Recommended – Places to stay and tours to book

Recommended – Places to stay and tours to book

Australia

Places to stay:

An extremely funky and elegant hotel that manages to be subtle and vivid at the same time. The rooms are just as strong on both counts. The team are so welcoming, happy and helpful. Hands down, my favorite hotel in Australia from those that I have seen. An excellent location for exploring Sydney’s arts and culture.

6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011, Australia. T: +61 (2) 9331 9000

It doesn't get funnkier and freinndlier than this
It doesn't get funnkier and freinndlier than this

A hotel of softly refined elegance. It was very soothing to be immersed in its muted tones. The concierge service was impeccable and very friendly.

89-113 Kent St, Millers Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia. T: +61 (2) 9256 2222. F: +61 (2) 8248 5205. E: [email protected]

The elegant muted colors of the Langham
The elegant muted colors of the Langham

An elegant hotel with a creative concept that reflects a deep understanding of Tasmania’s rich links to Australia’s history. Each room is dedicated to a character in Tasmania’s history, giving you a richer and deeper immersion into the heart of the island. There are also artifacts throughout the hotel so it doubles as a museum. The hotel offers tours of the hotel itself and of Hobart as part of its storytelling concept and a storytelling hour by the fireplace is offered free to guests. Can you tell it's my second favorite hotel in Australia? And oh it has divine food too so plan on a meal there in the least. 

18 Hunter St Hobart Tasmania 7000 Australia. T: +61 (3) 6210. E: [email protected]

A storytelling hotel as Tasmania is known for history
A storytelling hotel as Tasmania is known for history
See what I mean by museum
See what I mean by museum

My favorite lodge in Australia for its paired down ambiance and beautiful location. The charming cabins have a fireplace for coziness and of course utility, haha. This is the one where the owners have trained the kangaroos to come to the door at sunrise and dusk for food. Their food is conveniently waiting for you at the kitchen counter. It’s an eco-friendly lodge in details I really appreciated, such as the small size and make of the hand soap. Loved Lumera so much!

182 Gillies Rd, St Marys TAS 7215 Australia. T: + 61 363 722 606

Total immersion in nature
Total immersion in nature

A luxury lodge with divine food, a pool and a secluded river to raft and swim in as birds and butterflies flit by!  

Finlayvale Road, Mossman QLD 4873, Australia. T: +61 (7) 4098 1666

The Silk Lodge pool is so lovely like the rest of it
The Silk Lodge pool is so lovely like the rest of it

A lodge that’s authentically simple nestled in the heart of the Daintree Forest where you will have no Wi-Fi, nor phone connection. You can get 1MB of data for 5 Australian Dollars. The food is ok and Tony at the reception is very helpful.

L236/R96 Turpentine Road, Diwan PMB 14. Mossman Qld 4873. T: +61 (07) 4098 9321. F: +61 (07) 4098 9319. E: [email protected]

Deep immersion in the rainforest
Deep immersion in the rainforest

Tours to take:

Well, when a guide depends on the quality of their tour for payment, you can imagine the effort they will put into it. I loved the concept of pay on merit and the appeal to the better part of human nature. It was a tip of a seasoned traveler to use these walking tours, so I am paying it forward. 🙂

Great tours where you pay the amount you see fit
Great tours where you pay the amount you see fit

A ridiculous number of steps that I didn’t get to go on because of an old injury flaring up. I did get a refund which I appreciated. Every Aussie friend I had told me it was a must do. My niece did it and loved it! She came back exhilarated. I would recommend the dusk one so you get to watch the magnificent sunset. It’s a little pricier, but worth it if you are into nature.

3 Cumberland St. The Rocks, NSW 2000. T: +61 2 8274 777. E: [email protected]

That’s the must climb, Sydney Bridge
That’s the must climb, Sydney Bridge

This was such a lovely experience. It involves a 2-hour boat ride or a 30-minute helicopter ride onto a specially designed pontoon. There is a choice to spend a few hours between lunch snorkeling, on a helicopter ride, or on a bottom glass boat ride. The helicopter ride is for an extra fee. We chose to spend the night which meant having the reef and pontoon shared with 4 others versus 300 others lol. and the experience of sleeping in a swag under the stars was so lovely.

24 The Cove Road, Airlie Beach, QLD 4802. T: +61 07 4846 7000. E: [email protected]

Such an organized set up!
Such an organized set up!

A must-do in the Daintree Forest is to go on a boat tour. I am an aspiring bird watcher, haha so this company seems to be good. The one I actually went on wasn’t very good. This one seems to be one of the better ones. Again, if you use it do let me know how you like it 🙂

Murray Hunt. 1 Stewart St, Daintree QLD 4873, Australia. T: +61 0417 651 929. E: [email protected].  

Nature in action
Nature in action

We loved this tour of Aboriginal owned and run land. There is no access except through the Aboriginals and in their care. We learned a lot on this one.

Mossman Gorge & Coastal Indigenous Walk Aboriginal Cultural Experience. Cairns, Northern Beaches and Port Douglas, Australia. T: + 61 07 4028 3376. E: [email protected]  

A most beautiful walk
A most beautiful walk

This was a wonderful 3-hour walk spotting the creatures of the forest at night when they are most active. It was such a charming intimate walk in nature.

One Stop Adventures. 334 City Road Southbank, Vic 3006. T: +61 0413 349 900. E: [email protected]

We found something!
We found something!

This ziplining adventure is special as you can tell it was designed with care and a passion. The owner of the land is big into nature and wanted to craft an experience where participants would get to engage as fully as possible. I will leave the rest as a surprise for you, lol.

141 Camelot Close, Cape Tribulation QLD 4873, Australia. T: +61 (07) 4098 0065. E: [email protected]

Getting our gear and a simple list of do's and don'ts
Getting our gear and a simple list of do's and don'ts

I didn’t use this company either, but it was one of the few that had tours that offered deliberate interaction with Aboriginals in Uluru, so I would definitely recommend trying them out.

T: +61 8 8956 3156. E: [email protected]

Aboriginal bush tucker
Aboriginal bush tucker

Sadly, I found out about these tours too late to book one. However, I feel that learning about Australia from encounters with custodians of the land is incredibly important. This tour, I was told was as authentic as it gets. If you go, do let me know how it goes 🙂

Ocean Avenue, Cooya Beach, QLD  Linc & Brandon Walker, Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tours. T: +(07) 4098 3437. E: [email protected]     

The Kuku Yulanji tribe
The Kuku Yulanji tribe

This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest tour company in Australia. They operate in New Zealand as well. They are not personal like a small company with small numbers would be, but they are very professional and maintain a consistently high quality for every aspect of your tour.

There are 3 hotels with different levels of accommodation, from economy to standard and luxury. They are around a center that has shops, a theater, a tourism center, and a cultural center. You can choose from a number of free tours during the day, or take a free shuttle bus to the base of Uluru, where there are also free walking tours. We had booked tours for all our time there except for the first afternoon and evening, not understanding the unique set up.

Waiting for sunset with all the tour groups
Waiting for sunset with all the tour groups

We booked this not knowing that the 2 Day Uluru Highlights tour had a sunrise tour lol.. we died rolling out of bed at 4:15 both days but it was worth it. The Field of Lights is a light installation by the British artist Bruce Munro who was inspired by Uluru and created the work using 60,000 bulbs powered by solar energy as part of his continuing focus on human shared experiences. It's so popular that it may become permanent. We felt lucky to see it. There is also a sunset one for those among you who are not early risers.

82-86 Bourke Road, Alexandria NSW 2015, Australia. T: +61 1300 228 546. F: +61 2 9347 2769. E: [email protected]

Colorful lightbulbs that look like lit flowers in the distance
Colorful lightbulbs that look like lit flowers in the distance

New Zealand

Places to stay:

A small and funky hotel, right in the middle of the action in Auckland.

2 High St, Auckland, New Zealand. T: +64 9 925 9000. E: [email protected]

Love the funky throw-back look
Love the funky throw-back look

I still can’t get over the fact that a hotel associated with an airport could be this hip and cute!

153 Kirkbride Road, Mangere, Auckland, 2022, New Zealand.

One of the many fun and creative seating areas
One of the many fun and creative seating areas
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