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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

May 20, 2017 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email


Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui offers a relaxed atmosphere, cultural experiences, cascading waterfalls, elephant trekking and some of the world’s best dive sites.

Book Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui through TravelOnline, and pay from $745 per person twin-share for seven nights in an ocean-facing room. Get THB1500 bonus credit per room, buffet breakfast daily, free one-hour massage for two, and return airport transfers.

The deal is valid for sale until May 31 and for travel from September 1 to December 24.

Set on Chaweng Beach, Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui offers a range of facilities, including tennis courts, swimming pools, day spa, meeting rooms, restaurants, bars and cafes.

Phone 1300 883 887 or visit

 World Expeditions offers adventurers the opportunity to guide themselves through the Himalayas.

World Expeditions has added a self-guided trek in the Everest region, a multi-activity trip in Bhutan, and a mountaineering skills program to its Himalaya portfolio.

The new 11-day self-guided Everest trek, for instance, is priced at $1690 per person, and is designed for travellers who seek complete flexibility and who are confident walking independently.

World Expeditions provides these adventurers with detailed route maps to the trails that link its network of eco-camps and eco-lodges up to Thyangboche.

Personal luggage will be carried by porters and the price also includes breakfast daily, accommodation in Kathmandu, internal flights between Kathmandu and the start of the walk, all park entrance fees and trekking permits, and the use of a World Expeditions trek pack which consists of a quality sleeping bag, down-or-fibre-filled jacket and a free souvenir kit bag.

Phone 1300 720 000 or visit

The Majestic Princess … features a unique over-the-ocean Seawalk. is offering the opportunity to explore bustling Shanghai for two days before a leisurely 22-night voyage back to Australia on board Majestic Princess.

Prices for the package start at  $4299 per person twin-share, including flights from Australia to Shanghai, all meals during the cruise, airport transfers and two nights at the Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai.

Departing Shanghai on August 24 next year, the voyage includes day-long port calls at Busan in South Korea, Hong Kong, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and Singapore before stopping at Darwin and Brisbane on the way to Sydney.

Phone 1300 369 848 or visit

 Experiencing Halong Bay by traditional junk boat.

On The Go Tours has further developed its cruising and sailing offerings to help bridge the gap between land and sea travel.

The majority of the sailing components offer a ‘local’ experience, with cruising vessels such as a traditional felucca on the River Nile, a junk boat in Halong Bay, a rice boat in Kerala and a catamaran for daily island hopping in the Mediterranean.

Travel, for instance, between two of Vietnam’s most charming destinations — from the fading colonial chic of Hanoi to the attractive riverside merchant town of Hoi An, with a night spent cruising the jade waters of Halong Bay, and time spent exploring the royal citadel of imperial Hue.

This active eight-day journey is packed with aquatic and land-based activities, ranging from a relaxed sunset cruise and seafood buffet on the deck of a traditional junk boat to exploring hidden lagoons and cycling through rural Vietnam.

The price starts at $750 per person twin-share.


  The Volga Dream … elegant and intimate.

Book by July 31 and save $1200 per couple on Beyond Travel’s 13-day 2018 ‘Volga Dream’ itinerary.

The package is priced from $4460 per person twin-share and includes a six-night cruise aboard the Volga Dream, an elegant and intimate ship with only 56 state rooms, and facilities such as a panoramic lounge bar with live music, sundeck with unobstructed views, wireless internet throughout, fitness centre, sauna and massage room, hair salon and gift shop.

Also included are three nights in each of St Petersburg and Moscow, staying at five-star centrally located hotels and enjoying a bevy of experiences such as visiting the Armoury Museum, with its collection of Czarist thrones, and indulging in lunch in a traditional Russian log house.

Phone 1300 363 554 or visit

 Brisbane’s Mantra Midtown … offering special Royal Ballet packages.

Britain’s leading ballet company, The Royal Ballet, will perform exclusively at Bribane’s Queensland Performing Arts Centre later this year, performing the Australian premieres of two works — The Winter’s Tale from 29 June-2 July, and Woolf Works from 5-9 July.

Mantra Midtown is offering a special package for the occasion. Stay from $539 per night in a one-bedroom executive apartment and receive two A-Reserve tickets to one of the performances, two ballet-inspired cocktails on arrival, car parking and a mid-day check-out.

Phone 07 3211 1116 or visit

 Many Australians take a rental vehicle well off the beaten track … but are they getting the best rate?

Most Australians have booked car rental at some time, but how many have received the best price per day?

One of Australia’s largest motoring-holidays operators, DriveAway, has some good advice for those contemplating self-drive holidays.

The company’s marketing manager, Ashleigh Robinson, reckons that experienced travellers always make vehicle bookings well in advance and pay in full before starting their journey to avoid changes on prices, insurances and other aspects of vehicle rental.

She says that the DriveAway customers who get the best deals book between 28 and 45 days in advance, but at least three weeks before collection.

“Best booking times vary somewhat in our east coast cities,” she said. “We recommend 47 days ahead in Melbourne, 26 in Sydney, 34 in Brisbane, 48 in Cairns and, for Adelaide, 41 days.”


Flash Camp … an effortless camping experience in the heart of Kakadu National Park.

Kakadu’s Flash Camp will return for a second season at the Cooinda Ground from 23 June to September 21.

Set in beautifully shady grounds, Flash Camp offers bell-tent accommodation in the heart of Kakadu National Park, and is ideal for those seeking an effortless camping experience while exploring the UNESCO-World-Heritage-Listed wilderness.

Accommodation will include double and twin bell tents with spring-foam mattresses on pallet bases, quality bed linen, fresh towels, bamboo furniture, toiletries and Armadillo & Co rugs. Tents have power, lighting and a fan, though nights are usually mild throughout the “winter” season.

Guests will also have access to the recently renovated communal toilet and shower facilities, barbeques, as well as a restaurant, bar and pools at the adjoining Cooinda Lodge.

Rates start at $140 per night.

Phone (08) 8979 1500 or visit

Kangaroo Island’s 61-kilometre Wilderness Trail … rugged, coastal beauty.

Kangaroo Island Odysseys has launched two- and three-night Wilderness Trail packages along the new 61-kilometre walking trail along one of the most rugged, remote and spectacular coastlines in Australia.

The fully inclusive packages are tailored for small groups of up to 11 guests and feature guided walks along selected sections of the trail. Each day guests are transferred to and from their accommodation at Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat to the walking trail in luxury 4×4 vehicles.

Highlights include visiting Seal Bay and seeing the Australian sea lion colony in their own beach environment, taking in the popular sites of historic Weirs Cove, Cape du Couedic Lighthouse, Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks, and seeing the rugged wilderness of the island’s south coast.

The two-day trek is priced from $1180 per person twin-share and the three-day package from $1786 per person twin-share.

Phone 08 8553 0386 or visit

 Marty’s at Little Beach … has a heated swimming pool and an undercover poolside barbecue.

Marty’s at Little Beach, in Port Stephens, has released winter whale-watching deals that are available until August 31 and priced at $206 per couple per night midweek (Sunday-Thursday) and $216 on weekends (Friday-Saturday).

The price includes accommodation, the choice of a leisurely whale-watching cruise aboard the catamaran Imagine or a quicker 90-minute trip aboard the fast-cat Envision, plus the choice of a hot drink on board, or binoculars, a beanie or a scarf to use during the cruise.

Port Stephens is regarded as one of the best places to in Australia to see the frolicking whales close to shore.

Nestled between sheltered Shoal Bay Beach and Little Beach, Marty’s at Little Beach offers studios and self-contained apartments with balconies, a heated swimming pool, free wi-fi and Foxtel, and an undercover poolside barbecue.

Phone 02 4984 9100 or visit

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