escape to luxury

Travel tips and destination insights from the luxury accommodation specialists -

Insiders Guide: In Conversation with David Prior


Queenslander David Prior, an internationally published food and travel writer now calls New York home. His work regularly appears in the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Bon Appetit and Vogue Living amongst many others. Having just returned from a summer holiday in Australia, we asked David what's new and what's hot in Australian travel...

I spent more time in Australia in 2014 than I have in any year of the past ten.  Two regions stayed with me and I think they merit more international attention for their unique offerings.  The first, Northern NSW is no secret but there has never been more compelling reasons to visit.  The second is South Australia’s sparsely populated and rarely visited Flinders Ranges, a place whose landscape actually warrants the overused descriptor ‘breathtaking’. To be honest I don’t follow trends, my work is less about predicting where people are booking and more about pointing to where I think deserves attention and why.  

Byron Bay is a perennial favorite and so it should remain however there are many other towns in its periphery that I think are completely charming and offer an intoxicating mix of pasture and surf, rainforest and farm, hippie and hipster.  There is a youthful energy that is really surging in that area.  I am thinking about sleepy country towns with a growing artsy edge like Murwullimbah (the Margaret Olley Gallery is wonderful) and Mullumbimby, or Bangalow and Brunswick Heads (each town has one of Australia’s great remaining original pubs).  Brisbane goes south of the border with nightclub and restaurant barons the Bickles teaming up with local interior designer Anna Spiro to take over a beach motel in unlikely Cabarita too.  There is also the Three Blue Duck boys from Bronte building an extremely ambitious paddock to plate restaurant called The Farm.  Plenty to consider but my ideal Australian vacation would now probably take the form of a Queenslander style cottage on pasture 10 minutes away from the beach.  I don’t think there is anywhere else quite like that region and long may it retain its alternative edge and mix of ages and backgrounds so it doesn’t become yet another rich enclave overrun with expensive developments and  shops selling tasteful linen and bits of bleached coral.  

The Finders Ranges for those who have not travelled there is what a foreigner might dream that the Australian outback might look like.  An Australian dreamscape.  The sunsets burnish a landscape of rocky outcrops, majestic gums and abandoned sheep stations now overrun with emus and roos.  It's something of a spiritual journey and a place where I saw colours that I know only exist in Australia.  Its raw, remote and and under serviced but it is something else.  

Do you agree with David's comments? Have you visited Byron Bay or the Flinders Rangers recently?

Image credit: Facebook


What's Hot in 2015!
Australia Day 2015

Related Posts

Top Stories

Recent Articles