Australian Traveller reader Lucy Taylor packs up her extended family for a hands-on Kangaroo Island road trip, serendipitously stumbling upon pockets of fine food, art and action. My first mouthful of Kangaroo Island was chomped straight off the ferry which brought our car and us across from mainland Cape Jervis in South Australia, to pristine beachfront Penneshaw. As ropes were thrown to the jetty, dolphins leapt from the turquoise shallows, our first show of many over the next few days. A farmers' market was set on the cricket oval in a laid-back kind of ‘swing’. A 10-minute wander around the market put me in the right...
Australian Traveller reader Aneta Nedimovic gets fossicking fever in outback Lightning Ridge, NSW, home to the famed black opal. For the past four hours, in the blazing sun and scorching 40-degree heat, I’ve been meticulously combing though mounds of rubble for miniscule shards of glimmering colour on an otherwise plain rock. From sheer desperation to find an elusive opal, I keep scrambling over rocks, thinking the next one I turn over will be the ‘one’. It’s been almost a week of ‘fossicking’ so far. Greeting you when you arrive in Lightning Ridge is a big sign with an emu, which has...
Australian Traveller reader Phil Murray revisits a place 20 years after his first visit to find the main thing that has changed is, well, him. "We have a small menu of pillows for your selection," proffered Libby, our lodge manager. I laughed, unaware that pillow profiles were of such concern to some patrons that a menu was necessitated. But such is the level of service at the luxurious Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island that should Goldilocks choose to stay in the Lagoon Loft she would certainly find the porridge, beds, chairs... and, yes, even the pillows ‘just right’. Located 700 kms north-east of Sydney, just...
AT Reader Mark Jekabsons wants to wow you with his secret spots on the NSW Mid North Coast, but then he hopes that you will completely forget where they are. We all know a spot, that has a special place in our hearts, where life is still pretty simple and unaffected by development. The sort of place we want to tell everyone about, while not wanting anyone to find out lest the place change. For me, that place is the Camden Haven on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. The Camden Haven is focussed around the town of Laurieton...
Australian Traveller magazine reader Phil Murray does the west coast in style and stops off for a dip with the majestic whale shark on the way. Baby Boomers do not camp, we ‘glamp’. For the uninitiated, that’s glamorous camping. The only tents us flower power children wish to see are of the luxurious variety – ‘eco’ resorts such as Sal Salis, adjoining Ningaloo reef. ‘Drive from Perth all the way to Broome! Not much to see, is there?’ Well, yes and no. True, sections of the West Australian road trip are bordered by hundreds of kilometres of low scrub and...
This issue's winning 'Your Shot' image was taken by Vic Widman, Elanora Heights NSW “This photo was taken on top of Big Red, the largest sand dune in the Simpson Desert, approximately 70 kilometres west of Birdsville. I was leading a group of adventurous 4WD travellers crossing the Simpson Desert. As a result of the summer closure (the desert is closed from 1 December to 15 March for safety reasons) we were the first to reach Big Red for some time. We found the sand dune in this beautiful state of untouched ripples. I particularly liked the way the sand ripples matched the water...
This issue's winning 'Your Shot' image was taken by Robert McRobbie from Kingsford, NSW. "These brumbies were grazing not far off the road in the MacDonnell Ranges, west of Alice Springs. My family was experiencing Central Australia for the first time and as we were driving along we were ticking off the animals we wanted to see – dingo, kangaroo, emu, camel and brumby. We pulled over to watch these incredible animals and despite the herd being wary of our attention, they stood still for long enough for me to capture several shots.” Shot with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2, 100-300mm @...
This issue's winning 'Your Shot' entry was taken by Aa Los Banos. “I took this photo during my first visit to Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach. My friends and I strolled along the beach till we reached a high point where I set up my Sony A550 camera bundled with a sigma 10-20mm ultra-wide angle (UWA) lens and filter. The shot was taken at about 1pm. I really like the framing in this photo and how the crowd are scattered on the beach, which makes a good foreground part of the image.” – Aa Los Banos, Waikiki WA Calling all Australian Travellers! Think...
The winner of this issue's 'Your Shot' photo competition was taken by Pete Davis from MacMasters Beach, NSW. “My wife Sandi and I just returned from a 4WD trip to Cape York – an amazing experience heading out with my new Nikon D800 (only about two weeks old). This particular photo is of Kalpowar Crossing in Lakefield National Park. The shot was taken late in the day – we were just standing in the middle of the road on the crossing about 40 metres from our camp. I bet that big old tree could tell some stories of drought and...
The results are in. After giving our travel advice all year, we conclude with the most important opinions of all: yours. Over one thousand of you shared your travel tips, favourite destinations and ultimate bucket list adventures... and now, we present to you Australia's greatest experiences, destinations and operators of 2012. Favourite Australian Travel Experience Best Affordable Hotel Brand Best Luxury Hotel Best Resort Best Campsite or Caravan Park Best Bed & Breakfast Best Guided Tour Best Restaurant Best Bar Best Pub Best Major Airline Best Regional Airline Best Train Journey Best Cruise or Yachting Experience Best Adventure Destination...
TripAdvisor The inaugural year for this award category, TripAdvisor proved Australia’s go-to when it comes to seeking travel advice online. And no wonder – it’s the world’s largest travel site, operating in over 30 countries and attracting over 60 million monthly visitors world-wide. This unique web space collates advice from real everyday travellers on a wide variety of travel avenues – hotels, bed and breakfasts, holiday rentals, flights and restaurants – with seamless links to booking tools. And it’s this convenience of having reviews on countless destinations that link straight to booking engines that earned the majority of votes. With...
Whitsundays bareboat Chartering a yacht and skippering it yourself through the Whitsundays has again won first place. As one reader explained, “there’s nothing like being on your own yacht, surrounded by natural beauty, able to pick your own anchorage and enjoy,” neatly summarising the thoughts of many. And when exploring the area’s clear luminescent water, magical reef life and pristine beaches, why would you want to do it any other way? “It is so great,” reflected another reader, “to be able to holiday on your own terms, go where you want and when you want.” Agreed a third, “it is...
Gold Coast Be it a family holiday, couple’s escape or girls’ getaway, the Gold Coast has drawn big summer crowds for years. Theme parks are an obvious lure for families, certainly, but you also love the sunshine and golden sands, vibrant atmosphere and shopping. As one reader said, “there’s plenty to do and see, an all-rounder holiday destination for both the young and not so young”. Although the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast, particularly Surfers Paradise, has copped some flack in the past, responses largely suggest that the area is cleaning up its act. And who could hate...
The Ghan Once again The Ghan is the clear winner, having received more than half of your votes. Over three days, this transcontinental rail ride journeys 3000 kilometres, from Darwin to Adelaide. Named after the Afghan cameleers who once traversed this route, it offers unsurpassed views of Australia’s tropical Top End, to the unparalleled Red Centre. You voted for its “beautifully restored carriages”, “scenery and service” and the “fascinating" side trips you can temporarily disembark for. One reader believes “it is the best way to see the true vastness and diversity of Australia”, while another sums it up as “old...
Qantas The ‘Spirit of Australians’ has again won, and by seismic proportions. With over 50 percent of entries nominating Qantas, it seems the flying kangaroo truly resonates with AT readers. Service, safety and reliability were the key reasons why Qantas got your vote, as were the “wonderful crew”, and Australian history. Your comments were overwhelmingly positive: one reader said “no matter where you are in the world, when you travel with Qantas you feel like you are home”. Another told us their vote went to Qantas for the “excellent service, meals and entertainment”. The little touches make the biggest difference it seems,...
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- The ‘ghost towns’ of outback NSW
- East coast country cottage chic
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #53 road trip the Legendary Pacific Coast, Sydney to Brisbane
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #63 take a beach break, Sapphire Coast, NSW
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #86 a beach break on The Shoalhaven Coast, NSW
- Dream road trips: Broome to Exmouth (via the Warlu Way)
- Dream road trips: Esperance to Perth (via Margaret River)
- Dream road trips – Perth to the Pilbara (return)
- Ultimate Escapes: WA’s Great South West Edge – wine, white sand & wilderness
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #19 escape to the Rowley Shoals, WA
- Ultimate Escapes: Queensland’s Wet Tropics
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #11 stay at Lizard Island, Qld
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #54 holiday in Queensland’s triple threat
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #78 walk Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #85 swim with Manta Rays, Lady Elliot Island, Qld
- Thalia Haven – the greatest ocean-view bathtub in sight?
- Ultimate Escapes: Tasmania
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #2 road trip Tasmania’s east coast
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #5 book into Saffire Freycinet, Tas
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #13 (a tie) walk the Freycinet Experience, Tas
- Ultimate Escapes: Timeless North, NT
- Get lost in style in the Northern Territory
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #18 see the wet season in the Top End
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #27 make the Red Centre pilgrimage
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #56 (tie) follow Larapinta Trail (World Expeditions), NT