Frankston’s Christmas Festival of Lights is BACK!!!

Get your Santa hats on, because we’ve got proof that Christmas is coming!! Saturday 26th November sees the return of the hugely popular Frankston Christmas Festival of Lights and we are super excited because it’s the news we’ve all been waiting for!

The festival of lights holds a special place in the hearts of both residents and visitors to Frankston and for more than 20 years, the festival has been one of the City’s most significant major events, attracting thousands of people to launch the festive season.  

After a two-year hiatus, (thanks Covid) this much-loved festival is set to shine again with live entertainment, lights, and fireworks on Saturday, 26 November from 5-10pm at Davey Street, Frankston. The event will feature a Santa meet and greet, carols, the Bluey Christmas Live Experience, free theatre shows, various live performances, kid’s crafts, amusement rides, the Little Beauty Christmas Market, food vans and more.

This five-hour event is a bright, colourful and high-energy welcome to the festive season and with it’s dynamic offering, has cross-generational appeal and is enjoyed by children, their parents, grandparents, couples, friends and everyone in between!

“Sharing special moments with family and friends is what Christmas is all about. Finally, after two years of covid restrictions, we’re able to bring this much-loved festival back to the streets of Frankston, so we can share the magic of Christmas with those who matter to us most. I encourage you to get down early and beat the rush – our early birds will see the spectacular Santa’s arrival parade and get a jump start on their Christmas shopping at the market. Frankston Library Christmas activities also kick off at 4.30pm, if you really want to beat the crowd” -Frankston City Council Mayor Nathan Conroy

The iconic 130-year-old Norfolk Pine Tree will also light up Davey Street in a tradition that dates back 50 years and after the ceremony, the lights will be turned on at 8pm each night until early January.

“The traditional lighting of the tree marks the start of the festive season and is a moment that many in our community have looked forward to and missed. It brings joy to our residents and bolsters our Christmas spirit. Frankston’s Christmas Festival of Lights is an opportunity for us to get together as a community, celebrate the year that has been, and look towards the new year with positivity and enthusiasm. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to, I want to personally thank Frankston City residents for their incredible resilience and spirit over the past two years. Let’s celebrate our many achievements in person while we reflect on another successful year.” said Mayor Conroy. 

For more information ON THIS EXCITING EVENT head to www.frankstonchristmasfestival.com.au

The Jewish International Film Festival 2022:tickets are on sale!

Get ready film buffs because this is your lucky day! The Jewish International Film Festival is coming and it’s jam packed with 52 films from all across the world! JIFF 2022 presents must-see headliners, literary deep-dives, extraordinary true stories, laugh-out-loud comedies, and films of great joy, levity and jubilance. 

March 1968

To be in with a chance of winning a double pass to JIFF, enter our TICKET GIVEAWAY HERE

The Opening Night Film for JIFF 2022: starring Anthony Hopkins, Anne Hathaway and Jeremy Strong, Armageddon Time is a deeply personal coming-of-age story about the strength of family and the generational pursuit of the American Dream.

(L to R) Michael Banks Repeta as “Paul Graff” and Anthony Hopkins as “Grandpa Aaron Rabinowitz” in director James Gray’s ARMAGEDDON TIME, a Focus Features release. Courtesy of Anne Joyce / Focus Features

Directed by James Gray (Ad Astra) and drawn from his own childhood experiences, Armageddon Time premiered to a 7 minute standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. JIFF are proud to present the Australian Premiere screenings.

Watch the trailer

For a digital deep-dive into the festival check out JIFF’s films page or download a program PDF here

Tickets are on sale now and can be booked online or at the cinema box office (list of cinemas below) To ensure you don’t miss out, get your tickets booked today!

Where Life Begins

Melbourne — 24 Oct 6:30pm for 7:30pm, Classic Cinemas, Elsternwick*
Sydney — 25 Oct 6:30pm for 7:30pm, Ritz Cinemas, Randwick*
Brisbane — 26 Oct 7pm, New Farm Cinemas
Canberra — 27 Oct 7pm, Dendy Cinemas Canberra
Gold Coast — 27 Oct 7pm, Dendy Cinemas Southport
Hobart — 27 Oct 7pm, State Cinema
Perth — 27 Oct 6:45pm, Luna Palace Leederville

*Tickets include stuffed pita pocket, drinks and live music 

To be in with a chance of winning a double pass to JIFF, enter our TICKET GIVEAWAY HERE

Puffing Billy: a truly magnificent way to travel these school holidays!

On Monday we went on an adventure. The kind of adventure we’ve all spent the past two years longing for. The kind of adventure you beam throughout and realise at the end of the day, your smile hasn’t budged an inch. We went flying through the Dandenong Ranges on board the world famous Puffing Billy Railway.

I often wonder what memories my children will have of their childhood. Having moved about a fair bit, I wonder if certain places have felt more like home than others. Have we spent enough time making those moments that will be cherished for years to come? You know the ones. The ones they’ll jump to relive with their children!

With my legs hanging over the side of Puffing Billy, the smoke billowing past and enthusiastic ferns waving us by, I looked across to the children. We were in the throes of life long memory making right there and none of us knew it! We were too busy watching the countryside flying past, waving at dog walkers, pointing out kookaburras and laughing at our feet dangling over the pristinely preserved carriage sides as we crossed trestle bridges and passed long ago landslides.

Since 1900, Australia’s premier preserved steam railway has transported over 11 million passengers through the magnificent landscapes and lush greenery of the Dandenong Ranges, and for more than 100 of those years, Puffing Billy Railway has shared a truly iconic experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world – sitting on the sill of the traditional open-side carriages with your legs hanging out!

Sitting on the sills with your legs ‘overboard’ is a truly magnificent way to travel no matter your age.

“This is a one in a lifetime experience”

We took flight on the 11:15am train from Belgrave and travelled to Lakeside, where the new visitor centre stands proud in amongst the glory of the rainforest, and rightly so! This brand new centre is home to an incredible (spotlessly clean) café, gift shop, local art and the museum which cannot be missed! We loved discovering the steam artefacts and learning about the rich history of Puffing Billy before buying our own body weight in lollies from the gift shop! I quietly wished I had been around in the old days to enjoy First Class and the sumptuous trolley service!

The wonderful thing about landing at Lakeside is you have so much at your fingertips to enjoy. If you love exploring the outdoors, this is the place for you, with magnificent walking trails, swimming (during summer), paddle boats on Lake Treganowan and bike hire at COG Bikes . Now that’s an adventure we’re keen on!! Yes! You can jump off the train and on to two wheels. Simply book your trail bike or ebike, collect them once you arrive, and off you go, even deeper into the Dandenong Ranges at your own speed (or that of your fastest child!). I can almost hear the Kookaburras as I type.

Combine your Puffing Billy Train Trip or your visit to Emerald Lake Park with bike hire allowing you to explore the surrounds of Emerald Lake Park on the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail that runs along Puffing Billy between Emerald and Gembrook.COG Bike Hire

I know you’re thinking.. Wow! Hungry work!! Well, do not despair! We picked up a delicious picnic at the visitors centre which we devoured. This is a fab option for those of you who, like me, love a picnic if it’s made by someone else. This was mega! We had an Adults picnic for 2 and a Kids picnic for 2 which gave us a feast!! We enjoyed a banquet of baguettes, cakes, brownies, yoghurt, fruit salad, cheesy scrolls and freshly made salad with dressing! We even had some leftovers for the car ride home!

If you’re looking for a school holiday adventure, you’re visiting Melbourne and want a truly Victorian treat, or you’re on the lookout for a Spring time Saturday afternoon activity, you must head to Puffing Billy Railway!

This is the place memories are made!


For more information and to book your next adventure head to https://puffingbilly.com.au/

We were invited to check out Puffing Billy Railway and the new visitors centre, however, (as always) this is my honest review of our day out!

The Affordable Art Fair is coming to Melbourne this week!

Great news folks! The Affordable Art Fair is coming to Melbourne this week and it’s not to be missed! From the 1st to the 4th September 2022, the coveted event will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Over the next four days, this globally recognised fair will showcase works from 40 Australian and international galleries, featuring a variety of both emerging and established artists.

Affordable Art Fair is a great day out for the whole family, Mini Monets will be able to get hands on in interactive workshops at the Children’s Art Studio with free entry for those under the age of 16 when accompanied by an adult.

If you’re keen to get arty at home, you can download The (super fun) Affordable Art Fair kids’ activity packs herePerfect for your little creatives! 

Art aficionados will be able to browse and buy artworks, have their prized pieces wrapped onsite, and discover something new each day with all works rotated as they sell. A myriad of art forms will be available including painting, sculpture, installation, photography and limited-edition prints. With prices starting at $100 and capping at $10,000, there will be something to suit every taste, space and spend.

Helping to springboard the careers of emerging artists, exhibiting galleries include the Young Talent Victoria exhibition which will offer five local creatives under the age of 35 the chance to exhibit and sell new works to an excited and engaged audience. All artists are handpicked by Fair organisers with the aim of building their profiles and ultimately securing them representation by galleries and museums.

Dates and opening hours:
• Thursday 1 September 2022, 12pm – 5pm (VIP preview)
• Thursday 1 September 2022, 5pm – 9pm (Opening Night)
• Friday 2 September 2022, 10am – 8pm
• Saturday 3 September 2022, 10am – 5pm
• Sunday 4 September 2022, 10am – 5pm
Location: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (enter Door 17)
Instagram: @affordableartfairau
Facebook: @affordableartfairau

Ticketshttps://affordableartfair.com/fairs/Melbourne 

Photo Credit – Reed Photographic

Get Excited!! Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ coming to Melbourne

Exciting news today that none other than Shane Crawford is about to make his musical theatre debut in the role of the Pharaoh in the Australian premiere new production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! Yes! You read that right! It’s time to get excited!!

Book Your Tickets Here

Tim Lawson in association with Michael Harrison and The Really Useful Group are thrilled to announce that AFL legend, Shane Crawford will star exclusively as the Pharaoh, in this dazzling new production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, for the strictly limited Melbourne season.

Shane will join an all-star Australian cast that includes Euan Fistrovic Doidge (Kinky Boots, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Joseph, and Paulini (The Bodyguard, Australian Idol)as The Narrator. Enjoyed by over 30 million people worldwide, this reimagined, feel-good musical is sure to enchant new audiences and longstanding fans alike. 

Shane Crawford will play the Pharaoh. Photo Credit – Chris Pavlich Photography

Shane Crawford has a truly diverse and remarkable career which includes his decorated AFL career, his wide-ranging television background, as an author and for his work as an ambassador for Breast Cancer Network Australia. This will be Shane’s first role in a major theatre production, adding to an already impressive career. 

 “To be offered an opportunity like this is amazing. I have done so many different things in my sporting and media career, but I have never performed in a musical, and I can’t wait! To be given the chance to be on stage, working with so many talented performers, entertaining an audience will be a huge buzz. Playing the role of the Pharaoh in this new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is going to be fun – and a little daunting.  Bring on the rehearsals!” Shane Crawford

THE AUSTRALIAN CAST

Shane Crawford is one of the AFL’s most marketable players, with a successful 16-year career at Hawthorn Football Club, he is one of the few players who has made a seamless transition into life in the media. The charismatic premiership player has demonstrated a range of talent that has won him many fans, with his quick wit, empathy with a wide audience, and natural ease on camera.

Having had a long association with Channel Nine as a key member of the Footy Show, Shane has been a presenter on the Today Show, Sport Sunday and Postcards.  In addition, Shane joined the fifth season of Australian Ninja Warrior 2021 sharing the hosting and sideline commentary duties.

In 2019, Shane appeared in I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! on the Ten Network and exited the Jungle in third place. 

Shane is an ambassador for Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA).  In 2010, Crawf – as he is affectionately known – completed an amazing feat to make Aussies proud, walking from Adelaide to Melbourne to raise money and awareness for BCNA.  That’s What I’m Walkin’ About lasted 12 days, raised $620,000, and saw Shane run back onto The Footy Show set through streets lined with supporters dressed in pink.  In 2013, Shane raised more than $1.3 million for BCNA after riding 3,600 kilometres from Melbourne to Perth in 22 days on his marathon Tour de Crawf. Shane is also an ambassador for Just Like Jack.

Euan Fistrovic Doidge as Joseph. Photo Credit – Chris Pavlich Photography

Euan Fistrovic Doidge is well known to Australian audiences having starred as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, Felicia in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and as Marius in Les Misérables. He was the youngest ever nominee for the ‘Helpmann Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical’ for his performance in A Chorus Line.  Euan has also appeared in many other musicals including Fun Home, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Pippin, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde and Grease.  In 2014 Euan released his debut album Let It Sing.  Euan is currently appearing in the national tour of Cruel Intentions.

Paulini as The Narrator from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Credit – Chris Pavlich Photography

Fijian born songstress Paulini rose to fame through the first season of Australian Idol, making it through to the final four.  Post Idol Paulini rose to the top of the Australian ARIA Charts with her debut Platinum album ‘One Determined Heart’ and her Platinum smash single ‘Angel Eyes’, both hitting the #1 spot and receiving Aria Number 1 Chart Awards. 

Paulini went on to become a part of the chart-topping group the Young Divas, who had two top 10 albums and two top 10 singles.  On the stage Paulini played the lead role as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard Musical, was a lead vocalist in Saturday Night Fever, and played Dionne in the 50th Anniversary of Hair the Musical.  Paulini returned to television in 2019 in the hit show The Masked Singer, and more recently appeared on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, where fans fell in love with her again for her voice and sincerity.

ABOUT THE SHOW

Released as a concept album in 1969, the stage version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has become one of the world’s most beloved family musicals.  The multi-award-winning show, which began life as a small-scale school concert, has been performed hundreds of times in over 80 countries worldwide.  The show features songs that have gone on to become pop and musical theatre classics, including Any Dream Will DoClose Every Door to MeJacob and Sons, There’s One More Angel In Heaven and Go Go Go Joseph.

Told entirely through song with the help of The NarratorJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat follows the story of Jacob’s favourite son Joseph and his eleven brothers.  After being sold into slavery by the brothers, he ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the advances of Potiphar’s wife.  While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled showman, the Pharaoh.  As Joseph strives to resolve Egypt’s famine, he becomes Pharaoh’s right-hand man and eventually reunites with his family.

“A rip-roaring Joseph for the 21st century” – The Sun, UK

“This is a dream of a production. Go, go, go” – The Stage, UK

“A musical firing on all cylinders . . every performance oozes personality and mischief” – The Guardian, UK

Most recently the Pharaoh has been played by Jason Donovan in this production at the London Palladium and he can still be seen in the role on the current UK tour of the production.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice.  The production is directed by Laurence Connor (Les MisérablesMiss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock), choreographed by Joann M Hunter (School of Rock), with music supervision by John Rigby. The creative team includes Morgan Large (Set and Costume Designer), Ben Cracknell (Lighting Designer), Gareth Owen (Sound Designer) and Richard Mawbey (Hair, Wigs & Makeup Design).

In Melbourne from November, playing at the Regent Theatre, for a strictly limited season.

What a blast … triumphantly reborn”  Evening Standard, London

Book Your Tickets Here

Puffing Billy Railway lights up the night in an Aussie first!!

Victoria’s iconic steam railway presents a must-see travelling light show spectacular this winter.

Get rugged up in your warmest winter woollies these school holidays and experience the magic of Puffing Billy Railway at night with the Train of Lights; a mesmerising train travelling light show and the first of its kind in Australia! 

From Friday 24th June – Sunday 10th July 2022, the Train of Lights will take passengers on a return journey that departs from Lakeside Station to Gembrook, immersing guests in bright colours, hypnotic patterns, and native wild animal projections that leap from open-side carriages and onto the passing dark Wright Forest, historic timber trestle bridges, and open rolling hills of the Gembrook countryside. 

Partnering up with acclaimed lighting specialists, Resolution X (White Night, VAMFF), this special evening experience is the perfect way to view the Dandenong Ranges from a different dimension as the passing forest and open farmlands transform into a Technicolor feast for the eyes.

With the journey beginning at Lakeside, passengers will have the chance to explore the new Lakeside Visitor Centre and all its state-of-the-art amenities, including the Puffing Billy Railway Lakeside Hall museum, licensed Railway Café, and unique gift shop.

Ticketholders wanting to make a day of it can visit the Emerald Lake Park precinct early to enjoy the photographic art exhibition, Animal Tales, inside the visitor centre, before stopping in at the Railway Café for some dinner ahead of their Train of Lights trip.

Once arriving at Gembrook Station, passengers will enjoy a 55-minute stopover, where they can warm up by the open fire with a hot chocolate and other winter warmers and capture a quintessential selfie of the lit-up train and station.

Pairing Puffing Billy Railway’s iconic whistle with a rainbow of dazzling lights that play on the surrounding scenery, the Train of Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all to enjoy. 

Train of Lights tickets go on sale Wednesday 25th May with limited numbers. You must book online at https://puffingbilly.com.au/events/train-of-lights/

  • Adult (16yrs+) – $75.00
  • Child (4-15yrs) – $38.00
  • Toddlers (1-3yrs) – $25.00   

For those parents looking to keep the kids busy throughout the day during the mid-year break, Puffing Billy Railway’s general excursion trains depart daily from Belgrave to Menzies Creek and Belgrave to Lakeside. With two daily services on offer, passengers can choose to visit the Menzies Creek Museum or stop and enjoy the Lakeside Visitor Centre, Emerald Lake Park, and the many outdoor activities in the surrounding precinct, including hiring a bike and taking to the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail, or jumping in the paddleboats on Lake Treganowan for a peddle around the lake. 

Here’s a little more about Puffing Billy Railway:

Puffing Billy Railway is Australia’s favourite steam train and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. The railway, which commenced operation in Australia on December 18, 1900, is a genuine relic of more leisurely days.

The historic steam train ran regularly in the Victorian mountain district and was built to serve at the turn of the century to transport goods and passengers throughout the district. The railway travels 24kms through the forests and fern gullies of the picturesque Dandenong Ranges to Emerald Lake Park and Gembrook – the original terminus of the line – and is one of only two survivors of five experimental narrow-gauge lines used to develop rural areas in Victoria during the early 1900s.

Make sure you check out Puffing Billy on Social Media here:
Facebook – @PuffingBillyRailway
Instagram – @puffingbillyrailway

www.puffingbilly.com.au

Master Wu Needs You these school holidays for LEGO® NINJAGO® fun!

Look out folks, an awesome, activity-based experience is already underway at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne and if you’re not Ninja fast you’re gonna miss out!

Until the 25th April uber Ninja, mentor and leader, Master Wu, is opening the doors to his exclusive Ninja Training Camp as he looks to train and recruit a new crew to join his Ninja team. 

LEGO® NINJAGO® is under threat and Master Wu needs more Ninjas than ever to help save LEGO® NINJAGO® from the evil forces that threaten it’s very existence. Young Ninjas can enroll to attend LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne, join the Ninja Training Camp and level up their Ninja skills to master the six Ninja virtues – courage, balance, honesty, generosity, curiosity and wisdom. 

Your kids are going to have so much fun as they adventure through a series of exciting challenges! The new recruits will be taken on a journey to prove their Ninja skills and make it into Master Wu’s elite team of Ninja: 

Level Up BALANCE – Make your own Ninja stop motion video 

Level Up HONESTY – Make a pledge to be truthful 

Level Up GENEROSITY – Build a unique gift for Master Wu 

Level Up CURIOSITY – Join the Ninja hunt and search MINILAND for our missing Ninjas

Level Up WISDOM – Show quick thinking and play our Ninja Bingo 

“The journey to Ninja mastery continues, and we are excited to bring Master Wu’s Training Camp to  LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne. Focusing on the six Ninja  virtues – courage, balance, generosity, curiosity, honesty and wisdom – the children will be immersed  in a real-life LEGO® NINJAGO® master class, an exciting Training Camp Experience, helping to train the  body, heart and mind and to help save LEGO® NINJAGO® from looming threat. We can’t wait to open  the doors to our Master Wu Training Camp and inspire kids to experience the values that LEGO  NINJAGO represents and create some fun memories at the same time.” ” General Manager Katie Isaac.

Take your kids to this exclusive event and see them revel in an engaging, enjoyable and rewarding experience that will leave them bursting with a fantastic sense of accomplishment. They will earn a Ninja certificate, a Ninja headband, and a virtual gift from Master Wu. Plus, as part of the entry into the LEGO® NINJAGO® experience, guests can go on to enjoy everything else within the LEGOLAND  Discovery Centre too. We’re IN!!!! Who’s coming??

Buy Your Tickets Here

Welcome the year of the Tiger with a feast of flavour at Sovereign Hill

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Victoria’s iconic living museum, Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill, is celebrating the goldfields’ rich Chinese history this Lunar New Year with a food festival fit for an emperor.  Held in collaboration with the Chinese Australia Cultural Society – Ballarat, the weekend of the 5th & 6th of February will see a riot of colour, noise and movement as the Year of the Tiger is welcomed with a bang. 

Bursting with multi-cultural life, Sovereign Hill’s iconic streetscape will come alive with Chinese lantern decorations, lion dancing, parades, outdoor activities, music and an abundance of Chinese inspired food created by the renowned Peter Rowland Group

In celebration of the Year of the Tiger, Trudi Gray, Head Chef, Peter Rowland Group at Sovereign Hill, has infused her own history and heritage into this year’s Lunar New Year menu. Trudi’s grandfather was born in Hong Kong where Chinese food and family banquets have been part of her life for as long as she can remember. Having worked in Asia, learning from local chefs, Trudi mastered the skills, techniques and special flavours that now layer her own cooking.

Open until 9pm on Saturday 5th February, visitors will be able to experience all Sovereign Hill’s much-loved experiences during the daytime and bring in the Year of the Tiger with a feast of flavour in the evening.

Head to Main Street in the evening for ‘LNY@Night’ and indulge your cravings. There’ll be steamed dumplings, roast pork buns and classic sweet tarts, then for a more substantial second course, head further up the street to the Universal Transit Office or Charlie Napier’s Hotel, venture inside and choose from a range of delicious noodle and rice dishes to take you to the goldfields of old.

If you prefer a unique, sit-down dining experience, the New York Bakery is hosting a Lunar New Year Banquet on Saturday 5th February with pre-booking and payment of tickets required to secure a limited place at the table. Excellent value at $59 per adult, $25 per child, the banquet will celebrate the culinary traditions that Chinese migrants brought to their new home with a moving feast of soup, starters, roasted and traditionally prepared meats, fish, rice, desserts and a range of classic Chinese teas to choose from.

Head to https://summer.sovereignhill.com.au/event/lunar-new-year-banquet/ for more information and bookings (Sovereign Hill entry is not included).

If you’re a dedicated lover of Sovereign Hill’s Hope Bakery and the New York Bakery you’ll love the Chinese-inspired pie, available for a limited time only, from late January until the conclusion of the Lunar New Year festival.  The Chinese Char Siu pie delivers a flourish of flavour, and is chock-full of Char Siu pork, bok choy, mushrooms, baby corn and with a sprinkling of good year luck, it’s sure to be a roaring success.


Visit https://summer.sovereignhill.com.au for information and bookings about Sovereign Hill’s Lunar New Year Festival and Summer Series.

Sovereign Hill is located at Bradshaw Street, Ballarat and sits on Wadawurrung Country.

Like Sovereign Hill on social media

Facebook –  www.facebook.com/sovereignhill

Instagram – www.instagram.com/sovereignhill

Around Australia at 80ks – Your Summer ‘Must Read’

Summer is almost upon us, and despite international borders reopening (*ahem sort of/don’t hold your breath) I think many of us are still planning to adventure closer to home this year. If, like me, you’re hanging out for an adventure within Australia, this is the book for boundless inspiration. It’s an Aladdin’s cave of experiences, insider travel tips and dog friendly fun, and is full to bursting with possibly the greatest photography of our beautiful country I have ever seen. If you’ve ever wondered what it may be like to hit the open road and really explore what Australia has to offer, here is your inspiration. As you turn each and every page, you could almost be there inside Meredith & Sean’s bright yellow combi, patting Bandit the pup; the warm, salty wind blowing in your hair! Yes, it’s that good!

This great Aussie road trip took Mez, Sean and Bandit across four states, one territory and over
22,400 kilometres. They drove over dirt roads, down four-wheel drive tracks, onto ferries and
boats, to the edges of cliffs, across beaches and up mountains. They ventured through dust
storms and croc-infested waters, over red dirt, into some of the most ancient lands on Earth,
and along some of the most isolated roads in the world. All in their trusty vintage 1975 kombi,
Meredith’s camera at the ready and with a true sense of wanderlust to fuel their journey.

As a photographer, Mez knew this once-in-a-lifetime adventure would offer her the
opportunity to capture Australia in her own unique way, particularly after the dramatic
changes to our landscape since the devastating bushfires, and boy did she do this.. with a cherry on top!


When it comes to travel, Meredith is full of encouragement and enthusiasm.
‘It took guts to head out across this great big country in an old yellow kombi. I hope every
page gives you a little more of the confidence and comfort you need to set out on your own
adventure. If we can do it in a 1975 kombi you can do it too!’


One of my favourite things about this book is the oodles of great tips this awesome team share so you and I can explore to the fullest when we dust off our suitcases. From dog-friendly highlights (yay) and the best camping spots, to locating the tastiest cheap eats and the finest coffee, this is just as much a travel guide as it is an insanely beautiful coffee table book to share with the fam. After our trip to Kangaroo Island earlier in the year (best holiday ever) the children were thrilled to turn the pages and see the little yellow combi getting on the ferry & hitting up all the sites we’d loved too.

Around Australia At 80ks provides all the inspiration you need to get out on the road!

If you’re looking to elevate your next road trip or you know someone who’d love to live this adventure, you’ve got to get this book. I’ve had a copy for a couple of weeks and have picked it up over and over again, diving into a new landscape every time. Whether you’re ready to hit the road, or you’re happy to live vicariously through Mez’s adventure, this is the road trip that keeps on giving. Enjoy xx


About the author


Meredith (aka Mez) is an Australian photographer, writer and educator, based on the South Coast
of New South Wales, Australia. Specialising in landscape, travel and documentary photography,
her passion is in telling stories and capturing images that evoke a response – visually, emotionally,
intellectually or otherwise. Outside of photography, Meredith is an avid car collector and restorer.
She can often be seen at her local beach with Etta, her beloved yellow kombi, Bandit, her dog,
and Sean, her husband. They travel around Australia getting off the beaten track to discover this
amazing vast and wild country. Around Australia At 80ks is her first book.

You can follow Meredith & see more of her work on Facebook, Instagram and on her website.

Around Australia at 80ks
Two humans, one dog and a bright yellow kombi
on the road trip of a lifetime
WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH SCHOFIELD

Out now. Buy here

Affirm Press
RRP: $35.00

Go back to school nude with Smash Enterprises

Back to school is fast approaching. Eeeek! How has that happened? It only feels like yesterday that term 4 ended and we were gearing up for Christmas and now we’re staring term one right in the eye! With the new school year looming, I’ve been listing all the things I need to organise and, just like every year, it’s a little overwhelming; especially as I have a tendency to leave everything to the last minute and my children seem to have grown about a meter since December!

Bento Bite full of Coconut Yoghurt & lots of goodies for lunch!

Although I should be getting ready, buying school shoes and getting haircuts, I am not’, I’m organising and packing for our road trip to Kangaroo Island next week!! Same same but different. In fact, I think organising a family holiday is easier than organising all the school stuff!

Smash Enterprises Nude Food Movers available at Woolworths

The great thing about heading off on an trip this time of year is not just knowing that we are about to embark on an adventure together, but knowing the weather will be perfect and there is bound to be plenty of beautiful fresh produce to be snacked on all the way Adelaide! Yay for the Nude Food Movers!

I dug out our Smash Enterprises Nude Food containers and lunchboxes that have been cleaned and prepped ready for the new school year (*yeah I actually do that) and have filled them will all sorts of goodies to keep the kids satisfied on the road. These great rubbish free containers are not only super handy to throw in bags *LEAK PROOF… they also ensure the car (or classroom) doesn’t end up full of trash! I am a huge fan of the Nude Food revolution, and Smash always seem to get their ranges Bang On! Due to the fact that these are leak proof, they can be a little tricky to get open and closed, so if you have preppies this year, you may want to practice a few times.

No leaks, easy to clean, dishwasher safe *hoorah, and cool enough for the bigger kids to pop in their school bags too! No cringing here thank you! How good do they look!?!?!

Smash Enterprises (Left to right) Tall Zipper Case, Triple Snack Tube, Leak Proof Snack box & Sandwich box, Fruity Movers & Bento Bite

If you’re about to go on the search for fab back to school lunch ware, just head to Woolworths where you will find a fabulous range of Nude Food Movers for your team! Smash have thought of everything, and have even got some gorgeous new ice packs! (*check my instagram stories) Oh, and make sure you tag us in your pics so I can get some lunchbox inspo because let’s face it, by week two they’ll be on repeats again!

Smash Enterprises Bento Bite

Head to Woolworths to grab all your back to school lunchboxes, and make sure your kids are starting the new school year the right way! #gobacktoschoolnude


These lunchboxes were gifted for a review, however, as always, the opinions in this article are honest and a true indication of what I think is a fab product!