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Holiday in your own Backyard

While the Australian dollar takes a holiday from its day job, it might be a good year to take a break right here at home. The dollar in your pocket is still a dollar, just as it was a year ago, you don’t need a passport or visa, there’s no immigration queue or long-haul flight and you can use data services with your regular service provider without fear.  Here we get a little taste of Tasmania with Vera Schwartzbord and discover the beauty of the Kimberley Region with Janice Weinstock.

 

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Tastes of Tasmania

By Vera Schwartzbord

Late last year my husband and I travelled to Hobart, Tasmania where we stayed at Sullivan Cove Apartments – a brand new complex offering 2 and 3 bedroom units overlooking the docks and just a short walk to Salamanca Square, however a real highlight of our visit was the MONA (Museum of Old & New Art) Gallery.

 

Sullivans Cove ApartmentsSalamanca Bay

 

When I think about this area of Australia, the question I have to ask is, “Why travel thousands of miles to see The Bilbao in Spain when we have an equally stimulating piece of architecture and art collection only an hour away?” The short answer is “Don’t!” The MONA Gallery is so close by to us and is only a short 1hr flight from Melbourne.

 

On the day we went to the MONA Gallery, we began by taking the ferry at 11.00am from Constitution Dock. This is a unique experience and when you board you have no idea what lies ahead. There is enough time to enjoy a quick bite to eat and drink before you arrive in style at the absolutely amazing creation – the MONA Gallery. The entrepreneur behind the MONA Gallery is David Walsh, in my opinion he is a genius.

 

The gallery is built down into rock. Upon entering the gallery (below ground) one is awestruck by the feeling of space where rocks are the walls, which in itself looks like art (very much like the Library of Petra).

 

Vera at Bit FallVera at Sidney Nolans Snake
If you really want to enjoy all the MONA has to offer I suggest you use the headphones offered because the running commentary helps to explain why David Walsh chose each work of art. The collection is an eclectic mix which will surprise and inspire you as the experience did for me.

 

We had a leisurely lunch at the casual wine bar overlooking the grounds that showcase sculptures and the stage (used for musical performances).

Another Tasmanian gem is up north. If you appreciate art and also happen to be a keen golfer then take a drive up the Midland Highway, 1 hour east of Launceston to the well-known golf course of Barnbougles.

 

Barnbougle Dunes Golf CourseBarnbougle Club House

The Barnbougle Golf Course consist of Lost Farm and the Barnbougle Dunes courses and is located on the edge of Bridport, a coastal fishing village overlooking Bass Strait. The accommodation, food, general ambiance and spectacular views keep the non-golfers equally happy as those on the course. If you are an avid golfer and will never make it to play at St Andrews or Pebble Beach then do not worry – there is always Banbougle.

 

The Beauty of the Kimberley

By Janice Weinstock

In May 2015, I was fortunate enough to travel to the remote area of far North Western Australia and Cygnet Bay in particular.

Cygnet Bay
What really struck me was that it is a location that really should be seen in person to fully comprehend its breathtaking beauty! It cannot be adequately described in words.

While up there, I stayed at Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm – Australia’s oldest operating Pearl Farm almost at the tip of the Dampier Peninsula – a “corner” of the Kimberley region.

The Brown family has been managing the Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm for the past 65 years. They harvest some of the finest quality South Sea Pearls in the world. The experience of boarding a revamped pearling boat for a patrol of the farm or an exploration of the giant tides of King Sound (which are a natural phenomenon) on a purpose built boat, is just remarkable and just as spectacular as the pearls!

Waterfall tides at King Sound
While up north I would suggest staying at Mangrove Hotel in Broome; a picturesque boutique style hotel with 60 newly refurbished rooms located within pristine tropical grounds overlooking the sea.

 

Mangrove Hotel al fresco

Mangrove Hotel

The hotel is very stylish and the service is impeccable. This is the perfect site to witness the “Staircase to the Moon” which is another natural phenomenon. The management team will make your stay unforgettable, and the al fresco dining option in such glorious settings, with a world class chef is truly memorable.

sTAIRCASE TO THE MOON

For more amazing places to travel (and Vera’s MONA Gallery is on the list) check out:

25 places you must visit in Australia

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