We’ve just got back from a wonderful trip to Australia and I have to say Pethers set deep in the Queensland rainforest is simply stunning. You feel as though you are truly in the heart of the jungle with all the bird sounds around you plus you are totally private enough to take a double jacuzzi bath overlooking the foliage with no chance of being overlooked! The treehouse room was bigger than our London apartment and we enjoyed our daily breakfast (delivered to the room each morning) on a huge balcony in the midst of the trees. We loved watching the parrots swoop overhead! It’s run by a great couple Tim and Ilena who were really friendly and made us so welcome. We had dinner one night and it was the best meal of the trip and reasonably priced. It’s not far from Brisbane -probably an hour and a half but you really feel as though you are miles from civilisation.
There are loads of backpacker hostels in Brisbane, especially in the Fortitude Valley with its buzzing nightlife.
But this award-winning hostel really goes the extra mile, with free pick up from the train station and a 'travel agency' for booking tours and surfing trips at cheap rates. The super-friendly staff will even help with finding a job on your travels!
The private rooms are like trendy loft apartments, but the amazing bar and cafe 'Birdee Num Num' comes as standard, with Sunday BBQ 'sessions', live music most nights, and an outdoor heated pool for late-night pool parties.
The best bit about this hostel? The on-site spa for a spot of pampering - a welcome to weary backpackers everywhere after weeks on the road.
The Emporium hotel (opened Jun07) is to be highly recommended. Super service with fantastic luxurious rooms makes it a great place to stay. The hotel is located in the Emporium Food and fashion precinct in the 'Valley.
Cheap it is not, but it's worth the stay. I also have to mention that the entrance to the hotel is... amazing!
Famous old hotel in Kangaroo Point with a fantastic view across the river of the CBD. Good tucker in three different bars or in the adjoining steak house (Deery's Restaurant). Annual cockroach racing on Australia Day.
North Stradbroke Island, more commonly known to the locals as "Straddie" is a terrific holiday island just a 40-minute ferry ride from the mainland.
Ideal for those fans looking to take a bit of a break from the hardcore backpacker trail. For a couple of days, Straddie has miles of fantastic beaches, several top watering holes and a unique laid back atmosphere that you won't find elsewhere.
Accomodation is plentiful and reasonably cheap and it is well worth hiring a 4WD, although not essential, to get around the many 4WD tracks and go up and down the miles of beaches to find your perfect spot.
UK visitors will find the natural charm of the island a revelation although be careful swimming as there was a fatal shark attack off Amity Point in 2005.
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