Is­land hot spot for 2012

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Summer Reading Special - SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

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: sky­ 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; in­dige­ 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: fr­eycinet­seachar­ 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; hay­ For full cov­er­age of the new Hay­man Beach Vil­las: theaus­ fea­tures/wish. a con­stantly evolv­ing dis­cov­ery.

And Ara­fura Sail­ing Ad­ven­tures of­fers Dar­win Har­bour sun­set sail­ings; three-hour pri­vate char­ters for up to 12. More:; dar­win­walk­ing­; seadar­; ara­fura­sail­

A pool, breezy spa­ces, and a dress-cir­cle view of the beach

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