Why Aussies will always return to Bali

SharksOne
ON the weekend, I was in Sydney as a finalist for Best Travel Writer at the Australian Federation of Travel Agents’ (AFTA) National Travel Industry Awards. My piece, which first appeared in TravelBulletin Magazine late last year, examined some of the big issues which have plagued Bali for the past decade, and the future impact on Aussie travellers to this Indonesian island. Trying to convince anyone to talk about Bali was harder than you may think. No one wants to upset our Indonesia neighbours, at the same time recognising there are some serious challenges facing the tourism industry.
Soldier
It was tempting to submit a delicious destination piece, waxing lyrical about sunrises and surprises, but as a travel writer who also specialises in tourism trade stories, I believe it’s equally important to tell the news of our industry. Congratulations to my long-time peer Allan Leibowitz for winning the award, you’ve been fighting the good fight of writing great tourism trade stories for years and your accolade is much deserved. Please find my award entry, below…
Kids
IS it a case of back to Bali, or have Australian travellers actually never left? Despite a turbulent few months for the Indonesian holiday haven, courtesy of its smoldering volcano, early figures suggest Australians will continue their insatiable love affair with the island destination.
BintangSign
Airlines travelling the lucrative Australian-Denpasar route were caught in a game of Snakes and Ladders throughout July and August when a giant ash cloud from Mount Raung forced carriers to repeatedly cancel, then resume, then again cancel services. Some holidaymakers were stranded in Bali for weeks, while others were unable to reach their desired destination.
Graffiti
Alison Roberts-Brown, the most recent Australian Representative of the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism (the newly elected Indonesian Government is yet to confirm any firm contracts), says Aussie tourists to the destination are far more resilient than some people believe.
“The Australian public doesn’t seem to be deterred by the volcanic activity in Indonesia and passengers continue to travel to Bali and beyond regardless,” she says.
“It has so many selling points. It is our very closest neighbour, it has a rich and exotic culture compared to ours, it has a unique price point and its proximity in terms of distance is second-to-none.
“It doesn’t matter where you go in the world there will be all sorts of dangers but the people who have been to Bali continue to return.”
FrangipaniFrenzy
Roberts-Brown says a lot of experiences such as diving, hiking and sacred Buddhist shrines remain “under marketed” in Indonesia and are waiting to be discovered.
“The Indonesian population relies heavily on tourism and they are an extremely warm and welcoming country with lots of diversity to offer,” she says.
“There are nearly 17,000 islands and Australians are now remembering there are other parts to Indonesia as well such as central Java and Lombok.
“Indonesia attracts every segment from families to students to well-heeled travellers. There is something for everybody, from high-end product as well as things for the adventure traveller.”
Roberts-Brown’s claims are supported by the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. Outgoing Australian travellers to Bali show remarkably little difference in month-on-month visitors between January and June. In January, 93,300 Aussies departed for Bali with the number peaking, somewhat predictably around Easter to 94,200 before slightly tapering off to 93,900 in June.
While there are no figures yet available for the months affected by the volcanic ash, and beyond, there is little to suggest Mother Nature will have a long-term impact of Australian visitor numbers.
StatueTwo
After all, Australians have been through much with this destination, including the Bali bombings in 2002. Tourism operators around the island have always been quick to praise Aussie tourists as being the first to return and start spending again. While the jailing of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby, followed by that of the Bali 9, spooked some travellers and prompted an outcry of outrage in some quarters within Australia, Aussie tourists continued to flock to the island. Not even the April execution of Bali 9 ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, which sparked arguably the greatest pressure on Australians to boycott Bali, has had an effect.
CoolDudeOne
Beanca Daluz, General Manager of Garuda Orient Holidays which is owned by the same parent company as Garuda Indonesia, says they experienced “a number” of cancellations due to the ash cloud as insurance companies did not cover disruptions after July 3.
“Garuda Indonesia, operating Airbus 330s out of Australia, were able to still fly to Bali on some days given their larger engine capacity and aircraft type, and also had the ability to reroute to neighbouring Jakarta and Surabaya airports,” Daluz says.
“We therefore did not experience as many disruptions compared to Jetstar and Virgin Australia passengers. Short-term confidence was challenged due to the ash cloud but due to school holidays as well as other holidays coming up, we anticipate a bounce back.
“Our partners on the ground (hotels and ground suppliers) have been extremely aggressive in promoting Bali and their own properties by providing numerous special offers and exclusive deals.
“We expect numbers to increase for travel during our peak season over the Christmas and New Year period.”
Lion
Recent figures reveal one Australian dies in Bali every nine days including Queenslanders Noelene Bischoff and her daughter Yvana who died last year from food poisoning and 18-year-old Jake Flannery who was electrocuted in 2011 after accidentally touching an exposed power line.
But still, Australians keep flocking to what Balinese have dubbed “the land of love”.
And from October 1, Australian visitors will be exempt from having to pay a USD35 visa on arrival, making the south-east Asian destination even more attractive, particularly to the budget-conscious holiday maker.
Despite the fact the odds seem repeatedly stacked against this Indonesian destination, it appears there is little to deter Aussie travellers from returning in the long run.
WishYouWereHere
The Global Goddess stayed in Sydney as a guest of TFE Hotels in the glorious Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney Central. This historic hotel, built between 1910 and 1915, was once The Australian Post Office. A landmark restored building on the Sydney streetscape – replete with giant loft windows – it boasts 98 one and two bedroom apartment and studio rooms. And best of all, it is located right next to Central Station, and is an easy train ride to and from Sydney Airport. Check it out next time you are in town – http://www.TFEhotels.com/adina
ExteriorAdinaGrandCentralSydney

Romance Is Just Around The Corner

WallArt
I AM dining in the Brisbane restaurant which has just been named Best for Romance/First Date 2015 by the Dimmi Awards. The irony of the fact that I am dining with five other women, two of whom are complete strangers, is not lost on me. Story of my life that this is, I am at Auchenflower’s Deer Duck Bistro to see what the duck the fuss is all about. How can a restaurant be romantic? Isn’t it up to the diners? We are here to try the 7-course Chef’s Menu with matching wines and even better, it appears romance is right around the corner from me, with this restaurant in the next inner west suburb to that in which I live.
DeerDuckBistro
Owned by Chef Nicholas Cooper, if you love the planet, Deer Duck Bistro sprouts a very romantic ethos: to promote ethical eating by using the freshest, local, sustainable, organic and macrobiotic produce possible. A boxed garden onsite grows heirloom plants and micro herbs harvested just before they hit your plate, and the restaurant supports small, independent growers. Where possible fruit and vegetables are sourced locally from Mount Tamborine, The Darling Downs and South Burnett regions and bread is baked on premise using organic ingredients.
Painting
While there’s not too many deer or ducks roaming the streets of Brisbane, you’ll see plenty on the walls of this restaurant which is themed with unusual antiques and is a pleasant departure from the usual bold Queensland colours you see elsewhere around town, particularly on this crisp winter night. In fact, so eclectic are things in this establishment, that even each table setting consists of mismatched cutlery, which evokes that comfortable, familiar feeling of dining at your grandmas. The aim: to deliver modern Australian, European cuisine.
thumb_IMG_1781_1024
The restaurant also serves a-la-carte dishes and, despite its carnivorous name, is incredibly popular with vegetarians and vegans for whom it caters beautifully, including an individual 7-course degustation for those who don’t eat meat. For consummate carnivores like myself, the menu is a delicious dream. Our 7 courses started with mussels, carrot and dill, which was an unexpectedly tasty combination. Onion, thyme and veal sweetbreads followed before barramundi, shitake and black rice.
Barra
Chicken, corn and tarragon formed the basis of the fourth course, followed by beef, pumpkin and onion. While not part of this particular 7-course menu, we had the opportunity to try the duck after which the restaurant takes its name, and I’m delighted to report it, too, was delicious. We finished the savory courses with beef, pumpkin and onion. While my forte as a travel and dating blogger lays more in describing destinations and men, rather than food, I can report that each dish possessed a crunchy texture and a surprise I’d never even imagined…just like most of my dates, although in this case, it’s a most pleasant surprise. I only wish, like the deer heads in this restaurant, I could hang some of the men I’ve met on the wall.
Duck
While a refreshing zing, the rockmelon, honey and pistachio would have made a far greater impact served somewhere between the meat dishes as a palate cleanser and seemed slightly strange to serve just before another dessert – the chocolate, pear and hazelnut, which would have worked well straight after the rich, slow-cooked beef dish.
Rockmelon
But it’s difficult to fault this restaurant which pairs each course with a diverse and innovative wine list, serving everything from French champagne to start, to high-quality international and Australian drops in between. However the sparkling merlot at the end was an unusual finish and again, I would have ended with something sweeter like a sticky. Apart from the gorgeous main dining room, there’s a private dining room and my favourite of all, a cosy cocktail lounge in which you can partake in pre or post dinner drinks, and even order from a bar menu if the desire to slink into those comfy couches overtakes your need to sit at a table.
CocktailLounge
Deer Duck Bistro last week won its first coveted Chefs Hat at the Good Food Guide Awards and it’s easy to see why. My advice: make a booking there sooner rather than later, as this is one of the hottest restaurants in Brisbane right now which is courageous enough to not follow the pack with its menu, flavours or décor. As for the romance, partaking in a fabulous feast with three old friends and two new ones may not be conventionally romantic, but you could do a whole lot worse. Bloke or no bloke, what the duck, I’ll be back.
Chocolate
The Global Goddess was a guest of Deer Duck Bistro – http://www.deerduckbistro.com.au

From Prison to Paradise

IMG_7988
FIFTEEN months ago, in the middle of a Wellington winter, I found myself standing on the cold concrete floor of New Zealand’s Rimutaka Prison, interviewing six men who had been sentenced to life for the most heinous of crimes – rape and murder. I suppose I should have been scared – at the time there was also an earthquake which woke me in the middle of the night with my bed shaking – but the old news journalist in me got the better of me, and I was bursting with curiosity. How would these men treat a female journalist in their space? What did the interior of a prison really look like? How would these six rapists and murderers act? And how should I act?

Inside Rimutaka Prison

Inside Rimutaka Prison


Fast forward to last Saturday night where I found myself in Fiji at the annual Australian Society of Travel Writers Awards where I was the finalist in four categories: Best Australian Story under 1000 words; Best Use of Digital Media; Best Travel Book; and for the story which led me to Wellington: Best Food Travel Story. I was incredibly honoured to be announced the winner in the Best Food Travel Story, and so today, I thought I’d share that story with you, which took me from windy Wellington to sunny Fiji. And the story that took those men from a life outside of prison, to “inside the wire”, where some of them have not felt the sand between their toes or the sun on their faces for decades.
IMG_7980
In my acceptance speech on Saturday night, I flippantly remarked that those six men had far better manners than most of the boys I had dated in Brisbane. And in many ways, it was true. As you might imagine, a long time in prison changes a person. Many for the worse, but in rare cases, some for the better. Driving back from the prison with the chef who was teaching them to cook as part of their rehabilitation program, one thing became clear. If you treat people like animals and then release them back into society, no on wins. But if you treat people with a degree of humanity, and provided all of the correct procedures and protocols are adhered to surrounding their release, maybe, just maybe, there is hope. My winning story “Rough Road From Prison Gate To Plate” appeared in News Ltd’s Escape section last year. I hope you enjoy it…
For security reasons I am not allowed to show you the faces of these prisoners

For security reasons I am not allowed to show you the faces of these prisoners


ON a windy Wellington day the irony of a small red yacht by the name of Not Guilty is not lost on the city’s celebrity chef Martin Bosley, whose eponymously named restaurant overlooks Port Nicholson Harbour in which the boat is moored. Bosley has just spent four hours in Rimutaka Prison at nearby Upper Hutt, a place he has visited regularly since last November. Here the chef, who has owned restaurants in Port Douglas and has appeared on Australia’s Master Chef, has been teaching six prisoners – all serving life sentences – how to cook in preparation for Visa Wellington on a Plate’s festival landmark event – Prison Gate to Plate.
Celebrity Chef Martin Boseley

Celebrity Chef Martin Bosley


It’s clear that Bosley, who serves “wild-caught” sustainable catches in his Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club restaurant likes a challenge, but the thought of going into a prison and working with blokes who had “done bad things” was a stretch even for this creative cook.
“My initial reaction was that I didn’t see it working. It turns out I had some pretty
red-necked opinions of those who committed crimes and I thought a life sentence should be for life and that prisoners should be breaking rocks in the hot sun and that three meals a day was too many,” he says.
“But I found myself becoming more and more intrigued about the role food was playing in their lives and I thought ‘let’s do it’.
“Within the prison kitchen environment I was comfortable as all kitchens work the same. You pick up on that sixth sense of the ballet of the kitchen.”
IMG_3776
Still, about the only thing Bosley’s up-market restaurant had in common with the prison kitchen was the colour scheme – both are shades of grey – which is somewhat fitting, because that’s where this chef found himself shifting, to the middle ground. In terms of a destination, there’s nothing pretty about Rimutaka Prison itself apart from the alpine surrounds in which it is nestled. Once “inside the wire” it’s patently clear this is a working jail which houses some 900 inmates, some convicted of the most cruel and cunning crimes. On a daily basis, 36 men work in the prison kitchen to feed this populous on a budget of $4.50 per head, per day. Usual fare includes sausages and gravy and it is this same restricted menu which is served throughout every New Zealand prison.
IMG_3856
Six inmates were selected by the prison’s Chief Catering Officer to be trained chefs under Bosley’s tutelage for the Prison Gate to Plate event, a two-night $70 a head function for the public and a third night for prison stakeholders. Tickets for the public event sold out within 14 minutes.
“When we started last November there was definitely an edge of ‘I don’t know any of these foods or what these words mean’ from the prisoners. They had good skills in practical cooking – they are used to making coleslaw for 900 men and sausages and gravy and that menu rarely changes,” Bosley says.
“When I first went into the prison I felt I needed to be assured, self confident and tough but I’m not tough at all. I remember saying ‘we are going to have fun and learn but at the end of the day, don’t let me down’.
“Some of these men have had nothing in their lives. It is all about building their self-esteem and self-confidence. They don’t want to let themselves down and I’ve felt they’ve been teaching me about humility and life.”
IMG_3807
In turn, Bosley has taught the inmates how to make the sorts of dishes that will be served on August 9 and 10, with the prisoner’s own twist on a mocktail – Jail Juice – blackcurrents, kiwifruit, apple juice, fresh ginger and soda water – being served in the Visit Hall. Guests, who will have to undergo the same strict security procedures as all visitors to the prison, will then be escorted to the Corrections Staff College Dining Room for Canapes served with a sense of humour – on regulation prison plastic trays – followed by a mouth-watering menu for which Bosley is renowned. Prisoners and prison guards will all be dressed the same, in standard black and white waiters’ outfits. Menus, catering instructors, table pieces, linen, printing and artwork, will all come from within the prison.
IMG_3771
So successful has Bosley’s involvement been with the prison, he now employs a prisoner on a “release to work program” in his Wellington kitchen.
“I didn’t realise what a loss of freedom truly meant before I went in there. As a community we need to change our perceptions and be prepared that one day these men are getting out and we need to pick up where prisons leave off and reduce re-offending,” Bosley says.
“I never thought I’d be in the company of six men who have done bad things. But they don’t want to screw this up. There is nothing cool about prison.”
A spokesman for New Zealand’s Department of Corrections said they had a target to reduce re-offending by 25 percent by 2017. Through similar programs to Bosley’s they had already slashed recidivism by 9 percent.
IMG_3834
Wolf, 46, has been working in the kitchen for the past two of the 13 years he has spent in the prison. He has another two years till he fronts the Parole Board.
“I grew up with a mum who loved baking and I came to jail and I didn’t have many opportunities at first and then I came into the kitchen. I love creating,” he says as he delicately places some prison-made relish on to some New Zealand cheese and crackers.
“Before I came to the kitchen I was pretty much one of those people no one wanted. I was the trouble maker who was in the High Security Unit for seven years. I was lucky someone gave me a chance and I haven’t looked back.
“My past has been pretty dodgy and I want to prove to people that I’m pretty worthy to be there.”
IMG_3772
It’s a similar tale for the other five prisoners – Marco, Pete, Freddy, Brownie and Shultzie, all aged between 35 and 48, most having worked in the kitchen for around two years, all just living day-to-day not allowing themselves the luxury of thinking of the first thing they will do when they are finally released.
Except perhaps for Shultzie, 48, has been working in the kitchen for the past two of his 3.5 years in jail and has another 8.5 years until he is considered for parole. He’s in charge of the canapés for the Prison Gate to Plate event.
“The biggest lesson for me is that coming to prison is a waste of life but you’ve got to make the most of it. I’ve worked since I got in here and I’m going forward, I’m not looking back,” he says.
“The first thing I’m going to do when I get out of here is visit my mum and dad’s grave sites as they died while I was in here. And then I want to go fishing. “
IMG_3853
The Global Goddess travelled as a guest of Tourism Wellington and with the special permission of the New Zealand Department of Corrections. Special mention must go to Intrepid Travel for sponsoring the award prize which is a $2000 Intrepid Tour anywhere in the world – http://www.intrepidtravel.com

The Global Goddess is nominated for two blogging awards

Badge_Travel
I’m taking a little break from blogging today to celebrate my nomination in two categories for the Bupa blogging awards. The Global Goddess is up for the Travel Adventures and Social Good categories. Finalists will be announced mid October and winnners in mid November. I wish to thank you all for reading, supporting and following me. With love and light, The Global Goddess xx.
Badge_Social[1]

Breaking Traditional Thais

IMG_6434
LIKE all of the best travel tales, this story begins over a glass of really great wine. In this case, five months ago, back in a Bangkok restaurant, in the middle of a coup. Yes, picture me going all white linen trousers and Somerset Maugham on you while anarchy rages outside and you’ve kind of got the gist. It was at the Rang Mahal Indian Restaurant at the Rembrandt Hotel, when I was introduced to a fine drop made by Thailand’s only female wine maker, who happened to have studied the art in Australia. Not only was the wine excellent in a country more renowned for its Singha than its shiraz, but I had the burning desire to know more about this woman.
IMG_6425
Fast forward to last weekend, and I had the incredible fortune of standing on a vineyard in Thailand’s Khao Yai, interviewing Nikki Lohitnavy about her impossible dream producing great Thai wine. Nikki, who is just 27, started becoming interested in viticulture when her parents started the vineyard in 1999.
“Back then I was in high school in Bangkok and every school holiday I would spend my time here helping in the vineyard and I liked it,” she says.
“I asked if I could go to Australia and finish my high school in Melbourne and then I studied oenology at the University of Adelaide. I wanted to be a botanist, I’ve loved trees since I was a kid.
“In my third year I asked if I could go to Brown Brothers and do the harvest there and in 2008 I got a scholarship from Wolf Blass for excellence in wine making and went there for three years. After that I came back to Thailand to start Granmonte.”
IMG_6538
Granmonte, which means “big mountain” in Italian, is named after the mountains of Khao Yai National Park which frame the pretty property. And there’s another element to this tale. Shortly after arriving, I’m told that rogue wild elephants have been known to wander through the vineyard, thus ensuring I spend the next two days imagining how I should react should I encounter a tusked beast. Should I sprint to the cellar door and launch myself into a vat of shiraz? Snatch a discarded bicycle from a vineyard worker and try to outcycle the beast? Stand still and pretend I’m a petit verdot? It’s not every day one has to consider the possibility of an elephant attack on a vineyard and I want to be prepared. For this is a story where even your wildest dreams can come true.
IMG_6473
You see, in her first year Nikki produced a modest amount of 20,000 bottles. Now, the vineyard has expanded to 16ha and makes between 80,000 and 90,000 bottles a year. The family has also just purchased another vineyard about 40 km east.
“We started sending our wines to competitions. We couldn’t just say our wines are getting better and are really good,” Nikki says.
“When we were confident our wines were of high quality we were more confident to sell to hotels and restaurants.”
IMG_6476
Not only is Nikki’s wine served in top-quality Bangkok restaurants such as the Rang Mahal and Australian-owned Nahm – recognised as one of the world’s top restaurants – but 20 percent of production is exported to Japan, The Maldives, Hong Kong, the US and even a Thai restaurant in Germany. And Nikki has this message to those skeptics who believe Thailand couldn’t possible produce good wine.
“I just say ‘try it’. We have a lot of that attitude towards Thai wine. That’s the main reason we have our cellar door her, that’s how we connect,” she says.
“I’d like to encourage people to give Thai wine another go because now we are producing much better quality wine. Please try again.”
IMG_6475
In fact, Khao Yai could be considered one of the more ideal places to grow wine, as there’s no frost and the vines don’t go into dormancy. The vines are pruned twice a year here so they can be harvested. There’s now 12 wines on the list, which boasts everything from a light chenin blanc to a gutsy shiraz, with a couple of experimental blocks of Italian varietals due to come to fruition in the next two years.
IMG_6431
The least expensive drop, the Sakuna Rose named after Nikki’s Chinese-born mother, sells for around AUD20, which is remarkable given it is so expensive to produce. There’s a 360 percent tax on wine in Thailand and all of the machinery is imported from places like Australia.
“It’s challenging here but if I was in Australia I’d be doing the same thing as everyone else. There are only a few of us making wine from grapes here,” Nikki says.
And things are bustling along in the Thai wine industry in general, with the Thai Wine Association celebrating its tenth birthday this year with eight members, of which Granmonte is recognised as the country’s best. But more importantly, those global gongs are starting to trickle in, including an award at last year’s Sydney Wine Show.
IMG_6468
On my final evening at Granmonte, I bump into Nikki walking through the vineyard in the late afternoon light.
“In a few minutes, go and stand at the front gate and look back over the vineyard. The light illuminates the vines and it’s really beautiful then,” she says.
I do as she says. Stand by the frangipani tree, bask in the humidity, look back over the vineyard framed by the mountains and drink in this intoxicating story of success. And there’s not an elephant in sight.
IMG_6537
The Global Goddess travelled as a guest of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. http://www.tourismthailand.org

The Goddess’ Briefs: Travel & Lifestyle tips for strong, smart, sexy and spiritual women (and the great men who love us)

IMG_2730
ROMANCING THE REEF
Regular Global Goddess readers will know that she is enamoured with two things: falling in love and Queensland. Combine the two and you’ve got a romantic getaway at the Reef House in Palm Cove. The last time I was in Palm Cove was many moons ago, following a luxury train journey 30 hours from Brisbane to Cairns. The Reef House encapsulates colonial beach-house ambience, personal service and laid-back luxury. The romance package, valid until March 31, 2014 is priced from $549 and includes two nights “colonial beach house” accommodation for two; a bottle of sparkling wine in room on arrival; tropical continental breakfast daily for two on the Reef House Ocean View Deck; Two $25 Day Spa vouchers for use at the Reef House Day Spa; Evening two-course Romantic Dinner for two at Reef House Restaurant; Complimentary “Brigadier’s Punch” in the Brigadier’s Lounge daily at twilight; and Complimentary wi-fi, plus in-house movies with a use of DVD player and DVD library. Phew! Now, I just need to find me a fella. http://www.reefhouse.com.au
Flowers looking up to to Brigadier Rooms
CATCH THE LASTEST AT HUKA LODGE
Across the ditch, and at one of her favourite places on the planet – New Zealand – the fine folk at the Huka Lodge are harking back to their past and offering a fun fishing package. Few know it, but the elegant Huka Lodge started out as a simple fishing camp in the 1920s. So it seems only fitting that those who book for a two-night stay, for a minimum of five Junior Lodge Suites (on a double-occupancy basis) will receive a complimentary trout fishing adventure for the entire party on Lake Taupo. Guests will be treated to a two-hour charter on board a private launch with expert fishing guides from Chris Jolly Outdoors. The package is available until December 14, 2013. While The Global Goddess enjoys a spot of fishing (she’s caught her fair share of Mangrove Jacks up in North Queensland), these days it’s more likely to be men she’s hoping to take the bait. Still, fresh trout caught from Lake Taupo wouldn’t be half bad either. http://www.hukalodge.co.nz
Alan Pye with his dog Major, fishing the Waikato River, 1931
FIJI ME
In case you needed further convincing, Fiji has just rolled out a new campaign in which it portrays this idyllic island nation as the happiest place on earth. Using the slogan: “Fiji – where happiness finds you”, the campaign showcases the Mamanuca and Yasawa island groups, Denarau, Nadi, the highlands and the Coral Coast on Viti Levu and Tavenui on the north. In terms of the happiest place on earth, there’s no argument here from The Global Goddess who travelled to Fiji in May. I was fortunate to stay at The Outrigger, Fiji and happiness practically chased me everywhere, particularly when my private butler arrived with canapés and champagne. Oh, and if you get the chance, try the Pure Fiji skincare product range. It’s truly sublime. http://www.fiji.travel.com and http://www.outriggerfiji.com
FijiOutrigger 011
SPRING INTO SPRING WITH THIS SPA TREATMENT
In winter, The Global Goddess had the good fortune of undergoing the Bamboo Bliss spa treatment at the Hilton, Surfers Paradise. One of her lucky followers (and if you’re not a follower, why on earth not?) also won the same treatment in one of The Global Goddess’ regular competitions. Now, the Hilton is back with a special spring spa treatment. Available at both the Melbourne and Surfers Paradise eforea: spa at Hilton, this 90-minute treatment uses internationally-acclaimed Kerstin Florian products. The $155 treatment includes an organic wildflower foot soak and full body massage with warm rose porphyry stones to clear energy pathways. To book, go to http://www.eforeaspa.com.au/special-offers.html
HiltonSurfersParadise 035
THE GONGS ARE RINGING AT GAIA
In August, The Global Goddess experienced the peace and serenity that is Gaia Retreat & Spa in the Byron Bay Hinterland. One of her lucky readers even won a two-night package there valued at $1595. It seems the Goddess is not the only one who thinks this is one special place owned by Olivia Newton-John. Gaia has been honoured at Australia’s Leading Boutique Hotel and Australia’s Leading Spa Resort at the World Travel Awards in Dubai. Gaia Director Gregg Cave also received the International Hotel & Property Award “Asia-Pacific Spa Hotel” for his design work at the International Design and Architecture Awards in London last week. For those who haven’t visited the retreat, here’s Five Golden Gaia Guidelines by which to enhance your life:
1. Eat well and drink plenty of water
2. Take quiet moments throughout the day and have plenty of sleep at night
3. Moderation and a little abstinence can go a long way in creating the new you
4. Exercise daily and moving the body is the key to optimum health
5. Do your best and be thankful and grateful for what you have already achieved.
http://www.gaiaretreat.com.au
IMG_2768