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John Rozentals’ Travellers’ Good Buys

March 30, 2019 Headline News, Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Karumba’s annual Barra and Blues Festival on May 4-5 will be combined with the launch of an $8.5 million barramundi interpretive centre and what has been described as the best fishing season in years, while recent floods had transformed the Gulf Savannah country in north-west Queensland into a lush green paradise.

ARIA nominee Ash Grunwald will headline the blues concert and the official opening of the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre.

Other activities include free yoga, market stalls, free guided tours and barramundi feeding at the barra centre, blues-artist workshops, a Big Barra BBQ, and an outdoor screening of the legendary movie The Blues Brothers, with awards for best-dressed movie-goer.

The interpretive centre showcases the wetlands, mangroves, birdlife and flora of the southern Gulf. It originated some 25 years ago when a group of local fishermen set out to restock the local waterways with barramundi fingerlings to ensure a sustainable fishing future for years to come.


 Lavish … an example of the work of Japan’s Zaiyu Hasegawa.

The Curated Plate, a four-day destination food festival, will debut on the Sunshine Coast from August 8-11.

Showcasing chefs from Australia and around the world, The Curated Plate will host a distinctive range of culinary events that span the region and bring to life the Sunshine Coast’s rich local artisan culture.

Celebrating the relationship between chef and producer, in the picturesque surrounds of a region famed for its vibrant produce, The Curated Plate will encourage guests to immerse themselves in the flavours foraged from organic and sustainable practices and enjoy once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences.

Highlights include the Legends Lunch at Yandina Station on August 8.

The legendary Peter Gilmore (Quay, Bennelong) and one of Australia’s most talked-about chefs, and Analiese Gregory (Franklin) will join forces for an all-out, lavish long lunch overlooking breathtaking Mount Coolum.

Other stars include Raymond Blanc OBEs, Alejandro Cancino, Chase Kojima, Matt Stone and Japan’s Zaiyu Hasegawa, whose restaurant Den was voted best restaurant in Japan.


 Opera at Jimbour … bringing together a huge crowd to Queensland’s Western Downs.

The opera returns to the Western Downs on Saturday, July 27, with ‘Opera at Jimbour ‘melding high art together with fine wine, fresh food and a regional Queensland spirit of fun.

Each year the festival brings thousands of people from across the state and beyond to celebrate music, culture and local produce at the historic Jimbour House Estate under the winter sun.

The 2019 event will deliver opera favourites from some of Australia’s biggest stars, including tenor Rosario La Spina, soprano Sarah Crane, mezzo soprano Hayley Sugars and baritone Shaun Brown.

The format promises a full day of entertainment, with free entry to children under 12 and a range of camping and accommodation options creating a country weekend away for families.


 Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef … spectacular views of the beach and the surrounding dunes.

Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef has officially opened for the 2019 season in the rugged Cape Range National Park, about 70 kilometres from Exmouth in Western Australia.

The resort offers spectacular views of the beach and the surrounding dunes, and is located on the shores of the reef and the Cape Range National Park.

Ningaloo Reef is considered one of the most easily accessible and reliable places in the world to swim with whale sharks, and guests can do so from April to August each year.

Guests can also swim with humpback whales from August to October each year.

The camp comprises 15 safari-style tents, and one larger honeymoon tent. There is a camp kitchen and group dining area, a large deck overlooking the Indian Ocean, plus a private beach.

Phone (08) 9949 1776 or visit

Kangaroo Island … take a guided beach walk at Seal Bay Conservation Park.

SeaLink’s fully escorted three-night ‘Kangaroo Island Experience’ discovers the island’s fascinating wildlife, spectacular coastal scenery and beaches, and unique local wines and produce.

The itinerary takes in most of the main attractions, including the historic Maritime & Folk Museum, South Australia’s first lighthouse (Cape du Couedic Lighthouse), Clifford’s Honey Farm, Cygnet River and the Raptor Domain for its interactive birds-of-prey show.

Take a guided beach walk at Seal Bay Conservation Park amongst a colony of wild sea lions and visit Flinders Chase National Park to witness nature’s breath-taking creations — Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch.

Prices start at $1219 per person twin-share and departs ex Adelaide, including pick-up and drop-off at selected hotels, return coach and ferry travel from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island, luxury air-conditioned coach travel around Kangaroo Island, three night’s accommodation at Kangaroo Island Seaside Inn, Kingscote, daily continental breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners and all tour entry fees, guided tours and tastings.


 Wonderful architecture … the Danube in Budapest.

Explore the architecture of Hungary’s capital, Budapest, before sailing behind the former Iron Curtain on a river cruise along the Danube River to the Black Sea on a new fly-stay-cruise package from Riviera Travel and Cruise Traveller.

The 17-night package includes three nights’ pre-cruise accommodation in Budapest, a 14-night return cruise along the Danube River from Budapest to the Black Sea and back and return flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth.

Guests who book before April 15 can take advantage of a 12 per cent solo supplement and a free drinks package.

The first departure date is May 16, when guests will cruise aboard Riviera Travel’s 167-guest, five-star Thomas Hardy. The second departure, on June 3, will be aboard Riviera Travel’s brand-new, 169-guest, five-star William Wordsmith.

The cruise along the Danube will be through Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria to the mouth of the river on the Black Sea.

Highlights include the art nouveau capital of Belgrade, the sheer limestone cliffs of the Iron Gates Gorge, the faded grandeur of Bucharest with its Paris-like ambience, the pristine World-Heritage-listed Danube Delta, the fragrant pine forests of the Balkans, the ruined fortress and ancient churches of Pleven in Bulgaria, the old town port of Constanta on the Black Sea, and the medieval Smederevo Fortress lining the river in Serbia.

Sixteen guided excursions by coach and foot are included.

Prices are from $9545 per person twin-share.


 Worth snapping … the gorgeous water town of Zhujiajiao.

Escape winter with Ecruising’s 30-night ‘Great Wall to Opera House’ departing Australia in August this year.

Guests will undertake an eight-night land tour from Beijing to Shanghai, before boarding the Majestic Princess for 22-night cruise to Sydney.

Guests will spend four nights exploring the highlights of Beijing, including the Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, the Great Wall and Summer Palace.

They will then fly via Xian and into Shanghai, with visits to attractions such as Shanghai’s Old Town, Yuyuan Garden and the gorgeous water town of Zhujiajiao.

The Majestic Princess cruise includes Busan, Hong Kong, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Darwin and Brisbane.

An array of activities are on offer, from the piazza-style Atrium, Hollywood Pool Club and Princess Sports Central. Not to forget The Seawalk — a dramatic over-the-ocean glass walkway.

Prices are from $5629 per person twin-share, including flights, accommodation, tours, transfers and all main meals onboard Majestic Princess.

Phone 1300 369 848 or visit

 Japan … a fascinating island nation.

Book a berth in cabin categories 1-3 for Abercrombie & Kent’s 14-day ‘Wonders of Japan’ itinerary in June next year and save $8960 per couple.

The voyage on exclusively chartered Le Soleal will reveal Japan’s hidden wonders at their most authentic, painting a detailed and indelible portrait of this fascinating island nation.

Rarely visited ports and wilderness areas, which are impossible to reach by larger ship, are accessed in the company of local guides as well as historical, cultural and scientific experts.

The 199-guest Le Soleal affords all guests a private balcony, along with meals, house drinks, gratuities and a crew-to-guest ratio of 1-to-1.3.

Highlights include bustling Osaka, culture-rich Kyoto, Gyeongju in Korea, the ancient dynastic capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hiroshima, where time is spent reflecting on Japan’s turbulent history and miraculous resurgence, and famous gardens, markets and castles.

The journey also takes in the village of Karatsu, an early trading post with a rich medieval heritage, as well as the arts centre of Kanazawa and the rice paddies of Sado Island.

Phone 1300 590 317 or visit

 Mystical Myanmar … an enchanting landscape.

From Mandalay to Yangon, the Irrawaddy River and enchanting landscape of Myanmar will accompany guests on Scenic’s 14-day ‘Mystical Irrawaddy’.

Experience traditional river village life in Yandabo, let the awe of Bagan wash over you and explore the colonial relics of Magwe and Salay before arriving in the bustling capital of Yangon.

The city offers up many surprises including a thriving arts scene and the arresting Shwedagon Pagoda.

As the sun sets on an incredible experience guests will take part in a traditional oil-lamp lighting ceremony, an uplifting and magical way to conclude time in this mystical land.

Prices are from $9395 per person twin-share.


 Quaint locations … Toursgallery’s UK tour.

Share rooms with another single traveller on Toursgallery’s UK tour and save $3680 solo supplement.

The 22-day tour of England, Scotland and Wales includes rural-village and city accommodation, and features TV-and-film locations, antique steam boats and historic remnants of the industrial revolution.

In Wales the tour includes a ride on the Welsh Highland Railway, visiting Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National Parks and Llechwedd Slate Caverns.

In the picturesque Lake District stay in a hotel overlooking Lake Windermere and cruise Lake Coniston on the restored steam yacht Gondola.

Prices are from $13,880 per person twin-share.

Phone 1300 307 317 or visit

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