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ROO WITH A VIEW.

Byline: BRIDGET MCGROUTHER

Jump to it When visiting Sydney, most tourists tend to head north to the Blue Mountains or Hunter Valley for a weekend trip or longer. Yet, for something different and just as spectacular, why not head south to Kangaroo Valley in New South Wales? The tropical rainforest and rolling farmland is a peaceful getaway from city life.

An easy hop Just a two-hour drive from Sydney and Canberra, Kangaroo Valley is nestled between Australia's south coast and the southern highlands. Turn inland from Kiama, famous for its blowhole-spouting plumes of seawater skywards, and you will soon find yourself descending into a lush, verdant valley surrounded by ancient volcanic peaks.

Seasons in the sun Australia's seasons are, of course, the reverse of ours so in Kangaroo Valley, Christmas is summertime and July is winter. Although temperatures are cooler than in Sydney, summer highs soar to the 30s while winter days can be frosty. April or early May is a great time to enjoy autumn colours, while still warm enough to match a UK summer.

Tree-mendous Fawn over the flora and fauna from the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk, which gives a bird's eye elevated view 500m above the forest and nearby Tasman Sea. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and birds from wallabies to kookaburras. Minnamurra Rainforest Centre has visitor information as well as bushwalks or head to the top of Cambewarra Mountain for another good vantage point.

Berry good Berry is the perfect base to explore the surrounding area. It's a lively little town, brimming with heritage buildings, cafes, craft shops, antique stores, pubs, B&Bs and hotels. Mountain biking, bushwalking, fishing or horse-riding in Budderoo National Park are all ideal ways to get closer to nature - or take a canoeing and camping trip along the Kangaroo River.

How are roo? The quaint town of Kangaroo Valley itself is a leafy hideaway, with galleries and guest houses. There is a campsite and picnic area by the river at nearby Bendeela. Don't miss the scenic drive up Barrengarry Mountain to Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park. Jamberoo - with its old-fashioned pub and general store - is also worth calling into for a schooner or two.

Surf and turf Being a shell's throw away from the southern coast means that the countryside can be combined with seaside attractions. Learn to surf at Seven Mile Beach, scuba dive off Bass Point, lap up water-sports at Lake Illawarra or coast along to picturepostcard resorts such as Wollongong, Gerroa, Gerringong and Kiama.

Departures Salou Oct 21, from Glasgow, 7 nights half board at 3* Calypso Hotel, from PS317pp.

Benidorm Dec 15, from Glasgow, 9 nights half board at 3* Rosamar Hotel, from PS347pp.

Fuengirola Sept 24, from Glasgow, 7 nights half board at 3* Veramar I, from PS467pp. Majorca Oct 16, from Glasgow, 7 nights all inclusive at 3* Calas De Mallorca Complex, from PS1447 fro family of 3. | www.barrheadtravel.co.uk or telephone 0141 222 2223.

Costa Almeria Oct 5, from Glasgow, 14 nights all inclusive at 3* Bset Sabinal, PS709pp. Cyprus May 7, 2017, from Glasgow, 7 nights all inclusive at 4* Dome Beach, PS655pp.

Zante May 15, 2017, from Glasgow, 7 nights all inclusive at 4 Exotica Hotel & Spa, PS399pp.

Corfu May 21, 2017,from Glasgow, 7 nights all inclusive at 4* Mareblue Beach Resort, PS439pp.

| Call 01698 425 444 or visit www.holidayandflightcentre.com Berry good Berry is the perfect base to explore the resorts such as Wollongong, Gerroa, Gerringong and Kiama. Lastminute Enjoy autumn on the shores of Lake Garda at the four-star Parc Hotel in Peschiera.

choice Inghams are offering a week's all-inclusive stay (buffet meals, snacks 10am to 6pm and drinks with meals 10am to 11pm) from PS569pp, saving PS169pp, departing on September 24 from Manchester. Visit inghams.co.uk/lakes-mountains-holidays or call 01483 791116.

do you know a destination Bridget should feature? contact her at b.mcgro uther@SUNDAYMAIL.

CO.UK FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @BSMCGROUTHER

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ROCK STARS Sunrise at bombo in New South Wales

SKIPPY ALONG To Kangaroo Valley
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Sep 11, 2016
Words:678
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