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Monday, 22 December 2014

Backyard Travel Launch Eat, Learn, Love Cambodia Travel Writing and Photography Tour

Backyard Travel, the online boutique travel agency specialising in unique, insider tours throughout Asia, today unveiled an exclusive culinary writing tour through Cambodia.

With just the one departure date on Friday 22nd May 2015, the eight day 'Eat, Learn, Love Cambodia Tour' has been carefully put together in collaboration with travel writer Lara Dunston, contributor to The Guardian, The Independent, and National Geographic Traveler, amongst other international publications.

Phare Circus, Siem Reap

Created with the foodie traveler in mind, the insider's tour offers a uniquely immersive and intimate experience of Cambodia, with space for just 12 people on the small group departure.

Over the course of the trip, travelers will visit some of the country's most iconic locations, as well as lesser seen sites, deconstructing Khmer cuisine, delving into history and, with host Lara's guidance, developing their passion for culinary writing. Professional photographer Terrence Dunstan will also join the tour, offering tips on travel and food photography.

To provide insight into the roots of Cambodian cuisine, the tour includes guided visits to key cultural landmarks such as Angkor Wat, the ex-colonial outpost Battambang, and historic temples like Banteay Chhmar Wat. Along the way, travelers will scour local village markets for fresh produce, discover the region's vineyards, tasting its wine, and sample the most authentic flavors in the country, from street-side vendors to top-billed restaurants and everything in between. There are excursions to pineapple and coconut plantations to trace the cuisine back to its source, as well as side-trips that focus on other aspects of Cambodian culture: its arts, its religion and its colonial history.

A particular highlight of the Eat Learn Love tour is the hand-picked accommodation the Backyard Travel team have selected. Designed to give travelers a truly unforgettable experience, travelers stay at the stunning Sala Lodges in Siem Reap which offers a unique blend of rustic luxury, and alsoBanteay Chhmar, a charming homestay in rural Cambodia, offering a true taste of Cambodian warmth and hospitality.

“This insiders tour of Cambodia is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for travelers to come together over a shared passion for food, photography and Southeast Asian culture,” said Backyard Travel's General Manager Maeve Nolan. “We're especially proud to be working alongside Lara and Terrence Dunston to offer not only an immersive, insider exploration into Cambodian cuisine, but provide valuable skills travelers can take with them wherever their future journeys lead them.”

The unique tour has just one departure date on Friday 22nd May 2015. It is priced at $1899 per person, which is based on four people travelling, sharing a double/twin room, including daily breakfast, five lunches and seven dinners. All excursions are fully guided, tours and transfers are by private air-conditioned vehicle (unless stated) and all entrance fees mentioned in the visits are included.


About Backyard Travel

Bangkok based Backyard Travel is an online travel company specialising in tailor-made tours to Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Japan and China.

For more information about Backyard Travel visit the website:www.backyardtravel.com or social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BackyardTravel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Backyard_Travel

Google+: http://goo.gl/WpHXvB

Savings of $3600 Now Available for Mediterranean Cruise on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas


SAVINGS of more than $3600 per person are now available on a 16-night cruise taking in some of the Mediterranean's most exciting cities if you book with ecruising.travel before February 14.



The Mediterranean cruise on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas is part of a 22-night fly/cruise/stay package which is now available for $6939 per person twin share, discounted from $10,509.

The voyage provides the opportunity to explore seven of Europe's most exciting cities, plus historic Sardinia and the awesome Rock of Gibraltar. Port calls are made at Barcelona, Cannes, Rome, Florence, Malaga, Seville and Lisbon.

There's a full day ashore to enjoy the main cities and several hours to see Gibraltar and Sardinia, with six days at sea to enjoy the wonderful facilities aboard Explorer of the Seas.

The deal includes return air fares with Emirates from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (small surcharge from other cities), three stopover nights with breakfast and dinner daily at Fairmont The Palm in Dubai and three nights with breakfast in a Superior Queen room at London's renowned Savoy hotel.

Explorer of the Seas departs from Southampton on September 2 and returns on September 18. London and Dubai city sightseeing passes and all transfers are also included.

More details available from ecruising.travel on 1300 369 848 or visit www.ecruising.travel.

Best Vantage Points for Sydney Fireworks

Sydney has long been on the list for travellers across the world as the place to be to bring in the New Year and with good reason. With the world's most spectacular fireworks display on offer and a range of exciting experiences to be a part of, there's no better place to start off the year.

The action also doesn't stop when the sun rises with a host of activities and events across a range of iconic Sydney venues on New Year's Day offering plenty more fun up for grabs.




New Year's Eve – Vantage points

The beauty of Sydney is that you can catch a great view of the fireworks from plenty of spots around the Harbour.

Here are just a few of the best vantage points – but get there early before they fill up! For a full list visit www.sydneynewyearseve.com


Mrs Macquaries Point

1 Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney

Opening times:10.00am 31 December to 12.30am 1 January

Mrs Macquaries Point is one of the more popular viewing spots for New Year's Eve as it provides fantastic views of the New Year's Eve Fireworks Display. This vantage point also offers catering and bar services available for purchase.


North Head

North Head, Sydney Harbour National Park

Opening times: 5.00pm 31 Dec to 12.30am 1 Jan

While this site might not have an up close view of the fireworks, North Head, situated in Manly on the northern most edge of Sydney Harbour, has the advantage of being set away from the city crowds, offering a spectacular panorama of the Harbour and Sydney skyline.


Pirrama Park

Harris St, Pyrmont

Opening times: 2.00pm 31 Dec to 1.00am 1 Jan

This family friendly vantage point offers great views of the western side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Harbour and features fully licensed bars and temporary food vending operators in operation from midday until 1.00am.


Tarpeian Precinct (Macquarie Street Lawns)

Located off Macquarie Street, Sydney

Opening times: 10.00am 31 Dec to 12.30am 1 Jan

Tarpeian Precinct, adjacent to the Sydney Opera House, has wonderful views of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, offering a fine vantage point for viewing the New Year's Eve fireworks display.


Bradfield Park, Milsons Point

Alfred Street, North Sydney

Opening times: 12.00pm 31 Dec to 12.15am 1 Jan

Bradfield Park is a popular site for families, which offers views from the eastern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It's one of the best views looking onto impressive scenes of both the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


Campbell's Cove

Hickson Rd, Sydney

Opening times: 8.00am 31 Dec to 2.00am 1 Jan

Campbell's Cove is located east of The Rocks and north of the Overseas Passenger Terminal and offers good views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Crowds arrive early as the area usually closes to new arrivals at around 4.00pm.


Sydney Opera House

Bennelong Point, Circular Quay

Opening times: 7.30am 31 Dec to 2.00am 1 Jan

To nab a spot at this iconic spot it's best to arrive as early as possible as the Sydney Opera House reaches capacity early in the day. Food and drinks are available for purchase onsite.


Blues Point Reserve, McMahons Point

Blues Point Road, McMahons Point

Opening times: 12.00pm 31 Dec to 1.00am 1 Jan

Blues Point Reserve is a fantastic and popular location to catch all the New Year's Eve action. Making an afternoon of it is a must. See the western side of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the skies above light up!



Luxe New Year's Eve

For those that want a luxe experience, here are just a few ideas:


Luxe New Year's Eve

For a 'ferry good view' of the fireworks, hop on an iconic Sydney Harbour Ferry for a front row seat of all the firework action. Launched for the first time this year, guests can sit back and relax as they cruise around Sydney Harbour before catching the 9am and midnight fireworks from the middle of Sydney Harbour, off Bradley's Head. Ferries depart from Manly, Meadowbank, Circular Quay or Rose Bay wharves and guests can pack a picnic to enjoy on-board.

Tickets: From $125 and kids under 3 are free


New Year's Eve Under the Stars

This year sees the launch of the inaugural New Year's Eve Under the Stars at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Ticket holders enjoy a prime vantage point on the lawn adjacent to Bennelong, Tarpiean Way with uninterrupted views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Tickets include a premium all-inclusive food and beverage package from 7pm until midnight by renowned Sydney catering company, Trippas White Group.

Tickets: $395 per person.

For more information: http://www.nyeunderthestars.com.au/


Botanic Gardens Restaurant

Fine dining and great views will go hand in hand at the Botanic Gardens Restaurant, which is offering an indulgent 7-course degustation including champagne on arrival, whilst taking in both the 9pm and midnight fireworks on a harbour-front lawn. A live band will keep the party and dance floor going from 7pm – 1am.

Tickets: at $500 per person (adults only)

For bookings phone 02 9241 2419

For more information: www.botanicrestaurant.com.au/


Shangri-La Sydney

There are a few options to welcome the New Year in prime position, 36 levels above the famous fireworks display in Sydney Harbour. For the family, why not indulge in a midnight fireworks buffet, including a diverse selection of global delights, succulent seafood, desserts, premium sparkling and still wines and beers.

Tickets: $325 per adult and $125 per child

For more information: www.shangri-la.com/sydney/


New Year's Day

Post New Year's Eve, there's plenty to love about Sydney's dining and bar scene on New Year's Day. For something a little extra special here's a few tips:


Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, Watsons Bay

Welcome the New Year on the beachfront at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel as you listen to summer sounds by Mr Glass, Matt Sav and Yolanda. Complimentary cocktail on arrival and beverages from 12pm – 3pm plus an array of mouth-watering canapés will be on offer on the Top Deck of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel.

Tickets: $195.00

For more information visit: www.watsonsbayhotel.com.au


Field Day, The Domain Sydney

Set on the first day of the year at The Domain, Field Day is the city's most popular boutique music festival, mixing hip-hop, house, indie and electronic music artists from around the world. For young Sydneysiders, Field Day is the ultimate party to welcome in the New Year.

Tickets: $138.00

For more information visit: www.fielddaynyd.com.au


Daniel San, Manly

Spend a recovery session by the beach on the rooftop at Daniel San and enjoy the best views in Manly listening to the beats from Yolanda by Cool along with some of Sydney's hottest DJ's and talent.

Tickets: $40.00

For more information visit: www.danielsan.com.au



For more information go to Sydney.com

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Exotic, Exciting Morocco in 2015 with Carol Prior

Day to Day Life Tour


28 April - 14 May 2015

Exciting News: due to popular demand, Carol Prior will lead her own tour of Morocco. Travel with her and meet the people she has been friends with for over 30 years. Discover the hidden secrets of Marrakech, Fez and Tanger. Join her for a night under the stars in the Sahara Desert. Discover the real Morocco with Carol. This is a very small and exclusive tour with only 10 people.

Contact by Prior ArrangementFor booking and further information please contact
Carol Prior on moroccobypriorarrangement@gmail.com
and on SKYPE carolprior37
or mobile in Australia - + 61-2 (0)415 637 985
http://www.moroccobypriorarrangement.com


Friday, 19 December 2014

Hotels.com deal of the week: DoubleTree by Hilton, Queenstown

#traveldeals

DoubleTree by Hilton, Queenstown
Save 30% on your stay

Visit www.hotels.com for more details or call ‎1800 687 236‎                                          

DoubleTree by Hilton Queenstown 4.5*

Save 30% on your stay

Book by: 11 February 2015

Stay by: 11 February 2015

Prices from: AU $159 per night

Nestled on the shores of Queenstown's magnificent Lake Wakatipu, the DoubleTree by Hilton boasts breathtaking views of one of New Zealand's most beautiful destinations. With just a short 15 minute drive to the centre of town, you're in the perfect spot to explore Queenstown's natural beauty. Take a peaceful stroll around the lake, soak up the outstanding views from the hotel or test your bravery with a bungy jump. Equipped with a cinema, grill and a wine bar with a view to kill, never has there been a better place to explore this unique corner of the world.


^Hotel Deals: Price quoted is per room per night based on two people sharing and is inclusive of all fees and taxes. Rates are subject to availability. Minimum stay requirements and black-out dates may apply. Prices are available as of 19 December, 2014. Prices may fluctuate due to changes in taxes, fees and currency. Visit www.hotels.com for full terms and conditions.

Silversea cruise to St Petersburg and Europe

 

 

Catch glimpses of history on Silversea's 12 day voyage aboard Silver Cloud.  Sailing from Copenhagen to London, guests will uncover the hidden secrets of charming European cities and Russia's St. Petersburg.

 

Departing Copenhagen on 7 July 2015, Silver Cloud sails to Estonia, stopping in Tallinn, a charming Old Town filled with romantic bell towers, cobblestone streets and incredible galleries.  Silver Cloud then visits St. Petersburg in Russia, docking right outside the famous Hermitage museum. Guests will spend two nights exploring the beautiful city's golden spires, gilded domes, pastel palaces and candlelit cathedrals. 

Cruising to Finland, Silver Cloud docks in Helsinki, a sea-town built along a series of peninsulas and islands, where winter brings perpetual darkness and summer brings everlasting light.  Silver Cloud's next port of call is Warnemünde in Germany, a resort located on the Baltic Sea, at the estuary of the river Warnow, before she sails the Kiel Canal, one of the world's busiest artificial waterways. 

Silver Cloud then journeys to Amsterdam, where guests can visit Anne Frank's house, meander Brewers' Canal and explore the famed Rembrandt House Museum.  Silver Cloud concludes her journey with an overnight stay in London.  Travelling under Tower Bridge, Silver Cloud will cruise the River Thames, while guests witness London's famous landmarks including Big Ben, the Tower of London and the London Eye.  After exploring London, guests disembark on 19 July 2015.

Prices are per person starting from AU$7,650 in a Vista Suite double occupancy.  Silversea fares include: all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ships; and all gratuities.

This voyage is subject to availability.  Terms and conditions apply.  For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit www.silversea.com

Follow Silversea on Twitter, Facebook and the Silversea Blog.

  

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Discover Australia With Oaks Hotels & Resorts' Last-Minute Summer Escapes

Our scorching Aussie summer is in full swing, signalling the beginning of the highly anticipated school holidays and for some, a Christmas and New Year's break, but for those yet to plan their summer escape, leading accommodation provider Oaks Hotels & Resorts is encouraging holidaymakers to take advantage of last-minute holiday deals around Australia, staying in a spacious apartment or contemporary hotel room in a new or favourite destination.

Cypress Lakes Resort by Oaks Hotels & Resorts, Hunter Valley NSW

QUEENSLAND

Oaks Oasis, Caloundra

Just steps from the award-winning Golden Beach and sitting amongst 10 acres of lush tropical gardens, the newly refurbished Oaks Oasis is the must-visit family fun destination this summer, boasting all the holiday essentials including an onsite water play park, tropical pool with spa, children's playground, Reflections Restaurant & Bar, and tennis and volleyball court. Retreat to an Executive Family room, sleeping up to four guests, from $164* per night from Sunday-Thursday or $179* per night on Fridays/Saturdays and enjoy a bonus 11.00am late check-out.

To book, call 1300 031 963

Minimum two-night stay. Book before 31 January 2015 and travel between 16 December 2014 and 31 May 2015. Unserviced rate. Block out dates may apply.

NEW SOUTH WALES

Oaks Lure, Port Stephens

Round up the family and escape to the blue water paradise of Port Stephens this summer and enjoy all that Oaks Lure has to offer. Splash about in the outdoor swimming pool and adjoining children's wading pool, enjoy a lunchtime or sunset BBQ with family and friends, or set out to explore the coastal township – from surfing at popular beach breaks, fishing in the bay or four-wheel driving down the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes. Rates for a hotel room start from $114* per night from Sunday-Thursday and $139* per night on Friday/Saturday, while fully self-contained two bedroom apartments are available from $219* per night Sunday-Thursday, or $269* per night on Friday/Saturday. Guests are also entitled to a bonus late check out of 11.00am.

To book, call 1300 669 480

Minimum two-night stay. Book before 31 January 2015 and travel between 16 December 2014 and 31 May 2015. Unserviced rate. Block out dates may apply.

Cypress Lakes Resort by Oaks Hotels & Resorts, Hunter Valley

There's so much to experience in the Hunter Valley this summer at Cypress Lakes Resort by Oaks Hotels & Resorts. Tee off on the 18-hole championship golf course, enjoy a meal and evening drinks at the onsite restaurant and bar, take a dip in one of the three swimming pools, work out in the gymnasium or take a day trip to the nearby Hunter Valley Zoo or famous wineries. Spread out in a fully self-contained one bedroom villa from only $199* per night and receive a bonus 11.00am late checkout.

To book, call 1300 886 091

Minimum two-night stay. Book before 31 January 2015 and travel between 16 December 2014 and 31 May 2015. Unserviced rate. Block out dates may apply.

VICTORIA

Oaks on Collins, Melbourne

Experience a summer of food, wine, shopping, culture and first class entertainment in Melbourne, with Oaks on Collins as your central city base. Enjoy contemporary studio accommodation from $119* per night midweek or $139* per night on weekends, plus receive complimentary Wi-Fi and access to hotel leisure facilities, including a plunge pool, gymnasium, sauna and onsite restaurant and bar.

To book, call 1300 786 603

Minimum two-night stay. Travel between 6 December 2014 and 15 January 2015. Unserviced rate. Block out dates may apply.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Oaks Liberty Towers, Glenelg

Summer in Glenelg can mean only one thing: sun, sand and sea. Oaks Liberty Towers has your accommodation needs covered, with spacious and self-contained one bedroom apartments starting from $119* per night midweek or $139* per night on weekends, including free Wi-Fi for the duration of your stay. Relish the spectacular views over Glenelg Beach and Holdfast Marina, enjoy premier onsite leisure facilities and get involved in the many water-based adventures Glenelg has to offer, from sailing to scuba diving and dolphin cruises.

To book, call 1300 721 801

Minimum two night stay. Travel between 6 December 2014 and 15 January 2015. Unserviced rate. Block out periods may apply.

For more information, visit www.oakshotelsresorts.com

Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Blackout dates and minimum stays apply. Prices based on per room per night. Surcharges may apply on certain dates.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Cruise from Venice to Istanbul on Celebrity Constellation

DISCOUNTS of between $6500 and $11,000 are available for a cruise on Celebrity Constellation, the newest of the company's Millennium-class ships, for those that book early on the “Great Ancient Adventure” package from ecruising.travel.



The cruise is part of a 38-night fly/cruise/hotel package which departs on August 28, 2016, and includes two nights stopover at the Raffles in Dubai with a Dubai city sightseeing pass, three nights in Venice, with a walking tour, gondola ride and private water taxi transfers staying at the Hilton Molino Stucky before joining the ship. After the cruise there are two nights at the new Raffles in Istanbul.

Cruising from Venice to Istanbul over 31 nights, the itinerary has a combination of well-known port destinations and many interesting and more unusual port visits to nine countries.

Visit the popular ports of Rome, Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Athens, Dubrovnik, Naples, Santorini and more. And explore the lesser visited places such as Koper in Slovenia, Kotor in Montenegro, Valletta in Malta, Burgas in Bulgaria and Odessa, Sevastopol and Yalta in Ukraine before arriving at your final destination, Istanbul.

The package includes international return economy airfares from Australia, seven nights hotel accommodation, 31 nights cruise accommodation with all meals and entertainment aboard the ship, port charges and government taxes and is now priced from $10,619 per person twin share for an inside stateroom; previously it was $17,409.

More details from ecruising.travel on 1300 369 848 or visit www.ecruising.travel.

Guaranteed Adventure on the Fraser Coast This Summer

Take the plunge from an aeroplane, hang out in a boom net on a scenic cruise or tour the world's largest sand island in a luxury Hummer – the adventure capital of the Fraser Coast has plenty of experiences to ramp up the excitement this summer.



From the cool ancient rainforests and stunning coloured sands of Fraser Island, to the aquatic paradise of the Great Sandy Strait, the Fraser Coast provides the perfect backdrop to get adventurous.

Here's just a small sample of some of the great packages on offer this summer, guaranteed to bring out your adventurous side.

Take the plunge with a thrilling sky diving experience. Sky Dive Hervey Bay's Beach Bum package includes 12,000ft tandem sky dive with up to 45 seconds of freefall and a five minute canopy ride, breathtaking views of Fraser Island and Hervey Bay and local beach landing from $325* per person.

Splash out on a Saturday adventure cruise with The Boat Club Adventure Cruises Hervey Bay. Travelling aboard a comfortable, air-conditioned vessel equipped with a purpose built, secure and safe boom net, this is a unique way to stay cool, have fun with friends and see the sights on a warm summer's day. The three hour cruises start from $40* for adults and $30* for children with family and other concessions available.

See the world's largest sand island in style on an award-winning full-day Fraser Island Hummer Tour taking in Central Station Rainforest, Lake McKenzie, 75 mile beach, Eli Creek, the Coloured Sands and the Maheno Shipwreck. Priced from $252* for adults and $212* for children the luxury package includes pick up and drop off from accommodation, park fees and transfers, guaranteed small group size, all meals and beverages including gourmet hampers, champagne, strawberries and chocolate truffles.

For bookings or further information about these packages or the exciting range of other Guaranteed Summer offers focussing on the region's adventure, charm, flavour, nature, memory-making and bucket-list opportunities visit http://www.visitfrasercoast.com/summer/deals.

*conditions apply, prices subject to change and availability

Tigerair Pre Christmas $24* Fares on Sale for 24 Hours

Tigerair is today putting over two thousand seats on sale from just $24* each way on four popular domestic routes across Australia for travel period extending from 21 July to 16 September 2015.



The $24* fares are on sale on four popular domestic routes providing fantastic travel bargains to fly either way between Adelaide and Melbourne or Sydney; Melbourne and Hobart and either way between Sydney and Gold Coast.

The 24 hour sale is on from midday (AEDT) today until midday Wednesday 17 December 2014, or when the limited number of fares are sold out.

Tigerair is all about rewarding those who plan ahead and book early and that's the key to securing the best value deals with Tigerair, said Vanessa Regan, Head of Communications.

“The $24* fares on sale for 24 hours are expected to be snapped up quick so jump online at midday today to avoid disappointment,” she says.

TIGERAIR'S 24 HOUR $24* AIRFARE SALE - On from midday AEDT today!

Route (either way) Travel Period 2015 Price Point
Adelaide – Melbourne 28 July – 16 September $24.00*
Adelaide – Sydney 21 July – 16 September $24.00*
Melbourne – Hobart 28 July – 16 September $24.00*
Sydney – Gold Coast 21 July – 16 September $24.00*

Fares are quoted per adult in AUD and include GST and all fees except the booking and service fee of $8.50 which is charged per person per flight for payment by credit card and debit card. This fee does not apply to an Australian issued MasterCard debit card. Additional charges apply for optional extras such as checked in baggage, travel insurance and reserved seat allocation. Other conditions apply. See website for details.

Travel periods vary by route. Sale on from midday 16 December until midday 17 December (AEDT) or until seats sell out.

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