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Friday, May 24, 2019

Plan Your Vivid Sydney Visits – Don't Miss Any of the Colour and Creativity

Vivid Sydney Lights On is just one day away, and the final touches are in progress as dozens of light art installations and projections are completed across the city.

From 6pm tomorrow evening, Sydney will shine bright and guests are reminded to plan their visit to make the most of the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said there were great options for all people including families, youth, the elderly and people with disability.

“Vivid Sydney is incredibly popular and last year 2.25 million people attended across the 23 days and nights of the festival,” Mr Ayres said.
“With guests of all demographics, nationalities and abilities visiting Sydney for this event, it's important that everyone is considerate and enjoys the sense of community throughout the CBD and nearby precincts.

“Vivid Sydney is on every night from May 24 to June 15, and we encourage visitors to be mindful of popularity on weekends. Some people may consider coming to the city Monday to Wednesday nights for a more relaxed atmosphere, while others could choose to visit Taronga Zoo, Chatswood and Luna Park north of the Harbour for family-friendly activities with parking available.

“Visiting over several days is another great option, and all planning should start via the Vivid Sydney website for transport details, road closures and highlights across the program.”

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said public transport was the best way to get to Vivid Sydney.
“There are 5,000 additional public transport services available to visitors during Vivid Sydney to help get guests to and from the festival,” Mr Constance said.

“Police, Transport and event organisers work side-by-side to ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible so attendees can travel safely to and from Vivid Sydney precincts.”

For more information visit:

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Queensland and Uber Partner to Launch scUber, the World's First Rideshare Submarine on the Great Barrier Reef

From 27 May - 18 June, riders can experience this incredible underwater world exclusively through the Uber app.

scUber will showcase the world's largest living structure as a biodiverse playground, rich in marine life and offering remarkable underwater experiences.

The launch will support the ongoing protection and conservation of the world's largest coral reef system through Uber's partnership with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.
Heron Island, Queensland Australia – 23 May, 2019: Queensland, Australia, in partnership with Uber, today announces the launch of scUber(, the world's first rideshare submarine experience, coming to the Great Barrier Reef on Monday 27 May.

This once-in-a-lifetime experience will offer riders an unfiltered lens to Australia's underwater icon. For a limited time only, scUber riders will gain exclusive access to the world's largest ecosystem, renowned as a biodiverse playground, rich in marine life and offering remarkable underwater experiences.

From 27 May, scUber will be available for a limited number of riders to request through the Uber app and riders will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the exquisite beauty of the Great Barrier Reef – all without the need for a snorkeling mask or a diving license!

Tourism and Events Queensland's Chief Executive Officer, Leanne Coddington, commented on the significance of Queensland's partnership with Uber in helping put the spotlight back on the reef.

“In late 2018, consumer research identified that exploring the Great Barrier Reef in a submarine was the most desired future travel experience sought by visitors. scUber makes this wish a reality and reaffirms Queensland tourism's commitment to providing locals and visitors alike with truly remarkable ways to explore nature's wonderland.

“We're thrilled to partner with Uber to showcase the beauty of the reef through this innovative experience. In addition, we're giving several adventure seeking travellers from around the globe, the chance to win a scUber experience for two as part of a global travel competition launched today.”

Susan Anderson, Regional General Manager of Uber, Australia and New Zealand, commented on the importance of this innovative first for the Reef: “Uber is committed to harnessing the power of technology for good. We are proud to partner with Queensland to help showcase the Reef to the world with the launch of scUber.”

“At Uber, we believe good things happen when people move - whether that's by getting people from A to B in their city, or by making dreams come true experiencing the world's greatest natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef,” Mrs Anderson said.

“We're looking forward to seeing how visitors to the Great Barrier Reef embrace this new form of movement and become advocates of the Reef for years to come.”

The scUber experience will be available starting on Heron Island, off the coast of Gladstone in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region from May 27, before moving to Agincourt Reef off the coast of Port Douglas in Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef region from June 9. Availability is strictly limited.

The scUber experience will cost $3,000 AUD for two riders and includes:

Pickup from your location with the Uber app;
Return scenic helicopter ride to either Heron Island (for riders requesting from Gladstone) or the Quicksilver Cruises pontoon off the coast of Port Douglas (for riders requesting from Cairns, Port Douglas and Palm Cove);
One hour ride in a scUber submarine;
Return trip back to your original pickup address with Uber.
To celebrate the launch, Queensland and Uber are offering this exceptional bucket-list experience to one lucky winner and a friend from each of the following countries: USA, Canada, United Kingdom, France, New Zealand and Australia. To enter the competition, go to and explain in 25 words or less why you should experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef with scUber. Terms and conditions apply.

Today also marks the beginning of Uber's partnership with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. The organisation is committed to engaging the world in the protection and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef and reefs all over the world, using tech, data and a collaborative approach to conservation.

Uber's partnership with Citizens will focus on supporting several initiatives including their Reef Tracks program and the Great Reef Census through a financial and resource investment program. Find out more about the partnership here.

Please see here a suite of video, audio and visual assets for usage, along with details of spokespeople available for interview.

For more information on scUber, the consumer competition and partnership between Queensland and Uber, visit:

How to request your scUber ride?

scUber rides are charged at $1,500 AUD per person with a minimum cost of $3,000 AUD per ride, and include scenic helicopter transfers to and from mainland Queensland. The scUber ride is an hour in duration and is bookable via the Uber app. Availability is not guaranteed.

About the Great Barrier Reef

Greater than 69 million football fields in size, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest and longest coral reef system and is home to 600 different types of coral (one third of the world's coral species), approximately 1,625 species of fish and more than 1,000 islands. Tourism to the Great Barrier Reef is significant, with almost three million tourists visiting the World Heritage Area every year. Around 80 per cent of all tourism activity occurs within 7 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef marine park.

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

You can stay in the Men in Black: International Headquarters

 Just in time for the release of Men in Black™: International,, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, have teamed up with Sony Pictures to present an out-of-this-world place to stay - recreating the movie’s London based Headquarters.

Following in the footsteps of the new duo of galaxy defenders - Agent H and Agent M, lucky guests of this exclusive stay will be able to heroically prepare, equip and guard themselves (and the universe) against any extraterrestrial mayhem during their stay… Just don’t forget to pack your neuralyzer!

Available exclusively on and accommodating up to two guests per night, those lucky enough to book this unique stay will enjoy a fully immersive Men in Black experience and an exclusive look at the original set pieces used in the move.

From the agent check-in area, to the main hall of the HQ (including a recreation of the all-seeing eye, which features prominently in the movie), to the undercover agent’s bedroom, the space has been inspired by the futuristic world of the Men in Black.

The guest experience:

●      In true Men in Black fashion, the entrance of the recreated HQ is barely recognisable from the street

●      Once guests have identified this grand, traditional building as the HQ, they will enter an industrial space with just a subtle identifier in the centre

●      Upon confirmation they are the newest Men in Black ‘agent’, and once fitted with their black suit and sunglasses, as befits all true Men in Black agents, the doorway will slide open to reveal the first of many interstellar experiences

●      Through the doorway guests enter a pristine white and mirrored check room where they receive their initial agent and accommodation inductions

●      Following this, guests will finally be able to enter the impressive Men in Black HQ, where their experience as an agent will take a lot of unexpected turns…

Pepijn Rijvers, Senior Vice President of Accommodation at says: “We know that travellers are inspired by what they see in movies when planning their vacations, so we are very excited to collaborate with Sony Pictures, to recreate the Men in Black Headquarters in London.

“With over 750 Million guest arrivals in alternative accommodations, we’ve been connecting travellers with the most diverse range of incredible places to stay for decades and the Men in Black HQ is no exception and is sure to be one of the most out-of-this-world places to stay this summer.”

Andre Seddoh, Vice President International Marketing Partnerships Sony Pictures says: “We are always looking to be innovative and entertain people all over the world, so we are delighted to be working with The collaboration has enabled us to offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to stay in a recreation of the London MIB HQ and extend the hidden universe of Men in Black™: International from the big screen and into the real world”

Book your stay at Men in Black HQ:

Travellers who want to take advantage of this opportunity must be quick as only two nights are available for booking. The Men in Black HQ will open bookings for its 30th May stay on 21st May at 10 a.m. GMT, with the stay for 31st May being released at 10 a.m. GMT on the 23rd May. Priced at just £99 per night, this once-in-a-lifetime experience can be booked by visiting the listing here:

Friday, May 17, 2019

SeaLink Launches Kangaroo Island Self-Drive Packages

There is no better way to explore magnificent Kangaroo Island than with one of SeaLink's self-drive KI short break packages. Discover the island at your own leisurely pace, its amazing sights, food and wine, beaches, wildlife and landscapes and soak up experiences of a lifetime.

Switzerland Tourism Asks Visitors to Take A Hike

Go Classic, Go Wild or Go Soft

Switzerland Tourism has launched their 2019 Summer Campaign, which encourages visitors to take a hike. Literally.

A continuation of the tourism boards' overarching 'Nature Wants You Back' campaign, which kicked off in 2017, this year's hiking theme aims to showcase the 65,000km of trails on offer around the country.

Known for its pristine natural assets of majestic snow-capped mountains, glassy lakes, waterfalls, verdant valleys and moors, Switzerland also has the densest network of hiking trails, all of which are clearly marked by 50,000 signposts and way-markers, thanks to the work of 1,500 volunteers who help to set up and maintain these signage.

With about half of Aussie visitors to Switzerland embarking on at least one hike during their stay, the tourism board reports that 85% of these hikes are independently arranged.

The three key hiking trails in this year's campaign, where travellers and hikers can go classic, go wild or go soft are the Via Alpina, the Alpine Passes Trail and the Jura Crest Trail.

The Via Alpina is the classic among the long-distance hikes in Switzerland. Crossing 14 of the most beautiful alpine passes, it leads through the northern Alps of Switzerland (Vaduz – Montreux, via six cantons), where hikers can experience the picture-postcard scenery first hand.

The Alpine Passes Trail is challenging and wild, with a promise to deliver an amazing experience in the great outdoors. Connecting Chur with Lake Geneva via some of the most stunning passes in the Graub├╝nden and Valais Alps, this trail is ideal for long-distance hikers, where they will enjoy endless pristine nature, views of 4,000m peaks and classic mountain huts,

Gentle and relatively unknown to non-Swiss hikers, the Jura Crest Trail is the oldest long-distance trail in Switzerland. Connecting Zurich and Geneva via the Jura mountains, the untouched landscape and tranquil appeal of the remoteness and glorious views make this easy graded hike a local favourite.

For more information on hiking in Switzerland, visit

Help UTracks Build a Forest

UTracks, Australia's leading active European specialist is planting a tree for every booking on its Austrian Lakes and Dachstein Circuit walking itineraries.

"With World Environment Day happening on 05 June and National Tree Day on 28 July, it is a timely reminder that travellers can painlessly contribute to the greening of our planet," UTracks General Manager, Kate Baker said. "It's a great way for our travellers to make a positive impact on the region."

UTracks, in partnership with the Salzkammergut Tourism body and the Austrian Federal Forest Authority, will plant a tree in the stunning Wei├čenbachtal Valley for each booking on the Austrian Lakes Walk and Dachstein Circuit  walks.

Each planted tree will be tagged with the booking number, photographed and the photo included in the clients documents.

"We're also encouraging travellers on the Austrian Lakes Walk trip to visit their tree during their hike," Ms Baker continued.

The self guided eight day walks in the UNESCO World Heritage listed area of Salzkammergut are available daily until mid October.

Austrian Lakes Walk - departs daily from Bad Ischl, priced from $1150 per person.

The Salzkammergut alpine region of Austria encompasses 76 crystal clear lakes, the Dachstein Glacier, lush summer meadows and impressive rock faces up to 3000 vertical metres high. During this inspiring walk, there is ample time to appreciate the natural beauty of the region and the alpine villages of wooden chalets decorated with colourful window boxes while at night you will enjoy the warm hospitality of your hosts.

Dachstein Circuit - departs daily from 1 July to 30 September from Gosau, priced from $2290 per person.

South east of Salzburg is the Dachstein massif, a lime stone mountain containing some of the largest caves in Austria. The walk is typified by its series of peaks over 2500m, glaciers and sharp descents to the valley floor. Take in the awesome views of ice fields and alpine meadows, limestone peaks and dramatic lakes as you trek this exhilarating circuit. At night you stay in atmospheric mountain hotels interspersed with nights in mountain huts high up on the central massif.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Why Aussie travellers dislike group touring

A national survey of 1,000 travellers has revealed what puts Aussies off when it comes to large group tours abroad.

The survey, commissioned as part of Intrepid's Adventure Travel Index, asked consumers to rank what deters them about large group tours from a list of common complaints. At the top of the list was feeling like they're part of mass tourism - proving travellers are seeking out more personal and bespoke experiences. The second biggest concern with group touring was only visiting places where the leaders get a commission, followed by a fear of having a lack of free time.

Travellers also said group tours wouldn't allow them to experience a destination like a local and they were deterred by 'cookie cutter' experiences with nothing unique on the itinerary.

Luckily for Intrepid Travel, these concerns don't translate to their small group tours. To answer why size matters so much, CEO James Thornton said: "Small group tours are based around 16 or less people guided by a local and visiting places on and off the tourist trail. The itineraries take the guesswork and lengthy planning out of it, but allow for free time to explore a place. In small groups, the tour leader has the opportunity to ad lib and share what's unique about his or her home country."

He went on to say that Intrepid would hate for sceptics of touring to lump us in the same category as all group tours.

"Small group tours address what's wrong with mass tourism by minimising the impact on the local environment. At Intrepid, we use only local tour leaders meaning out travellers can immerse themselves completely in their chosen destination, and our specially designed itineraries go to places that large groups, and cruise ships, simply can't access."

Art Macao - five month festival kicks off in June

MACAO is set to stage its largest array of art exhibitions as part of its year-long 20th-anniversary celebrations as a Special Administrative Region of China (SAR).

The five-month festival - Art Macao – will officially begin in June with a host of public venues and integrated resorts unveiling internationally recognised exhibits.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Vital travel trends revealed in Intrepid's second Adventure Travel Index

  • Intrepid claim ‘undertourism is the new overtourism’ releasing new density ratios and a ‘health check’ for destinations
  • Emerging destinations predicted as Tajikistan, Papua New Guinea and Iran
  • Australia’s first ‘Travel Wellness Index’ revealed as active trips captivate travellers

PNG children welcome visitors (R Eime)

Intrepid Travel has released their second annual Adventure Travel Index sharing new research, expert opinions and industry insight with all Australians.

The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places