Melissa Woodley is the Travel & News Editor for Time Out Australia, where she inspires locals and travellers to explore the best of the country, including places to visit, things to do and spots to eat.

Before joining Time Out as the Branded Content writer for Sydney in 2023, she freelanced as a food writer for The Urban ListSBS Food and Broadsheet, among others. She also had a short stint in hospitality PR, has experience in the social media and digital marketing world, and even started a social enterprise at 21.

When Melissa is not playing with words, you’ll find her running laps around Centennial Park, volunteering at the OzHarvest Refettorio, telling you how cute her dog is and eating her way through Sydney. She has a soft spot for pastries and pickles, is passionate about paying it forward, and is likely planning her next holiday right now.

You can reach her at melissa.woodley@timeout.com or connect with her @sporkdiaries on Instagram. 

Melissa Woodley

Melissa Woodley

Travel & News Editor, Time Out Australia

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Articles (161)

The best new restaurants in Sydney

The best new restaurants in Sydney

It's July, which means we’re more than halfway through the year (sidebar: where did that time go?), and Sydney’s restaurant openings are showing no signs of slowing down. Thank god, because we’re hungry. Keen to make a booking at the hot new spot? You’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve rounded up the best new restaurant openings in Sydney right now, curated by Time Out’s Food & Drink Editor and professional eater (and drinker) Avril Treasure. Currently, we’re crushing on Marrickville’s ace steakhouse from a former Rockpool top gun, 20 Chapel; a Mexican eatery housed in a 100-year-old warehouse, Comedor; and Merivale’s good-times-only Good Luck Restaurant Lounge. Dig in. Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Sydney newsletter for more news, food & drink inspo and activity ideas, straight to your inbox. Looking for something to wash it all down with? These are our favourite bars in Sydney right now. Keen to eat your way around the city? These are the best restaurants in Sydney, from hot newcomers to the OGs.

The 20 best restaurants in Brisbane

The 20 best restaurants in Brisbane

Brisbane restaurants are a celebration of the city’s diversity. From a sprawling Greek taverna overlooking the river and a tiny, Nordic-inspired fine diner to a contemporary Chinese eatery with a spicy Sichuan fish broth that will make your eyes water, these are the places Time Out recommends for a culinary adventure in the River City. Need a nightcap? These are the best bars in Brisbane.

The best Mexican restaurants in Sydney right now

The best Mexican restaurants in Sydney right now

For devotees of genuine Mexican fare, it's a great relief that Sydney is no longer only served by the tacky Tex-Mex, stand-and-stuff, burrito-centric eateries there were once the sole expression of the cuisine readily available here. There's now an exciting new wave of Mexican diners sweeping Sydney, with nary a pinata, sombrero or lucha libre mask in sight. We're not saying there isn't a time and a place for a bowl of liquid queso and a dorito or two - there really is - but with a culture and cuisine that spans thousands of years and dozens of regions, it's a crime to assume that Old El Paso and a cartoonishly large frozen Margarita is anything close to 'authentic'. Prime your palate for the true flavours of Mexico with our guide to the best Mexican eateries in Sydney, curated by Time Out Sydney's critics including Food & Drink Editor and Mexico-lover, Avril Treasure. Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Sydney newsletter for more news, food & drink inspo and activity ideas, straight to your inbox. RECOMMENDED READS: Keen to get around some killer spots for an arvo tequila or two? Check out Sydney's best rooftop bars Love spice? Check out our guide to Sydney's hottest Thai restaurants Thirsty? Have a look at the best bars in Sydney right now

The best Italian restaurants in Sydney

The best Italian restaurants in Sydney

There’s no doubt about it, Sydneysiders can’t get enough of Italian food. And who can blame us? There’s something about a bowl of perfectly al dente pasta paired with a luscious, rich ragu that just hits the spot. And white Italian cuisine differs throughout the 20 incredible regions – broadly speaking the northern regions eat more rice and polenta, and down south they feast more on seafood – Italians share a love of beautiful, seasonal produce, choosing simplicity rather than overcomplicating dishes, and cooking food with soul. No wonder we love it so much. Luckily, there are a wealth of excellent options to choose from when it comes to Italian dining in Sydney. Time Out’s editors and critics, including our Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure, have picked our favourite eateries covering all bases – from casual red-sauce joints and classic pizzerias to fine dining restaurants – so no matter what mood you're in, there's something here for you. Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Sydney newsletter for more news, food & drink inspo and activity ideas, straight to your inbox. Not in the mood for pasta? Here are our picks of the best spots for Greek and French food in Sydney.

9 Aussie travel destinations that'll make you feel like you're on a European holiday

9 Aussie travel destinations that'll make you feel like you're on a European holiday

For many of us in Australia, travelling to Europe – the land of high culture, orthopaedic sandals and artisan cheese – is fairly out of reach. You know, the economy, and all that. Thankfully, we've got a solution.  Enter: Travel destinations in Australia that look (almost) exactly like Europe. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, or something – right? Europe is obviously a land of diverse plenty, and as such, so is this list. We've raked together the best places Down Under that each hold a striking resemblance to a different European locale. From the high alpine ridges of the Norwegian Alps to the turquoise glitter of the Grecian Isles, this list is the low-cost, high-reward antidote to Instagram doom scrolls during the months of June and July. Australia, with fewer crowds and absolutely no Euros, this is all you need. Leave Europe to the Northern Hemisphere, and take your wanderlusting feet for a walk back home. Who knows what you'll find? Keen to stay local? Here are the most incredible places to visit in Australia.

The best vegan restaurants in Sydney

The best vegan restaurants in Sydney

People are choosing plant-based eating for its softer step on the Earth, concerns about animal cruelty, and the health benefits of vegetable-rich diets. Plus, there's been a rise in flexitarian diets – you might not be a full-time vegan, but where you can, you opt for more plants on your plate. Only a few years ago, vegan dining meant a whole lot of pulses and sprouts, but now Sydney is home to plant-based burger shops, classic Italian pizzerias that showcase cheese and meat alternatives, gelato shops that favour coconut bases, and a growing contingent of fine diners offering fancy degustations for vegans. Below, we've rounded up the best vegan restaurants in Sydney. Cool with eggs and dairy? Check out the best vegetarian restaurants in Sydney. Got a mixed group? Head to one of the best restaurants in Sydney. On a budget? Have a look at the best cheap eats in Sydney. Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Sydney newsletter for more news, food & drink inspo and activity ideas, straight to your inbox. Want to shop sustainably? Check out our guide to ethical shopping in Sydney here.

The 30 best wineries to visit in Australia

The 30 best wineries to visit in Australia

Australia’s charming climates and picturesque landscapes are a recipe for some of the world’s finest wines. You’ll find more than 100 grapes grown across our leading wine regions, which are concentrated in South Australia’s Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, NSW’s Hunter Valley, Victoria’s Yarra Valley and beyond. You could spend weeks jumping between cellar doors in each region, sipping fine wines all day long – but that’s probably not entirely sensible. Why not start with our 30 top picks, and take it from there? Whether you opt to journey as part of a group or embark on an impromptu self-guided tour, these are the wineries to uncork. RECOMMENDED: Plan your winery tour around a meal at one of Australia’s best restaurants.

The 16 best things to do in Exmouth

The 16 best things to do in Exmouth

The sleepy coastal town of Exmouth is adjacent to the Cape Range National Park and the 300-kilometre Ningaloo Reef – a region that is drop-dead gorgeous and brimming with vitality. Located about 1,270 kilometres north of Perth – around a 15-hour drive or two-hour flight to nearby Learmouth – it’s a nature lover’s playground with one of the longest fringing reefs on the planet, meaning in many places the coral comes right up to the beach.  You can swim with whale sharks (don’t worry, they’re harmless filter feeders that can grow up to 18 metres in length), spot a black-footed rock wallaby at Yardie Creek, or take a guided walk through the fossil-crusted Mandu Mandu Gorge, which has been inhabited by humans for about 30,000 years. Here are the best things to do in Exmouth, including where to eat and stay. RECOMMENDED: Your ultimate guide to Rottnest Island. // var axel = Math.random() + ""; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write(''); //

The 17 best cafés in Brisbane

The 17 best cafés in Brisbane

You’ll have plenty of reasons to rise and shine in Brisbane. With an array of the Sunshine State’s finest cafĂ©s and some of Australia’s highest calibre coffee roasters, choosing where to go first is an unexpected (but fun) challenge.  To help you navigate the city, we’ve collated this guide to Brisbane’s best cafĂ©s. From hidden laneway gems and suburban corner stores to a quirky Vietnamese spot and a completely gluten-free doughnut shop, we've got you covered. All that’s left for you to do is eat your way through it. RECOMMENDED: These are the best restaurants in Brisbane right now.

The best vegetarian restaurants in Sydney

The best vegetarian restaurants in Sydney

Long gone are the days when mushroom risotto was the only option on Sydney menus for vegetarians. Okay, so a few places are still championing that veggo staple, but if you know where to go you don't need to set eyes on it again. Not all of these restaurants are exclusively vegetarian, but every place on this list is serving the kind of exciting, delicious vegetable-based fare that will make you reconsider meat in favour of a whole head of roasted cauliflower, a perfect puffy pizza or a totally plant-based degustation. Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Sydney newsletter for more news, food & drink inspo and activity ideas, straight to your inbox. If you're a dedicated herbivore, you can find Sydney's best vegan restaurants. Want more? Check out our guide to Sydney's best restaurants here.

The 19 best food and drink festivals in Australia

The 19 best food and drink festivals in Australia

Ah, food. Glorious, glorious food. There’s nothing more we’d rather travel around the world for.  Almost every state, city and even town in Australia has its own food and drink bash, bringing together the best chefs, farmers, producers and suppliers around the country. Whether you’re a wine wanker, a seafood seeker, a beer buff or a truffle hunter, there food and drink festivals in Australia are well worth the journey. Hungry? These are the best restaurants in Australia right now.

The best musical and theatre shows to see in Australia in 2024

The best musical and theatre shows to see in Australia in 2024

From musicals based on much-loved and seriously messed up kids’ TV shows to gothic horror reimagined via icons returning to the stage after decades away, this year in theatre is shaping up to be one of the strongest we’ve seen in quite some time.Here are a few shows we know you’ll want to catch before it’s too late to say you were there. RECOMMENDED: Culture vultures, come and get your fix at these top Australian art galleries. Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Australia newsletter for more news, travel inspo and activity ideas, straight to your inbox. 

Listings and reviews (321)

East Hotel

East Hotel

Anyone who still bangs on about Canberra being boring clearly hasn’t checked into the East Hotel. Located smack bang in the centre of arguably Canberra’s trendiest suburb, Kingston, this moody 140-room property is perfect for a family getaway. Though playful in spirit, East Hotel doesn’t play around when it comes to your hotel experience. The lobby, with its vibrant colours, mismatched textures, and ambient lighting, breaks the mould of the typical ‘design hotel’. Check in after 5pm and you’ll be greeted with a lively buzz, as laughter and chatter spill out from Joe’s, the hotel’s cosy Italian bar, and Agostinis, one of Canberra’s best Italian restaurants  (and believe us – it has some stiff competition).  East Hotel’s studios are spectacularly spacious, decorated with jewel-tone couches, velvet cushions, plush carpets and cheery art. In the apartments, you’ll find enough closet space to satisfy a RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, as well as an open plan living area, fully equipped kitchen, separate bedroom and large bathroom with an oversized Jacuzzi bathtub. You could easily sink into its warm embrace (with daily replenished Appelles Apothecary bath salts), or toast to the weekend with a wine on the balcony, overlooking the surrounding parks and mountains. Got kids in tow? East Hotel has specialised child-friendly cubby rooms that can connect to any of their standard apartments. These rooms are decked out with bunk beds, play tables, bean bags, board games and Xbox 360s, plus

Beltana Farm

Beltana Farm

Canberra’s dining scene has come leaps and bounds in recent years, now home to a wealth of restaurants that rival the ranks of Sydney and Melbourne. One of the city’s best-kept secrets is the newly opened Beltana Farm. Tucked away amongst 800 truffle trees on a picturesque Pialligo estate, this charming farmhouse serves up rustic Australian share plates and top-notch wines.  In summer, soak up the sunshine streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows while taking in views of the manicured gardens with a Spritz in hand. Come winter, cosy up by the two-sided fireplace and enjoy elevated comfort classics, including potato damper with macadamia dukkah; flaky potato and carrot galette; smoked lamb rump with burnt apple; and Anzac biscuit cheesecake for dessert.  Too tired to commute home? You can stay the night in one of Beltana Farm’s country cottages or enchanting yurts. Then hang around the next day for one of their spectacular truffle hunt and tasting experiences, available throughout winter.

The Truffle Farm

The Truffle Farm

Once a rarity exclusive to the faraway foodies of Europe, Canberrans now have some of the world's finest truffles right on their doorstep. The region's homegrown truffle scene has exploded recently, thanks to dedicated local truffle farmers, like Jayson Mesman and his adorable truffle-sniffin’ pooches.  Every winter, you can rug up and join Canberra’s most charming truffle dog duo on an interactive truffle hunt through the picturesque forest of 8,500 oak and hazelnut trees in the Majura Valley. After a quick history lesson into the world of truffles – enough to make you consider a career change upon learning they fetch $2,500-$3,000 per kilo – you’ll venture into the paddock for 45 minutes of exploring. We were lucky enough to be guided by Vixen, one of The Truffle Farm’s 14 skilled labradors, capable of unearthing $10,000 worth of black gold in less than an hour. Within five minutes of our hunt, she had already sniffed out her first treasure. Jason showed the group how to carefully dig up the truffle; its musky, earthy aroma filling the air before it's fully exposed. We were encouraged to get their hands dirty, and also to reward Vixen with plenty of pats and cuddles for her hard work. After hunting down a handful of these prized little fungi, we retreated to the warmth of The Barn for a lavish degustation lunch, prepared by the current resident chef, Kanharith Kim (Quay). The five or six-course degustation menu changes monthly, with each dish even more impressive than the l

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

You can live your best Little Mermaid fantasy at the Great Barrier Reef – the largest coral reef in the entire world. Made up of more than 1,050 islands and 3,000 individual reef systems, this is easily one of Australia’s most sought-after tourist hot spots. You can experience the technicolour marvels of the reef on and off the water, with experiences like snorkelling, scuba diving, glass-bottomed boat viewing, helicopter tours, whale watching and swimming with dolphins. Is the Great Barrier Reef dying? In April 2024, the Great Barrier Reef suffered its most widespread coral bleaching event on record, caused by intense heat stress from rising global sea temperatures. This sent shockwaves all around the world, marking the fourth global coral bleaching event and the seventh mass bleaching event for the Great Barrier Reef since 1998. Great Barrier Reef Authority chief scientist, Dr Roger Beeden, listed “above average water temperatures, widespread coral bleaching, two cyclones and continued crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks” as the main causes of the latest mass bleaching event.   What are the biggest threats faced by the Great Barrier Reef? Climate change poses the greatest threat to coral reefs worldwide, particularly heat stress caused by rising ocean temperatures over summer and amplified by the recent El Niño phenomenon. Anna Marsden, managing director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation explains that warmer waters are “forcing marine species to move to cooler habitats,

Two Good Co Café

Two Good Co Café

July 2024 update: In very tasty news, sweetheart of the Sydney food scene Danielle Alvarez – who led the kitchen at Fred’s from 2016 until 2022, before going on to write life-enhancing cook books and bring fuel to some of Sydney’s biggest events as culinary director of the event spaces at Sydney Opera House – is behind this month’s specials menu. Alvarez will bring her signature elevated comfort food to the Two Good Co CafĂ©, with a spicy tuna melt toastie, an aromatic pumpkin soup and macadamia-loaded brown butter and white chocolate blondies available for four weeks only. If you can’t get to the Darlinghurst cafĂ©, you can sample one of Danielle’s delicious recipes at Loam – the sexy Surry Hills diner is serving up her divinely decadent saffron lasagnette throughout July, with $2 from each dish going to Two Good Co. ***** Your morning coffee and toastie go the extra mile at Two Good Co CafĂ©. Housed within Darlinghurst’s Yirranma Place, this social enterprise cafĂ© provides employment opportunities for vulnerable women, while serving wholesome menus curated by Sydney’s top celebrity chefs. Two Good Co began as an organic soup kitchen back in 2015, and later branched out to sell catering-style salads and soups on a buy-one-give-one model. Now, the social enterprise is in its seventh year and to date, has donated almost 250,000 meals to those in need. What’s more, the Two Good Co CafĂ© has provided more than 50,000 hours of paid employment for women with lived experience of homele

Odyssey Bistro

Odyssey Bistro

Odyssey lives up to its name in every way possible, presenting a long, adventurous and flawless dining experience in the heart of Hervey Bay. The fate of your journey at this farm-to-table bistro is presented in a hand-sealed menu, featuring a three-course line-up that changes monthly based on the produce and proteins available from local suppliers. You can trace the origin of your freshly shucked oysters, fish crudo or triple cream brie, along with the perfectly paired drinks from local distilleries, breweries and wineries. Every dish and drink really is a love letter to the Fraser Coast region and its people.

The Overflow Estate 1895

The Overflow Estate 1895

You could easily spend the whole day at this dreamy winery, which is perched just behind the shimmery Wyaralong Dam. Start with a tasting of their signature wines, including a refreshing sparkling rosé or timeless tempranillo. Then, settle in for a French-inspired long lunch overlooking the vineyards. The two or three-course menu features snails in wild mushroom arancini, carb and crayfish lasagna, slow-cooked beef cheeks and pistachio crÚme brûlée. 

Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park

There are more than 160 kilometres of tracks waiting for you to explore in this Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Get lost in the magic of it all on the seven-kilometre Caves Walk, which winds through open eucalypt forest and offers spectacular views into the Coomera Valley and Darlington Range. Keep an eye out for snoozing koalas in the trees and also for white-throated treecreepers, members of one of the oldest groups of songbirds. Fun fact: The national park was named after a Governor of Queensland, Lord Lamington.

Kooroomba Lavender Farm

Kooroomba Lavender Farm

The fields are alive at this gorgeous lavender farm, set on a six-hectare vineyard in the Fassifern Valley at Mount Alford. Kooroomba is perhaps the Scenic Rim’s best-kept secret, boasting an award-winning cellar door and restaurant on the farm. The best time to visit is between June and August, as lavender thrives in the cooler climate. However, Kooroomba’s six varieties of French and Italian lavender bloom almost all year round, ensuring perfect photo opportunities no matter the season. 

Scenic Rim Farm Shop and Café

Scenic Rim Farm Shop and Café

Right next door to Elderflower Farm is the equally enchanting Scenic Rim Farm Shop and CafĂ©. Here, you can pick up the freshest local produce to cook up during your stay, then relax under the shady jacaranda trees to enjoy house-baked cakes or hearty lunch dishes. We’re talking everything from freshly baked Turkish bread rolls with poached chicken and coffee-rubbed brisket nachos, to local coffee, juices and kombucha. PS: Well-mannered dogs are most welcome to join too.

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

Soar high above Tamborine Mountain’s beautiful and lush rainforest canopies on this leisurely 1.5 kilometre skywalk. After winding through forest floor trails, you’ll ascend to a path of raised steel bridges, including a 30-metre-high cantilever bridge that offers stunning views of the creek and rainforest below. Keep a lookout for exotic insects, butterflies, birds and reptiles along the way.

Mountview Alpaca Farm

Mountview Alpaca Farm

Alpaca your bags for a delightful day out with the whole family at this incredibly adorable alpaca farm. Located on the O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards in Canungra, it’s a place where parents will have just as much fun as the little ones. You can feed, cuddle, walk or snap a selfie with Mountview’s 50 friendly alpacas, before sharing a gourmet picnic hamper by the creek.

News (208)

This surprising city has just been crowned as the cultural capital of Australia

This surprising city has just been crowned as the cultural capital of Australia

Darwin is usually cast as the backup dancer to Australia’s star capital cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. But Australia’s smallest capital city is ready to steal the show after being named as the cultural capital of Australia. Round of applause!  This crown was awarded by language learning platform, Preply, which set out to determine the Australian capital city with the best cultural experiences per capita. We’re talking about the number of cultural tours, ‘hatted’ restaurants, cultural attractions, museums, theatre events, libraries, concerts/shows and markets available, with the data sourced from trusty sites like TripAdvisor and Booking.com.  As expected, Australia’s biggest capital cities had the highest number of cultural experiences overall, with Sydney tallying 535, Melbourne tallying 441 and Perth tallying 244. However, to level the playing field, the researchers divided the number of events by population size to determine the final rankings. Tiny but mighty, Darwin claimed the crown as Australia’s number one capital city for cultural experiences per capita. With 102 experiences overall, it boasts the second-highest number of concerts and shows (only behind Sydney), plus a rich line-up of cultural experiences where visitors can gain a deeper appreciation for Aboriginal art, spirituality and history. That’s not to mention Darwin’s many incredible restaurants, fascinating museums and galleries, plus stunning outdoor attractions, including the Worl

The world’s largest rock is right here in Australia – but it’s not Uluru

The world’s largest rock is right here in Australia – but it’s not Uluru

Think Uluru is the biggest rock in Australia? Think again. Taller than the Empire State Building, as wide as 614 Harbour Bridges, and more than twice the size of Uluru, Mount Augustus is not just the biggest rock in Australia but in the entire world.  Many Australians are shocked to discover that Mount Augustus, referred to as Burringurrah by local Wadjari people, is said to be more than 1.6 billion years old – making it far larger and older than Uluru. However, the rock monocline's somewhat remote location in Western Australia's golden outback means it remains relatively unknown around the country. Here’s everything you need to know about Australia’s largest rock. Where is Mount Augustus? Mount Augustus covers 4,795 hectares of the northwest Gascoyne region in Mount Augustus National Park, Western Australia. It is a two-day (1,000 kilometre) drive northeast of Perth, a 6.5-hour (465-kilometre) drive east of Carnarvon via Gascoyne Junction, or a six-hour drive (350 kilometres) northwest of Meekatharra. How big is Mount Augustus? Mount Augustus rises 717 metres above the rust-red plains, spans around eight kilometres in width, and has a base circumference of roughly 49 kilometres. From the air, you can see it from more than 160 kilometres away. Photograph: Tourism Western Australia Is Mount Augustus bigger than Uluru? Contrary to popular belief, Uluru isn’t the largest rock in Australia. Mount Augustus would easily swallow it up, standing 367 metres taller than Uluru and st

Australia has the world’s easiest citizenship test – but would you pass?

Australia has the world’s easiest citizenship test – but would you pass?

Australians, reckon you’ve got what it takes to pass our nation’s citizenship test? The odds are in your favour! Fresh research has revealed the world's easiest (and hardest) citizenship tests for natives to pass, and Australia graduated top of the class with an impressive 96 per cent pass rate. Becoming a permanent citizen of Australia comes with many perks – from holding one of the world’s most powerful passports and having the right to vote in elections to applying for federal jobs and living without the fear of deportation. Native Australians don’t have to think twice about these benefits. But if a test was the gateway to these privileges, do you think you’d pass? The researchers at digital financial institution, Remitly, looked into the countries where it's the easiest (and hardest) for natives to pass their own country's citizenship test. They recruited 2,100 participants in the world’s most popular relocation destinations, giving 300 citizens from each country a simplified version of their nation’s citizenship test. To pass, participants had to score more than 11 out of 15 on the practice test. In reality, prospective Aussie citizens face 20 multiple choice questions, drawn from a pool of 200, and must correctly answer at least 15 questions (including all five about Australian values). Aussie citizens topped the charts, ranking our island home as the easiest country for residents to pass their citizenship test. Out of the 300 Aussie participants assessed, an impressive

K’gari is set to dazzle with a first-of-its-kind Australian light show launching later this year

K’gari is set to dazzle with a first-of-its-kind Australian light show launching later this year

For many Aussies, a trip to K’gari (formerly Fraser Island) is the ultimate bucket list adventure. Now, the allure of the world’s largest sand island has become even stronger, with the introduction of Illumina, an all-new light and laser show debuting later this year. Brought to life by the mastermind behind Uluru’s famous drone show, Bruce Ramus, Illumina will tell the story of the World Heritage-listed island through a symphony of glittering lights, colourful projections and laser beams. This mesmerising new installation is set to light up the skies of K’gari from September 30, 2024, becoming Queensland’s first-ever permanent interpretive light show. Illumina’s debut exhibition, Return to Sky will unfold in three acts, portraying K’gari’s incredible journey of regeneration and growth. Set amidst the natural beauty of the Kingfisher Bay Resort’s wallum wetlands, Illumina will be an exclusive experience for resort guests, with two 20-minute shows each night.  Photograph: Supplied | Kingfisher Bay Resort | Image Render Creating Return to Sky was a full-circle experience for Melbourne-based international light artist, Bruce Ramus, who has designed light spectacles for international concerts by artists, like David Bowie, R.E.M. and U2. Down Under, he’s best known as the visionary behind Uluru’s famous Wintjiri Wiru drone show. In reflecting on his journey, Ramus said: “Back in 1987, when I first visited the island as a young Canadian backpacker, on a journey of self-discovery,

2024 Logie Awards Australia: When is it and how to watch for free

2024 Logie Awards Australia: When is it and how to watch for free

Australian television's event of the year – the 2024 TV Week Logie Awards – is just around the corner, bringing a chance to honour the brightest television stars and standout shows from the past 12 months. The 64th Logies will take place in Sydney this August, with 23 awards up for grabs. Vying for those little golden trophies are stars like Andy Lee, Sonia Kruger, Robert Irwin and Tony Armstrong, alongside celebrated shows including Boy Swallows Universe, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart and Bay of Fires. Here’s everything you need to know about voting and watching the awards in Australia. When is the 2024 Logie Awards? This year's Logies will be broadcast across Australia on Sunday, August 18. For the second time in 37 years, the ceremony will be held in Australia's Emerald City (aka Sydney) at The Star Sydney. Australian comedian and Have You Been Paying Attention presenter, Sam Pang, will host the Logies for the second year running. How can you watch the Logies in Australia?  The awards will be broadcast for free on Channel Seven and 7Plus on the night of the event.  Who’s nominated in the 2024 Logies? There is a ripper line-up of television presenters, actors and shows nominated across 23 categories in the 2024 Logie Awards. The biggest contender is Boy Swallows Universe with ten nominations, while Bay of Fires, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart and Utopia have each snagged four noms.  The most anticipated award of the entire night is the Gold Logie, with nominees including A

Oh dear: Melbourne has ranked below Sydney for public transport accessibility, according to new research

Oh dear: Melbourne has ranked below Sydney for public transport accessibility, according to new research

Melbourne’s public transport system has a world-famous reputation – our city is home to the largest light rail network in the world, thanks to our beloved trams. But despite this wow-factor, it turns out that our public transport system also has some significant downfalls.  We never thought we’d see the day, but a new report from a major not-for-profit organisation has put Sydney above Melbourne in a ranking of Australian cities with the most accessible public transport systems. How did this happen?! Of all the things Sydney could trump Melbourne on, we truly didn’t expect it to be something related to public transport. But the Climate Council’s Next Stop Suburbia report lays it out in black and white – and it’s stacked with stats, so we can’t argue with the numbers. The report is advocating for better accessibility to public transport across the country, after research revealed that around 50 per cent of residents living in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth lack convenient access to the minimum level of public transport services. This minimum level was defined as having “an address within 800 metres or a ten-minute walk or a service that runs at least every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm”.  Without convenient or reliable public transport, Aussies have little choice but to rely on expensive and polluting private cars to get them from point A to B – which is far from ideal considering transport is Australia’s biggest contributor to climate pollution after energy.

You beauty! Three Australian botanic gardens have been named among the best in the world to visit

You beauty! Three Australian botanic gardens have been named among the best in the world to visit

They say good things come in threes, but it must be trees they’re talking about, given that three Aussie gardens have just made a list of the world's best. Australia is full of glorious patches of greenery, but our botanic gardens are easily some of the best places to sprawl out in the sun. From sunrise to sunset, you’ll find locals picnicking on the lush lawns, wandering among the native trees, or perhaps catching a flick at one of the Moonlight Cinemas. And it’s not just us who think Australia’s floral sanctuaries are pretty bloomin’ great.  Travel insurance provider InsureandGo analysed data from around the world to compile a list of the top gardens that flora-fanatics should visit around the world. They took into account the size of gardens, range of plant species, volume of related Google searches, traveller ratings and Instagram hashtags, with the combined score used to rank the top 20. Melbourne's Royal Botanic Garden made the top five, with 96.9 per cent of traveller reviews sitting at four stars or higher. Sydney's waterside Botanic Garden ranked 12th, with 96.4 per cent of traveller reviews sitting at four stars-plus. Meanwhile, Adelaide Botanic Garden tied in 15th spot, with 96 per cent of reviews sitting at four stars or higher. Photograph: Ashton 29 via Wikimedia Commons The study also used the garden-related data to determine which countries should be on the bucket list of garden lovers, and with its abundance of beautifully curated green spaces, Australia ran

Three Australian destinations made a global list of the top 20 most underrated places in the world

Three Australian destinations made a global list of the top 20 most underrated places in the world

There are certain destinations in Australia that truly live up to the hype – the magical underwater marvels of the Great Barrier Reef, the thundering waterfalls of the Blue Mountains, and the magnificent red rock known as Uluru. But drive a little further down the country’s most scenic highways and you’ll discover lesser-known gems that are equally deserving of your attention. Australia is full of spots like this, three of which have just been recognised among the top 20 most underrated travel destinations in the world. The brand new list of underrated destinations was compiled by Time Out’s global network of expert editors and globetrotting travel writers, with the aim of providing inspiration to help ease the burden of overtourism worldwide. Shifting the spotlight away from Sydney and Melbourne, the list highlights under-the-radar destinations worth visiting in 2024 – with Tasmania, Newcastle and Gippsland all being named in the top 20. Photograph: Donovan Simpkin via Unsplash Happily lodged in the ocean, about 240 kilometres from the mainland, it’s easy to see why Tasmania is often overlooked. Australia’s smallest and only island state is home to more than 800 hiking trails, 1,600 beautiful (and uncrowded) beaches, plus some of Australia’s best (and weirdest) art. Trust us, you don’t want to skip out on crossing the Bass Strait to visit the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, the UNESCO-listed village of Port Arthur, or the unspoilt landscapes of Bruny Island. Photogra

Win a culture-packed getaway in Canberra this winter

Win a culture-packed getaway in Canberra this winter

Canberra’s arts and culture scene comes to the rescue every winter with an exciting line-up of world-class exhibitions and events. To celebrate its latest winter wonders, we’ve teamed up with the East Hotel to give away a culture-packed getaway in the capital. The lucky winner will score a two-night stay in a luxe studio at Canberra’s trendy East Hotel, including a bottle of local wine, complimentary parking and 12pm checkout. Plus, they’ll win two tickets to the National Gallery of Australia’s latest exhibition, Gauguin’s World: Tƍna Iho, Tƍna Ao, and two tickets to Discovering Ancient Egypt at the National Museum of Australia.  To enter: Follow @TimeOutAustralia on Instagram Tag a friend in the comments of the competition post before entries close on Sunday, July 21. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Time Out Australia (@timeoutaustralia) What you're in for? Anyone who still bangs on about Canberra being boring clearly hasn’t checked into the East Hotel. Located smack bang in the centre of arguably Canberra’s trendiest suburb, Kingston, this moody 140-room property is perfect for a two-night getaway. Their luxe studios are spectacularly spacious, decorated with jewel-tone couches, velvet cushions, plush carpets and cheery art. In the studio, you’ll find enough closet space to satisfy a RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, as well as an open plan living and dining area, fully equipped kitchenette, separate bedroom, wide balcony and large bathroom wit

These are Australia’s 10 best travel experiences, according to TripAdvisor

These are Australia’s 10 best travel experiences, according to TripAdvisor

Australia welcomes all sorts of travellers to its shores. Whether you’re a culture vulture who enjoys a day at the museum, an adrenaline junkie who hits up all the best theme parks, or a laid-back sun-seeker who prefers relaxing on the beach, there’s an adventure with your name on it Down Under. While our Time Out travel experts have curated a list of the greatest things to do in Australia, we also value recommendations from adventurers near and far. That’s where Tripadvisor’s annual Travellers’ Choice Awards Best of the Best comes in handy. Every year, the world’s biggest travel platform compiles its Travellers’ Choice ‘Top Experiences’ list based on the opinions of millions of users, with the top ten awarded to experiences that receive a high volume of "above-and-beyond reviews from the Tripadvisor community over a 12-month period". Out of more than 8 million listings, less than one per cent of listings are featured – so, it’s kind of a big deal. So, which is the best of the best? According to Tripadvisor reviews, the best experience you can have in Australia is visiting Scenic World, the Blue Mountains’ main hub of mountainy attractions. It received such rave reviews on Tripadvisor, earning a perfect five-star score from 3,307 reviews. They specifically called out Anderson's Tours' small-group day trip from Sydney, which packs in all the best attractions, including riding the Scenic Railway (the world’s steepest rail trip) and glass-bottom Scenic Skyway cable car, walking

Ridin’ Solo? These are the most popular solo travel destinations in Australia

Ridin’ Solo? These are the most popular solo travel destinations in Australia

Fifteen years have flown by since Jason Derulo gifted us with his arguably greatest hit, ‘Ridin' Solo’. Turns out, dancefloor Derulo was well ahead of his time, with new research revealing that solo adventures are one of the biggest travel trends for 2024. We reckon everyone should embark on an Eat, Pray, Love getaway at least once in their lifetime. Sure, you might need to muster up the courage to ask a total stranger to snap photos of you at the Eiffel Tower, but the freedom to do what you want, when you want, is totally worth it According to online travel agency, Webjet, almost half of Aussies are set to embark on a solo trip in the next two years – and we’re not just talking about young and reckless backpackers. Boomers were particularly eager to jump on the solo travel bandwagon, with almost half (48 per cent) of those over 65 wanting to celebrate their retirement with a solo golden gap year. Meanwhile, Millennials are turning to solo travel as a remedy for burnout, with 45 per cent planning a solo escapade in the next 24 months. Unlike older generations who are keen to mix and mingle while travelling, Millennials are after some peace and quiet from their nine to five.  When it comes to solo travel, Aussies have a ‘go big or go home’ attitude. Recent research found that Australians are the world’s biggest spenders when travelling overseas, with a quarter of Aussies surveyed by Webjet planning to spend more than $5,000 on their trip. Two-fifths of those solo travellers pl

15 things Australians need to know about the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics

15 things Australians need to know about the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics

The biggest sporting event of the year is just around the corner! If you’re not as hyped as we are, experts predict the 2024 Olympics will be Australia’s strongest in 20 years, with our athletes forecasted to bring home 48 medals. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about how and when to watch the upcoming Olympic Games, along with a few fun facts for you to impress your colleagues at work: 1. The Olympics will kick off with the Opening Ceremony in Paris on July 26 – almost 100 years since Paris last hosted the Olympics on July 27, 1924.  2. Aussies will need to rise early to watch the Opening Ceremony, which will be streamed at 2.24am AWST (WA), 3.54am ACST (SA, NT) and 4.24am AEST (QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS and ACT).  3. You can watch all Olympic events for free in Australia on 9Now. 4. For the first time in Olympic history, there will be an equal number of male and female competitors. This includes a total of 10,500 athletes from 206 countries. 5. The 2024 Olympics will feature 329 medal events across 32 sports. 6. Australia will send 460 athletes, including 231 Olympic debutantes.  7. Four-time Olympian and equestrian competitor Shan Rose (51) is the oldest team member, while skateboarder Arisa Trew (14) is the youngest. 8. This will be the fifth Olympic games for six Australian athletes, including basketball players Patty Mills, Lauren Jackson and Joe Ingles, equestrian rider Edwina Tops-Alexander, hockey player Eddie Ockenden, and diver Melissa Wu. 9. Breaking (break