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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

March 17, 2018 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

The End festival will see the historic NSW Central West gold-mining village of Hill End transformed into a music, culture, food and history lover’s paradise from April 20-22.

Live music and cabaret fans will delight in the ticketed evening shows in the Royal Hall on the Friday and Saturday nights.

An extensive program of free music will take place on the Golden Age Stage on Saturday and Sunday, featuring 14 folk, country and bluegrass acts.

Festival goers can also enjoy local produce and crafts at the Makers’ Market, plus local craft beer and wine from the Bathurst, Mudgee and Orange regions at the Golden Age Garden.

For those looking to fully immerse themselves in Hill End’s artistic and cultural history, there will be workshops and demonstrations of weaving, photography, light painting, leather-belt making and beer brewing on offer.

Around the village there will also be free art installations and exhibitions to explore.


The Sydney Fish Market … to get its first ferry service.

SeaLink Travel Group will on March 24 commence what it describes as the first-ever Sydney Fish Market ferry service.

It will operate, initially on weekends, between the markets and King Street Wharf One Barangaroo every half hour from 9am to 5pm.

Fares are $9 per person one way and $15 per person return.

Over the Easter period, the ferry will also operate on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

The Sydney Fish Market receives approximately three million visitors per year with over half of them currently arriving by car.

Phone 02 9206 1111 or visit

 Tasmania’s Freycinet Lodge … nine new Coastal Pavilions.

The opening of nine new Coastal Pavilions at Freycinet Lodge will provide visitors to Tasmania’s east coast with another elegant accommodation option while immersing themselves in a spectacular landscape.

The pavilions nestle gently along the coastline of Great Oyster Bay, with the use of curved glass, Tasmanian timbers and tactile finishes adding to the immersive experience.

Outdoor baths on the deck and separate lounge spaces, both taking in the view, will enhance the guest experience.

Each of the nine pavilions has its own unique character. Some sit overlooking the waters of Great Oyster Bay, while others are located within the bushland, with filtered coastal views.

The works of local artists, commissioned especially for this project and inspired by the nature of the peninsula, are featured on the walls of the bedrooms and lounges. Locally made furnishings have also been purpose-built to reflect the surrounding natural elements.

Phone 03 6256 7222 or visit

 A giant frog arrives at Australia Zoo for installation in its new water play area.

Construction has begun on a new water play area at Australia Zoo, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, featuring giant native wildlife sculptures.

It will be an above-ground water adventure, designed primarily with the safety of even the youngest guests in mind. Another requisite is eco-friendliness using specially designed recycled-water components.

Among the features will be an enormous laughing frog, which will tip water after it starts croaking, a giant squirting kookaburra and a huge water-bubbling crocodile.

The park will be free for those paying general zoo admission.

Other developments planned this year include more dining options and private cabanas.


 Elements of Byron Resort & Spa … has added 99 new luxury two-bedroom, two-bathroom rainforest villas.

With its stunning beaches, lush hinterland and enviable coastal lifestyle, the Northern Rivers region of NSW is experiencing an accommodation renaissance, with a recent spate of new hotels, refurbishments and unique stays attracting an increased number of visitors.

Over the past year in Byron Bay alone, there has been the addition of 99 new villas at Elements of Byron Resort & Spa, 18 brand-new two-bedroom cabins at Discovery Parks, refurbishments undertaken at luxury hotels The Byron at Byron and Rae’s on Wategos, and the opening of a converted boutique hotel, The Bower.

Elements of Byron Resort & Spa, for instance, has recently undertaken a resort extension, adding 99 new luxury two-bedroom, two-bathroom rainforest villas, the world’s first solar train and an adults-only pool complete with swim-up bar’

Prices start at $380 per night for one or two in a Botanica Studio.


The Karnak statues at Luxor … Viking will have an expert Egyptologist on hand.

Viking is marketing its 2020 Egypt river cruises at 2019 prices.

Guests will sail on the all-suite Viking Ra — the newest addition to Viking’s fleet — with an expert Egyptologist.

On the 12-day ‘Pharaohs & Pyramids’ round-trip ex Cairo, for instance, guests will see the pyramids from astride a camel, wander among 136 soaring pillars in the Karnak Temple and explore Dendera, one of Egypt’s best preserved and less frequented temples.

They’ll experience the Nile breeze as they skim its waters by traditional felucca, and delight in the fragrances of Aswan’s spice market.

The itinerary is priced from $7795 per person twin-share.

Phone 138 747 or visit 

 Torres Del Paine National Park … the ‘Jewel of Patagonia’.

Contours Travel is for the first time offering the famous W-Trek, in Patagonia’s spectacular Torres Del Paine National Park, during the winter season,

Known as the ‘Jewel of Patagonia’, the Torres Del Paine National Park is a World-Heritage site filled with soaring, jagged peaks and huge glaciers. The park’s abundance of natural wonders sees tourists flocking to the area during the summer, but during the winter season travellers can enjoy one of the world’s most striking landscapes in tranquility.

The Torres Del Paine Winter W-Trek is a seven-day adventure on one of the world’s most famous walks. The guided tour showcases the park’s jaw-dropping scenery and provides local insight into the park.

The tour explores the park’s winter wonderland with a walk along Lake Nordenskjold, where guest can admire the park’s diverse flora and fauna. The tour ventures into the French Valley, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding spires and peaks.

Other highlights of the tour include the glacial Lake Grey, the southern ice fields and a cruise to the face of the crystalline Grey Glacier.

The tour is priced from $2840 per person twin-share, land content only, including national park entry fee, an expert guide, four nights accommodation in Torres Del Paine’s refugios (or huts), two nights accommodation in Puerto Natales, a glacier cruise on Lake Grey, and 16 meals.

Phone 1300 135 391 or visit

 Scenic Gem on the Seine in Caudebec-en-Caux.

Author and historian Peter FitzSimons will return to the Seine in June this year, hosting a Scenic Seine River cruise and sharing his extensive knowledge of the war history of northern France.

The cruise, on board Scenic Gem, includes visits to some of the country’s most renowned war-history sites — the Somme Battlefields, Villers-Bretonneux and the Normandy beaches, site of the D-Day landings.

During the cruise, guests will participate in two included excursions to the Somme Battlefields, alongside an array of Scenic Freechoice activities in ports such as Les Andelys, Honfleur, Caudebec-en-Caux, Vernon and Conflans.

The first half-day tour includes a visit to the Australian National Memorial and the Franco-Australian Museum, while a full-day excursion the following day begins with a visit to Le Hamel and the Peronne Museum before lunch in a local restaurant. That afternoon, guests will stop at the Newfoundland memorial, where they can walk through a number of preserved trench lines used by soldiers during World War I, as well as Lochangar crater, and witness the sheer scale of the destruction caused by war.

Guests will also enjoy two of Scenic’s signature offerings, a Scenic Sundowners cocktail event at Manoir d’Appreval and a once-in-a-lifetime Scenic Enrich experience at the impressive Château de La Roche-Guyon.

Fares on the cruise are priced from $7895 per person twin-share including return flights to France.

Phone 138 128 or visit

Fiji’s Toberua Island Resort … a remote and intimate holiday experience.

Save 40 per cent on a five-night holiday at Fiji’s Toberua Island Resort by booking through TravelOnline — and receive F$300 (about $190) resort credit.

Priced from $1162 per person twin-share, the package includes accommodation in a oceanfront bure, free use of snorkel gear, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and catamarans, a bonus 45-minute massage for two, and transfers.

The package is valid for sale until March 29 and for travel from April 30 to May 31.

Located off the east coast of Fiji’s main island, Vitu Levu, Toberua Island Resort offers a remote and intimate holiday experience.

It features 16 traditional oceanfront bures, white sandy beaches, coral reef, spa/massage facilities and nine-hole golf course.

Phone 1300 883 887 or visit

 Vinpearl Hoi An Resort & Villas … up to two kids (aged 12 and under) stay free.

Book through Luxury Escapes and save 55 per cent on a seven-night Vietnam coastal holiday at Vinpearl Hoi An Resort & Villas.

Pay from $1399 for two adults including daily buffet breakfasts, your choice of daily lunches or dinners, a Vietnamese cooking class, cocktails, two 60-minute massages, and return airport transfers.

Also get a $50 flight credit and unlimited return shuttles to Hoi An town … plus up to two kids (aged 12 and under) stay free.

Phone 1300 889 900 visit

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