BACK­YARD DRIFT

No pass­port is re­quired for these fresh city and regional ex­pe­ri­ences

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - BEST OF AUSTRALIA - CHRIS­TINE RETSCHLAG

Aus­tralia. There’s noth­ing quite like it. Aussies are spoiled for choice when it comes to tourism op­er­a­tors and ex­pe­ri­ences in our own back yard. Here’s what we can ex­pect from our jour­neys Down Un­der in 2018.

A HOT HO­TEL

It’s been two decades since the Queens­land cap­i­tal has opened a fives­tar ho­tel, but that all changes in March with the ar­rival of W Bris­bane. This prop­erty will fea­ture 312 stylish guest rooms, a 24-hour wired busi­ness cen­tre, spa, state-of-the-art work­out fa­cil­ity, in­door heated pool, and three restau­rants and bars.

STARWOODHOTELS.COM

GET OUT­BACK

Go west in NSW and ex­pe­ri­ence the new $5 mil­lion Bro­ken Hill Out­back Re­sort open­ing in March. Sleep in a range of ac­com­mo­da­tion from cab­ins, car­a­van sites and camp­ing at the his­toric Mt Gipps Ho­tel. Sit­u­ated 12km east of Bro­ken Hill, this 1890s ho­tel is be­ing ren­o­vated and will in­clude a bar, restau­rant and re­cep­tion area.

DESTINATIONNSW.COM.AU

TREK TASSIE

The first of its kind in Aus­tralia, the Great Tas­ma­nian Tra­verse will take guests on a 39-day walk of the state’s most iconic ad­ven­tures.

Spe­cial­ist walk­ing op­er­a­tor Tas­ma­nian Ex­pe­di­tions will com­bine five of its most pop­u­lar ad­ven­tures: Pen­guin to Cradle, The Over­land Track, French­mans Cap Trek, Franklin River Raft­ing, and the South Coast Track, and de­parts in Fe­bru­ary.

GREATTASMANIANTRAVERSE.COM

LIFE IS SWELL

Re­mote Christ­mas Is­land is poised to wel­come some much-needed ac­com­mo­da­tion to its sta­ble with the open­ing of Swell Lodge, in May.

This new lux­ury eco-lodge, in­side Christ­mas Is­land Na­tional Park, will com­prise eight chalets, a lounge area and small restau­rant.

SWELLLODGE.COM

A NEW WAVE

Aus­tralia’s first surf park will launch at Mel­bourne Air­port in early 2018 giv­ing am­a­teur and ex­pert wave rid­ers the op­por­tu­nity for year-round swell. URBNSURF Mel­bourne will use cut­ting-edge wave-gen­er­a­tion tech­nol­ogy and LED la­goon light­ing for night and day surf­ing.

Ex­pect a fully equipped pro-shop for board and gear hire, a li­cenced cafe, beach ca­banas, play­ground and train­ing pro­grams for all abil­i­ties.

URBNSURF.CO/MEL­BOURNE

SNAP THE NT

Cap­ture the beauty of Kakadu on a six-day pho­tog­ra­phy tour with ac­claimed land­scape pho­tog­ra­pher Peter Wal­ton and World Ex­pe­di­tions. This trip, which leaves Dar­win in May, will fo­cus on the “artistry of pho­tog­ra­phy” and com­po­si­tion, light­ing, fo­cus/in­ter­est points, and choos­ing the right lens.

You’ll also learn how to use soft­ware to give your photographs an artis­tic fin­ish, while stay­ing in ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion along the way.

WORLDEXPEDITIONS.COM/AUS­TRALIA/ PHO­TOG­RA­PHY-ARTS/KAKADU-PHOTOGRAPHYWITH-PETER-WAL­TON

LIFE’S A BEACH

Perth’s pop­u­lar Scar­bor­ough Beach will un­veil a $100 mil­lion facelift in early 2018 with a fore­shore rede­vel­op­ment which in­cludes a beach­side swim­ming pool, cafes, restau­rants, kiosks, pub­lic art and a skate park.

MRA.WA.GOV.AU/SEE-AND-DO/SCAR­BOR­OUGH/ AT­TRAC­TIONS/SCAR­BOR­OUGH-BEACH

A CU­RI­OUS CUBE

Head to South Aus­tralia’s McLaren Vale to ex­pe­ri­ence the d’Aren­berg Cube, a five-storey multi-func­tion build­ing, due to open in late 2017. Boast­ing 16 um­brel­las on its glass roof, the build­ing will show­case wallto-wall art­work, a wine in­hala­tion room, two vir­tual fer­menters and sen­sory wine ex­pe­ri­ences.

DARENBERG.COM.AU/CUBE/

GO BOAT­ING

Can­berra’s Lake Bur­ley Grif­fin will be the first lo­ca­tion out­side of Europe to ex­pe­ri­ence GoBoat, a self-drive sus­tain­able, elec­tric pic­nic boat.

Op­er­a­tional by late 2017, these boats carry up to eight peo­ple on­board as they tour the ACT’s sig­na­ture water­way.

GOBOATCANBERRA.COM.AU

ART DECO DE­LIGHT

A for­mer Bris­bane bank­ing cham­ber will open its doors as the Ad­ina Apart­ment Ho­tel in Fe­bru­ary, re­viv­ing the her­itage and his­tory of George St. This sand­stone-clad build­ing, which fin­ished con­struc­tion in the 1920s, will com­prise 220 rooms, a restau­rant and bar, ground-floor pool and con­fer­ence fa­cil­i­ties.

ADINAHOTELS.COM.AU

LUXE LODGINGS

Tasmania’s much-loved Fr­eycinet Lodge is re­ceiv­ing a facelift with six new suites and nine new ac­com­mo­da­tion pav­il­ions as well as a lift and ac­ces­si­ble suite in the main lodge build­ing. The six Haz­ards View Suites will of­fer guests views of the Haz­ards Moun­tains and are due to open in mid 2018.

The Coastal Pav­il­ions are now open for book­ings from March 15.

FREYCINETLODGE.COM.AU

WALK LIKE A GOD­DESS

In­tro­duced to the mar­ket this year, but set to de­part next year, World Ex­pe­di­tions’ first Lara­p­inta God­dess Walk will launch in April. This three­day trek is de­signed for ad­ven­tur­ous women seek­ing the beauty of the North­ern Ter­ri­tory’s Lara­p­inta Trail while har­ness­ing their in­ner yo­gini. En­joy morn­ing yoga and med­i­ta­tion ses­sions of­fered be­fore wan­der­ing this Red Cen­tre trail.

WORLDEXPEDITIONS.COM/AUS­TRALIA/WALKINGGUIDED/LARA­P­INTA-GOD­DESS-WALK

URBNSURF WILL USE CUT­TING-EDGE WAVE-GEN­ER­A­TION TECH­NOL­OGY FOR NIGHT AND DAY SURF­ING

HOT AND COLD

The Penin­sula Hot Springs, on Vic­to­ria’s Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula, will launch seven new pools and an am­phithe­atre for con­certs, talks, demon­stra­tions and well­ness ac­tiv­i­ties in early 2018. A high­light of the rede­vel­op­ment is the “fire and ice” ex­pe­ri­ence where guests can try hot/cold ther­apy in two large saunas, an ice cave, and plunge pool.

PENINSULAHOTSPRINGS.COM

STEP­PING OUT

Tasmania’s first in­dige­nous tourism at­trac­tion will launch in Jan­uary with the Wukalina Walk. This four-day ex­pe­ri­ence, in Mt Wil­liam Na­tional Park, is de­scribed as a “mu­seum of the Palawa peo­ple” and vis­i­tors will be treated to the sto­ries of Tasmania’s tra­di­tional Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, while sleeping in tim­ber tents and a light­house keeper’s cot­tage.

FACE­BOOK.COM/WUKALINAWALK/

AN­CHOR AT PORT STEPHENS

The An­chor­age at Port Stephens, 2.5 hours north of Syd­ney, has un­der­gone a mas­sive ren­o­va­tion due for com­ple­tion at the end of 2017. All rooms in this lux­ury Hamp­tons-style ac­com­mo­da­tion have been re­vamped and re­fur­nished; an in­fin­ity pool has been built and the orig­i­nal pool has been up­dated; Spa Lucca is brand new as is Hem­ing­way’s Bar.

ANCHORAGEPORTSTEPHENS.COM.AU

GOOD SPIR­ITS

Lo­cal dis­till­ing is set to make a come­back to Vic­to­ria’s Bel­lar­ine area af­ter a 30-year hia­tus with the open­ing of The Whiskery in early 2018. You’ll find this dis­tillery on a 2.8ha his­toric site, which was a for­mer Cobb & Co watering hole.

Serv­ing its own whisky and gin, sip lo­cally-pro­duced wine, cider and beer, and dine on graz­ing plates of gourmet fod­der.

FACE­BOOK.COM/THEWHISKERY

SPORT RE­PORT

Perth’s new 60,000 seat sport­ing sta­dium, due to open in Jan­uary, is be­ing hailed as a ma­jor sport­ing and en­ter­tain­ment venue.

Check out its cal­en­dar of events for a chance to chris­ten this new cul­tural caul­dron com­plete with “fans first” tech­nol­ogy such as full 4G Wi-Fi cov­er­age, more than 1000 TV screens, 50 food and drink out­lets and a kids’ ac­tiv­ity zone.

PERTHSTADIUM.COM.AU

NEW ZOO

A high­light of the Syd­ney Zoo, due to open next year, is the an­i­mals won’t be caged, al­low­ing a sa­fari-style ex­pe­ri­ence for vis­i­tors.

The $36 mil­lion zoo, in the Bun­gar­ribee Precinct, will hold 30 ex­hibits and a va­ri­ety of species in­clud­ing ex­otic and Aus­tralian an­i­mals.

DESTINATIONNSW.COM.AU

THE MANE EVENT

South Aus­tralia’s Monarto Zoo is set to roar into life in late 2017 when it launches its Lions 360 Ex­pe­ri­ence.

Coura­geous vis­i­tors will walk through a tun­nel and come within a whisker of one of Aus­tralia’s largest lion prides in the heart of their den.

MONARTOZOO.COM.AU/LIONS360/

COME A WALTZING MATILDA

Pay­ing trib­ute to Aus­tralian poet Banjo Pater­son, and re­open­ing af­ter it was de­stroyed by fire in 2015, Win­ton’s Waltzing Matilda Cen­tre will re­launch in time for its 20th an­niver­sary in April. Visit this Out­back Queens­land mu­seum, ded­i­cated to the song Waltzing

Matilda, and ex­pe­ri­ence its re­vival.

MATILDACENTRE.COM.AU

DRINK AND SINK

Much-cov­eted ac­com­mo­da­tion near the pop­u­lar Mur­rum­bat­e­man winer­ies in the Can­berra District will open in late 2017/early 2018 with a new ho­tel from the Abode Group. The 52-room Abode Mur­rum­bat­e­man ho­tel has re­ceived a big cheers from sur­round­ing winer­ies.

ABODEHOTELS.COM.AU

NORTH­ERN TER­RI­TORY

TAS­MA­NIAN TRA­VERSE

PENIN­SULA HOT SPRINGS

PIC­TURES: ISTOCK, SUP­PLIED

There’s so much to do in our own back yard, from pho­tog­ra­phy tours in Kakadu (main pic­ture), ex­plor­ing Mur­rum­bat­e­man winer­ies near Can­berra, trekking in Tasmania and chilling out in Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula’s hot springs.

ABODE MUR­RUM­BAT­E­MAN

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