Jaw Dropping Jasper

by Spectacular World Travel & Events on June 15, 2018

Jasper LakeThis is the last in my series of Canada blogs, as Jasper was our last port of call before driving through to Edmonton and then flying back to Australia. The drive from Lake Louise to Jasper was just over three hours, through magnificent terrain along the Icefields Parkway, which is the main highway that starts in Banff. We were lucky in that it had opened up a couple of weeks before we wavered across, as it remains closed in many sections during the winter months. It’s a spectacular drive, mountainous, rugged National Park terrain that is stunningly beautiful.

Jasper Steam Train

Jasper itself is an old style railway town; the railway runs straight through the middle of the little township and I have to admit, the town was much smaller than we expected, but still home to a number of restaurants, cafes (the bakeries are fantastic), shops and lots of hotels. The scenery and wildlife are the main draw-card that attracts people to Jasper, as it is set in an amazing National Park that is home to elk, moose, bears, deer and many other animals. It was a thrill to see the elk roaming through town, as we had no idea they would venture so close to civilisation.

Jasper Totem PoleWe were out of season to see the breathtaking Northern Lights in the sky, but the Planetarium is well known and people can see the evening stars, constellations and learn all about the Milky Way, solar system and Northern Lights.

Jasper Lake 2The Jasper National Park is home to Medicine Lake, Sunwapter Falls, Spirit Island, Maligne Canyon, Athabasca River and Falls, the Miette Hot Springs and Mount Robson, so there is much to see and take in and lots to keep you occupied, especially if you are into nature, wildlife and spectacular scenery. The area is fantastic for hiking, bike rides and most can be easily accessed by car which is great.

The Jasper Brewing Company is a great place to eat and is a modern brewery offering house made craft beers and pub food. We also had a great meal in our hotel restaurant at the Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre. Buffalo meat  is very popular in Jasper and its used to make nachos, spaghetti bolognaise and lots of meals we would usually make with beef mince.  The Sawridge Inn and Conference Center was the perfect place to stay; lovely rooms and great facilities. We spent two nights here so we could go wildlife spotting and we weren’t disappointed.

Jasper Elk Jasper Deer 2
After Jasper, we travelled to Edmonton and it is worth mentioning the West Edmonton Mall which is the largest mall in North America, and must be a place you stop in and visit if you ever get the chance. We were completely blown away by the sheer size, as this shopping mecca is also home to World Waterpark, Galaxyland, an Ice Palace skating rink, bowling alley, adventure golf, casino, hotel, Imax 3D theatre, nightclub, wild west shooting centre and the list goes on. And that’s not to mention every type of shop and brand you could possibly think of – it would be remiss of me not to mention as this is a MUST STOP IT you do happen to be passing through. Prepare to be amazed!

So this blog tells a tale of the end of our Canada adventure and it was truly and amazing almost three weeks – Canada should be on everyone’s list for a visit. Canada is a real ‘bucket list’ adventure; the people are amazing, the activities diverse and varied with some real highlights that you cannot do in Australia, beautiful sights and country, great places to eat and drink, lots to do and even more to experience.

Jasper Town Centre


Cheers to 20 Years!

by Spectacular World Travel & Events on June 6, 2018

Cheers to 20 Years
Today marks a MAJOR milestone for Spectacular Events & Spectacular World Travel… today we celebrate our 20th birthday! Woo hoo!!!
In 1998, I held the piece of paper in my hand that was my company certificate… I was aged 25 years old, ready to take on the world and initially we started out with me contracting to two or three companies to run their conference events.
In less than two years, I had a travel centre in North Sydney which ran side by side to the conference work I was doing and following the birth of my first son, my husband and I relocated back to the Sunshine Coast to be close to my family and for me to still be able to run my business.
National World Travel Currimundi opened on 6th June 2000 at the Currimundi Marketplace (it’s now actually a Flight Centre!) and we started our journey, which evolved into two travel centres (with the addition of Travelworld Mooloolaba), a call centre in Cotton Tree that ran the CBA True Awards Flight Redemption program and serviced the travel for the PGA of Australia & Rock Eisteddfod Challenge. We also created an amazing team of people and we had a fantastic culture before that was even a buzz word!
Major highlights were being inducted into the Sunshine Coast Business Awards ‘Hall of Fame’ in 2005 (after winning 3 business awards), and also being recognised as the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network Sunshine Coast Outstanding Business Woman of the Year in 2004 & a two-time Telstra Business Women’s Award Finalist.
2090_Sparks_124_CORP-r_LOW RES
We have constantly evolved and moved with the times, re-structuring a couple of times to meet market and client needs and to ensure we are at the forefront of everything we do.
We no longer have a retail travel centre (our last one was closed 6 years ago at the end of this month), but our company continues to thrive, grow and progress. For some time we have not been as ‘visual’ as we were in the early 2000’s, as most of our work is conducted for corporate businesses and franchise groups, so I guess ‘behind the scenes’ but we still work tirelessly in the local community, network and offer support and sponsorship when we are in a position to do so.
1017-001-SWB-ShineBusinessWomen-Logo-Design-FA-PrintSHINE Business Women is our latest venture and OMG – this for me is our most exciting project to date and I cannot wait to roll out six conferences in the next 12 months and the membership program that will sit behind this business division. The support so far has been truly amazing and we are SO excited about this way forward.
BUT primarily we are still a travel, conference & event management company who specialises in delivering conferences and group travel, and this will NEVER change. It is our core business, our passion and what we love best… we’ve now just put our own spin on it with SHINE Business Women, to complement what we do for our clients.
Today is a day to CELEBRATE! Not many businesses survive the 5 or 10 year mark, so we are extremely proud to make it to 20 years… and for us, we still feel it’s only the beginning!
A massive THANK YOU to all the clients and people we work with, many of you have been with us for most of the 20 years and that’s also something to ‘shout out’ about! A massive THANK YOU to all staff, present and past, for sharing our dream and purpose, we would not be where we are today without you!
Cheers to 20 years and looking forward to the next 20!
AMP Awards


Luxurious Lake Louise

May 30, 2018

Right now, I am sitting in an armchair, feet up, looking out over the majestic Lake Louise. Everywhere is still snow covered, the lake is frozen and the glacier is also still frozen. There is a steady drip from the window outside, an icicle is melting and if I look down, I can see a […]

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Bedazzling Banff

May 23, 2018

Over the years, I’ve sent lots of people to Banff and its surrounds to enjoy the Winter Skiing program in Canada and I felt quite familiar with it as a destination and understanding what to recommend to people, but I have to admit, I never had any great desire to visit personally, mainly because I’m […]

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Wonderful Whistler

May 15, 2018

  Whistler is a Winter Wonderland and it’s no wonder that Australians flood there to ski, year in, and year out. This was my second trip to Whistler, and albeit brief, was even better the second time around. One of the things I love about Whistler is that it is all so compact, and easy […]

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Vivacious Victoria

May 9, 2018

Victoria, situated on Vancouver Island, was a real surprise on our recent trip to Canada. We had no idea what to expect and had hired a car so we could take the ferry from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to Schwartz Bay. We wanted to be able to take in the sights and scenery of beautiful Vancouver […]

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Vibrant Vancouver

May 1, 2018

This was my second trip to Vancouver, and even though I saw many of the sights my first time around, this time was completely different and I got a whole new feeling for a city I already loved. I think one of the most important things to note with Vancouver is that it has a […]

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Peru / Machi Picchu Adventure

April 19, 2018

Peru / Machu Picchu Adventure – Hosted by Zoë Sparks – May 2019 It’s time to SHINE! One Departure Only: Sun 19/5/19 – Sat 1/6/19 Strictly limited to 20 seats (10 x Inca Trail Trekkers plus 10 x Non-Trekkers) and fully escorted by Zoë Sparks You’ve asked for it and here it is – this […]

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Environmentally-Friendly Elements (Byron Bay Resort & Spa)

March 7, 2018

  We have published a couple of post on Byron Bay previously; it’s one of those places that once you’ve visited you’ll be sure to return as it’s such a fantastic spot. The pace is laidback, the mood ‘sunny and happy’ and it is an ideal spot for a holiday, no matter what life stage […]

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Need a Conference Organiser?

February 21, 2018

I’m often asked what ‘PCO’ means when I hand out my business cards, as I guess it’s not something you see every day. Well, it stands for ‘Professional Conference Organiser’ and has been a position I’ve held with a number of organisers (as well as being their Travel Manager) for the past fifteen years. So […]

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