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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

February 10, 2018 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Forecasts estimate significant growth in the Australian caravan market over the next few years, and with caravan parks enjoying such spectacular waterfront locations it’s little wonder that area such as Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle, are gearing up for a bonanza.

Situated between Lake Macquarie and Wangi Point Flora and Fauna Reserve, Wangi Point Lakeside Holiday Park, for instance, enjoys a beautiful bush setting on the foreshore with easy access to a nearby public boat ramp providing the perfect launch point for fishing, canoeing, swimming, windsurfing, kite-boarding, etc.

Accommodation options range from unpowered camp sites to air-conditioned two-bedroom villas with all the mod-cons, including Foxtel.

For general information on the area, phone 1800 802 044 or go to

Metro Mirage Hotel Newport … facilities of a four-star resort.

Stay a night in the Metro Mirage Hotel Newport, in Sydney’s north, and save up to 15 per cent.

Stay two nights of more and save an additional 5 per cent.

The deal includes 11am check-out and free wifi, and is valid for bookings up to February 28 and stays from March 1 to September 30.

The property dates from the 1950s but it’s certainly well outlived that era and these days boasts facilities that wouldn’t be out of place in a four-star resort — classy restaurant with magic water views and thoroughly modern menu, conference facilities that have them queuing up during the week, extremely comfortable, largish rooms, 24-hour service, Foxtel entertainment, free in-room wi-fi, and the rest.


 Sydney’s Tank Stream Hotel … a dedicated program to help solo travellers.

The international St Giles hotel group, which includes the Tank Stream Hotel in Sydney, has launched a dedicated program to help solo travellers — particularly women — experience the best of the destination when travelling on business or leisure.

The program includes a solo-travel microsite, which features content written by local experts to highlight solo-friendly restaurants, bars, entertainment and touring activities. Visit

Deals for solo travellers at Sydney’s Tank Stream Hotel include complimentary daily breakfast (minimum four-night stay), $20 dining credit at Le Petit Flot restaurant, 10 per cent saving on laundry, and free internet, mini-bar and in-room movies.

Other services include a pre-arrival solo concierge service, a solo-travel welcome pack and post-stay gift.

The Tjungu Festival … a vibrant celebration of Australian Indigenous culture.

The Tjungu Festival will return to Ayers Rock Resort for its fifth consecutive year from April 26-29, featuring a vibrant celebration of Australian Indigenous culture including music, dance, film, fashion, food and sport.

This year’s festival will include a special focus on Indigenous art and a performance by Australian country music’s Troy Cassar-Daley.

Tjungu (pronounced tjoo-ngoo) means ‘coming together’ in local Anangu language, and the festival brings together the best of traditional and contemporary Indigenous culture, providing a platform for exciting new performers, designers and producers.

Highlights of the four-day festival include an Indigenous fashion parade featuring top Indigenous model Samantha Harris, and celebrity chef Mark Olive will return to present the ‘Tastes of Tjungu Desert Dining Experience’ under the stars, featuring a contemporary bush-foods-inspired menu.

Ayers Rock Resort is offering a festival room rate of from $240 per night, with a minimum three-night stay. This includes access to the Tjungu Festival (excluding paid events), return Ayers Rock Airport transfers, an Indigenous guest activities program and in-room WiFi, with kids 15 years and under staying free.

Phone 1300 134 044 or visit

 Melbourne Zoo … pull up a picnic and enjoy a gourmet hamper with wine under the stars.

Whether you’re visiting Melbourne or one of the ones who consider themselves lucky enough to live in Australia’s ‘cultural capital’, Zoo Twilights should be on the agenda.

Held in the picturesque Melbourne Zoo, audiences can pull up a picnic and enjoy a gourmet hamper with wine under the stars, or try local food-truck vendors and bars while watching local and international artists catering to most music tastes and age groups.

All proceeds from the concerts go back into Zoos Victoria’s ongoing ‘Fighting Extinction’ conservation program.

Until March 10. Visit

For those visiting Melbourne, the Pan Pacific Melbourne, located in the city by the Yarra River, has special ‘Staycation’ packages available until June 30. Save up to 25 per cent on normal rack rate, and receive complimentary breakfast, self-parking and wi-fi. Visit

 Monks in a Bhutan monastery. Image: Liz Light.

World Expeditions has launched a new tour in Bhutan to take advantage of a special friendship deal between Bhutan and Australia to mark 15 years of diplomatic relations.

The deal constitutes waiving the mandatory minimum package rate of US$200 per night per person for this coming June, July and August.

Hence World Expeditions has been able to create a seven-day ‘Western Bhutan Cultural Tour’, priced from $2190 per person, about $1000 less than the normal rate.

Highlights include a hike up to the famous Taktshang ‘Tiger’s Nest’.

Included in the tariff are six breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners, an English-speaking local guide, good-quality accommodation on a twin-share basis throughout, private internal transfers, all airport transfers and sightseeing fees as listed, and Bhutan Government visa and sustainability fees.


 An iconic Japanese image … looking towards Mt Fuji through cherry blossoms.

Couples have until this February 28 to save $1000 on a new 18-night Cruise Express circle-Japan cruise-tour timed to coincide with the springtime 2019 spectacle of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms.

The itinerary is designed to immerse Australians in the country’s rich traditions and customs, with guests joining tea ceremonies, donning kimonos, learning to make sushi and watching a sumo-wrestling display.

Three bullet train rides, the neon-lit shopping frenzy of Ginza and iconic Mt Fuji are also featured in the exclusive cruise tour.

In Yokohama, guests board Princess Cruises’ Japanese-built Diamond Princess for an eight-night, round-trip cruise.

Boasting a large sushi bar and the largest Japanese bathhouse at sea, the 2670-passenger ship will call at four Japanese ports, including the cherry blossom gardens of Ishinomaki, the bustling seafood markets of Hakodate in the north, the hot springs of Niigata and the active volcanoes of Kagoshima in the south.

The cruise will also take passengers to the South Korean city of Busan.

Including return flights from Australia, the package is priced from $8490 per person twin-share ex Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, and from $8790 per person twin-share, ex Adelaide and Perth.

Phone 1300 766 537 or visit

 Havannah Vanuatu … romantic and indulgent.

Stroll white sandy beaches and plunge into clear blue water on an indulgent Vanuatu escape.

Priced from $1075 per person twin-share, the package includes four nights in a garden villa at the indulgent Havannah Vanuatu, romantic lunch for two at a secluded beach location, full English a la carte breakfast daily, daily Port Vila shuttle service, sunset cruise each evening and return airport transfers.

The deal is valid for sale until March 31 and for travel from February 13 to March 31.

Havannah Vanuatu is situated on the beach at Samoa Point, not far from the South Pacific World Heritage Site of Chief Roi Mata’s Domain.

Facilities include swimming pool, gourmet restaurant, day spa, tennis courts and a wide range of watersports.

Phone 1300 883 887 or visit

The arctic fox … can be seen in Manitoba year-round.

Manitoba’s most famous inhabitants are wild animals … polar bears, bison, beluga whales, Canadian lynx, caribou, arctic foxes and hares, and bald eagles.

Some are around for most of the year, others are more seasonal.

Polar bears, for example, are best viewed from July to November. Just don’t get too close.

In Churchill, they can be safely viewed from tundra vehicles or from a fenced wilderness lodge. You can even walk among them with a guide or see them from on high during a helicopter tour.

Perhaps Manitoba’s most iconic resident celebrity, the bison can be seen year-round and reflects the province’s First Nations’ heritage, still as relevant today as it ever was.

Riding Mountain National Park is an ideal location for an encounter with these famous giants.

Arctic foxes and hares can be seen year-round. There is something infinitely fascinating about snow-white foxes and bunnies frolicking in the chill, blending in with their surroundings, like cotton balls dancing on ice.


Tahiti offers plenty of activity for spectators … such as the annual Billabong Pro. Image: Steve Dickinson.

While Tahiti is best known for relaxing in luxurious overwater bungalows, the islands are seeing an increasing number of active travellers looking for adventure.

With that in mind, Air Tahiti Nui has revealed a line-up of events this year ranging from the ultimate paddle endurance race to a tropical two-wheel road race like no other.

Each of the events offers the chance for Tahitians to showcase the rich cultural heritage, vibrant traditions and striking natural beauty of their homeland.

Some of the events, such as the Billabong Pro, are famed around the world and others, including the destination’s annual outrigger canoe festival — Hawaiki Nui Va’a — help keep the islands’ culture alive.

Until February 26, return economy airfares with Air Tahiti Nui from Sydney to Papeete are priced from $1179 per person. Travel is valid to October 31.


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