By John Rozentals.
In its 200 years, Sydney’s inner suburb of Chippendale has been an impoverished industrial slum, one of Australia’s largest brewery sites, a favoured ground for gangland and other nefarious activities, and now home to Central Park, one of the city’s most exciting and hippest urban-regeneration projects.
To mark the suburb’s two-hundred anniversary — and its own first birthday — the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney Central Park has launched a walking-tour brochure that guides visitors through Chippendale’s heritage, its cutting-edge architecture, the vibrant Kensington Street dining strip, and the suburb’s eclectic collection of galleries, which includes one of Australia’s most acclaimed, White Rabbit.
The hotel is also offering, until the end of the year, a Chippendale celebration package, priced at $219 per room per night and including full buffet breakfast for two guests, the self-guided walking tour brochure, a glass of the specially-brewed ChippendALE per person, and a late checkout of 1pm.
Pay from $3700 per person for a two-day, three-night Groote Eylandt Lodge fishing package and receive a bonus upgrade, valued at $750, to a waterfront spa bungalow, plus get a $100 bar credit per room.
This package is for minimum of two guests and includes: return airfares from Darwin to Groote Eylandt; all transfers on Groote Eylandt; twin-share accommodation; breakfast, lunch and dinner each day; and two days of guided private fishing.
Book by August 31 for stays until October 31.
Three-, four- and five-day packages are also available.
Phone 08 8987 7077 or visit www.grootefishing.com.au.
Kakadu’s Mahbilil Festival will be held from August 30 to September 1, celebrating the best in Indigenous music, arts, culture and bush-tucker in a free weekend-long festival.
Staged at Jabiru Lakeside Park, Mahbilil is a family-friendly event crammed with workshops for kids, displays, Indigenous art exhibitions and demonstrations of weaving, painting and other crafts.
Art from across Arnhem Land will be featured, along with performances from local traditional dance groups.
Bush-foods will feature prominently with large earth-ovens cooking buffalo, barramundi and the specialty of the region, magpie goose.
Workshops will include traditional arts and craft: spear-making, grass weaving and local storytelling.
Jabiru Area School will produce a special performance with Corrugated Iron Youth Arts as a highlight of the festival.
The Mah-ket Place will be stocked with diverse food options, local arts and crafts, traditional language information stalls and other items.
Jabiru’s Crocodile Hotel is offering a special package for the Jabiru festival, with exclusive discounts to ensure a memorable visit to Kakadu National Park, which is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of its proclamation.
Rates start from $249 per room per night for two adults (two-night minimum stay), including complimentary room upgrade, 25 per cent off artwork in the Ochre Gallery, 10 per cent off food and beverages, and a bottle of wine.
The NSW South Coast will host the Kiama Bodyboard King Pro when the event lands at Kiama Surf Beach from the August 30 to September 8.
The opening weekend will see oceanic events such as the AirAsia jetski-assisted air show, coaching clinics, music, a farmers market, food stalls and a vintage bodyboarding arena where the history of the sport will be showcased through former world champions, bodyboards from the ’70s and ’80s and some heritage heats with renowned Hawaiian bodyboarders.
Kiama Municipal Council Mayor Mark Honey said the town was absolutely thrilled to have the world’s best bodyboarders back at Surf Beach.
The Kiama Bodyboard King Pro is the only Association of Professional Bodyboarding (APB) World Tour event in Australia.
The ninth annual Pyrmont Festival will run in Sydney from September 20 to October 6 featuring fine food, wine and culture, and headlined by a two-day family-friendly event at Pirrama Park, overlooking Sydney Harbour, on September 28-29.
This year the festival will partner with the Central Western NSW city of Orange to showcase the finest cool-climate wines from the region — Australia’s, and perhaps the world’s, only wine region defined by its altitude, and home to over 30 cellar doors and more than 80 vineyards.
The festival is a celebration of the close relationship between city and country, and will herald the Orange Wine Festival, which runs October 18-27.
The IHG group has opened the ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa, in a highly regarded hot-spring area of south-western Japan.
Beppu is renowned for its rich culture and distinguished local craftsmanship, and lends itself to offering guests rare immersion into ancient Japanese handcrafts.
Experiences include a demonstration and masterclass from local Shuji Calligraphy Masters where guests learn the wonder of kanji characters and the artistic form of written expression.
Guests can also be shown the art of bamboo weaving – an intrinsic part of the local culture with Beppu being the largest producer of madake bamboo ware.
Having the world’s second largest volume of hot spring water means that the onsen tradition is a synonymous part of the guest experience in Beppu, and the resort offers two large outdoor onsens, each meticulously designed with the selection and arrangement of Beppu stones selected by skilled masons, and placed to create a waterfall effect as if the hot spring water is overflowing from the mountain.
The heart of the resort is the iconic infinity pool, designed to unite the sky with the view overlooking Beppu’s hot springs below.
Rooms start from JPY60,000 (about $800) per night.
Most people who see it love the Disney remake of The Lion King, but according to Karen Blixen, author of Out Of Africa and long-time Kenyan resident, you can’t beat the real thing.
And when she wrote: “You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions,” she was talking specifically about Kenya’s Mara.
This iconic game reserve, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, is named in honour of the area’s ancestral Massai and is the perfect place to witness one of the world’s most quintessential wildlife experiences, the annual Great Migration, when millions of zebra, wildebeest, and other antelope species make an incredible journey across Tanzania and Kenya.
One of the best places to observe from is Sanctuary Retreat’s recently refurbished flagship property, Sanctuary Olonana, an one hour by plane from Nairobi and set in lush woodland on the banks of the Mara River.
Its 14 spacious suites have been designed to maximise the wilderness experience for guests, and its experienced guides are expert at finding the perfect hidden spots from which to view the extensive wildlife on show.
At Malolo Island Resort, located in Fiji’s Mamanuca archipelago and 25 kilometres west of Nadi International Airport, all bures have ocean views, and adults and families can have their own spaces with two pools, adults daybed area and lounge, teenage lounge, rainforest spa, and a huge variety of dining in three restaurants.
Plus enjoy a fully-staffed Beach Activity Hut offering an array of scheduled activities including snorkel trips, Fijian village visits, private island picnics, jetski safaris and banana-boat rides.
Prices are from F$2280 for five night in an island bure, including, all for free, a welcome fruit drink, organised daily program for children aged 4-12, wi-fi hotspots in public areas, access to the resort adult and teenage lounges, unlimited use of resort beach equipment such as catamarans, stand-up paddle boards, windsurfers, kayaks, ocean pontoon, snorkel masks, fins and life jackets, guided walks, hosted management drinks and traditional Fijian Meke dance entertainment (Saturday nights) and kava ceremony (Wednesday nights).
Coral Expeditions will surprise guests on its 12-night ‘Spice Islands and Raja Ampat’ cruise with the unforgettable experience of having Christmas lunch with the King of the Indonesian island of Saparua.
On this 12-night sailing on board the company’s newest vessel, Coral Adventurer, guests will enter the ancient trade routes of the legendary Spice Islands, retracing the travels of early explorers.
Secrets of ancient kingdoms built on nutmeg and cloves will be unveiled as Coral Expeditions’ guest lecturers speak about these most treasured and valued commodities of the time — spices like nutmeg, mace and clove.
Another key highlight of the voyage is a three-day exploration of Raja Ampat, the ‘Four Kings of the East’ archipelago, a snorkeller’s dream and home to 75 per cent of the world’s identified coral and fish species.
Marine and wildlife enthusiasts can seek out the world’s largest schools of whale sharks in the protected Marine Park of Cenderawasih Bay.
Prices start at $12,240 per person twin-share, but there is a no-solo-supplement offer, as well as the option for all passengers of a charter flight.
Phone 1800 079 545 or visit www.coralexpeditions.com.
Breathtaking Niagara Falls, the motor city of Detroit, bustling Chicago and the picturesque Great Lakes all feature in an eight-night cruise package offered by Victory Cruise Lines, a package on which Australians can save up to US$1600 per couple if they book by September 30.
North America’s Great Lakes hold 20 per cent of the Earth’s fresh water and are known for their ocean-like features such as rolling waves, distant horizons and strong currents.
They also boast fishing ports, surfing beaches, car-free islands, the largest freshwater sand dunes in the world, a ghost town, and even an island which itself has several smaller lakes on it — lakes in a lake.
The adventure begins with a complimentary hotel stay at Niagara Falls, before boarding Victory II, an agile and intimate ship that easily navigates canals, locks, bays and hidden ports where larger ships cannot go.
Including all on-board meals, free-flowing drinks, shore excursions with local guides at every port, shipboard wi-fi, onboard gratuities and port taxes, the eight-night ‘North America’s Coastal Connection’ cruise package is available from US$3874 per person twin-share.
Phone 1800 507 777 or visit www.cruisetraveller.com.au.