Colours of Tasmania’s Bay of Fires.

Find beauty in a Sri Lankan boutique hotel, in Tasmania’s Bay of Fires or in the bright eyes of a Madagascan lemur.

Save up
to $450 on a three-night stay on the Gold Coast’s beautiful beaches in the
happening QT hotel. The Family Fun package gets you two interconnecting rooms
(hey, no kids sharing your bedroom!), breakfast for two adults and two children
under 12 and a family pass to Dreamworld, worth $230. Psst: starve yourself in
advance for the hotel’s fabulous buffet restaurant, Bazaar. Costs from
$360 a night, minimum three night stay. Available until December 24. (07) 5584
With Tiger now joining Virgin and Qantas
flying up to Coffs Harbour, the NSW north coast just got a whole lot closer to Sydney. The strip, from
Coffs to Nambucca Heads, is a market lover’s paradise, with growers’ markets,
beach markets and even Bollywood markets on the beach at Woolgoolga (
Book five nights in a beachfront apartment at Smugglers on the
Beach and get a bottle of wine and save $125. For stays until August 31. Costs
from $625, five nights. (02) 6653 6166,
Cycle the iconic Great Ocean Road, from Mt Gambier’s Blue
Lake, just across the SA border, to Geelong, covering 610km. This is the 30th
year for the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride and up to 6000 cyclists are
expected to take part in the ride, from November 23 – December 1. You can do a
nine-day, fully catered camping holiday, with medical and bike repairs support,
opt for the three-day leg from Gellibrand to Geelong, or the last day’s day ride
from Torquay to Geelong. Registrations open for the general public on May 20. Book
by July 29 and save $100. Costs from $895 adults, nine days, $460 adults, three
days, or $70, one day. 1800 639 634,

Keen walkers know that Tassie’s east coast is the home of
the happy hiker. Get your boots on for three days walking the white beaches of
Wineglass Bay, the fossil cliffs and peaks of Maria Island or the glorious Bay
of Fires. Complete the immersion in all things Tasmanian with starlit dinners
with Ninth Island wines and local cheeses. Get in early for next season and
save up to $150. Book by June 30 for travel from September 2013 to March 2014. Costs
from $849 a person for the three-day Bay of Fires walk. (02) 9913 8939,
The epitome of Australian luxury, and constantly voted
one of Australia’s top stays, the Southern Ocean Lodge is on sale. Pay half
price – saving more than  $3600 – when
you stay three nights at the 21-suite Kangaroo Island retreat. The
all-inclusive rate covers all gourmet fare and naturalist experiences to show
you the best of KI. Book by May 31 for stays until August 23. Costs from $3600
a couple, Ocean Retreat, three nights. 1300 851 800,
At Kahanda Kanda, the order is to drink tea and watch the
peacocks and monkeys at play.
One of the country’s top boutique hotels, the eight-suite
villa Kahanda Kanda is on a working tea estate by the serene Koggala Lake and
its stilt fishermen. Stay three nights, pay for two or stay seven nights and
pay for just five, with a free upgrade and spa treatments included. The villa
does not take children under 12. For stays from June 1 – July 31. Costs from
$548, three nights. +94 (0) 91 494 3700,


Tagged as the Chinese Riviera, Hainan Island is
officially going off, as Julia Gillard would have noted when she visited
recently. The newest addition is the Raffles Hainan, in Clearwater Bay.  There are 299 rooms and 32 villas in the
resort, beside two championship golf courses and a 200-berth marina. Stay three
nights, pay for two from September 1 – December 31. Includes an upgrade to a
Grand Ocean view room, airport transfers, breakfast and checkout at 6pm. Yes,
6pm. Costs from $297 plus taxes. 0011
800 1723 3537,

Madagascar’s nature – including lemurs, chameleons and humpback
whales – makes it a haven for adventurers. Save up to $1440 a couple on Bentours’
eight-day Barefoot Luxury South Explorer journey through rainforests, islands
and bays. Includes stays at Mandrare River Camp, two regional flights, all
transport, park fees, guides and excursions. Book by July 1 for travel June 25
– July 31. Costs from $3490 a person, twin share. 1300 799 783,

For the quintessential overwater bungalow experience, go
back to where it all began. Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora’s Surf & Turf
packages is no steak-and-prawns affair, it combines three nights in an
overwater bungalow (surf) and another three in two-bedroom beachfront villa
(turf). Included is daily buffet breakfast, a two-hour walk and snorkel with
their resident marine biologist and a reef walk, saving up to $1168. Costs from
$9241, six nights. +(689) 603 130,  
Spend 15 days exploring the
waterways and architecture of the Mekong River, Ha Long Bay and Angkor Wat
temples, and get free flights to Asia and two free hotel nights pre-or
post-tour. The tour includes seven nights on the RV La Marguerite on the
Mekong. Book by May 15 for travel between July and September. Prices include
all touring, meals, drinks and guided excursions. Costs from $4,395 a person,
twin share. 1300 300 036,
It wouldn’t be Christmas without Helen Reddy, but be
prepared to turn the season on its head when the singer leads Christmas in July
on Norfolk Island. Reddy, who has a home on the island, returns regularly to
unwind amidst the island’s serenity. She is opening her house to guests for one
night during the eight-day tour, which covers all the island’s World Heritage
sites. Reddy will spend two nights with the group, including a progressive
Christmas dinner and will perform two concerts and lead the carols singalong,
of course. The package includes return airfares with Air New Zealand and seven
nights’ accommodation.  Departs July 8.
Costs from $2055 a person. 1800 645 103,

Source: Belinda Jackson, Sun Herald