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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

March 3, 2018 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Stunning aerial views of Australia’s iconic Red Centre are coupled with immersive cultural experiences in Kings Canyon Resort’s exciting new ‘Overnight Delight’ offer.

Taking off from Ayers Rock Resort in Uluru, guests will experience the Red Centre’s landscape from above, before landing at Kings Creek Station and being driven to Karrke, a local Indigenous community. Here, they will learn about the unique weapons, medicine, language, art and bush tucker of the culture from Indigenous leaders.

Lunch at Kings Canyon Resort incorporates local produce to showcase the tastes unique to the area.

The afternoon will be spent exploring the spectacular Kings Canyon Rim Walk, with highlights such as the Lost Domes and Garden of Eden.

Prices for the overnight package start at $575 per person twin-share.

Visit www.kingscanyonresort.com.au.

 Walking the 500,000-year-old Cooloola Sandmass. Image: Reuben Nutt.

Tropical Treks has added a five-day guided ‘Great Cooloola Walk’, covering 88 kilometres between the Noosa Northshore and Rainbow Beach, to its schedule.

The trek is via the 500,000-year-old Cooloola Sandmass, with wildlife highlights including ground parrots, feather-tailed gliders, koalas and wallabies.

Groups are limited to six and the package, which is priced at $1595, includes all camping equipment, meals and drinks along the trek. Nightly accommodation is in four walkers’ camps, which offer toilets and fresh water.

The heritage and culture of the local Gubbi Gubbi people is a major feature of the commentary provided throughout the guided trek.

A bring-your-own-gear option is available for $1095 per person.

Visit www.tropicaltreks.com.au.

 Port Stephens … a spectacular ocean-front destination.

A new ‘Explore and Feast’ package from the Retreat Port Stephens offers a 23 per cent saving on a getaway filled with serenity and good food.

The package includes three nights in a cabin at the Retreat Port Stephens, a $15 voucher to use at Crest Birubi Beach, an eatery boasting spectacular vistas over the ocean, a welcome hamper filled with goodies, a stubby holder for each guest and a hand-picked guide to the best local dining venues.

It is pried from $369 per couple and valid for all midweek (Sunday-Thursday) bookings made until September 28, excluding March 30 to April 4 and June 6-11.

The Retreat Port Stephens is a sanctuary nestled in bushland next to Australia’s largest sand dunes.

Phone 02 4982 1244 or visit www.theretreatportstephens.com.au.

 Admiring their work … participants in one of Rosby’s painting workshops.

Rosby Wines & Guesthouse, near the NSW Central Western town of Mudgee, has added woodfire cooking, with Pip Sumbak from Pip’s Plate, to its 2018 program of workshops which also includes a diverse range of traditional and modern sculpture, painting, drawing, and welding techniques.

Participants will be able to gain an insight into the experience and talents of working artists in locations such as Rosby’s established gardens, the vineyard, a hand-built mud hut and a restored shearing shed overlooking the valley.

In the woodfire-cooking workshop participants will learn various techniques for cooking over fire or embers, then prepare and cook a set of seasonal dishes from locally sourced produce before sharing them over a long lunch matched with Rosby wines.

Visit www.rosby.com.au. 

 Take a stroll on the wild side … the Rainforest Gallery, Warburton, Yarra Valley.

It’s just a one-hour drive from Melbourne, yet the Yarra Valley offers a myriad of touring opportunities that can combine outstanding wine-and-food experiences with breathtaking nature.

It’s a world-renowned wine-growing region with more than 90 wineries, plus cider-houses, microbreweries and distilleries. Turn a corner and you’ll smell fresh bread baking, cheese maturing, locally roasted coffee brewing, beer hops mashing and gin distilling.

You can also feed a wallaby or meet a dingo at the Healesville Sanctuary, or cycle the popular Lilydale-to-Warburton Rail Trail and travel through vineyards, past local villages and be surrounded by towering eucalypts.

Bram Collins … could have stepped straight out of a Dundee movie.

Wearing his Savannah Guide cowboy hat and boots, Bram Collins looks like he has stepped out of a Dundee movie when he shows visitors around the longest lava tubes in the world.

The Undara Experience Chairman, whose cattle farming family discovered the Undara lava tubes, is proof there is more to Tropical North Queensland than its two iconic World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest.

The Outback is just a couple of hours drive from Cairns International Airport and it is brimming with exotic treasures like the lava tube remnants of a volcanic eruption some 190,000 years ago which hide patches of rainforest and are rich with wildlife.

Visit www.undara.com.au. 

 And there off … the Calgary Stampede action culminates in the GMC Rangeland Derby Chuckwagon event.

Yee-haw. It’s nearly time to don your cowboy gear and head to Alberta, Canada, for the world’s most famous rodeo, the Calgary Stampede, which this year will be held July 6-15.

Contestants compete in bareback, bull riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, and down roping, with the action culminating in the GMC Rangeland Derby Chuckwagon event.

And, of course, it’s also time to indulge in the Stampede’s infamous carnival fare.

New additions for this year include the Cereal Monster Sandwich (a monster portion of ice cream crushed between two cereal-infused marshmallow squares) and the Clam Chowder Poutine (creamy clammy goodness on top of piping hot, cheesy french fries, garnished with crispy crab meat and parsley).

Visit www.calgarystampede.com.

Wild elephants … something about these gentle giants that touches all of us.

Once you have stood in the presence of a wild elephant, nothing is ever quite the same again. There is definitely something about these gentle giants that touches all of us. Maybe it’s their enormous size or their wise demeanour.

But whatever it is, no African safari is complete without encountering one of nature’s most magnificent beasts.

Fancy an elephant as your tour guide? Now you can live the dream with Sanctuary Retreats’ unique elephant interaction in partnership with the Living with Elephants Foundation in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

Stay at Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp or Sanctuary Baines’s Camp and you can meet with Jabu and Morula, two semi-habituated orphaned elephants. Observe and interact with them while walking in their footsteps at a leisurely pace through the wilderness.

And book four or more nights at any of Sanctuary Retreats’ luxury camps and lodges and save up to 40 per cent.

Visit www.sanctuaryretreats.com.

 

 Grand Aston Bali Beach Resort … six nights for the price of four.

Relax at the Grand Aston Bali Beach Resort and receive two free nights, room upgrade and bonus extras when you book through TravelOnline.

Pay from $449 per person twin-share for a six-night stay, including upgrade to a deluxe garden room, buffet breakfast daily, free wi-fi, day pass to Finns Bali, bonus body-spa treatment, village tour, scheduled Kuta shuttle service and return airport transfers.

Guests can also choose one of the following bonus extras — an 80 minute spa treatment for two, Splash Waterpark day pass for two, water sports voucher for two or a white-water rafting adventure for two.

The package is valid for sale until March 31 and for various travel periods from April 1 to March 31 next year.

Phone 1300 883 887 or visit www.travelonline.com.

 Artist’s impression of the new Greg Mortimer in Antarctic waters.

Aurora Expeditions will inaugurate its new expedition ship, the Greg Mortimer, with a series of cruises during the 2019/20 polar season.

Deals include a free upgrade from Aurora Stateroom to Balcony Stateroom or the option to save up to $6000 per person on other selected cabin categories.

The 12-day ‘Spirit of Antarctica Expedition’, for instance, is priced from $12,500 per person twin-share, including a free upgrade to a Balcony Stateroom.

Voyage highlights include seeing penguin chicks hatch, honing ice and wildlife photography skills, listening to feeding humpbacks, camping on-shore in Antarctica, and experiencing the thrill of Antarctic kayaking, climbing, snowshoeing and ski-touring.

Phone 1800 637 688 or visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au.

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