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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

July 23, 2016 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

0657e494-4e98-4e1e-a3ef-9b5a62a8527aAvalon Waterways is offering fly-free deals on a range of 2017 river cruises in Europe and South-East Asia for bookings made up to August 31 this year.

The offer applies to European cruises of 16-days duration or more and all Mekong or Irrawaddy cruises. Guests on European cruises of shorter durations (7-15 days) will fly for $945 per person.

The eight-day ‘Romantic Rhine’ itinerary between Zurich and Amsterdam, for instance, is priced from $3714 per person twin-share plus $945 airfare.

For bookings made until July 29 this year, Avalon Waterways has also waived single supplements on all 2017 Europe river cruises.

Phone 1300 230 234 or visit


 Get 40 per cent off Driveaway’s Queenstown-to-Christchurch hirings.

Driveaway Holidays is offering Australian travellers 40 per cent off Maui motorhome rentals on a one-way hiring from Queenstown-to-Christchurch this snow season.

Choose between the Platinum Beach (four-berth) or Platinum River (six-berth) vehicles, with rates starting from $90 per day for travel between 22 August and 16 September.

Book by 14 August to secure this deal. Phone 1300 363 500 or visit


 Villa Cetinale gardens in Italy’s Ancaiano district near Siena.

New among Hidden Italy’s walking tours are two guided two-week journeys expressly designed for those with a passion for great gardens.

‘Gardens of Tuscany’ and ‘Gardens of Piedmont’ both constitute weaving, gentle walks into off-the-beaten-track venues such as UNESCO-listed royal palaces and gardens in and around Turin, high-altitude gardens in the foothills of the Alps and the luxuriant gardens of Stresa and the Borromeo Islands on Lake Maggiore, the most romantic of the Italian lakes.

Both tours depart in May next year and are priced at $7700 per person twin-share, inclusive of 12 nights accommodation, all breakfasts and most lunches and dinners, all transfers, taxes and service charges, and paid admissions.



Kangaroo Island … SeaLink is offering a five-night tour priced from $1799 per person twin-share ex Adelaide.

SeaLink has launched a fully escorted five-night ‘Ultimate Kangaroo Island’ tour departing February next year.

It will explore Kangaroo Island’s fascinating wildlife, spectacular coastal scenery, pristine beaches and unique local wines and produce.

The itinerary includes well established destinations such as Seal Bay and Flinders Chase National Park, the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch plus new places such as Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, Stokes Bay and Rob’s Shearing and Sheep Dogs.

The tour is priced from $1799 per person twin-share ex Adelaide.

Phone 08 8202 8608 or visit


 Getting up close to Kilauea’s lava flow.

Kilauea, one of three active volcanoes on Hawaii’s Big Island, has been erupting for over three decades and presents ever-changing lava flows. At times, the proximity of Kilauea’s lava flow thrills spectators and, at others, the flow recedes into remote wilderness.

Renewed interest has been stirred by news reports from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory noted that an active lava flow continued its advance across the south-east coastal plain of Kilauea. The location of this newest lava outbreak provides upfront access for hardy hikers.

Hawaii Forest & Trail has hence revived its Kilauea Lava Hike to take advantage of the opportunity for fit hikers to experience this bucket-list adventure. The challenging Kilauea Lava Hike traverses nearly 10 kilometres of rugged lavascape and hikers are accompanied by professional and experienced guides.



 Indulging yourself in a Japanese onsen.

Take your mind off your usual lifestyle with one of Toursgallery’s six annual escorted Japanese ryokan experiences, relaxing in a thermal spa, sitting in a quiet Zen garden and lingering over a gourmet banquet.

Guests can enjoy the tranquil charm of sleeping in a traditional ryokan with tatami floors and soft futon beds, decorative wooden ceilings and walls, sliding paper doors and private baths.

Those looking for a more cultural experience can indulge themselves in a ryokan’s onsen, or big bath, where hot water falls, herbal pools and outdoor rock pools under the stars are a real treat for the senses.

Phone 1300 307 317 or visit


Getting married at Seabreeze Resort.

Samoa’s adults-only Seabreeze Resort is offering a free wedding ceremony valued at more than $1000 to couples who stay a minimum of seven nights between 1 November and 31 March.

Wedding ceremonies begin with the sound of a conch shell echoing through the bay, before warriors in traditional dress escort the bride and groom to their beachfront or poolside ceremony and vows are exchanged to the sound of lapping waves. As the sun sets celebrations begin.

Also included are a performance by the Seabreeze Choir, a bouquet of tropical flowers for the bride, a tropical floral lei for the groom, a minister or celebrant, all fees, license and administration costs, including registration of marriage and personal wedding planner.

A seven-night stay at Seabreeze starts from $2737 per couple, including breakfast daily, complimentary mini-bar refreshed daily, nightly turndown service, use of glass-bottom kayaks and snorkelling equipment, and cultural afternoon on Friday afternoons.



Sofitel’s art-inspired high tea is presented on a gold, bevelled picture frame

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, again the official hotel partner of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ Archibald Prize, is offering guests an art-inspired high tea from 16 July to 9 October 2016.

Executive Chef Boris Cuzon’s presentation includes service on a gold, bevelled picture frame of delights including lemon meringue tartlets, mango éclair, vanilla bean panna cotta and homemade scones.

The price is $55 per person, including Ronnefeldt Tea, or $75 per person including a glass of Veuve Clicquot.

The hotel is also offering breakfast packages priced from $296 per room per night.

Phone 02 9228 9188 or visit

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