Wednesday, 30 September 2015

19th Annual Sculpture by the Sea - Bondi

Cave Urban, save our souls, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2014. Photo by Gareth Carr

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, the world's largest annual free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition returns to the spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk from 22 October – 8 November this year.

For the nineteenth year, this stunning stretch of Sydney coastline will be transformed into a free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition, featuring more than 100 works by Australian and international artists.  Over 30 international artists will be showcased this year, including artists from Brazil to Poland, Japan to Slovakia and the USA to the Czech Republic.

One of Sydney's best attended and most photogenic events, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi attracts more than 500,000 visitors over 18 days and for many heralds the beginning of summer in Sydney.

This year Macquarie Group returns as Principal Sponsor of Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi for the third year, with the $60,000 Macquarie Group Sculpture Prize, as well as presenting the Macquarie Group Sculpture Inside Prize for small sculpture. The Macquarie Group Sculpture Prize is the most generous annual sculpture prize in Australia and the award winning work will again be gifted for permanent public display at Headland Park, Georges Heights, set against the spectacular and historically significant Middle Head, overlooking Sydney Harbour.

Sculpture by the Sea social:

Twitter: @sculpturebysea
Instagram: @sculpturebythesea


New river cruise products from Insider Journeys

Insider Journeys adds 3 new river cruise ships to existing portfolio and introduces river tours to selected Small Group Journeys

Insider Journeys has launched its ‘2015-17 Asian River Cruising’ brochure with itineraries across Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, India, and China. The company’s most comprehensive cruising brochure yet, the 90 page guide includes information on three new river cruise ships, the ‘Mekong Eyes’, ‘Pandaw’, and ‘RV Anawrohta’, Insider Journeys’ expanded range and its portfolio of more than 25 Asian river cruises.

As small boat specialists, Insider Journeys has introduced a new product option coupling a Small Group Journey with river cruise to serve the growing demand in the Asian river cruising market. The first such offering is its ‘Mekong & Beyond’ small group journey, which combines a complete river cruise and land tour for a 16 day two country exploration through Cambodia and Vietnam that includes 7 nights’ hotel accommodation and 8 nights’ cruising.

Additional nights cruising have also been added to the ‘Vietnam Discovery’ Small Group Journey with a night’s cruising on the Mekong as well as Halong Bay, and to the ‘Burma Revealed’ journey with two nights on the Irrawaddy.

Managing Director, Paul Hole, says Insider Journeys has combined cruise with land touring in response to passenger demand.

“Trip extensions have become very popular. In the last 12 months, Insider Journeys’ Mekong cruises have seen almost half of our passengers take the ‘Cruise Plus’ option of combining cruise and land arrangements,” says Hole.

The beautifully crafted ‘Pandaw’ ships have also been introduced into the Insider Journeys stable and their new itineraries include:

· A 15 day The Mekong: From Laos to China river cruise on the mighty upper Mekong River, from Vientiane to tropical Xishuangbanna in southern Yunnan, China, with an overland side trip to Burma.

From $11,932 (AUD) per person twin share

· An 11 day Red River Vietnam river cruise on the Red River Delta cruising into Ha Long Bay. The RV Angkor Pandaw sets sail from Hanoi on a round-trip adventure that includes scenic national parks, historic villages and hilltribe communities.

From $4,618 (AUD) per person twin share

Paul Hole says Insider Journeys’ Asia River cruising portfolio has expanded rapidly over the past three years.

“We’ve continued to expand our river cruise offerings to keep up with travellers’ seemingly insatiable appetite for new experiences along Asia’s fascinating main rivers. Increasingly, passengers are discovering how river cruising throughout Asia provides a unique opportunity to gain greater access and deeper insights into a way of life that has remained relatively unchanged,” says Hole.

The small boat specialists offer cruise bookings on a range of river cruises across Asia, including the ultra-luxury of Aqua Expedition’s Aqua Mekong. River cruising itineraries are offered on the Ganges (India), the Irrawaddy (Burma), the Mekong (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) and the Yangtze (China). 

For more information and bookings, Insider Journeys’ Asia experts can be contacted on 1300 362 777 or visit

For great travel adventures and stories, follow the Insider Journeys team at, on Twitter @InsiderJourneys 

Insider Journeys delivers Insider knowledge on small group journey travel in Asia

Australia’s leading Asia travel specialist, Insider Journeys has released its latest portfolio of Small Group Journeys and to celebrate is offering a $250 travel voucher for 2016 Small Group Journeys bookings of 10 days or more made before 15 December 2015.

With several new itineraries, a refresh of some of the most popular journeys and the introduction of a new product style combining small boat river cruising and small group journeys into one product offering, the comprehensive guide provides the insider knowledge on small group journey travel in Asia.

Managing Director Paul Hole is proud of the new brochure and its extensive content.

“The latest brochure is the result of the combination of the insider knowledge of our exceptional product team and 22 years’ experience,” says Hole.

“Together we’ve compiled an extensive range of experiences and compelling selection of itineraries from which to choose. With over 80 itineraries across 11 countries, there’s truly something offered for everyone within our range.”

Highlights of the new brochure include:

- The introduction of a new 14 day Japan Winter Discovery that focuses on the northern Honshu (Alps) of Japan, to witness rare birds in Hokkaido and Japanese macaques in the mountain hot springs, and the unusual opportunity to take an icebreaker cruise amongst the creaking floes of the Okhotsk Sea;

- A new ‘follow the Mekong’ Laos and Cambodia Mekong Discovery small group journey which travels overland along the mighty river;

- A revamp of the 13 day Highlights of Indochina journey which provides highlights from the diverse wonders of the three Indochina countries Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia;

- The use of high speed train transport has been added to some Small Group Journeys between Beijing and Xian;

- The introduction of further ‘Insider Experiences’ to the Small Group Journey portfolio.

For more information and bookings, Insider Journeys’ Asia experts can be contacted on 1300 362 777 or visit For great travel adventures and stories, follow the Insider Journeys team at, on Twitter @InsiderJourneys

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Rail Europe Celebrates 20 years With Massive Year-End Promotions

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Rail Europe has released a series of promotions on selected passes and point-to-point tickets to further add value to travellers' rail itineraries during their visit to Europe in the coming months and next year.

A generous 20% discount has been declared on the France Rail Pass, selected Swiss Peak Passes purchased with a Swiss Travel Pass as well as the Eurail Global and Select Passes starting; while point-to-point tickets on the Eurostar and Thalys have been significantly reduced as well.

For the discount to apply, bookings for the France Rail Pass must be made by 3 Nov 2015 and travel completed by 2 Nov 2016. This means for the first time travellers can secure 2015 prices for travel in 2016 and they can take advantage of the generous 12-month validity from the date of issue. Prices start from AUD 100 / NZD107.

When purchasing the Swiss Peak Pass with the Swiss Travel Pass, a further discount of up to 20%, on top of the already existing 50% discount applied to mountain railway and cable car rides to the peaks of Pilatus, Titlis, Schilthorn and Gornergrat. Bookings must be made by 3 Nov 2015 and travel completed by 2 Nov 2016, allowing travellers to enjoy the extended validity period which is usually six months. Prices start from AUD196 / NZD231

Travellers exploring more than one country around Europe can enjoy the 20% discount off their Eurail Select or Global Passes for bookings made by 31 Dec 2015. Passes must be used by 31 March 2016. Prices start from AUD 152 / NZD169 for the Eurail Select Pass (for four adjoining countries) and AUD404 / NZD442 for the Eurail Global Pass (covering 28 countries).

Travellers purchasing Eurail Regional and one country passes by 31 December will be able to take advantage of the discounted 2015 prices, while enjoying an extra free travel day that will be granted. Passes must be validated within six months from the date of issue

Further to that, until 3 Nov 2015, travellers booking journeys on Eurostar and France's Thalys services will enjoy reduced prices on selected routes between the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands.

One-way prices on Eurostar will start from AUD74 / NZD83 between the UK and Paris, Brussels and Lille; AUD91 / NZD101 between the UK and Lyon; and AUD108 / NZD120 between the UK and Marseille and Avignon. One-way prices on Thalys will start from AUD98 / NZD 109 from Paris to Brussels, Cologne and Amsterdam.

Terms and conditions apply. Visit for more information and bookings.

 About Rail Europe

Rail Europe is the world's No. 1 distributor of rail tickets and passes offering travellers the widest and best selection of European rail products across no less than 30 countries and 25,000 destinations on more than 11,000 different routes. Rail Europe tickets are sold through appointed General Sales Agents and directly to web users through localised websites (local currency, local language, local service). For more information about Rail Europe products and prices, visit

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Win an indulgent Abu Dhabi Experience.

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, in partnership with Etihad Airways, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi and Emirates Falcon Tourism are giving you the chance to win a luxurious trip to Abu Dhabi.

The prize includes:
  • Return Economy Class airfares for two
  • Four-nights five-star accommodation
  • Return airport transfers
  • Half day city tour
  • Exciting desert safari
And winning is easy. Simply tell us in 25 words or less “What would make your trip to Abu Dhabi a truly indulgent experience?”

Visit the Abu Dhabi Tourism website to imagine your indulgent Abu Dhabi Experience.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Goulburn Spyfest - Meet George Lazenby

Tickets are now available for the Special Agents Gala Dinner as part of SPYfest, on in Goulburn late September.

Tickets are available to purchase online at

The city is set to host the inaugural SPYfest this September. The epicentre of espionage will be the Special Agents Gala Dinner happening on the evening of Saturday 26.

George Lazenby as James Bond in OHMSS
Goulburn’s Veolia Arena will be the location of the Gala dinner - the first event of its kind to be held at the venue - hosting world-class entertainment, special guests and sponsors of SPYfest.

Chris de Havilland, as his alias Sir Sean, will be the evenings emcee. Sir Sean will be accompanied by Miss Moneypenny, who will be performing all of the classic bond songs.

More musical entertainment in the form of Dame Shirley Bassey, with smooth honeyed tones and a glamorous eight piece orchestra, will be sure to delight attendees when Jennifer Green performs her ‘Strictly Bassey’ show.

The Special Agents Gala Dinner will be the first time that Veolia will be used for a gala dinner. The arena will be decorated to a tee for the occasion, with the help of detailed sound and lighting tests, ensuring the evening will go off without a hitch.

SPYfest celebrations of all things spy will continue across the weekend. The festival of events will feature spy demonstrations, a parade, an author forum and city-wide game of ‘iSPY’.

The inaugural festival was inspired by George Lazenby, the only Australian thus far to play James Bond on screen, born and raised in Goulburn.

Keep up to date with the ever-increasing program of events and list of participants by visiting or by following the event on Facebook or Twitter.

George Lazenby will be returning to his hometown for the entire weekend and will be making an appearance at several of the SPYfest celebrations, including the Gala Dinner, hosting an autograph signing and press-conference.

The Timeless Treasures of the Mediterranean with Silversea Cruises

Ultra-luxurious Italian cruise line, Silversea, invites guests to experience the irresistible allure of the Mediterranean aboard its classic fleet vessels Silver Cloud, Silver Wind and Silver Spirit.  Revealing its 2016 Mediterranean 'Timeless Treasures' brochure, Silversea showcases the mesmerising beauty, ancient history and culinary delights of the Mediterranean through a bespoke range of unique and inspiring itineraries, from April to November 2016.

Karen Christensen, General Manager & Director Sales/Marketing, Australasia, says:

"With a strong Italian heritage, Silversea is an expert at showcasing the very best of the Mediterranean, through the eyes of a local.  From the world-renowned and historic streets of Athens and stunning coastline of the Italian Riviera, to the hidden white sand beaches of Sanary-sur-Mer, France and lesser-visited province of Castellon, Spain, Silversea's intimate ships enable guests to get closer and sail directly into these exquisite ports, offering convenience and an insider's view to the hidden towns of the Mediterranean. In this brochure, we've also put together a number of combination voyages, with savings of up to 15%, designed to appeal to Australian travellers who want to stay longer and explore more of this magnificent region."

"This carefully designed 2016 Mediterranean brochure includes meticulous planned voyages combined with the luxury and highest levels of service that our guests have become accustomed to.  Away from the expected and well beyond the crowds, our guests feel more like locals than tourists."

Silversea's extensive range of optional onshore excursions provide guests with the chance to truly indulge in the fascinating culture and captivating beauty of this spectacular region. Mediterranean onshore excursions highlights include: spectacular helicopter rides over the dramatic seascapes of the Amalfi Coast; savouring tradition Sicilian cuisine with olive oil and wine tasting tours in Trapani; spending an evening immersed in a concert amidst the ruins of Ephesus' ancient Odeon Theatre; and exploring the underground caves of Valencia, Spain's Old Quarter.

In addition to Silversea's all-inclusive luxurious voyages, with free WiFi as standard and personal butler service to take care of every need, guests are also offered the opportunity to combine select Mediterranean voyages to receive a saving of up to 15%, when booked before 31 December, 2015.


V1620-1621: Departing Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy on 1 July 2016, guests aboard Silver Cloud sail through the breathtaking beauty of France, Monaco Italy, Spain and Portugal over 18 days, while indulging in the culinary pleasures of the Mediterranean and marvelling at the mesmerising sites of this spectacular part of the world.  Guests disembark this voyage on 19 July, 2015.  Fares start from AU$9,404 per person, based on twin share.

V2612-2613: Sailing from Barcelona, Spain to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, guests depart on 13 April 2016, cruise through the Corinth Canal, experience the 'Eternal City' of Rome and explore the legendary city of Troy on a 24-day voyage aboard Silver WindFares start from AU$9,917 per person, based on twin share.

V5621-5622: Beginning her voyage from Istanbul, Turkey, Silver Spirit guests visit the islands of Turkey and Greece, a region boasting natural beauty laced with a fascinating history, before sailing to the superb ports of Montenegro and Croatia.  This voyage departs on 29 July 2016, traveling over 14 days before arriving in Venice, Italy on 12 August 2016.  Fares start from AU$7,865 per person, based on twin share.

Silversea's fares include all-suite accommodation with butler service, gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux, complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ship, one free hour of WiFi per guest per day and all gratuities. 

Copies of the new Mediterranean brochure are now available to view at For more information, contact Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit

Follow Silversea on Twitter, Facebook and the Silversea Blog.

One million reasons to book your next P&O cruise


CRUISERS now have one million reasons to book their next P&O cruise through Cruiseabout, with P&O announcing they will be giving all guests who book any P&O cruise before November 25 the chance to win one of four $1 million cash prizes.

To celebrate its four million passenger milestone, just four years after celebrating its three millionth passenger, the cruise line will also give away $4 million in onboard credits for new bookings over the coming weeks.

All travellers who book a P&O cruise before November 25, 2015, through Cruiseabout will be in the running to win.

Cruiseabout is currently offering a number of cruising experiences for 2016 itineraries aboard one of P&O's newest ships, Pacific Eden, all of which allow travellers eligibility to be in the draw to win.

The 12-night Indonesian Explorer offers guests the opportunity to come face to face with the world's largest living species of lizard, the Komodo Dragon. Departing from Fremantle in Western Australia on July 18, 2016, Indonesian Explorer's first stop is Komodo Island followed by Makassar, Lombok, Benoa, Probolinggo, Jakarta and finishing in Singapore from $1,248* per person twin share in an interior cabin.

Cruisers can be among the very first cruise guests to visit Krabi, the ultimate Andaman Sea destination, aboard the seven-night Andaman Islands Encounters, departing Singapore on August 13, 2016, and also taking in Phuket, Langkawi and Sabang from $1,249* per person in a twin share oceanview cabin.

Departing on August 20, 2016, shopping and adventure enthusiasts will be able to break free and be amongst the first and only cruise guests to grace Ko Chang's shores aboard the seven night Thailand Unleashed cruise departing and returning to Singapore. Thailand Unleashed takes in Sihanoukville, Ko Chang, Laem Chabang and Ko Samui from $1,249* per person in a twin share oceanview cabin.

Bookings for Pacific Eden's Andaman Islands Encounters, Indonesian Explorer and Thailand Unleashed are on sale now. For more information on P&O Cruises or to book your next cruise, contact a Cruiseabout cruising specialist on 1300 450 133 or visit

*Price is subject to change and availability at the time of booking.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Discover the abundant history of Southeast Asia aboard Silver Spirit cruise

Enjoy the beautiful surrounds of Southeast Asia, from the crystal waters of Koh Samui, to the modern landscapes Ho Chi Minh City, aboard Silversea's ultra-luxurious Silver Shadow on an intimate 11-day voyage.

Setting sail from Singapore on 1 December 2015, Silver Shadow cruises along the coast of the Western Gulf to Koh Samui, Thailand, renowned for its stunning beaches and breathtaking coastline.  For a truly unforgettable experience, guests can choose an optional half-day excursion to the Namaung Safari Park for an elephant ride and waterfall experience.  Silver Shadow continues her journey, porting in the mesmerising city of Bangkok for an overnight stay.  With an exhilarating blend of old and new, guests can explore the exclusive upscale restaurants or nearby Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage recognised site.

Spending the next two days in the dynamic city of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, guests have the opportunity to explore life along the Mekong, or visit the historic Cu Chi Tunnels on an optional excursion. Silver Shadow sails to Nha Trang, home to some of Vietnam's most beautiful beaches and diving spots. Here, guests have the option to explore the charming countryside and humble villages during a scenic, half-day bicycle excursion.  Silver Shadow then docks at the UNESCO World Heritage listed, Chan May, the gateway to the historic city of Hue and the beautiful restored fishing village of Hoi An, Vietnam, before concluding in Hong Kong, with guests disembarking 12 December 2015.

Prices are per person starting from AU$5,650 in a Vista Suite double occupancy. Silversea fares include: all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ships; and all gratuities.  Ideal for solo travellers, a reduced single supplement of only 25% applies to this voyage, with guests encouraged to meet like-minded travellers at a Welcome Reception. This voyage also forms a part of Silversea's Bridge Sailing series.

This voyage is subject to availability.  Terms and conditions apply.  For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872, or visit


Top Sydney sights to see while running the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival


On Sunday 20 September 2015, Blackmores Sydney Running Festival will see runners from all over the world racing around the harbour city whilst taking in a plethora of Sydney's iconic sights.


Now in its 15th year, the Blackmores Sydney Marathon attracts runners from across the globe and, after being awarded a prestigious Gold Label from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), it has become a world class running event alongside the London, Boston and New York marathons.


Blackmores Sydney Running Festival is Australia's most unique running event because of the myriad of iconic sights which can be seen along the course. Whether you are taking part in the 3.5km Family Fun Run or the full blown marathon event, you'll be sure to see some incredible landmarks and the more you run, the more you'll see.


Find the top ten Sydney sights below that you will see whilst participating in the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival on Sunday 20 September 2015:


1.       Luna Park – Starting from Milson's Point, the famous moon face of Sydney's Luna Park will smile down on you as you take your first steps of the course. Commencing in Bradfield Park you will run directly past the restored fun-park which was first opened in 1935. Luna Park is one of Sydney's greatest venues for music gigs, hosting regular concerts at the Big Top, and offers elegant cuisine at The Deck restaurant. Needless to say, it also offers million dollar views of Sydney Harbour which are best seen from atop one of the park's many exhilarating rides.


2.       The Sydney Harbour Bridge – After running past the suburb of Kirribilli, famous for being the location of the Australian Prime Minister's official Sydney residence, you will approach a world-renowned iconic Australian landmark; the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival offers runners the unique opportunity to cross the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge on foot and


As you run over the bridge don't forget to look up. From the deck below you can truly appreciate the engineering genius that went into the building of the world's largest steel arch bridge. You might even spot some people up there taking part in a Sydney BridgeClimb experience.


3.       Sydney Opera House – As you continue along the deck of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, cast your eyes to the left and you will see the distinctive white sails of the world heritage listed Sydney Opera House. This world-class performing arts centre is a must-see landmark for visitors to Sydney and has become a symbol of both the city and the Australian nation.


4.       Fort Denison – From the high vantage point of the bridge you can also spot Fort Denison, a small island right in the middle of the harbour. Fort Denison has had a varied past – it has been used as a fishing spot, defence structure, navigational guide, tide gauge station, weather station and time marker. Today, the tiny island houses an historic museum and a beautiful restaurant with a modern Australian menu. A five minute ferry ride from Circular Quay will drop you off at this incredible lunch spot on the harbour. 


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Pullman Bangkok Hotel G – September E-mag

click panels to enlarge

World Expeditions 2015-6 Asia brochure

World Expeditions new 2015-16 Asia brochure

World Expeditions has launched its 2015-16 Asia brochure packed with more than 120 exciting adventures, including a new family adventure, new multi activity itineraries, trekking expeditions and cultural journeys.

On our doorstep and offering enormous variety, Asia has long been a favourite destination for active travellers. Old favourites such as Bike, Hike and Kayak Northern Vietnam, Vietnam by Bike and Tim Cope’s Mongolian Adventures all remain and new adventures have been added in response to emerging destinations and new types of travel.

The new 7 day Laos Family Adventure combines touring, sightseeing and downtime in an itinerary specially crafted to suit families.

Two exciting new treks – one in Iran and one in Tajikistan - have been added to the Asia portfolio. The Damavand Expedition Iran is a moderately challenging trek into a region steeped in Persian mythology and the 33 day Trekking in the Gassir, Fann and Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan is an epic escape to see lakes, canyons, hot springs, gorges and the spectacular panorama of the Afghan Hindu Kush Mountains.

Multi activity trips have experienced sustained growth across the world for World Expeditions and Asia is no exception. Two new trips – the Hike and Bike The Untamed Great Wall and the Southern China Multi Adventure offer the benefits of experiencing this exciting destination by pedal, paddle or foot.

A brand new destination for World Expeditions is North Korea and the North Korean Explorer offers an eye opening exploration of what is widely regarded as the most reclusive country in the world.

The Philippines Eco Adventure is another standout new trip which combines hiking, white water rafting and time to visit local villages and learn about the Obu Manuvuthe, the island’s Indigenous people.

Order a brochure or book your adventure now at or call 1300 720 000.


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