The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

RHYS Ar­row­smith is the New Zealand­born di­rec­tor of Black La­bel Re­treats, an Aus­tralasian-based com­pany that han­dles a col­lec­tion of exclusive private lux­ury re­treats and vil­las. He trav­els four months a year, mainly to the US, Bri­tain and Europe, and oc­ca­sion­ally to China and the South Pa­cific.­la­bel­re­ THE PEO­PLE’S MU­SEUM OF CHINA, SHANG­HAI I’m al­ways fas­ci­nated by the depth of his­tory in China and how ad­vanced the art is; each piece tells a won­der­ful story. A must-do for a truly mov­ing mo­ment is to lo­cate the mu­seum’s Bud­dha with the glass eyes. www.chi­na­mu­se­ JOHN DARKE IN­TE­RI­ORS, TAU­RANGA, NEW ZEALAND Unique decor items, furniture and fab­rics from across the world. John and his team turn in­te­rior de­sign im­pos­si­bles into pos­si­bles. www.john­ MY­OLA PLAN­TA­TION RE­TREAT, FIJI This stun­ning cliff-top villa has its head in the rain­for­est and its toes in the Pa­cific Ocean. You can swim among iri­des­cent trop­i­cal fish in what feels like your own cast­away la­goon. My­ola, which is a mem­ber of Black La­bel Re­treats, is ro­man­tic, private and lux­u­ri­ous.­ UNIVER­SITY CAFE RESTAU­RANT, MELBOURNE Hav­ing searched the world for the best, I have dis­cov­ered the Univer­sity Cafe Restau­rant in my own back yard. This lit­tle out-of-the-way restau­rant serves the best seafood plat­ter. It’s a real gem with a great at­mos­phere. Up­stairs at 257 Ly­gon St, Melbourne; (03) 9347 2142. MT TARAWERA, NZ A fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence is sit­ting on top of Ro­torua’s Mt Tarawera in ut­ter si­lence, then tear­ing down its slopes on a moun­tain bike, topped off by a thrilling he­li­copter ride. DIRTY NELLY’S, TEXAS If you’re in San An­to­nio, drop by a great lit­tle pub called Dirty Nelly’s. Don’t be de­terred by the name, this place has soul with a pi­ano man who will have you singing along to songs you didn’t think you knew. All this while shelling com­pli­men­tary peanuts (470 tonnes have hit the floor to date). Hil­ton Pala­cio del Rio, 715 E. River Walk St, San An­to­nio, Texas. SEA­FARIS, QUEENS­LAND The 41m lux­ury Sea­faris ves­sel is the ul­ti­mate way to dis­cover the Great Bar­rier Reef with friends and fam­ily. Sit back and en­joy great com­pany and fan­tas­tic fresh cui­sine while the world of the reef comes to you. There’s beau­ti­ful ac­com­mo­da­tion for 10 pas­sen­gers and fa­cil­i­ties in­clude a gym, li­brary, cin­ema, hy­drother­apy spa, cock­tail bar and three din­ing ar­eas. www.sea­farisaus­ I AL­WAYS PACK A book by Amer­i­can writer Richard Bach, au­thor of JonathanLiv­ing­stoneSeag­ull and dozens more. Sharon Fowler

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