The Road Ahead : February March 2014
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 41 IMAGES: SCUBA DIVERS WITH TURTLE (DELAWARE NORTH), GLADSTONE MARINA, BABY TURTLE HATCHING ON HERON ISLAND (TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND), HIBISCUS FLOWER (THINKSTOCK). * RACQ MEMBERS CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DISCOUNTED TICKETS. PHONE 1800 629 501 OR GO TO RACQ.COM QLD GREAT ESCAPE | TRAVEL FEB/MAR 2014 THE ROAD AHEAD GLADSTONE HARBOUR FESTIVA Easter brings a flurry of activity and visitors to Gladstone to celebrate the end of the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht R Originally a one-day event to greet race winners, the Gladstone Harbour Festival has grown into a week-long celebration, one of Australia's largest free community festivals attracting more than 70,000 visitors from across Australia. On Sunday, April 13, the city's 52nd festival will open with a colorful street parade. At night, the Gladstone Marina Main Stage will come alive with a variety of free musical performances, beginning with The Beatnix, one of the world's longest running Beatles tribute shows, and continue through the week-long celebrations that will include a talent quest, a battle of the bands, carnival night and family entertainment. On Good Friday, Auckland Creek will be lined with spectators, colorful rafts and crazy crews for the NRG Great Raft Race, while kids and other thrill seekers play the rides in sideshow alley before fireworks that fill the skies with a spectacular array of light and sound. Coinciding with the festival is Jazz'n Shiraz, a high- calibre, hip-swinging evening of jazz on Sunday, April 20. Performances will include Australia's premier Blues Brothers tribute show, singer Tom Burlinson saluting the masters of vocal swing such as Frank Sinatra, Nat 'King' Cole and Dean Martin and an eight-piece band including some of Australia's best jazz musicians. A fully-licensed bar will be operating to add shiraz to the jazz and food will also be available. gladstonefestival.com PLAN: PREPARE YOUR TRIP TO GLADSTONE OR OTHER QUEENSLAND DESTINATIONS BY VISITING RACQ'S TRIP PLANNER AT RACQ.COM. The main swimming beach at Agnes Water is 5.5km long and also popular with surfers as the most northerly beach on the east coast to regularly receive the Tasman Sea swell, mainly between December and May, not huge, but a perfect wave for learners. A favourite hideaway among locals is the calm water Butterfly Beach, tucked away in a neat little corner backed by a forest with hibiscus trees where thousands of butterflies gather. From the marina at 1770, Lady Musgrave Cruises* operates day trips to Lady Musgrave Island, on the southern Great Barrier Reef, which is made for snorkeling, swimming in the deepwater coral lagoon and exploring. Boat transfers also leave from Gladstone Marina for passengers to overnight at Heron Island (no day trips), another coral cay with a resort with 109 rooms and suites where turtles and thousands of seabirds nest in summer. Despite all this beauty and tranquility, it's impossible to ignore Gladstone's industrial landscape. Gladstone Industry Tours offers free guided tours on specific weekdays of the p Gladstone Ports, the alumina refinery, Boyn and the Gladstone Harbou a 'Coffee Cruise' around Queensland's largest harb Tours depart from Gladsto Information Centre at the Marina Ferry Termina Easter brings a flurry of activity and visitors to Gladstone to celebrate the end of the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.