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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

September 17, 2016 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Ziplining in the winter near Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.

While the Australian ski season is just winding up, Canada’s is just around the corner, with that country’s snowfields offering a range of venues suitable for both die-hard ski fanatics and those who classify themselves as classic ski bunnies or just want to experience an authentic white Christmas.

Whistler Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia, for instance, 
has a soaring winter Ziptrek offering unparalleled views of centuries-old, snow-covered forests, and hot baths and waterfalls at Scandinave Spa Whistler.

Or just shop in the cosmopolitan village, people watch in the cafés, and spend the evening ice-skating under twinkling Christmas lights.



Castaway Island Resort … celebrating 50 years. Image: Matt C Bauer.

In November, Outrigger’s acclaimed Castaway Island Resort, set in Fiji’s beautiful Mamanucas region, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary.

There will be celebratory cocktails and cultural events, plus all guests will receive a commemorative Castaway sarong or sulu and be invited to take part in the many festivities planned during the month.

To further celebrate the resort’s beginnings in 1966, there will be cut-price activities, including a 30-minute massage, 30 minutes of water skiing, a banana-boat ride for a minimum of two people, a guided night snorkel or guided outer-reef snorkel, all of which can be purchased for about $12.50 each as a booklet of five. The activity pack is normally valued at over $225.



 MS Mare … will be sailing the eight-day ‘Dalmatian Treasures’.

Beyond Travel is offering early-bird discounts on a range of 2017 Croatian small-ship cruises for those who book by October 31.

Save up to $600 per couple, for instance, and pay from $2120 per person twin-share for the eight-day ‘Dalmatian Treasures’ cruise on board the new MS Mare.

This classic round-trip cruise ex Dubrovnik includes visits to such popular Dalmatian Islands as Mljet, Split, Brac, Hvar and Korcula.

Included are two meals a day and services of an experienced captain, crew and cruise manager.

Phone 1300 363 554 or visit


 Spirit of Progress … doing the first leg of a Melbourne-Sydney rail journey

Two historic trains, a heritage tram and a 21st-century ship are the ingredients for Cruise Express’s five-day rail-and-sail tour from Sydney to Melbourne and back this November.

The journey begins with a three-night cruise to Melbourne aboard Princess Cruises’ 17-deck Golden Princess, launched in 2001and boasting nine restaurants and cafes, four pools, nine jacuzzis, a 750-seat theatre and a lounge, and nightclub suspended spectacularly above the stern of the ship.

In Melbourne guests will stay one night at the Vibe Savoy Hotel, with a roaming dinner aboard Melbourne’s historic and elegant Colonial Tramcar Restaurant.

Then it’s time for a rail adventure back to Sydney, firstly in the blue-and-gold carriages of the famous Spirit of Progress, then on the heritage 621/721 rail motor, the Indian red-coloured train built in 1962.

Including 12 meals, the ‘Intercapital Daylight’ rail-and-sail tour is priced from $1690 per person twin-share, or from $2190 for solo travellers.



 Novotel Wollongong Northbeach … rooms have fresh new-look interiors.

Beachside Novotel Wollongong Northbeach, located on the Illawarra’s scenic Grand Pacific Drive, has unveiled fresh new-look interiors with a relaxed beach vibe.

The multi-million dollar refit — which extends across all 204 rooms and suites at the four-star hotel — features modern furniture in neutral tones, on-trend lighting, plush mattresses and crisp new bedding, adding a luxurious feel to the rooms, which offer uninterrupted ocean views or mountain views thanks to new glass balustrades.

To celebrate the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach’s new-look, the hotel is offering rates priced from $209 per night.



 The Great Ocean Road … part of Scenic’s homage to its very first coach tour.

Scenic’s 2017/2018 Australia program includes a new 11-day Victorian itinerary to help mark the company’s 30th anniversary and pay homage to the very first coach tour it offered in 1986.

‘Victorian Discovery’ incorporates a round-trip from Melbourne, via the iconic Surf Coast, the Great Ocean Road, Warrnambool, then inland via the rugged landscape of the Grampians mountain range to the spa town of Daylesford and artistic Bendigo.

Prices start at $4795 per person twin-share. Book by March 31 to save up to $500 per couple.

Phone 138 128 or visit


 SeaDream I and II are amongst the few passenger vessels able to squeeze through the narrow, circa 1893, Corinth Canal.

A tasting of some of the finest Taittinger Champagnes, followed by a degustation dinner with a member of the Taittinger family, will be a highlight of one of next year’s seven special Mediterranean wine voyages aboard SeaDream I and SeaDream II.

Guests will also have the opportunity to visit Benanti, a premium boutique winery on the slopes of Sicily’s Mt Etna, meet the Benanti family, and taste their wines alongside local cheeses, salami and fresh-baked bread.

Fares for the seven wine voyages on the 112-guest SeaDreams start at about $5850 per person twin-share for a seven-night voyage.



 Siam Country Club Pattaya … three rounds on three different courses

Thailand’s Siam@Siam Design Hotels & Resorts and the Siam Country Club Pattaya have released a women’s golfing package which offers rounds on three different courses and free BTS Sky Train tickets for shopping in Bangkok.

The deal is priced from about $1320 per person twin-share and includes three nights accommodation at the Siam@Siam Design Hotel Pattaya and a night at the group’s five-star Bangkok property.

It also covers a day’s green fees at each of the three courses, plus chauffered transport from arrival at Bangkok airport, to and from Pattaya, and to the three golf courses.

On golf days, there is also access to clubhouses and pro-shops.



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