VIP Sydney: Introducing our Getaway Collection. Where will it take you?

It’s time to experience a luxe-local getaway like no other. With bounds of beauty stretching from each corner of Australia, take a little time out, or a much deserved break, and explore our beautiful backyard that is; Australia.

In collaboration with Southern Crossings, VIP Sydney has announced their latest luxe-experiences: A collection of interstate packages, designed for those needing a little rest & relaxation, or simply the taste of a new adventure…

The Way to Wellness. Begin your vacay at the exquisite Tamarind Retreat private villa on the Sunshine Coast. Dine in style, and unwind with private yoga classes in the serene rainforest setting and simply sit back relax for 3 nights. Next, you’ll swap the country for the coast, with a 3 night stay in an oceanfront villa at Elysian Retreat in the Whitsundays…

A Feast for the Senses. Start with 2 nights at Hobart’s super-luxe MACq01 hotel, a scenic river cruise and a decadent seafood feast for two before moving on to Freycinet Lodge for a 2-night stay. From your outdoor bath-tub on the deck, soak up the scenery, enjoy a sampling of local crafted spirits and wines, and explore the region via hike, bike, kayak or cruise.

Wine and Dine. A fabulous four day foodie’s folly starting in the Yarra Valley, staying at Yering Gorge Cottages adjoining the Eastern Golf Club. Enjoy a private tour and tasting with lunch at one of or favourites; De Bertoli. Continue the self-drive journey towards your own Lake House in Daylesford where you can enjoy long country walks, healing spa treatments and hatted dining.

Red Centre Revealed. Over seven nights, experience the spiritual heart of Australia, beginning with a half-day guided introduction of Alice Springs and a full day tour of the West MacDonnell Ranges, before being transferred to Kings Canyon for a privately guided walk and authentic Aboriginal cultural experience. Take the scenic route to Ayers Rock, where you will stay at Sails with sunrise/sunset tours of majestic Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

Waterways, Whales and Wine. Unwind at Bannisters Port Stephens for 2 nights as you take off on a 3-hour cruise of the tranquil waterways. After leisurely experiencing the region, head inland to recharge at Spicers Vineyards in the heart of the Hunter wine country. Enjoy local produce and Australia’s finest wine, with a guided behind-the-scenes experience and tasting at one of the many boutique wineries.

Source: The VIP Sydney

Road trip to time Stayz Holiday Houses in Australia with the #roadtrippledge

As none of us will be heading away internationally for quite a while yet, the best thing to be doing is discovering or rediscovering delectable Australia.

I was very fortunate to be invited to be part of the #RoadTripPledge – and experiencing the absolute gorgeousness that is the south coast of New South Wales, on Gerroa beach.

The #RoadTripPledge is an Australian regeneration promise, created by the online holiday house rental website, Stayz, in support of regional towns and families impacted by the Summer bushfires and then Covid-19 travel bans.

Leading the pledge are Aussie faces Like Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Cameron Daddo and Alison Brahe, Jamie Durie, Adam Liaw, Benji and Zoe Marshall, Tom Williams and Dr Katrina Warren and their families.

The house we stayed at – on Stafford Street – was on the northern end of Gerroa beach with a rolling grass lawn that went directly down to the rocks and just a minute walk to the sounds and sand of the beach. It was truly spectacular.

I also love the 7 Point Checklist Family Road Trip Guide by leading and always amiable psychologist, Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg.

The Kingsley
Byron Bay, NSW
A stunning, newly renovated house with a sumptuous luxury feel. This versatile home was created with beautiful shared spaces in mind, including the huge deck with built-in daybeds overlooking the pool.
The Shed
Kangaroo Valley, NSW
Set among permaculture gardens on a 160-acre working farm, this space is a converted machinery shed that has been creatively transformed. Now an unforgettable eco-haven, the three-bedroom house features gorgeous layers of reclaimed and recycled materials.

Noosa, QLD
This luxurious family home is nestled between the ocean and Noosa National Park. The house is set over two levels with the kitchen, lounge and dining all opening out to a swimming pool and tennis court.
The Artists’ Treehouse
Port Douglas, QLD
Situated in the heart of Port Douglas, this four-bedroom townhouse offers spacious and laid-back vibes. The place is decorated with eclectic and stylish furnishings complemented by collections from renowned artists.

Paris Villa
Daylesford, VIC
Breathtaking five-star luxury shipping container villa cantilevered over a ravine. Experience an oasis of luxury with sheer-glass floors, an infinity daybed, a Tasmanian wood bath and gorgeous fireplace.
Sea Ranch
Wye River, VIC
This sleek four-bedroom home offers breathtaking views of the ocean and coastline. Experience the ultimate in luxury with floor-to-ceiling, ocean-facing glass windows, a state-of-the-art kitchen and gas log fire.

Aerie Retreat 
Bruny Island, TAS 
A private wilderness retreat awaits you on the waterfront amongst the treetops. This bespoke designer apartment boasts an expansive deck, fire pit, sauna and timber hot tub.
Quarry Hill Lookout
Huon Valley, TAS
This large pet-friendly home overlooks the pristine waters of Port Esperance Bay and is located a short stroll from the beach, restaurants and town. The large glass windows take advantage of the picture-perfect views from wherever you may be.

Blakiston Creamery
Blakiston, SA
Built in 1896, this five-star getaway epitomises rustic charm with a modern edge. Situated within two acres of picturesque country garden, the historic creamery offers the perfect hills retreat for up to eight people.
Bed in a Shed
Clare Valley, SA
Offering the perfect escape to the country, this cosy space has been designed using interesting recycled materials in a modern context. Soak in the gorgeous vineyard views across the stunning property from your bed.

Toodyay Art Shack
Lower Chittering, WA
The Shack brings together years of experience in art and design to reveal an eccentric retreat. It’s a contemporary building with a tent-inspired roof and doors that slide away creating rooms that can become part of the landscape.
The Carriage
Mundaring, WA
The Carriage is a beautifully decorated train that has been lovingly restored with the highest attention to detail. Its new layout comprises of an open-plan lounge, dining and kitchen area featuring a restored 19th-century fireplace.

Bunnik Tours releases first Australian itinerary

With 25 years of international small group touring expertise behind them, Bunnik Tours has released  their first Australian itinerary offering guests the opportunity to enjoy a personalised tour to Bunnik’s backyard, South Australia and Tasmania starting in September.

“Since the company was founded, we have specialised in offering tours to incredible overseas destinations so while our wings are clipped, we decided to use this expertise to take our guests to some wonderful Australian locations instead” said CEO, Dennis Bunnik.  “It was really important for us, in creating these domestic itineraries, that we offered something that was still uniquely Bunnik so I have decided to lead them. What could be more personalised than having an actual Bunnik on a Bunnik tour showcasing the highlights of our wonderful home state.”

The 11-day tour of South Australia will kick off with welcome drinks at Bunnik House in Adelaide taking guests behind the scenes to visit the historic ballroom and the hidden basement.  From there, the tour will take in some of the state’s best known destinations with special highlights including:

  • A trip to Kangaroo Island to learn about the purest strain of Liguiran bees in the world and a tasting at the state’s first boutique gin distillery, Kangaroo Island Spirits;
  • A visit to the spectacular Flinders Ranges including the opportunity to sip on sundowners at a viewpoint looking out towards the ancient landscape of Wilpena Pound;
  • Touring the renowned wine-making regions of Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and the Barossa. For those who like their sightseeing served with a side of excellent shiraz, an exclusive visit to the Penfolds Magill Estate will offer a tour of the old winery and a tasting of the iconic Penfolds Grange.

All tour groups include no more than 20 travellers with all sightseeing, accommodation and many meals included. Pricing starts at $4,395.00.

The Tassie tour will be hosted by Bunnik founder and joint CEO Marion Bunnik who started the company 25 years ago.

 The 14-day tour will start and end in Hobart and the itinerary offers guests a round trip tour of the Island with Port Arthur, Bruny Island, Launceston, Freycinet National Park, Cradle Mountain, Stanley and Strahan as highlights.  One particular highlight to note that might be of interest to your readers is that the October departure includesa special visit to the Table Cape Tulip Farm in Wynyard, one of the largest tulip farms in the Southern Hemisphere to see the flowers in bloom.

 All tour group sizes are no more than 20 travellers with all sightseeing, accommodation and many meals included in the price of $5,295.00. Three departures are schedule for 2020 commencing in October.

For more information, go to:

Source: Bunnik Tours

Byron Bay: hot new Rooftop Bar Opens

Byron Bay’s hottest new address, The Surf House has opened offering a bold new accommodation experience right in the hub of the bustling beachside town. A first of its kind for Byron, the boutique design led property will feature the quality service and facilities of a hotel, alongside the laid-back vibe and social aspects of a hostel.

Located in the heart of Byron Bay town centre, just two streets back from Main Beach in the heritage-listed Byron Council Chambers building, The Surf House effortlessly combines the buildings original architecture with modern design to bring guests a one-of-a-kind memorable accommodation experience.

The Surf House is home to Byron’s only open-air rooftop bar. Drawing inspiration from Northern NSW old school surf culture, The Rooftop is decked out with beach chic bric-a-brac and vintage Aussie surf posters and photos, including one featuring a young Bob Hawke. The bar is the perfect spot for guests to unwind with a cold beer from local brewery Stone & Wood after a day catching waves or to kick of their night with a Brookies G&T from Cape Byron Distillery.

The Surf House is the third Byron Bay property from family owned and operated Millett Group and is set to provide a completely new offering for sun seeking travellers heading to the Northern Rivers hot spot. The Group also run The Lord Byron, recognised by Tripadvisor with a 2019 Travellers Choice award and Wake Up! Byron Bay awarded best hostel in Byron Bay in the 2020 Hostelworld HOSCAR’s.

“The last few months have been tough and like so many businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry we’ve had to shift our goal posts and look to provide something that will be attractive to the domestic traveller” says Christian Millett, Owner Operator Millett Group.

“In a competitive market like Byron Bay, we’ve come up with something unique in The Surf House, offering a quality yet affordable accommodation alternative for guests looking to immerse themselves into the iconic Byron Bay lifestyle.”

“Our team have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to get the property ready to open and we can’t wait to host a range of Aussie travellers coming to explore Byron, whether it be for weddings, weekenders with friends and family, remote working, adventure or a romantic getaway!”

The Surf House offers a range of room types to cater to every traveller’s needs. The private queen rooms with balconies, ensuite bathrooms and ocean views will be perfect for those looking for an affordable alternative to Airbnb’s and up market hotels in the area. Alongside the privates is a range of shared room options accommodating four, six or eight guests that are perfect for groups or solo travellers looking to connect with others.

Guests can enjoy complimentary use of surf boards and free high speed Wifi with multiple working spaces making it an attractive haven for digital nomads looking to set up base from Byron. Other features include secure underground parking, 24-hour reception and on-site cooking and laundry facilities.

Launching during the current pandemic means that doors will open with the highest hygiene protocols and restrictions on numbers in shared dorms. As restrictions ease later this year guests will be able to enjoy of a range of complimentary social activities including yoga and personal training classes, guided lighthouse tours and regular social events at The Rooftop.

Source: The Surf House

Norfolk Island - 'Holiday Overseas Without Leaving Home' Campaign

Norfolk Island Tourism has announced news of the Relaunch Campaign for Norfolk Island which is reopening its borders from 10 July 2020 and welcoming back visitors.

The Relaunch Campaign will run over July and August and messaging will encourage consumers to ‘Holiday Overseas Without Leaving Home’ showcasing Norfolk Island as a safe, secure, virus free domestic destination offering a diversity of adventure and relaxation, nature and outdoors, food and wine, historical, cultural and community experiences and a range of accommodation tailored for all age groups and budgets.

The Campaign will be carried out by Norfolk Island Tourism’s Australian Sales, Marketing and Public Relations representative, The Unique Tourism Collection.

Air New Zealand will continue to operate one return domestic flight per week to Norfolk Island from Sydney on Mondays and Brisbane on Saturdays from the respective International Airports and advise of any future increase in services from each destination.

Norfolk Island is soon to be open and is now ready for business!

Source: The Unique Tourism Collection