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John Rozentals’ Travellers’ Good Buys

April 20, 2019 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Guided or independent? Pack-free or carry your rucksack? These are some of the things you’ll think about when considering taking on Tassie’s Three Capes Track.

Life’s An Adventure offers a three-day pack-free walk where a professional guide leads guests to the many highlights of the Tasman Peninsula.

Everyday they’re transported to and from the walk in a minibus. Guides will throw a few ripping yarns on the way. Like the one about Martin Cash — one of the only bushrangers to die of old age.

Accommodation is quite a step up from the ordinary, with the two nights spent in the deluxe spa chalets at Stewarts Bay Lodge, just down the road from historic Port Arthur.

Each chalet has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus lounge-room. It’s one of those places guests look forward to heading to after a long day on the trail.

Life’s an Adventure prides itself on sourcing quality local food and wines and the meals at Stewarts Bay Lodge’s restaurant, Gabriel’s, exemplify this.

The icing on the cake is provided by either a scenic helicopter ride over the Tasman Peninsula or a wilderness cruise around Cape Pillar, jutting impressively out to sea.

Cost is $1499. Visit www.lifesanadventure.com.au.

 The Capertee Valley Explorer … on the run Sydney and Mudgee.

Make the most of the NSW October long weekend this year with the inaugural three-day ‘Mudgee Wine and Heritage Weekend Escape’ itinerary offered by Railway Adventures.

Guests will have the rare opportunity to journey through the Blue Mountains and Capertee Valley on the privately chartered restored train, the Capertee Valley Explorer, also known as The Blue Zephyr, from Sydney to Mudgee.

Hosted by owner Scott McGregor, guests will enjoy private tastings, lunches, dinners and a show, with the highlight being a sunset cocktail reception at the train-inspired retreat Ruwenzori in Mudgee.

Priced from $1485 per person twin share, it also includes two nights’ accommodation and transport in Mudgee, a full day touring the Mudgee region, exclusive use of the Capertee Valley Explorer including a lavish on-board feast in the dining car on the return trip to Sydney.

Phone 1300 800 977 or visit www.railwayadventures.com.

 Dovecote … the ultimate luxury escape for the discerning traveller.

There’s always something new happening on the beautiful South Coast, so that visitors can discover the latest places to eat, drink, stay and play

Nestled in rolling green farmland overlooking Werri Beach are two extraordinary new holiday houses.

Dovecote is the ultimate luxury escape for the discerning traveller with two private, luxuriously appointed dwellings: The Headland and The Range.

The Headland is designed for large groups and boasts four bedrooms as well as a central courtyard with pool, lawn, seating and fire pit.

The Range is ideal for a couple or small gathering, with two bedrooms overlooking an oceanside deck and plunge pool.

Or get breakfast, lunch and dinner — or just cocktails — at the Hill Bar and Kitchen in Gerringong.

It opened in late 2018 and the sleek modern building has sweeping views over the town and out to the beach.

Visit www.visitnsw.com.

 A Taste of Kakadu … serving up a menu of ancient cuisine with modern twists.

One of Australia’s premier Indigenous food and culture festivals, A Taste of Kakadu, will be staged across Kakadu National Park from May 10-19, serving up a menu of ancient cuisine with modern twists.

The festival will include a range of new food and cultural experiences showcasing the rich Indigenous culture and breathtaking scenery of Kakadu National Park, which is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its declaration this year.

Visitors can embark on guided foraging walks where ‘super’ foods and delicacies such as Kakadu plums can be enjoyed, try slow-cooked Kakadu staples such as crocodile, barramundi and buffalo cooked in ground ovens, and glide along the famed barramundi-filled rivers while enjoying bush-tucker-inspired canapes.

Australia’s premier Indigenous chef, Mark Olive, will host an entertaining cooking demonstration showcasing the native ingredients he uses to create his signature cuisine.

‘Sunset & Canapes’ cruises on Yellow Water Billabong will combine a curated tour of Kakadu’s spectacular wetlands and wildlife with drinks and canapes featuring local Northern Territory cuisine.

Accommodation is available during the Festival at Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel (rooms available from $199), the newly-refurbished Cooinda Lodge (from $249) and Camping Grounds (from $40 for a powered site). All prices are per night.

Visit www.kakadutourism.com.

SeaLink’s new short-break holiday packages … try the best of South Australia.

Explore the best of South Australia with SeaLink’s new short-break holiday packages, with itineraries ranging from three to eight days and prices starting from $314 per person twin-share.

A lead-in three-day Adelaide-and-Barossa package, for instance, includes a full-day ‘Barossa Food & Wine Experience’ tour, the chance to discover Adelaide, and two nights of accommodation at Stamford Plaza Adelaide or Majestic Roof Garden Hotel with full buffet breakfast each morning.

Be treated to a two-course lunch at Lambert Estate, Angaston, before taking in the views from the lookout at Mengler Hill.

Then stop in at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop for a tour and tastings of her famous food products.

Then take some time to discover the vibrant city of Adelaide.

Stop by some of its main attractions like Adelaide’s university and art gallery or St Peter’s Cathedral.

Sport lovers can visit the famous Adelaide Oval, or simply spend the day at Adelaide Zoo, the shopping precedent of Rundle Mall or even the seaside town of Glenelg.

Visit www.sealink.com.au.

 Kayak in the Antarctic … the Ortelius becomes a floating basecamp on this voyage.

Kayak, snowshoe, hike and camp in Antarctic on World Expeditions’ 12-day Antarctic expedition on Ortelius and save US$1900 per person on twin porthole cabins on the November 3 departure.

The Ortelius becomes a floating basecamp on this voyage, offering activities such as kayak narrow, sheltered waterways and fjords of the most wildlife-rich part of Antarctica.

Hike or camp overnight on the ice for more opportunities to see penguins, whales, seals and sea birds and pay US$7950 per person, reduced from US$9850.

Phone 1300 720 000 or visit www.worldexpeditions.com.

 Riviera’s new William Wordsworth … will sail the Danube River.

Riviera Travel has launched two new five-star river-cruise ships in Europe — the 169-passenger William Wordsworth and the 132-guest George Eliot —  continuing the company’s tradition of naming vessels after famous British authors.

George Eliot offers a restaurant, bistro, lounge, wellness centre and sundeck while the slightly larger William Wordsworth offers those facilities as well as a fitness room, splash pool and putting green.

George Eliot will ply the Rhine and Moselle Rivers as well as the canals of Holland this year and next, with fares available from $1249 per person twin-share for a five-day ‘Enchanting Rhine and Yuletide Markets’ cruise.

These fares are also available supplement-free for solo travellers in a selected number of cabins.

Meanwhile, the William Wordsworth will sail the Danube River, with fares available from $2059 per person twin-share or for solo travellers for an eight-day ‘Blue Danube’ cruise through Austria, Hungary and Slovakia.

Fares include complimentary shoreside tours as well as free wi-fi.

Visit www.rivieratravel.com.au.

 National Geographic’s and Scenic’s joint program includes visits to sites such as Egypt’s pyramids.

National Geographic and Scenic have launched their 2020 program of joint river cruises, featuring the addition of new itineraries into Egypt and Russia.

Cruises will provide, for example, exclusive access and insights to the cities that are the heart of Russia, Vienna’s Natural History Museum, a historic fossil site in Germany, and the ancient treasures of Egypt.

The partnership between Scenic and National Geographic will offer numerous river cruise itineraries through Europe: on the Rhine, Danube, Main and Moselle Rivers; in Holland and Belgium; through France’s Bordeaux region and Portugal’s Douro Valley; and now the waterways of Russia and ancient Egypt.

Phone 138 128 or visit www.scenic.com.au.

Abercrombie & Kent’s 13-day adventure … unlocks ancient secrets.

Dreaming of an exclusive small-group journey through the mystical, magical country that is China?

Then Abercrombie & Kent’s 13-day adventure offers a perfect solution.

This luxury tour is a chance to unlock ancient secrets, uncover hidden gems and immerse oneself in the very best this glittering empire has to offer.

Starting off in Beijing, visitors will cover off on all the most important attractions from the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square to the Great Wall and the Temple of Heaven.

Cycle through narrow winding lanes and courtyard residences of traditional hutongs by pedicab and savour some of China’s tastiest cuisine.

Other highlights including getting up-close to the incredible Terracotta Warriors in Xian, travelling off the beaten path to the less-visited and well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, and enjoying an intimate encounter with giant pandas where they roam free in their natural habitat.

A luxury cruise on board all-balcony Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer through the breathtaking Three Gorges reveals the Yangtze at its most impressive and dynamic Shanghai provides the perfect finale.

Prices are from $11,320 per person twin-share.

Phone 1300 590 317 or visit www.abercrombiekent.com.au.

 Kinosaki … has managed to preserve its old-world charm particularly well.

From landscapes dotted with temples and shrines, to mystical villages manifesting centuries-old heritage, Japan is a fascinating country of ancient cultures.

Despite international visitor numbers to Japan being at record heights, the land of the rising sun has managed to keep its heritage alive and largely preserve the culture and aesthetics reminding of the country’s old days.

One region that has managed to preserve its old-world charm particularly well is Kinosaki and its surroundings, located in the untouched Hyogo prefecture of Japan.

Just a 35-minute drive from Kinosaki Onsen, Izushi Castle town, often referred to as ‘little Kyoto’, is a slice of unspoiled territory, charming visitors with a nostalgic atmosphere of the old days of Japan, being home to many Edo-era relics and museums, but also a scrumptious local specialty — Izushi Sara Soba.

Visit a former samurai house located right near Izushi Castle itself and delve deep into the Edo era.

Highlights on display at Izushi Karoh Yashiki include old weapons, tools and other belongings.

Sukyoji Temple was built in 1392.

This was the family temple where the family of Izushi Castle had worshipped for generations.

In addition to tours of the garden, visitors can try full-fledged zen meditation and traditional temple vegetarian food.

For more information, visit www.visitkinosaki.com.

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