Friday, 29 April 2011

Ireland Makes Way For a Queen and a President

The whole of the Emerald Isle is abuzz with enthusiasm for the visits of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and the USA’s President Barack Obama – both taking place this May. The visits from two of the world’s most important heads of state are expected to boost Ireland’s image worldwide.

Queen Elizabeth’s historic visit will be the first from a British monarch to the Irish State.

It will also be her first trip abroad after her grandson Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in April. The Queen’s 91-year-old husband Prince Philip will accompany her to Ireland where they will visit major attractions, such as Dublin Castle, the National War Memorial Gardens and the Guinness Storehouse, as well as The National Stud in Co. Kildare, The Rock of Cashel & Coolmore Stud in County Tipperary and the English Market in Cork city. President Mary McAleese will also host the couple at a black-tie dinner in Dublin Castle.

The US President has said he intends to “visit all the famous sites” and to drop in on Moneygall, Co. Offaly. Records show it was the home of his great-great-great-great grandfather. Some of Ireland's top golf courses are vying for a place on the itinerary after the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny invited President Obama to play golf with him, during a visit to the White House on St Patrick’s Day.

Ireland’s tourism agencies are working intensely to make sure the official visitors - and those who travel with them - experience a warm Irish welcome and the very best that Ireland has to offer.

Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons says international media interest in the visits is already huge. “Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne for 59 years, and Ireland is one of the few countries she has not visited at this stage. There is major interest because it’s so historical.” Gibbons said he believed an image of a “warm, friendly welcoming nation of people” will encourage more overseas visitors to Ireland. “The value of these visits cannot be underestimated.”

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Make Mothers Day Super at the Supershow!

Every mum deserves to have their special day and what better place to celebrate than Australia's largest caravan and camping Supershow? The Caravan, Camping, RV and Holiday Supershow kicks off this week, Saturday 30 April and runs right through Mothers Day, Sunday 8 May.

motorhomes.jpgThe Caravan, Camping, RV and Holiday Supershow is a travellers wonderland where visitors can research, review, book and buy all in the one location. A family fun day out is guaranteed with plenty of entertainment and activities for the young and the young at heart.

Jumping castles, reptile demonstrations, clown, fairies and much more will keep the kids entertained for hours and best of all children under the age of 16 are admitted FREE. But it won't be the kids having all the fun, as there is also an array of things to see and do for the adults including live music, FREE daily seminars and towing challenges.

The Supershow has it all covered to insure every mum enjoys her special day. With a variety of dining options from fast food to a seated fully licensed ascot restaurant. Even a Mothers day gift has been arranged. Each visitor to the Supershow on Mothers Day has the chance to win her $1000 worth of accommodation at any NRMA Holiday Park throughout NSW.

Transport to the Supershow has never been easier with a FREE shuttle bus provided to and from the Loop Bus Stop at Parramatta Station and Parramatta Wharf every day of the Supershow. The bus will leave every 30 minutes from the station and Wharf and drop visitors conveniently at the show.

With over 400 exhibitors displaying all the latest models and makes of caravans, motorhomes, campervans, camper trailers, 5th wheelers, slide-ons, tents and camping equipment, caravan and 4WD accessories, holiday park displays, tourism destinations and much more one day is never enough time. Luckily visitors can pick up a RETURN DAY PASS for just $10.

"Every mum deserves a holiday and it has never been a better time to take advantage of the excellent value offered by a caravan or camping getaway"

NSW Supershow Details:

Dates:                         30 April - 8 May 2011
Opening Times:        10am to 5pm daily with free parking
Tickets:                      Online tickets are available at
More information:

Saturday, 23 April 2011


"Bowral event "will be big enough to be seen from space…"

HEAD to Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands on Saturday May 7th and you could find yourself part of history: an attempt will be made that afternoon to create a new world record for the most number of people gathering with opened umbrellas to form a gigantic mosaic of the world's most famous nanny, Mary Poppins.

It was in Bowral in the early 1900s that teenager Helen Lyndon Goff made up bedtime stories to tell to her younger sisters after the premature death of their father, amongst her tales being the adventures of a no-nonsense nanny.

And today it's another local teenager, Melissa McShane who's sparked community interest in a Mary Poppins statue in Bowral; the "Welcome Home Mary Poppins" record attempt is part of promotion and fund-raising for that statue, and will be witnessed by representatives of The Guinness Book of Records.

The mosaic will be formed on Bowral's famous Bradman Oval.

Organisers, the Southern Highlands Youth Arts Council, hope to comprehensively smash the current Mary Poppins mosaic record set by 1,026 people in Serbia in 2009, and are inviting all Mary Poppins fans to join them – pointing out that their human mosaic will be big enough to be seen from space.

Their planned bronze Mary Poppins statue will be sited in Bowral's Glebe Park, that is just a block away from where Helen Lyndon Goff lived and adjacent to Bowral Oval.

You can register to take part in the mosaic on, phone (02) 4801 0622 – or just turn up on May 7th with your most colourful umbrella.

And after the mosaic everyone's invited to an open-air screening of the Disney 1964 Mary Poppins musical, and a fireworks show.


A WHOLE week regally cruising the Atlantic aboard the grand Queen Mary 2, stays in the finest world-class hotels in New York and London for shopping and sightseeing, airfares and taxes from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane – and through Cruiseco, all this is from an incredibly low $3850pp twin-share.

Cruiseco has four of these packages between May 9 and June 8 this year, sailing 7-nights aboard Queen Mary between New York and London (or vice-versa) with all onboard dining and amid an ambience of gracious and "unmistakable Britishness," and 2-nights pre- or post-cruise at the Hemlsley Hotel New York and a night at either the Waldorf Hilton London or Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street London.

These value-packed holidays start at just $3850pp and begin with 2 nights at the Helmsley Hotel in New York on June 8 2011.

For full details, prices from other capital cities, and the names of Cruiseco's 200-plus cruise-specialist travel agencies visit

FURTHER SHIPBOARD AND HOTEL DETAILS: The majestic 148,500-tonne Queen Mary 2 offers no fewer than nine restaurants, twelve bars and lounges, five pools, a casino, ballroom, live-stage theatre and cinema with late-release movies.

New York's Helmsley Hotel is located on the East Side close to Fifth Avenue shopping and dining, and within easy reach of the city's best attractions and sights, including the heart of Midtown Manhattan, Times Square, the United Nations building, the Theatre District and Rockefeller Centre.

London's Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel is a true one-off property close to the chic boutiques of Covent Garden and Oxford Street's celebrated shopping, while the Waldorf Hilton London is close to the city's Theatreland, 5 minutes' walk from the shops of Covent Garden, and near to the London Eye and Trafalgar Square.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Crown Metropol Celebrates 12 Glorious Months with a Birthday Gift for Guests

Crown Metropol is celebrating its first birthday and until the end of May is offering guests a special package to celebrate this momentous occasion. Guests can book a luxe room for $249.00 per night and receive a complimentary breakfast for two, valet parking and a $50.00 ISIKA voucher. This special birthday offer is available Sunday – Friday only until the end of May 2011.

The celebratory package also includes access to level 27, featuring the 25 metre long waterfall-edge pool with city skyline views as well as the spa’s terrace including a hot plunge pool with massage jets, sun lounges and couples day beds for guests to enjoy throughout the day and up until 9pm. Also located on level 27 is the world class day spa, ISIKA which offers guests an array of treatments and pampering from massages to facials to full body indulgence packages.

Melbourne’s wave-shaped hotel has additional facilities that guests can select whilst making a reservation or upon check in to enhance guests stay. Crown Metropol’s top floor guest lounge and bar, “28” is Melbourne’s most exclusive night spot. Guests can gain access by upgrading their package and will receive complimentary drinks and bar snacks between 5:30pm and 7:00pm.

In addition to all the in-house offerings at Crown Metropol there is also a world of entertainment and retail options available to guests. Gordon Ramsay’s two restaurants, maze and maze Grill are conveniently located on level one of Crown Metropol and the hotel is located adjacent to a range of popular retail outlets leading guests through to air-bridge access to the gaming floor, cinemas, luxury brand shopping plus casual and further premium dining options including the recently opened The Atlantic, Nobu, Neil Perry’s Rockpool, Spice Temple and The Waiting Room and many more.

Reservations can be made by calling Crown Metropol reservations on +61 3 9292 6211, or visiting and quoting rate code BDAY OFFER upon reservation.

The Fireplace - Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove

With the change of season sweeping through, Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove’s signature restaurant - The Fireplace - has varied their menu to complement the cooler months.

Infused with new flavours of a rich succulence, the updated menu is perfection against the restaurants intimate and rustic setting.

The Fireplace’s warm atmosphere is reminiscent of a private dining room in a large manor house. With chefs on show as they prepare contemporary and provincial style cuisine, diners can also appreciate the view overlooking the fountain terrace.

Located on the lower level of The Great House and boasting solid timber furniture, an open kitchen and custom built wood-fired ovens, The Fireplace is open nightly from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm.

Patrons can enjoy a feast of starters, entrees, mains and sides created from fresh local produce and peppered with gourmet influences, such as smoked tomato vinaigrette or the apple balsamic red cabbage. Signature dishes such as the roasted field mushrooms, the slow roasted free range duck and Tajima Wagu cooked in the unique wood-fired oven remain popular staples on the new menu.

Make a reservation at The Fireplace today and delight your culinary senses. Other dining outlets at the resort include Cove Café, The Pool House and Verandah Bar. Please phone: 07 5530 1234 to book at Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove.

Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove is situated on the Northern end of the Gold Coast in the distinctive residential resort Sanctuary Cove. Inspired by the grandeur of a 1940’s Queensland homestead, the five star resort offers luxurious Australian hospitality and service.

Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove features 243 rooms and suites with a choice of views over the marina, golf course, beach lagoon or gardens. The resort is also home to 14 outdoor venues and meeting rooms which are ideal in hosting conferences, board meetings, themed events and weddings.

Crown Metropol and maze Grill are Heating up Winter with a New Zealand Masterchef Package to Entice Guests from Across the Sea

Crown Metropol and maze Grill have joined forces to create a package for the dedicated fans of New Zealand’s adored Masterchef series. The offer includes two nights accommodation at Crown Metropol and a dining voucher for Gordon Ramsay’s maze Grill to the value of $150.00. Viewers will be familiar with maze Grill with the original head chef, Josh Emett, joining the judging panel for the second series. This sensational package is available at Melbourne’s newest hotel and includes Qantas flights for $799.00NZD per person based on a twin share until 9 September 2011.

Fans of the current series New Zealand Masterchef can take advantage of this package to visit Melbourne for a short getaway, see the location and sample the menu which could be a dream come true for any amateur chef or cooking enthusiast. Crown Metropol is part of the Crown Entertainment Complex, Australia’s largest integrated resort, offering guests a myriad of dining sensations, nightclubs, bars, boutiques and gaming.

Crown Metropol features a cool urban oasis on level 28, the top floor of the hotel. This sky-high bar, lounge and outdoor terrace is a private club-like retreat accessible to hotel guests. “28”serves Melbourne’s best breakfast from 6:30am – 10:30am and from 5.30pm until 7:00pm daily. Guests of "28" enjoy complimentary evening drinks including Chandon sparkling wine, a range of white and red wines, Australian beers and house spirits. For $110.00 per room, per night guests may upgrade to include access to "28.”

The Masterchef package is available for a limited time only. Terms and conditions apply and for more details, visit To make a reservation visit your nearest Harvey World Travel store or phone 0800 80 84 80

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Lunch by the Countryside this Mother's Day

Whether it’s lunch in the Hawkesbury Valley or overlooking rolling vineyards in the Hunter, The Sebel has got you covered this Mother’s Day.

The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley is serving a special Mother’s Day seafood buffet on Sunday 8 May from12to3pmat Infuzion Restaurant for $85 per adult.

Overlooking beautifully manicured rose gardens and boasting sensational Hunter Valley vistas, The Sebel Kirkton Park will spoil Mum with a glass of sparkling wine on arrival and a complimentary gift.

If it’s a spa pampering Mum’s after, The Sebel Resort & Spa Hawkesbury Valley could just be your answer.

The resort will be offering their famous seafood buffet and carvery from12 to 3pm in their Gazebo Restaurant for $95 per adult. Mums will also be treated to a glass of sparkling wine and a Villa Thalgo gift on arrival.

For those wanting to go the extra mile, The Sebel Resort & Spa Hawkesbury Valley’s revered Villa Thalgo Day Spa is offering special Mother’s Day packages. One of the highlights is the Oasis treatment, which lasts 6-hours 30-minutes and includes a Vichy shower, body exfoliation and wrap, Swedish massage, Villa Thalgo 60 minute facial, deluxe manicure and pedicure and a light lunch.

Further Mother’s Day gift packs, spa packages and gift vouchers for Villa Thalgo Day Spa at The Sebel Resort & Spa Hawkesbury Valley are available at

To book your Mother’s Day table at The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley call (02) 4998 7680 or email

Price: $85 adult; $40 per teen (13-17 years); $30 per child (5-12 years).

To book your table at The Sebel Resort & Spa Hawkesbury Valley, call (02) 4577 1206 or email

Price: $95 adult; $45 per teen (13-17 years); $29 per child (5-12 years).

Make it Extra Special this Mother's Day

With special dining packages at some of Mirvac Hotels & Resorts leading New South Wales establishments, Sydneysiders are spoilt for choice this Mother's Day.

The Sebel Pier One Sydney

The all encompassing Sebel Pier One Sydney not only boasts the most picturesque Sydney Harbour views but it’s one of the most impressive settings for Mother’s Day lunch.

Serving a seafood buffet along the waterfront at Front Restaurant, expect to see prawns, Sydney rock oysters, blue swimmer crabs, Atlantic salmon, calamari, baby octopus – the whole gamut of seafood delicacies.

Mother’s will receive a glass of sparkling wine and children, soft drinks.

From 12-4pm on Sunday 8 May 2011. Price: $75 per adult, $40 per child.
Reservations call (02) 8298 9973.

Sydney Marriott Hotel

Overlooking Hyde Park and minutes to the bustling CBD, the Sydney Marriott Hotel is offering a Mother’s Day Brunch for $34 per person.

Including a bottomless glass of Australian sparkling wine and full buffet breakfast including a live omelette station, extensive bakery section and traditional hot buffet items in addition to the seasonal brunch menu, Windows on the Park at Sydney Marriott is your home away from home this Mother’s Day.

From 7am-12pm on Sunday 8 May 2011. $34 per adult and children under 12-years old, free.
Reservations call (02) 9361 8451.

Quay Grand Suites Sydney

Sitting right on top of Circular Quay, watch the boats roll in and yachts sail past as you enjoy a lavish three-course meal at Quadrant Restaurant this Mother’s Day.

Set in the glass enclosed Quadrant Restaurant on the second floor of Quay Grand Suites Sydney, some highlights of the contemporary three-course menu include a twice cooked pork belly served with vanilla pear veloute and spanish sherry jus, Atlantic salmon fillet with scallop and crème fraiche tortellini on shellfish broth and shaved fennel and a delicious vanilla crème brûlée.

From 12-4pm on Sunday 8 May 2011. Price: $85 per adult, $25 per child.
Reservations call (02) 9256 4000.

Pulau Joyo Private Island Launch

We are pleased to announce the official opening of Pulau Joyo luxury private island in Indonesian Riau Archipelago. Located close toSingapore, Pulau Joyo is ideally suited for those seeking a relaxing and tranquil escape from the daily grind.

Fringed by white sand beaches that shelve gently into the clear blue sea, Pulau Joyo is an idyllic, Robinson Crusoe-like island. However, “castaways” need not worry as every imaginable luxury amenity is at their fingertips. The resort’s sophisticated, understated style, combined with the natural beauty of the island, offers visitors the ultimate holiday experience, creating memories to last a lifetime.

Originally built as the private residence of the illustrious Marden shipping family, Pulau Joyo is comprised of eight exclusive beachfront villas, each carefully designed to blend in with the island’s natural surroundings. Villas are set amongst the lush, tropical vegetation, affording guests complete privacy within the comfort of their residence. Homes have been decorated with exquisite furniture pieces and art objects which ownersAntonyand Elaine Marden have lovingly collected from their world travels and rare auctions.

Easily accessible from Singaporeand Bintan, Joyo island is famous for its magnificent sunsets and tranquil location. The island is an ideal vantage point from which to explore Indonesia’s pristine beaches and reefs. Guests can take advantage of the residence’s 140-foot charter yacht The Hang Tuah ( for a leisurely afternoon of swimming, snorkeling or picnicking at the gorgeous sandbanks nearby. The tastefully decorated Hang Tuah has three double cabins, five permanent staff, is fully air-conditioned and comes with all modern amenities. Besides day tours, the yacht can also be chartered for longer trips.

Jetstar’s top 5 money saving tips for travel this Easter

All over Australia, thousands of families are busy preparing for the upcoming Easter holidays, planning stress-free travel and how to stretch each dollar further on their getaway.

Low cost airlines such as Jetstar have managed to bring airfares down to record lows in recent years by introducing products like JetSaver Light* – rewarding passengers with lower fares for travelling light, and the Jetstar Price Beat Guarantee** – promising to beat competitor's airfares by 10 per cent.

But flights are just one element of the whole holiday experience. Careful consideration of when and how your family travels can make a big difference to your wallet and sanity when travelling over the busy Easter season.  

Top five tips to save when you travel 

Find free things to do: Check out the activities in your destination. Look up local city websites to find local councils and businesses offering free family entertainment in popular holiday spots during the school holidays. 

Be flexible to find the lowest airfares: Be flexible with travel times and days and you're more like to find lower fares. Look for airlines that guarantee to beat competitor airfares.  Avoid travel agent commissions and book online.  Compare airline websites and carefully read what's included in the ticket price to ensure you're getting the best deal.

Save money on transport: The price of your airline ticket can sometimes cost less than your transport to/from the airport. Shuttles, trains, buses and even hire cars are all great ways of getting around each city.  Google '[city] airport transport' and compare your cost options to find the most suitable mode of transport for your family budget.      

Get organised if you're travelling with kids: How long is your flight? Before you leave the house, make a plan on how you plan to feed and entertain your children while in the air.

Do you really need two towels? Find out if your accommodation has amenities like towels, shampoo and soap. Remove these items from your suitcase to lighten your load. Travelling light can save you up to $20 each way on Jetstar. You'll also save time at check in and waiting at the luggage carousel.


*JetSaver Light fares offer customers the choice to travel for a lower fare with carry on baggage only – to a maximum of 10kg. JetSaver fares can be purchased for $20AUD more per international flight with a 20kg checked-in baggage allowance, plus 10kg carry-on.  


**With the Jetstar Price Beat Guarantee, Jetstar will beat a competitor by 10 percent. Conditions apply, see

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Finnair Lounge Voted the Best in the World

Helsinki-Vantaa airport's Finnair Lounge has been chosen as the world's best from a list of 600 lounges. The choice was made by 40,000 frequently travelling Priority Pass customers. It's the first time that a lounge outside America has won the award in its seven-year history.

The modern Finnair Lounge and the new generation Finnair Spa & Saunas offer authentic wellness and comfort services for passengers connecting on Finnair flights between Europe and Asia. The Lounge and Spa, which opened in December 2009, are situated between gates 36 and 37 in Helsinki-Vantaa’s Terminal 2.

"The Finnair Lounge and Spa & Saunas are an authentic entity in the airport environment that demonstrate Finnair's real concern for its customers' wellness," says Markku Remes, responsible for the development of Finnair customer service at Helsinki-Vantaa. "We want to distinguish our advantages in the hotly competitive Europe-Asia market with excellent services. This award is fine recognition of how our service renewal is succeeding."

The stylish Finnair Lounge has space for about 250 customers and its facilities include six individual shower rooms, a varied buffet, a Via Bar and Samsung LED TVs in relaxation areas. Work facilities include a free wifi network, Apple iMac workstations, and the Finnish Powerkiss desk whose functions include wireless mobile phone recharging.

The Lounge has been furnished by the Finnish Isku Interior Oy company. Swan and Double Bubble lighting by iconic Finnish designer Professor Eero Aarnio is also a feature. Services are provided in cooperation with long-term airport services partner SSP Finland Oy.

The Finnair Lounge is open for Finnair and oneworld tier level and Business Class passengers and, for a fee, to other customers. SSP Finland Oy offers services in the Lounge to its own customers, including Priority Pass customers. The Lounge is open daily from 6am to midnight, while the Spa & Saunas complex is open from 10am to 11pm.

Winter Special for Australian Residents at Matakauri Lodge, Kauri Cliffs & Cape Kidnappers

Be quick to take advantage of the amazing value at Kauri Cliffs, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and Matakauri Lodge.

This year it will be hard to call it the “Winter Special” as it is starting in April for Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers when the weather is brilliant. “Winter Special “ guests can take advantage of New Zealand’s late spring weather and autumn colours in April and May, or a cosy winter getaway in June, July, and August to enjoy the roaring fires and local red wines.

The Winter Special is an all-inclusive offer including suite accommodation, choice of a day of unlimited green fees* OR a 50-minute massage per person per night stayed, cocktail hour, a 5-course tasting menu, full breakfast, complimentary non-alcoholic mini bar and use of lodge facilities. *Golf option not available at Matakauri Lodge

Package available 1 April – 31 August 2011 at Kauri Cliffs & Cape Kidnappers, and from 1 May – 31 August 2011 at Matakauri Lodge

Sunday – Thursday nights NZ$725.00 + 15% GST per person/per night*
Friday – Saturday nights NZ$775.00 + 15% GST per person/per night*
*Rates are quoted for double occupancy. For single occupancy add NZ$200.00 + 15% GST per night.

For Reservations please contact:
The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs
P +64 9 407 0010 or E

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
P +64 6 875 1900 or E

Matakauri Lodge
P +64 3 441 1008 or E

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Asia’s premier rehab centre achieves 96 per cent completion rate.

* Fully qualified Western counsellors and international hospital alliance offer world-class solutions, with a unique pro-rata refund option.

* The Cabin Chiang Mai offers secular holistic programme approach

* Emphasis on fitness and mindfulness components complements Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and 12 Steps structure

Chiang Mai, Thailand – The Cabin Chiang Mai, widely regarded as the premier drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Asia, reveals the potency of its programmes, recording an impressive 96% completion rate of all clients in 2010.

Though structured along the well-established 12 Steps rehabilitation lines, The Cabin's drug and alcohol addiction treatment programmes comprise highly progressive evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques and personalized counselling elements.

"Our clients greatly appreciate our intelligent approach individually tailored to each client's personal needs. It's an unusually intensive programme in which they become very engaged. Even while they are with us clients begin to enjoy significant life changes," says Programme Director and Head Counsellor, Alastair Mordey.

Programmes are completely secular and involve no religious component, so are suitable for all races and faiths.

"We also focus on fitness and mindfulness components, making the most of our wonderful natural setting," says Centre Director Peter Maplethorpe. "A great setting to kick-start a new mindset."

The centre presents like a 5-star luxury boutique tropical resort with its riverside setting and comfortable teak-wood cabins in an area just outside Chiang Mai.

"Your privacy and anonymity are absolutely assured in our secluded riverside facility far from the prying eyes of family, friends and colleagues. Our clients are also far from their usual addiction triggers, and enjoy a vibrant group dynamic in a fresh environment, living the healthy lifestyle they dream of, even while still in rehab," says Maplethorpe.

Despite the fact that The Cabin offers clients an industry-unique pro-rata refund should they choose to exit the programme at any point, no one has exercised this option yet. "It shows our confidence in the quality of our treatment programmes," says Maplethorpe. "In fact, an unusually high proportion of clients actually extend beyond the minimum 28 days."

As Asia's leading rehab centre, clients can expect the same high level of care they would get in Australia. The Cabin's counsellors are British and Canadian, but clients also enjoy the renowned added care and compassion of local Thai staff, too, especially in the areas of fitness, yoga, and massage.

Exorbitant cost is usually the stumbling block for recovery at international treatment centres, but not at The Cabin Chiang Mai.

"Our affordability comes not from sacrificing professionalism, treatment or accommodation standards, but rather in the low operating cost of our locale," says Maplethorpe. "We are able to offer a world-class recovery programme at a price almost one third of comparable treatment in Western countries, even though we employ highly qualified Western professionals."

Thailand is furnished with a range of international hospitals, spas and wellness centers.  Just nine hours' flight from Sydney (with direct flights from many other cities, too) it is a beacon for those wishing to improve their health in a safe environment.

Chiang Mai is also one of the world's great adventure travel destinations and The Cabin offers an attractive array of excursions including elephant trekking, zipline jungle canopy tours, white-water rafting, Thai cooking lessons, fishing or hot springs each Sunday.

"One advantage of our location and excursions is that you can return home from your programme looking happy and healthy, and show everyone great photos of your adventure holiday in Chiang Mai. No one would ever guess you've been here for rehab treatment," says Maplethorpe.

About The Cabin Chiang Mai (

The Cabin is an 8-unit drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment centre, established in 2009 by a group of Western rehabilitation treatment professionals, qualified and accredited with organizations such as the British Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals and the Canadian Professional Counselors Association. The Cabin has also created an alliance with the leading international hospital in Northern Thailand.

The Cabin's team includes a clinical advisor (Thailand's foremost addiction expert), fitness and yoga instructors, a masseuse, and an art therapist, with an enviable staff-to-client ratio of nearly 3:1.

The Cabin is located on the banks of the Ping River, Chiang Mai, and includes a pool and jungle gym. Clients reside in airy teak-wood cabins amid lush landscaped tropical gardens, with four-poster beds, luxury bathtubs, large flat-screen TVs and DVD, and wi-fi facilities. Communal facilities include a library (for books and DVDs), restaurant, and wooden deck overlooking the river.


Seventeen days of travel for the price of fifteen

Utrecht, Netherlands,  – Eurail Group G.I.E. has announced that it is offering youths two extra days of 2nd class rail travel on all 15 day Eurail Global Passes purchased between April 1st and May 31st, 2011.

promotion_eurail.jpgFor over 50 years, the Eurail Global Pass has allowed rail travelers to tailor-make their own European itinerary. With 22 countries currently participating in the Eurail Global Pass, it is especially popular among youths. It gives the traveler almost endless opportunities to explore Europe by rail. Not only does the Eurail Global Pass open the doors via rail to favorite European destinations such as France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and Spain, it also gives access to the lesser discovered corners of Central and Eastern Europe, like Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia. Regardless of which part of Europe travelers want to explore, the Eurail Global Pass is the perfect travel companion.

In 2010, more than 427,000 overseas travelers experienced the ease of getting around Europe with Eurail Passes. Overall, 27% of Eurail passengers in 2010 traveled with a Eurail Youth Pass, including a large percentage from North America and South Korea. Traveling by rail is relaxing, comfortable and convenient, enabling passengers to enjoy the diverse landscapes, cultures and European sights. Europe's rail system is modern and reliable, and cross-border rail connections makes traveling across the continent a breeze.

Marketing Director Ana Dias e Seixas is enthusiastic about the promotion. "Eurail wants to inspire more youths to discover Europe by rail for the ultimate travel experience. Traveling with a Eurail Pass gives the pass holder a sense of freedom which can't be matched by any other product on the market."

The offer is valid on 2nd class Global Youth Passes for 15 days of continuous travel. Youth Passes are valid for travelers who are under age 26 on their first day of travel. See

Monday, 18 April 2011

Hamilton Island celebrates Mother's Day with charity walk

Hamilton Island will proudly host the Mother’s Day Classic “Walk in the Park” fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research as a tribute to mums all around Australia on Sunday 8 May.

This is the first time Hamilton Island has been the venue for this popular event which has been run by the National Breast Cancer Foundation every year since 1998. Since that time, the Mother’s Day Classic has raised $7.8 million for the Foundation and created a Mother’s Day tradition that increases awareness about a disease that affects one in nine Australian women.

The Walk kicks off at 8am with participants having the option to choose either a scenic 4 or 8km course on the Island. A sausage sizzle will be served after the event with activities and entertainment available for families to relax and enjoy around the beachside Bougainvillea pool.

The event is open to people of all fitness levels. Entries can be made at

Hamilton Island’s impressive new Spa wumurdaylin or Spa qualia will be open all afternoon for guests wanting to take the energy levels down a notch or two and indulge in a much needed massage or soothing foot treatment. The range of experiences available extends from facials, body treatments and massages right through to alternative therapies to recharge, heal and balance the body.

Hamilton Island has developed a range of packages to celebrate Mother’s Day in Paradise this year.

Spa package deals:
For the ultimate Mother’s Day, Hamilton Island is offering a ‘Spa in Paradise’ stay at qualia from $2620* for two people. This offer includes two nights’ accommodation, a la carte breakfast, dinner and non-alcoholic beverages consumed at qualia, a Quintessential massage (60 minutes) per person at Spa qualia, VIP Return Hamilton Island airport/marina to hotel transfers, use of a two-seater electric golf buggy, use of non-motorised watercraft and beach drop-offs to selected local beaches and surrounding islands.

If guests are travelling with younger families, a Reef View Hotel’s ‘Golf and Spa package’ is available for $1544* for three nights’ accommodation, daily buffet breakfast, use of catamarans, paddle skis, windsurfers and snorkelling equipment plus mum’s choice of either two delightful treatments at Spa wumurdaylin or one spa treatment and one 18-hole round of golf (including launch transfers and on-course buggy use) at the spectacular Peter Thomson-designed Hamilton Island Golf Club on neighbouring Dent Island. This is a flexible with the opportunity to trade a spa treatment for an extra game of golf.

A variety of other packages are also available. For details and all terms and conditions please call 13REEF (13 7333) or visit or your preferred travel agent.

*Valid for travel: from 1 April – 31 March 2012. Terms: Rates are based on twin share. Extra person rates apply. Offer is subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Airfares not included. Deposit and cancellation policies apply.
Blackout dates: Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: 19 - 27 August 2011 inclusive, Festive Season: 22 December 2011 - 4 January 2012 inclusive.

Get Up & Go Magazine - Brighter than Ever


Australia's premier travel and leisure magazine for the 55s and over has issued its autumn edition.

On the stands now and in the post to you – Get Up & Go's first issue from the publisher BT Publishing is bigger and brighter than ever.

" As editor of Get Up & Go, I'm very proud of the magazine, the look of it, its integrity and the quality of writing from Australia's best travel writers", says Bev Malzard.

"It's wonderful to have made such a seamless move with the magazine, and there are many exciting things in the pipeline."

This issue features India, Laos, Norway, China, Alaska, Macau – and a fantastic competition for a prize trip to Macau.

Supporting Queensland and hoping to drive more tourism to the sunshine state – we have a 'Queensland is open for business' special. And for more interesting tales of Australian destinations – just check out Get Up & Go.

To enhance the Get Up & Go experience – go to facebook GetUpAndGoNow and the blog –

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Surf's up at Fiji's Plantation Island

Fiji's Plantation Island Resort has joined forces with local company Surfin' Fiji to offer daily boat transfers to some of Fiji's most famous surf breaks.

These include several of Fiji's most waves including the world class 'Cloudbreak', Desperations, Namotu and Wilkes Passage.

Daily transfers to Namotu and Wilkes cost FJD50 per person while trips out to  Cloudbreak and Desperations are FJD70 per person.

The price includes three hours surfing time and safety support. Surf board hire is also available from FJD40 per day.

The surf breaks have been the venue for numerous professional surfing competitions, including the prestigious Billabong Pro Surf and Roxy Pro Surf in recent times.

The sport has enjoyed a new resurgence in Fiji since the July 2010 release of the Fiji's government's Surfing Areas Decree which gave surfers unrestricted access to any surfing area in Fiji.


Saturday, 16 April 2011



It's time to reward yourself – and with 90 days of attractions, events and great offers, this year's Fiesta by Noosa celebration from May to July will be the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate this winter.

Whether it's time to party, play, relax, race, eat or drink, Fiesta by Noosa offers the best of times, with amazing deals on short breaks and plenty of events, attractions and activities to complement Noosa's beautiful natural environment and warm winter weather.

From celebrity chefs to comedy, world-class dinners to theatre, human canvases and sporting races to music for many tastes, Fiesta by Noosa will be your chance to let the good times roll – to sum it up: a time to celebrate.

Major events include the Audi Noosa Food and Wine Festival (May 13-15), Australian Body Art Carnivale (May 13-15), Noosa Winter Festival (May 21-22), Riverfest Regatta (June 4-5), Noosa Longweekend (June 17-26), A Taste of Coolum (June 24-26) and Pomona King of the Mountain Festival (July 24).

To mark the first Fiesta by Noosa celebration, an extension of the former Mayfiesta campaign, Tourism Noosa is announcing the new Noosa iphone App, an application that will be available to download so everything you need to know about Fiesta and Noosa in 2011 will be at your fingertips, including great deals on accommodation, tours, restaurants and shopping.

So don't siesta this winter, get to Noosa and put the "fiesta" back in your life any time over May, June and July, with fabulous cuisine, great bargains with retail therapy, some well deserved relaxation in one of Noosa's beautiful resorts (see below for hot deals), and an amazing array of quality events. 

It's simply one of the best times of year to visit Australia's favourite beachside destination.

On the must- do list get to Australia's premier food and wine event, the Audi Noosa Food and Wine Festival, as it goes global from May 13-15, with the inaugural Best Dinner in the World, featuring seven chefs from the 2010 San Pellegrino World's Best Restaurants list. Join leading chefs, winemakers, critics, media personalities and entertainers for celebrity chefs cooking classes and demonstrations, Noosa Food Trails, degustation dinners and all things food and wine. Guests include Stephanie Alexander, Maggie and Saskia Beer, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston from MasterChef, Matt Moran, Ben O'Donoghue and Tetsuya Wakuda. World-class entertainment as you sip and savour the tastes will include The Australian Michael Jackson Tribute Show starring Paul Rizzo, Rhonda Burchmore, and the 100% Kylie Show starring Lucy Holmes. Get in early for a 10% discount on tickets bought before April 1 – see

For some comedy on the coast, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow will pull up at The J on May 20. Local names, newcomers and overseas guests will hit the road after almost a month performing around Melbourne – see

The second annual Noosa Winter Festival (May 21 and 22) will be back bigger and better than before, with the popular Noosa Enduro being added to the sporting line-up which includes the Noosa Blue Water Swim, Noosa Half Marathon, Noosa Century Cycle, Mizuno 10km Run and the Noosa 5km run/walk, along with a sport and lifestyle expo and fun and entertainment for the family – see

A Taste of Coolum at Hyatt Regency Coolum on June 24-26 will be a fun weekend of golf, fine wine and good food. Get into the swing with a winemaker dinner in Village Square on the Friday night. At the Winemakers Cup Golf Day on the Saturday, serious golf takes a backseat to wine tasting, novelty holes, prizes and fun. Then relax at the Young Guns Winemakers Dinner or the Legends Winemaker Dinner. The weekend winds up with the Chefs Alfresco event on the Sunday, with more than 45 wine displays, delicious food prepared by the Hyatt chefs, and a dedicated Sparkling Garden featuring the best Australian and overseas bubbles – see

For a little magic in your life, the annual Australian Body Art Carnivale in Eumundi from May 13-15 will be the place to see artists at work using human bodies as their canvas, with "Magic" as the theme for this year's competition. There will also be the Masked Gallery Art Walk; competitions and exhibitions in pavement art, wearable art, vehicle art, indigenous art and photography; street performers; workshops; Sunset Street Party and Eumundi Live Music Festival – see

The Noosa Longweekend, one of Australia's favourite regional cultural events, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with a 10-day celebration of theatre, music, literature, forums, dance, film, art and food, from June 17-26. It's a chance to get close to some of Australia's best performers, writers, musicians, film-makers, news-makers and commentators – see

With these and other events on offer, there's sure to be something for everyone. To see the full range of events go to

Now's the time to book ahead for your Noosa Fiesta escape, with Virgin Blue and Jetstar airlines offering special rates on flights to Sunshine Coast Airport, and Tiger Airways announcing its new Sydney to Sunshine Coast route, flying daily from March 27, 2011.

Fiesta by Noosa – snapshot of events

  • Dingo Creek Winery Jazz and Blues Festival – April 30 & May 1
  • Operatif's Opera in the Amphitheatre – May 1
  • Noosa River Festival – May 7 & 8
  • Folk-blues master Eric Bibb performs – May 11
  • Audi Noosa Food and Wine Festival – May 13-15
  • Australian Body Art Carnivale – May 13-15
  • Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow – May 20
  • Noosa Winter Festival – May 21-22
  • Diesel performs – May 22
  • Riverfest Regatta – June 4 & 5
  • Noosa Longweekend – June 17-26
  • A Taste of Coolum – June 24-26
  • Reality Bites Literary Nonfiction Festival – July 22-24
  • Pomona King of the Mountain Festival – July 24

Hot deals on accommodation during Fiesta

The Rise Noosa: 25% off at The Rise Noosa during the Audi Noosa Food and Wine Festival, subject to availability and not to be used in conjunction with any other offers. Email enquiries to and mention specifically Noosa Food and Wine Festival. Phone enquiries on 07 5473 6500 should also mention Noosa Food and Wine Festival.

Culgoa Point Beach Resort: Stay 3 or more nights at Culgoa Point Beach Resort, 5 Quamby Place, Noosa Heads, and enjoy a complimentary gourmet Tempo pizza. Offer valid May 1-31, 2011, subject to availability. Phone 07 5447 5055, email or see

Hotel Laguna: Hotel Laguna's Audi Noosa Food & Wine Festival Gourmet Escape Package, $599, 3-night package from May 13-16, 2011, includes 1-day festival General Admission (Sat or Sun) for 2 people and 2 food or beverage tickets, and bottle of Australian sparkling on arrival (based on a Hastings St suite for 2 people) subject to availability. Phone 07 5447 3077 & mention "Escape", email

Hyatt Regency Coolum: Resort accommodation at Hyatt Regency Coolum, available May 13-15, King Room from $240 for 2; Woodland Villa from $400 (up to 4 people); Golf Villa from $455 (up to 4 people); Ambassador Villa from $705 (up to 4 people). Rates include overnight accommodation, daily continental breakfast, adult entry to Spa; tennis court hire; complimentary daily shuttle to Noosa. To book, phone 1800 COOLUM (266 586) or visit Rates are per room, per night, subject to availability.

Montpellier Boutique Resort: Montpellier Boutique Resort's Noosa Food & Wine Festival special, $175 per night (min 2 nights). Relax in a luxury, 4½ star, 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom air-conditioned apartment, just a short stroll from Noosa River and award-winning restaurants of Gympie Terrace. Or unwind by Montpellier's beautiful pool. Mention the Noosa Food & Wine festival to receive champagne and chocolates on arrival. Offer valid May 9–22, 2011. Phone 07 5455 5033 or book online at

Fairshore Beachfront Apartments: Fairshore's absolute beachfront apartments offer 15% off for stays of 3 or more nights, for low season and new bookings only. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other deal. Freecall on 1800 072078 or email

Friday, 15 April 2011 - Easter travel deals - Australia


Western Australia is steeped in some of the world's most extraordinary beauty which makes it one of the most desirable locations for travellers to visit in Australia, according to online accommodation site,

With such a varied range of travel experiences available throughout Western Australia it's no wonder that the south west region was named in Lonely Planet as one of the world's top 10 regions for 2010.

To give travellers a taste of what this inspiring state has to offer, General Manager John Feenaghty has recommended his top 10 must see attractions. From natural landscapes, pristine beaches and surfing to world class dining and exquisite wines.

Ningaloo Reef

Ningaloo Reef is Australia's largest fringing reef, running 260km along the length of North West Cape. This virtually untouched barrier reef is one of the rare places where you are able to walk from the beach straight onto a coral reef which is home to more than 500 species of tropical fish and 220 species of coral.

Whale Sharks

The warm tropical waters of Ningaloo Marine Park are where you'll find some of the largest fish in the world, the whale shark and an amazing abundance of marine life including sea snakes, manta rays, whales, turtles, sharks and tropical fish. From April to July each year divers and snorkelers are able to swim with the 12 metre long whale sharks.

Bungle Bungle Range

The bee-hive shaped Bungle Bungle range in the World heritage listed Purnululu National Park is the perfect place for an outback adventure. Enjoy nature at its finest by camping under the stars, going for a four wheel drive over the rugged terrain and hiking through hidden gorges where you'll find many significant Aboriginal rock art sites.

The Pinnacles

The Pinnacles are extraordinary ancient rock formations located about a 3 hour drive north of Perth. These unusual limestone spires rise strikingly out of the sand and the ideal way to enjoy them is on a scenic drive or walk trail that includes spectacular lookout view over Nambung National park.

Wave Rock

This is one of many extraordinary rock formations to be found in Western Australia and is situated about 350km east of Perth. An impressive 15 metres high, Wave Rock is in the form of a wave just about to break.

Cable Beach

The world famous Broome's Cable Beach consists of 22 km of glorious white sand and clear, turquoise water. Laze in the sun, ride a jet ski, take a relaxing boat cruise or enjoy the iconic Broome experience – a sunset camel ride along the sands of Cable Beach.

Where to stay:

Pinctada Cable Beach Resort and Spa – 5*

Located 500m from the iconic Cable Beach this resort is inspired by pinctada maxima, the shell that nurtures the world's most beautiful pearl. All guest rooms are graciously sized with a king size bed, personal pillow menu and a private balcony or courtyard. Other features include landscaping of the Pinctada Resort and Spa designed by Jamie Durie patio, a signature menu by Melbourne Chef Greg Malouf, original artwork, personal butler services, guest gym and mediative garden zones.


Margaret River Region

The Margret River region is notorious for its outstanding wineries, fine dining, exceptional surfing and immaculate beaches. The region can be enjoyed during the winter too by taking walks on the beach or horse riding through the bush, then coming back to a log fire cabin.

Where to Stay:

Quay West Resort Bunker Bay – 5*

Superbly located in the world famous Margaret River wine region bordering Cape Naturaliste National Park and on the edge of the dazzling Indian Ocean. Quay West Resort features luxuriously appointed studios, 1 and 2 bedroom villas with lake or garden views which are set amongst beautiful native gardens in a style compassionate to the environment.


Rottnest Island

Just a short ferry ride from Perth, Rottnest boasts some of the world's finest beaches and bays plus unique plant and animal life including the famous and rare quokka, a small kangaroo-like marsupial. Rottnest is a car free zone with 63 sheltered beaches to choose from.


Western Australia is renowned for the spectacular and colourful wild flower display which comes to life from June to November each year. The amazing 12,000 different, beautiful plant species are a sight not to be missed.

Where to Stay:

Pinctada Kimberley Grande – 4*

Home to cast and crew during the filming of Australia, The Kimberley Grande sits in harmony with the spectacular landscape and romantic grandeur of Western Australia's untouched Kimberley region.  The Kimberley Grande's guest rooms reflect the character of an Australian outback homestead whilst boasting contemporary style and comfort. The mix of colours and textures in all rooms creates a calm and restful atmosphere.



Historic Fremantle is the best preserved example of 19th century port streetscape with gracious heritage buildings and interesting history. Places to visit in this vibrant and charming city include WA's earliest convict jail, the Roundhouse, Fremantle prison and the Maritime museum.

To tempt travellers even more, offers a range of affordable accommodation packages throughout Western Australia, leaving you with more budget to spend enjoying the regions pleasures.

Maitraya Luxury Private Retreat – 5*

Located just twenty minutes drive from Albany on Western Australia's amazing south coast, Maitraya Luxury Private Retreat is perched on a cliff top overlooking the ocean. The beautifully appointed, eight-bedroom luxury home offers its guests nature, tranquillity and seclusion in one unforgettable package. Outdoors features include kayaking, a tennis court, cricket pitch, bird hides and walk trails.


Stonebarn Cabin Retreat – 5*

Located in the heart of Western Australia's epicurean region, Stonebarn is the quintessential boutique retreat. Featuring 6 spacious guest suits each handcrafted with local stone and timbre. 
Stonebarn is set amongst 160 acres of lush forest, rivers and dams in the picturesque Pemberton region. Fresh herbs, eggs, fruits, salsa's and an orchard provide the freshest ingredients for breakfast or a picnic lunch.


Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort – 3*

Featuring absolute beachfront accommodation in the heart of Shark Bay World Heritage Area, the Resort includes accommodation options for all travellers with a variety of rooms from backpackers, caravan and camping through to motel style units and luxury villas. Dolphins have visited the shores of Monkey Mia daily for more than forty years. So friendly, the dolphins will swim to the shore to meet you. Onsite facilities include swimming pool, hot tub, tennis and volleyball courts.

Make Mother’s Day Memorable at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is offering two enticing culinary experiences to spoil Mum this Mother's Day – an extravagant buffet lunch in Kable's and a sumptuous High Tea at The Café By Kable's.

Take Mum's tastebuds on a culinary journey around Kable's with a special buffet lunch comprising six exotic food stations.  Start with a visit to the Cold Buffet and sample a variety of salads and sushi before moving on to the Hot Food Station where risotto, pasta and curry await.

Next stop is the Seafood Station serving the day's freshest catch including Chardonnay-poached prawns and marinated baby octopus.  Work off some energy at the Action Station by rolling your own Peking duck pancakes, followed by some hearty slow-cooked prime rib of beef from the Carving Station. Complete the journey by delighting in the Dessert Station offering a selection of pastries and Australian cheeses.   

Give Mum a well-deserved break and keep the kids entertained at the 'Kid's Corner' in the adjacent Kable's Private Dining Room. The little ones can enjoy their very own buffet lunch while having the chance to make Mum a special card, decorate cookies or relax in front of a movie.

Looking for something a little lighter to indulge Mum?  The Café by Kable's is serving a delicious High Tea with all the signature tasty treats including finger sandwiches, scones and a selection of delectable desserts.

The first 50 reservations for Mother's Day lunch will go into the draw to win a $200 Four Seasons Spa voucher and complimentary Sodashi gift pack valued at $230.

A lucky door prize of dinner for two at Kable's valued at $200, will also be drawn on the day. 

Mother's Day lunch is available for $99 per adult or $110 including a glass of Mumm Champagne and $39 per child.  High Tea is available for $40 per person or $50 including a glass of Mumm Champagne.

Bookings are essential on (02) 9250 3306 or email  

For hotel or Spa reservation enquiries or to purchase a Four Seasons Hotel Sydney Gift Card, phone (02) 9250 3100 or email

The Beijing Toy Market is a fun stop for family travellers

New York City has FAO Schwartz, London has Hamleys and Beijing has the Hongqiao Toy Market.

Beijing’s Hongqiao Toy Market is made up over a hundred small individually owned stalls, each selling its own selection of goods.

The toy market is connected to the Hongqiao Pearl Market, which aside from pearls has a huge selection of stalls selling souvenirs aimed at tourists. This makes it a great stop for adults as well as the kids. You can even enjoy a decent coffee or sandwich in one of the café’s nearby.

Aside from non-branded toys there are plenty of name brand toys from Disney to Barbie to Wii video games. Scooters, roller blades and other wheeled devices are abundant. Lego, puzzles, stuffed animals, magic sets, wooden toys, infant play things and more are to be found in the rows of stalls.

For older kids, there are sporting goods, video games as well as radio controlled cars, helicopters, planes and boats. You have to watch out for the helicopter demonstrations in the aisles from enthusiastic stall workers.
The Hongqiao Toy Market is located close to the Temple of Heaven, the Kungfu Show theater and the Beijing railway station. It can be visited in conjunction with these nearby attractions.

The China Guide is experienced at building family friendly tours custom tailored to suit your needs.

About The China Guide

A western owned and managed travel agency, The China Guide aims to treat its guests like family. There are no factory shopping stops, meals are in quality local restaurants, guides are carefully screened and client satisfaction is the priority.

To find out more about The China Guide’s private tours as well as other offerings, please visit

Gwinganna's new Organic Food programs released

Experience the award winning Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat with a specialty organic focus on three innovative programs through winter. Incorporating organic cooking, gardening and nutrition these programs are exclusive to Gwinganna and will further enhance a restorative spa escape.

Feast of Nutrition Program 22-26 May and 21-24 July

Featuring leading nutritionist, Caroline Scott, the 'Feast of Nutrition' program offers guests an invaluable opportunity to attend key seminars by Ms Scott along with a range of activities and spa treatments.

Ms Scott has a background in holistic health encompassing Western herbal medicine and naturopathy and says that guests will leave armed with vital information. "When people understand how their body reacts to foods, they can better manage their energy, moods and body weight. The seminars will address sugar cravings, liver health, hormonal imbalance, the importance of fats and the role of antioxidants", said Ms Scott. This program provides a comprehensive nutrition based programs available and is vital for both men and women.

Organic Living Program 26-29 May

Directly following 'Feast of Nutrition' is a three day program, 'Organic Living' with Gwinganna's gardener Shelley Pryor. A former fine dining chef who grew up learning about organics and growing produce, Ms Pryor will share her extensive knowledge offering solutions, recipes, invaluable tips and inspiration to adopt organic practices at home. Ms Pryor manages all the gardens on the property along with the retreat's composting program, worm farms, chickens and bees.


Nourish For Winter Program 10-13 June

Finally, for a long weekend like no other, join Australia's leading therapeutic chef and nutritionist Samantha Gowing who will present alongside Gwinganna's chef in the 'Nourish for Winter' retreat. "During this time guests can observe and enjoy the full spectrum of seasonal ingredients that are abundant with individual healing properties to nurture their health and enhance their journey toward optimal wellbeing." Also available will be 'Nourish for Spring' 29 September - 2 October 2011.


A key part of Gwinganna's philosophy centres around a commitment to organic foods and products and greater environmental awareness with regard to food in particular and these three innovative programs offer guests the opportunity to learn and experience total organic nutrition.


Packages at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat are fully inclusive and start from just $1245 per person for the three night stay and from $1660 per person for the four night stay , including accommodation, all organic meals, all activities, selected spa treatments, all specialty sessions, and courtesy transfer from Gold Coast airport at set times. Call Retreat Advisors on 1800 219 272 for more details or visit


The award winning Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat is a destination that will inspire the desire to live a healthier life. Australian owned and located in the Gold Coast hinterland offering innovative wellness programs, specialty spa treatments, superb organic cuisine and extensive facilities. Just 30 minutes from Gold Coast airport with various accommodation options including three luxury villas, and two Signature Villas. Packages are fully inclusive of all organic meals, accommodation, all activities and selected spa treatments/spa credit.

Winner – Luxury Travel Award for Best Australian Health and Wellness Property 2011

Winner – Spa Finder Crystal Award for Favourite Spa in Australia 2008, 2009 and 2010

Winner – AsiaSpa Award winner 2009 and 2010

Conde Nast Traveller Gold List 2010

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
192 Syndicate Rd, Tallebudgera Valley
Q 4228 Australia
Tel: +61 7 5589 5000
Fax: +61 7 55338378



Go Wild with Lord Howe Walks

There is no better way to see Lord Howe Island than by foot, traversing this spectacular ecological gem via a series of well-marked trails.

Whether seeking an active holiday in the great outdoors or wishing to discover the amazing array of Lord Howe’s endemic species, this is a walker’s paradise. Each day come back to the comfort of Arajilla Retreat. There are plenty of choices to suit a wide range of abilities. The most challenging is the eight-hour Mt Gower hike, with ropes and gusto required.

Here is a five day suggested walker's itinerary to discover amazing Lord Howe:

Day 1 – Orientate: Arrive on spectacular Lord Howe and settle into your Arajilla Suite. Take a leisurely stroll to the Village and along the shores of the Lagoon.

Day 2 – Warm up: take a 2 to 3 hour walk to North Bay, Kims Lookout and Malabar (unguided). It will take 4 hours if you stop and have a picnic and swim at North Bay! Majestic Island views and some hill work to get there.

Day 3 – Go remote: enjoy a 5-hour walk to uninhabited Boat Harbour on the remote south-east of Lord Howe. Here birds follow you through the islands tropical rainforest. Have lunch and cool your feet at beautiful Boat Harbour (unguided).

Day 4 – Take the challenge: the 4-hour walk to Goat House Cave is a tough one, straight up the green slopes of Mt. Lidgbird, with the satisfying reward of spectacular views back across the Island. See if you can spot a nesting red tailed tropic bird at the top (unguided). Alternatively test your vertical limits and participate in the ultimate Mt Gower full day climb, guided by Jack Shick, a 5th generation islander, naturalist and photographer. Jack has over 1,400 climbs to the summit. The walk operates twice-weekly.

Day 5 – Departure: After a leisurely Arajilla breakfast you are transferred to Lord Howe Island Airport for your return QantasLink flight to Sydney or Brisbane.

Your four-night Go Wild Walks package includes:
Four nights accommodation in a Kentia or Banyan Suite, with optional easy odd-on nights.
All meals – gourmet breakfast, light lunch, three course dinner with menu changing daily, selected pre-dinner drinks, plus tea and coffee.
Day backpacks, walking maps plus much of the equipment you need to fully enjoy World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island.
A copy of the latest edition of Great Walks Magazine awaiting you in your suite. Bicycles and return airport transfers on the island.
Price of $2,140.00 per person twin share, valid from 01 April 2011 to 30 November 2011.

Airfares can be booked via QantasLink.

For more information, visit

Bookings can be made by:
telephone via freecall 1800 063 928

Toberua Island Amazing Group Deal

Private Island Deal for 30 Friends

Have you dreamt of grabbing some friends and escaping to your very own private island for one amazing holiday? Well now that dream can be a reality with idyllic Toberua Island Resort in Fiji offering groups of up to 30 people the chance to charter their whole island for only $6000 per night.

This unique deal is perfect for celebrating birthday's, anniversaries, buck's nights, hen's nights, weddings or just a once in a lifetime private friends and family holiday.

Located in the Lomaiviti Group off the eastern side of Fiji's main island Viti Levu, this unique privately owned island includes four sandy acres of lush tropical gardens and embodies an unforgettable island experience.

Accommodation is in one of fifteen recently refurbished traditional bures, decorated in true authentic Fijian style with comfortable contemporary furnishings. The Premium and Deluxe ocean front bures are nestled into the water's edge and dotted around the island and with soaring 27 feet ceilings these 'Island Homes' are fan cooled and come with private indoor/outdoor bathrooms, a covered deck, hammock, beach chairs, refrigerator and tea and coffee making facilities.

Toberua Island Resort can keep any group entertained and ensure nothing is had but fun, offering a wide range of activities including a golf course, snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing, fishing, glass bottom boating, a salt water swimming pool, volleyball, table tennis and for the more adventurous sport fishing and night snorkelling.

Dive addicts will love Toberua, with the resort being in minutes from more than 20 varied dive sites from Coral heads to 60 foot walls and crevasses. Toberua has its own resident PADI dive instructor and offers a full range of courses from introductory dives to dive master qualification.

Boasting a superior indoor-outdoor gourmet restaurant overlooking the picturesque beach, specialties feature island cuisine, including fresh seafood and continental dishes supplemented by a selection of locally grown tropical fruits and organic vegetables from Toberua's own gardens.

All daily meals are prepared by the resorts Fijian Chef and include a continental and hot buffet breakfast, a three-course lunch and four course dinner. Toberua also has a wide selection of Australian and New Zealand wines.

Your own tropical Island wouldn't be complete without a Spa and Toberua has a recently refurbished its Spa Bure now offering an extensive range of massage and beauty treatments. Therapists use the locally renowned Pure Fiji products to enhance the Fijian Massage experience.

This amazing deal requires a minimum 5 night stay and is valid for travel from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 and includes island transfers from Nausori Airport. Total island capacity is 45 guests and each extra guest (over 30 people) will be charged at AUD$100 per night. Children can stay at the resort free of charge.

For booking and enquiries please contact: Tess Willcox on P: 07 5524 5222 Email:

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Eggs-cellent Entertainment in Brisbane this Easter

Be amazed by the variety of fun and quirky activities on offer around Brisbane this Easter.

Gather your family and come together in Brisbane to celebrate the five-day long weekend.

Brisbane’s tourism industry is well and truly back in business with many tourism operators staging Easter events and activities to attract people to the region for the unusually long holiday.

“It is incredible that just two months since the floods, Brisbane is open and ready for families and visitors to enjoy,” Brisbane Marketing Leisure Tourism Director Cathie McBean said.

“It is important we send a clear message and let people know about the depth and breadth of tourism products and experiences to be had in Brisbane; Moreton Bay and Islands; and in the Scenic Rim, Country Valleys and Ipswich regions.”

“We want to excite people in Brisbane about all there is to do right on their doorstep,” she said.

While the majority of Brisbane’s tourism industry wasn’t directly affected by floodwaters, the industry as a whole has experienced a downturn.

“We ask everyone in and around Brisbane to spend their five-day long weekend getting out and about exploring their region,” McBean said.

“Not only will you be pleasantly surprised by what you’ll find in your own backyard, you’ll also be supporting our local tourism industry at a time when they need it the most.”

There are some great activities, events and tourism products on offer in Brisbane throughout Easter.

For more ideas, go to;

13 Airlines - Every Seat Discounted on International Flights

Travel bargain hunters are in for a treat over the next six days with ZUJI moving to discount international flights* on 13 of Australia’s favourite airlines.

The offer, valid until 20 April 2011 is available at to all major destinations worldwide* with Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Cathay Pacific and nine more airlines.

There are no travel date restrictions and the offer applies to regular and already discounted first, business, premium economy and economy class seats.

Airfare examples include Singapore Airlines return to Hong Kong from $843 including taxes and Qantas return to Amsterdam from only $1,648. All fares include taxes and ZUJI is fee-free with no booking or credit card fees.

The offer is not available on trans-Tasman flights, but that’s the only catch. Promise.

Airlines discounted are as follows:
- Qantas
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Cathay Pacific
- Etihad Airways
- Air New Zealand
- Cathay Pacific
- Malaysia Airlines
- Thai Airways
- Virgin Atlantic
- V Australia
- South African Airways
- United Airlines
- Garuda Indonesia

To take advantage of the discounts visit by midnight 20 April 2011.

Airfare prices quoted are ex Melbourne. An additional $20 applies for departures from Sydney and Brisbane.

* Excludes trans-Tasman flights.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Saudi Arabia to build world’s tallest skyscraper - one mile high


The Saudi Royal family has unveiled plans to start construction of the world’s tallest skyscraper. The Kingdom Tower will measure 1.6km high, making it twice the height of the current world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The mixed-use development will consist of hotels, offices, luxury apartments and a shopping centre.

The £12 billion structure will be twice the height of the world’s current tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and take 12 minutes to reach the top by lift.

The megastructure, which will be built in the port city of Jeddah, is being financed by the Saudi Royal Family-owned Kingdom Holding Company, and shareholders include in Amazon, Apple and McDonald’s.

KHC has employed American company Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture who designed the Burj Khalifa. It is also reported that Emaar, the developer of the Burj Khalifa, has won the construction rights to the Kingdom Tower.

Emaar was voted “Middle East’s Leading Tourism Property Development Company” at World Travel Awards. Meanwhile The Armani Hotel Dubai, situated inside the Burj Khalifa, will play host to World Travel Awards 2011 Middle East Ceremony on 2 May.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Queensland's 2011 Season of Sailng off to a flying start

Queensland's Season of Sailing is making it easy to come onboard to stay and sail in the state's world-class sailing destinations.

Now in its second year, the Season of Sailing aims to attract visitors to sailing events in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Central Queensland, the Whitsundays and Townsville being held from April 22 to September 6.

Visitors can enjoy and be part of a world famous race week, learn to sail and embark on a bareboat adventure or if DIY sailing doesn't appeal, a range of crewed charters are available. Choose from a wide range of boating experiences – from catamarans to racing yachts – and explore Queensland's many spectacular waterways. Stay in a resort with views of the Coral Sea or visit The Great Barrier Reef. 

The Season of Sailing website, makes it easy to experience a Queensland sailing experience and book a range of stay and sail holiday packages with your friends and family from now until September, with travel extending until December 15, 2011.

The Sunsail Australia package allows you to take to the water on a bareboat charter from $99 per person or Descarada Luxury Charters offer an all-inclusive luxury two night cruise through the Whitsunday Islands – a great way to relax and unwind after the Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island Race Weeks.

There is also a package available for people to explore the Townsville region with a seven night Peppers Island Escape, including accommodation at the Peppers Blue on Blue Magnetic Island and daily breakfast.

From just $85 per night, you can stay at the Island Gateway Holiday Park at beautiful Airlie Beach (kids stay free) or enjoy one of Queensland's newest resorts, the Boathouse Apartments by Outrigger, also at Airlie Beach, which is offering two bedroom apartments from $260 per night quad-share.

Young Australian of the Year and proud Queenslander, Jessica Watson has come onboard once again as the Queensland's Season of Sailing ambassador when she launched the 2011 Season at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in Manly, Brisbane last Saturday, April 2.

Jessica says she is happy to encourage more people to take up the sport of sailing. ""The Season of Sailing offers everyone, from all age groups, an opportunity to get out there and give it a go."

There are so many ways to get out on Queensland's clear blue waters; opportunities for every level of skill and experience, at any time of the year.

Individual race events for 2011 Queensland's Season of Sailing include:

Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race – April 22–24

Etchells Australasian Winter Championships (Sunshine Coast) – June 9–12

Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race - August 5-8

Airlie Beach Race Week - August 12-18

Hamilton Island Race Week - August 19-27

Magnetic Island Race Week - September 1-6.


For more information on Queensland's Season of Sailing and to book packages visit

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