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!
INVESTIGATE INFECTIOUS DISEASE AT Q STATION
Join MED Festival Sydney for a day of talks, tours and short films at our unique Q Station. Investigate the history of infectious disease in Sydney and learn how medical science is keeping us one sneeze away from the next pandemic.
For over 150 years the Quarantine Station was for many, the beginning of a new life in Australia after making the arduous & lengthy journey from their homelands.
Ships suspected of harbouring people infected with contagious disease such as Spanish Influenza, Smallpox or Bubonic Plague were quarantined here so that these deadly diseases would not reach the general population in Sydney.
On Sunday 25th November join us for a program of events looking at the history of quarantine and disease.
25 November 2018 from 10am - 4pm.
For all program details - More Info Here.
Q STATION NAMED FINALIST'S IN 2018 NSW TOURISM AWARDS
We are very excited and super proud to announce that Q Station are finalist's in this year's NSW Tourism Awards!
Now in its 29th year, the NSW Tourism Awards acknowledge and celebrate tourism excellence. This program rewards businesses that demonstrate significant achievement throughout the year.
Q Station has been announced as finalist's across two categories:
1. Cultural Tourism: this category recognises tourism operations that foster a greater understanding and appreciation of authentic culture, history, heritage and/or the arts.
2. Unique Accommodation: this category is open to properties developed around unconventional accommodation infrastructure. The focus of this award is on the uniqueness of the tourism experience.
In 2018, there were 144 entrants across 26 categories recognising excellence from a range of tourism areas such as Tourist Attractions, Festival and Events, Ecotourism, Destination Marketing, Accommodation, Tourism Education and Training. Of those entrants, there are 125 finalists.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events, The Hon Adam Marshall MP congratulated the finalists and said the awards are a wonderful platform to recognise the year’s achievements in NSW tourism. “Our tourism industry is at the forefront when it comes to delivering quality products and experiences and I congratulate the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards finalists for contributing to our position as Australia’s premier State for tourism and events.”
Winners will be announced at an awards evening on 22nd November 2018.
MELBOURNE CUP FASHION 2018
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 2018.
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 2018 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 2018 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 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 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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! A complimentary shuttle bus service will provide transport to Manly between 4pm – 6pm, or alternatively guests can catch the Sydney Harbour EcoHopper from Quarantine Wharf at 4:20pm, arriving to Manly Wharf at 4:26pm. See the ferry timetable here
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 organisers are more interested in thinking about the best Christmas party ideas and how to make it bigger and better this year, however the importance of venue selection for an event is key in ensuring it’s success! Venues can book out quickly this time of year and the theming 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.
This is one of the most important things you need to establish before you can start planning your event. There is no point booking out a ballroom, locking away entertainment and theming if you don’t have any money left to cater the event. If you have already planned the event in the past, you many have an idea of what you can spend, however it’s important to sit down with whoever is signing the cheque at the end of the night before you spend valuable time choosing your venue and planning the perfect event. If you need to stick to a tight budget, consider mid-week dates as you may find pricing is a little more competitive and the venue may be willing to negotiate on minimum numbers or add in something for free to fill days earlier in the week.
If you already have the perfect venue in mind – well done you! However, you may be foiled by venue availability on the date you have selected. If you can, try to have at least 3 alternate date options which you can choose from which will give you a little more flexibility when selecting a venue. Check that the event date you are selecting doesn’t clash with busy periods in the office, this way you can ensure a better turn out on the day.
3. Know your team
This is often the most overlooked element of planning a Christmas party, yet it’s crucial in ensuring that the event is one that will get everyone excited. . While you can’t always please everyone – especially when you have larger teams – it’s a good idea to understand the office demographic. Think about age groups, family commitments or proximity to the event which are important considerations. After all, you may like the idea of holding your event on a sunset boat cruise along the river, however some people may not be able to stay for the duration which could mean many of the team potentially missing out. Putting an ‘idea’s box’ in the team lunch area where people can make suggestions or a ballot system where the team can vote on ideas is a way to make them feel involved in the process. You can also establish a ‘Christmas Party Committee’ but be ready for some passionate and energetic ideas to come your way!
4. Style and Theming
Deciding on the style and theme of the event is key to choosing the correct venue. If you have a larger team a cocktail event where people can mingle rather than stay seated at the one table may be a better option, for a smaller team a seated dinner or a more casual afternoon barbeque with team building games on the beach is a great idea. Theming your event can 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.
5. Flexible Function Spaces and Packages
Having an idea of the number of guests and your event space requirements when selecting a venue for an event, will make the whole process a lot easier. If you have your heart set on a venue, make sure that they have flexible function space options to suit the number of guests as it becomes costly to theme and fill out a large venue if you have smaller numbers. Likewise, squeezing 80 people in a space more ideal for 60 means your guests won’t enjoy themselves on the night. If you are looking at an indoor event, are there out door options for guests wanting a little fresh air?
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.
Why is location important for an event? The office Christmas Party is often the one celebration where team members can feel like they can let their hair down. Often the office is winding down just before the event date so having a WOW factor venue can build excitement and employee satisfaction. Having a similar venue each year can be a little boring so it’s a good idea to mix this up. If you held last year’s event in a function room in the city, an outdoor cocktail event complete with fairy lights in the trees and an informal set up under the stars allowing guests to mingle and watch the sunset is guaranteed to WOW!
If the chosen location is away from public transport, arranging transportation for the team can make certain that everyone arrives on time and makes it home safely after the event.
When choosing the right venue, it’s important to find out what inclusions they offer as part of their package. The venue hire might seem like a good price however if you are having to hire your own tables, dancefloor, basic theming and lighting it can really add up so it’s important to understand what’s included. 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.
8. Team Activities
Keeping the team engaged during a Christmas Party is an important element to ensuring a successful event, so it’s a good idea to see if your short-listed venues have any activities or entertainment on offer to liven up the event. Look for team building activities that get departments who normally don’t mix, to start talking and laughing together – our popular “Outbreak!” program is perfect for this, which sees your entire company quarantined at the Q Station, and you need to work together in groups to collect vaccine to survive! If it’s an afternoon event you can treat your colleagues to a casual beachside afternoon of kayaks, stand up paddleboards and giant games, or scare them silly as they take part in one of our famous Ghost tours.
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 2018 Christmas Party packages offer exquisite food and beverage selections that they entire team will enjoy!
THINGS TO DO IN SYDNEY ... OUR 3 DAY ITINERARY
If you are looking for places to visit in and around Sydney during the winter, there is no better place to entertain couples or the entire family than around Q Station. We offer the perfect central place to base yourself in, far enough away from the city to relax, unwind and experience the perfect blend of history and nature – yet only a short ferry ride away from all the action, hustle and vibe of the Sydney Harbour and city sights.
If you are looking for a short getaway in a site steeped in history and nature you will enjoy our 72 hour itinerary where you can explore what’s on offer in the Sydney Harbour National Park which is also our incredible back yard. There is so much to do around Q Station and Sydney so we have created a 3 day itinerary - the perfect long weekend getaway:
7:30am Take a morning stroll followed by breakfast in Views Restaurant
Put on your warm walking gear and lace up your boots and enjoy the crisp air as you take in the incredible views on the Fairfax walk, it’s easy and enjoyable and the 1 kilometre loop will be enough to fire up your appetite so you can really enjoy your breakfast at Views Restaurant overlooking the picturesque sights of Sydney Harbour.
10:00am Take the Eco Hopper to Taronga Zoo!
Time to spend some time quality family time exploring the famous Taronga Zoo. The Sydney Harbour Eco Hopper leaves at 10:20am however we suggest you arrive early and enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate at the Visitor Centre Café before you head out on your 30-minute ride out over the water to the Zoo. HINT: Purchase the Taronga Zoo Combo Pass which offers 24 hour access to the Eco hopper which will come in handy tonight!
11:00am Explore Taronga Zoo
You will arrive in time to make it to the first Seal Show of the day which starts at 11am. Here you will learn more about seals and their marine environment. You will get to meet an Australian Sea-Lion and a New Zealand Fur-Seal as you watch these graceful creatures show off their natural abilities including catching fish, climbing and diving, with a whole lot more surprises in store.
Take your time as you explore the zoo making certain to highlight your copy of the Daily Park Timetable in advance so that you can learn more about the animals at the different hosted educational talks which are all included in the entry price. The Gorilla feed, Giraffe and ANZ Asian Elephant Keeper talks are great ones to highlight.
If you are looking for an extra special experience for the kids, why not book them in for an encounter with a koala, penguin, tortoise, or owl (the Giraffe Encounter will be back on offer in August) or try the ‘Keeper for a day’ experience which is bound to be a highlight!
3:30pm Head back to Q Station
Time to start winding up your day at the zoo and head back to the ferry terminal to take the Eco Hopper back to the Q Station. The ferry departs at 3:53pm so make sure you are there early to make your ride back to the hotel, so you can quickly freshen up for tonight.
6:00pm Catch the Eco Hopper to Circular Quay
Take advantage of your all day eco hopper pass and take the eco hopper from Manly Wharf 2 to Circular Quay. Watch the sunset as you enjoy the trip into the city, make sure you plan on a taxi back to Q Station tonight to make the most of your night in the city.
7:00pm Dinner at The Dining Room, The Rocks
Tonight, you can take in the incredible views of the lights over Sydney Harbour while enjoying an amazing meal at Bennelong Restaurant, a short 5-minute walk from the circular quay wharf and located within the famous Sydney Opera House. This venue is stunning during the day, but more so by night.
Tonight, it is time to spoil yourself with a menu designed by Executive Chef Peter Gilmore whose cuisine has won a number of Australian and International Awards. You will be spoilt for choice with mouth-watering menu choices like twice cooked goats curd soufflé, pure bred roast wagyu cipollini & buckwheat pudding and wild Cape York barramundi coupled with one of the best wine lists in Sydney.
9:00am Breakfast at The Pantry, Manly
You’ve earned a sleep in and no doubt your tummy is grumbling, so a great way to fill it is enjoying breakfast at The Pantry located right on the waterfront in Manly a short 7-minute drive from Q Station. Here you can enjoy your fill of buttermilk pancakes with candied walnuts, poached eggs with smashed avocado and feta or go all out with the breakfast board which offers a selection of San Daniele prosciutto, truffled salami with chargrilled capsicum and almond sauce (drooling…), marinated olives, toasted sour dough and poached eggs.
10:30am Experience a little culture at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum
Continue the relaxed tone of the day and enjoy the rest of your morning wandering the vibrant and creative cultural hub of the Northern Beaches at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum. First opened in 1930 as NSW’s first metropolitan-based public regional gallery, here you can view a fine collection of early modern paintings by artists such an Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo, one of the finest collections of studio ceramics in Australia and changing art and museum exhibitions. Also on offer is a stimulating program of art workshops for both kids and adults, artists talks, performances and special events – you can view the entire program in the July-Dec 2018 Manly Art Gallery & Museum Calendar.
2:00pm Manly Spirits - Guided Tour
Our friends at Manly Spirits are a mere 15 minute drive from Q Station, in Brookvale. These guys provide 1.5 hour tours of their distillery and it is a fantastic way to learn the craft and processes of distillation. Go behind the scenes, with each tour providing an insight to their production processes, fermentation tanks, barrel storage and bottling. The end of the tour concludes with an in-depth tasting experience of three of their core expressions to sit, sip and compare. Well worth it at only $25.00 per person!
3:00pm Hire a bike and take a self-guided tour of Manly
Hire a bike and helmet from Manly Bike tours and set off on a self-guided tour. There are 4 recommended rides to choose from and the good news is that you don’t have to be an athlete or a super experienced rider as the it caters for all levels of ability and you can take it at your own pace.
You can opt for a leisurely bike ride on a beach for an hour, a scenic 2.5-hour tour of the Sydney Harbour National Park – home to our very own Q Station - or for the more adventurous, you can take on the mountain bike Manly Dam tour or simply create your own. Manly has more than 10 beaches in the area, in addition to Sydney Harbour’s largest National Park offering incredible views of the coastline and a more unique way to explore Sydney’s back yard.
When you finish your ride, head back to the hotel to freshen up before heading out to dinner.
7:00pm Experience Manly’s Middle Eastern Cuisine
Tonight, you are heading back to Manly to enjoy the Middle East flavours of Manly at Maestro & Co, a Middle Eastern tapas restaurant and bar offering great food, great wine and a fantastic atmosphere. Enjoy a selection of tapas to share, choosing from duck maryland, a warm roasted cauliflower salad, grilled octopus, sumac fried calamari, mussels, Lebanese chat potatoes served with saffron mayo, grilled haloumi – YUM! – and so much more. If you are looking for a main the free-range grass-fed lamb shoulder, slowly simmered in honey, ginger and aromatic spices is sure to please – but be sure to leave room for dessert – the cinnamon & hazelnut chocolate tart is delish! Check out the menu HERE.
5:45am Take a behind the scenes tour of the Sydney Fish Market
It’s an early morning start for you this morning as you head into the Sydney Fish Market for a behind the scenes tour. Teeming with tourists the fish market is a popular and lively attraction and one of the Sydney points of interest. The tour starts at 6:45am sharp so it’s best to arrive by 6:30am. This morning you will learn about the history of the Sydney Fish market, learn where your seafood comes from and what the Australian seafood industry does to ensure your seafood is sustainable. You will tour the auction floor, viewing over 100 species, witness oyster shucking and find out more about sashimi.
Tours are held every weekend (excludes week day and special holiday periods) and is suitable for ages 10+. We suggest taking a taxi from Q Station as parking can be expensive, however if you are keen to drive the parking entry is via Bank Street and you can find more information regarding getting to the Sydney Fish Market HERE.
8:30am Breakfast at Ministry of Coffee
You’ve earned your coffee this morning and Ministry of Coffee offers one of the best brews in Sydney at its Pyrmont café. They roast and blend their coffee beans onsite to ensure a quality coffee experience. They also offer an enticing breakfast menu using locally sourced and organic ingredients to create delish menu items like the smoked salmon open omelet, grilled corn fritters, breakfast bruschetta and a melt in your mouth banana bread with ricotta and honey.
9:30am Talk a walk along Pyrmont Bridge
After breakfast it’s time to walk off breakfast with a walk along the pedestrian Pyrmont Bridge to Darling Harbour, it’s a picturesque 15minute walk from the café to the other side of the famous swing bridge across Cockle Bay. The bridge connects both sides of Sydney Harbour and offers incredible views and at the end you can either choose to take the stairs or the escalator.
While you are here you can pop into the Sydney Aquarium to explore the stunning marine life or experience the lifelike wax models at Madame Tussauds.
From here you can continue your walk along Sydney Harbour and enjoy the rest of your morning at your own pace, taking in the views until you arrive at the impressive stone steps leading to the famous Sydney Opera House, soaking up the impressive site and surrounds, offering a different perspective during the day.
12:00pm Enjoy a light lunch the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café
You had an early start so it’s perfectly acceptable that another coffee or perhaps a delicious mocha is on the cards after your morning’s adventures at the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café. Enjoy a Belgian sandwich with a variety of fillings and be sure to ask for some of their famous chocolates and cakes to enjoy for an afternoon energy boost later today.
1:30pm Take in the views from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
A leisurely 15 – 20 minute walk along the foreshore from the restaurant and you will find Mrs Macquarie’s Chair which offers one of the most beautiful places in Sydney to visit and one of the best photo vantage spots of the harbour vista taking in the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The historic chair was hand carved out of a rock overhang by convicts in 1810, which commemorates Elizabeth, the wife of Major-General Lachlan Macquarie who was Governor of NSW from 1810-1821. His wife, Elizabeth, was known to visit the area and sit enjoying the panoramic views of the Harbour.
The chair is part of the Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney and you take a walk back through the gardens on your way back to Darling Harbour to catch the Eco Hopper back to the hotel.
3:10 pm Take the Eco Hopper back to Q Station for an afternoon siesta
Arrive at Darling Harbour to take the Ferry back to Q Station. This is a great time to enjoy those tasty Belgian Guylian chocolate treats you took away with you from the café as you enjoy your journey back to the hotel. When you arrive take a siesta on the beach until it’s time to freshen up for dinner.
6pm Early Dinner
It’s been a big day so an early dinner at the Boilerhouse Restaurant & Bar. Our Executive Chef James Green has recently introduced an amazing share plate menu. Choose from dishes such as Cone Bay Barramundi and Scallop Ceviche - they are simply delicious and perfect to share with a group. The restaurant has stunning views of Sydney Harbour and is cosy inside during the winter months. Enjoy a cocktail and reflect on what has been an amazing Sydney adventure!
We are very proud to announce that Q Station is now officially a plastic straw-free hotel! #switchthestraw
Check out our amazing whale watching package right here!
If you are looking for an incredible nature experience, there is nothing more special than spotting majestic whales along the beautiful Sydney Coast and it is no wonder that this unforgettable experience is so sought after by locals and tourists alike.
Thousands of whales migrate annually between May and November each year. The first season is typically from May to August where the humpback whales head north towards warmer waters to mate and give birth, then in summer they return south with their calves to feed in the Antarctic waters.
The best whale watching in Sydney where you are more likely to spot whales from the shore is during winter when as many as 20,000 of them migrate along the New South Wales coastline. Humpback whales are the most likely whales you will spot during the Sydney whale watching season in 2018, however you may be among the lucky to spot orcas and minke whales.
So, put on your winter woolies, grab your binoculars and your camera then head to one of the Top 5 Whale Watching Lookouts in Sydney which are certain to provide you with some of the best whale watching in Sydney and where you can capture some of the action and memories to last a lifetime.
Fairfax lookout, North Head, Manly
There is no better place to experience these beautiful humpbacks frolicking in the water than from the vantage point of the Fairfax walk lookout, an easy and enjoyable 1km loop, located in the Sydney Harbor National park, only a few minutes’ walk from the historical Q Station Hotel, on the site of the former Sydney Quarantine Station. The walking track at the North Head Sanctuary leads to the North Fort and Fairfax lookout which features incredible sea views and a panorama of the harbour and city skyline, also offers plenty of opportunity to spot humpback whales.
Make a day or weekend of it, taking time to explore the incredible history and heritage of the Q Station site taking part in a Ghost or History tour, exploring the site on your own or popping into the Visitor Centre which also functions as a museum offering free admission.
Hornby Lighthouse, South Head, Watsons Bay
This historic red and white striped Hornby Lighthouse is located at South Head near Watson’s Bay and is surrounded by expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. Built in 1858 this great Whale watching spot can be accessed via an easy walking track to the lighthouse via the South Head heritage trail which departs from Camp Cove at Watsons Bay. This 1 km loop will take between 30 minutes to an hour and takes you past the Lady Bay Beach, before reaching he Lighthouse.
Shark Island, Sydney
Located just off the exclusive eastern suburbs of Rose Bay and Vaucluse with panoramic views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Shark Island also offers an incredible viewing platform for keen whale watchers. Pack a picnic lunch and take advantage of the beautiful grass areas and picnic spots around the island and walk barefoot on the beach as you take in the 360-degree views and watch the whales frolic in the water. The best way to access Shark Island is via public ferry 7 days a week as mooring at the island is not available.
Bondi Beach to Coogee Walk
Bondi Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Australia and a hub of activity all year round and the 6 km Bondi to Coogee walk is a great way to spot whales while taking in the stunning ocean views and sea air. The cliff top coastal walk will take you past beaches, pars, cliffs, bays and rock pools. The beach and parks offer resting spots along the way and great spots to have a bite to eat or a takeaway coffee as you continue on your journey. It takes approximately 2 hours to complete the Bondi to Coogee section of the walk so make sure you wear comfortable shoes and weather appropriate clothing for the elements.
Barrenjoey Lighthouse, Palm Beach
Sitting at Sydney’s most northern point, in the Barenjoey Headland at Palm Beach, the Barrenjoey Lighthouse is worth the drive as it offers a great viewing platform for humpback whales and panoramic views of Broken Bay, National Park and the Central Coast.
Built in 1881 from sandstone quarried on the site, the lighthouse is one of the iconic sights on Sydney’s northern beaches and is accessed by an easy 1km walk along the Barrenjoey track and will take approximately 1-hour return trip from the Governor Phillip parking area. The more adventurous can also walk the Smugglers track instead for a more challenging hike to the top. It’s also a great place to bring international visitors as they may recognize the lighthouse from the popular long running television series Home & Away.
Wonderful recognition from our local MP James Griffin MP, Member for Manly on our historic site Q Station Manly and reference to our National Award from Meetings & Events Australia as the recipient of 'Unique Event Venue with Accommodation'.
We look forward to continuing to work closely together, particularly in preparation of the upcoming Invictus Games!
TEN UNIQUE DATE IDEAS FOR WINTER
Whether it’s date night, celebration of your anniversary date, asking the BIG question date or that incredibly exciting – and nerve wracking - first date with the person of your dreams, creating the most memorable and unique setting to impress the love of your life (or soon to be if you play your cards right) is key if you are looking to make them feel special.
If you really want to impress, first step is to try and understand what you know about your date, what they like, what their interests are and choose the location and experience you think they will enjoy the most. The best part is, it doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money to have the best experiences.
There is never a bad time to plan an incredibly romantic date with your significant other, and with our Top 10 Date Venues in Sydney, you will have all the inspiration you need to find the perfect places to go on a date in Sydney. So why not tonight?
1. Enjoy a Penfolds Grange Degustation Dinner Cruise on Sydney Harbour
When only the best will do, capture a romantic moment under a spectacular sunset as you cruise the Sydney Harbour while enjoying a 6-course degustation menu matched with Penfolds platinum selection of private bin and vintage wines. On the Platinum Penfolds Grange Dinner Cruise you can watch the sun set while enjoying great food, great wine, listening to live music and taking in the beautiful scenery - this is an incredible experience and one that will be sure to surprise and delight.
2. Picnic lunch at Wendy’s Secret Garden
Pack a picnic lunch, blanket, pop in some bubbles and head to Wendy’s Secret Garden at Lavender Bay, nestled in the suburbs immediately north of the Harbour Bridge, for a romantic lunch with incredible views of the harbor. Take time to wander through this incredible garden, taking in its magical ambience, established through the love of Wendy Whitely in tribute to her husband, Australian Artist Brett Whitely after he passed away. Finding the garden can be an adventure itself so make sure that you do your homework, find the best route and mark at your picnic spot in advance.
3. Experience Hot Air Ballooning followed by a gourmet champagne breakfast
Take romance to its heights with an unforgettable Hot Air Ballooning experience in the popular Camden region of Sydney, a beautiful spot located only 50 minutes from the Sydney CBD. The Camden Valley offers the most incredible backdrop with a diverse range of views from sparking waters of the Nepean river, the peaks of the Blue Mountains illuminated by the first rays of sunlight, the historic towns of Picton and Camden and the incredible Sydney skyline that can only truly be appreciated from above.
The hot air balloon experience takes approximately an hour with flights over the beautiful and historic Macarthur region. We recommend allowing 3 hours to enjoy the complete experience which includes tea and coffee when you arrive, your incredible flight, followed by a delicious gourmet champagne breakfast.
4. Watch the Sun go down on Quarantine Beach
There is nothing more romantic than watching the sun over the ocean with your partner (or partner to be) better yet it’s a location for every season, bubbles in Summer and a great bottle of Red coupled with an incredible cheese and antipasto and you have dinner and romance sorted. And there is no better spot than our very own Quarantine Beach a secluded hidden gem with gorgeous views out to the harbour and only a short stroll away from the accommodation 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.
5. Book a Room with a View
f you really want to impress you can’t go past our Retreat Suite at the Q Station. The Suite offers the perfect romantic getaway, located on the headland within the Sydney Harbour National Park in the renovated former Isolation Precinct, within what was once the Quarantine station, this area has one of the most amazing views of Sydney Harbour.
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 access the Quarantine beach for that wine and cheese.
6. An old school Drive in date in a Mustang convertible
For a truly unique night out with a difference, step back in time and enjoy a movie and dinner under the stars at the Skyline Drive In, Blacktown from the incredible vantage point of an old school mustang convertible or if you looking for something more modern then hire a mustang from the Hertz adrenaline collection.
This experience is a perfect first date option in Sydney, offering a different take on the standard dinner and a movie date and you can watch any of the latest blockbusters, enjoy a tasty treat from the dinner menu and immerse yourself in the experience.
7. Snorkeling and Lunch at Shelley Beach
For a truly relaxing and unwinding date, pack your flippers and towels and head to Shelley Beach for an incredible snorkeling experience. It’s a popular spot for snorkelers and scuba divers alike and it’s no wonder why, with a maximum depth of 12 metres in a protected reserve it is home to a large variety of marine life which is can be viewed in relatively shallow water. This experience offers a different take on the standard dinner and a movie date and you can watch any of the latest blockbusters, enjoy a tasty treat from the dinner menu and immerse yourself in the experience.
8. Lunch at the Boathouse Shelley Beach
After a morning of snorkeling, sand and sun you can dust off the sand and enjoy an incredible seafood lunch at the boat house restaurant, located in an idyllic spot directly on the beach where you both can sample delights like the Kingfish Carpaccio or a Cold Seafood Platter while continuing to take in the ambience of an incredible location.
9. Kayaking – Rose Bay
While there are plenty of places around the harbour you can kayak, Rose Bay is one of the more beautiful spots, better yet you can hire out the kayaks, paddleboards and even motorboats from rose bay aquatic hire for a memorable day out on the water. If you are up for an adventure paddle out to Shark Island carrying a small picnic or snacks with you and relax taking in the beautiful views before taking the kayak back to Rose Bay. Make sure you arrange your landing fee ($7 per person) via NSW National Parks.
10. Skip dinner and go straight for dessert
Located on George Street Sydney is fun date idea and a great way to get to know someone if it’s in the early stages of dating. Now you could be thinking that it looks like every other ice cream shop, and sure they do serve everything you would expect from sundae’s to waffles however the resemblance stops here. What is so incredibly unique is the decadent upgrades they have made to the classics like chocolate crêpes with hidden chocolate mousse and strawberries, a delicious surprise of a cookie at the bottom of your cookies and cream ice cream, and if you pride yourself on being a food adventurer you can really get creative with the classics mixing them with exotic flavours including black sesame, Japanese green tea, durian, sticky rice, coconut and lychee rose. What’s even better is the serving sizes are perfectly suited for 2 which makes for a fun night out that’s easy on the pocket.