|The Hotel Windsor, Melbourne|
At the start of each year I generally begin to make some firm plans about mid-year overseas holidays to break-up the winter. There are thoughts of South Africa, though it will be the wrong season. I’d love to get to Brazil, particularly Rio with it’s mix of jungle, beaches, skyscrapers, slums and stunning geography. Myanmar / Burma is now on the radar, so too India and Sri Lanka, not to mention the vast tracts of the States I haven’t explored despite three trips there so far.
Before you know it, it’s March and plans are still to be made, but in the mean time, I’ve decided to do a couple of quick trips to Australia to stay in a couple of truly unique hotels. Look out for upcoming travel articles in the Herald On Sunday’s travel section (part of the Living lift-out) about the oldest luxury hotel in Australia, the Hotel Windsor in Melbourne, as well as Fraser Island’s premier eco-resort, the Kingfisher Bay Resort (in Queensland).
I was in Melbourne in February and the 130 year old Hotel Windsor was everything a grand old hotel from a by-gone era should be. Here is a snapshot from my soon to be published Herald On Sunday piece:
|Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island|
Muhammad Ali and Barry Humprhies, it’s good enough for me. Not surprisingly, in
the 130 years the Hotel Windsor has been operating, some of the biggest
celebrities in the world have made her their temporary home. And while a full
refurbishment is still in the (near) future, the present day Hotel Windsor
remains something to behold with it’s Victorian era grandeur – think Auckland’s
DFS building or the Dunedin Railway Station but a hotel. With a proud
notability as the only surviving Australian hotel of its era (and older than
London’s The Ritz and New York’s The Plaza), this is no ordinary address.
As for the Kingfisher Bay Resort, I’ve never been to Fraser Island before and will be there for four nights just before Easter. Fraser Island has long fascinated me for its enormous sand-dunes, rain forests, fresh water lakes, ship-wrecks and dingos and yet, it’s still not on most Kiwi’s travel radar. It didn’t take long to realise the Kingfisher Bay Resort is the best place to stay on the island, whether it’s eco houses or more traditional hotel rooms. Can’t wait.