SHELLY BEACH SNIPPETS No 40. May, 2015
Patricia Newell-Dunkley Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley.
Barry Humphries arrived in Australia for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, and was his usual happy self “Hello Possums”. Humphries one of Australia’s greatest cultural exports, gaining countless accolades including Commander of the British Empire was at the helm of the Festival as Artistic Director. The eighty-one year-old had just completed an eighty-five performance tour in North America as Dame Edna. The Adelaide Festival is in its 15th year and reputed to be the largest event of its type in the world with 350 artists in 152 performances. Highlights included Peter and Jack, a tribute to Australian baritone Peter Dawson and songwriter Jack O’Hagan author of “Along the Road to Gundegai”. The Iconic Australian comedian has built a remarkable body of work over 60 years, as an author, Playwright, Actor and a gifted landscape artist. The festival is on from June 5th to 20th.
It sounds crazy, but it’s true Cane Toad Races are one of the fun highlights at Ironbar Restaurant, Port Douglas, with exclusive toad shows as a feature. Cane toads were introduced into the country in 1933 by Scientists, to eat the beetles that were damaging the sugarcane in Queensland. Unfortunately the Cane toads ate everything except the beetles, and have been a problem ever since. Port Douglas is a town in far North Queensland, named in honour of former Premier John Douglas. It is a thriving tourist resort with a magnificent four mile beach, surrounded by Forest and the Coral Sea, and only an hour drive north of Cairns. The climate is seductive, balmy days, and tropical evenings with velvet starry skies, and the only place on earth with two World Heritage Listings, the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree and Cape Tribulation. There are two Carnivals during the year in May and a Beer Festival in October, November, with sunset in the park music festival. It has an amazing array of nature and wildlife and glorious simplicity, the tropics are a feast for the senses, sights, sounds, and tastes. You will never want to leave.
Australia is a country full of surprises and truly unique yet remote places. Everyone wants to visit the Harbour Bridge, The Opera House in Sydney, and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. However, there is more to explore if you are willing to adventure. Coober Pedy is located off the Oodnadatta Track in South Australia and is a remote mining town. Home to around 4,000 people, half of whom live underground in dugout homes to escape the scorching hot heat in summer. Coober Pedy produces most of the world’s opals with mines covering an area of 5,000 square kilometres. Tourists can try their own hand at opal “noodling” and even tour a mining facility. If you’re interested, you can tag along with the famous Outback Mail Run to Oodnadatta and William Creek, or join the nightly Star Gazing Tour on the Moon Plain. Stay in an underground hotel, eat at an underground restaurant or bar, visit an underground church, and play on a golf course without a blade of grass. The Golf Club is the only club in the world to enjoy reciprocal rights at The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. The name Coober Pedy comes from the Aborigine term Kupa-piti, which means “white man’s hole”. Then there are the sparkling opals which you can buy loose or designer made jewellery. Light/Crystal, Boulder, Black, Treated Matrix, Doublet and Triplet Opal. Red and Orange, Green and Blue, with Red the most desirable. Brilliant and bright, large broad patterns or harlequin or rolling flash, it’s all there for you to choose.
The Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s best known wine regions, located in the state of New South Wales. The region has played a pivotal role in the history of Australian wine as one of the first wine regions planted in the early 19th Century. Autumn is a spectacular time of year where the vineyards ignite with warm orange-red hue of the vine leaves turning before falling for winter. Visitors enjoy balmy days and crisp evenings and popular events such as Lovedale Long Lunch. As the evenings transform in to cooler temperatures the Hunter Valley red varieties of wine such as Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon and Merlot, are the chosen tipples. With 150 wineries, many of them with cellar doors letting visitors drop in and have a taste or two. You can explore the wineries on your own or join a tour and learn more about the area and winemaking. The Hunter Valley Wine Country is located three hours from Sydney and less than one hour from Newcastle on the Central Coast. This year’s Legends Award was to Braemare Vineyard, and Winemaker of the Year was De Luliis Wines, while the Rising Star of the Year was Briar Ridge.
Guy Sebastian returned to Sydney looking like a rock star after becoming a Eurovision hit. The 33year old who was a wildcard in Eurovision, sang “Tonight Again” which scored him a fifth overall. Sweden’s Zelmerlow was crowned the winner for 2015.
Shelly Beach is looking good along with Bateau Bay, Blue Bay, and The Entrance, to name just three beaches within five minutes reach. The birds are multiplying and enjoying their morning feast. With a long weekend coming up for the Queen’s Birthday holiday makers are looking forward to escaping the city and heading our way. A good time for reading “Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I love, The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain,” all available on Amazon or my website www.patriciasartworld.com Cheers. Patricia.