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John Rozentals checks out the week’s travel bargains.

August 25, 2020 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Put your pedal to the gravel and get cycling, the annual Tour de Gorge ride near Coonabarabran is on again this year, with measures in place to keep participants covid-safe.

The Tour de Gorge is set to run on Saturday September 5.

This year’s event will start at Pilliga Pottery and then take participants on a ride through the Pilliga Nature Reserve on some scenic trails which are not usually open for cycling.

The cost is $25 per person and riders have the option of a 12km course or a 50km course.


The Southern Great Barrier Reef: can be for completely self-sufficient campers.

Nestled in remote coastal wilderness on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, there are four completely off-grid islands — Miall, Conical, Divided and Pelican — offering isolation and social distancing at its best.

For completely self-sufficient campers with a desire to live out their Robinson Crusoe fantasy, these hidden gems offer a special location to experience the tranquil life of a castaway.

If you are ready to disconnect from reality and check out of civilization, your island paradise awaits. With campsites just metres from the beach, your temporary backyard is filled with the excitement of snorkelling, fishing, diving and hiking, straight off your doorstep.

There’s camping, and then there’s remote island camping, and for just a few dollars a night, you can have an island all to yourself.

So, toss away your phones, iPads and watches; fuel up the boat, grab your tent, torch and tucker, and prepare to become fully immersed in island life, where the rising sun and falling tide will be your guide.


 The Larapinta Trail: an NT icon.

World Expeditions is celebrating a return to travel on the trail it pioneered 25 years ago, with five groups departing Alice Springs to walk the NT’s iconic Larapinta Trail.

According to World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari, the departures have been the culmination of an enormous team effort.

“We had a false start back in March, when we set up all the camps in preparedness for our busiest season ever, only to have to demount them again when travel stopped with the onset of covid restriction,” she said.

“Now, with them re-erected and with a new covid-safe protocol in place, we — and our guides — are thrilled to see our first travellers back on the trail. The season will be short but it’s something.”

World Expeditions’ new operational procedures to minimize the risk of spreading covid-19 include special measures with food preparation, enhanced hygiene, sanitation and physical distancing.

All travellers are required to complete a health screening at the start of the trip and to wear masks in certain settings, consistent with the relevant laws and regulations.

Visit or phone 1300 720 000.

IC: Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium: calming resources.

Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium has released new calming resources, including two guided meditation sessions, set to beautiful imagery of marine creatures.

Created for Melbournians who might be struggling with the current lockdown or those simply seeking a mindful exercise, the new Marine Mindfulness webpage aims to encourage relaxation and help promote a sense of calm.

According to studies, observing live fish in an aquarium decreases anxiety, enhances relaxation and improves one’s mood.

Sea Life Melbourne is offering a 10-minute meditation session focusing on mesmerising moon jellyfish gracefully pulsing through the water as well as a five-minute session featuring sleek trevally gliding through the 2.2-million-litre oceanarium.


Accor ALLSAFE: peace of mind.

Accor is offering medical teleconsultations to guests staying at many Accor hotels, resorts and apartments across the globe through its partnership with AXA.

All Accor guests in Australia, New Zealand and French Polynesia have access to a network of thousands of medical professionals 24/7 via a tele-medical consultation to assist with medical situations that arise during their stay.

This free-of-charge medical service can apply to any non-urgent medical need and is suitable for, but not limited to, covid-19 concerns as it allows guests to receive medical advice in the comfort of their room.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic and to ensure the safety of guests and team members, Accor elevated norms earlier this year by launching its cleanliness and prevention label, ALLSAFE, to ensure that people will have peace of mind when they stay with Accor.



The Douro River … Portuguese lifeblood.

Free flights to Europe and savings of $4000 per couple are available on back-to-back river cruises on the Douro River in Portugal and Danube River through central Europe in September and October next year.

The 18-night ‘Double Up on the Danube and Douro’ package is being offered by Riviera Travel River Cruises and Cruise Traveller.

The holiday begins with a flight from Australia to Porto in Portugal for a night’s hotel stay before guests board Riviera Travel’s deluxe river ship, Douro Elegance, for a seven-night cruise along the along the beautiful, vineyard-lined Douro River, past rustic wineries, quaint villages and rugged cliffs right up to the Spanish border.

Highlights include visits to vineyards and port cellars, dinner at a typical Portuguese farmhouse, a flamenco show, a full-day excursion to the historic Spanish city of Salamanca, a tour of the walled medieval village of Castelo Rodrigo and the 18th century, baroque Mateus Palace and its extensive gardens.

The cruise includes eight complimentary guided excursions.

Back in Porto, guests are then flown to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon for a two-night stay in a five-star hotel to explore the quaint city before a flight to Budapest and another night’s stay.

Including the two cruises, accommodation in Porto, Lisbon and Budapest, transfers and guided shore excursions, the 18-night package is available from $9895 per person, twin-share for bookings made by November 30.

Phone 1300 561 001 or visit

NOTE: Potential travellers should check the status of individual events and establishments with regard to the coronavirus outbreak.

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