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March, 2019

BT’s Best: Queensland’s top 10 beaches

Beautiful Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays. The great outlook at Palm Cove, north of Cairns.
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There’s plenty of good surf on a number of beaches, including Kirra in the south and Mooloolaba in the north.

North Kirra has become a beach community.

Beautiful Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays.

North Kirra has become a beach community.

There’s plenty of good surf on a number of beaches, including Kirra in the south and Mooloolaba in the north.

The great outlook at Palm Cove, north of Cairns.

Beautiful Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays.

The great outlook at Palm Cove, north of Cairns.

There’s plenty of good surf on a number of beaches, including Kirra in the south and Mooloolaba in the north.

North Kirra has become a beach community.

Beautiful Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays.

The great outlook at Palm Cove, north of Cairns.

There’s plenty of good surf on a number of beaches, including Kirra in the south and Mooloolaba in the north.

North Kirra has become a beach community.

BT’s Best is all about finding the very best of Queensland. And when it comes to our beaches, there are more than 1000 sandy strips in our fine state from which to choose.

We’ve had more than 200 submissions, consulted tourism industry gurus, and come up with a list which reflects the entire Queensland coast. It’s all about the very best surf, sand and social scenes.

1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands

We thought about pulling a surprise by putting Whitehaven into number 2, but that would have been unfair. It’s a stunning saturation of sparkling turquoise and brilliant white. Whether you go for the birdseye view via helicopter or seaplane, float nearby in a yacht, cab cruiser or catamaran or camp overnight on the beach itself, these secluded crystal clear waters and pristine silica sands are well worth a visit. There are plenty of day trips from Daydream and other Whitsunday islands.

2. Palm Cove

About 20 years ago, Palm Cove was a getaway primarily for locals. Now, it’s an international destination with five-star hotels, first-class restaurants and a spot of shopping. The view of Double Island is still a treat as are the 500-year-old melaleuca ‘paperbark’ trees which line the beach.

3. Rainbow Beach

Do yourself a favour and walk up the hill at the southern end of Rainbow Beach. You’ll see spectacular views of a magical beach, and a bit further you’ll catch the sunset at Carlo Sandblow, considered one of Queensland’s best natural attractions. Backpackers flock to Rainbow Beach. It won’t be long before others are too.

4. North Kirra

It’s difficult to single out one Gold Coast beach, but North Kirra has plenty of space and is one of the best recreational beaches in the country. With a passionate Surf Live Saving Club, good beach fishing and a surfer’s dream of long right-handers at Kirra Point, it is home to a beach community. Eateries also have a strong presence.

5. Lake McKenzie

Not all beaches are on the coastline, and this one’s as much about the water as it is about the beach itself. Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island has crystal clear rainwater and nearly pure silica sands which are said to be great for the skin. And it’s free of jellyfish, sharks, crabs and sea lice.

6. Michaelmas Cay

Again, not all great pieces of sand are on the coastline. This popular cay is smack bang in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef which means there’s swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving like nowhere else in the world. Marine life is in abundance and it’s a protected national park. The only drawback is a lack of shade.

7. Four Mile Beach

Close to Port Douglas, Four Mile Beach has minimal development and an area with stinger nets. It’s the definition of “long walks on the beach”, and leads to Island Point’s reefs and mangroves at the mouth of the Mowbray River mouth.

8. Mooloolaba Beach

It’s become a bustling centre with shops, restaurants, a nearby harbour and high-end accommodation, but Mooloolaba Beach still remains a favourite with families. Nearby Alexandra Headland hosts surfers, but waves at the Mooloolaba strip are considered non-threatening and are patrolled by lifesavers.

9. Agnes Water to 1770

The stretch of golden sand from Agnes Water to the Town of 1770 offers the best of both worlds. At 1770, there are calm waters and lush natural settings, while 8km further, there are swells at Agnes Water, the most northern surf beach on the Queensland coast. It’s a quiet family getaway gaining in popularity as more hotels are built.

10.   Peregian Beach

Peregian Beach locals don’t really want others to know how good they’ve got it. They are quite happy for the swarms of tourists to make their way to Noosa, which is also a great beach. The difference is that Peregian has so much room to move. The waves can occasionally be rough, but it’s a spectacular beach with an easy-going village nearby.

Other favourites which just missed the cut …

Horseshoe Bay, Bowen

Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island

Daintree Rainforest beaches

Etty Bay, Innisfail

Kings Beach, Caloundra

Bulcock Beach, Caloundra

Cylinder Beach, North Stradbroke

Surfers Paradise

Marcoola

Alexandra Headlands

Noosa Cove

Burleigh Heads

Broadbeach

Palm Beach

Toorbul

Oaks Beach

Coolum

Tully Heads

Mission Beach

Daydream Island

… and there are many more.

Information compiled by Eveline Fielding.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Paia’aua to debut alongside idol Karmichael Hunt

Duncan Paia’aua in action for the Broncos during the Holden Cup semi final in September last year. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty ImagesDuncan Paia’aua remembers watching Karmichael Hunt’s rugby league feats from afar, but this Saturday he will be sharing his Reds debut with the triple-code threat.
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Paia’aua, a former Broncos Under-20s player himself, said playing alongside one of his sporting heroes would be a dream come true.

“Karmichael was probably my favourite player growing up in league and he is a true professional, so it’s really good to be playing next to him,” he said.

It will be a baptism of fire for Paia’aua, who replaces Quade Cooper at fly-half in the game.

The rising star was not expecting to earn his first start so early,but he will have a handy helper off the field in Cooper, who has been somewhat of a mentor for the 20-year-old through the pre-season.

“I’m very lucky to have someone like him be my mentor,” he said.

“Before surgery on Monday he pulled me aside and told me what to do before the session and make sure I’m confident in everything I do and be more dominant.”

While most of the pre-season anticipation has surrounded Hunt’s debut, plenty of eyes will be on Paia’aua in the pivotal fly-half role.

Reds coach Richard Graham said he had complete faith in Paia’aua.

“There is a lot of confidence in Duncan and his ability,”he said.

“There’s a lot of responsibility in the other 14 guys that are on the field at the same time.

Reds coach Richard Graham said he expected Hunt might take a while to find his feet in his first rugby union match since 2009.

“There’ll be times, no doubt, he’ll find himself in situations he hasn’t in the last couple of years,” he said.

“But I go back to (Israel) Folau’s first game against the Reds two years ago and he certainly looked lost.

“It only took Folau one game and he learnt quickly.

“So we’ve got the two trials and getting into the Brumbies (in round one), Karmichael will be in a really good space.”

Whether or not he sets the world on fire with his play in Cairns, Graham said the vice-captain would be a positive influence on the team.

“If you’ve watched Karmichael throughout the pre-season he’s very vocal, dominant, very confident about the way he’s gone about his work.”

In a massive show of faith from Graham, Paia’aua will also be taking the goal-kicking duties as well as the playmaking role in the absence of James O’Connor.

A niggling knee injury has kept O’Connor out of Saturday’s trial against the Rebels, heading a list of 10 unavailable Reds.

Along with Cooper and O’Connor, the Reds are missing Rob Simmons (nerve), Greg Holmes (shoulder), Ben Daley (shoulder), Ed O’Donoghue (ankle) Dave McDuling (glute), Eddie Quirk (kneee), Ben Tapuai (hamstring) and Lachie Turner (shoulder).

Graham said he wasn’t worried by the growing casualty ward.

“It’s probably last week that’s caused use the most concern with the number of short-term injuries and we’re just working through that at the moment,” he said.

“A number of those guys will be fit again for next week but clearly for us the most important thing at this stage of the season is round one.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Cheap and cheerful holidays for the tweens

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It’s right about now that you look in your pockets/wallet/purse and scream, “Where has all my money gone!”

Kids are expensive. (I mean feeding, clothing and entertaining them – not buying them, of course.) Never more so than at this time of year.

What with the unreasonable demands of new pairs of shoes, mobile phones and electronic games, the badgering can be brutal. (And that’s just for stuff for me!)

Squeezing in a summer break might bust the bank.

But not if you follow these handy hints from Bound Round, an educational and interactive travel platform for tweens, where they can record their experiences in journal, postcard and photographic format.

These are their top picks from the Kids’ Board for low-cost Christmas holiday fun, right across this wide brown land.

*Growing up, my sister and I called it the “gorilla mountain”. Tibrogagan is a sheer rock face, forming part of the Glasshouse Mountains on the Sunshine Coast. The good news is, there are 11 smaller hills perfect for rock climbing and hiking. From there, head to the Strawberry Fields, where you only pay for the number you collect. And yes, the cafe sells chocolate-coated strawberries.

*Sydney’s an expensive city, right? Well, not if you go to the sprawling Darling Quarter Playground with a 21-metre flying fox, climbing ropes, giant slides, swings and water games. Or catch a ferry to Cockatoo Island to check out the city’s convict history. Campsites start from $45 a night. Grab activity booklets from the Visitor Information Centre for self-guided tours to discover the island’s shipbuilding past.

*Sometimes, I want to move to Perth, purely because of Whiteman Park. The kids can ride a vintage steam train, have a hit of tennis, explore the bike paths, check out the Motor Museum, or learn about native plants in the Children’s Forest. Afterwards, cool down in the maze of fountains at the Water Labyrinth in Forrest Place.

*If you’re doing the “Worlds” on the Gold Coast, explore farther afield at Mount Tamborine. Take a hike through the national park to see the magnificent Curtis Falls. (Mum or dad might like to suck away for a spell at Gwinganna Lifestyle retreat, hee hee…) Afterwards, in nearby Logan, visit the protected koalas at the Daisy Hill Conservation Park: entry is free.

*Lake Macquarie is a sleepy settlement a couple of hours north of Sydney. You can walk or bike around the lake, jump off Murray’s Beach jetty, or get “dirty and healthy and fit”, according to one Bound Rounder, with a bush walk in Watagans National Park. Drop by the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, where climbing on outdoor sculptures is actually encouraged.

These destinations are guaranteed to drag your tweens away from their devices for at least a few hours.

And they won’t mean a trip to Cash Converters to liquidate those unwanted Christmas gifts.

Email: [email protected]南京夜网.au

Twitter & Instagram: @TraceySpicer

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Merged border force sees upgrade with bootcamp physical tests planned for employees

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Thousands of public servants at the Immigration Department and Customs service will have to get physical if they want a job at the new “Australian Border Force”.

“Operational” workers at the agencies hoping to be picked for the nation’s new border protection team must first prove themselves in boot-camp style tests of strength and stamina including push-ups, squats and shuttle-runs.

Those who do not shape-up will be shipped-out to desk jobs in the new 14,000-strong department.

The news comes days after departmental boss Mike Pezzullo told his staff in an Australia Day message that they must be prepared to “man the ramparts and protect our borders”.

Private sector coaches will put the bureaucrats through their paces with female border officials in the over-55 age group expected to perform four push-ups and six repetition squats as well as undergoing heart rate tests after mounting 22 steps in 60 seconds.

There will also be multi-stage shuttle runs, a technique usually involving 20 metre runs and used by sporting teams to test of cardiovascular fitness.

Younger public servants, aged up to 34 years, will be expected to perform 8 push-ups with 15 repetitions squats for male officials in the age group and 12 for females.

There will also be a requirement for the officers, most of whom will be getting fitness-tested for the first time in their working lives, to demonstrate the tricky “bridge hold” position.

The “Border Force Basic Fitness Assessment” is the latest surprise for Immigration’s public servants who also face tough “Organisational Suitability Requirement Assessments” as their department is taken over by the smaller Customs service.

There will also be a crackdown on second jobs, social media use and sloppy appearances among the department’s employees, as the Customs agency hierarchy tightens its grip on Immigration.

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The new fitness requirements are being trialled among Customs officers in Victoria, it is understood, ahead of a roll-out to the service across Australia within a month.

Customs told Fairfax Media the fitness tests would apply to officers working on investigations and compliance operations, Australian and offshore detention centres, and those on duty at air and sea ports “and land and maritime domains”.

Mr Pezzullo made his comments about the nation’s ramparts in an Australia Day message to Immigration and Customs staff that also emphasised the departments’ roles as Australia’s “gateway” and an “open conduit” to the rest of the world.

A Customs spokeswoman said on Thursday that workers moving into the Border Force would be physically assessed to ensure they could carry out their duties safely and effectively,

“Officers assessed as not yet operationally ready will be provided with support and guidance to assist them to meet the requirements of a Border Force Officer,” she said.

“This includes the opportunity to be reassessed within a specified timeframe.

“If after reassessment an officer is deemed not operationally ready they will receive assistance to transition to an alternate workforce stream within the organisation.”

The Australian Border Force merged entity is set to launch in July.

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Newcastle Jets drama a ‘storm in a teacup’, says Nathan Tinkler

Strange days indeed: Newcastle players meet before training on Thursday. Photo: Darren PatemanDefiant Newcastle Jets owner Nathan Tinkler has dismissed the chaos that has engulfed his free-falling A-League club as a “storm in a teacup”.
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In an interview with TheWorld Game website on Thursday, Tinkler indicated he would happily meet the January 31 deadline Football Federation Australia has imposed on him to settle the club’s debts, which he estimated were about $500,000 – but only on his terms.

The former billionaire believes FFA still owes him $5 million – a figure he maintains he paid as an acquisition fee when he replaced Con Constantine as owner in September 2010.

“This is storm in a teacup stuff … creditors are getting paid as we speak. It will all be resolved,” Tinkler told The World Game.

“I have said to FFA CEO David Gallop all along that we will deal with bills and this sort of stuff and that is getting dealt with now.

“This media deadline until the end of the month is really just that.

“I have told David we will take these things on and put the club in good standing and that’s what we’re on the path to doing.

“We are taking the first steps and the process of recapitalising the club will be starting immediately.”

The Newcastle Herald reported in May 2012 that Tinkler had paid FFA a $3.5 million acquisition fee, not $5 million, when he took control in 2010.

Those details emerged from a meeting between Tinkler and FFA chairman Frank Lowy in a Brisbane airport hangar to discuss the club’s future after Tinkler had handed back the A-League licence.

“Is there also a deadline for me getting my $5 million back from the FFA. Is that a deadline too?” Tinkler told The World Game.

“That would be good. That would really help. FFA is at me for about $500,000, and I am at them for $5 million.

“If they want to set a deadline to resolve those two issues, then I will be more than happy to resolve it by Saturday.”

Tinkler has until Saturday to settle the club’s debts, headed by $140,000 owed to Northern NSW Football and outstanding superannuation entitlements, and to convince the FFA that the club is a going concern.

“FFA has repeatedly spoken about benchmarks around stability and sustainability in the Jets operation,” an FFA spokesperson said.

“We’ve made this clear directly to the Jets owner and chairman Nathan Tinkler. In that context, the developments with the players and coaching staff create another layer of concern.

“The club has some immediate issues to address in relation to finances, personnel and structures and the timeframe is in the days, not weeks.”

On an extraordinary day of bloodletting on Wednesday, the Jets sacked captain Kew Jaliens, former A-League Golden Boot and Johnny Warren medallist Joel Griffiths, senior players David Carney, Billy Celeski and Adrian Madaschi, and coaches Clayton Zane, Neil Young and Andrew Packer.

Maintaining his staunch support of first-year coach Phil Stubbins, Tinkler said the decision to show the players and coaches the door was “certainly not personal”.

“It’s the club heading in one direction and senior players going in another. It’s not quite the emotional upheaval that certain people in the media are trying to portray it as,” he said.

“It’s a planned strategic move that many people will say they probably saw coming.”

Stubbins recruited Young and Packer, who both relocated to Newcastle to join the Jets’ coaching staff last year in the build-up to the current A-League campaign.

The coach also signed Madaschi and Celeski, and two other Stubbins recruits, imports Marcos Flores and Jonny Steele, left the club less than six months into their contracts.

But Tinkler said it was “hard to judge a coach when he is forced to take on not just an inherited squad but also an inherited coaching staff”.

“There are not too many coaches in soccer who can say they will win with any squad and any coaching staff. They need their people around them, people they trust and believe in to implement the style of play they want,” Tinkler said.

“Now Phil will get the chance to have the squad he wants by the start of next year and for the rest of this year he will have a bunch of players there that will have to prove they are worthy of being in that squad next season.”

In a poll on the Newcastle Herald website on Thursday asking who is most to blame for the turmoil at the Jets, 62.88 per cent of respondents said Tinkler, 18.88 per cent said the players, and 18.24 per cent said Stubbins.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.