Saturday, 22 October 2016


The Reef Marina’s $85 million redevelopment proposal for the Port Douglas waterfront is expected to generate employment for about 320 people and create a further 300 indirect jobs over the two-year construction period, according to figures from Cummings Economics.

The independent economic impact statement for the proposed redevelopment, also found in addition to boosting employment in the Douglas Shire by about 5.8%, the regional economy would grow by 4.4%.

The project’s overall economic contribution was valued at $588 million over 30 years.

The proposed waterfront transformation features 85 luxury residences with almost 200 rooms, increasing Port Douglas’ holiday and permanent accommodation options.

The project will also offer new waterfront dining and entertainment areas along with an additional 44 marina berths.

The Reef Marina co-owner Andrew Hooper-Nguyen said the raw data was exciting for Port Douglas, not only providing the economic stimulus for jobs and growth during the initial construction phase, but longer term, benefiting the entire community.

“Looking forward, this redevelopment has the opportunity to change the future for our children, creating pathways for employment across a number of different sectors from hospitality and retail to tourism and other service related industries, creating around 240 permanent jobs.

“Once complete, total expenditure on holiday and residential rentals, commercial space expenditure and increased marina activity is expected to be approximately $48 million annually,” Mr Hooper-Nguyen added.

Highlights of the redevelopment include a rainforest walkway to connect the marina to the town centre and a timber boardwalk spanning the entire waterfront.

This will feature public art, shaded seating, viewing stages to make the most of the port’s scenic beauty, restaurants, cafes and other retail outlets.

The development application to transform the Port Douglas waterfront into a vibrant community, entertainment and cultural precinct is before the Douglas Shire Council.

Winter illumination 2016 at Nabanano sato

One of most recommended highlights in Mie, 'Winter Illuminations 2016" has just started at Nabana no sato. 

This year's main theme is  「The beauty of mother nature」.This year's illumination is also very beautiful!

With about 8.5 million LED lights illuminating the flower park,Nabana no Sato is one of the largest illumination events in Japan. 

There are various attractions including a huge field transformed into a sea of lights below an animated light show, light tunnels and an observation deck that lifts visitors high above the park where they can get a bird's eye view of the lights.

Lighting starts around 17:00 per day. Please don't miss it!

The Illumination will be held until May 7th, 2017.

Explore Nature's Playground at the Australian Adventure Festival in East Gippsland This Weekend

Relax and explore a naturally magic corner of Victoria during the second annual Australian Adventure Festival being held in East Gippsland this weekend.

The family-friendly event, which brings together a range of adventure sports into a single, ultimate outdoor festival, will be held over three days from Friday October 21 to Sunday October 23.

Created by East Gippsland Marketing Inc. to showcase the region, the Australian Adventure Festival provides athletes with events across several disciplines in some of the most beautiful wilderness in Australia.

Nestled in Victoria's eastern corner, East Gippsland boasts a mild climate and stunning natural environment with high-country grandeur, isolated beaches, rugged coastal outcrops and Australia's largest inland water system, the Gippsland Lakes. It is rich in natural attractions, ranging from the remote wilderness of the UNESCO-recognised Croajingolong National Park in the east, to the rugged beauty of the Snowy River and Alpine national parks and the vast expanse of the Lakes National Park, fringed by lakes and dunes.

“East Gippsland is an unspoiled corner of Australia and is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world,” the chair of East Gippsland Marketing Inc, Richard Rijs, said.

“Many people know of the Gippsland Lakes, but we also have the Ninety Mile Beach and the second longest silt jetties in the world along the banks of the Mitchell River, all just a short drive from Melbourne.”

Race director Steve Peterson said the festival would include an adventure race, ultra and half marathon, trail running, mountain bike events of varying lengths, plus an adventure fun run and activities for children.

Professional race directors run the events with a team of 150 volunteers and staff.

“The scope and scale of events means that everyone from the professional athlete to the person new to the sport can have a go at adventure sports,” Mr Peterson said. “We have made sure the kids have some great events too to kick off their interest in adventure sports.”

Those not wishing to compete can enjoy the region's other natural attractions; boating or fishing on the Gippsland Lakes, bird watching in the hides of Macleod Morass boardwalk, explore the Mitchell River silt jetties, or spot koalas on Raymond Island.

The food bowl of Victoria, East Gippsland also is renowned for its high quality local produce, including wild-caught seafood, Gippsland beef, fresh fruit and vegetables, artisanal cheeses and wine. And with some of the best trails in the state, organisers believe they are well placed to grow the festival into a major event for Victoria.

“The Australian Adventure Festival is the only one of its kind in Australia to provide the best and most challenging events in the competition categories of mountain biking, trail running and kayaking,” Mr Rijs said. “We are thrilled to be able to showcase our magical region by hosting this important event.”

The festival has attracted strong local support, including financial and in-kind support from local sponsors such as Patties Foods, Saltwater Properties, Gippsland Lakes Community Health, Karls Megasports, Riviera Cycles, Fitness 4U, the Victorian Government's Regional Development Victoria and Bairnsdale Regional Health Service.

To register log onto or see


Shanghai or “Hu” for short, is a renowned international metropolis located on the estuary of Yangtze River, and serves as the most influential economic, financial, international trade, cultural, science and technology center in East China. Additionally, it is a popular destination for visitors to experience the pulse of China.

The city’s modern, multicultural flair, endows it with a unique glamour. Shanghai has a perfect blend of cultures: modern and traditional; western and oriental. New skyscrapers along with old Shikumen together create the skyline of the city. Western customs and Chinese traditions intertwine to form Shanghai’s culture, making visitors’ stay in the city truly memorable.

Useful Telephone Numbers and Websites
Tourist complaints in Shanghai: 0086­21­2311548
Shanghai tourist website:

Enjoy a Suite Escape: Pan Pacific Hotels Group Rewards Event Planners with Complimentary Stay

Organising events can be stressful. Thankfully, Pan Pacific Hotels Group has come to the rescue with a suite offer to reward event planners. Spend $5,000 on a meeting at any of the group's Oceania hotels (PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney, PARKROYAL Parramatta, PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport and Pan Pacific Perth) and receive a complimentary stay in a stylish suite at any participating Pan Pacific Hotel or PARKROYAL Hotel globally. Staging an event has never been so rewarding!

Equipped with modern amenities, state-of-the-art technology and flexible event and meeting spaces, the four award-winning properties are well-renowned for their exceptional service and dedicated staff. Delegates can stay connected with complimentary Wi-Fi and relax over a wide range of gourmet offerings within comfortable and contemporary surrounds all whilst the hotels' professional event managers bring their conferences to life.

Whether you are planning on an intimate power meeting or a large-scale seminar, book your next event at any Pan Pacific Hotels Group property across Australia from now until 30 June 2017 to secure your complimentary stay in a suite. Spend $5,000 and receive one night complimentary stay, $10,000 and receive two nights accommodation and for meetings and events over $15,000, receive three nights in a suite! Relax in Bali, shop 'til you drop in Singapore or discover ancient Chinese culture – the choice is yours!

Additionally, this special package offers complimentary parking for two cars, as well as a free upgrade to the next room type for two guests.

Offer is redeemable on the day of the conference or post conference. Blackout dates and terms and conditions apply. For more information, bookings or enquiries, visit

Ha Noi Ca tru festival 2016

According to Ha Noi City Department of Culture and Sports, Ha Noi Ca tru festival 2016 will take place at the Temple of Literature from November 11th to 13th.

The festival is expected to draw the participation of young talents from 6 to 30 years old from Ca tru clubs in the city.

It aims to discover and cultivate young talents, promote the popularization of Ca tru arts to the public. This will help preserve and promote the intangible cultural heritage in the city, contributing to gradually move Ca tru from the list of world intangible cultural heritages in need of urgent safeguarding to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Ca tru, an ancient type of music featuring female vocalists, was recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in October 2009.

It is a complex form of poetry founded in the north of Viet Nam around the 15th century using lyrics written in traditional Vietnamese poetic forms.

More Australians Book China Holidays

AUSTRALIA'S continued fascination with China continues to grow with more opting to travel and holiday there than in the previous year.

The number of Australian passport holders visiting mainland China has increased by 14,000 compared so far this year with the same period in 2015, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics.

From January till the end of August in 2016, 297,000 travelled to mainland China for a holiday or business compared with 283,000 over the same months last year (*figures do not include Hong Kong and Macao).

“An increase such as this indicates a strong willingness by Australians to see and learn more about the interesting and historically rich country,” said Helen Wong, managing director and founder of leading China wholesaler Helen Wong's Tours.

“While contemporary change has been swift in the major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, a great deal of interest focuses on China's ancient cultures and traditions, along with a number of scenic natural treasures such as the Yangtze River and the spectacular Three Gorges.

“From our brochure, the Yangtze cruises aboard Victoria Cruises are very popular, a trend which is sure to continue with the growth in popularity of cruises.”

Details: Helen Wong's Tours: Phone (02) 9267 7833 or visit


NSW has kicked off the biggest cruise season in the State’s history with a record 336 ships scheduled to visit by next April.

There are 10 maiden voyages expected, including the $1 billionOvation of the Seas, which will arrive in Sydney in December.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the influx of cruise ships comes as Sydney takes out two international titles from Cruise Critic for best cruise destination in Australia and New Zealand, and best Australian home port.

“Cruise continues to be the fastest growing tourism sector in Australia and now it’s official: Sydney is the number one destination to visit across Australia and New Zealand and our country’s number one home port,” Mr Ayres said.

“NSW also grabs the lion’s share of the country’s $3.6 billion cruise dollar with 67 per cent of Australia’s cruise revenue generated right here in NSW.”

Australians are now the most ‘cruise mad’ tourists with more than 1 million people, or 4.5 per cent of the population cruising each year, set to double by 2020.

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay said the NSW Government recently invested $135 million to expand cruise ship capacity in Sydney Harbour to ensure the city can continue to attract cruise ships from around the world.

“The upgraded Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) meets ship turnaround time needs better than ever before – faster turnaround means more cruiseliners can come into Sydney on any one day,” Mr Gay said.

“The NSW Government is committed to keeping Sydney open, available and accessible to the growing number of ships wanting to come here.”

Work is also set to be complete next month on a new super mooring at the southern end of the OPT.

Port Kembla welcomes the first ever cruise ship on Sunday 30 October and Eden will welcome 14 scheduled visits this financial year with major benefits for local businesses.

All eyes will be on the OPT come December as Ovation of the Seas, capable of carrying 5000 passengers, becomes the newest and the most technologically advanced cruise ship to ever call Australia home.

Friday, 21 October 2016

The Ian Thorpe Aquatic and Fitness Centre FREE OPEN DAY

OPEN DAY - Saturday 22nd October 2016 from 10am-3pm

We’re opening our facility to locals, visitors and workers to come and explore everything our wonderful centre has to offer for FREE!

There will be something for everyone on the day including:

Group fitness classes:

  • Yoga @10.30am
  • Body combat @ 12.30pm
  • Body pump @ 2.30pm

Small group classes:

  • HIIT @ 10.00am and 1.00pm
  • Abs/Core @ 11.00am and 2.00pm
  • Box N Burn @ 12.00 midday
  • Deep aqua @ 10.00am
  • Spin @ 1.30pm

Take a tour and find out about our programs:

  • Have fun on the aquatic inflatables!
  • Enjoy the sausage sizzle
  • Kids face painting
  • Meet the Manager! Sessions are designed to answer all your questions about the Centre, memberships, swim school and more.

You could even win four tickets to the 2016 Sydney New Year’s Eve Dawes Point Viewing Area *conditions apply

*Buy a 12 week swim or water safety program and go into a draw to win four tickets to the 2016 Sydney New Year's Eve Dawes Point Viewing Area valid 31 December 2016 only.

Join us on Saturday 22nd October for a fun filled open day!

Enjoy FREE entry to the City’s world-class aquatic and fitness facilities.

The Ian Thorpe Aquatic and Fitness Centre is a 20 minute walk from Central Train Station, and a 10 minute walk from Town Hall Train Station via Darling Harbour.

The 501 Bus Route between Railway Square and West Ryde goes right past the centre. For more information, please click here.

The Light Rail service runs between Central and Dulwich Hill. Please depart at the Exhibition Centre stop for access by the ramp or stairs to Ian Thorpe Aquatic and Fitness Centre.

Where: 458 Harris St, Ultimo NSW 2007, Australia
Phone: 02 9518 7220 
Date: 22 October 2016 10:00:00am - 03:00:00am

Eveleigh Heritage Festival

Building goods locomotive 5801, 
Eveleigh Workshops, 
Redfern, Sydney, 1949 / R. Bean
Enjoy a free day out for all the family

This free event for all the family will:
  • shine a spotlight on the fascinating history of this iconic location, with heritage walking tours (starting at 11am and 1pm), talks and the chance to meet local historians
  • keep the kids entertained with little train rides, a jumping castle, face painting and a craft table
  • offer an array of gourmet delights from Sydney’s popular Char Char Food Truck, local wines, a sausage sizzle, coffee, gelato and more.

Once home to the largest railway workshops in the Southern Hemisphere, the site operated for over 100 years as Australia’s industrial powerhouse that birthed the countries railways.

Visitors are invited to join one of two heritage-walking tours starting at 11am and 1pm, exploring the historic Locomotive Workshop and its surrounds. The heritage-protected building contains an array of original artefacts from its industrial heyday, as well as one of last fully functional blacksmith workshops in Sydney.

The event is a family friendly affair, with little train rides, a jumping castle, face painting and craft tables to excite children of all ages. Stencils of trains painted by children at the craft table will be used to decorate the construction hoardings, as the redevelopment of the Australian Technology Park gets underway in the coming months.

They’ll also be plenty to tantalise the taste buds. From a sausage sizzle, to gourmet delights from Sydney’s popular Char Char Food Truck, local wines, coffee, gelato and more, this event is on track to becoming one of the most popular instalments in Sydney’s community festival calendar!

E-mail to register for one of the two heritage-walking tours.

When: Saturday 22 October 2016 from 10am to 3pm
Innovation Plaza (enter from Locomotive Street or Platform 10 at Redfern Station)
Cost: Free
Book tickets
More Info: Phone 02 8014 5033