Island hot spot for 2012
safety rail with a securely locked harness system. Climb 140 stairs to the summit, cross the glass canopy (cling to the railing or stroll the edge, harnessed).
Minimum age 12 years; up to 15 years accompanied by an adult. Daily (except Christmas Day); also twilight climbs. More: skypoint.com.au. Kings Park Indigenous Tour, Perth: Kings Park and Botanic Garden is a key Perth CBD tourist attraction and is rich in indigenous history. The area features in Dreamtime stories of the local Wadjuk people. This tour, run by Indigenous Tours WA, is a 90-minute guided walk through Lotterywest Federation Walkway and the heart of the Western Australian Botanic Garden.
An Aboriginal guide leads you through the tranquil park setting, where you will learn about bush plants used by the Wadjuk people for food and medicine as well as about traditional tools and implements, discover ancient firemaking methods using firelighting sticks and hear the oldest Dreaming story for Nyungar country. Departs 1.30pm daily from Wadjuk car park. Bookings essential. More: West Australian Visitors Centre, (08) 9483 1106; indigenouswa.com. Wine Glass Bay Cruise, Freycinet, Tasmania: Sail four tranquil hours from Coles Bay (175km northeast of Hobart) to Wine Glass Bay’s great arc of whitesand beach via Schouten Island and the Freycinet Peninsula’s west coast, on the 48-seater catamaran Schouten Passage.
Pass secluded coves with j ewel- bright waters to drop anchor and taste freshly shucked Freycinet oysters, local sparkling wine and cheeses. Sightings have been recorded of Australasian gannets, cormorants, gulls, crested and Caspian terns, shorttailed shearwaters, albatross, wedge- tails and white- bellied sea eagles.
Also seen are little penguins, dolphins (including bottlenoses), Australian fur seals, migrating humpback and southern right whales, and even an occasional orca and blue whale. More: freycinetseacharters.com. THE best Australian bolthole this year is a Beach Villa at Hayman Great Barrier Reef. There are eight of these topcategory habitats ranged in dress-circle position beside the sand and sea, and fitted with courtyard pools and light and breezy indoor-outdoor spaces.
Butlers are on call, every imaginable gadget is in place (including an ipad), and luxe extras include a Nespresso machine and television loaded with the latest movies.
Hayman was closed for five Discovery tours, Darwin: This exotic northerly harbour capital, listed on Lonely Planet’s Top 10 city visits for 2012, is known for its pearling heritage, wartime history, marine life and wildlife. Batji Tours ( The Esplanade) offers daily escorted walks with a Larrakia guide, exploring flora, fauna, Aboriginal history and art.
Darwin Walking Tours runs a Guided Heritage Walk of the city and also hires out bicycles. Or explore the diversity of Darwin Harbour on a two-hour Sea Darwin Adventure cruise, an interactive tour of a mangrove waterway. Changing tides, weather and harbour activities make this months last year to recover from cyclones Anthony and Yasi, and now this Whitsundays resort is refreshed and renewed, with gardens by horticulturist and landscaper Jamie Durie and private hilltop and marina residences for sale. More: 1800 122 339; hayman.com.au. For full coverage of the new Hayman Beach Villas: theaustralian.com.au/news/ features/wish. a constantly evolving discovery.
And Arafura Sailing Adventures offers Darwin Harbour sunset sailings; three-hour private charters for up to 12. More: batji.com; darwinwalkingtours.com; seadarwin.com; arafurasailing.com.au.
A pool, breezy spaces, and a dress-circle view of the beach