Thursday 29 April 2010


Sex it up in the City with Vibe Hotel's 'GLAMOROUS NIGHTS'

Vibe Hotels and Napoleon combine to create the ultimate girl's night in or out with more than $240 worth of fun from just $150* including a nights' accommodation.

Grab the gals and high heel it to Vibe Hotels (Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, or Darwin) for a fabulous evening of Napoleon Perdis (NP) makeovers, cocktails and giggles. Stay up all night, sleep in all morning, and enjoy a leisurely breakfast for a fraction of the price, with Vibe Hotels 'Glamorous Nights' package.

accommodation at any of the seven Vibe Hotels across Australia, two for one cocktail voucher (worth $10), an NP pack (Cruise Blush, Liquid Veil Tint and a Wanderlust Must Lip Palette (worth $80), and a Napoleon Perdis in-store make over voucher (worth $60).  Perfect for two or twenty gal pals (two people per room).

Like every women, each Vibe Hotel has its very own personality that reflects the flavour of its location. Travel and stay in style... or experience your very own backyard in a fresh light? Every girl deserves a night of pampering!

Check out  or call 13 VIBE for more information or to book.

"Glamorous Nights" package represents over $240 of extra value including:

  • Overnight accommodation in a stylish Vibe Hotel room
  • Full buffet breakfast for two at a Vibe Hotel (RRP $50)
  • Late check out of 12 noon (RRP $40)
  • A NP Set pack containing a Cruise Blush, Liquid Veil Tint
    and a Wanderlust Must Lip Palette (RRP $80)
  • 2 for 1 cocktail voucher to be redeemed within the bar located at the Vibe Hotel (RRP $10)
  • NP Set in-store make over voucher (RRP $60)

"Glamorous Nights" is available at all seven Vibe Hotels located across Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Darwin.

Vibe Hotel Carlton, Melbourne, from AU$150* - With a "new millennium" feel mixed with a sixties retro flavour, Vibe Hotel Carlton is close to Lygon and Brunswick Streets where the city's famous café culture was born.

Vibe Hotel Gold Coast from AU$165* - Overlooking a picturesque sweep of the Nerang River on one side and the sparkling ocean on the other, Vibe Hotel Gold Coast adds all things stylish and chic to Surfers Paradise.

Vibe Hotel Sydney from AU$180* - Centrally located in the Sydney CBD and only a hop, skip and a jump from Sydney's trendy Oxford Street strip boasting shopping, bars, restaurants and cafes.

Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront from AU$189* - Situated on the Darwin Waterfront in Darwin's hottest new precinct, Vibe Hotel Darwin offers guests some of the best views in town, with great restaurants and shopping on your doorstep.

Vibe Hotel Rushcutters, Sydney from AU$195* - Overlooking Rushcutters Bay Park and the Cruising Yacht Club (CYC) Marina, Vibe Hotel Rushcutters is close to Sydney's most stylish shopping and nightlife precincts; Double Bay, Paddington and Woollahra.

Vibe Savoy Hotel Melbourne from AU$209* - Built in 1929, this art-deco hotel is sure to impress. Located opposite Southern Cross Station and just a short walk from the Etihad Stadium, guests will enjoy the convenience of having Melbourne at their fingertips.

Vibe Hotel North Sydney from AU$209* - Located on Alfred Street opposite Milsons Point Railway Station, guests can enjoy stunning views of Lavender Bay or Sydney Harbour or simply take a stroll over the Harbour Bridge!

*Prices vary per hotel; packages are subject to availability and are valid from 1 April, 2010 until 30 September, 2010.  One gift pack per stay.

Experience Tahiti the traditional way with new “pension” packages

Say "La Orana" to Tahiti and a traditional way to encounter its beautiful islands, with new "Pension", or bed and breakfast packages, from Air Tahiti Nui and

The new deals feature accommodation at some of the most private locations in French Polynesia, with stunning ocean views and a tranquil atmosphere that can only be experienced away from bustling resorts.

Packages include return Economy Class flights from Sydney to Papeete, airfare taxes, a traditional Polynesian welcome on arrival, all transfers, plus half board (breakfast and dinner) for stays selected islands except Tahiti and Moorea, where only breakfast is included.

Option 1- Tahiti/Moorea/Bora Bora (9 days/8 nights): Starting from $3132 per person twin share this package showcases the best that the three main Society Islands have to offer but with a traditional twist. The package includes a one night stay in Tahiti Airport Motel, four nights stay at Fare Vaihere Moorea and three nights in Bora Bora at Hotel Matira. Also included is a 4 wheel-drive safari tour on Moorea and an introductory dive off Bora Bora.

Option 2- Tahiti/Bora Bora/Rangiroa (9 days/8 nights): Perhaps this package takes your fancy, with accommodation at some of the most secluded properties on the islands. Starting from $3593 per person twin share, it includes one night in Tahiti Airport Motel, three nights at Hotel Matira Bora Bora and four nights at Raira Lagoon Rangiroa. An island tour by boat of Bora Bora and introductory dive in Rangiroa are also included. 

Option 3- Tahiti/ Moorea/Fakarava (12 days/11 nights): This package enables more time on the main island of Tahiti to take in the many attractions. Starting from $3656 per person twin share, this deal includes three nights at Vanira Lodge Tahiti, four nights at Fare Vaihere Moorea, followed by four nights in Fakarava at Pension Tookerau Village. Also included in the package is an island boat tour of Moorea and introductory dive in Fakarava.  

All packages are valid for travel until 31 December 2010, and subject to availability. Prices are subject to change without notice and some conditions apply. 

To book one of these traditional "pension" packages email or visit for more information.  

Air Tahiti Nui offers three weekly services from Sydney to Papeete, via Auckland, New Zealand. 

Warm up in Victoria's Goldfields

Winter in Victoria's Goldfields is a great time to explore the wealth of treasures and riches on offer and enjoy a short or longer break.

The region is home to two of Australia's best regional art galleries and both regularly host travelling and international exhibitions. This winter Bendigo Art Gallery is hosting a comprehensive exhibition of Frederick McCubbin's later works, as one of Australia's foremost impressionists this is not to be missed. A visit to the Art Gallery of Ballarat will reveal a celebration of cartoons and caricatures from the 1700's to the present day.

Tuck into delicious regional cuisine lovingly prepared by talented chefs who now call the region home. Enjoy wonderful boutique wines from the wine regions of Bendigo, Heathcote and Ballarat, all noted for their rich, winter warming reds.

All this no more than an hour and half drive from Melbourne. Read on to find out about great winter events and special accommodation offers to help you plan your Goldfields escape. Victoria's Goldfields, leave a little richer.

For great winter deals go to

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney Launches Winemaker Chef’s Table Experience

Calling all wine connoisseurs and gourmands!  Four Seasons Hotel Sydney has launched a new Winemaker Chef's Table experience, combining the best in food, wine and all things fine.

Each month, one high-profile winemaker from Australia or New Zealand will showcase their collection by pairing wines with a five-course meal including a series of vertical tastings.

The experience begins with champagne and canapés at Kable's wine bar, followed by a degustation dinner with matching wines at the Chef's Table in the kitchen's Garde Manger.

After dinner, guests will go even further 'behind the scenes' for a kitchen tour and chocolate tasting in the Four Seasons' Chocolate Room.

Four Seasons Hotel Manager Daniel Simon said the winemaker dinner concept gave guests an opportunity to try the new Kable's menu designed by Restaurant Chef, Jeffrey De Rome, while tasting some of Australasia's best wines.

"We've taken the restaurant wine-dinner concept and created a much more intimate experience where guests can socialise around one large table while learning all about the food and wine from our chef and guest winemakers."

"It was a pleasure to welcome Mitchell Taylor from Taylor's Wines as our first winemaker, who kindly shared a selection of his highly-coveted family museum wines for the inaugural dinner last month. We look forward to bringing a range of other talented winemakers to our hotel," Mr Simon said.

Upcoming dinners feature winemakers from:

Shaw & Smith in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia - May 27
Brokenwood in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales - June 24
Cloudy Bay in Marlborough, New Zealand - July 15

Other winemakers featuring throughout the year include South Australia's Rockford, Petaluma and Taylors Wines, Western Australia's Cape Mentelle Wines, Victoria's Bannockburn Wines and New Zealand's Villa Maria Wines.

The Winemaker Chef's Table dinners will be held once a month at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney and are available for $300 per person, with a maximum capacity of 19 guests per event. 

For information and bookings for the Winemaker Chef's Table call (+61 2) 9250 3306.

For Hotel information and reservations call (+61 2) 9250 3100 or visit

New Snowy Mountains Luxury Ski and Spa Weekend Escape

The Denman Hotel & Spa, Thredbo's premier luxury boutique hotel, has launched the first all-inclusive luxury ski & spa package for this coming Thredbo ski season, valid from 11 June 2010.

Offering everything that skiing enthusiasts could want both on and off the mountain, this special two-night weekend escape features accommodation in king-bedded balcony rooms with views over the mountain, Saturday night gourmet dining in The Terrace Restaurant, with its reputation as Thredbo's finest, spa treatments in The Denman's Thalgo Day Spa, the only full day spa in Thredbo, as well as two-day Kosciuszko Thredbo lift tickets.

Ed Denny, the proprietor of The Denman Hotel & Spa, states: "With today's busy lifestyles the discerning traveller is looking for a quality, hassle-free experience. Our objective is to make it easy in organising their ultimate Australian ski weekend. Just book and head to the 'Snowys' for two full days of indulgence. We take care of nearly everything that guests will need".

The Denman Hotel & Spa has teamed up with Larry Adler, Australia's leading ski and outdoor equipment specialists, whereby guests select their desired ski equipment, such as Executive skis, boards, boots and even ski clothing, either online or at one of their stores in Sydney prior to departure, and it will all be awaiting their arrival at the Hotel.

What's more, there are further options to assist skiers in making the journey to Thredbo and the Snowy Mountains even easier. Optional add-ons with either Aeropelican or the Hyatt Hotel Canberra are available. For those that want to fly from Sydney Aeropelican commences air services from Sydney to Cooma this June. Alternatively The Denman guests can make it a luxury three-night long weekend, breaking their journey either to or from the Snow, and staying for a night at Canberra's most luxurious five-star hotel.

 "Today's luxury traveller is looking for the personalised attention that only small properties like The Denman can offer", Ed Denny comments. "Our aim is to ensure that guest expectations are exceeded, not just met. This new package is recognition that there is a growing market of skiers seeking a totally indulgent weekend", says Ed. To this end, every guest who books this Snowy Mountains Luxury Ski & Spa Weekend Escape receives a bottle of ready chilled Vueve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne on arrival.

The Denman Hotel & Spa

The Denman Hotel & Spa boasts a dress circle position at Terrace Diggings in the heart of Thredbo Village, just a few minutes walk to the Crackenback chairlifts. The Hotel offers 36 guest rooms with ensuites, with a wide range of room styles and sizes, compact to spacious, chalet to contemporary, with no two rooms the same. Room service, porterage and valet parking are included.

Floor to ceiling windows offer stunning daytime mountain views and set the stage for award winning dining at the Denman's Terrace Restaurant. The Denman Hotel & Spa has won the Restaurant and Catering Association's "Best Restaurant Southern Region" and is Thredbo's premier dining venue. Open in winter from 6 pm till late, guests enjoy a la carte dining as part of the Denman tariff.

The Denman's Après Bar is recognised as the Snowy Mountain's most sophisticated nightspot. It's a chic metropolitan style cocktail lounge with comfortable seating –ideal for either pre or post dinner.

The Denman Day Spa is the only full day spa in Thredbo and exclusively offers Thalgo treatments from aromatherapy to remedial sports massage. Guests can choose from indulgent spa packages, facial treatments, body treatments, hand and feet treatments, plus waxing and tinting.

Thredbo Resort 

Kosciuszko Thredbo is Australia's premier ski resort, offering the country's longest downhill skiing, In fact, since the introduction in 2006/07 of extensive automated snow making facilities at the Resort, skiers can enjoy on average 100 days of top to bottom skiing.

The mountain offers a great mix of 'black' challenges for advanced and many great 'blue' runs for immediates. For beginners Friday Flats and Merrits provide fun on lots of easy 'green' slopes.

Thredbo is reminiscent of a European mountain retreat, with its town square and Village atmosphere. It offers undoubtedly Australia's best selection of après ski activities, with live music and dancing, restaurants and bars.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Captain Cook's High-Tea at Sea on Sunday

It's High-Tea at Sea on a Sunday…

Due to popular demand Captain Cook Cruises High Tea at Sea cruise will now depart three times a week instead of two with the addition of a Sunday afternoon High Tea Cruise from 16 May to 31 October 2010..

Like the Wednesday and Saturday High Tea cruises, the Sunday High Tea at Sea will depart at 2.30pm from Jetty 6, Circular Quay and return at 3.45pm.

"We are delighted to be expanding our High Tea at Sea cruise schedule. Since its launch in October 2009, High Tea at Sea has quickly proven to be one of our most popular cruises." Said Jackie Charlton, Joint Managing Director, Captain Cook Cruises.

The High Tea at Sea cruise features a delicious High Tea menu designed by MasterChef Series One Contestant, Lucas Parsons and Captain Cook Cruises Head Chef, Dennis Yang.

The menu includes a variety of savoury and sweet foods such as Crystal Bay prawns on dill blini crème fraiche, porcini mushroom, chili jam and spec pork sausage rolls, caramelized onion, beetroot, goats cheese baby tartlet chervil, mini scones with strawberry jam and vanilla cream, glazed mango and coconut custard tartlets, chocolate dipped strawberries and assorted Petite fours and truffles.

The cruise also includes an extensive tea menu with 15 different teas to choose from and million dollar views of Sydney Harbour.

The High-Tea at Sea cruise is held on the prestigious MV Sydney 2000 and is priced at $55.00 per person which includes a glass of delectable bubbles.

For further information and bookings, please contact Captain Cook Cruises toll free from Australia on 1800 804 843; Int +61-2-9206 1111, Email: or visit

Monday 26 April 2010

Andara Resort & Villas Phuket Joins Kiwi Collection

Located on Millionaires Mile, Phuket overlooking the Andaman Sea, the resort offers 37 lavish residence suites available in one to four bedroom configurations and 26 luxury pool villas with three to six bedrooms. Villa service includes your own villa attendant and private Thai chef.

Additional services at this stunning, intimate resort include an exquisite Spa, two magnificent customized Baglietto Italian-designed private motor yachts (85 and 107 ft respectively – 28 and 35 meters), and the renowned SILK Restaurant and Bar.

Kiwi Collection's luxury travel website and award-winning publications provide high-end travelers and travel agents with an up-to-date, unbiased, and trusted resource of the finest hotels around the globe that are personally vetted on an annual basis. The value of the Kiwi Collection is bolstered by the deep relationships that Kiwi Collection has with these hotels, ensuring that customers have the very best experience. Kiwi Collection’s website is built on proprietary content that draws from extensive research and analysis of customer experiences making online bookings as well as their experiences at hotels within the portfolio. To date, Kiwi Collection has signed the top 1% (over 2,100) of properties worldwide, from across virtually every luxury brand and affiliation as well as a host of independent properties. Properties are chosen objectively based on a strict evaluation of whether or not they offer truly outstanding guest experiences. Every year Kiwi Collection removes properties that no longer meet its strict criteria. More information about Kiwi Collection is available at

Reservations can be made through the resort’s reservations office direct on:

Telephone: +66 76 338 777 Fax: +66 76 338 949
Website: or

Sunday 25 April 2010

Plenty Up for Auction at Noosa Food and Wine Festival

Wannabe chefs rejoice!

Tourism Queensland is offering foodies the chance to bid for the opportunity to work with MasterChef judge and cravat wearing food critic extraordinaire Matt Preston during the Audi Noosa Food & Wine Festival 2010.

The ‘money can’t buy’ experience is part of Tourism Queensland’s, Queensland Holidays Ultimate Auctions going live online from 3pm, Tuesday, April 27 with all monies raised going to the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.

“We’re giving people the opportunity to enjoy the full VIP, gold ticket experience,” Matt said.

“They’ll get to rub shoulders with some of Australia’s best chefs, receive VIP passes to the Festival’s big events and be my guests at the sold- out Italian degustation dinner. They will also attend a top-secret launch event over the course of the weekend.

“The downside is that the successful bidder and their guest will also spend time with me as my sous chefs as we cook over 1000 picnic dishes for the Critics Cooking Competition at Lions Park on Saturday May 1.”

The ultimate auction winner will be left plenty of free time for getting out and seeing all the Sunshine Coast has to offer with its relaxed, yet sophisticated lifestyle, encompassing the coastline from Caloundra to Rainbow Beach and the lush countryside of the hinterland

Other components of the package include:

* Four nights luxury accommodation for two at The Rise, Noosa
* Two nights luxury accommodation for two at Mantra Mooloolaba Beach
* Two VIP Event Gold Passes
* Two VIP Degustation Dinners
* Two VIP entries to secret event
* Dinner at the award-winning Spirit House restaurant

Queensland Holidays Ultimate Auctions showcases the unique types of packages people can enjoy when holidaying in Queensland.
There will be nine other packages on auction from around the state up for bid at the same time as the Noosa Gourmet Getaway.

Thousands gather at War Memorial for Dawn Service

The traditional ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial has been attended by 20,000 visitors today.

"It was heart warming to see so many people gathered in the early morning for this special event," said Australian War Memorial Director Steve Gower.

"The ANZAC Day services remember those Australian service men and women who have served the nation, and particularly those who have died."

"I encourage those that could not join us earlier today to come to the National Service commencing at 10.15am. The National Service includes the RSL veterans march, and is a great way to recognise our returned service men and women.

"The Memorial will be open after the National Ceremony so that poppies can be placed on the Roll of Honour and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for those that never returned," said Steve Gower.

The National Ceremony commences at 10.15am

The Memorial will be open until 5pm today.

The Australian War Memorial is one of the nation's most visited museums, a place where Australians can remember and learn about the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on our society.

Saturday 24 April 2010

Houston CityPASS: Out-of-this-world Attractions at Bargain Prices

Houston — ZZ Top guitarist Billy F. Gibbons refers to Houston, his hometown, as a city of exotic extremes. In fact, Houston’s remarkable range stretches from the funky — the annual Art Car Parade and the Beer Can House — to the ultra-serious: the monumental contributions made to science by NASA and the Houston Medical Center. In-between lies a hearty mix of barbecue, toe-tapping blues, arts, activities and belly-busting good times.

And with Houston CityPASS, those good times come with a Texas-sized discount. Visitors who use CityPASS experience the city’s biggest attractions for almost half off regular-priced admissions.

Houston CityPASS costs $39 for adults (a value of $74.96) and $29 for kids, 3-11 (a value of $56.72). Inside each Houston CityPASS ticket booklet are discount admission tickets to Space Center Houston (NASA), Downtown Aquarium, Houston Museum of Natural Science and Houston Zoo, as well as a choice between The Health Museum and George Ranch Historical Park, and a second choice between the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and The Children’s Museum of Houston.

Visitors will want to leave plenty of time to explore one of America’s most iconic institutions: Space Center Houston. As the official visitor center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center, it is the home of astronauts and Mission Control. It houses actual spacecraft, spacesuits and other artifacts. The guided tram tour is a highlight, providing a behind-the-scenes journey to the Historic (Apollo Era) Mission Control, the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility or the current Mission Control Center. Because these are all working facilities, visitors occasionally catch a glimpse of astronauts training for upcoming missions. For a close-up look at several Gemini, Apollo and Mercury spacecraft, visitors shouldn’t miss the Saturn V Complex at the center’s Rocket Park.

With white tigers and tarantulas to go along with sharks and shipwrecks, there’s nothing conventional about a trip to Houston’s Downtown Aquarium. CityPASS users bypass main ticket lines, heading straight into their encounters with red-bellied piranhas, venomous stingrays and gorgeous tropical birds. After touring the many aquarium exhibits, visitors can hop aboard a train that cruises right through the center of a shark-filled tank.

Located in Hermann Park, the Houston Museum of Natural Science assembles a captivating collage of artifacts for young and old. Houston CityPASS holders will come face-to-face with huge dinosaurs, as well as rare gems and spectacular shells, an African ecosystem and the museum’s resident mummy, Ankh-hap. For an extra fee, visitors are encouraged to take a visual journey in the Wortham IMAX Theatre, or interact with more than 1,500 butterflies in the Cockrell Butterfly Center.

On the other side of Hermann Park lies the Houston Zoo and its collection of more than 4,500 animals, including the “world’s cutest animal,” Toby, the red panda. Red pandas have faces like Ewoks and tails like raccoons, live in trees and subsist on bamboo shoots. Zoo-goers also enjoy visiting the on-site Kipp Aquarium, checking out the new jaguar exhibit, splashing through the Water Park, or taking a ride on the Wildlife Carousel. And for those who want to spend their CityPASS savings on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the zoo offers “Cat Training Window” experiences ($100 per person) that allow guests the chance to feed a lion or tiger.

The last two Houston CityPASS tickets provide a choice between four different attractions. One discount ticket gains admission to either The Health Museum (just across the street from Hermann Park) or George Ranch Historical Park (30 miles southwest of downtown Houston).

The Health Museum is an interactive science learning center and a member institution of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center. Visitors to its Amazing Body Pavilion will take a larger-than-life tour of the human body to learn how organs and bones work. Guests can sit on giant teeth, ride a bicycle with a skeleton and walk through a giant brain. Other attractions include the McGovern 4D Theater, where visitors can cringe and revel in a 3D microscopic adventure into the alien landscape of their own skin.

Anyone tired of being a city slicker can take a short drive into the country to see Texas traditions nurtured at George Ranch Historical Park. On this working ranch of cattle and cotton, there are wagon camps, a blacksmith, livestock, weaving, corn grinding and other hands-on activities.

Back in the big city, the second Houston CityPASS option ticket offers a choice between the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, or The Children’s Museum of Houston.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is one of the nation’s premier destinations for art lovers; a home to both centuries-old masterpieces and modern marvels. With nearly 60,000 works of art gathered from nearly every corner of the world, it showcases displays as diverse as 2,500 Years of African Art, Masterworks of European Art, Americana and an expansive sculpture garden.

Kids who are less inclined to wander the art museum will be tickled to tour the recently expanded Children’s Museum of Houston. Here they can build robots in Invention Convention; anchor the news or get elected as mayor of Kidtropolis, USA; take a wet, wild adventure into FlowWorks, and climb a three-story tower in Power Tower.

Houston CityPASS can be purchased online at or at any of the CityPASS attractions. It is valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use.

As a premier product for travelers who crave savings, convenience and a well-defined means to discovering a city’s leading attractions, the CityPASS concept showcases the best attractions in North America’s most exciting destinations at an incredible discount. CityPASS ticket booklets are available for New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hollywood, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California and Toronto. For more information on CityPASS and its partner cities and attractions, visit

Friday 23 April 2010

Unleashed Travel adds Vanuatu to 'schoolies’ product line up in 2011

Unleashed Travel has further expanded its overall reach beyond Fiji and Bali to include Vanuatu with the release of its 2011 product range.

The schoolies specialist is offering seven-day packages at secluded Hideaway Island located near Port Vila, the programs inclusive of return economy airfares, all accommodation, all meals and daily activities and entertainment which includes several themed parties.

Prices for the seven-day packages start from AUD1439* per person on a quad share basis however twin, triple and five-person sharing rates are also available.

The 2011 brochure also features an expanded range of Fiji product with dedicated schoolies programs now available at six properties.

These include Beachcomber Island Resort, Plantation Island Resort and Mana Island Resort & Spa in the Mamanuca Islands and Sonaisali Island Resort, the Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa and the Naviti Fiji Resort on the big island of Viti Levu.

Fiji schoolies programs start from AUD1849* per person based on a triple share basis at Mana Island Resort & Spa however twin, triple, four and five-person share rates are also available at most properties.

All prices are inclusive of return economy airfares, all accommodation, all meals and daily activities and entertainment which includes themed parties.

Unleashed Travel is also repeating its popular 2010 Bali program with the re-inclusion of 10-night packages at the beachfront Bali Bounty Hotel in the popular Kuta Beach resort area.

Prices start from AUD1649* per person based on a triple share basis however twin, quad and five-share accommodation rates are also available.

Prices include return economy airfares, all accommodation and daily breakfasts, a day cruise, transfers, nightly entertainment and themed parties.

All Unleashed Travel programs are fully commissionable to travel agents.

*Conditions apply.

For more information telephone Unleased Travel toll free on 1800 981 320 or visit

Snuffle for a Truffle

FOOD connoisseurs with a nose for something special will love what Tempo Holidays has served up with its unique Snuffle for a Truffle experience in the Italian countryside.

Offering an exquisite taste of local traditions and culture, the three-day package is based in the picturesque Piedmont region, prized for its white truffles and fine wines.

Staying in an historic villa, travellers will enjoy the unique experience of a truffle hunt, guided tasting, savour a truffle menu dinner and sample famous Barolo wines.

Priced from $2560* per person twin share, the package includes two nights accommodation; two breakfasts and one dinner; hunting with an experienced trifuloa and his dog including tasting; a guided visit to a traditional wine cellar with tasting and touring by sedan car with driver.

The package, which departs Milan, is valid for sale and travel to December 31, 2010.

For bookings, contact your local travel agent or Tempo Holidays - Australian Travel Agent,, 1300 558 987 or For more information, check out Tempo Holidays’ latest specials and promotions.

*Terms & conditions apply, subject to change and availability

It's Mums Day at Spectacular Shoal Bay!

Socialise and reconnect with family over breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner this Mothers Day at Shoal Bay Resort & Spa. All mums dining in Sandyfoot Café & Catch Restaurant on Mothers Day receive a complimentary glass of bubbles & delicious chocolates. That means at Shoal Bay Resort & Spa every Mum can enjoy either a Bubbly Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea or Dinner!

If you would like to give Mum a gift to indulge in at her leisure take advantage of the Aqua Spa’s Essential Indulgences Pamper Package, which includes a facial, lunch & a glass of bubbly plus extra bonuses for only $99! Call the Aqua Spa on 4984 8194 for bookings and more information.

Catch up over lunch this Mothers Day…

Mothers Day lunch in Catch Restaurant at Shoal Bay will be a relaxed, enjoyable occasion with every mum receiving a complimentary glass of bubbles & delicious chocolates with every booking. Live entertainment will be provided by soloist ‘Jamie’.

Boasting an uninterrupted waterfront setting, offering 2 & 3 course options priced at $50 & $60 respectively, Catch is unbeatable value for money without compromising on quality.

Relax with casual drinks on the Catch Terrace and enjoy some of the finest Hunter Valley cellar door selections before enjoying the freshest produce that Port Stephens has to offer.

Catch at Shoal Bay is renowned for its fresh and original menu, exclusively chosen and perfectly prepared by Executive Chef, Patrick Power. The Autumn menu is inspired from the growing trend to appreciate good food and wine, taking time to savour and discover new flavours, food origins and preparations. Offering a selection of fresh catches each day, famous Hunter beef fillets, Wagyu Beef & Cowra Lamb, there is something for everyone on the menu.

Catch is open for Lunch on Mothers Day from 12pm and dinner from 6pm. For bookings call 4981 1555

Sweet Treats High Tea from noon at Sandyfoot Café on Mothers Day

At $15 per person, including tea & coffee and a glass of bubbles for mum, enjoy a decadent afternoon tea platter that is great value and includes a selection of mouth watering treats:

Citrus Tarts, Custard Tarts, Lemon Meringue Pies, Vanilla Slice, Mud cake, Cheese Cake, Caramel Tarts, Danish, Friands

Available from midday on Mothers Day, May 9. Bookings not required.

HALF PRICE Holiday for Mum!

For that extra special mum, take the time to enjoy all of our divine dining options, beautiful natural setting and the absolute tranquillity of Shoal Bay - don’t miss our fantastic HALF PRICE HOLIDAY sale!

From only $97*pp per night:
Twin Share Accommodation in an 1 Bedroom Executive Apartment
Full hot & cold buffet breakfast daily
Complimentary use of Aqua Spa facilities (min 16 yrs) including unique salt, mineral and freshwater spa pools, 25 metre heated indoor lap pool & gymnasium.
Complimentary undercover parking
Total package = $194
*Terms & Conditions. Twin share. Valid to 31 May 2010. 2 night min for a Saturday night booking. Surcharge for Anzac weekend.

Book NOW 1800 18 18 10

For more information about Shoal Bay Resort & Spa, go to Or call 1800 18 18 10.

Thursday 22 April 2010

Rejuvenate for Winter

To celebrate the coming of the season, Peppers Springs Retreat and Spa in Hepburn Springs will host a 5 day Winter Rejuvenation Workshop from Monday 31 May to Friday 4 June 2010.

The program includes elements of holistic therapies, astrology, tarot and alternative therapies and shows how these can be easily incorporated into your everyday life.

The workshop includes four nights of accommodation, daily breakfast/morning/afternoon teas/lunch, dinner on three nights as well as hands on daily workshops and presentations. Also included is a selection of blissful Mineral Spa treatments that include a 45 minute relaxation massage, a 60 minute Spa Botanical facial and 60 minutes in the mineral water therapy area - The Retreat.

Packages start from $1564 per person twin share. For more information or bookings call 03 5348 2202, email or visit


Core belief awareness - How do you want your life to be? Learn to let go of past burdens, acknowledge judgements and criticisms that are ruling your life.

An Introduction to Astrology - Learn about your compatibility with others, workmates, partners and children. Have your birth chart drawn during the week so provide your date of birth as well as the time and place of birth when you book.

Shamanic Dreaming - examines the worlds of dreaming including night dreaming, the dream you actually live and capturing your future dreams.

Tarot as my companion - When we are in turmoil, the mind is racing and we have decisions to make, Tarot is an excellent companion. By laying out our cards in clearly defined patterns we can plot our journey.

How we view life, loving and sharing - Understand where there is imbalance in your life and take the opportunity to change by identifying values and areas that are most important to you.

Astrology Earth Walks - Explores the Sun Sign through the concept of what is my purpose? The polarity of the Sun Sign illuminates our shadow self and we explore the walk of self and purpose to the shadow.

Bodywork - Kick start your immunity and prepare for the winter chills with an introduction 10 day antioxidant boost using a simple blend of essential oils for relaxation, feeling uplifted and mental clarity. Learn self massage techniques for tension relief in your neck shoulders.

An introduction to yoga with Shayna Ogden from Daylesford Yoga School.

Introduction to iridology - Includes an iris map to interpret and recognise your own constitutional makeup.

Your nutrition plan - An emphasis on wholefood dietary therapy, winter eating plans and recipes to boost energy, immune system and overall vitality.

Learn how to give friends/partners a therapeutic seated massage. You will work in pairs with instruction from one of our Mineral Spa therapists.

Guided meditation. Relax and enjoy the benefits of meditation and learn to make it part of your daily routine.

Introduction to Australian Bush Flower Essences - Includes a garden walk exploring the ancient theory of the Doctrine of Signatures of plants. Examining the link between the colours, shape, and growing habits of a plant or flower and its effect on our physical, emotional and etheric bodies.

Demystifying the health food shop - Have you ever walked into a health food shop and wondered what is Spiralina, do I need fish oil and joint powders and what are crystal deodorants? Simplify your daily beauty routine with rose hip oil and therapeutic clays and oatmeal. Discuss practitioner-only products versus retail products.

Home Healing workshop – Learn how to blend and create simple herbal tea combinations at home to treat conditions such as colds and flu, digestive complaints, anxiety, insomnia, skin problems and toxicity.

Caitlin Graham-Jones - Naturopath
Caitlin teaches workshops all around Australia with Australian Bush Flower essences as well as being a lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Therapies in Melbourne and working as a naturopath in a busy Melbourne Clinic. Caitlin’s teaching method is warm, inspiring, fun and refreshing - highlighting her love of all things natural.

Lyndall McQuinn – Astrology/Tarot
Lyndall is a brilliant astrologer/tarot practitioner with over 25 years experience in her fields that include astrology, tarot, Wicca, kabalistic teachings, Buddhism, psychic healing and shamanism. She has founded the School of Magical Practices and is currently teaching classes in shamanism and shamanic astrology and tarot.

Jaya Saunders – Alternative Therapies
Jaya has a strong belief in the value of alternative therapies to effectively educate and facilitate the healing potential of the body, mind and spirit. An experienced professional in complimentary health and wellbeing techniques, her approach is sincere and very down to earth with a confidence that comes from 30 years experience.

Set Your Pulse Racing

Grand Pacific Tours, has released their range of Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival packages.

Although known as a New Zealand Coach Holiday Specialist, the company has run a successful programme of packaged tours over the Spring Racing Carnival and with the 150th anniversary of the Melbourne Cup, 2010 promises to be a great year for race goers or those interested in the sights and sounds that make Melbourne so exciting at this time of the year.

The company has made slight changes over previous years but still offers a choice for travellers. The 8 Day VIP Package is for the more discerning traveller, which includes return transfers each race day including champagne, 3 days reserved seating in the undercover Hill Stand, Reserved table seating in the Skyline Restaurant with buffet luncheon, afternoon tea, racebook and selected beverages on race days as well as a welcome cocktail function on the first night. **NEW** for 2010 and EXCLUSIVE to travellers on the VIP package, attendance at ‘Call of the Card’ staged at the Crown Casino including return transfers, lunch and beverages. This function has a fabulous 50 year history for keen race goers.

The 6 Day Freedom of Choice includes accommodation, 3 days reserved seating in the undercover Hill Stand and luxury return coach transfers to Flemington Racecourse on all three race days - Derby, Melbourne Cup and Oaks Day. Dress up in your favourite ‘black and white’ attire for the Melbourne Cup Eve Fancy Dress Dinner Cruise onboard the Yarra Empress.

The 6 Day Stay and Race Package includes accommodation at a choice of hotels; 3 days reserved seating in the undercover Hill Stand for Derby, Melbourne Cup and Oaks Day and discount vouchers for various day tours & attractions in Melbourne.

Grand Pacific Tours also offers a 2 Day Tatts Cox Plate Package, where you can experience the electric atmosphere and excitement of Moonee Valley Racecourse as it comes alive for this thrilling race.

As an added incentive, the first 500 travellers to book and pay on the VIP & Freedom of Choice packages will go into the draw to win cash prizes which will be drawn at various functions throughout the program.* PLUS those that book on the 8 Day VIP Package by the 31st May 2010 will receive a $100 per person Discount. Seats are strictly limited and only available for sale until 15 July 2010. (No other special offers or discounts apply).

For further information visit or call 1800 622 768.


Escape for a divine weekend away of indulgence to one of the world's most spectacular stretches of coastline and inland Lakes and Crater country – The Shipwreck Coast.

The Shipwreck Coast, renowned throughout the world for its famous 12 Apostles, is also abundant with local heritage with unique landforms, heritage buildings and historical homesteads located less than an hour's drive inland from the famous 12 Apostles.

There is history to uncover, coastal villages to discover, restaurants and accommodation options to experience. From autumn through to winter you will experience the region at its best with some great packages available to visitors which include:-

Shearwater Haven B&B

Eco Escape

For $600 for 4 persons includes:

Complimentary car shuttle to one of your walks
Two full breakfasts
Exclusive use of guest sitting room and kitchenette
Close proximity to Port Campbell National Park, Great Ocean Walk and Timboon Rail Trail.

Ph:  03 5598 6532

Expiry: 30/11/10

The Rail Trail Goes Gourmet

Price - $200 per person (or $140 if you have your own bike or will be walking) includes

Gourmet hamper of local produce and bottle of wine  delivered along your journey
Bike (optional)
Helmet and lock
Fishing rods, tackle and licence in an easy to carry backpack
Transport to and from your car, train or accommodation

Ph: 0438 407 777

Expiry: 30/11/10

Eastern Reef Cottages

Off Peak Hot Deals


First night $120 per double and $25 per extra person

Second night $96 per double with wine or champagne

Third night $84 with box of chocolates

Fourth night $72

Package conditions: Based on two people staying one or more nights. Bookings via web

Ph: 03 55 986 561

Expiry: 30/9/10

Moonshine Winter Hideaway

Price: $167 per couple for two nights

           $229 per couple for three nights


Complimentary bottle of wine on second and third nights
Free canoe use

Close proximity to the coast, Southern Right Whales, local pub as well as a wide variety of local chocolates, ice creams and wines.

Must mention Moonshine Winter Getaway Package when booking

Ph: 0427 665 201

Expiry: 17/9/10

Moonlight Retreat Cottages

Four night midweek getaway

Price: $615 for four nights midweek in a luxury self-contained spa cottage


Heated indoor spa pool
King size bed
Wood fire
Glorious views over rolling hills to the 12 Apostles
Surround sound digital stereo system, DVD player and more

Ph: (03) 5237 5277

Expiry: 30/11/10

Flagstaff Hill

Lighthouse Keepers Getaway

Price: $235.00 per a couple


One nights accommodation - Lighthouse Lodge
Bottle of wine on arrival
Double Pass - Shipwrecked Sound and Laser Show

Ph: (03) 5559 4600

Expiry: 30/11/2010

Rundells Mahogany Trail Rides

Horse Riding on the Beach

Price: from $50 per a person

Enjoy beautiful stretches of almost deserted beach while riding lovely well trained horses, suitable for children aged 7 and upwards and adults of all ages. Rides start from a 1.5 hour trail ride, right up to a half or a full day ride.

Ph: 0408 589 546

Expiry: 15/04/2010

Banyan Place

Three Night Special

Price: from $130.00

Book any three night package Sunday - Thursday and receive a mystery gift to the value of $30.

Ph: 0418 261 969

Expiry: 23/12/10

Air Warrnambool

Find a Whale Flight
Price:  Normally $200 per flight, now $150 per flight – save $50.00

This half-hour flight provides the best view in town of our famous annual visitors from the warmth and comfort of our aircraft.

Ph: (03) 5565 9139

Expiry: 30/09/10

Lady Bay Resort

Family Getaway Special

Price: Option 1 - $450 Option 2 - $520


Two Nights in a fully self-contained two bedroom apartment. A 10% discount in our onsite Endota Day Spa, full buffet breakfast for four people one morning, free tickets for a family of four to the Warrnambool Ten-pin Bowl and tickets to the Shipwrecked Sound and Laser Light Show.


Two Nights in a fully self-contained two bedroom luxury spa apartment. A 10% discount in our onsite Endota Day Spa, full buffet breakfast for four people one morning, free tickets for a family of four to the Warrnambool Ten-pin Bowl and tickets to the Shipwrecked Sound and Laser Light Show.

Ph: (03) 5562 1662

Expiry: 31/07/10

Home to some of Victoria's best food, set amongst historic towns with a rich rural past and dramatic state, national and marine parks the Shipwreck Coasts boasts almost 100 kilometres of rugged coastline to explore, plus vast stretches of country roads and plenty of walks and cycling trails to cater to every kind of traveller.

For full package terms and conditions please visit:

Check-mate! Virgin Blue First Australian Airline to Offer a New Way to Check-in via Your Mobile!


Thursday 22 April, Brisbane, Australia: Virgin Blue has launched a revolutionary, innovative new process to check in and board on domestic flights via a traveller’s mobile called “Check-Mate”.

Gone are the days of booking the flight in advance at a desktop computer, getting to the airport, lining up to check-in and getting a printed boarding pass, with the new Check-Mate process eliminating all paper boarding passes in favour of electronic boarding passes on mobile devices including mobile phones, BlackBerry Smartphones and iPhones.

New technology will enable Virgin Blue travellers to make flight bookings, changes and cancellations across the entire Virgin Blue domestic network from their personal devices while on the run and at their convenience.

Phase one of the innovative project was launched this week via “” and a special BlackBerry Virgin Blue application. It offers mobile check-in, seat selection and boarding via 2D barcode scanning on personal handheld mobile devices for Virgin Blue passengers travelling on direct flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said, “Being at the forefront of technological advancements is critical to the Virgin Blue strategy to providing our Guests, especially those who are time poor, with the latest innovations to make their travel experience streamlined and speedy.”

“We are excited to be the first airline in the country to be offering a full suite of mobile options, in particular the ability for people to actually make a flight booking, check themselves in on their way to the airport and then go straight to boarding with their 2D barcode.”

The barcode will feature all the key information including flight number, boarding time, seat number and arrival time at destination.

Brett Godfrey added, “Not only does it eliminate paper boarding passes in favour of the more environmentally friendly electronic boarding pass, it heralds the beginning of a new and dynamic era for travellers who rightly demand more sophisticated and advanced means of going about their business and leisure travel.”

Flyers can easily log on via their personal devices and access other Virgin Blue information including Lounge membership information, details on special travel requirements, Velocity information and more.

Further cementing Virgin Blue’s technology leadership in the airline industry, the carrier has launched the downloadable App for BlackBerry smartphone users.

For Velocity members, Virgin Blue is partnering with WorldMate to provide key business travel planning services such as, itinerary management, travel alerts, currency converter and weather forecasts.

The new application is a feature rich and fast travel tool and offers key business travel planning services such as itinerary management, travel alerts, currency converter and weather forecasts.

While other carriers have introduced some mobile functionality such as mobile boarding passes, Virgin Blue is the first to offer a suite of products. The application was developed as a joint project between Virgin Blue’s own Internet Technology team and Dublin based Mobile Travel Technologies.

Future phases will include a range of functions including Australasia wide airport 2D scanning of bar codes for boarding and enriched mobile functionality across the Virgin Blue Group.

Celebrate The Queen's Birthday With The London Pass

Catch a glimpse of Her Majesty The Queen from the Mall as she goes to watch the Trooping of the Colour, the quintessential English parade of foot guards and Household Cavalry that marks her birthday.

Join in the pomp and ceremony that surrounds the Trooping of the Colour, and then take in some of the Royal residences with the London Sightseeing Pass, including Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle.

The London Sightseeing Pass gives access to these and over 55 other top attractions including St Paul’s Cathedral, The Tower of London and the Churchill War Rooms. With discounted meals and shopping the London Pass makes for a perfect day out for less.

Users have priority access at the busiest sites to avoid queues, a free guidebook and over 40 additional deals and discounts.
A one-day London Pass costs £39 for adults and £26 for a child. A two-day London Pass costs £54 for adults (£40 for children aged between five and 15 years), three-day passes are £65 for adults and £45 for children, and a six-day option costs £89 for adults and £62 for children.
Check out all the activities on offer with the London Sightseeing Pass at The website includes a London map tool to plan visits, details on all the featured attractions, and comprehensive information on special offers that are exclusive to London Pass holders such as free gifts at Harrods and commission-free currency exchange.
For more information and to buy a London Pass visit, call 0870 242 9988 or buy in-store at the Britain and London Visitor Centre on Regent Street, London.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Make Your Mum's Day with Gorgeous Gift Ideas

Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree are making your choices easy this Mother's Day with a variety of specially tailored deals and gift ideas all designed with one person in mind… your mum.

From great accommodation rates and divine lunch and dinner packages to massages and chocolates, you'll be sure to show your mum how much she means to you.

Or take the option of allowing your mum to choose her own way to spend the day with a gift voucher. Priced from just $50, these can be redeemed for accommodation, spa treatments or dining experiences at participating Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree properties throughout Australia and New Zealand. Call BreakFree on 132 007, Mantra on 13 15 17, and for Peppers call 1300 987 600 or visit

Experiences Mum will love:

Peppers Palm Bay, Whitsundays - Mother's Day endota lunch trip from $130* per person, including two-course lunch, glass of sparkling, 60-minute endota spa treatment and return Jetstream transfers from Shute Harbour to Peppers Palm Bay. Call 07 4946 9233 or visit

Peppers Pier Resort, Hervey Bay - From $195 per night in a One Bedroom Suite, including $50 spa voucher on arrival, sparkling wine, chocolates, use of bath robes & complimentary slippers for two. Valid for sale from 16/04/10 until 09/05/10, valid for travel from 16/04/10 until 11/05/10. Two night minimum stay applies. Call 07 4194 9700 or visit

Mantra Hervey Bay, Hervey Bay - From $154 per night in a One Bedroom Apartment with Spa, including sparkling wine, chocolates, and bath salts for spa bath. Valid for sale until 10/05/10, valid for travel from 06/05/10 until 11/05/10. Two night minimum stay applies. Call 07 4197 8200 or visit

BreakFree Grand Pacific, Caloundra – Relax in your rooftop jacuzzi with a bottle of sparkling wine from $184 per night in a One Bedroom Rooftop, including rejuvenation package with lip balm, exfoliating facial scrub, hand and nail cream, foot cream and foot gel, assorted tea bags, bath salts for spa bath. Valid for sale until 10/05/10, valid for travel from 06/05/10 until 11/05/10. Two night minimum stay applies. Call 07 5436 4444 or visit

Peppers Ruffles Lodge & Spa, Gold Coast Hinterland – Make it a triple treat for Mum or choose between three great experiences. First is our Mother's Day Spa Indulgence package from $150, including a beautiful one hour Waterlily Botanical Facial with a luxurious vanilla bean body creme to take home. Second is our Mother's Day A La Carte Lunch on Sunday, May 9, from $70 per person for four courses. And third, add accommodation from $420 per night (two night minimum stay over a Saturday night applies). Call 07 5546 7411 or email

Mantra Sun City, Surfers Paradise – From $282 a night in a One Bedroom Apartment, including 60 minute massage and 15 minute Foot Pamper for mum, and full breakfast for two in Sayas restaurant. Valid 01/05/2010-31/05/2010.Call 07 5584 6000 or visit

Q1 Resort & Spa, Surfers Paradise – From $292 a night in a One Bedroom Apartment, including two half-hour massages, and two Q Deck tickets. Valid May 1-31, 2010. Call 07 5630 4500 or visit

Mantra Legends Hotel, Surfers Paradise - From $255 a night in a Hotel Room, including seafood buffet dinner for two adults and buffet breakfast for two adults at Fables restaurant plus up to two kids dine free. Valid 1-31 May, 2010. Call 07 5588 7888 or visit

2-Night 5-Star Cruise Like No Two Nights You’ve Ever Had

IF you’ve a special-occasion celebration coming up, or simply want to say a unique Thank You to that unique person in your life, cruise with them out of Sydney Harbour in November next year for “two nights to nowhere” on a 5-star liner that most can only dream about finding themselves aboard.

Royal Caribbean International’s Radiance of the Seas super-liner will become one of the talking points of Sydney when she visits in November 2011, and on November 18 (2011) she’ll sail at ten o’clock at night through the city’s harbour lights for 2-nights of 5-star indulgence – that through will start from just $469pp twin-share, which is $280pp below some-previously advertised prices.

And it will include all onboard dining from a choice of 5-star restaurants, grills and cafés, port charges and taxes, and even onboard gratuities – making for one of the grandest 2-nights you’ve ever had, and one of the best-priced.

Go onto and book this amazing package online; ecruising is the only Australian cruise company to offer this facility, and also accepts online bookings for all other ships of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: As Radiance of the Seas cruises off the NSW coast, guests will have a choice of activities ranging from the indoor/outdoor Country Club with golf simulator, 9-hole Miniature Golf Course, a Day Spa and Fitness Centre, Solarium, Rock-climbing Wall, Youth Facilities, Kids Waterslide, Basketball/Volleyball Court, Pool Tables, a Casino and a range of Themed Bars and Lounges.

The 2500-passenger Radiance of the Seas will be the first “21st century superliner” to visit Australia, and will offer more open space than any other cruise ship of her size, including acres of glass windows for picture-perfect viewing.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Australia’s Newest Hotel, Melbourne's Crown Metropol, Is Now Officially Open

This evening, Crown's new 658 room hotel, Crown Metropol, was officially opened by Crown Limited's Executive Chairman, James Packer and the Premier of Victoria, the Honourable John Brumby.

The launch of the wave-shaped hotel included the opening of the hotel's level 27 day spa, Isika, the top floor guest lounge and bar, "28", the hotel's four meeting rooms as well as the official opening of Gordon Ramsay's two new restaurants, maze and maze Grill.

Special guests included Gordon Ramsay, Senator the Honourable Stephen Conroy, Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, the Honourable Martin Ferguson, Federal Minister for Tourism, Resources and Energy, the Honourable Tim Holding, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, the Honourable Steven Ciobo, Federal Shadow Minister for Tourism, the Arts, Youth and Sport and the Right Honourable Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor City of Melbourne, as well as DJ Havana Brown and high-profile chefs Guillaume Brahimi, Neil Perry and Robert Marchetti.

Over 250 guests witnessed the unveiling of Melbourne's newest and most architecturally-striking hotel. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception sipping Moët & Chandon Champagne accompanied by canapés expertly-prepared by maze's Chef de Cuisine, Josh Emett.

"We have invested over $370 million in Crown Metropol and its associated assets, to ensure that Crown here in Melbourne remains one of the best integrated casino resorts in the world," said Mr Packer. Crown Melbourne's Chief Executive Officer, David Courtney, stated that, "the new hotel is a demonstration of the confidence Crown has in the future of Melbourne as one of the world's leading tourist destinations." "The Bates Smart designed hotel will employ 500 people and provide accommodation for approximately 225 000 interstate and overseas guests in its first year of operation," stated Courtney.

"It's great to be back in Melbourne to celebrate this momentous occasion, the opening of Crown Metropol. Having opened restaurants in New York, London, Cape Town and Doha and having seen Melbourne grow into such a dynamic culinary city, I could not be more excited to be a part of the action. Seeing Melbourne's maze and maze Grill open is a dream come true," added Gordon Ramsay.

Following the official opening ceremony, guests were entertained and indeed awe-struck by a surprise performance by world-renowned illusionist, Matt Hollywood. Assembled invitees then ascended the hotel's ribbon staircase before being seated for dinner at maze and maze Grill.

The finale of the evening will be late night drinks and tapas at "28," Crown Metropol's private hotel guest lounge and soon-to-be Melbourne's most talked about nightspot. The bar features both indoor and heated outdoor seating and the best views of the Melbourne skyline.

To top the night off, all guests will enjoy overnight accommodation at Crown Metropol followed by a Gordon Ramsay-created breakfast served in the comfort of their room or in the buzzy, brasserie-like feel of maze and maze Grill.

Monday 19 April 2010

Last Chance to be Hit for Six in the Caribbean

ALL aboard the Sportsnet Holidays Twenty20 Caribbean Crash and Bash tour in the West Indies from April 30.

Sportsnet is offering two exquisite packages to watch Australia take on 12 other teams in what is rapidly becoming the future of cricket – crash and bash Twenty20 style.

Soak up the sun at Barbados and St Lucia from $2,299 in the Crash and Bash tour that also provides a day tour of Barbados. The package includes entry into four group matches and four super 8 (finals) matches as well as two nights accommodation in St Lucia and seven nights accommodation in Barbados; both with breakfast daily.

Or there’s the Twenty20 West Indies Caribbean Final Assault Tour from $1,899 that includes a full day sailing trip in St Lucia and of course general admission tickets to each match day and the Super 8’s Double Header plus seven nights’ stay in St Lucia and Barbados hotels.

Get set for an action-packed time with lots of sixes and perhaps a martini or two tropical style.

To book or for more information, contact Sportsnet on 1300 888 858, via email on or visit

Fiji Orchid - Upping The Ante for Luxury Short Break Stays

The Fiji Orchid has announced new package options to satisfy guest demands for more than a simple overnight stay or transit day stop at the resort before or after an existing Fijian island cruise or Fiji island resort sojourn.

“Our unique location has always made us a firm favourite of visitors returning from cruising around the islands and needing to relax for a night or two before heading to Nadi International Airport, a 15 minute transfer from the resort – but the feedback from our return guests is – we want more of the calm and seductive magic that Fiji Orchid offers”, said Director of International Sales & Marketing Jan Foletta.

The Fiji Orchid is fast becoming recognised as one of Fiji’s hidden gems, a genuine warm and friendly boutique Fijian 5-star tropical resort, set amidst 2.5 hectares of manicured tropical gardens.

The property was once the treasured orchid plantation of emmy award Hollywood actor Raymond Burr, remembered for his roles in ‘Perry Mason’ and ‘Ironside’. Burr’s two original homes have been since transformed into the Fiji Orchid restaurant and the original South-seas style white colonial plantation home is now the reception area, complemented by six new luxuriously appointed and elegantly designed tented bures.

“The short break holiday has emerged internationally as a significant travel trend in recent years,” Ms. Foletta said. “So with this new short break stay package deal we can now offer the quintessential boutique Fijian luxury experience tailored to suit our guests needs”, she continued.

FIJI ORCHID - 2010 Short Break Deals from FJ$ 1,800 per couple + 17.5% Fiji Tax Valid until 31/3/2011
• 3 nights luxury accommodation and full a carte breakfast daily per person
• return private transfers from/to Nadi airport, Denarau and Lautoka
• 2 Fijian inspired mini spa treatments per couple
• A choice of an offsite activity such as Bounty Island full tour including lunch and snorkelling OR Viti Eco Half Day Tour of Viseisei Village and the warm mud pool visit at Sabeto OR a Sleeping Giant orchid garden tour.
• pure Fiji gift pack per couple

Special room rate of FJ$440 + tax per night is available for guests who have booked the Short Break value package and require a longer stay at The Fiji Orchid. Rates are quoted per couple and include full cooked breakfast.

A special late check-out rate is also available for guests who have evening flights, with rooms available until 9.00pm for an additional FJ$150.00 + tax added to the existing package.
Each air conditioned bure offers the ultimate in luxury with a large canopied bed fitted with quality bedding to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep. Extra large bathroom, a rain shower and use of locally sourced amenities are all part of the guest room experience.

The Fiji Orchid also has a dedicated massage & spa treatment bure, a tranquil haven offering a full range of Fijian inspired day spa treatments and massage therapy.

Luxurious overnight accommodation is available at FJ$550.00 + 17.5% Fiji Govt. Tax including continental breakfast for two persons and private transfers to Denarau or Lautoka.

Day use transit room rates are also available upon request.
Reservations phone 02 9369 3108

Travelplan Ski is Offering Amazing Early Bird Deals Next Season in Whistler


Travelplan Ski is offering amazing early bird deals next season in Whistler, North America's No.1 ski resort. But hurry - the offer ends on 30 April!

Up to 50% off luxury accommodation – plus great lift, lesson and hire deals on this world-class Canadian resort.

We believe these deals will never be repeated, and with 2 mountains, 12 alpine bowls, and over 200 ski runs in 3000 hectares of terrain... why not make 2011 the year you ski Whistler.

For further information, please visit or call 1300 754 754.

Segway Tours Go Off the Beaten Track at Currumbin

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast has launched its new Segway Safaris on the Gold Coast, taking visitors through the Sanctuary’s bushland and coastal rainforest habitats in a unique guided tour experience.

Popular around the globe, the Segway Personal Transporter is a self, balancing personal transportation device designed to go anywhere you go – in a safe, eco-friendly, efficient manner.

“The Segway Safari is like no other and we’re excited to be able to offer safe and memorable tours using Segway PTs so that visitors can encounter the far corners of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s 27 hectares of scenic tracks and wildlife habitats,” Currumbin CEO Jonathan Fisher said.

“Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary continues to innovate nature and wildlife experiences for our many visitors by offering unique activities they cannot get elsewhere – the Segway Safari gives our visitors that one-of-a-kind experience.

“On the Segway Safari, visitors will go behind the scenes at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital then explore the Forest Walk through Currumbin’s far-reaching bushland reserves before heading through the Sub-tropical Rainforest Aviary – one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and home to an array of colourful bird species.

“There’s also the chance to see Tree Kangaroos and Cassowaries in lush rainforest habitats, all with an expert guide to provide insights into the many fascinating wildlife species encountered on the way.”

The Segway Safari tours for groups of up to eight people last 90 minutes and include training and helmets. Tours are offered three times a day and can be pre-booked online or at the Visitor Services desk at Currumbin.

The first of its kind, the self-balancing, electric Segway PT runs on batteries and is a zero-emissions, eco-friendly form of transport that is both silent and highly energy-efficient.

Segway technology enables the Segway PT to work with your body movements – you simply lean forward to move forward and lean back to go back.

Turning is controlled by an easy-to-use intuitive Leansteer technology with gyroscopes and sensors in the Segway PT monitor the rider’s centre of gravity 100 times per second.

After a short training session, movement becomes smooth and easy, allowing Segway Safari participants to relax enjoy the view as they glide through Currumbin’s bushland pathways during the tour.


Friday 16 April 2010

Chimu Adventures Launches New South America Brochure with a Free Trip to Peru!

Latin America and Antarctica specialist – Chimu Adventures, has launched their new South America brochure featuring the most popular tours to Argentina, Chile, Peru, Brazil and multi-country tours. To help celebrate the launch of the new brochure, Chimu Adventures is offering a lucky consultant the chance to win a trip for 2 to South America including a highlights of Peru tour and $AUD 2000 worth of airline credit.

Greg Carter believes this will serve as a great reward to one of the increasing number of agents who are beginning to book Chimu Adventures’ range of South America products and use their expert destination knowledge – “We have really seen an increase in agent bookings this year and we are very confident that with our new brochure, our second to none customer service and the best products in South America, we will see further increases and develop more great relationships with agents across Australia”.

To be eligible to enter, agents must make at least one booking over the value of $AUD 2,000 with Chimu Adventures by August 2010 and the more bookings an agent makes the more entries they will receive.

Further to the incentive, Chimu Adventures is offering a special 20% commission on all land based tours for the first booking from a new agency and then a standard 12% for bookings until August 2010. To order your copy of the new brochure, please contact Chimu Adventures on (02) 9280 0123 or

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Pinctada Launches Children Of The Lugger People

Pinctada Hotels & Resorts today announced the launch of Children of the Lugger People, a three-day extraordinary experience which celebrates Broome’s rich pearling history and eclectic culture through the eyes of award-winning indigenous guide and third-generation pearlshell diver Neville Poelina.

Neville is a popular Kimberley personality and, a proud ‘child of the lugger people’. He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and Timorese father to become one of Broome’s most acclaimed pearlshell divers before launching a successful cultural tourism business which embraces the rich and ancient Aboriginal culture of his mother’s Nyikina people.

Children of the Lugger People brings Neville’s story to life in a shared journey that explores the fascinating history of Broome, its people, art, culture, cuisine and pearling fleets. It is also an intimate journey with numbers limited to a maximum of 16 people for each of the three Children of the Lugger People experiences that Pinctada will offer this year, from May to September.

Marilynne Paspaley AM, Founder & Managing Director of Pinctada Hotels & Resorts, said Children Of The Lugger People offers a rare opportunity for international and Australian experience seekers.

“Broome is a unique destination which attracts travellers from around the world, but they rarely have the opportunity to experience it with someone whose family has lived and worked here for generations,” she said. “Neville’s story is fascinating and important because it embraces the three key elements that make Broome unique – its history, its culture and the spirit of its people. Children of the Lugger People is an opportunity to see Broome through his eyes and hear first hand his stories about Broome’s past and present.” In keeping with the intimate and authentic nature of the experience, Children of the Lugger People will be based at McAlpine House, Pinctada’s award-winning boutique escape.

“McAlpine House is the ideal venue for this extraordinary journey,” Marilynne said. “It was originally built as the home of a Master Pearler, and its intimacy and atmosphere is ideally suited to this event.

We’ve also planned the Children of the Lugger People experiences to coincide with the full moon which again is so much a part of Broome’s story.” Each day of the Children of the Lugger People experience will explore a different aspect of Broome.

Day one’s focus is on the past - Broome’s pearling story.

“Pearling is where it all started,” said Neville. “It’s also where our journey begins – Yarns with a Lugger Bugger over a relaxed dinner at McAlpine House on the first night. I’ll tell some yarns about my own pearling days as well as a few that were handed down by my father and grandfather.

Children of the Lugger People is a shared journey so the evening will unfold depending on what the group would like to hear.”

Day two explores the present and the legacy of Broome’s pearling pioneers.

“After breakfast, we’ll ‘seize the day’ with a tour of Broome’s famous sites like Streeters Jetty and Chinatown,” Neville said. “But the focus will be on Broome’s melting pot of creativity and, its people – the writers who’ve penned plays like Bran Nue Dae, the acclaimed artists and songwriters, the talented chefs and also the business founders – so many are descendents of the lugger people and we’ll be meeting up with a few of them during the day.” Day 3 starts with a free morning and then the focus is on food. Neville is not only a knowledgeable and entertaining host, but also a cook of bush and lugger repute. His special style of cuisine is influenced by his Aboriginal and Timorese heritage as well as his time on the luggers and the fresh seasonal produce, seafood and bush tucker of the Kimberley.

“Broome food is an art in itself and, another legacy of the lugger people,” Neville said. “You can find styles of cuisine from around the world in Broome and the chefs are incredibly talented. We’ll spend the afternoon at McAlpine House talking about the history of Broome cuisine, the influences on it and the specialties of the town. Food links everything we’ve experienced during the past few days and in the same way we’ve shared the journey, we’ll share the cooking and create a dining experience based on typical lugger fare. Then we’ll enjoy it under the light of a full Kimberley moon nestled among the lush tropical gardens of McAlpine House – and, probably share a few more stories!”

Pinctada Hotels & Resorts will offer three Children of the Lugger People journeys this year on the following dates – May 25–28; June 25–28; September 22–25. Prices start from $1749 and include:

o Three nights’ accommodation at McAlpine House
o Two Children of the Lugger People dinner experiences at McAlpine House with Neville Poelina
o Day 2 tour with Neville, including morning tea at Town Beach and lunch at McAlpine House
o Full cooked breakfast daily
o Return airport transfers in Broome
o Welcome drink on arrival

T: +61 (0)8 9193 8340 or 1800 PINCTADA, 1800 746 282 (tollfree within Australia)

Monday 12 April 2010

Expedition Kangaroo Island

Explore Kangaroo Island in style.

Introducing Expedition Kangaroo Island 2010

Baillie Lodges is excited to introduce the inaugural ‘Expedition Kangaroo Island’ at Southern Ocean Lodge in July 2010. The week-long program departing 24 July 2010 promises days and nights filled with adventure and learning in the company of like-minded travellers and with Southern Ocean Lodge as ‘luxury base camp’.

The program has been designed to allow guests, as ‘expeditioners’ the chance to explore first-hand a complete experience of the beautifully wild Kangaroo Island, showcasing its abundant native wildlife, spirited art, delicious local cuisine and fascinating history. In true expedition style, the week will be filled with interactive ‘hands-on’ adventures, guided walks, marine–based activities and informative presentations.

Widely regarded as Australia’s Galapagos and brimming with diverse flora and fauna, a rich heritage and world class food and wine culture, Kangaroo Island offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. An abundance of native wildlife thriving in freedom has earned the island the unofficial title of a ‘zoo without fences’.

July is the ideal time for the expedition as daytime temperatures are perfect for exploring, wildlife is active and evenings promise delicious cuisine and superb South Australian wines enjoyed by freshly stoked fires, wintry seas churning beyond.

We are excited that the renowned naturalist Craig Wickham of Exceptional Kangaroo Island with whom we have worked closely since opening in 2008 will join us as Expedition Kangaroo Island leader.

Southern Ocean Lodge proprietor Hayley Baillie and the Lodge’s own team of naturalist guides will be part of each day’s itinerary, promising a very personal guided experience of the island.

Expedition Kangaroo Island is modelled on the much-loved Expedition Lord Howe programs run at sister property Capella Lodge over the past five years in cooperation with Aurora Expeditions, who are excited to be involved in the project again this year. Our Lord Howe expedition leader, the esteemed island naturalist Ian Hutton will also venture south to join the ‘KI’ contingent.

The Expedition’s itinerary spans the western regions of the island, home to such wildlife celebrities as the Australian Sea Lions at Seal Bay, Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals in the Flinders Chase National Park, kangaroos, wallabies, goannas, echidnas and koalas in their natural habitat.

We meet local artist Indiana James, creator of wildlife sculptures from discarded farm machinery including ‘Sunshine’, the kangaroo commissioned for the Lodge, and explore the north coast with historical highlights including the Cape Borda Lighthouse Station and its cemetery. We meet with Dr Peggy Rismiller, the island’s own expert on the Short-beaked Echidna and Rosenberg’s Goanna. Get up-close and buzzing with the Ligurian bees and take to the Southern Ocean in a marine zodiac to encounter penguins, sea birds, dolphins and seals.

Rates: Expeditioners can select their preferred luxury suite at Southern Ocean Lodge. Rates commence from $6,900 per person twin share and are inclusive of all dining, all beverages, guided experiences and guest lectures, flights to and from Kangaroo Island and much more.

Reservations:(61) 2 9918 4355 ||

Mercure Gets 'Savvy' About Marlborough - first International Hotel Launched in New Zealand's Home of Sauvignon Blanc

April 2010: New Zealand’s premier wine district and the global pacesetter in the production of sauvignon blanc, Marlborough, is now looking to boost its tourist numbers following the launch of its first internationally-branded hotel – the Mercure Picton Marlborough Sounds.

Boasting stunning harbour and ocean views, the Mercure has been launched following the re-development of the former Yacht Club Hotel Picton. 17 rooms were added to the hotel’s original 31, giving the hotel greater capacity to accommodate couples, families and groups. The hotel offers a diverse range of stylish accommodation including deluxe Pool View rooms, Ocean View rooms and some luxurious apartments overlooking the entrance to the Queen Charlotte Sound.

Located on Picton’s harbour front, the hotel is just 1km from both the ferry terminal (which brings visitors from Wellington) and train station, minutes from the local airport and in walking distance of the Picton CBD and foreshore.

The Mercure provides an ideal base for visitors discovering the Marlborough Sounds area, with internationally-renowned wineries such as Cloudy Bay, Oyster Bay and Hunter’s just over 15 minutes drive away. The Mercure’s Chartroom Restaurant and Boatshed Bar feature a wide selection of the region’s finest wines.

There are also a vast number of water activities on the Mercure’s doorstep, with the nearby Queen Charlotte Track attracting over 30,000 trekkers annually, including a large percentage of Australian visitors.

The hotel and its prestigious location make it the perfect venue for enjoying the best of New Zealand’s natural and man-made attractions.

A new state of the art conference venue makes it the perfect venue for conferences, corporate retreats, product launches and incentive programs for up to 100 delegates.

Other facilities include a pool and pool bar.

Announcing the launch of the Mercure, General Manager Stefan Kracke said that the worldwide recognition of Marlborough’s wines had put the region on the world tourism map, but hotel accommodation hadn’t kept pace with demand.

“The phenomenal success of Marlborough’s wines, particularly in the Australian market, has created a significant increase in demand for the region, but until now there just hasn’t been a suitable quantity or standard of accommodation, so travelers have tended just to pass through, rather than stay for a few nights and discover the attractions of the region,” he said.

“The Mercure brings international branding along with new accommodation and million-dollar views to this idyllic location. Marlborough wine has had an incredible impact in the wine world, we are now confident that the Mercure will add even more magic to the Marlborough experience.”

Rates start from NZ$130 per night. Bookings (Australia) 1300 65 65 65 or

For more than 35 years, within the Accor Group, Mercure has exemplified expert hospitality and personalized service. Operating in more than 50 countries around the world, Mercure boasts hotels with distinctive personalities carefully preserved through the type of services offered and the decor, both of which vary from one hotel to the next.
The hotel managers and staffs of the 690 Mercure hotels are hospitality professionals. Attentive and available, they are ready to listen and make sure their guests enjoy a stay full of genuine moments of pleasure and relaxation in a truly warm and comfortable setting.
More information on Mercure hotels is available on

Accor, a major global group and the European leader in hotels, as well as the global leader in services to corporate clients and public institutions, operates in nearly 100 countries with 150,000 employees. It offers to its clients over 40 years of expertise in two core businesses:
- Hotels, with the Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel, Ibis, all seasons, Etap Hotel, Formule 1 and Motel 6 brands, representing 4,000 hotels and nearly 500,000 rooms in 90 countries, as well as strategically related activities, such as Lenôtre;
- Services, with 32 million people in 40 countries benefiting from Accor Services products in employee and public benefits, rewards and motivation, and expense management.

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