Saturday, 25 May 2019


CLAUDIA STIRLING Photo Credit: Nica Photography
LADIES IN BLACK opens at the Mittagong Playhouse on June 7th for 9 shows. Only 198 tickets remain from

CLAUDIA STIRLING plays the young married sales assistant, Patty.

Claudia Stirling has performed all around the world as both a jazz and pop singer. While she has graced many stages over the years, this is the first time in many that she has tackled a musical. Claudia joins the cast as Patty, young married sales assistant, desperate for a baby. Claudia is anaccomplished pianist, skilled pilates instructor and speaks French fluently. Of the many roles she has played, mother (chef, psychologist, stylist, chauffeur) to four girls is the most rewarding as she stars nightly in the wildly popular and well-known Dans La Salle de Bain.

Why not kill two birds with one stone? On the 14th of June, come see HTG’s production of ‘Ladies in Black’ whilst supporting the Southern Highlands Rotary Club.

Only $40 for a ticket and you get to watch the show, a glass of wine, canap├ęs and you are supporting two local company’s ­čÖé. Get your ticket now at — with Lyndall Dalley.“Be true to yourself. Love your family and never stop believing.”


IT'S OFFICIAL! The lights have been switched on, and #vividsydney has begun! ‘The Lighting Of The Sails’ at Sydney Opera House marks the opening of the festival featuring Andrew Thomas Huang’s ‘Austral Flora Ballet’.

If you are planning a visit to #vividsydney tonight, here are some tips on how to make your experience the best possible:

1. The most convenient way to get to and from the festival is with public transport. Plan your trip with these tips:

2. With 9 precincts, there is SO MUCH to explore this year. Don't try to see everything in one night, break it up over a few visits. Check out what's on and make a plan:

3. Need help exploring once you've arrived? Our maps and guides are here to assist you:

4. Stay safe, have fun and be sure to share the moment using #vividsydney

Lights On 6pm-11pm, until 15 June.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives, an Astronomer’s Paradise, Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Man’s First Walk on the Moon

Now this Anantara experience really is out of this world. For those of you who don’t know – Anantara Kihavah Villas in the Maldives has the largest telescope and observatory in the Indian Ocean so it’s slated as one of the best places in the southern hemisphere to observe and study the stars, planets and the moon. And it’s the moon that is taking centre stage for festivities on July 20th as Anantara Kihavah commemorates the 50th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon.

On the 20th July, 1969 Apollo 11 landed on the Sea of Tranquility and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped down from the lunar module onto the surface of the moon, the first humans in history to do so. To celebrate, Anantara guests are invited to join Shameem, the islands resident Star Guru for a ‘Star Gazing’ breakfast. Lay back to gaze at the stars that glitter overhead, and be regaled by Shameem’s knowledge as he takes you on an intergalactic journey before taking a look through the powerful telescope at the craters on the moon that still amaze people 50 years after the first landing.

For guests who like a later start to the day the SKY Bartenders at Kihavah have created a complimentary cocktail for all guests to mark the occasion – The ‘Buzz’ Aldrin - While it should provide a buzz, we can’t guarantee you’ll experience weightlessness……

For more information on Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas please visit
Instagram: @anantarakihavah

Friday, 24 May 2019

Introducing South Sea Sailing!

South Sea Cruises is excited to announce the launch of a new product to add to its award winning portfolio of brands - a brand new 78ft luxury catamaran which will sail through Fiji's beautiful Mamanuca Islands under the newly established brand South Sea Sailing.

The catamaran will offer high-end sailing experiences out of Port Denarau daily. Every journey’s itinerary will be dependent on the warm tropical breeze and sea conditions, creating a unique sailing experience every day.

While on board, up to 80 guests will be treated to gourmet food and premium beverages, luxurious furnishings and snorkelling stops at spectacular reef sites. The fact the catamaran is so light with a shallow draft means easy access to sand cays, white sand beaches and Fiji's turquoise waters via a forward steps and even a water slide.

The new catamaran which is yet to be named, will feature a large shade canopy with seating options including day beds and bean bags. Group, charter and evening options will be available.

"We're delighted to be making such a world-class addition to our range of award winning tourism products," said Brad Rutherford, CEO of South Sea Cruises, who launched the new product at the 2019 Fiji Tourism Expo earlier today.

"Being the first Ocean Voyager 78 catamaran to operate in the Southern Hemisphere we anticipate that the South Sea Sailing product will prove immensely popular with both our international visitors to Fiji and local people who are looking for new experiences and different ways to explore the ever popular Mamanuca islands."

The South Sea Sailing catamaran is currently being built offshore by French based; Ocean Voyager who have worked with South Sea Cruises to customize the catamaran to South Sea Cruises requirements. It is expected to start operating in June 2020.

Please see artist renders of the South Sea Sailing vessel here, including the new brand's logo. The new website is

The award-winning South Sea Cruises Group is Fiji's leading maritime operator, providing a range of day cruises and an inter-island Resort Connections (ferry) service for the Mamanuca and Yasawa group of islands. Also part of the South Sea Cruises portfolio is Fiji’s premier small ship cruising experience, Blue Lagoon Cruises, offering 3, 4 and 7 night cruises through the Mamanucas and Yasawas; Awesome Adventures Fiji, catering to youth and independent travellers; Vinaka Fiji, a voluntourism experience focused on building sustainable communities, education and marine conservation and Malamala Beach Club, the world’s first island beach club, located 25 minutes from Port Denarau.

Summer in the Alps with a free night offer

Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
Those looking for a luxury break with a difference this summer should head to the Swiss Alps and take advantage of a free night offer at The Lodge, Sir Richard Branson’s beautiful mountain retreat in Verbier.

With Switzerland fast becoming a ‘must-visit’ destination and no town showcasing the beauty of the country more than Verbier, the spectacular Alpine views and an unrivalled variety of activities during the summer months make it the perfect summer getaway.

Between June and September 2019, The Lodge welcomes individual room bookings and its latest free night offer on stays of four nights or more makes it a must stay this summer.

An outdoor Jacuzzi, stunning mountain views and flowing bubbles await when booking one of the chalet’s nine beautiful bedrooms. Stays at The Lodge are inclusive of all meals and drinks, and the Swiss and International cuisine, prepared by Michelin-trained chefs, is guaranteed to be one of the highlights.

Get to know the area with a gentle hike, or simply soak up some alpine sunshine from a hammock on the picturesque lawn. Those looking to unwind can enjoy a treatment in the capable hands of the resident beauty therapists or breathe in the mountain air during a refreshing morning yoga session. The buzzing town of Verbier is just a five-minute walk away and offers a wealth of designer boutiques for shopaholics looking for some retail therapy.

The Lodge has an indoor pool, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, spa, a steam room, a party room, two bars and an award-winning Head Chef. There are plenty of activities on offer around the area from hiking to canyoning, to mountain biking to paragliding and much more.

Rates start from CHF 940 (approx. AUD 1354 at today’s exchange rate) per room, per night based on two adults sharing and guests staying four nights or more will be treated to their final night for free.

For bookings please call T +61 (0) 2 9965 7299. Alternatively e-mail

Soak Up Southeast Asia’s Green Season

Southeast Asia’s green season from June to October brings refreshing rains and cool breezes that make travelling in the region a surprising delight. During this lush time of the year, curious travellers can visit popular sites with fewer crowds all against a backdrop of white fluffy clouds and mountains shrouded in rolling mist.

It’s the perfect time to plan the 7-day Khmer & Lao UNESCO Heritage Sitesjourney from Secret Retreats travelling from the ancient temples of Angkor in Cambodia to the hidden UNESCO site of Vat Phou in southern Laos and beyond.

Book the journey as a whole or visit each destination individually and extend the journey to the Laotian capital of Vientiane...

Ancient Temples & Modern Accommodation in Siem Reap, Cambodia
First, experience the ultimate expression of Khmer genius, Angkor. Checking into Anjali by Syphon, this unexpected eco-friendly oasis featuring cutting-edge design comes to life during the green season with abundant flowers and tropical hanging gardens. Spend your days exploring temple ruins, dining on local organic cuisine and learning more about the Khmer culture’s past and present

Rural Villages & More UNESCO Wonders in Champasak, Laos
Next, cross the border to Laos to find the slow life in Champasak along the Mekong River. The region takes on a particularly peaceful air during the green season, especially when staying at The River Resort. Spend a couple days leisurely cycling around, enjoying a sunset cocktail cruise, exploring the nearby UNESCO-listed Vat Phou, or discover the unique archipelago of the 4,000 Islands situated just a 2-hour drive away.
*Contact our concierge about a special Green Season offer at The River Resort now through 31 August 2019.*

Extend Your Journey to Vientiane, Laos
Discover one of Asia’s smallest and most relaxing capitals – Vientiane – staying at Lao Poet Hotel, an urban jungle retreat located in the heart of the city. Previously home of a well-known Laotian poet, the hotel has been recently refurbished taking inspiration from 1930s Indochine design interspersed with modern, creative touches. Stroll to visit Vientiane’s oldest surviving temple, Wat Si Saket and continue your day visiting Laos’ most important national monument, Pha That Luang, and Patuxai, the country’s version of the Arc de Triomphe.

Counting down the hours to VIVID 2019

We are counting down the hours until Lights On 2019! Use this checklist to plan ahead for your #‎vividsydney adventure:

✔ Check changes to traffic and transport services before travelling:
✔ Leave the car at home – Public transport is recommended
✔ Use maps and guides to help you explore the festival:
✔ Always have a plan B in case of delays
✔ Families can avoid the most popular times by visiting during the week between 6-8pm, or visit Taronga Zoo Sydney and Chatswood (Willoughby City Council) from 5:30pm
✔ Pick up free Lost Child Wristbands for the kids at info booths located near Customs House, Darling Harbour, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, The Rocks near the Overseas Passenger Terminal and Tumbalong Park
✔ Ask our friendly volunteers in bright pink jackets for help if needed
✔ Great starting points:
- Chatswood NSW from 5.30pm with food and drinks
- Barangaroo from 6pm with many restaurants located on the walk
- Darling Harbour, Sydney from 6pm
- The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney from 6pm
✔ Vivid Sydney is working with Cushman & Wakefield to help make it an accessible and inclusive event, for more info, visit:
24 May - 15 June

World’s Best Beach Club To Host Bali’s Biggest Birthday Bash

With no less than nine bars, four pools, world class electronic dance music and unparalleled sunset sips, you’ve got the makings of one epic party season at Finns. Summer nights and celebrations are back at the World’s Best Beach Club and Finns is inviting you to turn up the heat on Bali’s biggest birthday bash! Save the date July 6 for Finns’ 3rd birthday celebrations and one colossal 12 hour dance fest.

An all ages event for Bali, the DJs will work the decks from 9am, then the party really gets going around midday with festivities extending from the Beach Club through to VIP. But why wait until the sun is high in the sky? Start the celebrations off early with yoga by the ocean from 7am followed by a Riviera inspired breakfast at St Tropez!

Bali’s best beach club is busy prepping to become party central once again featuring drink, dance, sun, fun and good times as guests groove from noon until midnight to non stop music from internationally acclaimed DJs. Straight from festival season and recent gigs spanning Spain, Canada and the US, Platinum award winner Marc Kinchen (aka MK) and Aussie masked mystery producer, ‘Golden Features’ with triple Gold Aria singles and his #1 iTunes hit are geared to light up the stage for Finns birthday celebrations, keeping the crowd groovin’ well beyond sunset. Billed by Rolling Stone as one of EDM’s ‘top fifty most important people’ newest addition, DJ ATrak turns Finns’ birthday entertainment lineup into a triple treat of elite dance music DJs and you can be sure fans will be eagerly waiting to bust a move to his number one collaboration ‘Barbra Streisand’!

Choose the way you wish to party through the day with a variety of entry options from general admission to booths, daybeds or even the new Lagoon Pool party beds. Finns members are invited to take advantage of free general entry with no minimum spend while ticket holders arriving before 3pm can enjoy a complimentary glass of French champagne to get into that party mood! Get a group together and book your booth, double day bed or party bed and receive a free bottle of birthday bubbly courtesy of Finns, but hurry as this offer is limited to the first 50 bookings!

Up there with the biggest events on Bali’s social calendar, this is one party you won’t want to miss, so secure your ticket to the island’s biggest birthday celebration today and get ready to toast the World’s Best Beach Club’s third rotation ‘round the sun in style…. Canggu style!

Head to and book early to avoid disappointment. Be sure to look out for their free entry promotion but hurry as tickets are strictly limited (minimum spend applies).

Jalan Pantai Berawa, Canggu - Bali
P: +62 (361) 844 6327 / +62 (361) 934 7343

Explore Unique Experiences In Your City

Time is one of the most precious resources we have, so use it wisely to explore the incredible experiences in your own backyard! Touching on the dining and exploration passion points of consumers, Priceless Cities is a program available exclusively to Mastercard cardholders to provide access to unforgettable activities in the cities where you live and travel.

Dreaming of spreading your wings? Mastercard Priceless Cities is making it a reality, letting you fly high above the breathtaking coastline of Eastern Sydney in a private helicopter tour, hosted by Anthony Glick.

If you’re not into heights but keen to whet your palate with a new experience, take your taste buds on a culinary journey to discover the secrets behind Bennelong’s signature dishes. Learn from the best in the business, before enjoying a lavish dining experience at the world-famous Sydney Opera House.

From fine dining masterclasses and guided tours of world-famous Sydney Harbour, get inspired with following unique experiences from Priceless Cities.

Snap photos from a helicopter with Bondi lifeguard Anthony Glick
Head to a photography lesson with Bondi TV personality Anthony Glick, before getting a caffeine fix at The Crabbe Hole on your way to the airport. On arrival, jump in the chopper for an unforgettable helicopter ride around the Eastern Beaches. Take in the view and relish the opportunity to snap stunning aerial photos of the pristine coastline.

Discover the secrets behind Bennelong's signature dishes
Foodies rejoice! Go behind the scenes of popular restaurant Bennelong during a masterclass with the head chef at the Cured & Cultured counter and uncover a master chef's secrets before dining beneath the sails of the Sydney Opera House with friends and family. With the venue exclusively open to Mastercard cardholders, it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

Go on a couple's glamping trip to the Mornington Peninsula
Feel invigorated, indulged, and refreshed on a glamping trip with someone you love with a memorable two-night, glamping getaway on the Mornington Peninsula. Stay in a pitched bell tent and enjoy a grazing box from Piece of Cheese while sipping on Foxeys Hangout Sparkling White NV.

See the farm-to-table process in action
Leave the big smoke of Sydney and head to Katoomba to learn the true meaning behind farm-to-table. On arrival, you’ll be given a guided tour of the Mercado farm and learn about everything from cheese and bread making to animal butchery and meat curing. After the tour, you’ll be transported to Mercado where the chef will prepare your meal and truly bring the farm to your fork.

Start the day with floating yoga and a guided surf paddling tour
Explore Sydney Harbour with fitness trainer Luke Horder and yoga instructor Lucy Buchanan. Paddle past Sydney's sights in style on a guided kayaking trip with fellow fitness enthusiasts, for a one-of-a-kind experience.

For a full list of Priceless Cities experiences and to learn more, visit

Four Ways to Create a Successful Arena Event

With over 25 years in the events industry, Peter Jones AM, Managing Director of Peter Jones Special Events (PJSE), has established himself as an industry leader, with over 1200 event executions entrusted to him and his team.

Whether organising an intimate dinner for 20 or a lavish charity ball for a 1000, Peter understands the importance of being at the forefront of the ever changing world of events.

Peter believes that arenas, in particular, present unique possibilities to create unforgettable, high impact moments. Here are his top insights on how to make an arena event a success.

1. Dream big, plan big
When it comes to choosing an arena, for it to be a success, you need to make sure you can clearly envision your event dream coming to life in the space in front of you.

Planning a successful arena event requires either using all of the large space available or cleverly enhancing a smaller portion of space with big ideas.

For me, arenas act as a blank canvas for creativity – and I’m often drawn to them with events that are driven by the desire to dream big and deliver big!

2. Getting the most out of your budget
When we have a client that has the budget for the scale, size and vision for an arena, the realisation can become very exciting.

To get the most out of your budget, a cost-effective tip is to maximise what’s already available in- house, such as using any great catering services and by rebranding pre-existing structures or signage.

Furthermore, you can also ask the arena whether they offer hospitality options, such as sport or entertainment packages.

3. Create the unexpected
When planning an event, we always start with thinking about what the guests are expecting to see.

Expectation of an event isn’t always positive. Many people dread going to industry events because they’ve been to them a hundred times and seen it all before.

Arenas offer something different. In 2004, during the Athens Summer Olympic Games, we held a dinner in Melbourne & Olympic Parks(M&OP). The reason we chose the venue was because it had a velodrome and we wanted to host a special event right in the middle of the steeply banked oval cycling tracks. Guests were in complete awe – it was a wow moment that was completely unexpected, and people still talk about it to this day.

4 Embracing location
With arenas in most major cities around world, they are perfect venues to cater for both national and international guests.

Nationally, you’re transforming an event space that they might have visited before, for a sporting match or a concert. Internationally, if based in a prime location, you’re showcasing the best the city has to offer.

In 2004 we organised an event for Visit Victoria where we had over 2000 guests in M&OP’s Rod Laver Arena. As the brief wasMelbourne the Major Event Capital we thought, why not have the opportunity to host our event on one of the four Grand Slam tennis courts in the world. For our international guests, having a dinner on the court of the Grand Slam was iconic – it was unforgettable for all involved, including myself.

You can read more about Peter Jones Special Events by visiting

For more information on Melbourne & Olympic Parks, please visit, or for expressions of interest in visiting M&OP, please contact Lara Burnes at