30 April 2012

Port Douglas Carnivale - 10 Days of Food

By Kerry Heaney. 

They know how to party in the tropics and it doesn't get much more tropical than Port Douglas.

If you like sand,sun and sea with swaying palm trees and clear skies, combined with a great selection of fine regional food - Port Douglas is your place, especially for 10 days from May 18.

The Port Douglas Carnivale starts with a slap up series of feasts that will challenge your appetite and endurance on one weekend (May 18 -20), perfect for a quick, indulgent getaway.

The opening weekend includes the -

Sheraton Mirage Longest Lunch May 18
Audi Plates of Port - dinner May 18
Food, Wine and A Taste of Port - dinner May 19
Meridien Seafood Extravaganza - lunch May 20

I visited Port Douglas in March for a sneak preview of what's on offer and it's good, very good.

To read on click here

27 April 2012

Top 10 Gold Coast hotels for swimming

If you are a fish out of water we have the best Gold Coast hotels and resorts for you!

Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa, 5 stars
The Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa has swimming facilities to please the whole family. There is a heated outdoor pool, whirlpool/hot tub, lap pool, a children’s pool and direct beach access. Aerobic classes are available on the premises and Sea World, one of the Gold Coast’s famous theme parks featuring water parks, slides and marine education is only a two minute drive away.

Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa

Palazzo Versace, 5 stars
For an glamourous romantic getaway look no further than the 5 star Palazzo Versace. Shopping is only 10 metres away and the beach just a 100 metre stroll, but leaving this beautiful resort may be very difficult. Relax in Australia’s only water salon where poolside lounging is taken to a whole new level, enjoy the clear waters of the beautiful lagoon, sandy beach scene and Cabana’s offering private pool side service and wellbeing treatments.

Palazzo Versace

Sea World Resort & Water Park, 4.5 stars
Sea World Resort & Water Park is one of Australia’s best family resorts, offering free unlimited use of the Sea World water park (open seasonally) which has attractions for the young, old and everyone in between. The water park has a mammoth plunge, 50 metre lagoon pool with waterfall, kids splash zone and cabana. For smaller children, and children at heart the giant tipping bucket, water slides and jets are lots of fun at the poolside WaterPlay.

Sea World Resort

Towers of Chevron Renaissance, 4 stars
Consists of three majestic towers rising 50 levels, The Towers of Chevron Renaissance are connected on the 5th floor by the ‘Beaches in the Sky’ complex. Consisting of a massive 600 metre square bell-shaped lagoon pool surrounded by sandy beach,  tropical gardens and plenty of grass for a picnic.

The Towers of Chevron Renaissance

Mantra Sun City, 4.5 stars
The Aztec inspired architecture and design of Mantra Sun City can best be enjoyed by climbing the ancient looking fortress with snake like waterslides and sliding down into the azure pool. Set amongst lush tropical gardens the property also offers a spa, indoor pool, sauna and Day Spa. 

Mantra Sun City

Paradise Resort Gold Coast, 3.5 stars
Located near the heart of Surfers Paradise, Paradise Resort Gold Coast boasts a brand new Water Park and lagoon pool. Featuring a giant tipping bucket waterfall, water cannons, waterslides there are 3 stories of aquatic fun! The younger kids don’t miss out either with a miniature waterpark offering slippery slide and water cannons. 

Paradise Resort Gold Coast

Breakfree Diamond Beach, 3.5 stars
The quiet, low rise Breakfree Diamond Beach holiday resort in the southern part of Broadbeach is great for family holidays and romantic escapes. The property makes the most of space offering tropical gardens, 2 lagoon style pools, 2 spas and a shaded BBQ area. For the little ones there is also a kid’s paddling pool, playground and games room. If you feel like splashing in the waves, then Kurrawa Beach is only 100 metres away. 

Breakfree Diamond Beach

Turtle Beach Resort, 4.5 stars
Offers accommodation for families of all sizes with 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, you will never be bored at Turtle Beach Resort. Enjoy 4 separate swimming areas including a kid’s paddling pool and adults only retreat, plus 4 spas, 2 saunas, two playgrounds and an 18 hole putt putt golf course and 28 seat cinema! 

Turtle Beach Resort

Diamond Sands Resort, 4 stars
Set upon Mermaid Beach, the low rise Diamond Sands Resort offers 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments set amongst lush tropical gardens and a lagoon pool with sandy beach. During the cooler months the pool and adjoining spa are heated. Enjoy your holidays by the pool with a picnic on the lawn or sausages on the free BBQs.

Diamond Sands Resort
Oaks Calypso Plaza, 4.5 stars
Located opposite Coolangatta Beach, Oaks Calypso Plaza offers a lagoon style swimming pool with waterslides and children’s wading pool surrounded by sub tropical gardens. Swimming is not restricted to the hotel, with a patrolled beach just across the road and the world famous Snapper Rocks offering great surf just a 10 minute walk around the headland. 

Oaks Calypso Plaza

26 April 2012

5 reasons why WA is so Extraordinary

To help celebrate our Love Western Australia SALE we'd love to share with you 5 reasons why WA is so extraordinary. 

1. The Kimberley is one of the world's last true wilderness area. Its the only place in the world you can ride the spectacular Horizontal Waterfalls and marvel at beehive like formations of the Bungle Bungle Range in World Heritage Listed Purnululu National Park. 

2. Ningaloo Reef on the mid north coast is home to one of the world's largest fringing reef. Here you can experience the rare opportunity to step off the beach and be immediately surrounded by coral and marine life. 

3. Between April to July you can partipate in an extraordinary experience - swimming with the whale sharks. These magestic, spotted creatures are the world's largest fish, but no fear, they are gentle filter feeding animals, mostly living on plankton. 

4. Western Australia is home to more than 12,000 species of wildflowers - more than the rest of Australia combined. Starting in the northern and sweeping south, a kaleidoscope of blooms can be seen across the state from June to November. 

5. Australia's whitest beach - Lucky Bech - can be found near Esperance on WA's south east coast. Its so beautiful even the kangaroos visit for a sunbake and swim!

To book your extraordinary experience in Western Australia click here

25 April 2012

Hamilton Island - Events in 2012

Hamilton Island will be hosting the Great Barrier Feast from 6 - 8 July 2012. This weekend will showcase the best of Australian haute cuisine with the chance to get up close and personal with the leading culinary and wine making experts. Guillaume Brahimi will swap his Sydney Opera House Kitchen for one with island views, when he joins the Great Barrier Feast event.

If you are not fussed about food, then check out the Gatorade Battle of the Paddles from 14 - 18 June 2012. The annual event offers competitions in four disciplines - Surf Ski, Stand-Up Paddle Boarding, Board Paddling and of course Outrigging.

Athletes will return to the island between 9 - 11 November for the Fujifilm Hamilton Island Triathlon and Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim. Consisting of a pictureque 750 metre swin in Catseye Bay, 20km cicle and 5km run through the Hamilton Island Marina Village the event has attracted some of the best Australian Olympic and Ironman athletes. 

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week occurs from 17 - 25 August this year, bringing one of the most superb sailing regattas in the world to the Whitsundays. The event mixes awe-inspiring sailing and glamourous on shore dinners and parties with over a thousand competitiors gathering on the island.

The magical Pas de Deux in Paradise by The Australian Ballet will return to qualia again this year for a weekend of remarkable performance, behind the scenes access and fine dining. To join this incredible event book your accommodation package with qualia for the 16 - 18 November 2012. 

To book your Hamilton Island getaway click here.  

24 April 2012

Sheraton on the Park - Creating lasting memories

Travel is about bringing people together and making the little things matter. At Sheraton it’s about bringing conversation back to the travel experience and creating connections that form new bonds or rekindle old friendships. Sheraton creates opportunities to connect - to home, to colleagues, and to friends, both old and new. More specifically, Sheraton on the Park Sydney offers all of this and more.

Right in the heart of the city opposite Hyde Park, a tree-lined oasis, the five-star hotel is a great destination to connect while savouring our views of Hyde Park, St. Mary's Cathedral, and Middle Harbour.

Sheraton on the Park presents a wide range of recreational choices here at the hotel for the utmost enjoyment during a business or leisure visit. Guests can stop by our on-site shops for beautiful women's couture, fine watches and jewellery, or prepare for that special event at our on-site hairdresser. It also offers a beautiful indoor pool with glass roof that looks up to Sydney's Centrepoint Tower, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, and On the Park Rejuvenation, our world-class spa for splendid relaxation. Our Gallery Tea Lounge offers a contemporary spin on high tea, while the Sheraton Club Lounge provides Club guests with a superb space in which to unwind and enjoy stunning vistas of the city, harbour, and park.

The hotel's city centre location provides easy access to popular entertainment venues including the State Theatre, Sydney Entertainment Centre, and concerts held on the green expanses of The Domain. We are also a short stroll from the Monorail which will whisk you to Darling Harbour in a matter of minutes. There you will find waterfront dining, parks, playgrounds, shopping, and Harbour Cruises. Or take a leisurely stroll to the glittering Sydney Harbour, home to the famous Harbour Bridge, the iconic Opera House and the historic Rocks area, with a variety of outdoor markets, pubs and restaurants. For a truly unique experience, catch a ferry across Sydney Harbour to visit Australia's native animals at Taronga Zoo or take a ride to Manly Beach and enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the sun.

Guests with limited time for play can easily sample all that the city has to offer, simply step out our doors and arrive at great restaurants, celebrated department stores and enticing boutiques within a couple steps, or cross the street for a refreshing walk or run in Hyde Park past the famous Art Gallery of New South Wales. Many other museums and galleries are only minutes away on foot.

Sheraton is about creating lasting memories, why not create memories to last a lifetime when you enjoy the city of Sydney at the Sheraton on the Park. 

Until 30 September Sheraton on the Park is offering 3 nights for the price of 2 in Hyde Park Rooms. To book click here.

23 April 2012

Hiring a Yacht in the Whitsundays - What You Need To Know

Think chartering a own yacht to explore the 74 islands of the Whitsundays is a pipe dream? Think again. Imagine skippering the yacht to a romantic deserted beach for a picnic or sunset stroll, dropping anchor for a spot of snorkelling or fishing in the morning sun. Sunlover Holidays are the experts of Skipper Yourself yacht hire, we can talk you through every stage of the process including advice on which vessels will suit you best.

Sunsail Catamaran
What You Need To Know

Sailing Experience
You will need some experience at the helm of a yacht, but maybe not as much as you would expect. Although the larger vessels require high level of experience there are smaller vessels that may suit a beginner and all operators provide a comprehensive hands-on briefing before you set sail. If you feel you need guidance on the first day then you may hire a sail guide who will show you the ropes on day one and get you on your way. Don’t worry – you’re not alone on the seas, your charter company is available for radio contact daily for professional advice.

Whitsunday Rent a Yacht
Boats come fully equipped so there is no need to bring bedding, galley gear or snorkelling equipment. Most vessels are also charted out with a ‘basic essentials’ kit that includes sponges, matches, detergent, inspect repellent, garbage bags, toilet paper and guest soap. 

Queensland Yacht Charters - Fountaine Pajot
Optional Extras
If you prefer to relax on your holidays you can hire a skipper and cook to take care of all your chartering and dining needs. The operators also make your holiday easy by offering a variety of fresh food provisioning packs packed and stowed on the yacht before you set sail. At an extra cost sailboards and scuba diving equipment are available to hire at an extra charge.

Important Conditions
Prior to paying a deposit you will be required to sign a Charter Agreement confirming you understand the terms and conditions of charter. This is important as cancellation fees may apply once a minimum security deposit of $550 per vessel has been paid. Full payment of your holiday cost must be paid no later than 60 days prior to travel.

All companies require a damage waiver to be paid direct to the operator on commencement of the charger along with a signed credit card authority. They also reserve the right (without showing cause) to apply a bond of up to $2500. 

Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach
Call Sunlover Holidays on 13 88 33 (AUS) or +61 7 3535 4550 (Internationa) to book your yacht hire and relax knowing you are in safe hands. 

22 April 2012

Five Extraordinary Facts about Western Australia

1. Perth is Australia's sunniest capital city, with the most hours of sunshine each year. 

2. Western Australia is more than 2.5 million square kilometres, which is about the same size as Western Europe. 

3. Perth is the only Australian city where you can see the sunset over the Indian Ocean. 

4. Humpback and Southern Right whales call Western Australian oceans home between June and December each year. 

5. The Margaret River Region in the South West of Western Australia is home to more than 220 wine producers, 100 cellar doors and produces more than 25% of Australia's premium wine.

Western Australia is ON SALE until 4 May - visit our hot deals here.

21 April 2012

Perth - 5 Hot Bars

1. 1907 Restaurant and Cocktail Bar
Set in a trendy former factory in the heart of the city, you can enjoy great food while embracing the old-world charm of this 100 year old building. 

2. Andaluz Bar and Tapas
Tucked in the basement of the 104 year old Parker & Parker building on Howard Street is a cosy tapas bar full of Chesterfield couches and mood lighting. When the weather is great enjoy al fresco dining in the bar's elegent courtyard. 

3. Belgian Beer Cafe
Replicating the 1930s beer lounges, this cafe offers a range of Belgian beers and menu of hearty treats. 

4. The Cheeky Sparrow
Found on Murray Street this cafe offers a warm and friendly to share a coffee with friends or catch up with a loved one over shared plates. 

5. The Conservatory
If you want to enjoy panoramic views of the city then head to The Conservatory at 256 Murray Street. Here you will find Perth's original roof-top bar with cutting edge design and a retractable roof.

Click here to discover Perth hottest hotels.

20 April 2012

Top 10 things to do in the Whitsundays

10. Try a new watersport or learn to dive.

Jet skiing in the Whitsundays
9. Enjoy a cocktail against a perfect island sunset backdrop.

Cocktails in the Whitsundays
 7. Rejuvenate at an island Day Spa.

 7. Enjoy a picnic lunch on a secluded beach.

Whitsunday Island
 6. Snorkel fringing reef straight off the beach of a Whitsunday island.

Snorkelling off Whitsunday Islands
5. Follow walking tracks through cool forests and national parks located on the Airlie Beach coastline and Whitsunday national park islands.

Hiking the Whitsundays
4. Sail or cruise around the 74 Whitunday islands.

Sailing in the Whitsundays
 3. Swim, snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef
2. Take a day trip to the pristine Whitehaven Beach - where the sand is so pure you can clean your jewellery on it. 

Whitehaven Beach
1. See Heart Reef from the air on a scenic flight over the Whitsundays. 

Heart Reef

To book your holiday to the Whitsundays, click here.

19 April 2012

Adelaide - 5 Hot Tips

David Reyne shares with us his hot tips when travelling to Adelaide. 
Shop for one-off pieces at... 
Balhannah by Design in the Adelaide Hills and in the quaint town of Angaston in the Barossa. 

A great Adelaide bar for evening drinks?
Head to Sangria on Gouger Street - try the delicious pintxos (tapas) too!

For a caffeine fix you can't go past.. 
CIBO. Look for red umbrellas on many Adelaide street corners. 

Wanting to relax in style?
Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with a picnic hamper of delicious cheese and gourmet goods from Udder Delights in Hahndorf. 

For a delicious treat in the Adelaide Hills.. 
Try a 'wine flight' at Shaw and Smith Winery - sample four wines and a cheese plate. 

17 April 2012

Top 10 attractions on Fraser Island

1. Scenic flight
Experience a fantastic bird’s eye view of the ancient rainforests, fresh water lakes including the amazing butterfly lake, fabulous stretches of sand dunes and bright blue sea, marine life including whales during whale season, ending with a thrilling beach landing.

2. Lake McKenzie
High in a sand dune, 100 metres above sea level enjoy the crystal clear, blue waters of Lake McKenzie and relaxing soft white sandy shore. Lake McKenzie covers more than 150 hectares and is over five metres deep.

3. Fishing
Enjoying fishing along Fraser Islands famous 75 Mile Beach, known as one of the best beach fishing spots in the world. Trailer boats can be launched in the calm water behind Indian Head and Waddy Point for fishing off the coast.

4. 4WD along the beach
Drive along the 75 Mile Beach highway and enjoy the scenic views, including a ship wreck - but watch out for dingoes! Between June and October you may also see Humpback Whales off the beach. It is advised that essential spares, a tow rope, spade, water and first aid kit are carried.

5. Eli Creek
This is the largest creek on the Eastern side of the island with a flow of eight million litres of water a day. Eli Creek is a popular swimming and picnic spot, you can walk along the boardwalk and watch everyone swimming and floating by in the swiftly flowing creek from the bridge at the far end of the boardwalk.

Float down Eli Creek
6. Champagne Pools
Just North of Indian Head, discover the Champagne pools, a very popular swimming hole. The Champagne Pools are naturally formed by volcanic rock, the ocean crashes over the rocks and into the shallow sandy pools creating foaming water, giving the pools its name. The timber walking tracks and steps enable easy access so everyone can enjoy relaxing in the water or sunbathing along the rocks or sand nearby.

7. Indian Head
Climb to the top of Indian Head for amazing panoramic views of Fraser Island’s beaches. Dolphins, turtles, sharks and huge rays can be spotted from here on clear days. During whale season you are sure to spot the humpback whales passing by.

8. The Pinnacles
The Pinnacles are an ancient sand structure from coloured sands swept assure from the sandstones of inland Australia providing an amazing example of the creative powers of nature. The beautiful mix of red, yellow, brown, and orange sand is best viewed in the morning light which highlights the beauty of all the different shades.

9. Rainforest
Majestic rainforests can be found among the sand providing homes to many beautiful native birds. The dense canopy of trees provides a cool and refreshing place to enjoy a peaceful walk along creeks that are so clear you can see leaves resting on the creek bed. 

Central Station
 10. Lake Wabby
The Island’s deepest lake is Lake Wabby at 11.4 metres which can be accessed through a walking track from the beach. It is known as both a window lake and a barrage lake; window lakes are formed when the ground level falls below the water table and barrage lakes are formed when a sand blow blocks the waters of a natural spring. Unlike the other lakes, Lake Wabby is home to several varieties of fish.

16 April 2012

The Archibald Prize. Art Gallery of N.S.W.

David Reyne. 

How often have you stood in an art gallery staring quizzically at the framed, lurid pink squiggle on the wall and thought to yourself, “hell, I could’ve done that”?
Perhaps you’ve even bolted home, stopping off at the newsagent on the way for a roll of cardboard, and a paint brush or two, convinced that you could slosh a bit of watercolour about and get the million dollar cheque the galleries are paying for similar kinds of work.

A couple of hours spent in the Art Gallery of New South Wales might get you to reconsider.

A walk through Sydney’s beautiful Domain with its winding footpaths, copious lush gardens and gently sloping lawns gives the feeling of wandering through a masterpiece, particularly as you rise the crest leading to the Gallery to be confronted by its classic sandstone fa├žade. If it weren’t for glimpses of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House over your shoulder, you’d almost believe you’d stumbled upon Athens or Rome, such is the style and grandeur of the Gallery’s ostentatious entrance of Ionic columns and Neo Classical portico.

It’s a daunting welcome to any kind of building but given this holds one of the country’s finest collections of art, you can’t help but think you’re about to discover walls heaving with heavily framed brushwork by humourless masters depicting depressing scenes of bloody historic battles and grim faced angels attempting to part gloomy skies to clear way the way to heaven for emaciated, twisted corpses. And, believe me, there are those kinds of works.

They’re not the reason why I visited, however. I came for the Archibald Prize exhibition which runs until the 3rd of June 2012.

Once inside, I headed downstairs and was immediately taken by the magnificence of the assembled work; bold, colourful, modern. Sometimes amusing and sometimes stark.

Each of the 41 finalists in 2012’s Archibald are here. Each portrait has an accompanying plaque explaining the work and a brief history of the artist responsible, but it’s the undoubted skill that stops me in my tracks. There’s such a joyous energy present. Some works are incredibly audacious with the paint looking as if it’s been flung at the canvas from a distance, while others seem almost photographic, such is the extraordinary detail involved.

Not once do I find myself thinking I’d easily knock one of these up at home. Quite the contrary. I find myself up close, marveling at the brushwork, amazed by the piling on of layers and textures, wondering how, when viewed from only inches away, some look nothing like they do when viewed again from the middle of the room.

And then I started questioning the judges’ decision. How on earth could one be deemed ‘better’ than the other? Indeed, how on earth were one or two even regarded as being worthy to hang at all?

I eventually realise I’ve spent three hours staring at works of art without even noticing the passing of time. It also dawns on me that, sadly, my attempts at sloshing a bit of watercolour upon a bit of cardboard is, exactly that - sloshing.

We’re all aware of the splendour of Sydney Harbour and its surrounds. It’s one of the most beautiful harbours in the world but never would I have thought I’d go specifically to head indoors… to look at ‘pictures’. I’m glad I did. 

To learn about the exhibition click here

15 April 2012

Top 10 Extraordinary Experiences in Western Australia

1. See the world's only staircase to the moon in Broome.

2. Catch a ferry to a local favourite holiday spot - Rottnest Island. Here you can bicycle around the coastline, snorkel in azure waters or just relax upon the many white sandy beaches.

3. See the largest collection of wildflowers on Earth during the southern hemisphere spring (September to November) at Stirling Range National Park.

4. Get a taste for the real outback in Kalgoorlie and the Goldfields and learn about the area's wild past as a gold rush town in its heritage buildings and museums. Try your luck and pan for gold!

5. Swim with the majestic Whale Sharks from Exmouth on a full day cruise. Between April and June the world's biggest fish visit Ningaloo Reef.

6. Feed the local wild dolphins at Monkey Mia on the Coral Coast. These playful creatures love to interact with humans and are comfortable eating out of your hand!

7. See the amazing tidal movements that create Horizontal Falls and Montgomery Reef. The areas is only accessible by boat and allows you to discover waterways like Prince Regent and Hunter River that only fortunate few have seen.

8. Take a scenic flight over the magical beehive domes of the Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park.

9. See the world's largest man-made lake - Lake Argyle. Best viewed from the air, you will also fly over the world's largest pink Argyle diamond mine.

10. Explore Margaret River's 100 wineries and gourmet food experiences from cheese to chocolate produced in-store. The area is also home to the state's best surf beaches.  

For assistance booking your Australian holiday contact Sunlover Holidays on 13 88 33 (from Australia) or +61 7 3535 4550 (International).

14 April 2012

Calendar of Events in Victoria

The year opens with the Australian Open Tennis Championships - held in the second half of January each year in Melbourne.

The cooler weather is the perfect time to introduce the new season's fashions at Melbourne Fashion Festival.

Formula 1 Grand Prix is held in Albert Park, just east of the city centre. It brings glitz, glamour and of course noise to the city each year.

Melbourne has a thriving underground comedy scene and each April it comes above ground with a range of small and large shows across the city. See your favourite international comedian or discover new talent performing in a laneway bar.

Rip Curl Pro is held at the world famous Bells Beach, known for its incredible surf beaches and amazing rock formations. While you're visiting the Great Ocean Road make sure you see the postcard perfect Twelve Apostles.

The weather may be cool, but the engines are hot at Phillip Island's V8 Supercar Championship.

Broaden your horizons and watch an international film or local documentary at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

'One day in September..' It's the time of year where footy fever reaches its peak as the final 8 become 2 for the AFL Grand Final held on the last Saturday in September.

Phillip Island is once again is home to racing with the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix being held at the end of the month.

Spring Racing Carnival actually commences as early as September, but Australians know the first Tuesday in November as Melbourne Cup. Stop with the nation to watch the horses jump out of the gate at 3pm.

13 April 2012

Top 5 things to do in Perth

1. Cruise along the scenic Swan River - where you can enjoy Perth's famous sunny days while taking in the city skyline.

2. Visit the historic Bell Tower where the 12 bells of St Martin-in-the-Fields are housed. Finish off with a trip to The Perth Mint and witness molten gold being poured to form a gleaming 6kg gold bar.

3. Shop at the up-market Claremont Quarter and enjoy a coffee from the local cafes. Then head to Murray and Hay Street Malls to grab a bargain.

4. Discover Perth's Sunset Coast and relax, swim or surf on one of th 19 white sand beaches.

5. Take in Perth Zoo, just 5 minutes from the heart of Perth. Here you can view the Penguin Plunge, crocodiles and an African Safari.

2 April 2012

Tasmania - 5 attractions you can't miss

1. If you are after adventure, join a group for white water rafting on the Franklin or for a more gentle experience enjoy a cruise up the Gordon River and admire the ancient rainforest and mirrored reflections upon the still water.
2. Discover Australia’s brutal convict history and visit Tasmania’s world Heritage list sites at Maria Island, Port Arthur, Richmond or Sarah Island.  A guided tour will explain the hardships of convicts and the astonishing ghost encounters.
3. Discover the 40 million year old Hastings Caves (south of Huonville) with a tour of the magical chambers of flowstones and shawls.  At the end of the tour walk through the forests and relax in a thermal springs pool. Mole Creek just outside Deloraine offers the chance to enjoy year round 9 degree weather in one of three 45 minute cave tours. Explore sparkling crystals, stalactites and stalagmites, or sit in silence and enjoy the sounds of water dripping from the cave roof.
4. Enjoy the spectacular views of Hobart from 1,270 metres above Hobart’s harbour and the Derwent River from Mount Wellington. Bushwalking trails, barbecue and picnic facilities are available a top the mountain along with biking and abseiling activities.

5. Beauty Point is home to two of Tasmania’s wildlife attractions, Seahorse World and Platypus House. See the friendly seahorse in the Cave of the Seahorse and watch fish feeding, with the opportunity to touch interesting sea creatures. At Platypus House you may take a guided tour to see the enigmatic platypus in a bushland setting.

Mt Wellington, Hobart

1 April 2012

Sleeping Around by Kerry Heaney

Introducing Kerry Heaney author of Eat, drink + be Kerry a food, travel and lifestyle blog. Kerry has kindly shared her recent post: Sleeping Around - Henry Jones, Tasmania. Enjoy.

Ooh Henry, I love your rugged, olde world looks, your quirky outlook and taste in food and you can show me your etchings anytime.

Is it wrong to fall in love with a hotel?  I shared two nights with Henry and it really wasn't enough.  It wasn't enough to get a good feel for the surprising town of Hobart and it left me wanting more.

Located on Hobart's waterfront The Henry Jones Art Hotel is a converted jam factory with all the charm, nooks and crannies of an old building. It includes Henry's Restaurant, The IXL Long Bar, Jam Packed Cafe and Henry Jones Design Gallery.

Who was Henry Jones? He was born on  July 19, 1862. His parents John and Emma were immigrants from England answering the call of emigration from the British Isles in the late 1850s.

The Henry Jones Art Hotel is located on Hobart’s waterfront and is Australia’s first dedicated Art Hotel. The site dates back to 1804, when Lieutenant-Governor Collins landed just footsteps from the front of the hotel's main entrance.

It houses one of the nations largest private companies and a brand still known today as H. Jones & Co. Pty IXL Jams.  The hotel houses over 300 original and contemporary works of art showcasing Tasmania’s leading and emerging artists, most of which are for sale.

So what have you got here?  A hotel well positioned to take in the best of Hobart, spacious rooms with personality and great art on the walls.

There's also a cute deli/cafe/gift shop right next door for those times when you just want something quick. Henry Jones Hotel