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John Rozentals’ Travellers’ Good Buys For Week Beginning 21 January

January 19, 2019 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Australia’s longest-running regional food festival, Orange FOOD Week, has provenance and sustainability at its core for 2019.

The 10-day festival runs from April 5-14 and will include more than 70 events showcasing more than 40 cellar doors and farm gates during the region’s autumn harvest and vintage.

Orange FOOD Week is continuing its regional ‘war on waste’, setting a global standard for festival sustainability, as the first ISO-2-121-certified food and wine event in Australia.

It has implemented a sustainable management system, which includes composting, water refill stations, and bans on plastic and polystyrene at the signature night markets.

Signature events of the 2019 FOOD Week program include the Autumn Grazing Dinner in Blayney, FORAGE, FOOD Train, FOOD Week Night Markets and FOOD HQ.


 On the Jatbula Trail … a stunning landscape of rugged sandstone cliffs, dramatic waterfalls, shady waterholes and lush rainforest.

Book a 2019 Northern Territory walk with Australian Walking Holidays before February 17 and receive a $500 Wild Earth gear voucher and a 5 per cent discount off the trip price.

In the Top End, pay $1992 for a six-day trek along the Jatbula Trail, which joins Katherine Gorge and Edith Falls in Nitmiluk National Park.

It’s a largely undiscovered trail through a stunning landscape of rugged sandstone cliffs, dramatic waterfalls, shady waterholes and lush rainforest.

Further south in the Red Centre, choose from 10 different walks on the iconic 223-kilometre Larapinta Trail, which winds its way through the gorges, waterholes and ridgelines of the West MacDonnell Ranges near Alice Springs.

Phone 1300 767 381 or visit

 Kunanyi/Mt Wellington … a new way to get to the top.

Hobart recently welcomed the Kunanyi/Mt Wellington Hop-On Hop-Off Explorer Bus, a city-to-summit shuttle bus featuring an all-day bus pass that includes the two-hour loop tour.

Guests can choose to hop-on and hop-off along the way at Fern Tree Park, The Springs, The Chalet, Big Bend or The Pinnacle.

The tour takes two hours to complete, including 20 minutes to take in the panoramic views from summit.

Alternatively if the goal is to get straight to the top then a one-way ticket might be the answer.

Guests can ride or walk back down and take in the sights along the way.


 The Metro Hotel Marlow Sydney Central … ideal for stays to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Sydneysiders and visitors — book tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which is playing at the Capitol Theatre until May 31, and enjoy an accommodation package directly across the road at Metro Hotel Marlow Sydney Central.

The package is priced from $151 per night, excluding show tickets, and includes a night’s accommodation (double/twin/triple), hot buffet breakfast, late check out (noon), free wi-fi, free drink voucher per guest to enjoy a drink pre- or post-show at Palace Hotel Sydney (next to Capitol Theatre), and official Wonka candy collection bag (one per room).


 Sydney’s Tank Stream Hotel … a great central-city location.

Stay just a little bit longer at Sydney’s Tank Stream Hotel and save up to 25 per cent off the best available rate.

Book in advance and stay for two nights in this contemporary, centrally-located hotel and save 20 per cent off the best rate of the day. Stay three nights and save 25 per cent.

Guests also enjoy a range of complimentary extras: high-speed wi-fi, latest-release movies, non-alcoholic welcome bar, and espresso-style in-room coffee and premium tea by Aurora.

The deal is valid till September 30 and there are no block-out dates.

Phone (02) 8222 1200 or visit

 An extraordinary journey … tracking wild game in East Africa.

From the playful lemur to the elusive Bengal tiger, the giant panda and the endangered mountain gorilla, the incredible diversity of wildlife contributes to the rich tapestry of life on Earth.

Realising that the survival of many of these species is under increasing threat and that time is of the essence, A&K has designed a safari by private jet to make it possible to visit these animals in their dramatically-varied natural habitats on one remarkable journey.

At $139,950 per person twin-share, A&K’s 25-day ‘Wildlife Safari: Around the World by Private Jet’ in March 2020 is one of the most expensive package deals on the market, but it will provide a band 50 privileged guests the chance to encounter iconic — and often critically endangered — animals in the wild.

They’ll see little-known species like Japan’s snow monkey and the tiny Philippine tarsiers, swim with massive whale sharks and go behind-the-scenes to feed orphaned orangutans.

And they’ll learn from experts who have spent their lives studying these remarkable animals on an extraordinary journey that ends with a safari in East Africa, where the A&K story began, to search for the Big Five in Kenya’s Masai Mara.

Meals throughout the journey are more than just a chance to dine at the end of the day. They are a feast for the senses, with local entertainment and stunning natural backdrops.


 A different way to relax … combine cruising with crocheting.

Cruise and crochet lovers can relax and unwind on a new 12-night crochet cruise which will weave its way ex Sydney to Tasmania and New Zealand this October.

Crafted by Cruise Express, the package includes a bonus crochet kit including premium yarn, patterns, skill kits, books, tools and workshops valued at more than $1500.

French for ‘hooked needle’ and dating back to the 1820s, crochet is enjoying a revival as a simple, calming activity that expresses creativity and forges friendships, with the number of avid crocheters growing globally.

The cruise will combine a passion for crochet with the natural beauty of Tasmania and New Zealand, with passengers sailing on board Celebrity Solstice based in a private room with spectacular ocean vistas, and where experienced crochet teachers will guide beginner, intermediate and advanced crocheters alike.

Destinations include Hobart, Milford Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Picton, Tauranga and the Bay of Islands, with the cruise ending in Auckland.

One night’s accommodation in Auckand and a flight back to Australia are included, and guests will also enjoy an exclusive tour of Fibrefest, an annual event dedicated to all things wool, yarn and fibre.

The package is priced from $3990 per person twin-share.

Phone 1300 766 537 or visit

The Cruise Handbook … packed with inspiring ideas.

There’s no doubt that cruising has been the travel industry’s ‘big thing’ over the past decade and that it offers guests almost unrivalled value for money.

Gone are the days of my youth when choice was limited to a couple of ships and destinations to which South Pacific islands were on the itinerary. So much so that potential cruisers really do need a book covering everything from booking a great deal, to family travel, to making the most of your time on shore.

Just published by Lonely Planet, The Cruise Handbook is packed with inspiring ideas and essential advice for the new generation of cruises — and cruisers.

The book, available for about $30, succeeds in its aim of dispelling the myth that a cruise vacation is about ‘old farts’ enjoying their hard-earned before hopping off the perch.

It covers everything from full-on leisure to non-stop action to show readers how cruises today are as diverse as the destinations they unlock and as varied as the vacationers they attract.


 The Valley of the Geysers in Kamchatka … a striking contrast with a kingdom of permafrost in Yakutsk.

The MIR Corporation invites intrepid travellers to explore the remote corners of Russia, including Yakutia, a rugged northern frontier known for mammoths and diamonds, and the wild Kamchatka Peninsula, perched on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Guests will meet the indigenous peoples of these far-flung locales, and admire two natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites while comparing and contrasting a kingdom of permafrost in Yakutsk with the steaming Valley of the Geysers in Kamchatka.

The tour is scheduled for August starts at $7695 per person twin-share.


 True South … the delightful dining venue at The Rees.

The Rees Hotel Queenstown is offering two new cycling packages.

‘Cycle The Rees’ is an airport transfer initiative and a great way to start a holiday at The Rees, with an exciting and scenic outdoor activity.

Guests are collected from Queenstown airport and explore some of New Zealand’s spectacular scenery on a guided ride along the picturesque Frankton track to The Rees Hotel on one of their new hard-tail Merida mountain bikes or Avanti electric bikes.

When they arrive at the hotel, their bags will already be in-room and they will be offered a glass of bubbles or beer.

In the hotel’s ‘Bike the Wineries’ package, guests hire a bike and are then transferred to Gibbston Valley to cycle between vineyards and back to the hotel.


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