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Latest News from A&K Australia
Field of Lights
As darkness sets and Uluru is thrown into silhouette, Field of Light illuminates. As far as the eye can see gentle rhythms of colour light up the desert.
The exhibition fittingly named Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakujaku or ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’ in local Pijantjatjara is internationally celebrated artist Bruce Munro’s largest work to date. Overwhelming in size, the 50,000 spindles of light cover more than seven football fields, the stems breathing and swaying through a sympathetic desert spectrum of ochre, deep violet, blue and gentle white.
Field of Light Uluru is currently on display and can be visited until 31st December 2020.
New Touring Experiences at Arkaba in the Flinders Ranges
Take in the compelling geology and ever-changing palette of the Flinders Ranges with a stunning 15-minute scenic helicopter flight. Marvel as the light changes with the late afternoon sun hitting the raw natural appeal of the outback. You'll be treated to views of Wilpena Pound, the Chace Range to the east and Elder Range to the west - a complete 360-degree panorama of prehistoric beauty - before landing on a remote ridge top, only accessible by helicopter, to enjoy the last light of the day with a glass of bubbles in hand and a Wild Bush canapé platter. Return to the homestead by helicopter as the light finally disappears.
1.5hr experience with 30-mins flying time
Depart Arkaba Homestead late afternoon for a scenic 30 minute flight over our 60,000 acre private wildlife conservancy and take in the raw natural appeal of Australia's outback. Soaring over the incredible natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound, the 1060m high peak of Mount Aleck and the Elder Range beside and below you. Land at your exclusive signature swag camp for the evening. There will be time to enjoy a drink around the camp fire as the last of the light disappears behind the ranges. A three course bush dinner will be served under the stars (weather permitting) before retiring to your signature swag for a night out under star studded skies.
30-mins flying time
After breakfast take-off for a soaring 30 minute scenic helicopter flight into the farther reaches of the Elder Range. Awaken your inner explorer with a two hour climb, taken nice and slow, through the mauve and fiery orange range before reaching the summit. Sit back and take in the views with a packed lunch, where you'll enjoy uninterrupted views out to Lake Torrens in the west and panoramas of Arkaba and Wilpena Pound. Begin the climb down to meet your guide and vehicle at the base of the range, returning you to the homestead in time for a well-deserved glass of South Australian wine and canapés before dinner.
30-mins flying time
New Year’s Eve at The Opera
Choose from two shows at The Sydney Opera House, settle back for an evening with Rodolfo, Mimi, Marcello and Musetta in Puccini's La Bohème or the Opera Gala concert with popular arias by Verdi, Puccini, and Rossini, with fireworks and champagne at interval.
Make your evening even more special by adding a pre-performance dinner or a visit to the Midnight Party with views of the Harbour fireworks.
New Hotel - Peppers Silo Launceston
Bringing history alive on the banks of the idyllic Tamar River is the unique characterful Peppers Silo Hotel. Dating back to the 1960’s, the heritage building which spanned 35 metres high containing grain in four large silos, is an iconic landmark converted into a sophisticated 9 storey hotel providing a unique place to stay in Launceston.
Designed within the original silos and the new North tower are beautifully appointed modern hotel rooms with all of the modern amenities. Plush interiors are decorated with earthy tones to compliment the surrounds and offer in-room complimentary WiFi, LCD TV with Chromecast and Foxtel channels, mini bar and guest ensuite. Taking in sweeping views over the meandering river, the Gorge River Rooms and Premier Suites boast private balconies where you can soak in Launceston’s natural ambiance.
New Hotel in Brisbane – W Hotel
The W Hotel opening in Brisbane marks the re-entry into Australia for W Hotels and the city’s first five-star hotel to open in the CBD for 20 years. Located at 300 George Street, W Brisbane is close to Brisbane's main attractions and has stunning river views across to South Bank and Mount Coot-tha. The 312 guestrooms will offer everything expected from an upscale accommodation, including designer interiors, spectacular views, 55" TV with Netflix and speakers, mini-bar and free Wi-Fi.
Behind the Scenes of the Melbourne Cricket Ground
On this two and half hour all-access tour, you will be invited to step out onto the hallowed MCG turf and go behind the scenes of the prestigious Melbourne Cricket Club. Led by your A&K guide and MCG private tour host, venture through the members-only areas, including the famous Long Room, soaking up the history and heritage embedded in the walls of the MCG.
Wander down to the National Sports Museum for a personalised journey through the many exhibits and interactive areas to learn the fascinating history that has made Melbourne, Australia the sporting capital of the world.
By adding the Legends package to this tour enjoy a truly brag-worthy MCG experience, finishing your tour with beautiful city skyline views from the top floor terrace bar of the MCG with individual wait service and selection of drinks and canapes included.
This MCG private tour is the perfect addition to a half day tour of Melbourne.
New Darwin Aboriginal Tour
Learn more about the culture, the wildlife and the wetland region as you escape the crowds and go off to explore the Northern Coastal Wetlands, one of the most unique regions of Australia. On this shared, full day tour, your guide will introduce you to the magnificent wetlands and explain how the people and animals move about and live in the environment. Wetlands provide economic, social and cultural benefits. You will have the opportunity to experience the connection that people and animal have with it.
Travel approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Darwin (105km) to Corroboree Billabong; you will board the vessel for a one hour scenic boat cruise viewing an abundance of birds, crocodiles and other wildlife in their natural habitat.
You will then be transferred a further 30 minutes where you will have a 1.5 hour experience learning about the local history and culture in a bush tucker walk and talk, try your hand at throwing a spear, blowing a didgeridoo and more. Billy tea and damper in the bush is also included.
This tour is an adventure travelling a short distance from Darwin out to a hidden gem with an abundance of wildlife and spectacular views and great photo opportunities.
Freycinet Lodge’s Coastal Pavilions Open in March 2018
An immersive accommodation experience within Freycinet National Park. Freycinet Lodge’s Coastal Pavilions offer a superb blend of natural simplicity and ultimate comfort. Boasting a king bed configuration, private outdoor bathtub, separate living area and private deck, the room itself is perfect for a romantic getaway to Tasmania’s spectacular east coast. You’ll enjoy an elegant, yet grounded experience in Freycinet Lodge’s Coastal Pavilions, with an unrivaled setting among the coastal bush of Freycinet National Park. Note that some Coastal Pavilions have water views and some have forest views.
A&K’s Private Jet is welcomed to Hobart
Last month, the Abercrombie & Kent Private Jet arrived in Hobart for a three-day sojourn as part of its ‘Around the World with Geoffrey Kent’. Accompanied by A&K Founder, Mr. Geoffrey Kent, 50 travellers were treated to a carefully curated selection of unique experiences in the Apple Isle, the only Australian stop on the epic trip.
Highlights of their stay included helicopter flights to private wineries, Bruny Island wilderness cruises, fine dining, gin tasting and private tours of local attractions including World Heritage convict sites, Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) with an exclusive Gala event, Shene Estate and a premium night-time tour of the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Exclusive charters of helicopters and private aircrafts made this one of the largest charter operations that Tasmania has ever seen. Innovative touring options included charter flights over Wineglass Bay and a day spent at Lagoon Bay with a wandering showcase of local Tasmanian produce.
Maya Wiru fine dining
Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia has announced the launch of an exclusive new fine dining experience, Mayu Wiru, which will commence nightly at Ayers Rock Resort until 24 March 2018. The experience, available to just 16 guests each night, includes canapés and Champagne on a private lookout at Sails in the Desert, a four-course meal, and exclusive access to the Field of Light.
Mayu Wiru takes on the Pitjantjatjara name for ‘beautiful flavour’ and serves up a truly innovative menu highlighted by the executive chef’s artistic use of Indigenous flavours combined with an exclusive Field of Light experience.
The evening begins with Champagne and bush tucker-inspired canapés at a private lookout within the grounds of Sails in the Desert hotel, followed by a 3-course table d’hôte Indigenous-inspired menu with perfectly matched wines in the hotel’s private dining room. After dinner, you will be transported to a dune top for a nightcap and to enjoy panoramic views of the stunning Field of Light Uluru and a star talk on the southern night sky. This special evening ends with a private 30-minute escorted walk through the magical art exhibition.
Your tour will conclude at your accommodation.
Duration: Approx. 4.5 hrs
Children 15 years and under are not catered for
Spotlight On - Jackalope Hotel, Mornington Peninsula
Jackalope Hotel, Mornington Peninsula is set on one of the Peninsula’s most pristine vineyards, intoxicating acreage frames a hotel unique in both destination and design just one hour from Melbourne.
Comprising 46 luxury rooms, a 30-metre infinity pool, art commissions and installations, destination dining, and an on-property winery and cellar door – a conceptual approach to art, design, dining, and storytelling comes to life through boldly curated installations and collaborations with some of the world’s principal designers.
Jackalope offers immersive wine and culinary experiences: destination dining Doot Doot Doot presents sumptuous tasting menus with dishes intrinsically linked to the land; while winery restaurant and wine bar Rare Hare celebrates the region’s winemaking roots and serves up the best of the Peninsula’s wines, food, pastoral pleasures, and vineyard views. Complimentary In-room amenities include mini bar (excluding wine) and on-demand movies.
The award-winning luxury boutique art hotel has recently won ‘Hotel of the Year’, ‘New Hotel of the Year’, and ‘Regional Hotel of the Year’ at the Gourmet Traveller 2017 Hotel Award.
Spotlight On - The Homestead at El Questro
At 700,000 acres in size, El Questro is one of Western Australia’s most loved tourism destinations. At El Questro Homestead, guests enjoy luxury, contrasted by the rugged Kimberley landscape. The Homestead is an exclusive retreat cantilevered over the magnificent Chamberlain Gorge. The property features a swimming pool and tennis court and caters for a maximum of 18 guests. Take a gourmet picnic to a pristine rock pool, share a bottle of Champagne by a cascading waterfall or explore the station on one of the Homestead’s complimentary tours. A stay at El Questro Homestead includes all gourmet cuisine and selected beverages and selected tours.
Join a Traditional Uluru Family in their homeland for a unique cultural experience
Enjoy an afternoon experience from Ayers Rock taking you on an adventure into the outback and the traditional homelands of the local Aboriginal people. Join a traditional Uluru family in their homelands and experience their culture and family history.
Hear from the traditional owners themselves on how Paddy Uluru fought for Aboriginal lands rights to where Uluru is today. Making various stops along the route to hear and experience how life once was and where it is today, all the while keeping Uluru in view in the distance as you travel.
Enjoy afternoon tea as you chat around the fireplace with your Aboriginal guide. Travel on remote bush tracks and take in some spectacular views of Uluru, Kata Tjuta and the desert landscape. Finish your afternoon off with sunset on a private sand dune overlooking Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
Bamurru Plains – Ultimate Kakadu
New for 2017 – Bamurru Plains has introduced a full day small group scheduled/shared day tour to Kakadu National Park.
Suggested for stays of 3 nights or more at Bamurru Plains and departing twice a week, this full day tour will commence with a scenic flight to Jabiru in the heart of Kakadu where a field guide and custom built vehicle will be waiting to explore the park’s escarpment landscapes and ancient Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr. Join a cruise on the East Alligator River with an Aboriginal guide by your side revealing local mythology, the river’s abundant food chain, traditional uses for many plants and animals and bush survival skills before returning overland, with a stop at the Bowali Visitor Centre, in time for sundowner drinks, canapes and the comfort of the safari lodge as the sun sets over Bamurru Plains.
Bamurru Plains, a 300km² private property in Australia’s Top End opens annually from 1 April 2017 to 31 October 2018 with guest accommodation in safari-style bungalows. The range of guided experiences on offer (weather dependant) includes skimming across the floodplains by airboat, fishing, spotting crocs from the river boat and viewing the agile wallaby and buffalo on an open-top safaris. Other signature experiences include a Treetop sleep out in The Hide.
The region has had a great wet season with lots of rain and the floodplains are looking incredible with vivid colours and clouds putting on a show. With the floodplains full again after a dry 2016, there is an abundance of wildlife looking to provide an exciting 2017 season with the airboats definitely operating!
New Property – Sofitel Noosa
Located in the heart of Hastings Street, Noosa’s only 5-star luxury hotel boasts 176 studio rooms, suites and villas. Discover a world of shopping, dining and exploring right on your doorstep. Take time out and indulge in a little spa therapy, or spend the day visiting Noosa’s pristine beaches. Wander through ancient national parks and cruise Noosa’s beautiful waterways or simply relax poolside with your favourite drink.
Inspired by nature and designed for comfort, all of the 176 studio rooms, suites and villas make you feel welcome the moment you arrive. Light, open spaces draw on the textures and natural colours of the location, taking inspiration from the surrounding environment and rich cultural heritage. Soothing palettes of greys with orange accents welcome you, adding a sense of fun to the relaxed beach atmosphere.
New Year's Eve 2017 Rooms Now Available with A&K
The Langham Sydney
Dramatic Harbour views. Quaint cobbled streets. Historic brick buildings. Discover a secluded tranquillity nestled in the heart of The Rocks district of metropolitan Sydney.
98 magnificently furnished rooms and suites to appeal to the most sophisticated visitors. Expansive terraces offering resplendent harbour views or dazzling city skylines.
Unique dining experiences at Bistro Remy and Afternoon Tea at Palm Court to cater to the most refined guests.
Body treatments, massages and facials in ten new treatment rooms at The Day Spa to pamper the weariest bodies.
A spectacular 20-metre indoor pool with a star-dappled sky ceiling to dream your day away.
The Four Seasons Sydney
The best located five-star luxury hotel in Sydney, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney places you among the city’s vibrant shopping and business precincts, and next to the popular historic Rocks district and harbour side Circular Quay. Take in dramatic views of Sydney Harbour, indulge in spa treatments, relax by the pool, enjoy authentic Australian dining, and discover local wine and boutique beer at the award-winning bar.
Every guest room at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is beautifully designed and furnished in grand luxe style. It’s the ideal place to relax before a business meeting, celebrate a special occasion or unwind after a busy day exploring the city. Enjoy flawless service and five-star amenities, with incredible views overlooking the city skyline, Walsh Bay, Sydney Harbour or Circular Quay.
Guests reserving a Club Room or Club Suite enjoy stunning views of the city or harbour from the top floors of Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, as well as access to Lounge 32, an exclusive retreat by Four Seasons.
Spotlight on Spicers Peak Lodge
Stunningly situated on a mountaintop in Queensland’s Scenic Rim, Spicers Peak Lodge is as far from the pressure of everyday life as it’s possible to be. Let your cares melt away in elegant suites and private lodges, enjoy an award-winning gourmet experience, unwind in Spa Anise or choose from a host of invigorating outdoor activities. Here, in Australia’s highest non-alpine lodge, relaxation and revitalisation come naturally.
Enjoy your choice of luxuriously intimate accommodation in either the main lodge itself or in separate one and two bedroom Private Lodges perfectly positioned at the edge of the escarpment to make the most of the spectacular views through Spicers Gap and across one of Queensland’s most beautiful wilderness areas.
Spoil yourself by seeing the Great Dividing Range from a whole new perspective. Book a return helicopter transfer from Brisbane or the Gold Coast and let your imagination take flight.
New Private Walking Tours in Sydney
Coogee to Bondi
Begin your privately guided walk at Coogee and walk along the Coogee Promenade then on to the Cliff Walkway to see picturesque views of the huge Pacific Ocean. Stroll past an old cemetery, then on to see samples of past "Sculptures by the Sea" exhibitions.
Further on, we view the beautiful sandy surfing beach of Bronte. Here there are loads of cafes for refreshments, snacks and a rest. Look at the amazing colourful sandstone geology rock formations in the cliffs, watch surfers ride the waves to shore. As you admire the magnificent views of this coastline, look out for whales which may be swimming past this part of the world during their migrations.
Walk further to see the iconic Sydney Icebergs Swimming Club to finally arrive at the world renowned famous Bondi Beach. This is a chance to paddle, swim or just stroll along this lovely sandy beach and soak up the views and the atmosphere. Enjoy a beachside café lunch before transferring back to the city.
North Head to Manly
Catch one of the famous Manly ferries and enjoy a spectacular journey across beautiful Sydney Harbour. Then board a quick bus trip up the hill to North Head Sanctuary. Here you will learn about the indigenous people and the history of the Quarantine Station plus the fortified military coastal defences. This Harbour National Park is filled with endless diverse and unique Australian flora. No matter what time of year, something will be flowering. We will also be looking out for an array of native birds. This walk will have many different types of tracks including raised wired mesh, roadways and tough bush tracks.
Visit the North Head Café where you can relax and enjoy lunch and amaze at some of the stunning views of the harbour and Pacific Ocean.
Slowly walk back down to experience one of Manly's picturesque beaches with adjoining aquatic reserve. Then, stroll along a scenic walkway next to the ocean where you will view the beautiful elegant Norfolk pine trees and sandy surfing beach of Manly. Take a paddle, a swim or, just sit and enjoy the atmosphere before walking through "The Corso Precinct" to Manly Wharf for a return trip by ferry to Sydney's Circular Quay.
New Private Touring Packages on Kangaroo Island with Southern Ocean Lodge
For those seeking a tailored and authentic experience of Kangaroo Island (or ‘KI’ as the locals call it), these personally crafted itineraries are seamlessly arranged. Packages includes stylish accommodation, all dining at the Lodge and in the field, open bar with premium wines and spirits, in-suite bar, selected lodge-based signature experiences, two days’ private touring and island airport transfers.
Combining spectacular scenery, ‘up-close and personal’ wildlife encounters, extraordinary produce and true local characters, itineraries are efficiently designed to include the Island’s many wonders with no back-tracking, delivering an experience that is at once fun, educational and uniquely memorable. Private touring affords tremendous flexibility and each program may be customised to personal preferences.
(3 days | 2 nights) Stay two nights and journey across the wildlife haven to discover the essence of ‘Australia’s Galapagos’, including two days’ private touring with a personal guide and an entire day’s leisure at the Lodge.
(4 days | 3 nights) Stay three nights and encounter Kangaroo Island at its most grand including two days’ tailored touring with a dedicated guide.
Enjoy bonus credits towards a treatment in the Southern Spa or Bespoke Experience selected from the Lodge range valued at $50 (conditions apply).
Encounter the Kangaroo, Koala and Platypus on this New Melbourne Wildlife Tour
Begin this private tour in search of the Eastern Grey Kangaroo on Anglesea golf course where they are highly habituated to humans, giving a rare opportunity to observe and study kangaroos up close. There are currently 210 – 270 kangaroos living on the course - one of the highest densities ever recorded for this species.
Next move onto the small hamlet of Kennett River on the Great Ocean Road, one of the best places in Australia to see koalas in the wild. A slight detour off the Great Ocean Road will lead you to a short walk where they are guaranteed to spot koalas in the gum trees. Although resting during most of the day, by late afternoon they become more active, eating leaves, grooming or seeking new food trees. If lucky you may spot some at lower levels and in the spring, mothers with their babies.
Enjoy dinner at the Forrest Brewery Co. before enjoying a dusk canoe tour to discover Australia’s most elusive animal – the Platypus. Witness Australia’s unique 100 million year old egg laying mammal in its natural habitat.
Lake Elizabeth is a remote mountain lake formed by a landslide and a beautiful place to spend some time searching for the Platypus. The local guide has a degree in Ecology and 12yrs experience working with these playful animals.
Stay at the Refurbished Lake House in Daylesford
Experience the award winning Lake House Hotel, a tranquil retreat nestled amongst 6 acres of country gardens on the shore of Lake Daylesford.
Stay in the recently refurbished Waterfront Suites which are nestled on the south east shore of the lagoon and Lake Daylesford; ensuring the most magical sunset views from the courtyard or balcony. Cocooned within rambling lake shore gardens; the suites are accessed by short walk from the main reception through the fern gully over the mineral spring fed creek. They also have private lake access from the main Waterfront Suite walkway.
Each Suite has its own unique décor; the use of soft textural fabrics ensuring that it feels comfortable and luxurious. There are original paintings from resident artist Allan Wolf-Tasker as well as white eggshell bookcases featuring individual pieces from local sculptor Bridget Bodenham and Bronze artist Anthony van der Zweep. Small touches such as birdwatching books help guests to recognise the many beautiful examples of local fauna that can be viewed from the comfort of the suite. Kookaburras, crimson rosellas, kingfisher, yellow tailed cockatoos, wedge tailed eagles, geese, swamphens and more.
MACq 01 – New Property Opening in Hobart 2017
Opening in mid 2017, MACq 01 is inspired by the stories of Tasmania, located in the heart of the historic Hobart waterfront. From the rooms and decor to the service, the food, the entertainment, the views and even the people you meet within its walls, MACq 01 has been designed to offer a quintessentially Tasmanian experience like no other.
Inside the hotel you’ll encounter the essence of Tasmania amidst a cornucopia of delights: fresh Tassie produce, a roaring open fire, trinkets and curiosities of the distant past, touches of live entertainment, all surrounded by the stories and characters that have made Tasmania the unforgettable place it is today. A&K will be booking MACq 01 from December 2016 so ask your specialist for further information.
Southern Ocean Lodge - Travel & Leisure Awards
South Australian resort Southern Ocean Lodge has been named the fourth best hotel in the world in the respected US Travel + Leisure magazine's 2016 World's Best Awards.
Widely regarded as Australia's Galapagos and brimming with diverse wildlife and natural beauty, Kangaroo Island is a place of extraordinary contrasts. With a rich heritage and a world-class food and wine culture, Australia's third largest island offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Let A&K help plan your journey to this magnificent property!
New Daintree Rainforest Tour with A&K
Travel north through the rich farming areas toward the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest and cross by vehicle ferry to the Northern side.
First stop is at the Jindalba board walk. Walk along this picturesque board walk to point out the incredible plants, animals and eco systems unique to this area and be amazed at the large variety of plants and how they have adapted to the Daintree region. The Wet Tropics feature a complex range of eco systems and the guide will explain how this has occurred and why the area is so significant. Next stop is Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the reef. Take a walk along this magical beach to view the unique eco system.Lunch today is in the heart of the rainforest in a beautiful restaurant. Enjoy locally sourced rainforest inspired produce. Sit back relax and enjoy the serenity.
After lunch reboard the vehicle and make a stop at the Daintree ice cream factory. Enjoy an ice cream made from the unique tropical fruits of the orchard located on site. To finish the day travel to Cooya Beach and meet an Aboriginal guide from the Kubirri Warra tribe, taking a fascinating walk of their private estate. On this experience, brothers Linc and Brandon Walker follow the traditions of their ancestors by educating about their traditional country. This unique coastal place has three diverse ecosystems beach, mangroves and coastal reef that are connected to each other by the ever-changing mudflats and tidal lagoons. Today, the brothers can teach guests how to throw a spear, hunt whilst stalking and observing wildlife, and how to find plants used for food and medicine.
Moorilla Wine Meets MONA Art Day Tour – Hobart
Mona, the Museum of Old and New Art, is Australia's largest privately owned gallery and museum. Showcasing the diverse collection of its owner, Tasmanian gambler David Walsh, the collection ranges from ancient Egyptian funerary objects to modernist masterpieces and international contemporary art. Since opening in 2011, visitors have been drawn to Mona's picturesque site on the banks of the River Derwent, which also features luxury accommodation, a restaurant, vineyard and winery –amongst other things.
Begin your day by taking Mona's Fast Ferry from Hobart's Brooke Street Pier to Mona and explore the Museum's permanent collection and an array of blockbuster exhibitions at your leisure.
After your art fix, wander up to the Wine Bar and watch the winemakers at work. Enjoy a charcuterie plate (or a seasonal vegetarian option) and fresh house-baked bread, all matched with a glass of wine from Moorilla's Muse or Praxis Series.The behind-the-scenes winery tour and wine tasting starts in the vineyard. Follow the trail of grapes as they are handpicked, crushed, pressed, fermented and matured. Witness how new and old artisan winemaking techniques are used to craft fragrant, elegant and classical wines. Your expert host will provide an overview of the history of the region and winery, as well as information on the winemaking process and the ten different grape varieties grown on site. The tasting features ten different wines including a selection from Moorilla's prestigious Cloth Label Series.
Turandot on Sydney Harbour
In 2016, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour presents Turandot: a story of a death-marked love told with salt in the air, light on the sails and the city skyline reflected in your glass. It's the best of Sydney in a single evening: singing, sunsets and sparkling wine, in perfect harmony. Watch at the water's edge in a pop-up opera house with purpose-built bars, restaurants and a grandstand under the stars.
Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng's take on this Chinese fable will be one for the history books. As a child of the Cultural Revolution, Chen Shi-Zheng grew up in a China where cruelty and beauty coexisted. Taken in by a Chinese opera troupe, he grew up surrounded by music, but witnessed great suffering. It's a duality he finds utterly compelling, and a juxtaposition that ties in perfectly with the ice-hearted, impossibly beautiful princess at the heart of Puccini's Turandot.
As a director, his work forms a bridge between Chinese and Western artistic approaches, drawing on the Hollywood film tradition, theatrical acrobatics and traditional Chinese opera to create works that thrill visually and cut to the heart.Take a look behind the scenes of construction for Turandot on Sydney Harbour - https://youtu.be/Var7RTGU2s0
Artist Inspiration for Newest Hotel Addition in Brisbane
Art Series Hotels will soon welcome master colourist, Michael Johnson to the collection, as his work becomes the inspiration behind their first Queensland property, The Johnson. "A hotel should be a place that feels peaceful and slightly different to everyday life. A space where you can dream and recharge. I hope The Johnson can put people in that inspiring zone. Art is always more than an element of decor;it's a volt of living energy that enlivens a space. The relationship of art and great hotels has a rich history and I am happy to be continuing the story." –Michael Johnson.
Set to open in June 2016, The Johnson will be located in Spring Hill, Brisbane with rooms going on sale from February. Eighty-three spacious suites and two penthouses boasting spectacular views across the city and multi-functional public spaces, will have their walls adorned with the Sydney born artist's original paintings and giclee prints.
Phillip Island New Penguins Plus
Phillip Island Nature Parks will be opening two new attractions. The new Penguins Plus viewing area and boardwalk recently re-opened on 16 November 2015 and the Antarctic Journey attraction at the Nobbies Visitor centre opened on 23 December 2015.
Take a virtual journey into the wonderful world of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica and engage with the many interactive and immersive experiences in this exhibition, a joint venture between Phillip Island Nature Parks and WWF-Australia.
Comprising three levels, Phillip Island is showcased as the gateway to the Antarctic on the uppermost level, finding some interesting links between this temperate island and the frozen lands of Antarctica. Next, descend into the area known as The Lab, to be entertained and educated through a range of interactive and informative experiences. Feel the Freeze as you enter the Antarctic 'Chill Zone', try to sink a bowling ball, compare your thermal image with an Emperor penguin, or check out a sea spider under a microscope. With the remarkable Antarctic landscape as the backdrop, the unique wildlife, ongoing research activities, and the critically important conservation values of this remote continent will come alive before your eyes. The final level is one of complete immersion in what can only be described as a stunning and breathtaking, state of the art multimedia experience. Find yourself enthralled by the audio visual spectacle which puts you right in the heart of the action. All thanks to the cutting-edge 'augmented reality' technology, you will be able to stand on an ice floe and pat a penguin, stroke a seal or marvel at a whale within arm's reach.
Field of Light Installation at Ayers Rock
This year, the Field of Light art installation by internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro, is coming to the place that inspired it - Uluru. The largest Field of Light installation to date, more than 50,000 stems crowned with frosted-glass spheres will bloom as darkness falls over Australia's spiritual heartland. The 12-month solar-powered installation, within sight of majestic Uluru, opens 1 April 2016.
Guests at Ayers Rock Resort's properties can immerse themselves in Munro's monumental experiential artwork in one of three ways. The entry-level Field of Light Pass includes return bus transfers to the remote site with ample time to experience the artwork. The Field of Light Star Pass includes the above, along with sparkling wine and canapés with panoramic views of the installation from an elevated viewing area to finish. The 4.5-hour A Night at Field of Light includes sparkling wine and canapés at sunset from an elevated viewing area, time to immerse in the artwork and a three-course buffet dinner showcasing native ingredients as well as return bus transfers and introduction by a host.
New Melbourne Private Day Tour - A Day Around the Bay
An hour East from Melbourne around Port Phillip Bay lies an elegant region, renowned for its fresh produce, wines and rolling hills. It's easy to see why the Mornington Peninsula is the playground of Melbourne's rich and famous, with everything from natural hot springs to olive groves, zip lines and wildlife parks. Travel the same distance around the bay to Melbourne's West and discover the stunning Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road.
This region offers classic Australian coastal culture, where wild kangaroos roam seaside golf courses, and surfing is a way of life.The ferry between the two regions is a stunning 40-minute journey, often sailed in the company of dolphins and whales. A circuit trip around the bay is the best way to experience both peninsulas in a single day. You might like to visit an Aboriginal gallery and heritage centre, or taste the country's best vanilla slice. Visit the home of the Rip Curl Pro, take an afternoon stroll along stunning coastal trails or spend time enjoying local wines and cheeses.
A&K Insider Access: A Day on an Aussie Sheep Farm
Keeyuga Farm, located in the Glenaroua Hills in Victoria, is run by the Thomson family who produce fine Merino wool, Angus beef and high quality olive oil. They are committed to improving the environment, and over the years have planted over 250,000 native trees, fenced off vulnerable areas to rehabilitate the land and created wildlife corridors where native flora and fauna can thrive.
Visiting Keeyuga Farm with A&K gives you a unique experience behind the scenes of a working Australian farm, including activities such as sheep shearing, cattle work and olive cultivation, all in the stunning surrounds of the Glenaroua Hills in Melbourne's northwest. Your farm host will provide a history of the farm and its focus in sustainability, all in an informal and uniquely Australian manner.
With a delicious morning tea and traditional BBQ lunch, this tour is a must for anyone wanting a unique insight into Australian farming life.
For more information or to book contact A&K on:
1300 851 800
A Back-Stage Pass to the Hidden World 'Beyond the Cellar Door'
Vineyard Safaris is your very own back-stage pass to the hidden world that lies "Beyond the Cellar Door". All tours are personally led by Tim Wildman MW who is one of just over 300 Masters of Wine in the world and is recognised as an approachable expert on Australian wine. Tim will share tasting tips and trade secrets as well as opening doors normally closed to all but trade and press for a truly unique and hands-on wine tasting experience. At Vineyard Safaris we aim to provide remarkable experiences that put the WOW factor into wine.
A typical Vineyard Safaris day may take you from tasting Australia's most famous wines in a vintage cellar one minute to sitting around the kitchen table of a young wine maker tasting the new season wine out of barrel the next. Activities can include tasting a wine from your birth year, blending and naming your own unique wine or having a bush BBQ with local winemakers.
It is this blend of the luxury and the authentic that makes Vineyard Safaris a truly unique experience for wine lovers who want to travel "Beyond the Cellar Door".
Tours are run in Victoria and South Australia using private chauffeured vehicles. The regions visited include the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills in South Australia and the Yarra Valley and the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.
For more information or to book contact A&K on:
1300 851 800
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