Why You Should Start Planning Your 2024 South Pacific Summer Vacation Now

Posted on: September 6th, 2023 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

Guest Post by Stephanie Moreno

Woman with Australia Flag at the beach

Labor Day has marked the unofficial end of summer, and as the 2023 travel season winds down, it’s time to look ahead to your next adventure.

If you’ve been dreaming of throwing a shrimp on the barbie in Australia, exploring the lush landscapes of New Zealand, or indulging in the friendly “Bula Spirit” in Fiji in the summer of 2024, you might want to start making plans this year.

At About Australia, we understand that the anticipation of a trip can be just as thrilling as the journey itself. That’s why we’re here to tell you why now is the perfect time to start planning your 2024 South Pacific summer vacation.

Changing Travel Landscape

The travel industry has seen a significant shift in booking patterns due to the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the past, travelers often waited until the last minute to secure their vacation plans, relying on the seemingly endless supply of travel options. However, recent years have seen unprecedented demand for travel experiences, leading to supply issues and higher prices.

As a result, leisure travelers are now advised to book their trips at least six to 12 months in advance to secure their desired dates and experiences at the right price.

Learn from the Past

Many travelers have learned from the past two seasons, where last-minute bookings often led to unexpected surprises such as high flight costs, limited hotel availability, and crowded attractions. Waiting too long to book can leave you with limited options and a less enjoyable travel experience.

As demand continues to rise, the early bird truly does get the worm.

Benefits of Early Planning

Travel Planning

Planning your 2024 South Pacific summer vacation now comes with numerous advantages. Here are some key benefits:

  1. Secure Your Dream Experience: Booking in advance guarantees you the dates and experiences you desire. Whether it’s a treetop lodge in Australia or an overwater bungalow in Fiji, early planning ensures you don’t miss out on your dream getaway.
  2. Save with Points and Miles: For flights, booking early is crucial to secure not only a good deal but also the opportunity to book with points or miles. Airlines often release a limited number of seats for points or miles bookings when the 12-month booking window opens.
  3. Avoid Price Fluctuations: By booking in advance, you can lock in your travel costs and avoid price increases that may occur closer to your departure date.
  4. Fulfill Credit Card Offers: Early planning allows you to meet the minimum spending requirements on travel credit cards, ensuring you receive the promised points or miles in your account.
  5. Prepare Documentation: You’ll have ample time to update your passport, obtain necessary visas, and schedule any required vaccinations well in advance of your trip.

Finding the Perfect Timing

While early planning is crucial, it’s essential to find the sweet spot for booking your flights. According to Scott Keyes, founder of travel site Going, the best deals for peak summer international flights are typically found between four and 10 months before departure.

Keep an eye on flight prices during this “Goldilocks Window” to snag the best prices.

Let Us Help You

At About Australia, we pride ourselves on our insider knowledge, expertise, and connections in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and the South Pacific. We specialize in creating bespoke itineraries tailored to your interests, budget, and timeline. Our direct contracts with hotels and tour operators ensure you get the best value for your money.

Plus, our team of travel experts is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service, making your vacation planning a breeze.

So, why wait? Start planning your 2024 South Pacific summer vacation now and give yourself something to look forward to for months.

With About Australia, you can trust us to make your dream vacation a reality. No worries, mate!

Note: Prices and availability may vary, so it’s always a good idea to start planning early to secure the best deals and experiences for your 2024 South Pacific summer vacation.

Plan My Trip to Australia!

How to Make a Call to Australia

Posted on: October 6th, 2022 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

Holding cell phone in front of Australia flag

Dialing an international phone number is surprisingly hard.

There’s exit codes, country codes, adding extra 0’s – a whole mess that over-complicates making a simple call.

But knowing how to dial an international phone number is essential while planning your trip to Australia. You’ll also need to know how to stay in touch with your folks back home.

That’s why we’ve created this guide on making international calls to Australia. Learn how to dial Australian numbers from the U.S. and how to make calls within Australia like a pro.

Dialing an Australian Number from the U.S.

Let’s say you need to call Con-X-ion, one of our shuttle transfer providers in Australia.

It’s the day before your flight to Australia, and you need to re-confirm that there will be a shuttle waiting for you when you arrive in Australia.

The number to get in contact with Con-X-ion is 61 03 9975 7819.

So, how do you dial it, exactly?

To make a phone call to Australia while you are in the U.S., you will need to first dial the U.S. exit code. This code that tells your phone carrier that you are making an international call from the U.S.

The U.S. exit code is ‘011,’ which you will dial first on your phone.

Then you will dial the country code for Australia. This number is ‘61.’ For New Zealand, the country code is ‘64.’

Next you will dial the area code. This number changes depending on which state you are calling to in Australia. All area codes in Australia begin with a ‘0′. For our example, the area code for Con-X-ion is ‘03.’

One important note on the Australian area code: when dialing from the U.S., you will not dial the ‘0’ in the area code. In fact, many businesses in Australia do not include the ‘0‘ when listing their phone number.

After the area code is the local number, which you will dial exactly as it appears.

Here is a quick guide to break it down:

Infographic on how to make a call to Australia

Using a Smartphone to Dial an Australian Number

Dialing to Australia is extra easy using a modern smartphone.

All you need to do is press and hold down the ‘0’ button on your dial pad until a plus sign appears.

Dialing internationally with zero

This plus sign automatically adds the country exit code for you and lets your carrier know that you are making an international call.

Once the plus sign appears on your phone, dial the rest of the phone number you are calling.

For example, this is how you will dial Con-X-ion using the plus sign:

+61 3 9975 7819

No exit code needed!

Dialing an Australian Number in Australia

What if you need to make a call once you’re in Australia?

For instance, we always recommend calling tour companies one day before a scheduled day tour or transfer to reconfirm your pick up time.

To make a call to an Australian company when you’re already in Australia, simply dial the number beginning with the area code.

So if you are dialing Con-X-ion for your next shuttle transfer, you will dial the number below:

3 9975 7819

We recommend getting an Australia SIM card to easily use your phone while in Australia. This allows you to make calls to local Australian numbers without a hitch.

Planning Your Trip to Australia

Need help making sure your trip goes as smooth as possible?

Contact your destination specialist for more tips and information for a stress-free vacation. We’re here to make sure you have the trip of a lifetime!

How to Use Your Phone in Australia Without International Charges

Posted on: May 3rd, 2022 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

Updated on: December 7, 2023

Travel internationally using your carrier’s International Call, Text and Data plans can be quite expensive.

Many people opt to stay unplugged while traveling international, but there are many practical reasons you might want to use your phone while traveling internationally.

Person taking picture of Sydney Opera House on phone

The fact is, in today’s world it’s hard to get by without a cell phone. International calling plans are ridiculous, free WiFi is unreliable and hard to find, and a local driver trying to find you in a crowded airport might not feel comfortable calling an international number to find you.

That’s why we recommend getting a local number as soon as you get off the plane.

Here’s our step by step guide to getting a local number while on vacation to Australia.

How to get an Australian SIM Card

When you arrive in Australia, the airport will offer several options for purchasing SIM cards. If you are looking to get a good deal, you are technically savvy, and you know where to find a supermarket near your hotel, you might want to look into getting a SIM card at supermarkets like Target, Kmart, Coles, Woolworths or Aldi.

Australia has three major networks:

Smaller sim providers use one of the 3 major networks but can often offer better deals:

  • Coles – on the Optus Network. You can purchase in the supermarket.
  • Aldi – Can be purchased in store. The coverage is the same as Telstra.
  • Boost Mobile – Great deals for the Telstra Network. You can purchase at Woolworths, Coles, Target, Kmart, and BP gas stations. You can also find retailers at the Melbourne and Sydney Airports.

Each carrier will have quite a few bundles you can choice from. If you purchase from a kiosk at the airport, the attendant can show you which one will work for you based on what you plan on doing with your phone while in Australia.

After you pick, the attendant will set everything up for you. They insert the sim card, tap away and you are set!

If you purchase your SIM card at a supermarket, there should be instructions included on how to set it up.

To purchase a SIM card, you will need your name, passport and address of your first hotel.

Known coverage issues

Expect to hit no coverage zones when traveling in the outback or remote areas. These isolated areas in Australia can be unpredictable no matter what network you are on. If your stay takes you to the outback, you might consider saving the sim for your city days.

You’ll need an unlocked cell phone

Woman using phone

This can be an older cell phone you have laying around or your personal cell phone. Cell phone carriers can lock their phones to their service if the phone is under payment. But once you pay off your phone, they must unlock it on request.

Requesting the unlock takes minutes, but it might take up to 2 days for the phone to actually unlock. It’s really easy to do. Beware of services that offer to unlock your phone for a fee.

To unlock a cell phone or check to see if it is unlocked:

  • Locate your phone’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity)
    • iPhone: Go to Settings > General > About. Then scroll down to find the number near the bottom of the page.
    • Android: Type IMEI in the search section of your settings or dial *#06# and call.
  • Most carriers allow you to unlock your phone online with a simple form:
    • Search on Google your carrier’s name + “IMEI unlock”
      • You will be asked to supply your IMEI number
    • If you can’t find this, just call the carrier’s customer service department

Check to make sure your phone will work in Australia

Most modern USA phones should work in Australia. You can double check by searching for your phone on this website: https://willmyphonework.net/

For those tech savvy people, the criteria your phone needs to have is:

  • GSM network – This is common in the USA and most phones now can handle a GSM network, but older Verizon, US Cellular and Sprint phones may be CDMA network only. These phone can not be used in Australia for calls and text, but you may be able to use 4G data.
  • Australia uses 850MHz, 900MHz, and 2100Mhz for 3G networks and B1, B3, B5, B7, B7, and B28 for 4G bands.
  • If you unlock your phone by calling the carrier, the service representative maybe able to tell you if your phone meets this criteria.

Remember to bring the correct power adapter for your charger

Many hotels have USB ports, but just in case you will want to make sure you bring a Type 1 outlet (same as New Zealand, Australia and China) with a current of 240v AC 50Hz. A simple adapter is fine for a phone, but if you plan on using devices that uses 110v, you will want to purchase a converter.

Download the carrier’s app so you can monitor your usage

Most carriers offer an app that allows you to track your usage. You might be able to top up, if you start to run low. Overages can get pricey so watch this closely. If you worry about going over, you can always put your phone into airplane mode when you are not using it.

Tell your friends and family to download Whatsapp to stay in touch

Woman watching phone with Whatsapp

Now that you have a local Australia number, you don’t want to burden folks back home with an international calling bill to get in touch with you.

Ask them to download Whatsapp so you can use data to call and text international numbers while in Fiji. It’s free!

Many SIM cards also come with international calling to the states that is very reasonable.

Keep your original SIM Card in a safe place

Make sure you put your SIM card in a safe spot, preferably in its own little container.

These things are tiny and can easily get lost.

We’ve used business card holders, pill containers you can get in the travel section, and those little envelopes you can get for credit cards that you can slip in your wallet.

Bring your SIM card key

One of the most annoying side effects of switching out the SIM card of your main phone is landing back on US soil and discovering you have no way to use your phone because you can’t switch out your SIM card.

When you pack that special little container, add the little SIM key that came with your phone.

Notify your transfer and tour operators of your local number

On your first night in Australia, sit down with your new phone and look on your vouchers for the numbers of all your tour operators and transfer providers.

Give them a call and let them know you would like to add your local number to your booking. Now they can easily contact you if they need to.

Here’s to a no-worries mate vacation!

Australia COVID Travel Restrictions and Additional Costs

Posted on: March 8th, 2022 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

Sydney Harbor aerial

Questions about Australia’s COVID travel restrictions? We’re here for you! As specialists in travel to Australia, we are keeping up to date on all restrictions and providing our clients with the information they need to make their trip to Australia a reality.

Great news! Australia is making it easier to visit!

We will update this as often as possible, but please understand these are fluid and may change. Costs associated with travel requirements to Australia are not included in your itinerary unless specifically listed. We will update this information with approximate costs as we become aware of them.

Last Updated: 12/7/2022

Going to Australia

Travelers are reminded that it is your responsibility to ensure you meet the requirements of the airline you are traveling with and any countries you transit through.

Here’s what you need to visit Australia:

Stay up to date on Australia Travel Requirements, click here. To view a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), click here.

Applying for your Visa

Tips for filling out your Australia ETA (Visa) application:

  • ETA are instantly approved unless any application errors or eligibility issue.
    • Most common eligibility issues seen involve criminal convictions.
      Please see our tips for USA passport holders with criminal history (https://www.aboutaustralia.com/travel-tips/travel-visa-australia/)
    • Avoid the following common errors that will hold up your application.
      • Name Mis-spelling – Double check your work!
      • Entering dates in the USA format instead of DAY – MONTH- YEAR
      • Mixing up the SURNAME and FIRST NAME Fields
  • ETAs can ONLY be processed through the official Australian ETA App on your smart phone.

Australian ETA


  • If you are unable to complete the ETA application can apply for a standard Tourist Visa – subclass 600 – via a web form. Processing time is currently about 3 weeks.
  • Questions? Call the Global Service Center BEFORE submitting your application to ensure quick processing times.
    • Phone Number +61 2 6196 0196

To Return to the USA

Stay up to date on USA travel restrictions: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html

What to do if you lost your CDC COVID vaccine card and need proof of vaccination

Posted on: March 7th, 2022 by Melissa Maxwell No Comments

CDC Covid Vaccination Card Photo by: Jernej Furman on flickr.com

To obtain a new copy of your CDC COVID vaccination card, generally you can visit the place where you received your vaccinations. 

Another way to obtain proof of your vaccination is to acquire a digital certificate.

Since the USA does not have a national vaccine digital certificate program, this process is a bit complex.  Please check out the resources we have gathered below.

– If you live in a state where digital certificates are available, you have it easy! Use these links to obtain a free certificate.

California Colorado Connecticut
Delaware Hawaii Illinois
Louisiana Massachusetts Nevada
New Jersey New York Puerto Rico
Rhode Island Utah Virginia

– The pharmacy where you received your vaccine may have a free digital certificate available to you.

Albertsons Rite Aid Walmart
CVS Walgreens  

-There are many medical organizations that use SMART Health Cards to issue digital certificates. If you got your vaccine at a clinic or hospital, you may be able to acquire a free digital certificate from them.  Check out the full list here.

– If your state, pharmacy or clinic is not listed here is information on how to find your Vaccination Record through your local health department. This is a good place to start if you want to find a free resource to obtain a digital certificate. . 

– A paid option is available through the VaccineCheck App. This requires is a yearly subscription of $45 and we have confirmed it includes all the information you need to enter Australia.

To stay up to date on TGA approved vaccines, click here. 

Guide to the Best South Australia Wine Regions

Posted on: May 12th, 2020 by About Australia Staff No Comments

Couple enjoying wine at Jacob's Creek Jacob's Estate credit John Montesi

Jacob’s Creek, Jacob’s Estate. Photo: John Montesi

Top South Australia Wine Regions and Wineries

Bordeaux, France. Napa Valley, California. Adelaide, Australia?

To the average person, one of these things is not like the other.

While the wine regions of places like France, California and Italy may be household names, South Australia’s wine regions have flown largely under the radar. This is despite consistently producing some of the world’s most award-winning wines.

With more than 200 wineries and vineyards dotting the landscape, we’ll show you the best wineries, tasting rooms, and unique experiences in the top wine regions of South Australia.

Barossa Valley

Couple enjoying an alfresco meal at Chapel Hill Winery

Chapel Hill Winery. Photo: Tourism Australia

Some of the oldest vineyards in the world (including some of the oldest producing grape-vines) are found in this fertile land just outside of Adelaide.

An array of different wine types, from warm-climate Syrahs and Cabernet Sauvignons to cold climate Rieslings and Pinots thrive in the region’s diverse micro-climates.

The Barossa Valley is the perfect place to start your vineyard-hopping tour of South Australia.

Tip: The Barossa Valley is also well known as a foodie’s paradise. With a Barossa Food and Wine tour you’ll get a taste of the best of both.

Penfolds Barossa Valley Cellar Door

Penfolds Blend Your Own Wine South Australian Tourism Commision Jacqui Way

Penfolds Blend Your Own Wine Experience. Photo: South Australian Tourism Commission and Jacqui Way

This vineyard was established in 1844, making it among the oldest South Australia wineries. Penfolds offers tastings, tours and all the standard trappings of a vineyard visit. But what makes a tour of Penfolds Cellar Door unique is the ability to create your own blend in the Winemakers’ Laboratory.

Using Penfolds favorites like Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre, you’ll be able to make a custom mix, just the way you like it.

Try: Bin 138; Penfolds flagship blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre.

Jacobs Creek

Couple at Jacob's Creek credit South Australian Tourism Commission

Jacob’s Creek. Photo: South Australian Tourism Commission

Award-winning wines produced in Jacobs Creek are a household name among Aussies with a finely tuned palate. The Jacobs Creek Visitors Centre combines some of South Australia’s best regional food and tasting tours of the winery’s finest vintages. You’ll find your happy place among the rolling hills, green valleys and lush vines overflowing with ripe grapes.

Jacobs Creek is also one of the first wineries to produce “bourbon-barrel” aged wine. After an initial aging process in a traditional oak barrel, the wine is transferred to an aged Scotch-whiskey barrel to finish. This aging innovation imparts unique flavor-nuances to their Double Barrel Cabernet.

Try: Jacobs Creek Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon 2012; Smooth and delicious, aged in whiskey barrels to finish.

Turkey Flat Vineyards

Turkey Flat Vineyards Nathaniel Mason Mason Digital

Turkey Flat Vineyards. Photo: Nathanial Mason (Mason Digital)

When you talk about an aged wine, you’re talking time spent in the barrel after production. But before the first grape is ever crushed, there’s a different kind of aging that makes Turkey Flat wines some of the most unique in Australia.

Turkey Flat Vineyards are home to the oldest, commercially-producing grape vines on the planet. The original vineyard of Shiraz varietal grapes was planted in 1847 and still produces the fruit used in their wines to this day.

While these vines aren’t the oldest in the world – that designation belongs to a nearly 500-year-old vine in Slovenia – Turkey Flats vintage vines continue to bear enough fruit for commercial distribution, 170 years later.

Try: Turkey Flat Shiraz 2014; Made from the hardest-working vines in the wine game.

Seppeltsfield Winery

Couple enjoying tour of cellar door at Seppeltsfield Estate

Seppeltsfield Winery. Photo: Tourism Australia and Adrian Brown

Established just 15 years after Europeans settled in South Australia, Seppeltsfield Winery is another page in the rich history of Barossa Valley wine. Polish immigrant Joseph Seppelt began growing grapes after his tobacco crops failed, becoming one of the true pioneers of South Australia wine.

In celebration of Seppeltsfield Winery’s grand opening in 1878, a 500-litre barrel of their finest wine was set aside to age for 100 years. Each year thereafter, the tradition of saving a new barrel to sell as a “100-year-old vintage” continued. And in 1978 when the first barrel was ready to bottle, Seppeltsfield Winery became the only winery in the world to release a century-old vintage every single year.

No surprise, this “Centennial Collection” is pricey, but can you put a price on a vintage that doesn’t exist anywhere else? For a truly special occasion, select 5 different years from significant moments of your life to taste from the Centennial Collection, as part of the “This is Your Life” tour.

Try: Seppeltsfield 100-Year-Old Port; You don’t need to buy the whole bottle, but you’ll want at least a taste of this one-of-a-kind vintage.

McLaren Vale

Head south from the city of Adelaide toward the region of McLaren Vale. More than 80 vineyards and cellar doors make up this prized-wine region. An array of award-winning wines are produced in McLaren Vale, but the prized Shiraz varietal is the region’s pride and joy. Take a tour of the highlights of McLaren Vale or stop in to these wineries on a self-drive trip.

d’Arenberg Winery

Close up of a hand holding fermented grapes at d'Arenberg Winery

Grape fermentation at d’Arenberg Winery

This family-owned vineyard opened in 1912 runs four generations deep. d’Arenberg made something of a name for themselves by juxtaposing the classiness of traditional wine-packaging with fun, inventive, nontraditional names for their vintages (Footbolt, The Money Spider and The Hermit Crab for a few). But their winemaking is anything but a gimmick.

Traditional wine-making practices like foot-treading partway through the fermenting process call back to the “good old days” of wine. Most of d’Arenberg’s reds are bottled unfiltered and unfined, leaving trace amounts of sediment along with bold flavor.

You’ll love the beautiful views of large swaths of thriving vines and rolling hills surrounding the winery. You can also get hands on with a stop at The Blending Bench to mix up your own, unique bottle using d’Arenberg’s best varietals.

Try: d’Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz 2013; Award-winning flagship that tastes like the good old days.

Chapel Hill Winery

Aerial view of Chapel Hill Estate, McLaren Vale credit Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill Estate

If McLaren Vale is aiming for a theme of traditional, bold, old-world wine, they have plenty of fine wineries doing it justice. Did you know that modern filtering practices still use added agents like milk casein, bone marrow, animal gelatin and even fish bladder, also called isinglass, in the refining process?

These methods are meant to remove things like cloudiness, yeast and other organic particles from each batch.

Chapel Hill Winery eschews these additives. Instead, they produce unfiltered and unfined wines using traditional methods and basket pressing for natural clarification that leave your wines tasting like wine.

Try:Sangiovese Rosé 2017; Rosé all day. Bottled and sold young for that zing of cranberry tartness.

Adelaide City

Press Food & Wine credit Food & Wine Collective

Press* Food & Wine. Photo: Food & Wine Collective

While a proper tasting tour among the vines is the best way to experience South Australia wineries, you may find yourself short of time in Adelaide. Maybe you’re gearing up for a tour of the city and have a few hours to kill. In that case, stop by any of these cellar doors convenient to the city center to taste the best wines of the Valley and Vale.

East End Cellars & The Tasting Room

Stop by this cellar door for a huge selection of wines from all over the region. This centrally located wine bar serves favorites by the glass with charcuterie and other small plates to go with it. Every Friday and Saturday, East End Cellars puts on free tastings in their cellar.

Press* Food & Wine

A trendy, upscale wine bar and restaurant offering casual and fine-dining fare. Press* is a great stop if you’re in the mood for a world-class dining experience. Or grab a quick glass of local wine before touring a walking tour of Adelaide.

Melbourne Street Fine Wine Cellars

Find yourself without enough time to even sit down for a glass at a wine bar? Grab a bottle to go from this super-stocked fine wine cellar. You’ll find popular and under-the-radar favorites from all of Australia’s wine regions. Grab a bottle of the perfect Pinot for a picnic in the park.

Get a Taste of South Australia Wineries

See how South Australia’s wine making regions stand toe-to-toe with the Bordeaux’s of the world. Entrench yourself in the history of the area and try its finest vintages with a tasting tour across Barossa Valley and beyond.

Want to see as many as you can in one trip? A self-drive tour of South Australia lets you set your own pace and choose the perfect vineyards for you.

Ready to start planning? Call one of our Destination Specialists toll-free at (888) 359-2877 (M – F 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and we’ll work together to create the trip of a lifetime.

Add South Australia Vineyards to My Trip

9 Gems in Tasmania You Won’t Find in a Guidebook

Posted on: November 18th, 2019 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

Melshell Oysters Farm Gate couple credit Rob Burnett

Melshell Oysters Farm Gate. Photo: Rob Burnett

What’s better than savoring a glass of premium wine paired with rich cheeses and fresh oysters?

The peace of mind of knowing exactly where every ingredient is produced.

When you step on Tasmania’s soil, you’re walking on the very ground that yields some of Australia’s most coveted wines. As your eyes take in the coastal views, you’re glimpsing directly into the waterways producing the freshest seafood.

Tasmania is a springboard to the best of Australia’s culinary delights, but you’ve got to know where to look. Luckily, the genuine hospitality of its local winemakers, farmers and producers allow you to enjoy Tasmania’s exquisite produce right at the source.

Get a true local’s insight with our guide to 9 Tasmanian gems you won’t find in a guidebook.

Where to Taste Exceptional Tasmanian Food and Wine

Josef Chromy Wines

Picnic at Josef Chromy Wines credit Lauren Bath

Picnic at Josef Chromy Wines. Photo: Lauren Bath

Location: Relbia, Tasmania (15 minutes from Launceston)

When owner Josef Chromy arrived in Tasmania in 1950, he was a penniless Czech refugee. Now he has developed and owns Tasmania’s most famous vineyards, including Josef Chromy Wines.

Surrounded in landscaped gardens, Josef Chromy Wines is a tranquil escape into idyllic vineyard bliss. Located on a 150 acre vineyard overlooking a serene lake, the setting is ripe for a few enchanting glasses of sensational Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Enjoy a tutored tasting with chief winemaker Jeremy Dineen and learn about the vibrant characteristics of Josef Chromy’s pinots. And don’t worry if you’re not a wine expert yourself, or you think a “bouquet” is just a bunch of flowers – Josef Chromy’s staff are experts in not only wine but also in introducing guests to the world of flavors in Tasmanian wine.

Wines for Joanie

Wines for Joanie vineyard credit Rob Burnett

Wines for Joanie vineyard. Photo: Rob Burnett

Location: Sidmouth, Tasmania (30 minutes from Launceston)

Wines for Joanie is a passion project inspired by owner Andrew O’Shanesy’s mother and her love of wine.

“She was forever after me for being a naughty kid,” O’Shanesy fondly remembers. “I’d hear her in the background at full volume – ‘Why don’t you make yourself useful and go and learn to make wine?'”

Together with his wife Prue O’Shanesy, the pair operate Wines for Joanie in the heart of Tasmania’s Tamar Valley, a true gem hidden amidst green rolling hills and farmland. Their boutique farm-style winery encompasses a warm, rustic cottage reminiscent of an old friend’s welcoming home as you step through the door.

The O’Shanesys’ hospitality is beautifully complemented by their impeccable Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, perfect for a sit-down tasting. Stay a while and book a night or two at the cottage for a true local’s experience in Tasmanian wine country.

Melshell Oyster Shack

Melshell Oysters Farm Gate Cassy Melrose credit Rob Burnett

Melshell Oysters Farm Gate Cassy Melrose. Photo: Rob Burnett

Location: Dolphin Sands, Tasmania (30 minutes from Freycinet National Park)

Love oysters without a fuss? Then Melshell Oyster Shack is a must. Located 15 minutes north of Swansea in Tasmania’s east coast, oysters don’t get any fresher than this.

“Our oysters are cultured oysters, which means that they’re nurtured by the farmer,” co-owner Cassy Melrose says. Together with her husband Ian Melrose, the couple’s passion for oysters traces back to their very first date – a venture to look at an oyster barge.

Their careful cultivation yields a startling freshness and plumpness to their oysters, often described as “Dolly Parton Plump.”

Melshell Oyster Shack offers unshucked oysters for takeaway, but we recommend enjoying your dozen on the picnic tables besides the shack, basking in the gorgeous seaside views. Be sure to bring a bottle of local Tassie wine for a seaside road trip lunch experience!

Pyengana Dairy Company

Location: Pyengana, Tasmania (2 hours from Launceston)

When Jon Healey was a child, he matured little cheeses he made in his mother’s bathtub. Now he’s the general manager of Pyengana Dairy Company, an award-winning dairy farm home to Australia’s heritage farmhouse cheese.

Healey attributes the richness of the cheese to the farm’s cows. “Our cows are definitely the happiest cows in the world, and that’s why we make the best cheddar,” Healey states. Never enclosed into a paddock and free to roam the dairy, the cows make the decisions around the farm.

Set in the picturesque Pyengana Valley in Tasmania’s north east, the dairy’s tasting room welcomes travelers to sample cheese handcrafted from a 130 year old family recipe. Take a peek behind the scenes of the cheese making process, or relax with a gourmet platter from the onsite café.

With the bright colors of Pyengana Valley easily viewed from the farm, Pyengana Dairy Company offers a lovely road trip stop on Tasmania’s east coast.

Seafood Seduction

Tasmanian Seafood Seduction Pennicott Wilderness Journeys credit Peter Aitchison

Tasmanian Seafood Seduction. Photo: Peter Aitchison

Location: Hobart, Tasmania

To sample the freshest seafood, nothing comes closer than jumping straight into the water. Onboard Robert Pennicott’s Tasmanian Seafood Seduction cruise, you’ll taste succulent rock lobster, oysters, abalone and sea urchin only moments out of the water.

Departing from the docks of Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, the cruise sails out to the sheltered waters surrounding Bruny Island and hits up spots only a local would know.

“It’s what I’ve been doing since I’ve been a kid,” Robert says. “Being able to jump in and get abalone, and crayfish and sea urchin, catching fish out of the most beautiful pristine water in the world…it’s the seafood equivalent to ‘paddock to plate.'”

True to his word, Robert dons on a wet suit and snorkeling mask and jumps in the waters to find the day’s catch. Back onboard, a seafood storm is cooked up with sparkling wines, local Tassie beers and cheeses waiting to be indulged.

Where to Find Local Tasmanian Experiences

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary - Greg Irons and Brushtail Possum credit Tourism Tasmania Rob Burnett

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary – Greg Irons and Brushtail Possum. Photo: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

Location: Brighton, Tasmania (30 minutes from Hobart)

For his seventh birthday, Greg Irons dragged his family to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. He told his mother he’d own Bonorong one day. Now he’s the director of the sanctuary, a 24 hour rescue service for wildlife across all Tasmania.

With a passionate team of rescuers, the sanctuary’s aim is releasing animals back to their habitat. “To see them just go waddling off to where they belong with this feeling of happiness which they cannot hide, it’s just so special,” Greg says.

Here you’ll find not only native Australian animals but wildlife found only in Tasmania. Meet Tasmanian devils and wombats, and spot koalas and bettongs. Kangaroos also hang about, waiting for a hand-feeding.

Join a special Evening Feeding Frenzy tour to get up close and feed the Tassie devils, echidnas, sugar gliders and other wildlife still up and keen for a feed!

Launceston Harvest Market

Harvest Launceston Farmers' Market credit Chris Crerar

Harvest Launceston Farmers’ Market. Image: Chris Crerar

Location: Launceston, Tasmania

If you’re in Launceston on a Saturday morning, the Launceston Harvest Market is a must. There’s arguably no place else where you’ll find Tasmania’s freshest produce in one spot.

“When it comes to the people and the produce, there really isn’t a lot that’s finer,” says Curly Haslam-Coates, manager of the Launceston Harvest Market. “You’re only one or two people removed from the agriculture…and it’s far more fun than going to the supermarket.”

The market prides itself in its local produce, showcasing only products made, grown and raised right in Tasmania. It’s also the perfect opportunity to meet producers and get insider information about every facet of their product.

Stalls of rainbow colored carrots, tomatoes, seasonal greens and berries mix with the warm scents of freshly baked bread, specialty sausages and roasting coffee. For a market breakfast, choose among decadent French toast, fresh fruits and gourmet pastries.

Where to Experience Warm Tassie Hospitality

Red Feather Inn

Red Feather Inn Lydia Nettlefold credit Tourism Tasmania Rob Burnett

Red Feather Inn – Lydia Nettlefold. Photo: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

Location: Hadspen, Tasmania (15 minutes from Launceston)

Owner Lydia Nettlefold’s vision of a relaxing retreat with subtle touch of provincial France comes to life at the Red Feather Inn.

Few places combine fine hospitality, impeccable cuisine and luxury accommodation like this intimate getaway. Set within convict-built sandstone cottages surrounded in gorgeous landscaped gardens, this boutique accommodation is a distinctly Tasmanian gem.

The fabulous onsite restaurant is locally renowned as a dining destination, sourcing ingredients straight from the garden in true ‘paddock to plate’ fashion. Cooking classes are also on offer, guaranteed to leave you with new tricks and dishes to try at home.

Brockley Estate

Location: Buckland, Tasmania (1 hour from Hobart)

Nestled within rural seclusion among rolling hills and farmland lies Brockley Estate. This six-room boutique hotel blends old world charm with Tasmania’s pristine scenery, set just ten minutes from the sea.

Owners Julian Roberts and Chaxi Afonso Higuera welcome guests to enjoy everything their 170 year-old homestead accommodation has to offer. Set on 10,000 acres dotted with ancient English trees and hawthorn hedges, the grounds are an endless country paradise to explore.

Spend the afternoon on the river fishing for rainbow trout, or visit the sheep and cattle at the onsite farm. Hobart is less than an hour away, perfect for a day trip.

Warm up to a 3-course dinner prepared by Chaxi, bringing out the flavors of her Spanish heritage with traditional recipes made from Tasmanian ingredients. As you enjoy dinner paired with local Tasmanian wines, you’ll know this is genuine colonial country life from days gone by.

Ready For Your Trip to Tasmania?

Tasmania holds a whole world of delights for food, wine, and relaxation. The only trouble is knowing where to find the hidden gems. For more things to do in Tasmania and suggestions on your trip, contact our Destination Specialists for one-on-one planning for a smooth journey to Australia.

Plan My Trip to Australia!

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Posted on: October 31st, 2019 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

Australia’s Top Food and Wine Destinations in Tasmania

Josef Chromy Wines - Effervescence Tasmania credit Liza-Jane Sowden

Josef Chromy Wines – Effervescence Tasmania. Image: Liza-Jane Sowden

Tasmania’s untouched natural beauty and culinary delights are unparalleled in all Australia. With the purest waterways and cleanest air in the world, the water yields the freshest seafood and the soil is primed for producing exquisite wines.

Map of Tasmania’s Wine Regions and Top Destinations

Tasmania’s burgeoning wine regions are spread across its spectacular landscapes, from the coastal wine trails of the North West to the lichen-splashed East Coast.

The Tamar Valley is Tasmania’s principal wine producing region, yielding Chardonnays, aromatic whites and Pinot Noir. Here you’ll find the Pipers River micro wine region, with a climate close to that of Champagne in France, and home of Tassie Sparkling. The East Coast region produces some of the state’s freshest berries and seafood, paired with Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling along with Sparkling.

In the Southern Wine Trail you’ll find the Coal River Valley and Derwent Valley. The cool climate of the Coal River Valley produces sensational Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while historic towns, ancient rainforest and white-wine varieties are the specialty in Derwent Valley.

Tasmania Wine Regions Map

1. Taste the Food and Wine of Tamar Valley on a Guided Tour
2. Make Your Own Sparkling Wine at Josef Chromy Wines
3. Explore Cataract Gorge Natural Reserve
4. Celebrate Tasmanian Food, Wine and Music at Festivale
5. Sample the Pipers River Wineries
6. Indulge in Wine and Coastal Views at Devil’s Corner
7. Discover the Bays of Freycinet National Park
8. Cruise Spectacular Wineglass Bay
9. Enjoy a Pizza with Premium Wine at Pooley Wines
10. Taste Your Way Through Richmond
11. Experience a Day of Art, Food & Wine at Moorilla
12. Savor Fresh Tasmanian Seafood on a Gourmet Cruise
13. Enjoy a Seven-Course Tour of Bruny Island Produce
14. Meet Tasmanian Wildlife at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Follow our Tasmania Wine Regions map for the best destinations for food, wine and incredible natural scenery.

1. Taste the Food & Wine of Tamar Valley on a Guided Tour

Jansz Tasmania credit Adam Gibson

Jansz Tasmania. Photo: Adam Gibson

You deserve a day of indulgence, and Tamar Valley is just the place. Located on the doorstep of Launceston, Tasmania’s second largest city, Tamar Valley is known for sensational Chardonnay and award-winning Pinot Noir.

Guided tours of scenic Tamar Valley take you through several wineries and artisan shops producing gourmet cheeses, ciders, beers, truffles and hazelnuts, giving you a little taste of everything. With over 30 wineries and award-winning cellar doors, it’s Tasmania’s premium wine region – and secretly one of Australia’s best.

Besides, to fully enjoy a day of good wine it’s always best to let someone else behind the wheel.

2. Make Your Own Sparkling Wine at Josef Chromy Wines

Josef Chromy Wines Art of Sparkling Experience credit Osborne Images

Josef Chromy Wines – Art of Sparkling Experience. Image: Osborne Images

Experience the Art of Sparkling at Josef Chromy Wines and learn the process behind making Sparkling. You can even create your own bottle of Sparkling to enjoy, perfect for the amateur winemaker.

Josef Chromy is a powerhouse in the Tasmania wine scene, bursting into Australia’s ranks as the country’s best Pinot Noir in 2017 and 2019. Its passion for Sparkling, however, undeniably poses Tasmania as Australia’s Sparkling capital, often remarked as second only to Sparkling produced in Champagne, France.

The Art of Sparkling experience takes you on a tour of the vineyard and winery, where you’ll create your own Sparkling to enjoy on the day. The wine continues to flow with tastings and a 2-course lunch with matched wines.

3. Explore Cataract Gorge Natural Reserve

Cataract Gorge credit Jarrad Seng

Cataract Gorge. Photo: Jarrad Seng

Take a break in Launceston after tasting your way through Tamar Valley. A heritage gem set within sumptuous hills, ancient forests and scenic waterways, Launceston blends natural splendor with historic charm.

The locals’ favorite hangout is Cataract Gorge, a natural wilderness reserve combining historic landmarks, bushland trails and parklands along the banks of Tamar River.

Take a ride on the chairlift over the Gorge, the largest single-span chairlift in the world, or explore the landscaped Victorian garden on the northern Cliff Grounds of the Gorge. The Tasmanian summers are perfect for a dip in the public swimming pool on the southern side of the Gorge.

4. Celebrate Tasmanian Food, Wine and Music at Festivale

Festivale credit Adam Gibson

Festivale. Image: Adam Gibson

If you visit Tasmania on the first week of February, add Festivale to your list!

Festivale is Tasmania’s premium summer event, a three day celebration showcasing the very best of Tasmanian food, beverages and entertainment. Staged in Launceston’s iconic City Park, the festival hosts over 80 vendors, cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, master classes and live music.

It’s the perfect opportunity to meet local winemakers, distillers, cheese makers, truffle growers and craft brewers, and learn about the art and passion behind their processes.

Sample wines from boutique wineries, innovative craft beers and ciders, and the most delicious food imaginable. Join a master class such as cheese and beer pairing or watch a master chef demonstrate how to use unique ingredients, before enjoying an evening of local musicians and headline acts.

5. Sample the Pipers River Wineries

Pipers Brook Vineyard credit Jarrad Seng

Pipers Brook Vineyard. Image: Jarrad Seng

From Launceston you can easily reach the Pipers River wine region of the Tamar Valley, where cool climate wines brimming with the wild flavors of Tasmania are the specialty. This little corner is colloquially known as “Sparkling Tasmania,” for its production of world-class Sparkling.

Pipers Brook is considered the flagship winery of this region, producing a range of Sparkling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Riesling. Stop by for divine wine tastings with knowledgeable and friendly staff.

Taste premium vintage Sparkling from Jansz, one of the most highly regarded sparkling winery in all Australia. For exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, make an appointment at Dalrymple Vineyards.

6. Indulge in Wine & Coastal Views at Devil’s Corner

Devil's Corner Cellar Door credit Lisa Kuilenburg

Devil’s Corner Cellar Door. Photo: Lisa Kuilenburg

Wine with a view – it doesn’t get better than that. At Devil’s Corner and Lookout, a glass of wine and incredible coastal views await to exhilarate your senses.

Devil’s Corner Cellar Door sits in the East Coast region of Tasmania, overlooking Moulting Lagoon and The Hazards mountain range. Its range of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Cuvee captures the elements of its wild location, sitting beside the deep blue sea.

With an onsite cafe and seafood kitchen, grab a wood-fired pizza or freshly farmed oysters with paired wine and drink in the view.

7. Discover the Bays of Freycinet National Park

Wineglass Bay credit Tourism Tasmania

Wineglass Bay. Photo: Tourism Tasmania

As you make your way through Tasmania’s east coast, stop by one of Tasmania’s most treasured natural gems – Freycinet National Park.

Its white sand beaches, sparkling turquoise bays and pink granite cliffs create a coastal splendor unparalleled in all Tasmania. Secluded coves and bays carve into the untouched white sands of the park. Pristine bushland grows over walking trails, proving a slight challenge rewarded with breathtaking views.

Explore Freycinet on your own or join a guided tour, hitting the must-see highlights of this unique spot.

RoyalSlider with provided ID not found

8. Cruise Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay cruise

Wineglass Bay Cruise

Wineglass Bay is the undisputed gem of Tasmania’s east coast.

Sparkling turquoise waters perfectly scoop into pristine white sands, shaped exactly like a wineglass. The trek to the lookout for panoramic views of the bay may prove challenging, but are absolutely worth it.

Scenic cruises depart from Coles Bay into Wineglass Bay, with a stop at the beach for a chef-prepared lunch of fresh Tasmanian produce.

9. Enjoy a Pizza with Wine at Pooley Wines

Pooley Wines

Pooley Wines

From the east coast make your way south to the Coal River Valley, characterized by heritage towns and wineries.

Stop by Pooley Wines in Richmond for award-winning Rieslings, Pinot Noir and other varietals set in a gorgeous historic estate.

This family-owned cellar door has won multiple awards including Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine’s “Best Small Cellar Door.” But the true prize lies within its wood-fired pizzas fresh from the glowing oven.

10. Taste Your Way Through Richmond

Tasmanian Craft Cellars Richmond credit Tourism Tasmania Brian Dullaghan

Tasmanian Craft Cellars, Richmond. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Brian Dullaghan

This picture-perfect historic town is a popular food, wine and art destination in the Coal River Valley. Here you’ll find Australia’s oldest gaol (jail) and Richmond Bridge, the oldest sandstone bridge still in use in Australia.

Browse the traditional bakeries, shops and cafes set in gorgeous heritage buildings, offering everything from specialty Tasmanian fudge to gourmet lunches made of local produce. Sweets & Treats is a popular candy shop where wall-to-ceiling displays of treats make it hard to resist temptation. Break for tea at Ashmore House, a beautiful tearoom in a colonial-style building serving innovative and fresh dishes with generous servings.

If you’re feeling parched, head to the local wineries and breweries dotted throughout Richmond and Coal River Valley. Puddleduck Vineyard is perfect for a graze of cheese with a glass of delicate vino and Tasmanian Craft Cellars offers an excellent selection of local beers, cider and spirits.

11. Experience a Day of Art, Food & Wine at Moorilla

Mona Hobart Tasmania

Museum of Old and New Art (Mona)

Travel across to the Derwent Valley to Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, and home to the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), one of the world’s most controversial museums.

Located on the Berriedale peninsula in Hobart, the museum is actually located beneath Moorilla Winery. Its exclusive Posh-As Day Out experience combines wine, food and art for a super luxe day of indulgence.

The experience includes private exploration of the museum, a private tour of Moorilla Winery with tastings and a two-course lunch at the onsite Source Restaurant with matched wines. After your Posh-As Day Out, no other wine and art experience will come even close.

12. Savor Fresh Tasmanian Seafood on a Gourmet Cruise

Tasmanian Seafood Seduction credit Poon Wai Nang

Tasmanian Seafood Seduction. Image: Poon Wai Nang

Enjoy a feast of succulent rock lobster, oysters, abalone and sea urchin plucked straight from the sea.

Departing from Hobart, this popular small-group cruise navigates the crystal waterways of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, yielding the freshest seafood. The rock lobster, locally known as crayfish, is extremely sought after and exported all over the world. The fresh oysters are shucked and enjoyed straight from the shell, with a handful also cooked in sparkling wine. It’s simply not possible to buy seafood this fresh and delicious anywhere else.

After gathering the day’s catch, a spread of local breads, salads and artisan cheeses matched with Tasmanian wines, local beers and ciders awaits.

13. Enjoy a Seven-Course Tour of Bruny Island Produce

Bruny Island Cheese Co credit Tourism Tasmania and Andrew Wilson

Bruny Island Cheese Co. Image: Tourism Tasmania and Andrew Wilson

Travel down the channel from Hobart to Bruny Island, a destination of spectacular landscapes and gourmet local produce. Enjoy a delicious day out on this guided tour, where every course on the menu is a stop on your journey.

Bruny Island is a perfect mix of Australia’s best qualities – amazing coastal landscapes, dense rainforests, rare wildlife and great food. Sample artisanal cheeses, handcrafted whiskies and gin, fresh oysters and local chocolates as you visit Bruny Island staples.

Highlights include cheeses from Bruny Island Cheese Company, fresh oysters from Get Shucked, tastings at Bruny Island Premium Wines and single malt whiskeys from Bruny Island Whiskey.

14. Meet Tasmanian Wildlife at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Greg Irons credit Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary – Greg Irons. Image: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

Home to unique Australian animals, Bonorong is a Tasmania-wide wildlife rescue. Here you can meet Tasmanian devils, wombats, quolls and hand-feed kangaroos on a Sanctuary Tour.

The sanctuary’s aim is to nurse animals back to health and release them into the wild. Run by volunteers and housing species extinct everywhere in the world but Tasmania, Bonorong is truly special.

Besides, no trip to Tasmania is complete without meeting its extraordinary wildlife.

Ready to Explore Tasmania?

As one of Australia’s best kept secrets, Tasmania has wine, food, wildlife and class. What it doesn’t have are the fully booked tables and month-long wait lists.

For more recommendations and tips on what to do in Tasmania, contact one of our Destination Specialists. As experts in Australian travel, we can plan the perfect Tasmania food and wine trip for your Australia vacation.

Plan My Trip to Australia!
Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm).

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Festivale – A Festive Tasmania Food and Wine Celebration

Posted on: October 28th, 2019 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

Festivale is Tasmania’s Iconic Food and Wine Festival

Festivale credit Adam Gibson

Festival-goers enjoying Festivale. Photo: Adam Gibson

With the cleanest air, the best soil, and the purest water on Earth, Tasmania produces the freshest ingredients for world-class wines, spirits, and seafood.

Every year Tasmanians gather to celebrate their exceptional produce at Festivale, a three-day event showcasing the very best of Tasmania’s food, wine and entertainment. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet winemakers, distillers, cheese makers, truffle growers and other artisan producers from across the state and enjoy the fruits of their talents.

Held during the first weekend of February in Launceston’s iconic City Park, it’s Tasmania’s premium summer event. Festivale’s ability to present gourmet Tasmanian produce, exquisite wines, beers and entertainment beneath the glorious elms of historic City Park rates it as one of the best food and wine festivals in Australia. 

A History of Festivale

Festivale first began in 1988 as a small street party of local multicultural foods, such as Italian, Greek and Indian. As an island abundant in passionate producers, the festival naturally became a  showcase of Tasmania’s exceptional food and drink, attracting wine makers, chefs, and anyone with an adventurous palate.

The event now hosts over 80 vendors featuring Australian household names to local food trucks making a splash in the scene.

Festivale food credit Adam Gibson

Festivale food. Photo: Adam Gibson

Taste Gourmet Tasmanian Food

As Tasmania is one of the world’s major suppliers of seafood, lamb and beef, Festivale offers a taste of the freshest food imaginable from Tasmania’s premium food and wine producing regions. 

Try freshly shucked oysters sourced directly from local fishermen. Savor braised pork belly from Coal Valley paired with matching wine, or delight in local cured meats from Tamar Valley.

For something a little more hearty, vendors grilling up wallaby hamburgers often make an appearance. Keep your hands as free as possible with a classic Tassie meat pie or fried calamari in a cone.

Favorites from previous years include bespoke bites from caterers Hubert + Dan, blending together innovative flavors of smoked duck breast, quince gel and herb creams.

Highlights of Festivale also include cooking demonstrations and master classes.

Local and celebrity guest chefs demonstrate how to handle ingredients to prepare mouth-watering dishes – all Tassie-sourced, of course. Past demonstrations include how to use fresh wasabi, and creating a dish of ocean trout with whipped goats cheese and baby beets.

Master classes such as wine and chocolate pairing, and beer and cheese tasting are also held within Festivale.

Sample Tasmanian Wine, Beer & Cider

Festivale Wines credit Adam Gibson

Photo: Adam Gibson

With a rotation of over 20 wine producers featured in Festivale, this is the perfect opportunity to sample premium vinos.

Wines from Tamar Valley vineyards are always a highlight, producing award-winning sparklings, riesling and pinot noir. Big Tasmanian names to try include Jansz and Josef Chromy Wines, the latter awarded Australia’s Best Pinot Noir in 2017. 

Don’t forget to stop by the stalls of smaller, boutique wineries for a taste for experimental wines with intriguing flavors.

While wine is a staple of Festivale, Tassie spirits, cider and beer are also on tap. You’ll see anything from your regular lagers and whiskeys to roasty coffee stouts and botanical gins.

Festivale is also the perfect place for brewers and distillers to offer something creative for the crowd to try. Brews on tap range from blueberry cider and ‘perry,’ – pear cider – to raspberry cheesecake beer and gin created with roasted dandelion root and native Tasmanian mountain pepperberry.

Enjoy a Show at Festivale

Festivale performers credit Adam Gibson

Photo: Adam Gibson

Performers roam the festival throughout the day, delighting crowds with their unique talents. Sword swallowing, live statue performances and dancing are just a few of the acts on display.

Stay until the evening to listen and watch local musicians plus headline acts live on stage. Festivale often features Australian legends that draw a crowd exciting to behold – and undeniably fun to be a part of. Besides, what better way to end your day of exceptional food and wine than with a show?

Things to Do in Tasmania on a Vacation to Festivale

After sampling wines and food from Tasmania’s top producing regions, venture out on a tasting expedition of your own! Set near spectacular wilderness landscapes, you won’t want to miss out on exploring national parks and landmarks along the way.

    • Tamar Valley
      With the Tamar Valley wine region right at its doorstep, Launceston’s love of sensational food and wine makes it the perfect destination for Festivale. Wine tours from Launceston make it easy to visit the vineyards and sample the artisan produce of Tamar Valley.


    • Cataract Gorge
      While visiting Launceston for Festivale, stop by Cataract Gorge , a natural river gorge surrounded by scenic bushland, gardens and cliffs. Take a ride on the chairlift over the Gorge, the largest single-span chairlift in the world, or explore the landscaped Victorian garden on the northern Cliff Grounds of the Gorge. The gorgeous summer Festivale days are perfect for a dip in the public swimming pool on the southern side of the Gorge.


    • North West Wine Trail
      Tasmania’s North West is a burgeoning wine region with some of the state’s most pristine natural beauty. Take the classic coastal route through seaside towns and stop by countryside wineries for a wine-paired lunch. As the gateway to Cradle Mountain, this trail perfectly blends exceptional food and wine with incredible landscapes.


    • Cradle Mountain
      Just under two hours away from Launceston lies Cradle Mountain, a World Heritage-listed national park with stunning alpine and rainforest scenery. Explore  walking trails and mirrored lakes surrounding the rugged mountains. Keep an eye out for wallabies, wombats and echidnas along the way.


    • East Coast Wine Trail
      Make your way down Tasmania’s east coast through outstanding wineries, cheese producers and berry farms. Stop to taste cool-climate wines at Devil’s Corner Cellar Door and Lookout, or skip straight to Freycinet National Park.


    • Freycinet National Park
      White sand beaches and sparkling turquoise bays are surrounded in pink granite cliffs and untouched bushland at Freycinet, one of Tasmania’s most iconic national parks. Home to world-famous Wineglass Bay, the trek to the lookout may prove a challenge but it’s well worth the amazing views.


Plan for Festivale on Your Tasmania Vacation

Festivale vendors credit Adam Gibson

Photo: Adam Gibson

As a growing food and wine destination, Festivale lays out the best of what Tasmania has to offer in three unforgettable days. Visit Launceston in February for an indulgent Tasmania vacation.

Looking for more ideas of what to do on a trip to Tasmania? Plan your vacation with our Destination Experts to create your perfect trip itinerary with all the Tasmania highlights.

Plan My Trip to Australia!
Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm).

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Best Australia Vacation Spots

Posted on: August 7th, 2019 by Lexie Cargile No Comments

Holding a koala credit South Australian Tourism Commission

Image Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission

Best Places to Travel in Australia

Australia is one of the most popular vacation spots in the world; no matter where you are, there is always something to do.

This is why we love planning Australia vacations for our clients. Whether you prefer adventure or a relaxed pace, we plan custom trips for every type of traveler.

The most common questions we hear are: “How big is Australia?” “When is the best time to travel to Australia?” & “What to do in Australia?

Whether you’re planning your first trip, your second trip, or maybe even your eighth trip, there are two things you need to know before you embark on your journey ‘down under’:

Australia is roughly the same size as the continental U.S. and the seasons are reversed. Check out the seasons in Australia below:

Spring: September – November
Summer: December – February
Autumn: March – May
Winter: June – August

Understanding those facts is a vital component in avoiding mistakes before traveling to Australia as you plan your dream getaway.

The country is so large it has developed to cater to every interest. We have compiled a list of the best Australia vacation spots to to make your vacation planning that much simpler.

These destinations encompass the true spirit of Australia and are filled with incredible sights, riveting wildlife, fascinating cultural experiences and thrilling adventures. Each region has attributes that make it unique and special. To help you orientate yourself, here is a map of Australia.


Queensland is nicknamed Australia’s “Sunshine State,” and it’s easy to see why. Lined with sun-kissed beaches on its southeastern coast and tropical towns in the north, this state sees the most days of sunshine throughout the year. Its warm, balmy year-round weather and natural beauty make it one of the best vacation spots in Australia.


Snokeling the Great Barrier Reef with sea turtle credit Tourism Australia

Great Barrier Reef. Image Credit: Tourism Australia

Cairns houses two “Natural Wonders of the World,” the Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, making it one of the world-famous best places to visit in Australia.

Cairns is a great spot for adrenaline junkies, aquatic adventurers & wildlife enthusiasts, offering over 600 tours a day. It is the closest, and most convenient, mainland entrance to the Reef, giving you easy access to explore the ocean’s beauty.

The World Heritage Listed Daintree Rainforest is the oldest living rainforest and is home to some of the most authentic Aboriginal culture.

Snorkeling the reef, exploring the rainforest and learning about the unique Aboriginal culture of this region are just a few of the best things to do in Cairns.


Brisbane Story Bridge Tourism & Events Queensland

Brisbane Story Bridge. Image Credit: Tourism & Events Queensland

Brisbane is commonly known as the “river city” and is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia.

With twelve months of sunshine, it is no surprise it is one of the top Australian vacation destinations – the quintessential location for year-round outdoor activities.

There is a variety of both leisurely and exciting river cruises and tours, in addition to thrilling theme parks, national parks, world-renowned zoos and koala sanctuaries, and seasonal whale watching tours.

Gold Coast

Girl walking along beach with paddleboard at sunrise

Gold Coast. Image Credit: Destination Gold Coast

Gold Coast is Australia’s 5th most visited destination by international travelers, one of the best vacation spots in Australia.

It is known as the “surfer’s paradise” due to the consistent waves year-round, with pristine beaches, gorgeous rainforests, and a nice mix of urban culture.

The Gold Coast offers energetic theme parks, exquisite dining, and critically-acclaimed retailers with an upbeat nightlife to give you the perfect mix of entertainment & pleasure. Need more ideas? Here are the top reasons why you should add Gold Coast to your Australia vacation.

New South Wales

Home to one of Australia’s most popular destinations, New South Wales is the state where you’ll find Sydney. Apart from this iconic, international city, New South Wales boasts sublime coastal towns, the oldest wine region in Australia, and incredible national parks.


Sydney Opera House

Sydney is the most culturally diverse and heavily populated area in Australia. It is most commonly known for the iconic Sydney Opera House and gorgeous Sydney Harbor.

In addition, there are a tremendous amount of delicious 5-Star restaurants, magnificent beaches, and attractions that makes travelers drawn to the area.

The beauty of Sydney is that you can kick-back on the beach, stroll through contemporary art galleries, aquariums & botanical gardens.,cruise the harbor and tour the Opera house, or indulge in some world class retail therapy.

Hunter Valley

Cycling Hunter Valley

If you love wine, you’ll love Hunter Valley. As the oldest wine region in Australia, Hunter Valley is famous for its historic wineries, fantastic views, indulgent food experiences, and full-bodied red wines.

Luxury accommodations in Hunter Valley offer a secluded retreat so you can enjoy some of the best food and wine in Australia without worrying about heading back to the city.

Only about a two-hour drive from Sydney, Hunter Valley is a no-brainer vacation destination in Australia to wine and dine.

Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains National Park credit Tourism Australia

Blue Mountains National Park. Image Credit: Tourism Australia

The Blue Mountains region of New South Wales is a popular day trip destination from Sydney, only two hours outside the city. It’s one of the best vacation spots for nature lovers who want a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Forest-clad mountains and rugged cliffs covered in eucalyptus trees make up the natural beauty of the Blue Mountains. This region gets its name from the blue haze that emanates from the eucalyptus oil from the trees, creating a soft blue hue.

Well-marked walking trails through streams, waterfalls and valleys are the perfect escape for nature lovers. Guided tours explore the region’s highlights, including scenic lookouts and sacred rock formations. The Jenolan Caves, among the oldest cave systems in the world, are also a must-see in the Blue Mountains.


As Australia’s most southeastern mainland state, Victoria is known for its scenic coasts, boutique rural towns and Australia’s music, art and sports capital – Melbourne.


Melbourne, a close second to Sydney in population size, has an enormous amount of culture that begs to be explored.

Dozens of world-renowned museums and art galleries, along with music venues, restaurants and cafes offer something for every taste. The heart of the city is adorned with historic, Victorian-style architecture and hidden passageways lined with boutique shops, noodle houses, bars, and coffee shops serving some of the world’s best coffee.

The best way to explore Melbourne is on a walking tour of the city, where a knowledgeable local shows you the hidden gems of the city most often missed by tourists.

Great Ocean Road

Twelve Apostles Great Ocean Road Victoria

The Twelve Apostles

The Great Ocean Road is one of the best road trips in the world. Passing through Victoria’s dramatic coastlines and beach towns, this destination is all about the journey.

Along the Great Ocean Road you’ll find the Twelve Apostles, a must-see Australian icon. Other breathtaking rock formations along the trip include Lord Ard Gorge and Gibson Steps. The small coastal towns along the drive also offer fantastic beaches and comfortable accommodations for an extended road trip.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory is the spiritual heart of Australia. Encompassing the glowing, red desert landscapes and Aboriginal cultures of the outback, a visit to Northern Territory will transform you.

Uluru (Ayers Rock)



Uluru (Ayers Rock) is another one of Australia’s greatest treasures.

The World Heritage Listed national parks, terrain, and Aboriginal history is what makes this region a top Australian travel destination.

Explore the culture, traditions, and landscapes while on a guided tour by a native Australian Aboriginal. The sunsets are breathtaking and are best experienced in a hot air balloon or helicopter.

South Australia

South Australia is a unique blend of wildlife, outback, wine and beaches. This state combines all the best of Australia’s top destinations and is a favorite vacation spot for travelers in search of authentic local experiences.


Art Gallery of South Australia credit South Australia Tourism Commission

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. Image Credit: South Australia Tourism Commission

Adelaide, Australia’s food and wine city, is seamlessly vivacious and always has something going on.

There are year-round events and festivals making it the perfect place to visit no matter the season.

We suggest attending a sporting event or head to the wineries for tours and tastings, followed by an incredible dinner at one of the critically-acclaimed restaurants. There’s never a shortage of things to do.

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island credit Tourism Australia

Kangaroo Island. Image Credit: Tourism Australia

If you’re looking for a more “off-the-beaten-path” type experience, we recommend Kangaroo Island for its well-known scenery, wildlife, and adventure.

In addition to kangaroos you will also discover sea lions and other native critters roaming the gorgeous beaches and national parks.

To optimize the adventure, take a hike through a national park, kayak along the coast, or perhaps take a helicopter tour for a birds-eye-view of this wildlife oasis. Whichever you choose, you will certainly be dazzled by the charming nature and adventure on Kangaroo Island.

Ready for Your Trip to Australia?

The essence and incredible culture of Australia can never be fully explained, it is something you just have to experience for yourself.

Let us plan your vacation today so you’re guaranteed to receive an experience catered to your interests and you don’t miss a minute of what Australia has to offer.