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Darn Good Digs in Australia and the Pacific

Darn Good Digs are the world's best independently owned accommodations for budget-minded travelers, all with rooms under US$150. Darn Good Digs stand out for their originality, spectacular locations, scrumptious food, and great vibes.

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  =   Editors' Choice



AUSTRALIA

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Darn Good Digs Review - Editors' Choice

Cape Tribulation, Queensland, Australia: Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm
Nominated By: Bobbie Harvey, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA, July '08


Price Range: AUD140-160 (breakfast included) # of Rooms: 2 Kid-Friendly: 6 and over


What makes Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm so Darn Good? The night sounds are what I remember most from our stay at the Exotic Fruit Farm: the rain drumming on the roof, the tree frogs, and the owls. Our cottage felt like a little oasis in the middle of a rainforest.

Location: The Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm bed and breakfast is located in the heart of the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest at Cape Tribulation, two hours north of Cairns in Northeastern Australia. Digby and Alison, the owners of this working farm, grow more than 100 varieties of rare and exotic tropical fruits, including such delicacies as the rollinia, salak, and black sapote. Several self-guided walks through the rainforest originate at the farm, including a ten minute jaunt to the closest beach. To add to the splendor, the Great Barrier Reef is just a 45 minute boat ride away.

Rooms: The two guest cottages stand on raised platforms above a creek and have louvered windows that gently let the outside in. The lightweight timber cottages are solar powered and water is pumped in from an underground stream. Digby and Alison are committed to ecotourism and the entire bed and breakfast is ecocertified by Ecotourism Australia.

Food: Each morning we made our own plunger coffee, and drank it out on the porch while we waited for Digby to bring us his amazing breakfast. Breakfast begins with a generous plate of exotic fruits and ends with a hot entree of your choosing. Lucky guests may opt for such treats as a banana pancake with mango and ginger sauce or shredded potato pancakes with chilli tomato salsa.

Vibe: Digby and Alison are very friendly and unobtrusive, suggesting things to do in the area, and even providing one-way transport and bikes so we could ride back from a magical swimming hole where, as they told us, there were no crocs!

Things to Keep in Mind: The Exotic Fruit Farm has a two night minimum.

Read more. See the map.
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NEW ZEALAND

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Darn Good Digs Review - Editors' Choice

Queenstown, New Zealand: Larch Hill Homestay Bed and Breakfast
Nominated By: Aliba, Wellington, New Zealand, November '08


check availability, get rates, and reserve online at booking.com


Hotel Website: www.larchhill.com     Phone: +64 3 442 4811


Price Range: NZ$115-$210 (breakfast included) # of Rooms: 4 Kid-Friendly: yes


What makes the Larch Hill Homestay Bed and Breakfast so Darn Good? The panoramic views from the balcony of Lake Wakatipu and the Cecil and Walter peaks are spectacular, and the views from the dining room, bedrooms, and lounge aren't bad either! The location is peaceful, yet Queenstown has so much to do. The innkeepers, Lesley and Chris, are extremely knowledgeable about the area, and will make bookings for everything from river safaris to tandem paragliding. And to boot, they prepare a great breakfast!

Location: Larch Hill is set up on a hill above the lake, three kilometers from Queenstown's town centre and just up the street from the bus route. Queenstown is a great base for exploring New Zealand's Southern Lakes region, and for trying your hand at adventure sports such as bungee jumping, skiing, and mountain biking.

Rooms: Larch Hill has one en-suite room, two rooms with private baths, and a self- contained apartment. Our room was very clean and well-equipped with a flat screen television, bar fridge, electric jug for tea and coffee, iron with ironing board, and hair dryer - they've thought of everything! The bed was really comfortable too.

Food: Delicious breakfasts! I loved the smell of homemade bread in the morning, and the croissants and pastries were amazing. Fresh fruit salad, yoghurt, and cereals complete the meal. The Queenstown area has plenty of good restaurants, bars, and the world's southernmost wineries.

Vibe: Larch Hill is relaxing, warm, and friendly. Lesley and Chris are very welcoming, and gave us great ideas about things to do. They even booked our trip to Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park, and arranged for a complimentary taxi to take us to the bus.

Things to Keep in Mind: The B & B is not in the town centre.

Read more. See the map.
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Traveler Favorite

Waitomo, North Island, New Zealand: Woodlyn Park
 Nominated By: Akila, USA, December '09


Price Range: NZ$170-$245 # of Rooms: 10 Kid-Friendly: Yes


Why so darn good? "Three reasons this hotel is SO DARN GOOD. Number one: It is a hobbit hole with a round door, round windows, and a sloped ceiling. Number two: A mule and pigs eat the grass on the roof above your head. Number three: The bed is incredibly comfortable and the kitchen facilities are quite nice. In addition to the hobbit motel, Woodlyn Park contains motel rooms in an airplane, ship, and train." Read more.


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