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Holidays & Travel

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THE MUST-DO'S FOR AN ULTIMATE TASMANIA Escape

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If Tasmania has been on your wish list for some time, now is your opportunity to discover this special place. Take a bite of the Apple Isle, sip the Tamar Valley wine, indulge in the taste of fresh local produce and feast your eyes on iconic views of Wineglass Bay or Cradle Mountain. If you travel down the East Coast from Launceston or choose to head up West from Hobart, no area will disappoint. Either way, ensure you don’t miss these must-do sites, in this paradise at the edge of the earth.

Salamanca Market, Battery Point

Take in the tastes of Salamanca Market every Saturday from 8:30am to 3pm. With tempting truffles and sneaky Hobart tipples, it is no surprise it is one of Tasmania’s most popular attractions. This vibrant meeting point of over 300 makers and creators embraces the culture and welcoming nature of Hobart locals. Fall in love with the characters, crafts and divine produce, tasting your way through the stalls while listening to the buskers of the laneways.

 

Visit the Markets with a local guide on the Perfect Tasmania 13 day AAT Kings tour 

Tasmania’s Wildlife and National Parks

Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park, is an absolute must-see and is one of Tasmania’s most iconic sights. With a diverse landscape of grassland and rugged wilderness of ancient flora and fauna, the park is rich in wildlife and the perfect wombat-spotting country. In the heart of the park with the most picturesque backdrop is the crystal-clear Dove Lake. This jewel is the starting point of one of the state’s premier walks best experienced with an expert guide and a visit to the Waldheim Chalet where you can hear the famous love story of the mountain. 

 

Experience this and more on AAT Kings Tassie’s Parks and Nature 7 day tour 

 

Fields of purple at Bridestowe Lavender Estate

Stunning fields of lavender outside of Europe may come as a surprise to some, but Tasmania has similar climate conditions to the Lavender regions of Provence, France. In 1921, London Perfumer grew the first lavender flowers from a modest pocket of seeds obtained from the French Alps. Today, Bridestowe Lavender Estate is recognised as the world’s largest privately-owned lavender farm. Wander down the fields taking colourful photos, which are best captured in the mid-summer months when the lavender is in full bloom. Try a lavender latte at the café, or have a spot of afternoon tea, complimented with a blueberry and lavender jam scone.

 

Visit the fields on the Perfect Tasmania 13 day tour with AAT Kings 

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Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park

When visiting Tasmania, you cannot leave Freycinet off your list. This stunning curve of coastline hosts one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Wineglass Bay. The perfect setting to view the contrast of the pristine white sand against the deep turquoise waters is the lookout which gives you panoramic views of Freycinet National Park. If you love a brisk walk through coastal woodland, don’t miss this highlight, a worthwhile reward for the effort of an incline. End your day at sunset on Freycinet Lodge’s deck with some Tasmanian bubbles. Or, dip your tired feet in the water at the very tiny but strikingly beautiful Honeymoon Bay.

 

Stay at Freycinet Lodge on the Tassie Getaway 7 day tour

 

New growth from a dark past in Port Arthur

Well known for its history as a place of hardship and sad stories of convicts meeting tragic ends, Port Arthur is one of Australia’s most well-known World Heritage-listed Historic Sites. The unsuspected beauty of this walk-through time is the blooming colonial gardens on the grounds where 1830s oak and elm trees still stand tall today. Take in the scents and colours of these paths, where bulbs and cuttings were shipped on an eight-month journey from England by passionate horticulturists, bringing floral colours to a dark place. 

 

Discover more about Port Arthur’s gardens on Tasmanian Wonders 10 day AAT Kings tour

 

Farm-to-table freshness at Mt. Gnomon 

If visiting the cutest-sounding town on the planet is on your bucket list, ensure this is included in your itinerary. The Mt. Gnomon Farm sits just outside Penguin in the north of Tasmania and is the site where fifth-generation farmer Guy Robertson and his family have perfected centuries-worth of skills in cider orchards and gardens. Your farm-to-fork Be My Guest lunch amid this lush setting is like Tassie in a fresh and flavourful mouthful.

 

Dine in the garden on your Perfect Tasmania 13 day AAT Kings tour 

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Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park

When visiting Tasmania, you cannot leave Freycinet off your list. This stunning curve of coastline hosts one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Wineglass Bay. The perfect setting to view the contrast of the pristine white sand against the deep turquoise waters is the lookout which gives you panoramic views of Freycinet National Park. If you love a brisk walk through coastal woodland, don’t miss this highlight, a worthwhile reward for the effort of an incline. End your day at sunset on Freycinet Lodge’s deck with some Tasmanian bubbles. Or, dip your tired feet in the water at the very tiny but strikingly beautiful Honeymoon Bay.

 

Stay at Freycinet Lodge on the Tassie Getaway 7 day tour

 

New growth from a dark past in Port Arthur

Well known for its history as a place of hardship and sad stories of convicts meeting tragic ends, Port Arthur is one of Australia’s most well-known World Heritage-listed Historic Sites. The unsuspected beauty of this walk-through time is the blooming colonial gardens on the grounds where 1830s oak and elm trees still stand tall today. Take in the scents and colours of these paths, where bulbs and cuttings were shipped on an eight-month journey from England by passionate horticulturists, bringing floral colours to a dark place. 

 

Discover more about Port Arthur’s gardens on Tasmanian Wonders 10 day AAT Kings tour

 

Farm-to-table freshness at Mt. Gnomon 

If visiting the cutest-sounding town on the planet is on your bucket list, ensure this is included in your itinerary. The Mt. Gnomon Farm sits just outside Penguin in the north of Tasmania and is the site where fifth-generation farmer Guy Robertson and his family have perfected centuries-worth of skills in cider orchards and gardens. Your farm-to-fork Be My Guest lunch amid this lush setting is like Tassie in a fresh and flavourful mouthful.

 

Dine in the garden on your Perfect Tasmania 13 day AAT Kings tour 

Thank you Tourism Tasmania for providing the images.

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Want to see the world but don't have a travel buddy?
Two's a Crowd is just the ticket

For many Australians who live alone, travel dreams can take a back seat if you don’t have someone to go with. But that’s where solo travel company Two's a Crowd comes in. They develop small group tours and even charter whole river cruise ships just for solo travellers. Tours are fully guided and escorted by a Two’s a Crowd Tour Host from Australia. And clients have their own room or cabin – no sharing. So, while you’re seeing the world with new friends, you still have your own space to relax after a busy day.

Two’s a Crowd was founded by Ken Morgan in 2012 and has developed a strong following. “We’ve welcomed nearly 5000 clients “on-board” since inception. Recently one client completed his ninth tour with us. Our exclusive river cruise charters have been very popular, and our clients love the fact that its only our solos on board – no couples and no tables for one! So many friendships are made on our tours. We love that.”

 

Two’s a Crowd tours operate to all corners of the world. Vietnam is one of their most popular tours and a favourite for those starting their solo travel adventures. Russia, Egypt and South Africa are also in demand. According to Ken Morgan, 2020 bookings are already strong. “Our 2019 tours were fully sold and 2020 is shaping up to be another busy one for us” he said. “We always encourage clients to book early and avoid disappointment.”

 

Customer service is a key priority for Two’s a Crowd too. Many clients can be anxious about travelling, so Ken and the team in Melbourne are ready to answer any questions prospective travellers may have. “Booking travel can be daunting so we aim to make it easy. We can take care of booking airfares and even pre or post tour accommodation. We’re a one stop shop really. Even travel insurance is included on most tours.”

 

Sounds like solo travellers will be well looked after at Two’s a Crowd.

 

Contact details: Phone 1300 55 45 01 or visit www.twosacrowd.com.au

Solo's river cruising - a world first

River cruising especially through Europe has been popular with couples and families for many years. But for solo travellers’ high single supplements and feeling like a fifth wheel on a cruise full of couples have been big barriers. Two's a Crowd decided to do something about it and in 2017 operated the world's first solos only river cruise from Vienna to Strasbourg.

 

Eighty solos from all over Australia and New Zealand (everyone had their own cabin of course) shared 14 days exploring wonderful sights, eating fantastic food and drinking some very nice wines. Not to mention meeting new friends. 

Since that first charter, Two's a Crowd again operated river cruises in 2018 and 2019. According to Two's a Crowd MD Ken Morgan the cruises are very popular. "The river cruise charters always sell out quickly and the feedback is fantastic. We partner with Amadeus River cruises who operate a wonderful fleet of 5-star vessels. We include all shore excursions, meals, drinks with lunch and dinner and WIFI. Our clients love that."

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With Two's a Crowd river cruises, solo travellers can now discover the benefits of travelling by river.  You unpack once and your hotel goes with you. Most travel is overnight, so you wake up in a new place after a good night's sleep...no long bus rides. All meals and drinks with lunch and dinner are included so your credit card takes a rest as well. You can also do as much or as little as you want. While daily shore excursions are included, they are not mandatory. It's your holiday and your decision. Want to stay on board for the day and relax? Go for it! Finally, river cruises are great value as they include pretty much everything at a fantastic price. 

 

Two's a Crowd continues to operate the world's only solos river cruise with 2020 already selling fast. This year they’re cruising the Danube, Main and Rhine from Budapest to Amsterdam in August 2020 on board the 5-star, 2018-built Amadeus Queen. It promises to sell out fast especially with prices starting from a low $7990 plus air. The cruise includes all meals, shore excursions, drinks with lunch and dinner and free WIFI.  

 

Contact the team at Two’s a Crowd on 1300 55 45 01 to reserve your cabin. Find out more at www.twosacrowd.com.au

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Which destination is number one for first time solo travellers?

For many aspiring solo travellers, the thought of stepping out into a new world of discovery can be daunting. But one destination is proving a perfect starting point for intrepid first timers…Vietnam. And for several great reasons.

 

Firstly, it close to home. In fact, with a flying time of just over 8 hours you can be in another world in next to no time. Secondly, it is literally another world. You’ll experience an amazing culture complete with great food, incredible history, wonderful architecture and one of the friendliest populations on the planet. Thirdly, Vietnam is great value for money. Whether you have clothes tailor- made in Hoi An or sit down for a feast in Hanoi, your wallet will also get a holiday. And finally, travellers report how safe they feel when travelling in Vietnam.

 

So, all in all, Vietnam is a hit with solos. Two’s a Crowd has operated tours to Vietnam since 2012 and in 2020 their April departure is already sold out. Don’t despair though as an October 2020 departure has now been released. At just over $4,000 plus air for 15 days, its awesome value. Plus, group sizes are limited to 15 so you won’t feel like you’re part of some military travel operation. Call the team on 1300 55 45 01 to find out more or visit www.twosacrowd.com.au

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Hosting a solos tour sounds like all fun but it’s a serious business.

Solo travel specialist Two’s a Crowd operates around forty tours a year and every departure is escorted by a Tour Host. Cruise charters have two hosts. But what does a Tour Host do? We check in with hosts, Elise and Diane to find out what it’s all about.

 

“Our role has many facets,” according to Diane who has been a Two’s a Crowd Tour Host for three years. “I am with the group to make sure the day to day operation of the tour runs smoothly. I work closely with the local guide and operator to iron out any little wrinkles which may occur along the way. But I’m also a social director. I make sure that everyone feels included with the group and enjoys the tour.”

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Elise who has also been hosting for three years agrees. “Making sure that everyone has a great time is so important. Some clients are quieter or more reserved and I make sure they are never at a loose end when, for example, we have free time.”

 

Tour hosts are always planning for those free nights and will have a local restaurant or market in mind for those who want to tag along for a feed and a wander after a busy day of exploring.

 

Elise summed it up. “It’s about giving our clients options when there is free time. But also making sure that anything that is worrying them can be quickly dealt with. We’re here for our clients. When they smile, we’re happy.”

. Call the team on 1300 55 45 01 to find out more or visit www.twosacrowd.com.au

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Kununurra

- Oasis of the Kimberley

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The East Kimberley is a diverse area of Western Australia more than twice the size of Victoria. The region is some of the oldest country in the world and indigenous peoples arrived around 41,000 years ago. The East Kimberley is bordered to the south by the red sand dunes of the Great Sandy Desert, to the east by the Northern Territory and to the north west by the Kimberley Plateau and the Timor Sea.

Kununurra is the Gateway to the East Kimberley and is the largest town in Western Australia north of Broome, with a stable population of over 5000. However with residents on outlying farms, itinerant workers and tourists the population can double.

The lovely town of Kununurra is quite young, as it was established in 1961 by the Western Australian and Federal Governments, as the main administrative and support centre for the developing Ord River Irrigation scheme (ORI). It has an abundance of water due to the creation of beautiful lake Argyle and the Ord Diversion Dam. Today the town is your perfect base from which to explore the many amazing adventures, unforgettable experiences and breathtakingly beautiful sights of the East Kimberley.

The area was settled by the Pioneering Durack family in1882. Patrick Durack immigrated from Ireland to Queensland and in 1879 he and his Brother Michael set out on a two and a half year cattle drive, overlanding 7250 head of cattle and 200 horses from Cooper Creek in Western Queensland to the Ord Valley in the East Kimberley. The 4,700 kilometre journey is the longest of its type ever recorded.

The Durack’s established Argyle Downs and Ivanhoe station and created a family dynasty in the region. They exported cattle through the Port of Wyndham to markets as far away as Africa and North America. Wyndham is only 100 kilometres north of Kununurra and was established by John Forrest in 1886 as the main trading station for the East Kimberley, after finds of Gold in Halls Creek the previous year. Thousands of miners disembarked from the ships at Cambridge Gulf heading for the goldfields. During the second world war the frontier town was attacked by Japanese aircraft as was Exmouth on the coast further south. From nearby Five Rivers Lookout visitors can enjoy spectacular views over the Ord, Forrest, King, Durack and Pentacost Rivers where they join and enter the Cambridge Gulf.

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Another short drive from Kununurra through the Carr Boyd Ranges takes you up to the relocated, now famous Durack Homestead. The Homestead was constructed at Argyle Downs in the Ord Valley in 1895 and became a popular place to socialise in the East Kimberley. The homestead was made of crushed termite mounds and limestone blocks. In the 1970’s the Ord River was flooded to create beautiful lake Argyle, Australia’s second largest reservoir with a surface area of 700 square kilometres.

 

Be sure to call at the Durack / Argyle homestead which was dismantled block by block and reassembled on high ground near Lake Argyle and is now the Argyle Museum. You can also board a fascinating cruise from below the massive wall of Lake Argyle taking you fifty five kilometres downstream on the Ord River to Lake Kununurra. Only a few kilometres out of Kununurra is Mirima National Park also known as the Hidden Valley. The sandstone formations here resemble the domes of the famous Bungle Bungles (Purnululu National Park) which is why they are often referred to as the mini Bungle Bungles. The actual Purnululu National park and the Majestic Domes known as the Bungle Bungles can be easily accessed via a sightseeing, fixed wing or helicopter scenic flight from Kununurra airport. One can enjoy views over the pack saddle irrigation area, Kununurra, Lake Argyle and the ancient geological wonders of the National Park and the Bungle Bungles.

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Travelling across the rich, fertile black soil plain known as “Kununurra Clay” you will be surrounded by irrigation crops which include mango, citrus, watermelon, rockmelon, pumpkin, chickpea, chia and sandalwood. Learn all about the worlds most prized fragrant timber with a visit to the Sandalwood Museum.

Another natural attraction in the area is the abundance of birdlife. Get on board the unique sunset Wetlands Cruise where you are likely to see Osprey, Brolgas, Cormorants, Ibis, Egrets, Corellas, Herons, Whistling Ducks, Magpie Geese , Sea Eagles, Darters and more. Ad an amazing sunset, some nibbles and a glass of Sparkling wine, and you have the perfect end to another magical East Kimberley day.

 

The Argyle diamond mine near Kununurra is the world’s largest producer of diamonds and produces 20 million carats of diamonds annually. It’s the world’s largest producer of cognac and natural champagne diamonds and famous for precious, rare and valuable pink diamonds. Don’t miss a tour of this amazing facility with a chance purchase your dream sparkly jewel.

 

The best time to visit the East Kimberley is in the middle of the year when the days are cooler and the humidity is low. Getting there is now easier than ever before, on the Kununurra Express! Virgin Airlines now has a limited number of direct flights from Melbourne to Kununurra and return for 2020. So get on board and discover another jewel in Western Australia’s crown.

https://www.oshannessys.com.au/