Oct
11
2017

Best campsites and hidden gems in NSW this spring and summer

By Australia / Australian Capital Territory / Canberra / New South Wales / Sydney /

Destination NSW know better than anyone about the best camping spots for the warmer weather that comes with spring and summer. As the team says “It’s the ideal time of year to discover some of the NSW’s secret campsites and hidden gems.”

Rent a car or campervan at Sydney airport, then off you go on a camping adventure!”

According to Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase, “NSW is filled with hidden camping gems waiting to be discovered. NSW has amazing coastal and bush camping spots that continue to stay under the radar and would make an ideal weekend away this spring.”

“These hidden camping gems are just that, secret spots that locals across NSW love due to their unique location and easy access to beautiful beaches, stunning national parks and pristine wilderness environments.”

“Tourism managers across the state have shared their favourite secret camping spots with Destination NSW for this short-list, however this does not exhaust the multitude of amazing campsites just waiting to be discovered. I encourage everyone to get out and explore NSW’s hidden gems this spring,” Ms Chipchase said.

Here are some of Destination NSW’s best secret camping spots along the coast and inland:

1. The spectacular and secluded Honeymoon Bay at Point Perpendicular on the northern end of Jervis Bay on the South Coast allows camping on weekends and during school holidays only. Allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, this rustic bush camp site is a true bush camping experience and just moments to the beaches of northern part of Jervis Bay.

2. Camp by the beach and amongst banksia trees at Picnic Point campground in Mimosa Rocks National Park. Find the perfect fishing spot, swim in crystal clear waters and enjoy scenic views of the stunning Sapphire Coastline.

3. An unknown gem, Lakesea Caravan Park Durras near Bateman’s Bay, has grassy shaded sites with BBQ drums and a campground that is kitted out for the more novice camper including a camp kitchen with free gas BBQs, fridge and oven. Just moments to Durras Beach and Lake Durras, enjoy surfing, kayaking, fishing and bush walking in nearby Murramarang National Park.

4. While many know the Central Coast’s Glenworth Valley for its horse riding and quad biking, it is it’s amazing bush camping sites will surprise people. Expect pristine, bush style campsites along the river bank with wood-fired BBQs, hot showers and plenty of peace and quiet.

5. For absolute beachfront, Beachcomber Holiday Park at Potato Point (pictured) is the place. Backing onto Eurobodalla National Park, expect to be camping amongst kangaroos and wallabies whilst cooking on the pizza oven and relaxing around the communal camp fires.

6. Outside of Mudgee in Central NSW is the pristine Dunns Swamp in Wollemi National Park. Set on the banks of the Cudgegong River and nestled amongst stunning sandstone pagoda rock formations, Dunns Swamp is a nature lovers dream with plenty of walking tracks and canoeing and swimming spots.

7. The pet-friendly Mystery Bay Camp Ground, near Tilba on the South Coast, is just moments from the beach, which has off-leash areas. Enjoy this bush camping site and all that Mystery Bay offers – snorkelling in the bay, surfing at 1080 beach, cheese tasting in nearby Tilba and of course the stunning views of Montague Island.

8. Camp under the stars and experience a true Australian outback station stay at Corynnia Station near Hay in Outback NSW. Camp under ancient black box tree on the edge of a 1,000 acre dry swamp on this working farm and discover this immense property on nature walks, paddock picnics and farm tours.

9. At the end of the dead-end road, North Coast Holiday Park Corindi Beach, on the NSW North Coast, has just 6 cabins and 64 shady campsites to choose from. Nestled beside the beach, within a bush setting enjoy gentle sea breezes and stunning bush and coastal views. Spend days fishing, snorkelling, surfing, swimming and kayaking in nearby beaches, lakes and rivers.

10. Camp in the middle of the mighty Tapin Tops National Park, in the NSW North Coast, at Dingo Tops and explore the park’s stunning waterfalls and creeks and relics from the areas forestry past. Surrounded by ancient rainforests and eucalypt forest, Dingo Tops is a quiet campground where parma wallabies, red-legged pademelons, greater gliders (at night) and koalas are frequently spotted.

For more ideas on camping in NSW this spring go to visitnsw.com/camping

Feb
28
2016
no image added yet.

5 ways to discover our capital

By Australia / Canberra /

Visit Canberra and discover the amazing treasures in and around Australia’s capital city.

Here are five of the best places to visit during your stay in Canberra.

Gibraltar Falls
At the edge of Gibraltar Creek Pine Forest is the secluded and beautiful Gibraltar Falls. They’re located about 45 minutes south west of Canberra, and these gorgeous falls are definitely worth the drive. They have a 50m drop, creating the perfect backdrop for a swim after a short walk from the car park.

Canberra Reptile Zoo
Australia’s biggest and deadliest reptiles are all found at the Canberra Reptile Zoo. Come face to face with colourful snakes and pythons, and you’ll see that some are indeed quite friendly. It’s also an educational experience, with a walk through the ‘Reptiles in Space and Time’ exhibition portraying fossils and the evolution of reptiles.

Rock climbing and abseiling the Snowy Mountains
If you’re feeling like a day out in the mountains, then rock climbing and abseiling around the Snowy Mountains is just the adventure for you. There are plenty of great sites to choose from and tour companies take you to them all. Climbing and abseiling Signature Rocks is fairly easy and popular with family groups. Or you may decide to abseil the overhang at Jindabyne Rock, which is a bit more technical.

Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
For anyone interested in astronomy, the Canberra Space Centre is most likely to be one of the most exciting places you’ll ever visit. It’s a 45 minute drive from Canberra’s CBD and set amongst a backdrop of rolling hills in the Tidbinbilla Valley. Learn about historic and current space exploration projects, while also learning about the universe. You’ll also get to see the largest antenna in the Southern Hemisphere.

Australian War Memorial
The Memorial commemorates the sacrifice of Australian soldiers who have died at war. A visit to the Australian War Memorial is a sombre experience, but one that also opens up your eyes to the country’s history, and the men and women who helped shape it. You’ll also come to understand how war has shaped our society, while seeing many historically significant documents and artefacts.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Sep
30
2015

Best campsites and hidden gems in NSW this spring and summer

By Australia / Australian Capital Territory / Canberra / New South Wales / Sydney /

Destination NSW know better than anyone about the best camping spots for the warmer weather that comes with spring and summer. As the team says “It’s the ideal time of year to discover some of the NSW’s secret campsites and hidden gems.”

According to Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase, “NSW is filled with hidden camping gems waiting to be discovered. NSW has amazing coastal and bush camping spots that continue to stay under the radar and would make an ideal weekend away this spring.”

“These hidden camping gems are just that, secret spots that locals across NSW love due to their unique location and easy access to beautiful beaches, stunning national parks and pristine wilderness environments.”

“Tourism managers across the state have shared their favourite secret camping spots with Destination NSW for this short-list, however this does not exhaust the multitude of amazing campsites just waiting to be discovered. I encourage everyone to get out and explore NSW’s hidden gems this spring,” Ms Chipchase said.

Here are some of Destination NSW’s best secret camping spots along the coast and inland:

1. The spectacular and secluded Honeymoon Bay at Point Perpendicular on the northern end of Jervis Bay on the South Coast allows camping on weekends and during school holidays only. Allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, this rustic bush camp site is a true bush camping experience and just moments to the beaches of northern part of Jervis Bay.

2. Camp by the beach and amongst banksia trees at Picnic Point campground in Mimosa Rocks National Park. Find the perfect fishing spot, swim in crystal clear waters and enjoy scenic views of the stunning Sapphire Coastline.

3. An unknown gem, Lakesea Caravan Park Durras near Bateman’s Bay, has grassy shaded sites with BBQ drums and a campground that is kitted out for the more novice camper including a camp kitchen with free gas BBQs, fridge and oven. Just moments to Durras Beach and Lake Durras, enjoy surfing, kayaking, fishing and bush walking in nearby Murramarang National Park.

4. While many know the Central Coast’s Glenworth Valley for its horse riding and quad biking, it is it’s amazing bush camping sites will surprise people. Expect pristine, bush style campsites along the river bank with wood-fired BBQs, hot showers and plenty of peace and quiet.

5. For absolute beachfront, Beachcomber Holiday Park at Potato Point (pictured) is the place. Backing onto Eurobodalla National Park, expect to be camping amongst kangaroos and wallabies whilst cooking on the pizza oven and relaxing around the communal camp fires.

6. Outside of Mudgee in Central NSW is the pristine Dunns Swamp in Wollemi National Park. Set on the banks of the Cudgegong River and nestled amongst stunning sandstone pagoda rock formations, Dunns Swamp is a nature lovers dream with plenty of walking tracks and canoeing and swimming spots.

7. The pet-friendly Mystery Bay Camp Ground, near Tilba on the South Coast, is just moments from the beach, which has off-leash areas. Enjoy this bush camping site and all that Mystery Bay offers – snorkelling in the bay, surfing at 1080 beach, cheese tasting in nearby Tilba and of course the stunning views of Montague Island.

8. Camp under the stars and experience a true Australian outback station stay at Corynnia Station near Hay in Outback NSW. Camp under ancient black box tree on the edge of a 1,000 acre dry swamp on this working farm and discover this immense property on nature walks, paddock picnics and farm tours.

9. At the end of the dead-end road, North Coast Holiday Park Corindi Beach, on the NSW North Coast, has just 6 cabins and 64 shady campsites to choose from. Nestled beside the beach, within a bush setting enjoy gentle sea breezes and stunning bush and coastal views. Spend days fishing, snorkelling, surfing, swimming and kayaking in nearby beaches, lakes and rivers.

10. Camp in the middle of the mighty Tapin Tops National Park, in the NSW North Coast, at Dingo Tops and explore the park’s stunning waterfalls and creeks and relics from the areas forestry past. Surrounded by ancient rainforests and eucalypt forest, Dingo Tops is a quiet campground where parma wallabies, red-legged pademelons, greater gliders (at night) and koalas are frequently spotted.

For more ideas on camping in NSW this spring go to visitnsw.com/camping

Apr
27
2015

Four great experiences in Australia for road-trippers

By Australia / Australian Capital Territory / Canberra / Melbourne / Port Douglas / Queensland / Victoria /

Learn to water ski with a world champ

Where: Echuca Moama, 215km north of Melbourne

IF anyone tells you Brett Sands can walk on water, you had better believe it. This triple world champion and two-time world record holder, who has lived on the mighty Murray most of his life, first put on water skiis when he was just three years old so you’ll be learning from the best. Brett Sands Watersports in Echuca-Moama offers lessons in waterskiing, wakeboarding, barefooting and kneeboarding. Take part in anything from hourly lessons to multiple day packages on the calm waters of the Murray. Family beginner packages offered. Having spent thousands of hours on the water and instructed and coached throughout the world you are in for a lot of FUN and stories about celebrities. The school, located on 26 acres of beautiful, waterfront property, has had clients returning time and time again since opening in 1986. Whether you’ve never hit the water before or you’re looking to take your waterskiing skills to the next level, this adrenaline-filled experience is perfect for anybody willing to take the plunge. If you really want to get into the spirit, every February Echuca Moama hosts the world’s biggest water ski race – the ‘Southern 80’ Ski Race. Suggested stays: Murray River Holiday Park or Echuca Holiday Park

Cycle with Michael Milton

Where: Canberra

“I like to do things that I think are fun and instead of setting up a little bike-riding tour around Lake Burley Griffin, I decided to do one in the dark,” inspirational six-time Paralympian Michael Milton says of his Bigfoot Adventures option known as the Canberra All Lit Up Tour. Not only can you spin wheels and shoot the breeze with an elite athlete and top bloke after the sun goes down, it’s a chance to develop some mountain biking skills while enjoying “lit up” views of national monuments around Canberra. Australia’s bike-friendly capital city appeals to thousands of cyclists with its city bike tracks and mountain bike riding paths. Bike lamps light the way on this two-and-a-half hour ride, which takes you to the Parliament House exercise track, around Capitol Hill and the wetlands. Best of all, you don’t have to be a national sporting champion like Michael to do the tour – it’s an easy, enjoyable ride. Suggested stay: Capital Country Holiday Village

Townsville segway

Where: Far North Queensland

See the hidden wonders of the sunny, coastal city of Townsville in an environmentally-friendly way. Ride through the city’s beautiful parks and gardens on your own Segway – a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicle. The guided tours run in small groups and take you through training before embarking on a two-hour journey, covering 8.5 kilometres of track. Suggested stays: Coral Coast Tourist Park and BIG4 Walkabout Palms, Townsville.

Chauffer drive in the Mornington Peninsula  

Where: Mornington Peninsula, 75km south east of Melbourne

Have you ever dreamed of living the life of a royal? You definitely can for a day with your very own chauffer on the Mornington Peninsula. Travel in style as you look at the peninsula’s magnificent green hills and sandy beaches from behind the glass windows of your very own Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. While listening to the music of your choice, visit the peninsula’s finest galleries and dine at the most exquisite wineries. Some of the popular things you might like to do during your private tour includes a tour of a cheese factory, stopping at stunning lookout points along the coast, lunch at Arthurs Seat Maze or a visit to art and craft exhibitions. Silver Health Chauffer Services suggests it’s best to pick five tastings and venues a day, to ensure you aren’t too rushed. But if you simply want to sit back, relax and let someone else make the decisions, your chauffer is at your service! Suggested stays: Kangerong Holiday Park or Marina View Van Village.

SCOTT PODMORE

 

 

Apr
14
2015
no image added yet.

5 great things to do while driving around Canberra

By Australia / Australian Capital Territory / Canberra / New South Wales /

People sometimes perceive Canberra as a city with little to do for those who aren’t interested in politics, but reputations can be deceiving. There are plenty of exciting things to do and see in and just outside of Canberra.

Here are five recommendations from The Poacher’s Way…

Robyn Rowe Chocolates

In the small village of Murrumbateman, only half an hour from Canberra, is Robyn Rowe Chocolates. These award winning chocolates are loved for their smooth, creamy and glossy taste. Chocolates are made on site using traditional European methods. The Canberra region’s fresh produce influences the flavours used in the chocolates, including walnuts, honey and locally-grown Clonakilla muscat.

Old St Lukes Studio

This gallery is located in the historic village of Gundaroo, only a 25-minute drive from Canberra. The historic stone building was constructed in 1848 and it’s now the home for artists Ian Jones and Moraig McKenna to display their wood-fired ceramic masterpieces. The gallery’s nine-metre kiln fires up three times a year, followed by a garden exhibition presenting their new work.

Burnelee Excursions on Horseback

Experience the beautiful countryside and wildlife of Canberra’s outskirts while riding on horseback. Burnelee, about 30 minutes from Canberra, offers horse riding trips through the 3,500 acre property for riders of all skill levels.

Gundaroo Colonial Inn

The Gundaroo Colonial Inn has been operating continuously since it was established during Australia’s gold rush in 1872. It has live entertainment, a restaurant serving delicious country-style food, motel style accommodation and a bar offering local wines, boutique beer and cider. A great family-friendly venue, only 25 minutes from Canberra.

Mount Majuna Vineyard

The ACT’s wineries have a reputation for producing some of Australia’s finest wines, and Mount Majuna Vineyard is no exception. This small vineyard is situated on the eastern slopes of Mount Majura, just 11 kilometres from Canberra’s CBD. The ancient limestone mountain’s red volcanic soils produce unique wines, with the vineyard’s signature wine, Tempranillo, now considered one of Australia’s best.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Nov
21
2014

Top 7 things to do in Canberra

By Australia / Australian Capital Territory / Canberra /

WHAT to do in Canberra? It’s a question visitors ask regularly. Australia’s capital city has several exciting things to do and landmarks to see. Many attractions in Canberra that will undoubtedly blow you away.

Here’s seven things to do in Canberra.

1. Visit Parliament House

When you’re visiting the nation’s capital city, visiting Parliament House is a must. Explore the public galleries and watch politicians debate at question time. If you’re there at the right time, you might even see the House of Representatives or the Senate pass an historic law!

2. Take a tour of the Royal Australian Mint

Since opening in 1965, the Royal Australian Mint has produced over 15 billion circulating coins. Find out more fun facts with a tour of the Mint, where you’ll observe coins being produced, learn about historically significant coins and marvel at the National Coin Collection. 

3. Discover history at the Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial is the leading archive and centre for research into the history of Australia’s involvement in war. While here, remember the service and sacrifice of Australians during wartime and learn about the people and events that shaped Australia.

4. Walk along ANZAC Parade

A moving and visually powerful walk, with a red gravel strip in the centre with dark eucalypt ‘walls’. Start at the Australian War Memorial, which sits at the top end of the parade as you begin your walk, exploring monuments along the way.

5. Go bushwalking in the Namadgi National Park

The majestic Namadgi National Park is rich with Aboriginal History, making up around 46 percent of the ACT’s land area. Explore this scenic park’s peaks above 1700m on foot, with opportunities to see wild kangaroos, wallabies and emus. Try the popular Booroomba Rocks walking trail, which treats you to amazing views of the Australian Alps at the summit.

6. Test your science knowledge at Questacon

Learn about science and technology at Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre – best of all, it isn’t boring! With over 200 interactive exhibits to explore, you can also free-fall down a six metre slide and experience an earthquake. There’s also a gallery for kids under 6.

7. See inside the National Arboretum

One of Canberra’s most popular new attractions, the National Arboretum, isn’t only beautiful. Important research and conservation work is undertaken here. The Arboretum’s collection of trees spans 250 hectares, with the hilltop estate offering wonderful views across Canberra. Learn about how the Arboretum is helping protect tree species and generating new research on how trees grow and adapt.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Oct
20
2014

7 things to do in Canberra and why there’s much more to it than just pollies and roundabouts

By Australia / Canberra / New South Wales / Sydney /

CANBERRA – it’s Australia’s capital. Many will tell you it’s best to steer clear of it if you’re zooming around on an Aussie road trip in your Sydney car rental and avoid the home of politicians and roundabouts. But they’re wrong, and I’ll give you seven good reasons why there are plenty of good attractions in Canberra.

1. The Australian War Memorial

BEAUTIFUL and monumental in its bush setting, the AWM transports us back in history – and the present – allowing us to reflect on some extraordinary Australian experiences in war. Forever expanding since early last century, we’re not talking about old-fashioned dioramas any more, but rather a thoroughly engaging and immersive experience where new technology is taking it to new levels. This includes such treats as simulated submarine activity and in Anzac Hall, for example, there is a permanent exhibition Over the front: the Great War in the air, which recounts the story of military flight and aerial combat during World War I using original aircraft in an exciting sound-and-light show put together by director Peter Jackson. For more visit awm.gov.au

2. Lonsdale Street in Braddon

ONLY five minutes’ walk from Canberra’s CBD, and the smell of roasting coffee combined with the street’s industrial edginess makes you immediately think of Melbourne. But that’s not to say funky Lonsdale St isn’t carving out its own personality. Quite the contrary, as a quick stroll will lead you to anything from an eclectic mix of pop-up shops at retailing pod Lonsdale Street Traders, cool cafes, hip-hop tapas bars, vegan bakeries, and – ahem – car yards. (The area is traditionally known for car salesmen and mechanics wandering about rather than cosmopolitan hipsters on the hunt for a good coffee). “Oh that’s all changed, we’re developing our own culture here,” Lonsdale Street Roasters’ Paul Wilson says. “It’s our time to shine.” Cool establishments such as the Elk & Pea are also making a noise with their affordable, street food vibe based around a South American share culture. “It’s an industrial feel but with some great shops, food and coffee on offer,” the Elk & Pea’s Minky Faber says. “While you enjoy a great bite to eat or a drink you can watch the used car salesmen work their magic.” For more visit elkandpea.com.au and lonsdalestreetroasters.com

3. B&B Country Guesthouse Schonegg

CANBERRA has accommodation ranging from budget to high-end luxury, but the region’s cool climes are perhaps best experienced out of town and curled up in front of a cosy slow-combustion fire in gorgeous B&B Country Guesthouse Schonegg. Schonegg is a place where you can get back to nature in the country and relax in beautiful 4 1/2-star lodgings comprising six ensuite guestrooms – three with double spa, a fully accessible room and two pet-friendly rooms. For more visit schonegg.com.au

4. Silo Bakery

Of all the things to do in Canberra, this is definitely one of them. This family-run winner in Kingston offers an impeccable wine list and unforgettable food including pastries, slow-braised meats, tartes, soups and pizzas. For more visit silobakery.com.au

5. Hotel Realm

IF you thought Canberra was light on for quality hotels, think again. Hotel Realm is a 5-star gem at the footsteps of Parliament House, with 158 hotel and suite-style rooms complemented by an in-house day spa, health club and dining options. For more visit hotelrealm.com.au

6. Tourist Trail

FOR things to do in Canberra, this is a ripper. From little things big things grow, as they say, and The Poacher’s Way is a small collective of about 20 of Canberra’s best artists, chefs, winemakers and rural retreats inspired by life and the land. Susan Bruce, managing director of Poacher’s Pantry, a crowd-pleaser smokehouse, vineyard and cafe dishing up the finest gourmet smoked meats and cool-climate Wily Trout wine range, says the Poacher’s Trail is starting to make an impact on visitors wanting to “explore our region, to taste our wines, enjoy fine local cuisine, discover galleries and even to race across the hills on horseback or indulge in delicious chocolates … all before settling in for a night at one of our divine accommodation options”. Start with Robyn Rowe Chocolates in Murrumbateman (right), about half an hour from the city, be sure to include a wine-tasting experience at Clonakilla, a family-run legendary Australian winery that produces some of the world’s most delicious award-winning shiraz viogniers and pure shirazes, and a food stop at Flint in the Vines and wine tasting at Shaw Vineyard Estate is a must, too. For more visit thepoachersway.com.au

7. National Museum Australia

THIS place has everything under the sun and is fascinating to explore our country’s history through a variety of great displays and presentations. Check out “where our stories live” at the National Museum Australia. Allow half a day because you will be exploring for hours. It’s a beauty. For more visit nma.gov.au

– SCOTT PODMORE (words & pics (c))