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Cool spots to stay in Australia (Part A)




If you’re not familiar with the concept of a bubbletent (excusable as it is an Australian first) it’s pretty much exactly as it sounds – a clear, inflatable tent that gives you the ultimate view of the stars. And where better than overlooking the second biggest canyon in the world – NSW’s Capertee Valley – to pitch it?



Glampers live it up in tents with king-size beds, heating, airconditioning, coffee pod machine, bathrobe and slippers. When you’re not exploring the desert surrounds, you can cool off in the shipping container swimming pool or relax on the deck with Outback views. The Dreamtime Escarpment package – which includes one night’s accommodation, meals and drinks for two – is $950.



Caravan parks don’t often spring to mind as honeymoon destinations but then Agnes Water Beach is not your everyday caravan park. Its new luxury chalets, for couples only, are right on the beachfront – metres from the water’s edge – with million-dollar ocean views. And unlike most caravan park stays, these come with luxuries like king-size beds and rain showers.



Not just a B&B but a work of art, Bed in a Shed – and its newly completed companion room, Bed in a Shed Too – is one of the quirkier spots for a winery weekend and more than a small step up from most backyard sheds. Set in a Clare Valley vineyard, the sheds have been constructed using recycled materials and finished with colourful, eclectic furniture and design.

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5 incredible ways to experience the outdoors (Part B)



  1. Croc Spotting

Home to the world’s biggest population of  wild crocodiles, there’s nowhere better than   the NT to take the family to spot a croc. See a  salty in its natural habitat on a boat tour of  Mary River Wetlands. 


  1. Cradle Mountain

You don’t have to hike up Cradle Mountain to have an epic Tassie adventure. There are a tonne of family-friendly trails at the base, including the fairy-tale-like Enchanted Walk. You don’t need a guide and can pack a picnic lunch to make it easy on the budget. Don’t forget a raincoat. 


  1. Mungo National Park

Mix history with an awe-inspiring landscape with a visit to Mungo National Park, NSW. Aboriginal people have been connected to this desert for 40,000 years and you can learn about its cultural significance on a tour with an Aboriginal ranger.


  1. Little Blue Lake

For a magical experience of another kind, make your way to Little Blue Lake on South Australia’s Limestone Coast for a swim in the sapphire sinkhole at Mount Schank. 


  1. Capilano Suspension Bridge

Every Aussie heading to Canada’s west coast has to visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park at least once. It’s iconic, with seven suspended footbridges through a forest. A highlight is the environmentally sensitive and slightly unnerving Cliffwalk. It’s best suited to children from primary school age.

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5 incredible ways to experience the outdoors (Part A)



  1. Organic Farming

Embrace country life at the organic Jambaroo Valley Farm, south of  Sydney. At this working permaculture farm, guests are invited to pick produce from the kitchen garden, collect eggs from the free-range chickens and feed the cows, sheep and pigs. At night, hang around the fireplace or soak in the hot tub.


  1. Reef Magic

It’s time to travel more conscientiously and for the Great Barrier Reef, that means heading to Reef Magic Pontoon, off Cairns. Spend your day swimming, snorkelling and diving in the knowledge the pontoon runs on sustainable power, with 18 solar panels and three wind turbines. There’s also a science lab.


  1. Aboriginal Art

Create a masterpiece while learning  about Aboriginal culture and art  during a Ngala Tours Art on Country workshop at the National Arboretum Canberra. 


  1. Tassie Penguins

Watch little penguins return to their sandy burrows from Bruny Island Neck.   The best time is from September to  February. 


  1. Dog Sledding

If you’re a family of snow lovers    but can’t cope with first-to-last lifts every day, head to Mount Buller to try dog sledding this winter. The Victorian resort is easy to get to, and kids, young and old, will love meeting the Australian Sled Dog Tours team of Siberian huskies. Tours are from 30 minutes to three hours; bookings are a must. 

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5 tips on saving at the supermarket




  1. Get better value by comparing unit prices

Unit prices break down the cost of a product into standard units of measurement, such as per 100 grams, and let you compare different products more easily. So look beyond the headline price of an item and see where you could be getting better value by comparing unit prices between different brands or different packet sizes.


  1. Switch to supermarket-brand products

Our tests have found that supermarket homebrand products have improved in quality in recent years, occasionally even outdoing national brands in taste tests. The even better news is that our latest basket survey found possible savings of up to 40% when shoppers switched to these products.


  1. Grab specials as they come up

Our supermarket surveys found very little price difference between the big retailers, meaning switching between them when each offers specials could go a long way in helping you save.


  1. Look for product refills

More retailers are now selling products that can be refilled, which means you can save money and reduce the amount of environmental waste you produce. 


  1. Avoid pre-cut food items

We’ve found that some pre-cut fruit and vegetables can cost up to five times as much per kilo as the unprocessed originals, not to mention leaving you with more plastic to get rid of.

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