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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

July 28, 2018 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Feel the spirit of India and be immersed in the country’s ancient principles of wellness and wellbeing on a 16-day fly-cruise-and-stay holiday featuring a seven-night cruise along the sacred Brahmaputra River and a week-long stay at Ananda, a luxury spa at the foot of the Himalayas.

Cruise Traveller has released the deal in partnership with an Indian river cruise company, Adventure Resorts and Cruises, featuring 46-guest river ship, MV Mahabaahu.

Highlights of the seven-night cruise include a safari of the Kaziranga National Park which is famous for the great single-horned Indian rhino as well as wild elephants, tigers, buffalo and exotic birds, aromatic Indian cuisine, and views of the 7000-metre-high Himalayas.

The stay at the Ananda includes healthy organic cuisine, spa and lifestyle activities such as daily yoga and meditation
, use of hydrotherapy facilities, and a trek to the top of Kunjapuri mountain to see Kunjapuri Devi Temple, one of India’s most revered, ancient places.

The adventure is priced from $17,795 per person twin-share, which includes a saving of $530 person if booked by August 31.

The price incorporates flights with Singapore Airlines from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth plus domestic flights in India, cruise excursions and a night in each of Delhi and Kolkata.

Phone 1800 507 777 or visit

 Macao … claimed to provide the only street circuit to host both car and motorcycle races.

Helen Wong’s Tours has unveiled a four-night package for the 65th Macau Grand Prix.

The pack includes A-reserve grandstand tickets to the two days of weekend racing on November 17 and 18, along with return Cathay Pacific airfare from Australia to Hong Kong and Sea Express return high-speed ferry transfer from the airport to Macao.

Guests will stay at the plush new MGM Cotai, including breakfast, and will also enjoy a half-day city tour with English-speaking guide.

Price for the Helen Wong’s Tours package begins at $2900 per person twin-share.

The narrow, twisting roads of Macao will be converted into one of the most challenging circuits in the world — claimed to be the only street circuit to host both car and motorcycle races.

Phone 1300 788328 or visit

 The huge Mekong River … lifeblood for those living along it.

Backyard Travel has combined Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam into a 14-day journey that traverses vibrant cities, ancient ruins, rural villages and spectacular natural landscapes.

Its ‘Rivers, Roads and Ruins’ begins in Bangkok with a full day of urban exploration in the Thai capital.

Next it’s off to Cambodia, travelling overland through Thai countryside to enjoy the charms of sleepy Battambang and explore the Angkor temples in Siem Reap.

After a couple of days seeing the sights in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, travellers make their way to Vietnam via the Mekong River, cruising over the border to Chau Doc.

From here, the journey continues along the river, passing by colorful towns and floating markets, and exploring back canals to catch a glimpse of local daily life.

The tour ends in Ho Chi Minh City with a full-day private guided tour.


 So very art deco … Miami’s South Beach.

Save $1200 per couple and enjoy a complimentary two-night Miami extension on Viking’s eight-day ‘Cultural Cuba’ Miami-return cruise departing November 8.

The journey, on board Viking Star, is now priced from $4695 per person in a deluxe-veranda stateroom, while the complimentary two-night Miami pre-cruise extension is worth $669 per person.

Guests will cruise the Caribbean, then spend three days in the cultural centre of Cienfuegos, Cuba’s ‘Pearl of the South’ and a UNESCO site.

They’ll discover historic Santiago de Cuba, learn the stories behind Cuba’s most influential figures and have the option to visit Trinidad.

The Miami extension includes two nights, with breakfast, at the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach (or similar), and a guided city tour with a visit to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

Phone 138 747 or visit

Norfolk Island … plenty of history, and a great foodie destination.

The Taste Norfolk Island Food Festival is back from November 26-30 this year and once again will showcase high-quality locally grown, fresh, organic produce presented by a talented line-up of chefs.

Norfolk Island is a food lover’s destination, boasting 20-plus dining venues presenting the freshest of fish, succulent beef and pork, a selection of in-season fruit and vegetables picked daily, boutique products including artisan cheese and honey, and many more paddock-to-plate experiences.

Thanksgiving Day activities are also being held over from the week prior to the official day so it can be celebrated during this popular annual festival. Norfolk Island remains one of the few places outside the US to mark this special day, which dates back to when American whalers were living on the island.

Oxley Travel has announced a seven-night ‘Taste Norfolk Island’ package priced from $2079 per person twin-share ex Sydney or $2039 per person twin-share ex Brisbane.

Included are return flights with Air New Zealand, airport transfers, accommodation at Poinciana Cottage, car hire, and various festival activities.

Phone 1800 671 546 or visit

 Sanctuary Olonana … designed especially to maximise the wilderness experience.

Luxury boutique safari operator Sanctuary retreats has just reopened its flagship East African property, Sanctuary Olonana, after an extensive refurbishment.

Since opening its doors in 1999, the company’s first African camp has always been something of a trailblazer for responsible eco-tourism.

This latest incarnation blends an innovative, modern design with environmental best practice, all presented in a very distinct traditional African style.

Set in lush woodland on the banks of the Mara River in Kenya’s Masai Mara, a key staging point for Africa’s annual Great Migration, the new-look Sanctuary Olonana brings the outdoors inside, almost literally, thanks to 14 spacious new glass-sided suites, designed especially to maximise the wilderness experience for guests.

As well as providing front row seats to the Great Wildebeest Migration, game drives out from the camp reward guests with plenty of ‘Big Five’ encounters, including a pod of hippos who live permanently in the river just below the camp, and after-dark drives also allow for exclusive sightings of nocturnal creatures.

Prices at Sanctuary Olonana start from about $475 per person per night twin-share, including all meals and ordinary drinks, transfers to and from the airstrip to the camp, plus a choice of two daily shared game-viewing activities.

There are significant savings for those staying four of more nights at Sanctuary Retreats properties.


 Kuélap … a fortress believed to have been built between 600 and 900 years before Machu Picchu.

From August 30, Peru’s remote Chachapoyas and Kuélap will become more accessible, with domestic airline LC Perú announcing direct flights between Lima and Chachapoyas every Thursday and Sunday.

These new flights will give much greater opportunity to maximise time marvelling at the ancient fortress of Kuélap, and learning about the ‘Cloud Warriors’ who inhabited the area centuries ago.

Chachapoyas is a remote Peruvian city known as the Gateway to Kuélap, which is considered by many to be the ‘Machu Picchu of the north’.

The fortress of Kuelap is believed to have been built between 600 and 900 years before Machu Picchu and is both larger and on a higher mountain than its famous southern counterpart, with over 550 structures on the site.

Phone 1300 575 752 or visit

 Roger Federer … on Rottnest Island during his last visit to Western Australia.

One of the world’s greatest tennis players, Roger Federer, will return to WA to compete in the Mastercard Hopman Cup 2019, which will run from December 29 to January 5.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion will once again pair up with Belinda Bencic for Team Switzerland to defend their 2018 title.

Players joining the duo will include the German team, and 2018 runners-up, current world number three Alexander Zverev and two-time Grand Slam champion and former world-number-one Angelique Kerber.

At the 2018 tournament at Perth Arena nearly 5700 fans viewed Federer’s open practice session with Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Federer has won the past two Australian Open titles after beginning his season in Perth.

Ticket packages for the Mastercard Hopman Cup 2019 are now available via Ticketek. Sportsnet Holidays is offering travel packages starting at $389 per person.


 New holiday opportunities … for example, dinner at dusk at Alice Springs Telegraph Station.

The 2019/20 season marks a new era for Australian rail holidays, with the formation of Journey Beyond, a consortium that owns and operates a suite of iconic experiential tourism brands — Cruise Whitsundays, Rottnest Express and Great Southern Rail, operators of The Ghan, Indian Pacific and The Overland.

In 21 itineraries, guests can explore beyond the tracks, combining their rail adventure with other experiences such as swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, flying over Lake Eyre, admiring Kakadu’s waterfalls, and wining and dining on Kangaroo Island.

Step off The Ghan and get lost in ancient storytelling in the Red Centre or enjoy a luxurious stay at Wolgan Valley having travelled on the Indian Pacific.

Alternatively, navigate the Australian coastline on a cruise ship or float over Alice Springs in a hot-air balloon.

The 2019/20 holidays collection is fully integrated and features overnight stays through to 21-night expeditions.


Tasting, tasting, tasting … a quartet enjoy working their way through winning entries in the Sydney Royal Wine Show.

For lovers of fine wine it is truly a once-a-year opportunity.

The Grape, Grain & Graze Festival, formerly known as the Sydney Royal Wine Experience, will be held from 2pm to 6pm on the Saturday afternoon of August 11 at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.

Not only does the Grape, Grain & Graze Festival allow visitor to taste this year’s Sydney Royal award-winning wines, beers and ciders, but also to find out, during face-to-face tutorials, why they were the choice of the experts.

Plus there’s the show’s award-winning food and music to match.

Each of the 2300 wines judged in the annual KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show just days earlier will be on offer, as will beer and cider medallists awarded by industry experts in the Sydney Royal Beer and Cider Show, allowing ticketholders to make their own judgements.

Single tickets cost $90 plus booking fee, double passes $164 plus booking fee.

Admission charge includes a Riedel Ouverture glass, unlimited tasting of show entries, access to the Trophy Room with five tastings, access to the Beer & Cider Garden with two beer/cider tasting paddle vouchers, access to grazing stations that include a huge array of Sydney Royal award-winning products, guide and catalogue, and attendance at masterclasses.


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