Ayana Resort and Spa review, Bali: A warm, gentle welcome

Even the sunsets are five-star at Bali’s Ayana Resort. Ayana Resort Bali.
杭州楼凤

Ayana Resort Bali.

Ayana Resort Bali.

Ayana Resort Bali.

THE LOCATION

A sense of deep relaxation settles in from the moment you check in at the tranquil, open-air reception area. Is it the effect of the sculpted pools, or the gentle welcome from smiling staff? Ayana Resort and Spa and its sister property Rimba are surrounded by 90 hectares of beautifully landscaped tropical gardens fronting the spectacular coastline of Jimbaran Bay – a private beach is available for guests.

Ayana accommodates guests in 290 hotel rooms and 78 villas that are discreetly dotted around the estate, with winding frangipani-lined pathways leading to pools, restaurants and bars. THE SPACE

Several of the traditional Balinese-style villas are being renovated – 10 two-bedroom ocean villas will re-open in June with even bigger bathrooms, new airconditioning and new furniture. There is one three-bedroom “presidential” villa, 39 one- and two-bedroom ocean villas and 38 cliff villas. THE ROOM

The enormous (500 square metre) one-bedroom cliff villa I stayed in is light, bright and airy; the living area and vast marble bathroom open onto a private walled garden and pool, with sunbeds and a poolside gazebo for serious lounging. All the villas feature ethnic Indonesian textiles and artworks as well as modern essentials such as free Wi-Fi, DVD players, iPod docking stations and 42-inch televisions (which you’re unlikely to turn on). THE KIT

Do yourself a favour and book in for a two-hour session in the Aquatonic pool, the largest of its type in the world. Its setting alone melts stress away – the towering pavilions have views straight to the Indian Ocean. You progress through a series of saltwater jets that treat all areas of your body and emerge at the end in a state of bliss.

The Thermes Marins spa also offers massage, reflexology, Thalassotherapy and aromatherapy treatments; a beauty salon that overlooks an 18-hole golf course; three tennis courts; a cafe; and the Honzen Japanese restaurant. There are 11 swimming pools at Ayana and Rimba, including a children’s pool with waterslides and a fabulous rooftop pool at the UNIQUE bar at Rimba. COMFORT

When you have 24-hour butler service you want for nothing. Pick up the phone and a buggy will arrive to take you anywhere around the resorts. Order dinner in your villa and your butler will arrive to set it up; request a complimentary massage or sunrise yoga session and it’s all organised for you. As a guest of Ayana or Rimba you have priority access to the uber-cool Rock Bar, which gets pretty busy – especially at weekends when the jetsetters flock in. FOOD

Where to start? There are 15 restaurants and bars across the two resorts that serve top-notch Italian, Japanese, Indian, Indonesian, Chinese and Western cuisine. My favourite was the Kisik Seafood Bar & Grill, for dinner at sunset – you can hardly get any closer to the ocean.

A gamelan orchestra plays on the jetty a short distance away and the atmosphere is quite magical; the food is pretty good, too. Choose your seafood (fresh off the boats) from an impressive display and it’s cooked to your taste and served with Balinese accompaniments.

Dava does a fine breakfast and To’ge, at Rimba, is a contemporary venue that serves a range of international dishes from breakfast to dinner. A recent addition to Rimba is Ah Yat Abalone Seafood Restaurant – the upmarket Cantonese restaurants are extremely popular in Asia and this is the first one to open in Bali. STEPPING OUT

Everything you could possibly want for a relaxing escape is on site. If you stay longer than a couple of days you might venture out to Jimbaran Bay’s markets with one of the chefs, or to do a spot of sightseeing and shopping further afield – but I could happily spend a week there without going anywhere else. THE VERDICT

The perfect spot for a wedding (there are eight wedding venues in suitably romantic settings), honeymoon or revitalising holiday. ESSENTIALS

Ayana is 10 kilometres from Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar International Airport). The resort organises transfers to and from the airport, if you’ve booked directly with them by phone, email or on the website. Rates for a one-bedroom ocean view pool villa start at $980 a night, which includes a US$50 spa/dining voucher. Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, see ayanaresort杭州龙凤论坛m. HIGHLIGHT

A morning in the Aquatonic pool is the ultimate de-stressing treatment. LOWLIGHT

It’s hard to pick fault but even guests have to queue for the Rock Bar.

The writer was a guest of the Ayana Resort and Spa Bali.

Six of the best: Classic Tasmanian hikes

Cradle Mountain Huts Walk offers two walks: a six-day for the more ambitious walker, or a four-day for a more relaxing walk. Photo: Great Walks of The Tarkine is home to the world’s tallest hardwood trees. Photo: World Expeditions
杭州楼凤

Bay of Fires Lodge. Photo: Tasmanian Walking Co

Maria Island is off the east coast of Tasmania. Photo: Pierre Destribats

River crossing on the South Coast Track. Photo: World Expeditions

Cradle Mountain Huts Walk offers two walks: a six-day for the more ambitious walker, or a four-day for a more relaxing walk. Photo: Great Walks of

Cradle Mountain Huts Walk offers two walks: a six-day for the more ambitious walker, or a four-day for a more relaxing walk. Photo: Great Walks of

Cradle Mountain Huts Walk offers two walks: a six-day for the more ambitious walker, or a four-day for a more relaxing walk. Photo: Great Walks of

Walls of Jerusalem:Tasmania’s only true alpine national park. Photo: Tourism Tasmania

Walls of Jerusalem:Tasmania’s only true alpine national park. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Tasmanian Exp

Walls of Jerusalem:Tasmania’s only true alpine national park. Photo: Tourism Tasmania

Walls of Jerusalem:Tasmania’s only true alpine national park. Photo: Tourism Tasmania

OVERLAND TRACK

If you had to choose just one Tasmanian multi-day walk to do in your lifetime, it would have to be this 65-kilometre, six-day beauty. One of ‘s most popular hikes, taking you through Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, it has its challenges – a steep section on day one, thigh-deep mud at times and optional peak-bagging en route. But the rewards are worth it: Tasmania’s highest mountain (Mount Ossa, 1617 metres), pristine lakes, uninhabited splendour. Go with Cradle Mountain Huts for the added delights of hot showers, gourmet meals, private architect-designed huts and the joy of carrying just a daypack.

See cradlehuts杭州龙凤论坛m.au  WALLS OF JERUSALEM CIRCUIT

Just east of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, and only three hours from Launceston, Walls of Jerusalem National Park is Tasmania’s only true alpine national park and a favourite with wilderness-loving Taswegians, partly because there is no road access (the park’s entrance is a two-hour uphill trek from the nearest dirt road), which makes it blissfully uncrowded even in midsummer. The six-day circuit is a full-pack adventure taking in natural glories such as dolerite fortresses, fairytale forests of pencil pines, biblical landforms (including King David’s Peak and Solomon’s Throne), valleys glittering with glacial tarns and exquisitely peaceful lakeside campsites.

See tasmanianexpeditions杭州龙凤论坛m.au  TARKINE RAINFOREST WALK

The Tarkine, in the state’s remote north-west, is Tasmania’s green heart, home to the tallest hardwood trees in the world, the largest temperate rainforest in the southern hemisphere and a Tolkienesque landscape of wild rivers, waterfalls and forest trails. This four-day trip takes you deep into it on guided day walks from Tiger Ridge base camp, which is designed to keep you immersed in the natural environment with its open-sided living/dining area, Japanese-style washroom with forest views, and canvas tents with real beds. Tarkine Trails also offers six-day, full-pack rainforest and coastal hikes, the Tarkine Trail and Tarkine Coastal Walk.

See tarkinetrails杭州龙凤论坛m.auBAY OF FIRES LODGE WALK

Tasmania’s north-eastern corner has a sunny spaciousness not readily found in the rest of the state. The coastline north of St Helens sprawls in broad stripes of silica-white sand, olive-green heath and turquoise sea under an impossibly blue sky, and walking through it on this leisurely four-day walk (which includes one non-walking day you can spend kayaking, birdwatching or beachcombing) is an almost dream-like experience – not least because you get to stay at one of ‘s first wilderness lodges (when it opened in 1999), enjoying its timber decks overlooking the ocean, its open fires, and fine Tasmanian food and wine.

See bayoffires杭州龙凤论坛m.auMARIA ISLAND WALK

This four-day gourmet guided walk starts with a short boat ride to Maria Island National Park, just off Tasmania’s east coast, where you get to wriggle your toes in squeaky white sand on a beach devoid of footprints. From there, it’s forests of peppermint gums and blackwoods, convict ruins, the island’s famed Painted Cliffs and wombats, sea lions, penguins, Cape Barren geese. And, at the end of each day, pre-dinner drinks with Tasmanian cheeses, candlelit outdoor dinners created by your guide chefs, and the best night’s sleep of your life in a comfortable canvas tent at a private bush campsite. Don’t miss the optional climb up Mount Maria (709 metres) for views to rival Wineglass Bay.

See mariaislandwalk杭州龙凤论坛m.auSOUTH COAST TRACK

This is arguably the most authentic way to experience Tasmania’s Southern Ocean-lashed south-western limits: carry all your own food and camping gear, weighing up to 20 kilograms, for nine days, in often bleak weather. The payoff: untamed beaches, tidal rivers, mountain ranges and time to really experience this truly wild place. Trekking through the South West Wilderness Area starts with a scenic seaplane flight to Melaleuca then heads east, following ancient Aboriginal trading and migration routes, and tracks made by shipwrecked sailors looking for their way back to what you’ve come here to escape: civilisation.

See tasmanianexpeditions杭州龙凤论坛m.au

The writer travelled as a guest of Tasmanian Expeditions, Cradle Mountain Huts and Maria Island Walk.

China’s best tourism visionaries named

The Maria Island Walk to Bishop and Clerk, Tasmania. The Maria Island Walk to Bishop and Clerk, Tasmania.
杭州楼凤

The Maria Island Walk to Bishop and Clerk, Tasmania.

The Maria Island Walk to Bishop and Clerk, Tasmania.

Qualia at Hamilton Island.

James and Hayley Baillie from Bailee Lodges.

Sandy, Bob and Ian Oatley on Hamilton Island.

Will Deague.

IAN JOHNSTONE

MARIA ISLAND WALK

When Ian Johnstone established the Maria Island Walk in 2003, the former civil engineer had no experience in tourism. The business operated from his Hobart home, and he’d chosen an island known for many things –convicts, wildlife, unusual geology – but not walking.

“My heart’s always been in the outdoors, rather than building things,” Johnstone says. “Other people had looked at Maria, but nobody really had the guts to give it a go because of the island factor – it costs much more to operate, but the fact it’s an island is also part of its charm.”

Today, the Maria Island Walk employs about 30 guides, has won a swag of national tourism awards and leads hundreds of walkers from toe to tip of the island every summer.

Johnstone was one of the first n outdoor operators to recognise the umbilical link between activity and appetite, taking much of what he’d seen of luxury safaris while working in Africa and distilling it into an n walking experience.

He hired chefs among his guides, and quality local produce and wine became as much a feature of his walk as any of the island’s beaches or views.

Johnstone’s tourism influence has stretched far beyond Maria Island’s shores. He was a driving force behind the creation of Great Walks of Tasmania, a collection of the state’s guided-walk companies, and subsequently a founding member of Great Walks of .

He’s mentored fledgling tourism businesses and has recently made a submission to build five private huts along Tasmania’s South Coast Track, with the intention of creating a similar experience to the Maria Island Walk.

“I haven’t got any huge dreams to become the biggest and richest person in the pond,” he says. “It’s just really rewarding when you’re doing something you believe in, showcasing all the things that are special to Tassie and helping a lot of young kids get a career in guiding.”

mariaislandwalk杭州龙凤论坛m.au

Andrew BainTHE OATLEYS

​HAMILTON ISLAND

What does a winemaker know about tropical hideaways? Quite a lot, it turns out – at least, if Hamilton Island is anything to go by. ‘s best-known tropical playground was originally launched by developer Keith Williams, but it has cemented its position at the top of the holiday hit list thanks to its current owners, the Oatley family.

The Oatleys bought the island in 2004, flush with cash from selling their Rosemount Wines to SouthCorp for $1.5 billion. Where other men might have been winding down towards retirement, Robert Oatley decided to reinvent himself as a resort owner. In the process, he and his family turned a slightly dated resort into one of the country’s premier holiday destinations.

The Oatleys’ plans extended beyond just applying a new lick of paint to every wall. Identifying the luxury sector as a high-growth area, they added attractions designed to appeal to high spenders. As well as a glamorous yacht club, they introduced two high-end accommodation options: the self-catering waterfront villas and the five-star qualia resort, which has hosted the likes of Leonardo di Caprio, Miranda Kerr and Oprah Winfrey.

That was just the warm-up. On nearby Dent Island, they built an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Peter Thomson. There is more in store, too, with a new hotel planned for Dent Island, and another for Hamilton Island.

However, the Oatleys have been careful not to alienate their existing clientele. They have retained plenty of family-friendly accommodation options, and have ensured that fully two-thirds of the island remains undeveloped, preserving its leafy appeal.

The Oatleys have backed their vision in the most genuine way possible: with their own money. In just over a decade, their investment has topped half a billion dollars. From where we sit, it is definitely money well spent.

hamiltonisland杭州龙凤论坛m.au

Ute Junker THE BAILLIES

​BAILLIE LODGES

It takes a lot of nerve to tell royalty what to do, but that’s the kind of moxie that Hayley and James Baillie possess. When everyone’s favourite royal couple, Kate and William, stayed at the Baillies’ Uluru tented camp, Longitude 131, on their recent tour, their photogenic bub, Prince George, was nowhere to be seen. The camp, you see, does not welcome children under 10.

The Baillies are undisputed masters of their domain, running some of ‘s most respected luxury lodges: retreats so inviting that even royalty is happy to follow the rules. While each of their properties offers uber-luxury in a spectacular setting, each one also has its own distinct character. Their first property, Capella Lodge, brought five-star beach chic to Lord Howe Island. For their second venture, they chose a vastly different island location: the storm-tossed south coast of Kangaroo Island. Some thought it a courageous move, but the glamorous Southern Ocean Lodge has gone on to become one of the country’s most acclaimed properties.

Following their recent purchase of Longitude 131, the Baillies immediately set about updating it for a more discerning clientele. Each tent now has a verandah with a fire pit, perfect for enjoying sundowners. Two premium tents with plunge pools have also been added.

In the industry, the Baillies are known for their attention to detail. Every fabric is tactile, every staff member offers a genuinely warm welcome, every meal showcases the best regional produce. As much as the surroundings encourage cocooning, however, what the Baillies really want is for you to get out and explore ‘s most memorable landscapes. To this end, each lodge offers a compelling roster of activities. At Longitude 131, for instance, that includes an early morning chopper flight to admire sunrise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta, before landing atop Mount Conner for a celebratory glass of bubbles. We’ll drink to that.

baillielodges杭州龙凤论坛m.au

Ute JunkerDAVID SEARGEANT

QT HOTELS

A hotel with a red-wigged concierge dubbed the Director of Chaos, a barber specialising in cutthroat shaves, bespoke furniture and digital art is not everyone’s cup of tea but QT Sydney, the flagship hotel in the State Theatre and Gowings department store opened in 2012, has struck a chord with guests wanting to move from the orderly beige of the big hotels in . The man behind the brand is David Seargeant, the group managing director of Amalgamated Holdings, the third-largest owner and operator of hotels in that includes Rydges Hotels, the design-driven value brand Atura Hotels, and QT Hotels & Resorts. Sydney-based Seargeant, who started his career in the budget Commodore Hotels chain, is taking his vision across the ditch with the next QT set to open in 2016 as the 163-room Museum Art Hotel in Wellington, New Zealand.We’re betting there will be very little beige. See www.qthotels杭州龙凤论坛m.au.

Jane ReddyTHE DEAGUES 

HOTEL GROUP

The Art Series Hotels hit our streets with a crash of colour when The Cullen opened in Prahran, in inner-city Melbourne, in 2009. Owned by the Deague family – Melbourne property developers, art collectors and philanthropists – the group now has seven hotels, each a collaboration with an n artist.

Need to know the backstory to the piece hanging in your room? Grab a staff member. Any staff member. All staff receive an art education, and there’s also a curator on hand to walk you through the art on the walls, from the desert hues of Indigenous artist Yannima Pirkarli Tommy Watson at The Watson, in Walkerville, Adelaide to Mark Schaller’s make-it-today attitude in the Schaller Studio in Bendigo, central Victoria.

In 2001, David Deague led a group of artists into the desert scenery of South ‘s Lake Eyre in a bold move to revive n landscape painting. Steering a path between the standard big-hotel offerings and no-frills budget digs, his son Will is now the CEO of the group, and cites the renewal of the historic Gramercy Park Hotel by Ian Schrager with artist Julian Schnab as a key inspiration for artist-led hotels, and adds his admiration for Kit Kemp’s design work in the Firmdale hotels in London and New York.

In good news for art hotel lovers, the group will open its first Brisbane hotel, The Johnson, in Spring Hill in the middle of next year. It is inspired by abstract artist Michael Johnson, with a swimming pool designed by Olympian Michael Klim. The next cab off the rank is its fourth Melbourne property, Whitehorse Towers in Box Hill, in the city’s east. It’s the ninth in the company’s aim to have 10 hotels under its fashion-forward belt by 2017.

Rooftop yoga, Etsy tie-ins, designer prams and electric cars or staff rating guests’ behaviour: Will Deague says we should expect the big ideas to keep coming, including a focus on health and fitness. See artserieshotels杭州龙凤论坛m.au.

Belinda Jackson ALLA WOLF-TASKER, AM 

LAKE HOUSE

The vision was to create a destination restaurant in what was, in 1979, a sleepy little country town called Daylesford, 144 kilometres from Melbourne. The reality was a blackberry-infested swamp littered with car wrecks. Juggling baby Larissa, Alla Wolf-Tasker and her husband Alan cleared the land, planted 2.4 hectares of gardens, and opened a small country restaurant called Lake House in 1984.

The local council issued a permit only after warning them they would go broke. Daylesford was stagnating; unemployment was rife, and farmers were suffering. Alla’s rustic but refined cooking soon won countless awards and pulled a well-heeled set of diners out of Melbourne. Slight problem: there was nowhere for them to stay. With an eye to emulating the European boutique hotels she loved, Wolf-Tasker built nine luxurious bedrooms within the grounds of Lake House, and there was no looking back.

The ripple effect of that tale of passion, drive, inspiration and bloody hard work is that 30  years on, there are an estimated 5000 beds in the now booming Daylesford-Macedon region. But Lake House is still the epitome of sophisticated, regional cuisine, fine service and high comfort; so much so, it was named one of Tatler’s Best 101 Hotels in the World in 2015.

Wolf-Tasker baked her own bread, made her own charcuterie and established her own kitchen gardens long before such fundamental things became ubiquitous. From day one, she concentrated on local, seasonal ingredients, encouraging local food producers to share their produce and develop their own small-scale businesses, founding the Daylesford Macedon Produce association in 2001 to link growers, producers, chefs and retailers in a true local food system. In so doing, says Penny Rafferty of Luxury Lodges of , “She has contributed significantly to the economic survival and prosperity of the entire Daylesford region.” It is this pioneering spirit and “people, produce, place” philosophy that is now driving the growth of regional cuisine throughout .

Lake House, 4 King Street, Daylesford 03 5348 3329  see lakehouse杭州龙凤论坛m.au

Jill Dupleix

Airline review: Qantas economy, Sydney to Singapore

Sydney to Singapore on a Qantas A330-300. Sydney to Singapore on a Qantas A330-300.
杭州楼凤

Sydney to Singapore on a Qantas A330-300.

Sydney to Singapore on a Qantas A330-300.

Chicken salad with toasted pepitas.

THE ROUTE

Sydney to Singapore THE PLANE

Airbus A330-300 with 271 economy and 30 business seats. THE LOYALTY SCHEME

Qantas Frequent Flyer (oneworld alliance) CLASS

Economy. Window seat 24K in a 2-4-2 layout. DURATION

Eight hours, 5 minutes. THE FREQUENCY

Two flights daily from Sydney, once daily from Melbourne. THE SEAT

The pitch is 31 inches (78.7 centimetres) and a 17.2-inch (43.6cm) width. I bomb out on my bulkhead request – row 23, the front of economy. There’s limited legroom there, but I like it because short people can discreetly elevate their feet against the bulkhead, thus avoiding swollen ankles. I’m in row 24 instead. The downside of these rows is you’re beside the bassinets and I feel for the parents – a couple of baby banshees are not loving their flight. The entertainment control box invading my under-seat space is a potential footrest, though my taller partner looks at it with horror. The seat in front of him won’t go fully upright. BAGGAGE

A generous 30 kilograms for checked cases and one carry-on case of seven kilograms (115 centimetres) plus handbag or similar. COMFORT

It’s economy. Absolute comfort resides further forward. Having said that, the seat is acceptable, unlike some aircraft’s strangely S-shaped seat backs, more suited to longer backs. Perhaps the two-seat layout gives the illusion of roominess. We must emphasise the positives in sardine class. Like the extra-cuddly blanket that, though synthetic, doesn’t make the hair stand on end. ENTERTAINMENT

The sleek 28-centimetre Panasonic eX3 inflight entertainment system with high definition interactive touchscreen, 1500 hours of content and no floor-mounted control box is somewhere out there, but the 6.4-inch (16cm) touchscreen with armrest controller is perfectly serviceable for the time being. And back-to-back Game of Thrones episodes lift the spirits. SERVICE

A Qantas strong point and our flight is no exception. A lovely flight attendant, seeing me struggling with my headphones, returns unasked from business with decent noise-cancelling ones. What an angel, and there were more like her. FOOD

The updated inflight dining experience means no more trays and hard-to-peel foil containers, just a simple plastic plate with a 50 per cent larger Neil Perry-inspired main meal, chosen from three options. There’s chicken salad with toasted pepitas, broccoli, green beans and aioli dressing or the stir-fried tofu, black funghi, rice noodles and soy beans. I can’t go past the lamb moussaka with broccoli and sugar snaps, washed down with a soothing Adelaide shiraz. Not sure about the garlic-butter-infused roll, but at least it’s not a frigid rocklike object. Love the chocolate mousse with salted caramel fudge, though I miss cheese and biscuits. Not bad Grinders coffee. ONE MORE THING

Qantas is refurbishing its 28 A330s – half will be done by the end of this year, with all completed by the end of 2016 (seats and inflight entertainment). Our aircraft is unrenovated, but it’s currently potluck – you can call customer care to inquire beforehand but, even if it’s a yes, they can’t guarantee it. THE VERDICT

Excellent service extends to our boarding – delayed because of lightning. Staff is friendly and unfussed, boarding passengers rapidly, without officiousness. The captain’s announcements are clear and, as promised, he makes up for lost time.

Reviewed by Alison Stewart, who flew courtesy of Qantas.

Facebook, Google sign up to anti-cyberbullying scheme, may face penalties

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield speaking with students at Merri Creek Primary School in Melbourne. Photo: Hannah Francis Children’s eSafety Commissioner Alastair MacGibbon. Photo: Hannah Francis
杭州楼凤

Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have to will remove from their networks serious cyberbullying material referred to the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner within 48 hours of being notified or face $18,000 a pop, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield announced on Thursday.

The recently established office also revealed it referred more than 600 child cyberbullying victims to the Kids Helpline counselling service in July and August alone. It has handled 40 “serious” complaints since it opened on July 1.

“One in five kids in in a year might be subject to cyberbullying of some sort so it’s good there’s a place where kids and family can go to when material on those sites needs to be taken down,” Senator Fifield said.

Children’s eSafety Commissioner Alastair MacGibbon said the most common form of serious cyberbullying was “extreme hate speech directed towards children that is intended to cause that child harm”.

“If you were a parent and it was happening to your child it would drive you to absolute distraction and fear for your child.

“We are dealing with many distressed children and parents.”

Serious sexual images shared of a child, fake social media accounts set up in the name of a child in order to cause them “extreme distress”, and social media accounts hijacked and used to post material bringing shame and hatred to an individual were other serious cyberbullying matters the office has been dealing with, the commissioner said.

Since July 1 the website esafety.gov.au has provided an online complaints mechanism for parents and victims of cyberbullying aged under 18 if a social network does not redress a direct user complaint within 48 hours.

Several social media networks have voluntarily opted into a scheme under the Enhancing Online Safety for Children Act, passed earlier this year, which sees them commit to removing cyberbullying material within 48 hours if a complaint from the eSafety Commissioner is referred back to them. The scheme effectively means that cyberbullying victims will see distressing material removed from complying social networks within four days at the very most.

The world’s most popular social network, Facebook, along with Instagram (owned by Facebook), Google+ and YouTube have been classed as “Tier 2” services under the scheme, meaning they are subject to civil penalties for failure to comply.

Senator Fifield said the experience with participating social media partners had been “overwhelmingly positive” to date, meaning it was unlikely civil penalties would be brought against the companies.

“If action hasn’t been taken I don’t see us going down the path of having to bring fines; we can, of course, under the Act,” Commissioner MacGibbon said.

“I can’t emphasise enough those [partnering] social media services have been coming to us voluntarily.”

A fine of $18,000 applies under the Act for failure to comply with a single takedown request.

While the social networks have 48 hours to comply, so far they have complied within 12 hours, Senator Fifield said.

Other social networks participating in the scheme, which include ask.fm, Flickr, Twitter, Yahoo!7 Answers and Yahoo!7 Groups, are classed as “Tier 1” services and are not subject to civil penalties.

The partner companies were now on “speed dial” with the Children’s eSafety Office, commissioner MacGibbon said.

The Office also released guidelines on Thursday for its Voluntary Certification Scheme for schools training worth $7.5 million over three years. Under the scheme n schools will be able to access accredited online safety programs from next year.

Southern lights dazzle more than just penguins across China

Aurora Australis captured by amateur photographer Claire Stribbles Photo: Claire Stribbles PhotographyHanging out to visit some far off lands to witness the awe-inspiring northern lights?
杭州楼凤

Then unpack your bags and look closer to home for a spectacular vision of our very own aurora australis, or southern lights.

The aurora borealis was seen over Derwentwater, near Keswick, in England on Thursday. The show was also visible on Wednesday over parts of Victoria and Tasmania.

But the Washington Post story on the natural phenomenon drew some derision from readers of The Age after it stated only penguins were around to watch the display Down Under.

Amateur photographer and aurora chaser Claire Stribbles captured some amazing photos of the show at her home in Cape Paterson, near Wonthaggi, 132 south-east of Melbourne. 

Ms Stribbles said she was out for just three hours on Wednesday night when she captured some colourful pictures with her Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

“The lights were out all night,” she said.

“It was going strong …on Thursday … but seemed to have died down by the time it got dark last night.”

Ms Stribbles said there were lots of people out trying to watch the show, including at Eagles Nest, near Cape Paterson.

“There are people who go along Geelong, Bells Beach, Werribee, Flinders on the eastern side of Melbourne,” she said.

“Kilcunda, Phillip Island – just all along the coast.”

Ms Stribbles said she had been chasing auroras for the past one year.

“The northern lights are always stronger and easier to see with the naked eye,” she said.

“The Wednesday one was the biggest one I have ever seen.

“When you see it with the naked eye …the northern lights you can see in colour, but out here, because we are so far away from the South Pole, it comes up in monochrome.”

Success! Happy with tonight’s Aurora hunt! Here’s a few shots I got tonight!Posted by Claire Stribbles Photography on  Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The try that created the pool of death

Wallabies face biggest challenge yetSam Burgess dropped for EnglandWhite puts hand up for England job
杭州楼凤

As the dust settles from England’s humiliation at their own Rugby World Cup, the blame-game is well and truly under way. Stuart Lancaster, Sam Burgess and organisers World Rugby have all been held accountable over the past few days for England’s exit, as well as Bernard Foley who led to their 33-13 victory at Twickenham with 28 points.

But as fate would have it, none of those people are responsible for England’s demise. In fact, the cause of England’s misery rests with one person. ‘s Kurtley Beale.

On a cold December day in Cardiff in 2012, came up against Wales in the final game of their Spring Tour. Wales were on a seven-match losing streak and were desperate to break it against the Robbie Deans-led Wallabies.

As it happened, the Test was organised by the Welsh Rugby Union outside the designated November window, with the sole intention of increasing revenue. Had they opted against the match, they may have prevented England’s current malaise.

Those who remember that game will tell you of the dramatic finale as Beale scored a try in the corner in the last-minute. The end score was 14-12 to the Wallabies, with Beale grabbing all 14 points.

Just two months before that game, Wales were ranked fifth in the world. They were still riding the wave of reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup a year before and winning a Six Nations grand slam seven months earlier. But after Beale broke Welsh hearts, they fell to ninth in the rankings.

Just days later, World Rugby made the draw for this year’s Rugby World Cup, with seedings based on the then world rankings.

Wales, in ninth place, were sent into the ‘Pool of Death’ with and England, setting the scene for the most difficult pool in World Cup history.

Determining the pools on rankings almost three years before the event has drawn scorn and ridicule across the rugby world, especially when considering that , England and Wales were ranked two, three and four in the world just over a week ago.

World Rugby has suggested they may change this approach for the 2019 event in Japan, but that is of little comfort to a bewildered English nation trying to pick up the pieces of their failed campaign.

So if the English are trying to attribute blame for their absence from the knockout stages of the World Cup, they need look no further than Beale. And I’m sure he wouldn’t mind too much.

Rugby World Cup 2015: Stephen Larkham puts Wallabies success ahead of decision on future

LONDON: World Cup-winner Stephen Larkham will wait until next year to decide if he can commit to Michael Cheika’s Wallabies program as he continues to juggle his Super Rugby coaching job.
杭州楼凤

Larkham is yet to indicate whether he will stay on as the Wallabies’ attack coach beyond the end of the World Cup.

The champion five-eighth has put his ACT Brumbies job to one side as he focuses on helping the Wallabies lift the World Cup for the first time since he was the team’s linchpin in 1999.

Cheika has brought together technically astute minds to boost the Wallabies’ campaign, with Larkham joining former teammate Nathan Grey and Argentina great Mario Ledesma on the coaching staff.

Ledesma has said he wants to stay a part of Cheika’s team, while Grey will return to his assistant role with the NSW Waratahs.

But Larkham has the most significant commitment as the Brumbies head coach and he said he would wait until he returns to Canberra before deciding if he can handle both.

“I’ve got to have a look at the Super Rugby schedule and digest that,” Larkham said.

“I’m pretty focused here [in London] at the moment and I want to finish the job. But I would say sometime early in the new year I’ll make a decision [on continuing with the Wallabies].”

Larkham knocked back a last-minute offer to join Cheika and the Wallabies on the end of year spring tour of Europe last year to make the Brumbies his No.1 priority.

Cheika wanted Larkham on the coaching team, but it’s understood the ARU and Brumbies had to come to an agreement about who would pay his contract while he was on duty with the Wallabies.

Larkham is yet to speak to the Brumbies about a longer-term arrangement with the Wallabies and Cheika, and is focused on leading the ACT side back to the top of Super Rugby.

But his immediate goal is helping guide the Wallabies to international glory at the World Cup.

The Wallabies played their last pool game against Wales on Saturday night (Sunday morning AEDT) and will move to the quarter-final stages next week.

Teaming up with Cheika presented an interesting dynamic with the pair having to down their Waratahs-Brumbies rivalry to focus on a common goal.

It also put Larkham in the unusual position of having to step back as a head coach and narrow his focus to the Wallabies’ attack.

But Larkham, who played 102 Tests for the Wallabies, said Cheika had managed to pull together conflicting interests from around n rugby.

Cheika implemented mid-Super Rugby catch ups the morning after n derbies this year to fast-track the Wallabies’ development.

“And when Cheik gets to focus on Wallabies next year it will give every n player a chance to get better,” Larkham said.

“We haven’t looked at each other as Waratahs coach or Brumbies coach, we’re all on this journey together. I’ve got my responsibilities in the team as do all the coaches. But Cheik gets the final say and that’s easy.”

Ledesma is yet to sign an extended contract, but said he hoped to continue working with the Wallabies’ scrum until at least the three-Test series against England in next year.

“I think [Cheika] is a very genuine guy who tries to make people better and get people to play to their potential, and be a better person,” Ledesma said.

“To be around that energy is really positive. I’m enjoying myself so much, this is where I want to be.”

Don’t get a boot to the backside: Cheika

London: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has warned his players to expect a “boot to our backside” if they rely on momentum to help them beat Wales in a crucial pool match on Saturday night (Sunday morning AEDT).
杭州楼凤

The Wallabies and Wales are fighting for top spot in pool A and a smoother run to the World Cup final when they clash at Twickenham this weekend.

The winner will play against either Scotland or Japan in the quarter-finals, while the loser faces likely back-to-back matches against South Africa and New Zealand.

The Wallabies are riding high after a 33-13 win against England last weekend and are heavy favourites to beat Wales for the 11th straight time.

But after the Wallabies’ yoyo form against New Zealand in August, Cheika is taking no chances and declared momentum would not be a factor against Wales.

The Wallabies beat the All Blacks in the opening Bledisloe Cup match earlier this year to breathe new life into n rugby.

But they were embarrassed a week later when Cheika made several changes before a 41-13 Eden Park mauling.

Asked what momentum the Wallabies could take from their rousing win against England, Cheika said: “None. We supposedly had momentum after we beat New Zealand in Sydney and then they put their boot to our backside.

“That’s what can happen if you are not ‘on’ every single day. Today is a day we have got to be better and enjoy that.

“Make it tough for ourselves but enjoy being in that situation and learn from those times. It is a game we are really looking forward to because it is another step along the way.

“I think the team wanting to move forward and grow as a team needs to be able to take these challenges on and step up and improve. That’s something to work on for us because we have not been in that space before.”

Cheika has called Test rookie Sean McMahon into the starting team to replace Michael Hooper, who was suspended for one week after an illegal ruck cleanout on England’s Mike Brown.

Israel Folau has passed a fitness test and will start at fullback, while Drew Mitchell replaces Rob Horne on the wing. Dean Mumm has been promoted to the starting side ahead of Rob Simmons.

Cheika rubbished suggestions finishing top of their pool would give the Wallabies an easier path to the final.

But being able to avoid showdowns with South Africa and New Zealand would be a major boost.

“This is going to sound maybe a bit silly but [it’s] not necessarily win the group, even though one’s a consequence of the other,” Cheika said.

“I just want to try to win every game, like individually. No team has ever won the World Cup after losing a game and if we want to work on our improvements each week, which you know in tournament play you have to do.

“I don’t subscribe to theory ‘you win the pool you’re going to get an easier run’, because that’s disrespecting the opposition and that’s not what we’re about.”

The Wallabies haven’t lost to Wales since 2008 and can heap more misery on the Red Dragons on the weekend.

Cheika said the challenge for the Wallabies was to “be great” and learn from their disaster against New Zealand two months ago.

“You’ve got to go try to be great and to do that you’ve got to keep backing up the good bits every day,” he said.

“And so we weren’t on that occasion [in the loss to New Zealand] and the one thing you’ve got to take from it is to learn the lesson about improving all the time, even if things go your way. That’s why we’re harping on about it so much because we really believe it.”

Wallabies team: 15. Israel Folau, 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Matt Giteau, 11. Drew Mitchell, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Will Genia, 8. David Pocock, 7. Sean McMahon, 6. Scott Fardy, 5. Dean Mumm, 4. Kane Douglas, 3. Sekope Kepu, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Scott Sio. Reserves: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. James Slipper, 18. Greg Holmes, 19. Rob Simmons, 20. Ben McCalman, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Matt Toomua, 23. Kurtley Beale.

McMahon in Wallabies team for Wales showdown

Getting his chance: Sean McMahon, who scored two tries in the Wallabies rout of Uruguay. Photo: Dan MullanRugby World Cup interactive: your guide to every teamFull coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup
杭州楼凤

LONDON: Sean McMahon will go from medical hero to the World Cup cauldron when the Wallabies unleash their raging bull on Wales at Twickenham on Saturday night (Sunday morning AEDT).

Just days after carrying a delivery man with a dislocated ankle to the Wallabies’ doctor and then taking him to hospital, McMahon has been called on to fill vice-captain Michael Hooper’s big shoes in a crucial pool match.

McMahon is one of three changes in the Wallabies’ starting side, with ‘s most prolific World Cup try-scorer, Drew Mitchell, and Dean Mumm also getting their opportunity to shine.

Folau has overcome an ankle injury, while Mitchell replaces Rob Horne (shoulder injury) and lock Rob Simmons has been dropped to the bench for Mumm.

McMahon’s whirlwind week has been one to remember after he jumped to action for an unexpected medical situation at the Wallabies’ London hotel.

No one doubts the Test rookie’s unrelenting aggression, especially the teammates he has been belting at training for the past two months. But it was the 21-year-old’s coolness under pressure that was on display when he was called into action to carry a delivery man to the Wallabies’ hotel medical room, help reset his dislocated ankle and then send him to hospital.

The man fell out of the back of his van and landed on his right ankle, suffering a closed dislocation.

He was found on the steps of the hotel and the Wallabies team doctor grabbed McMahon and raced to his aid.

McMahon then carried the delivery man to the medical room, where Sekope Kepu and Adam Ashley-Cooper joined in to whisper words of encouragement while the ankle was relocated before sending him to hospital.

The Wallabies will be hoping McMahon won’t need to do a similar rescue job against Wales, but they’ll take comfort knowing Hooper’s prized No.7 jersey is in safe hands.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika makes no secret of his fondness of the rising star, who throws himself into training drills with unmatched physicality.

His fierce approach is one of the reasons McMahon beat 43-Test veteran Ben McCalman for the back-row spot while Hooper serves a one-match suspension for foul play.

McMahon and McCalman were joint best on ground in the 11-try rout against Uruguay two weeks ago.

But with David Pocock established at No.8, McMahon best suits a straight swap for Hooper to keep continuity in the forward pack.

The winner of the Wallabies-Wales clash will get a smoother run to the World Cup final, playing either Scotland or Japan in the quarter final and avoiding New Zealand and South Africa until the last match.

Folau is being given a chance to prove he has overcome an ankle injury while Mitchell gets his chance to replace Horne.

Mumm was the other surprise selection, with Cheika opting to inject experience into the second row with Simmons shifting to the bench.

McMahon has been banging down the door for more Test game time, but the presence of Hooper and Pocock has limited his opportunities.

“He was here on his first Wallaby tour last year and we saw from the outset the guy was really up for it,” Hooper said of McMahon.

“Really keen to get in and show what he’s worth. He’s shown that in the games against the US and Uruguay with how much he’s bringing to the team and what people don’t see is what’s on the training paddock.”

McMahon will be given Hooper’s job of flying into Welsh attackers and running with aggression.

“Where one door shuts, another one opens,” Wallabies’ defence coach Nathan Grey said.

“We’ve got people who can fill [Hooper’s] role for us and we’ll see how things unfold from that perspective.”

Meanwhile, the Wallabies will shift away from their central London base next week to refocus for the play-off stage of the World Cup.

However, they have shunned England’s multimillion-dollar training base at Pennyhill as the hosts continue to deal with the embarrassment of being bundled out of the tournament in the group stage.

WALLABIES TEAM: 15. Israel Folau, 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Matt Giteau, 11. Drew Mitchell, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Will Genia, 8. David Pocock, 7. Sean McMahon, 6. Scott Fardy, 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Dean Mumm, 3. Sekope Kepu, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Scott Sio. Reserves: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. James Slipper, 18. Greg Holmes, 19. Rob Simmons, 20. Ben McCalman, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Matt Toomua, 23. Kurtley Beale