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Cruise the Murray River on a paddle-wheeler

Step back in time to when the paddle-wheeler dominated the Murray River and get up close and personal with the ancient land on-board Captain Cook Cruises.  

Finished with polished wood and gold trimmings and featuring a winding staircase, full-length windows and a paddle-wheel encased in glass, the PS Murray Princess replicates the paddle-wheelers that first cruised the Murray in the 1800’s. 

Then cruise down the Murray River for incredible terrain, wildlife and Australian history, culture and adventure.

Bird watchers will love the abundance of Australian birds along the Murray River including Swans, Swamp Hens and Wood Ducks and their young.

Each day features exciting day trips to historic ports and guided nature walks to learn about the ecology of the river. The four and seven-night cruise visits a sacred Aboriginal site, sheep station and wool shed and a native wildlife shelter.

Follow the food and wine trail for tastings at several vineyards and cellar doors or sample some local food and wine with tastings in the Sturt Dining Room and learn more about the Murray and Riverland regions and their produce.

Get up close to the river, its 20-million-year-old cliffs and amazing plant and bird life including darters, herons, pelicans and egrets on the ‘Dragon-Fly’ flat-bottomed boat.

Join the Captain for a general inspection of the wheelhouse, participate in a lively music quiz, play some bocce on the riverbank or relax with some fishing off the vessel.

On-board sit back in one of two air-conditioned paddle-wheel lounges and watch the working paddle-wheel through a spectacular two-story glass window while enjoying the amazing views as the Murray Princess cruises past towering limestone cliffs and along riverbanks lined with mallee scrub and red gum forests.

Food is another highlight of the cruise. Indulge a hearty hot buffet breakfast each morning, a two-course or buffet lunch each day and a three-course or buffet dinner each evening. There is a spectacular Captain’s dinner and dance to enjoy and even an Aussie-style barbecue dinner and bush dance on the river bank.

For further information visit www.murrayprincess.com.au

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9 things to discover at Agnes Water

Agnes Water and Town of 1770 at the southern end of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have come a long way since I first visited the Discovery Coast, long before the access roads were sealed.  

Back then, generally only Bundaberg and Gladstone locals who were looking for quiet fishing spots, and their relatives like us, braved the rough corrugated dirt roads. 

Since the roads were sealed, however, the area has really come of age and now attracts visitors from throughout Australia and overseas in great numbers. 

At first glance, Agnes Water and Town of 1770 still appear to be sleepy seaside villages but start exploring and you’ll find there are lots of things to do for people of all ages and interests including the Kent Barton gallery and Agnes Water Museum

Below are highlights from my recent stay in Agnes Water while on a short house-sitting stint.

For a full list of attractions and accommodation, visit http://www.visitagnes1770.com.au

Agnes Water and Town of 1770

The stunning beach from Agnes Water to 1770, seen from the Discovery Trail lookout behind the museum.

Agnes Water and 1770

The monument that marks there spot where Lieutenant James Cook and his crew came ashore in 1770.

Agnes Water and Town of 1770

John Richards offers free liquor tasting sessions at the 1770 Distillery at Agnes Water.

agnes water and 1770

Kent Barton’s artworks are displayed among the landscaped gardens of ‘The Lovely Cottages’.

Agnes Water and 1770

Live music can be enjoyed at Discovery Coast Rotary Markets held at the 1770 SES Grounds.

Agnes Water and 1770

Visitors enjoy the natural beauty of the  Paperbark Forest and nearby national parks.

agnes water and 1770

Stand Up Paddling – anyone can do it, even your dog.

Agnes Water and 1770

Day’s end for surfers near Agnes Water.

 

 

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Rooftop camping in Melbourne’s CBD

 

Taking glamping to a whole new level, St. Jerome’s – The Hotel opened in May of 2015 as a first-of-its-kind luxury rooftop camping accommodation on top of one of the city’s busiest shopping centres, Melbourne Central.

The hotel is home to 21 spacious canvas bell tents, each fitted out with all the trimmings expected of a luxury hotel, including a queen bed, premium linen by Linen House, split system heating and cooling, a tablet loaded with movies, plus a stocked esky with beer and cider. 

Fall asleep cosy against the stars and wake up to 360-degree city views, with complimentary breakfast and coffee delivered in the morning.  

Guests can embark on an unparalleled urban experience while enjoying an activity-filled accompanying itinerary, including sweets and tea on arrival, a game of ten-pin bowling next door at Strike, a cocktail at Cocktail Hour, custom Gelato Messina dessert, T2 sleep-time tea delivery, and even guided morning meditation.

Additional onsite amenities include 24-hour reception, a general store serving as the bar and communal area for campers, nine amenity units with toilets and showers featuring luxurious ASPAR spa products, plus a brand new infrared sauna.

The hotel offers accommodation in three tent types – Luxe (4m x 4m), Luxe Plus(5m x 5m), and its recently unveiled six-metre tent, The Lodge. Its largest and most luxe tent of the troop features a unique oval design and dual centre poles creating two spacious wings, offering enough room for even a couch, plus additional shelving and storage space.

The Lodge tents hail from GlamXperience, a Netherlands-born, Australia-based company specialising in high quality canvas, fully equipped safari tents, bell tents and domes.

For more information, please visit http://www.stjeromesthehotel.com.au/

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