Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Special Japanese snow deals

March/April special Japanese snow deals

Kids Free in March at Niseko

There's very good Niseko-based packages from during March and April. Adults get a 20% discount and Kids 12 and under qualify for Free ski lifts passes plus Free snow rental equipment.

 Two options with a discount that must be booked by 31 October are:

Seven nights at Powder Cottage in the heart of Hirafu Main Village. This multi-level, three bedroom apartment is ideal for families or small groups of skiers or snowboarders. Also included is a Six Day Niseko United mountain ski pass valid at four connected resorts, return door to door airport transfers, met on arrival at Chitose Airport and services of's team at Niseko. Cost $865 per person (six share)

Seven nights in a four star deluxe, three bedroom Kamakura Apartment, also located in Hirafu Main Village (where there's a wide variety of restaurants, bars and cafes), plus a Six Day Niseko United mountain ski pass, return door to door airport transfers, met on arrival at Chitose Airport and services of's team at Niseko, costs $960 per person (six share).

For more details contact  1300 137 411

or online

Monday, 24 August 2015

A guide to family fun in NSW these School Holidays

Spring has Sprung in NSW these School Holidays

With the Spring School Holidays just weeks away, from 19 September til 5 October, NSW offers families plenty of exciting short breaks and fun-filled getaways that the whole family will love.

According to Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase, “Taking a holiday in NSW these School holidays is sure fire way to excite any child no matter what their age or interest. From an adrenalin-filled adventure in Western Sydney, to star gazing at Darby Falls in Central NSW, to snorkeling with sea life off the Solitary Islands near Coffs Harbour or digging for opals in Lightning Ridge NSW has it all”.

Destination NSW offers these School Holiday suggestions for a fun-filled family getaway in NSW this Spring School Holidays:


· Get Wet and Wild – Beat the summer crowds, don your swimmers to slip, slide and float your way down Wet’n’Wild Sydney’s waterslides. Make a real break of it, spend the night at Atura Blacktown and take the family along to the Skyline Drive In whilst in the area. Wet’n’Wild’s summer season kicks off in time for the Spring School Holidays, opening on the 19 September.

For more water based adventures, visit the nearby Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre where the water is a lovely 26 degrees all year round. Little kids will love the Splasher’s Playground. Kids in the Park , also at Sydney Olympic Park, offers the largest range of School Holidays activities in NSW in one precinct. Kids can take part in creative workshops, sports clinic and adventure activities. With so much to do at Sydney Olympic Park this spring you might want to book in at the family friendly Novotel Sydney Olympic Park where kids stay and eat breakfast for free.

· Venture Indoors for Adventure –Wild Planet is opening in August at The Australian Museum, as part of its ongoing $5.5 million transformation. Showcasing a rich array of biodiversity featuring more than 400 animal specimens, Wild Planet is the first permanent gallery to be added to the Museum in over 50 years. Even better - kids under 16 years old now gain free entry to The Australian Museum.

iFly for budding adrenaline junkies. (BoyEatsWorld)

If it is more adrenalin the kids want, then book them into indoor skydiving at iFly, Australia's newest indoor skydiving facility, in Penrith. iFly gives kids, teens and adults the chance to feel the exhilaration of flight in a high-tech wind tunnel. Also in Penrith, Jet Pack has just launched the new super fun Flyboard Adventures, where adults and kids can fly super-hero style above the water.

· Nocturnal Adventures – Grab your torch and join the Spotlight Prowl at Centennial Parklands, on after-dark adventure to meet the park’s nocturnal creatures – brushtail possums, microbats, tawny fogmouths and flying foxes. For a complete nighttime experience in the park, book the family into one of the historic Centennial Parklands Residences.


· Mini MasterChefs in the Kitchen – Teach the kids all about Indian cuisine and culture at the Woolgoolga CurryFest on the 26 September. Families can enjoy cooking classes, farm tours, as well as Bollywood dance classes and movies at ‘Bollywood on the Beach’. Kids will love camping in style in the Lagoon Safari Tents at the nearby Darlington Beach Holiday Park.

Upskill your Mini-MasterChefs with a hands-on cooking class at Julie’s Place on the Central Coast, run by MasterChef contestant Julie Goodwin, or at one of special School Holiday Cooking Classes at Bent on Food in Wingham on the Mid-North Coast or Food I Am in Wagga Wagga in the Riverina. Book the family into one the regions top-notch holiday parks that offer quality cabin accommodation, and cycling tracks and playgrounds for the kids.

· Out and About After Dark – For novice astronomers, Darby Falls Observatory near Cowra offers an amazing star gazing opportunity. Open every night, but bookings essential, see comets, constellations and galaxies. Kids will love staying at Oakleigh Farmstay where they can collect eggs, go cray fishing and feed animals.

· Fossick for Your Fortune – Take the kids on a hunt for gold and gemstones, they might even strike it rich. Pan for gold in Hill End in Central NSW and Nundle near Tamworth, fossick for opals in Lightning Ridge and White Cliffs in Outback NSW, and pan for sapphires and gemstones in the creeks around Glenn Innes and Inverell in the New England

In the New England book a farmstay at Oakhurst Cottage where the kids can get their hands on feeding with animals or if it a true fossicking holiday you want them stay in one of the cabins or campsites at Three Waters High Country Holidays where you can fossick for gems onsite.

Take Advantage of the Weather –Warm sunny days and cool nights make Spring a perfect time to explore NSW. Take the family snorkeling off the Solitary Islands near Coffs Harbour, where the East Australian Currents warm and cool waters meet and are teeming with sea-life. Keep with the island theme and book a beachfront villa at Nautilus Resort with views of the Solitary Islands.

Outback NSW is perfectly temperate in Spring. Kids will love seeing wild flowers in bloom, flocks of wild budges and magical sunsets over the vast Mundi Mundi Plains, and visiting the quirky Mad Max Museum in Silverton. For a true outback experience, sleep in the shearers’ quarters at Mount Gipps Station or hire a swag and sleep under the stars at Eldee Station.

As the whale season nears its end for the year visit Twofold Bay in Eden on the far South Coast and see whales and their calves resting in its calm waters. Spot whales from lookout points around the bay, such as Rotary Park and Boyds Tower, or from the verandah of Green Cape Lightstation Keepers’ Cottage, which has three self-contained cottages available. Take a closer look by joining one of the daily cruises with Cat Balou Cruises or visit the Eden Killer Whale Museum to round out the salty experience.

In the Snowy Mountains there will still be a dusting of Snow in the National Park. Don your hiking boots or join a horse riding trail ride and enjoy hiking amongst wild flowers, through sections of snow (the last of the season), and if you are lucky you might even glimpse a herd of wild brumbies with young fowls in tow. Stay in the National Park in the luxurious Creel Lodge or the more intimate Lyrebird Cottage.

Share your favourite fun family experience with Destination NSW #ILoveSydney and #NewSouthWales.

For more School Holiday inspiration go to:

Low-cost Spring Skiing or Snowboarding packages

There are a number of low-cost Spring Skiing or Snowboarding self-contained apartment options offered by the Falls Creek Country Club is September which is regarded as an ideal time of the resort's winter season to enjoy schussing its variety of snow-covered slopes. As Falls Creek in the largest alpine resort in the picture -postcard Victorian Alps there is a vast array of terrain from beginner to expert.

FAMILY SKI OR BOARD PACKAGE Stay for three nights or more midweek from 13 September to 4 October $522 per adult and $459 per child (3 – 14 yrs) (based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing with their parents). Code FSB15*Conditions apply.

Package includes: Three nights in a one bedroom self-contained apartment, three days ski lift tickets, three days group lessons, three full days kids club or junior workshop, three days ski/board hire Plus Free use of Heated pool, spa and sauna.

Falls Creek Country Club

SCHOOL HOLIDAY FAMILY FUN -13 September to 4 October (the official closing date of the 2015 winter) from $225 Per night for a family of four minimum 2 nights midweek Code SHFF15 *Conditions apply.

Bring the kids to the mountains and enjoy the fresh air and the spring sunshine Stay in a one bedroom self-contained apartment and have a ball in the snow these school holidays. Ski or board if you want or just swim in our heated pool, laze in the spa, enjoy the sauna, or make a snowman.

There’s so much to do. Go tobogganing, try snowshoeing, eat a mile high lunch, experience a snow grooming tour, have a high country picnic, ride the chair lift, take a sunset tour, hire a snow bike, or ride a snowmobile (weather and snow permitting). Does your 3rd child break the bank? Not this time. A family of five can stay for just $300 per night.

Three-night package – from $175 per adult per day. Stay for 3 nights or more from 13 September to the 4 October and ski or board for as little as $175 per adult per day. (Based on 4 adults sharing midweek) Code TNP15 *Conditions apply.

Package includes: Three nights in a drive in/drive out, ski in/ski out, one bedroom self-contained apartment, three days lift ticket, three days group lessons, three days ski/board hire Plus Free use of Heated pool, spa and sauna

For more details call Falls Creek Country Club Tel 03 5758 3391


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Live The "Suite" Life with Preferred Hotels & Resorts in Japan

Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest independent hotel brand representing more than 650 distinctive properties across 85 countries, offers travelers a taste of the “suite” life as they explore the charming juxtaposition of old and new worlds that make up Japan’s unique culture. Whether travelers are looking for a magnificent view of the Tokyo Tower, a panoramic perspective of majestic World Heritage sites, or a lookout above traditional Japanese gardens, Preferred Suites offers elegantly appointed accommodation choices to suit every whim at nine one-of-a-kind hotels across Japan.

Highlights of the “Suite” life include:

20% Savings on a Junior Suite Hollywood Twin Room at Kyoto Tokyu Hotel – Kyoto
Renowned for being one of the most cultural cities in Japan, boasting 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites set against the backdrop of a cosmopolitan city, Kyoto offers discerning travelers a unique perspective as they experience the seamless blending of old and new Japan. Kyoto Tokyu Hotel’s Junior Suites feature two double beds and luxurious Italian bathroom amenities, as well as complimentary access to gym facilities and the Guest Salon, which serves Welcome drinks with Japanese snacks upon check-in, all day beverages, and evening cocktails for suite guests.
Room rates from US$523 / JPY64,800 per night, including complimentary Wifi internet access.

30% Savings on the Garden Suite at The Prince Park Tower – Tokyo

Experience a taste of traditional Japanese living in the spacious Garden Suites at The Prince Park Tower Tokyo, where guests can opt to sleep on plush futon beds in a Tatami room. Replete with modern facilities and a dazzling array of luxury amenities, a stunning view of the Tokyo Tower, and a personal miniature Japanese Garden to enjoy, the Garden Suites present Japanese fine living at its best.

Room rates from US$423 / JPY 52,500 per night, including complimentary Wifi internet access.

30% Savings on the Executive Suite at The Capitol Hotel Tokyu – Tokyo

Explore Tokyo in style and live it up at The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, located within walking distance of the bustling Roppongi district, providing convenient access to shopping and popular city attractions. The Executive Suites offer stylishly luxurious penthouse-style living on the highest floors of the hotel, along with complimentary use of the Fitness Club and Library Lounge, where daily Continental breakfast, all-day refreshments and evening cocktails are served.

Room rates from US$675 / JPY 84,000 per night, including complimentary Wifi internet access.

Other participating hotels in Japan Grand Pacific LE DAIBA (Tokyo), Hotel New Otani “The Main” (Tokyo), Keio Plaza Hotel (Tokyo), Royal Park Hotel (Tokyo), ROAL PARK HOTEL THE SHIODOME (Tokyo), and Yokohama Royal Park Hotel.

Travelers can enjoy additional benefits by enrolling in the iPrefer guest loyalty program, which extends points redeemable for free nights and other expenditures, elite status, and special benefits such as complimentary Internet upon every eligible stay at more than 550 participating properties worldwide.

For more information or to book a stay at one of Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ properties in Japan, visit **Governing terms & conditions apply.

Dreamtime on Nitmiluk Gorge Cruise


A lunch picnic hamper, a small 8 man craft, an Indigenous guide giving a personal account of his people's culture as you cruise past the towering cliff faces of Nitmiluk Gorge. Welcome to the new safari cruise option on the Gorge from Cicada Lodge and Nitmiluk Tours.

For just $200 per person, guests can join the Bolong's Dreaming Safari and receive a personalised and intimate view into the history and culture of the traditional custodians and ancient landscapes of Nitmiluk. The 3½ hour cruise through the first two gorges of this immense natural wonder includes a rock art interpretation, gourmet lunch, the chance to try your hand at basket weaving or didgeridoo playing and a refreshing dip in the waters of Nitmiluk Gorge.

Escape the crowds and experience the Gorge up close and personal.

For bookings and enquiries please contact Cicada Lodge Ph: 1800 242 232 (Australia), Ph:  +61 8 8974 3100 (international); or

WIN an indulgent Abu Dhabi experience

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, in partnership
with Etihad AirwaysThe St. Regis Abu Dhabi and 
Emirates Falcon Tourism are giving you the chance to
win a luxurious trip to Abu Dhabi.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Sail through Spain, Portugal and the Atlantic with Silver Spirit

Revel in the stunning sites and culture of Spain and Portugal on a 15-day voyage aboard Silversea's luxurious Silver Spirit. Rest and relaxation awaits those on this gourmet journey which includes eight exquisite days aboard, where guests can take advantage of the only Relais & Chateaux cooking school at sea, the exclusive L'ecole des Chefs.

Departing Barcelona on 9 November 2015, Silver Spirit cruises to extraordinary destinations such as Valencia, renowned for its contemporary Spanish architecture and Cartagena, where guests can experience the delectable flavours of the region on an optional cooking class and wine tasting tour.  Continuing her voyage, Silver Spirit then makes her final port in Spain, docking in Malaga before sailing to Funchal, Portugal.  Here, guests are treated to an overnight stay offering ample time to discover the many wonders of the island from its stunning coastline to picturesque hillside views.

Crossing the Atlantic, Silver Spirit spends the next eight days at sea en route to Fort Lauderdale, Miami.  At L'ecole des Chefs, a broad curriculum of culinary events await, to entertain and delight travellers.  Take part in workshops which include knife skills, cooking demonstrations and food and wine pairing with a sommelier. Guests can also enjoy insightful lecturers, sophisticated live productions and musical performances, alongside exquisite fine dining, and private butler room service, immersing themselves in the indulgent pleasures of this Silversea cruise.  Silver Spirit's fine dining exceeds expectations with feasts for the tastebuds in the delicious Seishin restaurant, or Stars Supper Club. The truly decadent can make the most of their time at sea by enjoying the facilities of the spa before arriving in Fort Lauderdale. Guests have the option to complete their journey with an airboat ride to the majestic Everglades, the largest wetlands in America, home to a plethora of exotic wildlife.

Prices are per person, starting from AU$5,250 in a Vista Suite double occupancy. Silversea fares include: all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals at a choice of speciality restaurants 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

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

WIN a five-night trip to Santa Monica, Los Angeles' Beach City!

Vacations & Travel magazine in conjunction with Santa Monica Travel and Tourism and the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, is giving subscribers the chance to win a sensational trip to Santa Monica, California, including two return economy flights and five nights’ accommodation.

Enter Competition Now

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Free snow equipment with Falls Creek ski lodge package

With its three night peak season tariffs at Trackers Mountain Lodge Falls Creek guests will be offered Free snow ski hire for three days.

Included is breakfasts, dinners and home baked afternoon tea daily, degustation style dinners Friday – Tuesday. Winter Xmas menu on Wednesdays and an early comfort food night on Thursdays followed by supper and Schnapps around the open fire after the night show and fireworks.

Cost from $750 each adult and $450 per child, Valid until Sun 23 August

Trackers Mountain Lodge

 Tel 03 5758 3346

Friday, 31 July 2015

New Jewels of Japan Cruise Tour

The modern and imperial capitals of Japan – Tokyo and Kyoto – will feature in a week's immersion in Japanese culture and history as part of a new, 17-night land and sea tour next June that also includes a circumnavigation of the northern island of Hokkaido.

Hosted by Cruise Express, this exclusive fly, tour and cruise package caters to the growing demand in Australia for holidays to Japan. The tour showcases the many faces of Japan from its ancient and glorious castles, temples and gardens to the frenetic, neon-lit streets of Tokyo and the 320km/h bullet trains that dash past the spiritual peak of Mt Fuji.

Departing Australia on June 17, 2016, the all-inclusive 'Jewels of Japan' itinerary begins with three nights in Tokyo - the world's most populous city, with 38 million people. Each day, guests will join tours of Tokyo's famous and ornate palaces, bustling markets and lush gardens. A trip to the base of Mt Fuji, a cruise on Lake Ashi at the foot of the iconic peak and a spectacular cable car ride on the Hakone Ropeway over the volcanic vents and hot springs of Owakudani Boiling Valley are also included.

A bullet train ride to Kyoto - Japan's traditional heart – follows, with a three-night stay in the old capital. Sightseeing from Kyoto includes exotic temples, shrines and rock gardens as well as a traditional Japanese tea ceremony experience and samples of Japanese cuisine at local restaurants.

Return to Tokyo by bullet train and transfer to the port of Yokohama to embark on Princess Cruises ship, Diamond Princess, which was built in Japan and underwent a $30 million refit last year. The 2670-passenger ship now boasts a large sushi bar and the biggest Japanese bathhouse at sea.

A nine-night, round-trip sailing from Tokyo will take passengers to three ports on the island of Hokkaido - Kushiro, Otaru and Hakodate.  A scenic cruise along the fjords of the World Heritage-listed Shiretoko Peninsula will reveal an island of lush conifer forests, huge volcanoes, quaint fishing ports and wildlife which could include bears, deer and the graceful Japanese crane birds.

Diamond Princess will also visit Aomori on the northern tip of the main Japanese island of Honshu and the former military post of Korsakov in nearby Russia. A farewell lunch and more sightseeing complete the itinerary before the flight back to Australia.

Including return flights from Australia, six night land tour with 13 meals and the nine-night cruise, the 'Jewels of Japan' package is available from $6990 per person, twin-share, or $9690 for solo travellers.

Call Cruise Express on 1300 764 509 or visit

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