Thursday, May 27, 2010

Queenstown Winter Festival ranks in Top 10 festivals

Queenstown’s Winter Festival has been ranked as one of the world’s Top 10 must-see festivals by a major Australian website.

Yahoo!7 Travel, which provides news, online travel guides, booking and reservation services, has rated the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival as the fourth best festival in the world.

The festival ranks higher than the likes of New Orleans’ Jazz Festival, Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls, Oktoberfest, and the Sydney and Melbourne festivals.

Festival Director Simon Green is rapt with the result and says it’s a testament to everyone who’s worked on the festival since it began in 1975.

“The festival originally started because some locals thought the start of winter was a great excuse for a party so they organised some mountain races, a couple of concerts and a ball. Everyone thought it was such a great idea that it just snowballed and people started coming from all around the district.

“Over the years it’s evolved into the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest winter party and now takes a whole year to plan!

“Some things never change though - the best thing about our festival is that it still’s still true to its roots. It’s run by the people for the people and is all about celebrating who we are, what we are and where we are. For locals it’s a great chance to get together and celebrate winter living and for visitors it’s a great time to come because town is absolutely buzzing, the ski fields are open and there’s a real party atmosphere.

“Each year we ensure there are plenty of accessible and free events to keep the community involved and this year about 75 percent of our events are free.”

For the full list of Yahoo!7 Travel’s Top 10 Festivals please visit

Winter Starts Here!! The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival programme is now available in hard copy and online. For more information visit the Festival website

For accommodation in Queenstown visit Rainbow Tourism.

For travel assistance please contact the Rainbow Tourism Concierge
More information on our Website, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Arts Festival on Tropical Island A Great Winter Escape

The tiny but stunning French Territory of New Caledonia is host to the 4th Melanesian Arts Festival in September. Everyone is welcome to attend the free activities and performances by tribes from 4 nations.

From 12-24 September, Noumea and the surrounding villages will be a place to meet artists and craftsmen as well as see the native dances and ceremonies at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre (seen above).

The Packages

Festival Short Break 5 nights + Closing Ceremony ticket 24 Sep

  • 3 nights

    Le Meridien Noumea: Classic - garden view room

  • 2 nights
    Le Meridien Ile des Pins - deluxe room

Festival Week Escape 7 nights

+ Closing Ceremony ticket 24 Sep

  • 5 days Noumea and 2 days Ile des Pins at the Meridien 5-star hotels.

Ask for a quote for two people or singles. The rates and inclusions are custom - and bountiful - for Rainbow Tourism gay, lesbian and family travelers. We also can price a holiday outside of the festival and year round to this tropical destination in the South Pacific.

Did You Know
Did you know that Noumea is just a 2 hour flight from the east coast of Australia?
Did you know that New Caledonia has the second largest coral reef next in line after Australia and is the largest lagoon-surround island in the world?
Did you know that New Caledonia's tourism operators have joined the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (
Did you know you can have a bilingual tour guide if you don't speak French or English?
Did you know the local currency is XFP? The AUD buys a lot of Pacific Francs for an affordable holiday in paradise.

If You Go can handle your international flights. can handle domestic flights to the outer islands. can handle hotel bookings - from budget to luxury hotels can help you with more information about this pristine destination.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

El Bolson, Argentina---Mountain Magic!

Mirror Lake Reflections
By Roy Heale

One of the most memorable parts of any visit to Argentina's Lake District is driving around the countryside, enjoying the Andes' mountain and lake vistas, plus visiting the small townships. Although San Carlos de Bariloche is the heart of this region, within a few hours journey there are many smaller and distinctive communities with their own unique characteristics. Any time spent traveling around this domain is rewarded with spectacular views of snow-capped mountains, crystal clear blue lakes, and villages with a definite Alpine flair.

During my recent visit to this area I was fortunate enough to have local gay travel expert Cristian Signorelli, of Bariloche Gay Travel, guiding me around the Lake District. One of our leisurely day trips was a journey south into Patagonia to the small town of El Bolson where the specialties are local crafts, home-brewed beers, and the most amazing fresh fruit juice cocktails. It's a short two-hour drive from Bariloche and the mountain roads weave through the immense “mirror reflection” Lakes Guttierrez, Mascardi, and Guillelmo alongside numerous meandering mountain streams and rivulets. With such breathtaking vistas the journey seems much shorter than the actual time lapsed.

Upon arrival in the town of El Bolson the Alpine-styled architecture and historical buildings are immediately apparent. In the heart of the town is the Plaza Pagano. It's a beautiful park with grassy banks and a large central pond surrounded by the local artisans' stalls of the world famous El Bolson Regional Fair. This open-air market brings together artisans, a farmer's market---which includes freshly picked wild fruits---musicians, painters, sculptors, writers, and all kinds of talented artists, plus a street band. This fair is a cultural gathering and an historical part of El Bolson, dating back to the early '70s. Today it retains the style and aura of that decade. It is a world-renowned artisan market and provides approximately four hundred year-round jobs, increasing to six hundred during the tourist season. Visitors journey from all over Argentina and around the world for this traditional Latin experience.

After strolling the pathways of this Fair, numerous outdoor caf├ęs and restaurants are ready and waiting to give you a real taste of El Bolson local cuisine. A variety of cheese boards with smoked salmon, trout, venison, hare, wild boar, and locally made pickles can be found on the gourmet menus. Plus local dishes such as homemade pasta with cream sauce and morels---wild mushrooms---or rolls of Patagonian lamb, a trout Roquefort, vegetable strudel, a delicious plate of endive gratin, or Sorrento stuffed with smoked trout smothered in walnut cream sauce, will tempt any discriminating palate. And of course some wonderful Argentine Malbec wines must be sampled or one of the ten varieties of locally brewed beers will refresh you on a hot summer day. The gentle pace of life in this small community becomes instantly infectious.

If you prefer an extended visit to this magical mountain community then Bariloche Gay Travel can assist you with bookings at gay-friendly hotels. They have carefully selected charming Alpine-style accommodations where a warm welcome is extended to all LGBT travelers.

Before heading back to Bariloche a short drive up the mountain dirt roads will reward you with spectacular views of the River Quemquemtreu valley and mountains. Along this short journey many colorful wild flowers and bushes flourish and you will observe the locals fruit-picking to create those wonderful fresh juice drinks back at the fairgrounds.

A day trip to El Bolson is more than just a tour around Argentina's Lake District---rather it is an Argentine cultural experience with a journey back in time to a relaxed and gentle pace of life.

For More Information Visit:
For More Travel Stories By Roy Heale Visit:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Grace Hotel Sydney Wins

The Grace Hotel Sydney was awarded the prestigious Superior Hotel Accommodation of the Year at the 13th annual Australian Hotels Association (NSW) Accommodation Awards for Excellence celebrating the State’s best 3, 4 and 5 star hotels during the recent 2010 glittering Gala Award Ceremony in Sydney.

Mr Philip Pratley, General Manager of The Grace Hotel Sydney said 'We are incredibly proud of our achievements; this award reinforces and demonstrates The Grace Hotel Sydney has been able to maintain a high level of consistency which has been recognized by our guests and peers. The continuous improvement program in services and facilities in association with our recently
completed room's refurbishment program has been acknowledged. We will soon be providing further improvements to facilities and services with the renovation of guests’ rooms, restaurants, due for completion by the third quarter of 2010 which will further enhance our guests' experience”.

The Australian Hotels Association (NSW) Accommodation Awards for Excellence are recognised as the most prestigious hospitality awards, honouring the achievement of excellence in a wide range of categories throughout the accommodation sector. “The competition for 2010 has certainly set an impressive benchmark” Mr Richard Munro AHA (NSW) Accommodation Division Chairman said.

“These awards recognise excellence in accommodation services in NSW,” the Honourable Minister for Tourism Jodi McKay said and congratulated all the 34 winners of the Australian Hotels
Association (AHA)NSW Accommodation Awards for Excellence.

So why not check into The Grace Hotel next time you visit Sydney

For travel assistance please contact the Rainbow Tourism Concierge
More information on our Website, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Turtle Cove - Queen's Birthday Weekend Specials

Queen's Birthday special rates from $60 per person double, $100 single including tropical breakfast.

Valid new bookings from 7 May for stays 12-14 June.

Visit Turtle Cove for the Queens Birthday long weekend

Pick up a Red Spot Rental Car in Cairns and drive on up to the resort for a great weekend relaxing and exploring Tropical North Queensland.

Saturday 12 June
  • arrive and relax
  • 4pm 'outloud' choir performing the queens anthem
  • 7pm - Feast fit for a Queen - $40
Sunday 13 June
  • 4pm - Queens honours spinning wheel & raffle tickets hosted by QAHC
  • 5pm Queen for a moment - so you think you can drag ! cum dressed as your best and be ready to perform a (quick) number.
  • Prize* $100 voucher towards room, food and drinks at Turtle Cove.
  • 7pm A la carte dinner
  • 9pm until late - DJ Queens Ball(s) and dancing Queens

Monday 14 June
  • Relax & recover

Book direct, call Sharon on +61-7-4059-1800 (Tell them you found them on Rainbow Tourism) or contact the Rainbow Tourism Concierge for assistance.

Don't forget your rental car from Red Spot Rental Cars.

For travel assistance please contact the Rainbow Tourism Concierge
More information on our Website, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube

Friday, May 07, 2010

Gearing up to be a great winter in Melbourne

Melbourne will have a lot to sing and dance about this winter, aggressively marketing the city as Australia’s cultural hotspot and backing it up with a new line of events, including two of the country’s largest exhibitions.

The Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series includes an exclusive showing ofEuropean Masters: Stadel Muesum 19-20th Century at the National Gallery of Victoria, which will feature more than 100 works from 70 of the world’s most influential artists including Monet, Renoir, Degas, Picasso – to name a few.

For a different type of exhibition, the city will also be home to Tim Burton: The Exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image from June 24. The exhibition comes direct from New York’s Museum of Modern Art, where it was one of the three biggest draw cards in the museum’s history.

The Tim Burton Exhibition will feature 700 examples of rare photographs, paintings, drawings, storyboards and costumes from the visionary writer and director of movies including Alice in Wonderland, Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice.

New theatre productions are also set to hit the stage in Melbourne, kicking off with London’s popular Mary Poppins musical, Fame – The Musical, West Side Story and Hairspray.

Need a place to stay in Melbourne? Plenty of choices with gay-welcoming accommodations and clubs for after dark. Besides the cultural attractions, there's plenty to do and see in Melbourne and rural Victoria.

Need a driver to pick you up at the airport, take you to your hotel and then to the museums or gay clubs? Affinity Limo is your Rainbow Tourism Accredited choice.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Be Hawaiian - Aloha LGBT

One of the exciting parts of tourism is discovering new places, making friends and connecting and reconnecting with people around the world.

This is why when I discovered Aloha LGBT it was wonderful to something old but something new.

Aloha LGBT offers you a unique opportunity to feel totally comfortable in a hidden Hawaii that no one else sees at any price.

  • Indigenous healers. 
  • Sacred spaces. 
  • Incredible psychic / spiritual power. 
  • You have never had Hawaii like this.

And today the following new site sister site was launched.

What does it mean to be Hawaiian?

Being Hawaiian is based in three ideas: aloha, ho'opono pono and huna. Aloha means love, ho'opono pono means to create the right path for self and others and huna means the hidden. And so the tenets of always being Hawaiian as you go through your life would be:

Live with love, kindess and generosity in your heart and have the compassion to do something for others not as fortunate.

Take complete responsibility for your actions and never pretend not to understand the true consequences of those actions for all people involved.

Always remember that for you, all of those around you, and the for the planet itself that there is much more going on than meets the eye and that it is always best to find the source.


For travel assistance please contact the Rainbow Tourism Concierge
More information on our Website, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube