Friday, 29 June 2012

Aussie Cabin Crew Fly on China Southern Airlines

Aussie Cabin Crew Fly on China Southern Airlines

The first Australian cabin crew to join China Southern’s Australian services will take to the air on Sunday, July 1 as the Guangzhou-based carrier continues to expand into the Australasian market.

“Our aim is to improve communication and customer service for the growing number of English-speaking passengers on flights between Australia and Guangzhou,” said the airline’s Sydney-based Project Manager, Human Resources Development Australia, Jane Cen.

“Initially it will be one Aussie cabin crew member per flight from Sydney and our main hub in Guangzhou, rising to at least one in each Economy, Premium Economy, and Business and First class as new staff are recruited and trained.

“The 13 crew starting next week are very keen to get into the air full time and we are in the process of offering positions to a second group of recruits who have just completed the recruitment process jointly operated by China Southern Airlines and Melbourne-based Altara air services company.

“Our plan is to continue to recruit and train local cabin crew as long as passenger feedback indicates it improves their in-flight experience.”

Experienced international flight crew member Ms Cathy Chen has been appointed to the new position of Cabin Crew Manager in Sydney to manage day-to-day operations.

Information about China Southern’s cabin crew recruitment program is available via Altara at and information about China Southern Airlines is available on 1300 889 628 during AEDST/AEST business hours or visit or

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Wednesday, 27 June 2012


A range of 16 night packages to Alaska with Cruiseco in 2013 are more than just a cruise with a few coach excursions ashore – these unique "cruisetours" include two nights to enjoy all that Vancouver has to offer, a 7 night cruise to Anchorage via three ports and scenic cruising of Glacier Bay National Park and College Fjord, and 7 nights through Alaska's mountain and tundra backcountry from Whittier to Fairbanks by coach, rail and riverboat.

And with return Economy Class airfare from Sydney, all meals and entertainment during the week aboard the luxury 116,000 tonne Diamond Princess, two meals daily and all transport during the 7 day Alaska cruisetour, the services of professional naturalists and guides, and taxes and port charges, prices start from just $6,540pp twin share.

Cruiseco has eight of these packages between May 23 and August 29 next year;

For complete itineraries, inclusions and the name of your nearest Cruiseco cruise-specialist travel agent go to Conditions apply.

HIGHLIGHTS of these unique Cruiseco packages include a transfer on arrival in Vancouver to The Fairmont Hotel for two nights with breakfasts, followed by 7 nights luxury cruising aboard Diamond Princess to Ketchikan (the so-called "Salmon Capital of the World" and Alaska's totem-pole capital,) State capital Juneau with its spectacular glaciers, and Skagway that was the wild frontier to the 1890s gold-rush.

The week-long cruisetour that follows includes stays at Princess Cruises' own wilderness lodges and hotels, national parks that abound with fjords and glaciers, wildlife from grizzlies to Dall sheep and all manner of other land and bird life, a Tundra Wilderness Tour into remote backcountry, a ride aboard the famed Alaska Railroad in Princess Cruises' own glass-canopied private rail carriages, a unique Ice Museum in Fairbanks, and a trip on the Chena River aboard an authentic paddlewheel steamboat evocative of frontier days.

Six breakfasts are included and nightly dinners range from 3-course offerings at famed restaurants to traditional Alaskan salmon bakes.

Saturday, 23 June 2012


Leading tour operator of all-inclusive and fully escorted luxury river cruising tours in Europe, Scenic Tours, has expanded their France River Cruising program for 2013 including the addition of the remarkable 14 night tour from Amsterdam to Nice. This tour combines the popular 7 night Amsterdam to Basel cruise followed by the brand new 7 night Chalon-sur-Saône to Arles cruise. It can also be taken in the reverse direction.

This stunning tour begins in the canal city of Amsterdam, bound for the beautiful Swiss city of Basel sailing down approximately 600km of The Rhine. Guests will soak up the charm and beauty of historic Cologne, the city of Koblenz which is over 2,000 years old; romantic Rüdesheim, the 'city of the squares', Mannheim; and Breisach, the German town with the Celtic name which means 'breakwater'.

Guests will also experience the exquisite waterways of Southern France commencing in Beaune before transferring to Chalon-sur-Saône for the southbound cruise to Arles that sails down approximately 500km of The Rhône. Guests will encounter picturesque places like Mâcon, Ardèche National Park, Avignon, Uzés and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Guests will enjoy wine tasting in Beaujolais, the picturesque landscapes of Arles and the gastronomic excellence of Lyon. They will discover Heidelberg Castle, Les Hospices de Beaune, Pont du Gard, Benedictine Abbey of Cluny and the Black Forest. They will also indulge in exclusive once-in-a-life time experiences such as dinner with the locals in Tournon and a visit to Palais des Popes.

Prices on the 15 day Rhine and Rhône River Cruise tour start from $7,145 per person twin share including free flights to Europe including taxes for bookings made by 30 September 2012. Price includes 14 night cruise with unlimited complimentary beverages, all meals, private butler service and Wi-Fi, as well as all excursions, events and entertainment, airport transfers and all tipping and gratuities on board and on shore.

Proudly Australian and unashamedly passionate, for 25 years Scenic Tours has been delivering the ultimate in 5-star all- inclusive luxury touring experiences to unique and extraordinary places on every continent.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Snowing at Falls Creek

Debbie Howie, PR Falls Creek  reports:

"It started snowing early this morning at Falls Creek as the cold front hits the resort," says Debbie, "Snowfalls are forecast through until Tuesday with temperatures set to plummet to minus 7 degrees which means we'll get some good quality soft powdery snow in the coming six days"

"This series of cold fronts is perfect timing for the school holidays and the snowmaking has been pumping adding to the great base we already have".

"Falls Creek has beginner and intermediate skiing and boarding happening, and with these snowfalls predicted we're expecting to open more areas which is great for the school holidays"

"This season is very positive with seven snowfalls in the lead up to the opening of the ski season, and there's been consistent snowfalls since, bookings are up"

"Opening weekend was one of the busiest in a long time, the vibe in Falls Creek is very positive and there's a great feel amongst the locals"

Two Free Nights with TAUCK Tours in 2013

Early Bird Preview Offer

Tauck is offering the opportunity to spend 'Time on Tauck', exclusively for the Australian market.

Every 2013 booking made by Australian customers by 28 December 2012 will receive two free hotel nights which can be enjoyed pre or post tour, a saving of over $1000!

Tauck has a diverse range of tours and Australian travellers will be overwhelmed with choice. Countries include Ancient China, twelve days in Turkey, an African adventure or the very exciting South America.

Tauck Tours Early Bird Preview Offer for 2013 offers:

· 16 day China tour from Hong Kong to Beijing (and vice versa). This includes ancient cities, tranquil country villages and spellbinding Yangtze River cruises.

· South Africa with a spellbinding 12 day tour and safari from Cape Town to Johannesburg or South America with Tauck by letting your guide show you the best of Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

· 10 day Venice and Croatia tour features a 7 night Dalmatian Coast cruise aboard the new mega-yacht L'Austral where guests will take in castles, palaces, and cultural treasures from Venice to UNESCO World Heritage sites like the walled city of Dubrovnik. Tauck is also offering the opportunity to experience the wonders of the Aegean with a magical 14 day cruise from Athens to Istanbul where passengers will see classical antiquities, UNESCO world heritage Sites and explore the astonishing Greek Islands.

· Tauck's 12 day river cruise from Prague to Budapest will take passengers on a journey as they wind their way past medieval landscapes to discover castles, cathedrals, frescoes and Habsburg palaces in five European countries or a 14 day French escapade where passengers will spend two glorious nights in Paris then cruise through some of Europe's most beautiful wine lands until they reach the glamorous Monte Carlo.

· 15 day tour in Budapest to Amsterdam riverboat cruise as they get the opportunity to glide past ancient castles and soaring cathedrals whilst also taking in great cities including Vienna, Köln and Nürnberg.

For 25 years Tauck and Travel the World have been providing Australians with the very best all-inclusive holiday experiences and with these sneak peek tour itineraries for 2013.

For further information on TAUCK please contact Travel the World on 1300 950 622 or visit

Wet, weird and wonderful, all at home on the Sapphire Coast

Children who are wondering where the wild things are may find the answers on the NSW Sapphire Coast over their winter holiday break.

The Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre at Eden is again running a series of programs that allow kids - and their parents - to get up close and personal with a range of local ocean-based wildlife, and at very reasonable prices (see contact details below).

The Centre offers Rocky Shore Ramble, a 90-minute guided tour of the local rock platforms with a marine biologist to help participants learn what lurks along the water's edge. Rocky Shore Ramble is priced at $10 for adults, $5 for children and $25 for families. It is run with a minimum of four participants and bookings are essential.

The Centre also has a range of creative activity sessions for children, such as Marine Fossil Fun (make your own!), Slimy Sand, Sea Foam Art and Seaweed Bath Jelly. Each session costs $5, is available for children aged five and up, and the child gets to take their creation home.

Bookings for all activities are essential. For more details, phone (02) 6496 1699 or check the website (<>).

Aside from the holiday activities, there is plenty more to see and do, including learning about the marine science work the Centre is involved in, and feeding the resident sea creatures. During the fish feeding sessions, not only will visitors learn about the various creatures at the Centre - what they are and what they eat - but the children also get a chance to help with the feeding.

Located on the far south coast of NSW, Eden is three hours' drive from Canberra via Cooma or a six/seven-hour drive from either Melbourne or Sydney. There are also regular daily flights from Melbourne or Sydney via REX Airlines into Merimbula, and regular inter-city bus services.

More information on the area, and accommodation details and bookings, are available by calling toll-free on 1800 150 457 or by visiting the region's website, <>

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Celebrity Cruises' Surprise Winter Solstice Deal

Celebrity Cruises is giving Australians a reason to smile this winter with a surprise Winter Solstice special offer. From Wednesday 20 June to Tuesday 26 June, guests who book on any Celebrity Cruises' worldwide sailings of four nights or longer will receive up to US$300 onboard credit and be eligible for half-price deposits.

Guests will be able to choose from a wide selection of itineraries, with the offer available across all Celebrity Cruises departures between August 2012 and May 2014 (with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition). Simply make your deposit no later than 5:00pm on Friday 29 June 2012 to qualify for the offer.

All guests who make a new booking and place their deposit within the sale period will not only receive fifty percent of their deposit, but will also receive generous onboard credit per stateroom. Those booking an Interior or Oceanview cabin will receive US$50, Balcony cabin guests will receive US$100, Concierge and Aqua Class guests will receive US$150 and Suite guests will receive US$300.

With Celebrity Solstice's debut season down under fast approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to try out Australia's first spa holiday at sea by booking an AquaSpa suites onboard the stylish and luxurious superliner. AquaClass guests will be able to enjoy up to US$150 onboard credit when they book on an eligible cruise. When she arrives in November, Celebrity Solstice will be the height of elegance, with an ice-cool Martini Bar, a real grass Lawn Club, five star dining, and state-of-the-art spa treatments and facilities, including a signature 24-carrat Gold Leaf facial. 12-night cruises start from $2,711 per person for a Deluxe Balcony cabin with $100 onboard credit and half-price deposits - with upgrades to an Aqua Class cabin now from only $199 per person and eligible for $150 onboard credit.

Further conditions apply, and the offer is not combinable with any other offers and promotions. For additional information or to make reservations, contact your travel agent, call 1800 754 500 or visit Travel professionals can call 1300 754 500 or visit

About Celebrity Solstice
Launched only three years ago, the 122,000-ton Celebrity Solstice will be the youngest superliner to be based in Australia and New Zealand. According to industry bible, The Berlitz Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships 2012, she will also be the highest rated cruise ship to be based in the region – earning the highest scores for facilities and decor, accommodation, cuisine and entertainment. Celebrity Solstice brings a number of "firsts" to local cruising, including the Lawn Club, with half an acre of freshly manicured real grass on the upper decks; a glass-blowing studio from the famed Corning Museum of Glass; and 85 per cent of her cabins have their own private balcony – the highest ratio of any superliner in the world. Her other elegant offerings include exceptional spa treatments in Celebrity's famed AquaSpa, AquaClass staterooms which offer spa-related amenities, stylish bars and lounges and ten remarkable dining choices, including Tuscan Grille, Murano Restaurant, Silk Harvest Restaurant and the Grand Epernay Dining Room with its dazzling two-storey glass wine tower.


Art lovers will be flocking to Brisbane this winter when 'Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado' comes exclusively to the Queensland Art Gallery from July 21, 2012.

Following exhibitions in Japan, China and Russia, 'Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado' will be the first ever collection of work from Madrid's admired 'The Museo Nacional del Prado' to visit Australia.

To celebrate this prestigious event Accor is offering an exclusive 'Art Lovers' package at its Brisbane Novotel, Mercure and Ibis hotels for the duration of the exhibition which will feature masterpieces by renowned painters who worked in the Spanish royal court including El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera, Goya and Rubens.

The package for two includes overnight accommodation, full buffet breakfast, tickets to the exhibition, two glasses of sangria and a late 1pm checkout.

Package prices per room, per night start from $199 at Ibis, from $219 at Mercure and $239 at Novotel Brisbane.

Presented in chronological order, the exhibition is a survey of the history of Spain and Spanish art from the 16th century to early 20th century through 80 paintings and around 20 works on paper.

For further information or to book visit or call Novotel on (61) 07 3309 3309, Mercure on (61) 07 3237 2300 or Ibis on (61) 07 3237 2333.

For more information on the exhibit visit

Caption for attached image: Alonso SÁNCHEZ COELLO

The Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia and Magdalena Ruiz (La infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia y Magdalena Ruiz) 1585–88


The newly renovated Fairmont Resort MGallery in the Blue Mountains is the perfect place for family fun these school holidays, with a daily program of activities for kids scheduled each weekday including Mini Masterchef cupcake decorating classes, a rock-star disco, craft sessions, junior golf clinics, Segway rides for older kids, a merry go round for the little ones and lots more. The hotel has a special Family Fun package from just $279 including overnight accommodation for two adults and two children and a VIP family pass to Scenic World, Australia's steepest railway, all from just $279 per night.

Having undergone a $10 million refurbishment, the Fairmont is the perfect base for your winter adventure, with cosy fireplaces, a billiards room, indoor heated pool and spa and a games room for the whole family to enjoy. It also offers tennis courts and direct access to spectacular bushwalks, as well as the adjoining Leura Golf Course.

Surrounded by UNESCO-listed wilderness and set on 10 hectares of beautifully landscaped gardens, the resort has been completely transformed with a bold, inviting lobby and upgraded guest rooms and offers a host of cosy nooks in which to relax and reconnect with loved ones.

While the Blue Mountains region is dotted with interesting boutiques, galleries and attractions, guests could easily enjoy their whole break at the resort, with the hotel offering a gorgeous high tea in the new Sublime Lounge, fireside relaxation at Embers Bar, fine dining at Eucalypt restaurant or a family-friendly buffet at Jamison's, with Executive Chef Rebecca Kaye using the best local produce to design fresh, exciting menus that gives guests a real taste of the region.

The Fairmont's renovation was part of the resort's recent rebranding to Accor's boutique MGallery label of distinctive hotels and has seen the hotel introduce a stronger regional focus that makes the most of its World-Heritage listed setting and local suppliers to give guests a greater sense of place.

For bookings go to or phone (02) 4785 0000.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 - 7-Day NCL Sale Starts TODAY

Hi Cruisers,

We are very excited to announce Norwegian Cruise Line's 7 DAY EUROPE SALE.

Offering Reduced Fares on Selected 2012 - 2014 European sailings for ONE WEEK ONLY on the following ships & itineraries:

Norwegian Epic
  • 7 x Day Western Med – 24 June 2012 through to 16 Oct 2013 
  • Transatlantic – 21 Oct 2012 & 20 April, 20 Oct 2013 Norwegian Jade 
  • 7 x Day Adriatic, Greek Isles & Turkey – 30 June 2012 through to 5 Oct 2013 
  • 7 x Day Greek Isles – 23 June 2012 through to 12 Oct 2013 
  • 11 x Day Mediterranean & Holy Land – 20 Oct 2012 through to12 April 2014 
  • 10 x Day Eastern Mediterranean – 31 Oct through to 2 April 2014 Norwegian Spirit 
  • 12 x Days Classic Mediterranean – 27 June 2012 through to 14 Oct 2013 
  • 9 x Day Canary Islands – 6 Nov 2012 through to 22 April 2014 Norwegian Sun 
  • 9 x Day Baltic Capitals – 27 June through to 16 Sept 2012 
  • Transatlantic – 30 Sept 2012 
 Sale commences Today 18 June through to 25 June 2012

Discounted Fares also available on Pride of America – Hawaiian Islands Itinerary for departures 7 July through to 28 August 2012.

PLUS - if you book between 19 June and 22 June 2012, you'll also get up to $250 onboard credit and 50% reduced deposit for any 3 days or longer NCL sailings.

Keep Cruising,
Brett & the ecruising team

64 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW Australia, 2000
Telephone (02) 9274 4000 or 1300 369 848 | Web Address:

Saturday, 9 June 2012

NZ Ski Season Opens Today

New Zealand has one of the strongest starts to the opening of its ski season with the opening of not one, but two ski areas today.

Mt Hutt, in Canterbury (only 90 minutes from Christchurch) and Coronet Peak, near to Queenstown, welcomed the first skiers and riders for the season with great excitement when they both opened this morning.

Mt Hutt was buoyed by a severe storm on Wednesday which delivered over 70cm of snow to the mountain, packing down to a base of 65 cm for opening day today.    Staff, who were on the slopes for their induction day during the storm day on Wednesday, found themselves behind shovels helping clear snow drifts away from the base building.   Clearing the access road was a major challenge for grader drivers and snow groomers had plenty of snow to prepare for opening day.

A sunny day in Canterbury welcomes skiers and riders on opening day, with current air temperature of only -0.6 degrees.    First to ride the lift were Edward O'Brien, Roby Crowther, Kate O'Brien and Nikki Crowther (pictured in red t-shirts).   Bubbles were on offer for all from 8.30am to 9.30am this morning.

The closest ski area to Queenstown, Coronet Peak opened today heralding the beginning of the Queenstown ski season.  Snow lovers were up at the crack of dawn to be the first to the lifts at Coronet Peak and celebrate the opening of the season.

"It's snow time!", said Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd.  "Queenstown looks picture perfect with fresh snow on the mountains and there's a real buzz around town now as everybody gears up for winter."

Cold weather during the week provided perfect conditions for Coronet Peak's multi-million dollar snow making system to pump out the snow, day and night.    Last night 5cm of natural snow fell on the slopes last night.

Today was the scheduled opening day for both Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt, so the openings were according to plan.  

Other ski areas around the South Island are scheduled to open progressively during June:

·         SnowPark NZ – 15 June
·         The Remarkables – 16 June
·         Cardrona- 22 June
·         Ohau  - 23 June
·         Treble Cone – 28 June
·         Mt Dobson – 29 June

New Zealand is known for its long ski season.  Most ski areas will remain open until 7th October, giving visitors four months to experience a winter ski holiday in New Zealand.  ENDS.


Mt Hutt:  First lift riders of the day – from left to right – Edward O'Brien, Roby Crowther, Kate O'Brien, Nikki Crowther.




Friday, 8 June 2012

Cunard Ultimate Upgrade

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A city of love experience in Paris to a city of sin visit to Las Vegas is provided by two separate Royal Caribbean cruises as part of a cruise tour package from cruise specialists'

This 42-night itinerary starts on October 17 with three nights at the stylish Waldorf Arc de Triomphe in Paris before flying to Rome for a night before boarding the Navigator of the Seas for seven nights with port visits in Sicily, Turkey and Greece.

You then return to Rome to explore this historic city for five nights before joining the cruise ship Mariner of the Seas for a 23-night cruise to Las Vegas. Along the way you will stop in Spain, Canary Islands, Bahamas, Honduras, Belize and Mexico before disembarking at Galveston, Texas, for a flight to Las Vegas for three nights at the Las Vegas Hotel.

Now priced from $6049 per person twin share it includes return economy airfare from Australia, both voyages and accommodation as well as meals on board the ships at a broad selection of restaurants and nine nights hotel accommodation and government taxes and port charges.

Other ship facilities include bars and lounges, many sporting activities such as pools, rock climbing wall, ice-skating rink, in-line skating, golf simulator, nine-hole miniature golf course and a full size basketball court, a casino and much more.

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

Eastern Africa Tour: Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zululand.

"Dr Livingstone I presume?"

FAR HORIZONS truly lives up to its off-the-beaten-track record with a 34-day fully-escorted tour through Eastern Africa's 'hidden gems' of Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zululand.

For those fascinated by the regions famed wildlife, rich culture and colonial history, highlights include a visit to Uganda's Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Orphanage established by the famed Jane Goodall; Murchison Falls on the Nile in Uganda - setting for the classic Hollywood movie The African Queen –  tracking Eastern Lowland gorilla at Kahuzi-Biega National Park in Congo, Mozambique's 4000 sq km Gorongosa National Park, spectacularly located at the end of the Great Rift Valley; and Swaziland, one of Africa's few remaining monarchies.

There's even a visit to Mugere on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Burundi, where Dr David Livingstone and journalist Henry Morton Stanley carved their names on a rock in November 1871.

Prices start from $27,500pp twin-share departing 19 October 2012 from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane ($27,900 ex-Perth,) including return airfare, best available accommodation, all meals, extensive sightseeing, private transport, Far Horizons escort, local guides, taxes and gratuities. Details 1800 083 141, (02) 9955 0444 or

Other highlights include a 2-hour wildlife cruise on Uganda's Kazinga Channel joining Lakes George and Edward in the Great Rift Valley; Malawi's fading but still impressive Parliament Building in Zomba; a stay on the crescent shaped coral island Ilha de Moçambique; churches built by Scottish missionaries, museums and colourful markets.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Australia's 'coolest' live music festival to kick off 2012 snow season

The hills will really be alive with the sound of music as the annual Snowy Mountains of Music festival kicks off the 2012 snow season.

This fabulous four day event — from Friday 8 to Monday 11 June 2012 —  will host some of Australia's best live music acts in up to ten indoor venues in Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes and Guthega Alpine Village. 

Offering a mix of world, folk, roots, Celtic, acoustic, traditional music, song, dance, poetry and yarn spinning, headline acts include The Black Seeds from New Zealand, Karma County's front man Brendan Gallagher, Nicky Bomba with Bustamento, and The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats. 

Weekend festival passes are $155pp for adults, and all inclusive accommodation packages are also available.  For more information and to book your tickets go to  

Snowy Mountains of Music is part of Mountains of Events, a program supported by the NSW Government through Destination NSW and its Regional Tourism Partnership Funding Program, which is facilitated by Tourism Snowy Mountains.

The Hotter, The Better - Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts

As temperatures rise this summer, guests can enjoy significant savings with Banyan Tree Group's "The Hotter, The Better" promotion which features discounted values based on the degree in Celsius recorded by the hotel at noon on the day of booking.  The promotion offers discounted rates for accommodation, spa services and gallery purchases.

For example, a guest booking a stay on 3 July, 2012 at Banyan Tree Phuket where the recorded temperature on that day at noon is 33° Celsius would enjoy a discount of 33% off best available rates for accommodation, along with 33% off spa services and gallery purchases, and daily breakfast for two persons. Guests who opt for the ultra-luxurious DoublePool Villas by Banyan Tree Phuket could stand to save up to USD 412 off their room rate with a 33% percent discount.

The promotion is valid for bookings of a minimum of two consecutive nights at best available rates made from 1 to 20 July, 2012 for stays from 1 July to 30 September, 2012. Discounts are capped at 40% at both Banyan Tree Spa, Banyan Tree Gallery, Angsana Spa and Angsana Gallery. 

For more information and reservations on best available rates, visit or

Five star apartment-style accommodation in Niseko

Well-heeled Australian snow enthusiasts heading to the world-class, snow-covered slopes of Hokkaido can now stay in luxurious ski in - ski out apartments.

Whilst there has been a 'hiccup' in the quest to entice Aussie snow enthuiasts to Japan the general message is it is business as usual. If past behaviour is true to form adventurous Australian snow enthusiasts will again head north to the world-class, snow-covered slopes of Hokkaido, in big numbers. has lots of lesser priced properties in Niseko but it is proud of its five star accommodation at Alpen Ridge in Niseko. The ski in - ski out (which Australians prefer) Alpen Ridge Apartment complex is very close of the heart of the village, the resort's supermarket, popular bars, restaurants and onsens.

Luxury in design, developed with care free living in mind and thoughtfully appointed with all modern appliances. Alpen Ridge offers a Ski School, Ski Rental service, personal ski lockers, staffed reception desk and onsite management team to ensure your time in Niseko is enjoyed both on and off the slopes.

Tel 1300 137 411 or check out online


FAR HORIZONS has a 22-day fully-escorted tour in March next year to Sri Lanka, the Andaman Islands and Bangladesh which truly takes inveterate travellers off the beaten track. Delving into the history and culture of these remarkable destinations, visits to historic royal palaces, ancient cities and even a former British penal outpost are highlights.

Sri Lanka's attractions are its ancient cities, abundant wildlife and magnificent scenery. In the 19th century the British Raj established a penal colony in the Andaman Islands, known as "the Siberia of British India", where supporters of Indian independence and the Indian Mutiny were incarcerated. In Bangladesh, long-hailed as the "crossroads of history and culture," there's a visit to the wetland forest home of some of the world's last remaining Royal Bengal tigers.

The price starts from $14.500 per person on share twin basis, including return airfares from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth, 5-star or best-available accommodation (including historic mansions and a one-time governor's residence), all meals, sightseeing, entrance fees, local guides, taxes, gratuities and Far Horizons escort throughout. A single supplement is available at an additional $1900pp and Business Class air travel is available at additional cost.

For a detailed itinerary or copy of the brochure phone 1800 083 141 or visit

HIGHLIGHTS in Sri Lanka include Colombo's National and Dutch period museums; the ancient cities, royal palaces and temples of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa; Dambulla's 1st century BC cave temple with 2100 square metres of wall murals; the impressive Sigiriya rock fortress with the remains of its one-time summit palace and cliff-face frescoes; Kandy's Royal Botanic Gardens; and the tea plantations at Nuwara Eliya, a region known as "Little England" as it was a popular mountain retreat during the times of the British Raj.

In Port Blair, capital of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, there's a Sound & Light show at the infamous Cellular Jail; visits to rural villages including a farm dedicated to researching plants and spices; and a boat ride to Viper Island whose jail still contains the original gallows.

In Bangladesh, highlights include a boat ride on the Buriganga ("Old Ganges") River; the National Museum; colorful bazaars; the "Lost City" of Bagerhat; the UNESCO World Heritage listed "Sixty Pillar Mosque"; the 3rd Century Paharpur monastery, largest monastery south of the Himalayas; and a boat ride into the Ganges delta area known as the Sundarbans, habitat of the Royal Bengal Tiger, deer, wild boar, otter and over 270 species of birds.


Friday, 1 June 2012

Falls Creek Offers Well-priced Snow Holidays

Falls Creek, the largest alpine resort in Victoria, is carrying out numerous campaigns to encourage increased visitation to the snow-covered resort his winter.

Whilst Snow Australia is coordinating a significant push on behalf of the entire ski industry Falls Creek can rightfully claim it has identified several reasons why newcomers aren't taking up a snow-related activity. One aspect cost, has been addressed, and the outcome is numerous lift, ski lesson and ski rental prices have been reduced. A five-day lift ticket which cost $482 last winter that will be $424 this season. A two-day weekend lift ticket has also been reduced from $212 to $185.

A kid's three-day lift pass in peak season is $45 a day ($36.50 per day in Value Season) . A Falls Creek adult 3 Day Peak Season lift pass + rental hire is now $135 per day.

The Snowtime Intro three-day package has been reduced to $499 per adult $331 per child. When you take into account this package includes three night lodge-style accommodation, three days' lift pass, three group lessons, three days' ski or board rental and ski pants and a jacket it is a very attractive proposition. Valid 8-21 June.

Trackers Mountain Lodge is just one of many accommodation outlet, in the European-style alpine village, to offer free lodging for kids. Between 9 June - 21 June kids stay free when staying with 2 adults. The very popular, family-friendly, Falls Creek Hotel will provide free a three-course dinner for kids plus Kids Klub each night between 9-21 June.

Half Price Holiday (9-21 June) four nights in a two-bedroom apartment, four days' lift, lesson and rental (for an adult) 4 days Kids Snowsport + Rental $529 ( kids 3-14 years)

Falls Creek Reservations Centre 1800 45 35 25

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Byron at Byron - Winter Getaway - Enjoy Byron Bay this Winter

It's a great time of year to visit Byron Bay, with beautiful clear, crisp days to relax and explore the surrounding area. Byron Bay truly sparkles in the cooler months, offering the perfect opportunity to undertake many of the outdoor activities on offer. Whale watching is particularly popular in the winter and spring months, from June until October.

Exceptional dining experience:
The Restaurant at Byron
Two Day Byron Break - Escape this winter

We have designed a special 'Two Day Byron Break Package' for winter that is perfect for those wanting to sample many of the wonderful experiences the resort has to offer. Enjoy a massage in our award winning Spa and Wellness Centre and receive a $130 voucher to spend in The Restaurant, enjoy complimentary yoga and daily bike hire.

Package includes:
  • Two nights accommodation in a Superior Suite
  • Full buffet breakfast daily in The Restaurant
  • Welcome bottle of red or white Australian wine in room on arrival
  • One hour relaxation or remedial massage (one per preson)
  • A gourmet lunch or dinner voucher to the total value of $130 (one per stay)
  • Daily bicycle hire
  • Daily morning yoga class
From $560* per person twin share

To book, email or call 1300 554 362

*Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for travel until 20 September 2012, for two adults in a Superior Suite.

See these other special offers:

Enjoy a Winter Getaway in Byron Bay from $285 per night

A delicious. weekend - 8 to 11 June 2012 

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Family and group holidays made easy - enjoy a fuss free holiday with a Queensland cruise

These days as we find our family and friends' schedules becoming busier and busier, it may seem almost impossible to organise that holiday you've wanted to plan for years.  And when it comes to booking flight connections, organising passport details and accommodation, and not to mention co-ordinating where to eat and what to see, it can seem like quite the headache and a logistical nightmare – but this is when a Royal Caribbean Queensland cruise can save the day.  Offering a simple solution, Royal Caribbean's Queensland cruises take out the stress of planning a group holiday, leaving you to simply relax and enjoy one another's company.

"Seeing Queensland by sea is a unique Australian experience that many have yet to discover, and doing it any other way would mean missing out on half the fun. Right on our doorstep is some of the most magnificent marine and coastal geography in the world, such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays. Imagine being right in the middle of all this natural beauty, and also having the time of your lives every minute of the way onboard on a Royal Caribbean cruise," said Adam Armstrong, commercial manager, Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia.

"For the 2012-13 summer cruise season, we have not one, but two, extensively revitalised ships sailing to Queensland, that boast some of the most exciting and innovative amenities and features that Australian cruising has ever seen.  Rhapsody of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas, are destinations themselves, and will offer activities, culinary options, and itineraries to suit all tastes, and all ages." 

Book me a cruise immediately you say? You may already be well convinced, but for your friends and family here are the top five reasons to book a Queensland cruise.

1)      Beautiful surrounds and ports of call: Queensland is truly a unique part of the world.  Offering breathtaking views right in our own backyard, the region's spectacular coastlines, and natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef, are best viewed from the deck of a cruise ship.  And there's certainly no need for passports to get to this part of the world. 

2)      Visit multiple destinations and yet unpack only once: You'll be able to visit multiple destinations in Queensland all in the one holiday without extra time on the road or in the air. Better still, you'll have the convenience of unpacking just once, leaving you free to enjoy every precious minute of your holiday hassle-free.   

3)      More time to spend together: Travelling overseas can eat up a lot of time, not to mention the fatigue and jet-lag you can suffer from a long-haul flight.  With a domestic cruise you save the time it takes to travel internationally, as well as the time spent on the ground fighting traffic on roads and losing groups in unfamiliar destinations. 

4)      Create memories, not arguments: By the time you've landed at the airport, gotten your airport transfers, unpacked at your hotel, and picked a restaurant and co-ordinated everyone for dinner, it's safe to say your group is pretty much exhausted and out of sorts.  With a cruise on Royal Caribbean, your holiday begins the moment you step onboard as you are looked after by Royal Caribbean's warm and friendly staff.  With the muss and fuss factored out of your holiday, there'll certainly be less room for quarrels.   

5)      Activities and food galore:  Royal Caribbean's newly revitalised ships Rhapsody of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas offer an extensive list of culinary options, and things to see and do while onboard.  With features such as Royal Caribbean's trademark rock climbing wall, mini-golf course, casino, basketball court and outdoor movie screens, there will be something for everyone onboard.  As part of her major revitalisation, Radiance of the Seas offers ten unique dining experiences ranging from an exclusive private five-course dinner for 14 guests at Chef's Table to authentic Japanese at Izumi and succulent steaks at Chops Grille Steakhouse.  Rhapsody of the Seas also has new technological features that will help you plan all of your activities, such as iPads in every cabin and an award-winning "way-finding" system that helps guests easily find their way around.

Prices for an 11-night Queensland cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas departing 18 February 2013 start from $1,195 per person, and prices for a 10-night Queensland cruise on Radiance of the Seas departing 20 December 2012 start from $1,755 per person.  Fares are in Australian dollars, and are per person based on twin occupancy, including taxes and onboard gratuities.

For additional information, call 1800 754 500 or visit or the Royal Caribbean Australia and NZ Facebook page. Travel professionals can call 1300 754 500 or visit

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