Thursday, May 28, 2020

Take a Weekend Family Road Trip from Brisbane Through the Scenic Rim

Known for its breathtaking scenery, soaring peaks, local produce, vibrant arts and crafts plus expansive bushwalking and rainforest tracks, the Scenic Rim is only 90 minutes from Brisbane and all of it falls within 150km of Brisbane's city centre.

With plenty of family-friendly destinations and opportunities to experience some of Australia's most gorgeous views, it's an ideal spot to escape to with the kids.

Use this Google Map we've created to help guide you.

Before you put the pedal to the metal, stock up your road trip bag with sweet and savoury treats from Jocelyn's Provisions, or grab a weekend picnic hamper from Wild Canary to devour on your journey.

Day 1 First stop - Brunch with a fluffy friend at Mountview Alpaca Farm

A road trip where you get to have lunch with alpacas? Alpaca my bag! Conveniently located within the grounds of O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards, Mountview Alpaca Farm lets you feed alpacas and walk them around the vineyard grounds. While you share time with your new fluffy friends, indulge with a fine bottle of wine, a stone-baked pizza or a picnic basket while enjoying the relaxed country setting next to the scenic Canungra Creek.

Noon - Pick up sweet treats from Lemon Lovers Gelato

Time to head up to Tamborine Mountain and treat the kids (and yourselves) to a little sweetness from Lemon Lovers Gelato. Keep an eye out as you drive around town. Park the car and wander down Long Road to explore the art, craft, gift and knick-knack stores along Gallery Walk.

Afternoon - Look at the stars … inside a cave

Take a tour through the rainforest and into the caves with Glowworms Cave Tours, which will resume on 13th June. The presentation cave features realistic stalagmites and stalactites, designed to mimic the natural environment of these rare glow worms. Learn about their fascinating biology as the kids delve into a dark and mysterious experience, lit up by thousands of tiny creatures glowing on the tunnel walls like a starlit night sky.

Evening - Watch a glorious sunset

Before you finish up the day, this stunning view is essential. Take a blanket, camera, anything you need and set the family up at Hang Gliders Lookout or Rotary Lookout on Tamborine Mountain for a breathtaking sunset. Watch the hang gliders launch off the side of the mountain and see them floating above you as the sky burns from orange to black.

Night - Clandulla Cottages and Farmstay

Nestled in some of the Scenic Rim Region's most beautiful countryside, these beautiful self-containing cottages provide the ultimate farm stay experience. Get involved in farm activities, hand feed and cuddle friendly animals and toast marshmallows around the campfire at the end of the day. Relax, listen to the bird calls, and enjoy the tranquillity of the surroundings (accommodation can be booked from 12 June).

Day 2 Rise and shine – Venture into Thunderbird Park

Rejoice parents, the beloved Thunderbird Park is set to open on 13 June. Here, kids can fossick in the world's largest thunderegg mine and unearth these amazing structures left over from 200-million-year-old lava flows. Dig deep with the kids and see how many you can find – whatever you discover is yours to keep as long as it fits in your bucket. This one's fun for parents as well. Unleash your inner child as you slice open that thunderegg to see what treasure may await inside.

Scared of heights? How does relying on just a harness across more than 100 challenges in the Treetop Challenge sound? Hang from trees, climb the ladders, balance on bridges, navigate through suspended tunnels. The challenge is open to kids over the age of 7, so if you have a little adrenaline junkie at home, it's time to get their hearts racing.

Lunch – The Overflow Estate

Time to put an end to a whole morning's worth of adventure and find a lunch place. The scenery alone from Beaudesert to Boonah is breathtaking enough, and the Overflow Estate's divine drops are well worth the drive (just for mum and dad, of course). Set on a peninsula on the edge of Lake Wyaralong, enjoy the expansive view while grazing from the simple menu (Towri sheep cheese and Summer Land Camel ice cream included) and ponder why you don't own a winery in the Scenic Rim.

Afternoon - Pick up baked goodies from Arthur Clive's Family Bakehouse

Owners the Pennell family have been baking in the Scenic Rim and surrounds since the 1930s, with current baker Aidan Pennell's grandfather starting the original business in Boonah. Grab some of these delicious old-styled baked goods with a modern twist. We recommend the wild fermented sourdoughs of Instagram fame for mum and dad, and the kids might want to try the Cherry Ripe Slice.

Final stop - A picnic at Lake Moogerah

Before you head back to the city, a picnic at Lake Moogerah with picture-postcard views from the lookout is essential. It's a popular spot for boating, bushwalking and fishing enthusiasts (licence required). Lay down the picnic blanket, cover it with your recently purchased baked goodies, and take some time to chill before hitting the road. If you're early enough, maybe the kids can take a dip in the swimming area.

An hour or so later, you'll be back in the Brisbane CBD after traveling along the M1. Time to end the adventure and get back to reality, refreshed and ready for another week.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Australia: The vanishing swimsuit #throwback

Bathing was uncomfortable for both adults and children before World War I. Modesty demanded that as much as possible of the body was well covered. Women often wore stockings as well as the all-enveloping costume. Most women adopted the one-piece woollen costume as swimming became more popular, but it was not until the 1920s that costumes started to become smaller and more sensible.

Swimmers at Bondi in the 1920s. (State Library of NSW)

The 1930s and 40s saw the first moves towards separating the top and bottom halves of the costume, and these eventually culminated in the two-piece swimsuit.

Bondi Beach Party 1959.

The bikini was introduced in the late 1940s and has remained in fashion. Each year has seen the introduction of even briefer costumes. The annual rumour that the topless swimsuit is about to become commonplace on Australian beaches is closer to becoming a reality, with Bondi leading the way.

Text originally published in
'Australia's Yesterdays'.
Readers Digest. 1979.

Australian Cities and Towns: Prime Minister's warning #throwback

Sydney Opera House under construction c.1971 (DL Eime)

Ever-growing capitals of an urban nation

"I am not a believer in dumping people into any of the great cities," declared Billy Hughes, then Prime Minister, in 1920. "That will not help us. What has enabled France to bear a burden many many times greater than that which we have had to bear? It is the fact that 70 or 80 per cent of her population are on the land. Until we are able to so adjust matters that we can say that at least 60 per cent of the people of Australia are on the land we are living in a paradise of fools."

He hoped people would listen.

But the Prime Minister's warning was not heeded. In the seven years from 1947 to 1954, the populations of Australia's six capital cities increased by 24 to 28 per cent. Their combined population in 1954 was about 4815000 out of a total Australian population of about 9 million

More than 53 out of every 100 Australians lived in one or other of these six cities, all of them on or near the sea. Darwin, with a population increase of 217 per cent, was easily the fastest-growing city in the Commonwealth, Canberra came next, with 68 per cent.

In the year ended 30 June 1976, Sydney was Australia's biggest city, with a population of 3094400 an increase of 381,790 since June 1969. Melbourne, with a population of 2672000 had increased by 299,560, while Brisbane's population rose by 152,500 to 985,000.

Adelaide in the 1960s. King William St facing south from Victoria Square.

Populations of other capital cities were: Adelaide, 912,200; Perth, 820,100; Hobart, 164,500, and Canberra, 201,800. Darwin, to, in spite of Cyclone Tracy, could number its citizens at 50,000. Newcastle and Wollongong in New South Wales were the biggest cities outside the capitals, with populations of 370.500 and 218,900 respectively. Next came Geelong in Victoria, with 135,600. The Gold Coast, though lacking some features of a normal city, could certainly claim to be an intensive centre of a growing population, with no less than 122,200 as permanent residents. There were also projected areas for population growth: Albury-Wodonga on the Victorian-New South Wales border, and Bathurst-Orange in central New South Wales for example.

Albury street scene in the 1960s. From a postcard.

Satellite towns also widened the horizons of Australia's cities, with some as long-established as Adelaide's Elizabeth, or as recent as Melbourne's Sunbury. What had once been country hamlets, found themselves transformed into places of importance, their former rustic peace shattered by the advance of trucks and earthmoving equipment.

Originally published in
'Australia's Yesterdays'.
Readers Digest. 1979.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Visiting Fighter World Aircraft Museum at Williamtown, #NewSouthWales


FIGHTER WORLD aims to raise awareness of the past and present role played by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Tactical Fighter Force through a unique "hands on experience. Unlike other static aircraft displays you may touch the exhibits and experience the fighter pilot's complex work environment by sitting in the cockpit of a. Macchi Jet Trainer and a Mirage Fighter. PLEASE DO NOT ENTER ANY OTHER COCKPIT ON DISPLAY.

SAFETY is important at Fighter World. Please supervise children at all times. NO RUNNING IS PERMITTED

DON'T FORGET TO VISIT FIGHTER WORLD CAFE for sandwiches, snacks, hot meals and drinks.

No food or drinks, other than water, are permitted in the display hangar to avoid attracting vermin.


Vampire A79-1 is a 'first generation' single seat fighter built in Australia by the De Havilland Company. Vampire tail number A79-1 was the Royal Australian Air Force's first jet fighter, entering service in 1949. A two seat trainer version is located between the hangars undergoing restoration by Fighter World's volunteers.

Gloster Meteor A77-385 is painted to represent a combat veteran of the Korean War. RAAF No 77 Squadron whic operates the F/A-18 Hornet at Willimtown today, flew the Meteor in Korea from June 1950 until October 1954. The Meteor was no match in aerial combat for Chinese MIG 15s with 44 Meteors being lost. You are invited to view the Honour Board on the rear wall behind the Meteor with names of the No 77 Squadron members killed in Korea.

CAC Avon Sabre A94-951 was built in Australia by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation and was the RAAF's mainstay fighter of the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Australian CAC Sabre was an American design re-engineerec to fit a more powerful British Rolls-Royce Avon engine and twin 30 mm Aden Canons. Australian Sabres were later modified to carry sidewinder heat seeking air-to-air missiles as fitted to the Sabre on display.

Mirage A3-3 is a 1960s generation interceptor capable of twice the speed of sound (Mach 2). Mirage tail number A3-3 on display was the first of 98 single seat Mirages built in Australia by the Government Aircraft Factory at Avalon in Victoria. The Mirage was replaced by the Royal Australian Air Forces current front line fighter, the F/A-18 Hornet in 1984.

Mirage A3-102 is the second of ten dual control Mirage trainers built in Australia by the Government Aircraft Factory and used to train pilots to fly the high speed Mirage which had a landing speed of 165 knots.

The Bloodhound Missile and Launcher displayed is a large surface to air missile was used to defend RAAF airfields from aerial attack during the 1950s and early 1960s. Modern, greatly more accurate surface to air missiles may be fired by one man ‘off the shoulder'.

The Macchi MB 326H displayed is a tandem two seat jet trainer that served with No 76 Squadron at RAAF Williamtown untit replaced by the current lead-in fighter trainer, the British Aerospace Hawk. The Hawk has been used since 2000 to train pilots in basic fighter combat maneuvers and for initial weapons training before moving on 1 the much more complex F/A-18 Hornet. You will notice that the Macchi is loaded with eight practice bombs which is a typical configuration for a bombing training mission on the nearby Salt Ash Air Weapons Range.

The Hawker Hunter displayed first entered service with Britain's Royal Air Force in 1956 before being transferred to the Royal Singapore Air Force (RSAF) in 1973. This Hunter was imported into Australia in 1995 and kindly donated to Fighter World by Sydney businessman Mr Greg Ackman of Mobile One Communications. Der Service in the RSAF it flew at WILLIAMTOWN on joint exercises and training attachments with the RAAF. Dedicated Fighter World volunteers assembled and restored the aircraft for display.

The Mikoyan Gurevich (MIG) 21 on display was built in Russia in 1969 and is painted in the colours of the Indian Air Force Aerobatic Team. It performed at air shows in Australia during the late 1990s. The MIG-21 was the main fighter of Warsaw Pact countries during the cold war period and became the most extensively used fighter aircraft in the world with over 6, 000 being built up to 1981. Many are still in service.

Aircraft Model Collections Along the left-hand wall of the display hangar are 350 1/72 scale model aircraft donate by Mr Norman Forrester of Nelson Bay. This collection took Norm over 40 years to create and is entirely hand carved from wood, plastic and resin. Each model is hand-painted. Further along are diorama models of wartime German and British fighter airfields. Still further along is a collection of model aircraft from the Second World War, Korean War and the Vietnam Conflict built from plastic kits and donated by Mr Ian Sprent. Hanging above you on the opposite wall are outstanding painted metal outline models of famous aircraft donated by the wife of the late Bert O'Hara of Newcastle.

Boeing Stearman Replica ‘Flying' overhead in the main hangar is a half scale model of Boeing Stearman open cockpit trainer used to train Australian pilots in Canada during World War Two

DVDs Showing Continuously Take a seat, have a rest and view DVD documentaries of RAAF Operations and fainous fighter aircraft in the right hand corner of the display hangar.

The Observation Deck The stairs in the far left hand corner of the display hangar lead to the Observation Deck froi which aircraft movements may be viewed on Williamtowns Runway 30/12 and taxiways. Newcastle Airport Termin: Buildings and airliner tarmacs may be observed to the left of the runway. Air traffic is controlled by Air Force Air Traffic Controllers who you can hear on speakers throughout the display hangar and on the observation deck.


The Spitfire MK V111 Replica on display is a fibre glass, timber and metal full size replica of a RAAF No 79 Squadron Spitfire which operated in defence of Darwin and New Guinea during World War Two. The replica has been constructed using some authentic Spitfire components in its structure. Can you identify them?

The Messerschmitt BF 109F Replica displayed is a full size fibre glass and timber replica of Germany's most famous fighter of World War Two. The Spitfire and Messerschmitt BF 109 were arch enemies in the famous Battle of Britain. Fighter World's replica is painted to represent the regular aircraft of Oberleutnant Carl Hans Roders who was killed when his Messerschmitt was shot down by a Spitfire over the English Channel on 23 June 1941.

Fokker DR-1 Triplane Replica displayed is a 2/3rds scale replica of one of the most famous German fighters of World War One. Fighter World's black aircraft depicts the personal aircraft of teenage fighter ace Leutnant Josef Jacobs who claimed 48 victories when in command of Jagdstaffel 7 during 1918 at the age of only 19 years.

Commonwalth Aircraft Corporation Winjeel The Winjeel is a piston radial engined side by side two seat traine designed and built in Australia for the RAAF. Winjeels flew at Williamtown as Forward Air Controllers on Army Support missions guiding artillery and other weapons onto targets.

Jindavik The Jindavik was a Australian designed and built jet powered aircraft remotely piloted from the ground by radio control. It was used as a target aircraft and for aerial weapons research.

Thank you for visiting Fighter World. Please tell your friends about us. Perhaps your club or school may wish to organize a bus tour. A tour of RAAF WILLIAMTOWN with a Fighter World guide by groups of 10 persons or more using your own bus may be arranged at no cost with a prior booking.

DONATIONS Fighter World is funded entirely by admission fees and souvenier shop sales. There are currently Do government grants or sponsors to enable Fighter World to acquire or restore new exhibits. Any financial donations by individuals or organizations would be used to further develop our display of Australia's fighter aircraft heritage.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Western Australia: The beauty of Bell Gorge

In the scorched heart of Australia’s vast Kimberley region, the refreshing waters of Bell Gorge have soothed the parched bones of many a weary traveller.

Bell Gorge, Kimberley.

You’ve been following the rough, dust-filled corrugations of the Kimberley’s infamous Gibb River Road for days and the jarring bumps, insane heat and relentless flies are taking their toll. Relax, paradise is at hand! Deep in the Wilinggin Country of the Ngarinyin people, the natural
amphitheatre and swimming hole of Bell Gorge is the perfect spot to cool off and break up that epic road trip.

A pleasant, partially shaded walk leads from the car park along a pandanus- and paperbark-fringed creek alive with birdsong. Breathtaking views from the top of the waterfall only hasten your pace to reach the cool, crystal waters below. Before long you’re floating on your back (possibly still fully clothed) as you soak away the kilometres, staring up at the blue, cloudless sky and the sheer orange walls of the gorge. Yep, flat out, like that goanna on the rock to your right.

What’s best about swimming here?

Getting up under the bottom of the falls and letting them pummel your back, best massage ever!

What’s that stripey lizard over there?

Mertens Water monitor (Roderick Eime)

That fella’s a Mertens’ water monitor, a type of goanna. Don’t worry, they’re harmless, as long as you leave them alone.

Near the cliffs above the falls, what was that pigeon that made a funny sound as it flew?

Big brown one? Yeah, that’s the white-quilled rock pigeon, they look just like the sandstone cliffs where they hide.

And that cute little purple-headed bird in the pandanus by the creek?

Oh, you’re lucky to see him. Purple-crowned fairy wren. Only the males get that purple colour when they’re ready to breed; they’re normally hiding in that pandanus.

Wow, I thought I just saw something jump along that cliff ledge?

Ha, you just saw a rock wallaby (like a little kangaroo), they hang out in the gorges and aren’t afraid of heights!

Country Australia • Region Western Australia • Type • natural pool • Cost A$13 per car national park entry fee • Activities swimming, bushwalking • Family-friendly: yes

Reproduced with permission from Lonely Planet's Joy of Water

The Joy of Water
May 2020 |$29.99 AUD
200mm x 200mm | 272 pages Hardback | ISBN: 9781838690465

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Strand Hotel, Yangon: A Sense of History.

What a hotel! What a history! The Strand opened in 1901, on Strand Road, Rangoon, at the time one of British India's largest and most prized cities. It was built by British Entrepreneur John Darwood and acquired by the Sarkies brothers, who collected more than a few of Southeast Asia's grand colonial hotels including Raffles Hotel in Singapore, "Eastern and Oriental Hotel in Penang, Malaysia and Hotel Majapahit in Surabaya, Indonesia. From the beginning, The Strand was regarded as 'the finest hostelry east of Suez', and Murray's Handbook for Travellers in India, Burma and Ceylon, 1911 edition, says the hotel was 'patronized by royalty, nobility and distinguished personages'.

The distinguished and less so, have continued to patronize the three-storey hotel in the decades since. There have been, of course, a few interludes over the years. A major renovation took place in 1937 for instance. During World War II, the occupying Japanese used part of the hotel, as stables for military horses. Then there was the war tine bomb that plunged through The Strand roof to land, unexplodec, in what was known as Princess Hall and is now the hotel manager's office. There it remained for a few days, drawing curious crowds, before it was finally carted away

The Strand has long been recognised as a national landmark, arriedel of auspicicus, colonial repose. The hotel's Victorian influence is visible even from the colonnaded entranceway. Inside speils the same story; the marble floor inlaid with teak wood, the rattari furniture and potted palms, the chandeliers and black-lacquered ceiling fans - all of its imbues The Strand with a personality as welcome as it is inimitable.

With the renovation of the early 1990s, the room inventory was reduced from 50 to 32 spacious, elegantly appointed suites. All suites are located on the two upper floors and all suites are serviced 24 hours a day by a team of butlers - the men in sporting Buimese dress jackets or tighpone, the women in Steri-style blouses, and both wearing sandals and the local wraps known as 'longyis?

Friday, April 17, 2020

The Massacre on the Abrolhos

It was the middle of a moonlit night on 4 June 1629 when the brand new Dutch East Indiaman, Batavia, struck Morning Reef in the Abrolhus Islands. This event was the beginning of one of the most horrific tales of human savagery ever.

About half of the 268 survivors, including women and children, were systematically slaughtered by the mutinous and psychopathic Jeronimus Cornelisz who was plotting a career in piracy with the corrupt captain, Ariaen Jacobsz.

Relics of this spine chilling chapter of Australia’s maritime history can still be found on the Abrolhos Islands. Several graves were excavated on Beacon Island and their mutilated remain examined. A cannon still lies in shallow waters were treasure hunters tried in vain to get the heavy souvenir ashore. The hero of the Batavia, Wiebbe Hayes ‘fort’ still stands on Wallabi Island: Australia’s oldest known European structures.

In 1963 the wreck was located and the fable reignited. Many recovered items are on display in the Maritime Museum in Fremantle and replicas of both the ship and its famous lifeboat have since been built.

Located just off Beacon Island in about five metres of water, what remains of the wreck is a popular dive site.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Tourism Keeping Peruvian Islands Afloat

For centuries, the reclusive Uros tribe of Peru have lived in a real-life waterworld on Lake Titicaca in the Peruvian Andes.

Building huge floating pontoons from the buoyant totora reeds, the Uros Indians' waterborne communities of Islas Flotantes (floating islands) have afforded them protection from rival tribes, the Inca and Collas.

Now, despite hundreds of years of isolation, the Urosway of life is threatened by the encroaching land-based population in nearby Puno, Perus major port town on the 8300 square kilometre lake.

The plight of the Uros was highlighted in a feature story on National Geographic Channel recently.

"The issues facing the people living on the floating islands are multifold," says anthropologist Arrufo Alcantara Hernandez, director of the faculty of social sciences at the Universidad Nacional del Altiplano in Puno. "The waters of the Uros have been overfished by commercial fishermen, tourists are affecting their traditional culture and sewage from Puno is causing environmental and health problems."

Paradoxically, the growth of tourism on the lake has been something of a relief for the Uros, bringing them much-needed cash. This has reduced their reliance on the dwindling fish stocks and enabled them to purchase motorboats and medicines.

Speaking to National Geographic, Melchora, one of the elderly Uros women selling handicrafts to the tourists, said the amount of tourists grows every year. At first, only a few Uros chiefs permitted tourists, now nearly all the islands take tourists.

Given their resilience, Hernandez remains confident that the Uros people and their culture will remain intact.

"They've successfully dealt with many serious challenges over the last few centuries," he says. "I think if the Uros people use foresight and care, they'll be able to overcome their problems and balance their traditional lifestyles with the modern world."

Pioneering adventure travel operator, Adventure Associates, has organised tours to South America, including Peru and Lake Titicaca, for more than 30 years.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The True Colours of Shanghai

Photo by Manuel Joseph from Pexels

When it comes to the true color of Shanghai, the answers that spring to mind are bright neon lights, the magnificent skyline of Lu Jia Zui, the green and red of Yanzhong Greenbelt and the grey wall and red bricks of Shikumen, or Stone Gate. To bring out the very best of Shanghai during the 2010 Expo, it is essential to paint new structures in the color that best represents the city's unique character. It is difficult to represent Shanghai in one specific color because of its colorful history, extensive international engagement and the general pluralism of the city. Defects in the coloring of modern structures have aroused vast attention from all angles.

Text: Zhu Xiali
Reproduced with kind permission of China Eastern Airlines

A glance at Shanghai's architectural coloring 

A deep impression of the “mix of Chinese and foreign" styles

The elegant and historical walls, dark brown in color, of the hundredyear-old Peace Hotel; the grey walls and red bricks of the old lanes of Xuhui District being repainted from time to time; and the new Stone Gate buildings in Xintiandi, of uniform coloring and style, are a striking vision for all. When traveling on the elevated road, rows of eye-catching houses have attracted numerous new residents because of their pleasant, neat and bright color schemes. Heritage architectures account for a large portion of these impressive constructions.

Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash
Nanjing Road
"Lu Jia Zui, Xintiandi and the Yu Gardens all leave a deep and lasting impression on tourists from both home and abroad. Despite their own individual characteristics, some constructions or residential quarters wear a dull color and are drowned in a sea of advertisements and store signage,” an official from the China Fashion and Color Association argued when addressing Shanghai's colors.

From the traditional residences pre-liberation to the gallery of world architectures on the bund; from diversified buildings erected after liberation to the high-rises, every new building has been a showcase of evolution in local construction by drawing inspiration from overseas. It's on record that grey and white was the color of Shanghai's old lanes before the 19th century, then came the use of exotic red bricks, and from the beginning of the 50s and 60s of the last century, color-fast autumn took over as a popular color option. Most of the modern high-rises in Shanghai are coated either by face tiles or glass curtain walls, leaving a broader range of color options that is in tune with the speed and height of the city.

Shanghai has never been short of colors in its constructions; however, the co-existence of western, local and various regional architectural characteristics add to the difficulty in planning and coordinating the color of the city. Shanghai should apply different color choices to different areas, but not too different noted Prof. Xu Mingde of the Shanghai Theater Academy, who has studied art in Europe a number of times. The "Disorder" of Shanghai's construction colors is the top priority for resolution.

Experts on color selection for Shanghai's buildings

 "Next-door color” for harmony

Shanghai's constructions are shaped in multiple forms, and the harmonizing of constructions and their surroundings is the key to setting the ideal color scheme. The Jin Mao Tower stands as a fine example, said Gu Enhong from ARR International, a Shanghai-based architectural design consultancy. Designers studied carefully and introduced the age-old pagoda approach into the scheme before it was completed. As a result, the work regarding profile, coloration and location of the building was artfully executed, making the Jin Mao Tower one of the latest and most recognized landmarks in Shanghai.

In addition to borrowing foreign concepts, many architectural designers have begun to give more thought to the harmony between constructions and their surroundings, in an attempt to keep the coloration from being overly prominent. If a building under design is flanked by a steel structure on one side and a concrete structure on the other, the coloration scheme would create a new color element by combining the grey of concrete with the original tint of the steel.

Multi-color system for environmental harmony

It takes in-depth research to determine whether Shanghai's constructions should have light or dark coloration, but the key is to introduce a multi-color system. The basic tone of the building facade shall be determined in accordance with blocks, road sections and districts and then harmony will be achieved through the matching of different color mixes. Take McDonald's and Xi'nianlai for instance: some additional color elements are suggested to be added to the former's bright red and yellow logo, and the latter's bright red logo, to fit better into their surroundings. It is known that professional consultancies have been set up in Western countries that specialize in urban coloration. Innovation proves to be the first task as China starts its research in this area.

After talks with architectural experts, it was revealed that brand new color matching concepts, fit for Shanghai, have been included in design drawings of new housing and commercial buildings now under construction. However, quite a few developers and investors would finally pick the general option or those about to be discarded because of their lack of innovative awareness. Some housing designers say they would go to lengths to promote any form or color of architecture as long as it is beneficial to urban development and fits harmoniously into its surroundings.

Accentuate cultural characteristics with different colors for different regions

Warm colors are preferred by northern cities, whereas cold colors are popular in the south; blue is the color of choice for cities on the grasslands and cold color series such as azure, cyan and green are ideal for cities in desert regions. Officials from Shanghai Urban Planning Authority and Shanghai Administration on City Appearance and Environmental Sanitation said that because of the varying ages of local constructions and their co-existence with modern buildings, the application of a single main tone will not be considered for the time being and pilot experiments are encouraged in all parts of the city. Choice of color is now given high priority in the approval processes of various construction projects.

Experts advise that from a cultural perspective, black and white should be preserved for Qingpu and Zhu Jia Jiao, featuring the serenity of south China, to impress with the elegance of Chinese painting; dark tones comprising beige and wine red should be applied in Xuhui district, known for its veritable plethora of oldstyle residences. To present a comfortable and tranquil look, bright colors such as all white and off-white are the option for the rapidly-developing Pudong New Area, to create a lively visual impact for the modern era.

We wait in anticipation of how Shanghai will dress to hail the 2010 Expo with its unique charms.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The best of Aussie culture and arts from your #Covid19 couch

Here are the top 10 films to help satisfy your wanderlust and keep you entertained

Not only are these films entertaining, but they also capture Australia's iconic vistas and landscapes which are guaranteed to have you dreaming and planning your next holiday. It’s not just about the show stopping landscapes either, each capture the larrikin spirit that Australians are known and loved for, leaving you feeling as though you’ve just caught up with your Aussie mates.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Malaysia: The Lost World of Maliau Basin

Giluk Falls plunge over the edge of the southern plateau of the Maliau Basin into dense lowland dipterocarp rainforest. Alternating layers of soft, easily-eroded mudstone and harder sandstone have given rise to a series of exposed sandstone shelves over which the falls cascade. Center of the Maliau Basin, Sabah's 'Lost World, Borneo, Malaysia.
COPYRIGHT:©Alex Hyde (to purchase high res of this image, click here)

Lost world 
One of the last tracts of pristine, untouched lands in Malaysia, the Maliau Basin Conservation Area in Tawau, Sabah is breathtaking in its ethereal, virginal beauty. The 588.4sq km area includes the seven-tier Maliau Falls, Maliau River, Gunung Lontong, Lake Linumunsut and the 25km in diameter saucer-shaped Maliau Basin. A veritable treasure trove from Mother Nature, it contains 12 forest types and an exciting wildlife population, many of them endemic. Although only 10 per cent of the area has been studied extensively, researchers have already found 1,800 plant species, 70 mammal species including rare ones like the Sumatran rhinoceros, clouded leopard, proboscis monkey and Malay bear, 261 species of birds and 30 amphibian species.

Getting there 
Accessible by road from Tawau and Keningau; permission to enter the area must be obtained from the Yayasan Sabah office

What to do 
Jungle trekking, bird watching, night drive to spot wildlife

Efforts are underway to list the Maliau Basin as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Renon Plateau – the Belle Epoque in the heart of the Dolomites

by Simon Tancred / Hidden Italy

“We are divinely content here in the Renon, where, I’m pleased to say, I have discovered the sweet art of doing nothing”.

When Sigmund Freud and his missus holidayed in the lovely hill station of Collalbo in the foothills of the Dolomites in 1911, it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Sigmund took a cog-wheel train from the main square of Bolzano, the bustling regional capital, that climbed nearly one thousand metres before levelling out to roll across the undulating pastures of the Renon plateau.  These days a spectacular cable car does the climb from Bolzano to Soprabolzano, the first of the Renon towns, in a fraction of the time, but the historic train still runs from here to the towns of the district.

It is over one hundred years since the area passed under Italian control (booty from the First World War) but it has lost none of its Imperial charm: German is still the first language; dirndls and lederhosen are not uncommon; canederli, speck, and goulash can be enjoyed around the warmth of a ‘stube’; timber farmhouses trimmed with geraniums cluster around onion-domed churches surrounded by rolling snow-covered fields, all framed by the towering peaks of the Odle Dolomites, the most beautiful mountains in the world.

The Renon has long been a holiday destination for the good burghers of Bolzano and their families: escaping the heat in the summer and embracing the ‘winterfrische’ of the colder months.  Picturesque towns buzz with lively pubs, craft markets and horse-drawn carriages.  The Belle Epoque villas of local aristocracy, tucked away in the forests, have been converted into beguiling small hotels.  There is always plenty of snow, with the main ski fields spreading between the two highest peaks, Cima Lago Nero (2,069 mts asl) and Il Corno del Renon (2,260 mts asl).  While there are some good downhill runs, the area is given over to less challenging pursuits: cross-country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and just plain walking on groomed snow trails, including a beautiful 6 kilometre winding through forests from Collabro to Soprabolzano along the Freud Promenade.

How to get there:

By car:  Bolzano can be reaching via the A22 autostrada, heading north towards Austria from Verona.  Take the Bolzano Nord exit and head towards the city centre on State highway 12.  After 2 kms, take Via Rencio and then Via Giustina and follow this beautiful road as it climbs up to Collabro. 

In train:  Bolzano is serviced by regional trains, Eurocity trains and the super-fast Frecciarossa, all with changes at Verona.  By air:  The closest airport is Verona Catullo, 150 kms south.

Where to stay:

Hotel Belemsmans-Post (Via del Paese 8, Collabro).  A traditional, 4-star, Tyrolean hotel with 55 rooms and suites, each decorated differently from the other, which, hosted Sigmund Freud and his family in September 1911.  It is possible to book the room he stayed, including a terrace where he and Matilde celebrated their 25th anniversary.  From 123 euro per person, half-board.

Adler Lodge Ritten (Stella 20, Soprabolzano).  This exclusive, 5-star ‘eco-refuge’ surrounded by woods has a large spa that seems to be immersed in a forest.  It has 20 suites and 20 chalets, each with a sauna and fireplace.  A dream destination where you can enjoy a unique nature experience.  Double with half-board from 276 euro per person per night.

Hotel Geyerhoff (Via Geirer 13, Soprabolzano).  This excellent 3-star hotel has wonderful views of the Dolomites and its own ski-run.  It is run on sustainable principles and it’s restaurant uses organically grown, local produce.  Double with half-board from 84 euro per person.

Agriturismo Weidacherhof (Via Veihwieder 1, Collalbo).  This agriturismo is run by the Rottensteiner family and has a number of apartments and rooms set within a farm that runs cattle and sheep, has vegetable gardens and fruit trees.  The meals are based on their own produce.  It has a wellness area.  Doubles with breakfast from 109 euro.

Where to eat:

Patscheider Hof (Signato 178).  An historic farmhouse with views over the Catinaccio range, the Hof has one of the most celebrated kitchens in the area.  Their specialities include canederli (dumplings) of various types, including with mountain herbs, cheeses and speck.  Around 40 euro per person.

Unterhorn (Corno del Renon).  On the snow fields a 15 minute walk from Pemmern cable car, the ‘Corno del Renon’ restaurant has a large terrace with views of the Odle range and a warm ‘stube’ where you can enjoy classic mountain cooking.

Kaserhof (Via Geirer 26, Soprabolzano).  The Mayr family have constructed their agriturismo around an historic ‘maso’ (farmhouse) that dates from 1863.  They offer traditional cooking using local ingredients.

What to do:

Friday evening:  relax

Get there early, check-in and enjoy an aperol spritz watching the dun set over some of the most spectacular mountain in the world.  Get and early night because you will have a big day tomorrow.

Saturday:  get physical

Unlike other more dramatic parts of the Dolomites, Renon has generally gently declining slopes, given over to the more traditional types of snow activities.  Skis, sleds and snowshoes can be hired from the Ski Centre Corno Reno (Via Tann 21, Collabo).  Guided  snowshoe adventures can be organised through Josefl Innerenber – bookings, and help with accommodation etc, can be organised through the Renon Tourist Association.

Walking and snowshoeing.

There are a variety of options.  The most celebrated is the Freud Promenade, a beautiful 1.5 stroll downhill from Collabro to Soprabolzano that takes you through villages, farmland and stretches of forest.  It was originally laid out in 2006 by Francesco Marchioro, a historian of psychoanalysis.  It includes 13 benches each with (discrete) panels with Freudian aphorisms, inviting reflection and meditation.

The first ‘Certified Winter Walking Trail’ in the Dolomites starts from the Lago Nero cable car station and climbs up to Corno del Renon.  It is an easy walk and the round trip takes around 2.5 hours.  The Panoramic Trail also starts at Lago Nero, a one hour loop that has spectacular views over the peaks of the Adamello and Ortles ranges.

Cross-country skiing:

There are two cross-country routes:  La Schon, a 5 km trail that leaves from the Pemmern cable car station and the Corno del Renno to Alpeggi de Villandro, a 10 km trail that starts from Lago Nero.

Downhill skiing:

The skiing facilities start from Pemmern (1,538 mts asl).  From here you take a cableway to the intermediate station at Cima Lago Nero (2,069 mts asl).  There are two ski lifts here, one that takes you 2010 mt asl and the other that takes you to, Corno del Renon, the highest peak of the Renon plateau (2,260 mts asl), where you will find the Corno del Renon ‘rifugio (mountain lodge).  There are ten different runs, covering 13 kms.  They opened on 14 December and will close on 22 March.

Sunday:  get cultural

Explore the Renon plateau.

The simplest way to explore Renon is on the historical train that runs between Collalbo and Soprabolzano, connecting the villages and towns of the plateau.

Collabo is the largest of the towns.  Apart from its pleasant pedestrian streets and shops, the church of San Antonio has some interesting 17th-century paintings.  On Colle Piper, a nearby hill, are the remains of a pre-Roman settlement and the ruins of the medieval Stein am Ritten, the ‘stone castle’.  Collalbo also has the Ice Rink, open to the public, which also hosts international events.

Soprabolzano is at the other end of the line.  An attractive residential area with a collection of hotels and villas set in parklands.  The main attraction is Villa Toggenburg, an 18th-century museum that preserves the way of life of the Belle Epoque, including the frescoed hunting room and a number chambers decorated by Viennese ‘Secessionist’ decorators Martin Knoller and Carl Henrici.

Explore Bolzano. 

Maretsch Castle dates from the 13th Century (c) Roderick Eime

Bolzano sits in the valley below Renon, a spectacular 15-minute cable car ride down into the valley from Soprabolzano.  Located in a predominantly sunny, sheltered bowl, for centuries Bolzano has been a market town and waystation.  It's period of splendour began in the Middle Ages when it became a thriving trade centre vacillating under the rule of the Counts of Tyrol and the princely Bishops of Trento and Bressanone.

It thrived during the 17th and 18th centuries, becoming one of the most important commercial centres in Europe, a meeting place between the Germanic and Mediterranean worlds.  It retains much of the charm of this era and is a great place just to poke around, explore and enjoy a meal.

The centre of Bolzano is Piazza Walther, a large, gardened square ringed by cafes and restaurants.  It is a short walk through lanes to Via dei Portici, the narrow pedestrian street that bisects the medieval heart of the town.  The Via is lined with buzzy arcades filled with shops and cafes.  At one end is the Rathaus, the town hall, and that other is the Piazza delle Erbe, that has hosted produce markets since the Middle Ages.

Otzi, the celebrated ‘Iceman’
There are several sights to see, including the cathedral, the Gothic Domenican church (which dates from the 13th century) and the Museum of Contemporary Art but the real, and unmissable star, is the Archaeological Museum, dedicated to Otzi, the celebrated ‘Iceman’, a 40-year-old man who died over five thousand years ago and was swallowed a glacier.  In 1991, his snap-frozen body emerged.  It was virtually intact and the man (nicknamed Otzi) has revealed an enormous amount of information to scientist and historians.  This excellent and accessible museum provides a fascinating insight into the man and his world.

South Tirol Official Tourism website:

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Multi-faceted Mykonos - One Island, Many Destinations

From the cobbled streets of lively Mykonos Town to the beach clubs and restaurants of Platis Gialos, and the golden sand and Aegean blue sea at Elia Beach, modern-day Mykonos may be one island - but it boasts many ways to play…and stay.

Whether you seek a ‘flop and drop’ beach vacation, a party destination, or a holiday that’s all about local culture and cuisine, there’s a corner of Mykonos tailor-made for the time of your life.


The longest beach on Mykonos, located on the stunning southern coastline, Elia is a world away from Mykonos’ party beaches. Renowned instead for its soft yellow sand, clear water, shaded sun loungers, water sports and culinary excellence, Elia is a popular choice for all types of travellers, from families to honeymooning couples and more. For easy daily access to Elia, stay at one of the Myconian Collection’s beautiful boutique properties which enjoy prime positions perched above the beach.

Myconian Avaton, a member of Design Hotels, is an ultra-luxe secluded property with unrivalled views and accommodation options. Boasting an impressive infinity pool, the chic Kokkino Bar, an indoor-outdoor restaurant and its very own helipad for VIP arrivals, it’s the epitome of luxe island living.

Relais & Châteaux member, Myconian Utopia, is set into rock, a soaring 300 metres above Elia Beach. Incorporating ultra-glam interiors with hand-cut local stone, Myconian Utopia is a firm favourite among couples and honeymooners. Features include unique villas, a lively late-night Pool Club and the elegant Pavilion Restaurant, acclaimed for its fresh fish, lobster and hand-reared local lamb.

A Leading Hotel of the World, Myconian Imperial boasts rustic stone walls, quirky décor, gorgeous views, gourmet dining and an expansive entertainment deck with a pool and bar. Celebrities Seafood Restaurant is a hotspot for starlit dining, while Nostos bar and Sishu Sushi Bar offer sustenance from sun-up to sunset.

With a rustic stone façade contrasting with contemporary interiors, Leading Hotel of the World, Royal Myconian, boasts a panoramic pool deck, swim-up bar, sublime Sunset Terrace and spacious rooms and suites with optional infinity pools or jacuzzis.

The Myconian Villa Collection, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Legend Collection is a unique accommodation concept which features rooms, suites and opulent villas of up to six bedrooms with private pools and outdoor jacuzzis. With international designer furniture, a vast entertainment deck, infinity pool, sun-baked terraces, the exceptional Cabbanes Fine Dining restaurant and attentive staff available to fulfil the most extravagant requests, The Myconian Villa Collection is an excellent choice for special celebrations, romantic retreats or group getaways.


South from Elia Beach is Platis Gialos, a playground for the chic and cosmopolitan crowd. Visitors can enjoy life like the rich and famous among luxury yachts, fabulous fine dining and perfect people watching.

Platis Gialos is also home to Relais & Châteaux member, Myconian Ambassador Hotel, the ideal spot to base yourself for easy access to the iconic beaches of Psarou, Paradise and Super Paradise. Home to some of the island’s best luxury beach clubs including the newly opened and decadent SantAnna, and world-famous Scorpios, where you can play and stay from midday until midnight - and beyond, those with a penchant for partying will not be disappointed.

Myconian Ambassador is the ultimate destination for a taste of the hedonistic side of multi-faceted Mykonos. Here, luxe bedrooms and suites spill out onto the spectacular pool deck with glorious Aegean views, and one of the island’s top tables - Efisia Relais & Châteaux is a popular pick for candlelit dinners.


It’s easy to lose yourself among the labyrinth-like cobbled streets of Mykonos Town, lined with boutiques, tiny churches, local cafes and traditional tavernas which spill out onto piazzas where impromptu post-dinner parties pop up at a moment’s notice.

Other highlights in Mykonos Town include watching the fishing boats come and go at Alefkandra Harbour; or exploring the colourful waterfront shops, homes and restaurants of the island’s own Little Venice, one of the most romantic spots on Mykonos for a sunset stroll.

Its central location makes Mykonos Town the ideal spot to stay for those keen to explore some of the island’s lesser known treasures, such as a best-kept secret, Agios Sostis, a laidback beach that’s only reachable by taxi or rental car along an unmarked road; and the village of Ano Mera, with its Monastery of Panagia Tourliani, marble fountain, purring cats and carved timber temple located just half an hour from Mykonos Town.

History aficionados will enjoy the 30-minute ferry ride to Delos, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage island which boasts epic archaeological ruins and is renowned in Greek mythology as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis; and the Church of the Panagia Paraportiani, a 15th century church located on the north western edge of Mykonos Town.

For easy access to all of Mykonos Town’s spectacular sights, the Myconian Collection Hotels & Resorts boasts three properties which are ideally situated for those who like to be close to the action. Relais & Châteaux member, Myconian Korali enjoys a prime position on the hills above the harbour and is just minutes from Little Venice and Mykonos Town. Haute cuisine, sophisticated décor and exceptional views are hallmarks of this luxe retreat which is home to Kitrino Bar and inventive dining at Baos.

The King of the Hill, and recently featured as one of the “most beautifully designed Greek island hotels” by Architectural Digest, Myconian Kyma occupies the special spot where George Daktylides set the very first stone that founded the Myconian Collection. Attracting a jet-set clientele, this Design Hotel member blends the trendy with the traditional and enjoys famous views over Little Venice and the Mykonos windmills.

Also enjoying a hillside perch overlooking Mykonos Town and the Aegean, member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, LVX Collection, Myconian Naia is an exclusive 18-suite retreat full of objets d’art, designer décor, an infinity pool, poolside bar, floating deck and gourmet Naros Restaurant serving everything from lavish breakfasts on the balcony to international fusion cuisine.

For more information, please visit:

Monday, January 20, 2020

Here's your Memphis music playlist

Known for its musical heartbeat, the city of Memphis is home to some of the world's most influential musicians. In recognition of the draw that the music of Memphis has for travellers, Memphis Tourism has this week launched a dedicated Music Hub, designed to help visitors find their perfect music experience.

Since no trip to Memphis would be complete without experiencing at least one aspect of the city's great music history, below is a list of essential experiences for music lovers:

Visit a historic recording studio

Memphis' music legacy is iconic, so it makes sense that the city has more recording studios than almost any other. The world famous Stax Records and Sun Studio are both crucial fixtures in the formation and history of American music, and both open to the public.

Pick up some local music vinyl

Hardcore music lovers have never lost their affinity for vinyl, but now that everyday music fans are again appreciating the joy of vinyl's distinctive sound, sales are on the rise. Memphis music stores including Shangri-La, Goner Records and Audiomedia Records all have sections dedicated not just to vinyl, but solely to Memphis music - which could see you find the best souvenir ever.

Dine at a musically historical venue

You may still want to wait in line to eat at the diner which Elvis frequented (The Arcade Restaurant), but if you make your way to Catherine & Mary's in Downtown Memphis, you'll be dining on elevated Southern American and traditional Italian cuisine at the site of the former home of the Red, Hot, & Blue radio show - the radio show was the first to play music from both black and white artists in a segregated Memphis.

Stay at the Central Station Hotel

With more than 3,500 vinyl records in the lobby - all with a Memphis connection, and a DJ playing Memphis themed playlist every night of the week, this is the perfect place to sleep for music lovers.

Take in some live music

Start at the bars, pubs and clubs of tourist hotspot of historic Beale Street, and then wander wherever your ears take you - and it won't be far. Memphis is home to an abundance of live music venues, festivals and listening rooms.

For further information about Memphis and to plan your trip:

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Experience Australia’s two Indigenous cultures

The Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region’s World Heritage areas are home to Australia’s two Indigenous cultures, which can be experienced on more than 80 tours during Queensland’s Year of Indigenous Tourism.

Dreamtime stories are woven throughout the land and waters of Cairns & Great Barrier Reef, the only destination where the culture of both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are found.

Travellers have the opportunity to interact with these cultures when they explore the World Heritage Areas of the Wet Tropics rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, as well as the accessible Outback ­– all of which are found in the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region.

Indigenous art, dance and storytelling reveal a history stretching back more than 40,000 years. Multifaceted cultural events bring Traditional Custodians of the land together for a display of dance, art, music and fashion, while cultural centres introduce the stories and traditions of Australia’s First Nations People.

Opportunities to interact with the Traditional Custodians are plentiful. Visitors can learn to hunt mudcrab with a spear, hear Dreamtime stories alongside ancient rock art, take part in the cleansing ritual of a smoking ceremony, and look for bush food in the rainforest. They can learn about Buda-dji, the carpet snake that created the Barron River where the Djabugay people live, and hear why the Quinkans are fearsome creatures for the Kuku Yalanji people.


Cooktown celebrates 250 years
Cooktown Expo 2020 is a regional showcase from July 17 to August 4, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the arrival of British explorer Lieutenant James Cook, who spent 48 days on the Endeavour River. His interaction with Cooktown’s Aboriginal people resulted in Australia’s first recorded act of reconciliation. Three key events showcase the region’s history – Reconciliation Rock Music Festival, Cooktown Discovery Festival and the Endeavour Festival.

Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival
Indigenous culture, song and dance are celebrated by more than 20 different communities at Laura, near one of UNESCO’s top 10 rock art sites, on Cape York Peninsula. The internationally recognised biannual celebration of Aboriginal culture attracts thousands of visitors to the traditional Bora ground, with the next festival taking place on 3-5 July 2020.

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
More than 600 Indigenous visual and performing artists from communities throughout mainland Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands showcase their diverse cultures and artistic wealth at this prestigious annual event. CIAF is on 10-12 July 2020 and includes an ethical art marketplace, fashion show, cultural performances and free family activities.

Winds of Zenadth
Torres Strait Islander culture, including traditional dance with extraordinary headpieces, is on show at Winds of Zenadth, a bi-annual event where people from across the Torres Strait Islands gather to revitalise and preserve their language, art and ceremonies. Dates are being finalised for 2020. More information will become available

Yarrabah Music & Cultural Festival
This free event south of Cairns features an impressive line-up of Australian musicians along with food stalls, local art, rides and cultural experiences. The festival is built upon the legacy of the Yarrabah Brass Band, which since 1901 has played a pivotal role in the community’s musical identity. The festival will be held on 10 October 2020. More information will become available at:


Jarramali Rock Art Tours
Explore one of UNESCO’s top 10 rock art sites in the world with a Traditional Custodian to see paintings dating back tens of thousands of years. Kuku Yalanji guides tell the story of the ancient Quinkan rock art and join you at a camp overnight in Cape York.

Mossman Gorge Centre
A traditional smoking ceremony welcomes you to Kuku Yalanji country at Mossman Gorge Centre. Join a Traditional Custodian on a Dreamtime walk to learn how their people sustained themselves in the world’s oldest rainforest.

Discover the Torres Strait
The history, arts and culture of the Torres Strait are uncovered on a bespoke tour with Torres Strait Eco Adventures. Guide Dirk Laifoo shares his local knowledge on tours to Waiben (Thursday Island), Muralag (Prince of Wales Island) and Ngarupai (Horn Island). The region has a rich World War II and pearling history entwined with the local Torres Strait Islander culture.

Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel
Step back into the Great Barrier Reef’s Dreamtime with Indigenous sea rangers on a day tour to two spectacular outer Great Barrier Reef sites, incorporating the legends passed down by Traditional Custodians over thousands of years.

Walkabout Adventures
Traditional Custodians show how their ancestral lands are the source of Dreamtime stories and songs in a tour for just 11 people. Learn about bush foods and medicines, hunting, Aboriginal history, culture and beliefs, and experience the Indigenous connection to country.

Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park
Traditional Custodians have created a performance depicting the rainforest culture of the Djabugay people, while modern technology and live performers deliver the Djabugay Creation story. Join interactive hunting and bush food demonstrations and a night-time fire ceremony. 

Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience, Rainforestation Nature Park
Watch a ceremonial dance in the rainforest and see traditional hunting and gathering techniques before learning to throw a boomerang. Join the Dreamtime Walk along the Rainbow Serpent boardwalk for an insight into ancient Aboriginal beliefs.

Mandingalbay Ancient Indigenous Tours
Take a boat ride across Trinity Inlet to an environmental reserve at the base of Grey Peaks National Park where you are welcomed with a smoking ceremony. Enjoy dinner with authentic Indigenous dancing and entertainment. Other tours include an eco cultural tour and bush camping overnight on Indigenous lands.

Flames of the Forest
Discover the magic of the Dreamtime and dine on tropical regional produce beneath the rainforest canopy. Kuku Yalanji performers immerse you in storytelling, didgeridoo and song lines of the ancestors.

Yagurli Tours
Experience the Dreamtime stories of the Gangalidda-Garawa people under the brilliance of a pollution-free night sky on Australia’s largest salt pans or see the crimson magic of an outback sunset on a river cruise, observing the unique wildlife of the Gulf Savannah country by dusk. There is also a tag-along tour and fishing option.

Thala Beach Nature Reserve Resort
Meet Kuku Yalanji elders who share stories of culture, history and Aboriginal tradition at an eco stay on a private headland between Cairns and Port Douglas. Learn about bush tucker food from traditional hunter-gatherers.

Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct
The Yarrabah Arts Centre, Menmuny Museum and a rainforest boardwalk are part of the Arts and Cultural Precinct showcasing local culture, history and art including pottery, woven baskets and textiles.

Janbal Gallery Painting Workshop
Learn traditional Aboriginal painting techniques and see Brian “Binna” Swindley and his mother Shirley’s works depicting Dreamtime stories, Kuku Yalanji life, the animals of the Great Barrier Reef and the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics Rainforest.

Adventure North Australia
Meet the custodians of the world’s oldest rainforest to try traditional fishing and gathering techniques from the Kubirri Warra clan and discover traditional soap, bush food and ochre paint on a rainforest walk at Mossman Gorge.

Culture Connect
Join a guided tour or private charter to traditional country in the World Heritage Daintree rainforest and the tropical savannah country of Cape York. Experience festivals and events on the Indigenous cultural calendar from a unique perspective.

Down Under Tours
Experience Aboriginal culture with a trip including Mossman Gorge Centre and their Dreamtime Walk, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park’s shows, and Rainforestation Nature Park where the Pamagirri Aboriginal Dancers explain Aboriginal culture.

Indigenous Art Centres
Remote art centres can be found at Aboriginal communities throughout Cape York. You can see the renowned camp dog carvings of Aurukun’s Wik and Kugu people, the ghost net weavings from Pormpuraaw, and the internationally acclaimed work of Lockhart River’s Art Gang.
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