The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2021-04-12T03:51:28Z Live 1-day building event: see Scandinavian 2 bed house built fast 2021-04-12T03:51:28Z live-1-day-building-event-see-scandinavian-2-bed-house-built-fast Architects, owner-builders, licensed builders and anyone looking for a new and speedy ways to build are invited to YZY Kit Homes Ourimbah Display Village on Friday 23 April 2021 between 9am–4pm to watch a live build of the two-bedroom Madeira. During this free all-day building event, attendees will see the latest addition to the display village built before their eyes. The stylish and flexible Madeira design will be built onto a prepared base by the team from Custom Creations. The build will take 4 days in total, with the framing including the walls, windows and doors completed during the live event. The roof will be installed on day 2, and during days 3 and 4 the cabin will be finished to lock up stage, ready for internal fit-outs. Building details: Madeira 2 bedroom The live build is an exciting opportunity to discover the steps involved in the speedy prefab building system that allows a quality backyard cabin to be built in a matter of days, not months. Attendees can also learn more about the materials used and how they play a vital role in minimising waste on site. As a result of the pandemic, over the past 12 months there has been a rapid increase in demand for backyard cabins as families adapt to a different way of living. As founder and director of YZY Kit Homes Lina Urbona explains, there is a huge opportunity for builders around Australia to join the network.  “Families are looking to add flexible spaces where they can work and study, but the wait lists are getting longer. Builders who join our network can tap into these enquiries instantly. And the live build demonstrates how fast and easy our kit homes are to build.” The new Madeira cabin will join 7 other display cabins at the large Ourimbah Display Village. Each is fully furnished showcasing the many design possibilities and uses for these versatile cabins. The YZY team and their builders will also be on hand to answer any questions on the day. Ms Urbona hopes the live event will help spread the word about this fast, innovative and cost-effective way to build. “With YZY Kit Homes you can complete your project in fraction of the time, at a lower cost, with the highest quality materials.”  The event will take place on Friday 23 April, 2021 at Ourimbah Display Village, 4 James Graham lane (corner of the Pacific highway), Ourimbah, NSW, between 9am and 4pm. All welcome. Leave your details in the form below to get notified of any changes. We will email or text you the updates. You can also add the event to your calendar and also follow us on Facebook. More information on the event: Oceans Décor Accommodates Resurgence in Demand for Macramé Creations 2021-03-08T06:03:57Z oceans-decor-accommodates-resurgence-in-demand-for-macrame-creations From home décor to swimwear, macramé creations were trendy and fashionable accessories for homes and businesses around the world in the 1970s. The art form is experiencing a resurgence in popularity due to artistic Millennials and Oceans Décor is a leader in decorative macramé featuring different materials, sizes, colors and themes. Individuals can select from a wide range of macramé décor ranging from tapestries and dreamcatchers to hanging shelves. Customers can also choose from pillow covers, wall pocket hangers, and macramé wall hanging plant holders at Oceans Décor. Some of the most striking and innovative creations available include handmade macramé curtains that add an air of bohemian style to living rooms and bedrooms. The boutique can also accommodate custom-made hammocks. Each is made-to-order and able to hold 120kg (265 lbs.). Cat owners can order a macramé bed for their feline in which to recline in regal repose. The one-of-a-kind cat cradle is safe, sturdy and a stylish addition for any home. Consumers can select from multiple types of macrame wall hangings that are beautiful and functional. One of those is wall pocket hangers that provide an ideal space for magazines and can also act as an organizer. For those with a love of books, Oceans Décor offers a three-tiered macramé shelf for plants, spices, knick-knacks, nurseries, or keeping favorite books. Large macrame wall hangings, tapestries and dreamcatchers are a popular focus and there are multiple styles from which to choose at Oceans Décor. Shoppers can select dreamcatchers with floral patterns, shooting stars, and the moon. The large wall hangings are offered in an array of styles to accommodate a myriad of preferences. Macramé products are again in the spotlight due to artistic Millennials and an increased interest in raising plants and redecorating while under pandemic lockdowns. Oceans Décor is meeting the demand for unique, innovative and distinctive macramé creations to beautify any environment and accommodate any desire. Media Contact Oceans Décor 15/120 Burns Bay Road Linley Point Sydney New South Wales 2066 Australia Website: The Crosby Group invests in Verton Technologies 2021-02-15T06:26:57Z the-crosby-group-invests-in-verton-technologies The Crosby Group, a global leader in lifting, rigging, and load securement hardware, today announced that it has completed a significant investment in Verton Technologies (“Verton”). Australian-based Verton has developed and commercialised disruptive advancements in load orientation technology that remove the need for human held tag lines in lifting applications. These innovations play a critical role in improving the safety and productivity of global lifting operations. The Crosby Group and Verton will collaborate in the market to accelerate the adoption of this game-changing load orientation technology. By leveraging The Crosby Group’s global footprint, Verton will bring an elevated level of safety to an increasing number of workers. Robert Desel, CEO of The Crosby Group, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Verton in this rapidly growing space. This investment is a perfect strategic fit due to our common end-user base and our shared values of safety, reliability and innovation.” Verton’s solutions include Everest 6, a 20-ton load orienting spreader beam, Everest 30, a modular load orienting system for a broad range of working load limits, and Windmaster, a load orientation device for wind turbine erection. Trevor Bourne, CEO for Verton added: “With this new partnership Verton can dramatically increase the pace of innovation and the penetration of our products in the market. As a global leader with strong brand recognition, The Crosby Group creates an exciting platform for Verton’s future.” This marks The Crosby Group’s fourth transaction in the past 24 months including the acquisitions of Straightpoint, Gunnebo Industries and Feubo. About The Crosby Group The Crosby Group is a global leader in the innovation, manufacturing and distribution of products and services used to make lifting and load securement safer and more efficient, with premier brands such as Crosby, Gunnebo Industries, Crosby Straightpoint, Acco, McKissick, Crosby Feubo, Trawlex, Lebus, and CrosbyIP. With global engineering, manufacturing, distribution and operations, the company provides a broad range of products and solutions for the most demanding applications with uncompromising quality that exceed industry standards. About Verton Verton is an innovative technology firm and inventor of the world’s first remote-controlled load orientation system. This revolutionary system makes taglines obsolete, removing the need for workers to be near moving or suspended loads, keeping them out of harm’s way. Verton’s range of lifting products also integrate smart technology to facilitate more precise load placement, faster task turnover, and superior analysis and oversight of operations. The technology will greatly benefit lifting operations by moving towards `hands free` lifting and keep workers clear of potentially high-risk zones. First Australian woman comic book writer on The Phantom 2021-02-15T03:42:21Z first-australian-woman-comic-book-writer-on-the-phantom-1 Sydney-based comics creator Julie Ditrich has just officially become the first Australian woman comic book writer on The Phantom with the release of her 44-page comic book story The Adventure of the Dragon’s Leg, which has just been published in The Phantom: The Treasures of Drakon – The Red Dragon Saga trade paperback by Frew Publications. Julie is also historically the sixth credited woman comic book writer in the world1 to write for The Phantom. The story, which is illustrated by Brazillian artist Wendell Cavalcanti, is a sequel to three comic book stories, originally published in the 1970s, that focus on The Phantom’s battle with a deadly and obsessive female villain, driven not only to possess him but also to exact revenge on him in the most horrific manner.   The Phantom was originally created by US writer Lee Falk and first published in 1936 as a daily newspaper comic strip series. It is still being published to this day in that particular format, albeit with new writer and artist teams who came on board both before and after Falk’s death in 1999. The Phantom is also published in comic books, graphic novels and prose anthologies, and has also been adapted into other media—namely film, television and video games.   The Phantom is a masked and costumed crime-fighter who lives with his family in the Skull Cave in the Deep Woods of a fictional African country called Bangalla. Unlike other superheroes, The Phantom does not rely on magic or a superpower. Rather, he depends on his intelligence and ingenuity, strength, boxing and wrestling prowess, and the myth of his immortality as “The Ghost Who Walks” to fight his adversaries.   The origins of The Phantom legend lies 485 years in the past when in 1536 the young Christopher ‘Kit’ Walker witnessed his father’s murder at the hands of a pirate. Later on, Christopher swore an oath on the skull of his father’s killer to fight pirates and other evil doers around the world, thus becoming the first Phantom. That legacy was then passed from father to son in the lineage (and also included one female – Julie Walker – born in 1852 who occasionally took on the mantle of The Phantom when her twin brother, the 17th Phantom, was injured or missing). The current Kit Walker is the 21st Phantom.   Julie Ditrich, who has a BA Degree in Professional Writing from the University of Canberra, and who has sold over 270,000 copies of her comics books internationally, found that the comics medium completely suited her storytelling style. Julie has worked predominantly in the fantasy genre but now embraces action-adventure with The Phantom. I used to read Phantom comic books and the daily newspaper strip when I was growing up, and truly feel I was creatively geared to write these stories. I’m excited and appreciative beyond measure to be writing such a complex and fascinating character as The Phantom for Frew Publications. She adds: I really want to honour the legacy of The Phantom not only as a character but also as a universe, including the pioneering writers and artists who have come before me. I’d also love the story to connect with the dedicated “Phans”, especially the Australian readers, who are amongst the most passionate consumers of The Phantom in the world.   To prepare herself for this newly minted role as The Phantom comic book writer, Julie immersed herself for several months in Phantom lore by reading vintage and modern graphic novel collections. Her other literacy influences that have impacted on writing these stories include works such as King Solomon’s Mines by Sir H Rider Haggard and the Willard Price Adventure Series for children, which she read when she was a kid.   Julie has also recently completed a four-part series of The Phantom called Return of the Golden Circle, which will be published in 2022, and has been commissioned to write an additional two series after that.   The Phantom is owned by King Features in the USA and is licensed locally by Frew Publications, which was has been publishing The Phantom in Australia since its inception in 1948.   The Treasures of Drakon: The Red Dragon Saga is available on the Frew Publications website from 15 February 2021: A comic book trailer of The Adventure of the Dragon’s Leg can be viewed on YouTube at:   Media Contact: Julie Ditrich Phone: +61 2 9606 4728 OR +61 412 445 511 Email: FURTHER INFORMATION 1 There may have been some uncredited women comic book writers who supported male creators, and there are several credited women prose writers of The Phantom stories.   EXPERIENCE GIFTING COMPANY GIFTING OWL LAUNCHES GLOBAL HOTEL PACKAGES JUST IN TIME FOR VALENTINE’S DAY 2021-02-02T02:12:33Z experience-gifting-company-gifting-owl-launches-global-hotel-packages-just-in-time-for-valentine-s-day Gifting Owl, the innovative experience gifting company, has just announced their latest gift experience addition – Global Hotel Stays & Getaways.  Customers now have the opportunity to gift their loved one with a hotel package, interchangeable across the globe! With hotel packages available with different hotel ratings, duration of stay and meal inclusions, there is a package for every budget.   The motivation behind the hotel packages stemmed from providing customers with the total holiday experience. Previously, only experience excursions were offered but now it doesn’t end there; purchasers can gift their loved one the complete holiday experience. Co-Founder and CEO Jackie Babbage explains “This exciting addition to our product catalogue really takes the guess work out of experience gift giving – who doesn’t enjoy a weekend away, whether it be locally, interstate or overseas?”.   With this new hotel package promotion, Gifting Owl has set the bar high for competitors and is in an elite category of their own. “From a global perspective, there’s really nothing like this on the market” Jackie explains. “Gifting Owl customers now have the ability to use their gift vouchers to book experiences or hotel stays in cities all over the world”.   Fortunately, hotel packages can be purchased just in time for Valentine’s Day.  Miss Babbage believes that “a hotel stays gift voucher is the perfect gift for someone who needs a relaxing break… This past year has been tough on everyone, spending quality time with loved ones on a short break may be just what they need”.   “At Gifting Owl we are thrilled to offer open up this new category of experience gifts to our customers. We now have over 70 hotel packages available in Australia, New Zealand and America, with hundreds more becoming available in the coming months” Stated Jackie.   View the range of hotel stays & getaways here. ENDS DEBUT AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR RELEASES THE INCREDIBLE TRUE WWII STORY OF ‘ANNA UND GUNTHER’. 2021-01-20T12:15:10Z debut-australian-author-releases-the-incredible-true-wwii-story-of-anna-und-gunther FOR IMMEDIATE MEDIA RELEASE – PUBLICATION DATE FEB 1 2021 Anna und Gunther is the first novel by Australian author Jacob Hendryx to be released globally by Osmond Press on February 1st, 2021. It is a historical fiction based on a true story that follows the separate storylines of two children forced to grow up too young in Germany during World War 2 and the subsequent Cold War. The dual-storylines merge into one in the third and final part of the book where the protagonists fall in love and emigrate across the world to Australia. As described in the Author's Note, the book was written after the author travelled to his German grandmothers hometown in the Sudetes Mountains of today’s Czech Republic. Returning with photos of one of the few buildings that remained, his grand-mother began to recount stories of growing up in the town in vivid detail she had never shared before. These stories formed the first chapter of the story which Jacob gifted to her, and upon her delight at reading her own stories, encouraged her to share the stories from her life following that chapter that she previously had not shared. It was a series of repeating visits like this, writing only a chapter at a time, that today's novel came together. Anna und Gunther appeals to a broad range of readers young and old and will be favourited by those who enjoyed other notable true stories from the era such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Rich historical content also lends itself to inclusion in high school curriculum and university reading lists. Available in all good book stores, online and via Kindle from Feb 1st. Watch the video trailer here: “I have never read a book with quite as much authenticity as well as being thoroughly entertained from beginning to end” – Maegan McFall @turningpagesmm “A uniquely innocent take on unfathomable horror, this book is as relatable as it is shocking” – Dr. Sam Nicholls, Australian Historian “The book is well written, jam packed full of historical accuracies that elevate this tale of humanity” – Julie Oakley @bookish.intoxication PADI IDC on Australia's Sunshine Coast 2020-12-23T23:17:03Z padi-idc-on-australia-s-sunshine-coast Dive Instructor Academy now offers PADI Instructor Development Courses in Port Douglas, Cairns and the Sunshine Coast. Sunreef, the award winning dive company operating from Mooloolaba on Australia’s Sunshine Coast, has joined forces with PADI Course Director Kai Steinbeck to bring PADI Instructor Development Courses and Instructor Exams to the Sunshine Coast. Not only will the PADI IDC program be conducted at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, but PADI has scheduled PADI Instructor Examinations for the Sunshine Coast as well. Kai, originally from Germany, began his diving career at a young age in the Caribbean and has been a PADI member for over 25 years working as a PADI professional in Costa Rica, Mexico, Indonesia and Australia. As a Course Director, Kai is the founder of Dive Instructor Academy and has successfully run Instructor Development Courses in Cairns, Port Douglas and Indonesia. Kai’s extensive knowledge of the dive industry is what sets him apart from the rest. As a PADI professional for over 25 years with a business degree, a skippers qualification (master class 5), fluent in three languages and having worked for some of the worlds largest dive companies as dive instructor, course director, operations manager and marketing manager, Kai brings more than just diving to the program and prepares you for the real world. The PADI IDC program offered is far more involved than the minimum standards required with extra training days to ensure candidates are well prepared. In order to start the Instructor programs off to a great start we spend the first day diving on the incredible HMAS Brisbane. Sunreef is one of the few dive operators who have access to this incredible wreck which was sunk in 2005. The Ex-HMAS Brisbane is one of the world's best wreck sites, and this decommissioned guided missile destroyer that now serves as a lively artificial reef is located just 2.9 nautical miles off the Sunshine Coast. What’s included above and beyond the normal IDC: ·       PADI Instructor exam pass guarantee ·       Nitrox instructor specialty rating* ·       Introduction to free diving ·       Marine life knowledge course ·       Ocean conservation donation ·       Ongoing support Whilst the training is extremely thorough and we are very confident that each candidate is ready for the Instructor exam, anyone could have a bad day. For that reason, the IDC program includes an Instructor exam pass guarantee. This means that if a candidate fails the IE, we will pay for the second IE fee. Being fluent in English, Spanish and German, Kai will be able to offer Instructor Development programs with language assistance for those that require it.  Kai’s vision is to offer access to more training above the required PADI curriculum and develop a full suite of Dive Centre Management modules, which will be second to none in the dive industry and will include sales training, marine life knowledge, compressor understanding, reservations, pricing of stock and more. Sunreef is a leader in diver training and we have big plans for the GO PRO program to develop it to the highest standard. We see instructors trained by Sunreef to be dive professionals being sought after and capable of working in any environment. For more information on the Dive Instructor Academy IDC programs visit our website or email Kai Steinbeck direct on For more information on diving the HMAS Brisbane with Sunreef from Mooloolaba or all dive courses, whale watching and other activities visit the website at For email enquires on any dive trips please contact us at Sydney Travel Agency gives the gift of Travel Dreams this holiday season 2020-12-23T08:35:50Z sydney-travel-agency-gives-the-gift-of-travel-dreams-this-christmas ‘Tis the season…..of FREE travel dreams The optimistic and dedicated team at Liberty Tours is busy keeping the travel dreams of thousands of Australians alive over this holiday period by offering free personalised travel vouchers. "As the year comes to a close, the team at Liberty Tours is looking forward to a New Year filled with travel dreams – magical holidays that we can help plan and fulfil.  It’s what we love to do," said Managing Director Steve Cairns in a letter to clients.   "We have been grateful to our many clients who have stuck by us, rebooked for next year, been patient as we organised refunds and joined us for our online travelogues this year," said Steve, noting the diverse range of weekly travelogues he hosted earlier in the year.  "I think one of my favourite travelogues was the Wineries of France by luxury river cruise" said Steve, hoping himself to take a well deserved holiday next year. "Whether you have travelled with us in the past, are rebooking for a future date, or are yet to discover just how great a Liberty Tours managed trip can be – we look forward to sending you on your next adventure soon." Steve commented that many existing Liberty Tours Group clients will be spending the holiday season taking time to recharge and discover new and exciting places, experiences and festivals.   As well as a making great last minute Christmas Gifts, the FREE "Travel Again" vouchers are perfect as New Year gifts, "What better way to indicate better times ahead that a Travel Dream," said Steve. "We have developed a range of free vouchers that you can gift to friends and family – or even just for yourself."   The hard working travel elves at Liberty Tours will even personalise each voucher with the name of the recipient (or recipients!) – and there are even five "styles" to choose from: Ocean, Italy, Garden, Balloon and Gift. "There is no limit on the number of vouchers - but its just one voucher per name. Just tell us who needs the gift of travel this Christmas," said Steve. Each FREE Travel Again vouchers offers $100 redeemable against an upcoming international package holiday (land and or sea components) booked with Liberty Tours for departure dates in 2021 or 2022*.   To see the designs and request your voucher, visit Give the gift of travel this holiday season - and keep Travel Dreams alive! *Not redeemable for cash. Not redeemable against flight only bookings.  To view T&C and the tour packages that can be booked through Liberty Tours please visit Studio Pilates Crows Nest gets off to a record breaking start! 2020-11-25T07:44:59Z studio-pilates-crows-nest-gets-off-to-a-record-breaking-start In only the second week of operation, Studio Pilates Crows Nest is already setting new company records. The studio in Crows Nest, North Sydney, Australia, has achieved the highest attendance figures of any studio globally, and looks likely to easily eclipse 700 visits in only its second week of operation. Studio Owner Lynn Kraus is over the moon with the enthusiastic welcome she has received from the local community. We grabbed five minutes with Lynn to get her reaction to the launch: “It’s just so amazing, far better than I could even have hoped!” she said. “Classes have proved so popular that they’re all fully booked out with 8-9 people on the waitlist. I’m having to squeeze extra class times in wherever I can so that I don’t disappoint anyone!” While she is clearly delighted with the studio’s stellar performance,  Lynn is no stranger to success. As a qualified accountant she has had over 25 years experience in global professional services firm EY, and was previously responsible for leading the firm’s Advisory practice across Oceania.  We asked Lynn what had prompted her to make the big move to business ownership? “Having been an advisor to clients both big and small, I decided it was time to put my hand to the wheel.  It has been such a rewarding experience on a personal level to see the result of your hard work.” The boutique health and fitness sector is a far cry from professional services, so what drew her to a Studio Pilates Franchise?  “One year ago to the date of my opening I entered a Studio Pilates location in Sydney.  I knew instantly I wanted to explore the opportunity.  I was on a three month sabbatical and think I went to the studio almost every day over that period.  I loved the look and the feel of the studio and most importantly the consistency that comes through the use of technology.  Studio Pilates leverages the tried and tested Pilates techniques in a contemporary format that is truly unique.  I just had to be a part of the growth story in New South Wales.” The Studio Pilates at Crows Nest may have just launched, but no doubt Lynn won’t be resting on her laurels. What next steps is she already planning on her transformative journey and what are her hopes for the future?  I am so excited for where we are at two weeks into our opening.  The whole team is focussed on customer care and ensuring we give every client an amazing experience. I have plans for a second studio nearby but also don’t want to get ahead of myself as I am very much focussed on consolidating the learnings from this experience, building an amazing team and most importantly building trust with the local community.  Watch this space in 2021!” The latest openings are part of a continued pattern of growth for Studio Pilates, an Australian success story, which has a strong base in Australia, New Zealand, China and now America. There are more studios in the pipeline for key strategic locations across the globe, with the United States central to the brand’s ambitions.  Studio Pilates International was established in 2002 by Winter and his wife Tanya. The entrepreneurial duo has impressive experience and knowledge behind them - Jade as a former Olympic swimmer, personal trainer and Pilates instructor, and Tanya as a physiotherapist and instructor, turned international Pilates educator. Their credentials place them squarely at the forefront of the Pilates industry.  The Studio Pilates model features intense 40-minute reformer Pilates workouts designed by a team of physiotherapists and exercise scientists. Classes are delivered on multiple digital screens across the workout space, allowing instructors to focus on each client’s technique, and motivating them to get the most out of every move. “Our unique combination of technology and personalised instruction delivers a truly customised service, and we are thrilled to finally bring this to the US,” says Winter. Studio Pilates International currently has over 80 studios open or at pre opening stages, across Australia, New Zealand, China and now the US. -ends- About Studio Pilates International Studio Pilates International offers unique high intensity, low impact reformer Pilates workouts designed by a team of physiotherapists and exercise scientists. Classes are delivered on multiple digital screens across the workout space, allowing instructors to focus on each client’s technique, to deliver a truly customised service. The brand attracts a passionate following which can be attributed to its unique  combination of innovative class delivery, luxe studio space and total body changing results. web: Instagram: studio_pilates After A Unique And Fabulous Tented Stay In Tasmania? 2020-11-25T05:24:10Z after-a-unique-and-fabulous-tented-stay-in-tasmania After A Unique And Fabulous Tented Stay In Tasmania? Experience Luxury Glamping at Truffle Lodge ‘We offer a unique experience under a million stars in an exceptionally stunning location,’ Laurelle and John Grimley, owners of Truffle Lodge Truffle Lodge, Tasmania’s luxury bush glamping destination is welcoming guests for a unique stay and a taste of fun outdoor experiences and adventures. Known for its idyllic riverfront location and for being akin to a 5* hotel under canvas, Truffle Lodge’s luxury safari-style en-suite tents cater for every creature comfort and are naturally socially distanced – all eight tents are located right on the Derwent River and are at least 15-20m apart.   Truffle Lodge guests can enjoy a range of eco-friendly outdoor activities within moments of stepping outside their tent. Options include exploring the lush surroundings, hiking to local vantage points to take in stunning bush vistas or cooling off with a refreshing dip in the River Derwent.   Guests can also discover one of the first truffieres planted in Australia, which, until a few years ago, was abandoned and covered in wild blackberry bushes. Now Truffle Lodge owners, Laurelle and John Grimley, are bringing it back to life.   Additional bookable experiences include luxury guided fly-fishing (tailored to the participants’ experience level) as well as platypus-spotting kayaking adventures, seaplane flights for vineyard lunches, helicopter drive combo to Maria Island. At the end of a busy – or not so busy – day, guests can enjoy a glass of local wine and count the stars from the privacy of their tent’s riverfront deck. They may even be lucky enough to witness the magical Southern Lights of the Aurora Australis. When it’s time to head indoors, guests can relax and unwind in luxurious safari tents that are as memorable as the bush around them. Each Truffle Lodge tent is double walled and triple roofed for maximum comfort and features a handmade wooden bath, rain shower, extra-large and deep double beds, a coffee machine, tea making facilities, a bar fridge, and many more thoughtful touches.  Laurelle and John say that this season their focus will be on helping guests relax and recharge in the beautiful crowd free natural environment of the Derwent Valley. ‘At Truffle Lodge we offer a quintessentially Australian luxe bush glamping experience where guests can reconnect with nature and each other. Days here are defined by the rhythm of the sun and the moon and guests fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the river outside.’   Breakfasts, drinks and two course evening meals are served in Truffle Lodge’s communal areas, which can include a long table in the orchard or dinner cooked in the fire pit. The set menu dinner each evening features hand-made dishes prepared using seasonal local produce wherever possible, accompanied with local wines, some of which are exclusive to Truffle Lodge. There is a resident echidna under the dining pod who ventures out to supervise regularly.  “While Truffle Lodge is luxurious in its detail, it’s also raw, simple and pared back, reflecting our belief in slow hospitality, where the quality of each experience is more important than the quantity. We encourage our guests to relax, unwind and take pleasure in the moment,” say Laurelle.  Truffle Lodge Rates 2020 From $400 per night for 2 guests, including continental breakfast and 3-course dinner (alcohol and bar services additional) plus daily activities programme.  Images available on request. For further information/images/review stay bookings please contact: Tel: 0415 290023 Stepz Fitness offers free training programs worth $149 to new members 2020-11-25T05:16:23Z stepz-fitness-offers-free-training-programs-worth-149-to-new-members Stepz Fitness is now providing new customers free access to its wide range of QuickStart Gym Programs™, priced at $149 for non-members, offering professionally designed and personalised training regimens to exercisers of all ages and fitness stages – and from all walks of life. New members now have unlimited access to comprehensive video tutorials and training booklets, which provide the perfect platform for educating newcomers about how to kick-start their new fitness routine. According to the new Stepz Fitness Franchisor, Sam Waller: “These programs have been beneficial in educating our customer base about equipment functions, exercises and techniques that might benefit their workout.” “They offer members a DIY gym training guide for working out… and also provide insight for new members into our holistic approach to exercise, which makes Stepz Fitness unique.” Additionally, the Stepz Fitness program has recently gone digital with the launch of its online Virtual Studio, engaging members to stay active and motivated in the comfort of their own homes – whether they’re locked in or out of iso at present. The online fitness studio invites members to attend live workout sessions or jump into pre-recorded workout videos, with the virtual fit challenge motivating participants to stay active and inspired while reinforcing a sense of community engagement – allowing members to ask questions or share ideas on all things fitness and home workouts. Holistic exercise, as practiced by the Stepz Fitness community, is about going beyond the human body and focusing on more than just the physical results of exercise, by addressing overall health, happiness and wellness. Ensuring fitness is an enjoyable activity rather than a doctor-recommended chore, or general maintenance of vanity or sex appeal, is also critical to the Stepz Fitness experience. Mr Waller said: ‘We’ve also got eight gym programs that every Stepz member gets for free when they sign up… so they’re supported and have a training program straight off the bat.” He continued: “Across the industry, fitness centres haven’t really been getting people results with obesity levels still rising [in Australia].” “I believe that often comes down to people being intimidated to go to a gym, not having a routine or program they can follow, or just losing interest – and not having access to [the necessary] training.” Stepz Fitness recognises that the biggest challenge to implementing new exercise routines and practices is knowing what to do, how to do it and where to find affordable support or guidance along the way. “Creating a supportive and non-intimidating gym environment with a local community atmosphere is why I got started and found my passion with Stepz,” Mr Waller added. “Being connected to a larger support network is what people end up liking most about Stepz.” Get Started today with a free 3 day gym pass STEPZ FITNESS CURATES HOLISTIC INTERIORS TO ENHANCE PATRONS’ WELLBEING 2020-11-24T04:14:05Z stepz-fitness-curates-holistic-interiors-to-enhance-patrons-wellbeing Acknowledging the impact of physical surroundings on psychological states and wellbeing, Stepz Fitness - an Australian owned gym franchise - has implemented a carefully curated and holistic interior design approach across its fitness and wellness centres to stimulate psychological and physiological responses in their patrons. This fresh approach aims to enhance the ability of Stepz patrons to exercise in a more peaceful, productive and positive state of mind. According to Sydney based clinical psychologist, Georgia MacNevin “the design of our physical surroundings can have a significant impact on our psychological state and wellbeing.” Holistic interior design is concerned with the wellness of the mind, body and spirit of the individuals that inhabit the space. Stepz Fitness has embraced a fresh approach to its interior design and layout, by adding indoor plants, wooden materials and communal tables near the entry that are welcoming to patrons in a non-intimidating and comforting environment. Stepz Fitness Franchisor, Sam Waller notes “that approach to holistic interiors allowed us to create a new design using more natural materials and calming interiors, which is not common in the health and fitness industry. “We have created a new space that allows people to feel better when they’re walking in and focuses their minds on their workout and themselves, as opposed to worrying about what other people are thinking. “The physical and mental health of our patrons is seen as a marriage between two equal and interconnected entities, whose individual conditions determine the balance of wellness experienced by the whole.” Stepz wellness centres have incorporated specific aesthetics, materials and elements derived from nature and psychological research, which MacNevin says can boost the ability of the mind and body to feel calm, collected and happy. Stepz Fitness considers most gyms to be devoid of natural beauty, affording little-to-no room for any of those energising elements to exist in the room and give life to their patrons. According to MacNevin, there have been many studies into the psychological and physiological benefits of natural environments leading to a range of positive outcomes for our wellbeing, including “stress reduction, improved mood, enhanced attention, and cognitive functioning. “Natural materials like those used in the Stepz wellness centres can have a calming effect… [and] are great for increasing positivity and productivity.” Stepz Fitness has invited nature into the gym by adding indoor plants and greenery to each workout space. MacNevin adds “these days, psychologists are prescribing outdoor activities like gardening and hiking to address a range of mental health issues. “Being in open green spaces helps clear the mind and makes people feel happier or less stressed… [and] including that in the Stepz Fitness environment can be beneficial to their moods and general wellbeing.” According to a recent survey by Arboretum, 42% of 2,000 participants said that being around plants improved their mental health. Indoor plants also assist in improving the air quality of interior spaces, which is particularly important in workout environments where physical exertion is key, as patrons need all the oxygen and purified air they can get. Meanwhile, maximising the amount of natural light that filters into each room was an important consideration of the Stepz Fitness interior design team. Experienced naturopath, Layla Metcalfe advises “natural light is one of the most important natural elements to filter into any indoor environment, offering health benefits to Stepz patrons inhabiting that space. “Not only is it your body’s best source of vitamin D, which boosts the immune system, but also a crucial ingredient to increasing mental health and productivity… [while] assisting the body in absorbing melatonin to regulate sleep cycles more efficiently.” Stepz Fitness prides itself on offering the newly curated holistic interior design to enhance their patrons’ wellness of mind, body and spirit. To see more visit WHITEHAVEN - A Cancer Survivor's Passion Project 2020-11-23T01:52:37Z whitehaven ‘Whitehaven’ in Bardon is the epitome of modern family living with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, state-of-the-art kitchen, four separate entertaining areas, magnesium swimming pool and seamless indoor/outdoor flow with a level backyard. As stunning as this property is, the story behind it is what makes this home extra special. This piece of paradise was renovated and rebuild by cancer survivor, Alice Hagen along with her husband, Justin Hagen. It represents every experience that they had being in real estate for the past 14 years. When Alice and Justin, aged 24 and 25 respectively, decided they wanted to purchase their first home, they felt they were priced out of the Sydney market. Justin, originally from Brisbane, thought it would be a good idea to explore the Brisbane market. So in 2006, Alice and Justin moved to Brisbane in a hope to purchase their first home. Within 2 weeks, they had purchased a property sight unseen with a hope to build their forever home one day and a second property as an investment. This sparked a new venture for Alice and Justin. Within 4 years of purchasing their first home, Alice and Justin had accumulated 10 properties and commenced a real estate agency with scope to sell and manage their own properties. However, in 2010, the real estate agency became a boutique agency servicing more than just their own properties. As the company grew, Alice and Justin sold off most of their properties to fund the new vision for the agency. In 2019, 5 months after the birth of their fourth son, Alice found out she had stage 3 cervical cancer and started treatment immediately. This changed their immediate goals for 2019. After finishing her treatment, Alice started to focus on her passion. Funnily enough, it was renovations, but this time she wanted to renovate a Queenslander, one of Alice and Justin’s bucket list goals. They purchased a property in Bardon and Alice enrolled in the Three Birds Renovations “Reno School” and began plan-ning the renovation. One year on and ‘Whitehaven’ in Bardon is now completed. Whitehaven represents everything that Alice and Justin have learnt renovating and being in real estate for the past 14 years. “We designed the home with the help of Simon Hughes, HBE Architects, and Antun and Carmel Cule, Cule Construc-tions, to create a home that we would love to live in, every element has been carefully selected by Al-ice and myself and I believe it represents the ideal modern family layout – all bedrooms upstairs, while downstairs has a seamless flow with indoor/outdoor living.” Justin states. Alice mentions “I am really proud of this project, we have not compromised on anything we wanted to include in this home”. ‘Whitehaven’ at 103 Alexandra St Bardon is going to auction Sunday 29th November at 11am onsite. See more here: The Ultimate Primate Announces The 74 Toughest Ultramarathons Around The World 2020-11-22T23:47:04Z the-ultimate-primate-announces-the-74-toughest-ultramarathons-around-the-world Sydney Australia -- 23rd November 2020 -- The Ultimate Primate, a health & fitness based website has recently updated a list of the most popular ultramarathons around the world. The whopping list includes 74 Ultramarathons that are based on mountains and trails.  If you're wondering what an Ultramarathon is then prepare to sink in your teeth. As The Ultimate Primate quotes: "An ultramarathon is any race that goes longer than the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles. It’s a true test of courage, guts, and grit in which only the strongest survive.". Typically, a lot of Ultramarathons go for up to 100-miles but there are some such as the Moab 240 which spans 240 miles. And remember, this is all done on foot.  Marko Rakic, the lead writer from The Ultimate Primate has stated the following: "I've done a marathon once in my life so far and that's 26.2-miles, or just shy of 42.2km if you're reading from Australia. It was very excruciating, and I have nothing but respect for these amazing athletes that are able to take it a step further." In regards to the curated list of 74 Ultramarathons around the world, Marko said: "We wanted to bring more awareness around this amazing sport, and to spread the message that there are amazing athletes around there doing insane races which sometimes don't get as much respect as other athletes." When speaking about how someone can get started on training for an Ultramarathon, Marko stated "It's all about consistency. There are amazing people running out there. Older people, and that's just really inspiring. But at the end of the day, you need to be consistent and constantly increase your mileage as you run weekly. Make sure you rest enough and have a proper diet as well. You don’t need much other than running shoes for a beginner to start." You can find the list of these marathons, along with their ticket websites on The Ultimate Primate by going to their page, the 74 most popular ultramarathons on trails and mountains around the world. NEW WELLNESS HUB TURNING MINDFULNESS ON ITS HEAD 2020-11-17T06:12:45Z new-wellness-hub-turning-mindfulness-on-its-head A new mindfulness and meditation hub in South Melbourne is turning wellness on its head, offering unique classes such as ‘Yin and Tonic’, ‘Sleep Techniques’ and ‘Wine and Wind-Down’.   In a bid to set herself apart from many meditation and yoga studios that offer generic classes where participants simply move through a series of standard yoga poses, Sally Kellett, founder of Mirosuna, is on a mission to bring the fun, spice and soul into wellness.   “Many mindfulness and yoga studios preach that the only way to practice things like meditation is when sitting on cushions, burning incense, or sitting in a circle chanting ommm.”   “For me, it’s about bringing mindfulness into the everyday, and if that involves a glass of gin, or a fabulous soundtrack in order for people to connect to their practice, then that’s what Mirosuna is all about.”   Some of the more unique classes at Mirosuna include: -  Yin and Tonic - Friday night sessions combining a body movement class to help release built up tension & tight muscles with participants working through a series of stretches and poses, with a glass of Gin (or two) for serious wind-down! -  Sound Meditation – a deep relaxation for those who are stressed and need to recharge. The live tunes of Sally playing Alchemy Crystal Singing Bowls will envelop you in a sound bath and provide a deeply restorative state of wellness. -  Mindfulness Tea Journey  - a workshop where participants learn how to use tea as a tool for mindfulness and how to use tea consumption to bring calm into your life. -  Sleep Techniques – tailored to those who have difficulty falling asleep, this class helps to process thoughts and release tension in the body in order to retrain the body to sleep.   Offering a range of sound meditation, movement and mindfulness classes without the ‘woo’ in a stunning architectural-designed space by boutique Melbourne architect Melanie Beynon, Mirosuna has been cleverly designed to ensure every feature supports wellness.  From its sustainable Cork floor to support softness under foot; its soft, flowing curtains to provide privacy; and its custom lights and acoustics, the space is designed to evoke and nurture all of the senses. The space effortlessly blends style and comfort, and is Melbourne’s only non-secular meditation studio.   Mirosuna holds a liquor license, with plans to introduce additional classes in the coming months, as well as further events and workshops designed to help clients develop better practices around self-love, managing negative self-talk, and developing a deeper connections to themselves.   In 2019, Founder Sally Kellett spent time consolidating her mindfulness practice at Truc Lam Monastery in Vietnam, where she spent fourteen-hour days practicing meditation and mindfulness with seventy nuns. Combined with her training in Zen Buddhism and mindfulness, this experience inspired her to fulfill her lifelong dream to open her own holistic business, Mirosuna.   Mirosuna is located at Level 1, 18 Ross Street, South Melbourne.