5 Tips for Responsible Travel

Responsible travel means being sensitive to your surroundings and remembering that the choices we make can affect the amount of pollutants we emit into the atmosphere. Here are a few tips to travel environmentally, socially, culturally and economically sustainable.




Travelling with minimal luggage makes it easier to walk instead of catching a taxi, and reduces the amount of work (and petrol needed) for planes, trains and vehicles getting you around, reducing emissions. It will also help avoid additional baggage costs.




  • Reuse bedding and towels
  • Recycle in your room
  • Recharge items only as much as they need, then disconnect the charger and turn off the powerpoint
  • Switch the lights and air-conditioning off when you leave the room
  • Take shorter showers



Enjoy the location you are in by taking a walk, going hiking, or riding a bike. Taking in the sights will ensure you get to see the destination first hand.




Immerse yourself in local culture and experiences. Eat at locally owned restaurants, look for  authentic, locally made souvenirs made from renewable resources and visit farmers markets and local grocery stores to help reduce environmental impact.




Choose a hotel that prides itself on being green, such as Wyndham Coffs Harbour – Treetops (winner of the RCI Going Green Award 2013) or Wyndham Seven Mile Beach (winner of the RCI Going Green award 2010).

DIY Christmas Gifts

… for teachers, work colleagues, friends & family
I’ve recently been told about the competitiveness with the ‘what to buy the teachers for Christmas’ game, and the effect it can have the following year. We’re talking Country Road or Esprit tote bags overflowing with beach towels, home wares, wine and the sorts. Of course, these were combined presents from a couple of sisters, but who would’ve thought?
As a kid, I remember buying my teachers some nice soaps or chocolates, and that was it! Oh the days…
But it got me thinking, as I prepare to embark on the journey of motherhood, and soon enough the ‘what to buy the teachers for Christmas’ thing too, will I succumb to beautiful textiles that I would normally reserve for the BFF? Or will I go the more homemade, DIY style gifts – gifts made with love and from the heart.
Through-out the year I have been busy ‘pinning’ things on my Pinterest board and jotting notes down in my ‘Christmas ideas’ notepad – fun gifts to make for Christmas. Below are a few ideas to cover off gifts for everyone – teachers, work colleagues, friends and family.


Chocolate makingChocolate moulds are readily available from your local discount shop or baking specialty store and come in all shapes and sizes. All you need to do it temper your chocolate which means it will retain that glossy shine, and have a hard crack when you bite into it (this gets lost when you melt chocolate without following the tempering process). Follow Cadbury’s easy process on how to temper chocolate (it’s just melting, cooling and re-heating to certain temperatures).

If you are feeling clever, you can purchase powder or oil based colouring suitable for white chocolate – stir through before setting in the moulds, and top with some edible silver or gold leaf foil for a fancy finish.

For tasty add-ins, crush candy canes and stir through chocolate or chop up some jelly lollies. You could even try making your own ‘rum & raisin’ chocolate. Flavour combo’s are as limited as your imagination!

 Rocky Road / White Christmas

Another chocolate variation, but a Christmas classic. I have made this before without tempering the white chocolate, but it just means it will melt quicker once removed from the refrigerator (any excuse to eat it all at once!)

White chocolate rocky roadMelt white chocolate, then stir in shredded coconut, dried cranberries, chopped pistachio nuts, chunks of Turkish delight (you can find cheap boxes from K-Mart or Target) and sliced marshmallows. Once combined, I pour into a 30cm square, baking paper lined cake tin, and leave to set in the fridge. Then, turn it out and cut into slices, bars or bite sized pieces depending on how you are packaging it up. I buy the cello bags and tie the end down with some twine or Christmas ribbon (bags available from craft shop).
For a fancy look, think about the ingredients you are mixing in and colour coordinate. You can add some freeze dried strawberries, violet petals and dried cranberries. If you want to get really technical, you can also buy some white colouring (titanium dioxide) to ensure your colour contrast doesn’t end up a bit yellow – as some white chocolate can have quite a creamy yellowish colour to it.

Image courtesy of: Donna Hay

Mint or Vanilla Rose Body scrub

This recipe is very versatile, and if you would like to make a coarser scrub for feet or dry elbows, use raw sugar instead of brown sugar. If you would like a smoother scrub for sensitive skin, use caster sugar.

  •  1 cup brown sugar
  • ½  cup coconut oil
  • 8-10 drops of your favourite essential oil
  • 2 drops of Vitamin E oil  to act as a natural preservative

Stir all the ingredients together in a glass bowl until the desired consistency is achieved. If it’s a little dry, add some more oil, if it’s too wet, add some more sugar. Store in cleaned glass jars (you could make very cute gifts with little labels and swing tags) or in an airtight container.

These are extremely easy to make, and you can customize to your mood. Perhaps your child’s hard working and potentially stressed out teacher might like one or a combination of the below oils to promote calmness:

  • LavenderSugar scrub
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Sandalwood

Or you could go with your more classic scents like:

  • Peppermint
  • Vanilla
  • Rose
 Image courtesy of: Love Grows Wild


Cookie or Brownie mix in jam jars

Baking jarIf you have a favourite baking recipe, you can use this to create the cute jars. It’s really all about layering the dry ingredients in a jar, and thinking about the colours as you pour them in. If you can, try and pick recipes that use brown sugar (to add another colour to the mix rather than white sugar, white flour, bi-carb etc.) some sort of chocolate (choc chips, both milk and white, broken choc pieces, Maltesers, M&M’s etc.) and nuts (to add visual texture).

Don’t forget to include a tag with the remaining baking instructions and ingredients!

Image courtesy of:  30 something urban girl

Reindeer Noses

These are just the cutest little gifts! They are cost effective, and great for kids to hand out to their friends or teachers at school. All you need to do it search ‘Reindeer noses’ on Pinterest and a tonne of results come up, but we think this is one of the cutest versions. All you need is 8 chocolate malt balls (Maltesers) and 1 red coated candy ball (Jaffa) per pack – easy!

Reindeer noses Reindeer noses

Images courtesy of: Crafting in the Country

Ginger Crunch

Cut this classic slice into bit size pieces and box up with some baking paper in cute packaging tied with a big ribbon.

Ginger Crunch

Grown-up hot chocolate jars

Grown-up hot chocolatePick up some jam jars from K-Mart or Target and fill ½ with your favourite hot chocolate mixture, ½ with mini marshmallows and tie a mini Baileys bottle to the side of the jar. A simple, yet effective, homemade gift that the recipient can enjoy after a long Christmas Day with the family.

Image courtesy of: BuzzFeed

Fresh squeezed juices

Just omit the yoghurt from the recipes found here and bottle in a beautiful 2L flip-top vessel. Tie a small gift card with twine around the neck of the bottle and be sure to include the date that you made it. Fresh juice won’t last long, so perhaps make it the day you are gifting it.

fruit juices

Cinnamon candles

This is a quick little project that you can get the kids to help with. They would also look (and smell) great on the Christmas lunch table, or just for your buffet at home over the Christmas period.


Image courtesy of: Home Stories at oz

Infused olive oils

The hardest part of this gift would be find the right sized glass jars or bottles. Your local discount store should have a good range with different types of lids too. Once you have thoroughly cleaned them, fill them with good quality olive oil and pop in your flavourings.

Infused olive oilsIt’s a good idea to decide on what flavourings you are going to use before you buy the glass bottles to ensure it will fit through the neck of the bottle. If you know the cooking style of the person you are making the gifts for, try and match them to this. If they like to cook a lot of chicken, some lemon peel or rosemary infused oil would be a tasty complement.

If you are going to do several smaller bottles, think about the colours and shapes of the flavourings to make sure you have a good range. Again, flavour combinations are endless – just think about what you normally cook with for a flavour boost.

Image courtesy of: Just Putzing

Ice-cream sundae kit

Grab an old shoe box, or a big flat gift box and arrange inside some:

  • Chocolate dipped waffle cones or bowls
  • Chocolate topping or sauce
  • Chocolate Flakes
  • Sprinkles
  • Choc-chips
  • Crushed almonds
  • Maraschino cherries

Ice-cream sundae kit

Display the toppings in cello-bags with cute labels, and put some long ice-cream spoons in too. Now all that is needed is the actual ice-cream!

You can also create a milkshake version with milkshake glasses, toppings, shaved chocolate and some cute straws.

Image courtesy of: BuzzFeed and Mixing Bowl Kids

Flavoured butters

Flavoured buttersThis is an easy gift that can be packaged up in glass baby food jars (washed and de-labelled of course) and tied with pretty bows. All you need to do is stir softened butter with your desired flavours and voila, you have flavoured butters! Some flavour ideas include:

  • Sugar and cinnamon for pancakes, crepes or toast
  • Garlic and rosemary for piping hot dinner rolls
  • Chilli and Lime for ‘straight off the BBQ’ corn cobbs

If you feel a little more ‘gourmet’ head over to Martha Stewarts blog for butters that claim to ‘take (your dish) to a whole new level of deliciousness.’

Image courtesy of: Martha Stewart


So, what will you be giving as Christmas presents this year? If you take to any of the recipes above, or even if you come up with your own, please share them with us – we always love some new inspiration!


Discover new places – Wyndham timeshare

Have you ever planned a holiday and had a stop-over destination that wasn’t planned, but geographically had to happen – and it turned out to be the highlight of the trip? I know I have!  In a similar way, our Wyndham Timeshare Owners, by virtue of the holiday destinations available to them, have discovered hidden holiday gems!Wyndham TimeshareAt any given moment, there’s probably someone embarking on the long journey between Brisbane and Sydney  On this trip, an overnight stop for the family is almost essential – and Port Macquarie seems to be a favourite.  Port Macquarie has something for everyone, and if you didn’t HAVE to stop, you may not have even known!  You can stretch your legs (and imagination) by taking a walk through the rainforest at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, or take the kids to Ricardoes Tomatoes & Strawberries, a working farm where you can pick your own berries.

Owning timeshare can open up your eyes to some beautiful, off the beaten track places. Take Shoal Bay in NSW, Ballarat in VIC or Wanaka in NZ for example. Have you even heard of all of these places? If you own Wyndham Timeshare, you sure have, and quite possibly have the destinations on your bucket list! If you don’t (learn how to become one here) this is just a preview of what you are missing out on!

Shoal Bay




Currently our Timeshare Owners have 25 WorldMark resorts in the Club. These are a combination of drive-to, national, international attractions and exotic holiday destinations across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji!

Learn more about our Wyndham timeshare concept  and we’ll see you on holidays!





Edge & Style – TRYP Brisbane

Ideally positioned in Brisbane’s cultural epicentre, TRYP Fortitude Valley Hotel combines inner city living with everyday comfort, offering five different stylish and comfortable room types, all adorned with striking street art by Australian artists. Be mesmerised by this boutique Brisbane CBD hotel as you immerse yourself in its first-class service, stellar location and quirky design.

Denarau Island, Fiji – Why?

Dreaming of a tropical paradise for your next holiday? Fiji is an exotic destination filled with culture, beautiful beaches, clear turquoise waters and the friendliest people in the world. Located on the beachfront is Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Denarau Island, an oasis ideal for sipping cocktails, enjoying authentic Fijian culture and letting life’s pressures float away.

Surfing the biggest wave

Seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion Layne Beachley is the most successful female surfer of all time. Holding the greatest number of consecutive world titles — male or female — she is passionate about sharing her experiences in order to inspire and motivate others.

Port Douglas – what’s all the fuss about?

Port Douglas is one of the most beautiful tropical holiday destinations and the only place on the planet where two World Heritage listed areas meet – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Located one-hour drive north from Cairns, Port Douglas is a laid-back and sophisticated coastal village offering visitors a large selection of exciting tours, cruises, adventure activities and world-class restaurants.


Bring summer back to meal times

As the days start to warm up, and the nights get balmy, dinner time should become more relaxed and casual – bring summer back to meal times. Think BBQ’s and salad on the back verandah, fish and chips on the beach, and easy-pack picnic style dinners (and lunches) to grab-and-go.

We’re about helping, giving our tips and advice, great inspiration, AND we think you’d look great eating…

around the pool

on the verandah

at the beach

in the park

or just around your dinner table – a more relaxed look for you. Try it on!

That’s why we’ve compiled our best bringing summer back dinner inspirations and recipes to get you there.

Salads & Sides

All recipes serve a family of 4

Greek salad

Simply dice 2 roma tomatoes, 1 block of Danish feta cheese and 3 Lebanese cucumbers. Place in a bowl with 200g black olives, drizzle with olive oil or your favourite salad dressing and voila!

Grilled Haloumi in Lemon juice

Slice 2 blocks of haloumi cheese into 1cm thick pieces. Brown both sides in a fry pan with a little olive oil and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve warm.

Baby Spinach, Beetroot, Cucumber & Goats Cheese salad

Combine 200g of fresh baby spinach leaves with 1 can of beetroot wedges (or 2 home-roasted beets), 2 diced cucumbers, a handful of fresh Walnuts and crumbled Goats cheese. Drizzle with a little olive oil to serve.


Caprese salad

One of my favourites! Slice 300g of bocconcini cheese and arrange on a platter with 3 sliced vine-ripened tomatoes, topped with fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and season with cracked pepper and sea salt. This salad also makes a great French stick filling too for those grab-and-go meals!

Grilled Corn Cobs with Sweet Chilli butter

When the BBQ is cranked, wrap whole corn cobs in aluminium foil parcels. Before sealing securely, add a knob of butter and sweet chill sauce. As the corn cooks, the butter and sauce will melt and marinate the corn.


Potato salad

Boil 500g potatoes and 2 eggs, then dice once cooled. Meanwhile, dice and fry 200g of bacon. Stir through 2 tablespoons of sour cream, 4 tablespoons of whole-egg mayonnaise and 2 teaspoons of wholegrain mustard. Adjust the sauce according to how tangy you want it – more mustard or sour cream.

Avocado and Mango Curry salad

Slice & combine 2 fresh mangoes (1 can of mangoes also do the trick when not in season), 2 avocados, ¼ fresh pineapple (or 1 small can of pineapple chunks) & 1 butter lettuce. Separately, sauté 1 small brown onion with 2 teaspoons of curry powder, 1 tablespoon of mango chutney or jam, ½ cup of whole-egg mayonnaise and pineapple juice (only if you have some left). Stir curry sauce through fresh salad and add a handful of chopped macadamia nuts. Add some pulled, roast chicken and this makes a great bread roll filling for those grab-and-go lunches or dinners!

Roast Potato in its jacket

Wash, but don’t peel 4 large potatoes. Score a deep cross into the top of each so you can stuff with your choice of toppings once cooked.  Wrap in aluminium foil parcels and cook in the basket hanger of the BBQ (or ditch the aluminium foil and cook in the microwave). Once soft, choose your fillings and serve piping hot:

Filling ideas:

  • Bacon, sour cream and rosemary
  • Sour cream and chives
  • Capsicum, Mozzarella cheese and thyme


Can be added to any salads and sides listed above

Sizzle Steaks

Sprinkle with some sea salt and lemon juice as cooking in a fry pan with a little olive oil. Serve with grilled haloumi and blanched broccolini for a super quick meal.

BLAT Burgers

Loaded with yummy grilled bacon, crisp iceberg lettuce, juicy tomato and creamy ripe avocado, this is another easy grab-and-go meal. View the recipe.

BLAT Burgers

Meatballs in Tuscan sauce

Combine 1kg of your choice of minced meat with 1 cup of breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and 2 eggs. Season and mix to combine. Roll into balls and place into a baking tray.  Top with 1 can of Italian chopped tomatoes, 1 diced brown onion and 500ml chicken stock. Bake in an oven set at 180oc for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through and sauce has thickened slightly.

Grilled Chicken breast

Season flattened chicken breast (or strips) with cracked pepper and sea salt, or try sprinkling some Vegeta Gourmet Chicken stock on before grilling. These are great as a sandwich filler combined with one of the salads above (Greek or baby spinach, beetroot, cucumber & Goats cheese salad would go best).

BBQ Chicken Skewers with Curry Mayonnaise sauce

Dice and thread chicken breast pieces onto metal skewers (or soaked bamboo skewers) and cook on the BBQ. Follow the same sauce recipe from the Avocado and Mango Curry salad: Sauté 1 small brown onion with 2 teaspoons of curry powder, 1 tablespoon of mango chutney or jam, ½ cup of whole-egg mayonnaise and pineapple juice (only if you have some left).


Gourmet Sausages

An easy cook-up on the BBQ or in a fry pan – try Chicken and Rosemary, Beef and Pepperberry, or Pork and Sage sausages served with Baby spinach, beetroot, cucumber & Goats cheese or Potato salad.

Mexican Chicken wraps

This is a more healthy take on Mexican, heavy on salad and much lighter on the cheesiness! An alternative to boring sandwich, these wraps would make a great lunch time snack too. View the recipe.




For the children and adults

Lemon, Lime and Bitters

Swish some Angostura bitters around the bottom of your glass. Add 10-15 ml of lime juice and top with fizzy lemonade. For that resort feel, add a fresh slice of lemon and lime with a swizzle stick.

Corona with a fresh lime wedge

A classic, made that little extra special served with a fresh lime (or lemon) wedge


Fizzy Fruit Punch

Pour 1 part Ginger-Ale, 1 part tropical fruit juice and 2 parts lemonade over ice cubes. Add some fresh fruit combinations for a cocktail look (we like strawberries, apples, kiwi fruit, passion fruit and oranges) and some Vodka, sparkling wine or your favourite fruit flavoured liquor for that cocktail taste.

Fizzy Fruit Punch