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Monday, 16 June 2008

AUSTRALIA EPIC POISED TO RE-KINDLE LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE OUTBACK

Voyages Hotels & Resorts is anticipating a surge in bookings for Australian outback adventures with the much-anticipated launch of Baz Luhrmann’s new epic film Australia.

Featuring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman and due for release in November, the romantic action adventure is set in Australia’s northern outback prior to World War II, and centres on an English aristocrat, Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman), who arrives in Australia in search of her husband but finds herself unexpectedly fighting to save an enormous cattle station the size of Belgium.

Whilst fans will enjoy Baz Luhrmann’s latest epic production, the film is tipped to spark a stampede in Australian outback tourism and send Aussie outback adventures soaring in popularity. However, real-life holidaymakers looking to get their own slice of the outback won’t have to rough it in swags. Voyages Hotels & Resorts can offer king-sized beds, refreshing swimming pools and gourmet food and champagne, all to be enjoyed within Australia’s rugged outback.

From horseriding at El Questro Wilderness Park, to cattle mustering and early morning sunrises at Uluru, Voyages can offer three Outback Aussie destinations, with style.

El Questro Wilderness Park, Western Australia www.elquestro.com.au

Baz Luhrmann and the Australia film crew filmed sections of the movie at El Questro, including a romantic scene at Emma Gorge waterfall, cattle stampedes with the magnificent Cockburn Ranges as the backdrop, river crossings and drought scenes. Voyages El Questro Wilderness Park is a vast and raw landscape of just under a million acres in the heart of the ancient Kimberley region in far north-western Australia. Choose from gorge cruises on the Chamberlain River, trips to naturally heated thermal pools, horse riding and barramundi fishing in helicopters. At the end of each day, try camping at the Station Township, tented cabins at Emma Gorge or indulge yourselves at the exclusive and luxurious El Questro Homestead. The private Chamberlain Suite offers a double bathtub on the verandah perched above the Chamberlain Gorge below, and is so popular, can often be booked out months in advance.

Wrotham Park Lodge, Queensland www.wrothampark.com.au

A true working cattle station, Wrotham Park Lodge is a serious 600,000-hectare working cattle station with 35,000 head of Brahman cattle. Strap yourselves in for the ride of a lifetime by joining an authentic cattle muster, with real life jackaroos, contracted in for the cattle mustering season. Other activities include horse riding, nature walks, fishing, picnics, mountain-bike riding, stargazing and damper baking lessons. No luxury is spared for guests occupying the 10 “Quarters” perched at the edge of the Mitchell River, which resemble stockman shacks from afar but reveal designer daybeds and contemporary designs within. After a day’s cattle mustering, sip champagne and nibble on barramundi canap├ęs, followed by top quality steaks and fine Australian wines.

Longitude 131, Uluru, Northern Territory www.longitude131.com.au

Forget pitching your own tent and cooking over the fire, Longitude 131 takes glamorous camping, or “glamping”, to another level. Each of the 15 luxury tents has a white dome roof with flowing fabric draped to create the illusion of camping. But that’s where the illusion ends and the fantasy begins with crisp white linen on king sized beds, controlled blinds revealing the ever-changing colours of Uluru and plush five-star furnishings. It is from this comfort that guests can explore Australia’s red heart through sunrise walks around the base of Uluru, four-wheel-drive safaris and Anangu cultural tours. The walls of each tent narrate fascinating stories of real outback pioneers, many who lived during World War II, the era in which the movie Australia was based.


Saddle up!

Looking to follow in the footsteps of Nicole and Hugh? Choose from these outback experiences:

Wrotham Park Lodge:

A four-wheel-drive tour of the station is essential to learn how a cattle station operates, meet local identities, learn to crack a whip and watch the station hands muster cattle into the yards.
El Questro Wilderness Park:

A four-wheel-drive day-trip around the Cockburn Ranges follows the original route once used by drovers to drive thousands of cattle to the meatworks at Wyndham. The tour also drives past areas in which scenes from the movie Australia were filmed.
Longitude 131:

Dine under the stars at the Sounds of Silence dinner and take in an astronomy lesson on the southern sky.


For bookings, please contact the Voyages Travel Centre:

Phone: +61 2 8296 8010
Toll free Australia: 1300 134 044
Toll free New Zealand: 0800 700 715
Fax: +61 2 9299 2103
Email: travel@voyages.com.au
Email (for agents): premium@voyages.com.au


Voyages Hotels & Resorts is an Australian resort company, providing experience-based holidays in spectacular wilderness locations including the Red Centre, Queensland, the Kimberley region of Western Australia and Tasmania.

Voyages operates award-winning properties such as El Questro Wilderness Park, Bedarra Island, Wrotham Park Lodge, Lizard Island and Ayers Rock Resort.

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