Lady Elliot Island

Queensland News: 08/05

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.

Mother’s Day Inspiration

Heritage Estate Wines

Photo by Heritage Estate Wines via Facebook

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.

  • In-Home Dining Package
    If you’d love to completely spoil Mum with a three-course long lunch or dinner, then it couldn’t be easier. City Winery Brisbane chefs are putting together shared starters, a main course (we hear hot smoked ocean trout is on the menu) and a tasty dessert in a breezy ‘serve at home’ format. All you need to do is turn on the oven! Check out the menu here and put in your order.  
  • Sponsor a Koala
    If you want to go above and beyond for Mum this Mother’s Day, why not sponsor a koala in her name? When you adopt an animal from Wildlife Habitat, not only are you helping your sponsored furry friend, but your donation also counts towards medical supplies and resources.
  • Walnut Weekend Brunch Bag
    Let The Walnut Restaurant and Lounge Bar in Brisbane do the hard work this Mother’s Day and enjoy brunch at home or relax in the stunning Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. The restaurant’s delicious takeaway Walnut Weekend Brunch Bag includes muffins, croissants with butter and jam, chocolate-dipped strawberries, orange juice and more. You can even add on Henkell sparkling wine if you’d like to pop some bubbles for the occasion. Order your Brunch Bag here.
  • Witches On Wheels Delivery
    If wine, cheese and a gentle breeze out on the deck sounds perfect for Mum this Mother’s Day, she deserves to be spoiled with the very best. Witches Falls’ new home delivery services brings a delicious selection of local wine, ciders, beer, cheese and the associated joy directly to South East Queensland residents. Shop online.
  • 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.

The Bee’s Knees

West Village Bees Month

In honour of World Bee Day coming up on 20 May (who knew?), the heritage West Village precinct in Brisbane has created a buzzing online hub dedicated to all things bees, butterflies and nature.

Fly onto its Village Bees platform anytime during May for bee crafts workshops, live tours inside a beehive, and cooking demonstrations on how to use honey in dishes. You can even learn how to attract bees and butterflies into your garden (spoiler —  the right plant species is everything!).

Virtual Benefit Under the Stars

It’s not too late to help save the lives of our vulnerable and native wildlife at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation. Tune in on 9 May from 6pm to virtually mingle at its 2020 Benefit Under the Stars event.

Buy tickets here for a special evening of entertainment, performances, interviews, wildlife stories and an inside look at one of the world’s busiest wildlife hospitals. 

Freedom For Norma Jane

In beautiful wildlife news, we have a positive story from the Gold Coast. At the start of the year, Sea World was introduced to an injured adult green sea turtle who stole everyone’s hearts. After a few months of rehabilitation, sweet Norma Jean is on the road to recovery and will be released back into the ocean soon.

Queensland Awards

Citizens of Great Barrier Reef

Photo by Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef via Facebook

  • Web Oscars
    In exciting conservation news for Queensland, Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and its Reef Tracks platform has been nominated for the Best Science Website in the 14th Annual Webby Awards. Like the Oscars of the internet (it’s a big honour!), the Webby Awards recognise the most innovative websites in the world. Winners will be announced on May 19 so we’ll be counting down the days. In the meantime, Reef Tracks is also eligible to win a Webby People’s Voice Award, which you can vote for online until May 8. Cast your vote here.
  • Outback Luxury Makes the Cut
    Another big win for Queensland is the inclusion of Mount Mulligan Lodge in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveller’s annual 2020 Hot List. Over 400 hopeful hotels were whittled down to 76 globally, and our very own luxury lodge in the Queensland Outback was the only Australian property to be included. It looks like this transformed cattle ranch will be in high demand for travellers — we better get in there quick!

Queensland Adventure Activities Spotlight

Bay Island Stand Up Paddle

Photo by Bay Island Stand Up Paddle Co. via Facebook

As restrictions gradually ease across Queensland, we’re hearing about some fantastic adventure businesses that now have permission to open. We know you’re edging towards the door to explore Queensland’s activities once more – here’s a head start on what’s available.

  • Jet Skiing on the Gold Coast
    Gold Coast Jet Ski Safaris are back on the water so you can hire and ride your own jet ski along the Gold Coast waterways. To welcome back locals within 50km, the tour company is offering 25% off all experiences for a limited time.
  • Water sports on the Bay
    Bay Island Stand Up Paddle in Brisbane’s Redlands welcomes you to kayak or stand-up paddle on the calm waters of Raby Bay. You may want to have a go at their new water bikes too.
  • River-boarding in Cairns
    Explore the beautiful surrounding waterfalls in the oldest rainforest in the world with Cairns Canyoning. While canyoning can’t happen just yet, you can book into river boarding right now.

Brisbane Virtual Experiences

Brisbane virtual experiences

Photo by The Museum of Brisbane via Facebook

The Museum of Brisbane is ramping up its online offerings to showcase a virtual experience every fortnight until the end of September. With a program of engaging exhibition content, activities and events planned, there’s something for everyone to increase their knowledge of Brisbane.

The latest exhibition is ‘The View From Here’, featuring old photographs of Brisbane found in a cigar box under a Red Hill home in 1983. Explore here.

Shop Online at Jellurgal

Jellurgal Cultural Centre

Photo by Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre via Instagram

To help share Indigenous culture with the world, the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Burleigh Heads showcases authentic, one-of-a-kind art pieces created by local artists.

A large range of these products are now available to purchase online, with local and international shipping available. Browse through canvas paintings, intricate jewellery, traditional items and plenty more.

Buy One, Plant One

Koala Australia Zoo

Missing the friendly, furry, and fanged fun of Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast? In light of the improved pandemic restrictions in Queensland, those who live within 50km can now pop into its Croc Lair gift shop. You’ll find plenty of wildlife-themed goodies to tide you over until the zoo re-opens, including its new “50 Years of Crikey!” range, and even Bindi and Chandler’s wedding candle. For everyone else, you can still shop online here.

As we’ve just passed National Wild Koala Day on the calendar, a koala food tree will be planted with every transaction online or in-store (up until May 10) to help feed the koalas at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. With Mother’s Day coming up, it’s a lovely opportunity to grab a gift that gives back to wildlife.

Support Now, Enjoy Later

Caloundra Music Festival

Photo by Caloundra Music Festival via Facebook

While Caloundra Music Festival is still expected to go ahead over the October long weekend, the festival’s behind-the-scenes team has developed a Sunshine Coast Feature Artist project to support and amplify the voices of local artists. Follow along on Facebook to view a daily selection of local talent, and double down on your support by adding songs to your Spotify playlist, following artists on Instagram and buying merchandise.

The Big Pineapple Music Festival in Woombye is also expected to go ahead on 21 November, and to recognise the commitment and sacrifice of medical staff on the pandemic frontline, the festival is offering 500 free tickets. Register your interest here and winners will be chosen at random later in the year.


ornate eagle ray Queensland

Photo by Jacinta Shackleton

Have you ever seen an ornate eagle ray up-close before? Not many people have – in fact, there have been little over 50 sightings recorded worldwide. As luck would have it, Master Reef Guide Jacinta Shackleton spotted this rare stingray in the waters off Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef – a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“This incredible experience has made me aware of just how fortunate I am to have spent so much time immersed in nature and how lucky we are to have such a rich and vibrant variety of life right here in our own backyard.”

For when it’s safe to travel again, take a look at why you should add the Great Barrier Reef to your next Queensland road trip.

Read our previous good news stories around Queensland here.