Just like the Outback, this month's newest tourism experiences are true blue. From a hotel breathing new life into a former Savings Bank, to grape tasting before glamping, and a restaurant that pays homage to Fortitude Valley's rich Chinese heritage, there are plenty of reasons to spend the night in Queensland this July.
Where've you been-a, Adina?
Release your inner Gatsby and check-in for a night of teal hued heritage at the Adina Apartment Hotel in George Street Brisbane. Staying true to its Art Deco roots, the hotel has retained the impressive ionic columns, ornate ceiling and marble finishes of what was once the Queensland Government Savings Bank, a building that first opened its grand doors opposite the Treasury Casino in 1922. Today, Adina is a safe bet, thanks to a 130-seat triple story Chinese eatery, called Donna Chang - perfect for those who prefer to ditch the kitchenettes found in each of the 220-apartments (incidentally the rooms have their own laundry and living room too) and a sexy new bar boldly named Boom Boom Boom. The Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane will open for guests on July 12 with Opening Special rates for studios starting from $164.25 per night.
Adore the Emporium
Hip design, the latest in-room technology and personalised service will be the starring elements of the Emporium Hotels Group's new five-star Emporium Hotel South Bank in Brisbane. Opening its doors in August 2018 and forming part of the $600 million Southpoint precinct on Grey Street, the hotel features 143 luxuriously appointed suites, some with free standing marble baths jagging floor to ceiling full frontal city views, and an abundance of premium food and beverage options by award-winning Brisbane chef Josue Lopez, formerly head chef of the two-chef hatted GOMA restaurant. Further a Sky Bar offers magnificent views over South Bank Parklands, the Brisbane River, city and beyond. Rates start from $295pp.
Katie Meyer, Group Marketing Manager, Emporium Hotel South Bank
Glitz, Glamp, Grape
If you're looking for a grape way to glamp, look no further than Queensland's first winery glamping experience 30 minutes-drive south of Brisbane at Sirromet Wines Estate. Currently, 18 'Sanctuary by Sirromet,' safari-style glamping tents reside on the 20-acre property amongst the natural flora and wildlife with fully-furnished amenities, including a floating deck, to make you feel at home. Rates start from $280pp per night and include a daily local produce breakfast hamper.
The team behind acclaimed Burleigh Heads restaurant, Rick Shores, has turned to China's rich and diverse provincial dining scene to seek inspiration for Little Valley, a neo-Chinese Dining Hall launched in Brisbane this month. Tucked into an alleyway in the heart of Brisbane's Fortitude Valley, Little Valley serves a new take on traditional dishes – from Char Sui Pork & Kimchi Buns to Smoked Pork & Truffle Congee and Half Twice-Cooked Duck with fermented plum. Across a formal dining area, casual upstairs bar and open-air beer garden, the venue pays homage to the rich Chinese cultural heritage and melting pot of cuisines that defines Fortitude Valley.
A new habitat
A 42-year-old campground has transformed into Habitat Noosa - a world-class eco-tourism facility located in the Great Sandy National Park, a short five-minute boat ride from the Noosa Everglades and a 25-minute shuttle transfer from Noosa. The 65-acre site, with 500 metres of riverfront on the Noosa River provides onsite camping, powered sites, cabins and glamping accommodation, and is home to a large eastern grey kangaroo population. Other facilities include a kiosk, craft beer bar (with their own micro-brewery on site), bistro and entertainment area complete with views over the Noosa River. Habitat Noosa offers exclusive and direct access to the Noosa Everglades on their bar-b-canoe and eco cruise experiences, while boats, canoes, kayaks and SUPs are available for guests to hire at leisure. Rates for unpowered sites start from $15 and powered from $22 per night, while glamping starts from $33 per night for a Wilderness Tent and ranges to $290 per person ($145 twin share) for a Paperbark Tent.
A load of Croc
Crikey! Embark on an expedition with the Wildlife Warriors from Australia Zoo and encounter iconic Australian animals at one of Queensland's most pristine conservation areas. Join Australia Zoo's annual crocodile research trip on the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in the Cape York Peninsula and meet with a team of experts as well as the Irwin family to conduct crocodile research that will aid in the conservation of these incredible predators. The one-off An Introduction to Wildlife Research expedition is limited to 10 people exclusively and runs from 21-25 August, costing $2490pp.
Hong Kong hospitality group, Ovolo, is continuing its Brisbane expansion with the transformation of the former Emporium Hotel Fortitude Valley. The 'ovolution', which started with the rebranding of the property as The Valley Brisbane, will incorporate a transformation of rooms and public spaces before evolving into Ovolo The Valley at the end of 2018. New food and drink concepts and the celebrated 'freebies' (free mini bar, breakfast, wifi, happy hour and all-day snacks) will be introduced to complete the evolution. Ovolo The Valley marks the second Brisbane property for the brand, after the opening of Ovolo Inchcolm hotel in April 2018.