Whitsunday Region Entertainment News

Young Talent Shines In Bowen

Young Talent Shines In Bowen

A full house greeted the ambitious youngsters who sung their hearts out at the second heat of Young Whitsundays Got Talent competition which was held at the Grandview Hotel in Bowen on Sunday. A total of 12 contestants and four bands performed in front of over 150 guests who all threw their support behind these young and emerging artists.

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Movie Review

Movie Review

Avatar Cast your mind back to 2009: Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States in January, Kesha’s Tik Tok topped the charts most of the year, Chrysler went bankrupt in May, the King Of Pop, Michael Jackson, passed away in June. And a little, independent film (ha ha) called ‘Avatar’ hit cinemas on December 18, changing the cinema landscape, namely the modern blockbuster, forever.

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Power And The Passion, Pleasure And Pain At The Pub

Power And The Passion, Pleasure And Pain At The Pub

The King Of The Mountain is about to become the King Of The Coast when an all-star tribute to some of Australia’s top rock bands arrives at the Airlie Beach Hotel in October. In the “ultimate Saturday Session rock out”, three legendary Aussie bands will star in one epic afternoon show. The Angels, Divinyls, and Midnight Oil Tribute Show will rock out to the sound of Oz anthems of the eighties at The Pub.

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Through Depression To Contentment

Through Depression To Contentment

Bob Eden is on a mission to eradicate suicide. The Whitsunday-based fitter-turner turned folk singer and author is set to release his first book ‘The Gift of Depression, My Little Scrap Book’ with one mission in mind: sharing his story to save even just one life. “Every 40 seconds, someone dies because of depression, and they do not have to. I am living proof of that,” Bob said.

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Arts Prize Winners Announced

September 30, 2022

A host of talented artist were celebrated as part of the Whitsundays Arts Festival, with their work on public exhibition during the festivities and several of them picked to win lucrative art awards for their contribution.

The major prize was won by Justin Telfer from Mullumbimby in New South Wales, for his work ‘Nullabor Crossing.’

Justin was awarded the $5,000 major prize, and his work will be acquired into the Whitsundays Regional Council Art Collection.

Winner of the Local Artist Award went to Cannonvale resident Jacqui Henderson for her piece ‘Summer Holiday’.

She received $1000 in prize money.

Other categories included Young Artist Award which was won by Cameron Letta (Leonay) for ‘Red Gum’ and the 3D Sculpture Award was won by Bowen resident Barry Smith for ‘Security’.

The 2D Works on Paper Award went to Tanya Coventry from Bowen for ‘February’ and the R&K Kenyon Award went to Java Small for ‘Meerkat’.

Only its second year, the Whitsundays Art Prize is a vibrant visual arts award, incorporating painting and sculpture and this year, the exhibition included 70 works from 63 Australian artists.

The event was held at the Elbow Room at Coral Sea Marina Resort from 23-30 September with the winners announced on the opening night.

Exhibition Coordinator Glenda Brown said she was honoured to be bringing art to the heart of Airlie Beach.

“Supporting these incredible artists and showcasing works from around Australia in our beautiful region, the Whitsundays Arts Festival exists to highlight art and arts practice,” she said.

The prize winners were selected by guest judge Tracy Cooper-Lavery, Director, Gallery and Visual Arts at HOTA Home of the Arts Gold Coast.

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Movie Review Ticket To Paradise

September 23, 2022

It might not break the rom-com mould, but the Whitsunday-filmed Ticket To Paradise is a charming flick with one major drawcard: Julia Roberts and George Clooney.

It’s hard sometimes for reviewers to remember that not every film needs be a Citizen Cane. Movies can be fun. And that’s certainly what audiences are in for when they watch Ol Parker’s fourth directorial outing.

The star-studded film shot across Queensland last year brings Clooney and Roberts back together again. This time, they pair up as a divorced couple travelling to Bali, attempting to stop their daughter (Kaitlyn Dever) from making the same “mistake” they made 25 years before.

That mistake being rushing into a marriage which, unceremoniously, ended down the line.

And certainly, from reading the premise, I think we all know where this is going. But like I said, that’s not the appeal, it’s the Academy Award Winning actors that make this movie. Clooney and Roberts have always had an exceptional chemistry – a real life friendship never hurts that – and Ticket To Paradise is no different.

The world they inhabit in the film is one of the old-style romantic comedies. There’s an earnest nostalgia to it that reminds us of late ‘90s or early ‘00s darlings of the genre like 10 Things I Hate About You, or – most especially – 50 First Dates.

Most of the movie magic from Ticket To Paradise is born from our own sense that we miss films just like it. When do we get to see genuine movie stars – and bless me, there are very of those left – together on screen? And certainly, when do you see a movie like this in theatres anymore? The streaming age has relegated the rom-com and its cheesiness to the back-pages.

Shot in real locations – including The Whitsundays itself – and brimming with absolute, unadulterated fun; chemistry and star power have certainly made me buy a Ticket To Paradise. Will you?

Ticket To Paradise is showing now at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema.

Director Ol Parker, Julia Roberts, and George Clooney filmed parts of the absolute treat that is Ticket to Paradise on Hamilton Island

Review By Declan Durrant

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Big Barbie For A Good Cause

September 23, 2022

Coral Sea Marina’s second annual Big Aussie BBQ raised $4400 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) this year.

Over the month of September, the local marina has been gathering funds and raising awareness for research into the cancer which threatens the lives of one in five Australian men.

For their biggest fundraising effort of the month, the marina lawns transformed into a backyard barbie, where locals could grab a snag and a drink and listen to some live music in the name of a good cause.

Head of Marketing at Coral Sea Marina, Joscelyn O’Keefe said it’s been excellent to give “people an informal setting where they can start the conversation” about prostate cancer.

“Thank you to all the local businesses and community who came out to support us,” she said.

The Marina has now raised over $10,000 dollars for cancer research.

You can continue to donate to Coral Sea Marina until the end of September at their fundraising page here: https://www.bigaussiebarbie.com.au/.../CoralSeaMarina.../bab

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A Working Class Man Comes To The Pub

September 22, 2022

One of the most popular and best-selling Australian musical artists of all time will be honoured with the highest form of flattery in two unique tribute shows coming to the Airlie Beach Hotel in October.

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of his famed Soul Deep album, the ‘Soul Chisel’ Ultimate Jimmy Barnes tribute band will bring one of the most faithful encapsulations of Jimmy’s solo career to The Pub, creating two afternoons to remember.

The Working Class Man is the heart and soul of Aussie rock music – he conjures up the sound of ear-splitting volume, the tune of soul standards given a unique voice and reading – and Soul Chisel bring all that magic of Barnsey with them in their recreation coming to the coastal town of Airlie Beach.

In the first of two shows, Soul Chisel will celebrate the legacy of Barnesy on Saturday afternoon in an unforgettable performance that focuses on his fifth album. They will get the Good Times flowing.

Through the lens of Soul Deep – a collection of soul covers and duets with John Farnham – Soul Chisel encapsulate what makes Barnesy the very best there is.

Through a Rock N’ Rolling tour of Jimmy’s soul covers and onto his biggest Cold Chisel hits, Soul Chisel create an electric atmosphere.

That atmosphere is thanks to their ability to not only recreate the sound but also the look of Barnesy, with front man Steve Callanan a scarily close look alike with one of Australia’s biggest selling artists.

Callanan leads the show and has the vocal power to match his almost uncanny resemblance to Barnesy. He’s even made appearances on The Voice Australia, where he performed in front of the likes of Delta Goodrum and Guy Sebastian and had them convinced by his vocals!

On Sunday, they’ll back up their performance with a unique blend of two songs in a row from The best of Barnes and Chisel, as well as your favourite Aussie bands and much, much more.

Don’t miss Soul Chisel when they bring (Simply) The Best Cold Chisel tribute show to the local’s favourite local for two afternoons of Barnesy at The Airlie Beach Hotel.

What: Soul Chisel Tribute Show

When: 2.00pm to 5.30pm on Saturday, October 8, and Sunday, October 9

Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel

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Walk To School Day Success

September 23, 2022

Students in Cannonvale took to the streets on foot, bike and scooter last week in the first of what is hoped to be many ‘Walk Or Ride To School Day’.

A student-led initiative, the event came about when Miss Hanson’s grade 4 class were discussing how to reduce their carbon footprint.

While many thought about small projects, this particular cohort felt inspired to create an event the whole school could enjoy.

Writing a note to the principal to ask permission, making a speech in assembly, and then putting posters on walls were all ways the class took the lead in promoting the event.

Their efforts were rewarded when over 70 students participated.

Lollipop lady, Lesley, said that she noticed a massive increase in the amount of foot traffic that day and was pleased to see people enjoying the outdoors.

A grade 1 student said that he walked for the first time today and that his parents had parked the car at Coral Sea Marina, walking along the bicentennial boardwalk to school.

Health teacher Erin Moore said that she was thrilled to see so many eager participants.

“It was really rewarding to see so many kids taking it so seriously,” she said.

“We hope the event will get bigger each time and maybe after today more people will be encouraged to walk to school.”

Image: Principal Kelly with some of the students that walked to school last Thursday

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Double Film Feature Weekend

September 22, 2022

Film and Arts Mackay are teaming up with Whitsunday Arts Festival this September to bring two exciting films to the big screen at the brand-new Proserpine Entertainment Centre over the weekend of September 24 and 25.

In back-to-back days, Whitsunday Arts Festival will be showing back-to-back screenings of two hand-picked films: Celeste and Parallel Mothers.

Filmed entirely at Paronella Park, Celeste is the first of the double featurette, with the story of a once-celebrated opera diva who prepares for her final performance. You can catch the temptress’ final show when it screens on Saturday, September 24 at 7.30pm.

Special guest for Celeste’s screening will be Paronella Park Marketing Manager Bridget Evans. She’ll share anecdotes from when Paronella turned into a film set!

Then, on Sunday, September 25, viewers will be taken to the other side of the world with Parallel Mothers, the story of two single women who form a strong bond with one another as they both confront motherhood.

Helmed by the renowned Spanish Director, Pedro Almodovar, Parellel Mothers has his trademark finesse in a story of motherhood and hope.

The award-winning director draws again on his favourite subject of Motherhood to create a story that elegantly balances drama and comedy, moving through the tale of two unlikely friends from vastly different walks of life.

One is surefooted and complex, the other emotionally raw and energised. Together they create a film bent by hardship and pierced by tragedy, which eventually winds itself into something beautiful: hope.

What: Two films: Celeste and Parallel Mothers

When: 7.30pm on Saturday, September 24, and 1.30pm on Sunday, September 25

Where: Proserpine Entertainment Centre

Tickets: https://www.proserpineentertainmentcentre.com.au/

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Cannonvale State School Book Week

September 23, 2022

Hundreds of students came to school dressed as their favourite character from a story book last Wednesday, marking the final ‘Book Week’ celebration across all schools in the Whitsunday region.

School assembly was a colourful display of creations, dozens of superheros, a group of Oompa Loompas, a masterfully home-made bright yellow digger, Where’s Wally and of course many princesses were all in attendance.

As is tradition, the ‘Book Week’ parade saw the teachers, followed by every year group, strut their stuff down the centre aisle, exhibiting their dance moves and outfits to the beat.

Image: Principal Angie Kelly (centre) with students and staff dressed up for Book Week

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Kids Arts Workshops

September 22, 2022

Children from across the region are invited to participate in the inaugural Kids Arts Workshops at the Whitsunday Arts Festival this weekend, with a wide range of dedicated family-friendly activities offering a full program of events on Sunday from 9.00am to 4.00pm.

A specially allocated marquee will host the workshops with some that you can simply drop-in to attend and some that do require registration on www.whitundaysartsfestival.org.

All the featured events are free for children to enjoy.

These artist-led workshops are the creation of children’s book writer and illustrator Sofia Fortunato and Townsville artist Lisa Ashcroft who was last year’s winner of the inaugural Whitsundays Art Prize.

In addition to the marquee activities, there are a range of other events which children will enjoy over the course of the day.

These interactive activities including African drumming with Festival favourites Baala Baajo at 12:30pm, mandala making with stones on the beach with artist Mary Ann Santin at 9.00am, aboriginal storytelling with Harry Bowen from 9am-4pm, and many opportunities with over 50 stalls at the handmade markets demonstrating pottery throwing and lead light creations among many happenings.

WHAT: Kids Arts Workshops

WHEN: Sunday, September 25

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore, Kids Workshop Tent

Choose from these exciting workshops:

Making Sea Creatures

Craft your favourite sea creature from paper clay and felt texters - sea turtles, stingrays, and jelly fish to surfboarders and boats, join Lisa and use paper clay to create your sculpture.

Registration Required - 9am – 10am and 1pm – 2pm

Memorable Illustrated Portrait

In this workshop with Sofia, kids will create a self-portrait using only three colours for the background and a sharpie for the face.

Drop in and create - 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm

The Memory Tree

In this workshop with Sofia, kids will learn to illustrate a tree with a collage paper technique, using scissors, glue, and lots of colourful paper.

Drop in and create - 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm

Abstract Painting: Our Memories

Participate in a group abstract painting with Lisa on a large canvas with the theme ‘memories.’ Use bright fluoro and all sorts of brushes, palette knives, willow sticks, scrunched up bits of paper, drips.

Drop in and paint - 9am – 4pm

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What’s On At The Grandview

September 22, 2022

It’s a chocka-block end to the month for one of Bowen’s top pubs where everyone’s a local.

The Grand View Hotel is running some special events alongside its regular staples like Musical Bingo and Paint & Sip, one of which includes an epic prize.

Check out the events to look out for at the Grand View in late September and early October:

Young Whitsundays Got Talent Heat

1.00pm on Sunday, September 25

Local up-and-coming artists will take to the stage in the second heat of Young Whitsundays Got Talent at the Bowen pub on September 25.

In a showcase of local singers aged 19 or under, Bowen’s young superstars will have a chance to head to the grand final on October 23 in Woodwark.

The winners of that final will be rewarded with a tour of the Airlie Beach Festival of Music’s main stage, where they can rub shoulders with its nationally renowned acts, as well as perform on the Fish Jam Stage

Head out and see some of the region’s best emerging talents perform at the Grand View this weekend!

Family Movie Night at the GVH

6.30pm on Monday, September 26

Join The Grand View next Monday from 6.30pm for a family movie night with a heart of gold.

The local pub will be screening Moana, a sweeping film that follows an adventurous teenager sailing on a daring mission to save her people. Moana, the daughter of chief Tui, embarks on a journey to return the heart of goddess Te Fitti from Maui, a demigod, after the plants and the fish on her island start dying due to a blight.

Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity.

But, best of all, alongside the top-tier Disney flick, the Grand View will be providing popcorn and lollies to snack on!  Don’t miss this great opportunity to bring the whole family together.

Win A Tinny!

Drawn 5.00pm on Sunday, October 2

Have you ever dreamt of owning a boat? Well, the Grand View Hotel might just make your dreams a reality. One lucky Rewards member will take off in a XXXX Quintrex 400 Trigger Boat, valued at $11,000 at the beginning of October!

To win, all you’ve got to do is eat, drink, or play! As well as be a Grand View Rewards Member, of course.

To go in the draw, simply present your membership card when paying for food and drinks, or insert into the gaming machine. Fill out the entry form, pop it in the barrel and join them on Sunday 2 October at 5pm for the live draw.

If you’re not already a Grand View Rewards member it’s not too late to sign up for your chance to win.

Terms and Conditions apply, please see Grand View staff for details. The Grand View Hotel promotes the responsible service of alcohol and gambling – Gambling Helpline 1800 858 858.

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Creating A Vibrant Regional Live Music Scene

September 22, 2022

A new community program to build a thriving live music and performance industry in the Whitsundays will launch this October.

The ‘Harvest Music Development Program’ is being introduced by Whitsunday Regional Council in an effort to identify potential programs and support for the region’s local music sector.

The Harvest program hopes to shape what Whitsunday Regional Council call their “Arts and Culture Plan” and it will begin with a Community Forum at Proserpine Entertainment Centre led by Brisbane based Music Industry leaders Stu Watters and Ant Mckenna on October 6.

Watters and Mckenna will also be providing one-on-one Consultation Sessions to local musos over October 6 and 7 as part of the program.

Harvest has three major questions in mind: For musicians, what role could Council play in your career development, and what is your vision for a vibrant regional live music scene?

For those who program live music, what professional development do you feel would be well suited to the Whitsunday’s emerging and established performers?

Or for those in the music business, what ideas do you have to build your capacity and increase work in the region?

Council have also opened an online survey for those in the industry unable to attend the live forums where they can provide thoughts on the music/festival industry in the Whitsundays.

Survey participants will go into the draw to win two tickets to a show of their choice at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre.

Council said the program is the first of many consultations with the rest of the Arts industry in October and November.

To register your interest, visit yoursay.whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au

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Go For A Walk And Clear Your Head

September 15, 2022

In the last few generations, we have become radically sedentary.

Jobs keep us stuck at a desk all day long, machines do our heavy lifting, and phones and other gadgets mean we can do almost anything, all without moving.

We’ve disconnected from our bodies to the extent that, often, we only notice them when they go wrong. We’re detaching from a pivotal process and doing more of the things that are harmful for our brains.

Sit at work, come home and sit, go to bed late, wake up, drive to work – seated – and sit again. Eat, sleep, sit, repeat. It’s easy. But the connection between your brain and your body is a “two-way street.” Working your legs can work your grey matter; if you’re feeling down, it might behove you to move.

There are numerous mental health benefits related to movement, and that’s not even just exercise. We all know, intellectually, that exercise is good for us, and it’s time to turn intellectual into action. The truth is that whatever your lifestyle: there is always an opportunity to move.

When we do move our body, energy flows through it, our bodily systems are activated, which makes us function well, and our brain generates various happy hormones (transmitters) that make us feel good.

Just like food nourishes the body and brain, so does movement! And, intellectually, we can list the benefits:

• Improved circulation

• Improved metabolism

• Improved clarity

• Improved mood

• Improved resilience

But what we really need to do is get going. It’s about putting one foot in front of the other, over and over, until it becomes habit. Endeavour to take a morning or afternoon walk, cycle to work, hop up from your desk and go for a little cruise around the office. Getting started is the hardest part.

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Dance On The Edge

September 15, 2022

The purest form of uninhibited movement is dance - free flowing, expressive and dynamic. Learning to move your body to the music is an artform and a sport.

Emma Whybird, Director of Edge Dance Studio Whitsunday, understands the devotion and passion it takes to transform dance into performance and imparts this knowledge to her young students every day.

From two-year-old ‘Little Gems’ to 18-year-olds considering a professional career, Edge Dance can teach any level and any style – from jazz to tap, hip hop to acro, modern and musical theatre.

Celebrating their first year in business, the dance students will be holding their inaugural concerts this November and have been practising all year to fine tune their routines.

“It’s been an amazing year. We have children who have been dancing for many years and those who have never stepped foot on a dance floor,” said Emma.

“For me, it’s all about building confidence. I love watching how the younger students look up to the older students. We have a great family atmosphere here.”  

Edge Dance operate two studios, one in Proserpine and the other in Bowen.

Proserpine dance classes are held at the old St Catherine’s School building in a newly refurbished dance studio from Monday to Thursday every week.

Bowen classes take place Monday and Tuesday.

Edge Dance offer ‘Little Gems’ casual classes for 2–3-year-olds in Proserpine which are open for enrolments all year round.

Expressions of Interest are now being taken for anyone interested in joining in 2023.  Free trial classes will be taking place this November.

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Scooby-Dooby-Doo Where Are You? At The Outdoor Cinema?

September 15, 2022

Watch out for a group of meddling kids and their dog coming to the coastal town of Airlie Beach this weekend.

As part of a full afternoon of free festivities for the Get Active Family Fun Day, the Airlie Beach Foreshore outdoor cinema screen will show Scooby-Doo: The Movie from 6.00pm.

Pack a picnic blanket and head down to the Sound Stage to watch this original live-action iteration of Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Fred, and Daphne.

The Mystery Inc. gang have been apart for two years after a dispute sees them call it quits, but individual invitations to Spooky Island are about to have them crashing back together.

Not knowing the others have also been invited, they show up to discover an amusement park that’s not all it seems. Young visitors are turning into creatures of the night and the gang can’t solve this mystery without help from each other.

A movie for both the kids and the parents, Scooby-Doo will have you laughing along and rooting for your favourite mystery solving gang.

Roll on down to the Airlie Beach Foreshore, grab dinner or a snack from the food stalls, and relax with family, friends, or both.

Pop down a little early for Get Active Family Fun Day starting 2.00pm (Read more on page 18).

What: Scooby Doo The Movie

Where: The Outdoor Cinema Screen at Airlie Beach Foreshore

When: 6.00pm on Sunday, September 18

The gang are coming to Airlie Beach on the big screen as part of Get Active Family Fun Day

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Movie Review: DC League Of Super-Pets

September 15, 2022

It’s been a longstanding convention that DC Comic’s animated outings are top-tier, whilst their offering of live-action films leave a little (often a lot) to be desired – not for wont of trying, and likely a position DC would rather flip. But, nonetheless, DC have cultivated a reputation for excellent toon features.

In this tale of (Super)man’s best friend, that’s no different.

DC League Of Super-Pets capitalises on the inherent humour evident in superhero worlds. And, with that humour, it delivers fun, fast-paced action in a counterbalancing act that caters to both adults and children alike. Helped by a star-studded voice-cast of Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, Kevin Heart, Kate McKinnon, and even John Krasinski and Keanu Reeves, Super-Pets can’t help but soar.

Krypto the Super-Dog (Johnson) and Superman (Kraskinski) lead the early stages of the film as an inseparable duo of best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime in Metropolis side by side. But Superman and the rest of the Justice League (Reeves is perfectly cast as a sour Batman, and Jermaine Clement of Flight Of The Concords fame is a hilarious Aquaman) are kidnapped.

Krypto must convince a rag-tag shelter pack- Ace the hound (Hart), PB the potbellied pig (Vanessa Bayer), Merton the turtle (Natasha Lyonne), and Chip the squirrel (Diego Luna)- to master their own newfound powers and help him rescue the superheroes.

Super-Pets makes for lightweight viewing, but where it excels is its action scenes and likeable jokes. There’s few that don’t land, and all of that is underscored with touching themes worthy of mention: friendship, teamwork, and finding one’s self-confidence.

Directors Jared Stern and Sam J. Levine manage to get this film flying high for an animated feature aimed at the whole family. It sits nicely in the middle of the dog lover and DC Comics fan Venn diagram.

DC League of Super-Pets opens at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema on Saturday, September 17.

There’s talent galore on show in DC League Of Super-Pets - Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Heart, and Keanu Reeves to name a few

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Sports Galore, Live And Loud

September 15, 2022

On any given Sunday – in fact, on any day of the week – sports biggest matchups grace the giant screen at the local’s favourite local, The Pub.

Football of every code: Aussie Rules, Rugby league, soccer. Combat sports: UFC, MMA, Boxing. It’s an offer of the full sporting scope, from table tennis to horse racing, gymnastics to darts and golf – there’s nothing you can’t watch at The Airlie Beach Hotel’s Sports Bar.

And, at this time of year, the Australian sporting world is working its way to a crescendo.

Yesterday’s showing of the Bledisloe Cup was a taste of the finals football set to be played over the coming weeks: The NRL Semi-Final tonight between Eels and Raiders, and the AFL Preliminary Finals showing at the same time between Geelong Cats and Brisbane Lions.

Saturday is no different: a late afternoon Preliminary Final between Sydney Swans and Magpies before the Grand Final on Saturday, September 24. And later on in the night the Sharks will take on the Rabbitohs, the winner heading to the showpiece at Accor Stadium in Sydney, the October 2 NRL Grand Final.

It’s the season end for Australia’s biggest competitions, and that time of year we all feel sportingly spoilt.

With a freshly poured Stein of beer in hand, in amongst the pack of fans at The Pub’s Sports Bar, there’s no better atmosphere to experience finals footy. Surround sound, 24 screens, and an electrifying air.

Airlie Beach Hotel Sports Bar manager, Matthew Rowley – affectionately known by patrons as just Rowley - knows the feeling of the sports bar in full swing better than anyone.

“If it’s hopscotch, we don’t care; if we can find a channel we’ll get it on the TV,” Rowley said.

“The atmosphere in here is incredible when there’s sport going. Everyone gets behind it and the games so far have all been close, which has made it awesome. If everyone’s going off and having a good time, you can’t help but get invested, even if you don’t know the sport.”

Rowley said with the finals kicking into gear already, the atmosphere would be at fever pitch.

“There’s no comparison to being at the pub with a few beers. You can sit at home and watch it on a very small TV, and it’s no fun whatsoever. You come here, we’ll get you happy and you’ll love it,” he said.

“There’s always something new behind the bar, whether on tap or a new spirit, you can come here and have a good time with good people. We’ll always accommodate for whatever the sport.”

Airlie Beach Hotel’s Sports Bar manager Mathew Rowley said the atmosphere during big games was “unmatched”

When The Pub’s Sports Bar is in full swing, there’s few venues in town that can match its gameday vibe

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What To Do These School Holidays

September 15, 2022

It’s the third session of school holidays starting this weekend, and parents across the region are eager to keep the kids active throughout their two-week break.

From the lagoon to the playground, there’s plenty to do across the region – especially with Whitsunday Regional Council’s Get Active Family Fun Day to kick the holidays into gear.

Hit The Swimming-pool

No school holidays are complete without taking a dip in the nearest watering hole. Make your way to the Airlie Beach Lagoon, Proserpine swimming pool and water park or, if you’re in Bowen head to the public swimming-pool or the waterpark at Front Beach.

Pack your swimmers, your hat and your reef safe sunscreen and relax; you're on holidays after all. These locations are all free to enter and a perfect place to park your picnic blanket and cool off.

Pop under the shade sails and enjoy your afternoon while the kids tire themselves out.

Take A Hike

There are plenty of scenic walks around, and although it might not be the kid’s favourite idea, they’ll make their own fun of it. It gets them out of the house, off their screens, and into the beautiful experience of the outdoors.

Head into the Conway Ranges – whether that be the 27-kilometre-long Great Whitsunday Walk, or Honeyeater, the renowned Airlie Beach walk. Alternatively, explore the more kid-friendly Mother Beddock walk in Bowen or the Airlie Creek Trail which are a lot shorter and can be completed within an hour.

Head To The Beach

Whether you’re in Airlie Beach, Proserpine, or Bowen, there’s beaches aplenty to choose from. Head to Dingo Beach and catch some rays, travel to Horseshoe Bay and grab lunch after a swim, or shoot to Boathaven Beach, take a ball, and have a kick with the kids. And if you can get there on your own boat, make a day of it on Whitehaven – one of Australia’s best.

Once you’ve tired from all the beach and water activities (how could you in the beautiful Whitsundays!), there’s no better place than the local libraries for activities aside from the familiar favourites.

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Get Active This Weekend!

September 15, 2022

The whole community is invited to head outside, come together, connect and get active this Sunday at the Airlie Beach Foreshore for the inaugural Get Active Family Fun Day.

With a program of free events starting at 2pm and rounding off with a screening of Scooby Doo on the outdoor cinema, the event promises to be both action-packed and relaxing for local families.

From Boogie Bounce to Vibe Yoga, kite-making to arts and crafts, meditation to fire twirling, there are many activities to do, see and watch.

Jump high on the bouncy castle, choo choo on the train rides, become a wild animal with some face-painting or make a new inflatable friend with Mr Poppas Balloons.

This event also gives you an opportunity to meet local sporting groups such as the Running Club, basketball group, cricket and more.

Other informative stalls include R U OK? and Headspace.

While you are there, grab a feed from the variety of food stalls – support Fauna Rescue by grabbing a snag from their charity BBQ or for the more sweet tastes, enjoy some fairy floss, ice-cream or fudge.

There is plenty to see and do, but most importantly there are plenty of friends to meet and a community of people looking to connect.

The Get Active Family Fun Day is an initiative funded by the Queensland Government, Mental Health and Wellbeing Community Package under Queensland's Economic Recovery Strategy.

WHAT: Get Active Fun Day

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore

WHEN: Sunday, September 18

TIME: 2pm – 7.30pm

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Whitsunday Arts Festival Coming Soon!

September 15, 2022

In two weeks’ time the third annual Whitsundays Arts Festival will be invigorating our region with a flash of colourful culture as we celebrate our creative community and inspiring environment.

Everyone is invited to experience fun, interactive, and vibrant arts events over the two-week long festival.

From arts workshops to multicultural performances, the popular hand-made markets, impressive art installations and live original music shows, there will be entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

This year, for the first time the festival has spread its wings further afield, screening two movies at the new Proserpine Entertainment Centre, in partnership with Film and Arts Mackay and the Whitsunday Regional Council.

In addition, the inaugural Whitsundays Songwriter Festival and Residency will invite six of Queensland’s finest musicians to mentor emerging artists who will then perform at The Belvedere, Toscana Village Resort.

Saturday, September 24

The opening ceremony will take place on the Airlie Beach Foreshore, officially opened by Mayor Julie Hall.

Uncle Harry Bowen, owner of the main strip’s only First Nation’s art gallery will also play his original music.

This is followed by storytelling through song by the Namarca Corowa band, playing original reggae, blue and funk style music.

The ceremony culminates when the art installation Scarewood, which won the People’s Choice Award at the 2021 Townsville Ephemera, comes alive through projections and recordings.

Sunday, September 25

Come on down to the Airlie Beach foreshore for the ever-popular Handmade Art Markets with over 50 stalls. Meet the makers and peruse artisanal homewares, handmade gifts, treats, and try your hand at some of their crafts.

The full day of festivities also includes mandala-making on the beach, Aboriginal art exhibitions and storytelling, African drumming, Torres Strait Island dancers, ukulele workshops and performances, Fijian performers, and a dance performance by Tchundal Malar Aboriginal Dance Troupe with fire demonstrations and didgeridoo performances.

There’s also a dedicated marquee for the kids to join artists Sofia Fortunato and Lisa Ashcroft for free art workshops.

For more information about the workshops leading up to the festival from September 17 and other event details head to whitsundaysartsfestival.org

WHAT: Whitsunday Arts Festival

WHEN: 17 – 30 September

WHERE: Airlie Beach and Proserpine

Fun and frivolity at the 2021 Whitsundays Arts Festival

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Could You Be Holding The Lucky Ticket?

September 15, 2022

Announcing a special VIP experience for one lucky winner, the Airlie Beach Festival of Music (ABFoM) is giving one lucky ticket holder the rockstar experience at this years’ 10th annual festival.

Anyone who purchases a three-day pass before 5pm on Monday, October 3, or already has a ticket, will be placed in the draw to win a prize that will transform your festival weekend from spectacular to jaw-droppingly amazing!

The winner will get to meet the Superjesus frontwoman, Sarah McLeod, receive a signed 2022 festival T-shirt, have themselves and their ‘plus one’ upgraded to VIP’s, and win a trip for two on the SeaLink Big Island Day Tour, taking in the Whitsunday islands and including a stop at world-famous Whitehaven Beach.

Festival founder, Gavin Butlin, said this was the “ultimate package”, worth as much in the memories it would create than its actual financial value.

“This by itself is a way to experience the festival like a rockstar,” he said.

“But to also have the chance to visit the globally iconic Whitsunday islands and walk away with memorabilia signed by one of Australia’s top performers is the cherry on top.”

Three-day passes cost $300 and include access to the Grand Final of the national talent search ‘Passport to Airlie’ on Thursday, November 3, and official festival After Party on Monday, November 7 – both headlined by Sarah McLeod.

Top acts include The Animals, Eskimo Joe, Ben Lee, Jon Stevens, Rogue Traders, Rick Price, Masters of Pop, Dallas Frasca and Mi-Sex.

WHAT: Airlie Beach Festival of Music

WHEN: November 4-6.

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club

Meet Sarah McLeod and see the Whitsundays for free with your lucky ticket!

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Become A Zontarian Today!

September 15, 2022

One of the world’s most thriving women’s groups that actively helps and stands up for the rights of other women is currently looking for new members for its Airlie Beach contingent.

A fun and empowering community organisation, Zonta has over 31,000 members worldwide, spread over 65 countries.

The driving force behind many social change initiatives for women, this group of spunky ladies do their small part for a big organisation that makes huge differences in the everyday lives of locals here in the Whitsundays.

From supporting girls at secondary college with scholarships and bursaries to working to protect women through Whitsunday Counselling and Support, they raise money and give it directly to important causes.

Meeting on the third Thursday of every month at the VMR in Cannonvale, the Zontarians share lively conversation and a group dinner while planning events and opportunities to help the women in our community.

These include Bunnings BBQ’s, Christmas gift wrapping and annual functions such as annual International Women’s Day breakfast and Derby Day lunch.

More broadly, they also help to bring about change and promote human rights and freedoms both locally and internationally with specific projects such as global initiatives working to close the gender gap in education, saying no to violence against women and providing birthing kits to assist safe birthing in some countries.

If you would like to be part of this powerful and important conversation by joining forces with other women and becoming a member of your local Zonta Club – reach out to them now!

WHAT: Zonta Club of the Whitsundays

WHEN: 6pm – 9pm every second Thursday

WHERE: The VMR, 7 Altmann Avenue, Cannonvale

Join the Zonta Group of the Whitsundays

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The Ritual Of Stretching

September 8, 2022

We all know the importance of exercising but stretching always seems to take a back seat.

When you’re young and fit, you might not see the benefits – but then one day it all comes crashing (maybe pinging) down. You’re tight, you’re sore, or – worst of all – you’re injured.

You’ve torn your hamstring, you’ve got constant back pain, you can’t bend over without cramping up.

What happened? You’re a mess!

Here’s how it starts: your hamstrings are tight, your physio or chiro says, but to release that built up tension, you need to stretch your calves. Ok, you’ve stretched out your calves – but how flexible is the right kind of flexible? And now your hip flexor is the cause of that pesky hamstring trouble. Your whole lower body is a condensed mess of knotted dough.

It’s daunting and confusing, and it’s kind of a pain. You don’t do exercise so you can keep exercising after the exercise. I’ve just finished a run, I don’t have the energy to do a post-workout stretch!

But hold on: what does stretching even do?

You may think of stretching as something performed only by runners or gymnasts. But we all need to stretch to protect our mobility and independence; in fact, that stretching has to happen on a regular basis. It should be daily.

Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they’re weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.

It might seem overwhelming to perform a daily stretching routine; with a body full of muscles, the idea is a bit daunting. But you don't have to stretch every muscle you have.

The areas critical for mobility are in your lower extremities: your calves, your hamstrings, your hip flexors in the pelvis and quadriceps in the front of the thigh.

Once you’ve given some of those a crack, you might even find you like it. Performing a daily stretching ritual, especially in the morning, can set you up for the day. It can centre you.

So this week of Movement Month, get down and stretch.

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Feel The Vibe

September 8, 2022

Introducing Vibe Yoga and Pilates, a brand-new studio opening in the heart of Airlie Beach this Saturday.

Owner Manyia Vale says she is excited to welcome a community of people looking to connect, stretch out and revive from the stress of everyday life.

A yoga and Pilates teacher for 25 years, Manyia is originally from England but spent 14 years in Noosa where she owned and operated three yoga studios.

Looking for a new adventure, she moved to the Whitsundays two years ago and now feels a calling to open a dedicated studio which offers infrared heated yoga and Pilates classes, the first of its type in the region.

In her youth, Manyia was a marathon and triathlon competitor, but after she sustained many injuries she was no longer able to run.

Deciding to find alternative ways to heal her broken body, she discovered Bikram (26+2) hot yoga which not only calmed her mind but also aided her recovery.

Since then, she has felt passionate about helping others in the same way.

With five classes a day, running morning and afternoon, there are options for everyone in the community and everyone is welcome.

Here is a taste of what is on offer at Vibe Yoga and Pilates.


The infrared heat has powerful healing benefits. It releases stress and tension, sweats out the heavy metals and toxins, and reduces anxiety.


High intensity, low impact interval training with Pilates principals, weights and resistant bands are also added to classes. It is an effective way of recovering from sports injuries, it strengthens, leans and tones, burning fat for 72 hours after a 45-minute session.


A mixture of Hatha (which promotes posture and stillness) and Vinyasa which is a flowing yoga, these classes incorporates breathwork and follows a sequence which evolves through the session.

Manyia Vale owner and operator of Vibe Yoga and Pilates

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Songwriter Festival Reaches A High Note

September 8, 2022

The inaugural Whitsundays Songwriter Festival and Residency is happening from 22-26 September and organisers are inviting all aspiring local musicians to get involved by attending one of the events which are led by six professional songwriters.

This inspiring cultural event will be held at Topaz House at Yangaro Resort in Funnel Bay and is run in conjunction with the Whitsundays Art Festival.

Attend the three-day professional Songwriter Residential Retreat or enjoy a one-day workshop for emerging artists – the choice is yours.

This will be followed by an evening performance will be open to the public at The Belvedere at Toscana on September 25, offering an evening of fine dining, conversation, and live music.

Six highly talented professional songwriters will impart their knowledge during the three-day retreat.

They include Graeme Connors, country music legend and the most successful songwriter to hail from the region with twenty albums and 14 Golden Guitar awards, and certified Platinum artist Tia Gostelow, a Queensland Music Award winner.

Other outstanding artists include Francesca de Valence, Karen Jacobsen, Bryce Sainty, and LT (Leanne Tennant).

Festival attendees will have the opportunity to collaborate and potentially co-write some original music with the guidance of industry experts.

The one-day workshop for emerging songwriters will be led by Francesca de Valence, who offers a host of practical tools for overcoming songwriters’ biggest blocks and barriers once and for all, and rare mentoring access to our professional faculty.

For further information visit the Whitsundays Arts Festival website.

WHAT: Whitsundays Songwriter Festival and Residency

WHERE: Topaz House at Yangaro Resort in Funnel Bay

WHEN: September 22 – 26

Co-founders Karen Jacobsen and Francesca de Valence

Graeme Connors and Tia Gostelow

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Movie Review Parallel Mothers

September 8, 2022

Pedro Almodóvar is singular in his brilliance. Not only have the Spanish director’s films seeped into the American-dominated, mainstream of cinema, they have done so in irreverent, glossy style. It’s always immensely impressive when a foreign director cracks that hard, obstinate shell.

It certainly makes you pay attention; and his newest film, Parallel Mothers, is no different.

Penélope Cruz and Milena Smit offer two scintillating performances as the eponymous counterpart mums. Both are one part vulnerable, two parts strong as single women who meet in a hospital room as they are both about to give birth. One is middle aged and doesn't regret it, while the other is adolescent and scared.

The two women form a strong bond with one another as they both confront motherhood. The few words they shared in those hours will create a link between them, which by chance develops and complicates, and changes their lives in a decisive way.

Like any Almodóvar film, though, it’s hardly that simple. In the hands of a lesser director and writer it would be, but complex narratives are his passion, his joie de vivre. He deftly weaves in his country’s history, enlightening audiences with his own musings on the wake of General Francisco Franco’s death.

How do two mothers in a modern-day Spanish hospital have anything to do with General Franco, you might ask? Well, you’ll have to watch and see.

It’s that ability to weld together the intricate details – and serendipity - of the cradle and the grave that make Almodóvar a landmark director and storyteller of our time. All his expertise and experience shine in the film’s denouement, an emotional bundle of joy which is nothing less than magnificent.

Parallel Mothers (M) is screening at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre (PEC) on Sunday, September 25 at 1.30pm. Tickets are available online at the PEC website.

WHAT: Parallel Mothers (M)

WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre (PEC)

WHEN: Sunday, September 25 at 1.30pm

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Gala Concert Brings Community Together

September 8, 2022

Musical notes will be ringing out of the Performing Arts Centre at Proserpine State high school next Thursday night when a host of musical magicians come together to present a night of big bands, big tunes and big entertainment.

The 2022 Gala Concert promises to be a revival of an iconic annual event that is now back after a three-year hiatus.

A true cross-community event, the concert brings together bands from across the region.

Cannonvale and Proserpine State School’s will join together, their concert bands and string orchestras combining to create the “The Little Kids Big Band’.

Having practiced the same songs separately all term, they will be united the day before for a full-day workshop where they will play together for the first time.

Proserpine State High School will showcase their concert band, stage band and string orchestra as well as their High School Big Band.

This year, the event also welcomes the Citizens Band who are coming to ‘sit in’ with the High School Band.

The Whitsunday Big Band will also feature in the Gala Concert and will be joined by young musicians from the High School.

Around 70 instrumentalists of all ages will be playing on the night and the new Performing Arts Centre can hold up to 450 people with tickets selling fast.

Head of the Arts Department Jenny Napier said that the bands will play a range of familiar songs from jazz to modern classics.

“It will be a lovely night of school and community bands getting together and performing,” she said.

“All the bands have already got a following so it will be a good opportunity for everyone to come and listen.”

A smaller event called The Gala Evening held in 2021

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September 8, 2022
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The Boys Are Back

September 2, 2022

How couldn’t The Pub bring back one of their all-time favourite shows? And not just theirs, but the local’s favourite, too! Geed UP are arriving in the coastal town in mid-September because you asked for it!

They’re an act like no other, having rocked out at the Airlie Beach Hotel to rapturous applause time and again – and the local’s favourite local is hosting them once more on September 17 and 18 for two world-class shows.

The three New Zealanders - who formed a casual singing group on the Gold Coast over 17 years ago – were last at The Pub earlier this year - and are lining up once more at the hotel to show off their vocal versatility when they play all afternoon long.

Khan, Steve, and Mat can cater to any crowd with their show-stopping dance moves which are guaranteed to get everyone up and about and dancing.

Part of that ability to inspire (and gee up) crowds is that they’re no regular singing trio. Incorporating percussion, saxophone, keys and guitar, and explosive breakdancing choreography, Geed UP are a special, show stopping treat.

Matty and Brad (who’s better known as ‘BBoy Yogi’) lead the high-energy choreography, weaving it into the performance’s base musicality. They make sure you see it all; their electrifying movement and foot-tapping tunes that can only inspire audiences to groove along – as well as laugh at the comedic undertones.

With every show a new and unique one, this is no different. Calling it the ‘Worst Show Ever’ it’s far from it, with a mix of the old and the new set to leave everyone wanting more. From laid back music to filling the dance floor, this trio delivers it all.

Geed Up are known for their polished three-piece harmonies, blending their unique vocal styles into a fusion of soul, funk, edge, and class – they know how to hold a stage.

Influenced by all genres of music and their New Zealand culture, there is nothing that the boys of Geed Up can’t cater for.

Don’t miss their two very special and free shows with new surprises in store in two weeks’ time.

What: Geed UP Music

When: 2pm to 5.30pm on Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18

Where: Airlie Beach Hotel

Geed UP Music are back in Airlie Beach this September, courtesy of The Pub

The incredible trio will set the bar-top stage alight with two separate afternoon performances

Bringing comedy, charisma, and choreography, Geed UP are a special act

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Savour Life, Save A Life

September 2, 2022

A local marina is getting onboard for the Big Aussie Barbie this year, inviting locals to raise much-needed funds for Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA).

For the month of September, Coral Sea Marina will gather money and raise awareness for research into the cancer which threatens the lives of one in five Australian men.

The marina will be hosting their own iteration of the PCFA’s biggest event for the second year running, a Big Aussie Barbie on the marina lawns at sunset where locals can grab a burger and a drink and listen to some live music for a good cause.

Head of Marketing at Coral Sea Marina, Joscelyn O’Keefe said they were excited to be bringing the event, which raised $5000 for cancer research last year, back to the region.

“We want to make this an annual event each September, which is prostate cancer awareness month. It’s such an important cause; we all know people who have been affected by some form of cancer,” Ms O’Keefe said.

“And that’s the big thing: giving people an informal setting where they can start the conversation. It’s a way to get your mates together and maybe even inspire someone to go and get tested.

“Particularly for men who often don’t want to talk about health issues.”

Prizes have been donated for a raffle, as well as food, and a local support group for prostate cancer will be in attendance.

You can donate to Coral Sea Marina’s fundraising page here: https://www.bigaussiebarbie.com.au/.../CoralSeaMarina.../bab

What: Big Aussie BBQ

When: Friday, September 16 from 4.30pm to 6.30pm.

Where: The Gardens, Coral Sea Marina

The Big Aussie Barbie is back this year at Coral Sea Marina, raising much-needed funds and awareness for prostate cancer and its research

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RSPCA Supporter Day Next Week

September 2, 2022

Animal lovers from across the region are invited to attend the upcoming morning tea hosted by an RSPCA inspector next Thursday.

This educational information session will be an opportunity to find out more about protecting animals by learning how this vital charity operates.

Meet the friendly inspectors and learn about their inspiring work rescuing and re-homing animals in our region.

Discover how they work in a positive way within our community, whether it be attending to local wildlife or checking on the welfare of a pet.

The RSPCA’s central hotline in Brisbane receives between 30 to 40 calls each day for the Mackay and Whitsunday area and, within the last year the local team has grown from just one to three inspectors ensuring much better coverage.

Philanthropy Specialist’s, Aileen Mcgregor Lowndes, will also explain the Home Ever After program which provides care for much-loved pets in emergency situations, from hospital visits to a re-homing service.

A welcoming and inclusive environment, this morning tea is also a place for like-minded people to meet, share stories about their pets and enjoy good company while learning more about this important cause.

WHAT: RSPCA Supporter Day

WHEN: Thursday, September 8

WHERE: Airlie Beach Whitsunday Marine Club (VMR)

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A Night Under The Stars

September 2, 2022

The 25th anniversary celebrations for a local Prep to Year 12 school were a roaring success on Friday night as the community turned up in droves to enjoy ‘A Night Under the Stars'.

Whitsunday Christian College was lit up with festoon lights and an ‘Eat Street’ vibe, as families and locals weaved their way through the College enjoying the delicacies of the food vans and playing the “Old School” sideshow amusement stands run by teachers and students.

The event was the perfect opportunity for the College to “honour the past, celebrate the present, and look towards the future” and the night exceeded the Principal, Kylie Langshore’s expectations as hundreds attended the packed event.

Families enjoyed the petting zoo, face painting, inflatables zones, music and dance performances by students. The ‘Star Gazers Lucky Stars Competition’ sent kids searching through the school for six Lucky Stars to go into the draw to win a Nintendo Switch Lite.

“The best part of the night was seeing the Whitsunday community all come together to celebrate with us and experience what our College has to offer,” Mrs Langshore said.

“It was a fantastic way to celebrate who we are, what we do and why we do it. The event was a credit to everyone who came together as one to make it a night to remember. It is a wonderful show of community spirit and we are excited to see what the future holds with this much community support. We thank the Lord for his continued provision as we see to educate for eternity, equip for life.”

Mrs Langshore said the school is planning to make this an annual event thanks to the overwhelming feedback and support they received from local families.

Whitsunday Christian College hosted an exceptional 25th anniversary community event last Friday which was led by students who hosted stalls and gave performances

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Look UP For Balloons At Airlie Beach Foreshore

September 2, 2022

“Adventure is out there” is a sentence to reignite your passion at any age; to pump up your balloon of life, and Pixar’s UP is certainly a movie that can inspire that feeling.

The classic tale of a late in life adventure is showing at the Airlie Beach Foreshore Outdoor Cinema on Friday, September 9, so pack your picnic blanket and drop by for the showing on the big screen under the stars.

And you won’t go hungry; the foreshore screenings are now flanked fully by yummy food trucks – so grab a snack and dig into this animated adventure.

UP follows Carl, an old widower, who heads on one last journey to his wife’s dream destination: Paradise Falls.

This impeccably crafted story is both parts funny and poignant, maintaining Pixar’s particular brand of visual treat – a delicacy best enjoyed on the big screen.

Watch as the 78-year-old balloon salesman fulfills a lifelong dream by tying thousands of balloons to his house and flying off to the South American wilderness.

Carl's worst nightmare comes true, though, when he discovers a little boy named Russell is a stowaway aboard his balloon-powered house. But, although he may be curmudgeonly, Carl has a heart of gold.

Whether it be your – or your kids - first time hearing the music swell (and the emotions with it), or your 500th, you won’t be disappointed.

What: ‘UP’ on the Outdoor Cinema

When: 6:00pm to 8:30pm on Friday, September 9

Where: Airlie Beach Foreshore Outdoor Cinema

Pixar’s UP will be playing on the big screen at the Airlie Beach Foreshore next Friday

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Finalists Announced For Whitsundays Art Prize

September 2, 2022

A total of 63 artists have been short-listed for the prestigious Whitsundays Art Prize Exhibition which is due to take place in conjunction with the third annual Whitsundays Arts Festival in September.

A total of $11,200 worth of prizes are up for grabs for winners of a range of categories including Local Artist Award, Young Artist Award, 2D Works on Paper Award, 2D Painting Award and 3D Sculpture Award, with the top Whitsunday Regional Arts Prize receiving $5000.

This years’ theme is ‘memories’, encouraging artists to consider and reminisce upon a certain moment in time, a place or person that inspired them, or an experience that shaped them.

Of the 63 finalists that were selected, eleven of the finalists reside outside of Queensland with 50 per cent coming from the Whitsunday/Mackay region.

This years’ exhibition space is bigger than ever before and will be located at the Coral Sea Resort from September 23 to 30.

Doors open to the public 6:30pm to 8pm on Friday September 23 in the Elbow Room at the Coral Sea Resort and prize winners will be announced that evening with the highly coveted People’s Choice prize chosen by visitors to the exhibition.

Last years’ winning piece was ‘Bleached Blue Coral Reef’ by Lisa Ashcroft and the winner this year will join her artwork in the Whitsunday Regional Council’s art collection.

Exhibition Coordinator Glenda Brown said the standard of submissions this year was of extremely high quality.

“All participants should be incredibly proud of themselves,” she said.

“It’s wonderful to be able to support artists and to be able to display such a high calibre of works for our audiences.”

The Whitsundays Arts Festival takes place from September 17 to 30 and will be held across multiple venues, including 5-star resorts, the new Proserpine Entertainment Centre, and Airlie Beach foreshore.

Highlights include the inaugural Songwriters Residency and workshops, art installations with artists-in-residence, workshops for all ages, film screening and historical photographs and the Handmade Art Markets.

WHAT: Whitsundays Art Prize Exhibition

WHERE: Coral Sea Resort

WHEN: September 23 to 30

The 2021 Whitsundays Art Exhibition

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Go Your Own Way To The Pub

August 25, 2022

Can you hear me calling out your name? I’ll speak a little louder, I’ll even shout: get to The Airlie Beach Hotel this September for ‘Dreams’ a Fleetwood Mac Tribute unlike any other.

It’s time to Tango In The Night with this impeccable recreation of one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time at The Pub on September 10 and 11.

Re-live the performances from the seventies and eighties with one of history’s most legendary bands – and its leading lady, Stevie Nicks – with the ‘Dreams’ show from 2.00pm to 5.30pm both days.

Listen to the wind blow when this well-oiled and talented group of musicians dedicate an afternoon on the Airlie Esplanade to bringing this era, this sound to the Bar-Top Stage at the local’s favourite local.

The outfits, the moves, harmonies and grooves – it’s going to be big guitar leads, all the iconic songs, and a perfect revival of this legendary band.

Although there’s no snow-covered hills in Airlie Beach, there’s certainly going to be a Landslide of Fleetwood Mac favourites thrumming out from the Hotel.

It’s a full complement of the British-American band’s repertoire of tunes: Go Your Own way, Gypsy, Edge of Seventeen, Rooms on Fire, Say You Love Me, Everywhere, Sara, The Chain and many, many more are going to feature!

Don’t just take our word for it though, Dennis Dunstan, former Fleetwood Mac manager from 1981 to 1999, said: “The ‘Dreams’ Show was a breath of fresh air when it comes to Fleetwood Mac tribute shows. These guys deliver, big time!”

“I was thoroughly impressed from start to finish. Don’t miss this show if you’re a Mac fan!”

Not only does it refabricate the vocals of Stevie Nicks – eerily recapturing the magic in a bottle of her sound - but it pays delicate, close-to-perfection levels of tribute to Lindsay Buckinham’s guitar prowess.

Most notably in performances of Never Going Back Again – arguably the hardest finger-picking combination in a pop song ever. Fleetwood Mac did have to hire three guitarists to replace Buckingham, after all!

Then, when the curtains are looking to close on Fleetwood Mac, each afternoon show will conclude with a very special cover set by ‘Krush’, the tribute band’s alter-ego when they’re not recapturing the magic of the 120 million record-selling band.

Both bands are fronted by ex-Las Vegas dancer and performer Nikki Canale, who tears it up on stage, giving it her all.

The outfits, the moves, harmonies and grooves of Fleetwood Mac are making their way to the Airlie Beach Hotel on September 10 and 11

For Mac fans, it’s a must see. As ‘Dreams’ The Fleetwood Mac Tribute arrives at The Pub

Not just a vocal recreation, the band recreate the magic of the instrumentals of Fleetwood Mac

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A Vision of White On Whitehaven

August 25, 2022

With just a few weeks to go until the Whitsundays signature event, organisers are busy planning and preparing for what is expected to be the biggest White on Whitehaven Long Table Lunch with the event being held over three stunning spring days.

Harnessing a love for the beautiful Whitsunday region and an appetite for delicious fresh produce, award-winning catering company Fish D’vine will create a culinary feast for guests to enjoy on the silica sands of Whitehaven Beach.

Dressing in white, the theme is classic and refined, an elegant day where food, wine, festivity and nature unite.

Over 200 guests will enjoy the full day experience which can be booked on one of two days – Friday, September 9 or Sunday, September 11 – Saturday is already sold out.

Departing from the Port of Airlie at 9.30am, guests will enjoy a relaxing boat cruise through the Whitsunday Islands before disembarking on Whitehaven Beach where they will be greeted by a glass of French champagne as they step onto the sand, plus canapes of freshly shucked oysters, and salmon sashimi.

Relax and enjoy the stunning vista before taking a seat at the beautifully decorated long-table, chatting to fellow diners and soaking up the beauty of one of the Whitsunday’s most iconic locations.

Indulge in the gourmet lunch buffet which includes the freshest seafood, tender meats and refreshing salads prepared by the D’vine Chefs. A decadent dessert will also be on offer to finish the feast.

The dining experience will be accompanied by bottomless Laurenti champagne, premium Australian wines, beers and selected cocktails.

After lunch, cool off in the glimmering blue water and spend the afternoon soaking up the sun, enjoying live entertainment from roving acoustic band The Natural Culture.

Guests will enjoy a magic four-hours on Whitehaven Beach offering the perfect balance between flavour, fun, relaxation and romance – Everyone will enjoy a fun filled return trip back to the mainland feeling like they have just returned from another world.

WHAT: White On Whitehaven Long Table Lunch

WHERE: Whitehaven Beach

WHEN: 9 – 11 September

TICKETS: whitsundaytickets.com.au

A spectacular sight on Whitehaven Beach

2: uests dress in elegant white

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Movie Review The Drover’s Wife The Legend Of Molly Johnson

August 25, 2022

Leah Purcell writes, stars, and directs in The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson, a re-interpretation of a re-imagining of Henry Lawson’s 1892 short story The Drover’s Wife. If that weren’t enough to signal it as a uniquely Australian story, then I don’t know what is.

Like Lawson’s story itself, Purcell’s adaptation has its own storied history – one which sees it reinterpret the great Australian writer’s work for a new era, but whilst maintaining its thematic heart.

At the age of five, Purcell – a First Nation’s actress, playwright, novelist and now director, who’s been much a part of Australian cinema’s greatest hurrahs of the past two decades – was read the nine-page, seminal Australian fiction work of Henry Lawson’s as a bedtime story by her mother. It’s a story that has “been with me for 45 years,” Purcell says.

It’s a link to her past, and a long forgotten Australian one, that she’s retold now in three different mediums: a play, in 2016, and a novel in 2019 - both loosely based on Lawson’s classic – and now her debut film outing as a director.

"The essence of the Henry Lawson short story and his underlining themes of racism, the frontier violence and gender violence are [in my story],” she says.

But Purcell’s Drover’s Wife – unlike Lawson’s - has a name: Molly Johnson.

Set in 1893, on an isolated property, a heavily pregnant Molly Johnson (Purcell) and her children struggle to survive the harsh Australian landscape; her husband is gone, droving sheep in the high country.

Molly finds herself confronted by – instead of the black snake in Lawson’s original story – a black man. The shackled Aboriginal fugitive Yadaka (played by Rob Collins), and an unlikely bond begins to form between him and Molly.

It turns the outback back to front, focusing on women. And, while occasionally lilting with modern sensibilities, Purcell’s debut is a deft dissection of theme and modern Australia, by looking at the past through a First Nations and female lens.

The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson is showing at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema from Saturday, August 27.

Leah Purcell’s debut is startlingly modern in its sensibilities, while starkly harsh in its old Australian display of nature and the pioneer

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New York, New York! Glamorous Fundraiser Cocktail Party

August 25, 2022

Gin glasses will clink, and views will sparkle at Whisper Bar this October when Sandy Clark’s latest fundraising event takes on an elegant New York theme, bringing both culture and philanthropy to our regional town.

Best of all, this charity event is dedicated to supporting a very important local cause – the affordable housing shortage which is currently seeing a predominance of women over 55 become homeless in our local area.

“It could be any one of us,” said Sandy.

“People in this area love helping others and with most of our attendees between 40 and 75, it is in our demographic, which makes the cause even more relatable.”

Sandy has a long history of fundraising for important causes, most notably holding events in South Australia that helped her charity, Dignity Zambia, raise funds to build a hospital, care and educational facility for women in Zambia.

She is now using her skills to help the local Whitsunday community and a cause close to her heart.

“I did many years when I was younger working with homeless people so I’m very excited to be involved with this,” she said.

Collaborating with the Whitsunday Housing Company, Sandy is raising funds to contribute to a pilot scheme which is set to erect four tiny homes for homeless women over 55.

The Queensland Government have supplied a plot of land in Proserpine and the project requires around $500,000 to complete.

Local businesses are invited to sponsor one of the homes and receive a plaque to honour their contribution.

So far, Whitsunday Housing Company have been able to acquire funding for half the amount and, along with additional government funding, Sandy is hoping to host events to supply the remaining.

The Fundraiser Cocktail Party is due to take place on Wednesday, October 8 from 6.30pm to 9.30pm at Whisper Restaurant and Gin Bar located at Mirage in Cannonvale.

Fashionista Liz Clift will bring along her latest purchases from New York and Europe for a colourful fashion show.

Singing duo, Ian and Becky Blake will regale the audience with Frank Sinatra and other similar musical melodies.

Kind donations from local artists and businesses provide auctioneer Brad Sobott with an enticing list of charity donations for guests to bid upon.

Decadent dinner platters will be served as well as a glamorous gin cocktail on arrival.

They are now looking for event sponsors and appealing for local businesses to get involved and donate.

WHAT: New York New York Fundraiser Cocktail Party

WHERE: Whisper Restaurant and Gin Bar

WHEN: Wednesday, October 8 – 6.30om-9.30pm


Stunning views from Whisper Restaurant and Gin Bar

Receive a glamorous gin cocktail on arrival

Entertainer Becky Blake will serenade the evening

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Hotrods And Bikes To Shine At Proserpine Show

August 18, 2022

Motorheads are meticulously putting the final touches on their muscle, vintage, and souped-up cars ahead of tomorrow’s day of displays at the Proserpine Showgrounds.

Whitsunday Old Iron Restorer’s Club will launch their debut Car and Motorcycle Show, Swap Meet and Field Day on Saturday from 9am to 3pm.

The local club is eager to display its “old irons” alongside market stalls and live entertainment for the Proserpine community – especially its car-lovers.

But for those displaying their hotrods – of which there are many; each car club in the region has been invited to show off their motors - it kicks into gear this afternoon, carrying on into the night where anyone can come along for live music at 7pm to 10pm by artist Paul Burger.

For those looking for a day out at showgrounds packed with cars and food, the official start is on Saturday with gates open 9am until 3pm.

It will be the first event of its type for the new club and will send all proceeds from the day to Black Dog Institute - a non-for-profit research organisation investigating mental health diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

“When you’ve got something like what we have – these beautiful cars - you should use it for a good cause,” Club President Mark O’Keefe said.

Mark said there’s plenty to look out for with cars coming from as far afield as Cairns, and hotrods like his own restoration of an ’84 Jeep CJ10 – of which there are only 400 in the world –  will be the ones to look out for. As well, patrons can enjoy some excellent vendors, entertainment, and motorbikes.

Entry is a $5 dollar donation.

WHAT: Car and Motorcycle Show, Swap Meet and Field Day

WHEN: Saturday, 20 August 9am-3pm

WHERE: Proserpine Showgrounds

President of Whitsunday Old Iron Restorer’s Club, Mark O’Keefe is excited to be showing off a few of his prize cars at the event on Saturday

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A Tour All Along The Watchtower

August 18, 2022

Hey Joe, did you hear? One of Australia’s best blues and rock guitarists is bringing the Jimi Hendrix Experience to The Pub as part of two rock-and-roll shows hitting the venue in September.

Reviving Hendrix with all-star guitar licks, Steve Edmonds Band is travelling up the east coast of Oz for two performances at the Airlie Beach Hotel: one as the Jim Hendrix Tribute Show, and the other as his own Blues, Rock & Boogie extravaganza.

It starts on Saturday when the amp kicks in and the electric guitar starts purring with the two-part rock experience of the Steve Edmonds Band Jimi Hendrix Tribute Show.

This tour de force will have you on the air guitar as it pieces through Jimi Hendrix’s most popular tunes.

In part one, the band pay tribute to Hendrix’s most famous live performances from Woodstock to Monterey Pop, featuring classic hits like Voodoo Child, Foxy Lady, Purple Haze, Little Wing and many more favourites.

Then, in part two, Edmond’s and his band dedicate time to the classic rock songs of the 70s – anthems from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Doors, Thin Lizzy, Cream, ZZ Top and many more.

In a breathless-on-the-dance floor performance, they hammer through some of the biggest guitar anthems of the biggest bands of 70s rock in a must for fans of the great, classic style of guitar-driven rock.

It was the sound that made the 70s so iconic - and it’s certainly a not-to-miss for Jimi Hendrix devotees.

Then they’re back on Sunday with the Blues, Rock & Boogie Father’s Day special, a ferocious dose of killer classic rock, frighteningly funky blues, and monster guitar riffs.

From Sydney, the band has wowed audiences across the country with high-energy, funky blues, roots and rock.

They’re led by Steve Edmonds, whose professional career spans over three decades; a guitarist who’s recorded and toured with some of the country’s biggest luminaries: Jimmy Barnes, Billy Thorpe, Renee Geyer, Human Nature, Delta Goodrem, Shannon Noll, Doug Parkinson, Matt Finish, Hippo’s, Doug Williams, Australian Idol Band, and many more.

As singer, songwriter and band leader Edmonds has seen over three decades of constant sessions, touring, playing established festivals and creating residencies in an ailing live music environment on the East Coast of NSW.

He delivers a live set of killer music with skill and experience in his set that encompasses a wide variety of Roots/Rock/Blues music punctuated by Edmond’s acclaimed Hendrix and Vaughan interpretations, original material, hit list of classic rock guitar anthems and a respectful nod to some of the greatest feel-good bands and songs of our generation.

It’s a guaranteed knockout performance – the second in just as many days.

Grab your dad and treat him to a performance of the rock that had him in a Purple Haze for all of the 70s – rock on!

What: The Steve Edmonds Band ‘Hendrix and Heroes’ show, and Blues, Rock & Boogie show

When: Saturday, August 3, and Sunday, August 4 from 2.00pm to 5.30pm each day

Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel

Steve Edmonds Band is bringing two live shows to the Airlie Beach Hotel’s bar-top stage

The Hendrix and Heroes Show – a monster mashup of electric 70s anthems and the Blues, Rock & Boogie Show

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“Something You’ve Never Seen Before”: Freaks On Show In Airlie

August 18, 2022

A uniquely freaky production inspired by a Hollywood blockbuster is bringing its imagination defying, tantalising, and mystifying performances to Whitsunday audiences next week.

The World’s Greatest Freakshow is set to highlight the peerless talents of some of the most powerful, enchanting, and miraculous ‘freaks’ from across the country when it rolls into the Reef Gateway Hotel on August 25.

An all-new, Aussie-made production, The World’s Greatest Freakshow is a rotating roster of one-of-a-kind acts in a unique showcase of exquisite mastery ranging from the likes of contortionists to the pain-proof, from the satirical to the incandescent.

World’s Greatest Freakshow producer Darren Sutton – who himself has a long and storied career in entertainment - brought together his acts with one goal in mind: to amaze.

“I was watching the World’s Greatest Showman. It’s my favourite movie; an absolute blockbuster. In that, Hugh Jackman started a normal show – and it failed,” Sutton said.

“So, he said, ‘let’s get the freakiest people and make this the freakiest show on earth. So, I thought, why can’t we do that? We searched the whole of Australia to get the very best.”

And they did just that, collating a menagerie of ostentatious and freakish performers for their first travelling show up the east coast.

But there’s none in the show’s five-piece set of freaks like the mind-blowing Samora Squid, who leaves audiences questioning the bounds of human dexterity as a “natural contortionist.”

“My bones have the consistency of a jellyfish,” Samora said.

“I love what I do. But I think what I love most is our team: it’s like the X-Men, and our powers combined sort of thing. One minute you’ll see someone lay on a bed of nails, then while they’re still reeling from that, they’ll see someone lift a bowling ball with just their tongue.

“People have just had their mind blown and that just keeps happening; it’s a cavalcade of extraordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

Samora said he was excited to be bringing the show to Airlie Beach.

“For people in the city they’re a lot more likely to see something like this. You go to Vegas, that’s what it’s known for. It’s not what Bundaberg and Rockhampton are known for – or Airlie Beach,” he said.

“What I want from the audience is the response to the intrinsic part of being human: spectacle. People connect through shared spectacle; they are absolutely essential to the human condition.

“I can’t wait to bring that visceral, involuntary reaction to Airlie Beach.”

What: World’s Greatest Freakshow

When: Thursday, August 25 at 7pm

Where: Reef Gateway Hotel

Tickets: $69.90 at OzTix

Samora Squid is just one of five freaks coming to Airlie Beach as part of The World’s Greatest Freakshow next week

World’s strangest strongman The Great Gordo Gamsby is another set to amaze during the show at the Reef Gateway

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Movie Review Phantom of the Open

August 18, 2022

We seem to be in an era of quaint, British everyman films. Films where men like Maurice Flitcroft stand up to a stuffy establishment and – politely, mind – say “I’ll have a crack.” Often delightful films where we’re whisked away to a simpler time (persistently set in post-World War Two) where hope and change are inseparable.

Director Craig Robert’s ‘Phantom of the Open’ is just one such a tale. A biopic based on an incredulously true story that warms the heart. And, unlike its referential namesake, is no musical, but instead an optimistic vignette of one man’s dream-chasing.

Maurice Flitcroft, that dreamer, was (at least in the real world) a chain-smoking, shipyard crane-operator from Barrow-in-Furness, a small port town close to England’s Lake District.

In Robert’s true-to-life rendition of Flitcroft (played in earnest, lovable and daffy fashion by Mark Rylance), we follow a man of aspiring dreams who has put those dreams on hold for his family. In an occupational ennui, Flitcroft decides upon a late-in-life charge to finally meet his lofty ambitions. He endeavours to participate in the British Open Golf Championship – much to the ire of the golfing upper crust.

The crux of the matter is that he’s never played a round of golf before. But this is an extraordinary story of an ordinary man.

With the support by his family and friends, he manages to gain entry to the 1976 British Open qualifying, and with pluckiness and unwavering self-belief, Flitcroft pulls off a series of stunning, hilarious and touching attempts to compete at the highest level of professional golf – becoming likely “the world’s worst sportsman” and a cult hero along the way.

Uplifting and moving, The Phantom of the Open manages the balance between comedy and drama deftly, all the while illuminating a man who pursued his dreams and shot for the stars, no matter what hand he was dealt.

You can watch the hole-in-one film Phantom of the Open (M) at Bowen Summergarden Cinema from August 20.

Marky Rylance is a delight in the whimsical comedy, Phantom of the Open

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August 18, 2022
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Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! A Dancing Queen Revival

August 11, 2022

Look into these Angeleyes, because you ain’t seen nothin’ yet; The Pub is set to turn into a Summer Night City of synth, high energy, and soprano when SOS – A Tribute to the Songs of ABBA rolls into the coastal town.

Voulez-Vous, come dance with me, Fernando? I can hear the distant drums and bugle sounds closing in on the Airlie Beach Hotel. Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha, and Freda are back and As Good As New in this perfect recreation of the Swedish supergroup.

SOS are armed to the teeth with fantastic costumes, incredible vocal talents, animated ABBA dance moves, and even crazy Swedish accents.

For years these band members have been leading a double life; by day, they’re mild-mannered Australian musicians, but by night, they’re crazy ABBA fans with a healthy love of all things Swedish and an obsession with 70’s disco music.

They banded together to obsessively re-create the sound, music and look of the Swedish pop sensation they loved so dearly. Now, they walk out on stage, leaving behind their everyday lives and transform into rock stars as The Australian ABBA Tribute Show.

Sam Bennet, who fills the shoes and takes up the pick as SOS’s Bjorn, said that audiences in the Whitsundays should “Bring their Chiquititas”.

“This will be the furthest north we’ve ever been and, being from Melbourne with the cold and rain, I cannot overstate how excited we are for some sunshine,” Sam said.

“I’ve been with SOS for the past eight years, and what I love about ABBA is that it’s multi-generational and it reaches everyone.

“You can tell how much it means to people – there’s always a song in the set where there’s a twinkle in their eye that they’re remembering a moment in their life. Whether that be heartbreak, love, it’s a real honour to perform that music.”

Sam said the group doesn’t just perform to emulate the records, they match the energy that audiences saw when ABBA played at Wembley or the Sydney Mine Music Bowl.

“We match that energy and the arrangements we use are often based on those live performances rather than the records,” Sam said.

“The one thing we try and do is give the audience an experience of what ABBA was in the 70s and 80s.”

Patrons at The Airlie Beach Hotel are in for two free shows (that’s right! For absolutely no Money, Money, Money): one on Saturday August 27, and (Mama Mia, here we go again) another on Sunday, August 28, when SOS take the Bar Top stage one last time!

Put On Your White Sombrero for their afternoon shows from 2.00pm to 5.30pm!

What: SOS – The Australian ABBA Tribute Show

When: Saturday and Sunday, August 27 and 28, from 2.00pm to 5.30pm both days

Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel

The Airlie Beach Hotel is eagerly awaiting the Arrival of SOS – The Australian ABBA Tribute Show in late August

They faithfully recreate not just the sound, but the look and theatrics of the Swedish supergroup

Make sure to “bring your Chiquititas” for the show at The Pub

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Eat Street, Sideshow Amusements, Fireworks, And More At Whitsunday Christian College

August 11, 2022

Whitsunday Christian College, a local Prep – Year 12 school is inviting the community along to celebrate its 25th anniversary in late August with ‘A Night Under the Stars’ event.

Whitsunday Christian College will open its doors on Friday, August 26, bringing together families and the wider community to enjoy an event where music, market stalls, Eat Street, fireworks and a movie under the stars will celebrate the school’s special anniversary.

“We would like to use this special event to open up the College and connect with the local community, offering a family experience” Whitsunday Christian College Principal Kylie Langshore said.

A Night Under the Stars will be held across the campus and invite families to weave through the school both geographically and interactively, enticing people to explore the grounds and meet the school community.  

A petting zoo, inflatables zone, an art exhibition, book fair, and sideshow amusements will be spread out across the campus, lit by festoon lighting to capture the Eat Street atmosphere.

The event will also see students hosting fete and market stalls, and even performing on the big stage. Iterations of songs like Wherever I Go, Wakka Wakka, and Footloose, will be performed by classes from Prep up to Year 12.

Stalls developed and run by staff and students will include games like Pie Face, Chocolate Bed, The REEL Deal, Balloon Darts and even a Donut Bake Sale.

To showcase the night theme, families will be given the opportunity to enter the ‘Star Gazers Lucky Stars Competition’ where they will need to find and collect stars from around the College to go into the draw to win a Nintendo Switch Lite.

“The whole concept of building community is important to us, and that’s what we want to achieve with this event. Come by, stick around, enjoy some fun, have a meal, watch a movie, and enjoy the winter weather.

“We’re honouring the past, celebrating the present and looking towards the future with this community event.”

Starting at 4.00pm, A Night Under the Stars will run until 8.30pm, with food stalls, sideshow amusements, fireworks, and will conclude with a movie from 8.30pm – 10pm.

WHAT: A Night Under The Stars (Family Event)

WHERE: Whitsunday Christian College

WHEN: Friday, August 26 from 4pm

Whitsunday Christian College Principal Kylie Langshore and students are looking forward to their Night Under the Stars event in late August.

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Movie Review Lee Kernaghan: Boy From The Bush

August 11, 2022

It’s been billed as a part-concert film and part-road movie, showcasing “stunning local landscapes, remarkable people and amazing stories”. Lee Kernaghan: Boy From The Bush, comes from the minds behind “Slim and I”, the famed documentary-style story on Slim Dusty’s life.

Poignant, in a way, seeing as Kernaghan has equalled Slim’s record of 37 Golden Guitar Awards, and has certainly had a celebrated country music career that might even rival the Australian icons.

Lee may well have picked up the pick, just where Slim left it. He’s shaped a generation and made a huge impact on the country music scene both in Australia and around the world. He has become a part of the outback; something he calls “more than a setting” in the film.

“It’s a character in our shared story,” he says. “But when you take a place, a person, a time, a story and wrap it up in words and music, that’s magic.”

And it certainly is magic. The film features live performances of some of Lee’s greatest hits and even a brand-new song. It also details the local landscapes, people and stories that have inspired him throughout his 30-year career.

It’s a film not just for the urbanites, but for everyone; it pushes the format of concert-films before it by being interspersed with documentary vignettes, filled with sweeping shots across the outback and countryside, as Kernaghan takes audiences on the road and speaks to the rural life and community that colours his lyrics.

It’s a “tone poem”; a love letter to rural Australia, as seen through the prism of Lee’s songs and stories.

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Closing With a Bang

August 12, 2022

The week-long regatta will come to a close next Thursday evening with live entertainment, food vans and a fantastic firework display at the Festival Village.

Happy yet weary sailors will raise a glass to the week’s activities and the winners of each division will be officially announced, as well as the overall winners.

Two special awards will also be handed out – a prize going to the best local boat and the Boss Hog award which is given each year to a sailor that has gone out of his or her way for others and best embodies the true character of the event.

This year for the first time, there will be a lucky draw with over $3000 dollars’ worth of marine electronics up for grabs thanks to Twenty 16 Communications.

Bring the family along to the celebrations, enjoy some hot food from one of the food vans and listen to some reggae beats from ‘The Feels’ who kick-off at 6.30pm.

The fireworks will illuminate the sky at 8pm, a worthy finale to a huge week of on-water action and on-land festivity.

Airlie Beach Race week is not just for sailors, this is also a community event and everyone is invited to come down to the Festival Village, enjoy the atmosphere and get an insight into the friendship and camaraderie that exemplifies our vibrant local boating culture.

When: Thursday, August 18

What: Airlie Beach Race week closing ceremony

Time: From 6.30pm

Fireworks: 8pm

Soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the Festival Village

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Get Set For Lay Day Activities

August 12, 2022

There’s no need to get the lay day blues when there’s plenty to explore in the Airlie Beach area – here are our top picks for a fun filled day!

• Set sail on a skippered yacht charter – put your feet up and let the skilled hosts of popular local charter boat ‘Wings’ guide you around to the best snorkel spots, Whitehaven Beach or perhaps for a sunset cruise.

• A day of comfort and style awaits aboard the stately MV Nancy Wake, Sealink’s new Whitsunday Island Day Cruise which includes a guided tour of the islands, delicious lunch and Whitehaven Beach.

• Eat, drink and be merry in Airlie Beach. Enjoy bistro classics and sea views on the balcony at the Whitsunday Sailing Club, delicious Italian cuisine at La Tabella, tasty pub classics and free live music at the Airlie Beach Hotel, succulent seafood at Fish D’Vine and finger-licking chicken wings at Mika.

• Treat yourself to a luxurious night on-land at the stunning Toscana, Italian inspired self-catered apartments perched majestically on the hillside with aerial sea views, just minutes’ walk from the heart of Airlie Beach.

• Addicted to nautical gadgets? Head to Twenty 16 Communications and browse their diverse range of items to enhance your boating experience. From chart plotters to thermal imaging, mobile phone boosters and marine radios – they’ve got you covered!

• Discover the road less travelled with Ocean Roads who have recently launched a Creek to Cape tour which encompasses Cedar Creek Falls and Cape Gloucester. Explore nature and enjoy a relaxed day travelling in comfort and style on their brand-new Iveco bus.

• Need a ride? Heart of the Reef Shuttles meets every flight arriving and departing from Whitsunday Coast Airport.

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Ocean Beats

August 12, 2022

Renowned for its vibrant social scene as well as on-water action, the Airlie Beach Race Week is a party-goers paradise, and the evening atmosphere at the Festival Village promises to get the crowd moving to the beat, serenaded by a host of live performers.

From the sweet reggae beats of ‘The Feels’ to the dramatic drum sets of the Mason Rack Band and the acoustic wizardry of Matt Angell, the live music boasts both huge variety and quality entertainment.

Overlooking the Coral Sea, the Festival Village offers 180-degree views of the ocean, an ideal place to watch the sunset over Pioneer Bay.

Delicious Treats

Inside the sailing club you will find the bistro open every day, offering pub classics like burgers, pizzas, steaks, pasta and of course seafood. Dine inside the spacious restaurant area or head outside to the large al fresco balcony with views of the sea.

Throughout Race Week, the Festival Village will host a variety of food vans who will operate under the stars. Both community members and sailors are invited to gather and soak up the atmosphere, enjoying the festivities while sampling the array of delicious treats from the food vans while moving to the beats of the live music band.

Dine on the lawn and watch the boats bob on the water nearby while mingling with nautical folk who love sharing a good time and a good story.

What: Live Music every night aside from Lay Day

When: 6.30pm onwards (from 4.30pm on Sunday)

See full event schedule on page 18

Jazz vocalist Emma Pask

The Mason Rack Band

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Goggles On, Sails Up!

August 12, 2022

Race Week veteran Jason Ruckert, known to everyone (including his daughter) as “Goggles”, is celebrating almost 20 years competing in the event alongside his three dedicated crew members.

Earlier this week, they drove his seven metre trailable boat, Mister Magoo, up the coast from Brisbane and will be competing in trailable division this year.

Previously the team have competed with some of the biggest fleets including the sports boats and performance divisions.

Since 2016, Mister Magoo has won their division four times with the crew adept at understanding both the vessel and each other, having sailed together for over 13 years.

Based in Manly near Brisbane, Goggles first came to Airlie Beach in 2004 when he competed for the National Sports Boats title, taking home second place.

From that moment, the Whitsundays became an annual event for him and his sailing buddies who brought the sailing boat ‘Gone Troppo’ here in 2006 and then continued competing with Mister Magoo in future years.

“We love the mixture of passage races round the islands,” said Goggles.

“That, and you guys have a massive beer tent! We love the social side and meeting all the North Queensland guys!”

A ‘wharfy’ by trade and turning 50 this year, Goggles has enjoyed a lifelong passion for the sport having initially taken it up with his dad who was a skiff sailor.

Together they sailed at Skiff Clubs around the country, and it wasn’t long before they purchased a trailer sailor.

Spending most of the year competing in regattas in Southeast Queensland, the Airlie Beach Race Week is their favourite “big event” and one they look forward to each year.

Make sure you look out for them over the week and wish them luck in sailing home with a winner again this year.

Look out for the bright orange sail of Mister Magoo

Goggles and his crew navigating the course

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Young Champ Sets Sail

August 12, 2022

Earning his stripes sailing Skiffs from a young age and graduating to Lasers more recently, Joshua King has just been nominated for Queensland Youth Sailor of the Year having achieved a series of successes at both state championships and local regattas over the past two years.

At just 13-years-old, Josh is proving he has the mettle and determination to compete and often pop out of the fleet to dominate a race, showing his worth against other sailors of all ages.

“It’s the competition side of it I love,” explained Josh.

“I am quite competitive myself and the fact that everything with sailing is really close all the time is really cool.

“Anyone can win and it’s super competitive – the difference between first and second can be only a point or less which makes it a really exciting sport.”

Contending in the Laser division of the Queensland State Championships in his first regatta in Bowen last year, Josh came 11th place.

His following competition in Yeppoon later that year, however, was Queensland Youth State Championships and, incredibly he sailed away with second place.

Gaining confidence with every race, Josh went on to compete in as many regional regattas as possible throughout Queensland and consistently achieved top three placements.

Earlier this year at the North Queensland Championships, which were held on his home turf at the Whitsunday Sailing Club, Josh won the entire event with a day to spare.

Bringing this success to the 2022 Queensland State Championships in Brisbane, Josh took out the competition, coming in first place, just one point ahead of the nearest competitor.

“It was light winds so not as many races in as we hoped, but it was really good to get a win at that event, I definitely wasn’t expecting it!” he said.

Josh has recently returned from Youth Sail Queensland in Brisbane with the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron where, despite being in the lead going into the last race, narrowly missed out on a win, coming in second place.

Celebrating achievements and learning from losses, Josh is focusing on fine-tuning his skills, participating in training clinics and preparing himself for the next Youth Championships.

Discovering a love for sailing from a young age when he would jump aboard his dad’s trimaran, you will find Josh part of the crew on M32 competing in this high performance catamaran in the multi hull racing division at this year’s Race Week.

Josh King was recently nominated for Queensland Youth Sailor of the Year

Josh King in action sailing his Laser

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A Tropical Long Lunch

August 12, 2022

One of the most popular social events of Airlie Beach Race Week is back this year and organisers are pleased to bring a Pacific Island extravaganza to the Tropical Island themed Long Lunch and Wine Tasting.

Held on Sunday, August 14, the lunch is set to be one of the region’s best culinary events of the year and features five courses which are each paired with matching wines.

Enjoy a lime and lemon sorbet to cleanse the palette, followed by marinated baby octopus, beef carpaccio, baked coral trout and then finished with a vanilla bean panna cotta.  

All dishes are prepared utilising the best local produce, showcasing the various cuisines from the islands, including tropical fruits, seafoods and other delicacies.

Each course has been specially designed by the head chef and inspired by her Fijian culture.

This fragrant festival of food is set to the backdrop of the Coral Sea with the elegant long table setting located on the Sailing Club balcony which overlooks Pioneer Bay and the racecourse with the opportunity to see colourful sails glide by on the horizon.

The afternoon kicks off at noon and guests are welcome to stay on into the evening festivities with Emma Pask and the All Stars playing on the Festival Village lawn directly below the balcony from 4.30pm.

What: Tropical Island Long Table Lunch

Where: The balcony at Whitsunday Sailing Club

Time: 12pm until late

Price: $115

Book: Whitsunday Tickets

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Airlie Celebrates 34 Years Of Race Week

August 12, 2022

Yachts of every shape, size and style have been sailing into the bustling nautical town of Airlie Beach for the past few weeks, arriving from all over the country to fill marinas and moorings, dotting almost every inch of the horizon with masts and beaming white hulls.

The Whitsundays is now hosting 180 boats with 1,400 crew and a total of 2,500 race week attendees when you include the boat’s support teams and this year is set to be the biggest yet.

Dating back to 1988, Airlie Beach Race Week was started by Don Algie, owner of the Australian franchise of Hogs Breath.

Beginning as the ‘Hog’s Breath Cruising Classic’, the event was part of the annual Whitsunday Fun Race until its popularity saw it branch out on its own to become the regatta we know and love today.

By 2000 the Airlie Beach Race Week was regularly attracting 70 entries annually and a record-breaking 132 boats competed in the 2003 regatta.

In 2020 the Airlie Beach Race Week was one of the only regattas in the country to host an event despite the pandemic limiting numbers.

This year, organisers say they are looking forward to the biggest year in the event’s history.

Separate column – photo 2

Message from the Race Director

Welcome to the 34th Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing at Whitsunday Sailing Club.  After the highs and lows of the past couple of years, it is great to finally see a record fleet here in Airlie Beach.  The large fleet has thrown the organising committee some challenges, particularly securing sufficient berthing for the fleet, but once again our team has done a wonderful job in fitting everyone in.

Once again, the on-water team will be working hard to ensure 6 days of fantastic racing around the waters and islands of the Whitsundays.  A fleet in excess of 180 boats makes for exciting sailing on the water and a great experience on shore. The fleet has been split into 15 divisions (another record) to ensure that similar boats are in direct competition.

As in recent years the regatta will start with the mass start race out to Double Cones Island.  This has become a regatta tradition, and with the large fleet will provide a wonderful spectacle for competitors, spectators and media alike. The spectacle of 180 boats, mostly under spinnaker, heading off together is really something to be experienced.

On shore, the festival village has again moved back to its traditional location on the lawns of the club, with the marquee, entertainment and plenty of food vans and bars.  Upstairs, the club’s bistro and bar will be open, with the balcony overlooking the village.  The Long Lunch on Sunday will also be held on the balcony, providing guests with an opportunity to look out over the racing area.

We look forward to seeing you all on the water and at the social events ashore.

Ross Chisholm

Regatta Chairman and Race Director

Airlie Beach Race Week attracts record number of yachties to biggest year yet!

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RACE WEEK ON NOW 34th Airlie Beach Race Week Sets Sail Today

August 12, 2022

A record number of yachts from as far afield as Western Australia and Tasmania have sailed into the Whitsundays in recent weeks to compete in the 34th annual Airlie Beach Race Week.

Following on from a challenging few years with state borders closing just days before the 2021 event, last year saw 102 entries cancelling within a week.

Back better than ever before, organisers are now excited to see the regatta reinstated to its former glory in 2022, with an impressive 180 boats competing across 15 divisions.

“It’s been wonderful to get so many boats this year and we are thrilled to see the event return to this size at last,” said Robin Ross, General Manager of Whitsunday Sailing Club.

“To put an event of this scale on for the town and for Queensland is pretty awesome!”

Whitsunday Sailing Club General Manager Robin Ross, Race Director Ross Chisholm and Sailing Club Commadore Heather Sutton aboard Airlie Beach Race Week’s start boat

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Movie Review The Reef: Stalked

August 4, 2022

It’s coming up on five decades since the release of (potentially) cinemas all-time greatest blockbuster, Stephen Spielberg’s Jaws.

And yet we’re still infatuated with the nightmare-fuelling fish; shark thrillers have populated the bargain bins of the late Blockbuster Videos (and now supermarkets) since time immemorial. The shark thriller became its own subgenre of horror in the chum-filled wake of the Orca, and the imitators keep surfacing to this day, hoping to catch a morsel of that success.

But the stumble for most shark schlock – where they end up dead in the water – is that they focus on the fish.

Jaws isn’t about the shark.

The shark is a sparingly used story beat; it drives together our three, starkly different main characters. Now that might be the conceit of a story critiquing capitalism, but the idea still rings true.

The best of the horror genre in recent years have employed that trop: there’s a ‘monster behind the monster’.

In the case of Andrew Traucki’s film, The Reef: Stalked, the shark doesn’t represent capitalism or class war; the shark represents domestic violence and the post-traumatic stress disorder that comes with it.

A sequel to The Reef, Traucki’s 2010 feature film, The Reef: Stalked is another Bowen-filmed shark story, but one that this time employs an almost entirely female cast to battle a hefty shark near the Great Barrier Reef.

The past shapes this story where, after witnessing her sister's horrific murder by an abusive partner, who drowned her in her own bathtub, Teressa Liane’s Nic travels to a tropical resort with her friends for a kayaking excursion – one which inevitably goes wrong.

Only hours in, the women are stalked and then attacked by – you guessed it - a great white shark, and Nic must overcome her post-traumatic stress to survive.

For a shark thriller with fifty-years of well-worn track behind it, The Reef: Stalked is a competent suspense horror with an admirable treatise on domestic violence – and certainly one Bowen audiences will enjoy knowing many of its scenes took place at Queens Beach.

The Reef: Stalked opens at Bowen Summergarden Cinema on Friday, August 12 at 6:45pm.

Andrew Traucki’s The Reef: Stalked was filmed in Bowen over six weeks, and will release at the Summergarden Cinema in early August

Image: Declan Durrant

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The Sailors Say, “Brandy, You’re A Fine Girl”

July 28, 2022

If You Like Pina Coladas, and singing along at The Pub, then you’re in for smooth Sailing courtesy of a soft-rock octet cruising to the Whitsunday shores in early August.

There’s set to be a Summer Breeze blowing in the Airlie Beach Hotel when the eight-member band Yacht Rock Revival pay tribute to the definition of ‘70s light rock, coinciding with the sailing sensation that is Airlie Beach Race Week.

Soulful, well-constructed groove, baby; if you’ve ever heard the Doobie Brothers fronted by Michael McDonald doing What A Fool Believes in, that’s Yacht Rock!

A collection of your favourite sounds, songs, and grooves from an era when ‘smooth’ meant everything. When artists like Fleetwood Mac, Hall and Oates, The Eagles, and America were kings and queens of the charts.

It’s like a sunset on the Santa Monica pier, walking hand-in-hand with your baby, matching gold-tone bracelets jingling as the ocean breeze caresses your moustache. The two of you stare out into the ever-deepening blue to think, in tandem: "Yeah, this is how it should always be".

When that foghorn blows, hold onto your captain’s hat because there’s an effortless cool flowing through your favourite local – we all love a bit of that sweetly unique ‘70s sound.

The Melbourne-based band recapture the time when music mellowed out and smooth sounds and Sunkissed melodies took over the airwaves – and they’re decked out in retro, nautical costumes to boot.

Band frontwoman Susan Marsden said they’ll be performing two afternoon shows at the Airlie Beach Hotel on August 13 and 14.

“We can’t wait to be in Airlie Beach – if there’s anywhere that sings yacht rock and smooth ‘70s tunes, it’s the Whitsundays,” she said.

“Be ready for songs that are slicker than slick and enormously well-played, from the melodically clever to the harmonically unexpected.”

By the end of their set, you’ll be singing: Ooh-ooh-hoo, no, Baby, please don't go

What: Yacht Rock Revival

When: 2.00pm to 5.30pm Saturday, August 13, and Sunday, August 14

Where: Airlie Beach Hotel

Yacht Rock are sailing up to the Whitsunday waters direct to perform at the Airlie Beach Hotel

The Melbourne-based band are groovy as can be, performing the very best of Fleetwood Mac, Hall and Oates, The Eagles, and more

They’ll be soft-rocking out at The Pub on Saturday and Sunday, August 13 and 14

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Movie Review: Bullet Train

July 28, 2022

David Leitch’s Bullet Train is drenched in neon. A modern-day Japan besieged on all sides by dripping stylism. It’s a visual treat - both in its choreographed action and neo-noir visage - where the directors previous work on John Wick mixes with his Deadpool 2 and gets wackier and more vibrant for it.

This star-studded action comedy is based on Kôtarô Isaka’s novel Maria Beetle and reminds of Leitch’s solo directorial debut: the Charlize Theron led Atomic Blonde.

Aboard the world’s fastest train, Brad Pitt plays Ladybug, an unlucky assassin on his first job back after a self-chosen sabbatical. His handler, Maria Ladybug, is played with a sultry and laconic style by Sandra Bullock, who’s hand-picked his mission.

He was looking for an easy job to get him back in his groove – but his luck still hasn’t turned.

This latest foray into the assassination world puts him on a collision course with lethal adversaries from around the globe - all with connected, yet conflicting, objectives. Six assassins played by a who’s who of stars crash his party: Zazie Beetz, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Logan Lerman, Hiroyuki Sanada, and even Porto-Rican singer Bad Bunny.

It’s a story of dark-comic glee where there’s no grand cultural idea at stake, just the irresponsible pleasure of sheer entertainment where the end of the line is only the beginning.

It’s a wild, non-stop thrill ride, only helped by the performances. Each actor is undoubtedly having a blast, especially Pitt, decked out in a white bucket hat and thick glasses. Bullet Train is an absolute riot, and certainly one to catch when it hits cinemas.

See Bullet Train at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema, opening Friday, August 5.

Bradd Pitt plays Ladybug, an assassin down on his luck, in Bullet Train

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A Charitable Christmas In July

July 28, 2022

Grey nomads and tourists enjoyed an enormous, annual dinner courtesy of BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort on Monday night, all in the name of a local cause.

An event that has been running for over two decades, the Christmas In July celebration is just one of the holiday park’s fundraising dinners which regularly run during the busy season.

Grey Nomads who have been travelling to the region for as long as the event itself – and sometimes longer – sat around long tables, enjoyed party games, were serenaded by Coral C Voices choir, and ate a roast dinner.

“We make different occasions like an Asian night where we have Thai Dancing and all Thai food, but Christmas In July is always the biggest,” owner of BIG4 Whitsundays, Greg McKinnon said.

“It started many years ago as just cake, tea, and coffee for free, and people were saying they needed a meal, so then we started barbecues and it grew out of that.”

Mr McKinnon said the Christmas In July event is the largest of their fundraising dinners throughout the year – with Monday night hosting around 100 guests.

The event was all in the name of this year’s fundraising project for BIG4: Airlie Beach local, Louise Meadows, a woman with a rare degenerative optical disease called Stargardt’s Dystrophy.

Ms Meadows has lost a critical portion of her central vision – over 70 per cent – but is assisted by her loyal Guide Dog, Hector.

The funds this year will all go directly towards medical support for Louise, as well as Guide Dogs Queensland for training and housing.

Mr McKinnon said BIG4 would have raised somewhere in the figure of $300 thousand for charities over the events lifetime.

Coral C Voices choir serenaded the Christmas in July celebrations at BIG4 Whitsunday Resort’s fundraising event

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Local Zonta Unite For Ukrainian Fundraiser

July 21, 2022

A local service organisation will be hosting a fundraiser in late July, raising money for the humanitarian crisis evolving in Ukraine.

The ZONTA Club of Whitsundays are hosting the United Nations Long lunch to be held at the Whitsunday Marine Club (VMR) on the July 30, starting at 12noon.

ZONTA committee member and organiser of the event, Betty Whitehorn, said an international theme will be followed through on all levels.

“Commencing with a welcoming vodka shot, or a soft drink if preferred on arrival, followed by fabulous international cuisine and entertainment,” Ms Whitehorn said.

“Guests are asked to dress up in a national costume or wear blue and yellow - the colours of the Ukrainian flag.”

Throughout the event Ms Whitehorn said there will be a multitude of raffles, including Hampers filled with international food and wine, a lucky door prize, best dressed prizes for both men and women and an auction – which includes a Port Douglas Holiday donated by Astrid Bourke from Luxury Holidays.

“All money raised will go toward helping the women and children in Ukraine, through ZONTA International channels,” Ms Whitehorn said.

“In the beautiful Whitsundays, we are so fortunate; let us share our luck and prosperity and get together with open hearts, not only to have a fabulous day, but to support Ukrainian women and children whose lives are in upheaval.”

Tickets are only $65 and are selling fast, available at Whitsunday tickets under the name Zonta ‘s United Nations Long Lunch.

The ZONTA Club of Whitsundays are raising funds for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine through a United Nations Long Lunch

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A Fresh Take On The Rocks’ Coral Sea Cuisine

July 21, 2022

The Rocks Restaurant at Coral Sea Resort is stepping up its culinary game, combining some of the best views in the Whitsundays with a modern Australian menu created by its new chef: Michael Dominici.

Michael has decade long career spanning across Hamilton Island, Hayman Island and the Gold Coast, and his menu refresh at The Rocks is focused on dishes that showcase the best local and Australian produce.

The pick of the bunch is his signature ‘Rock’ entrée, an edible work of art featuring specially prepared black onyx beef fillet with yuzu spiced dressing, mustard and charred shallot.

“My favourite dish is our South Australian Lamb backstrap main, wrapped in house made lamb bacon, served with pea emulsion and a mint glaze,” said Michael.

“I can’t wait to start serving it.”

Michael is most excited about the freshly caught fish of the day options including Whitsundays snapper perfumed with the scent of citrus and smoking paperbark.

“The best seafood is the fish you can catch right out the front. Our fishermen have boats running up and down miles of coastline here, and I’m also using the strong local supplier relationships I built in my previous head chef roles to bring the best produce to diners at The Rocks,” Michael said.

The Rocks patrons can enjoy the coral sea breeze while working their tan and their tastebuds over lunch, dining alfresco in the recently refurbished, relaxing poolside surrounds – courtesy of Michael’s new menu.

Michael Dominici is adding a different spice to the Rocks Restaurant’s as its newest chef

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Rhythm And Blues At The Airlie Beach Hotel

July 21, 2022

I Heard It Through The Grapevine that a 9-piece powerhouse band of internationally renowned singers and musicians will burst onto the stage at The Pub on August 6 and 7.

The Airlie Beach Hotel is bringing some of the world’s top talent to its coastal residence as part of the Great Barrier Reef Festival, showering the beachside town in a faithful recreation of Motown.

A show that’s previously sold out the Sydney Opera House amongst other incredible venues, Dancing In The Shadows Of Motown will be making its way to the bar-top stage at everyone’s favourite local entirely free for audiences.

The show recreates the dynamism of live performances from bands like The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Martha and The Vandellas, The Four Tops, Fontella Bass, The Jackson Five, Junior Walker and more of Motown’s magic musicians.

This amazing show of classic hits includes songs like Reach Out, Stop In The Name Of Love, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, Heatwave, Dancing in The Streets, Uptight, Signed Sealed Delivered, You keep Me Hanging On, What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Standing On Shakey Ground, My Girl and so many more.

Its powerful voices and incredible musicians include Patou Powell, a double ARIA Winner from the Melbourne Ska Orchestra; vocalist Franchesca Appolis of The Starlettes fame; Kimi Tupaea on vocals; songstress Veena Rao; Matt Roberts on guitar; Jason Bruer on Sax; and Greg Carger on trumpet -as well as Sam Boyd, Andy Byrnes, and Craig Bodinnar.

The voices of Kimi Tupaea, Evelyn Duprai, Francesca Appolis and Pat Powell are supreme, with Matt Robert's voice and exceptional guitar work leaving audiences breathless.

Craig Bodinnar slaps his bass, powering on with split bleeding fingers to keep the magic alive in Motown, while Andy Byrnes nails it on the drums – a groove master – and then, Wes Harder on keys is a soulful triumph.

There’s a reason this showtime Motown extravaganza has sold out such iconic venues, and they’ll be at the Airlie Beach Hotel – Signed, Sealed, Delivered – on Saturday August 6 and Sunday August 7 from 2.00pm to 5.30pm.

Come and dance the afternoon away!

Dancing In The Shadows Of Motown is making its way to The Whitsundays, courtesy of Airlie Beach Hotel

The famous show has sold out venues like the Sydney Opera House, and will be playing entirely free for audiences in early August at The Pub

The 9 piece of performers is an incredible recreation of Motowns most iconic classics

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Minions: The Rise Of Gru

July 21, 2022

There’s no reason to really tread new ground in the Despicable Me franchise – it’s whacky, goofball stuff all the way down has kept working for it each time.

In fact, it’s strangely paying dividends this time, you might have seen it in the news: it has traction with a counter-culture movement of teenage boys dressed in suits, coordinated on Tik Tok, calling themselves Gentleminions.

What a horrid portmanteau.

This newest iteration - the second in the series putting the adventures of the Minions front and centre - follows that familiar rail track of madcap silliness and raspberry blowing.

Minions: The Rise of Gru is where the bean-shaped evil-groupies deliver a concentrated hit of irrepressible, coocoo nonsense. It’s a bit of harmless fun – just like those hordes of Gentleminions heading to cinemas across the globe to watch what they’re calling a “cinematic classic comparable to The Godfather”.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming, though: in the heart of the 1970s, amid a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, Gru (Oscar nominee Steve Carell, you heard it right) is growing up in the suburbs as a fanboy of a supervillain supergroup known as the Vicious 6.

Hatching a plan to become evil enough to join them, he gets some mayhem-making backup from his loyal followers, the Minions.

Together with Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto - a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please - deploy their skills as they and Gru build their first lair, experiment with their first weapons and pull off their first missions.

And, when the Vicious 6 oust their leader, legendary fighter Wild Knuckles (That’s right, it’s Oscar winner Alan Arkin), Gru interviews to become their newest member.

It doesn't go well (to say the least), and only gets worse after Gru outsmarts them and suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil.

This kid’s film is certainly enjoying a bit of the spotlight thanks to its ironic audience of kids having fun but is also a bit of fun in its own right – so catch Minions: The Rise of Gru at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema.

Showing next weekend, Saturday July 30, 3.20pm and Sunday July 31, 3.20pm

Minions: The Rise of Gru

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Fete One Week Out

July 21, 2022

There’s always something for everyone at the Cannonvale State Primary School Fete, and this year’s no different.

The annual fete has become one of the region’s biggest events, especially for local families who enjoy the opportunity to spend a day in the sun enjoying the rides.

Set for Sunday, July 31 from 10.00am to 2.00pm, the Cannonvale State School Fete will transform the school into a celebratory stadium of shows, stalls, and tasty treats.

Rides this year include Dodgem Cars, Sizzler, King Flyer, Super Slide, Roller Coaster, Cannibal Pots (Tea Cup Ride), Merry Go Round, Paw Patrol, Lost World and Dora Combo Castle.

This year there’s also set to be live entertainment alongside the smorgasbord of food like fairy floss, hamburgers, and a sausage sizzle.

But, for students heading to the event, there’s no more appealing stall than the Dunk A Teacher – an ever-popular choice for kids looking to soak their favourite teacher in the name of a bit of fun.

The best part of the day: all funds raised will go towards new playgrounds for the students.

President of the Cannonvale State School Parents and Association (P&C), Sabrina Mitchell was so excited to host what she said would be an amazing event for the whole region.

“There’s more to do than just rides, and it’s not just for Cannonvale State School teachers, students and parents; it’s for the community,” Ms Mitchell said.

“It’s about community and family fun.”

Ride tickets are running at $30 dollar presale for unlimited rides, or can be purchased on the day for $35.

The Cannonvale State School Fete is just on the horizon, with organisers excited to show the community the “bigger and better” event this year

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Let’s Make Some Noise!

July 21, 2022

The Airlie Beach Festival of Music’s tenth anniversary just got noisier with the announcement that Jon Stevens, Masters of Pop, Loonaloop and more are joining the line-up.

Acts like Ben Ransom, The Re-Mains, Niksta, The Hipshooters, Matt Angell and The Gold Diggers, Salt and Steel, and Tropical State of Mind, will be joining the all-star line-up for the November 4 to 6 Festival.

Finding fame firstly as the lead singer of Noiseworks, followed by a stint as frontman of INXS, and latterly collaborating with Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics, Jon Stevens is widely recognised as one of the most talented rock musicians to emerge from Australia in recent memory.

Having performed and holidayed in the Whitsundays many times before, but never at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, Stevens is counting down the days to what has become one of Queensland’s most iconic live music events.

“I’ve heard lots of great reports about the Airlie Beach festival over the years and have always wanted to perform there,” he said.

“I can’t wait to play this festival and share the stage with all the amazing Australian artists on the line-up.

“I’ll be performing all the hits from Noiseworks and INXS – you may never see me do this show again, so I encourage people not to miss it.”

Festival founder, Gavin Butlin said there was something for literally everyone at this 10th anniversary event.

“The Airlie Beach Festival of Music has a well-deserved reputation for always delivering a diverse line-up and this milestone in the event’s history definitely won’t disappoint,” he said.

To purchase tickets or for more information visit www.airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au, and follow @airliebeachfestivalofmusic on Facebook and Instagram.

Airlie Beach Festival of Music have released another update of their line-up, adding names like Ben Ransom to the tenth anniversary celebrations

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Rock And Roll Nineties At The Airlie Beach Hotel

July 14, 2022

The Pub is set to witness an all-day rock fest of epic proportions as four bands bring the ultimate tribute to the ‘90s era to everyone’s favourite local.

The Airlie Beach Hotel is hosting California Kings, Kings For A Day, STP Oz, and Rear View Mirror in their enormous Ultimate ‘90s Tribute Festival on July 30.

The music Can’t Stop in this six-hour reproduction of four of the eras best bands: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and Faith No More.

First up is Rear View Mirror performing as Pearl Jam, capturing the American rock band’s Even Flow and Black tunes at 12.30pm, setting the tone for the rest of the afternoon with some heavy bass and crashing drums.

They’re followed by STP OZ, who recreate Stone Temple Pilots to their Core, chanting out anthems like Plush and Interstate Love Song at 1.45pm.

Then there’s Kings For A Day at 3.00pm, shouting out the fast-paced and electric hard-rock anthems of Easy, Epic, and Ashes to Ashes.

Last but not least is California Kings, who’ll bring a little bit of Californication to the Airlie Beach Hotel with their perfect encapsulation of the Red Hot Chili Peppers at 4:15pm

In an enormous day at The Pub, these four tribute bands will create an atmosphere of pulsing rhythm, reproducing the sound of each timeless hit with pinpoint accuracy – it’ll be like stepping back into the rock and roll of the ‘90s.

This unmissable day of entertainment, alongside some of the region’s best food, will have the Airlie Beach foreshore pumping, sending shockwaves of rock out across the waves.

As the gloaming rolls in over Airlie Beach, the California Kings will send the night off in style, keeping the drums pumping right up to 6.00pm.

Then, backing it all up on Sunday, all four bands will unite as one: The Smashed Crabs, the ultimate cover band force along the Queensland coast. They’ve channelled the rock and roll spirit of Foo Fighters, INXS, MUSE, Metallica, The Killers, Linkin Park and more.

Don’t miss both performances at the Airlie Beach Hotel in two weeks’ time.

WHAT: The Ultimate ‘90s Tribute Festival

WHEN: Saturday, July 30 to Sunday July 31

WHERE: Airlie Beach Hotel

Four bands will rock and roll across the Airlie Beach Hotel’s Bar-top stage in a festival of ‘90s classics July 30

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Comedy’s Closing In

July 14, 2022

The Great Barrier Reef Festival’s Comedy Gala is set to launch the festival calendar as Airlie Beach closes in on its August Festival Fever.

What more could you want than a few drinks and a night of side-splitting laughter with two of Australia’s great comedians, sourced especially for the Gala?

Comics Rory Lowe and Cam Knight will feature alongside one another in the Reef Festival’s launching off point on August 4 from 6.30pm to 9.15pm.

Cam Knight, a stand-up comedian and actor, as well as a co-host of many-a-show for Radio and television, is headlining this year’s outing at the Reef Gateway Hotel.

Performing sell out shows across Australia, Cam’s received five-star reviews and award nominations, featured on the televised Montreal Just for Laughs Festival Stand Up Series at the Sydney Opera House, and hosted the televised Sydney Comedy Festival Gala.

He was also a guest star on ABC’s Tonightly, Skit Box, Soul Mates, Comedy Up Late and How Not To Behave, the second series of The Other Guy on Stan and the upcoming series of Drunk History on Network 10, as well as host of Foxtel’s ‘Stand up Australia’.

Lapping Australia with huge theatre shows, comedy clubs and fringe festivals, corporate comedy, Cam has performed at music festivals such as Splendour in the Grass and Rotto Fest and even for the troops in the UAE in 2019.

He’s a raucous laugh, and is only matched by the Aussie comedy sensation, Rory Lowe, an internationally touring comedian whose storytelling ability and quick wit has sold out numerous festival runs and solo theatre shows.

Buckets of laughs are heading to the Whitsundays next month, so don’t miss out!

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Boats Arriving For Airlie Beach Race Week

July 14, 2022

It’s mid-July and boats are already arriving for the 34th annual Airlie Beach Race Week which is due to take place from August 11 – 18.

With 152 boats already registered and an anticipated 2000 crew attending, the event is set to be the biggest in history with competitors arriving from as far afield as Tasmania, West Australia, Victoria and even one team from the ACT.

Race Director, Ross Chisholm said that the event is shaping up nicely.

“It’s been a challenging year to find berthing, but we are really pleased to be able to put on a regatta of this size!” he said.

“This is a huge boost for Airlie Beach, and it is going to be a huge injection into our economy.”

Many of the boats arriving now compete in the same circuit which kicks-off with the Sydney to Gold Coast Race followed by Brisbane to Hamilton Island and then over to Airlie Beach.

Airlie Beach Race Week is the biggest regatta on the Queensland mainland coast and will host 14 divisions – from catamarans to grand prix racers, cruiser racers and also the trailable yacht Queensland State Championships.

There are 50 different courses taking sailors around the Whitsunday Islands, with vessels travelling on average 25 miles per day.

Races depart at 10am and return late afternoon to pave way for the lively social evening at the Festival Village which is located on the front lawn of the Whitsunday Sailing Club.

Each evening food vans and live entertainment will create a party atmosphere at the Festival Village and the whole community is invited to come down.

During the event, a spectator boat will also be ferrying guests out to watch the race from the water so everyone can enjoy the action.

WHAT: Airlie Beach Race Week

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club

WHEN: August 11 – 18

Wet and wild action on the water

Fun and festivity on land

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Time To Get Artsy

July 14, 2022

Whitsundays Arts Festival has released its jam-packed full art workshop program for the weeklong annual celebration.

Running from September 17 to 25, the regular festival calendar is once again brimming with workshops, some exploring the festival’s theme of “Memories” and others “just for fun.”

The festival’s artists-in-residence are set to take participants through a series of free and ticketed workshops.

Each is designed to be enjoyed, packed with opportunities to learn, develop skills, network with your community of fellow artists, and collaborate on large art installations while you create an art piece to take home.

The professional series of workshops will be held from 17-24 September in the workshop space at Kipara Tropical Rainforest Retreat, and on 24-25 September at the festival site in Fairy Tree Park on the Airlie Beach foreshore.

Workshop coordinator and Townsville artist and art teacher Sandy Guy said the program had “a great variety of workshops this year.”

“Due to the popularity of previous year’s workshops and increasing demand we will be expanding to a full week of fun and creative opportunities for the whole community of the Whitsundays,” Sandy said.

Artists-in-residence Michael Pope and Aaron Ashley will be hosting Urban Sketching workshops at the festival site on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September.

These morning workshops will take participants through “en plein air” sketching, exploring how to select a scene and then quickly capture the essence using shapes as reference and adding details and tone.

At the Kipara Tropical Rainforest Retreat in the week leading up to the festival festivities, last year’s art exhibition winner, Lisa Ashcroft, will take you on an exploration of new ways of working with watercolours and acrylics.

Or tap into your inner street artist and explore street art techniques with Townsville artist and art teacher Sandra Guy.

One of the most popular workshops last year was Creating Children’s Books with publisher, illustrator, and children’s books author Sofia Fortunato, which will be back this year.

And for a first-ever Sip & Paint workshop with Amanda Sadler who will lead participants through Frida Khalo-esque painting techniques, all while sipping on your favourite drinks.

As well as those professional series program, there are free workshops assisting visiting artists to produce exciting art installations that will be transforming the festival site into an outdoor art spectacular on Saturday 24 September.

These include stingrays made from rope and recycled materials with Marion Gaemers and Lynnette Griffiths, and painted memory boards with Amanda Sadler.

The 2022 art workshop program is promising to be an exciting and interactive addition to the Whitsundays Arts Festival, built on the vision of bringing art to everyone, and the opportunity to immerse yourself in creativity.

Whether it be weaving, painting, stitching, storytelling and illustration, or sketching, the festival wants to help you explore your artistic potential this year with some of Queensland’s finest artists.

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Cannonvale State School Fete Promising A Fun Family Day Out

July 14, 2022

There’s nothing like a fete for bringing the community together.

The Cannonvale State School Community Fete is happening on Sunday, July 31 from 10am to 2pm and will be a fantastic day out for the whole family.

Cannonvale State School P&C President Sabrina Mitchell and her team have worked tirelessly for months to deliver an action-packed day of entertainment.

“The fete has something for everyone,” said Sabrina.

The fete will feature a plant stall, a second-hand stall, a full day of entertainment, plenty of great food options, a mega raffle and, of course, the fete stalls, featuring everyone’s favourite: ‘Dunk a Teacher’.

“The fete’s not just for the kids; it’s for the whole community and everyone’s welcome,” said Sabrina.

There’ll also be 10 rides at the fete, including a rollercoaster, dodgem cars and a teacup ride.

Unlimited ride wristbands are available for $30 presale and $35 on the day.

All funds raised by the fete will go back into the school, with this year’s focus being new playgrounds.

“Our school has grown substantially over the last couple of years, so our playgrounds don’t cut the quantity of children,” said Sabrina.

“Every single cent raised at the fete or at any P&C event goes back directly to the children and is spent directly on the children.

“Anything that the P&C do for the school is pretty special and anything the community gives or donates towards any P&C event all goes back to the kids in one way or another.”

Sabrina says community involvement is the best part about organising a fete.

“The community really gets behind it,” she said.

“It’s not just the parents of Cannonvale State School, it’s all of the community.”

For more information on how you can contribute to the fete, call Sabrina on 0401 959 572.

To access presale wristbands, scan the QR below.

WHAT: Cannonvale State School Community Fete

WHEN: Sunday, July 31 from 10.00AM to 2.00PM

WHERE: Cannonvale State School

TICKETS: A free community event

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Movie Review

July 14, 2022

Australian Film Premiere Of Crawdads In Bowen

The Bowen Summergarden Cinema will once again feature an Australian film premiere at its theatre institution, but this time thanks to a local community organisation rather than a Hollywood production.

Bowen Zonta Club will be running their own premiere of Where the Crawdads Sing on Thursday next week, a film-adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name.

It will coincide with the Australian release of the film, making it one of only two cinemas in the country playing it.

Zonta Club Member and organiser of the event, Kerry Moloney said Zonta run a film premiere each year, but with this special event the studio were allowing the local cinema to run it as an actual national debut showing.

“We try to do a movie premiere every year and try to choose movies that are in demand – popular movies – but ones that have a female orientation,” Ms Moloney said.

“When Ben De Luca [Owner of Summergarden] approached us with this movie, he actually said the premiere of the first showing Australia is happening in Sydney on the 21.

“That is special for us, we feel very honoured that we in Bowen – such a small town – are going to be showing it for the first time.”

The female-led film corresponds well with the global organisations message of empowering women – both financially, educationally, and through representation.

“A lot of people are reading the novel, and so that’s where we thought it’d be perfect, as well as being produced by women, including Reese Witherspoon.

The event on July 21 will also feature raffles and lucky door prizes, with all proceeds going direct to future Zonta Club projects.

The $25 dollar ticket includes a light supper and complimentary glass of champagne, with tickers purchasable at Hickmott’s Supanews in Bowen, or online through phoning Veronica at 0428 648 540.

What: Bowen Zonta Premiere of Where The Crawdads Sing

When: July 21

Where: Bowen Summergarden Cinema

Tickets: $25 dollars

Drama and mystery film Where The Crawdads Sing, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones, is premiering at Bowen Summergarden Cinema next week – a national debut for the film

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Passport To Airlie Comp Now Open!

July 8, 2022

July marks the beginning of the Passport to Airlie music competition which regular sees 300 competitors from across the country vie for their chance to win an opportunity to sing on the main stage at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music.

For the next four months, talented and emerging singer-songwriters will be competing in a series of heats that take place in Darwin, Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Melbourne and just down the road in Mackay.

Open to a mixture of genres and styles, the competition is unique in the fact three quarters of each participant’s act needs to be original music, as well as its aim to provide opportunities of support and industry experiences to developing artists.

Each region will have three heats and a final before deciding which artist will be announced as the winner. This artist will then perform on the main stage at the Passport Showcase which will be held on the Thursday night of the festival.

Sarah McLeod and Bill Chambers will be the industry judges and the winners will be placed on the bill, including much of the main event promotion and merchandise alongside the amazing headline acts plus they will also be awarded a $1000 performance fee from the festival.

They will also be invited to come back to Airlie the following year and perform on the main stage.

Last year's Passport saw the incredible Mardi Wilson be announced as the winner.

"It felt really good to take the win and has boosted me to go forward and keep doing what I’m doing,” she said.

Her advice from this year's entrants is "Just go for it. Be your authentic self – you never know what could happen – just get out there and give it a go – I never expected to take out the win and now here I am."

Last years’ Passport to Airlie winner Mardi Wilson

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Meet Your Mayor?

July 8, 2022

An opportunity to meet six candidates in the race for the Whitsundays’ next mayor is happening next Thursday, hosted by Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce (WCCC).

The Local Chamber, an apolitical community organisation, will be hosting the Meet Your WRC Mayoral Candidates on Thursday, July 14 starting 6.30pm at the VMR in Cannonvale.

It’s inviting not just its members but all residents of the greater Whitsunday region to attend this event at no cost.

Each of the six current candidates will be in attendance – Michael Brunker, Jan Clifford, Al Grundy, Peter J Hood, Julie Hall, and Phil Batty.

The community organisation focused on improving the region for its members and community at large is hoping the event will provide an opportunity for businesses and individuals to speak with the potential mayors.

Chamber members have been invited to submit in advance, to the chamber secretary, any general questions they would like the candidates to address on the evening.

The organisation with no affiliation with Whitsunday Regional Council wanted to express that, in each 12-month cycle on rotation, a WRC counsellor is invited to attend all committee meetings throughout the year with a goal of two-way communication between the organisations.

Every attendee at this event will receive a bonus ticket to attend Chamber’s next networking event in August – an annual fee of $99 is usually required to attend one of the six meetings.

Who gets your vote in the next Mayoral election for the Whitsundays may be decided when you meet the candidates at VMR next Thursday

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Movie Review:

July 8, 2022

Delia Owens’s novel Where The Crawdads Sing was a revelation upon release in 2018. Her debut capitalised on a long-standing tradition of American literary greats. Like Harper Lee in To Kill A Mockingbird and Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn before her, it entwines a deep-South story of Americana with bigotry. But, like those novels before it, Crawdads is of its time. It submerges its 1969, period-piece story in a murder mystery – a genre well-travelled in contemporary literature – but it does so exquisitely and elevates what could be a tired story in the hands of a lesser writer into a beautiful one. In fact, it has become one of the best-selling books of all time.

Now – rightfully so – it’s receiving a screen adaptation thanks to the workings of Reese Witherspoon, who’s producing the film.

Raised in the marshes of North Carolina, Catherine “Kya” Clarke – played, with gentle at one moment and then exquisite furore in the next, by Daisy-Edgar Jones - is endlessly resourceful. Abandoned by her parents and older siblings in the early 1950s, Kya learns to survive on her own. She is taught to read and write by her friend Tate Walker (Taylor John Smith) and falls for him but is left behind once again when he goes to college.

Chase Andrews (Harris Dickinson) is a quarterback who draws Kya into a tryst with promises of marriage that never materialise. After Kya ends their relationship, Chase attacks her and she narrowly escapes. Then, while she is away, Chase is found dead and Kya is engulfed in a murder trial, with the evidence against her seeming insurmountable

Like it’s novel, this film adaptation is haunting and ethereal, and tells us more about ourselves through a thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving story.

Where The Crawdads Sing is opening at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema on July 22.

Daisy Edgar Jones and Taylor John Smith in Where The Crawdads Sing

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Come Wish The Karaoke King A Happy Birthday

July 8, 2022

What’s your karaoke song? Because the Airlie Beach Hotel’s bar manager Matthew Rowley’s pick is Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, which he’ll be singing loud and proud for his own inaugural birthday bash at The Pub on July 27.

The very first Rowley’s Birthday Karaoke Bash is inviting the entirety of the Whitsundays along to one of the coastal town’s favourite locals for the biggest, baddest karaoke event Airlie has ever seen.

For Rowley’s 39th birthday, the pub will be hosting its sing-along from 6.30pm till 9.30pm, with no need to book, just rock up and rock on!

It’s an open invitation to bring some friends and wish Rowley a happy birthday in the best way possible – by singing him a serenade, although Rowley said he wouldn’t mind “a few presents”.

“That’d be nice for a welcome change to get some presents from everyone, but I just want everyone to come down and get involved,” he said.

“It’s a Wednesday night, yeeha! Don’t be shy, we’re all bad singers, come join the rest of us!”

Although this is the official kick-off for his Karaoke Bash, last year there was an impromptu session held at the local pub which capitalised on Rowley’s “love for a sing and dance while on the booze”.

“Last year I got asked because they all know what I’m like when I get a few drinks in me! I’ve had regulars asking me about karaoke from the last time for about a year now!”

“Everyone in town is going to know who I am after this one, I guarantee it.”

It’s going to be a classic karaoke setup, but with the added bonus that songbirds get to belt out their favourite tunes from on top of the Airlie Beach Hotel’s stage, looking down at their crowds of adoring fans while they croon to Summer Nights.

Or maybe Love Song by Sara Bareilles, I Want You Back by Jackson Five – Someone Like You from Adele, maybe? Rowley said there’s plenty of locals at the Hotel who have let him in on their choices already. They’ve had a year to prepare after all.

“Everyone’s going to get involved, and I can tell you it’s going to go later than 9.30 with everyone singing and dancing and carrying on,” he said.

“You all just better prepare for my 40th next year, it’ll be even bigger!”

Rowley’s Birthday Karaoke Bash will start from 6.30pm till 9.30pm on Wednesday, July 27 – get out and wish him a happy 39th!

What: Rowley’s Birthday Karaoke Bash

When: July 27 at 6:30pm

Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel

Matthew Rowley is a four-year veteran of the ABH with two years as a bouncer and two as a bar manager – but he also has a special talent for karaoke

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Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders

July 8, 2022

The Whitsunday region is in safe hands with its next generation of leaders handpicked in a state-wide police program which hopes to develop these young trailblazer’s skills.

Proserpine State High School students Rachel Hutchinson, Ruby Hearn, and Hayden Hearn were selected by PCYC Branch Manager and Police Sergeant Billy Li for the State Youth Leadership Program (SYLP).

Part of the local PCYC branch’s Youth Group, the students were chosen to participate in the program designed to prepare young people for more active roles in not just their PCYC, but as active leaders for their entire community.

The program, which is run at no cost to the participants, is a five-day, four-night camp held during the school holidays and led by PCYC Bornhoffen which acts as an experiential education framework – helping young leaders flourish and build confidence through “adventure-based learning”.

It has been running from 2003, and its experience is valued at over $1,200 per participant, but money can’t buy a place – it is by invitation only and is one of the “most unique and exclusive programs in Australia” of its type.

SYLP is broken up into three separate trips to Bornhoffen, each more limited in capacity than the last; SYLP One is open to almost 60 teenagers, while SYLP two and three halve that number.

Sergeant Billy Li’s students experienced SYLP One and Two, with Hayden Hearn experiencing the former and Rachel Hutchinson and Ruby Hearn the latter.

Sergeant Billy Li said he chose his three local candidates because the program would be of benefit to them and guide them in becoming new leaders.

“I believe they were ready to go on the program and that’s why I chose them; I think they will be able to take a lot of the lessons into their daily lives,” Sergeant Li said.

The experiences the students had throughout both SYLP One and Two included activities like slacklining, creeking, high ropes and more.

Hayden Hearn said that SYLP was about stepping up and taking the lead, while Rachel Hutchinson said it helped her with time management, and Ruby Hearn added it was about trust.

“I think I’m going to be able to take a lot of what SYLP showed me and put it into my daily life,” Hayden said.

Each Proserpine student said they were extremely happy to have been a part of the prestigious program and hoped it would help them with careers post-school.

“I’m really hoping to join the air force cadets,” Hayden said.

Young leaders Hayden Hearn, Ruby Hearn, and Rachel Hutchinson with Police Sergeant Billy Li

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Horsepower Heroes Day

July 8, 2022


Wet And Wild Horsepower Heroes

Horsepower Heroes Day

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“Kindness Is Free, Let’s Share It”

June 30, 2022

Schools across the region celebrated b kinder day last Wednesday by spreading its message of love and empathy.

The June 22 event was started by the mother of Billie Kinder, a 12-year-old girl who passed away in a tragic horse accident in 2016.

Billie’s legacy has become the b kinder initiative, as well as the charity flyhighbille. Both of which remember her empathy and compassion by promoting them at schools across the globe.

Organisations like Proserpine State School have continued to adopt the annual commemoration and make it their own.

The primary school’s iteration of the event this year included selling 500 badges leading up to the day - with the funds heading back to flyhighbillie – each with hand-drawn artwork from students.

The badges were illustrated by teacher Kylie Edmondson’s prep class.

The prep cohort began their day by reading individual, personalised notes left on their desks that had been written by Ms Edmonson.

The messages were compassionate and thoughtful expressions for the students to cherish. The prep class then wrote their own kindness letters to be given to another student – an activity the entire school undertook.

b kinder volunteer Mel Turner said it was excellent to see how much the Whitsundays have “totally embraced the message”.

“This is the second year at this school and they’re really going all out this time; the badges in particular that the students designed has made it so interactive,” Ms Turner said.

“At the end of the day, it’s about being kind and empathetic, and inspired activities like those badges are an expression of that.”

That morning the school had installed, with the help of parent Iain Karon, a B the ‘I’ in Kind wall – a large poster painted by parents Sue Thompson, Jade Olsen, and Bec Radford.

Students individually stood in front of the poster to become the I in kind and have their picture taken – just one of many activities they took part in over the course of b kinder day.

Fleur Wallis, Sue Thompson, Shiralee Morris-Blair, Linda Sippel, Kylie Edmonson, Mel Turner, Rachel Crisp, Kelly Bennett, Jade Olsen, and Bec Radford

B kinder volunteer Mel Turner with some of Ms Edmonson’s prep class

Teacher Fleur Wallis, b kinder volunteer Mel Turner, and teacher Kylie Edmonson

Students enjoyed the B the ‘I’ in Kind wall created by parents

Ms Edmonson’s prep class forming a love heart on the school’s oval

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Aussie Hip Hop Royalty To Tear The Roof Off At Magnums

June 30, 2022

One of the country’s biggest hip-hop groups is finally touching down in Airlie Beach to bring their electric energy and unmatched flow to the Whitsundays in celebration of their seventh studio album.

The nine-time ARIA-award winning group Bliss N Eso are set for the stage at Magnums tomorrow night at 7.30pm, returning to finish the Queensland shows in their The Sun tour.

Originally planned to play at the local venue in January, the group were forced to can the Airlie Beach performance due to positive Covid cases in their touring party.

Renowned for their captivating live performances and boisterous energy, the Aussie superstars are excited to rock out with a Whitsunday audience this weekend.

Ahead of the tour, we caught up with one third of the iconic trio for a one-on-one interview about Covid hiatuses, collabs, and the hunger to hit the stage.

One On One With Eso

When it comes to creating and recording, Max MacKinnon, or better known as Eso to his legions of fans, said the band have always been in the habit of lockdowns.

“We already lock ourselves away. It’s kind of like lockdown anyway. We shut ourselves in a studio, away from society, and write and record,” MacKinnon said.

“But when it comes to promoting the album, recording video clips and of course live performances, [Covid] was a real kick in the balls.”

But, recording still had its Covid blues, too. The album - released in late 2021 – features its share of guest artists, including the likes of Xzibit, Dizzee Rascal, Lee Fields, and Aussie artists Kasey Chambers.

MacKinnon said the collab with Dizzee Rascal was an odd one, born from a direct message on Instagram.

“I tagged him in a post thinking nothing of it,” he said.

“Next thing, he messages me back saying ‘yo, I know who you are man, let’s f**king ‘ave it’, and it was on!”

With the show fast approaching, MacKinnon reflected on the stage being their “second home”.

“I’m so hungry to get back out on that stage, by the time I’m finished, there’ll be nothing left. There better not be an act playing after us because there will be no stage left, that’s our hunger,” he said.

“We love what we do and we’re grateful for what we do. We’ll forever keep doing what we love.”

The Aus hip-hop supergroup will jam out at Magnums tomorrow night, with tickets from the original show date still applicable.

WHAT: Bliss N Eso – The Sun Tour

WHEN: Saturday, July 2, 7.30pm

WHERE: Magnums, Airlie Beach

Iconic Aussie hiphop group Bliss N Eso will perform tomorrow night at Magnums

Photograph: Dean Hammer

We sat down with Eso (Max MacKinnon) for a one-on-one ahead of the Airlie Beach performance

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A Picture Painted By You And There’s Alcohol Too

June 30, 2022

Picture this: waves gently lapping against the rocks, palm fronds swaying along the shoreline in one of the most iconic locations in the Whitsundays, and you painting a masterpiece to hang above the mantle.

Not an artist? Not a problem. Coral Sea Resort’s first Cocktails and Canvas event in just under a months’ time will provide the easel and the alcohol to help you get over those paintbrush jitters.

The local resort is putting their own spin on the wildly popular paint and sip format where novice artists get daubing, smearing and rendering with the help of a creative juice – usually wine.

But at Coral Sea Resort, the no-pressure painting will be helped along by cocktails instead of vino and is set to take place on the venue’s iconic jetty.

The relaxing, fun way to dive into painting will see a resident artist – in this case the creative gurus Angela and Joan - take participants step-by-step through creating a landscape, portrait, still life or a smear – if you’re so inclined.

The best part (aside from the cocktails): no painting experience or skills are needed.

The $65 dollar tickets include a Coral Sea Cocktail On Arrival, painting materials like brushes, paints and canvas, a delicious grazing station, and of course the easy to follow instructions from the art teacher.

And, don’t forget, you’ll be bringing home an original one-off image, painted by you on a quality canvas in colours of your choice.

Drag your bestie, make it a date, or get your family along for an afternoon that goes into the night, it’s guaranteed to be loaded with laughter, fun and creativity.

WHAT: Cocktails and Canvas

WHEN: Saturday, July 23

WHERE: Coral Sea Resort Hotel

Coral Sea Resort will host their first Cocktails and Canvas event, a spin on the paint and sip format where participants are guided through painting and enjoy a bit of booze

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Movie Review

June 30, 2022

The world is in an eighties renaissance thanks to the vanguard of creatives born and raised in that long-ago time of hairspray and synth. The influence from that era of popular culture seeped into the 2010s and has become a permanent stain on the carpeting of our collective cultural unconscious.

We’ve welcomed shows like the Netflix flagship Stranger Things and garish fashion dominates the shelves. The mullet even seems to have made its resurgence – although that one might just have to go. So, in Hollywood it is easy to see why previously failing franchises like Marvel’s Thor series took a new direction; one with a bit of pomp, some Led Zeppelin, and (yes) some hairspray.

Director Taiki Waititi’s newest romp in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, again, an ‘80s inspired trip through the wilder side of the now-well-travelled comic book films. It follows in Thor Ragnorak’s at times fever dream footsteps, traversing space alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy in a post-Endgame Marvel world.

Thor is rediscovering himself in a journey for inner peace, and the film is a brilliant match made in heaven between Hemsworth’s Thor – who has been manifestly ridiculous since even his first outing but was somehow supposed to be thought of as serious – and Chris Pratt’s wily band of space-trotting misfits.

The zany story of the Guardians meets Thor becomes a sidepiece for the film, however, even though it’s one of its stronger facets.

Thor comes face to face with Gorr the God Butcher – an uber serious and plaintive villain who seeks the extinction of the gods (Thor included) and played by Christian Bale. It’s a clear dichotomy where Waititi balances the film on a tonal border between comedy and drama deftly and to great success.

For lovers of Marvel, this is a must-see, and even for those just missing the ‘80s.

Don’t miss Thor: Love and Thunder’s opening day at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema Thursday, July 7.

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No Quarter: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience

June 30, 2022

The Pub’s bar-top stage will be a Stairway to Heaven for No Quarter, a tribute to the legacy of Led Zeppelin performing as the Airlie Beach Hotel’s first ever show by an internationally touring band.

The American group coming straight from Seattle are bringing their live concert to the little coastal town, smashing out famous riffs from Heartbreaker, Immigrant Song, Kashmir, and more for Whitsunday audiences.

Potentially the greatest band of all time will be recreated in painstaking detail by No Quarter in two afternoon shows at everyone’s favourite local on July 16 and 17.

Led Zeppelin IV

The word has spread; this Rock and Roll band from Over the Hill and Far Away have captured the characters of John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and infamous leading man Robert Plant.

They’re the real deal.

No Quarter are their own Led Zeppelin IV – they recapture the vigour and bring it back to fore as if the hard rock band were within touching distance, live on stage in their absolute prime.

Die Hard Zeppelin Fans and even the rockstars they’ve shared the stage with have sworn they were watching the real group live. Their show is a pounding, haunting experience where history comes alive, as if the original band have returned for once last gig.

Bryan Christiansen founded No Quarter back in 1998 – cementing a lifelong love affair with the band – and acts as the stand-in for Zeppelin’s stalwart guitarist, Jimmy Page.

On touching down in Australia, landing in Sydney, he was “dying to see the Great Barrier Reef” and the iconic landscapes in Australia that are “absolutely breathtaking”.

Born in the United Kingdom, Christiansen moved stateside to live in Tacoma, Washington, and fell in love with Led Zeppelin from the first time he listened to When The Levee Breaks.

“When I was a kid, my brother played Led Zeppelin albums and I didn’t know who they were. I heard the drums on When The Levee Breaks and it wasn’t until years later that I even connected that was Zeppelin,” he said.

“I picked up the guitar and started fiddling around and I was learning all the styles as a kid; there wasn’t a better idol to have than Jimmy Page growing up as a young guitarist. He’s always consistently in the top three greatest of all time.”

Christiansen has been a lifelong musician since those days, and eventually realised he wanted to continue the legacy for a band that has brought him so much joy. He formed No Quarter to create a real-to-life experience that only a Led Zeppelin show can provide.

It led him on a career to perform alongside incredible artists, strumming Stratocaster guitars last played by Jimmy Hendrix at Woodstock, and keeping Zeppelin alive in the best way possible: through their music.

“It’s hard to put into words. There’s a musical force, an energy that gets thrown out when you play like them. The audience throws back their own energy and you see in their eyes that they’re feeling what Led Zeppelin were like; that they’re right in front of them,” he said.

“We throw the energy back at them until the roof’s ready to blow up. There’s a magic to the music.”

In their performance at Airlie Beach Hotel, Christiansen said the show will be a special one for fans and for himself. The band will perform a first-ever, taking the audience through the entire iconic Led Zeppelin IV album from start to finish, just as Zeppelin played it, and just as he listened to it as a kid all those years ago.

“That extra set will be so special. We’re going to be stretched a little and I’m so excited for it – that album is mind-blowing – Stairway to Heaven, Levee Breaks, Black Dog – I can’t wait,” he said.

Christiansen ended the interview with an anecdote: Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones was signing autographs when he was approached by Chad McMurray, who plays the role of Jones for No Quarter.

McMurray presented Jones with a concert photo – an image from one of No Quarter’s legacy performances.

“That’s scary,” Jones said as he signed the concert photo and looked across the faces and likeness of each character: “As long as you’re doing it, means we don’t have to.”

Gonna Make You Sweat, Gonna Make You Groove

For over 15 years they’ve performed as No Quarter, pounding the Hammer of the Gods to Led Zeppelin fans across the US as well as internationally. Now, they’re arriving on the golden sands of the Whitsundays to bring the ocean of true Led Zeppelin fans a Whole Lotta Love.

The Black Dog barks in this authentic reproduction that goes far beyond any covering the legendary British supergroups tunes.

It’s no wonder they’ve performed alongside legendary artists like Peter Frampton, Foreigner, Molly Hatchet, Kansas, Steppenwolf, Nazareth, Tesla, Warrant, Jefferson Starship, Eric Burden and the Animals, Eddie Money, and many others.

They’re eerily close to watching one of rocks all-time great quartets in their glory days, and they’ll be arriving at the Airlie Beach Hotel for two free shows on Saturday July 16 and 17, from 2.00pm to 5.30pm both days.

Airlie Beach Hotel’s first ever internationally touring act is No Quarter, the real deal Led Zeppelin Legacy Band

They’ve performed for over 24 years, keeping the spirit of Zeppelin alive

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Time To Get Creative!

June 30, 2022

The third annual Whitsundays Arts Festival is fast approaching and creatives from across the region are putting the final touches on their entries to this years’ art prize which has a pool of over $11,000 up for grabs.

The Whitsundays Art Prize Exhibition opened in April and is due to close on Monday, August 1 and organisers are asking last-minute entrants to get in quick before submissions end.

This year’s theme is ‘Memories’ and is open to artists working with any 2D or 3D mediums aside from photography.

The art prize winners will be decided by guest judge Tracy Cooper-Lavery who is the Director, Gallery and Visual Arts at Home of the Arts Gold Coast (HOTA).

The major prize-winning artwork will be acquired into the Whitsundays Regional Council Art Collection and selected finalists will be exhibited at the Elbow Room at Coral Sea Marina for a week after judging.

Categories include Local Artist Award, 2D Works On Paper, 2D Painting, 3D Sculpture, Young Artist and People’s Choice.

Winners will be announced on Friday, September 23 and the Art Exhibition will be held at Coral Sea Resort until Friday, September 30.

This year, the festival is also opening up a competition to children - the 'Junior Whitsundays Art Exhibition,' is an opportunity for the budding artists, talented tots and creative kids aged 5-15 years to show-off their work.

There are prizes up to $200 so this is an unmissable chance to develop your child’s passion for creating.

To enter, simply head to whitsundayartsfestival.org.

What’s Happening This Year?

Handmade Markets

A popular favourite at the festival, these lively open-air markets held at Fairy Tree Park on the Airlie Beach Foreshore are vibrant affair with live music, colourful artwork and giftware. There is also an opportunity to network with a fascinating bunch of artists, designers and makers. Register on the website if you would like to become a stall holder.


Offering an extensive range of workshops hosted by expert creatives, this engaging series of events are an excellent way to develop your skills and engage with others. The professional workshop series will be held from 17-24 September in the workshop space at Kipara Tropical Rainforest Retreat, and on 24-25 September at the Festival site in Fairy Tree Park.

WHAT: Whitsundays Arts Festival

WHEN: September 17-30

WHERE: Airlie Beach

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Community Parenting Sessions – Genius!

June 30, 2022

Parenting can often be an isolating experience where you feel like you are constantly making mistakes when navigating the sleepless nights, tantrums and mealtime mishaps involved with raising a young child.

Genius Childcare in Cannonvale understand this implicitly which is why they’ve decided to launch a series of community parenting sessions designed to bring parents together in an informal setting to share knowledge and learn tips and tricks from facilitator Jen Frisby-Young.

“It’s all about empowering children without losing your mind!” said Centre Manager, Bec Schultz.

“We are promoting parent self-care and tackling the hot topics like toileting, sleep habits and more.”

Each session will have a different theme and tea, coffee and snacks will create a sociable atmosphere for all to enjoy.

Facilitator Jen Frisby-Young is a qualified neuro-linguistic Programmer who meticulously researches each topic so she can impart as much knowledge as possible.

“I’ve found that there is a large need in the community for connection and support,” said Jen.

“These events are open to everyone in the community – they are a great way to meet-up and form friendships.”

Genius Childcare is an innovative and holistic early years education centre for preschool-aged children offering state-of-art, purpose-built childcare facilities, a diverse and thoughtful curriculum, and passionate, highly skilled educators to lead the way.

The Curriculum is based on the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and has a strong emphasis on play-based learning, recognising the importance of communication, language, social and emotional development.

Join Jen and Bec at the next parent’s information evening.

WHAT: Community Parenting Session

WHEN: 1st Tuesday of every month – 5pm-6pm

WHERE: Genius Childcare in Cannonvale

Centre Manager Bec Schultz and Facilitator Jen Frisby-Young are here to support and connect with local parents

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Prossie Book Bonanza Coming Soon!

June 23, 2022

Whether you are looking for some historical non-fiction or a little love and romance, some new recipes to bring into the kitchen or some magazines to keep you entertained – the Book Bonanza will have you covered.

There are thousands of books on display and avid readers from across the region are invited to browse for bargains, select a special book and breathe new life into old treasures.

The first Book Bonanza that sold pre-loved books and magazines was held in St Catherine’s Hall over a weekend in 1996, with the aim of raising funds to build the new Museum.

This was achieved in 2001 and the event has since become so popular that it extends over an eight-day period.

These days the Book Bonanza is held on the foyer of the museum at 198 main street.

“The mezzanine floor is groaning with the weight of books,” said Ailsa Reinke from Proserpine Museum.

“The response from a generous public has been better than ever and prices are very reasonable!”

In addition to books and magazines, there will also be puzzles, bric-a-brac, CD’s, records, DVD’s, lots of fabric remnants and plants for sale this year.

There will also be Trash and Treasure stalls and raffle draws during event with all proceeds going back into the local community towards maintenance of the present building and a future extension of the museum.

The Book Bonanza takes place from 9pm to 4pm Saturday, July 2 to Friday, July 8 and from 9am to 12pm on Saturday, July 9.

Customers are asked to bring their own bags and boxes so they can stock-up on some good reads for the year ahead.

WHAT: Book Bonanza

WHEN: July 2-8

WHERE: Proserpine Museum

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F45 Official Opening This Saturday

June 23, 2022

The fitness craze that everyone is talking about in Airlie Beach has its official opening day this Saturday and the whole community are invited to come down to F45 Functional Training.

Combining cardio, strength, mobility and agility into a unique 45-minute workout, extending to one hour on Saturdays, with 36 other members in a controlled and supervised setting, F45 is different to any other workout you’ve tried.

Head down to 13 Waterson Way tomorrow morning between 6am and 11am to watch a class in action and meet the team.

Coral Sea Resort resident DJ, Nina Sinclair, will be playing live from 6am to 9.30am and there will be giveaways, with two three-month memberships up for grabs and lucky door prizes worth approximately $1500.

During the event there will also be free supplement sampling so you can discover the tastiest accompaniments to your fitness regime.

“We are celebrating a successful first week as a studio and opening our doors to everyone,” said F45 owner Sonny Ivanovic.

“Come on down and check it out!”

F45 is more than a place to work out, it is a community and a culture, a place to make friends and a place to belong.

The special foundation membership offer, which includes a two week trial, ends on Saturday so make sure you get in quick if you would like to get involved.

WHAT: F45 Official Opening Day

WHEN: 6am – 11am, June 25

WHERE: 13 Waterson Way

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Gymnast And Ninja Holiday Camps

June 23, 2022

Whitsunday PCYC are hosting a range of exciting school holiday camps over the next few weeks open to those looking to fine-tune their skills as well as those who want to experience a class for the first time.

With its extensive range of gymnastic equipment and its popular ninja course, the Whitsunday PCYC has one of the best facilities in our region.

This is matched with a highly skilled gymnastic team who can offer professional training tips and advice on all levels and abilities.

On Wednesday, July 6, newcomers are invited to a free 60-minute trial in Gymnastics and Ninja so they can experience the course and possibly discover a new passion.

This is an extremely popular event so families are advised they must book ahead.

Throughout the school holidays Under 5’s playtime sessions will continue to run on Wednesday and Friday morning from 9am to 10:45am and community group play for older kids runs on Fridays between 11:45am to 12:45pm.

“The PCYC team can’t wait to welcome both new and old faces to the club for some school holiday fun,” said Sergeant Billy Li from Whitsunday PCYC.

Camps and trials must be pre-booked and paid due to limited spots available please contact the office on 07 4948 1144 or email whitsunday@pcyc.org.au for further information or to book.

Holiday Camps

June 27-30

Gymnastics Monday and Thursday 10am-12pm

Ninja Monday and Thursday 12pm- 2pm

July 4-7

Gymnastics Monday and Thursday 10am-12pm

Ninja Monday and Thursday 12pm- 2pm

Find your inner-gymnast these school holidays

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Year 12’s Shine At Prom Time

June 23, 2022

The first prom of the senior year took place at Coral Sea Resort last Thursday night with 47 Year 12 students from St Catherine’s Catholic College dressing in their finest frocks and smartest suits to mark the culmination of their school career.

With the largest Year 12 cohort in St Cath’s history, this year saw over 100 staff, family and friends gather at the entrance to the resort while 35 cars rolled around the driveway, every student greeted by cheers and applause as they disembarked.

From hot rods to tractors and army jeeps, there were many different modes of transport to view, creating a spectacle that even resort guests enjoyed watching.

Every student made a striking entrance, the girl’s sparkling gowns stealing the show.

St Cath’s hold their prom in June every year so that it can differentiate between the graduation ceremony at the end of the year and allow the students to focus on their end of year exams.

“Having our Formal at this time of the year makes graduation a bigger celebration of our students’ 13 year journey as graduates,” said Principal Luke Thomson.

Family members attended for drinks and canapes on the jetty and mother-son and father-daughter dances in function room.

Afterwards, students and teachers dined together and then danced the night away.

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Motown Millennia With Sex And Chocolate At The Airlie Beach Hotel

June 16, 2022

There’s not much better than an afternoon out at The Pub, but when you add Sex and Chocolate, it really seals the deal.

The Airlie Beach Hotel is bringing the Motown era up close and personal to Whitsunday audiences in an indulgent show by one of the hottest groups on the Queensland circuit.

Performing centre stage, Sex and Chocolate – a multi-award-winning act - will play all afternoon long with their Motown II Millennia show at everyone’s favourite local.

They bring the swing and croon era of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra to modern audiences, pairing it with the tunes from Usher and the Black Eye Peas – all with some incredible choreographed dance moves.

The harmonies are varied, with hits from bands like the Temptations in their repertoire, and others like the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, The Spinners, Earth Wind and Fire, Barry White, Billy Ocean, Prince, Shaggy, Bruno Mars, and many more.

They’ve been a trusted band – and brand - for more than 20 years, entertaining at more celebrity and high-profile events than you can count.

Sex and Chocolate’s resume includes a string of well-known celebrity weddings and special events, including the Indy 500, HRH Gala, the Mayoress Charity Ball for Ruth Tate, a string of Rugby league and union stars weddings - Brent Tate, Petero Civoniceva, and Daniel Herbert.

A personal favourite for the famous quartet was with the great Aussie favourite Paul Hogan, where Sex and Chocolate performed at his Crocodile Dundee after party.

They’re expert entertainers that connect with an audience like only the very best can.

Meet The Gang:

Maihi Pinker, a born New Zealander entrenched in Maori culture. He developed a keen ear for melodies and harmonies in a musically religious family, mastering the art of using his voice to suit many genres: from soul, r&b, and reggae to the sweet highs and tantalising lows.

Possessing rich vocals with Hayes Loau is our next member. A charismatic, high energy performer who brings the stage to life – and another New Zealander. He started his career at Australia’s wonderland at 15, dancing and singing in stage shows for seven seasons.

Leader of the pack is Paul ‘The Wolfman’ Thompson, a natural born entertainer with a deep soulful voice and charisma. His performances have a genuine warmth, humour and charm.

And finally Wilz Karekare, a star who possesses an incredible vocal range and vocal control that very few can match. Singing songs with feelings and meaning, and touching people’s hearts, is what he loves best.

This amazing two-hour spectacle brings the four phenomenal singers and supporting DJ Fia to The Pub on Sunday, July 2 and 3 from 2.00pm to 5.30pm both days.

You wanted a dance floor! You’ve got your dance floor!

Sex and Chocolate arrive at The Pub on July 2

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Double-Double Features At Outdoor Cinema

June 16, 2022

The Airlie Foreshore Outdoor Cinema is hosting two Thursday night double featurettes in both weeks of the upcoming school holidays.

Both nights of holiday films will host food trucks alongside the Foreshore’s entertainment.

A classic Hanna-Barbera character will be the first to waddle onscreen in the screening of the 2010 film Yogi Bear on June 30 starting 6.00pm.

The mixed live-action and computer-generated comedy features Dan Akroyd of Ghostbusters fame as well as Justin Timberlake in a wacky adventure to save Jellystone Park.

The Foreshore event isn’t just for little kids, though, as Yogi makes way for Jim Carrey in The Mask for the first Thursday double feature.

As a meek bank employee, Carey turns into an eccentric, maniacal, reality bending green-skinned superhero when he adorns a wooden mask created by Loki, the Norse god of mischief.

A classic performance from the 90’s star that ends the first school holiday movie night.

Next up are some more cinema landmarks, this time on July 7 from 6.00pm.

It’s a paleolithic pair of pictures at the Foreshore with first up The Land Before Time, where an orphaned dinosaur faces a string of obstacles before coming across four other dinos. Together, they learn how to survive and search for the fabled Great Valley.

To finish off the holidays is the original Jurassic Park, where entrepreneur John Hammond will open his wildlife park of cloned dinosaurs – I think we all know how that one ends.

WHAT: Yogi Bear and The Mask

WHEN: June 30 from 6.00pm

WHAT: The Land Before Time and Jurassic Park

WHEN: July 7 from 6.00pm

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore


This school holidays the Airlie Foreshore Outdoor Cinema will host four movies

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Pedal To The Metal For Horsepower Day

June 16, 2022

Whitsunday rev-heads rejoice as the out-of-nowhere motorsport event Whitsunday Horsepower Heroes returns for its second iteration next month.

Last year under the title of Full Metal Health Day, the event hosted a 60-vehicle display and an appearance by Supercar Driver Cameron Waters along with his Monster Energy V8.

Now with a new name and a fresh coat of paint, Whitsunday Horsepower Day is back to create a “place where people feel safe and can enjoy their passions” while raising funds and awareness for mental health charities.

Last year the event surpassed its organisers’ wildest expectations, raising $1850 dollars for charities with a conservative estimate of 600 attendees. This year, it will return on July 2, again with V8 Supercar driver Cameron Waters in its showcase of Australia’s leading motorsport categories.

It promises to feature “genuine heroes of horsepower” – both drivers and their cars - including the Monster Energy Race Car, and vehicles from various racing categories.

Whitsunday Horsepower Heroes founder Victor Pozolli and local Steve Knox founded the previous event after learning the harrowing statistic that, in the Whitsundays, two thirds of death by suicide are men.

The event this year will again donate its funds raised back to local groups like Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network, Real Mates Talk, and Kick On to combat that statistic.

The event’s fundraising raffle is offering three incredible prizes this year: A first prize Ultimate Hot Lap Experience with Cameron Waters, a second place Hayman Helicopter Experience, and a third place Hamilton Helicopter experience.

If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000

Crisis support numbers: Lifeline: 13 11 14 ; Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 ; Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

You matter.

WHAT: Whitsunday Horsepower Day 2022

WHEN: July 2

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club

TICKETS: Gold Coin Entry

V8 Race Car driver Cameron Waters will be back in the Whitsundays for Horsepower Day at the beginning of July

Image: R Jean Photography

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Movie Review

June 16, 2022

The King Of Rock and Roll has never had a feature length blockbuster portraying his life until now. He starred in his own bout of films: Flaming Star, Love Me Tender, Jailhouse Rock – but never was there a biopic focused on Elvis the man, especially one so haunting.

Australian director Baz Luhrmann has been away from the big screen for almost a decade, and his much-anticipated return to the silver screen is an impish, delirious fever dream. In Elvis, our Presley stand in (hardly) is Austin Butler – a teenage heartthrob who, with Elvis, becomes a man. He outshines fellow cast members to create something indelibly dynamic, putting seasoned actors like co-star Tom Hanks – playing Elvis’s Dutch puppet-master, Colonel Tom Parker - to shame.

Luhrmann’s Elvis is beautifully shot, coloured, and textured. But its performances elevate it; Austin “channelled and embodied” Elvis’s energy, his “heart and soul” according to his own daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

“If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot,” she said.

A return to form for Luhrmann, who captures the Moulin-Rouge magic of his early career to follow Elvis from young, impressionable writhing performances in Memphis gospel tents to the blinding lights of Las Vegas legendry.

There have been performances which embodied a since passed artist, a towering cultural figure - Joaquin Pheonix as Johnny Cash in Walk The Line comes to mind. There is the plaintiveness of Walk the Line in Elvis – a gloomy American Dream that is sadder than one might expect from a film about The King.

But this story about Elvis and Colonel Parker’s relationship is real, it has the endorsement of those who were there.

“It is a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered,” Priscilla Presley, Elvis’s ex-wife said.

Elvis is opening at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema in late July.

Austin Butler in Elvis

Photo: Warner Brothers Pcitures

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Sydney Hotshots Sizzle At The Sailing Club

June 16, 2022

Some of Australia’s finest male physiques are about to sizzle and seduce some locals for one night only at the Whitsunday Sailing Club with their brand-new killer show - The Secret Fantasies Tour.

A hand-picked selection of the Sydney Hotshots will have the crowd off their chairs and screaming for more with a high energy production that boasts the perfect mix of killer dance routines, eye-catching costumes, acrobatics, and of course jaw dropping athletic male physiques.

Each of the 14 dreamy guys coming to the Whitsundays have been chosen from hundreds of men nationwide and put though an intensive “Hotshots Bootcamp”, all graduating with an A+ in hip thrusting!

Coming from various backgrounds, the smorgasbord of delicious dudes includes Tradies, Cops, Farmers and even Fireman who love touring Australia and entertaining the ladies!

Hosted by seasoned professional Paul Reynolds, who was the original cast member of Manpower Australia and is a Las Vegas headliner, the showmanship and cheeky banter with audiences makes for an extra entertaining evening.

It’s the most fun a girl can have standing up!

The Sydney Hotshots have graced television screens, appearing on Studio 10, Sunrise, AGT and Good Morning New Zealand.

It is not very often that this type of performance comes to our small town, so let’s make the most of this opportunity!

WHEN: July 9

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club

TICKETS: sydneyhotshots.com

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Bowen Rodeo And Campdraft

June 16, 2022

A crowd of thousands passed through the gates at the Bowen River Rodeo and Campdraft last weekend and organisers said it was a fantastic four days full of action and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

Held in Collinsville, the annual event has been running since 1886.

This year, an unprecedented number of competitors signed-up for a variety of events which encouraged the whole family to participate - the campdraft was especially popular with junior level competitors.

Organiser Sally Fry said that it was wonderful for the children to get involved and also watch the professionals so they could learn first-hand what they could aspire to achieve one day.

The committee are still adding up all the proceeds which will be heading directly to two worthy local causes – the RACQ CQ Rescue Helicopter services and BUCK OFF Melanoma which raises money to aid medical research into finding treatment and possibly a cure for melanoma.

Dan Condon Winner of the Futurity


Yee ha!

Sam Kime takes control

Thumbs up if you’re having a good time

Mac Shann riding Porter - winner of the Restricted Open

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June 16, 2022

Over $10,000 was raised at the inaugural Lions Club Corporate Golf Day which was held at Whitsunday Green Golf Club on Sunday.

150 keen golfers played at the event, accounting for 32 teams who each represented a local business – from Red Cat Adventures to Eclipse Financial Services – this was an opportunity for a broad spectrum of businesses to get together and raise money for charity.

All proceeds will go to the Proserpine Hospital, split equally between the maternity ward, children’s ward and the palliative care ward.

Maurice Kite was the main instigator of the event, having suggested it to his Lions colleagues, recounting its success when held in Currumbin each year.

During the event many businesses donated items which were then awarded as raffle prizes.

An impressive $1000 was also up for grabs for anyone who scored a hole-in-one at hole 16 but unfortunately no-one got there on the day, so the prize money was put back into the raffle prize draw.

The organising committee said they were thrilled with the turn-out this year and are looking forward to making it an annual event.

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Go Wild At Festival’s 10th Year

June 10, 2022

The Airlie Beach Festival of Music has been keeping this news caged up for weeks, but finally it is free to run wild – The Animals are set to take to the stage at the 10th anniversary festival from November 4-6 this year.

The infamous UK band are known for their greatest hits including House Of The Rising Sun, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, Bring It On Home To Me, Don’t Bring Me Down, It’s My Life and more.

Two original band members, John Steel and Mickey Gallagher, will feature alongside new additions Danny Handley and Bobby Ruiz in celebrating a decade of bringing live music to the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

Also announced in the latest reveal, Aussie legends Eskimo Joe, known for their iconic tracks Black Fingernails, Red Wine and Foreign Land.

Rick Price, Lloyd Spiegel, Lily and King, Innocent Eve, Lash 78 and Mardi Wilson, also join previously announced main stage acts including Ben Lee, Rogue Traders, the Badloves, Bill Chambers and Mi-Sex.

Festival founder, Gavin Butlin, said he was thrilled to make this second line-up announcement and honoured to welcome such high calibre acts.

“It’s been hard keeping a lid on this one while the details have been finalised but now that the cat’s out of the bag so to speak, we’re expecting to see a big surge in ticket sales,” he said.

To purchase tickets or for more information visit www.airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au.

WHEN: 3-7 November

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club

Tickets: $300 weekend pass

The Animals are playing on the main stage this year

Jaw-dropping sea views from the main tent at the Whitsunday Sailing Club

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Fundraising Dinner Supports Local Family

June 10, 2022

A community dinner will be held at The Creek Whitsundays in July to help raise funds for the Edwards- Bland family who tragically lost their 12-year-old son Stirling in a car accident in May.

Stirling’s twin brother was also in the car and sustained serious injuries.  

The event has been organised to wrap the family in a large community hug, with all proceeds, love and kind thoughts donated straight to the them at their time of need.

Jodie Ferdinand from The Creek Whitsundays said her son, Archie, had been one of Stirling’s good friends since grade 4 and they wanted to help his family through this difficult time.

Mel Butcher from Taylors has been working hard gathering items for the auction and Tolita Dukes from 8 Seconds has been volunteering her time with design work and social media posts.

Since announcing the fundraiser, organisers have been overwhelmed by the support from the community with many businesses donating prizes for the silent auction.

The night kicks-off at 5pm and Whitsunday Transit are providing three courtesy buses to ferry passengers out to the venue and back.

Held in the beautiful mountain backdrop of this rural venue, guests will enjoy a buffet dinner with live music from a guitarist followed by a DJ as the night progresses.

Metropole Bar will be operating with Happy Hour prices throughout the night and a silent auction will be led by Rob Murolo from Elders.

Amazing lucky door prizes will be announced every 30 minutes.

All proceeds go to the Edwards-Bland family and tickets can be purchased at Whitsundaytickets.com.au or call phone 0438750282 for further details.

WHEN: Saturday, July 9

WHERE: The Creek Whitsundays

TICKETS: $110 per person

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What’s New At The Show?

June 10, 2022

In a week’s time the annual Show Whitsunday celebrate its 110th festivity with a repertoire of new attractions, as well as familiar favourites returning to the fold on June 17 and 18.

Carnival rides will light up the Proserpine showgrounds, dodgems will collide, and food vendors will whip up corn dogs to delight showgoers in mid-June.

10,000 people are set to roll through the show over its two-day duration specially to enjoy some of those new offerings.

Airtime FMX

High-flying, Evel Knievel like stunts are making their way to the Whitsundays courtesy of Airtime FMX Motocross next Friday and Saturday. In their first year at the Proserpine Showgrounds, the motorbike gymnasts will deliver captivating and jaw dropping live Freestyle Motocross entertainment, flying through the air in death-defying stunts.

They’ll display their acrobatic prowess all on motorbikes – a combination of skill, speed, and precision that no other show in the country can match.

Show Organiser Donna Rogers said they went the extra mile this year to secure these talented racers.

“They’ve been getting a lot of talk up and down the coast,” Ms Rogers said.

“These incredible athletes are going to be something so different for the show this year and we know they’re going to be an enormous hit.”

JetPak Entertainment

A “mysterious jet pack man” is gracing the showgrounds next week as part of the festivities. The water sport attraction propels its rider up into the air, allowing them to perform flying feats and twists and turns.

“We don’t want to spoil it too much,” Ms Rogers said.

“Let’s just say he’s going to be an absolute treat – a real spectacle!”

Familiar Favourites

The sugar town showgrounds will be filled with plenty of action for families to enjoy – with tickets available through online pre-purchase only this year.

For more info visit www.showwhitsunday.com.au

WHAT: Show Whitsunday

WHEN: June 17 and 18

WHERE: Proserpine Showgrounds

TICKETS: Friday https://bit.ly/3M7Ax2D and Saturday https://bit.ly/3agSEG0

The high-flying Airtime FMX will take on the show on both Friday and Saturday

A mysterious jet pack wearing man will shoot into the air on stilts of water at Show Whitsunday

All the familiar rides are back this year too

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Rock And Grohl At The Pub

June 10, 2022

Come as you are to The Pub when one tribute show recreates the performances of two of the world’s most iconic bands, The Foo Fighters and Nirvana, all in one afternoon.

Four highly experienced musicians – Clint Timothy on bass guitar, Dean with the vocals, backed by guitarist Barry, and Steve on the drums - will come together at the Airlie Beach Hotel as FooVana on Saturday, June 25.

They’ll celebrate the genius of Dave Grohl and Kurt Cobain, faithfully recreating the energy and the dynamism of Foo Fighters and Nirvana.

When they came together in 2001 to form the Australian Foo Fighters and Nirvana Tribute Show known as FooVana, they never knew they would perform over 200 live shows at venues across Melbourne and regional Victoria, as well as interstate.

These guys aren’t The Pretender, they’re the real deal, delivering a cross section of the renowned band’s material, from early Nirvana to the latest Foo Fighters, all while preserving the power and integrity of the original music.

“We’re very excited to first of all to escape the Melbourne cold, but to perform in front of a new audience in Airlie Beach will be amazing,” Clint said.

“It’s stuff we grew up on and we’re proud to bring the sing-along lyrics to new places.”

Chris said that the Airlie audience should get ready for a special set.

“This show has taken on a new direction for us, it’s not just a tribute to the bands we love, but also to Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters, who recently passed away,” Chris said.

“We’re keeping the spirit of both Nirvana and Foo Fighters alive.”

FooVana emulate the raw energy and emotion of the vocals, while maintaining the complexity of their pulsating rhythm and the searing power of lead guitar.

Then, on Sunday they’ll roll into the Airlie Beach Hotel as Louderfinger, delivering a hard-hitting and set from Powderfinger’s 7 albums and 18 Aria award winning songs, including My Happiness, These Days, Sunsets, On My Mind and much more.

At the end of their set, they’ll bring it all home with a carefully curated set of 90s rock classics from the likes of Pearl Jam and more.

On Saturday, June 25, FooVana will rock The Pub before they return on Sunday, June 26, as Louderfinger from 2pm – 5.30pm both days.

Don’t miss the free tribute event to some of the world’s best rockers.

FooVana arrive at The Pub June 25

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Movie Reviews

June 10, 2022

Jurassic World: Dominion

A perfect storm propelled Jurassic Park into cultural ubiquity back in 1993. Author Michael Crichton was at the height of his writing powers, and Steven Spielberg had already carved out the edgings of blockbuster cinema, defining its contours and ridges. Ground-breaking computer-generated imagery mixed with life-size animatronics brought Dinosaurs back from the dead to movie screens across the globe.

That was almost thirty years ago.

One of films crowning franchises has had a long and storied life, and Dominion is the conclusion to this dinosaur fraught universe, and it pulls out all the stops.

Dinosaurs now live—and hunt—alongside humans all over the world, and some old timers are out of retirement to try and help save mankind. The familiar cast of Pratt and Bryce Dallas-Howard are joined by Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill – each of whom had starring roles in the original.

It’s not to be missed.

Catch Jurassic World: Dominion (M) at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema opening 6.45pm this Friday.

The star-studded cast includes returning Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, and Laura Dern for the final instalment of Jurassic World. Image: Universal


Let me explain this to you: Lightyear is a blockbuster film within a film. It’s the movie the characters in Toy Story would watch. Basically, Andy – little boy, loves Buzz Lightyear – would have seen this movie, which would have made him beg his parents to buy the Buzz Lightyear toy who put the entirety of the Toy Story franchise into motion.

I hope that clears things up.

In this film within a film, Chris Evan’s voices a new-look Buzz Lightyear, a young space pilot who finds himself in a sticky situation. It’s his first adventure into the infinity of space, but he ends up going beyond. Marooned on a hostile planet, having travelled 60 years into the future, he now needs to find his way back home through space and time.

The definitive Buzz Lightyear origin story has a little something for everyone; particularly adults who will recognise the voice of Taika Waititi, who lends his quirky New Zealand humour to the fold.

Catch Lightyear (PG) at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema opening Friday, June 17.

Talent like Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear lend their talent to this blockbuster Toy Story spinoff. Image: Disney

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Calling All Young Musos

June 10, 2022

Local up-and-coming artists will take to the stage in three sets of heats starting in August for the return of Young Whitsundays Got Talent.

The showcase of local singers aged 19 or under will run in two heats: August 28 in Proserpine, September 25 in Bowen, and a grand final on October 23 in Woodwark.

The talent show, which started back in 2019, has gained a stellar reputation amongst the region’s young artists.

Local Paula Hovey created the identifier show as a performance platform for young burgeoning musicians in the Whitsundays. In its first year, it began as a partnership with the Airlie Beach Festival of Music – one which has continued to this day.

That partnership sees the winner of Young Whitsundays Got Talent head for tours of the festival’s main stage to rub shoulders with its nationally renowned acts, as well as perform on the Fish Jam Stage.

Founder of Young Whitsundays Got Talent, Paula Hovey, said they were looking forward to another year of top tier talent for the competition.

“We’re super excited to hear from the young local superstars registering already, and I’m super excited to get out amongst it to Bowen and Proserpine and see what they can bring to the table, Ms Hovey said.

“It always blows me away to see how much talent is on offer around the region.”

Heat one will see the competitors head to the Prince of Wales Hotel in Proserpine, and heat two will take place at The Grandview in Bowen.

From there, the best of the best will compete in the grand final at Northerlies.

Ms Hovey said the competition “gives young musicians a chance to perform in front of an audience in a supportive and encouraging environment,” as well as a chance for them to improve their skills with lead up events and exciting workshops.

Winners will receive a makeover and photoshoot as well as a backstage tour at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music during sound checks and a performance at the after party at Northerlies.

All finalists will be invited to perform on the Fish Jam Stage at the market foreshore during the Airlie Beach Festival of Music.

Ms Hovey said any prospective contestants should reach out to her through the Young Whitsundays Got Talent Facebook page.

Some of last year’s competitors will be showcased at the Great Barrier Reef Festival on Friday, August 5 on the Fish Jam Stage.

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Movie Review

June 3, 2022

John Madden’s newest drama, Operation Mincemeat, is a somewhat microcosm of World War II British operations; a time of devastation and horror, and in the face of it, unequivocable hope. Its true to life story – the British deception operation to disguise the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily – is a macabre tale of espionage brilliance that contributed to Ally victory.

The British lost countless lives in the war, but it was ironically “The Man Who Never Was”, a tramp who lost his life after eating rat poison on the streets of London away from the fighting, that would become one of its most important.

Madden’s film tells the astounding story of the men who cooked up a high-risk disinformation strategy centred on that dead man.

Five weeks before the invasion of the Italian shores by allies to break Hitler’s grip on occupied Europe, an impossible challenge presents itself: how to protect the invasion force from potential annihilation.

Two remarkable intelligence officers, Colin Firth’s Ewen Montagu and Matthew Macfadyen’s Charles Cholmondeley, dream up the most inspired and improbable strategy of the war: to convince the Germans that the English will invade Greece, set in motion by a corpse with fake classified information washing ashore in Spain.

That information was a correspondence between two British generals suggesting the Allies would invade Greece and Sardinia, and that Sicily was merely a feint – an extraordinary gamble.

Madden’s telling of one of war history’s greatest and most fanciful achievements is replete with dark humour, remarkable circumstance, and an exceptional cast – both in its talented actors and its historical figures.

It serves as an espionage tilt at a World War II story – a site greatly plundered, and often told in grandeur and sentimentality. A spy thriller that inspired the world, especially when a young Lieutenant Commander, Ian Fleming, who worked on the operation would go on to pen Casino Royal and give the world James Bond.

Operation Mincemeat (M) is coming to the Bowen Summergarden Cinema this June.

Colin Firth stars in Operation Mincemeat, which doesn't always take itself seriously because the idea at its centre "edges over into Monty Python territory".

Supplied: Transmission

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