Friday, 30 December 2011


DISCOVER the mysterious but fascinating combination of cultures, wildlife and dramatic scenery that is Borneo on Wendy Wu Tours' 16- day Borneo Discovery tour.

This fully inclusive tour travels from Kota Kinabalu through Sabah and Sarawak, with highlights including Kinabalu National Park, Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Selingan Turtle Island, Kinabatangan River, Mulu National Park, Kuching and the Australian War Memorial in Sandakan. 

The package costs from $5,802 per person twin share departing Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and includes return international economy airfares with Singapore Airlines, taxes, all accommodation and meals, transport, daily tours, entrance fees and English-speaking guides and a visa for Australian passport holders.  Airline fuel surcharge and tipping included and subject to change.

Covering the history of the sultans, the sight and sounds of the wildlife and a cruise amongst the rainforests, the tour has four departures in 2012, the first being March 18, 2012.

For more details contact Wendy Wu Tours on 1300-727-998, visit or contact your AFTA Travel Agent.

Discover West Australia's Island Coast

An adventure on the magnificent TRUE NORTH is one of Australia’s most revered holidays and during March 2012 North Star Cruises will offer two brand new cruises featuring some of Western Australia’s most spectacular coastline.

Depart Fremantle on March 3 to experience 5 magical nights at the intriguing Abrolhos Islands.

Snorkel over colourful corals teeming with fish life, dive the wreck of the Batavia, swim ashore at stunning Turtle Bay and catch monster jewfish - all in absolute style! The cruise also includes a return flight to Perth from Geraldton.

Or depart Dampier on March 19 and visit the unique Monte Bello Islands.

Match wits with formidable mud crabs; savour delectable whiting and indulge in sumptuous beach picnics! Fish, dive and snorkel your way through 4 days of fun in the sun!

Now here’s the best bit – prices start from just $3196 but don’t miss out – there has never been a better chance to find out why guests on the TRUE NORTH consistently respond with “that’s the best holiday I have ever had”.

Wrap-up this very different cruise as the ultimate Christmas gift!

Full details are available at

For more information on the TRUE NORTH see

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What's happening on the Sapphire Coast this January

There's so much to see and do on the NSW far south coast this month, with major events including the George Bass Surfboat Marathon, the Tathra Wharf to Waves Ocean Swim, some great country shows and wonderful music, as well as a wide range of other activities for all kids great and small.


Sunday, January 1 - Saturday, January 7
Seven days, seven legs and 190km of the best coastline (Bateman's Bay to Eden) in Australia - the longest, toughest surfboat race in the world. First run for surfboats in 1975; surf skis were added in the 1990s.
The course:
Day 1: Bateman's Bay to Moruya, 27km.
Day 2: Moruya to Tuross, 19km.
Day 3: Tuross to Narooma, 22km.
Day 4: Narooma to Bermagui, 24km.
Day 5: Bermagui to Tathra, 35km.
Day 6: Tathra to Pambula, 27km.
Day 7: Merimbula to Eden, around 20km, depending on actual finish line. More information at

(Saturday, January 14)
Who doesn't remember the excitement of an annual country show? Come along and relive your childhood and share it with your children and grandchildren at the Annual Pambula Equestrian events start at 8.30am with six rings including showjumping. The woodchop competition starts at 11.00pm, the grand parade features vintage cars and there are art, craft, needlework, flowers, vegetables, photography, cooking and preserves exhibits in the Pavilion. For the younger ones there is the animal nursery, Pirate Pete, face painting, alpacas, pony rides, sideshow alley and more.
See or phone 0409 421 460.

(Sunday, January 15)
Exhibition of Dairy Cattle, Commercial Cattle, Dairy Goats, Poultry, Pavilion exhibits including local produce, arts, crafts and much more. Ring events including show jumping competitions are conduced throughout the day. The amazing woodchop and dog jump competitions are a must see. Our animal nursery gives children a real hands-on experience of farm animals. For more information, (02) 6493 2990 or visit

(Saturday, January 21 - Sunday, January 22)
Something for everyone in the family to take part in. Saturday events include a 2km Beach Fun Run and the 30km Bridge to Bridge Bike Bash from Bega to Tathra Surf Club. On Sunday it's the Wharf to Waves Ocean Swims. The 1200m Open Mal's Pizza Bite Splash for Cash Ocean Swim with cash prizes up for grabs, and a series of 600m age races. Lots of prizes.
To register for events, find times for events, or to find out more about the weekend, visit or email

(Saturday, January 31)
The stunning 'ATHENA' arrives in the port of Eden on this day.
More information from Eden Visitor Information Centre, corner Mitchell and Imlay Streets; (02) 6496 1953;

(January 14 - 22)
Two-day workshops including character workshop, radio play workshop, short film making, acting to camera. Classes result in a live performance for family and friends and/or a DVD recording of your achievements. Classes available for ages eight to adult (check details).
Enrol by calling (02) 6495 7160 or visiting Footprint Theatre's website at


(January 6; January 13)
MOVIES BEGIN AT 8:30PM; Bar open. Chips, popcorn, icecream and drinks available. BYO low chairs, pillows and a blanket.
Tathra Surf Life Saving Club, Tathra Beach; (02) 6494 1588;

(until January 20)
A range of activities including guided snorkeling and rocky shore rambling tours (with a marine biologist), and marine-themed craft activities. Bookings essential!
Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre, The Wharf Building, 253 Imlay Street, Eden: (02) 6496 1699;

(throughout January - check for details)
A range of activities at different national parks through the area including canoeing, Aboriginal bush walks, rock pool rambles and baby shark feeding, introductions to tai chi and yoga in bush settings, Wanda on Wheels (traveling reptile and wildlife display), Merimbula Board Walk discovery, Davidson Whaling Station. Bookings are essential.
National Parks & Wildlife Services on 1300 361 606 or (02) 6495 5000.

(various dates in January)
Dine in at 6:00pm and finish by 6:30pm ready for the activities from 6:45pm to 7:30pm held in the Aquarium including a Touch Tank on display for children to hold some marine creatures. (Please Note: These activities are only for children who have participated in the Meal Deal). Open to children 3 - 12 years. Meal deal price $16.90 per child which includes free entry to Aquarium. Bookings essential.
Merimbula Aquarium & Wharf Restaurant, Lake Street (Merimbula Wharf); (02) 6495 4446;

(Friday, January 13)
Kids 8-14 years old are invited to come and learn to fish safely and responsibly. Instructors are experienced volunteers and staff from the Department of Primary Industries. The day runs from 10am - 2pm and involves fishing techniques, bag and size limits, fish handling for catch and release. COST: $40 per child which includes a rod, reel, tackle box, shirt, cap, water bottle and sample bag to take home with them. A lunch and or morning/afternoon tea is also provided. At the end of the day, a quiz session, provides each child with a prize to take home, plus a certificate of achievement. BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL - MAXIMUM OF 25 PARTICIPANTS.
Big Game and Lakes Angling Club Inc, Spencer Park, Main Street, Merimbula. Ring Stephen Thurstan, Primary Industries NSW, on (02) 4295 1809 or 0438 245 190 or or e-mail

(Saturday, January 28)
A wide range of markets is on offer across the region during the holiday season (check but Nethercote's first seasonal market of the year promises to be a fine summer treat for lovers of fresh and local produce. As well as an abundance of salad, vegetables, and stone fruit, market-goers can stock up both kitchen and garden. We're selling organic meat, olive oil, local cheese, smoked fish, wine, eggs and freshly baked bread as well as scrumptious cakes, ice cream, jams and pickles. We sell seeds, seedlings, pot plants and trees, plus the sheep poo needed to keep them happy. Shop then flop with cake and a great cup of coffee or a BBQ breakfast, chilling in gorgeous surroundings to the music of Easy Street whose mellow rhythms have become the sound of market. Nethercote is strictly a growers market but the range of produce available and the number of stalls continues to expand. Great quality and fair prices are assured. Shoppers are advised to bring big baskets and come for the morning. From 8am to 12:00pm
For further information, call Karen on (02) 6495 7102 or Barbara on (02) 6495 6400.

(January 4)
Australian poetry and history for children, from 3pm.
Eden Killer Whale Museum, 184 Imlay Street; (02) 6496 2094;

(January 3 - 19)
Enjoy a later afternoon/evening class followed by drinks and nibbles in the gallery. Class limited to six participants. Learn to paint in acrylic on canvas and produce your own work of art to take home (including landscapes, seascapes and still life). Materials supplied. Class hours: 5pm - 7pm. Fee: $75 per person. Bookings are essential.
BOARDWALKART Gallery, 7 Bodalla Place, Merimbula; (02) 6495 4608;


Soul Quest Travel has a range of holiday activities on offer including kayaking, snorkeling, progressive dinners (local restaurants), visits to Mogo Zoo and horse riding.
Soul Quest Travel, 39 Redfern Close, South Pambula; 1800 855 439;

(January 2 - 25)
DJ GREY WITH KIDS KARAOKE: Monday 2nd; Wednesday 4th; Friday 6th; Monday 9th; Wednesday 11th; Friday 13th; Wednesday 18th; Friday 20th; Wednesday 25th.
KIDS MAGIC SHOW WITH THE GREAT ZAMBONI: Tuesday 3rd; Thursday 5th; Tuesday 10th; Thursday 12th; Thursday 19th
* Plus face painting may also be available on weekdays
Park opens 10am seven days (free); Unlimited rides passes: under four FREE; four-11 years $29; 12+ years $35; Senior Card $17.
Magic Mountain, Sapphire Coast Drive, Merimbula; (02) 6495 2299;


(January 3 - 5)
Three days of some of Australia's finest music, from midday January 3 to midnight on January 5. Performers include: Tim Freedman, Corey Legge, Melanie Horsnell, Heath Cullen & The 45, Ashleigh Mannix, Robert Susz Continental Blues Party, Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson, Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band, Andrew Winton, Chris Wilson, Andrea Kirwin & Amos Moje-Enders, Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart, Andrew Winton, Big Wheel, Daniel Champagne, Collard Greens and Gravy, Ray Beadle Band, Dallas Frasca, Suzannah Espie, Chase The Sun and Jeff Lang.
Tathra Hotel, 8-12 Bega Road; (02) 6494 1101;

(January 1, 8, 15, 22, 29)
Mimosa Wines and Drystone restaurant proudly presents a host of local musicians every Sunday during January in our Piazza. Music ranges from Celtic Guitar to contemporary jazz and standards. Bookings are highly recommended.
Mimosa Wines & Drystone Restaurant, 2845 Bermagui/Tathra Rd, Bunga via Bermagui; (02) 6494 0164;

(Every Sunday in January)
Enjoy live music every Sunday afternoon.
The Thyme Garden Gallery, 336 Sapphire Coast Drive, Tura Beach; 0428 469 461.


(January 3 - 5)
Art and craft exhibition and sale; Opens 7pm on January 3 with free drinks and nibbles in the club auditorium. Also open Wed 4th - 10am to 8pm and Thurs 5th -10am to 8pm. Pottery, china painting, needlework, leadlight, mosaics and photography.
Bermagui Country Club, Tuross Street; (02) 6493 4340;

(January 2- 15)
An annual exhibition of painting, ceramics, sculpture, mosaic, print, pottery and woodwork. Shop7 Artspace, Bermagui Fishermen's Wharf, Lamont Street; (02) 6493 4575;

(until February 13)
This travelling exhibition from the Historic Houses Trust explores some of the energy-efficient features of Australia's 19th century country homes and the reappearance of many of these traditional practices in contemporary green architecture.
Eden Killer Whale Museum, 184 Imlay Street; (02) 6496 2094;

BODY | FORM | SURFACE - Australian Pottery at Bemboka
(until June 30)
A gallery featuring Australian pottery 1960s to date. This season we are contrasting the effect of flame on wood-fired works with the delicacy of porcelain and the bling of lustres and crystalline glazes. We have liberated a range of platters from the gallery drawers and one wall is devoted to teapots, mugs, etc. Gallery hours: 10am to 5pm Friday - Monday or by appointment.
Australian Pottery at Bemboka, 1 Oliver Street; (02) 6493 0491;

EVER PRESENT PAST by Beth Hatton, Christine James & Julian Laffan
(January 6 - February 20)
An exhibition of 2D and 3D works evoking transitional narratives from the constant modification of our landscapes by human habitation and endeavour, the layering of generations, the memories of 'work' within the living landscape. Drinks with the artists Saturday 7th at 6pm. Gallery open - Friday Saturday Sunday and Monday 10:30am to 5:30pm and by appointment.
Narek Galleries, Old Tanja Church, 1140 Tathra-Bermagui Road, Tanja; (02) 6494 0112;

(January 6-30)
An exhibition of paintings by Veronica O'Leary and sculpture by Karen Charlebois. Drinks with the artists, Saturday 7th from 6pm. Gallery open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am to 5pm.
Ivy Hill Gallery, 1795 Bermagui Road, Wapengo; (02) 6494 0152;


You can find details about accommodation and other activities on the Sapphire Coast by visiting the website ( or calling toll-free on 1800 150 457.

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'A World of Flavors' at the Sheraton Maldives

MALDIVES, December 2011 - Miles away from home in the picturesque islands of the Maldives, whether you are just soaking up the sun or exploring the depths of the ocean, you are bound for sure to work up an appetite for a feast by the end of the day. With a similar thought in mind, the main buffet restaurant of Feast at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has recently introduced special themed nights titled 'A World of Flavors' showcasing a range of cuisines from all over the world throughout the week.

Situated on its private island just a 15 minute boat ride from the airport, the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has always stood out for its varied dining options with a total of 4 restaurants and 3 bars ranging from casual al fresco snacks to the international array of restaurants to suit the mood of anyone. And with the introduction of the themed nights, guests get to experience a number of cuisines ranging from Italian, Chinese, Mediterranean, Indian and BBQ among others on selective nights.

"The newly introduced themed nights have been quite popular with our guests. When we are travelling, we either seek either comfort foods from home or explore new cuisines and this gives our guests a chance to explore a whole world of flavors", said Mr. Moon Kang, Executive Assistant Manager for Food & Beverage.

Sheraton Maldives also hosts a number of other themed nights such as the Seafood BBQ and Maldivian Night at the Coconut Grove Beach and Sand & Stars at the Anchorage Beach.

For more information about Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, connect to

About Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
Sheraton helps guests make connections at more than 400 hotels in 70 countries around the world and recently completed a $6 billion global revitalization and is now in the midst of a $5 billion global expansion over the next three years. Sheraton is owned by and is the largest and most global brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1051 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit

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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

YHA summer culture vulture art packages

YHA has some great deals for art aficionados, with 'Culture Vulture' packages available in Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney to see the Matisse; Renaissance and Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris exhibitions.

These deals - all bookable at - include accommodation at award-winning, centrally located properties, exhibition entry and breakfast (in Canberra and Sydney). Costing from just $128.50 for one night in Brisbane for two people; or $243 in Canberra ($350 in Sydney) for two nights for two people, art lovers needn't starve to see their favourite artists' masterpieces. At these prices, there should be enough money left over for a souvenir when you exit via the gift shop!

Brisbane Culture Vulture: From $47.50 multi-share, or $128.50 per double/twin room; Saunter over the bridge to the Queensland Art Gallery, have a swim in the rooftop pool and enjoy the city lights at night. Includes:
- 1 night's accommodation at the award-winning Brisbane City YHA
- Ticket/s to the Matisse: Drawing Life exhibition at Queensland Art Gallery

Canberra Culture Vulture: From $97 multi-share, or $243 per double/twin room; Stay in the heart of Canberra, within walking or cycling distance of all the major cultural institutions. Includes:
- 2 night's accommodation at the award-winning Canberra City YHA 'Italian' breakfast daily
- Ticket/s to the Renaissance exhibition at the National Gallery of Art

Sydney Culture Vulture: From $350 double/twin ensuite room or $115 per person in multi-share room; Stay in The Rocks, with stunning views over Sydney Opera House and the harbour; stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Includes:

- 2 night's accommodation at the multi-award winning Sydney Harbour YHA
- 'DIY' breakfast daily
- Ticket/s to Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris

Note: All prices are YHA member rates; standard rates (10% extra) also available. YHA membership is available from $32 per year at Packages are valid for stays between 1 January 2012 and 4 March 2012 (Brisbane) and 9 April 2012 (Canberra); 6 January-25 March 2012 (Sydney).

YHA is a membership-based, not-for-profit organisation, and part of the world's largest budget accommodation network, Hostelling International with 4,000 places to stay in over 80 countries.

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Saturday, 24 December 2011

Food, Wine & Fishing in the New Year!

How about kicking off the New Year with a seafood safari across the Great Australian Bight?

Revel in a sumptuous lunch at one of the McLaren’s finest wineries, sample the many delights of famed Kangaroo Island and wash down oysters with champagne in beautiful Coffin Bay. Then mix-in some cage diving with great white sharks, close encounters with charismatic seals, swimming with giant tuna and, some of Australia’s most reliable fishing action and you’ve got a safari with a difference!

Experience all this and much, much more aboard the revered TRUE NORTH.

North Star Cruises’ Southern Safari cruise departs Adelaide on January 14 and the company is now offering Standby Rates. Prices start from just $5196 and include the 8 night cruise, all activities and a return flight from Ceduna to Adelaide.

The coast between Adelaide and the Eyre Peninsular is one of Australia’s best kept secrets – not only do you get to tick-off bucket list items like visiting Kangaroo Island and cage diving with white sharks – you also get to visit a part of Australia that has a very special flavour. Sometimes it’s typically Australian – rugged and isolated, then at other times you encounter rolling hills and farmland but the one constant seems to be the region’s unique sense of community!

Apparently the crew of the TRUE NORTH taste this unique flavour every year and they can’t wait to do it all again!

So don’t miss-out – wrap-up this very different cruise as the ultimate Christmas gift!

Full details are available at

For more information on the TRUE NORTH see

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Thursday, 22 December 2011

Macau and its Feast of Festivals For 2012

For an Asian centre which thrives on dishing out a few surprises, Macau knows how to turn on a feast.

Firstly, there's the annual Feast of the Bathing Buddha, a day in the northern spring where the images of Buddha are ceremonially cleansed and purified in temples throughout the territory.

Then there's the Feast of the Drunken Dragon, a strange festival compared with other major Chinese Buddhist ceremonies and dates back from the Qing Dynasty, and the Feast of Maidens and the Feast of Hungry Ghosts.

And, of course, there's the November staging of the Macau Food Festival which highlights the many tantalising delicacies of a centre which prides itself on a true mix of recipes from east-meets-west backgrounds.

They're among a smorgasbord of festivals to crowd what is a congested calendar for 2012.

Beginning with the spectacular Chinese New Year holidays from January 23-25, the list also includes a few annual highly charged favourites such as the June running of the Macau International Dragon Boat Races and Dragon Boat Festival, the Macau International Fireworks Display Contest - in its 24th year - throughout September and the 59th Macau Grand Prix from November 15-18.

Combine the festivals with the many tourist attractions which make up the 25 UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites and the contemporary precincts and Vegas-like shows of the Cotai Strip, reclaimed land between the Macau islands of Taipa and Coloane, and there's much to see and do on a visit.

"Whether they are of Chinese or Portuguese heritage, the people of Macau truly like to celebrate with a festival," said Helen Wong, general manager of the Macau Government Tourist Office in Australia and New Zealand. "Prepare to feast on another year of song and dance, colourful religious parades, street markets, spectacular fireworks and plenty of sporting events," she said. "There's no shortage of reasons to visit Macau - throughout the year."

Away from the festivities, major attractions of Macau include the iconic 17th Century Ruins of St Paul's, the popular Senado Square with its wave-like paving, the main fortress as well as the Guia Fortress, a sprinkling of refurbished and colourfully painted churches, and the A-Ma Temple, which existed long before the arrival of the first Portuguese sailors 500 years ago.

There's also a 20-metre statue of the Goddess of Kun Iam - Goddess of Mercy - as well as much taller 338-metre high Macau Tower, a venue for Skywalks around the perimeter of an outer rim 233 metres above the ground and a series of A J Hackett bungee jumps.

Details: Macau Government Tourist Office, phone (02) 9264 1488,

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Non-Stop Fun this Christmas Holidays at Jamberoo Action Park

Make the most of the Australian Summer and cool down at Outback Bay, fly down Surf Hill or brave the Taipan, as Jamberoo offers non-stop water park action, just over an hour out of Sydney.

Guests can now plan their day, filled with all the fun they can handle, straight from the palm of their hand, as Jamberoo Action Park goes mobile! In an Australian theme park industry first, Jamberoo Action Park has launched a free smartphone application featuring e-ticketing, rides information and even an interactive Park map, making it even easier for guest to control the action!

Give the gift of water park thrills

Perfect for daredevils and water lovers, Jamberoo's new e-ticketing system offers an ideal Christmas gift for friends and family who have it all. Simply log onto, purchase an e-ticket, hit print, fill in the Christmas Gift Card and let the lucky recipient enjoy a day of unlimited fun at Jamberoo Action Park - plus a bonus Christmas gift voucher, included on every ticket.

Even more to dive into at Jamberoo this Christmas

Jamberoo hosts has a wide range of tasty food outlets including healthy vegetarian and seafood delights at Bombora Seafood, refreshing ice-cream from Bombora Scoop and burgers that blow it out of the park at the Burger Barn. Guests can also bring their own lunch and enjoy the picnic grounds and BBQ facilities. But if that's not enough, the recently renovated Beach Hut themed souvenir shop, lets guests take the fun home with them.

Get cool in a flash this Summer with priority entry. Tickets can be purchased via the new online ticketing system at

About Jamberoo Action Park:

With the very best thrills and spills, NSW's biggest theme park guarantees guests the most fun to be had in the water. Just over an hour's drive from Sydney, Jamberoo Action Park is the ideal location to soak up some sun or enjoy the twists and turns of NSW's favourite attractions. For more information see

Jamberoo Action Park - where you control the action!

Entry pricing for 2011-2012
Adults (13+) $39
Children (4-12 inclusive) $31
Seniors (60+) $31

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Travel the World and Carnival last minute deals

Carnival Last Minute deals

5-night Western Caribbean Cruise
Departing 14 January 2012 from Miami, Florida
Visiting ports of Miami, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Price from $475 per person twin share

7-night Mexican Riviera cruise onboard Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Splendor
Departing 04 March 2012 from Los Angeles (Long Beach) Round trip
Visiting ports of Long Beach, California; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Price from $665 per person twin share

Conditions: Fare is per person twin share and quoted in Australian dollars. Valid for sale until sold out. All prices are correct as at 06DEC11 and are subject to availability, currency fluctuations and surcharges until final payment is received.

To make a booking, please contact Travel the World on 1300 950 622 or visit

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Huge Discounts on Seabourn Quest Voyage

Discounts of more than $14,000 per person are available for a range of suites on a Seabourn Quest 41-night cruise through the South China Sea across the Arabian and Red Seas before reaching the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal, but you have to book with by January 13, 2012.

The cruise is part of a 47-night fly/cruise/hotel package which departs Sydney on March 11, 2012, and includes two nights in Hong Kong at the magnificent Peninsula Hotel before joining the ship. After the cruise there are two nights in Venice and two in Dubai at Raffles Hotel on the way home.

The cruise has numerous port visits including cities in Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Oman, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Greece and Italy

The package includes return air fares from Sydney, hotel accommodation and all meals and entertainment aboard the ship and now costs from $15,979, previously it was from $30,149.

Seabourn Quest has a water sports marina, two pools and six outdoor spas, an indoor thalassotherapy pool, casino, library and Internet Café, beauty salon and fitness studio and 24-hour room service along with a broad choice of wining and dining options.

For more details contact on 1300 369 848 or check-out their new website

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Monday, 19 December 2011

Discover the beauty of Vanuatu's outer islands in 2012

For travellers eager to venture off the beaten track in 2012, Vanuatu's outer islands are the perfect holiday option. With packages, booking support, and regular flights now available, there has never been a better time to explore Vanuatu's outer islands.  

Vanuatu is an archipelago of 83 islands, and outside of the main islands there are a number of island gems waiting to be discovered. From active volcanoes, to unique cultures and traditions, the outer islands of Vanuatu offer an once-in-a-lifetime adventure and an unforgettable experience.


Malekula is Vanuatu's second largest island, and provides visitors with a fascinating insight into Vanuatu's history and culture. Visitors to the island are able to witness traditions of the Small Nambas and Big Nambas, and adventurous travellers can uncover old cannibal sites hidden in the bush on North Malekula.  

Each August Malekula is also home to the Nalawan Festival, where travellers can witness spectacular Nukofo custom dances, celebrations and ceremonies.

To book accommodation or tours in Malekula travellers can visit an online booking resource launched in August, or Adventure World's new First Footprints product collection, which launched in October.


Pentecost is famous throughout the world for the land diving ritual (Nagol or N'gol), which occurs every Saturday between April and June. The ritual, which influenced the invention of bungy jumping, sees local men and boys as young as seven jump from a 20-30 metre high manmade tower with only a vine attached to their legs.

Travelling to view this magnificent ceremony is a once in a lifetime experience and a must-do for adventurous travellers. Day tours to view the ritual are available through Adventure World's First Footprints product collection, or can be booked in Port Vila.

Island Escapes, a luxury small ship cruise company, also offers packages which cover Espiritu Santo and South Pentecost, and are perfect for travellers looking to uncover the beauty of these islands.


Tanna is one of Vanuatu's best-known outer islands, and is home to one of its most popular tourist attractions – Mt Yasur. Tanna is only a short 45 minute flight from Port Vila, and from here you will be at Mt Yasur volcano in less than two hours.

While in Tanna, a cultural tour to a Kastom Village will provide an insight into a culture largely isolated from the western world. For the adventurous there's plenty on offer with stunning blue holes, underwater caves, some of the best coral in the South Pacific, and untouched waterfalls.  You can also sandboard down the side of a volcano, or explore the island's beautiful landscapes on horseback.

Tanna packages are currently available through Flight Centre, and Spacifica Travel.

Ambrym, Epi, and Banks and Torres

For the truly intrepid traveller there are also opportunities to venture to Ambrym, Epi, and Banks and Torres.

These islands offer a fantastic mix of rich Ni-Vanuatu culture and customs, and pristine natural beauty. While currently not packaged in Australia, travellers can go to to learn more about the accommodation and tour options available on these islands, or organise their travel on arrival in Port Vila.

How to get there:

Vanuatu is only three-four hours from Australia's East Coast, with Air Vanuatu flying to Port Vila six times a week from Sydney, three times a week from Brisbane and once weekly from Melbourne. Air Vanuatu also offers regular inter-island services from Port Vila, making it easy to explore Vanuatu's outer islands.

For more information on the holidays on offer in Vanuatu go to:

Romantic Peppers locations for love to shine

With an exquisite selection of retreats and resorts in Australia and New Zealand's most romantic destinations, Peppers is the perfect choice to celebrate St Valentine's Day on February 14.

From chic hotels to quaint country retreats, Peppers offers a getaway to suit every couple's idea of romance.

Choose from the following selection of top love nests to assist you in stoking the flames of love this Valentine's Day…


Peppers Beach Club, Port Douglas: Love is in the air at Peppers Beach Club at Port Douglas for the entire month of February. The luxurious resort is offering a Valentine's Day package which includes overnight accommodation in a luxurious Spa Suite, full breakfast for two, a bottle of bubbles, box of chocolates and rose petals scattered on the bed in the shaped of a heart from $252* per couple per night. Valid until 29 February, 2012. Call 07 4087 1000 or visit

Peppers Beach Club & Spa, Palm Cove: Overlooking a stunning palm-fringed beach, Peppers Beach Club & Spa at Palm Cove has crafted a special Valentine's Day Package. Priced from $265* per couple per night, the romantic package includes overnight accommodation in a Lagoon Spa Room with sparkling wine, chocolates and frangipani flowers on each pillow on arrival. The following morning, guests will also be treated to a special gourmet lovers continental breakfast delivered to their room. The first 25 lucky couples to book will also receive a complimentary room upgrade. Valid until 31 March, 2012. Call 07 4059 9200 or visit

Peppers Coral Coast Resort, Airlie Beach: The tropical haven of Peppers Coral Coast Resort, Airlie Beach is the ideal setting for a romantic Valentine's Day escape. Be pampered at the luxury resort where guests who book a Valentine's Day package from $599* per couple per night will enjoy overnight accommodation in a One Bedroom Apartment, breakfast for two, a $100 dinner voucher at the resort's Tides Restaurant & Bar, a pamper treatment at the onsite endota spa plus a bottle of sparkling wine and gourmet cheese plate on arrival. Valid from 10 to 15 February, 2012. Call 07 4962 5100 or email


Peppers Broadbeach, Gold Coast: Relax, unwind and rejuvenate this Valentine's Day at Peppers Broadbeach, the pinnacle of cutting-edge accommodation on the Gold Coast, on their luxurious All About You Package. The package is priced from  $295* per couple per night and includes overnight accommodation for two people in a spacious One Bedroom Suite, a 30 minute clarity massage at endota spa, unlimited in-room movies and internet access, their superb pillow menu, complimentary iPad hire  plus onsite parking and daily housekeeping servicing. Valid until 31 March, 2012. Call 07 5635 1000 or email

Peppers Ruffles Lodge & Spa, Gold Coast Hinterland: Located just 30 minutes from Surfers Paradise, this architecturally stunning retreat is ideal for lovebirds looking for a hinterland escape. Catering exclusively for adults, the retreat has Valentine's Day all wrapped up with their special Valentine's Day package. Includes overnight accommodation, a bottle of French champagne and a  fruit platter on arrival, a three-course candlelit dinner for two people, breakfast for two and their evening turndown with port and chocolates. Priced from $570* per couple for a Garden Villa or Chums Spa Villa, $720* per couple for a Treehouse Pool Villa or $770* per couple for the Executive Suite. Valid 10 to 17 February, 2012. Call 07 5546 7411 or email


Peppers Bale Salt, Kingscliff: Treat your loved one to Peppers Bale Salt's romantic Luxury Package.  Priced at $449* per couple per night, relax in a beautifully appointed One Bedroom Apartment and indulge in an assortment of package inclusions such as a three-course a la carte dinner at Season restaurant, full buffet breakfast for two, a welcome drink on arrival, a bottle of wine and cheese platter in-room on arrival, evening turn-down service, executive concierge services and unlimited in-room movies and internet access. Luxury Package guests staying on February 14 will also be treated to a private, candlelit booth for their dinner at Season and complimentary glass of sparkling wine each. Valid for travel from 1 February to 31 March, 2012. Call 02 6674 7777 or email

Peppers Coorabell Retreat, Byron Hinterland: Couples will go head-over-heels for Peppers Coorabell Retreat's Hinterland Romance Package which is available every weekend throughout February and includes overnight accommodation in a Rainforest Suite, a bottle of champagne, scented oils and music on arrival to set the mood for love to shine, a romantic candlelit two-course dinner at the retreat's highly-acclaimed Wilsons by the Creek restaurant, breakfast for two and a late 12pm check-out from $369* per couple per night. Valid until 26 February, 2012. Call 02 6684 7348 or email


Peppers Manor House, Southern Highlands: Speak the language of love with Peppers Manor House's Ultimate Indulgence Package from $575* per couple per night. Includes overnight, romantic candle-lit three-course dinner for two at the retreat's award winning Katers Restaurant,  breakfast for two, sparkling wine and chocolates on arrival and a 30 minute relaxation massage per person at the onsite endota spa. Valid on 14 February, 2012. Call 02 4860 3111 or email


Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat, Hepburn Springs: When it comes to an intimate Valentine's Day experience, it doesn't get any more romantic than Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat's Valentine's Day Escape package. Includes overnight accommodation in a luxurious Superior Room with a two person spa bath, a twilight bathing session at Mineral Spa, a three-course a la carte dinner for two at Wild Birch restaurant, a dozen red roses and a selection of local hand-made chocolates, breakfast in bed or full buffet breakfast at The Conservatory and a late check-out of 12pm for $665* per couple per night. For added luxury, couples can also upgrade to the Deluxe Valentine's Day Escape which, in addition to the above, also includes a take home hamper of regional produce and a couples Mineral Spa body and face treatment for $995* per couple per night. Valid for stays on 13 or 14 February, 2012. Call 03 5348 2202 or email


Peppers The Sands Resort, Torquay: Peppers The Sands Resort has an oriental inspired package for lovebirds looking to escape to Victoria's Great Ocean Road. The luxury resort's Indulgent Oriental Geisha Retreat package is priced at $399* per couple per night and includes overnight accommodation in a Studio Room, breakfast for two, a 12pm late check-out and an Oriental Geisha day spa package for two at Saltair Spa Retreat, just a five minute drive from the resort. Valid until 30 April, 2012. Call 03 5264 3333 or email


Peppers Bluewater Resort, Lake Tekapo: Surprise your loved one with a Valentine's Day package that is 'two perfect' at Peppers Bluewater Resort at Lake Tekapo. Priced at $530* per couple per night, the package includes overnight accommodation in a One Bedroom Lakeview Villa, a bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate dipped strawberries on arrival, a Valentine's Day degustation dinner for two, breakfast for two, two hot pool passes at Alpine Springs and a 1pm late check-out. Valid 10 to 18 February, 2012. Call +64 3 680 7000 or visit

Or take the option of allowing your Valentine to choose their own way to celebrate the day with a Peppers gift voucher. Priced from $50, these can be redeemed for accommodation at participating Peppers properties. Call 1300 987 600 or visit

*Subject to availability.

Saturday, 17 December 2011


CRUISECO has nine opportunities to sail aboard the first mega-liner to cruise Australian and South Pacific waters – the 138,000 tonne Voyager of the Seas – between November 2012 and April 2013, and with exclusive Cruiseco discounts of up to $300pp prices start from as low as just $110pp per day.

Included are twin-share accommodation, onboard dining, a huge range of day- and night-time entertainment and activities, onboard gratuities and taxes.

Sailings on Voyager of the Seas include 14-nights Singapore-Fremantle on October 22 2012, 18-nights Fremantle-Sydney on November 5 2012, five 14-night return cruises Sydney-New Zealand or Sydney-Noumea-New Zealand between November 2012 and end-January 2013, 18-nights Sydney-New Zealand-Fremantle in February 2013 and 14-nights Fremantle-Singapore in March 2013.

For fully detailed itineraries and the name of your nearest Cruiseco cruise-specialist travel agent, go to

CRUISE DETAILS: Cruiseco's 14-night Singapore-Fremantle fly, cruise and stay package starts from $2245pp twin-share including one-way Economy Class airfare to Singapore, two-nights luxury hotel pre-cruise with breakfasts, and all taxes.

The 18-night Fremantle-Sydney (cruise only) sailings by way of Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and New Zealand starts from just $1985pp twin-share, and 14-night return Sydney-New Zealand sailings from as low as $1565pp twin-share.

Voyager of the Seas can carry 3840 passengers and has eleven restaurants and cafés including Italian, a 3-level traditional dining room, a 1950's diner and a sushi bar (some at optional-cost,) thirteen bars, a 1350-seat theatre for theatrical and musical performances, a rock climbing wall, ice-skating, mini-golf, basketball, jogging and in-line skating tracks, a casino, duty-free shops, library, four pools and six whirlpools, a fitness centre and Spa.

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Friday, 16 December 2011


Celebrity Cruises marks arrival of Celebrity Solstice with a special deal

Modern, stylish and exciting, Celebrity Solstice will arrive in Australia in exactly 12 months to rival the beauty of her new home port - Sydney. From a real half acre lawn on board the ship to the region's first glass blowing studio at sea, the glamorous newcomer will offer the most sophisticated facilities this region's waters has ever seen.  To celebrate the countdown to her arrival, Celebrity Cruises Australia has a very special onboard credit offer of up to US$350 per cabin.

"Celebrity Solstice will bring a fresh, contemporary style of cruising to Australia - one which you'd usually have to travel to other parts of the world to experience. She will redefine everything you thought you knew about cruising and I am certain that she will convert thousands of Australian newcomers to cruising when she arrives next December," says Adam Armstrong, commercial manager, Celebrity Cruises Australia.

For those who want to try the most modern cruising experience in Australian waters, there's never been a better time to book with Celebrity's special onboard credit offer.  Bookings for Oceanview or Balcony cabins made before 31 December 2011 on 11-14 night cruises will benefit from a US$250 per cabin onboard credit ($300 for Suites) while on longer cruises of over 15 nights, this increases to US$300 per cabin (US$350 for Suites). Some further conditions apply.

Launched three years ago in late 2008, the 2,850-passenger Celebrity Solstice will be the newest and most stylish superliner ever to be based in Australia and New Zealand. She is 317 metres long and 122,000 tons but her size is secondary to what she will introduce to local cruising. Guests on Celebrity Solstice will be able to walk on real grass in the elegant Lawn Club on top deck of the ship. She also offers Australians the opportunity to have a spa holiday at sea; AquaClass suites feature spa-related extras and complimentary access to the health-focused specialty restaurant "Blu". Celebrity Solstice has a Glass Blowing Studio which has live glass-blowing shows by the renowned Corning Museum of Glass. With 85 per cent of the cabins with their own private balcony, Celebrity Solstice has the highest balcony ratio of any superliner in the world.

Celebrity Solstice will visit all major ports in Australia and New Zealand on a total of 17 sailings, comprising 11 unique itineraries that range from one to 18-night cruises, calling at 28 ports in seven countries. Her 2012-13 Australasian season includes:

·         Five 12-night New Zealand cruises sailing from two ports – Auckland and Sydney;

·         Two cruise itineraries that are new to the brand: a 13-night New Zealand roundtrip cruise and an 11-night Queensland Easter cruise, both sailing from Sydney;

·         A "Round Australia" cruise which can be taken separately as two sailings – a 18-night Australia New Zealand cruise and a 17-night "Top End" cruise – or together as a grand 35-night voyage;

·         A special 16-night Singapore to Sydney repositioning cruise which includes a stop at Bali; and

·         An 18-night Trans-Pacific Hawaii &Tahiti cruise from Sydney to Honolulu.

For more information or to book a cruise, speak to your travel agent, visit  or, or call 1800 754 500.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Australia Welcomes Back Thomas & Friends for Summer Fun

Holidaying from the Island of Sodor, the famous blue tank engine rolls into town for Australia's biggest Thomas and Friends event, Day out with Thomas 2012 at The Workshops Rail Museum from 26 December to 29 January 2012.

While on their summer holiday Down Under, Thomas and his friends Edward, Donald, Douglas, Lady, plus Annie & Clarabel can be found throughout the Museum.

Just as famous as Thomas and known for his firm but friendly manner, The Fat Controller is looking forward to meeting fans and telling stories of the cheeky but Really Useful Engine.

Director of The Workshops Rail Museum Andrew Moritz said the Museum is happy to host the summer event that brings smiles to many excitable youngsters.

"We're delighted to welcome back familiar faces and the next generation of Thomas fans to enjoy the summer holidays with the lovable engine," said Mr Moritz.

"Parents and their Thomas enthusiasts can enjoy various Thomas activities and the new movie, Day of the Diesels, in air conditioned comfort."

Young engineers can let off some steam with hands-on activities in the Thomas Play Pit such as designing a Thomas track and getting creative at the Thomas Creation Station.

To add to the summer fun, the event also features a miniature train ride and bouncy castle, tickets cost $3 per person and are purchased after entry to the Museum.

Much bigger than the Tidmouth sheds on the Island of Sodor, tour the real railway Workshops and see firsthand the restoration and maintenance of powerful steam locomotives. Enclosed footwear is required for the tours and they leave at regular intervals throughout the day.

The Workshops Rail Museum is part of the Queensland Museum and is winner of Australian and Queensland Tourism Awards for Heritage and Cultural Tourism.

For further information and ticket prices, phone (07) 3432 5100 or visit

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Friday, 9 December 2011

Festive fun for all the family and special sleepover rates this Christmas day at The Langham, Melbourne

This Christmas Day, The Langham, Melbourne is a wonderful place to eat, sleep and be merry. Sure to delight adults and little ones alike, The Langham's magical Christmas Day lunch in the Clarendon Ballroom includes a separate 'Kids Only' room full of festive treats and games that will keep the children occupied for hours. For the ultimate in Christmas indulgence, guests that enjoy Christmas in the Ballroom can extend the festivities with a celebratory rate on a stylish Christmas night sleepover.

Adults can enjoy a Christmas luncheon of delicious cuisines, live band, dance floor, and beverage package whilst children will delight in the dedicated kids' room with a mini buffet, featuring an array of hot dogs, chicken nuggets, fairy bread and a slushy machine. The private kids' room also includes pinball games, Sony Playstations, roving entertainers, magicians and even a visit from Santa!

The Langham, Melbourne's Christmas Lunch in the Clarendon Ballroom is priced at $250 for adults and $130 for children with shared tables of 12.

To ensure your Christmas day last longer, special Festive sleepover rates are available for all of The Langham's luxurious room categories for 24th and 25th December for guests enjoying Christmas Lunch in the Ballroom.

Classic Room from $210
Grand Classic Room from $240
River View Room from $255
Upgrade to include breakfast in Melba from $30pp

Situated in the exclusive riverside Southbank precinct and offering stunning views of the Melbourne city skyline, the Yarra River and Federation Square, The Langham, Melbourne offers a luxurious and timeless inner-city experience.

The 25-floor hotel has 387 luxuriously appointed rooms including 45 executive club rooms and 11 suites, attended to by the hotel's signature Service Stylists, who are there to fulfill guests' every need. The hotel's indulgent suites also offer the services of personal butlers, famed for their legendary 'service with poise' and enchanting hospitality.

The Langham, Melbourne was voted the top hotel in Melbourne in the region of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in Travel & Leisure USA World's 500 Best Hotels List for both 2011 and 2010 and is placed amongst the Top 20 Hotels in the Oceania region in the Condé Nast Traveler US Readers Choice Awards 2010.

The hotel's chic Aria Bar & Lounge and interactive Melba restaurant offer guests exciting and sophisticated dining options, including a buffet with live cooking stations, and elegant and indulgent Afternoon Tea. Extensive conference and meeting facilities are offered by the hotel and the five-star property is home to the highly acclaimed, luxury Chuan Spa.  Chuan Spa was voted Favourite Hotel Spa: Australasia & the South Pacific at the Conde Nast Traveller UK Readers' Spa Awards 2011 and offers treatments founded on Traditional Chinese Medicine and adjoins the sun terrace, pool and hotel's Health Club.  

Find out more about enchanting experiences at The Langham, Melbourne and make a reservation by visiting 

Thursday, 8 December 2011


CRUISECO has 10-nights aboard the luxury mid-size Azamara Quest from Barcelona to Corsica, Italy, France and back to Barcelona on October 6 2012.

Priced from just $4,060pp twin-share, the package includes Earlybird return airfare and taxes from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide (deduct $50pp ex Perth), a deluxe pre-cruise hotel stay and another post-cruise hotel stay with breakfasts.

It also has 11-nights on sister-ship Azamara Journey from Paris (Rouen) to England, Ireland, France, Belgium and finally Amsterdam on May 6 2012 from a low $4485pp twin-share, again with Earlybird return airfare and taxes from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, two-nights deluxe pre-cruise stay in Paris with breakfasts and one-night deluxe post-cruise stay in Amsterdam with breakfast.

Both these vessels carry under-700 passenger vessels and include boutique wines with onboard lunches and dinners, onboard gratuities, port charges, fees and taxes.

Cruiseco also has fourteen other fly, cruise and stay packages with Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey in 2012 in the Mediterranean, UK and Northern Europe, North Africa and from Suez to Mumbai.

For fully detailed itineraries and the name of your nearest Cruiseco cruise-specialist travel agent, go to

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Both vessels are able to access more-intimate destinations than larger ships, have onboard "Destination Experts" who give talks and advice on ports of call, and guests are encouraged to embrace local cultures, music, dance, art, history, and activities such as biking, golf, walking or hiking.

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DRIVEAWAY Holidays has big savings on Earlybird Deals for those planning a self-drive holiday in the USA in 2012, with prices from just $37* a day if booked and paid by December 31 this year.

These exclusive prices for 2012 include from $37 per day in Florida, $38 per day in California, Arizona and Nevada, $60 per day in New York and just $40 per day throughout the rest of the USA – and based on 7-days rental of an economy-size vehicle during the low seasons of 01 January to 27 June and 17 August to 13 December 2012*.

As well, Driveaway Holidays has a bonus of no extra cost for an additional driver with rentals in California, while they also have no one-way fees for vehicles driven between California, Arizona and Nevada, or within Florida.

Vehicles must be booked and paid for by December 31 2011 to enjoy these rates.

*Prices are correct as of 8 Dec 2011 and are subject to currency fluctuations and change without notice. Daily rates are higher for shorter durations than 7-day bookings and a seasonal surcharge applies for collections outside of low season. All Earlybird Deals are subject to availability with selected suppliers on selected models. Further conditions apply.

For more details contact DriveAway Holidays on 1300 723 972 or visit

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Latest news and deals from Peppers



PEPPERS LAUNCHES MARTINBOROUGH ESTATE: Peppers has expanded its New Zealand network with the launch of an exclusive country estate in the heart of Martinborough wine region. Located just minutes from charming Martinborough Village and one hour's drive from Wellington, Peppers Parehua Country Estate features a range of luxurious accommodation options with 30 exclusive suites and villas or garden and lakeside cottages. To celebrate the launch of Peppers Parehua Country Estate, opening rates staying in an exclusive Winemakers Cottage start from NZ$300* per night including continental breakfast for two people. Valid until 31 March, 2012.  Visit for bookings and further information.

DYNAMIC DUO: Peppers on the Point, Rotorua welcomes new Sous Chef Ben Westwood to the kitchen alongside Head Chef Mirai Sato. Chef Westwood's extensive experience in classic French cuisine combined with Chef Sato's specialty for Japanese cooking and passion for the earthy flavours of game is taking the menu in exciting new directions. Guests at the luxurious lodge can enjoy first-class cuisine accompanied by the finest of New Zealand and international wines, set within a spectacular setting for breakfast or dinner for guests, as well as lunch by prior appointment. Peppers on the Point also accepts reservations for casual diners. To book phone +64 7 348 4868.


FRESH FACE: The renowned Season restaurant at Peppers Salt Resort & Spa at Kingscliff has welcomed a new restaurant manager. Michelle Fuller joins Season as the acclaimed establishment celebrates its first birthday, and is looking forward to sharing her passion and food and beverage experience with the team. Beginning her hospitality career 17 years ago after studying Cooks Training at Camosun College in Canada, Michelle's managerial abilities have taken her to many locations including Vancouver Canada, Sydney and the Gold Coast. With a Diploma of Human Resources Management under her belt, Michelle has also found herself managing within many five star hotels, including the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Palazzo Versace Hotel and Sheraton Resort & Spa.


INTERNATIONAL CHEF: Peppers Manor House has a new addition to the Katers Restaurant kitchen – Executive Chef Twan Wijers. Born in Holland, Chef Wijers progressed in his career to work around the great restaurants of The Netherlands, before travelling and working throughout Australia, the South Pacific, South East Asia and New Zealand, where he worked at the world renowned Huka Lodge for five years as Executive Chef. He then moved to Australia to take on the challenge for four years as Executive Chef at Hamilton Island's five-star Beach Club resort. Having cooked for the likes of the Rolling Stones, Tina Turner and royalty, Chef Wijers will now bring his talents to the tables at Katers.



A COUPLE'S CHRISTMAS: Looking for a laid back Christmas? Peppers luxury resorts in Port Douglas and Kingscliff on the Tweed Coast will literally have you lying back and enjoying Christmas Day from your exclusive pool side daybed with a three course festive lunch and sparkling wine served by your own dedicated waiter throughout the day. The 'Christmas in a daybed' package offered by Peppers Beach Club, Port Douglas and Peppers Salt Resort & Spa, Kingscliff also includes overnight accommodation on either Christmas Eve or Christmas night with breakfast for two for just $500 per couple. Couples will revel in the indulgence of dipping in and out of the stunning lagoon pools between courses and feasting on a showcase of tropical fruits, seafood tapas lunch, chocolate covered macadamias and other festive goodies. And when that inevitable Christmas afternoon nap beckons, a superb Spa Suite at Peppers Beach Club or One Bedroom Suite at Peppers Salt Resort & Spa awaits.  For bookings call Peppers Beach Club, Port Douglas on 07 4087 1000 or Peppers Salt Resort & Spa, Kingscliff on 02 6674 7777.  

SPENDLESS SUMMER: Escape to Peppers Beach Club & Spa at Palm Cove before the end of April and enjoy three nights for the price of two from just $290* per night in a Lagoon Spa Room, from $390* per night in a One Bedroom Lagoon Suite and from $490* per night in a Two Bedroom Lagoon Suite. Reconnect as a family, indulge in a spa treatment at the on-site Salt Beauty & Spa, enjoy a gourmet beach picnic or dine at the resort's Lime & Pepper restaurant where kids 12 years and under eat for free (complimentary kids meal for each adult meal purchased). Call 1300 987 600 or visit

FESTIVE FEAST: This Christmas, celebrate with a gourmet dining experience at Peppers Beach Club & Spa at Palm Cove. Let Lime & Pepper restaurant spoil you on Christmas Day with a sumptuous three-course lunch menu for $125 per adult or indulge in a little bit of everything at the resort's Christmas seafood buffet lunch in their Coral & Rainforest Rooms for $145 per adult and $75 for children aged 4-12 years (children under 4 dine free). For a New Years Eve celebration to remember, the luxury resort is also offering a divine five-course degustation dinner menu at Lime & Pepper for $125 per adult and $30 for kids. Bookings are essential. Call 07 4059 9200 or email


SUMPTUOUS SIGHTS: Dine together daily on a tasty breakfast adjacent to a stunning wet-edge pool with views overlooking the magnificent Whitsundays this summer when you wake up to the comfort and style of Peppers Coral Coast Resort, perched on the hillside at Airlie Beach. Escape for four nights for the price of three from $248* per night in a 1 Bedroom Apartment. Valid for travel until March 31, 2012. Block-out dates apply. Call 1300 987 600 or visit


HOLIDAY HAVEN: Experience the allure of one of Australia's most beautiful holiday destinations, just a short ferry ride from Townsville. Stay a minimum of two nights at Peppers Blue on Blue Resort and save 20%. Priced from $143* per night in a Hotel Room including a delicious daily breakfast for two daily. Valid to March 31, 2012. Call 1300 987 600 or visit


FOOD & WINE ESCAPE: Broadbeach will host the Food and Wine Expo at the Gold Coast Convention Centre from January 20-22 with over 100 exhibitors eager to please the palette. From gourmet food to exquisite wines, it's all just a short stroll away from Peppers Broadbeach where you can relax and unwind in stylish surrounds with top class facilities. Priced from $318* per night in One Bedroom Suite (minimum 2 night stay) including in-room movies, internet, on-site parking and daily servicing. Call 1300 987 600 or visit


SEASON AT SALT: Peppers Salt Resort & Spa's acclaimed Season restaurant at Salt Village in Kingscliff is celebrating four seasons of success throughout December. Until December 24, excluding Saturdays, guests can enjoy a glass of sparkling wine with a two course dinner for $39* per person or three courses for $49* per person, or share six tapas plates for $30* per couple. Plus $10* cocktails for the entire month of December. Just one year old, Season appeared on the top-rating MasterChef television series in May this year, featuring a Reward Lunch and masterclass hosted by Executive Chef Reuben Radonich. Stay overnight in a Resort Room at Peppers Salt Resort & Spa's from $225* per night including buffet breakfast at Season for two, unlimited in-room movies and internet access. Call 02 6674 7766 or email


FAMILY FRIENDLY: Peppers Anchorage has it all for the family to enjoy, from the magnificent ocean views to the spectacular natural wonders. Stay from $215* per night in an Anchorage Room with breakfast daily, and to help the family budget, these summer holidays the kids stay and eat for free from January 8 to 28. Minimum night stays apply on weekends. Valid for sale until 28/01/12. Maximum two children per room, applies to children 12 years and under. One child dines for free off the children's menu with each full paying adult in Merretts Restaurant or the all day dining menu – excludes room service.  Call 1300 987 600 or visit


SAVOUR SUMMER FLAVOURS: Let your tastebuds celebrate the holidays too at Peppers Craigieburn where Montforts Dining Room Executive Chef Warrick Brook has introduced a new menu allowing guests to savour the tastes of summer delights, all the while overlooking the picturesque garden estate and golf course at this charming retreat. Book the Dash Away Dinner package from $299* per room per night and enjoy a two course dinner (excluding drinks) in Montfort's Dining Room, overnight accommodation in an Elms Wing or Terrace Wing Room and full country style buffet breakfast for two. Call 1300 987 600 or visit


ONE FREE NIGHT: Enjoy summer in New Zealand at Peppers Bluewater Resort, Lake Tekapo, where you can stay three nights but only pay for two, from $386* per night in a Two Bedroom Mountain View Villa. Set amongst the scenic mountains and glacial lake of the stunning Lake Tekapo, Peppers Bluewater Resort offers the perfect location to relax and unwind, or enjoy an action packed escape with hot springs, swimming, fishing, scenic walks up Mount John and alpine flights are all available. After your days of exploring are finished, you can relax and unwind overlooking stunning scenery while you enjoy dinner at the resorts on-site Rakinui restaurant. Valid until 31/03/2012. Call 03 6382 9900 or visit


Peppers is Mantra Group's luxury level brand of accommodation. There are 26 Peppers Retreats, Resorts and Hotels in Australia and New Zealand in regional areas, resort destinations and metropolitan locations with the first Peppers in Fiji due to open in 2012.  All offer a level of boutique style and quality to meet the expectations of the most discerning traveller.

*Subject to availability. Block-out dates and minimum stays may apply.

Front Row Seats for Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race with Captain Cook Cruises

Pre-start manoeuvres, 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart / ROLEX
Bring your own delicious picnic lunch and be part of all the action of the 2011 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on Monday 26th December on one of Captain Cook Cruises Race Picnic Cruises.

The Race Picnic Cruises will be held on Captain Cook Cruises premier fleet including the John Cadman and Captain Cook and Matilda vessels. Passengers will be able to follow the start of the race and watch as the Rolex fleet set sail out to Sydney heads while enjoying their own picnic lunch.

Passengers will receive one complimentary beer, wine or soft drink, live commentary and free tea and coffee. All additional beverages will be available for purchase onboard (no byo).

Race Picnic cruises are $79 for adults and $59 for children (5 -14 years) and depart from No 6 Jetty Circular Quay at 10.30am and return at 2.00pm.

For reservations and enquiries please contact Captain Cook Cruises toll free on 1800 804 843, Int +61-2-9206 1111 or email: or visit

Hot And Steamy North Queensland Valentine's Escape Packages from A$249 per couple, per night

The Pullman Reef Casino Hotel in Cairns is turning the heat up on romance a tropical escape tailor made for lovers this summer, or for those thinking ahead to Valentine's Day in February 2012.

Priced from A$249 per couple per night, Pullman's Romantic Escape includes overnight accommodation in a beautifully appointed Superior Room, complete with an indulgent spa bath to relax in.

For those who want to upgrade their experience, the hotel also has one exclusive 'Pullman Suite' available, priced from A$499 per couple per night.  The Pullman Suite is one of a kind with a beautiful elegant freestanding bath, perfect for long soaks and romance, king sized sleigh bed and separate sitting area complete with complimentary Nespresso coffee machine.

Every guests staying on Pullman's Romantic Escape package will receive a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival with chocolate-dipped strawberries, plus a delicious room service breakfast for two and a late check out at midday to prolong the five-star experience.

Pullman's Romantic Escape offer is available for sale and for stays now until 28 February 2012 (subject to availability). To book call the hotel direct on 07 4030 8888. Visit


The Pullman Reef Hotel Casino is in the heart of Cairns, overlooking Trinity Inlet and packed with great dining and entertainment options including award winning restaurant, Tamarind. Each room has its own private garden balcony and spa bath, and there is a rooftop swimming pool, full gym, Cairns Wildlife Dome and the Reef Casino. The hotel is close to numerous shops and restaurants, close to the Great Barrier Reef Terminal and overlooks the majestic Trinity inlet.

The Pullman in Cairns recently won the Luxury Accommodation award at the recent Tropical North Queensland Tourism Awards for 2011 and finalist in same category at Queensland Tourism Awards 2011.


35-41 Wharf Street
Cairns QLD 4870 Australia
Ph: +61 (0) 7 4030 8888
Fax: +61 (0) 7 4030 8777

Pullman is the upscale hotel brand of Accor. It was designed with the requirements of business women and men in mind. Located in the main regional and international cities, Pullman hotels provide an extensive range of tailored services, access to groundbreaking technologies and the "Co-Meeting" offer, a new approach to organising meetings, seminars and high-end incentives. At Pullman Hotels, business travellers can choose between being independent or relying on the staff available round the clock. By the end of 2011, the Pullman network will include 70 hotels across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. In time we anticipate a network of over 150 establishments around the world. 

Qantas Best Dinner in the World with the Best Chefs of the World

The Noosa International Food & Wine Festival is proud to announce an unparalleled line-up of global and Australian culinary stars for its second annual Qantas "Best Dinner in the World". Seven illustrious chefs all drawn from the prestigious S.Pellegrino World's Best Restaurant List will each prepare one course of the degustation dinner, to be held at berardo's restaurant & bar on Sunday 20 May.

Mark Best – Three hatted chef and owner of fine dining Marque Restaurant in Sydney
Fergus Henderson – Leader of the 'nose to tail' dining movement and owner of the renowned St John Bar & Restaurant in London
Alvin Leung – China's "demon chef", leader of Extreme Chinese Cuisine and man behind Bo Innovation restaurant in Hong Kong
Davide Scabin – Italy's famed hyper creative molecular gastronomer from restaurant Combal.Zero, Turin
Ben Shewry – Australia's hottest foraging chef of the moment from The Age Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year, Attica in Melbourne
David Thompson – Regarded as the world's most comprehensive authority on Thai food and the name behind London's Nahm Restaurant
Seiji Yamamoto – Chef pushing the boundaries of Japanese cuisine, from Nihonryori RyuGin in Tokyo

Premium Australian and old-world wines for each course will be chosen by internationally renowned Lisa Perotti-Brown, Master of Wine and Asian wine correspondent for leading U.S. wine advocate, Robert Parker's famed newsletter

The 'Best Dinner in the World' was launched with the support of Qantas, at the 2011 Festival and was a sellout success.  With the world's best chefs on offer for 2012, it will again be a feature event for the Festival, focusing the world's attention on Noosa and Australia as a spectacular destination with a bounty of incredible produce.

Two hundred of the world's most prominent chefs, winemakers, media and food personalities will descend upon one of Australia's most magical settings, Noosa and the Sunshine Coast for the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival from 17-20 May 2012. Tickets for the Festival and the Qantas Best Dinner in the World will go on sale early January 2012.

Watch this space as more entertainment, international and Australian names for the festival are announced:

Or for further information on the Festival check out:  

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