I’m a journalist, travel writer, editor and copywriter based in Melbourne, Australia. I write pacy travel features, edit edifying websites and fashion flamboyant copy. My articles and photographs have appeared in publications worldwide, from inflight to interior design: I’ve visited every continent, and have lived in three. Want to work together? Drop me a line… 

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Heart to Heart: visiting the Great Barrier Reef’s most iconic reef

Alone, but not unloved, tiny Heart Reef is the pin-up star of everything that’s beautiful on the Great Barrier Reef – its perfect heart shape, its glittering lagoon, its intricate corals and its romantically remote location.

If you’ve seen an ad for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in the past few years, you’ve probably been looking at an aerial shot of Heart Reef, the little heart-shaped bommie (“It’s NOT A REEF!” clarifies the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority, with some asperity) set within Hardy Reef, north-east of the Whitsunday Islands.

The vastness of the reef, the oceans and the deepest blue of the channels between the coral platforms send shivers down my spine. To read more about how to visit Heart Reef and this luxury Heart Island pontoon, click here to take a look at my story for Traveller section of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.


State of escape: busting out for the goodness of Gippsland, Australia

Victoria, can you feel the chains falling from your shoulders? We are free! Well, we are almost free.

As of Monday June 1, we can now do sleepovers, which means it’s time to hit the road again and start exploring! I’ve got plans to poke around central Victoria and returning to my old hunting ground in Gippsland – the vast region that covers most of the east of the state.

I and am a huge fan of its pocket-sized villages and their little secrets: gin distillers in century-old buildings, little cafes selling locally made cheeses and smallgoods, a green field garnished with a few luxuriously fitted Bell tents, overlooking the wild seas that separate mainland Australia from Tasmania.

Have I sold you yet?

Hot off the presses, Eat. Drink Gippsland sees food writer Richard Cornish share all his detailed knowledge of the foodie spots in the region (pack an esky in the car boot), you can grab a copy while pootling around, or download it here.

Check out whale trails, truffle hunts, empty beaches and the best views of rolling green hills on Visit Gippsland’s website. It also has some great driving itineraries, for the forward planners out there. we

 

www.lochbrewery.com.au

theinverlochglampingco.com.au

www.moosatmeeniyan.com.au


Growing up with the Mornington Peninsula

There’s a photo that’s always in my kitchen, faded by sun and decades. It’s of my dad – long gone now – sitting on the chairlift that climbs to Arthur’s Seat, a beauty spot with views over the Mornington Peninsula.

You can still catch a chairlift up Arthur’s Seat, only now it’s a far safer carrier in a more precarious world. The new Eagle gondolas still skim the top of the eucalypts. You can still spy kangaroos, and hear the birds calling to each other in the state forest below. I always wanted to live in one of the houses hidden among the trees, but I was never homeless on the peninsula. My young mum took me on my first holiday here, at our family’s beach house on Safety Beach.

I still go to Safety Beach, and when I can’t, I miss it. But everyone goes there now. They’re chasing hatted chefs, renowned winemakers, that little artisan bakery… I guess I can’t blame them. The peninsula of my youth has grown up, as have I.

You can read my full story, which was published in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend, here.


Six of the best beach clubs on Bali’s Bukit Peninsula

Bali’s Bukit Peninsula is a haven for some of the island’s best beach and pool clubs. We tested six of the best (look, someone’s got to do it) for your bathing edification, from architectural statements at Uluwatu to the new hot in Nusa Dua. So pack the floaty kaftan and big sunglasses and skip our wintery shores.

This article was published in the Traveller section of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers.

To read, click here


Perfect pitch at Port Fairy’s Drift House

A long weekend on Victoria’s Great Ocean Drive – it’s the stuff of nightmares.

One of Australia’s most popular sightseeing drives, the drawcards are the 12 Apostles (but we all know that there are heaps less – or more? – of these famed sea stacks. I managed to evade the crowds and find my own piece of peace by continuing an hour past the tourist hubs to the prettiest town around, Port Fairy.

The destination? Drift House, which is almost more famous overseas than here in Australia for its four perfect suites, and perfectly pitched service from its owners, Colleen Guiney and John Watkinson.

Now, the Edwardian cottage next door has been transformed to add two new, equally fresh suites to the best address in town. Read my short story, which appeared in my weekly column in the Sunday Age and Sun-Herald newspapers, and online at Traveller.


Welcome to Australia’s best beach (which you’ve probably never heard of)

Cossies Beach, Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Photo: Rik Soderlund

It’s official: Australia’s best beach is …drum roll… probably nowhere you’ve ever been.

This week past saw a chat with beach expert Brad Farmer, who has
ventured across Australia, boardies on, notebook in hand, to find our
best beach. His new book lists the top 101 beaches in Australia.

 
He reckons he’s visited about 4000 of Australia’s 11,000-plus
beaches, and the best beach is the newly named Cossies Beach on the tiny
Cocos (Keeling) Islands, about 4.5 hours north-west of Perth. 
The
island group is on the extreme fringe of our marine waters, and better
known for border patrols than beach patrols.
 
Farmer’s research isn’t driven by hotel companies, website stats or
private equity funds, he says. He worked with Tourism Australia, which
says the value of our beaches to the economy need to be appreciated, and
capitalised upon.
 
Also in the top 10 best beaches are strips on another distant
outpost, Christmas Island. Some people will roll their eyes that the
Gold Coast is underrepresented, or that Bondi should be top o’ list. But
I think it’s refreshing that we explore past the everyday.
 
As Brad told me,”Australia is one of the last countries you can
actually go and explore. Go a little further, open your eyes, explore.”
 
It’s a motto to live by.

Click here to read the full story, which appeared in Fairfax Media’s Traveller website.


Welcome to Australia’s best beach (which you’ve probably never heard of)

 

cossiesbeach

Cossies Beach, Cocos (Keling) Island. Photo: Rick Soderlund

It’s official: Australia’s best beach is …drum roll… probably nowhere you’ve ever been.

This week past saw a chat with beach expert Brad Farmer, who has ventured across Australia, boardies on, notebook in hand, to find our best beach. His new book lists the top 101 beaches in Australia.

He reckons he’s visited about 4000 of Australia’s 11,000-plus beaches, and the best beach is the newly named Cossies Beach on the tiny Cocos (Keeling) Islands, about 4.5 hours north-west of Perth. The island group is on the extreme fringe of our marine waters, and better known for border patrols than beach patrols.
Farmer’s research isn’t driven by hotel companies, website stats or private equity funds, he says. He worked with Tourism Australia, which says the value of our beaches to the economy need to be appreciated, and capitalised upon.
Also in the top 10 best beaches are strips on another distant outpost, Christmas Island. Some people will roll their eyes that the Gold Coast is underrepresented, or that Bondi should be top o’ list. But I think it’s refreshing that we explore past the everyday.
As Brad told me,”Australia is one of the last countries you can actually go and explore. Go a little further, open your eyes, explore.”
It’s a motto to live by.

Click here to read the full story, which appeared in Fairfax Media’s Traveller website.


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