Tapping into 270 generations of Gugu Badhun creation stories that have helped define the remote Kinrara National Park, husband and wife duo, Callum and Robin O'Brien, along with Callum's brother Shane, have launched Kinrara Expeditions – a five-day, four-night stunning outback Queensland adventure four hours south west of Cairns. Operating from their 70,000-acre MacEacherns Camp cattle station, each tour takes up to 12 guests staying in one of 10 low impact double tents that come with large private deck, high-quality inner-spring mattresses, crisp white linen and enchanting views of the Burdekin River. Callum customises the tour (and menu) depending on the group's preferences, making stops at the Atherton Tablelands and Mount Garnet on the four-hour 4WD convoy out to the station. After the Welcome to Country, guests can opt into guided walks - some in footsteps of the Prussian explorer and naturalist Ludwig Leichhardt, kayak trips on the lush waterways, mountain biking, helicopter rides to Australia's youngest volcano to explore its secret lava tubes, fishing, or just sitting at the lake's edge and watching the rich biodiversity of kangaroos, emus and 60 bird species on the property. Tours depart from Cairns or Townsville and bookings are now open for an April to October season.
No stranger to jaw-on-the-floor reactions from those on its scenic flights over Heart Reef and the Whitsunday islands, Air Whitsundays, has a new Palm Bay Escape package that takes travellers on a breathtaking aerial journey over the Whitsundays before landing in the calm bay of Long Island, the closest island to the mainland with box-office views to the Whitsunday Passage and the Coral Sea. Guests will spend six hours immersed in a rainforest national park with activities on offer like tennis, kayaking, snorkelling the fringing reefs, fishing, or lazing by the pool with a complimentary arrival drink and a $30 lunch voucher. Flights depart from and return to Whitsunday Airport and rates for adults and kids is $295, while infants travel free.
Chip connoisseurs rejoice! For those who have a chip on their shoulder about quality fries, meet your new go-to. Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, Lord of the Fries is an ethical fast food haunt serving up a 100% vegetarian and vegan menu of award-winning burgers, hot dogs and well…fries. Sourced from local produce with Halal, Kosher and low gluten options, the flagship Queensland store is now open on Cavill Avenue 7 days a week and promises to satisfy even the most carnivorous of appetites.
Sarah Benkhauser – Public Relations, Mkt. Communications
Pirouette, prance or pointe your way into Museum of Brisbane for the Mao's Last Dancer the exhibition: A portrait of Li Cunxin opening this Summer. Discover one man's journey from a poverty-stricken childhood in China to performing ballet on the world's stage through a collection of exclusive interviews, performance footage and personal artefacts. A tribute to the people who helped him achieve and forge a new life outside communist China, Li's involvement in the showcase captures his personal narrative as well as the emotional, political and social ramifications that he has had to endure in his artistic career to his appointment as Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet. The world-first exhibition runs daily (10am to 5pm) from 1 December – 29 April 2018 and tickets are $12 adults, $9 concessions and $30 per family.
Say 'welcome home' to your new favourite bar in Brisbane: Little Big House. The iconic Queenslander on Grey Street, a trademark feature of South Brisbane, has transformed itself into one of the city's biggest party destinations and is the newest project from Solotel (the company behind Riverbar & Kitchen and ARIA Restaurant). The heritage-listed Queenslander has been raised to allow for endless house party vibes downstairs while keeping its verandas perfectly intact on the upper level. Palm trees, foliage and fairy lights are throughout the venue to encapsulate the feel of long summer nights. Open from Friday 1 December, 7 days a week until late.
Natalina Ford – Public Relations, Ford Digital Agency
There's now an even better reason to get back to nature this Summer. Minjerribah Camping has launched the newest innovation in 'glamping' with 12 sustainable Eco Tents at the picturesque Adder Rock on North Stradbroke Island (or 'Straddie' as it's affectionately known by locals). Sheltered amongst the natural bushland, the tents are central to a patrolled beach (during holiday periods), amenities, local restaurants, shops and tour operators. Feel at home with quality bedding, exterior decking, furnishings, full electric powering and storage facilities. With nine tents for couples and three family size options, Eco Tent rates start from $149 per night available for hire from 11 December.
The stars have long been used by Aboriginal Australians for storytelling and now those stories are being shared. Witness the night sky through state-of-the-art telescopes against a canvas of absolute darkness on the sweeping plains of Australia's largest area of salt pans, in Burketown on Gulf Savannah. Discover the brilliance of our solar system as an Indigenous guide shares Dreamtime stores of the Gandalidda People and their interpretation of the universe. Run by Yagurli Tours, the 2 hour tour costs $65 pp (with children under 12 free) and is available April to mid-October 2018 with bookings open now.
Marnie Parkinson – Public Relations, Yagurli Tours
Take your event to the next level (literally) at the newest boutique hotel on the Gold Coast, The Island. Code-named 'Level 12', the new penthouse function space boasts two expansive rooms and an open-air terrace bar with uninterrupted views of the Surfers Paradise coastline to the Gold Coast Hinterland. With a capacity of 250 guests, restaurant quality menus from Executive Chef Anthony Fullerton and premium refreshments, Level 12 promises to set the benchmark for the most discerning of occasions. Open from 30 November, 7 days a week.
Danielle Barber – Marketing Coordinator, The Island Hotel