December 2, 2013

Elizabeth Cook 009

If you notice a new shiny red catamaran around Sydney Harbour, its Elizabeth Cook, the latest vessel to join Captain Cook Cruises Sydney Harbour Fleet. Named after Captain James Cook’s wife, she is SeaLink Travel Group’s new $2.6 million state of the art catamaran and first true multi-purpose boat, allowing her to operate in all corners of Sydney Harbour.

Lucy Hughes Turnbull, Chair – The Committee for Sydney, officially launched Elizabeth Cook recently in the traditional maritime way, breaking a champagne bottle across the bow, after a blessing by Father Dooley.

Designed in Sydney by Incat Crowther and built in Tasmania by Richardson Devine Marine, this new generation 24metre Rocket catamaran was designed to be eco-friendly and more fuel efficient, equipped with the latest technologies that will help reduce her carbon footprint.

Featuring two levels, the main passenger cabin has seats for 116 passengers with a further 31 seats located on the lower outside deck, while the open upper deck seats 51. There is also ample space for passengers to stand and view the sights. Elizabeth Cook will operate as a ferry, transfer service and host sightseeing cruises, especially the popular Hop On Hop Off service almost immediately. She will also be used to host charters and corporate events.

Managing Director, SeaLink Travel Group, Jeff Ellison said the company was very excited to have built a new vessel for Sydney Harbour. “We believe this is a prototype for the future. As well as being eco-friendly and cost efficient Elizabeth Cook offers a new level of comfort including large windows, a professional marine interior and a 360-degree viewing sundeck” Mr Ellison said.

Sandra Tiltman 


September 16, 2013
Noumea's Anse Vata Bay - Perfect for Sailing

Noumea’s Anse Vata Bay – Perfect for Sailing

This year’s Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race will again see Jean Luc Esplaas and his New Caledonian crew taking part when the yachts leave Sydney on 26 December headed for Tasmania.

The crew of 41 SUD has participated several times in this famous blue water classic. They gained a third place in their category in 1998, which was the worst year in terms of dangerous conditions and loss of lives since the inauguration of the race.

Recently 41 SUD was the only New Caledonian yacht to take part in the Noumea Sail 2012 race.  In a race that was hampered by extremely difficult navigational conditions, 41 SUD crossed the line in second place.

41 SUD is a 12 metre Archambault 40, designed for regattas and races with difficult navigational conditions. Its 9/10 tapered mast is very balanced, with rigid sails and handles both fair weather and strong winds with ease. 41 SUD is also equipped with a carbon tiller and telescopic stick for dispatch of large sails.

New Caledonia with its tourquoise waters and warm sunny climate is the perfect place for 41 SUD’s crew to get in some practice before coming to Sydney to compete in the famous race.

Located in the South Pacific and only 2½ hours flying time from Sydney, New Caledonia is home to 245,580 inhabitants and boasts the largest lagoon in the world, listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008 by Unesco. The main island or “Mainland” is 400 kilometres long with the Isle of Pines in the south, the Belep archipel to the north and the Loyalty Islands of Lifou, Mare and Ouvea to the east.

Sounds like 41 SUD will be offering a serious challenge this year.

Sandra Tiltman    PHOTO:  John Pond


August 25, 2013

SS13 Flowershow - Wi#A69978To celebrate the start of Spring, David Jones will launch “The Enchanted Florence”, their 28th annual Flower Show on 5 September. The show will be a magical celebration of David Jones’ history and collaboration with renowned artist Florence Broadhurst, who staged her first exhibition at David Jones in 1954.

For two weeks, Florence’s incredible designs will be brought to life with an explosion of colour, design and wondrous artistry in a spectacular event

David Lennie will curate the show in collaboration with David Jones’ visual merchandisers and florists, who will install more than 300,000 flowers to create an awe-inspiring display complete with Vanda Orchids, Phalaenopsis Orchids, Gymea Lilies, Zinnias and many more.

16 windows of the Elizabeth Street store will be transformed with intricate floral displays, each one custom designed to represent Florence Broadhurst prints.

David Jones Group Executive of Operations, Cate Daniels said “David Jones is delighted to be showcasing the 2013 Flower Show, now in its 28th year. The event is always a calendar favourite for our customers and we are thrilled to be presenting them such an exciting and vibrant concept which honors the long time association between David Jones and Florence Broadhurst. The Flower Show takes many months to prepare and supports local growers from all over the country from all corners including Western Australia, far north Queensland and Tasmania. We look forward again this year to welcoming visitors to our Elizabeth Street store to celebrate the start of Spring and this wonderful exhibition that engages all the senses.”

“The Enchanted Florence” flower show runs from 5-15 September.  For complimentary guided tours, please call 9266 5184 (bookings essential).   Sandra Tiltman