Friday, 29 October 2010

Authentic, adventure holiday destinations from

Expedia names the world’s top destinations for adventurous travellers

Spending a holiday sipping cocktails by the pool is not for everyone. Some adventure-hungry travellers prefer to spend their holidays exploring some of the world’s most unique, remote and exciting destinations.

For travellers looking to experience new cultures, meet new people and challenge themselves,™, operated by Expedia, Inc., the world’s largest online travel company, has teamed up with leading adventure tour company, Gap Adventures to find the world’s top adventure destinations for Aussie travellers.

New to, Gap Adventures, offers tours for adventure-hungry travellers to over 100 countries. To book a tour, visit’s top adventure holiday destinations:

A trip to Antarctica, with its towering rock faces, colossal icebergs and vast biological diversity, combined with the bone-chilling temperatures, create a once in a lifetime travel experience. Antarctica is at the mercy of the ice and elements, but those fortunate enough to visit Antarctica will truly see ‘nature in the raw’ as sea lions, elephant seals and thousands of penguins exist in their natural habitat. While on South Georgia Island, travellers will have the chance to visit famed Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton’s grave or take a cruise through the infamous Drake’s Lake on the Antartic Peninsula. The best time to travel is between November and February, with February being the best time for whale watching and to see penguin chicks.

Tour Recommendation: Try the 20-day Spirit of Shackleton tour explores the best of Antarctica, which includes four days on South Georgia Island and a chance to visit Ernest’s grave. To book, visit or call 1300 900 816. Prices from $13,109 per person.

Expedia has return flights to Ushuaia, Argentina. To book, visit
Book your return flights to Ushuaia, Argentina with

Travellers looking for an all-in-one adventure to write home about will be hard pressed to find a better country about which to tell the tale than Tanzania, Africa. Located on the eastern side of the continent, the country combines vast National Parks and prime wildlife viewing opportunities with Zanzibar, home to some of the best beaches and bluest waters in the world. For a memorable Tanzanian adventure, explore Africa’s famous wonders: the Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro or the extinct Ngorogoro Crater where travellers can sleep among the wildlife.

Tour Recommendation: The 17-day Tanzania Encompassed tour is the best way to experience Tanzania and also includes three days in Mount Kilimanjaro National Pak and two days in Ngorongoro. To book, visit or call 1300 900 816. Prices from $4,449 per person.

Expedia has return flights to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. To book, visit
Book your return flights to Zanzibar, Tanzania with

Trekking throughout South America, and specifically Bolivia, is a unique experience. Bolivia has transformed itself from a country in turmoil during the Che Guevara years into a tourist hub for backpackers looking for adventure. Travellers can drive across the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world, visit the impressive Iguassu Falls in the Amazon or take a jungle eco-tour through the famed Amazon rainforest. Not for the faint hearted, travellers can also take up the challenge and trek up one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the world, the Andes. Alternatively, for an adrenaline-packed adventure, travellers can hop on a bike or bus and travel along the eerily named ‘road of death’, which is guaranteed to get the heart pumping.

Tour Recommendation: Experience Bolivia with the 11-day Bolivia Discovery tour, which includes three days of driving across the salt flats. To book, visit or call 1300 900 816. Prices from $1,179 per person.

Expedia has return flights to La Paz, Bolivia. To book, visit
Book your return flights to La Paz, Bolivia with

Galapagos Islands
A visit to the Galapagos Islands will astound even the most experienced traveller. As nature enthusiasts discover the unique wildlife just like Charles Darwin did over two centuries ago, they may come face-to-face with a giant Galapagos tortoise or flightless cormorant, which are unique to the Islands. A great way to get around and explore the Islands is by boat and plenty of cruises make frequent day trips to the other Islands of the archipelago. For a closer brush with nature, travellers can explore the Islands by snorkeling in Turtle Cave, where travellers can swim with the sea lions or get up close to reef sharks. Other must sees include the twin craters at Los Gemelos and, if lucky, travellers will also get a chance to see hundreds of Sally Lightfoot crabs at Puerto Egas.

Tour Recommendation: Cruise around the Galapagos Islands with the six-day Voyage Galapagos tour, which includes a cruise to Rabida Island and a chance to see the large sea lion colony. To book, visit or call 1300 900 816. Prices from $2,249 per person, plus USD$100 Galapagos Park fee and USD$10 transit control fee.

Expedia has return flights to Quito, Ecuador. To book, visit
Book your return flights to Quito, Ecuador with

Travellers seeking a cultural or activity-based holiday will be rewarded once they leave behind the resorts and beaches of the popular party towns such as Cancun and embrace Mexico’s rich history, infectious culture and world-famous cuisine. Travellers can try their hand at a number of challenging activities including jungle hikes, caving and barrier reef snorkeling with sting rays and reef sharks. Or, for something a little less adventurous but equally rewarding, travellers can wander through the ancient Mayan sites and discover the strong local culture or learn about day-to-day Mayan life in San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Tour Recommendation: Discover Mexico in all its glory with a 22-day Mayan Adventure tour, which includes two days in Palenque, one of the most well-known ruins in Mundo Maya. To book, visit or call 1300 900 816. Prices from $2,069 per person.

Expedia has return flights to Cancun, Mexico. To book, visit
Book your return flights to Cancun, Mexico with

New Zealand
For adventure junkies, New Zealand is the place to be. Queenstown, which is arguably the adventure capital of the world, has been attracting adventure tourists for decades and it never fails to impress. Whether it’s hiking on the glaciers of the Southern Alpines , Queenstown has an abundance of action-packed options to offer adventurers of all ages. For the ultimate adventure experience, combine a bungee jump and white-water rafting with a high speed jet boat ride and finish it off with a spectacular helicopter flight, otherwise known as the ‘Awesome Foursome’.

Tour Recommendation: Get your adrenaline pumping with the 15-day South Island Soujourn, which includes three days in the adventure capital, Queenstown. To book, visit or call 1300 900 816. Prices from $3,459 per person.

Expedia has return flights to Christchurch, New Zealand. To book, visit
Book your return flights to Christchurch, New Zealand with

Trekkers and mountaineers from all corners of the globe flock to this Himalayan kingdom to experience some of the best trekking the world has to offer. Aside from tackling the famed Mount Everest, trekkers are also tempted by other famous treks including the Annapurna and Langtang trails. For those keen to have more of a cultural experience, Nepal also offers some great volunteer opportunities, where travelers can give back to the communities they visit by lending a hand with reforestation projects, and the construction of community buildings. Nepal’s capital Kathmandu is an amazing city full of life and a day exploring the city is an exhilarating experience in itself.

Tour Recommendation: Enjoy some world class trekking on the 15-day Annapurna Sanctuary tour, which includes 10-days trekking through the Anapurna Ranges. To book, visit or call 1300 900 816. Prices from $1,069 per person.

Expedia has return flights to Kathmandu, Nepal. To book, visit
Book your return flights to Kathmandu, Nepal with

Laos, the land of a million elephants, and one of Southeast Asia’s most enchanting destinations, offers a rich fusion of culture, nature and adventure. Travellers can embark on their own expeditions and explore the mountains of Laos and learn from the tribes that call the spectacular landscape home. Travellers can also take a trip along the magnificent Mekong River with its waterfalls and dolphins, enjoy an Elephant safari or visit the remarkable Buddha sculptures at the Pak Ou caves, which are only accessible by boat. Adventure lovers will flock to the Luang Prabang area as they will have the chance to kayak, white water raft and scale some impressive rock faces.

Tour Recommendation: See the best of Laos on the 12-day Roam Laos tour, which includes a day cruising the Mekong River. To book, visit or call 1300 900 816. Prices from $1,169 per person.

Expedia has return flights to Hanoi, Vietnam. To book, visit
Book your return flights to Hanoi, Vietnam with

South Africa
South Africa is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular destinations for adventure travellers. Aside from the fantastic safaris on offer in South Africa, and the opportunity to spot the ‘big five’, adrenaline seekers can come face-to-face with an imposing Great White Shark, from the comfort of a cage of course, or jump from one of the world’s highest bungee jumps. For those after less extreme pursuits, South Africa is the perfect destination to camp under the beautiful African sky, follow the Garden Route along the coast of South Africa, or visit the incredible and historic Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for over 20 years.

Tour Recommendation: Tour South Africa on the 20-day South Africa Encompassed tour, which includes two days in Kruger National Park. To book, visit or call 1300 900 816. Prices from $2,289 per person.

Expedia has return flights to Johannesburg, South Africa. To book, visit
Book your return flights to Johannesburg, South Africa with

The history and aura of Egypt has been attracting travellers for decades. Known throughout the world for the great pyramids of Giza and impressive Sphinxes, desert safaris are another ‘must-do’ in Egypt. They are a unique way to see the wonders of the country including the five oases in the Western Deserts and its unique rock structures. For travellers looking for a unique experience, they can trek up the famous Mt Sinai or scuba dive in the Red Sea. In addition to safaris, travellers can cruise down the famed River Nile, perfect for travellers looking to see 5,000 years of history drift by such as the Edfu and Kom Ombo temples, all while enjoying a drink on the deck or trying some local delicacies such as Ful medames or Kushari.

Tour Recommendation: Discover Egypt on the 12-day Egypt Explorer tour, which includes a three-day Nile River Cruise. To book, visit or call 1300 900 816. Prices from $2,079 per person.

Expedia has return flights to Cairo, Egypt. To book, visit
Book your return flights to Cairo, Egypt with

Tour prices are correct as at 28th October 2010 and are subject to change.

Monday, 25 October 2010

THAI Takes Off Daily to Haneda, Japan from 31 Oct 10

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited will begin operating daily flights on the route Bangkok-Haneda v.v., utilizing Airbus A340-500 aircraft, effective as of 31 October 2010 onwards.

Mr. Teerapol Chotichanapibal, THAI's Acting Executive Vice President for Commercial Department, said, "THAI will commence daily flight to Tokyo's Haneda Airport on 31 October 2010, while maintaining current service to Narita International Airport. By serving Haneda, passengers flying THAI to Tokyo will experience more convenience with flight departures and arrivals that are closer in proximity to Tokyo's city center."

From 31 October onwards, passengers will have the option of flying to and from Tokyo via Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport), which is evolving from domestic flight handling to include more international networks. Flying into Haneda will offer passengers the choice to greater access closer to Tokyo's city center, which makes travel increasingly convenient for business as well as leisure travelers. In addition, passengers connecting onto domestic flights within Japan will be able to take advance of greater ease in connectivity.

THAI flies 44 times a week from Australia to Bangkok with convenient connections ot over 70 destinations on 5 continents. Enjoy gourmet food, fine wines and legendary hospitality every time you fly, Smooth as silk....

For more information and reservations, passengers may refer to, contact THAI's offices in Australia on 1300 651 960 or THAI's Bangkok Call Center on Phone +662 356-1111, 24 hours.

THAI's Bangkok-Haneda v.v. operations will utilize A340-500 aircraft with a total 215 seat capacity: 60 seats in Royal Silk (Business Class) and 155 seats in Economy Class. THAI will operate a total of 4 flights per day to Tokyo: 3 flights per day on the route Bangkok-Narita and 1 flight per day on the route Bangkok-Haneda.

Island Escape Cruises Keen to Shake "Best Kept Secret" Tag

Auckland-based boutique small ship cruise company, Island Escape Cruises, is tiring of their status as one of New Zealand and Vanuatu's best kept tourism secrets.

"Sure, we're exclusive, niche and out of the mass market, but that doesn't mean we want to be a secret," said owner Peter Bissett, "and we certainly don't want our overwhelming satisfied past passengers to keep us all to themselves.

They say
"the most amazing cruise and we loved every minute of it",
"the best experience ever",
"we had a wonderful time"
"I simply love this ship"

"If you've already travelled on the big ships, maybe it's time to rethink everything you thought you knew about cruising? Or maybe you've been unsure about cruising because you don't want to feel like you're travelling in a crowded shopping mall. Our ship, Island Passage, instead offers a relaxed, intimate experience much like a luxury private yacht."

Don't be misled by Island Passage's workboat-like exterior - it hides a meticulously crafted interior. At 42m (137.8ft), this ocean-going catamaran is equipped to access remote areas while delivering the highest level of onboard comfort. She hosts up to 22 guests in 11 spacious ensuite cabins, has a large dining room and saloon lounge and is fitted with rich timber panelling and superb New Zealand Kauri handmade furniture. In the galley, our expert chef works with fresh local ingredients and delicacies to create memorable meals that reflect the day's adventures. The ship's spacious outdoor living areas include a covered aft deck and huge upper deck which doubles as a helipad.

Island Passage cruises the waters of the Marlborough Sounds in November, the Bay of Islands in January and February, the Hauraki Gulf in December and March before relocating north to the waters of Vanuatu from May through until the end of August.

For entertainment and exploration, Island Passage carries purpose-built landing craft with walk on/walk off ramps, three large tenders, sea kayaks, a five-seater helicopter (New Zealand only) sports and game fishing and snorkelling equipment.

Prices are all -inclusive and include all shore excursions superb cuisine, espresso coffee, tea, bottled water, juices and soft drinks, port charges, taxes, fees and onboard services. Alcohol and optional helicopter tours are extra.


Sunday, 24 October 2010

Spend New Year's Eve in the City That Never Sleeps with This Exciting New Holiday Package from Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square!

Here's your chance to be in the center of the action as the famous New Year's Eve Ball descends from the flagpole atop One Times Square! Stay overnight at Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square, the only all suite hotel on Broadway in Times Square - and bid adieu to 2010 just steps from The Times Square New Year's Eve celebration.

Be part of the celebration with over a million of your closest friends, right where the famous New Year's Eve Ball will descend at midnight. This package includes suite at Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square plus overnight parking (for one car), breakfast and a bottle of champagne delivered on December 31, 2010. Guest must stay 12/30/10 and 12/31/10 to be eligible for the breakfast, parking, and champagne.

This package is available exclusively from 12/26/10 to 1/3/11. Parking is provided for one car for each night package code BW1 is booked. There are no in / out privileges for car. Guest must stay nights of 12/30/10 and 12/31/10 in order to be eligible for the breakfast, parking, and champagne. NO ARRIVALS permitted on 12/31/10 due to NYPD restrictions. Must be 21 years or older and show proper ID, in order to receive champagne.

Book our New Year's Eve Package today by calling 1-800-222-TREE and requesting plan code BW1. Package is available at Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square only:

Friday, 22 October 2010

Affordable Caribbean - Stay in the Caribbean for under $50 per night with rex resorts

The Caribbean has now become even more affordable thanks to rex resorts massive fall/winter sale. Situated on the shores of five beautiful islands, the seven properties of rex resorts offer a real taste of paradise, and guests can now enjoy up to 50% off direct bookings plus free spa treatments. Comparisons with other same rating hotels shows that rex resorts gives guests value for money with prices also up to 45% cheaper than some of their competitors*

If you're looking for a beautiful island with lush rainforest, stunning scenery and a lively culture then St Lucia is the island for you. The St Lucian by rex resorts is a well established 3 star property situated on the 'best' beach in St Lucia. From only $41 per adult per night [based on two sharing] guests can enjoy the beautiful island with this amazing low rate. The resort offers a range of board options from room only to all inclusive. In comparison the four star Bay Gardens Beach Resort situated on the same beach is offering nights from $149 per couple. St Lucian is located within its own landscaped gardens and is perfect for lazy days on the beach and for enjoying a wide range of water sports in the calm blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. The newly refurbished Royal by rex resorts is a four star property also located on the same beach, offering exquisite surroundings and fabulous ocean view suites, with a current saving of 40% off nightly rates. A stay at this sophisticated resort which includes an award winning fine dining restaurant costs from just $153 per couple and includes a 30 minute spa treatment when staying 3 nights or more. The location of the rex resorts in St Lucia also means you are on the doorstep to all the great restaurants and best nightlife the Island has to offer.

For a cosmopolitan Island with colonial style architecture and dramatic scenery, then Barbados is the Island for you. Discovery Bay by rex resorts in Barbados is offering 35% off with rooms from only $139.75 per couple. The resort provides the perfect location for a holiday in Barbados. The charming plantation-style house and gardens are positioned on St James beach, on the fashionable West coast of the island, with a short stroll to a variety of shops and restaurants. In comparison a stay at three star rated Settler Beach Villa Hotel costs from $199.50 per couple.

Grenada is famous for its spices, exotic flowers and world class diving. The Grenadian by rex resorts offers great value with 40% off rooms from only $87 per couple, that's under $45 per person per night and a range of meal plans are available. In comparison a stay at Grenada Grand Beach Resort starts from $146.40 per couple. If you're looking for a spot of diving then the Grenadian has one of the Islands best dive shops, Devotion 2 Ocean, located right on its beach with competitive diving packages.

If it's wildlife you're looking for then Tobago is bursting with it, from exotic indigenous birds to majestic leatherback turtles. It's also the perfect island to kick back and relax. Turtle Beach by rex resorts is offering rooms from just $97.50 per couple, a saving of 35%. For a similar rated hotel you'll be paying almost double the cost, with Half Moon Blue resort offering rooms from $186.67 per couple.

For lovers of a beach paradise then Antigua is hard to beat. rex resorts has two hotels on the island each situated on stunning white sand, palm tree fringed beaches. 3 star Halcyon Cove by rex resorts has a massive 50% sale with rooms only $80 per couple or an all inclusive rate of $174 per couple. Similar rated resorts include Jolly Beach Resort, also with a half price sale with rooms now costing $178 per couple and the Royal Antiguan for $120 per couple for B&B.

So for some winter sun in the beautiful Caribbean staying in some of the most affordable yet well presented hotels, visit to book direct.

Major airlines fly to the five islands including America Airlines [], Delta Airlines [], Continental Airlines [], Jetblue Airways [], US Airways [] and Caribbean Airlines [] who launch a weekly JFK -Tobago flight from 12th December. Visit their websites for best flight deals to the Caribbean.

*Dates shopped on Expedia for same category hotels, prices based on two people sharing on room only basis, unless otherwise stated. Dates shopped from 7th - 21st November 2010. rex resort rates from now until 22nd December 2010.

LUXE City Guides Release 10 more Travel Guides for iPhone

10 more of the hugely popular LUXE City Guides are now available to download to iPhones, making 20 in the LUXE City Guides Mobile range to choose from. LUXE. Smart stuff for busy people.

LUXE City Guides Mobile can now take you to the best of the best of Barcelona, Florence, Tokyo, Berlin, Beijing, Seoul, Venice, Dubai, Istanbul and Los Angeles, as well as New York, Hong Kong, Paris, London, Shanghai, Singapore, Rome, Bali, Sydney and Bangkok. And all for an introductory price of US$ 5.99.

With over 1 million guides sold to date, LUXE City Guides are already a trusted source for reliable, ultra researched travel information covering everything from hotels and restaurants, to spas and bars. And now LUXE City Guides just got a whole lot more convenient. Employing local editors and contributors, LUXE lists over 400 ideas to fast track you right to the essence of a city, including to local artisans and craftsman. You will never get stuck on the homogenised high street with LUXE and now the guides are available straight to your phone. How glamvenient is that!

Want to avoid the touristy celeb-spotting sites and sup at prime tables where the city's stylish residents really hang out in Los Angeles? Want perfect cocktails in a funky, modern Speakeasy or a charisma-stacked old bar in New York? LUXE City Guides Mobile has got it covered.

Of maybe you're heading to Europe. Would you like to discover the scorching art scene making Berlin the epicentre of cool? Or perhaps you want to be personally guided through Barcelona's famous Gaudi architecture by an expert?

LUXE City Guides Mobile apps are packed full of extra features. You can check out rich content anytime, save your favourites, arrange and build personal itineraries and navigate with the handy online and offline maps. Plus there are clickable websites and touch dial telephone numbers. How cool is that?

And what's more, each app comes with a year of free updates sent directly to your mobile. And when the year is up, re-subscription is half price. Check them out now!

LUXE City Guides have partnered with 1010 and CSL in Hong Kong to bring you LUXE City Guides Mobile. CSL's technological expertise combined with LUXE's exclusive content make this unique service available to mobile users throughout the world.

About 1O1O
Launched in 1993, 1O1O is the prestigious brand of CSL Ltd, the leading Hong Kong mobile operator. Well-known for its quality network and premium customer services, 1O1O is not only the first choice for Hong Kong's business users but it is also benchmark leader for the industry.

1O1O established a number of notable and highly successful firsts: 1O1O Next G™, 1O1O Concierge, 3G Video Sharing Service, F-Secure Mobile Security Service and a loyalty programme for its mobile users - 1O1O ClubBest™.

The brand's market leadership and superior customer service are highly recognized by the industry. Utilizing its talent, technological know-how and quality networks, 1O1O launched 1O1O + BlackBerry Wireless Email Solution in 2004 to maximize corporations' efficiency and enable corporate customers to communicate seamlessly with their business partners and clients and continues to bring innovative and practical solutions to the market.

For more information about 1O1O, please visit

About LUXE City Guides
LUXE City Guides now have 31 cities in their range covering cities from Asia to America and Europe. Starting from scratch LUXE re-thought the whole concept of why and how we all travel, of what we need when we get there and most importantly, what we don't. LUXE is now famous for its super-svelte format, and its take no prisoners attitude, avoiding all the padding, and blah of other guides and getting straight to the meat. The result - ultra-smart travel companions stacked with priceless information for the discerning, value-conscious and busy traveller.

For more information about LUXE City Guides, please visit

Broome Turns Pink for Breast Cancer at Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa

With breast cancer affecting one in eight Australian women by the age of 85 years, it's an unfortunate reality that we are likely to know someone who will be touched by the disease in some way during their life. For the fourth consecutive year Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa is proud to support National Breast Cancer Foundation and during October is participating in Fundraising Activities, Global Illumination and holding its annual Pink Ribbon Breakfast.

"Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa is committed to providing vital fund raising assistance and resources in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation as a Corporate Supporter" Ron Sedon, General Manager for Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa commented .

Our Resort ablaze in pink....
For the entire month of October Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa is set ablaze in Pink in support of Global Illumination, a unique initiative designed to put the spotlight on breast cancer.

"We join world famous monuments, landmarks and buildings and illuminate in pink as a symbol of hope to empower and enlighten millions of women everywhere" said Mr Sedon.

Breakfast for Breast Cancer Research
On Friday 15th October 84 Broome guests attended the Pink Breakfast for Breast Cancer Research at Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The breakfast raised over $4,000 which was donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to support breast cancer research and survivorship initiatives.

"The support the Broome community and our guests have shown us throughout Pink Ribbon Month in 2010 has been outstanding. We are extremely proud of our partnership with National Breast Cancer Foundation and hope our efforts assist in raising both awareness and funding towards the prevention and cure of breast cancer" said Mr Sedon.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

MasterChef's Jimmy Seervai joins World Expeditions to lead culinary tour to India

MasterChef finalist Jimmy Seervai has joined with leading adventure travel company World Expeditions to create an amazing 18 day culinary tour of India which he will escort in October 2011.  Staying at beautiful heritage hotels, the journey will encompass master classes with Jimmy together with well-known Indian chefs while also dining in specialty restaurants across this fascinating county from south to north.

This journey unravels the mysteries of traditional Indian cuisine, exploring the use of spices, herbs and fresh produce that are purchased at local markets and bazaars to later prepare into a variety of dishes that are renown to the region.

A highlight of the tour will be the opportunity to meet and cook with various well-known Indian chefs. These chefs will welcome Jimmy and the group into their kitchens and give their very own 'master chef' demonstration, with the group enjoying the meal afterwards.

"I have specially selected many of these restaurants from my knowledge of India and of these great restaurants and chefs, and I am sure we have created an itinerary filled with exceptional experiences," says Jimmy.

 "Of all the doors MasterChef has opened up for me, I am most excited about this one by far. I get the opportunity to share a journey through my home country that has a rich 5000 year history, unmatched in its diversity for culture, people, colour and food!," said Jimmy.

The diversity of cuisine on this tour is equalled by the contrasting landscapes and cultures as it encompasses the relaxed pace of Kerala in the south,  the bustling streetscapes of the capital New Delhi and much in between.  The tour includes the gentle sway of on an overnight train journey, superb wildlife sightings at Periyar National Park and a cool drink overlooking the sands of the Rajasthan Desert, while the unique home stay and exploration of the vast history, palaces and forts of Hyderabad, Mumbai, Udaipur and Jaipur will provide another captivating tangent to the trip.

The trip is incredible value at $7990 per person and includes return flights with Singapore Airlines and taxes from Australia, airport transfers, 4-5 star specially selected heritage hotels with one night home stay, all internal transport including flights, trains and private vehicles, breakfast and half board daily, seven demonstrations with local master chefs with meals, seven specialty restaurant meals, site entry fees and local Indian guides throughout.

It would be hard to top this superb opportunity to explore Indian cooking in-depth with Jimmy Seervai with his flair for Indian/Persian fusion dishes and his Mumbai Zoroastrian heritage. Complimented by splendid hotels, carefully selected restaurants and some of India's best sights will ensure participants are in for a very special and unique experience.

With only one departure on 08 October 2011 places are strictly limited, contact World Expeditions now on 1300 720 000 or go to

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Strap yourself into the captain’s seat at Hilton Melbourne Airport

Cockpit - Flight simulator
The five-star Hilton Melbourne Airport, in partnership with the Ansett Flight Simulator Centre, has just launched a brand new package which is challenging, exciting and fully interactive. 

The Simulator Package enables guests to strap themselves into the captain’s seat and under the guidance of a qualified simulator instructor, follow the real airline checklist procedures through all the phases of a real commercial flight. The simulator represents the world’s most popular airliner 737 – 300, 400, 500 series.
The Simulator Package includes a one-hour simulator flight; luxury accommodation on the deluxe floor; dinner and breakfast in the sleek and modern Airo Restaurant; a bottle of wine on arrival; late check-out; and return transfers to and from the Ansett Simulator Centre.  Rates start at $1,245 per person.

Hilton Melbourne Airport is conveniently located just minutes from Melbourne airport and a half hour drive from Melbourne CBD. The 276 deluxe guest rooms command sweeping views of the city, hinterland and everyday airport life featuring in-room flight information, hassle free broadband access and levels of comfort rarely seen in an airport location.  The hotel also includes a stylish Café Airo, lounge bar, ballroom and fully equipped gymnasium featuring a heated indoor pool, spa, sauna and steam room. 
For more information visit:

Indulge your senses at the Walcha Festival

The New England town of Walcha will host its fourth Food, Wine and Craft Festival on Sunday, 31 October at the Walcha Showground. 

The Festival is the town's major event for the year and showcases the abundance of quality local produce, wine and local crafts available in the region.  

"Since we first staged the event in 2006, the Festival has grown to become a tremendous success," said Walcha's Tourism Manager, Gemma Clarke.  

"Not only has it strengthened community spirit among the locals, it has put Walcha's name firmly on the map. 

"This is the perfect platform for regional producers to launch new products and promote their produce. All exhibitors from last year are returning this year with many new exhibitors coming on board for the Festival," Ms Clarke said.

Among the food available will be gourmet BBQ with Wagu sausages, delicious lamb and beef casseroles, home made donuts and meat pies, Chinese dishes, Devonshire teas, salad sandwiches and rolls and plenty of cakes and slices.  

For children, there'll be plenty of fun activities, including a jumping castle, merry- go-round, magic shows, a special appearance by NBN's Big Dog, lolly scatter, face painting, a hot dog stand, fairy floss and snow cones. 

For kids of all ages, there's the Free Style Trials motorbike stunt show - two motorbikes performing amazing stunts flying through the air, flipping and thrilling spectators. 

Be entertained by the smooth tunes of Champagne Charlie's jazz band, take in a fashion parade by the Australian Wool Fashion Awards or view the vintage machinery on display. 

The Festival is held in conjunction with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Mountain Bike Teams Challenge, a gruelling yet scenic 90km ride through the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, finishing at the Walcha Showground.  There are also four additional categories of bike rides with varying distances and degree of difficulty.  

Around 300 riders will compete in the race to help raise funds for the Westpac Helicopter Rescue Service.  

Visitors are urged to book ahead for accommodation and encouraged to bring their mountain bikes so they can enjoy a scenic ride around the roads of the district.  

The Festival runs from10am to 4pm and entry is free. Food and wine is available at reasonable prices.  

The Walcha Showground is in Derby Street. 


Walcha is situated 447 kms from Sydney via Gloucester and the Thunderbolt's Way, or 534 kms from Brisbane via the New England Highway. The nearest airports are either Armidale or Tamworth. Walcha also has a light aircraft strip. 

For more information please phone the Walcha Visitor Information Centre on 0267742460.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Be Part of Queen Elizabeth First World Cruise

FREE upgrades and free US$ onboard spending credits are just two of many reasons to book a stateroom on Cunard Line's newly launched Queen Elizabeth, with a voyage from Sydney to Hong Kong from, departing Sydney on February 22, 2011.

This voyage is part of the Queen Elizabeth's first World Cruise and there are limited cabins still available, which now come with complimentary upgrades. For example, when you purchase a D8 inside cabin you will be upgraded to a D4 inside cabin for free.

Prices start from $5999 per person twin share and include onboard credit from US$300 up to US$750 per stateroom. These credits can be used for services ranging from spa treatments to shore excursions, gift shop purchases or onboard alcoholic beverages.

The 16-night cruise visits Sydney, Melbourne, Fremantle, Bali and Hong Kong. This itinerary is about experiencing all the opportunities on offer from a ship like Queen Elizabeth with its extensive range of activities, entertainment and hospitality.

The 17-night package includes a one-way Virgin Atlantic economy airfare from Hong Kong to Sydney, one night post cruise accommodation at the deluxe Peninsula Hong Kong Hotel, a complimentary Hong Kong Peak Tram Pass, 16 nights aboard Queen Elizabeth with all meals and entertainment and transfers in Hong Kong.

For more information phone 1300 369 848 or check-out

Spicers Hidden Vale Spring Garden Party

Celebrate Spring in style with a special Spring Garden Party weekend package at Spicers Hidden Vale in South-East Queensland.

Enjoy two days bursting with sublime food and entertainment, including a 4 course degustation dinner dance plus plenty more from $1199* twin share, valid for 26-27 November 2010.

The package includes:
* Team activities with an 'old country house' theme including tennis, cricket, chess on the lawn, croquet and volley ball
* The choice of one activity per person - horse riding or one hour massages
* Afternoon tea and Pimms on the lawn
* Saturday night pre dinner drinks and canapés on the lawn
* Saturday night Dinner Dance including a 4 course degustation dinner (beverages not included)
* Live music with Nick Hollamby and dancing until late (jazz, Motown style)
* Breakfast on Saturday morning and a Champagne Breakfast on Sunday morning
* A gourmet picnic hamper for two on one day of your choice.
The Valley Room is priced from $1199* twin share, Junior Suite $1359* twin share, Heritage Suite $1519* twin share, Luxury Suite $1679* twin share.

Only an hour's drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Spicers Hidden Vale offers an indulgent farm-stay experience where guests can immerse themselves in the day-to-day life of a 12,000 acre working cattle station.
Scattered amongst beautiful country gardens are elegantly restored buildings, which have been converted to luxury guest suites and date back to the 1920s.

The attractive Queensland cottages boast tasteful colonial inspired design, with each room having its own distinctive character. From a quaint one-bedroom Chinese cottage built in the late 1800s to a six-bedroom cottage formerly the home of the property's station manager, the rooms match their unique location.

All 30 guest rooms and suites have private verandahs and breathtaking views of the outback.

Spicers Hidden Vale offers everything from bushwalking, orienteering and clay pigeon shooting to massage and beauty treatments and fine dining in Cotton's Restaurant.

For bookings phone Spicers Hidden Vale on 1300 198 350 or email

*Terms and conditions apply.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Strong Dollar Terrific News for Aussie Skiers

The strong dollar is terrific news for Australian skiers travelling to Colorado, who already have access to substantial discounts. Colorado specials are more aggressive due to the slower US domestic market. So not only do clients benefit from better exchange rates, they also benefit from greater deals!

For travellers heading to Aspen, our packages for The Gant are currently available from AU$1169 per person. In early 2009, the price for the equivalent package was over AU$400 dearer. In Telluride, our current package price for Mountain Lodge is AU$1212 per person, compared to an early 2009 price of AU$1615. Likewise, staying in Steamboat at Trappeur's Crossing is now available from AU$909, a significant decrease from early 2009 pricing of around AU$1285. For amazing value, our Copper Mountain packages start at AU$699. All packages are based on 7 nights' accommodation in a 2 Bedroom Apartment, 6 day lift pass and tax, 4 share in January 2011. Early booking, specific dates and other conditions apply.

Skiers may simply take advantage of the extra value for money, or perhaps indulge in a more lavish trip than otherwise planned. Lengthening their ski holiday is particularly favourable, as many Colorado resorts offer long stay discounts for accommodation, lift passes and equipment rental.

Travelplan Ski is the world's largest operator to Aspen/Snowmass outside the US, which isn't bad for a little Australian company. Our most popular Aspen property is Aspen Square, and our early booking special of 5th night free, has just been extended. This is combinable with early booking lift pass specials such as Ski 7 Days Pay 6 Days and Ski 14 Pay 8.

In Telluride, the Ski 12 Days Pay 8 Days early booking lift pass special has been extended. Copper Mountain's Ski 7 Days Pay 5 Days early booking lift pass special has been extended, which can be used in conjunction with a kids ski free offer. A kids ski free special is also available at Steamboat, which can be combined with adult specials such as Ski 7 Days Pay 6, Ski 14 Pay 8 and Ski 20 Pay 12. Conditions apply to all specials.

For more information, please call 1300 SKI SKI - 1300 754 754
or visit

Travelplan Ski has offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

Shanghai's newest hotel - The Langham, Xintiandi now open


The Langham Xintiandi officially debuted on October 15th.

In Shanghai all roads lead to Xintiandi, a collection of glamorous stores, international restaurants and historic Shikumen houses and now the city's ultimate lifestyle destination is home to The Langham, Xintiandi - a five star luxury hotel with 357 elegant guest rooms and suites.

The Langham occupies a landmark building in the heart of Xintiandi and is also adjacent to Huai Hai Road, home to international designer boutiques. The 24-storey hotel pays tribute to the city's heritage while at the same time embracing the best in today's luxury interior comforts designed by leading hospitality designer Peter Remedios.

As part of a phased opening, the hotel will introduce a selection of Grand rooms offering panoramic views over the renowned Shikumen storefronts of Xintiandi. Blending traditional elements with modern décor, Grand rooms exude an effortless elegance combining dark woods, chic furnishings and innovative extras that create an environment that is both sophisticated and stylish. With floor-to-ceiling windows, each Grand room is imbued with natural light, creating a bright, open environment. The spacious bathrooms include a dual-basin vanity and an inviting oversized bath. Hotel-wide entertainment extras include a 40" flat-screen TV, an interactive digital audio system that includes an iPod docking station and wall-to-wall wireless broadband internet access.

The Langham, Xintiandi also features a modern high-ceiling grand ballroom and an additional eight meeting rooms which can be tailored to ensure every event captivates the senses.

Guests can also savour international cuisine in the hotel's Cachet All-Day-Dining restaurant which offers a gourmet selection of fine dishes exquisitely prepared by The Langham's team of talented chefs. Step outside the hotel and an exciting array of restaurants, bars and outdoor cafes await at Xintiandi.

The hotel is also just a short distance from leading Shanghai landmarks such as The Bund, People's Square, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai Museum and Yu Garden.

For a limited time only, the hotel is offering a unique opportunity to be the first to experience the enchanting hospitality of The Langham, Xintiandi with a special introductory offer for RMB 2,700+ per night * which includes:

* Return airport limousine transfer
* Langham welcome gift
* Unlimited laundry and dry-cleaning during stay
* Complimentary mini-bar
* Complimentary breakfast at Cachet
* Complimentary wired and wireless internet
* Complimentary international SKYPE telephone calls

For more information visit or to make a reservation phone (86) 21 2330 2299, fax (86) 21 2330 2277 or email

Terms and conditions:
* Offer valid for minimum stay of two nights
* Valid for stays until December 30th, 2010
* Offer is subject to availability
* Offer is subject to 15% surcharge

Melbourne's Golden Summer of Live Music and Grand Slams at Federation Square

Pull up one of the striped deckchairs and settle in for a summer of live music, salsa classes, wine tasting and nail-biting tennis matches at Federation Square.

The festivities kick off in December with Fed Square's off-beat Christmas celebration, Spirit of the Square. Away from the bustle of the department stores, this free program draws together much-loved traditions with contemporary, often cheeky surprises including stencil art and a giant penguin! The Christmas tree is still there, but given new life with the opportunity for visitors to change the lighting each night and see their Christmas wishes on the Big Screen.

Kids of all ages (and nostalgic mums and dads) will also be drawn to ACMI's extraordinary exhibition, Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney's Classic Fairy Tales. This Australian exclusive explores the artistry behind Disney's timeless animated films with original concept art, story sketches, drawings, maquettes and workshops.

During the long balmy nights that Melbourne is famous for, music will take centre stage with Fed Square Live Presented by The Push - a free series of outdoor concerts held every second Thursday until 21 April. The eclectic program has something to tantalise all musical tastes, with indie, blues and roots, world music, dance and rock performances by top independent acts and emerging Australian talent on the bill. Grab a spot in front of the stage and soak up the atmosphere or make the most of Fed Square's alfresco dining areas and enjoy the show with the addition of cocktails and tapas.

In the biggest concert of all, New Year's Eve will bring thousands of revellers into Fed Square to see in 2011 with spectacular fireworks and a free program of cool beats, reggae and funk from local acts, Tumbarumba and the Hit Parade. Not the dancing type? Learn to shimmy and shake it with the best of them with free salsa classes from The Salsa Foundation, held every Wednesday and Thursday night in The Amphitheatre from November to March.

Then there's the Australian Tennis Open, synonymous with summer holidays, barbeques and good times. During those two weeks in January Fed Square will again be transformed into a sea of deckchairs and painted faces as the city converges in front of the Big Screen for a free live broadcast of all the action.

Australia Day on 26 January provides a break from centre court, with Melbourne's free multicultural concert, Australia Day Voyages taking over the stage at Fed Square.

And should all of that activity leave you feeling parched, there's no better place to rehydrate then the monthly Fed Square Wine Showcase, where you can taste your way through Victoria's many wine regions and rub shoulders with the winemakers.

To find out what's happening at Federation Square next time you visit Melbourne, download our free iPhone App from Apple iTunes Store, featuring daily and monthly event listings, gallery opening times, maps, restaurants and more.

Fed Square Wine Showcase
3 - 4 November; 1 - 2 December; 2 - 3 February, 4.30pm - 8.30pm, $25

Fed Square Live Presented by The Push
Every second Thursday until 21 April, various times, FREE

Free Salsa Classes with The Salsa Foundation
November - March, 5.30pm - 8pm, FREE

Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney's Classic Fairy Tales
18 November - 26 April, 10am - 6pm, Adult $16 / Concession $12

Spirit of the Square
1 - 30 December, various times, FREE

New Year's Eve at Fed Square
31 December, 8pm - 1am, FREE

Australian Tennis Open Live Site
17 - 30 January, from 9am daily, FREE

Australia Day Voyages Concert
26 January, 4pm - 10pm, FREE

Fancy A Fijian Fling? Create It - or Win It - With ZUJI

The guru says: "Look after number one. Book a break for two."

Online travel agent ZUJI Australia is offering discounted holidays and airfares to fabulous Fiji with Air Pacific, and the chance to win an escape for two to flirt in the Fijian sun for subscribers to the ZUJI newsletter until October 31st.

The sun-kissed islands of Fiji are complete with sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees, pristine lagoons and an array of things to do and see that will appeal to the most discerning traveller. Stroll along the glimmering island beaches hand-in-hand at sunset, snorkel, kayak or cruise the crystal waters, trek the rainforests, or just flirt with that special person in the Fijian sun.

Deserve it? Want it? Need it now?? Create your ideal Fiji experience - don't just imagine it!

Browse our discounted Fiji hotel deals or create your very own unforgettable Fijian Fling and save even more when you book flights, hotels and cars together as "Travel Combos" on :

Fiji Hotel Deal (see for many more)*:
Fancy The Naviti Resort for $127 per night including breakfast? Situated on the Coral Coast on Viti Levu, this beachside resort set in tropical gardens is just 90 minutes from Nadi International Airport and offers 220 comfortable hotel rooms, suites and villas, all with private balconies / patios overlooking either the ocean or gardens. Enjoy four restaurants catering to every taste, cultural food nights and the Salusalu lounge bar where guests can watch the sun set over the horizon. Valid for travel from 1st November until 31st March 2011. Black-out dates apply 9 Dec to 11 Jan11 & minimum 5 night stay applies.

Travel combos (flight + hotel), up to 50% off hotels + discounted Air Pacific flights*:
1. 5 nights at the 3 star Club Fiji Resort + return flights from Australia starting from $625.00 per person twin/double share. Club Fiji Resort is a charming and intimate resort on the beach in Nadi - experience the best of Fijian culture without breaking the budget. Friendly Fijian staff, local live music, and the comfort of beach front bures.

2. 5 nights at the luxurious 5 star InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa + return flights from Australia starting from $961.00 per person twin/double share. Located on the beautiful Natadola white sand Beach on Fiji's main island of Viti Levu, just 40 minutes from Nadi International Airport. Swim or snorkel and experience world-class dining and authentic Fijian hospitality in one of the most magnificent retreats in the South Pacific. The resort offers five restaurants and bars, a world class spa, four swimming pools, an 18-hole championship golf course, kid's club, wedding pavilion and conference facilities.

Air Pacific is a full service airline. All economy class fares include a meal, alcoholic beverages, in-flight entertainment and 23 kgs of check-in baggage. Valid for travel from 1st November until 31st March 2011. Black-out dates apply 9 Dec to 11 Jan11.

Visit for best prices, availability or to book flights, hotels and packages for your own Fijian fling. Bula!
**Validity: book travel combos, hotels and flights by 31 October 2010. *Advertised prices are correct at the time of publication. The total price includes taxes and surcharges. Prices may vary and are subject to availability based on the room types available on your preferred travel dates. Prices based on Economy class only.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Forget a Harbour Cruise - a Lunch Kayak on Sydney Harbour is the Only Way to Go!

Whilst a lunch cruise on Sydney Harbour is the traditional way to experience Sydney's waterways, the active are finding a Harbour Bridge lunch kayak the only way to go! From fantastic views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, to the occasional face to face encounter with a seal or pod of dolphins, this would have to be the ultimate Sydney Harbour experience.

Adventure Tourism specialist Life's An Adventure, offer an exclusive Sydney Harbour Bridge kayaking tour including lunch. Starting in the inner harbour, guests are given an introductory session on the finer points of paddling before taking to the water. Passing pretty coves and beaches it is not long before the Harbour Bridge comes into view, rising grandly above the sparkling waters of Sydney's harbour. Later it's time for a stop at a picturesque beach to savour a delicious smorgasbord lunch including fresh prawns, ham off the bone, crusty bread rolls, fresh gourmet salads and other delicious ingredients. After lunch, guests make the return journey and may during certain times of the year, be lucky enough to encounter friendly dolphins or seals who may appear to say hello.

Life's an Adventure's half day Sydney Harbour Bridge Lunch Kayak Adventure are priced at $125 per person with a $10 discounts for tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Tours available daily all year round, with pre bookings required. Life's An adventure also offer a 2 hour early morning Harbour Bridge paddle, a full day lower Blue Mountains Kayak, a half Manly lunch kayak and a choice of 2 day kayaking adventures on the Hawkesbury River and Shoalhaven Gorge including overnight camping and gourmet meals.

Life's An Adventure specialise in kayaking, hiking and mountain biking guided day and overnight tours. They have recently received a Highly Commended Award in Adventure Tourism in the Blue Mountains 2010 Awards of Excellence.
Full details and bookings are available on their website at:

Friday, 15 October 2010

Celebrate Melbourne Cup in Style at Sea World Resort!

Set on the idyllic Gold Coast Broadwater, Sea World Resort's annual Melbourne Cup event is bound to be full of fun and frivolity with a sumptuous seafood buffet, fashion parade by Marina Mirage and prizes galore.

Sea World Resort General Manager Ernst Pfister said that this year will be the best Melbourne Cup event yet with delicious seafood, fabulous fashion and an amazing array of prizes on offer.

"Guests will enjoy a lavish seafood buffet extravaganza featuring fresh Sydney Rock oysters, prawns and Moreton Bay bugs at the Shoreline restaurant, a wide selection of Hardy's wines and a live broadcast of the event.

"A few extra special twists have been added to this year's event including a fashion parade by stunning Marina Mirage fashion labels, Little Joe and Tim O'Connor", he said.

Little Joe fashions embody sophistication, elegance, luxury and value and this will be featured in designer Gail Elliot's Spring / Summer 'Hot in the City' collection.

Sea World Melbourne Cup guests can also glimpse Tim O'Connor's signature modern clothing with a timeless aesthetic, inspired by beautiful fabrics, strong colours and a flattering silhouette. Mimco will also supply all parade headwear at the event on the day.

The prize pool is equally as enticing as the food and fashions, with a Quickbeds trip for two to Melbourne, a selection of fragrances from the Perfume Connection, gift vouchers for Little Joe and Tim O'Connor, Shoreline dinner vouchers and tickets to Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet'n'Wild Water World.

Guests will also be entertained by fun-loving Hot Tomato duo, Holmsey & Flan on the day.

Don't miss out on tickets, call Sea World Resort and book today on 07 5591 0044.

Countdown is on to the Grand Opening of The Sebel Newcastle Beach

The Sebel Newcastle Beach is scheduled to open its doors on 1 November 2010 and Mirvac Hotels & Resorts is delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Glover as General Manager.

Simon is no stranger to the Hunter Region having previously held the position of General Manager at The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley for 8 years. His wealth of local knowledge and 22 years of industry experience will be invaluable in his role at The Sebel Newcastle Beach. He will be responsible for all operational aspects of Mirvac's latest 'Sebel' hotel and will oversee accommodation, food and beverage, leisure facilities and sales and marketing for the property.

Sure to impress with its superb location overlooking one of Australia's best surf breaks, The Sebel Newcastle Beach is only 2 hours drive north of Sydney.

Newcastle's newest hotel boasts 88 well-appointed guestrooms, many with spectacular ocean and harbour vistas; well equipped gymnasium; spa; steam room; and 3 superb meeting rooms.

The restaurant and bar's chic design and stylish décor, make this the perfect spot for meeting up with business colleagues, family and friends. Offering a relaxed atmosphere, with the choice of either alfresco or indoor dining, the restaurant's modern Australian menu features many tempting local, seasonal dishes, along with traditional favourites, complemented by a comprehensive wine list. The bar will delight with an imaginative cocktail and drinks menu along with espresso coffee and blended teas.

Guests also enjoy easy access to Newcastle CBD and the best of this beachside
precinct including an array of cafés and restaurants, vibrant bars with live music, excellent shopping and recreational activities.

The Sebel Newcastle Beach will join Mirvac's portfolio of 45+ managed hotels and resorts across Australia and New Zealand, including 24 under the Sebel branding.

The Sebel Newcastle Beach is located at 5 King Street Newcastle Beach.

For grand opening specials and further information phone 13 15 15 or visit

Woolongoon mansion at Mortlake open to public


More than a century of pride and passion – spanning generations of the one family – will be on display when the beautiful garden of Mortlake's historic Woolongoon mansion is open to the public.

It is a garden which features all the flowers of spring and majestic old trees at their best – even flowering cherries, brought from Japan when the present owner's grandparents married in 1911.

The picturesque garden will be the setting of the Woolongoon Garden Fair on Sunday, October 24, as a fund-raiser for the Abbeyfield Residential Facility extension fund.

Visitors will be able to enjoy the wonderful 100-year-old plantings of exotic shrubs; historic farm buildings and farm and garden implements, as well as farm tours to see the enterprise in operation today.

Luki Weatherly, host and current caretaker of this family legacy, says Woolongoon has been owned by her husband's family since 1895.

She says originally there was a garden around the small house that forms the basis of today's large house, but apart from the circular front lawn no traces of it remain.

"The garden you see now has been developed over 115 years – it has changed but the changes have generally been fairly slow," Luki says.

"The Woolongoon garden has some wonderful trees – both deciduous and non deciduous, with interesting shrubs and a wide variety of plants and flowers, suitable for our fairly dry conditions.

"There is a vegetable garden, shrubberies and many little winding paths, making it a delight for children – with the wealth of birds, who move between the gardens and the dam to the south of the house and the salt lake to the north, completing the picture.

"Because it has been the centre of a working farm as well as a home, the area contains other structures, such as the stables, the chicken run and meat house. A number of those in the garden were built for special jobs (such as the kerosene house at the back of the stables).

"Some of them have fallen into disrepair and been removed – only the brick chimney remains from the Chinese gardener's cottage, for example. Some have just changed uses. Some just exist.

"In many ways this is more than just a garden – it is a time capsule of a farm and of eras long gone."

Luki says as Woolongoon has not been opened to the public for some years, people who have visited before will notice changes – climate change has had an effect on the kind of plants in the borders and clearances of some of the shrubberies has opened more vistas.

"We love it and hope all the people who come to the Woolongoon Garden Fair will too," she says.

"It is a beautiful place for all sorts of activities for everyone to enjoy."

The garden fair will include an art show, art competition, fairies at the bottom of the garden, specially selected stalls and food for every taste – from gourmet to sausage sizzle.

Willie Wilson's famous wildlife sculptures will also be displayed in this ideal setting. Other sculptures on display include works by Shades of Gray and Mason Design.

Further details can be found at

Sponsors of the Woolongoon Garden Fair include Origin Energy, Midfield Meats and The Mortlake Power Station Combined Workforce Fundraising Committee.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Korean Chef to Set Strathfield Taste Food Festival on Fire

Adelaide based Korean Australian chef Chung Jae Lee will be the celebrity chef star attraction at the inaugural Strathfield Taste International Food Festival at Strathfield Park on Sunday, 24 October, 2010.

Chef Lee, the owner of Mapo Korean Restaurant in Adelaide will be giving a series of live cooking demonstrations at the Strathfield Taste International Food Festival.

Lee, the winner of a 2010 'Award for Excellence' in South Australia will be cooking two entrees and one main course during his masterclass sessions at the Strathfield Taste International Food Festival.

Chef Lee hasn't completely decided what he will cook at the festival but said 'I'm thinking of Korean pancake for entrée and for the main I'll be making a Korean satay which is infused with Bacardi - so it will set alight when I cook it making it exciting for the audience'.

Thousands of Sydney foodies are expected to swell crowds in Strathfield Park for the Festival which is now part of the Crave Sydney International Food Festival.

Korea Tourism Organization is a major sponsor of the event bringing Chef Lee to Sydney as well as promoting 'The Wonderful World of Korean Food' from its stall at the event.

'Korean Food is a big reason why so many travellers are visiting Korea these days and Korean restaurants in major cities around Australia are booming. The more Australians who try Korean cuisine the more that like it, and thus become more interested in the country, its culture, history and people' said Joon-kil Jo, Director of Korea Tourism Organization Sydney office.

Visitors to the Strathfield Taste International Food Festival will also have the opportunity to try a variety of Korean cuisine at various Korean food stalls as well as enjoy a taekwondo demonstration by Master Kang's Taekwondo Academy on the main stage at 1.40pm.

Strathfield is the heart of Korea in Sydney and has many great Korean restaurants in the surrounding streets like Bakehouse Garden, Bassim & Red Pepper to name a few.

Come to the Strathfield Taste International Food Festival and try for some Korean cuisine as well as enjoying the many activities that will take place at the event.

Naumi's Very Own Eat Play Love

Enjoy a slice of Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat Pray Love" by taking a moment of respite and partake in Naumi's Eat Play Love package. Inspired to provide an all inclusive form of the meaning as the name suggests, the package enables couples or individuals alike to experience a short but wholesome adventure.

Savour the comforting authentic Indian fare at renowned Rang Mahal, take a splash and frolic under the sun with refreshing juices at the Rooftop Infinity Pool set against the backdrop of the magnificent city skyline and finally retreat into one's own quiet space with a bottle of sensual oil that is included for some intimate moments up to an individual's imagination.

To coincide with the film's debut in Singapore, the package aims to provide value add to the thought provoking show that is a clever blend of the senses whether one aims to find inner peace and self-discovery, seek out gastronomical adventures or ensconce in privacy with our Eat Play Love package.
3 Days 2 nights at Deluxe Room (S$888.00++)
Valid from 7 to 21 October 2010
* Daily Breakfast
* Set-Dinner for two at Rang Mahal at Pan Pacific Marina with one way limousine service from Naumi to Rang Mahal at Pan Pacific Marina
* Play at the Rooftop Pool with complimentary fresh juices
* Sensual Oil to use or bring home
To book, please email or call +65 6403 6000.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Debut of Princess' new Kiwi themed cruises

Princess Launches Record New Zealand Season with New Kiwi Program

Princess Cruises has launched its biggest ever season of New Zealand cruises from Australia, with its round trip voyages across the Tasman now featuring a new Kiwi flavour.

From hokey pokey ice cream and lolly log cakes through to Maori performers, nature talks and award-winning local movies, passengers will enjoy the true essence of New Zealand as they explore its spectacular coastline thanks to the cruise line's new onboard cultural program.

The program was officially launched onboard Sun Princess in Sydney today as the ship prepared to embark on Princess' first New Zealand voyage for the cruise season.

Over the next five months, the cruise line will offer a record 22 cruises to New Zealand, including 18 from Sydney and Melbourne on the locally based Sun Princess and Dawn Princess and four trans-Tasman cruises between Sydney and Auckland on the massive 116,000-tonne Diamond Princess.

This compares to 19 New Zealand cruises over the same period last year.

Princess Cruises President and CEO Alan Buckelew said more than one million Australians visited New Zealand each year, enjoying its rich culture and a scenic landscape vastly different to Australia.

"While many Australians fly to New Zealand for a break, an increasing number are arriving by ship. In fact, next year Princess Cruises alone will carry more than 40,000 tourists to New Zealand's North and South Islands so we are making a significant contribution to the nation's inbound tourist numbers," Mr Buckelew said.

Mr Buckelew said the new onboard program would operate on both Sun Princess and Dawn Princess. It includes a wide range of New Zealand cuisine options, from bacon and egg pie in the morning through to mussel soup at lunch and a Princess Hangi Dinner featuring lamb chops, chicken thighs, smoked pork, cabbage and kumara.  Meanwhile the ship's drinks list will feature a range of Kiwi favourites such as Steinlager beer and Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc along with Kiwi martinis and daiquiris.

Throughout their cruises, passengers will also enjoy lectures from destination experts as well as commentary from a park ranger as the ships cruise the spectacular Fiordland National Park.  In select ports, Maori cultural groups will present workshops on their culture and heritage while in other destinations passengers will enjoy cultural shows.

On their days at sea, holidaymakers can watch award-winning movies, such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Piano. There will also be special events such as a themed New Zealand Island Night, featuring local food and a chef versus bartender challenge based around Kiwi cocktails and cuisine.

Fares on Princess New Zealand cruises start from $1999* per person twin share for departures on January 12, 2011 from Sydney and January 16, 2011 from Melbourne. The 13-night round trip voyage visits seven beautiful ports including Dunedin, Wellington, Napier and the Bay of Islands and also takes passengers through Fiordland.  For more information visit call 13 2488 or see a licensed travel agent. *Subject to availability, conditions apply.

Captain Cook Cruises' New Fiji Cocktail Cruise

What better way to kick back, relax, take a break from your resort and indulge in few cocktails than on Captain Cook Cruises new Fiji Twilight Cocktail Cruise? Departing from Denarau and held onboard the luxurious catamaran, Fiji One, passengers can not only enjoy a cocktail but also take in the spectacular views of Nadi Bay. To celebrate Fiji's new Cocktail Cruise, Captain Cook Cruises are offering a special opening price of only FJD$49 per person.

Guests onboard the Twilight Cocktail Cruise will enjoy a complimentary cocktail and canapés on arrival and be entertained by live music while relaxing from the serenity of the water and delighting in the amazing Nadi Bay views. A full bar service is available offering a range of local and imported wines, ales, cocktails and spirits.

The Twilight Cocktail Cruise is held onboard one of the largest sailing catamarans in the Southern Hemisphere, Fiji One which boasts two enormous sails, a contemporary upper and main deck, interior lounges and a spacious open cocktail deck.

The Cocktail Cruise departs every night at 5.30pm from Port Denarau, Nadi returning at 7.00pm and prices are only FJD$49 per person, including transfers from Nadi and Denarau hotels.

For further information and bookings, please contact Captain Cook Cruises, Port Denarau, Nadi T: +679-670 1823, Email: or visit

Explore Alaska and Canada with Holland America Line

Exciting cruise tours through Alaska and Canada in 2011

The spectacular scenery of Alaska and Canada feature in three exciting itineraries from Holland America Line for 2011. Whether it is a cruise past awe-inspiring icescapes in Glacier Bay, discovering Alaska's bustling townships or exploring the Inside Passage, these itineraries guarantee a special holiday experience to be remembered for many years after.

Experience Alaska onboard one the most sought after itineraries, the Alaska Glacier Bay Inside Passage. The 7-night cruise departs and returns to Vancouver, and its popularity is evident with three ships sailing the itinerary in 2011 - ms Zuiderdam, ms Volendam and ms Zaandam. The cruise transports guests through the scenic Inside Passage, witnessing the stunning beauty of green forests and turquoise glaciers. The cruise continues onto Tracy Arm fjord and the ports of Juneau and Skagway before a day of sailing Glacier Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Skagway is next with a final look at the Inside Passage before returning to Vancouver.  Departures are available from May through to September 2011, with cruise fares starting at AU$1,199 per person, twin share – a saving of 22 percent off the brochure fare.

Alaska's popular ports feature on the 7-night Alaskan Explorer via Glacier Bay cruise sailing round trip from Seattle on board the ms Oosterdam.  This itinerary visits Puget Sound, Glacier Bay, Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, Alaska as well as Victoria, Canada. Highlights include a greeting by the Tlingit native people, a stroll through the old growth forest in Sitka National Historical Park and scenic cruising through Puget Sound and Glacier Bay. This cruise is priced from AU$1,259 per person twin share and includes all meals and entertainment whilst onboard and all cruise NDA's and taxes. Departures are available from May to September 2011.

There is no better way to experience the less-visited Yukon region than on Holland America Line's 13-night Double Denali Adventure and Glacier Discovery Tour 16V. The itinerary begins in Anchorage, where guests will board the luxurious McKinley Explorer to Denali National Park, where they will spend two nights and enjoy a Tundra Wilderness Tour. From there, guests will visit Fairbanks, Alaska's Golden Heart City, before returning to Anchorage for a 7-night cruise from Seward to Vancouver. Cruising highlights include College Fjord, Glacier Bay, Haines, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska. Priced from AU$2,410 per person twin share, this itinerary includes all accommodation, meals and entertainment while cruising and cruise NDA's and taxes. Departures are available from May to September 2011.

To obtain further information or to make a booking, please contact Holland America Line's Australian representative, Travel the World on 1300 950 622 or visit For more exciting itineraries to the above mentioned destination visit

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Shook! It Up On The Bund - Shanghai's Eagerly Anticipated Dining Experience Opening Soon

A palate of different flavors touches the senses - Shanghai's eagerly anticipated dining experience opening soon

YTL Hotels will open the much anticipated Shook! Shanghai in November. Located in Shanghai's Swatch Art Peace Hotel, formerly the iconic Palace Hotel, the perpetual  motion restaurant Shook!, along with The Time Bar and The Swatch Art Peace Hotel Terrace,  will  be   among  contemporary  Shanghai's  most  unique  and  compelling  dining  and entertainment addresses.

This ultra chic Renaissance style 1906 colonial heritage hotel and landmark is located on Nanjing Road at the Bund intersection, overlooking the Huangpu River and the Pudong skyline.

Shook!'s international fame hails from Shook! at YTL's Starhill Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. This became Nick Hayek's favorite restaurant when he visited Kuala Lumpur and asked Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh if YTL could bring Shook! to Shanghai at The Swatch Art Peace Hotel.

Perched in a space of symmetry and proportion, Shook! Shanghai – the first outpost outside of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, features the skills of 4 epicurean chefs with 4 distinct cuisines. A show  kitchen  –  dubbed  the  'Ferrari'  of  kitchens,  is  the  ultimate  culinary  vernissage,  where  its signature dishes are created around the senses. The menu flirts with seasonal trends and boasts an adventurous journey of East and West, from Chinese, Japanese and Thai, to French Provençal. The culinary team is helmed by YTL's corporate chef Kevin Cape, hailing from the United Kingdom. He is assisted by executive chef Jacqueline Qiu, one of Shanghai's most recognized Chinese culinary experts. Chef Cape also played a pivotal role in  the success of Shook! Kuala Lumpur. An open theatre to farmers' market freshness, some notable nosh includes the stir-fried prawns with hot mayonnaise sprinkled with honey-glazed walnuts, the succulently fresh seafood and the carpaccio of Australian raw wagyu beef.

Lining both walls of the entrance hallway leading to the restaurant are the beautifully designed wine cellars, showcasing some of the world's finest wines and champagnes.  The centerpiece of the wine cellar is made up of two rare vertical collections of Bordeaux's elite estates - Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau d'Yquem. Each collection offers vintages from 1945 through 2008.

The play begins at The Time Bar, accented with tints of dark wood and black stone dressed in cream- colored crocodile leather.  It  is  an  endless  noble  balance  between  sphere  and  setting,  where elongated glass windows illuminate the spectacular views along the Huangpu River. The partitioned dining frame is a mix of Chinese and colonial tradition. Rich textures and sumptuous fabrics provide an eternal contrast between the past and present that is distinctively Chinoiserie in style. Beverages are an eclectic mix of innovative and classic cocktails. The Time Bar uses molecular mixology technique to create its signature Caviar Royal – a show of Moët & Chandon Vintage 2003 and 'pearls' of Crème de Cassis.

Pre-dinner cocktail or after dinner drinks on the roof terrace – opening Spring of 2011, with stunning view of the Bund and the endless skyscrapers from across in Pudong - makes for a perfect backdrop. Purest design, with white couches and discreet touches of black and red, makes it a mesmerizing experience shared with the movers and shakers in this celebrated city.

Adjacent to Shook! Shanghai on the fifth floor, the stylish multi-media banquet hall La Gallerie des Sens  is  the  perfect  venue for  concerts,  private  film  screenings,  press  conferences and  private receptions.  The Hotel's two defining domed towers on the roof terrace, Corner Tower and Blancpain Room, both with high-ceilinged elegant décor are ideal for intimate candlelight dinners. Just steps away, is one of the city's most historic private meeting rooms, the Chiang-Soong Room, which has been restored to its original elegance. The Chiang-Soong Room is the very same venue where the First International Opium Conference was held in 1909. It is also where Chiang Kai-Shek and Soong Mei Ling of the storied Soong Sisters celebrated their engagement.

YTL Hotels has set a pendulum in motion which swings between East and West, old and new, at Shook! Shanghai.

About YTL Hotels

YTL Hotels is the hospitality arm of YTL Corporation Berhad. The Company owns and manages a prestigious award winning collection of individually unique resorts, hotels and spas including the world's no. 1 resort, Pangkor Laut. With their global expansion in 2010 in Saint-Tropez, Niseko Village, Shanghai and Borneo, YTL brings a natural essence of culture, character and tradition to each destination embracing different luxurious experiences.

For reservations and enquiries, please contact YTL Travel Centre at +60 3 2783 1000 or email: or visit

To know more about Shook! Shanghai, please visit

Shook! Shanghai will open in November.

Shook! Shanghai is located in Swatch Art Peace Hotel, a landmark heritage property on the Bund.

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