So Much to Experience West of the Big Cities

So Much to Experience West of the Big Cities

Are you looking for new ideas for things to do outside the traditional holiday spots?  While our beaches are beautiful and our cities are vibrant there’s so much more to see and do in Australia.  Better yet the government are often investing in initiatives to help you get out west to see how great it is for yourself!  At the start of the year the Queensland Government subsidised rail travel on three of QLD Rail’s outback lines – The Inlander, The Westlander and Spirit of the Outback – and there are rumours they will be doing it again this summer as part of the Year of Outback Tourism.  Plus they’ve been busy supporting a range of fantastic events with something for everyone with music, food, wine, sports and film festivals happening all over the state (you can see the full list at https://events.premiers.qld.gov.au/outback/events-funded.aspx). Even if you’re not keen to attend one of these events it’s worth considering a trip to regional Australia to see the beauty of the land, the charm of the towns and to meet the characters who live in these special areas.  Now is an especially important time to consider a rural trip given how much your tourism dollars will help towns struggling through one of the worst droughts Australia has seen.  So pack up your car or book your tickets, head out west and have a wonderful time!

Check Out Surveyors Restaurant, Lithgow

Check Out Surveyors Restaurant, Lithgow

A Surveyor’s job is to gather precise measurements and then pass on recommendations based on their knowledge and expertise.  While we don’t know much about the shape of the earth’s surface we can give our expert opinion on what you’ll love about Surveyors Restaurant at Bowen Inn Motel, Lithgow – our great coffee, our delicious Sunday Brunch and our cosy dinners.

If you’re anything like us you often need coffee to get through a day, we have barista made Merlo Coffee available everyday and you can enjoy this in our comfortable restaurant, outside while taking in the view or if you’re in a rush you can take one to go.  When it comes to Sundays why not add a great Brunch to your Coffee?  Open between 8 and 11am we have a range of delicious options whether you want a light and healthy start or our famous hearty Surveyors Breakfast to last you all day.  If you’re looking for a nice place for a night out we can help out there too with our seasonal menus available for dinner from Monday to Saturday. Thursday nights are extra special as we’ll have a signature dish at a special price. And don’t worry that summer is still a little while away in Lithgow, we have a large open Fireplace, and it’s the perfect spot to start a quiet intimate dinner for two.

Wildflower Wines are Blooming

Wildflower Wines are Blooming

Ah Spring, it’s here again just like it always promised. And if you’re over the cold and glad to see the back of Winter, you probably know exactly what the late comedian Robin Williams meant when he said that Spring is Nature’s way of saying “Let’s Party!” It’s something our friends at the Oatley Wine Group certainly do understand and they’ve found us some fresh and exciting wines for this new season. These wines, Wildflower Cabernet Sauvignon and Wildflower Sauvignon Blanc have come a long way across the Nullarbor and just like the region’s flora, the wines are distinctly Western Australian. The Cab Sav flaunts delicate flavours and fine tannins, that have been refined over time from the region’s mild summers, steady springs and cool sea breezes by showcasing vibrant plum and dark berry textures. By contrast these same conditions produce a completely different result in the Sav Blanc. A gentle, refreshing acidity that comes from the influence of the cooling ocean breezes which only serves to enhance fresh herbal notes and the intense citrus fruits. Great news is they loved the Sav Blanc so much in Tasmania that they awarded it the trophy for ‘Best Sauvignon Blanc’ at the Royal Hobart Wine Show. So when you do visit one our Southern Cross Motel Group properties over the next few months, keep a look-out for our Spring Wine Special and join the Wildflower Party!

Don’t Forget You Can Drive Bathurst All Year Round

Don’t Forget You Can Drive Bathurst All Year Round

People in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales are just coming down from a very exciting time, that smell of High Octane Fuel mixed with Burning Rubber that emanates from the area around Mount Panorama is finished for another year.  Ever since a crowd of 20,000 were there to watch the first race in 1938 it has almost become the 2nd Race that Stops a Nation. So when Supercars CEO James Warburton says “This event just gets better each year. It is the biggest event in New South Wales and one of the largest in the country every year” it’s no wonder our property in Lithgow, The Bowen Inn is always at capacity when Racer Time comes around.  And as the Property Managers, Troy and Tina, will tell you the same guests usually book on their way out for the next year. But don’t worry if you can’t make it to Lithgow in October, the Circuit at Mount Panorama is a public road the majority of the year.  So keeping in mind the regular road rules, including a 60km/hr speed limit, you can come and experience The Cutting, Skyline, The Dipper, Conrod Straight and the Chase for yourself anytime of the year. And remember when you pull-in at The Bowen Inn Troy and Tina will be there and they’ll ready to be your Pit Crew!

For more information about The Circuit follow this link to the Mount Panorama website https://www.mount-panorama.com.au/

Tips for Travelling Teams

Tips for Travelling Teams

Here in the Coach’s Box at SCMG we’ve been excited to see a number of bookings for club and school sporting teams come through this year for our properties.  We fully understand that planning a group away game can sometimes be harder that herding cats so we’ve come up with a few ideas to help.

If you’re anywhere in Queensland or New South Wales this time of year, and even if you don’t know a thing about Rugby League, you’ll at least be a little familiar with the concept of “State of Origin”.  And if you go behind all the “State against State and Mate against Mate” hype, the stand-out message is ‘Team Spirit’.  So if you are going to be organising a trip like this in the future and you want to whip-up your own Team Spirit but you’re no Wally Lewis or Wayne Peirce fear not!  Here are some of our Property Manager’s top tips to get that morale up and make the best of your visit:

  • To help with overall costs and to get that team bonding starting early plan a Fundraising Night before your trip – it could be Trivia or Bingo, or if you’re feeling creative maybe a Talent Show or Karaoke!
  • Arrange with the Property Manager and pre-pay all the accommodation by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – one less thing to worry about while you’re away.
  • Take along enough Support Staff/Cheer Squad Members/Chaperones to keep an eye on your group and to keep every-one focused, behaving and together.
  • Check with the Property Manager about food options – lots of properties will be able to package meals in to your costs if they have a restaurant onsite. If they don’t they may have microwaves, kitchenettes or BBQs you could use to self-cater.
  • Sports trips can generate a lot of clothes to wash so when you’re considering which property to stay at check what washing facilities you can use – some have washers and dryers in rooms while others could give you access to a guest laundry.
  • Team Shirts can be a simple and easy way to get the Team, and of course the Coaches and Support Crew, feeling united but on a more practical level it makes everyone more easily identifiable and it’s a fun thing to have to remember your trip by!
Rockhampton Riverside Revitalisation

Rockhampton Riverside Revitalisation

Lately there’s been some big changes going on in the CBD of Rockhampton.  It’s probably not news for the locals, but most out-of-towners will be amazed by the massive revitalisation of the riverside area and surprised to know that the planning started all the way back in 2014!

That’s when the Rockhampton Regional Council gathered property owners and business operators for a series of extensive meetings and workshops and began to collect views and opinions.  They didn’t leave the residents out of it and sent each Household a survey to gain ideas that could be added to the discussion. Then armed with this vast amount of feedback, the Council passed on their requirements to Urbis – the lead designers of the project.

Now considering how large this cache of information was the Council was quite succinct when stating their requirements and the Acting Mayor, Councillor Cherie Rutherford said, “the design brief given to Urbis was just a few simple words – urban, playful, elegant, creative, sustainable and smart”.  From the two awards that the design has already received, it’s safe to say that all six of the requirements have been well and truly met.

The resulting Riverside revitalisation has transformed the banks of Rockhampton’s iconic Fitzroy River into a mixed-use recreational hub for businesses, locals and visitors. And the city has received a sophisticated and contemporary design that’s sympathetic to its heritage buildings. The Fitzroy River has never looked better. Playground areas, lookouts, walkways, gardens and public art all work together to give the CBD a beautiful lift.

So, if you’re thinking of heading to Rockhampton soon why not come for the River Festival from July 12 to 14 and book some accommodation at Coffee House Apartment Motel, it’s only two blocks from the Fitzroy River so close to all the fun!