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VIP NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2012

VIP DESTINATION: 5 WINTER LOCATIONS DOWNUNDER

Winter is on its last gasp  downunder but there are still a few cool weeks left in the season.

Whether you like to hit the ski slopes or enjoy the fine dining, museums and cultural events of the brisker climates or prefer balmier seasides where you can still get a tan in winter these five places in both Australia and New Zealand should give you plenty of choice for a final winter sojourn as Spring approaches.

Hobart | Ski locations | Bay of IslandsMelbourne | Mackay

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HOBART, TASMANIA

www.visitedplanet.comIt might be cold in the winter months in Tasmania but pretty Hobart offers visitors plenty of activity to keep them interested and entertained. Just make sure you rug up.

The highlight for many is a visit to the wonderful Salamanca markets on Saturday mornings when the streets in front of the wharf come alive with fruit, vegetables, crafts, plants and other products. Winter is the perfect time to sample such local delights as hot mead or perhaps some locally made relishes. Another highlight is a wander around the old buildings around the port followed by a dinner of fish and chips from the floating boats in the harbour. A fantastic day could be spent scaling and enjoying the heights of Mt Wellington and for lovers of controversial art the new museum MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) is a must.

Accomodation | Tours

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SKIING, AUSTRALIA AND NZ

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Get in your last ski action of the year on slopes in Australia and New Zealand where action should continue (hopefully) right through until September.

With sites dotted across New South Wales, Victoria, the ACT and even Tasmania in Australia and right across the north and south islands in New Zealand you are spoilt for choice skiing downunder. You might never have considered a winter holiday on the slopes in this part of the world but with famous ski runs like Cadrona and The Remarkables usually guaranteeing good falls all season you'd be crazy to miss the opportunity for some white action.

Click here for a roundup of all the ski action from our recent blog. Here we list all the locations for skiing and accommodation in the area.

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BAY OF ISLANDS, NZ


www.visitedplanet.comThe stunning bay of islands on the far north of New Zealand's north island is probably one of the warmest places in the country during the winter months. While it's still not ideal weather for swimming, unless you've got a wetsuit, there are still plenty of activites here.

Firstly it's a very relaxing place and if you like gazing at pretty vistas with a book in hand then you're covered.  Those seeking more active pursuits can join sailing trips, go fishing, diving, see dolphins or even swim with them. There are also a wide variety of museums and plenty of chances to enjoy Maori culture.


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MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

www.visitedplanet.comIf you really want to embrace the cold weather head to the Victorian capital and enjoy the brisk winter days. Melbourne is famed for its great dining and settling into a cosy cafe, wandering markets and enjoy the varied cultural scene through museums, art galleries and an array of festivals is perfect at this time of year.

In August Melbourne is hosting the Melbourne Film Festival, Australia's premiere film event of the year. Great day trips from Melbourne also include the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island's penguin community.

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MACKAY, QUEENSLAND

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For a piece of paradise on the central Queensland coast and a chance to swim even in winter, head to Mackay - gateway to Eungella National Park, the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef.

In and around Mackay there are more than 30 beaches to choose from if you want to work on your winter tan. There's also a series of really good pedestrian walkways and bikepaths if you want to explore.

Of course the Whitsundays need little introduction with their wonderful islands, sailing, diving and snorkelling opportunities for visitors. The nearby Eungella National Park is famed for its rainforest and platypus.

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