BIG, FUN AUSSIE IDEAS

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - TRAVEL NEWS - ES­CAPE TEAM

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.

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