|Mesmerising Myanmar: Ancient temples and an increasingly
modern infrastructure are the drawcards. Photo: Getty Images.
reveal their tips for the coming year.
eye on the hip pocket, we’re looking at hometown holidays in 2015, say travel
industry’s chiefs. And while Asia is back on top as our favourite playground,
Myanmar continues its stellar orbit as the region’s shining star.
everyone going in 2015? Gallipoli for the centenary, on unusual train journeys, South America,
Antarctica and our new Australian tours by private plane.
should everyone be going in 2015? Iran and Myanmar. For safe and trusted, a British
Isles cruise or a train journey through Switzerland.
biggest issue in travel in 2015? An unsettled world and the weakening
you packing your bags for? Chichen Itza in Mexico, Rio, Easter Island, Tahiti, Angkor Wat,
the Taj Mahal and the Serenas, well as the UK and Europe.
travelling, so people across cultures, religions and countries can connect
peacefully. See captainschoice.com.au.
everyone going in 2015? Myanmar: infrastructure is improving and there’s a sense it’ll all
should everyone be going in 2015? Bhutan: because it’s not going to change fast. A
purer and more controlled experience awaits.
biggest issue in travel in 2015? Travel safety: the perceived threat of increased
terrorism and infectious diseases.
you packing your bags for? London, Florence, Marrakech, Taipei, Tokyo and the USA.
Wifi flights will become the norm. See luxecityguides.com.
everyone going in 2015? Japan, now great value for money, and India.
should everyone be going in 2015? Sri Lanka, which is rapidly healing after its
terrible civil war, the idyllic Maldives, and Myanmar for quaint, rustic
biggest issue in travel in 2015? The potential spread of terrorism to our region, health
issues such as Ebola and the value of the Australian dollar.
you packing your bags for? Vietnam, Japan and Mongolia.
Self-drive three-wheeled tuk-tuk tours in India! See wendywutours.com.au.
everyone going in 2015? Philippines: budget carrier Cebu Pacific Air has just kicked off a
service departing Sydney four times weekly.
should everyone be going in 2015? London, for the Rugby World Cup!
biggest issue in travel in 2015? Airfares have never been more affordable and
unless the US dollar drops significantly, the only issue is choosing where to
you packing your bags for? Whistler: snowboarding is my passion. We will thaw out on Hamilton
Island. Fearless prediction? Aussies are in a golden era of travel with more
accessible prices, services and routes. See flightcentre.com.au.
everyone going in 2015? Hiking and biking Cambodia, trekking the Patagonia Ice Cap, Arctic
cruising to see the Northern Lights, Nepal’s Manaslu Circuit, walking Spain’s
should everyone be going in 2015? Trekking the Altai mountains in Mongolia, hiking
and biking in China, cycling Puglia, Italy.
biggest issue in travel in 2015? Flight availability in peak seasons, more freak
storms and volatility in weather patterns due to global warming.
you packing your bags for? Italy’s Gran Paradiso Trek plus a self-guided cycling holiday from
Slovenia to Croatia!
prediction for 2015? The Great
Himalayan Trail – a five-month trek traversing Nepal’s high passes. See worldexpeditions.com.
everyone going in 2015? Cruising Europe, Alaska, and the Baltics.
should everyone be going in 2015? Asia, cruising from Japan and Singapore, visiting
Vietnam and Cambodia, and even Indonesia’s Komodo Island.
biggest issue in travel in 2015? The falling dollar, sharpening travellers’ focus
you packing your bags for? Stradbroke Island, maybe an African safari and a PNG and Solomon
Islands cruise to test new destinations.
at sea with Australia’s best food and wine. See carnival.com.au.
everyone going in 2015? Italy and Greece for the food, wine, history and sites and Norway for
the Northern Lights.
should everyone be going in 2015? ANZAC centenary commemorations in Gallipoli, with
or without ballot tickets.
biggest issue in travel in 2015? Global safety issues and natural disasters.
you packing your bags for? I would like to do The Ultimate Travelling Camp in India.
Experiencing destinations in 3D, such as enjoying the view from your
(prospective) hotel’s balcony. See coxandkings.com.au.
everyone going in 2015? The Gold Coast, Darwin and fringe CBD; homeowners are realising the
viability of short-term rentals while travellers can immerse themselves in the
should everyone be going in 2015? Dunsborough, Western Australia. Definitely a new
you packing your bags for? A holiday rental in Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand, near golf courses,
vineyards and beaches.
biggest issue in travel in 2015? Low-cost air carriers continuing to open up new
markets, particularly in Asia.
rentals becoming bookable online, like hotels. See stayz.com.au.
everyone going in 2015? South-east Asia and the Asia Pacific, for snorkelling safaris, stunning
should everyone be going in 2015? On ‘staycation,’ exploring your own city. Sydney’s
Double Bay has new eateries, bars, shops and the new InterContinental Sydney
biggest issue in travel in 2015? Truly personalised and local experiences.
you packing your bags for? Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festival, a diving holiday to Fiji and skiing in
marketing aimed at locals through social media, and brands rewarding guests for
publicising their trips via social media. See ihg.com.
everyone going in 2015? Safe, affordable Nicaragua, Central America and Mykonos, Greece.
should everyone be going in 2015? Colombo, Sri Lanka is reinventing itself as a cool
foodie paradise. Flight searches to Bhutan are also on the rise.
biggest issue in travel in 2015? Online travel companies becoming mobile savvy, as
travellers use mobile phones to research, plan and book holidays.
you packing your bags for? The coolest little capital, Wellington, and Tasmania.
Meta-search websites – websites that aggregate information from all over the
web into one site – being an essential planning tool. See skyscanner.com.au.
|Cable Beach, WA.|
Go west, to where camels roam the beaches and French champagne comes on ice. Yes, it’s Broome. Or ski Japan, swank up to the Gold Coast or take a textiles tour through England and France. You know you want to, with this week’s international and domestic travel deals.
Get away in February to Pinctada Cable Beach Resort in Broome
and save $200. Book a Honjin courtyard suite for two nights and get
French champagne, chocolates, bath oils and airport transfers. Costs
$528, two nights. Phone (08) 9193 8388, see pinctada.com.au.
Catch the last of Hakuba’s snow season with mates and save up
to 40 per cent staying at The Lab’s six-share dorms. Five-day lift
pass, breakfast daily and airport transfers. From $670 for seven nights.
Phone (02) 9905 6162, see ski-resorts-japan.com.
Stay three nights at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel and get one
ticket to Disneyland Hong Kong and airport transfers. Book by March 17
for travel May 4-17, May 14, Aug 31-Sep 13. $619 adults, $95 children
two to nine years. Phone 1300 301 711, see creativeholidays.com.au.
|QT Gold Coast|
Glam up on the Gold Coast at QT Gold Coast with a room
upgrade to an ocean-view king room, free breakfast, discounts in the spa
and midday checkout. Book by March 15 for travel until March 31. From
$229 a person, two nights, twin share. Phone 1300 019 130, see studentflights.com.au.
Book your London stay by February 28 and stay six nights for
the price of five, or 12 nights for 10 at Citadines “London Apart”
hotels in five locations including Trafalgar Square. For stays April
1-August 31. From $341 a night. See holidaystoeurope.com.au/specials.
Go bush in style at El Questro Homestead. Stay four nights,
pay for three when booked before February 28 for travel April 1-October
25. From $5907 a room, three nights, includes meals, transfers from
Kununurra, some tours. Phone 1300 863 248, see elquestro.com.au.
|Citadines London ‘Apart’|
UK & FRANCE
Join tapestry artist Cresside Collette on a journey from
London to Aubusson discovering mediaeval tapestries, artists’ studios
and a four-day workshop at the Manoir du Bost. There’s also a daytrip to
weaving heartland Aubusson. The tour, from September 1-20, is $6699 a
person, twin share. Phone 03 9557 5898, see tapestrytour.blogspot.com.au.
Still stuck for a trip this summer? Let us tell you where to
go with these last-second holiday ideas compiled by Belinda Jackson.
Throw the schedule out the window and cut loose. There’s
still time to plan and book a holiday this summer. Really. What about a
fancy weekend on the Gold Coast, or a touch of luxury in Bali?
Auckland’s sparkling harbour is calling or go on the hunt for powder in
the Japanese alps. Adelaide’s festival scene is about to kick off and
there are bargains to be had in the South Pacific’s off-season.
up, slackers, the early bird doesn’t always catch the worm, but you’d
better get your skates, fins or walking boots on, quick smart.
The deal Who doesn’t dream about getting away from it all?
Organic, low-tech, wellness, but with a hefty dose of gorgeousness.
Internationally recognised for its luxury spa offering, five-star a
weekend escape at Gwinganna includes all-organic meals, and activities –
think bosu balance training, indoor cycling, hiking or creative dance –
and a massage in its 33-room Spa Sanctuary. Save 15 per cent on
selected weekends from January 17 to March 30.
How much From $948 a person, twin share in an Orchards Suite.
the silence, I’ve been offline up on Egypt’s north coast, where I had no
internet, curfews (thank you, revolution) and not even a chemist for lousy cold tablets.
sometimes strange to think that Egypt is a Mediterranean country (did you know there are 21?), but it’s home to some of the most budget-friendly Med resorts. The flashiest of
them all is Porto Marina, 280km from Cairo, where ministers and other high government officials
have their summer getaways, in the form of luxe tower apartments and chic chalets.
|Porto Marina and a foolhardy bungee jumper.|
touch of Australia’s Gold Coast to it all, with a huge restaurant strip on a marina full
of white boats, a crane hauling quaking bungee jumpers up into the sky. But it’s
still Egypt: while we were having lunch there today, a man walked by, carrying
a five-month-old lion cub. The photographer by his side made sure nobody got to
take a snap without producing the gold.
cub is from a local circus, and they assured me she wasn’t drugged, as she
curled up against the man like a kitten. We patted her paws, stroked her back and
admired her beautiful eyes without complaint.
want your daughter to sit on the lion for a photo?” asked the tout. Listen
mate, I’ve already horrified enough animal lovers with posts of Eid’s sacrifices, I
told him. Let’s not push it…
|The Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa, Gold Coast, Qld.|
Grab an off-peak bargain on Britain’s trains or in Bali’s villas, be one of the first to see the revamped Sheraton Mirage on the Gold Coast, or splash out with the kids in Malaysia, a truly family-friendly country. Go on, you’re worth it.
Coast’s $26 million renovation. Stay three, pay for two nights, from $580 or
stay four and pay three nights, from $870, until December 22, (07) 5577 0000, sheratonmiragegoldcoast.com.au.
England Pass between November 1 and February 28, 2014 when you book by February
12, 2014. From $185 an adult for a three-day pass, raileurope.com.au.
|The main bedroom, Villa Asanda, Bali.|
percent on rates at the fully staffed villas on stays until December 20. Villas
range from three to six bedrooms, from $420 a night, three-bed villa, marketingvillas.com.
part of a Malaysian getaway with Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur. The
seven-night, two-town package includes domestic flights, two free nights, bonus
upgrades, tours and kids under 12 stay and eat free in Penang. Book by November
30, from $1790 a person, 1300 696 252, myholidaycentre.com.au/Malaysia.
Getting away from it all? Not any more — we want holiday homes that have it all… (or, as I’ve subtitled this piece in my noisy head, how we traded the caravan for the castle.)
For generations of Aussies, summer holidays always started with a
long, “I spy”-dominated drive to the beach.
The accommodation was either
a caravan park, where kids ran rampant from dawn until dusk and the
queue at the shower block was the essential meeting place, or the
classic beach shack, built on a shoestring and furnished with the
cast-offs from the family home.
We’ve always loved our beach
shacks: hidden from view on the white-sand beaches of the NSW south
coast or up in idyllic Byron Bay, you’ll see them among the dunes along
the South Australian coastline, tucked away down sandy lanes on the
Bellarine and Mornington peninsulas, so laid-back they’re almost
Stayz, a division of Fairfax Media, recently held its annual awards for
the best holiday rentals in seven categories including best for pets,
romance, families and eco-friendliness, as well as a people’s choice.
Judged by a panel of travel industry experts with guest ratings and
reviews in the mix, the results are an eye-opener.
|Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket|
If now is the winter of your discontent, get thee to Thailand: to Phuket, to be precise. Or Burma, which is so hot right now – in the tourist sense as well as talking temperatures.
Australia’s Gold Coast is always a favourite escape for us southerners, though this time, it’s with a twist for the kids (because kids appreciate posh labels, don’t they?). But if you want to embrace winter, do it with a conscience, in Melbourne’s only carbon-neutral hotel, in this week’s travel deals.
GO NOW: MELBOURNE
Stay in its studio rooms from $158 (normally from $238), and get breakfast,
unlimited organic, fair-trade coffee and free bike hire. Book by August 16 for
travel until October 26. 1800 135 123, altohotel.com.au.
|Alto on Bourke, Melbourne|
worldwide, including the Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, are giving guests 35 percent of their accommodation
costs to spend on dining and spa treatments. Suite upgrades are available for $54.
Costs from $139 a double, room only, until end September. (02) 9410
with the Intha tribe. Save 15 percent on selected departures until March 11,
2014. Costs from $3630 a person, twin share. 1300 836 764, coxandkings.com.au/au/15off.
|Inle lake fishermen, Burma|
Versace hotel. Its new Little Fashionistas high teas are served on Versace
china (that’s brave!) overlooking the hotel’s lagoon. The menu, for groups of
eight or more, includes lemonade spiders, toffee apples, cake pops and the
omnipresent macaroons. Costs $12 for children 12 and under, (07) 5509 8000, palazzoversace.com.au.
Do glamour, Gregory Peck and gelato in Italy, swim with dolphins in Western Australia or hit the road, Jack, and swing across Texas, in this week’s round-up of domestic and international travel deals.
world’s longest resort swimming pools: coming in at 485 metres long, it’s at
the Oaks Pacific Blue Resort in Port Stephens, 160km north of Sydney. The quiet
coastal region is a magnet for fisherfolk, dolphin spotters and those who just
like rolling down sand dunes, while the resort facilities include tennis
courts, a gym and a Japanese steam room. Save up to $25 a night on when you book a
two-night stay from January 27-June 30. Costs from $258, studio room, two
nights. 1300 669 978, oakshotelsresorts.com.
Coast hotel’s SpaQ, which knocks the price of the day’s top temperature off
your midweek one-hour spa treatment. So if it’s 29 degrees, you’ll get $29 off the
cost of the treatment. Valid until February 28, Mondays-Thursdays and quote
‘I’m hot’. 07 5584 1108, qtgoldcoast.com.au/spa-q/.
|The dolphins of Monkey Mia, WA.|
gardens surrounding Melbourne on a three-night tour just in time for Mother’s
Day. Staying at the Sofitel Melbourne, the small group tour starts with high
tea at The Hotel Windsor, followed by a street art tour through the city’s
laneways, for an edgy touch. The gardens on tour include Cranbourne Botanic
Gardens’ Australian garden, Heronswood on the Mornington Peninsula and the
William Ricketts Sanctuary in the Dandenong Ranges. Book by February 28
and save $100. Includes most meals,
botanical guides and airport transfers. Costs from $1695 a person, twin share.
1300 305 202, botanica.travel.
|Hotel Aviatic, Paris|
Hotel Aviatic, on the Left Bank, close by the bars and restaurants of Saint-Germain
des Prés and Montparnasse. Save E135 ($171) on a traditional room or E165 on a
prestige room, and get breakfast, a bottle of wine and chocolates on stays
until February 28. Costs from E160 (traditional room) or E195 (prestige room).
1800 667 731, aviatic.fr.
welcoming arms, and those travelling to Rarotonga with Air New Zealand will
receive NZ$100 (A$75) to spend, for a very warm welcome, indeed. You could do an Aitutaki Lagoon tour, enjoy
an hour-long massage, get two days’ car hire or buy 20 papaya smoothies! Book
by March 4 for travel until June 3, cookislands.travel. Passengers traveling
Air New Zealand from Sydney to Rarotonga direct on Saturday nights get an
additional round of discounts on activities on the islands. Flights depart
Sydney 8.30pm Fridays, arrive Rarotonga 5.30am Saturdays. 132 476,
Hawke’s Bay, voted one of the world’s top lodges and save 15 percent off the
standard high season rate. The package includes one night in a luxury suite, a
bottle of champagne, rose petals, bath oil and candles. There’s also a
five-course dinner, breakfast, mini-bar and, importantly, late check-out.
What’s not to love? Valid February 10-17. Costs from $855 a person, twin share
(naturally). +64 6 875 1900, capekidnappers.com.
The sunny islands of Fiji are on the rebound after last
year’s Cyclone Evan, with deals to be had. Stay seven nights at the Sofitel
Fiji Resort & Spa on the five-star strip on Denarau Island, get return
airfares from Sydney, $535 in wine, dine and spa credit, a full-day island
cruise, a cultural heritage tour, airport transfers, breakfast, free kids food
and kids’ club. Costs from $1690 a person, twin share. Similar deals are
available at the Sheraton Fiji Resort and Outrigger on the Lagoon. 1300 00 34
Hepburn, swanning through Tuscany, Rome and the Amalfi coast. Diva alert: join
a handful of other fabulous travellers and cruise Italy in the ultimate girls’
getaway of shopping, spas and Vespas. Book and deposit the 14-day ‘Do it like
Audrey Hepburn’ tour by February 22 for departure on June 23, and get a free
night in a 4-star Florence hotel before or after the tour. Costs from $6959 a person, twin share, quote
‘SHDIVAS’. 0408 721
Worth, Memphis, Texarkana … if these names resonate with your soul, it’s time
to hit the American West – in a Mustang convertible, of course – for a musical
road trip across the USA, from LA to Nashville. The Swing Across Texas
self-drive tour is fully escorted and departs June 15, hitting Route 66, Vegas
and Buddy Holly’s birthplace in Lubbock County, Texas, with the Grand Canyon in
there for good measure. The clincher is there’s a live act or entertainment in
every city, every night of the 22-day tour, which is included in the price
along with car hire and insurance. Costs from $7350 a person, twin share. (07)
5577 4655, classicdrivingtours.com.
Hideaway tourism is so hot right now: Western Australia’s Kimberley, an island resort in the Maldives (pictured left), not to be confused with those other remote islands, Islas Malvinas, aka the South Atlantic’s Falkland Islands. There’s deals to be had in all corners of the world. Read on…
and they’ll hand over two tickets, worth $40, to the Museum
of Old and New Art (MONA) Theatre of the World exhibition in
their ‘Ultimate Hobart Package’. The hotel is a short walk from the ferry that
takes you up the Derwent River to MONA, or is a less romantic 15 minutes’
drive. Costs from $209 a night in a one-bedroom apartment until December
25. 131 517, mantra.com.au.
Hilton, on George St, is well placed to soak up the festive vibe. The hotels’Any
weekend Anywhere’ deal saves 25 per cent off its room only an dB&B rates on
stays from November 26, 2012 until December 31, 2013. Bookings are open unitl
February 14, 2013, and you must book at least seven days before you stay. Costs
from $209 a night. (02) 9266 2051, hiltonsydney.com.au.
head north to the tropical heat of Darwin and sink a sundowner as the sun sets
over the water. Crowne Plaza Darwin’s Recharge package knocks 20 per cent off
the room rate and throws in a free breakfast buffet on stays until February 28,
2013. Minimum three nights’ stay. Costs from $354 for three nights, 138 388, crowneplaza.com/recharge.
Yarra Valley is a vista of rolling hills and vineyards, with the 4.5-star Mercure
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa in its centre. The hotel has just
opened its new Experience Pool, set at a toasty 28 degrees, which provides therapeutic
treatments and exercises that tie in with its onsite spa. Stay midweek (Mon –
Thurs) in a one bedroom spa suite and they’ll include breakfast and a couple of
champagne cocktails – perhaps simultaneously? – on stays from December 16 to
February 28, 2013. Costs from $305 a night (03) 9730 0700, balgownieestate.com.au.
place to holiday in Australia@: take the family for a Gold Coast break for less
than a grand. Book a BYOKids family package for two adults and two kids staying
seven nights in a two-bedroom apartment in Turtle Beach Resort, and get a round
of putt-putt golf, paddle pop vouchers and welcome drinks, as well as a family pass to “Ripley’s
Believe it or Not,” worth nearly $50. Book by December 16 for stays from
now until December 21, and from January 27 – March 27, 2013. Costs $995 for 2
adults, 2 kids or $1170 for 2 adults, 3 kids. 1300 296 543, byokids.com.au.
by float plane. The Berkeley River Lodge sits on Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, on the Kimberley coast, one of Australia’s
great wildernesses an hour’s flight from the nearest town. Couples save $2100
and solo travellers save $1100 on this four-night package that includes
float plane transfers from Kununurra, guided treks, river cruises and fishing
adventures. Stay February 1 – March 31, 2013, costs from $5976 a couple, $4488
for solo, four nights. 1300 851 800, abercrombiekent.com.au.
starts in Florence, and sees you driving in a convoy of the classic tiny Fiat
500 cars along quiet private roads to a 15th-century Renaissance villa for a
Tuscan picnic, swim and wine tasting. The five-hour tour normally costs $190 a
person. Book and pay by December 31 for tours between February and October
2013, and save 25 per cent. Costs from $145 a person, twin share. (03) 5722
especially when their names are Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
Lucky you’ve got five days to do so, on a five-day Welsh Explorer. Other Welsh
classics on the tour include the wilds of Snowdonia, Conwy castle and a coal
mine. Save up to 15 per cent on bookings before December 21, quote code
‘earlybird’. Costs from $349 a person. 1300 287 226, haggisadventures.com.
|The Alhambra, Granada, Spain.|
Palace, the Alhambra – does Spanish sightseeing get any better? Yes, when you
add wine and tapas tasting, and sangria and flamenco in Seville. The eight-day
small-group Spanish Inspiration tour starts in Madrid and travels south to
Malaga. Save $812 on bookings made by December 15. Costs from $3468 a person,
twin share. 1300 100 410, backroadstouring.com.au.
44-bungalow island resort of Huvafen Fushi per Aquum one of its jewels, with
the world’s first underwater spa. The property has just reopened following a
refurb and is offering guests free speedboat transfers, free half board and a
stay five, pay four deal in its beach bungalows, complete with plunge pool,
until December 23. Usually from US$6050, costs from US$3800 for five nights. eliteresortsofasiapacific.com.
southerly marathon, on the far-flung Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic,
will take place on March 17, 2013. The remote archipelago comprises more than 700
islands off the eastern coast of Argentina, and its brief summer sees average
temperatures of just 15 degrees, though there’s plenty of sunshine. The
Falklands hosts an extreme marathon route that sees less than 50 runners
complete the race each year. An eight-day tour departs Punta Arenas in southern
Chile and visits a penguin colony in Chile, and the Falklands islands of Sea
Lion, Darwin and Carcass, for a chance to
mingle with the locals – human and animal, including reindeer, orca pods
and sea lions. The itinerary includes time for pre-race preparation and costs
from $4195 a person including internal
flights. +1 406 541 2677, adventure-life.com.
|Four-Diamond Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa|
inner-urban Sydney and Melbourne include a kitchenette, workspace and free
wi-fi. They’re kicking off with deals such as $175 a night, down from $300, at
Quest Studios East Melbourne, close to the shopping strip of Bridge Road and
Melbourne’s top sports arenas. Includes breakfast for two at a local café. Stay
until October 30, quote ‘SHSO’ when booking. (03)
9413 0000, questapartments.com.au.
Country Club Tasmania, on the edge of the state’s second city. A night in a 4.5-star
deluxe room for two includes a bottle of Tasmanian wine, 18 holes of golf and a
30-minute massage as well as breakfast in the Links restaurant. Go horse
riding, take a wine tour or fish for trout in its private lake. Costs $299 a
night, until September 30. 1800 635 344,
|QT Gold Coast|
stay in the slinky QT Gold Coast, self-described as ‘nostalgic surfer chic
meets Miami swim catwalk’. That’ll help you choose your wardrobe. On top of a
saving of $384, you’ll get breakfast, an exploratory dinner for two in its hugely
popular signature restaurant, Bazaar and $50 spa credit or a party starter at
the happening Stingray Lounge. Costs from $450 a room for two nights until
November 30. (07) 5584 1200, qtgoldcoast.com.au.
|Seashells Resort Mandurah|
gearing up for the return of the replica Dutch ship Duyfken, the first European
ship to reach Australia in 1606, on Sunday 23 September. Stay three, pay for
two nights in a one-bedroom apartment at the 4.5-star Seashells Resort Mandurah
until November 30. Costs from $210 a person, three nights, twin share. 132 757, harveyworld.com.au.
Aboriginal rock art and visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Book 12 months
advance for your journey into the red centre, saving up to $450 a couple on a
six-day Red Centre Discovery. Included is a dinner and a discovery tour of the
Earth Sanctuary World National Centre, airport transfers and guiding. Deal
valid on departures until December 28, 2013. Earlybird special costs from $1689 a person, twin
share. 1300 228 546, aatkings.com.au.
visit to the town of love and light, Byron Bay. Normally $780 room only, the
sleek Byron at Byron resort’s spring package gets you 10 per cent off in the
spa, restaurant and bar, as well as free yoga, wifi, daily breakfast buffet and
bike hire to cruise the rainforest trails down to the beach. Valid for stays
until December 10. Costs $794 for two nights in a standard suite. 1300 554 362, thebyronatbyron.com.au.
Île Saint-Louis, Paris
Parisian jaunt, but your apartment will certainly come up to scratch. Set on
the Île Saint-Louis, an island in the middle of the Seine, the B&B is on
the third floor of a traditional Haussmann building, and despite its antique
interiors, its owners welcome kids. There are two rooms, great for families or
two couples. Save from E44 a night on stays between November 1 and March 30.
Costs from E175 a night. petiteparis.com.au.
|Semara Resort & Spa|
is the fast-beating heart of Bali. The Semara Resort & Spa’s Winter Escape
deal saves $438 on stays until September 30. Book a two-night stay in a
superior poolside room, get daily buffet breakfast, dinner for two at Finns Beach Club, two hours
for two in the spa, wifi, yoga and
meditation classes and airport transfers. Costs from $484 for two people, two
nights. +62 (361) 847 6661, semararesorts.com.
|Koto Kinabalu, Malaysia|
on your way to Malaysia’s Kota Kinabalu. Price includes return flights to KK via
Darwin with Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia, two nights at Darwin’s
Travel Lodge Mirambeena Resort and four nights at Novotel Kota Kinabalu.
They’ll throw in a free tour of Litchfield National Park, worth $149, full
breakfast daily and one free nightBook by end September, travel November 1 –
December 7. Costs from $1459 a person (land and air). 1300 747 400, creativeholidays.com/asiaonsale.
Jordan’s deserts over 26 days from Cape Town to Cairo. Book before December 31
and your friend flies free (paying only taxes of $795), saving up to $2040 per
couple. Departs August – October 2013 and includes all flights within Africa,
two charter flights in Kenya, 4WD game viewing and accommodation in private
game lodges and luxury camps. Costs from $18,995 a person, twin share. 1300 229
than the home of samba, salsa and tango, South America? This 14-day dance-themed tour starts in
Santiago, Chile, where you’ll tackle the cueca and rumba, lubricated with wineries
visits, before hitting Buenos Aires’ La Boca district for up-close-and-personal
tango workshops. There’s samba and salsa classes in Rio de Janeiro as well as
visits to Copacabana Beach and Corcovado Mountain, to stand at the feet of
Christ the Redeemer, and the tour includes a trip to the Argentinean and
Brazilian sides of the magnificent Iguassu Falls. Departs March 3, 2013. Costs
from $3995 a person, twin share and includes some meals and all South American
flights. 1300 558 987, tempoholidays.com.