Travel agenda: Australia
Blue mountains, Leeuwin Winery, Phillip Island's birds, Ashes app and Melbourne's Artwalk
Friday 20 September 2013
The Hydro Majestic is a heritage-listed hotel that extends over more than a kilometre across the Blue Mountains, pictured, of New South Wales. Known for its idiosyncratic blend of architectural styles and for serving as a spa hotel in the 19th century, it's currently undergoing a renovation. The first wave will be finished early next year, following cosmetic work to the building's historic areas, with 140 guestrooms to follow (hydromajestic.com.au).
If this Australia special whets your appetite, consider a trip to the TNT Travel Show next Saturday. The free event sees tour operators gather to provide advice on the Antipodes (bit.ly/TNTFree).
Heston Blumenthal and Rick Stein headline the Margaret River Gourmet Escape at the Leeuwin Winery from 22-24 November. Fringe events include farm-to-table feasts and beach BBQs (gourmetescape.com.au).
Rich Keam from Brighton beat 90,000 applicants to become Western Australia's Taste Master this year. He will blog about bars, restaurants and wineries at TasteWesternAustralia.com
Phillip Island, home to more than 200 bird species, has started a day-long tour led by expert rangers A$200/£125 (penguins.org.au).
The free "Go Ashes" app gives cricket fans heading Down Under for the new series ideas of things to do in each host city, with match news, stats and live scores (bit.ly/AshesApp).
Melbourne's Artwalk initiative connects the city's creative institutions with guided jaunts through colourful districts. You can join a weekly tour from Wednesday to Sunday, or check the website for details of the next Night Walk, which takes in private gallery viewings after dark (artwalkmelbourne.com).
The length, in kilometres, of the Murray River. On 29 November or 6 December, you can take a week-long cruise along the waterway aboard the Murray Princess, a luxury paddle-steamer. It costs A$1,799/£1,124pp (captaincook.com.au).
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