Friday, October 30, 2009

Homeland: Adelaide Exhibition

You are invited to the Launch of Homeland – Feast’s Premier Visual Arts Exhibition

Definition: One’s Native Land
When: Tuesday, 3 November from 6pm
Where: Higher Ground Art Café, 9 Light Square, Adelaide

In keeping with the ‘HomeGrown’ theme for the 2009 festival, Feast will be proudly hosting Homeland as its central Visual Arts Exhibition, a collection of visual art works by Indigenous visual artists from the LGBTIQ community exploring Aboriginal and LGBTIQ culture and the relationship between these two identities.

Auntie Muriel will provide a welcome to country and the Hon. Ian Hunter MLC will officially open the Homeland Exhibition. Artists involved in the exhibition will also speak about their work.

Please join Feast as it launches one of its first events for the 2009 festival… an event for the whole community!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

LGBT Survey In Latin America


By Roy Heale


At a news conference today in Buenos Aires it was announced that the first LGBT market research in Latin America will be expanded substantially beyond the original plans. It will now include Brazil, Uruguay,Chile and Argentina.

It was announced today that the first market research on the gay and lesbian community in Latin America will investigate the habits and lifestyles of more LGBT people than originally considered.

It had previously been announced that the Market Study Gay 2010 Out Now + GNETWORK360 would survey gays and lesbians living in Argentine territory.

Today at a press conference held at the Axel Hotel Buenos Aires, the organizers of the study revealed that there will be a far greater scope for this new LGBT market study. It will now include gays and lesbians in Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay in addition to Argentina residents.

Ian Johnson, CEO of Out Now, indicated the decision to expand research on this scale was logical.
"Out Now works in countries around the world," said Johnson. "When we looked at the region of Latin America it became obvious that there was a strong need for information to be provided through studies of this kind. Now we confirm that this need is equally important in Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile as it is in Argentina.”

It was also announced by Johnson that the gay and lesbian marketing agency will open its first office in the region---Out Now Latin America---which will be based in Buenos Aires.

"We are delighted that Pablo De Luca and Gustavo Noguera---the creators of GNETWORK360, the organization's most successful business networking for the GLBT community---join us as consultants for Out Now Latin America,” Johnson said." Both De Luca and Noguera, are intelligent, professional, dedicated, and committed to Out Now. This will surely prove to be really beneficial for the more than 12 million gays and lesbians living in the region in which we are starting to work.”

Out Now was founded in 1992 in Australia and works in markets around the world with many corporate clients including IBM, Toyota, Volvo, Hilton, KLM, Lufthansa, VisitSweden, German National Tourist Board, Barclays Bank and Citibank. The future services of Out Now Latin America will include research, strategic consulting, advertising, public relations, and staff training.

GNETWORK360 is a business to business event held annually for three days in Buenos Aires. According to Noguera "More than 650 people gather each year to share information, workshops, presentations and discussion panels plus learn about new business opportunities within the LGBT market segment.


De Luca stated, "Out Now and GNETWORK360 share the conviction that a better understanding of gays and lesbians helps businesses and other organizations to a greater awareness of the issues that concern our community assisting to create products and services in order to meet or resolve these issues in the most effective way to improve the lives of our community. "


For More Information Visit: http://www.gnetwork360.com

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

There are Queers and Queer Fairy Penguins on this Island

One of my all time favorite hidden places in Tasmania through another's eyes...a surfer who found Cloudy Bay. Shhs. Don't tell anyone else.

Patrick Steel
guardian.co.uk

At Cloudy Bay, on the south coast of Bruny Island, Tasmania the waves are barreling towards the shore. My surf instructor, a gnarled 50-year-old called Scotty, looks at me slightly nervously and asks: "How did I do?"

Scotty, you may have already guessed, is not a professional instructor. In fact, his only qualification is a love of surfing that saw him relocate from mainland Tasmania to Bruny some 20 years ago so that he could be nearer to the beach. A casual enquiry in a local cafe led to my being given his number, and a phone call later he appeared in his ute (utility vehicle) with a couple of wetsuits and two boards in the back.

This, apparently, is the way that things are done on Bruny. Situated almost as far south as it's possible to go on the Australian continent, an hour's drive and a short ferry ride from Hobart, it has a population of 550 and is undeveloped and unspoiled, with very little tourist infrastructure but an impressive can-do attitude. You want to go surfing? Here's the number of someone who can take you. You want to go fishing? There's a guy in town who has a boat. Hiking? Look around you.

In her book The Alphabet Of Light And Dark, the Australian author Danielle Wood describes Bruny as following Tasmania "like a comma, a space for pause". This description certainly fits the place where I am staying. Adventure Bay Holiday Village, despite having a name like a Disney attraction, is in fact a series of austere but comfortable self-catering cabins, some of them with views over the bay where Captain Cook once landed and the woods around it that boast Australia's only white wallabies. Mine looks out over a woodland stream that runs out to the sea. It is a good place to unwind, although the friendly ducks quacking outside my door each morning are determined to stop me from sleeping too late. There's also a cafe on hand, in case the self-catering option becomes too much like hard work, but I've opted for self-catering for a reason: I want to go fishing.

Enquiries in the town lead me to Chris who, as well as running the local trailer park with his wife has, for the past five years, been building up a sideline taking people out in his boat. Although he reminds me of Alf from Home and Away with his liberal use of phrases like "strewth" and "fair dinkum", Chris evidently knows the bay inside out. Within a couple of hours we've filled a large bucket with cod, ocean perch, parrotfish, and flatheads, and he's also caught some crayfish in the nets.

We take our haul back to the trailer park, where they are gutted and filleted in front of us, and I leave with a bag full of flatheads and instructions on the best way to cook them (fried in butter). Inviting the couple in the next door cabin to the communal kitchen for dinner, we eat the fish along with fresh oysters they picked up from the oyster farm in Great Bay, followed by homemade cheese from a nearby fromagerie and a bottle of Bruny Island wine from what claims to be Australia's most southern vineyard. This, we agree, is the life.

After dark we drive up to The Neck, a thin isthmus connecting the north and south ends of the island and home from October to April to a colony of fairy penguins and muttonbirds. A park ranger is on hand to show us how to fix red cellophane over our torches so that we can watch them returning to their burrows on the beach without disorientating them with bright light. The air is thick with squawking birds swirling above us in the night sky, and on the drive back we have to swerve several times to avoid stray penguins, hypnotised by the headlights, tottering along the dirt track.

I feel some empathy for those penguins after staggering out of Cloudy Bay, having spent a couple of hours thrashing around in the white water, dragging the surf board behind me while Scotty looked on in despair. Before leaving the island, I think to myself, I really must learn some of that Bruny can-do attitude.

The Bruny Island Ferry runs every day from 7.30am until 7.30pm, taking approximately 30 minutes, and a return fare costs $11 off peak and $13 peak hours for a normal vehicle. Go to www.discovertasmania.com for more info.

For more information on gay-welcoming Tasmania and hidden gems like Bruny Island, see RainbowTourism.com and the new RainbowTourism.com.au. Some of the most exquistie food on the planet comes from Bruny Island, including handcrafted wine, chocolate, cheese, cherries and fresh seafood. You'll never go hungry and you could eat a penguin in a pinch, I suppose.

-Rainbow Concierge Dee, a Tasmaniac

Monday, October 26, 2009

Has the Tide Turned for Sydney's Iconic Gay Street and Beach?



Photos and story by Delia Farrell, reporting as repeat visitor to gay and lesbian travel icons in Sydney and beyond.











Over the course of a dozen years and multiple stints at living in Gay Sydney, I have seen a lot of changes at both locations - none more dramatic than my current perspective after an absence of two years.



Many visitors - especially backpacking travellers from Europe and North America - are saying Sydney is "over hyped, too expensive, and has substandard public transport between the city and the suburban beaches."

While the backpacker numbers are down - they are off to the cheaper Asian beach locations - I have seen the same numbers on the gay end of the beach. Yeah, more room for us in the cafes, pubs, shops and on the north end of the beach which is best for male cruising and topless lesbians!

Previously, after a day of watching tanned bodies at the beautiful beach, gay and lesbian visitors alike would head to Oxford Street for a meal, a thirst quencher, top shopping and then pub crawling from one end to the other. Those were the days of many gay bars, one right after the other. And restaurants that stayed open late and on Sundays. Sadly, this is not the case anymore.

You can grab a decent meal at Snakebean, a BYOB Asian dinner, and step into the Stonewall or the Colombian for beer and mingling with the locals. But some of the stalwarts have recently closed for much needed refreshing and repainting.

So if you thought you'd spend all night on Oxford Street, think again. Think Newtown









Sunday, October 25, 2009

Canberra Gay for a Day 31 Oct.


SpringOut Fairday is Canberra's LGBT community day. The annual Fairday is a marvellous day out for the whole family, bring your kids, bring you pets. Sunshine, great stalls, beautiful people, relaxed atmosphere. What could be more pleasant for a Saturday afternoon in Spring?

Fairday 2009 will include drag kings and queens, performances by local artists, the Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire, a children's treasure hunt, and - back for another year - the ever popular Pet Parade!

12 noon to 5pm @ Westlund House, Gordon Street, Acton (near the Film and Sound Archive and opposite the Academy of Science Dome).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

World's Top Cities are Gay Meccas


Sydney has been ranked the world's number one city for the eighth consecutive year by one of the world's most prestigious travel magazine.

The Harbour City beat Melbourne in the annual Conde Nast Traveller Reader's Choice. (Vancouver was the number one city in The Americas.*)

NSW Tourism Minister Jodi McKay said the ranking was a fantastic endorsement by the travel-savvy readers. "Visitors obviously enjoyed the very best of Sydney including our laid-back lifestyle, our iconic attractions and the beauty of our natural environment,” she said. Sydney received close to 2.6 million international overnight visitors in the last financial year.

From another source, here’s the flip side.

Vancouver has taken the title as the World’s Most Liveable City (Economist Intelligence report). Australia garnered three of the top 10 cities: Melbourne (2nd), Perth (5th) and Sydney (9th) .

Photo of Vancouver Pride 2009.

Not to brag, but Rainbow Tourism and Peacock Tourism Marketing have virtual offices in Sydney and Vancouver, so that should qualify us as smart cookies. So are all the gay and lesbians who live in those cities or visit them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just Do It in 2010: Great Ocean Road Trip


Victoria is home to one of Australia’s most beloved- and the world’s most scenic – drives: the Great Ocean Road. Curving its way along almost 200 miles of wind swept coastline, it passes wide beaches, sheer cliffs and secluded coves. It also offers a glimpse into “real Australia”, passing through quaint villages, apparently forgotten by time for 100 years, except for the bare-footed surfers crossing the sand.

While parts of the Great Ocean Road can be seen on a day trip from Melbourne, many people chose to stay overnight in one of the small towns along the way. Another option is to drive or take a tour from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road which finishes in Adelaide in South Australia. For the best experience, be sure to allow at least two nights along the way!

At Apollo Bay the Road leaves the coast and winds through the rainforest of Cape Otway before returning to hug the coastline along the entire length of the Port Campbell National Park. This twisting and turning stretch offers the most dramatic coastal scenery, including an amazing collection of rock sculptures known as The Twelve Apostles - huge stone pillars looming out of the surf. (Erosion takes it toll daily. Hurry, there are only 7 Apostles left standing.)

One sample of great Australian holidays:

6 Day Melbourne & The Great Ocean Road from $1299

Travel May 1-June 8 '10. Book by Oct. 29, 2009 with Travelscene.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Decisions: Busy Track vs Underused Secluded Parks

Around $5000

6 n Craddle Mountain hut-to-hut walk in NW corner through TAS’ world heritage area from $2550 pp twin share. Guided trip with many amenities and NP and Overland Track passes.

VS

Around $1000

Go to Bay of Fires Conservation Park and adjacentMt.William National Park in NE corner of TAS in campervan. Pitch a tent on an empty beach or coastal lagoon. From Musselroe Bay (great fishing and bird watching) you can see across to the Bass Strait islands. And in season, photograph wildflowers and wildlife across the heathlands.

Both parks are great for seeing wallabies, wombats, echidnas, pademelons, Forester Kangaroo ( unique to TAS) at dawn or dusk. The Tassie Devil, however, is most active at night.

If you pick B like I recently did you better hurry before things change, as The Lonely Planet has listed it as the world’s hottest travel destination for 2009!


Courtesy of The Lonely Plant

Forever the butt of mainland jokes, Tasmania has shrugged off the stigma of its isolation – the whole world seems to be discovering the physically dazzling, unique and accessible island. Suitably impressed, and a tad sheepish, the rest of Australia has finally stopped laughing and started visiting. ‘Tassie’ (as it’s affectionately known) has it all.

Out and about, the island’s natural treasures live up to the hype – bushwalking, cycling, rafting and kayaking opportunities abound.

The little-known, isolated Mt William National Park brings together long sandy beaches, low ridges and coastal heathlands – visit during spring or early summer when the wildflowers are at their bloomin’ best. The highest point, Mt William (a 1½-hour return walk), stands only 216m tall, yet projects your gaze over land and sea. The area was declared a national park in 1973, primarily to protect Forester (eastern grey) kangaroos, which have been breeding themselves silly ever since. Activities on offer in the area include bird-watching and wildlife-spotting, fishing, swimming, surfing and diving.

At Eddystone Point is the impressive Eddy tone Lighthouse, built from granite blocks in the 1890s. A small picnic spot here overlooks a beach with red granite outcrops. A short drive away beside a tannin-stained creek (and yet another magnificent arc of white sand and aqua water), is the idyllic campground atDeep Creek. Camping here is very basic, with pit toilets, bore water and fireplaces – there’s no power, and bring your own drinking water and wood. You can also camp at Stumpys Bay and Musselroe Top Camp. National park fees apply; pay camping fees on-site (unpowered sites $6). Bookings not required.

The park is well off the main roads, accessible from the north or south. The northern end is 17km from Gladstone; the southern end around 60km from St Helens. (This fishing village was once the home of Rainbow Tourism. Gay friendly businesses exist here and the catch of the day makes you want to stay and stay.)

Rainbow Tourism Recommendations at start/finish of your exploration.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Air travel has never before been so gay friendly.

Late News About Delta:

One week ago, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released its 2010 Corporate Equality Index, which rates 590 businesses on a scale from 0 to 100 percent, evaluating LGBT-related policies and practices including non-discrimination policies, transgender health benefits, and domestic partner benefits. An impressive 305 businesses achieved top ratings on the index (compared to 260 last year) and among them were 6 airlines – Alaska, American, Continental, US Airways, Delta, and JetBlue.


And what did the world’s number 1 airline have to say about its perfect score? “At the very core of Delta’s values is a strong commitment to global diversity,” said Mike Campbell, executive vice president – Human Resources and Labor Relations. “Achieving a 100 percent score on this year’s HRC Corporate Equality Index reflects the inclusiveness of our workplace and acknowledges the deliberate steps we are taking to continue making Delta a great place to work for all of our employees worldwide.”







RainbowTourism.com highlighted on
Delta's Lesbian & Gay Getaways Visit Sydney page.


Delta Air Lines & Rainbow Tourism are fellow members of IGLTA. The airline has just begun flying from its USA base into the South Pacific and Sydney in particular.

Use your SkyMiles now or book a Delta Dream Vacation to enjoy summer in the land downunder. At Rainbow Tourism, we can assist you with trip planning by reserving places to stay and places to play.







Tropical Greetings

Immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings, listen to the birds and the natural sounds of the Daintree, and indulge in treatments that are therapeutic and restorative for your total well being, providing you with life enhancing tools to take home ... relaxing massages, nutritional body wraps to hydrate and to soothe, luscious facials to rejuvenate...


The rainforest Aboriginal people have named this place ‘Wawu-karrba' - healing of the spirit. Daintree is home to the spiritual ancestors of the Kuku Yalanji tribe. This would be an ideal place to view or purchase authentic Aboriginal artwork.

Rainbow Tourism Recommendation: Stay at Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa, a boutique 15 villa resort nestled in the rainforest, a short distance from Cairns. Daintree EcoLodge is a Rainbow Tourism Accredited accommodation, offering lesbian and gay spa goers a welcoming place to rejuvinate.



Friday, October 09, 2009

Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Going to Adelaide for Feast? Besides all the celebrations, here's something fantastic to experience during your time in SA.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Gay Gaucho Experience




By Roy Heale



Anyone who has visited Buenos Aires knows that the nightlife is diverse and entertaining for both straight and gay tourists. But many people are not aware of the party scene for a gay Gaucho --- the name given to Argentine cowboys --- Which exists in the nearby countryside. Local gay guide Gustavo from the 2Portenios will help you experience this unique culture in a tour that you will probably never forget!
Gaucho Night happens at ZONE X, a must see road-house nightclub an hour and a half outside of Buenos Aires, where anything and everything does happen entertaining.
The 2 Portenios can host a group via passenger chauffer driven shuttle on a midnight champagne excursion to ZONE X. You will find yourself transported to a colorful club that has for the last eight years been the best kept secret around Buenos Aires. The unreserved gauchos, transvestites, farm-hands, laborers, elders, gay and gay-for-a-day boys and girls, are more than happy to receive you into a party like no other --- where you can abandon your inhibitions and experience this unique lifestyle.
With music including disco, electronic, 80's, Latin, or sauce on a club-lit dance floor, where there are plenty of hot gauchos for the occasional slow dance at the end of the night. The crowd at ZONE X are friendly local people that have made their own style of party and revelry. Enjoy the night's alternative edge, enormous beers served in liter bottles for a couple of bucks, an outdoor patio, plus a dark backroom and Bush with tools greasier than any you'll find on the farm at home. Wear what you dare and do pretty much anything you want, as the staff are having as much fun as the crowd. Pole dancing is a participatory event and everyone joins in!
This will prove to be a once-in-a-lifetime side-trip on any visit to Buenos Aires. You will find an unexpected place in your heart for this unforgettable night round-trip excursion into the Argentine Twilight Zone. Chances are you will return for more in the future!
For More Information Visit: http://www.2portenios.com/ and for more stories by Roy Heale visit http://www.royheale.blogspot.com/