Sunday, 31 July 2011

Quirindi Classic Car & Enthusiasts Show

The Quirindi Classic Car & Enthusiasts Show is a great day out for anyone who yearns to have a look at a car that is a little different from the ones usually driven on the roads in Australia. 
A whole range of cars, trucks and motorbikes will be on display, proudly displayed by their owners, many who have spent many long hours restoring them to their original glory. 

The Quirindi Classic Car & Enthusiasts Show will take place on 7 August 2011 at the Quirindi Rural Heritage Village which is situated 3kms west of Quirindi on the Gunnedah Road (Kamilaroi Highway) in North Western New South Wales, Australia. Quirindi is 102 Km from Muswellbrook. 

All cars, trucks & motorbikes are welcome to come along and join in The Car Show which is hosted by the Quirindi Classic Car & Enthusiasts Club. It is hoped that people from all over NSW will travel to see the cars on display

For more information phone 02 6746 5455.

Luxury Villas Tourism in S.E. Asia

JULY is  the peak season of the tourism industry in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Last year Malaysia recorded 24.6 million tourist arrivals passing both the official target of 19 million and the 23.6 million notched up in 2009. However, in terms of yield from the tourism sector, it was noted by the Tourism Minister that Malaysia’s yield was still lower compared to Singapore's and Thailand's. About 75% of Malaysia's tourism growth has been due to the increase of tourist arrivals compared to only 25% growth from yield. In comparison, 65% of Singapore's growth was driven by tourist arrivals while 35% of growth was attributed to yield. Thailand had the reverse situation, where 42% of growth was due to tourist arrivals and 58% was due to yields, reflecting that it is attracting higher spending tourists.

A notable trend in tourism now is a growing demand for private luxury villas at top resort destinations as an alternative to hotel accommodation.  On a Google search for Asia's 20 top luxury villas in South-East Asia, the first few in the list are luxury villas either in Bali, Indonesia or Thailand. These two countries have been vigorously promoting luxury tourism leveraging primarily on their natural settings from beachfront to hills and forests as well as the wide paddy fields. This trend has also sparked Philippines and Vietnam to promote similar products capitalising on their natural assets.

South-East Asia Property Report (July 2011) named Karma Kandara, Bali (Indonesia), Six Senses Con Dao (Vietnam), W Samui Residences, Koh Samui (Thailand), Malaiwan Phuket (Thailand), The Village Coconut Island (Thailand), Banyan Tree Residences, Bintan (Indonesia), Nexus Residence Karambunai (Malaysia), Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali (Indonesia) and Andara Resort & Villas, Phuket (Thailand) as the top ten luxury villa resorts in South-East Asia.

Average price difference between high and low season varies about 50%, 30% and 20% in Bali, Samui and Phuket respectively. Karma Kandara in Bali is located at the striking sea-cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean. It offers private luxury villas of three, four and five bedrooms with 5-star facilities and services. The 4-bedroom villa is tagged at US$1.25 million while the smallest one-bedroom villa is priced at US$350,000. Rates during peak season starts from US$1,120 per night for a one bedroom luxury pool villa to US8,000 per night for Grand Cliff Front Residence (5 bedrooms). Occupancy rates have been reported as very encouraging for most of these villas, at 70% during non-peak season and 95% during peak season. In Thailand, W Samui Residence in Koh Samui is located in secluded hillside island with 270 degree sea-view over the Gulf of Thailand.

This modern-vernacular architecture of luxury villas offer guests rustic yet sophisticated feel that perfectly blends with the natural surroundings. Prices of the villas range from US$2.3mil to US$6.7mil with built up area from 10,700 sq ft to 29,500 sq ft for 3 to 5 bedrooms respectively. Over in Vietnam, Six Senses in Con Dao an archipelago 230km from Ho Chi Minh City has set a new benchmark of luxury villas lifestyle in the South-East-Asia region as illustrated in its overall development theme “Redefining Experience”.

These 50 private villas are the choice of wealthy escapes in need of genuine yet lavish retreat. Being relatively new in the luxury villa market, the selling price for Six Senses ranges from a modest US$2mil to US$3mil. Meanwhile, average lead time for villa booking in Phuket is 180 days about 6 months before arrival. Market share of private luxury villas in Thailand and Bali is estimated to be about 10% of the hospitality sector.

These luxury villas are modelled after the sale and leaseback concept where majority of the buyers are Australians and Europeans. In Thailand and Indonesia, for example, because of restrictions on foreign ownership, the villas are sold to private investors on leasehold basis (30 years + 30 years + 30 years). Buyers will then be requested to join a rental programme, which will provide a certain level of net guaranteed return. Karma Kandara's rental programme offers a 5.0% net guaranteed return for three years, then investors will be eligible to participate in the Rental Pool scheme, where the expected gross return is typically higher.

Luxury Villas
Most villas offer private usage of between 28 days to 30 days per annum. Luxury villas may range from the highest-end run by internationally recognised luxury hotel brands to small villas of three to six units owned and run by local villa operators. Rates and services offered by small luxury villa resorts offering only six units such as Kei Villas and Cicada in Seminyak, Bali are also comparable to the larger luxury villa resorts. Economy of scale is achieved in running limited number of units as their staff are trained to multi-task they are your concierge, housekeeper, electrician and butler.

All of the luxury villas identified as the top resorts in South-East Asia show that they mainly capitalise on their nature, local products and culture, and local architectural design using local materials and in some cases recycled materials, such as railway slippers.

One notable element from the South-East Asian villas is the adoption of truly sustainable development approach using principles of ecological sustainable design. Materials are mainly from local resources to preserve the integrity of the environment including the lava rocks and Javanese mahogany. It also applies strong local architectural ambience that allows natural ventilation and maximum natural lightings.

Recycled materials are often used as internal design features. These luxury villas are located within traditional village settlements and access is only via small and un-tarmac road. This way, guests will be able to experience local lifestyle within a true village environment and this kind of experience has attracted most of the tourists coming to these resorts.

Guests are invited to cultivate local crops and in some resorts cooking class on local dishes is also available. For example, at Thai Farm Cooking School, guests at resorts in Chieng Mai have the opportunity to learn about local ingredients and prepare Thai dishes. Classes also include a visit to the local market and an educational tour to the organic farm. Alila Manggis Resort in East Bali is famed for its cooking school specialising in East Balinese cuisine.

At Alila Manggis Cooking School, guests are taught not only to prepare Balinese food, but also to undertake a journey through the local villages, including visit to the local market and the villagers' kitchen. Most of these resorts also offer spa and wellness treatments using local resources.

Malaysians contributed 6.23% (155,239) of the total tourists to Bali in 2010, with the highest numbers in June (15,870) and December (18,707). However, we could not determine how many of these Malaysian tourists stayed in luxury villas. But this number could give an indication that there is demand among Malaysians seeking retreat in private villas rather than in cookie-cutter hotel rooms. In my opinion, Malaysia, a country blessed with rich natural environment, has not taken full advantage of the growing demand for luxury retreat villas though Pangkor Laut Resort, Nexus Karambunai, Leisure Farm Resort and A'Famosa Resort and The Villas at Sunway Resort Hotel fall under this category.

Philea Resort & Spa
A brave move by local, Philea Properties Sdn Bhd for the opening of Philea Resort & Spa in Ayer Keroh, Malacca deserves prudent admiration. This 12-acre resort is the only 5-star resort in Malaysia constructed primarily out of Russian pine logs. Opened in 2010, Philea Resort & Spa has managed to record 70% to 90% occupancy rate; capturing largely the luxury niche market.

Moving forward, the long-term prospect for Malaysian tourism remains bullish. Malaysian hospitality developers should take advantage of the surge in demand for private luxury villas in South-East-Asia, be it for investment purpose or holiday destination.

The traditional fisherman villages in Dungun and theuntouched hills in the East Coast or white sandy beach in Langkawi are some of the potential locations for these luxury villas. The appeal of privacy, exclusivity such as car driver, private butler will draw more high-profile niche market (international and local) to choose Malaysia as their luxury resort destination and subsequently put Malaysia on the global luxury tourism map. In addition, complementary wellness activities such as spas and massage parlours are some of the popular additional personalised services to the guests.

Perhaps promoting the development of more luxury villas in Malaysia should be given due consideration, in addition to the 12 Entry Point Projects that have been identified under the Tourism National Key Economic Areas.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Denman Farmers Market - Paddock to the Plate

The Denman Farmers Market is a genuine producers market in the heart of the Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia, 25 km from Muswellbrook.

Denman offers the best in local produce including wine, cheese, olives, fruit and vegetables, preserves, cakes, plants and seedlings. People are encouraged to buy local fresh produce direct from the farmers or gardeners.

The Denman Farmers Market provides people with the opportunity to meet with the producers, who have  tastings available of most products.

Artists, Craftspeople and Musicians are welcome to join in at the market to display their talent.

People can spend a day in Denman and experience true country hospitality, boutique main street shopping and excellent sporting facilities.

The Denman Farmers Market is held  on the first Saturday of each month from 8am to 1pm, and are held if the sun is shining or if its raining. The location is the Lions park at the top of Ogilvie Street, Denman.

For further information contact the Denman Farmers Market Managers, MICHELLE - ph 0458 111 791 or ph/fax 02 6547 4400, or TRACY - ph 0412 242 702 or 02 6547 2315; or EMAIL or see the web site:-

Bus Trip to Dungog Railway Centenary 2011

A bus trip is being organised to attend the Centenary of the railway coming to Dungog. The bus will leave Aberdeen Valley fair at 8am on Saturday 13 August 2011, arriving at 10am in time to see the street parade and Grand Opening. Cost of the return bus trip is $30 . People can book by phoning the Aberdeen Information Centre on 6543 8457.

The 15th August 2011 commemorates 100 years since the arrival of the railway in Dungog. Dungog Historical Society has chosen Saturday 13th August 2011 as the date of the celebrations.

There will be displays of model trains, train sounds and train stories. People can:-
  • watch the tiger moth plane race the steam train
  • see the edwardian fashion parade
  • listen to bush poets
  • markets, vintage cars, vintage trucks
  • have a horse and carriage ride
  • see the CWA quilt, tapestry andpetit point display
  • watch shingle splitters and wood turners
  • watch the re-enactment of the trail arriving into Dungog
  • demos and so much more.
Enjoy a fantastic day with lots of things to see and do for all ages.

For people wanting to make their own way to the Celebration, further information about the days activities can be obtained from Deirdre Briscombe on 4992 3268 or

IKEA Opens China's Largest Store in Shanghai

IKEA opened its first store in Shanghai 13 years ago. The store has become so successful that the store is always crowded, and the car park can not cope with all the shoppers. To alleviate the problem, IKEA opened a new additional store in Shanghai on 23 June in Beicai Town, in the Pudong district. Beicai town is one of the key areas for commercial development in Shanghai’s next Five-Year Plan.

It is the largest IKEA store in China, and the second largest IKEA store in the world, the largest being in Skarholmen near Stoockholm in Sweden. The store will have 60 display rooms, a 760 seat cafeteria, and and have 2,000 car park spaces.

Gillian Drakeford, IKEA China's Retail Manager, said“The passenger flow in [Shanghai IKEA] Xuhui ranks the third in all IKEAs worldwide, and it is impossible to handle more customers.The congestion and huge lines in the store and the lack of parking space have made it difficult for our customers to experience better services. This is why Shanghai needs a second IKEA.”

A third IKEA store is also planned for Shanghai.

Friday, 29 July 2011

"My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch" Musical in Tamworth

“My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch” will; be performed at the Capital Theatre in Tamworth  on the 1 and 2 August 2011

“My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch” is a rollicking musical tale based on the much-loved book of the same name written by Graeme Base, the international bestselling author.  The book has been adapted into a a musical by Graeme and Garry Ginivan, producer of Wombat Stew and Possum Magic

The Musical tells the story of Kate, a city kid who has to spend the summer holidays with her eccentric Grandma in outback Gooligulch.  Kate is sure it will be the worst holiday of her life - but when she finds the animals in Gooligulch can talk, her eyes are opened to a whole new world.
This Helpmann Award nominated production, which premiered at the Arts Centre in Melbourne in 2006, is full of humour, charm and imagination with stunning puppets, original music and a highly talented cast. This superb Australian musical has universal appeal. The Canberra Times said the musical is “A uniquely Australian show…be sure to give it a go” and the Herald Sun in Melbourne said “Both human and puppet characters enthral.”

My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch is an Australian musical adventure that both kids and adults will love The shows duration is 1hour with no interval, and will be performed on at 1:00 pm, Monday 1 August, 6:00 pm, Monday 1 August and11:00 am, Tuesday 2 August

Ticket Prices are:-:Adults  $30.00 each; Snr/Pens/Tert.Stud  $25.00 each; School Students  $18.00 each; Schools 10 (+1)  $9.00 each

The Capitol Theatre is located at Level 1, Centrepoint Arcade, 374 Peel Street, Tamworth, NSW, Australia

For Further information phone 02 6767 5300 or see the web site :

Berlin Leading Convention City in Germany

Berlin has developed into Germany’s leading meeting and convention venue since the launch of official convention marketing ten years ago. On the worldwide level Berlin is now ranking amongst the top five.

Whilst about 91,000 meetings and conventions with 4.2 million visitors took place in Berlin ten years ago, the German capital now records 113,000 events (+ 24%) with 9.1 million guests* (+116%). The number of room nights rose by 144 per cent to 5.55 million. On a national comparison basis the German capital is well ahead of Rhine-Main region and Munich which are next in line.

Burkhard Kieker
On a worldwide level Berlin comes fourth according to the ranking of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) with 138 events of international associations – after Vienna (154), Barcelona (148) and Paris (147), and ahead of metropolises such as Singapore, London and Sydney. In 2001 Berlin ranked ninth with 61 events.

Burkhard Kieker, VisitBerlin CEO, said “The convention industry is Berlin’s hidden champion. After ten years of intensive marketing Berlin is now one of the leading global convention destinations. We want to further consolidate and expand this position. The opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg airport as well as the building of the new fairground hall of ICC Berlin are essential prerequisites to this next step.”

Matthias Schultze
Matthias Schultze, CEO of GCB German Convention Bureau e.V., adds: “Conventions, meetings and events are an important economic factor with a future-proof perspective. With the setting up of an official representative office, the German capital took the right decision ten years ago – today Berlin is Germany’s top location.”

The Berlin Convention Office (BCO) of visitBerlin has been Berlin’s official representative for the marketing of the German capital as a meeting and convention metropolis. BCO proactively acquires events and supports customers at the planning and organisation on site. Further information is available on

Thursday, 28 July 2011

South Aftrica Best Holiday Destination

The Telegraph Newspaper in the U.K. has announced its Ultra travel Awards, where readers have decided which luxury hotels, airlines, cruise companies, spas and destinations are the best on the planet.
The Best Holiday Destination was won by South Africa, with the runners-up bing Dubai,  Maldives,  Australia,  and Italy

South Africa,  the Rainbow Nation has landscapes of breathtaking beauty: raw, diverse and in the main unspoilt.

Along the coasts, some of the world's largest sand dunes roll in from seas teeming with marine life (it is off KwaZulu Natal's beaches that flocks of birds gather for their annual feast during the great sardine run, and whales migrate to give birth in sheltered coves).

Mountain ranges thick with ancient trees are crisscrossed with waterfalls and rivers made for swimming. Game reserves as big as Wales – all baobabs, rolling grasslands and kopjies indented with rock caves decorated with ancient San art – protect the Plant Five, the Little Five and the Big Five. It's not unknown to see lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino in one day, alongside leopard orchids, buffalo weavers, elephant grass and rhino beetles.

And the country is not just for nature-lovers, either. From the winelands in the south to the deserts bordering Namibia, there is plenty of variety to keep most holidaymakers happy: child-friendly museums, cutting-edge hotels and 17th-century Cape Dutch b&b homesteads, gourmet restaurants, game lodges housing local art, and diversions ranging from shark diving and bungee-jumping to African herbal spas.Best thing of all? It is all reassuringly familiar, despite being on a different continent.

The people of South Africa not only speak the same language as we do (in addition to 10 others) and drive on the same side of the road, but, after years of isolation during the era of apartheid, relish overseas visitors. In this relatively new tourist destination, even the passport officers welcome new arrivals with a smile.

As a finalist for this award, South Africa had plenty of competition: Dubai, with its five-star hotels; the Maldives, with its idyllic island life; Australia, with its open bush, wine and fine tucker; and Italy, with its historical and cultural allure. Having won, the Rainbow Nation should dust off its vuvuzelas. In spite of its troubles, it is now among the winners of an Ultra – an achievement that really is worth trumpeting about.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

3,000 Readers of "The Holiday and Travel Magazine"

Today will go down in history as being remarkable for two things.

Firstly, the 3,000 readership mark has been reached by "The Holiday and Travel Magazine". The countries that the most readers are from, in descending order, are Australia, USA, China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, India, Germany and Hong Kong.

The magazine truly has a world wide readership, with other readers coming from countries such as (in alphabetical order) Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Romania, S. Africa, Thailand, Ukraine,

A big thank you to all readers in Australia and from around the world.!

And the second thing? Well, today is exactly one year before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games occurs in London. More on the Olympic Games to come later.

St Heliers Heavy Horse Field Days 2011

Draught Horses Pair
The St Heliers Heavy Horse Field Day will be held on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 August at St Heliers, McCullys Gap Road, Muswellbrook, NSW, Australia.  This is a weekend not to be missed, as this event just keeps getting better and better every year

Great entertainment will be provided for all spectators on both days. People can see the heavy horses compete in various events such as ridden and harness classes, ploughing, log snigging, obstacle courses, show ring classes, pumpkin snatch, slide and vehicle obstacle courses. On Sunday there will be an all breeds foal show with a parade of historical horse drawn vehicles and implements.

On both days there will be novelty events for kids, horseshoe throwing competition,mechanical horse driving competition, and freeze branding demonstrations and hay cart rides for children of any age.

From 5pm on Saturday Night a big community campfire & sign-along will be held. Everyone can join in around the fire to hear Richard Ray, a member of the Ray Boys,  perform.

Refreshments and hot food available courtesy of Muswellbrook Lions Club. Numerous stalls will be displaying and selling old & new harness, heavy horse memorabilia, equine books, leatherwork, wood turning and other crafts. Entry is a Gold Coin donation.

The St Heliers Heavy Horse Field Days are held on the farmlands of St. Heliers Correctional Centre, located about 10 minutes drive from Muswellbrook. From Muswellbrook head north on the New England Highway. Take the first right after you leave the town limits of Muswellbrook onto McCullys Gap road,  then left onto the St. Heliers Road and follow the signs.

For further information contact:-
- Diane Shaw, Hon. President, 128 Slopes Road, North Richmond, NSW 2754, Phone: 02 4571 1743

- Katie Calvert, Hon. Secretary, 0265 472043 or 0427 008600;

- Paul Northrop, Hon. Treasurer, 37 Cabernet Street, Muswellbrook, NSW 2333, Phone: 0419 427 854

- or the Muswellbrook Visitor Information Centre, 87 Hill Street, Muswellbrook NSW 2333;  Phone: (02) 6541 4050 Fax: (02) 6541 4051 or Email:

HKTDC Food Expo in Hong Kong

The fair showcases a variety of food products and beverages from around the world. More than 740 exhibitors took part in last year’s event, including companies from Austria, Brazil, Colombia and Italy. 

The HKTDC Food Expo will be held 11-15 August 2011 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong 

The fair is divided into two sections: the Trade Hall and the Public Hall. 

Buyers will meet exhibitors in the Trade Hall, which will be grouped into pavilions. Last year’s event featured major pavilions from Japan and Korea, as well as group pavilions from Canada, the Chinese mainland, Iran, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines and Taiwan. 

The Public Hall is where exhibitors build brand awareness and get on-the-spot consumer feedback. A highlight is the Premium Food zone, which will showcase brand products. 

The event will also feature cooking demonstrations and industry seminars. For more information see the web site

Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel Special Promotion

Renaissance Shanghai
Yu Garden Hotel 
A special promotion for guests staying during the month of December is available at the Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel. The rate includes:-:
 • 20 percent off the Stay For Breakfast rate that includes daily breakfast for maximum of two
 • entrance ticket to visit the Yu Garden or a City Sight Seeing bus ticket (Maximum of two tickets)

The infinity-edge top floor pool
I can personally recommend the Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel as I enjoyed its hospitality when I went to China as a guest of China National Tourist Office (CNTO) to visit the China International Travel Mart (CITM) at the end of 2010. I particularly enjoyed the wonderful views out of my room windows over Shanghai, the very short walk to the Yu Garden and markets, and the underground rail station being right next to the Hotel. The Buffet Breakfasts provided by the Hotel were a wonderful way to start each day. There was so much to see and experience around the Hotel that there was not enough time to do all I liked. The top-floor pool looked wonderful, so next time I stay at the Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel I will have to make sure I have the time to swim in it. I have written about the Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden hotel in my articles about my China visit, and these can be found in the Blog Archive in January 2011.

The lobby
The Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel is located downtown near the famous Yu Garden, the Old Town, and the Bund,  and is just minutes away from other tourist attractions. Whether staying for business or leisure, you'll be right at home at the Renaissance. The Hotel address is 159 South He Nan Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai, China 200010.

A room similar to the one I stayed in

The Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel is part of the Marriott group and has 326 contemporary rooms and 13 suites on 22 floors offering breathtaking views across the Shanghai city skyline. There are 4 meeting rooms, 4,973 sq ft of total meeting space, and 4 concierge levels.

A minimum three-night stay is required to be eligible for this promotional deal. For reservations, please be sure that the promotional code ARN appears in the Corporate/Promotional code box when making your online reservation. This promotion is valid for stays December 1-31, 2011.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Improved Transport Will Make it Easier to Move Around Bangkok

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
People living in and visiting will find it more convenient to travel in the capital, which Bangkok is expanding its transport network to improve traffic safety and traffic flow. People living visiting Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, will find it more convenient to travel when visiting on holidays, or on business or attending conferences.

The Ministry of Transport is accelerating the mapping out of a master plan to develop the transport network linking Bangkok’s mass transit systems.

A study shows that there are currently 22 bridges across the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok and its vicinity. Of these, 21 bridges are for road transport and only one is for rail transport. Today they carry an average traffic volume of 1.7 million vehicles a day. The volume is likely to increase by 450,000 vehicles a day in the next 10 years.

According to the Ministry of Transport, various agencies plan to construct altogether 15 new bridges in the city and nearby provinces. Of these bridges, four will be built by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and three by the Department of Rural Roads. The Department of Highways, the Expressway and Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand, the State Railway of Thailand, and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand will build two bridges each. These agencies have been told to work together, so that each new project will be connected with the existing transport systems.

Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS)
In Bangkok, there are two electric train systems for commuters: the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS), or the skytrain, and the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), or the subway, which facilitate mass transfer with great efficiency. Plans exist to extend these urban rail mass transit systems to reduce traffic congestion.

The most populated city in Thailand, Bangkok covers some 1,537 square kilometres on both bank of the Chao Phraya River, and its suburban areas are growing continually.

Since Bangkok is the center of the economy and tourism, with a huge mass of people living and commuting, expressways and mass transit systems have been expanding to solve traffic problems. The city boasts a diverse transport system, connecting function areas and convention centers, sufficient to accommodate tourists and conventioneers.

Tamworth Antique and Collectables Fair 2011

Many people will be traveling up the New England Highway to visit the Antique and Collectables Fair 2011  in Tamworth, NSW, Australia, which is 167 km from Muswellbrook, and 416 km from Sydney.

On display will be:
- Sterling Silver,  &  silver plate
- Linen, lace
- Paintings, prints
- Fine crystal & glassware
- Clocks, rugs
- a magnificent collection of early Australian and Colonial furniture, English & European furniture as well as pine furniture.
- Wonderful pieces of antique, estate, costume & reproduction jewellery in gold & silver.
- Fine china,  including Doulton, Shelley, Clarice Clift & Winton Moorcroft
- Kitchenalia, tools, dolls, toys, bears
- A wonderful collection of old telephones, gramophones, scales & radios.

All goods will be for sale, and dealers are very willing to deliver goods. Dealers will also be looking to buy. The hall is heated and there is wheel chair access. Light meals, refreshments and freshly brewed coffee will be available throughout the fair.

GALA OPENING Friday night at the fair is a gala affair with entertainment and refreshments provided by the staff and students of the music department from Oxley High School.  Mr Jim White, Regional Director of Education North West, is the special guest to open the Fair on Friday evening at 6:00pm. It is open to everyone, not an invitation only evening, and is a truly educational as well as social evening. The dealers are only too ready to tell you the story behind any of their pieces if you show an interest

Dealers will give verbal appraisals during the Fair, with a charge of $5 per item and a limit of 3 items.   Prior bookings must be made for these appraisals on 0438 663 058 or at the door of the fair. All monies from the appraisals goes to Oxley High School.

LUCKY DOOR PRIZES: There will be four lucky door prizes:
1st prize: Fur collar, donated by Admirables
2nd prize: Unusual cut glass vase, donated by Just Imagine Collections
3rd & 4th prizes: One year's subscription to the online version of Carter's Price Guide.
These are valued at $110 each, donated by John Furphy, Carter's Publications.

The Tamworth Antique and Collectables Fair is run by a voluntary committee of the Oxley High School Parents' & Citizens' Association. All money raised goes to the direct benefit of the students of Oxley High School.  It is the school's largest fundraising event each year. Oxley High School is the largest comprehensive high school in the north west of New South Wales with a student population of just over 1100 and a staff of 90.   It acquits itself very well academically, culturally and in sport.    It is a reasonably young school, in that it only opened in 1968.   Past students are acquitting themselves well in medicine, law and teaching as well as holding down positions at many of our universities including Newcastle, New England and Wollongong, others are making a name for themselves in the music field and research. Some of our more widely recognised  students are Philip Quast, actor and singer both within Australia and overseas.    Deniese Morrison, Country Music singer, Golden Guitar Winner and songwriter.    Michael York, former captain of the Australian Men's Hockey Team.  More recently Josh Hazlewood who is making his name in Australian Cricket.

- History Revealed, Admirables, Sydney
- Absolute Antiques, Perth W.A.
- Kinnears, Glenreagh & Grafton. N.S.W.  
- The Woodshed, Ballarat , Victoria .
- John Wigg Antiques, Wagga Wagga. N.S.W.  
- Margot Edwina Rees, Tenterfield, N.S.W.  
- Mainly Chintz, Lynzay Antiques,
- Grange Antiques, Tasmania   
- Old Bar Curios & Antiques, Old Bar NSW
- Eric & Lyn Miles, Pat Pinder,  Adelaide , South Australia
- Mainly Chintz, Lynzay Antiques, Olde Stuff, all from Brisbane & the Gold Coast. QLD. 
- Forever Amber, China Bound, Diana B, Pech Antiques all from Melbourne Victoria
- The Source Antiques, Mooneys Collectables, Port Macquarie.N.S.W.  
- Absolute Antiques Penrith, Erik's Jewellery Blue Mountains, Just  Imagine Antiques, Sydney

When: Friday 29 to Sunday 31 July 2011, Friday - 2:0pm - 8:00pm, Saturday - 10:00am - 5:00pm and Sunday - 10:00am - 4:00pm
Tickets: $6 per person. Children are free, but must be accompanied by an adult.
Location:: Tamworth War Memorial Town Hall, Fitzroy Street, Tamworth.

For further information contact Helen Brennan, Organising Secretary on 0438 663 058, Email: or  see the website:

Newcastle Home Show On This Weekend

Everything for the home owner, buyer or renovator.- from the front door to the backyard and from floor to ceiling… not to mention most places in between. The Herald Newcastle Home Show returns to the Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Showground from Friday 29th to Sunday 31st July 2011, and has on show everything for inside and outside your home, plus a few surprises! The 19th Annual Herald Newcastle Home Show is presented by PJ Promotions in association with NBN Television and KOFM.

Over 200 companies will present the latest and most loved products and services for you, your home and your lifestyle over three great days, at Australia's largest regional home show. Wether you are looking to renovate your home, revamp some furniture or simply want a fun-filled family day out, The 2011 Herald Newcastle Home Show is the place to be.

Don Burke
The Herald Newcastle Home Show is recognised as the leading home-related exhibition in the Hunter, Manning and Central Coast Regions, and what a show it will be; with celebrities, home chefs battling it out in the GT Hunter’s Head Chef Competition in the Kitchen Arena, home renovation demonstrations, the Animal Nursery supported by RAMS Home Loans Newcastle South (Lambton), Rides and Amusements, prizes to be won and much more!

As well as the traditional and most popular elements people have come to expect from the Herald Home Show, there are some exciting new inclusions for visitors this year.

This year the Herald Home Show will welcome back to the Hunter Gardening Extraordinaire Don Burke and for the first time the DIY Expert Luke Van Dyck.

Luke Van Dyck.
The Herald Newcastle Home Show is recognised as the leading home-related exhibition in the Hunter, Manning and Central Coast Regions, and what a show it will be; with celebrities, home chefs battling it out in the GT Hunter’s Head Chef Competition in the Kitchen Arena, home renovation demonstrations, the Animal Nursery supported by RAMS Home Loans Newcastle South (Lambton), Rides and Amusements, prizes to be won and much more!

Just some of the highlights over the three days include:
  • :Rides and Amusements from A&E Entertainment 
  •  GT Hunter’s Head Chef Cooking Competition
  • Win “ECO Don Burke in Your Backyard as well as more than $4000.00 worth of prizes
  • Chance to win a car with Rams Home Loans
  • Win a 60” TV with Homecorp Developments
  • Landscape Design Display from Tafe
  • Recreational and Prestige Vehicle Forecourt thanks to Regal Motors
  • Appearances by the Newcastle Jets, Raymond A Ram, Big Dog and Maurie Mole
  • Lavazza Coffee Sampling
  • Harley’s for Humanities Motorbike Display
We can’t wait to see the Hunter’s best home chef’s take to the Kitchen Arena for three days of sifting, cutting and baking all in the hope of taking out the title of the “GT Hunters Head Chef 2011”. Under the guidance and direction of well known Hunter chef Gavin Forman from the Old George & Dragon Restaurant in East Maitland, these budding chefs will be put through their paces as they try to make it to Sunday’s all important Final. Entrants are still welcome!

If you are embarking on renovating or refurnishing your home with the latest trends or planning to build, the Herald Newcastle Home Show is tailor-made for the discerning home owner, tradesman or home builder. You don’t need to be a qualified tradie or builder; you can simply be looking for some innovative ideas or just have an interest in what’s new in the market. The Herald Newcastle Home Show will present you with a wide range of options from D.I.Y, to engaging the services of qualified professionals who will D.I.F.Y – Do It For You!

With 100’s of exhibitors on display, visitors to the three day event can expect to gain ideas and inspiration as well as receive expert advice and information from those in the know – the specialists in their field.

The Herald Newcastle Home Show is a great opportunity to conduct all of your research and source your products and services all at the one time and in the one location. With this kind of access it’s a great chance for you to take advantage of getting your jobs on track or picking up some new household items or goods.
  • SEE the latest products, innovations and trends and entertain the kids with amusement rides and petting zoo.
  •  MEET television experts and industry specialists and discover their hot tips and tricks of the trade.
  • LEARN how to do it yourself with daily cooking demonstration and interactive stage presentations and discover the region’s best service providers and professionals to do those extra special jobs for you.
  • BUY everything you need to revamp and renovate your home. From furniture to decking, pools to pool tables, kitchen gadgets to a brand new kitchen - you will be amazed at the variety and quality of products available... all under one roof!

The 2011 Newcastle Home Show  will take place at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Showground from Friday 29th - Sunday 31st July. It will be open 10am to 4pm daily, and tickets will be available at the door. For more information phone 4921 21 21 or see the web site

Uluru in Shortlist of New 7 Wonders of Nature

The third phase of the New 7 Wonders of Nature is now underway, and you can vote on your choice of seven natural wonders from the selection of 28 Official Finalist Candidates. Australia has one in the shortlist of 28 – Uluru, or Ayers Rock, which is in the arid centre of the large country.
The Official New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign started in 2007, immediately after the successful campaign to elect the man-made Official New 7 Wonders of the World, in which more than 100 million votes were cast and which took democracy to a new global level.

From over 440 participants representing over 220 countries – more countries than participate in the Olympic Games – and through a national qualification and race to become one of the Top 77, as well as the Panel of Experts recommendation of the list of 28 Official Finalist Candidates, the Official New 7 Wonders of Nature is now in its third and final phase in which the wonders themselves will be chosen by an estimated 1 billion votes. The Official Declaration of the New 7 Wonders of Nature will be on 11.11.11.

Bernard Weber
New 7 Wonders Founder and President Bernard Weber said, “We are finding the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign to be excitingly different from the first campaign. So many breathtakingly beautiful, natural places are still quite unknown to many. From waterfalls to fjords, rainforests to mountain peaks, freshwater lakes to volcanoes, we are discovering together the incredible beauty and variety of our planet.”

Through global voting campaigns, New 7 Wonders inspires people worldwide. New7Wonders highlights what unites us all—as opposed to what separates us—and also emphasizes the importance of caring for what will be left for future generations.

The Official New 7 Wonders of the World campaign was the first global democratic exercise in mankind’s history. For the first time, we all, millions of people from all over the world, have created “Global Memory” 7 things for everyone to remember, 7 symbols of unity that respect, honour and celebrate our planet’s cultural diversity.

The Official New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign highlights and celebrates the beauty of our planet, thus fostering greater respect for the earth’s fragile natural equilibrium. The motto for this campaign is:

“If we want to save anything, we first need to truly appreciate it” said Bernard Weber, Founder New7Wonders. “Because we often only act when we are about to lose something precious that has grown dear to us.”

Cold Chisel Concerts in Hunter Valley

Cold Chisel will reform for a massive "Light the Nitro Tour" of Australia and New Zealand later this year, with two shows in the Hunter Valley. The Tour will kick off in October with a show in Newcastle, and a later one will be at a winery in the Hunter Valley. The tour will end in the first weekend in December. This is their biggest tour in nearly 30 years, and will; be The tour will be presented by Triple M and Southern Cross Media, MAX and CMC.

There will be 24 concerts unveiled around Australia plus two New Zealand shows.. In addition to all capital cities, the concerts will be staged at regional centres including Mudgee, Wodonga, Tamworth and the Hunter and Yarra Valleys. Cold Chisel will wrap up the Australian leg of their tour in Adelaide, the town where they first formed. Then they'll cross the Tasman to New Zealand for shows in Wellington and Auckland.

Shows will be staged under huge specially constructed all-weather Big Top Tents in many towns. There will also be seated arena shows, amphitheatre dates, and for the first time ever the band will play at a handful of very special winery concerts. The tour will include three huge “A Day on the Green” events including Bimbadgen Winery in the Hunter Valley on Saturday November 12

The opening Light the Nitro Tour Newcastle concert will be held on Thursday 13 October 2011 at the Newcastle Panthers Club, NSW, Australia. Tickets will be available from or 1300 438 849.  Cold Chisel will be supported by Even. This will be a Licensed Show, so admission limited to patrons 18 years and over.

The Cold Chisel “A Day on the Green” concert will be held on Saturday 12 November 2011 at the Bimbadgen Winery in the Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia. The gates will open at 4.00pm, Stonefield will be on stage at 4.45pm, Dan Sultan at 6pm and Cold Chisel at 7.30pm  A General Admission ticket will cost $120, a Silver Reserved Seat $140, A Gold Reserved Seat $180, and Concert and Dining packages $375. Tickets will be available from or phone 136 100 The “A Day on the Green” concert is a fully licensed event. Persons under 18 years old must be accompanied by a ticket holding parent or legal guardian at all times There is strictly no BYO alcohol. Food will be available for purchase on site or BYO picnic. Picnic rugs & deck chairs are recommended. For coach enquiries, call Rover Coaches (02) 4990 1699. For accommodation enquiries, call Hunter Valley Wine Country (02) 4990 0900

Every ticket for every concert will cost only $99.90 (except for the winery concerts)
Tickets for all concerts will go on sale everywhere at 9.00am on Thursday, 4 August. However, anybody who signs up to the band's mailing list at before August 1 will actually be able to buy tickets from 9.00am on Tuesday, 2 August as part of a special presale.

Jimmy Barnes
Jimmy Barnes, lead singer said "We can't wait to get back on the road together", "Every day for years I've had at least one person come up and ask me when Cold Chisel are going to do a proper tour. I'm glad to finally have something good to tell 'em!"

The tour was announced recently at exactly the same time as all of the band's recordings were being released digitally for the first time in a major online launch. Included are 56 rare and previously unreleased tracks. Music shops received the newly remastered and repackaged CD versions of all the classic Cold Chisel albums. Each of their studio albums now comes with a bonus DVD containing rare and unreleased footage from that era. This massive catalogue rollout has already been hailed as the most extensive archival project in the history of Australian rock.

Jimmy Barnes revealed that the original plans for this tour were actually hatched in secret nearly two years ago around the group's memorable one-off show to over 50,000 people at Sydney's Olympic Stadium.

Cold Chisel
"We got such a buzz from that gig that it made all of us really want to get our act together", he said. "We wanted to do things properly though because we know this band means a lot to a lot of people - especially us! So we had to do it right. That meant taking time to find lots of cool unreleased stuff and getting the albums looking and sounding great. It also meant making all the music available everywhere that people might want to get it these days. We agreed that once that was sorted we'd go out and play all those songs right around Australia and New Zealand in a way that we haven't really done since the early 80s."

These plans took the better part of two painstaking years to pull together including lengthy archival excavation and remastering activities. However, in January this year everything was suddenly put on hold with the tragic death of the group's drummer, Steve Prestwich.

Keyboardist Don Walker explains that for two months nobody in the band discussed whether to continue what they'd been planning together. "When the four of us finally sat down to talk about it we realised we all felt the same way. Steve was really keen on seeing all these things happen. We all felt it would have been wrong to just walk away from the plans we'd started together."

In some ways Steve Prestwich's death therefore ultimately strengthened the band's desire to present Cold Chisel's music to a 21st century audience in the best way possible. "At one point we actually thought about calling the tour 'Unfinished Business'," said bassist Phil Small. "After that 2009 gig we'd all quietly decided to try to do something big. To have bailed out just a few months from actually doing it would actually have felt like we were letting Steve down."

Ian Moss, guitarist, explaind, "It was all another reminder that life is short and you never know what's around the corner. We miss our brother Steve every single day but the four of us still love playing music together. And we know that people want to hear these songs, so we want to do more of that while we still can. The tour is going to be a celebration of what he helped us create."

Renowned drummer Charley Drayton (Keith Richards, B52's, Divinyls) will be behind the drum kit for the Light The Nitro Tour and one fifth of tour profits will go to Steve Prestwich's children.

The tour name refers to the practice of injecting nitrous oxide into the carburettor during a street race, which instantly doubles or triples the horsepower of a conventional engine. Incredible power, explosively unpredictable ... obviously apt for this incendiary live band. Hardcore fans may be interested to know that "light the nitro" is also a line from one of the songs the band recorded over recent months ... a new Don Walker rocker called HQ454 Monroe about a man and his beloved hotrod.

The basic facts of Cold Chisel's career need no retelling. Since their initial heyday in the late 70s and early 80s their music has been embraced by subsequent generations as shown recently by the appearance of two of their albums in a new Triple J listener poll of Australia's 100 greatest albums of all time. 

The songs of Don Walker, Phil Small, Steve Prestwich, Ian Moss and Jimmy Barnes are now utterly engrained in the fabric of Australasian life. Khe Sanh, Flame Trees, Bow River, My Baby, You Got Nothing I Want, Last Wave Of Summer, Forever Now, Cheap Wine, Choir Girl, Standing On The Outside, Rising Sun, Saturday Night ... and many more are known by Aussies of all ages..

For further information about the “Light the Nitro Tour”, go to and

The National dates are as follows

Thursday, 13 October, Newcastle Panthers
Tickets available from or 1300 438 849
Supported by Even. Licensed Show. Admission limited to patrons 18 years and over

Wednesday, 19 October, Townsville Entertainment Centre
Tickets available from TEC Box office and or 07 4771 4000
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Friday, 21 October, Cairns Showgrounds
Tickets available from or 132 849
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Sunday, 23 October, Botanic Gardens Amphitheatre, Darwin
Tickets available from or 132 849
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Wednesday, 26 October, Mackay Showgrounds
Tickets available from or 132 849
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Thursday, 27 October, Rockhampton Showgrounds
Tickets available from or 07 4927 4111
Supported by You Am I
Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Saturday, 29 October, Stockland Park, Sunshine Coast
Tickets available from or 132 849
Supported by Grinspoon. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Sunday, 30 October, Gold Coast Convention Centre
Tickets available from or 132 849
Supported by You Am I
Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Tuesday, 1 November, Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Tickets available from or 132 849
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Friday, 4 November, Stadium Drive Hockey Fields, Coffs Harbour
Tickets available from or 132 849
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Saturday, 5 November, A DAY ON THE GREEN, Robert Oatley Vineyards, Mudgee
Tickets available from or 136 100
Supported by You Am I and Stonefield
Licensed All Ages Show: Persons under 18 years old must be accompanied by a ticket holding parent or legal guardian at all times

Monday, 7 November, Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre
Tickets available from Tourism Tamworth / or 02 6767 5300
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Thursday, 10 November, Acer Arena, Sydney
Tickets available from or 132 849
Supported by You Am I
Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Saturday, 12 November, A DAY ON THE GREEN, Bimbadgen Winery, Hunter Valley
Tickets available from or 136 100
Supported by Dan Sultan and Stonefield. Licensed All Ages Show: Persons under 18 years old must be accompanied by a ticket holding parent or legal guardian at all times

Sunday, 13 November, WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong
Tickets available from or 132 849
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Tuesday, 15 November, Sydney Entertainment Centre
Tickets available from or 136 100
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Thursday, 17 November, AIS Arena, Canberra
Tickets available from or 132 849
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Friday, 18 November, Gateway Lakes, Wodonga
Tickets available from or 136 100
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show: Persons under 18 years old must be accompanied by a ticket holding parent or legal guardian at all times

Saturday, 19 November, A DAY ON THE GREEN, Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley
Tickets available from or 136 100
Supported by You Am I and Stonefield. Licensed All Ages Show: Persons under 18 years old must be accompanied by a ticket holding parent or legal guardian at all times

Tuesday, 22 November, Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart
Tickets available from or 136 100
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Thursday, 24 November, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Tickets available from or 132 849
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Saturday, 26 November, Sandalford Estate, Margaret River
Tickets available from or 132 849
Special guests to be announced. Licensed All Ages Show: Persons under 18 years old must be accompanied by a ticket holding parent or legal guardian at all times

Sunday, 27 November, Belvoir Amphitheatre, Perth
Tickets available from or 136 100
Special guests to be announced
Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Tuesday, 29 November, Adelaide Entertainment Centre
Tickets available from or 132 849
Supported by You Am I. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Friday, 2 December, TSB Arena, Wellington
Tickets available from or 0800 842 538
Special guests to be announced. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Saturday, 3 December, Vector Arena, Auckland
Tickets available from or 0800 111 999
Special guests to be announced. Licensed All Ages Show. Parental discretion and accompaniment is strongly advised for children 15 years and under

Monday, 25 July 2011

Cadel Evans Wins Tour de France

Cadel Lee Evans has just become the first Australian to win the Tour de France. He crossed the finish line at 1:29am Monday morning Australian time, and I was one of the many Aussies who stayed up late to see the exciting finish of the Tour de France live from Paris, The Tour de France is one of the world's toughest sporting events. Congratulations Cadel from all Aussies!

Cadell, aged 34, was born on 14 February 1977 in Katherine, in The Northern Territory of Australia. He grew up in Armidale, attended Newling Public School, and when the family moved to Melbourne he attended the Eltham High School. He is married to Chiara Passerini, an Italian music teacher. His great-grandfather was Welsh, and 'Cadel' was the name of three Welsh kings.

He was originally a mountain bike rider, He won the World Cup in 1988 and 1999 and came 7th in the men’s cross country mountain bike race at the Sydney Olympics. He turned to road cycling in 2001.

On Saturday night Australian time he won the yellow jersey, and it is tradition that no rival challenges the yellow jersey wearer during the last stage. Cadell said "I really can't quite believe it right now. I have been concentrating on one event for so long."

In Saturday's 42.5km time trial in and around Grenoble he started the day 57 seconds behind Andy Schleck. Cadel finished second in the time trial, just seven seconds behind Tony Martin In winning the time trial he gained a one minute and 34 second advantage against Andy Schleck, and his brother Frank Schleck by 2:30.

After winning the yellow jersey his thought were on the last stage of riding into Paris. "There's always more to go ... we've still got to cross the finish line in Paris tomorrow, that's my main focus right now actually getting through there without any trouble,"

Evans said he first saw the Tour de France as a 14-year-old, watching the successes of five-time champion Miguel Indurain. The Aussie spoke movingly of his former coach Aldo Sassi, who “often believed in me more than I did.’’ The Italian died in December. “For him today to see me now would be quite something,’’ Carl said.

Cadel is the first Australian to win in the Tour de Frances since it was first staged 108 years ago. Brian Kirkham was the first Australian to ride in the famed international race in 1914. He is only the third person from outside of Europe to win the race