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Australia’s Newest Ancient Aboriginal Tourism Experience Seeks Industry Partnerships

Set to be Australia’s newest Aboriginal cultural tourism destination, the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2019, making it one of the most recent additions to the globally-respected list. … Continue Reading

10 fun things to do on a weekend getaway to the South Coast

In the aftermath of the Australian bushfire tragedies, most of us want to do our part to lend a hand but aren’t sure how to help. … Continue Reading

The Islands of Tahiti named best destination

In news that will no doubt kickstart Monday wanderlust, The Islands of Tahiti has been named the Best Overall Destination in the 2020 Travvy Awards.

… Continue Reading

New Zealand’s retail lending to cross US$265bn in 2023, finds GlobalData

New Zealand’s retail lending market is expected to record a healthy growth over 2019–23 to reach NZ$395.9bn (US$265.6bn) in 2023, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. … Continue Reading

Seven Weekenders to Love in NSW: Book a Getaway That Gives Back Now

Now’s The Time to Love NSW and escape on a short break that gives back, with much of the state open and ready to welcome tourists.

Start your holiday in cosmopolitan Sydney then book a #RecoveryWeekend in Sydney’s backyard. Post all your favourite pictures and videos, and share with #LoveNSW. By staying and spending in NSW and sharing the love on social media, you’ll help bushfire and drought-affected communities get back on their feet. Here are seven weekend ideas for inspiration.

START IN SYDNEY

Kick off your Sydney adventure with a walk across its most famous landmark, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There’s a fenced pedestrian path running beside the road with incredible views over Sydney Harbour.

Catch the train back to Circular Quay and hop on the ferry for an afternoon at Taronga Zoo. You can stay overnight inside the zoo at the new Wildlife Retreat, with 58 rooms and four suites. Guests can step out into a lush sanctuary with koalas, echidnas and platypus.

Two of the most famous beaches in Australia are now linked by an 80km track. The Bondi to Manly Walk along Sydney’s coastline takes you on a journey past famous beaches, iconic structures, ocean pools and secluded harbour picnic spots.

Refuel in the CBD at glam new eatery, Bar Totti’s, with a kitchen that stays open until 1am on busy nights. Enjoy traditional seafood and meat dishes in the dining room or relax at the cocktail bar.

Stay outside the city in the inner west suburb of Burwood at the new five-star Marsden Hotel. The boutique hotel offers room service around the clock, marble bathrooms as well as a restaurant, patisserie and Mediterranean-inspired rooftop.

SHOALHAVEN

There are parts of bushland not affected by the bushfires in the Shoalhaven, and visiting the unique beauty of these areas will give a much needed boost to community spirit. From Shoalhaven Heads to Bawley Point, and inland to Berry and the Kangaroo Valley, there are historic villages to explore, endless beaches to roam and delicious local produce to taste.

Make time to explore some of the beaches of the Shoalhaven region, with 170km of pristine coastline. Try Callala Beach, Green Patch Beach or Scottish Rocks for a swim and beach picnic. Jervis Bay is one of the best spots to see dolphins, as well as whales and seals. Dolphin Watch Cruises offer popular dolphin-spotting tours; while Jervis Bay Wild offer boom netting, a whale-spotting cruise and a journey through the Jervis Bay passage.

For a relaxed brunch, check out local favourite Hyams Beach Store and Café and if you are skilled on the grill, at Stonegrill Steakhouse in Huskisson you can cook your own meat or seafood on a heated stone at your table. Share a cheese platter at Two Figs Winery; or have lunch at Cupitt’s Winery — there’s a microbrewery, fromagerie and boutique winery.

On the coast, Bangalay one- or two-bedroom villas have chic styling and views over the Shoalhaven Heads golf course to the mountain range. For a hinterland escape, Kangaroo Valley Getaways are specialists at matching you with your ideal holiday home. Book and stay through them before the end of February, and save 10 per cent.

BLUE MOUNTAINS

Known as Sydney’s backyard wilderness, the Blue Mountains is just 90 minutes’ drive from the city. It’s home to some of the most dramatic landscapes in the country and the famous sandstone formation, Three Sisters. Discover the region’s gourmet delights, stay in a heritage hotel, relax with an indulgent spa treatment or tee off at a scenic golf course.

For an outdoor adventure, Scenic World is unaffected by the fires and offers a range of exciting experiences: the world’s steepest incline passenger railway in the world; the highest skyway in Australia; the largest cable car in the country and longest boardwalk in the Southern Hemisphere.

Immerse yourself in the bushland with a hike or rock climb. High & Wild Australian Adventures are currently running their Spectacular Half Day Abseil and Empress Canyon trips in areas unaffected by the fires. Freeland Hiking offer all-inclusive hiking tours in the Blue Mountains and Snowy Mountains, with all equipment provided.

Some of the Blue Mountains community along Bells Line of Road have been impacted by the fires, so why not drop into local businesses to support their recovery? Enjoy apple ciders at Bilpin Cider or Hillbilly Cider, or pick fresh fruit at Bilpin Fruit Bowl.

For a healthy mountain brekkie, try the zucchini and feta fritters at Red Door Café, and for afternoon tea, enjoy a delightful Devonshire Tea in the gardens of the Megalong Valley Tea Rooms.

Sip pre-dinner drinks at The Carrington — a heritage-listed landmark hotel in the mountains with a hidden gem of a cocktail bar called Champagne Charlies. Enjoy dinner with a view at Echoes Restaurant and Bar, or Bar NSW at the Lookout overlooking the iconic Three Sisters.

For luxurious self-contained accommodation, Parkside Blackheath is a 1930’s cottage restored in ultra-luxe style with three bedrooms and art deco touches. It’s just a five-minute walk from town and the perfect base for small groups.

MID-NORTH COAST

The Mid North Coast of NSW stretches from the Great Lakes to Coffs Harbour and includes destinations such as Forster, Seal Rocks and Port Macquarie. The natural beauty of the area’s beaches, lakes and intricate waterways are ideal for adventurers, and The Legendary Pacific Coast, one of Australia’s great driving routes, passes through the Mid North Coast.

Have a thrilling ride on the pristine waterways of Port Macquarie with Port Jet Cruise Adventures. Try the ultimate jet ski experience or take it down a notch with a river cruise or dolphin spotting.

For a slightly slower pacetake a camel safari along Lighthouse Beach. They don’t take bookings – just head down to Lighthouse Beach or call 0437 672 080. If you love animals, enjoy a day at the award-winning Billabong Zoo at Wauchope.

For a post-surf brunch, two of Sydney’s top chefs opened a licensed café, The Hilltop Store, inside a 1924 general store in Sawtell, with a focus on local produce and refined lunch dishes. Nearby, the café at the Sawtell Surf Club was renovated and relaunched in 2019 as The Kiosk Sawtell.

The oysters are fresh and shucked to order at Hamiltons Oyster Bar and Restaurant in Tuncurry and don’t miss a trip to Bago Maze and Wine, a beautiful family farm that grows its own grapes to make wine on site. Book a tasting at the cellar door, enjoy a cheese platter then wander the hedge maze.

Inland from the coast, Cottonwood Cottage near Bellingen is a delightful Hamptons-style barn for a couple, with luxury detailing and panoramic mountain views. Just a short drive from Port Macquarie, Telegraph Retreat Cottages are decked out in cosy style and cater to couples or a families wanting a relaxed farm stay.

ORANGE, CENTRAL NSW

For a taste of the good life, Orange in the Central West of NSW is a rural wonderland of wineries, designer hotels and just-picked produce. Begin your wine tasting journey at Ferment – the wine centre and store gives a thorough introduction to the region’s wine varieties.

For a family-friendly winery, Heifer Station Wines has a unique cellar door inside a restored 100-year-old shearing shed, plenty of open space and a petting zoo with chooks, goats and a miniature horse named Tilly.

If you love shopping, pop into the delightful concept store, The Sonic, inside a Masonic hall dating back to 1864. The vast white space is a design-lover’s paradise with homewares, slow fashion and Nimrods café on site serving tasty soup, baked goods and milkshakes.

Don’t miss the local farmers markets, on every second Saturday and for breakfast head to Byng Street Local Store, which has a dedicated brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays.

For a progressive fine dining experience anchored in local produce, head to Racine Restaurant for a sunlit lunch on the outskirts of Orange. Another sophisticated spin on seasonal produce is the French and Italian-inspired menu at dining institution, Lolli Redini.

The Oriana is a 1968 motel turned boutique hotel blending country hospitality with contemporary styling. Rooms come in standard, superior, deluxe and family suites, and the pool has a Palms Springs style and a chic pool bar serving snacks and cocktails.

BRAIDWOOD

With a growing population, abundant local produce and historic buildings, Braidwood is having a moment in the sun. Braidwood is a National Trust-classified town with distinctive colonial buildings and rustic streetscape. The unique annual Festival of Braidwood in November has the infamous ‘Airing of the Quilts’, a classic car show and garlic fiesta.

Don’t miss the famous Braidwood Bakery. It’s built a reputation for its excellent pies and pastries, and you’ll find sugary treats for the drive back at The Boiled Lolly. Buy local cider at Sully’s on Sundays at the Old Cheese Factory Reidsdale and stop off at the Braidwood Farmers Markets for more regional produce on the first and third Saturday every month.

Mr Mr Store sells on-trend, handcrafted jewellery – this store is a must. For an exceptional accommodation option, Mona Farm offers a luxury self-contained homestead featuring stunning Australian and international art. The property has its own trout-filled lake, woodland grove and tennis court.

WAGGA WAGGA

Wagga Wagga is a beguiling mix of natural and architectural beauty. It’s the largest inland town in the State and nestled in the Riverina – a food bowl of abundant produce, historic cellar doors and brilliant fields of yellow canola.

The town is a vibrant cultural centre, home to the Museum of the Riverina, the Riverina Theatre Company and the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, which has an outstanding collection of Australian painting and houses the National Art Glass Gallery.

Start your foodie adventure on Thursday afternoon at the Riverina Producers Market at Wagga Showgrounds where orange juice is squeezed from locally-grown navel and Valencia oranges. For dinner, dine at the Roundabout Restaurant or The Oakroom, both with menus dedicated to premium local ingredients.

Did you know more than 60 per cent of the State’s grapes are grown in The Riverina? Cottontails Wines, about 15 minutes from Wagga Wagga, has an architecturally designed cellar door, restaurant and function centre in picturesque rural surrounds.

The Houston in Wagga Wagga is a luxury boutique hotel created from the grand neo-gothic Belmore House, built in 1868 and described as ‘one of the most elegant structures in the colony out of Sydney’. Beautifully restored, the property has 13 suites that retain many of the original features.

Joining the #LoveNSW movement is easy:

  1. Take a #RecoveryWeekend in NSW
    2.  Capture a photo in an iconic and inspiring NSW location, framed by your
    hands in a heart shape
    3.  Share the photo on social media with the hashtag #LoveNSW

Cook Islands Tourism brings *Kia Orana spirit to Aussie travel agents

Kia Orana spirit was in full force for the Little Piece Of Paradise that is The Cook Islands this week, as Aussie travel agents were treated to a series of educational breakfast functions in Sydney and Melbourne. … Continue Reading

16 Unique Places to Take a #LOVENSW Photo

Now’s The Time to Love NSW with everyone playing an important role in the recovery of NSW’s tourism industry. Book a #RecoveryWeekend today and visit distinctive country towns, vibrant cities and natural wonders, capturing and sharing the love along the way. … Continue Reading

Predictions and facts: how Coronavirus affected tourism in Australia

The coronavirus, which has caused fears of a global pandemic, could end up costing the Australian economy more than $1 billion dollars, according to UBS. The investment bank noted that the travel ban instituted by the Chinese government in the wake of the outbreak, which prevented tourists from leaving the country during the Chinese New Year period, alone could cost Australia around $1 billion in direct services. The impact could be even greater if the ban was extended or expanded, according to the bank. … Continue Reading

Your Next Tweed Holiday Search Starts Here

A stunning visual deep-dive into the Tweed’s array of holiday offerings is now live, with The Tweed Tourism Company (TTC) launching the region’s official new visitor website, VisitTheTweed.com.au. … Continue Reading

Tourism Solomons Coronavirus Update – further DOI directive

Tourism Solomons advises as part of a further Solomon Islands Department of Immigration (DOI) directive, all air passengers who have travelled from or transited through China 14 days before arriving in the Solomon Islands will not be permitted entry. … Continue Reading

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