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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What's on at The Star in May

As the cooler weather approaches this Autumn, The Star is heating up with offers at eateries and signature restaurants including Balla's Lombardy regional dinner menu, offers to spoil your mum with this Mother's Day, as well as a range of entertainment including live performances from Kelly Clarkson and Human Nature at The Star Event Centre. The Star will also be lighting up for Vivid Sydney with an expanded footprint of interactive activity to create the Vivid Sydney Game Zone at Pyrmont and The Star.



ENTERTAINMENT

The Spa at The Darling Mother's Day offer | 1 May-31 May

Roll out the red carpet treatment for Mum this Mother's Day. Book your mother in for any Urban Escape package any time during May* and she'll receive a glass of bubbles and a sweet treat to enjoy, plus an Espa gift to take home (valued at $60).

*Available from May 1-31. Bookings are essential to avoid disappointment please book a minimum of 48 hours prior to arrival. Offer not available for purchase on gift card.

Mother's Day shopping night | 6 May

For one night only on Wednesday, 6 May, The Star's retail precinct will play host to a glamorous evening of shopping and entertainment. With 20% off retail gift cards from 6pm (while stocks last) and various Mother's Day specials on offer, you're sure to find the perfect gift for mum.

For your chance to win the ultimate designer Mother's Day gift, get creative and write a poem on why you would like to thank your mum. A range of luxury prizes are on offer including a Gucci handbag worth $3,205, a Salvatore Ferragamo handbag worth $1,850, a Bottega Veneta wallet worth $830 and a Chanel fragrance & beauty pack worth $530. Terms and conditions apply.*

With complimentary bubbles on offer as well as sweet treats from Adriano Zumbo Patissier, Gelato Messina and Pulse it's a night not to be missed. From 6pm to 8pm at The Star retail atrium.

*Entries open at 6pm on Wednesday 6 May and must be submitted at The Star's BLACK by ezard restaurant by 6:45pm. The winner will be announced at 8pm at The Star's retail precinct. The winner must be present at the draw in order to win the prize. Prizes are not redeemable for cash, vouchers or other products.

Kelly Clarkson | 8 May

Grammy Award winner Kelly Clarkson will be returning to Australia this May to support hernew album PIECE BY PIECE. Whilst in Australia, Kelly will perform a very special one off show at The Star Event Centre on Friday 8May. Tickets are on sale now via www.ticketek.com.au or 13 28 49.

Human Nature Mother's Day concert | 10 May

Offering the ultimate Mother's Day experience, Human Nature will perform an exclusive, up close and personal show, 'Human Nature the Jukebox Show', on Sunday 10 May. Enjoy their biggest hits or better yet, give your mum a special experience with once-in-a-lifetime meet and greet experiences and premium dinner packages. Tickets are now on sale via www.ticketek.com.au or 13 28 49.

Vivid Sydney 2015 | 22 May-8 June

The Star will be lighting up for Vivid Sydney in 2015 with an expanded footprint of interactive activity to create the Vivid Sydney Game Zone at Pyrmont and The Star. The precinct will include multiple audience operated interactive zones including: installations at Pyrmont Bay Park dubbed 'Pyrmont Pyro' and 'Mission Control', the Vivid Lounge at Sky Terrace, The iconic Star sign with its own bespoke light installation and the Murray Street trees that will come to life with light to ensure you find your way.

For more information on Vivid Sydney at Pyrmont and The Star, visitwww.star.com.au/vividsydney

Sodagreen | 29 May

Taiwanese pop group Sodagreen are set to perform at The Star Event Centre. The group started organically as a student band in one of Taiwan's top universities in 2001 with the 6 member lineup consisting of Wu Qing-Feng, Hsieh Shin-Yi, Shih Jun-Wei, Ho Jing-Yang, Liu Jia-Kai and Hung Yu-Chi remaining unchanged since 2003. The group became the first indie band to hold a concert in the 10,000-seat Taipei Arena in 2007 and continues their rise to fame.

To purchase tickets, visit www.ticketek.com.au

DINING

Pop Up Thai | Now Open

Introducing Pop Up Thai at The Star's Café Court. Pop Up is a modern Australian adaptation of the street market food stalls and showcases a variety of regional cuisines. The authentic short order menu with carefully selected tantalising dishes is created with the freshest ingredients for the casual eatery that's fun, dynamic and features a buzzing market place feel. Currently our Pop Up restaurant features the amazing tastes of Thailand's street market fare including the classics such as Chicken Pad Thai, Thai Pork Basil, Green Papaya Salad and more.

Balla's Lombardy Dinner Series | 5 May

Continuing to tell the Italian story through food and wine, Stefano Manfredi and the Balla family welcome back the Italian Regional Dinner Series for 2015. The series will commence on Tuesday 5 May as guest chef Alessandro Pavoni joins Stefano Manfredi in the Balla kitchen to celebrate the region of their birthplace, Lombardy. Pavoni and Manfredi will be serving an entrée of Baccala of Glacier 51 Toothfish, Carnaroli Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Chestnuts followed by Roasted Turkey with a Bread and Mustard Fruit.

Bookings via Guest Services on 1800 700 700.

Sokyo Mother's Day lunch | 10 May

Spoil mum with a mouth-watering meal at Sokyo. Chef Chase Kojima has created a contemporary Japanese inspired Mother's Day lunch menu featuring some of Sokyo's signature dishes.

$105pp with a glass of sparkling on arrival.

$50 kids bento box menu.

Bookings via Guest Services on 1800 700 700.

Balla Mother's Day lunch | 10 May

Enjoy a superb Mother's Day lunch at Balla. The godfather of Italian cuisine Stefano Manfredi has prepared a 4-course Mother's Day share menu featuring Balla's signature antipasto and more.

$115pp with a glass of sparkling on arrival.

Bookings via Guest Services on 1800 700 700.

BLACK by ezard Mother's Day lunch | 10 May

Indulge with a champagne Sunday lunch at BLACK by ezard. Complete with impressive harbour views, the contemporary Australian grill will feature a three-course lunch menu especially for mum with NV Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial.

$125pp with NV Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial or try our food-only options with 2 courses for $70 and 3 courses for $85.

Bookings via Guest Services on 1800 700 700.

Pizzaperta Mother's Day special | 10 May

Enjoy a slice of new wave pizza from Pizzaperta and finish with an Italian inspired dessert – pizza dough pillows filled with vanilla custard cream and Amarena cherry served with 2 glasses of Borgo Molino Prosecco - $30

Fat Noodle Mother's Day special | 10 May

Choose from Fat Noodle's Asian-inspired menu or try out their Mother's Day steamed baby barramundi special with minced pork and shitake mushroom sauce, served with jasmine rice - $30.

Balla's Gaja Dinner | 21 May

Osteria Balla in collaboration with Five Way Cellars is serving up a special 5-course dinner menu paired with the outstanding wines of Italy's Gaja winery, widely known as the winery responsible for one of the most notable red wines from the Piedmont region. Owner and President Angelo Gaja is credited with developing techniques that have revolutionised winemaking in Italy. Angelo's daughter Gaia Gaja now responsible and tasked with Gaja's future will host the dinner. You will also have the opportunity to taste wine from Gaja's Tuscany wineries. Enjoy the 5-course menu with wine tasting for $300 per person.

Bookings are essential. To see the full menu or make a reservation, please emailballa@echoent.com.au

To view special Mother's Day menus and offers, visitwww.star.com.au/mothersday. For more information on what's on at The Star, visit www.star.com.au.


Traveloscopy | 

Monte-Carlo Polo Cup Returns from July 2 – 5, 2015

Monte-Carlo's third international 10-goal polo tournament will return from July 2 – 5, 2015, held at the Monte-Carlo Polo Club's newest venue: a private property located 10 minutes outside of Monaco.



The prestigious event will launch with inauguration ceremonies and the Polo Parade at Place du Casino in Monte-Carlo, followed by three exhilarating days of sport, cocktail parties and entertainment.

Aside from the polo matches, featuring local and international teams, highlights will include the popular Hat Competition and a Charity Gala. In 2015, the Monte-Carlo Polo Cup will also support the principality's flagship event “2015: L'Annee de la Russie” (commemorating 150 years of cultural ties with Russia) by featuring artworks by prized Russian artists as well as a fashion catwalk highlighting haute couture pieces by Russian designers.

The event will once again be attended by special guest S.A.S. Prince Albert II of Monaco.

“Monaco [is] the perfect place to host the glamorous and prestigious sport of polo. We will be bringing a very high-end sport and supporters to the principality, which will benefit everyone,” said Francesco Mitrano, founder and president of the Monte-Carlo Polo Club.

Traveloscopy | 

New hotel resort to showcase ‘Elements’ of Byron


 

A new $100 (million) world class beachfront resort is taking shape on Belongil Beach in Byron Bay.

The resort named "Elements of Byron" is being constructed on a site that encompasses rainforest, lakes and two kilometres of absolute beach frontage. Approval is for 193 individual one and two bedroom villas of which 94 villas, along with the central resort and leisure facilities, are due for completion by Christmas 2015.

Private owner, Peggy Flannery is personally involved in all design aspects of the resort to ensure it is sympathetic to the site. She surprised many with her decision to work with a 1987 "beach shack" style approval over the site rather than a far more recent development approval eventually granted to former land owners Becton. "The 1987 Byron Beach Resort approval and design was reflective of our vision for small single-storey cabins dotted through the landscape and is a more appropriate design response for the site" outlined Development Director Jeremy Holmes. "The villas sit lightly on the land, are low scale and in keeping with the ethos we are striving toward".

Upon arrival guests will be granted an unforgettable welcome past water and fire elements into the contoured main pavilion, with a curved roof symbolising the sand dunes along the beach frontage. Three separate pavilions make up the central resort and leisure facilities, boasting a signature restaurant and lobby bar, poolside bar and kiosk, gymnasium and five suite garden spa. Weaving throughout is a large lagoon pool, spa, numerous additional water features and sunken fire pit. Feminine, organic materials and forms have been employed to invoke relaxation and connection to the earth.

Elements of Byron will be well equipped to host the country's most prestigious events, with state of the art conference facilities throughout the dedicated conference wing. Four flexible spaces will cater for up to 400 delegates separately or in one room, supported by adjacent break-out garden courtyards, poolside and beachfront locations offering views across the Bay to Cape Byron Lighthouse.

"This organisation has engaged with the community to bring them along on the journey" said Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson. "And at the same time they have looked at other ways to support the local community, such as the two carriage train which they are reinstating along our tracks. Byron will support good projects".

Accor Hotel Group has signed an agreement with Elements of Byron under its boutique luxury brand – The MGallery Collection. "This landmark, beachfront resort in Byron Bay will be a major boost for the NSW tourist economy" said Accor Pacific Chief Operating Officer Simon McGrath. "We congratulate the owners on their amazing vision which is evident in the resort's thoughtful design".

The project is generating over 280 construction jobs and once operational, will be responsible for approximately 150 direct and indirect staff.

Elements of Byron is scheduled to open in December 2015.

www.elementsofbyron.com.au


Danang International Fireworks Competition 2015

#danang


#DaNang International Fireworks Competition lighting up the place. Saw South Africa, USA and Vietnam last night. Aussies and Poland go off tonight (which we will miss).
Posted by Roderick Eime on Tuesday, 28 April 2015

More: http://danangfireworks.com/danang-international-fireworks-competion-2015/

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pitcairn Islands to Become Home to World's Largest Marine Reserve

The British Government has recently taken action to create the world's largest fully protected marine reserve around the Pitcairn Islands, a British overseas territory in the South Pacific Ocean.

Aerial of Pitcairn
Copyright: RSPB

The reserve will cover an area of 834,334-square-kilometre and is slightly larger than the size of New South Wales. Home to at least 1,249 species of marine mammals, seabirds and fish, the new reserve protects some of the most near-pristine ocean habitat on Earth.

Since March 2012 The Pitcairn Islands Council has been working with National Geographic's "Pristine Seas" project and UK-based PEW Charitable Trust to conduct scientific exploratory expeditions and preparing a proposal calling for creation of a marine reserve to protect Pitcairn's spectacular waters.

"Pitcairn Islands Tourism is guided by the principles of sustainable tourism development. The creation of the marine reserve adds a new dimension to our tourism offering. " said Pitcairn's Travel Coordinator, Heather Menzies. "Together with our World Heritage listed Henderson Island and our warm and hospitable people, who are a living history from the Bounty mutiny in 1789, we are a truly unique travel destination".

"With the support of a number of international scientific and conservation organisations, Pitcairn Islanders are committed to preserving our pristine environment" Menzies added. "Allowing visitors to experience one of the most intact natural marine areas in the world".

The Pitcairn Islands can be reached by regular shipping service from French Polynesia. Full details about travelling to Pitcairn Island and current shipping schedules are available on the Pitcairn islands Tourism website www.visitpitcairn.pn or contact Tropics Marketing toll-free on 1300 713 132 and email pitcairn@tropicsmarketing.com.au.

Traveloscopy | 

Raffles Singapore Celebrates its Hometown's Golden Jubilee

HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY, SINGAPORE!

Raffles Singapore celebrates its hometown's Golden Jubilee

“There was a time when people said that Singapore won't make it, but we did.” So go the lyrics of the patriotic song, We Are Singapore. This year, as the country marks the 50th anniversary of its founding, it can safely say it has more than made it. Playing witness to its trials and tribulations is Raffles Singapore, established in 1887, and a veritable icon renowned the world over.

Raffles Hotel Singapore circa 1921
Copyright: Raffles Hotels & Resorts


From its 1 Beach Road address, in the heart of the civic and business district, the hotel has even, at times, contributed to making the country what it is today. It is perhaps apt then that Raffles Singapore is joining its fellow compatriots in celebrating this milestone. Guests can expect interesting tours of the property, delicious dining promotions and irresistible suite packages. Locals and overseas guests all are welcome to join in the festivities.

"As the doyenne of Singapore's world class hotel industry and one of the most recognisable symbols of the country, we feel it is essential to have a lively programme all year round in which visitors and resident guests of Raffles Singapore can partake. After all, it is not everyday that a country turns 50 and when it has achieved so much,” said Simon Hirst, General Manager, Raffles Singapore.

Stay

  • For an occasion as momentous as a Golden Jubilee, the stops have rightfully been pulled out with the Celebratory Suite Package(AUD18,862++)(S$19,650++)*. Reside in the Raffles Singapore's luxurious Presidential Suite for a night and toast to the anniversary with Private Label Billecart-Salmon Champagne, exclusively bottled to mark the hotel's 125th anniversary.


After check-in, put yourself in the expert hands of renowned Singaporean photographer Russel Wong for a personalised portrait taken within the hotel, which will then be presented in an elegant Tiffany & Co. frame. A man's or woman's Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watch, with commemorative engraving, produced to mark the hotel's 125th anniversary, will also be presented to become a priceless family heirloom to be passed down for the future.

Come evening, sample the specially created Elizabethan Grill Tribute Tasting Menu at Raffles Grill. The food pays tribute to the cuisine of the restaurant that once bore the same name, in honour of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.


  • In celebration of this momentous occasion, for the month of August, ourSG50 Staycation will give all Singaporeans and local residents an excuse to take a break from routine with a memorable experience for families with breakfast inclusive for two adults and two children and fun activities for the children to explore the grounds of the hotel. Couples who are looking for a luxurious respite from the daily hustle with loved ones will take delight in complimentary late check-out and parking, 20% off food bill at selected hotel-operated restaurants, 15% discount off spa treatments, AUD48 (S$50)* hotel credit and history tour by Resident Historian.


Experience
Never been a guest at Raffles? This is the chance to enter that wrought-iron portico and follow in the footsteps of numerous luminaries that have visited Raffles Singapore. Every Saturday from June to August 2015, 45-minute tours will be conducted four times a day (9am, 11am, 3pm & 5pm) by the Preservation of Sites and Monuments Division's* volunteer guides. Dubbed “Raffles Walk of Fame”, it will explore the hotel and give a glimpse of the many famous guests who had stayed or written about the hotel before such as Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Somerset Maugham, Charlie Chaplin, Karl Lagerfeld, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The tour will also highlight the locations where films such as Pretty Polly and Hawaii Five-O were shot.Priced at S$20 per person, fully redeemable at the Raffles Gift Shop and the hotel's food and beverage outlets.

* A Division of the National Heritage Board

  • Good news for visitors who cannot resist taking a photograph of Raffles Singapore's grand façade. From 1 June to 28 August 2015, the driveway will display the Singapore flag composed of the solenostemon scutellarioides andbreynia nivosa roseo picta flowers. Measuring 25m2, the floral rendition of the Singapore flag will feature brilliantly in photographs.


  • Fans of the Singapore Sling can also take a photo with its creator, Ngiam Tong Boon. As part of the Singapore Sling's 100th Anniversary celebrations, a pop-up visual display of the iconic bartender will be available at the entrance of Long Bar, level 2, between 28 May to 31 December 2015.


Eat

Who is turning 50 this year? Throughout August 2015, guests born in 1965 are welcomed to celebrate their birthdays at any of Raffles Singapore's food and beverage outlets. In doing so, they will be received 25 percent off the food bill, valid for up to 10 guests at Raffles Courtyard, Raffles Grill (excluding business set lunch), Long Bar Steakhouse and Tiffin Room (excluding afternoon tea). A great time to dine with family and friends. When Raffles Grill first opened in 1923, a section of the Main Dining Room was portioned off as a Grill Room. Later, in 1953, it was renamed Elizabethan Grill in honour of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In recognition of the food served then, the Elizabethan Grill Tribute Tasting Menu (AUD240++)(S$250++)* has been created at Raffles Grill. Enjoy dishes such as Stewed Lobster and Dover Sole Fillet as part of the five-course menu. Look out too for the SlingaPore dessert, inspired by the Singapore Sling cocktail, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Available from June to August 2015 at Raffles Grill.

Reservations

For enquiries or reservations for the Suite Packages, please contact Room Reservations at +65 6412 1244 or email roomreservations.singapore@raffles.com

For enquiries or dining reservations, please contact Dining Reservations at +65 6412 1816 or email dining.singapore@raffles.com



For registration of the Raffles Walk of Fame Tours, please email the Preservation of Sites and Monuments Division at nhb_nationalmonuments@nhb.gov.sg



* based on exchange rate at time of print, subject to change
Traveloscopy | 

New Rooms at Novotel Vines Swan Valley Resort WA

Refurbishment offers all modern features amongst ancient vines

The Vines Resort celebrated 25 years in 2014, and now they celebrate the completion of the $4 million refurbishment that commenced last year. All 91 rooms and 12 suites of the Novotel hotel guest rooms have had a total makeover, including sparkling new modern bathrooms, new furniture, lush soft furnishings and new beds and manchester.



Inspired by the golfing greens and natural bush land that surrounds the Resort, the palette is soothing greens, neutrals and splashes of blues and green. Interior Designers, Oldfield Knott of Perth, have maintained the peace of the countryside inside the guest room, and yet provided the hum from expected modern amenities.

Each queen/queen Resort room can sleep 4 adults comfortably, and the deluxe King suite rooms offer a luxe king bed, lounge area and large freestanding bath and separate shower. Executive suites boast king beds, living area with lounge and dining seating and a luxe freestanding spa bath.

The rooms also feature pod coffee machines, (with real fresh milk) following research that showed guests favoured them, along with free in-room wifi (very high speed available at extra cost), and free in-house movies on demand, and selected Foxtel channels for couch potatoes.

Each room has individually controlled reverse cycle air conditioning, necessary for the harsh Perth heat and chilly winter nights. Lighting is subtle and bountiful, supplemented by loads of natural light from huge double doors leading to a balcony or patio, with views of the golf course or the courtyard of original and ancient grape vines.

“The bathrooms that we built 25 years ago have survived this era very well, because they were designed in the fashion of the Victorian era, with freestanding vanities so they never actually dated design-wise,” said Mike Stanton, General Manager, Novotel Vines Swan Valley Resort.

“The rooms have received soft furnishing upgrades over the years, but the time was right to upgrade the hardware including bathrooms, and to add some luxury modern day touches, to the rooms which at between 32-60 sq metres are considered over-sized guest rooms.”

Features in the new bathrooms include rain showers, back-lit LED mirrors with demist, under bench night light, and an illuminated and magnifying shaving/make up mirror.

In the rooms, a MediaHub is a powerful all-in-one audio/video connectivity panel that enables guests to easily and simply connect a wide range of consumer electronics devices to a HDTV. This active connectivity panel provides hassle-free connectivity for laptops, digital/video cameras, Blu-ray™ or DVD players and game consoles to HDTVs. The automatic switching functionality provides ease of use, while the USB port adds a convenient way to charge portable electronics

Muscat's Restaurant has also received a facelift, and has launched a new winter menu, featuring local produce, world-class Swan Valley wines and craft beers.

The conference facilities and the lobby and public and breakout spaces, have also been upgraded, and the addition of the Keishi Day Spa in January 2014 completes the Resort's transformation.

All bookings taken for stays from June 30 onwards will be accommodated in a new room.

Full details of all these offers can be found at www.vines.com.au.

To book accommodation or enquire, please call (08) 9297 3000 or email reservations@vines.com.au.
Traveloscopy | 

America's Top Rating Breakfast Show to Broadcast Live from Sydney


NSW Premier Mike Baird today announced the NSW Government has secured one of America's top rating morning shows NBC's TODAY will host a special live broadcast from Sydney on Monday 4 May 2015.

"The US is a priority market for the NSW Government and we are delighted to welcome one of the world's most popular television programs to Sydney," Mr Baird said.

"This broadcast will beam images of Sydney into the homes of the show's 5.6 million American fans and show up in the feeds of more than 4 million TODAY Facebook followers.

"Australian-born TODAY anchor Savannah Guthrie will travel to Sydney to host the live broadcast from 9pm to 11pm at an iconic Sydney location.

"The NSW Government is committed to attracting more visitors to the state to achieve our goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020.

"More than 323,000 visitors travelled to NSW from North America in the year ending September 2014. These visitors stayed 4.3 million nights, providing a $535 million boost to the local economy.

"This is a golden opportunity to showcase NSW to the lucrative US audience and we'll work with TODAY's producers to promote the state as a must-see tourism destination.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the broadcast deal was secured by the NSW Government's major events and tourism agency Destination NSW in partnership with Qantas.

"A similar partnership with Ellen De Generes in 2013 resulted in a 22 per cent increase in inbound ticket sales from the USA to Sydney compared with normal levels," Mr Ayres said.

"We are looking to maximise the potential of this opportunity. Destination NSW will work with Qantas to offer travel packages to further promote the state to US audiences."

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: "As the national carrier, Qantas is a big supporter of Australian tourism. The US is a key target market for our local tourism operators and Qantas is the number one choice for people travelling across the Pacific, so we're excited to be working with Destination NSW to market Sydney to such a big audience."

Friday, April 24, 2015

Four Weeks Until Lights On! at Vivid Sydney

New Programming Announced for LIGHT, MUSIC AND IDEAS

The countdown is on with only four weeks until Vivid Sydney, the world's largest festival of light, music and ideas, returns with its biggest and most interactive program ever and new programming announced today.



NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said, “In four weeks from now, Sydney's streets will be filled with colour as visitors from across the globe celebrate Vivid Sydney, our world-renowned festival of light, music and ideas.”

“Vivid Sydney is firmly established as a must-see global event, attracting 1.43 million attendees and adding $41 million to our State's visitor economy in 2014.

“This year's festival continues to expand and attract the world's leading artists and creatives, adding to an already impressive program. With 60 light installations, new precincts to explore, more ideas seminars and an expanded music offering, there's something new to see every night during Vivid Sydney and I encourage everyone to start planning their trip,” Mr Ayres said.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said, “Illuminated by our spectacular Vivid Sydney festival, Sydney truly comes alive during winter. As Vivid Sydney expands, sending its creative energy across the city, it's the perfect time to explore and discover Sydney's wonderful restaurants, small bars and fantastic shopping. In fact there's so much to see and do, I encourage everyone to plan an extended break in the harbour city.”

In new Vivid Sydney programming at Darling Harbour, Sydney's electronic music gurus The Presets, have created three bespoke dj sets that will provide an exciting soundtrack for the Vivid Laser-Fountain Water Theatre, a choreographed audio visual symphony featuring fountain jets and spirals, colour lighting, rainbow lasers and dancing flames. A spectacular fireworks show will also be presented at Darling Harbour during Vivid Sydney.

A new interactive digital fireworks display, Pyrmont Pyro, is an exciting addition to the interactive offerings at the Vivid Sydney Game Zone at Pyrmont & The Star. In a Vivid Sydney first, visitors to Pyrmont Bay Park, will take control of the digital fireworks via the beat of glowing drum strokes that will transform both the projection and sound display.

New inclusions to the Vivid Music program include three weekends of performances at Spice Cellar at ËrsknvL. Ensconced underground in the iconic Imperial Hotel, this clubbing institution will feature performances from the likes of Cassian, Andras Fox and Kyle Hall.

A celebration of all things 90's will be held at Goodgod Small Club. Aptly-named the Rhythm Of The Night, the themed evening will feature a reunion of 90's Australian hit-makers Swoop.

Families will be captivated by the aquatic wonderland at new Vivid Sydney precinct Chatswood, where the story of The Nautilus and the Sea will be showcased. Projected onto the façade of The Concourse, audiences will join Norbert the Nautilus as he embarks on a journey through the vast ocean and a reef teeming with life, as he searches for a new home.

Norbert, Lieutenant Angler and other characters from the animation also come to life in grand installations on the journey from Chatswood Interchange to Chatswood Mall, where an immersive Flowing River of Light, Jellyfish Chandeliers and Aquarium await.

The bustling metropolis of Central Park will also make its Vivid Sydney debut this year, presenting Streets Ahead, a celebration of the world of street culture featuring spectacular projections from renowned contemporary urban artists Reko Rennie and Beastman, a three-day international trade show featuring local streetwear and art exhibitions, and silent discos every Friday and Saturday night from 5.30pm – 9.30pm.

In addition to the lights and sounds, Vivid Sydney at Central Park will host night markets including stalls from the likes of Din Tai Fung, Ippudo and Anita Gelato, and an interactive Paint-A-Thon giving visitors the opportunity to contribute to a giant interactive artwork.

Expanding on the nexus between creative culture and commerce, The Future of Work is an innovative new one-day event to be held as part of the Vivid Ideas program at Vivid Sydney, exploring the many ways the nature of careers are changing and how Australia compares on the world stage.

Presented in partnership with the Centre for Workplace Leadership, The Future of Work will be hosted at Google's innovative waterfront headquarters in Sydney's Pyrmont on Thursday 4 June and will draw on the methods and approaches of design innovators and technology entrepreneurs, to help business leaders shape their workforces and workplaces for the future.

Owned and managed by the NSW Government's tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, Vivid Sydney is set to once again transform the city into a colourful canvas of light, music and ideas for 18 nights from 22 May to 8 June.

For more information on Vivid Sydney visit www.vividsydney.com.

Traveloscopy | 

TIA Supports Passport-free Travel for Australians and Kiwis

Scrapping passports for New Zealanders and Australians crossing the Tasman would boost travel both ways across the ditch, says the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA).


“We support Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne's call today for passport-free travel between the Anzac partners,” says TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts.

“Australia is currently New Zealand tourism's largest visitor market, with 1.27 million arrivals in the year ending March 2015, worth around $2.1 billion annually. We know that reducing barriers to travel would stimulate demand and encourage more Australians to view New Zealand as a domestic holiday destination which they may visit multiple times,” says Mr Roberts.

“New Zealanders are also an important visitor market for Australia, with 1.1 million Kiwis crossing the Tasman in the year ending March.”

Mr Roberts says scrapping passports would strengthen the relationship between New Zealand and Australia, which is currently being hindered by the lack of travel freedom.

Joint research released earlier this year by TIA and the Australia Tourism & Transport Forum showed more sports fans would cross the ditch to watch big fixtures if travel was made cheaper and faster.

“Stepping off a trans-Tasman flight should feel like stepping off a domestic one. We are out of step with other nations which consider themselves close friends. The EU offers passport-free travel for around 26 countries and there are numerous other country blocs around the world with passport free travel.”

Mr Roberts says a free travel zone was in force from 1973 to the early 1980s, allowing passport-free trans-Tasman travel for New Zealanders, Australians and Commonwealth citizens.

“In 1981 a requirement for passports was introduced following some high profile drug smuggling cases. However, technology and risk profiling now provide a sophisticated level of border protection that wasn't available 30 years ago.

“In 2015, it is time to celebrate 100 years of ANZAC friendship, more than 30 years of free trade and encourage greater freedom of travel between Australia and New Zealand.”

Traveloscopy | 

Tourism Ireland Brings Game of Thrones® to Life in New Campaign

Fantastical Games of Thrones props – including dragon eggs and three-eyed ravens – have been appearing in surprising locations around Belfast and Northern Ireland over the past few weeks, as part of a new Tourism Ireland campaign created in partnership with HBO®.



Three-eyed ravens, replicas of those used in Game of Thrones, were seen perched on top of old fashioned wooden signs, specially erected to point the way to some of the iconic locations around Northern Ireland where the series is filmed. And replica dragon eggs were placed among fruit and vegetables in a market stall in St George's Market in Belfast. The eggs were 'for sale' to people visiting the market for the price of 125 Gold Dragons – the currency used in Game of Thrones. What customers didn't know was that one of the eggs was controlled by remote control and proceeded to rattle and wobble around, much to their surprise!



Photos and videos were taken of the props in the various locations – and will be promoted by Tourism Ireland to some 100 million Game of Thrones fans around the world, as 'real news' items in the new campaign.

Tourism Ireland is once again joining forces with HBO and its smash hit TV series Game of Thrones, to promote Northern Ireland around the world in 2015. The campaign will run for 14 weeks and will build on the hugely successful campaign of 2014 – which generated almost one million clicks, comments and shares and reached about 100 million fans across the world.

Timed to coincide with the return of the long-awaited fifth season of Game of Thrones, the campaign will be rolled out by Tourism Ireland, through Facebook and Twitter, in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. It aims to once again leverage the incredible success of the HBO brand and the huge global popularity of Game of Thrones and its strong associations with Northern Ireland – the physical home of the production for the series and where much of the filming takes place.

As well as extensive advertising on the two social media sites, Tourism Ireland will also target its own active fan base – posting and tweeting to its almost 3 million Facebook fans and 226,000 followers on Twitter globally. The ads will direct fans to a specially-created section on Tourism Ireland's international website, Ireland.com.

Diane Butler, Tourism Ireland Manager Australia & New Zealand, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with HBO in 2015, to highlight Northern Ireland and its beautiful landscape – through the exciting events of Game of Thrones – on the global stage. We aim to build on the success of last year's campaign, reaching out to the show's global fanbase and demonstrate the spectacular scenery of Northern Ireland. Game of Thrones fans worldwide will see these ads, spiking their curiosity about the landscapes and locations featured in the series and inspiring them to come and explore them for themselves.”

A second phase of the campaign will be rolled out by Tourism Ireland in the coming weeks – with even more surprises in store.

Track the output using the campaign hash tag #GOTterritory.

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Mantra Adds New Property in Bali

Mantra Group has announced it has secured a hotel management agreement for a 261-room resort on the Nusa Dua Peninsular, Bali to be known as Mantra Sakala Resort and Beach Club, Bali.

Mantra Sakala - Beach Pool
The resort opened in 2013 and occupies a 2.4 hectare site at Tanjung Benoa on the Nusa Dua Peninsula, a region popular with Australian and European travellers seeking a luxurious experience in a beachside location.

The resort will be the second hotel for the Group in Bali, joining Peppers Sentosa Seminyak which was added to the network in 2014.

Mantra Group CEO, Bob East, said he was pleased to add a high quality resort to the Group's Indonesian portfolio:

“We have sought out high quality properties to operate under management agreements in this region and Mantra Sakala Resort and Beach Club, Bali, is a great endorsement for the Mantra brand.

Expansion in Indonesia is certainly one of our strategies but we have focused on quality rather than quantity and will continue with this approach on future development opportunities.”

 Mantra Sakala - Sakala Deluxe Suite Masterbedroom
Offering 247 suites and 14 private one and two bedroom pool villas. Each residence is appointed with a boutique kitchenette and microwave for light snacks and refreshments as well as an Illy coffee machine and mini wine refrigerator.

Resort facilities include three swimming pools, a wellness spa, health club and lagoon bar, restaurants, beach club, large conference facilities and kids club.

Mantra Sakala Resort and Beach Club, Bali, is a 10-minute drive from Bali Collection shopping centre and a 30-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport and Kuta Beach.

Dining is a memorable experience at the on-site Sakala Bali Restaurant, perched on the picturesque sandscape of Tanjung Benoa beach, overlooking the Indian Ocean. Offering superb French-style cuisine, the restaurant is regularly rated Number 1 out of 40 restaurants located in Tanjung Benoa on TripAdvisor.

A stylish Beach Club provides guests, as well as day visitors, with direct access to one of Bali's most active beachfronts with an extensive selection of water sports including snorkelling, diving, parasailing, kayaking and boating. The Beach Club features a variety of international bites and a creative mix of contemporary cocktails and entertainment.

The Beach Club also welcomes wedding celebrations with a host of venues to choose from including the stunning beachfront or a candlelit poolside. An onsite event planning team will work to customise culinary preferences as well as to create a personalized itinerary of activities throughout the event.

An on-site day spa is equipped with eight beautifully appointed treatment suites with an array of popular and signature treatments, creating an ideal space for personalised health and wellness getaways.

For events, Mantra Sakala provides 6,000 square feet of flexible meeting space catering for up to 650 people, theatre style. All rooms feature modern audio-visual equipment, soundproof walls, Internet access and all the amenities and services needed for productive and stress-free event. A business centre for maximum efficiency completes the space.

Visit http://www.mantra.com.au/indonesia/bali/nusa-dua/accommodation/mantra-sakala-resort-and-beach-club// for further details.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

ANZAC celebrations take on special meaning for MTA’s Nicci Bettles

An estimated 10,000 people are expected to attend the official ANZAC Day 100 year anniversary ceremonies taking place at Gallipoli this year with many of those present there to remember a loved one lost or who took part in the fierce fighting.

Among them will be very proud Wangaratta local and MTA – Mobile Travel Agents Member, Nicci Bettles who is making the pilgrimage of a lifetime with her father Brian ‘Bluey’ Bettles to honour the nine members of the Bettles family and two other relatives who fought at Gallipoli at various stages of that campaign.

Nicci’s great grandfather, Randolph, his four brothers and four cousins were all heavily involved in the Gallipoli and French campaigns.

KIA: Billy Bettles
And while eight of the family group made it through Gallipoli, sadly 21-year-old Billy (Howard William) Bettles was killed on 25 April at the start of the ill-fated campaign and is one of hundreds of ANZACs laid to rest at Lone Pine.

Following on from the special ANZAC Day celebrations and a visit to the Lone Pine cemetery, Nicci and her father will be travelling to France where they will also visit the graves of the four ‘Bettles Boys’ killed in action there - Hedley Farquahson Bettles who died at Bussy, Charles Leslie Bettles buried at Serre, Roy Scott Bettles and Albert John Bettles who are both buried at Villers-Bretonneux.

Nicci has been to Gallipoli in the past and has also sent many of her MTA clients to the famous site over the years.

But this visit, she said, and travelling there with her father, will make it a doubly emotional experience.

Randolph Bettles
“While many of those young Australians and New Zealanders who travelled to Gallipoli had brothers, cousins and friends with them, it is extremely rare to have 12 members of the same family fighting in the same campaigns,” Nicci said.

“That’s what makes what my grandfather, his brothers and their cousins did together so special, we are very proud of them of all and I am sure the people of Wangaratta will be too when they learn the story.”

Nicci has recently discovered a treasure trove of documents and photographs dating back to the ‘Bettles Boys’’ WW1 history, all of which she intends donating to the Australian War Memorial.

She is also planning to write a book telling the ‘Bettles Boys’’ story.

~ Lest We Forget ~


Mobile Travel Agents Member, Nicci Bettles.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Emirates now double daily Airbus A380 to Gatwick




Emirates, a global connector of people, places and economies, has launched a second daily A380 service to London Gatwick Airport.

Due to passenger demand, Emirates has taken the decision to immediately upgrade its EK15/16 route that was previously operated by a Boeing 777. The A380 will add a total of 318 seats per day increasing capacity in all three classes by 11.5 percent. Over 330,000 customers have already flown with the A380 to and from London Gatwick since the aircraft was first deployed in March 2014.

Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations West, commented: “We are constantly seeking ways to enhance our services to meet passenger expectations. Demand for the A380 has prompted us to introduce a second daily A380 service to London Gatwick, months ahead of schedule. This strengthens our bid to provide both holidaymakers and business travellers with a world-class travel experience whilst ensuring better seat availability from one of the busiest airports in the UK.’’

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, London Gatwick, said: “Following increasing passenger demand and a strong performance of Emirates’ first A380 service to Dubai from Gatwick, we welcome the introduction a second daily A380 service. With the world’s busiest single runaway and a constant flow of passengers from London’s South East, it is important that we offer travellers the best possible connections to worldwide destinations and the new Emirates A380 service allows us to do just that.”

The introduction of a second daily Emirates A380 to London Gatwick is expected to help facilitate increased trade from key destinations in West Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Far East. Leisure travellers will also benefit from the additional capacity which has been introduced well in time for the UK summer.

London Gatwick Airport offers excellent connections to the South East and central London – in fact with the Gatwick Express travellers can conveniently reach London Victoria station in only 30 minutes.

Emirates’ First Class, Business Class and Skywards Platinum and Gold members will also benefit from access to the largest lounge on the Emirates network located at London Gatwick Airport.

The Emirates A380 offers spacious seating in Economy Class, access to the world’s only onboard Shower Spas for First Class passengers and the Onboard Lounge where First Class and Business Class passengers can socialise at 40,000 feet. Passengers throughout all classes can also enjoy access to over 2,000 channels of films, TV shows, music and games through ice, the airline’s award-winning inflight entertainment system as well as free wifi connectivity and gourmet cuisine.

As with all Emirates flights, passengers will benefit from a generous baggage allowance of 30kg in Economy Class, 40kg in Business Class and 50kg in First Class.

Emirates flight EK15 will depart Dubai International Airport at 0800hrs and arrive in London Gatwick at 1230hrs. The outbound flight, EK16, will depart London Gatwick Airport at 1425hrs and arrive in Dubai at 0025hrs.


Traveloscopy | 

Minor Hotel Group to launch AVANI Hotel and AVANI Residences in Australia

Minor Hotel Group (MHG), a hotel owner, operator and investor, currently with a portfolio of over 130 hotels and resorts in 22 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa and the Indian Ocean today announced the planned expansion of its presence in Australia with the launch of two new properties in Perth, AVANI Hotel and AVANI Residences. The announcement marks the AVANI brands entry into the Australian market with an investment of more than AUD $110 million.

With an existing portfolio of 50 Oaks Hotels and Resorts primarily in Australia, Minor Hotel Group is strongly committed to further development and expansion throughout the nation. Foreseeing Perth as a key strategic market, the company is delighted to have been selected by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (“MRA”), subject to finalization of definitive agreements, as the developer of Lots 2 and 3A within the Perth City Link project as the result of a competitive bid process.

Artist rendering of the new AVANI Perth
The Perth City Link project boasts a prime location directly adjacent to the Perth Arena within walking distance of the proposed new bus terminal and is well serviced by public transport. The redevelopment of two Lots by Minor Hotel Group will help to enhance the city centre and is a major milestone for the AUD $5 billion Perth City Link project, which is rapidly transforming the city and aligns with the government's vision to provide hotel and short stay accommodation in this precinct.

Minor Hotel Group's planned investment in the Perth City Link introduces the AVANI brand hallmarks of essential comforts such as design for life living spaces, good honest food and all the details that matter for a fuss-free seamless stay to Perth, together with dynamic new food and beverage brands.

Lot 2 will be developed into an upscale AVANI Hotel offering more than 250 keys with a completion date scheduled for the last quarter of 2017. Lot 3A is to be developed into an AVANI Residences property, offering more than 200 keys for sale, comprising of serviced one and two bedroom apartments.

Minor Hotel Group developed a core philosophy in harmony with the developers overall master plan of creating a lifestyle focused environment in the design of the new buildings and public spaces. Facilities will include a rooftop bar which will be accessible to the public at the top of the AVANI Hotel, in addition to a selection of alfresco bars and restaurants.

In front of the AVANI Hotel, a public space for events and for passersby to meet will be a pivotal feature, created with attractive landscaping and artwork. The pedestrian link from the Perth Arena to the Bridge and to Kings Square traverses this public space, and as opposed to being a passive walkway, it is a place to stop, relax and admire the public artwork. Indeed the design intent for both new properties is to use graphics, lighting and LED visual art forms as an integral part of their façade.

As a dynamic entertainment and hospitality development, the new AVANI properties will directly assist in enhancing the Perth cultural centre. New amenities will provide great support for the Perth Arena, as well as for tourism and local employment.

Dillip Rajakarier, COO Minor International and CEO Minor Hotel Group, commented, “We are very excited to announce this new hotel and residential development in the centre of Perth, which represents in parallel - a significant investment for the group, the introduction of the AVANI brand to Australia, as well as a new destination for Minor Hotel Group within Australia. Minor Hotel Group is already well established in the country with the Oaks brand and we have been actively exploring opportunities to bring some of our other brands into the Australasia region. The Perth City Link Development will see the debut of AVANI, our dynamic upscale brand, and we are looking forward to working closely with the Western Australian government and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority of Perth to bring this exciting project to fruition.”

Minor International, the parent company of Minor Hotel Group, is also expanding its food group within Australia with the announcement in 2014 of a majority stake in Melbourne based VGC Food Group which owns Veneziano Coffee Roasters, an award winning speciality coffee house. The acquisition adds to the groups growing portfolio of restaurants such as The Coffee Club, Ribs and Rumps and The Groove Train.



Traveloscopy | 

Requirements for Children Travelling to South Africa

Following the postponement of the revised requirements for minors entering South Africa last year, the Tourism industry and ministry has been in intensive consultations with the Department of Home Affairs for less onerous requirements, with little success. These talks continue, but as the implementation date of 01 June 2015 looms, we all need to prepare ourselves for the reality that these conditions will go ahead as planned on 01 June this year.




The revised rules regarding original birth certificates for arriving minors is especially important AS CLIENTS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BOARD FLIGHTS TO SOUTH AFRICA WITHOUT THE CORRECT DOCUMENTATION. Please ensure that all clients departing after 31 May, arriving into South Africa on 01 June and onwards are aware. To re-cap the requirements:

Parents travelling with children will now be required to provide an unabridged birth certificate of all travelling children. This applies even when both parents are travelling with their children. When children are travelling with guardians, these adults are required to produce affidavits from parents proving permission for the children to travel.

The full South African immigration regulations concerning travelling with children are:

Regulation 6: (12)

(a) Where parents are travelling with a child, such parents must produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child.

(b) In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate and -

(i) consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate of the child authorising him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic with the child he or she is travelling with;

(ii) a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child; or

(iii) where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate;

Provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her or his or her parents, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.

(c) Where a person is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, he or she must produce -

(i) a copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child;

(ii) an affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child;

(iii) copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child; and

(iv) the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child, Provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her or his or her parents, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.

(d) Any unaccompanied minor shall produce to the immigration officer -

(i) proof of consent from one of or both his or her parents or legal guardian, as the case may be, in the form of a letter or affidavit for the child to travel into or depart from the Republic: Provided that in the case where one parent provides proof of consent, that parent must also provide a copy of a court order issued to him or her in terms of which he or she has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of
the child;

(ii) a letter from the person who is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his or her residential address and contact details in the Republic where the child will be residing;

(iii) a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the Republic; and (iv) the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.


Notes to the above:
- A child or minor is anyone under 18 years old

- In South Africa, an abridged birth certificate is issued at birth and contains the bare essentials relating to the child. An unabridged birth certificate must be applied for thereafter. This MAY NOT be the case in your country and an unabridged birth certificate may well be what is issued at birth. It must contain the names of both parents.

- There is no clarity as yet from the Department of Home Affairs on whether clients in transit need to bring the required birth certificates. At this stage we are recommending that ALL arriving passengers, including those in transit, fulfill the requirements

- A certified copy of the birth certificate is acceptable.

For any questions regarding the above requirements, please don't hesitate to contact our Africa Experts or call us on 1-300-AFRICA!
Traveloscopy | 

Fraser Island shipwreck and unveiling of a new statue of the first man ashore at Gallipoli central to Anzac Commemorations

The ringing of a bell from a rusting Fraser Island shipwreck and the unveiling in nearby Maryborough of a life-size statue of the first man ashore at Gallipoli will bring the spirit of the Anzac alive at this week's centenary commemorations.

 
Lt Duncan Chapman, the first man ashore at Galliploi.
Copyright: Photo courtesy of www.bringduncanhome.com.au
The Fraser Coast will become a focal point for national pride on Anzac Day with the two poignant memorials to occur at 4.28am on April 25 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.

In Maryborough, a life-size statue of local hero Lieutenant (later Major) Duncan Chapman, the first man to step ashore at what was to become Anzac Cove, will be unveiled with a Dawn of the Anzacs service including a sound and light show.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the $60,000 bronze tribute in Queens Park, Maryborough, would become a national monument. “We imagine the statue will be a major drawcard during the Anzac Centenary and beyond," he said.

“This is a very exciting project to recognise and honour Maryborough-born Duncan Chapman and the other men who left our shores to fight in the Anzac campaign and in later battles."

The unveiling service will include a narrated sound and light show called "The Dawn of the Anzacs" depicting the landing at Gallipoli, with the role of Duncan Chapman being read by his great nephew.

The Duncan Chapman statue in Maryborough paves the way for stage two of the memorial project which will include an eight metre high depiction of the three ridges of Anzac Cove with information panels and motion-activated recordings providing an educational and emotive insight into the Gallipoli campaign and battles of the Western Front.

In addition to the unveiling of the statute, the revered flag carried ashore by Duncan Chapman at Gallipoli will be brought to Maryborough on April 24th. The flag is a significant representation of the Third Brigade and the Ninth Battalion. Duncan Chapman kept the flag tucked in his chest as he was the first Anzac to step ashore on what we now know as Anzac Cove.

The flag was donated by Lt Chapman's younger sister, Clara, after he was killed in action during the Pozieres campaign on the western front. The flag is now kept in a glass cabinet in the Enoggera Barracks museum and can only be handled with white gloves.

Relatives of Lt Duncan Chapman are travelling from Victoria to see the unveiling of the statue in Maryborough, before taking the flag to the Brisbane march for Anzac morning.

Across the water on nearby Fraser Island, another moving ceremony will bring to life the largely unknown links of Fraser Island's famous Maheno shipwreck to Gallipoli and the Anzacs.

"The ceremony is nationally significant in that it celebrates the ANZAC links between Australia and New Zealand that were cemented on those fateful shores one hundred years ago," Cr O'Connell said.

The SS Maheno, which ran aground on Fraser Island during a storm in 1935, served in a number of dramatic mercy missions as a New Zealand hospital ship in the Dardanelles campaign.

This ANZAC Day, school students from the small New Zealand island town of Maheno - after which the ship was named - will ring the ship's original bell alongside the shipwreck as dawn breaks on the island.

Two replicas are being made of the bell, which is the property of the Maheno School, while it is in Australia. One of the replicas will become a lasting memorial on Fraser Island, while the other will be displayed at the Queensland Maritime Museum in Brisbane.

Renowned Maryborough inventor Peter Olds, from Olds Engineering, is crafting the replicas.

Cr O'Connell said the Maheno was now a famous tourist attraction and one of the island's most visited destinations. "Yet few of the thousands and thousands of people visiting the shipwreck each year would have had any idea of the ship's proud ANZAC history."

He said the Duncan Chapman and the Maheno Bell memorial projects would help cement the region's position as a leading Queensland destination for military heritage tourism

"They will link with other military monuments and attractions including Maryborough's heritage listed Cenotaph, its acclaimed Military and Colonial Museum and the Hervey Bay Light Horse statue, Cr O'Connell said.


Fraser Coast Anzac Ceremony details
  • There are two opportunities to see The 'Dawn of the Anzacs' sound and light tribute. The first display is at 5.15am on April 24, the morning before Anzac Day. The official presentation will begin at the Duncan Chapman statue at 4.45am on Anzac Day, dovetailing into the traditional dawn service at the Cenotaph.
  • The Maheno Anzac Day Centenary Commemoration on Fraser Island is open to the public. It will be held at 10am and finish at 11am. The Maheno Shipwreck is located on the Eastern Beach of Fraser Island

Background information

Duncan Chapman

Duncan Chapman was born in Maryborough in May 1888 and attended Maryborough Central State School before becoming a paymaster in Albion, Brisbane where he enlisted in August 1914. He fought for the length of the Gallipoli campaign and later served on Europe's Western Front, rising to the rank of Major. He was killed in action on August 6, 1916 on the Pozieres battlefield in France.

The state of Duncan Chapman is a testament to the region's community spirit with the $60,000 project being largely funded by public donations.

The Maheno
  • The Maheno was a luxury passenger ship that operated on the trans Tasman run between Australia and New Zealand until it was converted to a 335 floating hospital ship at the outbreak of WW1.
  • It was anchored off ANZAC Cove just four months after the Gallipoli campaign begun. It is estimated that 2,350 injured soldiers were treated on the ship, with some of the wounded lying on mattresses on the decks.
  • It was involved in regular runs to hospitals in Malta and Egypt while in Gallipoli. It sailed to Britain with seriously injured patients, before returning to the action on the Western front in France. It also transported wounded soldiers back to Australia and New Zealand
  • The 122m (400-foot) vessel, built in 1905 as a triple-screw turbine steamer for the Union Steam Navigation Company, held the glory of being the first turbine steamer to cross the Pacific Ocean.
  • The Maheno returned to civilian service in 1920 but in 1935 it was sold to Japanese ship wreckers and was decommissioned. It was under tow bound for Japan when cyclonic weather broke ties, and drifted for almost two days until the ship was found ashore on Fraser Island.

Traveloscopy | 

Mother's Day Getaways in NSW

With Mother's Day fast approaching on 10 May, now is the time to plan the ultimate weekend away with the whole family and treat your mum to a truly special and fun-filled getaway.

According to Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase, “Destination NSW is noticing a trend towards multi-generational holidays, where grandparents, parents and their children are booking holidays together to celebrate milestones”.

Hydro Majestic High Tea

“Be it a weekend away or a week long family adventure, milestone holidays to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions are on the rise. NSW offers families a wealth of holiday ideas, from once-in-a-lifetime adventures to wine-escapes, from high tea with a view to cooking classes the whole family can enjoy,” said Ms Chipchase.

Here are some ideas to help plan for the ultimate Mother's Day weekend away with the whole family.

Francophile in Sydney – Book tickets to Les Miserables, at the Capitol Theatre, which tells an epic love story set against the backdrop of 19th century revolutionary France. Continue your French-inspired weekend at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth with the Chic Gourmandise package, which includes an indulgent French inspired afternoon tea at the Soiree Bar. Then choose to dine at one of Sydney's best French-inspired restaurants such as Ananas Bar & Brasserie, which is French for pineapple.

Once-in-a-lifetime experience – Give your mum a once in a lifetime experience and hike Australia's highest mountain, Mt Kosciuszko. While in theSnowy Mountains book a stay at Pender Lea in a glamorous chalet for ten people or treat your mum to an indulgent weekend at Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa where she will enjoy morning yoga, a spa treatment and dining on local produce at Cuisine.

Luxury long weekend away on Lord Howe Island - Kicking off on the Mother's Day weekend is the winter sales packages to Lord Howe Island. For that last minute gift idea, book her a long weekend stay on this World Heritage island, the package includes flights, accommodation at a luxury resort, spa treatments and gourmet dining.

High tea with a view - Marking its first Mother's Day since its reopening, the historic Hydro Majestic, in the Blue Mountains, will be putting on a truly spectacular day for mums. Book the interconnecting family rooms with views over the magnificent Megalong Valley, then enjoy its iconic high tea or pick up local cheeses and wines from the onsite produce store for a picnic with a view.

Experience what's new in the Hunter Valley – Adult children might like to spoil their mum with an indulgent weekend away in the Hunter Valley. For something new, book a stay at the H Boutique Hotel, sample wines at the newHart & Hart Cellar Door and dine at the recently opened EXP restaurant at Oakvale Winery.


Cultural immersion – Ngaran Ngaran at Narooma on South Coast is running a Mother's Day weekend tour suitable for the whole family. Discover what makes the South Coast sacred to the Yuin people, the spiritual significance of the land and experience first-hand the dreaming stories that have been passed down through the generations. A fun experience, this is also a chance learn about these Saltwater people.

Fit mums – Run as a family in the 2km, 5km or 10km fun run at the Mother's Day Classic in Yamba on the North Coast. While in Yamba, active families will love walking the 5km Angourie walking track, which forms part of the impressiveYuraygir Coastal Walk, while families with young children will enjoy a visit to the Glen Ian Ostrich and Emu Farm.

Cook up a storm in luxury – Kids, young and old, lovecooking with their mum. I Feel Good cooking classes, in Berry on the South Coast, run plant-based whole food cooking classes, while nearby Broughton Mill Farm Guesthouse and Cooking School, a luxury country retreat runs cooking classes using local chefs and produce.

Gourmet long lunch – Book a country house for the weekend and choose to dine at some of NSW's best regional restaurants. A number of Mudgeerestaurants are putting on special Mother's Day lunches. Book a spot at Zin House for the Mother's Day Long Lunch and enjoy a six course menu of local and seasonal produce or at Di Lusso Estate to feast on wood fired pizzas and Italian style cuisine while enjoying a glass of Mudgee grown Italian style wine. While at the Pipeclay Pumphouse, recently listed at one of NSW's top 150 restaurants, enjoy fine dining at the stunning Robert Stein Vineyard and Winery.

Share your favourite Mother's Day with Destination NSW @VisitNSW and#NewSouthWales.

For more information go to visitnsw.com.

Traveloscopy | 

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