Queensland News: 17/4
In among the uncertainty of our current reality, our Queensland spirit has certainly not diminished. If anything, it’s made us stronger – and definitely challenged us to think on our feet.
There’s a demonstrated resilience, adaptability and passion in our Queensland community to make things work, keep our heads held high and a smile on our faces.
And these inspiring stories are what keeps our community spirit and natural life alive.
Read on for the latest good news stories in Queensland.
Rising From the Ashes
You may remember that the beloved Binna Burra Lodge in Lamington National Park suffered a catastrophic bushfire in 2019. Well, despite these tough times, it’s full steam ahead as the heritage-listed lodge makes significant progress on its total refurbishment.
The Safari Tents nestled on the side of the mountain have been repaired, which means we’re one step closer to enjoying those beautiful valley views once more. The campsite amenities block is already looking great – take a look for yourself and follow the team’s updates on Facebook.
Sea You There
To add a little routine to your day throughout the month of April, stop by (virtually) at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast for Yoga Under the Sea sessions, behind-the-glass peeks and educational live streams. They’re a perfect addition to home-school activities. Join the aquarist team via their Facebook page on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am.
Fresh From the Farm
Located in the picturesque Lost World Valley region of the Scenic Rim, Tommerup’s Dairy Farm is offering an online fresh food service, with the next Brisbane delivery scheduled for 24 April.
Choose from a wide selection of milk, butter, eggs, pork, ice-cream and plenty more. Order a taste of farm life here.
If you have to stay at home on a Friday night, it may as well be with wine and cheese. Join City Winery Brisbane for their weekly Cheese Takeover, with recommendations and commentary from an iconic cheese maker or local cheese lover. Submit your order by Thursday afternoon and your wine and cheese will be delivered straight to your door. More details here.
Mount Tamborine’s Witches Falls Winery have also introduced Virtual Vino every Wednesday and Friday from 4pm so you can ask questions and taste wine without leaving the house. Same-day deliveries are available for orders made by 11am. For those who prefer to enjoy their cheese and wine with their own company, both operators offer regular home deliveries.
E-Hug a Koala
After a series of successful Facebook live streams from each of the CaPTA Group parks, the team has now launched the first koala live-cam in Cairns so you can watch koalas all day long at Rainforestation Nature Park. The koalas are most active after they get their new gum, so check in at midday to see them wake up for lunch.
To say hello to our furry (scaled, and winged) friends, tune in at 10am on Wednesdays to Wildlife Habitat and at 10am on Fridays to view a virtual rotation of Rainforestation Nature Park, Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome and Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. Follow their Facebook feed to be notified when the live feed starts.
With so many operators now adapting to online delivery services, it’s easier than ever to help small businesses. Supporting local could include buying your morning coffee, ordering takeaway from your favourite restaurant or purchasing from your local butchers or greengrocer.
We’ve compiled a few of our favourite innovative local offers or services below:
- Local businesses in the Moreton Bay Region are helping us get creative in the kitchen. From the Alchemy Home Café Syrup Kit to spice up your coffee, to cake tasting boxes at Petal and Peach and luxurious jams and chutneys from Langs Gourmet, find something new to enjoy. Discover more foodie options on the Redlands Coast here.
- Introducing ‘JP Take and Bake’, Jocelyn’s Provisions have done the hard work for you by baking delicious treats for you to take, bake and decorate at home – perfect for entertaining kids and adults alike.
- Once Upon a Bottle is a collaboration between Gourmand & Gourmet and Brisbane bottle shops Victoria & Montague, Vulture & Grey, and SW1 to offer discounted, hand-selected six-packs of delicious Australian wines, delivered to your door in Brisbane for free.
- Cheeky Poke Bar is delivering Cheeky to you, but not as you know it. Designed to make life easy (and quarantine fun), Cheeky has introduced the option to purchase bowls, tacos or nachos deconstructed in separate packaging to make feeding your loved ones simple. Soups are also available cold so you can save them for later or even freeze them – genius!
- In an effort to help its local community, innovative boutique florist, Little Mr. Bouqs, has introduced a brand-new product to its range: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Box deliveries. With an assortment of seasonal fruit, veggies and pantry essentials, with contactless delivery service throughout the suburbs of Brisbane, support your local community – including farmers.
Share because you care. Tag us on Instagram with your love local purchase #thisisqueensland
Virtual benefit under the stars
To help save the lives of our vulnerable and native wildlife, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation invites you to virtually mingle at its 2020 Benefit Under the Stars event.
Join the Wildlife Hospital team on 9 May from 6pm for a special evening of entertainment, performances, interviews, wildlife stories and an inside look at one of the world’s busiest wildlife hospitals. Buy tickets here.
Queensland distilleries lending a hand
As gin and rum distilleries across Queensland continue to produce much–needed hand sanitiser, Granddad Jacks Craft Distillery is getting into the isolation spirit with its gin home survival box. Along with a 100ml bottle of liquid sanitiser, you can enjoy your favourite Gin and Tonic with all the fancy garnishes from the comfort of your living room.
Let’s also not forget Bundaberg Rum’s outstanding effort of producing and donating 100,000 litres of ethanol – enough to produce around 500,000 bottles of hand sanitiser – to the Queensland Government. Beenleigh Rum Distillery, Bundaberg Rum Distillery, Tamborine Mountain Distillery and West End’s Brisbane Distillery are also using existing capacity to ensure there’s a ready supply of hand sanitiser for the local community.
Local Music Delivered Digitally
While live outdoor performances are paused for now, Brisbane’s free live music program, City Sounds, is taking its tunes online.
Every Saturday, a new City Sounds artist will be featured online via the Brisbane City social media channels and you’re invited to groove along from the comfort of your own home.
Virtual Island Talks
Although life feels very different for us, life on and around Lady Elliot Island continues as normal for the wildlife and coral surrounding the cay.
Fortunately, we don’t have to miss out as the island’s caretakers are sharing a series of talks and live steams with an educational focus on coral bleaching, climate changes and the future of the Great Barrier Reef. Follow the team on Facebook to virtually explore the magic of Lady Elliot Island.
On the hunt for Easter treats? Noosa Chocolate Factory is now offering delivery to Brisbane and Sunshine Coast residents. Choose from their delicious Easter stock or select a classic treat such as freshly cut Rocky Road. To make your order, see details here.
For those who are more partial to a hot cross bun, why not order a box of your favourite kind? With so much variety, you can choose fruit buns from Crust and Co, delicious gluten-free delights from Nodo, or hot cross brownies from Dello Mano.
Home Film Festival
With the upcoming break, the timing couldn’t be better for the Gold Coast Film Festival’s SIPFest now live and ready to watch from the comfort of your own couch. From drama to comedy and everything in between, these 13 short films full of local flavour will have you laughing, crying and enjoying the Easter weekend on the big screen.
The SIPFest Program will be available to stream and watch until 12pm Tuesday 14 April.
Feed the Frontline
With the Brisbane restaurant industry at a standstill and essential healthcare staff working around the clock to keep us safe, surely there’s a win-win solution to help them both?
Introducing Feed the Frontline, this do-good initiative assists restaurants to provide delicious takeaway options for our doctors, nurses and other health professionals. As well as supporting the hospitality industry, frontline workers are fed and shown appreciation after a long shift.
For more information and to make a donation, head to the Feed the Frontline GoFundMe page.
Isolation On Point
To keep you on your toes, Queensland Ballet has launched a series of free online community classes to keep the magic alive through dance.
From open ballet barre and petit pointers, to a deep stretch class and ballet for seniors, there’s something for everyone to help bring balance back into your life.
Led by QB Teaching Artists, these classes are suitable for a range of ages and experiences. Try a class now.
Float Like a Butterfly
If you’ve noticed an explosion of butterflies over recent weeks, you’re not alone. The lengthened drought in South East Queensland, followed by an increase in wet weather has brought a breeding frenzy to our backyards — and it couldn’t be more timely. While we’re currently caterpillars in a cocoon, our time will come when we can emerge.
Join the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary on Thursday 9 April at 11am to view its live stream where you can ask questions and watch their team release butterflies. While soaking in your daily dose of Vitamin D, we’d love to see your butterfly photos — tag #thisisqueensland.
Tune in to learn something new each day — it could be a meet and greet with Roxy the Barking Owl from Billabong Sanctuary or you may find yourself at a behind-the-scenes tour at the Museum of Tropical Queensland.
This significant art project engages with the ongoing importance and richness of women’s creativity across Bougainville, showcasing cane and pandanus weaving, shell ornamentation and earthenware pottery. The best part? You can click on each piece to learn about their individual details.
Ochre Restaurant and Catering has teamed up with Tropic Spirit Catering to provide Cairns locals with a convenient online grocery store alongside its delicious takeaway meals.
With a range of essential food items on offer, including local meat, fish, eggs, dairy, vegetables, and fruit, you can order meals from Cairns’ most awarded restaurants at the same time as a taste of the region’s produce (while supporting local producers). Add to your shopping cart here.
The Show Will Go On
“History teaches us that in times of great challenge and uncertainty the arts are uniquely placed to provide hope and inspiration,” said Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) Executive Director Craig Whitehead.
View the live performances of QSO musicians delivering music differently at QSO or their social media pages.
And if you’re looking for even more inspiration, look no further than Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra’s 5@5 – an online initiative that includes concerts, educational workshops and community virtual events for five minutes at 5pm every day. Share the love of music and listen to the artists as they play a little something to spread a little joy. Tune in or tune out with Camerata.
Supercars Community Giving Back
Triple Eight Race Engineering has transitioned its capability, intellect and resources to creatively design, produce and manufacture a prototype ventilator that will ultimately save lives.
The Supercars team developed an innovative ventilator that features regulating tidal volume and breaths per minute, and the ability to run for at least two hours without power. The ventilator prototype is continuing development with the help of the State Department to improve the unit even more.
The Supercars community has been active it its efforts to help the medical industry, with Penrite Racing producing a series of devices and Erebus Motorsport distributing protective Perspex boxes and face masks for healthcare professionals.
That holiday in Queensland you’ve been dreaming of is now closer than you think.
Thanks to Spicers Retreats, your video call backdrops are about to cause some serious wanderlust from your colleagues. Simply download the images here, upload to your Zoom profile and transport yourself to one of the Spicers properties in Queensland. Take in the views of Main Range National Park at Spicers Peak Lodge one day or the Sunshine Coast Hinterland at Spicers Tamarind Retreat the next.
Calm your farm
Got a Facebook account? Well, from 10am every weekday, you’ve got a farm too.
The team at Splitters Farm in Bundaberg will be bringing the barnyard through Facebook Live to give kids the opportunity to learn about the animals and how to care for them. Not only is it a great way to start your day but it will also keep the young and young at heart the chance to escape to the country. The best part? You can visit the farm and animals you’ll meet in person when you can travel again.
Find Your Qi Flow
It is so important, now more than ever, to focus on keeping yourself well, in mind, body and spirit, to help you navigate these unprecedented times.
Transport yourself to the mountain retreat overlooking the Gold Coast Hinterland and feel the flow of Qi between your hands as you take some time to breathe and send positive energy back out into the world.
Be sure to take time where you can to nurture yourself and keep your eyes peeled for more of these calming wellness videos from Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat over the coming weeks.
Festival from afar
Ever wanted to connect with culture via an Internet connection? Well, now you can.
For the first time ever, you will be able to experience the Meeanjin Markets from the comfort of your own home. The annual festival will use technology to connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture with festival-goers in the virtual world. Not only will you do your part to protect the community’s health, but the move to an online marketplace also means you can support Brisbane’s indigenous community in a real way. Oh, and you’ll have a front-row seat to every music performance, which will be live-streamed.
The Meeanjin Markets will take place on 8-9 May 2020. Further info can be found here.
Riversands Easter in the Vines goes Virtual
Wine lovers will be excited to hear they can still attend Riversands Wines’ Easter in the Vines Festival – that’s right, it’s going virtual.
Tune in and join Queensland’s most western winery from the comfort of your own home, to experience wine tasting, food matching and song, a virtual event live-streamed on Facebook.
From 3pm onwards on both Easter Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th April, fabulous musicians will perform their popular favourites, along with songs nominated by the audience. For your chance to win a bottle of Riversands Wine, post a creative selfie during the event and get involved in this festive event.
Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity to sit back, relax and support the local Southern Queensland Country community.
A peek at penguins
A malnourished little penguin found waddling along Currimundi Beach has been rescued and undergoing rehabilitation with the experts at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast. Rest assured, the friendly permanent residents (marine life) and their incredible carers (aquarium staff) are taking great care of their amazing marine life. Join in on the action, as SEA LIFE is now live-streaming the Little Blue Penguins’ habitat to show the journey of an adorable colony of penguins eat, swim, play and sleep in their very own home. Take a look at the wonderful world of the smallest penguin species here.
For more amazing marine life, Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium are sharing behind-the-scenes action, virtual talks and tours, Creature Features and activity sheets for you to complete at home. See the predator tank and coral reef exhibit from the perspective of the divers and ask them questions while they’re underwater! Catch the Creature Features live in action on their Instagram or Facebook pages.
Class is on at Cockatours
From next Monday, 30 March, young nature lovers can add Ecology to their home schooling schedule (although anyone in isolation at the moment might like to join in!). Rossy, the owner of Cairns-based tour company Cockatours, is going to be offering up free ecology talks on the company’s Facebook page while its tours are temporarily suspended.
With a degree in Ecology and experience delivering motivational speeches to school-aged children, Rossy will no doubt entertain young would-be adventurers with practical and hands-on talks, each slated to go for half and hour, that covers the relationship between animals, plants and the environment around them.
Start following Cockatours on Facebook where further details, including the time of the live talk, will be posted.
Dreamworld looking after locals
After Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld and WhiteWater World temporarily closed their doors, the theme park has donated hundreds of perishable food items to help feed locals.
Rather than letting anything go to waste, they called in food-based organisation OzHarvest to collect a whopping 755kg of food, including milk, fruit, vegetables, juice, popcorn and pasta. The entire van-full of food donated was equivalent to 2,265 meals, no doubt very much welcomed by Gold Coasters facing tough times.
Although closed to the public, Dreamworld and WhiteWater World will retain a minimal number of team members during the closure to continue to maintain essential business services – including the ongoing care of their animal collection.