Five highlights in your travel week | 23 Oct

Make your own piece of Indigenous art at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
Make your own piece of Indigenous art at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens.

Experience Indigenous culture with an immersive summer program at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens.

On November 4 and December 16, join an Aboriginal art class, with an experienced Aboriginal educator, and be inspired by traditional Indigenous art concepts and the environment around you.

Using materials provided — including sticks, ochre, grasses and bark, as well as paints and natural brushes, visitors will create a unique piece of art to take home.

The classes run for two hours and are priced at $40.

On weekdays from 8-19 January there are also classes for kids in bush-tucker pizza. Kids will explore the Cadi Garden to find out about plants used by Aboriginal people for food and shelter, and then make their own delicious pizza using native ingredients to add flavour.

Visit www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au

An intriguing juxtaposition … Cockatoo Island’s historic Bolt Wharf crane silhouetted by New Year’s Eve fireworks. Image: Ian Evans.

An intriguing juxtaposition … Cockatoo Island’s historic Bolt Wharf crane silhouetted by New Year’s Eve fireworks. Image: Ian Evans.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve on Cockatoo Island, Sydney’s Harbour only island where you can stay overnight, and watch the fireworks from a spectacular location right in the heart of the harbour.

There are glamping, camping and BYO camping options available, as well as a variety of activities and entertainment to make the night an unforgettable experience.

Enjoy a two-night getaway as you explore the island and camp in style, with activities running from December 30 through to January 1.

Join in the guided tours exploring the island’s convict and shipbuilding histories, games and crafts for the kids, historic steam-crane demonstrations, movies in the Wolverine Cinema and a live DJ on New Year’s Eve.

There’s also a selection of food-and-drink options, with pop-up stalls and food trucks for this special event.

The two-night packages are priced from $450 to $2400 for up to six people.

Visit www.cockatooisland.gov.au 

A fabled sight … a jabiru takes off in Kakadu.

A fabled sight … a jabiru takes off in Kakadu.

Book a Top End walking tour with Park Trek before December 15 and save 20 per cent on 2018 departures.

Destinations for the company’s five- and nine-day fully accommodated tours include Kakadu, Arnhem Land, Nitmiluk and Litchfield, with tariffs including transport, meals, guides and glamping-style accommodation.

Enjoy a cruise on Yellow Water Billabong and Corroboree Billabong, swim in crystal clear waters of Gunlom in Kakadu and marvel at ancient rock art at Injalak Hill in mystical Arnhem Land.

Walk among monsoon rainforest, through sandstone escarpments and past ancient Aboriginal art sites. There are also plenty of opportunities for sightseeing, swimming, bird watching, photography and wildlife spotting.

The five-day tours are priced from $2280 per person twin-share, including the discount, while nine-day tours start from $2776 per person twin-share.

Visit www.parktrek.com.au 

 Spectacular action … seaside racing in the Rockingham Beach Cup.

Spectacular action … seaside racing in the Rockingham Beach Cup.

Seaside Rockingham, on the West Australian coast just south of Perth, will hold its second Beach Cup horse-racing carnival from November 10-12, starting with a golf tournament on Secret Harbour’s traditional links-style course, with small pot bunkers, rolling fairways amid the natural sand dunes and spectacular ocean views.

The Peel Cycling Club will run a criterium on the Saturday on a course with tight corners but one which enables high speeds to be reached.

Other highlights of the program include a waterfront community fair and art show, which will feature buskers, street performers, sculptors, photographers, wood turners, a blacksmith, pottery and glass displays and local food providers, plus a lavish black-tie gala dinner and charity auction.

The highlight of the weekend will be the race meeting on the Sunday, with a festival foot race between the fifth and sixth horse races.

Two marquees will be erected near the finishing line. These will accommodate 450 people in the general-admission area and 200 in the separate VIP area.

Visit www.rockinghambeachcup.com.au 

The Woodbridge Smokehouse … more than 75 years turning out a premium product.

The Woodbridge Smokehouse … more than 75 years turning out a premium product.

The Woodbridge Smokehouse, a half-hour drive south-east of Hobart, has been renowned for more than 75 years for the quality of its fine smoked seafood.

Now visitors can enjoy the produce at its new Taste House, including ocean trout and atlantic salmon straight from the pristine surrounding waters.

The smokehouse is set on a 25-acre apple orchard and features traditional hand-smoking processes using a mixture of local hard woods, including shavings from the apple orchard.

The Taste House is open weekdays from 10am-4pm, noon-4pm on Saturdays, and by appointment on Sundays.

On Thursdays and Fridays there are ‘Go behind the Production’ tours for groups of four to eight. Tours last approximately an hour and cost $45 per person, including tasting samples.

Phone (03) 6267 4960 or visit www.woodbridgesmokehouse.com.au