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TRAVELLERS’ GOOD BUYS Compiled by JOHN ROZENTALS

May 24, 2014 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

avalonAvalon Waterways will add two stylish new ships to its South-East Asia river fleet next year — Avalon Siem Reap, which will cruise the Mekong, and Avalon Myanmar, which will sail the Irrawaddy on the company’s new 14-day Myanmar itineraries.

They are priced from $7691 per person twin-share and begin with two nights in the capital Yangon.

Highlights include sunrise and sunset visits to the renowned temples of Bagan and Mandalay, an opportunity to visit monks and present alms at an ancient monastery at Kya Hnyat, a visit to an elephant camp at Katha, plus dozens of other unforgettable experiences among the villages, traditional workshops, schools, convents, farms and markets of the Irrawaddy valley.

Phone 1300 230 234 or visit www.avalonwaterways.com.aubuller

The north-east Victorian ski season will kick off at Mt Buller over the weekend of June 7-9 with fireworks and free entertainment across the mountain.

New activities this year include figgle skiing (using short shaped skiboards), snowgaining (high-altitude orienteering) and telemarking (free-heel skiing for the more advanced).

dogsTo find out more about Victoria’s snowfields and watch a video visit www.skivic.com.

Metro Hotels is offering dog owners the opportunity to book accommodation for their pooch at the same time as booking accommodation for themselves in any of the group’s seven properties in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The deal comes through an association with www.findadogminder.com.au, a network connecting dog owners with dedicated dog lovers who mind pets in their own home.

Contact Jessica Lisica at Metro Hotels on (02) 9288 0182 or email jlisica@metrohg.comgrasshopper

See the real Thailand in two action-packed days on Grasshopper Adventures’ new ‘Floating Markets and Walking Fish’ short-break cycle tour.

Wander the trendy Amphawa Market, cycle past the world famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and marvel at the Mae Khlong Railway Market, where trackside vendors have to stop selling several times a day to let the trains through.

The 80-kilometres of cycling takes you past the Gulf of Thailand, bustling canals, ancient temples, lively fishing docks and the Khlong Khon Mangrove Conservation Center, home to the incredible walking fish.

Pay from US$560 per person twin-share, including bikes, guesthouse accommodation, all meals and kakaduair-conditioned backup support vehicle.

Visit www.grasshopperadventures.com. 

Kakadu Tourism — an Indigenous-owned company — has launched a series of new touring programs to provide visitors with memorable insights into the region’s natural and cultural wonders.

Included is a one-and-a-half-hour evening cruise on Yellow Water Billabong, capturing the Kakadu nightscape, with Indigenous guides relating stories passed from generation to generation by local Kakadu clans.

The price is $90 an adult and $60 a child.

Phone 1800 500 401 or visit www.kakadutourism.comprestige

Want to explore the German Autobahns in a Mercedes S500, drive down the Champs Elysees in a Lamborghini Gallardo or cruise the Spanish Riviera in a Porsche 911 convertible?

DriveAway Holidays has just launched an exclusive top-line range of high-performance and edgy car rentals in Europe and the USA under the Prestige banner.

Vehicles range from compact Porsche Boxsters and Audi R8s to luxurious Lamborghini, Jaguar, Aston Martin and Maserati models.

wildPhone 1300 723 972 or visit www.driveaway.com.au.

Ireland’s 2400-kilometre Wild Atlantic Way offers one of the world’s longest and most exciting defined coastal drives, including the stunning Cliffs of Moher; Achill Island; the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula; Skellig; and the Slieve League Cliffs.

Many of CIE Tours International’s programs include the Atlantic coast’s natural and cultural attractions.

Its nine-day Irish Explorer, for instance, is priced from $1469 per person twin-share ex Dublin.

Phone 02 8005 6802 or visit www.cietours.comyulefest

More than 30 years ago, a group of Irish visitors sat in a Katoomba hotel on a winter’s day, watching snow fall and reminiscing about Christmas festivities back home. Their host prepared an appropriate meal and the idea of Yulefest was born.

It’s on again in the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon this June, July and August, with many hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs and restaurants celebrating Yulefest by putting on toasty fires, roast dinners and puddings, decorations and Santa.

bangkokVisit www.bluemts.com.au.

Get discounted travel packages to Bangkok with Direct Flights.

Pay from $1020 per person twin-share ex Sydney or Brisbane ($1004 ex Melbourne; $1003 ex Perth), including return flights with China Southern Airlines and five nights accommodation in the Convenient Park Bangkok, a three-star hotel within a five-minute walk of Punnavitee Skytrain station.

Includes a private guided tour of three of Bangkok’s most famous Buddhist temples, among them Wat Pho, the temple of the reclining Buddha, the largest Buddha in Bangkok.

Book by May 31 for travel during selected periods up to November 24.

Phone 1300 234 909 or visit www.directflights.com.aucorsica

Get a 10 per cent discount on UTracks’ Grand Randonee 20 (GR20) walks in Corsica.

Pay, for instance, $1485 per person for a seven-day GR20 North guided walk, including all meals and accommodation, luggage transfers, information maps and a mountain guide.

Walk through towering pinnacles, deep forests of pine and beech, windswept craters, glacial lakes and snow-capped peaks, at times catching a glimpse of the dramatic Mediterranean coastline below.

Book by June 30 for guided walks in August or September.

cruisePhone 1300 303 368 or visit www.utracks.com.

Bonus three-night stay in Las Vegas on Cruise1st’s 24-night fly-stay-cruise-package between the US and Sydney.

Pay from $3999 per person twin-share ex Sydney ($4199 ex Brisbane and Melbourne; $4299 ex Canberra; $4699 ex Adelaide; $4799 ex Perth), including flight from Australia to Las Vegas, flight from Las Vegas to San Francisco, and cruise to Sydney on P&O’s Arcadia. Also return flight to city of origin.

Ports of call include Honolulu, Lahaina, Pago Pago, Apia and Suva.

Departs Australia January 28.

Phone 1300 596 345 or visit www.cruise1st.com.aumantra

Visit Hervey Bay for the annual Whale Festival this winter.

Pay from $133 per night for a one-bedroom apartment atMantra Hervey Bay (three-night minimum stay).

Absolute marina-front property, within walking distance from the Urangan Boat Harbour and surrounded by the marina precinct’s assortment of restaurants and shopping.

Book by June 30 for stays until December 24.

For bookings call 13 15 17 or visit www.mantra.com.au.

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