The Yarra Valley is one of Australia’s best wine and food regions and is only about an hour from central Melbourne. Neat rows of vines snake across the rolling hills as far as the eye can see, with signs to cellar doors pitched every few 100 feet.
Tasmania used to be the brunt of many jokes by their fellow mainlanders, but now it’s Tasmanians who are having the last laugh. This small island state lying off the tail end of Australia is turning out to be quite the getaway. And Hobart, the capital, is stealing the show.
Since the devastating bush fires of Black Saturday, Marysville has well and truly risen from the ashes. Determined residents have rebuilt the town and it’s now bigger and better than ever. Tourism is once again booming and the environment is flourishing. We explored the town and surrounds on a weekend out of Melbourne.
The second annual Parrtjima – A Festival in Light has opened in Alice Springs, home of the Arrernte. Illuminating Alice Springs Desert Park for 10 nights, the free outdoor public event showcases contemporary art by talented Aboriginal artists from around Central Australia.
Lake Mountain Alpine Resort is the closest snow field to Melbourne and although it doesn’t cater to downhill skiers it is the centre for cross country skiing in Victoria. Visitors can also try their hand – or foot – at snowshoeing, tobogganing and good old snowman making.
Woodend in the Macedon Ranges has a quintessential Australian village feel. I visited for the weekend, staying in a beautiful rustic woodland cottage.
I think I’ve found ‘The One’. Yes, it’s true. Since I’ve been frequenting Australian shores I’ve been waiting and hoping, hoping and waiting for the right one to come along. And now it seems my wait is finally over. The Lost Lands festival is here!
These gold award winners are a good representation of the type of ecotourism activities available in Australia. If you’re looking for the best ecotourism experiences down under, these are a pretty good start.
On the surface, Noosa seems like any other seaside town, but there is so much more to this captivating region than sun, sea and sand. Conservation and sustainable tourism ideals are ingrained in the community and business life. Action groups ensure development is restricted, wildlife is cared for and management programmes are in place to help protect this wonderfully diverse environment. Added to that some seriously good places to eat and you can see why people keep coming back for more.
When there are children’s lifeless bodies rolling with the waves on shorelines, choosing another inane travel photograph or writing about my charmed life seems incredibly vacuous. There are a thousand things that matter so much more.