paddle-wheeler

Cruise the Murray River on a paddle-wheeler

Step back in time to when the paddle-wheeler dominated the Murray River and get up close and personal with the ancient land on-board Captain Cook Cruises.  

Finished with polished wood and gold trimmings and featuring a winding staircase, full-length windows and a paddle-wheel encased in glass, the PS Murray Princess replicates the paddle-wheelers that first cruised the Murray in the 1800’s. 

Then cruise down the Murray River for incredible terrain, wildlife and Australian history, culture and adventure.

Bird watchers will love the abundance of Australian birds along the Murray River including Swans, Swamp Hens and Wood Ducks and their young.

Each day features exciting day trips to historic ports and guided nature walks to learn about the ecology of the river. The four and seven-night cruise visits a sacred Aboriginal site, sheep station and wool shed and a native wildlife shelter.

Follow the food and wine trail for tastings at several vineyards and cellar doors or sample some local food and wine with tastings in the Sturt Dining Room and learn more about the Murray and Riverland regions and their produce.

Get up close to the river, its 20-million-year-old cliffs and amazing plant and bird life including darters, herons, pelicans and egrets on the ‘Dragon-Fly’ flat-bottomed boat.

Join the Captain for a general inspection of the wheelhouse, participate in a lively music quiz, play some bocce on the riverbank or relax with some fishing off the vessel.

On-board sit back in one of two air-conditioned paddle-wheel lounges and watch the working paddle-wheel through a spectacular two-story glass window while enjoying the amazing views as the Murray Princess cruises past towering limestone cliffs and along riverbanks lined with mallee scrub and red gum forests.

Food is another highlight of the cruise. Indulge a hearty hot buffet breakfast each morning, a two-course or buffet lunch each day and a three-course or buffet dinner each evening. There is a spectacular Captain’s dinner and dance to enjoy and even an Aussie-style barbecue dinner and bush dance on the river bank.

For further information visit www.murrayprincess.com.au

blue mountains

Blue Mountains walk joins great walks collection

Great Walks of Australia is proud to announce the addition of a new walk for NSW, the Blue Mountains Grand Traverse by Auswalk. This brings the number of walks in the program to 12, with 10 of those showcased in the new Signature Collection.

Located in one of Australia’s many unique and spectacular walking destinations, this walk is the 2nd in the collection for NSW, having recently adding the Seven Peaks Walk by Pinetrees on Lord Howe Island in April 2017.

The Blue Mountains walk offers a fully supported opportunity to explore this important natural environment, only 90 minutes from Sydney, which features stunning cliffs, canyons rainforests and waterfalls. It is located in a UNESCO World Heritage listed area, as are the Great Walks products on Lord Howe and on Maria Island, Tasmania.

“This walk is an exciting addition to the collective given its proximity to Sydney, the important history of the area including walking tracks that are in some cases more than 100 years old, plus the demand we have from various international markets for a luxury guided walk in this area. It should be a popular addition,” said Gina Woodward, Executive Officer of the collection.

The Blue Mountains Grand Traverse is a new 3 day/2 night walking experience including transport to and from Sydney. It’s a luxury version of Auswalk’s already popular Blue Mountains Traverse walking holiday.

Walkers are ‘lodge based’ at the elegant Echoes property and each day walk in areas that take in the key highlights of this spectacular region. This five star boutique hotel, with private rooms and ensuites, offers a pampered end to each hiking day with walkers enjoying fine dining and uninterrupted views of the majestic Jamison Valley.

Walk days take in the Grand Canyon, Ruined Castle and Valley of the Waters, as well as famous viewpoints such as those of Govetts Leap, the Three Sisters, Wentworth and Katoomba Falls. 

Auswalk owner, Brett Neagle, said “We’re extremely excited about this walk as it’s a natural evolution for Auswalk to work with Great Walks. We have been offering this walking holiday, and other superb walking itineraries across Australia for the past 20 years.

“Our expertise is now going to be shared across Great Walks of Australia and we look forward to welcoming guests on this personalised experience with our fully accredited expert guides.”

Great Walks of Australia is the collective brand that markets Australia as a key guided walking destination.

For further information visit www.auswalk.com.au

                                      

oceans

Festival promises oceans of fun in Hervey Bay, Qld

 Succulent seafood, colourful parades, fireworks, culture, music and oceans experts will be coming in waves when the Fraser Coast splashes out with the annual Hervey Bay Ocean Festival, presented by USC from August 11-20.

From its official opening featuring a presentation from acclaimed conservationist Tim Flannery, to the Blessing of the Fleet on August 12, the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival on August 13, the Whale Festival Parade and Concert on August 19 and the Paddle Out for Whales on August 20 – it is a celebration not to be missed.

Martin Simons, General Manager for Fraser Coast Tourism and Events, said this year’s Ocean Festival, presented by USC was shaping up to be a fantastic time for the region.

“Once again a fabulous program of events has been arranged providing a great drawcard for locals and visitors alike,” Mr Simons said.

“The event continually grows in popularity with people enjoying fresh local seafood and great entertainment. The event also highlights important conservation messages needed to sustain the famous humpback whale migration patterns so beneficial to our region.

“We would like to congratulate Professor Tim Flannery, the 2007 Australian of the Year, who will be receiving an Honorary Doctorate from USC for his exemplary leadership in advocating for the environment.

“We are extremely pleased to have a supporter with the gravitas of the USC, which has come on board this year as a major sponsor of the festival,” Mr Simons said. 

Professor Flannery’s honorary award ceremony will take place at the Hervey Bay Beach House Hotel from 4-5pm on August 11 where he will deliver a public address on the social and economic opportunities of a carbon-negative future.

Further Event Highlights

Blessing of the Fleet (Saturday August 12): The Fraser Coast’s famous fleet of whale watch boats will be blessed in a centuries-old tradition at Hervey Bay Marina to ensure a safe and prosperous season.

Visitors can tour the many whale watch vessels, wander through market stalls packed with locally made arts and crafts, enjoy a sail past and watch the fabulous fireworks and live entertainment.

Hervey Bay Seafood Festival (Sunday August 13): The following day, August 13, offers something for all tastes. Hosted by the local industry, the event serves up a host of fresh and delicious wild-caught ocean produce, loads of entertainment, competitions, cooking and fish catching tips and much more at Fishermen’s Park, Urangan Boat Harbour.

Highlights of this year’s Seafood Festival include a bumper artistic, music and cultural program with performances by 8 Ball Aitken, Night Kite and The Dennis Sisters plus the chance to win a gate prize of hand-crafted earrings thanks to long-time festival supporters Haigh’s Jewellery.

Other tasty morsels include cooking demonstrations from leading chefs including Javier Codina from Moda Restaurant, seafood and fish-smoking masterclasses, a prawn eating competition, sideshow alley and loads of freebies.

Don’t miss the eclectic work of regional artists at Art in the Park including Butchulla art and weaving displays and the amazing recycled metal creations of Bundaberg-based sculptor John Olsen – new to this year’s program.

Whale Parade and Concert (Saturday August 19): Be enchanted by the colourful display of lights and floats representing the humpback’s annual migration, followed by a fabulous free concert with leading Australian and local artists on August 19. This year’s event has a Beach Party theme, so bring your beach ball and sarong to get in on the fun.

Paddle Out for Whales (Sunday August 20): This conservation and awareness-based event on August 20 is full of heart with visitors encouraged to jump aboard a paddleboard, kayak or boat to celebrate a love of whales in the whale-watching capital of the world. Enjoy a fun family day complete with Hawaiian dancing workshops, sand sculpting with Dennis Massoud and much more.

More Information: For full event information including times and the many further events that play part of the Hervey Bay Ocean Festival calendar, please head to oceanfestival.com.au.