RED CEN­TRE HOT FAVOURITE

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - TRAVEL NEWS - ROWENA RYAN , SU­SAN BUGG

Last year the ACT basked in the glory when Can­berra was ranked third on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel – Top Ci­ties list for 2018. But now the glory has been passed to an­other Aus­tralian ter­ri­tory. The Red Cen­tre in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory has been placed fourth on Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Re­gions for 2019. The top three spots went to Pied­mont in Italy, the Catskills in New York State and north­ern Peru.

“At the spir­i­tual heart of Aus­tralia’s Red Cen­tre is the coun­try’s most recog­nised nat­u­ral wonder, Uluru,” Lonely Planet says.

The World Her­itage site will be closed to clim­bers from next year, but there are other ways to learn about the world view of the tra­di­tional cus­to­di­ans of this place, Lonely Planet sug­gests. “See the stars and the desert with new eyes. Ex­plore Uluru-Kata Tjuta (Ay­ers Rock and the Ol­gas), Watar­rka Na­tional Park (Kings Canyon) and Alice Springs.”

The North­ern Ter­ri­tory also fea­tures on an­other of the guide’s top 10 lists for 2019 – Best New Open­ings – with Litch­field Na­tional Park named No.3. The most vis­ited park in the Top End (and Es­cape’s cover lo­ca­tion this week), Litch­field is about to un­dergo ex­ten­sive im­prove­ments in­clud­ing five new swim­ming spots, new camp­grounds and new routes for moun­tain bik­ing and four-wheel-drives.

Tourism NT deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Hop­per said the ac­co­lade would not only shine the global spot­light on the en­tire Red Cen­tre but also on the art, cul­ture, characters and op­er­a­tors such as Out­back Bal­loon­ing who live and love what they do in the Out­back.

Else­where in Aus­tralia, Laura, the restau­rant at Point Leo Es­tate on the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula, was named fourth on the Best New Food Ex­pe­ri­ences list. Live Wire Park at Lorne in Vic­to­ria was sec­ond Best New At­trac­tion for Kids. The Tas­man in Ho­bart was ninth on the Best New Places to Stay list, im­pres­sive when it doesn’t open un­til June.

Sri Lanka’s rise up the tourism charts since the end of civil war in 2009 con­tin­ues, the coun­try claim­ing No.1 des­ti­na­tion thanks to its beaches, lush coun­try­side, in­trigu­ing cul­ture, af­ford­able prices and wel­com­ing lo­cals. Round­ing out the list is Ger­many, Zim­babwe, Panama, Kyr­gyzs­tan, Jor­dan, the more re­mote parts of In­done­sia (i.e. not Bali), Be­larus, and Sao Tome and Principe – an is­land na­tion in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea – and Belize. LONELY PLANET’S BEST IN TRAVEL 2019, $ 27.99, IS OUT NOW.

FULLER­TON POST­ING

Syd­ney’s Westin Ho­tel, in the for­mer GPO build­ing, will be­come the first Fuller­ton out­side Sin­ga­pore from Oc­to­ber 18 next year. The Fuller­ton Ho­tel Syd­ney will join the Fuller­ton Ho­tel Sin­ga­pore, which has a his­tory as a postal build­ing, and Fuller­ton Bay Ho­tel Sin­ga­pore. Re­me­di­a­tion and re­pair of the Syd­ney ho­tel’s his­toric fa­cade will be­gin in the new year be­fore the re­brand­ing.

THE- FULLER­TON- HO­TEL- SYD­NEY. COM

FIJI FLIGHTS

Jet­star is adding two sum­mer hol­i­day ser­vices be­tween Syd­ney and Fiji from De­cem­ber 15. The flights, on Tues­days and Satur­days, in­crease ser­vices from four to six and will run un­til Jan­uary 19. Fares start at $249 one way. JET­STAR. COM

VINE GLAMP­ING

The vine­yard glamp­ing trend con­tin­ues with Glamp­ing Among the Vines on Vic­to­ria’s Bel­lar­ine Penin­sula from Novem­ber 1. Fifteen bell tents are be­ing set up at Terindah Es­tate, 20 min­utes out of Gee­long, promis­ing sweep­ing views across Port Phillip Bay. The tents cost $200 a night, per tent, with pic­nic ham­pers and break­fast bas­kets ex­tra. TWILIGHTGLAMPING.COM. AU/ TERINDAH

ULURU

VIC­TO­RIA

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