Bowral Golf Club, a favourite with Accor Vacation Club members staying at The Sebel Bowral.

Fairway to Holiday Heaven

Teeing up great golfing experiences across Australia

Let’s face it – most families and friendship groups have at least one. That person who always insists on playing at least one round at the nearest golf course when away on holiday. Possibly, they are a true fanatic who’d prefer to leave a few essential travel items at home rather than leave their trusty golf clubs behind. Or maybe they are an up-with-the-sun golfer who welcomes sunrise with a swing and smile, before settling into sightseeing and happy hour when visiting somewhere new.

Well, golf lovers – this one is for you! This issue, we’ve put together an extensive Australian bucket list of great golf courses and golf-friendly Accor Vacation Club properties to help guarantee more ‘green’ time on your next trip away.

Fortunately, great golf is par for the course at many of Accor Vacation Club’s destinations. Read on for a selection of our favourite golfing spots, plus ideas for non-golf related alternatives in each destination to make sure your travel companions enjoy the experience as much as you do.

 

GOLD COAST, QLD

In November 2017, Accor Vacation Club welcomed one of Australia’s original prestige golf-resort addresses, the Mercure Gold Coast Resort, to its Australian network. It has already proven a hugely popular addition to the Accor Vacation Club family over the past year, and is major coup for Members who love to stay and play a variety of top notch golf courses within short walking or driving distance of their accommodation on the Coast with the most.

The Mercure represents Accor Vacation Club’s fourth hotel location on the Gold Coast and is in close proximity to not one, but five affiliated premiership golf courses that together are referred to as the ‘Green Belt’. Take your pick from Lakelands, Palm Meadows, Robina Woods, Colonial and The Glades, designed by Greg Norman. A different golf course for every day of the working (or holidaying) week!

Since opening its doors 21 years ago, the iconic Mercure hotel has earned a strong track record in supporting major sporting events – not least of all, in conjunction with events associated with the adjacent world-class Palm Meadows course, which has hosted a wide range of international tournaments over the last 25 years.

As its closest golf course, Palm Meadows provides a truly tranquil backdrop for Members staying at the Mercure’s Accor Vacation Club Apartments. The property is also ideally located for visitors to explore other great attractions in the region – beautiful beaches, lush hinterland, thrilling theme parks, the Glitter Strip of Surfers Paradise, plus many restaurants, bars and shopping that make this destination so sought after.

Golfers will love: An amazing choice of five premiership golf courses on their doorstep when staying at AVC’s apartments at the Mercure Gold Coast. Plus, for those who want to lower their handicap and improve their game, an experience at Palm Meadows driving range is highly recommended. The Golf School is a leading club fitting centre in Queensland with on range data which enables you to see real ball flight using the best technology and fully trained expert PGA fitting professionals. The Pro team there is friendly and bound to have a few tips to get you playing the best golf of your life.

Everyone will love: Trying the Gold Coast’s newest attraction – Top Golf Gold Coast. This venue features fun and competitive golf games for all ages, with climate-controlled playing “bays” similar to a bowling lane. Fun for all members of the family. There is also an impressive food and drinks menu, HDTVs to watch your favorite sporting games live, and a music selection that will make every visit feel like a party. Not a traditional golfing experience, but one the entire gang will enjoy!

 

COUNTRY VICTORIA

For those Members who want to get in the swing on a rural retreat beyond Melbourne, then The Sebel Creswick Forest Resort is the place to stay, and play, in grand country style.

One of the best forest golf courses in Victoria, the 18-hole Creswick RACV Goldfields Course, is conveniently located next door to The Sebel, and is definitely one to challenge and inspire punters.

A true treasure in the heart of the goldfields district, this championship course has been designed by Tony Cashmore, who created it to highlight the stunning bushland setting and natural surrounds of the area.  Featuring sloping fairways, languid lagoons and a mixture of well-placed bunkers, it is the perfect playground for experienced golfers who don’t mind slightly hilly terrain. That’s not to say that newcomers to the game won’t enjoy the goldfields course too. The beautiful scenery and spectacular views alone, combined with gently sloping walking conditions, will keep players of any handicap strolling along quite happily.

Golfers will love: A full Par 3 course available on the Goldfields course, for those after a quicker round. It’s also ideal for those or who simply want to try something different after triumphing over the rest of the 18-hole course. There is also a practice driving range with grass tees, practice green and nets which is open to the public. It’s not necessarily a long course, but given it is quite hilly, we’d recommend checking out the golf carts on offer too for those who prefer to ‘drive’ the gold rush range! Love those buggies.

Everyone will love: The spa capital of Australia, located right on The Sebel’s doorstep! Golf widows will be thrilled to know that Victoria’s historic gold rush country is not only great for golf – it’s famous for being the nation’s mineral and day spa capital too. So if you prefer a green mineral mud mask as opposed to a golf green while on holidays, then you’re in luck! The destination encompassing Creswick and Daylesford has some of amazing natural mineral springs to explore. If modern day, state-of-the-art treatments and massages are more your thing, then they are very easy to seek out. Check out the amazing list of local boutique day spas on offer in the district to revitalize your body and soul, not least of all historic Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa which has been welcoming those seeking rejuvenation since 1895. For something close to The Sebel Creswick, Members can visit the boutique day spa on offer at the neighbouring Goldfields RACV Golf Course complex (charges apply).

 

SUNSHINE COAST, QLD

Sunshine and great golf abounds at The Twin Waters Golf Club, one of the top six courses in Australia, and of course the absolute best course on the Sunshine Coast.

Designed by five times British Open champion Peter Thomson and partner Mike Wolveridge, the course at Twin Waters has a challenging layout, enjoyed against a picturesque coastal backdrop. Immaculately manicured, players will see kangaroos and birdlife sharing the space guaranteeing an enjoyable game for all that play this tranquil course.

In reviewing the course last year Golf Australia magazine wrote, “Complementing the quality of the design are the beautifully manicured playing surfaces. The greens and fairways are consistently presented at a high standard, which is one reason why the PGA of Australia has hosted more National Finals of the Holden Scramble here than anywhere else in its 25-year history.”

In addition to its second to none presentation, those Members staying at Twin Waters Sunshine Coast, Accor Vacation Club Apartments will also appreciate the close location of this 18-hole, 72 par championship golf course. Highly convenient, as are the facilities of sister resort, the Novotel Twin Waters, situated next door).

So whether it’s warm sunshine, championship golf courses, sandy-white beaches or wilderness walks there is always something for everyone on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Golfers will love:  Twin Waters wide fairways and large putting surfaces. Be warned…this course might not appear to be too difficult on first look, however it plays much tougher than first impressions, so  park your ego with your buggy and enjoy the challenge!

Everyone will love: Mudjimba’s patrolled surf beach, the perfect complement to our brilliant beach houses. Accor Vacation Club’s selection of sophisticated self-contained beach houses and apartments are a short walk from one of the Sunshine Coast’s best ‘hidden gems’, Mudjimba Beach. This secluded beach is bound by the Maroochy River on one side, and the Pacific Ocean on the other. Best of all, this aquatic playground is patrolled daily, 365 days of the year, which is reassuring for any casual beachgoer. Along the beach you’ll find excellent fishing spots in the rip gutters and at the river mouth just south of Twin Waters. For surfers there are consistent surf breaks along the beach with better banks towards Point Arkwright. The patrolled parts of the beach are perfect for the kids’ boogie board adventures.

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

For the best of golf in the West, jump in the car and take the simple 35 minute drive from Perth to The Sebel Swan Valley the Vines. Accor vacation Club’s apartments at The Vines are the ideal place to base yourself to play not one, but two challenging 18-hole golf courses located at The Vines Resort & Country Club’s.

Thanks to the amazing presentation and experience enjoyed by players on the Ellenbrook and Lakes golf courses, The Vines is continually rated as one of Australia’s best golf resorts. The lush, manicured gardens and immaculate greens of these magnificent Swan Valley courses are surrounded by natural bushland, where you can expect to be joined by local wildlife – not least of all curious wallabies – as you play each course.

For those up for a challenge, The Vines internationally ranked courses are the real deal with unique bunkering and an interesting course layout that follows the natural landscape making for a testing and enjoyable experience. There is also a driving range, unparalleled in Western Australia, featuring a fully grassed teeing off area and multi-tiered green surrounded by bunkers, for those wanting to perfect their short game.

A short drive from The Sebel Swan Valley The Vines is another popular course with Perth locals and travellers alike, Collier Park Golf Course. Located just 10 minutes south form the heart of the city, this local course offers 27 holes uniquely designed to offer three stand-alone, nine-hole courses. Worth checking out for players who want the option to practice three different strategies and techniques on shorter courses.

Golfers will love: Playing some of the largest greens in Australia, and following in the footsteps of some of the world’s most legendary golfers who have played The Vines. Over the years the courses have been visited and played by golfing greats from around the world, including Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Annika Sörenstam, Michael Campbell, Bernhard Langer and John Daly. The Vines was home to the Heineken Classic from 1993 – 2001, the Johnnie Walker Classic 2006, the LPGA Lexus Cup 2007 plus the Johnnie Walker Classic in February 2009.

Everyone will love: Sampling the Swan Valley’s finest wines. Let’s face it. The only acceptable way to ‘whine’ about golf when on holidays with a golf fanatic is at an actual vineyard! Fortunately for those that do indeed love a ‘wine’, the Swan Valley is Western Australia’s oldest wine growing region. With a viticulture heritage dating back 180 years, the Swan Valley is an intoxicating destination that has long tempted travellers’ seeking out the finer things in life.  An easy 25 minute drive from Perth’s city centre, and 10 minutes from the domestic airport, the Swan Valley is best known for producing specialty Verdelho wines (among Australia’s best), plus Chenin Blanc and Shiraz varieties. From fine wine to great food and culture, the Swan Valley will surprise and delight with more than 150 wineries, distilleries, micro-breweries, restaurants, art on its doorstep.

 

HUNTER VALLEY, NSW

As refined as its name suggests, The Vintage Golf Club in the Hunter Valley is widely regarded as one of the most elegant championship courses in Australia, and is home of the NSW Open Golf Championships, held each November.

This spectacular 18-hole, par 71 course (designed by Greg Norman) is rated among the top 2% of courses nation-wide. That makes it a must-play location for those who love the game. Described as “challenging but fair to all handicaps’, the course is an easy two hour drive from Sydney and provides a beautiful backyard scene for those Members staying at the Grand Mercure The Vintage, Accor Vacation Club Apartments. Convenience plus!

The winding course offers a relaxed scene, serving up a feast for the senses for players – a mix of regal vineyards and bucolic views in the distance, punctuated by eucalyptus forests, wetlands and peaceful creeks at different twists and turns.  The first nine holes are a good selection of short par 4s, while the rest of the course demands more accurate shots that will test your putting prowess but certainly boost your ego if successful.

Golfers will love: Playing the ‘wine and vine’ seventh hole. According to Golf Digest magazine, “The par-5 seventh takes you on a viticulture tour, up a steep hill from the tee, and then down it all the way to a slippery left-to-right sloping green. Miss the fairway or green left, and your ball could end up in the neighbouring winery’s next ‘vintage.” We prefer to think of it as the seventh heaven hole – a win/win situation, whether you end up direct on the green, or scrambling to the nearest winery for your ball, and a cheeky refreshment along the way!

Everyone will love: Exploring the expansive and fragrant Hunter Valley Gardens. Far from your typical flower patch, the amazing Hunter Valley Gardens span some 25 acres with ten separate feature themed gardens to explore – not least of all the prized Rose Garden with thousands of varieties on display. Overall there are 8 kilometres of garden trails to enjoy, with special features along the way such as a 10 metre high waterfall above a sunken garden, and a storybook garden for younger family members in mind. The Gardens host special events throughout the year, including a ‘snow time in the gardenss’ and Easter event. Its famous Christmas Lights Spectacular, which is on from November 02 – January 26, 2019 is the largest lights display in the Southern Hemisphere!

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

No golfing trip to South Australia is compete without a round on the Links Lady Bay golf course.  As the number one resort, and public, course in the state, its clever design, vistas and local wildlife make it something special to experience.

The well designed 18-hole golf course was masterminded by a trio of golfing greats – Jack Newton, John Spencer and Graeme Grant. It is considered a genuine ‘St Andrews’ style sand base course, and features subtle bent greens in the style of its Scottish cousin. A championship course where the untamed natural elements meet meticulously manicured fairways.

The Links Lady Bay Resort Accor Vacation Club Apartments is a must-stay property for Members who love the dazzling views of a dramatic coastline almost as much as a dramatic game of golf.  Situated on a coat hanger shaped strip of land that encapsulates the Fleurieu Peninsula, the property offers truly spectacular views, and most importantly for golfers, shares it home with the golf course. Almost too easy to fit in an early round before brunch, isn’t it?

Despite being just an hour’s drive from Adelaide, Links Lady Bay will have you feeling a million miles away from city life. The spectacular landscape and long, rugged coastline provide a visual feast, while off the golf course there are plenty or peaceful coastal hamlets, local wineries, restaurants and nearby sandy beaches to indulge your other senses for a truly satisfying holiday experience.

Links Lady Bay resort itself has a range of great facilities too, that complement Accor Vacation Club’s fully self-contained apartments, including an outdoor swimming pool, children’s playground and tennis courts.

Golfers will love: Trying their skill against the wind on the signature 17th hole. While some of the short holes on this course are said to rival some of the most famous links courses in the world, it is Links Lady Bay’s 17th hole that is perhaps its’ most challenging and satisfying to complete under par. With the honour of being one of ‘Australia’s best holes’, the 17th tests players agility and skill, requiring them to drive into the wind in order to achieve its ambitious par 3 score. May the force – or the wind – be with you!

Everyone will love: The chance to take part in a little penguin tour, after dark. Less than half an hour drive from Links Lady Bay is Granite Island Recreation and Nature Park – home to a small colony of wild Little Penguins, who return home from their day in the ocean at dusk. Granite Island Nature Tours are the best way to see Little Penguins in their natural habitat. But it’s not only Little Penguins you will see, with all the Islands natural wildlife to discover after dark. Visiting the island for 2 hours after dusk is only available via guided tour to protect the wild penguin colony. It is important to note that the guided penguin tours are subject to seasonal availability, as during February/March the penguins go through an annual moulting period. Bookings are essential and each night’s tour close at 4pm. Members can check out the specifics of taking a guided penguin tour by visiting the Victor Harbor Visitor Information Centre at the Causeway.

 

PALM COVE, TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

The Great Barrier Reef off North Queensland’s coast offers a world of colour to explore, thanks to its abundant coral gardens and marine life. But, let’s face it – for vacationing golfers, green is the only colour that really matters! It’s a good thing that Palm Cove’s signature colour is indeed green, with several great golf courses to tempt you away from the beckoning big blue of the reef.

For Accor Vacation Members staying at The Sebel Palm Cove Coral Coast or the Coral Coast Resort Palm Cove Accor Vacation Club Apartments, the Novotel Palm Cove provides an excellent 9 hole paid golf course in close proximity to your apartment, and great facilities. Set amidst 45 hectares of gardens this course welcomes visitors, and features lush fairways fringed by mountains and graceful melaleuca gums.  Watch out for the numerous water hazards as you play this course, and play to win!

Wedged between the Great Dividing Ranges and the Coral Sea is a public access course, the Palm Cove Country Club, which also offers nine-holes in a friendly and relaxed environment.  Perfect for casual players who don’t take the game too seriously, this course features seven par threes and two par fours. The highlight is a great par four ninth hole, back to the club house.

For more serious players, it’s worth checking out the 18-hole championship golf course at Paradise Palms. This course is host of the Mercedes-Benz Cairns Classic on the Australian PGA Pro-Am circuit which attracts some of Australia’s best professional golfers. Designed by Graham Marsh and Ross Watson, Paradise Palms is currently ranked in the top 50 public access golf courses in Australia by Golf Digest. But be warned – Marsh and Watson were commissioned by the original Japanese owners, Daikyo, to create Australia’s most difficult tournament venue when they designed this course– and they successfully met the brief! Having said this, the course is in fact suitable for golfers of all levels, and features wide fairways and peaceful surroundings.

Golfers will love:  Multiple tee options available at Paradise Palms, depending on your comfort level. Paradise Palms is a par 71 course, however offers multiple tee options, so players of all levels can confidently enjoy a round. Following its update in 2017, almost 250 metres has been added to the length of the course with new tees being built on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th and 18th holes, bringing a number of hazards and bunkers back into play.

Everyone will love: Having your choice of beachside or rainforest paradise, right on your doorstep.  Accor Vacation Club’s apartments are located just a short stroll to a tropical palm-fringed beach. The unspoilt paradise lies parallel to the beautiful Great Barrier Reef and is within easy reach of the renowned Daintree Rainforest and tropical Atherton Tablelands for your choice of daytrips. The Kuranda SkyRail is a must do.

 

COFFS HARBOUR, NSW

What is better than having direct beach access from the resort you’re staying at? How about having your very own 9-hole golf course to practice on? Pacific Bay Resort, Accor Vacation Club Apartments offer you both those things, ensuring your friends will be ‘green’ with envy on your next golf holiday.

Enjoyable, interesting and well maintained, the Bay Golf Course is ideal for beginners of professionals wanting to improve their short game.

For serious golfers those wanting to explore further afield after playing the resort course, try the Bonville Golf Course, a short 20 minute drive south. Widely regarded as ‘Australia’s most beautiful mainland golf course’, Bonville is home of the Australian Ladies Classic and has a great restaurant onsite for those who want to make a day of it. The Coffs Harbour Golf Club is another nearby option, a championship course offering 27 with three different layouts for the touring golfer to try.

When it comes to accommodation, Pacific Bay Resort, Accor Vacation Club Apartments provide guests with the perfect balance between fun and relaxation in a peaceful location, convenient to the heart of Coffs Harbour. In addition to the golf course, the resort has three tennis courts, and three heated swimming pools, offering everything you could want in a place to get away from it all.

Golfers will love:  Just enough hazards on the Pacific Bay course to keep things interesting. For those keeping things casual and local, the resort course has a great putting green to warm up on, and offers stunning views and a welcome coastal breeze. The signature 9th hole is an exciting way to wrap up you game, surrounded by water and enticing players to aim for an ‘island’ shot to make par.  Golf accessories and a cafe are also within the Pro Shop.

Everyone will love: Ticking a sunset camel ride on the beach off their bucket list! Forget the big banana. If bunkers have been giving you grief all day, then it might be time to let a camel deal with the sand underfoot for a change. If you want to try something fun, relaxing but entirely different, then perhaps a Coffs Coast Camel Ride is for you.  Coffs Coast Camels has 20 camels hailing from Alice Springs at the ready for beach rides, sunset and twilight tours and camel safaris, which last around 30 minutes. It’s something couples and families can equally enjoy.

 

SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, NSW

With scenery reminiscent of rural England, the Southern Highlands is something special. A classic retreat from all that is urban and suburban, exuding heritage charm, gorgeous gardens, rolling hills and forests at every turn.

For this very reason, The Sebel Bowral Heritage Park is one of Accor Vacation Club’s most popular addresses, with modern, fully self-contained apartments just moments from the heart of town. Keen golfers will be pleased to know that the Bowral Golf Club is even closer – right next door in fact! Not only does that mean that Members can enjoy views over the beautiful fairways from the comfort of their fireplace, but there are no excuses for missing tee off during your next stay.

More than 115 years in the making, the Bowral Golf Club is considered one of the best country courses in New South Wales. The course layout suits all levels of golf, so novices are in luck. One of our favourite features has to be the beautiful arbours and avenues of old English and native trees that border the fairways. Stunning in any season! If you are keen to test drive this course on your next visit, Accor Vacation Club Members can pre-book tee times through the Club, to plan the experience in advance.

Back at The Sebel, Members and guests have complimentary use of the hotel’s heated swimming pool too, which is a great way to unwind and rest your weary muscles after a day on the course.

Golfers will love:  Trading their golf club temporarily for a cricket bat to explore the Don Bradman Museum. Ok, it might not be exactly the right sport, however surely one great sportsperson can appreciate another?! Sports fans and history buffs will be impressed to know that the famous Bradman Museum and the International Cricket Hall of Fame, are both within walking distance of The Sebel in Bowral, ensuring that this attraction is a must visit destination.

Everyone will love: Finding a treasure at Dirty Jane’s Emporium. A popular haunt for stylists, designers and bargain hunters alike! Lovers of vintage and antique wares should definitely stop by the iconic Dirty Jane’s in Bowral. There are more than 75 dealers across three impeccably presented warehouse spaces, so be prepared to shop until you drop, or just window shop the vintage furniture, jewellery, clothing and homewares on display. There is even an ‘artist-in-residence’ and Tea Salon. A civilized way to spend the day.

If you are interested in booking a golf holiday at any of these locations, please call Accor Vacation Club’s friendly Member Services team on 1300 76 14 14 and select option 1 to discuss.

To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

 

 

Eureka flag The Sebel Creswick Forest Resort

Timeshare travel review – The Sebel Creswick Forest Resort

The Sebel Creswick Forest Resort is a fantastic place for a mini break beyond Melbourne, located just out of Ballarat and near gorgeous Daylesford. With a great choice of mountain biking trails, spa culture, golfing, pubs, restaurants and cafes on its doorstep, the destination is definitely one to lock in for an autumn or winter escape. Of course if you need more incentive to book a stay, then you’re in luck, with the property recently finishing a $145,000 refresh of its 18 apartments.

 

Step back in time

Located in the heart of Victoria’s gold rush country, Creswick, and its neighboring villages of Clunes, Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, The Sebel Creswick is the launch pad for a whole range of amazing sightseeing, wellbeing and heritage tour options. While some might argue that the town’s most famous export is author Norman Lindsay – who wrote the iconic children’s book, The Magic Pudding – others would say that historically, gold is its enduring legacy.

While Lindsay’s artistic memory is kept alive with museums, parks and many buildings named after him in Creswick, the intoxicating gold rush era of the 1850 is never far from mind, with elegant, grand heritage architecture on display in most main streets. A beautiful reminder of the intense prosperity the gold rush represented for the region.

The Buried Rivers of Gold Heritage Trail is a self-guided driving tour worth doing, for a personal journey to uncover the amazing history of gold fever across land and local rivers. Booklets and maps are available for $2 at the Creswick Museum or the Creswick Visitor Information Centre and provide an insight into Creswick’s past and surrounds.

 

Spas and wellness

Before wellness holidays were ever a ‘thing’, Victoria was en trend and home to the hot spring holiday phenomenon for more than 150 years.  Offering Australia’s largest concentration of natural mineral springs, the twin spa towns of Daylesford and the Hepburn Springs are restorative, natural healing and wellness qualities that need to be experienced to be believed! Since 1895, that is exactly what travellers have done, and although swimming in the mineral rich Hepburn Pool is now advised against, you can still soak in the rejuvenating warm waters at a range of nearby professional spas, not least of all the historic Hepburn Bathhouse or delightful destination day spas at The Lakehouse or the Mineral Spa, to name a few.

If spa therapies, steam rooms, pools and aromatherapy aren’t your game, then head to the 30 acre Hepburn Springs Mineral Reserve where an abundance of beautiful gardens and walks wait. The reserve is the perfect place for a picnic, and to fill up your empty water bottle with your choice of mineral waters from Australia’s first mineral reserve, created in 1865. Each spring tastes a little different as the composition of minerals varies – not exactly wine tasting, but a lot healthier for you most would say!

 

Did someone say wine?

Of course, if you have wine on your mind, Creswick is within easy driving distance to Ballarat, Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges’ many wineries for those who want to trade spring water for a taste of the red, white and sparkling!

The region has a premium wine reputation, with many boutique wineries benefiting from the region’s low temperatures and yields. Popular varietals include pinot noir, pinot gris, chardonnay and sparkling wines. The 2018 Trip Advisor Excellence awarded Daylesford Wine Tours is a great way to explore local vineyards, without the need for a designated diver.

For traditional cider lovers, check out the Daylesford Cider Company to sample English-style, estate-grown apple brews at their best. Worth a visit in winter, with mulled cider by the fire a perfect way to warm up.

 

Golden golfing and a great yarn

For some, no holiday is complete without a round of golf. Fortunately, The Sebel Creswick Forest Resort is moments from the Creswick Golf Club. Designed by legendary course architect, Tony Cashmere, the 150 acre, international class course is set against a native bushland setting. Each nine holes has two five-par holes and two three-par holes, and is an impressive 6300 metre, championship length from the back tees.

After talking up your golf game, another type of yarn awaits at the Creswick Woollen Mills, a new tourism experience with a difference.  “A Very Fine Yarn” showcases the journey of fibre sourced direct from its source – alpacas! Be sure to arrive at Creswick Woollen Mills early in the day to make the most of your production-site visit, check out the beautiful products on offer or to simply stroll the picturesque grounds and see the mills’ resident alpacas up close.

To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

The growers market in the Hunter Valley, one of many great local market experiences around Australia

Five friendly must-do local markets for Aussie holidaymakers

Local market culture is all about interesting food, wine, fashion and art. Exploring local markets while on holiday is often such a fabulous thing to do for an insight into how the locals live, and to uncover hidden treasures in your chosen destination.

We’ve compiled five of our favourites, including some lesser known community market ideas, for you to consider on your next stay with Accor Vacation Club in Australia.

 

The Shed Markets, Busselton Western Australia

We all know that a morning coffee stop is a small – but very important – part of any holiday itinerary! If good coffee is your thing, you can rest assured that The Shed Markets will deliver on your next stay in Busselton. The markets, which are open Thursday to Sunday weekly, now offers a ‘hole in the wall’ style coffee outlet, perfect for a caffeine hit before heading out to sightsee and enjoy the region.

Of course, this eclectic market offers so much more than just coffee. Inspired by their experience at the Earth Fair Food Market on a holiday to Cape Town, South Africa, owners of The Shed Markets, Chris and Donna Carlyle, have created a beautiful community space prioritising gourmet produce and culinary delights. If you like a market atmosphere that calls to all your senses, then this is definitely one for you to stop by.

If you’re after a spiritual encounter, take in a new age experience, or simply relax with a massage. Alternatively just enjoy some great food courtesy of local food trucks, organic fruit and vegetable stalls, and even the expertise of a butcher and fishmonger. For families, there is a kids play area, and groovers will love the live music sets that play every Friday night, creating a magic soundtrack to any Busselton market experience.

 When: Open 10am-6pm Thursday and Friday and 9am to 3pm Saturday and Sunday.

Where: 12 Caves Road, Abbey, Busselton

 

Sydney Fish Market, NSW

There are two types of people – those who don’t like seafood, and those who can’t live without it! If you fall into the latter category, then the Sydney Fish Markets at Pyrmont are a must do bucket list inclusion.

The market is permanent, so is open year round, for professional chefs, and amateurs alike. Let your foodie dreams run amok here as you enjoy energetic produce auctions, oyster bars, and fresh sashimi. For an unforgettable Sydney seafood market experience choose a piece of fresh fish and have it cooked up right in front of your eyes. Now that’s service!

 When: 7 days a week, 7am to 4.30pm

Where: Bank Street & Pyrmont Bridge Road, Sydney

 

 

Creswick Market, Regional Victoria

 Located in the picturesque and historic township of Creswick, just 20 minutes from Ballarat or the spa district of Daylesford, the Creswick Market is a great day out for the entire family. Even dogs are welcome here, for those visiting with a pooch on board.

Jewellery, great takeaway food and coffee, kid’s entertainment and live music are all draw cards for this country style gathering. In fact, there are more than 90 stalls to check out, so wear comfortable walking shoes so that you don’t miss a thing. The arts and crafts section is interesting with many designers there in person for you to speak with directly about the items they have produced and their inspiration and creative process.

There is an open-air section and great gardens to explore, plus a sheltered indoor section, so it a great place to visit no matter what the weather forecast. They are open every single month of the year and on special occasions they even hold twilight markets so you can stock up on some great unique gifts for Christmas or Easter.

 When: Every third Saturday of the month, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Where: Creswick Neighbourhood Centre, Victoria Street Creswick.

 

 

Palm Cove Markets, North Queensland

North Queensland’s premier community markets, the Palm Cove Markets showcase local, quality handmade products from contemporary jewellery, leather work, pottery, clothes, skincare, plants and produce, wellness stalls and food.  The markets include great family activities such as crazy golf, henna tattoos and entertainment.

When: First Sunday of every month from April to December, except in October when it coincides with the Reef Feast Event. From 8am-2pm.

Where: Williams Esplanade, between Cedar Road and Harpa Street. These streets are closed for the market allowing visitors to browse safely.

 

 

Handmade in the Hunter Markets, Pokolbin NSW

Enchanting is one great word to sum up the experience at the Handmade in the Hunter markets in picturesque village of Pokolbin.

This country style market has the distinction of being the longest-running, genuine, handmade market in the vineyard area, so it’s easy to see why many choose to plan their visit to the Hunter Valley around a visit to this charming venue.

There are many wineries come concert venues close by including Hope Estate, Bimbadgen and Roche, and Handmade in the Hunter Markets are held to coincide with concert dates and other major vineyard events.

It’s a great idea to check out the schedule to make sure the market is available on the day you’re in town, and to see if there are any other great entertainment and concert events on in the area at the same time, to make a true long weekend or week of it.

Come along to see, taste, try, buy and marvel for yourself at what the vibrant Hunter Valley artistic and creative community has to offer.

When: Saturdays 9am to 3pm. Some Sundays 9am to 2pm. The markets are held, weather permitting. Check out the market calendar for Sunday dates.

Where: Kevin Sobels Winery, 5 Halls Road Pokolbin NSW

 

These are just five of the hundreds of amazing local markets you can explore around Australia.

If you are interested in visiting any of our top five markets on your next holiday, check out the Accor Vacation Club Apartment options available in each location to stay and explore in style. 

 

 

 

For more information, visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au