Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Visit to Hamilton Island's Qualia

Sunday night, I joined about 40 journalists from across the globe along with Tourism Queensland’s executive staff for dinner at Qualia, Hamilton Island’s newest luxury resort.

Set on 30 private acres (gated access is restricted to guests only), Qualia’s 60 pavilions feature jaw-dropping island views, modern eco-inspired dĂ©cor and soothing silence (no kids allowed).

The sense of arrival begins with Qualia’s open air lobby.

Qualia’s open air lobby was the setting for a Tourism Queensland-hosted dinner reception for media

During the cocktail hour there, I enjoyed Champagne and a selection of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres (including kangaroo with fruit chutney and the best fried shrimp I’ve ever had), and learned more about Hamilton Island from CEO Glenn Bourke.

Glenn told me and San Francisco-based freelance writer Kristin Luna about the Oatley family, Hamilton Island’s owners. Known for their philanthropy and great wines (Rosemount is their signature label), the Aussie clan has invested $300 million on Hamilton over the last five years. Still in the works -- a new yacht club and golf course.

Everyone at the dinner was buzzing about Tourism Queensland’s new Best Job In The World campaign, the destination’s just-launched global search for an Island Caretaker who will help spread the word about the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

Skirt Magazine editor Stephanie Davis, Tourism Queensland’s Kylie Smith and me at the Qualia dinner

During a delicious three-course meal, TQ’s Wendy Levy and I talked about how exciting it is to be part of such an innovative campaign that is reaching people around the world.

Expecting her second child this spring, Wendy told me how she met her husband through an unusual Aussie improv group called Theatre Sports. Her tale reaffirmed my belief that having fun -- especially in an unconventional way -- is a surefire approach to finding Mr. Right.

At this particular moment, though, I’m happy to be footloose and fancy free. It’s impossible to be anything but when you’re experiencing the wonders Down Under!

Coming up…my first-ever snorkeling adventure and the island hopping in Queensland continues.

1 comment:

pDogg said...

Nice blog! Here's a cool rockin' video I put together.