Unique program on the Gold Coast
The eighth annual Bleach festival runs on the Gold Coast from April 17-28 and celebrates the area’s unique rituals and culture with a jam-packed program that spans large-scale opera, award-winning dance, eye-popping cabaret, free live music, a thought-provoking political swimming carnival and a drive-in with a difference. Bleach 2019 offers 28 unique productions, including four world premieres, and three Queensland premieres, headlined by its centrepiece event, Verdi’s Requiem, on April 27, featuring more than 150 musicians and singers performing under the stars on a stage transformed into a fiery ceremonial sanctuary. Townsville’ s Dancenorth will present Tectonic, a free 15-minute performance installation staged twice a night and inspired by the plight of Torres Strait communities whose island homes will be consumed by rising sea levels. An absurd swimming carnival will be conducted over 24 hours in the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, with participants trying to swim the distance from Australia to Manus Island in a continuous relay, guided by people from the local migrant and refugee communities. Visit www.bleachfestival.com.au.
First Kafnu in Australia
The Next Story Group recently debuted its Kafnu brand in Australia, with the opening of Sydney’s Kafnu Alexandria in Sydney, joining Kafnu properties in Hong Kong, Taipei and Bengaluru. Kafnu takes its name from a hamlet in Himachal Pradesh in the northern part of India, where adventurers rejuvenate, refresh and reflect before their ascent towards the Himalayan summit. The Kafnu Alexandria is located next to The Grounds of Alexandria, within one of Sydney’s thriving new creative and industrial hubs, and just five minutes from Sydney Airport. There are 16 furnished guest rooms for a good night’s rest and a bespoke gin bar, where members can unwind and socialise. A virtual fitness studio ensures that members can stay on track with their fitness regimens, and as an added convenience, Kafnu membership also comes with GoGet car membership.
Rowley Shoals included in Kimberley cruise
Pioneering Kimberley Coast tour operator True North Adventure Cruises is preparing for its 32nd season in a north Australian region renowned for its wilderness qualities, stunning scenery, vibrant indigenous culture and, some of the best fishing action on the planet. Its new 13-night ‘Coast and Coral’ itinerary will kick-off on the Kimberley Coast aboard the 750-tonne adventure-cruise ship True North, and guests will savour such icons as King George Falls, Mitchell Falls, Prince Regent River and Montgomery Reef. Then it’s an overnight cruise to the magnificent Rowleys and more than 300 square kilometres of pristine coral playground. Both destinations have been long-time favourites with both guest and crew but this is the first time that True North Adventure Cruises has offered opportunity to experience the Kimberley Coast and the Rowley Shoals in a single itinerary. Visit www.truenorth.com.au.
Watch the migration in luxury
Tanzania hosts one of the greatest wildlife experiences on Earth — the Great Migration. Each year the seemingly endless plains of East Africa bear witness to this epic sight, as millions of wildebeest and zebra make their way over 1800 miles, around the Masai Mara and Serengeti in constant pursuit of life-giving rains and greener pastures. Tanzania’s beautiful Serengeti National Park offers ringside seats to the famous spectacle and Sanctuary’s Kichakani Serengeti Camp provides a perfect location. An elegant and contemporary take on the classic camp style, its 10 luxury tents have all been designed to be perfectly portable. Each tent has a personal attendant and a private wooden deck on which to enjoy a just-brewed cup of Tanzania’s finest coffee, while en-suite bathrooms feature authentic bucket showers. The camp’s three set locations throughout the year are based on the migration path. Prices are from US$670 per person per night twin-share for one-to-three nights, with discounts for stays of three nights or more with Sanctuary.
For firework fanatics
Macao is gearing up for a busy 2019 with the calendar filled with festivals and events to commemorate the Asian centre’s twentieth anniversary as a special administrative region of The People’s Republic of China. Much of the limelight will be on Macao’s billing as a member of the elite global list of ‘UNESCO Creative Cities for Gastronomy’, but also of great interest will be the thirtieth Macao Fireworks Display Contest from September 7 to October 5, with an additional day bringing together a record 12 countries. Food for thought for later in the year is the Macau Food Festival, with the overwhelming aroma of dishes enough to wake the taste buds as guests wander the lakeside street stalls from November 8-24. Visit www.visitmacao.com.au.
Spend easter in Peru
Australians can experience an authentic South American Easter this April — complete with colourful processions, folk dances and cultural ceremonies — on a new six-night tour to Peru’s Cuzco, and also taking in visit to the famed Machu Picchu and the country’s lively capital city, Lima. ‘Easter week at Cuzco’ is an itinerary designed to focus on authentic cultural experiences, particularly the spectacular religious celebrations which grace the city each Easter. On Palm Sunday, for instance, guests may encounter folkloric dancers beginning the celebrations, and on Monday will watch the procession of the Señor de Los Temblores (Lord of the Tremors), a statue of Christ which is said to have miraculously stopped an earthquake in 1650. Prices are from $2259 per person twin-share, with flights from Australia extra. Phone 1300 135 391 or visit www.contourstravel.com.au.