Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Music, Monkeys & Mammals Festival

From the 28th January through to 12th March, Twilight at Taronga Zoo takes place where a huge line up of artists performs against the Sydney Harbour views. As the Zoo’s reaching their centennial year, their amphitheater will be taking this series of entertaining events to a new level in 2016. With open air shows each evening in the zoo grounds, the lineup includes Courtney Barnett, recently receiving eight nomination nods for the ARIA Awards, Josh Pike and Missy Higgins. Bjorn Again are back due to the obsessive ABBA fans at the Valentines weekend performance and other favourites include Ladysmith Black Mambazo and The Waifs.
All the Twilight at Taronga entry tickets include free return ferry from Circular Quay from 5pm, bus transfers from the zoo entrance and half price same day entrance to the zoo itself. Therefore, you can monkey around with the animals and then chill out at the gig that same evening.

As this is a not for profit event, all Twilight proceeds are directly injected into the Taronga Conservation Society Australia. So you know your entry fee will be directly helping wildlife conservation, environmental sustaining and scientific research.

Ticket prices for each show varies but the average ranges around $70.95 for adults, $56.95 for kids and discounted group rates. The rates are slightly steep but they do include taxes and booking fees. The tickets are available per concert so unfortunately, you can’t buy discounted tickets for multiple days in one fell swoop. Also take into account some the gigs have sold out already.

If you’re too free spirited to make your own picnic, don’t fret. The festival organizers will have fabulous (dahling) gourmet antipasto hampers for pre purchase. The quirky range of offers include the all out Spritz Hamper at $89 (meat or veggie), the premium hamper at $99 and a few sideline alternatives. Then again if you’re so incredibly lazy that you can’t possibly carry a single thing to the gigs, you can also pre order backrest seats at $30, seats and cushions at $35, a combo of seats, cushions and blankets at $45 and a picnic rug at $60. Any more laid back and you’ll be mistaken for a sloth. 

The accompanying Roar & Snore packages have sold out due to seriously popular demand, but if you’d like a non Twilight Roar & Snore package, click this link for more information. 

The big bonus for Cremorne Point Manor guests is that we’re a spit’s throw away from the zoo so once you’re all music and animal wiped out, within 16 minutes by ferry, you’ll be back at our Manor. When you think the night’s just winding down, sit on our guest balcony, watch the same Harbour view and even though you missed out on Roar & Snore, many of our customers do hear the zoo lions express their vocal abilities quite loudly at night. Music to your ears, right?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Game, Set & Match for APIA

If you’re a love-all type of sports fanatic, you need to be in NSW between 10th and 16th January for the APIA International tennis tournament at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre. 
In the pro series schedule, there’s a match a day with round one through to the quarter finals, singles semi finals, doubles and the grand finale…the singles final. Start times vary from 12.00pm to 4.00pm for Centre Court but expect to be cheering on until late evening most nights.

With gates opening from 9.00am on day one, the entry times will differ depending on whether the matches are starting earlier or later in the day. So account that on the last day, gates will open 3.30pm as the match will end 10.00pm. Regardless, the Olympic Park has an abundance of food court areas or you can bring your own picnic and make a full day and night of it. Remember to bring strawberries & cream, clotted scones and Pimms so you can replicate the Wimbledon experience down under.

Hailing from around the globe, the male singles players include representatives from France, Argentina, Italy and Bulgaria featuring Gilles Muller, Teymuraz Gabashvili and Janko Tibsarevic. From Czech Republic, the USA and Poland (to name but a few), the women’s single players include headliners such as Roberta Vinci, Petra Kvitova and Svetland Kuznetsova. 

If you’re craving a tad of ole school type tennis, seven time Grand Slam singles champ, John McEnroe, alongside Mark Philippoussis are going to be headlining a Legends field at the APIA. The ‘you can not be serious’ star will face off against Ken Rosewall on the 15th January so mark that boisterous date in your diary. With adrenaline pumping, French entertainer Henri Leconte will perform in a FAST4 Tennis match just prior to the women’s final so expect to be amused while he causes a racket (pun intended).

Entry prices are incredibly reasonable including a daily Ground Pass at $15 for adults and $5 for little ones. Maybe you want to splash out during the first month of January. If so, grab the Platinum, Silver or Gold passes for each day with prices ranging from $29 to $218 depending on the day and pampering comfort levels you prefer. You can find more details about the APIA ticket prices here. Alternatively, you can buy tickets at the gate so don’t sweat that you must book in advance. 

For all those looking to enjoy a unique, free experience of the APIA, the ‘volunteer’ page details will be shortly posting information about how you can help out. The jobs will include handling media (always a feat in itself), transportation and player services – in case you are lucky enough to rub shoulders with the elite stars.

A mere 28 minutes by car, you can be back at Cremorne Point, sipping more Pimms and watching the sun go down over the Harbour skyline from Cremorne Point Manor while you discuss aces, backspins and more importantly, the advantages of the day. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Giddy Up Early 2016

Before we start on this new post, we had to show off a tad. We’ve been featured twice now in The Australian and with this second article, we’re validated as the best holiday hideaway in NSW. What a way to end a fantastic year!
Moving swiftly on to this blog post, the New Year is bound to include a few glasses of champagne and followed by a few hours of a New Year’s Day hangover. By the 2nd January, you should be right as rain and may want to say hello to a few Dobbins or Bessie Bulls. If so, the Picton Rodeo at Menangle Street, Picton is hosting their annual ye-ha event and it’s worth checking out.

With the first performance at 12pm and the second a couple of hours later, you can cheer on the best cowgirls and cowboys the country has to boast about. Alongside 10 hours of live wild rodeo action, try your hand at the mechanical bull ride or stand back and cheer on the multitude of events back to back. These range from the Poddy Ride to Junior Steer Ride, Open Bull Ride and Open Saddle Bronc. If you’ve ever wanted to travel to Texas but short on cash, then this is a close second. If you’re visiting from the US and bull rides are your vice, then you can see how the crew down under fares against your experiences in North America’s Wild West.

There will be BBQ’s galore, a flurry of food stalls, Big Al Comedy Clown for kids and adults (who aren’t freaked out by huge shoes and red noses) and even western clothing stalls. So if you forgot to buy a holiday gift for someone, this is your time to pick up something original as a belated present.

If you have know how in the rodeo scene and want to compete, there is an entry fee of $4.50 per senior and $2.20 per junior but the money is refunded when paying entries to compete. These entries range from $121 down to $9.15 depending on which race you’ll undertake. The winning prizes amount to a collective $1500 so if you win the Open Bull Ride, you’ll be taking home $1200. If you’re in the Junior Breakaway Roping, you could leave with $100 in prize moolah.

At only a 90 minute drive south from Cremorne Point, or possibly two hours if you saddle up your own stallion (of which we highly advise you don’t, as you’ll need to be heading down on a major freeway/motorway), you can enjoy the full day entertainment and then head back to Cremorne Point Manor. Dust off those chaps, tip your Stetson, grab a beer and watch the sunset from our hotel overlooking the Harbour. Even John Wayne took a break between Western movies so you deserve one also.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Surf’s Up in Sydney 2016

Australia’s largest grassroots surfing year long event kicks off 23 January at Cronulla NSW. With $110,000 AUD in prize money, the Boardriders Battle will feature more than 100 of the country’s best boardrider clubs in eight State qualifying rounds. Then follows a national final for 20 clubs on Australia Day where the nation celebrates with a long weekend, boogie boards, kegs and BBQ’s galore. 
This competition’s website is slightly convoluted and not the easiest to understand of dates & details but here’s the overview of how the competition will progress.  Three teams enter: Skins, Women’s and Teams. For Skins entering, the club nominates their top tier surfer who will compete in a 20 minute heat. The highest scorer remains in the water while the next surfers enter until there is a winner. For the Women’s competition, there are five x 20 minute heats and each will be scored on their best two waves. For the Teams entering, each heat includes four different club representatives with relay style changeovers and also nominating a Power Surfer. Their individual contributions will tally towards their final team’s total. Yes, it’s messy and not so clear but that’s the best we could do in simplifying. 

Then comes the Grand Final. After two days of Skins, Women’s and Teams competing, the top four clubs on the leaderboard at the National Final will go head to head in a 60 minute format following the same rules as the Teams competition in the final pressure cooker event. One club will win the 2016 Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle Champion trophy and toddle off with the cash prize.  

It’s the most confusing set up we’ve ever seen but there is still time to enter and the entry details are a LOT easier to understand. The entry fee is $350 and the website clearly states the entry rules of age restrictions, deadlines to enter and a simple rundown of eligibility. Remember, competing clubs must be a member of Surfing Australia Member State branch and only one team per club can be nominated. 

Boardriders Battle is also running a Monster Raffle where all ticket revenues are injected back into the surfing community, benefiting hundreds of boardrider clubs. You can click the Monster Raffle link on the web page and dish out $5 in the hope of winning a brand new Toyota RAV4 Cruiser or other surf gear as runner up prizes. If you want to be socially involved and supportive, tweet #OASBB and #BackYourBoardriders leading up to and on the day of the events.

Just under an hour drive or 90 minutes by bus, you can be back up north at Cremorne Point. Overlooking the Harbour from Cremorne Point Manor, the surf most certainly won’t be up but the stunning views will be hitting in you in waves. No wonder Tripadvisor awarded the Manor a Certificate of Excellence voted by hotel guests, for the fifth consecutive year, based on our service, gorgeous d├ęcor and absolutely not because of our boogie boarding skills.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Have A Field Day On 1st January

Come New Year’s Eve and the world is in full celebration swing. Only a few stragglers are savvy enough to nurse hangovers with a hair of the dog. But there’s a better way to bounce right out of that headache, eye ache and lack of sleep…the Field Day Music Festival. 
It’s taking place in The Domain, right next to the Royal Botanical Gardens, slap bang in Sydney’s prime attraction. Keeping with tradition and history, the organizers value the Garden, the first botanical of its kind in the country, and state clearly on their website that the culture and heritage is remained intact during New Year’s Day. So expect rowdy crowds and the typical festival type of shenanigans at this event but without the trash and abuse. The planners, Fuzzy, are really focused on environmentally friendly objectives and absolutely thrive on taking care of the surroundings. From using innovative energy consumption systems to water usage, waste management and transportation, they’re the enviro-boffins that everyone strives to become. If you purchase merchandise on the day, you’re guaranteed the sweats won’t come from sweatshops. So expect a trundle of environmentally friendly displays, trash areas and information about how to make the world better, one dance track at a time. 

Keeping with this theme, they partner with local communities, local suppliers and local businesses. The music will be bouncing in the venue but not outside to disturb locals. If you want to recycle, it’ll be hard to not find a ‘Towards Zero Waste’ initiative system within arm’s reach. Every container and drink can will be recycled hourly in staggered increments of five per. If you find a cigarette butt or plastic container by your feet, just throw it in the trash. It’s that simple. 

What you will expect is a brilliant way to start 2016 out in the summer sun, laying on the grass, rolling in the leaves and listening to incredible music by a flurry of artists. With a mix of dance, party, house, hip-hop, electronica and indie music, they’ve covered an impressive number of musical genre bases. Also account there are full bars so you can’t BYO and a mass array of food offerings alongside free water (yes, free H2O). If your head’s still hurting from the night before, ask at the First Aid Tent for free earplugs.

The lineup includes Seth Troxler, Sam Feldt, Django Django, Pusha T and Jess Kent. Early bird tickets are now sold out but general ticket prices are available at $145 including booking fee. Or splash out and start the New Year with a VIP ticket at $192 (all in). For the VIP you have access to the Botanic Bar, rapid express entry to the festival, more toilets than you can imagine, great seating, souvenirs and freebie drinks vouchers. It’s just all more comfortable while you chill out and watch the little people.

Just a short ferry ride away is Cremorne Point. You’ve danced till your feet are begging you for a breather so we suggest you return back to Cremorne Point Manor, prop up those aching heels and enjoy the Sydney Harbour skyline. Take out the ear plugs and the serenity will be a calmer music to your ears while you start 2016 with a blast!