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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

TURN KEVIN'S $900 INTO $1000 WITH AN ACCOR GIFT CARD - AND HAVE MORE TO SPEND WHEN YOU USE YOUR LEAVE


Live your 'leave life' large with $100 Accor bonus

The Tourism Minister is urging Australians to take their annual leave and the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, is handing out $900 to many people to pay for it. Now Accor, the largest hotel operator in Australia has come up with the perfect way to spend your stimulus cheque and get $100 extra that can be used to take a holiday – or several - at the destination of your choice any time over the next 12 months.

When you purchase a $900 Accor Gift Card* and use the promotional code "THANKSKEV" at the time of purchase, Accor will give you an extra $100 on your card as a further stimulus.

"There has never been a better time to travel within Australia, with many hotels dropping their rates to levels not seen in years, so an Accor Gift Card is the perfect way to use your stimulus cheque, support the tourism industry, improve your work-life balance and instantly add $100 extra to your holiday budget," says Claire Wearne, Accor Director of Sales and Marketing. "You can then use the card for a few different escapes through the year whenever you need a break, or splurge on one big holiday by using it all at once.

"This is an easy way to turn Kevin Rudd's $900 gift into $1000 and use it to boost the Australian economy and your own health and well-being at the same time."

Accor Gift Cards are warmly welcomed at more than 135 hotels, resorts and apartments throughout Australia, New Zealand and Fiji and can be used towards accommodation plus in-house food and beverage charges until the value of the card runs out.

Accor boasts an extensive network of hotels and resorts, from three-star value to five-star luxury in the country's most sought-after locations under its Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, All Seasons and Ibis brands. The best publicly available rate is always offered to card-holders, ensuring great value, and the card is valid for a full year.

To order your Accor Gift Card go to www.accorgiftcards.com.au or call (02) 9280 9764.

* Offer is valid until 30th June for individual Gift Card purchases only. Gift Card credit can be redeemed against all publicly available rates. Visit www.accorgiftcards.com.au for further details.

Noosa goes on Sale during Mayfiesta


May is said to be the most idyllic time of year to holiday at Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast with temperatures reaching up to 25 degrees every day.  It is also the perfect time to snap up a great deal when Noosa goes on sale for the entire month of May.

This May Noosa will serve up its best range of hot deals to compliment its beautiful warm weather.

During Mayfiesta you can take advantage of the destination's, once a year catalogue sale offering 25% off a range of accommodation, tours, restaurants and retail throughout the month whilst enjoying an array of special events to keep you entertained.

In essence, Noosa Mayfiesta is the perfect excuse to heat up your pre-winter blues with a Noosa getaway.

Whether you grab a bargain during some serious retail therapy, delight in Noosa's fabulous cuisine or enjoy one of the high quality events also scheduled during the month, you are sure not to be disappointed.


Start by savoring some gastronomic delights at the Settler's Cove Noosa Food and Wine Festival, 1st to 3rd May. Cementing Noosa's reputation as a haven for food and wine lovers, this event has something for everyone.  

Learn to cook with Australia's best chefs at Celebrity Cooking Classes and Demonstrations. Recreate the meals at home with produce sourced from the Producers Market and be entertained by Bjorn Again, Marcia Hines and Kate Ceberano, in a showstopper concert.  

Make sure you book your tickets early to mix it with Australia's best know chefs including Matt Moran, Neil Perry, Greg Doyle, Geoff Lindsay, Cheong Liew, Phillip Johnson and David Pugh.


On Sunday 17 May, Get into the swim of things with the 6th Noosa Blue Water Swim. Go the distance in the 2km or 1km ocean swim, or take a more leisurely paddle in the 500m Triangle Swim along Noosa Main Beach.

With crystal clear water and mild subtropical temperatures, swimming in Noosa is a must for any visitor. Combine this with Noosa Blue Water Swim's action-packed atmosphere, with thousands of participants and spectators, and you've got a fantastic autumn sporting event.

Celebrate the great outdoors during the Riverfest Regatta from 16 to 17 May, a celebration of Noosa's beautiful river setting. Row, sail or fish in one of Australia's most picturesque waterways.  

Or cheer on the competitors from Gympie Terrace's bars and restaurants, a stone's throw away from the Noosa River.

For something uniquely Noosa, don't miss Feast on Thomas with the showcasing of Noosaville's best restaurants accompanied by high end entertainment for the whole family on the 30th May.

To get to Noosa during Mayfiesta, Virgin Blue will also come to the party with great low fares. Fly to the beautiful Sunshine Coast ex Sydney from *$59 and ex Melbourne from *$79.  Book now at virginblue.com.au.

So put a little "fiesta" back in your life this May during Noosa's Mayfiesta……the
only time of year when Noosa truly goes on sale.

To see the full range of events and download your free Noosa Mayfiesta catalogue go to mayfiesta.com.au

Mayfiesta – snapshot of major events

   * Settler's Cove Noosa Food and Wine Festival, 1st to 3rd May.
   * Ripe Music Festival – 3rd May
   * Carnivale Noosa – 7-10 May
   * Noosa Blue Water Swim, Sunday 17 May
   * Riverfest Regatta from 16 to 17 May
   * Melbourne Comedy Festival – 20 May
   * Ignition New Media and Film Festival – 21- 24 May
   * Art on Hastings – 22-24 May
   * Noosa Wedding Expo – 24 May
   * Feast on Thomas –  30 May

More hot deals are available in the Mayfiesta Catalogue that includes tours, restaurants, retail and accommodation.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Blue Mountains Private Safaris Launches Heli-Swagging in Style

Move over 'glamping': Blue Mountains Private Safaris has launched its new Heli-Swagging private safaris, bringing 'Wild Bush Luxury' to the wilderness on Sydney's doorstep – and taking sleeping under the stars to an entirely new level.
 
Wild Bush Luxury – with sister properties, Bamurru Plains in the Northern Territory and Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia – has partnered with local Blue Mountains guide, Mark Tickner, to deliver an innovative blend of private guiding and a new take on the uniquely Australian tradition of swag camping.
 
From a private campsite on the southern edge of the Blue Mountains National Park, Mark Tickner leads guests on private 4WD trips, bushwalks and kayaking excursions on the Wollondilly River, introducing the native flora and fauna. Guests have the chance to see grey kangaroos, euros, wombats, goannas and even platypus, amid beautiful bush scenery.
 
Come evening, Tickner prepares a wholesome meal that might include a traditional camp-oven roast or a BBQ seafood banquet, enjoyed on the banks of the river. And then it's time for 'bed'.
 
It's a far cry from the jolly swagman's basic canvas bed-roll in Waltzing Matilda. Tickner has constructed timber decks with inlaid cushions on which the canvas swags are rolled out. Guests slide between 500 thread count cotton sheets beneath soft duvets and fall asleep under a canopy of stars. The camp's isolation in wilderness bush means there is no light pollution to obscure the stars: it's hard to believe how many there are.
 
There is an open-air ensuite bathroom, including a hot water bucket shower.
 
Getting to camp is very much part of the experience. Guests are collected from Sydney by helicopter and flown for 45 minutes over the escarpments and valleys of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, over miles of spectacular wilderness to the remote private property on the southern edge of the National Park, well away from the tourist areas.
 
"The Blue Mountains camp exemplifies our Wild Bush Luxury concept, which delivers spectacular, authentic wilderness experiences underpinned by some key creature comforts," explained Charles Carlow, CEO of Wild Bush Luxury and partner in Blue Mountains Private Safaris. "The focus is on the wildlife and on immersing guests in the wilderness through the best interpretive guiding. But we also want to ensure our guests eat well, drink well and sleep well!"
 
"The guest experience in camp – in a secret, remote location away from any other people – encompasses magical wildlife encounters and immersion in a beautiful wilderness setting, coupled with the intimacy of dinner around the camp fire and sleeping under the stars, lulled by the sounds of the bush. It's hard to put a price on that."
 
Head guide and partner in the venture, Mark Tickner trained as an environmental scientist and has an intimate knowledge of the tracks and trails of the southern part of the Blue Mountains.  He is also an experienced fly fishing guide. In keeping with Wild Bush Luxury's 'tread lightly' approach at its other properties, the camp meets the highest standards for minimising its environmental impact.
 
Activities from camp include bush walks; 4WD excursions to scenic lookouts for views over the vast Blue Mountains National Park; fly fishing; donutting (floating in car-tyre inner tubes) on the river; bird watching; wildlife viewing and kayaking. Tickner also takes guests on extended safaris into the southern part of the National Park, including the old mining town and open-air museum of Yerranderie.
 
An exclusive overnight trip for two people with Blue Mountains Private Safaris costs from $1,550 and includes luxury swag accommodation, meals and many excursions from camp. The camp is configured for a maximum of six guests, each in privacy. Larger groups can also be catered for. Helicopter transfers from Sydney cost $1778 per person. It's also possible to self-drive to the camp, with a guide meeting guests part-way; or road transfers from Sydney are available for $250 one way.
 
For information or bookings, call 1300 790 561 or visit www.bluemountainsprivatesafaris.com or www.wildbushluxury.com
 

 
EDITOR'S NOTES
 
'Wild Bush Luxury' is a term we coined to encapsulate a uniquely Australian style of bush experience. The focus of a trip is in the environment and the wildlife and birdlife for whom it is home. Our own private camps and safaris are designed to expose guests to the sights and sounds of the surrounding bush, whether it is the dawn chorus from the kookaburras, or a kangaroo that has come down to the river bank to drink in the evening.
 
Our concept is simple – with none of the appliances we take for granted in modern life, we have focussed on a few key creature comforts. We aim to ensure that guests eat well, drink well and sleep well!
 
In the Blue Mountains, a couple of hours west of Sydney, guests' beds are a 'swag' - the snug, waterproof bedding of choice for generations of pioneers in the Australian bush. Traditionally, the swag consisted of a canvas 'envelope' into which was inserted a thin mattress and a blanket. Our swag is the deluxe version - a thick mattress, 100% cotton linen (500 thread count), a cosy duvet for the cooler bush evenings and a choice of pillows – despite the secluded bush location, we intend for guests to have a great night's sleep.
 
The swag is laid out on a raised platform, an inlaid cushion provides another layer of comfort underneath the mattress, while above, the southern skies and a canopy of stars stretch from one ridgeline to another. There is the privacy of ensuite bathroom facilities, a bucket camp shower (with hot water!) and camp toilet.
 
Meals are wholesome, often cooked on the campfire.  As guests enjoy a sundowner drink and nibbles, our guide will busy himself preparing a traditional camp-oven roast or perhaps a seafood BBQ, followed by a sweet treat. Meals are enjoyed under a simple canvas and timber structure on the banks of the river. A drop of premium Australian wine and the soft crackle of the fire ensures complete surrender to the wilderness surrounds.
 
The three swag platforms allow for double and twin sleeping configurations and provide accommodation for a group of six people to be looked after in comfort. Larger groups are possible: additional swags can be rolled out on nature's own platform!
 
For more remote safaris into the Blue Mountains, our guide will take a trailer and mobile camp that allows access to some fabulous wilderness sites that few locals have ever seen or even know about.

A NEAR-SIX WEEKS CRUISING NEW YORK TO SYDNEY

SAIL out of New York on July 25 next year and after a whole 40-days pampering aboard the luxury Dawn Princess through the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Tahiti and the South Pacific, cruise majestically into Sydney Harbour as the city welcomes Spring 2010.

And if you book this near-six weeks of indulgence through ecruising.travel you'll get a free cabin-category upgrade, plus if your bookings' made before July 31 this year  the added bonus of $200pp onboard spending credits.

ecruising's package includes air from Sydney to New York and a night there at the luxury Doubletree Guest Suites before Dawn Princess sails on July 25 2010 for Antigua, Barbados and Curacao, transits the Panama Canal and has a day in both Acapulco and Manzanillo in Mexico, and another in Los Angeles.

There's 14-hours in Honolulu, two days in Papeete (Tahiti,) a day in Moorea and one each in Pago Pago (American Samoa) and Auckland, before Dawn Princess arrives in Sydney on September 3 2010.

Onboard dining from a choice of formal, casual, poolside and a 24-hour buffet are included, as well as nightly showroom entertainment, late-release movies and use of a vast range of pool, sporting, gym and recreational facilities.

Prices start from $8499pp twin-share, plus air taxes and fuel surcharges applicable at time of booking; phone 1300 369 848 for details including free cabin upgrades and onboard spending credits, or visit www.ecruising.travel

 

Frohe Ostern! (Happy Easter!)

Frohe Ostern! (Happy Easter!) is an impressionistic history of an Easter camping ritual on the Murray River.  It is an exquisite celebration by director Anna Jeffries about German migrants becoming three generations of Australians.

More than 50 family and friends of German background have camped in the same spot on Australia's Murray River every Easter for the last 40 years. Within the very Australian Easter tradition of camping holidays, their own German and unique rituals have evolved. They effortlessly carry out a fixed routine of activities: nest-making for the Easter Bunny's Eggs, an enormous Erbsensuppe (Pea Soup), silly Sunday competitions, a decadent formal afternoon tea and a magical lantern walk on Sunday night.

Started in 1969 by 14 young German migrants, three generations have keenly kept these habits up and, amidst a social climate of dying traditions, the youngest seem likely to maintain them. Time is gently explored through a goldmine of archival footage that conveys traditions and people growing, and a landscape changing, over 4 decades.

"Frohe Ostern! represents the style of film I've always imagined and wanted to make", says director Anna Jeffries.  "It explores the natural development of colourful and magical traditions at a time when rituals in modern Australian life seem to be diminishing."

Frohe Ostern! is a high-spirited micro-history that celebrates migrants becoming Australians over three generations, and their growing families' embracing of their German heritage.

The documentary airs on SBS Good Friday (April 10th) at 7.30pm. 

It can also be purchased from Ronin Films www.roninfilms.com.au

A trailer can be viewed at www.annajeffries.com/easter

 

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Virgin Galactic: Mothership EVE achieves fastest and longest flight

TEST FLYING PROGRAMME FOR VIRGIN GALACTIC SPACE LAUNCH SYSTEM NOW FULLY UNDERWAY - MOTHERSHIP EVE ACHIEVES FASTEST AND LONGEST YET FLIGHT IN THE TROPOSPHERE

WhiteKnightTwo launch vehicle for SpaceShipTwo heralds a new era in aerospace fuel efficiency, performance and versatility
Mojave Air and Spaceport, California

The test flying programme for WhiteKnightTwo (WK2), the space launch vehicle being developed for Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo (SS2) has now completed its third successful test flight - the longest and fastest to date with a duration of over two and half hours, maximum speed of 140 knots and an altitude of over 18,000 ft. The flight also saw a further 7 tests successfully completed including in flight engine restarts, engine thrust asymmetry assessment and continued expansion of WK2's operating envelope and evaluation of WK2's handling qualities.

In addition to launching SS2, the WK2 also has a range of science payload and training applications including the potential to launch an unmanned rocket capable of putting a satellite into low Earth orbit.

Test pilot Peter Siebold who also piloted the first two missions said:

"This is a truly remarkable aviation vehicle and, although it might look unique from the ground it is not strange to fly in any way and is in fact a great piloting experience.  Now the stratosphere is the limit as we will continually test Eve (WK2) for the next few months up to her ceiling of above 50,000 ft."

Christened "EVE" in honor of Sir Richard Branson's mother, WK2 is both visually remarkable and represents ground-breaking aerospace technology. It is the world's largest all carbon composite aircraft and many of its component parts have been built using composite materials for the very first time. At 140 ft, the wing spar is, we believe, the longest single carbon composite aviation structural component ever manufactured.

Driven by a demanding performance specification set by Virgin Galactic, WK2 has a unique heavy lift, high altitude capability and an open architecture driven design which provides for maximum versatility in the weight, mass and volume of its payload potential. It has the power, strength and manoeuvrability to provide for pre space-flight, positive G force and zero G astronaut training as well as a lift capability which is over 30% greater than that represented by a fully crewed SpaceShipTwo. The vehicle has a maximum altitude over 50,000 ft and its U.S. coast-to-coast range will allow the spaceship to be ferried on long duration flights.

An all carbon composite vehicle of this size represents a giant leap for a material technology that has already been identified as a key contributor to the increasingly urgent requirement by the commercial aviation sector for dramatically more fuel efficient aircraft. Powered by four Pratt and Whitney PW308A engines, which are amongst the most powerful, economic and efficient available, WK2 is a mold breaker in carbon efficiency and the epitome of 21st century aerospace design and technology.

The twin fuselage and central payload area configuration allow for easy access to WK2 and to the spaceship for passengers and crew; the design also aids operational efficiencies and turnaround times. WK2 will be able to support up to four daily space flights, is able to carry out both day and night time operations and is equipped with a package of highly advanced avionics.

Commenting on the flights, Burt Rutan, Founder of Scaled Composites said:

"WhiteKnightTwo really is an impressive vehicle and it represents the apogee of the application of carbon composites to aerospace, all of us at Scaled are tremendously excited by its capabilities. I believe the vehicle will be developed and sold for a variety of launch applications beyond the initial requirements of Virgin Galactic."

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic added:

"As usual, Burt and the team have created a beauty that also flies really well and this is a very proud day for us all! These first flights of WK2 take the Virgin Galactic vision up another level and continue to provide tangible evidence that this most ambitious of projects is not only for real but is making tremendous progress towards our goal of safe commercial operation. I am looking forward to flying myself in Eve in the next few weeks before we attach SpaceShipTwo later in the year and begin test flights to space shortly afterwards!

Virgin Galactic is central to our ambition at Virgin to become the world's leading group in the operation of energy and environmentally efficient transportation, in the air, on the ground and in space."


For further information go to www.virgingalactic.com.

GALACTIC AT A GLANCE!
The History: The Ansari X Prize
• Objective: to provide the catalyst for private sector innovation in the field of manned space exploration.
• Rules: private funding, design and manufacture of a vehicle capable of delivering the weight of 3 people including one actual person to sub-orbital space defined as an altitude of at least 100kms. The vehicle had to be 80% reusable and fly twice within a two week period.
• Winner: Mojave Aerospace Ventures a Paul G Allen company with Burt Rutan and SpaceShipOne on October 4th 2004. Pilot Brian Binnie (see www.scaled.com )
The History: SpaceShipOne
• Project funded by Paul Allen – co founder of Microsoft at an approx cost of approx $26m
• Designed and built by Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites in Mojave CA
• Flew to space 3 times in 2004
• The world's first private manned space vehicle
• Now displayed in the Milestones of Flight Gallery at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, DC between Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St Louis and Chuck Yeager's Bell X-1
The Technology
• A completely new approach to space access for people, science and payload
• Air (horizontal) launch from the "WhiteKnight" purpose built aircraft not ground (vertical) launch - intrinsically safer and more environmentally friendly
• All composite construction (light, strong, resilient and fuel efficient) not metal.
• Hybrid rocket motor uses benign fuel and oxidiser (rubber and nitrous oxide for SpaceShipOne) and is controllable
• Re-entry controlled aerodynamically by unique wing feathering design - heat free and carefree
• Un-powered (glide) runway landing
Virgin's Involvement
• Seeking investment opportunities since late 90's when Galactic name was registered
• Knew of Burt Rutan's credentials through sponsorship of the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer - world's most fuel efficient powered aircraft
• Agreed with Burt Rutan and Paul Allen to invest in development and construction of second generation vehicle for commercial venture - the world's first spaceline
• Ordered 5 SpaceShipTwo's and 3 WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft to be manufactured by The SpaceShip Company (TSC) (a Joint Venture between Scaled Composites and Virgin) and operated by Virgin Galactic
• Mission to create environmentally benign, safe and commercially viable access to space for people, science and payload. Space tourism early adopters provided proof of first available market.
SpaceShipTwo
• SpaceShipTwo 70% complete
• Uses all the same basic technology, construction and design as SpaceShipOne prototype
• Is around twice as large as SS1
• Will carry 6 passengers and 2 pilots
• Cabin approx the size of a Falcon 900 exec jet
• Whole fuselage used for passenger cabin - no "floor"
• Large windows positioned right round the cabin
• Reclining seats to maximise cabin space in zero g and for re-entry
• Dimensions:
    - Wing span: 42ft
    - Length: 60 ft
    - Tail height: 18 ft (Feather down)
• Cabin details
    - 6 passenger seats
    - 90" diameter x 12 ft long
• Construction: 100% carbon composite
• Power: after release from carrier aircraft, operates on internal power supply
• Gear
    - Tricycle gear configuration
    - 2x wheeled main gear
    - 1x nose skid, with abrading shoe, like SpaceShipOne
• Feathering wings for re-entry: same technology as SS1; improved aerodynamics
• Simulator operational and already being used as pilot training and design refinement tool
Carrier Aircraft/Mothership (WhiteKnightTwo) Technical Specification
Status :
       - Construction and ground testing complete
       - Test flight programme underway - first flight successfully undertaken 21st December 2008
• Will be the largest 100% carbon composite plane in service (Boeing 787 Dreamliner uses composite materials for about 50% of its primary structure)
       - twin boom / fuselage construction
• Propulsion & Power : 4 X Pratt & Whitney PW308 engines. Member of PW300 series engines.
• Gear: Quadricycle gear configuration, retractable
• Dimensions:
       - Wing span: 140ft (only 16 ft less than Boeing 767-300)
       - Length: 78 ft
       - Tail height: 25ft
• Performance: SS2 ferry range: U.S. coast to coast
• Capability
       - a training vehicle for SS2 spaceflight - can simulate SpaceShipTwo g force profile
       - both cabins replicate SS2 interior
       - unique high altitude lift aircraft for various payloads

SpaceShipTwo Flight Profile
• G-Forces
       - max gx (front to back): 6g
       - max gz (head to toe): 3.8g
• SS2 release: 50,000 ft
• Planned apogee of spaceflight: at least 110 km
• Zero-g phase - out of seat
• Total flight time: all told approximately 2.0 hrs
Timeframes
• WhiteKnightTwo commenced test programme during the Summer of 2008 with first flight December 2008. Test programme will continue into 2009.
• SpaceShipTwo roll-out and test flight programme programmed for Fall 2009 depending on progress of WhiteKnightTwo test flights
• Test flight period envisaged 18 - 24 months or longer if safety dictates. Building of first commercial vehicles will commence whilst test programme is underway
• Safety first, we are not in a race, we will launch only when Scaled and Virgin are content that it is safe to do so
• We aim to fly 500 people in the first year and 50,000 in the first 10 years
• First commercial flights planned to operate from Spaceport America in New Mexico.
• First non-US flights likely to be from Spaceport Sweden near Kiruna in the north of the country at certain times of the year, once relevant licences are obtained.
SpaceShipTwo Flight Stats
• Total flight time around 2.0 hour
• G forces: rocket boost max 3.8 g (x and z); re-entry max 6 g (x only whilst reclined)
• Speed: supersonic within 8 seconds of rocket ignition and faster than Mach 3 within 30 seconds of rocket ignition
• Achieving an apogee of at least 110 kms
The Experience
• Plan for 3 days of preparation, medical checks, bonding, g force acclimatisation as part of flight cost.
• Carrier aircraft is able to act as a training platform with passenger cabins that replicate the spaceship.
• All passengers will be able to leave their seats and float in zero G should they wish and enjoy view of space and the earth stretching for around 1000 miles in every direction
Reservations
• Approximately 300 reservations with deposits from between $20 and $200k
• Total deposits received approximately $40m. Flight cost US$200k
• Over 85,000 people from 125 countries have registered their interest in becoming a Virgin Galactic astronaut at www.virgingalactic.com
• A specialist network of Virgin Galactic Accredited Space Agents has been set up around the world to provide a local reservation service (ASA details can be found on www.virgingalactic.com)
Environmental Credentials
• Air launch means short rocket burn
• Reusable spaceship - no space debris
• The carrier aircraft uses latest highly efficient turbo fan jet engines
• SpaceShipTwo re-entry and landing are unpowered
• CO2 emissions per passenger on a spaceflight will be equivalent to approximately 60% of a per passenger return commercial London/New York flight. Around 70% of the spaceflight CO2 emissions come from the carrier aircraft. This is a clean spaceship!
• Virgin Galactic is working with the carrier aircraft's engine manufacturers, Pratt & Whitney, towards the goal of eventually flying the aircraft entirely on a renewable jet aviation fuel. This work is being carried out in conjunction with Virgin Atlantic who along with Virgin Fuels, Boeing and GE are currently developing and testing such fuels for the new Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The first partially bio-fuelled flight by Virgin Atlantic was carried out successfully in February 2008 using one of the fleet of Boeing 747's between London and Amsterdam
• SpaceShipTwo and its carrier aircraft will provide space access, first to paying passengers and then hopefully, for science research and payload deployment, with an incomparably smaller environmental impact, lower cost and greater flexibility than anything that has gone before. We need space but we need better access to it.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Virgin Blue: Find out why you should refuse Qantas

Right now Qantas is asking you to choose to have choice taken away, by locking all your current and future credit card points in with the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. They've even given you a 'deadline'.

Read More

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Vampires Descend Upon Vancouver Island


Threatening northern winter skies, menacing waves, pelting rain and howling winds in Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim National Park—the thrilling storms that tourists travel thousands of miles to the British Columbia towns of Tofino and Ucluelet hoping to experience, made it the ideal setting for the filming of New Moon, the second movie in the four-part Twilight series based on American author Stephenie Meyer’s popular books.

“The weather is perfect for us in the sense of visuals: rainy, dismal, the mist on the ocean, the cloudiness, the erratic wind activity,” Bill Bannerman, New Moon’s co-producer noted to the Canadian Press after shooting wrapped at the end of last week. “Everything is exactly as it should be.”

Filming kicked off at the rocky, timber-strewn beach near Tofino’s luxurious Relais & Chateaux-rated Wickanninish Inn before heading south towards the area’s famed Long Beach. The topography of the region was chosen for its ability to create the feel of Forks and La Push areas of the American state of Washington’s north Olympic Peninsula, where the series takes place.

“We couldn’t find this element anywhere else. That’s why we love it,” noted Bannerman. “This is a substantial look that may be revisited in the next chapter, so more than likely, you know, Tofino [will be] back in the equation.”

The film stars Kristin Stewart as Isabella, the teenager who moves to Forks, Washington and falls in love with vampire Taylor Lautner, played by Jacob Black. The film’s crews will shoot in the Vancouver area for the next few months. The film is scheduled to wrap at the end of May and premiere in November 20, 2009.

Storm watching on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast has become a magnet for those who visit BC during the northern winter. Ultimately it’s up to Mother Nature as to whether or not visitors will have the opportunity to experience her fury but stunning beach-side resorts, acres of ancient rainforest, high-end spas, surfing, kayaking, fresh and savoury local cuisine and more are always available to experience.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Russian Last Minute Cruise deals


Save over $500 PER PERSON on each selected Russian Cruise departure!EXCLUSIVE to Gateway Travel.

Orthodox Cruises, have released Last Minute Cruise rates to Gateway Travel for various Russian Waterway Cruises. Valid on selected departures until September 2009.

MS Glushkov: 10 night Moscow - St. Petersburg cruise from $1611 per person twin share or $2355 per single. 9 night Moscow to St. Petersburg cruise from $1450 per person twin share or $2119 per single.

MS Lavrinenkov or MS Ivan Bunin: 9 night Moscow - St. Petersburg cruise from $1562 per person twin share or $2231 per single.

MS Litvinov: 9 night Moscow to St. Petersburg cruise from $1450 per person twin share or $2119 per single. 12 nights St. Petersburg to Moscow cruise from $1933 per person twin share or $2825 per single.

MS Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian Cruises: 14 night Kiev to Istanbul or vice versa: $2082 per person twin share, $3123 per single.

All prices include: accommodation in twin share cabin, 3 meals daily starting with dinner on day 1 and ending with breakfast on the last day, entertainment on board, sightseeing programmes in ports of call with English speaking guide, welcome cocktail reception, daily aerobics, Russian language lectures, luggage handling within limits and port taxes.

More details on the Gateway Travel website: www.gatewaytrave.com.au

TOURISM FIJI APPLAUDS PACIFIC BLUE DECISION TO LAUNCH NON-STOP FLIGHTS FROM ADELAIDE AND MELBOURNE TO NADI

Tourism Fiji Regional Director Australia Paresh Pant has roundly applauded the Pacific Blue Airlines announcement to begin non-stop services between Adelaide and Fiji and Melbourne and Fiji from 04 June 2009.

Mr Pant said that while announcement would play a major role in enabling even more Victorians and South Australians to visit Fiji, the airline's decision spelled particularly good news for the national tourist office's aspirations in South Australia. 

"The new Pacific Blue Adelaide-Nadi service is in fact the first ever direct air service between South Australia and Fiji and is very timely given that South Australia has always represented a latent source of visitor arrivals for the destination,' he said. 

"The new services will undoubtedly accelerate our steadily growing visitor numbers from Australia," he said.

Mr Pant said the national tourist office was already planning a series of key industry seminars in both states.

Australian visitor arrivals to Fiji in 2008 grew for the third year running with last year's figures surpassing the 2007 total by a healthy 18 per cent.

A total of 233,801 Australians visited Fiji in the 12 month period January to December 2008 adding a further 35,581 on top of the 2007 total.

W: www.fijime.com

 

Breaking News - Third P&O ship for Sydney

Pacific Pearl to homeport from Sydney

P&O Cruises has just announced that a third superliner will be permanently based in Sydney from the second half of next year.

Pacific Pearl will join the P&O Australia fleet and will be based in the NSW capital, with Carnival Australia ceo Ann Sherry saying: "The Sydney cruising market is buoyant and has so much potential as the entry point for the rest of the country that it makes good sense - both from a business perspective as well as delivering economic value - to base the ship in this city."

Sherry also reiterated Carnival's concern about the lack of adequate ports infrastructure in Sydney, saying it was likely to limit the growth of cruising in Australia.

"The sight of a third superliner making Sydney its home will be yet another visual reminder to governments that cruising is an industry that should be better supported at a time when the rest of tourism is flat," she said.

More information in Travel Daily and Cruise Weekly.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Stimulate your travel choices

Are you itching to see the world? Are you looking for the best deals? Well, look no further because Creative Holidays has plenty of fantastic deals available for sale for the opportunity to globe trot at some seriously low prices.

The deals are out there so decide where you want to go and see the world with Creative Holidays. From Rome to Paris, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Bangkok, Phuket, and Auckland and down to the Northern Territory’s Red Centre and tropical Broome, you have endless choices from a range of fantastic destinations.

Creative Holidays has a range of deals available to stimulate your sales so think fast and sell smart. Some of these great deals include:

o Rome - one night accommodation at the Margaret Hotel priced from $77 per person, twin share and your clients can upgrade to the three star Nord Nouva Roma with full breakfast from $93 per person, twin share
o Paris - one night accommodation at the Tamaris Hotel priced from $77 per person, twin share and your clients can upgrade to a studio apartment at Citadines Paris Les Halles from $112 per person, twin share.
o London – one night accommodation at the three star Crestfield Hotel priced from $83 per person, twin share and your clients have the opportunity to upgrade to the four star Rydges Kensington Plaza including continental breakfast from $48 per person, twin share.
o Singapore – one night accommodation at the three star Ibis Hotel Bencoolen including full breakfast daily priced from $96 per person, twin share and your clients can upgrade to the four star Parkroyal from $30 per person, twin share.
o Hong Kong – four nights accommodation at the Wesley Hotel for the price of three priced from $246 per person, twin share and your clients can upgrade to the four star Park Hotel with a free upgrade to a deluxe room from $154 per person, twin share.
o Honolulu – three nights at the Castle Maile Sky Court Hotel priced from $195 per person, twin share and clients can upgrade to the three and half star Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber from $213 per person, twin share and stay three nights for the price of two.
o Bangkok- four nights accommodation at the three star Grand China Princess for price of three priced from $171 per person, twin share including breakfast daily and one Thai Dinner and clients ca upgrade to the four star Novotel Bangkok Siam Square from $162 per person, twin share.
o Phuket – eight nights’ accommodation at the Patong Beach Lodge including breakfast daily and clients can upgrade to the four star Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort and Spa including breakfast from $188 per person, twin share.
o Auckland – four nights accommodation at the four star, The Quadrant in a studio apartment priced from $240 per person, twin share and clients can upgrade to the five star Langham Auckland from $96 per person, twin share for the price of three nights.
o Red Centre – two nights accommodation at the three and half star Voyages, The Lost Camel priced from $330 per person, twin share including return airport transfers.
o Broome – five nights accommodation at the four star Mercure Inn Continental for the price of four, priced from $344 per person, twin share including one free breakfast per stay.

See your travel agent for sale and travel dates. Seasonal surcharges apply.

Creative Holidays is Australia’s leading independent holiday company with a range of holidays to suit everyone, especially those who enjoy the independence and flexibility of planning their own holiday.

Creative Holidays great deals are available through travel agents. For more information on any Creative Holidays deals see www.creativeholidays.com.

Sizzling Deals at Sabaya


Rydges Sabaya Resort in Port Douglas has released a range of sizzling hot summer deals that well and truly beat the credit crunch to make it affordable to take that well deserved break whilst not compromising on quality.

Valid for travel until 30 June 09, visitors can resort to the ‘laid-back’ life with a value-packed stay 2 nights and the 3rd night is FREE as well as amazing bed and breakfast rates across all rooms. Add to this the resort’s family bonus (kids stay and eat breakfast for free) and Rydges Sabaya Resort offers a value for money getaway.

Rydges Sabaya Resort is a tranquil, relaxing oasis located in cosmopolitan Port Douglas offering relief from the daily grind. Guests will relax and rejuvenate in the resort’s tropical surroundings while enjoying the full spectrum of guest facilities from large lagoon style swimming pool with swim-up bar to signature restaurant, Sakinah House and restorative day spa. The resort is also one of the very few places in the Tropical North to have its own kids club (5 - 12 years)- making it a must for parents needing occasional time out. Kanga Crew kid’s club operates seven days by appointment.







• Stay 3, Pay 2

While taking advantage of unbelievable summer rates with bonus inclusions, visitor’s can add real weight to their savings by participating in Rydges Sabaya Resort’s Stay 3, Pay 2 deal.

In effect, guests who stay two nights, will receive the 3rd night FREE in their choice of Rydges Sabaya Resort’s accommodation - be it resort rooms or one and two bedroom apartments.

This offer cannot be combined with any other package and is available now until June 30, 2009.

• Sizzling Summer Rates at Rydges Sabaya Resort

- Resort Room: from $90 per adult, per night
Bonus inclusions: Breakfast for 2 adults daily or stay 2 nights and the 3rd night is FREE

- One Bedroom Apartment: from $115 per adult, per night
Bonus inclusions: Breakfast for 2 adults and 1 child daily or stay 2 nights and the 3rd night is FREE

- Two Bedroom Apartment: from $160 per adult, per night
Bonus inclusions: Breakfast for 2 adults and 2 Kids daily or stay 2 nights and the 3rd night is FREE

For bookings, packages and more information about Rydges Sabaya Resort, visit www.rydges.com/portdouglas, call the resort on (+61) 07 4099 8900 or central reservations within Australia on 1300 857 922.
Ends

For reservation inquiries, contact:
Heather Silvestri
Reservations Manager
Rydges Sabaya Resort, Port Douglas
DD: 61 7 4099 8900
E: reservations_portdouglas@rydges.com

Stimulate your travel choices

Are you itching to see the world? Are you looking for the best deals? Well, look no further because Creative Holidays has plenty of fantastic deals available for sale for the opportunity to globe trot at some seriously low prices.
The deals are out there so decide where you want to go and see the world with Creative Holidays. From Rome to Paris, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Bangkok, Phuket, and Auckland and down to the Northern Territory's Red Centre and tropical Broome, you have endless choices from a range of fantastic destinations.
Creative Holidays has a range of deals available to stimulate your sales so think fast and sell smart. Some of these great deals include:
o Rome - one night accommodation at the Margaret Hotel priced from $77 per person, twin share and your clients can upgrade to the three star Nord Nouva Roma with full breakfast from $93 per person, twin share
o Paris - one night accommodation at the Tamaris Hotel priced from $77 per person, twin share and your clients can upgrade to a studio apartment at Citadines Paris Les Halles from $112 per person, twin share.
o London – one night accommodation at the three star Crestfield Hotel priced from $83 per person, twin share and your clients have the opportunity to upgrade to the four star Rydges Kensington Plaza including continental breakfast from $48 per person, twin share.
o Singapore – one night accommodation at the three star Ibis Hotel Bencoolen including full breakfast daily priced from $96 per person, twin share and your clients can upgrade to the four star Parkroyal from $30 per person, twin share.
o Hong Kong – four nights accommodation at the Wesley Hotel for the price of three priced from $246 per person, twin share and your clients can upgrade to the four star Park Hotel with a free upgrade to a deluxe room from $154 per person, twin share.
o Honolulu – three nights at the Castle Maile Sky Court Hotel priced from $195 per person, twin share and clients can upgrade to the three and half star Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber from $213 per person, twin share and stay three nights for the price of two.
o Bangkok- four nights accommodation at the three star Grand China Princess for price of three priced from $171 per person, twin share including breakfast daily and one Thai Dinner and clients ca upgrade to the four star Novotel Bangkok Siam Square from $162 per person, twin share.
o Phuket – eight nights' accommodation at the Patong Beach Lodge including breakfast daily and clients can upgrade to the four star Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort and Spa including breakfast from $188 per person, twin share.
o Auckland – four nights accommodation at the four star, The Quadrant in a studio apartment priced from $240 per person, twin share and clients can upgrade to the five star Langham Auckland from $96 per person, twin share for the price of three nights.
o Red Centre – two nights accommodation at the three and half star Voyages, The Lost Camel priced from $330 per person, twin share including return airport transfers.
o Broome – five nights accommodation at the four star Mercure Inn Continental for the price of four, priced from $344 per person, twin share including one free breakfast per stay.
See your travel agent for sale and travel dates. Seasonal surcharges apply.
Creative Holidays is Australia's leading independent holiday company with a range of holidays to suit everyone, especially those who enjoy the independence and flexibility of planning their own holiday.
Creative Holidays great deals are available through travel agents. For more information on any Creative Holidays deals see www.creativeholidays.com.
Creative Holidays backgrounder
Creative Holidays is Australia's leading independent holiday specialist with a range of holidays to suit everyone – especially those who enjoy the independence and flexibility of planning their own holiday.
Creative Holidays has over 27 years experience in the travel industry and are experts when it comes to equipping travellers with all they need for the perfect vacation. Creative Holidays offers an extensive range of quality, great value holidays to Europe and the UK, the Mediterranean, USA, Canada, South Pacific, Asia, Africa, India and Australia.
For more information about Creative Holidays visit www.creativeholidays.com

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Virgin Blue Announces Fiji Flight Frenzy

Pacific Blue Airlines is increasing its international route network, announcing plans to begin non-stop services between Adelaide and Fiji and also Melbourne and Fiji. The carrier will begin the flights from Thursday 4 June 2009 increasing its capacity in and out of Fiji by 25%.
It follows ongoing demand for the existing Pacific Blue connecting services via Sydney and Brisbane and is part of the airline’s strategy to serve markets which experience strong support from travellers.

Virgin Blue has today launched a special “Fiji Frenzy” AUD$249 ADL-NAN, and AUD$239 MEL-NAN* one-way Internet sale fare on both routes, which is available now until 2nd April 2009, for travel between 04 June 2009 and 25th June 2009, and 21 July to 31 August 2009 or until sold out.

Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said “We are very pleased to be committing aircraft to the Fiji market where we see continuing opportunities to stimulate the market with more direct flights and affordable fares. We welcome the chance to provide a further boost to tourism to a destination that has attracted consistent demand in terms of our existing services.”

The new non-stop flight will be a major boost for Fiji tourism as it will provide a brand new pool of potential visitors from Adelaide and will be the first time an airline will offer a direct service from South Australia to Fiji.

Brett Godfrey added, “The new service offers a more convenient non-stop flying option to Fiji for the people of Adelaide and Melbourne. As a South Pacific neighbour, Fiji is a highly attractive holiday option, in particular when people are looking to travel closer to home for short breaks, something we have seen a strong trend towards in recent months.”

For Adelaide, Fiji will be the second direct International destination on offer, following hot on the heels of the November launch of a direct twice weekly flight from Adelaide to Bali (Denpasar).

Brett Godfrey added, “The success of our Fiji services from Brisbane and Sydney has been a strong incentive for us to introduce additional non stop services. Our strategy dovetails with Tourism Fiji’s to target visitors from new source markets and offer non-stop flights and affordable fares combined with excellent accommodation deals to this beautiful country.”

For Melbourne travellers it means a convenient direct service with a travel friendly departure time from Melbourne of 9.05am and mid afternoon arrival in to Fiji in time to enjoy a sunset cocktail or round of golf.

ADELAIDE-FIJI DJ 105 depart 9:05am arrive 4:40pm Friday & Sunday from 5 June SALE FARES FROM $249* One way

MELBOURNE-FIJI DJ107 depart 9:05am arrive 3:50pm Thursday & Saturday from 4 June SALE FARES FROM $239* One way

* Subject to regulatory approval. All fares are subject to availability, are for one way travel and include taxes, fares and surcharges. Seats are limited and may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are one way on the net or $15 more by phone. A credit card surcharge of $5 per person per one way flight is applicable for flights internationally. Fares are correct as at March 19 2009 and are subject to change. International return fare may vary with the addition of local taxes and charges.

Meet With Dr Zahi Hawass The World's Most Famous Egyptologist


Greece and Mediterranean Travel Centre is organising a 13 day fully inclusive tour of Egyot departing Australia on 19 September which will include a meeting with Dr Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt.

Dr Hawass is Egypt's most famous Egyptologist. He is the Director of Excavations at Giza (site of the Great Pyramid), Saqqara and several other key Pharonic sites. He has appeared as an expert commentator
in almost every key documentary on Ancinet Egyopt made over the past 15 years. His passion for and knowledge of the sites of Ancinet Egypt is compelling and with his trademark akubra hat he is easily mistaken for an Egyptian Indian Jones or a Nile Croccdile Dundee.

On Septenber 19, 2009 Greece and Mediterranean Travel entre is organising a one off tours , Treasures of Ancient Egypt which will have space for 25 participants. The group will meet with and listen to a lecture from Dr hawass whoi will discuss some of his many discoveries. The group will go behind the scenes of some of Egypt's most famous archaeological sites including the workers village of the Great Pyramid, the Bent Pyramid and the Dahshur Red Pyramid which are not part of standard Egyotian itineraries.

The tour includes a highlight dinner at the El salamlek Place in Alexandria, much loved by Egyots's last King, Farouk. The tour includes exploring Cairo, Alecandria and luxury Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan. The cost of AUD$8,875 pp twin shatre include return air fares between Austraia and Egyot, land content including most meals the sevices of a qualified Egyoptologist guide and domestic air fares in Egypt. A single supplement will apply.

At Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Stay Longer Pay Less


Canberra, Australia, March 2009 … Hyatt Hotel Canberra – a Park Hyatt Hotel, Canberra's finest five-star international hotel, is conveniently located in the national capital's Parliamentary Triangle, just a short stroll from Canberra's major tourist attractions and city centre.

To make your decision even easier, Hyatt Hotel Canberra is currently offering an incentive whereby the longer you stay, the less you pay. A one-night stay is priced from AU$305, two nights from AU$580 and three nights from AU$795. Each stay includes full buffet breakfast for two in the Promenade Café and access to the Clubhouse Fitness Centre.

Easter is an ideal time to visit your national capital to view the many exhibitions and galleries on offer. Showing at the National Gallery of Australia, “Misty Moderns: Australian Tonalists 1915-1959”, is the first exhibition to tell the story of Australian Tonalism, a movement championed by the influential and often controversial painter Max Meldrum in the first half of the 20th century

At the National Museum of Australia, explore the voyages that connect Australia to the world. Share the personal stories of some of the people who have travelled to and from Australia over time. See some of the Museum's latest acquisitions and oldest treasures.

The Australian War Memorial’s “Over the Front: the Great War of the Air” exhibition brings history to life with a range of extraordinary original aircraft and an exciting visual depiction of military flight.

To book your stay, call Hyatt reservations on 13 1234 or visit hyatt.com.

Cook Islands' Aitutaki On Sale


Aitutaki, the palm-fringed island just an hour‘s flight from Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, is considered one of the world’s most beautiful, unspoilt places, surrounded by a crystal turquoise lagoon with endless blue skies most of the year.

Now this paradise is on Sale, and its friendly community of hotel and resort operators, ranging from budget to five star luxury, has got together to offer Australian travellers some fantastic packages to lure them over.

Island Hopper Vacations currently has a range of unbelievable packages, starting at just $314* per person, on sale until 30 April 2009, which includes:

• Return flights from Rarotonga to Aitutaki
• Four nights accommodation at Paradise Cove in a beachfront bungalow (other accommodation options available, all at great prices), including one free night
• Children 2 – 11 yrs inclusive
• For travel until 30 June 2009 unless otherwise specified
• To book, email: vacations@islandhopper.co.ck
• For general enquiries about this and other great packages, call Cook Islands Tourism on 9211 6590.

Apart from the snorkelling, fishing and diving in its world-famous lagoon, Aitutaki boasts perfect white sand beaches and stunning geographic beauty, all with sophisticated infrastructure but without the usual trappings of the tourism industry.

The great local cuisine features freshly caught seafood, and the colourful culture and friendly people make this a truly relaxed environment to spend a holiday, without the superficiality of some Pacific resorts.

There is an excellent choice of accommodation, ranging from luxurious, intimate resorts to stylish self-catered villas for couples wanting their own space with the comforts of home.

Easy flight schedules from Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue mean you can fly from the eastern seaboard and land at Rarotonga in less than eight hours from Australia, with easy connections to islands like Aitutaki.
* Conditions apply
www.cookislands.travel

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Q Station Celebrates a Fun Filled ‘Community Day’ as Part Of Heritage Festival

On Saturday 18 April, Sydney’s Q Station near Manly will be celebrating its’ bi-annual Community Day as part of the National Trusts Heritage Festival, offering a unique opportunity to explore and experience the history and the beauty of the Q Station site.

This year’s Heritage Festival is themed ‘Our Place in Space’ in recognition of 2009 being the International Year of Astronomy. Q Station is proud to participate in this great celebration showcasing its own unique history which has seen the boundaries between astronomy and astrology blur, from science to spirituality.



To celebrate Q Station is staging a range of free and discounted activities which will explore the history of the site, from the science of maritime navigation to spirituality and tarot reading under the stars. Some of the proceeds on the day will go to Bear Cottage, NSW's only children's hospice which offers both respite and palliative care to children and young people with life limiting illnesses and their families.



Activities on Community Day are suitable for the whole family. Highlights include a free native animal ‘show and tell’ conducted by the guides from the National Parks & Wildlife Service; an exhibition by Q Station’s Curator, Anna Williams, engaging guests with a display of some of the site’s most interesting artifacts (out of 16,000 items which are more than 170 years old); and Psychic readings from Q Station’s Spirit Investigator Medium.



Face painting, badge making and poster competition activities will be running throughout the day at the Kid’s Activity Space. The spiritual aspects of Q Station will be showcased during nighttime interactive tours for both adults and children.



“Community Day not only celebrates the Quarantine Station history, but it also marks the first anniversary for the site, having re-opened last April. With a fantastic program of family-friendly activities, this is an exciting opportunity for Sydneysiders to visit this unique historical venue if you haven’t already.” Anna Williams, Curator & Visitors Service Manager, Q Station



Set in the magnificent surrounds of the National Park at North Head and with spectacular views of Sydney Harbour, Q Station is an enchanting location with a wealth of history. The site offers accommodation and conference facilities, a Visitor Centre on Quarantine Wharf, the Boilerhouse Restaurant situated close to the beach, interactive tours and school education programs.



Heritage Festival, a National Trust initiative, is an annual state-wide festival, running from 4 to 19 April, which will host over 300 events across Sydney and NSW.



On site parking is free and available for access by car and a free shuttle bus will run from Manly Wharf to Q Station. Water Shuttle access on Saturday is also free, and departs from Darling Harbour and Q Station. A schedule of times is available on the Q Station website.



EVENT INFORMATION



Date: Saturday, 18th April, 2009

Time: 10am - 4pm

Location: Q Station, 1 North Head Scenic Drive (5mins from Manly)

Prices: Various (free and discounted experiences) – See attached Activities table

Bookings: Phone 02 9976 6220 (BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL as Numbers Strictly Limited.)

Website: www.qstation.com.au

Pepper's Salt to be the home for World Rally


Peppers Salt Resort & Spa, Peppers Balé Salt and Mantra on Salt Beach are gearing up to be the official rally headquarters for Repco Rally Australia 2009, the World Rally Championship round coming to northern New South Wales on 3-6 September, 2009.

Accommodation at the beachfront properties in Kingscliff is selling fast for the high profile and internationally acclaimed motor sport event.

Matching first class facilities with exemplary service, Salt guests will enjoy uncrowded patrolled surf beaches, tropical lagoon swimming pools, heated rock pools and spas, tennis courts, gyms, scenic bike paths, The Golden Door Spa and an array of outstanding dining options.

Peppers Salt Resort & Spa is offering stunning one bedroom suites from $234* per room per night. The resort also features hotel style rooms plus one, two and three bedroom apartments. For bookings phone 02 6674 7777.

Peppers Balé Salt has luxurious two and three apartments with spectacular ocean views from $522* per room per night. For bookings phone 02 6674 7777.

Mantra on Salt Beach has a range of accommodation offerings including ocean view rooms, which have been specially designed to enhance the natural beach surroundings, from $188* per room per night. For bookings phone 02 6670 5000.

The event, round 10 of 12 in the 2009 FIA World Rally Championship, will be staged on gravel roads in the Tweed and Kyogle Shires while the rally headquarters and main service park will be at Salt Village, Kingscliff.

The FIA World Rally Championship is one of the most diverse, thrilling and challenging motor sports competitions in the world.

Many of the world's major car manufacturers will be represented. Subaru, Ford, Citroen and Suzuki currently contest the outright category, whilst Fiat, Peugeot, Mitsubishi and Renault contest the support categories.

For more details about the Peppers Salt and Mantra Salt properties please go to www.stellaresorts.com.au

*Terms and conditions apply. Based on single share. Valid for travel from 01/09/2009 to 09/09/2009. Subject to availability.

CONCESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC PACKAGE AT GRAND MERCURE APARTMENTS - TAKE YOUR CREDIT CARD FOR A CONFESSION-FREE DESIGNER WORKOUT


Take your credit card for a confession-free designer work-out

Hot on the designer heels of Isla Fisher's latest movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic, the Grand Mercure Apartments Darling Harbour has released a Concessions of a Shopaholic package that includes overnight accommodation in a two-bedroom apartment, full buffet breakfast for four, a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival and a four-hour CHIC in the City private chauffeured shopping experience with a personal stylist, a tailor-made itinerary, VIP designer concessions and discounts of 10% and more in selected boutiques, champagne, refreshments and chocolates, plus a surprise gift bag – all for just $289 per person (four-share).

This is the perfect package for the ultimate girls day out, staying in a stylish apartment and with a designer shopping tour in stores where the celebrities shop. Participants will learn tricks to shop smarter and choose styles that suit their own body type, colouring and lifestyle, while discovering high-end and specialist boutiques hidden away in the city's trendiest suburbs including Paddington, Woollahra, Surry Hills and Double Bay.

This package is the perfect excuse to do your bit for the economy – and your wardrobe – and get your credit card working for a good cause and in real style.

Grand Mercure Apartments Darling Harbour is a suitably chic base for your girls' day out, offering stylish and spacious accommodation just moments from the CBD and with the restaurants, bars and shops of Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay and King Street Wharf at your doorstep. The beautifully appointed apartments give a feeling of class and luxury and include lounge and dining areas, expansive balconies, television with DVD player and stereo, and two bathrooms, with most also offering walk-in wardrobes so you can show off your purchases when you return. Leisure facilities include a beautiful rooftop indoor heated lap pool, spa, sauna and gym with extensive viewing terraces over Darling Harbour.

* For those on a tighter budget, there is a Deluxe Shopping package for four girls that includes overnight accommodation in a two-bedroom apartment, sparkling wine on arrival, a three-hour CHIC in the City fashion walking tour with personal stylist, VIP designer discounts of 10% and more in selected boutiques, champagne, refreshments and chocolates – for just $179 per person (four share).

These packages are priced for a Pyrmont View – for a Harbour view there is an additional cost of $100 (or $25 per person for four). The packages are based on a minimum of four people and are subject to availability.

For bookings phone (02) 9288 7180 or email h1181@accor.com

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Korean Dreams: Win a Trip to Korea


Korea Tourism Organization in association with the Art Gallery of New South Wales is offering a free trip to Korea for two persons to celebrate the first ever exhibition of traditional Korean paintings to the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.

The 'Korean Dreams' exhibition currently on show at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until the 8th June is a superb selection of some forty decorative paintings and screens dating from the 17th to 19th centuries (Joseon Dynasty).

Visit the official travel website for Korea (www.visitkorea.or.kr) click on 'Sydney' and you can be in the running to win a trip for two people including return flights to Seoul, three nights deluxe hotel accommodation and two tickets to the Chongdong Traditional Theatre courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization. There is also the option to request a free copy of the new 'Unexpected Discoveries' pocket guide which highlights some of the ways that visitors can enjoy Korea while having an authentic and memorable Korean experience.

Entries to win the trip to Korea can also be made direct on the Art Gallery of New South Wales website (www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au) via the 'Korean Dreams' exhibition webpage.

The Sydney office of Korea Tourism Organization celebrated thirty years in Australia this year at the same time as the opening of 'Korean Dreams' with a cocktail function at the Art Gallery of New South Wales last Thursday. The Director of Korea Tourism Organization Mr. Deok-soo Ahn welcomed media and travel industry guests to the exhibition.

Mr. Ahn said "Such an important and beautiful Korean traditional art exhibition will no doubt interest many more Australians in Korea's history, culture and arts in the future and encourage them to see Korea for themselves". He said "Korean Dreams would assist greatly to promote Korea to many more Australians"

Following his speech guests were entertained with a Korean drum performance followed by an excellent introduction to the exhibition by Mr. John McDonald, the Senior Art Critic of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Further information on 'Korean Dreams' can be found on the Art Gallery of New South Wales website (www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au)

Monday, 16 March 2009

World-Class Winter Food & Wine Weekends in New Zealand at Relais & Châteaux Properties

Kauri Cliffs and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Special Winter Seasonal Offer!

 Luxury Relais & Châteaux golf & spa lodges in New Zealand are hosting a season of world-class 'Winter Food & Wine' weekends -- including a wine dinner with celebrity TV chef Rick Stein

The two award-winning retreats in Hawke's Bay are among the most prestigious in the Relais & Châteaux global collection of the world's finest luxury and independent small properties and gourmet restaurants.

The special seasonal offer, available from 1 May to 31 October 2009, includes a day of unlimited golf or alternatively a 50 minute massage of your choice for every night's stay.  Guests will also be hosted in a luxurious suite with the package including a cocktail hour, a gourmet dinner, full breakfast and use of all the facilities at either Cape Kidnappers or Kauri Cliffs.  The special offer rate is exclusive to Australian residents at NZ$700* per person per night from Sunday to Thursday, and NZ$750* per person per night on Friday and Saturday.

Throughout the season, the properties will be hosting a foray of Gourmet activities to 'wow' guests.  The line-up of events includes a wine dinner at Kauri Cliffs on May 30 with one of Australia's top chefs, Guillaume Brahimi, of the 3-star Guillaume at Bennelong, Sydney Opera House and Bistro Guillaume at Crown Casino Melbourne.

The dinner includes a tutored wine tasting of the Craggy Range's newly released Prestige Collection with winemaker/viticulturist Steve Smith M.W.  The wines will also be matched beautifully to each of the five courses prepared by Chef Brahimi.

A highlight of the exclusive gourmet weekends is a June 6 wine dinner at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers with 'celebrity chef' Rick Stein, famed for his globe-trotting cooking programmes focused on seafood.  Guests will be treated to his 'fishy tales' over a dinner he is cooking from New Zealand's freshest and best produce.  Complementing the event is a tutored wine tasting with John Hancock, chief winemaker at acclaimed Trinity Hill Wines.

The weekend of September 11-13, Cape Kidnappers hosts renowned chef Neil Perry and leading wine maker Dr. Neil McCallum of Dry River Wines.  The weekend starts off with a champagne welcome including a wine tasting and a la carte dinner.  On Saturday 12 September, guests can choose from a Neil Perry cooking demonstration, lunch at the Lodge or a winery tour with Te Awa's winemaker followed by lunch in the Barrel Room.  Guests are then treated to a five course dinner by Neil Perry, with matching wines.  To end a perfect weekend, guests will be joining a Seasonal Sunday Brunch with Neil Perry. 

The last event of the season will take place on October 24 where Cape Kidnappers features Australia's foremost wine authority James Halliday and his New Zealand counterpart Bob Campbell, M.W for the 'Great Shiraz Challenge! NZ vs. Australia'.  The ultimate 'taste-off' pitches New Zealand 'Syrah' from Hawke's Bay against wines from Australia's Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula.

All gourmet events including luxury accommodation, degustation dinner with wines, tutored wine tastings plus a day of unlimited golf or 50 minute massage and full breakfast are priced at NZ$800* (double occupancy) a night. A two night minimum applies for the September 11-13 'Neil & Neil' weekend.

The sister lodges are ranked in the Robb Report Top 100 Ultimate Escapes and Andrew Harper Hideaway Report of the world's 'Top 20 International Resorts'. Travel & Leisure also includes them among the world's '100 Best Destinations & Discoveries'.

* NB. All rates are subject to 12.5% Goods and Services Tax.


For reservations

Cape Kidnappers       

Phone +64 6 875 1900 or email reservations@capekidnappers.com

Kauri Cliffs                 

phone +64 9 407 0010 or email reservations@kauricliffs.com

More info on www.kauricliffs.com and www.capekidnappers.com


ABOUT RELAIS & CHÂTEAUX

Relais & Châteaux is an exclusive collection of 480 of the finest hotels and gourmet restaurants in 56 countries.

Established in France in 1954, the Association's mission is to spread its unique art de vivre across the globe by selecting outstanding small properties with a truly unique character.

Furthermore, Relais & Châteaux is also a family of hoteliers and Grands Chefs from all over the world who share a passion for and a personal commitment to ensuring their guests are privy to moments of exceptional harmony.  To choose Relais & Châteaux is to experience an unforgettable celebration of the senses.

From the vineyards in Napa valley to the beaches in Bali, from the olive trees in Provence to the lodges in South Africa, Relais & Châteaux offers a chance to explore the Route du Bonheur and discover a special place in a variety of destinations.

The Relais & Châteaux signature reflects this ambition:

"ALL AROUND THE WORLD, UNIQUE IN THE WORLD."

Information and reservations:

Australia, New Zealand                                               + 61 2 9299 2280

Website: www.relaischateaux.com

 

At Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Stay Longer Pay Less


Hyatt Hotel Canberra – a Park Hyatt Hotel, Canberra's finest five-star international hotel, is conveniently located in the national capital's Parliamentary Triangle, just a short stroll from Canberra's major tourist attractions and city centre.

To make your decision even easier, Hyatt Hotel Canberra is currently offering an incentive whereby the longer you stay, the less you pay. A one-night stay is priced from AU$305, two nights from AU$580 and three nights from AU$795. Each stay includes full buffet breakfast for two in the Promenade Café and access to the Clubhouse Fitness Centre.

Easter is an ideal time to visit your national capital to view the many exhibitions and galleries on offer. Showing at the National Gallery of Australia, “Misty Moderns: Australian Tonalists 1915-1959”, is the first exhibition to tell the story of Australian Tonalism, a movement championed by the influential and often controversial painter Max Meldrum in the first half of the 20th century

At the National Museum of Australia, explore the voyages that connect Australia to the world. Share the personal stories of some of the people who have travelled to and from Australia over time. See some of the Museum's latest acquisitions and oldest treasures.

The Australian War Memorial’s “Over the Front: the Great War of the Air” exhibition brings history to life with a range of extraordinary original aircraft and an exciting visual depiction of military flight.

To book your stay, call Hyatt reservations on 13 1234 or visit hyatt.com.

YARRA VALLEY’S BALGOWNIE ESTATE SURVIVES THE BUSHFIRES TO BECOME LATEST MEMBER OF MERCURE HOTELS

Great value package launched to welcome Mercure

The Yarra Valley's renowned Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa only recently survived the fierce February bushfires, but it is already back to business and about to enter a new era by joining Accor's Mercure hotel network from 1 April 2009.

Mercure Yarra Valley Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa is just under an hour's drive from the Melbourne CBD and Tullamarine Airport, and is set amongst rolling hills and Balgownie's own vines.

All rooms and suites offer spacious, contemporary accommodation complemented by panoramic views over the vineyards and the Valley. Suites offer a separate lounge room and bedroom, along with a kitchenette and dining area.

The best of local produce can be enjoyed at Rae's Restaurant, which offers both outside and inside dining, along with an attractive tasting room, where Balgownie's wines – from the Yarra Valley and Bendigo – can be tasted.

Balgownie Estate offers a holistic approach to holidaying with health and well being playing an equally important part as food and wine.  The on-site state-of-the-art Natskin Day Spa provides a full suite of treatments and an innovative multi-stationed heated pool for therapeutic treatments and exercises.  A fully equipped fitness centre is also available to guests looking to balance out their indulgences, along with tennis courts and extensive walking trails.

The resort is an inspirational venue for conferences and events groups, With ceiling to floor windows, the views make an outstanding backdrop for tailored meetings for us Our expansive glass and views over the vineyards and valley are a signature of the purpose designed Function Centre which caters for up to 130 delegates for a formal conference or up to 320 for a cocktail party.

Mercure is Accor's largest upscale hotel brand, with over 700 hotels in 50 countries. The addition of the Balgownie Estate resort will bring the Yarra Valley into a hotel network that already boasts such world-class wine regions as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Rhone Valley, as well as in many of Spain, Portugal and Italy's most prominent wine regions. In Australia and New Zealand, Mercure hotels are to be found in the Geelong, Hunter Valley, Adelaide Hills and Central Otago wine regions.

Mercure is a leader in the promotional of regional wine through its specialised Grands Vins wine lists.

Special Mercure Welcome Package

Overnight in a one bedroom spa suite and receive a complimentary bottle of Balgownie Estate 2005 Shiraz and free Cellar Door wine tastings plus a $50 food and beverage credit and full buffet breakfast for two in Rae's Restaurant – all from just $279 per night.  The offer is valid Sunday to Thursday until 30 June*.

Bookings - (03) 9730 0700
E        enquiry@balgownieestate.com.au
W:      www.balgownieestate.com.au

*Subject to availability, blackout dates apply.  $50 credit not to be used in conjunction with any other discount offers and must be used during stay.


Within Accor, Mercure represents professional hotel know-how at the service of a personalised stay.

For both business and leisure, the 758 Mercure hotels, which are all unique, respond to all expectations. Comfort, quality of reception and the art of welcoming have made Mercure's reputation in 49 countries around the world.

Accor, a major global group and the European leader in hotels, as well as the global leader in services to corporate clients and public institutions, operates in nearly 100 countries with 150,000 employees. It offers to its clients over 40 years of expertise in two core businesses:

- Hotels, with the Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel, Ibis, all seasons, Etap Hotel, Formule 1 and Motel 6 brands, representing 4,000 hotels and nearly 500,000 rooms in 90 countries, as well as strategically related activities, such as Lenôtre;

- Services, with 30 million people in 40 countries benefiting from Accor Services products in employee and public benefits, rewards and loyalty, and expense management.

Delta unveils Sydney-LA launch fares


Steve Jones

Delta Air Lines has further raised the stakes in the fierce trans-Pacific price war by announcing launch return air fares from Sydney to Los Angeles from $777 plus taxes and charges.

Business class starts from $7,777 plus taxes and surcharges.

Daily flights begin on July 3, subject to Government approval, with the launch fares on sale until April 9 for travel between July 3 and October 31.

Flights will depart Sydney at 9.15am, arriving 6am the same day and return LA at 10.40pm arriving in Australia at 6.40am two days later.

The carrier is also offering travel beyond LA with return economy fares from $977 plus taxes and surcharges to Atlanta, Boise, Detroit, Indianpolis, New York, Orlando, Memphis, New Orleans, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Cincinnati. Business class is $9,777.

Delta will operate Boeing 777-200LR aircraft on the Sydney to LA route.

In a separate development, the airline this morning confirmed that from today Global Aviation Services will represent both Delta and subsidiary Northwest Airlines in the Australian market.

Stop Press: Delta Airlines has just announced that "due to competitor activity" it's cutting its launch fares between Australia and the USA to $747 plus taxes.

The previous $777+taxes fare level was exclusively revealed in Friday's Travel Daily and went on sale this morning.

The $747+taxes economy fare utilises Delta's extensive US network and is applicable for flights from Sydney via Los Angeles to Atlanta, Boise, Detroit, Indianapolis, New York, Orlando, Memphis, New Orleans, Seattle, Salt Lake City or Cincinnati.

The special price is available for sales effective immediately until 09 Apr, for travel from 03 Jul-31 Oct 09.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Melbourne's own Westin Hotel wins Qantas Frequent Flyer award


The Westin Melbourne, the most decorated Westin property in the world has been recognised by frequent flyers as one of the best leisure and business hotels in Australia.

Last year, the Westin was named in Conde Nast traveller's gold list as one of the best places to stay in the world, alongside the best luxury hotel in the Victorian Tourism Awards hall of fame amongst others.

Now consumers who travel frequently  have named the Westin Melbourne in their favourite category.  Qantas Frequent Flyers were asked to vote for their favourite qantas.com hotels across destinations and categories such as comfiest bed, best room, best view and more. The results are now being showcased in a spectacular minisite that has been integrated into 'Hotels' on qantas.com. www.qantas.com/hotels

Anne Jamieson, Sales and Marketing Director, the Westin Melbourne said, "This is a great honour. Qantas frequent flyers are connoisseurs of the industry. As world travellers, their taste is most discerning. So to be voted as one of their favourite hotels is certainly flattering."

She said, "Our guests love the Westin because of its unrivalled location in the heart of Melbourne, the welcoming staff and the sleek chic ambiance which epitomises the hotel."

About Westin Hotels & Resorts

With a portfolio of more than 150 properties around the world, Westin Hotels & Resorts is in the midst of the most robust growth period in the brand's 77-year history.  Westin Hotels is the fastest growing upper-upscale brand in the world with plans to expand to more than 250 hotels in the next five years.  Westin Hotels & Resorts is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT).  Starwood Hotels is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 940 properties in more than 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties.  Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands:  St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien® and the recently announced AloftSM and ElementSM Hotels.  Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts.  For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 940 properties in approximately 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched AloftSM, and Element SM.  Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.


 

Friday, 13 March 2009

World’s largest fish make an early splash at Ningaloo Reef!


It’s only the start of March but the gentle giants of the ocean – the magnificent whale sharks – have already been sighted near Ningaloo Reef on Western Australia’s Coral Coast.

Whale sharks, which can grow up to 18 metres long, normally visit Ningaloo between early April and early July each year following the mass spawning of coral in the pristine waters of Ningaloo Marine Park.

One of the Earth’s last true ocean paradises, Ningaloo is also one of very few regions in the world where whale sharks congregate regularly in coastal waters which are easily accessible to nature lovers.

Marine adventurers can swim with these huge but docile creatures by joining one of the specialist whale shark tour boats which operate out of the small coastal towns of Exmouth and Coral Bay.

There’s also plenty of other marine life to discover at Ningaloo Reef and, unlike many others, you can get to it just by stepping off the beach.

Slip on a snorkel or diving gear and swim with graceful manta rays, see dolphins and schools of brightly coloured fish in the clearest turquoise water imaginable. Rare turtle species hatch here in late January and February and you can watch this amazing natural phenomenon on special guided, eco-interactive trails.

If you don't want to get your feet wet, take one of the glass bottom boat tours or on land explore the rugged Cape Range National Park by 4WD.

At night relax at one of the regions resorts. Enjoy wild bush luxury at the new exclusive safari camp Sal Salis www.salsalis.com.au , or the stylish Novotel Ningaloo www.novotelningaloo.com.au at Sunrise Beach.

Ningaloo Reef is a little over two hours by plane from Perth or two days drive by car.

For more information on tours and attractions in the region visit www.westernaustralia.com. For special holiday deals go to http://www.westernaustralia.com/au/Destinations/Pages/Deals

Thursday, 12 March 2009

ANGSANA VELAVARU INNOVATES WITH INOCEAN VILLAS IN THE MALDIVES


Angsana Velavaru, located in the pristine South Nilandhe Atoll is set to unveil new standards in resort living. In July 2009, it will launch the first standalone collection of water villas in the Maldives that is not on an island.

This exclusive cluster of 34 InOcean Villas, together with a dedicated Italian restaurant and bar, is located one kilometre away from the island of Velavaru. A first in the Maldives, the “floating resort” is perched in the middle of the Indian Ocean, creating a unique castaway experience where guests never need to venture far from their retreat to enjoy the Maldives. Introductory rates start from USD 750++ per night per villa, inclusive of daily breakfast for two.

Arrive in Style

Angsana Velavaru is accessible via either a scenic 40-minute seaplane journey or a leisurely eight-hour cruise onboard a Turkish Gulet originating at Malé island. Upon disembarking, a quick speedboat ride will bring guests to the dedicated jetty serving the InOcean Villas, where they will be warmly welcomed by the resort hosts. Meanwhile, colourful reef fish dart underneath the boardwalk connecting the jetty and reception area to the InOcean Villas.

A Series of Pleasurable Discoveries Await

Ranging in size from 175 square metres to 290 square metres, each of the spacious 20 InOcean Villas, 11 Premier InOcean Villas and three Sanctuary InOcean Villas offers guests an intimate oasis for blissful enjoyment and unparalleled solitude.

Upon entry, guests will be greeted by a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean through the sliding glass doors along the living, sleeping and bath areas. Reminiscent of stylish city lofts and accented with contemporary coral designs, each two-storey villa comes with a spacious outdoor deck, an infinity pool of at least 21 square metres, and a hammock suspended over water. The Premier InOcean Villas and two-bedroom Sanctuary InOcean Villas also feature an extended deck into the ocean, complete with a cosy pavilion for leisure lounging or yoga practice.

On the upper deck, guests can bask in the warm sunshine on the sun beds or take shelter and read a book in a plush sofa lounger. For further relaxation, indulge in some pampering Asian-inspired massages deftly delivered by the resort’s skilled Angsana Spa therapists. In the evening, wine and dine under the stars or indulge in hearty Maldivian curries as the sun dips into the horizon.

Modern amenities to complement this resort chic lifestyle include a flat screen TV, stereo system with iPod docking station, a full-sized bath tub, and wireless Internet connection. Considerate touches include two sets of snorkelling gear placed in the villa for marine exploration whenever desired, as guests are mere steps from the clear lagoon waters and its colourful inhabitants.

Guests who wish to take meals outside of the villa may walk over to Azzurro, the gourmet Italian restaurant and bar located towards one end of the InOcean Villa cluster. Aside from delectable Italian classics, Azzurro will offer an extensive international wine selection showcased in floor-to-ceiling wine racks.
A Unique Two-In-One Proposition

Guests staying at the InOcean Villas also enjoy complete access to the facilities and services available at Velavaru island where there are 79 beachfront villas. Whenever desired, guests have the option to retreat to the discreet privacy of the InOcean Villas or enjoy the convenience of full resort services and amenities at the main resort.

At Angsana Velavaru, the facilities and services on the island include:

* Eclectic dining options at Funa and Kaani restaurants, and exotic cocktails at Kuredhi Bar
* Chef’s culinary classes
* Angsana Spa treatments in an outdoor spa pavilion or air-conditioned treatment room
* Kids’ Club – open from 10am to 8pm
* A dedicated Marine Lab which organises hands-on eco activities like coral planting, reef cleaning, and marine biology class
* Water sports like diving, guided snorkeling safari, wakeboarding
* A selection of local crafts and spa amenities at Angsana Gallery

For reservations and enquiries, please contact Angsana Velavaru at +960 676 0028 or email reservations-velavaru@angsana.com. One-stop reservations at the best rates can be made online at angsana.com.

About Angsana Velavaru

Known also as ‘Turtle Island’ in the local Dhivehi language, Angsana Velavaru is feted for its turquoise lagoon and spacious pool villas, being one of the few resorts in the secluded southern reaches of the Maldives. The resort is a scenic 40-minute seaplane journey from Malé island, and provides guests with a back-to-nature experience complemented with a wide range of activities for friends, loved ones and the whole family.


Angsana Hotels and Resorts

Angsana is a hotel brand that caters to the modern traveller seeking style and authenticity. Comprising contemporary and chic retreats., Angsana properties are designed to create and deliver vibrant enlivening experiences for guests at work and at play. Each Angsana hotel, resort, spa and retail gallery exudes the spirit and conscience of its environment, while offering a strong sense of individuality infused with our Asian heritage. Facilities and services at all Angsana properties are focused on enabling guests to draw the most of every moment.

Managed by the Banyan Tree Group, Angsana Hotels and Resorts operates over 10 resorts and hotels, over 40 spas, and in excess of 40 retail galleries.

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