Whitsunday Region Entertainment News

Highway To Hell  With Thunderstruck

Highway To Hell With Thunderstruck

Do you want to feel the electricity? Do you want to feel the power? Do you want a heart-stopping, head-banging performance? Then make sure you go to see Thunderstruck, an AC/DC tribute band, at the Airlie Beach Hotel. With a collective history spanning over 30 years, this AC/DC tribute show is bringing big beats and bigger energy for the metal heads of the Airlie Beach coast. Often branded as one of the most authentic and accurate recreations of the iconic rockers, Thunderstruck is not a

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Drag Queen Bingo With Miss Lady Saint Diva

Drag Queen Bingo With Miss Lady Saint Diva

Miss Lady Saint Diva is back, and she’s bringing her unforgettable charm for another round of Drag Queen Bingo. And she doesn’t stop there, bringing along a special guest with her to ensure that the evening is full of non-stop laughter and excitement. Tickets include entry, unmissable drag performances, raffle (with a selection of amazing prizes on offer) and, of course, the bingo. Prepare for an evening of non-stop laughter, jaw-dropping drag performances and an amazing selection of prizes th

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Musically Fundraise For A Good Cause

Musically Fundraise For A Good Cause

Are you ready for a fun and engaging night out? Then the Collinsville-Scottville Kindy have the perfect event for you! Raising funds for their kindy program, you can party it up for a good cause, with musical bingo the main entertainment. Adults only, you can be sure this will be a hoot, with tickets including the choice of a beer or wine on arrival, nibbles, and a music bingo card. But the fun doesn’t stop there, with raffles and a lucky door prize sure to bring more laughs to the room. Doub

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Sunset Energy  With ADF 1RAR Band

Sunset Energy With ADF 1RAR Band

The Australian Army’s 1RAR Band is heading to Bowen, as part of their Southern Community Engagement Tour, for a special one-night concert. The 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regime, the 1RAR Band has been instrumental in encouraging community engagement with the Australian Army, through the positive and uplifting tunes of their music. “We’re a 22-piece full time band, performing for the community with modern and atmospheric beats,” explained Band Sergeant Major, James Duquemin. Based in To

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Acclaimed Aussie Crime Writer Set To Attend Local Writers Festival

February 23, 2024

The revitalised Whitsundays Writers Festival is gaining momentum, with the recent announcement that acclaimed Australian crime writer Garry Disher will join the lineup of prestigious speakers at the highly anticipated event due to be held this September.

Garry Disher, author of the novels ‘Hell To Pay’ and ‘The Divine Wind’, is also a three-time winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best Novel.

He is known for his captivating characters and engaging narratives and is eager to meet with fellow writers and readers at the 2024 Whitsunday Writers Festival.

Garry’s presence at the festival promises to be a highlight, as he shares insights into his award-winning career and engages with writers and readers alike.

Festival President Karen Jacobsen is thrilled to have the likes of Garry on the lineup.

"Fostering an exceptional roster of speakers for our regional writers festival is a testament to the literary richness of our nation,” she explained.

“We are honoured to have Australia's leading writers, including Garry Disher, grace our event.

"With over 50 novels to his name and a plethora of international and national accolades, Garry's presence adds a dynamic dimension to our festival."

"Stay tuned for ticketing details, set to be announced soon after the full program launch. Early bird enthusiasts are encouraged to register on our website to secure exclusive discounts."

This latest announcement means that Garry Disher joins forces with the 2023 Miles Franklin Award winner, Shankari Chandran, in spearheading this year’s Whitsundays Writers Festival. The festival is dedicated to showcasing the finest literary talents in regional Queensland at beautiful Airlie Beach.

After a seven-year hiatus, the festival's return marks a momentous occasion, promising an immersive celebration of literature, culture, and creativity. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Whitsundays, this event is poised to elevate the region's cultural landscape to new heights.

For further information and to subscribe for festival news and special offers visit: whitsundayswriters.com

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Whitsunday Wonders Artist Exhibit For Great Barrier Reef Festival

February 23, 2024

The Great Barrier Reef Art Exhibit has been confirmed to return in 2024, taking centre stage at the refurbished Whitsunday Sailing Club.

Scheduled for the first week of August, the exhibition will showcase a curated selection of over 70 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs, chosen by a panel of judges.

The special guest judge, Lauren Turton the Curator of Artspace Mackay, will have the honour of selecting the winning artworks, at the Opening Night on August 1.

Margie Murphy, Chairperson of the Great Barrier Reef Festival, expressed her delight at the addition of the Exhibition to the Festival. 

“The 2023 exhibition was a fantastic addition to the festival program, enhancing the artistic dimension of the event and attracting new visitors, and we can’t wait to see the new entries this year!” Ms Murphy said.

Following on from the theme of 2023’s exhibition, the theme of ‘Whitsunday Wonders: Above and Below the Surface’ has artists exploring the dual realms of the region.

Numerous art prizes await, notably the inaugural 'Cathy Knezevic Local Artist Award’, generously supported by the Whitsundays Arts Festival. 

“This prestigious recognition honours Cathy's foundational role in establishing the Whitsundays Arts Festival and her substantial contributions to the local arts community," commented Jess Begun, President of WAF. 

More awards are set to be announced, and with entries open from April 1, artists are encouraged to pick up their tools and get started.

Guests visiting the 2023 exhibition. Photo supplied

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Meet Ämi Head Chef Of Reef Gateway Hotel

February 23, 2024

For Ämi Andrews, falling into a fabulous career in the kitchen was a no brainer, a move that she made with calculated decision and passion, always valuing the art of cooking and enjoying the vibrant cuisine-fuelled environment.

Having called Airlie Beach home for over four years now, Ämi initially ventured to Australia from London close to 10 years ago, travelling up the east coast before settling for a short period of time.

“When I left the UK, I knew being a chef would be great, because I can cook anywhere, and everywhere is always looking for more chefs,” Ämi explained.

Having worked in a myriad of establishments over the course of her travels, the Reef Gateway has allowed Ami’s artistic traits to flair, with her stepping into the Head Chef role soon after joining the team.

“I was initially the Sous Chef, but I was promoted quickly,” she said.

With a team of 10 chefs in her kitchen, Ämi is quick to make the team transition into a tight-knit family.

With a menu that she is proud of, Ämi loves getting behind the grill, searing up a gorgeous fillet of steak or a piece of salmon.

“We have these beautiful, marbled scotch fillets, and our salmon is served with smooth butter sauce with this crispy skin,” Ämi explained.

Come on down to the Reef Gateway and experience some of the best family-friendly dining in the Whitsundays.

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Throw In A Line At The Barra Bash

February 23, 2024

The barramundi fishing competition of the year is back, with the organisers Whitsunday Game Fish Club excited to take to the lake.

Based at Camp Kanga, the weekend starts with a briefing and registration at Camp Kanga on Friday March 22, from 7pm, for those wishing to get in on the action.

Nomination for the Barra Bash is free and prizes will be presented at the conclusion of the weekend, from 1pm, with photo on a brag mat, including the date, of the longest Barra.  Anglers can fish the lake, any time after the Briefing from a boat or the lake shoreline until noon on Sunday, 24 March. 

As well as chasing monster Barra, there will be a social tennis ball games of cricket on Saturday afternoon and tales told around the campfire with a marsh mellow or two at night.

For more details and accommodation bookings at Camp Kanga, call Bob Spees on 0417 115 855 to be part of this fun weekend.

WHAT: Barra Bash
WHERE: Lake Proserpine
WHEN: Friday to Sunday, March 22 to 24

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Classic Cars Take Centre Stage At Annual Car Show And Shine

February 23, 2024

With a backdrop of the Coral Sea, on the lush grass of the Coral Sea Marina, the annual Whitsunday Cruisin Car Club Show and Shine is back for another year.

The event welcomes a diverse range of classic and unique cars and bikes, with everyone invited to get their vehicle in on the fun.

“We hope to have more local entrants and as always welcome those car and bike enthusiasts displaying their own pride and joy,” Club Secretary Kerri Southee explained.

“Cars and bikes of all ages, makes and models are welcome and encouraged to join in.”

The Club is also excited with the return of the Kids Show and Shine and wish to encourage all youngsters to get involved.

“So kids, start getting your favourite car, scooter or bike ready and go in the event with the chance to win some amazing prizes,” said Kerri.

The event will also include the Rocker Cover Racing, fantastic cars on display, and various food and drink vendors available all day.

“All this is possible thanks to the amazing team and Coral Sea Marina and Resort, without whom we could not have this family fun day event for the whole community and our local sponsors,” Kerri explained.

With more details to be announced, car enthusiast better start polishing their pride and joy!

WHAT: Whitsunday Cruisin Car Club: Car Show and Shine
WHERE: Coral Sea Marina Gardens, Shingley Beach Drive
WHEN: Saturday, May 25

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Sugar Bush Shindig Coming Soon

February 23, 2024

Back by popular demand, the ‘Sugar Bush Shindig’, brought to you by the organisers of the Cut Out Party, is counting down the days to its next annual event which is due to be held at the Proserpine Showgrounds next month.

A celebration of our vibrant sugar industry, the family-friendly community party is a time to honour the history of our region, thank the hard-working teams that keep the industry going and also bring everyone together.

This year all proceeds will go to the Royal Flying Doctor Service Queensland Section, and the popular charity auction will once again go a long way to boosting fundraising efforts.

“This service is vital to a regional community such as ours and many people have been touched by their services over the years,” said Amanda Hadlow from the Cut Out Party Committee.

Items to be auctioned on the night include a signed Cowboys jersey (donated by Filby's motors, Proserpine), A firepit (built by Strathdickie engineering), a cattle rail (donated by Infrabuild, Mackay), some Crocodile Safari family passes, a family photo shoot with Sue Considine, a socket set and LED head torch (donated by Canegrowers) and various accommodation around the Whitsundays.

The Sugar Bush Shindig is a family event and everyone is invited to come along and celebrate what makes the industry and region special. 

During the event, the RFDS have also arranged for their flight simulator to be present and attendees will get the opportunity to give it a go.

Last year this event raised $38,000 which was donated to the RACQ CQ Rescue Service and organisers are hopeful to reach a similar target once again.

Tickets include a BBQ dinner, drinks and entertainment.

They are now on sale from Whitsunday Tickets, with adults $80 and children aged 6-17 $15 and under 6 are free.

WHAT: Sugar Bush Shindig

WHERE: Proserpine Showgrounds

WHEN: Saturday 9th March from 5pm

TICKETS: Whitsunday Tickets

Caption: Last year’s Cut Out Party was a huge success, and the Sugar Brush Shindig is anticipated to be the same again this year. Photo supplied

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Discover the Art of Publishing a Children's Book

February 23, 2024

Avid writers and aspiring children’s authors from across the region are invited to Bowen Library tomorrow where they will experience an opportunity to connect with other like-minded people and learn about the ever-growing publishing industry for children’s books.

Whitsunday Creative Writers and Illustrators (WCBWI) group will host a free event, taking place at 9:30 am, on the 24th of February, titled "Publishing Houses vs. Self-Publishing.”

WCBWI President, Dr Sofia Fortunato, a local writer and illustrator of environmental children's books, will highlight the significance of understanding the nuances between traditional publishing and self-publishing in today's literary world.

“I will emphasise the rigorous process involved in traditional publishing, from manuscript submission to editorial, refinement, illustration process and eventual distribution, underscoring the invaluable role of publishing houses in shaping literary works,” said Sofia Fortunato.

Drawing inspiration from her journey, Dr. Fortunato will also illuminate the landscape for self-publishing, as well as highlight the empowering journey, from controlling the publication timeline to retaining higher royalty rates as she showcases how to maintain creative control over every aspect of the book’s production.

“Attendees will have the opportunity to exchange perspectives, and there will be an open discussion about the advantages and challenges inherent in both traditional and self-publishing routes," Dr Fortunato said.

Topics will range from editorial support and marketing strategies to royalty structures and distribution channels, offering aspiring authors invaluable insights into making informed decisions about their publishing journeys.

All material will be provided for the sessions and bookings are essential. For more information please contact the Bowen Library on 4761 3670.

WHAT: Publishing Houses vs. Self-Publishing Workshop

WHERE: Bowen Library

WHEN: Saturday 24th February, 9.30am

Caption: WCBWI 2023 Proserpine meeting

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Get Creative With The Coral Sea Academy

February 22, 2024

Coral Sea Academy offers an extensive range of events, aimed at locals and visitors alike, discussing topics that are meaningful to the Whitsundays, and to inspire the community to do more.


The Coral Sea Academy focuses on providing interactive events to consciously connect people to not only boating, but the environment and themselves, leaving them feeling inspired and empowered.

Embark on a journey that inspires you to become a part of something bigger, to make the change and be the change.

The following activities present to you that opportunity;

ART CLASS

WEDNESDAY 21 FEB | 9am - 12pm
Unleash your inner creativity. Capture moments of joy from your day. Using the materials provided you will be able to create a colourful picture of the things that make you smile.

CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA DAY

SUNDAY 3 MARCH | 8.30 - 10.30am
Family friendly event starting at Coral Sea Marina. Spend the morning collecting any litter you can find on land or sea. All litter will be sorted and the data will be collected for the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.

WOMEN IN BOATING

FRIDAY 8 MARCH | 2 - 3.30pm
Join us on International Women's Day for a celebration of the resilience of women. Hosted by Author and Resilience Coach Natalie Stockdale, this empowering session provides tools to navigate life's challenges. 

2nd ART CLASS

WEDNESDAY 20 MARCH | 9am - 12pm
If you can’t make the first art class… come along to this one!

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Bourbon Infused Confidence With KC’s Bar and Grill

February 15, 2024

Introducing KC’s Bourbon Bar, exclusive and enigmatic and perfect for the locals and visitors. With a slight restructure to keep locals on their toes, this imaginative Bourbon Bar will take front and centre stage of KC’s Bar and Grill restaurant, in the encompassing warmth of the main dining room.

The only bourbon bar in the Whitsundays, KC’s is taking Airlie Beach by storm, adding a layer of rich and aromatic flavours to the KC’s menu.

And the grand opening will be a sight to behold, with the team of KC’s ready to mark the night with the scent of bourbon.

Troy Fuller, Head Chef of KC’s Bar and Grill, has a specially curated menu for opening night, utilising the secret ingredient of bourbon in every aspect he can.

“We’ve tried to incorporate bourbon into our cooking as much as possible,” he explained.

“We’ve got a starter of slow cooked bourbon brisket, with a choice of chimichurri.

“For mains, we have two options. One is a 12-hour bourbon marinated rib fillet, with chip and salad and potatoes and vegetables,” Troy said.

“The second option is bourbon glazed pork ribs, with crispy apple slaw and chips.”

Satisfying your taste buds is easy at KC’s, with Troy carefully concocting the best blend of bourbon delicacies, of the sweetness of a cool bourbon steak, and the smooth finish of a bourbon on the rocks.

With 80 carefully hand selected bourbon varieties gathered from across the globe, the team of KC’s Bar and Grill are ensuring an oaky, beautifully charred flavour for locals and visitors alike to tantalise their tastebuds.

And don’t miss the cocktail specials that are setting the night alight, with rich flavours and perfectly paired with the exquisite menu, all specially crafted by special guest, cocktail connoisseur Blair Frew.

“We will have a great mix of the classic bourbon cocktails on the menu,” he explained.

“Plus a few signature originals that I have worked on just for KC’s.

“And don’t miss our fun modern twists on some old school classic cocktails, which are sure to entice everyone.”

This official opening is not to be missed.

WHAT: Official Opening: KC’s New Bourbon Bar
WHERE: KC’s Bar and Grill
WHEN: Wednesday February 21

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New Music For Local Youth

February 15, 2024

Up-and-coming musician Tiffany Grace has returned from renowned Tamworth Country Music Festival Country Music Academy, extending and progressing her own skills as a solo musician, songwriting and performing.

Having launched onto the stage in recent years, Tiffany has seen great success, from winning the Young Whitsunday’s Got Talent in 2022, to performing alongside other musicians at the 2023 Whitsunday Songwriter’s Festival and being a headliner for the Airlie Beach Festival of Music.

Tiffany’s acceptance at the Country Music Academy held in Tamworth in January is a testament to her hard work and dedication to her craft.

“It was absolutely amazing,” Tiffany explained.

Staying in Tamworth for the 14-day Academy, Tiffany lived every aspect of country music life, completing workshops, practicing her playing, and collaborating on her songwriting.

“We even had a songwriting workshop with Casey Chambers,” Tiffany explained.

“We were having so much fun that the time just flew by.”

“I found it so great to spend time with other musicians, where we could all relate to each other and help each other,” she explained.

“Our passions are all so similar, so now we are all connected, and we can always ring one another up and get a hand.”

Tiffany believes that attending the Academy in 2024 was perfectly timed with her skill and technical development, with her coming home with newfound confidence and energy that is translating to exciting new music and projects.

Having recently released her fifth single, entitled ‘Never Really Mine’, Tiffany continues to reflect on youth, of unrequited love, and her music is reminiscent of a longing love.

“I always have big plans for 2024 and looking forward to releasing new music and sharing my music.

“The Academy has allowed me to expand my skill set, and my music is going off in a bit of a different direction, a few mixed styles.”

Listen to Tiffany’s newest track ‘Never Really Mine’ and her other music at https://www.tiffanygracemusic.com.au/

1. Tiffany Grace on stage with other Academy participants

2 and 3. Tiffany Grace’s solo career setting new sites in 2024. Photos supplied

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Celebrate World Margarita Day!

February 15, 2024

This is an explosive mix that tastes so sweet with the delectable flavours of a margarita, and The Mad Mariachi Band which are sure to bring the heat!

Created in the heart of tropical Queensland, and intensely packed with the flair and beats of traditional Mexican Mariachi music, this show offers more than a dash of contemporary rhythms.

From the creative imagination of Nelson Mansilla, The Mad Mariachi Band is best described as a “spaghetti-western Mexican music”.

“We’re non-traditional,” Nelson explained.


“We have a mixture of Mexican feel with eclectic beats.”

Traditionally a 16-person band, The Mad Mariachi Band tilts Mexican music on its head, introducing a trumpet, violin and guitar which explode the beats and get the crowd moving.

“Once we’re on stage, we read the audience and make up the show from there,” Nelson explained.

“On the spot, we decide what energy the audience is giving, if they want more traditional Mexican music, but we can also perform popular contemporary music with Mexican twists.”

Sure to be a hit in Airlie Beach, with our beachy relaxed energy, The Mad Mariachi Band are bringing their best for World Margarita Day, with surprises galore up their sleeve.

“Airlie Beach, get ready!”

Visit the Airlie Beach Hotel on Thursday, and get your FREE Sombrero, El Jimador Sunglasses and Mexican Moustaches!

WHAT: WORLD MARGARITA DAY: The Mad Mariachi Band
WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Thursday, February 22, from 6.30pm to 9.30pm

WHAT: The Mad Mariachi Band
WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Friday, February 23, from 7pm to 10pm

Soul Divas, Belt Out The Beats!

With a career spanning numerous years and various unbelievable professional opportunities, including being lead vocals on Dancing With the Stars, and being a guest judge on Channel 7’s All Together Now, Sarah C is a powerhouse of prowess.

With an incredible range, Sarah C is a performer not to miss, and she is bringing her brand new performance, Soul Divas, to the Airlie Beach Hotel stage.

Brand new for Airlie Beach, Soul Divas sees Sarah C take on some of the greatest voices of this century, from Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Amy Winehouse, Adele and so many more.

With a soulful voice and powerful stage presence, Sarah C and her Soul Divas production is not the show to miss.

WHAT: Soul Divas
WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Saturday, February 24 and Sunday, February 25, 2pm to 5.30pm

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Get Slimed! A Fun-Filled Family Event From Proserpine YouthSpace

February 9, 2024

The old school field was put to good use last weekend when families from across the region attended the second annual Slime Fest, held by Proserpine YouthSpace to raise money for children’s activities, programs, and future events.

Over 75 excited children registered on the day, embarking on a slime-fuelled obstacle course where buckets of bright coloured ooze were fair-game for slime-filled cannons shooting plumes of spray at anyone on the field.

Local children of all ages enjoyed having fun with no-one escaping the slime! Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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Celebrating International Women’s Day With Zonta

February 9, 2024

The Zonta Club of the Whitsundays is welcoming the community to their 2024 International Women’s Day Luncheon, to celebrate the women of the world, and the amazing influence and contribution they make to their individual communities.

With an array of notable guest speakers, a glass of bubbles on arrival, and a three course lunch, the Zonta Club of the Whitsundays will also host an exciting auction and raffle, with the likes of water adventures, a helicopter ride, and island stays on the cards for attendees.

One guest speaker is the likes of influential Dame Carol Kidu AO.

Dame Carol is an Australian-born Papua New Guinean politician, whose political career began in 1997 before she retired in July 2012.

During her time in parliament, Dame Carol was the driving force behind various important reforms in Papua New Guinea, including the repeal of the colonial Child Welfare Act, changes to the Criminal Code on rape and sexual assault, and bringing in new legislation on child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.

In 2023, Dame Carol was recognised for her work with an Order of Australia, and in 2005, she was made a Dame by the Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

With much more planned for the event, it is best to purchase tickets before they sell out!

WHAT: International Women’s Day Luncheon, by Zonta Club of the Whitsundays
WHERE: Coral Sea Marina Resort
WHEN: Sunday, March 10

TICKETS: $95 available through whitsundaytickets.com.au


The Zonta Whitsunday Ladies enjoying 2023 International Women’s Day. Photo supplied

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Going Radio Ga Ga With Queen Rocks

February 9, 2024

This will be a weekend of rock, a weekend of beats, and a weekend where the show must go on, there is no doubt about that.

Get ready to rock, with the Queen Rocks tribute show checking into the Airlie Beach Hotel for one weekend of two massive rock shows!

With intricate beats and accurate costuming, plus a dash of suspended disbelief, be transported to the heyday of Queen, hear the unforgettable tracks of Freddie Mercury, and rock out the only way you can.

“We started as just a group of mates wanting to play our favourite Queen songs,” Jason Hess, the group’s ‘Freddie’, explained.

“We loved the music and wanted to pay our respects, and from there, it just grew into the tribute show it is now.”

Bringing on accurate costuming and the unforgettable energy, Queen Rocks embodies everything that Queen represents.

“We use the same equipment, and wear the same costumes,” Jason said.

“We enjoy honouring their legacy and pay our respects the best way we can. We have dedicated much of ourselves to this show, in order to produce the best show imaginable.”

The music will be alive, with two hours of non-stop classics, the audience should be prepared to be out of their chairs, moving to the beats and swaying with the energy.

Now, what is Jason’s favourite track to belt out on this show?

“I love playing ‘Somebody to Love’. The beats and rhythm are so joyous and excited, but the lyrics, when you really listen to it, are so sad and sombre,” Jason explained.

“We love letting the music go and getting the crowd in on the chorus. It’s great for audience participation.”

And what is Queen Rock’s go-to track to get the crowd going?

“’Bohemian Rhapsody’, hands down, gets the crowd going like no other. We’ll play a few strings, hint to the song a little, and instantly everyone knows what’s about to happen. It’s great to get the audience up and singing, belting out the lyrics and dancing to the music.”

“’Bohemian Rhapsody’ is great to capture the excitement of the room, so put your dancing shoes on, and get involved!”

WHAT: Queen Rocks: The Definitive Tribute
WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18, from 2pm to 5.30pm
TICKETS:
Free! But it’s recommended to book a table!

Photo supplied

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Experience THE WET

February 8, 2024

Brought to life by the likes of Harley Mann, a Wakka Wakka man of Queensland, THE WET speaks to traditional North Queensland, of connection, and of being one small cog in a much bigger wheel of life.

Produced and performed by Circa Cairns, THE WET is led by First Nations People, and is made of an ensemble showcasing the heart and soul of Cairns, speaking to the country of Far North Queensland, of the tales of the landscape and the legacy of yarns with community and country.

Telling of ancient stories of the wet tropics, audiences will be shown artistic displays of human prowess, of unforgettable and dynamic acrobatic skills, rooting the audience in the connection of country and of being from North Queensland.

As the shows tag line depicts:
You don’t know Far North Queensland if you haven’t experienced THE WET.

WHAT: THE WET
WHERE: The Proserpine Entertainment Centre
WHEN: Thursday, February 29, From 8pm
TICKETS: proserpineentertainmentcentre.com.au

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Eclectic Beats And Tropical Connection Bustamento Comes To Airlie Beach

February 1, 2024

International rhythms and global beats flow through this dynamic musical journey, with fantastical connections and otherworldly notes, as the Airlie Beach Hotel hosts the world-class prowess of Nicky Bomba’s Bustamento

This six-piece Cadillac of a show is the brain child of none other than Nicky Bomba, known for his eclectic beats spanning genres of artists like Jon Butler Trio and Melbourne Ska Orchestra, and embodying the energy of Caribbean and reggae.

Celebrating life, the joyousness of living, and full of fun, Bustamento speaks to the uplifting connection between music and your soul.

“This music is a beautiful thing,” Nicky explained.

“And this music is right at home in Airlie Beach. This is the perfect setting for our Bustamento beats.”

Forcing you out of your seat, Nicky and Bustamento will have you bopping with the beats, matching the vibes and energy of the music, setting souls alive with the ambiance, unity and expression of your self in the backdrop of tropical beats and Caribbean life.

WHAT: Nicky Bomba’s ‘Bustamento’: The Intrepid Adventure Tour
WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Saturday February 10, from 2pm to 5.30pm
TICKETS: Absolutely Free! But table bookings are recommended!

WHAT: Nicky Bomba’s One Love Bob Marley Tribute
WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Sunday, February 11, from 2pm to 5.30pm
TICKETS: Absolutely Free! But table bookings are recommended!

Photos supplied

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Dive Under The Sea With The Burdekin Singers And Theatre Company

January 24, 2024

The Whitsundays are invited to head north this February for the latest cultural instalment from the Burdekin Theatre which is showcasing a magical story of finding true love.

Hans Christian Andersen’s classic animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, has been transformed into a beautiful musical that the Whitsunday region is invited to enjoy under the talents of The Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company.

The tale begins in a magical deep-sea kingdom where a young mermaid, Ariel, dreams of leaving her ocean home to live in the world above. With the help of her comedic companions, Flounder, Scuttle, and of course Sebastian, her journey becomes a heart-warming quest to find true love as a mermaid in a world full of humans.

With this lovable production live in the Burdekin Theatre from next week, the Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company along with volunteers, community support, and sponsors, have been working tirelessly to polish off what is set to be one of their best shows yet with audiences set to be blown away.

The magical approach the Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company have taken to the direction of The Little Mermaid will prove to be celebrated from their opening night on Friday, February 2.

This production would not be possible without the broader community’s support, and the Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company wishes to express their immense gratitude to every member of the audience.

WHAT: The Little Mermaid Musical

WHERE: Burdekin Theatre

WHEN: 2-4 and 9-11 February

TICKETS: burdekintheatre.com.au

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A Million Reasons To Raise Your Glass Pink VS Gaga

January 24, 2024

It is the match of the century, with the likes of Rock Queen Pink going up against Pop Goddess Lady Gaga, a heated battle set to ignite the music world on fire!

In one corner, we have Pink, with countless top 10 singles, this rock vixen has sold out more tours and broken countless records for attracting larger audiences than ever before.

We’ll be yelling ‘So What’ with the energy, ‘Just Give Me A Reason’ and we’ll be jumping to the beat of the hits.

The audience is guaranteed to be high energy with amazing beats, because ‘All I Know So Far’ is that Pink will ‘Get The Party Started’.

In the opposing corner, we have the iconic Lady Gaga. Known for her unstoppable music prowess and record breaking, chart-topping singles, Lady Gaga will be putting on her ‘Poker Face’, giving the audience ‘Bad Romance’ and showing us we’re just ‘Born This Way’ to party.

‘The Edge of Glory’ will be a tightrope during these two massive two and a half hour shows, set to keep audiences rocking out at the match of the century, two iconic legends of music making Airlie Beach sing the weekend away!

The Pink Vs Lady Ga Ga Tribute act boasts a history that encompasses some of the best Aussie events, including the Gympie Muster, closing the Tumbafest Festival, being main act for the Mount Isa Camel Race - the calibre of this show is unstoppable.

Travelling world-wide and entertaining audiences in every corner of the globe, this tribute is like none other – with two of the most influential female artists of all time, the show is packed with two and a half hours of pure entertainment, costume changes, and two stunning performers ―’Raise Your Glass’, it’s time to ‘Marry the Night Away!’ at The Pub.

WHAT: Pink VS Gaga
WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Saturday February 3 and Sunday February 4, from 2pm to 5.30pm
TICKETS: Completely Free! But it’s recommended to book a table

Photos supplied

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The Perfect Australia Day Plan

January 18, 2024

KC’s Bar and Grill are back with their great line-up of entertainment for Australia Day celebrations.

Crab Races return, with Smally, The crab man Bob and Thomo, taking his hand at the microphone and ready to get the big bucks for these crabby creatures. And the excitement doesn’t stop there, with KC’s Bar and Grill pledging 50 per cent of the winnings from the crab races to be donated to our local Tiny Homes Project. This project fundraises tirelessly to construct tiny homes for homeless women in the Whitsundays over the age of 55.

Celebrations continue inside and outside KC’s, with the newly renovated courtyard out the back of KC’s with it’s new pop-up can bar – only open for Australia Day.

“We are excited to kick off a thong throwing competition with cash prizes, and even more excited to have Shaun Diver playing for us throughout the day” explained Smally, owner and operator of KC’s Bar and Grill.

“And don’t miss the pie eating competition! Best pies in town, proudly bought from Airlie Pies!”

With this and so much more, including a colouring in competition perfect to keep the kids entertained!

Check out KC’s Bar and Grill this Australia Day.

Doors Open At 11.30am, with Live Music till Midnight

WHAT: Rock On Australia Day
WHERE: KC’s Bar and Grill, Airlie Beach Main Stret
WHEN: Friday, January 26, from 11.30am

Caption: Thomo, Smally and The Crab Man Bob, gearing up for an Australia Day like no other. Photo supplied

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Aussie Party The Airlie Way

January 18, 2024

No need for Australia Day plans, with the Airlie Beach Hotel booking one of the best parties to celebrate this long weekend.

From 12pm

From midday, get the party started with the Aussie Rock Chicks, featuring none other than Tara Graham and the Captain Thunderbolt Band.

New to the scene, this band bring big beats and even better energy, with all the attitude of the Aussie rock legends that they embody.

Featuring the very best of the Aussie rock, all the legends will be covered, from Sia’s ‘Cheap Thrills’ and Veronica’s ‘4ever’ and ‘Untouched’, to Tones & I’s ‘Dance Monkey’, no beat will be missed.

Will you be dancing to Natalia Imbruglia’s ‘Torn’ or jumping for Bachelor Girls’ ‘Buses and Trains’?

You can be rest assured that this will be non-stop rock chaos for three unforgettable hours.

From 3pm

Taking over the celebrations from 3pm, three absolute powerhouses of rock legendary, The Angels, Midnight Oil, and The Divinyls, will be gracing the Airlie Beach Hotel stage.

Energy is the bread and butter of these three.

All three perfectly articulated in this amazing and powerful show, where every single classic from these legends will not be missed.

“It’s fully costumed, high energy,” explained drummer Jim Cowling.

“To represent all the amazing characters that embody these acts.”

The show starts with Midnight Oil, with Jim the character of the enigmatic Rob Hurst, and Peter Garret being played by the band’s very own Peter.

“When I was 17, I saw Rob Hurst playing and wanted to play like that, so it took me no time to get into character, and Peter was the same. He was quick to pick up Peter Garret’s dance and his political rants,” Jim explained.

Next up is the Divinyls, with Emily becoming vocal powerhouse Chrissy Amphlett, with all the best tracks.

The finale of the show is The Angels, with Doc Neeson and Rick Brewster making a legendary comeback.

“Our Peter plays Rick Brewster and it’s amazing. Rick has these dark sunnies, and doesn’t move at all in the show. He’s like a statue and its always great to see people trying to get him to smile and move through the show,” Jim said.

“We have so many characters, that often people go ‘Where’d that other drummer go?’ and it’s all the same people!”

Now, what can Airlie Beach expect?

“We play the shows that everyone knows. This is a high energy, hard Aussie rock show. And we finish the show off right, with Chrissy Amphlett coming on stage with the Angels, and send off the night with ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’, and of course the great audience participation with that.”

WHAT: Australia Day Party 2024, featuring Angels, Oils & Divinyls plus Aussie Rock Chicks
WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Friday, January 26, from 12pm

Tickets: Absolutely free! But it’s recommended to reserve a table

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Remember The Nostalgia With The Australian Beach Boys

January 11, 2024

Lay back and get ready for an afternoon of relaxation like none before, with the cool tunes of the Beach Boys waving over you.

With cruising vocals and that perfect classic 60s feel, The Beach Boys have never gone out of style, only reimagined with all time fans, with the Australian Beach Boys Tribute paying homage to the nostalgia of our time.

A brainchild of performer Will Siska, the Australian Beach Boys Tribute is a loving recreation of the nostalgic legends that are the Beach Boys.

“We chose to go with the Beach Boys because they have these great harmonies and vocals that just transcend, and have the nostalgic energy that we craved,” explained Will.

Having been touring Australia with their Australian Beach Boys Tribute for over seven years, the team know how to get the crowd going, with amazing vocals, and authentic recreations of the energy and costuming.

Will acts as one of the lead vocalists and on rhythm guitar.

With him is Greg, with lead vocals, Gerry as vocalist and the band's drummers, Michael as vocalist and lead guitar and Ian on bass guitar.

The crew also enlist the powerful presence and vocals of Anita, who is backing vocals and feature vocalist.

“Anita highlights many of the songs, and she’s amazing in her own right,” Will explained.

Altogether, this crew ensures the perfect energy for a performance like no other.

“This is more than just a tribute show,” Will explained.

“We have meticulously recreated the Beach Boys song, look, instruments, and stage presence.”

And now, what is Will’s favourite track that the band performs?

“Hands down ‘Don’t Worry Baby' is my favourite,” he explained.

“That song has always resonated with me. It has this beautiful feel, beautiful harmonies, and beautiful vocals.

“However, Under the Boardwalk and Kokomo are massive crowd favourites. They just put this energy into the audience that is amazing.”

Now, what can Airlie Beach expect?

“Expect the best of the best,” Will laughed.

“This show will be high energy, with amazing harmonies, great costumes, and even better vocals. And don’t miss that nostalgic feel!”

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New Years Eve Across The Whitsundays

December 21, 2023

As the region counts down to 2024, get ready for a celebration like no other.

Here’s the line up of celebratory fireworks occurring across the region.

Airlie Beach

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore

WHEN: 8.30pm

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore

WHEN: 12am

Bowen

WHERE: Bowen Foreshore

WHEN: 8.30pm

Collinsville

WHERE: Collinsville Showground

WHEN: 9pm

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Motown Magic

December 21, 2023

The space between Christmas and New Years Eve just got sweeter, with Dancing in the Shadows of Motown checking in to the Airlie Beach Hotel for two days of unbelievable music, non-stop dancing, and an all round good time.

Cruise through this break with some of the absolute best hits imaginable, who each faithfully and accurately recreating the beats, vocals, and impact of some of the greatest musicians around, including Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Fontella Bass, The Jackson Five, and Junior Walker, plus so much more.

This nine-piece production leaves no note left behind, headlining across the world, and selling out shows everywhere in between.

Selling out shows across the world, including the massive Sydney Opera House, this is not a show to miss. Airlie is lucky to get a show of this calibre free of charge.

Classy, confident, and poised does not begin to describe the energy and attitude that is Dancing in the Shadows of Motown, who tirelessly endeavour to ensure their performance leaves the audience just wanting more.

Now, who is on the line up?

The likes of Franchesca Appolis, Kimi Tupaea and Annie Ameida are just a handful of the powerhouse vocals that call Motown their tracks.

With them is Matt Roberts, Jason Bruer, Greg Carger, Christopher Soulos, Wesley Harder and Andy Brynes with the instrumental and backing vocals.

All of which create a performance like no other, on a stage that is set to blow Airlie Beach apart.

Where will you be in the crowd?

WHAT: Dancing in the Shadows of Motown

WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel

WHEN: Wednesday December 27 and Thursday December 28, from 2pm to 5.30pm

TICKETS: Absolutely free, but bookings essential!

Dancing in the Shadows of Motown knows how to bring the energy

With every Motown classic under their belt, this band knows how to make you dance

Tying us over from Christmas to New Years Eve

This is not the party to miss

Dancing in the Shadows of Motown graces the Airlie Beach Hotel stage once again. Photos supplied

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Movie Special Extravaganza

December 21, 2023

First up is cult classic Chicken Run.

Following the chaotic lives of a flock of chickens in Yorkshire, England, Chicken Run tells the tale of the adventurous Rocky. Rocky crash lands into the flock, and helps the chicken plot and then escape their enclosure, and live the rest of their lives in freedom.

The second of the double is Night at the Museum.

This live action film follows Larry, as he signs on for a new job with the Museum of Natural History, as the night guardsman. However, on his first night on shift, Larry discovers something amazing, that every single exhibit in the museum comes to life when the sunsets.

Things only get more confusing for Larry, when he discovers a plot to destroy the museum and the inhabitants inside.

This won’t be the only fun on the night, with an abundance of yummy food trucks, ensuring the very best for guests dinner, feel free to bring along a picnic blanket and cuddle up for a good night at the cinema.

WHAT: Double Movie Special

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore

WHEN: Friday, January 12, from 5pm

Check out the first Whitsunday Regional Council double movie night special for 2024, with massive blockbusters on the line up.

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Award Winning Weddings With Aquava Boutique Catering

December 14, 2023

Confidently carving out a sterling reputation in the Whitsunday wedding industry for the past decade, this year was the first time Aquava Boutique Catering embarked on an awards journey, and they started right at the top!

The highly regarded wedding caterers brought home the Gold Award in the Independent Wedding Caterers category at the Australian Bridal Industry Association (ABIA) Awards which were held in Brisbane earlier this month.

The winners are measured by reviews and ratings from over 30,000 newlyweds each year and are determined by a combination of excellence in four factors: quality of product, quality of service, attitude of staff and overall value.

Aquava Boutique Catering is owned and operated by local couple, Sophie and Todd Jordan who pride themselves on their unwavering commitment to providing high-quality culinary experiences.

“Winning the award was an incredible moment for the entire team,” said Sophie and Todd.

“The sheer joy and pride were evident, marking a significant acknowledgment of our collective efforts, dedication, and passion.

“This recognition serves as a motivational boost, reinforcing our commitment to excellence and fuelling our enthusiasm for future endeavours.”

Embracing innovation and staying ahead of culinary trends, Aquava has become a sought-after and well-respected caterer, offering a range of services for almost any celebration, from weddings through to large scale events and intimate dining experiences.

With memorable menus, meticulous attention to detail, and personalised service Sophie says every element is guided by a collaborative effort that unites the strengths and passions of their highly skilled team.

“The dedication and collaboration within our team are pivotal,” they explained.

“Each team member contributes their unique talents to ensure a cohesive and quality catering service.

“We deeply appreciate the collective effort that makes our service possible.

“Our ongoing pursuit of excellence is guided by a humble acknowledgment of our strengths and areas for growth.

“We appreciate the recognition and remain committed to delivering exceptional catering experiences.”

“Our team is a close-knit group, and each member plays a vital role in our success.

“While it's challenging to single out one individual, we would like to express gratitude to every team member for their unwavering dedication, hard work, and commitment to excellence.”

Bringing the award home for both the business and broader Whitsunday Wedding Industry, the couple say they love working alongside so many other skilled industry professionals.

“The shared commitment to creating magical moments for couples is what makes the local Whitsunday wedding community so special,” shared Sophie and Todd.

“We look forward to continued collaboration, learning, and collectively raising the bar for the beautiful weddings we contribute to.”

“We would like to express our deep appreciation to our couples and clients for entrusting us with their special moments. Your feedback and support have been instrumental in shaping our services.

“Keep an eye out for upcoming updates as we strive to grow, innovate, and contribute to the dynamic events industry.”

Sophie and Todd Jordan from Aquava Boutique Catering. Photo credit: R Jean Photography

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A Divine Experience With Divine Weddings Whitsundays

December 14, 2023

Thrilled to be recognised as a Finalist in two categories at the ABIA Awards, Louise Sugrue from Divine Weddings Whitsundays, says it was a privilege to attend the industry awards held in Brisbane earlier this month.

Coming in seventh place out of 17 hopefuls in the Decorations and Styling category and fifth place out of 11 in the Independent Wedding Consultants category, Louise says she is pleased to rank so high among peers she admires.

“To get that positive feedback and score so high when going up against some of the bigger businesses is just amazing,” she shared.

“I really appreciate my clients scoring me so highly, I’m really happy with that.”

Scoring over 99 per cent in both categories, the Divine Weddings experience and standard of service is highly respected in the industry.

Specialising in boutique wedding planning packages, Divine Weddings primarily caters for elopements, intimate weddings, Whitehaven Beach ceremonies, cruise ships and on-day coordination.

Meanwhile the décor side of the business is versatile and unique, easily adapting to the couple’s chosen style, venue and size of ceremony or reception.

"We really like to incorporate fresh flowers into our styling," said Louise.

“We find them more pleasing to the eye, more natural and they and they have the most beautiful scent – we love working with the client’s chosen flowers and can match with the chosen theming.”

Whether you are looking for the perfect wedding day décor or would like to work with a professional and friendly wedding planner, Divine Weddings Whitsundays can help make your dreams come true for that special day.

Louise Sugrue from Divine Weddings Whitsundays with friend Donna Fornasiero at the ABIA Awards in Brisbane: Photo supplied

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It’s A Dancing Queen Sorta Weekend

December 14, 2023

You better ‘Take a Chance on Me’ because over these two shows, we’ll have our dancing shoes on and we’ll be dancing our way to Christmas, singing every hit from ABBA’s impressive catalogue along the way.

Coming to the Airlie Beach Hotel stage is none other than SOS, one of Australia’s best ABBA tribute artists.

Samuel Bennett acts as the ineffable Bjorn, and he brings charisma, class and pizzazz like no other.

In the role for coming on seven years, Sam knows exactly what to do and how to do it - when he is up on stage, he will be sure to get the crowd going.

“I have this deep dive passion for ABBA, and I’m thrilled to be in Airlie Beach once again, bringing the sounds of ABBA.”

“We really love coming up to Airlie Beach; it’s always a good time, with the holiday crowd on holiday time. It’s nice to have the beautiful weather and to be with people who just love the music.”

No expense is spared, with SOS bringing across each and every costume, attitude, and energy, ensuring that each and every single member of the crowd has the best time of their lives.

“You can’t have an ABBA show without the ABBA costumes!” Sam explained.

More than just a show, the performance is an experience like no other.

“Our Frida loves to jump off the stage and get involved with the crowd. She’ll roam around and pick on unsuspecting audience members. I remember a time in Airlie when she was singing verses to people, and everyone was having a great time.”

Now, what gets the crowd going?

According to Sam, it’s ‘Dancing Queen’.

“Dancing Queen’ always gets the crowd going. It’d be an absolute tragedy to do an ABBA show without ‘Dancing Queen’. There was a time we were in a mining town in Queensland, to a whole bunch of these big burly mining men, and we thought that the show would be a bust. But as soon as we started playing ‘Dancing Queen’, they started dancing like they were 17 again. It was great!”

But Sam’s favourite to perform are some of the more laid-back classics.

“I love ‘Waterloo’ and ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’, but all ABBA songs are absolute bangers. Everyone knows the words and everyone sings along.”

Sure to take on the 360-degree stage at the Airlie Beach Hotel, Sam and SOS are ready to rock us into the Christmas spirit and into our holiday breaks.

WHAT: SOS: The Australian ABBA Tribute Show

WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel

WHEN: Friday December 22, 7pm to 10pm and Saturday December 23 from 2pm to 5.30pm

TICKETS: Absolutely Free

An ABBA tribute like no other, SOS will have us wanting more

Be sure to put your dancing shoes on for this one

Rock us into the holiday period. Photos supplied

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A Sophisticated New Year Sunset Soiree At Whisper Gin Bar

December 14, 2023

Sip a celebratory cocktail and enjoy the last rays of sun for 2023, with an early evening New Years Eve Sunset Soiree at Whisper Restaurant and Gin Bar.

With perfectly picturesque Coral Sea views and unforgettable entertainment, this is an event you will cherish well into 2024.

Starting at 5pm, begin your New Years celebration early with free entry into Whisper Gin Bar and enjoy a range of free canapes and a complimentary glass of bubbles on arrival, speciality gin cocktail menu, and DJ Dan on the decks with the best tracks, creating the perfect party atmosphere for a sunset soiree.

With the courtesy bus ready to pick you up from home and prepped to drop you off in Airlie Beach for the 8pm family fireworks, you can also continue the celebrations at KC’s Bar and Grill with live music until 2am.

WHAT: Sunset Soiree

WHERE: Whisper Restaurant and Gin Bar

WHEN: Sunday December 31, from 5pm to 8pm

TICKETS: Free entry but to secure a seat, RSVP here www.whisperginbar.com

A Retro Party

With KC’s Bar And Grill

The party doesn’t stop at KC’s Bar and Grill, with celebrations kicking off from 11.30am for all New Years Eve early birds.

The unbelievable entertainment of Retro Joe and Phoebe Jacobs will keep the good vibes going with the unique blend of talent and energy they bring to the stage, blasting the bar with great live music well into the New Year.

What a way to welcome 2024, with a great tunes and unforgettable vocals.

With refreshing cocktails and an all-encompassing menu – including the best steaks in Airlie Beach - KC’s has your New Years Eve covered.

WHAT: Retro Party

WHERE: KC’s Bar and Grill

WHEN: Sunday December 31, from 11.30am to 2am

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Love Actually Cheese and Wine Extravaganza

December 14, 2023

Get ready to get in the Christmas spirit with the Proserpine Entertainment Centre putting on the perfect event for classic Christmas movie fans.

Love Actually has evolved to become the quintessential Christmas movie, with the PEC hosting their own wine and cheese night for the lovers of all things festive and charcuterie.

Embrace the warmth of this heart-warming Christmas classic that tells the eight romantic stories of Harry and Karen, Juliet, Jamie, Colin, Karl, Sam, and David, as they navigate coming of age, changing of relationships and the new year.

In this event of the year, attendees are welcome to gush about their favourite couples, cringe at the cringiest moments, hold their breath as couples share their first kiss together and sing along to their favourite songs.

Tickets cost $25 per person, and include table seating, a glass of mulled wine, or your choice of a glass of white, red, or sparkling, or juice or soft drink, plus an individual cheese platter.

WHAT: Love Actually – Wine and Cheese Night

WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre, 14 Main Street Proserpine

WHEN: Wednesday December 20, from 5.30pm

TICKETS: https://proserpine.sales.ticketsearch.com/sales/salesevent/116400

Celebrate the festive season with this classic Christmas film. Image supplied

Tina Unleashed

Celebrate the enigmatic Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock and Roll, with her standout vocal, unforgettable charisma, and stunning performance at this one-of-a-kind experience.

Tina Unleashed stands as a testament to her legacy, of the unstoppable powerhouse that Tina Turner was.

And why not spend the show the Tina way, with VIP tickets, which include a bottle of red, white or sparkling wine, or a carafe of juice or soft drink, and a trio of dips, suitable for two people.

WHAT: Tina Unleashed

WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre, 14 Main Street Proserpine

WHEN: Sunday December 17, from 7pm

TICKETS: https://proserpine.sales.ticketsearch.com/sales/salesevent/116330

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New Years Eve Carnivale

December 6, 2023

Kylie, JLo and Robbie Tributes

Send off the year that was 2023 with a party like no other, thanks to the Airlie Beach Hotel!

Party with some of the best tribute artists around and dance the year away.

So, who is on the line up?

Get Loud

8pm till 9pm

Jennifer Lopez Experience

Taking on the mammoth personality that is Jennifer Lopez is none other than Hannah Canon, former Australian Latin dance world representative, international singer and Latina powerhouse.

With the very first Australia JLo tribute act, this production is high energy, great attitude and even better dynamics.

Celebrating JLo in the best way possible, this is an absolutely authentic recreation that contains the very essence of all things vibrant Latin culture and the powerhouse that is Jennifer Lopez.

“Hannah is an amazing singer and an amazing dancer, this will be a show to see,” said Louie Lee Feltrin, the headliner of the night.

“I’ve been dying to work with her for years, and finally we were able to collaborate on this project. There has been nothing to this scale before and we are very excited!”

Hannah brings with her extensive Latin dancing skills and costuming, ensuring that the Carnivale night starts off right.

“And what a better way to start New Year celebrations than with the biggest party star, JLo?”

Get Lucky

9pm till 10pm

Kylie Minogue Showgirl Tribute

This tribute show performer is the hidden gem of Australian music, having spent over 20 years performing across the globe for the likes of the Prince of Dubai, the King and Queen of Malaysia, Birds of Tokyo and John Farnham.

On New Year’s Eve, J’aime Holland is gracing the Airlie Beach Hotel stage and bringing with her an act like no other.

Her unstoppable Kylie Minogue Showgirl performance is an adrenaline fuelled thrill, featuring the Minogue hits that everyone has come to love, her hottest tracks and everything in between.

No noughty hit will be missed either, perfect for the super fan or casual listener.

“J’aime ensures that the party continues and is in full force, with non-stop Kylie tracks!”

And with the stage absolutely full of mesmerising dancers, fantastic live musicians, and J’aime’s own dazzling costumes, she ensures an hour of non-stop power.

“People who don’t even go to the pub will stop by just cause it’s Kylie Minogue,” Louie said.

“We just want people to get out of their seats and party like no tomorrow, with J’aime bringing the best vocals and performance.”

From every hit and every note, Jaime will be sure to bring the energy, the adrenaline, and great music.

“Back-to-back we have two great performances by two fantastic singers. The Carnivale spirit will be alive and well with Hannah and J’aime.

Get Entertained

10pm till 12am

Robbie Williams Experience

Airlie Beach favourite, Louie Lee Feltrin returns to send us off to 2024.

Louie’s Robbie Williams experience is unlike anything else, and Louie works tirelessly to ensure that every single person in his audience is having the time of their lives.

With over 20 years’ experience articulately recreating the legendary Robbie Williams, Louie offers a performance like no other.

And this production, a creation of Louie’s own, is out of this world!

“We’ll go hard and sing big, cruising us into the New Year with a standout show! It’ll be a great way to close out 2023 and welcome 2024, with the sounds of Robbie Williams.”

With a big finale song planned, with Hannah, J’aime and the team up on stage with him, Louie will send off 2023 with the tracks of Robbie and the echoes of the Airlie Beach Foreshore fireworks in the background.

“We wanted to do our own fireworks, but Airlie Beach has beaten us to it, and I couldn’t think of a better send off!”

And the party continues into the New Year, with Louie and the Party Boyz, Hannah and J’aime all prepped and ready to get atop the Airlie Beach Hotel on January 1, and welcome the recovery party in style.

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A Wonka Kind Of Christmas

November 30, 2023

To celebrate the release of the brand-new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s famous book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there will be special pre-movie activities at Proserpine Entertainment Centre.

On Thursday 14 December from 5pm, the Wonka Party will begin and families from around the region are invited.

This is your opportunity to not only be one of the first people in Australia to watch the new Wonka movie, it is also time to get together and enjoy a pre-Christmas party.

There will be roving entertainment, music, special treats and more!

Plus every movie ticket purchased goes into the draw to win an amazing Whitsunday Jetski Tour for two, and more exciting prizes!

After the Wonka Party, the screening of the movie will begin.

Based on the extraordinary character at the centre of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, "Wonka" tells the wondrous story of how the world's greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker became the beloved Willy Wonka we know today.

It also features well-known actor, Hugh Grant, who plays the hilarious and heartfelt Oompa-Loompa.

Discover how the chocolate factory was first created, find out where Willy Wonka got his inspiration from and delight in the magical world of delicious chocolate!

WHAT: The Wonka Party and Movie

WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre

WHEN: Thursday, 14 December, from 5pm

TICKETS: proserpineentertainment.com.au

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Go Your Own Way With This Fleetwood Mac Tribute

November 30, 2023

The illustrious and enchanting Tusk, the Storybook Tribute to Fleetwood Mac, is coming to Airlie Beach, and they are bringing with them charm, character, and class.

Making the line up we have Penni Jones, as Stevie Nicks, who is hauntingly authentic and beautifully poignant, with near perfect renditions of the unforgettable tracks.

With her is Dalys Timpanaro as Christine, James Towers as Lindsay, Rob Brens as Mick Fleetwood and Grant Canterbury as John McVie, a powerful team that ensures this production is perfectly reminiscent of the original act.

“Collectively we share decades of experience from various cover bands in the 90s, 00s and now,” Penni explained.

“We have had tours of Australia and the world doing backing vocals for the country's greatest artists, cruise ship shows and European tours in various original acts.”

Tusk begun with Penni in 2015, wanting to create a more interactive show than the traditional tribute show.

Perfecting the performance to be accurate and beautiful, the audience can’t help but be transported back in time to when Fleetwood Mac shined.

Taking on the Airlie Beach Hotel, Tusk will be entertaining the patrons and creating a lively party atmosphere for a weekend of unstoppable music.

“The Airlie Beach Hotel is our favourite part of Airlie Beach, of course. What an amazing venue! Bringing the countries best shows to a place that has such a beautiful and warm vibe. Everyone is on Airlie Beach time and is always happy, welcoming, and relaxed,” Penni said.

The show is unforgettable and unstoppable, one of the best dance parties.

“When the band plays, it becomes a dance party, including a drum solo!” Penni said.

“We can't wait to get up there and share our show with the community and The Pub!

“I personally look forward to getting out in the crowd again and having a Fleetwood Mac dance floor like our last show.”

And what is Penni’s favourite track of Fleetwood Mac?

“Edge of 17 and The Chain, simply for their incredible intensity and high emotional content,” Penni said.

WHAT: Tusk: The Storybook Tribute to Fleetwood Mac

WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel

WHEN: Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10, from 2pm to 5.30pm

TICKETS: Absolutely free

The unstoppable Tusk is coming to Airlie Beach Hotel

Penni Jones and her Tusk crew are unbelievable with their authentic production

This is a stunning performance and a dance party in one

Penni Jones is hauntingly accurate with her vocals

Tusk, the Storybook Tribute to Fleetwood Mac, a performance not to miss. Photos supplied

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Cuteness For A Cause

November 30, 2023

The Cannonvale Petstock is giving the gift of happiness and support this Christmas, vowing to raise $800,000 for the Petstock Foundation’s Christmas Project.

The project, beginning October 31 until December 24, will support seven children-focussed charities, with the Queensland specific charity being Smart Pups.

Smart Pups is an organisation dedicated with training and homing assistance dogs with children with a range of abilities, including autism, epilepsy, diabetes, blindness, and mobility conditions.

Helene Christensen, Corporate Specialist Fundraiser for Smart Pups, says, “The contributions to Smart Pups will be a lifeline for our puppy program, touching the hearts of countless families as we continue to train the next generation of medical assistance dogs. These devoted companions will bring hope and support to children with special needs, like those battling epilepsy, diabetes, mobility challenges, and autism.”

Petstock Foundation Strategic Manager, Jessica Curtis says, “This Christmas, the Petstock Foundation’s Christmas Project is empowering children through the unconditional love and magic of pets and animals. Thousands of children each year experience hardship, home instability, serious illness or disability through no fault of their own.”

To get involved, purchase a Christmas bauble from a Petstock store with 100 per cent of proceeds going towards Smart Pups.

Manager of the Cannonvale Petstock Location, Annmarie Beech said that “The community we have here is so generous, rounding up their purchases and donating to the cause. And it goes to such a good cause.”

Petstock Cannonvale will also be holding a Children’s Weekend in December, which will including activities such as colouring competition, live animals and staff embracing Christmas costumes.

WHAT: Children’s Weekend

WHERE: Cannonvale Petstock, Whitsunday Plaza

WHEN: Saturday December 9 and Sunday December 10

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Dine For One, Dine For All

November 30, 2023

Affectionally known as the ‘Can’t Decide Platter’, Anchor Bar is ensuring that every member of your group discovers a little of everything to satisfy their taste buds.

Evolving from an observation by wait staff, where patrons were unable to decide between this and that on the fantastic and delicious menu, the ‘Can’t Decide Platter’ soon became a permanent part of the menu.

“The Can’t Decide Platter came about from having several favourite dishes on the menu, so often we would get ‘I can’t decide between this or that’ so we created a share board that covered as many of those local favourites as possible,” explained Leah McMillan, co-owner of Anchor Bar.

Designed to be heartier than the traditional Tapas style dining experience, the ‘Can’t Decide’ satisfies a big hunger with delicious plates.

Leah continued, “The Can’t Decide Platter was designed to not just be nibbles we wanted it to be hearty enough to feed at least four people as a main meal and remain a good deal for locals.”

So, what does Leah love about the platter?

“The Arancini is definitely a favourite with basil pesto and paprika aioli. The Southern Style Fried Chicken and house made pickles is one to return for; It’s a little bit addictive. And if you haven’t tried the loaded fries, you’re missing out!” Leah explained.

“I’m hooked on the Chicken Wings with the spicy plum sauce or hot sauce add a side of beef and bacon loaded fries topped with melted cheese tomato and onion salsa, aioli and smokey BBQ sauce and a schooner or three!”

And Leah and the Anchor team recommend always taking a look at the specials board, where the creative thinking of the chefs is always on display.

“They really do like to outshine each other with their specials which makes it great for us diners!”

Can’t decide what to have at Anchor Bar, don’t worry, they have you covered with the Can’t Decide platter! Photo supplied

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The Sweet Difference - The Sake Of Eastwoods

November 30, 2023

The calibre and uniqueness that is Japanese Sake is not lost on Kirsty and Jack Mason, owners and operators of Eastwoods Dining, one of the newest restaurants to grace the Airlie Beach Esplanade.

Japanese Sake is defined by its special process of rice fermentation. With the first rice-based drink dating back to the 5th Century BC, Sake was first recorded in written history in a 3rd Century historical Chinese document, and first domestically in the 8th Century.

However, the most historical evidence of Sake is recorded from the 8th Century, where only the privileged in Japanese society, primarily members of the Imperial Court and religious leaders were able to enjoy it.

It wasn’t util the 13th Century, where more commercial Sake brewers’ techniques were established, and general Japanese society began to consume Sake more regularly.

This incredibly deep history emanates through the menu at Eastwoods, offering a unique experience to guests.

“This is different,” Kirsty explained.

“This is cool, and we wanted to offer something different in the area.”

On their dedicated Sake menu, Eastwoods is offering three distinct varieties of Japanese wines.

The Sake, with three options vary from a light kiwifruit flavour to a sweet honeysuckle and musk, to red fruits, white chocolate, and jasmine rice flavours.

The second variety is Umeshu, which is described as a plum wine, and made from steeping ume plumes in liquor and sugar. Tending to be the sweeter variety, they are light, sweet, and tart.

The last variety is Shochu, which is earthy, refreshing and slightly sweet, distilled using rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, or brown sugar, which makes for a unique and delectable flavour.

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Meet The Chef Troy Fuller Head Chef Of KC’s Bar And Grill

November 30, 2023

For close to two years, Troy Fuller has been at the helm of KC’s Bar and Grill, leading with a keen attitude and excellent service.

It was an easy decision for Troy to join the KC’s team, having been an avid fan of the Restaurant when he initially moved to the area, over eight years ago.

“This is actually my third time living in Airlie Beach,” Troy explained.

“But my favourite part has always been KC’s. It’s been my favourite bar since I first came to Airlie Beach.”

Specialising in chargrilled meats, from sirloin to Picanha, and even kangaroo loin and charred crocodile skewers, KC’s menu is a variety fest for the guest, unique and different.

Troy brings with him a love for cooking Greek food, which is evident in the decadent menu items of truffle and porcini arancini starter and the cous cous salad, with rich flavours and great taste.

“It’s simple, fresh and delicious,” Troy explained.

His favourite part of being with KC’s is the environment that they have established.

“The environment we have created in the kitchen is great. We all work hard and efficiently, so we actually get a work life balance,” he explained.

The next time you’re in Airlie Beach, make sure you taste the KC’s difference.

What’s your favourite dish to make?

Charred white cabbage, with sriracha aioli and crispy shallots.

What’s your favourite dish to eat?

Australian Game Platter at Kc’s Bar & Grill.

What’s the last thing you ate?

Big brekkie Buffet at Whisper Bar & Restaurant

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Traditional Handcrafted Taste: La Marina Restaurant

November 30, 2023

For La Marina Restaurant and Bar, the difference is in the flavour, steeped in tradition and handcrafted with classic and timeless techniques.

For La Marina, the difference is in Angelo Panuccio.

Since the early days of La Marina, Angelo has been instrumental in creating the beautiful and tasty Italian meals that satisfy the soul.

Father to Joe Panuccio, the owner and operator of La Marina, Angelo has been serving as key pasta and gnocchi creator and meatball connoisseur since the beginning.

“The best thing is that my dad is still here,” Joe explained.

“Yes, he’s still making the pasta by hand, and he’s still making his famous meatballs by hand.”

Using classic and traditional Italian techniques and recipes, which are tightly kept hidden by Angelo, you can trust that only the very best Italian is being served at La Marina.

“We started with the traditional cooking, going back to our roots. We still do things the old school way; nothing’s really changed. Everything is made from scratch, handmade with the very best locally sourced ingredients,” Joe explained.

Almost every day, Angelo handcrafts the pasta and gnocchi, and with a completely open kitchen, patrons can watch as the chefs use the beautifully handcrafted pasta in their dishes.

With an extensive menu, Joe recommends the meatballs, a dish with a secret recipe that leaves patrons wanting more, and any pasta dish with the fettuccine, as the flavours creates a divine experience for guests.

And watch out for Ange’s Weekly Specials, that will begin very soon, with traditional southern Italian dishes, created in Angelo’s homeland, which will entice and excite patrons.

Angelo Panuccio dedicatedly making his pasta fresh. Photo supplied

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Pavlova is surprisingly easy to make as long as you remember these few but important tips:

November 30, 2023

CHRISTMAS GINGERBREAD PAVOLVA

INGREDIENTS

6 Large Eggs

1 1/2 Cups of caster sugar

1/2 Teaspoon All Spice

1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

2 Teaspoons Ginger

1 Tablespoon Corn Flour

1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar

300ml Thickened Cream

1 Cup berries of your choice

1 Ginger bread man

METHOD

Set oven to 150 degrees Celsius (A little lower if fan forced)

Line a baking tray with baking paper

Mix all your dry ingredients together in a bowl

In a separate bowl, add the egg whites (only)

Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then slowly add in your dry ingredients, one tablespoon at a time while still whisking (this will take a bit of whisking)

The sugar needs to be completely dissolved, so keep whisking.

Then add vinegar until whisked through

Spoon meringue onto your baking tray to make a circle around 25cm wide, leaving a hole in the centre

Bake for 50 minutes, then turn oven off and leave over night with the door slightly open (Place a tea towel in the door to keep it ajar)

The following day, you can store your pavlova in an airtight container, and it will keep for a couple of days.

Just before serving, whip your thickened cream, adding a couple of tablespoons of sugar.

Spoon cream on top of pavlova, place your cherries (and other berries) on top and crumble your ginger bread man over the top.

Dust with icing sugar and serve!

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Library Christmas Holiday Activities

November 30, 2023

BOWEN LIBRARY

Monday 11th December

10am - 4pm Library Kid’s Club Challenge Launch

Tuesday 12th December

10am - 11am Upcycled CD Ornaments

2pm - 3pm Santa Mail Project

Wednesday 13th December

10am - 11am Elf on the Shelf: Coding Activity

Thursday 14th December

10am - 11am Wooden Picture Frame Present

2pm - 3pm Christmas Lego Challenge

PROSERPINE LIBRARY

Monday 11th December

10am to 4pm Library Kid’s Club Challenge Launch

Tuesday 12th December

2pm to 3pm Sensory Play

Thursday 14th December

10am to 11am Wooden Nutcrackers

2pm to 3pm Christmas Decorations

CANNONVALE LIBRARY

Monday 11th December

10am - 4pm Library Kid’s Club Challenge Launch

Tuesday 12th December

10am to 11am Mosaic Christmas Baubles

2pm to 3pm Velvet Art Trinket Boxes

Wednesday 13th December

10am to 11am 12 Days of Christmas Storytime

3pm to 4pm Chess

Thursday 14th December

10am to 11am Christmas Craft: Wooden Nutcracker

2pm to 3pm Velvet Art Trinket Boxes

COLLINSVILLE LIBRARY

Monday 11th December

10am - 4pm Library Kid’s Club Challenge Launch

Tuesday 12th December

10am - 11am Upcycled CD Ornaments

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Good Spirit And Good Energy Bowen Christmas Carols

November 30, 2023

The Bowen community gathered together and celebrated the upcoming Christmas celebrations in style, with their Community Christmas Carols last weekend.

Seeing a great turnout, on par with pre-covid numbers, the Rotary Club of Bowen were excited to see people flicking to join in the festive spirit.

“It seemed like the whole town was there,” said Mark Steen, Bowen Rotarian who was instrumental in organising the annual event.

“The Rotary Club of Bowen has been putting on the carols for years, and it’s always great to see all our hard work pay off.”

With performances from groups such as Bowen Flexi Care, Kidz at the Beach, Good Start Early Learning Centre, Bowen State School, St Mary’s Catholic School, and Queens Beach State School, the night culminated in great singing and festive excitement.

“It was quite beautiful,” Mark explained.

“And of course Santa made a visit, which is always a great time for the children. Really everyone who got involved in the evening had a great time, and that’s all we ask for.”

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Carols Across The Region

November 30, 2023

Carols By The Beach

The Whitsunday Regional Council are gearing up for their Christmas celebrations, with the annual Carols by the Beach returning for another mammoth event.

Beginning at 4.30pm with a performance by the Proserpine Citizens Band, with the Cannonvale State School Choir kicking off celebrations at 5pm.

From 5.30pm, Christmas Carols begins with the highly anticipated arrival of Santa.

The outdoor cinema showing of Home Alone begins at 6.30pm.

The food hub will service any diet and any flavour, with Airlie Beach Rotary and Whitsundays Zonta hosting a BBQ, Prossy Kebabs, Sn 2 Go, RILO, Dirty Southern BBQ, Simply Yum, Whats Poppin Whitsundays, Lynne’s Lemonade, Bauies Smokin Hot Meats, and Yummy Dum Dum Dumplings.

WHAT: Airlie Beach Carols By The Beach

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore

WHEN: Sunday, December 3, from 4.30pm

Collinsville Christmas Carols

Experience the majesty that is the Collinsville community Christmas Carols, organised and led by the Collinsville Lions Club.

Kicking off celebrations from 6pm, be enchanted by Carols by Candlelight displayed by the Collinsville Christian Fellowship, with the Bowen Outreach Band.

WHAT: Collinsville Christmas Carols

WHERE: Collinsville Lions Park, Conway Street

WHEN: Sunday December 3, from 6pm

Carols In The Park

The Whitsunday Regional Council are at it again, with the Proserpine Carols In Park and Christmas Party.

This event will be spectacular, with Carol performances by Proserpine State School, Proserpine Citizens Bands, Mommas and Poppas and Sweet Alibis. The Christmas Fun will be encompassed with a fantastic visit from Santa, a Sky High Circus, an electric dance performance, and the Rotary Club of Proserpine Ham Wheel.

And don’t miss the free face painting, kids activities, eat street and market stalls, ensuring that this evening is fun for the whole family.

WHAT: Proserpine Carols In The Park

WHERE: Ken MacPherson Park, Proserpine

WHEN: Friday, December 8, from 4.30pm

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Car Of The Year

November 23, 2023

At Home In Our Region

Whitsunday Auto Group have a Christmas treat for our region, boasting plenty of stock of the 2023 Car of the Year.

Named by Carsales.com.au, the MG4 took out the top spot last week, highlighting the new vehicle for its safety, speed, practical economics, and its unbeatable price point.

Now what makes the MG4 stand apart from the rest?

The MG4 is MG’s first completely electric performance machine, with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating it is extremely reliable with a sleek European design and superior engineering precision.

With a range of seven colours available for all four variants, there is something for everyone.

“This is a powerful machine,” Gary Brenchley, Principal of Whitsunday Auto Group said.

“It can go from zero to 100 kilometres in seconds.”

Being completely electric driven, the MG4 is better suited to the regions where petrol remains costly.

“You can get an entire charge on the MG4 for a maximum of $17 on Grid Charge, and with fast charging at $42 it takes almost no time to get on the road,” Gary explained.

“You can get to Mackay and back on one charge and costing only $17, you can’t beat that!”

With a lower centre of gravity, impressive 50:50 weight distribution, and cutting-edge technology, the MG4 is perfectly equipped for country roads as well as residential city streets, being able to transition seamlessly to any terrain you throw at it.

Director of Content and Editor in Chief of Carsales, Mike Sinclair said, “In terms of assessment, the MG4 successfully fulfils our testing criteria – safety, practicality, and presentation, innovation, and technology, driving performance and cost of new ownership – but more importantly, it’s just a really good car. That its price tag puts new EV ownership within reach of more people is worthy of praise in itself, but the fact that the car is truly engaging and genuinely enjoyable to drive is the MG4’s real achievement.”

And don’t miss the sleek and luxurious interior, with comfortable and ergonomic seating, powerful air conditioning, completely and extensive entertainment system, with CarPlay and keyless start and electric parking brake.

Whitsunday Auto Group is offering comprehensive finance and insurance options, extensive vehicle servicing and hands-on support, you can drive away with this machine in moments, in the colour of your choosing, at a price you can’t beat.

For the base model variant of the MG4, you are looking at $41,165 drive away, with other variants upping the comfort with a wireless phone charger in the centre console, steering wheel heating, 360 degree camera, and two level boot floor.

The MG4 will be available to test drive, from their Bowen Dealership, and in Cannonvale, with the MG4 taking host in Whitsunday Plaza from today till Monday.

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Bowen Family Fishing Classic Is Back!

November 23, 2023

After a three-year hiatus, the annual Bowen Family Fishing Classic and Wet Weekend is back and better than ever.

Planning this mammoth weekend of non-stop fishing is Russ McCabbin, who is excited to see the event return.

“Everything is back on track, and this will be an unbelievable weekend,” he said.

The event takes place at the Bowen Foreshore and features a fantastic fishing competition with two chances to win big money in each category.

With 14 different species of fish on the competition list, there is something for everyone, and two specialty prize pools per category.

The participant with the heaviest catch will be rewarded and there will also be a prize for whoever’s catch is closest to the ‘secret’ weight, so you never know if you’ll win big.

Entrants will also be divided into age categories to keep it fair.

While the fishing is the main drawcard, so too is the exciting family entertainment.

There will be live music from The Crack Up Sisters, Sweet Alibis, and Paul Samuels, plus a free dance lesson, amusement park, fireworks, Dash for Cash, and even a sandcastle building competition.

With so much on offer and prizes donated from local businesses worth a good chunk of change, “Everyone will be walking out with a big smile!”

Over previous years, the event attracted over 10,000 people to Bowen and organisers are expecting big numbers of visitors once again.

“This year will be the 29th year of the event,” Russ said.

“And we even have special guest Barefoot Fisherman, Hodgie, (David Hodge) coming on Sunday for the weigh in and a few competitions.”

Manager of Bowen Tourism and Business, Leanne Abernethy said it was fantastic that the Bowen Family Fishing Classic was being held again this year.

“This event has not been held since 2019 and we are very pleased that the organisers are making it happen again in 2023,” she said.

“It will provide a great economic boost for Bowen and attracts people from the surrounding areas.

“It is great for all ages and the community really gets behind it. It is expected to be a fun-filled weekend and it is right at the beginning of the school holidays, so we are expecting a bumper weekend in Bowen, right before Christmas.”

WHAT: Bowen Family Fishing Classic and Wet Weekend

WHERE: Front Beach Esplanade and Bowen Soundshell

WHEN: Saturday 9 December and Sunday December 10

TICKETS: Available through various businesses around Bowen, including Mitre 10, Bowen Outdoors, and Grandview Liquor Barn.

the fishing event of the year is back on! Photos supplied

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Rocking Out For A Good Cause

November 23, 2023

T8T Fest Wraps Up For 2023

The fifth T8T Fest has wrapped up for Bowen, but the work isn’t over yet!

For the Tait family who organise T8T Fest, the festival acts as a reunion and special celebration of life for their much-loved family member Nicholas Tait, who passed away in 2016 from Melanoma.

At the age of 36, Nicholas was diagnosed with melanoma, and 16 short weeks later, he sadly passed away.

“And in 2017, we held a reunion for everyone who knew Taity,” explained Amanda Tait, Nicholas’ eldest sister.

“We held it at the Grand View Hotel and held some raffles for the Australia Melanoma Research Foundation, and from there, the event just got bigger and bigger.”

For the 2023 event, the T8T Fest saw over 500 walk through the doors.

“From what started as a few ideas thrown around by friends and family to this massive event, it’s great. Year on year, it keeps building momentum.”

The 2023 event welcomed four Bowen local music acts, Head Rush, Cameron Bartlett, Damon Leary and up-and-comers Gleezus, and Airlie Beach musicians The Fox.

“We try and support Bowen bands, because it gives the local guys a platform to perform at someplace not a pub,” Amanda explained.

While Nicholas was a fan of heavy rock music, the event usually has a mixed genre of music, so that everyone can enjoy the festivities.

“Not this year though! Quite a lot of the acts was heavy rock, but everyone had a great time.”

With 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the Australia Melanoma Research Foundation, the T8T Fest remains in the honour and memory of Nicholas, a Bowen born and bred local whose legacy remains strong.

“A lot of people come to T8T Fest because of Nicholas, they were his friends or family, but people also just come for the music. Others come just because it’s a charity event and want to support it.”

Amanda and the organisers would also like to thank the sponsors of the event.

To learn more about T8T Fest or to support their cause, follow their Facebook page.

Photo credit: Ashlee Webster

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Congratulations Mille and Kaylem on your graduation

November 23, 2023

Dear Kaylem,

I know you will hate this, but I just had to do it!

Dad and I are so proud of you and the amazing young man you have grown up to be.

As this chapter closes and a new one begins, know that no matter what it brings Dad and I will always be here.

Love Mum & Dad xxx

Ps. Rent will be due next week! 😊

Photoshoot Location: Villa Botanica / Private Home / Shute Harbour

Photography by: Norina Jane and R Jean Photography

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GLITZ. GLAMOUR & GRADUATION!

November 23, 2023

Year 12 Students Mark End Of An Era With School Formals

Year 12 students from around the region celebrated the end of their school journeys this week, the countless festivities marked the end of an era, but also commemorated each individual’s achievements from a memorable period in their lives.

Friends united, proud parents watched on with tears in their eyes and entire school communities gathered to wish departing students all the success in life.

Click the link to view gallery

Whitsunday Christian College

Proserpine State High School

Bowen State High School

CongratulationsMille and Kaylem on your graduation

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Indigenous Music Inspires Healing Of The Region

November 23, 2023

A musical movement that is aimed at not only raising awareness of our local indigenous culture but also healing the wounds of the past, is alive and singing in the Whitsundays, led by two inspiring local musos.

The collaboration of artists Adrian Thomas and Uncle Harold Bowen has seen indigenous stories translated into meaningful music with heartfelt compassion and true storytelling.

The pair have been working together for several months, Adrian writes the lyrics from the stories Uncle Harold tells and together they create beautiful music that has resonated in the hearts of many.

So far, five songs have been recorded alongside David Hudson, who is one of the best didgeridoo players in Australia, and Yothu Yindi drummer, Ben Hakalitz.

Adrian has spent a lot of time in Melbourne where he was a social worker, heavily involved with helping underprivileged indigenous children live their best life.

“I’ve spent a long time working in Aboriginal communities and I’ve seen firsthand the human rights that are lacking in these communities,” he explained.

“The lack of clean drinking water, the lack of affordable fresh fruit, lack of housing and base level care.”

Adrian has travelled all over the country connecting with indigenous communities and most recently moved down from Cairns to the live in the Whitsundays.

After meeting Harry Bowen, Adrian says he was saddened to hear the story of the Ngaro Gia people who had been displaced from their land many years ago.

The dream time story he was told shows how many indigenous families were killed and only those strong enough to be slaves were saved.

These Ngaro/Gia survivors cut the trees to build Proserpine and after the work was done, they were shipped up north to do the same in Yarrabah and Hopevale.

This pain anguish, but also the pathway to healing and recovery is explored in the music, most notably in the song, “Milbi" which is the lead track of the release.

“It’s a healing journey from what happened early on but also rediscovering and reconnecting with culture and power,” he shared.

“But it is not only the healing of Aboriginal people, it is also the healing of us as colonisers, as white people, of our ancestors who came here and did some really horrible things.”

As part of the musical journey, Adrian is also advocating for a monument or landmark to pay homage to the past, connect the story and offer a place where people can gather to understand and acknowledge our local indigenous’ culture.

At the same time, Adrian and Harold Bowen are also visiting Cannonvale State School next month to share their story and work with students to create a documentary.

They will be accompanied by Vino with Lateo Films, an Australian filmmaker based in Cairns.

During the visit, the trio plan to work with students to share some of the Ngaro/Gia history, play music with them and organise and involve students in a traditional dance workshop.

Once the film has been completed it will be entered into festivals worldwide and following that it is likely the film will end up on a streaming platform or TV.

Bringing voice and volume to the indigenous story, these inspiring local characters are sharing a meaningful cultural dialogue through the purity of song.

Local inspiring musician, Adrian Thomas. Photo supplied

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Summer Night For The Soul Festival of Small Halls

November 23, 2023

The folk event of summer is arriving in the Whitsunday PCYC, checking into Airlie Beach for one night of mammoth music, that will leave the soul replenished and recharged.

The Summer rendition of the Festival of Small Halls is back and featuring headlining acts Assynt and Jackie Marshall, with the evening expected to be music for the soul.

Jackie Marshall is a folk singer-songwriter, with her inspirations stemming from 60s and 70s and western folk and country, jazz, and improvisation. Full of energy and warmth, the audience will be swept away with her fantastic stage presence and gentle atmosphere.

“It's a huge pleasure to be heading out on the road for Small Halls,” said Jackie. “I love being in motion, soaking up the colours of this beautiful country, meeting new people with fascinating stories, and experiencing the joy of performing to intimate audiences in venues rich with the feeling of personal connection. I feel incredibly fortunate to be involved.”

Assynt are Scotland’s own award-winning instrumental folk band, passionately known for their tight-knit fiddle and pipe playing combination.

Itching to present their tunes to audiences across Australia, Assynt noted "We have been looking forward to touring Australia as part of the Small Halls tour for over four years now! A little later than planned due to the pandemic, we are excited to showcase our Scottish music for the Australian audiences and experience the culture in Queensland and Victoria!"

The Festival is proudly supporting Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network and will feature a BBQ style eat street on the night, with all proceeds from the event going towards the suicide prevention charity.

WHAT: Festival of Small Halls

WHERE: PCYC Whitsundays

WHEN: Friday December 1

TICKETS: festivalofsmallhalls.com starting from $10

Festival of Small Halls is the event of the summer. Image supplied

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Gig Guide

November 23, 2023

Friday 24th Nov

• Paradiso: Mike Duff (7-10pm)

• KC’s: Aaron Saxon (8pm-Late)

• Metropole: Live Music (8pm-Late)

• The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel: Andrew Wishart (7pm-10pm)

• Grand View Hotel: TBC (from 8pm)

Saturday 25th Nov

• The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel: Andrew Wishart (7pm-10pm)

• Airlie Beach Hotel: Dire Straits (2pm-5.30pm)

• Paradiso: Simon Briley (7-10pm)

• KC’s: Retro Joe (8pm-Late)

• Grand View Hotel: Dave Helgi Johan (from 6pm)

Sunday 26th Nov

• Paradiso: Aaron Saxon (1-4pm)

• The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel: Andrew Wishart (7pm-10pm)

• Airlie Beach Hotel: Pink Floyd (2pm- 5.30pm)

• KC’s: TBA (8pm-Late)

• Grand View Hotel: Keiran McCarthy (2pm-5pm)

Monday 27th Nov

• KC’s: Kaedan McCarthy (8pm-Late)

Tuesday 28th Nov

• KC’s: Sam McCann (8pm-Late)

Wednesday 29th Nov

• KC’s: Louisa Taylor (8pm-Late)

Thursday 30th Nov

• Paradiso: Aaron Saxon (6.30pm-9.30pm)

• The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel: Matt Angell (6.30pm-9.30pm)

• KC’s: Louisa Taylor (8pm-Late)

GRANDVIEW

https://www.grandviewhotelbowen.com.au/whats-on/live-entertainment/

https://www.hotelmetropoleproserpine.com.au/whats-on/

Grandview gigs contact is Chloe

ABH: all acoustic is 7-10pm except Wednesdays & Thurs 6.30 - 9.30pm

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Bowen State High School Annual Sports Awards Night

November 16, 2023

Junior Sportsman of the year 2023 – Hugo Williams

Junior Sportswoman of the year 2023 – Lily Moore

Terry Wake Memorial Award – Kane Dyne

Paul Le Bherz Memorial – Wesley Homewood

Keith Shiels Memorial Award – Hannah Moore

Senior Sportswoman of the Year 2023 – Hannah Moore

Senior Sportsman of the Year 2023 – Gausa Dau

MVP Junior Rugby League – Elli Dau

MVP Junior Rugby League – Taleisa Savelio

MVP Senior Rugby League – Isabella Gillroy

MVP Senior Rugby League – Winlee Petersen

MVP Junior Netball – Harris Wright

MVP Senior Netball – Hannah Moore & Tilly Mitchell

MVP Senior Netball – Tate McGrath & Kane Dyne

MVP Cricket – Wesley Homewood

MVP Rugby 7s – Elli Dau

MVP Rugby 7s – Trinity Blake

North Queensland Representatives

Wesley Homewood

Willow Gaffney

Marcus Yasso

Diesel Bonds

Byron Piggott

Gausa Dau

LJay Barton

Brakley Pham

James Madlangsakay

Mathew Lust

Hugo Williams

Jacob Logan

Jamie Jacobson

Lily Moore

Remy Hedges

Hannah Moore

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Whitsunday Cricket Sevens A Massive Weekend Of Cricket

November 16, 2023

The annal Whitsunday Cricket Sevens is back for 2023, and the Proserpine Cricket Association is more than excited.

This is one massive weekend of great cricket, perfect for every novice or avid fan of the sport.

Each team will have seven players a side, with players of all ages and abilities.

Each game with be short, to allow plenty of social time.

All weekend, there will be tones of music, fun, games, daily prizes and raffles, and even food and drink vans.

There will be three grades of teams, to ensure that everyone is able to get the most out of the day.

Be quick, as nominations for this social event close 5pm, November 30. To sign up, email Craig Brown on brownhouse003@gmail.com for a nomination form. Complete form and send it back to Craig by November 30.

Each team incurs a nomination fee of $100 per team, regardless of the number of players, to be paid prior to game day.

For any enquiries, feel free to ring Craig on 0427 764 828.

WHAT: Whitsunday Cricket Sevens

WHERE: Proserpine Cricket Grounds, Kelsey Creek Road, Proserpine

WHEN: Saturday December 9 and Sunday December 10, from 8.30am

SIGN UP BY: November 30, 5pm

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Rocking For A Cause

November 16, 2023

T8T Fest

Rockers of Bowen, get ready for one of the best rock festivals around. And this one has an extra special cause.

T8T Fest is a rock festival to remember Nicholas Tait, who passed away in 2016, following a diagnosis of an aggressive Melanoma. Nicholas fought the hard fight for 16 weeks before he passed away.

Nicholas was an avid musician who loved performing and rocking out, and so his family and friends got together to create T8T Fest.

The rock music festival is also a fundraiser for Melanoma research and the Australian Melanoma Research Foundation.

2017 was the first T8T Fest and now seven years on, the 2023 festival is gearing up to be hell of a show.

Here are the headliners:

Headrush, belting out the classic 70s, 80s, 90s and a few noughties heavy rock tracks.

Cameron Bartlett, specialising in old school blues, rock and 60s and modern country and pop.

The Fox, a high energy pop and punk cover band, with nostalgic flare.

Damon Leary, a youth solo acoustic artist who will be covering American country and classic pup rock.

And lastly, Gleezus, the up-and-coming youth rockers out of Bowen High, who are making waves in the rock scene.

How will you rock out this weekend?

WHAT: T8T Fest

WHERE: Bowen Sporting Complex

WHEN: Saturday November 18, from

TICKETS: Entry via donation at the door

T8T Fest organisers, at the inaugural festival in 2017. Photo supplied

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It’s A Rock And Roll Kinda Weekend With The Airlie Beach Hotel

November 16, 2023

Airlie Beach is welcoming music icons Dire Straits and Pink Floyd, under the guise of dutiful recreation and tribute by artists Money For Nothin and Crazy Diamonds, led by front man Terry McMahon.

Money for Nothin

Terry has been dedicated to perfecting his craft, becoming the epitome of Mark Knopfler, replicating his mystifying guitar riffs and techniques and vocal prowess with uncanny ability.

“The Money for Nothin show started over six years ago, because we wanted to make a show that we’re passionate about,” explained Terry.

“The show is all things Dire Straits!”

Terry had been playing guitar and performing in tribute shows for over 30 years, before he decided he wanted to branch out with a new show that he was passionate about.

“We all love Dire Straits, and all the boys in the band are seasoned professionals when it comes to recreating the songs,” Terry said.

You will be transported to the 70s and 80s, back into the clutches of a Dire Straits show, and be blown away by the unwavering perfection that is Money for Nothin as the Dire Straits.

“And lucky for me, Dire Straits are known for their music, not for a distinct look! They liked to play in whatever was comfortable that day, so no costumes or anything like that. However, Mark liked to wear his headbands, which always get a laugh out of the crowd when I ‘get into uniform’,” Terry laughed.

Not missing any of the ultimate classics, Money for Nothin will perform ‘Sultans of Swing’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Walk of Life’, ‘Lady Writer’, ‘Your Latest Trick’, ‘Tunnel of Love’, and their namesake ‘Money for Nothing’.

Crazy Diamonds

Cut your teeth with this one and be ‘Comfortably Numb’.

Led by the ineffable Terry McMahon, Crazy Diamonds is a seamless recreation of the tracks of Pink Floyd, of the timeless, unbeatable and psychedelic classics that propelled the boys in pink to their initial and now long-lasting stardom.

With a track for everyone, this performance will keep the crowd dancing, and the enjoyment high.

“We pick the songs that everyone knows, even if they’re not fans, they’ll recognise the tracks. We just wanted everyone in the crowd to be happy and loving the show,” Terry said.

“Both shows are a tonne of fun, and we love having fun with the crowd, surprising them with the very best songs and letting the music do all the talking.”

WHAT: Money For Nothin: Dire Straits Experience

WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel

WHEN: Saturday, November 25, from 2pm to 5.30pm

TICKETS: Absolutely Free!

WHAT: Crazy Diamonds: Pink Floyd Tribute

WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel

WHEN: Sunday, November 26, from 2pm to 5.30pm

TICKETS: Absolutely Free!

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Get Festive! With Markets And Carols

November 16, 2023

Get into the festive spirit with the Proserpine Whitsunday Uniting Church and their annual Carols service.

A well-loved community event, the Proserpine Whitsunday Uniting Church annual Carols service brings the community together and ignites the Christmas celebrations in the region.

“It is always a popular event,” Jane Bettridge, Fundraising Chair of the Uniting Church said.

“Our church musos will play, and we have a few members with lovely voices, but we welcome the community to get involved and sing as well. The whole idea is that everyone gets involved.”

The combined event of the Christmas markets and the carols is a new update for 2023.

“Last year, we had the markets during the day, and the carols at night, and for this year, we thought to combine them into one big event,” Jane said.

The night begins at 5pm, with the market stalls, with the Minister beginning the Christmas Story at 6pm, and the carols afterwards, with fantastic live music and traditional carols.

“The Christmas story is always lovely. Putting the Christ back into Christmas, and we will be sharing the child-friendly version of the Christmas story,” Jane explained.

So, bring your picnic rug or a camp chair, set yourself up in the midst of all the action.

Jane recommends that all attendees bring plenty of cash, as there is limited EFTPOS available.

WHAT: Christmas Stalls and Carols

WHERE: Proserpine Whitsunday Uniting Church Grounds, Corner Herbert and Main Street, Proserpine

WHEN: Friday, December 1, from 5pm, with Carols beginning at 6pm

The Proserpine Whitsunday Uniting Church annual Christmas Carols and Markets. Photo supplied

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Winning By An Avalanche At Passport To Airlie Comp

November 16, 2023

Passport to Airlie for 2023 is done and dusted with a spectacular battle of the bands grand final last Thursday evening.

With eight bands from across the country culminating to the Airlie Beach Festival of Music main stage for one night, tensions were high and the music was electric.

Against the seven other regional winners, the Newcastle regional winners, Avalanche, won out top accolades on the night, with their head banging, heart thumping beats.

A four-piece band, comprised of Arthur Divas on rhythm guitar, Ryan Roma on drums, Steve Campbell as lead vocalist and bass, and Veronica Campbell on lead guitar, Avalanche bring the heavy rock.

Since their early days in the confines of an old steel factory in 2018, Avalanche have grown to create their own movement, supporting the likes of Buckcherry, Fozzy, The Iron Maidens, Dead City Ruins, and have been invited to tour with Rose Tattoo in 2024.

The Passport to Airlie Grand Final marked the beginning of an action-packed three day Airlie Beach Festival of Music, with Festival Founder, Gavin ‘Butto’ Butlin saying it was one of the best yet.

“We are thrilled with the success of the 2023 Airlie Beach Festival of Music,” he said.

“We had over 7,000 people over the weekend, amazing performances from our artists, and a fantastic atmosphere throughout the event. The support from our sponsors, partners, and the Airlie Beach community is greatly appreciated, and we are looking forward to next year’s festival already,”

2023 Passport to Airlie Winners, Avalanche from Newcastle. Photo supplied

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2023 Schoolies Fun

November 16, 2023

It’s that time of year again, with Schoolies celebrations prepped and ready for November 18.

Spanning one week of mammoth parties, excitement and fun, the Year 12 graduates across the state are saying goodbye to high school and cheering on the rest of their lives.  

Local year 12 graduates can get in on the fun here in the Whitsundays with Local Tickets available for all.

Event organiser, Margie Murphy, Director of Airlie Events said, “Last year we had such a great bunch of kids come and enjoy the event who were really well behaved”.

“These are Airlie’s future tourists so making them feel welcome and safe benefits everyone in the long run as they are sure to keep returning.”

Supported by Safer Schoolies Program, Whitsunday Regional Council, Queensland Police and Ambulance Services, with the Red Frogs and Whitsunday Youth with a Mission on the ground, the event is expected to see 1500 school leavers flow into Airlie Beach.

This years’ themes:

Saturday November 18 – Uniforms

Sunday November 19 – Pink

Monday November 20 – Thrift Finds

Tuesday November 21 – White Party

Wednesday November 22 – Festival Fits

Thursday November 23 – Rodeo

Friday November 24 – Tropical Vibes

WHAT: Airlie Beach Schoolies

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore, Fairy Tree Park

WHEN: Saturday November 18 to Friday November 24

TICKETS: Locals Only Tickets, $150 each, for 7-nights available through airlieevents.com.au

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It’s Time To Rock With Sarah McLeod

November 10, 2023

It’s a good time to be alive, with Sarah McLeod and the enigmatic The Superjesus checking in for Airlie Beach Festival of Music, and ensuring great music, and fantastic vibe.

Sarah, lead singer of The Superjesus, says she is more than excited to return to the festival this year.

“We’re busy working, sleeping and drinking water, because once we’re in Airlie Beach, we won’t have any time for that; it’ll be non-stop music and checking out the scenes,” said Sarah.

Sarah, herself, has a busy job, being the official ambassador for the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, as well as on the judge’s panel for the 2023 Passport to Airlie competition.

“I was the unofficial ambassador for years; I just got really into it, and created my own role, but now this will be my third year as official ambassador,” Sarah explained.

As Ambassador, Sarah is busy ensuring the best experience for festival attendees.

“It’s a fantastic job and it’s pretty unique, just telling people about the best things that are happening in Airlie Beach.”

For Sarah, who will be busy across the weekend, performing as part of The Superjesus as well as a soloist, there is no better place than the Airlie Beach Festival of Music to reflect on 2023 and share her great musicality.

“And it’s not just the bands on the Main Stage, but the venues across the main strip. Everyone gets involved, and it’s just amazing. It’s non-stop music. From when you wake up to when you go to sleep, music.”

In particular for 2023, Sarah has just returned home following a massive tour with The Superjesus and their supporter, Perry Street Park, as well as releasing a sweep of new music.

“Perry Street Park are a great vibe, and they bring so much energy and joy. It’s one thing to just stand on stage and perform, and another to get involved and bring the vibes. And the boys of Perry Street, they bring the vibes.”

For The Superjesus set, there will be a bit of everything.

“Our classics with a handful of our best, and our happy new material.”

For Sarah’s solo performances, “It’ll be whatever I’m feeling, and how the crowd is looking. You never know what you’re gonna get with me.”

Branching out as a soloist was a big move for Sarah.

“I find joy in going solo. I’m an eclectic person, and I want to write what I want to write. With Superjesus, we have this specific sound that we can’t really deviate from, but I have a short attention span, and want to do everything.”

With the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, we get the best of Sarah, with The Superjesus and as the phenomenal soloist that she is.

“And there is nothing like the Airlie Beach Festival of Music elsewhere. You’ve got this amazing rock music, alongside the beautiful Whitsundays. You’ve got to experience it at least once.”

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Get Ready To Rock

November 10, 2023

At The 2023 Airlie Beach Festival Of Music

Town is pumped and the atmosphere is buzzing ahead of the 11th annual Airlie Beach Festival of Music which is kicking off as you read this!

Featuring more than 50 acts spread out across 15 different venues, live music will be emanating from pubs, clubs, restaurants, and cafes all weekend.

The main stage, located in the big top tent at the Whitsunday Sailing Club, will be a hive of activity with up to 4000 people expected to gather for four nights of entertainment.

Iconic music legends from across the country are headlining, bringing 150 years of Australian rock to Airlie Beach.

Leading the charge are outstanding performers such as Ian Moss, Ross Wilson, and Dragon.

On receiving the call “Wanna go play at Airlie Beach?” rock legend, Ross Wilson replied, “You betcha, vibe plus. Like, who wouldn’t?”

“I’m bringing my hot shot band The Peaceniks with me and we’re really looking forward to rocking out at The Whitsunday’s biggest, bestest music event the Airlie Beach Festival of Music. What are we gonna play? A bit of Daddy Cool, some Mondo Rock, and some newies too - it’s a festival!!”

While the Airlie Beach Festival of Music is renowned for bringing in the big acts, it also champions the smaller aspiring artists, giving them a chance to shine and play alongside some of their heroes.

Thursday night on the main stage was the Passport To Airlie Competition Grand Final which saw eight talented acts selected from heats across the country perform under the big top tent.

The winner received the opportunity to play on the main stage at next years’ festival.

WHAT: Airlie Beach Festival of Music

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club and 14 other venues

WHEN: 9-12 November

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Bourbon Blues On Bourbon Street

November 10, 2023

Bourbon-soaked rock is next on the lineup for these bourbon boys, gracing the stage of the Airlie Beach Festival of Music for a mammoth weekend of unstoppable Australian rock.

“And we just love it,” Bourbon Street guitarist, Horace Bevan said.

“We play hard, and we sweat harder. You can’t put us in a corner!”

After 37 years of rock, the boys of Bourbon Street say they are feeling more alive than ever.

“It takes a lot of physicality, a lot of attitude, but we’re grateful that we can still play in our prime years,” Horace explained.

“It’s endearing how powerful music is, sharing music with people. It’s an honour and a privilege to be on stage. It’s abundant joy, an emotive high, without even having to use drugs!

“It’s a powerful bond and it proves that the band is no more important than the audience. When people get up and dance, express themselves through dance – not to sound like a hippy – but it’s a powerful thing.”

Over the years, Bourbon Street have evolved, covering the best tracks of the 60s and 70s, to writing and producing original music.

“We are an old school rock band,” Horace explained.

While Horace’s passion is palpable, the lasting impact of Bourbon Street in unimaginable, with the band deciding to produce a documentary, to celebrate their illustrious career.

“We have this young filmmaker on board. He’s organised and ready. He gets us to show up and be on out A-Game, even when I’m like ‘Ah man, I just want a joint and a cup of tea’.

“But this is a great opportunity to present our story through the years. We have this massive body of history and have yet to share it.

“We’ve done all these amazing things; we toured Australia and America, and we got into the Golden Circle. We didn’t quite get the commercial success we were after, but we got really close.”

For Horace and Bourbon Street, they are thankful to Gavin “Butto” Butlin, the Festival Organiser.

“In 2013, Butto was instrumental in us getting back together, and being in the same room again. He’s what kicked us off again.

“That’s the thing about the Airlie Beach Festival of Music: it has integrity. The entire festival is all about the music, about bringing people together and coming together as one. It’s something that we admire.

“There is this raw essence in music, a companionship through music that you cannot deny.”

And now celebrating 37 years in the industry, Bourbon Street is feeling fully alive.

“Music keeps us present, conscious, and it wants us to do our best. It’s just really f**** cool.”

And as Horace says: What happens on the road, stays on the road.

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The Boys Are Back

November 10, 2023

The name Perry Street Park is very familiar to Airlie Beach locals, as well as most of the Queensland music scene, having seen massive success following their 2022 win at the Passport to Airlie original music competition.

Propelling the four boys into a new stratosphere last year, they are now excited to check back into Airlie Beach, where all their success began.

“The Airlie Beach Festival of Music is such a unique opportunity,” Benny Nelson, lead singer of Perry Street Park, said.

“We’re playing every day over the four-day festival, and as a musician, this is great! We want to play as much as we can. It’s about building an audience and a following, and we want people to go ‘ah that band was good, who are they again?’.”

Taking out the Passport to Airlie win in 2022 set Perry Street Park onto a new trajectory.

“It really gave us the momentum to run into 2023. We’ve been releasing so much new music, playing a lot of festivals, and have even just finished up this massive tour with Sarah McLeod and the Superjesus.

“These are the opportunities that Airlie Beach Festival of Music gave us.”

And Perry Street Park have big plans for their set list in Airlie Beach this weekend.

“We’re gonna chuck a few new songs on the set list, some of our older stuff and a few covers. We pride ourselves on giving covers justice.”

On stage, the boys bring high energy and create a vibrant atmosphere.

“We like to have fun on stage. We reckon that’s part of what got us the win at Passport to Airlie, the fact that we have fun on the stage, that we be ourselves. We don’t act differently or anything like that. We also interact with each other and the crowd and bring a lot of energy.

“That’s one thing that we’re thankful for, that Airlie Beach let us become comfortable on festival stages. Festivals are big productions, with big lights and massive crowds. Imposter syndrome was something we tackled with, but being on the big stage at festivals is where we belong.”

These returning champions have worked hard to turn an opportunity into a career and have overcome every obstacle.

“2023 was a big year for us, performing at so many festivals and shows, so we’re excited for the Airlie Beach Festival of Music to be a little holiday for us. There’s really no better place to holiday than in Airlie.”

In fact, “The Airlie Beach Festival of Music will be a bit of a send off of 2023 for us, before we start to get into Christmas and have some down time.”

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One Step Closer For Gleezus

November 10, 2023

Bowen made and locally loved youth band Gleezus have been busy building a name for themselves, entrenching their sound and dynamic presence into the very thread of music in the Whitsundays.

Evolving from a simple music class assessment to the competition winning band that is Gleezus, their success was unprecedented, but the team have been taking every opportunity to grow as musicians and develop their sound.

Jack Homewood is the guitarist for Gleezus and started the band initially.

“I just fell in love with it,” Jack explained.

“From there, we just started practicing outside of school, and eventually we just got better equipment, and started playing house parties and private shows, and then we played our first big competition at the Townsville Folk Festival,” he said.

Ashton Shepheard is Gleezus’ bassist and says that the whirlwind of the success has been amazing.

“It’s gonna be so awesome,” Ashton explained.

The final mixture of this youth phenomenon is Brock Medhurst on drums, and newcomer Kameron Stoneham, a powerhouse on vocals and a star with music.

“Kameron can just belt out Metallica, it’s great. We all just clicked with her. We can think of a song we’d like to play, and she’ll just rip through it,” Jack explained.

“The other day we were jamming together, trying to come up with lyrics, and she went outside for 15 minutes, comes back in and is like ‘done’ [handing over some lyrics], and that’s what we used to win Young Whitsundays got Talent.”

Still spinning from their recent success at the top where they won the Young Whitsundays Got Talent in October, the band will soon be performing at Airlie Beach Festival of Music, where they will also receive the ‘rock star’ treatment - full access back-stage passes with headlining act, The Superjesus.

“The festival is massive, with like 15 different bands playing at once at 15 different venues. It’ll be so good to meet some other musicians too, who are into our sort of music,” Ashton said.

Describing their sound as “rock, grunge, all the good old school stuff”, the band are keen to get on stage and perform to the people of Airlie.

Their set list prepped and ready, with a mixture of covers and originals, Gleezus has over two hours’ worth of music, with a 40-minute time slot.

With dreams of hitting it big professionally, Gleezus are certainly making a great foundation for stardom, with meetings with massive industry professionals in the schedule.

If you haven’t heard Gleezus recently, you haven’t heard Gleezus at all.

And if you miss them at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, hit up the T8T Fest, held in Bowen on November 18th, which helps raise awareness for Australia Melanoma Research.

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Third Years The Charm For Double Flying Front Kick

November 10, 2023

The boys of Double Flying Front Kick are ready to take on the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, for the third year in a row, and with them they’re bringing their very best originals.

“We’ve got a whole line up of new music that we’re ready to showcase,” said Kaedan McCarthy, talented vocalist and guitarist of the band.

“We’ve also got our brand-new bassist, the legendary Nick Di Gregorio, who comes with so much talent and so much inspiration. In fact, he is probably the most talented out of all of us!”

The final of the trio is Simon Briley, on drums and vocals, who rounds out the band with great beats and even better attitude.

“We all play independently but come together with Double Flying Front Kick, so we can all jump on vocals. Our harmonies are good, and it fuels the music. Both Simon and Nick play guitar too.”

Perfecting their setlist for the festival, the boys are keen to showcase their originals.

“We’ve got some of our older originals and some of our songs are completely brand new, even to us. I’ve been writing for years, so we’ve got this great backlog of stuff in the file cabinet ready to go.”

Just this year, the boys have been pumping through their originals, releasing Volume 2, a new collection of their music earlier this year, with plans to release Volume 3 later on this year.

“We knew 2023 would be us doing a lot of internal stuff, producing, recording and engineering our stuff to get a demo and an album out in 2024,” Kaedan said.

“We go to these festivals and get approached by people in the industry but never have anything to give them, so we’re changing that. In 2024, people will know us and will know our stuff.”

Before these boys make it too big for little ol’ Airlie, see them in action at Airlie Beach Festival of Music.

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Full Circle Moment For Tom Mac

November 10, 2023

It’s a full circle moment for Tom Mac, Australian pop-country singer-songwriter, as he gears himself up for the Airlie Beach Festival of Music.

It was only a seemingly short time ago, when Tom first performed on Hamilton Island, his first ever gig actually, and now he returns, to grace the Airlie Beach Festival of Music stage.

With his newfound talent – Tom didn’t pick up the guitar until he was in university – Tom has seen unprecedented success. It was a seamless transition, from the early days of playing cover songs, to moving onto writing and producing his own music.

“I’ve always written poetry, so it was pretty easy to marry up poetry and music,” Tom explained.

Currently looking at swinging his sound around, Tom has started to evolve into more pop-country.

“I’ve always hit the pop-country scene, but I’ve never felt like I had the right sound. I’ve always felt I’m more aligned with folk acoustic, but everyone says I definitely sound more country. But I was born in country Victoria, so maybe I’ve never grown out of the country.”

So, what can Airlie Beach expect from Tom?

“Mainly originals, some with my didgeridoo. I’ll play a few of my newer songs, that aren’t released yet, and a few that the country-music lovers will love. I’ll also play some covers, which are always crowd pleases. But festivals like this are a great opportunity to showcase original work.  

“But pretty much, Butto has told me that I have an hour, so between my storytelling, I’m sure the time will be well spent.”

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Jonte Is Not Done With Us

November 10, 2023

For local up and comer, Jonte, having his name published on the official line up of the Airlie Beach Festival of Music flyer was a thrill like no other.

“To have the festival of our region have my name on it, it was crazy. Amazing,” he said.

“I am excited to be sharing my originals and working alongside other musicians.”

For Jonte, it has always been in his blood to be on stage, performing his originals to anyone who will listen.

“I’ve been gigging since I was 14 years old, and I even busked around at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music a few years ago. To come back now, with my name on the line up, that’s hectic.”

And what does Jonte have planned for Airlie Beach Festival of Music?

“For my setlist, I will be incorporating some of my originals into the lineup. I’ve recently released my new song ‘Done With You’, which I’m excited to perform live.”

Telling the story of an online situation-ship of youth, Jonte’s acclaimed ‘break up anthem’ speaks to young adults coming to terms with love and with online dating.

“I’ve had a really good response to ‘Done With You’ so I am keen to engage the audience with that track.”

With nostalgic sounds, which embody classic and new age country, Jonte is one young talent to look out for.

“And what a better place to perform my originals, than at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music!”

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Stick Around For The Show

November 10, 2023

Tiffany Grace

It has been a crazy 12 months for local Tiffany Grace, off the back of her Young Whitsundays Got Talent win in 2022. Since then, she has seen unprecedented success, projecting her to newfound stardom and musical greatness.

“Young Whitsundays was unbelievable in itself. It was such a great experience, and so much has happened because of it,” Tiffany explained.

“The organiser of Young Whitsundays rings me up constantly, calling me for gigs, and that makes the whole difference.”

And now, in 2023, she is one of the performers at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, something she never expected.

“It’s still so hard to believe, to be so young and to see that it’s starting to happen!”

Tiffany’s always had a passion for music, however it wasn’t until 2022 when she fully realised her dream of being on stage, performing her original music.

“I have recently broken through my anxiety of being on stage. It can be very daunting, but the feeling I get when I am up on stage, you can’t describe it.”

While she is still perfecting her song writing prowess, with a few fantastic originals under her belt, she will perform her favourite covers at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music.

“I’ve also just released a new song, called ‘The Show’, which speaks to being powerful and being strong. And writing music, it’s such a different experience. It’s ecstatic and exciting, and ‘The Show’ has already gotten such a good response.”

And just wait, because if she continues on like this in a few years, the name Tiffany Grace will be a household name, with her amazing country, acoustic pop tracks loved by fans around the country, if not the world!

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The Succulent Difference Of Eastwoods

November 10, 2023

Opening Eastwoods has always been the vision of Kirsty and Jack Mason, the powerful team that had taken Hamilton Island by storm for a number of years, bringing their expertise and passion over to the Whitsundays mainland.

What prompted the south-east Asian fusion that is Eastwoods was Jack and Kirsty’s passion for showcasing a unique and different food option in the heart of Airlie Beach.

“Modern South-east Asian has always been a favourite style of cuisine. Bursting with flavours and textures bringing the dishes together. Predominately Thai, Vietnamese, with some Chinese in there too,” owner and Executive Chef, Jack explained.

“We try to use traditional recipes and ingredients and modernise it a bit. Classic traditional Asian but with a modern twist. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support and passion of our talented Sous Chefs – Milena and Jenny. The drive they bring every day is a true inspiration for the team”

Having opened the doors less than two weeks ago to Eastwoods, Kirsty, Jack and the team have welcomed the flurry of locals wishing to try the new offerings and the tourists looking for a tasty reprieve from their holiday adventures.

“Favourites of the menu seem to be our barramundi, a crispy whole baby barramundi, straight from the Coral Coast, with a three flavour caramel and apple mint slaw. It just covers all bases, of tastes, textures, and presentation,” Jack explained.

“Our betel leaf dish, with tiger prawn, red nahm jim and toasted coconut, has been a big favourite. We have them growing in the garden at the front, and we love to show people that that’s what they’re eating.”

Another facet of the cuisine is the extreme dietary flexibility of the menu.

“The majority of the dishes are gluten free, and dairy free, and we can make small variations to accommodate other allergens or requirements,” Kirsty explained.

“Pretty much everything is coconut based, not dairy milk, and we use Asian style flours which are gluten free. We also have a number of vegan dishes so it’s very easy to cater to all with delicious options.”

In terms of beverages, the drinks menu is extensive and impressive, offering a range of carefully selected wines, Japanese sake, and unique specialty cocktails. Ryan Guitman is the master behind the bar and the delicious well balanced drinks are served up in minutes!

“We have created a drinks list that pairs with our style of cuisine but is also a point of difference in the Whitsundays, which is something we really wanted to focus on and getting the locals excited to experience something new” Kirsty explained.

Dining at Eastwoods, the experience is as important as the meal, with the menu favouring sharing plates and banquet dining, allowing guests to taste the entire menu. Eastwoods is also able to offer large dining banquets with a set menu for private parties, and functions.

And where did the name come from?

“Five years ago, when we decided we wanted to open a restaurant we were thinking of names. We couldn’t really agree on anything, and we got to the point we were just naming things we liked. Jack being a fan of western movies, then said Clint Eastwood, and Kirsty stopped and said there could be something there – Southeast Asian at Eastwoods sounds pretty good, and we both knew, that was our name.”

Jack and Kirsty Mason, the duo behind Eastwoods

The team of Eastwoods, ensuring the best experience for each guest. Photo credit: Bronte Hodge

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Get Snake Safe With Wildlife Whitsundays

November 10, 2023

As it warms up across the region, it is best to remind yourself of snake safety, with this workshop held by Wildlife Whitsundays.

An action-packed two-hour workshop, Wildlife Whitsundays will cover the essentials of snake safety, must-know snake knowledge, and what to do when faced with a snake when out and about.

WHAT: Community Snake Education and Safety Program

WHERE: Proserpine Community Centre

WHEN: Sunday, November 26, from 10am to 12pm

TICKETS: eventbrite.com

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Twilight Markets With Collinsville QCWA

November 10, 2023

The ladies of the Collinsville Queensland Country Women’s Association are ensuring that we have our Christmas shopping sorted, with their Twilight Markets.

With the best of locally handmade crafts and locally produced goods, this will have something for everyone.

And if you’re looking to get a stall, contact Collinsville QCWA by November 15, on collinsville@qcwa.org.au

WHAT: QCWA Twilight Markets

WHERE: Collinsville QCWA Hall

WHEN: Saturday November 25, from 4pm to 8pm

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Victims Of Love

November 10, 2023

The Australian Eagles Show

One of Australia’s most authentic Eagles experiences is back at the Airlie Beach Hotel, with a set that is set to knock your socks off!

Covering the very best music from these massive legends, no time will be wasted with this one.

This two-hour tribute will leave us stranded in ‘Hotel California’, just wanting more from the all-time eclectic rockers.

Now, who are these ‘Boys of Summer’?

Shayne Browne is on lead vocals and guitar, the powerhouse that leads us into belting out the lyrics with him.

Next up is Paul Kerin, on guitar and vocals as well, who dominates with beats that hit just right.

Beside him is David Thompson, on drums and vocals. Keeping the boys in check and on beat, David is sure to a hidden gem in the music.

Michael Thompson is the hidden threat, on guitar and vocals. He knows just when to belt out, and when to mellow the tune away.

Jason Chandler brings the rhythmic beats of the bass guitar, the steady streams of music that transcend the audience to new places.

With authentic reproductions, and intimate performances, you will be transported to a jampacked Eagles show in the 70s, with the foot stomping, head banging music just washing over you.

‘The Heat is On’ for these boys, who will be having us dreaming of summer nights and fantastic music.

We’ll be wanting more with the Airlie Beach Hotel leaving us a ‘Victim of Love’.

No ‘Heartache Tonight’, with mammoth songs, great stage Prescence, and even better music for all.

WHAT: The Australian Eagles Show

WHERE: The Pub, at the Airlie Beach Hotel

WHEN: Saturday November 18 and Sunday November 19, from 2pm to 5.30pm

TICKETS: Absolutely free, so just rock up and enjoy the tunes

The boys of the Australian Eagles Show know how to get the crowd excited

These ‘New Kids in Town’ bring big energy and bigger beats to the stage

‘Life in the Fast Lane’ at the Airlie Beach Hotel

Ensuring great tracks that are sure to get you out of your seat, the boys from the Australian Eagles are ready

Where will you be for this show? Photos supplied

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Rock ‘N Roll To Christmas

November 10, 2023

Get ready for the Christmas party of the year, with the Tiny Homes Project.

Rock and rolling our way to Christmas will be musician Peter Tilbrook, vocalist and guitarist of Aussie, The Master’s Apprentices.

“One of Australia’s top 60’s bands was Master’s Apprentices and original band vocalist Peter Tilbrook still performs today as great as ever,” Sandy Clark, Fundraising Coordinator for Tiny Homes Project said.

“Peter will perform hits from his original band along with popular hit music from a variety of other rock bands through the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. He has been a busy performer all over Australia as well as many cruise ship gigs. He works with a group called The Party Cats and he’s guaranteed to get the Sailing Club up and dancing.”

Also, on the schedule for this Christmas Luncheon will be the tantalizing auction items, including a dinner voucher to Airlie Beach’s newest restaurant Eastwoods, a Penfold’s wine package, and artwork donated by Bridgette Peel Fine Art.

Bridgette also runs art classes at her studio 3 Little Birds, and one of her staff Noemi Martinez has donated her portrait of Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac.

Tickets are $110 per person, and include a traditional Christmas turkey roast, with all the best trimmings, Christmas pudding for dessert and a cocktail on arrival.

WHAT: Tiny Homes Project Rock ‘n Roll Christmas Luncheon

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club

WHEN: Saturday November 18, 12pm to 3pm

TICKETS: https://bit.ly/Rock_Luncheon

Big Prizes For Tiny Homes Raffle

Tiny Homes Project are holding their next fundraising raffle with amazing prizes on offer.

Starting a $5 a ticket, to $4 a ticket in a lot of 10, all proceeds are going towards the construction of four tiny homes for women over the age of 55 experiencing homelessness in the region.

First Prize: Is a beautiful portrait painted by Lee-anne Burrows, a Central Queensland artist whose contemporary portraits are exclusive and vibrant. The muse is Matty Rogers, Australian singer-songwriter who has performed across the country, but most notably at Falls Festivals, Byron Bay Blues Festival, Tamworth Country Music Festival, and at Airlie Beach Festival of Music. The portrait also includes a Matty Rogers merchandise pack, with four CDs, tote bag, and t-shirt.

Second Prize: Is two 3-day passes to the 2024 Airlie Beach Festival of Music. Be involved in every single artist and every single venue, with this all-encompassing pass for one of the best events of the year.

Get your raffle tickets today!

To Purchase Tickets: https://bit.ly/3LiGIDx

Drawn: Sunday November 12, at 8pm, at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music Main Stage

Noemi Martinez’s portrait of Stevie Nicks is available at the auction. Photo supplied

Matt Rogers with his portrait, by Lee-ane Burrows. Photo supplied

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Win A VIP Experience

November 2, 2023

If you haven’t already purchased your 3-day pass for the legendary Airlie Beach Festival of Music, here is another incentive for you!

One lucky 3-day ticket holder will win the mammoth chance to meet Frenzal Rhomb, be upgraded to VIP, and be invited on a special Whitehaven Beach Big Island Day Tour, thanks to Sealink Whitsundays.

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

"Our VIP packages alone cost $1,000 for the three-day event but provides food and drinks for six hours per day in the main tent and the chance to mingle with performing acts in an exclusive waterfront setting,” he said.

"This by itself is a way to experience the festival like a rockstar, 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.”

SeaLink Whitsundays General Manager, Rob Mitchell, said it made perfect sense to include the Big Island Day Tour within the prize package to showcase the best of the Whitsundays.

“SeaLink are very proud to partner with the Airlie Beach Festival of Music as Platinum Sponsor for the second year running, and we look forward to continue in strengthening our involvement for years to come,” he said.

The 3-day pass is perfect for those wishing for unlimited access to all the music happening over the massive four days of music.

From the Passport to Airlie showcase on Thursday, November 9, to the official after party at Northerlies on Monday, November 13, and every single venue that is stationed across Airlie Beach, this pass guarantees the very best of music, in a festival that takes over the town.

And don’t worry, if you’ve already purchased your 3-day ticket, you’ve already been put into the draw to win!

Get the chance to meet Frenzal Rhomb and a majesty Whitehaven Beach trip, thanks to Sealink Whitsundays. Photos supplied

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A New Decade, A New Line-Up

November 2, 2023

Festival fans are buzzing with excitement as next week’s Airlie Beach Festival of Music (ABFoM) reaches fever pitch, with legendary artists from across the country descending on our small holiday town and thousands of music lovers also expected to arrive over the coming week.

Straight off the back of its massive 10-year celebrations, the festival is entering a new era, taking its experience and accomplishments into a second decade where new ideas are on the horizon.

“Last year was huge!” said Gavin “Butto” Butlin.

“Not only was it our 10th year, but we also won Festival of the Year at the Queensland Music Awards.

“This year we are excited to be in our 11th year and we can’t wait to see familiar faces while also welcoming newcomers to the festival.

“It’s like our musical family comes together every year and we are pumped to see everyone enjoy the festival once again.”

Featuring over 50 different musical acts spread out over 15 different venues, Airlie Beach Festival of Music takes over the town for one wild weekend where live music is literally spilling out onto the streets and setting the whole town a-buzz with song, dance, and a party atmosphere.

Organisers encourage everyone to start planning their ABFoM experience now by purchasing a three-day pass which allows festivalgoers entry into any venue.

“The three-day passes are fantastic value for money,” said Butto.

“You can see the Passport To Airlie Grand Final on Thursday night, enjoy live music in 14 different venues over the weekend and also attend the After Party on Monday afternoon.”

“Enjoy five days of live music and the festival atmosphere in one three-day pass!”

There are also a range of other ticket options available, from the single day pass starting at $120 and the special VIP pass which includes your own bar with a six--hour food and alcohol package, separate toilets, tables, and chairs backing onto the ocean.

The main-stage of the festival is located at the Whitsunday Sailing Club lawn inside the enormous, big top-tent which overlooks the turquoise Coral Sea.

“Nowhere in the country, if not the world, can you experience a festival back-drop like this!” said Butto.

WHAT: Airlie Beach Festival of Music

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club and 14 other venues

WHEN: 9-12 November

TICKETS: airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au

Set to the backdrop of the Coral Sea, there is no other festival venue like it! Photo credit: Bailey Simmons

Crowds loving the live music, the atmosphere is electric under the big top tent. Photo supplied

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Daddy Cool And Eagle Rock: Ross Wilson In Airlie Beach

November 2, 2023

For Ross Wilson, he is not shy to voice his true job at next week’s Airlie Beach Festival of Music.

“I am an entertainer. My job is to entertain. I love to get people out of their seats and dancing,” he explained.

“Fortunately, I have had a few hits in my career, so it’s easy to get people up and moving.”

However, the legendary Ross Wilson might be a tad too humble.

“I like to think of myself as a dance band. I have a really great band, the Peaceniks, with some of the best players. They always make me sound good.”

With a illustrious career spanning over 50 years, Ross is an Aussie household name, covering every single genre and every single beat.

From his early days of Daddy Cool to Mondo Rock and his extremely successful solo career, Ross Wilson has not stopped pumping the tracks, tracks that must be laced because damn, they are good.

“The music keeps me going,” Ross said. There must be something in his water too then.

“It’s become an obsession at this stage. When I first walked on to that stage, I was like ‘wow, I could get used to this.”

At the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, Ross will be exploring his entire discography, including his classics ‘Eagle Rock’, ‘Summer of ‘81’, and ‘Come Said the Boy’ to his newer hits, and some newly released songs from his impending album, which is sure to set us all in a tail spin.

“Get ready, Airlie Beach. I performed at the first Airlie Beach Festival of Music, and now, in 2023, I’m back.”

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Rock Icons Check Into Airlie: Dragon

November 2, 2023

Get ready for another group of massive Aussie legends to grace the Airlie Beach Festival of Music stage, celebrating their own 50 years of rock music stardom.

Their announcement in this years’ line-up is only made sweeter by the fact that Dragon was a headliner for the first Airlie Beach Festival of Music, back in 2013, and now 11 years on, they are honoured to be invited once again.

The band embodies rock and roll and rocks out in a ‘gentlemanly-like fashion’, according to Mark Williams, lead vocalist, who joined the band 17 years ago.

Over the years Dragon has transformed into a household family name, particularly in 1987 when the band toured across Europe with powerhouse Tina Turner, under the name ‘Hunter’.  

Since then, Dragon has returned to Australia and made a local name for themselves across Australia and New Zealand.

Making their way to Airlie Beach Festival of Music is high on the band’s agenda.

“We have been wondering when we’d have the chance to come to the festival again. Every year it goes by, and every year we go ‘there it is, and there we aren’t’, but not this year!” said Mark.

“This year we’ll be playing the anthems that everyone knows, so we can play a chord and the audience can sing along.”

The classic timeless tunes of Dragon will not be lost on anyone at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, with every generation, young and old, rocking out to the set list.

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Australia’s Favourite Performer: Ian Moss

November 2, 2023

One of Australia’s favourite and most respected musicians, Ian Moss, is calling into Airlie Beach for the unmissable Airlie Beach Festival of Music in just under one weeks’ time.

Delivering smooth vocals and unforgettable tunes, the tenacity, clarity and resonating passion that is Ian Moss will ensure the best times for the Festival, both on stage and off.

Beginning his career on the backstreets of Alice Springs, Ian Moss was quick to head to Adelaide and mix in with the boys that would become Cold Chisel.

He travelled regional Australia with the boys in black, building their reputation and by 1980, Cold Chisel was a family name with their rock blues, resonating sounds and deep lyrics.

Despite the unfortunate closure of Cold Chisel in 1983, Ian was quick to launch his budding solo career, and released the phenomenal ‘Tucker’s Daughter’ in 1989. This immediate hit was well received across Australia and projected Ian into newfound solo stardom.

‘Tucker’s Daughter’, along with ‘Soul on West 53rd’, ‘Telephone Booth’ and many other hits on his album ‘Matchbook’, took Ian on a European Tour in 1990, before he returned home and started work on his second album ‘Worlds Away.’

It is no surprise that Ian Moss has evolved to become an Aussie icon, fuelling the Australian narrative since his Cold Chisel days, as he continues to headline across the globe.

And now 50 years on, Ian Moss continues to be an Aussie favourite, with Airlie Beach Festival of Music being one stop on his legendary celebratory tour.

Along with Ian Moss, both Dragon and Ross Wilson are also celebrating 50 years of rock, culminating in these massive Aussie icons calling Airlie Beach home for a weekend of unstoppable music.

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Celebrate Original Aussie Music At Passport To Airlie

November 2, 2023

Aspiring musicians from across the country are coming to Airlie Beach next week to celebrate the best of Aussie original music in the Passport to Airlie Competition that propels small independent acts into national stardom.

Having competed in regional competitions across the nation throughout the year, the Passport to Airlie Showcase Finals will kick off the official Airlie Beach Festival of Music schedule next Thursday night.

Eight massive bands, from across the nation, have been handpicked for the competition final and have been gearing up for the festival opportunity of a lifetime.

Competing in the finals are, Gravy Train from Darwin, Sunshine Coast’s Staremaster, Funk Knuckle from Brisbane, Robert Cini Band from Cairns, Byron Bay’s Venus Fly Trap, Newcastle’s Avalanche, Ally Row from Melbourne and local band, The Wild Sky from Mackay.

And with an headlining act of Perry Street Park, the 2022 Passport to Airlie winners, who have achieved massive success following the competition, it is no surprise that Airlie Beach is excited to witness Australia’s next best on stage.

Open to all age groups, this opening night event is a great introduction for younger festivalgoers and an opportunity for local youth to experience some of the best aspiring musical talent in the country.

WHAT: Passport to Airlie Showcase Finals 2023

WHERE: Festival Main Stage, Whitsunday Sailing Club

WHEN: Thursday, November 9, from 6pm

TICKETS: airliebeachfestivalosmusic.com.au

Perry Street Park, the 2022 winners of Passport to Airlie. Photo supplied

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Banjo Blues And Smooth Tunes: The Pigs Are Coming To Town

November 2, 2023

Airlie Beach Festival of Music just got better, with the infamous Aussie blues banjo bandits, The Pigs, making the line-up.

About to hit their 20th year anniversary of making the beautiful banjo blues, the boys of The Pigs are ready to take Airlie Beach by storm.

“This will be our first time pigging in Airlie Beach and we’re very excited,” T-Bone Pig, the band’s front man, said.

“We are supercharged hillbilly pop.”

T-Bone Pig is joined with Stretch Pig, Cousin Montz, Cousin Shamus, and Cousin Burt, and there is no stage that The Pigs won’t rock.

Excited to bring it on for the Airlie Beach crowd, The Pigs have been busy preparing themselves.

“We’ve travelled all over Australia and Europe, with five records, been nominated for a Golden Guitar, and we just love making people happy,” said T-Bone.

Now, where did the name come from?

“We’re not too sure either. We’re slightly confused. We’re not sure where we’re from but we’re here now and ready to bring the banjo blues,” T-Bone explained.

“We’re not a message from God, but a message from the South.”

And what can the people of Airlie Beach expect from the electric Pigs?

“It will be a lifechanging experience, with a lot of fun and a massive recharge. You’ll find out what’s important in life and you’ll wake up with a massive headache the next day.”

The infamous Pigs are taking on the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, bringing charm and banjo blues with them. Photo supplied

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The Returning Winners - The Wayward Suns

November 2, 2023

Returning with excitement in their hearts and fun on the mind are 2017 Passport To Airlie winners, The Wayward Suns.

These Gold Coast boys are no-newcomers to both Airlie Beach or the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, having taken the festival by storm in the early days of 2017, taking out the massive win at Passport to Airlie and appearing on the main stage alongside Kate Ceberano, Shannon Noll and The Chantoozies.

Now, six years on, these boys are back, ready to rock with some of their biggest fans.

“And we’re ready!” said front man Brad Kennedy.

“We’ve been in the think tank for a little while, coming up with new tracks for a whole new album. And we’ll be dropping a few of them at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music.”

For them, the Passport to Airlie competition helped propel The Wayward Suns into stardom.

“It gave us a platform for success; it put us on the map, and we’ve been gigging ever since.”

During the pandemic, Brad and the boys took the opportunity to create new music.

“We have enough for two whole new albums, this one, and our second will be an acoustic album, sort of back to our roots.”

What can Airlie Beach expect from these seasoned professionals, who knows the motion of Airlie Beach to the tee?

Expect high intensity shows throughout the weekend, with the best sounds and music and performance.

“We’re not gonna give it all away, but we’re very excited to be back!”

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Local Legends Take On Passport To Airlie

November 2, 2023

Coming off the back of winning the Mackay regional finals for the 2023 iteration of Passport To Airlie, The Wild Sky are riding the wave of excitement.

Known for their sophisticated jazz with hints of hip-hop, metal and rock, The Wild Sky brings a unique musical experience, with at least one track to satisfy every listener around.

We’ve got Ron Croker on vocals and guitar, with his signature smooth guitar moves and gravelly voice.

He is joined with Evan Daly, on drums, who brings some of the best backing beats around, keeping the rhythm smooth and tempered.

The third man of this trio is Michael Peters, with his bass hitting just right and sure to keep the boys keen and easy.

With eclectic beats and excellent tracks, this band is excited to get on the main stage and bring their best for the grand finals of Passport to Airlie next Thursday.

“We’re very excited to be headed to play at Airlie Beach Festival of Music and so grateful to Passport To Airlie for giving us this opportunity,” said Ronny.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing our fans there watching us on the big stage Thursday night and over the weekend. Their support means a lot to us.”

Cherrie Hughes is the National Coordinator for Passport To Airlie and is excited for the grand final showcase.

“We’re really excited about the level of talent at the Thursday night Showcase in Airlie,” she said.

“It’s great that we can bring this all-ages gig with this huge diversity of artists from around the country to really celebrate the future of live and original music in Australia.

“It’s going to be a great night in itself even if music fans can’t make the main festival.”

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Airlie Beach Hotel Live Music November Weekender

November 2, 2023

Four Days, Four Acts, One Mammoth Weekend

Start Your Weekend Off Right

With the dynamic and electric boys from Geed Up, the three-man team, with their fantastic team of break dancers, that know just how to get an audience tapping to the beat.

With polished harmonies, perfectly rehearsed choreography, and energy to raise the Airlie Beach Hotel roof, this is the best way to begin an unmissable weekend of absolutely killer music.

WHAT: Geed Up Live Music November Weekender Warm Up

WHEN: Thursday November 9, 7pm to 10pm and Friday November 10, 2pm to 5.30pm

With fantastic heavy hitters, great tunes, and unforgettable beats, that will carry you home afterwards, this will fuel you through the weekend.

On the soundtrack, you’ve got Van Halen, AC/DC, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Ozzy Osbourne, and everyone in between!

Featuring the absolute legend that is Dellacoma Rio, known for his dedicated performances and killer vocals, Tara Graham, her outstanding presence, and Shaleena Bain, the goddess herself, every single rock classic will be covered and pumped out to an eager crowd.

No matter the sound, no matter the era, once a rocker, always a rocker with the Airlie Beach Hotel.

Will you be amongst it!?

WHAT: Direct from the theatres - Classic Rock Legends Take Over

WHEN: Friday November 10, 6.30pm to 10pm and Saturday November, 1pm to 4.30pm

Two legends are combining forces for the ultimate Aussie showdown, in the Airlie Beach Hotel.

Soul Chisel, featuring the one and only Steve Callanan, contains the very best of smooth Jimmy Barnes. With passion and enthusiasm, Steve has articulately created the sound, look and performance of the Aussie legend.

Steve and Jimmy will be up against Dirty Deeds, one of the leaders in AC/DC tributes. Having been perfecting their show for over 20 years now, with the best power, energy and vocals around!

Dirty Deeds is the real thing, and there’s no denying that!

Featuring duel lead singers Bon Scott and Brian Johnson, there will be a sight to behold.

With years of rock experience in their back pocket, they will make sure the last shows of the mammoth Live Music November Weekender is the send off it deserves.

WHAT: Soul Chisel VS AC/DC

WHEN: Saturday November 11, 5.30pm to 10pm and Sunday November 12, 12pm to 6pm

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Hallo-Win This Halloween Weekend

November 2, 2023

Youth of the Whitsundays spent Halloween weekend the best way, with PCYC Whitsundays hosting a fantastic Halloween Disco!

With all sorts of costumes, from spooky ghouls and beautiful princesses, to an alien abduction, there was fun to be had all around.

The weird and the wacky costumes this Halloween. Photo credit: Alissa Jayne Photography

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Bowen State High School Annual Awards Night

November 2, 2023

Academic Excellence

Year 7 – Trinity Blake, Adele Bosson, Charity-Rose Fellows, Casey Forrester, Reuben Jorgensen, Kale Malone, Ostin McMahon, Lily Moore, Zac Wright and Williams Weekes who was the top performing student for Year 7.

Year 8 - Katie Austin, Olivia Boyce, Sophie Brazil, Millie Brown, Ileana Cookson, Gabrielle Edgerton, Kasey Holt, Tyson Jensen, Jamie Lust, Lilly Roberts, Jacob Ross, Charlotte Southern, Hugo Williams and Riley Fletcher who was the top performing student for Year 8.

Year 9 – Lily-Ann Batalibasi, Grace Cullen, Ella Homewood, Sophie Jenkins, Anne Lynch, James Madlangsakay, Eliza McNee, Keeleigh Muir, Bryon Piggot, Grace Shubert, Quynh Anh Tran, Harris Wright and Keelah Ross who was the top performing student for Year 9.

Year 10 – Makenzie Horstman, Annie Lewis, Abigale McQuade, Charlotte McQuade, Logan Miller, An Nguyen, Winlee Petersen, Emma Stark, Savannah Walters and Valencia Gunnawan who was the top performing student for Year 10.

Year 11 – Jemma Collison, Lydia Jones, Skye Kennedy, Sajith Kokulan, Amber Van Moolenbroek and Alyssa Hardy who was the top performing student for Year 11.

Year 12 – Clayton Begg, Zachary Coventry, Tate McGrath, Hannah Moore, Logan Pott and Caitlin Vail.

Encouragement Awards

Year 7 – Henry Woodhouse and Jack Brown

Year 8 – Mark Thompson and Rhadaya Bidgood

Year 9 – Charlotte Hemmings and Bella Gilroy

Year 10 – Ashleigh Boyce and Frances Meekes

Year 11 – Elizabeth Menzies and Abel Cookson

Special Awards

Senior Citizenship Award - Willow Gaffney

Junior Citizenship Award - Sarah Redsell

School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year - Mason Gatto

Vocational Education Student – Logan Pott

Design Technology Award – Toby Jameson

Junior Arts Award – Sage Dunkerton

Senior Arts Award – Jack Homewood

Indigenous Leader Award – Danzel Lewis

Indigenous Leader Award – Jordan Harris

Most Outstanding Instrumental Music Student – Alyssa Hardy

Most Improved Instrumental Music Student – Eliza McNee

Year 7 All Rounder – William Weekes

Year 8 All Rounder – Olivia Boyce

Year 9 All Rounder – Eliza McNee

Year 10 All Rounder – Emma Stark

Year 11 All Rounder – Alyssa Hardy

Year 12 All Rounder – Hannah Moore

JCU Shield Awards – Adele Bosson, Gabrielle Edgerton, Keelah Ross, Brooke Jameson, Skye Kennedy, Toby Jameson

JCU Rising Star Scholarship – Ashley Warren

ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Year 10 – Savannah Walters

ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Year 12 – Danzel Lewis

ADF Future Innovators Awards for 2023 Year 10 – Jose Santos

ADF Future Innovators Awards for 2023 Year 12 – Zachary Coventry

Year 12 Bursary – Hannah Moore, Zack Coventry and Caitlin Vail

Photos supplied

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Hold Me Closer Uptown Girl

October 26, 2023

Billy Joel And Elton John On Stage

The entertainment never stops at the Airlie Beach Hotel, with one of the biggest races in Australia becoming a local extravaganza.

And with three legendary superstars joining the crew, what a way to spend Melbourne Cup Race Day!

“And we are ready,” said Anthony Mara, AKA Billy Joel.

Having been perfecting his own Billy Joel for over eight years now, Anthony is more than ready to take on Airlie Beach.

But which came first? The likeness or the music?

“Well, I’ve been in cover bands for over 30 years,” Anthony explained.

“I’ve always had the comments that I look like Billy Joel, over my journey. And then, a few years ago, a venue in Adelaide had their main act cancel on them one night, and I pulled the idea of a tribute to them.

“And they loved it, and it just went from there!

“I never planned for things to go this way, but I’m not complaining. I’ve got the beard, we have similar styles and I’ve been a fan of Billy Joel since I was a teenager.”

Joining him on stage is Greg Andrew, AKA Elton John.

The pair have come off the back of a national tour, celebrating the 25 years since Billy and Elton toured Australia together.

“For me,” Anthony started, “I love performing with Greg because I get such a great appreciation of Elton John’s music, and I know Greg gets such a great appreciation for Billy Joel.”

According to Anthony, the show will be “hit after hit after hit”.

“We duet with each other, Greg performs some of Billy’s songs, and I perform some of Elton’s songs, it’s just such a great event of some of the best music,” Anthony said.

The entertainment will be up close and personal, which is something that Anthony loves.

“We mainly perform in theatre halls and concert centres, so we love having a venue like Airlie Beach Hotel, where we’re so close to the action and can really interact with the crowd,” Anthony said.

WHAT: Melbourne Cup Tropicana

WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel

WHEN: Tuesday November 7, from 10am

TICKETS: whitsundaytickets.com.au

Billy Joel and Elton John on stage together for a massive day at Airlie Beach Hotel

Anthony Mara, AKA Billy Joel, is ready to rock Airlie Beach

Greg Andrew, AKA Elton John, will bring his all to the stage

Performing alongside each other, there is no better way to spend Melbourne Cup Day. Photos supplied

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Proud To Be A Winner

October 26, 2023

This was the first year Tasman Holiday Parks Airlie Beach entered the Whitsunday Tourism Awards, which made the recognition extra special for the local team of hardworking individuals.

The holiday park was awarded bronze in the Caravan and Holiday Parks category, an honour that the operators say is largely due to their incredible team.

“We’re very happy to be recognised – our entire team work tirelessly on the ground to deliver exceptional experiences for our guests,” said Lynn and Stephen Clough, Park Managers at Tasman Holiday Parks – Airlie Beach.

Adopting the prestigious Tasman Holiday Parks brand has enabled the park to reach new heights in recent years, with the addition of facilities that guests have been enjoying.

“What makes us unique is our diverse accommodation options,” said Lynn and Stephen.

“From glamping tents, our brand-new tiny homes, villas, caravan sites and camping sites.”

The extensive accommodation offerings allow for maximum flexibility so that each option becomes a comfortable home away from home for all guests, whether that be families, couples, or groups of friends.

The park also offers an array of free in-park activities and a wonderful pool and play precinct for families.

A place where visitors can relax and unwind, meet other like-minded people, and watch their children discover simple-nature-based play – Tasman Holiday Park Airlie Beach is a holiday community founded on fun and adventure.

Just a short three-minute drive to Airlie Beach town centre, the park is also conveniently located close to all services including local marinas for tours out to the Whitsunday Islands.

Whether guests want to venture out on day trips, head to town for a meal or relax within the park grounds, everything is at their fingertips.

Most importantly, however, the experience is made even more special by the on-site staff who oversee everything from the maintenance of the grounds to warm welcome when guests first arrive.

“We would like to thank the entire team,” said Lynn and Stephen.

“From our wonderful reception team, housekeeping and our grounds team. We wouldn’t be here today without our wonderful team on the ground.

“Tourism in the Whitsundays is super exciting – it is such a wonderful part of the world, and we still can’t believe that the Great Barrier Reef is in our backyard. We’re incredibly grateful to be in this part of the world.”

The friendly team at Tasman Holiday Parks – Airlie Beach. Photo supplied

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Glamour And Giggles Zonta Whitsundays Annual Derby Day

October 26, 2023

Get your best black and white outfits ready, because the coveted Zonta Club of the Whitsundays annual Derby Day is back, and ready to make sure your Melbourne Cup weekend is perfect.

And thanks to local businesses, there are bigger and better prizes on offer at the event this year.

Don’t miss the luxury holiday package to Hamilton Island, or a night’s stay on Daydream Island, in one of the pristine ocean view rooms.

“We have about $20,000 in just prizes alone!” explained Pam Harrison, a member of the local Whitsunday Zonta Club.

“From Port Douglas holidays to a dinner at Fish D’vine, beauty prize packs, and great sheet sets, there are so many opportunities to win.”

Pam has been instrumental is gathering and organising the vast number of prizes and fundraising efforts for the day.

“I’m pretty good at it, and I just know a lot of people. I’ve been fundraising for years, and our Zonta Derby Day is one of our major fundraising days of the year,” she explained.

“We usually are able to raise about $20,000 from the event, and we put it towards our women and girls’ scholarships and other advocacy projects that we do in the region.”

Now, using a quote from the Zonta ladies:

“Move your bloomin’ arse and get your ticket today!”

WHAT: Zonta Club of Whitsundays Derby Day

WHERE: La Tabella

WHEN: Saturday, November 4, from 11.30am

TICKETS: whitsundaytickets.com.au

Wear your best black and white outfit, for a great day of fun! Photo supplied

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The Party Of The Year Is Here And There’s Plenty Of Ways To Party!

October 26, 2023

Airlie Beach Festival of Music is keeping us cool with some of the best music and artists coming to the region for four days of unstoppable, legendary music, so how will you party?

Are you the causal listener? Purchasing tickets only for the days you wish, with options to purchase individual Friday, Saturday, and Sunday tickets, between $120 and $130 in price each.

And don’t forget the mind-blowing Passport To Airlie finals, taking place on Thursday afternoon on the main stage, from a cost of just $10 entry.

Or what about the exclusive Monday Afterparty at Northerlies, for a modest $20 entry.

Why stop the party on a Sunday, keep it going from 1pm Monday at Northerlies, bask in the sunshine and beast the Monday blues. With a lineup including Bourbon Street, Matty rogers, Lucy Gallant, and Wave Raiders, this event perfectly ends the mammoth weekend of legendary music.

For the festival-lover, however, the three-day pass is a must! This ticket includes access to all three days of music, into each and every single venue, into the unforgettable Passport to Airlie finals, and the Northerlies Afterparty, this pass may as well be a full five day unlimited ticket, for the small price of $300.

Now, perfect for the avid fans, the VIP Package is for you. With unlimited access to every single venue across the festival, the afterparty, Passport to Airlie, you also have access to the exclusive VIP area in the Main Stage Tent.

With exclusive bathrooms, tables, chairs, and daily six-hour food and drinks package with some of the best beer, cidre, wine and spirits, this package looks after you all weekend long.

Now, how are you partying this Airlie Beach Festival of Music?

WHAT: Airlie Beach Festival of Music

WHERE: Venues across Airlie Beach, and the Main Stage at Whitsunday Sailing Club

WHEN: Thursday November 9 to Sunday November 12

TICKETS: airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au

Are you ready for the party of the season? Photo supplied

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Get Ready To Boo-Gie!

October 26, 2023

Don’t miss the event of the year, with PCYC Whitsundays hosting a spook-tacular Halloween disco this Saturday.

Perfect for all ages, this will be fun for the whole family!

Under 8s dance floor from 5pm to 6pm

Over 8s from 6.30pm to 8pm

And dinner is covered, with the PCYC selling yummy hot chips with gravy and drinks from the club.

Now, get your best scary Halloween costume ready, with your best dancing pants, and head to PCYC for a night your children won’t forget!

WHAT: PCYC Whitsundays’ Halloween Disco

WHERE: PCYC Whitsunday

WHEN: Saturday October 28, from 5pm

TICKETS: $5 entry, and includes a bottle of water, available from the door on the night or call 4948 1144 for more information

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Rock’N Rolling To Christmas

October 26, 2023

Get your best Christmas outfit ready, and begin the jingles, we’re having a rocking Christmas this November!

Tiny Homes Project are gearing up for their next iteration of fundraising events, leading us into one of the best Christmas celebrations around.

Legend Peter Tilbrook, a massive 60s and 70s musician, and lead vocalist of Masters Apprentice, is ready to rock the afternoon away, bringing his timeless classics and fantastic sounds all the way from Adelaide.

Brad Soboot will host the auction, with some massive prizes on offer, and the silent auction will be returning.

“Thanks to the sponsorship support of the Whitsunday Sailing Club, our last fundraising event for the Tiny Homes Project should be a winner,” said Sandy Clark, Fundraising Coordinator and Associate Board Member of not-for-profit Whitsunday Housing Company.      

“We are almost ready to start the build of four tiny homes for homeless women 55-plus in the Whitsundays under the guidance of volunteer Mark Thompson.

“It’s been a full-on year and a great effort from our local community banding together at so many important levels to make this possible.

“We continue fundraising for this pilot study as we move forward to develop a sustainable model for ongoing years as low budget rentals for this age group will continue to be an issue Australia wide”.

WHAT: Rock’n Roll Christmas Luncheon

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club

WHEN: Saturday November 18, from 12pm

TICKETS: $110 per person, through Airlie Events https://bit.ly/Rock_Luncheon

Peter Tillbrook, ex Masters Apprentice will make a special appearance at the final Tiny Home Project Fundraiser of the year. Photo supplied

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Proserpine State High School Annual Awards Night

October 26, 2023

SPECIAL AWARDS

Year 7 21st Century Learner Award Ellie-Rose Davies

Year 8 Encouragement Award Dihansa Wijethunga

Year 9 School Citizenship Award Matthew Mendoza

Year 10 St Vincent de Paul Scholarship Arwen Edwards-Bland

Foxx LaMonica

Year 10 ADF Future Innovators Award Macy Werner

Year 10 Clint Greenhill Spirit Award Mia Vloedmans

Year 11 Agnes Pini Award Reid Ogden

Year 11 Emerging Potential Bursary Ebony Crighton

Year 11 James Cook University Shield Hurley Diessel

Year 12 Cindy Seawright Award Tristan Porter

Year 12 Whitsunday ZONTA Club Bursary Scarlett Foti

Year 12 School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year Iaden Frederiksen

Year 12 ADF Future Innovators Award Sam Rogers

Year 12 JCU Rising Star Scholarship Scarlett Foti

SPECIAL SPORTING AWARDS

Sportsboy Award Oliver Dibben

Sportsgirl Award Jaylynn Matheson-Hone

Sportsman Award Jacob Bell

Sportswoman Award Matilda Dennison

Sportsperson of the Year Lillian Kelly

CULTURAL & YOUTH ACTIVITIES SPECIAL AWARDS

Junior Secondary Instrumental Music Award Josephine Watson

Instrumental Music Award Ethan Smith

Public Speaking Award Sam Rogers

Cultural Award Jahla Thompson

LEADERSHIP AWARDS

Junior Secondary Leadership Teamwork Award Ellie Parker

Year 10 ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership & Teamwork Award Abbie Green

QATSIF Young Indigenous Leader Award Isabella Allan

Year 11 Leadership Teamwork Award Reid Ogden

Year 12 ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership & Teamwork Award Riley Stuchbree

Citizenship Award Sam Rogers

AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE

Hamilton Island Extraordinary Achievement Award Giselle Tronc

Dawson Medal Riley Stuchbree

Junior Secondary All Rounder Award Danni Muller

Peter Maywald Quiet Achiever Award Georgia Butler

Ampol Best All Rounder Abbie O’Sheehy

Top Scholar – JCU Shield Sam Rogers

Student of the Year Sam Rogers

Photo credit: Bronte Hodge and supplied

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St Catherine’s Catholic College Annual Awards Morning

October 26, 2023

2023 Special Award Recipients

Primary Commendable Academic Progress Award - Charlee Morris

Secondary Commendable Academic Progress Award - Violette Matthews

Agnes Pini English Award - Cai Scott-Fitzgerald

JCU Academic Encouragement Awards - Sonny Telford & Poppy Thomas

Vocational Education and Training Achievement Award - Hannah Daley

Hamilton Island Extraordinary Achievement Award - Jy Parkinson

Performing Arts Award - Teagan Rodriguez

Primary Sportsperson of the Year - Breeze Mee

Secondary Sportsman of the Year - Jy Parkinson

Secondary Sportswoman of the Year - Isabella Pisaniello

Australian Olympic Change Maker Award - Alistair Adams

Champion House - Ignatius

Lois Oliver Spirit & Service Awards

Year 5 - James Davies

Year 6 - Lucy Harriott

Year 7 - Isabella Pisaniello

Year 8 - Anisa Helou

Year 9 - Brianna Ninnes

Year 10 - Poppy Thomas

Year 11 - Eleanor Baldock

St Catherine's Primary All Rounder Award - Charlee Morris

St Catherine's Secondary All Rounder Award - Teagan Rodriguez

Whitsunday Zonta Club Bursary - Elizabeth Gill

The Spirit Of Catholic Education Award - Aimee Mitchell

The Dawson Medal - Kendall Croucher

Strength in Faith Award - Kai Telford

House Spirit Cup - Frayne

Deus Caritas Est Award - Kai Telfor

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Tourism Takes Centre Stage At The PEC

October 19, 2023

Excitement has reached fever pitch ahead of the Whitsunday Tourism Awards which will be taking place at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre (PEC) this evening.

Over 300 tourism operators are presently donning their sparkling cocktail dress, tightening their ties, buffing their shoes and styling their hair ahead of what is expected to be a vibrant evening of celebration.

Taking on a new format this year, the Whitsunday Tourism Awards will commence with a formal cocktail stand-up setting in the outdoor grounds of the PEC.  

A ten-course stand-up meal will be served to guests, and everyone will have a chance to connect with conversation and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere, feeling the exhilaration of what is to come.

Soon, guests will be beckoned into the auditorium, taking a seat in the theatre for the formal part of the evening where the award winners are announced.

Time to celebrate personal achievements and the achievements of peers, the awards will be a highlight of the evening and quickly followed by more merriment as guests are welcomed to the after party.

Outside to the beautifully decorated grounds, guests will enjoy the soft tropical breeze and a starry night sky while listening to The Collective Party Band and chatting with friends.

With a reputation for being at the heart of any good party, tourism operators will undoubtedly pack the dancefloor, busting some classic moves and enjoying time to relax.

Present on the evening will be Andrew Willcox MP, Federal Member for Dawson, The Honourable Michael Healy MP, Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Member for Cairns, Member for Whitsunday Amanda Camm, Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Julie Hall, Councillors Gary Simpson, Jan Clifford and Clay Bauman.

WHAT: Whitsunday Tourism Awards

WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre

WHEN: Friday, October 20

TOP TIP:

Try a PEC on the Cheek cocktail!

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Welcome To The Awards

October 19, 2023

With CEO Of Tourism Whitsundays, Rick Hamilton

A shining light in the annual event calendar, the Whitsunday Tourism Awards are a time for everyone in the tourism industry to connect, celebrate and recognise the dedication of all local businesses.

When Rick Hamilton became the CEO of Tourism Whitsundays two years ago, one of his first goals was to reinstate the annual awards that had been halted due to Covid.

“Everyone was struggling at the time,” he recalls.

“So, when the borders re-opened the first thing we wanted to do was re-introduce the Tourism Awards.

“They bring the community together and there are so many operators that are so busy in their working lives that sometimes they don’t really get a chance to celebrate as a community.

“The Tourism Awards offers them that opportunity.”

And while the Whitsunday Tourism Awards are a regional celebration, they also offer winners an avenue to grow, expand and been seen on a national playing field.

“Winning an award opens so many doors for people – not only from an awareness perspective but also when you get to the state and national level, it not only opens you up to a national audience and of course government funding,” explains Rick.

“When you’re looking at how you’re going to grow and expand your business – there are always government funds available – with an award you can get the attention of a lot of people in Brisbane.”

Rick says that the Tourism Awards are a “crowning moment of the year” and that he looks forward to celebrating with the broader industry.

“The winners go to state and national level, they help us carry the flag and we are very proud of that.”

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New Business Awards Welcomed Into Whitsunday Tourism Awards

October 19, 2023

For the third year in a row, the Whitsunday Tourism Awards are featuring the Whitsunday Business Awards, with nine categories for businesses that are not necessarily tourism relevant.

A partnership between Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Whitsundays, and Bowen Tourism and Business, the Business Awards recognise and celebrate the greater business community in the wider Whitsundays.

The nine categories include Excellence in Customer Service, Most Outstanding Retailer, Most Outstanding Booking Service, Most Outstanding Hospitality Venue, and Most Outstanding Services Provider, as well as the four Bowen, Collinsville, Proserpine, and Whitsundays Business of the Year.

Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce President Allan Milostic believes in the benefit of these awards.

“The Chamber recognises and values the vital contribution tourism and hospitality makes to the region’s economy and our way of life,” he said.

“However, it is equally important to recognise the significant number and economic contribution of the professional services, retail businesses, trades, and other industries that also contribute to our region.

“These awards celebrate a range of businesses and shine a light on the diversity and strength of the Whitsundays business community.

“The Chamber offers its congratulations to the award winners and nominees and encourages the community to support all local traders.”

Leanne Abernethy, Manager of Bowen Tourism and Business is proud that they sponsored the Bowen and Collinsville Business Awards.

“We believe that tourism is everyone’s business, so we wanted to include non-tourism businesses in the awards,” she said.

“For example, in Bowen, the grey nomads come from the Southern states and stay for three months, this means they support tourism and business in the region; they get their car serviced by locals, buy their groceries, get haircuts, and support our retail businesses.”

The Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce is excited to be launching the Whitsunday Business Awards this Friday. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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Congratulations To All Nominees

October 19, 2023

Over 30 tourism operators in the region have been nominated across 31 different categories for the 2023 Whitsunday Tourism Awards across.

In addition, 45 local businesses were nominated in nine different categories for the Whitsunday Business Awards.

The diversity of businesses encapsulates the full depth and breadth of the incredible offerings here in the Whitsundays - from individual contribution to eco-tourism, accommodation and customer service – every aspect of what makes our region great is included.

Here is the full list of the 2023 nominees:

Business Awards

3 Little Birds Espresso

Airlie Beach Babysitting by Danielle

Airlie Beach Swim School by Danielle

Airlie Health Hub

Bowen Vet Clinic

Divine Weddings Whitsundays

Dynamic Chiropractic

Eden Events Whitsunday

F45 Training Airlie Beach

Iconic Whitsunday Adventures

Kerri Southee at Tropical Rentals Whitsundays

LiveLife Pharmacy Cannonvale

Magnums Unique Accommodation Airlie Beach

Palace Hair and beauty, Kingsmen Barber Shop

Peninsula Airlie Beach

RV Golf Proserpine Golf Club

Tropical Rentals Whitsunday

Whitsunday Creatives

Elysian Retreat

Ocean Rafting

Airlie Pies

The Belvedere At Toscana

Airlie Health Hub

Hickmotts Super News

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday

Kapow Interactive

Little Fish Tourism Development Consulting

Party Cakes Whitsunday

Ripple Effect Online

Shiift Pty Ltd

Whitsunday Shire Family Day Care

Birds Fish Bar - Bowen Fishermans Seafood

Bowen Flexi Care

Bowen Holiday Park

Ideal placements

Muroona gardens

Rynn's Seafoods

STACKELROTH Farms

Whitsunday Sweet Edible Art

Collinsville Connect Telecentre

Pit Pony Tavern

Kingsmen Barbershop

Proserpine Golf Club

Prossy Kebabs and Pizza

Core Life Magazine

Cuppas on the cape

Mackay and Whitsunday Life Newspaper

Tourism Awards Nominations

The Big Mango, Bowen

Great Barrier Reef Festival

Whitsunday Segway Tours

Kiana Sail and Dive

Scamper Island Camping

Bell Tents Whitsundays

Whitsunday Coast Airport

Shute Harbour Marine Terminal

Little Fish Tourism Development Consulting

Bowen Tourism and Business

Ocean Rafting

Cruise Whitsundays

Whitsunday Segway Tours

Scamper Island Camping

SeaLink Whitsundays

Iconic Whitsunday Adventures

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort

Queens Beach Tourist Village

Tasman Holiday Parks Airlie Beach

Phoenix One

Elysian Retreat

Accom Whitsunday

Pinnacles Resort

Magnums Accommodation Airlie Beach

Mirage Whitsundays

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort

Whitsunday Water Bikes

Driftwood Tours

Grand View Hotel Bowen

The Whitsundays Visitor Information Centre

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An Award-Winning Region

October 19, 2023

The Whitsundays is renowned for punching well above its weight when it comes to winning awards at both a state and national level.

Over the years several operators have reached for the stars, travelling to state and national awards and returning with far-reaching recognition that has opened doors for them within the broader industry.

Many local operators have won at the national level over the years and, last year, nine Whitsunday-based businesses received an award at the prestigious Queensland Tourism Awards.

These state awards included three gold, three silver and three bronze awards.

At the time, Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Queensland Tourism Awards celebrated a remarkable year.

“It has been terrific to see Queensland domestic tourism bounce back so strongly with a nation leading $19.6 billion in overnight visitor spending,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

Meanwhile, this year both Airlie Beach and Bowen were nominated for Top Small Tourism Town and the Top Tourism Town Awards by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC).

Airlie Beach was successful in its bid and became the Top Small Tourism Town in Queensland for 2023.

Bowen were in a highly competitive category and unfortunately did not win on this occasion.

Some of our exceptional local businesses have also claimed industry awards recently.

Queens Beach Tourist Village in Bowen won gold at the Grey Nomads Awards last year, backing up two consecutive previous gold awards in the same category.

If they win gold again at the 2023 Grey Nomads Awards, they will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

With such high-quality tourism operators in the region, this evening’s Whitsunday Tourism Awards is likely to be a very competitive arena.

Local tourism operators celebrating when Airlie Beach won Best Small Tourism Town in Queensland earlier this year. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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Let Your Submission Shine Bright!

October 19, 2023

Writing a submission for the Whitsunday Tourism Awards is renowned for being a huge undertaking and, at a whopping 10,000 words per submission, it is no wonder that many operators feel a little daunted at the prospect.

While the process does take time, however, there are some serious benefits to writing a submission.

Not only do you have the opportunity to promote your business on a regional, state and possibly even national stage, but by writing a submission you also find out a lot about your business.

Local owner operator, Julie Telford from Red Cat Adventures credits her award submissions for opening up a new understanding of her business, learning more every time she writes a submission.

An award veteran, Julie has brought home several national awards and over the years has developed strategies that maximise results.

Meanwhile, local tourism operator Elizabeth Hackett from Magnums Accommodation, has been both an award winner and a state judge.

Elizabeth offers wisdom from both sides.

“The awards were an absolute game changer for my business,” she said.

“At first my expectations were very limited – but I realised the submission questionnaire I’d been given was actually assisting me with a marketing plan, a business plan and the eco side of my business.

“To have this template in front of me, my expectations grew year on year and where I started was quite different from where I finished.”

Top Tips

For The Perfect Submission

1. Use the guide – The people who follow the guide to the letter have the best submissions because they always reference back to it.

2. Show your passion – We can usually tell when the submission’s been written by someone involved in the business directly.

3. It’s all about storytelling – Make it readable and engaging, try to give real examples and case studies to illustrate how you are implementing everything.

4. Pre-plan if you can - Keep a special file where you put anything relevant, the best submissions are planned throughout the year and built-up gradually.

5. Include images and graphics – Take the opportunity to attach extra information, images, and graphics, to maximise the overall impression of the submission.

6. Take it in bite-size pieces - The guide is 91 pages but don’t feel overwhelmed, simply take it in sections and answer each part as you go.

7. Be prepared and start early – Do not leave it until the last minute, start early to give yourself plenty of time to make it perfect.

8. Don’t worry about sharing – Some people worry judges may steal ideas but all information shared with the judges is confidential.

9. Use all support offered – The team at Tourism Whitsundays and QTIC (Queensland Tourism Industry Council) are there to help you along the way.

10. Have fun and show passion – A genuine, heart-felt submission will always come across better than something that is clinical or reserved.

Contributed with thanks to judges Mark Henry and Elizabeth Hackett.

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Hey Jude, The Beatnix Are In Town!

October 19, 2023

Third time’s the charm for The Beatnix, the world’s longest running Beatles tribute, who are visiting the Airlie Beach Hotel for the third time, with many more visits planned.

“We absolutely love Airlie Beach and the Airlie Beach Hotel,” explained Dave Stanley, the band’s George Harrison.

“We always look forward to our Airlie Beach shows. The shows are always more chilled out with a cruisy crowd and a great atmosphere. We really appreciate that too.”

Dave is the band’s George Harrison, the lead guitarist for The Beatnix, and in charge of some of the best beats.

Andy Pole is John Lennon, one of the vocalists and rhythm guitarist.

“Just close your eyes when you hear Andy, and he sounds just like John Lennon. He’s a dead ringer for him, it’s great,” shared Dave.

Paul Wheelan is Paul McCartney.

“It’s so easy that Paul is Paul, easy for us to remember! Paul’s a fantastic singer and an amazing vocalist. He can scream-sing just like McCartney.”

And finally, Bradley Hughes is Ringo Starr.

“Our youngest member, at 21-years-old, Bradley is a great Ringo, dominating the drums.

“He actually used to be a fan of ours and The Beatnix when he was a teenager, and now he’s joined us as our Ringo.

“We have a diverse cast of characters, but each of us bring our own energy to the stage, our own flare that keeps the band and the shows fresh.

“We also try and make our sound as close to The Beatles as possible.

“We are one of the longest running Beatles tribute artists, and we’ve been doing it for a while.”

What can Airlie Beach expect?

“This show will be new. It won’t be identical from our previous shows at all.

“We always try and mix up our set lists, so people can expect all the classic big hits, with some more obscure album tracks, which are sure to be fun and exciting.

“We also have some new costumes that we’re excited to unveil on the stage.

“But we’ll leave that all as a bit of a surprise, so it’s best to come and check out the show.”

And what does The Beatnix expect from Airlie Beach?

“We love the energy that Airlie Beach has; it’s always a great hangout and chill spot to enjoy the day away.

“But also, I’ve been waiting for the chance to see a crocodile out in the wild, in Airlie Beach, so maybe this time, I’ll stumble across one.

“Three times in Airlie Beach and no crocs!”

WHAT: The Beatnix

WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel

WHEN: Saturday October 28 and Sunday October 29, 2pm – 5.30pm

TICKETS: Completely free! But recommended to book a table

Much loved tribute artists, The Beatnix, return to Airlie Beach for the third time!

A psychedelic performance, that everyone will enjoy

With amazing costumes and even better stage presence, this is not the show to miss

Fun for the whole family, at the Airlie Beach Hotel

Allow yourself to be taken back in time with these timeless classics. Photos supplied

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Suspense And Regional Love

October 19, 2023

Fleur McDonald Ready To Visit Bowen

Regional Australian novelist, Fleur McDonald is taking her readers back to the fantastic backdrop of regional Western Australia, with eclectic and personable sweep of characters that leave readers wanting more.

Poignant and powerful, Fleur’s newest novel ‘Voices in the Dark’ follows charming Sassi Stapleton, who rushes home following a worrying phone call from her mother. Hurrying home to Barker, she swerves to miss a kangaroo and rolls down an embarkment.

By the time she is discovered, Sassi hears the unfortunate news that her grandmother had passed away.

For the Stapleton family, it becomes clear that her grandfather is not able to live by himself, and Rasha enters the home, as his carer.

Mr Stapleton is happier than ever, however bruises begin to appear on his skin. The question is raised, but who would hurt Mr Stapleton: Sassi, his granddaughter, Amber, his daughter, or Rasha, his carer?

“The idea came when I was on my last book tour,” Fleur explained.

“I was driving on the Hume Highway, coming from Canberra, when this ute flew past me at a really rapid rate. That’s pretty keen on the Hume Highway, when I’d already seen three cop cars. Later on, I saw the ute pulled off the road, and I saw the driver, a lady, with her head on the steering wheel, upset, and I wondered what happened, to make her so suddenly upset.

“That’s where the opening scene of ‘Voices in the Dark’ came from.”

From there, the story of ‘Voices in the Dark’ appeared before Fleur.

“More often than not, it’s actually just sitting down, swearing at the computer, and knowing that what you’ve written is absolute crap, and just going back and editing it later,” Fleur laughed.

For Fleur, she attempts to make sure that every one of her over 20 books are different.

“I don’t want people to read the book thinking, ‘oh yes, I’ve read this before, but it’s just different characters so I really try to make every book different from what I’ve written before.”

What can readers expect from ‘Voices in the Dark’?

“That’s a bit of a thought-provoking question!

“’Voices in the Dark’ is a trademark Fleur McDonald, with fantastic suspense, with the quaint loveable characters, and just a really good rollicking story; our world is pretty crappy at the moment and anything that I can do to help people escape from that reality.”

Robyn Batman, from Whitsunday Libraries, says that the library team is extremely thrilled to have Fleur visiting Bowen with her new novel.

“She is much loved and widely read in our region,” she explained.

“There is so much excitement of her visit. The local newsagents will have her books ready on release day, and us at the library will have her book ready on hand for her visit.”

WHAT: Fleur McDonald ‘Voices in the Dark’

WHEN: Saturday November 4, from 10.30am

WHERE: Bowen Library

Fleur McDonald visits Bowen on tour with her new book, ‘Voices in the Dark’. Photos supplied

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The Last Long Lunch Of The Season

October 19, 2023

The next instalment of the decadent Coral Sea Resort Long Lunch is happening soon, and everyone is invited to enjoy a relaxing and indulgent afternoon.

The wine will be flowing, and the food will be divine for the last long lunch for the year, so if you’ve been planning to go, this is the best time to get a ticket!

With the cruisy atmosphere, set on the beautiful backdrop of the Coral Sea, this long lunch has been perfectly paired with an imaginative and creative menu, created by Sous Chef Marielo Varela.

“We will again be producing a 6-course menu this time written by our talented Sous chef Mario Varela,” explained Braydon Harriott, Food and Beverage Manager.

An indulgent and decadent six course Spanish themed degustation menu, each dish has been articulately paired with beautiful wines, which complement each and every aspect of the dish.

“Mario Grew up in Galicia Spain and has been a chef for 10 years,” Braydon said.

“He is taking the opportunity to step up and show-off some of his culture for a Spanish inspired menu.”

On the wine list is a selection of Spanish wines, each carefully handpicked.

While you dine in style, allow all your worries to be washed away with the eclectic and serenading sounds of a live musician.

Wear your best white outfit and relax your Sunday away!

WHAT: Coral Sea Resort Long Lunch

WHERE: The Jetty, Coral Sea Resort

WHEN: Sunday, October 29, from 12pm

TICKETS: $150 per person available through whitsundaytickets.com.au

Bask in the warmth of the last Coral Sea Resort Long Lunch of the season. Photo supplied

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A Classic Getaway With Locals Favourites

October 19, 2023

Airlie Beach Food Truck

Secluded and intimate, the Whitsunday Food Garden is the perfect spot for an evening getaway.

Hidden in its alcove it is Ismi’s Kitchen, with lovingly crafted Indonesian dishes, Let’z Waffle with sweet and savoury options, perfect for every time of day, and finally, the Airlie Beach Food Truck, known to some as Kimbo’s Slice.

Owned and operated by Whisper Gin Bar and Restaurant, the Airlie Beach Food Truck is decadent in classic Australian offerings.

“Airlie Beach Food Truck is a great combination of gourmet burgers, chicken wings and everything else that people love,” explains Kim Mullings who proudly looks after the food truck and is a crucial part of Whisper team.

Airlie Beach Food Truck was first on the scene for the Whitsunday Food Garden, with Ismi’s Kitchen following shortly behind. Since then, the Food Truck has become a staple for locals and visitors alike.

“We have the classic burgers, chicken wings and loaded fries with various toppings, but we also change up our menu seasonally, so locals can have something different to try and also keep the Truck interesting.”

Open seven days a week, for lunch and dinner, the vibes and atmosphere make for a fantastic meal in the heart of Airlie Beach Mainstreet.

“The Whitsunday Food Garden is a beautiful spot, and we’ve recently opened the other side of the Food Garden, facing the water, so now people can grab a meal and sit by the water, under the twinkling fairy light,” explained Zibby Deca, chef at Whisper, who also looks after the catering arm of the business.

“All three of the food trucks offer such different menus that we perfectly complement each other.” Everyone can just grab their favourite meal, sit down, and enjoy the view,” he said.

On the Cruise Ship days, Food Garden team ensure all food trucks are open early, servicing the thousands of people streaming into town for one single day only.

“We cater for the families, locals and tourists, for whoever wants to have a great snack, there’s always an option for someone. We have very high quality of product, and at a great affordable price, in a fantastic spot in the centre of town, so the Whitsunday Food Garden is not to be missed by anyone in town,” said Kim.

And every Thursday, don’t miss the fantastic and eclectic Night Markets, with local stallholders and buskers.

“The Night Markets are great,” said Kim. “They attract a lot of locals and tourists, and it’s a great option if someone wants to spend a few hours with the kids in a great spot. It’s also an alcohol-free zone, so families can have a great time and enjoy themselves.”

Garin Stone, Kim Mullings, and Zibby Deca. Photo credit: Bronte Hodge

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