Wednesday, 31 October 2012

International Fleet Review

International Fleet Review

The International Fleet Review, a spectacular program of naval events celebrating the centenary of the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet arrival in Sydney Harbour, will be staged in Sydney from 3-11 October 2013.

Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, said the International Fleet Review would be the nation’s most significant commemorative naval event in the past 100 years.

“We are delighted to welcome so many foreign navies and tall ships to Sydney for this exciting event and I thank the Federal and NSW Governments and the City of Sydney for their support. I am sure everyone involved will take away some fantastic memories of their involvement in this very important historic occasion,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.

The program will include: a tall ships parade; warships arrival from more than 15 countries; ceremonial fleet review; naval gun salutes; fixed wing and helicopter flypasts; aerial acrobatic displays; Sydney Harbour fireworks and light show; ships open to visitors; combined naval march through the streets of Sydney; military band concerts; Freedom of Entry parade in Parramatta; religious and memorial services; and sporting competitions. It is expected that more than 10,000 Naval personnel will be in Sydney for the Fleet Review.

The Royal Australian Navy will be represented by at least 17 ships and submarines from across the Navy.

International tall ships expected to participate include: Libertad (Argentina), Gloria (Columbia); Dewaruci (Indonesia); Bark Europa, Oosterschelde and Tecla (Netherlands); Spirit of New Zealand (New Zealand), and Lord Nelson (UK). Local tall ships include: Lady Nelson and Windeward Bound (Hobart); Enterprize (Melbourne); Coral Trekka and South Passage (Queensland); Bark Endeavour, James Craig, Soren Larsen, Southern Swan and Young Endeavour (Sydney).

For more information on this historic event, visit
media call  

Air New Zealand Launches Global Search for The Great Walker

Lake Waikaremoana
A global search is underway to find four adventurers to take on the challenge of a lifetime by completing all of New Zealand’s nine famous Great Walks in just nine weeks.

Air New Zealand’s search for The Great Walker is being run in association with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC) and will see four global winners take on New Zealand’s premier DOC tracks; Abel Tasman Coast, Heaphy, Kepler, Lake Waikaremoana, Milford, Rakiura, Routeburn, Tongariro and Whanganui Journey.

The Great Walks span 550km of spectacular New Zealand terrain from alpine peaks to glacial valleys, native bush, rainforests and golden beaches.

Every year about 75,000 people from across New Zealand and around the world enjoy these internationally renowned wilderness experiences – each of which takes between three and five days to complete.

Lake Waikaremoana
Both DOC and Air New Zealand are delighted to be able to share these tourism treasures with an even wider audience through this online competition which challenges keen walkers, trekkers and hikers to get creative and demonstrate why they believe they deserve to win a place on this wild adventure by uploading either a short YouTube video or a Pinterest board of inspiring images.

The four winners begin their journey at the southern most point of the country with the first of the nine Great Walks – Rakiura Track on Stewart Island - and then make their way north conquering one track each week for nine weeks.  As well as undertaking the Great Walks the winners will also enjoy other Kiwi outdoor experiences including local wildlife encounters and adventure activities such as mountain biking, canyoning and jet boating.

The group will be joined along the way by Air New Zealand and DOC staff and celebrity guests.  Each winner will share their journey with the world via regular blog updates.

Air New Zealand Head of Sponsorship and Community James Gibson describes the trip as a once in a lifetime experience.  “New Zealand is internationally renowned for its stunning scenery and we’re thrilled to be able to offer people the chance to come and see it for themselves.  Whether someone is a nature lover, has a curiosity for the great outdoors or fancies themselves as the next Bear Grylls, we want to hear from them,” says Gibson.

DOC Director Commercial Business Unit Dave Wilks says: “We are looking for Great Walkers with the total package - people with personality, creativity, a knack for blogging and story telling as well as a passion for outdoor adventure.

Tongarario Crossing
“Our national parks are picturesque and sometimes wild and rugged.  Entrants should be agile and have a moderate level of fitness to enjoy the variety of terrain the New Zealand wilderness offers,” says Wilks.
The competition follows the recent announcement of Air New Zealand’s three year commercial partnership with DOC.  In addition to promoting the Great Walks, the partnership sees Air New Zealandprovide support for new conservation programmes around the National Parks Great Walks network and help moving endangered species around the country via its domestic network.

Entries for the Great Walker are now open at until Monday 22 October, 2012.  Entrants will then be shortlisted on the website and four winners chosen as judged by an official judging panel and by the public through the website.  The Great Walkers will then travel to New Zealand in February 2013 to complete the epic Kiwi adventure of a lifetime.

Tongarario Crossing
For further competition details and to apply, visit 

For information on DOC’s nine Great Walks, visit

Aria Announce Plans and Line Up for First Ever ‘Aria Week’

The first ever ARIA Week will be held in Sydney during the lead up to the ARIA Awards from 25-28 November.

Presented in partnership with Destination NSW, ARIA Week will be a celebration of Australian music in the lead up to the biggest event on the music calendar – the ARIA Awards, which take place in Sydney on Thursday 29 November at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

In what is sure to cement Sydney as Australia’s music capital and reinforce the wealth of talent and opportunity the Australian music scene offers, ARIA Week will play host to a number of special gigs, events and conferences that the public can participate in across a broad spectrum of genres and subjects.

From the discovery of new and unearthed talent to exploring the world of Electronic Music, Hip Hop and Dance, to the recognition of Australia’s best bands and artists, ARIA Week will celebrate all that encapsulates Australian Music.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Sydney Treetop Adventure Park Opens

Sydney TreeTop Adventure Park
The Sydney TreeTop Adventure Park was opened earlier this week by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker. The eco-friendly adventure park is set inside a tract of rare Cumberland Plain Woodland in Western Sydney.

The new 11 hectare Sydney TreeTop Adventure Park is located in the Western Sydney Parklands at Abbotsbury near Cecil Hills and features flying foxes, suspension bridges and artificial Tarzan vines perched amongst the bush canopy.

The Sydney TreeTop Adventure Park is run by Ecoline - an Australian-owned company which operates similar adventure parks on the Central Coast and in Newcastle.

Lonely Planet Rates Auckland's Experiences Best in New Zealand

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) is delighted that Auckland has been rated as having the country’s top two visitor experiences in Lonely Planet’s latest New Zealand travel guide. 

In the 16th edition released this week the Auckland Harbour and Hauraki Gulf was rated the top New Zealand experience, with urban Auckland taking number two.

ATEED Acting General Manager Destination Jason Hill says it’s an outstanding result for New Zealand’s vibrant harbourside city from what is renowned as being the global leader in independent travel guides.
“This reinforces what we know and love about Auckland and feature in our marketing efforts to attract visitors to holiday in our exciting region,” says Mr Hill.

The authors say “it’s hard to imagine a more geographically blessed city” with two oceans, as well as a vibrant Polynesian culture in keeping with having the world’s largest Pacific Island population.
The region’s vast diversity takes centre-stage with Lonely Planet saying that within an hour’s drive from the city centre “there are dense tracts of rainforest, thermal springs, wineries and wildlife reserves. No wonder Auckland’s rated as offering the third best quality of life of any major city.”

The travel guide says the “Hauraki Gulf gives the Bay of Islands stiff competition in the beauty stakes” singling out “wine soaked Waiheke” and “volcanic Rangitoto” as islands not to miss.
The newly refurbished Britomart precinct and Wynyard Quarter also gain praise with Britomart labelled one of the city’s best eating, drinking and shopping precincts and Wynyard Quarter “Auckland’s favourite new place to promenade.”

These accolades from Lonely Planet come soon after ATEED launched a domestic tourism campaign that aims to attract Kiwis to holiday in New Zealand’s international city.

“The campaign is about highlighting the diversity of Auckland including our inspiring cuisine, world-class shopping, spectacular events and stunning natural playground that make up Auckland,” says Mr Hill.

The campaign – which is aligned with Auckland’s 10 year Visitor Plan – aims to increase the value of Auckland’s domestic tourism sector from $1.366 billion in 2010 to $2 billion annually by 2021.
ATEED works to help drive Auckland’s visitor economy and contribute to making Auckland the world’s most liveable city.