Noosa Long Weekend Festival gears up

The countdown is on to the 14th annual Noosa Long Weekend Festival. The 9000 tickets are selling fast to the 75 live music, dance, theatre, supper clubs, cabaret, literature, food and visual art events being held between 14-26 July 2015.

Festival director Ian Mackellar said the response to this year’s line-up had been overwhelmingly positive, with a number of events having sold out weeks in advance.  There are 260+ nationally and internationally acclaimed actors, writers, artists, musicians, performers, film makers, environmentalists and commentators heading to the event.

An Evening with the Queensland Ballet led by artistic director Li Cunxin (author of autobiography Mao’s Last Dancer) has been so popular that we have scheduled another performance, Dusty Live in Concert starring Monique Montez has sold out, as has a number of food related events and the premier seating for the Opera Australia production The Magic Flute,” Mr Mackellar said.

“Last year’s festival was undoubtedly a hard act to follow with more than 10,000 visitors to 35 venues and locations, but we’ve worked hard to lift the bar even higher in 2015 and are thrilled to have Opera Australia perform a fully staged production of its acclaimed opera The Magic Flute — the last opera ever written by Mozart — to the Sunshine Coast for the first time,” Mr Mackellar said.

“The cast and orchestra will open the festival on Tuesday, 14 July, and will set the stage alive with an Egyptian-themed set and costumes straight from the 1930s.”

Noosa Long Weekend

Catherine Alcorn credit Alex Makeyev (supplied)

Mr Mackellar said other festival highlights over the 13 days, included an exclusive performance by internationally acclaimed concert pianist and Steinway artist Julian Gargiulo, direct from New York’s Carnegie Hall and David Williamson’s brand new comedy, Dream Home, boasting an all-star cast from Sydney and Queensland based on the true cost of buying property in Sydney.

Mr Mackellar said the 2015 Noosa Long Weekend Festival features more than 75 events at various locations around Noosa including literature events, forums, live music, theatre performances, interactive art, films, cabaret and supper clubs.

To find out more about the 2015 Noosa Long Weekend Festival or purchase tickets, please visit, call The J booking office on (07) 5329 6560 or visit The J at 60 Noosa Drive, Noosa Junction.

Special festival accommodation packages can be found on the website or at

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Celebrate truffle season in Manjimup (WA)

The Margaret River Region’s neighbouring area of Manjimup, renowned as part of the Southern Forests “food bowl”, is home to some of the world’s best truffles.

Manjumup Truffles

Manjumup Truffles

Visitors to the Margaret River Region can self-drive on a day trip to the Manjimup region, or take a fully inclusive day tour to Oak Valley Truffle Farm in Manjimup followed by a decadent truffle-themed lunch at Watershed Premium Wines in Margaret River.

And don’t miss the Truffle Kerfuffle to celebrate truffle season, from 26 – 28 June 2015.  Book yourself a masterclasses with a sensational lineup of chefs, head off on a truffle hunt or simply sit back and enjoy the atmosphere of the marketplace with food, wine, and beer.


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Margaret River gets Electric Avenue

Drivers of electric cars will soon have drastically improved access to the Margaret River Region, with RAC officially launching its ‘Electric Highway®’ next week – the first of its kind in Australia.

The RAC Electric Highway is a network of publicly accessible electric vehicle fast-charging DC stations located between Perth and Augusta, allowing electric car owners to travel to and from the Margaret River Region in the safest, most sustainable and efficient way possible.

The stations support RAC’s sustainable mobility agenda and work in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from cars in WA, and will also allow car owners to charge their eco-friendly machines in only 30 minutes – a dramatic reduction on the 10-12 hours it can sometimes take.

RAC Executive General Manager Pat Walker said RAC is proud to launch Australia’s first Electric Highway, and believes it will have a strong impact on intrastate tourism for the Margaret River Region. “The RAC Electric Highway will enable owners of electric vehicles to travel to the State’s South West, and will benefit the region by attracting electric vehicle drivers to destinations along the route” said Mr Walker.

“RAC has a long tradition of providing tourism services to members. We believe this exciting new project will generate benefits to the local tourism industry in the South West.“ Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association CEO Pip Close advised it would be a great advantage for electric car owners in Perth and greater Western Australia.

“Perth and intrastate is our biggest market, so to increase accessibility to the Margaret River Region by introducing an Electric Highway is a fantastic idea,” said Ms Close. It shows real innovation and foresight – the number of electric car owners is destined to increase. It also complements the region’s clean, green outlook, so we are delighted to support this initiative from RAC,” she said.

The RAC Electric Highway will be official launched next Monday, 22 June in Margaret River.

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Penfolds Magill Estate revamped

Last month saw the much anticipated opening of Penfolds revamped Magill Estate Kitchen and cellar door. The Magill Estate Kitchen is a new concept and a ‘sister offering’ to the awarded Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant, providing a more accessible experience in the form of casual dining. Here you can enjoy a Grange by the glass with exquisite food pairing options while taking in the historic backdrop.

Penfolds Magill Estate Cellar Door

Penfolds Magill Estate Cellar Door (supplied)

The multi-million dollar investment to Magill winery, one of the few single vineyards in the world located within the Adelaide city boundaries, sees an enriching world-class visitor experience that pushes the boundaries to reward local and international visitors well into the future.

Chief Marketing Officer Simon Marton explains: “The new spaces have achieved the delicate balance between preserving the charm and historical character of the site, while incorporating a modern, world-class experience for visitors that reflects Penfolds exciting future as much as it does our 171-year history.”

“Wine is at the heart of all elements of Magill Estate, from tutored tastings and tours to the perfect pairing of wine with local produce. As a homage to our flagship ‘red’, visitors can now enjoy Grange by the glass in the Magill Estate Kitchen overlooking the original Penfolds vineyards and view Grange creator Max Schubert’s personal Grange collection, which spans from the experimental 1951 to the current 2010 vintage and is personally signed by Max up to 1988.”

All this is available 15 minutes from Adelaide CBD.

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Elderton 2012 Greenock One Shiraz: Tasting Note

Elderton greenock-oneThe newish Elderton vineyard located in the Barossa Valley’s western side of Greenock was purchased in 2010. It makes a great contribution to the existing Barossa vineyards, and has established vines from ranging 20 – 35 years of age. Within the Greenock range there is the Shiraz “Greenock One”, a GSM “Greenock Two”, and interestingly the “Western Ridge” composed of Grenache and Carignan.

The Elderton Greenock One Shiraz is a sensational value modern style of Barossa Shiraz. On the nose there is fresh red berries, dark plums, subtle cedary oak in the background. Hints of earth and roasted meats.

On the palate its fresh and lively – medium to full bodied. Dark boysenberry and dark plum. Sweet spices (cinnamon, vanilla, star anise), charred meats, with a soy edge. Alluring. Easily matched with charred lamb with a touch of fat, and a tomato relish.

Alcohol: 14.5%
RRP: $28
Region: Barossa
Source: Provided by producer

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Turkey Flat 2013 Shiraz: Tasting Note

Ive always penchant for the relatively more restrained styles of Shiraz [and tweed jackets with leather elbow patches]. So its always interesting to see the Turkey Flat house style continue along the more elegant Barossa Shiraz route.  Although potentially a little richer than the 2012, it still sits in the slightly more than medium bodied range. Vintage 2013 had a dry winter which led into a hot and low rainfall summer, creating a low yielding, early and short vintage. Turkey Flat shiraz

On the nose there is the typical liquorice, ripe red strawberry/raspberry fruit, and more sweet spice in the background. On the palate the Turkey Flat Shiraz shows dusty fennel seeds and Indian spices, complement ripe dark plum. All round quite rich and generous but in no way forced. Supportive tannins suggest great drinking ahead (15+ years). After several hours of being open it really started to show what it can do.

Also check out the new release of the Turkey Flat 2013 Butcher Block Red.

Alcohol: 14.3%
RRP: $47
Region: Barossa
Source: Provided by producer

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