TV chef Luke Nguyen on the road.

Got a secret crush on TV chef Luke Nguyen? Get up close and personal for a week in Yunnan; just read on…

Halls Gap is the jumping off point for Victoria’s
Grampians National Park, with its renowned hiking and rock art galleries.
Staying in town, visit the meerkats and pandas at the local zoo. Families can
bunker down in Parkgate Resort, whose family rooms include a double bed and
bunks, kitchenette and bathroom. Facilities include tennis courts, pools and a
games room. Costs from $80 a night, minimum two nights, until September 21,

Alice Springs is famous for the nearby MacDonnell Ranges,
but the town is also boasts some great indigenous art galleries and the next
Henley-On-Todd Regatta, a boat race down the (usually) dry riverbed, is on
Saturday August 18. Stay four nights, pay for three in a superior room at
happening Lasseters Hotel Casino, which, as the name suggests, boasts an international
standard casino. Book and travel before March 31. Costs from $510 a person for
four nights, twin share, 132 757,

If Hugh and ‘Our Nic’ got your heart a-flutter as they
galloped across the remote Australian outback, you can relive the dream by
climbing in the saddle at the East Kimberley homestead that  was a shooting location for Australia. Stay two nights in a
guesthouse room at Home Valley Station and get brekky included as well as free
activities such as a nightly star talk, horsemanship shows, on-site local
artists and 4WD and bushwalking tracks. Valid till August 31, the mid-season
muster deal costs from $240 a person for two nights, 1300 134 044, 


Tower Lodge, Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

fires, beautiful food and a strapping red: is there any better way to embrace
winter? The Hunter Valley’s premium address, the sublime Tower Lodge, is
offering a mid-week getaway for two that includes dinner at the Valley’s
gastronomic mainstay, Robert’s, a bottle of the estate’s wine, breakfast,
pre-dinner drinks, afternoon tea and an upgrade to a fireside deluxe room on
stays on Sunday, Monday or Thursday nights. Normally $660 for the room only,
now costs $629 a room, (02) 4998 7022,

Honeymoons are an excuse to lash out on pure, indulgent
fabulousness. One of the Whitsundays’ most glamorous addresses, qalia on
Hamilton Island, welcomes newly-weds by throwing in a free night on seven-night
stays in a Leeward Pavilion. They’ll also include a bottle of champagne, sunset
cruise on its 45-foot cruiser, a poolside dinner, breakfast, golf buggy,
chauffeur services around the island as well as use of their catamarans, paddle
skis and other water sports equipment. You can even be dropped off on a
deserted beach if your heart desires. For stays on selected dates until March
31, costs $5010 a couple for seven nights, 1800 044 066,


Design hounds will have an eye on Portuguese designer
Nini Andrade Silva’s streamlined interiors in Fontana Park hotel,in Lisb on’s
heartland. Summer specials see the 139-room’s rates as low as E69/$84 a night,
room only, or E94 including breakfast, 0011 800 3746 8357,


VIETNAM: InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula

Fans of architect Bill Bensley will already know where
Vietnam’s Son Tra peninsula is. His latest design, the new InterContinental
Danang Sun Peninsula, has opening specials including a buffet breakfast, wi-fi,
10 percent off in selected hotel restaurants and a shuttle bus into Danang City
and Hoi An’s old town. The hotel also hosts Vietnam’s first three-star Michelin
chef at its feature restaurant, La Maison 1888. Costs from US$220/A$215 a night
until January 1, 2013, +84 (0) 511 393 8888,


Skim the warm waters of Fiji in a helicopter or seaplane
to your luxe pad at the adults-only Tokoriki Island Resort, at the tip of the
beautiful Mamanuca islands. The 34-bure hotel is offering free transfers from
Nadi by air or sea for couples staying seven nights or more in a deluxe beach
bure or sunset pool villa, saving up to FJ$961.For travel between December 1 to
March 31 2013. Costs from $4131 a couple for seven nights, (07) 5524 5222,

FIJI: Tokoriki Island Resort

Hollywood, Santa Monica, Vegas, San Diago and LA: it’s
the best of the American west with the Golden West Contrasts tour. Explore old
mines, new shopping and Disneyland is an added extra. The eight-day costs from
$1975. Book any Trafalgar 2013 America and Canada tour before August 31 and fly
return to LA with Qantas from $1499 including all taxes.  Flight and tour package costs from $3474, 1300 663 043,

Harbour a secret crush on TV chef Luke Nguyen? Spend a
week cheek-to-cheek with him as you eat your way through the south-western Chinese
province of Yunnan. Luke explored the region while filming his TV series Luke
Nguyen’s Greater Mekong.
Book the
11-day Yunnan Adventure before October 31 and your companion flies free. There
are four departures from March to October next year, and Luke will escort the
March 11 departure for six days. Costs from $4395 a person, 1300 229


Go back to where Christmas all began, in Bethlehem, in a
20-day tour through the Holy Lands of Turkey, Israel and Jordan. Midnight High
Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve in St Catherine’s Church, opposite the
Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a highlight of this tour through the
cradle of civilisation. The route includes sparkling Istanbul and the Turkish
city of Konya, renowned for its whirling dervishes and allegedly the first town
to emerge from the Flood, the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem, and at
its feet, the Garden of Gethsemane. The journey culminates in New Year’s Eve in
the ancient city of Petra, in peaceful Jordan. 
The tour departs December 15, and costs from $19,940 a person, twin
share which includes return airfares from mainland capitals, accommodation, all
meals, transport and guides, 1800 083 141,

Source: Belinda Jackson, Sun Herald newspaper