How does the perfect day in Australia’s buzzing city of Melbourne begin?
It starts huddled around a table in Manchester Press. A Melbourne coffee institution hidden down Rankins Lane where a latte, flat white or expresso is made with the same level of care as open heart surgery.
It’s here that STA’s two Insiders and two Outsiders meet for the first time.
This week started out with a trip to the Hunter Valley for a wine tasting day. Picked up nice and early again by our very friendly tour guide, Ronnie, and off we went. Unfortunately it was a rainy start to the day, but a perfect day to taste some wine at the cellar door! As my wine knowledge was zero, I was especially looking forward to learning all the tips and tricks to tasting and knowing about wine.
Travelling north from Sydney, our first stop was the McGuigan Winery. On entering we were treated to a quick tour of their wine-making facilities and then escorted through to a lovely bar where the tasting commenced. What a beautiful selection of wine we had, very spoilt indeed. I learnt the proper way to judge the alcohol content – the “legs” as they say – and how to get the most flavour out of it when sipping. My dad would be very proud!
Australia is beautiful, huge, cosmopolitan, rugged, unmissable and, unfortunately, not as cheap and your other classic backpacker stops such as Southeast Asia. For many the idea the open road, running to your own schedule and taking your bedroom with you is appealing, not just for the freedom, but also the potential savings.
Read on for our essential tips on saving big bucks while you’re on the road, so you have more moolah for the important things. Like this hat. What?
Have you heard of Kiwi Experience? We wouldn’t be surprised if you have, especially if a trip to New Zealand is on your travel wish list. At a basic level, it’s a hop on hop off bus that can take you all over New Zealand, to hard to reach spots and party hubs, and help you meet like minded travellers on your journey.
But Kiwi Experience is more than that. In their own words: “We know when to stop the bus and soak it in, and when to keep on driving and leave the tourist traps behind. We’ll show you New Zealand’s big highlights, and incredible places so hidden even Peter Jackson couldn’t find them.”
At the heart of Kiwi Experience are their amazing driver guides who are passionate about sharing the best of New Zealand with you. We asked one of them to spill the beans on their top tips for New Zealand travel, their favourite overnight stops and what where to find the best pies. That’s right, we ask the right questions.
Now, before you bite our heads off, let us explain what we mean. There is definitely more to New Zealand than the stops included on these itineraries (we’ve neglected the north coast of the South Island for example), and the timings are, to say the least, ambitious.
But, if you don’t have the luxury of 3 months in New Zealand, you can use these routes to plan a trip that takes in the highlights. If you’re lucky enough to have even more time, you can build and expand on these to create one epic adventure around the whole country. So here we go, one route for the North Island and one for the South Island, taking in the best that New Zealand has to offer.
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