Archive for the ‘Chic Destinations’ Category

Restaurant Australia – Tourism Australia Campaign

September sees the international roll-out of Tourism Australia’s ‘Restaurant Australia’ campaign gather momentum with high profile launch events taking place across the world, including the United Kingdom, Singapore, Korea and Hong Kong.

Australia’s top chefs, freshest produce and finest wines will play starring roles in the launches and the ongoing campaign activity which, once fully rolled out, will target visitors from 17 of Australia key overseas tourism markets.

The UK launch will see Australia House in London transformed into a ‘pop-up’ restaurant where each evening, for six consecutive nights (22 to 27 September), a renowned Australian chef will treat diners to a delicious meal inspired by their own memories of holidaying in Australia.

The six Australian chefs – each representing a different state or territory – are Maggie Beer (representing South Australia), Skye Gyngell (NSW), Luke Rayment (Queensland), Matt Stone (WA), Shannon Bennett (Victoria)and Rachel O’Sullivan (Northern Territory).

The UK event is being organised in partnership with the state and territory tourism offices, Wine Australia and leading Australian food producers. Twenty-nine different premium Australian wines, each available in the UK, have been donated by Wine Australia and will be served during the week.

Restaurant Australia

The Korea launch of Restaurant Australia takes place on September 23 in Seoul with up to 100 VIP guests, trade and media attending an outdoor event at the Australian Ambassador’s residence. Amongst those attending will be Mr Gwang-Ho Choi, the Australian-educated winner of Korea Master Chef.

The Singapore launch (26 September) will focus on Tasmanian seafood and involve Tetsuya Wakuda, an internationally renowned chef with strong culinary connections to Australia, cooking up a ‘Tasmania Seafood Seduction’ meal at his Waku Ghin restaurant at Marina Bay Sands.

One of Tasmania’s most well-known and award-winning tourism operators, Rob Pennicott, will also attend the Singapore launch.

Rob and his family operate a number of award-winning tours showcasing Tasmania, including a sea cruise where guests catch and then eat a delicious seafood feast which is accompanied with gourmet local produce and Tasmanian wines, boutique beers, ciders and juices.

The centrepiece of a week of ‘Restaurant Australia’ activity to support the Hong Kong launch, which took place last week, was an Aussie-inspired ‘long table’ lunch for 100 VIP guests and media prepared by renowned Australian chefs Ben O’Donohue and Eddie Cofie at popular harbour-front restaurant, Alfresco Lane.

Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, said Australia’s people, produce and place sat at the heart of its ‘Restaurant Australia’ campaign, as a way to demonstrate the country’s world class food and wine experiences to the world.

“Our aim is to demonstrate Australia’s culinary credentials on a global stage, and what better way to do it than harnessing our country’s best chefs, freshest produce and finest wines, all served up in the most iconic of Australian venues overseas,” he said.

Romantic Food and Wine Getaways in Central NSW

Central NSW Tourism has unearthed some heavenly new and unique places to stay in its food and wine regions, perfect for a romantic, long weekend in the country.Stay in eco-suites on a vineyard in Orange, on the banks of the Lachlan River in Forbes, or in a historic home on a hill in Bathurst. If you’re celebrating with friends, Mudgee’s luxury new rural retreat Horizon is perfect for groups.

Each place offers something very special, with local food and wine an integral part of the stay. It all begins just 2.5 hours’ drive from Sydney in a region that offers a rich cultural heritage and magnificent landscapes along the way.

Central NSW is one of Australia’s biggest food and wine bowls with award-winning producers, wine-makers, restaurants, cafes and farmers markets.

visit central nsw

Orange – Borrodell Vineyard

The place: Tree-changers and a metro influence have led to a boom in cafes and wine bars opening in Orange. Unearth your favourite at the rustic Agrestic Grocer, industrial Factory Espresso or hip Ferment The Orange Wine Centrewhere you can taste over 100 wines in state-of-the-art Enomatics, dine on tapas and hire bikes. Orange is 3.5hrs drive from Sydney.

The accommodation: Stay at Borrodell Vineyard on the slopes of Mt Conobolas in cottages and suites. Settle in with a wine by the fire at the new Cider Suites, Sommerset and Kingston, named after cider apples grown on site.

298 Lake Conobolas Road, Orange Tel: 02 6365 3425

Forbes – Girragirra Retreat

The place:Taste real earthy tucker on the banks of the Lachlan River with freshly caught river fish, fruit picked from the Spring blossoms and local lamb rubbed in river salt and rosemary.Rex flies from Sydney daily to Parkes just 30km away.

The accommodation:Wiradjuri for ‘be well, be happy, be merry’, Girragirra Retreat is tucked away down a country road just 4km from Forbes. The architect designed, luxurious, self-contained two bedroom apartment is perfect for one or two couples with generous living areas overlooking a billabong surrounded by Red River Gums and native grasslands. Pick your food from the food garden, cook in the gourmet kitchen or outside on the BBQ, and retreat to luxury linens and bathrobes. Part of a 50 acre organic farm on the banks of the Lachlan River.

180 Warrul Road, Forbes, Tel: 044 974

Bathurst – Bishops Court Estate

The place: Bathurst’s historic buildings and laneways are being re-born as hip new bars and dining spots, preserving its past as Australia’s oldest inland settlement, 2.5 hours’ drive from Sydney. Sip on cocktails at Webb & Co, a transformed department store, or at The Church Bar & Dining, on notorious Ribbon Gang Lane.

The accommodation: The best address is Bishops Court Estate, a historic luxury boutique hotel set on a hill with beautiful gardens, a gourmet restaurant in the chapel and cooking classes for guests. Wake to the sound of birds and country air in one of seven suites, many with their own Juliet garden.

226 Seymour Street, Bathurst Tel: 02 6332 4447

Mudgee – Horizon

The place: A food and wine lovers’ paradise, Mudgee is a historic town surrounded by a tapestry of around 40 wineries with excellent producers, cafes and restaurants. Dine at the new Zinhouse, Pipeclay Pumphouse or at Alby & Esthers wine bar. Just 3.5hrs drive from Sydney.

The accommodation: Mudgee’s newest deluxe five star self-contained accommodation, Horizon, is a bright spacious rural retreat. Architect designed; there are four bedrooms, a state of the art kitchen and wet-edge swimming pool. It is set on 50 acres with vines, cows and river access.

637 Castlereagh Hwy, Burrundulla Tel: 02 6373

Unearth your Central NSW experience at

New Indigenous Encounters Program at Uluru Meeting Place

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia is adding to its portfolio of ‘Indigenous Encounters’ at Ayers Rock Resort available exclusively to Business Event clients.  The new products, which are available to conferences and business events held at the Resort from 1 April 2014, offer a suite of affordable options to incorporate cultural involvement.

“The Uluru Meeting Place, recently awarded Australia’s highest accolade – the Tourism Australia Award for Business Tourism – is now established as an exciting venue and a number of successful and exciting events have been held since its opening in November 2012.  While the quality of the facilities, food and beverage and of course the location in proximity to the spiritual heart of Australia receive high praise there has been consistent interest in ways to incorporate Indigenous activities,” said Voyages Executive General Manager Sales, Marketing and Distribution, Ray Stone.

Indigenous Encounters has been designed to meet every group’s needs – large or small. The suite of activities includes traditional local Inma dance and welcome to country, dot painting workshops, Aboriginal campfire tours, performances from cultural dancers, an Indigenous dance workshop, a segment of traditional Aboriginal games, a session with the didgeridoo, spear and boomerang throwing lessons and a team building activity based around boomerang painting.


Understanding the need to keep conference programs cost effective, a great two hour cultural energiser in the form of a Round-Robin team building activity is offered that combines 30 minutes on each of four activities from the above list for $75 per person.

In addition to Indigenous Encounters, Ayers Rock Resort now offers conference organisers a CSR educational component to their program. This offers delegates a deeper understanding into the Indigenous Training and Development activities that are carried out through the National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA) as well as the efforts of the Mutitjulu Foundation. A 30-60 minute presentation hosted by the management team and a traditional Anangu owner gives the opportunity to learn about specific community projects, training initiatives and interaction with an Anangu representative.

“The positive response from conference delegates to the trial of this presentation was so strong that we knew it would be a successful regular

Remarkable Retreat to Southern Ocean Lodge

Daybreak on Kangaroo Island; the sun climbs watery above the horizon, its warm rays span golden across the arctic blue of the vast Southern Ocean and glint on the bed-ends in the suites at Southern Ocean Lodge, warming toes.

Cool season sea mists rise to meet the morning, hinting at possibilities in the day ahead; the promise of fine, locally-sourced food and wine, of exploring the island’s remote coasts and of a first-hand Australian wildlife encounter, Galapagos-style.

As the beach-going summertime crowds return to busy lives on the mainland, a diverse and abundant natural wildlife emerges and is on the move by day, alert and refreshed by the cooler season.

Visitors are afforded otherwise rare glimpses of kangaroo and koala joeys as they emerge from their mothers’ pouches, or the thrill of an echidna spotted warming in the gentle sun.


It’s a season to take a step out of the ordinary, to embark on new adventures and share encounters in unchartered territory, and then to quietly contemplate, a moment to acknowledge the natural grace of wilderness at its most pure.

It’s also the perfect season for eating well on Kangaroo Island as local farmers produce a bounty of fine local produce; free farmed lamb, beef, chicken and eggs, sheep milk yoghurts and cheeses and pure Ligurian honey. It’s a fine time to enjoy great South Australian wines from this world-class wine region, and ideal occasion to contemplate a smooth SA red by warmth of an open fire with the wintry blue ocean churning outside.

Southern Ocean Lodge is the ‘luxe base camp’ from which experience it all and to retreat at leisure.


A haven of relaxed luxury and welcoming sophistication, floor to ceiling windows in the Great Room open to the grand sweep of untouched horizons of sea and land. Contemporary suites styled with local limestone and custom furnishings invite time spent relaxing with a book or the company of a loved one, with the spectacular Southern Ocean beyond.


Belle Epoque Affair Monaco Grand Prix

From 23rd to 26th May  Monaco has once again held the annual honor of hosting one of the most attended and prestigious racing events world-wide, the famous ‘Grand Prix de Monte Carlo’.

Its richness in corners, the narrow streets and the famous tunnel section make it probably one of the most mythical as well as demanding circuits worldwide that every Formula 1 pilot dreams to win. Spectators from around the world came to admire this race which is famous for the beauty of the circuit offering amazing views over the French Riviera and the harbour of Monaco hosting some of the most exclusive and luxurious yachts in the world.


Created in 1929, the Monaco F1 Grand Prix today is the most prestigious car race in the world. The layout of the circuit through the heart of Monaco’s Principality will make you vibrate as you experience the most exceptional moments. A truly life changing experience without compromise.

                                                                    “Belle Epoque Affair” – a new Grand Prix experience

 The Belle Epoque Affair is an exclusive, high-status weekend of events attended by tastemakers from the world over to come, eat, lounge, and view the magic surrounding Monaco’s Grand Prix Formula 1 race. The stunning setting of Casa Mia, the home formely owned by the Singer family, now Princess Grace Dance Academy was the backdrop to this luxurious weekend. Casa Mia has an ideal location right by Port Hercules, the starting point of the race.  The Belle Epoque Affair entered a new dimension of glamour, conviviality and luxury by recalling the nostalgia and elegance of the Belle Epoque Era.



Everything Dordogne

Sarlat is one of the most visited towns in France.

Having travelled extensively in France, Alex Petrovic and Karen Edwards, from Everything Dordogne ( knew Sarlat in the Dordogne Valley was where they wanted to be as soon as they arrived, where they wanted to live and begin their B&B and property service for Australian travellers. The green rolling hills, the dark oak forests and the truffles they produce there and the incredible history of the region.

Of all the towns in the Dordogne, Sarlat has always been the favorite and the one that kept them coming back when holidaying in France. It has been beautifully preserved and offers a real insight into what medieval France must have been like. Sarlat also has a great variety of restaurants, festivals and bi-weekly farmers market which is quite famous in the area.

Top 5 ‘must sees’ in the region:


1. Sarlat and Sarlat Market – Founded in the 12thC Sarlat is renowned as one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe and is simply stunning. The Sarlat Market showcases the best the region has to offer – a food lover’s haven.


 More information on Sarlet


 More information on the Market





2. Canoe the Dordogne from Vitrac to Beynac – This stretch of the river takes you past chateaux and ancient villages – it’s

the perfect introduction to the Dordogne

3. Domme – A Bastide Town where the Knight Templars were once imprisoned. Stunning views of the Dordogne Valley.


More information on Domme.




4. Monpazier and Chateau Biron – Monpazier is a wonderful preserved Bastide town in the south of the region. Lunch in the town square in the summer and nearby Chateau Biron is a favourite and a must!


Monpazier attractions

Chateau Biron



5. Chateau Castelnaud and Chateau Beynac – Two of the great defensives Chateaux of France.

Chateau Castelnaud


Chateau Beynac


A Taste of CODA on Orpheus Island

Renowned Melbourne chef, Adam D’Sylva from multi-award winning CODA Bar and Restaurant, will bring his love of great produce to the magical waters of the Great Barrier Reef, when he takes the reins of the Orpheus Island kitchen from 4 – 7 April 2013

D’Sylva will host an intimate group of 34 guests for CODA on Orpheus Island, a bespoke ‘once in a lifetime’ event, celebrating D’Sylva’s passion for flavoursome Asian cuisine and wholesome, locally sourced produce.

Set against the golden sands, pristine waters and stunning sunsets of Orpheus, guests will learn the intricacies behind CODA’s signature dishes by taking part in two masterclasses led by D’Sylva.

codaGuests will learn from D’Sylva as he creates mouthwatering morsels of crispy-prawn and tapioca betel leaf; aromatic roasted yellow duck curry; and freshly shucked pacific oysters, complemented with daikon, pickled ginger and green chilli dressing.

D’Sylva has quickly built an enviable culinary reputation. Growing up in a mixed Indian/Italian family, D’Sylva began cooking as a child. Heavily influenced by his mother’s love of cooking, his passion for food has led to a coveted career and an enviable culinary reputation!

D’Sylva’s impeccable resume has seen him in the kitchens of the Hilton on the Park, where he gained his apprenticeship; at popular South Yarra restaurant Cosi; as head chef of Pearl under the much awarded and respected Geoff Lindsay; and head chef of Longrain for Martin Boetz.

In 2008 Adam won the Age Good Food Guide’s Young Chef of the Year and as part of this award he was invited to work alongside Thomas Keller at Per Se, one of New York’s best restaurants. Adam has also twice been named the Victorian winner of the Lexus Young Chef of the Year.

Arguably one of Melbourne’s most popular restaurants, CODA opened in June 2009. The menu draws inspiration from across the globe, blending Asian and European tastes and techniques. D’Sylva will soon be opening his highly anticipated second restaurant, Tonka in the New Year.

CODA on Orpheus Island is the second event in the ongoing “Foodie Revolution Series”, an event series that highlights Orpheus Island’s position as a premium food destination and follows October’s Mar y Montaña Spanish Weekend hosted by Marc Albalate of the Robert Burns Hotel.


Miranda Kerr Test Drives New Chauffeur Service

Qantas ambassador Miranda Kerr has stepped out in Los Angeles to help promote the airline’s upcoming Chauffeur Drive service. Chauffeur Drive will be offered to Qantas travellers as part of its global airline partnership with Emirates from April 2013, and to other Qantas long-haul destinations from mid-2013.Passengers will be collected in a luxury vehicle and driven to the airport to meet their flight. On arrival at their destination, they will be met by another chauffeur service and driven to their hotel, office or home.


Miranda said she was looking forward to using the new service. “I’m sure many regular travellers like myself will appreciate not having to worry about organising transport to and from the airport,” said Miranda.
“This is a fantastic new benefit, providing an extra level of convenience at the beginning and end of your journey.”
Chauffeur Drive will be offered to Qantas passengers travelling in First and Business on flights between Australia to Dubai and London from April 2013.

Elsewhere on the Qantas network, Chauffeur Drive will be available on flights greater than 12 hours long from July 2013 – namely, flights between Australian and Los Angeles, Dallas, New York,Santiago and Johannesburg.

Destination Hobart

The accolades just keep on rolling in for Hobart. Tasmania’s cosmopolitan capital city has once again been recognised as a top global travel destination, this time by readers of the prestigious internet travel site TripAdvisor.

An active arts scene, vibrant nightlife and a unique mash-up of the 19th and 21st centuries are all reasons why readers of the world’s largest travel site rated Hobart as one of the world’s top ten “Destinations on the Rise.” Hobart was one of only two Australian cities named on the list, which recognises destinations that have seen the greatest increase in positive traveller feedback and traveller interest, year-over-year.

This accolade comes just weeks after Hobart was named one of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities to visit in 2013 in the publisher’s Best in Travel 2013. Lonely Planet advised readers, ‘Now is the time to discover what’s going on down there before the rest of the world catches on’.

Tourism Tasmania’s Acting CEO, Adam Sproule, said “It appears the rest of the world is indeed becoming wise to the energy and excitement that Hobart offers as a top-class travel destination.”

“Hobart has something for all travellers and with the warmer months clearly in sight, visitors from Australia and abroad are encouraged to visit Tasmania now and discover our capital city for themselves,” he said.

The top activity in Hobart according to readers of TripAdvisor is the highly acclaimed Louisa’s Walk – a spine tingling tour that follows the steps of Louisa’s conviction and transportation to Hobart’s infamous Female Factory during the cities dark past. The tour allows visitors to truly immerse themselves in the haunting history and culture of the city.

The colourful Salamanca Market also proved popular with readers. Held every Saturday in the historic Salamanca precinct, the markets feature a vibrant mix of gorgeous handmade arts and crafts and farm fresh produce. Visitors can forage for ingredients or gifts whilst tapping their feet to buskers performing an eclectic mix of blues, jazz and folk music.

Mt Wellington was another favourite with TripAdvisor readers. The easy drive to the summit, a short drive from the city centre, presents visitors with breathtaking views over Hobart and beyond.  Adventure seekers can take an exhilarating guided bike ride down the mountain, whilst those seeking an easier pace can take their time enjoying one of the countless walking tracks.

The ‘active arts scene’ in Hobart continues to evolve and grow. A visit to Hobart wouldn’t be complete without taking in David Walsh’s highly acclaimed, controversial and mind blowing MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). Visitors can spend a cruisey afternoon pedalling their way around the city, immersing themselves in the city’s edgy arts precincts and galleries with bikes available for hire from the MONA ferry terminal at Brooke St Pier and Moto Adventure on the waterfront. A collection of enticing routes are available for download from smARTmap.

Another exciting addition coming to the Hobart waterfront will be summer’s most anticipated new attraction, outdoor ice-skating rink, Mawson’s Skate. Launching on 22 December, Mawson’s Skate will operate seven days a week, all year round, providing locals and visitors with chills, spills and thrills right in the heart of Sullivan’s Cove.

Hobart’s burgeoning dining scene has also attracted the attention of critics worldwide with Garagistes and Ethos picking up a swag of accolades over the past year. Both restaurants have been commended for delivering gastronomic delights which focus on organic, sustainable, biodynamic and local ingredients.

Summer brings with it a hive of activity with an events calendar full of cutting edge events. Highlights include the hugely popular Taste Festival (28 December 2012 – 3 January 2013) on Hobart’s waterfront; the iconic Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race (26 December 2012 – 1 January 2013); the über cool MONA FOMA (16 – 20 January, 2013); and Tasmania’s premier cultural event, Ten Days on the Island (15 – 24 March 2013).

For more information on Tasmania, visit

Africa’s First Permanent Photo Safari Operator


Traditionally there has always been conflict on the back of a game viewing vehicle between people of differing interests…. predominantly birders and non-birders and more recently between photographers and non-photographers.A new company operating in Botswana’s Chobe National Park aims to solve that conflict by catering purely to people with an interest in wildlife photography.Pangolin Photo Safaris is a company set up by photographers for photographers. With specialized vehicles and boats designed with the needs of photographic clients in mind they operate every single day of the year in one of the most game rich environments in Africa.

Catering for photographers of all levels Pangolin will even supply state of the art digital SLR cameras (Nikon D7000) and zoom lenses (Sigma 150-500mm) for clients who perhaps are only travelling with a point-and-shoot!

Packages range from single 3-hour photo safaris (where basic training is given and then the client departs with all their pictures on a disk) right up to 5-day Better Wildlife Photography workshops with acclaimed international wildlife photographers.Pangolin operates from several of the lodges in the area meaning that packages can be designed for all budgetary levels.

The Chobe is situated on the main route between the Delta and Vic falls so clients can visit pangolin to either get some training before hitting the delta or get some shots they might have missed earlier on their trip which they will treasure forever.Pangolin plans to expand its operations in to the rest of the region and become the premier photo safari brand in Africa.

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