLE 7 APRIL 2016