Nashville to New Orleans

QUEENSLAND
Noosa’s restaurant scene just keeps getting bigger, so
it’s convenient that the Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort & Spa is
set up on a hill overlooking the town, letting you stretch your legs and work
off those calorific meals. Stay three nights and get a free buffet breakfast
each morning (if you’re still hungry). Normally from $299 a night, costs from
$159 a night until December 31, quickbeds.com/escape
 NSW
The 18th
Biennale of Sydney, a celebration of contemporary arts, is full-steam until
September 16, with performances across the city including Cockatoo Island, the Museum
of Contemporary Art and  the Art Gallery of NSW. Every event, from
performances to film screenings and artist talks is free. BLUE Sydney, on Woolloomooloo’s
wharves, is giving the fourth night on the house when you stay three nights or
more until July 31, so you can stay longer to celebrate the three-month
festival. Costs from $900 for four nights, (02) 9331 9000, tajhotels.com


VICTORIA
The Olsen, Melbourne

Immerse yourself in the landscape art of painter John
Olsen, in a five-star suite at South Yarra’s The Olsen hotel. Suites include a kitchenette and the hotel’s
glass-bottom pool hangs over Chapel St for a bit of light exhibitionism. Book
two nights and get $100 credit to spend at its Spoonbill Restaurant or hire a
scooter or smart car to gad about town. The Ultimate Indulgence package applies
to stays until August 31. Costs $209 a night, 1800 278 468, artserieshotels.com.au

NORTHERN TERRITORY
Warm up in the Red Centre
with the Ayers Rock Resort Family Escape package. Save 30 percent, or $342,
staying in a four-star one-bedroom apartment at Emu Walk Apartments from July
1-November 30.  The deal includes free
kids’ activities in school holidays, free Indigenous guest activities, and kids
under 12 stay and eat breaky free. Also includes airport transfers and Ayres
Rock Resort shuttle bus service. Costs from $798 per person for three nights,
1300 134 004, ayersrockresort.com.au/family-holiday/
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
“A zoo without fences” is how the locals describe Kangaroo Island.
Happily, most of the animals are herbivores, and the rest are just too small to
tackle us humans. Bring on the cable knits and cute hats when you brave the
wilds of Kangaroo Island’s spectacular beaches with a cosy coastal getaway.
Kangaroo Island Seafront’s new three-star garden villas beside the ferry
terminal at Penneshaw are offering four nights for the price of three until
August 31. Costs from $1350 for four nights, 138 833, sunloverholidays.com.au
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Gun your 4WD down one of Australia’s most iconic outback
routes, the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley, on a 13-day exploration of deep
gorges, wide rivers and ancient cultures. The 4WD Kimberley Complete journey
starts and ends in Broome, and includes stays in luxurious tented camps,
wilderness lodges and outback stations and a helicopter flight over the
magnificent Mitchell Falls. Save $1000 a couple on August departures when
booked by July 14. Costs $12,990 a couple,  1300 336 932, aptouring.com.au
INTERNATIONAL
ABU DHABI
Tonight’s dinner will be served at a Bedu (bedouin) camp
amidst the sand dunes, with camel rides and a relaxing shisha (tobacco water
pipe) for afters. Stay four nights at the five-star Intercontinental Abu Dhabi and
pay for three, with breakfast, airport transfers, dinner in the dunes and entry
to the Ferrari theme park, with the world’s fastest rollercoaster, as you’d
expect. Book and travel by September 8. Costs $525 a person for three nights, 1300
747 400, creativeholidays.com
MALAYSIA
Book your slice of paradise on a private tropical island
off the Malaysian coast. Stay in a new Signature Villas Retreat in the Pangkor
Laut Resort and get a free spa treatment and a guided walk through the
two-million-year-old rainforests and Emerald Bay with the hotel’s resident
naturalist. Book online only until July 31, travel until December 19. Normally
$994, now costs from $533 a room, a night, 0011 800 9899 9999, ytlhotels.com
CHILE &
ARGENTINA
Shimmy your way through sultry Buenos Aires and shoot the
rapids in adventure-loving Pucon, across the border in Chile, in a 13-day
exploration of these two beautiful countries. The small-group tour also pulls
in at chic Bariloche, a delight for both powder hounds and summer hikers.  Book by July 22 for August 1 departure to
save 25 percent. Was $1450, now $1087 a person, 1300 018
871, intrepidtravel.com
Nashville to New Orleans

USA

If your soul resonates to the twang of a slide guitar, if
Graceland is your heartland, or your jazz hands just can’t stay still, head from
Nashville to New Orleans on a 10-day tour of the American South. Highlights
including making a recording at the RCA Studio B and visiting plantations and
antebellum mansions. Save 10 percent on bookings made 12 months in advance. Costs
from $2,359 a person, 1300 230 234, globus.com.au
SPAIN
Visit what could be the world’s most beautiful bullring,
in Ronda, as part of this 10-day journey through the best of Spain, from the
promenades of Barcelona to the fantastical architecture of Granada’s the
Alhambra. Book by July 31 and travel by December 20 to get a free night’s
accommodation at the beginning or end of your trip. Costs from $11,285 per
person, twin share, 1300 851 800, abercrombiekent.com.au
 TOURWATCH TURKEY
Get your hands dirty on an archaeological exploration of
the ancient caves and villages of Turkey’s UNESCO-listed Cappadocia region. Led
by archaeologist Dr Nota Karamaouna, the six-day journey is based in the
village of Üçhisar. “Walking through the Ihlara Valley is a truly heavenly
journey,” says Dr Karamaouna, who is working on her PhD on the region’s
Byzantine churches. “On the slopes of this 150m deep canyon, amongst the
abundance of fruit trees, are cave chapels and monasteries which always brings
to my mind the first Christian hermits and monks who began their religious
lives in the region over a thousand years ago.” Departs September 3 and
includes five nights at the Kale Konak cave hotel, most meals and balloon
expedition. Costs from $2145 a person twin share, +44 1600 888 220, petersommer.com
Source: Belinda Jackson, Sun Herald newspaper