Cradle Mountain, APT Tours.


Surf, swim or shipwreck hunt, Kangaroo Island’s beaches cater for all
comers, including the white-sand Vivonne Bay, often considered Australia’s best
beach. With jetties begging you to drop a line over, and farmers markets on the
first Sunday of the month, SA’s beloved island does winter beautifully. Knock
25 percent off your room rate at the 4-star Kangaroo Island Seafront Resort
from April 22. From $180 a night, 1300 130 485,


You don’t have to head to the far north to revel in Queensland’s island
culture. Morton Island is just over an hour from Brisbane’s CBD where you can
4WD, fish and dive wrecks to your heart’s content. Castaways Moreton Island lets
you save $120 between May 1-31. Costs $430 including two night’s accommodation
for two and transfers from the MiCat ferry, (07) 3909 3333,


The well-heeled Melbourne suburb of Prahran and its none-too-shabby
neighbour South Yarra are enjoying a restaurant renaissance, with notable
dining rooms recently opened by George Calombaris (Mama Baba) and the Reymond family
(Bistro Gitan). Stay amidst them at The Cullen, one of Melbourne’s three
ArtSeries hotels. The Cullen celebrates the work of contemporary artist Adam
Cullen and was recently voted the city’s coolest pad. Book a studio suite seven
days in advance and pay $358, 1800 002 333,

$$ WA

Kick back and learn about life from Mandurah’s most famous tourists, the
dolphins and whales that visit this cruisy town in southern WA. The 4.5-star
Seashells Mandurah sits right on the beach at Comet Bay, and is geared up for
both couples and families. Pay for two, get the third night and a bottle of
wine free when you travel before May 4. Costs from $836 for three nights, twin
share, 1300 551

$$$ NSW

You don’t have to go overseas for extreme luxury – in fact, you don’t
even have to leave the state. Three hours from Sydney, the Wolgan Valley Resort
& Spa is set on 4000 acres, with just 40 individual suites that look over
the national parks of the Blue Mountains, for the last word in eco-luxe. Stay
three nights, pay for two between April 1 and June 30, with three gourmet meals
daily and two nature-based activities each day including wildlife spotting,
horse riding and mountain biking. From $1950 a person, twin share, (02) 9290

$$$$ TAS

The reward for hiking Tassie’s great Overland Track is a dip in the freezing
Lake St Clair, the deepest lake in Australia. Or, you can dip your toes in and
nip back onto a warm luxury coach –  far more civilised! Travel at last
year’s prices with APT’s 12-day Royal Tasman tour, saving $225 a person if
booked before July 31 for departures after September. Includes accommodation,
meals, cruises and entrance fees across the southern island’s beauty spots including
Gordon River, Russell Falls, Freycinet National Park and Port Arthur. Costs
$4470 a person, see travel agents, 1300 229 804,

Sofitel So Bangkok’s uniforms
by Christian Lacroix.



With fashion guru Christian Lacroix at the design helm, it’s no wonder the
Sofitel So Bangkok is such a lush affair. Set beside Lumpini Park, the
two-month-old hotel includes a chocolate deli, Chocolab! Stay four nights, pay
for three on stays until May 20, and enjoy a decadent 4pm check-out and fruit
basket or flowers to celebrate the diva you really are. From $137 a night, 1300
884 400,


Aaah, New York, New York, so good they named it twice. Splash your cash on a
show in the nearby theatre district when you save up to 30 percent on Big Apple
hotel rooms during May and June. The three-star Amsterdam Court Hotel, in the
heart of the action in Midtown West, costs $235 a night, (02) 9037 0397,

Ulusaba Private Game


If it’s good enough for Virgin’s Richard Branson, Ulusaba Private Game
Reserve is good enough for us. Butting up against Kruger National Park, you can
be sure to tick off the Big Five during your twice-daily game drives and walks.
There’s no roughing it, the champagne’s on ice and the spa will soothe any
nerves. Stay four nights, pay for three until July 31. Costs from $1707 for
four nights,


Photographers should make a beeline for Egypt while its normally roaring
tourism industry is in a lull and the sites are relatively empty. Two can
travel for the price of one on Icon Holiday’s nine-day Treasures of the Nile,
which includes four nights in Cairo and four on the Nile. Applies to Friday
arrivals only, on sale until August 31 for travel to September 7. Costs $3125
for two people, twin share, 1300 853 953,


The Festival of the Tooth isn’t a dentist’s convention, it’s a wild
celebration of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha arriving in Sri Lanka in
the fourth century. One of the world’s great festivals, Perehara mixes
slow-moving elephants with whip crackers, drummers and fire throwers who parade
the streets of Kandy. This 15-day small group tour visits rock fortresses,
ancient Buddhist shrines, hill towns and tea plantations. Book before April 30
for a July 25 departure to save $250 a person. Costs $6209 (ex-Sydney), 1300
363 302,


Pull out all the stops this Christmas with the works: snow-clad mountains,
hot spiced drinks, festive markets and hotels that could be cut from a
gingerbread mould.  Albatross Tours’ eight-day package whisks you away to
spend the season in a timber chalet-style hotel the Swiss Alps, exploring the
lakes and cities of Luzern and Bern by Switzerland’s alpine trains. With access
to great walking trails, medieval cobbled stone
streets and some of the world’s best skiing, this is an unescorted tour
designed to let you do the exploring. The package includes most meals including
Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas lunch. Costs $1579 a person, twin share,
1300 135 015,

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