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.read more
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.read more
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.read more
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.read more
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.read more
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.read more
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.read more
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.read more
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.read more
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.read more