Make a note of these dates – April 24 to April 30 2011. These could mean something to you if you are also into food and the arts. The location is Sheffield in Tasmania. There are lots of happenings on those dates but probably the date which is most attractive to me would be April 30, where a mural festival coincides with the tastes of the North West. It's a celebration of the finest foods, beverage and produce. Try these for tastes. Rabbit pies, German-style small goods, smoked salmon through wood fired pizzas. For all the information go visit www.muralfest.com.au
There's a whole range of tours awaiting those who re interested in the battlefields of the WWII. These tours are becoming increasingly adventurous. Mat McLachlan heads up the company which provides one of the most comprehensive range of touring options. The tours visit war zones of the Pacific, Europe and Asia. The range of tours has been released, so for all the details and costs, visit www.battlefields.com.au
April a big month for zoo visits
Thursday April 14, Tuesday April 19 and Thursday April 21. The location is the Werribee Open Range Zoo, which is located between Melbourne and Geelong. There is a program at the zoo which offers youngsters the chance to work at the zoo for a day as a zoo keeper. What a wonderful opportunity.
Kids become participants working amongst the regular zoo keepers and their charges. To get the costs, and the conditions, telephone the zoo direct (03) 9285 9406.
Enjoy the tastes of India
You can put eight days towards exploring India, taking in the sights of a great country in a tour which includes the Red Fort, Jama Masjid Mosque and the Raj Ghat in Old Delhi, along wiith the India gate and the former vice-regal residence in New Delhi. Just to mention a few. Did I mention the Taj Mahal ? Well, I should have. The tour departs Delhi and the price tags from $1698 per person twin share. Visit www.coxandkings.com.au This tour is part of the great range of experiences waiting to be discovered. Being a Cox & Kings product it must be good!
Explore the Red Centre
The world famous icons await those who have their eyes set on Central Australia as a destination. There's a six-day self-drive holiday priced from $733 per person twin share. Exploration includes Uluru-Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and the Alice.
This is more than your usual Red Centre tour,- in the fact that participants also get to join an Aboriginal guide to walk the Mutitjulu waterhole and the caves at the base of the Rock.
For more information and conditions telephone 13 38 43.
* 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.
OKAY so your hotel room does have views of Sydney Harbour – but does it have a master bathroom with a bathtub in a bay window overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and most of the Harbour from the 34th floor?
Or a four-poster bed, rich leathers on other furnishings, and the ambience of a circa 1930s New York-style apartment?
If not, then book into this one – the Presidential Suite – at the Four Season's Hotel Sydney that's just come out of a two-year refurbishment at a cost of $1.6m. And if you have to ask the price, then as they say, you can't afford it (so we'll satisfy your curiosity now: the Presidential Suite starts from $5925 a night.)
Designed by one of Australia's leading interior and architecture practices, Bates Smart, that Presidential Suite, a Deluxe Royal Suite (from $3925 per night) and two Royal Suites (a snip at just $1925 per night each) offer a kind of hotel-staying that's definitely in a world of its own.
And while that Presidential Suite features the luxuries usually associated with royalty or their more-wealthy rock-star cousins, the three Royal Suites aren't to be sneezed at either: with their undertones of penthouse glamour matched with metropolitan flair they invite guests to enter each through grand, full height double doors, stepping then into million dollar views that simply say "Wow."
And parquet floors, timber wall paneling, wallpaper and soft Roman blinds create a feeling of intimacy and warmth that will have you simply not wanting to leave.
And while we dream of the day we take out that Lotto win and have to decide between the Presidential Suite, the Deluxe Royal Suite or a Royal Suite, we can always book a special night in one of the hotel's Deluxe Rooms from just $275 a night. Ring them on toll-free 1800 222 200.
GRAND 21-NIGHTS FLY, CRUISE AND STAY HAWAII, TAHITI AND SYDNEY
THREE days and two nights in Honolulu, another day in Hawaii's picturesque Lahaina on the Island of Maui, then day's ashore in dreamy French Polynesia's Papeete, Moorea, Raiatea and Bora Bora, before cruising into beautiful Sydney harbour – these are the highlights of a 21-night fly, cruise and stay package with Cruiseco in November of this year.
Guests will have two nights at the Waikiki Resort Hotel in the heart of Waikiki and just seconds from the beach, before sailing away on November 11 aboard Celebrity Cruises' 70,000-tonne Century for 19-nights of 4.5-star luxury cruising.
Prices start from $3835pp twin-share that includes one-way economy class airfare from Sydney to Honolulu, 2-nights pre-cruise stay at the Waikiki Resort Hotel, 19-nights aboard Celebrity Century with all dining and nightly entertainment, port charges and government fees, onboard gratuities and air taxes.
For full details and names of Cruiseco's cruise-specialist travel agencies Australia-wide, visit www.cruising.com.au.
Guests will enjoy thirteen full days at sea between ports to unwind and indulge Century's many facilities including a golf simulator, pool, jogging track, fitness centre, AquaSpa, card room, library, a show lounge and celebrity theatre, cinema, casino, and a selection of bars and lounges.
And when it comes to meals, a choice of gourmet fine-dining in the Grand Restaurant, or for more casual café-style, dine in the Islands Café, Cova Café and Sky Bar.
LUXURY 2012 RAIL AND CRUISE TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA
TWO glamour queens of transport which recapture the romance of travel– the famous Rovos Rail train and ocean liner, Queen Mary 2 – will be combined in a new luxury rail and sail tour in South Africa in 2012 offered by Australian cruise agency, Cruise Express.
The new "Pride of Africa' trip is one of seven hosted tours Cruise Express will offer in Africa in January, 2012, with fly/cruise packages available from $4990 per person, twin-share for a two-week adventure.
The 'rail and sail' trip departs Australia January 17, 2012, and includes a three-day 'tick-off-the-must-do list' journey on Rovos Rail's legendary train, The Pride of Africa, from Pretoria to Cape Town as well as a 14-20 day voyage back to Perth, Adelaide or Sydney aboard the world's grandest ocean liner, Queen Mary 2.
Queen Mary 2 encapsulates the golden age of ocean
The Pride of Africa train – described as a luxury liner on tracks – boasts stylish Edwardian furnishings, crisp linen, fine china, exquisite cuisine, afternoon teas and elegant double bed cabins, with guests sipping Champagne in opulent lounges during black tie evenings.
Cruise Express' all-inclusive 'Pride of Africa' tour starts with two nights and three 'big five' safari drives at the luxurious Tinga Private Game Lodge with its private swimming pools and panoramic viewing decks in the wildlife-rich Sabi Sands Game Reserve in the world-famous Kruger region. Also included is the Rovos Rail journey, four nights in Cape Town, the voyage back to Australia aboard Queen Mary 2, sightseeing trips in South Africa, a flight from Australia to Johannesburg, connecting flights in South Africa, 23 meals in South Africa and all meals and entertainment onboard Queen Mary 2.
The tour lasts from 22-28 nights, depending on the disembarkation point in Australia aboard Queen Mary 2.
Fly, cruise, rail and tour fares start from $12,690 per person, twin-share for passengers disembarking in Perth (22 night trip) $13,390 for Adelaide (25 nights) and $13,990 for NSW, QLD and Victorian passengers disembarking in Sydney (28 nights).
TAKE a friend or cruise as a couple and you pay for only one passenger through MSC Cruise's two-for-one fares on ocean voyages in 2011-2012.
The world's leading family-owned cruise ship line is offering this money-saving deal on 13 continent-to-continent cruises; as an example, a 16-night voyage from USA's Fort Lauderdale to Genoa in Italy is priced from just $2358 a cabin for two on board MSC Poesia.
This lead-in fare applies to a cruise in March next year, calling at Puerto Rico's San Juan, St Maarten and the St John's, also in the Caribbean, before crossing the Atlantic to Madeira Island in Portugal, and Malaga, Alicante and Barcelona in Spain, and ultimately Genoa.
"These ocean voyages are perfect for passengers who love to take a holiday with plenty of sea days to explore the ship," said Lynne Clarke, managing director of MSC Cruises (Australia and New Zealand). "They have ample time to not only get to know their ship, but to warm to it, the facilities, the friendly crew, the daily programs, and the many other fine aspects of ocean cruising.
"Guests also have the opportunity to a number of ports that are not normally included on regular cruises."
Book a cabin on the MSC Melody for its 18-night ocean voyage between Genoa and Cape Town in November this year and price starts at $2438, the second passenger free. It will call at Barcelona, Cadiz (Seville), Tenerife (Canary Islands), Dakar (Senegal) and Walvis Bay in Namibia.
MSC Melody's return voyage to Europe, in February next year, starts at $2798, calling at St Helena, Walvis Bay, Dakar, Arrecife, Cadiz and Palamos before reaching Genoa.
Other voyages in the two-for-one – between October this year and April 2012 – link South America with coastal Africa and Europe; fares include on board meals and entertainment, port charges for two, a Captain's cocktail party and a Gala Dinner.
As well children under 18 years, who share a cabin with two adults, cruise free. However, port charges of up to $500 per child apply. Entry to the children's club is also included.
SYDNEY's waterfront heritage retreat Q Station has released a choice of Easter escapes featuring luxury accommodation overlooking Sydney Harbour.
With its panoramic views from Manly's North Head, Q Station combines a National Park setting with the unique heritage buildings of Australia's first quarantine facility.
Two Easter escapes are available:
Family Fun Package - from $199* per night, including accommodation for two adults and two children in a Heritage Queen Suite, full buffet breakfasts, a family pass to Oceanworld in Manly and a free inhouse movie. Plus, kids 12 and under eat free when dining with their parents at Q Station's Boilerhouse Restaurant.
Easter Escape - from $160* per night including accommodation for two in a Heritage Queen Room including breakfasts.
Q Station has a wealth of activities including its popular ghost tours, history tours and activities on its own secluded beach. The site is accessible over the holidays via the Harbour Hopper ferry service and is just a few minutes from all the bars, restaurants and activities of Manly.
*Packages available for stays April 8 to May 1, 2011. Minimum two night stay required for reservations over a Saturday. Heritage Queen Suites and Heritage Queen Rooms feature private external bathrooms.
Join us on a charity flight with 180 like-minded charity folk having fun whilst supporting the 2011 Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal. This is an exclusive experience taking in a rich heritage, distinctive wildlife and scenery galore. Tickets are on sale for $299. To purchase and to get more information simply dial 1300 659 115. Ring between 10.00am and 4-00pm Monday to Friday. The program includes a walking tour of the World Heritage listed Port Arthur historic site. Also you will be able to get up close and personal with Tassie Devils at the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park. The flight is from Melbourne to Hobart (return) and it all takes place on Good Friday.
May 22nd is the date thus year for the Sardinian Cavalcade, a gathering of locals and visitors who parade in their colourful costumes, participate in various traditions including a parade of horsemen. Commemorating a special day way back in 1899 when the king and queen arrived in town. Unlike most Sardinian feasts this festival is not a religious event,- but rather a chance to participate in an historic cultural celebration. More information is available through travel agencies which have an Italian bent. Or email Sydney@enit.it
The Easter bunny package
It's indulgence time in Brisbane. An Easter Escape package including all things Easter, starting with accommodation and a king suite and a bottle of French champagne for starters,- for $275 per night. Then it's just a matter of adding items from the 'pure pamper menu' which are priced individually. These include one- hour full body massage in-suite, a dozen long stemmed red roses, chocolate dipped strawberries for two and/or a celebration cake for two. His and hers bathrobes, to take home as a memento, can also be added to the list. For all the information and conditions call the good folk at the Emporium Hotel on (07) 3253 6999 or 1300 883 611. Follow the path to the icons
The lesser-known Greek islands of Sifnos and Milos are included in an 11-day private tour, with tours available any day during the May – September season. The price ranges from $3465 to $4930 per person, twin share, with a minimum of two passengers on each departure. This is a novel way of being part of a 'small group'. For starters the tours include driver, accommodation, all breakfasts and one lunch, transfers, meet/assist services, private guides, fast ferries and entrance fees, listed on the published itinerary. Check the conditions and inclusions by ringing 1300 853 953 or your local travel agent. The islands are part of the Cyclades group which are located 130km east of Athens.
Another option for Easter
To the hinterland of Queensland's Sunshine Coast and a true Easter indulgence. The package includes Estate suite accommodation, daily Parisian breakfast for two, a bottle of Moet and also on arrival Lindt chocolates. For this package, starting from $1974 per couple, there's luxury accommodation for three nights, a one-hour chocolate facial and body scrub in a Spa Anise day spa. French or Italian cooking school, lunch and a three-course dinner in the exquisite French-inspired Long Apron restaurant. That's the three-day/night experience,- just wait until you get to check out the five day package ! To do that, contact Spicers Clovelly Estate on 1300 717 027, or go visit www.spicersclovellyestate.com.au How could you bypass this ?
Spectacular Peru, via complete comfort, awaits with a train journey to Machu Picchu. A 13-day escorted small group journey explores the wonders of this exciting country. The itinerary includes the archaeological site of Machu Picchu , the Colca Canyon's snowy peaks, and a full-day tour of the floating islands of Titicaca. The price starts from $2783 per person twin share. It's a once in a lifetime experience. The package is valid for sale until December 24, 201. At least make the effort to check on this package, You can do that by 'phone, 1300 836 764. Terms and conditions apply. The advertised price is valid departures July 4, 16 and 25, 2011.
* Please note conditions may apply to these packages and prices are subject to change and availability. The information is provided as a guide only. Check with your travel agent.
Cascade Brewery is an appropriate location from which to begin Louisa's Walk history to life. This is Hobart and the walk is part of what is called 'strolling theatre' Guests follow Louisa's story as she is arrested, convicted, transported and marched to the grim gates of the female factory womens' prison. Chris and Judith Cornish 'star' in this Hobart attraction. Whatever you may have planned for your visit to Hobart, you will be disappointed if this walking tour is overlooked. Bookings are thoroughly recommended. Cost is $30 for each adult, and there is a family ticket priced at $75. Get the conditions ad all the details by calling (03) 6238 4222 or (03) 6229 8959.
That 'other' Georgia
If you've been everywhere, how about trying Georgia, - a destination of discovery. The 8-day Wonders of Georgia is an escorted small group tour which offers an in-depth exploration of a captivating nation. Priced from $1662 per person twin share, the tour features life at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. The tours are valid for sale until October 1, 2011. Included are seven nights' accommodation, transportation by quality air-conditioned vehicles, tour escorts/guides along with entrance fees for sites listed on the itinerary. Get the facts by calling 1300 836 764. The tour departures are from June 19 through October 2 2011.
This is some tour,- you bet !
SeaDream II sails 20-nights from Bridgetown in Barbados to Manaus and Iquitos on the Amazon on February 12 2012 and 20 nights back to Bridgetown on March 4 2012. There's an exciting range of optional 3, 5 and 6 night post voyage packages to Machu Picchu after her arrival in Iquitos and similarly a choice of 3, 5 and 6 nights to Machu Piccu pre the mega cruiser's departure from Iquitos back to Barbados. Prices of the optional packages start from US$3350 per person twin share. These are the technical facts as such,- just wait until you check out the main itinerary on the voyages on the Amazon River.
The cruise prices for the Amazon on SeaDream II start from US$12919 per person twin share. Do yourself a favour and go visit www.seadream.com or call into your nearest travel agent.
Just make a note of this number – 1800 667 791
Then get ready to join like minded travellers and get ready to get the taste for Indian cuisine,- without leaving the country. Beacon Holidays is ready to lead you and yours on a gastronomic tour of Dandenong. That's right, Dandenong, in Melbourne. The cost is $70 a head. That opens the door for a foodie adventure which starts at Federation Square in Melbourne's CBD, then to Dandenong for a visit to an authentic Indian grocery store, an elaborate three-course Indian meal and then onwards to a variety of Indian desserts. The tours begin at 11.30am and finish at 2.00pm. So call the number at the head of this brief, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
* 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.
REMOTE KIMBERLEY COAST WITH AURORA EXPEDITIONS' CORAL PRINCESS
DISCOVER the magically remote coastline of the Kimberleys with legendary expeditioner, Mike Cusack aboard Aurora Expeditions' Coral Princess.
In 1987 Mike and his wife Susan were chosen to be the first Australian Geographic's Wilderness Couple, and Mike will share their experiences with guests of this once forbidding ancient and forgotten land – including discovering over 1600km of towering cliffs, plunging waterfalls, and beckoning white beaches that will touch the soul like no where else on Earth.
Join Mike on the Kunmunya 'Wilderness' Walk, exclusive to Aurora Expeditions' passengers. This optional 9.5 km, or seven hour, rock-hopping journey is an inspirational and authentic bush experience, and one of the best ways to discover the true heart of the Kimberley.
Many of the Kimberley Coast's most fascinating sites can only be accessed by sea and guests will also visit islands with nesting boobies and frigate birds, revel in the amazing Montgomery Reef, uncover the ancient secrets of Aboriginal rock art galleries, and participate in the excitement of spotlighting saltwater crocodiles.
And complex river systems, waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes complete the Kimberley picture.
The voyages will also be joined by eminent indigenous art historian Garry Darby and the inimitable Chris Done, whose years of research as a naturalist bring the wonders of the Kimberley Coast to life.
As with all Aurora Expedition's voyages, emphasis is placed on a combination of interactive experiences with the environment and a strong educational element including its history, plants and animals from Aboriginal and European perspectives.
Departures are still available in May and June 2011. For more details or a copy of the Kimberley Coast 2011 brochure, contact Aurora Expeditions on 1800 637 688 or 02 9252 1033, or visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au
COMBINE COOKING AND WALKING IN ITALY
A COMBINATION cooking and walking tour of Italy's Amalfi Coast sounds like a good way to keep things in balance and even better is that the tour has been discount by $200 per person if you book by March 31.
Italian travel specialists SIT have just released a nine-day round-trip package from Naples which includes daily walking excursions, cooking lessons and many samplings of local cuisine, including antipasto, cheeses, home-made pasta, fruit, vegetables, local desserts and coffee.
The $2350 deal includes accommodation with en suite facilities, breakfast daily and many other meals, transport, tour leader and guides and entry to sites like Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius.
The tour visits places like Amalfi, Naples, Ravello, Capri, Sorrento and Positano and has 2011 departure dates on June 4, July 1 and October 1.
CRUISECO has a range of exceptional-value cruise opportunities from November this year to March 2012 aboard the highest-rated ship to spend a season based in Australia, the "classically elegant" 5-star Celebrity Century.
And book before March 31 this year and you'll get a free onboard spending credit of up to US$150 per cabin.
Choose from sailing 19-nights from Honolulu to Maui, Papeete, Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Sydney on November 11 this year from just $2490pp twin share (or 17-nights back to Honolulu via same ports on March 6 2012 from $2439pp twin-share,) to a choice of 12- and 13-nights Sydney-Auckland (or vice-versa) sailings including either Hobart or Melbourne, New Zealand's Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga and the Bay of Islands from a low $1649pp twin-share*.
There's also 18-nights Auckland-Perth via Tauranga, Christchurch, Dunedin, the three Sounds, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Albany and Bunbury from just $2515pp twin-share, and Perth-Sydney via Geraldton, Broome, Bali, Darwin, Cairns and Brisbane from only $2365pp twin-share.
Cruiseco's cruise-only prices include onboard dining, nightly entertainment and port charges and taxes on Celebrity Century, that is rated 5-star by the Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships; airfares to and from cruises are additional.
For full details and names of Cruiseco's cruise-specialist travel agencies Australia-wide visit www.cruising.com.au
(*One of these sailings includes Christmas Day at sea between Sydney and Melbourne, and New Year's Eve at sea between Dunedin and Christchurch.
The 1750-passenger Celebrity Century has four dining options from the Grand Restaurant to leisurely café-style, an entertainment lounge and live theatre, cinema, casino, four "club" lounges and bars, library, AquaSpa, fitness centre, pool, jogging track and golf simulator.)
HOP INTO THE 'GONG THIS EASTER
SPEND five fun filled days in Wollongong over the extended Easter break this year and combine spectacular escarpment adventure with great wildlife, arts, fun parks and eating experiences, all just 90 minutes from Sydney.
The city's centrally-located Best Western Wollongong Hotel is offering an enticing family package to give visitors an extra reason to make Wollongong their Easter Escape in 2011.
Costing $899 for two adults and two children and valid between April 22 and 26, the Three-Day Easter Package includes free breakfasts, undercover parking, DVD hire, Ten Pin Bowling pass, Jamberoo Action Park pass, Illawarra Fly Family Pass, giant Easter egg and plush toy for each child plus a dozen medium Easter eggs per person, red and white wine pack for Mum and Dad and $50 pizza voucher.
Currently, on the waterfront alongside the Elizabeth St Pier, there's a sailing opportunity awaiting those with sea-legs. For beginners, join the crew and fellow sailors aboard the Windeward Bound for lunch and a three-hour sail. For $65 per adult ($30 per child, or $160 per family) sail the Derwent. This is aboard Tasmania's largest tall ship. Join the sailors Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Windeward Bound Trust also offers a grander sailing experience on eco and history voyages. The latter is designed for youths aged 20 to 35. For more details and prices, telephone 0418 120 399 or 0418 120 243. Or just stand dockside and watch the action as crew members prepare for their next adventure.
Where to stay and why ?
A trip to Tasmania is not complete without inclusion of a few nights accommodation at historic Woolmers Estate, - near Longford. There are seven cottages set in the spectacular grounds of the Estate. Built in the 1840's each has been converted into fully self-catering colonial cottages. The tariff is from $135 per night for two adults sharing a cottage. For an extra adult just add $35 per night. Tally-Ho, the coachman's cottage, accommodates up to six people, so it is necessary to check tariff. There are guided tours of the grand homestead and the estate grounds. For more information go visit www.woolmers.com.au or, telephone (03) 6391 2230.
Now, it's overseas for a saving with 12 free days
The deal is on offer from globalCARS which has on offer more than 35 air-conditioned models (most with GPS), with rates including full insurance, a choice of petrol or diesel and with 24-hours road assistance.
Wow, - what a deal ! The deal also offers up to 12 free days and other bonuses on brand new Citroen cars costing from just $28 a day. This is one deal worth checking out. To do that, telephone 1300 789 992 or go visit www.globalCARS.com.au For your information the French Government allows manufacturers to lease to non-French residents free of all duties and taxes with zero insurance excess.
Or go wild in Borneo
How about a six-day five-night sailing adventure aboard a 19th century riverboat replica into the heart of Borneo. The luxury sailing opportunity is aboard Pandaw River Cruises. The itinerary includes visits to a jungle longhouse, a village school when coinciding with school terms, bustling markets and plenty of cultural activities. Cruise-only prices begin from as low as $1260 per person, twin share between now and March 2012. Get all the info by calling (02) 80 visiting www.pandaw.com There's a pre-cruise package, at a cost of $344 per person twin share and also a post-cruise package from $475 per person twin share which includes two-nights at the Pullman Kuching Hotel with breakfasts, a day visit to wildlife centres and more. Check it out! Conditions apply, Also I suggest a check on the inclusions.
Good news for turtle lovers
My friends in Bundaberg advise that the turtle viewing season at Mon Repos has been extended. The last night for viewing these wonderful creatures is now set for Sunday April 2, 2011. Bookings are recommended and so that there will not be any disappointments, I suggest you telephone (07) 4153 8888.
There is a new reservation system for Italian trains over the upcoming summer months. It is now possible to book, and confirm tickets and seat reservations for travel until the end of May 2011 directly on all high speed train services on Trenitalia sectors. To avoid disappointment it is important to book well in advance. Check www.internationalrail.com.au or call 1300 387 245.
* Please note conditions may apply to these packages and prices are subject to change and availability. Block out periods may apply. Need a holiday ? We're archived on http://travellersgoodbuys.info