Thursday, 25 August 2016


The magic of the outer Great Barrier Reef is within reach of visitors on a tight schedule with two half day tour options now available from Port Douglas.

Launching this month is Tropical Journeys Calypso Reef Cruises new half day tour, with two departures daily.

It joins Reef Sprinter as the only other operator to provide this shortened outer reef option.

Calypso’s director Graham Jones said it was exciting to be able to offer something for everyone when it came to reef tours from Port Douglas.

“Not everyone wants a full-day tour and many visitors have been asking at the tour shops in town for a half-day outer reef experience,” Mr Jones said.

The arrival of Calypso’s smaller capacity, custom-built vessel for its popular half-day Low Isles tours has allowed the larger Calypso Blue, which can carry up to 50 passengers, for the new half-day outer reef tour.

Calypso will also still operate three full day outer reef tour options as well as a full day Low Isles package.

He hoped the new tours would only enhance what has already been a good year so far for the Port Douglas owned business.

“The season so far has been excellent and hopefully will continue. Forward bookings are looking promising,” he added.

Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett welcomed the news, which reinforced the region’s reputation as a premier reef tour destination.

“Both tours offer a marvelous opportunity for people who are short on time or who do not wish to spend a whole day out on the water,” Ms Bennett said.

She said there was a lot to talk about as operators continued to invest in their products.

“Reef Sprinter has invested in a new vessel, which arrived this month, and the iconic 45 metre Quicksilver VIII is back in the water after a million-dollar refurbishment.

“The beautiful Chinese junk Shaolin also returned to Port earlier this year as a reef tour vessel offering trips to Low Isles as well as sunset tours and private charters.”

Reef Sprinter owner Steve Sherwell said its new upgraded vessel, which was only broken in last week, boasted 350 horse power super charged outboards.

“We can travel to the outer reef in just 40 minutes. It is a fast, fun exciting boat ride, cruising at about 40 knots.”

The speed boat was built locally by Far North Fabrication in record time of just four months.

“This boat is built more for open water and gives us the flexibility of now offering two outer reef tours on the same day,” he added.

Published This Month: Lonely Planet’s Epic Bike Rides of the World

Explore the planet’s most thrilling cycling routes

Published this month, Lonely Planet’s Epic Bike Rides of the World will inspire two-wheeled travel all over the globe.

This beautifully illustrated book features tales of 50 cycling routes in 30 countries (from Australia to Bhutan), as well as 200 ideas for bike rides - ranging from family-friendly jaunts, to backcountry expeditions, via city tours, classic circuits and meandering adventures.

“Everybody has their personal interpretation of ‘epic’,” Lonely Planet says. “You can have an epic adventure straight from your front door and be back in time for tea. Or you can follow in the tyre tracks of adventurer Alastair Humphreys and pedal around the world.”

“This book attempts to reflect that diversity and those varying levels of commitment,” Lonely Planet adds. “We’ve sought out some of the most entertaining experiences you can have on a bicycle, whether you’re a casual rider or a cyclist with a stable of carbon-fibre machines. The settings of these experiences range from some of the world’s most remote places – Mongolia, Bhutan and the Outer Hebrides – to its hippest cities and dreamiest islands. Some of these rides take just a couple of hours, others a day or two, a week, or more than a month.”

Lonely Planet has partnered with G Adventures to exclusively offer Dymocks customers the chance to win an epic bike-riding trip for two to Vietnam valued at over $6,000. Purchase any Lonely Planet book* from Dymocks between now and 3 October 2016 & enter for your chance to win.

*While stocks last. T&Cs apply.


Available now / 328pp, full colour, H260mm x W200mm / hardcover / RRP: AUD $44.99

Seeking to Reward Young and Talented People in Australian Tourism

2015 national award winner Megan Swords
and Carolyn Childs of
  • Regional tourism award seeks applications from rising stars under 30 years old in Australia’s tourism industry
Young people seeking to get ahead in the tourism industry in Australia are being encouraged to enter the Australian Regional Tourism Network Young Tourism Professional Awards 2016.

Nominations are open until 31 August only. There will be eight finalists, one from each state as well as the option for representatives of national organizations with a passion for regional tourism. They will attend the ARTN annual convention in Roma, Queensland, 25-27 October. All will be awarded. One of them will become the national winner.

The aim of the awards is to further ARTN’s goals of building a sustainable tourism industry by recognising excellence in regional tourism, incentivising best practice, and encouraging young professionals to remain in the tourism industry.

“Around half the expenditure in Australia’s $107.1bn tourism industry is in regional areas,” said David Sheldon, Chair of ARTN. “The engagement of young people is vital to make sure we can continue to deliver to the rising expectations of visitors. Our partnership with enables us to showcase the amazing job young regional tourism professionals are doing.”

Nominees are considered as emerging leaders in Australian tourism. They must be under 30 and already contributing to tourism in local government, regional tourism organizations, state tourism bodies, private operators, or as a student or researcher. Prizes include full registration to attend the Australian Regional Tourism Convention, in Roma, Queensland, accommodation to travel to the convention sponsored by the state tourism body, 12 months membership of (worth $497), participation in a mentoring program sponsored by, and a certificate.

At the convention all applicants will make a presentation. will support them in developing it. Judges will pick one young person to be the winner based on that presentation, observation at the conference, and supporting arguments. The title is currently held by Megan Swords from Maranoa in Queensland.

The 2016 winner will receive mentoring from, a $2,000 bursary for professional development, and the chance to sit at the table as an ex-officio member of the ARTN Board.

Carolyn Childs, Co-Founder of said: “Over the three years we have been involved with the programme we have met some amazing young people and have been privileged to help support the next generation of leaders through the professional development and mentoring we provide. It’s also a major win for their organisation – providing both a great motivational tool and a major showcase for them.”

An introduction to the scope of the awards is available here. Full details and information on how to be nominated is available here.

The closing date for initial nominations is 31 August 2016.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


Parramatta will be the new home of Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival, cementing Western Sydney’s growing reputation as a thriving arts and cultural destination.

NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage Mark Speakman said the move to Parramatta will allow the 25-year-old festival to expand and attract a new and broader audience.

“Parramatta Park is an impressive world-class heritage venue that will create an exciting new home for the festival, and the decision to hold Tropfest for the first time on a Saturday night will also allow more Sydneysiders to enjoy the show,” Mr Speakman said.

“Greater Western Sydney, now home to more than two million people, has seen extraordinary growth in recent years and is still growing – Parramatta is a great place for a major event like Tropfest.”

The popular event, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, will be hosted at Parramatta Park on 11 February 2017.

Entries for Tropfest open in September.

China Eastern Offers Supreme Travel Experience With ArrivalGuides Destination Content

China Eastern is yet another global airline using ArrivalGudies destination content to offer their passenger an excellent aviation service.

China Eastern serves nearly 80 million travelers annually and is one of the world's top 5 airlines in terms of passenger transportation volume, with daily flights to 1000 cities in 187 countries.

With the integration of a new ArrivalGuides widget, their concept of “World-class hospitality with Eastern charm” will create an outstanding travel and customer experience.

Coffs Harbour Running Festival -September 4th 2016

Hundreds of race-goers of all ages and abilities will descend on the NSW North Coast next month for the Coffs Harbour Running Festival.

The picturesque track hugs the beautiful Coffs Creek and passes through areas of natural beauty and popular attractions such as Dolphin Marine Magic, Regional Botanic Garden and Park Beach.

Entrants can choose from a range distances from three kilometres to a half marathon.


7.30am: Key Employment Half Marathon (min. age 18 as at 04/09/16)
7.00am: Coastal Works 10km Fun Run: (min. age 14 as at 04/09/16)
9.30am: Beachside Radiology 5km Fun Run/Walk All Ages
10.20am: The Athletes Foot 3km Family Fun Run/Walk All Ages


Half Marathon $50 $60
10km $40 $50
5km $30 $40
3km $15 $25

Online Entries close Friday, September 2nd at 5.00pm
Click here to register for the 4 September event.

Late Entries will be accepted on availability, Saturday 3rd September from 2.00pm-4.00pm at the Coffs Harbour Showground and will incur a $10 late fee per person. No late entries accepted on race day

Doctor on Duty Schools Challenge

The Doctor on Duty Schools Challenge is a new incentive to encourage participation from school students. There are cash prizes on offer for schools with the largest numbers of participants to spend on sporting equipment. Click here for more information.

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens Announces Animal Birth

The San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is happy to announce the arrival of an infant guanaco, born Saturday, August 20 at about 2:00 pm in the Puente al Sur exhibit. Both mother, “Milagro”, and her female chulengo (young guanaco) are in excellent condition. She took her first steps about one hour after birth and is nursing and bonding with her mother.

“Animal births are always exciting, but this one is extra special because it’s the first guanaco birth at SF Zoo,” said Tanya M. Peterson, President of the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens. “2016 has been an abundant year and we are so fortunate to have yet another healthy mother and infant.”

In recent months, SF Zoo welcomed a giraffe calf, anteater, and howler and patas monkeys.

The chulengo, not yet named, weighs between 15 and 30 pounds. Her father “Cusco” is three years old and mother “Milagro” is eight years old. Both guanacos are first-time parents.

Mother and infant are being given privacy to bond in area that is not publicly visible, but “Cusco” is in the main exhibit yard. The animal care team will determine in a number of weeks when the new mother and chulengo will rejoin the other animals.

Guanacos are a member of the Camelid family, along with camels, llamas, alpacas and vicunas. They are native to South America, where they are the largest wild mammal. Gestation periods are 11.5 months and most chulengos stay with their mother for about one year.

Video of her first steps

San Francisco Zoo

Established in 1929, San Francisco Zoo & Gardens connects people to wildlife, inspires caring for nature and advances conservation action. An urban oasis, the Zoo & Gardens is home to more than 2,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals representing more than 250 species as well as seven distinct gardens full of native and unusual plants. Located at the edge of the Pacific Ocean where the Great Highway meets Sloat Boulevard, the Zoo is open 365 days a year from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (summer hours) and is accessible by San Francisco MUNI "L" Taraval Line.

Melbourne Abuzz With Spring Events

Melbourne's events calendar never rests. As the weather warms up, the city gets set to welcome a bevy of world class events. From fashion to theatre, sport to pop icons, dance, circus and more, there is something for fashion fiends, culture vultures and sports enthusiasts alike. Here are some of the highlights:

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week

Emerging and established designers, retailers and brands unite at the annual Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW, 26 August – 2 September 2016). New season styles are presented at a variety of runway shows with designers from Melbourne and Victoria at the fore, comprising 85 per cent of the content. For the first time ever, MSFW extends to regional Victoria with a series of events set to take place in Ballarat (2–4 September 2016) showcasing collections created by designers from the region, and a wool industry retrospective as well as MSFW highlights.

Spring Racing Carnival

Fillies, fashion and fanfare combine to create the iconic Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival (1 September – 27 November 2016). This 64-day string of must-attend events brings together the world's best thoroughbreds with the world's most stylish spectators. Race-goers flock from far and wide to get up close to the action during the Group One Races. Must-attend events include the BMW Caulfield Cup (17 October 2016), the William Hill Cox Plate (22 October 2016), Country Cups and of course 'the race that stops the nation', the Emirates Melbourne Cup (1 November 2016).

Melbourne Fringe Festival

This year's Melbourne Fringe Festival (15 September – 2 October 2016) is set to be the biggest ever, with 463 events taking place all over Melbourne. Performances by emerging and established artists from a diverse array of disciplines will entertain audiences of all ages. In addition to traditional performance spaces, the festival will transform two Melbourne restaurants into Fringe venues - Belleville Melbourne will host acts such as The Improv Conspiracy, and Fancy Hank's will host comedy acts.

Royal Melbourne Show

Established in 1848, the Royal Melbourne Show (17–27 September 2016) is a long-time tradition, attracting more than 450,000 visitors annually. Carnival rides, showbags, live music and family entertainment are among the most popular activities. In keeping with its rural roots, the real focus is on the thousands of animals that take centre stage at an array of events and pavilions. Those more interested in arts and craft are also well catered for with more than 4000 exhibits featuring everything from photography to biscuits.

Kylie On Stage

Kylie On Stage (late September 2016 – 22 January 2017) presents a range of Kylie Minogue's costumes and offers an insight into the design process. Celebrating the pop icon's highly successful concert tours, this free exhibition is drawn from Kylie's spectacular stage wardrobe and features costumes from tours dating back to 1989 alongside those worn during more recent tours. The world-first exhibition will showcase designs from the likes of Dolce and Gabbana, John Galliano, Karl Lagerfeld and John Paul Gaultier.


MPavilion is back for summer 2016 (5 October 2016 – 18 February 2017). This time, the temporary structure is designed by renowned Indian architect Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai and is 12 metres high, made of bamboo with a roof encased in earth representing the Australian landscape. Located in Melbourne's Queen Victoria Gardens, MPavilion acts as a design and cultural hub, and plays host to a series of talks, workshops, performances and installations.

Melbourne Festival

Over 18 days, Melbourne Festival (6–23 October 2016) serves up 62 events and 207 performances by some of the world's greatest theatre makers. 
With 10 world premieres, 18 Australian premieres, and events exclusive to Melbourne, the 2016 program features a spectacular line-up of dance, theatre, circus, contemporary and classical music, visual arts and free events - all curated for the first time by Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway. Events to watch out for include Lady Eats Apple, Startrek: The Ultimate Voyage, Vertical Influences, Haircuts by Children, The Dark Chorus and David Bowie Nothing Has Changed - a tribute performance by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra - as well as plenty of free outdoor family events and Melbourne Art Trams.

Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) presents the fashion world of two design greats in Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists (21 October 2016 – 26 February 2017). The exhibition showcases the Dutch duo's 20-year career, featuring some of their most innovative work including more than 35 haute couture pieces, some of their earlier designs and a selection of work-in-progress. Developed in close collaboration with Viktor&Rolf and international guest curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot (of blockbuster exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier) this is the first time the exhibition is displayed in the Southern Hemisphere.

Kinky Boots

The feel-good, multi award-winning musical Kinky Boots makes its Australian debut at Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne (from 23 October 2016). Featuring music and lyrics by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, and directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots is renowned for having audiences dancing in the aisles by the end of the show. The production has been embraced worldwide since its official launch on Broadway in April 2013, winning six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

A sensational sports line-up

The Australian Football League finals series (2 September – 1 October 2016) and Spring Racing Carnival (1 September–27 November 2016) is joined by some action-packed new additions to the sporting calendar in the latter half of 2016, including: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier – Australia v Japan (11 October 2016), Fast5 World Series (29–30 October 2016), Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (21–23 October 2016), World Cup of Golf (24–27 November 2016), International Hockey Festival Melbourne (23–27 November 2016).

For more ideas and information, see



Created by the industry for the industry is the theme of this year’s ibtm world 2016 education programme following ten months of consultation and research with international buyers and suppliers.

Set to take place in the ACS Knowledge Village from the first day of the event in Barcelona this November ( the sessions will provide interactive workshops, high-level debates, game-changing topics and presentations on global issues that affect the industry right now and in the future.

ibtm world Senior Exhibition Director, Graeme Barnett outlined why the research was necessary: “As the leading international event that really closes one year to the next, we want the industry to lead the way for this year’s programme as there are so many topics which clearly affect their business lives on a day to day basis. We have now aggregated that research and have created an innovative, immersive conference programme inspired by those who will be attending ibtm world 2016.”

Rurring themes from the research identified the following topics:
  1. Safety, Security and Risk Management – in today’s turbulent world, crisis management, security issues and safety topics are high on the industry agenda.
  2. Innovation, Disruption & Technology – what is shaking up the sector? Emerging technologies, how can new technology better affect? the client experience will become sessions.
  3. Professional Development/Staff recruitment and retention – issues relating to work/life balance, how to retain quality staff, inspirational leadership techniques form the agenda
  4. Client Engagement – social media, case studies, networking tools and marketing feature in this theme.
  5. The impact of Brexit on the meetings industry – this will be addressed from many sides, both facing Europe and the UK as well as implications for others around the world. 

This year’s ibtm world Industry Trends Watch Report will once again, be delivered by Rob Davidson, Managing Director MICE Knowledge, on the opening morning of the show.

“Rob’s session is the industry’s annual opportunity to take away trends, facts and stats from an international perspective. So popular, he will deliver it twice so that all attendees including exhibitors get a chance to hear from the expert at the end of this year how the MICE industry looks heading into 2017”, added Barnett.

The industry research applauded ibtm world for bringing the ACS Knowledge Village to the show floor for the first time last year, so once again it will be in the same position, with a new look and feel and once again showcasing the ultimate in meetings design, to be unveiled online at over the coming weeks.

“Both suppliers and buyers asked that the sessions not only address their business issues but are also available to them to drop in between their own appointment schedules. Locating the theatres on the show floor gives them easy accessibility.” added Barnett.

September Events in Western Australia

Shinju Matsuri
September 10 – 18, 2016
Broome, Australia's North West

Japanese for Festival of the Pearl, Shinju Matsuri celebrates the unique culture, history and diversity of Broome. A traditional Chinese dragon is the centre-piece of the festival, and people proudly display their ethnic origins, and celebrate a pearling history that has made Broome the envy of the world. The festival will tempt your senses with an exciting whirlwind of colour, sound, taste and smell.

Zest Festival

September 17 – 18, 2016
Kalbarri, Australia's Coral Coast

The Zest Festival explores Kalbarri's cultural connections to the Netherlands, South Africa, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, China and Japan via the voyages of the Dutch East India Company. The festival will open with a masquerade ball, with the weekend featuring Indigenous culture and modern Australia culture, multicultural performances, art, food, short films and community workshops. This year will celebrate the youthful energy of young sailors, explorers and women of the era who waited for their loved ones, received the attention of sailors or stepped onto a boat and had the spirit to travel to foreign lands.

Meekathara Outback Festival

September 23 – 25, 2016
Meekathara, Australia's Golden Outback
The Meekatharra Outback Festival showcases the regional town through a range of activities. There are three days of nonstop entertainment options from skyworks and street festivals to thoroughbred horse racing, live music and the Annual Outback Ball. The Meeka Festival offers a true outback experience.