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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

January 20, 2018 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Canberra will showcase its flourishing food and craft beer scene with the 11th Canberra Craft Beer & Cider Festival being held on March 24.

The festival will be staged in the gardens of the heritage Mercure Canberra in Braddon and will feature breweries from across Australia, along with live bands, food, entertainment and a wide range of kids’ activities.

More than 200 beers and ciders will be available for tasting and visitors will be able to take part in beer/cider-food-matching sessions, hear guest speakers, and meet the brewers.

Tickets are available for $15 pre-purchase ( or $22 at the door.

The Mercure Canberra is offering a ‘Beer Fest 2018’ package, which includes two nights accommodation, a four-pack of Sydney Brewery beer or cider, entry to the Festival, five festival tasting tickets, breakfast each morning and a 4pm check out on the Sunday. The package is available from $199 per room per night.


For information about the festival, visit

 Featherdale Wildlife Park … get up close with a favourite Australian native animal.

Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside, which claims to be home to the world’s largest collection of native Australian animals, and water-theme park, Wet ’n’ Wild Sydney, in Prospect, have combined to deliver a ‘Best of the West’ pass priced at $129 for adults.

Passes to the western Sydney venues are valid for 12 months at Featherdale and until the end of April at Wet ’n’ Wild Sydney.

Visitors to the wildlife park will be able to get up close with favourite Australian native animals such as koalas, tiger quolls, yellow-footed rock wallabies, tasmanian devils and the plains wanderer.

Wet ’n’ Wild Sydney offers an array of world-class slides and attractions along with crowd-favourite summer events such as Dive ’n’ Movies, Showtime FMX Summer Slam and Summer DJ Sessions.

Visit and

 The Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath … will host several stylish retro events including the Charleston Challenge for Charity. Image: David Hill.

Sumptuous architecture, sassy costumes, music and dancing, food, characters and the most extravagant show-off of them all — Mark Foy’s splendiferous party palace — will high-kick-off the Roaring 20s Festival in the Blue Mountains on February 2-25.

The Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath will host several stylish retro events to pay homage to the decade when the Blue Mountains cut loose in an endless round of hedonism led by the department-store doyenne who held legendary and often outrageous parties at his ‘Palace in the Wilderness’.

The Charleston Challenge for Charity will be celebrated in front of the Hydro Majestic Pavilion at 11am on February 24.

No experience is necessary to take part, with pre-event performances by the Sydney Swing Katz dance troupe and registration from 10am.

After dancing up an appetite, guests are encouraged to stay on for a sumptuous regional food and wine repast at the Majestic Long Lunch and the Gangster Casino Charity Night.

One-hour sightseeing tours of art deco landmarks with Katoomba and Leura in 1929 Cadillac LaSalle cars will be conducted by Blue Mountains Vintage Cadillacs throughout the weekend. The cost is $59 per person.

The Hydro Express steam train will leave Central Station at 9am on February 25, arriving at Medlow Bath at approximately 11am, when passengers can alight and indulge in high tea at the hotel.


 Kakadu in the early-morning mist … absolutely spectacular. Image: Peter Walton.

The stunning landscapes of the Kakadu, the Larapinta Trail and the Flinders Ranges were the catalysts for World Expeditions’ new photography tour and art expeditions in Australia.

Kakadu’s tumbling waterfalls, red escarpments, shady pools and tranquil wetlands are an ideal classroom to learn the ‘artistry of photography’ from Peter Walton, one of Australia’s finest landscape photographers, and the spectacular outback scenery and intense colours on the NT’s Larapinta Trail and SA’s Flinders Ranges provide wonderful opportunities to learn about painting natural landscapes.

World Expeditions’ new six-day ‘Kakadu Photography with Peter Walton’, for instance, combines an active exploration of this beautiful part of the world with the opportunity to learn about composition, lighting, focus and interest points and lens choice from Peter Walton, whose iconic images have been widely used for more than 40 years by advertising agencies, the travel industry, in Australian landscape calendars and coffee table books.

This active, walking-based itinerary gives people with an interest in photography, no matter at what level, the opportunity to develop technical and artistic skills through in-the-field experience, informal tuition, discussion and feedback, while capturing Kakadu’s most photogenic locations.

The itinerary departs Darwin on May 27 and costs $3800 per person, including hotel accommodation, transfers and all meals.

Phone 1300 720 000 or visit

 Discover the Great Barrier Reef … and your own limits as you join Mike Ball Dive Expeditions.

Celebrate the International Year of the Coral Reef by discovering just what is so great about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is the only place in the world where you can swim with dwarf minke whales, float over colourful giant clams and look for six of the world’s seven species of turtle.

Discover, for instance, one of the best shark experiences in the world while diving with Mike Ball Dive Expeditions.

A live-aboard expedition takes you to spectacular, remote Coral Sea drop-offs that attract charismatic mega fauna and plunge thousands of metres into the ocean.


 Kuma Lodge … a boutique ski-in-ski-out property in Madarao ski resort on Japan’s main island of Honshu.

There are some rooms remaining in February and March at Kuma Lodge, a boutique ski-in-ski-out property in Madarao ski resort on Japan’s main island of Honshu.

Last-minute February deals will save guests 15 per cent on a twin room with ensuite, a lodge room with a mountain view and balcony, or a Japanese-style room, plus the lodge owners will also provide a free ski pass.

In March the discount increases to 30 per cent.

Plus all guests can access free wi-fi, and the on-site manager can arrange evening meals at hand-picked pensions within the resort, side trips such a visit to the world-famous snow monkeys, snow-equipment hire, and ski or board lessons with English-speaking instructors.


Mia Resort Nha Trang … pay $1399 for two adults to stay six nights.

Save 50 per cent on a six-night stay at the oceanfront Mia Resort Nha Trang, in Vietnam.

Pay $1399 for two adults, including return airport transfers, daily breakfasts, spa treatments, sunset cocktails, themed dinners, daily afternoon tea, a cooking class, a Vietnamese coffee tasting and Saigon craft-beer tasting.

The offer is valid to January 31.


 SeaDream I … gets into many smaller ports that larger cruise ships cannot access

SeaDream Yacht Club’s boutique mega-motor-yacht SeaDream I that will sail nine days rather than the usual seven between Malaga and Lisbon this April … and at a bonus near-30 per cent discount.

Carrying a maximum 112 guests indulged five-star by 95 officers and crew, the rate starts at about $5570 per person twin-share, including SeaDream’s sumptuous cuisine, premium wines, spirits and other drinks with meals and at the no-charge bars, power and sail water-sports, use of the golf simulator and fitness centre, port charges and taxes, and staff and crew gratuities.

Departing Malaga on April 26 this year ahead of peak-season crowds, SeaDream I will visit Motril for Granada, Puerto Banus, Gibraltar, Cadiz, Seville, Huevla, Portimao, Algarge and Lisbon during its sailing.


 Yala National Park … visit some of Sri Lanka’s lush natural landscapes while staying in luxury.

Search for Sri Lankan leopards in Yala National Park, watch the bright colours of India float by as you cruise the Lower Ganges and view the Taj Mahal in all its mesmerising beauty whilst in Agra as you join Travelmarvel on an India and Sri Lanka adventure in 2019.

Discover the diversity of south Asia by rail, cruise and land while taking advantage of earlybird specials including fly-free offers when booking before June 30.

Journey, for instance, through Sri Lanka’s most iconic regions on Travelmarvel’s 12-day ‘Splendours of Sri Lanka’ tour. Prices start at $4295 per person twin-share, including fly-free and early-payment discounts.

Take in Sri Lanka’s lush natural landscapes as you head out on an exciting Jeep safari in Yala National Park in search of the spectacular Sri Lankan leopard, then finish your holiday with a relaxing beach stay in the beautiful coastal town of Ahungalla.

Phone 1300 196 420 or visit

Join Viking in Alaskan waters.

Viking has released additional 2019 departure dates for its ‘North Pacific Passage’ and ‘Far East Horizons’ cruise itineraries.

Its 23-day ‘North Pacific Passage’ will now also depart August 14 next year, travelling from Vancouver to Tokyo, and its 15-day ‘Far Eastern Horizons’ is now open for departures from Hong Kong to Tokyo or vice versa on September 6, October 18 and November 1 next year.

The ‘North Pacific Passage’ adventure is priced from $9995 per person twin-share, including 11 guided tours in four countries.

Phone 138 747 or visit

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