BIG, FUN AUSSIE IDEAS
Tourism Australia has enlisted three young stars as the face of its latest social media campaign, but there’s one vital ingredient missing – you. Launched on Friday, the $5 million campaign sees rugby star Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins, former Home and Away actor Lincoln Lewis and TV presenter Teigan Nash visiting attractions around the country.
They will film their adventures for a Facebook and Instagram channel called “Aussie News Today” as part of a campaign designed to appeal to young European travellers.
Destinations set to feature include Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin, Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays and Horizontal Falls in the Kimberley.
Meanwhile, eight young travellers and aspiring social media stars from Europe are being sent on a threemonth road trip around Australia.
Experiences tipped to be included in the campaign include shark cage diving at Port Lincoln in South Australia and sand boarding at Port Stephens in NSW.
And now, Tourism Australia is turning to ordinary Aussies for fresh ideas on what the stars of the campaign should see and do.
“We’ll be encouraging Australians and local tourism businesses with a great story idea or content to share it with us on social media using the #AussieNewsToday campaign hashtag,” says Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan.
“We will curate the ‘best of the best’ and feature it in the campaign.”
The emphasis is on fun and quirky ideas. “This campaign is all about making people smile, and sharing unique Australian experiences with young people around the world,” O’Sullivan says. The campaign aims to recapture the social media buzz of previous campaigns such as the 2013 Best Job in the World competition, and will run in collaboration with other tourism bodies.
DIRECT TO CHILE
Spending a long time in the air can be a deterrent for anyone contemplating a long-haul holiday, so travellers looking at South American hot spots such as Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls and the glaciers of Patagonia will be happy with a new air route between Melbourne and the Chilean capital, Santiago.
The first direct link between the two cities, which is now running three times a week, will cut travel time dramatically. The flight from Melbourne will take 13 hours and 15 minutes, considerably less than the 20-plus hours it can take via Sydney and Auckland. From Santiago, travellers can connect to more than 124 destinations across Latin America. The airline estimates the Melbourne-Santiago flight, onboard Boeing 787-9 aircraft, will transport 75,000 passengers between the two continents each year on top of the 190,000 annually on its Sydney-Santiago service.
LATAM.COM NEW SYDNEY STAYS
Sydney welcomed its first new international five-star hotel on Friday when the 590-room Sofitel Darling Harbour opened.
And tomorrow the city gets another new property, this time a five-star boutique hotel in Potts Point. Larmont Sydney is the first city and NSW property for the family-owned Lancemore Group. CEO Julian Clark says harbourside Potts Point was chosen because it put guests among Sydney’s most privileged locals while they were a short walk from Sydney’s city centre.
The hotel has been designed to appeal to foodies, wellness enthusiasts and design-conscious guests. Luxury touches include marble benchtops and leather bedheads, integrated technology, and a minibar with Dom Perignon and wines rated 93-plus by critic James Halliday. Guests have access to a local yoga studio and 24-hour gym. Pet-friendly suites are among the 103 rooms. Lancemore has four properties in regional Victoria, including historic Werribee Mansion Hotel & Spa outside Melbourne, and Alamanda Palm Cove, Queensland.
LANCEMORE.COM.AU JUST THE GUY FOR ITALY
Here is one for the food-lover’s “you wish” list: a 10-day tour through the gastronomic hot spots of Italy with chef Guy Grossi.
Leading Hotels of the World have enlisted Grossi, My Kitchen Rules judge and ambassador for all things Italian in Melbourne, to curate an immersive tour that includes cooking classes, dining at Michelinstarred restaurants (including threestar Osteria Francescana in Modena) staying in luxury accommodation. Tours scheduled May 21-31 and August 20-30 next year.
The $19,995 a person twin share price tag will be beyond most of us, but, happily, a $25 bowl of pasta at one of Grossi’s Bourke St restaurants is eminently affordable for those content to dream.