In 1798, European explorers Bass and Flinders sailed along the northern coast of Van Dieman’s Land, known today as Tasmania. They took a colonial sloop and proved that it was indeed an island, separated from mainland Australia by a strait (today called the Bass Strait).
Rowing up the Tamar River to where Launceston is today, their exploration laid the groundwork for some of the first European settlements in the country, and in 1806 Launceston became a township.
It’s easy to first think of Hobart or Sydney when seeking out colonial heritage in Australia, though Launceston has a rich and vibrant heritage, and one of the finest early cityscapes in the country.
Defined by Georgian buildings and Victorian gardens, Australia’s third oldest city is today a shining example of adaptive reuse; with fashion boutiques, bars, banks, and high-tech offices sitting inside colonial churches, town halls, and towers.
And as far as historic hotels? The Leisure Inn Penny Royal is a boutique, family-friendly apartment hotel, set in an 1840’s corn mill.
When I decided to visit Vietnam, trekking and homestay with a local H’mong hill tribe was at the top of my list.
Have you ever traveled to a destination where you felt transformed by the experience? A place so distant from your reality, but at the same time, so connected and simple?
My time with a Black H’mong family in Sapa allowed for total immersion into a tribal culture, while having the opportunity to appreciate little things that we take for granted like a comfortable bed, and a daily hot shower.
My experiences in Sapa are up there with some of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had; while sharing a house with a hill tribe in the mysterious misty mountains of north-western Vietnam.
In recent years, timesharing (also known as vacation ownership) has become one of the most popular ways to take a holiday. Because ultimately, there are a huge amount of perks.
Yet for many intrepid travelers, a definite downside of investing in a timeshare is being locked to vacation in the same place every year, or, in the instance of a Points-based ownership (more about that below), locked to large resorts, and a specific set of destinations. Depending on the presence of your vacation club, you may not have the option of traveling too far off the beaten path.
But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that black and white. For those wanting to take advantage of the perks of timeshare accommodation without the long term commitment, timeshare rental sites provide a fantastic solution.
Did you know that South Australia is home to the nation’s oldest surviving German settlement? Set in the Adelaide Hills, Hahndorf is what you get when early German migrants travel to Australia on a Zebra!
Yes, you read that correctly! Though the migrants fleeing religious prosecution in 1839 didn’t saddle up on the black and white kind, rather a ship named Zebra which was captained by Dirk Meinerts Hahn.
The slice of heaven in the Adelaide Hills where the passengers and crew would eventually settle would end up being named after the Captain. Today, visitors to Hahndorf experience a traditional European village blended with Aussie spirit.
Set along leafy Main Street in the heart of town are three unique properties by The Haus Group. We stayed at the award-winning The Studios by Haus this past autumn (boutique self-contained apartments), and were totally charmed by this historic yet contemporary Australian town.
Europe is a cyclists dream. There are historic castles and cities to explore, pastoral countryside dotted with small towns, and snow-capped mountains for hiking.
While most people navigate Europe by car or train, the continent is ideally suited for bike touring. You can get just about anywhere in Europe by bike with ease, and it can lead to a much more immersive travel experience.
If you need some motivation to trade out the traditional European trip for a bike tour, we’ve got five reasons why two wheels is the way to go.
House sitting has become a massive movement in the travel community, and we can totally understand why; from luxury villas in the countryside, to modern lofts amidst skyscrapers, and cottages right by the ocean, it’s an incredible way to travel, and sample local life.
An exchange where you take care of someones property and pets while they’re away, and in return are allowed to stay in their home, house-sitting is basically “borrowing the homeowners lifestyle for a period of time”.
Owners have peace of mind that their home and pets are lovingly cared for, and that pets get to stay in their own home, while pet loving sitters experience life in new places, without having to pay accommodation.
Now a massive movement, it’s super easy to find house sitting opportunities all over the world, of all kinds; it’s a very viable way to travel (some people even do it full time!), and while some house-sits might only last a few days, some can be for weeks, or even months at a time.
Taking care of someone else’s home and pets might seem like a dream come true, but you do need to be a reliable, responsible, and committed sitter. And there are some things that you just shouldn’t do.
Boasting two luxuriously long coastlines, lush tropical rainforests, spectacular Buddhist temples, and over 1400 islands anchored in crystal clear waters, there’s no denying that Thailand is a beautiful country.
Thailand has long been a getaway that suits everyone; hermits can relax with a cocktail on a private beach under swaying tropical palms, hedonists can party into the early hours of the morning, and it’s affordable for both prince and pauper.
Thailand is a destination where budget travelers can spend as little as $20 USD a day, and where mid-range travelers can find themselves affording luxury private villa stays.
Thailand is one of the popular countries in the world for travelers seeking affordable luxury, and with the unique opportunity for everyday travelers to shoot higher than 5 star hotels, private luxury villas have become the trend.
One of the southern-most points in Australia, Bruny Island lies off the south coast of Tasmania. Though despite being just a short drive and ferry ride from Hobart, less than 10% of travelers to Tasmania visit, choosing instead to head to more famous parts of the State like Cradle Mountain and Freycinet National Park.
While Bruny Island may only be 50 kilometres across, the unassuming island is one of Tasmania’s best kept secrets, and while small in size, it certainly packs a heavy punch; think stunning natural beaches, elusive quolls and white wallabies, and sustainable luxury at its finest.
You’ll need at least 3 days to really do the island justice, and when it comes to accommodation, we can highly recommend Free Spirit Pods; gorgeous, fully self contained eco-pods set on the waterfront, backed by 8 acres of bushland on North Bruny Island.
Australia’s second oldest capital city after Sydney, Hobart is one of Australia’s most fascinating and history-rich destinations. It offers a unique culture that is much different than you’ll find on mainland Australia, and was one of the first regions of Australia to be explored; Sullivans Cove was the initial landing site for early British settlers in Hobart and Risdon Cove would become the first European settlement in Tasmania.
Hobart continues to showcase its long history to this day, having preserved much of its early landmarks and original buildings. And for those looking to be in the heart of it all, there’s no better place to drop anchor than Battery Point, one of the city’s most prestigious (and historic) suburbs.
Battery Point is the entertainment and cultural hub of Hobart, and it’s where most of the city’s major events take place, from the famed Salamanca Markets to Australia’s biggest and longest running food and wine festival, the Taste.
As far as accommodation goes, Battery Point’s Salamanca Wharf Hotel is where we choose to stay; a contemporary self-contained boutique apartment hotel, perfectly situated for easily exploring, just steps from Salamanca Place.
Choosing the right accommodation on a ski holiday can be equally memorable as your time spent whizzing down the powdery slopes. The tough part however, is how to find the best place to stay from the thousands available online.
For the picture perfect ski holiday, you can’t beat a great in-house atmosphere, something which your friends and family will all enjoy. Though when you opt to reserve a few hotel rooms, it doesn’t really have that cohesive community feel.
Catered ski chalets are a favorite among groups and families, as they not only offer total privacy, but are also highly cost effective when you’re sharing between a couple of people – somewhere between the price of a hotel and a self-catered apartment.
Essentially, a ski chalet is booking your own private house – sometimes it’s even staffed for you with chefs, butlers, and housekeepers! (Chalet is the Swiss term for a wooden house with overhanging eaves, typically found in the Alps).
Thinking about a staying in a ski chalet for your next winter holiday? Here are a couple of things you should know about.
Travelers to Tasmania have the chance to step back in history, and if it’s history that you’re after, there’s no better place to immerse yourself than the small town of Richmond. Built mostly by the hands of early convicts at the start of the 1800’s, the town’s many historic sandstone buildings remain on display to this day.
There has never been a more exciting time to explore Richmond’s fascinating sandstone heritage, and, for the first time in almost a decade, the town’s most exquisite historic estate is now open to the public.
Offering 12 contemporary-styled rooms on a property with many tales to tell, Prospect House Private Hotel has quickly become one of the most unique luxury hotel experiences in the State.
Having been blown away by the uniqueness of the experience, let me introduce you to a little of the history of Richmond and Prospect House, and why you should include both on your next visit to Tasmania.
If you’ve battled the elements trying to set up your tent on a rundown campsite but still want to be in the great outdoors, glamping is the answer!
There’s a real explosion of glamping in the US at the moment; luxury tents in picturesque natural surrounds. I’m talking tents with real beds, cozy decor, and all of the amenities of home.
Think sleeping under the stars, hearing the crickets chirping at night, and opening your eyes in the morning to stunning, secluded wilderness.
Once you realize that you can get all of the benefits of camping without any of the headaches, you’ll never go back to primitive camping again! The following are 10 of the best glamping spots across the US.
I genuinely believe that accommodation should be an experience. A culturally immersive and authentic affair, that transcends the idea of being just a place to rest your head.
In Mongolia, that means staying in yurts (portable, round tents covered in skins and felt, still used by Mongolian nomads); in Tunisia, an ancient cave house. From reed houses in South America, to igloos in Scandinavia, and turf houses in Iceland, traditional living has never been cookie cutter.
So why should our hotels?
Hotels in Siem Reap are ridiculously cheap. But I wasn’t looking for something forgettable this time around. I had traveled more than 5,000 miles to immerse myself in ancient temples of the Khmer Empire, and I didn’t want to shatter the experience by returning each night to a bland, generic hotel.
But where do you search for authentic accommodation? Through Glamping Hub we found an eco lodge with Unique Bungalows near Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia, luxuriously refurbished inside, with perfectly preserved architectural heritage on the out.
Finding suitable accommodation is a huge part of travel, and choosing a hotel can be one of the more time consuming parts of our planning. And sometimes we don’t get it right.
But have you ever considered staying in a casino hotel?
Casino hotels have started popping up all over the world, though it’s quite easy to argue that Atlantic City has some of the best. With luxury rooms, cheap rates, and some of the tightest security, booking a luxury hotel attached to a casino is pretty sure bet!
Set on New Jersey’s Atlantic coast, AC is famous for its spectacular beaches, iconic boardwalk and many stunning casinos. As such, these Atlantic City best casino hotels have well and truly become a trend!
Tucked halfway between the energetic Gold Coast, and the zen town of Byron Bay you’ll find a hidden paradise; a collection of small beachside towns that offer respite from the usual hordes of tourists.
Three of my favourite sleepy beach towns along the Queensland-NSW border are conveniently lined up just south of Tweed Heads. Kingscliff starts off the trio, and a bit further south you’ll encounter Casuarina and Cabarita Beach.
Setting yourself up in this part of northern NSW allows you to enjoy three delightful beach towns for the price of one, though only one of these towns is home to a lavish Balinese-style retreat (hint: it’s Casuarina).
Smack bang in the middle of these three often overlooked beachside getaways, Casuarina is quite the hidden secret … and we got the distinct impression that locals prefer it stays that way!
This is where Gold Coast locals come to escape the tourism that floods into their city; and as soon as you step through the colossal automatic bamboo doors at Oaks Santai Resort Casuarina, you’re instantly transported to Bali.
Chris Hemsworth. Matt Damon. Natalie Imbruglia. Pat Rafter.
The golden beaches, turquoise waters, and zen mentality are just some of the reasons celebrities from all around the world are drawn to the Australian town of Byron Bay.
Byron Bay overflows with both energy and beauty, while at the same somehow offering a place where a chilled out vibe takes centre stage. Though there are two very distinct and opposite experiences here: one backpacker, one luxury.
After the latter?
Situated far away from the backpacker chaos, yet just a 10-minute drive from the colorful boutique shop windows and trendy cafes, Byron Bay’s award-winning beachfront resort Elements of Byron provides the type of experience that draws the world’s biggest celebrities.
One thing I love about Tasmanian beaches is that you can often have one all to yourself. Unlike the crowds that pack Bondi, or the long line of skyscrapers that cast afternoon shadows across the Gold Coast, Tasmania’s beaches feel more natural, and you can easily walk for miles without seeing another soul.
Tasmania has many iconic beaches; Bay of Fires, Wineglass Bay, and Hazards Beach. But equally as stunning are its lesser known stretches of sand that seem to pop up out of nowhere in the many small towns that dot the coastline.
One such gem is Spring Beach.
Conveniently tucked away just over an hour’s drive from Hobart, and only 15 minutes from the ferry that connects the wildlife rich Maria Island, Spring Beach is one of Tasmania’s biggest hidden gems.
Accommodation on Maria Island itself is rustic. You can book a bunk-bed in an 1800’s convict penitentiary, or opt for primitive camping. We were as such quite thrilled to find a much more comfortable alternative.
When there’s a 3 bedroom, beachside Picturesque Cottage Rental just around the corner from the ferry terminal, who needs camping when there’s an option for luxury glamping!
No longer a city defined by a dingy, industrial reputation, Liverpool has been well and truly reborn as one of Northern England’s hottest destinations.
While the city may have a manufacturing past, today, travelers from all over the world flock to Liverpool to experience an energetic hub of music, sport and art. Days are filled with museums, galleries, parks, and restaurants, and evenings offer an eclectic nightlife buzz.
The evolution of Liverpool into a thriving cultural hub is perhaps one of Britain’s greatest transformations. The city has truly re-invented itself into a modern city while preserving their maritime heritage.
But one of the key concerns when planning your trip to Liverpool will be deciding where to stay. If you’re in the mood for luxury, here’s how to choose accommodation.
Australia is a county shaped by migrants; it is said that one in four Australians were born overseas, and this rich, cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths.
While European settlers started the trend in the late 1700’s, Australia today sees migrants from more than 190 countries; from India, the UK, and, most notably, China. (Fun fact, Mandarin has become the most spoken language in Australia after English).
Australian cities have become a melting pot of cultures, and no-where is this more prevalent than the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill. Home to Melbourne’s largest Chinese population, well over half the population of Box Hill was either born in China or has Chinese ancestry. And this is a fact that Melbournians are incredibly proud of.
One hotel that has embraced and showcased this beautiful ethnic diversity is the Art Series Hotel – The Chen. Named for the Chinese born artist Zhong Chen, who migrated to Melbourne as a teenager, The Chen is a boutique hotel that celebrates not only Chen’s abstract art, but Australia’s rich multiculturalism.
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most scenic drives. A 250 km route that hangs precariously on soaring sea cliffs along Victoria’s coastline, it winds between pretty towns and beaches, all set against the backdrop of Australia’s few temperate rainforests.
Though for one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, most visitors to the area sadly see very little, and most of that through a car window. But you won’t see the best sights from your car.
While the road can technically be driven in a day, you’re doing yourself a great disservice by not setting yourself up in one of the lovely towns along the route and making that your base for several days.
Much more than a scenic highway, this region is home to a myriad of coastal tracks, rainforest trails, and hikes which connect historic seaside villages, taking in ocean views and dramatic waterfalls.
While there are several towns offering accommodation along the route, if you’re looking to stay directly on the beach, one of the best options is Mantra Lorne.
I often say that travel is an art. It’s not simply as easy as booking a plane ticket, hotel room, and tours. Art is how we express ourselves and showcase our creativity and uniqueness.
How we travel should be no different than how we paint, sculpt, dance, or sing. It’s not simply about finding a destination that inspires us, it should be an avenue for creating your own unique journey. And that’s what I love about Adelaide.
Yes, South Australia’s capital has many notable attractions, but this isn’t a city that defines itself by a top 10 list. I found Adelaide to be a city that prides itself more in offering unique travel experiences than pushing must see attractions down your throat.
Adelaide is a destination where expressing yourself is the focus, and that begins from the moment you check into The Watson Art Series Hotel. Australia is home to several Art Series Hotels; a brand which looks to provide travelers with artistic comfort to inspire a unique journey.
Oscar Wilde said that “life imitates art far more than art imitates life”. Art has the ability to alter our perception of life, so we were more than happy to let the The Watson Art Series Hotel alter our perception of Adelaide.
Growing up in Australia in the 90s, my knowledge of Broken Hill came about from the cult film Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Being only five years old I may not have fully understood the plot line at the time; of two drag queens who make their way across the Australian Outback from Sydney to Alice Springs, but I do remember it being both comical and colourful.
Much like Priscilla, I had only ever passed through Broken Hill briefly en route to Alice Springs to witness Uluru. However, this year I decided that needed to change.
A town named by the early explorer Charles Sturt, for he wrote in his diary that the site looked like a Broken Hill, this year we based ourselves in town for a couple of days.
Made famous by mining, Broken Hill has become the capital of Outback Australia. While I had always thought of the town as a quick stopover, I would end up being pleasantly surprised at the many offerings the town has along with the beautiful landscapes that surround it.
Red Earth Motel proved to be the perfect luxury Outback base.
If there’s one thing that gives you a greater thrill than travel itself, it’s knowing that you got a great discount.
There’s nothing worse than getting to an exotic rainforest lodge and feeling gypped because someone else got it for hundreds of dollars cheaper.
That is of course the way business goes; there will always be someone who paid more for the same travel experience, and there will always be someone who got it cheaper.
But what if you could always be the one who got it cheaper? What if you could guarantee that you’re the one who paid less?
In my obsession to stay on top of cheap travel trends, the most recent website to catch my eye has been Club 1 Hotels. They guarantee massive discounts on over a million hotels, and accessing their deals is both free and ridiculously easy.
Here’s how you can find cheap hotels in 2020. I’ve vetted this quite thoroughly and can without a doubt say that their promise of massive discounts is true!
Whether you’ve recently been on a lucky streak or just turned 21, you may be looking to hit the Vegas Strip to see how far your luck can take you.
While most of Vegas’ grandest hotels and resorts are located along the Vegas strip, it can definitely be hard to know which casino hotels are worth your time.
Any trip to Vegas requires a bit of a game plan. From finding that perfect lavish hotel room at a great rate to knowing what casinos and bets give you the best odds of walking away a winner, it pays to do a bit of research before you take on Sin City.
So if you’re ready to test out your blackjack skills or simply want to strengthen your biceps by pulling some slot handles, here are three incredible casino hotels you can throw your dollars at.