Coral Expeditions to start cruising into Tasmania from December

Small-ship cruise gets green light for Tasmania

Coral leads the way

Cairns-based small-ship cruise line Coral Expeditions has been given the go-ahead to start cruising into Tasmania from December. The line was the first to start sailing Australian waters in October, embarking on Great Barrier Reef itineraries.

The season will kick off with A Yachtsman's Cruise on December 26, as Coral Discoverer makes her way down south, trailing the Sydney to Hobart yacht race before heading off on a series of Tasmania-centric voyages.

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Mona reopens

Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) will reopen on Boxing Day after a COVID-forced closure in March. The museum is nearing its 10-year anniversary, and owner David Walsh has delved into the archives to bring back a few surprises. He is also looking to the future with new exhibitions, such as a seven-metre-high bronze sculpture on the museum's lawn which doubles as a children's playground.

For Tasmanians who have never visited Mona, make a booking and put a small deposit of $10 down. Providing you show up, you'll get your deposit back. And Mr Walsh gave those who don't show up a stern warning: "If you do that, the cost is $10 and a lifetime of shame."

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Candlelit classical music

Over the summer, a series of candlelit classical music concerts will be held at some of Sydney's most spectacular but intimate venues, such as The Mint and Hayden Orpheum.

These moody, spine-tingling events will feature Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, as well as concerts dedicated to Beethoven, Chopin, a Christmas special and even a program of film soundtracks. The concert series has had success in Paris and New York but this will be its first visit to Sydney.

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The magic of beer

Brisbane will host the magical and wondrous Wizard's Beer Festival on February 7. You can sip brews inbetween visiting wand-making workshops, tarot card readings and DJ sets. Pull out your best robe and pointy hat: appropriate wizard attire is encouraged and there will be prizes for the best dressed. The mystery venue is yet to be disclosed but is sure to be magical. Tickets start from $55 and include a welcome beer and five tasters. Sydney and Melbourne dates follow.

Melbourne lights up

In a celebration of imagination, technology and play, Imaginaria will open at The District Docklands shopping precinct.

Combining light, sound, sculpture and scent, the series of installations offers an immersive play experience for all ages. The hour-long walkthrough has been custom built and includes dreamlike landscapes, including a giant inflatable bubble, a futuristic light maze and the chance to leap into a cosmic abyss.

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Echo Point revitalised

The famous Echo Point lookout in the Blue Mountains has reopened following a multimillion-dollar redevelopment. The site now includes an amphitheatre, a new lookout which provides closer views of the Three Sisters and a 140-metre elevated, night-lit boardwalk connecting the lookouts and visitor information centre.

The amphitheatre was developed following discussions with the Dharug and Gundungurra peoples and features a Map of Country and LED lights that mirror four constellations of the night.

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