Australian Open hots up
Melbourne, home to some of the biggest sporting events in Australia, is gearing up to host the 2020 Australian Open, the first tournament on the tennis Grand Slam calendar.
Over two weeks, the world's best tennis players hit the global stage at Melbourne Park. History is sure to be made on Rod Laver and Margaret Court arenas thanks to the current top three world ranking players, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Aside from all the action on the court, there will be six major international acts performing as well as Eurovision contestant Kate Miller-Heidke, Eskimo Joe and Kiwi duo Broods.
Under the sea
Ever wanted to sleep with the fishes? Here's your chance: Australia's first underwater hotel on the Great Barrier Reef opened last week.
The two luxury king-bed rooms, called Reefsuites, on a pontoon at Hardy Reef sit four metres below the water's surface. You are separated from the underwater world by 7.5 centimetres of glass in the floor-to-ceiling windows and partially glass-bottomed floors. There's no wi-fi or phone signal so it's a great digital detox. The suites will set you back about $799 per person and include transfers, water activities, meals and drinks. Alternatively, you can glamp under the stars on the pontoon's roof. Access is from Hamilton Island or Airlie Beach.
Opera in the Outback
What's more dramatic than opera in the outback?
Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia and Opera Australia have revealed a 2020 program where visitors can watch some of their favourite arias in front of picturesque Uluru in the Northern Territory. The three-day event kicks off with a performance of the final act of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro by the pool at Sails in the Desert hotel. On Saturday morning, Field of Light Uluru will be the backdrop for the sunrise performance of Brahms' "Liebeslieder Waltzes". By the evening, the main event, Opera at Uluru, will feature some of Australia's finest singers performing under the stars. The concert will be illuminated by the glow from the Field of Light. Before heading home, the Sunday morning will have a performance by cellist Taryn Fiebig. Packages start from $725 per person and include accommodation at Desert Gardens Hotel plus entry to the Opera at Uluru Gala Concert.
Shop regional this Christmas
We're struggling through one of the worst droughts on record and to help head online to buy gifts from regional businesses.
For foodies, Aboriginal-owned Indigiearth in Mudgee makes its own botanical skincare, native teas, saltbush dukkah and Australian native chutneys. For the kids, Broken Hill's Wondering Ginge sells some stylish clothes for mums and bubs. You'll also find great stocking fillers of books, stationery and toys. Merchant Campbell in Yass has some lovely homemade Santa Claus decorations.