Anzac Day Services in Canberra

Anzac Day Services in Canberra at the Australian War Memorial are very special with the Dawn Service one of the nation’s most moving ceremonies.

The Australian War Memorial opened on Remembrance Day 1941 and, on that day, Prime Minister John Curtin referred to the Memorial as a ‘house of treasures’ – the ‘treasures’ being the Australians who lost their lives on far flung battlefields and were buried where they fell. The Memorial gave the families of the dead a solid ‘grave’ and a place of remembrance on their own soil. Lest we forget.

Gather with thousands of Australians in the pre-dawn light to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the first military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

This year, Anzac Day commemorations will begin at 9:00pm on the 24 April with images projected onto the Memorial building. Then, at 4:30am on 25 April, excerpts from letters and diaries will be read. The Dawn Service will commence at 5:30am and the National Ceremony at 10:15am.

This year the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are in Canberra for the last day of the Royal Tour and will attend a service at the War Memorial.

If you are visiting Canberra for this special day, Rydges Capital Hill can look after all your accommodation needs.

Australian War Memorial contacts – Phone 02 6243 4211, email info@awm.gov.au and website here.

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La traviata in Melbourne

Opera fans will be flocking to see La traviata in Melbourne in May – and if you’ve never seen an opera, this is a good one for first-timers because they can probably hum some of the tunes already.

‘La traviata’ means ‘the fallen woman’ and it is a tale of scandal, honour, sacrifice and love. In a nutshell, Violetta is a courtesan to the rich and she enjoys a shallow life of wine, song and reckless abandon until she meets Alfredo and falls head over heels in love rather than  head over heels from drinking… Alfredo is head over heels in love with her as well but duty and family honour rears its stuffy head… and to cut a three act opera short, love triumphs briefly but cures for consumption back then were hard to come by… Oops! Spoiler alert… hope I haven’t given too much away!

And what great tunes Italy’s Joe Green, aka Giuseppe Verdi, had floating around in his head! Verdi was born 200 year ago, which in itself says that his hits are ageless. The You Tupe clip below is of Pavarotti singing Brindisi (The Drinking Song) – yep, they even wrote songs about drinking back then!

‘Back then’ was when Verdi was aged 40 for the premiere of La traviata in 1853 (photo). It wasn’t the best night out for the composer because the audience took to jeering occasionally. Their main gripe was the casting of the female lead, soprano Fanny Salvini-Donatelli. She could hold a tune but many (including Verdi) considered her too old (38) and too overweight for the role of a young lass dying of consumption. Oops! Apologies again…  Anyway, the day after the premiere, Verdi wrote to a friend saying, “La traviata” last night was a failure. Was the fault mine or the singers’? Time will tell.”

Time has told and the Melbourne dates are for six shows only May 17, 20, 22, 24, 27 and 29 at the beautiful Her Majesty’s Theatre.

If you are travelling from out of town for a performance, Rydges Melbourne is just across the road from Her Majesty’s in Exhibition Street and Rydges on Swanston only a short taxi ride away on the fringe of the city for all your accommodation needs.

Here’s the clip:

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La traviata in Adelaide

Opera fans will be flocking to see La traviata in Adelaide in May – and if you’ve never seen an opera, this is a good one to give it a try because chances are you can already hum the tunes. And what great tunes Italy’s Joe Green, aka Giuseppe Verdi, had floating around in his head! Verdi was born 200 year ago, which in itself says that his hits are ageless. The You Tupe clip below is of Pavarotti singing Brindisi (The Drinking Song) – yep, they even wrote songs about drinking back then!

‘Back then’ was when Verdi was aged 40 for the premiere of La traviata in 1853 (photo). It wasn’t the best night out for the composer because the audience took to jeering occasionally. Their main gripe was the casting of the female lead, soprano Fanny Salvini-Donatelli. She could hold a tune but many (including Verdi) considered her too old (38) and too overweight for the role of a young lass dying of consumption. Oops! Hope I haven’t given the plotline away…  Anyway, the day after the premiere, Verdi wrote to a friend saying, “La traviata” last night was a failure. Was the fault mine or the singers’? Time will tell.”

Time has told and the Adelaide dates are May 3, 6, 8 and 10 at 7:30pm.

‘La traviata’ means ‘the fallen woman’ and it is a tale of scandal, honour, sacrifice and love. In a nutshell, Violetta is a courtesan to the rich and she enjoys a shallow life of wine, song and reckless abandon until she meets Alfredo and falls head over heels in love rather than  head over heels from drinking… Alfredo is head over heels in love with her as well but duty and family honour rears its stuffy head… and to cut a three act opera short, love triumphs briefly but cures for consumption back then were hard to come by… Oops!

If you drop by Adelaide Arcade you will find the State Opera SA logo on the ground. Step onto it and you get your own, exclusive operatic treat with music from La traviata and you can fill out an entry form for a chance to win a fabulous night of entertainment as guests of the State Opera SA for the premier on May 3.

And, of course, if you are travelling from out of town for a performance, Rydges South Park can look after all your accommodation needs.

Here’s the clip:

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Pixar in Concert

Pixar in Concert is being performed at the Crown Theatre in Perth on Saturday, April 26 by WASO (Western Australian Symphony Orchestra) with Nicholas Buc conducting.

From the Toy Story trilogy and Cars, to Finding Nemo and Up, Pixar has forever changed filmmaking and given audiences of all ages some of the most beloved characters and enchanting stories in cinematic history.

For the first time ever, WASO will perform the memorable orchestral scores live in concert with a huge screen showing visually stunning clips from Pixar’s 13 feature films.

“The show was not only a perfect tribute to the animation juggernaut, but a demonstration of how truly integral music has been to its success.” (Timeout, Sydney)

If you are visiting Perth, Rydges Perth can look after all your accommodation needs.

Here is a short teaser:

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Aquascene Fish Feeding

Darwin’s Aquascene Fish Feeding is a unique experience that happens at Doctors Gully (28 Doctors Gully Road). Since the early 1950s this natural phenomena has been occurring on the high tide in the tranquil tropical waters of Doctors Gully.

Aquascene Fish FeedingHundreds of friendly local wild fish swim to the shallow shoreline to partake in meal of fresh bread. Talk about the loaves and the fishes! Since the tradition started the fish have shed their normal shyness and spread the word that a free feed with no strings (or hooks) attached is on offer.

Since 1981 Aquascene has been operating this magical family attraction that attracts more than 70,000 visitors every year.

Visitors can choose to feed the fish from the comfort of the concrete stairs of the viewing platform or wade into the water and have the added dimension of the fish tickling feet as they jostle over each other to get to the bread.

It is safe to wade in the waters amongst the busy feeding fish – they have no teeth or dangerous barbs but, as a precaution, they advise no further than knee deep during the box jelly fish months (no one has been stung at Aquascene by the way).

Aquascene is proudly Eco Certified and all efforts are taken to minimise any impact on the natural environment. Visitors can get up close and personal with a number of species that may include Diamond Scaled Mullet, Rock Cod, Bream, Catfish, Milkfish, Sea Garfish, Shovel Nosed Rays and Fantail Rays.

The gardens around the property make for a pleasant stroll and feature a display of beautiful tropical orchids and a rainforest. The kiosk has a great variety of cold drinks, ice-creams and souvenirs including T-shirts, pencil cases, magnets and wind chimes.

This fish sanctuary is open on the high tide and you can click here for fish feeding times

Admission – Adults $15.00, Children aged 3 to15 years and Seniors $10.00, Families (2 Adults plus 2 or 3 Children aged between 3-15) $43.00.

And, of course, for all your accommodation needs when visiting Darwin, Rydges Airport Hotel and Rydges Airport Resort.

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Anzac Eve Concert at South Bank

Anzac Eve Concert at South BankThe Anzac Eve Concert at South Bank happens at 6:30pm on Thursday, April 24, in the Courier-Mail Piazza. Because it is a free General Admission event, audience members are encouraged to arrive early to get a seat.

For those who miss out on a seat, the concert will be streamed live on a big screen at the Rainforest Green grassed area in South Bank Parklands (adjacent to the Courier-Mail Piazza).

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra will again team up with the Queensland Branch of the RSL to present the concert to honour current and ex-serving men and women and remember those who paid the ultimate price in times of war.

Performances this year include Australian soprano Lisa Gasteb, The Armed Man, A Mass for Peace and Songs of Sanctuary by Karl Jenkins, Fauré’s Requiem and music by Sibelius, Tchaikovsky and more.

If you feel like a pre-concert (or post-concert) drink or meal, Rydges South Bank Brisbane is a short walk away.

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The Tim Vine Chat Show

You can catch The Tim Vine Chat Show until April 20 at Melbourne’s Lower Town Hall (7pm nightly and 6pm Sunday). Tim may not be for everyone because a lot of his material is wrapped in puns with more puns on the side but they come thick and fast – in fact so fast you don’t even hear the thick ones.

Tim actually holds the title of telling the most number of jokes in an hour – 499! He has also won joke of the year twice at the Lafta Awards. Here are a few quickies to give you an idea if this is the show for you…

The Tim Vine Chat ShowCrime in multi-storey car parks. That is wrong on so many different levels…

I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again…

The advantage of easy origami is two-fold…

Conjunctivitis.com – that’s a site for sore eyes…

Exit signs? They’re on the way out!

Have you ever been half way through eating a horse and thought, “I’m not as hungry as I thought I was”…

The Edinburgh sell-out sensation is in Melbourne to present a chat show like no other. It is a chat show with no celebrity guests – it’s a show that’s all those in the audience. Members of the audience are invited to submit their occupation and an interesting story prior to the show. This gives a dimension to his rapid fire silliness.

Some of the reviews:

“Pace, confidence and charm…very funny.” The Age

“Word-play for the sheer riotous fun of it. And boy, is it funny.” Evening Standard (UK)

“No one else will give you as many gags for your money. Vine is superb.” The Guardian (UK)

Oh! A bit of trivia – if you have caught Eggheads on the ABC, the host is Jeremy Vine, Tim’s brother. And if you are visiting Melbourne for the Comedy Festival, Rydges will make you welcome at Rydges CBD or Rydges on Swanston.

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New Rolling Stones Dates

New Rolling STones DatesThe new Rolling Stones dates have been announced for the 14 on Fire Tour and there are a couple of additional shows.

If people can’t change the dates for their existing tickets, refunds are available. Refunded tickets are available for re-sale from 10:00am on May 2.

The rescheduled tour will kick off in Adelaide on Saturday, October 25 with Jimmy Barnes as support act. Support acts for other shows will be announced soon. This will still be the first rock concert to happen at the new Adelaide Oval and of the 52,000 tickets sold, only 500 have asked for refunds.

The tour then heads to Perth where there is an additional concert. The band will play Perth Arena on Wednesday, October 29 and Saturday, November 1.

The Stones Melbourne concert is at Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, November 5 before they head to Hanging Rock, Macedon for a concert on Saturday, November 8.

Then it is up to Sydney for the Allphones Arena show on Wednesday, November 12, followed by the other new show on Saturday, November 15 at Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley.

The final Australian show is at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Tuesday, November 18. The band then heads across the ditch for the Auckland concert at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday, November 22. Hunters & Collectors have been announced as support for that one.

Rydges can look after all your accommodation needs in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne (CBD and On Swanston), Sydney (Parramatta, Bankstown and Sydney Airport), Brisbane and Auckland. Go to www.Rydges.com.

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Cronulla Easter Show 2014

The Cronulla Easter Show 2014 kicks off on Friday (April 18 at 10:00am) and goes all weekend, finishing on Monday (April 21 at 4:00pm). You’ll find all the action at Cronulla Plaza (1 Cronulla Street) and entry is free.

There is a Circus School daily (10:00am to 4:00pm) where you can learn to juggle, walk on stilts or hula hoop – it is free and adult-proof (on the Pavilion Stage).

Animal Farm also happens daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm (costs $3 for one child, $5 for two). The kids can learn about all sorts of farm animals and get to pat and feed them in a safe environment (Pavilion Stage Amphitheatre).

The Kazoos (photo) appear daily at 10:30am, Midday, 1:30pm and 3:00pm (free) – Professor Silly will introduce audiences to the Easter Bunny and take all on an energetic journey of song and dance.

There will be pony rides from 10:00am to 4:00pm ($5 per child) located near the Pavilion stage.

And it wouldn’t be a ‘show’ without showbags! Lots of goodies for princesses, pirates, parents and more.

If you are visiting Cronulla, Rydges Cronulla can look after all your accommodation needs.

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Hannans North Tourist Mine

Hannans North Tourism MineHannans North Tourist Mine is partnering with the Eastern Goldfields Historical Society for the Goldrush Festival. It is part of the month long Heritage Festival and this event runs from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Sunday, April 27.

The National Trust presents the Western Australian Heritage Festival to celebrate our heritage with over 165 fantastic events across the state between April 18 and May 18 2014.

There will be lots of great activities happening at Hannans North tourism Mine including gold panning, dry blowing, metal detecting and historical movies. Visitors can enjoy a picnic in the Chinese Gardens, use the BBQ facilities, or purchase lunch from the food van.

Hannans North Tourist Mine is 1.5km north of Kalgoorlie (just off Goldfields Highway) – adults $10, children National Trust members and concession $6, family $30.

During this Western Australian Heritage Festival there are also Kalgoorlie Town Hall tours, Historic Hannan Street Kalgoorlie tours from the Visitor’s Centre and Boulder Town Hall tours and Historic Burt Street Boulder tours that start in the Boulder Town Hall foyer. These tours are free.

If you are coming from out of town, Rydges Kalgoorlie Resort & Spa can look after all your accommodation needs.

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