December 26, 2022

Cruising the Douro River in Portugal

The Douro River in Portugal is a relatively undiscovered territory in the world of cruising, but don’t expect it to stay that way for much longer, writes cruise expert, Sally Macmillan.

Word of its wonders is spreading, so if you’re looking for a peaceful river journey that takes in four UNESCO World Heritage sites, beautiful quintas (wine estates) and plenty of port and wine tastings, now’s the time to book a trip.

December 23, 2022

Old Bikes Find a Home in Bendigo and Castlemaine

The City of Greater Bendigo has made a firm bid for the title: ‘Classic Motorcycle Capital of Australia’.

How so? Well, two very substantial and valuable collections are now ensconced in permanent premises in the city. One in Castlemaine, the other in the heart of Bendigo.

December 10, 2022

Fiona McIntosh reveals new locations for next bestseller

Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site and is the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.

And so this story now hoves into view as the new big historical project for me to research and which will be occupying my mind for the next couple of years.

December 06, 2022

Saudi Arabia: To go or not to go?

Friend of Traveloscopy, the talented Tim Johnson from Canada, wrestled with his motivation to visit Saudi Arabia

December 05, 2022

Adventure and exploration in Australia's Top End

The Northern Territory is unique in Australia’s travel landscape with the Top End offering everything from ancient landscapes to adrenaline thrills.

The Kakadu Air twin-engined Cessna swoops low over the ancient precipes of Kakadu and Nourlangie Rock giving us a spectacular view of the primordial plains and wetlands below. These rocks are almost as old as time itself and hold immense cultural significance for the Gun-djeihmi people who have lived here for millennia.

November 14, 2022

Wayfarers tell their story through travel

I am waved goodbye in the pre-dawn light by a hotel receptionist from Gujarat and a bellboy from Lagos, Nigeria. My take-away coffee – which I’d planned to drink en route – must be imbibed before I climb into the immaculate transfer vehicle.

November 08, 2022

The Wreck of the USS President Coolidge in Vanuatu

Built in 1931 for a life of luxurious Pacific cruising, the 200m SS President Coolidge began her life carrying the well-to-do and who's who of American society. Her playgrounds included Hawaii, Hong Kong and, ironically, Japan, where she sped to from San Francisco in record time. Her guests reclined around two swimming pools, preened themselves in salons, worked out in gyms or just hung out at the ornate soda fountain. Her fate, however, was anything but salubrious.

November 01, 2022

The Fijian Kava ceremony you can have at home with bonus health benefits

Chief offers kava to the guest during yaqona ceremony. Pic: Roderick Eime

Yaqona (yang-GO-na) is a tranquilizing, nonalcoholic drink that numbs the tongue and lips. Better known as kava, it's made from the waka (dried root) of the pepper plant (Macropiper methysticum). This ceremonial preparation is the most honoured feature of the formal life of Fijians, Tongans, and Samoans. It is performed with the utmost gravity according to a sacramental ritual to mark births, marriages, deaths, official visits or the installation of a new chief.

October 22, 2022

From tobacco, leather and wooden furniture to luxury hotel: The evoloution of The Porter House Hotel Sydney - M Gallery

My fascination with unusual hotels is no secret, particularly the historic properties that either started life as hotels or some other civic or private structure.

Wandering the streets of the Sydney CBD is a self-guided tour anyone can do, spotting the old sandstone and marble structures some of which, like the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hyde Park Barracks, date back to the convict architect, Francis Greenway, of the early 19th century.

October 20, 2022

California: Love to love LA

Downtown LA Shot for Discover LA by Matt Marriott

The hedonistic city of Los Angeles is made for lovers. For lovers all things from wine and food, to nature, shopping and the performing arts.

Share the love in LA with these attractions.

October 19, 2022

Ushuaia: The City at the End of the World

If there is one thing to remember about travelling to the world’s southernmost city, it’s not to make jokes about the Falklands War.

As recently as October, controversial BBC TV personality, Jeremy Clarkson, and the crew from Top Gear were obliged to leave Ushuaia ahead of schedule over controversy about one of the car’s number plates, H982 FKL. Locals took this to be an insensitive reference to the 1982 Falklands War when the UK militarily humiliated Argentina during their failed occupation of the disputed South Atlantic islands.

October 15, 2022

Mission Berlin: Driving like a secret agent in a luxury Bentley Continental

There’s nothing quite like a luxury car and exclusive hotels to get your imagination running wild. Roderick Eime channels his inner secret agent on a fast-paced mission from Berlin to Copenhagen.

By Roderick Eime  |  Originally published in Luxury Travel Magazine #71, Spring 2017

My exciting instructions read like a plot for a Robert Ludlum spy thriller and I can’t help imagining myself as some Cold War operative on an undercover espionage mission.

October 14, 2022

Hotel Snapshot: Atura Adelaide Airport

Veteran travel journalist, Ian McIntosh, skips through Adelaide Airport en route to Europe and samples Adelaide's airport hotel.

I was sipping French champagne at 10.30am - and why not? It has been more than three years since I boarded a flight for Europe. We are heading to Singapore today  - then Munich and onwards. Spent last night at the Atura Adelaide Airport Hotel and was quite impressed. 

October 12, 2022

Roadtripping with the girls - Adelaide to Melbourne

Dispatches from the 'missing-in-action' travel writer, Carolyne Jasinski. Apparently, she's been on the road having way too much fun to post.

Is it wise to let three women loose on the road in a motorhome, driving from Adelaide to Melbourne? As well as wineries, bakeries, history, shopping, hot spas and hiking, we tested the motorhome vs car/cabin options along the Great Ocean Road. And did I mention bakeries?

October 03, 2022

Fiona McIntosh revels in Spring

Hello to all my friends and readers

Spring is here and there are explosions of life throughout our gardens and the bees are madly active again, the maggies are busy preparing for their young, and I am making sure I enjoy the last of the 'green' for another year...cycle of life. 

September 20, 2022

The World’s Most Mysterious Buildings And Sites

Remember as a kid you fantasised about exploring secret castles, temples or caves as the next Indiana Jones? Or perhaps about solving a Da Vinci Code? You might be surprised then to hear these puzzles do in fact exist, with many hiding in plain sight. And you can visit these strange buildings and sites on your next holiday.

Here are just a few.

The Shine Dome of the Australian Academy of Science – Canberra, AustraliaImage: Trent Huber / with permission

If you’ve ever done one of Tim the Yowie Man’s Canberra tours, you’ll know he has an obsessive fascination with the bizarre and mysterious. The journalist, author and tour guide regularly entertains visitors on ghostly and paranormal treks around our capital and he lists the so-called ‘Martian Embassy’ as one of his favourite weird buildings.

September 05, 2022

Bangkok's Siam@Siam Design Hotel reinvented with no boundaries [updated]

There’s something about hotels and I’m always particularly excited to see a major refurbishment or even an old decrepit building transformed into a swank new establishment.

September 01, 2022

Finniss River Lodge: Animal Magnetism

The remote floodplains of the Northern Territory’s Top End are full of surprises

Six litres of Chevrolet V8 muscle roars into life, propelling us along the narrow waterway, between protruding limbs of paperbark and Melaleuca trees. We skim across patches of reeds and shallow puddles as if riding a 600-horsepower magic carpet. My fellow passengers could be yelping in delight and excitement for all I know, but the industrial earmuffs muffle everything to a monotone crescendo. 

August 20, 2022

Northern Exposure: road trips north from Adelaide

A couple of days, a couple of ways. On two wheels or four, South Australia's mid-north leads you to some stunning gourmet and historic locations.

Words and photos Roderick Eime

I hope you are not bored with my fixation with South Australian riding, but you’re getting the idea that the land of the Croweaters presents a great variety of rewarding riding environments. From lush forests with twisty, turny byways to wide-open Arizona-like desert landscapes. All within an hour or two of the CBD.

August 19, 2022

Patpong Museum: Who was Coppola's real-life Colonel Kurtz?

If you've ever seen the 1979 film Apocalypse Now you'll truly remember Colonel Kurtz, the enigmatic character played by Marlon Brando. It's said that Francis Ford Coppola was inspired by Anthony Poshepny, more simply known as Tony Poe.

Tony Poe fought for the US Marines on Iwo Jima in World War II before receiving two Purple Hearts and being discharged as a sergeant. Not one for shying from a life of action and intrigue, Poe joins the CIA and becomes active in the Korean War. Here he participates in the CIA's Paramilitary Operation Branch, training refugees for sabotage missions behind enemy lines. 

August 17, 2022

My Vietnam Visa #Fail. Don’t fall into this trap.

Do not upload your matching passport photo if it is older than six months.

Many of us would have had experiences with the vagaries of the visa system in many countries and here’s one I didn’t see coming.

August 14, 2022

Is that a missile in your pocket? Visit a former Soviet nuclear missile site in Lithuania

Is this a good time to go to a Soviet nuclear weapon base? Well, that’s what I did in Lithuania! 🇱🇹

1968 Prague Uprising (source: CEELI Institute)

In 1968, during the Prague uprising, a missile was set up and ready to be launched from its underground shaft, the white dome lid was open, but luckily the final command to “press the button” was not made. Close call, comrades. 

August 01, 2022

Fiona McIntosh finds new inspiration in Wiltshire

The famous cloisters of the 800 year old Salisbury Cathedral

As most of you know I did a whirlwind trip to Wiltshire in England to find a new story during April.  International travel felt strange but also I could almost imagine ribbons being cut away that had harnessed me to not only Australia but for a lot of the last couple of years, cornered in South Australia. It didn't hurt me, of course, it forced me to turn around and consider a story from my home state and The Orphans was the result so I have no business complaining but it was certainly wonderful to get that sense of freedom again. As usual, I had no idea what I was looking for and so I just remained hopeful that whatever the story was, it knew it was looking for me!

July 06, 2022

On the road to Rutherglen - a wine adventure

To continue my theme of devious detours, I had the opportunity to deviate via the famous Victorian High Country wine region of Rutherglen while transiting from Melbourne to Sydney.

July 02, 2022

Who are you kidding? The world of fake watches

Anybody who’s been shopping in any of the major Asian cities will know exactly what I’m talking about. The market in fake designer goods is rife. Handbags, watches, shirts, shoes, pens, golf clubs, cosmetics and even electronic devices like iPhones have their knock-off varieties.

May 14, 2022

Fiona McIntosh returns to England in search of new stories

Well, most of you know I've been to the UK recently. I wanted to get life going again after the couple of years of uncertainty and waiting. I wasn't in London for much more than a few hours. This photo was snapped, waiting at lights, on my way to Heathrow Airport to come home but I was so thrilled to see Big Ben looking clean and majestic after years under scaffolding and wraps.

May 13, 2022

What's Cooler than Coolamon? We revisit the NSW Riverina

While our international borders were closed, I racked up many thousands of kilometres crisscrossing the country and exploring roads and regions that have escaped me over the years.

January 14, 2022

Historic Australian Pubs and Hotels

One of my nerdy pastimes is to photograph old and historic Australian pubs. Yeah, I know, some people like churches, and I get that, but I'm not particularly religious and I prefer a lager over a sermon any day.

And because I travel on the road a lot, I get to see a lot of pubs. I sometimes stop for a drink or a meal, and sometimes I stay overnight. What enthrals me about old Aussie pubs is the stories that have been told around these bars and the histories attached to these buildings.

I'd love you to join me and share any yarns you have about old Aussie pubs and hotels. Were you a publican? Did you grow up in a hotel with parents who were? Did you buy an old hotel and restore it as a new home. Please share.

Below is a continually updated slideshow of hotels I have visited. Some I've just driven past or found on a lonely country road - others I've spent some time in. Click on any image to read more or add comments.

- Roderick Eime, Burnside SA

Historic Australian Pubs, Inns and Hotels

Read more with these great books. 

Great Australian Pubs by Lee Mylne
Great book if you can find one.

The reluctant immigrants - convicts, marines and a handful of gentry - who made up the First Fleet brought to the shores of Botany Bay little more than optimism and a monstrous thirst for the appalling brew known as 'grog'. Almost two centuries later the optimism has been largely justified but, if the ubiquitous pub is any indication, the national thirst has not yet been slaked.

Nothing now remains of the earliest grog shops-leaking canvas tents and wretched wattle-and-daub shanties-but their offspring can be found in most corners of the sunburnt country: on the Birdsville Track and in the great cities, in prosperous country towns and on the edge of the Never-never, among the canefields and the fishing villages and the dusty mining towns.

And just as the Australian developed a distinctive national character, so the Australian pub assumed a style all its own. But not just a single style, for there is almost as much variety in the shape, size and character of our pubs as there is in their faithful customers.

It is these differences that Douglass Baglin and Yvonne Austin have captured in these pages. Every pub has its history, has played a role in the life of its neighbourhood (be that an inner-city suburb or a thousand square miles of spinifex and bindi-eyes), and has provided companionship, solace and refreshment for travellers and regulars alike.

Modernisation and real estate speculation have sounded the death knell for many pubs (several illustrated here have long since fallen to the wrecker's ball). Others have fought back and survived: former 'blood-houses' have redecorated their once-dingey bars; country hostelries have been restored; and even some of the modern bars in high-rise hotels have been given something more than a stainless-steel-and-plastic treatment.

Our pubs deserve looking after. They've been abused and criticised, but undeniably they're here to stay. Increasingly, their contribution to Australia's heritage is being appreciated. Their architectural styles (many of them unique to our country) are being recognised as precious relics from our past. Their stories and legends are being brought out of the closet and dusted up for public viewing. Most importantly, in the face of tough competition from clubs and restaurants, they are continuing to thrive as convivial and attractive places in which to relax in good company.

Text source: Douglass Baglin and Yvonne Austin
'Australian Pub Crawl' | Murray Child 1977

Australian Bush Pubs 3rd Ed
A Celebration of Outback Australia's Iconic Watering Holes

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