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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Mayfield garden major outdoor concert with James Reyne


Australia's largest open garden, Mayfield at Oberon, is marking its daily opening for the first time with a major outdoor concert featuring James Reyne, on 30 April.

Reyne will perform within the 64-hectare European-inspired garden alongside Boom Crash Opera, Matt Boylan Smith and Smith & Jones, as the finale to Autumnfest on now.

The celebration of the flamboyant autumnal colours at Mayfield is part of a dynamic annual entertainment program just released and includes luxe food events, yoga retreats (5-7 May), glamorous public gatherings, foraging, corporate retreats, weddings, major outdoor performances, and food and garden workshops.

The performances will take place in front of the spectacular Obelisk and Pond, and visitors can enjoy the concert from within the Alle of London Plain Trees with a hand selected range of the finest local food and beverage from the Central West.

For return bus transfer packages from Oberon, Bathurst, Orange, Lithgow and Katoomba visit: www.mayfieldgarden.com.au

Mayfield

530 Mayfield Road Oberon, NSW 2787 Info@mayfieldgarden.com www.MayfieldGarden.com.au

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

World Environment Day with Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts

The theme for World Environment Day 2017 is 'Connecting People to Nature – in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator'. This year, on World Environment Day, wherever you are, in whatever part of the world, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts invites all guests together with its associates to take part in environmental activities such as tree planting or beach cleaning for a week, starting from 5 to 11 June. This initiative is part of the groups' Stay for Good Greening Communities Together programme which aims to raise awareness for climate change and preserving the environment.



Now in its fourth year, this programme seeks to support the environment and care for the local communities through educational activities, community clean ups and recycling whenever possible at our hotels and resorts. Participating resorts from Maldives, Vietnam and Bintan; to China and Mexico, will purpose to clear their beaches, rivers, wetlands, hotel compound and streets; ensuring a pristine environment for indigenous inhabitants; and protecting the native flora and fauna.



Over in the Maldives, guests at Angsana Ihuru, Angsana Velavaru or Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru can take part in cleaning up the islands and removing the harmful Crown of Thorns Starfish from the coral reefs. All plastic bottles collected will be donated to a recycling company and the Crown of Thorns Starfish will be buried. In Playa del Carmen, Banyan Tree Mayakoba will be partnering a local youth organisation, "Plant for the Planet" and Solidaridad municipality to plant 700 native trees in order to restore greenery in the city affected by urban development. They will also clean the roads on the fringes of the town and are expecting to gather a total of two tons of garbage. They have also planned an environmental festival where guests and the local community will be educated on a variety of ways to conserve the environment and nature through a series of thematic games. To commemorate World Environment Day, the team at Angsana Bintan and Banyan Tree Bintan have dedicated to planting 200 mangroves and 100 corals, as well as picking up 100kg of litter at Angsana Beach and Kampung Baru Beach. In a hidden paradise in XiXi National Wetland Park, Angsana Hangzhou and Banyan Tree Hangzhou have committed to protecting the thriving plant and animal species by educating guests on wetland conservation with detailed presentations and guided nature tours to identify over 100 species of freshwater fish and birds.



Throughout the year, guests can contribute actively in the remediation of our global ecosystems with our sustainability themed guest activities found in our hotels and resorts worldwide, such as Citizen Science Programme in the Maldives, Earth Hour and Earth Day celebrations in Samui and Lijiang or Turtle Feeding and Release in Bintan and Phuket. Safeguarding the environment is core to Banyan Tree's values. Hence, the group endeavours to instill greater environmental respect among associates, partners, associates, guests and local communities through multiple efforts.

Read more about how you can participate in our Stay for Good programme here: www.banyantreeglobalfoundation.com/stay-for-good


Dynamic International Airways New Daily Route Between NY And Ecuador



Dynamic International Airways, a low cost carrier dedicated to providing travelers with convenient, affordable, and streamlined travel routes, this week proudly announced they have launched a new airways route between JFK in New York and Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Scheduled to provide one daily rotation beginning in JFK, arriving at GYE, and returning back to JFK, Dynamic International Airways will be offering the route five times per week with the exclusion of Tuesdays and Wednesdays from June 1 to the 30, 2017.

After the initial launch in June, the airlines will offer one daily rotation, seven times per week, from July 1 to October 28, 2017.

"We are incredibly excited to be offering travelers direct access out of New York right into the heart of Ecuador," said Elizabeth Sukie, Dynamic's Intl Airways Senior Vice President. "Ecuador is home to a rich culture, set in some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in the world. With our new route, seamless travel between Ecuador and the United States is now possible."

Customers will enjoy the comfort of bilingual - Spanish and English speaking - flight attendants and customer support agents. Dynamic International Airways is dedicated to providing passengers the best travel experience!

For more information, or to book upcoming tickets today, visit: http://www.flydya.com.

For Marketing inquiries: marketing@flydya.com
For support: support@flydya.com
Reservations: +1 (336) 790-8176

About Dynamic

Dynamic International Airways provides excellent, comfortable, low cost, long haul, point-to-point air service. The airline is headquartered in North Carolina and offers service from airports in New York, Guyana, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Palau, Saipan and now Guayaquil with its fleet of B767 wide body aircrafts.

SOURCE  Dynamic International Airways


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Now opened: Doot Doot Doot at Jackalope Hotel - Mornington Peninsula


DESTINATION DINING AT JACKALOPE HOTEL



Jackalope Hotel's signature dining experience, Doot Doot Doot, called first service when the much-anticipated accommodation opened April 1st. Offering contemporary, upscale dining, Doot Doot Doot serves dinner daily and lunch Friday through to Sunday.

Under the direction of Executive Chef, Guy Stanaway (formerly of Aman Hotels), the menu presents an outstanding assortment of Victorian produce. Drawing on relationships with local growers, Stanaway combines time-honoured techniques with culinary curiosity, delivering dishes that are a faithful expression of the region's palate.



"The menu's philosophy mirrors our winemaking", says Stanaway. "Willow Creek's single vineyard wines are produced to deliver a true sense of place; our menu is the edible edition of this same story." Dishes like seasonal vegetables, served with goat's curd, and lightly dressed with whey and orange blossom, offer an honest representation of the quality of the local produce.

Diners choose a four- or eight-course tasting menu, matched with estate and international wines. "Given the property's rich heritage as a wine producer, the partnership between food and wine is central to the Doot Doot Doot experience," adds Stanaway.



A further nod to wine-soaked roots, the 1,200-bottle, glass cellar showcases an international selection of limited-release wines produced from vineyards 11-hectares or less—the size of the hotel's vineyard. "This collection gives context to our winemaking story, while also presenting the world's premier small-batch producers – a mix of locals, favourites, and emerging stars," says Director of Food & Beverage, Josef Murray.

Murray is at the helm of this designer dining room, joining Jackalope after several years with celebrated restaurateur, Jason Atherton, in Sydney, Hong Kong and London.



The shining light in a dramatic interior by CARR Design Group, is a custom-made, 10,000-globe chandelier by Melbourne-based artist, Jan Flook. This 80sqm crown was commissioned to evince the process of fermentation, one of the seven stages in the hotel's narrative, alchemy.

Doot Doot Doot's cocktail bar, Flaggerdoot, delights in the alchemic process of distillation. Housed in the property's original homestead, the space itself is an infusion of forms; herringbone floors and open fires warm, while statement pieces from the likes of international icon, Rick Owens, create a sense of curated cool.

The names, Doot Doot Doot and Flaggerdoot, tie in with the legendary Jackalope tale. Flaggerdoot is the collective noun for a group of jackalopes, while the leader of the flaggerdoot is known as the doot doot doot.




For bookings phone (03) 5931 2500 or visit www.jackalopehotels.com

Open for dinner seven nights a week from 6:00pm and for lunch Friday to Sunday Doot Doot Doot offers breakfast to in-house guests daily

166 Balnarring Road,
Merricks North VIC 3926














Friday, 14 April 2017

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort Back in Business

 
BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort is ready to re-open on Tuesday, 18 April and jump straight back into fun-filled activities for the last week of the NSW school holidays.

The lagoon swimming pool is up and running, the weather has returned to normal gorgeous April conditions and Kid's Club, a full Activity Guide, the Animal Park feeding and outdoor movies will all be operating from next Tuesday.

Owner Mr Greg McKinnon and his team of 34 staff have worked tirelessly to get the resort back to its former glory after Cyclone Debbie hit on 28 March. He said, "our beautiful tropical gardens were the worst hit from the massive winds and we have removed between 200-300 truckloads of vegetation from the site. Although it's not quite the same, we certainly have a lot more sun coming in to the camping sites! Luckily it will all grow back." Mr McKinnon said it was unfortunate that all the Easter school holiday bookings had to be cancelled but after nearly two weeks without power, the priority was to ensure that any safety issues were addressed and that the resort was fully operational before welcoming guests back.

It's once again full-steam ahead for all the new developments at the resort. Construction has recommenced on the much anticipated 13 slide water park, one of Australia's largest resort waterslide parks. The tiling has begun in bright colours to reflect the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. Due to open for the June/July school holidays, this massive new activity will be a colourful and popular addition to the resort offering. Eight new Deluxe Studio cabins are also under construction and due to come online in the next few months. The resort's 2000 Easter eggs, ordered for the cancelled Easter long weekend activities, have been donated to the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre, to distribute as a little token to local families doing it tough over Easter.
 
Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays rely on tourism and many tours, restaurants, accommodation and activities are already back up and operational. Greg said, "everyone in this town depends on tourism and we hope people will come back and visit us soon and support our recovery. Airlie Beach has taken a big hit but the community spirit and positivity has kept us all going. I think the Labour Day weekend is going to be one huge celebration for everyone in the Whitsundays and a sign that we are 'Back in Business'."
 
BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort offers a relaxed, family friendly environment with quality facilities and services, combined with genuinely friendly and helpful staff. Set amongst 26 tropical acres, the resort caters for a variety of budgets and tastes with a wide range of accommodation options from camping and caravanning sites to designer decorated three bedroom condos. Located in Airlie Beach, the resort has easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, Whitehaven Beach, the Whitsunday Islands and a vast array of trips, water activities and truly memorable Australian holiday adventures.
 
For further information or to make a booking enquiry, please go to www.adventurewhitsunday.com.au or call 1300 640 587.

The Whitsundays is located half way between Brisbane and Cairns and includes the mainland town of Airlie Beach and 74 islands right on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The Whitsundays enjoy a sub-tropical climate, beautiful beaches, ancient rainforests and extensive National Parks. The two main airports are serviced by Jetstar, Virgin, Tigerair and Qantas and the region is accessible by air, road, rail and sea. For more information go to www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Old Bank Boutique Hotel in NSW Southern Highlands marks 125th birthday with new discounted package





Book and stay by June 30, 2017, for cosy autumn and winter stays

The Old Bank Boutique Hotel in Mittagong in the NSW Southern Highlands is marking the 125th birthday of the grand, historic property with the release of a new, discounted package that allows guests to fully immerse themselves in the old-world splendour of the luxury hotel.

Ideal for cosy autumn and winter stays, the 125th birthday package includes two nights' accommodation in one of the gracious suites, cooked, country breakfasts each morning and a delicious, three-course dinner for two at the hotel on one evening, including a bonus bottle of wine.

The package is available from $680 per couple on weekdays (or $170 per person per day, representing a 15 per cent discount,) and from $785.50 per couple on weekends (12 per cent discount). The package is available for stays until June 30, 2017.

The Old Bank Boutique Hotel, which opened in September 2016, is nestled in the heart of historic Mittagong and is ranked as one of the most elegant buildings in the Southern Highlands. The two-storey property was built in 1892 and operated as a bank and manager's residence for many years until falling into disrepair in the 1970s. Locals Warwick and Barbara Wainberg purchased the property in 2009 and embarked on a painstaking, seven-year project to restore it to its former glory.

Offering five suites renovated to a bygone era, a studio and a self-contained cottage, the deluxe hotel boasts rich furnishings, lofty ceilings, a grand cedar staircase, hand-carved wood panelling, individually designed rugs, polished floorboards, leather Chesterfields in the plush lounge and library, open fires, Egyptian cotton sheets and marble and granite bathrooms.

The property at 83 Main St, Mittagong, is situated close to the Southern Highlands' well-known antique shops, boutiques, bookshops, cafes and gardens.

The 125th birthday package is available by direct booking only and conditions apply. Call 02 4872 4496 or visit www.oldbankhotel.com.au

Monday, 10 April 2017

NSW's New Southern Pie-Lands



IT'S NSW'S NEW SOUTHERN PIE-LANDS  

David Ellis

PIE eaters unite – because come June the NSW Southern Highlands will be the place for the coming together of lovers of that great Australian institution, the pie… be their favourite meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit or whatever else they can think of, at this first-ever festival they’re going to call Pie Time.

With the Highlands having a-near thirty direct-outlet pie bakeries, which for pie buffs is more per square kilometre than anywhere else in Australia, and with pies of all varieties amongst favourites in the region’s famed eateries during winter, organisers are planning pie-making demonstrations, pie tastings, pie and beer matchings, pie talks and pie judgings.



And throughout June the caf├ęs, hotels and restaurants of the Southern Highlands will be creating signature pie dishes with unique “Dine with a Pie” menus.

As well, to help visitors find their way around, a Southern Pie-lands Pie Trail map has already been created and is available highlighting all the local Pie outlets at which devotees can get stuck into the best of these places’ pie products year-round. The map can be accessed on DSH Planner Pie Trail 2017.

The month-long June Pie Time will culminate with the public crowning of the Southern Highlands’ very best professional and apprentice bakers and their award-winning pie products over the weekend of June 24 and 25 in Bowral.

For more information including help with booking ‘Pie, Bed & Breakfast’ packages if you are planning a visit during Pie Time, call 1300 657 559, or visit www.pietime.com.au

PHOTO:

[] THE NSW Southern Highlands will become the Southern Pie-lands when they host pie eaters young and old for the first-ever Pie Time in June.

[] PIES for all occasions come the Southern Highlands Pie Time in June.

Arsenal Legend Sol Campbell takes in the sights of Sydney



Arsenal Legend, Sol Campbell, is in Sydney to mark 100 days to go until Arsenal's Sydney Tour in July.

Sol took some time out today to get up close with a range of Aussie animals including Nangaw the owl, Thunder the koala and Penny the kangaroo at Taronga Zoo. Sol also sailed Sydney Harbour on a picturesque day, exploring the waterway on board a luxury vessel.

Arsenal will play back-to-back blockbusters at ANZ Stadium against Sydney FC on Thursday 13 July and Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday 15 July.

To buy tickets and for further information regarding the week-long schedule of events around the Arsenal In Sydney Tour go to www.arsenalinsydney.com.

www.sydney.com

www.visitnsw.com

African Safari Odyssey with Aqua Expeditions



Aqua Expeditions, one of world's leading luxury river cruise companies, has announced a Safari Odyssey being co-hosted in October 2017 by Aqua Expeditions Founder, Francesco Galli-Zugaro and renowned safari guide Howard Saunders, Founder of the Shackleton & Selous Society.

The 14-day adventure for up to 10 guests will journey into the African wilderness and has been developed with a dual purpose of exploring two iconic rivers of the world, the Congo River and the White Nile, travelling through Namibia, Congo and Uganda.

Guests will experience remote regions, with access allowed only to those few who are intimately familiar with the territory.  The trip will incorporate a few days of cycling for those keen to include an active element and provide the opportunity to help pioneer the new but growing tourism in areas such as Odzala in the Congo.

As a long-term fellow of the Shackleton & Sealous Society, and deeply passionate about travel and exploring remote destinations, Francesco was inspired to create this one-off journey by his many trips scouting for future river cruise locations – which so often have turned into unexpected exploratory adventures.



Highlights include:

•Exploring the Congo River out of Brazzaville, Republic of Congo

•Seeing Gorillas in the Republic of Congo

•Exploring Murchison Falls National Park and the source of the Nile in Uganda and Lake Albert

•Cycling through Black Rhino country in Namibia & Desert adapted Elephant (support vehicles for non-bikers)

•From the meeting point in Johannesburg or Cape Town all flights in two private planes thus reducing all transfers times to optimise game viewing and excursions

This Safari Odyssey is priced at USD13,530 per person, with internal flights approximately ZAR856,000 (approx. AUD16,300 per person) including:

•Accommodation in best available twin-bedded tent/rooms at full board; all casual meals detailed in the itinerary and all service charges relating to accommodation and meals, alcoholic beverages, bottled mineral water and sodas in camp and on game drives; all park entry, camping and activity fees

•All vehicle running expenses and transportation by 4WD safari vehicle with roof hatches; fully trained crew and Professional Safari Guide exclusively for every vehicle plus daily laundry service

•Two gorilla tracking permits in Odzala

•All flights as described in the itinerary using two Pilatus PC12s

Additional Costs:

·         International flights to and from Africa, airport departure taxes, entry visas, any charges for telephone calls or emails

·         Tips and Gratuities

Bookings should be directed to howard@howardsaunders.com 

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Seabourn Cruise Sale

Explore Extraordinary Worlds with Seabourn





Seabourn has made it even more attractive to explore the world in ultra-luxury style with onboard spending money and air credits on offer to destinations around the globe in 2017 and 2018.

On sale until June 13, 2017, the “extraordinary worlds” promotion includes onboard spending money of up to US$1000 per suite, reduced deposits, and air credit to the value of A$600 per person on select sailings between June 2017 and September 2018.

Guests who book during the sale period will receive complimentary upgrades from ocean view suites to verandas, with upgrades also available up to three veranda suite categories higher depending on availability and fare paid.

Cruises are available in Alaska, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and New England, including an 11-day cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles on Seabourn Sojourn. Departing October 3, 2017, fares start from $5999* per person twin share for a veranda suite.

Closer to home, a 16-day voyage from Sydney to Auckland onboard the line’s latest ultra-luxury ship Seabourn Encore is priced from $10,299* per person twin share in a veranda. Departing December 4, 2017, the cruise calls at Phillip Island, Melbourne, Halfmoon Bay, Dunedin, Timaru, Akaroa, Wellington, Picton, Tauranga, and scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park.

*Subject to availability, conditions apply

For more information see a licensed travel agent, call 13 24 02 or visit www.seabourn.com

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