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The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing  

Every year the world's top adrenaline-fuelled athletes converge at the birthplace of professional surfing, Manly Beach, Sydney, for the country's fiercest surf, skate and music event - The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing.
Over this nine-day event, the world's greatest surfers will ride the waves like mythical creatures and bring Manly Beach, Sydney's premier beach side destination, to life. Attendees will be able to be mesmerised by an exciting mix of athletes competing in QS6000 men's and women's WSL-sanctioned surf contests, two men's and women's world junior star-events.
The world-class skateboarding won't disappoint. Be ready to be impressed by the jumps and turns of the incredible skaters as cool music plays in the background.
After enjoying the glorious Australian sun, hopefully with lots of sunscreen on, the sand and the waves, head to the stage in the evening to enjoy live music. You can also take pleasure in art and fashion. And it's all free.
Everyone will come together to celebrate youth culture, innovation and athleticism at Manly Beach. There's plenty of things to see and do at Manly Beach. Indulge in over 40 activities and beaches, 130 bars, restaurants and cafes or explore over 200 shops and stores. As you stroll down sidewalk you'll be able to get an iced coffee, smoothie or win a jet ski from one of the countless stalls that line the beach.
Surfing, skateboarding, art and Channel V concerts attract more than 160,000 people every year. You can get there by ferry from Sydney Circular Quay.
The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing is an extension of the world's largest action sports festival, the US Open of Surfing. This annual event is owned and produce by IMG and is held at Huntington Beach, California. The event aims at celebrating inclusion and creativity while inspiring the next generation of athletes and artists.

Bizarre Facts About Australia  
Right before you land in Australia, the flight crew shows you an image warning you that there are over 1000 species in Australia that can kill you in a matter of seconds, yet the country is still one of the world's top destination. So there must be a reason why. It might not sound safe, but surely it is so, so don't let this article dissuade you from travelling Down Under, characterised by an undeniably bizarre nature. And there are also some shocking facts that seem to be taken from a science fiction film about this wonderful land you are about to learn.
Far North Queensland's rainforests host a neurotoxic stinging tree that feels like electrocuted and burnt with hot acid at the same time, leading to months of excruciating. But don't stress, if you find yourself in Far North Queensland, you'll find signs warning you of the stinging tree that can cause severe pain and distress, advising you to see immediate medical attention if stung. Dial 000.
Irukandji might be the size of a $2 coin, but it's venom is 100 times more potent than cobra venom. Not looking so insignificant now, is it?
Try not to lose an eye in Australia - literally. The fact is that every year some unfortunate person loses an eye to one of Australia's most dangerous predators - the magpie.
Originally, Australia's cyclones were named after politicians a weatherman disliked. Consequently, he could report that the pollies were “causing great distress” or “wandering aimlessly about the Pacific”.
Have you watched the film thunderbirds? Well, this is nothing like it. Just imagine that giant thunderbirds roamed Australia as recently as 15,000 years ago. It's like being closer to the film Jurassic Park.
With over 10,685, you could visit a new beach in Australia every day for more than 29 years.
Undeniable the force is in Australia with 65,486 Jedi (including Jedi Knights, Padawan and Sith Lords), which makes Jedi the 18th biggest religion in Australia.
In Australia, they like their happy drinks, and animals are no exception. In 2013, a feral pig stole 18 beers from campers, got drunk and started a fight with a cow.
Alcohol also plays a part in Australia's History. For instance, rum was the main currency in colonial Australia. When Gov. William Bligh tried to end the army officers' monopoly in 1808, his government was overthrown in the only coup in Australian history.
Brisbane Festivals  
From film to comedy festivals, Oktoberfest and yoga fairs, events in Brisbane caters to every crazy all year long.
Ocean Film Festival Australia
Showcasing the world's best ocean cinematography from above and below the surface, this festival is a must for ocean lovers. Get ready to be fascinated by fascinating underwater scenes and fast-paced sequences, along with spellbinding and breathtaking footage from above the surface. The cost for adults is £30, child $22 and group tickets are $25.50 per person.
Brisbane Comedy Festival
Who is up for a laugh? Each year Brisbane Comedy Festival gathers dozens of international and Australian comedians for a night full of giggles and chuckles. With sarcasm, dark and silly humour, comedians are all set to crack you up.
Sail Festival
The Easter Bunny goes nautical for a colourful seaside celebration in Brisbane. With hundreds of markets lining up the beautiful foreshores of Suttons Beach, you'll be spoilt for choice. Treat yourself to some delicious snacks while you enjoy the stage entertainment or get on rides. There are also kids workshops for the little ones in this festival that takes place early April.
Illuminations Festival
Colourful lanterns, projections and illuminations display will bring the foreshore alongside the Wynnum wading pool and jetty to life in a a festival like no other. Designed to thrill your senses, the light show is accompanied by fire twirlers, street entertainers, a day/twilight market and music entertaining visitors over the winter solstice weekend. The event is culminated by a street lantern parade and local artwork based on the theme of “Illuminations”.
School Fete
Offering rides, homemade products, face painting, school based performances, entertainment and other activities, this festival is designed to make the whole family happy.
YogaFest
With a large diversity of Yoga workshops, style presentations, Chinese Medicine, dance, massage and plenty more activities, this festival is a must for Yoga aficionados.
Oktoberfest Brisbane
There may be countless Oktoberfest spin-offs around the world, but Brisbane's German Festival has its own identity and taste. From mouthwatering German sausages to pork knuckles, schnitzels and pretzels, desserts - including the black forest cake, Bavarian cheesecakes and apple strudels- the cultural event is sure to delight your palate. Yet no Oktoberfest celebration is complete without the drink that started this tradition - beer! Make sure you sip on some of the handcrafted beers on offer while you dance or enjoy the performances and entertainment through the festival
 
Daniel Johns Aerial Love  
It took over 8 years, and finally one of Australia's top musicians released an album that now needs a re-listen one year on. His debut song as a solo artist is titled “Aerial Love', an airy piece of modern pop he created with Lorde and Broods collaborator, Joel Little.
Daniel Johns became world famous in 1994 as the front man of grunge band Silverchair. The band kept rising in popularity with their following albums to become one of Australia's most influential bands of all times. With Diorama, we could perceive the band's intention to swerve from its Grunge roots to become more alternative. The next album, Straight Lines, confirmed that this trajectory was meant to continue.
That was the last album Silverchair released as a band, but Daniel Johns also had side projects while he was in Silverchair and after. An diversion from rock music was latent in the music he released with another band he formed, The Dissociatives and other collaborations he was part of over the years, for instance with Kimbra.
However, an even more surprising collaboration was released recently in 2014 when Daniel Johns featured with rapper 360 in the single Impossible.
With the release of his new song, Aerial Love, Daniel Johns proves once again his capacity to surprise, revolutionize and innovate himself. Starting from Grunge to alternative rock, pop, rap and more soulful melody found in Aerial Love, Daniel Johns has shown himself to be an eclectic, curious and ambitious artist that lives to challenge himself, experiment with new music and evolve as an artist.
The song was accompanied by a trailblazing video created by using drone camera technology. The video was directed by Lorin Askill (Flume & Chet Faker, Phoenix and Sia's Chandelier editor. The video transmits the song's weightlessness, timeless, shyly carnal feel.
Overseas tourists  

There were 624,000 visitor arrivals during October 2015, an increase of 6.9 per cent relative to the same period of the previous year. This growth rate is moderate
This brings us to 7.27 million visitor arrivals for year ending October 2015, an increase of 6.7 per cent relative to the previous year. This represents an extra 455,000 visitors on the previous year.
Hostorically, there were 6.1 million visitor arrivals for year ending January 2013 in Australia. This entails an increase of 4.1% relative to the previous year. As to the month of January 2013, there were 495,000 visitor arrivals which shows a decline of 1.5% in comparison with the same month of the previous year.
The great majority of visitors, a total of 82,100, came from New Zealand during January 2013, an increase of 9.5% relative to the same month previous year.
Visitors from China are still highly relevant Down Under. During January 2013, 58,700 tourists from the Asian country visited Australia, which reflects a decline of 24% relative to the same month in 2012.
UK visitors still represent the majority of European visitors in the Antipodes. There were 57,800 visitors from the United Kingdom during the month of study, which shows an increase of 1.4% year on year.
There has been a positive growth in US visitor numbers to Australia. On January 2013, a total of 42,100 American tourists visited Australia, which represents an increase of 8.5% relative to the same month previous year. Consequently, Americans represent the fourth largest tourist group in Australia.
Also, while the number of European visitors increases (France, 8%; Germany, 2.3%), the number of some Southeast Asian countries declines (Singapore, 8.4%; Malaysia, 4.7%). In the meantime, some Northeast Asian countries show different trends; while the number of Korean visitors has seen an increase by 9.4%, the number of visitors from Taiwan has declined by 9.9% relative to the same month in 2012.

 

Best Jobs in the World  

Best Jobs in the World
Are the Mondays blues getting you down? Imagine exploring a tropical island, hiking through ancient rainforests and scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef... and getting paid for it. Too good to be true? Well, this dream became a reality for one lucky adventurer back in 2009 as part of the Best Job in the World Campaign.
Now it is your chance to make this fantasy come true. This year, the offer is back, but this time it comes multiplied by half a dozen.
Tourism Australia offers you the chance of a lifetime to work in one the six amazing jobs it is promoting -each with a six-month contract and a salary package worth AUD $100,000. Each job is located in an spectacular area of the country, showcasing the best of Australia and what the country has offer the world's youth travellers. An incredible job, an attractive salary and a dreamy location. What more can you ask for?
The jobs include Chief Funster (New South Wales) -put up some of the state's biggest and boldest parties, festivals and events; Outback Adventurer (Northern Territory) -uncover the best adventures and experiences for working holiday makers; Park Ranger (Queensland) -protect and promote Australia's natural wilderness; Wildlife Caretaker (South Australia) -educate visitors about Kangaroo Island's outstanding ecosystem; Lifestyle Photographer (Melbourne) -capture this cultural city's lifestyle in pictures; and finally Taste Master Western Australia -become a connoisseur of Western Australia's produce, gastronomy and vineyards and then promote it.
In an exclusive interview for australiahop.com with Senior PR Executive, UK & Northern Europe at Tourism Australia, Emma Bunning, we found out more about this successful campaign that has sparked youths around the world to get their dream jobs.
How many people have applied so far?
So far we have had over 365,000 applicants, with 52,403 applications from the UK. There has never been an initiative quite like this in the past and so there is nothing to directly compare this to. Tourism Queensland ran Best Job in The World in 2009 and had around 34,000 applicants in total to give this some context. But Best Jobs in the world is slightly different in that we are offering 6 jobs this time.
What is the criteria used to determine who will win the competition in each category?
We are looking for five key elements from the videos: English language proficiency, personal presentation, technical proficiency as shown in the video (good sound and vision quality is vital), content and experience, creativity, originality and motivation. Proficiency in English is a must as the successful applicant will be working in Australia where English is the most commonly spoken language. Personal presentation is also important in such a high profile position. The technical proficiency demonstrated in the video application is an important element, as the job requires the successful applicant to produce blogs and video diaries.
Knowledge and experience of the job you are applying for as demonstrated by the content in the video submission is vital in assessing whether you are the right person for the job. Like any job you apply for, it's important to show you have researched the role and you explain how well you could carry out the responsibilities.
Demonstrating creativity, motivation and a genuine enthusiasm for this position is vital. We need candidates who can sustain worldwide interest for six months and have the energy to commit to a busy schedule during this time.
How is this initiative designed to benefit tourism in Australia?
‘Best Jobs in the World' is designed to promote Australia's Working Holiday Visa Maker Program to a global audience. Youth is an important target market for Australian tourism, currently representing 26% (1.6m) of all international visitors to Australia each year. Importantly young travellers tend to stay for longer, spend more and disperse more widely through the country than most other target segments, so they provide an excellent benefit to the economy, particularly in regional areas.
In addition, the fact that Tourism Australia, in conjunction with its State and Territory Tourism Office partners, is offering six jobs means that the campaign showcases a variety of experiences and locations that will appeal to the youth audience.
What are the implications of "Best Job in the World" for the economy?
In 2012 Working Holiday Makers contributed AUD$2.5billion to the Australian economy. On average Working Holiday Makers spend in excess of AUD$13,000 during their stay and contribute to regional economies and job creation – with every 1,000 WHM creating just over six full time equivalent jobs in the economy.

Expensive cities  
Sydney, one of the world's most expensive cities
As the Australian currency becomes stronger, the cost of living in the country keeps increasing. Consequently, nowadays Sydney -which was once a relatively affordable locality- keeps moving up the ranks of the world's most expensive cities.
According to a study carried out by The Economist Intelligence Unit's 2013 Worldwide Cost of Living Index, Sydney is the third most expensive city in the world. The survey -published in CNN Money- compares n U.S. dollars the average prices of of 160 everyday goods and services, including good, drink, rent, clothing, household supplies and transportation. More than 50,000 individual prices were gathered to create average prices for goods and services in 131 cities.
As the research's findings point out, in Sydney, a loaf of bread costs $5.03, a bottle of table wine is $25.38, a pack of brand-name cigarettes is $15.48 and high-end 3-course dinner for four with wine is $731.96. Indeed, it is not a cheap place for smokers.
The most expensive city to buy a loaf of bread is in Tokyo where it costs $9.06, while Paris -unsurprisingly- can be the most expensive place to have dinner (a bill can reach $2,100).
The American reputed magazine Time also places Sydney on the third place in “The World's 10 Most Expensive Cities of 2013”. Sydney alongside another Australian city -Melbourne- have seen some of the biggest rises in prices over the past year. The strong local currency -partially powered by the country's strong economic links to China's burgeoning economy- has recently pushed up the prices in a significant measure.
Sydney is also one of the most expensive cities for luxury Real Estate. “Global billionaire activity in world real estate markets has been so intense over the last seven years that it has led to a doubling of property values in this sector,” says Savills, a global real estate firm, in its annual World Cities Review report.
According to the study, Sydney is the 10th most expensive billionaire city where the average price per square foot is 580 pounds ($880) and the average property size is 19,400 sq. ft.
This trend might reflect Sydney's growing importance as an hub for business in the region. “Billionaire activity has been concentrated on high-end urban centers rather than leisure properties in the surrounding countryside or regional sunbelts,” says Yolande Barnes, head of world research at Savills. ”This reflects a global preference for urban locations as these billionaires need to be located in cities where they can do business.”
Paul Simon to headline Bluesfest  
Paul Simon to headline Bluesfest
Byron Bay Bluesfest, Australia's premier blues and roots music festival, celebrates its 24th anniversary with a supreme line up. Both international and Australian blues and roots performers will play their inspired tunes during five days over the Easter long weekend at Byron Bay, New South Wales.
The annual music festival -winner of 2010 Australian event of the year- is expected to attract more than 17,500 visitors this time. Attendees will have to opportunity to see and listen to more than 200 performances of the best blues, folk, soul and world artists on six different stages from 28 March to 1 April. Tickets range from $335 AU for a three-day pass and $455 for a five-day pass.

This is a very exciting year for Bluesfest as multi-award and 12 time Grammy winner Paul Simon will be performing at the event on Easter Monday. In 2003, the American musician was given a Grammy Lifetime Achivement award for his work as half of the duo Simon and Farfunkel. “Adding Paul Simon to Bluesfest 2013 is pretty mind blowing, even for me,” said Festival Director Peter Noble.
“I knew the line-up was going to be massive, but it just keeps getting bigger. So many incredible artists are going to perform at Bluesfest, it really is every Festival Director's dream come true and I am so humbled,” Noble added.
Alongside Paul Simon, Robert Plant -the legendary front man of band Led Zeppelin- will headline the band while presenting the Sensational Space Shifters.
“Announcing Robert Plant a couple of weeks ago and now adding Paul Simon, it's like: Wow... we are really doing it this time and I actually think we are breaking all previous records. This is going to be the best Bluesfest of all time,” Noble stated.
Indeed, this year's line up is incredibly exciting and the soil of Byron Bay will burst with talent. Needless to say, it is a luxury to gather Grammy Award winners on the same event, and the excitement continues... Latin Jazz Rockers Santana -who have won eight Grammy Awards and three Latin Awards- are also part of this magnificent line up. The particular sounds of Carlos Santana's guitar promises to arise intense sensations in the audience.
Bluesfest favourite Ben Jarper is coming back this year. Ex Supertramp singer/song writer Roger Hodgon will join the other artists, alongside reggae icon Jimmy Cliff, punk rock innovators Iggy & The Stooges, awe inspiring rock band Wilco, R&B star Mavis Stapies, Sixto “Sugarman” Rodriguez and so many more.
Taking the stage before Paul Simon will be the Canadian singer-songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright. The musician has been referred to by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet” and has been praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality.”
Without a doubt, this will be a year to remember for Bluesfest.
Driving Miss Daisy into Oz  
Driving Miss Daisy into Oz
Driving Miss Daisy is a heart-warming and ingenious play that tells the story of Daisy Werthan (Lansbury), a widowed elderly Jewish woman in Atlanta whose son employs Hoke Colburn (Jones), an African American chauffeur, to drive her around. The play follows the evolution of their friendship over 25 years in the context of the civil rights movements.
The storyline explores their condition as outsiders in a WASP-dominated society for being Jewish -Miss Daisy- and African American -Colburn. Both characters come from different worlds in terms of social classes, but as the years roll on, their friendship blossoms, they move past prejudice and their own differences, and learn to rely on each other.
The play was the first in Uhry's Atlanta Trilogy, which deals with white Jewish residents of that city in the early 20th century. The story inspired the beloved Oscar-winning film Driving Miss Daisy from 1989 with Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy.
Bryan Adams to rock Down Under  
Bryan Adams to rock Down Under
Multi-Grammy Award winner Bryan Adams returns to Australian shores for his first arena rock tour since 2005. Fans Down Under will have the opportunity to listen to classic tunes of this Canadian musician like “Summer of '69”, “(Everything I do) I do it for You”, “Heaven” and “Please Forgive me”.
Special guest Amy MacDonald will join Bryan Adams in his tour. The Scottish artist rose to fame in 2007 with her debut album “This is the Life” and its fourth single of the same name. The single ranked number one in six countries, while reaching the top ten on the charts of another eleven countries.
While Adams is in Sydney, he will also headline the famous festival Bluesfest. The famous music festival that takes place at Byron enjoys an amazing line-up that includes Paul Simon, Ben Harper, Rufus Wainwright, Santana, and many more.
In 2011 Bryan Adams brought to Australia his up close and personal “Bare Bones” sell out theatre tour, which brought critics and fans to a state of ecstasy. During 2011 tour, Adams played the most intimate venues of his career in Oz.
This year Bryan Adams will start his tour in Wollongong on April 18, then he will perform in Sydney on April 19, in Melbourne on April 20, in Adelaide on April 24, in Newcastle on April 26, and finally in Brisbane on April 27.
In the 1980s, the Canadian singer recorded “It's Only Love” with Tina Turner, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. Bryan Adams is also famous for his collaboration in 1994 with Rod Stewart and Stong for the single “All for love” written for the Motion Picture Soundtrack of the movie Three Muskeeteers.
The successful soundtrack was followed by “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” which was released with the Motion Picture Soundtrack of the movie Don Juan DeMarco, featuring Johnny Depp. Adams is also renowned for his single “(Everything I do) I do it for You”, which was his second number one hit single in the Billboard Hot 100 and was the soundtrack for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner.
  
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