Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Finns Beach Club - Grand Opening

It might have been 3 years in the making but construction at Finns is finally complete and they are ready to party the only way a world class beach club knows how! Join them for their grand opening festivities from midday on Saturday, August 17 when Finns resident DJs start the decks spinning to celebrate the launch of their brand new pools, restaurant and bar facilities with an all-day event set to showcase what Bali’s favourite beachfront destination now has on offer!

Finns are tendering several General Admission ticket options for the opening party with each minimum spend entirely dedicated to F&B credit for guests to make the most of everything Finns from noon until well after sunset. Entry level admissions start from Rp500,000++ but I’d warrant it’ll be worth it to shell out some extra Rupes for VIP Entry at just Rp750,000++ to include all areas access and a glass of champagne at the Rooftop Bar from 3pm. There is also a General Admission offer of just RP100,000++ for Indonesian KTP holders, but tickets are limited so book early to avoid disappointment!

4 pools, 9 bars and 5 restaurants mean ample places to party from midday until midnight! Stay high and dry with a 180 degree view for miles from the new look Rooftop Bar or keep it classy in the adults only VIP lounge. Over 18s can get wet and wild at the VIP pool, lagoon pools and party beds or simply select your preferred booth or daybed via Finns online booking platform.

The action on the dance floor is set to escalate as the sun goes down to sets from International guest DJs and dance music’s most exciting triple threat the Disciples, as well as hits from second highest Beatport artist of all time, Mark Knight and acclaimed Argentinian producer, Offaiah!

Make the most of everything that Bali’s most popular beach club has to offer and celebrate Indonesian Independence Day as well as the Grand Opening of Finns Beach Club. With 170 metres of absolute beachfront to enjoy along with the best of food, drinks, dance and fun, Finns Bali is everything you could ever expect from the world’s best beach club. Book your tickets online today at and be ready to party!

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

New Foodie Experiences in Taasmania

Courtesy Tasmania Wild Seafood Adventures
Over the coming months, Tasmania is set to offer a new range of contemporary food experiences on a large and small scale. Enthusiastic newcomers are forging a fresh path as restaurateurs and producers. New experiences have been created to showcase the high quality of agriculture and aquaculture in Tasmania such as cooking schools and touring products.

Tasmanian Wild Seafood Adventures
As Fresh As It Gets
Tasmanian Wild Seafood Adventures invites you to take a morning or afternoon tour cruising through Tasmania’s idyllic waterways while enjoying the freshest seafood caught right in front of you. The tour departs from the Hobart waterfront and offers five hours of cruising and feasting. You’ll see divers harvest periwinkles and sea urchins from the sea floor through two onboard plasma TVs linked to underwater cameras. You’ll visit a Tasmanian oyster farm to taste them as fresh as they get and enjoy a degustation menu including rock lobster, abalone, and salmon. All followed by a platter of Tasmanian cheese and fudge. The tour takes 12 people on board the luxury catamaran that will keep you dry – no matter the weather. The catamaran has warm indoor seating and covered outdoor seating to keep passengers comfortable. Watch out for towering sea cliffs, colonies of seals, flocks of seabirds, penguins, and dolphins.
Courtesy MasterChef Australia
Ilha Restaurant, Cygnet
Southern Flavours in Cygnet
Former MasterChef contestant Sarah Clare is set to open Ilha, a new South American style restaurant in her hometown of Cygnet. Cygnet is 50 minutes from Hobart in the agriculturally abundant Huon Valley. Ilha is located in the venue that was formerly the School House Coffee Shop and will serve tapas as well as a seasonal a la carte menu. The wine list will feature wine from Tasmania, mainland Australia, and South America. Sarah appeared on Masterchef 2018 and was a popular contestant, finishing in the top ten.

Courtesy Off the Table tours
The Table
Back To The Source

Off The Table tours offer a unique opportunity for food lovers to go behind the scenes of Tasmania’s top producers. Private farms are opening their gates for visitors to pick, taste, and savour the paddock-to-plate Tasmanian food experience. Go truffle hunting, learn how to grow a native kitchen garden or harvest organic forest honey. Experiences include a tour of award-winning Lentara Olive Grove where you can indulge in a tasting tray of olive oils, dukkah, table olives, and olive leaf tea. Take in the 130 varieties of heirloom tomatoes at Tasmanian Natural Garlic & Tomatoes on their official tomato tour. The day includes a six-course tomato tasting, highlighting the diversity of each crop. The Pure Tour Eggspedition is one and a half hours spent exploring Tasmania’s largest free-range egg farm Pure Foods Eggs. Tours range in price from $38 to $65 and are held seasonally across Tassie.

Courtesy Hinton Bay Cooking School
Hinton Bay Kitchen Cooking School and Hinton Bay Vineyard
Paddock To Plate

The Hinton Bay Kitchen Cooking School is at the Hinton Bay Vineyard at Hillwood in the Tamar Valley. The large private kitchen is open for visitors to book a variety of cooking classes. Learn how to make authentic dolmades by picking your own leaves from the Hinton Bay vineyard, or join one of the Italian vegan, Thai or cocktail party food classes. Cooking class times are generally 10 am till 1 pm for short courses and 9 am till 3 pm for a full day. This allows time to devour your dishes in the kitchen’s dining room overlooking the Tamar Valley. Enjoy a drop from the Hinton Bay Vineyard and perfectly match your cooking class menu with the boutique vineyard’s chardonnay or pinot noir. Book your cooking classes as a group of four singles or two couples and stay in the onsite boutique accommodation.
Pulchella Berry Farm
Roadside Delights

Pulchella is a boutique farm in Buckland growing raspberries and seasonal produce. Run by husband and wife team, Adam and Laura-Kate, the property is the perfect spot to stop on the Great Eastern Drive, stretch your legs and taste some of Tassie’s sweet berries. The farm gate stall is bursting with seasonal fruit – raspberries, blueberries, mulberries, apples, pears, peaches, tomatoes and mulberries, along with potatoes, eggs, jam, honey and garlic. Pulchella is open every Saturday and Sunday from 9 am until 5 pm. Take a seat at the picnic table or spread out a rug on the lawn.
Port Cygnet Cannery, Port Cygnet
Food and Farming Hub

The Port Cygnet Cannery is set to open in winter as a hub of food, drink and agricultural business in southern Tasmania. The first stage includes a wood-fired eatery, bar, beer garden and space for events. The Cannery will also house Sailor Seeks Horse, where winemakers Paul and Gilli Lipscombe will produce and sell their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Cannery’s aim is to encourage small farm agriculture and small producers from the region by supporting their people and selling their products.

Austria for Foodies. It's Not Only About Schnitzel and Strudel

Vienna Wine Hiking
Some places are best explored through their local food. – Austria one of them. Here is a guide to the country's best food experiences and delicious inspiration for more or less serious foodies.

Wine Hiking in Vienna's vineyards, Vienna
Vienna and wine are inseparable. Vienna is the only world capital to produce significant quantities of wine within the city limits. 700 hectares of vineyards and 190 vintners leave their mark on the cityscape and its culture of pleasure. White wines are grown in around 80 percent of the vineyards. A specialty among Viennese wines is the so-called “Field Blend” (“Wiener Gemischter Satz”). In a worldwide first, a new law enacted at the start of 2015 stipulated that the capital's vineyards had to be used for winegrowing to prevent valuable growing regions from falling prey to real estate developers – effective heritage listing the city's vineyards. The city's unique vineyards can be explored every year in autumn on the wine hiking day – with lots of opportunities to sample good wines and enjoy the view of the city. The wine landscape can be hiked through on three routes with a total length of 25 kilometres.

More information about the Vienna Wine Hiking Days:

The 9 pathways of the Via Culinaria, SalzburgerLand
The province of Salzburg has the highest concentration of award-winning gourmet restaurants in Austria. This is no coincidence: Salzburg's stock of fresh-water fish and quality meats provides the best ingredients for culinary adventures. To make life easier for curious explorers, the region connects its best restaurants with culinary pathways dubbed the “Via Culinaria.” Nine themed trails are geared towards “Fish Fans, Gourmets, Cheese Lovers, Meat Eaters, and Schnaps Aficionados.” Whether they are sampled at the producer or the farmer, enjoyed at a rustic host as traditional specialties or served at the highest level of gourmet art at the critically acclaimed restaurant - the key ingredients for Via Culinaria are regionality, originality, quality and authenticity.

More information about the Via Culinaria:

Long Table of Graz, Styria
Long Table of Graz, Styria
As a foodie, you'll feel right at home in Graz: You'll find local cuisine using regional and seasonal products at every corner. Events like the week-long Graz Food Festival in August and regular farmers' markets are integral parts of the city, as are exciting restaurants serving up ever new scrumptious creations. One of the highlights is the Long Table of Graz. Every year in August the historic centre of Graz will turn into a giant open-air restaurant with a stunningly laid table and culinary delights. The city's top chefs plan a five-course dinner accompanied by a tasting of regional beers and wines.

More information about the Long Table:

“ice Q”
Exquisite cuisine in the middle of the Alps at “ice Q” in Sölden, Tirol
Enthroned on the summit of the Gaislachkogl is the spectacular “ice Q” gourmet restaurant where parts of the recent James Bond film Spectre were filmed. A glassy gourmet temple surrounded by over 250 superb three-thousand metre mountains. Head chef Klaus Holzer and his team seduce with locally sourced ingredients and artistically arranged haute cuisine paired with the most exceptional wine - the Pino 3000, a melange of the choicest Pinot Noir from one Austrian, one Italian and one German winemaker. The Pino 3000 ripens for three years in barrique caskets in the Ice Q's special wine cellar. The cellar's altitude – higher than 3,000m – gives the wine a particularly fresh and fruity aroma.

More information about the IceQ:

On the Cheese Road's Delicious Trail in Bregenzerwald, Vorarlberg
Locals say the Käse Strasse (Cheese Road) in the gently undulating Bregenzerwald is the perfect combination of natural beauty and unparalleled taste. But it is not a road in the conventional sense - it is a collaborative initiative of cheese experts: 17 valley dairies and 90 alpine farmsteads who let you experience their delicious work in all stages. From sampling up to 60 different hard, soft, sliced and cream cheeses at the Käsehaus in Andelsbuch to trying your own hand at cheese making at dairying school Metzler in Egg and indulging in a hearty cheese platter amidst fragrant herbs and grass at one of the alpine dairy farms.

More information about the Cheese Road:

Barge breakfast on lake Altaussee, Salzkammergut Lake Region
Barges are traditional wooden boats used on the lakes of the Ausseerland in the Salkammergut, one of the most picturesque regions in Austria. Made of larch or spruce tree without a keel, many things have been transported on the characteristic boats: People, produce and salt mined in the surrounding salt mines. Indulge in a hearty breakfast while enjoying the breathtaking views from your private barge and watch the special rowing technique of the rowers to stop the boat from going in circles.

More information about about the barge breakfast:



The 2020 TDU race routes for the Women’s Tour will showcase the world’s elite women’s cyclists and provide the athletes with a chance at making their own luck.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Corey Wingard, applauded the TDU team for pulling together another challenging race - set to deliver a world-class event this January.

“With the State Government commitment of equal prize money for the women and men, we will proudly continue to attract some of the best female cyclists from around the world to SA,” said Minister Wingard.

The 2020 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under will take riders through some of the most picturesque locations in the Adelaide Hills, with huge crowds anticipated as the popularity of the race grows.”

Kimberley Conte, Women’s Tour Race Director, who was tasked with the challenge of designing the course, says the 2020 route can be expected to be both animated and demanding with ‘opportunistic’ being the key word for next year’s event.

“As a general rule, I like to include roads that have historically been part of previous Tour Down Under stages as a ‘nod’ to the history of the event. Equally, I am always looking for new courses, different approaches to towns, sprints, climbs and other elements that can provide a new challenge to the race, and provide riders with the chance to match wits and strengths”.

Kimberley added that she is confident that the route will provide an impressive demonstration of the cyclists’ skills whilst showcasing South Australia. “All three road stages could potentially be won by an opportunistic rider – someone who is willing to attack at the right moment, to turn themselves inside out for the win,” says Kimberley.

“The routes have been designed to provide sprinters, climbers and all-rounders alike the chance to take stage honours. Whether they break away on technical descent into the finish of Stage 1, attack on Christmas Tree Ridge, 8kms from the finish on Stage 2, or take advantage of the twisting, shaded climb up Aldgate Valley Road to stay out of sight of the peloton - there is opportunity for a win”.

In keeping with the theme of focusing on regional community engagement, this year’s route will see several key South Australian regions with Stages featured in Mount Barker District Council, Murray Bridge, Adelaide Hills and surrounds, with first time starts occurring on the main streets of Hahndorf and Nairne (Stages 1 and 3 respectively) with Stage 2 commencing from Murray Bridge for the first time.

A total of 15 teams (including 11 international teams from around the world including Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States) saw a total of 96 riders from 23 different countries participate in the 2019 event.

Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Kevin Gallagher said Santos shares the SATC’s vision to continue to grow the Women’s Tour Down Under, which is now the opening professional women's race on the international cycling calendar.

“It’s not just the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under that’s proving a huge success. From the Matildas to the AFLW, rugby sevens and WBBL, it’s brilliant to see women’s sport going from strength to strength in Australia,” Mr Gallagher said.

“In 2019 we hosted the inaugural Santos Women’s Tour Down Under Breakfast for all the riders and coaches on the Monday after their race, to celebrate their achievements and discuss the opportunities and challenges facing women on the pro-cycling tour.”

The 2020 Santos Tour Down Under will be held 16-26 January 2020 starting with Stage 1 of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under on Thursday 16 January.

The 2019 Santos Tour Down Under attracted a record 48,300 visitors from interstate and overseas who travelled specifically to South Australia for the event, generating an economic impact of $70.7M, creating the equivalent of 837 full time jobs.

2020 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under Race Routes Summary*
Thursday 16 January 2020: Stage 1: Hahndorf to Macclesfield (116.3km)
Friday 17 January 2020: Stage 2: Murray Bridge to Birdwood (114.5 km)
Saturday 18 January 2020: Stage 3: Nairne to Stirling (109.1 km)
Sunday 19 January 2020: Stage 4: Adelaide Flinders Street Circuit (42.5 km)

*Dates subject to final confirmation by the UCI Management Committee

To find out more about the race routes, click here.

Disneyland Resort Celebrates 50 Frightful Years of the Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion
On Aug. 9, 2019, Disneyland Park celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the beloved Haunted Mansion attraction. The mansion overlooking the Rivers of America is home to the most “spirited” attraction in New Orleans Square. A steady stream of “Doom Buggies” carries guests on a tour of the Haunted Mansion, which is inhabited by a lively collection of 999 happy haunts and filled with stunning special effects, haunting show sets and ethereal music.

What’s New: 
The Disney Gallery at Disneyland Park features a new exhibit entitled “Happy Haunts Materialize – The Art of Haunted Mansion.” The exhibit showcases the evolution of an idea. It is the first to display early sketches and sculptures of the Haunted Mansion concept, and it describes how they evolved into the attraction that guests experience today.

Limited Time: 
In August, guests may choose to attend one of the special events, “The Haunted Mansion: Celebrating 50 Years of Retirement Unliving.” These after-hours events at Disneyland are filled with chills, thrills and frightful fun. Guests will unearth commemorative anniversary merchandise items, delight in spirited sips and bites, enjoy special entertainment, character encounters, photo ops, and access to several west-side park attractions.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this classic attraction, here are 50 frightful facts about the Disneyland Resort Haunted Mansion.

  • The idea for a haunted house at Disneyland was included in an early concept design sketch by Harper Goff dating back to 1952, when Disneyland was being conceptualized.
  • The designers of the attraction originally wanted to make the outside of the mansion look scary. Walt Disney, however, wanted to keep the outside looking like a stately mansion, while letting the ghosts take care of the inside.
  • The exterior of the attraction was built in 1962-63. It was unoccupied until 1969 while Walt Disney participated in the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair and his Imagineers were re-tasked to work on those timely projects. The World’s Fair experience made way for some of the technology that’s used in the Haunted Mansion.
  • On August 9, 1969, after more than 15 years of development, the Haunted Mansion opened to the public.
  • Within a week of the Haunted Mansion’s opening, Disneyland celebrated what was then its highest single-day attendance.
  • The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland was the first major Disney attraction created without the direct supervision by Walt Disney. Although Walt reviewed many of the early vignettes, he never saw the completed show concepts.
  • In 1966, New Orleans Square, where the Haunted Mansion is located, became the first new land added to Disneyland since the park opened on July 17, 1955.
  • Originally, the Haunted Mansion was going to be a walk-through attraction where guests were led in small groups by a cast member who would describe scenes that lasted two to three minutes each.
  • In 2016, Marvel Comics debuted the “Haunted Mansion” comic book series.

By The Numbers
  • 999 ghosts haunt the attraction with “room for one more.”
  • 13 candles sit on top of the birthday cake in the Grand Hall in the Haunted Mansion.
  • 3 hitchhiking ghosts are looking for a ride out of the Haunted Mansion: Ezra Beane, Professor Phineas Plump and Gus.
  • 20 tombstone tributes exist both inside and around the exterior of the attraction. The epitaphs on the tombstones are written in honor of Disney Legends and Walt Disney Imagineers who created and maintain the attraction.
  • 7 tombstones are featured in the pet cemetery outside of the attraction.
  • 1 unique exhibit at Disneyland Park, “Happy Haunts Materialize – The Art of Haunted Mansion,” provides an inside look into the story of the Haunted Mansion for a limited time at the Disney Gallery.
  • 3 of the trees located at the Haunted Mansion are: Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), Weeping Mulberry Tree (Morus alba “Chapparal”) and Tolleson’s Blue Weeping Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum).
  • Since 2001, the Haunted Mansion has been transformed each fall into Haunted Mansion Holiday, a tradition celebrated by guests year after year.
  • More than 400 flickering candles create a ghostly glow on the façade of the attraction during Haunted Mansion Holiday.
  • Nearly 7,500 square feet of snow cover the graveyard inside Haunted Mansion Holiday.
  • More than 200 bones are gathered by Jack Skellington’s ghost dog Zero in Haunted Mansion Holiday to use as décor, garland and presents for the seasonal overlay.

Ghosts and Characters of the Mansion
  • The Hatbox Ghost was featured in Haunted Mansion when the attraction first opened. Then, he mysteriously vanished, only to reappear in 2015 in time for the 60th anniversary of Disneyland.
  • Constance is the far-from-blushing bride who is bedecked in pearls and heavily armed. Constance can be found in the attic as well as featured in the portrait chamber atop her husband’s tombstone.
  • Madame Leota floats in the dead center of the room, calling out for “serpents and spiders, tail of a rat,” during her séance to bring about the happy haunts.
  • Sarah “Sally” Slater, a delicate young girl, can be found inside the portrait chamber balanced on a tightrope, as if from a circus.
  • Alexander Nitrokoff is a distinguished looking man but, as his portrait stretches in the Portrait Chamber, he is shown to be wearing nothing but striped under shorts and socks from the waist down. He is standing on a barrel of dynamite, and a candle lights the fuse.
  • Victor Geist, the quirky German-born organist, plays the Haunted Mansion’s signature tune in the ballroom to everyone’s ghostly delight.
  • Pickwick, the spirit from the era of Dickens, is found swinging from the chandelier in the Haunted Mansion’s ballroom.
  • The Phantom Five, the singing bust quintet, is made up of Rolo Rumkin, Uncle Theodore, Cousin Algernon, Ned Nub, and Phineas Pock.
  • The Ghost Host, one of the 999 happy haunts who call the Haunted Mansion home, welcomes the “foolish mortals” into the attraction.
  • Each year, Jack Skellington gives the Haunted Mansion a holiday makeover, complete with jack-o-lanterns and wreaths, a real gingerbread house and kooky characters from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
  • Jack Skellington’s ghost dog Zero makes a surprise appearance among the spooky, transforming portraits in the gallery corridor when the attraction transforms into Haunted Mansion Holiday.

Behind The Scenes

  • The Haunted Mansion is the only attraction that is featured in four different lands in four different parks. This includes the Phantom Manor attraction at Disneyland Paris.
  • The pipe organ seen in the ballroom sequence was featured as Captain Nemo’s pipe organ in the Disney film classic, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.
  • During Haunted Mansion Holiday, the haunting scent of tasty gingerbread wafts throughout the Grand Hall, tempting Happy Haunts and guests alike. Every year, a new ghoulish concept for a gingerbread house is created for the celebration scene in the Mansion’s Grand Hall.
  • The pet cemetery that features humorous epitaphs was added in front of the Haunted Mansion in the mid-1990s.
  • In spring 2005, the séance scene was updated to include the crystal ball floating overhead.
  • In 2005, the Walt Disney Imagineers were able to sync the changes in the portraits along the portrait hall to the lightning strikes.
  • In spring 2006, Imagineers enhanced the attic scene, replacing the translucent, static bride with a ghostly dimensional bride.
  • Portraits of Constance feature each of her former husbands in the attic, and the heads of the grooms magically disappear. As the ghostly bride recites her vows and marriage phrases, an axe appears in her hands, then disappears again.
  • Several Disney Legends contributed to the attraction including Marc Davis, Claude Coats, Rolly Crump, Yale Gracey, X Atencio and Leota Toombs.
  • The title of the spell that appears in the book in Séance Circle is taken from the Disney film, “Blackbeard’s Ghost”. The large book of incantations is entitled Necronomicon—Book of the Dead and is opened to pages 1312 and 1313.
  • The final exterior concept for the house is heavily influenced by the Victorian-era Shipley-Lydecker House in Baltimore, Maryland.

Voices and Faces of the Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion
  • Paul Frees is the voice of the Ghost Host and is known for also being the voice of Professor Ludwig Von Drake.
  • Eleanor Audley is the voice of Madame Leota. She was also the voice of Lady Tremaine in Cinderella (1950) and Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty (1959).
  • Leota Toombs, a former Walt Disney Imagineer and Disney Legend, is the original face of Madame Leota.
  • The holiday version of Madame Leota uses the face of Kim Irvine, an Imagineer and daughter of Leota Toombs, the original Madame Leota.
  • The lyrics of the Haunted Mansion theme song “Grim Grinning Ghosts (The Screaming Song)” were written by Disney Legend X Atencio.
  • Disney Legend Buddy Baker created the music for the Haunted Mansion theme song.
  • Thurl Ravenscroft is the voice of “Uncle Theodore” who leads the Phantom Five quintet of headstones. His voice can also be heard at Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room as the voice of Tangoroa.
  • The Mellomen is the real-life singing group who voices the Phantom Five singing busts.


Cricket’s T20 World Cup will put families closer to the action next year, with the Men’s tournament ticket prices released this week

Minister for Sport John Sidoti said children’s tickets for all of Sydney’s Men’s Super 12 matches are just $5 each. A family of two adults and two children can attend any Women’s match for just $50.

“It’s great to see that ticket prices for both the women’s and men’s competitions are family-friendly. With ticket prices this competitive, I am sure we’ll see packed stadiums,” Mr Sidoti said.

“After watching the recent One Day World Cup in England from afar, I can’t wait to have the world’s best cricketers in our own backyard next year. Kids will be cheering on their heroes and being inspired to become the next generation of superstars.”

NSW will host the Women’s opening match between Australia and India plus three double-headers including both semi-finals, providing plenty of opportunities for families to watch cricket’s best in action. Six Men’s games and a semi-final will be played in NSW later in the year.

Women’s tickets are on sale now and fans are encouraged to register for early access to Men’s tickets before they go on public sale in October. Travel and tour packages are now on sale.

Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said almost 40,000 interstate and international visitors are expected to travel to NSW for the 14 matches hosted in Sydney, generating an estimated $46 million in visitor expenditure.

“Major events like the T20 World Cup play a crucial role in helping to drive more visitors to NSW, which ultimately help the NSW Government work towards its goal of tripling overnight visitor expenditure by 2030,” Mr Ayres said.

“We know that tourism is one of the biggest drivers for the NSW economy and coupled with world-class events, such as the T20 World Cup, it’s no wonder why we continue to dominate as Australia’s number one tourism state.”

The Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 will be held from 21 February – 8 March 2020 with matches at the SCG and Sydney Showground. The Men’s T20 World Cup will be held from 18 October – 15 November 2020 with all the NSW action at the SCG.


Purchase two Voodoo products from Myer for your chance to WIN a VIP EXPERIENCE to CHICAGO! 

The prize includes:
  • A VIP experience of a meet and greet with the cast and back stage tour after the show
  • 1 night's accommodation at either Rydges World Square in Sydney, Rydges South Bank Brisbane or Sofitel Melbourne On Collins, including breakfast and WiFi
  • A $500 Voodoo prize pack
  • 2 x 'Premium' tickets to Chicago in either Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne
  • A program signed by the cast
  • A contribution of up to $500 for airfaresPlus, there are 90 x runner up prizes on offer of 2 x A Reserve tickets to Chicago!


Photo: Backpack With Brock
During four months this year, the number of tourist arrivals in Mandalay region reached over 240,000. The Chinese tourist arrivals have increased by over 70 per cent and there are more direct flight schedules between Myanmar and China.

Last year, the inflow of Chinese tourists into Mandalay increased significantly thanks to the relaxation of some rules and regulations in the local tourism sector. During four months this year, the number of tourist arrivals hit 241,499, according to the Department of Hotels and Tourism.

“In the past, the number of Thai tourist arrivals was high. The number of direct flight schedules from Mandalay to China has increased from four to 16. The department is trying to solve difficulties as quickly as possible and will coordinate with those in the tourism sector,” said San Yu, assistant director of Department of Hotels and Tourism (Upper Myanmar).

Read the full article at Eleven Myanmar:

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism
Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road, National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853

The District Docklands

The District Docklands
The District Docklands is the experiential heart of Docklands, primed to become Melbourne’s leading lifestyle destination. Revitalising Docklands with all your favourite fashion labels, now open popular Australian and international retail brands, including H&M, Cotton On, General Pants Co., Canterbury, Bonds, Sunglass Hut, Miniso and more.

Now open, a new state-of-the-art entertainment precinct with HOYTS, alongside first-to-Melbourne Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq and vibrant dining.

All through the day from morning until late, it is the place to experience different.
440 Docklands Drive, Docklands, Victoria, 3008
Content: The District Docklands

Pre-register as a trade visitor today for ITE HCMC 2019

ITE HCMC 2019 is the biggest gathering of the international travel trade in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam,

It is a one-stop business networking and sourcing hub for the tourism and travel trade industry professionals!

Join us on 5 – 7 September 2019 for the 15th anniversary of ITE HCMC 2019, the largest and most established international travel event in Ho Chi Minh City!

Pre-register as a trade visitor today!

ITE HCMC 2019 will feature an extensive showcase of travel & tourism products and services ranging from accommodation, Destination Management Companies (DMC), heritage places, hotels, museums, National Tourism Organizations (NTOs), resorts, tourist attractions and travel agencies just to name a few. Pre-register as a trade visitor today and be part of this wonderful experience at ITE HCMC 2019.

Pre-register now to reduce the waiting time during the event day itself! Express check-in services for pre-registered visitors. Pre-register now to beat the queue!

05 - 07 SEPTEMBER 2019
Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Experiencing traditional weaving in Culture-Tourism Village

Visitors will have a chance to explore and understand more about Vietnam’s traditional weaving at the Viet Nam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in the Dong Mo tourism area, Ha Noi’s Son Tay town, from July 1 to 31.

With the theme ‘Summer Taste’, the programme features the participation of nearly 100 people belong to 13 ethnic groups, such as Tay, Dao, Mong, Thai, Muong, Kho Mu, Ta Oi, Co Tu, Ba Na, Xo Dang, RagLai, E De, Khmer from 12 localities.

A string of activities will be organised during this month to entertain children. Children will have an opportunity to enjoy performances and exhibitions of traditional musical instruments and even how to play them. They can also take part in folk games of ethnic minorities and contests involving writing, drawing and other activities.

In addition, visitors, especially small groups of tourists, will experience traditional brocade weaving by the Thai, Muong and Kho Mu ethnic groups; Mong people; Zeng weaving of the Ta Oi ethnic group, which were recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; the weaving of the Ede and Ba Na ethnic groups.
Source: Nhan dan online


The Freak Show Festival of Motorcycles, to be staged in the NSW town of Walcha from November 15-17, is shaping up to be a major event on the motorcycling calendar.

Attendees will be treated to a feast of motorcycling thrills: a flat track, a dirt hill climb, custom motorcycles, the Globe of Death, wheelies, stoppies and burnouts, a ride-in cinema playing motorcycle-themed movies, live music, great food and much more!

Climb onto a motorcycle, any motorcycle, and the seriousness of life melts away.

Doesn't matter if riding for you is about a sweeping mountain road, a blast along a bush trail, sliding around a dirt oval, or chugging down to the shops for a loaf of bread. No matter how you take your motorcycle, it just plain delivers that sense of Feel Good like no other.

The people organising this Festival aim to celebrate that motorcycle zing, and pack as many jolts of it as possible into a long weekend.

Hence the flat track, the hill climb, the customs, the ride-in cinema showing motorcycle classics, the Globe of Death, the motorcycle trade show and so forth.

So just embrace it. This is about grass roots. Ride to the Festival and you park for free. Go for a spin around the flat track. Think your motorcycle has got something special, let’s all have a look at it. Enter in the customs, no charge. It’s a People’s Choice contest. You might win and be showered with praise and cash.

Tickets are selling fast – so hit the throttle and lock in your spot here.

First Direct Air Route Links Eastern Chinese City With The Philippines

Photo Credit: HeFei University of Technology
A direct air route was launched late Thursday between Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province, and Kalibo, the main gateway to central Philippine's famous resort island Boracay, according to Anhui Civil Aviation Airport Group.

This is the first air route that connects Hefei with the Philippines.

Operated by the Pan Pacific Airlines using a 179-seat Airbus A320 aircraft, the route is scheduled to depart Hefei at 8:20 p.m. Beijing time every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and arrives in Kalibo the next day at 00:20 a.m. local time. The inbound flight leaves Kalibo at 3:20 p.m. Beijing time and arrives in Hefei at 7:20 p.m.

The Chinese mainland is the largest source of visitors to Boracay Island, which is off Aklan Province in the central Philippines and known for beaches with unsullied fine talcum powder-sand, sapphire seas and spectacular sunsets.

A total of 218,161 Chinese tourists from the Chinese mainland flocked to Boracay during the first five months of 2019, up 46 percent from a year ago, according to data from the Malay Municipal Tourism Office.

Source: CNTO (China National Tourism Administration)

Dreamworld's Multi-Million Dollar Transformation Signals New Era for Australia's Biggest Theme Park

The Southern Hemisphere's first ever flying theatre has taken flight at Dreamworld signalling an exciting new direction for the theme park, with a $50-million investment announced, which will include brand new world-class attractions.

Dreamworld CEO, John Osborne said the $20-million Sky Voyager was the first of several significant investments into the park.

The next major investment is a rollercoaster which is expected to cost over $30-million and is designed and built by one of the world's most reputable rollercoaster manufacturers, MACK Rides.

The thrill of this ultimate 1.2km roller coaster includes multiple inversions, reaching hair-raising speeds of 105km/h, and the ride itself has broad market appeal as the winner of multiple industry awards, regularly featuring as one of the best ranked coaster experiences in the world.

The design is based on the highly successful MACK Blue Fire Launch coaster, which operates in 14 locations around the world including Europa Park, Disney Hollywood Studio's and Cedar Fair Carowinds.

Dreamworld's newest adrenalin-fuelled ride, which has yet to be named, will be a unique experience unlike any other in the world. The addition of the Southern Hemisphere's first triple launch system will include a stall and reversed twisted half pipe, and for those braver riders, Dreamworld will also be introducing the world's first separate spinning gondola attached to the rear of the rollercoaster train.

“It is a great honour for the Mack family and everybody from Mack Rides to partner with Dreamworld Australia on this project. The product we deliver will bring a famous coaster to Australia and we all are looking forward to opening this great attraction,” said Christian von Elverfeldt, CEO Mack Rides.

As part of a $7-million investment into WhiteWater World a new waterslide complex featuring six new body slides, five unique 'splashtacular' experiences and multi-coloured natural light effects will be included. The new, yet to be named slides have been created by Swimplex-Polin Australia.

“Body slides are the purest form of waterslide you will experience - it's just you, the water, and a big splash at the bottom,” said Daniel Leaver from Swimplex.

“We are pleased to be working with WhiteWater World to introduce these exhilarating waterslide experiences.”

Other work will include a major multi-million dollar wiggly-wonderful and completely hootastic refurbishment of ABC KIDS World, home to The Wiggles, Bananas in Pyjamas, Hoot and Hootabelle and Play School.

In a business where success is measured by the smiles on guests' faces, Dreamworld's new leadership team has been paying close attention to improving our customers experience.

Consistent with this objective the overall investment will include a state of the art customer-centric ticketing system for Dreamworld, WhiteWater World and SkyPoint to create a more seamless journey for all our guests and a number of improvements to the general amenity of the park including upgraded Food and Beverage facilities, additional events and entertainment areas and an improved entry experience.

“Investment into new rides, attractions and technologies to improve customer experience is key for Dreamworld's future direction. Today's announcements, along with the opening of Sky Voyager is a fantastic start to our transformation of the park,” Mr Osborne said.

“This $70-million total investment including Sky Voyager heralds an important time of transition for Dreamworld and provides us with an opportunity to provide our guests new experiences never seen before in Australia.”

From today, guests will take off and enjoy the spectacular Australian scenery on the world-class flying theatre, Sky Voyager, complete with modern state-of-the-art technology, motion-programmed seating with live action and special sensory effects such as wind, sound, light, mist and scents.

“Sky Voyager will be the 33rd i-Ride flying theatre built by Brogent Technologies to launch globally, with 14 current locations, including Europa Park, Europe's most awarded theme park, Legoland Florida, Mall of America in Minnesota and Warner Bros. World, Abu Dhabi, the world's first indoor theme park, ” said Mr Osborne.

“These locations hosted over 13 million visitors last year, so there is no doubt this world-class experience will continue to take the world by storm,” he added.

Visit to get your Annual Pass now and be one of the first to experience Sky Voyager. Annual Passes can be purchased using Afterpay.

Domestic Visitor Growth Continues to Drive Fraser Coast

Overnight visitation to the region grew to 867,000 in the year to March 2019, up 1% on the previous year and strongly positive on the three-year trend.

Domestic visitation remained our strongest segment, which in the year to March reached 739,000 which was up 7% on the previous year and 3% positive to the three-year average.

The total overnight visitor spend of $432.7m in the year to March was down slightly on the prior year but also well above the average of the previous three years (graph above).

The bulk of this spend was the $388.4m contributed by overnight domestic visitors. While this was down year-on-year from the record high of 2018, the year to March 2019 figure was still 12% above the three-year average.

FCTE general manager Martin Simons said the most pleasing aspect about the visitor numbers in the year to March was that the double-digit growth achieved in 2018 held firm, with a slight increase in total visitors.

Growth in the number of domestic holidaymakers, which was up more than 6%, helped maintain visitor spend, but conversely a resurgence in the visiting friends and relatives' segment (VFR), which grew 5% to 254,000, had impacted spend because of the lower benefit to the accommodation and restaurant sectors from visitors staying with family.

The Fraser Coast has enjoyed a period of high growth over the past two years and although the growth had slowed in the current reporting period, the region's tourism position remained strongly positive.

Including day trippers, total visitation to the Fraser Coast was 1.74 million in the year to March, with total direct visitor spend in the region estimated at $510.8m.

Intrastate visitation from south-east Queensland remained the strongest domestic visitor segment, which was up 9% on the trend, driven by Brisbane visitation which was up strongly.

Interstate visitation fell 1.3%, but while this included the period when the By the C concert had been held, it was before the current marketing activity targeting Sydney.

On the back of VFR segment improvement, the average length of stay for domestic visitors to the Fraser Coast dropped slightly and the change in the mix also impacted spend per visitor, which was $525. On the positive side, holidaymakers spent on average 4.9 nights in the region, which was up 5.5% on the three-year average.

International visitation continued its recent slow-down and although positive 1% in comparison to the three-year trend, total international visitation of 128,000 was down on an annual basis. Growth in the North American market of 3% had been unable to offset similar declines in both the United Kingdom and Germany markets.


There Is Always a Place to Enjoy With Amazing Characters in Universal Studios Japan. Here Is a Glimpse of Them

Universal Studios Japan always provides a variety of entertainment and amazing places and events to the guests. From the classic attractions to newly produced events, Universal Studios Japan gives you a glimpse of them about how you will be able to enjoy there through a year.

The World's Greatest Minion Mayhem Experience
The world's largest Minion Park is home to shops and a food cart staffed by unpredictable and hilarious Minions, offering a constant succession of street shows. At Minion Park, the world's largest Minion-themed theme park, guests encounter a plethora of Minion Mayhem happenings just by strolling on the street. They burst into unconscious laughter when they find traces of the Minions' failures or mischiefs anywhere in the area.

Minion Park is divided into three areas. The EAST SIDE comprises a confectionary factory converted from a warehouse and a downtown area where the Minions' favourite boutiques stand side by side. The WEST SIDE is a Minion Mayhem shopping zone created by Minions endowed with incredible abilities. The Minion Mayhem Ride which is also the supervillain Gru's home/laboratory, is situated at the back with two other attractions located on either side.

Now is the time to join the 5th anniversary of Universal Cool Japan and the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. Don't miss this.

This event has fascinated visitors this Summer right now. Please don't miss this adventure in Universal Studios Japan. Universal Cool Japan is the huge event that brings to life the worlds of Japanese entertainment brands that have taken the globe by storm. This year, it's bigger and bigger than ever.

As one of the fantastic experience of this event, there is a new, original story where you join the Sailor Guardians and face off against the enemy. You can combine your strength with the heroic Sailor Guardians and help power-up Super Sailor Moon. With new 3D visuals and a beautiful environment, the legendary transformation scene has been made into an even more immersive miracle that will leave your heart soaring. You will be sucked right into the world you know and love.

It is held in the same theater as Godzilla vs. Evangelion: The Real 4-D in the morning from 31st May to 25th August 2019, please be sure to check the Show schedule for times.

The Halloween Season in Universal Studios Japan is coming soon.
Last year, Universal Studios Japan added exciting new experiences to the park's classic “Universal Surprise Halloween” event, with upgraded entertainment and new shows that redefined the celebration. Since 2002, the park has hosted events that celebrate and symbolize the growing popularity of Halloween festivities and costuming in Japan. Universal Studios Japan is going to open the Seasonal Halloween event this year again and it starts from 6th September to 4th November 2019.

About Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan located in Osaka, Japan, has been chosen as No.1 Amusement Parks in Japan by The TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice 2018 for the second consecutive year. 

"Bringing You the Best of the World" - a theme park where its guests can have the world's best experiences and create the world's best memories, Universal Studios Japan offers world-class entertainment such as authentic attractions and shows, based not only on Hollywood blockbusters but also popular entertainment brands, and a variety of seasonal events entertaining its guests to the fullest.

Universal Studios Japan has continued to evolve since its opening and has recently accelerated its growth with the launch of world-class entertainment experiences such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Flying Dinosaur, Minion Park and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Ride. Universal Studios Japan recently broke ground on Super Nintendo World – what will become a Nintendo-themed, expansive entertainment areas featuring Nintendo's legendary worlds and characters.

For further information, please visit Universal Studios Japan official website:

Monster – A Brave and Bold Evolution

Monster Kitchen
Monster Kitchen and Bar's next move is a bold and confident approach to Canberra's dining scene, showcasing a menu that marries two cultures, classic French brasserie style, with Japanese rooted flavours, whilst keeping the old Monster favourites.

Alongside the Monster Kitchen Team and Executive Chef Daniel Flatt, Creative Culinary Partner Ian Curley (French Saloon, VIC) will highlight Monster's sincere, seasonal and ever-evolving approach to food, with a strong focus on the two culture's ingredients, and the cooking techniques across their traditions.

Curley says, “I love the simplicity, and clean and subtle flavours of Japanese cooking, along with the traditional French flavours, presented simply with great technique.”

“The French and the Japanese are proud in nature, precise in method, artful in presentation and known for flavours that have whet the appetite of the entire world. Essentially French and Japanese cuisines are strikingly similar as they both focus on the quality of the ingredients first and foremost and also the technique to make the dish look good and be palatable”.

“This new menu does not borrow from both cuisines. Instead a new perspective has been taken, one rooted in attribution and education to both the Japanese and the French. At Monster we will marry both cuisines together but not in a confused way. They will both work together side by side, as it should be.”

Monster thrives off working with wholesome produce, presenting it simply, and allowing the great quality to speak for itself. Leaning on some local suppliers such as Moonlight Flat Oysters from the Clyde River as a provedore of the best South Coast produce and because their oysters are sustainably farmed. Boxgum Grazing is to thank for the iconic beef tartare; Lost River supply the lamb ribs, and Monster makes all their own honey.

Menu highlights include Ōra King Salmon with Yarra Valley caviar, a classic made duck liver parfait, and Comte Gougeres, a choux puff filled with rich cheese. Red meat cuts include a Tajima Wagyu Porterhouse, as well as a Flat Iron Black Angus, served with bone marrow butter and panko frites. Mashed potato is as silky as Japanese tofu, not to mention French frites cooked to perfection.

Desserts include Eton mess, with a Japanese twist, as well as yuzu curd, and a matcha meringue and sancho strawberries, finished off with a Nikka whisky ice cream.

The Bar's next move brings Japanese Ginza style beverages to the Capital. Monster's shining a spotlight on their Japanese whisky collection, one to soon to be rivalled by many as Canberra's the largest, and a commitment to showcase local wines in a new light.

“Every month the entire team will venture to a local winery where they will be immersed in wine,” Ovolo Group Curator of Wine, Shun Eto says. “Here they will pick grapes, taste wine and deep dive into the vineyards history and processes which they can then share with our guests.”

This strategy aims to hero each winery individually, but also promotes the entire local wine industry.

Local estates will be featured with Monster pouring three of their wines throughout the month, followed by a vineyard take over event, where five wines will be showcased in the company of the winemaker accompanied by great food.”

A menu to keep guests on their toes, bar staff you can trust to guide you through the night with exquisite yet affordably great tastes, and the artisanal ambience created by the disruption of such a bold step forward all come together for a memorable dining experience in the nation's capital – for all the right reasons.


Thai destinations, hotels and resorts perform impressively in ‘The World’s Best Awards 2019’

Four Season Resort Chiang Mai
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is delighted to announce that in Travel + Leisure magazine’s The World’s Best Awards 2019, Thailand has performed impressively well with its destinations, hotels and resorts winning numerous spots on multiple Top 10 and Top 15 lists.

Most notable was Thailand’s domination of the ‘Top 15 Southeast Asia Resort Hotels’ category, with 10 places going to Thai properties. These were Six Senses Yao Noi in Phang Nga Bay ranked 2nd, Anantara Hua Hin Resort in 3rd place, Chiang Rai’s Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort ranked 4th, Six Senses Samui as 5th, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai in 8th place, Anantara Chiang Mai Resort as 9th, Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui ranked 10th, Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas in 13th place, Anantara Phuket Layan Resort & Spa as 14th and JW Phuket Resort & Spa ranked 15th.

In ‘The Top 15 Cities in the World’ category Chiang Mai was named in 3rd place and Bangkok in 15th, while in ‘The Top 10 Cities in Asia’ Chiang Mai took 2nd place and Bangkok 7th.

For the Thai capital, Bangkok, it was the 10th consecutive year of being voted onto ‘The Top 10 Cities in Asia’ list and as such it was named a WBA Hall of Fame honouree.

Ko Lanta earned itself 9th place in ‘The 15 Best Islands in the World’ and 5th place in ‘The Top 10 Islands in Asia’ followed by Ko Samui in 8th place.

In ‘The Top 100 Hotels in the World, 14th place went to Six Senses Yao Noi, 47th place went to Anantara Hua Hin Resort, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort was placed 52nd, Six Senses Samui was placed 71st, and 90th place went to Lebua at State Tower in Bangkok.

Six Senses Yao Noi
Lebua at State Tower also featured on the list of ‘The 10 Best City Hotels in Asia’, where it was voted into 5th spot.

In ‘The Top 15 Resort Hotels in Asia’, Six Senses Yao Noi was named in 4th place, Anantara Hua Hin Resort in 9th place and Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in 11th place.

The World’s Best Awards are based on an annual reader survey, in which Travel + Leisure readers vote in airline, airport, destination, hotel, cruise and other categories.

Experience-Driven Moxy Hotels Set to Expand Australian Footprint With Signing of 150-Room Hotel in Perth

Moxy Hotels, Marriott International's playful, experiential hotel brand is set to expand its footprint in Australia, with the signing of its second hotel, Moxy Perth, scheduled to open in December 2021.

Owned by 195 Hay Street Pty Ltd as trustee for 195 Hay Street Unit Trust, a consortium of local West Australian business people, the standalone new build hotel is anticipated to commence construction in October, 2019. Upon opening, the 150-room Moxy Perth will redefine Perth's hospitality scene and offer a new experience for socially extroverted, curious and energectic global travellers to the vibrant waterfront city.

“Moxy's global footprint has surged to 44 distinctive hotels, with another 100 in the pipeline and we are thrilled to be extending the brand further in Australia,” said Richard Crawford, Senior Director Development, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, Marriott International. “Moxy Perth will be an exciting addition to Perth's accommodation landscape, taking Marriott International's presence in Perth to beyond 1,200 hotel rooms when it joins The Westin Perth, Four Points by Sheraton Perth, Aloft Perth and The Ritz-Carlton, Perth, which is set to open later in 2019.”

Moxy Perth will be located at 195 Hay Street, within walking distance of the buzzing bars and restaurants of the city's CBD and nearby to attractions like the WACA Ground, Swan River and Herrison Island. Each of its 150 guestrooms will feature minimalist yet multifinctional design, for guests to feel at home. Moxy Perth will also feature several of the Moxy brand's cheeky lifestyle touches: the Moxy Bar, where guests can check in over a fresh cocktail or socialise late into the night; Moxy Pickups, Moxy's 24/7 self-service grab-and-go concept serving everything from cereal to noodles, soups and wraps; the Moxy Living Room, a communal space for guests and locals to socialise with their friends and meet new ones; plus a fully equipped fitness centre for guests to keep active. Plug in points and furiously fast and free WiFi will also be available throughout the hotel.

“Moxy is an adventurous, fun and bold response to the desires of today's travellers, who are seeking out out a lifestyle and experience, rather than just a hotel room,” said Sean Hunt, Area Vice President, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Marriott International. “This is the second Moxy hotel signed in Australia in 2019 alone, showing the need for lifestyle hotels in the market. Moxy Perth will be a vibrant addition to the city of Perth, which, with its waterfront location and thriving calendar of events continues to attract urban travellers from across Australia and the world.”

Moxy Perth is the second signing in Australia for the Moxy brand this year, following the January 2019 announcement of Moxy Melbourne South Yarra, a 180-room new-build hotel slated to open in July 2021. It joins a global portfolio of Moxy brand hotels throughout Europe, North America and Asia. The brand, which is designed for the next generation of traveller, reimagines the traditional hotel experience, allowing guests to play, work and connect at an affordable price point, in the liveliest cities around the world. With the heart of a boutique hotel and a thirst for adventure, the Moxy experience is designed to give guests everything they want and nothing they don't.

For more information, visit or follow on Instagram and watch on YouTube.

Dive! Tutukaka celebrates 20 years on the waters

Dive! Tutukaka
New Zealand's largest dive charter operator, Dive! Tutukaka has celebrated 20 years of taking visitors into the world-renowned dive destination of Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve.

The Poor Knights Islands, a group of small islands just off New Zealand’s north-eastern coast near Whangarei, offer some of the best sub-tropical diving in the world. Operating in this precious environment, Dive! Tutukaka has racked up multiple national and international awards for its professional and leisure marine experiences.

Based on the pretty Tutukaka coast - three hours by road north of Auckland - Dive! Tutukaka was recently named as a finalist in the inaugural Qualmark 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Awards which recognises excellence in sustainable visitor experiences.

Since launching in 1999, the company has taken over 200,000 people to the marine sanctuary and certified over 5000 new divers in its PADI dive centre.

The business, which employs 60-plus staff over the summer high season, has a strong focus on sustainability and the marine environment, and has been a leading force innovating and changing the face of the New Zealand dive industry.

Owner Jeroen Jongejans says the full Marine Reserve status of the Poor Knights Islands is the foundation of the business and with that comes a belief in making a difference to the environment in which it exists.

“Our challenge has been to match this world class destination with world class service, and, I think we have managed that rather well over the last two decades,” Jongejans said.

The business takes to heart four New Zealand values: whanaungatanga, kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga and kotahitanga. These Māori concepts mean shared experiences and connections, guardianship, hospitality and warm welcome, and collaboration.

Dive! Tutukaka’s base, in the small coastal village of Tutukaka, is the gateway to the Poor Knights. It includes a swish new visitor centre, recently opened by New Zealand’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Kelvin Davis, a 4.5-star boutique lodge (Lodge9), a function and training centre (Shed7).

The fleet includes six vessels with an electric boat currently being trialled. The tour offering includes the Perfect Day - a popular boat tour dedicated to snorkelers.

The Poor Knights Islands also recently celebrated its 20th year as a full marine reserve, restricted fishing was allowed from 1981 until becoming a total no-take zone in 1998.
About the Poor Knights Islands

The Poor Knights Islands, a group of small islands just off the coast of Whangarei, offer some of the best sub-tropical diving in the world.

Set 23 kilometres off the golden sands of the Tutukaka Coast, the Poor Knights are an international diving icon, described by Jacques Cousteau as the best dive spot in subtropical temperate waters.

Uninhabited since the 1820s, the islands are a marine reserve. Crystal clear waters offer divers the chance to view a variety of unusual and unique wildlife and experience the beauty of this untouched, underwater world. Dive! Tutukaka offers dive lessons and tours all year round where all equipment is provided.

Travel Tips
If you're heading to Tutukaka, it's a 3-hour scenic drive north from Auckland. Tutukaka, the service port for the Poor Knights, is 30km northeast of Whangarei. New Zealand’s largest fleet of dive charter boats operate out of Tutukaka to the 50 dive sites around the islands.

Dive! Tutukaka is at 3-5 Rona Place, Tutukaka 0173.

*source Tourism New Zealand.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

A World Of Well Being

With so much to see and do it is more important than ever these days to give “me-time” to your travellers and to connect them with nature.

Both Barcelona and Kiev suggest starting the day with yoga. Spain’s way is paddle surfing before taking to the beach for a private class (rounded off with a healthy brunch, Barca style. The Ukraine goes one better may be, by taking the yoga onto the water. Practice yoga on surf boards on the river Dnieper (before having a tranquil lunch in the restaurant overlooking your gym with a difference.)

Add a spiritual dimension to yoga in Rishikesh with the Aarti Ceremony on the river Ganges. The evening prayer ceremony is a moving experience, as thousands of oil lamps float by on the river accompanied to the sounds of hundreds of temple bells. A moment to remember.

For some, real relaxing is all in a bathe. That is why Zurich’s thermal baths or Irish-Roman experience in the fresh thermal water of the “Aqui” spring is such a popular choice. That and the fact that the spa is on the roof to look out across the city. Istanbul’s refreshing of the soul is all in a Hammam, the great Turkish bath. An emotional and physical detox, in this most traditional of meditation.

There are the beaches and catamaran cruises of Costa Rica and Cuba to wind down with, or the clear blue waters of the Santa Maria Bay in Malta, swimming in and out of natural pools and caves.

If a balance with our environment and nature is needed, then a tour of Stockholm’s green urban are Hammarby Sjostad connects the visitor with ecological living and environmentally sensitive construction – a sight into how a city could be sustainable for our futures.

malMaybe though the perfect marriage of relaxing, zen, well-being and nature is seen on the banks of the river in Kuala Selangor after dark – as thousands of fireflies turn the end of a day into a night of magical light…

However you want to find peace and calm, we have plenty of ideas in our #euromictags series.
  • AARTI CEREMONY - Rishikesh
  • GREEN CITY - Stockholm


CONTACT euromic
Huw Tuckett, Executive Director
12 Rue du Helder, 75009 Paris, France
Phone: +44 744 382 6607E-mail:

Visitors invited to share their travels and help shape future planning

Spirit of Tasmania
Visitors arriving at Tasmania’s four main airports and on the Spirits of Tasmania will be invited to download a mobile phone app which will provide Tourism Tasmania with important insights about their travel patterns while travelling in the state.

Tourism Tasmania is partnering with local company, Tourism Research Technology, to invite visitors to download the Tasmanian Visitor Research app. Tourism Research Technology is part of Ionata Digital, the company that partnered with the University of Tasmania to pioneer the Tourist Tracer visitor tracker.

A better understanding of the travel patterns of our visitors is important to inform government and industry planning for future product and infrastructure development. It also helps inform Tourism Tasmania’s marketing efforts to encourage visitors to disperse more widely across the state and invest in our local communities.

Tourism Tasmania currently seeks information through the Tasmanian Visitor Survey (TVS) which provides data on visitor travel preferences and behaviour by measuring what people do in their visits, how much they spend, where they visit and their satisfaction.

However, the TVS is an exit survey and does not report on actual behaviour, specific roads that are travelled on or the direction of travel.

Advances in GPS technology and the growing use of smart phones provides an opportunity to add to the insights provided through the TVS and deliver a more comprehensive overview of visitor behaviour.

The technology will also allow for questions to be pushed to participants during their trip that will assist in understanding why visitors are choosing to do the things that they do.

Importantly, no personally identifiable information will be collected through the app, it is an opt-in program with participants consenting to share their movements within the state anonymously.

After leaving, participants will receive a link to an online map of their travels in Tasmania which can be shared on social media.

Promotion of the app will commence in the state’s major airports and on board the Spirits of Tasmania from Friday inviting visitors to sign up for the app and participate in the research.

Adare Manor to host Ryder Cup 2026

Adare Manor
Adare Manor Golf Club, the last major golf course design by celebrated architect Robert Trent Jones Senior and opened in 1995, has just announced that it will host The Ryder Cup in 2026.

The course, which has recently undergone a complete revamp, meanders through 230 acres of lush parkland and majestic mature trees, bisected at various points by the River Maigue. The closing hole demands an approach shot over water to a green adjacent to the magnificent, turreted 19th-century Adare Manor. It has previously hosted The Irish Open, where Dubliner Paul McGinley claimed victory in 2007.

As Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, explains: “Coming hot on the heels of the truly superb Open at Royal Portrush and the fantastic win by Shane Lowry, today's announcement that the Ryder Cup will take place at Adare Manor in 2026 is excellent news for tourism. The Ryder Cup is one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world and this promises to be a wonderful sporting occasion, which will undoubtedly bring significant exposure globally for Ireland as a golfing destination.”

Why everyone loves the Ryder Cup
The Ryder Cup is the premier golf team event in the world. The event comprises a series of “matchplay” matches played between teams representing Europe and the USA over three days. The event is held on a biennial basis and hosting the event alternates between Europe and the USA. This means it's not just pitching player against player, it's continent versus continent and the competition is immense – not just for the pros, but for those watching from around the world.

Ireland previously hosted the event in 2006 at the K Club, County Kildare. After a 20 year gap, this showcase event will be coming back to Ireland – this time to Adare Manor in County LImerick in 2026.

Adare Manor's designer: Robert Trent Jones
It has been jokingly said that, "The sun never sets on a Robert Trent Jones golf course” and, while that is not strictly true, the late architect designed (or redesigned) some 500 golf courses in at least 40 US states and 35 other countries all around the world, including Ireland.

Adare Manor
Jones' course at Adare Manor is widely regarded as one of the best parkland courses in Ireland alongside Arnold Palmer's Ryder Cup course at The K Club and it's little wonder.

"Golf is a form of attack and counterattack," Jones often said. "It offers a golfer his personal challenge of combat. He attacks the course and par; the architect creates fair pitfalls to defend its easy conquest. The architect calls on his ingenuity to create a hole that will reward only achievement.

“You look at a piece of ground and you know instinctively what makes a great hole. There is a flow and rhythm that you can feel. You think how to stake it out, then use logic to make the right choice. It's like a jigsaw puzzle. But you have to play golf well, too.”

What you need to know about Adare Manor and County Limerick
  1. Five star Adare Manor, which overlooks the stunning golf course, won Hotel of the Year 2018 in the renowned Global Virtuoso Best of the Best awards – beating luxury hotels from as far afield as Mauritius, Morocco and France. You can see why everyone loves this venue just by watching this video. Aside from golf, you can enjoy falconry, fishing and archery in the Manor's grounds.
  2. Its closest airport is Shannon Airport, a half hour's drive away; while Cork Airport is 1.5 hours away, and Dublin Airport 2 hours and 20 mins away.
  3. Adare village surrounding Adare Manor is filled with picture postcard thatched cottages and ancient stone walls, and is a pleasure to explore. It's got antique shops, cafés and cosy pubs, as well as a Heritage Centre, where you can find out more about the town's rich and varied history, including Desmond Castle; a 15th century Franciscan Friary; a 13th century Trinitarian Abbey; and a 14th century Augustinian Priory.
  4. The nearest city to Adare is Limerick. Sitting at the mouth of the River Shannon, Limerick city is the third largest urban centre on the island. It once formed a bleak backdrop to Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, but nowadays it's a revitalised city full of art galleries, slick new hotels and the legendary Thomond Park, the home of Munster's passionate rugby union team.
  5. County Limerick, on the Wild Atlantic Way, is also where chef Joe Sheridan invented something very special back in 1943. On a dreadful night, the coffee-shop welcomed a weary captain and passengers in – their flight to Newfoundland had been delayed. Joe was asked by the owner Brendan O'Regan to prepare something to warm their tired visitors. Joe served them a cup of coffee, with a surprise glug of whiskey added in – and in doing so, invented the Irish Coffee!

Golf: Find out more about golf on the island of Ireland.
More than just a golf trip: Find out why it's not all about the golf here on the island of Ireland – there's plenty of fun to be had on and off the fairways.


Engagement with townships and their communities is a strategic feature of next year’s Santos Tour Down Under.

The stages have been designed to bring the excitement and activity of the Santos Tour Down Under to regional spectators, with circuits playing a prominent part and race stages showcasing new towns and regions.

The 2020 Santos Tour Down Under has been designed for fans to watch and experience the race over multiple laps and spend longer periods of time in each of the regions, allowing communities to showcase destination experiences as the peloton travels through their towns.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Corey Wingard, said the TDU team are always looking to deliver a bigger and better event.

“The 2020 Santos Tour Down Under race routes will challenge the world’s best cycling teams and riders whilst adding more elements of excitement and entertainment for fans,” said Minister Wingard.

“A regional focus will see more fans heading out to our small towns, providing an opportunity to showcase the best destination experiences that South Australia has to offer.

“Mark January 16 – 26 on your calendars and get ready to celebrate. We want South Australians and visitors from around the world, out on our streets to cheer on our cycling greats.”

Santos Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur, said that his team face the unenviable challenge each year to design a course for the race that will test the riders and create a spectacle for the fans.

“The route is constantly evolving. Not only do we need to create a route that provides enough challenges to draw elite riders from around the world to enter the race, but we also need to ensure it is suitable for sprinters and all-rounders alike,” said Turtur.

“I am positive that next year’s race will be hotly contested. Personally, I am looking forward to Stage 2 which features a first-time start at Woodside before crossing over to Stirling which is a route sure to suit the all-rounders.

“Another stage set to be a highlight is Stage 4 with the cross-wind between Mannum and Murray Bridge a considerable element to be contended with – definitely conditions to suit sprinters,” said Turtur.

Santos Managing Director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said, after signing a new three-year deal in January, this will be the eleventh year Santos has been the naming rights sponsor of the TDU.

“Santos is South Australia’s biggest company, providing more than 3,500 jobs across the country. Just like our company, the Santos Tour Down Under delivers for the economy and this year generated $70.7 million in economic impact for South Australia.

“Santos is committed to benefitting the communities in which we operate. In 2019 the Santos Tour Down Under passed through almost one hundred towns, making this truly an event which showcases the natural beauty, clean environment and diverse nature of our great state to Australia and the world.”

“The Santos Tour Down Under has great alignment with our community investment objectives – to support healthy living, regional communities and the environment.”

The 2019 Santos Tour Down Under attracted a record 48,300 visitors from interstate and overseas who travelled specifically to South Australia for the event, generating an economic impact equivalent to creating 837 full time jobs.

The 2020 Santos Tour Down Under will be held from January 16 – 26, with the Down Under Classic on Sunday January 19 being the prelude to the Men’s Santos Tour Down Under starting on Tuesday January 21. The City of Adelaide Tour Village will continue to be the central hub of the Santos Tour Down Under, housing teams, sponsors, exhibitors, as well as activations, entertainment, and food and beverage.

2020 Santos Tour Down Under Race Routes Summary
Sunday 19 January 2020: Classic: Flinders Street Circuit (51 km)
Tuesday 21 January 2020: Stage 1: Tanunda Circuit (150 km)
Wednesday 22 January 2020: Stage 2: Woodside to Stirling (135 km)
Thursday 23 January 2020: Stage 3: Unley to Paracombe (131 km)
Friday 24 January 2020: Stage 4: Norwood to Murray Bridge (152 km)
Saturday 25 January 2020: Stage 5: Glenelg to Victor Harbor (149.1 km)
Sunday 26 January 2020: Stage 6: McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5 km)

Further details on the race routes can be found here.