Have you watched the movie “Lion“. When you do, you will see why my clients enjoy the scenery and experiences in TASMANIA.

b2a85-1024x690Tasmania is just a very short hop or flight from Melbourne. The island’s compact size offers endless opportunities for self-drive adventure uncovering wilderness area, heritage, exceptional food and an intriguing island culture.

Tasmania’s diverse terrain of mountains, beaches, and dense rain forests is easy to explore.

From Hobart it is a very easy and scenic 2 1/2 hour drive to the lovely Wineglass Bay. Stay a few days (ask me, I can make suggestions on where to stay) so that you can take a boat ride along the coast, walk or hike to enjoy views like this.wineglass_bay

Contact me: Dianne Titlestad, Travel Specialists,

Phone 704-489-0367, traveldt@bellsouth.net

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




A break in one of Australia’s wine regions is as much about immersing yourself in the culture, scenery and lifestyle as it is about tasting wine. Make sure you allow plenty of time to relax and spoil yourself over a long indulgent lunch; enjoy the exceptional service, food & wine that our wine regions are known for; while admiring some incredible scenery from the comfort of your dining chair.

A short drive from Adelaide in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills wine region, known as The Land of the Long Lunch, you’ll find a warm welcome at The Lane Vineyard.

The modern Dining Room at The Lane sits elevated in the heart of the vineyard overlooking the picturesque Adelaide Hills, perfect for a relaxing getaway. Discover the subtlety of The Lane Vineyard’s single vineyard wines paired with a harmonious menu designed by Executive Chef James Brinklow featuring the best South Australian produce.

lane4 The Lane Dining Room’s Hereford 40+ days dry aged striploin, lardo, brussels sprouts, bottarga, smoked paprika

At The Lane’s Gathering Indulgence Lunch, enjoy a tasting of The Lane’s premium wines with chef-prepared bites followed by a delicious two-course lunch with carefully matched wines as you take in the panoramic view of Mount Lofty Ranges.


With breathtaking views across McLaren Vale, d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant at d’Arenberg is the perfect spot for an unforgettable dining experience surrounded by the beauty of this stunning South Australian wine region. Head Chef Peter Reschke draws inspiration from local and seasonal produce to complement the award winning d’Arenberg wines, available by the glass or bottle.

d’Arenberg’s Masterclass & Degustation experience includes a private tasting learning about the age old winemaking techniques that are still used, such as foot treading and basket pressing, before an eight course degustation in d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant, overlooking the rolling hills of McLaren Vale.

lane6 The view from d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant

A truly memorable dining experience is guaranteed at Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, where visitors enjoy exceptional home grown produce in a remarkable setting. Montalto’s Estate to Plate philosophy is simple, if it can be grown and used onsite, it will be. Montalto’s fine dining restaurant offers uninterrupted views across the vines and sculpture trail, alternatively casual dining in the outdoor Piazza and Garden Café (pictured top right) or private, catered picnics at selected locations are also available.

Montalto’s Estate to Plate experience features a guided exploration of the property, including the Estate’s working vineyard and olive grove, kitchen gardens, fruit orchard and berry plantation followed by a private, structured wine tasting and stunning 3-course lunch in the restaurant, with matching wine.lane1
In Victoria’s Yarra Valley, De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate restaurant, Locale is a northern Italian-inspired trattoria with skillfully cooked, authentic Italian dishes made with fresh local produce. Here, it’s all about the De Bortoli family philosophy of sharing good food and wine with family and friends.

Locale’s seasonal menu, created by head chef Adam Mead, features home made pasta and authentically cooked risotto accompanied by seasonally changing sauces and ingredients. For example wild mushrooms in autumn, duck and chestnuts in the winter, broad beans and nettles in spring or the freshest, ripest heirloom tomatoes in summer. Many ingredients are grown on the Yarra Valley Estate alongside the vineyard which you can admire as you enjoy a delicious lunch with family and friends.

lane5                                    Locale’s Seasonal asparagus, garnished with seafood

At the Locale Restaurant Premium Experience indulge in a seasonal Chef’s Menu featuring a selection of the finest local produce and a glass of wine matched to each course. A glass of Yarra Valley wine with entrée, premium Estate Grown wine with main course and the internationally acclaimed Noble One wine with dessert.

***                                                                                                                                                            At Leeuwin Estate in Margaret River, the award-winning Leeuwin Restaurant is the ideal place for a long, relaxed lunch. The sunny verandah (pictured above) overlooks a meadow surrounded by a forest of karri trees while inside, bifold doors and domed skylights bring the outdoors in.

The restaurant is renowned for utilising a “paddock to plate” philosophy, focusing on regional produce and working closely with local artisan suppliers to create seasonal menus. The menu is complemented by a wine list featuring current release Leeuwin wines and an extensive selection of cellared “library” stock. Many wines are available by the glass.

lane7                                                                          Leeuwin Restaurant’s Yoghurt panna cotta, fennel sorbet, blood orange
For a truly decadent dining experience, the Leeuwin Estate Platinum Experience includes a tutored tour of the art gallery (with canapés), a wine blending session and a special ‘Icons’ five course degustation menu. Your Host will guide you through each of the perfectly matched courses paired with selected current and museum releases of the iconic Art Series Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon


First published by Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Picnic and wine tasting in the Hunter Valley Australia.

Would you like to enjoy a picnic delicious of Aussie food and Aussie wine in amongst the grapes in an Australian Vineyard? I can arrange it.


The Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s best known wine regions and, thanks largely to a steady stream of visitors arriving from Sydney, it is also the busiest. The region has played a pivotal role in the history of Australian wine as one of the first wine regions planted in the early 19th century.


The Hunter produces wine from a variety of grapes including Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Verdelho, however Hunter Valley Semillon is widely considered the iconic wine of the region. First planted in the region in 1830, the grape has been produced and variously labelled as Hunter Valley Riesling, Shepherd’s Riesling, Hock, Rhine Gold, White Burgundy and Chablis. The Semillon grape possesses a unique profile which, in the harsh climate and humidity of the Hunter, develops to higher acid levels than it can achieve in cooler climates. In its youth it exhibits strong citrus and grassy notes however with age (10 plus years) in the bottle it develops into a rich, minerally wine with biscuit notes. The character of the wine changes so much that, in maturity, it is often mistaken for oak aged Chardonnay, despite never having spent any time in oak barrels.


Semillon is the ideal seafood wine, pairing beautifully with shellfish, crustaceans and most fish.  From a chilled seafood platter to old fashioned fish and chips, Semillon is the perfect accompaniment.

Audrey Wilkinson currently produces no fewer than five Semillons, as well as a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blend, and it is this range that Chief Winemaker, Jeff Byrne, is proudest of.

“Our portfolio of Hunter Valley Semillons are what I take the most pride in. They’re a very light, clean style of wine rarely duplicated anywhere else in the world and will reward those patient enough to cellar these wines for 10 plus years.”

On the Audrey Wilkinson Behind-The-Scenes Premium Experience, you can meet Jeff in the heart of the working winery for a private tour of the winemaking process. Taste wine directly from the barrel while learning from the expert all details of the grapes’ journey to the bottle.

Following the winery tour, enjoy a scenic helicopter tour and indulge in a 3 course lunch with Jeff where you can further your one-on-one knowledge over a meal matched to Audrey Wilkinson wines.

End your day with a vertical tasting and a stroll through the vineyard, taking in the Hunter Valley’s best view.

“First published by Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

AUSTRALIA- My recent trip included a visit to the One and Only Wolgan Valley

Australia – My recent trip included a visit to One and Only Wolgan Valley, Blue Mountains.   Australia. Wolgan Valley is a very easy drive just two and a half hours north-west of Sydney. We arrive at the Wolgan Gap, and laid out before us is the spectacular Wolgan Valley, part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area. It’s more like a canyon than a valley, with its dramatic towering cliffs and sandstone escarpments. Our private driver/guide Grant points to the end of the valley and tells us our home for the next two nights is tucked in behind what seems to be a far distant mountain. Surprisingly though in only 20 minutes we are at the gatehouse of Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, and a few minutes later at the door of the main homestead. The lobby is all gorgeous timber and sandstone but our eyes are immediately drawn to the sweeping views straight across the valley.  We can’t wait to get out and explore until Megan, our wonderful guest services agent, escorts us to our accommodation – wow!! It’s more like a mini Australian homestead than a hotel suite – set in it’s own native garden, with living room, bedroom, huge dressing room, double sided fireplace, private decks, and best of all our own swimming pool. We couldn’t believe how cleverly the private pool had been built into the side deck, so that big glass doors can wrap around it to create an indoor solar heated pool for the colder winter months. I plan to post photos of the chalet tomorrow.  Here is me riding a bike. You can see the chalet where I slept behind me.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I enjoyed breakfast with the famous Jean-Michel Cousteau

Jean-Michel Cousteau. an explorer, environmentalist, educator and film producer for more than 40 years, is founder and president of the Ocean Futures Society, a non-profit marine conservation organization. The eldest son of undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel travels the globe as the “voice of the ocean,” meeting with world leaders and policymakers, educating the public and encouraging people to appreciate the astonishing natural beauty of our oceans.
I was lucky enough to be invited when Jean-Michel Cousteau spoke to a group of top travel advisors about the future of water – the challenges and solutions. He talked about preserving the ocean and not using the ocean as a “garbage can.” His talk was extremely interesting and he has a great sense of humor.

We talked with Jean-Michael Cousteau about his Launches Oceans Away vacations. Destinations featured include The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia, a breathtaking natural wonder of Queensland, is a bucket list destination known for having some of the best dive spots of the world. With over 2,900 reefs, 900 islands, and hundreds of diving locations, there is an endless diversity of marine life, including coral, fish, whales, dolphins, sea turtles and sharks.

The snap shot was taken of Jean-Michel and myself soon after our breakfast.

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Outstanding Restaurants and Exceptional Wines in Australia

WOW!! Have a look at this incredible 2 minute video on dining in Australia.

Australia Restuarant Spot

Dining Uluru


Do you want to dine here?

Call me 704-489-0367   email:    traveldt@bellsouth.net

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s diving excursions

The Great Barrier Reef, a breathtaking natural wonder of Queensland Australia, is a bucket list destination known for having some of the best dive spots of the world. With over 2,900 reefs, 900 islands, and hundreds of diving locations, there is an endless diversity of marine life including coral, fish, whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks.

Travel 2 has partnered with French explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau and his non-profit organization, Ocean Futures Society, to encourage tourists to visit the Great Barrier Reef to appreciate its natural beauty. Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Oceans Away Vacations are the perfect blend of adventure, exploration, and escape that highlight some of the most beautiful locations in the Great Barrier Reef. Clients will be amazed by the colorful reefs, diverse wildlife, diving opportunities, and cultural experiences.


PHONE 704-489-0367

Diving 2

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AUSTRALIA -recent travel

Some of my favorite travel memories from 2013.


Since pictures say more than words ,  I will add some snap shots.

Probably one of the highlights was when we rode camels at sunset on Cable Beach, Broome, Australia.


The camel care takers talk with each person and tell each rider all about the camel they are sitting on. This was so special.  After an hour ride, I felt that I knew all about my new best friend,  my camel Nick. I became quite fond of him. The camels are kept very clean and without any unpleasant aromas.  The camel care takers walk with the riders and offer to take photos of the riders using our own cameras.


It was really very funny but the Camel walking behind me kept coming right up to my arm to kiss me. Again and again I was kissed (on my arm) by Jerry, my friend Tanya’s camel.


Broome is not the only place in Australia where you can ride Camels. If you are going to Uluru, Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon or Alice Springs in the Red Center, I can organize this thrilling opportunity.


We enjoyed magnificent sunsets. AUSTRALIA SEPT 2014 145

Contact me for more travel information. traveldt@bellsouth.net Phone 704-489-0367


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hayman Island continued

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands Australia

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands Australia (Photo credit: kevgibbo)

It might be better to read the post below before this one.

The next day was allocated to a SPA treatment. Hayman Island has 13 individual treatment rooms including a dedicated Wet Treatment Room, selected therapy rooms offering peaceful garden views, two separate relaxation lounges including a meditation suite, a relaxing hydrotherapy area, saunas, steam rooms, change rooms and a state of the art hair salon incorporating special occasion make-up.

In addition we were offered a Sea Plane ride to nearby Whithaven Beach. Landing in the water was quite trilling. The sicila sand beach with beautiful shades of blue water make for spectacular photography. This was taken by my travel agent friend traveling with us.


As soon as you arrive it’s easy to see why it is the most photographed beach in Australia and has been named “Queensland’s Most Beautiful Beach” by ‘Keep Australia Beautiful’ and Queensland’s Friendliest Beach more than once. cnn.com recently named Whitehaven Beach the ‘world’s top eco-friendly beach 2010’.

We swam and snorkeled at this incredible beach. We returned to Hayman Island by sea plane and were told that we were going to be treated to a very special dinner that evening.

In the evening we were lead to our dining table in the gardens.  Have a look at how beautifully they decorated the table. The lights in trees added to a spectacular setting.



Our desert was served in the glass dome with a candle.


We enjoyed many magical dinners at Hayman Island.

I would love to tell you more. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at 704-489-0367 Dianne

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Snorkeling & diving the Great Barrier Reef at Hayman Island

Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef has always been a dream of mine.

I was fortunate to be invited with a few fellow travel agents to spend a few days on Hayman Island.  

Hayman Island is the northernmost island in the Whitsunday Island area. With a crescent-shaped, white bay on the south-western side, everything man-made blends together with the island’s natural beauty. The island is home to a number of ponds and waterfalls, and guests can walk through luxurious gardens and walkways to view the local scenery

We sailed across from Hamilton on a very luxurious yacht.  I felt like I was Jackie Kennedy Onassis on one of Onassis’s yachts.  We were handed champagne and we set sail for Hayman Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

Here is a photo of me soaking up the luxury and enjoying a glass of champagne en route to the resort.

When we arrived the manager and the key staff members were lined up on the dock to greet us – WOW VIP !!

We then learnt that every person arriving on Hayman Island gets the same fantastic welcome.

We were escorted to our lovely ocean front rooms.  As I opened the glass sliding doors, to see the fantastic view, I was greeted by this white  cockatoo. I soon learned that they are addicted to the sugar that is left next to the coffee maker. If you don’t keep your door closed when you leave your room, you could find a cockatoo party going on in  your room when you return.   

This was the view from my bedroom.  So much to do at the resort, but I knew time on the beach would be first on my itinerary.

Hayman Island offers a variety of  water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, catamaran sailing, windsurfing, paddle skiing and waterskiing. They also offer tours such a glass bottom boat tours, outer reef trips, and whale watching tours. There are also athletic activities available like squash, tennis, and exercising.

This was just my first day here, so I decided to relax on the beach and enjoy the view and swim in  the magnificent crystal clear blue water.

I would sample more of Hayman Island the next day.

Have a look at the previous posts below this one.  

Would you like to travel to Australia to experience the Great Barrier Reef?  Do you know someone who dreams of snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef?  I would love to assist with travel advice. Contact me Dianne at

traveldt@bellsouth.net or Phone 704-489-0367

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment