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Queensland News: 01/05

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.

Make Virtual Travel a Reality

Queensland virtual backgrounds

With so many of us currently using Zoom to connect, chat, meet, and share ideas daily, it can get a little tiring looking at other’s people’s living rooms. Introducing Queensland’s virtual backgrounds, where you can now bring the beauty of Queensland to your conference calls.

Whether you’re submerged amongst the Great Barrier Reef or surrounded by a dramatic Outback gorge, be transported from your home office with this spectacular collection of backdrop images. Download your favourite (or all) backgrounds here.

Rosella Jam Session

Big Rosella Festival

Photo by CC’s Kitchen via Facebook 

Those in the Gympie region will be familiar with the annual Big Rosella Festival which celebrates all things rosella (also known as wild hibiscus). This year, CC’s Kitchen in Woolooga is taking the festival online over the May Day long weekend and everyone is invited to learn more about this sweet treat.

The virtual festival programme includes live farm tours, cooking demonstrations with popular chefs, and a masterclass on how to make rosella jam for yourself. It’s delicious!

Craft Beer Trail on the Coast

Terella Brewing

Photo by Terella Brewing via Facebook

18 breweries from across the Sunshine Coast, Hinterland and Noosa regions have launched an online craft beer trail and map so you can discover everything there is to know about the region’s thriving craft beer scene.

Over the month of Mid-Strength May, breweries will be offering an exclusive deal on takeaway options from their venues. This thirsty work initiative encourages you to support the local breweries and to pick up some tasty mid-strength beers to enjoy at home.

Follow the Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Trail online and visit them all.

Head for the Hills

Glasshouse Mountains Lookout

We can see the light! With the easing of some restrictions from Saturday 2 May, Queenslanders can travel up to 50km away and enjoy a walk or picnic (with their household or one other person) at selected National Parks and State Forest sites.

From summit tracks at the Glasshouse Mountains to day-use areas at Danbulla National Park surrounding Lake Tinaroo, it’s time to stretch those legs among nature. Just remember, we’re still required to continue with social distancing measures.

See here for more information on which parks and sites are reopening.

Movie Under the Stars

Yatala Drive-In

Photo by Yatala Drive-In Cinema via Facebook

It’s a great weekend all-round as Yatala Drive-In Cinema is also reopening on Saturday 2 May. While you’ve probably watched your fair share of movies over recent weeks, this is an excellent night-out option for those who’d love to leave the house.

Dress comfortably, pack your favourite snacks, and settle in for a movie under the stars. Showings start at 6.30pm. Book your tickets here.

Blues on Broadbeach

Blues on Broadbeach 2020

Photo by Blues on Broadbeach via Instagram

At a time when we’re missing the buzz of live gigs and concerts, it’s great to see the music industry pull together to entertain and keep our spirits high. To get your music fix from a safe distance, join Blues on Broadbeach for a social distancing party in your own home.

As well as live performances by Karen Lee Andrews, The Soul Movers and Shaun Kirk (to name just a few), there will also be fan-favourite archival footage from previous Blues on Broadbeach performances. This dynamic live stream event will hit your screen on Friday 15 May from 7pm through Facebook. Pop it into your calendar, check out the full line-up and invite your mates.

Feeding Queensland

Let’s take a moment to appreciate Queensland’s steady stream of fresh produce over the past couple of months as consumer demand for delicious Queensland-grown ingredients has rocketed. Bundaberg is a major food bowl for Australia, and to keep everything ticking over nicely, the regional farming community has called on hospitality workers and tourism operators to fill lockdown labour gaps and ensure its food supply remains in good hands.

From pickers to packers to managers to drivers, staff from the region’s restaurants, attractions and reef operations have rolled up their sleeves and filled vital agricultural roles. A huge thank you to everyone involved.

Animals at Home

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

If you’re running out of things to keep you occupied while safe at home, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has got you covered. As well as an online education programme for primary age students, they’ve got no less than 28 live-stream cameras across the park so you can gaze at happy, healthy animals any time you like.

Meet koalas, watch kangaroos eat their lunch and engage with a variety of Australian wildlife — all from the comfort of your living room. Tune in here.

Mother’s Day Inspiration

Although we’ll be social distancing this Mother’s Day, that doesn’t mean we can’t treat Mum with something beautiful. Each day on the lead up to May 10, we’ll add a treat, gift or experience onto this list so that no matter what the circumstances are, she feels extra special.

  • Ultimate Wine Care Package
    Pull out all of the stops this Mother’s Day with the Heritage Estate Mother’s Day Package from the Granite Belt. For $140, she’ll find 5 heritage estate wines, handmade soaps, gourmet biscotti and more. Shop here.
  • Shop the Scenic Rim
    Treat Mum to something beautiful from the Scenic Rim online store. Some of our favourites include O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards premium wine, the Summer Land Camels skincare range, and Mountain Blend coffee beans from Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation. Shop here.
  • A Taste of Altitude on Montville
    Who wouldn’t love to find a delicious platter box on their doorstep? Altitude on Montville on the Sunshine Coast are delivering beautifully presented edible goodies that Mum will love. You can even add in a bottle of Falling Leaves Sparkling Wine. Orders must be placed before 6 May. See here for more information.
  • Luxury Pamper Products
    Indulge Mum this Mother’s Day from a wide range of gifts on The Ginger Factory’s online shopping platform, including marshmallow rose bath bombs, tropical lip balm, mango and shea butter body bars and Japanese honeysuckle room spray.
  • High Tea at Home
    Emporium Hotel in Brisbane is taking care of everything with High Tea and hamper packages. For $99, you can spoil her with your own high tea for two, curated by Queensland’s leading pastry chef Alex Norman. Share a Mother’s Day with a difference at home over a mouth-watering selection of savoury and sweets, complete with disposable high tea stand. Just add bubbles or a cuppa for the perfect morning. Choose free delivery within 10km or contactless pick-up –  order here.

Virtual Meeanjin 2020 Festival

Virtual Meeanjin 2020 Festival

Photo by Meeanjin Markets via Facebook

Pop 8-9 May into your diary, as Brisbane’s annual Meeanjin Markets brings its Indigenous arts, craft and culture into the virtual world.

The festival will broadcast a diverse collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers and businesses from across South East Queensland so you can connect with a mix of music, art, products, and plenty more. Follow Meeanjin Markets on Facebook for programme schedules and the festival’s live streams.

Fine Wine Time

Sofa Sommeliers

Photo by Once Upon a Bottle via Facebook

If you’re missing the luxury of having your tipple curated by professionals, you’ll love the new Sofa Sommeliers initiative. Two hospitality specialists have teamed up with Brisbane’s best restaurants and wine bars to deliver packs of Aussie and international wines direct to your door, hand-selected by the restaurant’s sommeliers.

As well as offering discounted prices, a share of the retail profits goes back to the selecting restaurants. Sofa Sommeliers launches on Friday 1 May – register your interest for more information.

A Buyer’s Market

Brisbane markets

Photo by Riverside at the Gardens via Facebook

As Brisbane unfurls over the coming weeks, two of the city’s much-loved markets are re-opening for you to replenish the pantry, grab a bite to take away, and relax with entertaining music (all while maintaining the social distancing regulations, of course).

You can visit Kelvin Grove Village Markets on Saturday 9 May and Riverside at the Gardens Market on Sunday 10 May – just in time for Mother’s Day. Shop in the fresh air for hand-painted silk scarves, art, fashion, skincare and more.

Woodfordian Artists: Live Online

Woodford Folk Festival Online

Photo by Woodford Folk Festival via Facebook

If you’ve ever wished that the annual Woodford Folk Festival could happen all year round, you’re in luck. To help raise money for musicians who’ve found themselves out of work, this cultural event has launched a nightly series of live streams to entertain you.

Tune in at 6pm to hear a different artist perform a 30-minute concert online. You can watch for free, or donate to that week’s campaign of six artists to help them keep doing what they do. Follow the festival on Facebook for more information and to watch the live stream.

Get Your Skates On

skateboarding Queensland

Photo by Rumble on the Reef via Facebook

Based along the Great Barrier Reef coastline in Mackay, action-sports festival Rumble on the Reef is still expecting to go ahead in September, along with three new sports categories — freestyle BMX, wakeboarding and hydrofoil kiteboarding.

With skateparks officially closed though, you can still practice your tricks at home. The Australian Skateboarding Community Initiative has developed an online national competition that allows you to progress your skateboarding and win prizes. The online series has been rolled out in 35 regions across Australia, including Queensland’s Ipswich and Noosa. Follow Australian Skateboarding on Facebook for entry details.

April’s Aquarium Adventure

While the aquarium is quiet, April the Australian sea lion has been enjoying a few rare outings to meet the other creatures at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast.

April will be out and about again on Tuesday 28 April so head to SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast’s Facebook page at 10am to watch the tour live and find out which sea creatures April meets on her journey.

Read our previous good news stories around Queensland here.