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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Intrepid Travel's new Vegan Food Adventures



Intrepid Travel has launched a range of vegan food tours in the world-renowned gastronomic destinations of India, Italy and Thailand in response to a growing plant-based movement.

The new tours will depart in 2019 and were developed by Intrepid Travel’s experienced destination and food product teams with insight from a team of vegan influencers from around the world.

Wellington: New Zealand’s Capital City Ranked The Best Place To Live In The World

Deutsch Bank's most recent Liveable City Index has named New Zealand's cool little capital Wellington number one for the second year in a row!



The Deutsche Bank Liveable City Index, ranks world cities in categories such as safety in the city, health care, cost of living, pollution and climate. Wellington has topped the table against bigger and arguably better-known cities including Zurich (2nd), Copenhagen (3rd), Edinburgh (4th) and Vienna (5th).

Wellington is a city best experienced like a local and Wellington Mayor Justin Lester encourages visitors to ditch the maps and guides and get lost in this vibrant, compact city.

"Being the world's best place to live also makes Wellington one of the best places to visit. It has all the benefits of a big city – great restaurants, shopping, art, events, markets – but all in a compact area surrounded by a beautiful harbour on one side, and bush-clad hills on the other.

"On an international scale we are safe, affordable and we've got good transport connections. Most importantly we've got a city full of wonderful people, which makes being here a pleasure."

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Colorado's Ghost Towns Inspire Intrepid Journeys and Libation Tours

#IPW18

Colorado's history runs as deep as the silver and gold veins that once lured a surge of fortune seekers here during the late-1800's mining boom.



But when those rich resources went bust, dozens of towns were abandoned—leaving behind saloons, mercantiles and other hallmarks of Wild West life. Catch glimpses of this bygone era in the remains of ghost towns tucked amid high peaks and remote wilderness. Though you'll have to drive a portion of the way to these deserted destinations, take an intrepid approach for the final leg.


ATV/OFF-ROAD VEHICLE

Ghost towns in Colorado range from mere ruins to surprisingly intact hamlets—for the latter, venture St. Elmo, where a few lingering residents run a general store and a guesthouse. Seek the help of Buena Vista's ATV Mountain Adventure Rentals, which will drop you and your rented ride off trailside (and pick you up later), leaving you to explore the dusty, straight-out-of-a-movie set streets on your own. An ATV also comes in handy for a bonus trip to nearby Tin Cup.

Set your sights on Animas Forks, located high in the San Juan Mountains. Just 12 miles away in Silverton, Rock Pirates Backcountry Adventures can hook you up with one of its rugged Tomcar OHVs for a bumpy-yet-scenic excursion up the Alpine Loop Scenic & Historic Byway. Check out nine remaining structures, including the two-story Duncan House with its impressive bay window.


HIKE

The North Park area is home to Teller City, a former silver-mining camp that at one time boasted 27 saloons, hundreds of log cabins and more than 1,500 residents—not too shabby given its dense-forest location. Head southeast of Walden to the Teller City Interpretive Site, then hit the .75-mil loop trail that winds arounds scattered remains of cabins and other artifacts.

The high-altitude setting of Carson (almost 12,000 feet) makes it all the more rewarding for its views of massive peaks. Lake City, situated near the Continental Divide, is your base for this adventure. Hop on the Alpine Loop Scenic & Historic Byway to Wager Gulch Trailhead. The moderate-to-difficult hike is a steady, 3.4-mile climb leading through open meadows and aspen stands to the Carson site.


BIKE

Eleven miles south of Aspen, Ashcroft is one of a few ghost towns that can be visited year-round. But it would be a shame to miss the vivid colors of wildflower season in late summer or fall's brilliant foliage—both ideal times for a two-wheeled ride along Castle Creek Road. Named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, Ashcroft is currently maintained by the Aspen Historical Society, and highlights include the still-standing post office, Blue Mirror Saloon and town jail.

Central City escaped a boom-to-bust fate, but hidden just up the hill is Nevadaville, which bustled with some 4,000 people in its heyday. Several original buildings and a few gravesites are left, in addition to the Nevada Lodge No.4, still used by Freemasons for monthly meetings. The route up gravelly County Road 1-S is just over a mile and makes for a nice mountain-bike jaunt.


SNOWSHOE/CROSS-COUNTRY SKI

Wintertime doesn't always mean you can't visit—in fact the scene might have a more ethereal vibe blanketed in snow. South of Ouray lies Ironton Park, home to the slumbering remnants of the Ironton townsite. A local group maintains and grooms Nordic trails after fresh snows, including the roughly 2-mile Townsite Loop, which passes by a two-story Victorian house and the Larson Brother's Mine.

Close to Summit County's popular ski resorts is Mayflower Gulch Trail. Go six miles south of Copper Mountain to the trailhead, then strap on your showshoes for a four-mile round trip to Boston Mine. Your path follows a gently sloped wagon road through forest before opening up to a bowl peppered with old mining cabins and an ore chute at the base of Fletcher Mountain.


JEEP TOUR

Sometimes it's easier—but no less thrilling—to let the pros take the wheel. Telluride Outside guide service is happy to oblige with its 4WD tours in beefed-up Chevy trucks. The Imogene Pass itinerary departs from Telluride toward Tomboy on an intermediate road, meaning the tour is suited to all ages, but you'll still get your kicks. Amenities like tennis courts and a bowling alley once graced the area where a collection of collapsed remains and foundations now exist.

Strike out from Marble on an expedition to Crystal City, courtesy of Crystal River Jeep Tours. Your guide will navigate the terrain while you enjoy dramatic landscapes. Just before the town entrance is the exceptionally picturesque Crystal Mill, perched above the river. Two shops and a dozen cabins are reminders of the once-thriving community, but a few friendly summer residents also carry on.


PIT STOP: HISTORIC COLORADO WATERING HOLES

Detour from the ghost-town quest and relive the Old West at some of Colorado's oldest places to quench your thirst:
The Centennial State's longest-surviving gold-rush-era business, Buffalo Rose Saloon in Golden, got its start as the international Bowling Saloon in 1859.
Though established in 1862, the original building of The Mint in Silverthorne has been taken apart and moved three times.
Inside Aspen's historic Hotel Jerome, J-Bar has been slinging boozy concoctions to the likes of John Wayne and Hunter S Thompson since 1889.
Not much has changed at the New Sheridan Bar in Telluride since its 1895 construction within a hotel of the same name, from the mahogany wood paneling to stiff pours.
Dining and drinking venues have been operating in The Minturn Saloon's Vail Valley location since 1901.

*Exercise caution around all sites and be mindful of rapidly changing weather conditions, especially at high altitude. Taking souvenirs is strictly prohibited, but snap all the photos you like.



Traveloscopy | 

Colorado Makers Movement - delicious innovation

#IPW18

How To Experience Unique Colorado Crafted Offerings Through Workshops, Tasting Rooms, Retail Spots 



Denver, CO – The Maker's movement, in many ways, is a celebration of the feeling that comes with putting your mind and hands to work creating something: an idea, a piece of art, delicious food or healing remedies. And, it's no wonder that the movement is alive and thriving in Colorado. Curiosity and inspiration are bred by the Rocky Mountains, northern plains, and fruitful valleys that build the mosaic of the Centennial state. Find the maker in your during a visit to one (or many) of Colorado's unique maker businesses.


Find inspiration at the Pikes Peak Makerspace

If you aren't driven to any particular craft but are drawn to idea of craftiness, the Pikes Peak Makerspace is the perfect place to wet your feet. In Colorado Springs, the Makerspace is a hub that brings together artists and engineers, entrepreneurs, designers and educators to mix their minds and visions and “revolutionize creativity”. Visitors can tour the space every Friday from 10:30 am – 2:00 pm. Stay a while and sign on for classes like Mill & Lathe Operations, introductions to welding and metal work, and 3D printing for beginners.

It's all in the details: art of the craft at DRAM Apothecary

Born of founder Shae Whitney's deep commitment to Colorado's wild terrain and a love of botany, food science, and ecological agriculture, the DRAM Apothecary in the sleepy town of Salida offers a line of products that are crafted using organic and wild Colorado herbs, foraged from nearby landscapes. Stop by the apothecary for a tasting, and then head home to see what crafty creations (cocktails or otherwise) you're inspired to create of your new bitters and syrups. Or, simply enjoy a cup of hot tea sent straight from the maker's hand.

Bring creativity to the catch: Fly-tying at Peter's Fly Shop

In Fort Collins Colorado, sit down with a community of people who do what they love, and love what they do. Located at the northern edge of Colorado and butting up against Rocky Mountain National Park, the folks at St. Peter's are driven to craft their own wares and inspired by the never-ending learning associated with the challenges of the sport and the nearby access to renowned waters. And, they're available to teach you, too. Intro to fly-tying classes are available (on select dates) throughout the fall and into winter, and private fly-tying classes can be scheduled. Don't miss the opportunity to craft and then test your creation on one of St. Peter's many guided tours.

A labor of love: Cheesemaking at Haystack Mountain

Join the artisan spirit of the maker's movement, and please your stomach to boot. Tours of the cheesemaking process are available Monday-Friday, 10 am – 4pm at the Haystack headquarters in Longmont, CO. Aside from tempting your pallet with some of Haystack's finest chesses— bloomy rind, fresh, Monterey jack, raw milk or washed rind—these tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at the creamery, an overview of economic fundamentals, and guided cheese tasting. Don't let the journey end there: take the making into your own hands with one of Haystack's “Art of Cheese” classes.

Spin Some Yarns with De Goats N Sheep Ranch in Durango, CO

Spend the day with Wensleydale sheep and Angora goats, stay in the solar-paneled guest house, and put your hands to work at spinning lessons, watercolor felting lessons, knitting and beginning spindle spinning, carding or children's classes. Staying on site, you can pull inspiration from the texture of freshly harvested wool to the scent of pinyon and juniper on the 16-acre dryland pasture in Bayfield, CO.

All about the process at Big B's Cidery (& Delicious Orchards)

From seed to spirit, Big B's Delicious Orchard makes their own cider, juice, vinegar and more. Follow the process by wandering and harvesting from the orchards, sampling juices and ciders, and taking the final product for some campsite enjoyment at the end of a nourishing day. The maker's movement is all about process, and visitors to Big B's can witness it from start to tart, delicious finish.

In love with R & D: high-mountain crafts from Venture Snowboards

Founded in 1999, Venture Snowboards uses Colorado terrain as an endless test-bed for their local, hand-made boards. Creativity and thinking big, paired with epic San Juan Mountain riding out the factory door, all feed the innovative process at Venture. Housed in the rural mountain town of Silverton, CO, Venture offers inspiring events, like Shape Shack, that bring together industry movers and shakers to daydream ways to push the industry envelope. And, while the process is top secret (can't share that special sauce!), their factory showroom offers an exciting peak into the process and high-quality boards for purchase.

Care for the craft, and crafting for care at Osmia Organics

Sarah Villafranco, founder of Osmia Organics, is all about the craft of care. With a background working in the ER, Villafranco brings deep care to the art of making luxerious, safe, skin-care products from the highest quality ingredients. In Carbondale, the space itself is a laboratory of creation (and visitors are welcome); soap making, laboratory clean-work rooms, retail and packaging are all onsite. Sometimes the crafts are best left to the masters, and, since self-care is a must for any form of inspiration and creativity, stop by Osmia and treat yourself.

Keeping in touch with origins at Greeley Hat Co

Entering the store in Greeley is to revisit an era of Maker's long-past and newly revived; the remnants of a bygone era decorate the store and line the shelves. Simultaneously hat shop and museum, Greeley Hat Co offers a peek into the past and a glimpse at the present of hat making. These fine-quality hats are all built one at a time, by hands. Find inspiration in the space and the feel of the hats, and then let the masters get to work making a custom-hat you'll cherish for the long haul.

The love of place: Leadville's Placemark Designs

In so many endeavors, the love of place drives creativity across that state (and beyond). As is the case for Leadville local and Placemark Design gallery owner and artist, Gail Sovick. An artist and educator who is crazy about all things creative, Sovick draws on her love of the outdoors and her fascination with maps to craft unique, mixed-media resin belt buckles and jewelry. Custom orders can celebrate your connection to Colorado, or anywhere you call home.

Whether you'll appreciate the time and care someone put into their craft or creating something of your own, Colorado is the perfect place to celebrate the maker in you.

Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, and 26 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state's breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 11 national parks and monuments and 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet. For more information or a copy of the 2017 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit www.COLORADO.com or call 1-800-COLORADO. For the Colorado Heritage & Agritourism ROOTS Guide, visit http://www.colorado.com/roots

Follow Colorado on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Foursquare, Flickr, Tumblr and YouTube.

Traveloscopy | 

Old Hong Kong Old Police HQ Reborn as Top Heritage and Arts Hub

A former police headquarters compound in Hong Kong has been transformed into a world-class heritage and arts hub in what is the largest heritage revitalisation project ever undertaken in the city.



Tai Kwun -- Centre for Heritage and Arts opened last Friday (May 26) with a spectacular ceremony.

Comprising 16 historic buildings and outdoor spaces on a 13,600-square-metre site in the business heart of Hong Kong, Tai Kwun is home to three declared monuments, the former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison. The local colloquial name used by police officers and the public alike to refer to the city's Central Police Station, have borne witness to over 170 years of Hong Kong history.

The project is led by the Hong Kong Jockey Club in partnership with the Hong Kong Government and the revitalisation involved the conservation of the heritage buildings and the addition of two new buildings, JC Contemporary, a gallery building with a contemporary art space, and JC Cube, an auditorium building for performing arts, film screenings and educational events.

Drawing on the advice of experts from Hong Kong and overseas, and with input from the community, the Club spent 10 years to pursue a heritage-led plan to conserve the historic site. Building-by-building, room-by-room, it has been returned to its former glory with the closest attention to detail.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Board of Stewards, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Carrie Lam and the Club's senior executives make a toast to celebrate the opening of Tai Kwun.
Source The Hong Kong Jockey Club

"Tai Kwun reflects the club at its very best -- committed to the highest standards, undeterred by the complexity of the tasks it undertakes, and above all motivated by the desire to act, as in everything it does, for the betterment of our society," said Dr Simon Ip, Chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who championed the project a decade ago, said: " The Central Police Station compound after more than a decade of dedication, patience and perseverance on the part of the Club and the many experts and workers involved, the people can now rejoice at the grandeur of the gift they received."

SOURCE The Hong Kong Jockey Club

Monday, May 28, 2018

All That Jazz On Norfolk Island




The Norfolk Island Jazz Festival is back again in 2018 featuring a terrific line-up of artists performing in amazing settings, including World Heritage Kingston, providing the perfect and fascinating backdrop for a fun and musical experience for everyone.

Turning up the volume on popular jazz hits will be top acts including Australia's The Jazz Factory, Stevenson's Rockets and Jazz 4 You and New Zealand's Andrew London Trio. There will also be a guest appearance from the local Baunti Byuutis Island Dancers.

Norfolk Island is long-regarded as a wonderful place to holiday with family and friends or escape with a loved one to experience the special warmth and hospitality of the people who call this place home and be immersed in the natural beauty, intriguing history, wonderful dining, countless adventures and relaxing serenity all captured in this tiny piece of paradise.

The Norfolk Island Travel Centre has announced a 7-night Norfolk Island Jazz Festival offer which includes:

·         Return economy class 'seat plus bag' Air New Zealand airfare to Norfolk Island
·         All pre-paid airline taxes
·         Arrival meet and greet at island airport
·         Return airport transfers on island
·         7 nights' accommodation
·         7 days' car hire
·         Half-day island tour
·         BONUS shopping card with free gift, mini golf and A Walk In The Wild Rainforest

The Norfolk island Jazz Festival offer is priced per person twin share from $1099 ex-Brisbane 1 – 8 December and $1119 ex-Sydney 30 November – 7 December or 3 – 10 December.

Jazz Packs are priced at $430 per person with reserved seating at all concerts including the Official Opening Concert, an evening performance and dinner Under the Banyan Tree, afternoon performance and lunch at Emily's Bay and final Evening Party with the Stars Concert plus a souvenir program and gift bag.

For bookings contact Christan Davies at Norfolk Island Travel Centre on  christan@travelcentre.nf or call Toll Free 1800 1400 66.

New inner city hotel for Sydney - The Collectionist

Sydney’s first custom design hotel – The Collectionist – has officially opened, ready to change the way guests choose to stay and experience hotels.



Located in Sydney’s inner-city Camperdown precinct, it heralds the launch of The Collectionist Hotel brand with plans to take the unique concept to other Sydney locations and interstate.

Described as a real-life “choose-your-own-adventure”, the eclectically designed hotel will set a new standard in individualised guest experiences. Opting away from standardised décor in rooms, The Collectionist commissioned the talents of seven designers from four leading design studios, and 13 artists, to create 39 individually designed rooms and lobby space. Instead of rooms being allocated, guests are invited to peruse available rooms on check-in and choose their room based on the style, colour, texture and design - just as they would a work of art.

This is a revolutionary change to the traditional hotel check-in process, where rooms are pre-allocated; and to room design, where the variety is limited. The Collectionist’s digital booking process is carried through at check-in with access codes to rooms communicated via email and SMS. However, the personal touch remains an important element with social drinks hosted by a bartender between 4pm and 8pm.

“We have purposely set about creating rooms that will challenge the ‘norms’ on hotel room design,” says Daniel Symonds, CEO & Co-Founder of Collectic Hotels, who headed up the development.

“We are expecting divided opinions on some of the designs but we are confident that everyone will find a room that appeals to them.”

In recognition of the unique design of each room, they have been given imaginative names that reflect the room’s ambience. Guests can choose to stay in the 'La Chambre Noir'; the 'Queenie Fah Fah'; the 'Cloud Runner' or the 'Kyoko' rooms, for example, each with their own unique story to tell.

Rooms are grouped in four categories based on their size and whether an outdoor space is included. The categories include:

  • The Bootstrap - from $200 per night
  • The Tinkerer – from $220 per night
  • The Moonshiner – from $240 per night
  • The Artisan – from $260 per night

Bookings and further information available at www.collectionisthotel.com.au

The ‘choose your own’ experience that Daniel Symonds has made available at The Collectionist Hotel was Inspired by a car-hire experience in the US - which allowed an up-close inspection on a variety of cars at pick-up and the choice of the style of car he hired, right down to the colour. Symonds was impressed by the flexibility, choice and control it gave him, which led him to question why hotels couldn’t operate the same way.

Symonds says: “I realised that people are very particular about the car they drive, the colour they choose, the style they want. It’s a very personal choice, so why didn’t we make hotel rooms that catered to these different tastes rather than offering standardised rooms and no choice in the room type a guest prefers? By providing guests with a more tactile way of choosing their room, they are directly involved in their stay experience.”

The design teams credited with bringing The Collectionist concept to life include Andrew Cliffe from The World is Round; Yasmine Ghoniem and Katy Svalbe from Amber Road; Susie Willis and Matt Sheargold from Willis Sheargold; and Josh Cain and Lily Goodwin from Pattern Studio; while the overall construction is being managed by Unita.

Daniel Symonds and business partner, Toby Raphael, are also responsible for the pop-up accommodation concept, FreeSpace - which utilises vacant rooms on university campuses in peak periods and revamps them as quality accommodation. Freespaces was named in the AFR's Fast 100 List in 2017. They were also behind the rejuvenation of the old Newtown RSL building which has now been converted into The Urban Newtown hotel.

Kirsty Lucas appointed National Sales and Partnership Manager at Scoot



Australia's demand fuels growth in headcount

Kirsty Lucas has been appointed National Sales and Partnership Manager at Scoot, Singapore Airlines' low-cost airline, reporting to Jared Simcox, Country Manager Australia, effective immediately.

Kirsty joins Scoot with over ten years travel and tourism industry experience, including an extensive background in sales, marketing and media, originally based in Perth, before relocating to Sydney in 2015.

Prior to her new appointment, Kirsty was the Regional Manager, Australia at TravMedia and has previously held positions in a variety of tourism-based businesses, including TFE Hotels and Rottnest Fast Ferries in WA.

Kirsty will be based in Sydney, and in this newly created role, Kirsty will work closely with the General Manager, Australia Jared Simcox and Scoot's head office, to manage existing key trade accounts and develop new partnerships as Scoot continues to step up their growth in Australia.

Scoot General Manager Jared Simcox says, "It's an exciting time in Scoot's journey being able to welcome Kirsty to the team, as a direct result of a huge growth in trade sales across the region. We're in an accelerated phase of development and I'm thrilled to have someone with Kirsty's expertise, passion and inventiveness on board, and to take the reigns on a number of key initiatives."

Scoot is gearing up to launch its new services to Berlin via Singapore on 20 June 2018, and has also introduced several new initiatives recently. Scoot is now fully on KrisFlyer, the frequent flyer programme for the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group portfolio of airlines. Scoot customers can directly earn KrisFlyer miles when they purchase and travel on Scoot's flights, as well as redeem their KrisFlyer miles for Scoot flights.

Corporate members of SIA's HighFlyer programme, for small and medium enterprises, can also now earn HighFlyer points when flying on SIA or SilkAir itineraries with connections onto Scoot.

W www.flyscoot.com

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Australians going abroad without travel insurance. Would you?



It's true. The latest Thomas Cook Money (TCM) Travel Report reveals 30 per cent of Australians traveling overseas do not have travel insurance.

In response, the newest player in the travel insurance and finance sector, Thomas Cook Money, has today announced it will offer a suite of user-friendly travel money services specially designed for Aussies on the go, including travel insurance, foreign exchange and a pre-paid travel card. Free global wifi* will soon be offered as part of the travel insurance packages, enabling internet connections for globe-trotting customers.

As part of Thomas Cook Money’s entry into Australia their first locally commissioned consumer research, the TCM Travel Report provides some interesting findings. While a high proportion of Australians travel frequently overseas each year, almost 30 per cent choose not to purchase travel insurance. And only 18 percent of respondents take out travel insurance when travelling domestically.




Overwhelmingly, consumers looked for low price (45 percent) and a low claim excess (35 percent) when choosing a travel insurance policy, while 37 percent looked for an easy application process.

Just as important in travel financial decisions are bank fees, with almost 95 percent of overseas travellers reporting international fees and exchange rates as an important consideration when deciding to use a debit card, credit card or to buy foreign currency. One in three travellers used a credit card overseas, with another one in three using local cash.

Managing Director of Thomas Cook Money Asia Pacific Mark Tarring will lead the Australian operation as a springboard to new markets in the Asia Pacific region.

Tarring said Thomas Cook Money was committed to helping its customers manage their holiday budgets year-round, making holiday planning easier and more sustainable with new, user-friendly digital technologies.

“Thomas Cook Money is leveraging the company’s extensive heritage in the global travel industry to deliver fairer, simpler and digitally-led products that look after holiday money for 365 days of the year, not just when you are on holidays. We’re not a bank. We’re a holiday company with a mission to help make holiday money easier to manage for everyone,” Tarring said.

Planning your next adventure? First step might be to head to https://www.thomascookmoney.com.au-

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sydney Film Festival


#sydney

From Wednesday 6 June to Sunday 17 June 2018, the 65th Sydney Film Festival offers Sydneysiders another exciting season of cinema amidst a whirlwind of premieres, red-carpet openings, panel discussions, international guests and more. Each year the Festival’s programming team curates 12 days of cinema sourced from world-famous film festivals, including Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and the Berlinale; as well as Australia’s finest local productions.

Sydney Film Festival also presents an Official Competition of 12 films that vie for the Sydney Film Prize, a highly respected honour that awards a $60,000 cash prize based on the decision of a jury of international and Australian filmmakers and industry professionals.

The Festival takes place across greater Sydney: at the State Theatre, Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Opera Quays, Dendy Newtown, Art Gallery of NSW, Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace Cremorne, Casula Powerhouse, the Festival Hub at Sydney Town Hall and SFF Outdoor Screen.

The Festival is a major event on the New South Wales cultural calendar and is one of the world’s longest-running film festivals. For more information visit Sydney Film Festival.

The 65th Sydney Film Festival is supported by the NSW Government through Screen NSW and Destination NSW, the Federal Government through Screen Australia and the City of Sydney.

Hawai'i's Natural Beauty Shines from All Angles and Elevations


- Incredible land, sea and air adventures await on six distinct islands -



The diversified landscapes of the Hawaiian Islands offer an abundance of opportunities for inspiration and rejuvenation. From witnessing volcanic activity at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawai'i and soaking in views of Mount Wai'ale'ale while water tubing through the rainforests of Kaua'i, to viewing the sunrise at the 10,023-foot elevation summit of Haleakalā volcano on Maui and an adventure park experience on O'ahu's west side, a wide-range of exploration and excitement awaits.

Whether you prefer exploring the Islands in the company of clouds, beneath the ocean surface, or somewhere in between, here's a sampling of multiple ways to experience Hawai'i's natural beauty and diversity by land, sea and air.

What's New in Minneapolis

#MeetMinneapolis



Leisure travel and tourism news from the Bold North

Minneapolis visitors and residents are fully embracing the springtime with seasonal fun, festivals and enjoying the City by Nature's unique neighborhoods. With this Meet Minneapolis leisure travel round-up, explore Northeast Minneapolis, and plan your festival season as everything new is about getting outdoors, eating or both.

What's New in Illinois in 2018



From The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism www.enjoyillinois.com

Frank Lloyd Wright Trail – NEW
Introduced in May 2018, the new Frank Lloyd Wright Trail in Illinois is a self-guided architectural adventure featuring 13 Wright-designed buildings open to the public throughout Illinois.

Titanosaur Joins the Field Museum - SPRING 2018
As the Field Museum celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2018, the biggest dinosaur ever discovered – the Titanosaur – makes its debut in late Spring. It would take about 14 Titanosaurs to climb up Willis Tower.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Glamping in Kakadu - Flash Camp to operate at Cooinda over dry season


Flash Camp @ Kakadu will operate at Cooinda from June through to September




Kakadu is predicting a rise in 'happy campers' following the announcement that Flash Camp will return for a third season at the Cooinda Camping Ground from 16 June to 16 September 2018.

Set in beautifully shady grounds, 'Flash Camp @ Kakadu' offers bespoke bell tent accommodation in the heart of Kakadu National Park, ideal for those seeking an effortless camping experience while exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Listed wilderness.

Accommodation will include double and twin bell tents with spring-foam mattresses on pallet bases, quality bed linen, fresh towels, bamboo furniture, toiletries and Armadillo & Co rugs. Tents have power, lighting and a fan, though nights are usually mild throughout the "winter" season (18 – 20C).

Flash Camp tents can be configured especially for families, allowing two adjacent tents to be allocated for family groups and a communal Flash tent will be available for relaxing and enjoying complimentary tea and coffee.




Flash Camp guests have access to communal toilet and shower facilities, barbeques, as well as a restaurant, bar and pools at the adjoining Cooinda Lodge. A pop-up up Food Truck will operate throughout the peak season offering quality, inexpensive takeaway food such as Barra & Chips.

Cooinda is one of the most convenient bases for touring Kakadu, with Yellow Water Cruises and Spirit of Kakadu Adventure tours operating from Cooinda.  Warradjan Cultural Centre – a showcase for Kakadu's Indigenous culture and heritage – is just five minutes' drive from the campground, and major tourist sites like Nourlangie, Anbangbang, Twin Falls, Jim Jim and Gunlom all within an easy drive.

"Flash Camp is ideal for travellers who like the idea of camping but don't want to have to have to bring all the camping equipment with them, let alone put up the tent and then take it down," said Cooinda General Manager, Brett Skinner.

"It offers a harmonious balance of comfort and reconnection with nature, and is perfect for the season because there is rarely any rain and nights are mild. Last year Flash Camp proved very popular with families, couples and groups. We had people from all over the world opt for the Flash Camp over conventional accommodation once they saw how comfortable the tents were.

"It is really exciting to be able to offer a hassle-free, low-impact camping experience in the heart of one of Australia's most environmentally and culturally rich destinations."

Cooinda Camping Ground is located next to Yellow Water Billabong, thirty minutes from Jabiru and just over three hours' drive from Darwin.

'Flash Camp @ Kakadu' rates start at $140 per night. For more information and bookings, visit: http://www.kakadutourism.com/accommodation or phone: (08) 8979 1500.

Kakadu Accommodation & Hotels - Kakadu Tourism - Kakadu www.kakadutourism.com


Gympie Music Muster returns to Queensland's Sunshine Coast Hinterland

#queensland

In its 37th year, the Gympie Music Muster presents a festival experience like no other. Across four massive days from the 23rd to 26th August, 2018, patrons will not only see some of Australia's most iconic blues and country stars perform live, but they will also have the opportunity to participate, collaborate with and learn from their favourite artists. With the introduction of educational workshops and more collaborative performances than ever before, the Muster has evolved into much more than just a music festival.

The Muster has been the scene of countless memories, friendships forming, musical mateships, and careers being launched; it is an institution on the Australian festival calendar and a legend among Queensland events. The Muster has something for everyone, from the tiniest tacker to the wisest veteran.


Headline performances on the Main Stage are always the centre of the party.

The Muster is steeped in tradition, however, this year heralds the entry of some brand new experiences to the program –

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Colorado Springs New Adventures for 2018


Colorado Springs, home to more than 55 attractions and activities including Pikes Peak – America's Mountain and Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado Springs is sure to inspire an unforgettable visit. 

Six Senses opens first city hotel in Singapore - Six Senses Duxton


The brand's first city hotel brings sustainable, community-focused luxury hospitality to Singapore

 

 

Six Senses Duxton, the first city hotel from acclaimed hospitality and wellness company Six Senses, is now open at 83 Duxton Road in historic Tanjong Pagar in the Chinatown area of Singapore. Along with sister hotel Six Senses Maxwell opening later this year, Six Senses Duxton seeks to engage with the surrounding neighborhood and provide a new level of sustainability practiced in Singapore.

"Six Senses Duxton aims not only to deliver a five-star luxury hotel experience, but to actively improve the surrounding neighbourhood and natural environment as we do so," says Six Senses Chief Executive Officer Neil Jacobs. "Singapore has been my home for almost 20 years, specifically the colourful enclave of Tanjong Pagar. Together with our team, I am delighted to bring our unique new urban Six Senses experience to life in Singapore, and for us to enrich and be enriched by the Duxton and Maxwell communities."
 
In addition to infusing a touch of local culture and quirkiness into each property, Six Senses is known for its commitment to authenticity, community, and sustainability. Six Senses Duxton was originally a row of traditional shophouses, re-designed and re-utilized to harmoniously blend the shophouse aesthetic with the comfort of a modern hotel. As a conservation project, Six Senses Duxton has received the Urban Redevelopment Authority Architectural Heritage Award.

"We look forward to welcoming you to experience a hotel that is truly different from the inside out.  Numerous processes and procedures are in place to ensure that we truly 'walk the walk' in terms of adhering to our commitments to sustainability and conservation," says General Manager Murray Aitken. "We are focused on the creation and operation of self-sustaining hotels that are supportive of social equity and leave a legacy for future generations."

Six Senses Duxton and Six Senses Maxwell are focused on enhancing social and economic benefits to neighbouring communities. Six Senses supports Singapore entrepreneurs by looking to local suppliers before a search for any product or service is expanded regionally. From in-room minibar items to restaurant ingredients to hotel operating supplies, priority has always been to source and partner locally.  In this spirit, exclusive partnerships within the community will be announced in the coming months, giving Six Senses guests additional access to unique local experiences and extending the brand's reach into the surrounding community.


OPENING OFFER

Guests can enjoy an exclusive opening offer of 15% savings on the Best Available Rate when booking online through Six Senses' website. Offer includes welcome amenities and unlimited WiFi access.

Terms & Conditions: Valid for stays until 30 June 2018. The offer is applicable for all room and suite categories.

 


World's first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner touches down in Australia





Singapore Airlines flight SQ223 touched down in Perth today at 14:21pm marking the world's first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner flight to Australia.

Perth has become just the second destination in the world, behind Osaka Japan, to welcome the newest member of the Dreamliner family for regular scheduled services.

Singapore Airlines' Regional Vice President South West Pacific, Mr Philip Goh, said the deployment of the 787-10 to Perth, the first Australian city to welcome the new Dreamliner, is a testament to the Airline's longstanding connection to the city.

"Perth was the very first destination we operated to in Australia more than 50 years ago," Mr Goh said.

"Today we mark another fantastic milestone with the arrival of the 787-10 further emphasising our commitment to this wonderful city.

"With the arrival of the 787-10 we are not only providing our West Australian customers the latest in aircraft technology but also our newest regional cabin products, which I am sure will delight our customers."

Passengers travelling on the inaugural flight from of Perth today, 7 May, to Singapore were treated to pleasant surprises at check-in and boarding. A string quartet from the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO), an organisation proudly supported by Singapore Airlines for the past six years, entertained customers who were also served light refreshments.  Premium passengers in the Airline's SilverKris Lounge enjoyed a magical atmosphere, thanks to a harpist from WASO.

From Tuesday 8 May onwards, the 787-10 will be deployed to operate SQ215 departing Singapore at 18:45 and arriving in Perth at 23:55, before turning around and operating as SQ216 departing Perth at 01:10 and arriving in Singapore at 06:35.

The new 787-10s are configured with 337 seats across two classes, featuring 36 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 layout and 301 Economy Class seats in a 3-3-3 layout. The new seating configuration represents an almost 5% increase in overall weekly seat capacity to Perth.

The new cabin products feature full-flat beds in Business Class, with a staggered forward-facing layout providing direct aisle access for all customers. The ergonomically-designed Economy Class seats feature contoured backrests and six-way adjustable headrests to provide greater comfort and neck support. All customers will enjoy the latest in personalised in-flight entertainment through myKrisWorld.

The Airline's 787-10s will be used on flights of up to eight hours duration, with more destinations to be added as additional aircraft are received.

Singapore Airlines is the largest customer for the 787-10, with firm orders for 49 of the aircraft. The Airline is investing US$350 million to install the new medium-haul cabin products on the first 20 787-10 aircraft.

Facebook.com/SingaporeAir


 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Europe's biggest open-air sculpture exhibition


The larger-than-life snails on the promenades and in the parks in Bad Ragaz are difficult to miss – they are lemon yellow. And it is no coincidence that they can be found throughout the whole municipality – these snails are the trademark of the seventh Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture, also known as Bad RagARTz, which is being held this year. The sculpture event, which has now become the largest open-air exhibition of its kind in Europe – opens this Saturday, 5 May 2018, in Bad Ragaz. The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz will also have all kinds of curiosities and creations on display. For example, hotel room number 155 was quickly transformed into an art room by three young graphic artists, and an oversized nest was created by artist Lukas Hofkunst in front of IGNIV by Andreas Caminada. Sports enthusiasts will also find something to suit them. They can take a run around the works of art at Bad RagARTz Walk & Run by skinfit® at the Tamina Therme.


A Sculpture made by the artist Riccardo Cordero


CityPASS New Partner Destination: Denver, Colorado

It was announced today that the newest North American destination to offer the popular CityPASS® formula of discounted, bundled admission to the most popular visitor attractions is Denver, Colorado. Today's launch increases the number of destinations for which travelers can purchase CityPASS tickets to 13.

“We've had our eye on Denver for several years now,” said Megan Allen, CityPASS president and CEO. “The city offers that perfect blend of family-friendly and cultural attractions that makes it ideal for our customers. Combine that with Colorado's striking scenic beauty and Denver's nearly 300 days of sunshine per year, and you've got a pretty compelling draw for travelers.”

The new Denver CityPASS C3/C4/C5
The new Denver CityPASS C3/C4/C5 ticket is a mobile ticketing concept that allows users to select any three, four or five attractions from a list of eight top sights. The ticket is delivered directly to the purchaser's email, which can be saved to their smartphone and easily scanned at each attraction. Designed to be both flexible and customizable, the tickets do not require the buyer to pre-select the attractions that will be visited; travelers are free to choose as they go.

Depending on the attractions chosen, Denver CityPASS ticket holders can save up to 31 percent off the cost of purchasing the included tickets individually (savings increases to 34 percent on June 1, 2018). The list of attraction options includes:
  • Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
  • Denver Art Museum
  • Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science 
  • Denver Zoo
  • Downtown Aquarium—Denver
  • History Colorado Center
  • Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

“Depending on their length of stay and personal interests, Denver CityPASS ticket holders can customize an itinerary that best fits their schedule,” Allen added. “CityPASS has always been guided by the tenets of making travel easier, more affordable and more accessible. Our development team made sure the new Denver program directly hits all those goals.”

Denver CityPASS mobile tickets are valid for seven consecutive days, including the first day of use. Available for sale exclusively on CityPASS.com, the tickets are available in the purchaser's choice of seven languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.

Pricing for Denver CityPASS tickets starts at $39 for adults; $29 for children, age 3-11:
  • C3 (visit any three attractions): $39, adults; $29, children
  • C4 (visit any four attractions): $48, adults; $38, children
  • C5 (visit any five attractions): $57, adults; $47, children

About CityPASS: For more than 20 years, CityPASS tickets have been premier products for travelers who want to visit a destination's top attractions while enjoying significant savings. CityPASS tickets, which have a 97 percent customer recommendation rating, are currently available in 13 North American destinations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Tampa Bay and Toronto. For more information, visit CityPASS.com.

Prices and programs subject to change. CityPASS® is a registered trademark of City Pass, Inc., and the exclusive property of City Pass, Inc.

Seattle's Downtown and Waterfront See Exciting Changes and Upgrades



Seattle's downtown and waterfront cores have seen incredible changes in the past two years alone. From new and updated attractions to improved and cutting-edge transportation solutions, Seattle is consistently creating fresh and innovative ways to invite both visitors and locals alike to experience Seattle. Just a few of the new and upcoming improvements include Pike Place Market's new MarketFront, a 360'degree “spacelift” of the Space Needle, and improved public and air transportation in and around the city.

What's New in San Antonio



As the seventh-largest city in the nation and one of the fastest growing, San Antonio always has something new and exciting to explore. Here are a few of San Antonio's newest offerings as well as developments on the horizon.

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Special Events
Culture & Entertainment
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Culinary
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Special Events Back to top

SAN ANTONIO CELEBRATES 300 YEARS (2018)

2018 marks San Antonio's 300th anniversary, and the city is planning on celebrating all year long with events, activities and initiatives that will carry San Antonio into the next 300 years. Originally a remote settlement next to a serpentine river, San Antonio has been a pinnacle of Texas, U.S. and world history. It is now the seventh-largest city in the United States, attracting more than 34.4 million visitors a year. That quiet river has evolved into the River Walk, one of the country's top tourism destinations, while the area's first Spanish colonial mission, has become the legendary Alamo. San Antonio will host events throughout the year to honor its history, culture and cuisine, with a big focus on Commemorative Week to be held the first week of May 2018. The joy and pride of the city will be harnessed into a week filled with distinctive events to showcase the collective essence of San Antonio. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Silversea appoints Adam Armstrong as MD Australia & New Zealand

Adam Armstrong
Adam Armstrong will join Silversea Cruises as Managing Director Australia & New Zealand.  Currently Associate Vice President & Managing Director Australia & New Zealand for Royal Caribbean, Adam joins Silversea at an exciting time of growth and a period of significant investment in Australia and New Zealand for the ultra-luxury cruise line.  This announcement follows the resignation of Amber Wilson, Managing Director Australia & New Zealand, from Silversea to pursue other opportunities.

Having started his career at the Carnival Corporation, Adam has spent the last decade driving the growth and success of the Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises brands in Australia and New Zealand.  He is well placed to lead the future growth and development of Silversea in the region.

Roberto Martinoli, CEO Silversea comments: "Adam is a terrific addition to Silversea. His experience and achievements in the Australian and New Zealand cruise markets will support our ambitious plans for growth and develop closer relationships with our travel agent partners.  On behalf of Silversea, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Amber Wilson for her great contribution to our cruise line over the past two years and wish her well in the future."

Australia and New Zealand is now Silversea's third largest market and continues to lead the way as the fastest growing cruise market in the world.  Silversea has ambitious growth plans, with its new flagship Silver Muse to sail to Australian and New Zealand waters for the first time in early 2019.  Additionally, an unprecedented deployment of 10 cruises has just been announced between November 2019 until March 2020, featuring Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Adam Armstrong comments: "I am delighted to be joining Silversea at such an exciting time in its long history as a leading luxury brand.  I look forward to working with the local team and our valued agent partners to grow the business and take Silversea to the next level."

Adam will join Silversea on Monday 13 August 2018, based in the Sydney office and reporting directly to Roberto Martinoli.

Peter Shanks, Managing Director United Kingdom, Ireland, Middle East & Africa will oversee the Silversea team in Sydney on an interim basis until Adam joins in August.

(Editor notes: Armstrong replaces Amber Wilson who took up the position in August 2016 after 12 years with Cruiseco.)



Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Whitsundays is a Winter Wonderland for Cruising

#queensland




The Whitsundays has always been known as a boating mecca but now the region is also home to not one, but two, award-winning Aquila44 power catamarans – just in time for the winter cruising season!

The charter boat industry in the Whitsundays is thriving and the region has the largest bareboating (crew-yourself) fleet in the Southern Hemisphere, with 1,133 beds available out on the water every night.

Now, with the arrival of Cumberland Charter Yachts' second Aquila44 power catamaran last month – following their first acquisition last year - the area boasts the only two luxury Aquila44's in the country available for charter.

Tourism Whitsundays General Manager Tash Wheeler said the Whitsundays was one of the best cruising grounds in the world and the region's bareboat operators were continually innovating and introducing new boats to their fleets.

"With calm waters, thanks to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef, and 74 islands to sail around with line-of-sight navigation, the Whitsundays is known as one of the best cruising grounds anywhere in the world," she said.

"It is fantastic to see Cumberland Charter Yachts extending their fleet into luxury power catamarans, which are becoming very popular with families and groups of friends.

"With five bareboating companies in the region, all united through the shared GoBareboating brand, the Whitsundays can offer a boating option for every kind of holiday as we head into the peak period, when sailors down south are searching out warmer waters. The Whitsundays really is a cruising winter wonderland."

Cumberland Charter Yachts General Manager Sharon McNally said demand for the Aquila44 – which won the Active Interest Media (AIM) Editor's Choice Award for 'Best Multihull' in 2014 - was strong as it offered customers a whole new level of luxury, space and comfort.

"The two Aquila44's are a brilliant addition to our fleet and give customers more choice under our Luxury Yachts Whitsundays brand," she said.

"The design lends itself perfectly to the cruising waters of the Whitsundays, with three large entertaining areas and very spacious accommodation, something you would normally only see on a 60-foot motor cruiser, but with more stability."

For more information about bareboating in the Whitsundays visit www.gobareboating.com

#Gobareboating #lovewhitsundays



AMANOI Vietnam launch new wellness retreats for 2018






Stepping away from everyday life to relax and return restored is no longer seen as an indulgence – it is a necessity in this fast-paced world. The chance to learn something new – breaking free from known routines and providing an enriching growth experience is also being increasingly recognised as key to renewed focus and stress release. With this in mind, Amanoi has expanded its wellness offering with the introduction of three new holistic retreats, which follow the successful unveiling of two new Spa Houses and Wellness Immersions in 2017. The only resort set in the starkly beautiful Nui Chua National Park on Vietnam's dramatic Vinh Hy Bay coastline, Amanoi is an ideal destination for reflection, recalibration and reconnection. Cocooned in a pristine natural environment, its remote location encompassing a secluded white-sand beach, a lotus-strewn lake and cliffs plunging into the East Sea, the resort provides a host of settings in which to pursue wellness goals, learn a new skill such as Qigong, and enjoy a peaceful pause.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Amtrak celebrates 47 years and looks to the future



Numerous customer improvements completed, more underway

Amtrak celebrates 47 years of providing passenger rail service across the nation by looking ahead, continually improving the customer experience and making Amtrak the preferred choice of the 21stcentury for business and leisure travel.

“While we celebrate our history, we have a keen eye on the future and are making necessary changes to provide our customers with an unparalleled travel experience,” said Amtrak President & CEO Richard Anderson. “Many customers have already noticed these improvements, and can look forward to several more upgrades that are on the way.”

Some of the customer-focused improvements underway include:
  • Refreshed trains: Refurbishing the interiors of more than 450 coaches for trains serving the Northeast and Midwest – all by the end of this summer.
  • New Fares: Restructured fare discounts and expanded the use of targeted and flexible sales.
  • Upgraded connectivity: Enhancing Wi-Fi on Northeast Corridor (NEC) trains and at select stations.
  • On-time service: Improving on-time performance on the NEC, updating charter and private train guidelines to minimize impact on operations, and re-doubling our work with freight railroads hosting Amtrak on their lines.
  • Improving schedules: Working with our state partners, Amtrak is providing customers more flexibility and options for travel on the Piedmont, Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin
  • Seat assignments: Introducing assigned seating on select routes to improve the boarding process and allow customers to select their preferred seat before traveling.
  • Improved facilities: Rehabilitating and improving the passenger areas of major stations and increasing staff on board trains to keep busy NEC trains clean.
  • Expanded communications: Offering real-time and frequent information via social media, specifically @AmtrakNEC.
  • Enhanced connectivity: Added Thruway connections and will continue to expand to more cities this summer. Amtrak is also working toward providing seamless ticketing for mass transit services and ride providers to make “last mile” connections.
  • Maximizing mobility options: In the last year, nearly 50,000 small pets and more than 55,000 bikes have traveled with customers, with additional options coming soon.
  • New Onboard Experience Options: Starting in June, Amtrak will offer contemporary and fresh dining choices and amenities for sleeping car customers on the Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited.
These immediate changes are occurring in advance of more long-term upgrades such as: buying modern train equipment, including Acela trainsets; ongoing Concourse Management Strategy studies of New York Penn Station and; further development of stations in Chicago Washington, D.C., Baltimore-Penn, Philadelphia 30th Street, and the new Moynihan Train Hall in New York.

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