QLD Tourism News in Your Language

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Australian airports turf war looms in battle for big-spending Chinese tourists

Signs at Shanghai airport.
Signs at Shanghai airport. Brisbane Airport is adding Mandarin translations to its signage in a bid to lure more big-spending Chinese tourists. Picture: AFP
A TURF war is brewing among Australian airports over the fastest growing tourist market in the world.

With Chinese visitors to Australia expected to bring more than $13 billion into the country by 2020, airports are going to extremes to accommodate the big spending tourists and business people.

Brisbane this week became the second airport to sign a memorandum of understanding with a major Chinese airport, following on from Melbourne’s deal with Chengdu in 2012.

The Brisbane Airport Corporation has teamed up with Shanghai in the hope of stitching up direct flights from China Eastern Airlines and other Chinese carriers that currently give the Queensland capital a miss.

To sweeten the deal, Brisbane International Airport will add Mandarin translations to signage, upgrade retail spaces and provide culturally appropriate food and beverage choices.

The airport’s website will also be available in Chinese, and “special services” will be provided for Asian arrivals to smooth their arrival.

The moves mirror those already undertaken by Sydney and Melbourne airports, which appear to have got the jump on the booming Chinese tourist market.

Figures from Tourism Research Australia show just 13 per cent of visitors from Shanghai made it to Brisbane in June, compared with 65 per cent who visited Sydney, and 53 per cent who called on Melbourne.

Even Cairns and the Gold Coast both attracted 24 per cent of the Shanghai market — the largest source of inbound tourists from China.

By 2020, Chinese visitors are expected to top the one million mark Australia-wide, and pump as much as $13 billion a year into the national economy.

Brisbane Airport Corporation general manager of airline and retail management Andrew Brodie said the airport wanted to position itself to take advantage of that growth by securing more direct flights from China.

“China Eastern (the major carrier out of Shanghai) is obviously a priority for Brisbane Airport, not only from a tourism perspective but from a business connectivity perspective,” Mr Brodie said.

“Shanghai is the finance capital of China and over the course of the next five to 10 years, Brisbane Airport wants to be the gateway into Australia so it’s important we build the relationships early.”

Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said it was great to see Brisbane Airport proactively targeting the Chinese market.

“The deal with Shanghai is further evidence of Brisbane’s growing importance as a key international gateway to Australia,” said Mr O’Sullivan.

Source: http://www.perthnow.com.au/travel/travel-news/australian-airports-turf-war-looms-in-battle-for-bigspending-chinese-tourists/story-fnjjv9zm-1227060621083#social-comments

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gladstone national parks, lookouts, horse riding, wine tasting, golf, food markets and bushwalking



Welcome to Gladstone

Gladstone is a beautiful holiday destination located 550 kilometres by road north of Brisbane, Queensland. Gladstone is blessed with 280 days of sunshine every year and balmy, subtropical climate. The area offers a wonderful array of exotic islands, city parklands and gardens, fun outdoor activities, abundance of wildlife and other unique locations to explore. Gladstone Airport is located only an 8 minute drive away from the centre of the city. 

Running along the coast of this city is the heritage listed Southern Great Barrier Reef, where it is home to a mixture of fourteen breathtaking inhabited and uninhabited islands. Also located nearby are untouched National Parks, rugged headlands offering spectacular lookouts, man-made Lake Awoonga and botanical gardens.  

Lake Awoonga
Lake Awoonga

Kroombit Tops National Park
Kroombit Tops National Park

Gladstone National Parks & Lookouts

Gladstone's region boasts magnificent landscapes to be explored in its national parks, scattered throughout the area. If you love bushwalking (hiking) and beautiful expansive scenery, then make sure you visit Gladstone's parks for breathtaking views.

Gladstone Trail
Gladstone Trail
From towering cliffs, to amazing lookouts, sweeping valleys, wondrous waterfalls and lush flora - can all be experienced when you drive and trek through Kroombit Tops National Park. Kroombit Tops is home to a range of native species of frogs and birds, and also wild horses (or brumbies as they're known locally) can sometimes be spotted in the area. The park is also famous for the wreckage of a World War II American Bomber that crashed on the site in 1945. 

Wander through Isla Gorge National Park and discover the sweeping sandstone cliffs, intricate maze of gorges and extraordinary rock formations that mysteriously change colour with the rising and setting of the sun. The park offers marvellous lookouts that gives you an awesome view of the valley below. Isla Gorge National Park is home to evergreen rainforests of Eucalyptus trees and a multitude of native fauna - from grey kangaroos to whiptail wallabies, honeyeaters, wedge-tailed eagles and peregrine falcons. During spring (between September to December) the plateau radiates in stunning displays of wildflowers.

Isla Gorge National Park
Isla Gorge National Park
Isla Gorge Track
Isla Gorge Track

Taroom - Isla Gorge
Taroom - Isla Gorge


If you prefer more coastal landscapes, Deepwater National Park is located right by the sea with sandy shores, untouched freshwater creeks, sand dunes, rock pools and marsh-land vegetation for exploration. For animal lovers, the park has an abundance of varied native wildlife - from black cockatoos, brahminy kites, water birds and emus to little turtle hatchings that spawn from their nests at night. Due to the rough terrain, access to this national park is by four wheel drive vehicles only.

Deep Water National Park
Deep Water National Park

Mixed Recreation – Horse riding, wine tasting, golf, food markets and trekking

The Gladstone region also has other recreation activities on offer, such as horse riding and historical gold mining at Boyne Valley, kangaroo watching and wine tasting at the Gecko Valley Vineyard and Winery, trek up Mount Larcom to reach the peak for a 360-degree view of Gladstone, play a round on the course at Gladstone city Golf Club, shop at the Gladstone Library Square Markets for fresh local produce and eclectic trinkets or go four wheel driving through the rugged landscapes and trails throughout the region.

While Gladstone is renowned for its beaches, islands, industry and fishing, there are many little-known activities that will add more depth and adventure to your trip.

Boyne Valley
Boyne Valley

Drive along the winding scenic route to regional Gladstone at Boyne Valley (an hour's drive from Gladstone) and enjoy the friendly country hospitality when you arrive at the Many Peaks Hotel - famous for their delicious steaks. The valley is home to beef, dairy, mining and sawmilling industries - but the community also caters to tourism. There's horse riding where you get to explore native bushland on horseback, or go on historical goldmining tours to learn about the history of the community, or go hiking, canoeing and four wheel driving in the region.

Less than 10 minutes’ drive from Gladstone city is the Gecko Valley Vineyard and Winery, where you can visit the vineyard and go wine tasting for a glass of flavours unique to the area. Encircled by expansive rolling bushland, with the majestic Mount Larcom as the backdrop, the site has a cafĂ© serving dishes and matching wines, a visitor's shop selling locally-made craft, chocolates and merchandise, and the area is frequented by local populations of kangaroos. With Mount Larcom close by, do the challenging trek up the mountain and get spectacular 360-degree views of the entire city below.

Mount Larcom
Mount Larcom

The scenic 18-hole course at the Gladstone Golf Club is located near Stockland Shopping Centre in Gladstone city, with a pond water feature recently added. The clubhouse has a pro shop, bistro, fully licensed bar with takeaways available for members, rental carts, equipment hire and more.

Gladstone Golf Club
Gladstone Golf Course


If you love shopping and browsing at fresh food markets, then drop by the Gladstone Library Square Markets to experience what local producers have on offer. Delightful fresh fruit and veggies, arts and crafts, second-hand goods and more are on display for purchase. 



Metro Hotel and Apartments Gladstone plus Apartments G60 Gladstone are located conveniently in the centre of Gladstone.

Both properties are perfect for short or long stays as they offer fully serviced apartments with fully self-contained laundry services.

The hotel is located on top of a hill, which means many rooms have excellent harbour, city and hinterland views. The property also boasts an onsite restaurant called Rocksalt (popular with the locals), a swimming pool and barbeque area, plus undercover security parking.

The fully serviced Apartments G60 Gladstone can also cater to extended stays of six months or more.

Click here to view Metro Hotel and Apartments Gladstone
Click here to view Apartments G60 Gladstone

Apartments G60 Gladstone
Apartments G60 Gladstone - Bedroom

Apartments G60 Gladstone
Apartments G60 Gladstone - Exterior

Apartments G60 Gladstone
Apartments G60 Gladstone - Kitchen

Metro Hotel & Apartments Gladstone
Metro Hotel & Apartments Gladstone - Livingroom

Metro Hotel & Apartments Gladstone
Metro Hotel & Apartments Gladstone - Swimming Pool



Island Paradise ~ Southern Great Barrier Reef Islands & Lagoons Gladstone Queensland

Welcome to Gladstone

Welcome to Gladstone

Gladstone is a beautiful holiday destination located 550 kilometres by road north of Brisbane, Queensland. Gladstone is blessed with 280 days of sunshine every year and balmy, subtropical climate. The area offers a wonderful array of exotic islands, city parklands and gardens, fun outdoor activities, abundance of wildlife and other unique locations to explore. Gladstone Airport is located only an 8 minute drive away from the centre of the city. 

Running along the coast of this city is the heritage listed Southern Great Barrier Reef, where it is home to a mixture of fourteen breathtaking inhabited and uninhabited islands. 

Heron Island Beach - Gladstone
Heron Island Beach - Gladstone

Island Wonderland ~ Southern Great Barrier Reef Islands & Lagoons Gladstone

Off the coast of Gladstone is where you'll find a paradise of islands dotted along the Southern Great Barrier Reef. 

Here lies the picturesque, uninhabited Lady Musgrave Island, where it is the only coral island on the Great Barrier Reef with a navigable lagoon. The lagoon offers calm, clear water - ideal for swimming and snorkelling - like swimming in a giant aquarium. There is also plenty to do on land: camping, trekking and exploring the wildlife on the island.

Lady Musgrave Island underwater - Gladstone
Lady Musgrave Island underwater - Gladstone

Closer to the shores of Gladstone are Heron and Wilson Islands. They also offer fantastic lagoons with calm waters well suited for snorkelling, diving and swimming. Wilson Island offers privacy and seclusion in a quiet, beautiful location. 

Wilson Island
Wilson Island

Heron Island is a bigger coral cay (meaning it is completely composed of sand and coral fragments) with abundant wildlife - from seabirds, Loggerhead turtles to clouds of multi-coloured fish. Experience all that Heron Island has to offer: reef walking, viewing the marine life from the coral submarine, swimming, fishing and snorkelling. Heron Island is also renowned for having some of the best diving spots within 15 minutes of the shore.

Southern Great Barrier Reef

Lady Elliot Island
Lady Elliot Island
Lady Elliot Island is another large coral cay and is the most southerly island within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This island is a bird watcher's paradise, with more than 50,000 birds nesting here during the summer months. Lady Elliot Island is also known for being the ideal nesting ground for Loggerhead turtles - cute hatchlings can be seen between January until April. Explore the local shipwreck or the island's iconic Manta Rays via 19 dive sites scattered throughout the island. 

Heron Island Beach
Heron Island jetty

Baby Loggerhead Turtle
Baby Loggerhead Turtle

For marine animal lovers, Fitzroy Reef Lagoon (90 minutes from the town of Seventeen Seventy) is a must-see! This dazzling reef is the sole naturally formed, tidal entrance lagoon along the Southern Great Barrier Reef, and is home to a remarkable array of sea life in this coral metropolis. 

Snorkel or scuba dive and explore this beautiful underwater world and its inhabitants: common and bottlenose dolphins, Green and Loggerhead turtles, black blotched stingrays, opalescent spotted Lagoon rays, Manta and Bull rays, plus be surrounded by over a thousand different species of multi-coloured fish! White and black tip reef sharks also cruise through the area - but don't worry, they do not bother humans!

Photo credit: fjaine - underwater diving with ray - Gladstone



Water Sports & Activities Gladstone

Only 20 minutes from Gladstone city are the holiday towns of Tannum Sands and Boyne Island. These neighbouring coastal towns boasts a wonderful climate all year round and their waters offer great locations for swimming, kite surfing/boarding, boating and fishing.

Another set of twin towns that have great options for water sports are the seaside townships of Agnes Waters and Seventeen Seventy. Located just 1.25 hours’ drive south of Gladstone, Agnes Water’s unspoilt beach is the most northern surfer's beach in Queensland. The suburb of Seventeen Seventy derived its name to commemorate the first Queensland landfall for Captain James Cook in May 1770.

Heron Island
Heron Island

With a big offering of different water sport activities to choose from, there won't be a dull moment while you're in Agnes Waters! Relax and unwind on the peaceful, pristine beaches; or swim, dive and fish in the crystal clear waters. Learn to surf, try paddle boarding, sail the waves with a hired boat, or kite surf alongside dolphins! 

For a unique adventure, try a Larc tour (large amphibious craft) that can drive on land and sail on water! This tour operator offers short and daylong rides - covering coastlines of Seventeen Seventy and estuaries, across the sand dunes (where you'll get to sandboard!), to the remote Bustard Head Lighthouse situated inside the beautifully preserved Eurimbula National Park. For more information on Larc tours, visit www.1770larctours.com.au 

1770 Larc tour
1770 Larc tour

If you like kayaking and canoeing, you'll enjoy 1770 Liquid Adventures! This tour operator provides kayak hire and guided tours along the spectacular town of Seventeen Seventy. Meander through the headlands and reserves while watching the sunset or get up close and personal with dolphins and other marine life. Stop over and rest on picturesque, secluded beaches and deserted coves. For more information on 1770 Liquid Adventures, visit www.1770liquidadventures.com.au 

Gladstone Beach
Gladstone Beach

Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy are also two of the closest points to the outer Great Barrier Reef, and Seventeen Seventy is now the departure point for many reef tour operators and fishing charters to the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Fitzroy Reef
Fitzroy Reef
Fitzroy Reef lagoon
Fitzroy Reef Lagoon


Southern Great Barrier Reef - Queensland

Metro Hotel and Apartments Gladstone plus Apartments G60 Gladstone are located conveniently in the centre of Gladstone.

Both properties are perfect for short or long stays as they offer fully serviced apartments with fully self-contained laundry services.

The hotel is located on top of a hill, which means many rooms have excellent harbour, city and hinterland views. The property also boasts an onsite restaurant called Rocksalt (popular with the locals), a swimming pool and barbeque area, plus undercover security parking.

The fully serviced Apartments G60 Gladstone can also cater to extended stays of six months or more.

Click here to view Metro Hotel and Apartments Gladstone
Click here to view Apartments G60 Gladstone

Apartments G60 Gladstone
Apartments G60 Gladstone - Bedroom

Apartments G60 Gladstone
Apartments G60 Gladstone - Exterior

Apartments G60 Gladstone
Apartments G60 Gladstone - Kitchen

Metro Hotel & Apartments Gladstone
Metro Hotel & Apartments Gladstone - Livingroom

Metro Hotel & Apartments Gladstone
Metro Hotel & Apartments Gladstone - Swimming Pool

Things To Do In Gladstone City - Gladstone Central Business District Activities

Off Agnes Water Beach
Off Agnes Water Beach
Welcome to Gladstone, Queensland

Gladstone is a beautiful holiday destination located 550 kilometres by road north of Brisbane, Queensland. Gladstone is blessed with 280 days of sunshine every year and balmy, subtropical climate. The area offers a wonderful array of exotic islands, city parklands and gardens, fun outdoor activities, abundance of wildlife and other unique locations to explore. Gladstone Airport is located only an 8 minute drive away from the centre of the city. 

Running along the coast of this city is the heritage listed Southern Great Barrier Reef, where it is home to a mixture of fourteen breathtaking inhabited and uninhabited islands. Also located nearby are untouched National Parks, rugged headlands offering spectacular lookouts, man-made lakes and botanical gardens. Gladstone has a bustling marine industry, which means guests can be spoilt with a range of fresh, locally caught seafood. A must-try is the famous Gladstone Mud Crab.

Whether it's swimming with sea turtles, diving with graceful Manta rays, relaxing on secluded golden beaches, surfing Agnes Water waves, kayaking along the coastline, bushwalking through the region's pristine National Parks or fishing giant Barramundis on Lake Awoonga, Gladstone has something for everyone in the family to enjoy!


Fishing - Gladstone Marina
Fishing - Gladstone Marina
Gladstone Central Business District Activities – Things To Do In Gladstone City

Located next door to Metro Hotel and Apartments Gladstone is the newly renovated Gladstone Entertainment Centre - which is the largest entertainment and convention venue between Brisbane and Townsville. Upcoming shows and events include the Sydney Comedy Festival, Circus Oz, Celtic Legends Tour, Cinderella performed by Queensland Ballet, The Ten Sopranos in Concert and more. For show dates, visit www.gladecc.com.au.

Within Gladstone city, Spinnaker Park is a fantastic location for a day out with the family, with large open park areas suited for barbeques and entertaining. Want to stay fit while on holiday? Gladstone city also has indoor and outdoor swimming pools in the Aquatic Centre plus sporting facilities for the sports fanatics - including tennis and squash centre, sports fields for hockey, netball and basketball; and local gymnasiums. In the heart of the city is the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery Museum, showcasing art by local artists, plus historical tours and exhibits.

If you love food then try out the large diversity of restaurants in the Gladstone city district,
visit the tranquil Japanese garden amidst Gladstone city called Toondoon Botanical Gardens. 

Looking for a free, interactive and interesting activity? Gladstone's harbour is home to Queensland's largest commodity port (and Australia's fifth largest), and there are free industry tours to allow the public to see how these commodities are manufactured and processed. For port tours, visit www.gpcl.com.au/Community/PortTours.aspx or http://www.queenslandholidays.com.au/destinations/gladstone/things-to-see-and-do/curtis-island-construction-tour/index.cfm

Toondoon Botanical Gardens - Gladstone city
Toondoon Botanical Gardens - Gladstone city
Metro Hotel and Apartments Gladstone plus Apartments G60 Gladstone are located conveniently in the centre of Gladstone city, Queensland.

Both properties are perfect for short or long stays as they offer fully serviced apartments with fully self-contained laundry services.

The hotel is located on top of a hill, which means many rooms have excellent harbour, city and hinterland views. The property also boasts an onsite restaurant called Rocksalt (popular with the locals), a swimming pool and barbeque area, plus undercover security parking.

The fully serviced Apartments G60 Gladstone can also cater to extended stays of six months or more.

Click here to view Metro Hotel and Apartments Gladstone
Click here to view Apartments G60 Gladstone

Apartments G60 Gladstone
Apartments G60 Gladstone - Bedroom

Apartments G60 Gladstone
Apartments G60 Gladstone - Exterior

Apartments G60 Gladstone
Apartments G60 Gladstone - Kitchen

Metro Hotel & Apartments Gladstone
Metro Hotel & Apartments Gladstone - Livingroom

Metro Hotel & Apartments Gladstone
Metro Hotel & Apartments Gladstone - Swimming Pool





Sunday, September 7, 2014

Unwind and Enjoy Gladstone

With balmy temperatures and a subtropical climate, Gladstone in central Queensland offers a wonderful array of exotic islands, fun outdoor activities, an abundance of wildlife and some unique locations to explore. 
Also located nearby are untouched national parks, rugged headlands offering spectacular lookouts, man-made lakes and botanical gardens.
Located next door to Metro Hotel and Apartments is the newly renovated Gladstone Entertainment Centre. 
Up and coming shows include Sydney Comedy Festival, Circus OZ, Celtic Legends Tour, The Ten Sopranos in Concert, Taikoz – Crimson Sky, Anh Do stand-up comedian and Cinderella performed by the Queensland Ballet.
Unwind and Enjoy Gladstone
Unwind and Enjoy Gladstone
Special show packages are available with prices ranging from $140 (Friday to Sunday) and $185 (Monday to Thursday) which includes accommodation for two, complimentary WiFi and car parking and a $15 restaurant voucher (one per room).  
Tickets to shows are not included but can be booked online or from the Gladstone Entertainment Centre http://www.gladecc.com.au/booking-info/.
Whether you chose to relax or get involved with activities, Metro Hotel and Apartments Gladstone offers quality accommodation right in the heart of the CBD and an eight minute drive from the airport.  
Property facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, BBQ and a licensed restaurant on site.
For your convenience, Rocksalt Restaurant & Bar is located off the hotel’s reception area and this restaurant has been recently awarded with a Westpac Business Excellence Award for the Wide Bay region.  
An independently managed restaurant and bar, the atmosphere is warm and friendly and the team creates fresh and delicious contemporary style Australian cuisine that will satisfy all appetites.  The restaurant is open continuously all day from breakfast till late.
Metro Hotel and Apartments Gladstone has a one bedroom family apartment which can cater for up to five guests and the one bedroom apartments cater up to a maximum of four guests.  
Room facilities include a separate lounge, fully equipped kitchen, private balcony, washing machine and dryer and secure on-site parking.