Sea World, Qld

SA

Riesling lovers, go back to the heartland with a private day
tour of the beautiful Clare Valley, north of Adelaide. After a civilised 9am
pick-up, visit cellar doors including Pikes, Jim Barry and Annie’s Lane, with
morning tea at the birthplace of poet CJ Dennis, of The Sentimental Bloke fame.
Lunch is at the gorgeous Skillogalee. Winter specials save $100 a person, until
end August. Costs $395 a person based on two people travelling, 0418 222 767,
ggca.com.au
NSW

Mudgee comes to the Big Smoke to show its wares to city
slickers during the Pyrmont Festival of wine, food and art, running now until
May 27. Out-of-towners can take advantage of festival hotel deals at the nearby
 3.5-star Aspire Hotel Sydney, in Ultimo.
Save $171, costs $119 a night, 02 9211 1499, aspirehotel.com. The 5-star
Darling Hotel is cutting 20 percent off the best rate of the day on bookings
until May 30 when you utter the magic word, ‘Pyrmont’, 1800 700 700, pyrmontfestival.com

QLD 
Rated as one of Australia’s top family hotels, the Gold
Coast’s Paradise Resort has a last-minute offer that include accommodation,
breakfast, and unlimited entry to Dreamworld, Whitewater World and the resort’s
own Zone 4 Kids waterpark and kids’ club, which caters for kids from 0-12
years. Book now to travel till May 31 to get savings of more than $500. Costs
from $995 for a family (2 adults, 2 kids to 12 years), 1800 074 111, paradiseresort.com.au
TAS
Tap into happening Hobart with the state’s top concierge,
Selina Spowart, at one of Tasmania’s most glam properties, the Islington Hotel.
Stay three nights for the price of two on midweek stays (Mon-Thurs). Includes
full brekky, a non-alcoholic minibar, wi-fi. Costs $740 a room, (03) 6220 2123, islingtonhotel.com
VICTORIA 
You’d avoid the
continental bakeries of St Kilda in summer – imbibing those lusciously rich
old-world towers of cream and cake would absolutely show in the bikini. But
it’s winter, and no one will ever know. Explore Luna Park and the St Kilda Sea
Baths while holed up at rock-star digs, The Prince of Wales hotel, with its
newly relaunched Circa restaurant. The hotel is offering a free upgrade to a
deluxe room, with breakfast and wi-fi, on stays before July 31. Normally $390 a
night, for just $175, (03), 9536 111, theprince.com.au

VIC
Rejoice, winter is kicking in and that means it’s time to
head to the Alps, plait your hair and pray for snow. Hotham Alpine Resort’s new
Family Ski Week package saves you 30 percent and includes ski-in/ski-out
accommodation at a three-bed chalet at the Hotham Heights Chalet, a five-day
lift pass and five group lessons or half days at the Kids Snowzone. Full price
from $1027 for adults, $881 for kids. Travel June 9-18 and August 31- September
30, costs from $867 for adults, $796 for kids, based on 10 share, 1800 468
426, hotham.com.au
WA
Our Kylie’s scribbled on the guestbook, so El Questro’s
Homestead, in the remote Kimberley region, is genuinely swank, indeed. The
Chamberlain suite is named after the rushing river below, where crocodiles
play, their eyes glimmering in the torchlight. Stay five nights, pay for four.
The deal includes all meals and drinks. Add a Bungle Bungle and Lake Argyle
scenic flight for $560 a person. Book before October 30, stay September 1 –
October 20. Costs from $4855 a person, twin share, 1800 044 066, travel-associates.com.au

INTERNATIONAL


USA
Get a
night on the house when you stay at the Mandarin Oriental’s newest hotel in Atlanta,
which celebrates its opening with a free night when you stay three. Set in the
boutique shopping enclave of Buckshead, save $290 until September 1. Costs from
$583 for three nights, 1800 123 693, mandarinoriental.com
ABU DHABI
Gallop into the desert on your Arabian steed at the new Sir Bani Yas Stables, set beside the Desert Islands Resort & Spa, in the Western
Region of Abu Dhabi. Stay five nights at the resort until June 30 and
get 35 percent off your room rate, includes breakfast. Normally $930, costs
$605 for five nights, +66 (0) 2365 9111, anantara.com
ITALY
See Italy on go-slow
when you pedal your trusty pushies through the north-west, stopping at Verona,
Vicenza and Venice. UTracks is offering a free accommodation upgrade worth $150
to 3-4 star hotels on its eight-day self-guided Backroads to Venice cycling tour. Book by May 31, travel by
December 31, includes breakfasts, 27-speed bikes, a cruise on Lake Garda and
accommodation. Costs $1190 a person, UTracks, 1300 303 368, utracks.com
INDIA
Private jets are sooo passé: but a private train? Now
you’re talking. India’s first private train, The Indian Maharaja, rolls grandly
across the sub-continent from Mumbai to Delhi, stopping to see giant paintings
of the Buddha, lake palaces and tigers in the jungle. In between, you can hail
the butler, go to the spa or even hit the gym. Yes, it stops at the Taj Mahal,
too. Book by May 31 to save up to 13 percent off fares between October 1 2012–April
30 2013. Costs from $3778 plus taxes, (02) 9211 6590, uniquetourism.com
EGYPT
A century ago, British archaeologist Howard Carter opened
the Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb, unleashing a wave of Egyptomania across the
world. Celebrate in the Valley of the Kings with a tour departing September 5.
The 17-night tour includes four nights on a Nile cruise, with visits to Luxor’s
West Bank, the Pyramids at Giza, Alexandria and the dramatic Abu Simbel, with
your own Egyptologist on hand. Also includes flights from Sydney with Etihad
Airways. Save $500 a couple, now costs $5345 a person, 1300 135 871, benchinternational.com.au
TOURWATCH: CHILE
& BOLIVIA
Walk
the driest desert in the world, Chile’s Atacama desert, across the Bolivian altiplano
and over the border into the Bolivian silver city of Potosi in an 11-day
‘travesia’. In your travels, you’ll trek across the Salar de Uyuni, the largest
and highest salt flat in the world, and stay in the oasis of San Pedro de
Atacama. Explore volcanos, geothermal plains and lagoons on a nomadic,
high-altitude journey across the Andes with just five other experienced
travellers and your guide. The tours include 4WD travel, accommodation in beautiful
traditional explora camps, all meals and drinks and guiding. Travel between May
and November, costs from $4871 a person twin share, from travel agents, +56
2395 2800, explora.com