All posts by thenextrush

Bacchus Southbank Fine Dining: Stretching the bounds of imagination

Ascend to the  rooftop of Rydges Southbank to experience haute cuisine at its finest.  Chef Massimo Speroni has created a culinary tapestry of emu, kangaroo, shark and quail, among a selection of premium meats and seafood.   Furthermore, experiencing the imagination of his dishes stretches the bounds of expectation with innovations like the famed mojito sphere and martini jelly.  Seven years on, and there is no end in sight to fine dining with the continual gasps of surprise this venue serves up.

View my food journey on Zomato!

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From Vikings to the Battle of Long Tan: Travis Fimmel leads a stellar cast in a moving tribute to the 108 ANZAC soldiers who fought

Media Screening
Transmission Films

Duration: 118 minutes
The Gold Coast premiere at Pacific Fair last month saw a slew of high profile guests including Luke Bracey (Point Break, Hacksaw Ridge), Alexander England (Alien: Covenant, Gods Of Egypt), Daniel Webber (The Punisher, The Dirt), Nicholas Hamilton (IT), Emmy Dougall (Home and Away) , Travis Jeffery (Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) and Queenslander Lincoln Lewis (Gallipoli TV Mini-series, Bait).


This film is a moving tribute to the 108 extraordinary Australian (105) and New Zealand (3) soldiers, predominantly from Delta Company of Queensland’s 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) 1966, who fought in this historic battle. The Premiere will be attended by numerous Long Tan veterans, including former Company Commander Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith SG MC (retired), WO1 Robert Buick MM (retired), Major Geoff Kendall MG (retired) and Dr Bob Grandin PhD (Flight Lieutenant RAAF, retired), along with many dignitaries and celebrity guests.

For three and a half hours, in the pouring rain, amid the mud and shattered trees of a rubber plantation called Long Tan, Major Harry Smith and his dispersed company of 108 young and mostly inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers are fighting for their lives, holding off an overwhelming force of 2,000 battle hardened Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers. With their ammunition running out, their casualties mounting and the enemy massing for a final assault, each man begins to search for the strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honour, decency and courage.

Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan is releasing in Australian today. Produced by Red Dune Films and Deeper Water Films, with investment from the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland, Screen Australia and Saboteur Media.

Continue reading From Vikings to the Battle of Long Tan: Travis Fimmel leads a stellar cast in a moving tribute to the 108 ANZAC soldiers who fought

Top 10 picks at Darwin Festival’s 40th Anniversary celebrations

Winter in Darwin averages anywhere between 21.6– 31.8°C maintaining 60-65% humidity thanks to its tropical dry and wet seasons.   It explains why it is one of the popular destinations for domestic travel.   “In 2018, one in five of the 105,000 attendees originated from interstate or overseas.” says Darwin Festival Chair, Ian Kew.  Woking closely with Tourism NT, their focus will be in re-enforcing the city and its annual festival as a destination for its interstate neighbours, describing it as “NT’s best-kept secret”. 

This year’s annual Darwin Festival (Thursday 8 – Sunday 25 August) marks its 40th Anniversary.  A longstanding tradition that was born from the Christmas morning destruction left behind by Category 4 Cyclone Tracy in 1977 that brought the community together to inspire, reflect on those lost and continue the rebuild.  68 were killed, while 25,000 were left homeless.

18 hot August nights sees an extrodinary run of cabaret, theatre, comedy, dance, visual arts, words and ideas, music and family fun:

Continue reading Top 10 picks at Darwin Festival’s 40th Anniversary celebrations

Magnify Festival: Exploring Blacktown’s Art Scene

Blacktown Arts is a recognised leader in the development of contemporary arts in Australia, presenting an award-winning curated program of exhibitions, performances, workshops, residencies and events. The organisation is committed to exploring dynamic, culturally diverse work that reflects Blacktown, its history and its communities. Blacktown Arts places Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities at the heart of its program to develop new work drawing on issues of local and global significance. The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre is an initiative of Blacktown City Council and is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

Experience the rich artistic talent within Blacktown in a brand new way this August and September with the premiere of Magnify festival.  Reaching from The Ponds in the north to Dawson Mall in the west, Magnify will activate sites across Blacktown with music, theatre, dance, film and installations. Local artists and communities will share stories of the region through 8 new creative experiences in intimate and distinct settings.

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The legacy of family: Wild Turkey launches Master’s Keep Revival

Aged 17 years in brick and wood rickhouses and 86.8 proof, Master’s Keep is the longest aged whiskey released by Wild Turkey in the U.S.  It’s recipe harks back to a classic released decades earlier by Eddie’s father and distilling partner, Jimmy Russell.

An evening with our fathers: (George Campbell, Whisky & Tailor)

To mark the launch of Master’s Keep Revival in Australia, Wild Turkey held an intimate event at Saké in Sydney for media and their fathers.  Guests enjoyed the first taste of Master’s Keep Revival alongside a dinner menu inspired by the bold flavours of the new premium blend while special guest, chef Andy Allen, talked about the role and power of family and revival in his journey as a chef.

(Pictured: The RNB Diary, Host & MC – Marco, Georgia Dawes & Christopher Haggarty – Lifestyle Influencers)


Wild Turkey stakes its reputation on its traditional recipes that have been maintained since the 19th century with tactful innovations like the ones presented in the Master’s Keep series.   The fourth rendition sees Eddie Russell re-visit his father’s concept with a sherry signature cask finishing on 15 year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

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The Gold Rush isn’t over after all: 2kg nugget found in Ballarat

Finding a two-kilogram gold nugget is a good thing. Finding it when the gold price is soaring to record highs is even better.  That’s the situation one anonymous prospector has found himself in after digging up a beautiful 63-ounce specimen on the outskirts of the famous gold rush town of Ballarat in Central Victoria.

“He’s has already received offers of $160,000 for the nugget which he’s named “You Wouldn’t Believe It,” said Mark Day who operates Gold Ballarat.  “I’ve been in this business for 25 years and this is the biggest find we have seen by one of our customers – that they’ve told me about anyway,” he laughed.  The happy prospector, a retiree, has been metal detecting for a while, but hadn’t been able to give it as much time as he would have liked.  “He uses a Minelab GPX4500 and recently came into our store to upgrade his coil to one that was a touch more sensitive,” Mark said.  “It certainly worked for him because he came back with 42 grams of nuggets which made him pretty happy.”

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A short while later though, the prospector phoned Mark and asked if he was interested in buying some ‘big gold’.

“I said I wasn’t a buyer and asked him what he meant by big. He said two kilos and I just said ‘You’ve got to be kidding!’.  When he showed me the nugget here in the store he was shaking like a leaf. He didn’t know what to do with it. He hadn’t slept in three days,” Mark said.

The nugget was found about a metre down in old pastureland – below 30cm of wash and about 15cm of very hard clay.  The location was within 150 kms of Ballarat with the prospector keeping the specific site a secret for obvious reasons.  “He told me the detector made a noise and when he dug down a short way and found a .22 lead bullet and thought that was that. But the detector kept insisting there was something there, so he dug further and – bang – there it was,” Mark said.  “History tells us that big finds like this have happened in this area before, and even though they’ve been digging gold in this region for 150 years, it’s still out there.”

With gold passing the AUS$2,000 per ounce mark, the nugget has a gold value of about $130,000 but collectors are offering a premium for the nugget’s rarity. “People collect nuggets, they don’t want them melted down,” Mark said. “And this one has real character to it. We were in awe when he brought it in. It really looks good.”

While the prospector might have retired from his original job, he certainly hasn’t retired from his new passion.  Right after his find he went back to Mark’s store and purchased a top of the range Minelab GPZ 7000 and is already enjoying further success.

“He certainly thinks there’s more gold out there,” Mark said. “And after this, who can say he’s wrong?”

Storm Boy at QPAC

Duration: 90 minutes
Playhouse, QPAC (Opening Night)

The children’s book by Colin Thiele has had many incarnations in film and stage since its first edition in the 1960s.   For longtime fans, it would be easy to compare it to previous works and be easily disappointed.   However, as someone not familiar with the story, the latest adaptation runs through to 17 August at QPAC’s playhouse is presented in the best way possible on stage as it introduces a classic story to a new generation of fans.

Continue reading Storm Boy at QPAC