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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Wanaka’s Treble Cone ski area fired up for opening this weekend


#treblecone

Snowguns are firing, temperatures dropping and excitement's building for Treble Cone ski area's official opening this Saturday (June 23).

Treble Cone's opening five days earlier than scheduled thanks to healthy pre-season snowfalls. And right on cue the mountain's snowguns have been firing this week just as meteorologists are predicting "significant" natural snowfalls early next week.

For TC's loyal fanbase the news couldn't be better.

The lucky riders of the first five chairs on the Home Basin Express will be rewarded for their chilly early morning 'camp out' with coveted 'First on the Chair' T-shirts and a $30 lunch voucher each, so they can sample items from the delicious new mountain menu.

Opening day will be celebrated in style with free Amisfield bubbles in the plaza, and season pass holders can fuel up for a big day on the slopes with tasty (and free) egg and bacon rolls between 8.30am to 10am, or while stocks last.

The ski area is reporting plenty of snow across the mountain, with 75cm at the top of the Saddle Basin Quad, 70cm at the top of the Home Basin Express and 25cm at the base.

All lifts will be open and operating from Saturday morning, including the Saddle Basin lift accessing some of the mountain's most extensive terrain for intermediate and expert skiers and boarders.

Treble Cone General Manager Toby Arnott says the hard work behind the scenes to open early will be worth it over the weekend.

"The warm welcome to Treble Cone starts at the bottom of our ski area access road this year with a new coffee cart serving up coffee, pastries and wraps for breakfast on the go," he says.

"That bottom car park also features a new Airstream caravan with a staff member on board to help guests buy passes, lessons or rental gear before they even reach the base building.

"We're operating a free new Treble Cone Shuttle service from the car park so guests can park up, grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy the view without worrying about snow on the road or the hassle of fitting chains, a great door-to-door service."

In addition, a Wanaka/Treble Cone Express will depart Wanaka daily at 7.30am and 9.30am, picking up at key hotels and the Treble Cone town office with return trips leaving at 2pm and 4pm.

It's a complimentary service for those who have bought a lift pass or lessons but must be booked through guests' hotel concierge or online daily at treblecone.com

"Conditions are currently fantastic on the mountain and we can't wait to welcome our first guests," says Toby.

"We have the highest elevation of any ski area in the region and if the forecasts are right we're looking to receive a serious amount of snow early next week which should ensure outstanding conditions leading into July.

"People want to ride and our team's been working around the clock to deliver an experience that will be well worth the wait!"

All mountain facilities will be operating from Saturday onwards including rentals, lessons and a full F&B service.

In anticipation of opening, it's recommended that season pass holders visit the town office to collect their pass early. With staff training being finalized on the mountain, the office is open from 3pm to 6pm on Thursday and 1pm to 6pm on Friday.

Normal winter office hours are 7am until 6pm. Day or multi-day passes can be bought online.

Picture captions (please credit Jackson Lana):

1/ Untracked – Treble Cone's Saddle Basin is ready and waiting for opening on Saturday June 23


W: www.treblecone.com

On Location Tours brings you up close to the lights, camera and action!



Take a TV & movie tour with On Location Tours to follow in the footsteps of your favorite TV and movie characters. On Location Tours is a one-of-a-kind sightseeing company that offers unique TV and movie-themed bus tours in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Each tour highlights popular sites featured on the big and small screens. Celebrating 19 years in business, the company is one of the East Coast’s most popular tourist attractions and is one of the world’s largest TV and movie tour companies.

Six separate bus tours and one walking tour are currently offered in New York City: NYC TV & Movie Tour, Sex and the City Hotspots Tour, Gossip Girl Sites Tour, Sopranos Sites Tour, The Super Tour of NYC: Heroes! Comics! More! TCM Classic Film Tour, When Harry Met Seinfeld Tour, Holiday Lights & Movie Sites Tour, and Central Park TV & Movie Sites walking tour. On Location Tours also operates the Boston Movie Mile walking tour as well as private group tours in Boston. All tours are led by local actors who offer inside industry information from a first-hand perspective.


Cafe Lalo from 'You've Got Mail'

The NYC TV & Movie Tour features more than 40 locations from some of the most popular TV shows and movies that use NYC as a backdrop. This three-hour tour showcases locations from Friends, Seinfeld, American Hustle, Glee, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Trainwreck, Mr. Robot, Birdman, Girls, The Smurfs, Spider-man, How I Met Your Mother, The Amazing Spider-man, Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones, and so much more. This tour is available in French via an app on your smartphone.

The Sex and the City Hotspots Tour includes more than 40 locations from the hit TV show and both movies. Follow in the footsteps of Carrie & Co. to see where they shop, drink and dine. Locations include the site of Big and Carrie’s rehearsal dinner, the shop where Charlotte bought her “Rabbit,” the bar owned by Aidan and Steve in the series and Carrie’s stoop. This tour is available in German via a new PocketGuide App on your smartphone.

Ghostbusters fire station

Experience a day in the life of Manhattan’s privileged Upper East Siders on the Gossip Girl Sites Tour. See The Palace Hotel, home to the Bass and van der Woodsen families, The Constance Billard School for Girls, Dylan’s Candy Bar, and shop at Henri Bendel, where Blair and Serena frequent. There are more than 40 locations on this tour.

New Jersey is the destination for Sopranos Sites Tour, covering more than 40 locations from the hit show. The Bada Bing, the Muffler Man and Pizzaland are some of the highlights.


Pizzaland from Sopranos

Comic fans from around the world can unite in New York City on The Super Tour of NYC: Heroes! Comics! More! See where your favorite superheroes from The Avengers, Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Jessica Jones and so much more saved the day on this three-hour guided bus tour.

Go back in time on the Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Tour to see some of the most iconic locations from the most filmed city in the world. This tour gives movie lovers the opportunity to connect with the TCM brand and share their passion for great films in a unique way. See locations from King Kong, Woody Allen’s Manhattan, The Seven Year Itch, North by Northwest, Superman, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and so much more.

The When Harry Met Seinfeld Tour takes a look at TV & movie locations above Times Square - bringing fans closer to some of the most famous uptown locations featured on the big and small screens. The tour is inspired by classic shows that epitomize NYC such as Seinfeld and romantic comedies including When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail. Locations from recent hits like Trainwreck, Pitch Perfect, How To Be Single, The Amazing Spider-Man, Gossip Girl and The Other Guys give this tour a fresh twist.


How I Met Your Mother in McGee's Pub

The Holiday Lights & Movie Sites is a seasonal tour that started in November 2013.On this tour, participants can see how a lit up New York City sparkles during the holidays as the tour bus travels to iconic landmarks and some of the city’s hidden gems featured in classic holiday movies such as Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone 2, Elf, Scrooged, and many more. The tour runs from Black Friday through January 1.

For those interested in seeing New York’s most famous backdrop, the walking tour of Central Park TV & Movie Sites is a tour through this world-famous park, covering more than 30 movie locations. The tour visits the Literary Walk seen in the season finale of Glee, the Boathouse from When Harry Met Sally, the Bandshell from Breakfast at Tiffany's, Bethesda Fountain seen in Enchanted and Wollman Rink used in Serendipity. This tour is available in French, German and Spanish.

The Boston Movie Mile walking tour visits more than 25 locations from movies and TV shows such as Good Will Hunting, The Departed, Blown Away, Cheers and many others.

The bus tours take place on coach buses and include step-off locations for a quick bite to eat and for fun photo opportunities. TV theme songs and video clips from the actual television shows and movies seen on the tour are part of the overall experience. Advance purchase is required and tickets can be purchased by calling Zerve (212) 913-9780, or at www.onlocationtours.com. Ask about tours in different languages.


About On Location Tours, Inc.: Founded in June of 1999 by Georgette Blau, and is among the largest TV and movie locations tour companies in the world. Since the company’s inception, Blau has been featured in thousands of media outlets all over the world including: People Magazine, ABC's Primetime Live, The Travel Channel’s Road Trip, and Entertainment Weekly. In addition she has founded the Association of Tours of TV and Movies (ATTAM), the first organization to represent TV and movie tour companies around the world. Blau plans to establish TV and movie location tours in additional cities across the U.S.

Scoot inaugural to Berlin

#flyscoot

A year after Athens, Scoot launches third long-haul destination with non-stop four-times-weekly Singapore-Berlin flights



Scoot, Asia/Pacific's Best Low Cost Airline for four consecutive years and the low-cost arm of the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group, launched its inaugural flight to Berlin today, the first of its four-times-weekly non-stop Singapore-Berlin services. The capital city of Germany is Scoot's third long-haul destination after Athens in Greece and Honolulu in the United States, both of which were launched last year.

Scoot's flight TR734 departed Singapore Changi Airport at about 12.25am local time and received a traditional water cannon salute upon arriving at Berlin Tegel Airport at approximately 7.20 am local time today. The aircraft, a widebody Boeing 787 Dreamliner named "Bo Jio", had carried 311 customers - 95% full. Customers originated from Singapore, Indonesia and Australia among other countries, and half of them comprised young adults between 18 and 35 years old. Known for its unique and fun personality, Scoot has been known to organise neon parties, band performances, and even an inflight wedding on board its flights. In line with Berlin's reputation as the party central of Europe, customers of TR734 were invited to take part in an electro dance party and exciting games with prizes.



Mr Lee Lik Hsin, Scoot's CEO, said, "With the addition of Berlin just a year after we successfully launched Athens, and then Honolulu, Scoot's low-cost long-haul network continues to grow at a steady pace. Vibrant, creative and steeped in history, we are confident that the city of Berlin will appeal to any market or demographic, and open a new and exciting part of the continent for travellers."

Scoot's spacious and comfortable state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliners offer several amenities and services suited to long-haul travel, such as inflight Wi-Fi, in-seat power and inflight ScooTV entertainment streamed to guests' own devices. Guests can also choose from a full-leather ScootBiz seat with 38" pitch, 30kg checked-in baggage, and meals and drinks included, or enjoy a peaceful journey in the ScootinSilence economy class quiet zone with seat pitches ranging from 31" up to 35".

Scoot's extensive route network currently spans 65 destinations across 18 countries and territories, with Nanchang to join next month. Its fleet of 17 787 Dreamliners and 24 Airbus A320 family aircraft, with three more Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 39 Airbus A320neo aircraft on order, is slated to increase to about 70 aircraft by 2022. With the addition of Berlin, the SIA Group network in Germany now encompasses four cities, including Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich, with a total of 29 return services a week.

Book your epic Berlin holiday now at www.FlyScoot.com or on the Scoot mobile app


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hong Kong's first Airbus A350-1000 arrives




#FlyCathayA35K #FlyCleaner #FlyBetter #FlyFurther

Aircraft is the catalyst for Cathay Pacific to launch new destinations and provide an enhanced travel experience



Cathay Pacific welcomed the newest member to its fleet as the first of its 20 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft prepares to fly from Toulouse, France to the airline's home of Hong Kong today on a blend of biofuel.

Eight of these aircraft will be delivered this year with the remainder to arrive by 2021. After initial rounds of regional services, starting with its first commercial flight to Taipei on 1 July 2018, the A350-1000 will launch Cathay Pacific's new service to Washington DC on 15 September 2018, which at 8,153 miles makes it the longest on the airline's network.

This technologically-advanced aircraft will also serve Madrid, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Manchester and Zurich from the coming winter.

Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Paul Loo said: "We already have one of the youngest long-haul fleets in the sky, and with the arrival of the A350-1000, our fleet is only going to get younger.

"The aircraft follows the successful entry of the -900 variant which has enabled us to expand our long-haul network at a near-unprecedented rate, providing our customers with a wider range of non-stop travel choices, while at the same time strengthening Hong Kong's position as Asia's largest international aviation hub.

"The -1000 is very similar to the -900 in terms of its operational excellence. It has an incredible range, is remarkably fuel efficient and quiet, provides customers with an unsurpassed cabin environment and has extremely attractive operating economics."

In just two years, Cathay Pacific has opened non-stop routes to a slew of destinations served by the A350 fleet, including Barcelona, Brussels, Christchurch, Copenhagen, London Gatwick, Tel Aviv, and, most recently, Dublin. A new A350-900 service to Cape Town will be launched in November.



Powered by the latest technology Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, the A350-1000 has considerable freight capacity, an important characteristic for Cathay Pacific, one of the world's largest cargo airlines.

Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, said: "We are proud to deliver the A350-1000 to our long-standing customer Cathay Pacific. The aircraft brings major advantages in fuel and cost efficiency along with unrivalled passenger comfort. The combination of the world's newest wide-body and Cathay Pacific's world famous in-flight service will ensure that the airline can strengthen its position even further as one of the world's leading international carriers."



Comfort and well-being taken to a new level

The largest variant in the A350 family, Cathay Pacific's A350-1000s will carry a total of 334 passengers across its Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins, 54 more passengers more than the airline's A350-900s.

Passenger comfort was at the heart of our team when they designed the cabins for this new aircraft. Featuring a brand-new Economy Class seat with a larger, higher definition personal television, and an advanced inflight entertainment system and LED mood lighting, the aircraft's cabins are also 50% quieter in perceived levels of external noise.

Furthermore, enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity means passengers can remain connected throughout their journey.

Meanwhile, a higher cabin pressure supplies more oxygen to lower the effective cabin cruising altitude to 6000 ft on the A350-1000, which reduces passenger fatigue and improves their well-being.

Fuelling a greener future

Cathay Pacific has been at the forefront of many initiatives to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions and like with delivery of its 22 A350-900 aircraft already in operation, all 20 A350-1000s will be flown from Toulouse, the home of Airbus, to Hong Kong using a blend of alternate jet fuel.

Achieving carbon neutral growth from 2020 is an important target for Cathay Pacific and using alternative fuels is one of its pillar initiatives. Compared to traditional jet fuel, sustainable biofuel can reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%.

Cathay Pacific is also the world's first airline to invest in biofuel technology. In 2014 it became an equity investor in US-based Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc., which focuses on turning municipal waste into sustainable aviation fuel.

In May 2018, Fulcrum broke ground on its first commercial-scale plant in Nevada. When the plant begins operations in 2020, it will produce over 10 million gallons of fuel for airlines including Cathay Pacific each year.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Road Trip to Tibet's Village of Happiness





Adventure travel specialist, World Expeditions, is bracing for renewed interest in travel to Tibet, with the opening of a new border crossing and new road access allowing more convenient - and cheaper - travel between Kathmandu in Nepal and Kyirong in Tibet, dubbed the region's 'village of happiness'.

World Expeditions was the first Australian adventure travel company to run commercial treks in Tibet in 1981, and remains one of only a handful of operators offering the iconic overland journey between Kathmandu and Lhasa in September, when the new road linking the two cities is completed. The journey has been more expensive and taken longer since the April 2015 earthquake damaged the Friendship Highway, the main arterial road linking the two cities, forcing travellers to fly in and out of Lhasa and 'backtrack' to the Tibetan capital after an overland exploration.

World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari, said the recent opening of a new border post between Nepal and Tibet was welcome news.

"We have been watching with great anticipation since late 2016 when road works recommenced to deliver the trade and tourism route linking Kathmandu to Lhasa," Ms Badyari said. "This is the most enjoyable way to travel into Tibet using what is touted as one of the most scenic high routes in the world and it's great news that it's back to business for Tibet."

The new border post is located west of the Langtang Himal mountain range (the Friendship Highway previously used a border crossing to the east of Langtang) and new access by road opens one of the lesser known parts of Tibet: Kyirong, the 'village of happiness'.

At 2,800m high, Kyirong is known for its subtropical climate and abundant vegetation, both of which are unusual for the Tibetan plateau. It is fondly remembered by Heinrich Harrer in the autobiographical travel classic, 'Seven Years in Tibet' who lamented "I shall never cease thinking of this place with yearning", describing idyllic scenes, such as bamboo-grove, bubbling hot spring, near the banks of an ice-cold glacial river.

The new road means World Expeditions' trips to the region are now at least $500 cheaper without the need for return flights, as well as taking the traditional scenic route:

The 15 day High Road to Lhasa (https://worldexpeditions.com/China/Adventure-Touring/High-Road-to-Lhasa) is the classic Tibetan journey – an immersive crossing of the Tibetan Plateau from fabled Lhasa to bustling Kathmandu, with a rare opportunity to see Mt Everest from a vantage point close to Everest Base Camp. Now $4,190 per person.

The 18 day Beijing to Kathmandu (https://worldexpeditions.com/China/Adventure-Touring/Beijing-to-Kathmandu) is an epic, journey across China to the high Tibetan Plateau. Now $5,390 per person.

The 20 day Journey to Mount Kailash (https://worldexpeditions.com/China/Trekking-Hiking/Journey-to-Mount-Kailash) is a 'pilgrimage' trek to Mount Meru, revered in both Hindu and Buddhist legends as the centre of the universe. Now $5,640 per person.

Everest Kangshung Face (https://worldexpeditions.com/China/Trekking-Hiking/Everest-Kangshung-Face) : Cross the Tibetan Plateau and trek to Kangshung, the eastern-facing (and most remote) side of Mount Everest. Now $6,590 per person.

Additional World Expeditions' trips to Tibet, including The Ancient City of Lhasa (https://worldexpeditions.com/China/Adventure-Touring/The-Ancient-City-of-Lhasa) and Beijing to Lhasa Journey (https://worldexpeditions.com/China/Adventure-Touring/Beijing-to-Lhasa-Journey), are unaffected by the changes.

More information at www.worldexpeditions.com or phone 1300 720 000.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Blue Mountains Winter Festival Cancelled for 2018 - to return in 2019


Katoomba’s Winter Magic festival will not happen in 2018.

The committee voted on January 29 to cancel this year, which would have been the 25th festival. There were concerns from the traffic management company, which said it didn’t want to work on the festival “in its current state”.

Read full report

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Wonder Woman's Madame Tussauds wax figure revealed at #Supanova



The wax figure of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was dramatically revealed in front of an audience of over 15,000 Super hero fans at Supanova Sydney this afternoon.

The extremely lifelike wax figure joins equally lifelike figures of Superman, Batman and The Flash in the newest attraction at Madame Tussauds Sydney, Justice League: A Call for Heroes.

Gal Gadot was blown away by her wax doppleganger, "If you look in my eyes long enough I might blink. Such an honor! Thank you so much Madame Tussauds."

Opening on Saturday 30th June, the new interactive experience allows guests to follow Justice League as they battle the evil LexCorp.

"Australians love the Justice League so we're beyond excited to launch an epic new experience that will enable our guests to be a part of the action this June," said Mark Connolly, General Manager.

"Madame Tussauds Sydney, together with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, has created a unique and immersive Justice League experience with exciting plans to unite an all-star cast of DC Super Heroes. It's an unbeatable roster of heroes to the sensational, hi-tech experiences and we can't wait to share it with you all."

Main image credit: Bruce Moyle - Supanova Comic-Con & Gaming.

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The Expeditionist
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