Cruise the coast and see the outback in one holiday

Cruise holiday specialist has just released one of its most popular Australian ‘Rail and Sail’ packages for 2019, combining a coastal cruise on the renowned Queen Elizabeth with rail travel through the outback on Australian’s iconic The Ghan.

coast cruise and outback railThis package is ideal to give passengers a glimpse into the true Australian lifestyle mix of land and sea over 11 days in one inclusive holiday package.

It includes return economy flights from Sydney (other capital cities available on request), Gold Service rail accommodation, meals and beverages, rail stop excursions, cruise accommodation and meals, hotel accommodation in Perth, Adelaide and Darwin and all transfers and some -making it great value.

Fly into Perth on February 2, 2019 for two nights and enjoy a full day Margaret River, Cave, Wine & Cape Leeuwin Tour.

Embark on the Queen Elizabeth for four nights sailing and enjoy the quality Cunard service and the ships’ renowned facilities such as the gourmet meals, 24-hour complimentary room service, world class entertainment, on-board educational programs and much more.

Board The Ghan in Adelaide for two nights in Gold Class and travel through spectacular scenery such as the Flinders Range, view the sunrise at Marla in S.A, explore Alice Springs and learn all about the local culture with an immersive tour in Alice Springs before reaching Darwin for your final night.

This package is priced from $4099 per person twin share. There are optional extra rail tours that passengers can book.

For more details search for package on the new website or call a cruise specialist on 1300 369 848.

visual storytellers

Calling young storytellers to trip across Australia

Young visual storytellers from around the world are urged to apply for the first ever BuzzFeed Mateshipprogram. The once-in-lifetime fellowship and travel program will see the mates work, travel and capture content across Australia.

Eight young travellers and aspiring content creators from the UK, Germany, Italy and France will be flown to Australia for a three-month road trip to discover and report on some of the most unique, eye-opening and breathtaking experiences across the country for both Tourism Australia and social channels.

Known as the BuzzFeed Mates, they will head off-the-beaten-track to discover some of Australia’s very best local culture, festivals, surf breaks, food and wine offerings.

They will be given a bespoke itinerary filled with things that appeal to the young traveller, like swinging on the world’s fastest Minjin jungle swing in Cairns, enjoying world class music acts at one of Australia’s many summer festivals or discovering ancient watering holes in Kakadu National Park.

Throughout the program, the Mates will learn to create spectacular digital content and master social storytelling whilst being mentored by the BuzzFeed Australia editorial team and Tourism Australia.

Each Mate will be tasked with documenting their experiences and sharing them with the world on dedicated BuzzFeed social feeds.

“As far as working holidays go, I think you’d have to go a long way to beat this. It’s the road trip to end all road trips,” said Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, John O’Sullivan.

“We’re excited to partner with Tourism Australia to give our audience around the world the opportunity to come and embed with the BuzzFeed Australia team, learn new creative skills and see the best of what this country has to offer.

“It’s truly the opportunity of a lifetime, and we can’t wait to see what the BuzzFeed Mates create!” said Simon Crerar, Editor-In-Chief and General Manager BuzzFeed Australia.  

Entries for the BuzzFeed Mateship program are open to applicants from the UK, Germany, Italy and France. The entries are open from 2-18 August to creative professionals and enthusiasts alike. Application details can be found online at

Tourism Australia’s partnership with BuzzFeed forms part of a new campaign set to launch in October, aimed at putting Australia back on the map as a memorable and desirable youth destination.

Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP said that the youth segment represented a quarter of all international arrivals to Australia and 44 per cent of visitor spend.

“The Turnbull Government recognises the importance of bringing more young people to Australia, both to travel and work, and that is why we have made improvements to the working holidaymaker program and committed $10 million to Tourism Australia for this campaign.

“These eight-lucky young travellers have a life-changing trip ahead of them and one which we believe will motivate many more young international travellers to follow in their footsteps.”

Butchulla ceremony

Ancient Butchulla ceremony to help season start in good spirits

An ancient Butchulla smoking ritual will be performed for the first time as part of the annual Blessing of the Fleet this year.

The Blessing, a major part of the Ocean Festival presented by University of Sunshine Coast (USC),will combine a rich blend of experiences on Saturday, August 12.

Visitors can tour the many whale watching vessels, wander through market stalls packed with locally made arts and crafts, enjoy a sail past, listen to great live entertainment and get a kick out of the fireworks in an action-packed program which sees the region’s famous fleet blessed in a centuries-old tradition at Hervey Bay Marina to foster a safe and prosperous season.

Bradley Nardi, Fraser Coast Tourism and Events Marketing and Communications Manager, said this year’s Blessing offered a number of new and exciting elements on top of all the traditional favourites.

“For the first time this year Traditional Owners, the Butchulla people, will provide entertainment in the form of song and dance as well as a cleansing smoking ceremony to ward off unfavourable spirits,’’ he said.

“There will also be plenty of tasty food stalls for families to grab something quick, easy and affordable to eat plus a host of kids’ entertainment such as  face painting, rides, a jumping castle and fireworks in the evening.”

Visitors can take a close look at the vessels that keep the whale season afloat including the whale watch fleet and support craft as they are led into the marina by the Hervey Bay Dragon Boat Club and later opened for inspection.

A fireworks display will light up the evening sky from about 7.20pm to end the event.

The Blessing of the Fleet from 4pm to 7.30pm at the Great Sandy Straits Marina is a firm favourite of the nine-day Hervey Bay Ocean Festival presented by USC.

With other highlights including 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.

For more information please head to