Monday, February 6, 2017

Holiday getaway - it's got the lot

Spotlight on Wallarah Peninsula

                                             Caves Beach.

Tailor made for family getaways and home to laidback coastal villages, rainforests, and historic icon Catherine Hill Bay, the Wallarah Peninsula in New South Wales - just 90 minutes north of Sydney is one of the undiscovered gems of stunning Lake Macquarie.

Highlights include:

Charismatic Catherine Hill Bay (and surrounds)

On the eastern perimeter of the lake, south of the Pacific Ocean entrance at Swansea, historic Catherine Hill Bay is Lake Macquarie’s oldest town. A historic mining village, home to charming miner’s cottages and a traditional pub, the town’s original timber coal-loading jetty is still standing on the beautiful beach.

 

                                         Catherine Hill Bay.

Ideal for picnics and romantic sunset walks, the beach at Catherine Hill Bay is beloved by families, couples and surfers alike. First Lookout, a beautiful bluff overlooking the beach from Northwood Rd, is a favourite spot for seaside snaps, while nearby Second Lookout offers a more elevated perspective.
Catho Pub, originally the Wallarah Hotel, is the most historic pub in the Lake Macquarie region, dating back to 1875, and a hotspot with holidaymakers from near and far with its friendly family fare, such as barra burgers, steak sandwiches, salt and pepper squid and chicken parmigiana.

 

Wallarah Peninsula Track

Setting out from the foreshore at Murrays Beach, the Wallarah Peninsula Track is a moderate-level two-hour walk (each way) over eight kilometres taking in lookouts and including picnic areas, bbqs, cafes and bathroom facilities along the way.

 


Wallarah National Park

Perfect for fishing, cycling, hiking, surfing and picnicking, the Wallarah National Park is packed with family fun despite being less than an hour’s drive from Newcastle and Gosford. Within the national park, the Coastal Walk is famed for incorporating the best of the park in one five-kilometre round-trip trail. Enjoying glorious coastal and ocean views, spring wildflowers, active birdlife and seasonal whale-spotting (during the winter months), the Coastal Walk winds up at Pinny Beach – acclaimed for its super surfing and fantastic fishing.

 

                                         Lake Macquarie.

Mountain biking

Scenic Trail is a 2.8 kilometre challenging, steep mountain bike ride through coastal forest and heathland taking in views of the rugged coastline, and offering access to the surfer’s and fishing fan’s favourite – Pinny Beach.

 
For further information, please visit: www.visitlakemac.com.au

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Famous Five Go on Holidays (apologies to Enid Blyton)


Summer is at its peak and it’s time to get up and go! Whether it’s for a few weeks or just a weekend away, there are plenty of hidden gems to explore within Australia. To make things easier, Discovery Parks has unveiled five of their favourite holiday destinations for this summer. From family-friendly waterparks to richly historical wonderlands – Discovery Parks has locations for every traveller to enjoy!

Hervey Bay, QLD

Experience the majesty of the ocean and settle for a night in Hervey Bay. This Queensland coastal city is famous for a unique visitor: the humpback whale. Start your day with a view of the whales, spend your afternoon snorkelling in the blue waters, and end your evening with a stroll along the Esplanade.




Where to stay? – Discovery Parks - Hervey Bay

Whale watching is not the only activity Hervey Bay has to offer. Discovery Parks – Hervey Bay is only minutes away from World Heritage listed Fraser Island, with uninterrupted white beaches, sand cliffs and ancient rainforests to explore. A quick 6 kilometres away from Discovery Parks – Hervey Bay, visitors can find the Hervey Bay Go Kart Track to entertain adults and children alike. There’s fun for everyone at Discovery Parks’ Hervey Bay caravan park!

Barossa Valley, SA

Situated in north east Adelaide, Barossa Valley is a region full of culture and fun. Celebrating all things summer, from beautiful fresh produce to music festivals, it’s no surprise Barossa Valley is one of South Australia’s most visited tourist destination. As a renowned winery region, there are a multitude of tours and tastings on offer – perfect for wine loving visitors.




Where to stay? – Discovery Parks - Barossa Valley

Not just for wine enthusiastic travellers, families can look forward to a brand new waterpark opening this summer! For kids of all ages, the massive new waterpark with a 500sqm footprint will be one of Australia’s biggest caravan park waterparks. To ensure maximum efficiency of resources, the park has been designed with zero depth splash pads, allowing minimal opportunity for water evaporation and water will be cycled back into a balance tank where it will be treated and reused. For those interested in exploring the beautiful plains and hills of South Australia, Discovery Parks – Barossa Valley is located a few minutes from the centre of Tanuda, a great place to begin your tour.

Albury-Wodonga, VIC

For Victorians, Albury-Wodonga is a perfect destination for a weekend away. Just over three hours from Melbourne, visitors will find a diverse range of activities available in the Albury-Wodonga region. Travellers can visit Glenrowan to relive Ned Kelly’s last stand, hire a boat to explore Lake Hume, or enjoy the unique culinary experiences offered at the Rutherglen Wine Region.



Where to stay? – Discovery Parks - Lake Hume

Travellers will love the resort style accommodation offered at Discovery Parks – Lake Hume. Parents can unwind while kids enjoy the many on-site facilities available – which include a pool, tennis court, games room, and movie room. Guests can also explore some of Victoria’s local history by visiting Beechworth, one of northeast Victoria’s preserved gold rush towns. If travelling further out, visitors will reach Corryong – an excellent destination for aspiring county singers and country music lovers. Corryong is home to the inspiration for Banjo Patterson’s famous poem ‘The Man From Snowy River’.

Murray, NSW

Along the winding Murray River, visitors will find themselves in the Echuca Moama region – a popular destination for water activities – including the famous paddle steamer, water skiing or explore the river under your own steam. Australia’s oldest and largest inland port has been beautifully restored with an abundance of locations to discover, from the National Holden Motor Museum to the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre.

Where to stay? – Discovery Parks - Maidens Inn, Moama

Guests can relax in the excellent caravan and cabin accommodation available at Discovery Parks – Maidens Inn, Moama and look forward to the splashtacular new waterpark opening this summer. Adventure seeking visitors can book water ski, wakeboarding or barefooting lessons with the iWaterski team, available at the park. Families can also keep cool at the waterpark or travel 10 minutes into town to explore the secluded areas of the river on paddle steamer cruises.

Woodman Point, WA

Only minutes away from Fremantle, Woodman Point has a range of delightful attractions for guests to experience. Get a nostalgic glimpse of “Freo’s” history by touring the Martitime Museum, Fremantle Prison, and Western Australia’s oldest public building, the Roundhouse.



Where to stay? – Discovery Parks - Woodman Point

There are a range of options to suit everyone’s individual needs at Discovery Parks – Woodman Point, from deluxe cabins to studio rooms, as well as powered and unpowered camping sites. Visitors can stroll along the streets to see beautiful Georgian and Victorian-era architecture, while also making sure to stop by the famous Fremantle markets. For all of the foodies out there, the fish and chips at Fishing Boat Harbour are a must-try!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Scotland for breakfast!


TOP-5 SCOTTISH BREAKFASTS


 


 Courtesy guest blogger Roberta Muir

Although I’ve had some fine lunches and dinners in Scotland, what always stands out for me is the quality (and often quantity) of Scottish breakfasts. Perhaps because of the cold climate, they are inevitably hearty affairs of smoked fish, porridge and various sausages, as well as excellent (often local) eggs, bacon and preserves. Here are five places worth staying at for their breakfasts alone, next time you travel north of the River Tweed.

 

Porridge

The Albannach, Lochinver
www.thealbannach.co.uk
I dreamt about the porridge at this luxurious west coast B&B for 14 years, and when I had it again this year it was even better than I recalled! A mixture of coarse and fine oatmeal with cream and brown sugar served on locally-made pottery, it’s simply the best porridge I’ve ever had.

 


 

Black Haggis

23 Mayfield Gardens, Edinburgh
www.23mayfield.co.uk
I’m no fan of offal, but the combined black pudding and haggis served in this guesthouse’s beautiful Victorian dining room was such a hit with my haggis-loving husband that it rates a mention. I was just as enamoured by the natural yoghurt with whisky-flambéed fruit and toasted oats.

 


 

Poached Haddock & Egg

Ben Loyal Hotel, Tongue
www.benloyal.co.uk
The thick, white, flaky flesh of haddock is a Scots staple, though I generally prefer oilier fish for smoking. Smoked haddock from the tiny fishing village of Kinlochbervie, poached with golden-yolked local eggs at this hospitable rural hotel on Scotland’s windswept north coast, changed my mind.

 


 

Smoked Salmon

Forss House Hotel, Thurso
www.forsshousehotel.co.uk
You eat a lot of smoked salmon in Scotland, but the Caithness Smokehouse version served in the sunny dining room of this Georgian Manor is special. It’s brined, dried overnight, then cold-smoked over oak and applewood, before being shaved into surprisingly long horizontal slices served on wholemeal toast.

 


 

Kippers

The Sherbrooke Castle Hotel, Glasgow
www.sherbrookecastlehotel.com
My favourite of all Scots breakfast dishes is the ubiquitous kipper. I’ve eaten them all over the country for many years … so trust me when I say that the golden, flaky, buttery, smoky fillets served in this beautiful 19th century baronial villa are my new kipper benchmark.

 


Visiting Scotland soon? Check out my Top 5 Glasgow city guide and Top 5 Scottish Highlands for more inspiration.
If you enjoy my newsletters, please support me by sharing this list using one of the links below and encouraging your friends to subscribe.
See more of what I'm cooking, eating and drinking on Instagram
For a print-friendly version of this list (and to check out more of my Top 5 tips) visit www.food-wine-travel.com/top-5/
 
 
 
 

TOP-5 SCOTTISH BREAKFASTS

 
 
Dear Bev

Today is the feast day of St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, which seemed as good an excuse as any to talk about my favourite Scottish meal: breakfast! Although I’ve had some fine lunches and dinners in Scotland, what always stands out for me is the quality (and often quantity) of Scottish breakfasts. Perhaps because of the cold climate, they are inevitably hearty affairs of smoked fish, porridge and various sausages, as well as excellent (often local) eggs, bacon and preserves. Here are five places worth staying at for their breakfasts alone, next time you travel north of the River Tweed.
 

Porridge

The Albannach, Lochinver
www.thealbannach.co.uk
I dreamt about the porridge at this luxurious west coast B&B for 14 years, and when I had it again this year it was even better than I recalled! A mixture of coarse and fine oatmeal with cream and brown sugar served on locally-made pottery, it’s simply the best porridge I’ve ever had.
 
 

Black Haggis

23 Mayfield Gardens, Edinburgh
www.23mayfield.co.uk
I’m no fan of offal, but the combined black pudding and haggis served in this guesthouse’s beautiful Victorian dining room was such a hit with my haggis-loving husband that it rates a mention. I was just as enamoured by the natural yoghurt with whisky-flambéed fruit and toasted oats.
 
 

Poached Haddock & Egg

Ben Loyal Hotel, Tongue
www.benloyal.co.uk
The thick, white, flaky flesh of haddock is a Scots staple, though I generally prefer oilier fish for smoking. Smoked haddock from the tiny fishing village of Kinlochbervie, poached with golden-yolked local eggs at this hospitable rural hotel on Scotland’s windswept north coast, changed my mind.
 
 

Smoked Salmon

Forss House Hotel, Thurso
www.forsshousehotel.co.uk
You eat a lot of smoked salmon in Scotland, but the Caithness Smokehouse version served in the sunny dining room of this Georgian Manor is special. It’s brined, dried overnight, then cold-smoked over oak and applewood, before being shaved into surprisingly long horizontal slices served on wholemeal toast.
 
 

Kippers

The Sherbrooke Castle Hotel, Glasgow
www.sherbrookecastlehotel.com
My favourite of all Scots breakfast dishes is the ubiquitous kipper. I’ve eaten them all over the country for many years … so trust me when I say that the golden, flaky, buttery, smoky fillets served in this beautiful 19th century baronial villa are my new kipper benchmark.
 
 
Visiting Scotland soon? Check out my Top 5 Glasgow city guide and Top 5 Scottish Highlands for more inspiration.
If you enjoy my newsletters, please support me by sharing this list using one of the links below and encouraging your friends to subscribe.
See more of what I'm cooking, eating and drinking on Instagram
For a print-friendly version of this list (and to check out more of my Top 5 tips) visit www.food-wine-travel.com/top-5/
 
Copyright © 2016 Roberta Muir, All rights reserved.

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