Do you dream of a trip to the land below or own just returned from living abroad in such a beautiful country, you will receive a snack this weekend. Starting Friday, May 15, you will almost visited some of Australia’s biggest attractions on Directly from Aus, a special Facebook Live event featuring some of the country’s biggest stars, with new events happening every hour every hour during weekends. The best part: You can watch it for free from the comfort of your own home through Facebook or active Youtube. Note that due to a 14 hour time difference, some events will occur overnight in the U.S. but during the daytime in Australia. As a result, all events listed below include time zones – ET (Eastern Standard Time) and AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time).
The program starts May 15 at 5 pm. ET here in the US (Saturday, May 16, 7 am AEST), with a special cultural welcome and state recognition from Sydney’s South Coast, followed by an hour-long training brought to you by the team of sports teacher Chris Hemsworth who lives directly from Byron Bay and New York City. The excitement continues at 7 pm ET (9 am AEST) with lessons on how to make the best brekkie bowls, followed by an hour of singing and dancing with The Wiggles, performing directly from Sydney – if you have children at home who still have the energy to burn at 8 pm ET (10: 00 AEST), you won’t want to miss this.
Next are cooking lessons in Melbourne that specialize in authentic ingredients, close encounters with koalas from the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, see cheese making in the Yarra Valley and professional placement classes by the Great Golf Courses of Australia. American night owls must look for special scenes behind the scenes at Questacon – National Science and Technology Center – at 01:00 ET (15:00 AEST) followed by an underwater tour of the Great Barrier Reef and special views at several wineries in Adelaide Hill . At 4 pm ET (6 AEST morning), welcome Australia’s sunset from Uluru – the main event of the trip to the Northern Territory – experience a dinner party and play together at home during the classic Aussie pub trivia night in Sydney. The first day’s event ended with a closer look at whiskey in Tasmania and a live streaming of Spectra, an artistic lighting installation by Ryoji Ikeda, directly from MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart.
Listen on Saturday, May 16 at 4 PM ET (6:00 AEST on Sunday, May 17) for some sunrise yoga in Byron Bay, followed by a coffee masterclass organized by ONA Coffee in Canberra. Zookeeper Chad and Laura Brown will host an hour with Australian wildlife from Featherdale Wildlife Park and New York City at 6pm. ET (8:00 AEST), after that you will be able to follow the mud crab adventure at Cooya Beach.
Next, learn all about the incredible art of Aussie lunch with Three Blue Ducks, a popular Australian restaurant, directly from Byron Bay and Melbourne, before starting one of Tasmania’s beautiful trips through the Bay of Fires. At 10 PM ET (12 p. AEST), there is a crocodile meeting with Australian wildlife explorer Matt Wright, host of National Geographic Inland Wrangler, and a BBQ cooking demonstration by popular Australian Chef Hayden Quinn. Night owls in the US will not want to be left behind to see one of Western Australia’s most beautiful and pristine treasures, The Kimberley, at 12 am ET (14:00 AEST) followed by wine lessons and the art of pairing at the d’Arenberg Cube in McLaren Vale, a beautiful winery which is about 40 minutes from downtown Adelaide.
Calling all kangaroo lovers: Chris ‘Brolga’ Barnes (photo above) will have a fun meal directly from him Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs at 2 am ET (4 pm AEST) followed by a tour of Kangaroo Island in South Australia. For a real treat, watch the Penguin Parade, straight from Philip Island at 4:00 ET (6:00 AEST night) and an hour later, listen to Aboriginal Dreamtime stories told from Shark Bay. The weekend event ends with the evening at the Sydney Opera House – which, for those of us listening to the U.S., actually starts at 6 am ET time (8 pm) – and a special Sunday Session hosted by Sounds Australia.
Meanwhile it will be some time before Americans and other foreigners will be able to visit Australia again, events over the Facebook Live weekend are a great way for potential visitors to see what we can look forward to in future visits.
“Although requests for travel are currently on hold and the recovery time is still uncertain, it is important for us not to remain silent as a destination,” said Tourism Australia’s Managing Director Phillipa Harrison. “Even though people can’t travel now, they can certainly dream and plan for an upcoming vacation.”