Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Discover Melbourne & Beyond

Cosmopolitan, elegant, creative and chic, Melbourne has a passionate soul and welcoming heart that makes every stay a truly memorable experience. Also explore beautiful coastlines along the Great Ocean Road, the sweeping vineyards of the Yarra Valley, the tranquil beauty of Phillip Island, the gold trail in Ballarat, the old gold mining town of Sovereign Hill and picturesque Mornington Peninsula all within an easy drive from Melbourne.

From thrilling world class events and renowned architecture, to cafĂ©-lined streetscapes and verdant parklands, there’s always something new and magical to discover in Melbourne. Victoria's capital, Melbourne, sits on the Yarra River and around the shores of Port Phillip Bay. Known as the capital of fashion and coffee, the home of art and culture, and the sports hub of Australia, there is little that Melbourne doesn’t do well.

Lauded for its sense of style and elegance, Melbourne boasts glamorous festivals and events, Australia's best shopping, a lively passion for eating and drinking, and a flourishing interest in the arts. Visit the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium with the 360 degree Oceanarium that houses giant sharks and stingrays; the Eureka Skydeck 88 with its awe inspiring views of Melbourne; and the Melbourne Cricket Ground with its famous Long Room and the MCC Museum. Experience the thrill of hot air ballooning over Melbourne at sunrise as you watch the city waking gently and transforming into a bustling metropolis.

Experience the romance and exhilaration of a self-drive down the Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives boasting of a breathtaking stretch of astonishing seascapes, magical forest and sprawling farmlands. Take in highlights like the spectacular Otway Ranges, famous Bells Beach, the dramatic rock formation of the Twelve Apostles on the Shipwreck Coast, and the excitement and heritage of the gold rush in Ballarat.

The iconic Twelve Apostles with its majestic limestone stacks rising up out of the ocean on a scenic helicopter flight or on a leisurely boardwalk is an awe-inspiring experience. Embark on an enthralling journey of discovery, tragedy, illusion and intrigue as you experience SHIPWRECKED!, a sound and light show that brings to life the tale of the Loch Ard, wrecked in1878.

Experience the gold fever that gripped Australia in the 1850’s at the Ballarat Goldfields. Pan for real gold in the creek at Sovereign Hill, an outdoor living museum that re-creates the days of the goldfields. See blacksmiths at work, visit the Gold Museum adjacent, dress up in Victorian costume, ride in a horse drawn carriage and be entertained by the street performers in this replica of an old gold-mining town. Spend a while at the Ballarat Wildlife Park where you can pet the koalas, wombats and wear a huge Boa snake around your neck.

From world famous wines to fabulously fresh food and breathtaking scenery, the hills of Yarra Valley are a charming experience. The birthplace of Australian winemaking, the Yarra Valley is studded with more than 50 vineyards and a host of stylish cellar doors and restaurants.

Visit Healesville Sanctuary which showcases over 200 species of Australian wildlife. The Puffing Billy Steam Railway, Australia’s favourite steam train and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world operating since 1900, winds through the beautiful Dandenongs and offers a unique travel and dining experience.

Just 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island is renowned for its penguin parade, wildlife, surf beaches and motorcycle racing. The new Penguins Plus is a natural and modern way to experience the Penguin Parade. The 300-seat platform is set low in the landscape to create an underground viewing area that allows visitors to come face to face with the world’s smallest penguins penguins as they waddle along to their sand dune burrows at Summerland Beach. Tour the Grand Prix circuit - home to the Australian Moto GP.

Drive along the coastline with cliff top mansions, Mediterranean jewel-like bays, rugged surf beaches and lush bushland to discover the picturesque Mornington Peninsula region.

Melbourne and the rest of Victoria offers you the best of Australia’s natural attractions, coastal scenery, history and heritage – all in a flexible, compact touring package.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Welcome to Banff & Lake Louise

Welcome to Canada’s Alpine Adventure. For over 125 years, Banff National Park has provided visitors with a healthy combination of unspoiled wilderness, modern amenities and opportunities for active exploration. With such a breathtaking landscape, it’s no surprise that this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been nominated time and again as a “must-see” destination for travellers around the world.

Nestled amongst the peaks of the Canadian Rockies, Banff is known as a mecca for travellers and outdoor enthusiasts. In Banff National Park, you can enjoy year-round discovery of the 6,641 sq km mountainous landscape and a full spectrum of outdoor activities, such as hiking, climbing, cycling, skiing and snowboarding.

What makes Banff National Park special is its combination of vast, unspoiled wilderness and the gateway to it all: the Town of Banff. The allure of Banff is its close proximity to the park’s incredible attractions and best-kept wilderness secrets. With 1600 kms of trails, two gondolas, three ski areas, an exciting heritage, world-class accommodations and more dining options and activities than you have time for, Banff is a premier destination for authentic hospitality and outdoor exploration.


Banff National Park offers an array of accommodations.

Treat yourself to Rocky Mountain hospitality, whether you choose a fine hotel, boutique bed and breakfast, authentic log cabin or en plain air campsite.


Enjoy Canadian Rocky Mountain Cuisine at the many restaurants that serve regional fare, bringing in organic and sustainably sourced Alberta beef and bison, fine cheeses and wines.

If you’re in the mood for Indian, Thai, Mexican, Swiss fondue, sushi or pizza, you’ve got more than enough choice of restaurants to try. After dark, kick up your heels at a local dance club or relax with a beverage at a groovy lounge.


Banff and Lake Louise offer a selection of shopping opportunities - from souvenir shops and top Canadian brands to world-class art galleries and outdoor gear retailers.

Shop your way along Banff Avenue or a quaint side street, through boutique stores at your hotel or nestled in the Lake Louise Village. You’re sure to find great gift ideas and something special to remind you of your mountain adventure.

Top Summer Activities

Step into the sky on the Glacier Skywalk

Start your glacial adventure with an amazing ride on a massive Ice Explorer bus before stepping onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier, a 300-m thick ice sheet formed by ice that fell as snow as long as 200 years ago.

Later, take a jaw-dropping walk along the cliff-edge, glass-floored Glacier Skywalk, where giant glaciers rest above and the spectacular glacier-formed Sunwapta Valley teems with wildlife below. Experience waterfalls, wildlife, fossils and more on this exciting 1 km cliff-edge walkway that leads to a platform where thick glass is all that separates you from a 280 m drop.

An award-winning architectural masterpiece, the Glacier Skywalk is a great steel arc protruding from a cliff-side supporting a glass-floored catwalk that floats in mid-air offering a mind-blowing perspective of the Columbia Icefield region. Stand in the sky with nothing but a sheet of glass between you and the panorama of a sprawling glacial valley with gushing waterfalls, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and a skyline of distant snowy peaks and glaciers.

Get Up High

Take the Banff Gondola up 700 mts to the Upper Terminal on Sulphur Mountain, the chairlift at the Lake Louise Ski Resort.

You’ve got a great chance to see a grizzly bear, or the summer sightseeing chairlift at Mt. Norquay ski area.

Get Out There

Hike to an alpine teahouse where hot tea and apple pie await or through high passes to a backcountry campsite to sleep under the stars.

Hit the Water

Rent a canoe or kayak and paddle on the bluest waters you have ever seen.

Enjoy a float trip or take a faster-paced whitewater-rafting trip down rushing waters.

Catch a Ride

Sign up for a horseback ride or rent a bike and scoot along scenic, winding roads. Head out for a picnic at Lake Minnewanka, where you can also pick up a ride on a boat cruise.