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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More For Less On Your Fraser Island Holiday



Fraser Island’s untamed wilderness and rugged, natural charm entices from the first moment - providing 4WD adventure and excitement and a relaxing resort atmosphere that’s perfect for family holidays.

And to celebrate the school holidays, Kingfisher Bay Resort has released a ‘More for Less on Fraser’ deal which makes vacationing with the family a whole lot easier on the hip pocket.

Book a getaway to the award winning eco tourism resort and travel before October 31 for just $99 per person per night in hotel resort accommodation and you’ll receive hot buffet breakfast and return marine transfers. And as a special ‘More For Less’ bonus, kids (14 years and under) can stay and eat for free*. Upgrades to interconnecting rooms, are also available for just $100 per night.

Lazy days can be spent exploring the national park by four-wheel-drive or on tour and the calm waters of the Great Sandy Strait are safe for older children to canoe, sail, swim and fish or learn to fish.

The resort also offers a number of free ranger-guided activities and nights can be spent relaxing in World Heritage surrounds or taking part in the resort’s eco activity program.

Virgin Blue operates direct jet services daily from Sydney to the Fraser Coast and QantasLink operates daily from Brisbane to the Fraser Coast. Major city connections are available. Kingfisher Bay Resort operates regular ferry services from Urangan Boat Harbour to the island and vehicle barge services operate from River Heads or Rainbow Beach.

For more information call Kingfisher Bay Resort on 1800 FRASER or visit kingfisherbay.com.


*Some conditions apply. Kids Stay and Eat Free, sharing existing bedding. Breakfast and dinner in Maheno restaurant. One child free per one paying adult. Rate based on 2 adults 2 Children.

Oceania Cruises to Visit Africa



Oceania Cruises has announced it’s most extensive and exotic line-up of sailings to Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean for 2010-2011. A limited-time offer of bonus savings of up to $4,200 means that voyages start at only $1,895 per guest.

Offered from November 2010 to April 2011, Oceania Cruises' World Collection features 30 new ports of call, including Cape Town, South Africa; Walvis Bay, Namibia; and Rangoon, Myanmar. Based on feedback from past guests and agent partners, the line has added maiden voyages around Africa plus an expanded range of Asia and Caribbean cruises.

"Our loyal repeaters and first-time guests alike will appreciate the richness and diversity of our new World Collection," stated Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises' president. "We continually seek out new and intriguing destinations to delight travellers while providing the greatest possible value and Oceania Cruises' acclaimed onboard experience."

Africa & Asia - Nautica
With itineraries from 15 to 35 days, Nautica will focus on Asia with eight unique cruises, seven of which are new. For the very first time, the line will visit majestic Africa. Enchanted Africa is a grand 30-day voyage from Istanbul to Cape Town which is followed by Safaris, Sands & Splendours - a new 35-day cruise from Cape Town to Singapore via the Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

South America - Insignia
For 2011, Oceania Cruises' Insignia will operate all-new itineraries. Guests can choose from seven 12- to 22-day cruises that visit the exotic coastal villages of Brazil and cosmopolitan icons like Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. The ship even offers a taste of remote reaches on Antarctica & the Fjords, a 22-day voyage that includes the Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands and Chilean Fjords.

Caribbean & the Panama Canal - Regatta
One of the company's most popular itineraries - Amazon Adventure - is a 24-day round-trip sailing from Miami onboard Regatta. This voyage annually sells so briskly the company has added a second departure in mid-March. Also new are two, 10-day Mayan Mystique cruises to western Caribbean ports and a 14-day Southern Treasures sailing, which combines the warmth of the tropics, the history of the Colonial South and the charm of Bermuda.

About Oceania Cruises:
Oceania Cruises is the world's only upper-premium cruise line and offers an unrivalled combination of the finest cuisine at sea, elegant accommodations, exceptional personalized service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 300 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard three luxurious, 684-guest ships: Regatta, Insignia and ,Nautica. The 1,258-guest Marina, the first ship designed specifically for the Upper Premium market segment, joins the fleet in late 2010.

About Prestige Cruise Holdings:
Prestige Cruise Holdings is the parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Formed in 2007 to manage select assets in Apollo Management's cruise investment portfolio, PCH is led by Chairman and CEO Frank Del Rio, the founder of Oceania Cruises. PCH is the market leader in the upper-premium and luxury segments of the cruise industry with nearly 4,000 berths between the Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow.

Oceania Cruises to Visit Africa



Oceania Cruises has announced it’s most extensive and exotic line-up of sailings to Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean for 2010-2011. A limited-time offer of bonus savings of up to $4,200 means that voyages start at only $1,895 per guest.

Offered from November 2010 to April 2011, Oceania Cruises' World Collection features 30 new ports of call, including Cape Town, South Africa; Walvis Bay, Namibia; and Rangoon, Myanmar. Based on feedback from past guests and agent partners, the line has added maiden voyages around Africa plus an expanded range of Asia and Caribbean cruises.

"Our loyal repeaters and first-time guests alike will appreciate the richness and diversity of our new World Collection," stated Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises' president. "We continually seek out new and intriguing destinations to delight travellers while providing the greatest possible value and Oceania Cruises' acclaimed onboard experience."

Africa & Asia - Nautica
With itineraries from 15 to 35 days, Nautica will focus on Asia with eight unique cruises, seven of which are new. For the very first time, the line will visit majestic Africa. Enchanted Africa is a grand 30-day voyage from Istanbul to Cape Town which is followed by Safaris, Sands & Splendours - a new 35-day cruise from Cape Town to Singapore via the Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

South America - Insignia
For 2011, Oceania Cruises' Insignia will operate all-new itineraries. Guests can choose from seven 12- to 22-day cruises that visit the exotic coastal villages of Brazil and cosmopolitan icons like Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. The ship even offers a taste of remote reaches on Antarctica & the Fjords, a 22-day voyage that includes the Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands and Chilean Fjords.

Caribbean & the Panama Canal - Regatta
One of the company's most popular itineraries - Amazon Adventure - is a 24-day round-trip sailing from Miami onboard Regatta. This voyage annually sells so briskly the company has added a second departure in mid-March. Also new are two, 10-day Mayan Mystique cruises to western Caribbean ports and a 14-day Southern Treasures sailing, which combines the warmth of the tropics, the history of the Colonial South and the charm of Bermuda.

About Oceania Cruises:
Oceania Cruises is the world's only upper-premium cruise line and offers an unrivalled combination of the finest cuisine at sea, elegant accommodations, exceptional personalized service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 300 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard three luxurious, 684-guest ships: Regatta, Insignia and ,Nautica. The 1,258-guest Marina, the first ship designed specifically for the Upper Premium market segment, joins the fleet in late 2010.

About Prestige Cruise Holdings:
Prestige Cruise Holdings is the parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Formed in 2007 to manage select assets in Apollo Management's cruise investment portfolio, PCH is led by Chairman and CEO Frank Del Rio, the founder of Oceania Cruises. PCH is the market leader in the upper-premium and luxury segments of the cruise industry with nearly 4,000 berths between the Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow.

Oceania Cruises to Visit Africa


Oceania Cruises has announced it’s most extensive and exotic line-up of sailings to Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean for 2010-2011. A limited-time offer of bonus savings of up to $4,200 means that voyages start at only $1,895 per guest.

Offered from November 2010 to April 2011, Oceania Cruises' World Collection features 30 new ports of call, including Cape Town, South Africa; Walvis Bay, Namibia; and Rangoon, Myanmar. Based on feedback from past guests and agent partners, the line has added maiden voyages around Africa plus an expanded range of Asia and Caribbean cruises.

"Our loyal repeaters and first-time guests alike will appreciate the richness and diversity of our new World Collection," stated Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises' president. "We continually seek out new and intriguing destinations to delight travellers while providing the greatest possible value and Oceania Cruises' acclaimed onboard experience."

Africa & Asia - Nautica
With itineraries from 15 to 35 days, Nautica will focus on Asia with eight unique cruises, seven of which are new. For the very first time, the line will visit majestic Africa. Enchanted Africa is a grand 30-day voyage from Istanbul to Cape Town which is followed by Safaris, Sands & Splendours - a new 35-day cruise from Cape Town to Singapore via the Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

South America - Insignia
For 2011, Oceania Cruises' Insignia will operate all-new itineraries. Guests can choose from seven 12- to 22-day cruises that visit the exotic coastal villages of Brazil and cosmopolitan icons like Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. The ship even offers a taste of remote reaches on Antarctica & the Fjords, a 22-day voyage that includes the Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands and Chilean Fjords.

Caribbean & the Panama Canal - Regatta
One of the company's most popular itineraries - Amazon Adventure - is a 24-day round-trip sailing from Miami onboard Regatta. This voyage annually sells so briskly the company has added a second departure in mid-March. Also new are two, 10-day Mayan Mystique cruises to western Caribbean ports and a 14-day Southern Treasures sailing, which combines the warmth of the tropics, the history of the Colonial South and the charm of Bermuda.

About Oceania Cruises:
Oceania Cruises is the world's only upper-premium cruise line and offers an unrivalled combination of the finest cuisine at sea, elegant accommodations, exceptional personalized service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 300 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard three luxurious, 684-guest ships: Regatta, Insignia and ,Nautica. The 1,258-guest Marina, the first ship designed specifically for the Upper Premium market segment, joins the fleet in late 2010.

About Prestige Cruise Holdings:
Prestige Cruise Holdings is the parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Formed in 2007 to manage select assets in Apollo Management's cruise investment portfolio, PCH is led by Chairman and CEO Frank Del Rio, the founder of Oceania Cruises. PCH is the market leader in the upper-premium and luxury segments of the cruise industry with nearly 4,000 berths between the Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crown Towers and Crown Promenade Hotel Launch Spring Racing Carnival Offers



Crown’s two award-winning hotels are extending Spring Racing Carnival accommodation rates between 30 October until 5 November 2009. Crown Towers’ is available for $800.00 per room, per night while Crown Promenade Hotel is available for $515.00 per room, per night. Both hotels have strictly limited availability and a minimum of a three night stay is required.

Rates prior to Friday 30 October and from Friday 6 November until Thursday 7 January 2010 are $350.00 per room, per night at Crown Towers including a bottle of premium sparkling wine on arrival, breakfast for two at the Conservatory and valet parking. A special package prior to Friday 30 October and from Friday 6 November until Thursday 7 January 2010 is $260.00 per room, per night at Crown Promenade Hotel including a bottle of premium sparkling wine on arrival, breakfast for two at Mesh restaurant and valet parking.

Crown Towers’ is arguably Australia’s most refined and inviting hotel experience, offering guests an unrivalled level of luxury, comfort and technology. Crown Promenade Hotel is renowned for offering excellent value, service and facilities in a welcoming and stylish environment.

Terms and conditions do apply. Bookings may be made by contacting Crown Towers reservations on 03 9292 6868, toll free on 1800 811 653, by email to reservations@crowntowers.com.au.

The Elandra a Honeymooners Tropical Paradise



The Elandra Resort, Mission Beach is the perfect place for couples to let love bloom on their honeymoon.

As a boutique 4 and ½ star resort, The Elandra is a hip, cool and sexy destination in Tropical North Queensland, only two-hour’s drive from Cairns.

Translating from Aboriginal as ‘home by the sea’ The Elandra features a stunning pool perched on cliff top overlooking the magical Coral Sea with uninterrupted views of Dunk and Bedarra Island.

Each of the Elandra’s 55 unique suites is nestled amongst the lush tropical rainforest and is connected by an elevated timber boardwalk. The Elandra contains a fine dining restaurant, extensive wine list, glamorous cocktail bar, tennis court, stylish boutique and in-room massage services for the upmost in relaxation.

Billed as where the safari meets the sea, The Elandra channels exotic and enticing themes from as far as Mozambique and Morocco. All Elandra suites offer rainforest or ocean views and are an eclectic and stylish mix of zebra skin, striking tribal arts and artisan furniture. Be beguiled by the charms of Safari Suite room, the African Queen or the Elandra King Suite.

The Elandra invites you to open your heart to the possibilities of pleasure.

Perhaps you may be interested in a private picnic at nearby Lovers Bay, South Mission Beach, or even a visit to Dunk Island on your own chartered boat. Alternatively reef tours and snorkeling trips are also an ideal way to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef’s natural beauty at first hand.

If you prefer to stay sedentary with the one you love, whisper sweet nothings while sipping cocktails by the plunge pool or watch the moon rise over Dunk Island from a private table for two.

For the outdoor extreme sport types, Mission Beach offers skydiving, crocodile spotting tours, rainforest walking tracks, diving, water rafting, water skiing, fishing and more.

The Elandra offers a 2009 Honeymoon Package for couples seeking a unique and intimate getaway, as well as a variety of wedding options for those who want to exchange or renew their vows in this extraordinary tropical paradise.

• THE ELANDRA HONEYMOON & ROMANCE PACKAGE INCUDES:
• 2 nights in King Suite
• Full hot breakfast for 2 nights / 2pax
• Picnic hamper on secluded Lover’s beach
• Seafood dinner for 2 pax OR 2 x 1 hour massages
• TOTAL VALUE: $1,500 (HIGH SEASON)
• *Minimum of 2 pax, subject to availability, dinner is three courses (alcohol not included)
• *A weekly package can be devised on request
www.elandraresorts.com

Culture & Arts Highlights in Hawai'i



Hawaii’s multi-cultural environment fosters an arts and culture scene that is extraordinary, dynamic and colourful. The following schedule offers some highlights from the various arts and cultural events for the period from October 2009 – December 2009.

On Maui the 4th Annual Maui ‘Ukulele Festival is taking place on October 18. The festival will be celebrating the beloved 'ukulele, the iconic instrument of modern Hawaiian music. The full afternoon line-up of ‘ukulele music features Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winners, Grammy nominees and a mixture of kūpuna players and young rising stars. www.mauiarts.org/oct.html.

Oahu is bringing you the 29th Annual Hawai‘i International Film Festival from October 15 – 25. Established in 1981, the Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF) is dedicated to the advancement of understanding and cultural exchange among the peoples of Asia, the Pacific and North America through the medium of film. Last year, this audience-driven film festival attracted over 70,000 movie-lovers, who came to experience the sounds and images of excellent filmmaking from around the world. www.hiff.org.

To get your caffeine fix head to Hawaii's Big Island for the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, November 6 – 15. Since its inception in 1970, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival’s mission has been to preserve, perpetuate and promote Kona’s 180-year coffee heritage. It is Hawai‘i's oldest food festival and the only coffee festival in the United States. This year’s celebration will have nearly 50 events including tastings, art exhibits, cupping competition, farm tours, contests, parades, sporting events, and special events. www.konacoffeefest.com.

The island of Kauai will be holding the Hawaiiaa Festival & Aloha Week from October 18-21. This four-day event will showcase local artisans, cultural demonstrations, workshops and crafts at the annual Grand Hyatt Kauai Hawaiiana Festival. Crafters, cultural demonstrations and entertainment will be held throughout the day along with a Hawaiian style buffet in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Cultural demonstrations and workshops will be held at various times from the 2oth-22nd. www.gohawaii.com/event?id=10577.

For more information on culture and art events in Hawaii please visit http://arts.pacificnetwork.tv/
To learn more about Hawai’i, the Islands of Aloha, and the great value packages that are available please visit http://www.gohawaii.com/au/

Drive A Different Classic Car Every Day


Leading special interest operator, Elite Special Event Tours has released their popular English Classic Car Tour programme for 2010 priced from $10,999 pp/twin share inclusive of return air fare Sydney/London Heathrow, car rental, accommodation, car insurance, English breakfast daily, five dinners and three pub lunches.

The ultimate open-road tour for classic car enthusiasts, guests drive an array of classic roadsters each day of the tour - including a Jaguar E-Type, an Austin Healy 3000, a Triumph Stag and a MGB Roadster - visiting charming villages along England’s country lanes and highways. Complementing the tour is Elite Special Event Tours’ exclusive entrance to the Silverstone Classic, a superb racing event and track made famous by drivers such as Stirling Moss.

Sleep in on Sundays with Stamford's New 3pm Checkout Deal



Why get up on Sunday morning when for an extra $30 on top of your room rate you can stay in bed until 3pm at any of Stamford’s hotels in Australia and New Zealand.

Not the sleeping in type? Early birds can spend the extra time lingering over a sumptuous buffet breakfast or enjoying a long lunch in one of the hotels restaurants or bars.

You’ll have more time to fully enjoy the hotel’s services and facilities and explore local attractions – the ultimate in weekend luxury.

To book your *Sunday Sleep In, please send an email to reservations@sscq.stamford.com.au or contact your hotel of choice directly by calling the reservations line on 1300 301 391 (Australia), 0508 658 888 (New Zealand). For further information, please visit www.stamford.com.au

*Conditions Apply. Sleep In with Stamford is subject to availability

Editor’s note: Stamford Hotels and Resorts is one of the largest owner/operators of premium quality hotels in Australia and New Zealand with over 2000 rooms, 2000 employees and residential assets. The Group operates eight hotels in the 5 and 4.5 star market segments with a unique portfolio of landmark premium and luxury hotels in key geographic locations - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Auckland. It was formed in 1995 by its parent company, Stamford Land Corporation Ltd (formerly known as Hai Sun Hup Group Ltd), one of Singapore's best-known public companies.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Go Off-Road with KEA



The warmer weather is coming and, to celebrate, KEA is offering adventure seekers 25% off 4WD Pop-Top Campervans, for travel between Perth, Darwin, Alice Springs, Adelaide and Broome. The discount is available to all Australian and New Zealand residents for travel from November 15 until February 28, 2010.

KEA’s supercharged 4WD is Australia’s gutsiest rental off-road RV, while also being the safest and most comfortable. The customised Toyota Troop Carrier has been created for the adventurous explorer, providing a monstrous 4.5L V8, 150kw turbo diesel engine. Combined with improved suspension, halogen headlamps and four-wheel disc brakes, KEA’s off-road campervan can go harder and further without compromising comfort, safety and handling.

The model troop carrier chassis also makes KEA’s the sleekest 4WD campervan around, with new fenders, bumpers and bonnet creating a more streamlined appearance. Specially-constructed bulkheads keep all living necessities such as crockery, cooking equipment, two burner stove and bedding securely stored for little movement for travelling over the rough terrain.

“Any true traveller will tell you of the thrill of being able to go where few have gone before! Our 4WD campervan is designed for exactly that, and does it like no other rental off-road camper can,” said Lynn Briggs, Marketing Manager for KEA.

“There are so many fantastic places to explore from Perth to Broome to Adelaide and we think there is no better time to get out there and make the most of it than in the coming months.”

KEA’s 4WD Pop-Top also features a 38L fresh water tank and twin 90L fuel tanks which, with an average consumption rate of 14 L per 100km – a huge bonus considering most rental 4WD campervans in Australia consume fuel at a rate of around 20L per 100km.

Cabin air conditioning, ventilated sleeping and living areas and sliding, fly-screened rear windows make it more comfortable to travel in the hotter regions and months, while the well-designed indoor dining and living area makes best use of the space available in the rear of the camper. Every KEA 4WD campervan also has three separate power sources – 240V battery, 12V house battery and solar power – to ensure travellers never run out of juice.

KEA’s 25% discount is available to all Australian and New Zealand residents for travel between November 15 and February 28, 2010, between Perth, Darwin, Alice Springs, Adelaide and Broome. For more information or to make a booking, visit www.keacampers.com.au, email reservationsau@keacampers.com or phone 1800 252 555.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Peru: It’s mummy mania


Buried in a country riddled with murder, mystery and a million years of intrigue, another mummy bites the dust.

A 2,000 year old mummy was found with legs bound by a cord in the foetal position, in the Northern Highlands of Peru a couple of weeks ago.

This new discovery by a team of Japanese archaeologists comes just after PromPeru’s announcement to hold media conferences and travel trade workshops about a ‘Super-Mummy’ – La Senora de Cao - another important find.

La Senora de Cao (the Lady of Cao) was the first known governess of Peru. A museum dedicated to her was opened in April of this year and is already drawing record numbers of tourists.

“Mummies are found here all the time” said Rosana Guinea PromPeru’s Coordinator for Oceania.

“Peru is a great destination for Indiana Jones type of travellers who want adventure and the opportunity to explore ancient civilizations.” she added.

Learn more about Peru’s fascinating mummies at the media conferences and travel trade workshops help by PromPeru, in Sydney and Melbourne late October.

For information call 02 9997 1526, email peru@miraworld.com or watch the video

Ryanair to allow passengers to ‘smoke’ on board



with Similar Smokeless Cigarettes

Ryanair, the World’s favourite airline, today (20th Sept) announced that smokers no longer have to worry about long flights without a cigarette as it launches a new range of Smokeless Cigarettes to ensure passengers get their required nicotine hit without breaking the law by ‘lighting up’ onboard their aircraft.

In a recent survey over 24,000 Ryanair passengers said they would like to smoke during flights. However, smoking on commercial flights has been illegal since the 1990’s but now to cater to passengers’ demands Ryanair has introduced Similar Smokeless Cigarettes, which look and feel like a real cigarette and deliver a small amount of nicotine through inhalation – passengers do not light the ‘cigarette’.

Ryanair’s new Similar Smokeless Cigarettes are available to passengers over 18 years of age and are sold in packs of 10 onboard all Ryanair flights for just €6. Similar Smokeless Cigarettes contain no toxins or chemicals and are harmless to the user and to those around them.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said, “Ryanair’s low fares, unrivalled punctuality, least lost bags and fewest cancelations of any major European airline deliver exactly what passengers want. Now, to help passengers who like to smoke and find it difficult to travel on an aircraft for a couple of hours without getting their nicotine hit Ryanair has launched Similar Smokeless Cigarettes.

Ryanair’s Smokeless Cigarettes deliver a similar level of nicotine to traditional cigarettes and are available in packs of 10 for just €6. As these cigarettes are smokeless they cause no discomfort to other passengers and can ensure a more enjoyable and stress free flight for all passengers as non-smokers will no longer have to cope with moody smokers in need of nicotine.”

Smokeless Director Chris Parsons said, “Yet another first for Ryanair – now it’s also the smokers’ favourite airline.”

Cruise Passenger Magazine - Spring Issue

Why has European river cruising more than doubled in popularity for Australians in a year when we’re supposed to be broke? Where are the best river cruises in Europe, Asia, Russia, America and Africa? What do you need to know if you’ve never been on a river cruise before?

Cruise Passenger
magazine’s annual River Cruising Guide, free with the spring issue on sale now, has all the answers.

Cruise Passenger is Australasia’s leading cruise publication, dedicated to providing its discerning readership with news, reviews and in-depth features about ships and destinations by the best travel and cruise writers in the business.

Must-read features in the spring edition of Cruise Passenger include:
  • New Season Special: the inside story on ships, trips, ports and itineraries as the new cruising season Down Under launches with more on offer than ever before
  • Australia’s fabulous Kimberley: the essential cruising guide to this magnificent wilderness region
  • Destination Asia: it’s close to home and offers an amazing array of cruise and travel experiences – no wonder we’re queuing up to book cruises there.
In this issue, readers can also win these great prizes:
  • European river cruise for two, worth $13,500
  • 2 return business-class Emirates flights from Sydney to Auckland
  • $4,500 Orient-Express holiday anywhere in the world
  • Panasonic Lumix digital camera, Velbron tripod and LowePro backpacks

The ‘bible’ of cruising is available at selected newsagents and by subscription for an amazing $29.95 a year for 4 issues, including the annual River Cruising Guide and Adventure Cruise Guide – call 1300 668 905 for details.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sleep in on Sundays with Stamford's New 3pm Checkout Deal


 
Why get up on Sunday morning when for an extra $30 on top of your room rate you can stay in bed until 3pm at any of Stamford's hotels in Australia and New Zealand.

Not the sleeping in type? Early birds can spend the extra time lingering over a sumptuous buffet breakfast or enjoying a long lunch in one of the hotels restaurants or bars.

You'll have more time to fully enjoy the hotel's services and facilities and explore local attractions – the ultimate in weekend luxury.

To book your *Sunday Sleep In, please send an email to reservations@sscq.stamford.com.au or contact your hotel of choice directly by calling the reservations line on 1300 301 391 (Australia), 0508 658 888 (New Zealand). For further information, please visit www.stamford.com.au

*Conditions Apply. Sleep In with Stamford is subject to availability

Editor's note: Stamford Hotels and Resorts is one of the largest owner/operators of premium quality hotels in Australia and New Zealand with over 2000 rooms, 2000 employees and residential assets. The Group operates eight hotels in the 5 and 4.5 star market segments with a unique portfolio of landmark premium and luxury hotels in key geographic locations - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Auckland. It was formed in 1995 by its parent company, Stamford Land Corporation Ltd (formerly known as Hai Sun Hup Group Ltd), one of Singapore's best-known public companies.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Closing Soon: Cruise Passenger Magazine annual Readers Choice Awards


Readers are invited to vote across a number of categories for their favourite cruise experience. Each year this is voted on by Cruise Passengers from around Australasia. This important award recognises the view of the real cruise passenger and provides genuine feedback and praise to the industry rewarding them for their product, service and creativity. This year’s prestigious awards will be the biggest ever culminating in an event one evening this December to celebrate the winners at Orient Express’s Observatory Hotel. One lucky entrant will win a holiday to the value of $4500 at one of Orient Express’s hotels worldwide.

Among others, key categories include:

* Best Cruise Ship (across 3 different size categories)
* Best Adventure/Expedition Ship
* Best Individual Cruise Agent
* Best Multiple Cruise Agent

With the launch of www.cruises.com.au, we have extended the vote out even wider. This year we invite you and your customers to vote. Those in the industry have just as much right to vote as you have all cruised. So please fill out the form attached and press submit and then send to register your vote or visit www.cruisechoice.speedsurvey.com and vote online. Remember you don’t need to fill in every category - just the ones that are relevant to your experience. We would encourage you to pass this email onto your cruise clients so they can register their opinion on their favourite cruise experience and maybe even vote for you! Entries close at the end of October.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

RISING DOLLAR DRIVING AUSSIES OVERSEAS


The rise of the Aussie dollar is driving Australians overseas, according to Australia’s premier car rental wholesaler, DriveAway Holidays.

It says the current record highs of our dollar against the English Pound has seen a marked surge in UK self-drive holiday bookings in the past 3 months.

And combined with cheap airfares, our stronger dollar against the US-dollar has also lead to DriveAway Holidays’ strongest bookings to the USA for some time, and suggestions our dollar could hit 90c against the US-dollar will mean huge savings for travelers going to the ‘States.

DriveAway Holidays says that one week’s rental of an economy car in the USA would have cost AU$370 in March, but today it costs just AU$315 - including a free tank of fuel and 3 additional drivers*, giving saving of over $300.

Michael Hay, Chief Executive Officer from DriveAway Holidays says, “We’ve had a great year for the UK and USA. But the increased demand, as well as reduced fleet numbers globally means that availability will be very tight over the Christmas period, so we advise booking early to take advantage of the great deals currently in the market.”

*The bonus inclusions of a free tank of fuel and additional drivers in the USA are available for bookings made and paid by Friday 9 October only. Bookings can be made online at www.driveaway.com.au or call 1300 723 972.

Cruise Remotest Papua New Guinea With Aurora Expeditions


Aurora Expeditions offers travellers the chance to experience the rich cultural heritage and unspoilt nature of Papua New Guinea with two new adventure cruises taking in the Sepik River on board the luxury ship Oceanic Discoverer in 2010.

Aurora has added some new sites to its itineraries, exploring some of the least visited regions of the country including the remote communities of the Sepik River.

Village life along the Sepik remains virtually unchanged since European explorers made first contact in the 1800s. The local Sepik people are among the greatest primitive artists on Earth, and the skills of its craftsmen are legendary.

The voyages, departing in November 2010, will also visit the Trobriand Islands, known as the 'Islands of Love'; the D'Entrecasteaux island group; Bismark Archipelago and Kimbe Bay, one of the richest and most diverse coral reef environments in the world.

Aurora Expeditions places emphasis on a combination of interactive experiences with the environment and a strong educational element. Assisted by a team of expert lecturers, these expeditions aim to provide authentic experiences with the people of PNG and give a genuine insight into traditional lifestyles that have changed little in centuries.

Spacious viewing decks and purpose-built excursion boats make Oceanic Discoverer an excellent vessel for an in-depth exploration of PNG's hidden bays and coral reefs.

Prices start from AU$8,650 per person twin-share (ex Cairns and Rabaul), including all meals on board, shore excursions and lectures.

For more details or to obtain a copy of the new 2010 Papua New Guinea brochure (which will be released in October 2009), contact Aurora Expeditions on 1800 637 688, visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au or email auroraex@auroraexpeditions.com.au

Monday, September 21, 2009

100 Great Australian Holiday Homes



The Great Holiday Homes of Australia have been revealed in the latest issue of Australian Traveller magazine.

Just in time for Christmas, the leading domestic travel magazine has researched the amazing array of Australian holiday homes with some surprising results.

The houses selected range from just $150 per night to $4290 per night. The houses also range from the beach shack to the opulent Palm Beach or Portsea weekender, tropical rainforest lodges to bush hideaways.

According to the magazine, the holiday home is the ultimate Australian getaway lodging.

“Spending a weekend – or even an entire week – in a holiday home with family or friends is about as good as it gets,“ says Australian Traveller editor Greg Barton. “So it makes sense to research and publish some of the great homes that are known and even better – the hidden gems.” “For example, there is the iconic Pole House on the Great Ocean Road. But I love the quirky Mulberry Mansion in suburban Fremantle, or the inexpensive Partridge Cottage at Byron Bay, or how about the multi million-dollar Amileka in the Byron Bay Hinterland?” The criteria to be selected by the
magazine as a great holiday home was based on a balance of different styles of homes, locations and budgets.

“From fascinating furniture to amazing locations to intriguing history, each of the 100 homes has a unique appeal – and caters to all budgets,” Barton continued.

According to the latest research 51% of all travellers' accommodation in Australia was in a private home or holiday rental.

The full list is available at www.australiantraveller.com



Also in the issue:

10 Things To Do In Australia Before You Turn 10

The 100 Great Australian Holiday Homes are featured in the Oct/Nov ‘09 edition of Australian Traveller, on sale Wed September 23.

Plot a Course for Anchorage, Where Kids Stay and Eat Free



The blue water paradise of Port Stephens beckons for your next holiday adventure with this great deal to Peppers Anchorage combining deluxe accommodation, action aplenty and awesome value for money.

Designed with togetherness in mind, Peppers Anchorage’s tranquil surrounds make for the perfect destination to reconnect as a family, indulge in a spa treatment, enjoy a gourmet beach picnic or savour delicious food and wine at Merretts Restaurant which offers flexible dining to suit all ages.

You’ll never be at a loss for something to do in this action-packed aquatic playground, with local activities and attractions including snorkelling, cycling, horse riding, dolphin spotting, surf lessons, golf, fishing, sea kayaking, family friendly beaches, 4WD and camel tours to name a few.

With its outstanding service and facilities, Peppers Anchorage provides the perfect base for a family getaway to discover the delights of Port Stephens these school holidays. The resort has rates from a low $175* per night for an Anchorage Room with kids staying and eating for free, valid for sale until October 16 and for travel from October 5-16, 2009.

Nestled between rugged bush and the sparkling ocean where it enjoys an absolute waterfront location, Peppers Anchorage exudes a distinctive nautical feel.

Offering 80 family sized rooms and suites with private balconies – most peering over sparkling water or the quiet marina - the retreat features a host of leisure options to satisfy the senses such as an inviting guest lounge, billiard room, sauna, steam room, gymnasium, pool and day spa with pampering massage and beauty treatments.

A gourmet’s paradise, the resort is home to Merretts Restaurant, regarded as one of the region’s finest.

For bookings or further information call 1300 987 600 or visit www.peppers.com.au/anchorage

*Conditions apply. Subject to availability. 3-12 years olds eat and stay free when dining and staying with adults, sharing existing bedding. Valid for sale to 16 Oct 09. Valid for travel 5 – 16 Oct 09. Available Sunday to Friday.

Cruise Remotest Papua New Guinea With Aurora Expeditions



Aurora Expeditions offers travellers the chance to experience the rich cultural heritage and unspoilt nature of Papua New Guinea with two new adventure cruises taking in the Sepik River on board the luxury ship Oceanic Discoverer in 2010.

Aurora has added some new sites to its itineraries, exploring some of the least visited regions of the country including the remote communities of the Sepik River.

Village life along the Sepik remains virtually unchanged since European explorers made first contact in the 1800s. The local Sepik people are among the greatest primitive artists on Earth, and the skills of its craftsmen are legendary.

The voyages, departing in November 2010, will also visit the Trobriand Islands, known as the ‘Islands of Love’; the D’Entrecasteaux island group; Bismark Archipelago and Kimbe Bay, one of the richest and most diverse coral reef environments in the world.

Aurora Expeditions places emphasis on a combination of interactive experiences with the environment and a strong educational element. Assisted by a team of expert lecturers, these expeditions aim to provide authentic experiences with the people of PNG and give a genuine insight into traditional lifestyles that have changed little in centuries.

Spacious viewing decks and purpose-built excursion boats make Oceanic Discoverer an excellent vessel for an in-depth exploration of PNG’s hidden bays and coral reefs.

Prices start from AU$8,650 per person twin-share (ex Cairns and Rabaul), including all meals on board, shore excursions and lectures.

For more details or to obtain a copy of the new 2010 Papua New Guinea brochure (which will be released in October 2009), contact Aurora Expeditions on 1800 637 688, visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au or email auroraex@auroraexpeditions.com.au

Orion 2010 Kimberley expeditions


Highlights of the Kimberley that stimulate the mind and capture the spirits

During 2010 the luxurious expedition cruise ship Orion explores the Kimberley coastline with a series of 10 night expeditions departing May, June, July and September.

Create your own dreamtime stories when you join Orion's specialist Expedition Team in the Kimberley to view pre-history aboriginal rock art, land on remote islands and beaches and explore gorges, inlets and serpentine waterways or climb to the plateau next to the highest waterfall in the Kimberley, King George Falls.

Conveniently embarking and disembarking in Darwin or Broome, Orion's 10-night voyages combine the contrasts of exploring the ancient and magnificent Kimberley wilderness, incredible at-sea experiences and the historic pearling town of Broome with its cafes and art galleries. 

Orion's guests will see art galleries of another sort at Vansittart Bay - Gwion Gwion (Bradshaw) Aboriginal rock art depicting highly adorned and decorated figures. Believed to be as much as 50,000 years old, these paintings, possibly the oldest known to man, record times when humans first explored this ancient continent.

At Raft Point and Bigge Island, Orion's Expedition Team will take guests to see aboriginal art including the mythical Wandjina tribe on a 'Great Fish Chase' featuring images of the Wandjina spirits with their distinctive halos and dugong, crocodiles, fish and snakes.

Crocodiles love the Hunter River and it is no wonder, flanked with lush green mangroves and soaring ochre cliffs - arguably one of the most scenic parts of the Kimberley coast - Orion's guests too will wonder at this extraordinary environment as they venture into the labyrinth of waterways in search of saltwater crocodiles to photograph.

An amazing event unfolds at Montgomery Reef. Arriving at high tide, in waters rich in marine life (including whales, dolphins, dugong, turtles, manta rays and black-tipped reef shark), there is very little to distinguish Montgomery Reef. However, as the 10 metre tide changes it drops faster than the waters trapped inside the reef can escape and a raging torrent of water cascades over the top as kilometres of reef emerge from the ocean.

Prepare to get wet as Orion's Zodiacs will take intrepid guests into a channel in the reef as water cascades down either side.

At Talbot Bay, Orion's guests will experience another mighty Kimberley feature - the Horizontal Falls, a by-product of the incredible 10 metres high tidal movements the region experiences. The falls are created when water, trapped on the inland side of gaps in the coastline cannot escape fast enough on a falling tide, rushes out through the narrow gap to the ocean side.

The 12km journey up the King George River, either by helicopter or Zodiac, reveals some of the world's most spectacular scenery including vertical canyon walls and the highest single-drop waterfalls in the whole of the Kimberley. Who will resist the optional flight-seeing excursion offering a wonderful view of the falls, as well as the rugged, complex system of gorges behind?

Voyage early in the season, following the annual 'Big Wet', to see the waterfalls at their most magnificent; while late July and August is the prime time to see migrating whales in the Kimberley. And what better way to see the largest Humpback whale population in the world as they head north from the Antarctic to rest and calve than from onboard Orion?

With fishing, scuba diving, hot air ballooning and camel safari's to try out there is plenty to do when Orion visits Broome. Inherited from its early pearling days, its colourful history and cosmopolitan feel is still evident. Guests can relax, enjoy the pristine white sand and swim in the clear waters of Cable Beach, wander Chinatown or visit Gantheaume Point, home of 130 million year old dinosaur footprints.

These voyages exemplify expedition cruising with Orion. Adventure, excitement and dramatic sea and landscapes combine with outstanding levels of service and comfort on-board to stimulate the mind and capture the spirits.

Orion's Kimberley season runs from May to September, offering guests a range of twelve 10 night cruise itineraries between the tropical city of Darwin and historic pearling town of Broome (and vice versa).

Kimberley Expedition –10 nights. Darwin/Broome and v.v. typically including King George River and Falls, Vansittart Bay, Bigge Island, Hunter River (for Mitchell Falls), Montgomery Reef and Raft Point, Talbot Bay/Horizontal Waterfalls, Cape Leveque, the Lacepedes – refer to specific itineraries for details.

Fares Guide:

Early booking savings available

2010 Kimberley Expedition fares begin from $9,100 per person for an ocean view Category B Stateroom. Junior Suites begin from $12,660 per person for a Junior Suite and Owners Suites with French Balcony are $19,055 per person

Expedition fares per person twin occupancy include accommodation, all meals, landings and selected activities ashore.

Ranked #2 expedition cruise ship in the world in the current Berlitz Cruise Guide, Orion is the world's latest purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship, featuring an unmatched range of onboard facilities.

With 75 crew and a maximum of just 106 passengers Orion offers the highest staff to guest ratio and guest to public space ratio of any ship based in Australian waters.

Further information on all Orion 2010 Expedition Cruises to Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, New Zealand, the Kimberley and Arnhem Land can be obtained by visiting the website www.orionexpeditions.com

For reservations or to obtain a brochure call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) or your travel agent. Email: info@orioncruises.com.au

Chardonnay on the nose, according to new Mercure wine survey


Aussie wine drinkers favour ‘local’, despite Kiwi sauv blanc assault


21 September 2009: A national survey of wine drinking habits by one of Australia’s largest hotel groups – Mercure – has highlighted that chardonnay’s grip on the palate of Australian wine drinkers is rapidly loosening, with sauvignon blanc dominating the preferences of white wine drinkers.

Although New Zealand sauvignon blancs maintained a high popularity, with some persuasion local sauvignon blancs were beginning a fight-back and there was a distinct preference for wines from the local State.

There was some experimentation with newer varietals such as pinot gris/grigio for whites and temparanillo and sangiovese for reds, but generally red wine drinkers voted for the most traditional of reds – shiraz, even if it increasingly involved an added dollop of viognier in the blend.

Not so fortunate was another old Australian favourite – riesling – which continued to garner only minority interest, despite its popularity with wine judges and other professionals.

The survey was conducted across the Mercure hotel network, which comprises 23 hotels in every State of Australia. Each Mercure hotel surveyed wine drinking habits in their bars and restaurants to determine changing trends over the past two years. The results were compiled and released as part of the launch of the Mercure Grands Vins spring/summer wine selection.

Mercure Grands Vins offers guests staying or dining at Mercure hotels around Australia specially-designed wine lists showcasing the most attractive wines of their local State. There are specific regional wine lists compiled for NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland – Mercure is the first major hotel group in the State to offer a specialist Queensland wine selection.

Every wine offered has been selected by an expert tasting panel comprising sommeliers, wine connoisseurs and food and beverage professionals, and, importantly, final judging is conducted with appropriate food courses to ensure the wines are “food friendly”. Some 80% of wine sold at Mercure hotels is consumed with food, so compatibility with food was a major judging criteria.

Summary of major findings:

· Chardonnay is the fastest declining white wine variety

· Sauvignon blanc is the dominant white wine choice, with growth of 47% over the past two years, with Mercure Townsville reporting a 70% increase and Mercure Parramatta a 75% growth in demand for SB and SB blends.

· New Zealand sauvignon blanc is still the preferred SB, but local SB and semillon sauvignon blanc wines are fighting back (“We push a local SB over NZ SB and find positive feedback from guests. 95% purchase the Victorian SB” – Mercure Melbourne)

· Wine drinkers are resisting the “riesling renaissance” – “Riesling is still assumed to be sweet and it is very hard to sell a non sweet Riesling” – Mercure Geelong

· Pinot gris/grigio’s surge appears to have slowed over the past year. Other white wine varieties such as verdelho (NSW/Queensland) and chenin blanc (SA) retain popularity in States where the variety is prominent

· While shiraz (overwhelmingly) and cabernet blends are the largest selling reds, pinot noir is the fastest growing red wine choice (particularly in Victoria & Tasmania)

· Local is king – “Guests are turning away from brand names and are looking for something regional and different. They are willing to spend extra to get quality as long as they see the value for money in the product they purchase – Mercure Hobart. “There’s a very strong push to buy local, with only New Zealand sauvignon blanc being the exception,”- Mercure Ballarat.

· Not much change in men’s preference for red over white wine, but women are ordering more sauvignon blanc, quality sparkling and lighter bodied reds

· Growing demand for food-friendly wines – “People are becoming more experimental, wanting to try different kinds of wines as well as showing greater interest in matching it with food. More guests are moving away from heavy bodied wine and want to try light, fruity and easy to drink wines,” – Mercure Cairns

· There has been a 31% increase in by-the-glass sales over the past year – “Our feedback from the Grands Vins selection is that people want to experiment, so they will often choose two or three different wines from the selection during their meal. The key factor is the pricing of wine-by-the-glass,” – Mercure Perth

“The aim of the survey was to choose the Spring Grands Vins wine selections according to the changing tastes of our guests,” said Greg Brady, co-ordinator of Mercure’s Grands Vins programme in Australia.

“While the survey reflected what many people already suspected – that poorly made, over-oaked chardonnay was on the nose with the wine-drinking public – what also came out of the survey was that there has been some renaissance for newer-style chardonnay and, as a chardonnay lover myself, that was very encouraging,” said Mr Brady.

“What also came out strongly was that both guests and local diners alike want to have a taste of their local region, especially when they dine out at a restaurant. Mercure hotels have always positioned themselves as the ‘keys to the region’, providing an authentic taste of the city or the region in which they operate, so the Grands Vins selections are an important component of that local experience.

“Equally important is the pricing. We want to dispel the myth that good wine is only associated with high-end restaurants and high-end prices. Mercure’s Grands Vins shows it is possible to enjoy great wines – many from smaller vineyards - at very attractive prices.”

The Grands Vins wine list is designed to make wine selection easier, grouping wines in four particular styles – fresh and tasty; fruity and light; balanced & elegant and spicy and full bodied – to help guests choose the most suitable wine for every occasion and for every dish, while introducing wines from a range of distinctive wineries from the State that guests might not otherwise have a chance to experience.

The Mercure Grands Vins regional lists complement each hotel’s standard wine list, which together provide a comprehensive range of Australian wines. Mercure Grands Vins was first introduced in France in 1983, and the programme celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Grands Vins lists are available in 20 countries around the world.

Plot a course to Anchorage where kids stay and eat for free


The blue water paradise of Port Stephens beckons for your next holiday adventure with this great deal to Peppers Anchorage combining deluxe accommodation, action aplenty and awesome value for money.

Designed with togetherness in mind, Peppers Anchorage's tranquil surrounds make for the perfect destination to reconnect as a family, indulge in a spa treatment, enjoy a gourmet beach picnic or savour delicious food and wine at Merretts Restaurant which offers flexible dining to suit all ages.

You'll never be at a loss for something to do in this action-packed aquatic playground, with local activities and attractions including snorkelling, cycling, horse riding, dolphin spotting, surf lessons, golf, fishing, sea kayaking, family friendly beaches, 4WD and camel tours to name a few.

With its outstanding service and facilities, Peppers Anchorage provides the perfect base for a family getaway to discover the delights of Port Stephens these school holidays. The resort has rates from a low $175* per night for an Anchorage Room with kids staying and eating for free, valid for sale until October 16 and for travel from October 5-16, 2009.

Nestled between rugged bush and the sparkling ocean where it enjoys an absolute waterfront location, Peppers Anchorage exudes a distinctive nautical feel.

Offering 80 family sized rooms and suites with private balconies - most peering over sparkling water or the quiet marina - the retreat features a host of leisure options to satisfy the senses such as an inviting guest lounge, billiard room, sauna, steam room, gymnasium, pool and day spa with pampering massage and beauty treatments.

A gourmet's paradise, the resort is home to Merretts Restaurant, regarded as one of the region's finest.

For bookings or further information call 1300 987 600 or visit www.peppers.com.au/anchorage

*Conditions apply. Subject to availability. 3-12 years olds eat and stay free when dining and staying with adults, sharing existing bedding. Valid for sale to 16 Oct 09. Valid for travel 5 - 16 Oct 09. Available Sunday to Friday.

New System to Identify Hotel Room Trashers



Ubid4rooms Debuts System to Help Travellers Avoid Guests Behaving Badly


Australia’s world-first flexible rate website, Ubid4rooms.com, has become the first accommodation site in the country to activate a new service – Guests Behaving Badly – that automatically alerts hotels to troublesome customers at the time of booking.

Guests Behaving Badly (GBB) - www.guestsbehavingbadly.com.au - provides hospitality members access to an online database used by hotels to identify guests with a recorded history of anti-social, intimidatory and destructive behaviour. GBB members can also lodge verified complaints against hotel customers on the database.

The founder of www.ubid4rooms.com, Gary Berman, said the GBB database would automatically alert hoteliers if customers booking via Ubid4rooms were on the database.

“We’ve introduced access to the GBB system via Ubid4rooms to help hotels avoid troublesome customers and ensure consumers enjoy a trouble-free stay,” Mr Berman said. “Prevention is better than a cure and what GBB does is provide peace of mind and security for everyone staying in a hotel and those who manage and own the property.”

Mr Berman said hospitality providers were keen to minimise the hefty cost and effects of inappropriate behaviour such as theft, vandalism, large parties, loud noise , offensive behaviour and misuse of facilities.

“The vast majority of hotel customers are dream guests but there are individuals who have little or no respect for the property or rights of others and GBB helps hotels pro-actively manage this risk. We felt GBB was an important service to offer Ubid4rooms customers and the properties who bargain with our customers to fill beds.”

Ubid4rooms.com allows travellers to make their own offers for rooms up to 28 days in advance at rates better than those advertised. Unlike e-bay auctions, bidders don’t compete against other bidders and confirmation is provided within three hours, often minutes. The process results in a confidential, one-off deal struck directly between the hotel and the customer.

More than 700 properties across Australia are now ‘haggling’ with consumers on the site, including premium properties such as Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast.

“Consumers have become much more savvy and aggressive in their hunt for good deals so hotels need to be more flexible on rates and realise that profits can still be achieved through controlled discounting,” Mr Berman said. “Nothing changes if nothing changes so our bidding system is an ideal way for accommodation providers to try something different to boost business. And GBB is a great new way for hotels and travellers to safeguard their security.”

* For more information on Guests Behaving Badly, visit www.guestsbehavingbadly.com.au.

Register with Velocity Hotels and Win!



Dreaming of a luxurious trip for 2 to beautiful Fiji? Why not enter our competition? Simply tell us in 25 words or less why you deserve a relaxing beach holiday. The most creative answer will win!

PATA Gold Awards 2009


The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2009 PATA Gold Awards, sponsored by the Macau Government Tourist Office. This year the awards recognise the achievements of 24 separate organisations and individuals.

For 2009 there are 23 PATA Gold Awards to be presented, with multiple awards going to Hong Kong Tourism Board, Korea Tourism Organization and Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The awards ceremony takes place on September 25th during PATA Travel Mart 2009 in Hangzhou, China (PRC).

PATA Grand Awards are presented to the outstanding entries in the four principal categories: Marketing, Education and Training, Environment and Heritage. This year the Grand Awards go to Visa Worldwide Pte. Limited (Marketing); Bintan Resorts (Education and Training), Spice Village Thekkady, India (Environment) and Temple Tree, Malaysia (Heritage).

Full list of 2009 PATA Gold Awards

New Zealand Voted Best at Destination Branding


New Zealand has come out on top in a survey asking tourism organisations from around the world to rank the best destination brands.

The survey, published by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and European Travel Commission (ETC) asked 165 National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) what countries they considered to be good at destination branding.

New Zealand received the most nominations, ranking the country as 'best' at destination branding – ahead of India, Spain, Australia, Dubai and Ireland.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton said that, coming in the same year as the 10th anniversary of 100% Pure New Zealand, the survey was a fantastic reinforcement of the effort and perseverance that has gone into building the brand.

Survey respondents cited the consistency and credibility of 100% Pure New Zealand. They said the strong imagery of the campaign, the instantly recognisable brand and the strong positioning statement ("100% Pure") set New Zealand ahead of other destinations.

Respondents praised New Zealand for addressing the country's isolated location "at the edge of the world" and turning that into a positive.

They also considered the brand as successful in "going beyond tourism" to pull-together a number of different sectors under a unified country proposition.

George Hickton said the result recognised the efforts of the tourism industry over the past 10 years in supporting the campaign and delivering on the promises made through '100% Pure New Zealand'.

"A successful brand like 100% Pure is more than just a logo and advertising. The efforts of the tourism industry to deliver quality, innovative products and to reflect the values of the brand in their own work has been critical to its success."

The survey was part of a wider study on what NTOs perceive is important in destination branding, their current branding practices and willingness to share.

The results were published in the recently release ETC/UNWTO Handbook on Tourism Destination Branding.

www.tourismnewzealand.com

Find out more about 10 Years of 100% Pure New Zealand:

http://10yearsyoung.tourismnewzealand.com/

Sunday, September 20, 2009

HEADS HAVE IT ON WILD BORNEO JUNGLE CRUISE



david ellis

WE wonder if we're in some kind of a time-warp.

Snuggling up to our wharf in Borneo's jungle township of Sibu is an oddly-shaped little passenger ship with a circular bow and equally circular forward superstructure. She could, we think, be something straight out of a Kipling tale of Borneo's Raj, or Mark Twain's time on the Mississippi.



Behind us are chaotic old Chinese-style shop-houses. Rainbow-hued structures housing street-level cafés whose plastic tables and chairs litter the pavement, stores that are out of yester-year with everything from food to hardware and clothing vomiting haphazardly across floors and pavements, a mechanical centre at which a half-dozen oil-stained men tinker with 2-stroke motor-cycle and chainsaw motors that erupt erratically into deafening convulsions of life.

And by contrast a snappy Ladies Beauty Salon proudly proclaiming "air-conditioned facilities," and Borneo's biggest produce market.

It is July 2009, but it could just as well be any July in the middle of the last century here in south-western Borneo or in old Malacca or Penang or Phuket.

So we're not surprised to learn than we're amongst colourful little Sibu's just-2000 overseas visitors annually.

We join some fifty other Australian, British and American adventurers and go aboard our quaint-looking craft. But any idea that we are stepping into the hardships of travel of a colonial past are quickly dispelled: this is a brand-new, purpose-built river-boat crafted as meticulously as possible in the style of the ships of the old Irrawaddy Flotilla Company that once chunked the rivers here and "from Rangoon to Mandalay..."

And while the exterior design is yester-year, today's Orient Pandaw – as our ship is named – offers a luxury that Britain's 19th century Raj could only dream of.

Our air-conditioned and ensuited stateroom has a picture window, and we've our own little deck space immediately outside our door to further embace kaleidoscopic views and river breezes.

And Orient Pandaw also has a vast upper-deck viewing area furnished with Raj wicker lounge chairs and tables amid myriad potted plants and palms and under shade cloths… and a bar that dispenses no-charge local beers, spirits and soft drinks (premium imported beers and spirits and wines are available at optional cost.)

And there's a dining room that offers both Asian and Western fare, fusion dishes of the two, fresh local tropical fruits and vegetables, and home-made cakes, cookies and other treats for Orient Pandaw's 56-guests.

Our ship is the newest in a fleet of a half-dozen such teak and brass river-boats opening-up the rivers of Vietnam, Cambodia, Burmah, India and Borneo to tourists.

Scottish entrepreneur and South-east Asian historian, Paul Strachan was fascinated with the story of the original Irrawaddy Flotilla Company that was founded in the 1860s – and which burned all 650 of its ships to the waterline so Japan could not use them to move troops and supplies when it invaded Burma in 1942.



He discovered the remains of one, researched original plans and started building look-alike vessels, but with today's mod-cons (although he eschews in-stateroom phones, mini-bars and TVs.) He's now got a half dozen, with Orient Pandaw the latest and plying Borneo's Rajang River that's the longest in Malaysia.

Our July cruise is the first such in 67 years, and with her shallow draft, where there are no wharves, Orient Pandaw simply nudges up to riverbanks, beaches or jungle clearings and guests gangplank it ashore.

Onboard experts and local guides lead us through villages in which we are as much the centre of interest as these rarely-visited gems are of interest to us. We explore remote "heart of Borneo" forts of the 19th century British Rajahs Brooke, fruit and vegetable farms, sago-making factories, village schools where the kids sing us songs and show us their favourite games, and go on jungle walks.

And visit a traditional Iban longhouse in which 700 people live under one roof – each family's "apartment" fronting a communal verandah that appears to stretch into the mountain mist's infinity.

And to remind us that this was once headhunter country, the longhouse chief proudly shows us a basket of human skulls, trophies of conquests past.

Travel agents have cruise packages that include Malaysia Airlines flights and pre- and post-cruise Borneo and Malaysia stays; or phone Pandaw Cruises on (02) 8080 5622 or log onto australia@pandaw.com

PHOTO CAPTIONS:

[] WALK the plank: Orient Pandaw can nudge up to any shore for guests to gangplank it ashore.

[] AN Iban jungle longhouse: 700 people live under one roof and share a communal verandah that "stretches into the mountain mist's infinity."

[] HEAD count. A Pandaw guest checks out the longhouse's collection of skulls from battles past.

[] RAJAH Brooke's timber-built Fort Emma is 150 years old.

Photos: David Ellis

A Caloundra Escape that's Music to the Ears



October is the ideal time to cruise into Caloundra for a well earned beach holiday when the town comes alive to the sun, surf and soul of its annual music festival.

To be held from October 22-25, the Caloundra Music Festival has again drawn a stellar line up of artistic talent including the Hoodoo Gurus, Augie March, Josh Pyke, James Reyne, Toni Childs, Noiseworks and more.

Their popular sounds will reverberate around the scenic Kings Beach area of town in a family friendly weekend which also features a colourful street parade, roving performers, beach-side carnival, buskers, markets, free children’s entertainment and more in a celebration of culture, community and the environment.

One of Caloundra’s favourite waterfront holiday properties, BreakFree Grand Pacific hits the right note for music fans with rates available during the festival period from just $199* per room per night for a one bedroom garden view apartment.

Enjoying a stunning waterfront position at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast, BreakFree Grand Pacific offers fantastic facilities in a beautifully tranquil setting, ideal for couples and families alike.

With sweeping views of the picturesque Pumicestone Passage and only minutes from the Sunshine Coast’s premier holiday activities, the property perfectly embodies the BreakFree philosophy of offering great resorts at great rates in Australia’s favourite holiday destinations.

The resort features beautifully appointed apartments with private balconies, two spas, baby sitting service, boutiques, café, conference facilities, games room, heated pools set amongst lush tropical gardens, sauna, gymnasium and more.

For bookings or further information phone 132 007 or visit www.breakfree.com.au

* Conditions and minimum stays apply. Subject to availability.

Bonus Kids Cabin



Book a Fiji Island family adventure cruise with Captain Cook Cruises and receive a separate children’s bunk cabin at no additional charge when booking for two or more children aged 3-15 years who are accompanied by adults. Book now and also save up to 25% off the brochure price.

This great family holiday offer is valid for sale and travel on all 3, 4 and 7 night Fiji cruises until March 31st, 2010.

With Captain Cook Cruises discovery-style cruises adults and kids will enjoy an intimate and personal experience of the Yasawa Islands aboard the MV Reef Escape

Kids will never be looking for something to do, with a new and exciting destination to explore every morning and afternoon.

Offering a true cultural experience for the whole family, the cruise visits unspoiled Fijian villages where passengers can interact with the locals, take part in a traditional village sevusevu ceremony and Meke and Lovo feast and even tour a village school where the school children will perform.

There is also plenty of time for fun water activities every day. Kids will love snorkeling over the amazing coral reefs, and swimming in crystal clear waters, while parents can relax on the warm white sands or go diving in spectacular blue lagoons. Families can take a glass bottom boat ride to witness the abundance of marine life that thrives on Fiji’s coral reefs.

Mum and dad can be pampered at the ships Senikai Day Spa, or simply relax on the sun deck by the pool or at the pool bar.

Dining is another vital ingredient of these amazing cruises. Families will enjoy alfresco buffet luncheons and a mix of table d’hote and buffet dinners. Free child minding is available during meal times for children under 7 years.

Adult fares start at $900 per person twin share with children (3-15yrs) priced from $225 for the 3 night Southern Yasawa cruise. For the 4 night Northern Yasawa cruise adult fares start from $1200 per person twin share with children priced from $300. Adult prices for the 7 night Yasawa Islands and 7 night Northern Fiji Dateline Expedition cruise start from $1195 per person twin share with children priced from $525.

Prices include all meals, daily island and water activities, guided island, village and school tours, snorkelling and glass bottom boat tours, use of snorkelling equipment and mini gym, a Lovo feast and kava ceremony, entertainment, child minding during meal times, 24 hour self-service tea and coffee bar and transfers from Nadi and Denarau hotels.

For pre or post cruise accommodation Captain Cook Cruises is offering two nights accommodation for the price of one at the Radisson Resort Fiji, Denarau Island for anyone booked on a three, four or seven night Fiji Islands Captain Cook Cruise. Prices start at only $210 per person twin share for a two-night stay.

For reservations and enquiries please contact Captain Cook Cruises toll free on 1800 804 843, Int +61-2-9206 111, Email: fiji@captaincook.com.au or visit www.captaincook.com.au

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises New 5-day Kimberley cruise



Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises has a new five-day Kimberley coastal cruise to meet demand for shorter excursions from Broome.

The new itinerary includes a 45-minute scenic flight from Broome to meet Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises’ Kimberley Quest II at Arm Point on the Dampier Peninsula, cruising over following days to the Buccaneer Archipelago, Montgomery Reef, Ruby Falls, Raft Point, Doubtful Bay, Sale River, the Horizontal Falls, Cyclone Creek and Crocodile Creek before the return flight to Broome.

Scheduled prices range from $5000 to $6300 a person (depending on cabin), which includes local flights, cruising and guided excursions, all meals and transfers.

Four departures are in March, seven in September and one in October next year. They fit neatly into Kimberley Quest’s 2009 seven and 14-day cruises which Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises has been operating for 14 years.

Contact: Tel 08 9193 6131, or see www.kimberleyquest.com.au.

Additional detail

Waterholes, monsoonal rainforests, fishing and art sites as well as cruising by the region’s magnificent cliffs, inlets and islands are still presented in this five-day package.

The air-conditioned Kimberley Quest II accommodates just 18 passengers in deluxe twin, deluxe double, superior double cabins and an exclusive flybridge double cabin, all equipped with private ensuites. Onboard features include a spa bath on the forward deck, inside dining and bar and casual rear deck.

Holidays For Dogs



…It’s a Dog’s Life
Taking your ‘best friend’ on holiday shouldn’t mean you have to sleep in a kennel! Turon Gates offers the ultimate getaway for animal lovers wanting the best in pet friendly accommodation.

A pleasant 2.5 hour drive from Sydney, Turon Gates Country Retreat is the perfect escape for you and your pooch. The idyllic rural setting provides a spectacular backdrop for adventure. Try your hand at trout fishing, horse riding or canoeing - just some of the fabulous activities available at your request. With 15km of crystal clear trout stream and 6,000 acres of untouched bush land, you and your four-legged friend will have endless opportunities to reconnect with nature. Alternatively, enjoy the tranquil surroundings as you relax in a hammock, under the shade of a gum tree. Rest assured your pet will be safe and secure, with many of the cottages equipped with large covered balconies and gates.

Turon Gates offers comfortable accommodation to complement the peaceful natural surroundings, with rustic riverside cabins or cosy mountain cottages, each accommodating up to 8 people. Don’t forget to bring Fido’s bedding and feeding bowls, there is plenty of room for pets! The retreat is environmentally friendly, using only gas and solar energy. For that truly unique ‘one-with-nature’ experience, choose a camping spot along the retreat’s extensive river frontage. Enjoy the silence of the bush and respect Mother Nature by cleaning up any droppings and other mess.

Share the beauties of the bush with your beloved companion. There is no need to cut your holiday short on their behalf. Turon Gates is the ideal pet friendly holiday destination, offering everything from mountain adventures to riverside relaxation.

CRUISE WEST ANNOUNCES SIX CAPTIVATING VOYAGES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA


 FOLLOWING THE ADVENTURES OF ODYSSEUS


Smithsonian Journeys Guest Speakers, Extraordinary Included Excursions, Air Credit or Free Venice Land Tour and up to 21 Percent Early Booking Savings

  Six distinct Mediterranean voyages, from Alexandria, Egypt to Honfleur, France, mark the second chapter of small-ship exploration line Cruise West's epic world adventure, Voyages of the Great Explorers.  Delving deep into the heart of the Mediterranean -- rich in myth and mystery -- guests will journey to many fabled destinations in Greece and Turkey, and savor the cultural richness and sensory pleasures of Tunisia, Algeria, Italy, Sicily, Malta, Spain, Portugal and France.  Guests can enjoy savings up to 21 percent savings if voyage is booked and paid in full by October 15, 2009.

 There is incredible value with every voyage. In addition to an included excursion at every port, each of the six voyages will be enhanced by an extraordinary 'Ultimate Explorers Experiences' (UEE) excursion, designed to bring guests into direct personal contact with fascinating peoples, cultures and natural wonders.  Engaging presentations by Smithsonian Journeys experts and local acclaimed authorities on the region's culture, history and current events will bring each region to life.

 www.cruisewest.com

Bonus Kids cabin & 25% Off for Fiji Cruise


Book a Fiji Island family adventure cruise with Captain Cook Cruises and receive a separate children's bunk cabin at no additional charge when booking for two or more children aged 3-15 years who are accompanied by adults. Book now and also save up to 25% off the brochure price.
This great family holiday offer is valid for sale and travel on all 3, 4 and 7 night Fiji cruises until March 31st, 2010.
With Captain Cook Cruises discovery-style cruises adults and kids will enjoy an intimate and personal experience of the Yasawa Islands aboard the MV Reef Escape
Kids will never be looking for something to do, with a new and exciting destination to explore every morning and afternoon.
Offering a true cultural experience for the whole family, the cruise visits unspoiled Fijian villages where passengers can interact with the locals, take part in a traditional village sevusevu ceremony and Meke and Lovo feast and even tour a village school where the school children will perform.
There is also plenty of time for fun water activities every day. Kids will love snorkeling over the amazing coral reefs, and swimming in crystal clear waters, while parents can relax on the warm white sands or go diving in spectacular blue lagoons. Families can take a glass bottom boat ride to witness the abundance of marine life that thrives on Fiji's coral reefs.
Mum and dad can be pampered at the ships Senikai Day Spa, or simply relax on the sun deck by the pool or at the pool bar.
Dining is another vital ingredient of these amazing cruises. Families will enjoy alfresco buffet luncheons and a mix of table d'hote and buffet dinners. Free child minding is available during meal times for children under 7 years.
Adult fares start at $900 per person twin share with children (3-15yrs) priced from $225 for the 3 night Southern Yasawa cruise. For the 4 night Northern Yasawa cruise adult fares start from $1200 per person twin share with children priced from $300. Adult prices for the 7 night Yasawa Islands and 7 night Northern Fiji Dateline Expedition cruise start from $1195 per person twin share with children priced from $525.
Prices include all meals, daily island and water activities, guided island, village and school tours, snorkelling and glass bottom boat tours, use of snorkelling equipment and mini gym, a Lovo feast and kava ceremony, entertainment, child minding during meal times, 24 hour self-service tea and coffee bar and transfers from Nadi and Denarau hotels.
For pre or post cruise accommodation Captain Cook Cruises is offering two nights accommodation for the price of one at the Radisson Resort Fiji, Denarau Island for anyone booked on a three, four or seven night Fiji Islands Captain Cook Cruise. Prices start at only $210 per person twin share for a two-night stay.
For reservations and enquiries please contact Captain Cook Cruises toll free on 1800 804 843, Int +61-2-9206 111, Email: fiji@captaincook.com.au or visit www.captaincook.com.au

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Peppers Turns 25, And The Presents Are On Us



When Peppers Guest House opened its doors in NSW’s Hunter Valley in 1984, it marked the dawn of a new era in Australian holiday escapes highlighted by personalised service, luxurious surrounds, fine food and wine.

The formula proved an instant success and its defining elements remain at the core of Peppers Retreats, Resorts & Hotels which turns 25 in October and now boasts more than 25 exquisite properties throughout Australia and New Zealand for that perfect romantic getaway, unforgettable wedding or family escape.

In celebration of 25 years of excellence, guests are invited to join the party with fabulous discounts on Peppers’ award winning dining, indulgent treatments, sweet surprises and fun activities.

Check out these great offers at a Peppers near you, valid for sale until 30 September and for minimum stays of two nights during the month of October, 2009.

At Peppers Guest House where it all began, visitors can celebrate with 25% off a three course dinner for two and 25% off breakfast with rates available from AUD$246* per room per night.

Peppers is offering AUD$25 dining vouchers per person for packages booked a wide selection of properties including Peppers Beach Club & Spa, Palm Cove where rates start from AUD$290* per room per night; Peppers Blue on Blue, Magnetic Island and Peppers Coral Coast, Airlie Beach where deals start from AUD$179* per room per night; Peppers Anchorage, Port Stephens with rates from AUD$225* per room per night and Craigieburn, Bowral with deals from AUD$204* per room per night.

At Peppers Seaport Hotel in Launceston, Tasmania, guests will delight in 25 chocolates per booking and receive a AUD$25 Mud Club Spa Voucher per person with rates available from AUD$250* per room per night. Meanwhile, Peppers Calstock in Deloraine is offering 25 chocolates, one dinner and a personalised 25th celebration menu with rates from AUD$580* per room per night.

The corks are popping at Peppers Clearwater Resort, Christchurch, where guests will receive a AUD$25 bottle of NZ wine on arrival per booking, with packages starting from AUD$225* per room per night.

It’s party time at Peppers Palm Bay in Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands where guests will receive breakfast, dinner, a AUD$25 cocktail per booking and a AUD$25 spa voucher per person, with rates from AUD$600* per room pr night.

And in what should be a big hit with golfers, Peppers the Sands Resort Torquay is offering a AUD$25 dining voucher and AUD$25 golf voucher per person with packages from AUD$194* per room per night, while Peppers Moonah Links, Mornington Peninsula, also has AUD$25 dinning and golfing vouchers with deals from AUD$200* per room per night.

For bookings or further information about these deals, or other great 25th anniversary specials from Peppers visit http://www.peppers.com.au/anniversary-special/

* Conditions apply and blockout periods apply, subject to availability.

Enjoy the Snow...and the Last Week of the Snow Season at Hotham



It may feel like summer elsewhere but it’s “snow time” at Hotham until the end of next week.

With a natural snowdepth base of 62cm, 6 lifts in operation and lots of nice weather days ahead, Spring is a fabulous time to visit the mountains. Sunny conditions, soft snow (good for falling over!), huge discounts on accommodation, value season lift tickets, kids ski free packages and uncrowded slopes provide a perfect environment in which to learn, have some fun at the snow and make final turns for Season 09.

To celebrate the end of Season 09 and to give holidaymakers even more reason to squeeze in a Springtime sojourn, Hotham will host its Spring Carnival from 23 - 27 September. The action-packed schedule means fun for every visitor.


HOTHAM ALPINE RESORT SPRING CARNIVAL SCHEDULE

THROUGHOUT THE CARNIVAL
• First tracks – no aaditional cost with a valid all-mountain lift pass. Be the first on the slopes when Hotham’s famous Heavenly Valley Chairlift opens at 7.30am (weather permitting).
Wednesday – Sunday.
• Kids Treasure Hunt - Throughout the resort, from 9am - 4pm and FREE! Pick up your treasure hunt questions from Guest Services…go hunting…then claim your showbag prize!
• Ski or board with Harry the Snowdragon, Hotham’s mascot – FREE at the Big D and Summit,
10-11am.
• Roving Balloonist & Magician - Watch out for this one man circus of tricks! Ask at Guest Services for location and times each day for the FREE performances.
• Nintendo Wii competitions – choose a sport and have some fun, anytime from 10am-4pm in the Tickets Hall.

22 – 24 SEPTEMBER
• Spring Snowboard Camp – 3 day program for 7-14 year olds, take on the parks and the slopes.
• L’Oreal Women’s Spring Program – ski and snowboard programs for the ladies to improve their skills – includes makeup and ski fitness sessions.
Both programs are $260 with a valid lift ticket (or season pass). Call 03 5150 8880 for information.

WEDNESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER
• Snow Sculpture Competition – FREE at the Big D all day. Build a snowman for your chance to WIN great prizes! Guest Services will judge snowmen and crown a winner at 3.30pm.
• Harry the Snowdragon Show – FREE at the Big D at 4pm. Harry the Snowdragon will perform his live stage show. Make sure you rug up as it is outside!
• Fire Twirling - FREE at the Big D at 6.30pm. Watch Hotham’s fire twirler in action as he gets things started before fireworks kick off!
• Fireworks Spectacular – FREE at the Big D at 6.45pm. Hotham will light up the skies with the highest fireworks display in Australia, exploding in the winter night skies overhead.
• Night Skiing – only $7 for lift pass, starting at 7pm at the Big D. Enjoy the slopes at night under lights! Tickets available at the Big D (weather permitting.)


THURSDAY 24 SEPTEMBER
• Harry the Snowdragon Day – all day and FREE throughout the resort. Grab some Harry wings and a tail from Pinnacle and hit the slopes…if you are spotted with Harry gear on the slopes you’ll WIN a Hotham prize pack!
• BBQ – At the base of Summit from 12pm - 2pm. Grab a snag and enjoy the sunshine!
• Snow Cricket – FREE at the base of Summit from 3.30pm. Get a team together and enjoy a match of snow cricket! Sign up at Guest Services by 2pm.
• Amulet Vineyard Wine Tastings – at Hotham Gallery (Hotham Central) from 4 - 6pm. Drop in to enjoy FREE wine tastings of Amulet's Italian Varietals.
• Movie Night – FREE at Hotham Gallery (Hotham Central) from 6 - 8pm. Watch a movie with your friends while Mum and Dad grab a dinner for two. Fully Supervised. Register with Guest Services before 2pm on the day.

FRIDAY 25 SEPTEMBER
• Snoccè (snow bocce) – FREE at the base of Summit from 12 - 3pm. Grab some friends and take on each other or another snocce team for your chance to WIN great prizes. Snoccé set available for hire from Guest Services.
• BBQ – At the base of Summit from 12pm - 2pm. Grab a snag and enjoy the sunshine!
• Family Trivia – FREE at Chill Bar & Café at 3.30pm. Compete against other families for your chance to be crowned the family trivia champions!

SATURDAY 26 SEPTEMBER
• Footy Weekend 50% off lift passes - Get 50% off your lift pass when you wear the footy jersey of your favourite AFL team. Available all day from Hotham Ticket Offices.
• Grand Final – 2pm at The General, Zirky's and Chill Bar. Watch all of the Grand Final Action on the big screen at any of the listed venues.
• Harry the Snowdragon Show – FREE at the Big D at 4pm. Harry the Snowdragon will perform his final live stageshow for the 2009 season.
• Night Skiing – the FINAL night skiing session for 2009. Grab a lift pass for only $7. Starts at 6.30pm at the Big D. Enjoy the slopes at night under lights (weather permitting).

SUNDAY 27 SEPTEMBER
• Footy Weekend 50% off lift passes - Get 50% off your lift pass when you wear the footy jersey of your favourite AFL team. Available all day from Hotham Ticket Offices.
• 5pm – end of the 2009 winter season!

As originally advertised as of January 2009, Hotham Alpine Resort will close for the 2009 season on 27 September 2009. For information about the Resort and Spring Carnival, visit hotham.com.au
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