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My Five Favourite Australian Tourism Adverts

By on Jun 24, 2013 in Australia, Travel Coloumn | 0 comments

Having worked in travel and tourism here in Australia for the past fifteen years, I have always enjoyed when a new Australian tourism advert is launched. The campaigns often spark debate and with every launch, I wait with bated breathe to see if the marketers do Australia the promotional  justice it deserves. Over the years there have been some fantastic campaigns that have shown off Australia in all its glory and then, there was “Where the bloody hell are you?” – lets just forget about that one shall we?  An effective campaign can not only evoke emotion within us and a sense of curiosity, however ultimately it persuades us to holiday in one destination over another. So I wanted to share with you my five favorite Australian Tourism adverts from over the last three decades that for one reason or another, have left a lasting impression on me and makes me proud to call Australia home.   Say Hello Campaign   The Red Centre   I Still Call Australia Home   You’ll Never Know, If You Never Go   There’s Nothing Like Australia   Which one is your favourite or do you prefer one that I haven’t mentioned? Let us know...

5 of the Best Day Walks in New South Wales

By on Mar 4, 2013 in New South Wales | 0 comments

New South Wales offers Australia’s most diverse walking tours, covering leisurely coastal treks to challenging mountainous alpine climbs, and everything in between. With so many options, and a variety of National Parks and world class walks to choose from, it’s difficult to know where to start. Try to get a taste of everything on offer with these favourites. Kosciuszko National Park – Kosciuszko Summit Tour The Snowy Mountains, Australia’s most expansive alpine region, are equidistant to both Melbourne and Sydney, with the closest major city being Canberra. To ensure you can get off the beaten track at your own pace, hire a car from your landing destination and enjoy the drive south to the largest National Park in New South Wales. Mount Kosciuszko is Australia’s highest peak, and you’ll want to find the perfect viewing platform on foot. Start your walking journey in the quaint township of Thredbo and join a guided tour that will take you up into the rocky terrain. The Kosciuszko Summit tour takes you on a 13 kilometre round trip to the apex of the Snowies. It’s a moderate to difficult walk at a reasonable pace, and guides allow you time to take in the vast scenery and local flora and fauna. The walks are seasonal, so check the schedule well in advance. Royal National Park – Bundeena to Little Marley Beach (Coast Walk) The Royal National Park fits snugly along the NSW central coast between Sydney and Woolongong, making it an easy day trip from the city or even straight from the airport. Drive beyond Sutherland and head towards the beautiful little coastal town of Bundeena. From here, you will embark on a 15 kilometre trek along the cliffs and sandy outcrops of the Coast Walk. The terrain is mostly easy travelling, with some small challenges as the wide tracks give way to creeks and grassland. Indulge in a swim at the tranquil Little Marley Beach, and take a detour on your return trip to Wilkins Viewpoint. The views to Cowan Creek are worth the additional time. The Great North Walk – Yuelarbah track Despite its colossal 250 kilometre span, there is ample opportunity to traverse the Great North Walk without breaking records or pitching a tent. Because we’re starting out at the northern end of the track, near Newcastle, you’ll want to bring your car into Teralba. This section covers 25 kilometres, so you’ll need to be well prepared with food, water, and maps. You’ll venture into coastal rainforest, through canopied gullies, and past waterfalls before looking over the stunning Glenrock Lagoon. Have your lunch on Glenrock Beach, or take advantage of the picnic area at Flaggy Creek. Blue Mountains National Park – Grand Canyon Walk You’re a long way from Arizona, but you won’t be disappointed by this Grand Canyon. Venture into the sandstone and eucalypt valleys of the Blue Mountains via Blackheath, about an hour and forty minutes from Sydney by car. Your walk begins at Evans Lookout, where you’ll take in the sweeping views across the valley before descending into dense forest, pristine creeks, and past gentle waterfalls. The circuit walk will take about 4 hours all up, though there are opportunities to extend it, and is considered moderate despite several steep inclines. The valleys are cool even in the height of summer, which makes this the perfect place to escape the blazing sun. Dorrigo National Park – Rosewood Creek Track and Red Cedar Falls Dorrigo is situated on the northern coast towards Coffs Harbour, making road travel from Sydney a necessity. With the addition of the strenuous, but highly rewarding Red Cedar Falls track, this walk is a difficult three and a half hours through warm-temperate rainforest. You’ll have the opportunity to view stunning flora unique to the region, and to view the park’s highest waterfall from its base among towering cedars. Take some time out by Coachwood Falls before completing the return trip back to Never Never Picnic Ground.   These walks were selected in part because of the multiple walking options on offer from the same locale. If any particular track is deemed too difficult, or not challenging enough, you can raise or lower the bar as you see fit. And if the going gets tough – well, just look around you! Sit back and enjoy the outlook. Guest post by Marie Gale   Have you done any walks  in New South Wales? Let us know your thoughts...

Iconic South Melbourne Market

By on Jan 11, 2013 in Victoria | 0 comments

Today we headed down to the iconic South Melbourne Market for a spot of shopping and to catch up for our weekly coffee meeting. South Melbourne Market has always been a favourite of mine and is great place for wandering and window shopping, as well as picking up quality fresh local produce from the many green grocers. South Melbourne Market is famous for one thing…. Dim Sim’s and by far, the best you’ll find anywhere in Melbourne. You’ll also be spoilt for choice with plenty of cafes to choose from. Today we chose Café Padre – “Hand Crafted Coffee”. Now, with a name like this we were not to be disappointed. The smooth coffee and sweet pastries were to die for! And to follow it up, we grabbed a freshly juiced OJ from the stall on Coventry Street – squeezed right in front of our eyes. Yum! One of my favourite areas in the market is the So:Me space which features local up and coming designers. Here they can exhibit and sell their work in pop-up style stalls. From clothing to shoes and jewellery, this area floods with creativity. Getting lost down the many aisles of this market is a great way to lose a morning in Melbourne. After picking up some fresh flowers we also explored the health food store for some supplies (they sell great gluten free cornflakes) and bought up some bargains at Yak – a furniture/homewares store.   South Melbourne Market is located in the suburb of South Melbourne, about 10 minutes from the city centre. They are open Wednesdays to Sundays. For more information, check out the South Melbourne...

The Port of Fremantle {Photo Junket}

By on Sep 18, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

  The former convict port of Fremantle, or ‘Freo’ as the locals like to call it, is Perth’s cooler more chilled out cousin. For this weeks Photo Junket I wanted to take you to a favourite haunt of mine and located only 20kms south of Perth, Fremantle can feel like a world away from the city of Perth. A relaxed, creative, eclectic and eco-conscious atmosphere will greet you as you cross the Swan River. Famous for its ‘Cappuccino Strip’ of cafes and gourmet restaurants, there is plenty to see with various markets, galleries, heritage listed buildings, bars and pubs to keep you entertained. My personal favorite is sipping a coffee at the Fremantle Arts Centre before heading over to indulge in fresh fish and chips at the Fishing Boat Harbor. Fremantle makes for an excellent day trip or for a week long holiday when visiting Western Australia.            ...

Perth Sneaker Swapmeet 25th September

By on Sep 5, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

Perth’s premiere Sneaker Swapmeet is on once again on the 25th of September and is again proudly presented by 1Up Micro Cinema and Store Twenty3. We checked out the inaugural event earlier in the year and weren’t disappointed with the enthusiasm and quality of items on offer from Perth’s own sneaker elite. Here’s what the lads have to say: Buy, sell or trade retro and custom kicks in a relaxed environment. Meet fellow sneakerfreakers and share your passion. From Jordan’s to SB Dunks, Vans to Reebok Pumps, grab a bargain or offload parts of your collection to people who will appreciate it. The Perth Sneaker Swapmeet forms part of the Outskirts Festival occurring on and around William Street on Sunday September 25th. If you’re interested in the event or want to register for the swapmeet, click here....

In Search of Monk Bread at New Norcia Monastery

By on Aug 25, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

Bread! One of man’s simple dietary staples. However, sadly not for me as recently I’ve been forced to admit to myself that I am in fact, allergic to bread. So when Peter suggested that we should try the legendary monk bread baked at the Spanish influenced monastery of New Norcia, I thought it might be worth ignoring my allergy to drive the two hours north from Perth to satisfy my insatiable bread cravings. Not that the Monks claim their bread has any miracle cures, but I was desperate  and bread deprived enough to convince myself that maybe monk bread was different… crazy things women do for a slice of bread hey? Steeped in history, New Norcia is the only remaining monastery town in Australia. The site was originally developed in 1846 by Spanish Benedictine monks to introduce their catholic religion to the locals, including many of the Aboriginal community. The site is a collection of about sixty five well preserved buildings exhibiting beautiful Spanish architecture that had been built by the monks and craftsmen over the past 160 years. The buildings include countless chapels, segregated schools, a hotel, flour mill, apiary, art gallery as well as the impressive monastery itself. My search for monk bread would begin with a step back in time as the only way to visit the monastery is by a walking tour (run daily at 11am and 1.30pm) which guides visitors through the various buildings remaining on the site, many of which have been fully restored to their former glory. Wandering through the brick archways and past the mural painted walls instantly took me back to visiting the monastery of Montserrat in Spain. The gardens serenaded by church bells chiming are dotted with large olive trees and rustic vineyards which are used to produce port and wine. I still hadn’t come across the Bakery though, of which our tour guide informed us still uses stone ovens that are over one hundred years old. This elusive miracle bread just kept getting better and better! We had had the opportunity to see intricately crafted chapels and priceless paintings all before concluding at the museum and gift shop two hours later. The tour of town provided a glimpse of life devoted to god and houses one of the biggest collections of religious art in the Southern Hemisphere, with some pieces sent to the monks as gifts from the Vatican. But at the end of the tour I looked at Peter feeling cheated with one eyebrow raised looked pleadingly at him. Where was the bread? He responded “oh yeah, I forgot to mention, the bakery doesn’t open to public!” The look I then gave him silenced him as he looked into the eyes of a crazed woman deprived of bread and full of false hopes. So giving into defeat, I decided we should visit the last building remaining, the gift store. And then after casting my eyes over one too many monk figurines, Australiana souvenirs and religious paraphernalia, I saw it. It was a miracle! There it was, a stack of golden baked loaves surrounded by an aura that must have been sent from the man himself.  They were what I had come to all this way to find, crusty loaves of goodness! I snatched up a big loaf of fresh white bread infused with rosemary, semi dried tomato and olives. Purchasing the bread, Peter and I finished off our perfect day with a picnic sharing a cheeky splash of vintage port, gourmet chutney and of course my monk bread under the lingering shade of an ancient gum tree before heading home to Perth. New Norcia is a relaxing and idyllic town to stop in on. Whether it’s a planned visit from Perth, or you’re just passing by on the Great Northern Highway, it’s well worth the effort to stop and experience the tranquil pace of life and to learn about some of Western Australia’s remarkable history. By the way if you’re in Perth and want to get your hands on some monk bread, check out their local store in Mount Hawthorn. Oh, and as yummy as that special monk bread is, I was still allergic to it – oh well back to...