Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sydney Gay Armada - Australia Day

Our friends at are setting sail on Australia Day - January 26th

Come celebrate Australia Day as you have never celebrated before. Relax, enjoy and play in style with the gays.

Our luxury yachts are loaded with a premium bounty of fine wine and champagne. Feast on succulent canapes and gourmet cusine.

Join the thousands that revel in Sydney Harbours beauty by succumbing to pure indulgence with our sexy serving boys pampering you all day long.

See for all the details

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New Ezy 3 Charga Campa

The new Ezy 3 Charga Campa may look like an ordinary campa van but when you step inside it looks a bit different.

The new campa van was created by a boat designer and is completly mouled in fibreglass.

Check out the video and new story at TV New Zealand

Remember you can book your Ezy Campa van directly from Ezy Car and Campa rentals

And if you have hired an Ezy campa or car let us know what you think.

Just post your comments below.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Aus & NZ are top destinations – Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet’s new Bluelist 2007 names New Zealand as the number two favourite destination of travellers worldwide, behind Australia, and ahead of Britain, Thailand, Greece, Italy and the United States!

On, Look & Book at the gay stays and gay tours in New Zealand, broken down by North Island and South Island, and in each of the Aussie states and territories.

Air NZ uses science to attract Americans

Air New Zealand has teamed up with former NASA scientists to reach stressed-out Americans, positioning a New Zealand holiday as better value than a session with their therapist.
A ground-breaking study measured the psychological and physiological effects of taking a holiday in New Zealand, and shows that American workers are more productive if they take their holidays, and a holiday in New Zealand can deliver long-lasting benefits to their health and vitality.
Well, we’ve known that for a while! lists more than 100 operators all across the North and South Islands, so just pick your spot and let the Maori Magic begin to work on you stressed out folks. Gay Gay - Stay Gay - Play Gay in NZ in 07!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Awards of Excellence: Peoples Choice in Tasmania

Congrats to two Rainbnow Tourism operators on the East Coast of Tasmania who recently won The People's Choice Award for Excellence in Service. Both properties - Rainbow Retreat that sits atop St. Mary's Pass and Meredith House that occupies a prime spot in Swansea - won several awards this year. Must be the boy-host thing. Congratulations to Ian and Peter on their eco wilderness experience, where rainbows are plentiful, and to Neal and Noel for their charming accommodation and wonderful hospitality. Both plces are also known for their food and wine lists, so take your pick and decide your own people's choice. See you in Tassie!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Traversing Tasmania to Tarraleah (Middle of Nowhere)

Some tourism operators are clever. They buy an entire village and turn it into a mutli-purpose, multi-sport destinations with accommodation and tours from budget to decidedly up-market.
The place: an old Hydro Village on the west coast of Tasmania in a town called Tarraleah. It's a warm spot in the wilderness with a global reputation already for best fly fishing on earth. Brown and Rainbow Trout abound. You can catch, cook and consume yourself or go on a guided tour via helicopter or 4WD into the surrounding lake district.
Apparently fly fishing is on the rise for gay men, having already shown itself to be the fastest growing sport for women. So, grab your gear and head for Tassie's outback of beyond.
Tarraleah retains its 50's charm, right down to the art deco decor in cottages and the rainbow coloured exteriors. I had to laugh that the locals call this place Rainbow City. Yeah, add a few gay cowboys and girls with fishing poles, and it will live up to its nickname soon enough.

It's good to get fishing heaven. If you don't fish, there's golfing, mountain biking, waterfall walks, even a squash court if the weather doesn't lure you outdoors. Book your escape now; you'll find something for every budget at Tarraleah, from caravan park, group backbackper cottage, family cottages to brand new chalet lodge with spa/sauna facility with a million dollar view.
PS Wildlife is very plentiful here. At night, grab a torch and count the visiting wallabies, wombats and even Tassie Devils.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tasmania: The Rainbow Isle

Somewhere over the rainbow and St. Mary's Pass lies the fantastic Rainbow Retreat, atop St. Patrick Mtn.
It definitely lives up to its name, and after every sprinkle and rain splash there's rainbow after rainbow. Come to the gay owned Rainbow Retreat and become a believer.

Ian and Peter, partners and business associates for more than 20 years, have made the sea change to NE Tasmania and built a spectacular "green" retreat for G&L visitors. About 10% of the guests are gay or lesbian couples, seeking a great spot to unwind and rejuvenate, maybe even have their union celebrated by Peter. The catering by Ian can't be beat for any ocassion!

This year, Rainbow Retreat Wilderness Eco Cabins won the People's Choice Award for unique local accommodation, and their woodfire pizza helped earn them the accolades.

Check in, order food to match the local wines provided in your room, then relax on the deck to watch the sunset. Theres hardly a better view in all of Tasmania. I know, I've searched for it and found in in St. Mary', of all places!

East Coast Escape: Tasmania's Sunshine Side

According to the car plate tagline, Tassie is the Holiday Isle, and many GAL visitors are finding their way under downunder. Yes, it's worth the effort to get here.

When you slide into the fishing village of St. Helens, be sure to pick up provisions before heading 6 more kms to my slice of paradise - Binalong Bay. You won't want to leave there in a hurry, so pick up enough food and grog for a few days.

See Mark at the Juice and Gelato bar (on the corner you take from main street out to BB) for a tasty treat, and while there, buy a copy of his partner Colin's book on matching local food and wines. Dee-licious, if I do say so myself (Ms. Dee-Tours Down-Under).

Binalong Bay is literally the easternmost tip of Tasmania, and about the friendliest place I've ever encountered on all my worldy travels. My recommendation for charming accommodation with a million dollar view is the Bay of Fires Character Cottages, a Rainbow Tourism Accredited property with friendly hosts John & Marion. Book early; there's a dirth of available accommodation and you don't want to miss the best by waiting till you get here to look for a place to lay your head. Besides, the best restaurant in town is at the foot of the hill. Fresh catch of the day and best fish n chips in Australia, bar none. The cold Boags and Cascade beer and Bay of Fires view aren't bad either.

The water today was drop dead goregous, and I managed 15 minutes with wet suit before exiting to aforementioned cold beer. Literally out the front steps of the restaurant and you're in the cleanest, clearest water on the planet. I practically had the whole beach to myself today - and I like it that way. So don't tell anyone except your best travel mates and get on down here now!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Destination Daylesford: Come for ChillOut Festival & Weekends

'Tho I camped during ChillOut Festival in years past, I've had the opportunity to return to Daylesford with a local, and next time I'm staying at a B&B! The ChillOut Festival is every Labour Day weekend in March.

As a former resort B&B operator, I can relate to the guys who run the two gay owned and operated traditional B&B's in Daylesford. There are other GOO properties, but hard to find outside Rainbow Tourism, GalStays and SameSexTravel.

Among the OUT properties on Rainbow Tourism is Holyrood House, right, and Old Chilli, left, both boutique places with gay male hosts and traditional B&B experience. They are located within a few minutes of Daylesford CBD, but you'll want a car or bicycle for the steep hills. I walked from my lodging on the hill - and all around town - but needed a ride back to home base with the shopping bags!

Write me if you want first-hand photos and dee-tails of your prospectice visit there. Dee Farrell. Cheers.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Destination Sydney: gay4play and gayscene

Visiting Sydney then check out a new website to see what is happening on the gay scene. is a website dedicated to the events, the music, the djs, the clubs, the parties, the lifestyle and everything else that makes up our wonderful scene. Be it ARQ, The Shift, Stonewall, Manacle or even The Market in Melbourne you'll find a comprehensive what's on guide right here.

Looking for something different on your next visit to Sydney then check out: for events beyond the bars

- check out the Canberra Bush Dance at end of month.

- and don't miss horse play on 2nd December.

Destination Wellington: New Gay Bar

A new bar has opened in Wellington, New Zealand

'Our Bar' is a Gay Bar located at 201 Cuba Street, Wellington.
Open 7 Days - Monday to Friday 3pm - Late, Weekends 9am - Late

There is a full brunch menu operating in the weekends and dinner/snack menus everyday. It is a really laid back atmosphere where everyone is welcome - girls, boys, family, everyone!

We have the facilities to run private functions also, so if you want somewhere to hold that special birthday/party/function/club meeting give Sharon a call on (04) 802 4405.

Wellington finally has a great new gay venue - come and check it out!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Destination Bali: Tamu Seseh

Like your holidays, Tamu Seseh began as a dream.

Set in beautiful rice fields on the southwest coast of Bali, Tamu Seseh takes you back to the very essence of this beautiful tropical island.

Your private pool villa is architecturally inspired by the surrounding village, with contemporary luxuries beyond your expectations.

Available in a variety of configurations, from one to six bedrooms, this collection of villas is the ultimate in dream holiday locations.

A private staff of eight includes your own chef. Ricefields stretching to the horizon.

Beaches and temples, traditional village life.

No hawkers. No hassles. Your holiday, your dream of Bali.

Book your dream now - Tamu Seseh

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Website promotes NZ culture

A new website aims to make New Zealand’s cultural offerings and taonga more accessible.

It will be an invaluable reference for tourism operators and for visitors wanting to get to the heart of the New Zealand experience.

Called, it includes an events guide with more than 1000 entries (which can be searched by region and type of event) and a directory of more than 200 cultural organisations, as well as links to related websites. It also includes news, feature articles and ways to personalise your experience of the website.

The website features the arts, museums, historic places, festivals, public gardens, New Zealand movies, music, sports and recreation. It runs the gamut from Hotere to hip hop, Len Lye to Larnach Castle, the Walters Art Prize to prize-winning graffi ti artists.

Planning a visit to Denniston, the old mining town on the West Coast? will link you to the Department of Conservation website which describes Denniston and its environs, refer you to two recent best-selling novels set in Denniston, introduce you to original music composed about the town, and give you access to a fi lm clip of the Denniston Incline in action.

Browse the website and prepare to be surprised by the depth and range of New Zealand’s cultural life.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Come on Guys!! Canberra is Great!

From our friends at

Saturday 25 to Sunday 26 Nov 2006
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Hello Campers,

We are still searching for 8 more people (22 already going) to join us for the gay barn dance in Canberra. $180pp for your boot scootin baby fabulous time. Tickets on sale and details below. You won't want to miss it. If you want to stay with friends package is $105 without accommodation just email for more details

Now Punters DONT FORGET, if you haven't heard already, the barriers are loaded, the stallions have been mounted, the gates are set and the champagne is chilling at the winners circle. Gay4Play invites you to our 1st annual Horseplay - Queens Day at the races. More fun than Lady's Day on Crack and definitely more entertaining than watching the same old bar jockeys rock to the finish line. See below for everything this value packed deal has to offer.

Remember if you book tables of 10 you get a 10% discount (or 1 goes for free, depends how you want to tell your friends) and it is the perfect pre Christmas catch up with all your friends. A pre Christmas party if you like.

Don't forget to scroll all the way to the bottom and check out some of our Gay4Play partners and featured friends.

Hope to catch you all really soon


Canberra Bush Dance

Have your boot scootin' babies all gone crazy? Are you looking for a dance floor date? Gay4Play are taking a coach to the Canberra Gay Bush Dance at the Yaralumla Woolshed's on November 25th.

Package Includes:

  • 1 Night accommodation at the Rex Hotel
  • Entry to the Canberra Gay and Lesbian
    Tennis Club's Bush dance
  • Souvenir Gay4Play Lanyard

$180pp Twin Share you can't get any better than that.

Book Now

Friday, September 22, 2006

Rainbow Touring Year Round

Get your passport OUT. We’ve got exclusive G&L tours for 2007 that you can join from anywhere on the planet. Book on then go pack.

  • Meet us in Athens for a Sappho-land tryst with women from US, UK, Europe, Austrailia and New Zealand.
  • Meet us in Asia for an escorted holiday in two exotic and culturally rich destinations - Vietnam & Cambodia
  • Meet us in Port Douglas in Far North Queensland for a reef & rainforest vacation to remember.
  • Meet us in Tasmania for a wilderness and wildlife extravaganza, including an indulgent food and wine tour along the East Coast Gourmet Trail and hiking along the West Coast at world-famous Cradle Mountain.

January and February – departures for Vietnam & Cambodia with CCAT.

February and March – departures for Tasmania with Bushwise Women.

March and April – adventure tours in New Zealand with Driftwood Dreamers, Elite Adventures and ART Safaris.

May and June – food & wine tours in Victoria with Vino Ventures and Chill Out Travel.

21 Ways to Spend 21 Days Downunder

Rainbow ways to go gay, stay gay, play gay

There are heaps of things to see and do downunder, and best of all you can sort it all online. Start with the central booking service at and find somewhere you’ll love…in Sydney, Auckland, Melbourne, Queenstown, Cairns, Christchurch or way outback!

Here's just a few things you can book online.

7 unforgettable things to see & do

- from outback to the beach

  1. Hit the Rainbow Road around Australia with a sporty convertible from Red Spot Car Rentals and check out the iconic Aussie beaches. Or camp across both islands of New Zealand with EZY Car and Caravan Rentals. That’s the kiwi way to holiday! From mountains to sea, the land downunder is full of dramatic scenery with awesome things to see and do, one magnificent mile after another.
  2. Sail around the magical Whitsunday Islands (near the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world) in your bareboat yacht or catamaran. Or take a course to learn to sail or improve your skills with Charter Yachts Australia. The Whitsundays offer splendid cruising, fishing, oystering, crabbing, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving the island coral reefs.
  3. Experience a top ecotourism attraction in the Northern Territory at Alice Springs Desert Park, where innovative interpretation will help you understand the unique habitats of Australia’s marsupial marvels and Aboriginal people.
  4. Spoil yourself in nature’s playground – Tasmania – on gorgeous wilderness walks with Bushwise Women, and leave your footprints on one of the world’s best beaches. Reward yourself at the end of the day with cool-climate wines, sensational seafood and getting in touch with your inner explorer.
  1. Start your outback odyssey by soaking up the charm and culture in Alice Springs, then grab your hiking boots and depart in our rugged 4X4s for world-famous Ayers Rock in the Red Centre. Tourists en masse go outback, only the enlightened few go way outback on a must-do 4WD excursion with Wayoutback Desert Safaris.
  2. Explore New Zealand’s rugged landscapes, gorgeous beaches, spectacular geo-thermal activity and fascinating Maori culture, all in the company of like-minded women, on an adventure tour. Driftwood Dreamers Adventure Tours combines true insight into the country with adventure activities in a supportive environment.
  1. Catch a few lazy days in Melbourne and take a food & wine tour of Victoria’s vineyards. Two Rainbow tour operators, Vino Ventures and Chill Out Travel Wine Tours, cover the famed Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island, and the emerging wineries enroute to the Great Ocean Road. Overnight accommodation at gay owned and gay friendly places available in all these regions, too!

Destination Greece: Lesbians in Lesbos

Lesbians in Lesbos 6-13 Sep. 2007

The Greek Island of Lesvos or Lesbos was known as Mytilini when Sappho was writing love poems on the dramatic and beautiful beaches of Skala Eressos. Her birthplace is a modern Mecca for international lesbians and our base for a week of fun and exploration.

There is much more to Lesvos than just the fabulous beaches…. The island is blessed with pine forests, scenic harbours, archaeological and historic monuments and some of the warmest, friendliest people in Greece. No wonder Lesvos is a favorite location for artists, writers and romantics – and for you and your friends.

This very popular tour will sell out, so book early. Exclusive bookings at

Bargains for Under $100

Farm stays, country cottages, retreats and self-contained apartments... Places to stay for under a $100.
Go Budget in Australia

Avalon Farm Cottages, near Noosa, from $100

Parrot Fish Lodge, Backpackers Hostel, Port Douglas, from $25

Fernmark Inn, Sapphire Coast, NSW/VIC border, from $99

Shiralee Motel, Guyra NSW north of Sydney, from $75

Swanbourne Guest House, near Perth, from $80

Boyz on the Beach, near Cairns, from $86 single

Bellescapes, Barossa Valley near Adelaide, from $60

Carlton River B&B, near Hobart, from $75

Tambaridge B&B, near Gold Coast Hinterland, from $90

Opium Den (The Star Hotel), Melbourne, from $66

Today is the time to make your holiday bookings for Christmas and New Years. The hot destinations will fill up fast, and so will the smaller, hidden gems. We invite you to browse the Rainbow Places that interest you and find the perfect place for your downunder summer vacation. See more budget properties in Australia or New Zealand on

Monday, August 21, 2006

Saturday Night Live in Marvelous Melbourne

The Star Hotel in Collingwood has transformed itself into the Opium Den. Now a revamped venue for live acts, you don't want to miss Saturday Night Live Cabaret with Kaye Sera. (AKA Marilyn). The best laughs and entertainment for just $5 entry!

If you are simply having too much fun and don't want to go home afterwards, check to see if the upstairs accommodation is available.

If you love line dancing and two steppinig, come to the Den for the Boot Scooters Sunday Social. The mixed group is very friendly, the dance instructor cute, and the DJ divine. They're looking for new recruits, so I made my way down there the last two Sundays for the most fun I've had since Frontier Days in Cheyenne and the Calgary Rodeo.
It was great to talk with some of the Melbourne Cloggers, who claimed a gold medal at the recent Gay Games in Chicago.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Moonlight Madness - Luxury & Eco Travel Go Hand in Hand

Yes, it's truly possible. Who knew it would happed in Victoria, just two hours from Melbourne along the famed Great Ocean Road.

This is fast becoming a G&L escape route for locals and soon visitors from overseas can discover it when they book via!
Moonlight Head is located near the spectacular 12 Apostles rock formation; post card scenery territory. The upscale super-lodge (the entire development will have 5 lodges and a 75-room hotel in late 2007) has just opened after 6 years of planning and development- and immediately put out the pink welcome mat. Moonlight Head Lodges joined GALTA and will be participating through Rainbow Tourism in the G&L World Travel Expo in San Francisco. Some of those Bay Area residents need to try our unique Aussie experiences - and this is one of the best experiences available in this country.

Visiting Moonlight Head Lodge is all about modern aesthetics and environmental responsibility. The architecture responds to the landscape, that works with the climate, which uses natural materials selected with a consciousness of how much energy they cost to produce...need I say more than Moonlight Head is a relaxed space in a sanctuary setting. Luxury married with sustainable tourism. Moonlight Head's team will deliver a service beyond anything you've ever experienced before. Everything about this place is superlative for leisure & pleasure. Come down and I'll show you my newest discovery! -DeeTours Dee

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Need a car? Try our Rainbow Connections

Ezy Rentals (Cars & Campas) has got New Zealand covered, and Red Spot Car Rentals is the hire company of choice when driving around Australia. Why are these companies the fastest growing rental companies in NZ and AUS? Attitude!

When I left my mobile in the glove box of my cute little Ezy car in Wellington, they quickly couriered it to me back in Sydney.

When I had a problem with my credit card bond at the Hertz counter in Cairns, I was turned away, no matter that I'm a Gold Club member and have a corporate card for Rainbow Tourism. I went next door to the Red Spot counter, and Hollie quickly got approval for me, sympathetic to someone in the travel industry.

Old fashioned service and can-do attitude by Red Spot and Ezy Car earned these companies my respect and loyalty. So now you, too, can book with the best, by clicking on the icons on our home page, Safe driving!

Lemonkind: Lemon Aid for Dykes Down Under

This wonderful new woman's site is the newest Rainbow tourism affiliate. If you find travel articles naming a Rainbow Tour or Rainbow Place, you can book that accommodation online directly from the Lemonkind site. Shortly, they will publish a list of woman-only and woman-owned accommodation in Australia and New Zealand for your next getaway with your special lemon.

This is a great site to contribute your travel stories, so please take a look and spread the word. Not just for travel info, there is other vital info of interest to Aussie dames.

Girlfest Getaways: Reef & Rainforest Retreats

Do you need some R&R before or after the long Australia Day weekend GIRLFEST event? No worries, we have thought ahead about traditional recovery parties - and come up with some deals for women travelling from far and wide for this event.

If you're headed to Queensland, why not go up early or stay over to explore the rest of the state? I highly recommend Cairns and Port Douglas. .. already known for post Mardi Gras recovery parties and Women's Week activities...and soon to be famous for post Girlfest Getaways!

Whether you want a romantic, quiet retreat or to be active with day trips to the reef or rainforest, don't miss out on these exclusive Rainbow Tourism deals. Just hop on a plane , and inside of two hours (from Brisbane) you can be laying by the pool and sipping on bubbly with your significant other or group of friends at the mountaintop Mai Tai Resort or at the woman-owned and operated Pink Flamingo.

I can personally vouch for the relaxed atmospshere, spectacular sunsets, and cordial hospitality offered by the guys at Mai Tai. Andre & Anthony want to share their slice of heaven with you and yours...Their Bali-style boutqiue accommodation is for 8 maximum, so four lucky couples can have the place all to themselves for 3 nights on the last 3 nights of January! The Rainbow Deal includes a 4wd safari and a snorkeling adventure, so you get to experience both the reef and rainforest. You must book by 24 December, so book now and put a voucher in her Christmas stocking!

If a cool exotic mountaintop is not your idea of bliss, you can choose to be in Port, as the locals refer to Port Douglas. Your choice might be the Pink Flamingo Package: 4 nights, a snorkeling adventure, new mountain bikes to get around the village, and champagne on arrival in your private villa. Definitely surprise her with this one!=]

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Brisbane Pride

Thanks to all who visited our stand in Brisbane in June.

Leigh (left in picture) , the lucky winner of the $200 travel voucher, travel books and wine was still on site when we drew his name from all those who signed up to our newsletter.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Gateway Cairns

Reef to Rainforest activities. Backpackers to luxurious hideaways. Beaches, pools and outdoor spas. Laid-back resorts. Great food, wine and shopping. What more could you want? I found nothing lacking on my recent visit - and can't wait to go back!

Fly into Cairns airport and drive 5 minutes to the all-new Skinny Dips Resort at 18-24 James St. I have fond memories of my stay there 10 years ago and spending time in their pool and outdoor cafe where the locals hang out. With a new chef, Kim, the restaurant has been transformed into the Montage Bistro. The entire complex has undergone a facelift under new management. This is gonna be a great place for post Mardi Gras recovery and any time of year you get to Tropical QLD.

If a smaller place is your cup of tea, drive 15 mins. further to Kewarra Beach and enjoy the homey feel of Boyz on the Beach. Your co-host, Bob, is also a tour operator and arranges 4WD escapes for guests. Ask about the rainforest and waterfall tour inside the stunning World Heritage region.

After a few days in paradise, head to heaven in Port Douglas (about an hour's drive). If you choose to stay in town, you can stay at woman-owned and managed Pink Flamingo, a relaxed and hip resort with outdoor gardens, showers and spa baths. The clientele is mixed but no worries about privacy in your private villa or feeling comfortable around the heated pool and outdoor lounge area.

Tip from the locals: Have brekkie at Cafe Ecco on the main street and say hello to David and Joe (who also have accommodation in Palm Cove.)

Or head 12 km up the mountain to Mai Tai, for a romantic getaway. You don't have to die to be in heaven is their slogan at this Balinese style retreat. Perched high on top of a mountain and nestled into lush tropical surroundings, Mai Tai offers complete privacy and magical views across the rainforest. I recommend staying in the deluxe suites which has a spacious outdoor shower... for the ultimate tropical experience.

Andre and Anthony are perfect hosts; they love sharing their personal paradise with discerning travelers. They arrange tours with local operators like RC Safaris that takes you to Cape Tribulation in the Daintree Rainforest, and Synergy, a catamaran that takes your snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. Even breakfast with the birds at the nearby Rainforest Habitat, an authentic environmental wildlife experience.

A sign of the times

Turtle Cove, once proclaimed as an exclusive gay resort, is still courting "gays, lesbians and friends." Contrary to rumors, new manager Ross Palm says the resort is not going straight, rather broadening it appeal to satisfy those who say "exclusive" is discriminatory. The resort, undergoing a tidy up, is going ahead with special events like Women's Week in October. A new ad campaign starting mid-July will detail summer packages and events. Stay tuned for the new, improved Turtle Cove.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Gateway: Byron Bay

Things are buzzing in Byron, and when Rainbow Tourism went calling on new operator Amber Gardens B&B, we quickly learned about the good work of the boys behind The Pink Guide. They told us BB operators want to promote the region for Mardi Gras recovery week. While Amber Gardens is the only Gay Owned and Operated B&B in town, there are plenty of gay-friendly accommodation to welcome visitors, including the Rainbow Tourism Accredited Byron Quarter.

The Byron experience really is something to be had. So if you've never been, or its been awhile, you should escape there soon. You'll be surprised that it is not just a backpacker destination, but also a upmarket getaway. There's something for everyone, from adventure to first-class indulgence.

When I go back I plan to find Tea Tree Lakes and Tyagarah Beach, which I'm told are not as crowded as the better-known King's Beach. Aah, the tropo scene!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ezy Car Winter Special - Free Skiing

All bookings made for travel 01 July - 30 September 2006 will receive 1 FREE
adult all lifts day pass for Treble Cone Ski Field Wanaka for each day the
vehicle is hired.

Eg: 7 day rental = 7 day lift pass.

* Promotion is only valid on Ezy Cars & Campa's.

* Only one voucher (valid for one adult) per day can be used

* Vouchers only valid for the duration of the rental.

The snow is falling, the skiers are excited and Ezy is offering FREE skiing!

Book Now

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Byron, Brisbane & Babes

Over Pride weekend, I stopped on the Gold Coast to check on next year's Girlfest date and location, then drove to Byron Bay to have dinner with Yvonne of Bushwise Women to plan a lesbian tour to Lesbos next Sep. During Fair Day, I met Georgina, sales and marketing diva for the Pink Sofa and discussed some joint promotions.

It's hard work hanging out with these dynamic women! In the coming weeks, look for details on

Friday, June 16, 2006

Destination: NZ Ski Season Opens

The New Zealand Ski Season is off to a great start with heavy snow falls in the last week.

Expect excellent skiing over the next few months on both the North Island and South Island ski fields.

Check out more details of our ski offers on

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Destination: Mt. Buller and whiteOUT!

whiteOUT!, Australia's premier annual gay and lesbian ski event, will take
place at Mt Buller from Thursday 7 September to Sunday 10 September.

Mt. Bulla is just 3 hours away from Melbourne - with ski-in
ski-out accommodation and great entertainment venues and restaurants.
These facilities have helped to make whiteOUT! one of the most successful events
on the G&L sporting calendar.

WhiteOUT! has grown substantially from its inception 6 years ago,
and this year promises to be bigger than ever - with new events, new venues,
and a whole lot of fun.

For more details, see the website for GLOBE. The organisation is again presenting the event for its members and for guests.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Our World of Travel

Rainbow Tourism International has extended its professional affiliations with the outstanding tourism associations downunder and internationally.

We are once again proud members of IGLTA, the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. This means we have additional avenues for promoting Rainbow Tourism across the globe and thereby providing our member operators further exposure to international G&L travelers.

Rainbow Tourism recently joined TIANZ, the Travel Industry Association of New Zealand, wherein we'll do our bit to promote NZ as a gay-friendly destination.

The G&L travel association for OZ is GALTA, Gay and Lesbian Tourism Australia. We regularlyo attend GALTA functions around Australia and promote Rainbow Tourism operators and online booking service to prosptective domestic travellers.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Destination: Mornington Peninsula - Bay Style, Gay Style

Melbourne's bays and pensinsulas are catching on fire for the relax & indulge set. There's something for everyone - history & heritage, wilderness & wildlife, food & wine, even nude beaches.

After a hard day of tastings with winemakersand cheesemakers, I took my hand-selected Red Hill pinot noir and delicate goat cheese to Max's Retreat to laze by the cosy fire, sip on the warming red wine, and savour the award-winning cheeses before a blisssful sumber in a sleigh bed!

Vive Bene - it's simply the best at Max's. The host, Marcus, is also a chef and will prepare a gourmet hamper to take to the local beaches, complete with Max's fine estate wine or bubbly.

Did not want to leave - so made plans to return during Winter Indulgence, 10 June - 10 July. Probably take the new Rainbow Tourism scooter for a spin - about two hours from Melbourne, I reckon.

My first rest stop will be in the village of Mornington at the very popular Boys for Breakie. Darn good coffee and cakes, not to mention artwork and accessories for purchase.

I'll be writing about my adventures in a forthcoming Travel Getaways series in Melbnourne's BNews. Stay tuned, Dee, DeeTours DownUnder.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Phillip Island: more than just kolas, seals and fairy penguins

"Little Penguins is the PC term of the day, but no matter, we didn't go to see the cute penguins. We went to see and do other things, like food & wine indulgences, the koala conservation project, and shopping! The Melbournites with weekend shacks on PI are passionate about the place.

"It is not only the penguins but also many walks amongst the mangroves and other wildlife, visiting the wineries – especially a new one called Purple Hen - good food at Chicory and relaxing at the many B&B’s such as Misti Blue. 

Shopping on PI is also very good. I Have a couple of girlfriends who do all their shopping at Cowes – yes! They go to Deborucci's for their Melbourne Cup outfits. Deborucci’s is well known and draws people in from far and wide and Deborucci is a great character.

There is a little community down there but it is well hidden. Most people go down to the island to ‘escape’.

The top woman's space for escaping is called Misti Blue B&B. The upstairs unit has a great view of the misty blue bay, of course. There are two self-contained cottages to the rear, hidden in tropical landscaping. Drop me a line if you want directions and details.

2008 update: Sadly now closed but check out other places in the area.

Destination: Spice Island. Something's cooking on Phillip Island

There's a new indulgence destination for the Melbored. Get out of Melbourne mid week or on the weekend for an overnight stay at Spice Island B&B, a gay-friendly accommodation highly recommended by GLOBE members (Melbourne's gay and lesbian business org). It's conveniently close to Chicory Restuarant (see previous blog) and starting later this year, will boast its own cooking school.

The owners are former caterers, and it shows in the wonderful breakfast tapas and coffees delivered hot to your loft breakie room each morning! Can't wait to go back for learning to cook with spices...

Meanwhile, the ultra-modern units called Lime, Chilli and Sage are open and the perfect place to relax and unwind overnight or over the weekend. I was told in the next month gas flame effect fires will be installed in two of the rooms and the Sage room is being upgraded with the addition of a LCD tv in the bathroom so you can watch your favourite movie in the spa! Move over, Daylesford, as the hottest GLBT escape now is Phillip Island!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Christchurch Pride Week May 2006

Hundreds of lesbians, gay men, bisexual men and women, takatāpui, fa’afafine, and transgender are expected in Christchurch between 13 and 21 May for the second annual Christchurch Pride Week festival.

Initiated last year as a community initiative sponsored by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, the 2006 event is expected to be every bit as popular as it was in 2005, when members of the GLBT communities came to the city from throughout New Zealand to debate, party, learn, share and promote inclusiveness, health and wellbeing.

The 2006 programme includes events as diverse as a celebrity debate – featuring Georgina Beyer, Tim Barnett, and Maryan Street who will be speaking to the topic “PC [Politically Correct] Poofter Politicians, better off without them” – to serious lectures at Canterbury University on the “queer” perspective of the classic poetry epic, Virgil’s “Aeneid”.

There’ll also be gay sports, tramps (that’s the hiking kind), parties, a “Mr and Ms Pride” competition, theatre, workshops on health, sexuality and homophobia and a host of other events.

Christchurch Pride Week Events - Christchurch Rainbow Places

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Destination: Noosa in QLD

Can you keep a secret?
Easter is here and Noosa Avalon Farm is enjoying the change of the season with the colours of autumn, getting ready for the wonderful crisp nights and glorious warm days of winter in the Noosa Hinterland.

Don't hesitate to give us a call when planning your next holiday in the Noosa area. Please let your friends know about our special wildlife retreat and sanctuary so they too can rest and rejuvenate their souls.

Heres to a fabulous and safe Easter for you and your family.

All the best, Linda and Staff

Destination: Phillip Island in Victoria

Serious about food? Passisonate about wine? Those are just two good reasons to get out of Melbourne and overnight on the gay-friendly island. Just a little over an hour away... yet another world.

Chicory Restaurant is a new venture for Phillip Island where the gay owners are bringing a Melbourne dining experience to regional Victoria.

I think you should drive right on over to Chicory Restaurant in Cowes for some modern Australian cuisine (AKA pure culinary delight.) Ask Peter about his lemon and lime tart - but save that for last. First take a gander at the fine wine list and Peter will help you match it to the catch of the day.

Happy Trails, Dee

PS For less than a hundred bucks, we dined on fresh seafood, had two glasses of local vino, and dessert. Well worth a visit!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Destination: Queenstown House

From Louise at Queenstown House

We have been chosen as one of Elizabeth Hansen's "Top 12 places to stay in New Zealand," as featured in the March issue of the prestigious National Geographic Traveller magazine. We are delighted with this appreciation of our efforts!

We have joined the Heritage and Character Inns of New Zealand group and are the largest Inn in this charming collection.

A couple of months ago I was appointed to the board of Destination Queenstown which is the marketing representative for the town.

Queenstown House is keeping me very busy particularly during the popular summer months. Bernie Kirby is into her fifth year as my number one assistant and we have a great team of helpers to ensure our guests have the most memorable experience.

Now is the time to be thinking of skiing and particulaly Festival Week which starts 23rd June, a fortnight of fun.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Destination: Middle Earth (AKA Central Otago Region)

Central Otago Rail Trail:
Cycling Thru Middle Earth
by Bruce Morrison, owner, Christchurch Gay Stay

The Central Otago Rail Trail is a 150km cycle track which was formerly part of the rail network from Dunedin to Clyde. The line from Middlemarch to Clyde was closed in the 1990s and when the rails were removed a cycleway was born.
I have ridden the track three times, and believe it is one of the great ways to soak up the atmosphere of Central Otago. I first rode the track in 2000 and there was a lack of services like accommodation, bike hire, and transport back then but the track’s success has led to better catering for cyclists needs.
I’m possibly organising a group ride again in October ... a freedom ride where I book accommodation and transport, rather than a guided ride. If you would like information send me an email Happy Trails, Bruce

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Destination: Dalby, QLD

Full Moon Party for Queensland Men

Come experience a luxury farmstay at Halliford Station.

Gold Club Travel, our Brisbane affiliate travel provider, and Halliford Station have joined forces to present a unique farmstay event over the Easter long weekend, starting Good Friday on 14 April.

The sleeping arrangements include a bunk in the bunkhouse, a double room in the guesthouse, or sleeping under canvas in tents. Single fares start from $150 and include bus transfers and all meals while at Halliford Station, a gay-owned and operated accommodation.

Gold Club tours will operate short day tours during the weekend to points of interest around Dalby to test local vintages and arts & crafts. Or you can just laze by the river waiting your turn in the canoe.

At Halliford Station you could see dingo, emus and kangaroos, and as a working cattle station, there’s plenty of BEEF!

To find out more give Wally at Gold Club Travel a call today or contact him through

Friday, March 03, 2006

Destination: Kiwi Land

Kia Ora from New Zealand...where there's something for everyone's budget, taste and pace. Some of the enticing new accommodation and tours available through the Rainbow Tourism booking engine are Kamahi Cottage, an authentic farmstay experience, the Spa Lodge, near the world-fanmous hot thermal springs, and Cabbage Tree Backpackers & Woody's Art Gallery in Auckland's trendy Ponsonby district. Woody also leads overnight and longer budget fun tours for my "fellow gay brothers and sisters,"called Art Safaris.

While everyone has NZ at the top of their downunder travel wish list, only Rainbow Tourism has it covered in terms of gay owned and gay-friendly accommodation and tours. Check out the OUT Operators on

Destination: Cape Tribulation, Far North OLD

Rainforests & Rainbows on Safari...where else but Queensland?

Mai Tai Resort is not only a unique stay for gay men and women and their friends (it's clothing optional and very private), but they also offer a range of Play Gay day trips with gay or gay-friendly tour guides. Best deal is their 4 day/3 ni package which includes a superior suite at Mai Tai, tropical breakfast, private stretch limo transfers from airport, a Rainforest Safari Tour to Cape Tribulation, a day on the reef snorkeling, and a dinner voucher at a gay-friendly restaurant....until 31 March this will only cost $995 pp. Get there now!

Food & Wine Experiences -With or Without Golf

Yarra Valley & Mornington Peninsula are on the world food and wine map, to those in the know. So when you travel to Victoria, be sure to contact these wine tour operators for your personalised tour of one or both of these regions.
Chillout Travel Winery Tours offer a lovely, relaxed scenic day out, whether you want to discover the Yarra Valley or the Mornington Peninsula. Both are about an hour out of Melbourne but in opposite directions. You could easily tour one region per day so book them both back to back or at the start or finish of your visit to Melbourne. Tours include gourmet food, wine tastings and incredible vineyard vistas for just $98 pp. Contact Elly for details.

DeeTours DownUnder has created weekend getaways for women golfers who also want a bit of pampering and indulgence afterwards.

Called Wicked Weekends for Women, the personalized and flexible getaway features:

  • a clinic, and round of golf on Mornington Peninsula's premier golf courses
  • pampering time at local natural hot springs and spa
  • indulgence at winery & restaurant with gay winemaker & chef
  • overnight at G&L accommodation and sightseeing on return to Melbourne

Mornington Peninsula, in Southern Victoria just an hour's drive from Melbourne, is fast becoming a golf and spa mecca, keeping pace with its reputation for indulgent food and fine wine experiences.

Ideal for social or competitive golfers, and affordably priced. Contact Dee for the details.

Destination:Tasmania. Put a tiger in your tank.

Tasmania, the island of rejuvenation, ranks fifth in the world among eco destinations. Don't fail to experience it - our way.
There are two "green"eco retreats that are GOO, one outside of Hobart in the Garden of Eden (my term for Huon Valley) and the other on the east coast, near the village of St. Mary's.

Both Rainbow Retreat in northern Tasmania and Huon Bush Retreats in the southern half of this tiny island are classified as wilderness eco retreats. Peter & Ian are the host and chef over the Rainbow and Michaeel & Paul are the creators and energy behind the hospitality and catering at their cabins, tipis and tent sites near Huonville.

Unique to both is the fact they are located in private nature reserves, where guests enjoy the wildlife that roams freely on the property and spectacular scenery like no where else on earth.

Rainbow Retreat is an Adult Retreat, whereas Huon Bush Retreats is children and family friendly.
Rainbow Ridge has ocean views, and HBR has a mild to wild wilderness track where you can hug ancient trees. Rainbow Tourism recommends a stay at both of them; they are just a couple of hours by car apart.

They've tamed the devils, watered the ferns and are waiting for you in paradise. You may not spot a Tasmanian tiger, but you'll feel their presence out there in the woods...

Destinations DownUnder - Our Way

Rainbow Tourism has a new look and feel to its site, and is slowly beginning to add content to the destination, events and tours pages. Another dozen tourism operators have joined the Rainbow Tourism Network since the start of the calendar year - including tour operators from OZ & NZ, and accommodation operators from Auckland to the Whitsundays.

Before I tell you about them and their special offers for G&L visitors, let me just interject a comment as an ex-pat American who came here on holiday and never left!

Aussies and Kiwis always seem to have time to engage with overseas visitors. This is not how the rest of the world behaves, and it is a quality which Australians & New Zealanders should never loose. If you want to have a terrific vacation in the land down under, look no further than these two island countries in the South Pacific. Come on down and enjoy the hospitality'll want to come back - or stay like me!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Member Testimonials

What people are saying about Rainbow Tourism's mission:

Hi guys,

Thanks for the service. It does annoy us sometimes when we have traveled and stayed in places that say they are gay friendly but there is no difference to them from properties generally listed.
We certainly would be looking on your site for accommodation in the future and will be telling other gay owned operators to list with you guys.
Robin Graham and Stuart Terry
Belmont House

Dear RTI:

Thank you so much for the listing on your website and congratulations with your online booking system up and running, the rainbow site looks great.

Have fun,

Elly Meagan

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Destination: Daylesford

Where? Country Victoria.
Sit down, sit back and start making plans for ChillOut 2006: A Decade of Fairy Tales!

Why? ChillOut is regional Australia’s largest gay and lesbian festival, and it will burst into life over the Labour Day Long Weekend, March 10-13.

Comparing it to all my camping and campy experiences, this is an event not to be missed!

The ChillOut Street Parade has grown to become one of the most fun events during the four-day festival. Vincent Street is closed to traffic on Sunday morning and is taken over by drag queens wearing fabulous frocks on floats; marching bands; the devilishness of dykes on bikes; and too many fanciful treats to describe here.
Then in the afternoon, there's plenty to see, do, eat, enjoy at the Fair Day stalls (come meet the staff of Rainbow Tourism) and entertainment stages.
I highly recommend getting there early on Friday if you need to grab a good camping spot. Plus, if you don't party too hardy that night, you can join us on the golf course at 8.30 am. for Ambrose-style "best ball" 9 holes of play. Bigpond is sponsoring the golf tourney, so there'll be some nice prizes to vy for...ugh FORE!
There is a wide range of accommodation in Daylesford and Hepburn to suit every requirement. With many gay and lesbian owned properties and a welcoming accommodation staff wherever you go your weekend in Daylesford promises to be friendly and hassle free.

See you there! - DownUnder Dee

Monday, January 09, 2006

Destination: Melbourne

THE GAMES WE PLAY is the theme for Midsumma Melbourne 2006, which runs from 20 Jan. - 12 February.

The aim of Melbourne's gay & lesbian festival is to have a great time, from the opening night and parties till the last event. (I was there last year and some 20,000 of us made it the bigest party event on Melbourne's queer calendar.) Easy to do, because there are plenty of premier events throughout the carnival month, including theatre, cabaret, live music, outings and a T-dance. A veritable feast of visual arts, cutting-edge carbaret, awesome performances, a writer's forum and much more!

The G&L community celebration ends with a traditional Fair Day and if you're in attendance, be sure to drop by the Rainbow Tourism stall shared with fellow members of GALTA. See you there!

And if you're still there in March on an extended visit or you head there specifically, you won't want to miss the Queeer Film Festival - 10 days of the best in queer film from Australia and around the world - showing between 2-12 March. See

Whenever you're headed to Victoria, and need a place to sleep or a group tour experience pre or post the parties, be sure to check out the GOO and RTA operators listed on