Whileaway Guides – Q&A




If you're thinking of being a Locum in a regional area, Prescript is delighted to introduce you to our favourite travel companion 'Whileaway Guides'.  Read our Q&A with founders Kitty Spry and Jess Grinter and hear how the Guides are designed to be like the diary of a well-travelled friend.

How and why did Whileaway Guides start?  Sydney-siders Kitty Spry and Jess Grinter, have been great friends for many years and have always shared a love of travel and discovery. After both living overseas, we realised how much we relished to get out and about to visit our surrounds on weekends but where do you start looking for information if you are not familiar with the area and who has the time these days?

After returning to Sydney, (over a glass of Rosé no less) the concept was born! The more we talked about it the idea of creating these guides, the more excited we got. There was nothing else like it for regional areas. With our sense of adventure and eternal curiosity of new places to escape, we were always being asked by friends for tips on places to go, see and savour. Why not package it up and put it in print for all to enjoy? And so we did!

What are your backgrounds?  Kitty is a mother and is not one to sit around on the couch doing nothing. She has always loved exploring the next new place and with kids, she didn’t want this to stop. And it’s the perfect excuse to get out of the IT rat race! Whileaway Guides are inspired and dedicated to Kitty’s mum, Deborah Spry, who had a passion for the good old fashioned holiday brochure and planning her next getaway. Never without the excitement of the next adventure in mind, we hope that she and these treasured little guides inspire you to do the same (as Deb inspired us).

Jess is a passionate graphic designer who is incessantly inquisitive about the world we live in with a thirst for discovery. Along with her ‘joie de vivre’, she madly scours design and travel material – always looking out for unique places, products and experiences to hit the market. Not one to sit back and relax, she loves to escape every chance she gets and will often jump in the car or plane to see what all the fuss is about. Being ‘in the know’ and finding new and peachy-perfect places is what makes it all worthwhile (and fun to boot). Throw in some good tunes, great coffee and fab food and she is one happy camper.

Why did you choose the regional areas you included in the guides?  Whileaway Guides were born to inspire travellers to look outside our major cities into the more rural regions. We chose the regions that had a unique and varied range of offerings to the ‘experience seeker’ all within short distances from home. They also needed to provide an easy ‘mini-break’ from a large city or commercial airport to encourage busy locals and overseas guests to venture out and explore.

What is your criteria when choosing the places included in the guides? What are the characteristics looked for when compiling the guides?  The Guides are designed to be more like the diary of a well-travelled friend, impartial and unbiased, offering personal advice based on our team’s experiences. No one pays to feature in our guides. Before we visit, we gather hot tips and recommendations from locals then go to check it ourselves.  We choose the featured offerings based on the ‘feel’ that is, it’s welcoming, value for money and depicts the mood for the region – there is something about it that is just a little bit special. And we know our ‘friends’ will just love it.

What is the most attractive city in Australia nowadays? Why?  Hobart (Tasmania) is Australia’s current hotspot and ticking all the boxes for all the right reasons. Attractive physically, culturally and historically, there is something for everyone including the foodies. Nestled at the foot of Mount Wellington on the Derwent River, it is surrounded by luscious lands producing gourmet delights – boutique wines, cheeses, and apples to name a few (Tassie is not called the ‘apple isle’ for nothing).

It is certainly setting new standards in the arty world with crowds flocking to recently opened art galleries including MONA – a unique and very memorable experience ‘wowing’ visitors from all over the globe. Not only is the gallery making waves in art circles, the onsite cafe, restaurant, brewery and shop provide a well rounded experience for those who travel to this little pocket of perfection. The historic center around Constitution Dock, Battery Point and Port Arthur ooze stories of our convict past will excite the historians. 

Hobart and surrounds is also our best selling guide so hop down to hip and happening Hobart!


What trends are you seeing coming up in Australia’s lifestyle?  There is a real trend towards lifestyle changes – ‘Tree change’ and Sea change’ as people seek a more relaxed lifestyle, out of the cities. Australia’s range of diverse landscapes from beach to bush means there are options for all personalities to live and travel – most within short distances from home or quick flight escape.

There is a strong push towards food and wine being produced organically, especially those products that are within 100 food miles, (lowering their carbon footprint). Fresh is best as they say and we agree!

Culture is also playing an important part of getaway experiences, learning something new and discovering something old.

How are your guides different to other guides?

  • They contain all the best bits for a destination – things to see, explore, eat, drink and places to stay. We have done the research for you so all you have to do is turn up.
  • They are ‘unbiased and impartial’ meaning no one has paid to be in the guides. They only make the cut if we have been there, seen it and loved it!
  • 10 folded pocket-sized pages, written in itinerary style with a cute little map – easy to carry around.
  • A calendar of events so you can plan your trip around the action.
  • Fun, quirky facts that you didn’t know about the region (perfect for the historians or trivia nuts!)
  • A place for you to write memorable bits or notes of things to remember, like the name of the vintage vino you just sampled (or the phone number of the spunky waiter that just served you).
  • They pack a punch but won’t break the bank – you’ll have change from a tenner.
  • Collect them as a special memory of your experiences in a gorgeous Whileaway Journal – perfect for the coffee table and to make your friends jealous of your recent adventures.

Who designed them?  Jess Grinter is a graphic designer and with her love of vintage finds, created the visual identity for Whileaway Guides. We starting with the name and loved the double meaning of ‘while away’ and with that, came the development of the logo – a hot air balloon. Jess and Kitty both loved the sense of freedom, adventure and escape and knew that the balloon encapsulated this feeling. From there, we wanted to keep the design and typography simple to let the guides speak (literally) for themselves.

The pastel ‘gelato’ colour palette representing each Australian state is reflective of vintage flavours and compliments the uncoated paper the guides are printed on – yummo. We love print and paper! Together over a year in development, we researched, designed and refined to create Whileaway Guides and we love now sharing these with others

Who are they aimed for? Locals or foreigners?  Both. What’s great about the guides is that, as locals love getting out and about especially on weekends to escape the city and discover new things. As most destinations are within a few hours drive of these cities, they offer the ultimate escape! For foreigners, it provides the chance to see Australia’s uniqueness and to experience what our regional areas have to offer. More often than not, foreigners see more of a country than the locals – so we are hoping to change that, and in fact I think we have already!

Choose the best restaurant and the best bar from your guides.  This is a tricky one – too much to choose from.


Biota Dining (Bowral, New South Wales) – ups-the-ante with unusual culinary delights in gorgeous Scandinavian-like setting. One must for the foodies.

Tarrawarra Estate (Yarra Valley, Victoria) – spectacular architectural masterpiece set within winery. Great food with view across the rolling hills. When you are finished, have a walk around the onsite art gallery.

Spirit House (Maleny, Sunshine Coast Guide) – The night-time ambiance of a rainforest dining experience.


Nautilus  – (Port Douglas, Far North Queensland Guide). The chilli Margarita is sublime.

White Rabbit Brewery – (Yarra Valley Guide, Victoria). Coolness and relaxation at its best.

Salthouse – (Cairns and surrounds Guide, Queensland). Located on the marina, when the sun goes down, the tunes are turned up for a lively atmosphere.

Visit whileawayguides.com.au for more info on the Guides.

Thinking of being a Locum in a regional area?  Make the most of your time away. Book a Locum through Prescript and receive a Whileaway Guide as our gift to you.