Home' The Australian Senior Traveller : October 2010 Contents www.thesenior.com.au
THE SENIOR TRAVELLER October, 2010 5
YOU hit your holiday stride the minute
you arrive in Port Macquarie, at the
mouth of the Hastings River in Northern
NSW. It's a town made for walking.
The first place most people head to in
this holiday playground is the Breakwall
with its gaily painted rocks.
Families, groups and friends have com-
mandeered the rocks as their own, painting
simple messages and pictures on the grey
stone. Most are joyful, like the picture of a
car and caravan and the words "Cash and
Mal -- Living the dream"; but some are sad-
der, usually family tributes to lost ones.
Visitors go to the Breakwall to check out
the catches of local fishermen and to keep
their eyes peeled for dolphins.
It is also the starting point for the mag-
nificent Coastal Walk, a 9km necklace of
beaches from the Town Green to
Lighthouse Beach where, if the time is
right, you might even see whales.
You can break your journey at Sea Acres
Nature Reserve, one of the few places in
NSW where the rainforest actually meets
the sea. The cafe there provides lovely
meals, courtesy of French chef Jean-Louis
Tostivint, to provide the necessary energy
for the rest of the walk which has some
moderate to steep climbs.
Among the scenic spots to stop and catch
your breath is Shelley Beach where you
will find a unique style of bush furniture
including king and queen chairs created to
honour the memory of Harry Thompson,
the beach's unofficial caretaker.
Port Macquarie has a vibrant retail cen-
tre, but it is also rich in colonial history,
which makes a journey around it on foot
A penal settlement was established in
Port Macquarie in 1821 and closed in 1832.
However, one establishment remained
until 1847 housing "specials" -- the name
given to educated convicts who could read
and write and do bookwork.
In 2005 the Port Macquarie-Hastings
Council installed signs along a 6km walk to
provide an insight into the life of the set-
tlement during those years.
Port Macquarie has experienced some-
thing of a renaissance in recent years.
Always popular with holidaymakers, it has
managed to absorb some new sophistication
without losing its small-town character.
The region's clean green credentials are
also making people sit up and take notice.
One of the best examples of this is at The
Observatory Hotel on Town Beach where
manager Chris Denny, a Greater Port
Macquarie Tourism Board member and
former president, has spearheaded the
move to make the destination a 'green' one.
He has implemented a formal program
to make the hotel 100 per cent carbon neu-
tral by June 2012.
With its marvellous views across the
water and ultra-stylish interiors in its
hotel rooms and apartments, The
Observatory was retro-fitted to reduce car-
bon emissions by 25 per cent.
It has now introduced what it calls O-
Zone rooms. Guests who share in their
environmental commitment can elect to
voluntarily contribute $20 per stay and
have a tree planted in their name.
On the week I visited, 400 saplings were
being planted in an area threatened by ris-
ing sea levels.
O-Zone rooms come with lots of added
benefits -- 'green' refreshments such as
green tea, Wii Fit Exercise gear, fitball,
weights and stretch equipment, and a
green reading library. There's also a back-
pack with picnic set to use on your walks.
Downstairs, the Endota Spa makes use
of all-natural Australian ingredients.
At the new Glasshouse Arts,
Entertainment and Conference Centre, per-
forming arts director Robyn Birrell, fresh
from the Geelong Performing Arts Centre
in Victoria, has introduced a calendar of
brilliant concerts and performances in the
600-seat theatre. There's also a great exhi-
bition space and a tourist information area
on the ground floor.
Another asset locals are proud to show
off is the Billabong Koala Breeding Centre.
This nature park with koalas, kangaroos
and other native animals is a credit to its
owner, conservationist Mark Stone, who is
passionate about combining a wonderful
visitor experience with the best possible
care and attention to wildlife in captivity.
* Sue Preston was a guest of the Observatory
Hotel and local tourism operators.
ANGLE FOR SOME FUN -- Fishermen try their luck at the colourful Breakwall.
GREATER Port Macquarie is a 4.5
hour drive north of Sydney and is
serviced by regular Qantaslink,
Brindabella Airlines and Virgin
Blue flights, from just 40 minutes
For tourist information phone
Greater Port Macquarie Visitor
Information Centre 1300-303-155,
The Observatory Port Macquarie,
phone (02) 6586-8000,
Ph: 1300 856 661
LIC NO. 9TA00295
THE TRANS SIBERIAN EXPRESS
The world's greatest rail journey from Beijing to Helsinki
via Mongolia, Siberia and European Russia; or Vladivostok
to Helsinki via Siberia and European Russia.
2011 DEPARTURES: 25 Apr, 02 Jun, 10 Jun,
04 Aug, 01 Sep, 02 Sep and 15 Dec.
THE HIMALAYAN EXPRESS
The world's highest railway to Tibet then a drive across
the Himalayan Plateau to Nepal via Everest base camp,
nishing in the 'last Shangri-La' -- Bhutan.
2011 DEPARTURES: 15 Apr, 23 Apr, 06 May,
09 Sep, 07 Oct and 08 Oct.
OUR SMALL GROUP
• all ights and taxes
• all transfers
• all ground transportation
• all accommodation
• all meals (except on trains)
• all sightseeing and entrance fees
• expert local guides
• Travel Directors' escort
• all visas and courier fees
• all tips and gratuities
TWO SPECTACULAR TRAIN JOURNEYS
FOR DETAILS CALL
1300 856 661
ALL TOURS INCLUDE:
RETURN AIRFARES &
FREE HOME PICK-UP
CALL FOR BROCHURE (03) 9333 5412
TOLL FREE 1800 036 454 www.astours.com.au
T/A Lic No. 32670
NEW ZEALAND - 14 DAY TOUR
Dep. Monday 15 November 2010 From $2995pp/ts
TASMANIA EXPLORER - 8 DAY TOUR
Dep. Wednesday 17 November 2010 From $1680pp/ts
P&O CRUISE / PACIFIC MAGIC - 10 NIGHTS
Dep. Wednesday 19 January 2011 From $2095pp/ts
TASMANIA SPECTACULAR - 9 DAY TOUR
Dep. Tuesday 15 February 2011 From $1695pp/ts
NEW ZEALAND - 14 DAY TOUR
Dep. Wednesday 23 February 2011 From $2995pp/ts
BALLARAT / BEGONIA FESTIVAL /
GREAT OCEAN ROAD - 5 DAY TOUR
Ex Melb. Dep. Friday 11 March 2011 From $750pp/ts
KANGAROO ISLAND DISCOVERY - 5 DAY TOUR
Dep. Monday 14 March 2011
TASMANIA EXPERIENCE - 14 DAY TOUR
Dep. Friday 25 March 2011
GREAT OCEAN ROAD / ADELAIDE / MURRAY RIVER /
KANGAROO ISLAND / FLINDERS RANGES - 14 DAY TOUR
Ex Melb. Dep. Saturday 2 April 2011
The Great Value
Asia & Beyond
* Fully inclusive from Australia, international &
domestic flights, meals, accommodation & transfers,
Entrance fees, English speaking guide! Compulsory
insurance, tipping & fuel surcharge are extras
11 Days Japan Cherry Blossom From $4080
Tokyo, Hakone, Mt.Fuji, Toyhashi, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kyoto
10 Days Around Taiwan Island Tour From $1980
Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taitung, Taroko Gorge, Sun Moon Lake
13 Days Mighty Yangtze River From $2850
Shanghai, Nanjing, Mt. Huang, Wuhan, Yichang, Chongqing
15 Days Egypt Encompassed From $3988
Cairo, Alexandria, Aswan, Nile cruise, Luxor, Hurghada
16 Days Vietnam & Cambodia Delight From $2980
Hanoi, Halong bay, Hue, Danang, Hoin, Saigon, Siem Reap
14 Days Cherry Blossom and Garden Tour $5080
Tokyo, Mt.Fuji, Kawaguchi, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka etc.
Custom made independent and escorted group tours
to Alaska & Canada based on detailed first hand
knowledge and experience of these destinations.
Travel on Alaska Marine Ferries which are similar to
'Spirit of Tasmania'. Excellent alternative to large
Itineraries can include rail journeys such as: Alaska
Railroad, White Pass Railway and Rocky Mountaineer.
Incorporate stopovers in local towns, sail through
spectacular waterways not accessible to large cruise liners,
enjoy relaxed and informal atmosphere whilst on-board.
511 Whitehorse Rd. Mitcham, Victoria 3132
SPECTRUM HOLIDAYS PTY LTD ACN 122 284 199 Lic. No. 32827
DISCOVER THE REAL ALASKA
Links Archive September 2010 November 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page