The Museum of British Surfing celebrates 10 years

April 11, 2014 on 9:05 am | In London, Museums, Scotland, Surfing Resorts, United Kingdom, Wales | Comments Off

The Museum of British Surfing in Braunton,
North Devon is celebrating a decade of displaying its acclaimed surf
heritage exhibitions in communities around the UK. In April 2004 the
surfing museum unveiled its first display on Brighton beach, and now
in 2014 has launched its new British surfing pioneers exhibition
‘The First Wave – surfers & their stories’ this weekend.

Evan Geiselman powers through to win Red Bull Call Em Out

Surfersvillage Global Surf News
10 April, 2014 – CONTESTS: After a marathon run into the one-on-one
final, it was “Golden Boy” Evan Geiselman who reigned supreme as
the 2014 Red Bull Call Em Out champion. Despite having dominating runs
going into the finals, former 2013 Rip Curl Pro champion Cody Thompson
could not keep the New Smyrna Beach native at bay. Geiselman fought
through four consecutive elimination heats, winning the title along
with bragging rights.

Tom Carroll endorses anti-shark technology

Surfersvillage Global Surf News
10 April, 2014 – TEAM: Australian surfing legend Tom Carroll has
joined Shark Shield as its surfing ambassador. The Australian-based
Shark Shield makes the world’s only scientifically proven and
independently tested electronic shark deterrent and is delighted the
two-time world champion has agreed to endorse its products. Tom
especially appreciates the fact that Shark Shield believes sharks
deserve a place in the world’s oceans and that its electronic
deterrents reduce interactions with humans without causing sharks
lasting damage.

Celebrity Supports ‘The Gugg’

April 10, 2014 on 8:43 am | In Cruise Boats, Museums, New York City | Comments Off

Celebrity Cruises has announced its support of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum by sponsoring the Guggenheim’s 2014 Members’ Private View series, a program that invites Guggenheim members to experience the exhibitions without the crowds. A benefit to members at all levels, “Members’ Private Views” occur in the morning and evening, ensuring that members have an option that fits their schedule.

2014-2015 season event dates:

Friday, May 9, 2014 – Evening Private View
Sunday, August 24, 2014 – Morning Private View
Sunday, November 9, 2014 – Morning Private View
Monday, January 9, 2015 – Evening Private View

“Celebrity Cruises is always seeking inventive and creative ways to reach new guests and have the opportunity to showcase the ‘modern luxury’ experience we are known for. We want to support the museum and art communities with exclusive upscale experiences,” said David Meihoefer, Celebrity’s New York team manager.

As part of the Members’ Private Views series, members can invite a guest and are encouraged to stay and mingle with fellow members in the Morning or Evening Private Viewing hours before and after the museum opens and closes to the public. “This is a special treat to see the various exhibits at The Guggenheim in such an intimate way,” Meihoefer noted.

“Private Views are among our most beloved member benefits,” said Ben Whine, Guggenheim Director of Individual Development, Membership and Annual Fund. “We are pleased to expand the series this year, thanks to Celebrity Cruises, and to share this year’s stellar exhibition program with our growing family of members.”

To learn more about Guggenheim membership, visit

DISCOVERY Children’s Museum Presents Summer Camps

April 8, 2014 on 10:23 am | In Adventure Travel, Las Vegas, Museums | Comments Off

Come Play and Learn at the Museum this Summer
Sign Up by April 15, 2014 for an Early Bird Registration Discount

April 4, 2014 – LAS VEGAS –Registration is open for Summer Camps at the all-new DISCOVERY Children’s Museum. Sign up by April 15, 2014 to receive an Early Bird registration discount of 25 percent* off camps.

The museum’s interactive educational mission continues with its dynamic Summer Camp programs. Campers will investigate, invent, experiment, interpret, strategize, discover and share what they’ve learned, but most importantly, they’ll have fun using their minds and engaging with others. Camp programming focuses on Arts and STEM (appropriate activities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Weekly camps sessions begin July 7 and run through August 1. Morning and afternoon sessions are available, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for children ages 6-9 and 10-12. A wide variety of camp themes are available, including Grossology, Living and Working in Space, Science Detectives, Chemistry Concoctions and many more.

Camp prices are $180 per weekly camp session (1/2 day). Lunch care also is available. For complete Summer Camp schedules, descriptions and registration information visit Parents can register for DISCOVERY Children’s Museum Summer Camps by calling (702) 382-KIDS (5437).

*Museum Members – 25% discount; general public 15% discount.

DISCOVER Children’s Museum at the Donald W. Reynolds Discovery Center was founded as a private, nonprofit educational institution more than 24 years ago. Nevada’s largest children’s museum recently celebrated its first birthday in March. DISCOVERY Children’s Museum is a community cornerstone that complements and enhances the educational experience of children and families through interactive, hands-on exhibits and programs. For more information, visit

New Archeology Campus and Library in Jerusalem

April 7, 2014 on 8:52 am | In Adventure Travel, Israel, Museums | Comments Off

The Israel Antiquities Authority has announced that it will unveil the all-new, state-of-the-art Schottenstein National Campus for the Archeology of Israel in Jerusalem, the largest archeological library in the Middle East, in April 2016.

Located on Jerusalem’s Museum Hill adjacent to the Israel Museum and overlooking the Hebrew University – Givat Ram Campus, the new 115,000-square-foot archeology campus was designed by renowned Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, and will house nearly 2 million archeological artifacts (including 15,000 Dead Sea scrolls), conservation and restoration laboratories, an auditorium, study galleries, rooftop exhibition gardens and a café.

The campus will also house the Mandel National Library for the Archeology of Israel, which will feature nearly 150,000 volumes, including rare books and periodicals, as well as the Israel Antiquities Authority Archive, the British Mandatory Archive and historical maps, permits, plans and publications of excavations from the period of the British Mandate over Palestine through today.

“We are proud to announce the construction of this stunning, state-of-the-art center for archeology in my hometown in Jerusalem,” said Haim Gutin, Israel Commissioner for Tourism, North and South America, “which will further promote Israel as one of the world’s most unique travel destinations for archeology enthusiasts.”

For more information about the new archeology campus, visit . For more information about travel to Israel, visit

Combine Travel & Culture With Millennium And Copthorne Hotels Museum Packages

April 4, 2014 on 12:06 pm | In East Coast, London, Museums, New York City, Scotland, United Kingdom, Wales | Comments Off

NY Museums are a highlight of urban vacations, or a relaxing escape for business travelers. Millennium and Copthorne hotels have developed relationships with museums in their cities to offer special packages for their guests.

For example, the Millennium Broadway in New Yorks cultural package features VIP tickets to New Yorks Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and properties in London, England, have just announced a package featuring tickets to the International Arts and Crafts exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. For more information or reservations visit Packages include:

Millennium Broadway Hotel, New Yorks Museum of Modern Art Packages Luxury plus the most sophisticated art museum sounds like the perfect NYC combination! This elegant Midtown hotel is located near the Broadway theatre district; Fifth Avenue shopping; Bryant Park; Rockefeller Centre; and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The hotel is offering a Spring Classic MoMA Package, which includes Classic room accommodations; continental breakfast in the hotels Restaurant Charlotte; and two VIP tickets to MoMA. Rates for the Spring Classic MoMA Package begin at $219 and are available through August 31, 2005.

The hotel is also offering a Spring Premier MoMA Package, which includes accommodations in the Premier Towers, the boutique wing of the hotel; continental breakfast in the Premier Lounge; and two VIP tickets to MoMA. The Premier Lounge also offers hors doeuvres and cocktails in the evening. Rates for the Premier MoMA Package begin at $249 and are valid through August 31, 2005.

Arts & Crafts Package at the Millennium Baileys Hotel London Kensington; Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington; and Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington Millennium and Copthorne Hotels in the U.K. have partnered with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) to offer packages that feature tickets to the International Arts and Crafts Exhibition through July 24, 2005. The exhibition is the most comprehensive ever seen in the U.K. so far, with over 300 of the best arts and crafts representations such as architecture, books, ceramics, furniture, jewelry, metalwork, paintings, photography, sculptures and stained glass. The Arts and Crafts Movement, which began in the late 19th century, was a celebration of individual craftsmanship and design, which developed during the transformation of Great Britain during the industrial revolution. The Arts & Crafts Package includes overnight accommodations; complimentary breakfast; and tickets with fastrack entry for two to the exhibition. Package rates begin at ₤65 per person.

All three hotels offer easy access to nearby attractions in the fashionable Kensington area such as Hyde Park, Kensington Palace and Gardens and the Royal Albert Hall. Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles Museum Package The Millennium Biltmores architectural beauty was created by the same architects who designed the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The hotel is a work of art in itself; public spaces are decorated with frescoes and murals by the Italian master, Giovanni Smeraldi whose work also appears in the Vatican and the White House. Guests can not only admire the art in the Biltmore but also spend a relaxing art-filled weekend with the hotels Museum Package, which includes classic guest room accommodations; two tickets to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and valet parking. Classic guest rooms offer amenities such as a choice of king-sized bed or two double beds; window-side sitting area with a chair and side table; two telephones (business desk and nightstand) equipped with two lines and voicemail; high speed Internet access; and bathrooms featuring floor-to-ceiling marble, custom amenities and a hand carved mirror. Package rates begin at $139 and are available through December 31, 2005.

About Millennium Hotels and Resorts Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR), established in the United States in 2000, is the North American arm of London-based Millennium and Copthorne Hotels plc (MLC). The MHR portfolio includes 19 holdings in The Americas, and the company operates properties including: Millennium Broadway Hotel, New York City; Millennium UN Plaza Hotel, New York City; Millennium Airport Hotel, Buffalo, New York; Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles; Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, Chicago; Millennium Bostonian Hotel, Boston; Millennium Hotel, Minneapolis; Millennium Hotel, St. Louis; Millennium Hotel, Cincinnati; Millennium Harvest House, Boulder; Millennium Hotel, Durham; Millennium Alaskan Hotel, Anchorage; Millennium Resort, Scottsdale, McCormick Ranch; the Millennium Maxwell House, Nashville; and the Royal Palm Resort, Galapagos Islands. MLC holdings outside of the Millennium brand include the Millenium Hilton (New York) and Sheraton Four Points Sunnyvale (California). For further information on Millennium Hotels and Resorts, call 866-866-8086 or visit

Millennium and Copthorne Hotels comprises 90 four and five star hotels with 24,681 rooms worldwide in 16 countries. Our World of Hospitality marketing alliance partner Maritim Hotels has 47 hotels with 13,069 rooms in 9 countries. For more information please visit  or

CityPASS Ticket Booklets: Put Some Spring in Your Break with Savings of up to Half-Off on Vacation Thrills

April 4, 2014 on 10:52 am | In Adventure Travel, California, Chicago, East Coast, Florida, Los Angeles, Miami, Museums, New England, New York City, Orlando, Pacific Northwest, San Diego, San Francisco, Texas, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums | Comments Off

New York — This spring break, parents can transform their couch-crashing kids into inquisitive, wide-eyed explorers by whipping out a packet of CityPASS® ticket booklets. Boasting savings of up to 50 percent on combined attraction admissions and allowing users to skip most main-entrance ticket lines — a big bonus when you’re traveling with antsy, “are-we-there-yet?” kids — CityPASS booklets are the must-have accessory for an affordable family adventure.

It doesn’t matter if your kids are avid online gamers, skateboarding daredevils or science geeks. The CityPASS program offers an eye-popping range of attractions in North America’s top destinations: New York City, Southern California, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Seattle and Toronto. A CityPASS ticket booklet includes prepaid admission to each destination’s most famous sights at significant savings. Plus, there’s plenty of time to do everything else you want to do — CityPASS booklets are valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use (14 days for the Southern California CityPASS admission card).

Ready for an inspiring spring break? Great! Now you just need to peg what type of travel category your family falls into:

Thrill Seekers — These folks like their experiences fast and fun. They’re bubbling with stories of conquering the latest, scariest thrill ride and describing feats of daring do. The Southern California CityPASS admission card has them covered. The card includes admission to SeaWorld San Diego, whose new Manta roller coaster simulates a manta ray’s underwater flight; and Universal Studios Hollywood, where the recently opened Transformers™: The Ride—3D gives guests a front row seat to the thrilling battle between the heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons. Or, for a real jolt, step out onto Skydeck Chicago’s 103rd-floor, all-glass viewing box, and stare straight down. Do you dare to jump up and down on the ledge?

History Buffs — Puff up with pride at these timeless tributes to what made our nation great. Memorable sites such as the interactive National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and The Old State House along the Freedom Trail in Boston offer riveting presentations of our nation’s history. For something with a little more motion, step aboard the Space Shuttle Trainer at The Museum of Flight in Seattle.

While there, check out Air Force One and the supersonic Concorde, and learn how America’s aviation pioneers overcame barriers to flight. Just down the Pacific Coast, landlubbers will get a nostalgic thrill riding San Francisco’s historic cable cars.

Undersea Explorers — Dive into the Georgia Aquarium’s Aquatic Bodies exhibit to see the world’s largest plastinated sea creatures — or deep-sea monsters, as mariners called them generations ago. Those who prefer friendlier sea life closer to the surface will get the giggles watching dolphins soar and belugas dance at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. The Seattle Aquarium provides a window on Puget Sound’s underwater life, including dive shows and octopus feedings. Finally, San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay lets visitors wander through 300 feet (90 meters) of crystal-clear tunnels for a scuba diver’s view of more than 20,000 marine animals from both the San Francisco Bay and nearby waters.

Masters of Art — For art lovers, no roller coaster can match the thrill of seeing timeless masterpieces displayed in CityPASS museums. New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art will enthrall visitors with its vast collection of American, African, Asian and Near Eastern works, dating back to the dawn of time. The amazing Art Institute of Chicago dazzles with a modern collection encompassing Dalí, Matisse, Miró, Picasso, Pollock and Warhol. It also has one of the best collections of Impressionist masterpieces by Renoir, Gauguin and van Gogh. Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts fills its galleries year-round with art embracing every era of history. And, after perusing the art, who wouldn’t want to stop by and greet “Gordo” the Barosaurus, Canada’s largest dinosaur, at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Star Chasers — Whether one dreams of traveling to the stars or mingling with them on the red carpet, CityPASS has you covered. Not only is Jimmy Fallon the new host of the Tonight Show, he’s also the new video host of the ever-popular back lot tour at Universal Studios Hollywood in Southern California. At Space Center Houston, kids can see what it’s really like to be an astronaut; while the NASA Tram Tour takes visitors behind the scenes to the working areas of the Johnson Space Center. America’s first planetarium, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, covers the mysteries of the solar system in its exhibition galleries and theaters. And those who crave their own “star turn” can take a spin in a news anchor’s chair during the Inside CNN Studio Tour in Atlanta.

For more than 15 years, CityPASS ticket booklets and admission cards have been premier products for travelers who want to visit a destination’s top attractions while enjoying significant savings. CityPASS booklets/cards are available for New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California and Toronto. For more information, visit

Prices and programs subject to change. CityPASS® is a registered trademark of City Pass, Inc., and the exclusive property of City Pass, Inc.

Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum to Host New English-Language Musical, April 18 – September 5

March 27, 2014 on 9:57 am | In Israel, Museums, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum has announced Ah, Jerusalem!, a new English-language musical taking place every Friday afternoon from April 18 through September 5, 2014.

The performance is based upon the story of an American family that travels to Jerusalem on a spiritual journey of a lifetime, visiting historic sites in Israel from the reign of King Solomon to the Crusader and Ottoman periods along the way. The production will take place in the open-air courtyard of the Tower of David Museum, a historic site boasting a First Temple-period quarry, historic walls and ruins dating back to the Hasmonean and Ottoman rule of Jerusalem. The Tower of David Museum is located inside the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem.

“We are thrilled this exciting new theater production is highlighting a selection of Jerusalem’s historic sites,” said Haim Gutin, Israel Commissioner for Tourism, North and South America, “which will provide some additional excitement for travelers traveling to my hometown this year.”

For ticket reservations, visit For more information about travel to Israel, visit

Sept 11 memorial museum announces opening date

March 27, 2014 on 9:51 am | In East Coast, Museums, New York City | Comments Off

After a three-year delay beset with construction and funding problems, the 9/11 Memorial Museum will finally open its doors to the public on May 21.

From May 15, a private opening ceremony will take place followed by a six-day dedication period when family members, first responders and emergency personnel directly affected by the 9/11 attacks will have exclusive entry 24 hours a day free of charge.

An admission fee of $24 for visitors has been announced, although the fee will be waived for the opening day thanks to a donation by publishers Condé Nast.

In order to gain entry for May 21, visitors have to reserve a place at

The museum features two main exhibitions located in the foundations of the original world trade center complex.

“In Memoriam’ pays tribute to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the September 11 attacks and also focuses on the earlier 1993 WTC terrorist attack.

The other is a historical exhibition in three parts which explores events leading up to the attacks and the political and social aftermath.

The museum is also introducing volunteer programs and educational resources for school and faith-based groups.

The museum was originally planned to open in 2011 for the 10th anniversary of the attacks but was delayed due to a funding dispute and flooding caused by Superstorm Sandy.

The high ticket price has also caused some controversy, prompting Mayor Bill de Blasio to call for substantial federal funding of the museum.”

Snooze with Dinosnores at ArtScience Museum

March 22, 2014 on 9:46 am | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Museums, Singapore | Comments Off

Singapore – ArtScience Museum introduces its first ever sleepover ‘Dinosnores! A sleepover with Dinos’ (‘Dinosnores’) as part of the museum’s engaging lineup of programmes for the week-long March school holidays. Two sleepovers will be conducted on 16 and 21 March.

“ArtScience Museum continually innovates to present unique programming to our visitors. We have taken our programming a step further with ‘Dinosnores’. This educational sleepover is a great avenue for busy parents to spend quality time with their children this school holiday,” said Mr. Ross Leo, Associate Director, ArtScience Museum.

Recommended for children aged six to 12 years, ‘Dinosnores’ promises to be an action-packed night. Parents and children will travel back in time to the land of the dinosaurs and spend the night among the amazing exhibits in the “Dinosaurs: Dawn to Extinction” exhibition. To complete the sleepover experience, participants will get to take part in activities including a movie screening and interactive workshops that engage both parents and children.

‘Dinosnores’ is priced at S$120 per child participant (free for accompanying adult) and registration opens on 17 February. Interested parents can register for the sleepover at

In addition to the sleepover, ArtScience Museum has also lined up a series of engaging workshops and guided tours (conducted in English and Mandarin) that are complimentary and open to all “Dinosaurs: Dawn to Extinction” ticket holders.

March school holidays schedule of activities:

• 17 March (Mon), 19 March (Wed), 21 March (Fri):

1pm – 2pm: Dinosaurs: Dawn to Extinction guided tour

4.30pm – 5.30pm: A Day in the Life of a Paleontologist­ demonstration

18 March (Tue), 20 March (Thu)

1pm – 2pm: “Dinosaurs: Dawn to Extinction” guided tour

2pm – 3pm: “Dinosaurs: Dawn to Extinction” guided Mandarin tour

3pm – 4pm: Dinosaur vs Mythical Dragon workshop

4.30pm – 5.45pm: Stop Motion Dinosaur Wipe-out! workshop

For more information on ‘Dinosnores’ and the complete listing of all ArtScience Museum programming, please visit

ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands is known as the museum that celebrates creativity, the processes at the heart of art and science, and their role in shaping society. The Museum seeks to understand what drives creative people, how they acquire and use their skills, and how the world around us is changed because of it. ArtScience Museum presents exhibitions and programmes to deliver these stories using a combination of beautiful design, intriguing content and intellectual discussion, in order to inspire the creativity in all of us.

Featuring 21 gallery spaces totaling 50,000 square feet, the boldly iconic lotus-inspired ArtScience Museum is also the premier venue for major international touring exhibitions from the most renowned collections in the world. Since it opened in 2011, ArtScience Museum has been home to some of the best-attended exhibitions in Singapore, including “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition”, “Harry Potter: The Exhibition”, “Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal”, “Dali: Mind of a Genius”, “The Art of the Brick” and “Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb”. Recent exhibitions include “Essential Eames: A Herman Miller Exhibition” and “The Little Black Jacket”.

ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands was awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2013. This recognition places the museumamid a select group of attractions that have been recognized by worldwide travelers for providing outstanding tourist experiences.

What’s Hot in Western Australia

March 22, 2014 on 9:05 am | In Adventure Travel, Australia, Beachbooker, Cabinweb, Cruise Boats, Dine Drink, Festivals, Golf Resorts, Hotels, Mobile Apps, Museums, Outdoors, Performing Arts, Road Trips, Sailing, Scuba Diving, Spa Resorts, Sports Travel, Surfing Resorts, Webbandstand, Western | Comments Off

WA Taste Master’s adventures on film

WA’s Taste Master Rich Keam has teamed up with expert local guides to help spread the word about Perth’s amazing food and wine. Some of Rich’s culinary journey has been captured on film and features him catching and cooking fresh Rottnest lobster with local restaurateur Kiren Mainwaring, learning the art and history of craft beer making in Fremantle with Feral Brewing Co, exploring Northbridge with Beaufort Street Festival food curator Laura Mosely, and meeting up with local food blogger Whitney Ng. Rich’s journey as Taste Master in WA has come to an end, which saw him travel more than 20,000 kilometres, and visit more than 35 towns and more than 100 restaurants, bars, cafes, wineries, breweries and cider houses.

Pop-up dining with native ingredients
Fervor, created by WA siblings Bree and Paul Iskov, is a new and unique dining concept in the form of a travelling pop-up restaurant focusing on freshly foraged ingredients. In February, Fervor will be hosting a series of pop-up dinners around the Margaret River region – in Lake, Jewel and Mammoth Caves, and the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Guests will be taken on an eight to ten course culinary journey where native ingredients such as paper bark, midjim berry and marron will be transformed into mouth-watering degustation plates. The Fervor concept was fuelled by a passion for native edibles and a deep love and respect for the diverse natural bushland throughout WA, and particularly the Margaret River region.

New hotel for Fremantle
A new hotel has opened in the port city of Fremantle, which is a 20-minute drive from Perth city. The Hougoumont Hotel officially opened in late November, and offers affordable luxury in a prime location on Bannister Street, a short walk to Fremantle’s ‘cappuccino strip’, and other attractions such as galleries, the Fremantle Markets, Fremantle Prison, gourmet dining, Bathers Beach, The Roundhouse and more. Each room combines luxurious comfort with smart TV’s, free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary wine and Hors d’oeuvre’s for guests each weekday evening, personalised pillow menus, personal trainer on request, onsite parking and more. The hotel also has conference and meeting facilities.

Lifestyle and culture

Join the pilgrimage to Albany in November 2014
The international spotlight will be on Albany in WA’s South West in November 2014 when the historic and picturesque coastal city hosts the first in a series of commemorative and community events as the curtain raiser to the Anzac Centenary period. To honour the first ANZACs, a significant program of events is planned in Albany between October 30 and November 2, 2014. Albany played a key role in World War One as it was the final departure point for many Australian and New Zealand soldiers. A commemorative event program and community events are planned, along with the official opening of the Anzac Interpretive Centre at the Princess Royal Fortress. Albany is one hour by air from Perth or a four and a half-hour drive and boasts awe-inspiring coastline, stunning landscapes, and abundance of gourmet attractions with cosmopolitan cafes and bars, slow food, markets, wineries, olive oils, and organic produce.

New art at the Art Gallery of WA
The Art Gallery of WA, located in the Perth Cultural Centre just outside of Perth’s central business district, has opened a new exhibition of contemporary art acquisitions. IMPACT showcases a selection of the acquisitions to the State Art Collection with a focus on video works, together with sculpture, paintings and works on paper. It brings together internationally renowned filmic artists such as Jesper Just, Hale Tenger, Michael Snow and Richard Grayson with Australian artists engaging with sound and moving image aesthetics such as Gabriella and Silvana Mangano, Angelica Mesiti. It coincides with extended opening hours at the Gallery – during February, it will be open until 7pm, to coincide with the Fringe World Festival and the Perth International Arts Festival. Visitors can also take guided tours, see pop-up music performances, or visit the gallery shop and café.

Western Australia to be home to the country’s richest film prize
Western Australia will be home to Australia’s richest film prize next year with film festival CinéfestOZ offering a new $100,000 prize for an Australian feature film as part of its 2014 program. CinéfestOZ started in 2008 to celebrate the South West’s early exploration by the French and the strong film making cultures of both France and Australia. Held in the South West town of Busselton, CinéfestOZ will be held from August 20 to 24, 2014. Visitors can join filmmakers, film stars and film lovers for a five-day cultural adventure with the latest offerings from the Australian film world; a French film selection, and short films, documentaries, community screenings and more.

Degrees of Connection exhibition
Renowned West Australian artists Nadeen Lovell and Kimberley Kohan are exhibiting their Degrees of Connection works at Melbourne’s Tacit Gallery from February 26 until March 16. Degrees of Connection reflects the journeys of the two artists as they’ve experienced the world — across continents and time zones, seasons and cultures — being inspired by the windswept plains of Mongolia, the icebergs of the Antarctic and the tropical mystery of Madagascar, but mostly by the rugged majesty of WA’s North West — the Pilbara and the Kimberley.

Food and Wine

Perth food festivals in April and May
Next May will be a culinary feast in Perth, as two food and wine festivals happen across the city. The City of Perth will again host its annual month-long food and beverage celebration Eat Drink Perth from April 1 to 30, while Brand Events Australia will facilitate the inaugural Taste of Perth festival from May 1 to 5. Together, the events represent 36 days of food and wine activities

New chef at Cape Lodge
Michael Elfwing is the new Executive Chef at the multi-award winning Cape Lodge Restaurant, which is located in WA’s Margaret River Wine Region. Hailing from Sweden, Michael has worked for many years with legendary chef Cheong Liew at the celebrated Grange in Adelaide and has also done time at the world-famous Fat Duck restaurant with Heston Blumenthal, as well as at other European Michelin kitchens. Michael was handpicked by Cheong Liew to open his signature restaurant in Kuala Lumpur and has for the past five years been the creative force at Senses restaurant – recently nominated in the prestigious 2013 Pellegrino Top 50 restaurants in Asia. Michael’s culinary training is French and he enjoys molecular gastronomy, foraging and culinary interpretations of his Nordic heritage. Food and wine pairing is also a great passion for Michael who has completed his Professional Sommelier training certificate, and is a strong believer in using fresh local produce and creating seasonal menus that reflect a sense of place. As well as the restaurant, Cape Lodge also features 22 rooms and suites, a private luxury residence, tennis court and swimming pool, set among sprawling, manicured gardens.

A taphouse with a twist
Swings Taphouse & Kitchen is the latest bar and restaurant to open in Margaret River, in WA’s South West. On the town’s main street, the Taphouse & Kitchen is the latest edition to the Swings & Roundabouts family – a well-known winery in the region. Open from 10am daily, the venue serves brunch, lunch and dinner with Swings & Roundabouts wine available on tap, delivered by ‘sight glass fonts’ (a world first), and served by the glass, half carafe or carafe. There’s also a selection of ‘guest backyards’ wines, cocktails and beers, and the menu is simple and rustic, designed for sharing, and with an emphasis on fresh, local and sustainable produce.

Swan Valley food and wine festival
After the success of the inaugural event last year, the Valley and Vines festival will return in 2014. Held in the Swan Valley, WA’s oldest wine growing region and only a 25-minute drive from Perth, the festival will see wine lovers choose from four participating boutique venues (Ugly Duckling Wines, Jarrah Ridge Wines, Carilley Estate and Duckstein Brewery) with festival goers setting their own itinerary depending on their desire, tastes and interests. There will be a 90 minute ‘session’ at each location, with a 30 minute break in between each for travel. Each venue will offer its local choice of wine or beer, and have a variety of food and live entertainment on offer. The festival is on from Saturday April 5, from 11.00am to 4.30pm.

Manu Feildel and Stephanie Alexander added to Ord Valley Muster line-up
Celebrity chef and My Kitchen Rules judge Manu Feildel, and one of Australia’s great food educators, Stephanie Alexander will be heading to WA’s East Kimberley region in May as part of the Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster. Manu, together with WA chef Don Hancey and special guest Stephanie Alexander, will host the Kimberley Kitchen on the banks of Lake Kununurra on May 21. Manu will have an A to Z of local ingredients at his fingertips, sourced from the region’s massive food bowl, showing guests how he incorporates this stunning local produce into his signature dishes. He will also host the exclusive long-table Durack Homestead Dinner held under the Kimberley night stars at the historic Durack homestead. Stephanie Alexander will conduct cooking demonstrations and food conversations on Sunday May 18 at the Moon Fair, and run garden-based workshops with children during the week. The festiva runs from May 16 to 25 and will feature more than 30 spectacular events across ten exciting days, including the Airnorth Kimberley Moon Experience with Eskimo Joe, The Waifs and John Williamson.

Tours, attractions and accommodation

Nature-based tourism boosted in Margaret River
Eco-tourism in the Margaret River region has been boosted with the opening of the redeveloped Wharncliffe Mill Bush Retreat in Bramley National Park. The upgraded retreat now includes four new lodge rooms, three new forest cottages and 44 bush caravan/camping sites. Wharncliffe Mill also offers a nature-play space and an Aboriginal-themed meeting place, with cultural learning experiences presented by Aboriginal guides. The $1.2 million redevelopment is part of the Naturebank program, which is a joint initiative between the Department of Parks and Wildlife and Tourism WA. Read the media release.

Travel package to experience the Margaret River Pro
As part of the 2014 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, Bookshop Travel has created a travel package which will showcase the highlights of the event, along with the region’s food and wine experiences. The package is a 12-day tour, and includes surf lessons with some of Australia’s finest surfing instructors, VIP access to the event, and a series of exclusive behind-the-scenes food and wine experiences. The tour will be led by Carli Ratcliff, a keen surfer and food writer who is well acquainted with the region, and Carol Crenna – a bespoke travel specialist. The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro will be held at Margaret River’s Surfer’s Point from April 2 to 13 and is now part of the ASP World Championship Tour.

Ascott opens Citadines-Branded Residence in Perth
The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has launched its second Citadines Apart’hotel in Australia. The new Citadines St Georges Terrace Perth has opened following a $5.1 million and five-month refurbishment of the former Somerset St Georges Terrace Perth. Located in the heart of Perth’s central business district, the property has 85 studio and one-bedroom apartments, with fully equipped kitchen/kitchenette, living area’s and modern amenities such as complimentary WiFi, home entertainment system and flat screen TV. Contemporary art pieces by local artists Nick Stratham and Kyle Hughes are featured throughout the hotel.

Hot deal at Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort
Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort has some all-inclusive ‘hot deals’ currently on offer. The deals are for travel between now and March 31; then April 28 to June 30. A minimum three-night package includes accommodation in a beach side dolphin unit or garden villa, daily breakfast, lunch (one course with drinks), dinner (two courses with drinks), and drinks during ‘happy hour’. Rates are from $499 for adults, $249 for children (six to 12 years) and $125 for infants/toddlers (one to five). Located at Dolphin Beach in the heart of the World Heritage listed Shark Bay, Monkey Mia has attracted schools of dolphins to its tranquil shores daily for more than 40 years, with the area famous for its kilometres of secluded crystal blue waters and pristine beaches.

Faraway Bay opens season with one-off special
Remote wilderness retreat Faraway Bay, in WA’s Kimberley region, has been on the receiving end of a spectacular amount of rainfall, leading to an exclusive ‘end of wet season’ package deal. It’s believed the rains will produce incredible waterfalls, and potentially superb Barramundi fishing. New attractions at Faraway Bay in 2014 include a rustic handcrafted wood-fired pizza oven, roasts and fresh breads, plus a fully-inclusive scenic flight over King George Falls on journeys to and from Faraway Bay. The twin King George Falls is WA’s highest waterfall, which every guest of Faraway Bay experiences up close by boat, and now also by air. The package deal offers a 20 per cent discount on standard rates, plus complimentary resort accommodation overnight in either Kununurra or Darwin. It’s valid for bookings made before February 28 for visits taken before April 30, 2014 and packages start from $3,464 per person for three nights, fully inclusive of return air transfers ex-Kununurra, all gourmet meals and beverages, and all tours and activities. Faraway Bay is a unique wilderness retreat nestled on a rocky hilltop overlooking the Timor Sea
in the remote north Kimberley region, some 280 kilometres north-west of Kununurra.

Experience the waterfalls of the Kimberley
The Berkeley River Lodge in WA’s North West has released its ‘waterfall package’ for March and April. The lodge is the region’s newest remote luxury lodge, and the package includes four-night’s accommodation in a luxury villa, return scenic sea plane transfers from Kununurra, all gourmet meals and beverages, and tours such as waterfall river cruises, guided bush hikes, fishing adventures and beach/bush four-wheel-drive tours. The Kimberley was recently named as the number two destination to visit in 2014 in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014.

New eco accommodation in Margaret River
St Allard Eco Resort is a new resort located just ten minutes’ drive out of Margaret River in WA’s South West. Set against natural forest, St Allard Eco Resort offers six chalets and a lakeside restaurant, golf course, tennis court, paddle boats and peaceful nature walks.

Feature – The Perth Hills – a great day-trip destination

Scattered throughout the wide fertile ranges of the Darling Scarp and only 45 minutes east of Perth city centre, you’ll find the stunning scenery, meandering drives and vibrant villages that make up the Perth Hills. While the Hills are part of the city, visitors will find the region and its character townships exude a country charm and views that are simply astounding.

The world famous Bibbulmun Track starts in the hills stretching 1,000 kilometres from Kalamunda to Albany. The tree-lined village of Mundaring is one of the major towns of the Perth Hills and makes a wonderful day trip or weekender for visitors to the region. In town, you can stop off at the Mundaring Visitor Centre where you can learn about the history of the region and pick up a variety of maps highlighting the large amount of activities and attractions to be found. Just out of town you will find the vast water reserve of the Mundaring Weir and the Perth Hills Discovery Centre where you can learn about native flora and fauna. You can also picnic at any number of stunning parks in the area.

Kalamunda town centre is also particularly appealing, with its gift stores, character eateries and quaint village feel. Art, music and history play a big part here with several heritage building sites in town and the Zig Zag Cultural Centre, where visitors can learn more about the history, culture and attractions of the area. A visit to the town library will reward you with views of the largest community-built stained-glass window in Australia, and if you are visiting on the first Saturday of the month, be sure to drop in on the village market or on Sunday morning’s, the Kalamunda Farmers Markets are held, showcasing fresh produce from local farmers and growers.

Kalamunda is also a great staging point for visiting the breathtaking Bickley and Carmel Valleys renowned for their wine and local produce. Considering its Mediterranean climate of hot dry summers and cool wet winters, and with the first vineyards in the region planted in the 1880s, it comes as no surprise that the Perth Hills now boasts a well-established wine scene with each part of the hills having their own distinct wine trails for you to discover.

The Mundaring Hills Wine Trail will lead you through the forests and gullies of Darlington, Glen Forrest, Mt Helena and Wooroloo to some of the oldest wineries in the region and continuing further south, the Bickley-Carmel Valley Wine Trail touts seven wineries including some fine examples of sparkling wine made in the French tradition. Cellar doors are open most weekends and public holidays and you can set your tastebuds dancing with a good selection of wine varieties.

Visitors to the Perth Hills will also be impressed by the range of excellent restaurants and the level of sophisticated accommodation to be found. There are gracious country bed and breakfasts, spa retreats and private luxurious hideaways. While you’re in the Hills, try retreating to the national parks and the cool of the forests to indulge your love of the natural environment. The hills are blessed with a series of more than 40 bike and walk trails, as well as scenic lookouts and picnic spots.

Ten things to do in the Perth Hills

• Enjoy a picnic or barbecue, canoe or swim at Lake Leschenaultia
• Experience the beauty of the area’s national parks and State forests
• Get on the Munda Biddi Cycle Trail in Mundaring which winds through some spectacular scenery on its journey south

• Follow the Perth Hills Wine Trail to sample some local wines
• Explore the Mundaring Weir Precinct and No 1 Pump Station
• Browse through the region’s arts and crafts studios
• Take a guided spotlight tour at Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary
• Get ‘Nearer to Nature’ with a range of outdoor activities at the Perth Hills Discovery Centre
• Walk the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail, KEP Track or world-famous Bibbulmun Track
• Learn more about the colourful history of the area at the District Museum.

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