Travel insider: 5 under-the-radar arts and culture hot spots

Are you keen to discover some of the best cultural destinations in Australia and New Zealand? Here’s a list of 5 top under-the-radar arts and culture hot spots. From amazing sculptures in both the outback and in one of Australia’s prominent wine regions, vibrant festival celebrations in Sydney, the gorgeous colours of Brighton’s famous beach boxes, through to a true Hollywood movie set experience in New Zealand, these must-see sights are sure to get you inspired to travel.

Get inspired: Largest outback art gallery on earth (featuring 51 sculptures by Antony Gormley), Lake Ballard, Western Australia

The scenic landscape of Lake Ballard is simply jaw-dropping. If you’re keen to explore the Aussie Outback, this is the perfect addition to your list of places to visit. Located in the Shire of Menzies in Western Australia, this ephemeral salt lake is a sacred site to the people of Wongi.

Stay: Quality Inn Railway, Kalgoorlie, WA

Enjoy nearby attractions including The Superpit, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, when you stay with us.

Get inspired: Brighton Bathing Boxes & Point Leo Estate Sculpture Park, Victoria

Is there anything more iconic than Brighton’s bathing boxes? A must-visit for first time visitors to Australia, these 82 gorgeous bathing boxes showcase classic Victorian architectural features. The best time to visit the Brighton Bathing Boxes is on a sunny cloudless day for a perfect selfie.

The Pt. Leo Estate Sculpture Park consists of a 19-acre sculpture park, vineyards and a restaurant. For art lovers, there are plenty of breathtaking views of the sculptures set against nature. Take photos of the ocean view, vines and the different kinds of sculptures across the park.

Stay: Comfort Hotel Dandenong, VIC

Located close to the beautiful beaches of Mornington Peninsula, book your stay with us. This is the perfect accommodation not far from the Brighton Bathing Boxes.

Get inspired: International Hobbit Day celebrations (September), Matamata, New Zealand

The perfect destination for Hobbiton fans, celebrate International Hobbit Day in Matamata. Take a tour on the sets of Hobbiton and experience the movie with all your senses. Choose from several tours, some that include an evening banquet feast, while others that take you around the Kaimai ranges.

Stay: Comfort Inn Tauranga, NZ

There is so much to see when you stay at the Comfort Inn Tauranga in New Zealand. Popular attractions include the white beaches in Mount Maunganui and the one of New Zealand’s premium wineries, Mills Reef Winery. For adventure lovers, add the Adrenalin Forest on your list of things to do while you’re in the area.

Get inspired (29 October – 7 November): Grafton Jacaranda Festival, Sydney

Soak in the purple beauty of the Jacaranda trees in specific streets in Sydney. There are plenty of events to choose from around this time including garden parties, afternoon tea, competitions and other experiences.

Stay: Quality Hotel City Centre, Coffs Harbour, NSW

When you’re in Sydney, stay with us at Quality Hotel City Centre and enjoy the convenient location close to popular attractions including a protected beach called Jetty Beach and the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest – the Dorrigo National Park, famous for bird-watching and waterfalls.

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We don’t know about what’s popping up in your feed but there’s been a lot about the Cherry blossoms in Japan at the moment and they are quite stunning. This got us thinking about our very own Jacaranda Season. And yes it’s a ways off (23 weeks or so) but if this is your year to come to experience this spectacular natural event, you definitely should start planning your visit – at least start working on your hubby or trying to get all your friends together. FYI Grafton accommodation books out pretty quickly during this time of year, so if you miss out there, may we suggest staying in #Yamba #Woolinsw , #MacleanNSW or #MinnieWater to start. Check out for more info. ・・・ @keykodesign #graftonjacarandas #newsouthwales #seeaustralia #graftonjacarandafestival #cherryblossom #flowers

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