CategoryAustralia

How to do an Outback road trip without a 4WD

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Granted, there’s a vast amount of outback out there, but some of the best bits of it are only a few days’ drive from the southern and east coast capitals, and are easy to get to in just about any SUV. Take Corner Country, where three states – New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia – meet beside the legendary dog fence in the Strzelecki Desert. It’s a beautiful wilderness of flat claypans...

This WA hotel was built via GoPro

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But the five-storey, 108-room Hilton Garden Inn Albany finally opened in November and appears to be running smoothly when I visit seaside Albany, five hours’ drive or an hour’s flight south of Perth, a few months later. Staff are friendly and capable, helping me out with a smile and chat when I struggle with the coffee machine in the Grab and Go mini-mart in the foyer and when I need an extra...

Surprise spot named Australia’s top tourist town

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Its diminutive size and location hundreds of kilometres from the coast has not stopped it from landing the Top Tourism Town award for the second year in a row. Mudgee received the top honour at the Australian Top Tourism Awards last week in Canberra. The regional tourism acting CRO Leianne Murphy was there to collect the award, thanking the 350 small businesses that were recognised in the award...

This cool caravan park isn’t just fun for kids

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The wildlife is very friendly here, as you would expect from a holiday park nuzzled in the cleavage of Victoria’s luxuriant Yarra Valley, deep in Wurundjeri Country. BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane sits on the fringe of the tourist hub of Healesville, a little over an hour east of Melbourne’s CBD. Sprawling across 24ha, the property is bounded by rolling hills and vineyards in the bucolic west, and...

This little-known WA region is now a hotspot

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The annual knees-up is just one of the unlikely treasures of the little-known mid-west region of WA. The Yamatji land encompassing Geraldton and Kalbarri, about a third of the way up the long WA coastline, bears natural surprises that are often overlooked for Ningaloo’s whale sharks, or Margaret River’s wine. Take the milkshake-pink lake at Hutt Lagoon, the Murchison’s starstruck dark skies and...

How to save $125 at pubs, restaurants

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The Eat, Play, Cash Back program relaunched on Monday after its initial run from March and aims to save punters money on restaurant meals, gigs, and museum visits. It allows customers to claim 25 percent cash back when they spend $40 or more on a range of entertainment over spring and summer. Eligible purchases include meals at restaurants, cafes, and pubs, tickets to live music or art...

Ticket To Paradise: Real filming locations on the Whitsundays

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George Clooney and Julia Roberts spent six weeks living on Hamilton Island while filming the new romantic comedy, Ticket to Paradise. (Yes, it’s supposed to be Bali but it was filmed in Queensland). And for anyone within their orbit, from deckhands, waiters and concierges to those that worked closely with the A-list stars, the consensus was that the superstars loved their time in Queensland and...

Surprise Aussie restaurant stuns Curtis Stone

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My whole family loves being in nature and, my goodness, Tassie is amazing. It’s so beautiful. Every day we’d get up and my mum, the boys’ nanna, would take them for a morning walk. We’d all take walks along the beach. Mum loved being with the grandkids. It was so nice to be part of a big family together for that time. The best holidays are always the ones that get you closest with the people you...

Why this Aussie artist ranks in curator’s all-time favourites

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Joe Furlonger is one of my all-time favourite artists, well known for his expressive, figurative images and vast landscapes, and I worked with him many times when I was a curator at Gold Coast City Gallery, now HOTA. I remember a friend’s old, rented Queenslander on the Gold Coast had this astonishing kitchen that was painted by the artist in his signature figurative style. Figures danced around...

5 top museum school holiday activities for kids

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1. Sensory surprises  Designed to help children with  resilience and wellbeing, the  Children’s Sensorium installation at RMIT Design Hub in Melbourne is fun and engaging. Developed with mental health experts, the show’s sense-based installations draw on touch, sound, vision, smell, and taste. Until October 8.  2. Junior screen stars ACMI in Melbourne is the place to go  for budding filmmakers...

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