Hit the road on foot or by bike
throughout Victoria with a new website that shows 15 great walking,
cycling and mountain-bike routes, ranging from the iconic (Great Ocean
Road or Wilson’s Promontory) to the obscure (Gippsland Plains Rail Trail
or the Goldfields Track). The new website provides GPS data,
interactive mapping, beauty spots, trail descriptions and degrees of
difficulty. You can also click for accommodation, gear hire and, of
course, great restaurants, because trail mix doesn’t always cut it. See greattrailsvictoria.com.au.
FOOD: Best grub for pub lovers
Fight back against the demise of the
great English public house by settling in for lunch at Britain’s oldest
pub, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, in the Hertfordshire city of St Albans.
The pub’s kitchen is now headed up by chef Ian Baulsh, a St Albans local
recently returned from two years in Australia working with Melbourne
celeb chef Ian Curley.
Founded in the eighth century, the
pub’s signature dishes are freerange, house-made pork sausages and beef
burgers sourced by a master butcher, and a British cheeseboard, all
using local produce. Baulsh has added a summery touch,
with chicken liver pate, pan-roasted
monkfish and chargrilled tuna nicoise. St Alban was Britain’s first
Christian martyr, Oliver Cromwell sank pints in the pub, and it’s been
called home by Stanley Kubrick and Stephen Hawking.
The city is 25 minutes by train from London’s St Pancras station on the Thameslink line. See
AIRLINE: Planes, gains and automobiles
Passengers flying Qantas can now
earn as well as redeem points on car hire with Budget and Avis in
Australia and New Zealand. And in a move that will have points
collectors smiling, travellers also will earn frequent flyer points even
when they are paying with points. ‘‘Members will still continue to earn
points for that booking at the same rate as they would if they were
paying with cash,’’ says the airline. Its rival, Virgin Australia, lets
you earn points with Hertz, Europcar and Thrifty car rentals through its
Velocity Frequent Flyer program, but allows you to use points to book a
car only with Europcar; see
. In other news, Qantas is ramping up flights to Hamilton Island,
including a new, twice-weekly Melbourne-Hamilton Island service from
June 27. See
SAFARI: Ready, set, shoot
Photographers of all abilities will
know the frustration of snapping a safari through sticky windows or
around a badly placed safety pole.
The new safari jeep at South
Africa’s Sabi Sabi private reserve has been customised for photography
tours, with tiered seating and swivel chairs, fixed camera mounts for
additional stability and cut-out side panels. The tours are guided by professional photographers and include tuition on shutter speeds and action shots, held over sundowners
back at the lodge. Would-be lion
paparazzi can also hire additional equipment including the big guns –
such as a 200-400-millimetre lens – to pap the Big Five as they roam the
fence-free range on the edge of the Kruger National Park.
Photography safaris at Sabi Sabi run on
demand, all year round and cost from
$1800, two days, includes photographer and vehicle for up to four
people. Stays at Sabi Sabi’s Bush lodge cost from $1030 a person,
sharing. See sabisabi.com.
AIRPORTS: Flying, beautifully
Life spent in airports is quite
possibly life wasted. Instead, use that time when your flight’s delayed
to become beautiful (within reason) at AMUSE Beauty Studio, which has
opened recently at Sydney Airport. The new store stocks some of the most
desirable names in the industry, including Tom Ford, Jo Malone and
Amouage. It also offers
free beauty quickies for brows and nails, and an express make-up service for that emergency smoky eye.
As well, it’s home to Australia’s first Hermes concept shop-within-a-store, stocking its homewares range, which has
never been available outside its
branded stores. The beauty store, run by the parents of the Newslink
chain, is now open in Sydney Airport’s domestic terminals, T2 and T3,
and comes to Melbourne in August.
So North Korea’s on your bucket
list? Get a taste for its altered reality with Anna Broinowski’s witty
book, The Director is the Commander. The filmmaker wanted to make a
movie that would stop the creation of a coalseam gas mine near her home,
in Sydney Park, so she
turned to the master of propaganda,
Kim Jong-il, the former leader of North Korea and author of the
manifesto The Cinema and Directing.
The only Western filmmaker in the
world to gain total access to North Korea’s film industry, Broinowski
worked with local directors, actors and crews to create Aim High in
Creation! The Director is the Commander, $32.99,
penguin.com.au. NSW-based Guidepost Tours books
tours of North Korea with British-based Koryo Tours. A five-day tour
(including visa processing) costs from $2000 a person, departing from
|Hutton rates driving through Provence as her best holiday experience.|
An African safari and the Maldives are on Deborah Hutton’s wish list.
WHICH WAS YOUR BEST HOLIDAY?
a car in Paris and driving to St Tropez over four days. I stayed at
little inns and ate at great restaurants through Provence, really
getting a feel for the country. It ended with the madness of St Tropez,
which is FUN in capital letters.
AND THE BEST HOTEL YOU’VE STAYED IN?
Soho in London – I love the position and it has the most divine suites –
and the tiny, tiny Eichardt’s Private Hotel in Queenstown. The
interiors are by Virginia Fisher, who does all the Huka Retreats. It’s
right in the centre of Queenstown with a great little bar downstairs.
You go in for five minutes and the next day, they’re like, “Hello
Deborah, that was a pinot, wasn’t it?’ They really get you.
WHAT DO YOU ALWAYS TAKE WITH YOU?
same as everyone else – my iPad, my earplugs, and eye mask. I do have a
little baby travel pillow I always squeeze into an air suction bag, so I
have the consistency of a good pillow.
WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR A PERFECT HOLIDAY?
has to be a great golf course – that’s generally what I look for first.
It’s also got to be warm, with a beach (though I can do pool), with
good friends and good restaurants.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST PIECE OF TRAVEL ADVICE?
always photocopy my passport and credit cards, and I always split my
credit cards up, leaving one in the hotel safe and one in my wallet.
It’s gotten me out of trouble before, when I had my bag stolen in Ibiza
AND YOUR WORST EXPERIENCE ON HOLIDAY?
pals booked a “divine design hotel” in Koh Samui. The pool’s filtration
system was broken, and it was green. And there was no restaurant, you
ate in bures on the beach. And then the weather turned. No pool, rain
and sitting cross-legged on the beach, eating bad Thai? I booked a
flight back to Bangkok and checked into The Peninsula hotel.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST PACKING MISTAKE YOU’VE MADE?
it too late to pack, because I then pack too much. You just hate
yourself on long-haul trips every time you have to repack.
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO TO NEXT?
the top of my list is an African safari and the Maldives. I would stay
at one of the Evason resorts in the Maldives. They’re just heaven on a
stick. I see photos of the beautiful water and think, “That’s just me”.
And I want a cocktail and I want one with an umbrella. To me, that
Interview by Belinda Jackson
My first (and last) English Christmas was a shock to many senses: there was snow (albeit very light, very dirty), there were Brussels sprouts (surely only the English consider them a celebratory food) and there was television.
As our Australian marketing machines constantly tell us, our Christmases are all about the beach, cricket and low-level sunburn. So to be huddled in front of the telly watching soap omnibuses seemed a curious way to spend the festive season.
It’s not quite television, and the weather here in Melbourne has been exemplary this year: not too hot, not too cold, but I’ve come over all Northern hemisphere and am catching up on a small mountain of unread fiction, with a travel bent, of course.
Here’s a little list of recent releases from Australian authors that have made a welcome appearance on the bedside table.
The most recent of the list is by prolific South Australian author Fiona McIntosh, who I have long admired for her adult fantasy series (think Lord of the Rings fantasy, not the other type, smutsters). She has turned out a fast-paced romance set in WWI Cairo, Gallipoli and post-war London. Nightingale ticks all the boxes, with handsome men, golden women and love found and lost in traumatic times. Does the girl get her man? It’s over to you… (Penguin Books, $29.99)
Action seekers know Matthew Reilly is the man to turn to when you want to be left breathless from reading (to give you a suggestion of his pace, the Sydney writer drives DeLorean DMC-12 – the car from Back to the Future). His latest book, The Great Zoo of China is, as the title indicates, set in China and has an absolute cracker of a premise, which I just can’t tell you about. His heroine, CJ Cameron, is a tad too tough, tenacious and intelligent for wimpy me to relate to, but I could not put this book down. That was a week of lost sleep (Pan Macmillan, $39.99)
And finally (not in the picture, as it’s already been nabbed by my mum), Stateless is the second in the Heritage trilogy about the evolution of the State of Israel. Written by Alan Gold and Mike Jones, it caused a ruckus in our house with the highly controversial throw-away line that the Egyptian army is known to be cowardly. Eeep! Otherwise, Stateless races along with plenty of secret plots and dastardly tyrants from Roman-occupied Jerusalem to post-WWII Russia. The first in the trilogy is called Bloodline, I’ll be seeking it out. (Simon & Schuster Australia, $29.99)
The next on the list is Tony Park‘s The Hunter (‘A missing woman, a serial killer at large… man is the most dangerous predator of all’). I’m not that into murder as entertainment, but this book moves from South Africa to Zimbabwe and the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya, which I love. And in the appendices, Park also shares travel tips from his extensive experience of travelling in Africa (Pan Macmillan, $29.99)
I hope you’re all enjoying a great summer read, or if you’re further north and not nose-in-book, the plotlines in the soaps have improved.
See you all in 2015!
floodplains in the Kalahari Desert, has been named UNESCO’s 1000th
World Heritage Site. From June to August, the delta trebles in size as it
floods, attracting Africa’s great wildlife. Explore on foot, game
drive, helicopter, on horseback or by dugout canoe. Best visited in the cooler
months from April to October, check out the new Dhow suites in the Zarafa tented
camp (1300 237 422, benchinternational.com.au) or the newly renovated ecological Sandibe
Okavango Safari Lodge (andBeyond.com). The
lodge reopens on September 1.
muscling their way onto the world’s tables, with a legion of fans including
many-Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal. Wander through the trees of Oak Valley truffle farm in Western Australia’s
Manjimup district, hunting with hounds for French black truffles. The new tour
aims to demystify the pricey fungus while you snack on freshly roasted
hazelnuts and trail a truffle dog. ‘‘People are fascinated by truffles,
particularly their rarity and expense,’’ says guide Peter Norris. Catering for up to seven guests, the tour ends with a truffle lunch at
Watershed Premium Wines in Margaret River. The full-day tour costs $240 a
person, including lunch and wine. Phone 0411 186 430, see goinstyle.com.au.
|The Paris Cat, Melbourne|
darkest alley in Melbourne – then go down the stairs. Basement bars are where
it’s all at in this town at the moment, from hip jazz cafes to boutique wine
bars. Half the fun is finding them (signs are for tourists), and the latest
edition of Melbourne’s Bars and Pubs is now free and spells out the dress code,
the average price of a meal, happy hours and even the average age of punters. This
is not a directory – expect a curated list that’s written and developed by
Melburnians. It’ll hook you up with the cool bar nearest you, with GPS, maps
and photos, weekly gigs and lets you check in via facebook or foursquare,
for extra bragability. Available on iPhone and Android, free. melbournesbarsandpubs.com.au.
not just because they’re usually a foot shorter than you. Let local kids lead yours
around their home town, from Brisbane to Fiji or Glasgow, on the Bound Round
travel app for iPhone and iPad. In each location, kids aged eight to 12 years share
tips about great parks and sights to fun activities and food, with videos,
photos and games. Currently, there are travel guides and experiences for 20
locations worldwide, with the Pacific Islands, Darwin, Adelaide and Perth going
live by the year’s end. Next year, there’s a focus on the US and the UK, but
even if you’re not jetting off anywhere soon, it’s ideal to crack the conundrum
of what to do in school holidays in Sydney or Melbourne. Founded by Sydneysider
Janeece Keller, all content is vetted by a board of kids and the iPhone app has
also just gone live, free. See boundround.com.
Pack your passport in your
pocket without ruining the line on your skinny jeans with the Travel Wallet
from Victorian designers Bellroy, who are evangelical about reinventing the
slimline wallet. The wallet is a favourite with bag aficionados and stockists
Rushfaster, who recommend it for the micro pen – essential when all the airport
pens at customs are dead.
It’s carefully designed not to crumple boarding passes. Costs $119.95. Phone (02) 8594 1100, see rushfaster.com.au.
four-day journey into the heart of Australia. One of a new series of train journeys,
it departs Darwin and takes four days to reach Adelaide, stopping for a starlit
dinner in the MacDonnell Ranges and a day underground in the opal-rich town of
Coober Pedy. For an additional charge, you can even fly in to Uluru and still
have time to rejoin the train. The four-day, three-night Ghan
journey runs from May 23-August 22, 2015 and is one of the new offerings in the
Costs from $3199 a person, Gold twin share. Phone 1800 725 993, see greatsouthernrail.com.au.
Parks is pulling out the cobwebs and pumpkins for its annual Halloween
camp-out to raise money for children’s cancer charity Camp Quality. Campsites
cost $20 in the 85 participating Big4 parks across Australia, with many
parks running additional activities such as BBQs, face painting and creepy
capers. Camp and sCare runs Friday 31 across Australia, and Friday October 24
in Victoria. Book online at BIG4.com.au.
|The Peninsula Paris, now open.|
Go Japanese in Victoria or channel Peninsula style in Paris: the world is your oyster, so add garnish and drink it up in this week’s international and domestic travel deals.
Save on an airfare to a Japanese spa and instead stay at
Shizuka Ryokan in Hepburn Springs, 75 minutes from Melbourne: expect
green tea, tatami and spa cuisine. Book and pay in full by July 31 and
get $50 credit. From $179 a room a night, three-night stay. See shizuka.com.au.
|Explore Antarctica with Abercrombie & Kent|
Hit the high seas or relaxing rivers with this week’s international and travel deals, featuring cruises from Broome to Botswana.
BOTSWANA & NAMIBIA
Cruise the Chobe River on the African Queen and save $420 a
couple on a three-night adventure, until June 30. See water-loving
elephants and hippos and take a game drive. From $1865 a person, twin
share, $2295 singles, phone (02) 9290 2877, see benchinternational.com.au.
SYDNEY SEA BREAK
Time poor? Escape for a three-night sea break on the Pacific
Jewel. The ship features seven restaurants, nine bars and clubs, spa,
zip-liner and big screens galore. Depart May 30, save $150. From $339 a
person, quad share. Phone 132 494, see pocruises.com.au.
|P&O’s Pacific Jewel.|
Save 30 per cent on selected seven-night cruises on the
88-guest River Cloud II between April and August. Cruise the Rhine, from
Basel to Amsterdam, with all meals and a bottle of champagne to say
hello. Book by March 31. From $2195 a person, twin share. 1300 583 572, seacloud.com.
Cruise the Murray River in winter (June to August) and save
up to 25 per cent on three, four or seven-night cruises. Includes meals,
shore excursions and coach transfers from Adelaide to Mannum. From $674
a person, three nights. Phone (02) 9206 1111, see captaincook.com.au.
Save up to $3350 a person on three 2014-15 specialist
Antarctic journeys, covering climate change, photography or family
Christmas cruising. The 12-day Classic Antarctica journey costs from
$12,850 a person, twin share. Book by March 31. Phone 1300 590 317, see abercrombiekent.com.au.
Follow the historical Kunmunya Wilderness Walk, a shore tour
on three Kimberley cruises from Broome to Darwin on June 2, 13 and 23.
Book by March 31 and get a free stay and camel ride in Broome, worth
$500. From $7390 a person, 11 days. Phone 1800 637 688, see auroraexpeditions.com.au.
|MV River Orchid on the Mekong River.|
Spend 15 days exploring Vietnam and Cambodia by land, air
and water including seven nights aboard the River Orchid on the Mekong
River. From Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, you’ll sail the delta of
southern Vietnam then head into Phnom Penh and the Tonle Sap river.
Includes flights from Siem Reap to Hanoi. Book by November 30 for
travel until December 23. From $5814 a person, twin share. Phone 1300 939 414, see flightcentre.com.au.
Multi-generational travel – a fancy name for holidays with
the grandchildren and grandparents – is so hot right now. “Take the
grandkids to Alaska” is the call for families of four to join the
Disney Wonder in Vancouver and cruise up to Ketchikan, Alaska.
The nine-night tour includes two nights in Vancouver, all
meals, kids, teen and adult clubs, first-run movies and Broadway-style
Disney musicals. From $1899 adults, $1299 kids two-11 years, quad
share. Phone 1300 886 940, see worldwidecruisecentres.com.au.
treading the boards at the Southbank Theatre. Kick up your heels on a Friday
night at Melbourne’s coolest hotels, the Art Series, which comprises the
Cullen, Blackman and Olsen. Their Weekend Retreat deals include $25 to spend
inhouse – think food, movies or bike hire – and they’ll work in a room upgrade
as well. Valid for Friday – Monday nights until August 31. Worth around $280, costs
from $209 a night. 1800 278 468, artserieshotels.com.au.
|Indijup Spa Retreat, WA|
Yallingup is three hours south of Perth, overlooking the Indian Ocean and is
said to lure the likes of Our Kylie. Each of the 10 villas has pools and
panoramas on tap and the spa products are by another WA success story, Sodashi.
Stay seven nights and save up to 39 percent at the five-star retreat on stays
until September 10. Costs from $2765 a
villa, seven nights. travel.com.au.
|Holiday Inn Express Phuket Patong Beach Central|
Patong Beach Central, has just opened and is offering a lovely, long opening
special until October 2013. The deal includes breakfast and high-speed wi-fi.
There are 277 rooms with private balconies, just a few meters from the beach
and within walking distance of Patong’s shopping and dining strips. Costs from
$65++ a night. 1800 007 697, holidayinnexpress.com.
|Mneba Island, Tanzania|
Zanzibar, Mneba Island hosts just 20 guests at one time. Stay three nights at Mnemba
Island Lodge and get a free one-way flight from Zanzibar. The private island is
famed for its white-sand beaches, coral reefs and dive sites, and the rate
includes all meals, drinks and water sports, including two dives a day and
sunset dhow cruises. Book by December 31. Costs from $755 a person, twin share.
Roads of Ireland tour crosses borders, the Burren, Giant’s Causeway and the
Cliffs of Moher, for a broad-ranging exploration of an island whose influence
is disproportionate to its size. Save 5 per cent, up to $124, on bookings paid
in fully by April 30 on departure from April to October 2013. Costs from $2301
a person, twin share. 1300 237 886, insightvacations.com.
there any more to life? This 13-day small-group tour sees you climb to the top
of Machu Picchu on the luxury Hiram Bingram train, visit the Sacred Valley of
the Incas and the home of their empire, Cuzco then dive into the Amazon on the
M/V Aria and local skiffs. Book by 21 April and they’ll include free travel
insurance, worth up to $660. Costs $11,695 a person, twin share. 1800 252 053,
& Kent takes to the skies once again in a remodelled Boeing 737, with just 40
guests going on African safari by air. The journey traverses the continent, visiting
seven countries in 19 days, from the rock-cut churches of Ethiopia to the Cape.
A&K founder Geoffrey Kent will lead a three-day Serengeti safari, and the
group has exclusive use of luxury camps in Uganda’s jungle, treehouses in
Zambia, and there are private helicopter rides over Victoria Falls and feast in
the Namibian desert. The keywords are luxury, experience and exclusivity. The
adventure departs from Rome on March 2, 2014. Costs from $76,497 a person, twin
share. 1300 851 800,
|Silver Spirit in Santorini, Greece.|
Cruise, baby, cruise. Get in quick to snap up a travel deal on the high seas.
14-day Yangtze Splendour Deluxe tour that starts in Beijing and ends in
Shanghai, with six days on the Victoria
Sophia. The cruise itinerary explores ghost cities, gorges and the ancient
capital of Nanjing. The tour departs April 9 and includes return economy air
fares from Australia, six nights in five-star hotels, bias fees and
English-speaking tour guides. Save up to $600, costs from $5390 a person, twin
share. 1300 727 998, www.wendywutours.com.au.
with all the classic images of windmills, tulips and canals, with stops in
historic Antwerp and gorgeous Ghent. Save
up to $1500 a couple and solo travellers have the single supplement waived when
booked by March 30, on selected departures on the eight-day Tulip Time Cruise.
Costs from $3543 for solo passengers on departures April 21, 28, and May 12,
2013 and from $2843 a person, twin share, on departures April 28 and May 12,
2013. avalonwaterways.com.au, 1300
Sydney and visits the islands of Mare, Lifou and the Isle of Pines as well as
the capital, Noumea. Book by March 31
for travel May 19 and get $100 credit to spend on board. Costs from $749 a
person (quad share, inside cabin) or $915 (twin share, inside cabin). 1300 450
of the world’s star eco-tourism destinations, Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. The
luxury Galapagos Odyssey takes just
16 passengers on its five-day cruises that let you get up close and personal
with the islands’ famed giant tortoises and bird life. Book a five, six, 10 or
11-day cruise before March 30 for travel until September 30 and get a free stay
at a hot springs resort, city stay or a hacienda within the Cotopaxi National
Park, worth $445. Costs from $2819 a person. 1300 320 795, adventureworld.com.au.
Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovakia, on a 16-night tour. During July and
August, children under 18 staying in their own cabin pay half price, which
includes all excursions. Save up to $1900 on the August 8 departure
on cruise-only fares. Costs from $4228 a person, twin share, includes all
meals and drinks. 1300 583 572, www.seacloud.com.
then cruise ice landscape of Antarctica in a spectacular 20- or 21-day
adventure with Aurora Expeditions. The tour begins at El Calafate, Argentina, staying in lodges iat the Torres del Paine National Park, before heading south
on the Polar Pioneer. Save 25 per cent on
departures on December 1 and December 10. Costs from $8,939 a person, triple share. (02) 9252 1033, auroraexpeditions.com.au.
and luxury camping. A $500 air credit on return
flights from Australia with South African Airways is available. Costs from $10,195 a person, twin share. 1300 278 278, aptouring.com.au.
credit per cabin. Costs from $1649 a person, twin share (inside cabin). 1300 450 133, cruiseabout.com.au.
Mountaineer train, a spin at the casinos in Vegas seven nights on the Star Princess from Seattle to Glacier Bay. There’s also a stop in Las Vegas. Price includes economy return airfares with V Australia. A free
cabin upgrade may be available. Costs from $6,879 a person. 1300 369 848, ecruising.travel.
visiting the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Save 25 per cent on departures between
April 5 – May 1. Costs from $3169 a person, twin share, or $4508 solo
traveller. 1300 851 800, abercrombiekent.com.au.
departures on the flagship craft, Silver
Spirit. Book by March 31 and check in to one of Silversea’s Silver Suites,
featuring marble bathrooms, espresso machines, a large veranda and separate
dining and living areas. There’s also the butler and personalised bar, the Relais & Châteaux meals and the
Champagne on tap, to ensure smooth sailing. The three sailings include
16 days from Venice to Barcelona, departing October 24 cruising the Adriatic,
Ionian and Mediterranean seas, visiting Monte Carlo and the French Riviera. Costs
from $12,739 a person. 1300 306 872, silversea.com.
circumnavigation of Australia on the Queen
Mary 2, the grand dame of the Cunard line. The journey starts and ends in
Sydney, departing February 19, 2014, and takes 23 nights, stopping in Brisbane,
the Whitsunday Islands, Darwin, Bali, Fremantle, Adelaide and Melbourne. Go the healthy option with yoga, gym and spa
treatments, or learn to make cocktails, go line dancing and hit the 15
restaurants and bars. Australians love the ocean liner’s heritage, and fares
are in hot demand. Costs from $5641 a person (inside stateroom). 132 441,
Walking is the new cycling, which is of course the new golf, and one of the best walking destinations in the country is Tassie. The new Three Capes walk hugs the sea cliffs of the Tasman peninsula and out to Cape Raoul. This three-day tour also includes a visit to Port Arthur and a jet boat wilderness cruise (yes, you read that right). Normally $1095, book before March 23 and save 15 per cent on the April 24 departure. Costs $930 a person, three days. 1300 666 856, tasmanianexpeditions.com.au.
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Golf aficionados head far west for a putt in the sun, and non-golfing spouses will enjoy the diversion of staying a houseboat on the Murray River. Stay four nights on a deluxe houseboat and play Mildura’s two 18-hole courses, including buggy hire and get full breakfast provisions, dinner at the Gol Gol hotel and a gourmet barbeque. Normally from $900 a person, save $350. Costs from $550. 1800 800 842, willandrahouseboats.com.au.
It’s billed as the ultimate fishing safari, and when you spot the barramundi lurking in the shadows of the waters around the Kimberley Coastal Camp, you’ll have to agree. The remote camp is on the Kimberley’s Admiralty Gulf, and is offering half-price fishing safaris from March 19-22 or March 22-25. Includes air transfers from Kununurra, a scenic flight over the magnificent Mitchell Falls, all meals, accommodation and fishing tackle use. Costs from $3382 a person. 0417 902 006, kimberleycoastalcamp.com.au.
NEW SOUTH WALES
|Cabarita Ocean Spa, NSW|
You’re a healthier you, on the NSW far north coast. Book a health retreat at Cabarita Ocean Spa with a friend and save 25 per cent on all stays until March 23, and singles get 15 per cent off. Expect surfing and stand-up paddling, as befits an ocean retreat that’s moments from the coastline, as well as lashings of organic, locally sourced food and Sodashi in the spa. Costs from $1650 a person, twin share, three nights. (02) 6674 3111, cabaritaoceanretreat.com.au.
|Wind towers, Iran.|
Blow the myths out of the water and discover one of the friendliest countries on earth: Iran. This tour departs from Shiraz, reached easily from Dubai or Abu Dhabi, where there’s no drinking wine, but plenty of beautiful gardens and the astonishing ancient city of Persepolis. Highlights include the romantic desert city of Yazd and one of the world’s largest plazas, Naksh-e Jahan Square, in bejewelled Isfahan. There are hill villages, palaces and fine museums as well as plenty of tea stops and fine Iranian cooking to be sampled. The 18-day Highlights of Persia tour departs October 1. Costs from $3850 a person, twin share. (02) 9418 7803, byroads.com.au.
If you’re keen for a wintery holiday, there are bargains to be had.
New York City
|Paris B&B, petiteparis.com.au|