Fraser Coast Frozen Wonderland

Although many parents and grandparents have probably had enough of Elsa, Anna and endless renditions of Let It Go; I suspect they’ll be keen to check out the Frozen Wonderland on the Fraser Coast during the 2015 Easter school holidays.

Having nothing at all to do with the movie, Frozen Wonderland is setting up at the Maryborough Showgrounds from 3 – 19 April 2015, offering ice skating and tobogganing.

I know little about this event but saw it on Facebook and thought I’d share the love. It’s great to have activities like this (and the visiting dinosaurs) on the Fraser Coast, so I hope locals and visitors take advantage of what’s on offer rather than complain that there’s little to do.

There will be five (5) session times a day (each 1.5hrs) including a 7pm evening session.

ice skating on the fraser coast

I can’t ice skate to save myself and grew up in the 70s and 80s so am more of a roller-skating kinda gal. Well… I was back in the 70s and 80s. I note that they offer 4-bladed skates for kids under 5—which is what I would need (though doubt they come in women’s size 10!) 😉

All of the info you could need is on the website, including some frequently asked questions AND some skating tips! It also lists session times and prices—including packages.

Given this current summer autumn heat it sounds like the perfect spot to be!

Frozen Wonderland – www.frozenwonderland.com.au/
OR check them out on Facebook.

Stand-up paddleboarding on the Fraser Coast

It came to our attention via early adopters Jennifer Aniston and Matthew McConaughey, however Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) has been around for a while now and the serene waters of Hervey Bay offer up the perfect spot to enjoy some SUP action.

Three local companies hire SUP equipment, some providing lessons as well.

Hervey Bay Stand Up Paddle moves its sessions about the bay, finding the spot to best suit SUPers. They recently shared this stunning image taken near Fisherman’s Park at Urangan.

Source - Hervey Bay SUP Facebook page

Source – Hervey Bay SUP Facebook page

Aquavue Cafe Watersports  rents SUP boards (along with other equipment such as catamarans, jet skis and kayaks) from its Torquay base.

And In The Loop at Urangan offers SUP, along with kite surfing and kite boarding.

Source: Aquavue SUP Facebook page

Source: Aquavue SUP Facebook page

Both Aquavue and In The Loop also offer SUP Yoga classes. As the name suggests, it’s basically Yoga on paddleboards. But fear not, the boards are weighed down with sandbags so yogis aren’t likely to drift off to sea.

As is usually the case with yoga, you only do what feels comfortable but with a bit of practice you’ll be doing shoulder stands (or whatever these are!) along with instructor Jess.

Source: In The Loop Facebook page

Source: In The Loop Facebook page

For more information about SUP in Hervey Bay check out the providers’ Facebook pages (links in article).

And…. enjoy!

 

Explore-a-saurus: Dinosaurs on the Fraser Coast

When I was very young there was a magical place in Maryborough, known as the Wintergarden Theatre. My friends and I were regular visitors until it closed in the mid 1980s and I vaguely recall either Flashdance or Footloose being the last movie I saw there.

However… I digress as this story starts a decade earlier, when I inadvertently saw a dinosaur movie which scared the bejesus out of me. I cannot recall the movie in question but it was back in the day of double-header movies, so I suspect it was just the support act for the film we actually went to see. I don’t remember what that was either—emerging scarred with visions of dinosaurs eating people out of cages. Or something.

Yet Friday night I returned to Maryborough for more dinosaur adventures.

Unless you live under a rock (oops sorry, poor stone-age joke!) you’re probably aware that the Explore@saurus dinosaur exhibition is currently on display at Maryborough’s City Hall.

dinosaurs maryborough

The four-month long exhibition kicked off in December 2014 and is in town until 19 April 2015.

If I had kids to accompany I’m sure I’d have been more motivated to visit before now, but alas… it took the promise of alcohol to get me there.

drinks at explore-a-saurus in maryborough

Fraser Coast Events has just hosted the second Night at the Museum—held on Friday 13th in February and March. Always keen to try something different, a friend and I headed to the borough to partake in the cretaceous bar, dinosaurs and whatever else was on offer.

I must admit I was expecting the worst but other than the presence of a few naff stuffed dinosaurs (purely for decorative purposes), the displays were quite impressive. In addition to a half dozen rather large animatronic dinosaurs there are a host of interactive activities. Not to mention exhibits of dinosaur poop which I know will appear to any boy under 10!

dinosaurs maryborough explore-a-saurus fraser coast

The evening events are targeted at adults but at other times a range of kids’ activities are on offer, including colouring, mask making and the opportunity to dig in a sandpit and discover fossils and treasures for yourself.

And there’s stacks to learn. My friend and I  were only slightly embarrassed to admit we knew nothing about our own country’s palaeolithic history so were surprised to come across the Muttaburrasaurus. Which is apparently a real thing and named after the Queensland town!

The four-month tenure of the exhibit seems a bit excessive to me but I note the Fraser Coast Chronicle reported that the exhibit’s now had 15,000 visitors so has broken even and hope that means similar events are considered in the future.

Like many locals I tend to jump on the Fraser Coast Regional Council for their WTF ideas (viewing platform in Maryborough CBD anyone?!), but credit where it’s due.

I’m actually really impressed with some of Council’s cultural/arts initiatives in Maryborough. I know it sometimes feels like Hervey Bay’s poor cousin, but in reality the Council’s hosting a raft of interesting activities now. I’ve missed the last few Gatakers by Night but continue to enjoy the evenings. I’m yet to attend the Sunday Riverside activities but very keen to get along on a Sunday afternoon. And the pop-up bar amid the dinosaurs at City Hall—another great idea!

The exhibition closes on 19 April 2015 and is open Tuesdays – Sundays from 10am – 4pm. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for concessions or kids aged 3-16. Family passes and other deals are also available. For more information and online ticket sales, check out the Fraser Coast Events site.

Gift shopping in Maryborough

I have been stunningly slack in this blog of late. Ummm… sorry ’bout that. It’s been busy but I know that’s no excuse.

It’s not just this blog I’ve let slide however, as my friends will tell you I’ve been spectacularly negligent on that front as well…. which is a problem because most of my close friends’ birthdays fall within these few months. And – in terms of them getting presents on time – well, I’ve failed miserably.

Instead there have been apologetic emails and phone calls. I generally have their gift, but buying, wrapping and then posting it so it arrives on time seems to be beyond my current capabilities.

However, it means I have been spending a lot of time gift-buying. In my current hometown of Hervey Bay I have a few go-to places: Pandanus and Open House are generally my best bets… but a couple of weekends ago (as I was looking for something specific) I spent much of Saturday checking out some of the great stores Maryborough has to offer.

Homewares from Everywhere is (seemingly) fast becoming a coffee / catch-up favourite. Located slightly off the beaten track (45 Gayndah Road) my mother has met friends there for coffee half a dozen times there in the last month or two. I’ve been once before but it’s expanded since then – the cafe in particular growing to meet its increasing trade.

photo 3

As the name suggests, the store has an eclectic array of ‘stuff’ (which is a technical term, in case you were wondering!). There are lots of lovely gifts and homewares as you’d expect; but there are a heap of scarves and clothes as well. I actually fancied a couple of the handbags but sadly couldn’t justify any new purchases for me.

It was my first visit to Maddison Cottage Gift Shop and Tearooms (located on the corner of Richmond and Ann Streets). It also houses a cafe along with its giftware range. I fell in love with a few pieces there and bought an early birthday present for my aunt while my mother bought a few gifts as well. Some of its products were bit too french / shabby chic for my taste but I know they appeal to many and the store certainly had a great array.

madd

Janet’s Art, Books and Coffee (264 Kent Street) was our last stop. I’d been there before but was looking for a particular book for a friend and I knew that Janet’s had a HUGE range of books (non-fiction coffee table books, albums and the like). It also stocks jewellery and knickknacks, while the cafe sells some gluten-free goodies. I often actually go there to buy my cards because there’s always something (a bit different) that takes my fancy. Janet’s Art also has jazz music in their courtyard on a regular basis.

ajnets1

I probably need to add that the only downside to all of these venues being cafes / homewares and gifts is that you ‘occasionally’ have to wait a while for service. But… I’d recommend you go when you have time to spend as they all deserve a lengthy browse.

I’ve missed stores within Maryborough’s CBD I guess, but anywhere else?

Hervey Bay Cinemas – Bigscreen Showcase

Elsewhere I’ve confessed to being a television addict. I don’t watch anything and everything and I do believe I have a *ahem* discerning TV-viewing palate; however I do love to binge-watch entire series of TV on DVD on a regular basis.

I was once similarly keen on movies. While at University (though poor) I’d take myself off to the city cinemas on a regular basis – handing over my student card for a discounted ticket. I went almost weekly at one point and became so accustomed to going alone I actually felt disgruntled when friends wanted to accompany me. Of course in those days I also frequented the cinema at University (the Schonell) which showed some edgy arthouse movies – again, at good prices.

But over the years I’ve been to the cinema less and less, preferring to wait until something’s out on DVD so I can watch it in the comfort of my own home.

However… my movie-going lethargy has been broken as I’ve attended THREE movies in the last three weeks alone! (And, I’m starting to get my movie-going groove back!)

I’m a member of the Hervey Bay Arts Council so received this little gem in my email inbox a month or so ago. Naturally I shared it on the FraserCoasting Facebook page and forwarded it to some friends.

image001

My friends and I were quite excited by the concept of the Showcase at the BigScreen Cinemas Hervey Bay  – presumably featuring movies which might not normally make it here AND selling tickets at a good price.

One of my girlfriends saw four of the five movies on offer, while I saw The Butler (loved it); Blue Jasmine (Cate Blanchett was amazing but I did clock-watch a bit); and Mystery Road (bleak, mesmerising, but simultaneously frustrating).

We talked to a staffer at the cinema this past weekend and she said there may be more Showcase movies in the New Year.

Of course the only regrettable aspect was that the movies weren’t particularly well-attended. The majority garnered a small audience but there were only a handful of people at Mystery Road (an Aussie movie filmed in Winton).

They weren’t publicised any more than the other movies on offer and perhaps I’ll try to do more to promote the Showcase in future as I’m sure there’s a heap of potential movie-goers on the Fraser Coast who’d appreciate something different.

And – again – we can hardly complain about stuff NOT coming to our regional beachside town if we don’t support it when it does!