All Posts By

The Departure Lounge

European Masterpieces from The Met

Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art is showcasing 500 years of iconic and spectacular paintings in ‘European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York.

Featuring 65 breathtaking works from The Met’s prized collection, walk in the footsteps of Europe’s greatest painters: Rembrandt, Renoir, Monet and more in a once-in-a-lifetime and exclusive Australian experience you won’t want to miss.  Tickets on sale. Open daily until 17 October.

Spanning 500 years, ‘European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York’ offers a breath-taking journey from the 1420s and emerging Renaissance to conclude at the height of early twentieth century post-impressionism. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity also allows visitors to experience works by painters such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Turner, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, and Monet, direct from The Met’s collection – one of the finest collections of European painting in the world, the majority of which rarely leave permanent display in New York.

Highlights of the exhibition include Fra Angelico’s finely painted altarpiece The Crucifixion c. 1420–23; Titian’s poetic Venus and Adonis of the 1550s; the immediacy and drama of Caravaggio’s The Musicians 1597; Rembrandt’s painterly Flora of c.1654; Vermeer’s beautifully observed Allegory of the Catholic Faith c.1670-72, and van Gogh’s idyllic The Flowering Orchard 1888.

‘European Masterpieces’ includes portraiture, still-life, landscape and figure studies and will be a must-see for audiences of all ages, art-lovers and anyone with an interest in history, society, beauty, religious iconography, mythology and symbolism.

To find out more, visit Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art

Woodend Winter Arts festival


Get ready for two festival event weekends on 10-11 July and 7-8 August at woodend, Victoria. Events are organised and tickets are selling.

Woodend and the Macedon Ranges welcomes you back with a weekend of music, song, arts, film and conversation!

For the complete program and details, visit: Woodend Winter Arts Festival

East Gippsland Winter Festival


East Gippsland will come alive this winter with the first-ever East Gippsland Winter Festival which celebrates all things art, food, music, beer and wine.

The festival kicked off from Saturday, 19th June and is on till Sunday, 11th July and showcases the region’s villages through a series of pop-up events, cultural activities, workshops, exhibitions, winter feasts, tours and family activities. There’ll be night time activities too so be sure to pack your winter woollies.

The festival commenced on Friday, 19th June in Bairnsdale where the laneways sprung to life with an art and light projection at the Laneway Launch illuminating the town and creating a merry-festival-vibe with live music, roaming performers along with food and wine offerings.

There are some great collaborations between some of the region’s food and wine heavyweights. Lightfoot & Sons Wines and SARDINE eatery + bar paired up for the Pinot Picnic in Calulu near Bairnsdale to celebrate all things Pinot Noir. You can also snuggle into Lightfoot’s barrel room for a masterclass, then bask under the wintry skies on the deck or lawns with a picnic box.

26th June left viewers spellbound by the Lakes Light Festival in Lakes Entrance with a parade of lanterns, weaving around lit-up sculptures that pay homage to the region’s flora and fauna along with laneway light projections and a jetty-side virtual reality installation.

Lantern Making Workshop at the Great Alpine Gallery on Tuesday, 29th June in Swifts Creek was a hit with participants creating a beautiful star lantern to hang in the street and lighting up the charming village along the iconic Great Alpine Road.

Over the past weekend (3rd & 4th July) there was a deep winter event at Sailors Grave and the Bruthen Fringe Cafe. In Lakes Entrance, guests enjoyed a night of hearty winter foods, sourced locally and served with Gippsland wines and beers at the Slow Movement Community Dinner. There was also live music, performances, woodfire pits and spectacular light displays.

Over the last weekend, Friday, 9th to Sunday, 11 July there is a Laneway pop up event in Bairnsdale. On Sunday, local chef Rob Turner of Northern Ground will host a long table style event at Kings Cove, Metung to celebrate local food, wine and cooking. Ticket holders can tour the Metung Hot Springs site and have the opportunity to try the pop-up bathing tubs. Also, on Sunday there will be a Quasitrad Music Concert at the Marlo Hotel.

The Phillip Island Whale Festival


The Island Whale Festival taking place 2nd – 4th July at a range of venues across Phillip Island.

Local community members and visitors alike have the opportunity to engage with a range of activities that will not only entertain, but also allow you to appreciate the wildlife and natural habitats of Phillip Island and the Bass Coast region.

Phillip Island welcomes the annual whale arrival. Witness the annual arrival of some of the ocean’s most majestic creatures as our coastal waters play host to humpback and southern right whales and even the occasional killer whales from May to September.

The Festival events are spread across the Island and San Remo. Please check the venue for your event and plan your travel time. Many events require bookings to maintain COVID safe approaches and venue capacity please book tickets online.

You can download the festival program here!

Awaken Bendigo

Every night over the period of 26 June 2021 – 17 July 2021, Bendigo’s beautiful Rosalind Park will transform with a series of vibrant installations that engage and immerse visitors in an unforgettable sensory experience.

Each installation captures Bendigo’s stories of the city and its rich history, through a radiant display of light, colour and sound in a spectacular fashion.

At Rosalind Park Piazza you will find a illuminated Acknowledgement of Country, a beacon of light that represents the traditional custodians of the land, the Dja Dja Wurrung People.

Continuing into the park, you will find illuminated representations of all things Bendigo, including our Horticultural heritage, Chinese heritage, vibrant art history, famous tulips, and even a “River of Gold”.

At each 13 key stops, you will be invited to read about the magnificent light displays and the story behind how they relate to Bendigo.

Please note Awaken is a free event but requires a ticket to enter to meet COVID safe requirements.

Qantas flight to the Supermoon


On Wednesday 26 May 2021, Qantas’s exclusive one-off Supermoon Scenic Flight will depart Sydney for a two-and-a-half-hour sojourn through the southern sky.

Travellers can join in for cosmic cocktails and supermoon cakes onboard a B787 Dreamliner night flight to view the rare ‘supermoon’ phenomenon as well as a total lunar eclipse.

After taking in the Sydney Harbour nightlights on departure, the aircraft will climb above any cloud cover and head east out over the Pacific Ocean.

Onboard Qantas B787 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring the biggest windows on any passenger aircraft, enjoy mother nature’s night lights at 40,000 feet, followed by a viewing of the rising of the supermoon which also happens to be a total lunar eclipse, a highly unusual double act.

CSIRO astronomer Dr Vanessa Moss will work with Qantas pilots to design the optimal flight path and also join the flight to provide insights into supermoons and all things space and astronomy.

What’s included
Flight QF1250 departs Sydney Domestic Airport (T3) on Wednesday, 26 May 2021.

Arrive at the Qantas Business lounge from 5.30pm for a pre-flight cocktail party including surprise entertainment. Then take off on your Supermoon Scenic Flight at 7.30pm, get up closer to the supermoon and lunar eclipse before returning to Sydney at 10.15pm.

Passengers Will also enjoy:

  • Private charter Qantas B787 Dreamliner flight with large windows ideal for viewing,
  • Inflight commentary by expert CSIRO astronomer, Dr Vanessa Moss,
  • Guaranteed to get above any cloud cover for supermoon viewing,
  • Exclusive merchandise,
  • Inflight food and beverages,
  • Gift bag for all passengers, and
  • A commemorative certificate.

*This flight has now sold out and the waitlist is closed.

Starlink in Australia: When do we get it?

What is Starlink?

Starlink is a satellite internet system owned by SpaceX that hopes to deliver high-speed internet across the globe by the end of the year. Starlink is being pitched toward areas where connectivity has been challenging, such as rural and regional Australia.

The major difference between Starlink satellite and traditional satellites is that they’re 60 times closer to Earth. This means Starlink can deliver faster, more responsive connectivity than you’d typically expect from a satellite internet service.

When will Starlink be available in Australia?

Starlink launched in “beta” in the US in October last year, and the telco is now accepting pre-orders for Australian addresses with the goal of delivering services in mid-to-late 2021. The company however notes that availability is limited, and orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Starlink is already able to deliver service to Australians living in central Victoria and southern New South Wales, but says there is “limited supply”. The company says the service will expand across the country in the coming months.

At present, Starlink is only able to provide internet service to “low and remote density areas”. This covers the majority of Australia, with the exception of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and the Gold Coast. It is however possible that Starlink could obtain a license to deliver internet to large cities too.

How much does Starlink cost in Australia?

Starlink plans will set you back $139 per month. You’ll also need to pay $709 in hardware fees, and $100 in shipping and handling. If you pre-order, you’ll need to put down a fully refundable deposit of $139. The telco notes that putting down a deposit won’t necessarily guarantee you a service.

At this stage, Starlink has just a single plan with unlimited data. In its FAQ, the company notes there the service currently has no data caps while in “beta”, but hasn’t clarified whether this will still be the case down the line.

How fast is Starlink?

During beta, Starlink is targeting download speeds of 50Mbps to 150Mbps, with latency of 20ms to 40ms. That’s potentially a bit faster than an NBN 100 plan, but with much higher latency. Most fixed line internet plans should be able to achieve latency of under 10ms. 20ms is roughly on par with a 4G mobile connection.

However, in a tweet, Musk said that Starlink speeds will increase to as fast as 300Mbps later this year. In addition, he’s hoping that latency will sit round 20ms more consistently, rather than blowing out toward 40ms.

What equipment do you need for Starlink?

Starlink orders include a Starlink dish, mounting tripod for ground level use, and a WiFi router. Notably, the Starlink dish can work from ground level without needing to be installed to your home’s roof. However, if you can’t find a clear field of view from ground level, you’ll want to consider a roof install. Roof mounts for the Starlink dish are sold separately.

What happens if I want to cancel my Starlink order?

If you’ve made a Starlink order and you’ve changed your mind, you can cancel it and get a refund through the Customer Account Portal.

If you get your Starlink kit and decide it’s not right for you, you can cancel your service and get a full refund if you do so within 30 days of shipment. After the 30 day period is up, you can cancel your plan, but you won’t get a refund on your plan fees or hardware.

Note that Starlink units are tied to a specific satellite, and as such, you can’t change address or move your unit without contacting the Starlink support team.

What is space junk? Why is it an issue?

Since the beginning of the space age in 1957, tonnes of rockets, spacecraft and instruments have been launched to space. Initially, there was no plan for what to do with them at the end of their lives. Since then, numbers have continued to increase and explosions and collisions in space have created hundreds of thousands of shards of dangerous debris.

“The biggest contributor to the current space debris problem is explosions in orbit, caused by left-over energy – fuel and batteries – onboard spacecraft and rockets. Despite measures being in place for years to prevent this, we see no decline in the number of such events.

The number of debris objects, their combined mass, and the total area they take up has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the space age. This is further fuelled by a large number of in-orbit break-ups of spacecraft and rocket stages.

The total area that space debris takes up is important as it is directly related to how many collisions we expect in the future. As things stand, collisions between debris and working satellites is predicted to overtake explosions as the dominant source of debris.

On average over the last two decades, 12 accidental ‘fragmentations’ have occured in space every year – and this trend is unfortunately increasing. Fragmentation events describe moments in which debris is created due to collisions, explosions, electrical problems and even just the detachment of objects due to the harsh conditions in space.

What now?

Systematic analysis of changing behaviours in space, when it comes to the adoption of debris mitigation measures, provides reasons to be cautiously optimistic – this was not the case a decade ago.

If adopted quickly, sustained investment in new technologies to passivate and dispose of missions will allow our environment to cope with the continued increase in space traffic and ever-more complex operations.

Excerpts published from:

Sydney-Melbourne route back among world’s busiest

A surge in flights between Sydney and Melbourne has seen the route climb back into the world’s 10 busiest, data shows.

Flight data analyst OAG ranks the world’s busiest routes by the number of seats available. In April, Sydney-Melbourne climbed to number seven on the top 10 list, with 598,779 seats.

As Australia’s airlines reduced domestic capacity in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and state border closures last year, the Sydney-Melbourne route disappeared from the top 10.

Previously it was the second-busiest route in the world, behind only South Korea’s domestic route between Seoul and Jeju island. The latter route remains the world’s busiest now, with more than 1.4 million seats for April.

Illuminate Adelaide: The newest fest in Oz

A celebration of innovation, music, art, light and technology. Illuminate Adelaide Every winter, for two weeks and three weekends, Illuminate Adelaide will light up the city’s streets, laneways and architecture with a program of free and ticketed events by local, national and international artists and companies.

Fri 16 July – Sun 01 August 2021

Starting July 16 and continuing for two weeks, Illuminate will showcase some of the best multi-sensory experiences from around the world, which will include collaborations with cultural institutions, innovation hubs, civic spaces and gardens. Illuminate will present a huge program of ticketed and free lighting installations, projections, music and art.

The Adelaide Zoo will also be participating – opening after dark with a series of large scale lanterns inspired by zoo residents such as its pandas rolling around the lawns.

The festival will also include a “winter market” serving food and beverages.

Illuminate will run from Friday July 16 to Sunday August 1, for details visit:

We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. We use cookies on our website to personalise content and to analyse our traffic. You can change your cookie settings at any time.