Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tasmania: Wild West

The remote western shores of Australia's largest island contain some of the world's most precious wilderness forests and waterways.

Lashed by weather blown straight from Antarctica, this climate also ensures some of the world's cleanest air and purest rainwater. Water that falls on forests whose trees bear closer relationship to ancient Antarctic fossils than any mainland eucalyptus.

Aboriginals are known to have inhabited this harsh territory for at least 30,000 years.

After explorers like Abel Tasman, Bligh and Cook sent back reports, Europeans arrived in numbers all through the 19th century, setting up penal colonies in the east with prospectors and wood-cutters seeking fortune in the west.

The spectacular view from Fluted Cape (R Eime)
We visit the isolated settlements of Queenstown, Strahan and Corrina to explore the landscape that bears more resemblance to prehistoric times than our modern internet-connected world. We cruise the southern extremities in an ocean-going catamaran, ride the historic Abt Railway and visit former mining and logging sites deep in UNESCO World Heritage-listed temperate rainforest, one of the last expanses of its type in the world.

The writer, Roderick Eime, has both original and supplied library images.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

[CANCELLED] French Polynesia: Diving with Cousteau


332-passenger Paul Gauguin 

Legendary environmentalist and
oceanographer, Jean-Michel Cousteau

If scuba diving in French Polynesia wasn't exciting enough, getting the chance to dive with a Cousteau has to be a gold medal opportunity.

Rod will cruise with Paul Gauguin Cruises, the award-winning luxury small ship cruise line to join the 10-day, June 1 departure accompanied by Jean-Michel Cousteau.

Expressions of interest from editors are invited.

Editorial and images will be available from mid-June 2016.

Rod holds PADI Open Water Advanced certification and has completed more than 200 dives at locations around the world. [more about Rod's diving experience]

Monday, January 18, 2016

Solomon Islands: Raw Appeal

Experienced adventure travel writer, Roderick Eime, has made three trips to the Solomon Islands in as many years, with the last one in October.

Unlike Fiji or New Caledonia - or even Vanuatu - the Solomons is the least developed of our neighbouring Melanesian nations.

Zipolo Habu Resort, Lola Island, near Munda
That may rule it out for mass tourism and lush, palatial resorts (for now), instead visitors can experience authentic culture and practices. While there is an airline network servicing most of the outer islands, small ship cruising is perfect for low impact, small footprint travel.

WWII history, volcanoes, great scuba diving, bountiful fishing, unsurpassed cultural experiences and unusual foods make the Solomon Islands one of the last redoubts for genuine, non-commercialised travel.

Recently discovered Grumman Wildcat of US ace, James Swett [more]

Sunday, January 17, 2016

New York, New York!

New York City is one of the great cities of the world. No argument. Some of the world's most famous architecture and museums are all found in and around Manhattan. Ex-pat Australian writer and editor, Kristie Kellahan now lives in NYC and takes us on a tour of her new home town where we visit the brand new Whitney, MoMA, the Guggenheim and others you may not have heard of.

Nicola Cerrone - Australia’s most celebrated and awarded jewellery designer

by Belinda Luksic

Director and creativity behind Cerrone, Nicola Cerrone is Australia's most celebrated and awarded jewellery designer, with more than 50 national and international awards, including the prestigious De Beers International Award, an A-list clientele and reputation for unyielding quality and excellence.

Profiling Nicola and the Cerrone brand; his immigration from Italy at age 12, humble beginnings as a master jeweller and early days operating out of his home, to his success and international recognition today - three retail stores, largest handmade jewellery workshop in Australia and global sales. Will also cover the current collection; his art, technique, originality, inspiration and affinity for Australian diamonds, gold and quality craftsmanship.

Sister Act

Since debuting at Australian Fashion Week in 2014, high-end designer label MacGraw has been on every fashionistas lips. They've garnered a loyal following in Australia and overseas, have recently been picked up by luxury global retailers Moda Operandi, Otte NYC and Avenue 32 UK and earned a place in the finals of Tiffany & Co. National Designer Award and BT Emerging Designer Awards.

A profile feature on the dynamic designer sisters and their contemporary, detail-oriented pieces and easy separates that fuse classic silhouettes with polished modern lines. Plus, their decision to manufacture in Australia, what's behind their creative process, what it's like now they no longer share a home and studio after so many years, and a look at their latest collection and future plans.

by Belinda Luksic

Friday, January 15, 2016

South Australia: Sustainable Tastes


A stay at Hutton Vale Farm is the perfect way to experience the community and paddock to table lifestyle the Barossa is renowned for. It's also a unique peek into the world of John and Jan Angas, founding family of Angaston and owners of Hutton Vale Farm.

From walks through ancient peppermint gum groves to wine tastings in the vineyard, artisan food tours, twitching (bird-watching), clay-shooting or fly fishing and siestas in the Tuscan-inspired courtyard redolent in lounges and throws, it's a return to a simpler, more sustainable way of life. Story will include the paddock to table dinner party held on the first night at Farm Follies, the property's original stone cottage with hosts and some of the Barossa's better known and respected wine-makers and food producers. 

Travel box: including accommodation by choice at either The Louise or Collingrove Homestead, the original Angas family home now part of the National Trust.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Japan: Tokyo Fish Market


Belinda Luksic

One of the largest fish markets in the world, Tokyo’s landmark Tsujiki Market, is like nothing else and a must-see on anyone’s Japan holiday to-do list. A personal recount on why to dive in and see the spectacle - and its famed tuna auction - before it moves location in November.

"It’s not quite 3am and already Tsukiji Market is a vibrant and frighteningly off-kilter mix of hurtling trucks and zooming tarettos (mini motorized flatbed trolleys) transporting goods willy-nilly across the market at a cracking pace. Work, Health and Safety would have a field day here, I think, as first one, then another careens dangerously close, and for one unnerving moment, straight at me. Bleary eyed, having taken a wrong turn to the tuna auctions, it’s an alarming way to wake up."