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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Top International Holiday Destinations for Australians and Best Deals to Get You There


AUSSIES SAY: BRING ON BALI

The latest Hotels.com® Hotel Price IndexTM (HPI®) shows Aussie holidaymakers are continuing their long love affair with Bali, with the Indonesian island paradise ranking as the most popular international holiday destination for Australians in 2014.

Arcadia Suites Bangkok

The Hotels.com data also revealed a resurgence in the popularity of Thailand, with the west-coast beach town of Patong and the Thai capital, Bangkok, both landing up among the top 10 most popular international destinations for Aussie travellers.

Meanwhile Singapore held its position as the third most popular international destination for Australians, while Tokyo moved up two spots to fifth position followed by Hong Kong.

Thanks in part to a weaker Aussie/US Dollar exchange rate in 2014, the resurging popularity of Asia has largely come at the cost of US destinations. New York and Honolulu were the only two US destinations to make it to the top 10, while even the bright lights of Las Vegas lost their shine, dropping seven places to 12th place this year.

The Hotels.com® HPI® captures hotel prices in major destinations across the world and is based on bookings made on Hotels.com®.

Commenting on the report, Katherine Cole, Regional Director for Australia, New Zealand & Singapore for Hotels.com®, says the figures show Australians are becoming savvier with their spending and are looking for better value-for-money destinations closer to home.

“One of the best ways to reduce holiday costs is by taking advantage of the many competitive deals and promotions available. As the hotels experts, Hotels.com offers a wide range of hotel choices, helping holidaymakers get more bang for their buck,” she says.

Top 10 international destinations for Australian travellers:



For Aussies planning on travelling to one of the nation’s top four much-loved international destinations, Hotels.com® has rounded up the best deals to get you there:

Bali



This magical paradise is home to some of the world best beaches, top-notch restaurants and cultural activities, so it’s easy to see why it’s Aussies’ number one international holiday destination. From relaxing by the pool in your own private villa, mountain bike riding through the tranquil hills of Ubud or visiting the endless bars and nightclubs in Seminyak, Bali has a little something for everyone.

Rooms at the Semara Resort and Spa in Seminyak, start at $A13
3 per room per night*. To book a stay at the The Semara Resort and Spa, visit: http://au.hotels.com/ho374192/semara-resort-and-spa-seminyak-seminyak-indonesia/ or call 1800 687 236

New York



The Big Apple is known as one of the biggest and greatest cities in the world. With endless attractions including Time Square, the Statue of Liberty and Grand Central station, you’ll be visiting some of the world’s greatest landmarks all in one spot. Stroll along the High Line above Manhattan’s West Side, indulge in a spot of shopping down Madison Avenue, or treat yourself to a delicious slice of pizza at the infamous Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn.

Rooms at Ameritania at Times Square in New York start at $A177 per room per night*. To book a stay at the Ameritania at Times Square, visit: http://au.hotels.com/ho163728/ameritania-at-times-square-new-york-united-states/ or call 1800 687 236

Singapore



Singapore may be one of the world’s best shopping and dining destinations, but don’t let that fool you. Take time to explore the Botanic Gardens alongside groups practising Tai Chi, catch a bird’s eye view from the Singapore Flyer or soak up the rich culture at Thian Hock Keng, one of the oldest and most important Hokkien temples in Singapore.

Rooms at the AMOY Singapore start at A$247 per room per night*. To book a stay at the AMOY Singapore, visit:http://au.hotels.com/ho439593/amoy-singapore-singapore/ or call 1800 687 236

London



This vibrant city never disappoints, visit Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guards, take a ride on the London Eye or visit the world renowned TATE Modern. Shop to you drop in Harrods, catch a show in the theatre district, or visit the mummies at the British Museum. With something for everyone, London is a city not to be missed.

Rooms at the 196 Bishopsgate London start at A$259 per room per night*. To book a stay at the 196 Bishopsgate London, visit: http://au.hotels.com/ho212071/196-bishopsgate-london-united-kingdom/ or call 1800 687 236


^Hotel Deals: Price quoted is per room per night based on two people sharing and is inclusive of all fees and taxes. Rates are subject to availability. Minimum stay requirements and black-out dates may apply. Prices are available as of 29 January, 2014. Prices may fluctuate due to changes in taxes, fees and currency. Visit www.hotels.com for full terms and conditions.

Sigatoka River Safaris celebrates nine years



A ‘Simply Unforgettable’ Nine Years

The award winning Sigatoka River Safari, Fiji is celebrating its 9th birthday on 09 March, 2015 and to thank past guests for their support, they are running a Facebook photo promotion that will see one lucky passenger win a return trip for two to Fiji flying Fiji Airways and a Sigatoka River Safari and Off Road Caves Safari tour for two people.

“Celebrating our 9th birthday is a huge milestone for our Sigatoka River Safari team. When we started out, we had a vision for our Safari adventure to become one of the most popular in Fiji and we wanted a way to thank and re-engage with our friends who have been on Safari and who have helped make this tour as successful as it is. With over 12,000 Facebook followers we thought a photo Facebook promotion would be a fun way to do this and would allow our friends to re-live their favourite Safari moments.” Said Jay Whyte, Managing Director, Sigatoka River Safari.




Monday, February 2, 2015

New Caledonia: an underwater playground for diving enthusiasts


Photo: Martial Dosdane


NEW CALEDONIA AN UNDERWATER PLAYGROUND FOR DIVING ENTHUSIASTS

Explore the diving hot spots of New Caledonia

New Caledonia is an underwater playground and a diver's delight on Australia's doorstep. Situated in the world's largest lagoon, the second largest barrier reef and home to one of the largest nature preserves on Earth, it is no wonder New Caledonia has so many diving hot spots.

Le Parc Naturel de la Mer de Corail or 'the Natural Park of the Coral Sea' is New Caledonia's nature preserve covering more than 1.3 million square kilometres and consisting of around 450,000 hectares of coral reefs, 25 species of marine mammals, 48 shark species and five species of sea turtles. With thousands of incredible coral reefs, gardens and atolls and a huge range of dive sites to choose from, here are our top tips for a mix of wreck dive sites, cave dives and incredible marine life.

Photo: Pierre Laboute

Spectacular pyramid reef formations
The Baie de Prony (Prony Bay) sits at the southern end of the main island, Grand Terre in New Caledonia. The landscape around the bay is characteristic of southern New Caledonia with the earth's vivid red/orange colour. Prony Bay itself is rich in coral, unique shells, and marine life, and is a popular stopover and anchorage for yachts. Discovered in 1979, the bay is also home of L'aiguille de Prony, or the Needle of Prony, a spectacular pyramidal reef formation sitting at 35 metres depth, 15 metres at the base and rising to just six metres below the surface. Divers liken it to a bell tower of a cathedral.

Daïman Reef at Hienghène
Located in the North Province of New Caledonia is Daïman Reef, a cavernous rift where divers must sink deep before swimming into a tunnel and emerging into an area bustling with marine life. The dive continues into the void and along a high wall, with the seabed more than 55 metres below. Divers find themselves accompanied by parrotfish, tuna, barracuda, tazars, and the occasional grey shark. Between October and November is recommended for the best underwater show. The garden of Eden on the Isle of Pines For the more experienced diving enthusiasts, head to the Isle of Pines. Here you divers find a series of rifts between five and 50 metres deep create an undulating expedition between canyons, grottos, tunnels and swim-throughs caves with an abundance of marine life. Recommended for experienced divers only.

Dieppoise wreck in Nouméa
It's no wonder that Noumea, being the capital of New Caledonia, has some fascinating wreck dive sites. The last wooden patrol boat of the Royal Navy that sunk in 1988 has now become a superb dive site. Located just 26 metres underwater and with myriads of fish and new reef systems formed around the wreck, this site is a great dive for beginners and easily accessible from Noumea.

As one of the closest overseas destinations to Australia, New Caledonia is an ideal destination for Australians looking for a Pacific holiday with a difference, converse in French in a Pacific Island paradise.





For more information on New Caledonia visit www.haveitall.com.au.


















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