I hear you’ve assembled a swag of holiday ideas to spike a summer break in Aussie?
Yes, well everyone knows about their landmark summer drawers like the Boxing Day Test, the Tennis Open, the Harbour Bridge fireworks and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. But I’ve staked out all sorts of extra drawers to rev up the Aussie summer hit parade.
What’s the buzz about The Lion King?
Well, the gazillion dollar Disney production is cutting a swathe through Sydney. The smash-hit musical has just arrived in Australia. There is an awesome YouTube clip of Rafiki sending out the Circle of Life call from the rooftop of the Sydney Opera House on the Lion King website. So, if you fancy a dollop of Hakuna Matata, Sydney is calling, for 2014. www.disney.com.au/lionkingmusical
Speaking of live shows, what about Mrs Brown?
The entire cast of Mrs Browns Boys will be all over Australia like a rash early next year, with their live stage show, Mrs Brown Rides Again. The show runs for 10 weeks, across 8 cities. Sadly they’re not crossing the Tasman, but some tickets are still available for Mrs Brown Rides Again in Australia. www.mrsbrownsboys.com.au
Canberra has become the Inca Trail for travellers?
You normally need a seriously compelling reason to visit Canberra. And the Lost World exhibition, at the National Gallery, could be just the ticket. Over 200 ancient treasures from the Incas in Peru are showcased in the exhibition, which has just opened and runs until April. http://nga.gov.au/exhibitions/
The most expensive rollercoaster ride ever built in Oz has just opened?
Yep, its called StormCoaster, a fire, water and heart-pumping sensory blast, which combines a hurtling rollercoaster with a flume ride climax and pyrotechnics to boot. You’ll find StormCoaster at SeaWorld, which is also home to the 6 month old polar bear cub called Henry. Another summer hit.
What else is hot on the Gold Coast?
A couple of tips. Many families will have holidayed with their kids at Paradise Resort. It’s just completed a one hundred million dollar revamp, with nine themed play spaces for kids. So that’s good to go. www.paradiseresort.com.au
And Movie World has just launched its signature show for summer , FMX Overdrive. It’s a death-defying display of choreographed motorised madness on two and four wheels, performed by Australia’s finest stunt car drivers and motocross riders. And it’s getting great reviews.
You’ve hunted down some rather quirky summer festivals.
Inventive festivals is an Aussie past time. Just out of Adelaide, Port Lincoln is the Tuna Capital of Australia. In late January, they stage Tunarama, which includes the world-famous Tuna Toss. As the name suggests, it’s essentially a flying fish competition, a showdown of the world’s champion fish throwers. January 25 and 26 are the big days, if you happen to be in South Australia. www.tunarama.net
What’s happening in Chinchilla?
The Queensland town of Chinchilla hosts one of the more out-there events called the Melon Festival, which is headlined by some fiercely contested events including Melon Ironman, Melon Eating and Melon Head-Smashing Races. This is what happens when people spend too much time in the sun. ( The biennial festival isn’t staged again until 2015.)
By the way, one last festival to tell you about Jack. Rainbow Serpent .
This is one of the biggest hippy hangouts in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s held just of Melbourne in late January. It began as a trance music gig, but has morphed into a festival of music, arts and spiritual healing . It’ sounds a bit too woo-woo for my liking, but if you’ve got a spiritual interpretative dance you’d like to share with the world, after channelling your inner-primal energy, the Rainbow Serpent is your destination. www.rainbowserpent.net
For more travel tips, advice and inspiration, check out the website of New Zealand’s premier travel magazine, For the Love of Travel. www.fortheloveoftravel.net.nz
Mike Yardley’s travel notes from Newstalk ZB’s Jack Tame Show. Dec 14. www.newstalkzb.co.nz