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					TRAVEL + LEISURE AUSTRALIA                                                                                                      Page 1 of 6

   Outside The Box                                                                                      Print

   It's back, our third annual awards honouring
   the essential human contribution to the way
   we travel, both here and abroad. This year,
   following T+L's expansion to New Zealand,
   we've reached across the Tasman to include
   the most imaginative figures from Kiwi

   1. John Sax
   Founder and owner, Treetops Lodge and Estate,
   Rotorua, New Zealand.
   Innovation A long-term commitment to a luxury retreat.                                                       Read featured stories from
                                                                                                                past issues.
   The low-down John Sax had a dream. He wanted to
   create a place that would do justice to the wonders of
   the New Zealand wilderness. That place is Treetops
   Lodge and Estate, outside of Rotorua on the North
   Island. Such was his commitment to achieving his dream
   that it took Sax 16 years to build Treetops into what it is
   today, a world-class luxury lodge in managed private
   wilderness. In his first year of ownership, Sax planted
   77,000 trees on the valley estate. That level of detail,
   concern and care for the environment continued through
   to the final fit-out of the stone and wood lodge. Today,
   six years after opening Treetops, the lodge, and the
   1000-hectare estate in which it sits, is feted worldwide
   as a cutting-edge example of ecologically sustainable
   tourism and luxury. Notably, Sax is the only New
   Zealander to own a top-tier Kiwi lodge.
   On his philosophy "I hope that people who come here
   will get a fresh perspective on life and perhaps have
   time to think about the things that really matter, such as
   family, friends and relationships."
   On the New Zealand way "We wanted to offer a unique
   experience that you could only get here. And that
   encompasses largely New Zealand produce, its food
   and wine, and an assortment of adventures you could
   only have here that move guests to explore the wonders
   of nature."                                                                            Damien Plemming

   Treetops took more than a decade and a half to
   build. Why? "I wasn't in a hurry. We wanted something beautiful, something that would do
   justice to the area. It had to be right if we were to inspire those who come here to feel a little
   more environmentally responsible."

   2. Rachel and Nick Hannaford
   Founders and owners, LifeTime Private Retreats, Kangaroo Island.
   Innovation Thoughtful hospitality in a very remote location.
   The low-down Rachel and Nick Hannaford spent much of their childhood on the family farm
   above the glorious white sands of Snellings Beach on South Australia's Kangaroo Island.
   There, they learnt about freedom, about fun, food and how nature soothes and restores. Sitting
   around the dinner table they learnt about conversation and friendship. As young adults, they
   went off in different directions to hone their hospitality skills. Then, predating the acclaimed
   Southern Ocean Lodge on the other side of the island by four years they returned to the area                                                                   21/03/2009
TRAVEL + LEISURE AUSTRALIA                                                                            Page 2 of 6

   What you do at Lifetime Private Retreats? "Basically it is three perfectly positioned and
   thoughtfully furnished homes – Cliff House, Sky House and Stone House– overlooking
   Snellings Beach at Middle River. The reality is a magical experience that enthrals those who
   find their way there," says Nick.
   How so? "You have to slow down on Kangaroo Island. It's an opportunity to buy back time, to
   reconnect with yourself and your loved ones."
   What's your role then? "We truly tailor-make the stay for our guests. Things like music from
   one of their favourite performers on the sound system, or their favourite cake in the oven when
   they arrive. Or setting up a tent on the beach and then delivering a picnic."
   So the food experience is a key LifeTime aspect? "Not many places can offer dinner amid
   the boughs of a 150-year-old fig tree but we do. You can also have a barbecue on the beach in
   front of the property in our own taverna – it was the boat shed. And we serve dinner by
   candlelight in our shearing shed. Rachel is committed to fresh ingredients, simply and
   beautifully cooked and presented."

   3. Ian Johnstone
   Founder and owner, Maria Island Walk.
   Innovation Establishing a tourism product with big principles.
   The low-down Ian Johnstone, construction engineer, decided he had had enough of the short-
   term thinking of the rat race. Johnstone's solution was to create Australia's first island-based
   walk on Maria Island, seven kilometres off the east coast of Tasmania. He knew that in Maria
   Island, a place blessed with an abundance of beauty, history, climate, wildlife and only two
   permanent human residents, he had found what he had been looking for: an island of
   tranquillity. But Johnstone, known for his unstinting passion and persistence, also wanted to
   create something he was proud of, a business based on solid principles.
   On Maria Island's appeal "It's a place where time has stood still over the past 100 years. All
   the different eras of Tasmanian history – the Aboriginal history, the explorers, the convicts,
   pastoralists – are here."
   The importance of values in tourism "We wanted to do the right thing on all levels –
   corporate, environmentally, socially. This place demanded that. People appreciate it even if
   they don't know much about it. They sense it."
   The walk "It is a journey of discovery. During the four days you discover lots of things about
   the island, history, Tasmania, food and wine. You also discover lots about yourself when you
   give yourself the time and space to slow down and walk. People take home new perspective
   and knowledge."
   On the importance of local knowledge "You can't beat it. Nothing is too much trouble for our
   guides. We also deliver an authentic Tasmanian experience using local food, wine and
   produce for every meal. Essentially, we do a three-course dinner party each night in the wild.
   Not bad, eh?"

   4. Jim Berardo
   Owner, Berardo's restaurants in Noosa, Queensland.
   Innovation Establishing the Noosa Food and Wine Festival.
   The low-down Jim Berardo fell in love with the Queensland town of Noosa the first time he
   walked through the national park located there. A health-care executive from New York,
   Berardo was always intensely interested in fine food and wine. He brought his passions
   together when he retired to Noosa and opened Berardo's Restaurant and Bar with his partner
   Greg O'Brien.
   The two opened the more casual venue Berardo's Bistro on the Beach in 2002. A Celebration
   of Australian Food and Wine –Noosa Style was their next project. Six years after its inception,
   the festival attracts more than 15,000 visitors over three days in May. Most importantly for our
   purposes, it has cemented Noosa's reputation for fine food and produce.
   Why start the festival? "It was our way of highlighting this beautiful region's food and produce
   to the rest of Australia. We also wanted to create a forum for the discussion of Australian food
   and wine knowing that most food education is hands-on."
   How did you achieve that? "Our festival is different to others. You can come and eat, of
   course. All of Australia's top chefs have been here at some stage over the past five years. But
   you can also come to learn by joining in a small class, or you can go exploring along our food
   How has the festival affected Noosa? "When we started there were little pockets of
   excellence with someone producing chemical-free tomatoes here or selling hand-picked
   lettuce leaves there. Now, there's an entire industry producing the finest regional produce in

   5. John Borghetti
   Executive general manager, Qantas.                                         21/03/2009

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