Guerrero’s Sun Triangle to Host 2014 Surf Open League Mexico‏

April 18, 2014 on 8:38 am | In Beachbooker, Mexico, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



Professional Surfers from Around the World to Participate in 2014 Surf Opens Throughout the Coast of Guerrero

Guerrero, Mexico  – Internationally renowned for its breathtaking beaches and unbeatable waves, the Sun Triangle will host the Surf Open League Mexico, a series of international surf events throughout the coast of Guerrero in Acapulco, Troncones, Ixtapa and Papanoa Bay.

For third consecutive year the 2014 Acapulco Surf Open will take place in Revolcadero Beach July 5-12. The 4-Star ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) event will bring more than 150 professional surfers from 30 different countries to compete for a chance to win a $100,000 cash prize.

The Surf Open Acapulco, Latin America’s most important surf event, seeks to establish the presence of Mexico on the ASP North American series and provides an opportunity for surfers to gain experience to compete in future ASP 6-Star events. The Surf Open Acapulco will feature motocross exhibitions, a surf clinic, outdoor movie screenings, concerts and a surf village. For more information on the Surf Open Acapulco please visit: http://surfopenacapulco.com/

Additional Surf Open League Mexico events include the Surf Open Troncones September 5-7, the Surf Open Ixtapa October 3-5, and the Surf Open Papanoa November 15-17. For more information on the Surf Open League please visit: http://www.triangulodelsol.travel

“We are proud to host the Surf Open League Mexico in the Sun Triangle and we look forward to welcoming international surf aficionados to our world-class amenities and beaches,” said Javier Aluni, Secretary of Tourism of the State of Guerrero.

Acapulco will also host the REEF Acapulco Pro Surf Open, which will take place April 24-26 at Bonfil Beach. The event will bring international surfers to compete for the $9,000 cash prize in the surf and bodyboard categories. The REEF Acapulco Pro Surf Open will feature movie screenings, art exhibitions, pool parties and a “Miss Reef Mexico” competition.

The Sun Triangle tourism initiative was created by the state of Guerrero, Mexico to highlight and promote to the international travel community the state’s top tourism destinations: Acapulco, Taxco and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. The Sun Triangle destinations offer award-winning properties including Capella Ixtapa and Banyan Tree Cabo Marques which were featured on Conde Nast’s 2014 Gold List; La Casa que Canta featured on Travel + Leisure’s 500 World’s Best list; and Hotel Encanto recently awarded The Five Star Diamond Award by The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

For more information on the Sun Triangle destinations, please visit www.triangulodelsol.travel  and “Like” Acapulco and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @AcapulcoTurismo, @IZtraveler and Instagram @Visitacapulco, @visitiz and @visittaxco.


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.


redefining surfing with an eco-focus

April 9, 2014 on 9:06 am | In Beachbooker, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



Surfboards from wood and bio-resin – redefining surfing with an eco-focus
The Harmony Hotel in Nosara, Costa Rica offers guests the world’s most sustainable surfboard

Surfing has been part of The Harmony Hotel’s culture since it first opened its doors in 2004 on the beach in Nosara, and now thanks to the innovation of world renowned surfboard manufacturer Firewire, the hotel is proud to be one of the first to provide guests with the chance to experience the new TimberTek eco-boards.

Firewire’s TimberTek board uses 75 per cent less cloth and more than 40 per cent less resin than traditional surfboard manufacturing. In place of chemical binding agents, TimberTek uses organic tree sap bio-resin they have called “Super-Sap”. The sustainably sourced Paulownia wood top and bottom deck have logos burnt directly into the surface giving the entire board a completely natural look and feel.

“At the Harmony Hotel we hope to inspire our guests and followers to do one thing a day for the planet,” says Sergio Santana, operations manager of The Harmony Hotel. “Choosing to surf with us using one of our brand new eco-boards is a no-brainer and ties in beautifully with our overall commitment to sustainability.”

The Harmony Hotel has received a five leaf rating from the Costa Rica’s Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST) since its first rating in 2004, and has maintained it ever since. The sustainability efforts include, but are not limited to: hiring local staff, using native plants, an on-site greenhouse and farm, non-chemical wastewater treatment, all natural bath products, using solar panels to heat water, and offsetting the carbon emissions every year through tree planting. Finding a more environmentally friendly surfboard fits beautifully with The Harmony’s location, set on the beach of one of the top surfing destinations in the world –Nosara, Costa Rica.

“Although we haven’t quite reached a 100 per cent sustainable board, this is the closest any manufacturer has come” says Chuy Reyna, head of marketing for Firewire Surfboards. “It’s important for us as a company to pursue projects like this and to get these boards into the hands, and under the feet, of environmentally conscious surfers. As a surfer you rely on the world around you for the surfing experience, we want to make sure our footprint is as small as possible.”

To learn more about the Firewire’s TimberTek surfboards at The Harmony Hotel, email info@harmonynosara.com or visit www.harmonynosara.com. To learn more about the technology, visit www.firewiresurfboards.com.

About The Harmony Hotel
Inspired by the old-school tropical destinations of eras that appreciated low-key glamour and total escape, The Harmony Hotel is the perfect setting for people to get in tune with their natural rhythm. Situated a stone’s throw from a pristine surf break with consistent year-round waves on Costa Rica’s Playa Guiones, in the dreamy surfer town of Nosara, the Harmony Hotel opened in 2004 by a couple who met while surfing and transformed their love of the sport into one of the top destination eco-resorts in the country. For more information, visit www.harmonynosara.com.


Los Cabos Open of Surf Returns to Destination‏

April 8, 2014 on 8:48 am | In Beachbooker, Cabo, Mexico, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



Festival Makes History Adding First Women’s ASP 6 Star Division to be

Held in Mexico

Los Cabos, Mexico – Following the success of last year’s first ever Los Cabos Open of Surf, the destination known for year-round perfect waves, is pleased to announce the return of the event, taking place June 16 – 22. Expected to attract surfers from around the world looking to challenge themselves, the Los Cabos Open of Surf will serve as one of the most prestigious surf competitions not only for men but also for women. The Association of Professional Surfing (ASP) has added a Women’s 6-Star Qualification Series (QS) to this year’s event making it the first of its kind to be held in Mexico.

The event will take place along Costa Azul’s famous Zipper’s Beach Break, which is known for producing waves of 8 to 10 feet and will provide some of the world’s best surfers with the opportunity to compete for a ticket to the World Championship Tour as well as a $155,000 in cash prizes and $40,000 in prize money for the Women’s event. The event will be the largest surf and music festival in Mexico and Latin America and the only combined Men’s and Women’s 6-Star competition in North America this year.

“We are very excited for the return of the Los Cabos Open of Surf and to welcome some of the best surfers – both men and women – to our beautiful destination for this monumental competition, said Eduardo Segura Managing Director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board. “The event was a huge success last year and we hope to make it and even larger success this year.”

“We are really happy to add the Women’s 6 star competition to Los Cabos Open of Surf, there is only one other women’s qualification series event in America and it is an honor to contribute to the sport’s rich global history”, said Uli Torre Producer of the Los Cabos Open of Surf.

In addition to being one of the largest ASP qualifying events, the Los Cabos Open of Surf will also include a series of beach concerts, a food fair showcasing fresh local cuisine, fashion shows featuring some of the top surf brands, and eco-friendly activities showcasing the best of the surf lifestyle.

To learn more about the Los Cabos Open of Surf please visit http://loscabosopenofsurf.com /. More information about Los Cabos can be found at http://visitloscabos.travel/

Los Cabos, located at the tip of the 1,000-mile long Baja Peninsula, is one of the world’s most diverse tourism destinations. Boasting a dramatic desert backdrop nestled by coastlines of the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez, Los Cabos is home to award-winning resorts and culinary offerings considered some of the finest available anywhere. A growing list of championship golf courses, rejuvenating spas, world renowned sport fishing tournaments, and state of the art convention facilities add to the destination’s unmatched appeal. For more information, images and videos from Los Cabos, please visit www.visitloscabos.travel, follow us on Twitter @LOSCABOSTOURISM and visit us on Facebook , YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.


South African surfing landmark set to open

April 5, 2014 on 12:12 pm | In Africa, Beachbooker, South Africa, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



Surf History

Muizenberg’s Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame to open

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 29 March, 2014 – The ground-breaking Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame, a national landmark to celebrate the legends of South African surfing in perpetuity, will be launched at a momentous function at the Pavilion in Muizenberg, Cape Town, on Saturday 5 April.

Aptly titled The Big Jol, this gathering of hundreds of surfing luminaries and local celebrities will feature live music and audio visual presentations, reveal the details of the country’s first national surfing landmark, announce the names of the first 12 surfing pioneers to be honoured in the Walk of Fame and disclose the selection criteria for future honourees.

With the effervescent Deon Bing as master of ceremonies, lucky draw prizes totalling more than R20 000, great food and drinks on tap and plenty of camaraderie, the Big Jol will go down in the annals of surf folk lore as a night to remember!

Long-time surfer Robin Auld heads the music bill with his internationally renowned blues, folk, reggae and African influences given a rock steady feel by bassist Roger Bashew and drummer Paul Tizzard. Andre de Villiers provides one of the highlights of the show with his tribute to the late John Whitmore, the Doyen of South African surfing, while fellow SA music legend Steve Walsh will join the Robin Auld Trio in a rocking jam session.

The evening’s entertainment is kick-started by Verity, whose tenacity, inspirational music and revolutionary use of crowd-funding enabled her to produce her first album in 2008. A sought after speaker on innovation and thinking outside the box, Verity is a direct descendent of Heather Price, the first South Africa recorded riding waves standing up on a surfboard at Muizenberg in 1919.

Tickets for the Big Jol are R250 each, or R2 000 for a table of eight, and are available from Rustenberg Pharmacy or Epic Print in Muizenberg. Contact Tessa at muizies @ gmail.com for details on how to obtain tickets / tables via electronic banking. Tickets numbers are limited and will be sold strictly on a first come, first served basis.

For further details on the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame, how to make donations or to volunteer your services please contact Chevone Petersen at manager @ mid.org.za or 021 788 1196.

The Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame is a project of the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID), a Not for Profit Company that has been inspired by the pivotal role surfing has played in encouraging economic growth, fostering cultural diversity and social cohesion and gaining international recognition for Muizenberg as a destination of choice in South Africa.

The historic national landmark celebrating the heritage and culture of surfing will be constructed on the traffic circle at Surfers’ Corner in Muizenberg and includes a life-size bronze statue and Walk of Fame comprising landscaped gardens surrounding walkways embedded with plaques honouring the country’s past, present and future surfing legends.

After a four year journey to obtain permission to build the landmark, every cent of the estimated R1,5 to R2 million required to design and build it will come from donations and fund-raising efforts.


The 10 Best Ballparks in America

April 1, 2014 on 11:08 am | In Sports Travel, Surfing Resorts, USA | Comments Off



TripAdvisor announced the top Major League Baseball ballparks last week, via the TripAdvisor Popularity Index.

Classics like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field were highlighted, as well as modern favorites such as AT&T Park and PNC Park.

The top 10 parks, according to the Popularity Index, were (in order): PNC Park, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, AT&T Park, Fenway Park, Busch Stadium, Target Field, Kauffman Stadium, Wrigley Field, Comerica Park and Safeco Field.

But if TravelPulse had to pick the top 10 ballparks to visit, what would the distinguished travel site suggest?

Fortunately for you, I played high school baseball and I know what I’m talking about.

Here are TravelPulse’s 10 Best Ballparks in America.

10. Coors Field, Denver, Colorado (TripAdvisor rank: not listed)

Coors Field used to basically host a home run contest every year due to the high elevation of Denver, which was part of its allure (well, not for pitchers).

While the balls are now humidified, leading to fewer home runs (Coors Field ranked eighth in home runs per game in 2013), the park is still a place pitchers would rather stay away from (including the Colorado Rockies staff) and it offers plenty more.

The $300 million stadium looks beautiful, and the colorful skyline can look downright spectacular around sunset.

9. Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota (TripAdvisor rank: 6)

Home to the Minnesota Twins since 2010, Target Field has a number of things going for it.

For one, Minnie and Paul—the original logo of the Twins—shake hands and illuminate when the Twins hit a home run, a nice prop to help distinguish the park.

Add its distinct limestone décor, delectable restaurants and great bars, and strobe lights, and it’s no wonder why Target Field has made a name for itself.

And if you’re worried about cold weather, just make sure you situate yourself near left-center, where the park has fire pits overlooking great views of Minneapolis.

8. Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York (TripAdvisor rank: not listed)

While the new Yankee Stadium isn’t the House that Ruth Built, it still boasts some of the old park’s history, including Monument Park, which features Yankees’ retired numbers and statues and plaques dedicated to Yankees greats.

But, to me, Yankee Stadium doesn’t make the top five because it’s somewhat stuck in the middle. It’s newer and more accommodating to fans, but it also loses its luster a bit because it isn’t the Yankee Stadium, which held an incredible amount of baseball lore. Plus, if you’re going to make a new stadium, may as well make it truly unique, instead of basically modeling it after the old stadium.

All told, Yankee Stadium is still a stadium you have to go to as a baseball fan, but it doesn’t stack up to some of the newer parks, and it’s also incredibly expensive.

7. Busch Stadium, Saint Louis, Missouri (TripAdvisor rank: 5)

The “New Busch Stadium”—a retro-style park opened in 2006—defines itself with its panoramic views of the St. Louis skyline and the iconic Gateway Arch alone.

But it also just opened up Ballpark Village, a 100,000-square-foot entertainment complex that includes the Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum and a sports bar.

You will also find statues of legendary Cardinals players like Stan Musial outside the stadium, and the green patch of grass in center field is a nice touch (fans regularly jump onto the grass to chase home runs).

Plus, there’s something about seeing a sea of red that adds a different dimension to the park.

6. Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington (TripAdvisor rank: 10)

First and foremost, Safeco Field offers stunning views of the Seattle skyline, the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound (the sunsets are incredible).

But, beyond that, the stadium showcases a retractable roof weighing in at 22 million pounds that is a sight to behold (and when you’re in rainy Seattle, that’s kind of needed).

That’s in addition to some stunning art, like a nine-foot-tall bronze baseball mitt, a chandelier made of 1,000 resin baseball bats and quilts resembling each Major League team made of recycled metal (including state license plates).

Seattle’s delicious food is also included, from sushi to garlic fries.

5. Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois (TripAdvisor rank: 8)

OK, so Wrigley Field may not be the coziest ballpark in America, considering it was built in 1914 and it’s based in a place dubbed “The Windy City.”

But its ivy-covered outfield wall is truly one-of-a-kind. It not only looks cool, but baseballs (and gloves) have also been swallowed up by it, meaning anything can happen in this stadium.

Add in a classic hand-turned scoreboard and a storied tradition of having celebrities sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch, and Wrigley Field beams with character.

Look past the stadium’s dimensions and you may just catch a glimpse of partiers in (and on) the neighboring buildings.

4. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland (TripAdvisor rank: 2)

Opened in 1992, Camden Yards marked a historic step toward a new era of baseball stadiums, featuring a retro design with a brick exterior and an asymmetrical playing field.

On the other hand, the stadium still has an old-time feel, as well as some deeply embedded history. Cal Ripken Jr.’s record-setting 2,131st consecutive game was witnessed at the park in 1995. On top of that, Babe Ruth’s father once owned a café where centerfield currently stands, and Babe Ruth’s birthplace is located just two blocks from the park.

Camden Yards was groundbreaking when it opened in 1992, setting the stage for a series of stadiums that incorporated the surrounding neighborhoods and showcased local cuisine.

It’s basically neck-and-neck with my No. 3 stadium…

3. Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts (TripAdvisor rank: 4)

First of all, Fenway Park is Major League Baseball’s oldest ballpark, dating all the way back to 1912 when most ballplayers wore high socks and spectators wore suits and top hats.

But that’s just one of the many things that make Fenway Park so intriguing.

Of course, you have the legendary Green Monster, which awards those who hit 300-foot popups and denies those who hit screaming line drives.

You have the famous (or infamous) “Pesky’s Pole” in right field, where balls appear to—and can—curve around the foul pole for a home run.

There’s also a single red seat where Ted Williams hit the park’s longest home run (502 feet), a triangular region in right-center field that extends to 420 feet from home plate and a short fence outfielders have been known to tumble over when going for a catch.

So much history. So much awesome.

2. PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (TripAdvisor rank: 1)

Located on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, PNC Park is a fantastic place to watch a game (especially for Pirates fans, who finally have a good team again).

The panoramic views are spectacular—whether you are gazing at the Steel City skyline, the Allegheny River, or the yellow Roberto Clemente Bridge—and the views of the game aren’t bad, either (the highest seat in the stadium is only 88 feet away from the field).

Some of the local food here is also mouth-watering, from the potato pirogues to the Primanti Brothers sandwiches stuffed with French fries and coleslaw.

It’s also one of the few stadiums in Major League Baseball where sluggers can knock balls into the neighboring water, and the pierogi mascot races are simply the best.

1. AT&T Park, San Francisco, California (TripAdvisor rank: 3)

You can’t talk about AT&T Park without talking about the incredible views. Depending on where you sit, you can see both the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge across the water, and seats are situated close to the action.

Couple that with a 26-foot-tall baseball glove sculpture, a Coca Cola bottle you can slide down, a brick façade extending from right field to right-center field, a miniature AT&T park where kids can play Wiffle ball in left-center, a signature San Francisco cable car, and the ability to hit it out of the park into McCovey Cove (where boaters and kayakers await), and you have yourself America’s No. 1 baseball stadium. Heck, water cannons even blast water straight up into the air when a slugger knocks the ball into the cove.

Oh yeah, and San Francisco’s fantastic food isn’t left out, either. The park’s Gilroy Garlic Fries have been a favorite amongst fans ever since the park was introduced in 2000, and there’s plenty more to enjoy.


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.
www.tastewesternaustralia.com

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.
www.fervor.com.au

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.
www.hougoumonthotel.com

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.
www.anzacalbany.com.au

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.
www.artgallery.wa.gov.au

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.
www.cinefestoz.com

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.
www.tacitart.com.au

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
www.VisitPerthCity.com

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.
www.capelodge.com.au

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.
www.swings.com.au

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.
www.valleyandvines.com.au

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.
www.ordvalleymuster.com

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.
www.wharncliffemill.com.au

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.
bookshoptravel.com.au
www.facebook.com/MargiesPro

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.
www.citadines.com

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.
www.monkeymia.com.au

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.
www.farawaybay.com.au

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.
www.berkeleyriver.com.au

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.
www.facebook.com/StAllardEcoResortMargaretRiver

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.


WHAT’S NEW IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

March 20, 2014 on 10:58 am | In Beachbooker, Hawaiian Islands, Spring Break, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV) recently debuted its newest resort, Hokulani Waikiki by Hilton Grand Vacations Club. Centrally located in the energetic hub of Waikiki, Oahu, the resort marks the final component of the Waikiki Beach Walk development, which is known for premier shopping, dining, and entertainment. Designed for sophistication, Hokulani Waikiki includes 143 one-bedroom suites featuring a distinctive Hawaii style, but with an urban, contemporary aesthetic. Cosmopolitan travelers can also enjoy the resort’s open-air, rooftop pool bar. www.US.HokulaniWaikiki.com

Aston at The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach (Maui) has unveiled its upgraded studio, one- and two-bedroom premium suites providing guests ultimate comfort and extravagance. The spacious and luxurious beachfront suites offer contemporary furnishings, ocean views, large private lanais, and comfortable entertainment areas. Guests also receive amenities catered to indulge the senses, including Maui-grown coffee, fresh-cut Maui pineapple, fresh orchids, and chocolates. www.AstonHotels.com

Four Seasons Resorts Lanai debuted its first full-service luxury airport lounge at Honolulu International Airport. The 1,000-square-foot lounge, located in the Island Air commuter terminal, will now welcome Four Seasons guests enroute to Lanai. Equipped with amenities including food, beverages, iPads, Wi-Fi access, charging stations, luggage holding areas, magazines, newspapers, and hi-def televisions, guests can retreat to the relaxing setting of convenience and comfort prior to stepping foot on Lanai. www.FourSeasons.com/Lanai

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (Oahu) recently completed $21 million in renovations to its guest rooms and snack shop, and the construction of a new beach club. Inspired by contemporary Hawaiian design with modern touches, the new enhancements include a complete décor room refresh of 552 guest rooms and 36 suites of both the resort’s Tower and Diamond wings. The Tower wing’s renewal also included the creation of the new penthouse at the Moana floor, perched 21 floors above Waikiki Beach. The addition of the new beach club caters to discerning guests seeking the ultimate resort hospitality experience. www.MoanaSurfrider.com

Nobu Lanai, located at Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay launched a half-acre garden to welcome a variety of herbs and vegetables, including baby lettuce, squash, scallions, tomatoes, watermelon radish, red beets, carrots, green beans, asparagus, and cilantro. Fresh from the farm and grown organically, the ingredients make up 65 percent of what is used on the menu at Nobu. The produce is harvested daily to ensure freshness and the garden is cared for by Four Seasons staff led by executive chef Sean Mell. www.FourSeasons.com/ManeleBay

Travaasa Hana, Maui announced a new partnership with Marriott Maui Ocean Club in Lahaina, allowing guests of Maui Ocean Club to utilize their Vacation Club Points and redeem nights at the resort in east Maui. Rates at Travaasa Hana start at 1,000 Vacation Club Points per night for a Garden Suite or 1,500 Vacation Club Points per night for a Sea Ranch Cottage. Travaasa Hana will also provide a complimentary upgrade to the next room category to vacation club guests utilizing this partnership, upon availability. www.Travaasa.com/Hana or My-VacationClub.com

The Westin Maui Resort & Spa completed a transformation of 553 guest rooms and suites in the Ocean Tower of the 759-room beachfront resort. The multi-million dollar refresh project includes redesigned furnishings, modern decor and island inspired artwork, state-of-the-art electronics, and fresh flooring. The intuitive enhancements create vibrant energy amidst the beachfront resorts spectacular surroundings of legendary Kaanapali Beach and West Maui Mountains. www.WestinMaui.com

ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES

Buckle up and join The Groove Hawaii’s newest Formula 1 go-kart racing track and amusement hotspot located just outside of Waikiki. Oahu’s newest entertainment destination, The Groove offers numerous activities including go-kart races, driving clinics, outdoor climbing wall, Segway tours, indoor arcade and billiards lounge, private party rooms, and a full service restaurant. The Groove will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and patrons can utilize The Groove’s free shuttle bus available hourly from various locations in and around www.Waikiki.GrooveHawaii.com

Undergoing $57,000 of restoration services, the Battleship Missouri Memorial provides a new luster to enhance guests’ experiences of how officers of the retired USS Missouri lived while serving at sea. The 13 staterooms, known as “Officers County” have been restored to immaculate “inspection-ready” condition and appear as they did for the USS Missouri’s final mission on December 7, 1991. www.USSMissouri.org

Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel (Hawaii Island) and Body Glove Cruises have partnered together to offer two fantastic cruise packages for added value and convenience. The sunset dinner cruise offers engaging historical narrative, live entertainment and an elaborate buffet dinner. For a morning activity, guests of the Kona Beach Hotel can also enjoy the Kona snorkel adventure, which includes a continental breakfast buffet, snorkel gear, and exclusive underwater snorkel time. www.KonaBeachHotel.com

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea has launched a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) Yoga class as part of its extensive list of fitness and wellness offerings. Following the island’s hottest fitness trend, SUP yoga combines the meditative art of yoga with the physical discipline of SUP to offer guests a truly innovative and unique experience, while absorbing the beauty of Maui at the same time. www.FourSeasons.com/Maui

Kaanapali Beach Hotel (Maui) is now offering a variety of new complimentary Hawaiian activities to its cultural program. Guests of the hotel can immerse themselves in Hawaiian culture and choose amongst scheduled programs such as ukulele and hula lessons, lei making, lauhala weaving, pineapple cutting, live Hawaiian music, nightly hula shows, and cultural garden tours. www.KBHMaui.com

Kohala Zipline (Hawaii Island) launched a convenient roundtrip shuttle service between its North Kohala course and all major Kona and Kohala resorts and hotels. Guests can choose either an early departure at 8:30 a.m., or late departure at 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Included in the shuttle service is a deli-style lunch with choice of sandwich, cookie, chips, and a soft drink. www.KohalaZipline.com

Koloa Zipline, the newest addition to Kauai Zipline Tours introduced its most challenging zipline adventure tour, the sunset zip. Highlights of the tour include flying through the jungle, soaring above the forest, and gliding across the water on over a mile and a half of exciting zip lines and beautiful scenery of South Kauai at sunset and into the twilight. The Koloa sunset zipline is a 3.5 to 4 hour tour and is offered daily at 5 p.m. www.KoloaZipline.com

With a blend of cultural, academic, and technical interests, Loko Ia, a new iPhone app built by a team of University of Hawaii Researchers, gives anyone the opportunity to take an interactive, multi-media fishpond tour and learn about Hawaii’s resources. Using GPS and location-based technologies, Loko Ia provides both walking and virtual tours of Heeia Fishpond, located on Oahu’s windward coast. The app, available on the iTunes App Store, also provides maps, data and visualizations of research the UH team is conducting. www.Hawaii.edu

Tasting Kauai created “A Taste of Kilohana” as an exclusive, guided food tour featuring a ride in an open-air train through the 105-acre orchard of the Kilohana Plantation in Kauai. The tour includes a Mai Tai workshop and an off-the-menu, three-course meal presented by Gaylord’s executive chef Todd Barrett in the private dining room of Wilcox Mansion. Guests can also disembark through the orchard feeding wild boar, goat, and chicken, while picking fruit from 50 varieties of exotic fruit trees. www.TastingKauai.com

Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore introduced its new engagement package incorporating the best in authentic North Shore locations and experiences for a once-in-a-lifetime proposal. Couples can enjoy a horseback ride along the breathtaking Kawela Bay, followed by a romantic private dinner, and ending with a memorable proposal celebration. Turtle Bay Resort will ensure every step of the proposal is seamless with an onsite photographer, ukulele musician, and hula dancer. New engagement packages are available for $1,018 per night for two with a three-night minimum in one of the resort’s luxurious beach cottages. WWW.TurtleBayResort.com


FREE KAUA‘I TRAVEL PLANNER

March 10, 2014 on 12:54 pm | In Beachbooker, Books Guidebooks, Hawaiian Islands, Spring Break, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



Learn about the five great regions of our beautiful island and discover what’s unique about each area. Request our free 57-page Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau Official Travel Planner by mail or view it online.


Long Beach Lodge Resort offers stand up paddle boarding

March 4, 2014 on 12:23 pm | In Adventure Travel, British Columbia, Cabinweb, Canada, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



As a result of the growing interest in stand up paddling – commonly referred to as SUP – Long Beach Lodge Resort in Tofino, BC has added both private lessons and rentals to its in-house Surf Centre offerings.

The 3.5 hour private lessons for up to five participants start at $289 Cdn per lesson. Most lessons take place in the morning hours, when the winds are typically lighter and the surf is more manageable along McKenzie Beach. SUP board and surf equipment rentals start at $39 per person which includes all equipment, including board, paddle, wetsuit, boots and hoods.

“We see more and more people grabbing a paddle and embracing SUP,” says Samantha Hackett, operations manager at Long Beach Lodge Resort.

“It has literally lifted off overnight, so in response to this growing trend, the addition of SUP lessons and rentals at the Resort allows our guests to choose an alternative to surfing, right on site at our Surf Centre.”

The Lodge’s Surf Centre provides guests with a fully equipped centre to change, shower, decompress, and even warm up in a hot pool and sauna following their time out on the waves. A coffee bar and retail shop allows for hanging out, trading surf stories, and watching video footage on large screens around the room.

Cooltan Tan-Through Shirts & SwimsuitsWhile popular on lakes and in calm ocean harbours, SUP in an ocean environment such as Cox Bay – with minimal break from surf and swells – requires a combination of balance, strength, patience and planning. The dynamic environment found on continuous ocean swells means that paddlers need to keep their bodies in an active pose, while remaining loose enough to maintain an upright position on the board. Of course, the Resort’s instructors spend time with each participant to help explain the basics of SUP, how to react to incoming waves, and how best to remain upright, at least for as long as possible.

“The ocean certainly adds a new element of challenge,” says Chance McCullough, surf club manager at Long Beach Lodge Resort. “What is most appealing is that one can do this sport at their own pace, but we can also move guests from beach to inlet to lake within a few minutes drive so they can have an experience that matches their skill and comfort levels, plus the scenery from the boards is second to none.”

SUP lessons are offered as an option to any overnight stay, with rates at Long Beach Lodge Resort starting at $199 for standard rooms, $219 for ocean view rooms, and $329 for cottages.

To learn more about Long Beach Lodge Resort, visit www.longbeachlodgeresort.com  or call 250-725-2442.

About Long Beach Lodge Resort

The vision of Tim Hackett and famous for its iconic Great Room, with spectacular ocean views and cozy fireside dining and relaxing, Long Beach Lodge Resort is home to one of the best surfing beaches in the area. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the new Surf Club Adventure Centre opened, providing guests with a fully equipped centre complete with changing rooms, rentals, hot tub and coffee bar for comfort and enjoyment. Long Beach Lodge Resort is set right on the ocean on Cox Bay, Tofino and provides beautifully appointed accommodations in a private, wild Pacific West Coast setting. The resort offers 41 lodge rooms, 20 two-bedroom cottages and a full service dining room, as well as meeting space and instant beach access. For more information, visit www.longbeachlodgeresort.com


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