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Few peo­ple get to South Aus­tralia’s re­mote Cave Hill, where an­cient Anangu rock art de­picts part of the epic saga that is the Seven Sis­ters Cre­ation story. Now, the Na­tional Mu­seum of Aus­tralia in Can­berra is bring­ing the sel­dom pho­tographed art to the masses as part of its Song­lines: Track­ing the Seven Sis­ters ex­hi­bi­tion. In a project in­volv­ing nine In­dige­nous com­mu­nity coun­cils, the rock art has been pho­tographed for dig­i­tal re­pro­duc­tion in an Aus­tralian-first high-res­o­lu­tion dome that gives vis­i­tors a plan­e­tar­ium-style ex­pe­ri­ence.

The ex­hi­bi­tion show­cases art from Cen­tral Desert and West­ern Desert com­mu­ni­ties. Many are se­quenced so you can “walk” the Seven Sis­ters song­lines, which, says cu­ra­tor Margo Neale, are the most ex­ten­sive of the cre­ation tracks that crisscross Aus­tralia “like cor­ri­dors of knowl­edge”.

“Song­lines are the foun­da­tional his­tory of this con­ti­nent,” she says. “We hope vis­i­tors will get a deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion and un­der­stand­ing of the song­lines that be­long to all Aus­tralians.”

The ex­hi­bi­tion runs from 15 Septem­ber to 25 Fe­bru­ary 2018. For more de­tails, visit nma.gov.au.

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STAY

Where Aloft Perth in The Springs, a new res­i­den­tial precinct in sub­ur­ban River­vale.

Near The CBD and the air­port (it’s mid­way be­tween the two, about five kilo­me­tres from each); Perth Sta­dium (com­ple­tion due in early 2018); the Crown Perth com­plex; and cy­cling and walk­ing paths along the Swan River.

Love The com­mu­nity ethos means this new ho­tel’s pub­lic spa­ces, packed with de­signer fur­ni­ture and bold works by West­ern Aus­tralian artists, are for lo­cals as well as guests. The wi-fi is free for all on the vast, light-filled, open-plan ground floor, which en­com­passes the ho­tel lobby, plus a restau­rant, lounge and cock­tail bar that buzzes on a Fri­day night with the af­ter-work crowd. There’s even a lap pool (for guests) flanked by sun loungers and striped um­brel­las in a sum­mer tableau that’s rem­i­nis­cent of a re­sort – never mind that we’re in­doors in the sub­urbs.

Eat In line with the “lo­cals too” phi­los­o­phy, ex­or­bi­tantly priced ho­tel din­ing gets the heave-ho here. Springs Kitchen neigh­bour­hood eatery, open from 6am, turns WA pro­duce into so­phis­ti­cated but rea­son­ably priced mod­ern Aus­tralian dishes. At din­ner, share plates (big ticks for the chicken liver par­fait and beet­root, za’atar and crème fraîche dip) are about $15, while main cour­ses range from $27 for gnoc­chi, which are de­li­ciously light and scat­tered with sage leaves, mush­rooms, goat’s fetta and can­died wal­nuts, to $38 for a Wagyu steak with Béar­naise but­ter and hand-cut chips. But be warned: they leave lit­tle room for desserts such as the meringue sand­wich or clas­sic le­mon tart.

Rooms There are 224 stylish, spa­cious loft-in­spired rooms (176 kings, 44 twin dou­bles and four suites) with nods to the lo­ca­tion, such as floor-to-ceil­ing photo mu­rals of Perth city scenes. The one-bed­room Savvy Suite has won­der­ful wrap­around views dom­i­nated by the ser­pen­tine Swan River and a cor­ner lounge from which to en­joy them. When you tire of the panorama, soak in the tub in the softly-lit bath­room or watch free movies on one of the two 55-inch flatscreen TVs.

Rates From $160 to $450 per night

Visit aloft­perth.com

Sarah Maguire

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