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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Encountering Vivid Sydney, NSW in Winter

Ever wondered how to maximize your holiday in Sydney & Surrounds in Winter? Curious what’s the fuss about with Vivid Sydney? Through this story, you will get to know about a rustic adventure in this destination that’s regularly voted the best world’s city for its natural beauty, iconic artsy landmarks and spectacular harbor! Stay ahead knowing what to do in Sydney & Surrounds during winter and witness their unique combination of cosmopolitan and coastal lifestyle over a span of one week or check out our 4-Nights Vivid Sydney Special package, starting from SGD695*!

 

Day 1: Flight Departure

On the day of departure, I scurried along to spent some of my free time touring around Qantas Singapore Lounge before boarding my flight to Sydney with Qantas at 11.50pm.

Situated at Terminal 1, I found their dining experience very intriguing topped with excellency in service set in a local vibrant scene. You’ll have that luxury space in designated lounge area that allows you to relax before or after dining!

Say and bid goodbye to Singapore and boarded QF6! The flight from Singapore to Sydney takes approx. 8 hours. But my flight hours does seem shorter because if you’re flying with Qantas, regardless of seat class, your flight comes with food, drinks, generous luggage allowance and entertainment. So have no worries you’d be bored!

You’ll be spoilt for choices the moment you realize their “International Inflight Entertainment” offers vast selection of over 1500 entertainment options. From top and new releases movies, TV Programs, Music options, radio channels and even latest news!

Day 2: Black Star Pastry, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney Tower Buffet & Vivid Sydney

This bakery features a contemporary yet innovative design of seating where it fits well either if you just want to have a quick catch up with friends, outing with families or even for a meeting appointment!

For coffee lovers, don't worry! Cos they offers amazing coffee and other choice of drinks as well from ice tea to milkshake.

Toast and breads are served too!

Freshly prepared tarts

Other than the must try Strawberry Melon Cake, we also ordered Raspberry & Lychee Cake. The taste? It's refreshing and decadent at the same time!

Fully satisfied with the Eclaire. So soft and the chocolate filling is just perfect.

Pistachio Lemon Zen Cake! The sweetness of the top layer of pistachio is balanced out with the lemon layer in the middle.

But still the Strawberry Melon Cake is my most favourite! The layered is very fresh, creamy and is not sweetness overload. This is definetely the winner! <3

Upon reaching Sydney around 10am, I made a transfer to our coach and adjourned to our first lunch stop at Black Star Pastry, Roseberry Branch! This bakery has two more branches: one at Newtown and one at George Street. So, let’s start lunching! Did you know that this bakery’s signature cake ‘Strawberry Watermelon Cake’ is Sydney’s most instagramm-ed cake ever? Enough said, we must try it and let you know! Topped with rose sprinkles and layered with almond dacquoise, light cream and a slice of cool watermelon and juicy strawberries, the dessert tasted so good!

For those who don’t like sweet tasting food, try the savory delicacies from gluten-free bread to vegan option such as salads!

Sydney's winter street leading us to Sydney Opera House!

Sydney's winter street leading us to Sydney Opera House!

Sydney's winter street leading us to Sydney Opera House!
Sydney's winter street leading us to Sydney Opera House!
Sydney Harbour Bridge, another Sydney's iconic landmarks!

Sydney Harbour Bridge, another Sydney's iconic landmarks!

Sydney Harbour Bridge, another Sydney's iconic landmarks!
Stunning Architecture. Stands in the centre of Sydney's city is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

Stunning Architecture. Stands in the centre of Sydney's city is the cathedral church of the Roman Ca

It is definitely a thrilling experience when you’re at Sydney, much like those you had watching a live performance instead of watching videos. At Sydney Opera House, you’ll find a lot of bars and restaurants surrounding the Sydney Opera House with beautiful people around and a very good ambiance and Sydney culture is always interesting, I spotted a Japanese street artist who was working on his skills to draw Sydney Opera House to perfection!

I also enjoyed the view of Sydney Harbour Bridge, another Sydney’s iconic landmarks! And not too far away, I caught a glimpse of a stunning architecture. This historical building stands in the centre of Sydney’s city, renowned as the St Mary’s Cathedral Church and is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.

Bidding farewell to the SOH, it was time for the enchanting Royal Botanic Garden Sydney – a tranquil oasis to visit on the foreshore of one of the world’s greatest natural harbours. You’ll enjoy the spectacular views and don’t forget to take memorable photographs of Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House, and Sydney Harbour Bridge and one of the best vantage points in Sydney, the Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.

Some photos I took from Royal Botanic Garden Sydney:

It was time for dinner and i ventured to Sydney Tower Buffet at Sydney Tower– a revolving restaurant in dark mahogany famous for the delicious buffet or dinner with the sweeping 360° views of the city skyline!

1,000 feet (305m) high on the city’s tallest building, the restaurant slowly rotates to provide a 360-degree view of Sydney!

First time to try the kangaroo meat cooked with 9 spizes! Hmm... Not to my liking 🙁

American glazed bbq pork belly!

The restaurant is located approx. 1,000 feet (305m) high on the city’s tallest building and i was delighted to be served with more than 50 freshly-prepared dishes on the buffet line including fresh seafood, Australian, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Thai! It was also my first time to try the Kangaroo meat cooked in 9 spices! Although, well, it was not to my liking. But overall, the food was great, accompanied with the lovely ambience and of course, the glimpse of Vivid Lights from up high!

As the day was getting late, I checked into Rydges Sydney Central, my accommodation for the next 3 nights at Sydney. The exterior of the hotel was very pleasing and inviting. The room was clean, spacious and comfortable enough.

The view from my window! 

The view from my window! 

Nestled within walking distance to World Square and numerous restaurants and shops as well as a Coles Supermarket, this hotel is truly recommend for all age groups, whether is for group tours or free & easy travellers. And though the hotel is a bit far from The Rocks or Circular Quay, that’s the least to worry about because it is an easy walk to Central Station!

After a satisfying dinner, it was time for Vivid Sydney! For those who is new to Vivid Sydney, this spectacular event was held on 27 May – 18 June 2016. Widely known as the festival of lights, music and ideas, it was the largest event of its kind in Australia with a world-class line-up of light sculptures, concerts, idea exchanges and creative workshops and conferences.

At Vivid Sydney, I was mesmerized with the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, all lighted up with different light projections. Beautiful displays of art, colors and lights were also projected on the buildings align with this year’s theme ‘Paint the Town’ at Circular Quay. In addition to the awesome lights, there’s also musician randomly performing on the side of the streets!

Beautiful displays of art, colours and lights, projected on the buildings align with this year's theme 'Paint the Town' at Circular Quay!

Beautiful displays of art, colours and lights, projected on the buildings align with this year's the

The street lights. Awesome, right?

The street lights. Awesome, right?

The street lights. Awesome, right?
Stunning Sydney Harbour Bridge in Vivid Lights <3

Stunning Sydney Harbour Bridge in Vivid Lights <3

Stunning Sydney Harbour Bridge in Vivid Lights <3
In addition to the awesome lights, there's also musician randomly performing on the side of the streets

In addition to the awesome lights, there's also musician randomly performing on the side of the stre

Sydney's city lights

Sydney's city lights

I was like a small kid, jumping around, so excited to see all the beautiful lights and colours. Aesthetically pleasing and for the cost of $0, I experienced a night in wonderland! Lights off at 11pm and goes off for another year, but Vivid Sydney, you’ve been magical!

Day 3: Sydney HeliTours, Carriageworks Farmers Market, Darling Harbour, The Rocks Market & Taronga Zoo Sydney

Just when I thought nothing could surpass my expectation after last night, I ended up going for another type of Sydney experience – Sydney HeliTours!

I hop on the 7 seater helicopter and the staffs explained carefully in regards to the safety procedure before we took off. Lucky enough, I was seated next to the pilot!

Seconds after we fly off, i was amazed by the spectacular Sydney skyline! Had the privilege to see two Sydney’s most iconic landmarks: Sydney Opera House & Sydney Harbour Bridge, 1000ft above the ground! Which one of these would you pick as a postcard?

My first scenic heli-ride has been truly spectacular! It was an unforgettable 20 minutes ride over Sydney’s eastern coastline: Congee Beach, Bondi Beach and Manly Cove to Sydney’s iconic landmarks: aerial view of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge! And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be seeing humpback whales near Bondi Beach as a bonus!

Soon arriving over the Harbour Bridge!

Soon arriving over the Harbour Bridge!

Soon arriving over the Harbour Bridge!
Soon arriving over the Harbour Bridge!
Flying over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House

Flying over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House

Flying over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House
We even managed to see rainbow as well <3

We even managed to see rainbow as well <3

Friendly pilot and very knowledgeable, with a great guided tour of the city, also a bonus of seeing humpback whales near Bondi beach, if you’re lucky enough!

Friendly pilot and very knowledgeable, with a great guided tour of the city, also a bonus of seeing

Friendly pilot and very knowledgeable, with a great guided tour of the city, also a bonus of seeing humpback whales near Bondi beach, if you’re lucky enough!
Friendly pilot and very knowledgeable, with a great guided tour of the city, also a bonus of seeing humpback whales near Bondi beach, if you’re lucky enough!
Friendly pilot and very knowledgeable, with a great guided tour of the city, also a bonus of seeing humpback whales near Bondi beach, if you’re lucky enough!
Awesome ride! Big thanks to Sydney Heli Tours!

Awesome ride! Big thanks to Sydney Heli Tours!

The waiting room!

The waiting room!

After the exciting Heli Tours, i was overwhelmed with the amazing New South Wales’s produce at the award-winning, Carriage works Farmers Market. With bustling with mix of local, tourist crowds, friendly stallholders and the smell of great local produce wafting through the air from cheese, nuts, bread stalls and flowers, this market is a must to visit in Sydney! Don’t forget to taste the famous Billy Kwong’s sensational steamed pork buns, the “Steamed Pork Bun in House Chilli”!

Don't forget to try the famous Billy Kwong's "Steamed Pork Bun in House Chilli" at Carriageworks Farmers Market, #Sydney! 💋

Don't forget to try the famous Billy Kwong's "Steamed Pork Bun in House Chilli" at Carriageworks Far

Say hi to Billy Kwong's wonderful dumplings with gingers and vinegars at

Say hi to Billy Kwong's wonderful dumplings with gingers and vinegars at

Say hi to Billy Kwong's wonderful dumplings with gingers and vinegars at
Say hi to Billy Kwong's wonderful dumplings with gingers and vinegars at
From 8am to 1pm every Saturday, find the amazing NSW produce, directly from growers and producers, only @carriageworksfarmersmarket

From 8am to 1pm every Saturday, find the amazing NSW produce, directly from growers and producers, o

From 8am to 1pm every Saturday, find the amazing NSW produce, directly from growers and producers, only @carriageworksfarmersmarket
From 8am to 1pm every Saturday, find the amazing NSW produce, directly from growers and producers, only @carriageworksfarmersmarket
From 8am to 1pm every Saturday, find the amazing NSW produce, directly from growers and producers, only @carriageworksfarmersmarket
From 8am to 1pm every Saturday, find the amazing NSW produce, directly from growers and producers, only @carriageworksfarmersmarket
From 8am to 1pm every Saturday, find the amazing NSW produce, directly from growers and producers, only @carriageworksfarmersmarket
From 8am to 1pm every Saturday, find the amazing NSW produce, directly from growers and producers, only @carriageworksfarmersmarket
From 8am to 1pm every Saturday, find the amazing NSW produce, directly from growers and producers, only @carriageworksfarmersmarket
From 8am to 1pm every Saturday, find the amazing NSW produce, directly from growers and producers, only @carriageworksfarmersmarket

Then, I continued my day to Darling Harbour, an excellent place to visit and see the best of Sydney, Here’s a mandatory shot of Darling Harbour before visiting SEA Life Aquarium & Madame Tussauds Sydney.

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Darling Harbour

Madame Tussauds Sydney, SEA LIFE Sydney & Australian Wildlife are just located side by side at Darling Harbour. Due to time constraint, I only managed to visit Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE Sydney. There’s so many exciting things to discover, yet there’s just too little time!

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Sea LIfe Aquarium Sydney

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is a great attraction to experience especially with kids. You will learn a lot of marine life while enjoying your time there. The display is lively, surreal and entertaining. You could also see hundreds of tiny fish, crabs and other sea creatures. Spot some pretty jellyfish in my photos? I had a joyful experience during my time spent indoor sheltered from the breeze for a while.

With life like figures and interactivity at every turn, you’ll meet world leaders, sports heroes, A-listers and music stars at the Madame Tussauds Sydney!

Let's run💃

Let's run💃

Taylor Swift!

Taylor Swift!

Life-size wax replicas of Rihanna!

Life-size wax replicas of Rihanna!

Be the queen for the day!

Be the queen for the day!

Be the queen for the day!

I then headed to Waterfront Restaurant at Circular Quay for lunch! Who doesn’t love comfort food with great atmosphere? You’ll see amazing Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House while having your lunch or dinner. See the DELICIOUS Seafood Platter! Bon appetite!

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Waterfront Restaurant, Circular Quay

After a satisfying meal, I walked to the charming The Rocks Markets! Opens every Saturday and Sunday and nestled only at the doorstep of the CBD, you’ll be genuinely surprised with the lovely atmosphere of the local pubs along with the colourful laneways and over 200 stalls of little street vendors selling dresses, bags, one-off jewellery to original artworks and prints.

I spent around 30 minutes strolling around, watching the street vendors showcasing their talents from paintings to handmade kangaroo souvenir made of quality wood. Keep a look out for Australian souvenirs to take home with you when you’re here!

The unique handmade jewellery!

The unique handmade jewellery!

The unique handmade jewellery!
The unique handmade jewellery!
Street vendors selling his authentic paintings.

Street vendors selling his authentic paintings.

Street vendors selling his authentic paintings.

If you’re craving for Asian comfort food, a visit to Fortune Village Chinese Restaurant is a must! Voted as TOP 20 Restaurants in Sydney by TripAdvisor, this restaurant serves fabulous and tasty Chinese food. Kudos to their brilliant service as well!

Brilliant service & fabulous food!

Brilliant service & fabulous food!

Brilliant service & fabulous food!
Appetizer consisting of Lamb, Chicken and Duck wrap

Appetizer consisting of Lamb, Chicken and Duck wrap

Later in the night, I made my way to Taronga Zoo Sydney as they were presenting “Be The Light for the Wild” at Taronga Zoo Sydney. This is the first year they has participated in Vivid, as part of the Zoo’s Centenary Celebrations. The zoo was transformed into a sparkling after-dark destination.

Who can resist this amazing lights? 💙

Who can resist this amazing lights? 💙

Who can resist this amazing lights? 💙
Who can resist this amazing lights? 💙
Who can resist this amazing lights? 💙
Who can resist this amazing lights? 💙
Who can resist this amazing lights? 💙
Who can resist this amazing lights? 💙
Who can resist this amazing lights? 💙
Who can resist this amazing lights? 💙
Who can resist this amazing lights? 💙

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Sydney includes ten giant animal multimedia light sculptures from elephant, spider, marine turtle to platypus. These animals represents the ten critical species from Australia and Sumatra that Taronga Zoo Sydney is committed to protecting. Here’s some photos, all lit-up for Vivid Sydney! Absolutely one of the best Vivid Experience for families!

Day 4: Australian Museums, Featherdale Wildlife Park, Blue Mountains, Bygone Beauty

Day 4 started with a stop to the oldest museum in Australia known as Australia National Museum after checking out from Rydges Sydney Central. The museum showcases some great exhibits of WILD PLANET where you can meet the nature’s giants with the likes of Asian Elephant and Giraffe. Dare yourself to come face-to-face with a Lion, Tiger and Bear! If you have soft spot for furry cuddly animals, see also the Australian Koala and be dazzled by massed displays of butterflies, beetles, and of course the dinosaurs, and it’s free admission for all year. Opens from 9am to 5pm, this museum appeals to adults and youngsters, definitely worth a visit of your time in Sydney!

Another historic attraction that is very popular is the Australian National Maritime Museum, also situated conveniently at Darling Harbour. You will retrace history of Australia’s navy when exploring a tall ship or submarine as this centre covers maritime collections, exhibitions, research and archaeology. You’ll appreciate the exhibits through story told from a local perspective, while enjoying hands-on experience of the submarine and destroyer!

Now that you’ve seen Australian history through artefacts and tours, you should watch the navy life in motion from cinematic to virtual reality tour. Known as Action Stations located at the Australian National Maritime Museum, this stop is an exciting new way to experience the navy’s history by watching a thrilling short film on a giant screen on the compelling history of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN)!

And have you been inside a submarine? I certainly have not until I got a chance to cross off my one of my bucket list in Sydney! Go on and fulfil your sense of curiosity, visit the secret world of submarine warfare brought exclusively to Australian National Maritime Museum. You can actually walk on board a real-life submarine, HMAS Onslow. Did you know this submarine was decommissioned in 1999, just weeks before coming to the museum?

Aboard a real-life submarine HMAS ONSLOW! We explore the secret world of submarine warfare. This submarine was decommissioned in 1999, just weeks before coming to the museum!

Aboard a real-life submarine HMAS ONSLOW! We explore the secret world of submarine warfare. This sub

Aboard a real-life submarine HMAS ONSLOW! We explore the secret world of submarine warfare. This submarine was decommissioned in 1999, just weeks before coming to the museum!

Later in the afternoon, I boarded our coach and Blue Mountains, here I come! I would spend my last 2 nights there. I was excited to see the breath-taking scenery of The Three Sisters and of course, to ride the Scenic Railway – the steepest railway in the world!

Blue Mountains is just an hour drive from Sydney city and an obvious stop to Featherdale Wildlife Park is an along your way to Blue Mountains is a must! After around 40 minutes’ drive, we stopped at Featherdale Wildlife Park. This park is the leading wildlife tourist attraction in Sydney which specialised in Australian native wildlife and birds! I spent few hours here, hand feeding a kangaroo, wallaby, emu and had a face-to-face encounter with the friendly cuddly koalas. I was treated to the sightings of birds too, from parrots, cockatoos to emu and even reptiles. It was worth every second of my time spent there!

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Entrance, Featherdale Wildlife Park

Met the adorable wallaby, the middle-sized marsupial mammals of the kangaroo family. They were so so so cute! Who could resist the cuteness of these little wallabies? For sure, I couldn’t! ????

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Wallaby, Featherdale Wildlife Park

You will get to meet different types of koalas on your visit to the wildlife park!

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Koalas, Featherdale Wildlife Park

 

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Sleeping Koalas, Featherdale Wildlife Park

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There are also penguins in the park too! I was surprised and pleased to know that the pens and cages were all very clean, meaning the wildlife animals here are always so healthy and in a good condition. This went above my average expectation!

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Penguins, Featherdale Wildlife Park
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Wombats, Featherdale Wildlife Park

Didn’t these kangaroos look like they were sun tanning?

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Kangaroos, Featherdale Wildlife Park

Friendly kangaroos at your knees! These two must be so hungry seeing how little grass there was during this winter season!

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You wouldn’t want to miss these large collection of birds as well! From parrots, cockatoos to emu.

There’s also reptiles as well, of course!

Next stop lined up is Three Sisters, an iconic formation in Blue Mountains, on the north of Jamison Valley where you have to visit at least once in your lifetime.

Aboriginal legend has it that there are three sisters named ‘Meehni’, ‘Wimlah’ and ‘Gunnedoo’ who fell in love with three brothers from a different tribe, however their marriage was forbidden by tribal law. The three bothers were unhappy and decided to capture the three sisters ensuing a battle that caused a powerful tribal elder to turn the sisters into stone to protect them. The elder was supposed to reverse the spell, but he was killed when the battle was over so no one could reverse the spell to return the sisters back. Thus, the sisters served as an eternal reminder of the battle until today.

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The Three Sisters, the Blue Mountains
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The view of the Three Sisters from Echo Point Lookout
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The pathway to Echo Point Lookout

Three Sisters Walk, in Katoomba, offers some of the most iconic views in Blue Mountains National Park, and takes you up close to the famous Three Sisters.

It was a close 400m walk to the Three Sisters from the Echo Point lookout. From here, you will spot a set of stairs that leads down to the Honeymoon Bridge. This is where you can actually walk into the first of the Three Sisters! The stairs down was a little challenging for me because it was pretty steep and narrow, but the view from the bridge is absolutely spectacular <3

After a good trekking, reward yourself with delicious lunch served at The Lookout, Echo Point!

You can still explore Sydney’s nature further while resting up in this next stop – Scenic World. Scenic World is a must when you visit Blue Mountains. Located just 90mins from Sydney, experience Blue Mountains in 4 ways, from Scenic Railway (the steepest railway in the world), a Skyway and Cableway (cable car tour), and Walkway (a long walk through the rainforest). Upon admission, you will go through wristband ticketing system, making this a pretty seamless tour!

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Scenic World, the Blue Mountains

First activity to you must try is the worlds steepest scenic railway! The Railway will descend 310 metres through a cliff-side tunnel, emerging into ancient rainforest at the Jamison Valley floor.

Did you know that passengers are allowed to choose their own adventures as the seats are adjustable up to 20degrees? From the adventurous ‘Cliffhanger’ ride at a steep 64 degree incline or for those seeking a relaxed journey select the ‘Laid Back’ option and of course, loyal fans can still ride the ‘Original’ at 52 degrees!

The view of the Three Sisters from the Jamison ValleyFrom Scenic Railyway, I continued my journey to Scenic Walkway, strolling along the 2.4 kilometer ancient rain forest! It was a lovely walks with natural beauty along with the wide array of local flora, the sweet chirping of the native birds and for sure, a breath of fresh air in the rain forest!

 

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Maurice Cooper OAM, the owner of the Bygone Beautys

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My most favourite one, the elephant tea pot!

Day 5: Jenolan Caves – the Diamond Cave Tour

Around one hour drive from our hotel – Hydro Majestic Hotel, we reached Jenolan Village to join the Jenolan Caves Tour! For this trip, we chose Jewels of Jenolan – the Diamond Cave Tour.

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The entrance to the Jenolan Caves

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Gearing up to climb all the steps!

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The Diamond Cave Tour took about 1.5hrs, covering 386 steps! Along the way, I was delighted with the wonderland of pure and sparkling white crystal from tiny ones to the delicate helictites to some of Jenolan’s largest features!

It’s a great adventure on a cold winters day. The tour guide through the cave was very educational. What I enjoyed the most was learning all the information and just being inside of something so majestic!

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The tour culminates at the ‘Gem of the West’, an astonishing crystal formation of helictites, stalactites, stalagmites, shawls and wave crystal!

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The sparkling crystal.

 

After the tour, we will visit the Cave House and the Award-winning Chisolm’s Restaurant for lunch.

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Pathway to Chisolm’s Restaurant in winter

Heritage Valley view room at Hydro Majestic Hotel for the next two nights!

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The Hydro Majestic Blue Mountains

Woke up to this view of the valley from my room’s window!

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Day 6: Sunrise at Evans Lookout & The Grounds Of Alexandria

While waiting for sunrise at Evans Lookout, I tried to pose for a photo although the weather was super duper cold!

evans-lookout
Sunrise, Evans Lookout

If you’re seeking incredible views, especially around sunrise or sunset, head to Evans Lookout at Blackheath!

evans-lookout2
7.05am, sunrise at Evans Lookout, Blackheath

Stunning view at sunrise

Overlooking the sandstone cliffs of the Grose River Valley

the views of Grose River Valley

Stunning sunrise!

For café lovers, no visit to Sydney would be complete without stepping into The Grounds Of Alexandria! Located in a former industrial precinct from the 1920s, The Grounds of Alexandria is a landmark coffee roastery, café and sustainable garden known for its abundance of fresh produce and hands-on experiences!

The Grounds Of Alexandria!
The Grounds Of Alexandria, Sydney

Potting Shed3

Thinking back about my trip to Sydney from Singapore, I felt like my childhood was revived. One takeaway tip is always make sure that you have a decent accommodation, so you are well rested before another day of exploration. You’ll also be better off knowing the attractions you’ll be heading earlier to, so that you will put on a suitable attire

This beautiful city has left me with a lot of good memories behind, before you realized it you are constantly jumping around, like a little kid so mesmerized by the beauty of lights and the multitude of colours. Truly, a night in wonderland! Till next year, Sydney!


Check out our 4N Vivid Sydney & Blue Mountains Drive from only SGD695 per person Plus receive PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP WITH CANON IMAGING ACADEMY! *Limited to first 15 redemptions*
Highlights of this trip includes a Sydney Opera House Tour where you will get to learn the history of the Sydney Opera House along with details of the unique architectural design, visit the major performance venues and witness the famous Vivid LIVE lighting of the Sails first handAnother highlight is an exclusive tour to Sydney Fish Market. Visit also the famous Blue Mountains, Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk or Royal Botanic Gardens  for nature photography opportunity! Click here for MORE DETAILS!

Victoria Snowy Wonderland in Australia

Mention a snowy winter holiday and places that come to mind often involve a long plane ride to Europe or Canada. But there’s really no need to travel that far — there’s also plenty of snow Down Under. Snow season runs from 10 June until September — or when the snow ends!

Yes, we’re talking about Australia. The land more commonly known for its sunshine and wildlife is also home to magnificent snowscapes and many exciting winter activities for the whole family.

From June to September, gear up for the best of winter in the southern state of Victoria. Ski and snowboard down thrilling snowy trails and terrains or tumble about snowfields while making snow angels with your little ones. Just an eight-hour flight from Singapore, Victoria is the perfect mid-year winter getaway for those who can’t wait for a northern hemisphere winter in December!


GEAR UP FOR ADRENALINE…

Falls Creek, a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Melbourne in the Hume region, is Victoria’s largest alpine resort with a whopping 65 kilometres of slopes, trails and terrain parks. Sign up for ski or snowboarding lessons for adults and kids as young as three years old. And, whether you ski or not, hop on a snow tube for the unforgettable thrill of whizzing down a snowy mountain together as a family. The fearless member of the family can sit right in front!

Falls Creek, Victorias High Country Credit Mark Watson

Alternatively, experience the magic of skiing or snowboarding under the stars at Mount Buller, a three-hour drive northeast of Melbourne. The alpine resort offers a wide selection of slopes and terrains for ski enthusiasts by day, and the unique option of zipping down slopes when the sun goes down.


…OR TAKE IT EASY

Families and couples that prefer a more relaxed pace will enjoy the activities that Mount Buller has to offer. Embark on a leisurely snowshoe tour, soar above the mountains on a scenic chairlift ride and build a snowman in the middle of icy-white plains. Can’t agree on the colour of your snowman’s scarf? Settle it with a snow fight! Or make your very first snow angel but not without first bundling up against the cold.


BONUS: CUTENESS OVERLOAD
Sled Dog Tours at Mt Buller. Photo by Andrew Railton

Enter the totally pawsome world of dogsledding by hopping on one of Howling Huskys’ tours, at Mount Hotham — do pre book to avoid disappointment! Take off from one of Australia’s highest alpine villages, settle into your sled and let a pack of eager huskies zip you through maze-like backcountry routes and wide-open plateaus blanketed in snow.

For a more intimate encounter with these furry canines, follow them on a possum hunt under a garden of snow gums. And here’s a secret: these cuddly creatures are always up for a game of snowball catch!

Check out our 4-Nights Ski Melbourne package from only SGD695 per person Plus Receive FREE Expandable Luggage for DBS/POSB Credit Cardholders! *Terms apply
Highlights of this trip includes a Full Day Mt Buller Snow Adventure (with overnight transfer) where you can snowshoe walking, board riding, skiing, tobogganing or simply enjoy the village atmosphere! Click here for MORE DETAILS!


Featured Image credit: Mt Buller

The Perth-fect Long Weekend Getaway

Perth might just be the perfect destination for a long weekend getaway from Singapore. Good thing we have plenty of extended weekends to look forward to this year and many flight options for that extraordinary getaway!

With three long weekends coming up from April to June, why not consider Perth and start planning the perfect getaway pronto!

To top it off, there are budget-friendly flights that will leave you with more money to spend on experiences, such as the search for the tastiest desserts. Here’s a cheat sheet for the perfect long weekend escape in Perth!


WANDER THE WEEKEND MARKETS

Take a 30-minute train ride from Perth city or an hour-long scenic cruise down the Swan River to Fremantle Market (or Freo, as it’s known to locals). Open Fridays to Sundays, Freo has over 150 stalls selling everything from hand-stitched goods to local produce.

Fremantle markets, Credit Tourism Western Australia

The Market is also a launching pad for budding musicians and buskers, creating a vibrant atmosphere for you to soak in while shopping to your heart’s content.

Go fresh and stroll around the many farmers’ markets spread around Perth. A good one to not miss is the Perth City Farmers Market, about a 15-minute bus ride from the Central Business District (CBD). Nestled in an open-air café courtyard, the Saturday market offers organic produce and cooking and gardening workshops for those with time to spare.


EXPLORE PERTH’S CAFE

Cafés are a big thing in Australia — and Perth is no exception.

Send your taste buds into a flurry with salted caramel popcorn-flavoured doughnuts at The Banker Café or savour comfort food like polenta waffles and buttermilk chicken at May Street Larder. The Banker Café is a five-minute walk from Fremantle Market while May Street Larder is a 15-minute bus ride away.

Other café strips worth visiting are Murray Street and Barrack Street — both are less than a 10 minutes’ walk of Perth’s CBD. Drop by Carpe Coffee on Murray Street for some coffee and retro video games and Recess On Barrack for light bites and a cup of coffee in a spacious, stylish setting.


TAKE A #QUOKKASELFIE

Cap off your trip with an overload of cuteness at Rottnest Island, a short 25-minute ferry ride from Fremantle. Take selfies with families of quokkas, known as the happiest little animals in the world because of the permanent smiles on their faces. These native marsupials are used to people and will often come right up to you – perfect for an Instagram snap or two!

Quokka, Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Credit: Tourism Australia

Tip: Look out for traces of malteser-size poop pellets, which will lead you to the furry animals when you reach the island!

Check out our 4-Nights Perth Family Fun package from only SGD850 per person Plus Receive FREE Expandable Luggage for DBS/POSB Credit Cardholders! *Terms apply
Highlights of this trip includes a Perth & Fremantle City Tour and choice of 2 Full Day Tours where you can choose from Pinnacles & Sand Boarding Tour or Wave Rock Tour to Busselton Jetty Tour Click here for MORE DETAILS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Family Guide to Beautiful Brissie

Discover beautiful Brisbane, where the sun shines and exciting attractions await

Buzzing with an edgy arts scene, hip dining culture and wildlife attractions, Brisbane is fast becoming one of Australia’s most energetic cities. So pack your bags, grab your sunnies and get ready for some family fun in the capital city of Queensland!

 

Exploring by Foot and Ferry

Soak in the city’s welcoming weather by cruising down the Brisbane River. One of the best ways to explore the city is on this unusual form of public transport: the CityCat ferry. Take to the water and breeze around the riverside and inner city suburbs from St Lucia to Hamilton.

Brisbane River Credit Tourism and Events Queensland

Enjoy panoramic city views from the open-air deck, which definitely beats the view from behind a car windscreen, and plan your stops along the route to experience some of Brisbane’s trendiest suburbs. Feel like taking it easy? Stay put! A complete loop on the CityCat will show you most of the city and its stunning skylines. A local’s tip: it’s best to sit out front on a fine day to feel the fresh river breeze on your face.

If you would rather go exploring by foot, alight at New Farm Park to explore the Brisbane Riverwalk, which offers scenic views of the city skyline and surrounding greenery. Or book a walking tour with a Brisbane Greeter, a free public service to show you the best of Brisbane. Led by local volunteers, they will navigate with you through the numerous city or riverside precincts.

 

Family Feasting

What is a trip to Brisbane without a spot of shopping and coffee tasting? Take the ferry to Bulimba, just two stops down from New Farm Park, for an eclectic array of boutiques, bars and cafes, sure to thrill the shopaholic and caffeine junkie in you. Families can also tumble and play at Bulimba Park, which is filled with imaginative play equipment for the little ones.

Once you are done with shopping and playtime, relax at one of Bulimba’s famous cafes! Grab a perk-me-up espresso at Mugged along Oxford Street across from Bulimba Park, or satisfy your stomachs with a hearty brunch at the Southside Tea Room, a retrolicious café run by a local indie rock band. The café is about a 20-minute bus ride away from Mugged.

South Bank is another top destination, accessible by CityCat. Make the most of Brisbane’s weather by strolling along the South Bank Grand Arbour, a kilometre-long pedestrian walkway framed by beautiful bougainvillea flowers — and a perfect spot for an Instagram moodshot.

Make Some Furry Friends

Ready to meet some of Australia’s cutest natives? Visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, a 15-minute drive from the city in the riverside suburb of Fig Tree Pocket, and cuddle up to more than 130 koalas. Visitors can also hand-feed kangaroos without barriers — a popular activity for parents, children and animal lovers alike.

Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane, QLD CREDIT TOURISM AUSTRALIA

If you are looking to meet a wider variety of animals, then the Australia Zoo is the place to be. Owned by the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin’s family, the Zoo is located in Beerwah, about an hour’s drive north of Brisbane city at the base of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Tour the enclosures, catch a show, hand-feed native animals like wombats and dingos and watch out for mischievous leaping lemurs.

Foodie Extravaganza

There’s no need to break the bank for a family-friendly meal in Brisbane! Head to South Bank for a range of budget-friendly menus to suit any taste. From modern Australian and Middle Eastern, to Chinese cuisine, savour the different flavours of Brisbane while enjoying spectacular riverside views.

Got a sweet tooth? Embark on a Chocolate Tour, where you will be able to taste all things cocoa in as many as 11 different stores. Start at Mayfield Chocolates in inner-city Spring Hill, two kilometres north of the CBD, where you can fill your bags with chocolate lollipops and sweet kangaroos, which come in gluten- and daily-free options, too! And don’t miss Couverture & Co. in the suburb of Red Hill — a 30-minute bus ride away — for handcrafted chocolates – a sweet treat the whole family can enjoy together!

 

10 Breathtaking Locations Worth Driving For

During Australia’s spring season, Aussie Specialist, Cindy Loo and Jet Blogger, Jensen Chua headed for a self-drive trip around Sydney and Tasmania. Here are 10 amazing locations that have been shortlisted into this travel guide. Get to know which places in Australia they will recommended for anyone planning a Sydney or Tasmania roadtrip! Rev up your engines and get ready for an epic trip Down Under!

1. Tasmania Stop: Lake Pedder (Southern Lights)

Most people heard about Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, which are visible from places such as Norway, Iceland and Finland. But lucky for us in Asia, we need not go that far as there are the Southern Lights, also known as Aurora Australis. Tasmania is probably the best place to catch sight of the Southern Lights. To increase the probability of spotting this beautiful sight, it is recommended to stay as southerly as possible and Lake Pedder is one of the spots.

It was truly mesmerising to watch those vibrant colorful swirls of red, green, blue and purple dance across the skies. We were even lucky enough to catch sight of the Milky Way as well. Bucket list, checked!

2. Tasmania Stop: Mount Wellington, Hobart

Mt Wellington

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Hobart, Mount Wellington is a short 20 minutes’ drive away from the CBD. Boasting panoramic views of Hobart and the Derwent River below, it is certainly one of the most scenic spots in Tasmania. It felt as if we were floating among the clouds! During clear night skies, the Southern Lights can be spotted from here too. By the way, it’s much colder at the peak than at sea level, so make sure you bring along thick jackets.

3. Tasmania Stop: Curringa Farm, Hamilton

Curringa Farm Tasmania

Located one hour away from Hobart in Tasmania, Curringa Farm is an award winning 750 acre farm offering excellent accommodation, incredible forest trails and river views, as well as farm tour to see sheep shearing and adorable farm dogs working in the field! We had a sumptuous lunch at the farm as well – a delicious and juicy slab of Cape Grim Beef, which literally melted in our mouths with every bite. Also not to miss are the delicious freshly baked scones with home-made jam and cream! This experience was truly priceless – how we wished we never had to leave.

4. Tasmania Stop: Cradle Mountain Lake-St Clair National Park

Cradle Mountain Tasmania

We were pleasantly entranced by the rugged mountain, scenic landscapes, wealth of flora and fauna which greeted us when we entered the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. Cradle Mountain is also the starting point for the renowned Overland Track, a 6-day hike that will take you through captivating mountainous terrain for an epic  adventure, let us know if you’ve tried it! Cradle Mountain also have a conservation facility in the national park, where you can get up close and personal with Tasmanian devils, spot wallabies and wombats.

5. Tasmania Stop: Freycinet Marine Farm, Coles Bay

Freycinet Marine Farm

We drive for approximately 1.5 hours over 105km along the scenic highway overlooking the Tasman Sea to savour freshly shucked Pacific Oysters at Freycinet Marine Farm!  Oysters, scallops and abalones are some of the most favoured seafood that Freycinet Marine Farm offers and many visitors make a beeline for them. They are simply so fresh and reasonably priced, it’s a waste not to feast on them while in Tasmania!

6. Sydney, NSW Stop: Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is one of the most visited tourist sites in Australia and needs no introduction; you probably had scrolled through countless pictures of it on Instagram or Facebook! With soft sand, aquamarine waters and dozens of cafes and restaurants all around, Bondi isn’t called the beach of capital for nothing. We recommend heading for a refreshing dip at the Bondi Iceberg Club swimming pool, which has been an iconic fixture of Bondi Beach for more than 100 years. It’s arguably the most photogenic spot at Bondi as well, so make sure to snap as many photos as you can!

7. Sydney, NSW Stop: Weekend Bondi Farmers Market

The Bondi Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 9am-1pm at Bondi  Beach Public School. At Bondi Farmers Market, you can buy fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, organically grown meat and poultry, freshly picked flowers, confectionery, homemade jams, farm-make cheeses and honey, seafood, herbs, spices and much more! You can also take your breakfast here as there is a wide range of food (including Asian food) and snacks for purchase. This is the perfect venue where a picnic mat will come in handy, as you can feast on your meals on the field at the venue!

8. Sydney, NSW Stop: Blue Mountains National Park

Next, we headed to the famous Blue Mountains National Park! Boasting a scenic railway, cableway, skyway and walkway, there were just too many ways to explore this beautiful park. We eventually decided on the Scenic Skyway and it was certainly a thrilling experience! With a see-through glass cabin floor, and panoramic views of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley, we were indeed mesmerized by the amazing views.

Remember to get to Echo Point Lookout, which is the best location to take in the best view of The Three Sisters as well as the majestic vistas of the canyons and mountains. It was such an incredible humbling experience to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature!

9. Sydney, NSW Stop: Lincoln’s Rock

Warning: Visiting the Lincoln’s Rock is definitely not for the faint-hearted. If the phrase butterflies in the stomach” sounds familiar to anyone, then looking over the cliff at the Lincoln’s Rock will certainly adds a new dimension. The highlight of this incredible lookout point is the leg-numbering ‘illusion’ of “Edge of the World” picture you can get as a travel “trophy”! When you look over the edge of the rock, you could see several burned car bodies ar down the base of the mountains (probably from movie stunts). As there are no safety barriers, visitors with little children are advised to fully supervise at ALL times.

10. Sydney, NSW Stop: Hunter Valley

Home to sprawling vineyards, gourmet foods, spa retreats and more, Hunter Valley redefined the meaning of true bliss for us. With only two hours’ drive from Sydney, we reached the family-owned wineries, feast at diners with gorgeous views and even had an opportunity to hop into a hot-air balloon for unique bird’s eye view  of the valley!

It was truly an eye-opening experience helping the pilot and his crew assemble and dissemble the hot-air balloon. We were completely in awe of the sunrise, where glorious sun rays lit the sky aglow with hues of red and orange. Witnessing the birth of a new day from a hot-air balloon followed by a champagne breakfast was definitely one of the best highlights of our road trip!

So there you go, top 10 destinations perfect for a self drive experience you can simply find in Australia. Be sure to look out for special offers to Australia at www.jetabout.com.sg!

5 Reasons why Tasmania is the Ultimate Wanderlust Destination

From sparkling sapphire bays to fossil-rich limestone, Tasmania is brimming with natural wonders sure to take your breath away..

It may sit near the bottom of the globe, but with a treasure trove of natural wonders, it is hard to imagine anyone resisting Tasmania’s allure. Get bitten by the wanderlust bug as you explore more of what Tasmania has to offer.

Here are the top five reasons why the Apple Isle is the ultimate travel destination!

1. Wineglass Bay

Located within the Freycinet National Park, Wineglass Bay, considered one of the top 10 beaches in the world, boasts a sparkling sapphire basin and a crescent of soft, white sand. For a truly spectacular view, take a short trek to the Wineglass Bay lookout. While the uphill walk might be a bit of a scramble, the view from atop is well worth the effort. There are many more short walks across the park, suitable for all. These mostly lead to secluded bays, beaches and bird-filled lagoons.

PHOTO: Freycinet Experience Walk, Wineglass Bay CREDIT TOURISM AUSTRALIA

Adventurous travellers can try out the Freycinet Experience Walk, a four-day guided hike across the entire length of the peninsula. While on the walk, keep a sharp lookout for some of Tasmania’s native animals in action. If you’re lucky, you just might spot some native white-bellied sea eagles diving into the bay for food!

The bay’s calm and clear waters also makes it the perfect location for those who enjoy fishing, sailing or simply soaking up the coastal scenery

2. Freycinet Marine Farm

Food is the word on every Singaporean’s lips. And with Tasmania’s cool air and pristine waters, there can only be one thing on everyone’s mind — seafood!

PHOTO: Jetabout Holidays

Taste some of Tasmania’s freshest seafood at Freycinet Marine Farm, which rears everything from succulent Pacific oysters to Tasmanian Blue Mussels. For a truly immersive experience, the farm encourages visitors to sift for oysters straight from the waters. Just picture yourself ankle-deep in water and feasting on freshly shucked oysters!

3. Maria Island

Immense, raw and awe-inspiring — that is what walking through Maria Island feels like. The world heritage national park, located in a mountainous island to the east of Tasmania, is a sanctuary of stunning historic ruins and dramatic cliffs — and a goldmine for Instagram-worthy pics.

PHOTO: Maria Island CREDIT MARIA ISLAND WALK AND GREAT WALKS OF AUSTRALIA

Fossil Cliffs is a real-life Jurassic Park, containing fossils of ancient creatures that date back to 300 million years ago. Hunt for remains of extinct organisms like the Eurydesma, a giant thick-shelled clam, which can be found embedded in beds of rocks.

Another reason to visit Maria Island is The Painted Cliffs. This site is covered in beautifully patterned sandstone that comes in stunning shades of red, orange and yellow; sometimes all at once. Fishing for more “Likes” on your Instagram photos? This is the place to be.

4. Lavender Fields Forever

Sifting for travel ideas this December or January? Look no further than the world’s largest commercial lavender farm, Bridestowe Lavender Estate, located in northeast Tasmania. Be mesmerised by rows and rows of gorgeous lavender bushes that form a colourful palette against the brilliant blue skies.

Photo: Jetabout Holidays

And don’t just stop and smell the flowers, you can taste them too! The Woodcroft Café on the estate sells a range of lavender-infused desserts, like lavender fudge brownie and lavender ice cream, which you can enjoy while curled up on one of the farm benches or under a grand oak tree! Is there any better way to spend a fine summer’s day?

Those looking to do a spot of souvenir shopping can purchase Bobbie, Bridestowe’s resident lavender-filled teddy bear. Aside from its lovely colour and soothing lavender scent, these bears also make the perfect cuddle buddy.

5. Cataract Gorge Reserve

PHOTO: Gatekeepers cottage – Cataract Gorge Reserve CREDIT TOURISM TASMANIA

Located less than two kilometres from Launceston’s city centre, Cataract Gorge, framed by an ice-cold river, bushland and cliffs, offers an escape from the buzz of city living. Interested in a walkabout? There are two walking tracks that straddle the gorge. Cataract Walk is level while the Zig Zag Track is steep. Both offer stunning, clear views of greenery and water.

If you are travelling with kids, the gorge offers a free outdoor swimming pool and barbecues for a lovely family outing in the summer. Be sure to take a ride on the world’s longest single-span chairlift and keep a lookout for sociable peacocks, which can be found strutting about the gardens.


Interested to know more about latest promotions and things you should experience in Tasmania?

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Sydney vs Melbourne: a Guide to Enjoying the Best of Both Cities

Can’t decide between Australia’s two biggest cities? Then visit both for an unforgettable experience Down Under!

Sydney and Melbourne boast plenty of drool-worthy food, festivals and culture. So clear your schedule and make a mental (or actual) note of these hotspots in two of the world’s top destinations

Festivals
Vivid Sydney CREDIT TOURISM AUSTRALIA

Vivid Sydney

Watch the sails of the Sydney Opera House come alive with animated paintings during the annual Vivid Sydney festival, which runs over three weeks from May to June (26 May to 17 June 2017). Be dazzled by striking light and sound installations all across the city, and revel in cross-genre live music performances.

White Night Melbourne
Experience visual art in every imaginable form in this dusk-till-dawn affair. For one night only, every February, museums open their doors after dark and buildings such as Flinders Street Railway Station become the backdrop for pyrotechnic displays and mixed media optical illusions.

Inner City Suburbs
Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne CREDIT TOURISM AUSTRALIA AND TIME OUT AUSTRALIA

Newtown, Sydney
Just a bus ride from Central Station, the hip inner suburb of Newtown is chockfull of boutiques, bakeries and bars. Taste one of Australia’s first-ever specialty brews at Campos, just off King Street, then pick up a crunchy cronut at the nearby Brewtown café. Coldplay’s ‘A sky full of stars’ MTV was shot at Newtown featuring its Colourful street art and the famous ‘I have a dream’ wall mural. Don’t forget to pop into the area’s boutiques for some rare vintage finds and pre-loved paperbacks.

Fitzroy, Melbourne
Easily accessible by tram or bus, Fitzroy is a popular inner city haunt with a creative edge. Tuck into house specialty dishes at Industry Beans, a café on the corner of Rose Street, which prides itself on keeping everything in-house.

Have a field day rummaging through vinyl and vintage stores on nearby Gertrude Street. Wind down afterwards at Mr Wow’s Emporium on Smith Street, with its heady mix of cocktails and games. Ping pong and elderflower vodka, anyone?

Beaches
St Kilda Beach, Melbourne CREDIT VISIT VICTORIA

Bondi Beach, Sydney
More than just a beach, Bondi is home to a vibrant local community. Take a walk on the promenade then re-energise at beachside venue The Bucket List, known for its quirky cocktails. On Sundays, skip over the road to the Bondi Markets to shop for vintage jewellery and fun beachwear.

St Kilda Beach, Melbourne
There’s a flurry of beachside activity at St. Kilda’s Beach, just a short tram ride away from the central business district. Head to the breakwater as the sun sets for a chance to see some resident penguins. Or spend some time at St Kilda’s Esplanade Market, which stretches from Luna Park down the Esplanade, and browse an eclectic array of goods — from homemade sauces to original art and handcrafts.

Check out our 4N Vivid Sydney & Blue Mountains Drive from only SGD695 per person Plus receive PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP WITH CANON IMAGING ACADEMY! *Limited to first 15 redemptions*
Highlights of this trip includes a Sydney Opera House Tour where you will get to learn the history of the Sydney Opera House along with details of the unique architectural design, visit the major performance venues and witness the famous Vivid LIVE lighting of the Sails first handAnother highlight is an exclusive tour to Sydney Fish Market. Visit also the famous Blue Mountains, Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk or Royal Botanic Gardens  for nature photography opportunity! Click here for MORE DETAILS!


Interested to know more about latest promotions and things you should experience in Melbourne or Sydney?

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Image credit: Vivid Sydney,  Credit: Tourism Australia

Ready, Set, Eat A Guide to Tasting Tasmania’s Best

Get ready to feast and slurp your way through Tasmania, a true foodie’s paradise for anyone in search of top class food and wine experiences.

Tasmania is fast gaining a reputation for excellent food and wine. And with an abundance of rich soil, pure air and clean seas, it is not hard to see why. Embark on a culinary journey with this list of top dining experiences that will have you falling head over heels for the Apple Isle

Seafood Seduction

Your first stop? Hobart, the heart and capital of Tasmania. This region has access to seafood straight from the Southern Ocean so make sure to try some homemade fish and chips and seafood bites from takeaway stalls along Hobart’s iconic waterfront.

PHOTO: Mures Fish Centre Restaurant O&M ST JOHN PHOTOGRAPHY www.drinkteatravel.com

The waterfront also offers a range of award-winning restaurants, which have front-row seats to the finest harbour views. Most restaurants serve up modern fusion dishes so you can enjoy some seafood, served with a twist, like crispy-skinned salmon with tahini yoghurt.

Oyster lovers will also be pleased to learn that Hobart is littered with oyster farms. Whether you are hankering for freshly shucked oysters or looking to learn about the ocean-to-plate journey, these farms have it all. Oyster enthusiasts can venture further to Bruny Island, where locally owned farm, Get Shucked, offers molluscs so fresh you almost feel like the sea is kissing you.

From Paddock to Plate

From farms to hop houses, pick up tips on how the region’s meats, greens and brews are cultivated and cooked. The Agrarian Kitchen is a must-visit for fans of the paddock-to-plate experience. Located further south in the Derwent Valley, the farm-based cooking school has a lush vegetable garden and rare-breed livestock that are used in cooking courses. Participants can also knock back some premium Tasmanian wines along with their self-prepared dishes after each session!

Go Mad for Markets

Every Saturday, Salamanca Place in Hobart comes alive with the popular Salamanca Market, which sees some 300 stalls selling organic greens and gourmet produce, quirky collectibles and fresh blooms. A key attraction is Smith’s Specialty Pies, which specialises in delectable scallop pies. On Sundays, head to Bathurst St for the Farm Gate Market. This market is a favourite among locals for its fresh produce, which you can purchase while enjoying a cup of freshly roasted coffee and barbecued seafood.

Salamanca Market, Hobart, TAS CREDIT TOURISM TASMANIA & ROB BURNETT

Don’t forget to add Launceston, further up north the island, to your itinerary, particularly the Harvest Launceston Farmers Market, which runs every Saturday in the heart of the Tamar Valley. Stock up on gorgeous produce, from fresh berries to artisanal ciders and homemade preserves, while chatting to local farmers and providores!

Check out our 7D5N Tasmania Gourmet Discovery *Seafood Seduction* from only SGD1,785 per person Plus receive a Retort Vacuum Packed Tasmanian Abalone from Tas Live Abalone! *1 pack per room – while stock last*
Highlights of this trip includes a full day tour of Seafood Seduction Cruise where you will enjoy a range of local Tasmanian produce from Wild Abalone, Rock Lobster, Oysters, Salmon to Sea Urchin! You will also join a day tour to Coal River Farm where you will experience Tasmania’s finest gourmet cheese and chocolate being made onsite and pick some of the world’s tastiest strawberries and other orchard fruits. Another highlight is a day tour to Cradle Mountain National ParkClick here to Book NOW!