Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Italy - Orvieto's glorious cathedral

I was remembering coming up a narrow street in  the small, mediaeval hilltop town of Orvieto in Umbria: I lifted my eyes and saw the most confoundingly beautiful structure - a striped cathedal, with intricate, delicate relief carvings on the capitals with sumptuous cornerstones. It may not be the biggest and the best in the world - but this striped beauty captured my head and my heart.

The 14th century cathedral was built between 1290 and 1500 and she sines as brightly as ever. Built under papacy direction, the building is famous fr its mosaic inlay facade.
She's such a beauty and a the time of the year I envy those who go to the services during Christmas.

Lovely Orvieto,  Umbria - research the town for more information on Mr Google.
Insight Vacations

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Get Up & Go: Nugget knew how to bowl a maiden over

Get Up & Go: Nugget knew how to bowl a maiden over

Nugget knew how to bowl a maiden over

It's that time of the year in Australia - it's not all about Christmas - it's all about cricket. I have no idea about cricket except Donald Bradman is a legend - am I a bit out of touch?
Our contributor David Ellis has a little cricket something for the season . . . .

WATCHING fast bowler Mitchell Johnson rout England in the First Test in Brisbane last month took us back a lot of years to another extraordinary player with not just the ball, but the bat as well, and that was the flamboyant, larger-than-life Keith ‘Nugget’ Miller.
Arguably Australia’s greatest-ever all-rounder, Miller was a hero to those of us in the decade between the end of World War II and when he retired in 1956 – amassing 2,958 runs and taking 170 wickets at an average 23, in 55 Tests.


Keith Miller plays a classic square cut.

Standing 1.88m (6ft 2ins) he was an explosive batsman, thrilling fast bowler and an outstandingly athletic slips fielder, and with swashbuckling good looks and a totally irreverent manner, found himself the idol of many a young lady’s eye – and not averse to the attention paid to him from those as diverse as State beauty title-holders to royalty (Britain’s Princess Margaret was an unabashed admirer,) despite being married with four sons.
Broad-shouldered, with wavy dark hair, a flashing smile and at-times maverick behaviour both on and off the field, Miller was said by a British sports writer to have “lit up the dull post-war days” of England when the Australians, led by Don Bradman, visited in 1948 – the team being dubbed The Invincibles after winning 4 of the Ashes Tests and drawing the 5th.


THE 1948 Australian Invincibles' Ashes side, Keith Miller is second on right.   
(Australian Cricket Board)
And it was not just during that season’s Tests that Miller made headlines. In a game against an Essex side when he went in to bat with the Australians 2/364, and with Bradman after as big a sum as possible, instead of a swashbuckling performance to further demoralise the home side, Miller pulled his bat away from the first ball and was bowled for a duck.
Bradman was furious, the more so when Miller turned to the wicket-keeper and said: “Thanks God that’s over,” and strolled off the field. The Australians went on to amass 721 runs.
This somewhat devil-may-care attitude extended to almost every aspect of his life. He enjoyed a punt, mixed with the rich and famous as easily as he did with mates at his local pub, and enjoyed a good party.
On one tour he surprised captain Bradman by banging on his hotel door fully dressed at midnight and announcing: “You said we had to be in bed by curfew. I was – and now I’m going out.” He came back in time for breakfast, and with an almighty hang-over Bradman despatched him for that day’s play to the farthest point in the field. It meant Miller had to walk or jog across the field constantly after every over – until a friendly local offered him his pushbike. When Miller took up the offer, Bradman again was not amused, and ordered him off it.

London’s Lord’s Cricket Ground – the ‘Home of Cricket’ – which Miller initially thought was “a crummy little ground.” (England & Wales Cricket Board)

On another occasion back in Australia, Miller as captain of a NSW side turned up to play still dressed in a tuxedo from the night before, changed hurriedly and when he went to bowl his first over had it pointed out by the umpire that he was still wearing his night before’s dancing pumps.
Conversely, Keith Miller loved classical music, especially Beethoven, and having been seconded in WWII to Britain’s RAF for his prowess as a pilot, on one raid over Germany broke off from his squadron and flew up the Rhine River to Bonn. After circling the city a couple of times he caught up with his compatriots flying home to Britain, explaining when he landed: “Bonn was where Beethoven was born. I was curious to have a look at it.”
And in a radio interview with England’s Michael Parkinson, Miller was asked about “pressure on the field.”
He answered: “Pressure? Pressure is flying a Mosquito at 20,000 feet with a Messerschmitt up you’re a--e!”

What it’s all about: the little urn containing The Ashes.

Keith Miller’s name is inscribed on two Honour Boards in the Visitors’ Dressing Room at Lord’s, the “home of cricket” in London – one is for a Test century he scored there in 1953, and the other for taking 10 Test wickets three years later.
And he’s one of only four Australians whose portraits hang in the revered Long Room at Lord’s, the others being Don Bradman, Victor Trumper and Shane Warne.
Nice tributes to a cricketer whose first impression of Lord’s was “it’s a crummy little ground”.





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tasmania's Saffire - a natural connection

It starts just after I land in Hobart. I am whisked into the airport’s private Saffire Lounge. Quick refresh, an espresso and pick up my snack pack and drink, then fold into a private car to take me the magical Freycinet Peninsula.
Just two and a half hours’ away and along Tasmania’s scenic east coast from Hobart (it’s two hours’ drive from Launceston) and you turn off the road, and cruise towards heaven on earth. (Purely subjective – but hey, I was there.)
Tasmania has to be one of the most beautiful natural islands on the planet, and Freycinet, one of the most stunning locations. Set back from the shores of Great Oyster Bay is the silhouette of a curving roof, like a stingray in motion. Coming under the ‘stingray’s’ eaves from the road side, Saffire Freycinet in all its glory – is an architecturally splendid building that sweeps through the bush, and as you walk into the foyer – the bay and a mountain range, The Hazards are framed by the building’s roofline. The rooms, suites below, ripple like waves to the shore.
This is an Australian luxury lodge, no doubt about it. The lodge, the mountains, the bush, the water – all connected in a seamless and natural co-habitation.

View from my room - the Hazards far off in the distance.

Walked to my amazing room, it was the ahhh moment that sealed the Saffire deal with me. The floor to ceiling glass wall was a picture of Great Oyster Bay, the Hazards and scudding clouds in the bright blue sky in a picture frame. This is where I could sit for a week and not move! But with only two days, best mosey along.  

One of the activities offered by Saffire is a visit to the Freycinet Marine Oyster Farm, and off we went.  I was expecting (being a Saffire complimentary activity), a spick’n’span operation, white overalls and all! No. This is a working farm, an authentic experience that the region offers – real people, doing real jobs. A double shed with oysters in shells at various stages of maturation and the workers there handed us wetsuit waders, and a farewell: ‘have a good time, gotta pick the kids up’, and ‘just cleaning these up and need to get some of these scallops home for tea’.

We gingerly waded out to discover the marine ecology, the oysters on the nets/baskets, the wetlands and – stopped at a table, standing waist-deep in the estuary. Here we shucked oysters, slipped a few prized Freycinet Pacific oysters down our throats followed by a glass of bubbly. Doesn’t get much better than that!
Now, I love nature, being out amongst the elements (even did a bush walk the following day to Wineglass Bay – spectacular it was too; a beach walk and identified a couple of bird species) – but.

At such a wonderful place I want to play in my room, hang out in the lounge, eat in the restaurant and visit the spa. I wanted to be in total indoor harmony with the great indoors.

Apprentice chef Corey served the amazing degustation menu. The food here at the curved Palate Restaurant is not only fresh and fabulous, but created and tailored by super executive chef Hugh Whitehouse, a down-to-earth giant, who not only gives of his best but is committed to enhancing the whole wining and dining experience.

I delicately ate my way through the superb meal and when there was not one ounce of room left – Corey made me eat dessert – well, what could I do? Silky, vanilla bean house made ice cream – mmm.

The restaurant manager and maître de goes fishing most days and when he catches the local ‘boarfish’ is plentiful, he brings it back for the guests’ supper. How very fresh of him!

And the Spa – yes, it was time for the full facial and neck massage. Bliss, to the nth degree, with trained hands, and elegant, Tassie products – I felt like a million bucks.

Life goes on, but I wanted mine to stop for a while so I could linger at Saffire Freycinet. But planes wait for no woman. Hard to leave my elegant room with its devouring doona, hard to say goodbye to the staff and hard to tear my eyes away from The Hazards as they were shape-shifting in the afternoon light. Gleaming, beautiful Saffire, a most desirable destination indeed, where each and every moment here counts.

Bev Malzard was a guest of Saffire Freycinet. Visit: www.saffire-freycinet.com.au; www.saffiretasmania.com.auwww.saffire-freycinet.com.au;








Tuesday, November 26, 2013

An Insight into Venice as the day begins . . .

Ah Venice, La Serenissima, you temptress, you beauty, you moody city on the water. It never loses its attraction - Venice is a living city that is hounded and trampled on by thousands of tourists every year, her waters are cruised by mega-liners that dwarf the low rise city silhouette, and the Grand Canal has so many boats washing the waters to the foundations of the ancient buildings that you would think the whole place would crumble in a minute.

St Mark's Square under water - extra hands on deck needed to keep the tourists dry

But not so. 'Venice is sinking'; has been the harbinger of doom for a couple of centuries . . .but she still stands. Admittedly, she's high maintenance and her upkeep is costly - but - still standing.
And Venice is expensive and complicated. Let's look away from the seductive beauty for a minute and peek beneath the practicalities of this city:
* All the food consumed on the islands has to be brought in from the mainland. Deliveries continue all day long with boats carrying crates of fruit and veg - and remember - this is Italy, and fresh food every day is on the table! The fish - and what a mighty fine display for piscatorial indulgence is being snapped up at the Rialto markets and being delivered at dawn each day.

Top: early morning window cleaning - all the shops are spic and span; above: picking up the trash.

* Much of the breads and pastries are made in-house - but all the ingredients have a high price as they are delivered by hand after a journey from all over the country.
* Those crisp linen towels, tablecloths and napkins are all taken off the islands to laundries for cleaning - imagine the number of items that leave the islands and have to be delivered back again to the restaurants and hotels.
* And the garbage. Large bags have to be transported every day off the island - and there's a lot of it. Interesting is the fact that the locals - and there are 60,000 residents here, who lower their bags down on little pulleys as there are rarely any lifts (elevators) in any of the buildings except the big hotels. Men, running through the tiny lanes with carts, pick the bags up and take them to the boats. And the empty bottles - not all mine either.

Bags dropped down over night to be picked up by the garbos.

When you leave the touristy areas of Venice - and discover the life of the city beyond a gondola ride and an aperitif on a balcony overlooking the Grand Canal - there's the domestic hum and buzz like any other city,.
And the locals! Someone said that if anyone is seen running or jogging around Venice, they are tourists. Venetians and all who work here do not need to do this. Because all of Venice is walkways and canals - there is no transport at all - except for the feet. You don't see any overweight Venetians, they are lean and wiry. The older folk here, with or without walking sticks, tread slowly, firmly and determinedly as they stick the right sides of the walls of the lanes and alleys; younger people with high heels, or flat shoes, walk everywhere briskly, and anyone delivering or removing anything by cart - runs.

Morning delivery.

I had two days of blinding beauty under an unseasonal bright blue autumn sky in the city and was fortunate enough to head out early in the morning as Venice was waking up - and this is part of what Insight Vacations offer with the 'Country Roads of Umbria and Tuscany' program - an opportunity to spread your wings in the glorious towns, cities and villages of Italy, and perhaps just catch more than a glimpse of someone else's life - far from your home, but close to your heart.
Visit: www.insightvacations.com

Top: The divine Bauer Hotel Venice, where the editor of Get Up & Go enjoyed the beautiful accommodation chosen especially for Insight Vacations guests. Above: What more to say?


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Singapore: Vernacular - Aunty & Uncle

It is a quaint term of endearment that evokes the old charm of Singapore. Uncle and Aunty are the popular terms of greetings for and older woman or man whom one may meet during daily discourse. Your taxi driver may be 'uncle' and the shop lady may be 'aunty'. It is a local manner of speech that confounds some visitors as they wonder how Singaporean families may be so large, friendly and diverse.

(I was in a taxi recently in Singapore and the driver didn't know my destination , so I called the hotel so some one could speak to him - I passed the mobile to the driver and heard he person on the other end of the phone say 'yes uncle'.)
( A pillow card from Capella Singapore www.capellahotels.com/singapore)

Haunted hotel of Bogota

Get Up & Go contributor David Ellis continues his search for the weird and whacky and says that after laying abandoned for years because people believed it was haunted, a picturesque old hotel in the mountains 30km south-west of Bogota in Colombia has taken on a new lease of life as a museum.
The once-luxury Hotel del Salto was originally built as a private mansion and converted to a hotel in 1928; it was an immediate hit with honeymooners and others visiting the spectacular nearby Tequendama Falls, but with increasing contamination of the Bogota River interest in the 160m high Falls waned and the hotel closed in the early 1990s.


Despite several proposals for its re-opening the hotel’s doors remained locked – many locals believing it to be haunted by the ghosts of revellers who fell off balconies into the river below, and others saying of ghosts of indigenous locals who jumped off the Tequendama Falls to escape incarceration as slaves.

The hotel was recently re-opened as the Museum of Biodiversity and Culture to highlight the work being put into the rejuvenation of the Bogota River, alongside the history of the local people.





Monday, October 21, 2013

Being pampered at the Palazzo Versace

Three days spent at the Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia) certainly perks a jaded editor up. Being there for a conference and gala dinner awards night, gave me an overall view of all the glitzy hotel had to offer.

I had not visited previously and had the impression that I would be blinded by decor bling on arrival. Not so.
I, rather unglamorously arrived in a shuttle bus that had pictures of vampires painted over the doors - so my ungainly arrival was a bit trashy.
Entering the spacious and elegant foyer, I immediately shut down all my expectations - well, I've been known to get it wrong before.

The beautiful room looks out to the vast pool and beyond and a gleaming chandelier beckons me to lift my eyes. The reception staff took me in hand and I was on my most decorous behaviour while envying their stylish black suits - I do like uniforms!
My room overlooks the pool and it smacks of Versace cool and fabric fashion. Have to spread out and grab the best bed - which one? I have a friend coming to share - perhaps she'll cancel? Time to rest.
The second day at PV was filled with meetings with staff popping into the meeting room regularly to make sure we had everything we need.
The second meeting was taken outside to loll around on the platform mattress in several cabanas - with eating the fruit from the platter, sipping bubbly, diving in the pool - the meeting lacked substance - but we enjoyed the idea of it.

The highlight for me was dinner at Vie, a lovely space and food that rocked the palate.
Vie Bar + Restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine, Craig Wright, brings to Palazzo Versace over 13 years’ experience in the dining and entertaining industry, both in Australia and overseas. Craig has worked in a number of fine dining restaurants and returned to Australia in 2012 from working in New York. On home soil, he has also shared kitchens with a number of prominent Sydney chefs including Sean Moran from Sean’s Panaroma and Ben Fitton of Coast. Wright’s fresh, locally sourced and rustic culinary vision is the perfect combination alongside Vie’s stunning views over the Gold Coast Broadwater.
We were served amazing scallops on slices of pork; lamb cut and served on a wooden board, fish and chicken (and as an affirmed non eating chicken person - I admit I ate this chicken . . . ) Most of the food is sourced from ethical suppliers locally.
The Piece de resistance was a giant pav - Craig took a picture to send to his mum as she is 'the pavlova expert in the family). Nice sentiment.

The next day we had our conference and the awards gala dinner was a cracker. No rubber chicken here on a plate - three courses of excellent food, innovative and scrumptious.
And yet again, great service. The staff at Palazzo Versace is a solid line-up of professionals and I hear there is very little staff turnover  . . .now that's a recommendation.
And - the spa. I had time for a pedicure and I admit I did question the price -'what do I get for that amount of $$$s? New shoes too': says the stingy editor.
But as I slipped my feet to soak in warm water and had headphones put over my ears - I disappeared into a form of consciousness that can only be described as 'gaga''. I woke myself with a little snore and looked at my Russian Blue painted toe nails - magic had been performed while I was áway' - worth every damn dollar!
For a special weekend away check out the Palazzo Versace  Palazzo Versace hotel on the Gold Coast - mad if you don't. Afternoon tea is a treat and there are some wonderful functions coming up over the festive season.
In fact, keep it quite, but I'm still here - I stocked up on goodies and locked the door - they are too polite to knock the door down. 

The distinctive vision of Gianni Versace, his audacious commitment to luxury and beauty, influenced his designs and translated into the décor of his homes.
In a spectacular waterfront setting, every aspect of architecture, ambience, furnishings and ornamentation reflects a level of opulence once confined to the grand hotels of Europe. Richly decorated spaces proclaim the transcendence of Italian design. Singular touches include peerless marbles and mosaics, vaulted ceilings hand-detailed in gold, an antique chandelier that once shed its lustre on the grand State Library of Milan.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Get Up & Go: The most dismal town in Scotland

Get Up & Go: The most dismal town in Scotland:   Get Up & Go contributor David Ellis says the former mining community of New Cumnock has been named Scotland’s Most Dismal Town&...

The most dismal town in Scotland

Get Up & Go contributor David Ellis says the former mining community of New Cumnock has been named Scotland’s Most Dismal Town'' for 2013.
New Cumnock’s first mines opened in the 1700s, and the town had five mines in operation up until 1950 – employing 1500 people, or almost as many as it’s now-total population of just 1800.
But all had closed by 1969, and although some open-cut still takes place it employs only a handful compared with the pit mines.
Scottish architectural magazine Urban Realm which awards the annual Carbuncle for Scotland’s most dreary communities and architecture, said it had named New Cumnock its 2013 recipient because of the haemorrhaging of High Street shops and a general absence of maintenance on derelict properties... raising a very real risk of irreversible decline if action isn’t taken now''.
And it noted that even the opening of a new school had been overshadowed by the threatened closure of the Town Hall, and sell-off of a local church.
Local historian, Geoff Crolley who accepted the Carbuncle Award on behalf of his community, said that towns like New Cumnock had given so much to businesses, but these had walked away as wind-farms had replaced coal mining for electricity generation.
Urban Realm said its Carbuncle judges had warmed to the plight of the townsfolk of New Cumnock whose energy is as strong as ever… more than an escape valve for pent-up frustrations, they should see the Award as a springboard to tangible improvements''.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Animal prints a scary fashion item

There's a wildlife park in England employing Animal Print Bouncers to make guests cover-up after noticing its animals becoming baffled by guests wearing animal-print coats and pants, or carrying snakeskin print handbags.
The Chessington World of Adventures south-west of London is using the 'Fashion Police in a new 10ha attraction called Zufari in which guests take off-road rides into an area replicating the Serengeti Plains and complete with a host of wildlife.
A spokeswoman said visitors wearing animal print clothing had been noticed to be causing some animals to become antagonistic, excited, afraid or confused', and the Park was acting to protect visitors and exhibits alike.
To stop the tigers and lions salivating at the thought of potential meals on wheels, or smaller animals scurrying away in fear, visitors who arrive in animal-print clothing are asked to cover-up with grey boiler suits provided by the Animal Print Bouncers, or be evicted from the Park.
(Uncovered by David Ellis.)


Animal look-alikes getting English wildlife park inmates “antagonistic, excited or
   afraid.” (Image: Chessington World of Adventures)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Get Up & Go: Brunei packs a punch

Get Up & Go: Brunei packs a punch

Brunei packs a punch

Tucked into the top of Borneo, this tiny Sultanate of Brunei sure packs a punch. This is the last Malay Sultanate which expresses its proud history through magnificent mosques and traditional water villages. 

1.       Land in Brunei after only a six and a half hour flight from Melbourne.
2.       Visit a stunningly beautiful mosque, the Jame ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque which is the largest in the land. There are four main minarets and two golden (yes, real gold leaf) domes. Glowing during the day, and at night, illuminated, a fantastic sight.

3.       Transfer from the city to Ulu Temburong National Park.  Go by speed boat to Bangar (40 mins.) then transfer to a long boat and skip up the river, bouncing through lots of sets of shallow rapids. This is a stunning ride and an adventure into the wilderness.

4.       Stay at Ulu-Ulu Resort, a quiet out-of-the-way place to relax and use as a base for local activities. (No mobile or internet reception here.) And except for the background soundtrack of million bird songs, and a trillion insects, it’s peaceful and serene. On arrival, it’s the traditional lemongrass, lime and lemon drink to refresh.
5.       The nature resort was once a research station, so it is comfy rather than luxurious. Food is good curries and filling barbecues. Like elsewhere in Brunei, it is dry, although non-Moslem guests can bring their own alcohol into the country and the resort (customs limits apply).
6.       Wake up at 4.30am to cross the Temburong River for the jungle canopy walk. Clamber through tree-root steps, then up a steep flight of 850 stairs before a little rest then head up the amazing steel structure to take you to the clouds.
7.       Up ten aluminium ladders to walk across the ‘bridge’ aerial walkway, high above the jungle’s fruiting figs. After this adventure, go for a swim, or rubber tubing through the rapids or as I did, read a book in the shade.
8.       Back to town to sample the fine local cuisine, made up of a blend of Indian, Chinese and South East Asian dishes – damn good food here too. 

9.       Walk around town, drop in to the Chinese temple, the Royal Regalia Museum and view the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque.
10.   Visit the Water Village. (Most of Bandar Seri Begawan was a water village for living, fishing and trading for centuries before modern advancement 50 years ago.) Walk across little bridges and walkways between houses and the kampong community villages. The locals’ wave and you can catch the real life happening here.
11.   The Kampong Ayer Cultural and Tourism Museum will explain the life lived here over water.
12.   After Ramadan, the Moslem world is ready to eat, and Hari Raya is time for open house and the hospitality of Hari Raya extends to the palace,  Istana Nurul Iman, the largest residential palace in the world, home to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassannal Bolkiah, who opens the palace. And anyone (including me) can line up to meet the Sultan (men meet the Sultan) women meet the Queen (which I did). More than 30,000 people visit each day for three days and the royals shake our hands and the visitors are fed.  The choreography of organising 90,000 people and feeding them, and giving them a gift – turns out to be orderly and impressive. 

13.   After all that pomp and splendour head to the opulent  Empire Hotel & Country Club for a right royal treat. Beautiful grounds, lots of splendid restaurants, eight swimming pools, a bowling alley, the Zen spa, a Jack Nicklaus golf course and a private beach.
14.   For something and somewhere totally different, Brunei is the Kingdom of unexpected treasures.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fly for FREE!

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, Get Up & Go contributor David Ellis says United Airlines, America’s second largest carrier, is licking its wounds after accidentally giving away hundreds – or possibly even more – air tickets by mistake last Thursday. Ouch!
Social media went into overdrive when intending passengers booking flights online discovered they were being charged $0 for their journeys, paying only US$2.50 to $10 for airport Security Fees.

One man snapped up six tickets to take his family from Chicago to Los Angeles for the weekend, paying just $60 in fees and no $2,400 airfare, a New Yorker booked a weekend away in Honolulu for the $10 in Security Fees and no regular $689 fare for the 8000km flight, and a quick-acting Houston woman a mere $5 Fees for a return ticket at Christmas to see her parents 2000km away in Washington DC – something that would normally have cost her close to $500.

United won’t say how many tickets it gave away in the 15 minutes before it discovered Thursday’s error, which it said was a human mistake during loading of fares into its computer system.

And in an unusual gesture of goodwill, rather than challenge those still holding tickets, the airline announced it would honour all tickets bought during the hiccup – irrespective of whether for travel in the short term, or for months down the track.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Get Up & Go: Don't buy that crappy Bintang singlet . . .

Get Up & Go: Don't buy that crappy Bintang singlet . . .

Don't buy that crappy Bintang singlet . . .

Skyscanner reveals that one in three Australians do look a gift horse in the mouth

With summer holidays just around the corner, holiday makers who intend to bring back gifts for their family and friends take heed of these recent findings by leading travel search site Skyscanner.

Don’t buy crummy gifts

Unfortunately, Australians aren’t very good at putting this theory into practice, finding it hard to resist the urge to bring back naff gifts for their nearest and dearest.
22 per cent of Australians said that cliché nick-nacks and other ornaments were the most disappointing gifts given by a friend or family who had returned from overseas, with items of clothing (hello, Bintang singlets), and comedy t-shirts ranked as the second (17%) and third (9%) least desirable gifts.
So what’s all the fuss about? A gift from anyone should be appreciated, right? Wrong.
While 50% of Aussies kept the gift to avoid hurting the giver’s feelings, a shocking 18% re-gifted the items, and just over 12% cut all emotional ties and threw the gift away.
But it’s not just the receiver who regrets the wasted efforts of clothing items purchased overseas. 


One in five Australians surveyed suddenly remembered that pair of paisley drop-crotch pants from their holiday to Southeast Asia (now hidden deep in their bottom drawer) and admitted that they had bought an item of clothing overseas that they later regretted. 


12% of people admitted to buying an ornament or souvenir item they had no use for back at home and 8% admitted they had brought back weird local delicacies, but later wished they had been confiscated at customs.
A whopping 60% of Australians said that they had never bought anything from overseas that they later regretted.
Dave Boyte, Market Development Manager Australia and New Zealand said, “Rules of gift engagement! Try not to buy cliché overseas ornaments or t-shirts. Chances are they will be used as firewood or a spare t-shirt for work around the house. It may even be re-gifted and given back to you!”


Top 10 most unwanted holiday gifts:

1.      Ornament

2.      Comedy t-shirt                              

3.      Cheap jewellery                            

4.      Key-ring                            

5.      Magnet

6.      Food item

7.      Snow globe

8.      Fake DVD

9.      Local drink

10.  Airline branded toy
Skyscanner polled 500 Australians via OnePoll.

About Skyscanner

*   Skyscanner is a leading global travel search site providing instant online comparisons for millions of flights plus hotels and car hire.

*   Founded in 2003 by three IT professionals, Skyscanner is the no.1 travel search website in Europe and no.3 worldwide, receiving over 60 million visits per month.

*   Skyscanner is available in 40 countries and in 30 languages.

*   Skyscanner’s highly-rated free mobile apps are available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Windows 8 devices and have been downloaded over 25 million times.

*   The company employs over 250 staff and has its global headquarters in Edinburgh, with regional hubs in Singapore and Beijing. It will be opening a Miami office in 2013.