Thursday, October 18, 2018

These Art Museums in Australia Deserve a Place on Your Bucket List

Australia may be a young nation, but it has a rich cultural history and a true treasure of museums and art galleries. Celebrating its rich cultural heritage and artistic passion, the vast wealth of museums and art galleries proliferate in all major cities. Presenting a variety of narratives and reflecting themselves as part of the colonial framework, Australian museums are engaged in a prolific era of change and development. With the multi-faceted array of activities, museums are developing the collaborative relationship with the indigenous communities and actively communicating with their visitors with innovative display practices. Offering a surplus of artistic expression from indigenous art to most contemporary practices, its museums are a major tourist attraction and its institutions dedicated to the study and exhibition of art make Australia’s art scene enthralling.

We have compiled the most diverse list of Australia’s most impressive art museums that should definitely be on a bucket list of every art lover! Without further adieu, proceed to our exciting list.
search explore arts artist university sydney media Australian Centre for Contemporary Art explore

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne

As c rather than collecting them, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art is the number one space for contemporary art in Melbourne. Bringing the best international and Australian artists and creative thinkers, it provides an exciting, fee, and essential Melbourne cultural experience. The production of ambitious new artworks with living artists has generated an international acclaim. Established in 1983 and initially housed in a small cottage, it is now situated in an architectural work of art made of steel, metal and glass. The building designed by Australian architect Wood Marsh has become one of Melbourne’s most loved landmarks. It is located at 111 Sturt Street, Southbank, Victoria.

The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art

The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane

First opened in 1895 with a collection of 38 pictures, 70 engravings and one marble bust, The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane is now home for the extensive collection of the twentieth and twenty-first-century artwork. It a single institution located across two adjacent riverside buildings. With over 16,000 works of historical, modern and contemporary art and dynamic program of exhibitions, the museum aims to be a leading institution for the contemporary art of Australia, Asia and the Pacific. Additionally, the museum has a Children’s Art Centre focused on making art interesting to children. Its display space is broken down with walls and barriers interchanging between the art world and the public. It is located at Stanley Place, South Brisbane, Queensland.

arts artist university sydney media university Gertrude Contemporary

Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne

Located in a redesigned warehouse in the bohemian suburb of Fitzroy in Melbourne, Gertrude Contemporary is focused on the presentation, but also the production of contemporary art. Established in 1985, the museum has an impressive catalogue of renowned artists and holds regularly changing exhibitions and educational programs. Initially involved in Australian contemporary art, the gallery has included a diverse range of international works. Fostering a culture of risk, collaboration and critical-thinking to generate innovative programs initiating a creative exchange, it is valued nationally and internationally as a dynamic art centre. With an impressive list of Australia’s leading names in contemporary art, every artist who has represented Australia at the Venice Biennale since 1999 has either held a studio or an exhibition at Gertrude Contemporary. With a display across its three gallery spaces and a spacious front room, the gallery presents an enhanced viewing experience.

National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Established in 1967 in Canberra, the National Gallery of Australia is one of the most revered art spaces in the country. With over 160,000 works of art, it has a treasure of local and international artworks and exhibitions. The four main areas of the collection are Australian art, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, Asian art and European and American Art. One of its highlights is certainly a Ned Kelly series by Sidney Nolan. The impressive building is designed in the late 20th-century Brutalist style with a geometry based on a triangle, and it is surrounded by vast gardens of Australian native plants and trees. It is located in Parkes ACT 2600, Canberra.

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The Art of the Australian Breakfast

Young expats have transplanted their bright, Instagrammable cooking and mellow lifestyle by opening cafes in New York City.

The typical New York breakfast — something fast and greasy, brownand starchy — has never caught up to the food we eat the rest of the day. It’s not easy to find something appetizing, much less beautiful, in the morning rush.
That’s probably why, along with the advents of Instagram and the gig economy, New Yorkers have taken to the modern breakfasts served at the city’s rapidly multiplying Australian cafes. This cooking style features bright mashups of foods that are healthy, natural and luxurious all at once, and that even the most hardened bacon-egg-and-cheese lover may not be able to resist.
Cafes like Two HandsRuby’sFlinders LaneBanter and Five Leavesserve plates of organic porridge with raw honey and grass-fed cream, free-range poached eggs with local bacon and roasted broccoli, and all manner of avocado toast, garnished with everything from pickled onions and hoja santa to sesame seeds and shiso leaves. Even the proliferating chain Bluestone Lane offers not only avocado toast but an entire “toast bar,” with sophisticated spreads like almond butter and citrus curd.

Dozens of these Australian-style cafes have opened in the city in the last decade, serving their simple and sophisticated version of breakfast all day long, in a British-Mediterranean-Asian vernacular that echoes the food of chefs and writers like Neil PerryYotam Ottolenghi and Donna Hay.

This is not a coincidence. A trade agreement between Australia and the United States, which included a flexible new work visa specifically for Australians, was signed in 2005, after the country’s strong (and still controversial) military support for American operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Several thousand Australians, most of them young adults, have arrived every year since 2005. Sometimes it seems that all of them have just opened cafes, or are waiting tables in one.

This is especially true in New York’s trend-incubating neighborhoods like NoLIta, Williamsburg and Greenpoint, where these cafes have clustered, and where many local residents don’t work day jobs, or work remotely. As in Australia, where the tech sector and gig economies are also growing, this frees up time to breakfast on kale polenta with a fried egg and linger over pancakes and porridge — and to post a photo of the latte art atop your perfect flat white (an Australian espresso-and-steamed-milk drink that is neither a cappuccino nor a latte).

“Breakfast in Australia can last until it’s time for a beer, if you work it right,” said Nicola Palmer, a graphic designer from Canberra who lives in Williamsburg.

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Researchers use ultrasound to learn more about Ningaloo's pregnant green sea turtles

turtle swimming

Scientists at the CSIRO have taken an innovative approach to learn more about the breeding and nesting habits of Ningaloo Reef's green sea turtles along the remote WA coast.

Using ultrasound, researchers are able to find out if turtles will lay eggs this nesting season.

Senior researcher Mat Vanderklift said it was a different approach to how they traditionally tracked pregnant turtles.

"Typically, when we study females we wait until they crawl up onto the beach to lay their eggs and then we pop a tag on them and follow them back to where their home is," Dr Vanderklift said.

"We can find out a lot about turtles that way, but what we don't know for a place like Ningaloo is where the turtles that live there go and breed."

Understanding where the turtles travel could give researchers the information they need to protect the species from wider threats, such as climate change.

"If we know where their main food resources are and where they're going to and coming from in terms of nesting and feeding then we can start to look at whether their habitat is being affected as well," Dr Vanderklift said.

The team were looking for turtles carrying egg follicles, which resembled golf balls on the ultrasound screen.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Judge praises police officer who pulled knife-wielding ice addict off 13yo boy

A judge has praised the courageous police officer who pulled a mentally ill ice addict with a knife off a 13-year-old boy she pinned to the ground in Sydney's west last year.

Clara Moussa, 29, was sentenced to two years and two months jail for using an offensive weapon to intimidate and with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Downing Centre District Court Judge John Pickering was played mobile phone vision of the incident at a bus stop at Wentworthville in July 2017, which showed Moussa holding the boy down and saying "be quiet or I'll slash your throat open".

"I've been on ice since last Friday, I've had thoughts of killing someone for six months and today is the day," Moussa was recorded saying.

Judge Pickering said several bystanders were pleading with the woman to drop the 20cm knife and let the boy go.

When police arrived one officer slowly approached Moussa from behind, pulling her backwards and wrestling her to the ground.

His Honour noted it had been "a particularly terrifying incident for a young 13-year-old boy" but he also praised the police officer for his conduct.

"What [the video] also showed was great courage from the police officer involved in suppressing the behaviour of the offender at the time," he said.

Judge Pickering added it was "not an uncommon situation" for someone suffering from a mental illness to be dealt with by police in "a more unfortunate way".

"[Police] are to be commended for the courage they displayed on this day and the way they carefully dealt with this incident in a non-violent way," Judge Pickering said.

'An exceptional job'
Acting Superintendent Tamara Kirby from NSW Police said the officers at the scene that day deserved recognition.

"The officers involved did an exceptional job to de-escalate the situation with a minimum of force and nobody was injured," she said,

"They will be recognised in due course once the matter is finalised."

Superintendent Kirby would not comment on mental health training for police officers and whether it had improved in recent years following the death of mentally ill woman Courtney Topic in 2015.

Ms Topic was shot dead by police after she waved around a knife outside a fast food restaurant in at West Hoxton in Sydney's west.

A Coroner found her death was preventable and urged NSW Police to improve mental health training.

The court was told Moussa had experienced mental health issues including schizophrenia and hallucinations for over a decade prior to the bus stop incident and had been using ice for about four years.

The judge accepted Moussa did not know what she was doing when she acted out that day and had since taken responsibility and shown remorse by pleading guilty.

Three members of Moussa's family were in court and told the ABC they were pleased the judge had taken all the evidence into account.

"We thought the sentenced handed down was fair and aligned with Clara getting the help she needs," a relative said.

With time already served Moussa will be released on parole next Thursday and will continue to seek psychiatric help.

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Yirrganydji Aboriginal men playing music on the didgeridoo

When visiting any country, albeit Australia or the United Kingdom, spending time to learn about the culture and heritage is always an eye-opening experience. So, while you are Down Under see Australia through the eyes of its traditional owners with these five Aboriginal cultural experiences.


UluruIf there is one place in Australia that encompasses our indigenous culture, it would have to be Uluru. You can discover Ayers Rock with a guided tour where you will learn all about the history of this sacred monument, see ancient indigenous art and even try bush-tucker.

Not able to make the trip to the red centre?! Uluru is now featured on Google Earth, so you can witness the stunning sunsets and talk a ‘walk’ around the surrounding area right from your own home.


Yirrganydji Aboriginal men playing the didgeridoo

You don’t have to head to the outback to experience Australian culture, there are many experiences you can enjoy in our major cities and are just a quick google search away.


Bush tucker, also called bushfood, can be defined as any food native to Australia and used as sustenance by the original inhabitants, the Aboriginal Australians, but, it can also describe any native fauna or flora used for culinary and/or medicinal purposes.

While it may not look as appealing as a good old Aussie barbie, our aboriginal ancestors and some tribes even today live off the land, so why not give it a try!


There are a number of Aboriginal festivals held across the country each year, but a couple we would recommend would be the Barunga Festival and the Laura Dance Festival.

The Barunga Festival is one of the biggest community events held in the ‘Top End,’ aka the tropical northern reaches of the Northern Territory. Across this three-day long weekend in June, the festival includes a mix of dancing, live music, art shows, cultural workshops and lots of sport!

The Laura Dance Festival occurs every two years in the small town of Laura, roughly a four-hour drive north of Cairns. This festival is one of the oldest and largest aboriginal events where more that twenty communities gather together to dance up a storm.


Witness the distinctive and beautiful style of art in the flesh at one the many art galleries across Australia. A well-known gallery is the Burrunju Art Gallery in Canberra. This gallery is a not-for-profit organisation that specialises in authentic handmade Aboriginal arts and crafts.
Aboriginal Art

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Australia 2018 Trip Recap

Australia. Where do I even begin?

For starters, Australia has been number one on my destination bucket list ever since I was little. I’m a huge animal lover, so the thought of playing with kangaroos, snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, and snuggling koalas was always so appealing to me (I used to want a wallaby as a pet… and this trip confirmed it). When Qantas reached out in hopes of partnering together for a sponsored trip to three different cities within Australia, I honestly didn’t think it could be real. Especially since it was so close to my birthday, it was a trip of a lifetime!

I was sought out to generate awareness about Qantas’ Explorer, a program geared towards Millennials to encourage how affordable it can be to travel domestically within the country, all while showcasing the Food & Wine of Australia. Like, okay fine twist my arm, I’m your girl 😉

Being the last minute trip that is was, we got *our (so thankful Bridger was able to travel with me) flight confirmations just two days before we left the states… a little nerve wracking for my type A travel personality. But, I will say that everything we did on this trip, including Airbnb and hotel stay, travel excursions, winery tours, etc. was booked no more than 2 days in advance, which taught me to be a lotta bit more spontaneous. I packed so much into this Australia tour—referring to this as a tour because we really saw so much in so little time—that writing this post is getting me so excited to share all that we did!

A last minute trip wouldn’t be complete without packing the day before we left!

I’ll have a link soon with a list of all my travel essentials !!

The tour started when we departed from Seattle and flew into LAX to catch what would be the longest flight I’ve ever taken (15.5 hours) to Melbourne, Australia. Of course, I was a little nervous to be flying this long. Would I be able to sleep? Was I going to attempt to fast the whole way? (opting not to consume food for the duration of a flight has been shown to reduce jet lag, bloat, etc.). How would I survive without wifi? All questions I asked myself. Surprisingly enough, the flight from LAX to Melbourne turned out to be the best, most comfortable flight of my life! We had the chance to fly on Qantas’ new Dreamliner plane in Premium Economy. I 100% recommend, it’s definitely worth it!! It felt like first class, the flight attendants were Australian and so friendly, the menu was actually so impressive, and I was able to sleep 7 hours overnight.

Melbourne, Australia
Day 1:

We landed in Melbourne mid-morning, took a bus to our Airbnb in St. Kilda and had the rest of the day to explore. The city felt very young, hip, a bit touristy and easily accessible from basically anywhere around the area.

Food things first.

Melbourne was very rich in healthy, wholesome foods. So much so, that I wasn’t able to try about 80% of the places I wanted to from my list of recommendations I got from you guys. *I’ll be sharing my entire list of eats, activities, beaches and wineries for each city we traveled to below, but a few of my favorite food spots in Melbourne included Short Straw (anything on the menu), Matcha Mylkbar (matcha, obvi, matcha pancakes, vegan egg: yolk made with sweet potato & turmeric), Serotonin Dealer (raw desserts/treats, smoothies), Tall Timber (literally anything), Legacy Camberwell (poké bowl or any avo toast), Grill’d (grass-fed burgers, vegetarian burger, low-carb bun, thick-cut sweet potato fries!!), Gilson (half roast chicken), and MOM café (bliss balls).

I was lucky enough to meet the two #girlboss owners behind Matcha Mylkbar and Serotonin Dealer, two cafés each with an incredible backstory. I left each place feeling so inspired not only to share more nutrition and wellness knowledge with those around me, but also to continue to dream big and push myself/pave the way for what I want in life.

P.S. the raw treats are absolutely incredible at Serotonin Dealer—drooling at the thought of them as I type this.

Day 2:

Bridger and I went on a run around Albert Lake near our stay. In my opinion, running is the best way to see a new city. Luckily enough, it was Saturday and the market was happening. A bunch of tents with the beach in the background; it was my perfect Saturday morning. I even scored some beautiful artwork from a local artist to hang in our new apartment. After the market, we rented a car and drove about an hour northeast to the Yarra Valley. The hardest part about getting there was learning how to drive on the opposite side of the car and the opposite side of the road… I volunteered Bridger to drive 😉

The Stones of Yarra Valley was our first winery of the trip and definitely one of the more picturesque locations. It was stunning. An entire precinct including stables and a barn turned café and bar, a dairy house made into a chapel, and their newest build; a wood fired pizza restaurant and bar.
That night we relaxed on the beach at sunset and watched the twenty-something kite-surfers in the ocean for hours before we picked up dinner at Gilson’s to eat back at the Airbnb.

Day 3:

We uber’d down to Brighten Beach to see the iconic Brighten Beach Boxes, a bunch of small shacks lined up along the beach painted all sorts of colors. The sun got us good and we left burnt. Really burnt.
PSA: don’t take the sun lightly during the summer months in Australia. I brought along my American organic sunscreen and it did nothing but leave us with a 2-3 day burn. Buy the 50spf Aussie sunscreen. Just do it.
PSA #2: something we learned very quickly; everything closes early, especially on the weekends. This may not be a big deal normally, but when you’re either traveling, coming back from a day-long excursion, or not locked in on the current time zone, it can be so frustrating! Almost to the point where it leaves you emotionally unstable and hanger forces you to shed a few tears… just kidding. But, seriously. Be prepared and plan ahead!
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Friday, October 12, 2018

4 Reasons Why Coffee in Australia is the Best

If there’s one country on the planet that’s well-known for its specialty coffee culture, it’s definitely Australia.

Over the years, Australia has become home to the best-tasting specialty brews which has created a coffee culture that is as serious as it is unique. You may remember when Melbourne was crowned as one of the world’s coffee capitals or when the popular chain Starbucks closed down 70% of their Australian shops after losing almost $143M? This is clear proof that we take our coffee seriously and that there’s no room in our country for an average cup of Joe.

But what is it that makes coffee in Australia so good?

1. The experience is unique.

Our local cafes completely understand that drinking coffee is about more than just the caffeine hit; it’s also a form of relaxation and socialising. Which is why Australian cafes make sure they not only provide great coffee and great service but they also provide a complete coffee drinking experience.

Australia's coffee culture is also solidly focused on the many different types and varieties of specialty coffee. As Fleur Studd, the founder of Melbourne’s Market Lane, says, “When you walk into many cafes now, the barista will be able to tell you where your coffee was grown, who produced it, and what variety it is. You will often be offered coffee brewed as filter as well as espresso. The menu will showcase coffees that are in season and specialty grade, and the labels on retail bags of beans will tell you when it was harvested and roasted.” You see? It's serious business!

2. Australian baristas push the boundaries when it comes to their coffee art.

It's also our local baristas’ creativity that sets our coffee industry apart from the rest. They have already perfected their lattes, macchiatos and our own invention the flat white. But they also aren’t afraid to experiment with different kinds of caffeinated beverages and Australia leads the way when it comes to new coffee trends. Think turmeric lattes, unicorn coffee, and avocado lattes.

3. We have access to high-quality coffee beans and cutting-edge equipment

No wonder we are able to serve the rarest and the best-tasting coffee, our exciting coffee industry is supported by lots dedicated industry groups and major events here in Australia that help to expand the availability of unique coffee beans for roasters and cafe owners alike. The Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) held every year proudly and expertly works to help grow Australia's coffee industry. Thousands attend the yearly event to see the latest in coffee technology and machinery, along with the best Roasters and Baristas in the country.

4. We have our own style of cafes and our own style of coffee.

With such a strong culture it's no wonder that we've put our own style and spin on coffee. According to Ben Bicknell, the strategic project manager for the Five Senses group, “We’ve got a local vernacular for our coffee: the flat white, short black, magic and long macchiato. Most of these drinks are really just slight adjustments on the amount of espresso to milk to foam quantities, but even those small differences can determine whether your daily brew hits the spot.”

So, given that we think Australian coffee culture is the finest on the planet, where should you go to enjoy it at its best? Obviously we can't name every place in a single post so we'll just highlight a few of our current favourites:

1. Coffee Alchemy, Sydney

Their baristas roast their coffee beans in-house. Customers can buy these beans so they can craft their own cups of coffee at home.

2. Patricia Coffee Brewers, Melbourne

A standing-room-only shop for customers on the hunt for artisanal coffee and small, delicious treats.

3. Proud Mary Coffee Roasters, Collingwood

A producer of exceptional coffee. This roaster/cafe serves a wide variety of coffee drinks that are sure to satisfy your caffeine needs.

4. Matcha Mylkbar, St. Kilda

If you’re into unique coffee drinks, like red velvet lattes and turmeric lattes, here’s where you should go.

5. Twenty & Six Espresso, North Melbourne

Gorgeous interior, delicious coffee, and an also extensive list of specialty teas.

6. The Kettle Black, Victoria

One of the most “Instagram-worthy” cafes in South Melbourne. There’s a coffee cart in front for those in need of an on-the-go caffeine hit.

7. PURE Boutique Coffee Bar, Adelaide

A coffee shop by day and a bar by night. Pure offers a huge array of blends from around the world and a wide selection of delectable baked goods.

8. Campos Coffee, Newtown

The home to the best-tasting single-origin coffees.

9. Bar 9, Adelaide

Adelaide's most awarded specialty coffee - enough said.

10. La Veen Coffee, Perth City

Serves up cups of coffee made with finely sourced beans and milk. Indeed one of the best cafes in Perth.

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Australian coffee culture, a brief history

Aussies love their coffee! They love their coffee so much they are happy to pay $4,50 and wait 10 minutes for a cheeky take-away. They love their coffee so much, American coffee company Starbucks never stood a chance. With great enthusiasm, they opened 84 stores countrywide in 2000, only to close 61 of them 8 years later. And why? They could not live up to the high-quality coffee standards Australians holds so dear.

Roughly 95% of all coffee shops and cafes are independently owned with professionally trained baristas working their magic on perfectly made and served brews. The quality of coffee and the barista culture in Sydney are so advanced that ordering a coffee is a true experience. Aussies have their expectations and if they’re met, you will get a quick nod, their seal of approval. If, however they’re not met, you definitely won’t hear the end of it!
Where does this love for coffee come from?

With all the British settlers in the early days tea was the number one brew in Australia. Sydney only had filter coffee until the 1930’s but this all changed when espresso arrived Down Under. The first commercial espresso machine was installed in Café Florentino, Bourke Street Melbourne in 1928. Not long after, coffee machines made their way over to Sydney and the coffee movement slowly started to infiltrate society.

After WWII, two things happened that gave the coffee culture even more of a boost. Firstly, the Australian government lifted controls on the import of coffee. Secondly, the Australian government launched a new immigration program, which meant that for the first time Australia would accept non-British European immigrants. Following this initiative, hundreds of thousands of Europeans arrived, including a large group of Italians and Greeks who loved their espresso coffee so much they shared this experience with friends in their new-found home. Italian-style coffee lounges soon appeared everywhere in Sydney’s suburbs and the rest is history.

Why is Australian coffee so good?

There are a few reasons why Aussie coffee is so good. Firstly, Australian cafe owners use quality coffee beans and their coffees are espresso-based, not default filter coffee based as you find in many other countries. Beans are freshly grinded to order which gives coffee its full and flavourful taste. Secondly, Aussie baristas are amazing. Which is no wonder considering pretty much all baristas have undergone practical barista training where they learned to master the art of making the perfect cuppa.

Getting Barista qualified

If you are a lover of coffee and are interested in gaining practical barista skills, or are looking for a job in hospitality, why not join our barista course in Sydney? You’ll learn about the origins of coffee, grind management and dosing, the start-up and break down of a coffee machine, you’ll be taught to create up to 12 different coffee styles and to perfect the art of texturing milk plus you get to taste and understand the ranges and strengths of coffee. With your certification under your belt, there are hundreds of jobs out there for you! Sounds good to you? Sign up for your Sydney Barista Course today!

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Sydney Opera House: A brief history

Renowned as an iconic landmark within Australia, the Sydney Opera House has become one of the most distinguishable and impressive buildings in the world, opening officially in 1973. The build has since embedded a number of sustainable features to ensure the Opera House continues to provide key advantages within both construction and tourism sectors.

Located at Sydney Harbour, close to Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House contains several concert areas and social spaces, such as cafes, bars and restaurants, becoming one of the top tourist spaces within Sydney. We take a look at the tumultuous history of the Sydney Opera House and how it continues to inspire architects and designers.

Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, who won the bid through an international competition, with over 200 entries, Sydney Opera House has since won a number of design and engineering awards, costing a total of $102 million.

The external expressionist design is striking, encompassing a number of precast shells which create the roof structure, supported through precast concrete ribs. Although from concrete, the rest of the building is predominately constructed from granite, sourced within New South Wales, in addition to glue laminated timber, which is supported through concrete piers.

Through incorporating several performance venues, the Opera House is able to undertake over 1,500 annual performances and is home to four companies based within Australia: the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet and the Sydney Theatre Company. The concert hall is the largest area, encompassing the largest organ in the world and seating over 2,500 guests. Other theatre areas within the building are slightly smaller, seating from 500 to 1,500 seats.

Although Utzon’s design was originally selected, conflicts in the build’s construction and design led to Utzon’s resignation before the builds completion. Leading architect Peter Hall took on the project and has become renowned for completing the interior of Sydney’s Opera House and bringing Utzon’s construction into reality, albeit several structural changes.

The building has become increasingly sustainable, achieving a 4 Star Green Star Performance Rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. There are aims for Sydney Opera House to become carbon neutral and increase the percent of recycling undertaken in construction and refurbishment. To highlight their continued efforts, the Opera House has also won two Green Globes in 2014 and 2015.

Originally seen here:

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Stranger invites me into their home for coffee in Australia

Originally seen here:

*No copyright infringement intended.


Originally seen here:

*No copyright infringement intended.

Travel Diary || Australia 2018

Originally seen here:

*No copyright infringement intended.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Coffee trends in Sydney right now

Drinking coffee is big right now. Sydneysiders can’t get enough of it. Everyone is drinking it, taking photos of it and looking for the best coffee experience to share with their friends. Some people have their favourite cafe that they go to religiously and others like to try new experiences. So what is trending coffee-wise in Sydney right now?

Coffee in a cone

An Instagram favourite around the world, coffee in a chocolate lined cone has hit Sydney’s shores. You can choose from an espresso or cappuccino which creates a dessert like effect. It will cost you around $5.50 and needs to be consumed quickly. Visit @coffeeinaconeaus on Instagram for some inspiring photos and locations of where to find this delicious treat.

De-constructed coffee

This is a do-it-yourself experience to get your coffee just as you like it. You will receive three individual glasses, one containing espresso, one containing hot water and one with steamed milk. Some people will think this is lazy service but it is featured on many menus in this city of coffee lovers. De-constructed hot chocolate is also available for those that like a sweeter option.

Rainbow coffee

Food dyes are being added in a creative way to the steamed milk applied to the top of lattes. Rainbow coffees are another trend featuring heavily on Instagram and being teamed with a variety of rainbow coloured pastries. It is not for everyone But is certainly a trend of the moment. Check out #rainbow coffee.

Coffee tasting board

This trend is featured at an establishment not long opened and voted one of Sydney’s best new cafes; The Grounds City. Inspired by the 1920s no detail has been spared on both the decor and the menu. The coffee tasting board features four of their Single Origin coffees brewed in different ways. With 17 hot drinks available there is definitely something for coffee lovers here.
In a fast paced coffee world, there is always something new up and coming. Other trends to look out for are:

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Facts About Australian Animals

  • There are three times as many sheep than people living in Australia
  • The Australian Emu – a large, flightless bird – can run as fast as 45km/h (28mph)
  • Platypus are highly poisonous, and have enough poison to kill a dog or make a human seriously ill
  • Wombat poo is shaped like a cube!
  • The Box Jellyfish – which is found in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef – is responsible for more deaths than snakes, sharks and saltwater crocodiles combined
  • If you ever get attacked by a crocodile, try pushing your finger into its eye to deter it
  • The record jump recorded by a kangaroo is a whopping 9 metres (30 feet) in a single leap!
  • Two native Australian animals, Platypus and Echidnas, are the only two mammals in the world that lay eggs to give birth
  • Koalas sleep for about 20 hours per day
  • Tasmanian Devils have the strongest bite per body size of any mammal
  • There are 4 different species of kangaroo in Australia, with the Red Kangaroo being the largest. The largest Big Red ever seen was 2.1m tall (6ft 9in) and weighed 91kgs (200lbs)!
  • The Australian Thorny Devil is one of the longest-lived lizards of its size in the world, with a lifespan of up to 20 years

  • The Kangaroo and Emu were chosen to be the two animals on the Australian Coat of Arms because they can't walk backwards, reflecting a forward-thinking culture
  • 17 of the world's most poisonous snakes can be found in Australia
  • Insects and arachnids – Australia is home to around 1,500 types of spiders, 4,000 types of ants and 350 types of termites
  • While Kangaroos are considered a national icon, with over 40 million estimated throughout the country, they can also be considered a pest in some locations and are sometimes culled
  • Australia has a larger population of camels than Egypt

Call for calm after Opera House protest

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has expressed regret over how the debate around projecting horse racing promotions onto the Sydney Opera House ended in a messy public brawl.
But the Premier did not rule out considering putting The Everest or similar events up in lights on the iconic shells if they came across her desk again.
More than a thousand protesters, including Australian singer Jimmy Barnes, shone smartphones and torches in an attempt to drown out the projection of the barrier draw for the race onto the Opera House shells on Tuesday night.
The protest followed Racing NSW's decision to cancel its live barrier draw for Saturday's $13 million race, citing security risks amid ongoing public outrage.
The public turbulence began when 2GB shock-jock Alan Jones berated Opera House chief executive Louise Herron on air, calling for her sacking when she resisted the promotion because the building "is not a billboard".
The outrage spiralled into more than a quarter-of-a-million signatures on a petition against the promotion and race organisers, in response, conducted the draw in private in the morning and beamed its results on the sails in the evening.
The Premier, speaking with Nine Network on Wednesday morning, skirted questions about Jones' role in the decision, shouldering responsibility for the controversial call.
"I want to make it perfectly clear it was the government's decision and the government's decision alone," she said.
When asked if she "fell into line" behind Jones the Premier said the government had been working to reach an "amicable" decision with race promoters for a long time.
Ms Berejiklian called for the debate around the issue to carry on in a "respectful" way, saying she had been displeased with the way arguments had unfolded.
"I don't like the way the debate happened publicly and I don't like how people have been speaking about it to each other frankly."
Ms Berejiklian did not rule out considering the Everest and similar events again in the future in the same way.
"We look at every issue as it comes before us on its merits," she said.
"I hear what people have said about what they want to see the Opera House used for and what they don't want to see it used for."
"But as Premier for NSW I also have a responsibility to balance those views against promoting NSW."
Originally seen here:

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Incredible surf spots in Australia

Bondi Beach, New South Wales
You've heard of this one, right? Sydney's world-famous  caters for all surfing levels. Eager surfers flock to the south side for its powerful right-handers, while novices enrol in one-on-one or small group lessons with . There are lots of popular cafés up Hall Street once you're done surfing. At  you can grab books with your bites.

Where is it?
Bondi Beach is a 30-minute drive from the city, and you can reach it by , taxi or car. Buses heading from Circular Quay to Bondi Beach take 45 minutes, while buses from Bondi Junction take 15 minutes. The Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra train line runs from Cronulla through Central Station and onwards to Bondi Junction Station.

Cabarita Beach, New South Wales
Cabarita Beach is a stretch of sand revered by Australian surfers. The break at Cabarita is one of the few places along the Tweed Coast that is sheltered from northerly winds and protected from large swells, which makes it a great spot for beginners. Luxury boutique hotel  enjoys prime position on the beachfront, and can arrange private surf lessons with Australian pro surfer Joel Parkinson, followed by a relaxed poolside lunch at the sophisticated hotel restaurant Paper Daisy.

Where is it?
Cabarita Beach is located in the north of New South Wales near the Queensland border. The easiest way to get to Cabarita Beach is from  or the . From Byron Bay, drive or catch a coach bus and travel 40 minutes north. From the Gold Coast, drive 40 minutes south or grab a coach bus from Surfers Paradise Coach Transit. Alternatively, you can drive the nine hours from Sydney to Cabarita Beach along the legendary .

Manly, New South Wales
 is another of Sydney's more well-known locales. The wide surf zone produces good breaks the length of the beach, and this is one of the few Sydney beaches that handles southerly winds well.  offers group and individual lessons for beginners, while avid surfers can get their thrills near Queenscliff headland at the northern end of the beach. When you're done, there are dozens of beachside cafés: try  and  for a high quality coffee fix.

Where is it?
Manly Beach is located in the northeast of Sydney. To reach the beach, hop on either the Manly Ferry or the Manly Fast Ferry, both of which depart regularly from Circular Quay Wharf in Sydney's city centre. The Manly Ferry takes 30 minutes, while the Manly Fast Ferry cuts the route time to 15 minutes.

Maroubra, New South Wales
Located in one of Australia’s National Surfing Reserves, Maroubra is the perfect spot for an offbeat surfing experience. This picture-perfect beach, which is the longest in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, draws smaller crowds than Bondi and Manly, and has reliable beach breaks along the entire stretch of coastline.  offer beginners group lessons and private lessons at their Maroubra surf school.

Where is it?
The easiest way to access Maroubra Beach is by car. The beach is just a 12-minute drive from the city centre and 18 minutes from Circular Quay. City buses on the 395 Route run from Central Station every fifteen minutes.

Pambula River, New South Wales
On the far South Coast of New South Wales lies the Pambula River. The surf is erratic but exhilarating and popular when the conditions are just right, especially among seasoned surfers. The beach is surrounded by national parks where you can spot kangaroos, especially at dawn and dusk. After your surf, watch oysters being opened (and then indulge) at the nearby award-winning oyster farm, . 

Where is it?
Pambula River is located south of Sydney. The easiest way to reach the river is a six-hour drive from Sydney to Pambula. Alternatively, you can fly from Sydney Airport to Merimbula Airport and drive 15 minutes to Pambula Beach.

North Narrabeen, New South Wales
North Narrabeen is loved by local surfers and visitors alike. This area has been declared a National Surfing Reserve and spans more than one kilometre (0.6 miles) of coastline. There are more than five breaks on offer including the Point, the Alley (a sand-covered rock shelf offering both left- and right-handers) and the Bombie (a break to the south, renowned for its separate waves in big swells). Head to the friendly beachside  for a post-surf burrito and a margarita.

Where is it?
North Narrabeen is considered one of Sydney’s Northern Beaches, a series of beaches that stretch along the coast. Driving from Sydney’s centre to North Narrabeen takes about 30 minutes, while a bus takes about one hour. The L90 and B1 buses depart from Wynyard Station regularly.

Byron Bay, New South Wales
This trendy coastal town is a popular hangout for hippies, hipsters, and surfers. The main beach in Byron is an excellent place to begin your Aussie surf experience with beginner lessons from . Single 2-hour lessons or packages of five lessons are available, and women have the extra option of choosing a females-only course for ladies who want to brave the waves.

Where is it?
You can get to Byron Bay by plane or car. Driving will take you about 2½ hours from Brisbane and just over 8½ hours from Sydney. If you choose to fly, you can choose between Brisbane Airport (2-hour drive from Byron Bay), Ballina Byron Airport (30-minute drive from Byron Bay), or Gold Coast Airport (45-minute drive from Byron Bay).

Lennox Head, New South Wales
A seaside village in the north of New South Wales, Lennox, as the locals call it, sits between the popular tourist towns of Byron Bay and Ballina. Once a sleepy town, the area is now popular with holidaymakers and surfers, and the break offers a great right-hander. If you're visiting in July, watch as the best junior surfers in Australia compete in the Skullcandy Oz Grom Open. Feeling inspired? Book a lesson with World Champion Surfer  for some pointers.

Where is it?
Lennox Head is located 22 kilometres (13.6 miles) south of Byron Bay. Otherwise it's just a 15-minute drive from Ballina Byron Airport, a 2½-hour drive from Brisbane, and a 1½-hour drive from the Gold Coast.

Noosa Heads, Queensland
Noosa Heads, on Queensland’s , is renowned for its expansive beaches, and many Australians make the annual pilgrimage to the town over Christmas. There are five surfing points in the Noosa National Park, including local favourites Tea Tree Bay and Granite Bay. First-time surfers should stick to the gentle waves at Noosa Main Beach. Parallel to the beach, Hastings Street is packed with shops, restaurants and accommodation. Insider tip: watch the sun go down over drinks at the  on the beach. 

Where is it?
Noosa Heads can be reached by car or plane. From Brisbane, drive 1½ hours north. From the Gold Coast, drive 3 hours north. You can also fly direct to Sunshine Coast Airport from Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. Noosa Heads is a 30-minute drive from Sunshine Coast Airport.

Snapper Rocks, Queensland
Snapper Rocks, on Queensland's Gold Coast, is home to Australia's surfing crown jewel, the Superbank. The barrelling wave peels the entire way from Snapper to Greenmount Beach, making this break a must-do for serious surfers. Many surfers stay in and around the town of Surfers Paradise so they can experience the breaks between there and Snapper Rocks. If you're just starting out, the  offers private or group lessons, with surfboard and wetsuits provided. 

Where is it?
The easiest way to get to Snapper Rocks is to drive from Brisbane, Surfers Paradise or the Gold Coast. Snapper Rocks is just under a 2-hour drive from Brisbane and a 40-minute drive from the Gold Coast. If you’re staying in another major city, you can fly to Gold Coast Airport and drive 12 minutes to Snapper Rocks.

Bells Beach, Victoria
Bells Beach, on the , attracts the world's finest professional surfers, and is the arena for the well-known surf competition, the , held each Easter (March/April). The beach is fringed by rock cliffs that make an excellent vantage point for watching the action. The swell is at its best during autumn (March to May), but bring your wetsuit as the waters of the Southern Ocean can be cold.

Where is it?
Bells Beach is a popular stop along the Great Ocean Road. It is a 1½-hour drive from Melbourne and an 8-hour drive from Adelaide. You can fly to Melbourne Airport from most other cities in Australia.

Rottnest Island, Western Australia
Just off the coast of Perth,  is one of the more enticing surfing spots in Australia. After you've arrived via a traquil ferry, rent a bike, put your board on your back, and ride to one of the island's 63 beaches. Strickland Bay, Salmon Bay and Stark Bay have well known breaks and there are numerous reef breaks on both sides of the island. Enjoy fresh seafood at  restaurant before heading back to Perth, or stay the night in one of the heritage-listed cottages on the island. 

Where is it?
The easiest way to access Rottnest Island is from , a 30-minute drive from Perth. After you’ve arrived at Fremantle, you’ll take a 30-minute ferry to Rottnest Island. There are three ferry operators to the island and several services each day. Ferries back to Fremantle usually operate until about 6pm, though this may depend on the operator and time of year.

Margaret River, Western Australia
The  region, three hours drive south of Perth, may be internationally renowned for its wine, but it also boasts 135 kilometres (84 miles) of coastline, and 75 breaks to choose from. The breaks at Cape Naturaliste, such as the Farm and Boneyards, are protected from the winds and have a slow take-off so they're great for beginners. Further down the coast is Yallingup Beach, known for its left- and right-handers, and Smiths Beach, which attracts surfing's elite. Both  and  provide lessons for all ages and abilities.

Where is it?
The easiest way to get to the Margaret River region is by car or coach bus. Margaret River is a 3-hour drive south of Perth. To drive, you can hire a car or travel by coach bus.  and  both operate daily services from Perth to Margaret River.

Originally seen here: