Ever since Helen Hayes headed off on a European adventure at the age of 23, travel has been a driving force. That first trip was indeed an eye opener for a girl from a country town of just 4000 people, and was followed by another year-long European sojourn that included six months living in London and many trips to savour the delights of cities from Copenhagen to Lisbon, Athens to Barcelona and from Zagreb to Istanbul.
Helen has been in the media since 1977, spending many years in radio – presenting and producing, almost a decade as a researcher on the Great Outdoors travel show on Channel Seven and more than 20 years working as an editor on high-profile magazines such as Vacations & Travel and Holidays with Kids, as well as contributing to other magazines and newspapers.
A love of snow has led to many trips to ski resorts around the world, including Utah, Colorado, California and Wyoming in the USA, several resorts in Canada and Europe, including in Andorra, France and Austria. Helen also knows her stuff when it comes to skiing downunder, having explored most major resorts in Australia and New Zealand.
Hailing from the country in NSW, Helen loves going bush but also loves seeking colourful characters, historic places, local secrets and hotspots in cities and towns around the world.
“It’s all about the experience for me. I am just as happy sleeping in a swag by a campfire in Australia’s Red Centre as I am in a luxury suite or a stylish slopeside condo in Europe or North America. I love the mountains, the sea, rolling green hills and city skylines. I adore long train journeys or road trips and the people I meet along the way. I am just as excited when I am packing to go away on a trip today, as I was when I packed my backpack for that first trip to London all those years ago. Travel doesn’t necessarily have to be five-star to deliver a five-star experience.”
Sue Wallace has been tempted by 100 varieties of Turkish Delight, wandered through the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and watched brown bears play at Knight Inlet in Canada.
She has dined on delicious bush tucker in the Outback, wandered through Tuscany, walked Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, been mountain biking in Gippsland, paddled a raft on the Mekong River in Thailand and followed Japan’s sacred Kumano Kudo route.
She’s been fortunate to stay in sumptuous penthouses, divine hotels and sailed on luxury boats, climbed mountains for stunning views and stood in awe as blood red sunsets fill the skies.
A spa lover, Sue has been dipped in chocolate, rolled in honey and sprinkled with gold dust. Always looking for the Finer Things in Life – it’s also those small things that make a great story.
A journalist for more than 30 years, Sue started in finance on The Australian then discovered the world of travel was much more entertaining than numbers.
Based in Albury NSW she sings the praises of North East Victoria and destinations on her backdoor as well as far flung spaces.
Sue writes for national and international publications and websites and recently won the prestigious 2014 Kennedy Award for Outstanding Travel Writing for a story on Nitmiluk Gorge in the Northern Territory.
Career highlights include winning the 2008 Australian Society of Travel Writer’s award for Best International Story Under 1,000 Words with a tale about New York’s Trump Towers and a gold dust spa treatment. She was also one of three finalists in the Society’s 2009 awards for a story on Shanghai, where she tested out a heavenly ‘tea’ spa treatment – the verdict? Tea’s wasted in a cup!
Sue tries to take the path less travelled for the best travel stories and experiences and agrees it’s the journey as well as the destination that often makes a great story.
A full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers, she is a former Vice President and was a committee member for four years. She is also on the judging panel of the Australian Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards.
These days she is on the lookout for the unusual and the quirky finer things in life – and wouldn’t say no to another variety of Turkish Delight.