Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Destination: Mt. Buller and whiteOUT!

whiteOUT!, Australia's premier annual gay and lesbian ski event, will take
place at Mt Buller from Thursday 7 September to Sunday 10 September.

Mt. Bulla is just 3 hours away from Melbourne - with ski-in
ski-out accommodation and great entertainment venues and restaurants.
These facilities have helped to make whiteOUT! one of the most successful events
on the G&L sporting calendar.

WhiteOUT! has grown substantially from its inception 6 years ago,
and this year promises to be bigger than ever - with new events, new venues,
and a whole lot of fun.

For more details, see the website for GLOBE. The organisation is again presenting the event for its members and for guests.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Our World of Travel

Rainbow Tourism International has extended its professional affiliations with the outstanding tourism associations downunder and internationally.

We are once again proud members of IGLTA, the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. This means we have additional avenues for promoting Rainbow Tourism across the globe and thereby providing our member operators further exposure to international G&L travelers.

Rainbow Tourism recently joined TIANZ, the Travel Industry Association of New Zealand, wherein we'll do our bit to promote NZ as a gay-friendly destination.

The G&L travel association for OZ is GALTA, Gay and Lesbian Tourism Australia. We regularlyo attend GALTA functions around Australia and promote Rainbow Tourism operators and online booking service to prosptective domestic travellers.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Destination: Mornington Peninsula - Bay Style, Gay Style

Melbourne's bays and pensinsulas are catching on fire for the relax & indulge set. There's something for everyone - history & heritage, wilderness & wildlife, food & wine, even nude beaches.

After a hard day of tastings with winemakersand cheesemakers, I took my hand-selected Red Hill pinot noir and delicate goat cheese to Max's Retreat to laze by the cosy fire, sip on the warming red wine, and savour the award-winning cheeses before a blisssful sumber in a sleigh bed!

Vive Bene - it's simply the best at Max's. The host, Marcus, is also a chef and will prepare a gourmet hamper to take to the local beaches, complete with Max's fine estate wine or bubbly.

Did not want to leave - so made plans to return during Winter Indulgence, 10 June - 10 July. Probably take the new Rainbow Tourism scooter for a spin - about two hours from Melbourne, I reckon.

My first rest stop will be in the village of Mornington at the very popular Boys for Breakie. Darn good coffee and cakes, not to mention artwork and accessories for purchase.

I'll be writing about my adventures in a forthcoming Travel Getaways series in Melbnourne's BNews. Stay tuned, Dee, DeeTours DownUnder.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Phillip Island: more than just kolas, seals and fairy penguins

"Little Penguins is the PC term of the day, but no matter, we didn't go to see the cute penguins. We went to see and do other things, like food & wine indulgences, the koala conservation project, and shopping! The Melbournites with weekend shacks on PI are passionate about the place.

"It is not only the penguins but also many walks amongst the mangroves and other wildlife, visiting the wineries – especially a new one called Purple Hen - good food at Chicory and relaxing at the many B&B’s such as Misti Blue. 

Shopping on PI is also very good. I Have a couple of girlfriends who do all their shopping at Cowes – yes! They go to Deborucci's for their Melbourne Cup outfits. Deborucci’s is well known and draws people in from far and wide and Deborucci is a great character.

There is a little community down there but it is well hidden. Most people go down to the island to ‘escape’.

The top woman's space for escaping is called Misti Blue B&B. The upstairs unit has a great view of the misty blue bay, of course. There are two self-contained cottages to the rear, hidden in tropical landscaping. Drop me a line if you want directions and details.

2008 update: Sadly now closed but check out other places in the area.

Destination: Spice Island. Something's cooking on Phillip Island

There's a new indulgence destination for the Melbored. Get out of Melbourne mid week or on the weekend for an overnight stay at Spice Island B&B, a gay-friendly accommodation highly recommended by GLOBE members (Melbourne's gay and lesbian business org). It's conveniently close to Chicory Restuarant (see previous blog) and starting later this year, will boast its own cooking school.

The owners are former caterers, and it shows in the wonderful breakfast tapas and coffees delivered hot to your loft breakie room each morning! Can't wait to go back for learning to cook with spices...

Meanwhile, the ultra-modern units called Lime, Chilli and Sage are open and the perfect place to relax and unwind overnight or over the weekend. I was told in the next month gas flame effect fires will be installed in two of the rooms and the Sage room is being upgraded with the addition of a LCD tv in the bathroom so you can watch your favourite movie in the spa! Move over, Daylesford, as the hottest GLBT escape now is Phillip Island!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Christchurch Pride Week May 2006

Hundreds of lesbians, gay men, bisexual men and women, takatāpui, fa’afafine, and transgender are expected in Christchurch between 13 and 21 May for the second annual Christchurch Pride Week festival.

Initiated last year as a community initiative sponsored by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, the 2006 event is expected to be every bit as popular as it was in 2005, when members of the GLBT communities came to the city from throughout New Zealand to debate, party, learn, share and promote inclusiveness, health and wellbeing.

The 2006 programme includes events as diverse as a celebrity debate – featuring Georgina Beyer, Tim Barnett, and Maryan Street who will be speaking to the topic “PC [Politically Correct] Poofter Politicians, better off without them” – to serious lectures at Canterbury University on the “queer” perspective of the classic poetry epic, Virgil’s “Aeneid”.

There’ll also be gay sports, tramps (that’s the hiking kind), parties, a “Mr and Ms Pride” competition, theatre, workshops on health, sexuality and homophobia and a host of other events.

Christchurch Pride Week Events - Christchurch Rainbow Places