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TRAVELLERS’ GOOD BUYS FOR Compiled by JOHN ROZENTALS

March 15, 2014 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

grandGrand Pacific Tours has released its 2014-15 Ultimate Small Group Tours program of New Zealand coach excursions.

All the tours utilise new full-size coaches configured with just 20 luxury leather seats for maximum comfort and panoramic viewing.

A new 18-day Ultimate New Zealand Showcase is priced from $4474 per person twin-share ex Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, including premium accommodation, most meals, sightseeing and attractions.

Phone 1800 622 768 or visit www.ultimatenewzealand.com.au.

 hertz 

Hertz has launched its Dream Collection in the UK, initially featuring the Bentley Continental GT, the Bentley Flying Spur, the Aston Martin DB9, and the all-new Range Rover Sport.

To be added in coming weeks are the Mercedes C63 AMG, BMW X5, Mercedes SL63 AMG, Mercedes E400 AMG Coupe, Audi Q7 and Maserati Ghibli.

botanicVisit hertzdreamcollection.co.uk.

The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust has released a comprehensive program of autumn events, many of them free-of-charge, for the three gardens in its charge: Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan (just south of Sydney near Campbelltown) and Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah.

Examples are the Garden Safari in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden every Sunday until June 1, AnnanROMA Food and Wine Festival at Mount Annan on April 13, and The Breathing Conifer, an exhibition by Phillippa Carnemolla, on until May 25 at Mount Tomah.

Visit www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.auibis

Accor has unveiled a new interior design at three Ibis Budget hotels in Queensland and Victoria following the rebranding of all its economy-priced Formule 1 properties.

Ibis Budget Brisbane Airport, Ibis Budget Melbourne Airport and Ibis Budget Dandenong are all embracing the bold designs, natural materials, bright colours and attractive lighting that are part of the ‘Avanzi’ look devised by Paris-based designer Philippe Avanzielicit.

The new look has been incorporated in lobby areas, breakfast rooms and guestrooms.

laosVisit www.ibis.com.

Backyard Travel, is offering a seven-night Highlights of Laos itinerary, a new trip that investigates unique aspects of local Laos culture.

The tour visits key destinations such as Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Mai and the former Royal Palace which now stands as the National Museum, before taking travellers on a scenic cruise to the Pak Ou Caves to see the hundreds of miniature Buddha sculptures crammed inside the local pilgrimage site.

In Vientiane travelers can experience charming holy sites such as That Luang, Wat Phra Keo, That Dam, Putaxai Monument and Wat Sisaket escorted by an expert local guide.

Prices are from US$1087 per person twin-share.lenin

Visit www.backyardtravel.com.

Walk back in time, with the eyes of Lenin and Stalin watching your every move. Toursgallery’s 25-day Baltic tour includes a visit to Lithuania’s Grutas Park, a sculpture garden featuring 86 statues left over from the Soviet era.

Commencing in Krakow, the tour visits Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia before finishing in Helsinki, Finland.

Prices start at $8950 per person twin-share, including accommodation in four-and-five-star hotels, all breakfasts and 15 dinners featuring local culinary specialties.

Phone 1 300 307 317 or visit www.toursgallery.comrocky

Book a Rocky Mountaineer package of six or more nights in Canada’s Rocky Mountains and get an extra hotel night in Vancouver or Seattle, including breakfast and dinner — a $750-per-couple bonus.

The journeys include, of course, a trip on the famous Rocky Mountaineer train, which features gourmet cuisine and panoramic views of cascading waterfalls, snowcapped mountains, and old-growth forests from the comfort of customised bi-level dome cars.

Visit www.rockymountaineer.comseadream

SeaDream I, one of the world’s most highly rated boutique motor cruisers, will break its regular schedule this July and August for an 11-day sailing through Norwegian cities, towns, villages and fjords, starting Bergen and finishing in the Danish capital of Copenhagen.

Ports of call include Olden, Geiranger, Aalesund, Flaam, Gudvangen, Sunndal, Rosendal, Stavanger, Lillesand, Oslo and Marstrand in Sweden.

Prices start from US$7824 per person twin-share, including five-star dining, wines with lunch and dinner, and drinks from the open arkababars.

Visit www.seadream.com.

Bring a companion for free on Wild Bush Luxury’s Arkaba Walk in the Flinders Rangers.

Pay $2150 per couple, a saving of 50 per cent, for the four-day, 45-kilometre hike, including meals and premium South Australian wines.

Framed by the rugged wall of Wilpena Pound and the red-hued ridges of the Elder Range, Arkaba is one of Australia’s most accessible outback experiences.

Valid selected departures from June 12 to August 31.

Visit www.arkabawalk.comport_stephens

Enjoy a dolphin cruise and sledding down the southern hemisphere’s biggest sand dunes as part of a new short-break package from The Retreat Port Stephens.

Pay from $469 per couple for three nights of self-catering cabin accommodation

Includes a 1.5-hour dolphin cruise with Moonshadow and a sandboarding adventure with Port Stephens 4WD.

Valid for stays until April 13.

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

GET discounted holiday packages to Honolulu with Direct Flights.

Pay from $1616 per person ex Sydney ($1819 ex Brisbane, $1886 ex Canberra, $1926 ex Melbourne, $1959 ex Adelaide, $2178 ex Perth, $2206 ex Cairns), including five nights accommodation at the three-star White Sands Hotel near Waikiki Beach.

Includes entry to the Polynesian Cultural Centre, which showcases the indigenous Polynesian cultures of Hawaii, Samoa, the Marquesas, Fiji, New Zealand, Tonga and Tahiti.

Book by March 31 this year for departures until March 31 next year.

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

Save $200 per person on China and Vietnam group tours during Helen Wong’s Tours Year of the Horse sale.

Pay, for instance, from $3930 per person twin-share for the 12-day China Discovery package, including return airfares.

Above tour includes Beijing, Shanghai and Xian, home of the Terracotta Army.

Book by April 4 for travel between May 1 and November 30.

Phone 1300 788 328 or visit www.helenwongstours.com

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