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New Year’s Eve Tjapukai Cultural Park

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One of the most popular tourist attractions in Cairns is to hold a special event on New Year’s Eve that’s not to be missed.

The Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is to put on a seasonal edition of its Tjapukai by Night show for the occasion, with lots of treats in store for visitors stopping by as part of their Queensland tours.

At 19:00 local time, guests will meet in the Gecko Courtyard for photographs, traditional face-painting and a pre-dinner tipple.

A traditional Kup-Muirri and international buffet dinner will follow and plenty of souvenirs will be on offer, such as pictures with the performers in traditional dress and painted ‘message stones’, intended as lucky keepsakes.

The evening will end with a spectacular firework display – the memories from this unique way of spending New Year’s Eve are sure to last a lifetime.

The Tjapukai, meaning ‘rainforest’, is an Aboriginal tribe indigenous to this part of Queensland. The cultural park allows visitors to learn more of the tribe’s fascinating and ancient culture and to educate members of the wider public about its traditions and customs.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18928578-ADNFCR

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Port Douglas comes alive at Carnivale

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The town of Port Douglas will come alive in a festival of fun and excitement once again next year.

From May 22nd to 31st the Reef and Rainforest Carnivale will kick-start the summer season with much excitement for locals and visitors exploring the state on Queensland tours.

For the duration of the event the entire town is awash with colour and noise as this otherwise fairly low-key destination shows the world that it knows how to party.

The name of the event is inspired by the proximity of the town to two important world heritage sites: the lush and verdant Daintree Rainforest – one of the oldest natural spectacles on Earth – and the incredible living marvel that is the Great Barrier Reef.

Only an hour’s drive from Cairns, Port Douglas is a key destination for adventure tourists and outdoor pursuits with, of course, diving being one of the most popular.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18928485-ADNFCR

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Carols for all at the Domain in Sydney

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The warm sunshine and the summer season means that Christmas can be an al fresco affair in Australia – what better way to celebrate by singing carols outdoors with a few thousand or so close friends?

On December 20th the Domain in Sydney will host a huge carol service, in which as many as 100,000 locals and visitors on Sydney tours will flock to this fantastic outdoor venue.

From 15:00 local time a fantastic programme of pre-show entertainment will entertain the crowd before the main event begins at 20:00.

Ex-Neighbours actress and singing sensation Delta Goodrem will be the star attraction, as the entire venue unites to sing some favourite Christmas songs by candlelight.

Broadcast on network television across the country, the event will also be raising money for some important causes such as the Salvation Army.

The Domain is located in the Royal Botanical Gardens, one of the most popular attractions in the city.

Sydney – Take a cruise of Sydney Harbour or relax on the white sands on Manly Beach.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18927341-ADNFCR

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Rugby Sevens whips HK crowds up into a frenzy

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One of the fastest and most exciting sports in the world will hold its showpiece event in Hong Kong this coming spring.

From March 27th to 29th 2009 the Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens tournament will be held at the spectacular 40,000-seater Hong Kong Stadium.

Rugby Sevens is, as the name would suggest, a smaller-sided version of the game that the world knows and loves.

However, despite there being only seven players on each team, the playing surface is the same size and this results in huge amount of space in which players can run into.

Games are therefore played for shorter lengths of time but at a frenetic pace, the likes of which is seldom seen in other sports.

The tournament consists of 24 teams split into three groups of eight. After a standard round-robin format, the top octet of sides compete in a play-off for the Bowl, the middle eight for the Plate, with the bottom teams contesting the Cup.

With all this supercharged action on offer, the already bustling city of Hong Kong promises to become that much more exciting than usual during the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens.

Hong Kong – Part mystical Chinese city, part 21st Century metropolis Hong Kong combines temples and skyscrapers.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18925656-ADNFCR

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Singapore shows its spiritual side during Pongal

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The bustling city-state of Singapore demonstrates its spiritual side with the Hindu festival of Pongal from January 14th to 17th.

Rooted in south Indian tradition and celebrated during the important month of Thai, the event lasts for four days and is a form of harvest festival.

On the first day, which celebrates Lord Indra, the symbolic act of cooking rice in a new pot is performed to draw together themes of new beginnings and of the relationship with the earth.

The fourth day brings the event to a lively climax as temples throughout Singapore reverberate with the sound of drumming and percussion shells being played in time to ancient rhythms.

To experience the city at its most reflective, the festival of Pongal should be on the itinerary of any visitor on Singapore tours at this special time of year.

Singapore – Enjoy the wonderful shops or explore Singapore’s colonial history, whatever you do end the day with a Singapore sling at Raffles.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18925698-ADNFCR

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Hong Kong Arts Festival celebrates a vivid culture

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The annual Hong Kong Arts Festival will once again showcase the varied and vibrant culture that this unique country – and the world as a whole – has to offer.

Performers and innovators from around the world will come together from February 6th to March 8th in this fiesta of theatre, dance, music and visual art.

Among the key events featuring in this comprehensive celebration of creativity will be Shanghai Yueju Opera Theatre, one of the most respected companies in China.

Meanwhile, a groundbreaking performance of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphoses by the Vesturport Theatre of Iceland will also take place.

Music fans on Hong Kong tours will be pleased to learn that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will also be making an appearance, conducted by the legendary Bernard Haitink.

The Hong Kong Arts Festival is the highlight of the territory’s cultural calendar and in 2009 will mark its 37th year.

Hong Kong – Part mystical Chinese city, part 21st Century metropolis Hong Kong combines temples and skyscrapers.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18925603-ADNFCR

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Singapore sees in the New Year in style

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Singaporeans young and old will usher in 2009 in their own inimitable fashion in Marina Bay on December 31st.

The Countdown event will see thousands of locals and visitors on Singapore tours descend on this fabulous coastal spot on this occasion for reflection and, above all, celebration.

Across the country people are being asked by the organising body to participate in Wishing Spheres, which will see thousands of New Year messages written by members of the public released into the night sky over the bay in a gesture of goodwill and hope for the world.

The evening will also see the culmination of a photography competition which will have recorded countless special moments in the lives of ordinary people from across this most fascinating of countries.

Singapore – Enjoy the wonderful shops or explore Singapore’s colonial history, whatever you do end the day with a Singapore sling at Raffles.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18925584-ADNFCR

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Nutcracker sure to go down a storm in Singapore

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One of the most world’s most popular ballets is to make a timely seasonal appearance in Singapore this Christmas season.

On December 12th to 13th and 17th to 20th, The Nutcracker will delight fans of dance and curious visitors on Singapore tours at the Esplanada Theatre.

In the show, the life of central character Clara is transformed when she is given a peculiar doll by Dr Drosselmeyer, which then comes alive on the stroke of midnight.

Aided by the doll in evading an army of rats that find their way into her bedroom, Clara instantly becomes close to her new friend and they embark on a series of exciting adventures together, including a journey into the Kingdom of Sweets.

Featuring one of the most famous pieces of music in stage entertainment, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the ballet is set to the music of the Nutcracker Suite by legendary Russian composer Tchaikovsky.

Singapore – Enjoy the wonderful shops or explore Singapore’s colonial history, whatever you do end the day with a Singapore sling at Raffles.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18922810-ADNFCR

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Hong Kong lanterns illuminate the city

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As one of the best free events in Hong Kong, the Spring Lantern Festival promises to illuminate locals and visitors on Hong Kong tours on the first full moon of the Chinese New Year.

On the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, a number of parks and outdoor spaces around the territory see beautiful paper lanterns hung and lit to commemorate the stunning fresh moonlight cast over the year for the first time, concluding the annual celebrations.

The lanterns can take many forms, from the simple and elegant classic designs to more modern depictions of dragons and other animals, meaning there is bound to be something to please every eye at this grand city-wide event.

Based on traditional calculations regarding the position of the lunar months, the date of the event differs each year but visitors in Hong Kong throughout the Chinese New Year should prepare themselves for a festival of subtle and lasting beauty.

Hong Kong – Part mystical Chinese city, part 21st Century metropolis Hong Kong combines temples and skyscrapers.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18922653-ADNFCR

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Famous Los Angeles lights come to a climax

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Few outdoor winter events in Los Angeles are as popular as the annual Griffin Park Holiday Lights Festival, which is to close at the end of the month after a fantastic run.

On December 30th the spectacular display along a stretch of Crystal Springs Drive will come to a close and there is sure to be a surge in popularity of this long-running and much-loved attraction among locals and those on Los Angeles tours alike.

At around a mile in length the festival is impressive in terms of its scale as well as it aesthetics and this year’s display could go down as one of the best ever. Highlights include illuminated renderings of the Statue of Liberty, the Hollywood sign and an incredible Tunnel of Lights.

In addition to the lights, the festival also incorporates a Reindeer Romp at the nearby LA Zoo and the Spark of Love Toy Drive, which aims to gather donations for underprivileged children at this special time of year.

The festival has been running for the last 13 years, attracts some half a million visitors each year and is organised by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
ADNFCR-1652-ID-18922622-ADNFCR

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