Monday, 25 August 2008

A Rocky start

Travel tips for w/c August 25 2008

John Crook

Join travel author
Best selling author Paul Theroux will guest on an Arctic Circle rail journey ex Moscow June 13, 2009. Sightseeing included, plus the thrill of travelling in carriages hauled by steam locomotives 75% of the way. Priced from $8883 per person. Get the facts by calling 1300 363 554 or visit

Geelong hatches dinosaurs
Once known as sleepy hollow, not so these days. The Victorian bayside city just occasionally slips back into the past, such as with the Dinosaur Eggs and Babies exhibition which starts its run September 20 through November 30. Then it moves to Adelaide and the South Australian Museum from Dec 13 to March 13. For the latest on the hatchlings telephone (03) 5227 0701.

Kick up those heels in Paris
Moulin Rouge is still the place to go when in gay Paree. The legendary can-can, a choice of just the show, or dinner with the show, and there you are, right amongst the prettiest, long legged dancers at the world’s most acclaimed cabaret venue. Prices start at $157 per person. For bookings ring 1300 730 023, or check

Coloured sands, beaches and rainforests
The World Heritage Site of Fraser Island provides one of the nation’s most beautiful experiences. For soft adventure, there’s nothing quite like Fraser Island with its wide sandy beaches, roaring surf, placid perched freshwater lakes and a range of accommodation to suit all budgets. There’s a two-night package priced from $499 per person on offer. This includes accommodation, ferry transfers, two day 4Wdcamping tour, four meals, national park fees and services of an expert guide. Dial 134 782 or visit

A Rocky start
Do a 12-night Rocky Mountains tour and join that with a 7-night Alaskan cruise and reap the benefits.
Together the 19-nights experience is priced from $8290 per person, twin share. That price includes return air, first class sightseeing, a range of optional tours, first class hotels, airport transfers, gratuities aboard the Norwegian Sun, 19 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 12 dinners. Separate or joined together, what an experience ! Details and bookings ‘phone 1800 225 656 for your nearest Cruiseco agency.

Coffs for airshow
Plenty of options on offer for accommodation at next month’s Coffs Harbour air show. Go Polynesian at Aanuka Beach Resort from $115 per room, based on a five-night stay. Or, consider the Pure Indulgence B&B at Scott’s Head, with rooms from $121 per room per night including a full breakfast. Check

Can you believe it ?
There’s an average saving of almost US$2000 on single supplements on selected sailings, whether it be ocean cruising on the Mediterranean coast or river cruising down Europe’s inland waterways. Get the full details on all tour prices and relevant discounts from Tauck World Discovery by visiting or telephone 1300 766 566.

Check these out
• Pay three nights, and get three free at Fiji’s Crusoe’s Resort. Check
• There’s an unforgettable seven-night Portugese journey which begins and ends in Lisbon. Check the offer on
• Webjet and eBay have launched in Australia and around the world.
• Wendy Wu, Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Tourism Board have released new packages including a 5-night package from $2440 per person including economy airfare.

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages and prices are subject to change and availability.

Need a holiday ? We’re archived on

ENDS Visual of Rocky Mountaineer.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Budding actors take heed

Travel briefs w/c August 18 2008

By John Crook

Go fly a kite
Coolum, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, is the centre of action for kite flyers at the October 11-12 kite festival. Join kite flying mates from Canada, China, and New Zealand at what is becoming another Australian ‘big event’. Close handy to the event is Mantra Sand Dunes, ideal for accommodation over the festival period. Based on a three-night stay the tariff starts from $195 per room per night. Details by ringing 12 15 17.

Dinner with Barry Humphries
The creator of Dame Edna makes a rare appearance as himself at a dinner show in the Hunter Valley on Sunday October 5. An accommodation package is priced from $792 per person, twin share, staying at Peppers Guest House. The offer includes two night’s accommodation, full breakfasts and complimentary transfers to and from the event which will be held at the Great Cask Hall, Hope Estate.. Tickets for the actual show need to be booked separately at For details of the accommodation package telephone Peppers at (02) 4993 8999.

A quest for adventure
A multi-million pound refit of the 450-passenger Quest for Adventure is preparing her for the inaugural cruise from Harwich in the UK to the Baltic, July 1 2009.Passengers can look forward to onboard lectures, on-shore excursions along with formal and informal dining , a selection of bars, stylish public areas and quiet retreats. The cruise includes small and lesser known ports. After the inaugural cruise her itineraries will open up other fascinating parts of the world. For prices and details contact 1800 225 656 for the name of Cruiseco’s 150-cruise specialist agencies down under.

Budding actors take heed
Special theatre festival packages are on offer from $1167 per person, departing Brisbane and $1299 ex Sydney. Destination Norfolk Island and the 11th annual festival from September 28 – October 5, 2008.
Theatrical groups are invited to take part in the week-long festival. Get the facts on participation and prices by ringing 1800 1400 66 or email

Savings of up to $2,556 per person
That should grab your attention, so here are the facts. Those savings relate to the brochured fare on Holland America Line’s 14-night Sydney to Auckland and Auckland to Sydney cruises aboard ms Volendam. Available on a number of selected savings from November 2008 to March 2009, guests may enjoy premium cruising to some of the most popular points in Australia, from as little as $1,299 per person twin share. Understand the facts by contacting Travel the World on 1300 766 566.

Cycling Italy
There’s a great eight-day cycling trip from Florence to Rome. Cycle through the small villages of Umbria and Tuscany and really experience Italy. The guided trip is priced from $1,690 per person, twin share. That includes seven nights accommodation, breakfasts and dinners daily, bicycle, luggage transfers, all transport transfers, trail tickets, information kit with maps (they could come in handy). Airfares are extra. Telephone 131 600 for details.

Altar boys a hit
Melbourne theatre audiences are currently under the spell of the stars of musical, Altar Boys. Brisbane audiences are preparing for the lads to hit their town. Details from Ticketmaster.

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages and prices are subject to change and availability.

Need a holiday ? We’re archived on

Visual : Norfolk Island panorama

Monday, 11 August 2008

Sun Princess: Cruise around the continent


John Crook

Oz hotel group with Europe connections

Adina Apartment Hotels offers overnight accommodation in Copenhagen, in a one-bedroom apartment with a full breakfast for two included, along with two tickets to the beautiful Tivoli Gardens. Add to the list inclusions of two tickets to the wonderful Tivoli Gardens. Priced from approx AUD$298. Minimum two night stay and valid until 21 September 2008. Go to

Little India package

Since my last mention of Melbourne’s Dandenong, here’s news of a package on offer from Ramada Encore Hotel Dandenong. Two nights weekend accommodation with full hot buffet breakfast for two people. Also included is undercover car parking and complimentary broadband. Over the weekend stay do a walking shopping and dining tour of Little India and try the food on offer in the Afghanistan precinct. Reservations, conditions and enquiries telephone (03) 9793 0088, and the email address is

German royalty abounds

The monarchy may have disappeared in Germany although there are plenty of ‘crowned heads’ at work. The wine regions have their own wine queens along with a couple of princesses. If in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse on October 10 you will catch the grand parade and the crowning of Germany’s wine queen for 2008. Throughout the year there’s also an onion queen, a herb queen, an apple queen and an asparagus queen. Is nothing sacred?

Speaking of wine

Check the details associated with the wine festivals of the Czech Republic. There is also the Prague wine package which is a private tour costing from $2675, available until December 26 2008. It includes return economy airfare with Austrian Airlines ex Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane. Cairns and Perth; three nights accommodation, a half day tour of Prague, full day wine tour, a three course lunch and return airport transfers in a private vehicle.

This one is worthwhile following up. Telephone 1300 363 554 or visit

Norfolk annual jazz festival

Exit Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne for the December 8 to 12 Norfolk Island’s jazz festival. Packages on sale until August 30/ The deal includes return economy airfares, seven nights accommodation, return airport transfers, a half day tour and an exclusive Norfolk Convict Club card offering discounts. Prices ex Brisbane from $1439, ex Melbourne from $1699 and ex Sydney from $1699, per person, twin share. The jazz program includes entry to six shows, some with meals; reserved seating, free souvenir program and a welcome drink on arrival. Check the facts with Escape Travel, on 1300 799 783.

Save $700 0n car leasing

GlobalCARS offers terrific savings on a 21-day lease for travellers to Europe until January 31 2009. The deal is on brand new air-conditioned Renault Grand Modus. Short and long term leases available . The minimum lease period is 17 days with a maximum of 180 days. Visit or call 1300 789 992.

Cruise around the continent

Take a month off and for most of the time cruise around Australia from Sydney to Sydney. The 1950 passenger Sun Princess plays host with a departure October 17 2009. Prices start from $4,499 per person, twin share. Terrific savings are on offer. To get the facts telephone 1300 369 848.

Get a job and then tour

Have fun and earn money at the same time whilst working in a UK pub, with a potential of earning between 180 pounds and 220 pounds a week. You need to be over 19 years of age. Prices start from $495 however, airfares and a UK Working Holiday visa are not included. Check conditions and further details by visiting or call 1300 651 639.

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages and prices are subject to change and availability.

Need a holiday ? We’re archived on

Monday, 4 August 2008

Cruising Italian Style


John Crook

Deluxe trans Australia

Set aside a couple of weeks from January 10 2009. That’s the departure date for the Southern Spirit train which will travel from Perth to Brisbane. It is a 12-night package which highlights everything Oz from the Outback, to the ACT, wine regions et al. Prices start from $10,590 per person, twin share. Get the itinerary from Travel Associates. Telephone 1800 044 066.

A wonderful life

Christmas in London,- what a splendid idea. Special deals await at The Milestone, The Egerton and ‘41’, five-star properties and the tariff includes Christmas cake, a bottle each of red and white wine, lunch or dinner on one day, and even mistletoe on your pillow. Not to mention a two night’s stay and other things Christmassy. Available between November 21 2008 and January 11 2009. Check the full deal and prices by viewing

Oktoberfest stats in September

There’s a five-day Heidleberg and royal castles package which offers a pre or post festival look at Germany. The price from $1,112 per person twin share includes superior tourist class hotel accommodation, breakfast daily, coach transportation (with a toilet), return train ticket Frankfurt-Heidelberg, one way ticket Augsburg-Fussen, taxi transfers and sightseeing. Not a bad deal. Airfares are additional. Call 1300 558 987.

Total Travel to the rescue

Check these out. A five-night golfing and dining getaway, at Coast Resort in Merimbula offering a saving of $332, for travel between now and close-off date October 31 2008. Or, spend a night at Park Regis Apartment Hotel in Sydney where you get a reduction of $165 on a one-night stop-over. That means you pay $99 a night. Travel is between now and close-off date August 31, 2008. Plenty more so check out

Add a patriot

There’s a Jeep Patriot awaiting you for as little as $59 per day. It’s available at depots in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney plus selected locations throughout the country. Make contact with Europcar on 1300 300 242.

Italian style cruising

On June 27, 2009, here’s your opportunity to join Costa Allegra and set sail for Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Okinawa and Shanghai. Costa Allegra carries just 800 guests and packages are available through from $3349 per person, twin share. It’s an Italian experience in beautiful Asia. Taxes and fuel surcharges applicable at time of booking. These are additional. Telephone 1300 369 848.

Multi award winner

Combine a trip to the theatre when next you travel to Melbourne. The hugely popular Altar Boyz, in its fourth year in New York, hits the stage of the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne. The season starts Wednesday September 13 2008, with ticket prices from $48. This ‘best of Broiadway’ musical can be booked through Ticketmaster, telephone 136 100.

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages and prices are subject to change and availability.