Thursday, 27 June 2019

Top 10 Winter Adventures in Lake Macquarie, the Winter Sun Destination



This winter, pull out your winter woollies and do something different – enjoy an Australian winter getaway in lovely Lake Macquarie. This destination of all seasons has so much to offer and could even be considered its most beautiful during the cooler months. There’s no need to rush to get out early and beat the summer heat - and when you’re ready for exploration later in the day, there’s plenty to see and do at the Lake!

Here are our top 10 winter adventures in Lake Macquarie:

Let Lake Mac Float Your Boat

Lake Macquarie is set to put on its annual light show, with dozens of boats lighting up the night skies and calm waters of Lake Macquarie during the region’s perennial favourite boating regatta Float Your Boat – an event where passionate boat owners are encouraged to decorate their vessels in lights and take part in a parade around the Lake.

This weekend (June 28 and 29), the event will feature two flotilla parades following a course from Marmong Point Marina to Wangi Wangi on the first night, and Marmong Point Marina to Belmont on the second. Join the fantastic foreshore celebrations featuring live music, food and entertainment.

Have a whale of a time



With whale season well underway, it’s time to check out the hottest spots to view nature’s most majestic mammals as they flip and frolic off the NSW coast. Bring the binoculars and try your luck at Redhead Bluff, Awabakal Viewpoint, Caves Beach Walk or the Ken and Audrey Owens Walk.

For the ultimate up-close-and-personal experience, hop aboard a whale watching tour with Coast XP to enjoy an unforgettable voyage, with plenty of opportunities to get close to playful humpback whales. In the unlikely event you don’t spot a whale – they’ll offer you another cruise free of charge.

Get toasty in the Watagans National Park

Nothing beats toasting fluffy marshmallows over a campfire on a winter’s night, and what better place to do so than Lake Macquarie. It’s not uncommon for holiday parks to have a ‘no campfire’ policy so finding a cosy campsite where this is allowed really is a treat!

Hidden deep in the Watagans Mountains you will find The Pines Campground, where you can light a campfire and enjoy the dancing flames as the sun sets behind the wall of forest trees.

Fly high

If you fancy an entirely different view of Lake Macquarie, Skyline Aviation operates helicopter joy flights departing from Lake Macquarie Airport and taking in the sights of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the coastline from Umina Beach and Terrigal past Caves Beach, Blacksmiths, Redhead and Bar Beach all the way to Newcastle Harbour.

Giddy up

The glorious foothills of the Watagan Mountains are perfect for being explored via horseback so take advantage of lessons, full-day rides and even overnight stays with the experts from AAA Horse Riding. Explore incredible trails that take you into the foothills of the Mountains, through rainforest and past some of the most spectacular scenery in Lake Macquarie, that will be sure to take your breath away.

Cruise the Lake

Jump onboard Lake Macquarie Cruises’ ‘Lunch on the Lake’ and experience the hidden highlights of beautiful Lake Macquarie – the largest coastal saltwater lake in the Southern Hemisphere. Cruise the Lake and indulge in a freshly prepared BBQ buffet lunch served onboard the vessel consisting of fresh local prawns, scotch fillet minute steak and gourmet beef sausages with a selection of salads to compliment. Enjoy a selection of petit fours for dessert, with complementary tea and coffee or select from a full range of drinks available from the fully licensed bar.

Get adventurous

For the ultimate winter challenge – which will put you firmly outside your comfort zone, why not try abseiling the spectacular sandstone cliffs at Gap Creek Falls in the Watagans National Park with the team from Out and About Adventures. Offering sequenced programs beginning with small cliffs and progressing over a series of descents – the perfect way to master the rope!

Creative LAKE and cake?

You can’t say you’ve been to Lake Macquarie without visiting Warner’s Bay. Check out the flavour filled fare at Travino’s CafĂ©, Table 1 Espresso or Little While Bull Espresso on The Esplanade before exploring the foreshore.

Winter offers the perfect temperature to walk or bike around the Lake, which is the best way to appreciate Creative LAKE. Along Warners Bay Shared Pathway you’ll find a selection of unique artworks including a bronze sky pig, a young monk and bronze sculpture titled ‘Darwin’.

Get back on track

Winter is the time to explore one of the most popular shared pathways in the Lake Macquarie region, Fernleigh Track. Loved by walkers and cyclists alike, the track follows a heritage coal rail line from Belmont to Adamstown. Those keen to enjoy the warm winter rays while meandering along the track will be treated to beautiful bushland and wetland areas.

Caves galore

From sunrise to sunset, there is so much to love about a day on Caves Beach. This iconic beach is a firm family favourite for low tide cave exploration, beach cricket, long walks, meditation, building sandcastles, and just chillaxing. Caves Coastal Bar & Bungalows perched on the hill above is the perfect hotspot for 5pm sunset drinks.

This coastal destination has a chilled-out vibe inviting you to do nothing but relax, get adventurous, take long walks and enjoy sunset wines. Embrace the cold, pack your winter woollies and get yourself to lovely Lake Macquarie.

To learn more about what the region has to offer and plan your winter getaway, please visit: http://www.visitlakemac.com.au

Thursday, 6 June 2019

What's new in Dallas Texas 2019



MARGARITA MILE | SUMMER

Dallas' history with America's most famous frozen concoction is as storied as it is salty. In 1971, a clever restaurateur, Mariano Martinez, invented the frozen margarita machine – and since then the way Dallas drinks has never been the same. That first machine now sits in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

This summer, Dallas celebrates one year of becoming the Official Home of the Frozen Margarita and the launch of the Margarita Mile, a collection of the city's best and most brazen margaritas, conveniently collected in a colorful app. Think of it as the ultimate margarita bucket list. VisitDallas will continue to showcase Dallas' unique place in history of American mixology with the help of Julian Rodarte – official Margarita Mile Ambassador and owner of Beto & Son.

There are now almost 20 stops (and counting!) on the Margarita Mile to leave visitors satisfied. You'll want to check out the newest stop on the Mile – the Dallas Cowboys-inspired Cowboyrita at AT&T Stadium.

The free Margarita Mile app is available on the Apple Store and Google Play.

AT&T DISCOVERY DISTRICT | FALL 2019

Since 2008, AT&T has called Dallas home. In 2018 the company broke ground on the $100 million AT&T Discovery District, a brand-new shopping, dining and entertainment hub in the heart of Downtown Dallas for workers and travelers. The district will feature a wide array of shops, outdoor event space, restaurants, a beer garden and more than 300 scheduled events and activities throughout the year.

VISITDALLAS EXPERIENCE CENTER | OPENING 2022

Since its completion in 2012, Klyde Warren Park has drawn millions of visitors to the Dallas Arts District and the surrounding areas. Last year, the park announced a $76 million expansion to create more space for activities and walkability. Part of the park's expansion will also include a new state-of-the-art VisitDallas Experience Center, an innovative space that will tell Dallas' story through interactive technology and experiences for visitors.




VIRGIN HOTEL | FALL 2019

In 2019, Virgin Hotels will open a 200-room hotel in Dallas' hip and growing Design District. The $80 million lifestyle hotel will cater to the new, savvy traveler, offering free Wi-Fi, cancellation and late checkout and a complimentary social hour for guests. It's the fourth planned Virgin Hotel property in the U.S.

THE THOMPSON AT THE DREVER | FALL 2019

Formerly the First National Bank Tower, The Thompson is set to open later this year as part of The Drever, the mixed-use space transforming the historic building in Downtown Dallas. The $380 million redevelopments will transform the 52-story, 1.5 million-square-foot skyscraper that was originally designed for legendary Texas oilman H.L. Hunt and also served as the fictional façade for Ewing Oil, J.R. Ewing's office in the hit television series Dallas. Once finalized, The Thompson will include 218 rooms, an amenity deck with a resort-style pool, a luxurious spa, fitness centers, office, restaurants, and retail space. Building redevelopment also includes 324 apartment units.

THE PITTMAN HOTEL AT THE EPIC | 2020

The Epic is set to open in Deep Ellum in 2019. The project will be the first of its kind in the neighborhood. It will consist of eight acres of mixed development, including office space, multifamily and hotel space with ground floor retail space. The Epic's design will reflect
a mix of the historic past of Deep Ellum, as well as give a glimpse into the neighborhood's thriving future. The hotel portion of The Epic will be the Pittman Hotel, a 164-room Kimpton property in the historic Dallas landmark, Knights of Pythias Temple, named after William Sidney Pittman, the architect behind the original building and son-in-law of Booker T. Washington. Originally, built in 1916 Knights of Pythias Temple was the first commercial building in the city built by and for African-American professionals.

New Flights

AIR FRANCE | MARCH 2019

After more than ten years, Air France returns to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) this spring. The airline will fly direct from Dallas-Fort Worth to Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport, begin- ning on March 31 through the 2019 summer season. Service will be three daily flights from March 31 – June 30 and September 4 – Oc- tober 25 and increasing to five daily flights in July and August. The airline will be the 16th international airline to fly from DFW.

AMERICAN AIRLINES | JUNE 2019

Last fall American Airlines announced two new non-stop flights from Dallas-Fort International Airport (DFW) to Dublin, Ireland, and Munich, Germany. The new flights mark the first-ever nonstop flight to Ireland and the third to Germany. Both flights are set to begin service in June.




CROW MUSEUM OF ASIAN ART | FALL 2018

The Crow Museum of Asian Art recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with a multi-million-dollar expansion, a new name and the announcement of five new exhibitions including Jacob Hashimoto: Clouds and Chaos and Our Asian Art Museum: The Crow at Twenty. The re-imagined museum dramatically expands its footprint along Harwood and Flora Streets. In addition to the renovation, the museum opened the doors to Pearl Art Studio, a creative workplace across from the Crow Museum of Asian Art. The studio will serve as a place for families, corporate teams, artists and individuals to experience and experiment through workshops and art-making opportunities.

FABIO LUISI NAMED MUSIC DIRECTOR OF DALLAS

SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA | SPRING 2019

Italian Grammy-winning Fabio Luisi has been appointed to the Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Directorship of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, serving as music director designate in the 2019-2020 season. He assumes the title of music director in the 2020-2021 season, succeeding Jaap van Zweden, who ended his decade-long tenure as music director in May 2018. Prior to being appointed as music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Luisi was the principal conductor of the Danish National Symphony and the music director of the Zurich Opera. Luisi is best known to American audiences


for his acclaimed work as principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and guest engagements with leading U.S. orchestras.

DIOR: FROM PARIS TO THE WORLD |

MAY 19 – SEPT. 1, 2019

After debuting at the Denver Art Museum last year, Dior: From Paris to the World makes it second and only other U.S. stop at the Dallas Museum of Art. The stunning exhibit includes a selection of more than 100 haute couture dresses, original sketches, photographs and other archival material that highlight the more than 70 years of legacy and global influence of the House of Dior. The exhibition not only profiles Christian Dior, but also his subsequent directors including Yves Saint Laurent and John Galliano among others.

DALLAS HOLOCAUST AND HUMAN RIGHTS MUSEUM |

SEPTEMBER 2019

Recently, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum began construction in Dallas' historic West End. The new building will expand the educational and cultural programming in the southwest U.S. to advance human rights and combat prejudice, hatred and indifference. The design of the new facility will create a narrative showing the journey of the many who experienced the Holocaust and other social injustices.


DOWNTOWN

Dallas' Downtown is in the middle of a resurgence thanks to a boom in hotel and retail development. Once a business hotspot by day but ghost town by night, Downtown is now a vibrant place where visitors can do it all – dining, culture, art, shopping and entertainment.

Don't miss: Always known for luxury shopping, Downtown boasts the flagship Neiman Marcus and boutique shop, Forty-Five Ten. Walk to the West End for a dose of history at the Sixth Floor Museum, chronicling the life and legacy of JFK, then head to the Arts District nearby for a wealth of artistic experiences.

Recent/Upcoming Developments: Commissary, Royal Blue Grocery, Klyde Warren Park Phase II, Public Green Spaces, AT&T Discovery District, East Quarter near the Dallas Farmers Market

UPTOWN

True to its name, Uptown is the place to see and be seen. Full of bars, restaurants and hip hotels, such as Hotel Zaza, Uptown is the playground of Dallas' young professionals.

Don't miss: The Happiest Hour, Uchiba and anything on McKinney Avenue. Hop on and off the historic McKinney Avenue Trolley for a free and fun ride. This neighborhood is also home to the American Airlines Center, which hosts the Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars and top music artists.

Recent/Upcoming Developments: Sweet Tooth Hotel, Cinépolis luxury cinemas, new restaurants in Victory Park including Billy Can Can Saloon and Restaurant and Chef Kent Rathbun's newest restaurant – Imoto

DESIGN DISTRICT

Dallas' Design District is about to boom. This community, just northwest of Downtown, has been a warehouse district for craftspeople to sell and produce local goods for more than 60 years. By day, there are more than 400 international showrooms filled with furnishing, textiles, art and antiques. By night, the district is an up-and-coming nightlife destination.

Don't miss: The Dallas Contemporary sits on the edge of the Design District and offers some of the city's most Avant Garde art exhibitions. Search for unique finds at White Elephant and Lula B's and check out the outrageous burgers at Rodeo Goat.

Recent/Upcoming Developments: Virgin Hotel, Town Hearth, The Charles

TRINITY GROVES

Located west of Downtown across the striking Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Trinity Groves is a booming dining destination. Central to the area's success is the Restaurant Concept Incubator program, which gives local chefs the opportunity to bring their restaurant dreams to reality.

Don't miss: Find every kind of dining in Trinity Groves: Spanish tapas, middle eastern, Latin-Asian fusion, Central-American, Italian, sushi and barbecue. Eat pasta at Saint Rocco's New York Italian and then wind down with a local brew from Steam Theory Brewing Company or a liquid nitrogen margarita at Beto & Son.


MAVS GAMING PAVILION | OCTOBER 2018

This past fall Mavs Gaming opened its high-tech Gaming Pavilion in Deep Ellum, following the inaugural season of the NBA 2K League, the professional esports league co-founded by the NBA. The pavilion features a 4,800 square foot gaming arena, including a 36-foot stage with five-versus-five gaming desks and a 35-foot gaming screen. Additionally, there are lounge areas, conference rooms, basketball hoops, a bar and everything else a gamer could need or want. The innovative facility hosts the Mavs Gaming team and is open to the general public for private parties, live tournaments and more.

NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME | FALL 2018

As part of a $39 million addition to Frisco's Toyota Stadium, home to professional soccer club FC Dallas, the arena opened the National Soccer Hall of Fame in October 2018. The hall houses the museum's collection as well as trophies from the Women's World Cup, Gold Cup and other U.S. memorabilia and Olympic medals.

DALLAS TIES: FC Dallas CEO Dan Hunt made it a personal mission to bring the Hall of Fame to Dallas in honor of his father Lamar Hunt. The elder Hunt championed the sport and brought Dallas its first soccer team, the Dallas Tornado, in the late 1960s.

MEXICO NATIONAL TEAM U.S. TOUR 2019 | JUNE 9, 2019 – 2022

Last fall, the Dallas Cowboys, Federacion Mexicana de Futbol, MLS' FC Dallas and the Dallas Sports Commission announced a four-year partnership that will bring the Mexican National Team to AT&T Stadium through 2022. North Texas has become a second home for the Mexican National Team since AT&T Stadium's opening in 2009, playing a total of seven games at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. The first game is set for June 9, 2019, a few days before the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

WORLD FOOD CHAMPIONSHIPS | OCTOBER 16 – 20, 2019

Dallas will be the new host of the World Food Championships this October, after calling Alabama home for the past three years. The World Food Championships is the largest competition in Food Sport where champions of previous events compete to win the ultimate food crown. The World Food Championships is known for being the springboard for many up-and-coming culinary stars. Dallas' evolving and eclectic restaurant scene, with celebrity chefs like Dean Fearing, Stephen Pyles, Kent Rathbun, and up- and-comer Julian Rodarte, make the city an ideal destination for the Championships. The Championships will be held on Reunion Lawn, located next to the iconic Reunion Tower.


BRIDGESTONE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

WINTER CLASSIC | JANUARY 2020

Ring in 2020 in Dallas with the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators. This January, the National Hockey League, and the Dallas Stars announced the club will host the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Cotton Bowl Stadium on January 1, 2020, marking the first NHL regular-season outdoor game for the Stars. The game marks the 12-year anniversary of the annual tradition the League established of hosting a regular-season outdoor game at the start of the new year. The Cotton Bowl is only the sixth football stadium to host the Winter Classic, and it's the first time it's ever been played in a Southern city.




GLOBE LIFE FIELD | SPRING 2020

MLB team, the Texas Rangers, is getting a new $1.1 billion ballpark in Arlington, Texas. The stadium's biggest and most anticipated attraction will be its retractable roof and state-of-the-art air conditioning technology. The project will also include a new 400 car parking garage, 42,000 seats and a total of 24 pedestrian bridges. Other features include club spaces, children's play areas, team stores and a team Hall of Fame. Sports fans awaiting the opening of the new stadium can now enjoy the recently opened Texas Live!, an entertainment and restaurant complex adjacent from the soon-to-come Globe Life Field, where fans can watch their favorite teams on the large screens, catch a show or dine at one of the many restaurants.