Saturday, 30 November 2019

Finns Beach Club NYE Ticket + Accom Packages on Sale Now

Have you sorted where you’ll celebrate the New Year?

Tickets to ring in 2020 at Bali’s best New Year’s Eve party are on sale at Finns Beach Club! Don’t just stand there wondering where the year has gone. Get busy and get a great package deal for the island’s biggest NYE dance party.

With New Year being the most popular time of the year to visit Bali, accommodation is mostly full, particularly in Canggu area. This year, Finns have great rates not only for tickets but also accommodation at hotels within walking distance. Finns packages include 3 or 5 nights accommodation, Finns VIP Holiday Membership NYE VIP admission ticket plus more !

These accommodation deals offer savings of up to Rp3,300,000 off , offering incredible value when you consider all of the extras that come with a Finns VIP Holiday Membership. With all kinds of entertainment already on tap for your getaway, the only thing left to do is book your flights to Bali and get ready to party into 2020 at The World’s Best Beach Club!

Last year Finns welcomed crowd of over 12,000 party people across the two day event and this year’s party is set to raise the bar even higher with some of the world’s hottest EDM DJ’s taking to the stage from 3pm until 2am in 2020.

Headliners include British DJ and production duo Camelphat who’ll be keen to reprise the success of their UK Dance hit, "Cola"; multi award winning pivotal figure of UK’s House Music scene Duke Dumont, as well as Belgian Deep House sensation Lost Frequencies, who smashed his way to international stardom with the 2014 hit "Are You With Me" , recently amassing over one billion streams in 2018!

For the full lowdown on Bali’s biggest and best New Year’s Eve Party and Accom Packages see www.finnsbeachclub.com/nye-accommodation-package/. With just 1 month until the fireworks, the countdown’s on !

FINNS BEACH CLUB
Jalan Pantai Berawa, Canggu - Bali
P: +62 (361) 844 6327 / +62 (361) 934 7343
Email: info@finnsbeachclub.com
www.finnsbeachclub.com

Kamu Lodge – A Rustic Hideaway

Located along the mighty Mekong's northern reaches, Kamu Lodge is a beautiful eco-lodge engaged in low-impact travel, seeking a balance between tourism and the maintenance of the region's cultural and ethnic heritage. From Luang Prabang, guests can take a two-hour boat trip upstream to get to the lodge.

The lodge sits a mere stone's throw from the Kamu village and blends perfectly with the surroundings so guests can have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the surrounding nature and of the traditional Khmu way of living.

The lodge features 20 freestanding safari tents, connected by a combination of winding dirt paths and board walks. All tents are well designed with private balconies that overlook the forest and river bank.

Dining at Kamu Lodge is an authentic cultural experience in itself. In an open-air stilted pavilion, guests dine as local Kamu villagers frequently do. All meals and soft drinks are well-made with organic ingredients from the area. 

Several excellent excursions have been designed to provide insight into the local life, and are available at the lodge. These include rice farming, fishing, gold panning, Laos archery, and many more. Adventurous activities such as trekking to caves and waterfalls and tribal communities are also on offer at the lodge. Staff are vital to the success of the lodge, and have been sourced from local villages. These staff complement the lodge with their warm and friendly personalities as they welcome guests and engage throughout their stay. They will even show you how to find medicinal plants in the forest nearby if you are interested.

Without WIFI or TV, Kamu Lodge offers guests full relaxation and a total escape from the chaos of modern city life.

ASIA DMC Hanoi (Corporate Office)
Address: No.47 Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
Phone: +84 24 37 333 333
Fax: +84 24 37 333 337
Website: www.asiadmc.com

Hoi An to offer tourists free admission to Old Quarter on Dec. 4

The ancient town of Hoi An is to offer free tickets to the Old Quarter and Thanh Ha pottery village on December 4 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of UNESCO’s recognition of Hoi An as a World Cultural Heritage site.

Information on the offer was released by Truong Thi Ngoc Cam, Director of the Center for Culture, Sports, Radio & Television of Hoi An city, on November 20.

Each guest who registers to visit Hoi An on December 4 will enjoy free entry to the relic sites without the need to purchase a ticket. In addition, tourists interested in going to Thanh Ha Pottery Village will also receive free tickets on the special day.

According to a report released by Quang Nam’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the month of June saw the province receive over 782,000 visitors, including over 415,000 domestic tourists and 367,000 foreign arrivals, representing an annual increase of 19 per cent.

During 2018, a range of new tourism products were launched in Quang Nam, including the Ky Uc Hoi An show, also known as the Hoi An Memories show, the opening of the Hoi An Impression Theme Park, and the Nam Hoi An Resort and Entertainment site.

Furthermore, the town has also received a number of tourism awards from prestigious organisations such as the ASEAN Clean Tourist Award, while a series of hotels located around Dien Ban such as the Four Seasons The Nam Hai, the Almanity Hoi An, and the La Siesta Hoi An resort & spa all won various international and domestic awards.

Following the success of 2018, this year is considered to be pivotal for the implementation of the goals set out within the provincial People's Committee’s resolution, which aims to transform Quang Nam into one of the nation’s major tourism hubs after 2020.
Source: VOV

Vietnam National Administration of Tourism

Friday, 29 November 2019

Join Us! December 6th Shared Christmas Party Cruise

Whether you are a group of 2 or 100 guests, your Christmas Party Cruise is the ultimate way to celebrate festivities with delicious food, flowing drinks, live entertainment and stunning views of Sydney's most iconic landmarks.

This cruise is perfectly suited for Christmas parties, Corporate Groups, Social Cruises, Entertaining your Clients or simply a Sensational day on the harbour.

Cruise Inclusions:
~ Shared 3 hour cruise on the Stunning Sydney Harbour
~ Panoramic views onboard & Sky deck
~ Reserve seating
~ Chef onboard to prepare Your delicious Buffet including Seafood
~ Mouth watering desserts, fresh fruit platters and tea & coffee
~ Cash bar available unless beverage package selected
~ Professional DJ
~ Spacious dance floor
~ Professional Cruise Director to ensure your cruise is memorable
~ Admire the Perfect Backdrop of Sydney Harbour

Cruise Details
Date: Friday 6th December 2019
Price: $110 per person
Time: Departing 6pm Returning 9pm

Book before 3rd December to receive a complimentary Buffet Upgrade!

Contact Us to Book

Nguyen Hue flower street to open to public from Jan. 22

Ho Chi Minh City’s Nguyen Hue flower street is set to open up to both local residents and tourists between January 22 and January 28, 2020, according to the occasion’s organisers.

For the upcoming event, Nguyen Hue flower road will be split into three main sections that stretch approximately 700 metres along Nguyen Hue Street.

In order to prepare the area for this transformation, construction of the flower road is scheduled to take place from January 8 to January 22, 2020.

With the occasion taking place just ahead of the Lunar New Year, roughly 130 New Year mascots will line up along Nguyen Hue Street.

The flower road is designed to convey a message urging environmental protection to build a modern and prosperous Ho Chi Minh City.
Source: VOV

Vietnam National Administration of Tourism

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Don’t Miss These Unique New Year Celebrations

Add dragon dances and fiery lanterns to your Champagne and fireworks this New Year. In Asia, the new beginning is celebrated by ceremonies to cleanse bad luck and welcome good fortune. It’s a time to spend with family and dear friends enjoying delicious meals and treats enjoyed only during this auspicious time. Enjoy this fresh start and travel Asia to ring in 2020!

Secret Retreats has curated the best Asian New Year celebrations in cultural destinations like Vietnam, China, Japan and Indonesia.

Chinese New Year & Tết – 25 January 2020

Also known as the Spring Festival in mainland China, this grand event celebrates the beginning of the new year according to the traditional Chinese calendar. This important date coincides with a number of other lunar New Year celebrations across Asia. For example, the Vietnamese also celebrate their most important holiday, Tết, which falls on the same day as the Chinese New Year.

Vietnam
Where to Stay Secret Cottage
Don’t miss the chance to explore this super-secret stay in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. Hidden away in the top-floor lofts of a downtown commercial building, you’ll wander through a souvenir shop and up the stairs past a Vietnamese restaurant before discovering a picturesque courtyard where you can reach these three charming, private cottages.
BOOK SECRET COTTAGE

Where to Eat - Secret Garden 131 Calmette
Simple, traditional and tasty! Seated under unique bamboo decorations this restaurant’s ambience reminds one of nature and how bamboo plays such a big role in Vietnamese culture, art, décor and cuisine. Step out to the garden, home to two majestic peacocks, and enjoy sitting by the small pond and its gigantic Buddha to enjoy a moment of zen.
BOOK SECRET GARDEN

China
Where to Stay - Tulou Boutique Hotel

Visit the unique Taxia village, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster and Yunshuiyao Scenic Area. Tulou Boutique Hotel is a gorgeously-preserved historic site as well as an active cultural centre showcasing the local Hakka ethnic minority’s vibrant culture.
BOOK TULOU BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Where to Stay - Linden Center
Take a journey through China’s history while staying at Linden Center. This stunning boutique hotel stands as an iconic example of Chinese architecture, originally built in 1947 as military barracks. Your stay here is graced with incomparable views of the Himalayan foothills and the scenic countryside.
BOOK LINDEN CENTER


Setsubun or Spring Festival – 3 February 2020

Japan'  bean-throwing festival celebrates the beginning of spring and is observed each year on 3 February during Haru Matsuri (Spring Festival). Much like Lunar New Year celebrations around the world, Setsubun represents a fresh start!

Japan
Where to Stay - Kinugawa Kanaya

Celebrate the Spring Festival amidst the greenery of Japan's oldest Western-style hotel, Kinugawa Kanaya. Located in the heart of the renowned Kinugawa Onsen Resort, this heritage property faces scenic mountains and the Kinugawa River. Enjoy your private in-room onsen and then dine on kaiseki cuisine cooked from seasonal and local ingredients.
BOOK KINUGAWA KANAYA

Where to Stay - Yamanochaya
Feel the true ambience of Japanese traditions while staying in a beautiful ryokan set on a hillside where you can enjoy gazing upon the mountain scenery outside your window. Choose to soak from large onsen tubs located in the property or visit Tonosawa hot spring, well known amongst the seven delightful hot springs of Hakone.
BOOK YAMANOCHAYA

Where to Eat - Restau K. Yamauchi
Experience a contemporary fine dining venue located in the city of Nagoya to celebrate the Spring Festival with creative and innovative cuisine combining Chef Kenichiro’s classic French training and the use of local, seasonal ingredients.
BOOK RESTAU K YAMAUCHI

Where to Stay - The Junei Hotel
Stay at a traditional Japanese hotel with modern flair. The Junei Hotel is modelled after historic Kyo-machiya (traditional Kyoto-style wooden townhouses) and combines innovative lifestyle concepts. An authentic tea making ceremony in elegant Japanese style will be a highlight of your stay.
BOOK THE JUNEI HOTEL

Bali Ogoh-Ogoh Festival – 25 March 2020

In Indonesia, giant creatures with scary and ferocious appearances called ogoh ogoh are paraded on Pengrupukan night, the day before the Saka New Year, or Nyepi Day.

Indonesia
Where to Stay - Villa Mathis

Just 10 minutes by car from Seminyak’s beaches, you will find the secluded Villa Mathis. Walk through the rice fields to your guestroom, stylishly decorated with antique wooden furniture and artworks sourced from all over the Indonesian Archipelago. Spend time relaxing with Balinese massages in the Cave Spa located on the property.
BOOK VILLA MATHIS

Where to Eat - Sangsaka
Taste the creativity at Sangsaka! The restaurant located in the heart of Balis Kerobokan where Chef Kieran Morland takes an innovative approach toward Indonesian cuisine blending traditional tastes using a wide range of traditional flavours from woods such as coffee, clove, rambutan and coconut husk.
BOOK SANGSAKA

Secret Retreats

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas .....

It's holiday time! Our shops are decked out, ready to dazzle! You can catch up on your last minute gifts at the Wharf, Shopping by Night - there's discounts and champagne December 5, 14 and 21.

There's lots on for the kids right across the coast and grown ups can take a break from cooking this Christmas Eve with lunch or dinner at the Pub Mooloolaba or Christmas Day at the Savvy Squire.

Everyone loves Christmas lights and there's no better display than The Mooloolaba Yacht Club Christmas Boat Parade. Decorated boats and houses will be dressed in their festive best. Cheer them on as they stream down Mooloolah River and Kawana Waters canal. The fun kicks off December 14 at the public boat ramp in Parkyn Parade.

See the joy on your kids faces when they meet Santa December 21 at the Aussie World Christmas Spectacular. They'll meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, enjoy roving carollers, and the Christmas Show.
There's snow, laser displays, live entertainment and more ... Mooloolaba is definitely the place to be this December!

We'll save you money on your next beach break, remember to book direct and you'll always get the best deals.

Check Availability

What's on in December
1 Robert's 16th Birthday at Australia Zoo
2-30 Christmas Light Cruises Afloat
4-5 Christmas at the Ginger Factory
6 Nights on Ocean Carnival Twilight Market
6 Matt Allan Quartet The Piano Bar Maroochydore
7 Tramfest Nambour
7 Carols at Cotton Tree Park Cotton Tree
8 Beerwah at Daybreak Marathon
8 Lights on the Lake Currimundi
12 Queen Forever - We are the Champions Tour
13 School Finishes Qld13 Finke There and Back BCC Maroochydore
14 Summer Holiday Fun at Australia Zoo
14 Christmas Boat Parade Parkyn Pde Mooloolaba
21 Christmas Spectacular Aussie World
25 Christmas Day
26 Boxing Day
31 New Years Eve Celebrations

Christmas Festivities
Spend our Sunny Coast summer nights on a cool Christmas Lights River Cruise December 16-23. There's fully licensed bar and munchies onboard, two cruises each evening and you can book through Sunreef Mooloolaba.

Grab a picnic blanket and find your patch of grass at an outdoor movie at Coolum Beach Flicks. It's a fun memorable evening and something different for the family. Elf is showing December 21 and Finding Dory December 28.

Santa is making a special appearance at the Ginger Factory December 4-24. He has some early Christmas gifts and he's giving them out every Wednesday, Sunday and Christmas Eve. Bring your camera for that Santa photo!

Immerse yourself in the Hinterland Village Christmas atmosphere at magical Montville. There's a Christmas Wonderland, miniature village, Australian Christmas display, large nativity scene, horse and carriage, snow cave and 150,000 lights! You'll find all the festive un at 15 Narrows Road Montville from December 1-23.

We would like to wish all our guests and friends a very safe and Happy Christmas.

Raffles Mooloolaba
Karl, Jo and Bob
Management Team
07 5444 0077
65-69 First Avenue, Mooloolaba, Qld 4557
Email: info@rafflesmooloolaba.com.au
Website: http://www.rafflesmooloolaba.com.au/

Experience the Wellness Offering and Hospitality of Sen Wellness Sanctuary

Besch meditation
Sen Wellness Clinic, an established holistic clinic in the medical district of Harley Street, London, since 2005, has proudly opened its doors to Sen Wellness Sanctuary, Sri Lanka, in December 2014. Founder and Osteopath Dr Sam Kankanamge became aware of a need for a special place to self-heal and nourish and so created Sen Wellness Sanctuary. 

The Sanctuary quickly gained its reputation as one of the top 20 retreat centres in the world and prides itself in offering highly personalised services to its guests. It has been recognised in The Guardian, The Times and Condé Nast Traveller as well as in other international publications. 

Dr Sam has drawn on both his life and professional experience of holistic healthcare, to build his dream sanctuary. With the help of an extraordinary network and his brother Sudheera, they translate health, business and hospitality know-how into Sen Wellness Sanctuary’s life-enhancing retreats. A retreat mentor takes care of every guest’s individual wellness journey and gives additional support to make the necessary transition from Sanctuary to normal life as smooth as possible for our guests. 

 Sen Wellness Sanctuary
Offering a warm welcome and a retreat to really relax into, the Sen Wellness Sanctuary is the perfect retreat for those seeking to get away from it all and immerse themselves in the restorative benefits of nature. Nestled between a lagoon and the sea on the southern Sri Lankan coast, the Sanctuary building frames views of the treetops and the lush nature reserve around it. The stylish minimal architecture invites a feeling of spaciousness and light as well as offering many quiet communal spaces, perfect for reading or relaxing in-between treatments. 

Offering an authentic retreat to balance a busy modern life, everything at the Sanctuary is directed towards a renewed connection with self. Deep relaxation, rest and a digital detox are encouraged. Guests can enjoy undisturbed walks along the idyllic sandy beach to discover the beauty and serenity of having it all to themselves. 

Visiting this tucked-away haven they can experience Ayurveda, yoga, meditation and spiritual enrichment, with a team of expert practitioners. The friendly and caring staff offer a warm and hospitable welcome at this 12 room resort which takes pride in its personal atmosphere and individualised treatment plans. Our female Ayurvedic Doctor offers additional support to women who travel solo. 

 Sen Wellness Sanctuary
The Ayurveda treatments at the Sanctuary are a core part of the retreat. The onsite Doctor does a diagnosis in consultation and prescribes a healing wellness plan that meets personal health goals. This includes oil and herbal massages, steam and body treatments as well as daily supplements and medications for those on longer stays. Mornings are spent in a robe as guests blissfully move between treatment rooms to receive careful attention to their wellbeing. 

The holistic and transformative wellness programmes at the Sanctuary go beyond Ayurveda and daily Yoga to include mindfulness. Programmes include regular meditations with a visiting Buddhist monk, more in-depth one-to-one yoga and meditation, and sound healing and gong baths for deep relaxation and energy clearing. 

A weekly schedule of local excursions is included in the stay and perfect for those free afternoons. There are trips to the local market and a wonderful Buddhist rock temple as well as activities on site such as turtle watching on the beach and boat rides on the lagoon. Guests are welcome to attend twice-weekly Ayurvedic cooking classes. 

 Sen Wellness Sanctuary
We offer fresh authentic Sri Lankan cuisine made by our Ayurvedic chef working closely with our Ayurvedic medical team, to maximise the wellness experience. Ingredients are locally grown and sourced and produce is field fresh and full of vitality. Food is vegetarian, with occasional locally caught fish offered on the side. Genuinely nourishing, with very little wheat and dairy, the vibrant menu at the Sanctuary will support better health whilst being enjoyable. Fresh herbal teas are prepared daily and a King coconut is offered for optimal hydration after morning yoga. 

Our Bespoke retreats run throughout the year and allow guests to have their individually tailored wellness programme at times that best suit them. 

Signature retreats are seasonal events. The programme is designed as a wellbeing journey, keeping in harmony with the natural flow of the season. It brings together a group of guests for ceremonies with a spiritual focus. It is the perfect place to connect and build meaningful relationships with other guests. An international and multi-disciplinary team of practitioners work on these retreats bringing expertise in holistic therapies. Hosted by founder Dr Sam Kankanamge, Signature retreats include personal treatment sessions with him and additional support in pre and/or post-retreat care. 

Sen Wellness Sanctuary
The Sanctuary is available for private hire to host your own retreats with us. Having run retreats for several years, we understand what is needed and are more than happy to help you create your own customised perfect retreat. 

To find out more about retreats at the Sen Wellness Sanctuary visit https://senwellnesssanctuary.com https://senwellnessclinic.co.uk 

Contact us on info@senwellnesssanctuary.com or call 020 7486 3373

Capturing enthralling pinky buckwheat flowers in Ha Giang this November

For the locals in the northern mountainous of Cao Bang and Ha Giang, the buckwheat seeds also serve as an additional food supplement between two seasons and its weeds and leaves could be used as medicine.

Buckwheat flowers grow along the mountain passes in Dong Van district. Photo: Pham Hung

Travelling Ha Giang these days, visitors will be treated to a picturesque landscape of the fields of pink and white buckwheat flowers along the mountain pass from Quan Ba, Yen Minh to Pho Cao and Dong Van.

Buckwheat is the mountainous flower that blooms every onset of winter between October and November. Over the past years, it has become an inspiration for both domestic and foreign travelers to Ha Giang.

This year, the acreage under buckwheat flowers, which has been considered the tourism ambassador of Ha Giang province, has been increased to lure more visitors, which will help bolster the local tourism.

The flowers are planted thickly and interminably along the valley or blanketed the rice fields, creating both enthralling and romantic landscapes. Over the past years, the road to Dong Van has attracted numerous travelers by the steep passes winding around hills and mountains, which are now embellished with the beauty of pink buckwheat flowers.

The unmissable stops when traveling to Ha Giang is the Lung Cam valley in the Sung La commune, Dong Van district, where the buckwheat flowers are grown almost everywhere from the hills to the end of mountain passes.

Buckwheat flowers are the enduring, cold and drought tolerant flowers, which easily grow in the Dong Van karst plateau. The most beautiful period of the flowers is when they are about to wilt, transforming from the white color to the light pink and then dark red.

After a week, the flowers will turn purple or light purple, followed by the pink and dark red colors some weeks later.

For the locals in the northern mountainous of Cao Bang and Ha Giang, buckwheat seeds also serve as an additional food supplement between two seasons and its weeds and leaves could be used as medicine. The triangle weeds are harvested to make cake and alcoholic drinks.

Ha Giang is accessible to cars and motorbikes. It is recommended to travel to Ha Giang by cars and hire motorbike from Ha Giang to travel to some touristic destinations and fully enjoy the beauty of the flowers in the mountainous areas.
*Source: Hanoi Times

Vietnam National Administration of Tourism

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

36-Hour Seafood Marathon to bring festive cheer to Sydney Fish Market

Sydney Fish Market’s spectacular 36-Hour Seafood Marathon is back for its 24th year in 2019, with Australia’s home of seafood set to open non-stop from 5:00am on Monday, 23 December, through to 5:00pm on Tuesday, 24 December.

A Christmas ritual for many, the extended trading hours mean shoppers wanting to snap up the freshest and tastiest seafood this Christmas can trawl Sydney Fish Market day or night, at a time that best suits them.

The most popular event on the Sydney Fish Market calendar, more than 100,000 visitors are expected to participate in this year’s marathon in search of the ‘perfect catch’ for their festive feasts.


Sydney Fish Market CEO, Greg Dyer, says, “The 36-Hour Seafood Marathon has become synonymous with Christmas. Open day and night for the entire 36 hours, visitors will find endless fresh, sustainably sourced seafood options on offer at the Market’s six wet fish retailers, restaurants and cafes, along with a festive atmosphere that is simply bream-ing with excitement. There is nothing quite like it.”

With a focus on provenance, shoppers can salivate over Australia’s largest range of fresh seafood sourced from all over Australia, from Christmas favourites like prawns, oysters and scallops, to showstopping options like king crab, whole market fish, rock lobster and marron.

Visitors can find much more than just seafood at Sydney Fish Market, which is a one-stop shop for Christmas produce, including high quality fruit and vegetables, scrumptious Christmas turkey’s, fresh bread, fine deli goods, and premium wine and beer; all of which are available via the extensive range of retailers onsite.

Budding chefs wanting to wow guests with their market buys can check out the Sydney Seafood School’s recipes available online here or via its cookbook, which can be purchased onsite.

A seafood lover himself, there is no way Santa will be missing the occasion. Donning his famous red suit, Santa will make special appearances at the Market on Monday, 23 December from 11:00am – 1:00pm, and Tuesday, 24 December from 10:00am – 12:00pm.

WHAT: Sydney Fish Market 36-Hour Seafood Marathon
WHEN: 5:00am Monday, 23 December through to 5:00pm Tuesday, 24 December (Christmas Eve)
WHERE: Sydney Fish Market, Bank Street, Pyrmont, NSW 2009
GETTING THERE: The best way to get to Sydney Fish Market is via public transport. Catch the Sydney Light Rail to the Fish Market stop, bus or walk to Sydney Fish Market. Bus services 501 and 389 regularly depart from the city. For route and timetable information visit https://transportnsw.info/

Visitors keen to travel by water can take advantage of the new On Demand Ferry service that operates in the Bays Precinct, connecting Barangaroo Wharf in Darling Harbour, Pirrama Park and Fish Market Wharf in Pyrmont, and Blackwattle Bay Wharf in Glebe. For details visit https://transportnsw.info/travel-info/ways-to-get-around/on-demand/ferrie

Parking is available on-site at Sydney Fish Market as well as additional parking at Sydney Secondary College, Blackwattle Bay Campus for a flat rate of $5.00 for two hours. Entry to Sydney Secondary College is via Pyrmont Bridge Road.


For more information, visit https://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/.

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KIDS ACTIVITIES AT THE PARKES ELVIS FESTIVAL

Are you looking for things to see and do with your kids at the Festival?

Watch your child shine like a star at the kids talent workshop, cheer them on in the junior Elvis and Priscilla look-a-like and Tribute to Elvis (singing) competitions, watch the Elvis Dog Show, join the fun in the kid zone in the library, join the ukulele workshop, escape the heat at Viva la Splash and enjoy the non-stop free entertainment on the ARTC Main Stage.

See the full schedule of events here http://bit.ly/2kAenzj

Did you know you can search events by adding a child friendly filter?

Bowral Family Carols 2019

The Bowral Family Carols is the largest event of its kind in the Southern Highlands and grows each year, attracting over 4000 members of our community celebrating the miracle of Christmas in 2018.

This year the event will be held on the evening of Thursday, 5 December 2019, at the iconic Bradman Oval. We foresee another great community event celebrating the birth of Jesus in the traditional Australian way: creating long-lasting family memories while we gather as a community to sing Christmas Carols.

This will kick-off with a community picnic at 5:30pm, with refreshments on sale by various vendors organised by the Bradman Centre, and several gratis activities on offer while families enjoy their dinner: roaming photo booths, jumping castles, face-painting artists, performances by a range of local dance troops, choirs and musicians.

At 6:30pm the traditional Nativity Procession with live animals (angels, shepherds and their sheep, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus on a donkey, as well as the wise men on their camels) with free lolly bags for the children will precede a performance by popular Aria Award Nominee Children Entertainer, Colin Buchanan.

We will commence singing carols at 7:30pm with local artist, Jordan Worner, directing the musical contribution for the evening.

Please note that the event will end with a minute of silence for those affected by bushfires in New South Wales, and the brave men and women fighting them on our behalf 🎄

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Last Chance To Join Travel Suppliers From All 10 ASEAN Destinations At ATF 2020, Hosting Programme For Buyers Closing Soon



ATF 2020 TRAVEX organisers have confirmed representation from top travel and tourism suppliers across all 10 ASEAN destinations – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam – plus India, with choice booth spaces running out.

Exhibitors already onboard include Borneo Eco Tours Sdn Bhd, Cassia Phuket, Como Hotels & Resorts - Thailand & Bhutan, Damai Beach Resort, Grand Margherita Hotel & Riverside Majestic Hotel, Darussalam Holdings Sdn Bhd, Focus Asia, Freme Travel Services Sdn Bhd, Hotel Casuarina @ Meru, Hpl Hotels & Resorts, India Tourism, Ioi Resort City, Jerudong Park Country Club, Juniper, Lit Bangkok Hotel & Residence, Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, Memories Group, Ministry Of Information, Culture And Tourism, Ministry Of Tourism And Creative Economy Indonesia, Ministry Of Tourism Of Cambodia, Mulia Hotel, Myanmar Tourism Marketing Association, Nusa Legend Siam Co.,Ltd., Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Penang Global Tourism, Royal Brunei Airlines, Royal Cliff Hotels Group, Sabah Tourism Board, Santika Indonesia Hotels & Resorts, Sindhorn Midtown Hotel, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Sunway Theme Parks, Tabin Wildlife Holidays, The Empire Hotel, The Royal Pita Maha, Tourism Authority Of Thailand (Tat), Tourism Development Department, Ministry Of Primary Resources And Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, Viet Unique Tourist And Trading Company Ltd, Vietnam National Administration Of Tourism, World Express Tours and more.

Buyers from across the world have also confirmed their attendance, with majority hailing from the Asia-Pacific. Buyer hosting programme, covering flights and accommodation, is still open and in its final phase, as the first stage of pre-event appointment scheduling that offers mutual and pre-matched appointments based on seller and buyer set preferences, is set to open on 9 December.

The second Online Diary stage will take place from the 3rd week of December to the 1st week of January 2020, allowing delegates to make meeting requests with each other.

Last month, organisers announced the addition of a new business speed-dating on the first day of TRAVEX, to supplement business generation leads from the on-site one-on-one business appointments that take place on TRAVEX day 2 and 3. All attending buyers and sellers will have the opportunity to meet and swap as many as 200 contacts with each other in this fast-paced activity.

Jof Calstas, Director General from World Institute of Journalism and Communication, Switzerland mentioned the destinations he wishes to build a connection with during TRAVEX days, “We have started working closely with Brunei Tourism and hope that through ATF 2020, we can establish relationships with suppliers from Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia.”

First-time attending ATF buyer, Kyaw Pyay Oo, Managing Director of Asian Tour Co., Ltd, Myanmar also shared the type of products and services he is interested in procuring, “We are seeking partnerships with adventure and incentive travel suppliers, DMCs, green product and service providers, hotels and resorts and travel management companies.”

Other event highlights include media briefings featuring latest insights and first-hand destination developments by all 10 National Tourism Organisations, networking events such as hosted luncheons by Tourism Malaysia and Tourism Promotions Board, Philippines, hosted dinner by Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia and last but not least, ATF 2020 opening ceremony and dinner hosted by Brunei Tourism taking place on TRAVEX day 1 to warmly welcome delegates to Brunei.

The whole ATF 2020 experience is further enhanced with newly confirmed complimentary pre-show city tours for delegates to explore and experience Brunei’s history, heritage and culture before getting down to business. For an entirely different experience, delegates can opt-in for one of the following post-show tours: a cruise along Brunei River for a chance to sight the iconic wild Proboscis Monkeys, or stunning nature and water activities at the Ulu Temburong National Park.

To register for ATF 2020 Brunei, visit https://www2.ttgasia.com/e/534242/registration-/9htqjx/866692839?h=KiekmBMjEIuuRPmxxYgJQ2BmOvRVesb9SVsksuOQ7UU
For more information and programme updates, visit www.atfbrunei2020.com.

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Saturday, 23 November 2019

Pale and dark pink cosmos in Nokonoshima Island Park

Nokonoshima Island Park is a 150,000 square meter large natural park on the island of Nokonoshima in Fukuoka with adorable flowers throughout the year. 

It is especially famous for the charming fields covered with pale and dark pink cosmos. 

It is definitely a good spot to spend a whole day in, also for an interactive little zoo with animals like goats and “Street of Old Memories” with a reminiscent taste.

To reach this heart-healing spot, just take the ferry at Fukuoka Meinohama Port then the Nishitetsu bus for only 10 mins.

Visit Japan Now

Friday, 22 November 2019

Oelebrate the opening of the Museum of Art and Culture (MAC).

Join us to celebrate the opening of Lake Macquarie’s reinvigorated arts space – the Museum of Art and Culture (MAC). 

From Saturday 23 November through to Sunday 24 November, MAC and the sculpture park will become a hive of activity with creative fun and free events for all ages. 

From markets to workshops, guided exhibition tours to live music, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

SUPERCARS REVVED UP FOR SEASON FINALE IN NEWCASTLE

The grand finale of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will return to Newcastle this weekend, with the Coates Hire Newcastle 500 underway from today until Sunday 24 November.

The Newcastle 500 was secured exclusively for Newcastle for five years by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, in partnership with the City of Newcastle.

Supercars Australia’s General Manager of Operations, Kurt Sakzewski said the drivers and the Supercars team love concluding their year in Newcastle.

“This is the third time Newcastle has hosted our final round and our teams can’t wait to get back here every year. Newcastle does a fantastic job of not only providing a beautiful backdrop to our Championship but is also a great host city to our teams and fans, many of whom bring their families from around Australia to enjoy the event.

“The event continues to evolve as a family-friendly event, with exhilarating racing and a well-coordinated transport system. We’re looking forward to seeing what Newcastle has to offer in 2019,” Mr Sakzewski said.

Police launched the high-visibility Operation Newcastle Supercars 2019 yesterday to ensure the safety and security of more than 150,000 people – including competitors, officials and spectators – expected to descend on Newcastle this weekend.

For the latest results and event news, go to supercars.com

NEW SIGHTS AND HEIGHTS FOR THE SUMMER AT LUNA PARK

Yippee it’s the long summer holidays soon – school’s out, it’s going be hot and everyone will thinking about chillin’ and having fun. So, Luna Park will make the good times roll with new sights and heights this Summer. 

Gather the family and head to Luna Park from 21 December till 2 February 2020 for a trip up, up, up high into the sky that’ll have you screaming with delight all the way! 

Luna Park’s General Manager, Matt Butta says St Kilda’s skyline won’t be the same now the Park’s brand-new SUPERNOVA ride has moved into its new home. 

“We’re very excited about operating our new GIANT SWING TOWER this Summer and taking passengers for a super high and fast 360° spin 32 metres into the sky!”

“This thrilling ride takes you soaring high above the St Kilda landscape. 

“During the day while riding Supernova there will be amazing views of Port Phillip Bay to take in and at night riding with 3,000 lights will create a starry experience to remember,” he said. 

Together with the new and electrifying Supernova ride, visitors to Luna Park can also enjoy recent ride addition - the ‘Happy Swing’. 

Made especially for younger guests to sit and enjoy the whoosh of wind in their hair as they sway gently back and forth. Grown-ups are also invited to sit, swing and feel the joy when they see littlies giggling away as everyone moves slowly to and fro. 

Guests will also notice the Park’s favourite Carnival Games and Games Huts have been renovated and relocated. There you’ll find the authentic ‘Laughing Clowns’, ‘Knock-ems’ and dart-popping ‘Big Bang’ balloons and more all huddled together! With proximity between games, jumping from one to other will be super easy and your winnings may increase too – but only if your skills are up to scratch. 

Likewise, you’ll notice our Snow Cone Cart working overtime. So, don’t forget to slurp on a frozen snow cone in one of six refreshing flavours like strawberry, lemon or green apple to cool down when its super-hot and make sure to tuck into some delicious hotdogs and fairy floss galore! 

Do get to Luna Park during this long summer break because in the blink of the eye school will be back in fashion! Buy an Unlimited Ride Ticket pass and enjoy endless twisting and turning on all the rides all day/night long. Visit https://lunapark.com.au/events/.

BERNADETTE ROBINSON in SONGS FOR NOBODIES – Extra Sydney shows added

Following her acclaimed sold-out season in London’s West End, Bernadette Robinson returns to Australia for a limited engagement in the hit play SONGS FOR NOBODIES.

BERNADETTE ROBINSON in SONGS FOR NOBODIES
Written by Joanna Murray-SmithDirected by Simon Phillips 
  • GEELONG ARTS CENTRE - Friday 13 to Sunday 15 December
  • ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE - Wednesday 18 December to Sunday 05 January
  • SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE - 23 January to 9 February
                                          
First performed 10 years ago, SONGS FOR NOBODIES will open in Geelong on 13 December then Melbourne from 18 December then to Sydney Opera House from 23 January with new shows being added taking the season to Sunday 9 February 2020.  This spellbinding one woman play, is a tour de force of imagined encounters between five mid 20th-century divas, Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Maria Callas, and five ordinary women.
 
Renowned Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith has mined a rich seam of longing, humour and quiet frustration to conjure the alchemic effect these women’s encounters with their musical idols have on their lives - from right there in the moment to their future choices.

Under the direction of Simon Phillips, Robinson switches characters and vocals without a breath, each song choice a glorious homage and celebration, delivered with passion and emotion that few ever come close to.  Every audience member intimately feels that her performance is just for them.

SONGS FOR NOBODIES with Bernadette Robinson was a huge success in the West End, with great reviews for her performance, and for the show generally.  As a result, the production was nominated for the UK’s most prestigious theatre award – an Olivier Award.

 “Bernadette Robinson is a tour-de-force . . . a spellbinding evening” – Broadway World

”…so sublime, it’s like a shot of morphine; for a blissful few minutes,
all the cares of the world are gone” – The Telegraph, UK

 “Extraordinary performance” – Time Out, UK

 “A jaw dropping talent . . . simply staggering” – The Times
 
SONGS FOR NOBODIES showcases Robinson’s astonishing talent for recreating the great singers of the past.  On stage for 90 minutes accompanied by live musicians, her miraculous voice shifts from the smoky blues to a thrilling soprano.  With consummate ease, she breathes new life into the five legendary performers and the five ordinary women whose lives were changed by their brush with fame.

SONGS FOR NOBODIES was originally written for Bernadette Robinson by Joanna Murray-Smith on a commission from Simon Phillips as Artistic Director of the Melbourne Theatre Company. 

Best Performance 2011.  Bernadette Robinson took the breath away.  Astonishing!”
- Sydney Sunday Telegraph

It leaves one exultant and should not be missed.” -The Sydney Morning Herald

Bernadette is a major talent and a spellbinder and Joanna Murray-Smith has woven an imaginative play – at times touching and hilarious - around her extraordinary talent.
This should be the surprise hit of the season.” - Barry Humphries
 
GEELONG           
Venue:                  
Season:
Bookings:



MELBOURNE           
Venue:                  
Season:
Bookings:



SYDNEY           
Venue:                  
Season:
Dates & Times:





Bookings:

Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Drama Theatre
Friday 13 December to Sunday 15 December
Geelong Performing Arts Centre or
https://geelongartscentre.org.au/whats-on/all-events/songs-for-nobodies/


Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio
Wednesday 18 December to Sunday 05 January
Arts Centre Melbourne or
https://www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/whats-on/2019/musicals/songs-for-nobodies


Sydney Opera House, Playhouse
Thursday 23 January to Sunday 9 February
Tuesday to Saturday 7.30pm; Saturday & Wednesday 2pm; Sundays 5pm
Tuesday 4 Feb to Thursday 6 Feb 7.30pm; Fri 7 Feb 6pm & 9pm;
Wednesday & Saturday 2pm; Sunday 9 Feb at 5pm
Sydney Opera House or https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/events/whats-on/musical-theatre/2020/songs-for-nobodies.html

New flights secured from Tokyo to Brisbane

A new Virgin Australia daily service from Tokyo to Brisbane secured by the Palaszczuk Government is expected to generate more than a quarter of a billion dollars and create 2,760 jobs in Queensland over the next three years.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the new service, commencing in 2020, would provide a welcome boost to the state’s tourism operators.

“We’re investing in tourism to create jobs for Queenslanders,” Ms Jones said.

“This is a great day for the Queensland tourism industry.

“In announcing this new daily service from Haneda Airport to Brisbane, we’re talking about an additional 100,375 seats a year coming into Brisbane.”

Ms Jones said the flights announced today would generate $254 million over the next three years.

“We know the Japanese love our state, with almost half of all travellers from Japan to Australia coming to Queensland,” she said.

“We also know that when Japanese travellers come to Queensland, they spend up big.”

Ms Jones said the service announced today would bring a diverse mix of visitors - coming for business, leisure and education - delivering a significant boost for Queensland’s tourism economy.

“When the last direct flights from Tokyo to Brisbane came onboard in August 2015, we saw year-on-year growth in Japanese visitors of 22 per cent, from 160,000 in the year ended September 2015 to 195,000 in the year ended September 2016,” Ms Jones said.

“That number has continued to steadily grow and in the year to June 2019, Japan has moved up two positions to become Queensland’s third most valuable international tourism market with 212,000 Japanese visitors who spent $463.5m.

“Direct aviation access is key to growing our state’s share of the market and these new services are another shot in the arm for the industry.

“When it comes to securing new flights, this government has the runs on the board. In total, we’ve secured 28 new flights opening up three million more airline seats to Queensland.

“This is worth more than $2 billion to our economy.”

Virgin Australia Group Managing Director and CEO Paul Scurrah said the new service would provide significant benefits.

“We’re thrilled to be announcing our new Brisbane – Haneda daily service from 29 March next year and bringing much needed competition to a monopoly market. The Brisbane – Haneda market has a strong growth outlook and our research has shown this route will have significant benefits for business and leisure travellers, the tourism industry, and the Australian economy.

“All Australians can enjoy our new Japan service but we’re particularly pleased to be flying out of our home base of Brisbane, and giving local residents even more reasons to visit Japan and enjoy our best value fares and award-winning service.”

Brisbane Airport Corporation Chief Executive Officer Gert-Jan de Graaff said today’s announcement was a great win for the airport.

“This new Virgin Australia service will be the first direct connection between Queensland and Haneda Airport, the primary international airport serving Tokyo, and the first new airline capacity between Japan and Queensland since 2015.

“We applaud Virgin Australia’s decision to expand long-haul services to and from Brisbane Airport, which not only improves connectivity for travellers in Queensland, but ensures travellers from across their broader network in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific now also have choice and access to competitive and direct international flights to Japan.

“Japan is a foundation and a core tourism market and trading partner for Queensland so the benefits of increased access to and from Japan will ripple throughout the state, from the Gold Coast, to Cairns and to the Outback.

“This service was only secured through the collective efforts of Brisbane Airport Corporation in close collaboration with Tourism and Events Queensland, Trade and Investment Queensland, Destination Gold Coast and the Japanese Chambers of Commerce, among others. It’s been a real team-Queensland effort.”

Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said over the years the organisation had cultivated strong relationships with Japanese tourism partners and that the announcement validates the strong investment.

“Japan visitor numbers to the Gold Coast increased 13.4 per cent for the year ending June 2019, demonstrating strong signs of a tourism resurgence from this market,” Ms Battista said.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner welcomed the announcement of a new direct flight path to Brisbane.

“A direct flight from Tokyo’s Haneda airport to Brisbane means even more visitors will step off the plane in Brisbane and see all the wonderful things our city has to offer,” Cr Schrinner said.

“Increased tourism will benefit the economy and create more jobs, while allowing even more people to experience our fantastic climate and outdoor lifestyle.

“There’s so much to see and do right here in Brisbane and I look forward to welcoming even more tourists, when the direct route is established.”

Thursday, 21 November 2019

ROLLING THUNDER VIETNAM TOUR Casting announcement

ANNIE AITKEN
  • ‘A musical and dramatic triumph’ - Herald Sun
  • ‘Electrifying…the show reaches deep into the soul’ - ABC Radio

ONE of the rising stars of the Australian stage, ANNIE AITKEN, has been announced to play the female lead of the country girl/anti-war protestor Sarah in the acclaimed rock music drama Rolling Thunder Vietnam – Songs That Defined A Generation.

Aitken joins a stellar cast, including TOBY FRANCIS (Once, Kinky Boots) as the conscripted soldier Andy, MATTHEW PEARCE (Calamity Jane, Rent) as the American marine Thomas and TOM OLIVER (Velvet, Marcia Hines Band), reprising the pivotal role of the good-hearted larrikin soldier Johnny. They are joined by supporting artists IMOGEN MOORE and WILL EWING.

Aitken, who recently played the title role in Thoroughly Modern Millie for The Production Company in Melbourne, is quickly making a name for herself as a versatile and accomplished singer, actor and dancer. Originally from Perth, the performer came to notice at Hayes Theatre Co in 2017 when she played the young Dame Nellie Melba in the new Australian musical Melba, starring the award-winning soprano Emma Matthews as the legendary opera singer.

A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, Aitken appeared in the star-studded cast of Jekyll & Hyde, alongside Anthony Warlow and Jemma Rix, and this month features in the Australian comedy DreamSong in Melbourne.

Rolling Thunder Vietnam, written by Bryce Hallett and directed by David Berthold, is a unique and powerful production comprising vastly experienced musicians led by the esteemed musical director Chong Lim. It combines potent and poetic songs of the ‘60s and ‘70s, stunning video footage across four screens and truthful storytelling inspired by interviews with Vietnam War veterans and actual letters.

In an era of uncertainty and terrorism, the show about the disruption of war, civil unrest, protest and love, remains resonant and timely. Upon being conscripted, the inquisitive and caring Andy says, “My name had been drawn in the ballot for national service. It was called ‘the lottery of death’. I felt sick in the stomach. I don’t hate anybody. What has any of this got to do with me?”

Since the world premiere of Rolling Thunder Vietnam in Brisbane in 2014, it has become one of the most talked about musical and theatrical events to be created and mounted in Australia.

Producer Rebecca Blake said, “The show has earned rave reviews as an electrifying tour de force; a vibrant and emotionally-stirring production with humanity and heart. The Vietnam Vets have warmly embraced the show and that means a lot to our wider audiences…We are thrilled to have such an outstanding cast and the best musicians you could hope to find anywhere in the world.”

Dr Brendan Nelson, the outgoing Director of the Australian War Memorial, is Patron of the 2020 tour. The limited season includes performances in Geelong, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. The latter includes the State Theatre and the striking new Sydney Coliseum Theatre in Western Sydney.

The exhilarating production features many of the greatest rock songs ever written and produced, including classics by Steppenwolf, Joe Cocker, Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Gladys Knight, Billy Thorpe and Paul Simon. The era of the Vietnam War – the world’s first televised war – spawned some of the most strident and lyrical songs of the 20th century: Fortunate Son, All Along The Watchtower, The Letter, Magic Carpet Ride, Help Me Make it Through the Night, Born to Be Wild, War, Paint it Black, Killing Me Softly With His Song and Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Encompassing conscription, combat, love letters, protest and homecoming, Rolling Thunder Vietnam is both epic and intimate, and largely illuminates the unpopular war from an Australian perspective. The narrative, set in the traumatic and fast-changing late ‘60s, draws audiences inside the lives of young men on the battlefront and their families and loved ones at home.

www.rollingthundervietnam.com