Five highlights in your travel week | 18 Dec

The Chen … celebrates the ethnic diversity of Box Hill.
The Chen … celebrates the ethnic diversity of Box Hill.

The Art Series Hotel Group has opened its eighth art-inspired hotel, The Chen, in the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill.

Named after and inspired by the Chinese-Australian abstract artist, Zhong Chen, the 100-room hotel reflects the artist’s fun and relaxed persona. The hotel also celebrates the ethnic diversity of Box Hill, with Chen’s bold art representing his own trans-cultural identity.

The art-inspired boutique hotel boasts 100 self-contained open-planned and apartment style suites, a rooftop pool with sundeck, gymnasium, plus conference and events facilities.

Guests have the choice of two dining options, lashings of Chen artworks, in-house art libraries, and a dedicated art channel. For those keen to discover more about the hotel’s namesake, in-house art curators and advocates will offer free tours.

Lake Macquarie, just south of Newcastle, has plenty to offer for adrenaline junkies and fans of the great outdoors this summer.

In the sky, for instance, take a solo or tandem ride at Newcastle’s closest beach skydive, enjoying stunning beach views as you leap from 15,000 feet with Skydiving Newcastle.

Made for adrenaline junkies … a jet boat ride on Lake Macquarie.

Made for adrenaline junkies … a jet boat ride on Lake Macquarie.

Manwhile, back on land, take a mountain adventure with AAA Horse Riding.

From one-hour lessons and full-day rides through to family outings, school camps and overnight stays, guests can explore the foothills of the beautiful Watagan Mountains and surrounding rainforest on horseback.

On the lake itself, experience a dare-devil jet-boat spin, complete with full-circle spins, power brake stops and fun fish tails — or even get out on the ocean — with Jet Buzz.

Or you can opt for something much more sedate by hiring a kayak or paddleboard.

For general info, phone 1800 802 044 or visit www.visitlakemac.com.au 

South Australia’s favourite foodie Maggie Beer will return to Southern Ocean Lodge to lead the KI Food Safari on Kangaroo Island in August next year.

The safari is part of a menu of special celebrations in the 10th year of operations for the luxury lodge, and will run over seven nights, combining the elegant cliff-top luxury of Southern Ocean Lodge with daily expeditions to the gourmet producers of Kangaroo Island.

Maggie Beer … will return to Southern Ocean Lodge to lead the KI Food Safari.

Maggie Beer … will return to Southern Ocean Lodge to lead the KI Food Safari.

Southern Ocean Lodge Executive Chef Asher Blackford will lead the safari alongside Maggie Beer. Former Lodge Chef Tim Bourke, who conceived the local-produce philosophy, will also make a guest appearance.

A highlight will be a special dinner created by The Lane Vineyard’s Executive Chef James Brinklow, presented with matched wines from the acclaimed Adelaide Hills winery.

Expeditions include a visit to the Island Pure sheep dairy, a long lunch at Lifetime Private Retreats on the north coast and an experience of the ground-breaking Aquaculture Skills Centre at Parndana School where senior students produce sustainable barramundi and culinary herbs for supply to the lodge.

The KI Food Safari is priced from $8400 per person twin-share, including seven nights at Southern Ocean Lodge, return flights between Adelaide and Kangaroo Island, a daily itinerary of excursions, produce tastings and demonstrations, all dining and premium beverages.

Phone 02 9918 4355 or visit www.southernoceanlodge.com.au 

It’s official — Sydney is one of the best places to visit in the world, according to global travel magazine, National Geographic Traveler, which has revealed its hotly anticipated ‘Best of the World’ list of 21 global destinations for 2018.

“Recognition on this prestigious list will continue to raise the profile of Sydney as a global visitor destination as we work towards the NSW Government’s goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure to the State by 2020,” said Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall.

Sydney Harbour … a truly iconic venue.

Sydney Harbour … a truly iconic venue.

National Geographic Traveler's ‘Best of the World’ 2018 list was compiled following a competitive selection process that involved nominations from the magazine’s worldwide network of editors, writers and explorers.

WOMADelaide, an iconic open-air festival set in Adelaide’s Botanic Park, is an award-winning celebration of the very best of the world of music, arts and dance.

The program features performances and workshops on seven stages by the world’s best traditional and contemporary musicians, dancers and DJs, KidZone, street theatre and visual artists, the Taste the World program, The Planet Talks environmental discussions, Electrolounge, Artists in Conversation and about 100 food, retail and charity stalls.

WOMADelaide … an iconic open-air festival set in Adelaide’s Botanic Park.

WOMADelaide … an iconic open-air festival set in Adelaide’s Botanic Park.

The sky above WOMADelaide will be transformed into a wonderland in 2018, with Gratte Ciel’s Place Des Anges, unleashing a firework of feathers over the park, as the angels descend amongst a flurry of white magic.

Long after the angels leave, the blanket left behind will be a reminder of the beautiful aerial ballet that took place.