Under the radar
Scarecrow Festival in the Mornington Peninsula Hinterland
One of the most unusual festivals in regional Victoria, the annual Hinterland Scarecrow Festival in the Mornington Peninsula, is about to celebrate its sixth birthday. Participating operators – including farm-gates, cafes, restaurants, cellar doors, galleries and shops - create and display their own scarecrow for the month of October with visitors being able to discover them through a Scarecrow Trail map made available from visitor information. Operators also offer Scarecrow Specials to encourage visitors to sample, taste and collect gifts as they move along the trail. Special accommodation offers are available for Scarecrow Festival visitors guests who opt to spend two days in the Peninsula during the festivities.
For more information: www.scarecrowfestival.org.au
Glee Singing at the Butterfly Club
With the TV series Glee a prime time hit, Glee singing clubs are having a major revival and now, for those who’ve harboured ambitions of singing beyond the shower, South Melbourne’s Butterfly Club has its own regular Glee Club – and anyone can come.
Now in its sixth year, the Glee Club is the only sing-a-long-choir in town where there are no solos, microphones and no commitment. Groups of up to 30 people turn up on a Tuesday or Wednesday night from 6.15 – 7.15pm to sing songs, lead by Glee Club hostess Vicki Jacobs, from the 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s. Casual visitors are welcome – no bookings are needed – with a glass of your favourite tipple the ideal accompaniment. The Butterfly Club, located in Banks Street near the South Melbourne Town Hall, is considered one of Melbourne’s quirkiest bars, notable for its remarkable collection of kitsch furnishings and ornaments, cheeky cocktail list and live performance program which includes cutting-edge cabaret, music, theatre, comedy and burlesque.
For more information: www.gleeclubsinging.com / www.thebutterflyclub.com
Two innovative new animal experiences for animal lovers
The Cape Otway Centre for Conservation Ecology is the proud owner of three new Tiger Quolls, as part of a project being undertaken by the centre to assist in quoll conservation.
A close cousin of the extinct Tasmanian Tiger, the quoll is Australia’s largest carnivore marsupial surviving on the mainland but is currently on the endangered animals list. The centre’s quoll program includes training a quoll dog to help sniff out wild quolls in the Otway Ranges region; the collection of a quoll population census; and the safe attachment of GPS/VHS radio collars to Tiger quolls to identify the threats to them in the wild. The three quolls have taken up residence in a special Habitat Sanctuary at the Centre where visitors can see these adorable animals and get involved in conservation efforts.
Back in Melbourne, animal lovers now have the chance to view Orang-utans up close in a new ‘behind the scenes’ experience being offered by Melbourne Zoo. The experience includes a guided visit into the Orang-utan Sanctuary by a keeper, placing toys and treats into a cargo net for the orang-utans to enjoy and an informative keeper’s talk on conservation and the problems facing these animals in the wild. Visitors can also view the animals from a new eight metre high treetop walkway. The new Orang-utan Behind-the-Scenes Experience is available twice a week on Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm and costs $100 per person, including Zoo entry.
Broadsheet releases new iPhone app guide to Melbourne
Local online magazine and seasonal print publication Broadsheet Melbourne – considered a must- read by Melbournians with a penchant for the good life - has just launched its first iPhone App. Designed by Studio Round and programmed by Papercloud, the free app gives users access to over 500 profiles of Melbourne's best cafes, restaurants, bars and shops as selected by the Broadsheet editorial team. Described as a ‘little black book for Melbourne’, the stylish new app allows users to search the best destinations in Melbourne based on location, price and themed features such as 'Open Late' or 'Good Date Place'. The listings feature full screen images, opening hours, full address details and write-ups from Broadsheet’s website. In a first for a city guide, the app also features a 'Nearby and Open' option, which allows users to search quickly and easily for places nearby that are, most importantly, open at that time. Restaurant bookings can be made easily at participating restaurants via the Dimmi real-time booking system or by contacting the venue directly via one touch dialling.
Capture all the action with a helmet cam
It’s all about capturing a moment and sharing it with your ‘friends’ on Facebook or Twitter these days so Myrtleford and Bright Information Centres have introduced helmet cameras for those keen to relive all their snow adventures online. Available for hire from either of the Information Centres, anyone looking to hit the slopes this winter can capture all the action and share it with the world.
For more information: www.facebook.com/greatalpinevalleys
For your weekly chance to win a weekend for two to Melbourne, as well as what’s on and where to go and the latest deals, packages and events, visit playmelbourne.com.au