Feast and Forage: a Taste of Australia’s Freshest   

From fruit picking to truffle hunting, Australia offers dining straight from the source.

Why wait for your food when you can have it ASAP? That’s right, you can pick your food straight from the forest, trees or seas across Australia. Stretching from Perth to Tasmania, you can dig into some of the freshest and juiciest produce gathered straight from its source.  With truffle hunting and oyster shucking on the menu, you will surely be unable to resist these food-centric expeditions.

Truffle Kerfuffle (23–25 June)

Forage for one of the world’s most prized delicacies, the black Perigord truffle, at the annual Truffle Kerfuffle festival in Manjimup, a three-hour drive from Perth. Don’t miss out on the chance to join truffle hunts with resident hounds, tuck into meals prepared by some of Australia’s top chefs and hone your cooking skills with truffle master classes. You will be delighted to know that many chefs incorporate regional produce such as chestnuts, cherries and wine into their dishes. Soak in the festival atmosphere, catch free demonstrations and entertainment on the festival grounds, and learn about the farmers, producers, winemakers and community that make up the Southern Forests.

Tropical Fruit World

Less than an hour’s drive from the Gold Coast, you can check out the world’s largest variety of tropical fruits at the Tropical Fruit World plantation, which takes visitors on guided tours and unique fruit-pairing tastings. Have you ever tasted a cheese fruit or ice-cream bean? Intrigued? Sign up for a fruit-tasting session where your taste buds will be tickled by exciting and exotic fruity flavours you never knew existed.

And what’s a fruit farm visit without authentic experiences? Enjoy a taste of fruit-farm living by riding a tractor train and sampling seasonal harvests on a plantation safari.

Tasmanian Seafood Seduction

Savour the best of Tasmania’s produce at its freshest by embarking on the Tasmanian Seafood Seduction cruise. Starting from Hobart, the cruise, which takes up to 12 guests per trip, sails past breathtaking coastal scenery while you enjoy a range of fresh local produce including freshly shucked oysters and rock lobsters. Sit back, relax and breathe in the crisp air while your guide dives for Tasmanian abalone and sea urchin. Then be thrilled as the fresh catch is turned into a delicious seafood feast, paired with local gourmet produce and Tasmanian wine, beer and cider. Visitors will also get a peek into local aquafarming practices, with a visit to the Tassal salmon farm — benchmarked as the world’s leading salmon farmer.

4 Epic Australian Road Trips to Ring in the New Year

From a foodie’s road trip across markets, festivals and farms to a self-driving route that will take you swimming with manta rays, there’s no better way to kick-start 2018 than with the road trip of a lifetime in Australia

Get ready to hit the open road with the windows down, music turned up and a cooler filled with refreshments. Here are four road trips across Australia, from Tasmania to the Northern Territory that will give you a serious case of wanderlust.

The Food-first Driver

If food is what drives you, take your taste buds for a spin in Tasmania.

Pick up farm-fresh produce from Salamanca Market and gourmet food and wine at Taste the Harvest, an annual festival held in Devonport in March that celebrates the local produce of Tasmania’s northwest. If seafood tickles your fancy, take a short trip to Freycinet Marine Farm for a feast of fresh oysters, mussels and abalone. Later, satisfy your sweet tooth by popping over to Bruny Island for a day of artisanal cheese, truffles and chocolates.

The Trigger-happy Driver

VIC; Great Ocean Road; Roads; Self Drive, Credit Tourism Australia

Take your travel photos to the next level on the Great Southern Touring Route, an epic four-day trip that features enormous sea cliffs, incredible beaches and the iconic Twelve Apostles in Victoria.

Get snap-happy with more than 100 painted sculptures in Geelong before taking a refreshing dip at Bells Beach in the surfing town of Torquay. Then, wind along the Great Ocean Road to witness the rugged splendour of the Twelve Apostles rising from the Southern Ocean.

For a walk on the wild side, take a cruise out from Port Fairy to Lady Julia Percy Island to see penguins, dolphins and Australia’s largest colony of fur seals year-round. If you are planning a road trip in the middle of the year, stop by the historic whale-watching town of Warrnambool and be treated to sights of southern right and blue whales between June and September.

The Thrill-seeking Driver

Make lifelong memories on the Nature’s Way drive, which will take you across the vast wilderness and thrilling wildlife of the Northern Territory via Darwin — an easy five-hour flight from Singapore. .

Go “swimming” with a saltwater crocodile at Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin. Hunt for waterfalls, in full flow between November and April, and experience a live crocodile-feeding demonstration at Kakadu National Park. Then, take your trip to the next level by soaring over sheer rock walls and magnificent gorges in a helicopter at Nitmiluk National Park. You can also explore these rock formations via a river cruise or by foot.

The ‘Dora the Explorer’ Driver

The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park, Western Australia, Credit Richard Rossiter 2013

Alien landscapes, colourful underwater worlds and ancient cliffs culminate in a road trip like no other across the Coral Coast in Western Australia.

Come face-to-face with thousands of limestone pillars, formed some 30,000 years ago, at the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park, a three-hour drive from Perth. And yes, it really does feel like you’re on the moon!

Snorkel with an array of fish, including manta rays and whale sharks between mid-March and mid-July at the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef further up north. Then, round up your trip at

Kalbarri National Park, which features deep, winding gorges and 400-million-year-old cliffs that adventure seekers can hike or abseil down.

Update Your 2018 Travel Bucket List With Some Brand New Australian Experiences

You don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth for incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Update your 2018 travel bucket list with some of the very latest must-not-miss Australian experiences now!

Not many of us have the luxury of travelling the world, or checking items off travel bucket lists one far-flung destination at a time. Luckily, some of the world’s rarest sights and experiences are only a flight away in Australia.


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Swim With Gentle Giants Of The Ocean

Just over three hours from Perth to Exmouth by plane, the tropical Ningaloo Reef is home to one of world’s most elusive creatures — the whale shark. Score a once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim and snorkel with the world’s biggest but gentlest sharks, which congregate at the World Heritage-listed reef every year between April and July.

Whale Sharks, Credit: Western Australia Tourist Commission

Scale The Sydney Harbour Bridge

If you are not easily scared of heights, then this experience should go right to the top of your bucket list. Scale the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which stands at 134 meters above the harbor as the world’s largest steel arch. For an even more unique twist to this experience, lap up the city’s highlights from a whole new perspective at twilight or later in the night!

BridgeClimb Sydney. Credit: BridgeClimb Sydney

Take On A World-Class Rollercoaster

Just when you thought that you had seen everything, Warner Brothers’ Movie World on the Gold Coast unleashes the fastest and highest roller coaster in the southern hemisphere. Release your inner speed demon on Movie World’s DC Rivals Hyper Coaster, which sends you through thrilling twists and turns at more than 61 meters high. Labelled one of the best roller coasters in the world, it is less than an hour’s drive from Brisbane and also offers adrenaline junkies the option of riding it in reverse. Yes, you read correctly.

Credit: Warner Bros. Movie World

Immerse Yourself In An Underwater Playground

Who says you need a wet suit to go underwater at the Great Barrier Reef? The newly opened Cairns Aquarium in Far North Queensland lets you get up close with rare and unusual underwater inhabitants from two World Heritage-listed sites — the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics — in a single location.

Meet majestic sea creatures, including hammerhead sharks and leopard stingrays, the highly endangered freshwater saw fish and, the whip-tail stingray: the largest freshwater ray in the world. Looking for a fresh dining experience? Tuck into modern Australian-Italian cuisine at the on-site restaurant AquaLuna, complete with a 13.5-meter shark exhibit.

Cairns Aquarium. Credit: www.cairnsaquarium.com.au

Put that wanderlust into action!



 


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Fauna; Whale Sharks, Credit Western Australia Tourist Commission

Postcard-Perfect Beach Paradises of Australia

Shake up your beach holiday with picture-perfect backgrounds, delicious Aussie fare and eclectic shopping — just a stone’s throw away from Australia’s city centres

Home to over 10,000 beaches, it’s unsurprising that Australia has some of the world’s most pristine and picturesque coastal precincts. From beaches lined with multi-coloured bathing boxes to sculptures along spectacular coastlines, we handpick the country’s three finest stretches of paradise that will have you raring for a quick seaside escape pronto.

Bondi, New South Wales

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, NSW Credit Tourism Australia

Bondi Beach may be one of Australia’s most famous stretches of sand but come October and November, the iconic beach turns into an outdoor art gallery. Be dazzled by Sculpture By the Sea, a free exhibition featuring sculptures of every shape, colour and size along the coast from Bondi to Tamarama Beach, roughly 30 minutes from Sydney’s city centre by train and bus.

Looking to whet your appetite? Whether you’re hungry for food, drinks or shopping, Bondi’s Campbell Parade has it all. Shop for eclectic pieces at its stylish boutiques or visit the Bondi Beach Markets on Sundays for great bargains on handmade jewellery and vintage clothing.

Cottesloe, Western Australia

Sun, surf, pine trees and a lively boulevard — that’s Cottesloe in a nutshell.

Less than 30 minutes away by car, the precinct boasts a beautiful beach where you can have a dip in the sea, snorkel or sit down to a seafood lunch in a striking art deco building overlooking the Indian Ocean. If you prefer to keep your flip-flops sand-free, head inland towards Cottesloe Esplanade and picnic on a sprawling lawn shaded by giant Norfolk pine trees.

Brighton, Victoria

Brighton Beach Huts, Brighton, Credit Visit Victoria

Get snap-happy at Brighton Beach, renowned for its 82 bathing boxes previously used primarily as private changing facilities for swimmers in the 1800s. Strike a pose in front of the rainbow-coloured bathing boxes plastered with kangaroos, waves and the Australian flag, just a half-hour drive from Melbourne.

Brighton’s quaint charm doesn’t end at its shores. Hit the Bay Street shopping strip, just a five-minute drive away, for your fill of cool cafes serving affordable brunch classics like smashed avocado on toast and fresh salad bowls. Palace Cinemas, with its selection of art house films and plush interior, is also a must-visit for film buffs.

Now who’s ready for that much-needed seaside getaway?

It’s Wine O’clock! Adventures Behind Australia’s Cellar Doors

Ever wondered what goes on behind some of Australia’s leading cellar doors?

If you think that wine regions are just about wine tastings and lunch pairings, then you are in for a big surprise! Besides a reputation for fine wine and some of the world’s best cellar doors, Australia’s wineries also offer a blend of unique activities.

Planning a day trip or long vacation among vineyards? Here are some of Australia’s best wine regions, guaranteed to keep you in high spirits with non-stop fun and delicious wines. Most of these wine regions are a short drive from the city — rent a car, appoint a designated driver and bring along a jacket, as it can get pretty cool in the evenings.

 

South Australia

Adelaide Hills

Throw on your adventurer’s cap and get ready to explore hidden tunnels and historical routes in the twilight.

 Located just 20 minutes from Adelaide city by car, Adelaide Hills is the perfect wine region for those who want to take a day trip out from the city. Visit the Penfolds Magill Estate, which is the original home of the famed Penfolds wines and one of Australia’s most prized wines, the Grange. Explore underground tunnels, heritage-listed bluestone cellars and the original cottage home of Penfolds’ founders by day. Or join a guided historical tour that takes you down a similar route at twilight, before tucking into a seven-course wine dinner.

Clare Valley

If you are a fan of Riesling, drive for 90 minutes from Adelaide to Clare Valley. You can then drive, stroll or cycle along the picturesque Clare Valley Riesling Trail, which takes you past vineyards, farms, natural bushland and cellar doors. Then, dive into the history of Jesuit priests by exploring the underground cellars of Sevenhill Cellars, which is still known for producing sacramental wine, though its table wine is now more famous. The winery grounds also have a church and crypt to visit if you like.

If you are around on the last Saturday of the month (except in December and January), drop by the Sevenhill Producers Market. Feast on grilled meats, dried fruit, nuts and freshly baked pies, and fill a picnic basket with freshly baked bread, jams, preserves, oils and even flowers. If you are visiting between September and November, take a short drive over to the Spring Gully Conservation Park and enjoy a picnic while surrounded by a riot of wildflowers and orchids.

 

Victoria

Yarra Valley

With its fairy-tale landscapes, you will not feel out of place booking a horse-drawn carriage in Yarra Valley to explore the heart of Australia’s renowned pinot noir and sparkling wine region – just an hour’s drive northeast of Melbourne.

Clip-clop past lush vineyards and historic wineries, like the De Bortoli estate, where you can enjoy a platter of matured cheese with sustainably grown cool-climate wines in beautiful, landscaped gardens.

While the area is famous for its wines and fresh produce, chocolate heaven is actually closer than you think. Don’t miss the chance of stopping at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. A short five-minute drive from De Bortoli estate, release the inner chocolate addict in you and go wild choosing from over 250 handcrafted chocolate products.

 

Continue your day’s adventure by meeting koalas and kangaroos and feeding parrots at Healesville Sanctuary. If you are staying for more than a day, start a morning with a hot-air balloon ride before landing at a vineyard for a breakfast of sparkling wine and freshly picked produce.

Mornington Peninsula

Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, there is lots more to Mornington Peninsula than just wine and food – horse riding and art are just some of the activities you can look forward to.

For a different and unique experience, ditch your four wheels and reach for a saddle to join a horseback winery tour around Mornington. Trot leisurely through sprawling vineyards to taste regional favourites, like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay while enjoying stunning scenery and ocean views atop your trusty steed. After working up your appetite, tuck into hearty local produce at the historic Red Hill Epicurean restaurant.

Later, visit Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove to experience the art of winemaking first-hand. Venture beyond Montalto’s cellar door and you will find yourself in its zany but intriguing Sculpture Park, which houses more than 25 fantastical sculptures and other original installations. Explore these creative works on the Sculpture Trail, meandering past grassy lawns, gravel pathways and wetlands.

 

Western Australia

Margaret River

Margaret River may be known for breathtaking views and boutique vineyards but it is also the place to be for bustling food festivals and gorgeous beaches — making the three-hour car journey from Perth worth your while.

Taste “Australia’s finest example of Chardonnay”, as described by Australian wine writer and critic James Halliday, at Brookland Valley and get busy with a hands-on red wine blending session at Leeuwin Estate. The estate is also famous for holding concerts on its picturesque grounds. If there are on-going concerts when you visit, pack a picnic basket and lounge on the estate’s lawns while soaking in the music, food, wine and atmosphere.

Planning a year-end trip to Australia? Get tickets to the annual Margaret River Gourmet Escape festival. Held in the middle of November, the festival attend master classes, sample local produce from some of Western Australia’s top restaurants and rub shoulders with celebrity chefs like Nigella Lawson.

Margaret River is not all wine tasting and gourmet food, though. Pack a swimsuit if you are visiting in spring or summer. The region is home to idyllic beaches, like Hamelin Bay where you can wash off your worries in beautiful, blue waters and relax on stretches of soft, white sand. Hamelin Bay is also famous for another reason – it’s friendly Eagle Rays. These beautiful creatures will swim right up to you looking for food. How’s that for a wildlife encounter? Do take care when around them though as no matter how docile they are, they are still wild animals.

                                                                                                                            

Swan Valley

Western Australia’s oldest wine growing region is a true foodie haven, boasting a food and wine trail that takes visitors to more than 150 attractions, including restaurants, produce markets and gourmet stores.

 Easily accessible by car, Swan Valley is located on Perth’s doorstep, only a 25-minute drive away from the city. Or better still, if you have more time to spare, get there by taking a relaxing, scenic cruise down the Swan River from Perth. Explore the region’s food and wine scene on the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail, which takes you to wineries, breweries, nougat, honey and teashops, produce markets and restaurants.

Alternatively, go free-and-easy and stop for lunch at Carilley Estate, a family-run vineyard located within the heart of Swan Valley. Pair a leisurely lunch with show-stopping wines in the estate’s restaurant, which is set among lush vineyards and beautiful gardens.

 

Unforgettable Adventures Beyond Australia’s Big Cities

So you’ve Instagram-med your third shot of the Sydney Opera House for the day, and hung out at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market. Take your holiday up a notch with a short trip out of the concrete jungle for a side of Australia you don’t often find on postcards!


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Geelong and the Bellarine, Victoria

There is no need to travel far for a stop that combines award-winning restaurants, safari tours and the biggest water park in the state.

Victoria’s second-largest city, Geelong, and the Bellarine, just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, will entertain every member of your family. Kids want a thrill? Spend a day at Adventure Park Geelong, the state’s biggest theme park, which boasts some of Australia’s coolest water rides. Conveniently located just 10 minutes from Geelong, your kids can enjoy unlimited rides all day long on rapid rafts, roller coasters and waterslides. There are also many fun-filled land activities for the whole family including mini golf and archery.

Credit: Adventure Park, Geelong

These days, Africa isn’t the only option for a wild safari adventure. Check out the Werribee Open Range Zoo, which takes families on off-road safaris past free-roaming animals from Africa, Australia and Asia including rhinoceroses, giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, wallabies and emus — all just 30 minutes away from Melbourne’s city center.

Credit: Werribee Open Range Zoo

Unwind at the end of the day with dinner at Geelong’s renowned Igni, which serves unusual dishes like aged goose and crisp saltbush leaves. Or drop by the award-winning Jack Rabbit Vineyard for delicious seasonal grub, cool climate wines and unrivaled panoramic views of the Bellarine bay.



Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Hunter Valley. Credit: Jetabout Holidays

Enjoy a wino journey in Australia’s oldest wine region. Get a taste of the region at the Small Winemakers Centre, a two-hour drive from Sydney. With more than 26 local winemakers on display and over 30 varieties to savor, a wine-tasting session to try regional favorites such as Semillon and Shiraz is the perfect way to experience what Hunter Valley has to offer.

Matilda Bay | Brewing Company. Credit: Jetabout Holidays
Matilda Bay | Brewing Company. Credit: Jetabout Holidays

Treat yourself with a chorus of color at the Hunter Valley Gardens, which features 10 themed gardens. Then, go bird watching at the Werakata National Park, which springs alive with brightly colored wildflowers between September and November.



Noosa, Queensland

Mooloolaba Beach. Credit: TEQ

There’s much more to Queensland than just beaches and theme parks. From seeing crocodiles up-close to horseback rides along a scenic lake, Noosa offers the perfect antidote for urban overload.

Australia Zoo. Credit: TEQ

Catch some serious wildlife action at the world-famous Crocoseum (crocodile-themed museum) in Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. Just an hour’s drive from Brisbane, learn how crocodiles live and behave in their natural habitat. Then get up close with other stars of the animal kingdom, including koalas, echidnas, giant snakes and more.

For a different wildlife experience, ride around the serene Lake Weyba on horseback. Only 10 minutes away from Noosa by car, Lake Weyba is home to unspoiled nature and abundant wildlife such as stingrays, kangaroos and birds. Top this off with an unforgettable meal of local seafood and champagne on the Noosa Cruiser as it meanders down the Noosa River.



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The Sky’s the Limit: Adventures Above Australia

Take your next Australian holiday to new heights, as you discover rolling vineyards, technicolour reefs and windswept coasts — all while you are thousands of feet in the air!

Sure, a night exploring Melbourne’s snazzy suburb Fitzroy and its many hidden underground bars or a day spent traipsing Sydney’s sparkling harbour is fun. But why limit your experience of Australia to on-ground activities when you can see some of the country’s most iconic landmarks from thousands of feet in the air. You’ll be guaranteed a bird’s-eye view of some of the most spectacular sights in the country.

Strap in and buckle up; you are about to experience some of Australia’s most popular regions as you never have before — via a thrilling helicopter ride, floating leisurely in a hot air balloon or soaring along on a grand seaplane adventure.  The best part? While they may seem expensive, they really are affordable experiences so you can blow your mind without busting your budget.


GREAT OCEAN ROAD – VICTORIA

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Credit Tourism Australia

You’ve probably seen the majestic limestone stacks that make up the Twelve Apostles from land, but why not take home bragging rights by gazing at them from breathtaking heights in a helicopter?

This once-in-a-lifetime experience, offered by 12 Apostles Helicopters, begins at the Great Ocean Road, a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s city centre. Soar over the Twelve Apostles, a smattering of islands, peach-hued cliffs as well as London Bridge, an impressive rock formation that once formed a natural archway above the Southern Ocean. Choose between a brisk 15-minute flight or an hour-long adventure that will take you further along the Shipwreck Coast all the way to the Cape Otway lighthouse at the southernmost point of Western Victoria. Ensconced in a luxurious, air-conditioned cabin that can accommodate up to seven passengers at a time, you’ll be lapping up spectacular views without scrimping on comfort and style!



 


HUNTER VALLEY – NEW SOUTH WALES

Hunter Valley, Sydney, NSW. Credit: Jetabout Holidays

Fancy a champagne holiday at affordable prices? Take to the skies in a luxurious hot air balloon ride over Australia’s oldest wine region.

Sunrise, Hunter Valley Hot Air Ballooning. Credit: Jetabout Holidays

Set your alarm early and admire the sunrise from an unparalleled vantage point floating over Hunter Valley, a convenient two-hour drive from Sydney. Be rewarded with uninterrupted views of sprawling vineyards and olive groves glowing in the early morning’s golden light, and watch as the wine region stirs to life, preparing for a brand new day. Cap off the perfect morning with a gourmet breakfast and some bubbly after the one-hour balloon flight. Just top up a few dollars to enjoy these after-flight perks!



 


GREAT BARRIER REEF – QUEENSLAND

Heart Reef
Heart Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Credit Tourism Whitsundays

If you find yourself itching for a bucket-list experience, then a seaplane tour over the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is an experience not to be missed.

Admire the stunning blue-green hues of Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet in a 25-minute flight over the Whitsunday Islands by GSL Aviation. For a more extensive flight experience, join Air Whitsunday’s three-hour tour, which comprises a one-hour flight to and from the Great Barrier Reef, taking you over Whitehaven Beach, Hook Island and the world-famous natural wonder that is Heart Reef, a heart-shaped coral in the Whitsundays. As part of the tour, the pilot will stop over at Hardy Reef. Once there, explore the reef’s diverse marine life in a sheltered lagoon or, if you prefer not to get wet, from a glass-bottom boat!



 


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It’s Makan Time!

It’s Makan Time! 7 Iconic Food and Drink Experiences that Everyone Die, Die Must Try in Australia

Ever heard of avo-on-toast or barbies? If you haven’t, then it’s time you revisit Australia for a taste of some of its extraordinary local delights!

You may have heard about kangaroo steaks and crocodile jerky under the stars. But you don’t have to go to extremes to taste delicious Australian treats. Good food is easy to find in Australia and it’s probably why in a recent ABC news article, chef extraordinaire Heston Blumenthal called Australia’s food scene an example for the rest of the world.

Not sure where to kick-start your culinary adventure? Here is a list of some of Australia’s most delicious national treasures and where to find them.


SMASHED AVOCADO ON TOAST

… is exactly what it sounds like. This quintessential Australian dish that can be found in many cafes across the country consists of a perfectly ripe avocado, mashed and spread over warm, grilled sourdough and covered in salt and pepper. For a refreshing twist, finish the dish with a dash of lime juice; and add some chilli flakes for an extra boost. Combining the best of healthy eating and snacking, this wholesome dish has become a brunch staple and is often served with a poached egg on top.


CROISSANTS

If you are a fan of croissants, then Lune Croissanterie in Fitzroy, Melbourne is right up your alley. Its traditional French croissants have been called the ‘world’s finest croissants on the planet’ by The New York Times in 2016. Crunch into these buttery pastries or treat your taste buds to twice-baked almond croissants, which come with a generous topping of almond flakes.

Credit: Tourism Australia / Time Out Australia

FISH AND CHIPS

Don’t worry about dusting sand off your feet — most of St Kilda’s fish and chip kiosks are located just off the popular Melbourne beach. Pop into one of the many beachside shops for a box of fish, grilled or battered to golden perfection, and a side of crinkle-cut chips. Opt to take your meal down by the sea or enjoy them on the boardwalk as you watch the ever-changing tableau of dogs, skaters and surfers pass you by. In Sydney, a visit to the fish and ship kiosk at Watson’s Bay, complete with harbour views, is a must.

Credit: Tourism Victoria (Katie Quinn Davies)

VEGEMITE

This salty yeast spread can be an acquired taste to visitors, but most Aussies love spreading this on some buttery toast each morning. Cafés and restaurants across the country are also adding Australia’s savoury superstar to recipes in unexpected ways. Visit Anchovy in Melbourne’s Richmond neighbourhood for Vegemite tempura, a dish consisting of deep fried custard and cheese cubes and a side of Vegemite and onion stock. Or drop by Indigo in Sydney’s Double Bay area for Vegemite French toast and a caramel Vegemite milkshake. Trust us, these concoctions taste better than they sound! Or buy them at any supermarket as gifts for family and friends back home!


AUSSIE BARBECUE

Barbecues, also known as barbies or BBQs to the locals, are a popular Australian hobby because of the country’s fantastic weather year-round. A typical Australian barbeque is made up of sausages, burgers, steak, lamb cutlets and fresh seafood like giant prawns or scallops. And of course, all this is washed down with a few stubbies (that’s beer to the rest of us). For a more refined barbecue experience, dine at Firedoor, a grill restaurant in Surry Hills, Sydney, which serves exotic dishes like octopus and duck hearts direct from a wood oven.

Credit: Tourism Australia

SCHOOL PRAWNS

School prawns, the sweeter and smaller cousins of giant prawns, make the perfect beer snack. Also known as schoolies to the locals, school prawns are sold by the dozen at the Sydney Fish Market. Munch on a bag of deep-fried schoolies while you wander the various fish and seafood stalls at the market, or pair these delicious morsels with a swig of beer.


SPIRITS

You have heard of craft beers and cocktails but how about craft spirits? These elusive liquors are produced in small amounts, using old-school methods. Savour award-winning single-barrel whisky made from pure Tasmanian ingredients at Sullivans Cove, a renowned Tasmanian distillery at Cambridge, Tasmania. If other types of spirits tickle your fancy, try artisanal gin at Bad Frankie, a themed, sepia-toned cocktail bar in Fitzroy, Melbourne that is fast making its name for its clever gin combinations. If you are in Sydney, don’t miss dropping by Archie Rose – the first distillery to open in Sydney in 160 years. It has its own bar that showcases the whole Archie Rose spirits range. For an even more unique experience, try your hand at tailored spirits where you design your own gin, vodka or whisky and put your own name on the label.


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6 Fun Ways to See Melbourne and Sydney for Free (seriously!)

As the saying goes, “The best things in life are free”. Forget the gourmet restaurants and high-end designer labels in Melbourne and Sydney. There are many fun ways of exploring both cities without burning a hole in your pocket.

Here are the top six things that you can do without spending a cent:


MELBOURNE

 

  1. Visit Melbourne’s hidden laneways and city landmarks via the City Circle Tram, a free tram service that lets you hop on and off around central Melbourne.  Explore the city at a more laidback pace while admiring the city’s historic architecture and skyline from the comfort of a tram seat. There is also a Free Tram Zone in the city covering the main city centre!
    Melbourne Tram
  1. Hosier Lane is a must-visit for art lovers and fans of street culture! A short five-minute walk from Flinders Street Station, this hidden laneway has developed a reputation for having some of the most expressive and politically charged street-art masterpieces in the city. For a closer look at the inside world of graffiti, join a free tour of Hosier Lane. If you are lucky, you may even catch graffiti artists in action, transforming alley walls and sidewalks into street art masterpieces right before your eyes!
    Movida Next Door Hosier Lane CREDIT VISIT VICTORIA
    Movida Next Door Hosier Lane. Credit: Visit Victoria
  1. Step into one of the world’s greatest libraries and a cultural landmark of Melbourne, the State Library of Victoria! Located in the heart of the city, this magnificent 19th century building is framed by a majestic domed ceiling and houses over two million books, hundreds of thousands of pictures, newspapers, maps and manuscripts, and masses of audio, video and digital material. Don’t miss the two free permanent exhibitions; free guided tours of this historic building are also available.
    State Library of Victoria, Melbourne. Credit: Tourism Australia
    State Library of Victoria, Melbourne. Credit: Tourism Australia

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Itinerary highlights: Full Day Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula Tour! Click here for MORE DETAILS!


SYDNEY

 

  1. For fresh air and scenery, set off on the Bondi to Coogee Walk, which offers spectacular coastal views. Stretch your legs on the free coastal walk, past a stunning array of beaches, parks, cliffs and rock pools. It takes between one to two hours to complete at a leisurely pace.Make your way up a set of steep stairs to Marks Park, near the start of the walk, and be entranced by rare Aboriginal rock carvings. As one of the walk’s highest points, the park is also a prime whale-watching spot during the migration season between May and November.Rest assured that there are rest stops with great views as well as cafes and restaurants along the way, offering trekkers opportunities for a well-earned break.
    Bondi Coastal Walk, Sydney. Credit: James Horan and Destination NSW
    Bondi Coastal Walk, Sydney. Credit: James Horan and Destination NSW
  1. If you prefer flora to coastlines, visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, which offers an escape from Sydney’s CBD area! Enjoy free guided walks unless the weather is too hot (35 degrees and above), and explore a diverse range of flora and fauna. Easily accessible, the nearest train station is Martin Place but the gardens are also just a short stroll away from St James and Circular Quay train stations. If you have time to spare, treat yourself to pretty views of the harbour as you while away the afternoon on the garden’s sprawling lawns.
View from Royal Botanic Garden. Credit: Jetabout Holidays
View from Royal Botanic Garden. Credit: Jetabout Holidays
  1. Cap off your day with spectacular views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is under a ten-minute walk from Circular Quay. Get snap happy as you walk along the eastern side of the bridge; the western side is reserved for cyclists. As the steel arches tower over you, look out and be mesmerised by breath-taking views of the harbour, Opera House and surrounding bays.
    Sydney Harbour Bridge. Credit Jetabout Holidays
    Sydney Harbour Bridge. Credit Jetabout Holidays

Check out our NEW 3Nights Sydney Famiy Fun from only SGD690 per person Plus Quote ” BLOG30″ to Receive FREE Grab Credit worth SGD25 when you book any of our Australia packages! *Terms apply
Book by 31Oct’17 & RECEIVE FREE Magical Manly & Beyond or Bondi Beach & Sydney Sights Tour PLUS Entry to National Maritime Museum Tickets! Click here for MORE DETAILS!

Let it Snow! The Ultimate Mid-year Getaway on Australia’s Ski Slopes

Dashing through the snow, on a husky-led open sleigh… what better way to enjoy your mid-year break? Who’s ready to escape the heat this June to August? Forget Instagram stories of friends holidaying on the beach. While the sun beats down on us in the middle of the year, it’s snow time Down South. That means plenty of skiing, sledding and snowball fights in Australia.

Here’s the low-down on where you can find the top winter activities in the country:


ZOOM DOWN POWDERY WHITE SLOPES

Always dreamt of playing in the snow? Good news, first-time skiers and snowboarders! Mount Buller offers three terrain parks for different skill levels so you can hit the slopes without worrying about rough tumbles. Winter sports enthusiasts can head to steeper slopes or try cross-country skiing for a great workout, spectacular views and a thrilling time. Ever heard of skiing under the stars? Every Wednesday and Saturday from mid-July to September, you can ski down a well-lit trail just as the sun dips, from 7–10pm, and feel like you’re soaring through the night sky.

Photo: Mark Ashby, Credit: Tourism Australia

Just a three-hour drive from Melbourne, Mount Buller has plenty of accommodation ranging from hotels to lodge-style residences. Take your pick based on the number of people travelling with you.

Alternatively, test out your snow legs at Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains, which offers four terrain parks, ranging from gentle slopes for beginners to drops and obstacles for seasoned skiers and adrenalin junkies. The alpine resort, a three-hour drive from Canberra or six-hour drive from Sydney, also lets you ski by night. Pop back to the resort and refuel before taking off into the twilight on Saturdays.

For a full-fledged wintery experience, Perisher Valley (commonly called Perisher) is the place to be. With temperatures dipping to as low as -5 degrees during peak ski-season (July to September), Australia’s largest alpine resort is perfect for those who want to zip down a ski run surrounded by thick sheets of snow. Also set in the Snowy Mountains, it’s about a three-hour drive from Canberra or six-hour drive from Sydney. The resort provides box and rail features for novices learning the basics of skiing and snowboarding. Among Perisher’s accommodation options are townhouses with views of the Snowy Mountains and chalets located footsteps away from a shopping centre.

Thrill seekers who prefer to get in on some heart-racing winter action should visit Mount Hotham, home to one of Australia’s highest alpine villages. Around a 4.5-hour drive from Melbourne, this resort offers one of the highest ski slopes with majestic views of its surroundings. With more than 7,000 beds across Hotham and Dinner Plain, it offers a range of apartments, chalets, lodges and motels within the resort.


LOOP AROUND SNOWFIELDS

Looking to get whisked away into a winter wonderland? Hop on a husky-led dog sled around Mount Buller’s snowfields or speed down powdery slopes on a toboggan or rubber tube. All you need to do is sit and hold tight! Families visiting Hotham will not be disappointed either. Located near its snow play area is a toboggan slope that is suitable for kids of all ages. For more speed and spirit, join a pack of huskies on a Howling Husky Sled Dog Tour.

Toboggan Slope Fun at Mount Buller. Credit: Visit Victoria

Don’t let your snowy adventure end there. Take off for Falls Creek, Victoria’s largest alpine resort, which is a 4.5-hour drive from Melbourne. Family members can get competitive over a game of snow bocce (a ball game similar to lawn bowling), go on snowmobile tours or enjoy tobogganing down two slopes for free. Or spin, bounce and whizz your way downhill on a snow tube in Falls Creek’s Snow Tubing park.

Falls Creek, Victorias High Country, Credit: Mark Watson

Take to the skies on an exhilarating helicopter ride and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the white plains between Mount Hotham and Falls Creek. These two resorts are just six minutes apart via a scenic helicopter ride so you can enjoy the best of two snowfields in one day!

For those into heart-pumping and fast-paced action, propel down specially groomed lanes on snow tubes or toboggans at the Thredbo Snow Play Park or the tube park at Perisher. The great thing about Perisher’s tube park is its purpose-built lift, which carries snow tubers back to the top so they don’t have to keep climbing up the hill!

An activity that will keep kids delightfully occupied is Mount Buller’s Gnome Roam — a guided tour around the mountain village, which sends kids on a hunt for resident gnomes.


DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN?

Love to play in snow? Then Hotham’s snow play area and the Thredbo Snow Play Park will be a dream come true. Covered in thick sheets of soft, white snow, it’s the ideal place to hold a snowman-building contest or form snow angels alongside family members and friends.

Hotham’s snow play area can be accessed free of charge and is in a sheltered location at Possum Flat. Meanwhile, the Thredbo Snow Play Park is located at the base station area of the Thredbo village. Remember to bundle up in waterproof jackets to keep warm when visiting these play parks!

If you have time to spare, take a helicopter flight out from Mount Hotham to Falls Creek where you can say hello to Falls Creek’s fun-loving snow mascot, Pete the Snow Dragon, which is known to pop up at snow clubs and parks around the resort during the winter season, too!

Check out our 5-Nights Snow, Ski & Farmstay package from only SGD1,380 per person Plus Receive FREE Expandable Luggage for DBS/POSB Credit Cardholders & FREE Australia SIM Card! *Terms apply
Highlights of this trip includes 5 days care rental, 5 nights stay (includes 1N in Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa & 1N in Mowbray Farm Park with breakfast, lunch and dinner) Click here for MORE DETAILS!