Five jacaranda hot spots in NSW

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

Late October and November is a time Sydney and NSW is a purple explosion of jacaranda season signalling one of the most beautiful times of the year in the state.

Set against harbour backdrops in some of Sydney’s most picturesque suburbs and historic regional towns in NSW, it’s the perfect time to visit Sydney to take in the stunning sight of the jacarandas.

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said: “NSW has so many jacaranda trees in bloom, we even have an annual festival dedicated to them in the historic town of Grafton.  From harbourside enclaves to regional towns, spring is a wonderful time to visit with family and friends to enjoy NSW in bloom during jacaranda season.”

Here are a few of NSW’s fantastic jacaranda spots:

1. North Shore: The North Shore suburbs of Lavender Bay, Greenwich, Waverton, Hunters Hill, Woolwich, Longueville and Wollstonecraft all display a beautiful selection of jacaranda trees during the season. Make a day of it and pack a picnic to enjoy a feast under the trees

2. Eastern Suburbs: Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs including Paddington, Woollahra and Double Bay all sport stunning lilac hues during October and November.  Oxford Street and Five Ways in Paddington always have a great selection to view

3. Sydney City: Starting at the Royal Botanic Gardens, a jacaranda walking tour through Circular Quay and The Rocks is a great way to see the trees, while taking in the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, harbour views and historic cobblestone streets of The Rocks

4. Inner Sydney:  The giant jacaranda tree at the University of Sydney is so iconic that growers at the University have cloned it to ensure it lives on.  This tree is one of Sydney’s most famous jacarandas and well worth a visit during the season.  Neighbouring suburbs of Glebe and Erskineville are also worth exploring for blue hue.

5. Grafton: Located alongside the majestic Clarence River on NSW’s North Coast, the historic town of Grafton is home to the Jacaranda Festival, taking place from 28th October to 5th November 2017. Famous for its 6,500 jacaranda trees, the Festival is one of Australia’s longest running flower festivals and celebrates the town’s magnificent lilac-blossomed trees. Festival events include the coronation of a jacaranda queen, a street parade with themed floats, markets, live performances and fireworks.Rent a car in Sydney or at the airport and make a road trip out of it!


5 step guide to a Melbourne city escape between Christmas and New Year

By Melbourne / Victoria /

It’s a long way off but there’s a certain time of year the rest of the human race are either snoozing or have escaped to somewhere else when it comes to Melbourne city and inner city ‘burbs. With Christmas and Boxing Day out of the way and many catching their breath before New Year’s suddenly arrives, Melbourne’s a little sleepy and there are some great hotel deals on offer if you’re looking for a quick getaway.

For a two night, three day stay and play in the big smoke, here are five suggestions for a great Melbourne short stay in 12 months time. The biggest tip of all is you have to be organised so get that calendar ready with reminders.

Flights … the gang at skyscanner recently revealed some observations about the best time to buy flights for Christmas/New Year’s. According to Skyscanner’s research, the best time to buy a Christmas flight is during the week of November 21 for an average savings of more than 6%. Get on the newsletter mailouts, too, for the sales.

Wheels …  Goes without saying you need to click through to the DriveNow Melbourne airport car rental deals at any time of the year. For a three day rental you could be looking at anywhere from $150-$200+ all up depending on your choice of car and size. Will you need a car for the quick-fire getaway? Yes, though you won’t need to be in it often, but it will definitely come in handy for those little trips a few kilometres away during the day – if you choose to venture that far.

Bed … Come December the deals start hatching as distressed inventory (aka rooms that need to be booked) are on offer. We chose the delightful Melbourne Parkview Hotel in Albert Park, on St Kilda Rd. Sniff out deals closer to the date, but some rippers come with breakfast for two and free parking. Better still, everything’s within walking distance, including Albert Park Lake for a morning stroll (about 5km), Commercial Road and Chapel Street buzz, restaurants along St Kilda Road and more.

R&R … Literally 15 minutes by foot along St Kilda Rd from your hotel you will discover a treat for the senses at Leelawadee Thai Massage & Skin Care. We booked a double one-hour Thai massage in the same room mid-afternoon, allowed little feet trodding along the body for a few minutes before sinking into a luxurious and relaxing massage for $130 all up! Awesome value. While a little jelly like we skipped across the road to stylish cocktail bar The Amberoom for a jug of water and a cocktail.

Feast … Say hello to Roxborough Bar and Kitchen in Acland Street, St Kilda, as recommended by good friend and Chin Chin executive chef extraordinaire Benjamin Cooper. It’s a decent 15 minute walk from the hotel or a 5 minute $10-15 taxi. This little gem is making waves on the Melbourne food scene with its spacious open vibe, cleanliness and immaculate service in such an intimate setting (yep, it’s cosy, but it works). The food is scrumptious: snacks like Bruny Island oysters, Jamon and manchego croquetas, lime cured watermelon with goats curd and basil. Entrees to share that jump off the menu include Pippies and clams with smoked pork hock, broad beans and parsely, or how about Chargrilled Queensland king prawns, with garlic and smoked paprika butter. Sumptuous mains that hit the spot are Chargrilled 400g pasture fed Gippsland Entrecote on the bone with bone marrow butter, roasted spring garlic, silver beet puree, or Twice cooked Milawa half free range chicken diavolo with a spring pea and tarragon chicken jus. This place rocks.




Five food experiences worth the drive from Melbourne’s CBD

By Australia / Melbourne / Victoria /

Food, glorious food. Melbourne is a melting pot hot spot of food experiences, many of which can be found in that easy to navigate CBD grid, but venture a little further afield and there are unforgettable tasty treats off the yellow brick road to enjoy. Grab a Melbourne car rental and try these five:

#1 La Sala restaurant at Olivigna, South Warrandyte

The drive … (from CBD) 45-50 minutes north-east

The rolling hills of Warrandyte is welcome sight for those escaping the urban jungle for a leafy green village with a river running through it. The Tuscan-like atmosphere of beautiful Olivigna (pictured) in the southern part of Warrandyte is highlighted by La Sala restaurant, the star of the show. Outside is the stunning piazza, a place to breathe in the freshest Green Wedge air and soak up the views while sharing a pizza and Rose. Nearby eye candy comes with lemon trees and olive grove, a vineyard, horses grazing in the background like a painting while often the resident kangaroos can arrive seemingly on call for diners to really appreciate the views beyond the glass windows at La Sala. Inside a spacious dining room is a polished update on traditional Italian design, with chandeliers, mudstone fireplace and walls lined with mesmerizing large black and white photographs that blend in with the sounds of clinking cutlery and social chatter; it gets noisy here but that only lends it the charm of happy people enjoying their outing. The seasonal menu is irresistible.

#2 Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

The drive …  two hours west

This one’s a “two hatter” courtesy of the Age Good Food Guide two years running and the Royal Mail Hotel Dining Room offers “nature-based cuisine focusing on the highest quality locally sourced produce” according to the Visit Victoria team. Menus are inspired by the hotel’s large organic garden and some stunning dishes are created. The signature dining experience? An eight course chef’s tasting menu with matched wines, is served every evening, as is a five course option. A two course and three course set menu is available Sunday to Thursday nights. The Dining Room is open for breakfast daily and lunch Wednesday to Sunday.

#3 Jack Rabbit, Bellarine

The drive … 90 minutes south-west

No, it’s not a play on great food haunts with animal names but it just so happens we’re following up a Pickled Pig with a Jack Rabbit. Jack Rabbit is an absolute winner on the Bellarine Peninsula with its stunning views across the bay to the You Yangs and Geelong, and its two venues – Jack Rabbit Restaurant, a showstopping gastronomical attraction with a sensational seasonal a la carte menu, while The House of Jack Rabbit is a step down for beaut lunches seven days a week.

#4 Pickled Pig, Warrnambool

The drive … a touch over two hours west

Victoria’s  regional fine dining scene is expanding by the year and this ripper is set on the seaside city of Warrnambool. Visit Victoria says chef Brenton Banner, who cut his teeth in the kitchen of Melbourne’s famous Press Club, brings his imagination and flair to Pickled Pig’s modern European menu, awarded a hat by The Age Good Food Guide. Treat yourself to a tasting menu or take your pick of the tempting a la carte options.

#5 Eleonore’s Restaurant, Yering

The drive … a touch over an hour east

Step it up in style at Eleonore Restaurant in the Yarra Valley, which combines a contemporary cuisine in an historic setting. The fine dining restaurant’s modern menu is lagely influenced by Asian flavours, manages to sit sublimely within the old-world surrounds of a 19th-century chateau.



New York events: the 6 big ticket events you can’t miss

By New York / United States /

Most people know of New York as the city of love. People travel from all over the world to begin their adventures in the Big Apple. But it’s also worth nothing New York events are so spectacular that you’ll probably come across a festival no matter what time of year you visit.

Hire a car from JFK Airport and start ticking off these New York events.

(Here’s a tip, plan parking for your New York events in NYC in advance!)

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving is the most important holiday of the year. In Manhattan, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been tradition for nearly a century. Millions of people pack the streets to watch famous singers, Broadway performers, floats and marching bands.

The US Open

It’s the country’s biggest tennis tournament and as far as New York events go, it’s should be high on your list. The Grand Slam event sees the world’s best players converge on New York between August and September. At the same time you’ll also find the globe’s maddest tennis fans.

New Year’s Eve at Times Square

There’s nothing like NYE, when people all over the world come together to celebrate the same thing; a fresh beginning. Why not celebrate it at one of America’s most iconic sites? There are dazzling lights, music and an incredible atmosphere as the crowd waits for the clock to strike midnight.

NYC Marathon

It’s not like other marathons. Nearly 50,000 people begin their run at Staten Island and cross the finish line in Central Park. No other marathon takes you past so many iconic attractions, with millions tuning in to watch runners take over New York.

Rockefeller Centre Tree Lighting

This is a worldwide symbol of the beginning of the Christmas holidays. Be among the thousands of people who watch the a mammoth Christmas tree be lit in late November. Live performances at Rockefeller Plaza follow, while the glorious tree remains on display until early January.

Rochester International Jazz Festival

Every June sees people from all walks of life come together, unified by their love for jazz. Drive five and a half hours north west of NYC to see the city’s main road transform into “Jazz Street”. Some truly amazing talent make this festival an incredible event.



Athens: 5 things to do in Greece’s capital and surrounds

By Europe /

Athens has one of the longest histories in the world. Over the centuries, different conquerors have taken control of Greece’s capital, with each leaving their own impression on the city.

Today it’s one of Europe’s prime tourist destinations, which reels in 4.5 million tourists every year. The best way to explore this vibrant place starts with finding a hire car from Athens Airport. Once you have that, get set for an ultimate adventure and check out these attractions!

The jewel of Athens: the Acropolis

Marvel at what’s considered to be Greece’s crowning glory. The “high city” dominates the Athens skyline and is an absolute masterpiece. Ancient structures like the Temple of Athena Nike and the fifth century BC temple ruins of the Parthenon make for a true reminder of the country’s Golden Age. But most of all the views from the summit are well worth a steep climb to the top.

Lake Vouliagmeni

If you’re feeling up for a drive then detour about 45 minutes south of Athens. You’ll discover the magnificent Lake Vouliagmeni, which sits beneath the remains of a limestone cavern. The water temperature is usually around 25 degrees Celsius, making it a great place to swim year-round. Find your little slice of heaven by the tranquil water.

Plaka district

It’s touted as one of the city’s most attractive districts. Plaka is also right under the slopes of the magnificent Acropolis and Greek literature references it as “the neighbourhood of the Gods”. There are neoclassical mansions to admire, small winding roads, quaint balconies and gorgeous flowers. It’s a special place where you can enjoy a bite to eat and also pick up souvenirs.

Monastiraki Flea Market

Athens is home to many markets but Monastiraki Flea Market should be the one at the top of your list. It’s a traditional market, with modern souvenir stalls, antique shops and collectables stores. Locals will also gladly entice you to buy their jewellery, crafts and other unique goods.

Mount Lycabettus

At 277 metres high, the Mount Lycabettus summit is the highest in the city. Its mighty limestone peaks rise from a pine tree forest in a fairly flat cityscape. From the top you can gaze upon the ancient temples and the gorgeous Aegean Sea. If you start your climb from Aristippou Street, take the zigzagging paths for around 20 minutes to get to the top. However, for those wanting a more relaxing option, it’s probably better to take the cable railway.



Five Melbourne hotels within walking distance of the MCG

By Australia / Melbourne /

Melbourne hotels are in abundance and any footy fan will know there’s always a “good one” just around the corner.  But where to start when heading to the mighty MCG for the match of the day? We’ve just kick five goals straight with these recommendations.

Hire a car from Melbourne Airport and book one of these Melbourne hotels.

Adara Richmond

Adara Richmond is only a 10-15 minute walk from the MCG. It’s hardly a hassle when you’re enjoying contemporary and spacious living in an inner-city serviced apartment. You’ll have full kitchens, washers, driers and high-speed WiFi in your room. There’s no doubt that you’ll feel right at home.

More adarahotelsapartments.com.au/adara-richmond

Quest East Melbourne

Walk just 7 minutes along Wellington Parade after the footy Grand Final and you’ll be right at home. Quest proudly advertises its apartments as “a home away from home” and that’s just how you should look at it. Guests have separate living, fining and sleeping areas, plus all the kitchen facilities to do their own cooking. You could easily stay here for weeks and never feel like you left home.

More questapartments.com.au

Mantra on Jolimont

Mantra is set right in the heart of Melbourne’s sporting and entertainment hub. It’s literally right opposite the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the CBD is also within close walking distance. It really is the ideal choice when looking for accommodation for events at the MCG, AAMI Park, Hiense and Rod Laver Arena. Have your pick from studio, one or two bedroom apartments at this prime location.

More mantra.com.au

Richmond Hill Hotel

The Richmond Hill Hotel is close to the MCG as well as many iconic Richmond Pubs. This makes the Richmond Hill Hotel the perfect location if you want to head out to celebrate after the game (and hopefully you’ll be celebrating a win!). The rooms are cosy and charming. Not to mention, you’re also close to Bridge Road, which is a shopper’s paradise.

More richmondhillhotel.com

Park Hyatt Melbourne

Your accommodation overlooks St Patrick’s Cathedral and Fitzroy Gardens, to name a few beautiful sights. You’ll feel elegant as you enjoy luxurious accommodation right in the heart of Melbourne city. It has close to 250 rooms with walk in robes and Italian marble bathrooms. It’s one of the best places to come home to after an intense grand final. Best of all, it’s only a 15 minute walk to the MCG – even less if you choose to drive!

More melbourne.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html



The sun is back! 5 London day trip ideas

By UK /

Summer is the best time to go on one of many famous London day trips. The best thing about London day trips is that you get to explore the region at your own place while also taking in the impeccable scenery. Whether you prefer the rolling green hills as you journey inland, or the peaceful beach towns as you travel along the coast, take your pick from on of these great London day trips. Just hire a car from Heathrow Airport and begin your adventure. 

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour

Any passionate Harry Potter fan will tell you this is by far one of the best London day trips. Visit Studios Leavesden where all eight Harry Potter films were produced. It’ll help you see how JK Rowling’s incredible world of magic came to life. You’ll get to step onto original sets, walk through Hogwarts and come face to face with the animatronic creatures. Best of all it’s just a 45 minute drive from London.


Drive just two hours west of London and you’ll discover this incredible and unique city. Georgian architecture is found on every corner. So are trendy cafes and restaurants. You’ll quickly understand why it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. After exploring the city, make the time to visit the Roman Baths and bathe in naturally hot spa water.

The Cotswolds

This region west of London covers nearly 200 square kilometres and it runs through five counties. Each has its own unique features. The Cotswolds is home so some of the most unspoilt and historic towns in England. The golden stone buildings in the countryside, surrounded by green fields, are so charming. There are palaces, castles, ancient woodlands and lakes to explore. Visit historical market towns like Tetbury and Cirencester. Snowshill is another famous town that you should stop by during your self drive of the region.


This charming city is a must-visit. Oxford is home to several different types of beautiful architecture. For example, there’s the 44m high bell tower, which was completed in 1509 at Magdalen College. The English Gothic masterpiece is the tallest structure in Oxford. There’s also Baroque, Neoclassical and Palladian beauties to admire. Other great attractions include the lush Botanic Garden, which is the oldest in all of England, and the Pitt Rivers Museum, with 20,000 knick-knacks from across the world on display.

Lake District National Park

England’s Lake District is a truly magnificent region – one which you must not leave England without seeing. You can drive or take a three and a half hour train ride to get to the area. Windermere is a great place to base yourself. Join a boat tour across the gorgeous Lake Windermere. Walk up to Orrest Head to enjoy panoramic views of the Lake District. The area is also home to beaches and England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike at 978 metres tall.



5 of the best hotels for business travel in Melbourne

By Australia / Melbourne /

Melbourne is a great city for the business traveller. The place has some of the best hotels for those in the business world. If you’re heading here soon for work, then hire a car from Melbourne Airport and head to one of these hotels in the city.

Rydges on Swanston (pictured)

Rydges Melbourne is a great venue for guests, whether they’re staying for leisure or business travel. The hotel staff can assist with whatever you need for your work-related stay. Whether you are hosting a conference or organising an intimate board meeting, Rydges have some excellent conference facilities. The stylish and modern rooms come with beautiful city views and large, work desks. Set on the city fringe, it’s super close to a foodie’s dream precinct – Lygon Street in Carlton.

Pullman Melbourne Albert Park

Stay at the Pullman at Albert Park if you want to be in the perfect location for discovering restaurants, shopping and cultural attractions. These features make it sound like a place to stay only if you’re wanting to socialise or enjoy a holiday. But these attractions also make it a great place to base yourself to really network and impress your clients. Not only that, but the Pullman also offers a wonderful conference centre. There’s also a modern lounge with fast internet and a comfortable working space.

Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

This 5 star Melbourne hotel is set in the heart of the CBD. The venue puts you right in the thick of the city’s business world. You’re within walking distance (or at least a quick tram ride) from most of Melbourne’s largest companies, with many of them also having an international presence. Rooms at the hotel also feature a large work desk and internet, so you can work with ease if you have to bring work home with you at the end of the day.

Melbourne Marriott Hotel

Across the world, the Marriott is synonymous with luxury. That’s part of the reason why it’s such a pleasure to stay here. You can really unwind after a hard day at work with a heated indoor pool, gym and scenic views of the Melbourne skyline. Not to mention guests have easy access to businesses in the city centre. The Marriott has a boardroom, meeting rooms and a full-serviced business centre. It’s easy because all of your business associates can come straight to you!

Crown business centre

The iconic golden crown image of the Crown Hotel is synonymous with Southbank. Its hotel rooms are stylish, modern and affordable. It has a top class Business Centre, which should be your first priority when you’re travelling for business. There are two meeting rooms – an executive meeting room which holds 14 people and a smaller meeting room for up to six people. Both are equipped with the latest technology to make your meetings run smoothly.



5 of the best premium hotels for business travel in Sydney

By Australia / Sydney /

Sydney is home to some of the best hotels for business travel in all of Australia. When you’re travelling for business you’ll want easy and reliable access to the internet and conference spaces. You’ll also need to be located close to the city centre so you can travel with ease to your meetings.

Hire a car in Sydney and book one of these hotels for your next business trip.

Shangri-La Hotel

Talk about business perks coupled with ultimate luxury. The Shangi-La Hotel is right in the heart of Sydney, which makes it the perfect base for any business trip where you have to travel from one company office to another. It also treats you to superb views of the skyline from your hotel room. Wake up to the sight of the Sydney Opera House. Relax with a spa treatment after a long day in meetings.

Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel

This gem of a hotel at Circular Quay is great for business travel. Service and luxury are at the forefront of hotel staff’s minds. You’ll have spacious, modern suites and awe-inspiring views of Sydney Harbour. It’s a high-end hotel for hosting meetings and events. You’ll also have all of the amenities and business services available at your fingertips so your work is not only efficiently completed, but enjoyable at the same time.

The Sebel Darling Harbour The Pinnacle

The Sebel is all about style, sophistication and convenience. It’s set on the south side of the harbour, which makes it right in the heart of the CBD. Ultimo, Surry Hills and Darling Harbour are right on your doorstep. If you want to take a break after work and get some exercise then the lush Royal Botanic Gardens are nearby. All of your required work amenities, including internet access and a quiet space to work, are available at the Sebel.

Adina Apartment Hotel

Another centrally located hotel to spend your days in Sydney is Adina. You’re just footsteps away from world-class attractions at Darling Harbour. This makes it a great spot to stay if you want to entertain your business associates after work hours. But Adina’s accommodation also offers you a place to relax after work that’s quite like your own home with everything you need. Right on hand are meeting rooms, internet kiosks, presentation technology and free, high-speed WiFi.

Four Seasons Hotel

Set in the heart of Sydney along George Street is the Four Seasons Hotel. You’ll find beautiful places like The Rocks nearby, where you can unwind after work ends for the day. However, this hotel is so much more than location. The business services it provides guests are impeccable. As we all know, in business you need to be ready to meet deadlines at any hour of the day. Here, you’ll have access to computer and printers 24/7 along with wireless high-speed internet access. There’s also a boardroom and professional staff on hand to help you with any queries about the facilities.


New York dreaming – 5 famous attractions in the Big Apple

By New York /

New York City is one of America’s greatest cities. It’s at the top of nearly every traveller’s list. Whether you’re searching for love in the Big Apple, moving there to follow your dreams or simply stopping by for a quick tour of the city, NYC is an amazing experience for everyone who ventures there.

When you land in New York, hire a car from JFK airport and make your way to these famous attractions.

Times Square

It’s one of New York City’s most iconic attractions (main image, picture: JoeBuglewicz). No trip to the city is complete unless you’ve immersed yourself into the hustle and bustle of Times Square. About 330,000 people walk through Times Square every single day. It’s big, the flashing neon lights are bright and the experience is priceless. Costumed characters and musicians also help bring this area to life during the day and night. You can visit Times Square at any time, although the billboards look best when they’re photographed at night.


About 13 million people pay a visit to Broadway to see one of its world class shows. There are 40 Broadway theatres, with most of these located between 41st and 52nd Street and Sixth to Eighth Avenue. See some of the modern takes on the classic theatre productions that have been around for decades. There are plenty of megamusicals with talent from all over the world gracing the stages of Broadway. These curtain raisers are well worth the time and chances are that one production won’t be enough to satisfy you!

Statue of Liberty

Lady Liberty is synonymous with New York. She’s stood proudly with her torch in the city’s harbor since 1886, when the French giften the marvellous 92 metre tall statue to the United States. It forever stands as a symbol of freedom and the Great American dream to migrants who arrived in New York over the years seeking a new beginning. Learn about the statue’s history during a visit to the site. Climb to the top of the statue where  you can also admire panoramic views of the city’s gorgeous skyline.

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is the city’s tallest skyscraper. The 102-storey building towers above the rest of the city. Admire the Empire State Building’s distinct architecture from a distance but did you know you can also gain entry to the top? The Observation Deck is open to the public every day between 8am right through until 2 o’clock in the morning. The timing makes it convenient for you, whether you want to visit in the early morning, watch the sun set over the city or watch lights take over the city at night.

Central Park

Any big city is bound to be more concrete buildings than green spaces. But one of the most interesting features of the Big Apple is Central Park. Millions of people flock to this beautiful, green space every year. There’s 840 acres to explore, making it perfect for a picnic in summer. You can also spot lots of wildlife in Spring when the animals come out to explore. In the cooler months, the park transforms into a winter wonderland with snowmen and an outdoor ice skating rink.



Four cool ideas for Melbourne adventures with the kids

By Australia / Melbourne / Victoria /

Sea creatures, a giant eye in the sky, African wildlife and a mighty festival in the CBD make up four great suggestions for family adventure in Melbourne. Grab a Melbourne car rental and strap yourself in for these must-do activities.

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel

See Melbourne from up high with a birds-eye view on the three-year-old Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, which celebrated its birthday in style on Sunday. Catriona Rowntree hosted the “sparkle party” which included the one millionth guest and all sorts of carnival activities in the Melbourne Star’s Piazza followed by 30-minute flights in panoramic cabins for guests that serve up 360-degree views of Melbourne, the city, Port Phillip Bay and beyond. The Star offers up two very different experience either during the daytime or at night when the city (and the wheel) lights up.

Moomba is back!

Moomba Festival is Australia’s largest community festival which attracts crowds of all ages to Birrarung Marr and Alexandra Gardens on the banks of the Yarra River for a family-friendly program of free entertainment, events and activities at the five festival precincts – Main Arena, Kids Zone, Skate Park, River and The Green. Check out local performers, the Moomba Masters’ world-class water sports, skate and BMX comps, flamboyant floats for the Moomba Parade, as well as the wild and wacky Birdman Rally.

Wild slumber party

Go wild with an overnight experience with a Slumber Safari at Werribee Open Range Zoo, the perfect getaway for the whole family in an Out of Africa escape, just 30 minutes from the heart of Melbourne. Slumber Safari dishes up a very special kind of accommodation with a fully hosted experience including  close-up animal encounters, drinks and dips at sunset, a scrummy dinner, as well as night-time activities including a night walk and toasting marshmallows around the evening campfire then a delicious supper of scones, jam and cream. In the morning watch the animals on the African savannah awaken and enjoy a buffet breakfast served in the Safari Dining Hut.

kid at aquarium

Photo by Jeswin Thomas from Pexels

Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, located on the Yarra waterfront opposite the Crown Casino gives visiting families interactive animal encounters, iconic state-of-the-art displays and animal feeds. SEA LIFE Melbourne is renowned for being educational and completely entertaining. Check out the new Ice Age 4D cinema, Conservation Cove and Bay of Rays, or dive into the Glass Bottom Boat Tour, Penguin Passport or Shark Dive Xtreme.



4 of the hottest new hotels and resorts in Queensland

By Queensland /

AUSTRALIA has an endless feed of new hotels and resorts, but it shouldn’t come as any surprise Queensland often leads the pack with the most interesting and alluring. Looking for somewhere new to explore in the sunshine state after jumping in a Brisbane car rental and hitting the road? The Queensland Tourism & Events team serve up six of the finest…

Breeze (pictured) – Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast

Breeze is a new boutique coastal property located in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, and is the newest luxury resort to open in the seaside suburb in over a decade. Breeze occupies prime position on the beachfront esplanade and is within walking distance of award-winning dining including the area’s renowned Spice Bar. With its fluid, exterior architecture that mirrors the ocean’s gentle waves, the property features 57, style-forward apartments designed in neutral colors and beachside décor. Breeze also offers a pool and spa, and guests have access to the beach as well as bicycles for exploring Mooloolaba and the surrounding coastal community.

More: www.breezemooloolaba.com.au.

Paradise Country – Oxenford, Gold Coast

Paradise Country, the Gold Coast’s rustic farm-world theme park, where families discover a cuddly collection of Aussie wildlife and farmyard friends, now offers overnight stay experiences. Families can turn a day out at the farm into an overnight stay with the choice of accommodation in the park’s family style camp, motor home or farm stay eco-tent. Guests of Paradise Country’s overnight stay experiences enjoy full use of the theme park that includes access to the Farmhouse restaurant and bar facilities, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and are welcome to enjoy exclusive farm stay activities including campfires and games. Paradise Country is located 20 minutes from the Gold Coast’s renowned Surfer’s Paradise, and is nearby other theme park attractions including Warner Bros. Movie World, and Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast.

More: paradisecountry.com.au

The Island – Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise icon The Islander Resort has been completely redesigned and renamed The Island. Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, The Island hotel offers 150 newly renovated, spacious rooms that are designed incorporating both classic and functional elements, while evoking a modern sense of the classic surfer film, “Gidget”. Boasting views of the hinterland, city, beach and water, guests of The Island hotel will also have access to experience the property’s revamped tropical rooftop bar, The Island Rooftop. The Island will debut a kids’ club, and programming later this year.

More: www.theislandgoldcoast.com.au.

The Johnson, an Art Series Hotel – Spring Hill, Brisbane

Recently debuted in September 2016, The Johnson is the Art Series Hotels’ first Queensland property, and is inspired by globally renowned Australian colorist Michael Johnson. The opening marks a pivotal milestone for the hotel group in expanding their dedicated art inspired offerings across Australia. Eighty-three spacious suites and two penthouses boasting spectacular views across the city, as well as multi-functional public spaces are adorned with the Sydney-born artist’s original paintings and giclee prints. Guests of The Johnson have access to the hotel’s infamous art tours and in-room art channels and libraries. Branded Smart Cars and Lekker bicycles are available for guest use, and complement the property’s array of resort-like amenities that include: a 164 foot resort style pool and deck bar; state-of-the-art fitness facility; Tumbling Stone and the hotel’s signature restaurant.

More: artserieshotels.com.au/johnson