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7 legendary farmers markets in Australia

By Australia / Hobart / Noosa / Tasmania / Western Australia /

Farmers markets showcase the best food of each region. By shopping at these markets you’re supporting Australian farmers, who are the lifeline of Australia’s food industry. 

Here are 7 legendary farmers markets in Australia the world must know about.

Golden Plains Farmers Market, VIC

Golden Plains and its surrounds are famous for wine and fresh produce, and you can pick up your own at the Golden Plains Farmers Market. Held on the fist Saturday of the month between 9am and 1pm, Bannockburn’s Golden Plains Farmers’ Market offers wine, seasonal and organic produce and La Madre sourdough. Look for Ross Creek Garlic, and DIY growers will also be pleased with the selection of  potted herb and veggie selection.

Noosa Farmers Market, QLD

In this pretty coastal region, residents rise early to shop for their weekly fix of fresh, tropical fruit and vegetables. Even if juicy mangoes, creamy avocados and fresh coffee beans aren’t on your list, make sure you go out of your way to pick some up. Don’t forget to try cane juice for a taste of the region. The market runs every Sunday 7am to noon.

Eveleigh Farmers Market, NSW

Held in a historic refurbished railway workshop, this Sydney market has more than 70 stalls to satisfy your weekly grocery needs. You can snatch up bargains for seasonal fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, artisan bread, dairy, olive oil and boutique wine. The market runs every Saturday 8am till 1pm but make sure you arrive early to avoid the crowds.

Farm Gate Market, TAS

The ring of a farm bell at 8.30am sharp every Sunday kicks off the Farm Gate Market in Hobart. The marker showcases some of the best of Tasmania’s produce, and on your to-buy list should be exotic creamed fennel honey and Mount Nelson microgreens. Shop around as you listed to the delightful performances put on by smiling buskers. The market finishes at 1pm.

Albany Farmers Market, WA

Local farmers bring their fresh, seasonal produce to this thriving market every Saturday 8am until noon. It’s also worth shopping around the market for organic beef and lamb, honey, yoghurt, cheese and ice-cream. You’ll also love the different jams, nuts and fresh flowers.

Victor Harbor Farmers Market, SA

The Victor Harbor Farmers’ Market showcases the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula’s best food. You’ll discover high quality poultry, wild-caught seafood and fresh vegetables. Make sure you bag some cherry juice for something a little different. The market operates every Saturday, 8am until 12.30pm in the Grosvenor Gardens.

Barossa Farmers Market, SA

The magnificent Barossa Valley is famous for its wonderful food and produce, which makes it the perfect place to buy the finest meat, fruit and vegetables. While visiting the market on Saturdays between 7.30 and 11.30am, spoil yourself with some homemade cakes and chocolates.



5 great Aussie caravan parks in wine regions

By Adelaide / Australia / Brisbane / Melbourne / New South Wales / Perth / Queensland / South Australia / Sydney / Victoria / Western Australia /

Where there’s a wine there’s a way, so jot down these five holiday parks close to vineyards throughout Australia.

1. BIG4 Port Willunga Tourist Park, SA

SOME travellers say Australia’s greenest wine region is the McLaren Vale, a must-see destination when in the South where the wine regions are some of the world’s best. Only 10 minutes from the wineries, BIG4 Port Willunga Tourist Park is considered the hot ticket venue for caravanners and campers to set up camp before experiencing the delicious home grown food and wine, popular beaches and nearby art galleries.

Famous for producing great reds and chardonnays, some of the best wines in the world feature among the 75 cellar doors you can explore in the region. Try Woodstock Wine Estate, Aramis Vineyard, Angrove McLaren Vale Winery and Cellar Door, and d’Arenberg for a real taste of the area. Even create your own food and wine trail by taking a car, walking or bike riding around the region and sampling the delicious regional produce.

Don’t miss the Willunga Farmers Market and go nuts with the abundance of fresh food on offer including, cheese, olives and bread to create your own perfect picnic. BIG4 Port Willunga Tourist Park has executive spa suites to a range of caravan and motor home sites. It’s perfect for cooking up a feast on the park’s barbecues while you uncork a bottle of local wine.

More port-willunga-tourist-park.sa.big4.com.au

2. Beachlands Holiday Park, WA

COULD there be a better place in winter than Busselton at Beachlands Holiday Park? Right beside the white sandy beaches of Geographe Bay, Busselton is widely considered the capital of the Margaret River wine region where you get the best of both worlds – gorgeous coastline and beautiful vineyards. The park provides a place to park your wheels before exploring the wineries, some landscaped gardens and nearby restaurants big on paddock-to-plate local produce. Over 150 wine producers call the Margaret River home, with many offering cellar door tastings and sales. Perhaps the best way to explore it all is with the Bushtucker River and Wine Tour which takes you to four wineries, a brewery and chocolate and cheese companies along the way. Accommodation options at Beachlands Holiday Park include chalets, spa villas, jacuzzi bungalows and camping and caravan sites. After a day of indulgence at the local wineries and restaurants, unwind in the heated swimming pool, enjoy a glass of Margaret River produced wine by the landscaped gardens or burn off all that recently consumed chocolate, cheese and wine on the NEOS equipment – the latest and greatest in fitness equipment.

More beachlandsresort.com.au

3. BIG4 Valley Vineyard Tourist Park, NSW

Hunter Valley wine region is as big as it gets when it comes to Aussie wines and BIG4 Valley Vineyard Tourist Park is the ultimate spot to relax and enjoy a holiday of wining and dining. Just a short distance from the main part of town, the park is set among Merlot grapevines and operates as a holiday destination and fully functioning vineyard. Discover many other award winning wineries in the area, including Arrowfield Estate, Drayton’s Family Wines, and Gartelmann Wines to name a few. Indulge yourself on the Rovers Wine Tour that departs from BIG4 Valley Vineyard Tourist Park most mornings where you’ll tempt your tastebuds throughout the day as you enjoy wine, cheese, chocolate and fudge tastings. Sit back at the end of the day while taking in the views from the balcony of your private cabin. BIG4 Valley Vineyard Tourist Park has modern accommodation options available including two-storey apartments, villas and cottages, to powered tent and caravan sites with views of the grapevines or the resort-style pool.

More valleyvineyard.com.au

4. Badger Creek Holiday Park, Victoria

THE Yarra Valley is a treat for sore eyes in any season, but the crisp weather down south can bring out the best in misty morning views and lush valleys that run deep – and then there are all the excellent cellar doors to discover. Better still, only an hour’s drive from Melbourne is a little charmer called BIG4 Badger Creek Holiday Park in Healesville. This is as down to earth as it gets and aside from a great range of cabins, a games room, basketball courts and barbecue areas, the real charm lies in the cascading gentle trickle of little Badger Creek itself where you can set up a tent and enjoy a campfire under some of the brightest stars in the southern hemisphere. Nearby are more than 40 cellar doors offering some of the country’s best wineries, including famous Domaine Chandon and De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate. While you get the opportunity to rough it a little by camping by a creek, you can spoil yourself on the region’s sensational food and wine more suited to luxury travellers. As a bonus, wine tours or more information on local wineries can be organised through reception at the park.

More badgercreekholidays.com.au

5. Kelso Sands Holiday & Native Wildlife Park, Tamar Valley Region

EMBRACE great Tassie wineries, and cracking scenery and attractions in the Tamar Valley Region with a stay at Kelso Sands Holiday and Native Wildlife Park. A cool climate wine region, the Tamar Valley produces outstanding quality wines that reflect its environment, which, let’s face it, is pretty damn pure. Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are some of the best of the bunch. Dalrymple Vineyards has developed award-winning wines and is a fantastic place to bring a packed picnic to enjoy overlooking the perfect rows of grapevines. For a change of wine scenery, J Boag and Son Brewery is one for the beer lovers, where you can take a tour of the historic brewery. Your choice of stay includes the riverview cottages, holiday units and caravan and camping sites.

More kelso-sands-holiday-park.tas.big4.com.au


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Seven South Australia events you cannot miss in Adelaide and surrounds

By Adelaide / Australia / South Australia /

From arts festivals to music celebrations, food and wine, and sports events, there’s something for everyone in Adelaide and surrounds in coming months. Try these six …

1. Adelaide Festival

The Adelaide festival is a multi-arts event with great diversity and a big tradition of innovation with a program including opera, dance, theatre, music, cabaret and visual arts. In addition, there’s the Adelaide Writers’ Week. The party has already started, but continues to March 15. Visit www.adelaidefestival.com.au

2. Fork and Cork

With a name like Fork and Cork, there can only be two things at the forefront of everyone’s mind – food and drink, and it’s all quality. Mount Gambier’s Garden Square will host a fun-filled day that’s set to include masterclasses, workshops, music and a chance to learn tips and techniques from the best local chefs in the region. The big event on the Limestone Coast takes place on February 28. More visit www.forkandcork.com.au

3. WOMADelaide

WOMADelaide has been getting bigger and better ever since its inception in 1992, growing to become one of Australia’s favourite outdoor festivals. Its four days feature performances from great musicians, dancers and DJs, along with interesting talks, workshops and loads of scrumptious global cuisine. So, just who’s going to be there? Charlie Musselwhite, C.W Stoneking, First Aid Kit, Rufus Wainwright, Timberwolf and many more artists from around the world. The world’s festival takes place at Botanic Park from March 6-9. Visit www.womadelaide.com.au

4. Barossa Airshow

Look, up in the sky, is it a bird? Is it a planet? Yes! Several, in fact, as the Barossa Airshow takes to the sky for a family fun packed day with aircraft displays, helicopter rides, sideshows, food and wine as well as other entertainment. Held in April, you can find out more at www.barossaairshow.com.au

5. Coober Pedy Centenary Celebrations

Between April 2-5 Coober Pedy celebrates 100 years with a range of events including the 100 Year Ball, Coober Pedy Opal Festival and Welcome Back to Coober Pedy, a reunion lunch for past residents. While there check out the underground homes and amazing opals. Visit www.cooberpedy.sa.gov.au

6. Fleurieu Peninsula Golf Championships

Golfers can play at four courses on the stunning Fleurieu Peninsula over four days, with a range of tour options and accommodation packages across the region from April 7-11. Visit www.fleurieupeninsulagolfchampionships.com.au

7. Barossa Vintage Festival.

Unbuckle your belt and prepare for a feast for the senses. From April 15-19, the Barossa Valley’s finest is on show and up for consumption as Australia’s largest and longest wine festival kicks in. The festival blends together the Barossa’s wine, food, people, and their music, literature, art and, of course, their yummy food and wine. Visit www.barossavintagefestival.com.au




Five great markets in Melbourne

By Australia / Melbourne / Victoria /

VICTORIANS and visitors alike aren’t shy when it comes to weekend markets in Melbourne. Craft markets, farmer’s markets, bric-a-brac, clothes, design, computers, food … you name it, there’s a market somewhere close by. Then there are thousands of garage sales in the streets.

Where to begin when it comes to the best Melbourne markets? It’s hard to squeeze all the good ones into 10 slots, but we’ll give it a go. Here are some well worth the visit.

1. Queen Victoria Markets

Some say this is the one to rule them all for more than a century for everything from fish and seafood, meats, chicken, gourmet products, doughuts, sweets, and fruit and veg to clothing, souvenirs, cosmetics and roaming street performers among many more features spread over two city blocks.

2. Warrandyte Community Market

When it comes to finding Saturday markets, Melbourne is up there with the best and sometimes it pays to dig deep to unearth the gold. Warrandyte Community Market in the outer eastern suburbs is a beauty set along the most beautiful part of the Yarra River with everything from arts and crafts to fresh fruit and veg, popcorn, Phil’s burgers for brekky, gem stones, plants and loads more.

3.  South Melbourne Market

Butchers, grocers, bakers, fish stalls, fortune tellers and stacks more puts the South Melbourne Market up there with the best among the inner city. Then there’s all the crazy entertainment and fantastic atmosphere at the night markets in the summer months.

4. Little Saigon Markets

Head to Footscray and you enter a world of Asia as the hustle and bustle sees everyone wanting in on the action with cheap meats, seafood, and fabulously cheap fruit and vegies.

5. The Collingwood Children’s Farm

While the Australian rules football club polarises the masses, everybody agrees that you can’t help but love this countrified market in the middle of town. Twice a month everyone swarms on the hotspot for a big taste of country life and bag some plants, seedlings, sauces and fruits while the atmosphere is enhanced by chickens, sheep and other country animals wandering around.


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Keeping young children safe in your car rental


Exploring the vast and scenic expanses of Australia or diverse beauty of New Zealand with a rental car is a fantastic holiday idea for the whole family.

There are strict rules on securing your young child when they're in the car.

To make the experience enjoyable for everyone, you’ll want to make safety a top priority and you’ll most likely know the basics of safe long-distance car travel.

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How to go on road trips with the kids


They say that when setting off to a faraway destination, whether it is by plane, train or automobile, getting there is half the fun. Those that have ever been on a long road trip with kids in the back seat may beg to differ. Restless by nature, young children can drive you insane with their endless cries of “Are we there yet?” Here are some things you can do on your next family road trip,

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Free things to do in Auckland

By Auckland / New Zealand /

Auckland has a multitude of things to do and see, but sometimes the cost of visiting lots of places with ticket entries can add up, and use up funds you’d rather spend on food and souvenirs! So to keep that expenditure down, check out some of these activities you can get stuck into – for free! Here are three ideas for free activities…….

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Pick up a car rental and go cruisin’ with your pooch

By Australia / Brisbane / Cairns / Gold Coast / Great Ocean Road / Melbourne / New South Wales / Queensland / Sydney / Victoria / Western Australia /

WANTING a road trip and accommodation for the whole family, four-legged friends included?

Gone are the days when pet-friendly accommodation consisted of mildew walls and flea ridden couches, or when you had to re-mortgage your home to pay the kennel to keep your beloved pooch fed, watered and entertained.

These days, there are a range of pet friendly holiday accommodation options that will ensure fun for all the family, two and four legged creatures alike.

With pooch in your Gold Coast hire car, head for the hinterland and beach all rolled into one in the beautiful areas surrounding Byron Bay. Nestled on the exclusive Tallow Beach, Puri Pantali House affords absolute beachfront location in luxury Balinese style.  The house has four bedrooms, each with ensuite, catering for up to eight people comfortably.  Open plan living and a kitchen complete with state of the art appliances will ensure you feel right at home.   A private salt water solar heated pool will keep the kids entertained, while the stone paved pergola area and tropical gardens provide a romantic setting for adults.  Best of all, pets are welcome! $1000 – $2000 per night.

Cape Otway Cottages – Great Ocean Road Victoria

Providing creature comforts for four legged and two legged creatures alike, Cape Otway Cottages is a short drive in your Melbourne car rental along the famous Great Ocean Road.  The 60-acre property provides plenty of great walks for man and beast.  As you crack a bottle of champagne to celebrate your arrival, your pampered pooch will also have reason to celebrate, with a comfy bed next to the wood fire, silver service dog bowls and complimentary dog treats provided.  With an array of different cottage options of varying sizes, you are sure to find something that sill suit your family.  Prices start from $225 per night.

Kurrimine Beach Holiday Park, Queensland

Between Cairns and Townsville lies Kurrimine Beach Holiday Park.  The quiet fishing village provides the perfect backdrop to a dream family camping escape as you scoot off in your Cairns hire car or Brisbane car rental and into paradise. The Park offers self-contained cabins and large private sites, set among long deserted dog friendly beaches, salt water swimming pool and an array of great fishing spots.  Self contained cabins form $65 per night, powered camp sites from $22 and unpowered camp sites from $19.

Peppermint Tree Lodge, Peppermint Grove Beach, Western Australia

Half-way between Bunbury and Busselton, Peppermint Tree Lodge offers oceanfront accommodation just 40 meters from the beach.  Choose from three uniquely designed houses and a spa villa, all air conditioned and with wood fires to keep you comfortable no matter what time of the year you visit.  Pets are allowed inside and there is a dog beach directly in front of the house.  Relax and keep an eye out for dolphins from the luxury of your own Jacuzzi style outdoor spa. Prices start at $250 a night.

By Scott Podmore and Karly Hickman



Keeping it in the family – hit the holiday park Victorian road trip highway

By Melbourne / Victoria /

HOLIDAY parks are experiencing a boom time period, there’s no doubt about that, with more and more Australians realising the idea of a road trip holiday staying at the new breed of caravan parks is not only a financially convenient option, but also a fun one.

So, where do you begin? Let’s start with Victoria and, as a starting point, let’s choose the state’s capital city for collection of your Melbourne campervan rental. Then let’s look at one of the more popular holiday park chains  – Family Parks. The facilities at most holiday parks these days are ideal for campervanners and caravanners, and Family Parks destinations cater for just about every type of road-tripper.  The company motto? “Holidays for all the tribe”. Their philosophy is simple and effective: “Family has so many different meanings whether it be you and your partner, you and your pet, you and your extended family or you and a close group of friends – no matter your family situation, you are assured of being treated with kindness and friendliness”.

From Melbourne, many roads lead to a Family Parks destination, so here are five recommendations.

Murray River1) Merool On The Murray, Echuca-Moama. Journey = 227km, north on the Hume Hwy and Northern Hwy.

Head north of Melbourne to the closest point of the mighty Murray River and about three hours later you will discover this gem of a place steeped in history and loads of water activities to enjoy. The park itself is set in tranquil bush surrounding a world away from the hustle and bustle – but that”s only five minutes away from Echuca/Moama’s main attractions. Best of all, it’s only 600m away from the RSL Club, a whopper with pokies, great food and entertainment. The park has powered sites from around $30 ina  spacious setting.

2) San Remo Holiday Park, San Remo (Phillip Island). Journey = 125km, south on the M1.

Head southbound on the M1 and about an hour and a half later you will hit the “gateway to Phillip Island” where the activities and sights are endless, including penguin parades, Phillip Island grand prix circuit, and much more. The park is close to the beach, shops and services and prides itself on being “a private family park with personal service”. Powered sites start around $27.

3) Painters Island Caravan Park, Wangaratta. Journey = 250km, south-east on the Hume Freeway.

Sometimes the simple things are often the best, as they say, and this humble park is on the banks of the Ovens River and only a two minute walk into the main strip. This place is right in the heart of Ned Kelly Country and a beautiful food and wine region, so there’s much to explore. The facilities at the park are ample and clean, including a great playground, camp kitchen and undercover free BBQs. Powered sites start from $26-$30.

4) Daylesford Victoria Caravan Park, Daylesford. Journey = 111km, west on the Western Freeway and Ballan-Daylesford Rd.

Spa Country in Victoria is something every visitor must visit and this Family Park is a beauty from which to explore the region. Nestled in a quiet botanical parkland setting with giant redwords, the facilities are basic and it’s only a short walk to shops and the renowned lake where you can enjoy a wonderful lunch experience at the Lake House. Powered sites start from around the $30 mark.

5) Grampians Gardens Tourist Park, Halls Gap. Journey = 250km, west on the Western Freeway and Western Highway.

Head west and three hours later in the magnificent Grampians you will discover this beaut family orientated, nature based tourist park on about 10 hectares. It’s right on the edge of the Grampians National Park in Halls Gap and boasts local residents including kangaroos, native birds and other wildlife. Dogs are allowed, too, so bring the family pooch along! Great facilities include a swimming pool, playground and basketball hoop, daily bird feeding, and powered sites for your camper start at about $27.