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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

May 13, 2017 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Helen Wong’s Tours has partnered with Qantas to launch a new program of guided tours designed for bargain hunters.

The company’s 2017-2018 ‘Bargain Escapes’ program, which focuses on China and Japan, combines guided sightseeing with ample free time for travellers to shop, dine and cover other sites at their leisure.

Prices start from $1299 per person twin-share for the seven-day ‘A Taste of China’ tour, including return Qantas airfares from Australia.

Travellers who book and pay in full before June 1 for one of the 2017 tours will save $100 per couple.

Book and pay in full by the end of 2017 for one of the 2018 tours and customers will save $200 per couple.

Phone 1300 788 328 or visit

 The historic TSS Earnslaw … a Christmas Day highlight.

Grand Pacific Tours has released details for its New Zealand Christmas tours.

Its 17-day ‘Festive Season Tour’, for instance, departs 19 December and offers a scenic coach tour of both islands.

Christmas Day will be spent in Queenstown, where guests will cruise to Walter Peak Station on the historic TSS Earnslaw.

Guests will also visit Milford Sound, board one of the world’s great scenic rail journeys, the TranzAlpine, witness the skyrocketing geysers of Rotorua, and encounter New Zealand’s rich and dynamic Maori culture.

Prices start from $5474 per person twin-share.

Phone 1800 622 768 or visit

 A bumper season is forecast for Iceberg Alley.

Iceberg chasers are gearing up for a momentous year with Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador predicted to see more icebergs than ever before along the famous Iceberg Alley.

The monolithic iceberg that parked itself off the coast of the tiny seaside town of Ferryland over the Easter weekend was just the beginning of what’s shaping up to be a bumper iceberg season.

On a sunny day, these 10,000-year-old glacial giants can be viewed along the northern and eastern coasts, with colours ranging from snow-white to deep aquamarine.

There are several ways to experience these icy beauties.

Get up close with these icy goliaths on a boat tour, or paddle along in a sea kayak.

Or take a hike along 29,000 kilometres of coastline and feel a shiver up your spine as you witness a sparkling iceberg drift down Iceberg Alley.


Honfleur … included in Scenic’s ‘Normandy and Gems on the Seine’.

Scenic’s 2018 program of European river cruises features the company’s ‘Enrich’ experiences on all itineraries, taking guests into the continent’s very cultural heart.

The 11-day ‘Normandy and Gems on the Seine’, for instance, is a round-trip cruise ex Paris and proceeds all the way to the Normandy coast.

Scenic Gem is the only all-inclusive luxury ship that sails into the picturesque town of Honfleur. Highlights include some of the most celebrated sites from the Somme battlefields, and Monet’s house and gardens.

Prices start from on $6645 per person twin-share, including return flights to France.

Phone 138 128 or visit

Italy’s high-speed Frecciarossa trains … fares include complimentary wi-fi.

Melbourne-based International Rail is discounting a range of advance-purchase rail fares through Italy’s Trenitalia network by up to 60 per cent for the upcoming summer season.

A second-class ticket from Rome to Florence, for instance, is priced at $29.

The fares include those on the high-speed Frecciarossa trains, which offer complimentary wi-fi and on-board catering options such as a well stocked mini bar.

Travellers can now book and confirm their tickets and seat reservations on most high-speed trains for travel until the end of August on Trenitalia sectors.

The company advises that the earlier you buy the advance-purchase tickets the cheaper they are.

Phone 1300 387 245 or visit

 Enjoy sunrise above Melbourne with QT and Global Ballooning.

QT Melbourne is taking to the skies with a hot-air-balloon package in collaboration with Global Ballooning Australia.

Guests can experience Melbourne before sunrise with an overnight stay at QT Melbourne, followed by a hot-air-balloon flight.

To complete this unique experience, guests will indulge in a decadent champagne breakfast in the hotel’s signature restaurant, Pascale Bar and Grill, compliments of Perrier-Jouët.

The ‘Sunrise above Melbourne’ package is priced from $870 per couple per night based on a two-night minimum stay.


 A great hit for film buffs … a special six-night cruise on Sun Princess.

Some of the top hits of the Sydney Film Festival will be featured this coming November on a special six-night round-trip cruise from Sydney to Tasmania aboard Sun Princess.

The selection of films will be curated by Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley and hosted by film critic Richard Kuipers.

Highlights will include Cannes-winning films Captain Fantastic and Mustang, the off-beat romantic comedy Maggie’s Plan, starring Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore and Greta Gerwig, and Elvis and Nixon, starring Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon.

Fares for the Travelling Film Festival cruise start at $899 per person twin-share, with the cruise including calls at Burnie and historic Port Arthur, plus an overnight stay in Hobart.

Phone 132 488 or visit

 Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel in Darwin … mid-city location close to popular night spots.

Metro Hotels has acquired a block of serviced apartments in the heart of Darwin city and has rebadged them as Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel in Darwin.

The property is within walking distance of Darwin Mall and popular night spots, and comprises 71 serviced studios, one-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom apartments.

All feature separate living and dining areas, fully equipped kitchens, private laundry facilities and balconies. All apartments provide air conditioning, ceiling fans, TV and complimentary high-speed wi-fi.

The block offers secure undercover parking, on-site meeting/conference facilities, a key-card security system to all areas, plus an alfresco barbeque area and swimming pool.


Passions III … offering tours to Cairns reef sites.

Passions of Paradise is offering tours to Cairns reef sites on Passion III, one of Australia’s fastest sailing catamarans.

The 25-metre vessel cruises at up to 19 knots and comes with two deck areas with sun lounging spaces and a luxe modern interior where a marine naturalist discusses the underwater wildlife.

Day trips start from $100 for kids and $159 for adults and depart from the Marlin Marina Reef Fleet Terminal at 8am.


The more time you put into training, the more you will enjoy walks such as this one along Tasmania’s South Coast Track.

Tasmanian Expeditions has launched a six-month training guide for travellers planning to undertake a walk in the state’s wilderness.

“The best way to discover Tasmania is by foot so the more time you put into trek training in the months leading up to your trip, the more you will enjoy your experience,” said Oscar Bedford, who guides hundreds of travellers around the wilderness each year.

“Trek training is more than just walking. It’s preparing the body for the increased intensity of undulation, terrain, pack weight, kilometres walked and overall endurance.

“Our six-month trek-training guide has been developed with a moderately graded trek in mind, such as the Overland Track or the Walls of Jerusalem Circuit.”

Phone 1300 666 856 or visit

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