A TOAST TO THE PAST

Con­tribut­ing ed­i­tor Chris­tine McCabe un­veils fi­nal­ists in three more cat­e­gories in TheAus­tralian’s 2007 Travel & Tourism Awards

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Tourism Awards -

BEST HER­ITAGE TOURISM

AAustralian

Stock­man’s Hall of Fame and Out­back Her­itage Cen­tre, Lon­greach, Queens­land: Founded by out­back artist and stock­man Hugh Sawrey as a me­mo­rial to the ex­plor­ers, over­lan­ders and set­tlers of re­mote Aus­tralia, this pop­u­lar her­itage cen­tre has at­tracted more than a mil­lion vis­i­tors to Lon­greach since it opened two decades ago. Five themed gal­leries and var­i­ous interactive ex­hibits tell the story of out­back set­tle­ment; you can even tuck into stock­man’s stew and damper in the cafe. An im­por­tant as­pect of the cen­tre’s op­er­a­tion is the cu­ra­tion of the li­brary’s col­lec­tion of manuscripts, let­ters and po­etry, help­ing to pre­serve the sto­ries of the na­tion’s rural past. Open daily (closed Christ­mas Day).

www.out­back­her­itage.com.au BAus­tralian

War Me­mo­rial, Can­berra: This im­pres­sive na­tional mon­u­ment, re­garded as one of the finest in the world and win­ner of The Aus­tralian’s 2006 Best Her­itage Tourism award, stands ma­jes­ti­cally at the head of Can­berra’s Anzac Pa­rade. The me­mo­rial houses 20 gal­leries fea­tur­ing a range of chang­ing ex­hi­bi­tions and en­com­passes one of the world’s finest col­lec­tions of mil­i­tary arte­facts, doc­u­ments and me­dia. The Hall of Me­mory, hous­ing the Tomb of the Un­known Sol­dier, is de­tailed with a sixmil­lion-piece mo­saic. The Dis­cov­ery Zone al­lows chil­dren a hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence, crawl­ing through a World War I trench or climb­ing aboard an Iro­quois he­li­copter. Ad­mis­sion is free and the me­mo­rial is open year round (closed Christ­mas Day).

www.awm.gov.au COld

Par­lia­ment House and Na­tional Por­trait Gallery, Can­berra: Home to the fed­eral par­lia­ment from 1927 to 1988, Old Par­lia­ment House has be­come a pop­u­lar stop on the Can­berra cul­tural trail, of­fer­ing vis­i­tors a glimpse into Aus­tralia’s po­lit­i­cal past as well as the chance to en­joy the pop­u­lar Na­tional Por­trait Gallery. Vis­i­tors are able to ex­pe­ri­ence the clubby, his­tory-laden am­bi­ence of this well-loved par­lia­ment build­ing while tak­ing be­hind-the-scenes tours of the cham­bers and prime min­is­ter’s suite. The por­trait gallery has a sec­ond site at Com­mon­wealth Place that fo­cuses on con­tem­po­rary por­traits. www.oph.gov.au/ www.por­trait.gov.au DPort

Arthur His­toric Site, Tas­ma­nia: One of the coun­try’s lead­ing his­tor­i­cal at­trac­tions, and past win­ner of The Aus­tralian’s her­itage tourism award, the Port Arthur site has been sen­si­tively cu­rated to of­fer an ab­sorb­ing vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence with guided tours of the Isle of the Dead, the site’s arche­ol­ogy and, dur­ing sum­mer, the charm­ing his­toric gar­dens. With its im­pres­sive con­vict-built ru­ins and park-like set­ting, the for­mer pe­nal set­tle­ment can be ex­plored in sev­eral ways: through the in­ter­pre­ta­tive gallery, af­ter-dark ghost walks and lux­ury cata­ma­ran cruises. Self-guided au­dio tours fea­ture re-cre­ated wit­ness ac­counts of as­pects of 19th-cen­tury life.

www.por­tarthur.org.au ERoyal

Ex­hi­bi­tion Build­ing, Melbourne: The first build­ing in Aus­tralia to be awarded World Her­itage list­ing (to­gether with the sur­round­ing Carl­ton Gar­dens), this mag­nif­i­cent Melbourne land­mark is one of only a hand­ful of key 19th-cen­tury ex­hi­bi­tion build­ings to sur­vive any­where in the world. Com­pleted in 1880 for Melbourne’s first In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion (and venue for the open­ing of the first com­mon­wealth par­lia­ment in 1901), the build­ing’s care­fully re­stored and op­u­lent in­te­ri­ors are to­day the set­ting for trade fairs and cul­tural events. Daily tours of the gal­leries and Great Hall are avail­able.

www.mu­seum.vic.gov.au FThe

Rocks Walk­ing Tours, Syd­ney: Aus­tralia’s long­est es­tab­lished guided walk­ing tour com­pany has been of­fer­ing vis­i­tors an in­sight into the birth of Euro­pean Aus­tralia for al­most three decades. In­cor­po­rat­ing His­toric Syd­ney Walk­ing Tours, it pro­vides the city’s only daily ser­vice and has re­ceived con­sis­tently ex­cel­lent re­views from over­seas and Aus­tralian vis­i­tors. A team of hand­picked, en­thu­si­as­tic and knowl­edge­able guides leads vis­i­tors on a lively ram­ble ex­plor­ing some of Syd­ney’s old­est build­ings, em­bel­lish­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence with colour­ful tales of lar­rikins and rogues. Tours are also avail­able of the Syd­ney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gar­dens and Cir­cu­lar Quay.

www.rock­swalk­ing­tours.com.au

BEST FOOD EX­PE­RI­ENCE

ANoosa

Long Week­end, Queens­land: Es­tab­lished in 2001 by play­wright David Wil­liamson, his wife Kristin and for­mer Ber­lin Phil­har­monic vi­o­lin­ist Brett Dean, the ac­claimed Long Week­end is a 10-day fes­ti­val of theatre, writ­ing, art, mu­sic and food. Tak­ing ad­van­tage of Noosa’s vil­lage-like at­mos­phere, the gourmet el­e­ment of this broad-rang­ing fes­ti­val in­cludes a variety of events, many cel­e­brat­ing re­gional pro­duce, any­thing from a pro­gres­sive seafood meal along the Noosa board­walk to a gala din­ner pre­pared by the town’s best chefs ac­com­pa­nied by arias from visit­ing Opera Aus­tralia artists. De­tails of the 2008 fes­ti­val (July 4-13) will be avail­able in the new year.

www.noos­a­long­week­end.com BStill­wa­ter

Restau­rant and the Mill Provi­dore, Launce­s­ton, Tas­ma­nia: A must for any foodie visit­ing the is­land state, the ac­claimed Still­wa­ter Restau­rant is owned and run by for­mer viti­cul­tur­ists, Chilean-born Rod Ascui and his Cana­dian wife, Kim Sea­gram. The river­front set­ting, in a re­stored 19th­cen­tury flour mill, is stel­lar, but chef Don Cameron’s food is even bet­ter and the six­course tast­ing menu comes highly rec­om­mended. A new wine bar has been re­cently added. Above the restau­rant, the Mill Provi­dore and Gallery stocks a huge se­lec­tion of Tas­ma­nian good­ies, mak­ing it the per­fect one-stop shop for vis­i­tors plan­ning a pic­nic on the Ta­mar.

www.still­wa­ter.net.au CTast­ing

Aus­tralia, South Aus­tralia: Cel­e­brat­ing its 10th an­niver­sary this year, the na­tion’s largest food and drink fes­ti­val gets un­der way this week­end (to­day to Oc­to­ber 20) in Ade­laide with a two-day feast on the banks of the Tor­rens. Brain­child of Ian Par­menter and David Evans (and to­day owned and man­aged by Events South Aus­tralia), Tast­ing Aus­tralia has gone from strength to strength and this year in­cludes a huge variety of din­ners, struc­tured tast­ings and farm­ers mar­kets to­gether with cook­ing classes, a writ­ers fes­ti­val, re­gional culi­nary com­pe­ti­tion and the an­nounce­ment of the Le Cor­don Bleu World Food Me­dia Awards. Visit­ing in­ter­na­tional chefs in­clude Mad­hur Jaf­frey, An­to­nio Car­luc­cio and Rick Stein.

www.tast­ing-aus­tralia.com.au DThe

Kitchen Ta­ble at Aria, Syd­ney: Aria has taken in-kitchen nosh­ing to new heights with a small, pur­pose-built din­ing room sit­u­ated within the busy kitchen of this ac­claimed East Cir­cu­lar Quay restau­rant. The el­e­gant Kitchen Ta­ble af­fords guests a bird’seye view of the fre­netic ac­tiv­ity while they tuck into an eight-course tast­ing menu fea­tur­ing some of chef and Aria co-owner Matthew Mo­ran’s sig­na­ture dishes. Din­ers can chat with the chef pre­par­ing their meal while ded­i­cated wait staff match wine to food, en­sur­ing an in­ti­mate ex­pe­ri­ence of one of Aus­tralia’s finest restau­rants.

www.ari­arestau­rant.com ETony

Tan’s Un­lim­ited Cui­sine Com­pany, Melbourne: Stephanie Alexan­der de­scribes Tony Tan’s cook­ing as mas­terly. Rov­ing chef and bon vi­vant Tan main­tains a hec­tic life lead­ing world food tours while run­ning his pop­u­lar cook­ing school in Melbourne, where a year-round sched­ule of classes fea­tures guest chefs and food ex­perts. Tan is a pas­sion­ate trav­eller and his cook­ing classes re­flect his di­verse culi­nary in­ter­ests, but if you can’t find some­thing to suit from the Un­lim­ited Cui­sine Com­pany’s jam­packed sched­ule, he is happy to tai­lor a class for you. Tours this year in­clude an 11-day food­ies romp across Spain.

www.tony­tan.com.au FWine

and Truf­fle Co, Man­jimup, West­ern Aus­tralia: Seven years ago a group of food and wine lovers from across Aus­tralia set out to es­tab­lish the largest truf­ferie in the south­ern hemi­sphere. They chose the fer­tile soils of West­ern Aus­tralia’s Man­jimup and planted 13,000 truf­fle-in­oc­u­lated hazel­nut and oak trees as well as grape vines. Their first truf­fle was un­earthed in July 2003. To­day vis­i­tors to the Wine and Truf­fle Co can taste a range of pre­mium wines, en­joy truf­fle­in­flu­enced dishes in the gourmet cafe and dur­ing win­ter join in the hunt for this mys­te­ri­ous prince of fungi. (Book­ings for the last are es­sen­tial as num­bers are lim­ited and the sea­son is rel­a­tively short.)

www.wine­andtruf­fle.com.au

BEST WIN­ERY RESTAU­RANT

ABridge­wa­ter

Mill, Ade­laide Hills, South Aus­tralia: Tucked away in the leafy Ade­laide Hills, a 20-minute drive from Ade­laide, this fa­mous win­ery-restau­rant has be­come a South Aus­tralian land­mark. Shopfront for Petaluma Wines (now owned by Lion Nathan) and the re­fined food of chef Le Tu Thai, the restau­rant and cel­lar door are set within the con­verted sur­rounds of a soar­ing 1860s flour mill com­plete with work­ing wa­ter­wheel. The restau­rant is lo­cated within a cosy atrium at­tached to the tast­ing room but in sum­mer ev­ery­one sits on the dap­pled deck lis­ten­ing to the cool­ing splash of the wa­ter wheel, dubbed Old Rum­bler by lo­cals.

www.bridge­wa­ter­mill.com.au BDaniel

Alps at Strath­lynn, Ta­mar Val­ley, Tas­ma­nia: Form­ing part of the Ninth Is­land Vine­yard’s hand­some cel­lar door, this glass-fronted restau­rant of­fers long, lus­cious views over vine­yards, moun­tains and the broad sleepy Ta­mar. Daniel Alps and his team turn out a small but per­fectly formed menu draw­ing on the Ta­mar’s ex­cep­tional pro­duce. Pipers Brook and Ninth Is­land wines are avail­able by the glass while the cel­lar door has a tempt­ing gift shop. Cook­ing classes fea­tur­ing din­ner with matched wines are avail­able.

www.kreglinger­wi­neestates.com CD’Arry’s

Ve­ran­dah, McLaren Vale, South Aus­tralia: Perched on high with broad views over the bald hills and rolling vine­yards of the south­ern vales, 45 min­utes from Ade­laide, this lovely restau­rant is the per­fect lun­cheon spot. The food of chefs Peter Reschke and Nigel Rich draws ex­ten­sively on the vale’s rich pro­duce store of olives, fruit, cheeses and seafood (the ocean is a cork’s pop away). Wines come cour­tesy of the ad­join­ing cel­lar door, where in win­ter vis­i­tors gather around the open fire to quaff Stump Jump, Lucky Lizard and other quirk­ily named d’Aren­berg Wines.

www.daren­berg.com.au DEsca

Bim­bad­gen Es­tate, Hunter Val­ley, NSW: Lo­cated a two-hour drive north of Syd­ney, Mediter­ranean-in­spired Bim­bad­gen has sweep­ing views of the Hunter. Com­bin­ing food and wine into an in­te­grated, world-class at­trac­tion of great charm, the con­tem­po­rary cel­lar door is com­ple­mented by the ac­claimed Esca restau­rant, where mod­ern Aus­tralian cui­sine can be en­joyed seven days for lunch while drink­ing in the long views. An in­ter­est­ing sea­sonal menu fea­tures tast­ing plates matched with es­tate wines.

www.bim­bad­gen.com.au EThe

Restau­rant at Mon­talto Vine­yard and Olive Grove, Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula, Vic­to­ria: This mod­ern, glass-walled restau­rant com­mands ro­man­tic views across vines, olive groves and wet­lands to­gether with a col­lec­tion of strik­ing mod­ern sculp­ture that forms part of an im­por­tant an­nual com­pe­ti­tion. In­spired by sum­mer hol­i­days in the south of France, John and Wendy Mitchell and daugh­ter Heidi es­tab­lished this im­pres­sive Morn­ing­ton es­tate as an an­ti­dote to the in­dus­tri­alised food in­dus­try. The em­pha­sis is on lo­cal and or­ganic, with Wendy’s veg­etable gar­den and or­chard pro­vid­ing the restau­rant with ev­ery­thing from herbs and ber­ries to 20 va­ri­eties of potato.

www.mon­talto.com.au FThe

Restau­rant at Voy­ager Es­tate, Mar­garet River, West­ern Aus­tralia: Sit­u­ated in the lovely Mar­garet River, the hand­some Cape Dutch-style Voy­ager cel­lar door is al­most as fa­mous for its rav­ish­ing rose gar­dens as it is for its wines. The restau­rant, too, is highly re­garded, a for­mal din­ing room prov­ing the per­fect venue for vis­i­tors to tuck into lo­cal Mar­garet River spe­cial­ties. The tast­ing plates are pop­u­lar and may in­clude twice-cooked duck or blue swim­mer crab and fish mousse cigars. The cel­lar door also fea­tures a com­pre­hen­sively stocked gift shop.

www.voy­ager­estate.com.au Next week: Best Des­ti­na­tion Spa Ex­pe­ri­ence, Best In­no­va­tive Tourism Ex­pe­ri­ence, Best Tour Op­er­a­tor

Good taste: Clock­wise from main pic­ture, Still­wa­ter Restau­rant, Launce­s­ton; Dis­cov­ery Zone at the Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial; Stock­man’s Hall of Fame; the Kitchen Ta­ble at Aria

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