Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Get Up & Go: To the Manor Born

Get Up & Go: To the Manor Born

To the Manor Born


Hidden gem hotel in Cremorne Point, Sydney
By Guest Blogger Sarah Green

Sydney is one of the most active cities in the world. From the annual Sydney to Surf Marathon to Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, cricket & footie games, entertainment at the Sydney Opera House and Fashion Week, the city is buzzing all year around.
For overseas or native visitors coming to Sydney, the costs add up for a weekend or full holiday trip, especially during these highly popular event days when the city is swarming and hotel prices increase.
The beauty of Sydney lies within the nearby harbour peninsula regions. An eight minute scenic ferry ride from Circular Quay will take you to Cremorne Point - a harbour precinct that offers one of the best views of the Opera House and city skyline.

 


As locals are aware, Cremorne Point is home to grand mansions that date Federation times. There are stunning views of the boats sailing along the water and in the midst of this quiet area is Cremorne Point Manor.
The Manor has operated since the late nineteenth century and as a quaint yet modern Sydney boutique guest house, this gem of a building is one of the oldest operating hotels in Sydney.  It’s claimed to have been built in the late 1880’s during the discovery of a coal seam in the area. The mining of the seam was halted, thanks to locals who opposed this intrusion, and the hotel remained intact.
The hotel owner, Jean-Claude Branch traced the hotel’s history and discovered it was built as a guest house in 1911 and has remained such ever since. The name was originally called ‘Redcourt,’ to reflect the clay tennis courts to the left of the hotel. To this day, it’s the only commercial building in the area.

 


Operating as a guest house for around a few decades as a heritage listed federation building, Cremorne Point Manor is so close to Taronga Zoo (4.7km) that hotel guests can hear the sound of the monkeys squawking and lions roaring during the evening.  There are only 29 bedrooms of varying size and this adds a homey feel to the environment, which brings back repeat business visitors and tourists.

 


Cremorne Point Manor boasts a string of impressive credentials including a AAA and Four Star Rating and the past three years has received a continuous ‘Certificate of Excellence’ from Tripadvisor.  The hotel rates are reasonable and highly competitive with the city hotels.  The Double en Suites range around $175 AUD, Family Suite at $319, King Harbour View at $259, King Spa Suite at $259, Queen en Suite at $195, Single Shared shower room at $95 and Double Shared Shower at $119. Continental breakfasts are $7 per guest.
The hotel is extremely active all year around and can reach 100% occupancy during peak event seasons. These include New Year’s and Christmas, the Sydney Marathon, Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day.  As Jean-Claude confirms “The hotel is so close to the Opera House yet provides a tranquil setting away from the noise in the city, so Cremorne Point gives visitors the best of the Sydney experience.” He continues, “The views from Cremorne Point are sensational and for New Year’s, guests can see the fireworks without fighting the crowds. This is what makes the area and our hotel so special and a historic Sydney gem.”

 
Bookings can be made direct at: http://www.cremornepointmanor.com.au/
For more information, you can email stay@cremornepointmanor.com.au
Cremorne Point Manor,
6 Cremorne Road, Cremorne Point, Sydney NSW  2090,
P: +61 2 9953 7899
F: + 61 29904 1265

Get Up & Go Goes Cruising!

Get Up & Go Goes Cruising!: This new, bumper edition of Get Up & Go magazine heads out to sea and along rivers to show you what's happening on the water now. Greece, India, Australia, Austria, PNG and Cambodia are visited by ships – big and small. We talk to Dame Judi Dench – the best Bond girl ever and reminisce about The Sound of Music...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Anantara Golden Triangle Champions Natural Elephant Interaction with New 'Walking with Giants' Experience

Anantara Golden Triangle Champions Natural Elephant Interaction with New 'Walking with Giants' Experience: Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is renowned for its highly acclaimed onsite Elephant Camp, which offers guests an inspirational range of fun, interactive and educational experiences with its friendly herd of rescued gentle giants. In a natural extension of these ethical elephant activities, a new two hour Walking with Giants experience has been introduced offering a more personal and enriching encounter...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Get Up & Go: A Closer Look: What It’s Like to Be Under Quarantine

Get Up & Go: A Closer Look: What It’s Like to Be Under Quarantine

A Closer Look: What It’s Like to Be Under Quarantine

Norovirus pops up in the news when passengers fall ill onboard ships. Get Up & Go was on a ship in January 2014 with writer Sally MacMillan when she succumbed the the flu. We saw a guard urside her door and thoughtht he worst. Here she tells of how well she was looked after - she writes about an experience she had with Norovirus.
When you’re sorting out your travel insurance just before you leave for a well-earned break, the possibility of lost luggage or missed connections might flash through your mind. But coming down with Norovirus? It wasn’t on the top of my concerns when I flew from Sydney to Auckland for a 10-day R & R cruise on board Celebrity Solstice.
But oh dear: Almost as soon as I boarded the ship I felt decidedly under the weather. I thought it was just a side effect from some medication. I coped by spending a leisurely afternoon unpacking and reading, and dipped out of dinner with my group that evening, choosing a Spartan soup and bread-roll dinner from room service instead.
Next morning, I loaded up with anti-nausea pills, drank gallons of water to counter the light-headed feeling that was adding to my unpleasant sinking stomach and headed out to the lawn deck for a walk. That worked for a while. But after another day and night of self-imposed exile in my balcony cabin, I had to accept I’d been hit with a gastro bug.


Celebrity Today, the daily newsletter, advised anyone who might be suffering any sort of stomach symptoms to report to the medical facility for a complimentary consultation and treatment (if necessary). With dreaded word “Norovirus” now on the table, off I went to Deck 2 where a very efficient nurse interviewed me.
Because my symptoms were indeed consistent with a possible Norovirus, I was given some Imodium pills. I was also asked to sign a document stating I consented to being isolated in my cabin for 24 hours, and possibly longer if the symptoms hadn’t subsided.
The documents I signed made it very clear that if I attempted to break out of my isolation I would be “subject to disembarkation from the ship,” and could be reported to the local port’s health authorities if I attempted to leave. If I left the ship, I would also be ineligible for any compensation the cruise line would offer me for missed activities.
Not that there was any chance of escaping even if I’d wanted to. My keycard was deactivated on the spot and a cabin steward escorted me from the medical center to my cabin. Somewhat bemused by this not-in-the-brochure situation, I frantically tried to contact the friend I was due to meet in Wellington in the morning to say I might be stuck on the ship and then settled in to contemplate the next 24 hours.
One upside: I could now give in gracefully to doing nothing but relaxing, reading, watching movies and taking in the views, and recover. The information  emphasized the necessity of frequent and thorough hand-washing with soap and hot water. Because I was on a restricted diet, I had to call a special number to order its delivery. No sneaky treats allowed and certainly no chocolates were going to be left on my pillow.
The choice of dishes for passengers isolated for Norovirus-type symptoms is simple: white rice, baked potatoes, chicken broth, chicken breast, watermelon (not honeydew or any other variety), white bread, mint or chamomile tea, and bottled water. Over the next 24 hours, my regular cabin steward delivered this fare on plain black plastic trays with disposable plates accompanied by plastic cutlery and paper napkins — and while he wasn’t covered in hazmat gear, he didn’t hang around to chat.
Nobody likes being sick on their vacation and as this was more or less a stricter version of the diet I’d already put myself on since I’d first felt queasy, I was happy to stick to plain food in order to feel better as soon as possible. By the time my isolation period was up — I didn’t have to report for a personal examination — I was able to report that all symptoms had abated and I was allowed to leave the ship for a couple of hours in Wellington. My keycard bleeped at the gangway and security had to check that I was officially cleared.  Yippee, I was free.
As far as I know, there had been no massive outbreak of the virus on the ship; certainly I didn’t see many people in the medical center. While there was no self-service in the Ocean View Cafe or Aqua Spa Cafe for the first three days of the cruise, I believe this was largely precautionary.
The rest of the cruise was everything I had wanted. My account was credited with the for-fee movies I’d watched during the lockdown; and while some passengers suffered involuntary isolation from seasickness during the rocky Tasman Sea crossing, I relished the conditions to the point of having a huge dinner at Murano.

When it comes to Norovirus, myths abound. Let us help you separate facts from fiction.
Not familiar with Norovirus? Check out our guide to everything you need to know about the disease and its spread.

Get Up & Go: Do you buy souvenirs?

Get Up & Go: Do you buy souvenirs?

Do you buy souvenirs?


With the weakening Aussie dollar, more and more travellers are becoming savvier and looking for value for money when planning a trip abroad. Research from InterContinental Hotel Group has revealed that for those travelling overseas, there is one thing that travellers are not willing to skimp on: souvenirs.
The humble souvenir still plays a big part in our travel experience – in fact, 7 out of 10 travellers say that they still purchase a souvenir while on holiday. So, what are the motives behind our souvenir purchases?

                                         Little friars - souvenirs

Hey, big spender

·         Australian’s don’t skimp when it comes to souvenirs - 25% of Australians are prepared to spend a huge $130 when purchasing souvenirs for themselves, compared to the average traveller who spends $54…
·         …contrary to what we may think, souvenirs are out of vogue with older travellers – only 68% above the age of 45 would purchase a souvenir on a trip
 
·         And despite the fact that experience is everything with the younger traveller, 76% of under 25s still seek out souvenirs when travelling to bring home a slice of new and exciting cultures.


Different souvenir customs
·         In Japan, bringing souvenirs back for your colleagues is customary. When it comes to the kind of gifts, 46% of Japanese travellers prefer to bring food items back from a trip
·         Travellers in Japan are most likely to accommodate a souvenir request (60%), while Aussies are least likely with only 15% saying they would bring a souvenir back
·         In The Middle East 42% say that jewellery is the most popular souvenir gift to receive
 
 
·         Travellers from Australia, South East Asia and The Middle East are more likely to think of their partners first when purchasing a souvenir, and family second


It’s all about the cultural experience

·         Surprisingly, despite Australia’s strict import laws on bringing food into the country, food is one of the most popular souvenir choices, with art and antiques close behind
·         Modern travellers prefer a cultural experience when shopping for souvenirs - 42% of travellers think that local markets are the most popular place to hunt for a take home gift, compared to 23% who would buy a souvenir at a landmark
·         Shopping malls are out of fashion when it comes to purchasing a take-home memory - only 5% of travellers would purchase a souvenir from a mall, and only 7% would buy a take-home gift from an airport
So if you’re on the souvenir hunt and want to immerse yourself in some local culture, we’ve handpicked the top markets across the country to pick up a perfect Australian souvenir:



Australia’s top markets
New South Wales
 
 

·         Glebe Markets, Sydney
Situated in the heart of Sydney’s hipster Glebe, Glebe markets are the perfect place to find an on-trend handmade item of jewellery, item of vintage clothing or handmade candle.
·         Mudgee Farmers Market, Mudgee
A four hour drive north of Sydney, Mudgee is one of Australia’s best food and wine regions. This bustling farmers market takes place on the third Saturday of each month – here you can find a whole host of tasty treats including fresh produce, meats, cheese and confectionery.
·         Kirribilly Markets, Sydney
With stunning views of Sydney Harbour, the monthly Kirribilly market is the perfect place to find something special – from vintage clothing, to handmade goods, there’s a souvenir for everyone here.

Victoria

·         Camberwell Sunday Market, Melbourne
Camberwell is Melbourne’s biggest marketplace for pre-loved wares, with a huge 370 stalls in total. From the most delicate string of vintage pearls to retro furniture, this market is perfect for those looking for an authentic take-home souvenir.
·         Mornington Race Market, Victoria,
From new clothing, to hand made goods, cakes and pies, there’s nothing you won’t find at Mornington Markets, whether you are a fashionista or a foodie.

 

Queensland

·         West End Twilight Markets, Brisbane
The West End Twilight Markets feature a diverse mix of treasures, food and live performance, every second Saturday afternoon into the early evening.



·         Eumundi Markets

The Eumundi Markets are Queensland's favourite, attracting customers with its vibrant atmosphere, mouth-watering street food, diverse array of produce and inspired artworks and homewares.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Get Up & Go: Neck and neck, a tale of three scarves

Get Up & Go: Neck and neck, a tale of three scarves: They keep our necks warm, they are lovely companions, they can be roiled up into a little ball as a pillow, they accessorise the plainest ...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Get Up & Go: JAPAN - TAKAYAMA: CITY OF FESTIVALS

Get Up & Go: JAPAN - TAKAYAMA: CITY OF FESTIVALS

JAPAN - TAKAYAMA: CITY OF FESTIVALS


 
Contributor to Get Up & Go and this week's Guest Blogger Kris Madden discovered the beauty of traditional Takayama in Japan.

 

Takayama's old town is beautifully preserved.
 
 
Tucked away in the mountainous Hida region of Japan’s Gifu Prefecture, Takayama retains a traditional charm unlike few other Japanese cities. Surrounded by mountains in every direction, and nicknamed ‘Little Kyoto’, it makes an ideal side trip between Tokyo and Kyoto.
The city dates back to the late 17th century and has a wealth of temples, museums and galleries for a town of its size. Takayama's old town is beautifully preserved with many buildings and whole streets of houses dating from the Edo Period (1600-1868), when the city thrived as a wealthy town of merchants.
The city is easily explored on foot or by rented bicycle. Most major attractions are within walking distance of the station, and are well sign-posted in English.

 
 


Morning markets, selling selling everything from vegetables and pickles to carvings and clothes, are held in daily from around 6:30 am to noon. The Jinya-mae Market is in front of the Takayama-Jinya old administrative building, and the Miyagawa Market lines the Miyagawa River.




Morning markets, Takayama.





                                         The sake is ready!

The wonderfully preserved Sanno-machi historic district has some lovely old houses and shops, some of which have been trading for centuries.
Sake is one of Takayama's local specialties and several old sake breweries can be found in Takayama's old town. It’s easy to identify them by the ‘sugidama’, balls of cedar fronds hanging above the entrance. The cedar balls are green when the brewing season begins, and when the balls turn brown, it means the sake is ready. You can sample the latest vintage and learn more about sake appreciation at a number of the stores.
The biannual Takayama Matsuri, held in spring (April 14 and 15) and autumn (October 9 and 10), is regarded as among Japan's most beautiful festivals, attracting large crowds.

 
 
                                         Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall.

If you cannot be there for the festival, at other times of the year the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan or Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall displays four of the eleven spectacularly ornate floats, which demonstrate Takayama's legendary craftsmanship. Some are more than 300 years old, and are still wheeled out during the festivals. Others are scattered in storehouses across Takayama's old town.
The museum is located next to the Sakurayama Hachiman-gu shrine, which reigns over the Autumn Festival and is dedicated to the protection of the city. The Hie Shrine, in the south half of the old town, is honoured during the Spring Festival.



 
  Takayama Festival in spring.

The Higashiyama Walking Course is a pleasant walking route through Teramachi (Takayama's temple town) and Shiroyama Park, the former site of Takayama Castle. The 3.5 kilometre walk passes more than a dozen temples and shrines, and you’ll witness rare everyday scenes of rural Japan.

 
 
Sakurayama Hachiman-gu shrine.                          
 
 
                                                   Sarubobo dolls - for happiness and good health.

Make sure to pick up one of the Sarubobo dolls which are a mascot of the region. Sarubobo means ‘Happy Monkey Baby’, and legend says that a long time ago, grandmothers and mothers made these dolls for their young ones to wish them happiness and good health. It’s said, that if you have this doll, you will be healthy and happy too.

 
 
                                         Everyone has fun in Takayama, even when it snows.
 
 

Getting there:
From Tokyo: 2 hours to Nagoya Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line, and 2 hours 10 min from Nagoya to Takayama Station by JR Takayama Line. Takayama is 1 hour and 30 minutes by shinkansen from Toyama. Further information: www.hida.jp/english
You can follow Kris Madden’s other escapades at www.the-travel-reporter.com