Kidding Around … with professional surfer and current world number one Tyler Wright!

We are in full planning mode for our holiday to the unspoilt Shoalhaven on the NSW South Coast next month!

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Whilst we are researching surfing hot spots, delicious eateries and adventurous activities to do while in region (that are suitable for the kids!), we thought we would have a chat to professional surfer (she’s the current world number one) and Shoalhaven local, Tyler Wright to get all the inside info.

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Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Tyler! Can you tell us a bit about your home region of the Shoalhaven?

The Shoalhaven region is simply beautiful and untouched. There’s so many amazing beaches that are family friendly and perfect for hanging out with friends. My family and I pretty much surfed at any spot we could find that had a good swell all year- round, and there’s a beach for everyone whether you’re learning to surf or have been surfing for years. The region is also full of great people, restaurants and incredible wildlife. It’s got it all really!

You travel all over the world as a professional surfer, do you have any tips for travelling?

I’ve learnt the best tip for travelling is to have an open mindset. You’ll always love the experience of travelling a lot more if you’re open to seeing new things and experiences, you won’t come away disappointed. Also don’t forget to take a good set of headphones and a jumper. They always come in handy, especially for plane and car rides!

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What is your fondest memory of growing up in the Shoalhaven?

I would have to say travelling through the whole region on the weekend or day trips with my family, surfing and exploring. The sun, the salt, the surf and the memories made with my family made my childhood the best I could possibly ask for. My family and our adventures have shaped the person I am today and I definitely wouldn’t be in this career either if it wasn’t for my childhood in the Shoalhaven. I couldn’t sit still knowing there were surfing spots and beaches needing to be explored!

Do you have any must-do family activities that we could do when we visit Shoalhaven?

If you haven’t learnt to surf before, the Shoalhaven is perfect for that. The beaches are so beautiful and fresh, perfect for kids and adults and the locals are really friendly and always open for a chat. There’s some really good family walks and rock pools as well, so many wonderful places to explore with lots of secret beaches. You could pick almost any spot up or down the coast from Culburra even right down to Bawley Point and you won’t be disappointed.

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After talking to Tyler, we really can’t wait to visit the Shoalhaven region and we look forward to sharing our journey with you! We have planned something to do that none of us have done before … can you guess what it might be?

MORE INFORMATION

shoalhaven.com.au/surf #surfshoalhaven #unspoilt

 

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5 Must Do Beach Experiences in Western Australia

Guest Post by Jayde Ferguson
WA is renowned for being home to some of the world’s best beaches. Lined with coastal wonders for almost anyone to enjoy, it’s easy to see why the west is Australia’s hot-spot to visit, live in and explore. If you love getting out in the open and chasing the summer sun along WA’s stunning coast line, then these beach experiences are a must.
From snorkelling and fishing adventures to exploring beaches and bays in the FWD, WA is home to a jaw-dropping 12,000 kilometres of seaside spots. That’s more pristine beaches than any other state in Australia! Whether you’re visiting WA for your next holiday or you’re a local looking for a new beach experience to encounter, here’s our top picks to explore:

1. A Bottlenose Dolphin Encounter

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Located a 9-hour drive north of Perth City, Monkey Mia in Shark Bay offers a haven for marine life with friendly dolphins to visit.  The Monkey Mia bottlenose dolphin experience involves a rare and famous opportunity to get up close and personal with these interesting creatures. Whilst you won’t be able to touch them or swim with them (to ensure they’re not harmed) you will have the opportunity to watch feeding times and if you’re lucky, get picked to feed them with the ranger!

The bottlenose dolphins you’ll get to see are wild and have been coming to the bay making friends with the local fishers since the 1960’s. And with a dolphin attendance rate of 99%, you’ll almost always get to see a few of them in their natural habitat; although number and visiting times can vary from day to day. Great for the whole family to enjoy or anyone interested in learning about the dolphins’ behaviour and biology.

2. Skydiving Extravaganza with a Beach Landing12A9979-600x320

They say that taking the plunge through skydiving is one of the best ways to get a natural adrenalin rush. Skydiving extravaganzas offer a change of scenery and a completely different view to experience. Proven to boost physical and mental rejuvenation, it’s definitely an activity that should be on everyone’s bucket list!

If you’re up for a fun challenge or it’s something you’re already addicted too, take skydiving to the next level with a beach landing. Rottnest Island have started beach skydives which gives the perfect excuse to spend the day over there exploring too. Plunging over WA’s coastline with a bird’s eye view of the stunning beaches and bays is ultimately the best way to experience the adventure at full speed.

3. Elope to Cable Beach

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As a world famous beach, Broome’s Cable coastline is home to some of the most spectacular sunsets and beach experiences. It’s a big part of the Kimberley and Broome history and those that have ventured to the outback for it will agree the beach is WA’s little slice of paradise – great for any wedding proposal

4. Snorkel at One of the World’s Best Beaches

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Aside from Cable Beach, Exmouth’s Turquoise Bay and Esperance’s Lucky Bay are rated as some of the world’s best beaches. So if you haven’t ventured out to explore these idyllic oases’ then you’re missing out! Amongst the top 20 beaches worldwide, Turquoise Bay is a popular drift snorkel spot protected by a reef with the most colourful coral and marine life to witness. If you’re not a confident snorkeler though, there’s plenty of water dipping and relaxation to experience on the side.

Lucky Bay just a 40-minute drive from Esperance is another hot-spot beach experience. Take the FWD to get all the coastal goodies and soak up the crystal blue waters for your own stunning oasis. Head to the bay between July and October for whale watching opportunities as they migrate over too. Whilst most beach lovers will find it hard to leave this secluded bay, there’s heaps of other great adventures in the area too like wildlife-rich walking tracks and designated camp grounds to spend a few nights under the stars.

5. Lancelin Sand Dunes

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Located just an hour and a half drive out of Perth City, Lancelin is Perth’s desert like spot for those that haven’t been to a desert. You can hire sand boards when you’re there too, just make sure to bring a pair of goggles and comfy clothing for the adventure. If you have access to dirt bikes, you’ll want to bring those along too!

Author Bio: This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Skydive Geronimo – Perth’s premium skydiving company with Drop Zones on Rottnest Island and in Busselton. You can catch her on Google+.

Kidding Around … Andersons Garden, Mount Disappointment

We are all for filling our lungs with fresh air and getting out and connecting with nature!

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Nestled in the Mount Disappointment State Forest, Andersons Garden is a lovely little spot situated on Sunday Creek and is the perfect place for a family day out or creek-side camping.  The area has good facilities and is dog (and horse) friendly, has dedicated walking trails where you can explore the area by foot, bike (both bicycle and motorbike) or horse. The paths are well maintained and would suit most fitness levels. There is a 6 km loop that should take about an hour and a half (give or take!) which you should enjoy provided that you don’t mind having to go up some stairs.

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There is a small waterhole and waterfall, and we noticed that someone had thrown a yabby net in (although the attempt didn’t look successful at that time!). The water is clear which makes spotting little fish easy and is perfect for wetting your whistle while you enjoy a picnic by the creek!

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Georgina Says

If you like peace and quiet, visit during off-peak times or during the week. Mount Disappointment is popular with motorbike riders which ruins the serenity somewhat for those who just want to listen to the birds and the sounds of the creek. If you are interested in camping, the campsite is very busy during peak times (Easter, Long Weekends, Christmas etc.). Be sure to pack a picnic and enough food / drink for your visit as there are no shops onsite.

This area was burnt extensively in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, and although the burn marks from that day are still visible, the beauty of this little slice of the Australian bush speaks for itself.

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MORE INFORMATION

Access to Andersons Garden and the campsite is 9 km off the Hume Highway. Take the Clonbinane exit (near Broadford) and travel south from the town of Clonbinane along Clonbinane Rd, which changes name to Westcott Creek Rd at the Mount Disappointment State Forest.

Contact: Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP) 13 61 86

Please note all details quoted are correct at the time of publishing. All details are subject to change without notice and Kidding Around Australia takes no responsibility for information contained in this post. Please check the appropriate website to ensure that information is still correct and current.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES ON THE KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA WEBSITE ARE THE EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OF THE KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA AUTHORS. ALL IMAGES ARE SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT AND CANNOT BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA.

Backpacking with your family … Space Hotel Melbourne

Back in the day, I travelled the world as a backpacker, visiting 30 countries and having the time of my life! In fact, I met one of my best friends whilst backpacking around the USA. Alegría and Isaac have German Godparents because of a chance meeting between Mikka and I in New York City, so it is fair to say that I was all for staying in hostels before I had kids.

Since having them, I haven’t given much thought to staying in a hostel. We are hotel / caravan park people these days. Or, so I thought.

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I was recently introduced to Space Hotel in Melbourne and wanted to share this little secret with you*!

Space Hotel is an affordable, contemporary and social accommodation solution in Melbourne’s CBD. With 12 different room types, Space Hotel caters for all travellers, especially those on a budget – who wouldn’t love hotel quality at hostel prices?

Since opening its first property in 2011, Space Hotel has achieved enormous success winning Best Backpacker Accommodation at the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards (VTA) in 2013, 2014 and 2015, earning them a place in the VTA Hall of Fame.

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Named as one of the world’s top ‘Poshtels’ by Lonely Planet, Space Hotel hosts groups, families and single travellers with accommodation options ranging from luxury rooms with skyline views to dorm beds. Their family room consists of a private family room with a high quality queen bed and 1 bunk bed, a 32 inch LCD TV, iPod docking station, wardrobe and study desk. As a bonus, a clean and modern ensuite bathroom is located in the room.

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BENEFITS OF STAYING AS A FAMILY IN A HOSTEL

Space Hotel has put an emphasis on facilitating social experiences, guests have access to a range of shared spaces including an internet cafe and stainless steel commercial kitchen. That means that if you want another grown up to talk to then you are in the right place! Plus, the staff are lovely so they will make a real fuss of the kids and you can even squeeze some home-schooling in if you want to! Having a kitchen on site is perfect if you don’t want to eat out or have picky eaters and Space Hotel also have a gym and laundromat.

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Other facilities include a free in-house cinema (great if you want to get some work done while the kids watch a movie), and the Space rooftop boasts impressive panoramic views of the city with sun lunges and spa (which is fantastic when you don’t want to stay out exploring all day and don’t want to be confined to your room!).

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Swim spa on Rooftop

The staff are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. They can answer all your questions regarding transportation, tours, attraction opening hours, closest ATM’s and great places to eat. What a God-send for any family holiday.

Next time you want to stay in Melbourne (or any other city around the world) then make sure you check out family friendly hostels like Space Hotel – I know we will be!

*Just a little note: this isn’t a sponsored post so I am not getting paid to tell you about Space Hotel … I like sharing with you little bits of information that I find that I think will make your life easier when you travel.

MORE INFORMATION

Space Hotel
380 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9662 3888
www.spacehotel.com.au

Top 4 Places to Propose in The Kimberley, Western Australia

Guest post by Jayde Ferguson

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If you’ve decided to pop the question to your significant other, choosing the ultimate setting to do it in is essential. A great proposal is all about setting the scene. The scene that’s right for the both of you. Whether it be an adventurous way to ask your boo, like through the adrenalin-fuelled activity of skydiving, or it be something more on the romantic side as the sun sets over your favourite beach, finding the ultimate place to propose can be just as challenging as picking the right ring!

Western Australia is home to some of the most stunning locations; and if you’re lucky enough to live here or have ventured over for a holiday, you’d understand why it’s home to some of the best proposal locations. Boasting the most beautiful beaches, ridiculously picture-perfect backdrops and mesmerising views, Broome and The Kimberley region is a gem of a spot. And with intimate hideaways to woo your loved one, setting the scene has never been so easy. Stuck on where to pop the question? Check out these places to propose:

1. Broome’s Cable BeachDepositphotos_23946815_l-2015

Broome’s Cable Beach is a romantic hot spot for very good reasons. Ideal for beach lovers or the sunset-enthusiast, Cable Beach is Australia’s pristine location without the crowd other beach locations tend to bring. Whether you and your loved one thrive on the ultimate sunset setting or you’re drawn to the magic of Broome with its famed pearls and picturesque coastal wonders, Cable Beach will offer that dreamy vibe.

If you’re wanting a romantic getaway here, consider Cable Beach Club Resort and Spar or Pearle on Cable Beach. For those that love the location but not a fan of sandy beaches, Gantheaume Point is the next best thing, where you can propose to your loved one on the rock cliff face overlooking the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean or opt for a romantic camel back ride along the beach with your boo.

2. On The Kimberley Coast

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Photo credit: http://www.kimberleycoast.com.au

The Kimberley coastal stretch consists of a whole outback desert and isolated beach section with some of Western Australia’s best kept secrets. The rugged and remote beauty of the Kimberley coastline is easily one of Australia’s greatest assets, creating a truly romantic place to pop the big question to your significant other.

Think lounging on white sands, recharging in crystal clear blue waters and exploring some of the most breathtaking cliff walls and pools with your boo. Scenic proposals are becoming a huge thing in Australia, with many heading over to Bali and Thailand to bend on one knee with a tiny box in hand. Along the Kimberley coast, you can design the scene exactly how you want to – a secluded beach, on a sailboat or luxury cruise on the Kimberley coast, a romantic dinner under the stars or tucked away in a beautiful beach resort. Whatever way you decide on, the Kimberley coast is loaded with starry-eyed and adventurous possibilities.

3. In Front of the Staircase to the Moon

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Photo Credit: http://www.visitbroome.com.au

Create a memorable experience for you and your future fiancé by proposing in front of Broome’s staircase to the moon. You may need to juggle some dates around if this one sounds like you and your loved one, as it’s a rare occasion that happens only 2-3 days a month between March and October. Get a full list of the dates here.

The natural phenomenon is caused when the rising of the full moon reflects off the low tide in such a way it creates an optical illusion of stairs reaching to the moon. Said to be one of the most awe-inspiring natural experiences, the staircase to the moon is unique to Australia’s North West region. And whilst it can certainly bring in a large crowd, it can also create a wonderfully idealistic setting to pop the big question.

4. Coconut Wells

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Photo Credit: www.cablebeachclub.com

Located about half an hour drive North of Broome, Coconut Wells is an outcrop of rocks, jagged pinnacles and deep water wells that make for an inimitable proposal setting. The best way to really view this North West beauty is to go once the tide recedes. This is when the true exquisiteness of this location is revealed.

Coconut Wells, also known as Natures Last Resort, is completely submerged when the tide is high; so finding the best times to head here is crucial. Take a luxury cruise to the hideaway, stroll along Cable Beach or simply use the stunning sunset over the Indian Ocean to be the backdrop to the ultimate occasion.

Author Bio

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Broome Kimberley & Beyond, offering a wide range of tours, day tours, scenic flights and romantic cruises in The Kimberley. With over 20 years’ experience living and travelling in the region they have unmatched local expert knowledge, working with the most trusted tour operators in the region, so you can count on them to give you reliable advice on the best cruise or tour for your taste and budget. You can catch her on Google+.

 

 

COMPETITION TIME … TRIBUTE MANIA

ROCK, POP AND SPICE UP YOUR LIFE!TributeMania-Logo-WhtLine

We are excited to tell you about the inaugural TRIBUTE MANIA concert with five of Australia’s best tribute bands performing on one amazing night.

In this dazzling show, Australia’s most popular tribute artists in authentic costumes will have you believe you are truly witnessing world-class acts – right down to ABBA’s satin flares, Freddie’s powerhouse voice and Baby Spice’s pigtails.

PALAIS THEATRE St Kilda – SATURDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER 2016

Featuring Australia’s best tributes to The Beatles, Sir Elton John, Queen, The Spice Girls and ABBA. Just look at the line-up and your toes will start tapping to your favourite tunes.

BJORN AGAIN – The World’s No 1 ABBA Show

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Bjorn Again are the World’s No 1 ABBA show and the most successful tribute show of all time. Bjorn Again formed in Melbourne Australia in 1988 and have now performed over 7000 shows in 100 countries. They are the only ABBA show endorsed by ABBA themselves, with Benny Andersson stating on BBC Radio UK in 2000: “ABBA will never reform, it is impossible. You had better go see Björn Again!” Bjorn Again have performed at all the biggest concert halls, arenas and stadiums worldwide, the biggest rock/music festivals and have performed at many major sporting events. plus they have performed private shows for Russell Crowe, Rowan Atkinson, Bill Gates and Vladimir Putin. Bjorn Again are simply in a league of their own in the tribute band world.

THE BEATNIX 

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THE BEATNIX first performed on 1st March 1980 in Perth WA at Mosman Hotel, 10 months before the untimely death of John Lennon, and are possibly the world’s first tribute show. THE BEATNIX was conceived and produced by Tony Dean – founding member and owner/manager. the act. It is estimated that THE BEATNIX have performed over 10,000 shows – including shows in Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand, Malaysia, Borneo, New Guinea, SE Asia and the South Pacific. Highlights include: Performing to royalty in Borneo, Opening of Sanctuary Cove with Frank Sinatra, Expo 88 Brisbane, Opening of Darling Harbour & Sydney Harbour tunnel plus multiple appearances on The Midday show, Don Lane Show, Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Today Show, Sounds and many others. They have also performed at The AFL grand final Sydney Olympic Park, NRL & The Davis Cup.

ELTON JACK

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Elton Jack has become the world’s best known Elton John tribute. The show was launched back in 1987 when Lance Strauss appeared on Hey Hey It’s Saturday’s ‘Red Faces’ with Red Symons, afterwhich host Daryl Somers invited him to return for a feature appearance the following week. Since then, The Elton Jack Show has graced the stages from the Sydney Opera House to the Royal Albert Hall, from the beaches of St Tropez to the jungle of Borneo, from Bathurst to Budapest. The show has performed before millions of people all around the world and is in great demand for concert, corporate and cabaret appearances. The Elton Jack show has now performed over two thousand shows.

THE AUSTRALIAN QUEEN TRIBUTE SHOW

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The Australian Queen Tribute Show was formed in 2006 and arer many line up changes, hundreds of rehearsals and countless hours of planning & preparaJon, the band started performing late 2008. TAQTS present a stage show that delivers the brilliance and magic of Queen alive like no other, and are arguably the best sounding, best looking and most technically accurate Queen Tribute anywhere. The band has toured all around Australia and have performed some shows overseas. Gareth Hill as Freddie Mercury has to be seen to be believed. His mind blowing ‘Freddie Like’ vocal range, stage anJcs and amazing likeness for Freddie Mercury are a sight and sound to behold!

THE SPICY GIRLS

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Get ready as THE SPICY GIRLS are here to SPICE UP YOUR LIFE! Featuring the cream of Melbourne’s female vocal and performer talent, THE SPICY GIRLS present an action-packed show is incredible fun and you won’t be able to watch without singing and dancing as soon as the show starts. This is the ULTIMATE party band and the WILD CARD in the Tribute Mania lineup!

Of course, we have tickets to GIVEAWAY! Just comment below and tell us which act you would like to see! You can also enter on our Facebook page. Entries close Sunday 14/8/16 at 11.59pm AEST. Good Luck!

 

You won’t believe your eyes and ears – the inaugural TRIBUTE MANIA concert is one of the Greatest Shows on Earth!

MORE INFORMATION

Date: Saturday, 3rd September 2016

Venue: Palais Theatre, Lower Esplanade, St Kilda

Tickets Call Ticketmaster 136 100 or see ticketmaster.com.au

Time 7:00pm

Price From $79.90

Competition Time! Win Tickets to Monster Jam Melbourne 2016

Monster Jam 2016

MONSTERS ARE COMING TO AUSTRALIA!  MONSTER JAM® IS RETURNING IN 2016

Fans of big trucks and high-powered vehicles rejoice – Monster Jam® is heading back to Australia in 2016, with up to five brand new trucks and drivers and even more super-charged moto-tainment providing a unique sensory experience like no other and of course we have tickets to giveaway!

WE HAVE 8 TICKETS TO GIVE AWAY TO TWO LUCKY KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA READERS!

EACH WINNER WILL RECIEVE 4 TICKETS TO MONSTER JAM IN MELBOURNE AND 4 TICKETS TO THE PARTY IN THE PIT ON OCTOBER 8, 2016!

The show will feature four unique Monster Jam driver competitions – Monster Jam Wheelies, Racing, Donuts and the coveted Freestyle competitions, with the Freestyle Motocross and Quad Wars also set to return.

The 2016 lineup includes a number of fan favourites, with ‘Grave Digger’, ‘Monster Mutt Dalmatian’ and ‘Max-D’ back to tear up the track, alongside new additions ‘Alien Invasion’, ‘Pirates Curse’ and the yellow ‘El Toro Loco’.

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Standing nearly four metres tall and four metres wide, Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed machines that weigh around 5,500kgs. Built for short, high powered bursts of speed, the powerful Monster Jam® beasts perform breathtaking stunts and can accelerate from 0-100kph in under 3 seconds. They literally fly – covering up to 50m in a single leap (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 12m skywards.

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Kicking off on October 1, full dates and show locations are as follows:

  • 01 October – 7pm – QSAC, Brisbane
  • 08 October – 2pm and 7pm – AAMI Park, Melbourne
  • 15 October – 7pm – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
  • 22 October – 7pm – ANZ Stadium, Sydney
  • 29 October – 2pm and 7:30pm – Domain Stadium, Perth

Each city will also host one Party in the Pits ahead of a show (we have tickets for that as well!), where fans can get up close with their favourite Monster Jam trucks, before meeting the superstar drivers.

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To enter our MONSTER JAM competition, COMMENT on this Monster Jam blog post and answer in 50 words or less “Who is your favourite Monster Jam driver or truck and why”.

(By commenting on this post you agree to all the terms and conditions. They can be found by clicking HERE. You will need to give us a valid email address so that we can contact you – don’t worry it will not be published! Comments are moderated so may not show up immediately.)

COMPETITION CLOSES 5PM AEST ON MONDAY 15/08/2016. WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON 16/08/2016! GOOD LUCK!

Monster Jam events are affordably priced for the whole family with seats starting from just $28* but be warned! With over 170,000 tickets sold nationwide last year, Monster Jam fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets early to avoid missing out.

Tickets for Brisbane & Perth visit Ticketmaster:

www.Ticketmaster.com.au/MonsterJam or call 136 100.

Tickets for Melbourne, Adelaide & Sydney are through Ticketek:

www.Ticketek.com.au/MonsterJam.com or call 132 849.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.MonsterJamOnline.com.au. Follow Monster Jam on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.