Dec
30
2017

How to do your Canada snow holiday – visit Whistler

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If you’re planning a Canada snow holiday then Whistler is surely at the top of your list of destinations to visit. Many professional skiers and snowboarders consider it one of the world’s greatest winter destinations.

Your Canada snow holiday at Whistler will provide you with more than 200 trails along with more than 8000 acres of terrain for skiing or snowboarding.

Pick up a hire car or campervan at Vancouver airport, and drive 2 hours north to Whistler. Here are some of the most exciting things to do during your Canada snow holiday.

Surfs Up

There are many incredible trails to explore during your time at Whistler. But which one is the best depends on who you’re talking to. However, Surfs Up consistently ranks as one of the best among experienced skiers and snowboarders. There are steep cliff drop offs to thrill you while beginners can still have a go at other parts of the mountain, such as Burnt Stew Trail. One of the best things about this trail is the stunning 360-degree view.

Explore Whistler Village

Whistler Village isn’t your average indoor escape from the cold elements. Whistler Village is an attraction within itself. It has more than 200 shops, cafes and restaurants to explore. Food lovers will praise the chocolate shops and eateries with award-winning chefs. There are art galleries, bookstores and other specialty shops to keep you busy for hours.

Admire the views

There are incredible views surrounding Whistler. If you’d like to see one of the most popular, then head to Panorama Ridge. It’s a scenic hike located between the towns of Whistler and Squamish. Stroll through forests and meadows full of wildflowers. The peak sits at 2133m and offers views of two stunning mountains and Garibaldi Lake. This hike can easily be accomplished in a day, but make sure you’re prepared and leave early.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
23
2017

5 great places to park your wheels and discover Perth attractions

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Perth is Australia’s sunniest capital. It’s also one of the world’s most liveable cities, largely because there’s so much to do. Perth attractions include pristine beaches, exciting bushwalks and a vibrant food and wine scene,. ‘

These Perth attractions make the west coast such an appealing holiday option for families in caravans. Pick up your keys after securing a cheap Perth caravan deal with DriveNow and visit these places.

Perth City

Perth (pictured) is a great city for dining and for exploring beaches. It’s also a perfect spot to base yourself if you want to explore Perth attractions. One of the best places to admire in the hills just east of Perth is Lesmurdie Falls. There’s a two kilometre walk circuit that takes you to the base of the falls. You can also take a short ferry ride to Rottnest Island. Spend the day snorkelling with colourful fish and surfing. Or just relax on the beach.
Where to stay? We recommend Karrinyup Waters Resort.

York

This town, about an hour and a half east of Perth, oozes historical charm. Set in the heart of the picturesque Avon Valley, it’s like you’ve stepped back in time to the early colonial days. Walk past beautiful Victorian and Federation-style early buildings along lovely streets. Even just go for a drive and get lost in the valley.
Where to stay? We recommend York Caravan Park and Camping Grounds

Kalamunda

Travel about half an hour from Perth, where you can explore Kalamunda. It’s famously known as the beginning of the Bibbulmun Track. People don’t realise that you don’t actually have to hike the full 100km trek to enjoy the trail’s beauty. You can actually stop in at certain parts of the track like Mount Cooke and take in the views.
Where to stay? We recommend Banksia Tourist Park

Margaret River

This small town, just south of Perth, is known for its boutique wineries and breweries. Not just that, but you also have incredible surf beaches, limestone caves to explore and short but picturesque hikes. Margaret River is also a great place to base yourself if you want to go whale watching. June to November is the best time to see these magnificent creatures make their annual migration.
Where to stay? We recommend BIG4 Taunton Farm Margaret River

Swan Valley

The Swan Valley is one of those incredible places where you’re surrounded by postcard perfect views. It’s almost too good to be true! Rolling green hills and fantastic vineyards away. Yet it’s only about half an hour from downtown Perth! Take a tour of a distillery and sample fine wine and cheeses.
Where to stay? We recommend Swan Valley Tourist Park

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
21
2017

Where to stay and park your campervan for Parkes Elvis Festival

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Every year the small town of Parkes comes alive with a festival to celebrate the King of Rock n Roll’s birthday. The Parkes Elvis Festival is held in the second week of January, to coincide with Elvis Presley’s birthday. It boasts more than 150 events over five days of all things Elvis.

The Parkes Elvis Festival attracts more than 22,000 fans from across Australia and the world. The event features non-stop live entertainment, including the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, a street parade and a renewal of vows ceremony.

You just need to find a cheap campervan hire deal at Sydney and travel five hours west to be part of this iconic even. It’s an epic celebration of the life and music of Elvis Presley. Park your wheels at one of these places!

Spicer Caravan Park, Parkes

This quiet park is only a short walk from the town centre. Yet it’s far away enough from the highway that you won’t be kept up at night with noisy traffic. The park features barbeque facilities, nearby sporting fields and shady sites to keep you cool during the summer.

Double D Caravan Park, Peak Hill

This is another lovely park where you have the convenience of being close to the Newell Highway but minus the noise of traffic. It’s a quiet space that’s pet friendly and features a barbeque and fish pond.

Peak Hill Caravan Park, Peak Hill

The friendly town centre of Peak Hill is just an easy walk away from your accommodation. Come home to a lovely natural bush setting. But you’ll also have free wireless hot spots and TV access from all sites. It’s also a pet friendly site.

Apex Riverside Tourist Park, Forbes

This scenic park is known for its stunning views of the Lachlan River. Relax in a quiet and peaceful surrounding with riverside access. It’s a great spot if you love fishing or going for a swim without a hassle. It’s also just a short drive from the historic town of Forbes.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
18
2017

Your travel guide to Coffs Harbour and surrounds

By New South Wales /

Coffs Harbour is a beautiful town on the North Coast of New South Wales. It’s a great summer getaway favourite for many travellers, thanks to its stunning beaches and iconic attractions like the Big Banana. But it’s also known for its many natural wonders. To do the region properly, you need a car to explore the region. You’ll easily find a cheap car hire deal with DriveNow. Drive six hours north to Coffs Harbour, where you can get started with some of these must-do activities.

Explore Bindarri National Park

This pristine park has many walking, bike and 4WD trails that are just waiting to be explored. It also has plenty of scenic spots that are great for a picnic or birdwatching. The clear, cascading Bangalore Falls should be at the top of your list. It’s a 500m walk from the carpark, but you’ll feel like you’re in your own private oasis.

Take a Segway tour

Go off-road with an eco-friendly Segway. Your guide teaches you how to operate the Segway before taking you on a tour of the coastal city. Enjoy fresh air as you breeze past attractions and stunning scenery, while getting a little history lesson along the way. Choose from a morning or afternoon your.

Visit Coffs Harbour Butterfly House

Enter the home of more than 400 Australia butterflies in a tropical rainforest setting. Every colour you can possibly imagine flashes before you at the award-winning attraction The best time to see them is between 10 and 2pm, when the butterflies are generally more active.

Do the Mobong Walking Track

Pack a picnic and begin a leisurely walking track, that initially follows a historic tramway once used for timber logging. Follow a tranquil creek, with beautiful pools, waterfalls and lush forest of the way. Listen out for birds and rare frogs while keeping an eye out for ancient trees along the way.

Relax at Diggers Beach

This is a great place to spend the afternoon if you want some R&R. It’s a popular sport for surfers and tourists who love the summer weather. But if you’re one to hide from the sun’s harsh rays, then the wide beach also has a lot of shade. Diggers Beach is also right across the road from the iconic Big Banana.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
14
2017

Where to stay for the Tamworth Country Music Festival

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The Tamworth Country Music Festival is held every year in January. The city in northeast New South Wales draws massive international acts and about 50,000 fans from across the world. Country Music plays a pivotal role in culture in the city with the famous Big Golden Guitar. The Tamworth Country Music Festival is often regarded as one of the world’s top music festivals, and it’s the second only to the Nashville Music Festival in terms of its size and reach. With the influx of visitors to the area for the two weeks, accommodation completely book out up to a year in advance. Your best bet is to find a campervan hire deal at Sydney and drive nearly five hours to Tamworth to park your wheels at one of these places. Make sure you book early.

Riverside Camping Grounds

When in town for the Tamworth Country Music Festival, the Riverside Camping Grounds are just a short walk away from all the action in the Tamworth CBD. This central location is also just next to the beautiful Peel River, where you can relax after enjoying non-stop music.

Tamworth North Holiday Park

Tamworth North Holiday Park is set in a good location. It’s within easy reach of several parks, museums, cafes and shopping centres. Powered and unpowered sites are available. Landscaped gardens surround the park, which also features a swimming pool and BBQ facilities.

Fossickers Tourist Park Nundle

If you can’t find somewhere to stay in town during the festival, then Fossickers Tourist Park at Nundle is a great option. It’s a 50 minute drive from the capital of the Golden Guitar but here you can relax in a tranquil setting in the hills. It’s the start of the famous Fossickers Way, which is a scenic 380km tourist drive.

Chaffey Dam Camping Reserve

Here’s another option that’s also a 50-minute drive from Tamworth. But the scenery makes it well worth the drive. Set on the Peel Valley, you can enjoy plenty of swimming, fishing and boating on a beautiful lake. Not to mention the abundance of wildlife in the area. Great music and great scenery… who could ask for more?

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
12
2017

Coonawarra region for a summer holiday

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The Coonawarra region is famous for its superb wine, festival and food scene. The town is just under 400km southeast of Adelaide, making it a great destination for a weekend getaway, if that’s all the time you have.

But if you have a week or two, then Coonawarra is a great place to spend the summer. There’s plenty to do, from sussing out wine cellars to exploring the area’s history. Just hire a car from Adelaide with DriveNow and tick these activities off your bucket list.

Katnook Estate

In the heart of the beautiful Coonawarra region, lies Katnook. Its history dates back to 1867, and today it has numerous accolades to its name. For example, it’s the official wine for the country’s largest arts organisation, Opera Australia. Katnook Estate vineyards include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Pinot Noir.

Hells Hole Sinkhole

This large sinkhole has existed for thousands of years. It sits in the depths of the Lower Glenelg National Park’s pine forest, near Mt Gambier. It’s less famous than Mount Gambier’s Blue Lake, but these deep blue hued waters are worth seeing at least once in your life. Admire this spectacular sight from the viewing platform.

Mary MacKillop Historical Centre

Penola is about a 15 minute drive from Coonawarra. You should consider stopping by this small town to explore the Mary MacKillop Historical Centre. It’s dedicated to Australia’s first saint of the Catholic Church. You’ll find it interesting to learn about the difference she made to the lives of many Australians through helping them.

Fishing along the Limestone Coast

Head for the coast, where the Limestone Coast has many great fishing spots. You’ll find places that are perfect if you want to case out by boat, beach or jetty. Some of the best fishing hotspots in the region are found off Cape Jaffa, Port MacDonnell, Beachport and the Glenelg River.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
11
2017

Easter campervanning along the Murray River

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The Murray River is a stunning, iconic wonder. It forms the border for New South Wales and Victoria and encompasses various landscapes. The great thing about the Murray River is that it stretches more than 2,500 kilometres long, meaning you can find your own quiet paradise anywhere from the Victorian alps to the sandy shores of Goolwa Beach, South Australia. Even if it’s peak period for school holidays, you can escape the crowds for a few weeks by the Murray River.

Hire a campervan from Melbourne, travel north and stay at one of these places.

Echuca Holiday Park

Stay riverside to the Murray River, while also being within walking distance to the historic Port of Echuca (see pictured). One of the best things to do while in town is to jump on board paddlesteamer to learn about the area’s history, dating back to the 1800s. Echuca Holiday Park also has great BBQ and entertainment facilities, including a shared lounge and tennis court.

Lake Hume Tourist Park

Travel just over three hours north of Melbourne and you’ll find a picturesque gem on the Murray. Lake Hume Tourist Park offers lakeside accommodation, perfect for families looking for a relaxing getaway. It’s also a great spot for water sports. But you’re also close enough to the border city of Albury if you’d like to duck into the centre for shopping or dining.

BIG4 Yarrawonga Mulwala Lakeside Holiday Park

Here you’ll find yourself staying right on the shores of lake Mulwala. You’re close to the boat ramp if you want to launch your boat on the lake and go out fishing for the day. Yarrawonga is most famous for water skiing. Many locals even call Yarrawonga a water skier’s paradise!

Clearwater by the Upper Murray Caravan Park

This is a peaceful, pet friendly park in the tiny town of Tintaldra. The historic village sits beneath the Snowy Mountains, right on the Mighty Murray. It’s just over 20km from Corryong, which is famous for its Man from Snowy River Bush Festival, held every April.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
07
2017

Christmas spirit sweeps over Melbourne

By Melbourne / Victoria /

Melbourne comes alive for some serious Christmas spirit every year as shopping hotspots dress up for the occasion. The Visit Victoria team shared the news with Melbourne car rental specialists DriveNow on just where to go to find the Spirit of Christmas, along with what’s open and when.

From markets to the Myer windows, selfies with Santa and a merry activation in Federation Square, there’s something for locals and visitors alike as Victoria celebrates. Try these:

Federation Square (until 25 December)

Federation Square will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland offering festive fun for the whole family. The jolly man in red is in residence, found beneath a 16-metre-tall tree and waiting to make his list of naughty and nice children. A light show takes over at 9:00pm every night, with a six-metre bauble glittering in the Square.

State Library of Victoria Christmas Projections (until 25 December)

The iconic State Library of Victoria will light up across December, with its stunning architecture featuring a bright and swirling projection show that tells the story of the North Pole’s preparation for the big day. The show begins at 9pm every night.

Myer Christmas Windows (until early 2018)

As iconic as Santa Claus himself, the Myer Christmas Windows in the Bourke Street Mall are a Melbourne institution. Celebrating ‘The Completely and Utterly Perfect Christmas’ by HC Floren, it’s best to get there early and avoid the queues. The Giftorium on the sixth floor provides plenty of inspiration for those on the hunt for presents that surprise a loved one.

Christmas Laneways (until early 2018)

Degraves Street, Alfred Place, Howie Place, Meyers Place and Manchester Lane are some of Melbourne’s most iconic laneways and in 2017 they’ll be decked out with boughs of holly, fairy lights, baubles and in some cases, a reindeer too. Did someone say Instagram?

The Gingerbread Village (until 24 December)

The Gingerbread Village by EPICURE returns to the Melbourne Town Hall in 2017, brought to life by award-winning pastry chef Deniz Karaca and his talented team in an effort to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital. This year they will craft the F1 Grand Prix circuit, adding to the existing village comprising 500 kilograms of gingerbread, 360 kilograms of royal icing, 150 kilograms of marzipan and around 800 miniature Christmas trees for the festive backdrop.

Christmas with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (16 Deccember)

Feet will be tapping as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra perform favourite festive orchestral works, such as ‘The Nutcracker’ by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Christmas Eve’ at the Arts Centre’s Hamer Hall, where a recent renovation and the very latest sound technology has cemented the venue as one of the world’s great music halls.

Carols by Candlelight Sidney Myer Music Bowl (Christmas Eve)

Those attending will join in the chorus at Carols by Candelight, a now 80-year long celebration of music that donates 100% of profits to the efforts of Vision Australia. For locals and visitors alike, this is an unforgettable evening of music, laughter and memories. Spectators can enjoy a BYO picnic on the grass, watching and listening to your favourite carols by artists like Marina Prior, Denis Walter and Silvie Paladino.

Skate with Santa (every weekend in December)

Budding Winter Olympians can take to the ice alongside Santa at O’Brien Group Arena, with skating for the whole family a fantastic way to begin the build-up to Christmas Day. It’s on every Saturday and Sunday across December, from 11am – 3pm.

Queen Victoria Market (until 25 December)

The North Pole comes to Melbourne’s most iconic market this December, as thousands of Melburnians stock up on the trimmings required for a feast to remember. More than 250,000 people are expected to pass through in the days leading up to Christmas, with entertainment from carollers to feature alongside Santa Claus and cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef Lynton Tapp.

South Melbourne Market (until 25 December)

An Australian Christmas abounds for Melburnians on the hunt for seafood, and the South Melbourne Market, Coventry and Cecil streets, is the place to be for prawns, crayfish, crabs and oysters this festive season. There will be extended trading from 20 December and Santa and his elves will be on site to support with any final gift ideas.

CHRISTMAS TRADING HOURS

As Christmas Day fast approaches, it’s time to plan ahead. Below is an update on Christmas trading hours for the major centres across the city.

Chadstone, the Fashion Capital
11 December – 17 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
18 December – 22 December, 9:00am – 12:00am (midnight)
36 hours of trading: 8:00am, Saturday 23 December – 6:00pm, Sunday 24 December

Melbourne Central
11 December – 23 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
24 December, 9:00am – 6:00pm

Highpoint
11 December – 13 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
14 December – 17 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
18 December – 22 December, 9:00am – 11:59pm
34 hours of trading: 9:00am, Saturday 23 December – 5:00pm, Sunday 24 December

Emporium
11 December – 23 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
24 December, 9:00am – 6:00pm

Westfield Doncaster
11 December – 13 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
14 December – 15 December, 9:00am – 10:00pm
16 December – 17 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
18 December – 20 December, 9:00am – 10:00pm
21 December – 22 December, 9:00am – 11:59pm
23 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
24 December, 8:00am – 5:00pm

The District, Docklands
16 December – 20 December, 9:00am – 6:00pm
21 December, 9:00am – 8:00pm
22 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
23 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
24 December, 10:00am – 6:00pm

Nov
30
2017

Wet and wild is the Northern Territory summer

By Darwin / Northern Territory /

The NT is stunning all year round, yet when the wet season rolls in like clockwork every November, it adds a certain vibrancy to the landscape as floodplains fill and spill into surrounding waterways and the green foliage thickens and deepens in colour. Touring the Top End in your Darwin car rental in the green season also means you’ll be visiting out of peak, so your Territory trip-of-a-lifetime won’t break the budget as hotels and tour operators offer generous discounts.

If you’re ready for a cool change this summer, here are Tourism NT’s picks to whet your appetite for travel in the green season.

DRAMATIC DARWIN

The tropical capital is treated to vivid sunsets, spectacular light shows and refreshing rains, which bring a cool change during the summer months. Darwin’s famous Sailing Club at Fannie Bay or the Darwin Waterfront are the perfect places to watch the show unfold.

A visit to modern-day Darwin is also a journey back through Australia’s war time history. East Point Reserve, just 10 minutes’ drive from the city centre, is home to a cool collection of artillery that’s housed in the original concrete bunker used by the army to plan the strategy for the wartime defense of Australia’s northern shores.

The Territory’s famous ‘build up’ and run-off from monsoonal rains also make for great fishing from January to mid–March and the Territory’s famous Million Dollar Fish competition provides a million extra incentives for anglers to stay, play and fish in and around the Top End.  For those that prefer to feed their fish rather than catch them, Aquascene offers a daily fish feeding experience in the heart of Darwin that’s perfect for families. Expect to see inquisitive mullet, milkfish, catfish, bream, batfish and barramundi coming in to feed. For more visit www.milliondollarfish.com.au

A LUSHER LITCHFIELD

The swell of wet-season waterfalls, like popular Wangi Falls, makes for epic Instagram-worthy images when taken from the lower viewing platforms at Litchfield National Park, just a short 90-minute drive from Darwin’s CBD.

While the 4WD tracks and some walking tracks close during the green season, most of the park remains open year-round as do the popular gin-coloured Florence Falls and Buley Rockhole.

If you’re heading to these parts, then a trip to the Tolmer plunge waterfall really showcases the power of Mother Nature and it’s easily accessible in green season.  A quick dip in the infinity pool at Greenant Creek offers unbelievable views from the escarpment and, if you are lucky, you’ll have the place to yourself during the wet. In fact, this spot is so good, that Litchfield Park Rangers rate it as one of small must-do experiences in life.
More: northernterritory.com/darwin-and-surrounds/litchfield-national-park

For those that love their camping, it’s also much easier to nab a great camping spot at this time of year and soak up the quiet.  Outdoor types can roll up your swags and join Territory Expeditions’ Three day Kakadu/Litchfield small group camping expedition every November to April.

KAKADU-IT

Uluru aside, a visit to World Heritage-listed Kakadu is one of the most spiritual experiences a traveller can experience on home soil.

In the green season, a scenic flight is one of the best ways to fully appreciate this ancient and rugged landscape as water buffalo roam with free abandon, green spear trees reach their full height, billabongs swell and fill and waterfalls are in full-flow. Operators like Kakadu Air take in the park show-stoppers – Jim Jim and Twin Falls – the sight of which guarantees to make your cameras whir as fast as the helicopter’s rotors as the drama unfolds below.

On the ground, sealed roads make exploring a breeze and Nourlangie Rock (or Burrunggui as it is known to the Gun-djeihmi speakers) is one of the most impressive ancient galleries in Kakadu. This open-air gallery was the wet season home for generations of Aboriginal people and Park Rangers stress it’s important to look and not touch to preserve the site for future generations.

A cruise on Yellow Water – a lush, tropical billabong that’s home to wild buffalo, crocs, 120 species of reptiles and flocks of native birds (some 300 species in total) and all manner of flora – is a must-do on any Kakadu trip.  Kakadu Tourism offers a 90-minute trip through the wetlands – complete with expert commentary from super-enthusiastic guides and the occasional trumpeting of brolgas (which can be heard up to 2km away) – which brings visitors nose to snout with the region’s famous salties.

A range of discounted cruise options and accommodation packages are available during the green season including a Sunset and Sunrise cruise package, with overnight stay at Cooinda Lodge, or slip into safari life or embrace the emblem of the NT and stay in the park’s famous croc-shaped hotel, Mercure Crocodile Hotel.

For a touch of understated bush luxury, treat yourself to a night or two at Bamurru Plains lodge, perfectly plonked on a privately-owned buffalo station right on the fringes of Kakadu National Park. Surrounded by savannah woodland, you’ll wake to birdsong, feast on bush-inspired gourmet meals and fall asleep to the sounds of nature. The property is closed during the early months of the wet season (Nov to Feb), operates as an exclusive fishing lodge from February to April and reopens in May.

LEANER, GREENER KATHERINE (NITMILUK)

Stretching from Queensland to Western Australia, the Katherine Region is where the outback meets the tropics in a region that’s filled to the brim with dramatic gorges, river ways, thermal springs and waterfalls.

In country as beautiful as this, it’s always a good idea to take to the skies and soar over the Z-shaped lands to really appreciate the diversity, so make sure your camera is fully charged. No less than thirteen dramatic gorges dot the landscape and names like Biddlecombe Cascades, Crystal Falls and 17 Mile Falls roll off the tongue as you fly low along the escarpment towards Arnhem Land.

More: www.helispirit.com.au/all-tours/katherine-gorge-helicopter-tours/

A little closer to terra firma, Nitmiluk Tours run their Nit Nit Dreaming Two Gorge Cultural Cruise through the lands of the Jawoyn people and continue during the green season until the water levels rise too high. For water babies, Mataranka Hot Springs and its neighbour, beautiful Bitter Springs, are located just a 50 minute drive south.

Immerse yourself in nature with a hike through the Nitmiluk National Park to the Southern Rockhole – one of the few places where you can swim in park during the wet season. The walk is more hike than stroll as you clamber over the rocky escarpment so BYO good walking shoes. And, at day’s end, retire to your Safari Tent in the National Park campground, complete with resident wallabies and a side of fresh NT air.

Some call it the green season; we just call it a summer well spent in the NT.

For more information visit: northernterritory.com/promotions/summer-well-spent

SCOTT PODMORE (with Tourism NT)

 

 

Nov
29
2017

Sydney New Year’s Eve party hot spots to bring in 2018

By New South Wales / Sydney /

With Sydney set to throw the world’s most exciting New Year’s Eve party party featuring outstanding fireworks displays, we’ve asked the Destination NSW team to reveal some of the city’s best vantage points and parties for revellers to ring in 2018.

As NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall says: “Every year Sydney erupts into a kaleidoscope of colour as the nation’s biggest-ever fireworks display welcomes in the New Year. With many locations across the harbour foreshore to view the fireworks, as well as festivities and parties to experience, celebrating New Year’s Eve in Sydney is another great reason to book a holiday to NSW.”

Here are some great options to watch all the action

Sydney - New Years Eve

The Rocks

Campbell’s Cove is on Hickson Road north of the Overseas Passenger Terminal, offers front row views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Revellers are advised to arrive early as the area usually reaches capacity at around 4pm. Admission is free; Opening times: 9.30am 31 December to 1am 1 January.

Circular Quay

To nab a spot on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House it’s best to arrive as early as possible as this iconic spot reaches capacity early in the day. Food and drinks are available for purchase onsite. Admission is free; Opening times: 7.30am 31 December to 1.30am 1 January.

The Royal Botanic Gardens

Mrs Macquarie’s Poinnt is one of the most popular viewing spots for New Year’s Eve due to the location’s fantastic views. This vantage point also offers food and drinks available for purchase onsite. Admission is free; Opening times: 10am 31 December to 12.15am1 January.

Barangaroo Reserve

This year, celebrate New Year’s Eve at Sydney’s Barangaroo Reserve. The Reserve is one of the best-value ticketed New Year’s Eve venues on Sydney Harbour. The spectacular harbourside location, superb views of the sunset and the western façade of the Sydney Harbour Bridge make Barangaroo Reserve the ultimate spot to enjoy the 9pm and midnight fireworks. The site will feature light entertainment, picnic spaces, food and beverage hampers available for purchase and family-friendly alcohol-free zones, as well as licensed areas. Tickets start at $40 for adults and from $5 for children. Juniors under two are free. Tickets are available for purchase from ticketek.com.au. Admission is ticketed; Opening times: 6pm 31 December to 12.45am 1 January.

Darling Harbour

Viewing spots around Cockle Bay are prized locations and this year will be no exception. With a free program of live music and light shows from 7pm, as well as the famous 9pm and midnight fireworks, Cockle Bay is set to be one of the most exciting, free family-friendly locations to celebrate the end of 2017. Admission is free; Opening times: 11am 31 December to 1.30am 1 January.

Sydney Harbour Islands

Shark Island will be transformed into an island paradise this New Year’s Eve. Guests will be treated to a live DJ and some of the best views of Sydney Harbour. Dance to the tunes of DJ Adi Toohey and Sydney’s own Recess DJs. Sliders, fries and desserts will be available for purchase from Slippin’ Sliders. Tickets start from $232 for adults and from $165 for children. Children aged under four are free. Tickets include ferry transfers to and from Rose Bay.

Sydney’s other islands including Cockatoo Island, Goat Island and Clark Island offer a range of exciting New Year’s Eve events. For a lively celebration book a ticket to enjoy a three-course meal and Garden Party on Clark Island with tickets priced from $395 for adults and $242 for children. Children aged under four are free.

On the water

For a ‘ferry good view’ of the fireworks, jump aboard an iconic Sydney Harbour Ferry from Manly or Rose Bay Wharf for a front row seat of the fireworks. Exclusive tickets are now available for the Harbour of Lights Parade which gives visitors a tour of the Harbour and the closest views of the 9pm and midnight fireworks. Guests can pack a picnic to enjoy on-board with tickets starting from $150 for adults and $125 for concessions.

Sydney CBD

Sitting 47 floors above the city and offering 360 degree views from the deck of a revolving restaurant, O Bar and Dining is one of the most exclusive places in Sydney to see in the New Year. Choose to have an eight-course degustation dinner or rolling chef’s tapas taking in Sydney from all angles in the unique circular dining room. The cuisine is based on chef and owner Michael Moore’s healthy eating philosophy and complements an extensive wine list and innovative cocktail menu of modern, classic and vintage drinks. Tickets start from $475 for adults (18 years+ only).

Portside Sydney will host an exquisite ‘La Riviera’ themed party this New Year’s Eve with open-air dining and uninterrupted views of the world-famous 9pm and midnight fireworks on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Guests can enjoy free-flowing French Champagne, cocktails, live food stations and canapes by Lauren Murdoch all night as they enjoy the live music beneath the stars, under the sails of the Sydney Opera House. Tickets are priced from $695 for adults (18 years+ only).

While demand is high, revellers can still book a hotel room in the city to ring in the New Year. Travellers are advised to book fast as hotels will be at capacity on 31 December.

For a full list of Sydney New Year’s Eve vantage points visit www.sydneynewyearseve.com and find your Sydney car rental here.

Nov
27
2017

5 great Australian music festivals for summer

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We come from a land Down Under where women glow and men plunder, and we have an endless supply of incredible music festivals. Diversity is the key so there is a festival somewhere in our great southern land to suit all tastes. Where to begin? Why not start with a campervan rental and book a holiday park to park your wheels before getting in tune with one of these five for the summer of 2017-2018.

The Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth (19-28 January 2018)

TEN days, 700 performers, 2800 events and more than 50,000 country music lovers. Clearly there are big numbers behind this giant country music fest which this summer showcases the likes of Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey, Amber Lawrence, Beccy Cole, John Williamson and more.  From free shows every night in the park, to buskers, stalls, children’s activities and street performers there is a helluva lot going on. Choose from thousands of free and ticketed shows over the journey of the festival in the pubs, clubs and hotels around Tamworth.

Rainbow Serpent (26-29 January 2018)

A monster electronic music, arts and bush festival in Lexton, in country Victoria, the Rainbow Serpents clearly is one of Australia’s most popular festivals. The event is revved up for its 21st celebration, a long way from its humble beginnings of a small gathering in a secluded clearing to become an internationally renowned weekend of dance, colour, expression and celebration. People now travel from all over the world to Western Victoria to experience what some have said is the best outdoor festival of it’s type in the Southern Hemisphere. As the organisers say, it’s a “fresh discovery of opportunity and escapism, a chance to connect with like minded individuals and to celebrate nature, community and harmony.” No longer just an electronic music festival these days you can expect to experience a unique combination of music, art, performance, spiritual discussion, relaxation and healing.

Falls Festival (New Year’s Eve)

The Falls Music and Arts Festival celebrates 25 years this year and is one of the longest running, boutique music events in Australia. The festival is inspired by European style events, with a great selection of talented bands, DJs and comedians from throughout the world. Set in four venues including Lorne, Byron Bay, Marion Bay and Fremantle. Some big name artists this year include Flume, Peking Duk, the Kooks, Glass Animals, Daryl Braithwaite and more.

Woodford Folk Festival (27 December 2017 to 1 January 2018)

Woodford Folk Festival is one of the largest folk festivals in the world. The program taps into Australia’s cultural, artistic and social expression with music, cabaret, dance, comedy, workshops, debate, street theatre, films, forums, circus and visual arts, including an entire children’s festival and spectacular fire event on New Year’s Day. More than 2000 performers and 438 events are programmed featuring local, national and international guests. This year will be the 31st Woodford Folk Festival and the 23rd held at Woodfordia.

Mona Foma (12-22 January 2018)

Tasmania’s annual eclectic music and arts festival, Mona Foma (aka MOFO) is set in Hobart and curated by Brian Ritchie, bass player from the rock band Violent Femmes. The 2018 instalment of Mona’s popular festival will see the event branch out into Launceston for the first time, with a three-day “Mini Mofo” weekend to feature Grammy-winning Australian star Gotye and culminate in a free block party at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. Mofo then returns to Hobart for several events before the big “Weekend at Walshy’s” features dozens of performances on-site at Mona from January 19-21.

Nov
24
2017

Western Australia road trip – Perth, Margaret River and Albany

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Everybody has to experience their own Western Australia road trip at least once in their life. WA has some of the most scenic attractions in the country, and most of them are in the south west.

Pick up your campervan rental deal with DriveNow in Perth. Your Western Australia road trip takes you from WA’s capital to Margaret River and Albany.

Stopover 1: Perth

Begin you 1100km Western Australia road trip in Perth. Pick up your campervan rental from Perth Airport. While in WA’s capital, you can squeeze in a cruise along the beautiful Swan River. For an epic day, take a 90 minute ferry across to Rottnest Island, where you can go snorkelling or relax on stunning beaches.

Stopover 2: Bunbury

Drive just under two hours south of Perth to arrive in Bunbury. One of the most popular activities for visitors is to go dolphin spotting. The main bay is home to more than 150 bottlenose dolphins, all of which can be admired from the shallow waters. Or, like many nature lovers, you can take a tour and go swimming with wild dolphins.

Stopover 3: Margaret River

The next stop on your Western Australia road trip takes you a further 100km south to Margaret River (pictured above, supplied by margaretriver.com). Thrill-seekers can catch a break with the incredible surf beaches nearby. It’s also a great place to watch migrating whales between June and November. There are plenty of wineries to visit, with Margaret River being a major wine producing region of southwest WA.

Stopover 4: Augusta

Adventure just half an hour south of Margaret River and you’ll come across a coastal town that’s often left out on most traveller’s itineraries. Australia’s most south-western town is close to the stunning Jewel Cave, Boranup Forest and Hamelin Bay. Augusta’s hiking tracks and bayside scenery make it an ideal place for adventurers and keen fishermen.

Stopover 5: Walpole

Walpole is about 245km southeast of Augusta. Walpole is famous for its Valley of Giants Tree Top Walk. This nature-based ecotourism attraction boasts a scenic 600m walk which takes you high into the canopy, allowing you to explore the world from the trees above.

Stopover 6: Albany

Your end destination is the stunning Albany. You could spend days relaxing by the turquoise waters of West Cape Howe National Park or Torndirrup National Park. You also have many nature walking tracks to choose from. If you’d like to learn about the region’s whaling past, visit a museum which was a former whale processing plant, the Historic Whaling Station.