Most of us around Australia would recognise images of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, but what about some of the other coastal areas outside of Melbourne?
Located about half an hour past the turn off to Philip Island lie towns such as Kilcunda, Wonthaggi, Cape Paterson and Inverlock. If you’ve never heard of them and/or haven’t had the chance to visit, you really are missing out. The coastline of this region is absolutely breathtaking with the likes of Bunurong Marine National Park making for a sensational view. There’s also the rock formations and beaches there, which are a little slice of heaven.
I was fortunate enough to live in this coastal paradise for a couple of years and I can honestly say I loved every minute of it. Everything was right at our door step and the lifestyle was unforgettable. Plus, the flora and fauna is abundant, while kangaroos, echidnas, koalas and wombats inhabit the area and are pretty easy to spot.
For some families, this area is well known – it’s where they enjoy their annual summer holidays. And when the weather warms the population in these towns seems to explode overnight. The usually sleepy towns of the Bass Coast come alive as they gear up for tourist season. However, it’s in the colder months that tourists can get a feel for the lifestyle the locals enjoy.
It isn’t that far from Melbourne, so it’s close enough for a weekend stay. If you can spend a week however, I’d thoroughly recommend it. Sound enticing? Wait until you see some the images I’ve sourced.
As you drive over the hill into Kilcunda, the scene in front of you is astounding. It’s not unusual to see cars parked along the side of the road as people try to capture the incredible view. No matter how many photos I took, it never did the reality justice. It’s one of those sights you need to see yourself to fully appreciate its beauty.
The view from the foreshore heading back toward Philip Island is simply remarkable.
If you like to walk along the beach there are plenty of opportunities.
Wonthaggi is the largest town on the Bass Coast and is growing exponentially. It’s a major shopping hub complete with specialty shops and a relatively new mall. It has excellent medical facilities, including a hospital, and this is where locals generally source everything they need.
The giant whale bone at the front of this hotel is an iconic piece of Wonthaggi. Directly across the road a loud horn sounds at 12pm each day recollecting a tradition of the old mining town.
This tiny little place lies directly on the coast, 7km outside of Wonthaggi. In summer, the holiday homes are filled with families enjoying the sun, sand and surf. At one end of the beach the surf is usually pounding and is a popular place to throw in a board. At the other end, rock pools have been created for children to swim in serene waters. This area is so popular that two caravan parks are positioned with direct access to the beach.
Cape Paterson is a prime place for surfing, swimming, water sports, fishing, kite flying and kicking back to relax.
The rock pool is a perfect place for children to swim safely.
Bunurong Marine National Park
Along a windy stretch of road between Cape Paterson and Inverlock, ancient rock formations are dotted along the coastline. It’s been proclaimed a national marine park to preserve its magnificence. Fishing is banned in this area, as is taking anything from this nautical museum. So, if you wander along the shore you might be lucky to find star fish, crabs, small fish and even shells the size of your hand!
One of the most visited formations is Eagle Nest, pictured below. However, there are several places to turn off, have a walk and soak up the view. If you like to tinker with photography both above and below the water, this place is spectacular.
Taken at Bunurong Marine National Park.
Last but not least is Inverloch, situated directly on the coast. It’s a very popular tourist destination in summer because the beaches are to die for. It’s the perfect place for fishing and all types of water sports, with jet skiing being a favorite due to the calm waters. There are far more shops here than in Cape Paterson and Kilcunda, so this little place has everything you need for an awesome getaway.
Inverloch has a host of outdoor activities including water sports and stunning walking trails.
The Inverloch jetty is a popular fishing spot for locals and tourists.
If you’d like to visit The Bass Coast, head to their website for more information.
Images via Various Sources
Treat the entire family to an affordable winter getaway with the world’s largest and most stylist home-swapping site, Love Home Swap. It’s the perfect option for travellers who find regular holiday accommodation too touristy, cramped or impersonal.
Love Home Swap pairs you with a luxurious property in more than 160 countries across the world. “From sprawling chateaux in France, to funky urban lofts in New York and extravagant villas in Bali, our members have managed to swap their way to holidays that provide an average saving of almost $4,000 per trip, and often much more when you’re dealing with these ‘money can’t buy’ properties,” said founder, Debbie Wosskow.
Queenstown Ski Chalet
An award-winning, environmentally designed house just a few minutes from central Queenstown in picturesque Arthurs Point, Kohlara Lodge is a luxurious retreat providing total privacy and seclusion.
The Big Apple
Who can resist a trip to The Big Apple? Not us! Situated in New York’s uber-desirable Park Slope neighbourhood in Brooklyn, this architect owned and designed penthouse is located on the top floor of a former clock factory.
South of France
Located in the heart of the Gascony countryside in Mauvezine, Midi-Pyrenees, this 12th century chateau is set on 13 hectares of green rolling landscape. The luxurious home also opens out into a heated pool, complete with a bar and outdoor lounge area.
Try a free 14 day trial which is available now on Love Home Swap, after which membership starts at $22 per month, including unlimited swaps for 1 year.
Who can resist a little getaway which is only 8 hours away from Australian soil? French Polynesia is no secret to avid travellers, but this doesn’t mean it loses any of its appeal.
If you’re searching for that next family holiday, we offer you five more reasons why you should book this trip now!
Since it is located just south of the equator, French Polynesia experiences a mostly tropical climate with a heavy summer/rainy season during the beginning and end of the year. If you want to take advantage of hot, sunny weather, it is best to visit during the dry months between May to October.
Given the long history of French colonial rule, much of the cuisine is a fusion of cultures. You will find a variety of restaurants offering an eclectic mix of Asian, French and western cuisine which the entire family is bound to enjoy (even those picky eaters). One gourmet treat you must try are the crevettes, otherwise know as popular river prawns.
There are a variety of different water activities which run all year round. Some of the most popular ones include sailing, surfing, and diving which is the best way to create some long-lasting memories. If you want to stay dry, take part in other fun activities which the entire family can enjoy. Popular attractions such as hiking, dolphin watching, and shark-feeding are some fun ways to enjoy all that the islands have to offer.
Many of the resorts cater to the needs of young children and large families, so you don’t need to hesitate about bringing them along on the trip. Restaurants and resorts come equipped with child-minding services, and don’t cause a big fuss if your kids are a bit loud around the dinner table or by the pool – it happens!
Locals are quite laid-back and try to get travellers to enjoy their holiday as much as possible. Given that the islands are relatively free from a booming central business district, you will find that many people enjoy a relaxed way of life.
Have you every been to French Polynesia? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Images Via Passion For Luxury, Travel By Stove, HD Wallpapers
If you’re into looking at beautiful places and interesting people, look no further than your Instagram feed. Start your travel bucket list in 2015 with a bit of inspiration from these talented Instagram travel photographers.
Murad Osmann has travelled around the globe with his girlfriend (@yourleo) and each shot shows her – always fabulously dressed – seemingly asking the photographer to follow her into the beautiful scenery.
While Mustafa has done a bit of globe trotting recently, the bulk of his beautiful images were snapped in his homeland of Turkey.
Couple, Dave and Deb, have travelled all seven continents and 90 countries and share their colorful adventures with nearly 22,000 Instagram followers.
See everything, everywhere with award winning travel photographer – Gary Arndt. He’s been to more than 100 countries – so when we say everywhere, we means it!
A Holland-based, Norwegian photographer, Marianne Hope will add a much-needed dash of Northern Europe to your Instagram feed.
In my opinion, the ultimate travel photography Instagram account. Get to know their resident photographers – like the owner of this adorable shot, @amivitale – and learn a bit about the world in the process.
For a touch of India in your Instagram feed, follow this aggregator of photographs of this wild and wonderful nation. Color and character guaranteed.
The capital city of Budapest is known for it’s unique architectural structures which date back to the art nouveau style of the early 1900s, delicious national food, and even it’s bustling night life. If you’re ever planning a trip to Budapest, make sure to add the following destinations to your list.
Allatkerti korut 9-11, 1146
Hungary is known for it’s extensive natural bodies of water used for healing and recreation. Széchenyi is home to Europe’s largest public baths which are perfect if you want a little extra relax and recreation time during the trip.
Central Market Hall
Vamhaz korut 1-3
If you’re in town for the Christmas and holiday season, it’s best to make the most of your time at the Central Market Hall. Filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, homemade trinkets, and local sellers, it’s the perfect place to enjoy what the real Budapest has to offer.
Disrict V, 1051
Try one of the fun and innovative taxi’s of Budapest, and enjoy a visual tour of the entire city. It’s often referred to the bohemian way of going with the flow, and seeing where exactly the city takes you! It’s also pretty cheap and affordable when compared to a standard taxi fare.
Balatoni ut, Szabadkai utca sarok, 1223
A must-see if you love nothing more than to sit back and enjoy the local art scene of the city. Most statues of the time depict the fall of communism in Hungary, most of which were demolished during the change of power in 1989.
Blue Rose Restaurant
Wesselenyi utca 9, 1077
For the best goulash in the entire city, look no further than Blue Rose which is located in the heart of central Budapest. Here you will find traditional Hungarian delicacies such as dumplings, vadas (stew), and chocolate kurtosh which is bound to be a crown pleaser. Ask for extra nuts and powdered sugar for an intense flavour!
Images via Szechenyifurdo, Viator, We Love Budapest, Sophiaca, Kat Cakes
Whether you’re heading overseas to escape the wintery weather approaching or simply just require some inspiration for your next trip, definitely add this into your favourites tab. A European summer is like no other, offering a rich sense of culture, food, architecture and unlimited white-sand beaches. Explore our favourite European destinations just in time for your next holiday.
1. Cinque Terre, Italy
This picturesque sea-side village might be plastered all over your Pinterest, but it’s beauty is most definitely in the details. With plenty of vineyards to visit, cafe’s offering the local Mediterranean cuisine and the ocean right next door it’s definitely a hidden gem.
2. Zurich, Switzerland
If you’re interested in an alpine adventure, head up to Zurich which is one of the most underrated European cities. The city combines old architecture with modern influence, lots of shopping (duty free, that is) and lets not forget it’s the birthplace of Lindt chocolate.
3. St Tropez, French Riviera
Full of tourists heading out for some sun during the annual Cannes Film Festival, St Tropez has been a holiday destination to the rich and famous since the early 1950’s. Yacht’s line the harbour, the water is crystal clear and the world famous Plage de Pampelonne is just around the corner.
4. Hvar, Croatia
One of the busiest places during the summer season, Hvar is otherwise known as party central to the many tourists that stop by for some sun. Apart from the annual music festivals, there are many family-friendly locations such as Falko a hideaway near the beach, bike riding through the old town, and tasting some of the best wines Croatia has to offer at Divino.
5. Berlin, Germany
More than just another destination for a keen history buff, Berlin is home to many museums, bars and art galleries that are sure to keep you occupied during your stay. Otherwise known as one of the best value cities in Europe, there is so much to do and see free of charge. Some activities include visiting the East Side Gallery to admire work from local artists or even having a relaxing picnic at Gorlitzer Park.
6. Prague, Czech Republic
Both the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic, Prague is known for it’s numerous museums, galleries and cinemas which come alive in the spring-summer months. Continue east to Letná Beer Gardens which offers a variety of drinks and a bite to eat.
7. Hania, Greece
Located on the large island of Crete, Hania boasts a mainly Venetian influence which is highlighted in the architecture straight down the to cuisine. Tavernas are popular meeting places to eat, drink and dance, while remaining close to one of the many boutique hotels found on the island. There are many places to swim, hike and kayak to explore the large island in all of it’s beauty.
Image via kevinandamanda.com
By Felicia Sapountzis
Wanna go on a summer holiday with Brad and Jen?
Beauty in GozoIt seems the popularity of the new Brad Pitt blockbuster movie Troy is giving an unexpected boost to tourism on the Mediterranean island of Gozo, Malta. Apparently Pitt and his Friends’ star wife Jennifer Aniston have been reported as visiting the island which is close to Malta where the soon-to-be-released Troy was filmed. Visitor numbers to Gozo have leapt nearly 30% in the last six months, pushing Malta/Gozo to fifth place in the top 10 villa holiday destinations table compiled by the Meon Villas holiday company in the UK. “Leisure breaks by the famous can really put a destination on the map. Just look at the impact of visits to Tuscany by Tony Blair and his family,” said Meon Villas managing director Jane Sheppard. Corfu topped the villas’ top 10, followed by Portugal’s Algarve area and France. Cyprus, which has experienced a 19% growth over the last year, has moved into the top 10 for the first time.
The top 10 villa holiday destinations, with 2003 positions in brackets, are:
The majestic island of Corfu1.(1) Corfu, Greece – known for its hordes of celebrities in summer
2.(2) Algarve, Portugal – Cliff Richards has bought property in this beautiful area of the world.
3.(3) France – Just across the English Channel is this world of wine, cheese and secluded chateaus.
Glorious Menorca4.(4) Menorca, Spain – Miles of pristine beaches.
5.(6) Malta/Gozo – Brad & Jen’s fave holiday location.
6.(5) Majorca, Spain – A favourite for Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffiths
7.(7) Lanzarote, Spain – Party central in the Canary Islands
A Tuscan villa8.(8) Tuscany, Italy – Sting has his own vineyard in this beautiful area of Italy
9.(-) Cyprus – Third largest Mediterranean Island
10.(10) Crete, Greece – Jewel of the Greek Islands
Quick, book now as July and August are peak season in Europe and if you and 10 of your closest pals fancy a villa next to Brad and Jen?s then you?d better get a hop along!
Cardrona – naturally better
Cardrona Alpine ResortCardrona Alpline Resort is a winter wonderland where all standard of snowboarders and skiers can frolic in the naturally beautiful surrounds. Snow bunnies new to boarding and skiing will love the gentle slopes at Cardrona, with 80% of the resort being classed as beginner or intermediate runs. A wide mountain face lets beginners learn the ropes without much fear of being mowed down by impatient pro-skiers. And with some of the best instructors on earth, you?ll be on your feet and on your way in no time.
If you are just starting out, you can hire everything you need from the rental facility at Cardrona. And, for the fashion conscious amongst you, you?re assured of looking the part in the latest gear, as the good folk at Cardrona renew half their hire gear every year to ensure it?s fully functioning and up-to-date.
Snowboarders will particularly love the four half pipes and massive terrain trail ? and Cardrona is a magnet for some of the hottest snowboarders the world over ? and we?re not just talking about their ability?
Ski School for Kids
Cardrona is also a favourite for families who love the fully licensed childcare facilities and integrated ski school for kids. Kids as young as three months can be cared for in the creche, while older kids are introduced to snow-confidence building activities through group lessons. Mum and Dad can keep an eye on their offspring from the window above the Kid?s Corral. But more often than not, they are enjoying the mountain themselves and are more than happy to leave the kids to the more than capable hands of the professional and friendly Cardrona staff.
The Noodle Bar
After a day of carving it up on the mountain, (or falling A over T, as the case may be) rest and refuel in Cardona?s newest drawcard ? the Noodle Bar. Located on the top floor of the resort?s newest building, the Noodle Bar offers excellent views across the snowfields. And for around NZ$12 you can eat your fill of freshly wokked noodles – choose from the menu of tried and tested combinations, or go wild and crazy and make your own selection of fresh veggies, meats, sauces and noodle types. Yum!
Wanaka is on New Zealand?s South Island and is 436kms from Christchurch.
Cardrona Alpine Resort is 35 minutes by car from Wanaka (34kms) and 60 minutes from Queenstown (58kms). Shuttle services also operate from both town centres.
Ski season draws to a close on 5 October, where locals have been known to ski nude down the mountains. Not to be missed.
For more info on Wanaka see www.skilakewanaka.com
Lonely Planet said: “South America seems to be on every twenty-something’s wish-list. I’ve heard great reports about Peru and also less-visited destinations like Bolivia.”
Top tip: How about at language-study schools abroad? It’s cheap and great fun.
Volcanoes of Guatamala
The coast of Croatia
Lonely Planet said: “Islands and beaches to rival Greece, great scuba diving, medieval towns, delicious food, decent wines, lots of activities such as hiking, rock climbing, yachting. The place is bulging with beautiful churches, castles and museums, and there’s probably a festival or carnival every day. It has that ‘something different’ feel which people are often searching for, and it’s safe to travel around. It’s got everything!”
Buy a copy of Lonely Planet:
Lonely Planet said: “The history, the beaches, the diving and the not-too-touristy cities”, plus the forests of eastern Cuba recently received World Heritage listing. Meanwhile Barcelona’s appeal lies in its vibrancy, beaches, culture, style, good food and great clubs.
Buy a copy of
Lonely Planet said: “This could be the city of the new millennium… beautiful, cosmopolitan Shanghai. A stroll along the Bund and you could be in any European city. Head down an alley and you’re smack in the middle of the Middle Kingdom.”
Buy a copy of Lonely Planet: Shanghai from the SheSaid Bookstore.
Lonely Planet’s talk2us staff are devoted specifically to answering travel questions, responding to product feedback and making sure travellers? insights and suggestions reach the authors. The most popular branch of Lonely Planet’s content-focused Web sites is the Thorn Tree, an online bulletin board that receives over 5000 posts a day and is a great resource for single travellers. Check out www.lonelyplanet.com.
When was the last time you emersed yourself in a sweet smelling, steaming bath?
If you’re mind is a little hazy, then it’s time to experience Melbourne’s Great Indoors.
Visit Melbourne for unrivalled shopping, fabulous food in cosy cafes, a chance to sleep in or treat yourself to a little pampering and then take in some world class sport or theatre. Whatever your passion Melbourne has something to warm
- Return economy air travel
- 3 nights accommodation
- $100 hotel credit offer per room per stay to spend on hotel services
- Melbourne?s Great Indoors Privilege Kit including genuine bonus offers and two-for-one deals to retail outlets, tours, eateries and attractions.
UTAG are offering packages that include a range of accommodation options from 3 to 5 star so no matter what your budget you’ll find something to suit. You can use the $100 credit towards hotel services such as mini-bar, car parking and restaurant meals*.
Package prices start from $382.68* ex Sydney, $489.88* ex Brisbane, $379.13* ex Adelaide, $675.56* ex Perth, $719.98*
Treat yourself, without paying top-dollar, to a heart-warming escape to Melbourne this winter.
For bookings and more information:
For Melbourne Great Indoors value prices and bookings contact UTAG on 13 13 98 or for more information visit Tourism Victoria.
Read all about the culture of Japanese cuisine, home cooking and traditions, shopping and the markets and all things delicious in Japan.
The Lonely Planet name is synonymous with a certain kind of travel. Life-changing, friend-making, soul-awakening journeys. As any self-respecting traveller knows, half the fun is getting there. The other half could quite easily be sampling the cuisine of the country you’re exploring. Or avoiding dodgy dinners that produce the sort of unmentionable digestive ailments that can really give you the shits…so to speak.
Those good folks at Lonely Planet know this too and have been busy the last few years producing country-specific eating guides to tantalise your tastebuds and reward even the most fickle diners with memorable meals from India to Ireland. The latest in their scrumptious series is World Food Japan, a funky pocket guide to eating and drinking Nippon-style.
This little wasabi green gastronomical tome is not just for the traveller either. Those with a yen for Yaki-zakan, a taste for Tsukemono or a soft spot for Sado will relish this guide. And for those of you unfamiliar with the delicious delicacies of Japanese cuisine, this book will not only demystify what you eat, but when and how you eat it. You’ll soon be craving tai no shio-yaki, shabu-shabu and namagashi.
With chapters including The Culture of Japanese Cuisine, Home Cooking and Traditions, Regional Zariations and Shopping and Markets, World Food Japan covers it all from buying to preparing and most importantly, the eating! Yum. You’ll also find in-depth descriptions of the ingredients commonly used in this elegant and delicious cuisine.
A dictionary of culinary terms will acquaint the novice and expert a like with common and some more obscure menu items and food and drink terminology. The Eat Your Words Language Guide will have you ordering everything from sushi to sake like an expert.
SheSaid’s favourite phrase? kore wa anata no ogori desu ne? This is your shout, right?
STOP THE CHOP from World Food Japan
“Waribashi, the ‘chopsticks that split’, are ubiquitous in modern Japanese life. Enough are used, and discarded, each year to build 30,000 homes. Most of the raw materials come from Japan’s South-East Asian neighbours. If you don’t wish to add to the environmental plunder, carry your own re-usable chopsticks, and simply refuse the disposable variety. If it causes a wee hiatus, worry not. You haven’t mortally offended anyone, you’ve just done what 24,500,000,000 Japanese don’t do, every year.” p102
50 Essential Destinations for Your Lifetime
Those of us who love to travel and explore the world seem to have a built-in travel checklist that we mentally tick off as we visit the famous places on it: the Mona Lisa at the Louvre – tick! The Colusseum – tick! Here’s my choice of 50 Essential Destinations to try and squeeze in during your lifetime, some of which you may have already ticked off, and others you may not have thought of.
- Drink champagne by Ayers Rock at sunset.
- Spend a week in New York City.
- Ski at a European or North American alpine resort.
- Drive along the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
- Take a luxury cruise.
- Stay in a French chateau, preferably one with a vineyard attached.
- Snorkel or scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef.
- See Holland during tulip time.
- Go to the top level of the Eiffel Tower in the lift.
- Do a trek in the Himalayas or the Andes.
- Catch a peak-hour train in Tokyo.
- Visit at least one Disneyland.
- Stand on London’s Westminster Bridge at night for the best view of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
- Walk a long a cliff-top on the ruggedly romantic Cornish coast.
- Survive a ride in a tuk-tuk through the streets of Bangkok.
- Visit the Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas.
- Go on safari in Africa.
- See the sights of Rome (without having your pocket “picked”).
- Enjoy a concert of Mozart’s works in Vienna.
- Visit a red-light district in a major city. Paris, Amsterdam and Hamburg and Bangkok are particularly eye-opening.
- Ride a bike in Copenhagen.
- Visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
- Spot someone famous in LA.
- Take a long walk in the Scottish Highlands.
- Chill out in Antarctica.
- Check out the view from The Peaks in Hong Kong.
- Lie under a cherry blossom tree in Japan.
- Visit at least one perfectly idyllic island, perhaps the Maldives, Seychelles or Bora Bora.
- Go topless on the French or Italian Riviera.
- See the Kremlin in Moscow.
- Take a photo of the crowds taking photos of the Mona Lisa in The Louvre, Paris.
- Stay on a kibbutz in Israel.
Visit Rio during Carneval.
- Experience at least one train journey of three days duration, or more.
- Check out the waves in Hawaii when Pipeline’s pumping.
- See the mosques of Istanbul.
- Fly over the North Pole.
- Go to a casino and nightclub in Monte Carlo.
- Travel to at least one Greek Island.
- Shop in a Moroccan bazaar.
- Stand at the border between Canada and the
- United States at Niagara Falls or at the border between Brazil and Argentina at Iguazu Falls.
- Visit the Taj Mahal in India.
- Experience springtime in Paris.
- Go white water rafting in Nepal.
- Visit at least one of the world’s deserts.
- See the Parthenon in Athens.
- Sail a yacht in the Caribbean.
- ‘Float’ in the Dead Sea.
- Rent a villa in Tuscany.
- Join the Mile High Club (if anyone has done this, or knows anyone who’s actually ‘joined’, let us know!)