Tuesday, 27 September 2016


Jumpsuits are being dry cleaned and rhinestones polished as more than 22,000 people prepare to shake, rattle and roll their way to the Regional NSW town of Parkes for next year’s Elvis extravaganza.

The 2017 Parkes Elvis Festival program is jam-packed with more than 120 events, including the headline Feature Concert Series, Elvis Gospel Service, the Northparkes Mines Street Parade and much more.

The theme for the 2017 event is inspired by the 1964 Elvis film Viva Las Vegas, with hot rods, neon lights, and feathered showgirls set to transform Parkes into a glittering paradise to celebrate the Festival’s 25th year.

Festival Director Cathy Treasure said “To have reached 25 years is a huge achievement for the Festival. The entire Parkes community has supported this event from the very beginning, helping us grow the Festival into the leading celebration of the life of Elvis Presley in Australia.”

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the 2016 Parkes Elvis Festival attracted more than 13,000 overnight visitors, who contributed more than $9.3 million to the local visitor economy.

“As one of the most popular and unique events in Regional NSW, the Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, is proud to support the Parkes Elvis Festival. I encourage everyone to start planning their trip to the region for the special 25th birthday celebration which promises to be a standout on the NSW Events Calendar,” Mr Ayres said.

The Parkes Elvis Festival will be held from 11-15 January 2017, with tickets now on sale.

NEXT Hotel Brisbane Wins 'Best Redeveloped Hotel'

NEXT Hotel Brisbane was awarded Best Redeveloped Hotel at the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) National Awards for Excellence dinner, held on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

In 2014 the hotel underwent a complete remodelling, the vision behind the transformation was the first of many undertaken by SilverNeedle Hospitality Group. NEXT hotel design needed to marry form and function in inspiring ways; as the re-development bar was raised even higher to include technology and creative spaces. NEXT hotel is a result of meeting these challenges seamlessly; blending designs from traditional hotel demands for tech-native travellers.

Given the hotel's past that boasts famous and infamous guests - The Beatles, prime ministers like Sir Robert Menzies, President Lyndon Johnson, it was a place that held fond memories for many Brisbane locals. It was inevitable that the heyday of Brisbane's iconic hotel needed to be redeveloped for its next frontier.

“NEXT hotel adds a modern spin to our historical narrative - it is a balancing act between traditional services, which are core to what we do whilst exposing guests to new technologies that were first to this region's hotel market. Our innovation and installation, such as keyless entry and mobile phones for in-room functionalities, are all part of being tech hoteliers in Australia”, said Alex Billing, General Manager for NEXT Hotel Brisbane.

“For the challenges and success in launching the world's first NEXT hotel, we are honoured to receive this sought after award”, said Billing.

The evening was attended by just over 460 people, gathered for the industry's most respected national awards ceremony. With the finalists in each category already the winners of their state awards, these prestigious awards celebrate the 'best of the best'.

Marriott Opens Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiang

Marriott Hotel Qianjiang
Marriott International recently opened their first hotel in Hangzhou, the Marriott Hotel Qianjiang. The new hotel enjoys a unique location in Qianjiang New Town central business district overlooking the Qiantang River. Located next to the metro line, the hotel is conveniently located near major transportation hubs, just a 34-minute drive from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, and a 20-minute drive from Hangzhou East Railway Station. The hotel offers 348 guest rooms, each equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and services.

In addition, the hotel provides a variety of dining experiences: Man Ho Restaurant serves authentic Cantonese cuisine; Shin Ju features traditional Japanese food; and City Bistro features live cooking stations and outdoor seating. Click here for more information or reservations.

Biodiversity at the Sydney Olympic Park

Bird Watching 
Sydney Olympic Park is a hotspot for all things natural, and protects habitats for hundreds of species of plants, birds, frogs, bats, reptiles and fish. There are over 35 kilometres of bike trails, walking paths and scenic boardwalkswithin the Park that can take you to parklands, rare salt-marshes, remnant woodlands, waterbird refuges and mangrove forest.

Among these protected wetlands and woodlands you can bird watch, photograph, spot lizards, visit the home of the endangered Green and Golden Bell frog, or just de-stress in the cool green calmness under the trees.

Sydney Olympic Park supports over 200 species of native birds, frogs, bats, possums and lizards, and contains over 300 hectares of threatened species habitat.

Life in the Park news:

Our resident White-bellied Sea Eagles are nesting and have two eggs. There will be an eager wait for eggs to hatch, after some 40 days incubation. Catch a birds eye view of their nest via EagleCAM.
Enjoy flowering wattles along the Louise Sauvage Pathway and Badu Mangroves during July. These plants form an important source of pollen for birds, small mammals and insects during the hard, cold months.

Bring your binoculars and watch Black Swans nesting on the main island in Lake Belvedere, Bicentennial Park and an island at the Waterbird Refuge in Badu Mangroves. Islands are an important refuge for nesting waterbirds, providing protection from foxes and other land-based predators.
See if you can catch a Black-shouldered Kite or Nankeen Kestrel hovering over the grassland of Woo-la-ra. These birds are searching for lizards and insects amongst the grasses

Learn more about life in the Park.

The Park is also for animals. Visitors can help to protect and conserve biodiversity by staying out of sensitive habitats, remaining on paths or mown grass and keeping their dog on a lead. Please keep your dog on lead except for in the designated ‘dog off lead’ areas.

Visitors are also asked not to feed birds and animals, this can encourage some species to become pests through changes in their behaviour. Feeding by visitors is not healthy for wild animals; it alters their diet and prevents them from performing their natural role in the environment.

Bird Watching 

Sydney Olympic Park provides excellent bird watching opportunities with its diverse habitats supporting migratory, nomadic and resident birds. More than 200 native species have been recorded. This is the season of migratory birds and the Park has lots of new visitors. Find out more about the birds or explore one of our bird walks!

Read more about Birds of the Armory walks and bird watching.

BirdLife Discovery Centre and EagleCam

Learn more about Australian birds and their habitats at the BirdLife Discovery Centre in Newington Armory. EagleCAM is a live remote feed operating out of the Discovery Centre close to the Parramatta River. Watch live action from our White-bellied Sea-eagle nest and see our Sea Eagle chicks via EagleCam as live and direct as they grow.

Mangrove Boardwalk

Experience the largest remaining stand of grey mangrove forest along the Parramatta River at Badu Mangroves in Bicentennial Park. Step into the dappled shade along the floating wooden boardwalk and look out for the abundant crabs and snails on the muddy shore below, as well as wading birds such as the White-faced Heron and the more secretive Mangrove Heron. Small birds such as the Yellow Thornbill, Silvereye and Grey Fantail may also be seen and heard as they flit through the forest, and Golden Orb-weaving Spiders are abundant in the autumn months when they build their webs in the mangrove canopy. Take a moment to imagine the time when such habitats dominated the rivers and bays of Sydney. More info

Brickpit Ring Walk

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of endangered frog habitat and other unique features of theBrickpit from the Ring Walk, an elevated circular walkway. You’ll see both naturally-formed and constructed ponds that the Green and Golden Bell Frog uses for breeding, with surrounding reeds, rock piles, long grass and weedy vegetation for shelter and foraging. Interpretive material around the Ring Walk explains the Brickpit’s industrial history and unique geology, the evolution of Green and Golden Bell Frog habitat, and the development and operation of the Park’s innovative water recycling scheme (WRAMS).

Narawang Boardwalk

Meander along walking paths and a reed-fringed boardwalk at Narawang Wetland. TheGreen and Golden Bell Frog and other frog species can be heard calling from the ponds during the warmer months, find a quiet shady spot and you may spot some of these web-toed residents. More info

Frog Walk

Take a walk of discovery through the Park's extensive freshwater wetlands and woodlands that support 7 frog species and learn about management of the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog. There are 70 constructed frog habitat ponds around the Park, with 11 road underpasses and 6km of frog fencing that protect these important local residents. The Frog Walk takes you to the Brickpit Ring, where you have a bird’s eye view of frog habitats, and nearby Wentworth Common and Kronos Hill.

Heritage Railway

Jump aboard the heritage-listed narrow-gauge railway for a trip around the historic precinct of Newington Armory and learn about the Park’s remnant turpentine ironbark forest and the different bat species that inhabit some of the heritage buildings. This unique small-gauge electric railway tour includes a full commentary, taking in protected wetlands and remnant forest not usually accessible to visitors. More info



The ibtm world Technology & Innovation Watch Award in partnership with EventMBs has attracted record levels of entries this year. Open to innovators and talented entrepreneurs with original ideas to showcase the future of the industry through technology the award has generated over 60 entries with first time applications from Hong Kong, India, Tanzania, Turkey, Finland, Norway and Romania.

The value to the winner includes not only the opportunity to showcase their technology and innovations within the ibtm world Innovation Zone, but also exposure to thousands of international industry attendees at ibtm world as well as the international media, both before, during and after the event.

20% of entrants for the Technology and Innovation Watch Awardcompanies have entered previously and are doing so again this year. “The power of this award, established in 2000, is that every year it attracts new entries as well as repeat applications for those anxious to remain credible with their technology for the industry, so we are delighted that many individuals and companies enter year on year. This time the competitive nature of these award s has shown a really dynamic quality of entrant and the judging panel will have a tough job ahead”. Said Corbin Ball, Chair of the judging panel.

The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 10th October with the winner awarded at ibtm world on the 30th November.


The beautiful Manning Valley will be on show to thousands of visitors next month when some of Australia’s biggest acts, including Shannon Noll and Bill Chambers, take to the stage for a Regional NSW showcase.

Held on the North Coast, the Wingham Akoostik Festival is a three-day celebration of music, camping and market stalls, featuring local and handcrafted goods, food and more.

The Festival is renowned for its relaxed family friendly atmosphere. Visitors are invited to enjoy great music and fun experiences, including African drumming workshops and guitar tuning.

There's also the opportunity to explore the historic timber town of Wingham and picturesque countryside, home to several artists' retreats, guesthouses, cafes and shops selling fresh, local produce.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said the North Coast region has so much to offer visitors.

“I encourage all music fans to make plans to get to this incredible region for the Akoostik Music Festival, and make sure they take some time while there to experience everything the area has to offer," Ms Chipchase said.

The Wingham Akoostik Music Festival will be held from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 October and is proudly supported by Destination NSW through the Regional Flagship Events Program.

Visit the official Festival website for more information, and go to Visitnsw.com for more to see and do in the Manning Valley.

Top Notch Events Being Held in Moab Utah in October

October brings out a myriad of top-notch events in Moab. Participate as a competitor or vendor and enjoy an event as part of the audience, a volunteer, or as an attendee. Feel the crisper air temperatures of autumn in Moab for your own touring and contemplate including some time with one of the following October events in Moab.

Plein Air Moab with be head quartered out of the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, 111 E 100 N, Moab from October 1st to the 8th this year. Check out the schedule and swing by to purchase some great works of landscape and architectural art from around Moab. See the schedule of events on www.pleiairmoab.com.

For road cycling enthusiasts, join the Moab Century Tour on October 1st. Route options are 40, 60, or 100 mile lengths. All rides have support and the post-ride party is fun with live music, good food, beer and cycling icons. Sign up via www.skinnytireevents.com.

The Rock, Gem and Mineral Show shall be held at the Old Spanish Trail Arena (3641 S Hwy 191) October 6-9 2016. A wide variety of raw and polished gemstones are for sale, as well as other finished goods.

October 7 2016 the Moab Arts and Recreation Center is the spot for sharing poems, song, jokes with an audience. Get up and Rock that Mic! Begins 8 PM, come to watch or play.

Later on at the arena, Barrels 4 Bucks, compete. Free to sit in the audience to watch horses and rider compete during two weekends in October. Attend either October 14 – 16, 2016 or races again on October 28-30th. http://www.barrels4bucks.freehosting.net/

The Utah Avalanche Center will present the Banff Mountain Film Festival Radical Reels on October 8, 2016. Held at the Grand County High School , 608 East Fourth Street, at 7 PM, advance tickets are recommended. Get them for $10 at Canyon Voyages, Back of Beyond Bookstore, Poison Spider Bike Shop or Pagan Mountaineering in Moab. Tickets at the door will be $15.

A local favorite, the Gourd Festival, held in paralleling Castle Valley, is going on from 10 AM – 3 PM, Saturday October 15th. Go early to catch the parade. Bring a dish to pass, if you plan to stay for lunch. Lots of gourd art for sale and some activities for the children.

For Mountain Bike athletes, the Moab Epic Mountain Bike Race has a 20 or 50 mile course, where by competitors attain as many check points as possible in an allotted time person. It is held also on October 15th, see MoabEpic.com for registration.

The Moab Library presents a Free Film: Best of Enemies at Star Hall 159 E Center St. at 7 PM. Buckley vs. Vidal: 2 Men. 10 Debates. Television Would Never Be The Same. In the summer of 1968 television news changed forever when ABC hired William F. Buckly Jr. and Gore Vidal to debate during the national political convention.

Free Lectures at the Moab Information Center (MIC) presents: Sally Cole speaking about the art of Archaeologist Ann Axtell Morris during the 1920s and 30s. It will take place 6-7 PM in the MIC on the corner of Main and Center Street of Moab on October 20 2016.

Speaking of children, the Moab Music Festival brings the Fry Street Quartet to Star Hall, 159 E Center Street, Moab to raise funds for the local school music programs. Donations are accepted. The performance begins at 7 PM on October 21st.

Come dance to the music of the Community Dance Band at the monthly Contra Dance. It is held on October 22nd at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, 111 E 100 N, at 8 PM. No experience or partner necessary. Plan to pay a $7 donation to benefit the Grand County School music programs.

The Other Half, half marathon, will be held out along Hwy 128 from Dewey Bridge to Sorrel River Ranch on Sunday October 23, 2016. It is a good morning to plan to visit all the many other places available to touring folks in Moab, rather than Fisher Towers or the scenic byway 128 to Interstate 70.

Free Lectures at the Moab Information Center (MIC) presents: Charmaine Thompson speaking on archaeology. It will take place 6-7 PM in the MIC on the corner of Main and Center Street of Moab on October 27 2016.

In town at the Chile Pepper Bikes Shop, the Ho Down will be headquartered there and is to occur from October 27 – 30. There is a mountain bike film festival. Have a short film to submit? Do it by October 15th. Or plan to attend October 28th 7 PM at Star Hall, 159 E Center Street. All the money from races, skills workshops, costume contest, film, and raffles go into maintaining the Moab Bike Park on 500 West.

Also this weekend, Climbers convene for the Moab Craggin' Classic, workshops, service project and the Reel Rock film are benefits of registering for this weekend of community during October 28-30, 2016.

At the end of October, the Moab Valley Multicultural Center shall host a one-day event and fund raiser on the 30th. The Day of the Dead Festival will have authentic cultural food and information with ample kid activities, Mariachi, and dancing. Be sure to participate in the raffle for $150 VISA gift card, Android tablet or ION portable Bluetooth speaker. Find the event at 156 North and 100 West taking place from 1-5 PM.

Then October 30th also kicks off the Moab Folk Camp. From October 30 – November 4 there are classes in voice, instruments, painting, photography, song writing and it is dappled with Folk Camp free concerts. The public may attend Tuesday November 1, 7 PM at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center (MARC), 111 E 100 N, the Staff Concert. Then again on Thursday November 3rd there is a free Student Concert at 7 PM at the MARC.

If you miss these this year, many are annual events, put a reminder on your new year calendar to be a part of one of these events next year instead.  www.DiscoverMoab.com/calendar.htm is the webpage to open to see the listings online.

Beach Polo Returns to Australian Shores on Adelaide's Glenelg Beach, 18 February 2017

The Australian Beach Polo Association Limited is pleased to announce the flourishing international sport of Beach Polo will return to Australian shores on 18 February 2017, to the white sands of Adelaide's Glenelg Beach, against the cerulean backdrop of St Vincent Gulf.

Presented by 'Pol Roger' Champagne, the project will be managed by Polo Events Australia Pty Limited (PEA). Janek Gazecki, who directed the introduction of Beach Polo to Australia in 2010, was in charge of producing the acclaimed Paspaley Beach Polo in 2010 and Broome Beach Polo in 2011, and founded the Australian Beach Polo Association Limited.

During a hiatus from the sport of Beach Polo over the past five years, Janek has been busy developing Urban Polo, which enters its eleventh year in 2016, into what is now the largest and most successful polo series in the world. Urban Polo events include the national 'Polo in the City' and 'Polo by the Sea' series. Says Geoff Gourley, Director at the Australian Beach Polo Association Limited

“This new and exciting venue will allow the resumption of this unique sport in this country, and integrate Australia into the growing prestigious international Beach Polo calendar, which includes exotic and prime locations such as Miami (USA), Goa (India), Ibiza (Spain) and Poole (UK), Rovinj (Croatia) to name a few.

We are also excited about the opportunity to work closely with Holdfast Bay Council, and use the event as a platform to promote state, national and international tourism to the region, and support local business.”

City of Holdfast Bay Mayor, Stephen Patterson said this first for South Australia would shine a national spotlight on Glenelg as Adelaide's premier seaside destination for large-scale events.

“We welcome this opportunity to add an exhilarating day of Beach Polo to Holdfast Bay's exciting summer events calendar, and we're sure that the opportunity to see Australia's elite polo players and their horses in action on beautiful Glenelg Beach will see a summertime surge in visitor numbers,” he said.

Pol Roger Beach Polo will be jointly administered by the Australian Beach Polo Association Limited and Urban Polo Association Limited. Positions for international polo players are available, as are hospitality options for international guests. Please direct all inquiries to info@poloenterprises.com.au

Australian Beach Polo Association Limited, Unit 4005, 343 Pitt Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000

W: www.beachpolo.com.au / E: info@poloenterprises.com.au / T: +61 412 245 762

The fastest way from A to B in Vienna – Wiener Linien

Vienna is one of the most important congress destinations worldwide. Hundreds of events attract numerous participants to the city every year. The Congress Ticket allows visitors to conveniently reach these events by public transport.

Vienna is an attractive event location not only due to its modern attractions but also due to the density of its public transport network consisting of 161 services. The city is renowned for the short intervals, cleanliness and reliability of its public transport. Whether by underground, tram or bus, all congress and event locations, the city centre and the many recreational sites on the outskirts are easily reachable. The night-time underground and bus services ensure that passengers can reach their hotels safely even after midnight.

The Wiener Linien Congress Ticket for congress organisers and participants provides access to the entire public transport network. The ticket costs EUR 16.40 for three days, and EUR 2.20 for every extra day.

For more information, please contact the Wiener Linien at: spezialtickets@wienerlinien.at

Mandurah in Top 50 Aussie Towns

Mandurah has been chosen as one of Australia's 50 Best Small Towns by online travel website Discount My Flights. The official announcement was made on 21st September on Discount My Flights' blog.

The company, which is an affiliate of Flight Network, ran a nationwide contest attracting 172 entries from around Australia. Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation (MAPTO) created and submitted the application for Mandurah that resulted in the town being chosen in the top rankings.

MAPTO CEO Karen Priest said the feedback received on Mandurah's entry highlighted its incredible waterways.

“If you live here or promote the region, you know what we have is very special. We have always known that Mandurah is one of Australia's best places, however now it's official. It's very gratifying to have this recognised by a respected global travel website from a national competition,” said Karen Priest.
Ms Priest said MAPTO would optimise Discount My Flight's promotional activity around the release of the Top 50 Towns.

“The selection of Mandurah on the Top 50 Towns list comes with marketing benefits such as access to Discount My Flight's email list of over 250,000 subscribers, publicity via coverage of the contest by travel and consumer media outlets including the Huffingtonpost.com and targeted website blogs,” she said.

Discount My Flights offer consumers best price airfares by aggregating all deals available through all of the largest online travel agencies across the world.

Founded in Calgary, Canada in 2014, the DiscountMyFlights Group has three main objectives: help travellers to find all of the good deals on airfare available online, to help them decide on when is and isn't a good time to buy and to help them understand what is and isn't a good deal for the route they would like to fly.