Monday, 27 February 2017

Surge of entries already for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017
“Notice of Race” posted – entries surging in 

Entries for the 34th edition of Australia’s premier offshore regatta, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, are surging in on the back of the Notice of Race being posted on the regatta website.

Seventeen yachts have already been nominated for the spectacular series which is scheduled for August 19 to 26.

Most eager of all entrants to date was Sydney sailor David Bell. He “jumped the gun” with the entry for his Bavaria 49, Four Bells. He lodged his entry within days of the completion of the 2016 regatta by making his application on that event’s entry form.

“It’s the tropical venue, the island itself and the fact that you are part of an enormous fleet of yachts that makes Audi Hamilton Island Race Week so special.”

Amazingly, when the NoR was posted on the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 website, two yachts entered within an hour. First was the 11.6m long racing catamaran, XL2, owned by Mike Peberdy, from Brisbane. This year’s regatta will be the first big test for the yacht since a refit which took 12 months to complete. XL2 was one of the fastest multihulls in Sydney in her heyday some 20 years ago.

The second entry came from Sandy Hume, who races his Catalina 320, Windfalls, out of Parramatta River Sailing Club in Sydney. He’s taking three months’ long service leave from his job so he can compete in his first Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

“After hearing so much about Race Week for so long I decided I just had to do it this year,” Sandy said. “We’re going to cruise up from Sydney, enjoy the regatta, then cruise home.”

While the Notice of Race was being prepared by Race Director, Denis Thompson, regatta organisers were busy planning an exciting new party and social agenda which will ensure the highly acclaimed series retains its reputation as one of the best regattas in the a world.

It is a commonly held belief that the setting for Race Week cannot be bettered: award-winning Hamilton Island sits as the centrepiece among 68 uninhabited tropical islands, and the magnificent Great Barrier Reef is on the horizon. The majority of the courses for racing weave their way around many of these islands, and the predominant breeze is a south-east tradewind.

Last year’s Race Week was unmatched on every front: the fleet of 252 was 25 more than the previous record set in 2008, and every one of the many and widely varying social events was a sell-out.

Denis Thompson has again planned for the nine racing categories to cover the full spectrum of competing yachts. The divisions are:
* IRC Racing Class
* IRC Passage Class
* Racer/Cruiser Performance Handicap System
* One Design Classes Scratch (No Handicaps)
* Cruising Class Performance Handicap System
* Non-Spinnaker Class Performance Handicap System
* Trailable Yachts Class Performance Handicap System
* Multihull Racing Class Offshore Multihull Rule
* Multihull Cruising Class Performance Handicap System

All information relating to AHIRW is on the regatta website:

'Discover The Real Warpaths' - The Battle of Crete TOURS 2017

The Battle of Crete - Discover the real warpaths’ is a historical tour of the island of Crete, providing participants the opportunity to be guided step by step through the major sites of the Battle of Crete (May 1941) and the Resistance that followed. 

Visitors can choose either the whole tour or part of it, to experience the true history of the unique aerial invasion and the defence of the island by Greek and Commonwealth soldiers and the local population. On the proposed tours, we visit the areas of operation, parachutist landing and defence zones, and lines of retreat and evacuation.

We provide an introduction to the activities of the Special Services (S.A.S., S.B.S.) and the Allied Secret Services on the island, arrivals and departures of agents, visit to wireless transmitter sites, R.A.F. supply drop zones and guerilla operation areas. Visit to the Commonwealth War Cemetery, the German War Cemetery and local War Memorials.

Discover unknown details of the daring plan to abduct the German General Kreipe, from the abduction site, following his route across Mt. Psiloritis accompanied by the abductors, to his departure to Mersa Matruh, Egypt.

Visit a historic farmhouse in the suburbs of Heraklion, where S.O.E. agents systematically took refuge, and which is now an exhibition area for unique genuine artifacts of the war period.

Original contemporary photographs and objects are exhibited as part of each tour.

Operated by A.P. Corpis & Co Ltd. 2, Mitsotakis Str. - 712 02 Heraklion Crete 

Contact: Tel. +30 2810282551 

AIME winds up a successful two day show in Melbourne

CINZ Maōri cultural advisor,
Ngahi o-te-ra Bidois at the
100% Pure New Zealand breakfast 
Exhibitors and delegates have gathered for the second day of the jam-packed Asia-Pacific Incentive and Meetings Expo (AIME) program, after a night of events in and around Melbourne which saw people networking and doing business well into the night.

Initial feedback from the exhibitors has been that the quality of the hosted buyers and the delegates has been exceptional, with some exhibitors already seeing their return on investment on day one.

Nerissa Worwood, Business Development Manager at Pan Pacific Hotels Group who exhibited on the Perth Convention Bureau stand, said that the quality and opportunities to connect with hosted buyers and delegates has been fantastic.

“We have received a good number of real business leads with good quality events. It has definitely been worthwhile for us to be here at AIME this year,” said Ms Worwood.

Highlights from day two included:

Tourism New Zealand, hosted a VIP breakfast on their stand for 100 delegates to give them an experience of NZ at the show. Jan Tonken, founder of The Conference Company and President of the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers gave a first-hand account of the value of hosting conferences and events in New Zealand.

Geoff Donaghy, CEO, International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney revealed the outcomes of the first events held at the new venue where the logistics, technology and catering teams were tested across the Theatre, Convention and Exhibition halls. 100% of clients in their test events rated their event planning experience as very good or excellent.

Ian Wainwright, Event Director – Reed Travel Exhibitions, said AIME has experienced a successful two days, bringing together a diverse and quality-centric place for exhibitors and buyers to meet and do business on the show floor.

“The 25th anniversary of AIME has gone off splendidly. We have had some really engaged exhibitors, buyers and visitors. We enabled the right buyers to connect with the right exhibitors, generating positive and meaningful business conversations.

“I am thrilled with the results from the past two days, everyone involved in AIME has shown us why Australia is so equipped to hold events. Having had 25 successful AIME’s, we look forward to the 26th show in 2018,” said Mr Wainwright.

The 25th annual Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) has had a successful day two, Wednesday 22 February, with exhibitors, buyers and visitors engaging in business, networking and activities on the show floor – closing out the show for the silver anniversary in 2017.


While the Summer of Love remains a key moment in history, the free love movement can be experienced here and now through a number of San Francisco walking tours.

Avital Food Tours, Haight-Ashbury

Did you know that local food co-ops were born out of the Summer of Love? Delve into one of the world’s best food scenes and hear the stories of restaurant owners, chefs and industry experts in San Francisco. Walking tours are available in iconic neighborhoods across the city including Haight-Ashbury.


Walk through the epicenter of the Summer of Love with Detour’s walking tour of the Haight, narrated by one of the activists who was at its center, Peter Coyote.

Flower Power Walking Tours

Walk in the footsteps of Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead on the Haight-Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tours, touching on the history of it all, from rock and roll to art, fashion and architecture.

Foot Tours

Experience this groovy era through a special tour, "Flashback: From the Summer of Love to the Winter of Discontent," chronicling the highs of the summer of 1967 and the restlessness that followed. Follow in the footsteps of legendary musicians, activists, and creators with this walking tour in the iconic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.

Magic Bus Experience

This two-hour-plus adventure, aptly titled “Time Machine to the 60’s,” is a mind-bending combination of theater, film, music and sightseeing that allows tour-goers to travel back in time to the summer of 1967.

San Francisco Electric Tour Company

The official Segway tours of Golden Gate Park, the birthplace of the Summer of Love, are fully narrated. The journey includes the eastern portion of the 1,017-acre park, including a ride down Hippie Hill and through Sharon Meadow, past the “Janis Joplin Tree.” Professional guides provide the history of this oasis in the city.

San Francisco Love Tours

Ride a VW hippie bus with San Francisco Love Tours and experience how modern day San Francisco is infused with the spirit of the 60's.

Wild SF Walking Tours

Take a walk on the wild side with Wild SF Walking Tours' Haight-Ashbury Walking Tour, "A Musical Trip of The 60’s," led by passionate, local artist guides committed to sharing the stories of inspiring heroes and radical social history that define San Francisco.


Newcastle has been named as one of the world’s top ‘Smart Cities’ to watch in 2017 by Global magazine National Geographic Traveler.

‘Smart Cities’ celebrates destinations that have risen to the challenges of 21st Century urban life, and Newcastle is the first Australian city to feature.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said tourism was part of Newcastle’s transition from a great regional city to an emerging global city, with spectacular natural assets and a relaxed lifestyle.

“Many visitors are being drawn by the re-invention of our coastline, which now rivals any coastal walk in Australia, and by the new urban chic that many tourists might more readily relate to Brooklyn, New York,” Councillor Nelmes said.

With a thriving arts scene, eclectic cafés, restaurants, bars and bakeries, colourful murals on restored industrial buildings, and a fascinating history, Newcastle is a delight for culture cravers to explore.

“Soon, tourists will be able to access free Wi-Fi in the inner city thanks to a project that will also produce a digital hub for sharp-thinking entrepreneurs to make Newcastle and the Hunter even better travel destinations,” Councillor Nelmes said.

To find out what makes Newcastle a Smart City, watch National Geographic’s video.

To start planning your trip, go to


MEETINGS is New Zealand's only national business tourism event for the conference, meetings, events, exhibition and travel incentive industry. MEETINGS is a highly regarded annual event that invites conference and event organisers to experience the very best of what New Zealand has on offer in the conference and incentive travel industry. Over two days, MEETINGS brings together buyers and sellers of conference and incentive travel products and services to grow mutual business opportunities and share knowledge and ideas.

Based in Auckland: the most accessible city in New Zealand with 18 international airlines from 32 cities connecting Auckland to the rest of the world. The award-winning Auckland Airport handles over 70% of all international arrivals into New Zealand and offers easy access into the rest of the country with over 300 domestic flights daily into 27 cities.

MEETINGS attracts the attendance of media from New Zealand, Australia, United States & India. We will be offering a Hosted Media Programme once again in 2017 which involves the opportunity to receive the latest news, trends and industry updates surrounding the New Zealand business tourism industry.

From Northland to Invercargill and everywhere in between, you will discover the very best of New Zealand at MEETINGS 2017! Never has it been easier for conference and event organisers to make valuable contacts and talk face to face with professionals who can provide ideas and solutions for their next project. For 20 years, Hosted Buyers tell us that attending MEETINGS is a very efficient use of time and a superbly effective way to book business, source new ideas and meet face to face with a wide range of industry professionals.


Join The Conversation

Whitsundays set to receive massive investment in tourism infrastructure

The Whitsundays is set for a massive cash injection after the region was nominated to be part of a new push to drive tourism infrastructure investment.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones made the announcement on Friday February 24 in Darwin, telling a tourism ministers’ meeting that the Whitsundays was an iconic tourism region in Queensland primed for growth and investment.

The Whitsundays is the only Queensland region to be part of the national Regional Tourism Infrastructure Investment Attraction Strategy.

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said the announcement from the Minister was perfectly timed.

“Visitation to the Whitsundays has seen record growth of 30 per cent,” Mr Turner said.

“The commitment from our Tourism Minister and the Queensland Government is an investment that will see real financial return.

“The Whitsundays carried the greatest number of visitors to the Great Barrier Reef last financial year and we are on track this year to exceed 1 million visitors to the GBR Marine Park in the Whitsundays, for the first time ever.

“The size of the investment committed to the Whitsundays will generate jobs and prosperity for our region going forward.”

Ms Jones said the State Government would work with Austrade and Tourism Australia to “usher in a new era of tourism investment in the Whitsundays”.

“We want to do all we can to attract new investment to the Whitsundays including new hotels and resorts and new tourist attractions that will inspire more visitors to come to the region, grow the local economy and support more tourism jobs,” she said.

“That’s why I have nominated the Whitsundays to be front and centre of the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Investment Attraction Plan endorsed by tourism ministers today.”

The five-year plan will scope local investment opportunities and target international investors.

Quan The Am festival brings foreign guests

Quan The Am festival 2016
One of the country’s largest festivals, the Quan The Am Festival in central Da Nang City, will be held on March 16 (the 19th day of the second lunar month) at the Quan The Am Pagoda in Ngu Hanh Son District.

This year’s Buddhist festival is expected to see delegations from Myanmar, Thailand and Japan.

The annual festival, held on the 19th day of the second lunar month, features the city’s unique cultural, religious and communal characteristics.

Visitors to the event will have a chance to take part in offering ceremonies, a chess festival, calligraphy performances, boat races, photo, and painting exhibitions, among others.

The festival is aimed at honouring Quan The Am, or Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, while praying for peace and prosperity.

Double Delight - Celebrate 25 Years of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival With a Sparkling Silver High Tea or Have a Truly Happy Hour With a Glass of Sparkling and Silver Macaron

To celebrate the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival's impressive 25 year anniversary, The Langham, Melbourne has come up with not one, but two ways to mark this celebratory occasion.

Short on time? With the festival's bursting calendar of events, that's understandable. That's why during the festival Aria Bar & Lounge will be serving two glasses of permium sparkling wine, accompanied by two silver macarons from 2pm until 5pm for just $25.00.

The Langham, Melbourne has a strong tradition of teaming up with world-class chefs during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. This year is no different. On the Saturday 1st, Sunday 2nd, Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th of April, Aria Bar & Lounge will be serving a decadent four-tierd tea stand laden with traditional scones, delicate ribbon sandwiches as well as master baker, Gontran Cherrier's sensational heart-shaped cake and Philippe Mouchel's Petit Prince buttery cake.

The tower of tea treats will also feature a 25th anniversary cookie, vanilla macaron with silver leaf, passionfruit eclairs, chocolate hazelnut praline tarts and a miniature vanilla bean and raspberry panna cotta.

Plus there will be a plate of sandwiches filled with smoked salmon with horseradish creme fraiche and baby capers, free range chicken and chives, proscuitto and cheese and cream cheese and chives.

Aria Bar & Lounge's silver celebration also includes Wedgwood tea served from silver teapots, espresso coffee and a glass of premium sparkling wine.

The Sparkling Silver High Tea is served from noon until 2pm and from 2.30pm until 4.30pm and is $79.00 per adult or $39.50 per child aged 4-12 years old.

Bookings may be made by contacting 1800 641 107 or by emailing

Additional information is available at

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Ellerslie Event Centre

The Ellerslie Event Centre is excited to announce that the 12th room in their $3 million dollar plus refurbishment was completed last week. This is the culmination of the last 18 months which has seen rooms transformed, including new carpets, lighting, drapes/blinds and AV.

Situated off the motorway, 10 minutes from downtown Auckland with extensive free on-site parking clients can now enjoy a fully modernised venue with cutting edge technology, set in traditional and beautiful park-like grounds. With 22 function spaces available as well as numerous unique outdoor spaces, the Ellerslie Event Centre has the ability to cater for 12-1,200 guests.

Please contact Glen Roper, the Ellerslie Event Centre’s Sales Manager for a competitive quote.

Phone: +64 (09) 522 3807