Thursday, 26 October 2017

Get out and see New South Wales

#nsw #newsouthwales

Motorsports, music festivals, the world’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition…there’s an event for everyone in Sydney and around NSW from now until the end of summer. Start planning an action-packed getaway to Newcastle or the Coffs Coast, Corowra, Wingham, Wollongong, Forbes or Tamworth.



The North Coast of NSW is gearing up for thrilling motorsport action in November when two of the hottest events on the racing calendar kick off in Coffs Harbour and Newcastle. Kennards Hire Rally Australia is the annual Australian leg and closing round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship held 16 – 19 November, while Supercars Coates Hire Newcastle 500 will be staged in Newcastle for the first time on 24 – 26 November. Get your tickets now.



If you’re thinking of a relaxing spring break with plenty of golf and fishing, good food and wine and the great outdoors for company, head to pretty Corowa on the banks of the Murray River. You’ll find three excellent golf courses, Murray crayfish to catch and flat terrain that’s perfect for cycling and walking. Head across the river to the famous wineries of Rutherglen or check out the local vineyards and top-notch distillery, Corowa Whisky and Chocolate.



The world’s largest annual, free outdoor sculpture exhibition celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, returning to the spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk from 19 October to 5 November. Don’t miss one of Sydney’s most popular events when the coastline is transformed into a 2km-long temporary sculpture park with more than 100 Australian and international artists set to showcase their work.



The music scene across NSW is nothing if not eclectic with four big music events coming up in the next few months. Just pick your style, pack up the car and head out on a road trip into Regional NSW. Wollongong’s MTV Beats & Eats kicks off the set in November, followed by Forbes’ Vanfest in December and Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth in January.



It’s that time of the year when summer holidays in the great outdoors beckon. It’s also time to check out all the latest gadgets, new products and sleek new looks at the Sydney Caravan Camping Lifestyle Expo. A completely new show to be held in a new venue at Sydney Olympic Park, the show runs from 3-6 November and includes free seminars, activities for the kids and lots more. Get your tickets now.


Asia, Africa, Antarctica and South and Central America with Collette

Collette Releases Much-Anticipated Asia, Africa, Antarctica and South and Central America 2018-2019 Brochure with Limited-Time-Only Early Bird Offer

Collette has released its 2018-2019 brochure featuring Asia, Africa, Antarctica and South and Central America tours, and is offering an early bird special of 10% off all tours booked before 15 December 2017. The new brochure contains an exciting mix of new tours and returning favourites, with plenty of small group Explorations - which average 18 guests. Those who may find it difficult to narrow down this impressive selection of tours will delight in the long list of optional tour extensions also on offer.

South and Central America are the special focus of this exciting new brochure. One of the new tours is the Cultures of Peru & Bolivia small group Explorations tour, which showcases the natural and archaeological wonders of these two incredible countries. The tour begins with a fascinating dose of history in the "City of Kings", Lima, Peru. From here travellers journey to Cuzco and then into the Andes, where they'll learn fascinating, centuries-old Andean textile methods at a living museum, before paying a visit to the famous Pisac village market, bursting with colourful handicrafts. The tour then continues to a local Quechuan hacienda for a delightful farm-to-table lunch and Peruvian Paso horse show.

Travellers will uncover the enthralling history of Machu Picchu whilst exploring the ruins in the company of a guide, before checking into their hotel at the base of the historic site, with the option to return the following morning for a breathtaking sunrise vista. Another highlight of this fabulous new tour is a visit to the Uyuni Salt Flats of Bolivia, where travellers spend 2 nights in the magnificent Luna Salada Hotel, constructed entirely from salt blocks sourced from the flats upon which it is built. During their stay in Uyuni, travellers will enjoy a memorable picnic amidst the vast landscape of the Salt Flats, and marvel at Incahuasi island inhabited by hundreds of cacti, some of which are thousands of years old.

Other South and Central America Explorations on offer in Collette's 2018-2019 brochure include Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands, featuring a 5-day island cruise led by naturalist guide and a visit to the giant tortoises of the Charles Darwin Research Station, and Costa Rica: A World of Nature, which journeys through the country's lush, rugged rainforests and waterways. This tour includes a two-night stay at the Evergreen Lodge in Tortuguero National Park, a visit to the world's first green turtle research station and a boat ride along the crocodile-infested waters of the Costa Rican jungle, as well as an optional rainforest ziplining experience.

Collette's Highlights of South America and The Complete South America tours showcase the sights and sounds of Brazil and Argentina, from the soaring Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro to the thundering Iguazu falls, hailed as the most beautiful waterfalls in the world and one of its Seven Natural Wonders. Also featured in Collette's 2018-2019 brochure is the Adventure to Antarctica tour, which spends time in the "Paris of South America", Buenos Aires, as well as 10 days aboard the MS Midnatsol exploring the pristine, rugged beauty of the White Continent's inlets, islands and icebergs. Whilst aboard the cruise, travellers will become acquainted with the unique and curious wildlife of the Antarctic, including seals, whales, albatross and adorable penguins.

A new Africa tour has also been added to Collette's 2018-2019 brochure: Spectacular South Africa Featuring Swaziland. Highlights from this tour include a full day safari in Mkuze Game Reserve, a cable car ride 3,000 feet above sea level in Cape Town, and a guided tour through the historically significant informal settlements and luxurious mansions of Soweto – South West Township in Sandton. Another brochure highlight is the Plains of Africa small group Explorations tour, full of unforgettable wildlife experiences such as hand-feeding giraffes from an elevated platform, spotting leopards, lions, rhinos and elephants on safari, and spending a night at a treetop lodge overlooking the plains. Travellers on this tour will also delight in experiencing Masai culture with a local village visit and traditional bush dinner with Masai entertainment.

Other popular Collette tours featured in the 2018-2019 brochure include Colours of Morocco, Cultural Treasures of Japan, Mysteries of India, Kingdoms of Southeast Asia, Taste of Vietnam and Wonders of China and the Yangtze River. All tours from Collette's 2018-2019 Asia, Africa, Antarctica and South and Central America tour brochure are 10% off when booked before 15 December 2017, with an exciting list of optional extensions to choose from.

For details of the full tours or to book a trip:
Contact your local travel agent
Call Collette on 1300 792 195 or visit

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Six of the best luxury stays in India


While India may have a reputation as a backpacker's paradise, India's expanding offering of extravagant properties, from palatial city hotels to magnificent mountain retreats, is quickly making it one of the world's most popular luxury holiday destinations.

25% of all bookings to Indian hotels in the past year were for five star, soaring above the global average (only 6% of all bookings to global hotels were for five star).*

Undoubtedly, India is the destination of the moment if you're a fan of luxury travel. To help you narrow down the bountiful options, the data analysts at compiled a list of some of the most highly reviewed luxury stays in India, according to Indian travellers.

Suryagarh, Jaisalmer

In the heart of the Rajasthani desert, not far from Jaisalmer city, lies the majestic Suryagarh. This traditional sandstone fortress has been converted into a luxury boutique hotel with a sophisticated and distinctly Rajasthani feel. All thanks to its local staff, design, cuisine and the tribal music that often echoes through its grand courtyards. While you really ought to explore a bit of Rajasthan during your stay, resting within the comfort of Suryagarh is rather tempting. While away your time with a visit to the spa or take part in some yoga, chanting or meditation. In truth, it's hard to believe you're in the middle of the desert.

La Villa, Pondicherry

Founded by a man born and raised in Pondicherry, La Villa has a strong authentic claim. Its aesthetic is irresistibly chic, having perfected a look that's simultaneously rustic and modern. Sharp lines and minimalism are artfully combined with wooden shutters and a distressed colonial façade. Lap up the genteel French feel by reclining in a bamboo chair in dappled shade on the verandah or terrace.

Wildflower Hall, Shimla

In the foothills of the Himalaya, Wildflower Hall is a dreamy mountain retreat. Offering a serenity that's hard to match elsewhere in India and views that are out of this world; the infinity pool with an unblemished panorama is a real highlight. Found in the town of Shimla, which used to be the summer capital of the British Raj, the hotel retains its British décor with mahogany furniture, ornate carpets and fireplaces with grand mantelpieces.

The Imperial, New Delhi

Despite having a well-established reputation as one of New Delhi's finest hotels, The Imperial does not rest on its laurels. Immaculate lawns fringed with palm trees, a garden pool and a colonnaded veranda create a feeling of a haven amidst this frantic city. Inside, high ceilings and marble floors add to this tranquility by creating a pretty awe-inspiring impression. Guests can dine in a number of world-class restaurants and even shop in the in-house Chanel boutique, the first and only one in Delhi.

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai

The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai is an eternal favourite for good reason. The staff exude all the warmth of Indian hospitality and execute everything to perfection. Even a cup of tea in the Sea Lounge is served with an hour-glass so that you get just the right length of brew. The palace is brimming with history, charm and character, having opened in 1903 after pioneer industrialist Jamsetjee Tata commissioned it out of love for Mumbai. The building itself is a symbol of the city and was the first harbour landmark, predating even the adjacent Gateway of India. There's a rumour that the hotel was constructed back-to-front because the architect signed off plans while on holiday without noticing the direction it was facing. Then jumped to his death from the fifth floor when he returned and realized his mistake. But in reality this harbour-facing design, unprecedented in India, was intended for guests to enjoy breath-taking views of the Arabian Sea.

The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata

In the colourful and chaotic city of Kolkata, the Oberoi Grand is a sumptuous sanctuary that tends to surpass expectations. The staff here have got service down to a fine art and the inside of the hotel certainly lives up to its name. Gleaming chandeliers and gorgeous fabrics lend the place an aura of grace and splendor and the garden pool framed by palm trees and lit up at night is simply magical.