Kite festival soars again

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The skies above Rosebud will be ablaze with colour when the Rosebud Kite Festival returns for its 14th year on Sunday, March 11. 

This year’s festival will feature maxi kites from across mainland Australia and New Zealand, including sea creatures such as dolphins, whales, stingrays and octopuses, together with winged dragons and floating astronauts. These giant kites are so large they take a string of runner kites and a team of people to get them into the air and some pretty strong cabling attached to a car or two to keep them anchored to the ground. Flying high in the sky against a backdrop of blue, they never fail to impress. 

This popular family festival is packed with free family activities, circus workshops, kite workshops, a kids’ carnival, local bands on stage throughout the afternoon, roving entertainment and food stalls, and is suitable entertainment for all ages.

You can visit the festival on Saturday, March 10, for a preview of maxi kite displays from 10am-1pm before Sunday’s main event from 11am-5pm with a full program of entertainment. 

For more information, visit or phone 0403 889 559.


Spectacular Flinders gardens open on Australia Day weekend

Garden-lovers are in for a treat on Saturday, January 27, when two very special gardens open with Open Gardens Victoria in Flinders.

Villa Lettisier, at 1936 Boneo Rd, boasts a formal garden designed by Paul Bangay to complement the symmetry of the Palladian architecture of this imposing cliff-top house.

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A walled garden is divided into a series of rooms coming off a central axis. These provide sanctuary from the coastal wind and create a wonderful sense of intrigue. Some rooms feature roses organised by colour, with obelisks adding height and espaliered Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ adding structure. In other rooms visitors will find reflection ponds, manicured hedges and wisteria-clad fountains.  

It is fun speculating what will come next! There is even an elegant pool set in lush grass with walls lined by fruiting figs. This rarely opened property is magnificent.

Nearby Drik Drik, at 63 Bass St, has long been a favourite of local residents, much admired for its interesting and quirky architecture, its garden and general charm. The original front garden has a simple planting scheme of low hedges, coastal tea-tree and rosemary, which allow the design of the original stone cottage and the stone front fence to shine. A highlight is a large manna gum, estimated to be up to 200 years old. 

The modern extension is framed by an ornamental pear transplanted from the site of the extension and a cork oak, while a new garden bed along the driveway draws from a palette of plants that can cope with harsh coastal conditions. Echiums, clipped westringia balls and groundcovers make for an attractive tapestry of form and texture. 

The rear of the property backs on to Flinders Golf Course and has a different, softer mood. Deep, curvaceous beds of trees and shrubs surround a graceful lawn and an ivy-covered walkway lends mystery. Make sure to explore the walled garden behind the modern extension.

Both gardens are open from 10am-4.30pm on Saturday, January 27. Entry for adults is $10 for Villa Lettisier, $8 for Drik Drik, $5 for students and free for children under 18.  Details:

Green light for Gig line-up

An enticing array of emerging and established bands has been confirmed for Gig on the Green in Mount Eliza Village on Saturday, February 3.

Visitors to the free community festival will be spoilt for choice, no matter what their tastes.  The line-up includes Blues Mountain, The Ben Whiting Band, SugaTree, Ben Jansz, Delsinki, Young Vincent, Chango TRee, Simon Phillips, Slumplifter, Andy Phillips, Pete Millar Duo, Jackie Sannia and the evergreen Captain Spalding. 

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Based on the Village Green outside Canadian Bay Hotel, the music will run from 2-8pm outdoors, with supporting performances in local cafes and restaurants ‘til late. A family activity zone will be based in nearby Rotary Park. 

So leave the car at home and head into the heart of Mount Eliza to enjoy another amazing, foot-tapping festival.  It’s all about bringing the community together, and it’s the community that makes our little Village so special!  

Gig on the Green is brought to you by the Mount Eliza Chamber of Commerce.  


Fun in the sun from seaside to city

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Frankston’s most anticipated free summer festival is back bigger and better than ever as it celebrates 19 years of beachside fun for the whole family.  The Waterfront Festival will move to February 10-11 to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay on its journey through our beautiful bayside city in the lead-up to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. 

The Waterfront Festival is a much-loved community event that attracts residents and visitors to the sun-soaked beach at the Frankston Waterfront for two spectacular days of live music, beach and water sports, market stalls, delicious food, wine, cider and craft beer.

As well as the Queen’s Baton Relay on Sunday, February 11, other festival highlights throughout the weekend will include  Sammy J, The Bamboos, Pierce Brothers (pictured), and more; the beer, wine and cider garden; beach and water sports; Food Truck Square festival dining; children’s entertainment; and a spectacular fireworks display.

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The Waterfront Festival is on Saturday, February 10, from 11am-10pm; and Sunday, February 11, from 11am-8pm.  Entry is free but costs apply for rides, food and amusements.

If you’re not too exhausted after two great days of fun in the sun, head into Frankston City’s shopping, arts and dining precinct where you can experience a range of cafés, restaurants, day spas, clothing boutiques and more. For those wanting to branch out a little further and fancy a day or night out at the theatre, catch a top-class performance at the Frankston Arts Centre or visit the internationally renowned art and sculptures at McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery in Langwarrin.

Either way, be sure to put Frankston on your to-do list this summer and take advantage of our fabulous Frankston lifestyle.




INSTA:  @frankstonevents

FB:  @frankstonevents


It’s game on at Frankston Waterfront

Lock in the weekend of January 26-28 for the entire family and get down to the Frankston Waterfront for free entry to a mammoth festival of live music, food trucks, sporting fun and more.

After an astoundingly successful first year in 2017, Australian Beach Games 2018 will descend on six cities in five states at six spectacular beach locations - and it all starts right here in Frankston.

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Visitors can do as little or as much as they want.  There are numerous sports on offer to enter as an individual or a team, or you can just come along for a bite to eat and enjoy the music and the fantastic atmosphere.

The Australian Beach Games is a great way to keep your fitness and sporting prowess going during the summer holidays while having a great time with friends.

Registrations are now open at for all sorts of sports, including 3x3 basketball, netball, frisbee, touch, handball, volleyball, soccer, dodgeball, swimming, table tennis and more.  There’s even a free chess tournament for anyone who likes to take things a little more slowly.

Imagine a weekend of playing sport on the beach with your mates, followed by a cold one and a bite to eat while listening to live music down by the pier as the sun sets.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

Go to for details and follow the games on Facebook @ozbeachgames and Instagram @australianbeachgames.


Sail through summer with Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

The Southern Peninsula in summer is one of the world’s best sailing destinations, with generally flat seas and afternoon sea breezes providing ideal sailing conditions. And there’s no better way to enjoy it all than with Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron.


BYS offers many opportunities for people to discover sailing. Over summer there are learn-to-sail courses for all ages, and the boats, safety gear and qualified instructors are all provided. Tackers, which runs throughout January, is a fun national sailing program for seven to 12-year-olds, and BYS also offers Discover Sailing Experiences - two hours on the water in a 6m boat for up to four people with a qualified instructor. There are even ladies-only sessions.  

If you prefer to watch the action rather than be part of it, BYS also has you sorted. The club is hosting the Musto Skiff World Championships on January 6, so expect about 60 of these single-handed trapezing sailers with their brightly coloured spinnakers to provide an exhilarating display and some exciting sailing just off Blairgowrie. These championships were preceded by the annual Cock of the Bay Race, when about 80 yachts arrived in Blairgowrie from Port Melbourne on Boxing Day, and the magnificent Petersville Regatta for keel boats from December 27-30.  And of course yachting enthusiasts would have been able to see some of the entrants in the Volvo Ocean Race head past on their way to Melbourne for a stop-over at the end of the third leg of the round-the-world race before heading out of the bay on January 2 to start the next leg to Hong Kong.

If you would like to see the skiffs in action, know more or discover sailing for yourself, drop into the club or go to


A: 2900 Point Nepean Rd, Blairgowrie

T: 5988 8453





Age no handicap for trailblazing jockey

Veteran Peninsula jockey Debbie Waymouth will have her sights set on winning the Balnarring Cup on Australia Day – almost 30 years after becoming the first female rider to do so.


At 62, this pioneer for women’s racing is still riding winners – she took out the first race at the Balnarring Picnic Racing Club’s Christmas meeting on December 9 – and on Friday, January 26, she’ll be out to repeat the feat on a horse trained by her daughter, Rebecca. 

In Australia, it was not until 1979 that female jockeys were granted official licences to compete on an equal footing against men. A decade later at Balnarring, Debbie not only won the feature race, the Balnarring Cup, but she also led the field home in her two other starts. 


Since then, Balnarring has championed female jockeys; in fact, three of the six races at the Christmas meeting were won by women. So it’s fitting that trailblazing Debbie is returning for the club’s biggest meeting of the year, when crowds of 7000 people regularly bask in the beauty of this delightfully picturesque course.

The Frankston RSL Pipe Band will march up the straight, there will be a special Australia Day ceremony and guest speakers, as well as lots of fun for the kids, food, wine from Quealy Winemakers and Underground Winery, and on-course bookmakers and betting facilities - not to mention the Punters’ Club and raffles worth $500 cash. Become a member and get access to the members’ grandstand, carpark and toilets – and there’s more than $1000 worth of giveaways throughout the day in the members’ draw.

The club’s next meeting is on Sunday, January 14, with an exhibition of E-Type Jags, Chris Humfrey’s animal shows and 500 showbags to give away. A fantastic bluegrass band will entertain the crowd from noon, and big fields are expected for a great day’s racing.



A: 58 Coolart Rd, Balnarring

T: 5983 9430 (race day)


Manyung, a special site in Sorrento for very large paintings By Liz Rogers

It’s well worth the pilgrimage to the southern tip of the Peninsula this January to experience Manyung Gallery Group’s Grandé upstairs space on Ocean Beach Rd, where especially large art is presented for private viewings. This premium art destination has been purpose-built for confidential showings of exceptional and often highly collectable art.

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Manyung Gallery Group is proud to present paintings sized up to 2.5m by major Australian painters including Christobel Blackman, Terrence Hadler, Carole Foster and Miertje Skidmore for private viewing over summer. Manyung Gallery Grandé’s presentation of many well-respected artists’ works secures its position as a leader among Victorian galleries in attracting major works of note and imminent collectability.

If you are a passionate art collector, an enthusiast or a Portsea or Sorrento resident who is looking to delve into the world of art collection this summertime, Manyung Gallery Group can certainly assist you. Call the gallery to secure a private viewing of a body of work especially prepared for you.



A: 113a & 119 Ocean Beach Rd, Sorrento


A: 60 Mount Eliza Way, Mount Eliza


A: Unit 7, 35 Progress St, Mornington (warehouse)

A: 6-10 Claremont Ave, Malvern


1/37 Cook St, Flinders

T: 9787 2953 all sites



Sweet smell of success at EAU

Mornington Peninsula Magazine asks EAU Mornington Peninsula Natural Bath Salts what it takes to create their beautiful product. Sit back and smell the roses!

What makes EAU Mornington Peninsula Natural Bath Salts so special?

We use three pure salts which are renowned for their therapeutic qualities hand-blended with Australian pink clay. Epsom salts have shown to be easily absorbed through the skin, reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function. Himalayan salts contain over 84 minerals and trace elements which assist with aches and pains. Dead Sea salts stimulate blood circulation and assist with skin disorders, improving skin hydration. Australian pink clay can deliver moisture and energy to tired, dull skin and lightly exfoliates the skin. Each and every one of our pure essential blends have their own therapeutic qualities – we use only pure essential oil blends.


How did the idea for EAU Mornington Peninsula Natural Bath Salts come about?

I previously worked in retail with some of the most talented small businesses on the Mornington Peninsula and their creativity was contagious. You can’t do anything on your own and with so many local businesses’ support, the idea was conceived. The process of blending oils is such fun and when you hit a blend that is sensational it is time for a glass of wine to celebrate. There have been many mistakes along the way but I do know that the advice and time given to me by other small business owners has been critical in launching EAU Mornington Peninsula Natural Bath Salts.


EAU Mornington Peninsula Natural Bath Salts are hand-blended. Please describe the process.

We make to order, small amounts each time, and we package on the day they leave our tiny ‘She Shed’. We actually hand-blend all our ingredients four times, and when I say by hand, I mean hand. We start with blending our three salts to ensure that each of them is equally distributed with the pink Australian clay. The hardest part is ensuring that all the pure essential oils are perfectly balanced to give each of the five blends the most beautiful and individual fragrance with their own therapeutic benefits. We do everything ourselves from the blending to the packaging and where possible the delivery.


EAU Mornington Peninsula Natural Bath Salts believes in total wellbeing – what does that mean?

Total wellbeing means that the mind and body are looked after equally. We chose to support headspace – the National Youth Mental Health Foundation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of young Australians. This vital organisation provides early intervention mental health services to 12 to 25-year-olds.  A proportion of each and every product that leaves our She Shed is donated to headspace.


Where do we find EAU Mornington Peninsula Natural Bath Salts?

We only launched our five blends at the end of October and the response has been amazing.  The local businesses who now stock EAU include Zen Living Mornington, Wise & Co Dispensary Balnarring, Sissy Mt Eliza, Blue Mini Café Rosebud, Peninsula Hot Springs Fingal, Epicurean Red Hill, Main Ridge Harvest, Giving and Living Somerville, White Nest Blairgowrie and Sorrento – we are so grateful for their support. Our online store is going well with salts going as far away as the United Kingdom and Toowoomba!


They look like they would be a great Christmas present?

They make a gorgeous present all year round but for Christmas they are perfect.  REVIVE, CALM, INDULGE, RENEW or UNWIND – there is a blend for everyone.


What is next for EAU Mornington Peninsula Natural Bath Salts?

We are working on two new blends for launch in February, so the She Shed is smelling amazing as we experiment like mad.


Wholesale inquiries welcome


E: [email protected]

M: 0438 908 383

Roy blitzes field in Senior Citizen Stakes

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The Balnarring Picnic Racing Club has some wonderful people involved as members and on the committee.  Roy Francis is one of them.  Therefore it came as no surprise to anyone at the club – with the possible exception of Roy himself – when he was named Victorian Senior Citizen of the Year in October.

“They only told me I was a recipient of an award; I had no idea I had won the big one,” Roy said. “When I heard my name called, I was shocked and a little shaky. I couldn’t tell you what I said.”

Public speaking is not normally an issue for the Mornington 77-year-old.  Since being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006, he has made more than 750 presentations about men’s health to community groups across Victoria.  “I think I have spoken at every Rotary, Lions and Probus club on the Mornington Peninsula.”

Roy was the first Prostate Awareness volunteer ambassador appointed by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and was also the first volunteer ambassador for the National Stroke Foundation and beyondblue.  In 2010, he formed the Mornington Peninsula Prostate Cancer Support Group, which reaches out to men in need.

Roy said none of his achievements would have been possible without the tireless support of his wife, Helen. “She has a background in advanced nursing and helps me with all the technical stuff.  She also looks after the administrative side of things. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t get out the door.”

The club’s annual Christmas race meeting is on Saturday, December 9.


A: 58 Coolart Rd, Balnarring

T: 5983 9430 (race days)


Festival tickets make a Stellar gift

Carly, Jasmine and Sarah are three friends from Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula who grew up with a love of films and filmmaking.  A desire to have a cultural event on their own doorstep led them to create the upcoming Stellar Short Film Festival – an idea so good the Frankston City Council made it part of its Event Attraction Program for 2018.


Stellar is a premium outdoor film festival being held on Saturday, March 3, on the lawns of the stunning McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery in Langwarrin - home to more than 100 sculptures in 16ha of spectacular bushland.

Stellar will showcase the best Australian short films from 2017, with entries by invitation only. Films will compete on the night for prizes, with winners selected by a panel of industry judges, as well as an audience choice award.  The charismatic Stellar MC for the evening will be writer/actor/producer/director Scott Major, known to legions of Australians for his prolific career in television, film and theatre.

For $75, general admission ticket holders will relax with an afternoon of musical entertainment, play lawn games or wander around the sculpture park before enjoying the films and their gourmet picnic pack, including a delicious filled baguette, two salads and a bottle of water.

VIP ticket holders ($150) will indulge in a cocktail-style dinner party with drinks before the screenings, plus receive a gourmet show bag, have access to the indoor gallery, a VIP bar, special entertainment, reserved seating, and an invitation to the Stellar after-party.

There’ll be a mini dessert market featuring local producers, as well as a selection of wines, beers, and coffee available for purchase.

Tickets are on sale now and make the ultimate ‘Stellar’ Christmas present.  Visit for details.


New Year starts with art


When Sir Winston Churchill was once asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort, he asked: “Then what are we fighting for?”  It is hard to imagine a single day when no inspired art works are created on the Peninsula – and you’ll be able to view some of the best at the 34th Sorrento Art Show on January 6.

The first major event on the southern Peninsula for 2018, the Sorrento Art Show is hosted by the Rotary Club of Sorrento and is greatly anticipated each year.  Visitors will stream into Sorrento Community Centre at 5pm on opening night, eager to discover which works have sparked the interest of the judge, Lyn Mellady.  Anticipation is high; the possibility of finding their perfect piece while balancing a nibble and a drink seems to guide people to the original work – perhaps to discover a masterpiece for the future.

Established feature artists at this year’s show are Jane Henderson and Ron Farnhill, while new feature artists Gabrielle Young and Billy Nye are also generating interest.

Art provides a variety of ways to express our feelings and opinions - sculpture, music, poetry, acting, painting, printmaking, crafts. How grey would our world be if not for the beauty of a painting, a symphony, a sculpture, or a piece of lace?  Oils, watercolours, etching, print work, photography – the choice will be yours.  We gain value through art – cultural, social, and economic value. The arts are part of our future.  Come and be part of that future.

The 34th Sorrento Art Show, proudly supported by premium sponsor, Mercedes Benz Mornington, opens at 5pm on Saturday, January 6, at Sorrento Community Centre ($20 per person), then 10am-4pm daily from January 7-13.  Inquiries:  0432 420 336 or

Manyung ends year on a high note By Liz Rogers

Craig Penny’s Gulls at Sullivans Bay (92 x 92 acrylic on canvas)

Craig Penny’s Gulls at Sullivans Bay (92 x 92 acrylic on canvas)

The end of the year is nigh and Manyung Gallery is set to celebrate with a wide range of wonderful art exhibited across six spaces.   See the best of contemporary art that speaks to the heart, check out what’s in store and get ready to indulge in the joy of expression at Manyung Gallery – the perfect place for purchasing the gift of art this Christmas.

Eva Armisen: On show throughout December at Manyung Mount Eliza and Manyung Flinders, this Spanish-born artist is well-known for her child-like style that viewers adore. Her works have been exhibited and collected world-wide and express the pleasure in connecting with family and the child within.

Craig Penny, Wendy Grace and Greg Mallyon: Craig is a feature artist at Sorrento and is much loved for his superb interpretations of sweeping coastal vistas and families enjoying Mornington Peninsula beaches. Manyung Gallery Group’s new gallery space at Flinders will feature Wendy and Greg throughout December. Wendy’s delicate abstract work is inspired by the colour, texture and form found in her surrounding landscapes.  Greg’s contemporary acrylic and mixed media paintings are dramatically inspired by aerial views of the world below and hang on walls of spacious abodes from Portsea to Singapore.

Philip Adams and Monica Adams: December sees the beautiful landscape and coastal creations, canvas and collage works of Philip Adams exhibited at Manyung Gallery’s Sorrento space, while Monica Adams (no relation) is part of Manyung Gallery’s Pucker Up Show in Mount Eliza in February. Both artists’ work hangs equally well in contemporary city dwellings, chic seaside homes, or professional suites and public spaces. 

Drop by to view and purchase a gift of art that can be handed down from generation to generation. The Manyung Gallery Group also offers an in-home consultation service, so getting your space looking beautiful for end-of-year celebrations is easy.


A: 60 Mount Eliza Way, Mount Eliza

A: Unit 7, 35 Progress St, Mornington (warehouse)
A: 6-10 Claremont Ave, Malvern

A: 113A  and 119 Ocean Beach Rd, Sorrento

A: 1/37 Cook St, Flinders

T: 9787 2953 all sites



Fun-filled festival rocks the foreshore

With Rosebud’s long history as a great place to enjoy summer beach holidays, where better to revive the fun-filled 1950s and ‘60s?

Foreshore RockFest, from November 17-19, will feature a fabulous array of music, dance, movies, cars and vintage shopping all based in Rosebud and Dromana.

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The fun starts on the Friday evening with Rock’n’Bowls at Rosebud Bowls Club, a car cruise along the back beaches and a dance at Rosebud Primary School.  On Saturday morning the town centre will rock with hot rod and ‘chrome bumper’ cars on show, ‘50s bands and dancers along the footpath and a ‘50s and ‘60s Market at Rosebud Primary School with Who Was That Cat playing.  The market will include clothing, food, DJs, live bands and dance demonstrations (gold coin entry) while the vintage shops in town will pump with music, fashion and bargains.

On Saturday evening multiple dance venues will host bands including the Rockin’ Daddies, Itchy Fingers, I.C Rock and Fender Benders. For swing dance enthusiasts there’s the amazing Pearly Shells and Lady Fox, along with a movie and dance at the Dromana 3 Drive In.

Sunday will see a pre-1970s hot rod and classic car show on the Village Green, featuring the Jump Devils. For the fashionistas, a vintage clothing and ‘pin up’ contest will be held in the Memorial Hall next to the car show. The market will continue at the primary school from 9am, and all events will culminate at 3pm.

Tickets are essential for many events and are selling fast through, where you can also get full details of the festival, or like the Facebook page Foreshore Rockfest for all the latest news.


Shhh! It’s starting

It’s time for all movie buffs to get their tickets, grab a bucket of popcorn and settle back in their seats for Peninsula Cinemas’ 19th Annual Film Festival in Rosebud.

From November 17-19, the festival will feature an enticing program of pre-release foreign language, art house and mainstream films chosen especially to cater to all tastes. The festival begins on Friday, November 17, with a wine-tasting at 7.30pm before the screening of the first film.

The festival line-up features Human Traces, School Life, Westwind, One Less God, Between Land And Sea, Just To Be Sure, The Other Side, Summer 1993, The Teacher, and Growing Up Smith.  Full festival tickets are available now for $100 from, phone 5981 2555 or at the ticket box.  As well as giving you admission to every movie and the opening night wine-tasting, a full ticket entitles you to a goodie bag and lunch on Saturday.

Single-session tickets for single films cost $15 for adults and $10 for children/concession.



A: Rosebud Pde, Rosebud

T: 5981 2555



Off and racing at Balnarring

It’s time to dust off the suit or hit the fashion stores for a hot new dress – they’re ready to jump at the Balnarring Picnic Racing Club.

The new season’s racing starts on Saturday, November 11 – the first of six race dates at the historic Emu Plains racecourse between now and April – and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more ideal location for a pleasant family outing. The beautiful grounds have plenty of parking and picnic spots, a variety of food vendors will satisfy all appetites, and well-priced drinks are available from the bar. There’s a modern children’s playground on site and Kelly Sports puts on plenty of activities for the youngsters while the adults turn their attention to all the action on the track. On-course bookmakers and TAB facilities are available at all meetings.


The club’s December 9 meeting is especially popular for family and work Christmas functions, and packages can be booked through the club’s website.  Marquees are available for hire or you can bring your own, and there are picnic tables with umbrellas for groups of any size. Entry tickets, marquee sites and picnic tables can also be booked online.

The club also aims to assist local community groups and charities regularly with its community support raffle, and at its annual meeting in September it presented five charities with $1000 each. The charities were:

Thin Green Line Foundation - supporting conservation of wildlife by supporting rangers and providing aid, equipment and training in conflict zones;

Ties for Lives - early detection of youth mental health to reduce depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide;

Riding for the Disabled – a non-profit organisation that provides opportunites for anyone with a disability to enjoy therapeutic horse-related activities;

Surfing for the Disabled - to put “smiles on dials” of people with any disability and provide them with an enjoyable surfing experience; and,

The Bays Hospital - to assist with the purchase of scalp-cooling caps for women undergoing cancer treatment.


Membership of the Balnarring Picnic Racing Club is $55 for the season plus a $15 joining fee for new members. This entitles you to a Member’s plus Guest pass that gives you entry to every race meeting for the season and a Member’s carpark pass. Enjoy the members’ clubhouse facilities and new grandstand right in front of the finishing post.

Race days at Balnarring have something for everyone, whether you want to relax in the natural beauty of the grounds or enjoy a day out with friends.



A: 58 Coolart Rd, Balnarring

T: 5983 9430 (race day)



Queenscliff’s the king of festivals

Set against a backdrop of sun, surf and sea, this month’s Queenscliff Music Festival will feature a staggering and incredibly varied array of exciting and eclectic local and international talent.

Its reputation as one of Australia’s great music festivals will no doubt be enhanced by headliners Xavier Rudd (Friday), Bernard Fanning (Saturday) and The Temper Trap (Sunday) as well as a host of indie, blues, rock’n’roll, country and soul performers, making sure everyone’s music tastes are well and truly satisfied.

Hiatus Kaiyote frontwoman Nai Palm will perform a solo set that promises to be as soulful, progressive and individual as all of her former releases.  Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project features Gavin Campbell (Filthy Lucre) in a reinvigorated formation that will mix the band's classics and new material with an electronic twist.

Aussie roots outfit The Beautiful Girls are playing their only Victorian show this year at Queenscliff and will perform their first two albums, Morning Sun and Learn Yourself, in their entirety.  New Orleans-based funk master Jon Cleary and his Absolute Monster Gentlemen will include songs from Go Go Juice, which won last year’s Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music Album.

The festival will also feature The Teskey Brothers’ dynamic Melbourne-via-Motown sound, the powerhouse pipes, wind and strings of mega soul ensemble The Bamboos, and singer-songwriter and Jebediah frontman Bob Evans. Country songstress and nine-time Golden Guitar winner Beccy Cole, bluesy rocker and guitarist Mia Dyson, and country/blues husband and wife duo Hat Fitz and Cara join the line-up along with Perth rock’n’rollers The Southern River Band, indie artist Stella Donnelly, Allysha Joy, Jazz Party, Little Georgia and The Wilson Pickers.

Overseas acts include Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Garzon-Montano, NYC trio Too Many Zooz, Canada-based Irish singer-songwriter Irish Mythen, Nashville-based Canadian country singer Lindi Ortega and countrymen The East Pointers. Hawaii’s Ron Artis II brings one of his three bands, The Truth, to Queenscliff for a set of blues, jazz and soul, and smoky-voiced Travis Bowlin brings his roots vibe Down Under from the US.

If roots and world beats are your thing, look no further than Lamine Sonko & The African Intelligence – one of two 10-piece ensembles playing the festival.  The other is Melbourne’s Sex on Toast - dripping in ‘80s pizazz and described as Saturday Night Fever meets Boys II Men.

Aussie icon Russell Morris, blues/soul/gospel queen Caiti Baker, Melbourne folksters The Mae Trio, Cherry Bar soul DJ Vince Peach, Melbourne’s Didirri, North-East Arnhem Land’s Yirrmal and Geelong girl band the Sweethearts will also perform over the three days with Apollo Bay teen rockers The Refuge, 15-year-old musician Heath Robertson, and his singer-songwriter mother Andrea Robertson.

Award-winning comedian, writer and musician Sammy J will make sure there are laughs aplenty at Queenscliff, while the QMF Comedy Show will feature side-splitting stand-up routines from four of Australia's funniest: Ivan Aristeguieta, Harley Breen, young talent Demi Lardner, and Nath Valvo.  As in previous years there will also be an arts component to this year’s line-up, as well as plenty of colourful entertainment options for the kids and locally grown gourmet food and wine for the adults.  It all adds up to making the Queenscliff Music Festival a must for families as well as lovers of all types of music.

The Queenscliff Music Festival is at Princess Park, Queenscliff, from November 24-26.  For tickets, go to; for line-up details and further information, go to

Gorgeous gardens go on show

Garden lovers will be inspired by two stunning gardens opening with Open Gardens Victoria in Mount Eliza on the weekend of November 25 and 26.

SummersLease, at 40-42 Rosserdale Cres, is an elegant and timeless garden designed by Andrew Stark, who will be on hand to chat with visitors all weekend. It has a ‘relaxed formal’ style with garden rooms that make maximum use of space and are defined by layered hedging with variation in colour and leaf form.


Beautifully maintained plantings of buxus, laurel, magnolias and jasmine are combined with ornamental pears and banks of hydrangeas. Stunning pots and urns with topiary buxus, statues and water features highlight key vistas in the garden.

A French potager-style vegetable garden sits at the bottom of the garden watched over by two large cast-iron roosters. The garden is a delight for the senses with beautiful fragrance from flowering magnolia, murraya, gardenia, star jasmine and Japanese jasmine.

Nithsdale, at 34 Rannoch Ave, is an enchanting English-style garden bordered by an 80-year-old hedge. It has free-flowing garden beds with expanses of green lawn, wide garden beds, pergolas and a fishpond.

The planting is informal with established trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals for colour and contrast. Over the past 30 years the owners have extended and rejuvenated the garden to create a haven for their own pleasure and to share with others – including the abundant birdlife.

Nithsdale is opening for Global Gardens of Peace, an Australian charity founded by Moira Kelly AO in 2013 and whose aim is to design and deliver living landscapes as a foundation to support vulnerable communities around the world. 

Both gardens are open from 10am-4.30pm each day, and entry to each is $8 for adults, $5 for students and free for children under 18.  Details:

Artist delights in the happiness of others


Dromana artist Noel Hill’s landscapes were once described by an enthusiastic viewer as “happy paintings”, something the artist says still delights him enormously.
“For myself, I do enjoy those ‘euphoric highs’ I so often experience when painting out in the brilliant sunlit Queensland countryside and waterways - a landscape, it seems to me, to be so alight with colourful vibrancies and energy.  There is also a palpable ‘aura’ of imagined past generations of those families who have all devoted both their time and lives cohabitating in its vastness, with all its mysteries and complexities to contend with.

“My own way is to try and offer an oasis for the viewer, a similar voyage of discovery to that which I also embarked upon during the process of creating the painting. I’m hoping this will also appeal to their imagination, and continue to provide infinite pleasure and enrichment of the spirit.

“Always drawing, and writing childish poems as a child, my first artistic influence was the then editorial cartoonist on the Courier Mail newspaper in Brisbane where I was born. I had contracted diphtheria when eight years old, which meant spending many months away from school, reading and dreaming. I decided I wanted to also become a political cartoonist, studying the daily news then sending cartoons to the editor of the Courier Mail when 11, which I’m sure must have been rather an amusing interlude for him in retrospect.  I did join the Courier Mail as an artist many years later.

“I moved to Sydney as a young adult to work and study art at the National Art School and the Ashton Art School at The Rocks.  I exhibited locally as time permitted while working as a graphic designer for ABC television, before moving back to Brisbane, gaining experience as an artist on newspapers, the Queensland Education Department, as a staff artist at the university before freelancing and teaching art part-time at TAFE colleges and private art groups, pursuing a full-time fine art career and exhibiting regularly.

“I would like to see paintings on the walls of every home in Australia - so much daily pleasure waiting to be enjoyed.

“I continue to explore new ways of seeing the world around me, and try to translate my discoveries on to the canvas or paper. The old masters’ drawings and paintings offer such a valuable source of technical information, for which I have a continuing passion for researching and trying to inculcate into my own work.

“That my paintings have been called ‘happy’ is a great source of inspiration, as the great French painter Henri Matisse observed of his own work.  He felt they were successful if the viewer also received as much pleasure from them as he did when creating them, a credo I have happily adopted for myself.”

Noel has been a professional artist in a variety of media for more than 30 years and a part-time teacher for more than 20 years. He has worked as a graphic designer with ABC television and staff artist with the University of Queensland. The diverse spectrum of his compositions includes figurative work, abstraction and beautiful rural properties captured in vividly coloured pastel. Noel’s work is represented in both Australian and overseas collections, and an exhibition of his work is on at Mornington’s Oak Hill Gallery from November 4-29.



A: 100 Mornington-Tyabb Rd, Mornington

T: 5973 4299