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    News bites – 8 May 2021

    Wintermania in the Apple Isle

    Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival. Image supplied by Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival HVMWF

    Darkness is a place, and that place is in Tasmania. Dark MOFO. We’ve all seen the publicity. So, while we can’t jet off to summer in Greece, why not head for a nude solstice swim and some other nocturnal revelry in Hobart. Yet there’s more than Dark MOFO happening in Tasmania this winter. Below are some of Tassie’s most popular festivals.

    Dark Mofo  
    June 16-22 2021

    Celebrate the dark through large-scale public art, food, music, fire, light and noise. The festival will explore the links between ancient and contemporary mythology, humans and nature, darkness and light, birth and death.

    Signature events: Winter Feast on the waterfront, Ogoh-Ogoh parade and burning, and the Nude Solstice Swim, welcoming back the light after the longest night. New major art and music precincts around the city, dialling up the artistic noise, experimental rock, synthwave, black metal, psych-folk, and a lot more.

    Festival of Voices
    June 30-July 11 2021

    Sing it loud and sing it warm. Festival of Voices reclaims the space that celebrates the human spirit through the joy of song. Attend one of the many masterclasses on offer or don the puffer and huddle in a Covid safe fashion around the bonfire for the big sing that magically transforms a crowd into a choir.

    Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival
    July 16 & 17 2021
    Willie Smith’s Apple Shed


    Venture down to the Huon Valley to Willie Smith’s Apple Shed to gather around the fire, dance and feast to celebrate the region’s rich apple growing history. Dress up in your finest tatters, bring your pots and pans and make a noise to scare away the evil spirits from the orchard so that the next season brings abundance.

    In the depths of winter we let go.

    Tasmanian Whisky Week
    August 9 – 15 2021

    A wee dram to say goodbye to the winter cold and to beckon the warmer months of spring. Sample or indulge from the plethora of fine Tasmanian whisky’s that will be the stars of their own special events. There’s a reason that Tasmania is home to internationally acclaimed and gold medal whiskies so come and find out why.

    Pierre Destribats’ southern lights. Image by Pierre Destribats photographer

    Beaker Street Festival
    14-22 August 2021

    Hobart and Launceston Beaker Street is a not-for-profit organisation in Tasmania that exists to promote the intersection of art and science. Their flagship event, Beaker Street Festival, is a celebration of this intersection and takes place around Tasmania with their hub at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

    This year the program will include:

    • Science photography prize exhibition
    • Festival hub with roving scientists, workshops, live music and Tasmanian food and drink
    • Tasmanian Science Road Trip
    • Astronomy talks, cocktails and live music at the Dark Sky Party


    Luxury resorts with environmental focuses

    Soneva Fushi Sandbank Dinner. Image courtesy of Soneva Fushi.

    Soneva Fushi – Maldives

    Ahead of its time, Soneva Fushi banned plastic straws in 1998 and in 2008, they banned imported water, saving approximately 1.5 million plastic bottles since this time. Soneva Fushi recycles 90% of waste onsite through a robust waste management strategy combined with a focus on innovation.

    Food waste is composted to create valuable and nutritious soil for the resort’s vegetable gardens, styrofoam packaging that arrives on the island from imported food such as Australian salmon and lamb is transformed into lightweight blocks that they use in construction, whilst the Soneva Maker Programme transforms excess plastic into durable objects such as colourful Easter eggs for the children. The wine bottles from Soneva restaurants, as well as those from neighbouring resorts is up cycled at the Soneva Glass Studio transforming it into all glassware used for drinking on the island as well as exceptional pieces of art available for purchase to guests.

    Soneva Fushi Resort Experiences Island Picnic. Image courtesy of Soneva Fushi.

    In 2020, Soneva launched the Namoona Baa Initiative with the unveiling of an eco-centro complex on the island of Maalhos in the Maldives. Namoona Baa sees the islands of Maalhos, Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo in the Baa Atoll pledging to end the open burning of island waste, in a radical shift towards eco-friendly waste management. Each island is creating an eco-centro waste-to-wealth centre that will sort, recycle and reuse island waste with Soneva pledging funds from its Soneva Save our Seas programme to support these centres.

    Amanyara – Turks & Caicos Islands

    Amanyara Turks Caicos Pavilions. Image courtesy of Amanyara Turks and Caicos

    Amanyara, a pristine Caribbean oasis set between a marine national park and a nature reserve on the island of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, is the ideal location for guests to gain an understanding of the destination’s eco-system and marine life. Under the direction of Amanyara’s new resident Marine Biologist Clare Atkinson, who specializes in sea turtle conservation, guests can now delve deeper into learning about the island’s unique ecosystem. Guided by Clare, Amanyara now offers a range of new ecological experiences including a Junior Marine Biologist Programme, freediving courses and field studies for guests of all ages.

    Amanyara Turks and Caicos SP Deck Terrace. Image courtesy of Amanyara Turks and Caicos

    Bawah Reserve – Indonesia

    Grouper Treetop and Jules Bar on Bawah Reserve. Image courtesy of Bawah Reserve

    Bawah is an intimate, luxuriously-sustainable resort whose design has been developed with preservation of the island’s natural beauty in mind. The collection of six previously uninhabited islands that make up Bawah Reserve is the first island group in Indonesia to be powered by a renewable microgram. No heavy machinery is allowed on the island so every mechanical process is done by hand; all water is sourced on the island to recycle as drinking water; and the entire design is built from sustainable bamboo and other recycled materials such as driftwood and copper. Bawah Reserve’s Anambas Foundation helps to conserve and expand the biodiversity found in the Anambas Islands both in the sea and on land, whilst also nurturing community welfare.

    Wild Coast Tented Lodge – Sri Lanka

    Wild Coast Sri Lanka. Image courtesy of Wild Coast Sri Lanka

    Located near Yala National Park in the south of Sri Lanka, Wild Coast Tented Lodge is a series of dwellings designed to mimic rocky outcrops scattered across the local landscape with parts built with recycled teak shingles executed as a community project by 100 local fishermen. On property, all water used in the resort is recycled; food waste is transformed to cooking gas and organic manure in the gardens; hot water is driven by the exhaust in air conditioners; 50% of its energy is driven from a solar plant; and a desalination plant is in progress. Wild Coast is also building the first leopard research station in Sri Lanka (due to open in 2021), helping to manage conservation initiatives for the precious animal. Together with the lodge’s sister properties, Ceylon Tea Trails and Cape Weligama, they contribute to local communities through the MJF Foundation and to the environment through Dilmah Conservation, the latter of which focuses on biodiversity conservation, environmental education, research and development in areas of sustainable agriculture, climate change adaptation and heritage conservation.

    For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book an incredible holiday, contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager.

    With compliments of First Class: visit them online or at Instagram