RED CENTRE HOT FAVOURITE
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.
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
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
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