Monday, 25 October 2010

Bogong Horse Back - APT - Maleny - Amalfi Coast - Cycling World Campionships


John Crook 

Get ready for the horse ride of your life

In January the award winning Bogong Horse Back Adventures has scheduled several opportunities to go horse riding , with one, three and four day rides from Falls Creek.  Several rides have been scheduled to celebrate the annual Big Fella Festival.  Resort guests can join a day ride on either January  4 – 5, 2011. Another option is a three day ride departing Falls Creek on January 8.

There are other options available.    Go visit  for prices and further information.    Then, it's just a matter of  'Giddy-up'

Fly free deals

The flow of deals continues.  One of the latest to consider is that offered by APT, which has two additional cruises in March of next year between Amsterdam and Budapest including departures on March 11 and 25.

The 15-day cruises are priced from $6245 per person twin share.  Heaps of extras included whilst on board. These include 14 nights cruising, all meals on the cruise, as well as local wines/beers with lunch and dinner, and even champers for breakfast.    So give them a call 1300 229 804 and ask for more information about the fly free deal for all suite types if booked before 20 December 2010.  All the details are also available by visiting  


It matters not where I may be, once a mention of Maleny and the special words come gushing out. For 16 years I enjoyed life in the hill top town on the hinterland of Queensland's Sunshine Coast. 

Artists and creative minds seem to gather in that town.    Just last week the town received a real shot in the arm with a local lad, David Crewe, winning a national contest on ABC Radio.  He participated in a contest to create lyrics for a song with his choice of subject being the lovely town of Maleny.  He hits the high spots on Thursday January 20 when Felicity Urquhart sings The magic of Maleny, at Tamworth's Country Music Festival.

Never to miss an opportunity, I've also just re-issued my book A Move to the Country. (Cost of $15 including postage) 

If interested in reading about the town of Maleny, drop an email requesting more info to   Then, when travelling into Sunshine Coast country, take a drive up the hill to explore Maleny, Montville, Flaxton and Mapleton. 

Sail the Amalfi Coast

Peter Sommer Travels has released a new sailing expedition along Italy's magnificent Amalfi Coast,- just one of the 20 cultural adventures on offer in 2011.  These are not just your usual type experiences.  Rather they are escorted by expert guides.   The new Italian itinerary, Cruising the Amalfi Coast travels for eight days visiting great historical and cultural jewels of the region.  For prices, conditions and full details of the touring, go visit  or, telephone the UK on 0011 44 1600888 220.

For cyclists

Geelong recently welcomed cyclists for the October world championships.  Here's news for those who follow such events.  The Italian city of Florence is scheduled to host the championships.   Florence has been named the host city for 2013. 

Next year's event (2011) is Copenhagen and in 2012 the Dutch town of Valkenburg.  For any of those events it is recommended to make early bookings for travel and accommodation. Check with your travel agent. 


Bogong horse riding (Vic)

Amalfi Coast (Italy)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Ann Rickard - Queensland - Hurtigruten - Spring carnival - China Southern - Daydream Island


John Crook 

Ann Rickard of Queensland- author and tour leader

The author of six travel orientated books, Ann Rickard, not only puts pen to paper to record her tantalizing adventures, but she also gathers together her fans and leads them as tour leader, touring whether it be France, Italy or Greece.

Her adventures usually are of 14 days and 13 nights, but I note that for her upcoming tours there are but three spots in the June  2011 departure.  Then a year later she departs on a tour  with but five places vacant.

Price for year 2011 departure is from 3700 Euro.

For all the details go visit or email   Then, there's her latest book, again with a travel influence (plus plenty of laughs).  It's Three in a Bed in the Med, three countries, three people and one friendship put to the test. 

Book to make a saving

It's possible to save up to 20% on 2011 Hurtigruten cruising to the Arctic island of Spitsbergen, renowned for its breathtaking fjords, glaciers and amazing wildlife. If you book now there's a 20% saving off Svalbard Explorer, now priced from $5151 per person.  The price is valid through August 2011 departures.  There are other savings on other tours.  Discounts apply on new bookings made until 31 December 2010 and on all cabin grades based on twin share accommodation.   For further details, conditions and the like telephone 1800 221 712.

Spring carnival

It's not altogether just about horse racing.

Although currently there's a Cup flavour throughout The Langham Hotel, the activities range from High Teas, Spring hats to watching the Cup in the comfort of a luxurious hotel. 

On Melbourne Cup day  and also on Oaks Day the hotel has scheduled exclusive 'ladies lunches',  priced from $59.90 per person at Oaks Day lunch, or from $89.90 per person on Cup Day.  Enter the hotel during the Spring Carnival and catch sight of magnificent hats created by milliner Richard Nylon.

To take up the suggestion of watching the Cup in luxury, telephone for reservations 1800 641 107, or email  

More flights

A total of 24 direct flights weekly will boost travel between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with China.  China Southern, which just happens to be  Asia's largest airline, in terms of traffic volumes in Asia, services 80 cities in mainland China.  The Australian services fly into mainland China's transit hub of Guangzhou.  The airline is doubling its direct weekly flights between the east coast of Oz and Guangzhou.

For details ring : Sydney (02)9233 9788, Melbourne (03) 8676 0088, Brisbane 1300 889 628.  We sure do have a choice these days with air options. 

What I would call a good deal

Location is an east coast island of Australia, fantastic for the kids, and Daydream Island is on the very doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef.

There's a good deal on offer right now.  The offer is valid for travel until December 3 2010, and can be purchased until November 30 this year.

The three night package includes a Dinner Bed and  Breakfast special, and is priced for only $660 per person, twin share.    There are conditions. Excluded from the package are beverages, , seafood platters and market priced items are not included. Children's dinner is a set menu. EntrĂ©e  is not included and is an additional cost. Up to two children  stay and eat breakfast free when sharing with adults and using existing bedding.  For other conditions and inclusions simply go visit or call 1800 075 040.  Then, go for it.   There are free activities well worthwhile checking on.  I love the open air movies on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages  and prices are subject to change and availability.  This information is provided as a guide only.  Check with your travel agency.   Block out periods may apply.  

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Monday, 11 October 2010

Indian Tigers - Bali Holiday - Fiji Holiday Deal - Sydney Fish Markets - SeaDream Worlds Best


John Crook

Tigers below

Here's a chance to search for a tiger from the back of an elephant.  A 16-day escorted small-group journey offers highlights of India and Nepal, delves into century's of history, ornate temples, fantastic architecture, marble palaces and on it goes. The group goes into tropical jungles, a visit to the Taj Mahal, Kathmandu and an elephant-back safari.   The price, from $4558 per person twin share  includes 15-nghts accommodation, sightseeing in air-conditioned vehicles, local guides. Entrance fees and flights between Delhi and Kathmandu.  Get all the facts, conditions and prices by calling 1300 836 764 or go visit

Bali gets a guernsey

About time some readers may say.  So here goes, my first report on Bali.  Venture Holidays has just released a range of seven-night packages across Bali from as little as $237 per person twin share. Stay in a choice of more than 12 popular hotels and resorts.  All deals are land only and include daily breakfasts and return airport transfers.  With prices like those mentioned, no wonder it's a hot spot.  For Bali accommodation details ring 1300 41 41 51.

Three hundred islands fly the Fijian flag.

There's a fabulous range of holiday destinations in Fiji, and some are priced from as low as $591 per person.  This package includes meet and greet on arrival at Nadi airport, return coach transfers airport/Outrigger, seven nights accommodation for the price of four in a superior resort view room, plus other benefits for the holiday maker.

The Coral Coast Outrigger is set midst 40 acres of lush tropical gardens.   Get all the facts by visiting

Seafood school in Sydney

November to February program of classes can be viewed by going to

Guest chef fever is alive and well at the Sydney Seafood School with a wide range of guest-chefs in the upcoming summer program.  Classes are from 20-hour evening sessions through to weekend workshops.  Chefs galore have signed up to host the grand array of sessions.  To check on availabilities give the school a ring, on (02) 9004 1111.

Simply the best

SeaDream 1 and SeaDream 11 have been named world's best boutique ships .  Ratings put both vessels amongst the top five over-all sea-going passenger vessels in the world.   For details of both vessels at sea put them in the Mediterranean from May to October and in the Caribbean from November to April.  Travel agents will have the information you'll be seeking, or go visit

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages  and prices are subject to change and availability.  This information is provided as a guide only.  Check with your travel agency.   Block out periods may apply.   

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Monday, 4 October 2010

Christchurch, Tempo Early Bird, Euro Experts, Turkey Deal, Car Hire Update


John Crook - The Travel Man

Come on over

That's the  plea of the top tourism officials in Christchurch.  Stand by for a solid promotional campaign, which appears to be mainly centred around Sydney, and set to launch mid October.

In brief, the 'gathering of the clan' so to speak, is to let Aussies know that the beautiful city of Christchurch is back in business.  The bulk of tourism operators, along with hotels and attractions , have the shingles out and are ready and waiting to serve those of us from across the ditch who have a dollar or two to spend this Springtime. To get the latest information I suggest you contact your local travel agent.

Save if you are an early bird

There's a saving of $120 per person on Tempo Holidays popular eastern European panorama coach tour.  Now priced from $2371 this 13-day package covers the highlights of the region, Vienna,  Budapest, Prague, Krakow, Warsaw and Berlin.  Singapore Airlines has launched its early bird fares,  and Tempo's deal comes at the perfect time to discover Europe.  Terms and conditions apply so for more information or call 1300 558 987.

Europeans go public

A host of travel companies from France are readying for a huge putsch, in what will be one of the true major tourism campaigns this decade.  

Let's face it, there has been a certain withdrawal from the promotional people, what with the global  financial crisis and a host of other negatives. The experts from Europe will be showing their wares in consumer shows in Sydney, Parramatta, Geelong, Melbourne, Gold Coast, and Brisbane, to list just a few. Go check

A deal for Turkey

There's a 14-day Glories of Turkey tour with a deal price from $1349 per person twin share, if booked by December 1 2010.   Previously advertised price was $1525,- so a heck of a saving.

The price includes coach touring, accommodation, all major sightseeing, entrance fees and most meals. The tour includes Istanbul, Gallipoli, Ephesus, Ankara and more.  Best idea is to ring Transglobal destinations on 1300 552 848.

Did you know ?

As from November 19 2010, Avis and Budget will be the exclusive Qantas frequent flyer car hire partners. This means that you will only be able to earn points on car hire with those two companies.  Thrifty and Hertz will no longer be part of that program.

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages  and prices are subject to change and availability.  This information is provided as a guide only.  Check with your travel agency.   Block out periods may apply.   

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