TRAVEL DEALS: 13 May 2012

The Sunlander

$ SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The South Australian icon, Coopers Brewing, turns 150
this year, and that’s a good enough reason to visit Adelaide. Save on
accommodation so you have more to spend on beer when you check in at the
centrally located four-star self-catering Franklin Central Apartments. Normally
$320 a night, the newly refurbished apartments now cost $130 a night until end
August, 1300 662 288, franklinapartments.com.au

$$ VICTORIA

Got a penchant for little aqua boxes? The Rendezvous Grand
Hotel Melbourne is giving away $50 gift vouchers for Tiffany & Co when you
book a Romance package at the heritage-listed five-star hotel on Flinders St.
Also included is a three-course dinner for two at The Grill restaurant, valet
parking and a buffet brekky the next morning for stays until December 30. Costs
from $385 per deluxe room per night, 1800 088 888, rendezvoushotels.com/mothersday

$$ NSW
So
you’re not a grey nomad yet, but there’s nothing stopping you joining the
annual migration north. Stop before you hit the border at Byron Bay. Your
address, of course, is the the lush, five-star digs of The Byron at Byron, for
daily yoga, beach walks and rainforest ramblings. Stay three or more nights and
get 10 percent off spa, bar and restaurant purchases. Standard suites normally
cost $390 a night, this winter deal costs $285 a room a night, 1300 554 362, thebyronatbyron.com.au
$$$ NORTHERN TERRITORY
Do logs
have eyes? Play spot the croc in the Kakadu National Park, get down and jiggy
in Darwin, ogle Katherine Gorge and check out the Aboriginal rock art galleries
at Ubirr Rock on this four-day jaunt through the Top End. Save 25 percent, or
$276, on Intrepid Travel’s Total Top End tours departing 4, 11 and 13 June. Excludes
airfares to Darwin. Costs $829, 1300 018 871, intrepidtravel.com/trips/PISE#overview
$$$ QUEENSLAND
You don’t have to go to Europe to experience great train
travel. Kids travel, eat, and get a free cruise in the Whitsundays as part of
Queensland Rail Travel’s Whitsundays Family Getaway. The package includes flights
from Sydney to Brisbane, overnight on The
Sunlander
train to Proserpine and four nights on Daydream Island Resort
& Spa. Freebies include a round of golf for the family and a half-day
Whitsundays cruise. Kids get a free one-way flight to Brisbane, free train and
boat, accommodation and meals. Book until May 31, travel until Sept 30, Costs
from $959 per adult, twin share, 1800 872 467, queenslandrailtravel.com.au
$$$$ WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Bunker down in your luxury tent and listen to the shush
of the ocean and the quiet of Cape Range National Park, beside the World
Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, where the whale sharks are playing until the end
of July. Just nine tents make up the luxury property Sal Salis, and packages
include all meals and drinks and daily snorkelling or kayaking trips and gorge
walks. Stay three nights, pay for two, saving $685 a person. Costs $1307 a
person for two nights, twin share, 1300 790 561, wildbushluxury.com 
INTERNATIONAL
$ HAWAII
Need a jungle or fantasy island? The Hawai’ian island of
Kauai’s movie credits include Jurassic Park
and its Wailua waterfalls are stars of the small screen. Stay at Kauai Beach Resort
and get a free car to explore its beaches, rivers and golf courses. Includes a
free upgrade to an Ocean View room. Travel until June 15, costs $180 a night, +1
888 805 3843 (toll free), kauaibeachresorthawaii.com
$$ INDONESIA
Beautiful Bali has shrugged off its reputation as a DVD
pirate’s heaven and home to Kuta’s sticky sinbins. Beautiful Uluwatu shares the
‘hood with the eye-wateringly glamorous Alila Villas Uluwatu. Normally $662++ a
night, its Spring Break deal includes a one-bedroom pool villa, in-villa
breakfast and dinner, 90-minute spa treatment for two and airport transfers
from USD$628++ a night. Travel until June 30, (+62) 361 848 2166, alilahotels.com

$$$ ZIMBABWE &
NAMIBIA
Watch Namibia’s hippos play and fish eagles hunt their
prey on a Chobe River cruise. It’s part of a seven-day safari of Zimbabwe and
Namibia, with three nights each at the luxe Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and Namibia’s
Chobe Savannah Lodge, and a cruise of the Zambezi River. Save $1850 when you
travel until June 30. Costs $1395 a person, 1300 195 873,
benchinternational.com.au
$$$ VIETNAM
Hoa La was the capital of Vietnam in the 10th century,
and its monuments and temples survived to tell the city’s story. Visit Hoa La,
as well as Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh city and the Mekong Delta on Helen Wong
Tours’ special 25th anniversary tour of Vietnam. Prices include return flights
from Sydney. Book before May 31 for an extra $250 discount. Costs $2700 a
person, twin share, (02) 9267 7833, helenwongstours.com
$$$$$ ARCTIC
Get off the cruise ship and set foot and sleeping bag on Spitsbergen,
the biggest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Setting off from Longyearbyen, the
Sea Spirit takes up to 112 passengers around the islands, spotting walruses and
polar bears. Peregrine’s earlybird discounts cut 20 percent off nine Arctic
itineraries for 2013 including the 13-day Spitsbergen in Depth tour. Book by
June 29, normally $7690, now costs $6152, phone bookings only, 1300 854 500, peregrineadventures.com



Spitsbergen, Svalbad

TOURWATCH

May 2013 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the first
ascent of Mt Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Don’t you wish
you’d done it first? Raise a glass to those pioneers when you dine beneath the
stars at the spiritual centre of Thyangboche, at 3800 meters. The soundtrack
will be the stories by top Australian and US mountaineers of their Everest
experiences. World Expeditions wil run five anniversary treks departing from
Kathmandu in May 2013, graded from introductory to challenging. Trek lengths
and routes vary from 12 to 23 days, to the base camp, around remote passes or
the Gokyo Lakes. Includes all meals, internal flights, jackets and sleeping
bags, supported by a local leader, sherpas, cooks and porters. Costs from $2750
a person, 1300 720 000, worldexpeditions.com

Source: Belinda Jackson, Sun Herald newspaper

About the author

Fear is found on a creaking glacier in the Caucasus mountains and joy is encapsulated in the perfect Shanghai dumpling. And while I love a $500-a-night hotel room (who doesn’t?), sometimes the best stories are found in a $20 guesthouse. With an eye always out for good markets and great street eats, I write the travel news and features for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers, and features for whoever else asks. I have a particular soft spot for the wilds of the Middle East, scarves and carpets. My articles and photographs have been published in a range of consumer magazines and newspapers in Australia and abroad.

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