14 August 2012

What you can't miss when visiting South Australia

Within the Adelaide Hills is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, Hahndorf. There is still a strong German culture in this town, most evident in the smallgoods stores and German bakery’s that line the main street. While in Hahndorf you can make your way through the towns many cellar doors on offer, and then eat the freshest local produce in one of the trendy eateries. 

This town will have you topped up on culture with its galleries, migration museum, artist’s studios and art classes. If you’re bringing the kids along be sure to take them to the Hahndorf Farm Barn, where they can cuddle some friendly animals and check out the nature wildlife park. 

Hahndorf Inn, Hahndorf
Hahndorf Inn, Hahndorf
Barossa Valley
Australia’s wine capital, Barossa, is the best place to go if you’re looking to indulge in great wine in absolute luxury. With more than 80 cellar doors and 150 wineries you will be spoilt for choice.
Not only is the wine world class, but the fresh local produce from the Adelaide Hills is something to be admired also.

Speaking of food, a visit to Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop is an absolute must whilst in the Barossa Valley. Here you can check out the famous cook and writer’s product range and have tastings. And if you’re lucky you might even get to meet her!  

Wining & dining at Murdock Wines Barossa
Wining & dining at Murdock Wines Barossa
McLaren Vale
McLaren Vale is the perfect destination for your next wine adventure, with more than 60 cellar doors, it’s a favourite South Australian wine region.

Visit Coriole Vineyard’s cellar door in an old, ironstone barn. Taste reserve wines and back vintages in the wine room and then enjoy lunch in the courtyard.

Chapel Hill offers panoramic views over the Onkaparinga Valley. Set within an old stone church, the cellar door sells a variety of wine. Penny’s Hill is inviting, with casual, farm charm. You can relax on the couches inside or play boules on the lawns, while enjoying the wine and tapas.

Coober Pedy
If you are looking for a very unique kind of holiday, then Coober Pedy is the destination for you. This opal mining town exists underground to escape high temperatures. Underground you will find hotels, restaurants, bars, and an underground church. You can take a tour of the town and check out the underground homes, opal mines, art gallery and pottery, or try your luck fossicking for opals at various spots around town. This fascinating place really is one of a kind and definitely a must do if you are considering a South Australian outback adventure. 

Coober Pedy, South Australia
Coober Pedy, South Australia
Lake Eyre
Lake Eyre exists in the harsh South Australian outback and is the largest lake in Australia, spanning 9,500 square kilometres. As the lake rarely fills with water, and becomes a giant salt pan, which fascinates you with the white crystals that shimmer in the sunlight.

You can check out the lake from a plane, which allows you to view the endless still water or salt creeping over, or enjoy the lake by boat and listen to the sounds of the wildlife.

You can choose to camp in one of the camping grounds or if you prefer the indoors, there are hotels and caravan parks at nearby towns where you can grab a good pub feed. 
Limestone Coast
The Limestone Coast in a stunning region which was formed by tonnes of marine life falling to the sea floor, and is a treasure trove of natural wonders.

There are plenty of picturesque coastal towns to visit along the amazing Limestone Coast such as Robe, where you can swim at the stunning beaches, peer over rugged cliffs, and eat the best seafood. Then, head to Cape Jaffa to check out dolphins and penguins as they swim close to the shore. Coorong is a great place for swimming, fishing, or relaxing.

The Limestone Coast’s beaches are rugged and something to be seen, and offer some of the best fishing and surfing locations. 

Snorkelling off Limestone Coast
Snorkelling off Limestone Coast
Fleurieu Peninsula
There is plenty to see and do here for all kinds of travellers. You can visit some cellar doors or bask in the beauty of the ocean, where you might see a whale or two swim by.

The Fleurieu Peninsula offers a laid back feel and beautiful scenery, created by the cliff tops, beaches, coves and the winding Murray River. You can watch little penguins come ashore at Granite Island, or get close to kangaroos in the conversation parks. This area has a real beach culture, where you often see surfers walk around with their surfboards, families playing in the sand and eating fish and chips. The sun, food and wine make this place a little piece of paradise.

To book your South Australian holiday visit www.sunloverholidays.com.au or talk to our experts on 13 88 33.

9 August 2012

5 Ways to See The Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World which people come all over the globe to visit. Luckily it is in your backyard and a perfect holiday destination for the whole family. There are so many ways to enjoy this iconic wonder either on water, in flight or on land.

Skydive in Cairns
If you want to see the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie then a Tandem Skydive is a perfect combination.

This 11,000ft distance will be the jump of your life and unforgettable. You see a full birds eye view of this natural gem and all its glory during the 40 second free fall. The spectacular view spans around 14km capturing the surrounding World Heritage Rainforest.

Accompanied by a professional instructor you will be in the safest hands to ensure everything is secure and sound. Prior to take off you will undertake training on all the basic rules and intrusions to ensure you understand the process and no experience is necessary. 

Skydive in Cairns over the spectacular Great Barrier Reef
Skydive in Cairns over the spectacular Great Barrier Reef

Catamaran Cruise
For a more adventurous but tranquil experience of the Great Barrier Reef take a cruise with Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises.

This day trip takes you to the idyllic and crystal clear waters of Green Island which is the only coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef with a rainforest growing on it!

You can discover the coral and fish life, unwind on the pure sandy white beaches and explore the walking tracks leading through the National Park.

There are plenty of activities to enjoy on water such as scuba diving, helmet diving, boat snorkel tours, or hire canoes and beach lounge chairs. If you prefer, there is always the option of staying on the air-conditioned catamaran and breath the fresh air and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. 

Catamaran Cruise with Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises
Catamaran Cruise with Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises
High above in a Helicopter
For the best seat in the house to see the Great Barrier Reef  a helicopter ride is definitely is in order.

Departing daily, this is the best relaxing way to see Cairns and truly appreciate all the scenery. It covers the famous sites of Green Island, the jewel of the reef, the vastness of Arlington Reef and the delightful Vlasoff and Upolu Sand Cays. Whilst up in the air spot the local marine life and pick the perfect place to land for an unforgettable lunch.

This is the perfect opportunity for the photo enthusiast to capture magical snapshots.

Helicopter Ride above the Great Barrier Reef
Helicopter Ride above the Great Barrier Reef
Scuba Diving
For the ultimate Cairns experience a scuba dive with Calypso Reef Charters is the answer.

This tour takes you on a private charter around the sites of the Outer Great Barrier Reef. You can explore and get an up close view of the marine life and the magnificent coral reefs.

You have the opportunity to learn how to scuba dive with a professional PADI Dive Instructor who will explain all the safety and skills required for this memorable dive. There are multiple levels to accommodate for children and beginners, and depths to discover. For the more advanced there are shipwrecks where it is a highly likely to spot turtles, gropers, sea snakes, giant turtles, lionfish and barracuda.

The enthusiastic helpful staff with educate you with fun and history facts about the Reef and its evolution over the years. On board is a tropical lunch buffet for you to enjoy.

Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
Kayak like a King
If you have ever dreamt of swimming and getting close with the marine life then what better than on a kayak.

Travel at your own pace around the Great Barrier Reef and Fitzroy Island and take your time to appreciate the panoramic natural wonders. You can discover the marine wildlife and private beaches.

Once complete you can explore on land the rainforest walks, continue snorkelling the fringing coral reefs, have a jump on the ocean trampoline or just relax. A catamaran transports you to and from location for you to circumnavigate the preeminent pristine waters.

A tropical picnic lunch is catered for so you can enjoy more time exploring. 

Kayaking, Tropical North Queensland
Kayaking, Tropical North Queensland

3 August 2012

Top 5 Spooky Spots in Australia

Port Arthur, Tasmania  
Take a lantern-lit Historic Ghost Tour of the World Heritage listed site of Port Arthur by night and be guided on a mysteriously intriguing historical journey.

Learn of bizarre occurrences among the darkened ruins and heritage buildings where convicts, settlers and soldiers once walked. There is almost two centuries of documented sightings and reports of paranormal activity.

Port Arthur, Tasmania credit Peter Luxton
Port Arthur, Tasmania credit Peter Luxton

Old Melbourne Gaol
Once home to dangerous criminals, petty offenders, the homeless and the mentally ill, the Old Melbourne Goal is now a popular tourist attraction where you can step back in time and walk the road to the gallows of the 19th century prison.

Between 1842 and its closure in 1929 the gaol was the scene of 133 hangings including that of Australia’s most infamous citizen, Ned Kelly.

Take a Ghost Tour by night and you could become of the many who have witnessed paranormal occurrences, or take the Hangman’s Night Tour and learn the stories of the ‘rope master’.

St Helena Island, Brisbane
St Helena Island National Park historic area once functioned as a high-security colonial prison from 1867, and was home to hundreds of society’s outcasts.

It was a tough life on St Helena, where severe punishments such as lashings, dark underground cells, gagging, and energy-sapping shot drill did not go astray.

Ghost tours of St Helena are taken by night, but be prepared for the unexpected at the island’s cemetery.

Brisbane, Queensland
Brisbane, Queensland
The Rocks, Sydney
Take a tour of The Rocks in Sydney to hear true stories of murder, suicide, hangings, hauntings and ghosts as you journey along the cobblestone lanes.

From the earliest history of the settlement, the area had a reputation as a slum, often frequented by visiting sailors and prostitutes. During the late nineteenth century, the area was dominated by gangs and maintained a rough reputation until the 1870’s.

Many of the sites on The Rocks Ghost Tour have had recent reports of sightings and strange phenomena, where you may encounter shades of the dead lingering amongst the living.

The Rocks, Sydney
The Rocks, Sydney

Fremantle Arts Centre, Western Australia
Built in 1867, the Fremantle Arts Centre is said to be the most haunted place in the Southern Hemisphere, mainly because of the amount of sightings people have had there.

Originally a mental asylum, it was condemned in 1900 after two deaths and a Government inquiry, though its patients weren’t relocated until 1909.

Ghost tours taken by night will prove paranormal activity is abundant in the old gothic-style building, which is said to be haunted by at least 10 restless spirits.   

Fremantle, Western Australia

1 August 2012

For the Golfer in You

Finding a holiday destination to satisfy everyone in the family is difficult. Especially when one person’s activity requires a space of land fit to build multiple houses. Luckily now there are places which accommodate for the golfer as well as everyone else at an absolute impeccable standard. Perfect for the whole family, groups, just everyone!

Cyprus Lakes Resort, New South Wales
Cyprus Lakes Resort is situated in the middle of the picturesque Hunter Valley. It is a golf and spa sanctuary, nestled in the vineyards surrounded by Australian bushland and mature gardens. It has countless activities to cater for everyone’s agenda including tennis courts, horse riding, a swimming pool, biking riding and hot air ballooning. To indulge yourself try the Golden Door Spa which is the ultimate recovery, renewal and rejuvenation experience.

To satisfy the golf enthusiast there is a separate championship class Cyprus Lakes Golf & Country Club. It has an 18-hole course as well as other courses and lessons are available. An annual competition, Jack Newton Celebrity Classic, is held which has been running for 5 years already.

There are multiple opportunities to explore the Hunter Valley through the Shadow Wine Country Tours which looks at the history, the cellars and vineyards as well as other tours which go through all the wineries.

View at Cyrus Lakes Resort, New South Wales
View at Cyrus Lakes Resort, New South Wales

Mercure Kooindah Waters Golf and Spa Resort, New South Wales

Mixing business and pleasure is difficult however at the newly built Mercure Kooindah Waters Golf and Spa Resort it has been taken care of.

Situated on 95-hectares of bushland it has every facility or service possible for you to enjoy your stay whilst covering business. It has an indoor heated lap pool, outdoor swimming pool, spa, sauna, gymnasium, tennis courts, a children's playground and of course an 18-hole golf course. This makes it a family friendly and entertaining resort for everyone.

To receive the full pampering package there is the award winning Endota Day Spa. Its signature ‘drenched’ treatment incorporates local resources and natural methods such as river salt and the desert lime body cleaner.

Satisfy your tastebuds at the Karinyas Restaurant and Wine Bar overlooking the stunning championship golf course and wetlands.

Mercure Kooindah Waters Golf and Spa Resort, New South Wales
Mercure Kooindah Waters Golf and Spa Resort, New South Wales


Peppers Moonak Links Resrt, Victoria

Less than an hour from Melbourne Peppers Moonak Links Resort is the perfect place for the golf enthusiast who wants to combine luxury and relaxation. Settled within the Mornington Peninsular, it is a area of sheer beauty to explore with over 50 wineries, countless beaches, Cape Schanck National Park and picturesque villages everywhere.

If one golf course wasn’t enough Moonak has 2 championship 18-hole courses to accommodate for all levels. It hosted the 2005 Australian Open Championship.

For the more adventurous there is horse riding along the famous Gunnamatta beach or swimming with the dolphins in Port Phillip Bay. After a long day on the green you can enjoy local produce cuisine at Pebbles Restaurant which prepares an Australian menu whilst overlooking the pristine course. For the absolute experience Moonak has an Endota Spa to completely relax, rejuvenate and pamper you.

Peppers Moonak Links Resort, Victoria
Peppers Moonak Links Resort, Victoria

Bonville Lodge Luxury Bed and Breakfast, New South Wales

Want a relaxed golfing holiday where everyone can come including the 4 legged friends then Bonville Lodge Luxury Bed and Breakfast has exactly that.

This bed and breakfast is definitely not one to compensate in luxury or comfort. Bonville is the best place to receive a good night sleep in a peaceful, quite and country atmosphere to refresh you for the following day’s activities.

Only 2km from the award winning Bonville Golf Resort named most beautiful golf course in Australia. It has 72-par championship courses and provides all services and facilities needed to play world class games.

Located in pictorial surroundings Bonville is encompassed by copious towns and beaches to explore especially the iconic Coffs Harbour.

Entrace at Bonville Lodge Luxury Bed and Breakfast, New South Wales
Entrace at Bonville Lodge Luxury Bed and Breakfast, New South Wales


Country Club Tasmania, Tasmania

Country Club Tasmania is the epitome of relaxation and something for everyone. Located in lush parkland of Launceston, Tasmania is a true oasis for dinning, entertainment and accommodation.

It has a variety of accommodation to suit all budgets including 4 and 5 star rooms and multiple villas. There is also a diverse selection of restaurants, bistros and cafes to cater for your appetite and accounts. Some includes the Links Café, Villa Italiana, Bolters pizzeria and Watergarden all using local produce and overlooking the spectacular scenery.

The facilities at Country Club are truly one of a kind. There are all the typical amenities such as pools, tennis courts and saunas though they exceed this by providing horse riding through the local bushland, trout fishing and natural therapies. Tours can be booked to discover the wonderful state of Tasmania and all its beauty.

Onsite there is a boutique casino for all the risk-seekers or to enjoy a good night out. All year round there is live entertainment from acts to be enjoyed by everyone including singing and comedy held in the Tonic Bar or Country Club Tasmania Room.  Topped off with an 18-hole championship golf course part of the Prospect Vale Golf Club providing all the obstacles needed to challenge and improve your skills.  

Country Club Tasmania, Tasmania
Country Club Tasmania, Tasmania

Novotel Twin Waters Resorts Sunshine Coast, Queensland

If you want to receive the royal treatment then Novotel Twin Waters Resorts Sunshine Coast is the place to enjoy as it has the majestic touch of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Phillip who stayed in 2002.

This resort is the ideal match of beach and bonding time with the family. It is situated on the Sunshine Coast just an hour from Brisbane surrounded by an abundance of attractions including Australia Zoo and Eumundi Markets as well as local bushland and beaches.

The 18-hole golf course is located on the beautiful tranquil grounds and designed by internationally renowned golf architects especially to enjoy and challenge golf enthusiast.

The Kidz Cove kids club keeps the children entertained all day and night will ample activities and resoruces. Allowing adults to enjoy the Lagoon Day Spa with a private water view to completely indulge and invigorate the body and mind.

Novotel provides some unique experiences including Australia’s first All Terrain Segway Xperience an adventure activity where you can explore the entire property on 2 wheels. For the more daring there is a Cirque Escape which is a circus school teaching skills including juggling, static trapeze, flying trapeze, tight wire and bungee trampoline.

There are countless eateries for all your needs and times of the day.

Novotel Twin Waters Resorts Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Novotel Twin Waters Resorts Sunshine Coast, Queensland