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Posts in ‘Things to do in Australia’

Australia’s cultural heart celebrates its diversity

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Sydney is known for many things and it does a fairly good job of incorporating most of them into the expansive and incredible event that is the Sydney Festival each January.

For three weeks from January 10th to 31st, the city sees a wealth of events and performances with something for virtually every kind of cultural consumer.

Theatre, music and dance are given a huge presence at the festival, with concerts, theatrical productions and dance shows catering to a wide range of tastes.

Guests young and old will find plenty on offer – family and children’s events ensure that no-one feels left out, while thought-provoking cinema and discussions will plenty of food for thought among older visitors.

Free attractions through the days and nights give something back to the army of dedicated culture vultures who flock to the city for the duration.

The festival will feature in excess of 80 experiences incorporating some 300 or more artists and performers. The Sydney Festival began in 1977 and has grown in stature ever since.

Sydney – Take a cruise of Sydney Harbour or relax on the white sands on Manly Beach.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18882684-ADNFCR

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Flinging fish festival set to go the distance

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For more than 40 years, the Australian town of Port Lincoln has been home to a unique celebratory and athletic extravaganza – the Tunarama fish festival.

Some 25,000 people descend on the coastal town for the event, which sees parades, firework displays, fun runs and a beauty pageant, all in celebration of the town’s iconic export of tuna fish.

Taking place from January 24th to 26th, the festival features something for everyone but the highlight is undoubtedly the frozen fish throwing contest.

Each contestant has to throw a tuna fish – frozen for aerodynamic purposes – as far as possible, using a technique similar to that of Olympic hammer-throwers.

Scotland may have its caber tossing, but as far as the people of Port Lincoln are concerned, there’s only one thing to throw through the air in the name of old-fashioned friendly competition: fish.

Port Lincoln is a town in South Australia approximately 400 hundred miles from Adelaide, the state capital.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18877045-ADNFCR

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Charity marathon with a sweet reward

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Distance running and a sweet tooth might not naturally go hand in hand but that”s no barrier to the thousands of people who gather in Tasmania every year for the annual Cadbury”s Marathon.

Chocolate lovers and athletics enthusiasts alike will be donning their running shoes on January 4th in Hobart, Australia for the tasty event, the finish line for which is at the Cadbury factory.

The best part – and surely an advantage over every other marathon in the world – is that each competitor is given some free chocolate from the company to reward their having taken part.

Those not feeling energetic enough to complete the entire course can run the shorter half marathon course or just compete in the 5km or 2.5km events.

Cadbury”s chocolate was first sold in Birmingham in England in 1824 and is one of the world”s best-selling chocolate and confectionary brands, with its products available the world.

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18851553-ADNFCR

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Sydney prepares for dance festival

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Of all the music festivals set to wow fans across the world on New Year”s Day, Fuzzy at Field Day 2009 in Sydney promises to be one of the biggest and best.

Dance music fans can look forward to seeing some of the biggest names in the industry as they descend on legendary venue The Domain.

Field Day is part of promoter Fuzzy”s series of events which take place throughout the year, with events catering to fans of dance music in the Sydney area.

Other highlights include the Summa Dayze festival which takes place only a few days later on January 3rd – prospective visitors from the Northern hemisphere shouldn”t forget that while they might be accustomed to cold weather around the holiday period, January is near the peak of Australia”s summer!

Among the guests scheduled to perform are Roger Sanchez, A-Trak, Cicada, Eric Prydz, Santogold and many more, all of whom beckon will you to "start your year here".

The Domain is a large urban park in the middle of Sydney, the largest city in Australia.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18847043-ADNFCR

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Sunseekers from all over the world gather for the ”first dawn”

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While a number of countries and territories around the world maintain that they see the first dawn of the new year every January 1st, Millennium Island may well hold the most legitimate claim.

Situated in the Pacific Ocean as part of the island chain of Kiribati, which is one of the world”s smallest nations, Millennium Island expects to see the sun rise at approximately 5:45 on New Year”s Day 2009.

Thanks to a readjustment in the international date line in 1995, the island is now widely-thought to be the first place to see the sun rise every new year.

Also known as Caroline Island, Millennium Island was a British colony until 1979, when the nation of Kiribati declared its independence.

Sitting only six metres above sea level, many environmentalists fear the island will soon fall victim to rising sea levels, perhaps as early as 2025 – so those wishing to see the first dawn of the year might be wise to start planning their trip sooner rather than later.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18840818-ADNFCR

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Sunseekers from all over the world gather for the ”first dawn”

0

While a number of countries and territories around the world maintain that they see the first dawn of the new year every January 1st, Millennium Island may well hold the most legitimate claim.

Situated in the Pacific Ocean as part of the island chain of Kiribati, which is one of the world”s smallest nations, Millennium Island expects to see the sun rise at approximately 5:45 on New Year”s Day 2009.

Thanks to a readjustment in the international date line in 1995, the island is now widely-thought to be the first place to see the sun rise every new year.

Also known as Caroline Island, Millennium Island was a British colony until 1979, when the nation of Kiribati declared its independence.

Sitting only six metres above sea level, many environmentalists fear the island will soon fall victim to rising sea levels, perhaps as early as 2025 – so those wishing to see the first dawn of the year might be wise to start planning their trip sooner rather than later.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18840818-ADNFCR

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Hometown bands showcased at Homebake

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A nation with a proud musical history, Australia will once again showcase its best domestic talent at this year”s Homebake festival in Sydney.

From December 6th, at the height of the Australian summer, The Domain will play host to this huge festival, which promised to be bigger than ever.

The four stages at this national institution – think of a one-day Glastonbury without the mud and with far more sunshine – sell out year after year and feature some of the best know Australian bands alongside up-and-coming talent.

This year”s festivities will be presented in association with Amnesty International, running its Peace in the Park! theme, which aims to promote freedom and human rights around the world.

The guests appearing this time around will feature rock-pop stalwarts Crowded House, punk-pop upstarts The Vines and hotly-tipped newcomer Gabriella Cilmi.

The festival began in 1996, when it was held at Belongil Fields, Byron Bay in New South Wales.

Unlike many of the music festivals in the UK which have an established home, the festival has moved around all over the country in its history and has often featured concerts in more than one location each year, giving the maximum number of fans the chance to see their favourite acts.

Sydney – Take a cruise of Sydney Harbour or relax on the white sands on Manly Beach.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18821987-ADNFCR

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New Zealand offers good times and great wine

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New Zealand has long been well thought of as a tourist destination, despite its substantial distance from our shores.

But now it is emerging as one of the top wine-producing regions in the world, meaning tourists who like to try a drop of the local vintage when on holiday have even greater scope to explore new tastes and varieties.

According to wine experts Neil Phillips and Chris Scott, New Zealand is one of the best destinations for oenophiles.

“One of the key places to go to is New Zealand. It”s been phenomenal, particularly the development of the Sauvignon Blanc in the Marlborough region,” said Mr Phillips.

Mr Scott added: “The new world has the best set up for wine tourism.” It also appears the Marlborough region underlines this suggestion.

The area is the largest wine-producing region in the New Zealand, with around 65 wineries and nearly 300 grape growers.

Grape-growing in the area covers over 4,000 hectares, which produce a wide variety of grapes – one of the most highly-regarded of which is Sauvignon Blanc.

In 2007, New Zealand exported 22.6 million litres of wine to the UK, along with exports to Canada, USA, Germany, Japan and many other countries.

For the nature lovers there are also beautiful gardens to visit in New Zealand where you can enjoy breathtaking views, historic buildings, museums, sculptures and art, and get closer to wildlife.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18816916-ADNFCR

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New Zealanders look to the skies

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Heads will be tilted back and eyes turned upwards as the annual New Zealand Air Games takes to the skies above Wanaka this December.

From December 27th and 28th, fearless pilots and stuntmen will compete in a series of airborne disciplines above the airport at Wanaka on the Southern Island.

Events will include helicopter stunt flying, aircraft acrobatics and, perhaps most death-defying of all, head-to-head skydive races which take place amid descending inflatable pylons as a gauge of each competitors progress back down towards the ground.

There will also be model aircraft races as well as non-powered events such as paragliding to excite the crowd.

The spectators in the airfield will be able to see pictures from fuselage and helmet-mounted cameras displayed on large video screens, as well as benefit from sophisticated computer graphics giving real-time updates and statistic information.

Visitors will also have the chance to try out some aerial pursuits themselves, with hot air ballooning, (strictly non-competitive) skydiving and helicopter flights all on offer as the festival looks to increase interest and participation in airborne pursuits.

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18805005-ADNFCR

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Coolum gears up for its annual kite festival

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The annual Coolum Kite Festival will be taking place on Coolum Beach in Queensland, Australia on October 11th and 12th.

For the last eight years the skies above Stumers Creek have played host to all shapes and sizes of kite and this year”s festival promises to be the best yet.

Recreational flyers are free to spend the afternoon flying their own kites while the more adventurous can compete against one another in the kite surfing competition.

The best of Australia”s kite-surfing talent will be competing at the event, which is sure to attract a crowd who will be able to sample a range of food and drink while enjoying plenty of live music.

Coolum Kite Festival began in 2000 when a small group of friends decided to inaugurate an event which gathered together kite-fliers from their area.

In its eight year history it has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the most well-known festivals of its kind.

This year it received a AUS$25,000 (£11,300) grant from the Australian government in addition to existing sponsorship.

Over 40,000 thousand are expected to flock to the beach for the festival – all of whom will be praying for strong winds.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18795301-ADNFCR

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