This month, let the latest and greatest products drive you to experience something new in Queensland. From a Broadway musical to a seaside cooking school and an exclusive expedition with Australia Zoo's research team, you'll be spoilt for choice with things to do!
Your wish is our command
Board your magic carpet and fly to a whole new world with Disney's hit Broadway musical Aladdin at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) from 20 February. Based on the Academy Award®-winning animated film, the second Australian production boasts a 34-person ensemble cast and a staggering 337 glittering costumes made with more than 500,000 Swarovski crystals. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions and an array of Tony Award® and Oscar® winning artists, the Brisbane leg of Aladdin runs daily until June with tickets on sale now.
The Star Gold Coast's (formerly Jupiters Hotel & Casino) new luxury suite hotel tower adjacent to the existing property, The Darling, will officially open on March 22 ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. It will boast 57 luxury suites from 70 to 328 square metres in size, with butler service and only the finest amenities and finishes, new signature bars and restaurants and world-class gaming amenities. The Darling will also raise the bar (literally) with the stunning rooftop restaurant and bar, Nineteen at The Star, which promises panoramic views of the city skyline.
Croc 'n' roll
Crikey! Embark on an expedition with the Wildlife Warriors from Australia Zoo and encounter iconic Australian animals in Queensland's most pristine conservation areas. Travel to Lady Elliot Island at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef and snorkel amongst unspoiled coral reef and an abundance of marine life. Join Australia Zoo's annual crocodile research trip on the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in the Cape York Peninsula in Tropical North Queensland to conduct world-renowned crocodile research. Head to the Outback to explore ancient geological landforms in Cobbold Gorge and the world's largest lava tubes in Undara. The one-off Coral, Crocs & Rocks Expedition is limited to 10 people exclusively and runs from 17-26 August costing $7990pp.
Australia's only rainforest dining experience, Flames of the Forest, has undergone a major renovation to modernise the venue with new fixtures and smart technology. Named in the Australian Traveller's Magazine '100 Great Things to Do in Australia', the enhancements include custom-designed crystal-chandeliers and colour-changing LED lighting to highlight the stunning backdrop of the World-Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest. Located 10 minutes from Port Douglas, Flames of the Forest offers two dining experiences, introducing guests to either the ancient culture of the local Kuku Yalanji people or an intimate romantic dinner, available weekly with tickets starting at $189pp.
Rock solid culture
Embark on a cultural journey like no other and explore the Quinkan Rock Art sites found among the sandstone escarpments outside of Laura in Tropical North Queensland with Jarramali Rock Art Tours. Accessible only by a four-wheel drive and with a Kuku Yalanji traditional owner as your guide, travel to remote rock formations and learn about Indigenous culture and meaning through untouched paintings and art. To complete the cultural experience, set up camp for the night in five-billion-star accommodation (look up and you'll see why) and tuck into traditional bush tucker dinner before journeying back to Cairns or Port Douglas. The Jarramali Rock Art Tour offers day and overnight tours starting at $280pp.
A taste of Asia
Whip out your chopsticks because there's a new cooking school in the Tropics. Set in the lush pristine surroundings of Oak Beach in Port Douglas, Oaks Kitchen & Garden is an outdoor Southeast Asian cooking school led by esteemed Australian Sous Chef Benjamin Wallace (previously chef at Australia's premium Thai restaurant Longrain). Breathe in the balmy Queensland air as you cook in the outdoor kitchen with produce from the working garden on the hillside, maintained by gardener and Benjamin's wife, Rachael Boon. The four-hour classes run from Tuesday to Saturday each week and focus on a different specialty area (from vegetarian to street eats) for $165pp.
A Rosa between two thorns
Step back in time to 1800s and embark on an immersive tour hosted by the late Rosa Praed (portrayed by an actress), an award-winning Australian novelist, as she offers rare insight into the many extraordinary females who contributed to Brisbane's HerStory. Discover hidden secrets about the challenges faced by women in colonial Brisbane, how innovations were achieved and where these contributions have been acknowledged throughout Brisbane's streets, laneways and parklands. The three-hour walking tours are limited to ten people only and occur on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays (10am-1pm) costing $49.50pp.
A step in the scenic direction
Lace up those hiking boots. The Great Cooloola Walk from Noosa North Shore to Rainbow Beach just got more enticing with the new guided tour from Tropical Treks. Immerse yourself in the best Mother Nature has to offer on the 88km 5-day, 4-night guided trek through the Great Sandy National Park. Along the way learn about the heritage and culture of the local Gubbi Gubbi people and spot native animals before being rewarded with sweeping views of the Cooloola coastline. The Tropical Treks fully-guided tours will occur fortnightly from 22 April to 23 September 2018 with the all-inclusive trek (including camping equipment) starting at $1095pp.
Word Count: 1138
Authors: Isabella Quaid
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