News from Norfolk Island Tourism - Adventures Abound

Norfolk Island is the perfect escape from a demanding world. The delightful switch to ‘Norfolk Time’ allows the internal clock to release the passing of each hour and frees the mind from expectation.

Everywhere you look on Norfolk Island there is something to explore. Every local has an interesting story and every artefact in the museums speaks of a past long gone but remains pivotal in the lifestyle and for the people, who call this special place home today.

Adventures await at every turn with the island presenting a rich history and picturesque tapestry of tranquil forests, peaceful gardens and pine-dotted meadows, surrounded by some of the deepest and most beautiful waters in the Pacific Ocean.

The green rolling hills, lagoon-fringed shoreline, treasure-filled rock pools, soaring seabirds and majestic and world-famous Norfolk Island pines are part of an amazing backdrop of country charm and seaside serenity ready for you to explore on foot via the many laid out walking tracks and on meandering roads in a colourful Mini Moke, on push bike or on the many 4WD tours with local guides.

In nature’s paradise, discover White Terns fluttering overhead and Red-Tailed Tropicbirds gliding past sheer cliffs and catch sight of one of the rare Green Parrot, which can only be found on Norfolk Island, and over many years has been under the watchful eye of local rangers and National Parks and Wildlife to ensure this beautiful species lives on. And take a trip over to nearby Phillip island, another important breeding site for at least 12 species of seabirds.

Enjoy a refreshing swim at fabulous Emily Bay where you can also start your channel challenge to Slaughter Bay and back, snorkel at Cemetery Bay and off Salt Mill, kayak in the open waters and, for surfers, catch a reef break at Kingston.

Stories of catching four fish on one line are true so head out on a guided charter where a feed of Trumpeter (Red Emperor) is almost guaranteed and try for Kingfish, Grouper, Snapper, Trevally, Rock Cod and Tuna.

Back on land, play a round of golf on a world-heritage listed 9-hole course alongside sweeping gardens of Government House, learn about the history and culture of the island in the many museums and roam through remarkable remains of the Second Penal settlement.

And stand atop Mount Pitt and marvel at the absolute 360° views as you take in all that is there for you to experience on intriguing and fascinating Norfolk Island.

Qantas Holidays is offering a 7-night Escape to Norfolk Island package including:

  • 7 nights’ twin share accommodation in a Standard 1-Bedroom Self-Contained Apartment at Aloha Apartments
  • Half-day Island Tour
  • Return airport coach transfers

This package will be priced from AUD$489 per person twin share for stays on Norfolk Island through to 30 June 2019 for bookings until 30 November 2018. Subject to availability and blackout periods – representing a saving of $392 per couple.

For inquiries within Australia please contact Qantas Holidays on 1300 443 485 or visit

Source: Qantas

Affordable ‘Pod’ accomodation in Canada for ski season

When the Pangea Pod Hotel opened its doors itn August it revolutionised the hospitality industry by bringing chic and price-conscious solo accommodation to one of North America’s top tourist destinations.

The first hotel of its kind in Canada, Pangea’s rooms cost half the price of a conventional hotel room, and usually far less. This new style of accommodation will make the resort more accessible to solo and budget travellers wishing to experience all that Whistler has to offer.

Husband-and-wife team Russell and Jelena Kling spent several years traversing the globe, garnering first-hand experience about what makes for a comfortable and satisfying stay. Loosely inspired by Tokyo’s capsule hotels, Pangea, located in the heart of Whistler Village, is the result of three years of planning and prototype development.

“Pangea combines the affordability of a hostel with the perks of a boutique hotel,” says co-founder Russell. “We wanted to cater to the type of traveller who enjoys the conviviality of shared spaces but prefers their own personal space at the end of the day.”

The hotel’s 88 independent sleeping pods are divided among eight separate “suites”. One suite is dedicated to female-only guests. Bathroom facilities are divided into individual components (more than 60 in total) to offer privacy and limit line-ups. These individual components include washrooms with vanities, showers with changing space, stand-alone vanities, and changing rooms.

Each cleverly-designed, wood-lined pod contains artwork and mirrors, as well as a comfortable double memory-foam mattress, individually controlled LED lights, a built-in fan that provides both air circulation and white noise, a lockable cabinet for valuables like iPads and phones, hanging space for clothes, and a storage area for luggage.

But Pangea isn’t only about the pods; it offers superb shared spaces too. The Living Room, a stylish combo of lounge, bar, café, and espresso bar, boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the bustle of Whistler’s Village Stroll, giving the space the feeling of an outdoor patio. The Rooftop Patio is Whistler’s only true rooftop bar, providing a bird’s eye view of Mountain Square. And The Toy Box, an open-plan secure storage area for skis, snowboards, mountain bikes, and other gear, was custom created to address the needs of equipment-laden outdoor enthusiasts.

“When Pangea opened this summer it’s going to make the Whistler accommodation mix even more diverse,” said Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, Mayor of Whistler. “We’re thrilled to see this major reinvestment in the Village, and to see a novel business idea start up in our community – important factors in keeping Whistler fresh and competitive.”

Pods are now available for booking at

Source: Pangea

Snow time coming to Canada: Gondola opening, Cornucopia food & wine, Whistler Film Festival

Whistler Blackcomb’s official opening day is set for November 22 and the countdown is on, not only for the first day of skiing and snowboarding, but also the unveiling of the new 10-passenger Blackcomb Gondola. The new gondola will keep guests warm and dry as it ascends from the base of Blackcomb Mountain to the top of the mountain adjacent to Rendezvous Lodge and the existing PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Together – the new Blackcomb Gondola, PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola and Whistler Village Gondola – form the first three-gondola connection in the world.

More laps can also be enjoyed thanks to additional lift upgrades providing quicker and easier access to all levels of terrain. These include a new six-passenger high-speed chairlift in place of the previous four-passenger Emerald Express chair in the Family Ski Zone on Whistler Mountain; and a new four-passenger, high speed chairlift replacing the triple-passenger Catskinner chair on Blackcomb Mountain.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler and Head-Line Mountain Holidays have partnered to provide an extraordinary culinary experience set within an ice cave of cathedral-like blue. Introducing ‘The Blue Room’.

This unique dining adventure begins with a scenic helicopter ride to Canada’s largest, southernmost ice field, where wilderness experts provide a guided tour of natural ice sculptures and ice flows before arriving at the ice cave’s grand hall of aqua blue magnificence. Here, guests will be served Krug champagne and a five-course gastronomic experience presented by Four Seasons Executive Sous Chef David Baarschers.

The menu is designed to complement the essence of the location and includes Northern Divine caviar served on snow, oysters sourced from neighbouring Vancouver Island and grilled long bone with thyme roasted root vegetables.

Participating in this experience also contributes to Head-Line Mountain Holidays’ White is Green Ice Cap Research Initiative with Simon Fraser University, facilitating hands-on student learning in a real world ice cap. The Blue Room’s launch coincides with Whistler’s legendary food and drink festival, Cornucopia, presented by BlueShore Financial.

Cornucopia, presented by BlueShore Financial is Whistler’s must-experience celebration of food and drink, annually attracting more than 15,000 attendees and hundreds of key industry members and media. Returning for its 22nd year, the festival offers plenty of new and unique culinary experiences, as well as the return of popular signature tastings Crush Grand Tasting, Cellar Door, House Party: Best of BC, The Picnic, Poured, With a Twist Silent Disco and Night Market: Taste of the World.

The NOURISH series also returns to balance the decadence of the festival with health, nutrition and wellness events. Cornucopia’s plentiful “menu” caters to every taste and budget – from over-the-top indulgent to the budget-friendly – with a range of drink seminars, restaurant and bar events, Culinary Stage Series and Chef’s Table Luncheons.

The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) will welcome film fans and filmmakers to experience its 18th edition from November 28 – December 2. From tributes to filmmaking luminaries to live music, parties and industry initiatives, WFF delivers an action packed lineup that includes over 80 innovative and original films from around the world and $146,500 in cash and prizes to be awarded. Special events include:

• The popular Signature Series including the Tribute, Spotlight, Contender Conversation and Variety 10 Screenwriters to Watch
• ShortWork Showcase featuring an eclectic collection of short films in a relaxed bar setting
• Music Showcase, where up to 10 export-ready British Columbian artists and songwriters from across the musical spectrum perform 30-minute sets for film fans and key international executives
• The second part to WFF’s Women on Top Series, featuring a keynote luncheon, workshop, screening and mentorship opportunities, focused on learning and growth around the issues of gender equity and cultural diversity in media
• A slate of 11 talent programs designed to provide creative and business immersion experiences for over 70 Canadian artists looking to establish themselves in the industry and advance their projects from script to screen
• Structured around bringing films to market and designed to provide filmmakers with tools to succeed, the Industry Summit offers over 20 interactive business sessions and networking events that address filmmaking and storytelling in the digital age
• Opening and closing night screenings, an awards celebration to honour the talent behind the finest films of the festival, and the annual festival party – this year titled Cabin Fever

Over the years, WFF has established an impressive track record for launching new films and filmmakers, and has earned a reputation as a ‘filmmakers festival’ through its coveted competitions and non-competitive sections that celebrate the best in independent Canadian and world cinema.

Source: Whistler 

New luxury tropical resort - The Ville in Townsville

Work on the $44million redevelopment of The Ville Resort-Casino, Townsville is now complete with the hotel’s Resort Rooms and Suites, lobby, state-of-the-art functions space, pool precinct, and five new dining outlets open to guests.

The renovation, completed in stages over the past two years, brings the total investment of The Morris Group in The Ville to $114million, having bought the property for $70million in 2014, and its total Queensland tourism portfolio to $260million.

From secluded luxury island getaways on the Great Barrier Reef, to scenic helicopter adventures, and soul-enriching eco-experiences of the Daintree, the family-owned business gives discerning travellers the opportunity to explore the diverse natural beauty of Queensland in style and comfort.

The Morris Group also manage pubs, restaurants and resorts in Perth, Sydney and Victoria so are well versed in delivering premium hospitality offerings. Transforming the iconic hotel and casino into a much-needed luxury tropical resort and premier entertainment destination, The Ville is on the doorstep of Magnetic Island with views across the Coral Sea and Townsville cityscape.

Designed by leading architects Woods Bagot, the ocean-view resort and casino is built around a raised infinity pool with swim-up Splash Bar, surrounded by an elevated timber terrace and lush landscaped lawns, the ideal spot for a regular Sunday recovery session or live outdoor concert series.

“Our design was inspired by the stunning natural and historic qualities of Townsville,” says WadeLittle, the Lead Designer. “The intention was to create a lush pleasure garden using unpretentiousforms and materials — white timber, white brick, plaster — to respect the laid-back atmosphere of Townsville. Echoing the vernacular architecture, the hotel encourages natural cooling through its broad verandas, abundant fanlights, and aligned doors and windows. We preserved the unifying circular motif of the original hotel, repeating it throughout the resort: in the landscape, the terrazzofloors, and even the graphics.”

Featuring a light and airy retro feel, the nine-storey hotel offers 194 guest rooms including Deluxe Rooms for the corporate traveller and Executive Suites for a special getaway to the newly refurbished Resort Rooms and Suites.

Contemporary functionality at its most stylish, the newly renovated mid-level Resort Rooms and Suites take their design cues from the traditional Queenslander with painted timber panelled walls and bedhead.

Combined with the spirit of the tropics through the striking leaf-print carpet and velvet cushions. Retro-cool furnishings give a nod to mid-century Californian hotels, modernised with a clean and simple palette of crisp white, calming grey and luxurious emerald green.

On the lobby level, Miss Songs combines Asian inspired flavours fused with a unique modern flare. After six years on Orpheus Island, executive chef Arie Prabowo takes diners on a journey across the Orient with classic dishes that crescendo with flavour.

Townsville’s iconic social hotspot, The Quarterdeck, is back, with a stylish contemporary design, spacious surroundings and exciting new menu. Once located on Breakwater Marina facing the cityskyline and Castle Hill, the new bar overlooks the resort’s pool, perfectly positioned to capture the sea breeze.

The huge, wrap-around bar invokes Bali chic and boasts casual lounge and table seating for up to 330 guests, both indoors and outside, with access to the casino and hotel lobby. The extensive drinks andcocktail menu will be accompanied by an array of light food and meal options from The Quarterdeck’sbrand new kitchen.

The final piece in the renovation, The Palm House buffet restaurant features al fresco dining, live cooking stations and a show kitchen, serving breakfast and dinner seven days a week.

The Ville’s brand new flexible state-of-the-art conference, wedding, and special events venue, The Pavilion offers versatile elegance and excellence for every occasion.

Equipped to cater for up to 1200 guests – or 600 seated – The Pavilion is 779sq m of fully-enclosable space with high timber ceilings and wrap around terrace that can be configured into one, two or three event private rooms.

“Townsville is the gateway to Queensland’s far north and the two-year renovation project is a sign of our confidence in the area as a sought-after coastal holiday hotspot as well as a popular destinationfor corporate retreats,” The Ville CEO Michael Jones said.

“We knew that if Townsville wanted to compete with other regional centres for major conferences and events the city needed an updated venue. The Pavilion will attract corporates and conferences to Townsville which will give the city a much-needed economic boost.”

The Morris Family Foundation has also invested $2.4million in Queensland projects and organisations with meaningful social, economic and environmental impact since 2015.

Source: The Ville Resort-Casino

PRIOR - the travel club that knows everything . .

The PRIOR launch at Fred’s in Paddington was one mighty chic event, designed for the travel-minded and those who like a bit of wanderlust in their life.

The low down is that it is a new kind of global travel club, founded by Aussie ex pat David Prior who has been travel editor for Conde Nast Traveller for years and has a renowned little black book of contacts around the world.

They already have some pretty heavy hitting members- they launched in September and have over 150 members already, from all over the world- mainly business owners and leaders in their industries, namely fashion, media, hospitality and some high profile tech founders and CEOs.
There is already a lot of interest from some of Australia’s most interesting and high profile travellers.

Guests at the lunch included Bill Granger
Bettina Hemmes
Sheree Commerford
Sarah Wilson
Eva Galambos
Sarah Jane Clarke
Caroline Choker
Kirstie Clements
Nancy Pilcher
Louise Olsen & Stephen Ormandy
Sibella Court

Take a look at the PRIOR website to find put more.

Source: PRIOR