Friday, 7 May 2021
The new $9 million Epic Holidays campaign urges Australians to travel further, book a longer stay, and enjoy the benefits of a bigger domestic holiday.
Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Dan Tehan, said that now is the perfect time for Australians who have been holding out for a holiday, to take an epic one.
“This new campaign aims to get Australians to travel further afield, take a longer holiday, and visit those parts of the country typically reliant on international tourism,” Mr Tehan said.
“Australians typically spend more overseas than foreign tourists spend in Australia, so we want Australians to treat their domestic holiday this year like an overseas trip. The net impact of Australian tourist spending in Australia was a positive benefit to the economy of around $7.5 billion in the December quarter; and in 2019, holidays of five nights or longer contributed $31.8 billion to the economy.
“Every epic holiday that we take in our own backyard delivers a significant shot in the arm for our tourism businesses, workers and communities,” Mr Tehan said.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said the new campaign sought to encourage Australians to take the opportunity to book an epic holiday, especially when there had been limited opportunities to do so in the past year.
“This latest phase of our Holiday Here This Year campaign is focused on reminding Australians of some of the big adventures that can be had when exploring the many destinations, landscapes, and natural wonders that make Australia truly awe-inspiring,” Ms Harrison said.
“With a backyard as vast as ours, Australians are spoilt for choice when it comes to epic destinations and holiday experiences. We have a reef so big you can see it from space, the world’s greatest rock formation, and mountain ranges that dominate over three states and more.
“To make the most of these epic holiday opportunities, we’re urging Australians to take a bigger break of five days or more and explore those parts of the country that are especially reliant on international visitors. Taking a longer break is not only good for our personal wellbeing but also for Australia and the many communities and businesses that rely on tourism,” Ms Harrison said.
Speaking about the opportunities for epic holidays in Australia, Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster-Blake said, “We feel intensely awed by this hugely varied and vast country we live in, and how lucky we are to have so many epic experiences in our backyard. So many of the reasons we travel for – wildlife adventures, forests and hiking, wining and dining, and epic family experiences – are right on our doorstep, and the best way to do them justice is on a big holiday. Go bigger! Stay longer! Eat more! Adventure more! Need we say more?”
The Epic Holidays campaign will be rolled out across a range of channels including TV, print, online, social media, content partnerships, search, radio, cinema and outdoor advertising. There is also a new online quiz to assist Australians in finding their perfect holiday match, which can be found on the official travel site australia.com. Campaign assets are also being made available to industry to use in their own marketing initiatives.
The campaign is also being supported by a range of key partners including Flight Centre, Travel Associates, Big Red Group, and Klook.
Tourism Australia also continues to provide consumers with the practical resources and inspiration they need to book a holiday and travel safely around Australia, with tailored content, itineraries, and industry offers on Australia.com. This includes an online Australian COVID travel portal available at https://www.australia.com/en/facts-and-planning/useful-tips/coronavirus-travel-safety.html that brings together key safety information, travel restrictions and guidelines from across the country.
More information on the campaign can be found at: https://www.tourism.australia.com/en/about/our-campaigns/holiday-here-this-year.html
Darwin Festival is back in a big way for 2021 and a tantalising taste of some of the many treats on offer from Thursday 5 – Sunday 22 August is out now! There really is no better place to spend Hot August Nights than in the Top End, and with ten sizzling shows on sale, now is the time to get planning.
Thursday, 6 May 2021
Whether it’s the adventure of swimming in the wild with whales you seek, meeting the makers at cellar doors, or laid-back fine dining whilst the fireplace crackles beside you, you don’t need to travel overseas to experience something truly unique. Your next cosy escape awaits on the South Coast just two hours from Sydney and Canberra.
The Shoalhaven Wine Coast is a treat for both wine connoisseurs and those looking for fresh country air and adventure. Award-winning varietals are paired with fun and foodie activities like High Tea in a giant teacup or horseback rides through the vines, top class restaurants, tours, art galleries and meet-the-maker experiences. All 9 of the region’s cellar doors are located on the coast’s doorstep including award winning Cambewarra Estate Winery, Mountain Ridge Wines, Coolangatta Estate, and Cupitts Estate.
“Our region is unique to the other areas in NSW as it has a maritime climate with cool coastal breezes.” said Brett Richardson, President, Shoalhaven Wine Coast Association. “The geology of the Shoalhaven Coast creates a tendency for white wines to be fruit-driven and well-balanced in style and medium-bodied red wines with fine tannins and elegant fruit characters.”
“Winter is a great time to visit the Shoalhaven Coast wine region, you can admire the vines, meet the winemakers, and be among the first to taste some brand-new releases,” added Richardson.
From May to November each year, the Shoalhaven coast comes alive with the annual whale migration. The Shoalhaven is lucky to be situated in the middle of this ‘Humpback Highway’ and therefore have consistent whale sightings throughout all of winter and spring. Jervis Bay with its white sand beaches is known for its whale and dolphin cruises close to shore in calm waters. Book a whale watching eco-cruise with Jervis Bay Wild or Dolphin Watch to get up close with humpback whales, or try a ‘Swim with the Whales’ experience with Dive Jervis Bay a unique way to have an in water experience with the humpbacks and one of only a few licenses in NSW Waters.
“Each year between June and November the south coast comes alive with the spectacular acrobatic displays of humpback and Southern Right whales,” said Peter Ellis from Dive Jervis Bay.
“A swimming encounter with a whale is something you will never forget. Each whale has a different personality and are very curious and will come close to see you or circle below you. It is a truly one in a lifetime experience, one you will not forget.
The Slow Food movement is alive in the Shoalhaven, with the local south coast groups working with chefs and cooks to award the ‘Snail of Approval.’ These Shoalhaven eateries are committed to using more local seasonal produce, so diners will get a taste of truly local food, without unnecessary food miles. Head to Kangaroo Valley and savour the tastes and textures of offerings from The General Café and Hampden Deli. Take in epicurean experiences in Berry’s charming neighbourhood dining hotspots South on Albany, The Garden Berry, and Far Meadow Table. For coastal cuisine, a trip to Milton and Ulladulla will get you a dining experience not-to-be-missed with Cupitt’s Estate, Duke & Co, GWYLO, Milk Haus, Small Town Milton, Saltwood Kioloa and Treehouse Café.
“Slow Food is an International Association in over 160 countries worldwide that aims to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions and supports small producers in their endeavor to remain sustainable, promoting a thriving food community locally,” said Rosie Cupitt Leader, Slow Food South Coast.
“The Shoalhaven region is the largest joint Slow Food group in Australia, with restaurants and providores up and down the South Coast committed to promoting how good food choices can influence our environment and help to change the world for the better.” Added Cupitt.
Unique accommodation is also key – from Bannisters Hotels in Mollymook, or Bangalay Villas on Seven Mile Beach, and Paperbark Camp’s unique outdoors safari tents, there’s an array of options to satisfy the needs of every traveller.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
- Facebook: facebook.com/visitshoalhaven
- Twitter: twitter.com/visitshoalhaven
- Instagram: @visitshoalhaven
Shoalhaven Tourism is a Department of Shoalhaven City Council
- The Unauthorized Harry Experience
- A Parody by Dan and Jeff
- All Seven Harry Potter Books in Seventy Hilarious Minutes
EXCLUSIVE FIVE-CITY AUSTRALIAN TOUR
CELEBRATING 15 YEARS OF SELL-OUT SEASONS
- "The duo casts the perfect spell over the audience." The New York Times – Critics’ Pick
- "Gloriously irreverent." Time Out London – Critics’ Choice
- "I guarantee you’ll go positively potty over Potted Potter." Toronto Star
- "A fabulously funny parody." The Daily Telegraph (UK)
2021 marks the 15th Anniversary of the international smash hit Harry Potter parody POTTED POTTER. In celebrating this milestone, producers have confirmed that Australia will score a global exclusive with a five-city tour of this blissfully funny romp through J.K. Rowling’s back catalogue live on stage. The 2021 Anniversary tour will open in Sydney on 22 June, then travel to Canberra on 13 July, Adelaide 27 July, Brisbane 3 August and Perth on 11 August.
POTTED POTTER has been performed hilariously “across the ditch” by two New Zealand actors Adam Brown and Tama Jarman who will bring the brilliant Centrepoint Theatre production to Oz following an acclaimed premiere there last year. This was directed by the show’s co-creator Daniel Clarkson and was praised by the NZ Herald for its “terrific, fun, slick performances”.
POTTED POTTER – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real-life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes. Even if you don’t know the difference between a horcrux and a Hufflepuff, this fantastically funny show that features all your favourite characters, a special appearance from a fire-breathing dragon, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic will make you roar with laughter.
- “Blissfully funny, a winner in every way. This show is a crowd-pleaser.” The London Guardian
- “Cleverly appeals to both ardent fans and parents.” The London Times
Producer James Seabright said, “Fifteen years ago, Potted Potter premiered at the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Fringe. Since then, the show has gone on to play multiple West End seasons in London, two off-Broadway engagements in New York, one amazing Las Vegas residency, and extensive touring. In normal circumstances we’d be bringing the show to every corner of the globe this year to celebrate the anniversary, but COVID restrictions elsewhere mean that Australia has a world exclusive with this five-city tour. The show’s creators Daniel Clarkson and Jeff Turner have worked carefully to adapt the production to be COVID safe, which will also mean that repeat visitors to the show will enjoy some exclusive new material. Australia, thank you for having us back and I hope you enjoy the show!”
This Best Entertainment, Family Olivier Award Nominee and double Best Of Las Vegas 2019 award-winning show is perfect for ages six to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed).
Production photos of NZ cast -
Find out more here, and follow Potted Potter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
AUSTRALIAN TOUR DETAILS
VENUE Everest Theatre, Seymour Centre, Sydney
SEASON 22 June – 4 July
TIMES Tues to Thu 7pm; Fri 7.30pm; Sat 4.30pm & 7.30pm; Sun 1pm & 4pm
PRICES Opening night $59.90; $69.90 to $79.90
BOOKINGS seymourcentre.com or 02 9351 7940
VENUE Canberra Playhouse, Canberra
SEASON 13 – 18 July
TIMES Tues to Fri 7pm; Sat 4pm & 7pm; Sun 1pm & 4pm
PRICES $69.90 to $79.90
BOOKINGS canberratheatrecentre.com.au or 02 6275 2700
VENUE Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre
SEASON 27 - 30 July
TIMES Tues to Thu 7pm, Fri 8pm
PRICES $69.90 to $79.90
BOOKINGS Adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au or 131 246
VENUE QPAC Playhouse, Brisbane
SEASON 3 – 8 August
TIMES Tues to Fri 7.30pm, Sat 4pm & 8pm, Sun 12pm & 4pm
PRICES $69.90 to $79.90
BOOKINGS qpac.com.au or 136 246
VENUE Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth
SEASON 11 – 15 August
TIMES Wed & Thu 7pm, Fri 7.30pm, Sat 4.30pm & 7.30pm, Sun 1pm & 4pm
PRICES $69.90 to $79.90
BOOKINGS ptt.wa.gov.au or 08 6212 9292
Wednesday, 5 May 2021
Renowned for his side-splittingly funny high camp onstage persona Bob Downe, Mark saw his main source of income from regular P&O Cruises Australia comedy cruises disappear overnight.
“I miss our comedy cruises something shocking and can’t wait to get all jabbed and to be back at sea,” says Mark. “We are all missing each other terribly, all of the Sit Down Comedy Club comedians. We are just counting the days until we can sail again.”
So much so that regular comedy cruise artists stay in touch with each other via a private Facebook group. And there is no disguising the impact of the pandemic on Mark’s livelihood.
“It was my primary source of income from 2016,” Mark said. “Thank goodness I was able to go on JobKeeper; it was an absolute life saver.”
Mark has taken Bob Downe back on the road while all the time looking forward “to being back on the water again.”
His onstage character is an amalgam of the world in which Mark grew up with “cheesy” variety shows a nightly feature of Melbourne television, “all straight from the Tivoli circuit”, plus flashy American movies and entertainers such as Dean Martin doing their thing.
“Bob is something I have been doing since I was a little kid growing up with all of these influences,” Mark said.
“I gave him a name in 1984 and went solo with the character in 1987. I lived in the UK and had a big success at the Edinburgh Festival when I first went there in 1988 and then by 1990 I was based in London and was there for about 10 years going backward and forward to Australia.”
Mark’s love of cruising is not just business. It is also personal. He and his partner, Stefan, married in San Francisco but also loved having 80 family members on board P&O’s Pacific Jewel to celebrate their renewal of vows in 2017.
“I had never been on a cruise ship before my first comedy cruise but I completely fell in love with cruising. I absolutely love it,” Mark said.
“The amazing thing with comedy cruises is that people book without knowing who the comedians will be. What that means for us as comedians is a fabulous level playing field where we all get out on stage and we live or die by how funny we are.
“You’ve also got that fellowship of your colleagues. You’re out at sea for three days with wonderful colleagues because usually when you’re touring you’re on your own and it gets pretty lonely.”
For now, Mark — and Bob Downe — are back on the road touring while dreaming of entertaining on the high seas again.
Hong Kong celebrates the power of art physically and virtually, as the world’s leading contemporary art fair returns in May
In May, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) rolled out the ‘Arts in Hong Kong’ campaign to promote a series of major events, in both physical and digital format, organised by fair organisers and cultural institutions around town. It ensures that audiences can reconnect with art and the vitality of Hong Kong, whether in person or abroad.
Safely hosting major international eventsAfter an absence of more than two years because of the pandemic, Art Basel is officially scheduled to take place from 21 to 23 May at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). More than 100 galleries from Asia, Europe and the Americas have confirmed their participation. In addition, Art Central will run concurrently at the HKCEC for the first time, and is free to attend with registration. The annual French May will continue to offer cultural entertainment, with over 100 events running from 1 May to 30 June.
To ensure that all fair participants have a stress-free experience, best-practice health and safety protocols will be followed, including mask-wearing, timed entry, reduced capacity, wider aisles and regular cleaning.
Art events that defy borders and barriersArt has long had the power to break down boundaries, and unite and inspire people. Thanks to the depth of its imagination and creativity, Hong Kong’s dynamic arts community has nimbly pivoted to offer hybrid physical and virtual events for people around the world.
In addition to Art Basel, which will launch a new digital initiative, ‘Art Basel Live: Hong Kong’, in parallel with the physical show to amplify its international visibility, fairs that have adopted the hybrid format include Art Central and Yim Tin Tsai Arts Festival 2021. While Hong Kong Arts Festival’s PLUS programme is featuring a diverse line-up of online and in-venue experiences, the soon-to-be-opened West Kowloon Cultural District’s M+ museum is offering online movie screenings on demand.
HKTB gets in on the creative, interactive funActively contributing to Hong Kong’s art revival, the HKTB created a dedicated campaign website, (www.discoverhongkong.com/Arts), which is a one-stop platform providing essential information about ‘Arts in Hong Kong’ and introducing online showcases, art itineraries, an event calendar, artsy offers, interviews with art insiders, and more.
In the online showcases, curated virtual experiences, provided by both international fairs and local events, are all at the fingertips of viewers, regardless of where they are located. It also features an interactive microfilm presented by two local celebrities – multidisciplinary artist Ivana Wong and director Kearen Pang – at some of the city’s coolest attractions, including Tai Kwun, The Mills and the West Kowloon Cultural District.
While we wait for international travel to resume, the wealth of virtual experiences on offer once again highlights Hong Kong’s diverse wealth of cultural treasures and underscores the city’s ability to remain agile in the face of unprecedented disruption.
Explore the island in pure comfort, in air-conditioned coaches and with tour guides who are Kangaroo Island locals, providing informative, friendly, and fun commentary.
Encounter Kangaroo Island’s incredible wildlife and unmissable natural landscapes on the One Day Kangaroo Island Experience tour.
See Sea Lions in their natural environment, frolicking on the beach and playing in the water at Seal Bay Conservation Park. Get up close and personal with kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and other Australian native wildlife at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park and enjoy a hearty two-course lunch at Vivonne Bay Bistro.
Visit Flinders Chase National Park and nature’s breath-taking Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks. Watch the fierce ocean swells at Admirals Arch - a spectacular arch and natural nursery for playful Long-nosed Fur Seals, before heading back to Remarkable Rocks to explore the majestic granite boulders and stunning sea views. After being impacted by the 2020 bushfires witness the amazing regeneration and regrowth of the flora and fauna that is bringing a whole new sense of beauty and life to the area.
The one Day Kangaroo Island Experience is priced from $191 per adult and operates from Penneshaw, American River and Kingscote, every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
Spoil your senses, indulge your taste buds, and get up close to the magnificent wildlife, while exploring some of Kangaroo Island’s much-loved attractions on SeaLink’s new Kangaroo Island Sip & See Day Tour.
See the amazing In-Flight Birds of Prey presentation at Raptor Domain featuring a variety of birds including Wedge Tailed Eagles, Australian Kestrel, and Barn Owls. Visit Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery and engage in a history talk, a guided tour of the oil distillery and shop an assortment of Eucalyptus products in the souvenir shop before enjoying a delicious two-course lunch. Kangaroo Island Ciders’ range of Colony Cove products including Apple Sparkler, Draught Cider and Original Cider are also available for tasting (additional cost).
Visit Clifford’s Honey Farm and learn about the Ligurian honeybees, see a working beehive, taste different varieties of pure Kangaroo Island Ligurian honey, sample honey beauty products and their famous honey ice-cream. Then spend a relaxing afternoon at False Cape Wines cellar door tasting their premium Kangaroo Island wines while overlooking the idyllic bushland and vineyard surrounds.
The Kangaroo Island Sip & See Day tour operates every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and is priced from $185 per adult departing from Penneshaw, $203 per adult from American River, and $205 per adult from Kingscote.
For further information and bookings contact SeaLink, contact: T: 13 13 01 or visit www.sealink.com.au
Tuesday, 4 May 2021
The Australian company is the first to re-take the stage worldwide, with Broadway, London, Toronto and COME FROM AWAY follows the incredible real-life journey of 7,000 air passengers who became grounded in Gander, Newfoundland in Canada in the wake of the September 11 tragedy. The small community that welcomed the ‘come from aways’ into their lives provided hope and compassion to those in need. Award-winning husband and wife duo David Hein and Irene Sankoff (book, music and lyrics), travelled to Newfoundland and interviewed thousands of locals, compiling their stories to share with the world.
Producer Rodney Rigby said that whilst the theatre industry around the world is facing its greatest crisis due to COVID-19, Australia is in an enviable position.
“The Australian production is incredibly fortunate to raise the curtain tonight. We are able to do so because of the resilience of everyday Australians, who have a spirit of kindness and humanity that we have seen throughout the bushfires and the pandemic – it is the same spirit that COME FROM AWAY embodies,” he said.
In 2019, along with being voted Ticketmaster’s ‘Ticket of the Year’ by Australian audiences, the musical won a Tony Award and four Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, Best Theatre Choreographer, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Achievement in Music, along with four Broadway World UK awards. In 2020, the musical added to its international award tally with five Green Room awards including Best Production and Best Ensemble.
COME FROM AWAY is directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley (Diana, Memphis), choreographed by Olivier Award Winner Kelly Devine (Diana, Rock of Ages, Rocky), with music supervision by Ian Eisendrath (A Christmas Story, Diana), scenic design by Beowulf Boritt (Act One, Rock of Ages, Be More Chill), costume design by Toni-Leslie James (Jelly’s Last Jam), lighting design by Howell Binkley (Jersey Boys, Hamilton), and sound design by Gareth Owen (Diana, A Bronx Tale).
The cast includes Zoe Gertz, Sharriese Hamilton, Douglas Hansell, Kolby Kindle, Phillip Lowe, Simon Maiden, Sarah Morrison, Joseph Naim, Emma Powell, Katrina Retallick, Kellie Rode and Gene Weygandt, together with Angela Kennedy, Josh Marin, Kathleen Moore, Jensen Overend, Kilty Reidy, Ash Roussety, Alana Tranter, and Jasmine Vaughns.
Now, more than ever, COME FROM AWAY is the perfect show for our time; an opportunity to come together and celebrate an inspirational tale of hope and humanity.
Featuring Special Guest Vocalists - Tania Doko (Bachelor Girl), Kate DeAraugo (Young Divas), Prinnie Stevens and Mark Williams
Friday June 11th at the Palais Theatre
Tickets from only $79.90. Book your tickets now.