Los Angeles Top 5 Tips

Los Angeles is such an easy destination from the East Coast of Australia.  It’s a direct flight from all the capital cities and the gateway to the US so makes for the perfect stopover.  Los Angeles is all about the chilled vibe, glamorous people and Hollywood lifestyle.  You can’t help but get drawn into the allure of it all. The one thing that you notice about LA is the large boulevards lined with tall palm trees.  It’s quintessentially LA, something that you don’t find anywhere else.

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Hervey Bay with Tourism Queensland

Considering Hervey Bay is only a short 30 minute plane flight or 4 hour drive up the road from where I live on the Gold Coast and so many people talk about this region, I can’t believe I have never been there before. It’s not for any reason in particular, but I guess it was just never on my bucket list.

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Discovering Darwin

I was born in Darwin. My family lost our home and all our possessions in Cyclone Tracey and were forced to leave. In more recent times, I have travelled there every year for the Supercars at Hidden Valley. They are held in winter months. The Dry season when the weather is considered perfect. Gorgeous sunshine days, warm temperatures, little rain and great for exploring the vast outback surrounds of Darwin such as Katherine, Litchfield and of course, Kakadu National Park.

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Tokyo – More than Just Sushi

Tokyo is Japan’s Capital and the world’s most populated city with over 35 million residents.  Yet somehow, they manage their numbers well and unlike many other popular tourist cities, you don’t feel overwhelmed by crowds.  In addition to its size, Tokyo is also one of the safest cities in the world with crimes against tourists very rare.  You can feel comfortable in walking the streets at night with the lowest per capita crime rate in the world.  These are just a couple of the reasons that Japan is considered one of the world’s greatest cities to visit, but there’s plenty more.

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New Caledonia – What the Brochures Don’t Tell You

Noumea – capital of New Caledonia. It’s about a 2 hour flight out of Brisbane, east and with a similar climate to South East Queensland, the September holidays are the perfect time to visit. Noumea is the capital of New Caledonia’s main island and located in the south of the island on a deep water harbour.

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Sanctuary Cove Festival

Just 20km out of Surfers Paradise there is the delightful village of Sanctuary Cove, accessible by a picturesque winding road along a lake – or if you’re really lucky, by boat via the Broadwater. Even though so close to the glitter of Surfers Paradise, it’s like being in another world. The Sanctuary Cove Marina Village is a gorgeous little oasis with cute shops, great restaurants and bars and loads of atmosphere.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to stay with my family at the Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove for the weekend of the Sanctuary Cove Festival. Held on Sunday 1st of October, the one day festival brings the village to life. It has something for everyone – an array of luxury boats and cars for the adults, cooking demonstrations and my personal favorite, cocktail making presentations and for the children, there is a dedicated “Kids zone” with jumping castles, face painting, entertainment and more. It was fantastic to see so many people turn out for this Festival which added to the party vibe of the Village – and the best part of all, totally FREE. These days, it seems everything we do, we are dipping into our pockets to pay for one thing or another, so a free day out, aimed at the whole family is refreshing.


First – obviously a room at the Intercontinental is not part of the “free” entertainment, but a weekend away here was a great family getaway without having to battle airports, highways etc. Nestled amongst beautiful trees and gardens, the Intercontinental has a fabulous lagoon pool with a sandy beach that is huge. If you’re up early in the morning, you can even see the wallabies wandering around the grounds which was pretty cool – only in Australia I guess! The newly refurbished Club Lounge has a great afternoon high tea and perfect place for pre dinner drinks. They also offer breakfast, but one thing I absolutely love about all Intercontinental hotels is their amazing buffet breakfasts. It is one of the best of any hotel I have stayed in.

After spending some time hanging out at the hotel, a short walk to the Marina Village and we spent the day wandering around everything that the Sanctuary Cove Festival has to offer. The displays of some of the worlds most expensive and admired luxury brand cars were a popular attraction and it was great to have staff on hand to open up the vehicles and let you get up close and personal and really experience the lifestyles of the rich and famous. With brands like Maserati, Aston Martin, Ferrari and plenty more and price tags in the hundreds of the thousands, this was clearly one of the busiest displays of the day. Lining the boardwalk next to the Marina, with multi million dollar luxury boats as a backdrop, its no surprise we spent a LOT of time here. My personal favorite was the Aston Martin and conveniently parked right next to it, was my hubby’s dream car, a Rolls Royce Wraith!

Every local restaurants and cafe in the area was bursting at the seams with crowds stopping for a refreshment or lunch. They were packed with a fun festival vibe. Even though we would love to have tried all the tasty delights on offer, the ones we did sample were first class. Lunch was at Io Esco Café Cucina, authentic Italian food that is to die for – I could actually have just stayed right here for the whole afternoon, but we moved on to a sneaky afternoon wine at The Cove Tavern, sitting back watching the activities, whilst enjoying yet more food – the sensational bar snacks on offer. The Festival finished at 4pm so it was back to the hotel, a lazy chill by the pool for an hour before freshening up, pre-dinner drinks in hotel Club Lounge followed by dinner sitting next to the water at Black Angus Bar and Grill. Specializing in “hot rock” steaks where you cook your own steak or seafood (or both) on a sizzling hot rock at your table, its lots of fun and ideal for a unique night out. Our girls absolutely loved it. It is a bit pricey, but worth the expense as a treat. Black Angus is definitely somewhere you have to try at least once – although to be honest, once you try once, you’ll definitely want to go back.

Thank you to Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove and Sanctuary Cove Marine Village as well as Ruby Communications for a great weekend. If you get the chance, make sure you put this day on your calendar for next year, we will most certainly be back!