Winter? What winter? Balmy, sun-kissed days, and nights filled with crisp cool air, make thongs (flip flops) and a light cardigan the perfect throw-on for Queensland. With temperatures pushing the mid-twenties right now, our warm days are met with hot new tourism products that are kicking off this year's winter season with a bang!
May the forest be with you
A day spent exploring the rainforests of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland deserves a hot spa bath to follow, and the good people of Tropical Treks and Montville's Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat agree! That's why they've introduced a three-day 'Luxe Trekking' package: two nights' accommodation in a rainforest pavilion, a full day guided walk through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland with a picnic lunch, a breakfast spread of the finest local-produce, dinner in Montville and a barbeque dinner at Narrows. Guests have the option to explore Montville and Maleny or take a self-guided short walk on their first afternoon. Walking trails are suitable for all fitness levels, and wind through the 58km Hinterland Great Walk lined with towering eucalyptus trees and waterfalls over the Blackall Range, linking the Mapleton Forest Reserve and Kondalilla and Mapleton Falls National Parks. Packages per couple start from $1600, with optional spa treatments and transfers available.
Mark Skinner, Owner, Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat
P: +61 407 164 111, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sun, sand and sea in Mooloolaba
There's a new kid on the block of one of the Sunshine Coast's best beaches! First Light Mooloolaba, the latest offering from Dreamtime Resorts, features 67 modern two-bedroom apartments equipped with two bathrooms, a kitchen, lounge area and generous balcony. Two luxurious three-bedroom Skyhomes can also be booked for uninterrupted views from the Coral Sea to the Glass House Mountains, and all guests have access the hotel's fitness room, swimming pool and outdoor barbeque area. Located a stone's throw from Mooloolaba's shopping and dining hub, First Light Mooloolaba is just 20 minutes from the Sunshine Coast Airport. Rooms start from $275 per night, or get in before June 30 for 20% off as part of their opening special (subject to availability).
Brigid Clarke, General Manager, First Light Mooloolaba
P: +61 429 812 285, E: email@example.com
Take me home, country roads
Go off-road from rainforest to reef in Queensland's scenic Tropical North with Dragon Adventures 4WD tours. Make tracks from Port Douglas on a two, four or eight-day experience up to Cooktown and Lions Den, Cape Bedford or Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park and Cape York. Feel completely off-the-grid in places rarely explored, diving into hidden swimming holes, camping in rugged ranges under a galaxy of lively stars, and immersing in local Indigenous culture. Experienced guides Wayne and Taff offer a laid-back ride 'to the top', as you voyage along in your personal FJ Cruiser through steep ascents and river crossings. Tours start from $1170 per person for a two-day adventure and up to $4,185 per person for an eight-day drive.
Wayne or Taff, Guides, Dragon Adventures 4WD Tours
P: +61 7 4099 6006, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Old Man and the Sea
Fresh modern Australian dishes served with a waterfront view. Sound idyllic? The new Hemingway's Restaurant at Airlie Beach's Abell Point Marina is the hottest new addition to the Whitsundays dining scene. Head chef Matthew Dixon incorporates local produce throughout the menu, like Bowen mangoes and fresh seafood, in a setting that oozes coastal chic. A creative wall mural catches your eye on arrival – the face of the late 20th century literary genius, Ernest Hemingway – whose work influences the menu. His philosophy of food and dining being a sensory experience is at the restaurants' core, and Dixon aims to serve great food in a relaxed ambience. Hemingway's is open for lunch and dinner, or pop in for a coffee or cocktail.
Joscelyn O'Keefe, Marketing & Business Development Manager, Abell Point Marina
P: +61 7 4946 2400, E: email@example.com
Au Jus Serious?
There's a new Executive Chef on the atoll, and he's heading up the kitchen at the five-star Orpheus Island Lodge. Daniel Main has carved his career domestically and internationally, with stints at the Northern Territory's Longitude 131 luxury restaurant, at France's Chalet du Rassel, and aboard a privately-owned European superyacht. He'll now cater for up to 28 guests at one time, meeting each on arrival to create a customised culinary experience for their stay. The foodie haven has strong ties to sustainable and ethical eating, and Daniel's dishes incorporate locally-sourced seafood, and organic fruit, vegetables and herbs harvested from the resort's own crops. Guests can book a personal cookery lesson with Daniel, or indulge in a six-course 'Dining with the Tides' degustation dinner on the starlit pier.
Celia Harding, Public Relations, Orpheus Island Lodge
P: +61 428 229 455, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rich with ancient volcanic ash, the red soil in Hummhock and Alloway in Queensland's Bundaberg North Burnett region gives rise to the freshest local produce. Get to know the neighborhood growers on a Hummhock Farm Tour; a 4.5 hour sensory experience, taking in the sights, smells and tastes of strawberries, sweet potatoes, macadamias, passionfruit, dragon fruit, pumpkin and more. Begin with a birdseye view of the patchwork of farms, and a glimpse of Fraser Island, from Hummhock lookout, and enjoy a locally sourced morning tea before meeting with butcher Dan from Bargara Meats. Tours start from $59 for children, $75 for concessions and $79 for adults, and run on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Kylie Lane, Executive & Marketing Assistant, Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism
P: +61 4153 8855, E: email@example.com
Winner, winner, bakery dinner!
There's more than just pies and pastries cooking at the Birdsville Bakery. This Outback Queensland gem is now open for dinner as the licensed Hard Road Café. From Wednesday to Sunday, from 5pm-9pm, delicious local favourites like crumbed steak, curry and fish and chips will be served up, along with a special mouth-melting 'camel bolognaise' ragout. With menus on rotating daily, diners can expect meals that combine a variety of cuisines, like German, Italian and French, and monthly themed evenings expected to begin this month.
Hannah Statham, Publicist, Birdsville Bakery and Hard Road Café
P: +61 411 085 226, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Couran Cove Island Resort, tucked within the Gold Coast's Broadwater, has been long known for its raft of outdoor sporting facilities, like rock climbing, trampoline basketball, biking and aqua sports. Now they've upped the ante with their new Virtual Reality (VR) World, where guests can get interactive with a range of 13 simulator sports like golf, hockey, baseball, bocce and basketball, to name a few. Also on offer is PlayStation VR, a SwingTrack golf simulator to master your form, a VR race centre of over 125 tracks for rev heads, a baseball pitching machine, and coming soon is a VR skiing simulator. Couran Cove is open to the public and accessible via boat, with ferries departing multiple times daily from Hope Harbour Marina.
Ali Harrison, Business Development Manager, Couran Cove Island Resort
P +61 7 5597 9999 E: email@example.com
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