A LOOP FROM MOLLY~ MOOK TO HUSKISSON (100 MILES) Up close, kangaroos are less the cuddly cartoon animals they're made out to be than frighteningly large wild beasts with the scowl of a nightclub bouncer and the hindquarters of a mule. By up close, I mean from a distance of about five feet, which is where I found myself Monday morning in Murramarang National Park. I'd awakened to a symphony of birdcalls, breakfasted on passion fruit and sencha tea (I'm not nearly that abstemious; my bacon never arrived), and left Bannisters with the goal of reaching the park before the kangaroos vanished for the day. I needn't have hurried. On Pebbly Beach, they linger under old-growth trees late into the afternoon.
After my face-to-face encounter, Ijumped into my rented Ford Falcon-remember those?-and headed back to Princes Highway on a dirt road where I spotted seven more kangaroos in the underbrush.
Batemans Bay sits on an estuary of the Clyde River. A cross between a tourist town and a working fisherman's village, it seemed both relaxed and orderly, like Key West gone Canadian. At the Pearly Oyster Bar, a retail shop and restaurant that's owned by an oyster farm, I ordered a dozen Sydney Rocks for $11 and checked them out with scientific detachment. They were larger than average, mildly briny, perfectly good but ultimately disappointing: no match, I thought, for American Chincoteagues or France's Belons. Unsated, I crossed the road to the North St. Cafe and Bar, a tiny establishment of a few metal tables. Soon I was feasting on squid salad with dried cherries, followed by pan-friedJohn Dory and vanilla-bean panna cotia with poached fruit. The meal was satisfying, but the friendliness of the patrons is what I'll remember. ·Without fail, everyone who stepped inside flashed me a smile. Either unfamiliar faces are an uncommon sight in this corner of Australia, or locals here are just wired that way.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A MOVIE THAT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL, IT STAYED IN YOUR HEART?
Set on the explosive brink of World War 11, Australiais the epic tale of one woman's journey to a faraway continent. Starring Nicole Kidman as a buttoned-up English aristocrat who comes to save the land she has inherited and Hugh Jackman as the rough-hewn local who helps her, they embark on a trip together across hundreds of miles of the world's most beautiful, yet unforgiving terrain, only to face the bombing of the city of Darwin.
In this lush telling, the landscape becomes its own character, inspiring viewers to reconnect with their spirit of romance and love of adventure in a way that only Australia can. Shot on location in Darwin, Sydney, the Kimberley region, and Bowen, a coastal town in Queensland, viewers get a sense of the dramatic and rugged landscape, stretches of sparsely populated wilderness, and cities of the day, like Sydney and Darwin.
Aboriginal for "big water," Kununurra certainly makes a big impression with red earth, vast blue sky, and rugged bush. Nicole Kidman credited swimming in a local waterfall for blessing her with an unexpected pregnancy.
The Kimberley region is known for producing the famous pink diamond. At Kimberley Fine Diamonds Nicole Kidman bought presents for friends and family.
South Australia is sometimes referred to as the gateway to the Outback. Visitors who want to follow in the footsteps of Hugh Jackman's character and experience came driving themselves, can book a spot on the 2010 Great Australian Outback Cattle Drive.
A Grand Romance ... A trip to Australia is an affair of the heart. Fall in love under the endless sky, toast delicious wines, and be mesmerized by the enchanting landscape. Australia is one of world's best-kept secrets for romance.
Nature in the Buff
At the Kings Canyon Resort in the Northern Territory, the Sounds of Firelight is an incomparable outdoor dining experience. The menu's superb four courses are accompanied by some of Australia's best wines, under a canopy of stars and a flickering fire.
How to Propose Australian-5tyle A handcrafted ring of Argyle diamonds, Kalgoorlie gold, or
Commanding spectacular views of the wilderness and Hanson Bay in South Australia, Southern Ocean Lodge is the ultimate fusion of nature and luxury, offering an uncompromising sensitivity to the pristine environment, a spa retreat, tailored service, and sophisticated dining. Set on the northern edge of the World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park in Tasmania, the Cradle Mountain Lodge offers warm hospitality, sensational food and wine, and magnificent scenery. Experience the best of the Barossa Valley at The Louise, winner of the 2007 South Australian Tourism Award for Luxury Accommodations.