Different Strokes

There is more to travel than sitting beside a resort pool. Travel editor Winsor Dobbin looks at some more adventurous options close to home, and across the world.

Mudgee is a fast-growing gourmet destination close enough to the inner west to make it a viable weekend getaway.

Visitors can now enjoy staying in “chic eco tents” with the launch of new accommodation at Parklands Resort Mudgee.

The deluxe addition to Mudgee’s accommodation offering sees guests treated to four-poster beds, Mudgee Providore provisions, continental breakfast hampers and sunset wines on the deck.

In addition, the eco-tents are pet friendly, so canine friends are welcome to enjoy the stay (for an additional fee).

The 15 brand new eco-friendly canvas tents, known as Mudgee Retreats, boast luxurious four-poster king-size beds with private en-suite bathrooms.

As part of the Parklands Resort complex, the Retreats are surrounded by 30 acres of countryside but are close to the town centre. Facilities include access to a private tennis court, indoor pool, fitness centre and heated spa.

With a commitment to sustainability, each of the Retreats have been built using the Eco Anchor foundation system and Eco Decking flooring made from recycled rice husk composite material that provides thermal insulation.

Shaun Ormbsy, Head of Commercial at owning group Elanor Hotels, said “After seeing an increase in demand for sustainable and immersive travel experiences, we developed Mudgee Retreats at Parklands Resort Mudgee as an alternative option for travellers looking for an authentic glamping experience in the heart of Mudgee.

“Our Retreats are ideally located a stone’s throw away from the historic town centre and close to some of the region’s best wineries and restaurants, so guests can immerse themselves in the beauty of Mudgee and then relax at the end of the day in the ultimate in comfort and sustainability.”

Overnight accommodation at Mudgee Retreats starts from $698 per night and includes a continental breakfast for two people.

For more information see https://parklandsresort.com.au/accommodation

Newfoundland and Labrador, off the east coast of Canada, have an unusual tourist attraction: the many icebergs to be found along the famous Iceberg Alley.

Ahe huge iceberg that parked itself off the coast of the tiny seaside town of Ferryland over the Easter weekend was just the beginning of what is shaping as a bumper ‘berg season.

The International Ice Patrol (IPP) suggests the increase in icebergs in Newfoundland may be the result of storms earlier in the year, causing more Greenland ice to break off than normal, with strong winds drawing the icebergs south.

Fans of these colossal ice mountains flock to Newfoundland between May and August to witness an extraordinary parade.

This year, however, the season may well be extended with at least 700 icebergs expected to make their way as far as St John’s in southern Newfoundland.

On a sunny day, these 10,000-year-old glacial giants can be viewed along the northern and eastern coasts, with colours ranging from snow-white to deep aquamarine. 

Visitors can get up close with these icy goliaths on a boat tour, or paddle alongside them in a sea kayak.

As the sun sets, they can head back to St John’s and sip on Iceberg Vodka, made from what is promoted as “the purest water on the planet”. 

Iceberg hunters harvest the ancient ice, comprised of water frozen long before industrial pollution, creating a uniquely smooth, quintessential Canadian vodka.

Air Canada flies daily to Vancouver from Sydney and Brisbane with connecting flights through to St John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador via Toronto. It is a long trip, but it is worth it. Visitwww.keepexploring.com.au

In a move aimed at showcasing the natural beauty of Victoria, a unique off-grid accommodation experience is set to travel around the state.

Aimed at inspiring Australians to travel into regional communities during off peak periods, Stella the Stargazer (top image) is a custom-built tiny home built by Port Fairy-based design and manufacturing business Ample.

Stella the Stargazer will be located at Delatite Winery in Mansfield from May 3-August 3 so guests can enjoy the Alpine scenery.

The environmentally conscious design features a roll-out sleeping platform for stargazing, an indoor/outdoor shower, wood-fired kitchen, as well as sauna and bathing tubs built into an outdoor deck.

A bespoke artwork by Taungurung woman, Aimee McCartney – founder of Aboriginal art business, Luruk-In – will help connect visitors to the culture, seasons, mountains and waterways of Taungurung Country.

Visitors will be encouraged to taste local food and wines and check out nearby attractions such as Swiftcrest Distillery, the Great Victorian Rail Trail, and local cafes and restaurants.

In 2023, bookings for the tiny home quickly sold out for all locations including in Gippsland, the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians.

After its stay in Mansfield, Stella the Stargazer is set to travel to a second location, to be announced at a later date.

Supported by Visit Victoria, it forms part of the Every bit Different marketing campaign which promotes Victoria to local, interstate and international visitors.

“Stella the Stargazer will showcase the natural beauty of our state to new audiences and help drive national visitation to our regions,” says Visit Victoria CEO Brendan McClements

“Just like Visit Victoria’s new Every bit Different campaign, this is another way we are promoting the best of regional Victoria to national audiences in a bid to boost tourism here.”

For more info see www.visitvictoria.com

See more of Winsor’s travel tips at www.gourmetontheroad.com.