Between a rock and a hard place for Greece

Greeks say NO! Chania, Crete 1

Not too far away from where you’re enjoying your Greek vacation, locals may be protesting and lining up half the night to get paltry amounts of cash out of ATMs. They’re also bracing for tough choices in Sunday’s referendum, a climactic vote in the longstanding debt crisis. Banks say they have a €1bn cash buffer […]

Travel tips as Greek debt crisis deepens

Santorini, Greece,

Bring €, don’t panic You’re probably not thinking about much while you anticipate your sexy sunny Greek holiday. But here’s what is really going on behind the caffe freddo on the island of your dreams. Or that cold beer in Glyfada on the “Athenian Riviera”. The protracted Greek debt crisis is coming to a head, […]

Tasting the kapow factor of baijiu

Baijiu

There’s a few flushed faces in the room as China’s national firewater is downed in tiny gulps. It has a BANG the baijiu virgins aren’t expecting. Bloggers, Instagrammers and the curious are crammed into the elegant Moutai Baijiu showroom in Sydney’s Chinatown. We’re listening to marketing managers Imogen Hayes and Ed Xian explain the 2000-year-old art of […]

Provençal markets take the cake

Aix en Provence markets 8

I get excited about Provençal markets the way other people get excited about Louboutin and Chanel. While they gasp over the perfect jacket or shoes with a shiny red-lacquered sole, I swoon at the sight of pumpkins, sheep cheese and cabbage plants. I’m missing out on haute couture and they’re missing nature’s bounty while our fragile planet […]

300 years of Wine O’Clock in the Rhône

Château Les Quatre Filles

It’s exactly 300 years since these 40 acres on the baking hot floor of the Rhône Valley were first settled for the purpose of producing wine. In 1715 the Granier family decided this was a good spot, and planted vines. I’m in the Château Les Quatre Filles vineyard in the south of the valley. From […]

I fly Scoot to Singapore on the super cheap

scoot12 copy

A toddler is giving away cheapie air fares. No joke.  My favourite no-frills airline Scoot is celebrating its third birthday with super cheap flights Australia-Singapore. If you come to the birthday party and fly Scoot out of Australia, the toddler airline will take you home economy class just for the cost of your unavoidable taxes only. Scoot […]

Northern Heat by Helene Young – giveaway

north queensland 4

WHAT:  Steamy, heart-pounding romance set in tropical Queensland, where feisty heroine meets mysterious dude playing the stock market on a laptop from his boat. Apart from the stock market, he works at Cooktown’s youth centre which has given him the chance to make a difference and to flirt with Dr Kristy Dark. The local GP […]

Depressed? How travel might help

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Writer Matt Haig thinks travel is useful for people who suffer from depression because “it takes you out of yourself”.  Depression tends to envelop and compress your world, and literally getting away from the small space into which you’ve shrunk yourself, allows you to focus on something else. It takes your mind off it. He was […]

Treated like a princess at Oberoi Rajvilas

Oberoi Rajvilas pool

Oberoi Hotels are serene, almost surreal retreats from the colourful chaos and cloying heat of India. They’re famed for their architecture, impeccable service, food, attention to cultural detail. Welcome, your royal highness This is Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur, which looks and feels like one of the magnificent palaces gracing Rajasthan. Travel-weary guests are greeted with wide […]

Aegina day trip to another world

Aegina 2

I meet a fellow Athenian who’s lived in the Greek capital for over 35 years, and yet she’s never been to the island of Aegina. “I hear it’s nice,” she said. I gulp and blink. If you’re standing on the Acropolis looking out to sea, Aegina resembles a smoky blue, slumbering whale of mythical proportions. There’s […]