SCHOOL HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES
School is almost finished for another year, Christmas is just around the corner, and before we know it we’ll be toasting in the New Year. While most parents can take a well-deserved break from the manic school run, many are left wondering how they’re going to keep their little ones entertained over the summer school holidays.
But don’t stress, Sydney is bustling with loads of family friendly events and activities that are sure to keep the kids happy. From Christmas activities, theatre shows, to animal encounters and glamping staycations here’s 7 of our must do activities to keep the kids entertained these Sydney summer school holidays.
1. LEGO Build to Give
Throughout late November, Sydney’s World Square will be teaming up with Camp Quality to host the LEGO Build to Give. Families are invited to come along, show their creative side, and build their own LEGO Christmas Tree ornament.
The best bit? With every ornament built, LEGO Australia will donate a LEGO set to a child who’ll be spending their holiday season in hospital fighting cancer.
2. The Ultimate Christmas Market
If your little ones are already counting down to Santa’s visit then make sure you don’t miss the ultimate Christmas market at Moore Park on Sunday 24th November 2019. There will be loads of Christmas themed goods and gift shopping, and lots of festive foods including puddings and Christmas cakes, sauces, preserves, gingerbread houses and chocolates. For the little ones there’ll even be a dedicated children’s precinct featuring a huge range of kids rides, sweet treats, toys, and activities including hair braiding, sand art, craft, face painting, pony rides.
3. Kids Glamping
Here at Q Station we think one of the best school holiday’s activities is a little family staycation. Our Kids Glamping adventure will see the kids hanging out in their indoor teepee with unlimited movies, board games and popcorn while the parents get to relax in the peaceful surroundings of the National Park and enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sunset. The next morning the whole family can enjoy full buffet breakfast in Views Restaurant and a late check out of 12pm.
While you’re here, take a swim and play in the sand at Quarantine Beach, join our daily History Tour, wander through the free museum or spook yourselves on the Ghost Trackers family tour!
4. Sydney Christmas Children's Concert
To really get your family into the Christmas cheer be sure to put the Sydney Christmas Children’s Concert on Saturday 30th November on your list. The free concert will have the whole family dusting off those reindeer ears, and jingling along to Jimmy Giggle, SplashDance, Sesame Street and Carpe Idiotus!
The kids can also join in on craft activities, table tennis and giant Jenga with the Christmas elves and there may even be a special guest appearance by the man in red himself. Make sure to pack your picnic rug and get in early for the best spots.
5. The Midnight Gang
Sydney’s Opera House will be bringing David Walliams' best-selling novel, The Midnight Gang, to life from the 3rd – 21st January 2020. It will tell the story of twelve-year-old Tom who unexpectedly finds himself lonely and lost in the children’s ward of St Crook’s Hospital, away from his family and at the mercy of evil Matron.
Tom feels like he’ll never leave, but his fellow young patients have other ideas. They might be stuck in hospital, but their imaginations can take them anywhere as The Midnight Gang. Each night when the clock strikes midnight, The Midnight Gang go on a series of amazing journeys as they turn the hospital into the places they’ve always wanted to go and make dreams come true.
6. Sharks of the Reef
Not scared of a little Great White Shark? These summer school holidays SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is celebrating all things JAW-some about Sharks. Home to 13 different species of sharks including the local Port Jackson sharks and the giant Grey Nurse Sharks, they’ll be running a range of free activities that will teach kids all about these fascinating animals. The activities will run from 5th Dec 2019 – 31st Jan 2020, with more details to be released on their website soon.
7. The Wind in the Willows
From the 4th – 26th January 2020 the amazing Mr Toad and his bonny, boisterous pals will be heading back to Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden for the 17th consecutive year of their interactive outdoor theatre show, The Wind in The Willows.
Children will giggle and howl at the characters’ mad antics, go on an adventure with head chief Rabbit, Ratty and Mole, join a dangerous mission with the Rat Pack and Badger Patrol to rescue little, lost Portly the Otter from the Wild Wood.
ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS
It's hard to believe that Christmas is almost upon us and if you haven’t already started – and let’s face of it not many of us have – now is the perfect time to start planning your Christmas gift giving!
Christmas is a festive time of year where you come together with family and friends to celebrate, eat, drink and exchange gifts. And there is no better feeling than when you know you have nailed the perfect gift or when someone has taken the time to find the perfect Christmas gift for you.
Forget wading through the Christmas crowds at the shopping centres looking for Christmas present ideas for friends and family. We are helping you to get it right this year and make it a Christmas to remember with the ultimate Christmas gift ideas at Q Station.
A WEEKEND AWAY
Gift someone the ultimate experience of a weekend or overnight stay in the privacy and comfort of our Quarantine Station accommodation in one of our historic heritage or deluxe rooms. This is without a doubt a truly wonderful (and unique) Christmas gift and one which will make you popular this Christmas. Here your recipient can relax and unwind in a unique natural setting, with gorgeous views of Sydney Harbour. Better yet, if you are gifting this to your partner you will have the bonus of enjoying the gift too!
During their stay they can experience the serene beauty of Quarantine Beach taking a swim, relaxing in the sun with a book in hand, join a history tour, wander through the free museum and hike the many scenic walking tracks in Sydney Harbour National Park, truly getting away from it all.
The kids will be all smiles with a Kids Glamping experience at Q Station. The best Christmas gift idea for kids, they will love hanging out in their indoor teepee where they can watch unlimited tv, play board games and enjoy popcorn and other treats, leaving their parents to enjoy a glass of wine on their balcony overlooking the beautiful tranquil surroundings of Sydney Harbour National Park!
BOO! Sydney’s Quarantine Station is reputed to be one of Australia’s most haunted sites and we have plenty of spooky Ghost Tours on offer for adults and children (aged 8+). Whether they believe in ghost or not, the tours will keep them entertained as they discover the intriguing stories of Q Station’s history and it’s most eccentric characters, making this a perfect and unique Christmas gift and one that will be sure to get their hearts racing!
WINE & DINE
Have a foodie on the gift list? A dinner voucher to experience the exquisitely crafted menu at Boilerhouse Restaurant and Bar is the ultimate gift for food lovers. Housed in the original boiler house building from the days of Sydney’s former Quarantine Station, the restaurant has been refurbished into a uniquely styled restaurant with an incredible atmosphere. Here your giftee can enjoy the ultimate Sydney foodie experience while dining in the outdoor terrace, surrounded by nature and overlooking one of the most incredible views of Sydney.
HIGH TEA & HISTORY
The High Tea & History package is an incredible gift for the entire family. Here your group can immerse themselves in the history of Q Station on the Quarantine Wander Tour followed by an indulgent high tea in the original First-Class Dining Room. Feast on delicious beef and red wine pie with mustard pickles, sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, blueberry friands, salted caramel macaroons and pistachio and fig biscotti washed down with barista style tea and coffee as your guide enthralls you with tales from the past.
BIKE TOUR OF SYDNEY HARBOUR NATIONAL PARK
The outdoors lover with enjoy the unique gift of a self-guided bike tour of Sydney Harbour National Park. Suitable for beginner bike riders and above, your gift includes bike hire from Manly Bike Tours where they can set off on Sydney Harbour National Park Explore Tour. On the self-guided tour they can explore the secluded Collins Beach and waterfall, Little Manly Point, St Patrick’s Estate, North Fort Artillery Museum, Sydney Harbour National Park and our Q Station Visitor Centre and Museum taking in the scenic ocean views and the peace beauty the tour has to offer.
ALL OF THE ABOVE!
If you are not sure which option to choose, a gift voucher with a monetary value is perfect for the person who has everything! All gift vouchers have a validity of 3-years, so they will have plenty of time to use and the flexibility of deciding what to use the voucher towards.
Whichever option or gift you choose, we have all you need here at the Q Station to ensure its smiles all round this Christmas!
CHOOSING THE PERFECT VENUE FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS PARTY!
The festive season is only a few months away and the office Christmas party is an event that is most looked forward to… That is, unless you are the person tasked to plan it!
Planning the perfect Christmas party can put the organiser under a lot of pressure, especially if the event is being used as an added incentive to have the team push through the busy time of the year. Many event planners are more interested in thinking about the best Christmas party ideas and how to make it a bigger and better event this year, however the importance of venue selection for an event is key in ensuring a successful event as venues can book out quickly this time of year and the theme of the event will come down to what you can do with the chosen space – once you have decided.
Organisation is key in creating the best office Christmas party and we have put together 8 important factors to consider when choosing the right venue for your Christmas party.
While you may be tempted to leave your Christmas party to the last week of work before holidays when everyone is truly in the Christmas spirit, be conscious that many families are quick to take off on holidays and booking your party too close to Christmas Day may also affect your RSVPs. If you’re really struggling to pick a date for your party, try setting up an online poll or survey which you can then email to your office and let the majority decide on the date for you!
Once you’ve picked your date be sure to send out a save the date so your team have the party marked in the calendar. Once you’ve finalized more details you can then send an official invitation.
If you’re office is generally a younger crowd they will want a venue that will allow them to continue the party well into the night, whereas a more family orientated workplace will appreciate a day time activity or early evening get together. And if you’re bringing together different departments who don’t often socialise or work together think about including an activity or theme to act as an icebreaker.
Putting an idea’s box’ in the team lunch area where people can make suggestions or vote on themes or activities is a great way to make them feel involved in the process and build excitement for your event.
Once you know your style of event you can then start thinking about theming your chosen venue. For fun and casual parties a dress or costume theme is a great way to create some excitement in the lead up to the occasion with team members discussing what they will be wearing and an opportunity for departments to compete in order to “out do” other departments – make certain you allow plenty of time for invitations to go out however so they have plenty of time to work on their outfits.
For more formal or sit down events, put some thought in to the room decorations or place settings. These little touches can make the whole night feel just that little bit more special.
Flexible packages are also important, look at the inclusions they offer and whether there are enough options to cater for all dietary requirements. Quality food & beverage are important elements in a successful event so having the flexibility to upgrade certain elements of a package is ideal.
But while you might be tempted by a totally unique venue in the suburbs or out of the city, you need to take into account that your team are going to be travelling from all sides of town and will need an easy journey home. If you have selected a venue that isn’t close to pubic transport or is a little outside of town think about arranging a bus to transport staff to a central location where they can easily catch a taxi home.
It’s important to understand what’s on the table. Set up a simple venue requirements spreadsheet with your short-listed venues side by side with all the important elements listed with a dollar value beside it – this will help you understand which venue best suits your budget and help you leverage a deal at the venue sitting at number 1!
Venues like ours include a dedicated functions coordinator who will be with you every step of the way, assisting you with your planning and helping to ensure your event runs smoothly.
If you are looking for the perfect venue for your next Christmas event, then look no further than Q Station. We have stunning views overlooking the Sydney Harbour, an array of outdoor spaces and dedicated function rooms and our 2019 Christmas Party packages offer exquisite food and beverage selections that they entire team will enjoy!
HALLOWEEN AT ONE OF SYDNEY'S SPOOKIEST SPOTS
As one of the creepiest, spookiest, and darkest nights of the year approaches, it’s time to dust off those witch’s hats, pull out your vampire fangs, and of course get ready for some scary surprises. Over at Manly’s Q Station, Halloween is one of their biggest celebrations of the year and is when the site truly comes to life – with paranormal activity that is.
If 150 years history of misfortune, untimely deaths, and over 572 gravestones wasn’t unsettling enough, Q Station is about to get even spookier for this year’s Halloween festivities. They’ll be celebrating their status as one of Australia’s most haunted sites with four spine shuddering Halloween tours; Family Fright Night, Halloween Scream, their famous Ghostly Encounters, and the ultimate Spirit Investigator tour.
Family Fright Night
Looking for a spooky family night out? Live out your Addams Family dream by bringing the whole family to Family Fright Night. Designed for families and groups with children between 5 – 14 years old, the whole family can be entertained with a 90 minute tour with lots of fun stories and scary moments. The family are also encouraged to dress up in their Halloween best!
Leave the little ones at home for Halloween Scream night which is open for ages 15+ (under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian). You’ll be taken along for a 90-minute tour through Q Station’s creepiest buildings including the infamous shower block, haunted hospital & the dreaded morgue. To help take you back to Q Stations historic days, expect your guide to be in full character and be prepared for some startling surprises during the tour!
Q Station’s most famous tours, their 2.5 hour Ghost Encounters is sure to be extra eerie on Halloween night. Perfect for those who love a good story and want to learn more about the tragic quarantine station history and the hundreds of bodies that have been buried there over time. You’re sure to feel the paranormal restlessness as you walk the same steps of those who have long passed.
Adult: $49 ($55 Saturdays)
Concession: $44 ($49 Saturdays)
Do you take your Halloween seriously? Consider yourself a paranormal enthusiast? Then Q Station’s Spirit Investigate is the tour for you. Over 4 hours you’ll investigate the paranormal presences that call Q Station home and you’ll even have the chance to try out some of the latest ghost hunting equipment! This one is for adults only so under 18s will have to stay at home.
Q Station are also running group packages on Monday, 28th, Tuesday, 29th and Wednesday 30th October. Get a group of 15 people together for a night of fun and book either Halloween tour during this period. Enquire about packages available with the Boilerhouse Restaurant.
Halloween Scream group price for $550 (min. 15 people) or Family Fright Night group price for $450 (13 children and 2 adults).
Book now online or book directly by calling 9466 1551, alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org
So, if you aren’t scared of a few ghosts, spirits and mysteries, then make sure to book your place for one of Q Station’s Halloween tours! One of the most popular Halloween activities to do in the Sydney region!
As well as our Halloween focused packages, Q Station also runs Ghostly Tours all throughout the year, so you don’t even need to wait for October to get spooked! Check out the Ghost Tours packages page here.
GET SPOOKED IN SYDNEY
History buffs and paranormal enthusiasts, if you aren’t scared of a few ghosts, spirits and mysteries then book yourself in to one of Sydney’s famous ghost tours. Ghost tours are a great way to learn about Sydney’s dark history and a chance to visit important historical sites where ghost tours are full of stories, adventures, and some spooky encounters.
Here are a couple of our favourite ghost tours in Sydney that will have you keeping the light on at night.
Reputed to be one of Australia’s most haunted sites, Q Station on Manly’s North Head has been operating ghost tours since the early 1990’s and have number of tours available depending on your scare level. From the 1830’s right up to 1984, migrants and crew arriving by ship to Sydney with suspected contagious disease were forced into quarantine at Q Station. Their ghost tours will take you through the historic buildings, burial grounds and empty pathways where stories of ghosts and paranormal occurrences have entwined throughout its history.
For those wanting to go beyond the typical history and ghost lore tour, make sure to sign up for their Extreme Ghost Tour. Psychics and mediums will guide you through the tour while undertaking experiments to encourage paranormal activity.
If that still isn’t enough supernatural activity for you, then head along to their Spirit Investigator tour. On this tour you get to try out the latest ghost hunting equipment and carry out experiments yourself to communicate with the spirits.
Finally for those who really like an adventure Q Station also offers a ‘Spirit Searching Sleepover’. When you’ve finished the Spirit Investigator Tour (and you’ve conjured up the station’s spirits), you’ll then be lead to your room for the night… that’s right you’ll be sleeping over with your new spirit friends.
Q Station also takes group bookings for all of their ghost tours, so you can also drag along all of your supernatural loving friends.
Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour was once an island prison known for housing re-offending convicts. After closing the prison, Cockatoo Island was transformed into a working shipyard for more than a century and is now full of stories of untimely deaths and paranormal sightings. Tours will guide you through the convict workshops and gaol, coffin like prison cells, the grain silos, Dog Leg Tunnel and Biloela House. Visitors have reported feeling gusts of air, smells of tobacco, and even sites of ghostly figures.
St Bartholomews Church
When you think of a haunted place a church and cemetery is sure to come to mind. Dating back to 1841, St Bartholomews Church and Cemetery is home to the stories and graves of many early settlers including explorer William Lawson. The tour guides visitors through the Churches’ long history and recounts the stories of the many lives that are now buried within the cemetery. If you are lucky you may even encounter their famous troublesome ghost, with many tour participants claiming to have experience extreme nausea and being unable to move when approaching his tombstone.
An iconic part of Sydney’s history, The Rocks was home to convicts from as early as 1788, which means there are loads of stories of crimes, murders and mysteries. Offering two tours which cover different routes and stories, you’ll visit Cadman’s Cottage, Australia’s oldest home, Susannah Place where someone was found buried in the cellar, and Observatory Hill where the old Signal Master’s spirit is set to reside. The tour will also take you to many ‘off limit’ locations and see you walking through dark alleyways only lit by lanterns. This is one of those tours that is sure to send goose bumps up your back.
So, whether you’re a Sydney local wanting to explore your own city a little bit, or a visitor who isn’t afraid of a few ghosts, make sure to check out the after dark side of Sydney.
MELBOURNE CUP FASHION 2019
Spring Carnival is just around the corner and while racing enthusiasts will be eagerly awaiting the final line up for the ‘Race that stops the nation’, there is also a lot of excitement about the Melbourne Cup fashions! Each year the fashion stakes are higher with more men and women turning up to the event in more original and creative outfits. Even those without fashion finesse will find themselves taking a covet peek at the unique and elaborate styles, colours and creations designed or pieced together for Melbourne Cup Day 2019.
Melbourne Cup Day fashion has always been about style and glamour. In July 1962, the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) introduced ‘Fashions, Flowers and Favourites’ to attract more women to the male dominated racecourse. The competition was launched originally with the aim of finding the smartest dressed woman at the Carnival. This fashion competition now includes not only the best dressed women, but also the men, and also children’s fashion! Fashions on the Field were covered extensively by the press and its popularity grew quickly, establishing itself as Australia’s largest and most prestigious outdoor fashion event, attracting media and celebrity attention from around the world.
If you are starting to plan your 2019 Melbourne Cup Day outfit, it’s important to respect the tradition by dressing smartly and appropriately for the occasion. Melbourne Cup Race day etiquette is about being elegant, so your outfit should always be at or below knee length and shouldn’t show too much skin. It’s a good idea to start planning your outfit early and invest in the best quality of dress you can afford. If you need to stick to a budget, invest in a classic timeless piece that works with a few looks in your wardrobe so you can get maximum wear throughout the year or years to come. Once you have the perfect dress, you can work on matching your shoes, headpiece and accessories.
When it comes to the 2019 Melbourne Cup Fashion season for women, it’s all about bold colour, statement prints with a focus on the hat or the headpiece. Think bright hues, neon, fuchsia and hot pink, cobalt and navy blues, emerald greens and head turning reds. Headpiece wise, the trend this year is to move away from the classic fascinator. Choose a hat or headpiece that compliments you and your outfit such as a metallic or lace crown or a headpiece made of fresh flowers. Be confident with your look and wear something that you know you will look fabulous in but it’s important to not go too over the top if you don’t think you can pull off the look. For the shoes, choose a mule, or a block heel. For men, a classic suit is a must, experiment with colours and textures and stay away from black or navy suits. Instead opt for a lighter coloured suit coupled with pastels which will ensure you make an impact on the day.
In 2019 Myer Fashions on the field competition will enter the digital age with a photo-based competition for interstate contestants in October. This is set to reinvigorate the iconic Myer Fashions on the Field, broadening the scope for entrants across Australia with the purpose of continuing the celebration of fashion and racing. The winners from each of state will receive a 10-day trip of a life time to the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival to compete on stage in the Myer Fashions on the Field National Final on Kennedy Oaks Day.
If you can’t make it to Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day and are looking for the perfect venue with Melbourne Cup 2019 packages in Sydney for your office to celebrate the excitement of the cup, then Q Station has you covered with a six course degustation Melbourne Cup Day lunch package in Manly on the edge of the Sydney Harbour at the Boilerhouse Restaurant & Bar. The event runs from 12-4pm and here you can enjoy the exquisite menu while watching the day’s festivities. Drinks can be purchased at the bar and you can continue the celebrations at the Engine Room Bar after lunch. Even if you don’t back the winner on the day you still have the chance to win amazing lucky door prizes which include overnight accommodation, restaurant vouchers and more!
THE NORTHERN BEACHES BEST WEDDING SUPPLIERS
Here at Q Station we love playing host to beautiful weddings and watching friends and families come together to celebrate such a special occasion. Whether the happy couple is looking for a picturesque ceremony with views over Sydney Harbour, a fun cocktail style reception at the Glasshouse, or a formal dinner in the Governor Bourke Ballroom, we can help make their dream day a reality.
But of course picking the perfect venue is just one small part of planning a wedding, and choosing the right suppliers and vendors is an important part in ensuring that all the small details of your day come together perfectly. Here at Q Station we have a small list of Northern Sydney wedding vendors that we recommend to all of our brides and grooms as they start planning their perfect day.
Whether you’re looking for Instagram-worthy decorations, the perfect hair-do to match your veil, or a celebrant to help guide you through the entire marriage process, you can be rest assured that our list of Northern Sydney wedding vendors have been tried and tested and are truly some of the best in Sydney.
To help create that added ‘wow’ factor
If you’re looking for the perfect tailor-made arbour, breathtaking table settings, or even meaningful personalised gifts for your guests, look no further than Poco Uno Creative. With some of Sydney’s best event stylists and florists as part of their team, they can help bring your wedding Pinterest board to life! Make sure to check out some of their work over on Instagram.
To help you get ready on the day
Known for her natural and timeless makeup style, Niki Simpson has helped hundreds of brides and bridesmaids bring out their natural beauty and self-confidence on their big day. As a qualified makeup artist and hair stylist, Niki can tailor your bridal makeup and hair to perfectly complement your face, dress and style of wedding.
To help get you to the wedding
Is there really any cooler way to enter your own wedding than by a vintage kombi? Kombi Weddings are one of Northern Sydney’s best wedding car transport hire service, offering three different kombi’s to add a little bit of character to your big day. They are also known for having little extras on board like umbrellas and sewing kits (just in-case), champagne glasses and an esky with ice!
Someone to help say ‘I Do’
When you’re all ready to walk down the aisle you’ll of course need someone there to make you officially husband and wife! Over the last 10 years Louise Spedding has perfected her welcoming and friendly celebrant style and loves to bring a little bit of fun to the formality. Her signature style ensures that couples smile, laugh and enjoy the moment, while also tailoring the ceremony to reflect your personality.
If a traditional wedding ceremony isn’t really your style, then may we also recommend wedding celebrant, Martin Moroney. Wearing his signature bright bowtie and bringing his unique storytelling skills, Martin will ensure that your ceremony is fun, engaging and a truly memorable experience. Martin has a background in behavioural science and loves to have wedding guests involved within the ceremony to create a truly engaging wedding.
To capture your perfect day forever
While you can’t relive your big day over, having a good photographer will ensure that you’ll have the memories to look back on for years to come. David Thomson is one of our favourite wedding photographers whose candid photography style perfectly captures honest stories and real moments. David doesn’t just capture the highlights of your day, but he takes the time to also capture those incredible and spontaneous moments in between.
Add a little fun to your reception
Photobooths have become increasingly popular at events and are a great way to get your guests mingling! Flashback Photobooths is one of Sydney’s longest running photobooth suppliers, offering flexible packages and using only the best quality of booths. They even supply a black leather ‘ready to mount’ album along with gold and silver pens – the perfect modern-day guest-book!
For something a bit different
Owned by a mother and daughter duo, The Travelling Bar is a vintage caravan that has been completely renovated to become a totally unique pop up bar! It’s the perfect way to bring a little bit of character and flair to your big day. While the caravan can be set up across any of our event spaces, we think it works best as part of a modern ‘festival’ style reception at our Greenhouse.
Finish the night with something a little sweet
The perfect ending to any wedding dinner is of course a piece of wedding cake! Sydney’s Sweet Connoisseur is home to the most delicious wedding cakes that will please any sweet tooths. Whether you choose a traditionally elegant or ultra modern fondant wedding cake, a rustic naked cake finished with fresh blooms, or a traditional French wedding Croquembouche tower, you can be reassured that your cake will be hand baked with love and care.
NEW YEARS EVE CELEBRATIONS AT Q STATION
So it’s almost the end of another year, and soon we’ll be busy welcoming in 2020. For many party goers New Year’s Eve is that special night when we toast to the previous years memories, indulge in one too many champagnes, and count down to a fresh start surrounded by friends and family.
But with more than a million people heading out to experience the energy of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve, catching a glimpse of the famous Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks spectacular can mean getting lost in chaos and the crowd. Here a Q Station we have some of the best panoramic views of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks without the crowds, first-class dining options, and of course accommodation to save you from waiting in line for a taxi home.
This year our very own Hospital Precinct -situated on the headland above Quarantine Wharf at Q Station – will be offering a family seafood buffet. Your dinner will be complete with a range of delicacies including oysters and prawns in addition to favourites such as lamb, barramundi, Porchetta and pavlova. Perfect for bring together the whole family, young and old, you’ll also be treated to views of the Sydney Harbour lights from the wrap around balcony and of course the best vantage point to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
For something a little more special why not start your New Year’s Eve celebration off with a pre-dinner drink at The Engine Room Bar before enjoying a six-course degustation dinner at the Boilerhouse Restaurant & Bar. Featuring favourites from the Boilerhouse Menu including scallop crudo, and white chocolate parfait, your dinner will complemented by a 3-hour premium drinks package and amazing views of South Head, the CBD and Balmoral all the way around to Manly.
After dinner the celebration continues as you move to the Hospital Precinct from 10:30pm to countdown the New Year! The exclusive ‘Hospital bar’ will be open when you arrive with drinks available for purchase. Enjoy conversations with friends as you take in the amazing panoramic views of South Head, the Sydney Harbour, Balmoral and Manly and raise your glass at midnight as you farewell 2019 and watch the night sky light up with one of the best views of the Sydney fireworks.
Avoid the taxi cue (and the traffic congestion) at the end of the night by staying the night with us. This way you can celebrate until after midnight and not have to worry about the drive home (not to mention who’s driving!) Simply stroll back to your room hand in hand at the end of the night on incredibly comfortable beds. Enjoy the best start to 2020 by waking up on New Year’s Day to a delicious breakfast at Views Restaurant (that you didn’t have to cook), a refreshing swim at Quarantine Beach and a morning stroll along the Fairfax walk watching the spectacular sunrise on New Year’s Day from one of three panoramic lookout points.
TEN UNIQUE DATE IDEAS FOR WINTER
As the winter weather officially kicks off here in Sydney, it’s time to pull out those jumpers, pour yourself a hot chocolate and snuggle up. However, if you’re trying to impress someone you love, or busy swiping right, you might be getting a little stuck trying to organise the perfect winter date night out in Sydney. While it’s tempting to stay at home and order pizza, we promise there are plenty of things to see and do on a winter date night in Sydney.
From special degustation dinners, to star gazing, and even the chance to live out your inner Happy Gilmore, it’s time to put aside those ugg boots and take away dinners to plan the perfect winter date night.
Whether you’re planning on popping the big question, celebrating your 50th anniversary, or you’re going on your very first date, here are some of our favourite things to do for a winter date night in Sydney.
Just because the temperature may have dropped, it doesn’t mean you have to hide indoors re-watching your favourite Netflix show! Every year Luna Park turns puts on a Winterfest with lots of perfectly suited wintery food and activities on offer. The standout of course is the ice-skating rink, which stays open till 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights making it a perfect date night activity. Impress your date with your cool skating tricks, or at least keep them laughing with your disastrous clumsiness!
Afterwards, head to the carousel-inspired diner, The Hungry House, or stroll through the many pop-up stalls on offer. Think winter treats like Baileys hot chocolate, caramel pretzels and gooey s'mores.
If one of your favourite summer past times is sitting on the beach devouring fresh seafood, then make sure to take your date to Garfish Restaurant & Bar. Situated in iconic Manly, Garfish offer diners unbeatable views of Manly Wharf and a constantly changing blackboard menu featuring only the freshest market fish sourced that very morning.
While their Snapper Pie has become a crowd favourite, we highly recommended the live rock lobster, which is cooked on their signature wood fired oven and served with lemon herb butter.
If you are planning an extra special date night, then you can’t go past a dinner on iconic Sydney Harbour. Starting with a spectacular sunset, jump on-board the prestigious MV Sydney 2000 for the Platinum Penfolds Grange Dinner Cruise.
As you cruise Sydney Harbour you’ll be treated to a 6 course degustation menu, which is matched with Penfold’s platinum selection of private bin and vintage wines. Platinum window seating is available to ensure that you and your date take in the incredible million dollar views.
There is nothing more romantic than watching the sun over the ocean with your partner (or partner to be). Better yet this is a location for every season, kayaking and ice creams in summer or relaxing with cheese and antipasto in winter, you’ll have snacks and romance sorted!
There is no better spot than our very own Boilerhouse Kitchen and Bar, right on the edge of Quarantine Beach, a secluded hidden gem with gorgeous views out to the harbour and only a short stroll away from the accommodation of the historic Q Station hotel. The beach is 200m long, faces northwest into the North Harbour and is in a quiet and sheltered location hemmed in by rocks and national park with silvery sand and clear, calm water.
Make it a double date and take your friends along to a special degustation event, such as Christmas in July, Bastille Day Long Lunch or any of the regular foodie experiences at Q Station.
If you really want to impress you can’t go past our Retreat Suites at Q Station. The suite offers a perfect romantic getaway, located on the headland within Sydney Harbour National Park in the refurbished former Isolation Precinct, this area has one of the most amazing views of Sydney Harbour. Take advantage of the private guest lounge, with panoramic views across the water.
Take your love interest on a scenic stroll along the Fairfax walk accessing post card views of Sydney Harbour, then it’s only a 5 minute walk from your hotel suite to the Boilerhouse Kitchen and Bar for an award winning a la carte dinner.
For those wanting the perfect mid-week (and budget) date night, check out Wednesday nights at Belgrave Cartel. Born out of a love of delicious food, great coffee and music by three local brothers, Belgrave Cartel is a venue that oozes cosy, casual date night feels. Wednesday nights are home to $20 Pasta e Vino night. Tuck into their pasta of the day and a glass of house vino or Peroni for just $20, while also listening to the sweet sounds of live music.
Dry and cloudless winter nights are perfect for stargazing and there’s no better place to do just that than the Sydney Observatory. Join one of their nightly tours where you’ll get the chance to use Australia’s oldest working telescope to experiencing the magic of a star studded night sky.
Fill the boot of your car with lots of blankets and pillows, pack a bottle of wine and your favourite snacks and head to Blacktown drive in cinemas. Showcasing the best new releases, the old school drive-in is a great way to spend a night out with someone special, without having to get out of the winter pyjamas.
For those looking for a fun and casual date night, Holey Moley is the perfect solution. With 3 different courses and 27 differently themed holes, there’s plenty of opportunity to flex your putt-putt skills in front of your date. And because this isn’t your regular old mini golf course, you’ll find the Caddyshank bar serving up golf inspired cocktails. It’s pretty much a hole-in-one!
WHY Q STATION IS THE COOLEST PLACE FOR YOUR NEXT SYDNEY SCHOOL EXCURSION!
A significant part of Australia’s history, Q Station provides the perfect outdoor classroom where students can learn about First Contacts, Australia’s waves of migration, race, gender and class segregation, and important medical and technological advances through the 19th and 20th century.
Located on a 30-hectare site on the North Head of Manly, Q Station is only a short ferry ride from Sydney CBD and boasts original buildings constructed between the 1870s and 1920s. With a range of educational programs across all stages and aligned to the NSW and Australian National Curriculum, Q Station is a must do for your next Sydney school excursion.
Students can visit the replica cabins of the RMS Niagara to give them a sense of what sea travel was like 100 years ago, study the sandstone inscriptions and apply their skills of historical enquiry to consider what information can be gleaned from this source or enhance their learning experience by analysing one of our case studies- Immigration Detention or Operation Babylift.
Students will visit key locations within the text and the program is designed to challenge them to think about society’s changes from Tad’s time to now, by considering topics of migration, class, race and identity.
School excursions at Q Station allow students of all ages from primary to tertiary, to experience an important part of Australia’s history through themes of migration, medical advancements, class, gender, and race segregation and technological advancements through 19th and 20th century. With lots of hands on experiences students can explore a range of primary and secondary sources, within natural and manmade environments. So next time you’re planning a Sydney school excursion make sure to add Q Station to your itinerary.