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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

July 1, 2017 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Castaway Island Fiji has introduced a spring and summer deal offering a range of free add-ons, including daily buffet breakfast for adults and all meals for up to two children.

The package, which is available for stays between August 20 this year and March 22 next, also includes a FJ$100 resort credit per bure per day, two 30-minute massages per stay, four hours of babysitting, a beach dinner for two adults and a village tour for two adults and two children.

Book through by July 31 and quote booking code SUMCEL17.

Blackout dates are September 18-October 7, October 20-24 and December 23- January 7.

 Hilton Bali Resort … stunning Indian Ocean views.

Save more than 30 per cent and choose from a range of free bonus extras on a five-night deal at Hilton Bali Resort from TravelOnline.

Pay from $525 per person twin-share, including accommodation, breakfast daily, welcome drink, return airport transfers and the choice of either an 80-minute spa treatment for two, watersports voucher for two, white water rafting adventure for two or access to Finns Recreation Club and Splash Water Park for two.

The deal is valid for sale until August 31 and for various travel periods up to March 31.

The resort is nestled at the top of a 40-metre cliff face in Nusa Dua and offers stunning views of Bali’s coastline and the Indian Ocean.

Phone 1300 883 887 or visit

 In the footsteps of Harry Potter … the Jacobite crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Travelmarvel is offering a range of early-booking offers on its fully escorted premium rail holidays through Europe, Asia, USA, Australia, New Zealand — and new packages to Cuba and Iran.

The deals include a saving of up to $1000 per couple on rail journeys, and the opportunity to fly free to Europe when combining a ‘Great Rail Journey’ with a ‘European Gems’ river cruise.

With the saving, the nine-day ‘Edinburgh, The Highlands & Islands’ itinerary is priced from $2995 per person twin-share.

Rail experiences include iconic journeys on the West Highland Line, the Kyle Line and the Jacobite Steam Train across the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which has appeared in the Harry Potter films.

Sightseeing highlights include the Isle of Mull, where guests will see Duart Castle and combine a cruise on Loch Ness with a visit to Urquart Castle.

Phone 1300 300 036 or visit

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers … offers the chance to play one of the world’s greatest golf courses.

It still costs an arm and a leg to stay at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, which is set on a 6000-acre sheep-and-cattle farm in New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay wine region. But I guess that’s the price you pay to stay on one of the world’s most highly regarded golf courses, and enjoy great cuisine produced from farm-fresh produce grown on-site.

Abercrombie & Kent is offering a special ‘Living the Lodge Life’ deal, valid for travel until 30 September, of about $915 per person per night, including NZ$400 activity credit each day.

That rate also includes pre-dinner drinks with hors d’oeuvres, gourmet dinner, daily breakfast, complimentary wi-fi, mini-bar including domestic beers, use of all lodge facilities excluding golf and spa, and an early check in and late check out subject to availability on arrival.

The activity credit can be applied to golf and spa treatments.

Phone 1300 590 317 or visit

 Silver Cloud … a relatively small ship that can take its guests up rivers and into hidden harbours.

Take hundreds of thousands of king penguins, then add an encounter with lions and elephants in the wild, a butler, the world’s most remote inhabited archipelago in the vast Atlantic ocean and a four-night African safari.

The result is Cruise Traveller’s ‘From Penguins to Lions’, a 29-night fly-expedition-cruise-and-safari holiday that includes a 21-night expedition cruise aboard the yacht-like small ship Silver Cloud from Ushuaia in southern Argentina to South Africa’s Cape Town.

Silver Cloud is designed to cross oceans and to take its maximum 296 guests up rivers and into hidden harbours, with the emphasis clearly on comfort and style.

The adventure is priced from $27,995 per person twin-share, including airfares from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne to Ushuaia (via Buenos Aires) and back to Australia from Johannesburg.

Also included is four-night safari based at Ngala Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park.

Phone 1800 507 777 or visit

 The Darwin Festival … the Wau Wau Sisters perform at last year’s event. Image: Elise Darwin.

This year’s Darwin Festival will run from August 10-27 and feature more than 80 events, bringing together local, national and international talent for the Northern Territory’s biggest cultural celebration.

Highlights will include: rock legends You am I, who will open the festival; The Project’s resident funny man Tommy Little with his new show, Good Talk; a powerful new theatre piece, HART, detailing Australia’s treatment of the First People; a Beyoncé dance workshop; and stellar music line-up that includes indie-darlings Dappled Cities and Felix Riebl, as well as award-winning hip-hop duo AB Original.


 Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains … plenty of Yulefest cheer.

The Blue Mountains’ famous annual Yulefest has just started and runs until the end of August, as a celebration of all the good things to do when the cold winds are blowing and the odd snowflake is falling.

Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, at Leura, is sure to have a roaring fire on the go as it hosts lavish feasts each weekend until August 12.

Guests can craft their own menu from an extensive gourmet buffet, complete with festive favourites such as fresh seafood, roast carvery, plus an array of indulgent desserts.

Prices are $92 per adult, $49 per teen (13-17) and $29 per child (aged 5-12). Bookings are essential.

The resort is also offering a bed-and-breakfast package from $339 per night for two adults and two children.

Phone 02 4785 0000 or visit

Mantra on the Quay … $231 per night including a family pass to the Ekka.

The Royal Queensland Show, aka The Ekka and thought by organisers to be the state’s biggest annual event, will celebrate its 140th anniversary from August 11-20.

The Mantra Group, the Ekka’s Official Apartment Accommodation Partner, has launched a variety of accommodation and show packages across its nine Brisbane properties.

Families can stay, for instance, in a two-bedroom apartment at Mantra on the Quay from $231 per night Sunday-Thursday for a minimum of two nights.

The package includes an Ekka family pass for two adults and two children aged between 5-14 years per stay, four bottles of mineral water, 1GB of wi-fi access each day and discounted onsite parking.

Phone 131 517 or visit

The Australian Festival of Chamber Music … leading Townsville’s charge into the world of culture. Image: Andrew Rankin.

Don’t think that North Queensland is only about the beach, the sun, the surf and the Great Barrier Reef. Over the next couple of months it’s also about culture as it presents a chamber-music festival, an outdoor sculpture festival, and a festival of pop-up exhibitions, performances and art.

All three events start in Townsville on July 28 and run to either August 5 or 6.

The Australian Festival of Chamber Music leads the charge, with a raft of Australian and international artists presenting concerts, collaborations, conversations and masterclasses in churches, theatres, gardens and on the stunning Orpheus Island.

Strand Ephemera will turn Townsville’s Strand into a major outdoor sculpture festival, combined with performances by the city’s own Dancenorth.

Completing the festival trilogy Pop Up North Queensland, a collaboration of nealy 40 pop-up exhibitions and shops curated to reflect the shifting cultural landscape of the region. The program will include exhibitions, workshops, artist talks, classic film screenings and some of the coolest pop-up shops around.

Visit or

Wine tasting at De Bortoli … part of an indulgent, rail-based Riverina escape.

Cruise Express is offering a new, four-day trip by heritage train from Sydney to the NSW Riverina region over the October long weekend.

Timed to coincide with the Taste Riverina Festival, the ‘Long Weekend Rail Adventure’ starts in Sydney on September 29, using a privately chartered heritage train, complete with buffet and compartment cars from the 1930s and hauled by the 62-year-old 4204 ‘Streamliner’ locomotive.

Trip highlights include: a visit to Corynnia Station, a working sheep and cotton farm where the group will enjoy lunch sourced from local produce; a wine-paired dinner at the McWilliams Winery; a ‘farm to fork’ lunch at Piccolo Farm, where guests will also take part in a farm forage and a cooking demonstration; an indulgent afternoon of wine tasting at Calabria Wines and De Bortoli Winery; and a private dining experience at Zecca Handmade Italian.

The ‘Long Weekend Rail Adventure’ is priced from $1790 per person twin-share.

Phone 1300 764 509 or visit

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