QLD Tourism News in Your Language

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Metro Hotel Ipswich International showcase for weddings, parties, gala dinners and formals

Metro Hotel Ipswich International showcase for weddings, parties, gala dinners and formals

Metro Hotel Ipswich International functions showcase for weddings, parties, gala dinners and formals! 

When: 2nd May 2015 from 11am to 4pm
Where: 43 South Street, Ipswich QLD

Enjoy a FREE glass of bubbly and a selection of canapes from our Head Chef Guy Farrow!

Experience a selection of themed room perfect for your next event. Come and enjoy how we can enhance your next special occasion or even and meet our experienced event team at Metro Hotel Ipswich International.

Go in the draw for your chance to win the Sunset Flight Overnight Experience for two people valued at $980! To enter, fill in your entry form at Metro Hotel Ipswich International.

Website: www.metrohotels.com.au/hotels/queensland/metro-hotel-ipswich-international

Metro Hotel Ipswich International showcase for weddings, parties, gala dinners and formals

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Gladstone Harbour Festival: What's On and When

Gladstone Harbour Festival: What's on and when

IF you're keen to plan your week around the Gladstone Harbour Festival, here's a rundown of what is on each day.


The festival kicks off with its opening night, which features entertainment and the popular talent quest.

Rides and sideshow alley will be open from 6-10pm.

Don Costa will perform on the food court stage from 6-10pm.

The talent quest will feature on the marina main stage from 6.15pm, with La Mont, the juniors and then the seniors.


The Gladstone Ports Corporation's Family Fun Night heads festivities today, featuring the crowning of festival queens, LalaLoopsy, Curtis the Turtle, The Octonauts and Mr Bump.

It will all be happening on the marina main stage from 6.30pm, with fireworks at about 8.10pm.

Don Costa will perform on the food court stage from 6-10pm, and the rides and sideshow alley will be open from 6-10pm.

The 2014 Workforce International Gladstone Harbour Festival Parade.Mike Richards


Good Friday is one of the biggest days of the festival, and there's plenty happening.

The Harbour Festival Fun Run starts at 7am, with registration from 6.15am.

There will be a 3km and 10km route from East Shores to the marina, taking in Spinnaker Park on the longer route.

The Marina Markets are on from 8am-7pm at the main festival site.

The Blessing and Dressing of the Fleet starts at 10am, with boats travelling along a course in Auckland Creek.

The event features an assembly and ceremonial sail past of fishing, sailing, pleasure and speed boats, which was a mainstay of the festival until falling from favour in the mid-1990s.

The best viewing spots for the event are East Shores and Spinnaker Park.

Kids and big kids alike got a thrill out of rides at the Gladstone Harbour Festival.

The Kids' Zone Marquee will be open from 10am-3pm next to the food court.

Kids can drop in to participate in lantern making.

Rides and sideshow alley will be open from 10am-10pm.

The Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race starts in Redcliffe Point, with the first yachts expected to be sighted entering Gladstone Harbour around 7.30am on Saturday.

The Gladstone Harbour Festival Street Parade gets underway at 6pm, with this year's theme being Lanterns and Lights.

The parade will start on Bramston St next to the Gladstone Region Art Gallery and Museum, travelling along Goondoon St before turning left into Lord St and then right to parade across the Marina Bridge.

The parade will then travel along Bryan Jordan Dr, finishing at the Mission to Seafarers building.

There's plenty of entertainment throughout the day on the food court stage. 

Entertainment includes:

  • 10am: The Bucketseats
  • 11am: Magic Glen
  • 11.30am: The Bucketseats
  • 1pm: Disco Fever Show
  • 1.30pm: The Bucketseats
  • 3pm: Magic Glen
  • 4pm: Silly Circus Show
  • 4.30pm: Don Costa
  • 7pm: Talent quest winner
  • 7.30pm: Jackson Dunn

Fantastic Friday Night kicks off on the marina main stage at 6.30pm, with the Disco Fever Show, Don Costa and The Australian Kylie Show, featuring Kylie Minogue's greatest hits from the past three decades.

There will be fireworks at 9pm.

The Gladstone Harbour Festival's Great Raft Race – not to be missed.Brenda Strong


The first yachts in the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race are expected to start entering Gladstone Harbour from 7.30am, with the bulk of the fleet finishing late Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday.

The much-anticipated Great Raft Race is a highlight of the harbour festival, and will kick off at the Goondoon St boat ramp at 9.30am.

The Marina Markets are on from 8am to 1pm.

There are plenty of free craft activities on offer in the kids' activity zone from 10am to 3pm.

Make your own Mexican basket is on at 10am, followed by Rain sticks from South America at 11am, Make your own Mexican basket at noon, and Japanese flying carp at 1pm.

Phone 4972 5111 to book or drop into the harbour festival office on site to register.

Rides and sideshow alley will be open from 10am-10pm, with two for one rides from 10am to 2pm.

A jetpack display will be held at noon and 5.30pm, with the best viewing from Spinnaker Park and behind the markets.

There'll be cuteness galore at the Teddy Bear's Picnic on the food court stage from 2pm.

There are prizes for the largest bear, smallest bear, most festive bear, most loved bear and oldest bear.

Entertainment on the food court stage includes:

10am: Don Costa
Noon: Magic Glen
1pm: Disco Fever Show
1.30pm: Magic Glen
4pm: Don Costa
7pm: Swim
7.30pm: Jackson Dunn

Sensational Saturday Night kicks off at 6.30pm on the main stage, with the Silly Circus Show, Don Costa and The Australian INXS Show, which reproduces the live spectacle INXS was famous for.

There will be fireworks at 9pm.

Deb Bowen-Saunders during the Bush Poets' Breakfast at the Gladstone Harbour Festival.Luka Kauzlaric


Sunday starts with the Bush Poet's Morning Tea at the food court stage at the marina.

The morning tea, from 9-11am, is $10 per person.

Kids in the Kitchen will feature in the Kids' Activity Zone today.

Participants can learn to make tiramisu at 10am, colourful pasta at 11am, sushi at noon, tiramisu at 1pm and colourful pasta at 2pm.

Phone 4972 5111 to book or drop into the harbour festival office on site to register.

Rides and sideshow alley will be open from 10am-10pm, with two for one rides from 10am-2pm.

There will be a jetpack display at 10am and 1pm, with the best viewing from Spinnaker Park and behind the markets.

Entertainment on the food court stage includes:

11am: The Magic Glen Show
Noon: Don Costa
2.30pm: Silly Circus Show
3pm: The Magic Glen Show
4pm: The Bucketseats
7pm: Don Costa

On the marina main stage the entertainment starts at 6.30pm, with the Disco Fever Show, Swim, and Dan Hamill and band, followed by fireworks at 9.50pm.

Hamill fuses contemporary chart toppers with the sounds of Motown and swing.

From Michael Jackson to Coldplay, Adele to Pharrell, you won't be able to leave the dance floor once he takes the stage.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fishers Spoiled for Choice in Gladstone Region

FOR those who know this region and the different spots to wet a line there is such a vast number of places to go and also species to catch.

From the harbour with the barra and the enormous king salmon out to the reef with those magic reds, trout, sweetlip, and mackerel, through to the inland systems like Awoonga, Callide, Monduran, and Cania Dams, for barra, mangrove jack, saratoga, bass, and in some spots we are seeing some pretty big longtoms being caught in Awoonga and in the Dawson River.

The local fishing pages on Facebook have seen some pretty good catches of black jew, mangrove jack and a snodger of a grunter measuring 69cm, which Thimoteus Newland caught and released this week, on a humble prawn bottom fishing.

I see Steven Strathdee spent some time out at Cania, and decided to walk the banks flicking stick baits around the snags and had a ball with the perch and bass.

The same thing applies with walking the banks of the Boyne - in "stealth mode" I call it - and targeting those snags which will hold barra, and jack.

In fact, you really don't need too much water for neither species, as the more shallow you get (Kermit the frog "knee deep") the more the little surface poppers, and walk the dog lures, come into play.

These predators will tend to sit, and wait in the lee of a rock, or gravel bank, as the water or tide comes in over the top, bringing with it some dinner, and it's these places you need to target.

To add another dimension, try fishing very light, say down to a 4-6 lb line, with an 8-10 lb leader, and only then the challenge commences.

This weekend is new moon Friday, with huge tides, nice balmy northerlies, and reasonably flat seas.

Tomorrow morning it looks as though the breeze could be down to 10 knots or a little less, from about sun up till around 2-3pm at the time of writing this.

It will swing around to the east after lunch, providing a very nice ride home if you venture out wide.

Sunday looks as though it'll be 10-15 easterlies all day, but that won't bother some.

The low tide around 4ish Saturday arvo is a big one though, and the likes of the Boyne Entrance will be practically unusable from 1 or 2 pm, and those using this access need to plan ahead.

For those chasing a feed of crabs, then this weekend should be awesome with some big chocolate bucks around at the moment, and coupled with the big tides you should be able to access some of those creeks, and drains which can't normally get to.

For those new to the region and keen to get into some crabbing, learning how this whole line of fishing works can be quite tricky and a good start to learn about the "art" of crabbing is to pick up a DVD of Johnny Mitchell's called the Mud Crab, at most tackle shops or via his website.

This year's Boyne Tannum HookUp being the 20th year, has now been open for entries for a little while and there is a steady flow of those booking their spot in this incredible event.

Having it back on the original weekend, being Queen's Birthday long weekend in June (6,7,8 ) is very cool.

And the committee, many of whom have been volunteering there time for many years now to bring you this extravaganza, are planning to blow you away beginning with that major prize boat from Curtis Coast Marine, Haines Signature, Suzuki, and Garmin.

You can't win this, nor any of the other nine boats if you aren't entered.

Entry is easy by simply going on line to www.boynetannumhookup.com.au and following the instructions.

Remember once it's full, it's full, but numbers are only restricted with senior entrants to 3000, whereas with the kids they are open to as many as they can get.

Finally share a thought for those at VMR Gladstone who diligently man the radios and the rescue boats, to help us out when things don't go the way we plan.

They are in constant need for volunteers on the radios. If you aren't a member then my best advice is to be one.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ipswich Festival 2015 Highlights

Ipswich Festival 2015 Highlights

The spectacular Ipswich Festival is back in 2015 bigger than ever! Packed with fantastic shows, events, parades and concerts to suit the whole family.

Fire on the River launches the festivities with a spectacular explosion of colours lighting up the night sky. Join us for an enthralling display of fireworks synchronised to a dedicated soundtrack that is sure to delight the whole family. This spectacular pyrotechnic display has become a festival favourite with a stunning showcase of the very best "feature" fireworks and fire canons.

Best vantage points are at Riverlink Shopping Centre and David Trumpy Bridge.

Date: Thursday April 16th @ 7pm
Location: Riverlink Shopping Centre, Upper Level, Ipswich Central

Parade of Light - Cheer on the cavalcade of our spirited community groups, classic cars, lively marching bands, local businesses, festival characters, schools, and energetic dancers.

For the first time, the Ipswich Festival Parade moves into the night creating high excitement and a colourful carnival atmosphere. Be amazed as giant, magical lanterns journey along Ipswich's inner city streets creating a night of spectacular surprises.

Themed "Our People, Our Culture", the parade celebrates Ipswich's rich history and diverse community and will be an impressive display that is sure to entertain. The annual parade is a must-see highlight of the festival.

Date: Saturday May 2nd
Location: Brisbane St - Between Waghorn and Bell St

Lunchtime Sessions - Revolutionise your lunchtime routine! Festival LunchTime Sessions feature five exciting days of free live entertainment in Ipswich City Mall. This is a FREE event!

Dates: April 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th
Location: Ipswich City Mall, Ipswich Central
Shows: See below

The Magic Parlour
A day of monumental magical mayhem! Two incredible shows so close up and interactive - they will delight and amaze you. The Super Steph Magic Show and Damien the Magician. Plus balloon art, live bunny and magical tricks galore. This one is for the kids as well as the young at heart.
Tuesday April 21st 11am - 1.30pm

The Romance of Strauss, Bach and Bluegrass
Lunch with over 20 musicians from the strings section of Ipswich City Orchestra. Come and be swept away to old Vienna with Strauss Waltzes played by the professional Orchestra's String section. Then get your hands clapping for some good old fashioned bluegrass with the Suzuki Students of Ipswich.
Wednesday April 22nd 11am - 1pm

That's Entertainment!
Let us take you on a journey of timeless music and history, with 'Back to Basics' recreating the era of the Andrew Sisters, followed by a mash of your favourite hit pop rock songs of the 70's, 80's, 90's and beyond with live band Shriners Park. Tea & light refreshments early or BYO lunch.
Thursday April 23rd 11am - 2pm

Big Band Brassy
Swing and sway to the smooth and brassy sounds of the amazing C17's Amberley Brass Band and the gold medal award winning Redbank Plains State High School Marching Band. Sit back and relax or dance to the beat of big band swing, classical, new world symphony, and so much more.
Wednesday April 29th 11am - 2pm

Swing it!
With a double scoop of comedy and a generous serving of musical mayhem the Swingin' Martinis belt out the best of Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin classics through to the Proclaimers via ABBA and Tom Jones - all fused together to bring you some good old high energy and cracking entertainment.
Thursday April 30th 12noon - 1pm

Night Time Sessions:
Latin Dance with Brazilian Soul
Join in the fun or opt in the free dance class when Brazilian Soul perform a variety of Latin dance styles, all authentic from South America.
Wednesday April 22nd 5pm - 6pm

SwingaBilly Ray
It's a revival of the golden age of swing jazz. Kick up you heels doing the lindy hop, the Charleston, St Louis shag, or shim sham and jitterbug - all this to the sounds of your favourite swing tunes from yesteryear. Everybody welcome. Free Swing Dance Class.
Thursday April 30th 5pm - 7.30pm

To view more Ipswich Festival highlights visit their official website: www.ipswichfestival.com.au/2015/browse.php?cat=1

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Holden State of Origin Series launched in Melbourne

Holden State of Origin Series launched in Melbourne

The Holden State of Origin series returns to Melbourne in June – 21 years after the two coaches, Laurie Daley (NSW) and Mal Meninga (Queensland), captained their sides in the first Origin match ever held at the MCG.
The 2015 Origin series was today launched in Melbourne by NRL CEO Dave Smith and Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Major Events and Regional Victoria, Danielle Green MP. They were accompanied by Daley and incumbent captains Cameron Smith and Paul Gallen.
Mr Smith said Origin had become the biggest sporting brand in Australia.
And he said the return to the MCG this year meant fans would be able to see Origin in three States – Queensland, NSW and Victoria. 
"State of Origin is one of sport's greatest rivalries. It played to massive crowds in all three matches last year and took out the top two television ratings spots for the year," he said.
"When Origin was first played at the MCG, it attracted a crowd of more than 87,000 fans in 1994 – which was the highest crowd for a Rugby League match in Australia.
"Origin now reaches more than eight million unique fans on social media – and that number is growing all the time.
"So the scene is set for an Origin series which will be taken to millions of fans across the country and around the globe."
Mr Smith said the decision to stage a match at the MCG was part of the NRL’s push to keep growing the game.
Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Minister for Sport and Minister for Veterans John Eren said: "It's fitting that one of our nation's most intense rivalries will be played at Australia's home of sport, the great MCG.
"The Andrews Labor Government is delighted that Victorians will get a chance to witness the passion and pride on the line when New South Wales and Queensland go to war.
"The MCG is as good a battleground as any renowned sports venue, and an event as significant as a State of Origin game promises to be an outstanding occasion with a memorable atmosphere."
Mr Eren said Origin was also another chance to showcase Victoria to the rest of Australia and beyond.
Laurie Daley and Mal Meninga said it would be a privilege for their teams to play in front of a massive crowd at the MCG.
"Last year was an incredible experience for our squad but this is a new series with new challenges," Daley said.
"We aim to show Melbourne why State of Origin is one of the greatest sporting events in the world."
Meninga said both teams would relish the prospect of playing to huge crowds at the MCG, ANZ Stadium and Suncorp Stadium.
"State of Origin series are always highlights of the year, but this year’s series is shaping up as something really special," he said.
NSW holds the Origin title after breaking eight years of Queensland dominance last year. 
Tickets for Game Three at Suncorp Stadium went on sale at 10am (AEDT) today. Tickets for Games One and Two are already on sale.
Today's launch comes ahead of Melbourne Storm's first home game of the season this Saturday night, against Cronulla.
2015 Holden State of Origin Series
Game I – ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Wednesday, 27 May
Game II – Melbourne Cricket Ground, Wednesday, 17 June
Game III – Suncorp Stadium, Wednesday, 8 July
Click here for tickets to all three games

Source: http://www.nrl.com/holden-state-of-origin-series-launched-in-melbourne/tabid/10874/newsid/84597/default.aspx

Monday, March 16, 2015

Australian Cities to Benefit From Rise in Chinese Tourist Numbers

Sydney and Melbourne residents could be saying "ni hao" to twice as many Chinese tourists by 2023 than they do today as rising incomes in China make international travel more affordable.

A new global study by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in partnership with Oxford Economics found the number of Chinese households earning more than $US35,000 ($45,970) - considered a threshold for being able to afford overseas travel - will nearly triple to 63 million by 2023.

That is expected to lead to a 109 per cent rise in the number of Chinese arrivals into Melbourne and a 98 per cent rise in arrivals to Sydney. Brisbane and the Gold Coast will also benefit from rises of 90 per cent and 86 per cent respectively.

"As Chinese tourism demand matures, we expect preferences to shift toward more expensive, longer-haul experiences," the study said. 

Australia was the ninth largest outbound spending market for Chinese visitors in 2013, and most travellers to Australia visit for holidays rather than business and tend to prefer cities over rural areas.

Tourism Australia has been working hard to attract Chinese visitors - in particularly, ones that travel independently rather than in groups because independent travellers spend more. China is already Australia's second biggest source of inbound visitors, behind New Zealand, and its most valuable with annual spending of $5 billion a year, which is expected to reach more than $13 billion by the end of the decade.

However, the IHG/Oxford Economics study showed Australia did not rank in the top 10 long-haul markets for forecast absolute growth in Chinese arrivals between 2013 and 2023. The United States is expected to receive an annual jump of 3.4 million visitors by 2023. France was in second place with 1.2 million and the United Kingdom placed tenth with 299,000 additional arrivals expected. By contrast, Australia is expected to receive 1 million Chinese visitors by 2023, up from 709,000 in 2013. That placed it just out of the top 10 forecast countries for absolute growth.

Tourism Australia managing director John O'Sullivan said with so many other countries competing fiercely for the Chinese market, Australia couldn't afford to take its success to date for granted. "This means understanding what Chinese travellers are looking for in an overseas holiday, and, where needed, adapting and developing our tourism experiences to better fit their needs and expectations," he said.

Karin Sheppard, IHG's chief operating officer Australasia, said nearly half of her group's hotels in Australia were China Ready accredited and that number would rise alongside the expected growth in the number of Chinese guests.

IHG's 11 China Ready hotel properties, which include the InterContinental Sydney, Crowne Plaza Melbourne and Holiday Inn Potts Point Sydney, feature Mandarin-speaking staff, trained Chinese chefs, UnionPay payment facilities and Mandarin television channels in the rooms.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

International Rugby League May 1-2 Queensland NRL Representative Round

International Rugby League will return to South-East Queensland this year with Brisbane and the Gold Coast set to host a blockbuster stand-alone weekend of representative rugby league in May.

In a huge coup for NRL fans in Queensland, Suncorp Stadium will host the traditional Trans-Tasman Test Match between Australia and New Zealand, supported by Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), on Friday May 1.

The Test is the only international match between the Kangaroos and the Kiwis in 2015. The Test Match will be a key game in rugby league's program of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli.

May 1 also sees the Australian Jillaroos take on the NZ Kiwi Ferns at Suncorp Stadium, while Pacific powerhouses Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Papua New Guinea will be part of a triple-header at Gold Coast's Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday May 2.

The first match on Saturday night (May 2) will feature the Junior Kangaroos against the Junior Kiwis. The PNG Kumuls will then take on Fiji Bati, before Samoa return to the international stage following their successful Four Nations campaign against traditional rivals Tonga.

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