Latest Video

Big country...small impact. An eco-tour in Queensland's wildlife-rich rainforest

Drunk parrots, glowing gnat larvae and leathery fruit bats are the highlights of Cathy Pryor's trip into the Gold Coast hinterland

The Melbourne identity: The former hub of Australia's gold rush is now a City of Literature

Lonely Planet's Tony Wheeler reveals Melbourne's novel story

Best for sun-worshippers: Bondi Beach

I once spent six months working in television in Sydney, and that's when I first visited Bondi Beach. Back then, it was a bit unloved – there was nowhere to eat and the beach was run-down and grubby. In spite of its close proximity to the city centre, Bondi just wasn't fashionable. Nowadays, things are very different – the neighbourhood has been reinvented and Bondi has become the most vibrant beach in Australia; perfect for a fun weekend break from the city. The combination of a beautiful bay, golden sands and a cosmopolitan crowd ensures that this is a beach for everyone – surfers, serious swimmers, hikers, sunbathers and families enjoying communal picnics. Once frequented by backpackers, junkies and down-and-outs, the cleaned-up, restored Bondi is chic, and boasts, among other things, award-winning chef Sean Moran's Panaroma on Campbell Parade, a great neighbourhood restaurant where he offers organic produce, delicious roast chicken and fresh fish, all served simply. Think River Café, Aussie-style.

Best for far-flung thrills: New Zealand

There's a flock of noisy kakas on my front lawn, quarrelling over some croissants left over from breakfast. A few hours ago, I saw baby carpet sharks bobbing offshore, and a blue penguin gliding through the emerald waters. Tonight, who knows, I might spot a kiwi.

On The Road: Soaking up desert life in Alice Springs

Alice Springs is greener than I expected. As you fly in you can see the red desert pocked with trees, the organic lines of forgotten riverbeds crossed with straight dirt trails. The aerial landscape seems to mirror the dotted style of the indigenous artwork in this part of the world.

Trail Of The Unexpected: Off-road in Queensland

Bike down a mountainside or explore the shore: there's plenty of nature in Noosa.

Express yourself: The splendours of New Zealand are best seen by rail

Grand Central, St Pancras, Milano Centrale – and, er, Britomart? The main station in New Zealand's largest city sounds as though it is named after a discount car-parts retailer. In fact, Auckland's Britomart Transport Centre occupies a handsome Victorian building on Queen Elizabeth II Square, and is apparently named after a character from The Faerie Queene.

Test your golfing skills at the world's longest course

Australia's Nullarbor Plain demands some very long drives

On the tail of a tiger in Tasmania

Tasmania's thylacine has been extinct for 70 years – or has it? James Stewart tries to track it down

Queensland: The Sunshine State offers a taste of sun, sea, sand - and the Outback

Australia's most diverse territory has it all

Best of the west: Australia's largest state offers superb diving and the nation's finest wines

You look for omens on any sea voyage, and the cheeky young seal that was our escort to the sunken HMAS Swan's final resting place in Western Australia's Geographe Bay seemed to suggest a fine day's diving. Gambolling along the surface, flippers stretched towards the spring sunshine, he revelled in the calm seas and blue sky every bit as much as us. He came right alongside just as we reached the mooring buoys, fixed us with his big brown eyes and carefully preened his whiskers before sliding away into the depths.

Mission Of The Month: Get an adrenalin rush in New Zealand - but avoid nasty shocks

Spring is coming to the Southern Hemisphere and the sun is starting to soften the snowfields. From the Southern Alps to sub-tropical Northland, bars are full of British tourists telling tales of adventure during their stays in the land of the long white cloud, or Aotearoa – the Maori name for New Zealand. Many holidays here are not seen as complete unless they involve an adrenalin rush.

On The Road: Trials of a rainforest trek, on the hunt for an elusive bird

A loud rustle came from the undergrowth at the edge of the boardwalk. I stopped and waited, holding my breath as I listened. The noise came again, louder this time. Expecting a bush turkey but hoping for a bigger bird, I craned my neck to see more. From under the dry leaves crawled a monitor lizard.

The Big Six: Lodges in New Zealand

Places to stay on both the North Island and South Island
i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Travel

Junior Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

£23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

IT Systems Analyst / Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

£23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

SCRUM Master

£30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

Franchise Support Assistant

£13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

ES Rentals

    Day In a Page

    Independent Travel
    Vietnam & Cambodia
    Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
    Bruges
    India & Nepal
    Japan
    Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
    Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker