Monday, December 31, 2007

Pink Choice - Travel Reviews

RainbowTourism.com is excited to announce a partnership with Pink Choice to extend their reviews of gay and lesbian accommodation into the Southern Hemisphere.

Pink Choice started in 2006 and offers gay and lesbian traveller opportunity to read and write reviews of accommodation. This gives you the traveller an independent review of each accommodation establishment.

RainbowTourism.com has always encouraged visitor feedback to ensure that we provide quality accommodation whatever budget.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

North Island Travel Ideas

The New Zealand Herald has been publishing some great ideas for short breaks in the top half of the North Island:

  • Road trip: Following the spirits - Follow the road to the top of the North Island to Cape Reinga the meeting point of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean. According to Maori mythology, the spirits of the dead travel to Cape Reinga on their journey to the afterlife in the spiritual homeland of Hawaiki, using the Te Ara Wairua, the 'Spirits' pathway'
RainbowTourism.com Resources:

Airport Security

The airport security follies is an interesting opinion piece which highlights some of the absurd restrictions that have been introduced in the name of airport security.

In the blog Patrick Smith comments:


Six years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, airport security remains a theater of the absurd. The changes put in place following the September 11th catastrophe have been drastic, and largely of two kinds: those practical and effective, and those irrational, wasteful and pointless.
So have a read of this opinion piece - The airport security follies - and next time you fly note all make a mental note of all the "stupid" things done in the name of security.

Patrick Smith, is a commercial airline pilot, and the author of Salon.com’s weekly Ask the Pilot air travel column; his book of the same name was published in 2004.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Women Travel the World

Women are doing it for themselves - Women are travelling together - joining a women's tour, staying in women's accommodation. They are travelling alone, with other women friends, with lesbian partners. Women are hosting accommodation and creating tours. Its a whole new world of freedom and exploration.

This is the introduction to Rosemary's blog for Women travellers and could be equally applied to the diverse gay and lesbian market.

Rosemary runs Waihoihoi Lodge in Waipu and has set up Women Travel New Zealand.

It is worth a read and you might want to add it to your Web feed. If you don't yet use a Web feed reader then one of the easiest to use is Google reader.

Visit the blog: travellingwomen.blogspot.com


2008 Update: Rosemary is now travelling so her wonderful lodge is closed - check out her stories on her Women Travel Blog

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Rossland Pride Ski Event

Rossland's first Gay Pride ski event to be held in conjunction with Red Mountain Resort from March 6-9 2008.

Rossland is a small resort community in the West Kootenays of British Columbia, Canada.

This will be Rossland's first gay ski event, with a great array of activities designed to provide a small intimate familiarity among the guests. A stunning location and warm friendly people will make this a great affair!

So here is another reason to visit British Columbia in Canada.


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New Zealand Beaches

If you are visiting the North Island of New Zealand over this summer then check out the recent article on the best New Zealand beaches.

The article has some great photos and has chosen the following beaches.

  • Coopers Beach, Northland
  • Karikari Beach, Northland
  • Hot Water Beach, Coromandel Peninsula
  • Cooks Beach, Coromandel Peninsula
  • Hahei, Coromandel Peninsula
  • Bethells Beach, Auckland
  • Piha, Auckland
  • Cheltenham, Auckland
  • Raglan, Waikato
  • Mt Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
  • Ohope, Bay of Plenty
  • Wainui, Gisborne
If you are visiting the North Island it pays to remember that the West Coast beaches have black sand and tend to have more surf beaches, while the East Coast beaches have white sand.

The beaches listed above are only the top of the North Island but would recommend any beaches throughout New Zealand.

Do you have a favourite New Zealand beach? Then post a comment below.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fuck Love

Today I caught up with Claire Taylor of Greyspace who is organising the Mardi Gras Festival show Carl Hopgood's "Fuck Love" exhibition in the old underground toilets in Taylor Square.

FUCK LOVE is a solo exhibition by London based artist Carl Hopgood: a site specific installation in the decommissioned Public Conveniences in Taylor Sq.

This will be an exciting chance to explore a part of Sydney before it is redeveloped with the 2008 make over of Taylor Square.

The exhibition will be open 11 - 6 pm Wed - Sun 15 - 29 February 2008


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Women at WinterPride

WinterPRIDE 2008 features some fantastic new women's events.

WinterPRIDE have developed an L-Pass which includes all the exclusive Women's-only events AND some of the premier mixed WinterPRIDE events.

Events include

  • Daily Women's Ski Clothing
  • Daily Women's Apres
  • An evening with Lipstick & Dipstick
  • Melissa Ferrick Live Friday
  • Sleighride Adventure
  • The Saturday L-Party
So if you can make it to Whistler, British Columbia, Canada from 3 to 10 February then both gay men and lesbians will find not only great skiing but also a great event.

Check out the full detail on the WinterPride site.

Chillout is Back

After a well-earned break in 2007, ChillOut returns over the upcoming Labour Day long weekend, 7-10 March 2008. Country Victoria welcomes back ChillOut, the largest gay and lesbian festival in regional and rural Australia. A festival like no other in the world, ChillOut turns the beautiful and relaxing Central Victoria spa town of Daylesford 'Queer as Country Folk' for four fun-packed days.

ChillOut have a great weekend in store kicking off Friday afternoon with The Slowest Lunch at Sault restaurant and wrapping up on Monday. Don't miss any of the fun. Come and spend '4 Days in Daylesford' and enjoy every chilled out minute.

The biggest single ChillOut event each year is Carnival Day which is set for Sunday, 9 March.

Thousands of our visitors and guests will make their way to beautiful Victoria Park in Daylesford to enjoy a full day of great main stage entertainment, a delicious array of food and beverages and a marketplace buzzing with interesting wares and services.

Carnival Day is a great place to introduce your products and services in a fun, family, big gay day out. For 2008, we're making participation easier and more cost effective than ever before to ensure we deliver the types of stalls that our visitors expect at ChillOut
.

So book you accommodation now and head to Daylesford for a great country weekend.

Telluride Gay Ski Week

The Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association (TMVOA), sponsors and organizers of the Fifth Annual Telluride Gay Ski Week (TGSW) today announced the schedule of events for 2008 which takes place Saturday, February 23, 2008 thru March 1, 2008.

Since 2004, Telluride Gay Ski Week has welcomed guests from across the U.S. and around the world to some of the finest skiing and GLBT events in North America.

This year's event as in years past will benefit the Telluride AIDS Benefit (TAB), a local, grassroots 501(c)(3) organization that has been committed to HIV/AIDS awareness in Colorado for now 15 years.

"This event continues to be one of Mountain Village's signature events and we're pleased that TMVOA is able help bring this event to our community each year," said Mike Wisniewski, TMVOA president.

For 2008, TGSW welcomes two leading gay TV personalities to serve as celebrity emcees during the week. Reichen Lehmkuhl, known for the visibility he brought to the GLBT community through his participation in NBC's Amazing Race and now as a recurring character on the new third season of here! TV's Dante's Cove, will appear at Telluride Gay Ski Week for the first time. 2007 host Charlie David (also of Dante's Cove) returns to TGSW for a second year, fresh off from production of his new movie "Mulligans" but with the production crew in tow from his travel series BUMP!, which airs as well on here! TV. David will be filming an all-new episode of BUMP! that will focus exclusively on Telluride - Mountain Village and the annual ski week.

Schedule of Events includes:
Saturday, February 23 Welcome Mixer
Sunday, February 24 Oscar® Night Party and Opening Reception
Tuesday, February 26 BUMP! Shot Party
Wednesday, February 27 Mad Hatter Ski Party
Thursday, February 28 White Night Party / Telluride AIDS Benefit Sneak Peek Show
Friday, February 29 Telluride AIDS Benefit Opening Reception and Silent Auction
Saturday, March 1 15th Annual Telluride AIDS Benefit Gala Fashion Show

The Oscar Night Party is TGSW's annual Academy Awards watching event and opening reception that takes place at the Sheridan Opera House and kicks off the week on Sunday, February 24th. The big screen telecast is a "must watch" for all attendees. This year, the party doesn't end with Best Picture but goes on with a DJ and dancing through the late night.

The Mad Hatters Ski Party is new this year and is an "on mountain" hat contest that takes place on Wednesday, February 27th. Skiers will create their wildest hat or headgear under the watchful "eye" of BUMP! Celebrity judges Charlie David and Reichen Lehmkuhl will be on hand to pick the winner. Winner of "Best Head" will be announced slope side during lunch and prizes will be given to the maddest hatters in each category.

The White Night Party returns for its fifth year to TGSW on Thursday, February 28th. Immediately after the Telluride AIDS Benefit Sneak Peek Show, guests will gather under the big white tent for an evening of high-energy dancing, guest DJs and "eye candy." This event has become a popular annual tradition with local residents and ski week attendees alike.

Additional activities, bar parties and apr├Ęs' ski parties are scheduled or are currently in the planning stages and will be posted on the official Telluride Gay Ski Week website (www.telluridegayskiweek.com) as they are confirmed.

Telluride Gay Ski Week 2008
When: Saturday, February 23, 2008 - Saturday, March 1, 2008
Where: Town of Mountain Village, CO and the Telluride Ski Resort
Visit www.telluridegayskiweek.com for more information.

You can also check out the Telluride Gay Ski Week on Youtube

Monday, December 17, 2007

Air New Zealand Concierges

Air New Zealand is currently looking for concierges for it's long haul flights (and to fly to New Zealand from anywhere other than the 3 hour trip trans Tasman) is long haul.

Air New Zealand hopes the 90 concierge jobs will "revolutionise" long-haul passengers' travel.

The airline's international manager, Ed Sims, said concierge duties could include escorting passengers to and from the aircraft, recommending "must-do" New Zealand activities to tourists, helping with onward bookings, supporting those affected by weather disruption or explaining the finer points of in-flight wine lists.

"I love the idea that these are inflight travel gurus," he said. "That's what I'm after for this role - a one-person Wikipedia."

Mr Sims said the only other airline he knew of that had an inflight service additional to traditional cabin crew was Virgin Atlantic, which carried masseurs.

The new service will start in April, and the first international services to have concierges on board are expected to include those between Auckland and Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Hong Kong.

Of course RainbowTourism.com has it's own concierge service already to help you plan your trip so that you have a special experience on your next holiday.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Europe Passport-free zone extended

Nine new countries join the Schengen zone so your European Schengen visa will be valid in 24 European countries from December with sea and land checks ended and with airport checks to be phased out in March.

8 countries are from Eastern Europe with the remaining country been Malta.

So goodbye to red tape in Europe.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

4 new reasons to visit Huon Bush Retreats

Keep your ear to the ground something exciting is happening in the Huon Valley. Early next year you will find yourself sipping fine wines, enjoying gorgeous local produce, chatting among friends and colleagues, exploring the forest and learning the forgotten history of Tasmania's first people, the Huon Valley’s post colonial history and the very special botanical aspects of our beautiful isle.

Watch out for the 2008 launch of Huon Valley Historical Interpretation Panels, Summit Walk and Waterfall Track,
Wellness Retreats and Clifftop Cabin.

Houn Bush Retreat aboriginal history researcher Anne-Maree McWatters, a graduate of the University of Tasmania has spent untold hours digging through the remnants left by passage of
time to bring you a very detailed and knowledgeable history of our first people. Paul Dimmick Co owner of Huon Bush Retreats has studied the botanical aspects and post colonial history of the site and has contributed significantly to this very special project.

So now you have four more reasons to visit Houn Bush Retreats in Tasmania

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a necessary evil however for gay and lesbian travellers there are a number of issues that need to be checked and especially the fine print:

  • For same sex couples and families does the policy cover you all.
  • Pre existing medical conditions. What is covered and not covered. This is particularly important for HIV+ travellers.
  • Are dangerous activities covered. Check very careful for example bungee jumping may not be covered. If possible get the insurance company to give you a list of dangerous activities.
  • Check what unattended baggage means. This may actually mean a bag in the boot of a car overnight.
The Australian consumer site Choice has a good checklist

We are also interested if anyone has used World Nomads travel insurance which we promote on RainbowTourism.com

We are also interested in who you buy your travel insurance and why - use the comment section to let us know.