Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Crossing Over the Big Pond

G'Day New Zealand was launched in style this week in Auckland.
Tourism Australia Regional Manager, Vito Anzelmi, said G'Day NZ Australia Week is planned for 23-29 April, as a celebration of the spirit of mateship between Kiwis and Aussies and an opportunity to celebrate this camaraderie between the two countries.

Being Aussies and Kiwis ourselves at, we’re aware of the attractions and gay community spirit in both. Many gay and lesbian Aussies holiday in NZ and just as many Kiwis make the trip to OZ.

To see why, take a look at the varied tours and styles of accommodation available in the cities and rural regions. It’s a toss up which has the more WOW factor in scenery, too!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Youtube: Gay Sydney

Check out the Gay Armada on Australia Day courtesy of YouTube's Ozgrunt

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Magical Moments in Melbourne

The best recovery medicine after a late evening/early morning out at the local pubs and nightclubs is a cycle ride or walk along Melbourne’s great beaches on Port Phillip Bay.

I prefer the stretches south of Port Melbourne, where the Spirit of Tasmania drops off passengers at 7 am. I often ride my mountain bike along the bike path to Brighton and beyond. Grab some fish n chips and a bottle of water for a picnic along the foreshore. Best people watching and hangover cure thanks to the sea breeze and rhythm of the lazy waves. If you have an Ipod or MP3 player, be sure to tune into the local gay radio station, JOY at 93.5 FM. Their Sunday morning programming is a good eye opener.

When you’re in MEL for the weekend, or during the month-long Midsumma Festival through 12 Feb. why not treat yourself to a stay at any of the Rainbow Places.

Try the Quest on Flemington if you want to be near the racecourse, a very gay-friendly property and host to recent GALTA meetings. For the budget minded who don’t mind crashing overhead from the pubs, try The Opium Den or the Laird Hotel.

I love hanging out in the gayest community centre, the Village of Prahan, noted for bookstores, cafes, wine bars and lots more. Try booking at the one-year-old Prahan Village B&B, hosted by David & Shane. But hurry, they just have 3 rooms.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

C is for Christchurch

Christchurch is one of the Top 7 Rainbow Places in New Zealand.

The South Island has a very different buzz than the top end island, and CHCH is the stand out city down under. We get so many requests for stays there, I'm going to just have to go and check it out for myself!

One place I must visit is On the Shore, a boutique B&B located in a beautiful seaside area in Christchurch called South Shore. It's just 12 minutes from the hustle and bustle of the city yet another world. I can kayak from the front door on the estuary and sit in the spa pool and watch the sun set reflected in the calm waters on the waterfront. The cafe society and bird sanctuary are beckoning...I may never leave! Rainbow Tourism needs a NZ branch office, so CHCH is looking like a contender!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

SMH: Under the gaydar

In Britain Margot James is a well-known figure as the vice-chairman of the Conservative Party who has made headlines because she is the Tories' first openly lesbian member, and a glamorous one at that.

However, she and her girlfriend, the stylist and television producer Jay Hunt, went virtually unnoticed in Sydney over Christmas before heading to Moonlight Head, the Glen Murcutt -designed $3000-a-night lodge on the Great Ocean Road, where they spent a week.

From Private Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald

Check out Moonlight Head

Monday, January 15, 2007

Midsumma Coming Earlier; ChillOut Flames Out

Summer is the season for Melbourne's queer festival, aptly called Midsumma. It is a carnival of cultural events, from low brow to high brow. This year, the dates have been moved forward in order to secure some preferred venues. Put 19 Jan. - 11 Feb. in your diary and book now so you don't miss out on the events and on a bed to crash in.
Premiere events include visual arts and poetry, the pride parade and a river cruise, culminating with the Carnival Fair on Sun. 11 Feb.

Melbourne has several budget and affordable accommodation so you can Go Gay, Stay Gay and Play Gay. Rainbow recommendations include 169 Drummond, a 4 room terrace in Carlton, the one-year-old Prahan Village Guest House hosted by David & Shane, the Gelndalough B&B with an Asian flair in three rooms, or the three certified gay-friendly properties: Quest Flemington near the racecourse, the newly renovated Hotel Y, now called Jasper Hotel, which is ideally located across from the Queen Victoria Market, or Easystay Motel in St. Kilda, another favourite gay neighborhood and along the Pride Parade route. Besides these, there are two pub accommodations, for those who don't mind the noise below till the wee hours: The Opium Den (mixed bar)or the Laird Hotel (leather bar).

Wherever you stay, however you play, you will find magical Melbourne to be very gay this summer!

PS Sadly, the annual ChillOut Festival in Daylesford over the Labor Day Weekend in March has been cancelled this year. Hopefully the good times and camping will return next year after the local volunteers are revitalised.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Gay in the Bay - Who to See

Gay in the Bay is a social group for all fabulous queer folk either living in or visiting Northland. ( Paihia, Kerikeri, Whangarei, BOI, Bay of Islands, Kaitaia, Kaeo, Kaikohe, Kawakawa, Russell, New Zealand, NZ).

So enjoy your stay in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Bay of Islands touch of luxury - Swallows Nest

Bay of Islands accommodation at it's best, with million dollar sea views from a million dollar setting and yet only 400 m from the beach and a little farther from shops, restaurants and the wharf in the village of Paihia

The Swallows Nest offers warmth and comfort in the winter months and air conditioned, cool ambiance in the wonderful, long summers.