Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Jetwing Lighthouse - The Home Of Hospitality In The Tropical South of Sri Lanka

Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
"Over the centuries, the seas below us brought the world to these very shores. As the waves crashed against our rocky coast, we watched as foreign cultures melded with our own, in a thriving harmony that transformed an ancient trading post into the bustling coastal city we are proud to call our home."

"The influences of the world have shaped the very fabric of Galle as we know it. From the iconic Dutch fortress in the heart of the city, to the traditional fishing villages at its fringe, these cross-cultural charms have since extended into the nature of our legendary hospitality, and have been brought to life in an architectural masterpiece designed by Geoffrey Bawa, which will always remain open for you to come and discover our heritage of tropical luxury on the southern coastline of Sri Lanka." Priyanthika Wijenaike, General Manager – Jetwing Lighthouse

Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
One of the most iconic Galle hotels, Jetwing Lighthouse is located on its immediate outskirts upon a hillock overlooking the vast Indian Ocean beyond our heritage city. The coastal trunk road runs just outside this unique home of Sri Lankan hospitality, offering easy access from other destinations, including Colombo via the Southern Expressway. VIEW MAP

Jetwing Lighthouse is equipped with a host of modern facilities and services befitting of its heritage luxury. Beyond the essentials of 24-hour room service and other hotel amenities, this home of Sri Lankan hospitality also includes conference facilities, tranquil Ayurveda and spa services, tennis court, and in-house boutiques for some holiday retail therapy.
  • Designed by Geoffrey Bawa
  • Coastal Landscapes Upon A Hillock
  • Suites Inspired By Ancient Travellers

Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
A Luxurious Blend Of Ancient, Tropical, and Modernist Influences

Designed by Geoffrey Bawa, each of the 85 rooms at Jetwing Lighthouse are symbols of Sri Lankan hospitality inspired by a world of contrasting influences. Spaciously elegant, every room features a signature ambience that is comforting, enchanting, welcoming, and found nowhere else.

Jetwing Lighthouse features three distinct types of rooms. While the 60 Luxury Rooms spread across the property have been crafted in true tropical modernist style, the three exclusive Themed Suites have been built upon this aesthetic with signature touches of their own. Inspired by ancient travellers who once set foot on Sri Lanka, these unique spaces include the Fa-Hsien Suite, which pays tribute to imperial China, the Ibn-Battuta Suite, which resembles vibrant Morocco, and finally, the Spilbergen Suite, which carries on the legacy of Dutch heritage in our southern capital. Every Themed Suite at Jetwing Lighthouse has been designed with distinct characteristics that resemble the world of each traveller they are named after, yet remain comfortably familiar with the modern luxuries of Bawa’s welcoming architecture. As added pleasures, each Suite also features a plush Jacuzzi and a personal butler to be at your beck and call whenever you require.

Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
The Superior Suites elevate guests luxury to a class above with two distinct atmospheres found nowhere else. Firstly, in the form of the Maharaja Suite, which features a number of design influences that resemble a regal India – saffron, brass and bronze tones dress the living spaces of the room in an atmosphere fit for royalty. The alternative is the John Davy Suite, built to resemble the grandeur of an old English manor – with glossy whites and timber accents to dress the room in vintage luxury by the sea. As added pleasures, both suites feature a personal butler at your beck and call, and the lavish choices of a bathtub, Jacuzzi or private plunge pool for a sumptuous soak at any time of the day.

Built with a combination of rich timber, exotic furnishings, and eco-friendly fabrics, every room at the Jetwing Lighthouse home of Sri Lankan hospitality effortlessly blends traditional and modern indulgence. And as a luxury hotel, Sri Lanka has also given Jetwing Lighthouse the good fortune of wonderfully designed rooms that face both the coastal gardens and the Indian Ocean. In turn, this surrounding seascape not only emphasises the natural sense of tropical finery, but also complements the number of contemporary amenities available in each room. Such luxuries include an elegant bathroom with a bathtub and rain shower enclosure, free Wi-Fi, a 40” satellite television, tea/coffee making facilities with a French press, and many more.

Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
Every Amenity For Your Modern Lifestyle

Every space of luxurious accommodation at Jetwing Lighthouse is served with the finest in contemporary facilities. Designed to complement the guest's modern lifestyle, the amenities available range from hotel essentials to island luxuries – all of which have been included to ensure the guest's absolute comfort. To begin, Jetwing Lighthouse offers 24-hour room service atop the coastal hillock that we call home. Combined with the luxuries of daily housekeeping alongside dedicated laundry services, everything guest's need is taken care of, leaving guests free to indulge in the Jetwing Lighthouse's luxury. Even if guest's wish to rent a car, or simply explore the southern province that surrounds the Jetwing Lighthouse, they will happily look after guests luggage or even guest's children with their trusted babysitting service at an additional charge.

Among the several forms of indulgence available at the Jetwing Lighthouse home of Sri Lankan hospitality, the wine cellar serves as a simple pleasure to complement guests stays, while the in-house selection of retail therapy allows guests to shop for gems and jewellery, or exotic products from Spa Ceylon. Live entertainment in the form of cultural shows on Wednesdays is also a frequent occurrence on the Jetwing Lighthouse premises.

Finally, for a holistic holiday, Jetwing Lighthouse not only offers modern event facilities for both business and pleasure, but also a number of wellness facilities for a fulfilling experience at the home of Sri Lankan hospitality. In addition to a fully equipped gym, tennis court with floodlights, 2 swimming pools and a kiddies pool, Jetwing Lighthouse takes pleasure in inviting guests to their blissful spa to unwind with a selection of ancient Ayurvedic treatments and tropical therapies that refresh and revitalise their mind, body, and soul.

Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
The Ultimate Dining Destination In The South

Featuring an exquisite selection of six dining spaces atop our resident coastal hillock, Jetwing Lighthouse is perhaps one of the finest dining destinations to exist on the sunny southern coastline of our tropical isle. In addition, guests may indulge in the luxury of choosing between five more Signature Dining experiences to enjoy legendary Sri Lankan hospitality.

For fine dining, The Cinnamon Room at Jetwing Lighthouse is a magnificent dinner-only restaurant that specialises in a number of seafood delicacies, while the Cardamom CafĂ© is a standout among Galle restaurants – operating for 24 hours a day, with a constant flow of food and drink through generous buffets or delicious snacks and refreshments. Their world-renowned executive chef, Nihal Senanayake, also brings his culinary prowess directly to guests tables at Nihal’s, where each dish has been carefully studied to the extent of its molecular structure to serve you exquisite global cuisine with a signature local touch. Finally, for a taste of Italy on Sri Lankan shores, Jetwing Lighthouse also houses Lorenzo’s Pizza Corner with its wide selection of meat, seafood, vegan, vegetarian and even kids’ pizzas to cater to every palate.

To wash down guests meals in style, Jetwing Lighthouse features two sophisticated watering holes with an extensive range of cocktails, mocktails and everything in between – namely the Anchor Bar, their poolside bar designed around the nautical centerpiece that lends its name, as well as the Coats of Arms Bar, which is a nostalgic, old-world space with rustic charms to keep you in high spirits till midnight every day.

Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
Finally, as a speciality of their hospitality, Jetwing Lighthouse offers five distinct Signature Dining experiences if guests wish to indulge in their meals with a more personalised touch at a setting of their choosing. Whether guests choose to enjoy a BBQ on their rocky shores, treat their loved one to a romantic meal in our gazebo, wake up to a champagne breakfast overlooking the ocean, escape to the privacy of their romantic spa or even to the comforts of their own room, the Jetwing Lighthouse home of Sri Lankan hospitality looks forward to crafting a truly unique dining experience for guests.

Set atop a coastal hillock, Jetwing Lighthouse provides a magnificent backdrop for guests holistic holidays on the southern shores of Sri Lanka. As a fulfilling complement to the luxurious accommodation, the Jetwing Lighthouse home of Sri Lankan hospitality takes pride in offering a superior Ayurvedic spa and wellness experience that is bound to refresh, rejuvenate, and revitalise guests mind, body, and soul.

Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
Jetwing Lighthouse is equipped with a number of wellness facilities that cater to every type of traveller. Whether guests wish to stay active or simply relax, the Jetwing Lighthouse home of Sri Lankan hospitality will be delighted to help craft a healthy holiday experience. For recreation, racquets and balls are available for a game of tennis at our in-house court, along with a magnificent swimming pool with an adjacent kiddies pool for the little ones to wade in. Finally, Jetwing Lighthouse not only allows guests to work out in their modern gym, but also wind down with yoga on request at an additional charge, or indulge in the benefit of being one of our many spa hotels, complete with Ayurvedic therapies, signature spa treatments and free consultation in absolute tranquillity.

Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
Impressive Venues For Your Next Event In Galle

Adding to the picturesque list of Sri Lanka conference venues, the Jetwing Lighthouse coastal home of Galle hosts two well-equipped meeting spaces, which boast the luxury of not being restricted to corporate events and gatherings. As invitingly welcome event venues on the south coast, the Eddystone Hall and Galle Room at the Jetwing Lighthouse home of Sri Lankan hospitality have been designed to meet the modern requirements of contemporary MICE destinations such as our own in Galle, which enjoys convenient accessibility to both our capital city of Colombo via the Southern Expressway, as well as the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake.

For grand affairs such as weddings, receptions, banquets and more, the larger Eddystone Hall is the ideal location for its generous amount of space, while the Galle Room is more suited for business gatherings and intimate events. If you choose to host a corporate event with the Jetwing Lighthouse however, they take pleasure in offering clients an all-round conference package, which includes mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments with a gourmet buffet lunch in between, along with the flexible use of our modern meeting facilities. These include free Wi-Fi, a dedicated multimedia system, magi board and flipchart with markers, public address system with microphones, notebooks, pencils and more. Should you require, the dedicated banquet team at Jetwing Lighthouse can also arrange for breakout locations, with additional services such as airport transfers for international invitees, exclusive tours for exploring our island, cultural shows as a unique form of entertainment, and much more.

Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
Your Romance By Our Southern Seas

Arguably one of the most romantic wedding hotels in Sri Lanka, Jetwing Lighthouse is abounding with magical settings that are no less spectacular than the bridal couple deserves on their special day.

Should couples wish to host their wedding in a traditional setting, the Eddystone Hall comfortably accommodates up to 250 people. However, for a one-of-a-kind beach wedding, couples may even choose to hold their ceremony with their family at Jetwing Lighthouse Club next door, upon their coastal lawn, or even amidst the seaspray on the rocks at their shores. While these locations are easily able to host extravagant affairs, intimate gatherings can also be arranged within the tranquil haven of our spa. No matter where couples decide to tie the knot at the Jetwing Lighthouse home of Sri Lankan hospitality, they will ensure that the start to the couples life together is marked by a truly memorable experience.

Jetwing Lighthouse offers three additional packages that are customisable to the couples liking. Their dedicated banquet team will work closely with the couple to craft a personalised experience for their special day, along with the expert assistance of their Executive Chef who will plan and prepare a unique dining experience that will leave the couple and their guests highly impressed.

The historic city of Galle and its surroundings are home to an abundance of experiences that range from exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Galle Fort, discovering the traditional art of Sri Lankan mask making, or even witnessing the breathtaking beauty of blue whales in their natural habitat.

Dutch Church Galle Fort
Your Base For Adventures In The Southern Province
Located on the immediate outskirts of Sri Lanka's southern capital, Jetwing Lighthouse is the ideal gateway for guests to adventure in Galle and beyond. Be it upon the coastal strip or towards the verdant inlands, Sri Lanka’s southern province is bustling with activity, and offers a world of island experiences waiting to be discovered.

Proudly looking over the nearby centre of our southern capital, the majestic Galle Fort stands tall as an icon not only of our coastline, but also of Sri Lanka. Fortified in the 17th century by Dutch colonial forces, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is characterised by its charming labyrinth of cobblestone lanes filled with boutiques, restaurants, and other architectural wonders that make it one of the most photogenic places on our island. Seen from its southern bastions, the legendary hill of Rumassala is shrouded in myth and folklore due to its connection to the Hindu epic of the Ramayana. Stories aside, the coastal hill also hosts the pristine Japanese Peace Pagoda, from which people are treated to magnificent, panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, as well as the adjoining bay of Unawatuna and its popular beach below.

North of Galle, the historic Ariyapala Masks Museum is found in Ambalangoda. Dedicated to preserving the traditional art of Sri Lankan mask making, the museum which has been run by a single family, features a library and functioning workshop in addition to its colourful gallery of iconic local masks. Inland, another traditional practice of local culture can be experienced at the many cinnamon peeling centres in the surrounding provincial regions. Here, peelers who have been in the trade for generations can be seen working with the exotic spice using traditional tools and practices.

Ariyapala Masks Museum
The inland waters of Galle also offer exciting adventures in the company of the Jetwing Lighthouse resident naturalist, Anoma. The Mahamodara River for instance, serves as a fascinating safari to spot a number of birds, reptiles, and more amidst the provincial biodiversity of the otherwise beach-laden south. Nevertheless, the waters of our southern seas are just as exciting with the opportunity to spend a day fishing with the expertise of a local fisherman, or watching blue whales and dolphins in their natural habitat off the coast of Mirissa with Anoma offering insights into the behaviours and habitat of these incredible marine creatures. In addition, Anoma can also accompany guests on their specially curated Sea Shore Trail along the hotel beach, should guests wish to experience the coastal wonders closer to home.

Jetwing Lighthouse hopes visitors have chosen their Jetwing destination in Sri Lanka. Hotel reservations can be made either online or guests may contact them directly, particularly if they have special requirements or specific plans. If guests are already in Sri Lanka, hotel bookings can also be made at Jetwing House, Colombo or at each individual Jetwing Hotel as well. For further details do not hesitate to contact them, they are at guests service anytime, any day.

Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
433 A, Dadella, Glle, Sri Lanka
Jetwing Ligh
Phone : +94 91 2223744
Reservations : +94 114 709 400
Fax : +94 11 2345729Email:

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Faulty Towers - the Original (FUNNY) Dining Experience

A crazy night of laughs and humour from an Australian company who have been presenting this show for over 20 years. 

Brilliant acting, totally immersive, hilarious humour and a preponderance of puns! 3 course meal and a 2 hour show for just $85.

(Sydney Opera House had the show 2 months ago for $240!)
Hosted by Warrawee Bowling Club and Function Centre
Friday, 15 November 2019 from 19:00-22:00

Warrawee Bowling Club and Function Centre
1479 Pacific Highway, Warrawee, New South Wales, Australia 2074

Message host



An exhibition showcasing Queensland Museum Network’s vast specimen collection, past scientific discoveries and vital future research is closing soon at Museum of Tropical Queensland.

Natural Curiosity: Discovering the secrets of Queensland’s greatest collections is set to provide visitors with an insight into Queensland Museum’s biodiversity collections and why they play such an important role in preserving the natural world for future generations.

The exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the many research areas of the museum including our areas of expertise of marine, corals and palaeontology. The exhibition showcases items from their iconic collections including animal skulls, preserved skeletons, study skins and fossilized bones, dinosaur tracks and teeth.

Cost: Free with Museum admission
Exhibition closes Sunday 10 November

Museum of Tropical Queensland
70 -102 Flinders Street, Townsville
Queensland 4810
Get Directions
Open 9:30am to 5pm daily

Bands in Concert 2019

Come and join the Singleton Town Band for a great night of music and entertainment this Saturday 2nd November.

Tickets are available at the door from 6pm
Adults $15.00
Student/Concession $10
Family of 4 (2 Adults + 2 Children) $40
Children under the age of 5 years FREE

Singleton Civic Centre
Address: 12 Queen St, Singleton NSW 2330
Phone: (02) 6578 7295

The Fort Printers - the Convenience of an Elegant Hotel and the Ambiance of a Villa in Galle, Sri Lanka

The Fort Printers
The Fort Printers is an 18th century mansion which has recently been converted to a small, elegant hotel with a mix of classic and modern furnishings. The small private hotel originally comprised 5 suites, but with the addition of two heritage villas in 2013 now has 13 suites. 

The Fort Printers offers understated elegance and personal service in an intimate, friendly atmosphere. The suites are furnished with silk curtains, velvet bedspreads, crisp white linen and copper-lined bathrooms. The mansion features grand living spaces including drawing and dining rooms, a library and a lap pool in the interior courtyard.

The Fort Printers Restaurant serves a fresh and imaginative menu of Mediterranean inspired seafood and organic local produce for which it has received fabulous reviews. On my recent visit to The Fort Printers, I enjoyed a delicious evening dinner meal with my fellow group of touring Australians. 

The Fort Printers
For starters, I had the delicious Beetroot Carpaccio with walnuts and labne. There was also a choice of Grilled Aubergine Salad with pomegranate, or Tuna Tatare with fresh mint, labne and pita. For the main course, I enjoyed my mouth-watering Moroccan Lamb Tagine with herb couscous and tahini. There was also a choice of Seven Vegetable Couscous with tahini and harissa, or Lobster Curry with Basmati rice and sambal. For dessert, I had the tasty Coconut Bread Pudding. Others in the group enjoyed the Flourless Chocolate Cake.

The Fort Printers is located in the historic Galle Fort, a 16th century Dutch colonial Fort and now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mansion traces its origin to the Dutch period but substantial additions were made in the English era after 1796, including high ceilings and large windows. Moorish Traders, Portuguese adventurers, Dutch merchants and English colonialists have all left their legacies and contributed to go Galle’s unique character and history. Over the last two centuries, The Fort Printers has housed the Mahinda College, a successor to the Galle Buddhist Theosophical Society and a famous institution of higher Buddhist learning, The Bank of Ceylon and Fort Printers.

The Fort Printers
The Fort Printers was a printing company famous in Galle which until 2002 still employed the wooden printing blocks and wrought iron printing machines made in Leeds and London to print beautiful stationery and cards.

Today, The Fort Printers provides elegant accommodation in Galle Fort, a personal and discreet service and a fresh and vibrant menu based on guest preferences. It is ideal as an exclusive accommodation to explore the Galle Fort, countryside and the beaches around Galle. The Fort Printers comprise three villas with 13 bedrooms. Each of the villas may be booked for exclusive use or as separate suites.

The Fort Printers
The Fort Printers
39 Pedlar Street, Galle Fort, 
Galle, Sri Lanka
Phone: +94 912 247 977
Fax: +94 912 247 976

Galle Fort is a Must-See in Sri Lanka

Sea side wall of the Galle Fort
Galle Fort is in the town of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. It was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. On my recent visit to Sri Lanka I had a brief visit to this historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument. Even after more than 423 years, it maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work done by Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka.

The fort has a colourful history, and today has a multi-ethnic and multi-religious population. The Sri Lankan government and many Dutch people who still own some of the properties inside the fort are looking at making this one of the modern wonders of the world.

The heritage value of the fort has been recognized by the UNESCO and the site has been inscribed as a cultural heritage UNESCO World Heritage Site under criteria iv, for its unique exposition of "an urban ensemble which illustrates the interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries."

The Galle Fort, also known as the Dutch Fort or the "Ramparts of Galle", withstood the Boxing Day tsunami which damaged part of coastal area Galle town. It has been since restored.

A canon mount on one of the ramparts of the Galle Fort
The fort, originally built by the Portuguese in the 16th century to defend Galle, was an earthen structure with pallisades covering the northern inland side with a rampart and three bastions. They believed that the seaward side was impregnable and hence did not construct any fortifications on the seaside. The sea wall was an addition made in 1729 to make the city planning for defence purposes complete in all respects.

When the fort came under the control of the Dutch, they considered the old fortifications built by the Portuguese unsafe as they were made of earth and palisades. Hence, the Dutch decided to fully encircle the entire peninsula by building impregnable fortifications as a defence against other colonial agencies in the region. They built some 14 bastions with coral and granite stones over an area of (52 hectares (130 acres)). Many of the fortification walls were built in 1663. The city built within the fort was well-planned with a grid layout and the peripheral roads aligned parallel to fort's ramparts.

The fort has two gates. The two towering gates to the fort are termed "Portcullised gates" and the first gate of entry from the port is inscribed "ANNO MDCL XIX" which has a depiction of Dutch Coat of Arms with the ubiquitous emblem of cock and an inset "VOC" inscribed in the centre.

View across grass-clad walls
The Main Gate is along the northern stretch of the fort on the land side and is heavily fortified. The Portuguese had built a moat here which was widened during the Dutch rule by breaking the fort wall in 1667 and building the Star, Moon and Sun bastions. Its construction is also dated to the British period from 1897 to facilitate easy flow of traffic to the old town. This gate was fortified with a draw bridge surrounded by a moat; inscriptions here indicate 1669 as the year of construction. Some of the other named bastions are:- The Aurora Bastion, the Tremon Bastion, the Kleipenberg Bastion and the Emaloon Bastion, adding an element of grandeur to the fort as a whole.

The Fort really resembles a small laid out walled town, with a rectangular grid pattern of streets full of the low houses with gables and verandas in the Dutch colonial style. It has a well laid out road network. The fort area also has a number of historic churches, mosques, commercial and government buildings. Some of the locals stroll along the walls of the fort in the evenings.Walking along the fort wall in a clockwise direction leads to the Old Gate where the British Coat of Arms is seen inscribed at the entrance at the top. In the inner part of the gate there is the 1668 dated inscription of the letters VOC, an abbreviation of Verenigde Oostindindische Compagnie, meaning Dutch East India Company with the insignia of a cock flanked by two lions. 

Further along, the fort wall is the Portuguese-built oldest bastion, known as Zwart Bastion, meaning Black Bastion. The eastern section of the fort terminates in the Point Utrecht Bastion; the powder house is also seen here. The 18 metres (59 ft) high Galle Lighthouse was erected here in 1938. The next stretch of the fort wall is the location of Flag Rock Bastion, which was used as a signalling station to warn ships entering the port of the hazardous rocky stretches of the bay. Ships were warned by firing musket shots from the Pigeon Island near the Flag Rock. 

View across grass-clad walls to the sea
Further along, the fort walls is the Trion Bastion where a windmill drew water from the sea to sprinkle the dusty roads of the town; it is also a viewpoint to watch sunsets. Many more bastions are seen along the fortifications from this location up to the Main Gate.

After the fort came under the control of the British in 1796, it remained their southern headquarters. They made many modifications to the fort such as the closing of the moat, building of houses, a lighthouse on the Utrecht Bastion, a gate between the Moon Bastion and the Sun Bastion. A tower was particularly erected in 1883 to commemorate the jubilee of Queen Victoria. The Second World War saw many more fortifications built to defend the fort. In spite of all the changes made over the years, since it was first built between the 16th and the 19th century, the Galle Fort still remains a unique monument complex said to be "the best example of a fortified city with a fusion of European architecture and South Asian traditions built by Europeans in South and Southeast Asia".

In the fort area, many buildings are of Dutch vintage with street names also in Dutch. The sewerage system built in the fort area ensured that the city sewerage was flushed into the sea during the tidal cycle. The Dutch exploited the musk rats in the sewers by exporting them to extract musk oil.

Dutch Reformed Church in Galle Fort
Some of the important heritage monuments in the fort are the Dutch Reformed Church, with its historic belfry dated 1707 and cast in 1709, which rang every hour; the old Dutch government house; the residence of the Commander; Great Warehouse near the Old Gate, built around 1669 to store spices and ship equipment (which now houses the National Maritime Museum); the Old Dutch Hospital; the Meera Mosque built in 1904; the Buddhist temple built at the site of Portuguese Roman Catholic church; the All Saints Anglican Church built in 1871; the 1882 Clock Tower and the 1939 Galle Lighthouse

The Groote Kerk (Dutch Reformed Church) was built in 1640. However, it was remodelled between 1752 and 1755. The church is paved with grave stones from the old Dutch cemetery. There is an old organ of 1760 vintage in the church where services are held and a pulpit made of calamander wood from Malaysia is used.

The former New Orient Hotel was originally built in 1694 for the exclusive use of the Dutch Governor and his staff, it was converted into a hotel in 1865, the New Orient Hotel, which catered to the European passengers travelling between Europe and Galle Port in the 19th century and in 2005 was modernised into a franchise of the Aman Resorts, named the Amangalla.

Dutch Reformed Church in Galle Fort
Most of the street names are a legacy from the colonial period, including Pedlar Street or ‘Moorse Kramerstraat’, the Moorish pedlar (or peddler) street, named after the Muslim moors who were retailers along with chettis; Lighthouse Street or ‘Zeeburgstraat’ or ‘Middelpuntstraat’ named after the lighthouse which was destroyed in a fire in 1936; Hospital Street, the location of the Dutch Hospital, the house of the Surgeon and the Medical Garden; Leyn Baan Street or ‘Leyenbahnstraat’, the Old Rope-Walk Street, where coir rope was made; Church Street, named after a church which was demolished in the 17th century and also the location of the Dutch Reformed Church and All Saints Church; Parawa Street, named after the Parawa migrants from South India who were fishermen and traders; and Chando Street named after the toddy tappers and Dutch Burghers who owned coconut gardens and small ark distilleries.
Dutch Reformed Church in Galle Fort
The breadfruit (Artucarpus incisisus) tree was introduced in Galle first by the Dutch; reputedly the oldest breadfruit tree in Sri Lanka can be found at Akersloot Bastion in Galle Fort. It is believed that the Dutch introduced breadfruit which is of ‘heaty’ nature hoping that would either kill them or make them sick. However, the Sri Lankans found a neutralizer to this in the coconut tree. They mixed breadfruit with coconut and evolved a delicacy, which became popular, as it was found tasty and nourishing. This tree is now grown across Sri Lanka.

The fort area is occupied by mostly artists, writers, photographers, designers and poets of foreign origin and is now a mixed bag of boutiques, hotels and restaurants.

- Media related to Galle Fort at Wikimedia Commons
Things to do in Galle Fort - TripAdvisor
Galle Fort Sri Lanka
*thanks to Creative Commons for information in this article

Monday, 28 October 2019

A Choral Christmas Celebration

A Concert featuring the St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir
and Sinfonia Australis
with music by Bach, Handel and Rutter, and Favourite Christmas Carols

St. Mary’s Cathedral, College Street, Sydney
Friday 13 December at 11am and 7pm

Tickets On Sale Now

In two concerts on Friday 13 December St Mary’s Cathedral will resound with exquisite Christmas music performed by the St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir and Sinfonia Australis.  With choral works by BachHandel and Rutter, and a feast of favourite Christmas Carols, this concert is the ideal introduction to the Christmas Season.

Year after year sell-out crowds have been delighted by this traditional Christmas experience which sees the world-famous Choir, orchestra and celebrity readers offer glorious music and verse sure to fill every heart with Christmas cheer.

Ticket sales for the two performances of A Choral Christmas Celebration are now on sale.

Celebrating its 201st anniversary this year, St Mary’s Cathedral Choir is acknowledged as the oldest musical ensemble in Australia, tracing its origins to 1818.  Twenty-four boy choristers sing with twelve professional adult singers to make up Australia’s only fully-professional Cathedral Choir.

In addition to providing music for over 500 church services in the Cathedral each year, the St Mary’s Cathedral Choir has recently given several concert performances to critical acclaim including a widely-praised performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers in collaboration with The Song Company and the Orchestra of the Antipodes.  In 2018, the Choir performed in the International Gregorian Chant Festival in Watou, Belgium, and also performed for His Holiness, Pope Francis in Rome.

Thomas Wilson, Director of Music of the St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir promises a programme of new and old choral works and all the treasured favourite carols.  “With so much change and confusion in the world, we offer a traditional Christmas experience of transcendent beauty, stillness, and peace. Be inspired by soul-stirring music in the awe-inspiring grandeur of St Mary’s Cathedral. Give yourself the gift of music this Christmas” said Thomas Wilson.

The Cathedral Choir will once again be joined by Sinfonia Australis, a chamber orchestra of some Australia’s finest players.  The Orchestra is renowned for a number of recorded CD’s made with solo voice and solo instrumentalists, including the complete set of Beethoven piano concertos with pianist Gerard Willems.  The last of these has won a number of awards.  Other projects include a co-presentation between ABC TV, ABC Classics and Opera Australia, and many more CD’s.  Sinfonia Australis has also recorded sound tracks for several feature films including The Bank and The Boys.

The highlight for many audience members will be the opportunity to join in singing with the choir and orchestra for such favourite carols as ‘O Come, all ye faithful’, ‘Hark the herald angels sing’, ‘Once in royal David’s city’, and more.

At both concerts the Choir and Orchestra will be joined by celebrities and prominent public figures who will deliver seasonal readings throughout the concert.

Where:               St. Mary’s Cathedral, College Street, Sydney
Date & Time:     Friday 13 December at 11am and 7pm
Prices:                General Admission tickets from $25.
                            Premium Reserve tickets from $55.
                            Group and Family discounts are available
Bookings: or 02 8256 2222


Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, will present its multi award-winning production of Bennelong at Sydney’s newest venue Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ on 13 - 14 March, 2020.

Described by critics as “Ravishingly beautiful”, “Utterly searing” and “A benchmark in Australian dance creativity”, Bennelong will be a milestone moment in the inaugural year of programming for the 2,000 seat Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ located in Greater Western Sydney.
Originally choreographed and staged in 2017, Bennelong is one of Bangarra’s most lauded productions, having been awarded a total of seven Helpmann Awards including the prestigious title ‘Best New Australian Work’. Bangarra dancer Beau Dean Riley Smith was the recipient of both the Helpmann Award for 'Best Male Dancer’ and Australian Dance Award for ‘Outstanding Performance’ in 2018 for his captivating lead role of Woollarawarre Bennelong.

Choreographed by Bangarra Artistic Director Stephen Page, Bennelong is the story of Woollarawarre Bennelong – the namesake of Sydney’s Bennelong Point whose legacy has influenced the past, present and future of Australia’s history and people.

Woollarawarre Bennelong was a senior man of the Eora, from the Port Jackson area in Sydney. He is one of the most mythologised and celebrated individuals from the days of First Contact. Bennelong was one of the first Aboriginal men to be taken from his people and introduced to European ways and one of the first Aboriginal people to have their life story recorded and documented through the early diaries of the British military. With extraordinary curiosity, courage and diplomacy, Bennelong led his community to survive a clash of cultures, and left a legacy that reverberates through contemporary life.

Bennelong showcases outstanding Australian creative talent with Jacob Nash (sets), Jennifer Irwin (costumes), and Nick Schlieper (lighting) bringing their impeccable aesthetic to the production, and Steve Francis (composer) delivering a moving and inventive score. 

Bangarra + West HQ Pre-Sales start: 4 November 2019, 10am
General Public on sale: 11 November 2019 10am

Venue: Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ
Date: 13 – 14 March 2020
Time: 7:30pm

This tour is a rare opportunity to see Bennelong re-staged: a must-see dance experience in 2020. For more information and tickets, visit or

Albany Albany Entertainment Centre, 15th February
Karratha Red Earth Arts Precinct, 22nd February
Newcastle Civic Theatre Newcastle, 28th and 29th February
Port Macquarie Glasshouse Theatre Port Macquarie, 3rd and 4th March
Dubbo Dubbo Regional Theatre, 7th March
Greater Western Sydney Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ, 13th and 14th March

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Amari Galle - Luxury 5-star Beachfront Resort in Galle, Sri Lanka

Amari Galle Sunset
A voyage of discovery consists not only in seeking new landscapes, but in new experiences, new cultures, in sharing lifetime memories.

Enriched with lush natural greenery, bursts of spices in the air, stunning architecture and fascinating sculptures set against dramatic coastal scenery, you are invited to explore and unearth Galle’s unimaginable beauty.

Paint a picture of adventure, of seeing the unseen and the truly spectacular. Imagine strolling hand-in-hand along the coast, warm light breeze, pristine sandy beach caressing your feet. Think of afternoons by the pool, in an oasis of calm, a canvas of turquoise and blue as your surrounds or retreating to a sanctuary of peace and comfort, of simplistic elegance with subtle touches inspired by our locale’s colonial roots.

You could be the wanderlust in search of new adventures, or one yearning for a mellow seaside escape. The plan could be to do it all or nothing at all. You’ve seen the pictures, read the reviews, you’re about to make a choice, we sincerely believe that Galle is that ‘just right’ destination for you.

Amari Galle Pool
The locals, the charm, the sea, sights and sounds, all waiting to be found. Don’t just take it from us, discover this amazing town, discover it with Amari Galle.

The Amari Galle is a modern 5-star beachfront resort & spa in Galle, Sri Lanka which opened in 2017. It is Sri Lanka's first Amari.  Nearby is Galle Railway Station (4 km), Galle Fort (5 km), and the Japanese Peace Pagoda (10 km).

The main features of Amari Galle include the:
  • sea views from all guest rooms 
  • rooftop bar with its wonderful sunset views
  • relaxing huge swimming pool
  • free fast Wi-Fi in all rooms and common areas
  • Kids Club to look after the little ones and 
  • its closeness to Galle Old Town and Galle Fort

On my recent stay at the Amari Galle I found the staff from my entrance to the hotel to the moment I left very courteous and friendly and were well trained. They were extremely friendly and helpful. Nothing was too much for them. 

Next to the front reception desk is The Voyager Lounge, a useful air-conditioned space with sofas, work stations, a coffee shop, luggage sized lockers, showers and free Wi-Fi where guests can relax if they have arrived early or are checking out late.  

Amari Galle Guest Room
Rooms & Suites 
There are 172 spacious guest rooms and suites and all have a fantastic view of the Indian Ocean.

Amari Galle is a sanctuary of simplicity, of calm and seclusion, of understated luxury. Seaside inspired with influences of the locale’s colonial heritage, all guest rooms at Amari Galle Sri Lanka have been designed with the stunning seascape centre stage.

Flexible living spaces, light and airy, spacious yet still cosy, we offer you the choice of modern yet homely deluxe rooms to exquisite suite accommodation all designed within a theme of natural simplicity complete with modern technology. A restful haven awaits, choose Amari Galle Sri Lanka for your next stay.

The room choices offered at the Amari Galle include:
  • Deluxe Ocean View 39 sqm. Enter an oasis of tranquillity, leave the cares of the world behind. The Deluxe Ocean View rooms have been designed for guests to ease their mind and feature a private balcony, 40-inch LED TV and free Wi-Fi.
  • Deluxe Ocean View Horizon 47 sqm. These have two sun lounges and open onto the pool area.
  • Grand Deluxe Ocean View 57 sqm. Here guests can watch the sun gradually sink beneath the horizon or listen to the waves break ashore just beyond the private balcony as they fall asleep. At the end of a long day of exploration, guests can relax in the Grand Deluxe Ocean View room by watching the 40-inch LED TV or simply revitalise with the rain shower.
  • Junior Suite Ocean View 57 sqm. Spacious and modern, the Junior Suite Ocean View features a separate living and dining room, dining table and a private balcony and boasts picturesque vistas of the ocean. 
  • One Bedroom Suite 95 sqm. Guests can watch the Indian Ocean glisten in the morning as they stand in the privacy of their balcony. Combining Sri Lankan design with contemporary style, the One Bedroom Suite enclave features a separate living and dining area, 40-inch LED TV and private balcony overlooking the ocean.
  • Presidential Suite 360 sqm. Commanding abundant space and vantage points of the ocean, the Presidential Suite is where remarkable memories are created. Filled with a welcoming ambience, it features a hot tub, bar area, work desk and separate living and dining area. 

I found my guest room to be very relaxing after a busy day touring the southwestern coastline of Sri Lanka. The room was bright and clean, and I liked the comfy lounge and the artwork on the wall of local pole fishermen. My bed was very comfortable and the room was cleaned to a high standard. I welcomed the fantastic supply of bottled water that was provided.

In-room amenities include:
Amari Galle Guest Room
  • Private balcony
  • Minibar
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Individual climate control
  • ceiling fan
  • Ironing facilities
  • Work desk
  • Smoke alarms
  • Alarm clock
  • Safety box
  • Communication and Technology - Free Wi-Fi, Telephone
  • Housekeeping and In-room dining
  • Entertainment - 40-inch LED TV with many local and international channels, Multimedia hub, Radio
  • Bathroom Facilities - Rain shower, Complimentary toiletries, Bathrobe, Shaver point, Slippers, Hair-dryer

Restaurants & Bars
Fast, fresh and flavoursome - Amari Galle Sri Lanka offers an excellent selection of dining options.

Amari Galle Āhāra Gourmet Gallery
Āhāra Gourmet Gallery
The signature all-day dining restaurant serves an excellent buffet breakfast as well as exciting Asian and international dishes prepared from live cooking stations. My breakfast buffet was beautifully presented, tasted great and had an amazing choice.  I enjoyed my delicious breakfast with the different types of cuisine such as Indian, Sri Lankan, English and Thai food available. Opening hours: Breakfast: 06:30 to 10:30, Lunch: 12:30 to 15:00, Dinner: 19:00 to 22:30

Shoreline Beach Club
Featuring sensational drinks, tasty prime cuts and light snacks prepared with fresh ingredients, Shoreline Beach Club is where guests can go for a light snack during the day. Opening hours: 11:00 to 19:00

Bommu Rooftop Bar
Overlooking the bay, the rooftop bar is the ideal setting to watch the sunset and see the stars come out to play. On my stay there I enjoyed my cocktails and the panoramic view over the beach and ocean – the ideal combination for me to chill. Opening hours: 17:00 to 24:00

Facilities & Services
The Amari Galle offers plenty of extras to make for a most enjoyable stay. Sun, sea, sand and excellent play – the Amari Galle resort has been designed for guests to have a restful and complete seaside stay. It aims is simply to ensure all guests experience a memorable holiday with the choice of swim, gym or spa.

Amari Galle Pool
Swimming pool
Guests can plunge into the great free-form pool and gaze at the ocean glistening in the sunlight. Hours will pass without guests even realising it in the very scenic pool with a lot of space to swim or rest on the sum lounges. There is also a shallow children's wading pool.

Breeze Spa
Located on the ground floor of the Amari Galle resort, the Breeze Spa features tranquil rooms, elegant treatment suites and a salon area that provides space for you to revitalise and recharge. Take a deep breath and free your mind as they guide you to the path of outer-nourishment and inner-nurturement. Their signature mood therapy treatment comes with five choices: Dreamy, Serene, Rejuvenated, Invigorated or Energised. Each unique treatment is aligned with a carefully chosen body treatment or massage technique to deliver the mood guests want.

FIT Centre
Amari Galle offers a modern well-equipped gym and fitness room.

Kids Club
Here children make new friends or have fun with the activities provided in the special kid's fun-filled zone.

Amari Galle Ballroom
Conferences and Events
Bookings can be made for a function room, catering service and audiovisual facilities for hosting conferences and events.  The Amari Galle is the ideal venue for weddings. The dedicated team of planners are here to assist at all steps along the way to make weddings memorable, magical, and meaningful. Vows can be said with stunning views of the sunset and Indian Ocean or in a grand indoor ballroom at Amari Galle.

Check out the Amari Galle website to see the current special offers. At the moment these include:
  • Web Exclusive: Stay 3 nights and receive 20% discount on Room & Breakfast rate, a complimentary USD 100 credit for dining and spa treatment and complimentary early check-in. Valid for stays to 19 Dec 2019
  • Advance Purchase Offer: Book early and enjoy our special online rates with the Advance Purchase Offer. Book at least 45 days in advance and save 10% or book at least 60 days in advance and save up to 20%. Valid for stays to 23 Dec 2019

Amari Galle Guest Room
Amari Galle
523C Colombo Road, Gintota, Galle 80000 Sri Lanka
Reservations: +94 11 203 0541-3 
Phone: +94 91 203 0500 
Fax: +94 91 203 0555

Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center, Kosgoda Sri Lanka

Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center
On a recent visit to Sri Lanka one of the highlights was a visit to the Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center, Sri Lanka's pioneering sea turtle conservation project. Here I saw different kinds of turtles that are seen on the shores of Sri Lanka.

I saw lots of turtle eggs which had been placed under sand in a secure environment until they were ready to hatch and released back to the sea and baby turtles in water tanks. This is done to protect them from predators and poachers. There also have few turtles which have some physical disabilities and wounds caused by plastic and netting.

Their mission is to work for the conservation of sea turtle and extend the knowledge over the world. Their vision is to save the sea turtle for the future.

Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center
My tour guide had good English and explained about sea turtle life, what they do to support them, and showed me different types of turtles, some of them are very rare in the wild. the money from the entrance tickets and donations help support the project. There is a gift shop with proceeds going to help operate the project.

A visit to the Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center provides lots of information about why Sri Lanka (and the village of Kosgoda in particular) is a prime turtle nesting site, why the conservation project is needed and how the project is operated by local people with the help of international volunteers.

Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center
The lifetime dedication of the Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center is to make it easy to protect and conserve Sri Lanka’s wildlife and its habitats particularly endangered species, especially the turtle. The main goal is to save nature for the future by leading, facilitating and encouraging human beings to save, conserve and enhance the environment including national habitats, flora and fauna. They aim to motivate people to take actions for conservation in every way for the preservation of flora fauna biodiversity and the natural environment.

The turtles native to Sri Lanka can be seen here, including the common Green Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle and Leatherback Turtle.

This hatchery started 1978 as the first Turtle Hatchery in Sri Lanka founded by Dr. Upen de Silva & Dr. R. S. B Wickremsinghe.

Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center
A guest from a Swidish Camera Company had taken a photo of a sea turtle nearby this nape, Kosgoda beach and had informed Dr. Silva about the species. After that they came to meet Mr. K.S Abrew and followed a way to find sea turtles. Firstly, a square was established just ion the naked seashore and kept all the eggs in it and they were vigilant on that. It was a wonder at that era and tiny turtles came out and went to the sea. This wonderful incident was informed to the Camera Company which was in Sweeden. In 1980, Dr. Upendra Silava and Dr. Wickramasingha contacted Swidish Camera Company and got funds to obtain this land for conservation purpose and Mr. K.S Abrew was appointed to be the in charge and the care taker of this turtle conservation place.

At that moment Mr. K.C Abrew was a teenage of 17s and followed his father’s footsteps and dedicated whole life, time, energy and skills to continue and develop the conservation center up to date. Luckily at the moment Mr. K.S Abrew is proudly running his hatchery with the help of his one and only son Mr. K.I Abrew for the future always giving their honor to Dr. Upendra, Dr. Wicramasinghe and that lucky cameramen of Swedish Camera Company. Founders: Mr. K.S Abrew, Dr. Upendra Silva, Dr. Wickramasinghe

Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center
  • Tagging
  • They own the pure records of White Sea turtle
  • Great recognition and place for worldwide volunteers
  • Beautiful and clean beach experienceThey possess very old records of sea turtle
  • Healing and Rescuing sea turtles
  • Release of the highest record up to 4 and half million turtles
  • Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center, Kosgoda is the 1st turtle conservation center established in Sri Lanka in 1978.

  • Educational programmes for school children
  • Awareness raising for public
  • Experience for Volunteers
  • Certification for worldwide volunteers
  • Turtle releasing events for special life events (as request)

Residential or part-time Volunteers for an agreed upon time period are welcome at the Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center, Kosgoda. Here volunteers can learn, get live experience with turtles, live movements, photography, knowledge sharing and do researches and experiments as well.

Being a volunteer at the hatchery will be an honour to anyone in accordance with the range of knowledge and experience earned. They provide a world accepted valid certificate to all volunteers after completing their successful voluntary service period.

Protecting eggs and buying eggs from dealers is not an easy task specifically fixing a money rate. But they need to conserve sea turtles for the future and need your help and encouragement to continue this hard mission. You can help them by-
  • Donating
  • Pyblicising the conservation center
  • Sending them more volunteers
  • Sending them more visitors
  • Promoting their center for researchers etc.

Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center
Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Center
School Lane, Nape (Behind the Police Station) Kosgoda, Sri Lanka.
Phone: +94 71 7879928