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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Heart of the Noosa Food & Wine Festival


The Festival Village is the heart of Noosa Food & Wine and the place to be on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May. Located in the Noosa Lions Park with the beautiful Noosa waterways as a backdrop there will be live cooking demonstrations, masterclasses, great food and drinks, live music and so much more across the weekend. Read on to find out what's new and what's returning to the heart of Noosa Food & Wine!
The River Lounge – NEW- 2 hour sessions $75 per ticket: The Festival Village's newest space, The River Lounge will be bringing some of Australia's best chefs and producers together to create good vibes, delicious bites and hand-curated cocktails.  Available only at Noosa Food & Wine for one time only, there will be collaborations like you've never seen before, from Paul Carmichael with Four Pillars right through to Sum Yung Guys with Stone & Wood.  
The Drinks Lab – NEW - 30 minute sessions $45 per ticket: Another exciting addition for the Festival Village, The Drinks Lab is bringing together some of our nation's best mixologists, wine connoisseurs and spirit gurus to create a series of alcohol inspired masterclasses. The best in the business will be spilling all of their secrets and tricks of the trade from artisan gin, right through to authentic sake.  
Live Cooking Demonstrations: The Main Stage will feature cooking demonstrations across Saturday and Sunday from celebrity chefs including: Matt Moran, Paul Carmichael, Alessandro Pavoni, Giovanni Pilu, Alastair McLeod, Kirsten Tibballs, Anna Polyviou and others. Noosa's own Matt Golinksi and Matt Sinclair will also be cooking up a storm and crowd favourite, Matt Preston returns again with demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday.
Taste of Noosais where you will find some of Noosa's best restaurants dishing up great food across the weekend. Restaurants include Bombetta, El Capitano, Café Le Monde, Embassy XO, Sum Yung Guys, Providore on Hastings, Peregian Beach Hotel, Padre Coffee, View by Matt Golinski, Acruri at RACV Noosa Resort, Village Bicycle, Zachary's and Fiona's Fancies.
The Craft Beer & Cider Corner returns this year with crowd favourites Stone & Wood working alongside some of Noosa's best craft brewers including Land & Sea, Heads of Noosa and Boiling Pot. Brouhaha and Diablo Ginger Beer will also be joining the party.
Wanting to meet some great local and visiting producers? The Providore on Hastings Pavilion is the place to be where you will find Amrita Park Mead, Big Heart Bamboo, CC's Kitchen, Cobram Estate, Cooloola Berries, Hum Honey, Kenilworth Dairies, Kokopod Chocolate Australia, Lindols Macadamias, Salumi Australia, Slow Food Noosa, The Fermentary, The Pumpkin House, Ugly Duck Preserves, Barenuts, Woombye Cheese Co. and other producers.
Olsson's Salts Masterclasses - 30 minute sessions $35 per ticket: Olsson's Salts are returning again with their intimate range of masterclasses from some of Australia's best chefs, producers and winemakers. These sessions will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and learn from chefs and producers themselves, second only to being personally invited into their workshops and kitchens. These exclusive masterclasses are a ticketed item and are only accessible with Festival Village tickets.
Festival Inclusions:
Entry to the Festival Village includes your Noosa Food & Wine Festival stemless poly-carb wine glass, complimentary glass of Dal Zotto Prosecco, live cooking demonstrations, access to the Chef's Skills Table, access to Taste of Noosa Restaurants,entryto the Providore on Hastings Pavilion, entry to the Craft Beer & Cider Corner, live music from 3pm and more!
The Essentials:
  • The Festival Village will open Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May from 10am – 8pm
  • The Festival Village is an all-weather event
  • Getting to the Festival is easy thanks to the complimentary shuttle bus running between the Noosa Transit Centre, The J in Noosa Junction and the Festival Village in Noosa Lions Park on Saturday and Sunday
  • The Festival is a cashless event so bring your debit card, credit card or phone and tap and go!
  • Book now and save or pay $41 at the gate on the day
  • $1 from every entry to the Festival Village will support 'Trees for Tourism' supportingNoosa & District Landcare's rehabilitation initiatives, in particular the Noosa Trail Network Revegetation Project. Your contribution as part of the Festival Village ticket price will help provide shade trees for walkers, assist with erosion and improve the habitat for local wildlife species.
For the full program and to purchase event tickets visit  www.noosafoodandwine.com.au
The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support the Noosa Food & Wine Festival which features on the It's Live! in Queensland events calendar. Queensland, just the place to experience Australia's best live events.



Traveloscopy | 

Turon Gates Pitches Six New Riverside Glamping Tents


Leading NSW bush retreat Turon Gates has added six new riverside, self-catering glamping tents to its 6000-acre Blue Mountains property.



The spacious new 50 sqm tents feature sophisticated neutral-toned teak and canvas interiors and combine rustic quality and functionality to stunning effect. It's a beautiful place in the wild for grownups.

Adventure in style.

Furnishings include a sumptuous four-poster bed plus daybed and lounge area, elegant contemporary bathroom (with a tempting bath for two), kitchenette with Nespresso coffee machine and a Danish wood burner stove for cosy nights.

Turn on or turn off at Turon



A welcome gift of local wine and honey, complimentary toiletries, and an in-tent selection of magazines, books and board games, create an instantly chillaxed vibe.

All Turon's glamping tents have a large outdoor deck with comfy day loungers and overlook the clear trout stream running through the property. The tents are fully insulated and have window coverings that unroll for extra breeze and views - the perfect recipe for a romantic night under the Turon stars.

Kirsten Lunoe of Turon Gates says, “We are excited to bring couples' glamping to the Blue Mountains and believe it will appeal to those looking for a unique experience within easy reach of Sydney.

“Our new glamping tents offer urban escapees a unique outdoor experience in an authentic bush setting. A scenic road trip of about three hours from Sydney immerses you in the great outdoors, where you'll be sharing the 'hood with kangaroos, wombats, platypus and echidnas.

“Our guests love that they can choose to go bush horse riding or have an in-tent massage. Bush walks, canoeing or just chilling out are also popular at Turon. If guests then want to venture out and explore local happenings, Katoomba, Mudgee, Bathurst and Lithgow are within easy reach, but the magic of Turon tends to stop the urge to venture elsewhere,” adds Kirsten.



The new offering at Turon Gates includes The Pavilion, a unique event glamping tent accommodating up to 100 seated or 150 standing guests for special gatherings, corporate & wellness retreats.

In keeping with its commitment to all things sustainable, Turon Gates is solar powered. If you'd rather not do a digital detox, Wi-Fi is available around the glamping site to keep you connected and able to share your Turon experience.

For more information about Turon Gates including accommodation options, prices and availability visit:https://www.turongates.com/

A few facts…
  • Glamping prices are from $231 per night.
  • Dogs are welcome in the cabins at Turon but sadly not in these flash tents!
  • The tents are self-catering.



Traveloscopy | 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Six Senses Yao Noi Reintroduces ‘The View’ - Southeast Asia’s Ultimate Romantic Villa


YAO NOI, Thailand – The View, a newly revamped premium one-bedroom villa at Six Senses Yao Noi is now welcoming guests. Ideal for couples, especially honeymooners and those celebrating a special occasion, it provides an abode of comfort, exclusivity and space with a touch of fun and quirky elements.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Milford Sound cruise aboard Milford Haven





The wonders of Milford Sound draw visitors from around the world, with a cruise on the crystal-clear waters of the fiord a tourism ‘must-do’.

While the fiord hasn’t changed for hundreds of years, one thing has – a cruise experience that goes above and beyond, from a company that’s gaining a reputation for thinking ‘outside the box’ in everything it does.

Say hello to the new-look Milford Haven from Go Orange.

Guests on board enjoy a top-notch experience on the most unique boat around - a perfect marriage of design, art and outstanding hospitality.

From velvet-soft seating in jewel-like shades to café-style booths, eye-catching artwork, chilled music (this is a largely commentary-free zone), and an AstroTurf top deck with wooden bench seating, outdoor bar and beanbags – this is a cruise boat like no other.

For Go Orange, fast gaining a reputation as a nimble innovator challenging long-held ways of doing business, their unique approach to a boat refit is not unexpected.

General Manager Luke Taylor says their aim was to “surprise and delight” passengers when they stepped on board.

“The concept was born from a desire to be different,” he says.

“We want people to chill out, relax, and enjoy the uniqueness of the Haven and what it has to offer just as much as the scenery outside.

“Our passenger numbers are limited to 200, even though our capacity is for double, to showcase one of the best places on earth, without the crowds.

“We’ve been able to create more open spaces and seating areas that actually face the windows, as well as significantly improving how people move around the boat.

“Everything that was obstructing the top deck view has been cleared to create Milford Sound’s only full 360-degree viewing area with comfortable, practical seating and AstroTurf, which everyone loves!”

Brought in to spearhead the refit were the owners and designers of Queenstown hospitality hot-spot Yonder.

Emily and Gary Livesey both originally have engineering backgrounds, but Emily admits Luke’s decision to choose them for the job rather than a marine engineer was intriguing and terrifying at the same time.

“If he had chosen anyone else he would have got boat-category furniture and material and a boat that looked like all the others,” she says.

“He said he wanted a fresh set of eyes and different design features which was so refreshing. It gave us the confidence to design rich and luxurious-looking curved seating that felt like you were in a lounge, a relaxed restaurant style and feel to the whole boat, and engaging pieces of art and photography from Kiwi artists.

“The devil is in the detail, right down to the white trim around the windows and the grey wool with diamond stitching on the café booth seating, which has been raised so people get a better view than they did before.

“The wooden seating on the top deck, with its two levels, is a great bit of fun but very practical, so people can sit comfortably with a drink or some lunch and no-one gets a bad view.”

Highlights on board include a green wall lit with ‘Go Beyond’ neon lighting, evocative framed images from photographer Troy Tanner, vintage-style prints from Lisa Nicole-Moes and Kiwiana prints by Glenn Jones.

The hospitality is an experience like no other in Milford Sound with barista made coffee, tasty delights from Queenstown’s Empanada Kitchen and Plant B, and an exclusively brewed Haven XPA from Canyon Food & Brew Co

More: https://www.goorange.co.nz/en/experiences/go-cruise/milford-sound-cruise/


137 Pillars House - a New Era of Elegance



The award-winning 137 Pillars House is a stunning 30 suite boutique hotel with a rich colonial past; built around the original colonial teak homestead which dates back to the late 1800s. It is located in a leafy residential enclave a few minutes’ walk from the historical Wat Gate Temple, Ping River and boutique shopping area. The hotel is a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH).

137 Pillars House opened in March 2012 and in conjunction with the 7th-anniversary celebrations, have revealed a new era of elegance following a refurbishment which took place over the past 9 months.

In addition to being returned to its original condition and maintaining the integrity of the colonial elegance of the property when it first opened, highlights of the refurbishment include the unveiling of a new suite category, softscape and landscape improvements, renovated perimeter and garden walls, new gym equipment with digital connectivity and enhancements to the Spa. The newly launched boutique offers a range of elegant artisan jewellery, unique handmade wooden home accessories and local silk textiles, together with gifts and souvenirs.

Suites now offer guests even more spacious comfort with the removal of the large television cabinets. Sleek new larger televisions are free standing.



Later this year the hotel’s dining experience will be further refined with the existing Palette Restaurant being transformed into a new dining concept.

Named as a tribute to a former occupant of the original teak homestead and a manager of the Borneo Company, three 85 sqm David Fleming Macfie Suites provide a luxurious haven and spacious living area for a family of up to four or a couple wanting additional air-conditioned living space with an al fresco conservatory. The King bedroom suites include a customized divan that provides comfortable seating during the day and converts to a bed at night. The adjoining spacious tropical vintage-tiled conservatories have the option of being enclosed and air-conditioned or open-air and are furnished with a plush daybed that can sleep a fourth person. All suites feature large walk-in closets, en-suite bathrooms with Victorian freestanding claw foot bathtubs and separate indoor and outdoor showers, the signature 137 Pillars rattan planter’s rocking chair and cane shades for privacy.

Local artisans were employed to restore the unique ‘Poon Tam’ walls throughout the property, using an ancient technique similar to that used in Thai temples where the colour is incorporated into the plaster.

“Our focus and purpose was to renew our suites to their original splendour, while adding thoughtful embellishments that appeal to today’s definition of luxury; namely space where we stripped out some larger pieces of furniture, meaningful technology with the addition of USB sockets, Vifa Bluetooth sound systems) and residential touches including elegant Lucite magazine racks, freeing up surfaces for guest needs and personal drinks consoles. The project was rather like polishing the diamond – with design inspired by the rich heritage and history of the property and a lush tropical landscape, with a striking palette chosen to soothe the senses, while paying attention to precision and simplicity and a sense of place,” said Anne Arrowsmith, General Manager.

Rates at 137 Pillars House start from THB 15,000 (USD 465) per night, inclusive of breakfast and are subject to applicable service charge and government taxes.

Website: www.137pillarschiangmai.com

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Moment at Lake Eyre with APT


Over recent months, rainfall in the Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia has led to an influx of water into the usually dry and barren inland sea, transforming Lake Eyre into a desert oasis, flourishing with life. Due to its remote location and unpredictable nature, this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime moment to experience.

To take in the beauty of this natural phenomenon APT has released a new seven-day Lake Eyre and Flinders Ranges journey. Travel in complete comfort aboard a custom-built 4WD vehicle and stay in a range of hand-picked accommodation, including two nights in luxury safari-style tents at the Wilpena Pound Resort.

Covering thousands of hectares, Lake Eyre takes on a pink hue as it floods, thanks to the developing presence of algae, while freshwater fish and a vast array of bird life, including white pelicans, begin to thrive. See this natural masterpiece spring to life with Poached-egg Daisies and Sturt Desert Peas in full bloom.

APT's seven-day Lake Eyre and Flinders Ranges trip includes all meals, the services of an expert Driver-Guide, and a range of APT Signature Experiences, including a scenic flight over Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre. Walk on the dazzling salt flats of Lake Eyre South, traverse the iconic Oodnadatta Track and become immersed in the incredible scenery of the Flinders Ranges.

Prices start at $3,995 per person twin share, including savings of up to $500 per person, with multiple departures running from the 29th of March until late May.

To find out more about joining APT on this once-in-a-lifetime journey, call 1300 196 420 or visit  https://www.aptouring.com.au/trips/australia/sa/gole7

apttravelgroup.com

Monday, February 18, 2019

Macau Festival lineup for 2019



MACAO is gearing up for a busy yet fruitful 2019 with the calendar filled with a mix of festivals and events to commemorate the Asian centre’s 20th anniversary as a special administrative region (SAR) OF THE People’s Republic of China.

Much of the limelight will be on Macao’s billing as a member of the elite global list of UNESCO Creative Cities for Gastronomy.

After launching the Chinese New Year of the Pig celebrations (February 5-10) with a vibrant parade and equally spectacular display of fireworks, the former Portuguese territory and its 650,000 residents are preparing for a year-long program with plenty of signature and traditional festivals, and culinary events to whet the appetite.

Heading the tourism campaigns through 2019 is Macao’s lovable mascot, Mak Mak, the creation of young local Tou Chon Wai. Mak Mak is a black-faced spoonbill native to Macao, her headwear inspired by the historic Guia Lighthouse, once the highest point of the former Portuguese territory.

Among a host of events for 2019 are:

· A-Ma Festival, where homage is paid to Macao's most popular deity, the Goddess of Seafarers (April 27);

· 30th Macao Arts Festival, various locations (May 4 – June 2);

· Procession of Our Lady of Fatima (May 13);

· Macao International Dragon Boat Races and Festival (June 1,2 and 7);

· 19th Macao Lotus Flower Festival (June 3-16);

· 2019 Wushu Masters Challenge, martial arts contest (August 1-4);

· Mid-Autumn Festival (September 13);

· The 30th Macao Fireworks Display Contest, with additional day bringing together a record 12 countries (between September 7 and October 5);

· 33rd Macao International Music Festival, various locations (October 4 – November 3).


Following on last year’s success, Macao will once again host the prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants promotion (March 25-26) complete with dining experiences, lectures, a chefs’ feast and a ritzy gala awards ceremony.

Drawing on the theme of ‘Vital Ingredients’, the opening event at the Wynn Palace Cotai will see leading chefs from the region discuss ideas around sustainability, sourcing, over-consumption and related issues facing cooks, restaurateurs and diners.

From April 26-28, Macao will host its 7th Macao International Travel Industry Expo (MITE) at The Venetian Macao, this year’s exhibition seeing a further increase in the number of booths.

In late September, Macao will celebrate World Tourism Day with an array of colourful activities while, in October, it will host the Global Tourism Economy Forum.

Food for thought later in the year is the 19th Macau Food Festival, the overwhelming aroma of dishes enough to wake the taste buds as guests wandering between the lakeside street stalls from November 8-24.

Traditionally, December is a busy month and 2019 will be no exception when the city’s stages the 9th Macau Shopping Festival, the ever-appealing Macao Light Festival, the giant Macao International Parade and the 4th International Film Festival and Awards – Macao (IFFAM), complete with its red-carpet ceremonies and galaxies of star celebrities.

To wind up the eventful year, sports fans will be treated to action aplenty at the 66th Macau Grand Prix and the Macao International Marathon while lovers of fireworks will prepare for a colourful evening on December 20 to commemorate the 20th year since the establishment of the Macao Administrative Region.

Not forgetting the traditional New Year fireworks on December 31.

“There’s little doubt, Macao knows how to party,” said Helen Wong, general manager of the Macao Government Tourism Office (Australia and New Zealand). “The number of festivals and events on the calendar is overwhelming.

“Being recognised by UNESCO for its gastronomy is one of the countless highlights in a city which has always been renowned for having one of the world’s earliest forms of fusion food,” she said.

“The story of Macanese cuisine is just as enticing as the taste of the food itself.”

Details: Macao Government Tourism Office, go to www.visitmacao.com.au (Australia) or www.visitmacao.co.nz

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