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    News bites – 09 March 2021

    2021 Whale Shark Season begins in Ningaloo, Western Australia


    Ningaloo reef whale shark. Image courtesy of Ningaloo Discovery

    Ningaloo Reef’s whale shark season has started early with the first guests swimming with whale sharks today, on tour with Exmouth-based operator Ningaloo Discovery.

    Ningaloo Discovery are now running whale shark tours daily, while other whale shark operators will commence their tours from Coral Bay and Exmouth over the coming days and weeks. Ningaloo’s whale shark season typically occurs between March and July, triggered by the annual coral spawning during the full moon. However whale sharks have been sighted around Ningaloo over the past couple of weeks. Following a successful extended whale shark season in 2020, this year some operators will be offering their tours until November.

    The UNESCO Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area is situated at the northern end of Australia’s Coral Coast region and is home to Australia’s largest fringing reef system, Ningaloo Reef, stretching 300 kilometres from Red Bluff, just north of Carnarvon, to the Muiron Islands off the coast of Exmouth. It is one of the only places on the planet where these huge but completely harmless fish reliably congregate on an annual basis. It is also the only place in Australia where you can swim with the “marine big three” – whale sharks, manta rays (year-round) and humpback whales (June to October) – in a single location. Ningaloo is also one of Australia’s newest Hope Spots, with the Coral Coast region home to two of the seven Australian Hope Spots. Hope Spots are global locations considered critical to the health of the ocean. The world heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef and adjacent Exmouth Gulf were designated as having global significance by international marine science organisation, Mission Blue.

    Swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo is a bucket-list experience. Those who are interested in this experience should book their tour and accommodation early to avoid disappointment. Children aged over five, and who can swim, can join a tour accompanied by an adult.

    For more information and travel itineraries, visit Australia’s Coral Coast – www.australiascoralcoast.com


    Ningaloo reef whale shark. Image courtesy of Ningaloo Discovery

    About Australia’s Coral Coast

    The Coral Coast starts just under two hours’ drive north of Perth in Cervantes and runs for 1,100km north to Exmouth, and inland via Wildflower Country. The region is tied together by one world-class road trip from Perth to Exmouth, the Coral Coast Highway, or accessible via plane from Perth with airports in Exmouth, Carnarvon, Shark Bay and Geraldton. Australia’s Coral Coast is the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) responsible for branding and marketing the Coral Coast region of Western Australia.

    QT hotels announce a new collection of extraordinary stays


    QT Melbourne. Image courtesy TravMedia and QT

    DSick of lockdowns? Tired of being well-behaved? Replenish your excitement and enchantment levels with QT Hotels and Resorts’ latest offering, Check into Extraordinary. Each QT Hotel across Australia and New Zealand will feature four themed options within the collection – Rockstar, City Indulgence, The Lovers and Culinary Indulgence. Guests will be treated to their choice of rock star treatment, vivid city adventures, a truly lustful lovers package or the lavish tastes of QT’s culinary extravagance. It’s a ‘choose your own adventure’ with four distinct flavours of luxury. Each experience comes with localised features to ensure each stay is far from ordinary.

    Rockstar
    Check into fame with an experience built for the high life. Everyone knows that with fame comes influence and at QT, rockstars get the best of the hotel. The rockstar experience begins with highly personalised treatment where your inner Bieber or Beyoncé can finally voice preferences for the little things in life. Say the word and your rockstar demands become part of your check-in experience. Guests will be asked for their favourite refreshments ready for your arrival. Sit back and relax in your VIP Cabana at QT Gold Coast or sip away the night from a private reserved space on the Rooftops at QT Auckland, Melbourne or Perth. To top it off, each rockstar’s green room will come prepped with playful props such as polaroid cameras and recovery kits for a night to remember.


    QT Gold Coast. Image courtesy of QT Hotels

    City Indulgence
    With keys to more than a hotel room, the City Indulgence experience offers the ‘Live Like a Local’ retreat. Each QT Hotel package will be complete with a curated list of location-specific guides featuring the local haunts, the city’s most instagrammable spots and fashionable waterholes.

    Discover hotel itineraries for craft beer trails at QT Gold Coast, a private tour of the National Museum from QT Canberra and ‘city essentials’ such as coffee beans, Lune croissants and an all-black outfit from QT Melbourne. 

    The Lovers
    QT takes the ‘L’ word seriously, and the lovers experience is a serious display of Cupid’s best moves specific to each QT destination. Across Sydney, Melbourne and Perth couples will be adorned by a lover’s concierge delivering random acts of love during their stay. While in Bondi, Canberra and Queenstown tailored QT Cupid guides will direct couples through the most romantic spots in the area. Each amorous adventure will come with aphrodisiac-inspired inclusions such as hamper and pamper packs for that well-deserved quality time.


    QT Hotel. Image courtesy of QT

    Culinary Extravagance
    An experience designed to reclaim all the culinary extravagance that was missing from the TV dinners and takeaway meals of 2020. This stay comes with fully immersive inclusions such as whisky tastings at QT Gold Coast and personal wine butlers at QT Sydney, Falls Creek, Perth and Wellington. Guests can discover unique dining experiences such as a personalised palate creation designed in personal consultation with the Chefs at QT Melbourne and Canberra and a secret ‘off the menu’ dish at QT Auckland.

    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