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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

ANTARCTICA BY A380 - THE COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN!


AVIATION HISTORY TO BE MADE TONIGHT WITH FIRST AIRBUS A380 PASSENGER FLIGHT TO ANTARCTICA

Aviation history will be made this evening when a Qantas Airbus A380 "superjumbo" – designated as flight QF 2903 – departs Melbourne, bound for Antarctica.

As well as being the only sightseeing flight over Antarctica this New Year's Eve, the aircraft also will be the first commercial flight by an A380 over the south polar region.

And not only will the 450 passengers and crew on board be among the first in the world to experience the first sunlight of the new year and the new decade – as occupants of the first commercial A380 over Antarctica, they will also become aviation pioneers.

The first A380 to Antarctica will be operated by Qantas on behalf of specialist Melbourne-based tour operator Croydon Travel  - a partnership which has operated 84 previous flights to Antarctica, all of them with Boeing 747 jumbo jets.

Tonight's flight is scheduled to depart Melbourne International Airport at 6.10, Australian Eastern Summer Time, and subject to weather conditions during the evening will then fly over Tasmania and direct to Antarctica, the world's coldest, driest and windiest continent – a journey of approximately four hours.

The aircraft will be under the command of senior Qantas pilot Captain John Dennis, who has flown 38 previous journeys to Antarctica. With him on the flight deck will be Captain Bruce Simpson, also a senior Qantas pilot, while in the cabin, the "Midnight Sun" flight activities will be coordinated by the head of Croydon Travel, Mr Phil Asker, who has made 45 previous flights to the ice.

Those activities start with Antarctic videos and briefings by Antarctica experts, a roving jazz band adding to the atmosphere throughout the night, a countdown to midnight (Australian Eastern Summer Time) and – of course – a rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

Antarctic viewing is best at this time of the year, when the region experiences almost continuous daylight, and anticipation turns to excitement and elation as the giant airliner approaches Antarctica.

The most frequently-selected flightseeing route takes sightseers over sea ice and the South Magnetic Pole about 3 ½ hours south of Melbourne, en route to the French research base of Dumont d'Urville.

There, the aircraft will turn and fly above the jagged coast of Antarctica, before heading inland and flying figure-eight patterns over glaciers and frozen terrain which stretches as far as the eye can see.

The final phase of sightseeing on a typical Antarctica flight takes the aircraft over the spectacular Trans Antarctic Range.

Then, as the festivities continue into the night and beyond into the new year, the A380 will depart the world's last great wilderness area and turn back towards Melbourne, arriving at approximately 5.20am on New Year's Day.

To maximise viewing opportunities for those on board, 19 flight tracks have been approved, enabling the operating pilots to pick the best available viewing.

For more information about tonight's flight contact Tony Harrington on (+61) 0404 882 742 before10.00am Melbourne time, or between 2.00pm and 5.00pm.

Passengers flying to Antarctica will check in at Melbourne International Airport from 4.00pm today.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

VIRGIN BLUE TO LAUNCH NEW CAIRNS – AUCKLAND FLIGHTS

NEW YEAR SURPRISE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

SALE FARES FROM $249* ONE WAY

Virgin Blue has re-affirmed its commitment to the people of Far North Queensland with the announcement that it will launch its first international service from Cairns to Auckland from 23 March 2010.

Virgin Blue’s New Zealand-based international airline, Pacific Blue, will operate the twice weekly flight, which is scheduled on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with the airline committing a Boeing 737-800 aircraft to the market, representing a 79% increase in seats available on the route.

In order to get the new route off the ground the airline has collaborated with a number of stakeholders including Cairns Airport Pty Ltd which has worked tirelessly to support Virgin Blue's first international service.

In celebration of the new services, the airline has launched a seven day ‘Happy New Year Sale’ with special fares for direct flights between Cairns - Auckland from $249* one way on the net, available from today until midnight 5 January 2010.

Following the sale, regular lead-in fares will start from $349* one way on the net, around 15%^ cheaper than what is currently available with the only other competitor airline servicing the non-stop route.

With over 30,000 visitors from New Zealand heading to Tropical North Queensland every year, Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said the new services will not only provide an alternative travel option but will also help grow the market.

“We’re particularly excited about this new service as it’s our first international route to and from Cairns.

“Importantly, we know that by putting more seats into the market and creating more competition we will be helping to stimulate tourism to the popular Far North Queensland region.”

“Furthermore, the non-stop services will negate the need for travellers in either direction to connect via other ports, so a trip ‘across the ditch’ will be a much quicker, more convenient and affordable option for everyone,” Brett Godfrey finished.

For those looking for a New Year get away, Virgin Blue Airlines Group’s holiday program Blue Holidays also has a great package deal on offer including return flights from Cairns to Auckland and three nights in a Superior Room at Rydges Auckland from $870 per person twin share#.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Aussies giving domestic holidays a miss

Domestic tourism in Australia is suffering as more Aussies are enticed to travel overseas according to Tourism Research Australia's latest National Visitor Survey.

Released on Wednesday, the survey shows a seven percent decline to 66.4 million in the number of overnight trips taken by Aussies in the year ending September 30, 2009.

Spending also dropped six percent to $42.2 billion during the period.

Hotels lost out even more during the year as Aussies clamoured take a day trip, which experienced a five per cent increase in popularity.

The highest number of overnight visits were recorded in NSW (33 percent) followed by Queensland and Victoria (24 per cent). These three states, in the same order, also welcomed the most day trippers.

The Northern Territory was the only state or territory to record a growth in overnight visitors.

The lower number of overnight visits and spending has pushed the total economic value of domestic tourism down four percent to $62.8 billion.


Tis’ the season for a sale… An Australian Travel Sale


The after Christmas sales traditionally signify cheap electrical items, discounted clothing and homewares so cheap they almost find their own way to your house, this sale season Australian holidays have been added to the agenda with the ‘Win the Work/Life Battle with Australia on Sale’ campaign starting on Sunday the 27th of December.

Running in partnership with Tourism Australia and Sunlover Holidays the ‘Win the Work/Life Battle with Australia on Sale’ campaign is encouraging Australians not to stockpile their annual leave in 2010 by having their holidays booked before the working year begins.

Sunlover Holidays Managing Director Mark Campbell says that after Christmas shoppers are looking for cheap deals and bargains and that this year they can confidently add travel bargains to their shopping list.

“At this time of year many people start mapping out the year ahead and normally creating a work/life balance and planning future holidays are high on the agenda, so we’ve been ruthless in putting together this campaign which consists of 177 exclusive Australia-wide travel deals including savings of up to 45%,” Mr Campbell said.

“It’s no secret that Australian’s are on the back foot when taking leave, Tourism Australia’s No Leave, No Life research shows that one in four Australian’s stockpile their holidays resulting in 123 million unused leave days, we’re hoping that the great deals in this campaign help make holidays a priority for 2010,” he said.

Mr Campbell added that the campaign deals were selected with the modern holidaymakers’ desires in mind.

“A recent survey of our customers found that 50% of travellers are looking for discounted deals and special offers when travelling within Australia, it comes as no surprise that our free night packages are among the top performers of the year,” he said.

All accommodation deals in the ‘Win the Work/Life Battle with Australia on Sale’ campaign include bonus free nights from ‘stay 7 pay 5’ to ‘stay 3 pay 2’ accommodation deals.

“During our post Christmas sale travellers will be able to snap up bargains such as three nights in Tropical North Queensland from $85 per person twin share, three nights in the Sydney from $155 per person twin share and three nights in Melbourne’s CBD from $149 per person twin share,” Mr Campbell said.

All of the deals in the ‘Win the Work/Life Battle with Australia on Sale’ campaign are valid for sale from the 27th of December until the 30th of January and the majority are valid for travel until the end of June 2010.

To view the entire ‘Win the Work/Life Battle with Australia on Sale’ range visit www.sunloverholidays.com.au

A sample of ‘Win the Work/Life Battle with Australia on Sale’ deals

1.Sydney STAY three nights for the price of two in a Standard Room at the four star Vibe Hotel Sydney for $219 per person twin share, a saving of $111 per person.

2.Ayers Rock STAY three nights for the price of two in a Standard Room at Voyages The Lost Camel Hotel and receive complimentary continental breakfast daily. Priced from $329 per person twin share, a saving of $195 per person.

3.Margaret River Wine Region STAY three nights for the price of two in a one bedroom apartment at the 4.5 star Seashells Resort Yallingup and receive complimentary full breakfast on the first morning. Priced from $245 per person twin share, a saving of $153 per person.

American Airlines flight 331 crashes in Jamaica



American Airlines flight 331: American Airlines crash in Jamaica injures forty, no death reported. The American Airlines Flight 331 from Miami to Kingston, skid off on Kingston International airport. The flight crashed as it failed to stop before the end of the runway.

The flight just wound up 10 – 15 feet from the Caribbean Sea. Jamaican capital is facing heavy rain, and it is believe that rain did this damage.

More than forty people sustained minor injuries like cut and bruises, they are all admitted to Kingston hospital. Information Minister Daryl Vaz has denied any life threatening injuries.

Meanwhile American Airlines official have denied the report which said that airplane was broken into pieces.

But officials have said that fuselage is cracked and one side of landing gear is damaged. Tim Smith, a Fort Worth-based American spokesman said that "both engines were removed or taken off the wing as it happened,"

A passenger Natalie Morales said "When we landed it was pouring rain. It literally was like being in a car accident... There was smoke and debris everywhere."

National Transportation Safety Board will work with the Federal Aviation Administration and Jamaican authorities to find the cause of the accident.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The London Valentine's Fairytale at Swissotel The Howard, London



LONDON, December 2009 – Swissôtel The Howard, London has announced their rooms arrangement for an exceptional Valentine’s weekend in February 2010. “The London Valentine’s Fairytale” offers love-struck couples a dinner experience inside the Lalique boutique in central London together with an overnight accommodation in the hotel’s Grand Room with a private panorama terrace overlooking the River Thames.

The evening will begin at the five star Thames side hotel, Swissôtel The Howard, where the couple will be met by a horse-drawn carriage set to transfer them directly to the Lalique store on Conduit Street.

On this occasion, the elegant store will be closed exclusively and decorated with numerous candles to create an intimate atmosphere. A 5-course gourmet dinner with wine pairings will be served on the boutique’s fine cutlery by a private butler. Surrounded by exquisite crystal vases, sculptures, jewellery and more, a harp player will accompany the couple throughout the night.

After the romantic experience, a Jaguar Limousine will take the couple back to Swissôtel The Howard, London for an overnight stay in one of the Grand Rooms overlooking the River Thames with postcard panoramic views spanning from Tower Bridge to the Houses of Parliament.

The London Valentine’s Fairytale package is priced at £2010 + VAT per person and includes an overnight stay in a Grand River View Room, in-room champagne breakfast, horse carriage to the Lalique store, a bottle of Krug Champagne, a 5-course dinner with wine pairings after 7pm and a Jaguar Limousine transport back to the hotel. The package is subject to availability, needs to be booked in advance and is available only once per day on
February 13th, 14th and 15th 2010.

About Lalique
Lalique is a French glassware specialist known for its elegant frosted-glass sculptures, Art Deco crystal and unique perfume bottles. Lalique was recognized as one of France's leading Art Nouveau jewellery designers and also know for the exclusive crystal vases which showcase plants, flowers and flowing lines. Their flagship store is located in Conduit Street (London) and has partnered with Swissôtel The Howard, London to provide a distinct Valentine’s venue in London.

About Swissôtel The Howard, London
Swissôtel The Howard, London is a five star hotel with an outstanding riverside setting and panoramic views across London’s historic skyline. The 189 hotel rooms and suites reflect a contemporary and sophisticated style. Set in the heart of London and close to Covent Garden with its bars, restaurants and theatres, the hotel is ideally located for business as well as leisure guests. For more information visit www.swissotel.com/london

About Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts
Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts is a distinctive group of deluxe hotels for today’s discerning business and leisure travellers, combining the renowned Swiss touch with a fresh, contemporary and modern design. Each Swissôtel hotel offers personalized service with charm and efficiency. Located in main gateway destinations and city centres, the hotels have convenient access to business and shopping districts, and local attractions. Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts worldwide have won prestigious awards and accolades.

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts is owned by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, a leading global hotel company with 94 hotels and resorts worldwide under the Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded Residences, Estates and luxury private residence club properties.

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts under development:
Swissôtel Dresden, Germany (2011)
Swissôtel Kolkata, India (January 2010)
Swissôtel Makkah, Saudia-Arabia (2011)


For enquiries or further details please contact:
Serhan Oezalkan
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7300 1827
Email: london@swissotel.com

An Everlasting Journey in Bali



The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali is haven of relaxation offering you, as a discerning traveller, the highest level of personalised service. Located within the exclusive Nusa Dua resort enclave, on Bali’s most beautiful beach, a tranquil sanctuary of tropical gardens, sparkling lagoons and luxurious accommodation awaits you. A five starred deluxe resort, all 271 guestrooms and suites reflect a contemporary Balinese style; the resort’s unique Lagoon Access Rooms allow you to step from your private balcony directly into crystal-clear lagoon waters. The resort provides privileged 24-hour Butler Service and together with attention from our caring staff; you will ultimately feel like you are our only guest.

Enjoy the luxury facilities of one of the finest resorts in the world and treat your palate to an exquisite dining experience. Select from our three distinct restaurant venues or choose a private beachfront dining alternative. Indulge your senses at Ocean Terrace with its compelling sea views and creative menu of Continental and Asian cuisine as well as island fresh seafood.

Chef Nyoman Wijana brings with him a wealth of knowledge gained from working in some of finest restaurants. Chef Nyoman transfers his innovative and creative talents to Ocean Terrace ensuring that every meal is a culinary experience, styled to perfection.

Should you have any special dietary requests or gourmet preferences, please do not hesitate to ask Chef Nyoman. He will be delighted to create a ‘tasting journey’, which is an epicurean adventure of up to 10 courses in an exquisite set menu dinner.

The subtle flavours of Indonesian cuisine are presented in an exciting new way at Mayang Sari Restaurant. The resort’s signature restaurant offers tantalising Indonesian dining using authentic and traditional recipes with a modern twist.

Locally-grown produce and a full range of indigenous herbs and spices are utilised in dishes to reveal familiar flavours in a contemporary style for which Bali is quickly gaining a positive reputation on the international culinary scene.

Award-winning Executive Chef I Made Putra has drawn inspiration from traditional menus. He imbues each dish with a presentation worthy of the major trophies and awards, which he and his team have repeatedly accrued in culinary competitions both in Indonesia and abroad. Service is exceptional, as befits the luxury surroundings of The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali, and the expansive glass frontage of the restaurant looks out onto one of the lagoons from which the hotel takes its name.

Café Lagoon, the all day dining restaurant features western and pan-Asian cuisine, with an extensive à la carte menu. Various buffet themes are also offered. Café Lagoon has a spectacular glass show kitchen where you can observe the chefs preparing the best of eastern and western cuisine.

The restaurant has both air-conditioned and alfresco seating areas, furnished in a contemporary style. A lavish breakfast buffet is offered, featuring western and Asian breakfast items, a fresh juice counter, a specialist barista station and an open bakery. The à la carte menu includes many ingredients of international and traditional flavours. In addition to local Javanese and Balinese specialities, you can enjoy selected international cuisines such as Indian, Chinese, Japanese, European and many others, which are all distinctively presented. Our warm, friendly staff will be happy to advise you on the house favourites.

For a cultural dining experience, be entertained by the famous Kecak & Fire Dance every Sunday at the Pool Garden with more than 50 performers. Enjoy an authentic Indonesian Buffet with delicacies from all provinces of the archipelago for just Rp. 450,000++ per person. It is an experience not to be missed! Take pleasure on this exquisite menu and witness the dramatic cultural show performed by Balinese artists.

Another exclusive option is our Euro-Asian Delights with Legong Dance every Wednesday at Nusa Bagus Island. It is an opportunity to observe a truly traditional Balinese dance, while enjoying a delicious Euro-Asian Barbecue & Buffet; the ultimate dining experience under the stars. The Legong Dance will fascinate and entertain as you savour a sumptuous dinner for just Rp. 450,000++ per person.

Rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit while in Bali with the intimate “Moonlight Massage” spa treatment at our beachfront Gazebo courtesy of Laguna Spa & Villa. A newly launched collection of spa rituals entitled ‘The Beauty of Coconut’ is also available. Each package is based on the indigenous Balinese tradition of using coconut-based oils to nourish and enhance the texture of your skin. Experience the Laguna Kelapa Ritual for top-to-toe pampering. The ritual begins with a soothing coconut milk soak and continues with your preference of kelapa body scrub to exfoliate and polish your skin. To conclude, a traditional Balinese massage using the purest virgin coconut oil, will leave your skin moisturised and glowing, and your whole body feeling relaxed yet energised. This replenishing 2-hour treatment is priced at USD 115++ per person.

While staying at The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali, you can enjoy luggage free travel. It is an exclusive global hotel partnership with Luggage Forward, the cornerstone of the brand’s newest signature service, Luxury Collection Luggage Liaison(sm). With Luggage Liaison, when you choose to stay at The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali and other The Luxury Collection properties in the world you can travel without luggage to any of the brand’s 69 destinations, with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your belongings will be waiting in your room upon arrival.

As part of this program, your baggage will be retrieved by Luggage Forward’s door-to-door luggage delivery service prior to departure and sent to the hotel to be placed in the room and unpacked before you arrive, upon request. The service will enable you to avoid carrying bags to and from the airport, bypass long check-in lines or the wait at baggage claim, eliminate the worry about lost luggage or having to pay luggage weight overage fees on flights. At The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali you may use Luggage Liaison again for your return trip by simply packing your bags and letting us do the rest, including delivery of any purchases made during the trip. As the exclusive hotel partner of Luggage Forward, The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali offers exceptional pricing for door-to-door luggage delivery. To learn more, please visit www.luxurycollection.com/luggage

Today’s Edition - Delivered Today
A signature service to keep you updated with the latest news.

As a special service, The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali is pleased to offer same-day editions of your preferred newspaper delivered directly to your room. You will receive your personal high quality laser-printed copy on the same day of publication. Please contact the Butler who will be happy to arrange your order.

Through services provided by NewspaperDirect, the world leader in multi-channel newspaper and magazine content distribution, you can choose from a vast range of over 600 newspaper and magazine from 77 countries, and have your favourites delivered to your guest room throughout your stay. While the world has grown smaller, receiving same-day editions of familiar newspapers from home provides a welcome surprise and represents a truly indulgent and appreciated luxury. At The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali and other The Luxury Collection properties in the world, you will be offered a newspaper menu, allowing you to select and purchase publications from a wide range of options and stay in touch regardless of location.


Discover Bali with our Laguna Concierge
Savour a Truly Indigenous Balinese Experience…

Bali is a rich tapestry of culture, art, and nature, and many attractions are within easy reach of the Nusa Dua area. Uluwatu Temple, one of the oldest and most spectacular Balinese temples is only a 30-minute drive from the resort. Batu Bulan, a village famous for its stone carving cottage industry, can be reached within one hour. A further 30-minute drive brings you to the mountainside town of Ubud, the art centre of Bali and home to many famous local and international artists. The area surrounding Ubud offers breathtaking views over terraced rice paddies and gives an insight into rural Balinese village life. Our experienced Concierge teams are pleased to take you to discover the interesting destination during the stay in Bali.

The Exceptional Laguna Butler Service
While staying in any room or suite at The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali, you will enjoy a 24-hour Butler service. This ensures that your time at the resort is entirely hassle-free with personalised services including the delivery of complimentary tea or coffee, packing and unpacking your luggage as well as offering advice and assistance in regards to dining, shopping, excursions, car rental, etc.

The Laguna Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali is a haven of relaxed luxury offering the highest level of personalised service to discerning travellers. Located in the exclusive Nusa Dua resort area, on Bali's most beautiful beach, a tranquil haven of tropical gardens and sparkling lagoons, the resort features 271 guestrooms and suites reflect a contemporary Balinese style. A Lagoon Access Rooms allow the guest to step from their private balcony directly into crystal-clear lagoon waters, 24 hours Butler service, 3 restaurants and bars, meeting facilities and spa.

As one of the members of The Luxury Collection®, The Laguna Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali is a part of selection of luxury hotels and resorts in the world which are offering unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories. For the global explorer, The Luxury Collection offers a gateway to the world’s most exciting and desirable destinations. Each hotel and resort is a unique and cherished expression of its location; a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures. Magnificent décor, spectacular settings, impeccable service and the latest modern conveniences combine to provide a uniquely enriching experience. Today, The Luxury Collection is a glittering ensemble of more than 70 of the world’s finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries in bustling cities and spectacular destinations around the world. The Luxury Collection includes award-winning hotels that continuously exceed guest expectations by offering unparalleled service, style and class in some of the most desired destinations in the world. Most recently, Mystique, a Luxury Collection Resort, was honoured with the 2008 Travel + Leisure Design Award for Best Small Resort in the world. All of these hotels, many of them centuries old, are internationally recognized as being among the world’s finest. To learn more the resort, please visit www.luxurycollection.com/bali

Monday, December 21, 2009

Las Vegas heats up for NYE



A new decade is about to dawn and if you haven’t yet got any plans to celebrate the arrival of 2010 it’s not too late! Las Vegas is turning up the heat on the biggest party night of the year. The hottest celebrities will be hosting the hottest parties at the hottest clubs in the world.

For those up for a bit of dance, world-famous DJs will be spinning the decks. Paul Oakenfold presents his set Perfecto Vegas at Rain in the Palms. The newest club on the strip, Haze, is having its grand opening on New Year’s Eve and is doing it in style. Tiesto is the biggest DJ in the world and he’ll be there as part of his new ‘Kaleidescope’ tour, bringing his trance music to the appropriately experiential club.

Celebs will be present in droves. Eva Longoria will be hosting the celebrations at Eve, her new club in CityCenter. Nicole Richie is hosting at Lavo at Palazzo where husband Joel Madden will also be hitting the decks for a special DJ set. You’ll find 50 Cent ‘in the club’ at PURE, Caesar’s Palace while Christina Aguilera will be hosting at Tao nightclub in the Venetian.

Rubbing shoulders with the celebs will set you back between $75 to $200 USD but for the most part, this includes an open bar and entrees. However, cash is not always king in Vegas. The Strip itself turns into one big party culminating in an impressive fireworks show at midnight, including spectacular displays from the rooftops of all the iconic hotels.

For more information visit www.lasvegas.com.au or call +61 2 9356 2266.

California: For those in the Snow



It snows in California….who knew? Famous for long stretches of golden, sandy beaches and months of dazzling sunshine, few Australians know that California is also home to 30 ski resorts meaning you really can ski and surf in the same day.

In northern California, Lake Tahoe boasts the largest concentration of ski resorts in the US, with 15 downhill and four cross-country resorts. The region receives 10 metres of snow annually and 300 days of sunshine making the conditions very pleasant indeed. Lake Tahoe’s first-ever five-star resort, The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, opened its doors at Northstar-at-Tahoe on December 9th. Featuring ski-in-ski-out access the resort provides skiers with the ultimate in convenience.

Heavenly Resort in South Lake Tahoe has debuted a new tubing lift for the season which accesses a new four-lane tubing mecca at the top of the Gondola at Adventure Peak. Be careful though, once they are there the kids won’t want to leave… until the sun sets and they hear about the new evening Snow Cat Tours on offer at nearby Kirkwood. The moon and stars can be your guide to explore the scenic ridgelines before collapsing by the fire at your lodge.

Yosemite National Park is not only home to famous granite karsts and stunning waterfalls, it also boasts California’s oldest ski resort. Badger Pass is celebrating it’s 75th anniversary in 2010 and is a great place to learn to ski or board with 85% of it’s slopes dedicated to beginner and intermediate levels.

California’s ski regions are accessible by car from Los Angeles and San Francisco, with a maximum five hour drive to Mammoth Lakes. However, that trip can be reduced by taking a short 70 minute flight on Horizon Air, who has just announced a second daily flight on the route.

www.visitcalifornia.com.au and www.visitcaliforniasnow.com.au

Thursday, December 17, 2009

“Stay and Play in Luxury for New Year’s Eve”



Melbourne, Australia, November 2009 – Welcome in the New Year with a beautiful stay and play offer within the luxurious surrounds of Australia’s Best Accommodation Hotel*, the Park Hyatt Melbourne.

An intimate table for two or a gathering of friends; begin your evening with a sumptuous dinner in radii restaurant. Savour canapés and sparkling on arrival, followed by a gastronomic seven-course degustation menu with hand selected premium wines to match.

Enjoy decadent desserts and welcome in the New Year with music and dancing in the exclusive Park Lounge watching the fireworks^ over the Yarra and city skyline. The panoramic views to the city and bay from the 19th floor are simply amazing from this location.

Retire after a memorable evening of festivities and return to your beautifully appointed room to continue the night in style. Melbourne’s biggest hotel rooms will ensure you wake up refreshed after a blissful night’s sleep cocooned in the finest of linens and most divine of pillows.

Indulge and be pampered in the ultimate hotel luxury experience. All inclusive New Year’s Eve Packages from $900 for two guests, including valet parking.

Park Hyatt Melbourne, where luxury is personal.

“Stay and Play in Luxury for New Year’s Eve”



Welcome in the New Year with a beautiful stay and play offer within the luxurious surrounds of Australia’s Best Accommodation Hotel*, the Park Hyatt Melbourne.

An intimate table for two or a gathering of friends; begin your evening with a sumptuous dinner in radii restaurant. Savour canapés and sparkling on arrival, followed by a gastronomic seven-course degustation menu with hand selected premium wines to match.

Enjoy decadent desserts and welcome in the New Year with music and dancing in the exclusive Park Lounge watching the fireworks^ over the Yarra and city skyline. The panoramic views to the city and bay from the 19th floor are simply amazing from this location.

Retire after a memorable evening of festivities and return to your beautifully appointed room to continue the night in style. Melbourne’s biggest hotel rooms will ensure you wake up refreshed after a blissful night’s sleep cocooned in the finest of linens and most divine of pillows.

Indulge and be pampered in the ultimate hotel luxury experience. All inclusive New Year’s Eve Packages from $900 for two guests, including valet parking.

Park Hyatt Melbourne, where luxury is personal.

V AUSTRALIA - 5 STAR LUXURY TO FIJI! FIRST SYDNEY - NADI FLIGHT TAKES OFF TODAY.


This morning at 8.10am Virgin Blue Airline Group's premium long-haul airline, V Australia, will take off with a full Guest load on its inaugural flight from Sydney to Nadi, Fiji.

Today's inaugural flight marks the beginning of new daily services which will add an additional 181 seats a day between the two cities and will further compliment the current flights from Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide to Fiji, operated by sister airline Pacific Blue.

V Australia Executive General Manager, Scott Swift, who will host today's flight said, "Today's launch signals the start of more options for travellers from Australia, with more seats in the market, more competitive pricing and more product range, from our luxurious award-winning International Business class to our spacious Premium Economy and comfortable and affordable Economy cabin.

From its brand new aircraft, attentive in-flight cabin crew, boutique bar, gourmet meals, generous legroom, state-of-the-art award winning in-flight entertainment and unique mood lighting, V Australia offers the finest product in the sky between Australia and Fiji.

"V Australia's full service Business and Premium Economy products are tailor made for the conference and incentive market which will undoubtedly prove a catalyst for an increase in the top end leisure travel market to this region."

"We're sure Guests who have not previously had the opportunity to experience V Australia will be very pleasantly surprised with the space, facilities and service available in all three cabins onboard our brand new Boeing 777 aircraft," Scott Swift finished.

As one of Australia's best loved holiday destinations for couples, honeymooners, adventure seekers and families alike and an easy four hours from Sydney, Fiji and its more than 300 tropical islands offer a slice of heaven on earth with its pristine beaches, tranquil clear blue waters and activity choices from total relaxation to adventure and everything in between.

To celebrate today's launch and just in time for Christmas, V Australia is offering the following 'stocking stuffer sale fares' on sale from today until 5 January 2010:

International Economy:   from $199^ one way on the internet (inclusive of taxes)

International Premium Economy  from $469^ one way on the internet (inclusive of taxes)

International Business   from $649^ one way on the internet (inclusive of taxes)

Virgin Blue Airlines Group's holiday program Blue Holidays also has some great packages on offer including:


Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa from $A1,245.00 per person* from Sydney including return flights to Nadi, Fiji, five nights accommodation in a Classic Room, champagne and breakfast for two daily

InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa from $A1,252.00 per person* from Sydney including return flights to Nadi, Fiji and five nights accommodation in a Garden View Room.

Nadi is the third international destination to feature on V Australia's growing network with the launch coming just weeks after the airline commenced services from Brisbane and Melbourne to and from Phuket, Thailand.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Abercrombie & Kent Introduces World's Finest Expedition Ship and Celebrates 20 years in Antarctica


For those dreaming of genuine adventure, Antarctica has long been considered the last frontier. This pristine landscape of mountains and glaciers remains largely untouched by civilisation, however this once-remote destination has moved to the top of many travellers’ places to go next list. A&K has been taking travellers to Antarctica for over 20 years and is the expert in providing unforgettable travel experiences for its discerning guests.

A&K has chartered the spacious new MV ‘Le Boreal’ for the 2010/2011 Antarctic season. An all-balcony expedition ship, MV ‘Le Boreal’ carries just 199 guests into Antarctic waters and features innovative state-of-the-art marine technology and the cleanest environmental credentials. A fleet of Zodiacs allows passengers to explore remote shores accompanied by a team of the finest Lecturer/Guides whose knowledge and experience transform this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

It's pandemonium in Adelaide this summer



For priceless family holiday memories this summer it's black and white, Adelaide is simply the place to be.

Adorable giant pandas Wang Wang and Funi have been entrusted to Adelaide Zoo on a cooperative agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association aimed at securing the long term survival of the species.

But why should they be the only ones to get a holiday?

For all the cuteness you can bear in a city escape, combined with the comfort and convenience of prime city accommodation, hotel operator Mantra has entered the pandemonium with some great rates for holidaymakers to come and see these incredible creatures.

For example Mantra on Frome has family packages from just $189* per night including accommodation in a two bedroom apartment, complimentary parking, 1pm late checkout and yummy Haigh's chocolate panda.

Situated in the heart of Adelaide's East End café precinct, Mantra on Frome is a stylish 4 star apartment style hotel offering an ideal base from which to explore Adelaide and beyond.

Mantra Hindmarsh Square is also perfect for panda lovers, where family packages including accommodation in a Parkview Suite, breakfast for two adults and one child, 1pm late checkout and Haigh's chocolate panda start from $229* per night.

Mantra Hindmarsh Square comprises 179 studio apartments, one and two bedroom suites, located in the bustling Adelaide CBD.

For bookings or further information Call 13 15 17 or visit http://www.mantra.com.au/

Holland America Line announces 2010 Australian season


Travel the World, general sales agent for Holland America Line, announces 2010 Australian season early bird cruise sale

ms Volendam, the beautiful garden-themed liner from the renowned Holland American Line fleet is returning to our shores in November 2010. Holland America Line's 2010 season in Australia will include a record number of Sydney roundtrip cruises as well as the first Sydney roundtrip cruise that celebrates Christmas and New Year at sea.

The 2010 cruise season will begin with a 14-day Pacific Treasures cruise on 5 November. ms Volendam will take in the idyllic isles of New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji as it sails to the islands of the South Pacific through some of the most pristine waters in the world. Guests will visit Noumea, Mouli and Ile Des Pins in New Caledonia where they can dive and snorkel along its coral reef and in the world's largest lagoon. The ship will also call at the island of Vanuatu with its potpourri of cultures and magnificent natural harbour, as well as Lautoka and Levuka in Fiji, known for its sun-kissed beaches and crystal-clear seas. Early bird prices start at $2,060 per person twin share for an inside cabin and includes all meals, accommodation and entertainment onboard as well as taxes and cruise NDA's.

On 19 November, ms Volendam will offer a 14-day Australia and New Zealand cruise that sails from Sydney to Auckland via Melbourne and Burnie, one of Australia's least visited ports. In New Zealand, ms Volendam will make calls at the ports of Wellington, Napier, Christchurch, Tauranga, Dunedin and Picton. The itinerary also features extensive scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) as well as Milford Sound. Guests can take in the breathtaking views of the region's extreme scenery, ranging from glaciers to mountain ranges and sandy beaches to volcanic plateaus. This cruise has early bird prices from $2,115 per person twin share.

A reverse itinerary from Auckland to Sydney will depart on 3 December 2010, which will also offer highlights in Hobart, exploring the beautiful Tasmanian locale. This cruise has early bird prices from $1,973 per person twin share.

For the first time, Holland America Line will offer a 16-day Australia and New Zealand cruise roundtrip from Sydney during the festive Christmas and New Year period. Departing on 17 December 2010, the cruise will combine the region's diverse scenery and rich culture with seasonal fun and festivities – such as a visit from Santa complete with gifts, roving carollers and a tree lighting ceremony. Ports of call on this cruise include Canberra (Bateman's Bay), Australia; Milford Sound, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland and Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Prices start from $2,575 per person twin share.

With a guest capacity of 1,432, ms Volendam is a luxurious cruise liner that boasts an incredible collection of artworks and floral tapestries. There are three restaurants onboard all offering exquisite cuisine incorporating regional ingredients and recipes. Guests can also indulge in the ship's onboard facilities, which include two outdoor swimming pools, a spa and salon, fitness centre, cinema, casino, tennis and basketball courts, library and duty-free shopping.

ms Volendam will continue to offer a selection of 14-day cruises in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in early 2011 before sailing onto Asia at the end of March.

To make a booking or obtain further information, please contact Travel the World on 1300 766 566 or visit the website www.traveltheworld.com.au.


If All You Want For Christmas Is A Little Family Distance....Oaks Hotels & Resorts Have Gift-Wrapped It For You



With the Christmas festive season upon us, distant relatives are rushing to pack their oversized suitcases and bad-mannered children to head to your house and test the strength of family relationships. Oaks Hotels & Resorts are offering you an alternative. Don’t put up with your house becoming everyone else’s home for the holidays. Ship them off in refined style with Oaks Hotels and Resorts offering comfortable, spacious accommodation close enough to your place for them to feel connected, but far enough away for you to enjoy your holidays too!

Victoria’s Relative Survival Guide

Take note of these survival tips to keep the claws in check over the family holiday season and give yourself the Christmas you deserve. Oaks Hotels & Resorts offer a wide range of stylish city accommodation for all the family and at an affordable price tag you can afford.

• Gift buying will be a breeze for your family when staying at Oaks on Collins, positioned in the heart of Melbourne’s cosmopolitan CBD. Boasting spacious studio, studio executive, two bedroom and exclusive sky suites that are all self-contained and feature quality modern decor. With the shops just a hop, skip and jump away, there will be no excuses for getting boring socks and jocks this Christmas.
• There is nothing worse than grumpy grandparents to spoil festivities, so give them some cool relief with a comfortable, air-conditioned apartment at the four and a half star Oaks on Market. They’ll be a pleasant addition to the Christmas dinner table after recharging in the indoor pool and spa or relaxing on their private balcony overlooking the Yarra River.
• Give couch loving potatoes a reason to walk with a stay at Oaks on Lonsdale just minutes from all the summer sporting action at Rod Laver Arena and the MCG in Melbourne.

Relative Survival Guide for Queensland

Take note of these survival tips to keep the claws in check over the family holiday season and give yourself the Christmas you deserve. Oaks Hotels & Resorts offer a wide range of stylish city accommodation for all the family and at an affordable price tag you can afford.

• No excuses for getting socks and jocks this Christmas if you book your family into Oaks iStay River City, Oaks Casino Towers or Oaks 212 Margaret backing on to the busy Brisbane CBD. As well as spacious studio, one, two and four bedroom, self-contained apartments with quality modern furnishings and resort leisure luxuries, the very best of Christmas shopping is just a hop, skip and a jump away too!
• Lap up the luxury at Oaks Hotel M in Townsville. Get your couch potato relatives outside to see the natural wonders of the tropics and test their underwater knowledge at the Reef HQ – the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium which is within walking distance of Hotel M.
• There is nothing worse than grumpy grandparents to spoil festivities, so give them some cool relief with a comfortable, air-conditioned apartment at the Oaks Lagoons in Port Douglas. They can shed some years with the on-site massage & Bowen therapist or reinvigorate their souls relaxing within any of the six lagoon-style pools.
• Let the kids run wild and exhaust all excess energy before they hit your house at Oaks Calypso Plaza, Coolangatta. In a beach-side location with lagoon style swimming pool featuring waterslide action, you will have them tuckered out and ready for a nap when they arrive at your place.

Relative Survival Guide for New South Wales

Take note of these survival tips to keep the claws in check over the family holiday season and give yourself the Christmas you deserve. Oaks Hotels & Resorts offer a wide range of stylish city accommodation for all the family and at an affordable price tag you can afford.

• No excuses for getting socks and jocks this Christmas if you book your family into Oaks Goldsborough, Darling Harbour or Oaks Hyde Park Plaza backing on to the Sydney CBD. As well as spacious studio, one and two bedroom, self-contained apartments with quality modern furnishings and resort leisure luxuries, the very best of Christmas shopping is just a hop, skip and a jump away too!
• There is nothing worse than grumpy grandparents to spoil festivities, so give them some cool relief with a comfortable, air-conditioned apartment at the Oaks Boathouse in Tea Gardens. They can shed some years in the Japanese steam room or reinvigorate their souls at the luxurious spa.
• Let the kids run wild and exhaust all excess energy before they hit your house at Oaks Pacific Blue, Port Stephens. A stunning beach and lagoon style swimming pool will have them tuckered out and ready for a nap when they arrive at your place.

On second thoughts, if the sound of this is making you green with envy, trade in your house for the family to occupy while you take advantage of the affordable yet chic apartments with all the leisure facilities to help you unwind!

So now you know how to make this holiday season a little more bearable, take control before the door bell starts to ring and book your family in for a holiday that they will cherish and one that you will love even more! Go to www.theoaksgroup.com.au for the latest relative relief rates.

It's Pandemonium in Adelaide This Summer



For priceless family holiday memories this summer it’s black and white, Adelaide is simply the place to be.

Adorable giant pandas Wang Wang and Funi have been entrusted to Adelaide Zoo on a cooperative agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association aimed at securing the long term survival of the species.

But why should they be the only ones to get a holiday?

For all the cuteness you can bear in a city escape, combined with the comfort and convenience of prime city accommodation, hotel operator Mantra has entered the pandemonium with some great rates for holidaymakers to come and see these incredible creatures.

For example Mantra on Frome has family packages from just $189* per night including accommodation in a two bedroom apartment, complimentary parking, 1pm late checkout and yummy Haigh’s chocolate panda.

Situated in the heart of Adelaide's East End café precinct, Mantra on Frome is a stylish 4 star apartment style hotel offering an ideal base from which to explore Adelaide and beyond.

Mantra Hindmarsh Square is also perfect for panda lovers, where family packages including accommodation in a Parkview Suite, breakfast for two adults and one child, 1pm late checkout and Haigh’s chocolate panda start from $229* per night.

Mantra Hindmarsh Square comprises 179 studio apartments, one and two bedroom suites, located in the bustling Adelaide CBD.

For bookings or further information Call 13 15 17 or visit www.mantra.com.au


* Conditions and blockout periods apply . Subject to availability

What’s Hot in 2010 – Sydney & NSW Uncovered



In this special edition of Sydney & NSW Uncovered Tourism NSW gives you a sneak peek of key travel trends in NSW for 2010 as well as insider tips on hot spots and what’s new. For more information click here.

TRENDS

1. ‘Pop-up’ Sydney: Sydney is home to a new breed of restaurant, bar, gallery, cinema and shop – the ‘pop-up’. Not permanent fixtures, these temporary structures are often located in vacant spaces, shipping containers and warehouses and are favoured by the style-set. You may have missed the chance to ‘pop’ into some of these already, but that’s OK. The trend is only going to grow in 2010 so keep a close eye out for them.

2. Holiday Parks: Holiday Parks are one of the best ways to enjoy a beachfront holiday in NSW with the family, at a fraction of the cost. Whether you choose to camp, to stay in a bungalows or a luxurious cabin, you’ll be surrounded by pristine wilderness on one side and ocean views on the other. Holiday Parks often include leisure activities, hosted tours, and all the facilities you would expect at a resort.

3. The Road Trip: Grab a group of friends or family and hit the road for a taste of your childhood. In the wake of the GFC it’s all about the simple things in life with a contemporary spin - plan your route on Google, download itineraries and create your own iPod playlist. Some things never change though, you’ll still find the most satisfying meals at a road house and no doubt one of your travelling companions will whip out a game of ‘I-spy’ at some stage during your trip. Reconnect with the people around you, enjoy the freedom of taking one day or two weeks to reach your destination and discover NSW destinations off the beaten track.


NSW HOT SPOT DESTINATIONS

1. Mount View: A tasty dish
Take a legendary Hunter chef, a selection of boutique wineries and luxurious villa accommodation and you have Mount View, a must-visit destination for 2010.

2. Camperdown: It’s cool
Sydney’s vibrant inner-west continues to deliver fresh and exciting inner city experiences. Sandwiched between Newtown, Annandale, Glebe and Erskineville and home of the University of Sydney, Camperdown boasts a dynamic bohemian vibe, with a buzzing café society and memorable dining.

3. South Coast: A foodie’s paradise
The NSW South Coast is a foodie’s paradise – a destination that’s becoming just as recognised for its food and wines as its unspoilt natural beauty and charming villages. Both the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla regions are part of the international Slow Food Movement and it’s easy to see why – after filling up on fresh seafood, local cheeses, boutique wineries and great country markets you’ll want to spend as long as possible savouring the taste.


COMING IN 2010
Keep your finger on the pulse and be among the first to hear about the exciting new tours, festivals, retreats and experiences that are launching with this helpful month-by-month overview of What’s New in 2010.

The Biggest’n’Best Summer is Coming To Wet’n’Wild!



This summer is going to be Wet’n’Wild’s biggest and best with an amazing array of entertainment for the whole family including live performances from Kate Alexa and Neighbour’s star Sam Clark, the Fujifilm Face of Summer Model Search, ‘GO’ Summer Cinema, Dive’n’Movies, the Kid’s New Years Eve event including a special Dive’n’Movie preview screening of Disney's THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (rated G) and much more.

The fun begins in early December with the installation of ‘GO’ Summer Cinema - a huge LED screen by the Wave Pool which will screen live test matches, one day matches and ‘GO’ all summer long.

Wet’n’Wild Dive’n’Movies will screen a great range of new release blockbusters every Saturday night until December 19 and every night from December 27 to January 25.

In late December the Coca-Cola Bottle Blast will invite guests to test their skills on three different exhilarating feats: Slam Dunk Duel, Trampoline Leap and Super Swing all on a giant inflatable outdoor extravaganza featuring a variety of challenges and activities.

On New Year’s Eve Wet’n’Wild Water World will play host to Australia’s most splashtacular celebration, offering a host of entertainment, music and activities for the whole family. The celebration will see a huge variety of activities for the kids including face painting, karaoke, roving characters, fun competitions, a special Dive’n’Movie preview screening of Disney's THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (rated G) and a spectacular array of confetti cannons to bring in the new year.

The Fujifilm Face of Summer Model Search will commence with the first heat held on January 2. Two more heats will be held on January 9 and 16. The final will take place on January 23 with nine lucky finalists parading Lisa Blue swimwear fashion on the catwalk. The competition is sure to be fierce with a total of over $14,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs including $10,000 in cash and prizes for first place.

For the music lovers Neighbours star Sam Clark will perform his debut single ‘BROKEN’ from Friday 8 January to Friday 15 January. Sam will perform acoustically 3 times daily at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm. Wet’n’Wild guests will also have the opportunity to meet Sam and get his autograph daily.

To top the summer off, Kate Alexa will rock-out on the Wet’n’Wild summer stage with live performances from January 16 to 23.

There’s so much to do you’ll bring the family back again’n’again! Don’t miss out on the biggest and best summer at Wet’n’Wild. For more information visit My.Fun.com.au.

Sea World’s Polar Bears Celebrate Christmas Early!

The Polar bears will celebrate in style with their own Christmas tree fully stocked with everything a Polar bear needs for the silly season including lots of gift wrapped presents.

The Christmas tree and gifts form part of the bear’s enrichment program by providing them with toys and puzzles to help stimulate their senses.

Sea World’s Polar Bears are ambassadors for their species and play a vital role in rasing awareness of the effects of global warning. Current research indicates that Polar Bear numbers in the wild are declining, with just 22,000 bears remaining world wide.

Hudson and Nelson were orphaned in Quebec in 2004 and had been temporarily taken in by the Quebec Zoo, who embarked on a world wide search for the most suitable home for the young cubs.

Sea World was chosen by an esteemed committee, for its technologically advanced exhibit and exceptional behavioral enrichment program - features that have set a benchmark for Polar Bears in human care around the world.

To celebrate the bear’s story, Sea World recently launched a children’s book which tells their story and helps educate young children about the challenges facing Polar bears in the wild.

Media are invited to witness the Polar bear Christmas celebrations

DETAILS

Date: Friday 18 December 2009
Time: 9.45am - Meet Renee Soutar at Reception and drive around to Polar Bear Shores
Media Opps: The Polar bears enjoying and tearing into their Christmas presents
Interviews: Sea World Curator of Mammals Mitchell Leroy

Vibe Hotels Launches Travel Reporter Competition

Enter the Vibe Hotels Suite Life travel reporter video competition to win the experience of a lifetime for two, visiting each Vibe Hotel location in Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Darwin

Sydney, News South Wales; 17 December 2009: Vibe Hotels, has launched its "Suite Life" competition in search of a new voice in hotels and travel in Australia. The competition invites budding travel reporters to upload a short video to www.facebook.com/VibeHotels  describing one of their travel experiences for their chance to share in over $10,000 worth of prizes.

"We are delighted to launch a competition to find the ultimate travel reporter for Vibe Hotels! The winning entrant will receive a 12 day trip travelling to Vibe Hotel locations across Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin and the Gold Coast – to truly enjoy the 'suite life'," said Rachel Argaman, CEO, Toga Hospitality. "As part of their incredible trip, the winners will also be given a Vibe branded Flip video camera to report on their adventures, flights to all destinations, spending money and free passes to local attractions."  

The runners-up of the competition will receive a weekend away for two, to a Vibe Hotel of their choice. The package will include breakfast, the Vibe Entertains cookbook, a Flip video camera and much more. Entries close 28 February 2010, with winners announced 12 March 2010.

The Vibe hotel experience is unique, with a focus on contemporary design, seamless customer service and great value. Vibe's lifestyle philosophy prioritises style partnered with comfort. Each Vibe hotel is as distinctive as the city that hosts it, with décor and facilities designed to reflect the personality of the city.

For terms and conditions please see www.facebook.com/VibeHotels


Backpackers urged: stay safe and go in the running for $1000 travel cash - image attached

Backpacking around Australia on a tight budget can be both exciting and dangerous but with the $1,000 travel cash on offer from Pro-Visual Publishing's new Safety Guide, backpackers can gather handy tips on staying safe and help extend their travels.  

$1,000 travel cash is on offer to all backpackers who simply take a photo with the Chart displayed in their facility and send it to Pro-Visual Publishing along with an entry form as soon as possible. 

To be in the running, Pro-Visual Publishing is asking the many young people visiting Australia this year to consider the unnecessary risks they might be taking while away from home with their Backpackers Guide to Local Safety & Health 2010. 

The Guide outlines the safety measures that often come as second nature to Australians, but may be unknown to foreign visitors holidaying in Australia.  

"This year marks the launch of the first edition of the Backpackers Guide to Local Safety & Health 2010," said Pro-Visual Publishing's CEO John Hutchings. "We felt the added incentive of the prize money would encourage backpackers to consider our Guide which aims to answer the health and safety questions they may be hesitant to ask locals." 

Safety advice on offer to backpackers includes how to stay safe at the beach, detailed descriptions of Australia's most dangerous spiders, snakes and jellyfish, along with bite symptoms and first aid advice. As well as useful advice on sun safety while under the strong Australian sun, emphasising the risk of severe burns and skin cancer. Tips are also provided for safe driving in conditions that are very different from those at home.  

Additional copies of the Backpackers Guide to Local Safety & Health 2010 are available and all Guides are produced and distributed free of charge thanks to sponsorship. 

Anantara Bophut: A new name to a familiar lap of luxury



Anantara Koh Samui has become known as Anantara Bophut, Koh Samui as a result of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas’ expansion from one resort to two on this exquisite tropical island.

Anantara’s first island hideaway, now known as Anantara Bophut, Koh Samui, opened in November 2004. The boutique style hideaway bestows guests with a choice of 106 rooms and suites, all boasting enviable views; some over azure waters and white sands of Bophut Bay towards the island of Koh Phangan and others over the lush tropical gardens designed by internationally renowned architect Bill Bensley. The sophisticated allure of exotic island life is enhanced by a dramatic 30-metre infinity-edge pool overlooking the beach, alongside the much coveted Anantara Spa with private pavilion treatment suites. Set on 11 acres of beachfront next to the laid-back haven of Fisherman’s Village on the north coast of Samui, Anantara Bophut is less than a 10 minute drive from the airport; a convenience that is matched by its new sister resort.

Anantara’s newest family member to reside on Samui’s fabled shores is Anantara Lawana, Koh Samui. Welcoming its first guests in November 2009, this beautiful resort is inspired by the island’s Chinese merchant heritage and occupies a secluded and pristine stretch of sand along Samui’s famously long North Chaweng Beach. A choice of 122 rooms, suites and clusters of villas sharing exclusive pools, are joined by a second Anantara Spa and unique fine dining experiences, while the vibrant buzz of Chaweng is only a stone’s throw away.

Explore Koh Samui the Anantara way, with Anantara Bophut and the new Anantara Lawana.



For hundreds of years throughout Thailand, people would leave a jar of water outside their house to provide refreshment and extend a welcome to the passing traveller. Anantara is taken from an ancient Sanskrit word that means 'without end', symbolising this sharing of water and the heartfelt hospitality that lies at the core of every Anantara experience.
Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas initially opened in the seaside town of Hua Hin and on Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, and in the Golden Triangle in the country’s north. In the world-renowned destination of the Maldives, Anantara Dhigu and Anantara Veli are a 30-minute boat ride from the capital Male.
Anantara Seminyak debuted in April 2008 in the most fashionable district of Bali – the Island of the Gods. Late 2008 saw the opening of Anantara Phuket, situated in the serenity of Mai Khao Beach, Thailand, followed by Desert Islands on Sir Bani Yas Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi, and Anantara Si Kao which lies on the secluded Changlang Beach area south of Krabi, Thailand.
Anantara Baan Rajprasong in Bangkok opened its doors in April 2009 to become the first serviced suites property for the Anantara group, while Qasr Al Sarab opened in October 2009 in the legendary Liwa desert near Abu Dhabi. In November 2009 with the unveiling of Anantara’s second Koh Samui hideaway, the Chinese-inspired Anantara Lawana nestling the island’s famously long Chaweng Beach, Anantara Koh Samui became known as Anantara Bophut.
2010 will see a trio of new properties welcoming guests across Asia and the Middle East to further enhance Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas’ enviable worldwide portfolio. Anantara Kihavah Villas Maldives is poised for its grand opening in July 2010, to be joined by Anantara Al Madina A'Zarqa in Oman and Anantara Sanya in China towards the end of the year.
For more information on Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, please visit www.anantara.com
Anantara is a member of Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel groups. GHA partner hotels are renowned for reflecting and respecting local traditions and culture through their products and services. www.globalhotelalliance.com

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Completes First Flight



The Boeing 787 Dreamliner took to the sky for the first time today, ushering a new era in air travel as it departed before an estimated crowd of more than 12,000 employees and guests from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. The flight marks the beginning of a flight test program that will see six aircraft flying nearly around the clock and around the globe, with the plane's first delivery scheduled for fourth quarter 2010.

The newest member of the Boeing family of commercial jetliners took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. at 10:27 a.m. local time. After about three hours, it landed at 1:33 p.m. at Seattle's Boeing Field.

787 Chief Pilot Mike Carriker and Capt. Randy Neville tested some of the aircraft systems and structures, as on-board equipment recorded and transmitted real-time data to a flight-test team at Boeing Field.

After takeoff from Everett, the aircraft followed a route over the east end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Capts. Carriker and Neville took the airplane to an altitude of 15,000 feet (4,572 meters) and an air speed of 180 knots, or about 333 km/h, customary on a first flight.

"Today is truly a proud and historic day for the global team who has worked tirelessly to design and build the 787 Dreamliner - the first all-new jet airplane of the 21st century," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "We look forward to the upcoming flight test program and soon bringing groundbreaking levels of efficiency, technology and passenger comfort to airlines and the flying public."

Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, the first Boeing 787 will be joined in the flight test program in the coming weeks and months by five other 787s, including two that will be powered by General Electric GEnx engines.

The 787 Dreamliner will offer passengers a better flying experience and provide airline operators greater efficiency to better serve the point-to-point routes and additional frequencies passengers prefer. The technologically-advanced 787 will use 20 percent less fuel than today's airplanes of comparable size, provide airlines with up to 45 percent more cargo revenue capacity and present passengers with innovations that include a new interior environment with cleaner air, larger windows, more stowage space, improved lighting and other passenger-preferred conveniences.

Fifty-five customers around the world have ordered 840 787s, making the 787 Dreamliner the fastest-selling new commercial jetliner in history.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Signature Magazine targets the time-rich 50+ consumer in the travel and lifestyle market


On sale now. A$8.95

Signature Magazine, a stunning new title aimed at the affluent 50+ market, has released its launch issue. Produced for the baby boomer who has both the time and finances to indulge their passions, the quarterly publication is brimming with inspirational editorial on travel, investments, wellbeing, fashion and style, food and wine, nurturing of the body, mind and soul and a host of other aspects that play a crucial role in this vibrant sector’s lifestyle.

The magazine, created by the publishers of Holidays with Kids, Signature Media Pty Ltd, launched with a ready made subscriber base of close to 1,000 leveraged off the well-established Holidays with Kids subscription base. Holidays with Kids readers were offered incentives to subscribe their parents and grandparents to receive Signature Magazine.

Signature Magazine is also available nationally in newsagents and Borders, as well as selected high-end travel agents, two leading airlines, up-market resorts and cruise lines and a leading financial institution.

The number of Australians over 50 will outstrip those under 50 this year, making this demographic the most powerful media consumers. Certainly not a market to be taken lightly, they control half of the country’s household wealth and represent more than one third of all spending. They are by far Australia’s wealthiest demographic. Over the next twelve months they will spend $46 billion on food and wine, $10 billion on clothes and over $34 billion on travel … and they will be looking to us for where to go.

The magazine will have a strong online presence with a ready-made audience created by leveraging off of the 51,500 online members of Holidays with Kids. All of these members, (aged 25-45) have parents or grandparents that fall into this demographic. They will be enticed by monthly offers to have their parents register on the Signature Magazine website.

The magazine, on sale now, offers editorial innovative to the Australian marketplace.

While researching the 50+ market it became evident that a large proportion of affluent boomers choose not to retire completely but to maintain their business interests well into their senior years, keeping their minds active and maintaining the camaraderie with business contacts.

With this in mind, Signature Magazine has also been innovative in being the first leisure magazine in the Australian market place to include a regular section on MICE travel. Our decision to include MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events) recognises that this 50+ market are actively involved as company directors and senior level decision makers in highly successful businesses.

Editor Cathy Wagstaff says, “The time is ripe for this publication. It meets the needs of this growing, active demographic which, according to Tourism Australia, are the highest consumers of adventure travel”. This market is passionate about seeing the world around them and won’t procrastinate.

The Signature Magazine website will be a one-stop, interactive site that will offer readers and members a range of targeted information, forums to share travel experiences, plus a chance to link up with other travellers with the same destination or event interests.

Signature is positioned to be the voice of a generation. A travel and lifestyle magazine that speaks to a sophisticated and financially independent audience

Quest Serviced Apartments have all the comforts of home


…and they’ll even stock the pantry

Quest Serviced Apartments provides travellers the comfort of staying in a fully equipped, self-contained apartment offering kitchen and laundry facilities, plus the option of a fully stocked pantry waiting for them on arrival, thanks to the Quest Pantry Shopping service.

This unique service allows Quest guests to place a grocery shopping order prior to arrival so that Quest can do the shopping on each guest’s behalf. The Pantry Shopping service allows guests the option of preparing and enjoying a fresh, home cooked meal on arrival rather than spending on in-house catering or having to leave the property to eat out soon after they’ve arrived.

Quest offers many unique services, however the highly popular Pantry Shopping service is a guest favourite with business travellers and is available on request at all Quest properties throughout Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Quest Chairman, Paul Constantinou understands the importance of having home comforts on hand.

“It’s important that when our guests arrive at their apartment, all of the basic essentials are ready and waiting for them – bread, milk and cereals, to tie them over during their stay.

“The Pantry Shopping service allows guests to have the convenience of not having to shop for themselves. The service can help ensure that all of their favourite products are always ready and waiting, reducing the frequency of travellers eating out and incurring expensive restaurant bills.

“It’s about making the guest feel as comfortable as they would be in their own home. The overall cost savings that flow from this are an added bonus,” Mr Constantinou said.

“Guests are relaxed knowing they can call Quest prior to their arrival and request a porterhouse steak, fresh vegetables, dessert and a bottle of wine, or whatever they’d like for dinner. Then those items will be waiting for them in their apartment refrigerator when they arrive,” he said.

The Pantry Shopping service is just one of Quest’s many home-away-from home offerings that make life easier for business travellers.

These include:
• local restaurant chargeback;
• on-site reception / 24 hour management
• business administration services;
• valet laundry and dry cleaning; and
• tour assistance.

Quest Serviced Apartments is the largest service apartment group in Australasia with more than 125 properties across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Quest prides itself on going above and beyond the call of duty for its business travellers – listening to the needs of customers and ensuring a home-away-from-home experience. For more information, visit: http://www.questapartments.com.au

Tour de France - Pyrenees to Paris



The Tour de France is the world’s most famous cycling race. Run since 1903, it is a 3 week long survival of the fittest which takes participants and spectators snaking through the beautiful scenery of the French countryside and finishing on the cobble stoned streets of the Champs Élysée in Paris. The Tour de France is a must see event for any cycling enthusiast. Sportsnet’s 10 night Pyrenees to Paris tour starts from $5489 per person and if you book by 31 January, 2010 you’ll receive a FREE 2XU bike kit worth $310.

Sportsnet’s 10 day tour takes in the famous Pyrenean high mountain stages of the 2010 Tour de France, including the summit finish at Ax 3 Domaines, the climb of Port de Bales and Col d´Aubisque and the spectacular summit finish on top of the Col du Tourmalet.

Bike are also welcome for those who would like to ride the famous climbs that feature on the 2010 Tour such as the climbs of Ax 3 Domaines, Port de Bales, Col du Tourmalet and Col d´Aubisque.

A 10 night package includes:
• Welcome dinner with a former Tour de France rider
• Champs Elysees Grand Palais Grandstand seat for final stage
• 10 nights twin share accommodation (3 star)
• Breakfast daily & 4 evening meals
• Air-conditioned coach transport throughout
• Special bike trailer for the safe-keeping and transport of bikes
• Private TGV train Bordeaux to Paris
• Services of a guide PLUS much more

To book or for more information, contact Sportsnet on 1300 888 858, via email on travel@sportsnetholidays.com or visit www.sportsnetholiday.com.

Terms and conditions apply.

Small Luxury Hotels Of The World™ To The Rescue For Last Minute Festive Shoppers



Wondering where you'll find the time to do your Christmas shopping? Looking for an extra special gift this year? A Small Luxury Hotels of the World ™ Gift Certificate is the perfect present for family and friends. With over 500 hotels offering memorable experiences in 75 countries worldwide, the lucky recipient will be spoilt for choice.

Available in three currencies and in denominations of 100, 500 and 1000, gift certificates are available online at www.slh.com/giftcertificates

If you have also left your own arrangements until late in the day and an indulgent break is top of your wish-list this year, Small Luxury Hotels of the World still has some enticing packages available around the world over the festive season. Whether you would prefer to escape the heat and head for the snow, you're fed up with the cold and seeking an exotic destination or you're looking for a traditional Christmas break somewhere near to home but without the stress and fuss, go to www.slh.com for ideas and inspiration.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific include Pacific Resort Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, The Louise in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, qualia on Hamilton Island, Queensland, Treetops Lodge & Wilderness Experience near Rotorua and Blanket Bay in Glenorchy near Queenstown. Examples of festive packages offered by Small Luxury Hotels of the World include:

The Levin, London, UK www.slh.com/thelevin

For a seriously stylish city break, let the team at The Levin take all the stress out of Christmas shopping with pre-booked appointments at your favourite boutiques on Sloane Street. Work your way through your exclusive shopping guide to quintessential British style and then relax after your spending spree with mulled wine and mince pies during afternoon tea at The Levin's Le Metro Brasserie. The Levin Christmas package includes two nights accommodation, continental breakfast, The Levin exclusive shopping guide, VIP treatment at selected Sloane Street boutiques, Christmas Afternoon Tea for two, and half a bottle of Gosset Brut from the in-room Champagne bar. Prices start from GBP554, excluding VAT at 15 per cent. Valid from now up until 3 January 2010.

The Goring, London, UK www.slh.com/goring

The Goring is celebrating its Centenary in 2010 so they are pulling out all the stops this year. The Christmas Experience at The Goring promises to delight. Guests can enjoy Champagne in the Lounge on Christmas Eve followed by dinner in the Dining Room before midnight mass at St Peter's Eaton Square with a nightcap before bed. Christmas Day evening is a glamorous affair with cocktails and a traditional Christmas dinner. Festivities will carry on until 27 December when the party winds down. Prices on application.

The Brandenburger Hof, Berlin, Germany www.slh.com/brandenburgerhof

Get into the Christmas spirit with a high tea followed by a guided city tour by an art historian and a visit to the Christmas market at 'The Gendarmenmarkt'. The package includes three nights accommodation, breakfast, high tea (high tea or afternoon tea?), guided city tour, a trip to the garden kingdom of Dessau-Woerlitz, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a four-course dinner on Christmas Eve accompanied by a classical concert in the hotel's fine dining restaurant 'Die Quadriga'. Prices start from EUR1,730. Valid from 23 – 26 December 2009. Minimum three night stay.

The Luxe Manor, Hong Kong www.slh.com/theluxemanor

The Luxe Manor is putting a spin on Christmas this year with its 'Jazz it up the Dazzling Christmas' (is this the correct name of the package?) experience. A jazzy Christmas menu will be offered at the hotel's Italian restaurant, Aspasia, and jazz musicians will entertain guests. On Christmas Eve the hotel's jazz club, Dada Bar + Lounge, will host the internationally renowned Canadian jazz vocalist Irene Atman's first performance in Hong Kong – accompanied by a pianist. Irene will also perform on Christmas Day with a full band to add to the excitement of the occasion. The WinterFest experience is valid from now until 3 January 2010 and includes one or two night packages with breakfast, an English cream tea set with Jazz and a host of other special treats. Prices start from HK1,350 excluding service charges of 10 per cent.

Stonewater Cover, Missouri, USA www.slh.com/stonewatercove

Celebrate the holidays at Stonewater Cove, where guests can avoid the traditional over-indulgence of the festive period by participating in outdoor activities including a forest ATV tour and a zip line adventure what is this? above the forest canopy. The property also boasts over 20 miles of hand-carved trails, so grab a mountain bike or hiking boots to work off Christmas dinner. When you return to your room Santa's Helpers will have left treats of candy canes, milk and cookies. This festive package, 'Season's Greetings in the Wilderness', includes full breakfasts, formal dinners and a three hour forest adventure as well as a bottle of wine on arrival. Prices start from USD2010 per room per stay, exclusive of tax and service charge. Minimum three night stay. Valid between 15 December 2009 – 10 January 2010.

The Betsy, Miami Beach, Florida, USA www.slh.com/betsyhotel

If soft ocean breezes appeal more than a snowy scene, you can escape to The Betsy Hotel in South Beach, Miami, which has a tropical take on the festive holiday scene. There are no Christmas trees in sight (really?) but palm trees everywhere. Indulge in a luxurious Sugar Plum Swedish Massage for two during your stay. This holiday package includes accommodation for two, Sugar Plum Swedish Massage for two, brunch on Christmas day and a gift candle. Prices start from USD1,170 excluding tax and resort fee. Valid from 24 – 27 December 2009.

All packages listed above are subject to availability. Reservations can be made via www.slh.com or by calling +65 6232 5060. All travel agents need to remember is the GDS code LX for LuXury.

About Small Luxury Hotels of the World
The Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) brand is an unrivalled portfolio of some of the world's finest small independent hotels. Comprising over 500 hotels in more than 75 countries, the diversity of the individual hotels, and the experiences that they offer, is exceptional. From cutting-edge design hotels to palatial 17th century mansions, city centre sanctuaries to remote private islands, historic country houses to idyllic resorts, Small Luxury Hotels of the World offers only the very best. Reservations can be made at any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property by calling +65 6232 5060 or via www.slh.com. Travel agents need only remember the GDS code LX for LuXury.

Mantra Resorts enters New Zealand

Leading  accommodation provider Mantra Group has expanded its presence in New Zealand with the launch of a luxury apartment complex in the adventure capital of Queenstown.

Officially opening on February 1, 2010, Mantra Marina Resort marks the first foray into New Zealand for the group's premier Mantra brand.

It joins Mantra Group's other New Zealand properties Peppers Beacon, BreakFree The Point, BreakFree the Waterfront, Highview, Peppers Clearwater Resort and Peppers Bluewater Resort on the South Island plus the North Island's Peppers on the Point and Peppers Martinborough to cover the full spectrum of holiday experiences for couples, families and corporate guests.

Mantra Group CEO Bob East said he was delighted to be launching the Mantra brand in New Zealand with such a high calibre property.

"The acquisition of this modern and superbly appointed property is the ideal springboard into New Zealand for Mantra Hotels, Resorts & Apartments,'' he said.

Mr East said that he was looking forward to expanding the highly successful Mantra brand throughout New Zealand.  Mantra Resorts is currently Australia's fastest growing hotel brand.

"Just one year old and situated on the waters edge of Lake Wakitipu, Mantra Marina Resort perfectly embodies the ideals of Mantra - one of the most popular hotel brands in Australia, known for its superior accommodation in major corporate and leisure destinations,'' he said.

Located on Frankton Road, just four minutes drive from Queenstown central and the airport, Mantra Marina Resort comprises 52 keys made of hotel rooms plus one, two and three bedroom apartments.

Featuring the breathtaking Remarkables mountain range as a backdrop and boasting immediate lake frontage, Mantra Marina Resort offers spacious and private light-filled apartments with king beds, luxurious soft furnishings, quality linen and personal amenities.

Golfing, boating, wineries, walking trails, winter skiing and a host of adventure sports are within easy reach of the property.

For bookings or further information call 13 15 17 or visit www.mantra.com.au


Fiji named best value overseas destination for Australians


- Fiji pips Bali and Bangkok to claim number one spot

Fiji has been named best value overseas destination by the influential online travel portal www.wego.com.au .

Fiji pipped both Bali and Bangkok to reach the number one spot.

Criteria for the inline survey was based on value of airfares, hotel rates and dollar for dollar value within individual destinations.

The top 10 listing follows:

1    -   Fiji
2    -   Bali
3    -   Bangkok
4    -   Shanghai
5    -   Singapore
6    -   New Zealand
7    -   United States
8    -   Phuket
9    -   Canada
10  -   Tokyo


Monday, December 14, 2009

Captain Cook's Reef Escape aground after cyclone - all safe

Captain Cook Cruises’ Reef Escape sustained some damage after the vessel stuck a reef during the cyclone.

Reef Escape was subjected to an unexpected severe change in weather conditions during Cyclone Mick on Mon, which led the Master to beach the vessel in the interest of safety forthe ship, passengers and crew.

The cruise line says all pax are safe and uninjured and being offered necessary support.

Source: Travel Daily


Summer in Thredbo is Cool



Thredbo is open and all go, with a mountain full of fun for every member of the family. There’s a great backyard to explore and plenty of in-resort activities to keep everyone busy, and being so close to the top of Australia the options are endless.

The ski boots are now well and truly packed away, hiking boots are now the norm and standing before you are the majestic Australian Alps showcasing some of countries best alpine experiences.

Thredbo Summer highlights:
· Hike to the top of Mt Kosciuszko (only 6km’s from the top of Thredbo)
· Mountain bike the cross country trails or the Thredbo Downhill
· Fly fish the famous Snowy Mountains waterways
· Guided mountain walks
· Wander through the wildflowers
· Kosciuszko Sunset Walk
· Early morning walk – the bird song is amazing
· Stay for 3 pay for 2 package thredbo.com.au/deals

For those who like to stay in-resort Thredbo has a plethora of activities to keep you busy.
· Kosciuszko Express Chairlift for scenic trips or access to the High Country
· Thredbo Bobsled
· Australia’s highest golf course, AGU rated 9 hole and very pretty (tricky too)
· Tennis courts
· Thredbo Leisure Centre with a water slide, 50m and 25m heated pool, squash court, gymnasium, bouldering wall, and basketball courts.
· Self guided walks
· Shopping
· Dining
· Thredbo Ski Museum

Plus the summer calendar is full of fab events with something sure to pique your interests.
· New Years Eve
· Holiday activities including The Lavender Lily magik show and creative workshops
· Blues Festival
· CMC Rocks the Snowys
· BMC – Mountains to the Beach mountain bike adventure
· Mountain biking competitions
· Jazz Festival

thredbo.com.au or call the Thredbo Resort Centre on 1300 020 589

Allow Extra Time For Christmas Travel


Sydney Airport has asked passengers to allow extra time to travel to the airport and catch their flights over the Christmas holiday period.

The Christmas – New Year holidays are the busiest time of year for Sydney Airport with many people travelling to spend Christmas with their families.

The weekend before Christmas is usually the most popular time to travel – so Friday 18th and Saturday 19th December are expected to be the busiest days. Coming back, Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd 2010 are also expected to be busy.

The CEO of Sydney Airport, Russell Balding, said that people should allow adequate time to get to the airport.

“Allowing extra time will make travelling a lot less stressful should there be traffic or other delays.

“To avoid any inconvenience at the security screening points, passengers are reminded to please check the Australian Government’s security regulations for international and domestic travel.

“Please don’t pack scissors or pocket-knives in carry on luggage and remember that there are restrictions on liquids (including water), aerosols and gels for international travellers,” Mr Balding said.

To avoid delays at security screening passengers can check the information about prohibited items and restrictions on liquids, aerosols and gels at http://travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au/ .

Passengers travelling overseas will also notice changes at Sydney Airport’s International Terminal as progress on a major upgrade continues. The new passenger processing area for customs and security screening is now operational.

There are also new food and drink options including the Bambini Wine Room, Seafood Bar and Wagamama. New shops include Lonely Planet, Burberry and Beach Culture. For a full list of the new shops visit: www.sydneyairportshopping.com.au
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