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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Mantra Hits a Winner With World Tennis Challenge Accommodation Rates in Adelaide



Cheer on Mantra Hotel Ambassador Pat Rafter as he takes on tennis legends John McEnroe and Henri Leconte in Adelaide for the fourth World Tennis Challenge from January 10-12 and take 'advantage' of Mantra's great accommodation rates right in the heart of the action.

Located in the centre of Adelaide's vibrant CBD, Mantra on Frome is just a 20 minute stroll to Memorial Drive Tennis Centre. Rates start from $149* per night in a Studio Suite with one, two and three bedroom apartment options also available.

Another great option is Mantra Hindmarsh Square which has Studio accommodation from $159* per night. Mantra Hindmarsh Square is also located in Adelaide's thriving CBD making it perfect for guests also wanting to catch some off-court action while in town for the event.

For accommodation bookings call 13 15 17 or visit www.mantra.com.au.

Pat will headline Team Australia at the three night international tennis event - tickets are available at www.ticketek.com.au.

*Subject to availability.

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Monday, 21 November 2011

Cruise Now For Monaco 2013

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MOTOR sports followers will have the chance to see the 2013 Formula One grand prix in Monaco as part of the fly/cruise/tour available though ecruising.travel which has already been sold out for 2012.
 
One of several imaginative ecruising programs, the tour leaves Australia on May 21, 2013, and includes a four-night round-trip cruise from Nice on the Azamara Quest, two nights at Monte Carlo's Fairmont hotel and three nights at Raffles in Dubai on the way home. 

By booking before Januray 31, 2012, this comprehensive package will cost from just $4959, including return economy air from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth with all air and port taxes. 

The deal includes all meals on the ship with complimentary wine at lunch and dinner, a helicopter transfer from Nice to Monte Carlo, a 4WD desert excursion with BBQ dinner, belly dancing and camel riding in Dubai.

During the cruise Azamara Quest will makes calls to some of Europe's most exotic ports including the legendary St Tropez in France and beautiful Portofino in Italy. 

The sleek, smaller Azamara Quest carries just 694 passengers in great comfort with live entertainment and activities including spas, jogging track, pools, casino, and specialty restaurants to keep guests active during the voyage.

For more information on the ship and itinerary contact ecruising.travel on 1300 369 848 or check-out their new website www.ecruising.travel


Discover Sydney's history on the new Convicts, Castles and Champagne Tour


 

 

Discover Sydney's history on the new Convicts, Castles and Champagne Tour
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The Dynamic Experiences Group, owner of Sydney Tall Ships have purchased Sydney's second oldest working ferry, the Mulgi and returned it to its original condition to show guests a slice of Australian history.

Cruise to Goat Island where you will experience a personally guided tour through some of Australia's most important convict built buildings . Goat Island will come alive with stories as you visit the 1800s military gun powder magazine, the soldiers barracks and Sydney's oldest Water Police Station. Death, punishment and escape will be relived against a backdrop of Sydney's best harbour views.

Headquarters of the Sydney Water Police, who kept an eye out for smugglers and escaped convicts

Aboard the Mulgi you will cruise past some of Australia's most wealthy suburbs and taken in the harbourside "castles" or mansions. Find out where some of the wealthiest celebrities live. Be entertained with a history of Kirribilli and Admiralty House.

Enjoy a glass of bubbly, cold beer, wine or soft drink with your Aussie BBQ lunch featuring fresh King prawns, delicious BBQ steak and sausages, a range of fresh salads, a fresh fruit platter and tempting desserts.

For just $89 your tour includes:

- A professional tour guide to share  fascinating stories and facts with guided tour highlights:

            - fascinating convict buildings on restricted access harbour island

            -viewing from harbour of Sydney icons, the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera   House

            - historic Sydney harbour and surrounds including first settlement sites

            - "castles"of the rich and famous

            - harbour cruise aboard a beautifully restored 1920s ferry

            - personalised small group tour (maximum 35 per tour group)

- Gourmet BBQ with fresh King Prawns

- Glass of bubby, beer, wine or soft drink

- Morning/afternoon tea with cake and biscuits


Further information visit www.uniquesydneycruises.com.au or 1300 CONVICT (1300 266 842) 

Chilling out at Vibe Hotels = free stuff!

Chillout for two nights or more at Vibe this summer to score free brekky and a free Vibe towel.

Due to popular demand, the Vibe towel is back for summer 2012! All guests have to do this season to score the poolside essential is check-in to any Vibe Hotel for two nights or more to chillout, plus Vibe are also throwing in free brekky!  

The package* includes:

·         Two nights accommodation in a vibe-rant guest room
·         A scrumptious free full buffet breakfast for two at curve cafe + bar
·         A free Vibe towel – the ultimate poolside accessory for summer

Bookings: To book the best online rates guaranteed, check out: vibehotels.com.au

Starting rates:

·         Vibe Hotel Carlton (Melbourne)      from $140 per night
·         Vibe Savoy Hotel Melbourne         from $179 per night
·         Vibe Sydney                                 from $195 per night
·         Vibe Hotel North Sydney               from $209 per night
·         Vibe Hotel Rushcutters (Sydney)   from $245 per night
·         Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront         from $155 per night
·         Vibe Gold Coast                           from $170 per night
 
Package Booking Dates:
15th November, 2011 – 29th January, 2012

Package Stay Dates:
16th December 2011 – 29th January 2012

* Minimum two nights stay. Package is subject to availability. Blackout dates apply. Limit of two buffet breakfasts per package. One complimentary Vibe towel per package only.

about the free Vibe towel…

The Vibe towel is back @ Vibe Hotels this summer due to popular demand. Made from high quality fabric, the bright and sophisticated lime, purple and black pattern appeals to both guys and girls. The design of the towel encapsulates the character and mood of both Vibe Hotels and the lifestyle of the iconic Australian summer. If you fall in love with your free Vibe towel and need more, it's also available to purchase from the front desk of all Vibe Hotels across Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Darwin. RRP: $30.00. 

 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Explore Shanghai's Trendy Xintiandi District


Xintiandi started as an attempt to save a cluster of historical shikumen buildings in Shanghai’s French Concession. The effort became a complete restoration of the traditional architecture and the area is now home to one of Shanghai’s trendiest nightlife scenes. Overflowing with classy restaurants, quaint cafes, and elegant boutiques, Xintiandi is a must for those who want a flavor of fashionable Shanghai.

Xintiandi also houses two worthwhile sites: the Shikumen Open House Museum and the 1st Congress Hall of the Communist Party of China. The Shikumen Open House Museum gives a fascinating glimpse into life in a shikumen in 1920s Shanghai. Surprisingly, not far away is the shikumen where the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held on July 23, 1921. The small museum is quite informative and an important monument for those interested in communist history.

The China Guide can organize a trip to Xintiandi as part of a Shanghai tour. For more information on Shanghai tours please visit: www.TheChinaGuide.com/theshanghaiguide

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Quality accommodation from as little as $47 per person per night at Niseko

Accommodation rates starting from as little as $47 per person per night in Peak Season. That's an amazing offer, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take the family or a group of snow enthusiasts to enjoy what will be uncrowded slopes in the very popular Japanese winter playgrounds on Hokkaido, the powder capital of the skiing world.

HIRAFU LODGE, a large, well appointed, five bedroom house which sleeps up to 12 guests. Prices have been discounted on all peak dates for this property including Christmas and Chinese New Year! Travel between 17 December 2011 - 2 March 2012 and SkiJapan.com will arrange a seven-night package for $929 per person. Included is seven nights accommodation (12 people sharing), a 6-day all mountain lift pass, airport transfers and the services of SkiJapan.com representative in Niseko.

SULU CHALETS, five-bedroom premium townhouse-style accommodation that also sleeps up to 12 guests. Several families or a largish group will find this offer enticing. Stay in Sulu Chalets between 24 December 2011- 31 January 2012 for $1,105 per person. Package includes seven nights accommodation (12 people sharing), 6-day all mountain lift pass, airport transfers and the services of SkiJapan.com person in Niseko.

YUTAKA, a premium four-bedroom townhouse, which sleeps up to 10 guests, is also a bargain. Enjoy 7 nights in Yutaka for only $1,139 per person (10 people sharing) including 6-day all mountain lift pass, airport transfers and the services of SkiJapan.com in Niseko. Valid between 24 December 2011- 31 January 2012

SHIROKUMA, deluxe contemporary four-bedroom townhouse that accommodates up to 10 guests; incredible value during one of the best times to visit Niseko. A seven-night package costs from $1,168 per person and includes seven nights accommodation (10 people sharing), a 6-day all mountain lift pass, airport transfers and the services of SkiJapan.com representative in Niseko. Valid between 24 December 2011- 31 January 2012

ADDED BONUS:Book the above accommodation with SkiJapan.com and you are eligible for an EXCLUSIVE deal from our very own Niseko Base Snowsports:

Book a Private Lesson and your friend can join for FREE. Valid on ski or snowboard lessons for selected time slots and both people must be the same ability level. All package prices based on pay five stay seven free night deal using an exchange rate of 1 AUD = 74 JPY and are subject to change.

Minimum numbers in apartments required.

For more details contact SkiJapan.com  Tel 1300 137 411

Celebrate 25 years with 25% off or $25 to spend with Constellation Hotels


As part of the 25th anniversary celebration of Constellation Hotels, this is your final opportunity to take advantage of a bonus 25 Escape Dollars, that can be used just like cash during your stay or save 25% off Summer accommodation deals for booking made before midnight Thurday 18th November.

25 years ago, the Constellation Hotel Group seed was sewn in regional Australia with just a handful of Country Comfort Hotels. Over the years we have introduced a family of loved and renowned brands including Grand Chifley, Chifley, Australis, Country Comfort, Sundowner and grown our portfolio of hotels to over 50. It's always been about having more to offer our customers to keep them coming back and so is this deal...

Explore Australis Diamond Beach Resort & Spa on the mid-north coast of NSW, just an easy 3 hour drive from Sydney. Lose yourself amongst un-spoilt pristine beaches and national parks or at the resorts very own endota spa. The resort neighbors the exclusive Tallwoods golf course for the more active making sure everyone is catered for. Stay in a Two Bedroom Resort Spa Villa and save 25%.

Chase the sun to the Gold Coast and receive 25 Escape Dollars to spend just like cash during your stay Australis Sovereign Hotel is your ideal Gold Coast base for an action packed theme park holiday, and just minutes away from the sandy strip. The lagoon style swimming pool is perfect for some welcome down time after the thrills and spills of the day. Choose from a family mini-break with accommodation in a Two Bedroom Suite or indulge in a Spa Suite perfect for two.

Celebrate with an escape to the picturesque South Coast of NSW and stay in the newest and sexiest hotel in Wollongong. Enjoy 25 Escape Dollars to spend at Chifley Wollongong on their stylish Deluxe or Executive Balcony Room overlooking Wollongong's delightful views, which will surely spice things up. You could also use your Escape Dollars on room service, in the funky C Bar or be seduced by the inviting and sophisticated atmosphere of the hotels C Grill restaurant.

Sale Start: Thursday, 10th November 2011, Sale End: Midnight Thursday, 17th November 2011, Stay dates from 1 December 2011 to 29th February 2012. To browse all the 25th Birthday Sale Deals available visit www.constellationhotels.com.au/birthdaysale or call 1300 650 464. Get in quick so you don't miss out!

Guests of any Constellation Hotel will also receive complimentary membership into The Escape Club program, a reward program that not only offers real dollar rewards but a free drink too! So what are you waiting for? Join for free at www.escapeclub.com.au or call 1300 650 464.

 

Some of the world's most famous Italians to visit Canberra


World Famous Renaissance Masterpieces Visit Canberra

Crowne Plaza Canberra Celebrates with Renaissance Package


Canberra will be home to some of the world's most celebrated Renaissance artworks, with a new exhibition at National Gallery of Australia from December 9, 2011 to April 9, 2012.

With a selection of works never before seen in Australia, the Renaissance - 15th & 16th Century Italian Paintings from the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo exhibition will feature more than 70 masterpieces by famous Italian artists, including Botticelli, Titian and Raphael.

The only venue in Australia to have access to this collection of priceless pieces, the National Gallery of Australia has put together an accompanying events program to celebrate the new exhibition. Activities include a dedicated children's art Discovery Trail and Italian themed food and drinks menus at the gallery's restaurant.

Art aficionados can enhance their experience and make a trip out of the occasion, with a stay at Crowne Plaza Canberra, located just a few minutes' drive from the National Gallery of Australia.

Crowne Plaza Canberra's onsite concierge can advise the best way to travel to and from the gallery, whether via public transport, hire car or on foot. The team is also on-hand to provide suggestions on other great experiences around the city, from a variety of art galleries and museums to iconic local attractions such as Parliament House and Questacon.

To celebrate the arrival of the Renaissance exhibition, Crowne Plaza Canberra is offering a Renaissance Package, including overnight accommodation, buffet breakfast for two in Redsalt Restaurant, car parking, late check-out and two adult tickets to the exhibition (valued at $25 each), all from $250 per night*.

For details or to book, call 138 388 or visit www.crowneplazacanberra.com.au.


* The package is valid for stays between December 9, 2011 and April 9, 2012. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions and black-out periods apply.


Crowne Plaza Canberra

Take a trip to the Nation's Capital and stay at the Crowne Plaza Canberra, within minutes walk to the CBD and attractions such as Questacon and Parliament House. The hotel offers spacious guest rooms with luxurious beds and lounges, pool, complimentary access to the Pro-Fit Health Club with sauna, wireless connectivity in public areas, Earth Day Spa, Redsalt Restaurant and the newly refurbished Binara One bar.


Alaskan Dream Cruises 'optimistic'

66-passenger Admiralty Dream

Alaskan Dream Cruises, the Sitka-based, native-owned small ship operator, is "optimistic" about its second year after an encouraging finish to its inaugural season. "Our inaugural season for 2011 definitely had a slow start, but thank goodness for last-minute bookers," reports Vice President of Sales and Marketing Michael Wien. “The end of the season was encouraging, and that gave us the confidence and boost to move into 2012,” he says.

Wien told Cruise Business Review that ADC aims to carve out a unique niche for itself that will distinguish the small ship line from its competitors. "At Alaskan Dream Cruises, we want to make sure our guests have an overall experience of what life is like in Alaska. We’re going to have a strong native cultural influence to make sure guests have a good understanding of the rich history of native culture in the Southeast."

Commenting on the sudden expansion by small ship lines in Alaska since the failure of Cruise West, he notes, "With the demise of Cruise West more boats were available. With that, the three cruise lines [Alaskan Dream Cruises, American Safari Cruises, and InnerSea Discoveries] picked up the boats and are designing their own business model and highlights. And whatever cruise line you choose, it’s a great way because they all have a different angle."

For now, Alaskan Dream Cruises is not looking to increase capacity as it builds brand awareness with its existing fleet of two ships, carrying 42 and 66 passengers respectively. "We are currently focusing on the 2012 itineraries aboard the Alaskan Dream and Admiralty Dream," Wien emphasizes. However, the line does own another former Cruise West vessel, renamed the Baranof Dream, which is being held in reserve and is available for charter.

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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

School holidays fast approaching

At this time of year, parents all over Australia start to panic. In a few short weeks, their precious children will be in their full time care and the pressure of keeping them happy for up to two months can be daunting.

It's not just about keeping them busy: Choosing holiday experiences that won't break the bank can be a real challenge. Luckily, the Kids Welcome web directory has been launched just in time to come to the rescue.

This free resource includes over 2000 reviews of family-friendly activities, attractions, tours, places to eat places to stay, events, beaches and even playgrounds. The reviews are written by parents, for parents and each is rated as suitable for three different age-groups: preschool, primary and teen.

Web directory creator Sarah Pye says this invaluable resource will take the hard work out of entertaining the kids.

"If you are planning to explore new parts of Australia together it helps you pick appropriate places to go, many of which are free and you wouldn't find them in tourism brochures," she says.

"Even if you don't leave home,  the Kids Welcome directory is just as useful for banishing 'I'm bored' because there are guaranteed to be ideas for your local area too.

"Grandparents, aunts and uncles need not fear if the kids are coming to visit over Christmas!"

What makes this online resource different from Kids Welcome printed guidebooks is the ability for users to engage directly. By joining the site, which is free, they can make comments on the reviews and even upload images of their own family enjoying the activities.

"Not only is it fun to see yourself on the website," Sarah says.

"It's also good to know your comments will help other families create memorable holidays!"

The kids Welcome web directory was launched on November 11 at UnderWater World on the Sunshine Coast.  It was critically acclaimed by Sunshine Coast Destination Limited and currently covers Queensland, NSW and the ACT.  Sarah and her chief expert, Amber (11) intend to hitch their camper trailer and explore Victoria over the summer to add even more content.

To celebrate the launch, you could win a week in your very own camper trailer from Camp Ezy on the Gold Coast. Simply go to competitions on www.kidswelcome.com.au.

Monday, 14 November 2011

SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND CAMBODIA

 
Song Saa Private Island opens in Cambodia's untouched Koh Rong Archipelago                  
 
Luxury that Treads Lightly
 
In Cambodia's Koh Rong Archipelago, two pristine islands lie side by side.  They are known locally as Song Saa – Khmer for 'The Sweethearts'.  Song Saa Private Island will be as seductive as the name implies; an intimate private island retreat in an undiscovered paradise.  
 
Most of Cambodia's islands - scattered across the sapphire waters of the Gulf of Thailand – remain undeveloped but offer deserted oases of virgin rainforests, tropical reefs and glistening white beaches.  Guests to Song Saa will be amongst the first foreigners to experience this untouched world, reminiscent of Thailand's islands before its tourist boom.
 
The resort spans the islands of Koh Ouen and Koh Bong, connected by a footbridge over a marine reserve that has been established to safeguard the islands' reefs and marine life including dugongs, seahorses and exotic species of tropical fish.  27 luxury villas are being built from sustainable materials and in perfect harmony with the natural environment; uncompromising on design that reflects the beauty of the natural surroundings. 
 
Adopting a 'rustic chic' design, the resort is inspired by Cambodian fishing villages with features such as over-water buildings, thatch roofs, rough-hewn natural timbers and drift wood furnishings.  Guests will enjoy uninterrupted sunrise or sunset views from their Overwater, Beach or Jungle Villas, complete with private pools and all the creature comforts Robinson Crusoe could only fantasise about.  Each villa promises a sanctuary where guests can shower looking out over the ocean, sip cocktails whilst watching the sun set from their private deck or have the resort's chef treat you and your guests to fresh seafood under the stars.  A 2-Bedroom Royal Villa has its own private jetty for speedboat arrival and offers exceptional luxury and privacy, for those in search of an exceptional discrete island hideaway.
 
At the resort's heart will be a world-class restaurant and lounge spectacularly positioned over the ocean to take in dramatic sunsets, seascapes and starry nights. Executive Chef Neil Wager, worked previously at the highly acclaimed six-star North Island in the Seychelles where he cooked for a host of international royalty and celebrities. Neil said, "in Cambodia our team has found a culinary adventure most chefs can only dream about". With a commitment to paying homage to traditional Khmer food practices in a contemporary and sustainable way, the kitchen will source locally grown food, with seafood selected from Cambodia's growing community of sustainable fishermen.
 
A Spa & Wellness Centre will be situated on its own island with a Yoga & Meditation Centre on the eastern shore and a host of guest activities will be offered to authentically showcase the surrounding Archipelago, its staggering scenery and innately friendly people.  Kayaking up fresh water estuaries, hiking through virgin rainforest, snorkelling with the resort's marine biologists, Khmer cooking lessons and visits to local fishing villages will all be part of the Song Saa experience. 
 
For Australian couple, Rory and Melita Hunter, becoming the first to develop a private island in Cambodia, according to Rory, "brings exciting opportunity but also an incredible responsibility to set a benchmark in sustainable development, to pave the way for future development in this untouched region of South East Asia".  Central to their vision is their commitment to conservation and community programs with a triple bottom line model which ensures the protection of the natural environment and simultaneously supports the needs of the local people.
 
Song Saa is now open for bookings for stays from 13 February 2012 via phone on +855 236 860 360 or email reservations@songsaa.com. For further information visit www.songsaa.com.
 
  
Staying at Song Saa Private Island
 
Choose from twenty-seven luxury overwater, beach or jungle villas (all villas have private plunge pools) on the first of the two islands. From the moment guests set foot on Song Saa's exquisite islands, they won't have a care in the world. With an 'Always Inclusive' pricing policy; one price, per person, per night, guests are free to indulge in everything the resort and its surrounds have to offer. All the features laid out below are 'Always Included' at Song Saa. Everything from arrival foot massage and welcome drink, to all that passes guest's lips from sunrise to sunset, be it a lazy breakfast in the villa, a romantic picnic lunch on the beach, or fine dining in the world-class, overwater restaurant. Everything is included. Featuring a range of cuisines including the exciting Khmer- inspired recipes by Executive Chef Neil Wagner, guests receive daily surprises from the kitchen such as freshly made afternoon tapas and a glass of crisp white wine as the sun sets. Guests can enjoy 24 hours unlimited house wines, spirits, beers and non-alcoholic drinks, including villa mini bars which are restocked daily plus unlimited laundry. Also included is the full use of kayaks, sailing boats, snorkelling gear, kite boards and wind surfers, plus speed boat to and from the resort. High speed internet and satellite TV along with International phone calls are included as are guided tours of the protected marine and wildlife around the twin Islands. Rates range from US$668 - US$1,288 per person per night. Children under five years stay with compliments. Children aged six to twelve stay at a 50% rate.
 
 
Getting There
 
The main Cambodian airports of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh have direct daily flights from Asia's airport hubs such as Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Song Saa Private Island operates Private Plane transfers from Siem Reap (75 minutes) for US$300 per person one way and from Phnom Penh (45 minutes) for US$200 per person one way. Planes land on the neighbouring island of Koh Rong and cost includes 5 minute boat ride to Song Saa. Alternately Sihanoukville is a 3 hour drive from Phnom Penh and private car transfers can be arranged for US$150 each way. Song Saa is a 30-minute private speedboat ride from the coastal city of Sihanoukville for US$90 per person per trip. 
 
 

Explore Sydney’s waterways this summer

Did you know that Sydney is home to six unique Harbours? If you’re familiar with the delights of Sydney Harbour itself why not explore a little further afield this summer and discover what’s on offer in the city’s lesser known waterways such as Pittwater, Port Hacking and Botany Bay.

•The Sydney Harbour Circle Walk is the ideal outdoor summer pursuit. Take on the challenge of the 59km track which runs between Sydney Harbour Bridge and Gladesville Bridge, and experience Sydney’s coastal lifestyle at its best. Spread the walk over four days or simply choose sections at leisure catching public transport in between. Soak up the sun and cool off with a dip in sparkling waters along the way.

•Charter a yacht from AusSail and explore the secluded waterways of Pittwater. Try a bareboat charter for you and seven mates, leaving you in charge of sailing the yacht. Explore pristine bays, excellent fishing spots and even meander up the Hawkesbury River and moor overnight in a secluded cove.

•If you prefer to stay on dry land, Clareville Boathouse is a great option located on the idyllic and protected beachfront of Refuge Cove. Part of the Contemporary Hotels group, the Boathouse has its own jetty and scenic views across Pittwater.

•Heading south from Sydney, try a new Freedive Safari with Scooter Safari. Freedivers go wherever scuba divers can but on a single breath of air. Learn the techniques of freediving and dive deeper than you’ve ever been on a single breath allowing you to swim, explore the reef and admire the sea life around Bundeena and Port Hacking.

•The nearby Royal National Park boasts an incredible wealth of bird life including seabirds such as the wandering albatross. Take a guided bird watching tour with acclaimed author Steve Anyon-Smith and Royal Coast Walks and try spotting some of the more than 300 bird species that have been recorded within the park boundaries – which puts the Royal National Park on par with larger parks such as Yellowstone and Kakadu.

•Audley Boatshed is a great place to hire a row boat or kayak and explore Kangaroo Creek and the Hacking River in the Royal National Park. Afterwards stop in at the new Audley CafĂ©, which opens later this month, at the visitor information centre.

•Take a dip in one of the ocean pools in Port Hacking at Yowie Bay, Gymea Bay or Lilli Pilli. The Lilli Pilli tidal pool is an excellent spot for an early morning dip and make sure you take your goggles as you’ll be swimming with whiting, yellow fin bream and flathead.

•Tucked inside Cape Banks, the northern headland at the entrance to Botany Bay, Cruwee Cove is a walk-in beach with superb snorkelling right off the beach and towards Cape Banks itself. This inlet is managed by Sydney University Centre for Research on the Ecological Impacts of Coastal Cities. The marine species found here include colourful sponges and kelp gardens, groper, moray eel, cuttlefish, red morwong, wobbegong and maori wrasse. Access is by foot only via the Henry Head walking trail that begins off Anzac Parade.

For more information on how Sydney sizzles this Summer go to http://www.sydney.com/





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New Bowral Day Spa

Located in the secluded upper levels of the recently opened Gibraltar Hotel and overlooking the golf course, the Bowral Day Spa offers a range of decadent treatments for women, men and couples. Featuring five oversized, luxury treatment rooms, including one with a Vichy Shower and using the Australian LI’TYA spa care range, you are sure to feel relaxed and rejuvenated - especially after a signature Mala Mayi Body Treatment.

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Friday, 4 November 2011

Accor has lift-off with Star Voyager: Exploring Space on Screen Package

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is hosting the world premiere of Star Voyager: Exploring Space on Screen, a major exhibition charting the history and future of space exploration as experienced through the moving image.

To celebrate exhibition's world premiere, Accor hotels in Melbourne are offering space junkies and star gazers a special 'Star Voyager' package. The deal includes overnight accommodation plus two Star Voyager tickets to view the exhibition at leisure from just $144.

Accor's 'Star Voyager' package is available now for stays until 28 January 2012 (subject to availability) at participating hotels, including Sofitel Melbourne On Collins from $300, Grand Hotel Melbourne MGallery from $214, Novotel Melbourne On Collins from $228, Novotel Melbourne St Kilda from $195, The Swanston Hotel Melbourne Grand Mercure from $204, Mercure Melbourne Spring Street from $204, Ibis Melbourne Little Bourke Street and Ibis Melbourne from $154 and Mercure Welcome Melbourne from $144.

Sci-fi movie buffs will have the opportunity to see real NASA artefacts used in space and film production materials, including costumes from Star Trek, Total Recall and Austin Powers. The exhibition also features an exciting new short film, allowing visitors to explore the surface of Mars in 3D.

For hotel information and to book, visit www.accorhotels.com or phone 1300 65 65 65.

The exhibition at ACMI, Federation Square is open daily from 10am-6pm runs until Sunday 29 January 2012. For further information, visit www.acmi.net.au/starvoyager

 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Soak up British backdrops and literary legends with Anonymous and Insight Vacations


Millions have read his plays, viewed performances and studied his history, but now the new motion picture Anonymous, released nationally by Sony Pictures on 3 November, calls Shakespeare's legacy into question.

Did the famous playwright pen his own prose or…was Shakespeare a fraud? See the movie and decide for yourself, then discover Britain, where the film is set and where Shakespeare's legend lives on, on one of seven premium itineraries offered  in the region by Insight Vacations.

Be inspired by the richness of the literary landscapes in Britain and the charm of the bygone eras portrayed in Anonymous and let Insight Vacations help you re-create your own set-jetting experience. Especially designed to evoke a sense of nostalgia, the 11-day Elegance of Great Britain takes you on a true Tudor experience through archetypal villages, stately homes, historic castles and beautiful gardens.

On this premium tour you'll spend two nights in Stratford upon Avon, birthplace of Anonymous' protagonist, William Shakespeare. Here you'll have the opportunity to soak up fascinating memorabilia and artefacts relating to the Bard's life such as a visit to his birthplace and the world-renowned Swan Theatre, paying homage to his work with regular performances. This trip also comprises other inspiring literary locations such as the Lake District and Bronte Country, in between discoveries of regal regions including Hever Castle in the 'Garden of England' in Kent, Blenheim Palace on the edge of the beautiful Cotswolds, historic Edinburgh and of course London - home of the revered Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

Blenheim Palace
Insight Vacations' 11-day Elegance of Great Britain is priced from $2699 per person, twin share, land only (single supplement priced at $450) . Departing London this tour visits the New Forest, Avebury (for Stonehenge and Salisbury), Stratford upon Avon, the Cotswolds, Ludlow, Lake District, Edinburgh and Yorkshire's Brontë Country amongst others.

Or perhaps you would prefer to explore Britain's romantic landscapes, no doubt an inspiration while Shakespeare was penning the tales of his most famous lovers - Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Ophelia, Orlando and Rosalind to name just a few – on Insight Vacations' 18-day Romantic Britain and Ireland.

Heady experiences available on this tour include a visit to the Yorkshire Dales, which inspired some of the most romantic tales ever penned including the Bronte classics, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights; crossing the border into Scotland via Gretna Green, famous for its runaway weddings and a visit to St. Andrew's, location of modern day's most famous love story, that of William and Catherine.

Insight Vacations' 18-day Romantic Britain and Ireland is priced from $4325 per person, twin share, land only (single supplement priced at $1000). Departing London this tour visits Oxford, Stratford upon Avon, Lincoln, York, Leeds, Yorkshire Dales, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Loch Ness, Oban, Mull & Iona, Loch Lomond, Troon, Isle of Arran, Belfast, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Dingle, Killarney, Waterford, Cardiff and Bath.

For those who prefer medieval over modern day, the nine-day Best of Britain is packed with historical highlights including a visit to York Minster and the Tudor 'Shambles', exploring the Roman Baths and Pump Rooms in Bath, a cruise to the harbour and the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth and the mythical megaliths of Stonehenge.

Insight Vacations' Nine-day Best of Britain is priced from $2025 per person, twin share, land only (single supplement priced at $390). Departing London this tour visits Stratford upon Avon, York, Edinburgh, the Trossachs, Glasgow, Gretna, Lake District, Ludlow, Cardiff, Bath and Plymouth.

Other itineraries in Britain offered by Insight Vacations include the four-day Gems of Britain, the seven-day Scenic Britain, the 13-day Britain and Ireland Explorer and the 22-day Britain and Ireland Discovery.

All prices include premium hotels in desirable central or scenic locations, authentic dining experiences, transport by luxury coach with business class legroom, the services of an experienced Tour Director and much more. For more information on Insight Vacations visit www.insightvacations.com or on Anonymous visit www.anonymousmovie.com.au.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Head to Malaysia for a budget-friendly break

Regarded as one of the world's best value-for-money destinations[1], Malaysia is the perfect holiday option for Australians looking for a bargain break. There are currently a number of great packages available, offering opportunities for Australian travellers to soak up Malaysia's pristine white beaches, unique culture and heritage, and bustling city atmosphere without breaking the budget.

In Malaysia's vibrant capital Kuala Lumpur you can stay in luxurious accommodation, shop and spa to your heart's content, tantalise your tastebuds with delicious Malaysian cuisine and discover the sites of the bustling city.

Flight Centre is currently offering a five night holiday to Kuala Lumpur, starting from $1,323* per person ex Perth; from $1397*per person ex Melbourne; from $1406* per person ex. Adelaide; from $1417* per person ex. Sydney; and from $1419*per person ex. Brisbane.

This package includes return economy flights to Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia Airlines, five nights' accommodation at Corus Hotel Kuala Lumpur in a Deluxe Room with a bonus upgrade to a Paradise Cabana, breakfast daily and return coach airport transfers. There's also a daily shuttle service to Bukit Bintang and Chinatown and a bonus 20 minute neck and shoulder massage to help relieve the stresses of a hard day of shopping.

The package is valid for travel from 02 February 2012 - 31 March 2012 and valid for sale until 30 November 2011, unless sold out prior.

For families looking to head to Kuala Lumpur, Travelscene American Express is also offering a fantastic family accommodation package at Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa. Prices start from $1217* for two adults and two children (12 years and under) and includes two night's accommodation in a Premier Room, daily buffet breakfast, as well as additional bonuses.

This offer is valid for sale to 31 March 2012, and valid for travel from 17 October 2011 - 30 November 2011; 02 - 19 January 2012, and 25 January 2012 – 31 March 2012. Package does not include flights.

Beyond the bustling city of KL there are also plenty of opportunities to relax and soak up the sun on Malaysia's stunning sandy beaches, without breaking the budget. Langkawi is the perfect island escape for all Aussie travellers - be it couples looking for a romantic getaway, friends looking for a dose of well-earned rest and relaxation, or families on the look-out for a child-friendly destination.

Flight Centre is offering a five night holiday to Langkawi, from $1323* per person ex Perth; from $1397*per person ex Melbourne; from $1406* per person ex. Adelaide; from $1417* per person ex. Sydney, and from $1419* per person ex Brisbane.

This package includes five nights at the Mutiara Burau Bay Resort Langkawi in a Superior Cabana Garden View, return economy class airfares with Malaysia Airways, and daily breakfast.  

The package is valid for travel from 02 February 2012 - 31 March 2012 and valid for sale until 30 November 2011 unless sold out prior.

For more information on Malaysia visit www.tourismmalaysia.com.au or www.facebook.com/tourismmalaysiaaustralia 

For more information on Flight Centre's packages go to: www.flightcentre.com.au  

For more information on Travelscene American Express packages go to: www.travelscene.net.au

*Terms and conditions apply to all packages. Prices are per person twin share inclusive of pre-payable taxes and subject to change and availability at time of booking.  Black-out dates apply. Please note: For the Flight Centre Langkawi package, departures from Brisbane include one night accommodation at the 5-star Pan Pacific KLIA in a Deluxe Room due to flight schedules.


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