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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

November 26, 2016 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

(c)Tim Crowson 2005

SpiceRoads Cycle Tours is offering a new, once-a-year Japan tour, ‘Highlights of Hokkaido’, a 14-day adventure which will depart June 25 next year for what is often regarded as the country’s wild frontier.

Japan’s northern island is renowned for its wildlife, volcanoes, pristine lakes, vast forests, and ubiquitous hot springs or onsens.

The 792-kilometre tour is designed for nature lovers who want to discover diverse landscapes and take in majestic views as they push themselves over mountain passes, but is scheduled completely along tarmac roads in good condition.

Highlights include cycling through Mikuni Toge, the highest paved mountain pass in Hokkaido, travelling through Wakka Wild Flower Park, and overnighting in Shiretoko National Park, home to Japan’s largest population of brown bears.

Prices start at about $7090 per person twin-share, including SpiceRoads jersey and water bottle, support vehicle, all accommodation and meals, and guide(s), but excluding domestic and international flights and bike hire.



 The Kayana … save 25 per cent

Save more than 25 per cent on a five-night getaway to The Kayana villas in Seminyak, Bali.

Pay from $939 per person twin-share, including a la carte breakfast daily, daily afternoon tea and fresh fruit, one-time complementary cocktails, 30-minute head-and-shoulder massage, 15 per cent spa and restaurant discount, free wifi, 24-hour butler service, free use of health centre, and return airport transfers by private car.

Guests can also choose one of the following free bonus extras — an 80-minute spa treatment for two, a whitewater rafting adventure for two, watersports voucher, family access to Splash Waterpark and Canggu Club, or unlimited seven-day access to Splash Waterpark and Canggu Club for two adults.

The offer is valid for sale until December 31for travel to December 20 this year and from January 6 to March 31 next year.

Tower of Juche Idea, North Korea, Pyongyang

The Juche Tower in North Korea’s Pyongyang.

If you’re searching for out-of-the-box destinations, Active Travel has a new 16-day tour — departing Beijing next September — which offers the rare opportunity to visit the vastly North Korea and South Korea, including a view from each side of the famous Demilitarized Zone which divides the two nations.

Highlights of the visit to North Korea include seeing the 22-metre-high bronze statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-il, as well as the elaborate mausoleum where their bodies lie, hiking up the scenic Mount Myohyang, exploring the extensive Ryongmun cave network with its underground rivers and strange rock formations, and visiting the International Friendship Exhibition, where gifts from foreigners to North Korean leaders are stored.

Highlights of the eight days spent in South Korea include a visit to the Seoul suburb of Gangnam — the inspiration for Psy’s famous song Gangnam Style — shopping and sightseeing opportunities in Seoul, a visit to the 600-year old royal Gyeongbokung Palace, lectures on Korean history at Yonsei University, seafood and sea views on the east coast and two days at Pyeonngchang, where the 2018 Winter Olympics are set to be held.

The tour is priced from $7380 per person twin-share, including return airfares from Beijing to Pyongyang and Beijing to Seoul, three meals per day, internal transport, most admission fees and the services of local guides and tour leader.

Phone 1300 783 188 or visit


 Oceania Cruises’ Riviera … seven-day getaways visiting boutique ports throughout Italy, France and Spain.

Oceania Cruises’ 2018 Europe and the Americas portfolio includes more than 100 voyages across the Mediterranean, Baltic and Northern Europe, Alaska, Canada and New England, and the Caribbean, calling at 218 destinations.

Riviera, for instance, begins its 2018 European summer season with a round-trip 12-day voyage from Barcelona, visiting the Canary Islands. It continues with an array of seven-to-12-day voyages throughout the Mediterranean and Greek Isles, and a series of seven-day getaways visiting boutique ports and chic destinations throughout Italy, France and Spain.

Fares include free internet per stateroom, plus a choice of free shore excursions, free shipboard credit or free beverage package.

Phone 1300 355 200 or visit


 Peppers Kings Square Hotel … taking Peppers into Western Australia

Peppers has moved into Western Australia with the opening the boutique 120-room Peppers Kings Square Hotel.

Features include a complimentary shoeshine service, what is claimed to be the city’s fastest hotel wifi service, and a focus on serving only the freshest and best provincial cuisine.

The hotel is centrally located on Wellington Street in the Perth city centre, a short stroll from Perth Arena, boutique shopping, dining and laneway bar districts.

To celebrate the opening, Peppers Kings Square Hotel is offering a king or twin room from $159 per night (Friday to Sunday) or $179 per night (Monday to Thursday).

The deal includes a tasty arrival gift from the chef, two bottles of water, an espresso coffee per guest and free wifi.

Phone 1300 737 444 or visit


Port Stephens … an idyllic holiday location.

The Retreat Port Stephens has a midweek special enabling guests to stay three nights for the price of two, with rates starting at $322 per couple or $422 per family of four.

The offer is valid until the end of April, excluding school holidays, with accommodation in self-contained cabins surrounded by natural bushland and backing on to the biggest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere.

Located just 10 minutes from Nelson Bay, the Retreat Port Stephens offers covered barbecue areas, camp fires, a pool, a games room, DVD library and a playground area.



 Hotel Ravesis … undergoing a complete refurbishment.

Hotel Ravesis, located right in the heart of Sydney’s iconic beachside Bondi, is undergoing a complete refurbishment and aims to become the Eastern Suburbs’ ultimate destination this summer.

The two-storey property has a prime location on the corner of Campbell Parade and Hall Street and boasts sweeping ocean views.

Renovations have included work from the balcony, restaurant and bar spaces through to the bespoke rooms and suites, paying homage to the art-deco origins of the 1914 building.



 Canadian splendor … save up to $4850 per couple with Scenic.

As part of its 30th birthday celebration, Scenic is offering savings up to $4850 per couple on its 27-day ‘Ultimate Canadian Rockies, Alaska & Arctic Circle’ tour.

Until 16 December the package is available from $16,595 per person twin-share, with return flights Canada for $995 and a free mini-suite upgrade on the Alaskan cruise component.

Phone 138 128 or visit

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