This is Canon Imaging Academy 2nd Canon Fiesta event. The 1st Fiesta was organised at Batam in 2018 while this time round, it’s held at Rottnest Island (Western Australia) from the 4-7 September 2019. The annual once-a-lifetime sold-out event is highly anticipated by shutterbugs looking to pick up new skills or bring it to a different level.
Attendees reaped valuable photo tips under the guidance of award-winning CIA Instructors Joseph Goh and Lance Leong, in genres that include long exposure, stars, portrait, landscape, nature photography and more, on the island that is renowned as the home of the ‘World’s Happiest’ marsupial – the cute Quokka. The event wrapped up with a photo contest and a premium lunch in Perth at the Crown Hotel.
Beyond sharpening photography skills and the fun of travel, attendees get to network and make new friends that will render their photographic journey henceforth more fun and engaging.
The event is non-brand specific ( yes, you don’t need to own a Canon camera to participate in the event ) and based on the positive feedback, interest is already strong for the next Canon Fiesta in 2020.
The participants all decked out in their Canon Fiesta polo-shirts. One for the album !
Workshop in a comfortable function room at the Karma Rottnest, just 7min walk from the trip accommodation at Discovery Rottnest Island, a luxury eco-tent glamping resort. The shooting location are just steps away from the conveniently located resort.
Joseph sharing tips on long exposure and the roles of filters in the genre. Full no-hold tips sharing session, compressing skills learnt through the years in bite-sized pieces for everyone.
Lance sharing valuable tips on astrophotography. We may not be able to enjoy the stars much in light-polluted Singapore, but it opens up a new avenue when going on overseas trips
Chartered coach ride to another part of the island, exclusively for the attendees only.
All up early and ready to capture the beautiful start of the day. Looks colder than it is in the picture…like single digit cold.
Putting the tips learnt during the workshop into good use. Still not so sure? No worries, help always on hand. That’s the beauty of photo workshop.
“Canon Delights You Always” moment captured.
Beautiful moment included in the photo workshop package. Suddenly, it all makes sense why you travelled almost 4000 kilometres here.
360º possibility of photo angles, limited only by imagination..
Age is never the limit.
There always time for a selfie.
Local professional models provided for portraits photography, no need to look just for Quokkas.
Talk on local wildlife by certified ranger giving participants some insights to the animals and fauna of the island.
Trail walk and wildlife spotting along the island preserved park .
Bathurst Lighthouse long exposure by Liu Zhen .
Between the Rough and Smooth by Shayne Tay
Misty seascape by David Gay
Hues of Dawn by Mylene.
Dawn of a New Day by Myra.
Colourful End to the Day by Lawrence
A Mood Monochromatic Take by Lawrence Lim
Stairway to Adventure by David Gay
Bathurst Lighthouse and cloudscape by Che Kuan Yau
The waves of Nautilus by Mabel.
Nature’s Swimming Pool by Lawrence Chua
The Blue Yonder by Anthony Lum
Getting on Top of Matter, by Myra.
Dreamy seagull by Che Kuan Yau
In Mommy’s Home by Myra.
Star Trails by Mabel.
Milky Way by Cindy Loo (Event Coordinator, Jetabout Holidays)
Couple’s Moment by Emily Ang.
–CANON FIESTA 2019 WINNING SHOT—Dusk moment captured by Liu Zhen
— CANON FIESTA 2019 SPECIAL PRIZE —Model Mood Shot by Kelly Juan
There are many reasons why Sunshine Coast is every travellers’ favourite destination – spectacular beaches, world-class attractions, natural wonders, exciting events, friendly locals, lip-smacking cuisine and much more. Sunshine Coast and it’s hinterland certainly have all the right ingredients for an action-packed holiday or quiet escape all year round.
Come join us on one of the best planned 7D6N self-drive vacation that you will find without breaking the bank.
OUR SUNSHINE COAST SELF-DRIVE ROAD MAP
DAY 1: BRISBANE – SUNSHINE COAST
Upon arrival at Brisbane International Airport, we collect our car from the conveniently located Hertz Car Rental counter. Then we kickstart our adventure by visiting the fabulous Australian Zoo after an hour easy drive along highway M1. This visit to the zoo was at our own expense.
This is home of the passionate late Steve Irwin – the “Crocodile Hunter”, it’s still run by the Irwin family and features a range of animals like tigers and plenty of crocodiles, of course.
There’s plenty of opportunities get hands-on with many of the zoo residents like touching a dingo, feeding a kangaroo or feeling a giant python in the daily Wildlife Show. Wow!..Crikey mate !
Come up close and enjoy the reptilian or birds of prey experience while having fun at the same time. The staff certainly how to build in humour in whatever they do.
After all that fun and excitement, we proceeded to check-in our first hotel of the trip – Novotel Twin Waters Resort Sunshine Coast after a 35min drive to recharge and get ready for our big adventure coming up on day two.
DAY 2: SUNSHINE COAST – THE GREAT BEACH DRIVE
After a superb night sleep, we woke up before the alarm rang as we were going on the highly anticipated “The Great Beach Drive” which displays nature seen nowhere else in the world. This is the part where we get to enjoy not one UNESCO Biosphere reserves but two adjoining ones side by side -The Great Sandy and Noosa Biosphere Reserves. We were treated to beautiful landscapes, observed local aboriginal culture while immersing in a uniquely rich and diverse natural experience. It was a fun and eye-opening event as our experienced 4WD guide whisked us along the sandy ride with salty air coursing through our hair.
Rainbow Beach, Sunshine Coast
This region is like an open-air zoo to wildlife such as kangaroos, whales, dolphins, manta rays, dugongs and a mind-boggling variety of bird species. You will especially love the pristine stretch of white sand beaches with stunning headland views all the way from Noosa to Double Island Point Red Canyon.
Here, red and yellow sands form a unique canyon in the sand dunes where you will enjoy unforgettable views over Teewah Beach. We practically have the entire beach to ourselves. This is the moment we could truly set ourselves free from our hand phone and simply enjoy life’s real pleasures.
We also stop at Freshwater- a scenic and relaxing picnic ground in the Great Sandy National Park where we had a chance to spot Lace Monitors or Double Island Point Lighthouse which offers breathtaking 360º views across the Pacific Ocean and scenic vistas of the Great Sandy National Park. Marine-life lovers will be thrilled as there is chance to see pods of dolphins, turtles, sharks, manta rays and the majestic Humpback Whales (season is July-November). Great Beach 4WD Tours are the sole operator with access to the Lighthouse which you would otherwise missed.
We also particularly enjoyed the Colored Sands – a world renown attraction which has over 40 different shades of colour. This is the place where our guide demonstrated how the colours are used by aboriginals for artwork and decoration of boomerangs. For couples on honeymoon, they should stop by Honeymoon Bay which boasts a saltwater lagoon that is one most scenic landscapes in Australia, perfect for a refreshing break where you can swim in the sheltered waters of the bay or body surf on the longest right-hand breaks in Australia all year round. Our trip also included the Rainforest- a unique rainforest drive-through sand dunes.
DAY 3: SUNSHINE COAST – HERVEY BAY
Day 3 see us checking out of our resort early morning to drive 30min to The Eumundi Market – Australia’s biggest and best art, craft and produce market in the historic town of Eumundi. Established in 1979, this world-renowned market is like an outdoor gallery, with heritage-listed fig trees sheltering the 500 plus stalls.
The market’s policy of ‘make it, bake it, sew it or grow it’ ensures any products or locally produced goods to be of the best qualities. There is also a line-up of world-class musicians and talented street performers, as well as face painters and therapists offering massages, palm readings and more. The market opens only on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
From Eumundi Market, we drove 2-hours northward to Hervey Bay, a sheltered bay which is safe year round for swimming, diving, sailing, water sports and fishing. If getting wet is not part of the plan, bicycle rental is available for ride along the picturesque foreshore to visit places such as the Orchid House within the beautiful Botanical Gardens, the Marina area or one of the many eateries and cafes situated along the Esplanade. The resort we stayed here was the Mantra Hervey Bay.
DAY 4: HERVEY BAY – SOUTHERN GREAT BARRIER REEF (LADY ELLIOT ISLAND WITH 2-WAY SCENIC FLIGHTS)
Day 4 marked another highlight of our trip as we took a scenic coastal flight from Fraser Coast Airport to Lady Elliot Island, the southernmost coral cay on the southern Great Barrier Reef, overflying Fraser Island on the way.
It was definitely thrilling to feel close to the action as our Cessna Caravan throttles down to land at Lady Elliot island, with its own landing strip named simply as “Lady Elliot Island Airstrip”.
This is certainly a beautiful island where we get to enjoy guided reef tour on one of the glass bottom boats, snorkel among the amazing coral formations and marine creatures or hand-feed fish in the lagoon.
In the picture above, you see one of our travel mates feeling tickled holding a live sea cucumber during the guided walk. The only sea cucumber we cityfolks get see in our everyday life are those preserved ones in groceries mart or cooked ones in restaurants.
But the guided reef walk with one of the knowledgeable guides will enhance the experience. We can even see turtles, colourful corals and schools of reef fish. Snorkelers are required to be proficient in the water as no life jackets except swim noodles, are provided during the swim. Snorkel lesson can be conducted in the resort pool (if required).
The coral gardens surrounding the island are also a breeding and feeding area for Manta Rays, the giant “kites of the reef”. Certainly an enlightening day as we learned about the island and its wildlife by knowledgeable guides. This session needs about 6.5 hours to explore the island. A delicious buffet lunch on the island resort was provided with the tour concluding after a return flight.
Optional side trip – Whale watching. Every year, between July and November, Hervey Bay’s reputation as the whale watch capital of the world gets refreshed as thousands of humpback whales make their way into the calm, protected waters on the western side of Fraser Island known as Platypus Bay.
This is where the whales stay and play on their way back to Antarctica, after spending the winter months up north to mate or give birth to their calves. This will be one of the most amazing wildlife encounter in your life.
For cityfolks like me, it’s an adrenaline rush each and every time I see them breaking the surface or blow their snort. It’s truly a magical experience and one that keeps me and probably plenty of others to visit again. Definitely a must-do optional event during the whale migration season (not part of this trip itinerary).
DAY 5: HERVEY BAY – HINTERLAND
This morning, we check out early from our resort to embark on a 23min drive land our next destination as we explore the streetscapes of Maryborough’s original wharf district.
Maryborough’s Portside is like a “history textbook” as it remains relatively unchanged from its days as a thriving river port, when it was one of Australia’s largest and busiest destinations for immigrants in the 1800’s. We commenced on the Portside experience with a Portside Heritage Gateway Pass (at our own expense), which includes entry into Customs House Interpretive Centre and the variety of museums on offer.
One of the interesting must-visit is the The Bond Store. Feel the history as you walk on the same earthen floors of this former store for her Majesty’s Customs Service and relive a time when opium was a legal import together with a flourishing rum trade. The main structure of the building dates back to 1864 where the original floors, handmade bricks and barrel rails are still being kept. It functioned as a guarded storage for taxed goods like cigars, tobacco, rum, wine, spirits and opium. Today the Bond Store has been revived as a store for regional produce and archives displays and artefacts documenting Marlborough’s Portside history.
From the Bond Store, we drove 2hr 15min to the Maleny Cheese. This is a food education attraction which showcase and sells products made on site. We can also sample the delicious range of products before deciding what to buy.
On weekdays, when the staff is working, we were able to observe how the cheeses are made by looking through the cafe viewing windows, which overlooked the factory floor.
Another option to experience the dairy industry was the Maleny Dairies, a family-owned dairy farm in the Hinterland. Go on the the farm tours which run from Monday to Saturday which include meeting Millie, the tour cow, for a hand milking demonstration and a chance to taste the milk straight from the udder! From here it’s into the baby pen to bottle-feed their calves! The tour finishes with a look inside their dairy and a sampling of their award winning products. You can enjoy Tractor Rides which run after the first three tours of the day, which takes visitors through the beautiful back paddocks to watch the calves being fed and also have a chance to feed their emus!
Our accommodation at the Hinterland warrants a special mention. The Glass House Mountain Ecolodge is an eco-friendly lodge founded by owner Keith Murray who spent over 1200 painstaking hours restoring the four train carriages and a wooden church at the back of a truck, which he transported to the site. The wood paneling has been hand-polished, the ceiling height raised and the train windows restored with stained glass panels. Over the past 30 years Keith and his family members also planted hundreds of trees to replace the pineapples plantation which was cleared for the building the lodge.
Glasshouse Mountain Ecolodge
As a guest, the real attraction here are the tranquility of the ambience and nature’s playground that awaits just outside the property’s gates. This is one unique lodge you will remember for the rest of your life.
About a 25min drive from the Glasshouse Mountain Lodge, you might like to check out the famous Maleny’s One Tree Hill. The site has unofficially been named as the most photographed paddock on the Sunshine Coast, especially when it comes to weddings in Maleny ! Truly an instagrammable picture opportunity. However, this tree is on private land and you need book in advance and make a donation of AUD50 which goes to the local organisation.
DAY 6: HINTERLAND – BRISBANE
This morning we check out of the lovely lodge and drive north (approx 30mins) for Montville. It would be hard to find a town on the Sunshine Coast that is as charming as Montville.
Perched on the Blackall Range, this quaint little village is home to art galleries, cosy coffee shops and boutique stores where we can bring home handmade beanies to one-off sculptures made by local artists. There are a wide range of accommodation options around town including rainforest cabins, luxury resorts and cute hinterland cottages. After lunch, we headed for Brisbane, where we check into the Grand Chancellor Brisbane after a 1.5hrs drive and quickly indulge in some last minute shopping. Do note that all hotels in the city charge for overnight car parking.
DAY 7: BRISBANE – BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Day 7 marked the final hours of our Sunshine Coast adventure as we check out of the hotel and drove just about 20min to Brisbane International Airport where we return our rental car( factoring in at least 2 hours prior for all international departures). It was definitely a lovely self-drive vacation and one that we will not forget for a long time, probably never.
With its lush rainforest, sand dunes for days and over 100 freshwater lakes, world-heritage listed Fraser Island or as the Butchulla people call it, ‘K’gari’ (meaning paradise) is the island to be on for your next holiday!
Here’s why you need to visit:
1. YOU CAN COOL OFF IN THE CRYSTAL-CLEAR WATERS OF LAKE MCKENZIE
The silica sand is so pure that it acts as a filter, giving the Lake McKenzie water incredible clarity.
2. SAND DUNES FOR DAYS
In fact, Fraser Island is the biggest sand island with World Heritage status so of course it’s riddled with sweet dunes.
3. MEET THE LOCAL ‘GOOD BOY’
Well, he’s not the only one. There are a few dingos on the island.
4. FLOAT DOWN ELI CREEK
Yet another crystal-clear waterway (there are heaps). However, this one meets the ocean and pours about four million liters of fresh water into the sea every hour!
5. MARVEL AT THIS OL’ GAL
The S.S. Maheno beached on Fraser Island in 1935 and its rusting wreck makes for one sweet pic (even if you can’t hold a handstand long enough to grab this shot).
6. CHILL IN THIS NATURAL JACUZZI
The waves crash into the pools and once they settle, you’re left with fizzing foam. Hence their name: Champagne Pools.
7. HAVE YOURSELF A WHALEY COOL EXPERIENCE
From August to October, you can watch humpback whales nurture their playful calves in Fraser Island’s protective waters.
8. ENJOY A SUMMER SUNSET WITH #BAE
Fraser Island is 123km of natural sand beauty, so it’d be wrong not to sit on the beach and watch the sun disappear into the ocean.
9. THE REAL STARRY NIGHT
(Excuse the van Gogh pun) But seriously though, the beauty continues even after dusk.
7D6N Southern Queensland Road Trip
(with Fraser Island) Stopover: Fraser Island, Hervey Bay, Hinterland & Brisbane Price: from $1,395/pax Includes: Accommodation, Car Rental, Day to Day Drive Itinerary, 2D1N Fraser Island Explorer Tour with 2 Lunches, 1 Breakfast and 1 Dinner
Go on a visual journey through some of Australia’s most incredible pieces of nature.
Brimming with waterfalls, dreamy coastlines and rugged terrains, Australia has more to offer than just coffee, art and food. So pack your bags and get ready for remarkable views of natural landscapes, each one more alluring than the next in the Land Down Under!
KAKADU NATIONAL PARK, NORTHERN TERRITORY
Experience some of nature’s most breathtaking wonders at the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, an outback oasis that springs to life in the summer with majestic waterfalls and lush flora!
An estimated three-hour drive from Darwin; admire waterfalls that leap from 150-meter-high cliffs into deep plunge pools at the Jim Jim.
In full flood during the region’s tropical summer, between late November to March, it is best to see the thundering power and majesty of these waterfalls via a scenic helicopter flight during this time.
Or take a serene boat cruise on the swollen Magela Creek and float through scenic paperbark forests — an unmissable wet-season only experience.
4 Days 3 Nights Explore Darwin (Coach Tour) Travel dates: NOW – 31 March 2019 Price: from $620/pax Includes: Accommodation, Airport Transfer, Full Day Litchfield National Park Waterfalls Tour & Choice of ONE of: Kakadu National Park Tour OR Katherine Gorge Cruise and Edith Falls Tour
It may be a three-hour drive from Melbourne, but Grampians National Park is otherworldly with rugged mountain ranges and majestic canyons, gorges and rolling valleys as far as the eye can see.
Take in the grandeur of the Grampians from the Balconies, a viewing platform that is just a 30-minute walk from the car park. Keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife such as emus, wedge-tailed eagles, koalas and kangaroos.
Admire rocky escarpments, deep gorges, misty waterfalls (at least four are accessible on foot including one of Australia’s most stunning waterfalls, MacKenzie Falls — explore the walking trails with an aboriginal guide). From September to November, be mesmerized by carpets of colorful wildflowers or from July to August enjoy the winter fun in Mt Buller, just a three hours away from Melbourne City.
5 Days 4 Nights Melbourne Ski Fun Travel dates: 01 July 2018 – 31 August 2019 Price: from $940/pax Includes: Accommodation, Airport Transfer, Full Day Mt Buller Coach Tour
Few places in Australia can compete with the beauty of Freycinet National Park in Tasmania, which is loaded with natural assets, including dramatic pink granite peaks, pristine sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters.
Lounge on one of the world’s top 10 beaches at Wineglass Bay, a mere two-and-a-half hour drive out of Hobart, or take a refreshing dip in the curved bay’s sapphire waters. To end your day on the right note, make sure you have a good view of the granite mountains of the Hazards at sundown, as they glow pink in the light of sunset.
6 Days 5 Nights Tasmania Drive Travel dates: NOW – 31 March 2019 Price: from $970/pax Includes: Accommodation, Car Rental, Strahan Gordon River Cruise, Day to Day Drive Itinerary
So, put Australia on your bucket list right now! Whether it’s a short trip to a family getaway or a relaxing road trip and farmstay, Jetabout Holidays has got you all covered!
Plus, find out how you can score $20 worth of Grab Credit!
Make the most of your annual leave this year with a list of Australia’s best, biggest and most electrifying events that promise a good time and good vibes only.
It’s that time of the year again, when you start marking out long weekends and public holidays on your calendar. And with Australia’s impressive line-up of festivals and events, there is plenty going on no matter where or when you choose to visit.
Here’s a snapshot of what you can experience Down Under — and why you need to start penciling in these dates now!
Cool down and snorkel with aquatic wildlife, savour the most Instagrammed soft serve and take your drinks sky-high — all in the same day! Is there any better way to spend a summer in Australia?
From unique, icy treats to rooftop bars with a twist, the country offers a spectacular range of experiences that are best enjoyed on a lazy summer’s day or night. Here’s a can’t-miss checklist of things to do down under for a summer you’ll never forget.
1. Keep Cool with Icy Treats
From rosé sorbets to artisanal ice pops, few things are as refreshing as these Aussie frozen treats.
Frosé at Mr Miyagi, Melbourne, Victoria
Knock back chilled glasses of candy-coloured frosé, a combination of rosé wine and strawberries frozen into a slurpee like concoction and served straight from the tap at Mr Miyagi, along Melbourne’s Chapel Street. Boasting pretty pink hues, a glittery, icy texture and topped with a delicate flower, this ultimate summer cocktail is bound to rake in the ‘Likes’ on Instagram.
Ice Pops from Delish Ice, Perth, Western Australia
Track down the classic Delish Ice caravans and carts, which can be found all around Perth, for your ice pop fix this summer. Peddling artisanal pops in inventive flavours such as basil and elderflower and watermelon lemonade, the light blue caravans also pump out infectious tunes from the swinging ‘60s for a deliciously retrolicious experience.
Dreamy Blue Soft Serve at Aqua S, Sydney, New South Wales
Get your hands on the prettiest soft serve that you will ever see at Aqua S, an ice cream parlour with three outlets across central Sydney. Expect pastel blue swirls of sea salt-flavoured soft serve, surrounded by candyfloss and caramel corn and topped with a toasted marshmallow. The parlour introduces new flavours fortnightly, and has featured innovative concoctions such as matcha cheesecake and honey lavender soft serves in the past.
2. Swim, Shop and Dine by the Beach
Dive into a world of outdoor summer fun on Australia’s beaches, waterfront restaurants and open-air shopping.
St Kilda Esplanade Market, Melbourne, Victoria
Browse the St Kilda Esplanade Market, a short 15-minute tram ride from the city. Open every Sunday, shop for one-of-a-kind artwork and jewellery from more than 140 stalls, and then fuel up with street food at the Flavours of the World Foodie section.
Visit in February for the St Kilda Festival, a summer music festival that combines performances, workshops and carnival rides against a spectacular shoreline.
Cottesloe Beach, Perth, Western Australia
Shake up your beachside dining experience at the Indiana Teahouse building, which sits on the shores of Cottesloe Beach. Just a 15-minute drive from Perth’s city centre, the art deco building houses a restaurant that serves wood-fired delicacies and local seafood, overlooking the Indian Ocean. Then, head down to the beach for a refreshing dip in the cool ocean waters or have fish and chips by the beach.
Shelly Beach, Sydney, New South Wales
Say hello to adventure at this gorgeous beach, tucked around the corner from Manly’s main beach, and just a 15-minute fast ferry ride from Sydney’s CBD. Snorkel in the protected marine reserve, alongside blue gropers, cuttlefish and sea dragons. When you’re ready for some grub, head over to The Boathouse Shelly Beach to tuck into Australian cuisine with a modern twist, including fresh, locally-caught seafood.
3. Go Sky-High
From outdoor cinemas to clifftop beer gardens, Australia’s rooftop venues are the perfect way to spend the summer months in good company and spirits.
Rooftop Cinema, Melbourne, Victoria
Catch cult classic movies like Home Alone and The Goonies or new releases like Dunkirk and Blade Runner2049 at the Rooftop Cinema, located at the top of Curtin House in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.
Open from December to March, the open-air cinema is a casual affair, allowing you to bring drinks and snacks from the rooftop bar to your seats.
Scarborough Hotel, Sydney, New South Wales
Offering 180-degree views of the stunning coastline between Sydney and Wollongong, the Scarborough Hotel is perched on the clifftops and offers one of Australia’s best hotel beer gardens. Pop down to the Scarborough Beach for a quick dip, then walk back up to the hotel and settle in for an afternoon of beers, wines and bites with spectacular views.
Looking to shake up your farm-to-table food experience? Then, make your next holiday destination Australia. On the menu this summer in Australia: country air and lots of fresh fruit. Be dazzled by colourful fruit bowls, bottled preserves and pick-your-own fun at fruit farms offering affordable activities for everyone, just a short trip away from the big cities. Australia’s fruit-picking season is open for a limited time only, so what are you waiting for?
Australia’s summer is bountiful with fruit-picking adventures, hands-on bottling workshops and a wide selection of juicy produce available — that’s right, it’s not just about strawberries! Besides being tasty and fun, fruit picking has the added benefit of not creating a dent in your bank account!
Rayners Orchard, Victoria
Come for the orchard tours and stay for the fruit-themed activities at Rayners Orchard, just under a 90-minute drive from Melbourne, in the Yarra Valley.
Home to over 450 types of fruit, including peaches and apricots between December and March as well as unique mixed varieties such as pluots, a hybrid of apricots and plums, and nectarplum, a fruit with both nectarine and plum traits, the farm offers tractor tours around its orchard daily. On these fruit-fest tours, sample up to 12 types of fruit.
For more hands-on fun, opt for a U-Pick tour that lets you pick as many fruits as you like daily for just A$5 per kilogram! Or create the perfect souvenir at a fruit-bottling workshop — free for kids accompanied by at least two adults.
What better way to celebrate the Australian summer than with a day spent on a beautiful apple orchard?
Treat your taste buds to a wide range of crisp, apple produce, including cider, jam and apple vinegar, from Apple Shack in Glenbernie Orchard, just over an hour’s drive from Sydney. Fill your basket with apples, peaches and nectarines from the orchard between November and April and be sure to feast on all the raspberries you can eat!
If you prefer your fruits small and sweet, then Hillwood Berry Farm in scenic Tamar Valley, Tasmania is the place to be this summer.
Just 30 minutes north of Launceston, the family-owned farm offers pick-your-own experiences that lets you pluck strawberries (from November to May), raspberries and blackcurrants straight off the vine for just A$10 per kilogram.
Once you have filled your punnet to the brim, make a beeline for the on-site café, open daily from 9am to 5pm, for scones and homemade berry jam, and its famous Super Deluxe Ice Cream Sundae. The farm also sells a range of cheese and wine, made from grapes next door, for a true farm-gate experience! Kids will be delighted by the farm’s menagerie, which includes ducks, dogs, sheep and even a cockatoo.
It’s not just about beer or wine in Australia. Craft spirits and cider are raising the bar too
Tired of your usual watering holes? While Singapore might be home to a long list of cocktail bars, Australia has something even better: independently owned distilleries and breweries that offer an exclusive look — and taste — at how some of the world’s best craft drinks are made. Here are three in Australia you need to visit:-
Distillery Botanica, Erina, New South Wales
Gin enthusiasts, this one’s for you. Located on the Central Coast, just a 90-minute drive north from Sydney, Distillery Botanica, recently won Australia’s first gold medal for gin at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, Helmed by expert distiller Philip Moore, Distillery Botanica specialises in spirits using native Australian botanicals such as Illawarra plum, grown in the grounds.
Stop by the tasting room for a range of fragrant gins including the award-winning Moore’s Vintage Dry Gin, and the limited-edition Rather Royal Gin made with eight ingredients picked from the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney.
Toast with a glass of whisky at Sullivans Cove, recognised for having the world’s best single malt whisky at the 2014 World Whiskies Awards.
A mere 20 minutes by car from Hobart, the distillery offers whisky tours and tastings. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how one of the world’s most desired single malt whiskies is made. Then, relax with a dram or three of whisky carefully crafted with Tasmanian-only ingredients. Aficionados will be pleased to know that every barrel of whisky is bottled individually, ensuring that each bottle comes with its own unique flavour, aroma and colour.
If you prefer something lighter and sweeter with a hint of sparkle, then drop by CORE Cider House located just 35 minutes from Perth city.
This fourth-generation family farm offers artisan cider tasting sessions, wine trails and apple orchard tours, which include fruit-picking from January to August and a hearty farm-to-table lunch overlooking the orchards. From sparkling apple and lemon to pear flavours, tickle your taste buds with a range of orchard-bred ciders from the only Western Australian cidery to win the “Best in Class” award at the Australian Cider Awards.
Home to weekend farmers’ markets, rolling lavender farms and off-road cycling trails — who says that these South Australian and Tasmanian cities are only known for the finer things in life?
These cities in Australia’s southern states may be known for their laid-back atmosphere and gentle pace, but there is actually plenty to see and do — at wallet-friendly prices. Be it shopping at bustling farmers’ markets or riding the longest single-span chairlift in the world, it’s non-stop action for visitors.
Adelaide, South Australia
No matter the season, the South Australian capital will let you sample the best of Australia — from food hubs to wildlife and interactive nature — at inexpensive prices.
Explore the city on two wheels by hiring an Adelaide Free Bike from one of 20 locations in the city, complete with a helmet and bicycle lock for free. Take the leisurely River Torrens Linear Park Trail, which runs through the city to the coastal suburb of Henley Beach. Pack a picnic to enjoy on the beach or unwind at one of the many cafés in Henley Square.
Or ride to Adelaide Central Market, in the heart of the city, where you can stop and sample a mouth-watering array of fresh, homegrown produce. Shop for locally farmed seafood, gourmet cheeses and pastries across more than 80 stalls at reasonable prices or join a market tour, which includes generous tastings of local produce and coffee or tea. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, it has free entry — and complimentary Wi-Fi service for those planning to document their food adventures on social media in real-time.
Take a walk on the wild side at Adelaide Zoo, Australia’s second oldest zoo and home to more than 3,000 animals. Enjoy a free guided tour, or pay for a range of special experiences, including a chance to mingle with a penguin colony and handfeed lions, for just under A$50 each.
For a breath of fresh air (literally!), visit the Adelaide Botanic Garden. Offering year-round, free access to all, the Garden spans landscaped greenery and stunning architecture, including a must-see Victorian glasshouse with a fascinating collection of plants from the ancient island of Madagascar. If you are travelling with kids, drop by the Little Sprouts Kitchen Garden for a sensory playtime session with vegetables, fruits and herbs.
Whether it is unique food or affordable adventures that you are after, Tasmania’s two main cities have it all.
Be sure to visit Salamanca Market in Hobart, the Tasmanian capital, which houses over 300 stalls offering an array of products from delectable coffees and cakes to Tasmanian art and crafts. Open on Saturday mornings, the marketplace is the perfect spot for those in search of local bites and gifts at great prices.
When visiting Launceston, Tasmania’s second biggest city, drop by nearby Bridestowe Lavender Estate. Home to one of Tasmania’s most beautiful sights between November and February, it’s the one-stop shop for all things lavender. Watch the grounds come alive for just A$10 during flower season, or enter for free during off peak season. Those visiting between December and February also enjoy a complementary guided tour. Shop for unique souvenirs, such as hand creams, soaps and Bobbie, the famous lavender-filled heat pack bear. Or, head to the Woodcroft Café on the estate for lavender ice cream and brownies.
No visit to Launceston is complete without a stop at Cataract Gorge, just a stone’s throw away from central Launceston. It’s home to the world’s longest single-span chairlift, which is a must-visit for adventure and nature lovers alike. View rugged cliffs and the river from above in an eight-minute ride, before cooling off in the free outdoor swimming pool open from November to March. End your visit with a barbecue or picnic amid exotic plants and the occasional peacock or wallaby. The variety of free yet fun things to do ensure it’s a must-not miss experience.