New in experiencesArtisan Trades Trail, is set to launch in Bathurst offering visitors a journey that explores the towns early historical beginning as the nation’s oldest inland European settlement. This new trail will launch on 13-14 May, and will involve 10 venues across Bathurst’s CBD hosting a series of special events, re-enactments, exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops as indigenous elders, bonnet-makers, lace-makers, wood-artists and textile-makers showcase their skills.
Celebrate Mother’s Day at Australia’s Oldest Farm – Belgenny Farm in Macarthur just one hour south-west of Sydney CBD. The rare opening of the farm to the public will take place on Sunday, May 14, from 10am. Activities will include craft stalls, bush bands, pony rides, face painting, candle stalls, beauty products, gold trail re-enactments and historical tours of the 212-year-old farm. Those from the city can get a taste of old-fashioned country life, with sheep shearing demonstrations, working dog shows, cow milking demonstrations and a series of novelty races which families are invited to compete in – including tug-of-war, egg and spoon and three-legged races.
The sounds of hissing steam and pounding pistons will ring across the historic Macarthur region when vintage steam machines are brought back to life as part of the Campbelltown Steam and Machinery Museum Field Days on 20-21 May. The ‘Oil, Steam and Kerosene’ event will feature free steam train and wagon rides and displays of steam machinery, vintage cars and military vehicles. The museum showcases Australia’s past with working displays of industrial, agricultural and civil machinery including traction engines and tractors, a two-foot gauge railway and antique earthmoving displays.
Finders Keepers Markets returns to Sydney for its tenth anniversary year this 12 – 14 May. The new venue at The Cutaway, Barangaroo Reserve will bring together the art and design community featuring designer lines ups, Australian themed designs and outdoor essentials, live musicians, ceramics, botanicals and more.
Over 100 studios, galleries and ARIs (Artist Run Initiatives) open their doors over two weekends in May for Sydney’s Inner West Open Studio Trail (IWOST). IWOST is an opportunity to dip into Sydney’s inner west’s thriving independent arts scene, view artists at work, hear the stories behind their practice and join tours, workshops and more. Over two weekends, and four feature days (13-14 and 20-21 May), the trail will showcase four different precincts that reveal what the inner west offers in its many creative strongholds.
Broadway Sydney will launch its inaugural ‘Fusion Fest’ from May 25 – 28. Showcasing a blend of food, fashion, beauty and music. A series of pop up gigs will take place on level one from the likes of Lastlings, Lime Cordiale, Woodes and Polographia as well as a creative food workshop with a special reality TV star guest.
4WD hire and unique adventure company Bear Rentals have recently launched a new offer, Black Defenders . Bear Rentals offer travellers 4WD and equipment that allow an authentic off the beaten track adventure. This special Black Defenders experience allows travellers to travel further and stay in remote areas for up to four days without the need for external power or to run the vehicle.
New in food and wineMadame Shanghai is the new Darlinghurst eatery and bar serving Shanghai street food and yum cha. Opened by the Lotus Dining team (Lotus Galeries, Lotus Barangaroo, Lotus Dumpling Bar Walsh Bay, Papa Bo Min), the restaurant features elegant old-school Chinoiserie décor emulating 1930’s Shanghai. The cocktail area overlooking Hyde Park is reminiscent of a Shanghai garden with lush greenery. The 90 seat bar and restaurant is open six days for dinner and yum cha for lunch, Thursday to Sunday.
Tramsheds Harold Park is partnering with The Australian Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association (ASCA), to host a masterclass on how to make the perfect cheeseboard on 31 May. Guests will be guided through the elements of a cheeseboard and how to match accompaniments with a selection of Australian cheeses. The class will be hosted in Artisan lane.
New in accommodationBIG4 Great Lakes at Forster-Tuncurry will launch two special week-long events aimed at “Silver Schoolies”. Mature aged guests will have the opportunity to participate in a range of events including aqua aerobics, bingo, pancake breakfasts, sausage sizzles, and giveaways. The events will be held during 5 – 9 June and 2 - 8 July.
The Byron at Byron in NSW’s Byron Bay has two special upcoming retreats, inviting guests to escape and relax with the Barre Body Wellness Retreat (1 – 3 September 2017) or Surfing Retreat (22 – 27 October). Guest can enjoy a mini break full of yoga, barre and mindfulness with Emma Seibold of Barre Body and The Flow or an exciting five days of surfing and yoga led by two of Australia’s most experienced female surf coaches, Jenny Boggis and Serena Adams.
Goulburn welcomes newly refurbished 4.5 star hotel – Mercure Goulburn. The multi-million dollar refurbishment extends across all 74 guestrooms and serviced apartments. Guests are now treated to complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel, parking and Foxtel. In addition, the hotel’s reception area, function and events facilities and onsite bar and restaurant, Edge, have all been fully refurbished in the same earthy yet modern tones, giving the spaces a fresh new contemporary look.
Coolamon shire welcomes new accommodation, the Ardlethan Bed & Breakfast. Featuring two guest bedrooms and a private guest wing, the bed and breakfast house was built in 1915 for Ardlethan's first Catholic priest, Father Mullins who served in WWI as an army chaplain. Returning home, he brought with him cuttings from the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, and there are still two olive trees producing olives in the garden from those cuttings.
Veriu Broadway will open its doors to its first guests on 2 June. An $18 million conversion of a former warehouse space, the hotel will offer 64 self-contained studios - each over 40 square metres; and one and two bedroom split level apartments. Ideally located close to the International Convention Centre, the hotel will provide a true and genuine local experience with team members trained as local area guides, plus on-site food and beverage sourced from local providers in keeping with the precinct’s contemporary café and bar offerings.
Sydney hotel, The Tank Stream, is offering visitors to Sydney an opportunity to combine contemporary comfort with a new two night accommodation package that includes a historical discovery tour that traces the path of the city’s original life-source, the Tank Stream. The Tank Stream was the first fresh water catchment developed by the First Fleet arrival in 1788 and where the city of Sydney was ‘born’. The Tank Stream is now fully covered, but a Tank Stream & Hidden Laneways tour – conducted by small-group tour specialists Go Local Tours – provides visitors the opportunity to retrace its path covering the city’s infamous start as a penal colony, the beautiful sandstone architecture, and the colourful stories behind the laneways that lead from Martin Place down to Sydney Harbour.
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, the latest luxury hotel opening in Sydney will start taking online bookings. To celebrate Sofitel will offer one lucky person the Golden Ticket of a lifetime, comprising of nine double pass tickets to events and quintessential Sydney experiences. Some of the key events include tickets to Arsenal FC vs Sydney FC and the State of Origin, tickets to comedian Chris Rock, tickets to the Russian National Ballet: Romeo and Juliet at the State Theatre, passes to Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb, a private helicopter flight over Sydney, and New Year’s Eve accommodation in the Prestige Suite at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour. For the full list of Golden Ticket prizes, head to: www.accorhotels.com/goldenticket.