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New Year’s Eve in Sydney by luxury yacht – an exclusive cruise for Alquemie clients

There’s no doubt that one of the best ways to spend New Year’s Eve in Sydney is on a luxury yacht where every whim is catered for. Unfortunately this time of year books out far in advance so Alquemie has reserved exclusive use of a 100 foot luxury yacht for clients. The Murcielago, is the private jet of the ocean with room for 12 guests to see in the New Year and six people to stay overnight and awaken surrounded by nature if they choose.

This is an opportunity for your clients to mingle with other Alquemie cliental.

Cost: US$8,575.00 per person based on min. 8 pax.
The booking deadline is the 31st August 2017. Full non-refundable payment at the time of booking. Please contact your Alquemie advisor ASAP to lock this in.

Sydney luxury yacht

Party like it’s 2018 (up to 12 guests)

Guests will be collected from a central Sydney wharf at 7pm where they’ll be welcomed aboard with their favourite beverage and delicious canapés to begin the festivities on the bustling harbour. This is a beautiful time of evening in Sydney as the golden light of the sun reflects upon the city skyscrapers and begins its decent. On a night like New Year’s Eve the Harbour is alive with thousands of boats – all bustling for the best vantage point to see the famous fireworks over the Bridge. These days though, the fireworks explode all across the Harbour and it’s one of the greatest urban spectacles in the world.

During the evening the luxurious Murchielago will cruise the Harbour, passing waterfront suburbs and grand homes as guests dine on a sumptuous three-course meal. At 9pm when the sun has finally set, the children’s fireworks burst overhead in all the colours of the rainbow. After dinner, cocktails will flow and the meandering cruise of the harbour continues until midnight when the sky lights up once again and rains down colour, signalling the start of a new year.

The Captain will have guests back on dry land by 1am to return to their accommodation.

Start the year surrounded by nature

An optional (and highly recommended) extension of the New Year’s festivities for six guests only is to remain onboard the Murchielago and wake up surrounded by nature, either in a gorgeous cove of Sydney Harbour, or the vessel can relocate further afield to Pittwater.

Either destination would be a relaxing start to 2018 with options such as swimming, stand up paddle boarding or kayaking available.

About the Murchielago

From the sumptuous Owner Room and VIP Stateroom with their en-suite bathrooms, to the two twin-berth cabins, this superyacht can sleep six people as comfortably as any high-end hotel.

Indoor areas include spacious saloons, lounges and decks – one with a retractable sunroof; guests can enjoy seating for up to 10 people and a fantastic barbeque offers outdoor cooking options to impress.

There’s a fully equipped galley with teak flooring, stunning granite bench tops and, naturally, its own espresso machine.

Full catering to restaurant standards for all guests can be prepared by an on-board chef, and a drinks bar can be stocked with every beverage you could ever desire.

Outside are massive sunbeds and a bathing platform, turning every sea into a private pool.

The bathing platform also has a hot shower and a wet bar. Perfect once you have finished your swim or snorkel, or a paddle in on of Murcielago’s three canoes, or a water-skiing/wakeboarding session with Murcielago’s on-board equipment.

Available in Pittwater only, the two Seadoo jet-skis are also capable of 45 knots meaning every other toy on board, like the wakeboard, kneeboard and water skis are built for speed too.

 

Contact Alquemie by August 31st 2017 to lock in this opportunity.

Pre-book for the silly season – Christmas & New Years

It’s that time of year again already. The silly season is fast approaching and accommodation, experiences and restaurants WILL BOOK OUT. We can’t stress that enough. Please get in touch with us to lock in an amazing experience for your client. We can recommend some fabulous ideas to suit your client’s desires.

In Australia, it’s hot at Christmas and we celebrate on the day of the 25th, not Christmas Eve. You’ll often find families heading to the beach for a dip and a game of cricket after they’ve stuffed themselves with festive goodness and we recommend your clients join in the fun. It’s definitely a contrary experience to a Christmas in Europe or North America and a real part of the Australian culture. Our Christmas feast often consists of fresh seafood such as prawns and crayfish, ham off the bone and a roast turkey with all the trimmings. Around this time of year, a large portion of the local population head out of town to holiday destinations within a few hours drive of the capitals so often it’s mostly tourists that remain in the cities but the buzz of holiday season never wanes.

Please take note of the following:

Accommodation

Accommodation is already scare at the top end of the market. If you have clients thinking of travelling to Australia at this time of year, please get in touch immediately.

Dining

  • Most hotels have finalised their dinner and party menus and prices.
  • Other restaurants also have their festive season menus ready.
  • Ask us to book a dining experience for your client.

New Years Eve in Sydney – ideas

  • Spend the last evening of 2017 at the Sydney Opera House. Be entertained at the Opera Gala, featuring favourites by Verdi, Puccini, Rossini and more. Then, with a heart full of song, watch the fireworks the whole world watches. Interval is timed for the 9pm fireworks and the Sydney Opera House stays open well past the midnight fireworks
  • Charter a luxury vessel for your own private soiree to welcome in the New Year. While you sleep, the vessel can relocate so you’ll wake up to the soothing sounds of the Australian bush where you can swim, sunbathe and ease your way into the new year.
  • Grab the penthouse suite (be quick!) at any of Sydney’s harbour front hotels where your sky-high views of the fireworks will be the envy of all

Margaret River Gourmet Escape – November 2018

Margaret River Gourmet Escape celebrates 50 years of wine in WA’s extraordinary south west region, with a produce and wine extravaganza over four days this November.

Paying homage to the region’s 50th anniversary of commercial wine production, world renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson, OBE, MW (UK) will be in attendance at many events across the weekend, and the festival will exhibit a selection of key wine events including the Cape Mentelle International Cabernet Tasting and Long Lunch; the Cullen Wines 32nd International Chardonnay Tasting; plus fringe events including the ‘50 Years in the Making’ Tasting at Vasse Felix and the Leeuwin Art Series Dinner. Jancis will be joined by some of Australia’s most respected wine personalities and journalists including James Halliday, Huon Hooke and Nick Stock.

Curtis (of acclaimed Maude & Gwen Restaurants, Los Angeles) will join over 50 of the world’s leading food and wine personalities, including chefs from the World’s Best Restaurants*, Andre Chiang (#14 Restaurant Andre, Singapore), Alex Atala (D.O.M., Brasil), David Thompson (#28 Nahm, Thailand), Ashley Palmer-Watts (#36 Dinner by Heston, UK) and Rodolfo Guzman (#42 Borago, Chile). Together they will all head to Margaret River and collaborate with the country’s best as they showcase the region’s exceptional food and wine.

Asia’s Best Female Chef, May Chow (Little Bao, Hong Kong) will join highly acclaimed chefs including Pierre Koffmann (UK), Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese, USA), Kyle Connaughton (SingleThread Farm, USA), and Kris Yenbamroong (NIGHT + MARKET, USA) who join the Gourmet Escape line up for the first time to collaborate on events showcasing premium local produce and stunning locations Margaret River is famous for.

This year will also see the addition of new and exciting events including Curtis Stone officially opening the festival at the additional Audi Gourmet Beach BBQ session on Thursday evening; The Great Soiree at Fraser Gallop Estate; The High Life with Paul Iskov (a helicopter lunch); and the launch of the Official Closing Party at White Elephant Café.

Visitors can expect some extraordinary dining collaborations; Fermoy Estate will host a dinner featuring Clayton Wells with Mejakawi (Bali); and Alex Atala (Brazil) joins forces with Porteno (Sydney) at Larry Cherubino. The festival also welcomes new venues and wineries for the first time including the newly opened Amelia Park Winery Restaurant; and Arimia Estate – who will take part in the festival to showcase their wines.

The heartbeat of the festival, the Gourmet Village, will have a fresh feel for 2017 with the main stage hosted by multitalented comedian, actor/presenter and musician Matt Okine, plus music programming throughout the day including a secret closing act on Sunday evening. New attractions include The Lurpak Cookery School & a ‘Giniversity’ along with returning favourites such as Wusthof Knife Skillery, Around the Barrel, Icon Tastings and Battle of the Breweries.

Also making its debut in 2017, The World’s Best Chef’s Table is an exclusive and very intimate, once in a lifetime restaurant experience nestled in the heart of the Gourmet Village. Guests can pull up a stool and savour a glass of the region’s best wine alongside some of the world’s most coveted chefs from the top 50 list as they create a dish showcasing incredible WA produce. Once the masterpiece is complete, the lucky group will enjoy the meal alongside their culinary idols. Tickets are strictly limited and expected to sell out quickly.

Quintessential WA package  

Sunset, Beats & Bites

Mix a handful of new wave winemakers with a good dose of funky beats, add an iconic Western Australian sunset, delectable, hearty food and you have arguably Margaret River Gourmet Escape’s hippest event.  From the deck of Gnarabup Beach kiosk, watch the sun go down as the DJ spins the decks, and taste drops by Margaret River wineries. The volume goes up as the stars in the night sky start to shine.

Tickets include a glass of wine (additional drinks can be purchased) and a bountiful selection of food. Visitors can select dishes from the various food stations

Feast in the Forest, The Safari Club, Leeuwin Estate

Andre Chiang (Number 2 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, and Number 14 in the world) is one of Singapore’s most influential chefs and his exquisite Singapore dining room, Andre, showcases ground breaking ways with food. Closer to home, Wills Domain head chef Seth James curates a very special menu at one of Western Australia’s most awarded dining rooms.

Both chefs share a curiosity and passion for food that introduces diners to a range of innovative flavours, and have garnered a reputation for delivering food that engages yet constantly surprises, expect dishes that evoke memories and emotions. Together, they will bring you an extraordinary dinner matched by Will’s Domain’s award-winning wines.

Owned by the Haunold family, this elegant winery overlooks the picturesque Gunyulgup Valley and offers a wide range of award-winning wines that are more than a match for Seth’s wonderful food.

Gourmet Village, Leeuwin Estate Winery – GA includes bus transfer

A visit to Margaret River Gourmet Escape presented by Audi is not complete without a visit to the Gourmet Village, located in the stunning surrounds of the renowned Leeuwin Estate Winery. Over the weekend of Saturday 19 November and Sunday 20 November (11am-5.30pm) the vineyard comes alive as festival-goers rub shoulders with some of the world’s best chefs and food and wine experts in a delicious, fun-filled environment.

Platinum guests will gain fast track access to the air-conditioned Leeuwin Estate restaurant with premium views over the festival, two glasses of Leeuwin Estate wine and local dishes prepared from interactive food stations.

Other packages also available. Please contact Alquemie for more information.

2017 Festival Line Up

• Curtis Stone (Maude & Gwen, USA)

• Jancis Robinson OBE (Master of Wine, UK)

• Rick Stein (Chef & Restaurateur, UK) • Pierre Koffmann (Chef & Restaurateur, UK)

• Andre Chiang (Restaurant Andre, Singapore) *No. 14 • Alex Atala (D.O.M, Brazil) *No. 16 • David Thompson (Nahm, Thailand) *No. 28

• Ashley Palmer-Watts (Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, UK) *No. 36

• Rodolfo Guzman (Borago, Chile) *No. 42

• May Chow (Little Bao, Hong Kong) *Asia’s Best Female Chef

• Benjamin Cross (Mejekawi, Bali)

• Carlo Cracco (Ristorante Cracco, Italy)

• Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese Food, USA)

• Kris Yenbamroong (NIGHT + MARKET, USA)

• Kyle Connaughton (Single Thread Farms, USA)

• Michael Hunter (Antler Kitchen & Bar, Canada)

• Roger Mooking (Man, Fire, Food, Canada)

• Vijay Mudaliar (Native, Singapore)

• Luke Nguyen (Red Lantern, Sydney)

• Andrew McConnell (Cutler & Co., Melbourne)

• Guillaume Brahimi (Bistro Guillaume, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth)

• Shane Delia (Maha Restaurant, Melbourne)

• Peter Kuruvita (Noosa Beach House, Noosa)

• James Halliday, AM (Wine writer, critic and winemaker, VIC)

• Aaron Carr (Snake and Herring, Margaret River)

• Ben Milgate (Porteno, Sydney)

• Blair Allen (Amelia Park, Margaret River)

• Brendan Pratt (Vasse Felix, Margaret River)

• Clayton Wells (Automata, Sydney, Blackwattle, Singapore)

• Dan Gedge (Watershed Premium Wines, Margaret River)

• Dan Hong (Mr. Wong and Ms G’s, Sydney)

• Daniel Fisher (KU Dining, Perth)

• Dany Angove (Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River)

• Duncan Welgemoed (Africola, Adelaide)

• Elvis Abrahanowicz (Porteno, Sydney)

• Evan Hayter (Arimia, Margaret River)

• George Cooper (Food by the Chef, Margaret River)

• Heath Townsend (Wise Vineyards Restaurant, Margaret River)

• Huon Hooke (Writer)

• Iain Robertson (Cullen Wines, Margaret River)

• Jo Barrett (Oakridge Wines, Yarra Valley)

• Josh Niland (Saint Peter, Sydney)

• Josh Whiteland (Koomal Dreaming, Margaret River)

• Matt Okine (Comedian, actor/presenter and musician)

• Matt Stone (Oakridge Wines, Yarra Valley)

• Morgan McGlone (Belle’s Hot Chicken, Melbourne and Sydney)

• Nick Stock (Wine Writer)

• Paul Carmichael (Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney)

• Paul Iskov (Fervor, Margaret River)

• Russell Blaikie (Must Wine Bar, Perth)

• Sam Ward (Mas, Perth)

• Rhys Passmore (The Goose, Margaret River)

• Santiago Fernandez (Voyager Estate, Margaret River)

• Scott Bridger (Bib & Tucker, Perth)

• Seth James (Wills Domain, Margaret River)

• Tim Whitty (Kitchen Takeovers, Margaret River)

* Ranking in World’s Best Restaurants – http://www.theworlds50best.com/

River drift snorkelling in the Daintree

“It’s too cold for crocodiles”, our knowledgable guide Glen assures us as we pull on thick wetsuits. We are about to go River Drift Snorkelling – a unique way to explore the tropics. It hadn’t even crossed my mind to be worried about crocodiles but it was a valid point – they inhabit rivers in the north of Australia. We walk the short 50 metres from the van to the river and any worries of crocodiles quickly fade away. The river is definitely on the chilly side, but more than that – we are in one of the most beautiful settings I’d ever found myself in.

River Drift Snorkelling
Stunning scenery on the River Drift Snorkelling experience

We are at the Mossman River near the edge of World Heritage Listed Daintree National Park, the oldest living rainforest in the world, a region which contains an almost complete record of the major stages in the evolution of plant life on earth. This part of the river is a clear and shallow, gently flowing stream draped on either side by tropical rainforest that reminds me of some movie scene. Tall palms sprout from the banks while larger more ancient looking trees lean over the river, attempting to catch the sunlight that gently makes its way down. Simply stunning.

Just a few kilometres upstream lies Silky Oaks Lodge – a luxury lodge of Australia and my favourite choice of accommodation in the area. As we wade into the cool water, Glen gives us some safety instructions before we don our snorkels and mask and pop our heads underwater.

Snorkelling through tree tops

It’s a completely different experience to snorkelling in locations like the Great Barrier Reef – for starters there’s a current which makes things really quite fun as you drift along. Depending on the season the river may be shallow or deep and fast flowing or slow, and because it’s a pristine natural environment there are some hazards such as hidden underwater logs although these come in handy to hold onto in the current. As we head downstream there is a huge tree that had fallen across the river and we snorkel through it’s branches. There are plenty of fish to be seen – mostly small and brown – but plentiful none the less. We also see a turtle which was a delight. The illusive platypus remained as such despite my efforts to find one along the river banks.

Suitable for all ages

The second half of our trip is simply lazing on inflatable rafts, drifting with the current and watching the treetops of the peaceful rainforest as the river meanders down to our finishing point. It is the perfect way to end an incredible experience – first from below the water, and then from above.

River Drift Snorkelling is the perfect activity for all ages and fitness levels – from groups of friends to families as it’s suitable for children who are confident swimmers. It’s a great way to spend time in the rainforest and would work fabulously with any itinerary to Far North Queensland. A highly recommended year-round experience.

 

Click here to find out more about Australian travel with Alquemie

A 3 day wilderness glamping event in the Southern Highlands – 27 to 29 October 2017

Be part of an unforgettable and uniquely Australian three day wilderness celebration.

It’s a festival connecting you to nature through soul-stirring and authentic wild activities. And as nature is unpredictable, exciting and untamed, we mix in the whimsical to craft those truly exceptional moments.

This definitely isn’t your average weekend in the country.

This creatively programmed three day wilderness event is a rich mixture of remote glamping with concierge, mouth-watering food experiences, up-close nature exploration through hiking, abseiling, canoeing and mountain biking, awe-inspiring performance art and enough stolen moments to just be. It’s a carnival for the senses designed to let you do as little or as much as you want.

As a special offer to all Alquemie customers we are also including the Canoes, Canapés and Champagne experience as part of this 3 day itinerary at no extra cost.

Add in a wild Native Feast, night photography and an open-air wellness spa and you are starting to understand what it is all about. And then of course there are the surprises that can’t be shared just yet.

All nature-connect activities are optional but included as part of the package price alongside your food, drink and accommodation. Everything is included, you will want for nothing.

Your day is scheduled based on the questionnaire you complete after booking and matched to either your fitness level or your desire for a more leisure-based or physically challenging activity choice.

We provide exceptional chef-designed catering and we do all the heavy lifting along the way. When you reach that magic spot, your deck chair, canapés and special glass of something will await. All you have to do is sit back and savour the beauty that is mother nature. It’s a step out of the everyday into the wild.

The location – Joadja Old Town & Distillery

Joadja Old Town is a very unique and special place and never before has an event like this been held in this location. Its wilderness is unmatched in the area and the historical backdrop of colonial mining ruins are mesmerising.

Only 25 kms west of Mittagong, Joadja town was founded on a shale seam in 1850 and Scottish workers were brought out to Australia to mine it. The mine closed early in the 20th century, and the town was abandoned. The buildings were left to the elements, and nature has slowly regained its hold on much of the valley. The ruins that remain, entangled with the wild, tell the story of those that lived and worked here.

The mining technology that made the valley so prosperous in its time stands as the last of its kind in the world. Joadja truly is a gem of world heritage significance and an intriguing part of Australia’s history.

Canoes, Champagne and Canapés Experience

Before check in on 27th Oct or after check out on 29th Oct from Joadja Old Town we are also including this unique experience in Kangaroo Valley.

Canoes, Champagne and Canapés is the perfect combination food, wine and wilderness. Its gastronomy heaven for lovers of great food as well as a wine tasting exploration of award winning cool climate varietals and boutique craft beers from the Southern Highlands, all set in a wilderness sanctuary where nature over delivers.

Gliding downstream on the Kangaroo River from Beehive Point to the mouth of Yarrunga Creek with the backdrop of the Morton National Park in Kangaroo Valley is one such place. Take a seat in one of our custom-built double-canoe rigs and immerse your senses in its sheer beauty. This area is home to the majestic azure kingfisher, wedge-tail eagle, diamond python, rock wallaby, white-breasted sea eagle, water dragon and more.

Package price does not include transfers to and from Joadja Old Town or Beehive Point for the Canoes, Champagne and Canapés Experience. For those unable to self drive and need transportation and for full terms and conditions please contact your Alquemie Specialist.

The 3 Day WILDfest Southern Highlands Premium Package is all inclusive.

  • 3 Days and 2 Nights Glamping on the Remote Joadja Old Town private site from check in on Friday 27th Oct to check out on Sunday 29th Oct
  • Glamping guests enjoy concierge service and tent inclusions are:
    • Real beds – Mattress on bed bases, floor rugs and welcome mat
    • Quality bed linen package – sheets, pillow cases, warm doona, warm throw and cushion
    • Towels, face washer and environmentally friendly toiletries
    • Luggage rack and low shelving unit• Bed side tables with solar lights and chairs
    • Communal lounge are in our Sperry Tent
    • Toilets and hot showers serviced regularly on site
  • Our central communal lounge Sperry tent will be stocked with local snacks to keep the hunger pains at bay as well as cool climate wines, local boutique beers and soft herbal non-alcoholic tonics and fresh gravity feed mountain water for you to access anytime.
  • Tea and coffee will be available on request through our concierge team.
  • Gourmet meals prepared by Brigid Kennedy of the Loch in Berrima & Simmer Catering. These include:
    • Welcome Lunch Friday 27th Oct – Our food is fresh paddock-to-plate all the way with gastronomic delights carefully crafted by our award-winning chefs for which the region is renowned.
    • Sundowners followed by Gourmet Fire Feast on Friday 27th Oct. Sit back and relax as we serve you a char-grilled extravaganza of the finest locally cultivated produce. Platters to satisfy the most ardent meat lover or vegetarian gastronome will be served accompanied by the best of the best Highlands wines: crisp Pinot Grigio, delicate Chardonnay, elegant Riesling or gold-medal winning Pinot Noir depending on your preference.
    • Breakfast on Sat 28th and Sun 29th Oct – After a steaming hot shower greet the day with fresh baked sourdough smothered in smoky butter, just-roasted coffee or hand-blended tea. Expect a sumptuous feast of freshly baked pastries, organic juices, super food porridge and classic farm-style hearty breakfast options such as free range eggs, locally reared bacon or pancake stacks with fruit and maple syrup.
    • Picnic lunch on Saturday 28th Oct at the Joadja Old Town Property – location depending on your chosen activities that day. Enjoy crusty bread with hand made artisan delicacies such as pate, ploughman’s or thick crusted open sandwiches served with fresh salads, fruits of the season and something sweet to fuel you until dinner.
    • Farewell Lunch on Sunday 29th Oct – Our last supper together will celebrate all that is amazing about the richness and diversity of food and wine produce from the Highlands region.
    • After lunch on Sunday 29th Oct we will take you on a tour of the Joadja Distillery where they make Single Malt Whisky, Moonshine, Dr Gin, Anise and their Wee Scottish Ale as well as set up a shop in the WIldfest Café – Why not pack your bag with a taste of the Highlands to enjoy while you look back on your unforgettable images of WILDfest™ Southern Highlands
  • Wild Native Feast event from 5.30pm on Sat 28th OctoberOur signature foodie event – A combination of award-wining local produce partnered with fresh foraged delights that have been crafted into a 7 course feast by resident chef Damien Monley. We will serve this under the stars in one of the paddock at Joadja Old Town and mix in some whimsical elements to really make your night complete – live entertainment with acoustic music, seven incredible courses and we provide you with Top Hat & Tails for the guys and Tiaras & Gloves for the ladies to really immerse=se yourself in the wonderland setting we have created for this special dinner.
  • Participate in 5 of the available Nature Connect Activities with our fully qualified guides over your 3 day festival period:
    • Hike & Harvest Bush Walk
    • Mountain Biking with bikes provided
    • Canoe experience with canoes provided
    • Abseiling with all equipment provided and guides to teach you
    • 4WD Drive tour of the Joadja Old Town Ruins
    • Wildlife Encounter with the South Coast Rescue Team and Australia Raptor Centre
    • Rejuvenate and Meditate- our bush spa treatment
    • Art Classes in the bush

The festival organisers schedule your day based on the questionnaire you complete after booking.  These are matched to either your fitness level or desire for more leisure-based or physically challenging activity choices.

  • Start the day with either Yoga or Tai Chi before breakfast.
  • Additional activities such as night photography and glow in the dark boules will be offered and you can choose to participate or not during your weekend adventure.

 

SAMPLE ITINERARY

FRIDAY 27TH OCT 2017  Sunrise 6.00am

11am – Arrive and Check In

Guests arrive at our remote location – Joadja Old Town in Southern Highlands about 1.5 hours south of Sydney. We have arranged car parking nearby for those arriving in their own vehicles or local pick ups for other arrival options. We then transfer you on to the WILDfest site by 4WD where you’ll enjoy a welcome drink, meet the festival staff and settle in to your perfectly provisioned bell tent. We’ll brief you on your itinerary before you embark on your long weekend.

Noon -1.30pm-  Welcome Lunch 

Our festival foodie mecca has been set up adjacent to the Whiskey Distillery where you will, over the next three days, sample the best of locally grown produce from more than 100 regional growers and producers. Brigid Kennedy and her team at The Loch, Berrima are well known for their Foodie Field Day Feasts and are providing our day-to-day catering.  Brigid is an expert chef and the driving force behind the Southern Highlands Food & Wine Clusters, a development which has put the national spotlight on the rich and diverse wine and food culture in the Highlands.  She is also a celebrated author having published Small Food and All Fired Up and is currently working on her next book Slave to Flavour

Expect delights such as line-caught local perch, fresh hand-reared Angus beef, free range chicken, luscious organic vegetables and fruit, artisan cheeses, the freshest of hand-kneaded breads, smoky churned butters, award-winning cold climate wines, and boutique beers and ciders that rival the best in the country. Our food is fresh paddock-to-plate all the way with gastronomic delights carefully crafted by our award-winning chefs for which the region is renowned.

2.00-4.00pm – Hike and Harvest 

Time to set off and explore the surrounding native bush with our expert guides. We have a number of trails to choose from that weave through pristine wilderness teaming with wildlife – meet some local kangaroos and wallabies, wombats, birds in abundance, lyre birds, monitors and our elusive platypus. See our colonial past as you pass by mining ruins and take in the abundance of native bush foods on which our forefathers and indigenous populations survived. Then quench your thirst with fresh mountain stream water as you unwind and get accustomed to the extraordinary landscape.  Hike to the top of the mountain to gaze over the escarpment from the comfort of your deck chair, raise your glass and take that unforgettable photo. Just sit back and take the time to enjoy the uniqueness of nature’s beauty – you have earned it.

6pm – Sun-downers by the waterhole 

With the sun setting over the water we have the perfect place to enjoy a pre-dinner drink and watch nature light up the sky. And as nature is unpredictable, exciting and untamed, we mix in the whimsical to make our first night a truly exceptional moment. Expect some entertaining surprises.

Sunset 7.18pm

7.30pm Under the Milky Way Gourmet Fire Feast

Sit back and relax as we serve you a char-grilled extravaganza of the finest locally cultivated produce. Platters to satisfy the most ardent meat lover or vegetarian gastronome will be served accompanied by the best of the best Highlands wines: crisp Pinot Grigio, delicate Chardonnay, elegant Riesling or gold-medal winning Pinot Noir depending on your preference.

Add in an optional glow-in-the-dark boules tournament or perhaps night photography under the splendour of the Milky Way guided by one of our award-wining photographers. There are also a few more surprises we don’t want to share just yet!

Make your way back to your inviting 900 thread count sheets by foot or vehicle and expect to see a few nocturnal friends along the way.

SAT 28TH OCT 2017 – Sunrise 5.59am

7.00am Start the day with morning yoga in the bush

Yoga is a group of spiritual, mental and physical disciplines which originated in ancient India and what better way to greet the coming day than in the quiet seclusion of the Australian bush. Deep breathe, stretch your body and leave your troubles behind you as you ready yourself for another day connecting with the wild parts of the world.

7am – 9am – Breakfast

After a steaming hot shower greet the day with fresh baked sourdough smothered in smoky butter, just-roasted coffee or hand-blended tea. Expect a sumptuous feast of freshly baked pastries, organic juices, super food porridge and classic farm-style hearty breakfast options such as free range eggs, locally reared bacon or pancake stacks with fruit and maple syrup.

9.00 – 11.00am – WILD Cycle

Explore the wilderness with our expert guides on mountain bikes and a choice of tracks: a challenging upward track or an exhilarating cycle down into the valley with the wind in your face. Mountain bikes are tailor made to handle our terrain from hard-packed, muddy, rocky, gravel, tree roots to soft form vegetation. They are the prefect vehicle for an adventure along the tracks and trails that make up the Joadja Old Town estate.

All bikes are provided for you and our guides will be on hand to show you the best places to ride. And of course we weave in some unexpected surprises to take your long weekend from ordinary to extraordinary.

12.30 – 2.00pm – Lunch

What better way to enjoy the water than in our custom-built canoes while you sip on award-winning Highlands wines and savour native food canapés? We have designed a central rig that links two canoes together offering not only greater stability to paddle but also a perfect picnic table.

2.30-4.00pm – WILDlife – Meet some of the locals

At WILDfest™ we are for wild and wildlife so we have arranged an out of the ordinary encounter with some of our adorable Australian animal citizens in conjunction with Wildlife Rescue South Coast Inc, HigherGround Raptor and Southern Highlands Koala Sanctuary. Their teams and a licensed exhibitor will be on hand to give you an insight into being a native animal carer and you can get up close with some of our more adorable mammals and birds.

5.30pm WILDfest Native Feast

No festival would be complete without its signature event and WILD Native Feast is ours! Under the stars guests will enjoy a 7 course food adventure carefully curated by Damien Monley of Grand Bistro, Bowral, from the natural bounty of our land. Enjoy a gastronomic treat using hand reared, hand grown and foraged local produce as the heavens put on a show for us.

Damien Monley is Head Chef and owner-operator of Bowral’s stylish Grand Bistro, has run the kitchen in Matt Moran’s eponymous 2-hatted restaurant, London’s internationally renowned Gastropub The White Horse on Parsons Green, the Brooklyn Hotel and has been owner-operator of two successful Sydney eateries, Madame Char Char at Surry Hills and Flat White Cafe, Woollahra.
He’s a man passionate about nature, the provenance of the ingredients and produce he uses, his relationship with local suppliers, and a belief in the joy of eating honest, rustic food.

No remote formal dinner is complete without an acoustic live performance under the milky way, so get ready for it. There is of course a twist. We’ve arranged to provide gentlemen with top hat and tails whilst the ladies are offered gloves and tiaras to add some magic to this signature event. It’s still outdoors though so gumboots all the way!

Sunset 7.19pm

SUNDAY 29TH OCT 2017- Sunrise 5.58am

7am Start the day with Tai Chi in the bush

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. What better way to greet the coming day than in the quiet seclusion of the Australian bush. Deep breathe, stretch your body and leave your troubles behind you as you ready yourself for another day connecting with the wild parts of the world.

7am – 9am Breakfast

Another foodie feast selection to start the day from Brigid Kennedy and her team at The Loch, Berrima.

9.00 – 11.00am WILD Escarpment OR Joadja Ruins 4WD Exploration

Abseiling is not for everyone but if you like a really wild adventure then our team of expert guides will make sure they get your heart pounding as you see nature from a completely new perspective – off the top of the rocky escarpment overlooking Joadja Old Town.  It’s the view any social media addict will covet.You may of course prefer a guided tour in a 4WD exploring the tracks and trails of the 1000 acre Old Town historical site and get a glimpse into our rugged mining past.

12.00 – 1.30pm Lunch

Our last supper together will celebrate all that is amazing about the richness and diversity of food and wine produce from the Highlands region.  Why not pack your bag with a taste of the Highlands to enjoy while you look back on your unforgettable images of WILDfest™

2.00-3.00pm Rejuvenate & Meditate in our Bush Spa

Nothing says relaxation like an open-air bush spa. Opt for a luxurious foot massage to get the circulation going while taking in the peaceful bush views or perhaps a remedial treatment to smooth the knots in your shoulders, back and neck. It’s about shutting the door on the day-to-day, quietening your mind, relaxing your body and remembering what it’s like to feel wild and free.

Checkout from 4pm

Your bags will be collected from your tents and be on hand for your departure. We will transfer you back to your cars or arrange to drop you at your departure point. And for those staying in the Highlands to enjoy Anzac day we will coordinate transfer to your next accommodation choice.

Sunset 7.20pm

When you are not participating in an activity there is as much or as little to do as you desire. Perhaps you want to read a book in our relaxation shade tent at the glamping centre and enjoy a glass of award-wining cold climate wine or walk the 500m to the natural springs for a swim.

Joadja Old Town is teaming with wildlife from kangaroos, koalas and wombat populations to platypus, lyre birds and monitors. Nature offers a great show to just observe or perhaps engaging in conversation with another festival guest is the way to spend a lazy hour.

This is your long weekend so you can opt in and out of activities as you choose and set your own pace. And after check out, the more adventurous are invited to take their own transport to another location for our Twilight Strip N Dip to baptise ourselves in the WILD, just the way nature intended.

For more information or to book this please contact your Alquemie Australian Specialist.

Contact us to begin your tailor-made journey to Australia

Australian Airport security update

The Australian Government has introduced additional aviation security measures for both international and domestic terminals at Australia’s major airports. These are precautionary measures.

The travelling public can expect to experience an increased level of security scrutiny at the airport but they should not be concerned about these precautionary measures. As the measures place an additional burden on the screening system, it may take a little longer than usual to get through the process.

·         Passengers should arrive at least 2 hours before domestic flight and 3 hours before international flights to allow time for security screening.
·         Passengers should limit the amount of carry-on and checked baggage they travel with as this will help to ensure security screening is efficient

There are no changes to what can and cannot be carried on-board the aircraft.

Gourmet Nights – a Private Sydney dining tour

Discover Sydney with your tastebuds on a private Sydney dining tour. Not only will you sample some of the best food Sydney has to offer, but your hosts have great relationships with the chefs, so you’ll have access to behind the scenes inclusions you can’t get anywhere else!

Gourmet Nights is an utterly compelling dining and walking your that takes you through Sydney’s streets. This experience
seamlessly combines Sydney’s colourful history, its modern and historic architecture as well as it’s eclectic food and beverage scene.

This fabulous tour includes:

  • A spunky specialised Host – 5:30pm – 9:30pm
  • A 4 hour private tour done on foot
  • The opportunity to tailor your itinerary any way you like
  • A tailored tasting menu + glass of wine at Bennelong at their Cured & Culture counter
  • Main course with matching glass of wine at Bistro Rex
  • Endless scoops of Gelato Messina
  • A night cap cocktail in Darlinghurst

 

Bennelong Restaurant

Your host for the evening will meet you at your Sydney hotel or a central spot close to Circular Quay. First you’ll visit the architectural masterpiece that is Bennelong Restaurant which occupies the first sail of the Sydney Opera House. You will sit at their Cured & Cultured counter with a view of the chefs at work and indulge in a tailored tasting menu. You’ll experience the finest Sydney rock oysters, Mooloolabah Yellowfin tuna and Red claw yabbies – all ethically, delicately and locally sourced by Head Chef Peter Gilmore. A glass of locally produced semillon, a Hunter Valley white wine will be served to match.

 

Bistro Rex

Next, take a walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens and up into Potts Point where you’ll find Bistro Rex – Sydney’s hottest new eatery situated right in the heart of the ultra-trendy Potts Point. With a delicate french twist and the use of the finest Australian produce, this eatery will blow your mind in a million different ways. Meet Head Chefs and co-owners, Michelle and Jo as they serve you your main dish for the evening as part of your gourmet journey. Just try to choose between their Poached chicken breast confit leg with harissa broth and black olives or their classic, yet mind-blowing Steak frites. No doubt the chefs will help you make your decision and recommend a wine that will compliment their dish perfectly.

 

Gelato Messina

After your main dish at Bistro Rex, your host will guide you on a walk through Potts Point, Kings Cross and into Darlinghurst to Gelato Messina for dessert. Here you’ll experience possibly the best gelato ever to cross your lips in a fun, upbeat parlour space on the main street of Darlinghurst. Choose a flavour – or 3 and dive in to see what all the locals are lining up for.

Nightcap

And to ensure your night ends on an absolute high, let’s go for a final nightcap cocktail in Darlinghurst… on us! Your Gourmet Nights journey will end in Darlinghurst so you can stay in the area to explore further or easily make your way back to your original meeting spot.

Note – all of this tour can be done on foot. If you prefer, an UBER Black can be used to get from one destination to the next.

La Bohème – Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour 2018

Taste the best of Sydney in a single night out: food, fireworks, singing and spectacle under the stars as you experience the romance of the original Bohemian love story on the magnificent floating stage at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.

From 23 March to 22 April 2018 you can join the cultural event of the year as La Bohème is performed with a backdrop of one of the world’s most stunning skylines.

Opera on Sydney Harbour
Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour “Carmen” opening night 2017 (photo by Jamie Williams/Operas Australia)

La Bohème opens your soul to emotions too big for words. As six friends bare their hearts and souls in a Parisian winter, you’ll fall in love, flare with passion and ache with loss, right alongside them.

In 2018 the venue opens at 5pm, so arrive as the sun is setting over the city skyline and take in the view with a glass of bubbles as dusk falls. Meet for dinner at one of the pop-up bars and restaurants, then sit back in a grandstand at the water’s edge and immerse yourself in Puccini’s passionate music.

From 23 March–22 April 2018 on Tuesdays to Sundays at 7:30pm (no performance on Good Friday 30 March)

Ask your Alquemie Australian specialist to book you tickets now. This incredible event is a highlight to any trip to Australia and will book out.

 

Discover Sydney differently on a Sydney Street Art Tour

Explore something new and a little bit different about the city of Sydney with a Sydney Street Art tour. Top notch guides will take you around some of Sydney’s best-hidden treasures in local food, coffee, street art, small bars and gallery hotspots.

Explore lively laneways of contemporary street art and discover works by Sydney’s most prolific street artists. On a private Sydney Street Art tour you can expect vividly patterned pieces by Beastman, Lister’s grand ballerinas, and works by over 50 other Sydney-based artists such as JUMBOist, Bafcat, Skulk, Phibs, Numskull, Nico and David Cragg. Explore gallery and independent fashion and design spaces through curated routes around Sydney’s most creative suburbs, with a coffee in hand of course! And afterwards, settle down and unwind with local brews, cocktails, wine, cheese and nibbles loved by the locals.

 

Sydney Street Art tour

 

 

The Marree man

Did you know that Australia has it’s own mysterious geoglyph, on par with the Nazcar lines of Peru? The Marree man (so named due to its proximity to the town of Marree), is an engraving in the Australian desert of an indigenous figure of a man with a spear or boomerang. It’s 4.2km-long with a circumference of 28km. It’s so big, that it can only truely be seen from the air.

The Marree man mysteriously appeared suddenly in outback South Australia near Lake Eyre almost two decades ago. One day it wasn’t there, the next it was. Nobody knows who did it or how, although it hasn’t come from outer space – that is for sure.  Conjecture is that it was created by people from the United States or an Australian artist named Bardius Goldberg, but nobody has stepped forward to confirm.

Over the years it started to fade but has recently been restored to its former glory, making a scenic flight to see it, a valuable addition to any trip to outback South Australia. We’d recommend tacking it on as a day trip with a 3 or 4 night stay at Arkaba in the Flinders Ranges. Your pilot will also show you Lake Eyre and Wilpena Pound from above to give you a real sense of how spectacular Australia’s desert landscape can be.

See the Marree man on a scenic flight.

 

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