>> Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chocolate Winterfest in Latrobe
It is said that some ancient cultures valued chocolate above gold.
Who can blame them? From chocolate chess to chocolate fountains and a gourmet chocolate dinner, Latrobe’s Chocolate Winterfest explores all aspects of this wickedly delicious food.
Come to Australia for the Chocolate Winterfest. Drive up to Latrobe for a seven minute drive from Devonport. Heads turn at the mention of chocolate during winter, and in Latrobe you and your whole family can indulge, be amused and be entertained. Feel the warmth of chocolate during winter. Have a chocolate experience on the Central Northern Coast of Tasmania.
Chocoholics unite where chocolate is made. Eat chocolate, drink chocolate and even play in chocolate. This July 13, dine and wine with the simplest pleasure that everyone loves. Don’t deny yourself of pure chocolate goodness in the cold of winter.
Australian Festival of Chamber Music
What are you up to from the 4th to 12th of July?
Don’t miss out on the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. The Australian Festival of Chamber Music is an international chamber music festival held over nine days each July in Townsville, North Queensland. New talents pop up at the Festival and every year up to 20 music students attend and participate with festival artists and perform concerts within the program.
The Festival has partnered with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre based in Townsville. There will be exclusive events, cuisines, a selection of award winning wines and entertainment by some of the Festival’s world class artists. Simply a festival with a good cause, come on over and support, have fun and be entertained!

Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta
Darwin invites you to the 34th Annual Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta. On 13th July 2008, Mindil Beach, Darwin NT Australia . This is a great family day where there are beach events for all ages and the water events! The Darwin Beer Can Regatta started unusually because of the devastation caused to Darwin by “Cyclone Tracy” in 1974. Because of the damage caused by the cyclone, materials and manpower from interstate were brought to Darwin to assist in the rebuilding of the city. Many of the work force personnel that were rebuilding the site were from the southern states, and were not used to the humidity, therefore the consumption of canned beer increased dramatically. As a result, there are empty beer cans littering the around Darwin and eventually became a litter problem. Thanks to Lutz Frankenfeld, he came up with the suggestion that Darwin should hold a boat race fabricated out of beer cans. It’s a chance to clean up the place and have some fun as well. Then after that it became an annual event known as the Darwin Lions Clubs, Beer Can Regatta. Join in on the fun with your family and check out the imaginative boats and entertainment.

City of Perth Winter Arts Festival
Since the start of June until the 31st of August of this 2008, anything’s possible in Perth this winter as the artistic and creative offerings from Western Australia showcases the 2008 City of Perth Winter Arts Festival. Every year, Perth celebrates performances, exhibits and events including new talents! Instead of hibernating, Perth cooks up the Winter Arts Festival, where theater, music, dance and arts come alive! Perth honors the masterpieces, saluting seasoned classics, exploring the unorthodox and embracing new talent. Ignite your senses and warm your mind this winter with the Black Swan Theatre Company, Festival Baroque, opera, the list goes one! If you’re planning to go through Perth, don’t fear the weather, the city will warm you with entertainment and fun all throughout!

Race the Rattler
If you are the type that likes the challenge, then surely you’d be in for a treat this June 9, 2008. Gympie is an old mining town on the Fraser Coast. Also known for the Country Music Muster festival and the Gold Rush Festival. We suggest, this June, take your time in Gympie, Dagun. Catch the 18.5 km race against the famous “Valley Rattler” Steam Train. This includes individual or team challenges. Try and outrun, try and race the Rattler! It’s muscle versus the machine. It’s a test of human muscle against cold steel. Care to take the challenge? Registration is on June 8th. The train departs the train station at 8 o’clock with the first 300 runners. The first runners usuall cross the finish line after 10:30 in the morning, and at the old Gympie Station, there will be entertainment throughout the day for the whole family and incoming visitors.

Riverland Balloon Fiesta 2008

On June 7 until June 9, 2008 in Australia will be a long weekend. This year, the Queen’s birthday is on June 9 in all states and territories except in Western Australia.
Also, on the June long weekend of 2008 the Riverland Balloon Fiesta will take place. Hot Air Balloon flights and demonstrations are open for all ages to see and experience. And a huge must-see of this event is the hot air balloon night glow, where during at night, the balloons are tethered and inflated and makes amazing photo opportunities. The balloon pilots offers to demonstrate how hot air balloons are packed for transport, unfurled and repacked and how the burner functions and everything else. So spectators won’t only take photos, they can learn as well, especially for the kids. The hot air balloons will be launched from Oval 2, the local Remark hockey field for twice a day, and the community is invited and encouraged to spectate. Commercial rides will also be made available to the adventurous public and also to those who wish to take in some spectacular and unique views of the mighty Murray River and Riverland.
Weather conditions and wind speeds determine the best location for the launch of the hot air balloons. You can take your campervan hire over to South Australia for the long weekend!

Fraser Coast Show
This 2008, the Fraser Coast Show will run for two days, on the 22nd and the 23rd of May 2008, May 23 being a public holiday. This time, the theme is “Regional Unity”. With less than a few days to go, the event will have something for everyone this year. This year’s entries will beat the last year’s line ups. There will be horse events that includes show jumping and led events. Also, wood chop and chainsaw competitions are set for the show. You think you got what it takes? Put those arms and muscles to use and join in on the fun. Driving along Maryborough and Hervey Bay at this time of May? Drop by and enter the event. The Fraser Coast Show is a celebrated highlight of the Maryborough Park calendar every year. This community event for thrill seekers welcomes one and all, friends and families, walking or driving in with their four-wheel drives or campervans.

King of the Ranges Stockman’s Challenge

Come to Murrurundi, a rich town full of character with breathtaking scenery and art. And also come to Murrurundi during this first weekend of May and witness the King of the Ranges Stockman’s Challenge. See Oz’s Stockmen compete on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of May 2008. Inspired by Archie “Bung” McInnes, the “King of the Ranges” was known throughout the Northwest Region of NSW. He was a true bush legend and every year his story lives on with this event. The lovely town hosts the event every year where the quintessential skills of the rider and his horse compete in numerous events. Activities include whip cracking, packhorses, cross country, bareback obstacle course, shoe buckling and stock handling events. Finalists will compete with a stock saddle buckjump and a brumby catch. The two final events, the buckjump and the brumby catch, will be on the 4th of May.

Celebrate all things Celtic at the Australian Celtic Festival
Heading down from Brisbane or heading up from Sydney? Drop by Glenn Innes. This lovely place is home to the Australian Standing Stones. On May 1 to May 4, 2008 celebrate the great traditions of Celtic culture. The four day festival provides everyone with entertainment, song, dance, history and, of course, food. The Australian Celtic Festival celebrated in Glen Innes, NSW displays a spectacular range of entertainment and history. Thousands pour into Glen Innes to experience the Celtic experience and Australian Standing Stones, the festival’s main venue. Imagine rising at dawn and listening to the eerie sounds of pipes in the autumn mists at the Standing Stones. Quite a Celtic experience that one should not miss. The festival includes street parades, ceremonial roles performed by re-enactment groups, Celtic Strongman events, bands, children’s entertainment, dancing, market stalls, and Celtic foods. Anyone can partake in Celtic music and dance at one of the four stages at the Standing Stones or in one of the many concert venues in the town of Glen Innes. Mingle with the locals in pubs, clubs or restaurants. In Glenn Innes, there is something for everyone.

2008 Dirt and Dust Festival
This April 4-6, head to Oz for the Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival. This celebration, for fourteen years, brings people together from Queensland and all over for QLD’s must-go event!
Since 1994, the community has been trying to put Julia Creek on the map. Then in 1997 the event grew when the number of competitors grew every year! It has now become a professional series that even Queensland’s hottest climate can boast of. The event does not only host the annual triathlon. Attractions include musical talents, amateur boxing, cultural performances, fire works display, tobacco rolling contests and many more! Men, and even women, can test their skills. The men you see taking on the bulls at the Dirt and Dust Fest are the best in Australia. These men are Professional Bull Riders! This year, the event will run from April 4 to April 6. The 2008 Dirt and Dust will start off with the welcoming events followed by free rides, bull rides and dance parties. On the 5th and 6th, live bands, sports and the triathlon will commence. But the list of event goes on! All you have to do is to drive down to Queensland in your campervan hire Australia, and you’re ready to join in on the fun!

Australia World Youth Day

The World Youth Day is the largest youth event in the whole world, and this year the event will be held in Sydney from July 15 to July 20, 2008. Every two to three years, since the conception of the event by Pope John Paul II, the Catholic Church gathers all the youth from around the world to build bridges of hope and friendship between continents and cultures. Pope Benedict XVI has chosen the event to be hosted by the Australian State when he announced it last August 2005. WYD08 will be the first visit to Sydney, Australia of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Young people throughout the world will make this pilgrimage to Australia with their faith to rediscover the beauty of the Gospel. If you are traveling to Sydney at that time, be sure not to miss this event with the company of the youth, the Pope, the beauty of Sydney, and the hospitality of the Australian people!

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Melbourne’s highly unpredictable four-seasons-in-one-day and often gloomy weather is not the only thing that keeps this place on its toes. In April, the Victorian capital plays host to The Melbourne International Comedy Festival. For more than 20 years, this has been the center of comic relief! With over 1,000 comedians performing in hundreds of shows for over three-and-half weeks, this is surely a laugh-till-you-drop festival. With a few days to go, the nation’s funnies will bring the state down with female comics, debates over nothing, rarities, and more! The 22nd Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from 19 March - 13 April 2008.
The raw comedy gigs that has been taking place in the capital will sure to be a hit . Attending the festival for the first time this year, the biggest dilemma (notwithstanding how to fit an umbrella, raincoat, two jackets, gloves and a scarf into our luggage) is deciding who to see. Take that needed break and drive to Melbourne along with 400,000 spectators which tagged the state one of Australia’s largest cultural events! It is hard to think of a better place to be than Melbourne in April - and that’s no joke!

Rugby World Cup 2008

This 2008, the Rugby League World Cup concludes the Centenary of Rugby League in Australia. The event that started back in 1954 features the top ten RL nations. The 2008 RLWC will be the 13th World Cup that is scheduled to take place between October 25 and November 22, 2008 in Australia. Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and other great cities and states will host the RLWC. Oz as tournament co-host have entered the cup twelve times and already secured nine tournament victories, including the 2000 World Cup. Australia, England, Fiji, France, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Ireland, Scotland and Samoa will all rally for the cup. Each nation played each other on a number of occasions, both on a home and away basis. Passionate rugby fans ,including campervan hire tailgaters, travel from all over to witness this spectacular sport with more than 50,000 seats per venue. The Kangaroos (Australia team) won 40 - 12 during the 2000 RLWC Finals against NZ with an outstanding performance. With less than three hundred days left until the opening, who do you think will win this 2008?

Mardi Gras Parade!
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras began in 1978 as a parade down the city’s Oxford Street to mark International Gay Solidarity Day (in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots in New York’s Greenwich Village). The following year, the event became known as the Mardi Gras and has grown year on year to become one of the biggest gay and lesbian festivals anywhere in the world. The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras will show Sydney what it means to come of age as this iconic event returns for its 30th anniversary in 2008.

The festival will kick off on Saturday, February 9
with a commemorative tree planting ceremony in Centennial Park and will culminate in the world-famous parade along Oxford Street on Saturday 1 March. Huge crowds turn out for the procession on the final Saturday, which sees colourful floats carrying bands and participants in outrageous costumes making their way along Sydney’s Oxford Street.


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