November 29th, 2016
Australian escapes: unforgettable holiday destinations in your own backyard

It’s easy to get swept up in the wanderlust of far-flung exotic destinations, but some of the world’s best holidays can actually be found right here in our beautiful sunburnt country.

On this week’s episode of Luxury Escapes: The World’s Best Holidays, presenter Shane Jolley uncovered a bounty of wondrous getaways and escapes in Australia that won’t leave you fumbling for your passport or battling jet-lag.

“Both Adelaide and Port Douglas offer so many wonderful experiences, from unchanged natural wilderness to up-to-the-minute entertainment trends and are both luxury escapes,” summed up Shane.

Didn’t catch the episode? Watch it online here.


Port Douglas

Some holiday destinations just sell themselves and tropical Port Douglas is no exception, with its palm studded beaches, untouched rainforest, tropical climate and of course, the sunning great barrier reef. Located in Far North Queensland, Port Douglas is a luxury travellers’ paradise and one of the world’s best holidays.

“Far North Queensland is a hive for travellers from all over the world seeking sun, sand and scenery…and is so favored that the population doubles over the summer months,” explained Shane.

Apart from its laid-back atmosphere, Far North Queensland is the gateway to the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.

While exploring Port Douglas on this week’s episode, Shane quickly learned that one of the best ways to experience these World Heritage Listed sites was from the sky.

An open-door helicopter tour took Shane out over the ocean for sweeping, uninterrupted views of The Great Barrier Reef.

His helicopter pilot pointed out that in addition to the spectacular scenery, a helicopter ride also gives visitors the opportunity to spot some of the area’s beautiful marine life.

“You’re bound to see quite a few rays, turtles, the odd Dugong and particularly in the winter months you’ll see crocodiles out enjoying the afternoon sun.”

The tour then curved back inland towards the rainforest.

“When moving from the reef to the Daintree, the weather and scenery change is almost immediate,” noticed Shane.

With the advantage of a helicopter, Shane had the opportunity to touch down in a part of the rainforest that is inaccessible to anyone else.

“Once you’re in there it feels like you’re on another planet,” described the pilot as the pair prepared for landing.

“Having two incredible locations so close to each other makes for an unforgettable experience,” noted Shane as he transitioned from the sunny reef into the Jurassic-esque untouched rainforest.

As well as getting above the water, it’s a must in Port Douglas to get on it and the best way to do that is with a sunset cruise on a luxury catamaran.

Shane tried his hand at navigating the vessel, but those looking for a more leisurely pace are welcome to sit back, relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the sailing experience.

Planning a visit to Port Douglas? Save up to $881 with our exclusive deal at the stunning Pool Resort Port Douglas.


 Palm Cove

After a short drive south Shane found himself in Palm Cove, a sleepy village by the sea which is home to fantastic beaches and world-class resorts.

On the latest episode of Luxury Escapes: The World’s Best Holidays Shane was lucky enough to stay at one of the best resorts in the area, Peppers Palm Cove, where he caught up with head chef Thomas Ege to learn more about their multi-cultural cuisine and cooking techniques before heading to the resort spa to indulge in some local treatments.

“The indulgence at Pepper’s Palm Cove doesn’t end at their dining experiences. Pepper’s offers guests a fabulous spa treatment that utilises the surrounding rainforest for inspiration,” said Shane.

The Daintree Rainforest Ritual is the signature treatment and uses native salts, clay, ochres and other ingredients native to the area to take guests on a sensory experience.

Didn’t catch the episode on Channel 7 on Saturday? Watch it online here.



Adelaide is known as the 20-minute city because its picturesque CBD is only a stone’s throw  (or 20 minutes) away from scenic drives through to world-class food and wine precincts as well as dynamic arts and entertainment opportunities.

The city is home to one of the oldest glasshouses in the Southern Hemisphere and is located in Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens. The gardens are one of Adelaide’s show piece attractions and Shane met with architect Guy Maron to learn more about the unique designs.

“The gardens attract around one million visitors per year, making it the greatest attraction in Adelaide and South Australia,” explained Maron who took Shane to the award-wining Bicentennial Conservatory. “One of the requirements of an eco-system of forest is to be able to grow trees that are 20 meters tall. This building is the biggest assembly of glass ever lifted anywhere in the world,” Maron said as the pair gazed at the spectacular glass ceiling structure.

A short drive from the CBD takes you to Adelaide’s world-renowned wineries and Shane headed to one of the best, the family-run d’Arenburg Winery.

“The the oldest vines in the world of Shiraz and Chardonnay are in Australia and there is a really unique character you get in South Australian wines that people see a thirst for and keep coming back for,” said Chester Osborn from d’Arenburg Winery.

The cellar door experience has become hugely popular in Australia and d’Argenburg Winery offers visitors a premium food and wine experience.

Checkout Shane’s intriguing behind the scenes food experience by watching the episode here.

After a wonderful day in the wineries, Shane stayed at the Mayfair Hotel – a hotel which has been standing proudly since 1873 and combines old fashion service and style with modern convinces that gives it a charm all of its own.

“The boutique rooms here offer custom made beds that are so popular with visitors the hotel now sells them as a range,” explained Shane. “If you get to stay at the Mayfair, a couple of their big drawcards are definitely the restaurant and bar.”

The Mayflower restaurant’s a la carte menu reflects on the food indulgences of yesteryear and Shane was privy to some of the restaurant’s most decadent dishes. See the exquisite masterpieces for yourself by watching the episode here.

The hotel’s Hennessy Bar is also a major drawcard. The chic and sophisticated rooftop bar is the perfect place for watching the city below and is a hit with guests and locals alike.

Adelaide’s emerging small bar scene has produced some great venues and Shane checked out Mr Goodbar – a bar that promises contemporary décor with classic cocktails. The bar staff know the art of cocktails from inside and out and are happy to share their knowledge with patrons, even giving Shane a historic run-down of his chosen Cuban cocktail when he stopped by.

Stay in the same hotel as Shane with our exclusive Mayfair Hotel deal.

Be sure to tune into Channel 7 this Saturday for the next exciting episode of Luxury Escapes: The World’s Best Holidays.