Melbourne to Sydney: piece for Cox and Kings

There is a debate at the heart of Australia and it is one few travellers have no opinion on. That great debate is simple: Melbourne or Sydney?

I’ve visited both cities many times and love Sydney for its epic harbour and laid-back beach life, Melbourne for its coffee scene and cultural nightlife. But which one is my favourite? I took a road trip to try to answer that question. Find out which side of the fence I landed on (if either) here.


Australia’s Northern Territory: work for the Guardian

I love Australia. I’ve travelled all over the country but I have to admit a particular fondness for the Northern Territory. Every time I visit I am blown away by its beautifully garish sunsets, dramatically vast scenery and (often toothy!) wildlife.

So I was delighted to write about Australia and particularly the Northern Territory, for Guardian Travel, Tourism Australia and Malaysia Airlines.

Find out why 2015 is the perfect time to visit one of my favourite countries here.


The best hotels in the world? Sunday Times Travel magazine feature

I was recently asked to contribute to the Sunday Times Travel magazine’s Best hotels in the world feature.

I stay in more than 100 hotels every year. So I’ve seen more than my fair share of the bad ones. But I’m also lucky enough to have stayed in some truly great ones, where staff practically bend over backwards to make things perfect, where the bed is comfy, the food is good and the light switches and sockets are all in the right places!

I selected some of my favourites* for this feature. See which hotels made the cut in the May issue of the magazine, on newsstands now and online soon. And let me know if you agree, or if we’ve missed some!


*SPOILER ALERT: You’re in here Blythswood Square, The Dean and Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage.

3-13 Holdsworth Street, Woollahra

Australian property piece for the Sunday Times

I’ve always been interested in property and especially those dream homes in the sun that Australia has always seemed to offer. So I was delighted to write my first piece for the Sunday Times Home section recently, getting the chance to interview existing contacts and new ones about the Australian property market and the dream homes they had found or were looking for.

It turns out that with the exchange rate the best it has been for five years, this is the perfect time for Brits to buy property Down Under. Tempted? Read my feature about the market and what it might have to offer you here.


Why I need No 1 Traveller chauffeur service

I’ve missed flights – and nearly missed flights – thanks to everything from a flat tyre to a delayed train. I’ve screeched into the terminal with moments to spare, flushed and breathless. I’ve clawed at my steering wheel and shouted at my husband in frustration at not being able to find the right entrance to the right car park at more than one airport. I’ve even gone most of the way to the wrong airport, only to have to leap into a cab at the last minute, racking up a huge bill.

These are not the experiences travel is made of. At least, they shouldn’t be. So I’m relieved to have found No 1 Traveller who not only have luxury lounges at the airport but will also whisk you there from your very own front door.

My first No 1 Traveller chauffeur experience was at the crack of dawn. I regularly fly on unsociably timed flights and this one was no exception, I needed to be at Gatwick (the other side of London for me) by 5am.

But this time, instead of waking my husband and wasting his time circling the M25 on a Sunday morning, I received a text message from my driver telling me he was outside and slipped silently out of the front door. Dressed in a suit and already reaching for my luggage, my driver ushered me into the car and double checked my flight details.

It takes well over an hour to get to Gatwick from my home but there was plenty of space in the back of the Mercedes and so I got out the laptop. Some of No 1 Traveller’s vehicles have free wifi so you can work on the road, something I always appreciate the opportunity to do. And so I started an article and checked my emails, tweeted and read the news, and before I knew it we were pulling in to Gatwick. No lugging my suitcase up the train station steps, no battling the central London rush hour crowds, no navigating my way into the airport. And best of all, no grumpy husband!

Travel writer, editor and broadcaster