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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

October 28, 2017 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Mantra Hotels is offering price cuts on stays at more than 20 Gold Coast properties, valid for bookings made by November 13 and for stays until March 31.

Stay, for instance, at Peppers Soul for a minimum three nights from $329 per night in a one-bedroom ocean-view apartment.

Other special rates include BreakFree Moroccan, which is priced from $126 per night in a one-bedroom apartment for a minimum five-night stay, and $156 per night for a minimum three-night stay at Mantra Crown Towers.

Phone 1300 987 603 or visit

 Mercure Perth … a new room design reflects the city’s vibrant centre.

Mercure Perth has bid farewell to its former colour schemes and embraced a colourful new design following a $1 million refurbishment.

The hotel has transformed the look and feel of its guestroom interiors with bright, energetic and relaxed decor to reflect the hotel’s location in the heart of Perth’s vibrant city centre.

The program includes a makeover of 239 guestrooms and suites as well as the hotel’s rooftop leisure playground with heated swimming pool, sun deck and hot tub.

To celebrate, it is offering $1 breakfast on selected rates this summer, valid for bookings made till February 28 and for stays until March 31.


 In the heart of Darling Harbour action … Sydney’s Metro Apartments Darling Harbour.

Sydney’s Metro Apartments Darling Harbour is offering a Sydney attractions package priced at $269 per night Sunday to Thursday, and $369 per night on Fridays and Saturdays.

Kids under-12 stay free in a one-bedroom apartment, with free wi-fi and kids’ goodies pack on arrival.

Each family gets an attractions pass valid for two adults and two children, with choice of entry to two attractions, including Sydney Tower Eye, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Wild Life Sydney Zoo and Manly Sea Life Sanctuary.

The offer is valid until the end of summer, and for bookings of two nights or longer.

Phone 1800 00 4321 or visit

 Scenic Helicopters … offering a range of Margaret River tours, from winery-hoppers to heli-fishing adventures.

Scenic Helicopter owner/pilot Jackson McLeod has used his local knowledge of Western Australia’s Margaret River region to create a range of tours, from winery-hoppers to heli-fishing adventures.

Get a bird’s eye view of the stunning Capes coastline, arrange a surprise romantic flight and picnic at a secret beach location, or spend time tasting and lunching at your favourite wineries.

While the Margaret River region isn’t necessarily as well known for its fishing as it is for wine, food and surf, Scenic’s ‘Helifishing Down South’ tour is growing in popularity as people discover the great ocean fishing there.

The Margaret River heli-tour season runs from late October to April and prices start from $100 per person.

Phone 0428 058 157 or visit

 Truffle Lodge … luxurious glamping accommodation beside the Derwent.

It’s a case of the Australian bush camp meets Arabian nights.

Nestled on the banks of Tasmania’s Derwent River, just 45 minutes from Hobart’s city centre, in one of Australia’s first truffle orchards, Truffle Lodge offers a luxury glamping experience.

Activities include kayaking, biking, fly-fishing, walks through the truffle orchard and wildlife spotting.

Accommodation is in private, spacious African-safari-style tents, each equipped with king beds, lounges, heating and cooling, minibar, refrigerators, coffee machines, as well as its own bathroom inside a converted water tank.


 Brown bears … sighted on the seven-day ‘Pristine Alaska’ tour.

Viking Cruises has added two more extensions to its popular 11-day ‘Alaska & the Inside Passage’ ocean itinerary — an eight-day Canadian Rockies adventure and the seven-day ‘Pristine Alaska’ tour.

The latter includes a tram ride to the summit of Mt Alyeska, venturing into the wilderness on a jet boat, and learning about the majestic rivers and the lives of the earliest settlers.

Travel deep into the Denali National Park, learning about some of the park’s residents such as moose and caribou. In Fairbanks, meet the locals, who will share their heritage through traditional stories.

The 11-day ‘Alaska & the Inside Passage’ cruise is priced from $6695 per person — offering a saving of $1000 per couple if booked before December 31.

The Canadian Rockies extension is priced from $5339 per person, the Alaskan extension from $4939.

Phone 138 747 or visit

 Volga Dream … intimate cruising between Moscow and St Petersburg.

Beyond Travel is offering savings of $2000 per couple on its 14-day ‘Volga Dream’ itinerary which takes in Moscow and St Petersburg next May.

Pay from $3995 per person twin-share, including a seven-night cruise aboard the 56-room Volga Dream, accommodation in centrally located five-star hotels in both cities, and sightseeing in groups of no more than 25.

The deal is valid for bookings made by November 30.

Facilities aboard the Volga Dream include 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.

Port visits include Svirstroy, Kizhi Island, Goritzy, Yaroslaval and Uglich.

Special experiences include a reception at the Governor’s House in Yaroslavl, lunch in a traditional Russian log house, Russian tea ceremony and cooking class, vodka appreciation demonstrations, on-deck barbecue, Russian language lessons and Russian fine arts and history lectures.

Phone 1300 363 554 or visit

 ‘Big Boys Toys’ … a special USA tour for machinery enthusiasts.

Toursgallery has created a 22-day small-group USA tour next August under the banner ‘Big Boys Toys’.

Tractors, steam trains, vintage cars, trams, trucks and historic aircraft are all included in this event.

The visit includes two of the biggest country fairs in the USA — the Mid-West Old Threshers Reunion and the Tri-State Gas Engine Rally.

Here visitors will see collections of antique industrial equipment, historic engines and rare farm machinery on display, all steamed up and working.

Additional visits include the Smithsonian Institute’s Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, a cruise around New York’s Manhattan Island and exploring Steamtown USA.

Priced start at $10,988 per person twin-share, land content only.

Phone 1300 307 317 or visit

 Les Halles of Dijon … one of France’s most famous marketplaces.

The French certainly know how to go to market, with local residents and chefs regularly buying their fresh produce in the town square or similar.

It’s also a great opportunity for visitors to discover local delicacies that you may not be able to find in the main street.

While cruising along some of France’s most iconic canals, European Waterways’ hotel barges certainly stop off at some very well-known markets.

Les Halles of Dijon, in Burgundy, for instance, is located at the heart of this elegant and historic city, and the famous covered market hall was designed by Dijon-born Gustave Eiffel, who is best known for his creation, the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Open four days a week, visitors can seek out some of the very best foods of France —artisan cheeses, charcuterie, fresh produce, cakes, regional specialties and wine.

During their cruise along the Burgundy Canal on either hotel barge L’Impressionniste or Finesse, European Waterways’ guests are given an escorted tour of Les Halles, often accompanied by their onboard chef who will encourage them to choose some items that he will include in that evening’s dinner menu.

Phone 1800 828 050 or visit

 The Flying Scotsman … one of the world’s most famous locomotives. Image: David Rogers.

Cruise Express has combined one of the world’s most famous locomotives, the Flying Scotsman, with a Baltic cruise in a 25-night package next May.

With prices beginning at $9499 per person twin-share ex Australia, the package includes the return heritage rail trip from London to Edinburgh, a 14-night round-trip Baltic cruise aboard Celebrity Silhouette (complimentary upgrade to a verandah stateroom), plus six nights in London’s five-star Waldorf Hilton and three in Edinburgh’s Balmoral Hotel.

Baltic ports include Stockholm, Tallinn, Helsinki, and Warnemunde near Berlin, with overnight visits to St Petersburg and Copenhagen.

Phone 1300 766 537 or visit

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