Tuesday, 31 January 2012



If you have a few months to spare in early 2013, wish to see some of the world's most fascinating harbours and cities and fancy a little Silversea pampering on the high seas, while enjoying fine food and wine along the way, then the 115 day World Cruise of ultra-luxury Silver Whisper is designed for you.

Sailing from Los Angeles on 5 January 2013, the world cruise will follow the sun, crossing the equator four times, visiting 52 destinations in 28 countries, before arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on 1 May 2013.

With just 382 guests, Silver Whisper is small enough to sail along secluded waterways or into small harbours, where larger ships cannot venture. The world cruise offers plenty of sea days for experienced cruisers. Destinations include French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Western Australia) Asia, India and Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar and Mozambique in the Indian Ocean.

Silver Whisper will offer extensive cruising around South African harbours and calls at some fascinating ports along the West African coast, before heading for Central America, the Caribbean and Ft. Lauderdale.

Like all Silversea ships Silver Whisper features all inclusive fares, with all suite, ocean view accommodation (most with private verandas) and personal butler service for each suite. Fares start from AU$47,925 per person, double occupancy, in a Vista Suite for the full 115 day cruise AU$60,378 for a Veranda Suite. Generous on board spending credits of US$3500 per double suite and complimentary laundry service are included. Silversea will provide private car transfers airport/ship/airport a gala bon-voyage reception, dinner and overnight accommodation at The Peninsula Beverly Hill on the night before sailing, 4 January. World cruise guests will enjoy two exclusive events – The China Club in Singapore and Cape Winelands in Cape Town.

Complimentary wines, Champagnes and spirits throughout the ship and all on board gratuities are included.  Silversea has developed a choice of fine dining and casual restaurants. You eat when, where and with whom you choose from the fine dining Le Champagne and The Restaurant to traditional Italian specialties in La Terrazza, to casual daytime dining by the pool or the Hot Rock Grill under the stars. 24 hour room service is complimentary.

A full program of internationally renowned, enrichment lecturers provide an entertaining and educational program on each sector.

For more information contact Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or toll free 1300 306 872 (Australia) or 0800 701 427 (New Zealand), or visit


CRUISE specialist CruiseMart has four exceptional fly, cruise and stay packages in Asia later this year that will give a unique opportunity to be amongst the first to sail some of the largest and finest vessels ever to cruise Australian waters as they make their way here for our 2012-13 cruise season.

All four of CruiseMart's unique packages include return air with Singapore Airlines, up to 3-nights pre-cruise and 2-nights post-cruise in 4-star hotels with breakfasts, port transfers and bonus city tours, and all taxes.

These exclusive packages include 19 nights from Beijing to Singapore sailing on Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas. When she reaches Australia in November it will be the largest cruise ever to be based here. Priced from $3999 twin share with flights out of Australia on 4 October 2012.

There's also Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Solstice from Dubai to Singapore with a 16-night package starting from $4669pp twin-share and departing Australia on November 9 2012, and Princess Cruises' Diamond Princess from Beijing to Bangkok with a 20-night package departing Australia on November 7 2012 from $4399pp twin-share – including a bonus onboard spending credit of US$85 per cabin.

The final of CruiseMart's four exclusive fly, cruise and stay packages is 15-nights departing Australia on December 8 2012 and sailing on Holland America's luxury Volendam from Singapore to Hong Kong with prices from $3899pp twin-share.

For full details phone toll-free 1300 305 920 or visit

MORE DETAILS OF ITINERARIES IF REQUIRED: Voyager of the Seas will cruise from Beijing to Singapore by way of ports in China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam, while Celebrity Solstice will sail from Dubai to Singapore via ports in Oman, India and Malaysia.

Diamond Princess's itinerary from Beijing to Bangkok will take her to Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam and Thailand, and Volendam will cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong by way of a number of ports in Thailand and Vietnam.

For full details phone toll-free 1300 305 920 or visit

Monday, 30 January 2012


A 22-night cruise on board the luxurious Queen Mary 2, the vineyards of Cape Town, the start of the great wildlife migration in the Serengeti, the Big Five in Serengeti National Park, Mt. Kilimanjaro, white beaches of Zanzibar and Raffles Hotel in Dubai are all included in this exclusive trip of a life time through

Departing Sydney on March 19, 2013, on QM2, you can relax and enjoy the personalised Cunard service which includes the finest cuisine, complimentary 24-hour room service, world class entertainment at the Royal Court Theatre, leisure activities and educational programs.

This 43-night itinerary has many highlights including numerous game drives with a professional guide and driver,  private jet flights, Table Mountain, plus city and Winelands Tours in Cape Town, sun-downer cocktails in Tarangire National Park with Maasai warriors, picnic lunch by Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater with lunch on the crater floor, Ngorongoro coffee estate, and many more.

Enjoy five star luxury accommodation at the exclusive One&Only Cape Town hotel, Olonana Camp, Tarangire Treetops Lodge, Serengeti Migration Camp, the Kilindi Hotel and Raffles Hotel Dubai.

Priced from $21,899 per person twin share this itinerary includes 22 nights' cruise accommodation on the Queen Mary 2 with full board and entertainment, a one-way economy airfare back to Sydney,  private plane within Africa, 21 nights luxury accommodation, full game drives and activities and meals at lodges, comprehensive sight-seeing and Flying Doctor's medical cover throughout the tour.

This exclusive price is valid until March 20 with only 24 spaces available, so be quick to book this through on 1300 369-848 or check-out

Friday, 27 January 2012

Top ten overseas destinations

(c) Roderick Eime
Source: YOURLifeChoices

A trip overseas is no doubt a luxury yet surprisingly, over 40 per cent of YOURLifeChoices subscribers undertake international travel at least once a year. So where are they travelling? Find out what are the top ten overseas destinations indicated in our survey and our recommendations of what to see while you’re there.

10. Ireland
The home of leprechauns and Guinness has long been a favourite destination for Australians, many of whom can trace their roots back to the Emerald Isle. However, if you’re looking for a slightly different experience, why not travel to the north? Northern Ireland is trying hard to shake its reputation of a troubled nation and is working hard to woo tourists. While you’re there, take a taxi ride around Belfast, a great way to hear the locals’ point of view.

9. Australia
We know that technically Australia isn’t overseas, but as 10 per cent of our subscribers live elsewhere, Australia is an international destination to them. With many visitors to Australia choosing the Harbour Bridge or the Great Ocean Road as reasons to head down under, what national icon would you suggest they visit? Our recommendation would be a trip on one of the great train journeys – take your pick from The Ghan, The Indian Pacific or The Overland.

8. Europe
While Europe is an area rather than a country, it holds a romantic notion for those who enjoy travel. The blue seas of the Mediterranean, the Piazzas of Italy and the rolling vineyards of France are all great reasons to pack your bags and go.  Follow in the footsteps of the upper-class Europeans who undertook The Grand Tour of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.

7. England
It’s hardly surprising that England features in the top ten, with many Australians still calling it ‘home’. There is nothing to match the pomp and circumstance which the Royal family and the centuries of tradition bring to this small nation. No trip to England would be complete without a few days in the capital, London. However, the scenery in the north really is quite special.

6. France
Stinky cheese, rich, red wine and the Eiffel Tower are enough to have most Australians jumping on the first flight to France. While a trip to the Gallic nation can be combined with other European countries, there’s more than enough to see and do in France. Until 1 February 2012, Trafalgar is offering a special deal on its 11-day French Escapade, departing 23 March 2012.

5. Italy
 Food and romance just about sums up Italy. Has there ever been a country more blessed with beauty, passion and pasta? The only problem with taking a trip to Italy is deciding which of its magnificent cities you are going to love the most. Our recommendation would be to get down to the seedier side of Italy and follow in the footsteps of The Godfather.

4. Canada
The YOURLifeChoices team wouldn’t argue with the popularity of Canada. However, we’re surprised that it didn’t feature at number 1. Over the years we’ve been grizzly spotting, dog mushing and even can-can dancing in many of Canada’s beautiful provinces. The one destination which really gets us excited is Yukon, such a wealth of extremes, it has something for everyone. Don’t just take our word for it: find out what Margaret Goodwin, an Australian living in Yukon, has to say about the place she calls home.

3. United Kingdom
When you add the numbers for Ireland, England and the UK together, the British Isles would easily be number 1 on the list of most popular places to visit. Since it didn’t make the list as a top ten destination, we suggest you visit the many hidden gems of Scotland, of which Glasgow is only one.

2. America
North, south, east or west, which way would you head when you reach the USA? New York is a must and the romance and beauty of New England is difficult to pass by. But we’ve handed the stage over to one of our subscribers who has shared five reasons to visit Hawaii.

1. New Zealand
We’re delighted to see our closest neighbour take out number one spot. With its rolling countryside, mountains and rivers, as well as growing cosmopolitan cities and a three-hour flight time, New Zealand is the perfect destination for a holiday. One of the best ways to see the most of New Zealand is a cruise and we love this deal for 14-nights from $799.

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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Come to South Africa – Escape Northern Winter’s Chill

~ Spectacular Bushmans Kloof Offers the Perfect Haven from Wintry Weather ~

If winter is getting to be too much, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat offers the perfect escape! South Africa’s warm days are ideal for outdoor activities in the beautiful foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, and the cool evenings are perfect for enjoying drinks around the fireplace. As you ponder rock climbing, wine tasting, or a spa vacation. Bushmans Kloof’s excellent hospitality and delicious cuisine will push thoughts of winter well into the background.

Here are a few of the great escapes awaiting you at award-winning Bushmans Kloof:

Food and Wine Weekends. Winemakers from Cederberg, Tierhoek, Fryer’s Cove and Steenberg collaborate with Bushmans Kloof Executive Chef Floris Smith. March 30-31, May 25-26, June 1-2, July 6-7, and July 27-28. Food and Wine Weekends from $251.30 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

Take a Three-Night Winter Getaway. Escape to the breathtaking Cederberg wilderness and leave the stress and strain of everyday life behind. Incredible food and exciting outdoor activities await you. Three-Night Winter Getaway is from $205.00 per person per night.

Let nature restore you with the Natural Wellness package. “The Cederberg’s wide open plains, mystical rock formations, crystal clear water falls, and abundance of flora and fauna make it a source of rejuvenation,” says Bushmans Kloof General Manager Graham Kennedy. Included in the Natural Wellness package is a Bushmans Kloof back, neck and shoulder massage. Natural Wellness is from $225.00 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

The Nurture in Nature package combines stimulating outdoor activities along with relaxing soul soothing experiences. This two-night mid-week package is from $228.00 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

All three winter packages are valid from April 1 to August 3 and include accommodations, all meals (afternoon tea, dinner, full English breakfast and a la carte lunch), and a variety of activities such as nature drives, guided rock art excursions, botanical walks, canoeing, archery, fly fishing, hiking, swimming, birding and star gazing.

Respected researcher Quinton Martins from the Cape Leopard Trust will visit Bushmans Kloof for four two-day visits on March 28-29, May 15-16, June 27-28 and July 10-11, to share his passion on this intriguing animal and to discuss conservation and tracking with guests. From $228.00 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

Life coach and author Pierre van der Spuy will host two-night getaways on July 29-30 and August 20-21. He will guide guests in discovering your passion and changing your views on what makes us human, happy and authentically successful. From $215.00 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

Yoga enthusiasts can be guided through a two-day retreat from June 10-11 and August 13-14, in the stunning surroundings of Bushmans Kloof by experienced teacher Jim Harrington. From $215.00 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

For further information or to book your reservation, contact the Reservations Team on 021 481 1860 or
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THERE'S no need to take three holidays to enjoy three of the Pacific's favourite destinations – Waikiki Beach, Tahiti and Fiji – because with a fly, cruise and stay package with Cruiseco they're all brought together as part of a 17-night cruise aboard super-liner Carnival Spirit as she journeys from Honolulu to Sydney on September 30 this year.

Cruiseco's package includes airfare from Sydney to Honolulu, two nights pre-cruise at the Pacific Beach Hotel across the road from Waikiki Beach with breakfasts and airport/hotel transfers, and then hotel/ship transfers to join Carnival Spirit for her 17-night cruise to Papeete, Moorea, Bora Bora, Suva and Sydney.

Also included in the price, that begins from just $3,395pp twin-share from Sydney*, are all meals aboard Carnival Spirit (some optional specialty dining venues have a small cover charge,) entertainment in the main show lounge that stretches through three decks, port charges, government fees, air taxes and gratuities aboard ship.   

*Prices from other gateways ($3,520pp ex Melbourne, Brisbane; $3,575pp ex Adelaide; $3,660pp ex Perth)

Almost the length of three football fields, Carnival Spirit also has a huge diversity of recreational and sporting activities for guests of all ages to enjoy during her eleven full days cruising at sea between ports.

For more details and the name of your nearest Cruiseco cruise-specialist travel agent, go to

Prices are subject to change.  Additional nights are available at the Pacific Beach Hotel, Waikiki Beach pre-cruise from $140pp per night twin-share.

Carnival Spirit has four main dining venues including an outdoor BBQ, two pools and two Jacuzzis, an aerobic area, jogging track, mini golf, sixteen bars and lounges with entertainment and dance areas, two show lounges, a casino, card room, video arcade and a shopping boulevard.

There are also three children's areas, Camp Carnival for 2-5 and 6-8 year olds with organised activities, Circle "C" with movies, dance parties, sports and a video arcade for younger teens, and Club 02 with a video arcade, dance floor and non-alcoholic drinks bar for 15- to 17-year-olds.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney Teams Up with Cupid this Valentine’s Day

It’s almost time for Cupid to work his magic at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, with three heart-felt experiences on offer to enhance the romance this Valentine’s Day.

Couples can relax at The Bar and ignite the spark with a special Valentine’s cocktail, ‘Cupid’s Cup’ for $26. Savour a romantic blend of rhubarb bitters, strawberry and elderflower shaken together with fresh mint and citrus with a splash of champagne, served with a seductive alcoholic strawberry sorbet. While enjoying the ambience of The Bar, sweeten the senses even more with a mini chocolate ‘Fondue for Two’ for $35.

Love-struck couples can wine and dine in Kable’s on level two, with a four-course candle-lit dinner complete with a rose petal-decorated table. A glass of Mumm Champagne on arrival will get hearts racing, together with some Sydney rock oysters to complement the mood. Lovers will be served poached lobster with shaved mango, pan-fried foie gras, White Pyrenees lamb or roasted mulloway followed by a chocolate surprise dessert for $155 per person.

Why not throw a little pampering into the mix with a sensory-filled Valentine’s package for two at Four Seasons award-winning Spa on level three. Couples can immerse themselves in a state of tranquility during 30 minutes of Spa Time prior to a 90 minute Aromatherapy, Prescriptive or Tension Zone massage for $450 per couple.

And for time-poor couples or those who dream about romancing their loved one but can’t be together on Valentine’s Day, give the gift of love with a Four Seasons Hotel Sydney gift voucher.

For more information about Valentine’s Day Dinner in Kable’s call (02) 9250 3306 or email . Reservations are essential.

For Spa reservations or Valentines Gift Vouchers call The Spa on (02)9250 3388 or email

For hotel and event updates, follow us on:



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Qamea Resort Picks Up Your Bar Tab

4 ½ star Qamea Resort & Spa, Fiji will be offering complimentary selected New Zealand wines, Draft Fijian Beer on tap and soft drinks, all by the glass and from the bar between the hours of noon – 10pm daily. This deal will be offered to all guests beginning 1 April 2012 until 31 March 2013.

The multi award winning adults only Qamea Resort and Spa is an exclusive tropical destination for discerning travelers seeking a truly unique and authentic Fijian experience without sacrificing luxury or service. From the moment guest's step onto the island, they will feel as if they have entered a Fijian village set in a South Pacific tropical paradise.

Named in the Robb Report as "One of the World's Top Ten Luxury Exclusive Hideaways" and recently was the only Fijian Resort finalist by Conde Nast Johansens 2011 Global Awards for Most Excellent Spa and Most Excellent Romantic Hideaway and Most Excellent Eco Resort, Qamea promises guests the ultimate romantic and luxurious private getaway.

The resort fronts onto a private white sand beach of just under a kilometer in length and accommodates up to 34 guests in 17 spacious bures, villas and exclusive Royal Beach Houses with private swimming pools and Jacuzzi Spas all facing the beach and positioned for maximum privacy.

Guests can avail themselves to a wide range of complimentary activities and Qamea is widely known throughout Fiji for its excellence in food, with a team of five full time Fijian chefs cooking up cuisine best described as South Pacific Rim.

Qamea is also famous for its Jungle Spa. Situated on the edge of a tropical jungle with five individual treatment bures, guests own private spa bure awaits them. The Jungle Spa is the only spa in Fiji to offer French facial therapies featuring Guinot products that relax, rejuvenate, revitalize and renew your mind, body and soul.

Qamea Island Resort starts from only *AUD$687.00 per bure per night and includes accommodation for two, all meals including full breakfast, three course gourmet lunch, afternoon tea, and three course gourmet dinner daily, In room tea and French press plunger coffee, daily maid and turn down service, romantic private dinners or room service, many resort activities and now complimentary selected wine, beer and soft drink – all by the glass.

*This rate is based on the year round Stay 5 Pay 4 special and is inclusive of all taxes and are based on conversion rate as at 23 January, 2012. Flights and transfers are NOT included in this rate.

For booking information please contact the Resort on or +649 360 0858.

Monday, 23 January 2012





Spoil your darling this Valentine's Day with a "Romantic Escape" at Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour including overnight accommodation in a superior harbour view room, sparkling wine on arrival, a Mediterranean tasting plate for two and a jug of white wine sangria to share at the hotel bar - all priced from just $340 per night.

With candles flickering softly on every table and stunning views, the hotel's restaurant is also offering a special Valentine's Dinner designed to set the mood for love and priced at $99 per person. The menu includes a choice of three entrees, mains and desserts, with each dish created for romance such as seared scallops on a cauliflower puree with salsa verde, prosciuotto & sweet potato crisps; grilled Hiramasa kingfish on kipfler potatoes with cherry tomatoes, baby capers and green olive tapenade; and of course a sweet finish such as a Dilmah rose and French vanilla semi-freddo; or Affaogato of Dilmah chai-infused ice cream with chilled Frangelico espresso. There is even a special gift for each couple to take home to remember their special night.

Guests will enjoy a comfortable bed, a soft duvet, total blackout blinds and vibrant colour schemes in all rooms and the morning after can avail themselves of the hotel's excellent leisure facilities including fully equipped InBalance gym, outdoor pool and tennis court. Surrounded by restaurants, bars and the attractions of Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay and King Street Wharf, the Novotel is just a short walk from the centre of the city and provides the perfect base for a romantic getaway.

For bookings phone (02) 9934 000 or go to


Saturday, 21 January 2012


Interlude specialise in small group tours.
The original small group touring company Interlude Tours has released details of its exciting autumn tour to the UK and Europe for 2012.

Flying from Sydney to London with Thai International Airways, the fully escorted tour itinerary includes Paris, Monet's Garden, a D Day tour in Normandy, Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Spain's Basque Province, the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Piedmont area of Italy, Cinque Terre, Tuscany and Rome.

The 35-day relaxed tour departs Sydney, 18 September 2012.  Costs of $11995 pp twin share includes economy airfares, ground transport, all breakfasts, lunches, dinners and entrance fees as per the itinerary providing outstanding value for the seasoned traveller and first timers.

With a guaranteed departure and a maximum of 17 guests, the tour features leisurely travel in a family atmosphere with no rushed starts and ample free time to explore Europe's timeless destinations by yourself or with new travel friends.

Guests travel in new state of the art nine-seat Citroen vehicles.  They stay at select boutique hotels offering comfortable and secure accommodation available only to small groups.

Many singles and couples who have enjoyed other exciting and well catered Interlude Tour global trips during the past 30 years are expected to join the autumn tour to the UK and Europe 2012, which is being hosted by Interlude owner Jeanette Savage.

"Europe is at its delightful best in September with the rich colours of autumn creating a great setting for companionship and fun-filled relaxed touring," she said.

The continued strength of the Australian dollar means that travellers to Europe in 2012 will get outstanding value for their travel money.

Interlude Tours is taking this opportunity to offer a small group of like-minded travellers the chance to experience a more affordable Europe, to sample local food and wines as well as visit lesser-known destinations seldom visited by Australian tourists. 

For further information or traveller enquires, please contact Jeanette Savage 02 9405 2218, e-mail or visit

Friday, 20 January 2012

Sculptures to Reach Rainforest Floor in a Dramatic Installation Process

A 210cm gold leaf chandelier weighing 90kg will be delicately transported down the world's steepest railway incline to an ancient rainforest floor for the inaugural Sculpture at Scenic World exhibition in February.

Convert, created with aluminium sheeting and timber bird boxes by NSW artist Dale Miles, is one of 26 artworks of all shapes and dimensions to be transported by cable car, down a rainforest corridor and installed along the valley floor for this major cultural event between 16 February and 11 March 2012.

Sculpture at Scenic World Exhibition Manager, Lizzy Marshall, said the installation process is a breathtaking undertaking but Scenic World has met the highest artistic, environmental and human resource standards and aimed to be the benchmark for other outdoor exhibitions across Australia.

"The installation is a unique journey for what must be one of the most spectacular entries into an exhibition in the world," Ms Marshall said.

Artists selected from Belfast to Katoomba will be judged for the $20,000 Scenic World Acquisitive Award for artwork created especially for Sculpture at Scenic World.

Expected to attract more than 60,000 people, Australia's only dedicated rainforest sculpture exhibition features 26 sculptures by 27 artists, and a dynamic program of guided and independent tours, lectures and a discussion panel.

Ms Marshall said Sculpture at Scenic World will be an annual event and has already attracted some of Australia's leading art professionals to deliver a spectacular inaugural exhibition.

Scenic World is Australia's most visited privately-owned tourist attraction. More than 800,000 people annually riding the steepest railway in the world at 52 degrees; the highest skyway in Australia at 270m; the biggest cable car in the country fitting 84 people; and walking along the Sculpture at Scenic World trail spanning 2.4km, the longest boardwalk in the Southern Hemisphere.

Sculpture at Scenic World is free with every Scenic Railway ticket.

Ticket Packages

Unlimited Exhibition Pass - $49

Unlimited entry for the duration of the exhibition including all rides, all Exhibition Public Programmes - tours, artist talks and lectures, plus Exhibition Map.

Scenic Sculpture + Map - $32

Valley return ticket on either the Railway or Cableway, return trip on the Skyway, Exhibition Map, PLUS free entry to the Exhibition.

Scenic Sculpture - $28

Valley return ticket on either the Railway or Cableway, return trip on the Skyway, PLUS free entry into the Exhibition.

Sculpture Valley - $21

Valley return ticket on either the Railway or Cableway, PLUS free entry into the Exhibition.

* Family passes are also available.

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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Two Day Byron Break - the perfect short escape

Byron Bay has experienced a bumper Christmas season and as the crowds now return to work and school, the coming months are the best time of the year to escape to Byron. The weather is beautiful, the water is warm and we've put together some great rates and tempting packages for the last days of Summer.

Sample the many elements of The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa including gourmet restaurant, award winning day spa and relaxing daily yoga. Bask in the ambience of the rainforest as you relax and unwind on this two night escape.

The package includes two nights' accommodation in a Superior Suite, full buffet breakfast daily, bottle of wine on arrival, gourmet dining voucher to the value of $130, one hour massage per person, complimentary daily bicycle hire and yoga.

$1250* per package for two adults
*Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for travel until 31 March 2012, for two adults twin share in a Superior Suite

To book, email or call 1300 554 362

February Treat - save over 20%

From $300* per room per night

February's balmy summer weather makes it the the perfect time to visit Byron Bay. The holiday crowds have thinned and Byron returns to its usual village pace. This special is available for a strictly limited time so...

*Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for travel from 31 January to 11 February 2012, for two adults twin share in a Standard Suite

Valentine's Day dinner - Tuesday 14 February

Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to spoil that special someone in your life and The Restaurant at The Byron at Byron combines fantastic food and amazing ambience. Dine in style by candlelight overlooking the rainforest backdrop and enjoy a two course dinner with impeccable, unobtrusive service.

$65 per person
Including entrée, main and a glass of sparkling wine or beer

To book, email or call 1300 554 362

Live Music with Tim Stokes - 4pm every Sunday until 29 January

Relax overlooking the magnificent rainforest with laid back, live entertainment by local soloist Tim Stokes.

Whether you want to relax by the pool or on the wide verandahs, you can enjoy our Happy Hour drinks and select from a range of tempting snacks and nibbles.

It's a great way to spend a lazy Summer Sunday

Complimentary Rainforest Walk
Every Tuesday at 10.30am

When you next stay, join the resort's bush regenerator Rosemary Joseph on an informative journey through the resort's subtropical rainforest, paperbark forest and coastal cypress pine forest. Suitable for all ages.
Gain insight into the history of the site and the transformation of these sensitive eco systems. Learn about the different plant communities, see a variety of wildlife and learn about the endangered Mitchell's Rainforest Snail.
Rosemary has over 30 years' experience and has been working at the resort since its inception.

Calendar of Events

22 & 29 January 2012
Tim Stokes performing live at The Resort

14 February 2012
Valentine's Day Dinner

2-11 March 2012
Byron Bay International Film Festival

8.30pm 31 March 2012
Earth Hour

5-9 April 2012
Byron Bay Bluesfest

17 May 2012
Byron at Byron presents Angus McDonald

The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa
77-97 Broken Head Road
Byron Bay NSW 2481
1300 554 362 or +61 2 6639 2000


EASTERN Mediterranean specialists Beyond Travel have expanded their small ship sailing range for 2012 with the introduction of Vintage Gulet cruises along the coast of Turkey and are offering a 25 per cent discount from the 2012 brochure prices on the entire range of Gulet cruises.

These eight day cruises start from as little as $345 per person during April and May which is perfect timing if you are heading to Gallipoli for ANZAC day this year.

Vintage Gulet cruises offer great value and accommodate between 10 and 20 passengers offering an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. Due to their size they are able to visit smaller ports and make frequent stops to swim and explore ports and islands.

An example is the Aegean Sea Cruise, a round trip from Bodrum with port visits to Cokertme, English Harbour, Karacasogut, Tuzla and Kisebuku.

Shore excursions can be purchased on board or you can explore at leisure.

Cruises run from April to September and include seven nights' accommodation in a two-berth cabin with all meals, plus an experienced captain and crew.

For more details contact Beyond Travel on 1300-363-554 or visit


Tuesday, 17 January 2012


CAROLINASUSI Italia Tours has a 15-night escorted tour of Italy's Northern Lakes District this European Spring that's purely for gourmets and garden lovers, shopaholics and serious sightseers, photographers – and the just plain-curious.

Limited to just 20-guests escorted by Carolinasusi's Australian owners, this unique tour will venture from the streets of Romeo and Juliet's Verona to the bar in Varese in which the cocktail Apollo 11 was created 40-odd years ago on the night  "a man named Armstrong walked upon the Moon," to the villas of the rich and famous of the 1920s and '30s, dining with a renowned local chef, and unspoiled little towns and market villages that larger coaches cannot access.

By contrast there'll be the chance to explore Vicenza (including its Teatro Olimpico that opened in the 1580s as Europe's first theatre,) Venice and its boutiques for designer clothes… and in little Marostica the possibility to dine in one of Ernest Hemingway's favourite restaurants.*

Or try a coffee with traditional hazelnut, almond, cinnamon and vanilla biscuits, chocolates in more ways than you thought possible, cruise postcard-perfect lakes, wander historic gardens, sip wines from centuries-old family vineyards…

The May 21 tour is priced from $6895pp ex-Milan including 15-nights twin-share, breakfasts and most dinners, lunches in alpine and lakeside venues, coach touring, lake cruises, villa entries, walking tours of Verona, Vicenza and Venice, a rack-railway trip and Australian escorts assisted by local professional guides.

Details on or phone 1800 770 599.

 * The restaurant today still serves his favourite dish: vegetables marinated in olive oil and lemon juice and baked with sausages and pork.

Fly to Asia for just $99 one way offers flights to Asia for a bargain $99*

New AirAsia X route from Sydney to KL makes Asian exploration an affordable luxury

Sydneysiders on the hunt for fabulous food, culture and shopping can now escape the city and fly to Asia for under $100.

Today only from 2pm (AEST), will offer $99 flights* to Kuala Lumpur (including taxes) in celebration of AirAsia X's recent launch of flights between Sydney and Malaysia's capital.

Another four day sale from 19 to 22 January, 2012, will offer Aussie travellers flights to KL for $149 including taxes and $100 return.

The sale, exclusive to and AirAsia X customers, means that Australian travellers could soon be eyeing up the view from the Petronas Towers before indulging in a delicious plate of Nasi Goreng, all for the cost of their weekly grocery shop in Sydney.

Amee Evans, Marketing and Communications Manager of, said the one day flash sale would provide Aussie travellers with the opportunity to fly to Asia for under $300 return between April 1 and October 27, 2012.

"Kuala Lumpur is an exciting destination for Aussie travellers to explore and is a great stop over for travel to other parts of Asia including Bali, Phuket, Singapore and Vietnam; to name but a few," Ms Evans said.

"Weekends away to Asia are now more accessible than ever as Aussie travellers take advantage of great deals and the new AirAsia X route out of Sydney."

The one day sale will launch at 2pm (AEST) Tuesday, 17 January 2012 and will run until 18 January, 2012. Flights are limited so customers are urged to get in fast.

The four day sale will run from 19 to 22 January, 2012.

*Return trip $299 including taxes.



A WHOLE twelve nights luxury cruising the Mediterranean in an E3 balcony cabin aboard Serenade of the Seas, that departs 14 September this year including two-nights pre-cruise in a Hilton hotel in Barcelona, is now selling through Cruiseco from just $3695pp twin-share – when booked by January 27 it also includes an exclusive return airfare and air taxes from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth for just $1099 per person.

Serenade of the Seas is all about indulgence with a main restaurant, two cafés and a pizzeria in which all meals are included in the cruise price, plus a low cover-charge speciality restaurant and coffee house, no fewer than sixteen bars and lounges, and complimentary Broadway-style shows.

Take-in the views from your balcony cabin, the spacious decks, floor-to-ceiling windows in many public areas and even glass lifts while cruising 12-nights from Barcelona to seven ports in France, Italy (including an overnight in Venice) and Croatia and back to Barcelona.

Other indulgences include a Solarium pool that's one of six pools and whirlpools, rock-climbing wall, mini-golf course, basketball court, jogging track, video games arcade, casino, duty-free shops and children's areas catering from tots to teens.

The 2 night pre-cruise stay is at the Hilton Diagonal Mar Hotel Barcelona that's just 400-metres from the beach.

For full fly, cruise and stay itineraries and prices, and the name of your nearest Cruiseco cruise-specialist travel agent, go to – and ask also about another 14-night fly, cruise and stay package in June this year with Serenade of the Seas from Barcelona through the Greek Islands from $3750pp twin share with an exclusive $1245pp airfare including air taxes.

Get Up & Go summer 2012

The summer edition of Get Up & Go magazine has '50 ways to spend the kids' inheritance'; outrageous, luxurious, sensible, altruistic, fun and many other ways to enjoy your best years! Australia's premier travel magazine for 50+ grown-ups is on sale now.

This issue is a bumper one with tales of sail, coach, car, flight,  feet and any other way to move from place to place. Visit Hanoi and learn to cook, sail the Aegean Sea, drive through Provence, house swap in Iceland, ride the rails in Queensland, view a trillion stars in NZ, play golf in Brunei or Basque in the sun!

Also win a holiday in Turkey – how good can it get?



Monday, 16 January 2012


Magnificent sea views and the soothing powers of yoga create perfect harmony at Peppers Anchorage, Port Stephens this year when the picturesque resort hosts two restorative weekend yoga retreats.

Offering programmes in March and August, the seaside yoga retreats, which have been designed for beginners through to experienced practitioners, take participants on a holistic journey with yoga, meditation, outdoor activities and wholesome cuisine under the guidance of YOGA TV host Kris McIntyre.

The autumn yoga retreat which will run from 23–25 March has been designed to complement the changing needs of the season according to Ryoho (a form of yoga therapy combining traditional Indian Hatha poses with the meridian based healing arts of China and Japan) and will focus on themes of Autumn cleansing, respiration, elimination and improved digestion.

The winter-spring programme will be held from 17-19 August and will focus on spring cleansing and detox, improved flexibility and strong backs and joints.

Priced from $536* per person twin share, the all-inclusive yoga escape includes two nights accommodation in an Anchorage Room, six yoga classes with yoga teacher Kris McIntyre, a yoga mat and DVD, full buffet breakfast daily, wholesome meals based on wholefood and macrobiotic principles utilising seasonal produce including supper on Friday and Saturday nights and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, meditation sessions, morning 'joggle' and bushwalk sessions and full use of resort leisure facilities.

There is also some free time each day to explore the beauty of Port Stephens, only two and a half hours drive from Sydney and just under one hour from Newcastle.  Or perhaps relax at the resort or seek out some extra pampering (at additional cost) with on-site massage and beauty treatments at Shayna Day Spa available.

For bookings contact Katie Nicholas at Peppers Anchorage on 02 4984 0350 or email  Visit for more information about Peppers Anchorage. 

*Subject to availability.

Saturday, 14 January 2012


CRUISECO has a series of family-friendly fly, cruise and stay packages from Southampton to the Baltic, Black Sea, Mediterranean and the Norwegian Fjords between May and November of this year on P&O Cruises' 116,000-tonne Azura, one of the largest ships in the company's fleet and a virtual destination in itself.

Cruiseco's 2012 packages range from 9- to 26-nights, and all include two nights pre-cruise hotel stay in London including breakfasts, return airfare from mainland capitals, and port, government, air and hotel taxes; prices start from as low as $3880pp twin-share for a 9-night Norwegian Fjords fly, cruise and stay on May 30.

A 15-night Western Mediterranean package on May 3 includes cruising to Gibraltar, France, Italy, Monaco and Spain; 16-nights to the Baltic on May 16 visits Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Germany and Belgium; 19-nights to the Central Mediterranean on June 13  includes Gilbraltar, Greece, Croatia, Italy and Spain; 26-nights to the Black Sea on September 15 visits Portugal, Malta, Greece, Ukraine, Turkey, Greece and Spain; and 16-nights on November 2 visits Gibraltar, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal.

Azura's many facilities include three main restaurants, a café, three specialty dining venues and numerous bars and lounges, extensive sporting and spa facilities, an art gallery, library, shopping arcade, a theatre with West End-style shows, a show lounge with New York-inspired productions, and an open-air cinema. There are also extensive programs and activities for children and teens.

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

Thursday, 12 January 2012


SMALL group adventure operator Explore Worldwide has reacted to consumer demand and introduced a range of new cycling itineraries, including trips in Asia and South America.

The request came from repeat travellers who have cycled in France, Spain and other European countries and are looking for a broader experience.

The 19 new itineraries include cycling in India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Cuba, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Explore is offering 5% off any of the 19 new cycling tours, when booked by January 31, 2012.
Itineraries include an eight-day journey through the heart of the Provencal plains, incorporating the classic Tour de France hill climbs of Mont Ventoux and Col du Murs. Graded tough, this tour covers 430km with several steep sections . 

New tours in Eastern Europe offer exceptional value for money and include a tour of Albania which takes travellers into the heart and soul of this fascinating and picturesque country, over eight days. There are also new Cycle Ukraine and Cycle Serbia tours.

For more information about Explore Worldwide activities call 1300-414-151 or visit

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Fantastic savings for bookings made before 30 June 2012



Sea Cloud II has announced its new program from October 2012 to January 2013 with fantastic savings on offer for bookings made before 30 June 2012.   The stunning windjammer will ply the waters of the Western Mediterranean taking in the fascinating ports of Spain, Portugal, Sicily and Sardinia.  She will then sail through the spectacular Canary Islands before heading to the idyllic Lesser Antilles and Grenadines in November. 

Small ports, stunning landscapes and places of historical significance are the canvas for a unique experience on a windjammer cruise on board the luxurious Sea Cloud II.

There are a number of incredible savings available for cruise itineraries between November 2012 and January 2013 for bookings made before 30 June 2012.

Two examples include:

·        Savings of up to €1,990 per person for a 12 night/13 day cruise from 07-19 November 2012 from Valencia, Spain to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria which includes ports of call in Cadiz, Lisbon, Funchal, San Sebasatian and Los Cristianos and the opportunity to visit the enchanting Garajonay National park, a UNESCO world heritage site.  The 12 night cruise leads in at €2,995 per person for a guaranteed double cabin if booked before 30 June 2012, normally €4,985 per person.

·        For those who love days spent sailing at sea there are savings of €2,700 per person available on a 15 night adventure departing Las Palmas on 28 November and sailing into Barbados on 13 December 2012.  Rates lead in at €3,425 per person for a guaranteed double cabin for bookings prior to 30 June 2012, normally €6125 per person.

Sea Cloud II combines the best of traditional sailing with all the modern amenities and offers nostalgia along with a wonderful sense of freedom.  With a crew of 65 the 94 guests on board can be assured their experience is more like being on a private yacht than a cruise ship.

Clear price structure

Sea Cloud Cruises offers a clear, reliable price structure with all meals included and personally selected wines and soft drinks just as much a part of the package as the bottle of champagne in every cabin to welcome each passenger.

For more information please contact Sea Cloud Cruises on 

Visit  or Toll-free Ph:  1300 583 572

Sea Cloud Cruises offers a fleet of luxurious vessels that sail the oceans of the world and the finest rivers of Europe. Luxury and the personal, private atmosphere of small intimate yachts are the common elements of all vessels of Sea Cloud Cruises.  A blue chip cruise operator since 1979, the Berlitz Cruise Guide has awarded it five stars for many years, most recently in September 2010.

The River Cloud II is a floating five-star hotel that takes only 88 pampered guests on the Rhine, Main, Danube and the Black Sea to Europe's most beautiful destinations.  The River Cloud II has a crew of 35 and exudes Mediterranean elegance and charm and yet stiff formality is avoided at all times.

The Sea Cloud Fleet currently includes two five star windjammers:  the legendary Sea Cloud, built in 1931 for wealthy businessman's wife Lady Marjorie Merriweather Post now restored to her former glory and her sister ship SEA CLOUD II which combines nostalgia with the latest in modern comfort.

Sea Cloud II has 47 outside cabins and a crew of 65 for a maximum of 94 guests. Sea Cloud offers only 32 outside cabins, (some with original marble bath) and a crew of 60 for only 64 passengers so impeccable and personal service is assured. 

Azamara's Air Offer Makes Refined European Holiday Dreams Come True

Fly to Europe from only $499* to board your intimate boutique cruise!

If you have always dreamt of seeing Europe in style, 2012 is the year to make this wish come true as Azamara Club Cruises is offering airfares to Europe starting from $499* when combined with selected cruises on Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest.  Unpack once and immerse yourself in the luxury of Azamara Club Cruises, with all your five-star accommodation, meals and travel to amazing destinations taken care of. The special fare offer is valid for new, individual Oceanview stateroom or higher bookings on 27 Azamara Club Europe 2012 cruises, booked before 31 March 2012.

Azamara Club Cruises is offering economy return airfares from $499*, $999 and $1,499*, departing from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, when you book on selected 2012 European cruises. The special fare offer from Azamara Club Cruises is per person based on the first two passengers in a cabin, is non-refundable and includes booking fees and all taxes. Some further conditions apply.

Azamara Club Cruises also boasts a variety of complimentary inclusions which can save you up to $1000 on a 14 night cruise. These include complimentary boutique wines with lunch and dinner, bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas, gratuities, self-service laundry, complimentary shuttle bus services to and from ports (where available) as well as an English butler service for suite guests.

Featuring more overnights and longer stays in port, guests can immerse themselves in a wide range of unique destinations and diverse cultures.  This includes a nine-night Baltic White Night festival cruise, a glamorous 11-night French and Italian Riviera cruise and an 11-night Jazz in the Norwegian Fjords cruise; if beautiful blooms excite you, there is a 12-night Chelsea Flower show cruise and a history-rich 10-night Holy Land, Egypt and Suez Canal cruise for that once in a lifetime experience.

Prices for an Oceanview stateroom on the 11-night Western Europe cruise on Azamara Journey departing May 6 2012 start from $3179* per person, with return airfares to Paris from just $499* per person.  The cruise sails from Paris to Amsterdam, visiting various ports in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. For more information please call 1800 754 500 or visit the Azamara Club Cruises website at professionals should call 1300 754 500.

*Terms and conditions apply.

For more information, contact your travel agent, call 1800 754 500 or visit the Azamara Club Cruises microsite at or Travel professionals can call 1300 754 500 or visit

Monday, 9 January 2012


Sydney Festival January 7-29

Sydney Festival, Australia's largest summer festival, begins today (Saturday January 7).

For three weeks every January, Sydney Festival presents an explosion of theatre, dance, music, exhibitions and talks that takes over the city, attracting up to one million enthusiastic locals and visitors.

The Festival uses more than 25 venues across the city including Sydney Opera House, Seymour Centre, Riverside Theatres and The University of Sydney, as well as parks, laneways and city streets.

This year, Sydney Festival will host 11 world premieres, 15 Australian exclusives and 14 Australian premieres. In any given year the Festival presents more than 1500 artists from Australia and around the globe.

Andre Rieu Concert and Cruise deal - one departure only with eWaterways

Experience Andre Rieu Live with eWaterways and cruise the Blue Danube

eWaterways ( the niche and river cruise experts, continue to expand their themed holidays with the launch of its André Rieu concert and cruise package. The 15 day luxury 'Blue Danube' cruise onboard the Amadeus Royal in May 2012 will be coupled with a delightful city break in Salzburg in May for the unique opportunity to see André Rieu, the internationally renowned Dutch violinist and composer, perform.

This Concert and Cruise package is an 18-day holiday offering guests the opportunity to discover the historically rich city of Salzburg, before embarking on a 2500km cruise along the Danube from Passau to the Black Sea and back again. Visiting such notable cities of Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and Bucharest, the highlight of the holiday is undoubtedly cruising through eight countries and visiting 4 capital cities on route.

At full capacity, the Amadeus Royal caters for just 144 guests in a total of 72 luxuriously appointed staterooms (all outside facing) with flat screen TVs and other mod cons to promise a memorable and refined cruise holiday. Often described as 'boutique hotels afloat', the Amadeus river fleet exude elegance and a warm atmosphere. The Austrian hospitality on board is first class and caters to each individual's needs with every comfort onboard considered. The refined ambiance on board is propelled into the 21st century with modern facilities including a fun pool, lido bar, golf putting area, well-equipped fitness room and 24-hour multimedia business lounge.

The André Rieu Concert and Cruise Journey starts on the 6th May 2012 for 18 days and includes a ticket to the André Rieu concert in Salzburg. Prices start from $4,999.00 per person.

Visit eWaterways at or call 1300 968 980 or email

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