Urban

Urban

Apr
22
2016
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On the road out of Vegas – 5 hot spots within two hours

By Las Vegas / United States /

The glitzy strip and bright lights of Vegas are like magnets for all of America’s fast cars and even faster women and men, but if you can look away and beyond there are some great short trips just around the corner. Here are five within an hour once you jump in that car rental and hit the open road. Valley of Fire (pictured) Meander through the mesmerising Valley Of Fire, Nevada’s oldest state park, with countless moments of nature’s beauty smacking you in the senses. The park earnt its name from its fiery red sandstone, formed from fossilised sand dunes more than 150 million years ago by a shift in the Earth’s crust, faulting and wind and water erosion. Today, only wild animals dwell within Valley of Fire year-round. Rattlesnakes, kangaroo rats, kit foxes, coyotes, bighorn sheep and the white-tailed antelope ground squirrels are just a few. Oh, and cougars, of course, “but only at night”, as my highly entertaining…

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Apr
14
2016

Five things to do in upstate New York

By New York / United States /

New York is one of the world’s most famous cities. Millions from around the globe travel there every single year to experience the hustle and bustle of the city, its skyscrapers, shopping malls and historic attractions. But how many actually travel outside the city and head north? There are many beautiful landscapes and cities to be seen. Pick up rental car at New York Airport and make your way to Upstate New York. Here are five things to see and do while you’re there.   Tour Strawberry Fields The gorgeous, small town of Skaneateles is a four and a half hour drive north of New York City. Surrounding the area are dozens of berry farms, where you can pick your own. Take along your biggest basket and head out with the family to spend hours picking the sweetest looking strawberries. Most of the farms open in June, when the strawberries begin to ripen. Thousand Islands Just over six hours north…

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Oct
30
2015

Hiring a car at Heathrow … a different dimension

By Europe / UK /

On a recent business trip to the UK we discovered how Europcar have added a different dimension when picking up your car rental at Heathrow Airport. …… You get to actually pick out and choose your car! OK so arriving at Terminal 3 still requires you to exit the Terminal, head left and wait for Europcar’s minibus to whisk you off to their branch on the Northern Perimeter Road. The wait was short the journey shorter still. Europcar along with Hertz, Enterprise, national and Thrifty operate their Heathrow branches over the airport fence on the Northern Perimeter. Dollar and Thrifty are a stone throws further on Bath road, whilst Avis and Budget have branch locations within the Short Stay Car park of Terminal 5 (used exclusively by BA and Iberia) as well as on Northrup road adjacent to the Northern Perimeter. So whichever rental company you choose you’ll never have to travel for more than 10-15 minutes depending upon traffic…

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Oct
30
2015

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…

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Jul
28
2015

5 great hotels in Brisbane for business travellers

By Brisbane / Queensland /

Brisbane is the capital of Australia’s ‘Sunshine State’, which also means there’s a constant stream of business travellers. Among several great hotels here are five to ponder. NEXT Hotel Brisbane This hotel (pictured) offers city views, free WiFi and is located just opposite Queen Street Mall. Add a restaurant, fitness centre and a rooftop swimming pool with a poolside bar, and what other extras could you possibly ask for? NEXT Hotel Brisbane is about a 15-minute drive from the airport. There’s a 24-hour check in for your convenience and there’s also a ‘Transit Zone’, which has sleeping areas for a power nap, along with showers and free toiletries. Stamford Plaza Stamford Plaza’s guest rooms are traditionally furnished with spacious sitting areas but the cherry on top after a long day at the office are the  gorgeous views of the Brisbane River from Stamford. There’s a hot tub and a poolside terrace for you to relax and unwind. Stamford Plaza is situated in the heart…

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May
08
2015

5 great historic New South Wales pubs

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

New South Wales is home to so many pubs that you’ll probably never get the chance to visit them all. Add these five historic New South Wales pubs to your bucket list of great old pubs to visit for an awesome night out with your mates. The Lord Nelson, Sydney Established in 1841, The Lord Nelson is one of the country’s oldest brewery pubs. This is the place to go for decent ale. Choose from an incredible selection which is brewed on premises, including several 100 percent natural award winning Mainstay ales. The Newport Arms, Sydney The Newport Arms (established 1880) is one of Sydney’s iconic pubs, which consistently ranks among some of the best pubs in Australia. International visitors have this outdoor beer garden and its stunning ocean views at the top of their to-do list in Sydney. Jack Duggans Irish Pub, Bathurst The Irish know how to drink, and Jack Duggans Irish Pub’s numerous awards for excellence over…

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Mar
18
2015
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5 celebrity chef restaurants in Sydney

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

Book a table at one of Sydney’s celebrity chef restaurants where you’ll encounter scrumptious dishes, superb service and a well satisfied tummy. Here are some of the best celebrity chef restaurants in Sydney. Rockpool Bar and Grill with Neil Perry Neil Perry is one of Australia’s most influential chefs, appearing on Foxtel, LifeStyle Food channels in Australia and BBC2 in Britain. Rockpool Bar and Grill in Sydney is located in an American style art deco skyscraper. The restaurant is known for its “perfect” steak, with the menu offering many beef dishes as well as pasta, wood fired grill, and seafood cooked in the charcoal oven. Red Lantern with Luke Nguyen The television show Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam warms hearts as he explores the flavours of Vietnam. At his Sydney restaurant, Red Lantern, you can also have a Vietnamese lesson with your meal! Dine on New Zealand King Salmon in caramel, chilli and black pepper sauce, or perhaps you might prefer noodles mixed…

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Mar
09
2015

Best markets in Sydney

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

Sydney is as good as it gets as a shopping destination. But sometimes it pays to venture out of the department stores and warehouse factories and into Sydney’s many different street markets to bag yourself some great bargains. Here are some of Sydney’s best markets. Finders Keepers Markets An indie market which includes hundreds of designers and artists, showing the best in indie fashion, art and design. With over 150 unique stalls, the Finders Keepers Markets are much loved by Sydney-siders and have grown every year. Bondi Markets (pictured) One of Sydney’s best markets is located right on Bondi Beach, allowing you to head straight into the water either before or after you’ve trawled through different stalls. Open every Sunday, you’ll find original designer clothing, handmade jewellery, arts and crafts, retro furniture and more. Liverpool Night Markets On the first Saturday of each month, head to the Liverpool Night Markets for a range of street food, fashion stalls and entertainment for…

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Feb
13
2015

Six great reasons to visit Perth

By Australia / Perth / Western Australia /

PERTH is said to be the world’s most isolated capital city, closer to Singapore than it is to Australia’s capital, Canberra. One thing is certain – despite its distance, every Australian and visitor to our country should spend at least some time in this glorious city. Here are six great reasons to head west: 1. It’s the sunshine capital Ever booked a beach holiday but it turned into a holiday on the couch because there was hardly sun? Weather is unpredictable but Perth has more sunshine than any other Australian capital city, so you could visit Perth at almost any time of the year and you’re likely to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities. Perth enjoys 3000 hours of sunshine a year (8.8 hours each day on average) and summer sees temperatures remain around 30 degrees celsius. 2. Beautiful beaches Facing the Indian Ocean, Perth is within close proximity to several gorgeous beaches. The crystal clear waters at Cottesloe Beach, about 15 minutes…

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Dec
05
2014

Visit the Sydney Flower Market for a splash of colour and sweet scents

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

The Sydney Flower Market in Flemington is without a doubt one of the most colourful markets you’ll come across in Sydney, perhaps even Australia. Get out of bed at the crack of dawn and make your way to Flemington to make sure you don’t miss out on the market’s beautiful colours and the sweet, flowery scents that fill the air. Address: 250-318 Parramatta Rd, Flemington Trading hours: Open Monday to Saturday, 5am – 11am but most stores start closing around 10am About the market: The Sydney Flower Market is Australia’s largest market for fresh cut flowers. While the market supplies flowers to florists across the city, it’s also open to the general public. The Sydney Flower Market has been a part of the city since the First Fleet arrived in the 18th century and today the market is home to around 170 stalls selling pretty flowers of every colour imaginable. The flowers sold here come from growers from all over the state. New…

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Nov
30
2014
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Five of the best boutique hotels in Sydney and luxury accommodation

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

THE Harbour City is overflowing with hotels, B&Bs, backpackers, hostels, apartments and more. When it comes to boutique hotels in Sydney or luxury accommodation, there is no better place than our NSW capital. Where to start? Here are five to ponder for your next Sydney visit. 1. QT Hotel, Market St, Sydney (right) Funky bar, slick restaurant, powerhouse design elements threaded throughout, bold and daring modern touches to complement the heritage architecture, and a location right in the heart of Sydney’s CBD in Market Street. QT is one of the smoothest movers on the boutique hotels Sydney scene with service second to none. Some awesome packages include booking your luxury accommodation and receiving one of a Spa Q treatment for two, or a brekky for two or dinner for two. More www.qtsydney.com.au 2. Blue Sydney – a Taj Hotel, the wharf at Woolloomooloo A very stylish award-winner set on the water, BLUE Sydney is a hotspot and is located at…

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Nov
25
2014

10 fun things to do in Melbourne this summer

By Australia / Melbourne / Victoria /

MELBOURNE is one of the world’s most liveable cities. Some say THE world’s most liveable city. So, where to go in Melbourne? There’s an endless list of places to go in Melbourne, with exciting things to see and experience at any time of day. Here are 10 fun things to do in Melbourne recommended by the DriveNow team. 1. Climb the 1000 Steps, Mt Dandenong Experience a fraction of the exhaustion felt by Australian soldiers following the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea in WWII. Appreciate the surrounding tree ferns, manna gum trees and plaques in memory of the soldiers who lost their lives on the trail. 2. Block Arcade for high tea, CBD The Block Arcade’s stunning 19th century architecture is a sight for sore eyes, while the delicious treats at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms inside the Arcade are scrumptious delights for hungry tummies! 3. Visit the Vic Market, CBD The lively and colourful Queen Victoria Market has existed…

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