Tuesday, 31 May 2016

New Zealand’s ultimate business event set to deliver millions

Conference and incentive business worth tens of millions of dollars will be contracted at New Zealand’s national business events trade expo MEETINGS next month in Auckland.

The annual event run by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) generated more than $50 million in business for New Zealand industry suppliers during its two days last year.

CINZ Chief Executive Sue Sullivan says over 190 exhibitors from 19 regions of New Zealand will be at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds to do business with more than 500 New Zealand and international event organisers.

“The business end of New Zealand’s tourism industry is high value with huge growth potential. International convention delegates spend an estimated $350 per night, twice as much as other visitors to New Zealand,” she says.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler, who will be speaking at MEETINGS, says the international business events sector, particularly international conferences and incentive travel, offers considerable opportunity to attract new high value international visitors to New Zealand.

“International conference and incentive delegates bring significant value to the country with the potential to extend the summer peak season and enhance employment opportunities bringing economic benefit to the country,” he says.

More than two million delegates attended over 36,000 events for around three million delegate days in the year ended March 2016. Multi-day conventions alone were worth $472 million to New Zealand last year, and the average per night delegate spend was up 15 per cent from 2014.

“This can only grow as our value proposition strengthens, and we gear up for major new convention centre and hotel infrastructure to cater for much larger conventions,” Sue Sullivan says.

Over 100 hosted buyers and media from Australia, 40 from international markets, 90 hosted buyers and media from New Zealand and 300 day buyers from all around New Zealand will be hosted in Auckland from 14 to 16 June. Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and Air New Zealand are bringing influential international buyers and media from China, South East Asia, India and North America.

For more information and to apply to attend CINZ MEETINGS 2016 as a day buyer go to www.meetings.co.nz

QT Port Douglas Will Again Host the Best Cinema Experience in TNQ

QT Port Douglas has become Far North Queensland's most exciting outdoor entertainment venue again hosting Moonlight Cinema which is returning to Rainforest Grove next month. Get ready to wriggle into those beanbags and soak up the cool night air at the ultimate outdoor playground. Feel free to bring the tribe or snuggle up with your love on opening night Thursday June 16th. Come dressed as your favourite superhero to be in theme with the screening of Captain America to kick off the season. The state-of-the-art outdoor cinema is one of a kind in Tropical North Queensland where film fanatics and holidaymakers can bask in the glow of the silver screen under the open sky.

We are getting excited to fluff the bean beds, manicure the lawns and light up the screen for your entertainment under the stars. It is truly a cinema experience like no other. Cinemagoers can relax and enjoy delicious street food from Moonlight's LA style food truck, snacks from the Candy Bar and drinks from the licensed bar, all within the opulent grounds of QT Port Douglas Resort.

The cinema features a schedule jam-packed with the latest advance previews, contemporary movies and current box office hits at the unique designer resort. The Moonlight Port Douglas 2016 Season will go on sale Thursday June 2nd along with the season's first programme for movies screening June 16 – July 24.

Along with the Moonlight Cinema, QT Port Douglas resort also features a large lagoon-style pool with a chic lawn party atmosphere, including sun loungers and a swim up bar. Offering a modern take on a resort bar, Estilo serves sublime cocktails and tantalising bar food, whilst the Bazaar Interactive Marketplace restaurant is an ocular and gastronomic journey on which there are no rules on which destinations to explore. Taking a playful approach to looking and feeling great designer day spa, spaQ, have perfected the art of unwinding, whilst guests who want to keep active can make use of the separate lap pool, gymnasium and tennis court fitness facilities.

Port Douglas' Moonlight Cinema is located at the QT Port Douglas Resort, 87-109 Port Douglas Road, Port Douglas. Set amongst opulent tropical gardens, the resort is a tranquil oasis that creates the perfect backdrop for the 300-seat outdoor cinema.

Tickets are priced from $13 for children and $17.50 for adults. Tickets are available online at www.moonlight.com.au and at the gate box office.

Gates open at 6.30pm and screenings start at approximately 7.15pm
EARLY START films: Gates open at 5.30pm and screenings start at 6.30pm
A limited number of Bean Beds are available for hire at the cinema for $9 each.

SHANGRI-LA’S HAMBANTOTA RESORT & SPA OPENS UP A WORLD OF WONDER IN STUNNING SRI LANKA - Island nation’s newest beachfront resort debuts on 145-acres with country’s first resort golf course and the largest kid’s club

Located on the unspoiled southern coast of Sri Lanka on a former coconut plantation, Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa offers 145-acres of paradise and the most extensive resort recreational and event facilities in the country.

The 300-room beachfront resort boasts the country’s first resort golf course and artisan village and innovative dining options.

Few places are as diverse as Sri Lanka, an island nation with a rich culture, unique heritage, stunning scenery and national parks bursting with wildlife.

Shangri-La’s resort pays homage to the island’s magnetic offerings, creating a destination within a destination where guests can discover unique experiences and find personal moments of ‘Shangri-La’.

DATE OPENED 1 June 2016


* 274 Deluxe and Premier guestrooms start at 48 square metres
* 26 Suites with private butler service range in size from 96 to 240 square metres
* Guestrooms overlook the Indian Ocean, tropical gardens, golf course or lagoon
* Rooms feature contemporary Sri Lankan design, spacious balconies and terraces, polished wood floors and hand-woven rugs
* Free Wi-Fi
* Luxurious bathroom with separate shower and tub


* 260-seat Bojunhala serves international buffet and Sri Lankan specialties; features special kid’s buffet area. Open 7:00 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.; noon to 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 10: 00 p.m.
* 140-seat Serra, features hawker-style stalls and Southeast Asian cuisine; overlooks the main free-form pool and tropical gardens. Open 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.
* 106-seat Ulpatha, a pub-style outlet, serves food and drink including craft beers. Open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
* 182-seat Gimanhala, the resort’s lobby lounge, serves refreshments, cocktails, Continental breakfast and health snacks. Open 10 a.m. to midnight
* Pool Bar serves signature cocktails and drinks, comfort food and light snacks


* Par-70, 18-hole course designed by Rodney Wright
* Only resort course in the country
* Complimentary green fees for guests
* Set within a former coconut tree plantation, the 5,584-metre long course features three zones: The Dune Area with subtle elevations and breathtaking Indian Ocean views; The Sapphire Mine a revitalized quarry with abundant water features and generous greens
* Clubhouse, restaurant pro shop, caddies, electronic golf carts and equipment rental available
* Driving range uses degradable organic golf balls (filled with fish food); irrigation system harvests and recycles rain to water the Paspalum turf, a salt-tolerant green


* Supervised Cool Zone Kid’s Club for children aged 4 to 12 open XX to 10:00 p.m. nightly
* Kid’s Club activities include arts and crafts, sports, a water park, flying trapeze and trampoline
* Teen activities include PlayStation, water sports and games, drone flying experience


* First and only Sri Lankan artisan village at a resort in the country
* Five traditional studio huts house artisan weavers, sculptors, painters and potters
* Evening entertainment in The Village includes performances of Sri Lankan dance and music plus Angampora, an indigenous martial art


* Complimentary beach volleyball and soccer, jogging, hiking, mountain biking, golf, table tennis, bocce ball, darts, billiards
* Fitness Center – yoga, TRX, exercise classes
* Extreme Sports – flying trapeze, trampoline, drone flying experience


* 12 treatment rooms, including 5 outdoor treatment rooms
* Menu of signature Asian spa treatments and Ayurvedic therapies using 100% natural products


* 3 outdoor swimming pools including the Sunset pool; the free-form Lagoon pool and a children’s pool and water park


* Fitness centre with state-of-the-art equipment
* Yoga and fitness classes, TRX and aqua gym


* Most extensive hotel MICE facilities in the country
* Shangri-La Ballroom caters to 1,000 people seated and 1,400 for a reception
* Five additional meeting rooms accommodate from 44 to 109 people
* Bespoke weddings, themed outdoor events and social, meeting and incentive planning services provided by the resort’s Events Team


* Accessible by air from Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport and Hambantota’s Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport
* Direct flights to Hambantota’s Mattala International Airport, which is 35 kilometres from the resort, are operated by Fly Dubai and Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Jet
* Fixed wing, seaplane and helicopter charter and scheduled service options between Colombo and Hambantota include Cinnamon Air Taxi (40-minute flight)
* Helipad on resort
* Guests transferring by ground from Colombo’s airport are met by the resort’s Airport Host and Concierge before embarking on the 240-kilometre coastal road tour via car, 4WD, limousine or luxury coach. Travel time is between 3.5 to 4.5 hours
* Commencing service in November, the resort’s two 25-seat private luxury coaches will feature business class configuration with crew service, a powder room, entertainment, bar and snack service


* Bundala National Park – 24 kilometres
* Yala National Park – 50 kilometres
* Humanaya Blow Holes – 46 kilometres
* Bandagiriya Temple dating back to the 2nd century BC – 23 kilometres
* International Cricket Stadium at Sooriyawewa – 25 kilometres


* Warm tropical climate with average temperature of 31 Celsius in summer and 24 Celsius in winter.


* Address: Sittrakala Estate, Chithragala Ambalantota, Sri Lanka
* Tel. (94 11) 742 07700 

Vivid Sydney's Glow Takes Over the City

World's largest festival of light, music and ideas kicks off in Sydney

Sydney, Australia is awash with colour this evening as more than 90 light installations light up the city for the annual Vivid Sydney festival, projecting colourful art on the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and throughout the city. Vivid Sydney officially opens on Friday night, 27 May, and runs for 23 nights until 18 June 2016.

Vivid Sydney is the world's largest festival of light, music and ideas. More than 150 artists from 23 countries have created the light installations and projections that appear in more than eight Vivid Sydney precincts spread across Sydney. Vivid Sydney also features 195 Vivid Music events and more than 500 speakers appearing at Vivid Idea talks and forums.

The New South Wales Government's Premier Mike Baird said “Tonight thousands of people have visited Sydney to witness the amazing Vivid 'lights-on' moment. For the next 23 nights, Sydney's most iconic landmarks will be lit up in a symphony of colour and movement, attracting visitors from across the world. Vivid is a creative festival for a global audience and its popularity is evident in the 1.7 million visitors who attended last year's festival.”

This year Vivid Sydney will celebrate Australian Indigenous culture with the Songlines projection appearing on the Sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House. The spectacular animation showcases the work of six renowned Indigenous artists: Karla Dickens, Djon Mundine OAM, Reko Rennie, Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, Donny Woolagoodja and the late Gulumbu Yunipingu. Co-curated by Destination NSW and the Sydney Opera House, Songlines speaks directly to the spirituality and culture of Australia's First Peoples, depicting the interconnected sharing systems and the trade routes that weave through time and distance, earth and sky.

With other major 3D projections appearing on the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and Customs House, Vivid Sydney showcases Sydney as a hub for the creative industries, with world-first technologies and design used to create the stunning spectacle of light.

Darling Harbour's Laser-Dragon Water-Theatre features a world-first water-screen mounted on a 13m robotic arm floating high above fifty-six fountains. Laser-Dragon Water-Theatre show includes four video projected water-screens on which dancers will be projected moving to a music score created by The Presets. Visitors will be astonished by forty 20m-high vertical fountains, sixteen 25m-high moving fountains, twenty 15m-high flame jets and ten powerful lasers. In another world first at Darling Harbour, visitors will be able to scan and project their own face onto the water screen, through the use of Intel RealSense™ technology.
World-famous Sydney Harbour will be showcased to the world with the Sydney Harbour Bridge illuminated by 1,640 lighting fixtures tubes, containing 72,000 individual LEDs, and 6,700 individuals LEDS in 140 Cans as part of the Dress Circle installation which allows visitors to literally control the colour of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney Harbour Ferries will also be illuminated with up to 1,480m of LED tape to light up their journey across the Harbour.

Vivid Sydney stretches across the city with the Vivid Light Walk, starting at the Sydney Opera House, taking in the harbourside of the Royal Botanic Gardens celebrating its 200th anniversary, and following the waterfront to Walsh Bay. Illuminations and projections appear in Sydney's Martin Place, Darling Harbour and the Australian National Maritime Museum, and Vivid Sydney's first indoor precinct at The Galeries in the city's CBD. The precincts of Central Park and Chatswood have also become a vibrant nighttime playground, as well as Taronga Zoo where illuminated lanterns will represent critical species to celebrate the Zoo's 100th anniversary.

Destination NSW CEO and Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney Sandra Chipchase said “Vivid Sydney has again delivered remarkable technical and artistic world-firsts as part of Vivid Light. Our biggest ever Vivid Sydney program will deliver an impressive line-up of music acts from punk rockers to global superstars, up-and-coming homegrown talent, cabaret legends and more. This matched by a diverse program of social trend disrupters, including Jenji Kohan, Spike Jonze, Beau Willimon and Margaret Zhang, who appear as part of Vivid Ideas talks and forum series. Vivid Sydney 2016 is truly a celebration of innovation and creativity.”

To help visitors make the most of the biggest Vivid Sydney yet, Destination NSW offers some suggestions of the many festival highlights.


  • Stomp your way around a pre-historic, Bio-kinetic city at Chatswoodwhere you will find an amazing collection of installations and activities inspired by the animals of Gondwana.
  • Profess your love for your significant other, or hot date at I LOVE YOU, a giant illuminated heart-shaped 'love-o-meter' that glows brighter the louder people say 'I love you' into the microphone.
  • Stroll through the Garden of Light at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and visit Sentiment Cocoon an interactive installation that visitors can touch that will expresses human emotion through light.
  • Be The Light For The Wild at Vivid Sydney's wildest precinct, Taronga Zoo where visitors can make the interactive chameleon lantern change colour and watch the giant platypus lantern swim.
  • Take some time out along the Vivid Light Walk and lie down under the multi-sensory artwork Osmose where shards of light will wash over you.


  • Catch a gig at Vivid LIVE with powerful, boundary pushing artists including New Order, Bon Iver, and Anohni all performing exclusive Sydney shows at Sydney Opera House from 27 May.
  • Find your 80's groove at The Enmore Theatre on 29 May as The Models, Machinations and Dave Mason from The Reels take to the stage.
  • Enjoy a festival-like afternoon of acoustic, electronic, improvised and composed music on 29 May from 3pm at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
  • Jump around to Drapht, ALLDAY and Sydney's own Spit Syndicate at Come Together festival at Sydney's Luna Park on Saturday June 11.
  • Be amazed at Avant-Cabaret where Sydney's finest, most flamboyant cabaret artists including Jeff Duff, Mikelangelo, and Zsa Zsa La Fine will perform at The Kings Cross Hotel.


  • Get some inspiration and fashion advice from digital game-changer Margaret Zhang at Vivid Ideas on 28 May.
  • Meet the Persuaders at the Museum of Contemporary Art on 31 May. Hear from panelists Phillip Adams, Dee Madigan, Michelle Law, Tim Levinson and Yassmin Abdel-Magied who have used their good ideas to successfully influence others.
  • Celebrate all things handmade and meet local crafters, collectors, artisans and designers from etsy.com at the Etsy Sydney Made Market on 4 June.
  • Don't miss the hugely popular Robowars showdown on 5 June. Robots big and small, built by hand from metal, power tools and remote-controlled toy parts will fight against each other in the ultimate test of man and machine.
  • Catch a film at the 63rd Sydney Film Festival from 8 June. Each year the festival brings the best new films from around the world to audiences with over 300 screenings.

Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the State Government's tourism and major events agency. 

In 2015 it attracted 1.7 million visitors and delivered more than $63 million in visitor expenditure to the local economy.



Hoi An River Town Hotel
Hoi An River Town Hotel is a brand new 4 star luxurious hotel in Hoi An with elegant design and great location surrounded by the river in both sides where can bring you and your family for a relaxing time with quiet rooms and superior service.

On the occasion of the Hoi An River Town Hotel soft opening at the beginning of June 2016, experience a special opening promotion. It is only  $52 per night for 2 adults/room for a direct booking. Much greater news os that guests can enjoy plentiful complimentary benefits such as free use of fitness center, swimming pool, daily shuttle bus to An Bang Beach, access to WiFi through the hotel, bicycle rental, a 2-hour bicycle excursion to countryside area of Hoi An with tour guide. Especially, a 4-course traditional Vietnamese set menu lunch or dinner is complimentary per person for a minimum 2 night stay booking.

Terms and conditions:


Located in the Hoi An island, right in front of the Hoi An Ancient Town, the Hoi An Rivertown Hotel offers you quiet rooms and superior service. For it’s great location, it allows you to walk to the old town or to rent bicycles and enjoy a ride to the beach. Surrounded by the river in both sides, the 4 star Rivertown Hotel promises relaxing times in our company, as long as fun and a lot of entertainment.

With 76 rooms, this Hotel is privileged by its great location It is away from all the confusion of the city but within a 5 minute walk and you’re right in the centre of everything.

Hoi An River Town Hotel
“In our family when we invite someone to come into our house, that means we invite them into our kitchen. With Hoian River Town, our dream was to create a home-away-from-home, somewhere I could welcome old friends and new, like-minded travellers drawn to Hoi An by its unique cuisine and culture.”

Liên hệ báo chí: Bộ phận Kinh Doanh và Tiếp Thị Hoi An River Town Hotel


Thành phố Hội An, tháng 5 năm 2016
Chương trình ưu đãi hấp dẫn dành cho khách đặt phòng trực tiếp tại Hội An River Town Hotel với giá đặc biệt chỉ từ 52$/đêm dành cho 2 người. Bên cạnh được hưởng mức giá phòng cực kỳ hấp dẫn, du khách có thể được tặng nhiều dịch vụ miễn phí kèm theo tour xe đạp thưởng ngoạn phong cảnh miền quê cùng hướng dẫn viên, miễn phí kết nối Wi-Fi khắp khách sạn, sử dụng phòng tập thể dục, hồ bơi, thuê xe đạp miễn phí, đưa đón miễn phí theo lịch trình đến bãi biển An Bàng. Ngoài ra, đối với đặt phòng từ 2 đêm trở lên, du khách sẽ được tặng 1 bữa trưa hoặc tối với 4 món ăn truyền thống Việt Nam.

“In our family when we invite someone to come into our house, that means we invite them into our kitchen. With Hoi An River Town, our dream was to create a home-away-from-home, somewhere I could welcome old friends and new, like-minded travellers drawn to Hoi An by its unique cuisine and culture.”

Hoi An River Town Hotel


Add: Block 2, Cam Pho Ward, Hoi An – Vietnam
T : +84 510 3924 924
F : +84 510 3924 111
M : +84 868 549 750
S : sales.hoianrivertown
E : sales@hoianrivertown.com 

NSW Gears Up for Deni Ute Muster

The Deni Ute Muster is set to amaze visitors to the Riverina once again this year with the NSW Government announcing its support for the event for another three years.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the NSW Government continues to support the many beautiful regions across the State and this announcement is another great achievement for Regional NSW.

“We are delighted to be continuing our support through our tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW,” Mr Ayres said.

“Events such as the Deni Ute Muster are a vital contributor to regional tourism which attract visitors from outside NSW and Australia, showcasing a unique side of our diverse regional communities.

“With a sensational program scheduled across two days, I encourage everyone to begin planning their visit to the Deni Ute Muster so they don't miss out on this exciting event that demonstrates all things Australian.”

Member for Murray Adrian Piccoli said the Deni Ute Muster encapsulates the uniqueness of Australia's rural heritage and culture.

“Since its inception in 1999, the event has grown steadily and is expected to attract over 28,000 international and domestic overnight visitors who will spend over $18 million across the three year period,” Mr Piccoli added.

“This year we're set for one of our greatest musical line-ups, headed by superstar Keith Urban, along with James Reyne, Adam Brand and The Outlaws, John Williamson, Troy Cassar-Daley and Shannon Noll.

“Generating significant economic benefits to our community, we look forward to showcasing this region to a global audience and welcoming visitors to Deniliquin later this year for a wonderful experience.”

The 2016 Deni Ute Muster will be held on 30 September and 1 October.

For further details and to purchase tickets visit www.deniutemuster.com.au

Armchair Famils Enhance Meeting Planning

A new Google Maps feature of the InterContinental Wellington conference floor, which allows event planners to enjoy a 360˚ experience, is delighting conference organisers.

One commented, “How cool is this! A site inspection without leaving the chair!”

The hotel’s six function rooms plus the pre-function lounge are all now available through Google Maps, allowing a more realistic appreciation of each of the spaces as the viewer can look in all directions exactly as they would if standing in the space.

Business Development Manager Julien Albrecht says while the ability to show 360˚ views of a scene is not new technology, using it as a room-space sales tool that can stand in for physically visiting a property appears to be relatively new for the MICE market, showcasing venues to potential clients.

“Judging by the reaction from PCOs when recently sent the InterContinental Wellington interactive floorplans, we’re guessing not a lot of hotels promote this feature. The plus is that clients can go through a site inspection without leaving their chair and get a feeling for the space, rather than making a call by seeing static pictures only.

“Time constraints and geographical distance means a lot of decisions have to be made by the event planner remotely, with the client unable to visit a space before the day of the event. Rather than seeing static pictures, taking a virtual tour around the floor can give the client the reassurance that this is the right fit for them.

“Plus, from the event organiser’s perspective, it’s an outstanding tool for enhancing the presentation process to their clients.”

Check it out for yourself:

Beat the Parking Fees – Park, Dine and Relax at PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport

We all know airport parking can be expensive. Thanks to PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport, visitors can now dine in style at the hotel's contemporary AIRO Restaurant without worrying about hefty parking fees.

Just a two-minute walk from both domestic and international terminals of Melbourne Tullamarine Airport via two pedestrian sky bridges, PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport overlooks the international terminal and offers unrivalled convenience to all visitors. Whether you are picking up friends and family or dropping them off, enjoy an indulgent dinner or weekend breakfast at the hotel and receive discounted or complimentary parking.

Park and Dine

Enjoy a relaxed and stress-free welcoming or farewell dinner featuring a variety of a la carte dining options, including a two and three course menu with matched wines menu at the hotel's stylish AIRO Restaurant. Spend $100 or more to receive complimentary parking for one vehicle in Melbourne Airport's short-term parking connected to the hotel (valid for up to three hours). Plus you can stay connected with complimentary Wi-Fi and with live departure and arrival screens in the hotel lobby, there's never been a more convenient and relaxing dining experience. *T&Cs apply.

For reservations contact the hotel directly on 03 8347 2000 or email enquiry.prmla@parkroyalhotels.com.

Weekend Breakfast

For those who love weekend brunching, indulge with the hotel's delicious buffet breakfast for only $25 (normally $35 per person) whilst plane spotting from the floor to ceiling windows at AIRO in comfort. Leave the hustle and bustle of public transport behind and simply drive your car to the airport with discounted parking for only $10 (valid for up to three hours). Relax and enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, ensuring you stay connected on the ground, whilst live departure and arrival screens in the hotel lobby means you can keep up to date on what's happening in the air. *T&Cs apply.

For reservations contact the hotel directly on 03 8347 2000 or email enquiry.prmla@parkroyalhotels.com.

With parking no longer an issue, relax and enjoy welcoming or precious farewell moments with your loved ones, all within the comfort and convenience of PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport.

PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts

PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts is a collection of 16 comfortable leisure and business hotels, resorts and serviced suites (including those under development) located in gateway cities across Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. Each PARKROYAL reflects the spirit and individuality of its location through creative touches, authentic tastes and local connections. Whether you are travelling for business, leisure, or even with the family, each PARKROYAL hotel and resort is designed so you can work in connected comfort, or relax in soothing surrounds. PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts is a member of the Global Hotel Alliance, the world's largest alliance of independent hotel brands.

For more information, visit PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport

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Aurora Expeditions Holds their Breath for the Amazon Rainforest On World Environment Day: 5 June 2016

Aurora Expeditions Holds their Breath for the Amazon Rainforest On World Environment Day: 5 June 2016

The Amazon Rainforest is known as the ‘Lungs of the Planet’. The lush and tropical South American jungle spreads across over half of the continent and provides the world with 20% of its oxygen. Each year 78 million acres of the Rainforest are cut down – a fact that devastates cruising specialist and wilderness enthusiasts, Aurora Expeditions. And with World Environment Day just around the corner, on the 5th June, it has never been a better time to discuss the important contribution the Amazon makes to our planet.

The adventure cruising experts always ensure conservation, preservation and a respect for the environment is at the forefront of all of their voyages. And this year, Aurora Expeditions have launched two incredible journeys, combining the Ecuadorian Amazon and the constantly evolving Galápagos islands to give their small ship of passengers the ultimate insight into a fragile and beautiful corner of the planet.

The astounding itineraries, that last between 20 and 26 days take passengers through the verdant jungle of the Ecuadorian Amazon, through the Andean cloud forests, up active volcanoes and across to the immaculate and wildlife-rich waters of the Galápagos – a chance to explore this equatorial nation’s wildest corners.

Mashpi lodge and Sacha lodge are two of the Amazon’s finest jungle abodes and are brand new to Aurora’s Ecuador program. Mashpi, perched at 900 metres above sea level, is a gateway to the stunning biodiversity of Ecuador and is nestled in a forest fragrant with tropical waterfalls, butterflies, vibrant orchids and an incredible collection of hummingbirds. And Sacha, found within a 5000-acre private reserve, can be reached over mysterious blackwater lakes and jungles alive with the chatter of spider monkeys.

Using these spectacular lodges as a base, intrepid travellers can trek and canoe through the Ecuadorian rainforest, in search of red howler monkeys, pink river dolphins and spectacular parrots – beautiful species that make up some of the 5 million animals, insects and plants that call these forests home. There is even the chance to pedal through Mashpi’s cloud forest on a SkyBike – a wonderfully unique way to explore the pristine tree tops.

And moving onto the Galápagos, the volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, wildlife lovers will be in their element as they will see the isolated islands that have sheltered a diversity of plant and wildlife. These stunning island, made up of white sands, turquoise waters and tropical forests, were the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, after the naturalist visited in 1835.

Swimming in warm waters with sea lions and turtles, snorkeling amongst technicolor fish and playful penguins, and trekking in the land of iguanas, blue footed boobies, and giant tortoise – the Galápagos are a haven of wilderness that has been kept safe and virtually untouched by human intervention.

World Environment Day celebrates the beauty of our planet and aims to inspire people to take action against the growing strain on the planet’s natural world. Aurora Expeditions is delighted to be hosting these expeditions at such a critical time, and hopes to make environmental ambassadors out of each and every one of their passengers.

Aurora Expedition’s Ecuador Adventures start from US$13,500 per person including both ship and land accommodation, snorkelling and kayaking activities, all shore excursions and guided tours, and internal flights from Quito to Coca and Quito to Baltra.

For more information please contact Aurora Expeditions on 1300 061 490 or +61 2 9252 133, email info@auroraexpeditions.com.au or visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au

What's new in NSW

Thou Walla Sunset retreat
With Winter on its way, Sydney and Regional NSW is heating up with Vivid Sydney which startied on 27 May, and a range of new accommodation, restaurant and tour operators opening across the state. Highlights include the arrival of Sydney’s first all-natural soda factory and bar, new ‘glamping’ safari tents in Port Stephens and the announcement of Keith Urban as the headline performer for this year’s Deni Ute Muster.

New accommodation

  • Ten new ‘glamping’ safari tents complete with flatscreen TVs, electric fireplaces, ensuites and, balcony daybeds overlooking the dolphin-filled waters of Port Stephens are now welcoming indulgent campers at the Thou Walla Sunset Retreat. To celebrate the opening of the waterside eco tents at the Soldiers Point retreat, Thou Walla has launched a special offer of $299 per tent (for two people) for two nights on weekends or weekdays until September 30, 2016 with discounts on select local activities
  • Following a year of extensive renovations and rejuvenations, Terragong 1858 House Bed & Breakfast has re-opened in Jambaroo on the stunning South Coast. Built in 1858 as a gentleman's residence, the lovingly refurbished Colonial Georgian home sits on 12 acres of lush gardens and pastures offering a bed and breakfast experience unsurpassed in the region for luxury and exclusivity
  • The Pullman Sydney Airport will be the first internationally branded 5-star hotel servicing the Sydney airport precinct when it opens next month. The hotel will feature Mobius Bar & Restaurant, conference facilities for up to 280 delegates, a gymnasium and an Executive Club Lounge - a hallmark of every Pullman Hotel
  • AccorHotels has announced it will grow its luxury portfolio with the opening of Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour in 2017. Construction of the 35-storey hotel is well underway and will feature a unique and instantly recognisable architectural design with 590 accommodation rooms, well located next to the new Sydney International Convention Centre.

New in food & wine

Jervis Bay
  • Jervis Bay has welcomed a new waterfront dining destination with the arrival of Portside Café in Huskisson. Open every day from 8am to late, Portside Café is mesmerising visitors with breathtaking views overlooking the pristine waters of Jervis Bay and a choice of indoor or outdoor dining. The café’s deck opens onto the cruise termINail from which Jervis Bay Wild's popular whale and dolphin watching tours depart
  • Marrickville has further cemented its position as one of Sydney’s hottest new dining destinations with the opening of El Chapel on Enmore Road. From the team behing popular local café Two Chaps, El Chapel is currently serving a smaller daytime menu but will soon open its courtyard and backroom for casual sit-down dining. El Chapel will also serve the team’s new range of croissants, including chai-spiced melonpan and stuffed brioche buns
  • Hunter Gatherer is a new 200-seat Ottolenghi-inspired eatery on a stunning North-Sydney rooftop, opened by the team behind The Corner House and Panama House. With a focus on showcasing local produce close to the city, the Hunter Gatherer team is working with an organic Hawkesbury food co-op and acclaimed Sydney butcher Vic’s Meat. With half the menu dedicated to vegetarian dishes, there is something to suit all tastes
  • Sydney has welcomed its first soda factory and bar. Instead of an open cellar door, PS40 has an open soda door, serving its all-natural soda line made and bottled in-house. Located in a warehouse down Skittle Lane, amid the hustle and bustle of the city, PS40 has an eight-tap bar with an extra tap dedicated to experimental releases.

New experiences

Peppers Convent Hunter Valley
  • Peppers Convent Hunter Valley is hosting a special Yoga in the Vineyards weekend retreat on 28 and 29 May, where guests can find their inner yogi surrounded by some of the Hunter Valley’s most scenic landscape. Sydney-based yogi Heidi Horne will lead a series of 90-minute yoga, wellness and meditation sessions for all levels of ability. Guests will be fuelled with a range of wholesome, delicious, seasonal dishes from The Convent’s Circa 1876 kitchen
  • Experience the magic of winter in the Blue Mountains with an evening of fine dining, exquisite art and music opulence at a sumptuous masquerade ball at the Hydro Majestic Hotel on June 18. Guests will browse exquisite artworks by Warwick Fuller, the official tour artist to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall during their visit to Australia in November and enjoy music by the largest gathering of professional classical musicians ever in the Blue Mountains. The evening will include a two-course dinner created by award-winning chefs and featuring outstanding regional produce
  • From June 20, subject to final regulatory approval, Albury Airport will welcome a new airline, jetgo, which will fly jet aircraft between Brisbane and Albury with a flight time of just one hour and 35 minutes. Albury is the perfect destination for art-lovers, foodies, couples and families. The city is buzzing with the recent openings of contemporary art museum MAMA (Murray Art Museum Albury), trendy boutique hotel Atura Albury and many new restaurants, cafés and wine bars
  • Chef and My Kitchen Rules judge Colin Fassnidge is set to join the culinary team at Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains - MGallery by Sofitel on Saturday 9 July 2016 for two exceptional gastronomic events - a masterclass and four-course gala dinner. During the evening event, from 6:30-10:30pm, Fassnidge will share his passion for food and his journey to becoming one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs over an extraordinary four-course gala dinner, paired with a range of impressive regional NSW wines. Bookings are essential as places are limited
  • Keith Urban has been announced as the headlining perfomer at this year’s Deni Ute Muster on 30 September. Some of the country’s most well known and lover performers will join Keith at the event, celebrating its 18th birthday this year.

2016 Golden Spoon Cooking contest launched

The 4th Chiec Thia Vang (Golden Spoon) cooking competition has been kicked off in the Southern province of Binh Duong on May 26.

The contest is co-organized by the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Binh Duong-based Minh Long I Company.

The qualifying rounds of the contest will take place in Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang from June 7-September 29. The semi-final rounds will be held in Ha Noi on October 11-12 and Ho Chi Minh City on October 25-27.

“Chef of the Century” Eckart Witzigmann will join in the jury for the final round in Ho Chi Minh City on December 6-7.

This year’s event themed “Huong vi que nha - Hanh trinh gia vi Viet” (Homeland tastes - Journey of Vietnamese spices) aims to find the country’s talented chefs and best Vietnamese dishes.

The highest winner will get a cash prize of VND1 billion. The total prize this year will exceed 3 billion VND (135,000 USD).

PARKROYAL to Shine in the World-Class Redevelopment of Parramatta

Excitement is building in Western Sydney. PARKROYAL Parramatta is set to bring a new level of accommodation, dining, meeting and event experiences to the heart of Sydney's dual CBD this August 2016, following a $25 million refurbishment and extension.

Located near the Parramatta River, the current 196-room hotel will see an addition of 50 Premier Rooms, 40 Club Rooms, a Club Lounge, and a gymnasium in July 2016. The extension will position PARKROYAL Parramatta as one of the largest hotels in the area with 286-rooms and the only hotel with Club facilities in Western Sydney.

“As the corporate sector continues to grow in Parramatta so to does the opportunities and the level of service and facilities expected. With the introduction of the Club Lounge the PARKROYAL brand will be the first hotel that can offer executives doing business in Parramatta access to the same facilities that CBD Sydney affords them. Our hotel is paving the way” Michael Johnson, General Manager PARKROYAL Parramatta.

Designed by award-winning architecture firm Architectus, the new seven-storey tower will feature sweeping views of Parramatta's skyline and distinctive city-inspired interiors drawing on a palette of timber, stone and glass. Guests can look forward to a premium and state-of-the-art accommodation and event experience from the moment they arrive.

With an addition of five meeting rooms to be opened in June 2016, PARKROYAL Parramatta will soon offer a total of 13 well-equipped event spaces, the highest number in any meetings and events hotel in Parramatta.

The renovations will also include extending the premises of the existing BAR:30 on the ground floor of the hotel into the adjoining Phillip Street to introduce an alfresco dining element that captures the vibrant local “eat street” atmosphere.

PARKROYAL Parramatta

30 Phillip Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150
Tel: 02 9689 3333

PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts

PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts is a collection of 16 comfortable leisure and business hotels, resorts and serviced suites (including those under development) located in gateway cities across Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. Each PARKROYAL reflects the spirit and individuality of its location through creative touches, authentic tastes and local connections. Whether you are travelling for business, leisure, or even with the family, each PARKROYAL hotel and resort is designed so you can work in connected comfort, or relax in soothing surrounds. PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts is a member of the Global Hotel Alliance, the world's largest alliance of independent hotel brands. For more information, visit parkroyalhotels.com.

Monday, 30 May 2016

More space for Melbourne – MCEC reveals plans for expansion

The design for Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (MCEC) upcoming expansion was today unveiled by Acting Premier, Hon. James Merlino MP and Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Hon. John Eren MP.

The project will add nearly 20,000 square metres of flexible, multi-purpose event space including new exhibition halls and additional meeting and banquet rooms. It will be fully connected and integrated with the existing Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, increasing its total size to over 70,000 square metres.

Once completed, the additional space is anticipated to generate an additional 74,000 international visitors annually, who spend on average $693 each day while in Melbourne, resulting in an annual $167 million boost to the Victorian economy.

“Victoria is the national leader when it comes to major business events, and this expansion will help keep our hotels full, our restaurants and bars buzzing and our economy strong,” Mr Merlino said.

“This new boost will help our state bid for more events, which will see more people visiting, more jobs created as we become an even stronger state,” Mr Eren added.

The 2015-16 Victorian Budget provided $205 million for the expansion of MCEC, which will build on the existing success of the venue and help cater to the growing demand for exhibitions linked to conferences.

This project is part of a South Wharf development that will connect visitors and local traders with a new 341-room hotel and multi-deck car parking facilities. Leading infrastructure business, Plenary Group and its partners in the precinct are investing more approximately $150-175 million in this development.

MCEC Chief Executive, Peter King said the expansion was critical to ensuring the venue can continue to accommodate the growing global demand for multi-purpose meetings and event spaces.

“We’re thrilled to share our plans, which complete the vision for MCEC as a vibrant, world-class events and entertainment destination,” Mr King said.

“One of the key features of MCEC is the diversity of events that are conducted at the venue every day, attracting over two million visitors annually. This expansion means more events for Melbourne and most importantly, allows our customers to grow their events with us.”

“We’re excited to continue our business as usual operations while our new building is constructed and we look forward to sharing more details as they become available,” Mr King added.

Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) Chief Executive Officer, Karen Bolinger said that this investment supports the ongoing ‘Team Melbourne’ partnership MCEC has with MCB and the City of Melbourne to attract business events to Victoria, which are worth $9.98 billion each year and generate 65,000 jobs.

“Business Events are the highest yielding sector of the Victorian visitor economy and we applaud and support the expansion of MCEC, which will contribute to the ongoing benefits this sector generates for Melbourne and Victoria,” Ms Bolinger said.

Preliminary works on MCEC’s expansion have commenced, with construction estimated to be completed in early 2018.

DNA Nation Goes to Oman

It's been billed as an epic journey of discovery and it began last week, when actor Ernie Dingo, Olympian Ian Thorpe and TV presenter Julia Zemiro travelled to Tanzania, widely regarded as the cradle of humankind. Using breakthrough genetic technology, these three familiar faces were able to trace their ancestors back 200,000 years to this part of Africa.

On Sunday night on DNA Nation, SBS TV's groundbreaking three-part series, the group traveled to the Middle East. In Oman, they met Dr Jeffrey Rose, a prehistoric archaeologist who works specialises in the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods of the Arabian Peninsula.

In the 1990s, scientists using mitochondrial signatures first hypothesised humans left Africa and travelled across Ethiopia to Yemen and Oman, following the coastline. Dr Rose's team found Palaeolithic sites scattered across the Middle East, but none of it showed any connection to Africa. That was until they returned to Oman in 2010 and discovered stone tools that were used by nomadic hunters from Africa's Nile Valley. Using technology that can accurately date these sorts of discoveries, Dr Rose found the tools to be 106,000 years old, which means the human race began to leave Africa much sooner than originally thought. Or, perhaps, as Dr Rose theorises, “the great modern human expansion to the rest of the world was launched from Arabia rather than Africa.”

Who in the team can trace their roots back to the Arabian Peninsula? You'll have to catch up on Sunday nights program to find out.

DNA Nation screens for the one more Sunday nights on 5 June at 8.30pm on SBS TV. Catch up on the first and second episode at SBS On Demand (sbs.com.au/ondemand/).

For more information on Oman, contact Mona Tannous at Tourism Oman, (02) 9286 8930 or mona@tourismoman.com.au


Sydney’s reputation as a fantastic place to do business has been bolstered with its ranking as 1st in Australia, 7th in the Asia Pacific and 25th in the world by the International Congress and Convention Association.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said “It’s an astounding result to host so many meetings that Sydney has maintained its ranking with the International Congress and Convention Association.

“Given our convention centre has been a construction site since 2014, these results are a testament to the ingenuity of the city’s businesses and ability to deliver collaborative solutions.”

Business Events Sydney (BESydney) CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith said BESydney has secured an enviable list of international events for the State ahead of the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC) opening this December.

“The NSW Government’s $1.5 billion investment in a new centre for global meetings in the heart of Sydney is a catalyst for broad legacies including trade, investment, knowledge creation and more, Ms Lewis-Smith said.

“We’ve secured events across some of the most cutting-edge fields in the world to help unlock exciting jobs of the future in fintech, cloud computing, start-ups, intellectual property, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and more. This includes the major cloud computing event Openstack 2017, the world’s biggest annual robotics event RoboCup 2019, and the 2021 FIGO World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics.”

BESydney has secured events worth more than $420 million in direct expenditure to NSW up to 2023, including more than 30 events worth in excess of $220 million to be hosted at ICC Sydney.

Disney Promises President Xi Jinping A Safe, High-quality Theme Park

With the grand opening of Shanghai Disneyland coming up next month, the CEO Walt Disney Co, Robert Iger, met with China President Xi Jinping and promised “safe and pleasing service. 

The park is undergoing final trial operations to prepare for the formal launch. 

The project is the first Disney park on Chinese mainland. 

It is a joint investment by Walt Disney Co and Shanghai Shendi Group Co. 

The park’s opening is a fine example of win-win cooperation between China and the U.S., and is sure to be a highlight of China-U.S. Tourism Year 2016.


Carmen in 2013
Some of Sydney’s most spectacular landmarks will provide the backdrop for a magnificent outdoor production of one of the world’s best loved operas, Bizet’s Carmen, when Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour returns next year.

Carmen stamps her feet, tosses back her hair and draws you into her world. Men fall instantly under her spell, and once you’ve heard her sultry Habanera, you’ll fall for opera’s favourite femme fatale, too.

Take a harbourside setting with an unrivalled view of the famous Sydney skyline. Build a pop-up opera house, complete with bars, restaurants and tiered seating. Add a monumental set, colourful, eye-catching costumes, spectacular dance and an explosion of fireworks, and you’ve got a night like no other.

This is Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: the cultural event of the year. At sunset, gather with friends over a glass of something sparkling and a sumptuous Spanish meal before settling back to enjoy our vivacious, vivid production of Bizet’sCarmen.

Powerful voices sing those famous Spanish tunes, filling the night air with Spanish rhythms and fiery passion. Soldiers patrol, factory girls seduce shamelessly, glittering bullfighters parade and dancers pirouette their way across the stage as the captivating Carmen walks fearlessly towards a fate written in the cards.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the event has established itself as one of the world’s greatest outdoor opera events, showcasing Sydney to a huge audience each year.

“Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is one of the State’s most iconic events and I am delighted to announce that this world-class production will be returning in 2017 with Bizet’s Carmen,” Mr Ayres said.

“Each year Handa Opera on the Harbour attracts audiences from around Australia and the world, and has brought more than 37,000 overnight visitors to Sydney since 2012, providing a huge boost to our local visitor economy.”

Carmen in 2013
Tickets to Carmen go on sale next month and will be available from 2 June.

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour was established in 2012 by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW in partnership with Opera Australia.

Visit Opera Australia for further information.

Youth to benefit from Real Journeys Cruise-for-a-Cause 2016

Real Journeys annual Cruise-for-a-Cause will go towards helping young Kiwi conservationists around the country and students at Queenstown’s only high school - Wakatipu High.

Forest & Bird and the Wakatipu High School Foundation were chosen from thirty applicants. Each receives an entire overnight cruise in Doubtful or Milford Sound to use as a fundraiser. Both cruises include dinner, breakfast and water activities. Although Real Journeys will sell the tickets, the organisations set their own prices and keep 100% of the proceeds raised.

The Wakatipu High School Foundation has the Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise on the 27 August to help fund its initiatives to support students and families at the school, including the Awhi (financial hardship) fund.

“There’s plenty in the media at the moment about the cost of housing and the difficulties faced by members of our community. The Wakatipu High School Foundation does a lot of good work assisting those families that have children at the high school, and is able to make a real difference,” says Richard Lauder, Real Journeys Chief Executive.

Forest & Bird hopes the Milford Sound Overnight Cruise on Saturday 17 September, will enable it to cover the costs of training and supporting the volunteers who run its Kiwi Conservation Club.

“Kiwi Conservation Club encourages children to explore the great outdoors, to love our wildlife and wild places and to grow up wanting to save and protect all of New Zealand’s incredible environment. Each year we provide opportunities to connect over 5,000 children with nature. With support from Real Journeys, we will be able to inspire even more young people to become conservation leaders of tomorrow,” says Hone McGregor, Chief Executive, Forest & Bird.

Richard Lauder says there’s shared history in conservation with Forest & Bird which worked alongside Real Journeys’ founders Les and Olive Hutchins in the campaign to save Lake Manapouri.

Once details have been finalised, tickets for both cruises will be available from Real Journeys from 4 June (Queen’s Birthday weekend).

Real Journeys launched the initiative last year as a way to help raise funds for a good cause whilst providing a ‘dress rehearsal’ for its pre-season staff training. Last year’s two recipients raised over $26,000.

For background information about: 

Wakatipu High School Foundation visit: www.wakatipuhsfoundation.com
Forest & Bird Kiwi Conservation Club visit: www.kcc.org.nz
Cruise-for-a-Cause visit: www.cruiseforacause.co.nz
Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise visit:
Milford Sound Overnight Cruise visit:

Real Journeys www.realjourneys.co.nz

Real Journeys is a privately owned tourism business that was founded in 1954 by tourism and conservation pioneers Les and Olive Hutchins. Today the company remains true to its founders and their guiding principles of conservation and hospitality.

Based in some of the most untouched areas of New Zealand, Real Journeys has operations from Stewart Island to Queenstown – including world renowned cruises through Milford and Doubtful Sounds, the Te Anau Glowworm Caves and heritage steamship TSS Earnslaw.

For further information please contact: Tsehai Tiffin 021 523 899 ttiffin@realjourneys.co.nz


The Sydney Film Festival, running from 8-19 June, is a major event on the NSW events calendar, showcasing the best in cinema from across Australia and around the globe.

This year, the Festival will present more than 240 films from 60 countries including 25 world premieres, representing hundreds of fresh perspectives and new stories from across Australia and around the world.

The Festival is taking place at various venues across Sydney during Vivid Sydney 2016. The popular Festival Hub will return to Sydney Town Hall, featuring exhibitions, talks, parties and entertainment.

Sydney Film Festival is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

Visit the Festival website for the Film Guide and tickets.

Food & Hotel Myanmar 2016


Sydney has secured another major business-events win with the first Openstack summit in the Southern Hemisphere to be held at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC) in 2017.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said Openstack will be the first major international ICT event to be held in the new convention centre and will allow ICC Sydney to showcase its state-of-the-art technology.

“Openstack has found a great partner in Sydney, we have a global reputation for supporting innovation, the biggest start-up ecosystem in Australia and a strong open source community,” Mr Ayres said.

“The summit will be worth over $16 million in direct expenditure to the State, which is additional to the benefits it will bring to the NSW innovation and the ICT sector.

“It’s expected to attract 5,000 delegates to Sydney over five days, including developers, users and administrators of Openstack Cloud Software.

“I commend Business Events Sydney for securing major events in the professional services and technology sector that are worth an estimated $71.6 million direct expenditure to the state of NSW.”

Khanh Hoa welcomes 1.6 million foreign tourists in five months

The south central province of Khanh Hoa received 1.6 million foreign tourists in the first five months of the year, an increase of 14.3 percent year-on-year.

Foreign visitors numbered 446,200. Most tourists came from China and Russia, and stayed for an average of four days.

Revenue from tourism topped 2.7 trillion VND, a 21.1 percent rise.

Khanh Hoa has become an ideal destination for both domestic and foreign travellers thanks to its intriguing sea and island tourism, gentle climate, stable price and quality services.

Last year, the province served more than 4.1 million tourists, including around 974,000 foreigners, grossing 7 trillion VND (315 million USD).

It aims to welcome 4.5 million visitors in 2016.

BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE Cross-cultural initiatives in Australian contemporary art

28 May - 7 August 2016

BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE opens in National Reconciliation Week and forms part of an ongoing conversation exploring engagements between Aboriginal and non-Indigenous artists. Celebrating the work of over sixty artists, the exhibition reveals the diversity of approaches to cross-cultural art practice, from direct collaborations to shared – and sometimes contested – stylistic and conceptual influences.

The exhibition’s visual and historical narrative begins with Albert Namatjira and Rex Battarbee’s creative exchange from the 1930s and surveys key works from the 1990s until 2015, including five large-scale collaborations. BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE draws on Newcastle Art Gallery’s collection of works by Gordon Bennett, Imants Tillers, Tim Johnson, Ildiko Kovacs, Danie Mellor, Margaret Preston and Tony Tuckson as well as the Gallery’s significant holdings of Hermannsburg watercolours.

Guest curator: Una Rey

This project is supported by Arts NSW’s Curatorial Support Initiative grant, a devolved funding program administered by Museums & Galleries of NSW on behalf of the NSW Government. This project is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW.

Community Art Project

Where Newcastle Art Gallery, front lawn entrance and Civic Park
When Selected dates between Tuesday 10 May – Friday 27 May 2016
Bookings essential, call 4974 5112.

This Community Art Project will bring together cross-cultural collaborations with artists, Newcastle Art Gallery staff, and students from around Newcastle and the Hunter region.

This project, developed in response to the exhibition BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE, explores concepts of belonging, identity and place. It aims to teach both young and older artists to broaden their experience of contemporary Indigenous art, local culture and heritage and also to encourage them to visit the Gallery.

The final painted works of art created during the series of workshops will be assembled and placed on display in the Gallery’s SMART SPACE for visitors to experience as part ofBLACK WHITE & RESTIVE

More information about the symposium to be announced closer to the event date.

Exhibition Tours

Every Saturday & Sunday
from 11.00am
Free event. No bookings required, just meet at the Gallery shop.

Take a free guided tour of the BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE exhibition with the Gallery Guides.

Saturday Talks

Join us on the first Saturday of the month for afternoon floor talks at the Newcastle Art Gallery from 2.00pm.
  • Saturday 4 June 2016 Una Rey, curator, introduces the key themes of the exhibition BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE.
  • Saturday 2 July 2016 Sarah Johnson, Newcastle Art Gallery Curator, explores key works of art from the Gallery collection on display in the exhibition BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE.
  • Saturday 6 August 2016 Join local artists, both young and old, as they discuss their experiences of the community art project and provide insight into the collaborative process.

Educators’ Briefing

Tuesday 7 June 2016
5.00pm – 7.00pm
Cost: $5pp, payable at the door
Bookings essential call 02 4974 5112 or email artgallerybookings@ncc.nsw.gov.au

Educators from Foundation to Year 12 (F–12) are invited to explore the exhibition at the Newcastle Art Gallery and discover learning opportunities for their students with BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE curator Una Rey, artist and writer Nicole Chaffey, and Gallery staff. Recommended for early years, primary, secondary, tertiary and pre-service teachers. Certificate of attendance will be supplied.

Celebrating NAIDOC week:

Songlines – The living narrative of our nation
Songlines are the oldest living narrative of our nation, and will be the focus for the 2016 NAIDOC Week celebrations (3–10 July).

Newcastle Art Gallery will be hosting an array of family friendly events on Saturday 9 July 2016 to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Join us from 10.30am – 3.30pm and immerse yourself in BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE works of art, music performances, artist talks and special events. All welcome!

In Conversation

Saturday 9 July 2016
2.00pm – 3.30pm
Free event, bookings required.
Call 02 4974 5100 or email artgallerybookings@ncc.nsw.gov.au

Join artist Nicole Chaffey (Biripi) and BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE exhibition curator Una Rey as they discuss ideas about Aboriginal art and culture and creative exchanges such as collaboration and influence in contemporary art.


Friday 24 June 2016
Adult: $80
Art Gallery Society members: $35
Concession: $70
Child (5-16 years): $35
Family (2 adults + 2 children): $150
Payment required at time of booking call 02 4974 5100

ARIA award-winning didgeridoo player William Barton, David Banney with members of the Christ Church Camerata present, The Journey – an exploration of the art of the didgeridoo and its ever growing repertoire of modern fusion and classical elements.

Collaborative Cuisine

Saturday 23 July 2016
6.00pm – 8.00pm
Standard Cost: $70pp
Cost with wine: $85pp
Limited numbers, bookings essential 02 4974 5100

People think, dream and act according to what they eat and drink. (Marinetti, 1909)

We invite you to partake in an evening that will make you reconsider your preconceptions of Aboriginal art and Australian native foods. Let your culinary concepts be challenged as you move through the Gallery on a journey that is both visually and literally nourishing. Please join Rituals’ Team in an evening to delight the senses with Collaborative Cuisine


Sunday 7 August 2016
Free event, bookings required call 02 4974 5100

Get ready for a final Big Weekend! Join us for guided tours, live painting demonstrations and special events inside the Gallery and outside, on the front lawn entrance.

Guided and Self-Guided Ehibition Visits
Weekdays during school term begins Tuesday 31 May 2016
Free event, bookings essential. Call 02 4974 5112 or email artgallerybookings@ncc.nsw.gov.au

Take a guided session with one of our Guides, or experience the exhibition through independent self–guided group learning. Limited guided sessions available.

ESL & Special Interest Groups

Join one of our Gallery Guides to view the current exhibition and practise speaking English language. Each tour is bespoke, designed to suit the interests of the group.

For more information call 02 4974 5112 or email artgallerybookings@ncc.nsw.gov.au


Every Saturday & Sunday
10.30am – 12.30pm
Suitable for 5–12 years. Parent/ carer supervision required
Free event. No bookings necessary. All materials supplied

The Gallery’s ART CART program has been encouraging Newcastle’s youngest artists for many years, inspiring the creativity of young art lovers every weekend. Drop in and engage in art and craft activities inspired by works of art in the exhibition BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE.

The Longhouse proudly presents ART CART and Smart Space at the Gallery.

Tours for Children

Available Tuesdays to Fridays, from 10.00am
For children 0 – 5 years
Free event, bookings essential call 02 4974 5112 or email artgallerybookings@ncc.nsw.gov.au

Eye Spy tours at Newcastle Art Gallery with a Gallery Guide and groups of five or more children will have you rocking your way into SMART SPACE for an art making activity, followed by an interactive tour with tactile objects.

Connect with us

Stay in touch with what’s happening at the Newcastle Art Gallery by signing up to receive our e-news. Sign up before 31 May to go in the draw to win a BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE prize pack including the exhibition publication and learning resources. nag.org.au/enews

‘Rock Stories’ In SMART SPACE

Daily (except Mondays, SMART SPACE may be in use by booked school groups on weekdays 10.00am – 5.00pm)
Free, no bookings required, all materials included.

SMART SPACE is rocking this winter with an art activity for creative art lovers of all ages! You’re welcome to ‘rock & roll’ in and make your own spectacular marks! BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE features individual stories and everyday events in lives of Australians, as revealed through symbols in their works of art. Tell your own unique story by drawing symbols on rocks. Arrange into a story and add to the rocky floor or take home. It’s time to rock on!

Newcastle Art Gallery

Address: 1 Laman Street, Newcastle NSW 2300
Postal Address: PO Box 489, Newcastle NSW 2300
Telephone +61 2 4974 5100
Facsimile +61 2 4974 5105
Email artgallery@ncc.nsw.gov.au

Sunday, 29 May 2016


Vivid Sydney’s newest precincts at Taronga Zoo and the harbour-side of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney are set to sparkle during this year’s festival.

Lighting up the Zoo for the first time as part of its centenary celebrations, Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo features giant animal multimedia light sculptures of 10 critical species, including the Sumatran Tiger, Sun Bear and towering Asian Elephant.

The giant sculptures are augmented by a supporting cast of creatures, such as the echidna, chameleon, crocodile, cicada and even a funnel-web spider, along with 1700 smaller lanterns made by NSW primary school students.

The Taronga Zoo light sculptures by Ample Projects are among the largest and most technologically advanced lanterns ever featured in Vivid Sydney.

Vivid Sydney is also lighting up the harbour-side section of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney as part of the Garden’s 200th birthday celebrations.

Entry to the Garden of Light is via the Sydney Opera House forecourt through the Queen Elizabeth ll gates, which is being brought to life with 3D-mapped projections, guiding visitors into a wonderland of glowing trees and shimmering bushes.

A central feature of the Garden of Light is the Cathedral of Light, featuring an immense arched tunnel made by thousands of tiny globes.

A selection of fabulous images is available on the Destination NSW website.

Public transport is the way to go

Thousands of extra public transport services will operate during Vivid Sydney with 4500 extra public transport services running in addition to the regular timetable services.

With so many extra services and all precincts close to major public transport hubs, visitors are being encouraged to leave the car at home and use public transport.

This evening’s opening night of Vivid coincides with AFL and Super Rugby matches at the SCG and Allianz Stadium, as well as a concert at the Hordern Pavilion, with large crowds expected in the Moore Park precinct. Additional public transport services are in place to move people around, however the CBD and surrounding Moore Park area will be congested.

Destination NSW has created a new-look Vivid Sydney
smartphone app with information to help festival-goers find their way around the stunning precincts and events, with links to public transport. The free Vivid Sydney app is now available on Google Play and iTunes stores. For more information visit the Vivid Sydney website – www.vividsydney.com.

JAL Renews In-flight Meals In Economy Class On China, Hong Kong And Taiwan Routes

~ Brand New Menus under the Theme of "Hokkaido"~

Japan Airlines (JAL) has been serving fun, surprising and delicious in-flight meals in Premium Economy Class and Economy Class from JAL KITCHEN GALLERY under the meal service concept of "JAL's Exclusive Restaurant in the Sky" and has received positive feedback from many passengers.

From June 1, 2016, meals served in Economy Class aboard flights from Tokyo (Narita and Haneda) and Osaka (Kansai) to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan will be renewed under the theme of "Hokkaido." The same menu will also be served in Economy Class on flights from Nagoya (Chubu) to China and Taiwan routes from September 1, 2016.

JAL signed a comprehensive partnership agreement with Hokkaido in December 2015. The airline has been promoting the "Hokkaido Brand" such as tourism and food to contribute to revitalization of regional industries and economy. As Hokkaido is a very popular tourist destination for Japanese and overseas visitors alike, the airline has decided to serve new in-flight menus developed from popular local dishes and famous Hokkaido sweets on selected international routes.

JAL will continue to embrace the challenge of serving original and delicious meals and providing a wonderful travel experience filled with fun and surprises for our customers.

Applicable Class:

Premium Economy Class and Economy Class

Applicable Routes and Service Commencement Date:

June 1, 2016 ~ Flights from Tokyo (Narita and Haneda) and Osaka (kansai) to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan
September 1, 2016 ~ Flights from Nagoya (Chubu) to China and Taiwan


The first installment is "Two Flavor Curry and Rice" developed by Gotoken, a historic Japanese-style western restaurant in Hakodate, Hokkaido. Gotoken, established in 1879 in Hakodate, has been loved by both Japanese and overseas celebrities. Enjoy the tasty and popular dish of this well-established restaurant aboard JAL flights.


Following "Two Flavour Curry and Rice", we will be serving menus arranged from well-known Hokkaido dishes.