Caribbean jazz festival season means fans of jazz as well as soul, R&B and hip hop genres will have multiple chances to see A-list stars in some of the world’s most beautiful destinations. This year’s Tobago Jazz Experience is set for April with stars including Jenifer Hudson, Kool and the Gang and Jill Scott. – Brian Major, TravelPulse Caribbean editor
Music enthusiasts from around the world are invited to the island of Tobago to experience an electrifying fusion of home-grown entertainers and international superstars as the island celebrates its sixth annual Tobago Jazz Experience. In addition to music, the nine-day festival held April 18-26, 2015 exemplifies Tobago’s vibrant culture and history, unique gastronomy and visitor-friendly residents.
Festival-goers will take a musical tour through Speyside, Signal Hill, Scarborough, Castara and Pigeon Point Heritage Park. Each community will host multiple events and performances by both regional and international music icons including headlining Grammy Award winning artists Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson and Kool and the Gang. This year, major new initiatives are expected as the Division of Tourism and Transportation works to ensure continued improvement and innovation during the annual event. Secretary of Tourism and Transportation, Tracy Davidson-Celestine, is enthusiastic about the quality of acts planned for the week, mentioning that the Division wants to build on the success of last year’s festival, headlined by Grammy Award winning performer, John Legend.
The hotels, guests’ houses and bed and breakfast properties are all full during this time. This means waiters, taxi drivers, street food vendors, bar owners are just a few who benefit from the Tobago Jazz Experience,” said Mrs. Davidson-Celestine.
Against a backdrop of Tobago’s world renowned beaches and laidback atmosphere, Tobago Jazz Experience, now in its sixth year, offers visitors a chance to discover and explore the authentic Caribbean island while enjoying sensational performances. With its cove-filled coastlines, renowned diving sites and diverse gastronomy, visitors to the island are in for a treat with the vast number of activities and adventures the island has to offer.
For more information and ticket information, visit www.tobagojazzexperience.com.
Read more travel news at www.TravelPulse.com
Hurtigruten partners with nature photographer Darren Parkell to offer exclusive Greenland photography voyageJanuary 27, 2015 on 11:17 am | In Adventure Travel, Cruise Boats, Webbandstand | Comments Off
The scene is familiar: bored friends and family members look on in dismay as the vacation photos are carted out and narrated in excruciating detail. They feign interest and stifle yawns while subtly checking their phones, wondering what they did to deserve this. But not this time. Hurtigruten, the world’s foremost authority in Arctic voyaging and expedition travel, has a cure for the common vacation photo. Hurtigruten is proud to partner with internationally renowned wildlife and environmental photographer Darren Perkell on a once-in-a-lifetime Artic cruise along Greenland’s pristine northern coastline, departing June 13.
Guests on Hurtigruten’s special photography voyage will have the opportunity to return with vacation photos that are certain to thrill even the most jaded traveler. Perkell will offer guests an entirely new travel experience, complete with photography seminars, one-on-one instruction, workshops, and location shoots designed to send seasoned photographers and casual travel shutterbugs alike home with breathtaking, professional-quality shots of their journey through the High Arctic. This special Greenland voyage has rates starting at $7,195 per person, double occupancy, which represents a savings of more than $4,000 per passenger off regular fares.
Budding photographers will begin the 12-day journey with chartered transfers from Iceland’s Reykjavic Airport to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, just 40 km from the mammoth Greenland Ice Cap. From there, they’ll board Hurtigruten’s beautifully appointed MS Fram explorer ship and begin to marvel at the breathtaking natural wonders along Greenland’s northwestern coast. Setting course through the “Land of the Midnight Sun” toward Disko Bay, guests will have the opportunity to dog-sled, hike, kayak and more, with daily landings – weather permitting – in the charming towns and villages that dot Greenland’s scenic coast. Cameras in hand, they’ll learn professional tips and techniques that will result in the sort of striking images they’ve seen in glossy travel publications as they explore — from Sisimiut, Greenland’s second largest town, to Illorsuit, a tiny fishing village home to only 90 inhabitants. With the massive Greenland Ice Cap, natural fjords and enchanting Intuit culture as constant companions, voyagers will enjoy no shortage of inspiration – or adventure.
Throughout the journey, guests will have the opportunity to increase their camera skills and confidence while capturing their memories forever through the art of photography.
Perkell, a member of esteemed professional photographers’ and cinematographers’ organizations including the International Cinematographers Guild, Nikon Professional Services, and The Explorers Club, is a regular contributor to the monthly photographers salon at the School for Visual Arts in New York and has traveled exhaustively throughout the High Artic. He brings a special passion for these regions and a trained artist’s eye to this exclusive Hurtigruten opportunity.
Aboard the MS Fram, guests experience the utmost in comfort on a ship specially appointed to ensure safe, comfortable travel through the rugged arctic waters. Built in 2007, MS Fram offers modern accommodations, sumptuous meals and comfortable amenities in an intimate, casual setting. Guests can relax in lounges, stretch après hike in a well-outfitted gym or sit in an on-deck Jacuzzi while passing towering icebergs. The ship boasts a specially-designed bow so guests can observe the marine wildlife and natural phenomena that are in abundance on these voyages. As an added bonus, because there are only 276 passengers on board, everyone has a front-row seat for all of these special experiences.
Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition voyages, sailing to the most remote of destinations, including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen, as well as year-round along Norway’s coast and to Europe in the spring and fall. The company’s fleet of 13 intimate ships, which each carry 100 to 646 guests, allows travelers to enjoy the scenery and culture of the destination in a relaxed atmosphere.
Additional information, brochures and reservations can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten’s visitor-friendly website, www.hurtigruten.us; by phone at 877-301-3117; or fax at 888-524-2145. To order brochures 24 hours a day, call 800-582-0835.
21st Annual Honolulu Festival
March 6-8, 2015
The annual Honolulu Festival celebrates cultures from across the Pacific. This three-day celebration of art, music, dance, and crafts is filled with spectacular sights and sounds, including aboriginal dance performances, cultural demonstrations and a vibrant parade through Waikiki.
www.honolulufestival.com or (808) 926-2424
13th Annual Waikiki SPAM Jam
May 2, 2015
The Waikiki SPAM® Jam is an exciting annual street festival that takes place on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. The event celebrates the unusually high consumption of SPAM® in Hawaii and features a variety of Honolulu’s finest restaurants serving up SPAM®-inspired creations. Two entertainment stages provide non-stop entertainment consisting of several of Honolulu’s finest restaurants which will be serving up Spam in many different ways, so you can experience the enormous variety of its applications. Two merchandise tents will be selling Spam-themed items including t-shirts, shorts, sport balls, and slippers. A variety of Hawaiian craft booths will also be set up on the street. Proceeds from the event benefit the Hawaii Food Bank.
5th Annual Mele Mei
Month of May
Mele Mei is a month-long celebration of Hawaii’s music, hula and culture. Immerse yourself at music and hula events held throughout the entire month of May at various hotels, venues, on the beach and statewide. From ‘ukulele to steel guitar, traditional Hawaiian music to slack key, island reggae to rock-and everything in between-Mele Mei has something for everyone.
For more information, please visit www.melemei.com or call (808) 593-9424
88th Annual Lei Day Celebration
May 1, 2015
Don’t miss this special Hawaiian celebration of lei including entertainment, food booths and a lei making contest takes place at the beautiful Queen Kapiolani Park and Bandstand in Waikiki. www.honolulu.gov/parks/programs
Annual World Fireknife Championship
Part of PCC’s annual “We Are Samoa Festival,” the World Fireknife Championship celebrates two decades of competition. Dancers of all ages will tempt fate as they showcase their mastery of Samoan fireknives in a fiery battle of skill and bravery. Acrobatic moves and death-defying tricks combine with ancient Samoan culture to make this event an exhilarating must-see. Tickets sell out every year so early booking is highly recommended.
www.polynesia.com (808) 293-3333
Hawaii Book and Music Festival
May 2-3, 2015
The annual Hawaii Book & Music Festival is a family-friendly festival that takes place on the spacious grounds of the Honolulu Hale civic center, boasting ten pavilions and stages where festival-goers can look forward to meeting local, national and internationally celebrated authors and illustrators; music and stage performances; stimulating panel discussions on a variety of topics; story-telling and poetry slams; as well as activities and entertainment for the younger crowd. Attendees also will enjoy the popular Bank of Hawaii Book Swap, book-seller booths and a multi-ethnic food court. www.hawaiibookandmusicfestival.org
May 17, 2015
Triathletes from around the world visit Oahu each May to compete in the Honolulu Triathlon. The triathlon features 1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run courses that begin and end at Ala Moana Park. Events leading up to the triathlon include “Hustle Up the Hyatt Stair Race” and a short-distance kid’s triathlon at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki. www.HonoluluTriathlon.com
Annual Lantern Floating Ceremony
May 25, 2015 – Memorial Day
Every year on Memorial Day, thousands of people gather together at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park to honor ancestors and loved ones who have passed away. More than 1,100 candle-lit lanterns are set afloat on the ocean, a traditional Buddhist rite originating in Japan. The ceremony also combines the local culture of hula with the Japanese Shomyo Choir and Taiko drums.
Pan Pacific Festival-Matsuri in Hawaii
June 12-14, 2015
This special three-day celebration begins with Hawaiian festivities on Friday evening, including a block party where last year, more than 40,000 people enjoyed the entertainment and food. The celebration includes a hula festival held at Ala Moana Center, where spectators have the rare opportunity to see hula groups from Japan perform with Hawaiian hula halau. The event culminates with a grand parade along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki.
www.pan-pacific-festival.com or (808) 926-8177
38th Prince Lot Hula Festival
Saturday, July 18, 2015, 9 am to 4 pm
This all-day festival held in the beautiful Moanalua Gardens showcases hula halau (troupes) gracing the hula mound for spectators to enjoy. The festival is immersed in Native Hawaiian culture and features crafts, kapa making, lauhala weaving, lomilomi massage, traditional Hawaiian games, and more.
www.moanaluagardensfoundation.org or (808) 839-5334
Hawaii All-Collectors Show
July 12, 2015
Don’t miss the opportunity to find the perfect gift from Hawaii at the Hawaii All-Collectors Show at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. This annual collectibles and antiques show and sale features more than 200 booths with one of the largest selections of Hawaiiana under one roof.
www.ukulele.com or (808) 941-9754
Annual Haleiwa Arts Festival Summer Event
Experience a broad spectrum of traditional, contemporary and ethnic arts at Haleiwa Beach Park in the historic town of Haleiwa. This event includes visual artists, musicians, singers, dancers, demonstrations, storytelling, student art displays, historical trolley tours, and arts and craft activities for children. Browse and purchase unique works by artists of all ages and cultural backgrounds.
www.haleiwaartsfestival.org or (808) 637-2277
45th Annual Roy Sakuma Ukulele Festival Hawaii
Sunday, July 19, 2015 – 10:30 am – 4:30 pm- Kapiolani Park Bandstand
Local ukulele legend Roy Sakuma and his sponsors are helping to keep the ukulele alive with the largest festival of its kind in the world, attracting audiences of thousands. The free two-hour concerts showcase the finest ukulele players, along with national celebrities, Hawaii’s top entertainers, and an ukulele orchestra of more than 800 students, mostly children. The festival benefits Ukulele Festival Hawaii, a charitable non-profit organization.
www.ukulelefestivalhawaii.org/en/ or (808) 732-3739
The ease of Oahu makes the island such a wonderful wedding and honeymoon spot. Oahu is easy to reach, easy to get around, and easy for planning purposes. With loads of flights from the U.S. mainland, Oahu is a breeze for couples and guests coming to celebrate. Oahu’s unique town, beach, and country settings and experiences provide a plethora of wedding venues and pre- and post-wedding activities for couples, guests, and honeymooners. Since most places in Oahu are within a one-hour drive or less, navigating the island is no problem. Transportation options abound with car rentals and private limousine, van, and bus charters.
Oahu is home to a multitude of wedding vendors that provide vision and expertise to suit every budget. Consider hiring an Oahu based wedding planner who can streamline and simplify the planning process for you. Moreover, wedding planners will have access to the caterers, photographers, videographers, floral designers, music and entertainment companies, and transportation that best meet your requirements.
• Perfectly Planned Weddings, Keane Aako, perfectlyplannedhawaii.com
• Aloha Wedding Planners, Susan O’Donnell, alohaweddingplanners.com
• Neu Events, Mona Hirata, mgweddingshawaii.com
(Las Vegas, NV) – The Las Vegas Philharmonic will present its annual Diamonds Are Forever Gala on Friday, February 6th at 6:30 p.m. at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. This celebration of Maestro Donato Cabrera’s inaugural season will serve as the organization’s major fundraising event for the 2014-2015 year.
The Gala’s masters of ceremonies are FOX 5 KVVU-TV MORE co-hosts Rachel Smith and Sean McAllister. The evening will feature an elegant cocktail party and silent auction including a glamorous fashion and shoe presentation by Saks Fifth Avenue, followed by an exquisite dinner and live auction hosted by Auctioneer Chet Buchanan on the Reynolds Hall stage. The live auction will feature many amazing experience packages from exotic overseas travel to tickets to prestigious national competitions. The event will include entertainment by members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and a special and exclusive performance by Las Vegas-based vocalist, Kristen Hertzenberg.
This will be the first time the Las Vegas Philharmonic presents its Diamonds Are Forever Gala at The Smith Center. “As resident company of The Smith Center, we felt it was only natural to host this year’s Gala in the hall we call home,” says Las Vegas Philharmonic President and CEO, Jeri Crawford. “Also, we are offering guests the unique opportunity to dine on the Reynolds Hall stage so they can experience this beautiful hall from the musicians’ perspectives.”
Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s various educational initiatives including its annual Youth Concert Series and Young Artists’ Concerto Competition. To date, the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s Youth Concert Series has reached more than 180,000 fourth- and fifth-grade students in the Las Vegas Valley. Close to 80% of the students in attendance are from at-risk schools. The Youth Concert Series offers a significant cultural experience for those students. These concerts are free to the students. The Philharmonic relies on funding from donors and corporate sponsors to sustain this annual program.
For information on table bookings, tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the Diamonds Are Forever Gala, contact the Las Vegas Philharmonic by phone 702-258-5438.
Tickets $26, $46, $66 & $96 available from The Smith Center Box Office 702.749.2000 or lvphil.org
January 21, 2015 (Las Vegas, NV) – This Valentine’s Day, the Las Vegas Philharmonic performs its Pops Series III concert called ‘A Gershwin Valentine’ at 7:30 p.m. in Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center. To start off the evening, the Philharmonic will host a Sweethearts Reception at 6:15 p.m. in The Smith Center’s Founders Room serving cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for $50 per person.
The concert will showcase a large-scale orchestra conducted by Peter Bay with guest vocalist Sylvia McNair. The program will feature timeless classics by 20th-century American composer, George Gershwin, including ‘S Wonderful, Man I Love, But Not For Me, Summertime and Shall We Dance/I Got Rhythm. Other Gershwin orchestral selections include the Cuban Overture, Lullaby, Oh, Kay! Overture, Porgy and Bess: Symphonic Picture, and Let ‘Em Eat Cake Overture.
Peter Bay is currently in his 16th season as Music Director and Conductor for the Austin Symphony Orchestra and also leads the Hot Springs Music Festival in Arkansas. In addition to appearing with 70 different orchestras, his prior music director positions include the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon, the Erie Philharmonic, and Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, to name a few. Maestro Bay is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the Peabody Institute of Music.
Sylvia McNair is a two-time Grammy Award winner and regional Emmy Award winner. Her vocal repertoire includes opera, oratorio, cabaret and musical theater. She has performed with many leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Her Great American Songbook cabaret shows have been featured in New York at the Rainbow Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Savoy Room at Sheldon Hall. Over the span of McNair’s career, she has made more than 70 recordings ranging from Mozart arias to Broadway and Jazz standards.
The Las Vegas Philharmonic offers $26 tickets for balcony seating at all of its 2014-15 season concerts. Seats in other sections are priced $46, $66 and $96. Tickets are available from The Smith Center Box Office, phone 702.749.2000 or online from lvphil.org. A 50% student discount is available on all single ticket purchases (ID required) and a 10% discount is available to seniors and military personnel. Groups of 10 or more receive 20% off the ticket price by calling the Las Vegas Philharmonic.
Design Your Own Mini Series & Save 15%
The Las Vegas Philharmonic is currently offering 3 & 4 concert packages that save 15% off single ticket prices. Select A Gershwin Valentine and two or three other 2014-15 season concerts to receive this discount. Full concert schedule & programs can be found online at lvphil.org. The Design Your Own Mini Series package can be purchased in person from The Smith Center box office, by phone 702.749.2000 or online.
The Las Vegas Philharmonic offers shuttle buses to The Smith Center from Summerlin (Starbright Theatre, 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd) and Henderson (Anthem Center at Independence Center 2460 Hampton Road.) Bus passes must be purchased in advance and can be obtained when purchasing concert tickets, or by calling The Smith Center Patron Services at 702.749.2000. Each bus pass costs $15 roundtrip per concert.
Tickets On Sale Feb. 12 for Touring Skating Spectacular
Featuring Dynamic Sisters Anna and Elsa, Appearing for the First Time in a Live Production
LAS VEGAS, NV – Feld Entertainment, Inc., the worldwide leader in producing live touring family entertainment, today announced that its 34th Disney On Ice spectacular will bring the Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, to life. Disney On Ice presents Frozen Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt visits Las Vegas from Wednesday, Jan. 6 to Monday, Jan. 11, 2016 for a total of 10 performances at Thomas & Mack Center and tickets go on sale Thursday, Feb. 12 at 10 a.m.
The Academy Award® winning tale will be told live for the first time in this production, capturing the dynamic of two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa. Anna, a girl with an extraordinary heart, embarks on an epic journey to find her sister, the magical Elsa, who is determined to remain secluded as she finally feels free to test the limits of her powers. Rugged mountain man Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven, the lovable and hilarious snowman Olaf and the mystical trolls help Anna along the way in this story about love conquering fear. Audiences will get to sing along with such musical masterpieces as “Let it Go,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Fixer Upper.”
“In our more than 30 years of producing Disney On Ice shows, Feld Entertainment has been waiting for a film like this,” says producer Nicole Feld. “While it might seem obvious that Frozen is well suited for the ice, this Disney On Ice production will touch audiences emotionally through innovative show elements and world-class skating.”
Frozen directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee add, “Seeing audiences around the world embrace Frozen has been the experience of a lifetime. And to now have the chance to consult with the talented team at Feld Entertainment and watch their creation come to life on ice, is thrilling.”
In Disney On Ice presents Frozen Presented by YoKids, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse take the audience through the magical story based in Arendelle, with special appearances by beloved Disney princesses and favorite characters from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story and Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King, who come together to prove that true love is the greatest power of all. Director Patty Vincent says, “Our goal is to showcase these heartwarming characters in a way that allows the audience to cheer and sing along throughout this emotional journey.”
To create a completely immersive experience for the audience, the set design will encompass the space from the ice surface up through the air, drawing everyone into the story and closer to the characters. Families will feel that they are trekking up to the North Mountains with Anna, Kristoff and Sven, and they will tangibly experience the storm inside Elsa. Elsa’s magic will be enhanced by state-of-the art special effects while her emotions will be conveyed through powerful skating.
Show dates and times:
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016: 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016: 7 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 8, 2016: 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016: 11:30 a.m.; 3 p.m.; 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016: 11:30 a.m.; 3 p.m.; 7 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 11, 2016: 7 p.m.
VIP Floor Seats: $80
Front Row: $70
*** $3 facility fee on all tickets
Tickets are available at Thomas & Mack Center Box Office, UNLVticket outlets at Town Square Las Vegas Concierge and La Bonita Supermarkets, UNLVtickets.com, or 702-739-FANS.
For a complete list of tour dates, visit the Disney On Ice website (disneyonice.com) and stay current on the latest developments through social media:
· Facebook (www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce)
· Twitter (@DisneyOnIce /@NicoleFeld (show’s producer Twitter feed)
· YouTube (www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce)
Members of the media should visit www.FeldEntertainment.com/Frozen for more information. Photos can be found at www.FeldInc.com/hrp (username: feldmedia; password: photos).
About Feld Entertainment
Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 75 countries and on six continents to date and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Nuclear Cowboyz®, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt, Disney Live! Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt and Marvel Universe LIVE! More information about Feld Entertainment is available online at FeldEntertainment.com
WA’s flagship theatre, Black Swan State Theatre Company, has released its 2015 program. The season embraces a mix of classics, comedies, exciting new Australian work, and a musical and family production. Highlights of the 2015 program include, five plays presented in the Heath Ledger Theatre; a highly anticipated rock musical Next To Normal starring music theatre performer Rachael Beck; and Tasma Walton returning to her home state to star in a stylish black satirical comedy Dinner by Moira Buffini.
Las Vegas—Celebrating his fifth year as a comedic headliner at Treasure Island, Bill Engvall brings his trademark comedy back to the Treasure Island Theatre March 6 at 9 p.m. during NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas.
Engvall was one of the finalists on the popular fan-voted ABC show “Dancing With the Stars” with partner Emma Slater in 2013. He formerly hosted “Country Fried Home Videos” on CMT and “Lingo” on the Game Show Network; starred in and served as executive producer for “The Bill Engvall Show” on TBS; and provided the voice to one of the four main characters on CMT’s first-ever animated project, “Bounty Hunters.”
He was a member of the “Blue Collar Comedy” troupe and has starred in “Blue Collar TV,” “Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie,” “Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again” and “Blue Collar Comedy Tour: One for the Road” alongside fellow comedians Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White.
Engvall and fellow comedian Gary Brightwell are daily hosts of “Off the Cuff with Bill Engvall” on Sirius/XM’s Blue Collar Radio. In 2014 he released his eleventh comedy album, “Ultimate Laughs,” and completed filming of the television movie “Do It Yourself.”
Engvall earned a career break-through when he earned the title of Best Male Stand-up Comedian at the 1992 American Comedy Awards. His first album, “Here’s Your Sign,” reached No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums list in 1997.
Tickets are available starting at $59.95, plus taxes and service charges, and can be purchased by calling 866-712-9308 or 702-894-7722, or visiting www.treasureisland.com.
About Treasure Island
Treasure Island on the Las Vegas Strip is a privately owned hotel and casino and stands alone as the only major Strip property to claim that unique market position. Boasting nearly 3,000 guest rooms, Treasure Island is a world-class destination for headline entertainment and Mystère, the classic Cirque du Soleil performance that combines the powerful athleticism, high-energy acrobatics and inspiring imagery that have become the company’s hallmark. Upscale and casual dining choices, hip nightspots and indulgent spa and shopping experiences further complement the one-of-a-kind Treasure Island guest experience.
For information visit www.treasureisland.com, www.facebook.com/TIvegas or follow the property on Twitter @TIVegas.
AN authentic country EXPERIENCE
Caravan parks are full and camping grounds are filling fast, but accommodation is still available for last minute visitors attending Australia’s largest music festival – the Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth 2015.
As the final weekend for the festival approaches, the number of visitors to the region is increasing and they are preparing for an action-packed finale with the Toyota Concert in the Park, Toyota Country Music Cavalcade, Best of the Buskers Concert, the Golden Guitars – Country Music Awards of Australia and the Closing Concert complete with a spectacular fireworks display.
Some local hotels and motels still have rooms available with the choice in range varying from 2 stars right up to 4 stars for those who prefer a little bit of luxury for their country music capital experience.
Current information about accommodation availability can be sought from the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre, located at the corner of New England Highway and 2 Ringers Road, Tamworth, adjacent to the Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre. Also check out tcmf.com.au for further information.
For those visitors who have already secured their accommodation and picked through the Official Guide to plan their gig list, below are some interesting experiences on offer in the Tamworth region – from outdoor scenic activities to heritage and cultural wonders.
The Tamworth region offers pristine waterways, National Parks, spectacular dams and experienced adventure operators. Within an hour-and-a-half of Tamworth’s CBD, visitors can make a morning or a day of canoeing the pristine Namoi River, bush walking or rock climbing in the beautiful Warrabah National Park.
Those with half or a full day to spare can take a scenic drive out along the Peel River through the Dungowan Valley and explore the historic gold mining village of Nundle, just 40 minutes from Tamworth. This quaint village offers Festival visitors a plethora of experiences including a fully functioning woollen mill, boutique retail stores and a rare rocks, gems and minerals collection.
Mix great food and music at The Peel Inn and DAG Sheep Stations, which both have a jam-packed gig guide for the Festival.
For those wanting to explore, take an hour or so trek up the nearby Kamilaroi walking track or to Flagstaff Mountain.
Manilla ranks among the world’s best locations for paragliding, sky sailing and hang-gliding. And for those looking for a real taste of country, why not try Leconfield jillaroo and jackaroo school along with horse-riding trails to suit all levels.
For families, Lake Keepit offers endless activities to keep children entertained, including a water park and boat hire and slightly closer to Tamworth, try Chaffey Dam. Trout fishing at one of the specialist trout farms located within an hour of Tamworth’s CBD offers a perfect day of family adventure – and the Arc-en-ciel Trout Farm almost guarantees a fish on the line.
There are numerous lookouts across the region, like Adam’s Lookout in Barraba, the Hanging Rock Lookout near Nundle, the Moonbi Lookout, the VJ Byrnes Lookout at Manilla and the Oxley Lookout in Tamworth.
Tamworth PowerStation Museum will be firing on all engines from Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 January (9am to 4pm), with the two John Fowler steam-driven engines being the only two of their type operating in the world.
With Tamworth the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to have municipally funded electric street lighting, it recently won an IMAGinE Award from Museums and Galleries of NSW for its celebration of the 125th anniversary of electric street lighting in Tamworth (November 9, 2013).
“This is a rare occasion to experience the thrill of the sights and sounds of these powerful engines from a bygone era and a unique experience to see the light bulbs light up one by one when the engines get going,” said acting Museum manager Pam Brown.
The Museum is also home to a fascinating and significant collection, including 20th century electrical appliances, technical instruments and a pictorial history about the early development of electricity. For enquiries: Tamworth PowerStation Museum, Peel St, Tamworth ph. 6766 8324 (entry fee applies).
If it’s a native animal experience you’re after, Tamworth’s Marsupial Park offers visitors an up-close experience with animals like kangaroos, peacocks, cockatoos and emus. Children can enjoy the sandpit and play equipment, with BBQ facilities and bathrooms for families – and entry to the park is free.
For budding artists, Tamworth offers a unique range of art galleries and museums like the Tamworth Regional Gallery, established in 1919 and one of the oldest regional galleries in New South Wales.
Weswal Gallery stocks and supports local, regional and national artists and has an impressive range of distinctive and beautiful Australian designed and unique hand-made jewellery, ceramics, glass, and fine woodwork.
Volcania Art Glass at Nundle will provide you with an experience full of country warmth and charm. Opening in 2014 the gallery features an exquisite collection of handmade art glass, leadlight and stained glass.
The Manilla Heritage Museum is located 40 minutes from the heart of the country music capital. Local history buffs have been collecting stories, documents, artefacts and memorabilia since 1972.
The Tamworth region is an outstanding area for bird watching too, featuring some 238 species of birds found in the area.
The 10-day Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth is the biggest in the country, and lauded as one of the top music festivals in the world.
The Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth 2015 runs until Sunday 25 January. It is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
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