Coastal treasures of Khao Lak

For those who like to go just a little away from the crowds, head north from Thailand’s busy Phuket to Khao Lak  where you can swim, snorkel, cruise through mangroves or just flop-and-drop pool-side (cocktail optional). Here are a few options to get you started. Khao Lak thailand ESCAPE Margaret Barca


Chilling in Palm Springs

California’s Palm Springs is hot – in more ways than one  – but when the mercury is rising the best way by far to chill out is to find yourself a banana lounge, order a cocktail  and chill out at one of the oh-so-cool pools. Here are a few of our favourites. Check them out on 9 Travel here


palm springs margaret barca travel

La Dolce Vita – a sparkling road trip in the King Valley

There’s a friendly low-key charm to this peaceful valley at the foot of the Victorian Alps, the perfect detour off the Hume Highway or a destination in itself. Vineyards and wineries specialising in sparkling Prosecco, back-country roads, old tobacco sheds entwined with wisteria and a strong Italian heritage are part of the region’s unique charm. Click on the link to see the full story from Australia & New Zealand magazine


King Valley, Victoria, margaret barca

How cool is that? The ice cream capital

Perhaps it’s Melbourne’s Italian heritage, perhaps it’s just the foodie obsession that seems to cut through everything the city does, but there’s some fabulous ice cream creations going down – Matcha Adzuki, Mango & Peanut Streusel –  summer and winter. Double cone for me please.  See the full story at Australian Traveller


ice cream, gelato, cool, Australian Traveller magazine

Attitudes to Architecture: colonial to cutting edge

From colonial to cutting-edge, architecture in Australia has been an amalgam of foreign influence and response to environment since the earliest days. A capsule study for the journal ArtLife, provides an overview of that trajectory and offers an insight into how we are increasingly part of a world movement and yet determinedly Australian. See the full story here ArtLife architcture margaret barca 2017


Trentham… tiny town that’s right on trend

It’s tucked away, but the little town of Trentham has serious street cred. An award-winning French country-style restaurant, a ramshackle timber pub, design-savvy holiday stays, great bookstore, peppering of little cafes and a genuine community feel. They call this ‘cool country’, and that’s right in so many ways. See my story in the December/January edition of  Australian Traveller