AUSTRALIA’S FOOD AND WINE TRENDS

australias-food-and-wine-trendIt’s no secret that Australia has fresh produce. What’s less well-known is that the country’s foodies are exceptionally innovative and creative so the food scene is dynamic and ever-changing.

Here’s what food-and-wine loving travellers can expect in Australia.
526701371424830_c-professional-food-photography-obenaus-mira-wine.jpgAustralia loves a good taste trend. In 2015, our food and drink obsessions included everything from craft beer and cronuts to kale and salted caramel. While we will remain infatuated with all of the above into 2016, we also have our eyes fixed on the future. Business futurist Morris Miselowski says although the fashion for foams has dissipated in Australia, food “trends” such as foraging, farm-to-fork eating and fermenting are now mainstream. The industry guru predicts that, in 2016, we will be drinking more naked wines, embracing desserts that are more savoury than sweet, cooking over charcoal and continuing to crave comfort food such as burgers.

Barbecuing … it’s on fire
Barbecuing  it's on fire.jpgThe nation’s obsession for barbecuing has moved from the back verandah to prime position in restaurant kitchens around the country. Author of Food + Beer, Ross Dobson, believes the parilla (Argentine) and robata (Japanese) methods of cooking are particularly popular in Australia because “barbecuing is being recognised as part of the national identity no matter where you’re from”. “There is something magical about the hiss of food on the grill and the aromas that accompany this ritual,” says Dobson.

Food … it’s on everybody’s lips
Food … it's on everybody's lips.jpgWriter Barbara Sweeney is the curator of Food & Words, an annual food writers’ festival and member of the TEDxSydney Food team. Sweeney says she has noticed a definite trend in Australia toward talkfests and food festivals that bring together everyone from bakers to makers who want to establish meaningful connections. “There is nothing more human than getting together to talk about food,” says Sweeney “It’s the antithesis of our online lives and it’s the intimacy of these events that the community seems to be craving.”

Fermented foods … going with the gut
Fermented foods … going with the gut.jpgOnce the preserve of the home cook, the cult of the cultured vegetable has spilled over into markets and restaurants. The age-old art of preserving food is back in the picture thanks to a “cottage-based resurgence” says Ferment It production manager Belinda Smith, who sells everything from kimchi to sauerkraut at market stalls around Sydney. “Traditional preservation methods were a lost art form,” says Smith. “They are popular again because of the health benefits: they help the gut replenish its flora.”

Naked wines … it’s only natural
Naked wines.jpgWhen it comes to natural winemaking, sommelier Byron Woolfrey has noticed an upward spike in demand for wines made with minimal intervention. Woolfrey, who also runs Trolley’d, a mobile bar business, says what he loves about natural wines is they capture the true terroir of the region. “Consumers are more conscious of having a completely expressive and natural wine so you can taste the flavours of the land,” says Woolfrey. “It’s also about knowing where your product comes from.”

Just desserts
Just desserts.jpgWhile sweet treats such as the Nutella doughnut milkshake have their own cult following, the menu does not necessarily need to end in tooth-achingly sweet “afters”. In 2015, ingredients such as bacon and sea salt helped bridge the gap between savoury and sweet, says business futurist Morris Miselowski. “Australian palates are now more refined,” he says. “We are also happy to experiment and finish a meal on a savoury note using everything from dark chocolate to chilli and salt.”

Find out more about Australia’s food and wine.

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Visit Creepy Hollow Cafe & Markets While In Kojonup

Visit Creepy Hollow Cafe & Markets While In Kojonup.pngIf you are going to Kojonup for the first time, you would be delighted to know that the town has plenty of tourist spots that you won’t be done checking out even in a week’s time. Besides that, there are also several B&B facilities in Kojonup, and some of them even provide long stay accommodation at discounted rates. Moreover, the town is dotted with enough excellent cafes, pubs and restaurants to satisfy the cravings of any foodie.

Apart from all these things, there is one attraction so grotesquely delightful in this old town that you simply wouldn’t be able to avoid its charm. Creepy Hollow Cafe & Markets is located about 15 away from Kojonup on its north. You are bound to spot it if you are using the Albany highway for accessing the town. After all, you don’t get to see places adorned with skeletons, vampires and werewolves everyday.

visit-creepy-hollow-cafe-markets-while-in-kojonupThe primary section of the Creepy Hollow Cafe & Markets, as you might have guessed by now, is a cafe. With fake grass serving as the base for some neat benches outside and cosy country-styled diner on the inside, the cafe features cheerful & slightly idiosyncratic owners, live old music and spooky or conventional decorations on the walls. Although the food they serve cannot boast of being the best in town, it definitely is decent enough. There is something on the menu for everybody – coffees, cakes, cooked breakfasts, pastries, pasta dishes and so on. All items are pocket-friendly and served fresh.

The most peculiar and unique thing about the Creepy Hollow Cafe & Markets is its market, because its entryway exists right within the cafe. Besides that, the market is an indoor one, and has all kinds of intriguing products on sale. Accentuated with animated creepy insects, witches, skeletons, ghosts, ghouls and famous murderers from Hollywood, the marketplace has got spooky costumes available for sale. Despite of all that, however, everything about the section feels very comfortable and homely, just like the cafe.

The adjoining toilet block on the outside shares the spooky feel of the rest of the place too. It has a sinisterly painted building featuring black bricks, and is very craftily adorned with warlocks and witches where the toilet signage should have been.

Thus, if you love horror movies and novels, have a taste for quirky stuff, and can’t wait an entire year to celebrate Halloween, then you ought to check out the Creepy Hollow Cafe & Markets during your stay in Kojonup.

Australia – The Lucky Country

Australia - The Lucky Country  .jpgAustralia is regarded as one of the happiest countries in the world and also a nation that attracts thousands of tourists from far and wide every year. Whenever talking about Australia, people who haven’t been here assume it to be a place with neverending summer, easy living, countless horizons and great beer. The nation has quite a reputation for being friendly with everyone and possessing an indomitable spirit. There is no wonder why the Aussies call their land the Lucky Country.

The life and cultural aspects of Australia is the result of its population and scale, be it the wonderful outdoors or the amicable attitude of the locals. The contemporary culture of the country is totally in contrast with its ancient landscape. Majority of western and central Australia is extremely flat and arid. Maintaining a sharp polarity to all that, the young cities of the country burst with youthful and vibrant exuberance.

For those who wish to feast their eyes on picturesque landscape, the fabled Outback covering a vast area and spreading west of Great Dividing Range is more than ideal. This beautiful desert is characterised by cinnamon-red earth, spectacular blue skies, bizarre geological features and deserted gorges. The area has been known to play host more than 70,000 years for the oldest surviving culture of humans.

Since the interior of the nation is harsh in terms of climate and ecology, most of the populace resides near the coastal regions. They are used to living an energetic life, and regularly enjoy a sunny climate, accompanied by the comfortable backyard and beach culture.

However, all these do not mean that Australia is mostly about deserts and coastal areas. The western part of the country is blessed with abundant flora and fauna, with lush green landscapes and spectacular natural attractions. The Great Southern area of the WA is a paradise for nature lovers. The different towns situated in the region, including Perth, Albany, Esperance and Kojonup are excellent for visitors. They have a wide range of accommodation facilities available, including bed & breakfasts, hotels, resorts and guest houses.

Australia is a land of diverse landscapes and stunning geographical features. It is place where different forms of entertainment flourish with proliferation. It is a country with a varied and diverse wildlife, exotic in its own right. With so much to offer, it is no surprise that Australia is able to draw in thousands of tourists and travellers every year.

Pet Friendly Accommodation around Australia Your Kids Will Love Too!

Pet Friendly Accommodation around Australia Your Kids Will Love Too !.jpgTrying to get the lowdown on the best pet-friendly place to take the family on holidays can be as hard as explaining to the kids why Fido isn’t coming! So here’s some top advice on how to holiday as a family with your furred friends.

It’s evident that more and more people are taking their pets when they travel with their family, and according to a recent study by Petstock 75% of dog owners would consider choosing travel destinations based on whether or not their pampered pooch could also come along. An amazing statistic that in future could see the decline of boarding kennels as owners opt not to leave their pooch out of the family fun.

Fortunately, many businesses across the world have welcomed this trend and opened their doors to four-legged family members. So whether you’re searching for a beach break or a rural farm stay, here are some great places in Australia for family members with both two and four feet.

Canberra & Surrounds : canberra-surroundsThe nation’s capital isn’t just great for educating kids about Australia’s military and political history, but it’s also a hub for taking in stunning museums and art galleries. Centrally located, the Mercure Canberra on the corner of Ainslie and Limestone Avenue has dedicated dog-friendly rooms with a fenced yard for exercising, plus family packages available too. The pet friendly rooms only have one king bed so perhaps not suitable if your children require their own beds. For a more peaceful locale just one hour out of town, Wee Jasper Reserves offers bush camping on the banks of the beautiful Goodradigbee River. Let your canine and your kids run free in nature.

Around Sydney & Byron Bay :
Around Sydney & Byron Bay.jpeg
There’s no doubt that this state has the most variety for families travelling with pets, and you don’t need to go far out of the major population areas to find resorts that will suit all members of the family – even four-legged ones.

Situated in Monkerai Valley just 2.5 hours north of Sydney, you can find the ever popular Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort at 311 Upper Monkerai Road that has a variety of activities to keep the nippers amused. Choose from canoeing, fishing, horse riding, tennis and swimming or if you prefer relaxation indulge in a massage after a peaceful bush walk.

Not far away is Madisons Mountain Retreat, a great place for young animal lovers, this alpaca farm stay in Kurrajong Heights has spa cottages, an 18m indoor solar heated pool, a tennis court, bushwalking tracks and converted train accommodation the kids will love.

For beach vacations on the South Coast just a 20 minute drive from either Bega or Merimbula you should definitely try Tathra Beach Holiday Park. It’s situated right on the beach and all dogs receive a free gift on arrival! Pets are welcome all year long on the sites and in the pet-friendly cottages too (excluding the peak period over Christmas).

On the North Coast, Byron Bay offers blissful sun-filled days on the beach for man and pet alike, and you can even stay at Sandy Paws, a self-contained three-bedroom house on Childe Street, a stroll away from Belongil- the best off-leash beach in Byron Bay.

If skiing is more your family’s idea of fun then the Pender Lea Swiss-style Chalets in the NSW Snowy Mountains have accommodation to suit all budgets and even have a dedicated pet enclosure onsite for when you head to the slopes.

Northern Territory :
Northern Territory.jpgWhile the Northern Territory offers a lot of outback adventures and opportunities to learn about the indigenous culture, there is little in the way of pet-friendly accommodation to be found here.

Darwin Holiday Apartments has properties to suit families of all sizes who will be staying with a pet, while Coolalinga Tourist Park just outside Darwin and features a large fully-fenced dog exercise area (pets are onsite accommodation only, however). Alice on Todd Apartments at the at corner of South Terrace and Strehlow Street offer the best property in Alice for anyone needing accommodation with their pet, and what’s more children under 4 stay for free.

Queensland :
queensland
Who wouldn’t want a holiday in tropical far north Queensland? Marlin Cove Resort truly has it all. Not only is it set in 10 acres of lush rain forest, it is close to beautiful Trinity Beach which sports a range of top-quality facilities including 2 shallow children’s wading areas and a large salt water pool. It also boasts a sauna, tennis court, games room and spa and has apartment units that allow dogs. For people who want to stay more central, Cairns Holiday Homes have an excellent selection of child and pet-friendly properties available all year round.

Heading further south, BIG4 Airlie Cove Resort and Caravan Park at 2634 Shute Harbour Road is pet friendly, however, conditions apply. Kids will enjoy the giant chess set, a pirate playground along with a jumping pillow and waterpark. For something more rural on the Sunshine Coast try Noosa Avalon Farm Cottages in the the beautiful Noosa Hinterland on 30 private acres. Kids will love feeding the animals. West of Gympie, just 54km is bush camping at Kilkivan, a caravan park which accepts pets. – Lots of accessible activities for your dog so they won’t be bored.

South Australia :
South Australia.jpgIf you want to be near both the city and the beach when travelling with pets, Adelaide‘s Glenelg Beach area is the place to stay. The affordable Comfort Inn Haven Marina is one of few establishments in town offering affordable pet friendly rooms in Glenelg as well as dog walking and pet care services (contact the property direct to book).

If you are looking for self-catering style accommodation in regional South Australia, Pet Let specialise in pet friendly holiday rentals that allow both cats and dogs on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula.

For caravan parks try Port Augusta or Myall Grove.

Tasmania :
Tasmania.jpgFor family holidays across the Ditch, Tasmania has a good range of accommodation. A scenic fifty minute drive South from Hobart in the Huon Valley is Kermandie Lodge, a family-friendly motel which welcomes pets. Nearby attractions the kids will enjoy include hang gliding, the Ida Bay railway and the gloomy Hastings Caves. For family road trips, Hobart Caravan Park at Seven Mile Beach is 15 minutes from Hobart and has a dog-friendly beach only 5 minutes walk away.

Family & Pet Friendly Farm Stay Accommodation in WA :
Family & Pet Friendly Farm Stay Accommodation in WA .jpg
When the locals say “West is best” they must be talking about pet-friendly accommodation! According to Mark and Kerriann from Diamond Forest Cottages Pemberton in the Southern Forests region of WA

“WA is starting to become more pet friendly with more accommodation, cafes, wineries and parks being opened up to pets.”

The cottages are built around being a family-friendly farm stay with lots of activities for children and adults alike: daily animal feeding, canoeing, fishing, a games room and a playground plus ample space for kids to run free in a safe environment. Set in a central location close to local activities and wineries to keep everyone happy. Each of the pet-friendly cottages has a fully secured enclosure attached to keep pets safe. Kerriann provides visitors with a list of pet-friendly places where people can take their animals such as state forests and parks adding,

“As the owner of a farm dog and two cats ourselves we feel we understand what people need when it comes to holidaying with their pets.”

For families wanting to visit Perth, Banksia Tourist Park is the self-proclaimed “finest” tourist caravan park in town with amazing nature, wildlife and facilities for the whole family – and a great exercise area for dogs of all shapes and sizes. But if this haven doesn’t tickle your fancy discover the South West between Bunbury and Busselton, and stay at the stylish and pet friendly Peppermint Tree Lodge located 2.5 hours from Perth.

Victoria :
Victoria.jpg
Nothing will enchant the little ones more than a visit to see the fairy penguins on Philip Island, achieved by booking yourself into Nautilus Cottage by the Sea.With three bedrooms and two bathrooms this cottage is dog-friendly for small to medium well-trained dogs making it a great option for travelling families.kids love holidaying with their pets

For a relaxing trip mums are sure to enjoy try Daylesford Cottages. Located in separate locations around Daylesford, these cottages are child and dog-friendly and set in glorious surrounds. Everyone can be entertained while mum enjoys some much-needed pampering in the nearby hot springs.

The next place makes a great stopover for families with pets travelling between Sydney and Melbourne. Wakiti Creek Resort in Kotupna, 20 minutes east of Echuca is set on over 90 acres of beautiful natural bush land. Families can stay in pet friendly duplex cabins with fenced courtyards where Rover is free to roam.

For city breaks, Boutique Stays have the best pet friendly accommodation in Metropolitan Melbourne. Apartments, townhouses and self-contained houses with up to four bedrooms have secure balconies, fenced courtyards or backyards and plenty of outdoor playing space for both kids and pets alike. Also in Melbourne you can try Birches Serviced Apartments in the inner suburb of East Melbourne which has affordable rooms in a great downtown location and a relaxed attitude to pets.

Pet Travel Tips :
Pet Travel Tips.jpg
To avoid turning your forthcoming trip into something akin from the movie “Beethoven” always plan ahead.

Check prior to departure that the place is still pet-friendly, as policies do change from time to time. Also, check the conditions prior to booking such as the time of year pets are allowed, size of dog and breed accepted; there’s nothing worse than turning up and finding your pooch rejected by the owners.

Although there is still some way to go before pets are accepted as widely as they ought to be, this is a good indicator that things are changing for the better in Australia at least.

Few things beat taking the family on holiday so don’t land yourself in the dog house. Take Fido instead and plan for a holiday that everyone can enjoy!

Interesting Facts About The Wildflower Season

interesting-facts-about-the-wildflower-seasonAre you extremely fond of wildflowers? If yes, you will be delighted to know that the greatest wildflower show on Earth has already begun throughout Western Australia and will continue till November. So there is still time for you to take a week’s leave from work, pack your bags, book your flight tickets and head towards WA. However, before you start your quest, it can be great to know a few things about the wildflower season of the Australian state:

  • The internationally popular wildflower season of Western Australia starts from the end of June and lasts up to early November. However, the peak months are usually August, September and October. But the season’s time of arrival can vary every year slightly in different regions of the state due to weather conditions.
  • Local visitor centres provide great assistance during the wildflower season. They can recommend areas like local trails where the typical blooms are most likely to be found. They also offer useful brochures and advice about which flowers might be available during your visit. In case you wish to identify the blooms that you sight, you can even buy a wildflower directory.
  • There are many national parks which can offer you an excellent wildflower viewing experience. Thus, if you are planning to travel around the state, consider camping overnight or an entire day out.
  • In case you are visiting any region in the southwest or taking part in any activity there, such as Kojonup wildflower tours, avoid going to that place right after heavy rainfall for at least a couple of days. Even then, make sure you stick to the roads and avoid stepping on wet soil. Don’t forget to clean the soles of your shoes every now and then. Doing so would help to prevent dieback from spreading.
  • Never ever try to pick any of the blooms that you see during the tours, it can cause you to incur penalties. This is because picking wildflowers in Western Australia is illegal.

Interesting  Facts About The Wildflower Season.jpgThus, now you have a basic idea about what you can expect when visiting WA for the sole purpose of watching wildflowers. In addition to the above mentioned, you must also be aware of the fact that there are a variety of accommodation options available. You can even opt for the most popular type – a bed and breakfast. Whatever you do, make sure to consider the budget before finalising your decision.

Top Aboriginal Experiences In Western Australia

top-aboriginal-experiences-in-waIf you are interested in knowing about and exploring the Aboriginal culture of Australia, you would be delighted to know the state of Western Australia offers plenty of opportunities to do so. There are spectacular and beautiful landscapes that you can visit and tour by kayak, on foot or even overland. What’s best is that you will be assisted during your tours by intriguing and vibrant Aboriginal guides.

Here are the top Aboriginal experiences of Western Australia:

Kodja Place, Kojonup

Kodja Place, Kojonup.jpgThe Kodja Place is an exotic and exquisite museum as well as a culturally interpretive place that features various interesting displays – pictures, stories, exhibits and artifacts. In addition to that, there is also an astonishing rose maze. You can easily participate in a cultural tour to know about different traditions of the region. There is also a fantastic B&B just near the highway and it is regarded as one of the best facilities offering comfortable accommodation in Kojonup.

Koomal Dreaming, Dunsborough

Koomal Dreaming, Dunsborough.jpgCurated by a skilled musician Josh Whiteland, the Koomal Dreaming can provide an amazing experience of the local culture of Dunsborough, along with Dreamtime stories and enchanting didgeridoo performance by Josh himself. And all of this will take place nowhere but inside the Ngilgi cave. While talking about Dreaming spirit, plants and animals, Josh will also demonstrate the ancient tool making methods and fire lighting techniques.

Urban Indigenous, Perth

Urban Indigenous, Perth.jpgWant to gain insight of the culture prevailing in the wild South West or Kimberley? Urban Indigenous is just what you are looking for. It offers private guided tours of Perth as well as its surrounding areas. It also provides the opportunity to know about the community and culture of the Aboriginal people.

Shark Bay Coastal Tours, Shark Bay

Shark Bay Coastal Tours, Shark Bay .jpgOwned by an Aboriginal family, the Shark Bay Coastal Tours is an excellent opportunity to enjoy four-wheeler drive adventures in the Monkey Mia and Shark Bay regions. Through the guided tours, you would be able to witness the limestone blowholes & cliffs at Steep Points and the famous Stromatolites on the Shell Beach. You will also get to know about the old hunting techniques at Eagle Bluff. The tours would feature fresh local seafood and home cooked meals as well.

Now you know where to go for experiencing the Aboriginal culture of Australia. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the traditions and ideals of the centuries-old community.

Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Australia

ski-resorts-in-australiaAustralia offers a unique skiing experience with classic Aussie scenery – schussing through snow gum forests is something you can only do on the slopes Down Under. Despite the country’s relatively modest peaks, Aussies love winter sports, and the nation has produced world class competitors, including snowboarder Torah Bright and aerial skier Alisa Camplin, both winter Olympic medalists. Most of the country’s ski areas snuggle in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales and the Victorian Alps and lie less than a day’s drive away from Sydney or Melbourne. Besides downhill skiing and snowboarding, the resorts usually offer tobogganing, tubing, terrain parks, cross country trails, and many also offer night skiing and extensive snowmaking capabilities.

Typically the ski season opens in early June and ends in late September. When planning a ski trip in Australia note that most of the resorts lie within national parks that require a daily entry fee. Also chains or 4WD vehicles are mandatory for access to most of the resorts. Finally, what Australia lacks in steeps and snowpack, it compensates for with a bubbly après ski vibe, so be sure to mingle with the friendly locals while you’re there.

1 Perisher, Kosciuszko National Park, NSW
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Perisher Range Ski Resort, Kosciuszko National Park

2 Falls Creek, Alpine National Park, Victoria

2 Falls Creek, Alpine National Park, Victoria.jpg

3 Thredbo Alpine Resort, Kosciuszko National Park, NSW

3 Thredbo Alpine Resort, Kosciuszko National Park, NSW.jpg

4 Mt. Buller, Victoria

4 Mt. Buller, Victoria.jpg

5 Mt. Hotham, Australian Alps National Park, Victoria

5-mt-hotham-australian-alps-national-park-victoria

6 Charlotte Pass, Kosciuszko National Park, NSW

6-charlotte-pass-kosciuszko-national-park-nsw

7 Mt. Baw Baw Alpine Resort, Baw Baw National Park, Victoria

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