The Rotary Club of Longreach in Queensland’s outback has been very successful in providing community events to the small villages around Longreach. Longreach has been the centre of a 7 year drought which has caused much stress and anxiety in the farming community. The club goes out to these communities and provides a great barbecue followed by a movie. The event brings the communities together and provides social interaction so needed for mental health. The very interesting Longreach story is shown in the video below:
Smart Digital is now supporting Rotary Clubs in outback Australia with a grant of up to 10 movie systems including the inflatable outdoor movie screens. The total grant is valued at a massive $66,000. The clubs just need to demonstrate how they would use the system in their communities if they were successful with a grant. Applications close on 31st August 2021. Applications should be made to [email protected]. James Cunningham is a past president of the Rotary Club of Templestowe in Melbourne.
Let’s face it, being one with the wilderness isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea—but it doesn’t mean that everyone should miss out on the great experience of camping. As the name suggests, Glamping is the less rugged, more luxurious alternative.
The ‘Glamorous’ take on the traditional ‘pitch a tent and sleep on the floor’ type camping provides a different means of accommodation so that you can see the very best the outdoors has to offer—in moderation, of course.
So what is Glamping?
Glamping generally entails showing up to the “campsite” which more closely resembles a large tented-hotel room and settling in. No effort required. Fit with bedding (yes, an actual bed), lighting and power. Not a sleeping bag in sight.
Outside your typical tent-type glamping, there are all sorts of experiences on offer, such as airstreams or trailers, domes, cabins, huts, cottages and more.
Some destinations offer comforts like meals, wifi, heating and cooling and even a kitchenette. Forget ducking into the woods to ‘take care of business’ – bathrooms are either included on site or are a short walk from your residence.
Despite being an unconventional take on the ‘traditional’ camping, the appeal of experiencing the wonders of the great outdoors in comfort and style is understandable.
The trend is gaining a serious amount of traction and with the warmer weather ahead of us, now’s the time to set a date for your inspired retreat. There are hotspots for glamping right across our beautiful country, so it’s a great idea for a getaway whether you’re in Victoria, Queensland or just about anywhere else.
Check out some of the more popular glamping spots across Australia below.
What to bring glamping
So, you’ve decided that you’re going to give glamping a go, but you’re not sure what to bring in lieu of all that camping equipment. Well, fear not- here’s a helpful (but in no way definitive) list for first-time glampers:
- Mobile phone and charger, you may or may not have reception and wifi.
- Snacks – because you should always have snacks?
- Day clothing and footwear – opt for something comfortable for outdoor activities, it may be glamorous but you won’t be needing an evening gown.
- Be sure to slip slop slap before heading out for any adventures.
- Beach towels & Bathers (or skinny dip – I’m not the boss of you).
- Food, cooking utensil & plates if meals aren’t included – BBQ meals are never amiss.
- Toiletries to keep yourself looking and feeling civilised – who knows, you may impress a koala.
- Jammies fit for a slumber party in the great outdoors.
- HandiTheatre® Explorer (we’ll get to that later).
Bear in mind that all glamping experiences and inclusions are different, so some things may or not be applicable and you’re your own person, bring what makes you feel comfortable – that’s the glamping spirit!
A Cinematic Experience
While you’re ‘roughing it up’ with a warm cup of tea and cosy blanket, why not catch a flick on the big screen. The HandiTheatre® Explorer is portable, battery operated and incredibly easy to set up.
The small but almighty projector provides a stunning image on the 100” inflatable movie screen, accompanied by the high quality Behringer speaker. Just bring along a USB, or plug in a laptop to enjoy an unforgettable movie night.
Without the need for camping equipment, the Explorer will be the #1 item on your packing list.
Check out the HandiTheatre® Explorer for a cinematic experience under the stars.
Its a warm, balmy night, with the sunset just on the horizon. You’ve set up your bean bags out on the grass. A cooler the size of a car is filled with assorted beers and wines and your projector light is streaming on your new inflatable movie screen. However, the realisation suddenly hits home; that you have to pick a movie to please the accords. This is not an easy task, as tastes in movies always seem to conflict with differences in age and personality.
Not to worry, I have come prepared. I have put together a list of movies that not only range in genre, but are especially ehanced on an outdoor movie setup. Imagine this; Leonardo Di Caprio sprints across the forest floor with blood searing from his brow, as you listen to the rustle of the trees and light breeze in your own back yard or oval. Ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy this list as much as i enjoyed picking them. To be fair, Its not all Oscar winning performances, but you will sure be in for a great night and hopefully early morning! In no particular order:
Jurassic Park – 1993
IMDB rating: 8.1/10
Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Arc – 1981
IMDB rating: 8.5/10
Gladiator – 2000
IMDB rating: 8.5/10
The Notebook – 2004
IMDB rating: 8.5/10
The Blair Witch Project – 1999
IMDB rating: 6.4/10
The Patriot – 2000
IMDB rating: 7.2/10
The Shining – 1980
IMDB rating: 8.4/10
Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back – 1980
IMDB rating: 8.8/10
Love Actually (thank me later fellas!) – 2003
IMDB rating: 7.6/10
Into The Wild – 2007
IMDB rating: 8.1/10
The Revenant – 2015
IMDB rating: 8.0/10
The Sound Of Music – 1965
IMDB rating: 8.0/10
Toy Story – 1995
IMDB rating: 8.3/10
Shawshank Redemption – 1994
IMDB rating: 9.3/10
Forest Gump – 1994
IMDB rating: 8.8/10
Back To The Future – 1985
IMDB rating: 8.5/10
The Incredibles – 2004
IMDB rating: 8.0/10
Mary Poppins – 1964
IMDB rating: 7.8/10
Django – 2012
IMDB rating: 8.4/10
On The Waterfront – 1954
IMDB rating: 8.2/10
We all love movies, but a family night out can be a very expensive one. Did you know the average Australian movie ticket price has risen 31% over the past ten years, from $10.57 in 2007 to $13.80 in 2016? The most expensive tickets grew in price from $13.50 to $25 over the past years – that’s almost double compared to the price we paid back in 2000. The bad news is though – movie tickets costs will be growing further, and much faster than our salaries. A family night at the movies costs close to $100 dollars, which is not viable for many families.
However, there are always ways to enjoy cheap movie nights.
When buying movie tickets:
- Choose the matinee sessions or off peak days / times – this option is for you only if you are not at work 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.
- Entertainment books have movie coupons and Evouchers’ helping you save per ticket.
- Check your memberships – RACV, Telstra, Bupa and the lot offer cheaper tickets to their members (don’t forget to read the small print though – some offers are only valid on weekdays).
- Find an online deal (Groupon, Scoopon and the likes offer movie night deals and vouchers on a regular basis)
- Independent cinemas may have cheaper tickets compared to cinema chains. If you are in Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, for example, check Boronia Metro or Croydon Cinemas.
When planning your movie night:
- Feed your family before going to the movie, and finish the meal with some popcorn and ice-cream in hope they won’t insist on having them again at the movie theatre.
- Give your children a practical lesson in math. Explain them that it is better to go to the movies twice during the school holidays, rather than spending your entire budget on confectionary and snacks at one event.
Consider alternatives to the movie theatre:
- Drive-ins are still alive and kicking, and keep bringing lots of fun to people of all ages. They revive old memories in parents, and create new memories in children. Drive-ins are almost always cheaper compared to hardtop cinema, and are very romantic. The problem though you may not have a drive-in near you.
- Many Local Councils run series of outdoor cinema events during summer season. Find out if your local council offers movies under the stars – these events are either free or very affordable. They are also the best choice for families with small kids, as children will have an opportunity to run around before the movie. Moreover, you could leave the movie grounds at any time, if the little one gets scared or tired without much hassle. This is far better than trying to leave the movie theatre in the middle of the movie with a crying child in your arms.
- Take your family camping at one of the holiday parks offering cinema nights for their patrons. Many holiday parks run movie nights; some are indoors, while others are outdoors. Most parks are using big inflatable cinema screens – children get very excited watching a big screen being set up.
- Watch movies at home. TV panels became bigger, but if you want to make your home movie night special, use a projection screen and a projector. Turn off the lights, bring the beanbag, and serve pizza, popcorn and sweets. These cheap movie nights can be full of warmth and love, which is far more precious than watching the latest blockbuster movie.
- Make your movie night even more special, moving your own home cinema right into your backyard. All you need to show movies in your backyard is an inflatable cinema screen, a projector, and sound (not too loud – you don’t want to turn your neighbours into your enemies). All this equipment and complete packages are available at Smart Digital.
Why backyard cinema is better than ten cheap movie nights?
The good thing about backyard home cinema is that it is an investment which can be used in so many different ways:
- Watch movies with family and friends
- Have kids birthday parties and sleepovers
- Play console games
- Indoor use for big family gatherings
Another great thing about portable cinema is its price – with recommended retail price of $1399 it equals to just 14 family visits to the movies. For this money, you could have a movie night every weekend, outdoors in summer time, and indoors in winter. Moreover, quality equipment will last for many years in a row.
Finally, you can get your own portable cinema solution even cheaper! How?
- The entry level portable cinema is only $899 – with a screen bigger than your TV, yet so compact when packed that you could take it with you on your camping trip!
- Our summer sale will help you save $200 off HandiTheatre Home inflatable cinema – that’s down from $1399 to $1119.
- Some items available ex demo, and that’s where you could save big – some equipment is 50% down its retail price.With portable cinema form Smart Digital Australia, you could have many fabulous many nights with family and friends, which in long run will be cheaper than going to the movies!
Don’t know what to give your big family for Christmas this year? We have some brilliant ideas for you.
The best Christmas present is the one which can be shared by the whole family, and ideally, used over and over again. It is also easier to do the shopping if you only need to buy one present, and not five.
We made this list of Christmas gift ideas for outdoor lovers, as Christmas means for us hot summer days and balmy nights.
1. HandiTheatre® Backyard Cinema the Perfect Family Christmas Gift
It is our choice number one in the list of best Christmas presents available in Australia. Witht he Portable outdoor home theatre, your family will spend less time watching TV on a sofa, and have more fun outdoors.
Organise backyard movie nights, play active computer game competitions in the open air; have a karaoke night or a disco party under the stars. Invite your neighbours and relatives, watch old classic movies or get sports fans together to watch the big game on a big screen.
There are outdoor cinema packages available for any backyard, big or small.
2. Outdoor Fireplace
They will get the whole family out of the house – adults would enjoy a good meal near the fire, teens will probably still continue their social life on their tablets, and kids will try to roast marshmallows.
Choose the models burning ethanol, like Ecosmart Fire, as ethanol is environmentally responsible option to fossil fuels.
3. Outdoor Family Games
Family board games are fun. Our favourites as Christmas presents are Forbidden Island, Settlers of Catan, and Ticket to Ride. They teach kids some new skills (history, geography), and help adults to relax and have quality time with their children.
Outdoor family games are even better – choose from Klop or Finska, giant Jenga, or bocce (also known as petanque).
4. A family Drone
Almost all family members can become pilots (just choose more affordable, family-friendly models of drones). Moreover, you can use drone camera to create fun family portraits, like it is described in this blog.
And your teenage kids will spend more time outdoors flying drones, and less time plastered to the computer screen.
5. Basketball Ring
Basketball ring is great gift for your kids. If your family is sporty and active, it can be a good present for the whole family to enjoy. Portable rings can be setup in driveways, courts, or backyards and used all year round.
Trampolines are also a fantastic investment, which will bring joy and outdoor fun for many years to come.
Unfortunately, this present is most likely for kids only.
On the other hand, you will be surprised that even older kids and teens will be using trampoline a lot. From playing ball games, to reading – they will use it well!
7. Camping Tent
Camping tent as a Christmas present is a big promise to camp more! We hope you’ll make it your New Year resolution! Give a separate tent for kids – they can even play camping in the backyard, and invite friends for a backyard movie camp out!
There are a lot of options to give the gift of experience.
8. Christmas Eve Camping
That would be different from the standard Christmas party! Pick up a Holiday Park or a Holiday Resort offering adventures and unusual experiences. Decorate a tiny portable Christmas tree and let your children find under it a card offering these adventures (canoe trip, mini-golf, outdoor movies).
9. Cultural Event
Present your family with tickets to the theatre in the gardens, open air cinema, or any other outdoor event – isn’t it great to celebrate Christmas in summer?
10. Take them Travelling
Organise family holidays in secret from your tribe, and let the tickets to the destination unknown be your Christmas present for them!
In addition, prepare small gifts that family members will need in your journey.
A new travel bag, Lonely Planet travel guide, travel cosmetics – you name it!
11. Share an Adrenaline Rush
Give your loved ones a day out sailing or flying aeroplane – there is nothing better than an experience shared by the whole family.
12. Meet the Animals
Finally, we suggest to pay a visit to your local zoo. Very few venues are open on Christmas day, and the zoo is one of them. With not that many visitors around, Christmas day at the zoo may feel like a very special visit, for kids and adults alike.
Now over to you. What was the best Christmas present you have ever received or gave to your family?
What do mums think about inflatable home cinema?
We asked three prominent Australian bloggers to review HandiTheatre® backyard home cinema, and to tell us what they think about it.
We were lucky to have our HandiTheatre® reviewed by Retro Mummy Corrie, a mum of a big family, who does it all – home schooling, baking, crafts. She also writes fabulous stories on her blog – we find her posts on home schooling especially interesting.
Oh So Busy Mum Cheree found some time in her busy schedule to take fabulous photos of the outdoor home cinema. (Check her awesome recipes which will make a great treat during the movie night!)
Maraya knows stuff mums like, and she writes very funny and engaging stories. Take her Elf on the Shelf story – if you are good, he will tell Santa to bring HandiTheatre® to your family! We also love her travel blogs with useful tips on travelling with kids.
We asked these mum bloggers the following questions:
Who would need an outdoor theatre? Is backyard cinema easy to setup? Can any mum do it? Would they use HandiTheatre® more than just for an occasional movie night? What would be their practical advice if you decide to buy one?
That’s what we found out:
Why you would need an outdoor home cinema:
- Going out to watch movies with your big family costs an arm and a leg. With backyard home cinema, you can enjoy the big screen outdoors….without leaving home.
- With backyard home cinema, you can get much more out of living in a sunny Queensland (and many other sunny places all over Australia)
- HandiTheatre® is a Great Christmas gift for the whole family, far better than plastic toys
- It is a perfect way to entertain the kids every night when going camping
- You can connect games console and play Mario using your old PlayStation or your kids Xbox
Is backyard cinema easy to setup?
“Setup is SO easy! I was dreading it, but I managed to do it entirely by myself, even with kids bugging me – yes it’s THAT easy!” – That’s what Oh So Busy Mum thinks.
“It also helps to have a handy husband on hand (or a techhead son) to tell you to turn the sound bar on when you can’t work out why there is no sound coming out.” – comments Retro Mummy.
There’s nothing better than involving children in setting up the outdoor cinema – This experience teaches them responsibility, and allows them to grow their self-esteem. Yes, there are things they can do better than their mums!
Would they use HandiTheatre® more than just for an occasional movie night?
Absolutely. We have seen plenty of ideas, from parties by the pool to home schooling.
“I also have big plans for some mums’ night in movie nights with all my friends on the deck over the summer. We will start the evening off with a swim in the pool and then head off to the movies! It’s the perfect way to hang out!” – That’s definitely the Stuff Mums Like.
“it’s great for big families, extended families, having the neighbours over, birthday parties, homeschool groups, class movie nights and more. I’m also thinking it might be the way I can get some of my homeschoolers to watch some more documentaries and interesting movies as part of our studies. You can also play computer games on it so I’m thinking Just Dance will be even more fun outside and on the huge screen. Once you have an outdoor cinema the kids find lots of reasons to get outside and watch a movie and it’s a nice way to spend the night.” – shares Retro Mummy.
All in all, both mums and kids loved outdoor cinema experience. You can enjoy it too – prices start from $749 for complete entertainment package. HandiTheatre® is a Christmas present which will bring your family together and will give you the gift of many fabulous family nights to remember for years to come.
Simple Halloween party ideas, from funny games to scary movies.
Some say Halloween has originated from Ireland, some say – from Mexico. Some see it coming to Australia as an influence of American pop culture. We here at Smart Digital think it’s a great reason to throw an awesome party!
How to Host a Halloween Party
It’s easy with these tips and ideas:
1. Get costumes.
There are plenty of options in retail stores and online, but sometimes all you need to do is to go through your old wardrobe. Use your striped long sleeved T-shirt to be a robber or a mime. Turn a hooded cloak into a witch outfit, or add glasses for Harry Potter’s look.
2. Prepare some simple Halloween party food.
Don’t overthink – boiled egg halves with olives on top will serve as spooky eyeballs on your salad. Use cream cheese to attach almond “nails” to the carrot sticks for the spooky feel. Weird coloured jelly decorated with lollies will make a perfect Halloween treat. And don’t forget pumpkin – the queen of Halloween table!
3. Plan games.
The choice of the games depends on your audience, but spoon eyeball races, apple bobbing, and creating toilet paper mummies will always be a hit.
For older kids and adults, offer a themed scavenger hunt using their smartphones, play the ghost game, the grave keeper, or pumpkin consequences. Scream contest is another good one, and is very easy – let your guests compete to produce the scariest scream, or the most realistic howl.
If you are still playing Pokémon Go – stop pretending you are not in the game, and celebrate the Pokémon Go’s Halloween 2017 event with your friends, going out on a hunt.
Making scary movies on Halloween is our favourite. You already have the actors dressed up as scary monsters, as well as the camera (your mobile phone). Outline a simple scary plot (mummies invade the town; Addams family on a picnic; visit to the haunted house) and start filming! In half an hour, you will have a perfect scary movie to watch on a big screen (and if you don’t have a big screen, here’s where you can get one).
4. Watch horror movies.
There’s just one thing better than watching scary movie on the night of Halloween – it is watching scary movies outdoors at night. Just imagine – the moon, the bats flying around, the shades and the whispers of the wind. Decorate your backyard with pumpkin lanterns and outdoor lights; add a couple of skeletons and a ghost or two. Don’t forget comfortable seating. Prepare beanbags, inflatable airbeds, or camping chairs.
Select the movie to watch. If there are no kids around, choose a real horror movie. Here is a good list of movies you can stream for free.
If you are choosing movies to watch with your family and children, here is our top 10 Halloween picks:
- The Night Before Christmas
- The Addams Family
- Edward Scissorhands
- Corpse Bride
- Hocus Pocus
- Hotel Transylvania
- The Witches
- The Black Cauldron
Finally, you need a movie screen, a projector, and sound to make your outdoor cinema ready for a really cool (and a little bit creepy) movie night! Did you know you could buy a complete portable outdoor cinema online?
So you can’t make it to the State of Origin games, but the games can make it to you!
Be the State of Origin hero and invite your mates over to the leagues series of the year! All in the comfort of your own backyard!
Cold one in hand, and mates pushing for the best view, you will thrill at the big screen images of the live games, and the cheer of the crowds. Watching the battle between the reigning Queensland Maroons against New South Wales Blues has never been more fun, and convenient.
Let’s start with the big screen. These high quality inflatable screens are taking the sporting world by storm, as they are fully portable, set up in 10 minutes and are just like your own outdoor cinema system! Complete with projector and speakers, connect to live sport TV and you are set.
Share the Love!
Get your mates to chip in $30 each to cover pizza and the big screen event, with only 20 mates you can come close to paying off your cinema system over the series. A far cry from the cost of tickets and interstate flights right.
Inflatable screens come in any sizes, but for the backyard party go for the 3m screen, depending on your crowd and the size of your backyard. While choosing a movie projector, brightness comes first, and resolution – second. As for the sound, a powerful soundbar would do the job, but if you don’t want to compromise on quality of your outdoor home theatre, check this package.
Feed the Troops!
Keep the troops warm and order pizza – it is always a hit, or add hot meat pies, or hot dogs to bring the stadium feel to your backyard – without the insane prices!
For those who like it sweet, order or bake a themed cake or cupcakes. Decorate chocolate Easter eggs to resemble rugby balls, and use them as cake toppers!
But if you really want to stand out, we dare you to make a good bowl of hearty soup. Here is a recipe of State of Origin pumpkin soup which does have the flavour of Queensland. As a bold alternative, try Italian minestrone, Russian Borscht, German style eintopf or Loaded Bacon Split Pea Soup.
Selection of drinks is obvious – beer is the traditional rugby man’s drink.
Keep the Chills at Bay
Consider having an infrared outdoor heater to keep your mates warm, and prepare a pile of blue and maroon blankets.
Prepare comfortable outdoor seating – use camping chairs if you don’t have enough of outdoor furniture for the big night.
It does not matter if all your friends support one team or go for the rivals. What matters is the atmosphere created both by the host and by the guests. We hope you don’t have to ask your guests come dressed in their team jerseys. To have more fun, offer the prize for the best home-made wig or have a session of face painting set up in your backyard prior to the big game.
Hey, we think you can do it. And we want you to have an absolutely fantastic State of Origin party this year. If you liked the idea of having a big inflatable screen on your backyard, order it online from Smart Digital Australia – we guarantee it will be the drawing card of the night.