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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

October 21, 2017 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

The Tour of Margaret River … join Robbie McEwen and Matthew Keenan ahead of the peloton as it heads for the tall timber. Image: Tim Bardsley-Smith.

Here’s one for dedicated cycling fans —a chance to join three-time Tour de France green-jersey winner Robbie McEwen and renowned cycling commentator Matthew Keenan to ride two Blackwood River Valley stages of the Tour of Margaret River on November 11 and 12.

You will be riding an hour ahead of the tour peloton, with the aim of making it to the finish line before the fastest riders catch you.

At the end of each ride you’ll be in prime position to hear Robbie’s and Matt’s commentary and watch the finish of the stage.

The Saturday ride is from Nannup to Greenbushes via the majestic Maranup Ford Road and Kandalee Hill, finishing along the main street of the historic mill-and-mining town.

Sunday’s ride is from Nannup to Balingup via Kirup and the exhilarating Grimade Road.

The cost is $220 per person, with participation limited to 60.

Visit www.tourofmargaretriver.com.

 Eco Beach Resort … accommodation for a six-day conservation-based tour.

Park Trek Walking Holidays has entered a partnership with Conservation Volunteers Australia to offer a range of eco-inspired walking tours that support conservation efforts across the country.

Funds from the tours will help reintroduce some of Australia’s most vulnerable wildlife back into their original habitats, including the western quoll, malleefowl and western barred bandicoot.

The trips contain a combination of guided walks, wildlife viewing and exploration of our national parks and private conservation reserves.

The six-day Eco Beach Sea Turtle Experience in Broome includes recording data on nesting activities of these gorgeous animals and is priced from $1380 per person twin-share, including accommodation at Eco Beach Resort.

Visit www.parktrek.com.au.

Scenic’s Australian program offers a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences … such as visiting this forest of boab trees.

Scenic’s new 2018-19 Australia program features 14 itineraries across Western Australia and the Northern Territory, Tasmania, South Australia and Norfolk Island, with savings of up to $1350 per couple for bookings made before February 28.

Save, for instance, up to $600 per couple on the 19-day ‘Top End and Kimberley Snapshot Cruise’.

The fully escorted journeys include sightseeing through Scenic’s Freechoice program and once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as a visit to the Yiyili Aboriginal Community School in the heart of The Kimberley.

Phone 138 128 or visit www.scenic.com.au.

 Mark Olive … Indigenous celebrity chef deeply involved in Uluru Feastival.

Ayers Rock Resort at Ulura has a spectacular line-up of events organised for the rest of this year and into 2018.

Right now — and every night until March 31 — there’s Bill Munro’s internationally renowned solar-powered Field of Light Uluru, which illuminates a remote desert area within sight of the huge, majestic ‘Rock’.

Looking forward to next year, there’s Uluru Feastival (yes, that spelling is okay) from March 9-10, a quarterly culinary celebration of Australia’s native flavours as part of Ayers Rock Resort’s Bush Tucker Journeys.

This gastronomic weekend showcases Indigenous food and culture and includes open-air fine dining and traditional bush-tucker tastings led by Indigenous celebrity chef Mark Olive.

The Tjungu Festival, from April 25-29, celebrates the best of Australian Indigenous culture, with the name meaning ‘together’ in the local Anangu language.

Highlights next year will include a welcome to country, markets showcasing Indigenous art and bush tucker, an Indigenous fashion parade, Indigenous musicians and bands and the ‘Tastes of Tjungu’, an outdoor desert dining experience hosted by a celebrity chef.

Phone 1300 134 044 or visit www.ayersrockresort.com.au.

 The Everglades’ White Exhibition … will be launched with a soiree on November 11. Image: David Hill, Deep Hill Media.

To wander around Leura’s Everglades Historic House & Gardens in the NSW Blue Mountains and wonder at the vision of its early owners and Danish landscape gardener Paul Sorenson is one of the great ways to spend an enthralling afternoon.

On November 11, the property will hold a luminous twilight soiree to launch its White Exhibition, which will run until December 11.

Featuring work by three Blue Mountains artists, the exhibition is based on the White book by Japanese designer and curator Kenya Hara, who designed the opening and closing ceremony programs of the Nagano Winter Olympic Games 1998.

Tickets to the opening soiree are $55 per person, phone 0467 332 591 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.au/places/everglades-house-gardens — and please dress in white.

Everglades, located at 37 Everglades Ave, Leura, is open daily. Entry is $13 adults, $8 concessions, $4 children.

 Look but don’t touch … visit Alaska and see plenty of wildlife such as these bears.

Grand American Adventures has added two new small-group itineraries to its Alaska portfolio for 2018 — ‘Alaska and Kenai In-Depth’ and ‘Yukon and Alaska Walk’ —providing travellers with the choice of a shorter, in-depth exploration, or a longer outdoor adventure, both with essential expert guides throughout.

The six-day ‘Alaska and Kenai In-Depth’, for instance, begins in Anchorage, is priced from $4489 per person twin share, and offers an experiential journey through Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula.

Highlights include a 9.7-mile trail hike alongside Exit Glacier to the Harding Icefield for incredible views of deep crevasses and huge seracs on the glacier, a full-day wildlife viewing cruise around Resurrection Bay and the Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge, sea kayaking around Kachemak Bay, and a full-day flight-seeing, bear-viewing excursion over Lake Clark National Park and Reserve.

There are departures from June through to September, when wildlife, including bears, moose, caribou, bison and mountain goats, are in abundance.

Visit www.grandamericanadventures.com.

Luxury Arctic cruising … APT’s Hebridean Sky explores a Norwegian fjord.

APT’s 2019 program of small-ship cruises to Antarctica, the Arctic and northern Europe includes a semi-circumnavigation of Iceland on a 13-day expedition cruise to that that country and the Faroe Islands, with prices starting at $15,495 per person twin-share.

See giant glacial icefields continue their unrelenting march across the landscape as they are undermined by forces of geology that forge great caverns in the ice and create mineral hot springs.

Or head south on the iconic 15-day ‘Classic Antarctica’ tour, with prices starting at $15,490 per person twin-share.

Set sail from the most southern reaches of South America and cross the Drake Passage aboard Le Lyrial, an ice-class expedition ship that oozes European style and sophistication.

Phone 1300 196 420 or visit www.aptouring.com.au.

Fiji’s Likuliku Resort … a raft of free inclusions.

Guests who stay seven nights or more on an ‘Indlulgence Package’ at Fiji’s Likuliku Resort will receive a number of free inclusions including return island transfers for two by helicopter, seaplane or private water taxi, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, non-motorised water sports, and free wi-fi hotspots in public areas and every bure.

These are in addition to three gourmet meals per day, and guided nature and medicine walks.

The offer is valid until March 31, with the seven-day packages priced from about $5220 per person twin-share.

Visit www.likulikulagoon.com. 

Alhambra Palace … one of the sites for Morocco’s Fes Festival of World Sacred Music. Image: Alilah/Shutterstock.

Peregrine Adventures’ 2018 European program features new excursions to neighbouring countries such as Morocco, where there is an 18-day tour based on next May’s UNESCO-recognised Fes Festival of World Sacred Music.

The tour is priced from $3215 per person twin-share.

The Australian-owned travel company has earmarked Romania as the next European hot spot with a brand new itinerary taking in Bran Castle in Brasov, the pristine forests outside Viscri and offering the chance to stay in an 18th-century guesthouse owned by a real-life count.

Priced from $3415 per person twin-share, the 11-day ‘Secrets of Romania’ includes a visit to Transfagarasan Road, dubbed ‘the greatest road in the world’ by Top Gear.

Visit www.peregrineadventures.com.

 Tivua Island … as romantic a destination as they get.

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji’s ‘Tivua Island Proposal Package’ could make the following romantic scenario reality: imagine proposing to the one you love on a tiny remote island surrounded by a circle of white sandy beach, in this case in the picturesque Yasawa Islands of Fiji.

The romance begins as soon as you set sail on the tall ship Ra Marama or the sleek sailing catamaran Fiji One, taking the two of you on a 90-minute cruise to the tranquil island of Tivua, enjoying some Fijian entertainment and morning tea along the way.

Then experience a traditional welcoming Kava ceremony before being whisked away to a deserted part of the beach where your loved one will discover a “message in a bottle”, lying at the water’s edge and containing a personalised proposal message.

Then celebrate your engagement over a delicious tropical buffet lunch and a bottle of sparkling wine in a private bure on the beach.

The full-day package is priced at $378 per couple, including transfers from most Nadi and Denarau hotels.

Visit www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com.

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