Monday, 31 December 2012

New Years Eve Celebrations Sydney 2012

The Sydney New Year’s Eve program comprises a number of events leading up to the spectacular Midnight Fireworks.

Aerial Acrobatics 6:00 pm - 6:10 pm

Pre-show entertainment.
Matt Hall will thrill spectators with his aerial acrobatics over Sydney Harbour.

Ted Noffs Fire Tug 6:50 pm - 7:30 pm

Pre-show entertainment on Sydney Harbour.
The Ted Noffs fire tug will arrive and blast tonnes of water into the skies. The spray from the Ted Noffs will create a spectacle in the setting sun.

Aerial Acrobatic 8:00 pm - 8:10 pm

Pre-show entertainment.
Matt Hall will thrill spectators with his aerial acrobatics over Sydney Harbour.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Smoking Ceremony 7:30 pm - 8:10 pm

Sydney Harbour.
White smoke emerges and flows across the waters from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vessels including Tribal Warrior, Mari Nawi and The Penguin which conduct the ceremony to cleanse the harbour of negative spirits. The ceremony begins with traditional eucalyptus smoke cleansing the past and readying all to embrace the New Year ahead, and concludes with pyrotechnic smoke effects.

Pylon Projections 8:30 pm - 2:00 am

Sydney Harbour Bridge.
On New Year’s Eve the Sydney Harbour Bridge is, as always, a genuine star. The north and south pylons will burst to life after sunset with huge images projected on the pylons' surface.

Acknowledgement of Country 8:40 pm - 8:45 pm

Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour.
Acknowledgement of Country ceremony shows our respect for Aboriginal culture and heritage, and the relationship the traditional custodians have with the land, performed by Wuruniri Music and Dance. Three vessels from the Tribal Warrior Association will assemble on the harbour, north of Sydney Opera House. Red flares fire from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and fireworks barges.

Bridge Effect  8:45 pm - 5:00 am

Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the heart and focus of the Sydney New Year's Eve, displaying images which beautifully reflect the annual theme.

9pm Family Fireworks Display 9:00 pm - 9:08 pm

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour.
The 9PM Family Fireworks enables families with young children to enjoy a big display and travel home before the late-night crowds arrive. The legendary pyrochoreography adds sparkle and magic to the Sydney skyline, with rockets firing from four barges and several rooftops."

Fireworks competition shell firing 9:00 pm - 9:08 pm

Sydney Harbour.
This year, the 9PM Family Fireworks display will also include a firework display designed by two talented NSW schoolchildren, winners of the City's very first design-a-cracker competition.

Harbour of Light Parade™ 9:15 pm - 11:30 pm

Sydney Harbour.
Following the 9PM Family Fireworks, the Harbour of Light Parade™ commences. Each vessel in this illuminated flotilla of 52 boats has submitted a design. The boats will gather in colour groups of the Embrace theme, creating sequential waves of colour as they move along the harbour throughout the night.

Telstra Colour Moment 10:15 pm - 10:15 pm

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour.
To build anticipation and delight between the 9PM Family and Midnight Fireworks displays, there will be Telstra Colour Moments lighting up the night sky and Embrace Love.

Telstra Colour Moment 11:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour.
To build anticipation and delight between the 9PM Family and Midnight Fireworks displays, there will be Telstra Colour Moments lighting up the night sky and Embrace Sydney.

Telstra Colour Moment 11:30 pm - 11:30 pm

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour.
To build anticipation and delight between the 9PM Family and Midnight Fireworks displays, there will be Telstra Colour Moments lighting up the night sky and Embrace the Possibility.

Telstra Colour Moment 9:00 pm - 9:08 pm

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour.
To build anticipation and delight between the 9PM Family and Midnight Fireworks displays, there will be Telstra Colour Moments lighting up the night sky and Embrace the Moment.

Midnight Fireworks Display 11:59 pm - 12:12 am

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour and Sydney Skyline
At the stroke of midnight, we celebrate the start of a New Year! Sydney does this in style by lighting up the night sky with a spectacular fireworks display launched from seven barges on the harbour. The fireworks and Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect are always a well-kept secret until midnight on 31 December; this year's display will feature some exciting new effects. Don't miss it! View more fireworks images here

Facts about Sydney's New Year's Eve Fireworks Display

Fast facts about Sydney's New Year's Eve fireworks display provided by the City of Sydney:
- The City of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display is the world’s largest and most technologically advanced New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
- It draws larger crowds than Paris (100,000), London (700,000), Berlin (1 million) and New York City (1 million) with about 1.6 million people gathering on the Sydney Harbour foreshore and 2.6 million watching the fireworks on TV.
- An estimated 1 billion people around the world see the Sydney New Year’s Eve Midnight Fireworks and Bridge Effect and research by Events NSW found that Sydney New Year’s Eve contributes $156 million to the local economy.
- Fifteen months of hard work go into designing and preparing Sydney New Year’s Eve each year. The City of Sydney’s NYE12 team has already started work on 2013 Sydney New Year’s Eve.
- The 2012 Sydney New Year’s Eve Creative Director, Kylie Minogue, has worked with the City’s team of six full-time Sydney New Year’s Eve staff led by Producer Aneurin Coffey, to develop the Embrace theme for this year’s event.
- Kylie describes Embrace as “all about acceptance, tolerance, fun and, above all, love”.
- The Embrace icon is a swirl of coloured sails in magenta, yellow, purple and red, which is marked with Kylie’s signature K.
- Embrace has four subthemes: Embrace Love, Embrace Sydney, Embrace the Possibility and Embrace the Moment.
- The City has developed a special smartphone app with Telstra that will light up people’s phone screens in tandem with the colour lighting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House to mark the end of 2012.
- The synchronised colour moments will occur at 10.15pm, 11pm, 11.30pm and 11.45pm to build up excitement as the clock ticks closer to midnight, and app users will be reminded to hold their phones to the sky to be a part of the celebration, transforming the harbour with a sea of colour.
- Each year the top-secret Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect is a highly anticipated part of the night and is only revealed following the end of the Midnight Fireworks display. - The effect has been a highlight since the mid-1990s when a smiley face appeared.
Other bridge effects have included a peace symbol and dove (2002), a heart (2005) and an hourglass (2007).
- Over 1,000 accredited personnel work on the night of the event to ensure everything runs smoothly, with 300 volunteers also pledging their time and support to help with Sydney New Year’s Eve.
- The night begins when the words ‘Welcome to Sydney’ are projected on the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 16 languages, including English, Gadigal, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, Hindi, Indonesian, Greek, Italian, Swahili, Korean, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese. These languages represent Sydney’s top migrant populations and tourist nationalities.
- The fireworks display is carefully designed by Sydney’s Foti International Fireworks, led by Fireworks Director Fortunato Foti, and requires a pyrotechnical crew of 45 people. This is the 13th consecutive year the company has been involved in Sydney New Year’s Eve. Foti Fireworks is a carbon-neutral company that uses carbon credits, low-environmental-impact fireworks and recycling.
- Approximately 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects will be used in the display, which is made up of 7 tonnes of fireworks.
- Fourteen shipping containers of equipment, weighing 120 tonnes, are needed for both the 9PM Family Fireworks and Midnight Fireworks displays.
- Twelve computers will digitally launch the fireworks from Sydney Harbour Bridge, barges and buildings, shooting 10,000 cues. The computers will be used to fire the show and will ensure the fireworks are synchronised to the music.
- More than 60 kilometres of wire and cables link the launch computers and there are 130 firing points on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- The 9PM Family Fireworks will go off from four fireworks barges, while the Midnight Fireworks will ascend from seven barges and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- Fireworks will also be launched from the rooftops of seven city buildings including the Four Seasons Hotel, Gold Fields House, Gateway, AMP Centre tower, Chifley Tower, Governor Phillip Tower and AMP Sydney Cove.
- The Harbour of Light Parade features 52 illuminated boats, which make a majestic passage within and around the Sydney Harbour Exclusion Zone after the 9PM Family Fireworks, building up excitement before the countdown to midnight.
- The boats carry over 8,000 people and join more than 3,000 other vessels celebrating NYE on Sydney Harbour

To download the NYE12 smartphone app, visit or search your app store for ‘Sydney New Year’s Eve’.

New Year's Eve in Bangkok

Perhaps the most deliberately hedonistic of holidays, New Year's Eve is the culmination of the Lunar year, and time to squeeze in the last of guilty pleasures. Like everywhere else, people in Bangkok head out on the town, searching for a final fix. Seeking some culinary indulgences before the beginning of a rigorous macrobiotic diet, or one last riotous night of hard-core partying? This is the night traditionally set aside for total indulgence, to bask in all the sinful pleasures that delight us. So, break out the stilettos and hit the town, for the City of Angels - contrary to the meaning of its official name, 'Krung Thep' - harbors only heathens on New Year's Eve...

From spectacular events featuring world-class entertainment, imported DJ's spinning their stuff at the city's swanky clubs and colourful countdown celebrations, to dazzling firework extravaganzas at the riverside and raunchy pole-dancers at Go-Go parties, you'll find it all in Bangkok. 

Planning The Night

For starters, make sure you have a comfortable place to stay. Bangkok offers a great multitude of hotels, from low-cost to luxury, five-star experiences. You'll find something perfectly suited to your taste, style and budget in our accommodation section in all prime city areas - make your pick! The festive season is a busy time in the Thai capital, so avoid disappointment and make a reservation in advance. Then choose a party. Naturally, countdown events in the city's various corners will have their own character and attract different crowds, but one thing is guaranteed: wherever you go, it'll be a unique and memorable experience. No matter where you'll be, at midnight dazzling fireworks will magically light up the skies above the city. Partying continues into the early hours. And, as soon as the sun comes up, many Thai people will head to temples for merit-making - to ensure that a happy and prosperous year follows.

Countdown at CentralWorld

The biggest of countdown event in Bangkok happens in front of CentralWorld Square. With several hundred thousand revellers expected to attend, this is where it'll be happening! Leave the old year behind and welcome the new one with friends and family, spectacular light and sound shows and live on-stage performances by popular local artists. Enjoy the beer garden, lucky draws and countdown with other countries around the world on large-screen projections. Do plan to arrive at the scene at least two hours before midnight, as traffic could be disastrous around the Ratchaprasong intersection, which will be closed to all car traffic after 18:00.

Other Countdown Venues

If you fancy something more private and intimate, it's a good idea to splurge on a New Year's Eve set dinner at one of the riverside hotel restaurants or classy rooftop venues. You are not just paying for the gourmet dining experience but the atmosphere that is unrivalled anywhere else in Bangkok. And when the fireworks go off at midnight, you'll also get the best view.

Not in for the splurge? Then, head over to one of the happening clubs and bars at RCA, Silom or Khao San Road. These venues cater to the younger and more dynamic crowd, so expect some wild partying and drinking well into the night. For a classier way to ring in the New Year, go straight to Thonglor, where a lineup of outdoor hip and chic bars await you. Call well ahead to make your reservation, or you might not be able to secure a table.

China Prepares For Ice and Snow Festival

Add caption
Preparations for the 29th Harbin Ice and Snow Festival near completion for the January 5, 2013 opening.

The festival, which will take place at the Harbin Ice and Snow World theme park, will include international ice and snow sculpture competitions, stage performances, music shows, and as many as 100 other activities.

The Ice and Snow World covers an area of over 8 million square feet, with more than 2,000 ice artworks on display during the festival.

The theme park was open for a trial operation last Sunday.

The festival is one of the world's four largest international ice festivals, along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival. It will run for over a month.

Now thousands of visitors have been attracted to Harbin as heavy snow has turned the city into a brilliant white world. They are having fun on ice sleds and slides and making snowmen.

Arrivals to Japan, Myanmar, Cambodia Surge as Asia Posts Solid 5.5% Visitor Growth

International visitor arrivals into Asia between January and September 2012 showed a collective increase of 5.5% year-on-year, according to preliminary results released today by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

During the first nine months of the year, the 4.7% collective growth rate for Northeast Asia was somewhat lower than the Asia average, however this percentage increase translated to around 7.8 million additional international visitor arrivals to the sub-region. Intra-regional flows remained the key force behind this growth in both volume and percentage gain terms for the period. China (-2%) and Macau SAR (+1%) saw relatively weak results while the remaining destinations, Japan (+41%), Chinese Taipei (+24%), Korea (ROK) (+19%) and Hong Kong SAR (+16%), performed strongly with each destination posting double-digit growth over the period.

Although South Asia (+7%) recorded a year-on-year increase above the Asia average, growth was still relatively sluggish compared to the double-digit growth rates during the corresponding periods of 2010 and 2011. All destinations showed slowing growth rates with India (+6%) and the Maldives (+3%) registering below the sub-region’s average rate. This slowdown can in part, be attributed to the sluggish arrivals pattern from the main source market of Europe, due to the prolonged economic crisis there. Even so, source market data for four reporting destinations within South Asia – excluding India – still showed that Europe remained the highest traffic-generator for the sub-region during the first nine months of the year, followed by Northeast Asia.

Growing at an average rate of 10% during the three quarters of the year, seven reporting destinations in Southeast Asia1 collectively showed buoyant increases in visitor arrivals from Northeast Asia with more than 1.3 million additional visitors arriving from that sub-region. Fast growing intra-ASEAN travel demand also boosted growth for the period. Nevertheless, most destinations in the sub-region posted softening growth rates compared to the corresponding period last year, with the exception of two significant destinations, Cambodia (+24%) and Myanmar (+43%).

Martin J Craigs, PATA CEO, said “Although arrivals growth rates into Asia have slowed a little, they are still robust. It is particularly pleasing to see destination Japan recovering its arrivals numbers. Myanmar, however, has been the story of the year.”

Hobart's Latest Family Offering - Mawson's Skate

Mawson's Skate
The brainchild of local tourism operator, Richard Crawford, Mawson's Skate will bring a unique, family-friendly offering to Hobart when it opened to visitors on Saturday 22nd December. Taking its name from the state's strong ties with Antarctica, Mawson's Skate is a 30 by 15 metre, synthetic outdoor ice skating rink, located in the heart of Hobart's iconic waterfront precinct. 

The Super-Glide surface is an environmentally friendly alternative to the expensive and high maintenance traditional refrigerated ice and offers a skateable surface all year round. Two custom built shipping containers which echo the infrastructure at Mawson's Station in Antarctica house the Ticket Office and The Hut; a high quality food and beverage outlet. Other amenities include rink-side seating, free WiFi, and a nationally accredited ice skating coach. Public car parking is nearby, along with public toilet facilities, bus stops, taxi ranks, and bicycle racks. 

Mawson's Skate is open seven days a week from 10am to 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays and from 10am to 6pm from Sunday through to Thursday. Entry costs $10 for children, $15 for adults and $40 for families (2 adults and 2 children). Prices include GST and skate hire for a one hour session.
A: Franklin Wharf, Hobart TAS 7000
P: 0408 792 996

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Ttangkkeut Sunset Sunrise Festival Attracts Visitors

The Ttangkkeut Sunset Sunrise Festival is set to take place at Ttangkkeut Village in Jeollanam-do Province for two days, starting on New Year’s Eve and ending on New Year’s Day.

Marking its 17th year, the festival will present a series of programs in celebration of the year’s end and another year’s beginning. The celebration will begin on December 31st with a celebratory concert, followed by beacon tower lighting, traditional dance performance, lantern flying, and fireworks. The celebration will continue on January 1st with a gong ceremony, followed by tteokguk (rice cake soup) eating and postcard writing.

Meanwhile, Ttangkkeut Village in Haenam located on the southernmost tip of the Korean Peninsula is a site where both the sunrise and the sunset can be viewed in one place. Its last sunset of 2012 is expected at 5:33 p.m., and the first sunrise of 2013 at 7:39 a.m.

Travel Show to Highlight Sunshine Coast Experiences

Go Wake Cable Park
Early next year, the Sunshine Coast will be beamed in almost 2.3 million households across Australia, during the prime time slot of 7.30pm.

Into Water and Beyond, an adventure and lifestyle travel series focusing on enjoyable, often unique experiences, was in the region filming last week. In addition to a TV Broadcast, the episode will be distributed digitally on an online travel video channel, and on YouTube, reaching a large international audience.

Filming is an initiative organised by Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd (SCDL), and participating operators Go Wake Cable Park, The Ginger Factory, Noosa Dreamboats, The Ultimate Thrillride, Aussie World, UnderWater World, and Fish 'n Crab Deep Sea Charters.

SCDL CEO Steve Cooper said, "The program will not only showcase the Sunshine Coast's natural assets but the many experiences the region has to offer. "

Experiencing the Plunge, Aussie World
"Travel shows are a tried and true formula for showcasing products to a wide audience, and with the incorporation of social media and online distribution, the Sunshine Coast will reach far and wide," Mr Cooper said.

Into Water and Beyond Business Development Executive Dianne Costa said she was not only impressed with the professionalism of the tourism operators they had filmed, but appreciated how friendly and accommodating they had been.

The Ultimate Thrillride,
She said they like to allow plenty of time to film and experience the local accommodation, restaurants and attractions and get into the local vibe of the place.

Go Wake Cable Park owner Des Dougherty said filming went well and he hoped his business would benefit from the exposure of the travel and lifestyle show.

Bangkok in Top Three of Global Cities for Tourist Shopping, Value for Money

Bangkok has been rated the world's second best city for tourist shopping and the third best city in terms of value for money, according to a global survey of 75,000 travellers covering 40 cities by the TripAdvisor travel site.

Tokyo was the most highly decorated world city ranked number one for best taxi services, friendliest taxi drivers, best public transportation, cleanest streets, and safety. Singapore also rated highly in several categories related to safety, cleanliness and transport infrastructure.

However, Bangkok rated best in two very important categories of the visitor experience, shopping and value for money. Said Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Suraphon Svetasreni, "This is a very important result for us because it underscores the success of our marketing campaign. We have always sought to position Thailand as a shopping paradise, thanks to our value for money factor and extensive diversity of products and services."

The exact results were as follows:

Category                     First place       Second place     Third place

Best for shopping         New York City     Bangkok             Dubai

Best value for money     Lisbon               Budapest            Bangkok

Thailand recorded a 31% increase in tourism receipts in 2011 over 2010, according to Ministry of Tourism and Sports figures. The total earnings of 776 billion baht (US$25.45 billion) were also well above the original target of 716 billion baht (US$23 billion). Visitor spending per capita per day in 2011 averaged 4,187 baht, of which 24% (1,001 baht) was spent on shopping, the second highest expenditure item after accommodation.

The growth in total number of visitors, projected at 20.5 million in 2012 and 22.45 million in 2013, is being matched by increased average length of stay and average daily expenditure, further underscoring the role of tourism as one of the most important economic sectors and contributor to job creation and nationwide income distribution.

Overall, the expenditure figures show that the recent strengthening of the baht against the US$ is having little impact and Thailand remains good value for money for visitors across the board. The availability of a broad range of products from the latest designer goods to traditional Thai arts and crafts is further enhanced by the VAT refund scheme.

Win over $500 worth of Family Entertainment at the Aquatic Centre

Enjoy some family entertainment at the Sydney Aquatic Centre this summer!  

Sydney Olympic Park is giving you the chance to win over $500 of family entertainment at the Aquatic Centre including;

If you do not already receive the Sydney Olympic Park What's On? e-newsletter you’ll need to subscribe in order to enter

To enter simply write about  what kids activity would you like to see at Sydney Olympic Park in 2013?

Competition closes Monday 28 January 2013.

For full details see the website 

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Peats Ridge Sustainable Arts & Music Festival

3 days of laid back Festival goodness in the stunning Glenworth Valley, 1hr North of Sydney, NSW Australia.

Peats Ridge Sustainable Arts & Music Festival has announced an incredible music line up for 2012, with dream headliner John Butler Trio set to bring in the New Year in the surrounds of the stunning Glenworth Valley.

The three day music and arts spectacular will play host to a line-up that organisers say is the best yet, and as always is packed with international and Australian acts of all genres.

Peats Ridge has a history of discovering new talent and helping give local artists the opportunity to unlock their door to stardom. The 2012 Festival will be both fresh and diverse and will continue to push musical boundaries and break new sounds, while showcasing new local and international acts to the Festival's 10,000 plus fans a day.

With a focus on creating a total experience for all, Peats Ridge hosts a brilliant showcase of art installations, kooky themed venues, multimedia, theatre, dance, cabaret, comedy, circus, and much, much more, all winding along the riverbank and dotted through a unique event site.

Peats Ridge is a world leader in presenting a sustainable event and has a dedicated eco-living education program as well as extensive environmental initiatives and awards. The Festival is also very family friendly with a full program organised for children and family camping facilities.

Now in its 9th year, the 2012 instalment of Peats Ridge promises to be everything brilliant that has been offered in previous years and a whole new world of wonder with many more announcements to come.

General tickets are available at at only $340 for adult season passes - Don't miss out, come join the Peats family this summer for a festival experience of a lifetime!

When:  29th Dec 2012 to 1st Jan 2013
Where:  Central Coast, NSW
Who:  Central Coast Tourism Company:  Central Coast Tourism
Phone No:  02 4343 4410 Email:

Free WiFi Helps Promote NZ Visitor Experience

Telecom’s trial of free WiFi at holiday hotspots around New Zealand is being welcomed by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA).
Telecom is installing more than 120 free WiFi hotspots at 43 popular holiday locations over summer to help people stay connected via their smartphones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices.
“We fully support this Telecom trial because it will help improve the holiday experiences of both New Zealanders and our international visitors,” TIA Chief Executive Martin Snedden says.
“More and more travellers are taking their mobile devices on holiday with them, to stay in touch with family and friends, and share their holiday experiences. Personal stories about great travel experiences are incredibly important in marketing New Zealand as a visitor destination and free WiFi will encourage more people to share their holiday activities immediately.”
All travellers need to sign up for this service is a New Zealand mobile number that can receive TXT messages.
For more information on the trial, go to

Don't Forget Your Tango Shoes When Coming to EMITT Fair

Argentina will be the guest country of Eastern Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Fair EMITT, which is to be held for the 17th time this year in TÜYAP between 24 and 27 January 2013. The tourism professionals who will visit the fair and visitors who wish to get know Argentina more closely, will have the opportunity to get tango classes on the stage, in addition to the chance to discover the hidden treasures of Argentina, one of the liveliest countries of Latin America.

The Director of Ekin Fair, Hacer Aydın states that the visitors of the EMITT Fair can attend to free tango classes everyday during the fair between 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM and that the visitors will be tutored on the intricacies of tango and get the chance to put them on practice on the stage to be built specially for this occasion.

Reminding that the definition of tango comes from African rhythms and ‘tangere’ which means to touch in Latin, Mercedes Parodi, Consulate General of Argentina in Istanbul, states that the attendants of EMITT 2013 will get the chance to know the tango culture more closely. Indicating that tango is a feeling and this musical genre that includes dance, music, poetry and singing will be presented to the attendees at EMITT 2013.

January Fun Events in Western Australia

Ashleigh Barty confirmed

Hyundai Hopman Cup

December 29 to January 5
Venus Williams and John Isner will represent the USA at the 2013 Hyundai Hopman Cup, the first to be staged at the new Perth Arena. Former world number one, Williams is one of the most successful female athletes on tour, boasting seven Grand Slam singles titles, and Isner is currently world number 10. The event has attracted a great field so far, which includes current world number two and winner of three Grand Slam events Novak Djokovic, French Open winner and current number 12 Ana Ivanovic, French world number six Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Aussie young gun Bernard Tomic.

Lancelin Ocean Classic

January 10 - 13
The most prestigious and longest running windsurfing event in Australia is set to attract world-class competitors and spectators to the picturesque crayfishing town of Lancelin. The event features three disciplines and has competitors from more than 18 countries competing in spectacular wind and water conditions over four days.


BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series

January 18 - 20
The inaugural BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series comes to Perth in 2013. The event will combine a festival of elite competition and mass participation of aquatic sport, headlined by the Australian Swim Team taking on the might of China, South Africa and the Croation gold medal water polo team. The world-class program of pool events will be held at Challenge Stadium and complemented by two international water polo matches as well as a series of open-water races.

The Doctor

January 19
The Doctor is set to challenge even the toughest competitors with a gruelling 27.5-kilometre downwind surf-ski race from Rottnest Island to Sorrento Beach. Competitors paddle across open water as the 'Fremantle Doctor' creates spectacular downwind conditions. The Doctor is part of a multi-sport race over 11 days, featuring a variety of distances and paddle crafts.

The Mount Barker Co-operative Grapes and Gallops

January 20
Mount Barker Grapes and Gallops is fast becoming the Great Southern's most iconic festival featuring premium wine, gourmet food and action-packed horse racing. Thousands of visitors will enjoy tastings from local wineries, a long table luncheon and live local music in one of Western Australia's most picturesque destinations.


Western Australian Circus Festival

Western Australian Circus Festival

January 26 - 28
All the magic and excitement of the circus comes to town - wowing audiences with aerial performance, clowning, acrobatics, stilt walking, juggling and much more. The only festival of its kind in WA, the three-day WA Circus Festival brings together international, national and local circus performers under the big top in the quaint town of Karridale.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Tourism Australia's Facebook Page Hits Four Million Fans

Tourism Australia's Facebook page,, has confirmed its status as the world's most popular tourism destination page - now exceeding four million fans worldwide.

Tourism Australia Managing Director, Andrew McEvoy, said the national tourism agency was harnessing the power of Facebook and its other social media channels to allow advocates of Australia to share their stories about what makes the country such a unique and distinctive place to visit.

"Social media is now deeply ingrained and integrated into our marketing activities, including the latest phase of our There's nothing like Australia global campaign, which was even launched in Australia on our Facebook page," he said.

In August of this year, Tourism Australia launched a new app on its Facebook page, allowing travellers to tap into their trusted network of Facebook friends for inspiration and ideas to plan and make the most of a holiday in Australia.

The 'Discover Australia Through Your Friends' app - the first of its kind in the world - merges the best of Google Maps and Facebook technology to create a unique travel planning tool to not only help choose where in Australia to go, but also provide inspiration and advice from friends who may already have been there.

Mr McEvoy said that Tourism Australia's Facebook page was also a powerful marketing tool for industry, allowing Australian tourism operators to showcase themselves to the world. 

"Operators can post content on our page, and even list themselves to our "Things to Do" tab - nearly 1,000 Australian operators have already done so - giving four million fans of Australia access to their tourism attraction or event - that's incredible free advertising," he said.

As well as managing the largest Facebook page in Australia and largest destination page in the world, Tourism Australia boasts the most followed destination on Google+ and Instagram, as well as an active presence on Twitter and an increasingly large presence on major Asian social media platforms Weibo and Tudou.

Facebook facts:
  • 4 million fans
  • Reaching 1 million unique users daily
  • Largest page in Australia
  • Most popular destination page in the world
  • 1,400 photos posted to our wall weekly

ITB Berlin Convention Programme 2013 now Online

Dr. Martin Buck,
Dr. Martin Buck, director of the Competence Center Travel & Logistics at Messe Berlin: “Currently in its tenth year, the ITB Berlin Convention has long established itself as the world’s largest tourism convention. Over the years we have welcomed more than 100,000 trade visitors at over 800 events, and papers have been delivered by more than 2,000 leading speakers. Its success is proof that obtaining up-to-the-minute knowledge and finding out about future-oriented concepts and best practices is indispensable to ensuring survival in a constantly changing market.”

On 6 March 2013, the topics to be discussed at the ITB Future Day will include changes in consumer behaviour and travel patterns, the challenges posed by climate change and the prospects for information technology. Following the successful launch of the format in 2012, the Cruise Panel will highlight developments in the cruise industry. The keynote will be held by Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, chairman of the European Cruise Council and of Silversea Cruises. Dr. Temel Kotil, CEO of Turkish Airlines, will talk about the prospects of commercial aviation and the role of Turkish Airlines.

On 7 March 2013, the ITB Hospitality Day will focus on the hotel industry of the future. Students, tour operators and hotel managers will debate Generation Y’s expectations regarding travel and hotels. At a session entitled the “Hot Seat”, two students will question hotel managers about career opportunities and what employers expect from the next generation. Four hotel chains will present hotel concepts with a difference: they include a spectacle in 3-D, living in a cave and eco accommodation in the city. The growing market for mobile apps as a product marketing channel will also be the subject of debate.

On 8 March 2013, at the ITB Marketing and Distribution Day, award-winning travel journalist Doug Lansky will deliver a keynote asking why, despite social media, travellers are becoming increasingly unsociable and why those who represent responsible tourism act in irresponsible ways. A special survey on internet usage carried out by Arbeitsgemeinschaft Online Forschung (AGOF) will reveal important findings concerning the online activities of a tourism-related target audience. There will also be a session discussing the links between tour operators’ customer relationship management and new information technologies. The Innovation Forum will take a look at new target audiences, products and business models that are certain to have a long-term effect on market structures. They include the trend towards social travel und collaborative consumption and the increasing numbers of tourists from muslim countries and their special needs. The changes facing long-distance travel and the prospects for online startups with regard to customers and tour operators will also be examined, with GetYourGuide as an example. Jesko Perrey, division head of Marketing & Sales, McKinsey, will provide information on how to determine the return on investment from spending on modern media and will also highlight the failures of marketing and communication management which a McKinsey study has revealed.

From 6 to 8 March 2013, over a period of three days, the ITB Destination Days will examine the challenges facing international destination management and the outlook for the future. Topics include fast-growing travel markets such as health tourism, sustainable tourism and gay and lesbian travel. The focus at the ITB Destination Days will also be on Azerbaijan, next year’s Convention and Culture Partner, and on Indonesia, the partner country of ITB Berlin 2013.

On 7 March 2013 at the ITB CSR Day, leading figures from industry and politics will present concepts, examples of best practices and the economic prospects for sustainable tourism. Under the heading of “Holiday encounters in the light of CSR“, a Studiosus meeting will ask if a code of conduct is necessary and examine the role of tour operators and guests with regard to meeting local residents. Other topics include the Green Climate Fund, the impact of water shortages on locals and tourists, as well as the challenges and problems of putting a child protection code of conduct into practice.

On 6 March 2013 the Young Professional Day will offer newcomers to the job market and academically qualified young employees in the travel industry ideas for shaping their future.

Learn Circus Skills these School Holidays

2 - 15 January 2.30-3.30pm - Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre
Kid friendly
Learn to juggle, tumble, hula-hoop, swing on the low trapeze and more. Master unique performance skills and feel your confidence soar! For ages 5+

Roll up for circus skills holiday workshops with the professional circus company, Circus Arts.

In a one-hour Kids in the Park workshop at the Aquatic Centre, learn circus skills including:
  •    juggling
  •    tumbling
  •    human pyramid
  •    hula-hoop
  •    swinging on the low trapeze, and more. 
 This circus workshop suits sporty kids and creative kids. The emphasis is on safety and having fun. Learning circus skills is a confidence booster as the children master new challenges and develop performance skills.

Price includes use of the swimming pool in the world-class Aquatic Centre.
Cost: $25
Tickets/Bookings: Call 0412 402 742
Age: 5-15 years
More info: Call 0412 402 742

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Surjit Babra Receives the World Travel Market Globe Award!

The founder of SkyLink Travel Group, Chairman and CEO Mr. Surjit Babra was honored for cumulative lifetime of philanthropic work and charitable giving with the Globe Award presented by the Reed Travel Exhibitions’ Chairman of the World Travel Market.

Babra’s significant charitable works have made great impact on uplifting the lives of adults and children in Canada.

The award was presented to Babra at the Reception Ceremony and VIP Opening World Travel Market, an iconic annual event held in London at which suppliers in the travel and tourism industry come together with travel professionals from every continent. Chairman Jeffrey noted that Babra's award was "not for a one-time project" but explained that "his charitable giving and philanthropic efforts are a life-long venture." Babra was nominated for the award by the Canadian Travel Press. David McClung, President of the Canadian Travel Press, jointly presented the World Travel Market Globe Award with Chairman Jeffrey to Babra. "Surjit has dedicated his business and life to humanitarian efforts since the early 1990s. This commitment to those people around the world less fortunate than him deserves recognition," Jeffrey notes.

Latest Tourism News from Western Australia


In this latest news, product and event update from Tourism Western Australia, see a sneak peek of Sam Worthington in Drift, read about the latest MOMA exhibition that's exclusive to Perth, summer specials at Ningaloo, Perth's Twilight Hawkers Markets and Broome's tropical summer.

World Movie Exclusive - Drift 

Hollywood heartthrob and WA boy - Sam Worthington - showcases the iconic surf and spectacular surrounds of WA's Margaret River region in the soon to be released feature film Drift. Get a sneak peak of Sam tackling some huge waves in Drift's first trailer here.

International Sporting Stars Head to Perth

Hyundai Hopman Cup
World No.1 Novak Djokovic, Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic, and Jo Wilfred Tsonga are just some of the big names in tennis heading to Perth for the Hyundai Hopman Cup, the official mixed teams competition of the International Tennis Federation on from December 29 to January 5, 2013 at the Perth Arena.

Then, Olympic gold and silver medallists will make a splash at  the inaugural BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series from January 18 to 20. See Chinese swimming sensation Yi Shiwen, Australia's Alicia Coutts and James Magnussen, and many more at one of the world's richest swim meets. Two international water polo matches and a series of open water races will also be held 

Picturing New York: Photographs from MoMA

Photographs by some of the world's most legendary photographers will be on show at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Exclusive to Perth - Picturing New York: Photographs from the Museum of Modern Art - opens on January 26, and documents more than a century of change in the 'city that never sleeps'. The Art Gallery of Western Australia has formed an exclusive partnership with MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) presenting six world-class exhibitions over three years.

WA Shines in Travel Awards

Margaret River
Margaret River in WA's south west was crowned the Best Town in Australia for the second consecutive year at the annual Australian Traveller Readers' Choice Awards. The Kimberley, in the far north west of the State, took out two gongs: Australia's Dream Destination and Best Adventure Holiday Destination. Perth, Australia's sunniest capital, also had a win, taking out fifth place in the Destinations on the Rise category as part of TripAdvisor's 2012 Travellers Choice survey. The list is based on increasing traveller interest and positive feedback about the destination's hotels, restaurants and things to do.

Gwoonwardu Mia Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre Wins Award

Gwoonwardu Mia Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre in Carnarvon, has taken out the Best in State and Award of Merit at the prestigious 2012 Design Institute of Australia (WA) Awards for their exhibition Burlganyja Wanggaya: Old People Talking - Listen, Learn and Respect. Over four years in the making, the exhibition is an interactive permanent exhibition that tells the stories of the five Aboriginal language groups of the Gascoyne region in their own words.

Chanel Opens in Perth's Luxury Shopping Precinct

French luxury label - Chanel - is the latest high end international retailer to open on Perth's fashionable King Street, in the west end of the city. Joining other luxury labels such as Louis Vuitton, Prada and Tiffany & Co, the company believes that King Street is the best looking luxury shopping strip in Australia. The new store offers all the pickings of a Chanel store in Paris, London or New York.

Kick Back with Courtyard Music

Courtyard Music at Fremantle Arts Centre
Courtyard Music at Fremantle Arts Centre squeezes the best of a Fremantle summer into a Sunday afternoon. Relax at this free outdoor community event to some of the finest live music WA has to offer.  Courtyard Music runs every Sunday afternoon from 2pm to 4pm until March. The series presents an extensive line up of established local acts, touring artists and young up-and-comings.

Movies in the vines at Cape Mentelle

Enjoy good food, wine, and a movie in the spectacular surrounds of Cape Mentelle winery in WA's Margaret River wine region. Cape Mentelle's outdoor movie program starts this Saturday December 22 and runs until Monday April 1, 2013.  Picnic from 6pm in the winery's garden, or relax in the new wine bar and lounge, and feast on gourmet pizza, cheese and antipasto platters matched to wines.

Discover the Wilderness this Summer

Valley of the Giants.
Reconnect with nature at the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk in Denmark.  A summer holiday activity program will run from December 28 2012 to Friday January 18 2013, offering a range of fun nature based activities and tours for children and adults. Take a night time forest walk, see the sensational snakes display, go on a bug hunt, take a guided tour on or under the Tree Top Walk, or learn the art of traditional Noongar toolmaking.

Twilight Hawker Markets

Spice up your Friday nights at the summer series of the Twilight Hawkers Markets in Forrest Place, presented by the City of Perth. Savour flavours from around the world including Indonesian, Columbian, Turkish, Spanish, Moroccan and more. Coinciding with late night shopping in the city, the markets will open every Friday from 5pm to 9pm and run every Friday evening until April 26 2013, except for a short break over Christmas. In addition to the street style food, visitors can enjoy free live music and roving entertainment.

A taste of the South West on Rottnest

Rottnest Island
A family favourite and much loved icon of WA's south west, the award winning Simmos icecream can now be enjoyed on Rottnest Island. Recently opening at the main Thompson Bay settlement, Simmos serves up handmade icecreams and sorbets using the freshest local produce. Rottnest Island is a short 30 minute ferry ride from the port city of Fremantle, or 45 minutes from Perth.


Afternoon Tea Delights at The Terrace

Gather the girls, don your finest afternoon dress and head to The Terrace Hotel, Perth's newest luxury boutique hotel, for a delightful afternoon of high tea. Held every Saturday from 1-4pm, the Dining Room is transformed into a decadent den of delectable treats and elegant sweets. Choose either the Temperance Package at $42 per person, which includes finger sandwiches, scones and sweets accompanied by a gourmet selection of Harney & Sons teas, or the Daisy Package at $58 per person, which includes a glass of NV Veuve Clicquot as well as the high tea fare carefully prepared by Executive Chef Shannon Wilson and his team.

Summer Specials at Ningaloo

Novotel Ningaloo Resort
The luxurious Novotel Ningaloo Resort in Exmouth is offering a summer special from January 7 to March 28, 2013 - pay four nights and get the fifth night free in all room types. Summer is the perfect time for viewing the nesting turtles as well as swimming with the manta rays and snorkelling on World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef. By participating in a guided turtle interaction tour, you are actively helping to conserve marine turtles. Qantas and Skywest are offering special off season airfare rates starting from $129 from Perth. One ticket airfares through to Exmouth are also available for travellers departing from Australia's east coast capital cities.

New Tennis Facilities Served up for Rottnest

Tennis is going to be a hit this summer at Rottnest Island with access to new competition-level courts thanks to a major $300,000 program to replace and upgrade existing facilities at the holiday hotspot. All courts will be upgraded with plexipave, the same surface tennis greats play on in elite competitions. The courts will be ready for their debut game in January and will be resized to meet Australian standards, which means they can be used for official competitions.

Food & Fishing Safari with Celebrity Chef, Peter Evans

Peter Evans
Join the star of My Kitchen Rules and best-selling cookbook author, Peter Evans, at Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef for an exclusive Food & Fishing Safari. The five day safari combines an exclusive wilderness experience with excellent fishing, great food and a remote and beautiful coastal location. Guests will enjoy catching dinner with Peter Evans in WA's premier fishing destination, interactive hands-on fish cooking master classes, a dinner and cocktail party. In addition to the cooking, guests can enjoy a full program of fishing and wildlife activities, including snorkelling, kayaking and gorge walks.