Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Get Up & Go, Australia’s premier magazine for grown-ups is out and about now.

Winter reading to warm the cockles of your wandering heart, the glossy travel magazine features an Arctic odyssey (there’s a bear in there!); a royal resort in Thailand, delightful Dalat in Vietnam; a mellow river cruise in Europe, a journey through the Cook Islands and a pearl of a story about Mikimoto san.

Get Up & Go is inspiration plus. In Australia, there are great apples in Orange, large boulders in South Australia, and a ghost in the town of York in WA. And much, much more. Win a P&O Cruises holiday around the Pacific – how terrific!

MS EUROPA: Premiere "Restaurant Dieter Mueller" on Board

- „Restaurant Dieter Mueller" sets sail as of the end of September
- Starred chef Dieter Mueller is patron

The starred chef Dieter Mueller and the company Hapag-Lloyd Cruises are looking forward to a special premiere this coming autumn: Dieter Mueller will be the first starred chef to set sail with his own gourmet restaurant aboard the world's only 5-star-plus ship  MS EUROPA (rating Berlitz Cruise Guide 2010). Following a redesign on the occasion of a shipyard stay in Hamburg in September, the Euro-Asian restaurant „Oriental" on board the EUROPA will be converted into the „Restaurant Dieter Mueller". The starred chef will personally open the restaurant on 29 September in Hamburg.

Alongside MS EUROPA chef Stefan Wilke, who underwent training with the famous German 3-Michelin-star chef Harald Wohlfahrt and will continue to be in charge of three restaurants on board, the renowned starred chef will be the manager and patron of the new „Restaurant Dieter Mueller" and spend 70 days of the year aboard the EUROPA himself. The „Restaurant Dieter Mueller" with 26 seats offers set meals in the evenings and is included in the cruise price.

Dieter Mueller: "For me, this is a great challenge which I am happy to face in view of the extensive experience I have gained. As a premium chef and ambassador of good taste, I am delighted to be accompanying The World's Most Beautiful Yacht and her guests in culinary terms."

"The EUROPA sets standards on a worldwide scale. Since she was first put into service, she has developed from a traditional ship to a lifestyle product. This is also reflected by the gastronomic selection", explains Sebastian Ahrens, Managing Director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. "We are very pleased to present the 'Restaurant Dieter Mueller', the only gourmet temple on the high seas run by one of the best starred chefs in the world."

For more information on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' exciting destinations and itineraries visit For bookings, inquiries or to request a brochure, please look here for your nearest sales agent in your country.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010



Television's Melbourne-based MasterChef judge Gary Mehigan can be forgiven for succumbing to a familiar French feeling when he arrives at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth next month.

The Masterchef – who in a past life worked as a chef at Sofitel in Melbourne – will return to his five-star hotel roots and the Sofitel Luxury Hotels brand to headline a celebrity chef lunch which will take place at sister hotel the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth's Garden Court restaurant on Thursday 15 July.

Prior to finding fame for his television appearances and two award-winning restaurants, Fenix and Maribyrnong Boathouse, Mehigan worked at the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins, where coincidentally he mentored his then apprentice and current MasterChef cohort, George Colombaris.

Sofitel's Celebrity Chef Lunch with Gary Mehigan at Garden Court will be held on Thursday July 15 from 12 noon at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth.

The luncheon offers an opportunity for food lovers to get up close and personal with their favourite MasterChef while being re-introduced to the new menu and offerings available at Sofitel's flagship restaurant, Garden Court.

After enjoying complimentary canapés and drinks on arrival, guests will be treated to a special three course menu designed by Gary Mehigan for the exclusive lunch event at Garden Court, concluding with a live cooking display showcasing the dessert de jour. He will be assisted on the day by Garden Court restaurant's Chef de Cuisine Vincent Girardin.

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth's magnificent restaurant Garden Court brings together an international team with classic French technique and experience. Curved around the hotel's semi-circular rooftop garden, the fifth-floor restaurant has been designed in the style of an urban conservatory, with a striking modern dining room overlooking the hotel's rooftop courtyard, an open kitchen and a stylish room for private dining.

The cost of the lunch event is A$150 per person. Following his appearance at the Sofitel Gary Mehigan will be hosting master classes in Sydney as part of the annual Sydney Good Food & Wine Festival (16-18 July).

For more information visit or call 02 9228 9179 to make a reservation.


With his award-winning establishments, Fenix and Maribyrnong Boathouse, among some of the finest dining experiences in Melbourne, Gary's credentials command attention.

His natural leadership qualities came to the fore in Season One of MasterChef Australia, and this year Mehigan is back to put a whole new horde of cooking hopefuls to the test.

Having received training in world class restaurants, including The Connaught and Le Souffle in London in his early years, Gary has been based in Melbourne since 1991. He has headed the kitchen in some of the city's most prominent restaurants, including Browns, Burnham Beeches Country House and the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins before opening the award-winning Fenix in 2000.

Before MasterChef last year, Mehigan was teaching Australians to cook through the LifeStyle Channel's Boy's Weekend and Good Chef Bad Chef, and just recently crossed over to print with his cookbook Gary Mehigan's Comfort Food.

Biggest Lufthansa lounge at Frankfurt Airport

First dedicated lounge area for children / Summer special for frequent flyers

Spacious with even more room and variety – all that and more add to the attraction of the Lufthansa Business Lounge in Departure Area B at Frankfurt Airport after extensive renovation. Newly reopened right on time as the holiday season gets underway, the lounge will spring a surprise on passengers at the Terminal in the shape of a very special innovation: On an area of close to 1,400 square metres, the lounge offers a first-ever "Jet Friends" lounge for children alongside the customary comfort, bistro and work areas.

Besides a spacious comfort area equipped with leather armchairs and TVs, the bistro in the completely refurbished lounge serves hot and cold drinks, snacks, fruit and meals in a menu that varies with the time of day. In a separate rest room, guests can unwind and relax in peace and quiet or get some work finished in preparation for a business appointment at their destination. They can also freshen up in one of the five shower rooms in the bathroom area.

Fun and games in the first "JetFriends" children's lounge

The biggest Lufthansa lounge in the airline's global route network has a surprise in store for children on the move: The youngest among its clientele now have their own dedicated area to romp about in and play. A kids' corner and playpen will keep the very young quietly occupied, while drawing tables, bean bags, a PC with Internet access and game consoles are available for the older children. For their entertainment, the lounge also has a children's cinema with comfortable leather benches.

Summer special for frequent travellers

Frequent flyers can also make use of a very special offer at the start of the holiday season: Between 24 June and 31 August, they will have the chance of taking their family with them into Lufthansa Business Lounges for a fee of 40 Euros (56 AUS dollars) and make their journey that much more pleasant and relaxed. The offer is valid for spouses or partners and children up the age of 18 in all Lufthansa Business Lounges in Germany and the USA.

Lufthansa lounges, worldwide

The Lufthansa lounge world encompasses around 60 lounges, worldwide, with total floor space of more than 28,000 square metres. Depending on their booking class and customer status, Lufthansa passengers can spend time prior to their flight, unwind, freshen up or work in four different lounge types – First Class, Senator and Business lounges or the Welcome Lounge in Frankfurt. Together with more than 800 lounges made available to Lufthansa passengers by Star Alliance and cooperation partners, Lufthansa offers premium customers a lounge network that ranks among the biggest in the world. To expand and enhance that offer, the airline is investing around 150 million Euros up to 2013 in the construction of new lounges or lounge refurbishment.

Currently, Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines operate flights via 12 getaways from five origins in Australia. Within Europe, the Group's airlines fly to over 150 destinations, offering Australia traveller the most extended network of all airlines.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Byron at Byron Winter Embrace

Be inspired by nature at the stylish and award winning Byron at Byron Resort and Spa. Set within a stunning sub tropical rainforest The Byron at Byron provides an idyllic escape in a relaxed atmosphere.

Byron Winter Escape - Two night winter package

Bordered by beautiful coastline and magnificent rainforest, the stylish coastal town of Byron Bay enjoys pristine beaches, crystal clear water, lively energy and a colourful community spirit. Award winning restaurants, markets, spa and wellness, a wide range of cultural and sporting events, shopping and friendly locals combine to create the unique Byron Bay experience.

For reservations or enquiries please call 1300 554 362


CRUISECO have a range of fly, cruise and stay packages later this year aboard the luxury yachts of Seabourn to the most sought-after ports in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, the Adriatic, Scandinavia and Russia.

Described as "intimate luxury that shuns the ordinary," three of the six yachts of Seabourn carry just 208 guests and the other three 450 guests, with more than one staff member per suite, gourmet dining from menus created by renowned chef Charlie Palmer, open bars serving premium wines, Champagnes and spirits, and a water sports marina unique to Seabourn.

Cruiseco has created a selection of packages that include return air and taxes from Australia, 7-night cruising, and up to 2-nights pre- and 2-nights post-cruise in cities of departure and disembarkation with breakfasts and transfers included.

An example is an 11-night package that includes 7-nights cruising from Monte Carlo in October aboard Seabourn Legend to Rome, with two hotel nights pre-cruise in Monte Carlo and two post-cruise in Rome; ports of call include France's Porquerolles, Sanary-Sur-Mer, Cannes and Calvi on Corsica, and in Italy, Portovenere and Portoferraio

The price for this begins from $7390pp twin-share including return air and taxes from Sydney, pre- and post-cruise hotels, and 7-nights in an Oceanview Suite on Seabourn Legend.

For detailed itineraries and the name of your nearest Cruiseco cruise specialist offering these packages go to

See More of Europe with P&O Cruises World Voyages

P&O Cruises World Voyages has launched its largest European and Caribbean cruise program ever, with seven-day Mediterranean cruises starting from $1059* per person twin share.

The 2011-12 program features seven P&O Cruises' ships sailing 156 cruises to 270 different destinations, including nine new ports of call ranging from the Bulgarian city of Bourgas to Norway's picturesque town of Flekkefjord and historic Zadar in Croatia.

Cruises on offer range in length from two to 36 nights, priced from just $369* per person for a two-night cruise onboard Oriana departing Southampton on June 3, 2011 and visiting Bruges.

A highlight of the new program will be the maiden season of the child-free Adonia which will include voyages to the Mediterranean, Baltic, Black Sea, Northern Europe and around Britain.

Joining the P&O World Voyages fleet in May 2011 and carrying just 710 passengers, Adonia's small size will allow her to take guests to visit off-the-beaten-track destinations, with cruises priced from $1639* per person for a 10-day voyage from Southampton to Italy's Savona, via Portugal, Spain, France and Monaco.

Adonia will also sail a series of fly-cruise voyages in the Mediterranean from November 2011 to January 2012. Fourteen nights of sailing from Trieste to Athens and calling at ports in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Turkey and Greece is priced from $2679* per person, departing on December 6, 2011.

Meanwhile a seven-day roundtrip cruise on board the 116,000-tonne Ventura from Southampton to France and Spain calling at La Coruna, Bilbao, La Rochelle and Brest is priced from $1059* per person twin share.

The family-friendly Oceana will offer a range of cruises in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, including a 12-night roundtrip cruise from Southampton to the Canary Islands priced from $1699* per person.

At the same time, Aurora will offer a 36-night roundtrip cruise to the Caribbean from Southampton departing November 14, 2011, priced from $5569* per person.

Onboard credit bonuses of up to £125 per person are available to all bookings made by December 31, 2010, while P&O Cruises is also offering a free upgrade to all its past passengers who book a cruise from the new program before the end of the year.

For details of P&O Cruises' European program, see a travel agent, call P&O Cruises on 132 428 or visit


Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' MS EUROPA Wins This Prestigious Award for the Third Year In a Row

(New York, NY) June 28, 2010 –For the third time in a row, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' MS EUROPA is the only cruise line in the world to be awarded the prestigious six star diamond award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences is renowned worldwide for awarding excellence in the global travel and luxury services sector. Each year the Academy bestows its coveted International Star Diamond Award exclusively to five star establishments that are deemed to be the pinnacle of quality by its esteemed Board of Trustees.

 "The MS EUROPA is the only ship amongst our members deserving of the six star diamond recognition, it's the most elite of its kind, said Academy president, Joseph D. Cinque. "We believe the MS EUROPA is one of the most beautiful yachts in the world and has earned its right as a six star diamond award recipient for three consecutive years."

EUROPA is the first "all-suites" cruise ship, with staterooms that are never less than 290 square feet, 80% of them having their own veranda, assuring privacy and relaxation. The EUROPA is one of the few ships in the cruise industry that offers guests the largest space per passenger, as well as one of the highest staff passenger ratios, with 280 staff members for max. 408 guests.

The EUROPA offering international cruises (German/English) ensures English-speaking passengers feel comfortable from the moment they step onboard.

For more information on the EUROPA's '10-'11 bilingual itineraries visit or contact one of the sales partners below.

Rev up for Speed on Tweed deals

Image by Peter Finlay

The annual Festival of Speed on Tweed will have hearts racing on the streets of Murwillumbah from September 10-12 and with this year's 'Australian Specials' theme, the event is expected to attract the country's finest, classic all-Australian race cars.

Coinciding with the iconic festival, Peppers Salt Resort & Spa, Peppers Balé Salt and Mantra on Salt Beach are offering a bevy of winning accommodation deals, close to the event, from just $198* per room per night.

Matching first-class facilities with a stunning location, visitors to SALT will enjoy uncrowded patrolled surf beaches, tropical lagoon swimming pools, heated rock pools and spas, tennis courts, gyms, scenic bike paths, The Golden Door Spa and an array of outstanding dining options.

Peppers Salt Resort & Spa has a selection of bed and breakfast deals to choose from coinciding with the big event from $198* per room per night including full buffet breakfast for two. The luxurious Peppers Balé Salt is another stunning base offering one and two bedroom apartments with spectacular ocean views from $379* per room per night. For bookings phone 1300 987 600 or visit

Mantra on Salt Beach also has one bedroom suites from $210* per room per night over the event period. For bookings phone 13 15 17 or visit

*Conditions apply and subject to availability. Block out dates apply. Valid for sale until 12/09/2010 and travel from 10/09/2010 to 12/09/2010.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


A 5-night cruise aboard the luxurious Legend of the Seas from Hong Kong to Vietnam and return, a whole day at Hong Kong's Disneyland, and three more days with a Hong Kong Peak Tram Pass, the 360 Cable Car experience, a 24hr MTR Pass, as well as return air and taxes from Sydney, and even return Airport Express tickets in Hong Kong, is selling through in October of this year from just $2999pp twin-share.

Originally priced thirty per cent higher (from $4269pp) the free passes, entries and transfers alone are worth HK$714pp (approx AU$107,) while cruising aboard Legend of the Seas includes most meals, and use of a stunning array of facilities from an indoor/outdoor pool in a Solarium with sliding roof, to a rock-climbing wall, 9-hole miniature golf course, and an outdoor pool with four whirlpools.

There's also a casino, a choice of themed bars and lounges, an Adventure Ocean youth centre, and ShipShape Day Spa and Fitness Centre.

Legend of the Seas sails from Hong Kong on October 30 this year for Sanya in China, Hue/Danang in Vietnam, Hanoi in Vietnam, and a full day at sea before returning to Hong Kong; there are two nights pre-cruise at Disney's Hollywood Hotel Hong Kong, and two nights post-cruise at the Empire Hotel & Resort in Kowloon (Hong Kong.)

For full details phone 1300 369 848 or visit


Trust House Wings Over Wairarapa 2011 will take place at Hood Aerodrome, Masterton in the heart of New Zealand’s Wairarapa region, from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 January 2011. Widely regarded as one of Australasia’s largest and fastest-growing air shows, Wings Over Wairarapa rivals any show for display content, flying displays and reputation.

Wairarapa’s proximity (only and hour and a half by train or car or 30 minutes by chartered aircraft) to Wellington is a huge advantage for visitors to the show, enabling them to enjoy the many advantages of one of New Zealand’s most exciting cities, while still being close enough to easily commute to the show on a daily basis. A designated air show train service runs to and from Wellington, as does a chartered flight service, on each day of the show, ensuring that patrons can relax and enjoy the day out.

A number of the feature aircraft attending the show have already been announced and are detailed on the show’s recently launched website - These include aircraft from The Vintage Aviator Collection, the largest privately-owned collection of WWI aircraft in the world, which is based at Hood Aerodrome, along with some ‘stars’ from WWII, a number of which will be making their air show debut at Wings Over Wairarapa 2011.

Over 70 aircraft will be displayed at the show representing a unique pictorial account of the history of aviation. While celebrating the historical significance of WWI & WWII military aircraft, the show will also feature displays from other rarely seen vintage aircraft, heart-stopping agricultural displays, gliding, commercial & helicopter displays, home builts, microlights, gyrocopters, jet formations & thrilling aerobatics – truly offering something for everyone! The flying each day will culminate in a dramatic pyrotechnic display and mock air field attack lighting up the skies and thrilling the crowds.

The theme of the 2011 show, ‘We Will Remember’, will celebrate not only the aircraft but the men and women that have shaped the history of aviation, making it a tribute show not to be missed. Veterans from both New Zealand and Australia will be welcomed at the show and there will be a special salute to them during the weekend.

“Wings Over Wairarapa 2011 will really see this event come of age. Now in its twelfth year we are expecting over 50,000 to attend over the three days of the event” says Liz Pollock the event’s manager. “Gates will open from lunch time on the Friday, the shows Official Practice day, to give visitors the opportunity to look around the many trade sites that will be featured and also to watch the various display aircraft go through their paces before the first official day on the show on the Saturday.”

Wings over Wairarapa 2011 will feature a wealth of entertainment on the ground as well as in the sky including
o The Destination Wairarapa marquee featuring some of the best of the regions attractions, products, wine and food
o Feature races
o Children’s entertainment
o Trade sites
o Static displays
o Combined Defense Forces interactive camp
o Vintage stationary and traction engines
o Vintage and contemporary military vehicles
o Movie props and much more!

Continuing the ANZAC theme of the show Grand Pacific Tours and Kirra Holidays have both recently announced tours to Wings Over Wairarapa 2011, a first for the show and a sign of the growing interest in Wings from across the Tasman. Tickets to the show are also available through a link from the Ticketek Australia website


Friday, June 25, 2010

South Africa's Bushmans Kloof on Travel+Leisure's World's Best for Service List


Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat is part of the luxury family run Red Carnation Hotels Collection of exceptionally located properties which are internationally recognised and repeatedly awarded.

The owners have spent a lifetime in the hospitality business and know from years of experience that service is the one thing, more than any other that shapes a guest's entire experience of a hotel. Each Red Carnation hotel is therefore passionately committed to delivering their founder's pledge of "No request too large, no detail too small".

Competing among the worlds finest, Bushmans Kloof has consistently received world-wide acclaim for its commitment to conservation, splendid luxury, signature world-class hospitality and warm, caring service.

Readers participating in the 2010 rating of the "World's Best for Service" in the acclaimed and prestigious Travel + Leisure Magazine World's Best Awards have voted Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat:

Number 1 Hotel in Africa and the Middle East for World's Best Service, achieving a very impressive score of 99.17 points.
Number 2 among the Top 10 Hotels across the globe for Service Overall.

In 2009 Bushmans Kloof received the ultimate recognition of being hailed as the "Best Hotel in the World 2009" by Travel + Leisure.

Bushmans Kloof was also named winner of the renowned Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Award in the category Global Winner of Wildlife Conservations Programs 2009, and was awarded the Relais & Châteaux Environmental Trophy in 2007 for its exceptional environmental and conservation projects.

Managing Director of Red Carnation Hotels in South Africa, Clive Bennett says: 'We are deeply honoured to have been recognized for our service excellence by the readers of this respected magazine. Creating memorable moments for our guests is at the heart of the Red Carnation Hotels' service credo, together with a welcoming 'home from home' atmosphere. Each staff member strives to provide outstanding personal service and we treat our guests as we would treasured family friends. Every member of the team is eager to go way beyond the call of duty, and it is this genuine care and personal interaction that inspires our guests to return again and again. At the core of our operation is a true appreciation of people, those that work with us and those that stay with us.'

The exclusive predator and malaria free sanctuary and spiritual retreat is in one of South Africa's richest natural and historical environments. Nestled in a pristinely secluded reserve, on over 7500 hectares of breathtaking wilderness that offers timeless tranquillity, guests can truly relax, unwind and restore, doing as much or as little as they like, as every moment is entirely their own.

This thriving wilderness reserve is a haven of wellness, rich in abundant fauna, flora and rock art. Set amidst wide open plains, majestic rock formations and crystal clear waterfalls, the mystical energy provides a natural playground for those eager to let their inner selves embrace the essence of life.

A sanctuary for many indigenous plants, animals and birds, it is home to over 35 species of mammals, 150 bird species, and more than 755 indigenous plant species, representing three major biomes (Fynbos, Forest and Succulent Karoo). It is unequivocally recognised as a conservation success story and its projects include providing refuge for the endangered Cape Mountain Zebra and Clanwilliam Yellow Fish; its support of the Cape Mountain Leopard project; and the Clanwilliam Cedar Tree project; as well as alien vegetation clearing. With over 130 ancient Bushman rock art sites in the reserve it is also a South African Natural Heritage Site, renowned as one of the world's largest open air rock art galleries.

Built in the luxurious and grand style one finds in the finest wilderness properties of Africa and the world, with authentic African and South African art and colonial finishes, it has been designed with thoughtful signature touches to provide every comfort, luxury and amenity guests could ever wish for.

The stunning new Spa and riverside spa gazebo offers a wilderness journey to wellness, including a wealth of pampering and restorative treatments, complemented with an extensive range of internationally known brands, as well as indigenous rooibos, flowers and plants.

Head Chef Floris Smith's delicious African fusion cuisine makes full use of the lodge's own fresh organic fruits and vegetables as well as the finest local produce. Each meal is served in a choice of breathtaking dining locations, allowing guests to enjoy the natural beauty and panoramic vistas surrounding the lodge.

Invigorating outdoor activities enable guests to interact with nature in a way they have never done before. These include nature drives, hikes and walks, rock art excursions, mountain biking, canoeing, archery, stargazing and swimming in crystal clear rock pools.

Bushmans Kloof is the ideal escape, offering magical opportunities to embrace the beauty and mysteries of the wilderness, heal the mind and soul. Here guests may enjoy each moment that life has to offer and create meaningful memories that will last a lifetime.

Christmas Cheer Comes Early to Calstock this Year

Get merry this winter with a taste of Christmas hospitality, fine fare and magical memories on offer at Peppers Calstock in Tasmania's picturesque Deloraine.

Enjoy a short getaway of fireside indulgence on our historic estate with our exclusive retreat's special Christmas in July package, available every day throughout July to spread some Christmas cheer in the middle of the year.

Whether your break be for romance or relaxation, Peppers Calstock's perfect location makes it possible to experience a hint of a European Christmas in the magic of winter where often, the Great Western Tiers will have a dusting of snow this time of year.

Cosy on up in the retreat's Drawing Room with a glass of warm mulled wine while warming your hands in front of the open fire, enjoy the tantalising cuisine using local and fresh seasonal produce from the region, and enjoy the spirit of Christmas tradition with a glass of eggnog after dinner by the fireplace.

Christmas in July packages include overnight accommodation, full breakfast, complimentary canapés and pre-dinner drink in the lounge, a sumptuous three-course set dinner created by chef Stuart Godfrey, and complimentary eggnog post dinner in the lounge around the fire. A Garden Queen package is from $505* per couple per night, a Deluxe Queen package is from $605* per couple per night, and a King Spa package is from $675* per couple per night.

Just a 45 minute drive from Launceston, the historic Peppers Calstock retreat is one of Tasmania’s oldest manors – a 19th century Georgian mansion with stunning original features including marble fireplaces, high ceilings with decorative architraves and cedar floors, and delivering elegant boutique accommodation with just seven welcoming rooms and two impressive suites.

Experience Peppers by calling 1300 987 600 or visiting

*Conditions apply. Subject to availability.

Fly Garuda Indonesia to Dubai Starting from $1,276* Return including taxes

Garuda Indonesia is now flying to Dubai and to celebrate the new daily service the airline is offering competitively priced specials.
Bagus Y. Siregar, Senior General Manager Australia/SWP Garuda Indonesia commented: “This new service to Dubai via Jakarta offers our customers an alternative gateway for travel to the Middle East and on to Europe.”

“Flying with Garuda Indonesia, customers will experience the quality expected from an international four star carrier with state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment systems, an in-flight menu designed by the award winning chef William Wongso and a showcasing of warm Indonesian hospitality reflected in the service, on-board decor and staff uniforms.”

Effective immediately, the sale fare offer includes:

Return Economy Class

• Ex Sydney to Dubai via Denpasar or Jakarta for $1,419* per person inclusive of taxes
• Ex Melbourne to Dubai via Denpasar or Jakarta for $1,400 * per person inclusive of taxes
• Ex Perth to Dubai via Denpasar or Jakarta for $1,276 * per person inclusive of all taxes

Return Executive Class
• Ex Sydney to Dubai via Denpasar or Jakarta for $ 4,861 * per person inclusive of taxes
• Ex Melbourne to Dubai via Denpasar or Jakarta for $4,842 * per person inclusive of taxes
• Ex Perth to Dubai via Denpasar or Jakarta for $ 4,547 * per person inclusive of all taxes

Making international travel even more convenient, unlimited free stopovers are permitted each direction in Denpasar and Jakarta; subject to flight routing.

Passengers flying to Dubai via Jakarta will be travelling on the airline’s technically advanced 222-seater Airbus A330-200 aircraft with a two-class configuration - carrying 36 passengers in Executive Class and 186 in Economy Class. In Executive Class the aircraft offers fully reclining flat bed seats with 1.88 metre seat pitch. The aircraft also features individual touch-screen LCD screens in all classes; state-of-art in-flight entertainment systems with touch-screen Audio & Video On Demand (AVOD) delivering a choice of 25 feature films, 250 audio tracks and 25 video games.

For all travel bookings contact Garuda Indonesia on 1300 365 331
*Terms and conditions: Valid for travel from 22 June 2010 until 31 March 2011, seasonal surcharges and blackout dates apply. Advertised fares are for return economy or executive class travel from SYD/MEL/PER and include all taxes, fees and surcharges.

About Garuda Indonesia
Garuda Indonesia is the national airline of Indonesia. It is a full-service network carrier and serves 28 domestic and 18 international destinations. The airline’s main hubs in Indonesia are located in Jakarta and Denpasar. In July 2009, the airline unveiled a new aircraft fleet, new in-flight product, new service concept and a fresh corporate identity to mark the start of its transformation into one of Asia’s most successful and profitable airlines. Garuda Indonesia received its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification in May 2008, recognising that the airline is fully compliant with global best-practice standards for flight operations, aircraft maintenance and safety management systems. In December 2009, the airline was also upgraded to a four-star rating by Skytrax, the global benchmark for airline service standards, confirming the improvement in its front-line product and service quality. Garuda Indonesia became the first Indonesian airline to reopen flights to Europe after the European Union’s (E.U) ban prohibiting Indonesian carriers from operating in European airspace was lifted in July 2009.
Garuda Indonesia has also been named the ‘World’s Most Improved Airline’ at the Skytrax 2010 World Airline Awards in Hamburg, Germany. The airline industry’s most comprehensive and prestigious measure of service quality - based on survey results from nearly 18 million international passengers and involving more than 200 airlines worldwide.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

For all those tourism operators tired of attending conferences that fail to give practical solutions to the twin challenges of sustainability and climate change, finally, there’s an answer that won’t break the bank. Australia’s inaugural Destino Sustainable Tourism Conference is being held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. At a discounted cost of just $250 for ATEC and PATA Members or $400 for all others, it represents incredible value for a 2-day event!

As with other Destino events held overseas, Destino Australia offers first-hand accounts from tourism market leaders who are taking a hands-on approach to managing their environmental footprint and increasing efficiencies to help fatten profit margins. These people are at the forefront of a paradigm shift that is steadily changing how each industry, sector of government and community goes about their everyday business.

They are not scientists, sales people or venture capitalists. They are engineers, general managers, operations managers and auditors; people who are responsible for implementing change and strategising the best ways to position their organisations for growth in a carbon-constrained economy.

Sponsored by global giant Ecolab, Tourism Victoria and Destination Melbourne, Destino Australia presents a unique opportunity to peek behind the scenes of some of the world’s leading businesses, exchange ideas and assess the advantages and disadvantages of sustainable operational practices.

Jon Dee, Founder & Chairman of Do Something! Founder of Planet Ark is keynote speaker and is sure to deliver a rousing speech. Some of Jon's initiatives have become role models for international change. He initiated the successful lobbying campaign for Australia's three year phase-out of incandescent light globes; an initiative that has been adopted by other countries. Jon has also spearheaded the highly successful media campaign to phase-out the use of plastic shopping bags in Australia

Day Two of the event sees a limited number of delegates visit a selection of Melbourne businesses that have been operating in a sustainable manner for a number of years. In the afternoon, delegates can join a famil to Geelong Otway to see how local businesses are lessening their environmental footprints and enjoy one of Victoria’s most beautiful regions along the way.

This hands-on approach to learning is included in the cost, as is lunch on Day One and a copy of Jon Dee’s new book about simple things to do to create sustainable workplaces.

EC3 Global is holding an Environmental Assessment Training Workshop at the Crowne Plaza in the afternoon of the 20th for those who seek to come away with a valuable new skill set. Although this is at an additional cost, the extra $150 (PATA and ATEC) or $220 (others), it’s unlikely to damage the hip pocket of any delegate and those lucky 15 who do take the course will come away with a certificate of achievement.

Destino Australia is likely to be a dynamic forum that will help delegates better understand the difference between being “green” or “eco” and being sustainable to an internationally recognised, verifiable standard.

To find out more and view the program of speakers, topics and training sessions, visit

Adrenalin, Agility and the Arts celebrated in Monaco

Following the excitement of the Grand Prix in Monaco in May, another short, narrow and winding adrenalin-packed course is being created in Monaco, this time for a very different but high profile event being held there this weekend.

The world’s best horse riders will be in town from 25 – 27 June for Monaco’s International Show Jumping, taking on one of the most taxing obstacle courses on the world circuit. Requiring great agility from both the horses and their riders, only the best riders in the world can rise to this challenge, which forms part of the Global Champions World Circuit Tour.

Another celebration of agility and dance is the Centenary of the Ballet Russes (Russian Ballet) that takes place until mid July in Monaco. Over the last few months 200 dance events, 23 premiers and several of the world’s finest dance companies have come together to celebrate 100 years of ballet in the principality.

The Ballets Russes caused great excitement in Monte Carlo 100 years ago, when Russian impresario Sergei de Diaghilev arrived with his dancers fresh from wowing Parisian high society. The Ballets Russes became a way to provide quality entertainment for those being drawn from all over the world to play at the legendary Monte Carlo Casino. The then newly built Opera House designed by Charles Garnier was the spectacular setting for over 80 ballet performances involving the talents of great composers such as Debussy, Strauss and Prokofiev and Russian ballet stars Nijinsky, Balanchine and Anna Pavlova.

After being disbanded in the late 1960s, the illustrious ballet company was resurrected in 1985 by the then HSH Princess Caroline of Monaco and is now known as the Ballets de Monte-Carlo.

The grand finale will take place on the weekend of 3-4 July, when the third and final act will be showcased with long awaited performances, original works by world renowned choreographers and the involvement of the Monaco Fire Brigade for a unique and explosive night. Further centenary performances will continue until 17th July.
Check out

Amazing Value for Sydney’s Best Attractions!

From July 1, 2010 Sydney Attractions Group will launch a range of combination entry passes guaranteed to suit everyone. Whether you’re a traveller from overseas or interstate; a NSW or Sydney resident; an individual, couple, group or family; Sydney Attractions Group has a great value pass to offer you.

Providing entry to Sydney Aquarium and Sydney Wildlife World and Sydney Tower and Oceanworld Manly these are the only tickets that lets you see koalas and kangaroos, one of the world’s largest crocodiles, walk underwater amongst sharks and dugongs, experience the best views of Sydney all within Sydney’s CBD; plus take a trip across the water to dive into adventure at Manly.

The Explore4 Pass – Access to Sydney’s must-see attractions. This pass provides one visit to Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World, Sydney Tower and Oceanworld Manly and it’s valid for three months. It’s the perfect ticket for someone wanting to take in Sydney’s must-see attractions but who has a limited amount of time to discover Sydney. Enjoy four memorable Sydney experiences on everyone’s wish list. Child $29.99 / Adult $49.99

The Unlimited Adventure Pass – The perfect value entertainment solution for families. With the Unlimited Adventure Pass you can visit Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World, Sydney Tower and Oceanworld Manly as many times as you like until June 30, 2011. The sooner you buy, the better the value. So get your kids’ entertainment sorted right up until June 30 next year. Child $39.99 / Adult $59.99

The Annual Adventure Pass - Turn Sydney’s best attractions into your very own backyard. Get even more adventure in your life with the Annual Adventure Pass valid for a year from purchase. You’ll receive unlimited entry to Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World, Sydney Tower and Oceanworld Manly for a whole year. You’ll also receive additional special offers. Child $49.99 / Adult $69.99

With entertaining programs featuring throughout the attractions you’ll always have a reason to come back again and again.

These school holidays don’t miss…

The SHARK HQ exhibit at Sydney Aquarium, premieres Saturday July 3, 2010 and features:

• CSIRO Great White Shark tracking and cutting-edge scientific research
• Shark Hatchery with baby sharks and shark eggs waiting to hatch on display
• Sydney Shark Tunnels - walk underwater and come face to face with one of the world's largest collections of sharks
• Exclusive premiere of footage from the movie “Oceans” and immersive film experience of the world’s best shark footage from National Geographic
• Talks with shark experts
• World’s largest animatronic Great White Shark (in venue from July 12, 2010)

Tickets and more information available at

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bet on a Great Caloundra Holiday

Make the most of life and leisure and bet on a great short break or holiday during a stellar program of racing, fashion, food and entertainment at the Anmel Cherrypicker Hire Caloundra Cup Carnival on the Sunshine Coast from June 29 to July 4.

The carnival is one of the region’s biggest social events of the year and combines all the thrill and excitement of high class thoroughbred horse racing with the chance to take a warm mid-year beach break.

Hosted by Sunshine Coast Turf Club at Corbould Park the carnival starts with a Breakfast with the Stars (Tuesday, June 29), and is followed by the barrier draws (Wednesday, June 30), a Calcutta Sportsman’s Luncheon (Friday, July 2) and then two fabulous days of racing over the weekend (3-4 July) that carries a total of $925,000 in prizemoney.

The chance to win a $2000 prize package to Melbourne Oaks at Flemington is up for grabs during the Fashions on the Field in the lead up to the Anmel Cherrypicker Hire Caloundra Cup on the afternoon of July 3.

Caloundra has fantastic accommodation not far from the Turf Club including the absolute waterfront resort La Promenade set amongst the lifestyle hub known as “The Waterfront - Caloundra’s Boardwalk”. Another centrally located choice is Centrepoint Holiday Apartments with cafes, shops, restaurants, boutique shopping, safe swimming beaches and a range of water sports just a stroll away.

Major attractions include the award-winning Australia Zoo, Aussie World family fun park, the Big Kart Track and Queensland Air Museum.
There are direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast Airport or fly into Brisbane then hire a car or use A1 Airport Transfers for the one-hour journey north to Caloundra.

For more on what to see and do during your stay visit

Game-Set-Match: It's Time for Wimbledon Afternoon Tea and PIMMS

LONDON, June 2010 – Swissôtel The Howard, London has taken advantage of the UK’s flurry of Wimbledon fever and created an afternoon tea to celebrate the upcoming tennis championships. The tea is available from June 1 2010 until the end of the tournament and offers flavoured shortbread biscuits shaped as some of Wimbledon’s most iconic images – tennis rackets, tennis balls, centre net and strawberries; all resting on top of an edible green lawn court.

The distinct afternoon tea, served in the hotel’s Mauve Lounge will treat takers of tea to a colourful miniature representation of the world renowned championships. Traditional finger sandwiches and home-baked scones with ubiquitous strawberry preserve are included on the tier of treats. Chocolate mint cups, pink champagne jelly, strawberry cream tarts and macaroons round off Swissôtel The Howard, London’s Wimbledon-inspired afternoon tea. All patisserie items are baked in-house and hand-finished with utmost precision by head chef Brian Spark and his pastry team.

The afternoon tea set is accompanied by a pot of Twinings tea, or a thirst-quenching jug of Pimms at an additional cost. The Wimbledon Afternoon Tea follows the success of the hotel’s monumental offering of TLSee – Tea-London-Sightseeing. The Wimbledon Afternoon Tea is for anyone looking to sample two of the most quintessential English favourites, tea and tennis.

The Wimbledon Afternoon Tea will be served from June 1 2010 until July 4 2010. Priced at £32 per person, a jug of Pimms can be added from £10 for 0.75ℓ.

Bookings can be made online on or via a phone call at 020 7836 3555.

Hot HAIRSPRAY packages with Mantra

Mantra has created some hair-raising deals to put theatre-goers one step ahead of the crowds flocking to see the strictly limited Melbourne season of the smash hit musical Hairspray.

The international musical theatre phenomenon hits the Princess Theatre stage on 2 October, and is sure to astound Melbourne audiences just as it did during its six-year Broadway run.

As proud accommodation partners of this big production with big heart and even bigger hairstyles, Mantra Hotels, Resorts and Apartments is offering a range of great value Stay & See® packages.

Visitors can enjoy the 1960's tale of teenager Tracy Turnblad's dream come true to dance on a local TV show that transforms her into a celebrity overnight, and also enjoy a premium hotel experience.

There is a wide variety of crowd-pleasing accommodation choices for musical lovers to stay with Mantra in Melbourne's vibrant city centre, all the while taking advantage of Mantra's Stay & See® packages, which start from $230* per person per night twin share and includes a ticket to experience Hairspray.

A magic choice for musical lovers is Mantra on Russell, located in the heart of Melbourne city. Stay & See® packages start from $247* per person per night twin share including a ticket to the show.

Audiences won't be able to resist being swept away to 1960's Baltimore, where they follow Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and big dreams as she sets out to dance her way onto TV's most popular dance show.

Discover if this ordinary girl can realise her dreams, inspire her mum and still have time to win the boy she loves.

This fantastically fun musical has won more than 30 major awards worldwide including the Broadway's Tony Award for Best Musical, London's Olivier Award for Best New Musical and a Grammy for Best Show Album.

For those who have already purchased their Hairspray tickets and are looking for somewhere close and convenient to relax before and after the show, Mantra has a great range of accommodation on offer, with six properties in and around the CBD, and another near Melbourne's airport.

Choose from Mantra 100 Exhibition, Mantra on Jolimont, Mantra on Little Bourke, Mantra on Russell, Mantra on the Park, Mantra Southbank, or Mantra Tullamarine Hotel, all ready to welcome you for a stylish stay.

For bookings or further information phone 13 15 17 or visit

*Conditions apply. Subject to change and availability.


“BIG HAIR, BIG HEART, BIG HIT!” Daily Telegraph UK



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ready, Set, GLOW

Known throughout the world for its cutting-edge culture, innovative and creative arts communities, and beautiful beachfront setting, on September 25, 2010, Santa Monica, California will host, for the second time on Santa Monica State Beach, the nation’s only dusk ‘til dawn biennial outdoor arts festival, known as Glow.

Glow is an all-night cultural experience that is free to the public and features original commissioned exhibits by 25 leading artists from around the world. These artists re-imagine Santa Monica Beach and surrounding areas as a playground for their thoughtful and participatory temporary art installations, using the nighttime backdrop of the legendary Southern Californian beach to bring the artworks dramatically to life.

The 2010 Glow festival promises to dazzle the hundreds of thousands of expected attendees with art exhibits from award-winning and critically acclaimed artists worldwide. To date, Glow 2010 artists include, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot (Séte, France), Lee Boroson (Brooklyn NY), Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Montreal, Canada), Steve Roden (Los Angeles) and Jennifer Steinkamp (Los Angeles).

Founded in 2008, by the City of Santa Monica’s award-winning Cultural Affairs department, the first Glow, held in 2008, was attended by nearly 150,000 people and showcased imaginative displays and installations, some of which included water monsters made out of recycled bottles in a grotto underneath Santa Monica Pier, an orchestral performance on the solar-powered Ferris wheel and a 20 foot water-wall light show.

Glow 2010 will be an experiential sight not to be missed. In celebration of Glow 2010, nine of Santa Monica’s leading hotels are offering special destination packages that include everything from late check-out, complimentary breakfast, VIP reception access and special Glow picnic baskets, to “glowing” cocktails and artist experiences, all with special rates.

For information about Glow, please visit For information about the various hotel packages, please visit

Anantara Resorts & Spas Offer Amazing Thailand Deals in the ‘Sawasdee! We’ve Missed You…’ Campaign

Remember your last holiday in Thailand - great food, stunning temples, fantastic nightlife and amazing people. It’s all still here and the best part about it is that Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spa’s is offering huge savings nationwide in a bid to give holidaymakers an even better opportunity to rediscover the true beauty of Thailand in the ‘Sawasdee! We’ve Missed You…’ campaign.

As part of the ‘Sawasdee! We’ve Missed You…’ campaign six of Anantara’s luxury resorts situated in Thailand have reduced the prices of their best available room rates by up to forty percent, giving everyone the opportunity to be pampered in 5 star luxury for as little as BHT 3,060.

Holidaymakers are allured to select between the exceptional choices of locations from misty hilltops and royal beaches to pristine shores from any of the Anantara Resorts in Thailand including Hua Hin, Golden Triangle (Chiang Rai), Koh Samui, Phuket and Anantara Si Kao (south Krabi).

This special escape rate is per room and includes a daily breakfast buffet and 20% off all food and beverages at the resort. Also, to make this holiday even more special, Anantara will add in a late check out till 4pm in the afternoon. The ‘Sawasdee! We’ve Missed You…’ campaign runs until the end of September 2010.

For more information of the call the reservations line on 02 476 1130 and ask about the ‘Welcome Back to Thailand’ offer, email or call the Anantara resort of your choice. Check

Terms & conditions:

• Enjoy up to a 40% discount on our best available room only rate.
• All rates are subject to 10% service charge and applicable government and local tax.
• Offer is subject to availability at each of the resorts
• The ‘Sawasdee’, or ‘Welcome Back’ offer is available for residents of Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, China, India, Taiwan and Australia only
• A passport or work permit is required for proof upon check-in
• Offer is not combinable with any other promotion
• All stays must be taken before the end of September, 2010.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa General Manager Adam Laker (centre) with Miss India World Manasvi Mamgai (right) and Miss India Earth Nicole Faria (left) who also won third place in the Miss India pageant.

The already enchanting view from the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa was that much more spectacular earlier this month (7-12 June), when the top three winners of the "Miss India Pageant 2010" stayed at the hotel as part of their recent tour of Fiji.

Sofitel's General Manager Adam Laker was on hand to roll out the red carpet for the winners including Miss India who has automatically qualified to compete in billionaire Donald Trump's famous Miss World/Universe competition taking place in Las Vegas in late June.

Inbound Operator Tour Managers teamed up with Tourism Fiji and Air Pacific to bring the beauties to the equally enchanting Fiji Islands for a publicity tour and calendar shoot.

The Fiji trip was covered by both local and Indian press including The Times of India newspapers, Sony TV, Zoom TV and Radio Mirchi- Iindia.

A special itinerary was created for the photo shoot, including Sofitel's luxurious lagoon and water activities in Nadi Bay sponsored by onsite operator Adrenalin Watersports. Nearby Denarau Marina and day excursions to the nearby Mamanuca Islands were also organised for the group to showcase destination Fiji.

 As Denarau's most sophisticated international resort, the Sofitel blends traditional French influences that are the hallmark of the Sofitel Luxury Hotels brand with more exotic Fijian charms to offer a choice of modern facilities that extend to a Mandara Day Spa retreat, the world's first Pure Fiji concept store, the Turtle Club for kids, plus an impressive line up of award winning restaurants, bars and new sidewalk café La Parisienne.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Toga Hospitality Gives Sydney’s Crown Street a Suite European Treat

Medina on Crown in Sydney's Surry Hills has been rebadged – Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney, Crown Street – in recognition of its ŕ la mode new design and location.

Coined 'Adina on Crown' by locals, the new badge aligns the hotel with the designer Adina Apartment Hotels currently located across Europe in Berlin, Frankfurt, Budapest, Copenhagen and soon Hamburg.

The new name and look given to Adina on Crown was prompted by Toga Hospitality's recognition of the new mood of the apartment hotel and the vibe of its location which reflects the distinctly Adina brand aesthetic. All Adina Apartment Hotels are characterised by a commitment to high quality and unique design standards which embrace a cosmopolitan edge.

In keeping with these standards, the recently refurbished Adina on Crown's signature is bold colours, sleek stainless steel appliances, a selection of individual furniture pieces, mood-lit corridors and refreshing outdoor facilities. Overall, each of these elements combines to produce a chic urbane experience.

Adina on Crown is the suitest way to experience an alternative to the postcard Sydney – having captured the buzz of a unique pocket filled with an eclectic mix of fashion, art and culinary gems.

Rachel Argaman, CEO of Toga Hospitality said "At Toga Hospitality we pride ourselves on being change savvy, with a finger on the pulse of travel trends. We've rebadged to Adina on Crown in recognition of the different experience that our guests in Surry Hills are looking for."

"Apartment hotels are a wonderful way to experience a location as they provide space, flexibility and privacy. Toga is not about a cookie cutter accommodation. With Adina on Crown we're excited to offer yet another unique accommodation option for domestic and international guests travelling to Sydney," she said.

The Adina difference is lifestyle – a private, on-trend space to relax or to entertain in a new location be it for a day, a week or even longer. Adina apartments and studios cater for leisure and business travellers equally by providing home comforts for astute travellers.
All Adina Apartment Hotels are proudly owned and operated by Toga Hospitality, an Australian company responsible for Adina Apartment Hotels, Medina Apartment Hotels, Vibe Hotels and Travelodge Hotels in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

For more information about Adina Apartment Hotels in Australia or to book, visit:

For more information about Adina Apartment Hotels in Europe or to book, visit:

Central Queensland's sizzling Season of Sailing deals

Sail into Central Queensland this winter for some great-value deals as part of Queensland's new Season of Sailing.

The Season of Sailing packages are available leading up to, and during the annual Brisbane to Keppel Yacht Race (August 6-10), and most are valid through to the summer months. With everything from reef and island packages, sunset sail and dine cruises plus a boat load of family stay and sail getaways, there's a package to suit every budget.  

Heron Island Resort's Bonus Meals Package offers two adults accommodation and meals from $169 per person per night (minimum four night stay) and a range of island activities including guided reef walks, ecology walks and stargazing. An optional guided sunset wine and cheese cruise is an extra $60 per person or a guided snorkel boat trip costs from $40 per person.

From $402 per night, the four-and-a-half-star Beaches on Lammermoor Apartments in the coastal town of Yeppoon are offering accommodation for two adults and two children plus a full day's sailing around the beautiful Keppel Islands on the luxury yacht 'Grace'. The whole family can snorkel in crystal clear waters, enjoy a delicious lunch and discover the 18 unspoiled islands of the Keppel Group.

For a great value family getaway look no further than the Family Bonus Sailing Package. From $695, two adults and two children can stay three nights at the Capricorn Palms Holiday Village in Yeppoon and enjoy a full day sail on 'Grace' including meals, non-alcoholic drinks, and use of snorkelling and fishing gear.

Yeppoon's new boutique beachfront apartments, Echelon is offering two nights in a self-contained serviced apartment plus a sunset sail on a 40 foot sailing yacht for $245 per person twin share.

Keppel Bay Marina's Sunset Sail and Dine package includes a sunset sail onboard a luxury yacht followed by a two course dinner at the marina's award-winning Waterline Restaurant from $140 per person. Other options include a sail and stay special at the Roslyn Bay Inn from $260 per person twin-share (minimum two nights) or an Island Discovery Charter where you can enjoy a day out on the water for only $50 per person.

The Edge Luxury Apartment Hotel in Rockhampton have also teamed up with the yacht 'Grace' to offer two great value stay and sail packages. The Capricorn Cruise and Stay package includes a full day's sailing for two people and two nights accommodation,  gourmet cooked breakfast and late checkout for $680. The $916 Family Cruise and Stay Package for two adults and two children (under 16) includes a magical day cruising Keppel Bay and two nights' accommodation in a luxury two bedroom, two bathroom Edge apartment.

For some serious savings and family fun, head to Sandcastles 1770 Motel and Resort in Agnes Water. From only $780, the resort's Family Fun Reef Package offers two nights accommodation for two adults and two children, a complimentary continental breakfast and a Lady Musgrave Barrier Reef day cruise which includes morning tea, tropical buffet lunch, snorkelling, fish feeding, guided walks and coral viewing.

So whether you enjoy a sunset sail cruise and accommodation at a luxury resort or treat the whole family to a sail and stay getaway with some serious savings, Queensland's Season of Sailing is the perfect time to discover Central Queensland's sailing playground.

For more information on Queensland's Season of Sailing or to book packages visit 

Getting There

The Central Queensland region is accessed via Rockhampton and Gladstone. Rockhampton is an eight hour drive north of Brisbane. Direct flights are available to Rockhampton from Brisbane (Qantas, Virgin Blue and Tiger Airways) and Sydney and Townsville (Virgin Blue and Qantas) with connections from other major cities.

Gladstone is a six hour drive north of Brisbane. QantasLink offers direct flights to Gladstone from Brisbane, with connections from other major cities.

QR's Tilt Train also services the region. 


Enjoy the warmth of the North Coast with CountryLink

Escape the chill of the southern winter and head north with CountryLink by taking advantage of CountryLink’s travel packages to the NSW North Coast.

With hundreds of white sandy beaches - many with their own resident dolphins, sub-tropical rainforests, world class restaurants and wineries, local arts and crafts, there is something to suit everybody and their budget. There's also a host of activities as diverse as white water rafting, bushwalking, fishing and shopping.

CountryLink Deputy General Manager Customer Service Nadine Clench said travelling to the North Coast was a great way to warm up before the return of spring.

“CountryLink is the cheapest and safest way to get to the sunny North Coast, where visitors have a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty of pristine beaches, great food and friendly people,” Ms Clench said.

“The centres dotted along the North Coast contain many sights and activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family, so why not turn up fresh and relaxed by travelling with CountryLink.”

CountryLink also offers a number of travel packages to the North Coast:

4 day/3 night packages include:

· Port Stephens from $491 per person*

· Port Macquarie from $295 per person*

· Coffs Harbour from $305 per person*

· Byron Bay from $320 per person*

· Tweed Heads from $383 per person*

* Offer based on per person twin share with economy class rail from Sydney. Valid 1 June to 31 August 2010. Prices subject to change without notice.

CountryLink also offers a special fare for those not purchasing holiday packages. Pay no more than $55 one way between Sydney and any northern NSW location.

CountryLink also operates three daily XPT train services to the NSW North Coast connecting Sydney with Grafton, Casino and Brisbane. Coaches connect from selected services at Broadmeadow for The Great Lakes, at Wauchope for Port

Macquarie and at Casino for Lismore, Byron Bay, Tweed Heads, the Gold Coast and Brisbane. CountryLink coaches connect at Grafton for Glen Innes and Moree, and also for Maclean, Yamba and Ballina.

Book your North Coast holiday package today. Call 13 28 29 or visit the website .


An unusual fly, cruise and stay package from will see holidaymakers cruising the French Riviera aboard luxury cruise liner Azamara Journey next May, and having a day and a night aboard in Monte Carlo for the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix*.

Originally priced from $6349pp twin-share, this package is now priced through from just $3939pp twin share including return air and taxes from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth, and even shipboard gratuities.

There are also two hotel nights pre-cruise in Monaco, and transfers to Nice for Azamara Journey's 4-night cruise on May 26 2011 to Portofino in Italy, St Tropez in France, Monte Carlo for the day of the Grand Prix* and that night aboard ship as well.

The mid-size 690-guest Azamara Journey features complimentary wines with all gourmet lunches and dinners, 24-hour room service, and any-time bottled water, sodas, specialty coffees and teas.

She also offers an intimate environment with one crew member for every two guests, a Piano and Wine Bar, nightly live entertainment, daily enrichment programs, a pool, jogging track, spa and casino.

For full details phone 1300 369 848 or visit; *entry to the Monaco Grand Prix is not included and holidaymakers need to make their own arrangements if wishing to attend.

Perfect holiday for artists when Norfolk Island paints it up!

Do you love to paint, or would you like to learn how to paint, whilst at the same time enjoying a holiday on one of the most scenic South Sea islands on Earth?

Belinda Biggs is one of Australia's best-known award winning artists. She teaches classes and workshops around NSW, Australia, which are regularly booked out. Her works are treasured in private collections in Australia, New Zealand, America and the United Kingdom. So come join Belinda on a holiday to beautiful Norfolk Island where you will stay in comfortable accommodation and receive art tuition in a fun and relaxed atmosphere! Each day will be a different subject and beginners are very welcome.

The Norfolk Island Travel Centre has a special 'Painting with Belinda Biggs' holiday package from $1758 ex Newcastle, $1861 ex Sydney and $1799 ex Brisbane. All prices are per person / twin share. The price includes return economy airfare to Norfolk Island, airline taxes (including Norfol k Island departure tax), seven nights twin share accommodation at Hibiscus Regal Apartments, bonus seven- day car hire (car premium fee, plus petrol are extra and payable direct), return airport transfers on Norfolk Island, a half day Island Discovery Tour, complimentary 'A Walk in the Wild' – a unique rainforest walk and complimentary Miniature Golf – 'golf your way through Norfolk's history'. Prices include Painting Tuition. For more information phone toll free 1800 1400 66 or email

About The Travel Centre Norfolk Island
The Travel Centre located on Norfolk Island, is an award winning travel agency that specialises in quality & personalised travel.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Free Nights in Paradise

Tropical North Queensland is hot value for a winter getaway with leading accommodation provider Mantra offering four nights for the price of three at all of their stunning resorts in Port Douglas, Palm Cove and Cairns.

Escape the south’s chilly days and head to Port Douglas where the weather and welcomes are always warm.

Rates at all six of Mantra’s Port Douglas resorts - Mantra Heritage, Mantra in the Village, Mantra on the Inlet, Mantra Aqueous on Port, Mantra PortSea and Mantra Links Resort - start from just $153* per room per night plus you’ll receive your fourth night free.

Or, slip away to a tropical oasis at Mantra Amphora in the heart of the Palm Cove village.

Also priced from just $153* per room per night for a hotel room with a spa bath, guests will enjoy Palm Cove’s cosmopolitan mix of fine dining, spa and leisure activities and receive four nights for the price of three.

In Cairns, rates start from just $153* per room per night for a one bedroom apartment with ocean views at Mantra Esplanade and are from $162* per room per night at Mantra Trilogy, plus you’ll also receive one night free of charge when booking four consecutive nights.

With a sophisticated city vibe, a stunning waterfront esplanade and a range of cafes, restaurants and bars, Cairns is a great base from which to explore the Great Barrier Reef, World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest and more.

For more information and bookings phone 13 15 17 or visit

*Subject to availability. Block-out dates and minimum night stays apply. Valid for sale and travel until 24 December, 2010.

Red Feather Inn Cooking School

Set in the picturesque town of Hadspen, the Red Feather Inn has added a new dimension to the boutique property with the Red Feather Inn Cooking School. Run by owner, Lydia Nettleford along with Chef and Manager Lee Christmas and visiting guest chefs, the Red Feather Inn Cooking School will combine produce from the Inn’s nearby heritage farm ‘Haggerstone’ and their country vegetable garden, with the skills from experienced chefs. In September, the Red Feather Inn Cooking school will be conducting two hands-on cooking classes – Fish and Lamb & Hogget. In Fish, guests will learn a number of filleting and cooking methods, while in Lamb & Hogget, guests will learn to bone, roll and cook lamb.

WHEN: Saturday 4 September and Saturday 25 September
WHERE: Red Feather Inn Cooking School, 42 Main Street, Hadspen 7209 TAS
HOW: Classes start from $250 per person and can be booked through the Red Feather Inn Cooking School website at Classes include morning tea on arrival, an apron, tea towel, lunch & beverages and a recipe folder.

For more information on Red Feather Inn’s cooking classes, contact the Red Feather Inn Cooking School on 03 6393 6506 or W:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Get crafty this school holidays at Eumundi Markets

With its focus on handmade goods and art and craft made by local designers, the Eumundi Markets will be giving market visitors a chance to get crafty themselves in the upcoming school holidays.

Market Manager Peter Homan says there are workshops that will appeal to market visitors young and old, and will run the mornings of Sat 26 June, Wed 30 June, Sat 3 July, Wed 7 July and Sat 10 July at The Original Eumundi Market.

"A workshop that mum and dads can get involved in along with their kids is the Eumundi Paving Project," says Peter.

"Use your creative skills to carve a paving brick that we will then fire and have set into the pathways throughout the markets", he says.

"This is a chance to get creative and leave your mark on Eumundi," says Peter. "And you'll have fun finding your paver on future visits to Eumundi Markets in years ahead!"

Crafty kids will also be able to get creative in ever-popular ceramic painting workshops led by local artist Merrie Tomkins. While they are designed for children, big kids (teenagers and adults) are welcome to take part too – if spaces permit.

The holidays will see the introduction of a badge making workshop – where visitors can develop their own design to then be made into a souvenir badge they can wear home as a memento of their day at the market.

Another special workshop addition for the upcoming school holidays is a candle making stall, where market visitors can experience the joy of sculpting wax to create their own unique, colourful candle.

"Spaces are limited in all the workshops, so market visitors are advised to book in to the stalls on arrival in Eumundi," Peter says.

"And while they welcome to get involved in the creative fun, children under five must be accompanied and assisted by a carer – to help them with the tricky bits!," says Peter.

As the biggest and best market in Australia, Eumundi is renowned for its quality art and craft – with stalls selling products for visitors of all ages.

And when you need a break from the shopping, sit back and be entertained by a stellar line-up of performers guaranteed to get you in the groove.

There's also a great range of alternative therapists (for mums and dads looking for a massage or some health and healing), fabulous face painters and a jumping castle for the kids.

Further information: Katie Harvison 0417 776 957 or Peter Homan 0419 733 468          

Indulge Yourself – The 2010 Whitianga Scallop Festival

With the big day fast approaching, entertainment is the topic of discussion in Whitianga. This year we have some outstanding New Zealand talent, starting with roving entertainment. Back again this year, the much talked about Stilt walkers from Central City Circus, Shamus and his sword swallowing antics and back by popular demand, Mulletman. Tauranga Samba is new and after seeing this amazing Brazilian Style Street percussion group in the Bay of Plenty, organisers realised they had to get them.

And of course it would not be a Scallop festival without the always-entertaining Guggemusik Big Band. Everyone grooves to Guggemusik, the Big Band who dress as Scallops.

Stage based bands will be equally as entertaining, like the star studded group The Con-Rays, featuring Eddie Raynor and Paul Crowthers from Split Enz, Mal McCullum, Suzie Lynch and Phil Hall. The Con- Rays will transport festival goers back to “Ready Steady Go” live from the BBC circa 1966 with a show that will make baby- boomers think they were still there and generation X+Y’ers wish they were.

The Rooftop Collective is a must-see at The Festival - a music partnership with Beats Botanical who have performed on the Peninsula many times to rave reviews, quickly becoming one of the most highly anticipated bands in the local music scene. Revolving around lead-singer and songwriter Edward Waaka, the 8-piece crew of guitarists, horn players, keyboardists and drummers come together to create a sound that is truly unique.

Recently featured on the television programme 20/20, Opensouls will also appear. Since their musical journey began in 2001, Opensouls have been busy winning over music lovers with their fresh, infectious energy. Infused with elements of soul and old-school R'n'B, the band’s unique sound is due to a collaborative effort from its seven talented members, each bringing their own personality, flair and musical taste to the mix. With their dynamic and spirited performances, Opensouls are fast winning a reputation as one of Aotearoa’s best live acts.

With all this and so much more on offer, including the winner of New Zealand Master Chef, Brett McGregor, Celebrity Chef Ray McVinnie, and TV3’s Niki Wickes, this year’s Scallop Festival is sure to entertain.

Tickets to this year’s festival are still available from and the Whitianga i-SITE Visitor
Centre. Don’t miss out - get them today!

For up to date information keep an eye on the website which will be getting a re-vamp very soon, otherwise we look forward to seeing our Scallop lovers come out of their shells in Whitianga on the 28th August 2010 for a scallop feast!

All the best and thanks to our major Whitianga Scallop Festival sponsors for 2010: Two Tracks, Monteith's, 100% Whitianga, Salt Restaurant, Pub Charities, Richardsons Real Estate and Platinum Homes.

Where: Whitianga Marina Reserve, Coromandel
When: 28 August 2010
Time: 10am - 5pm

Unseasonably Good Deals in Port Macquarie this Winter

Port Macquarie is reinvigorating itself as a winter destination with a big line-up of outdoor events and ‘Unseasonably Good Deals’ at 25 accommodation, tour operator and attractions from June to September 2010.

Save over 30% off hotels and get alongside the buzz of the waterways when the Bodyboarding Championships (15 July), Australian Formula Powerboat Grand Prix (24 to 25 July) and Australian Surf Festival (15 and 28 August) come to town. These are free events for spectators.

Or take part yourself and book a delicious organic cooking class at the newly opened Amber Healing Farm; be pampered at Port Macquarie Day Spa; amaze the kids with PortJet’s whale-watching tour; and feed the mischievous monkeys at Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park.

Accommodation offers include:

 Stay at the 4 star ‘Flynns on Surf’ for just $129 per night for a one-bedroom apartment and receive a bonus $50 restaurant voucher and upgrade to a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment for only $10 per room. Includes parking, LCD TV, Austar, heated pool. Min 2 night stay
 Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park is offering $126 per night for a deluxe two bedroom Spa Bayside Cottage (sleeps 4) and receive a bonus complimentary dinner at The Corner restaurant. Min 3 night stay

Attraction offers include:

 Visit the new Amber Healing Farm for $85 per person and enjoy a 4-hour cooking class with organic vegetarian produce, lunch overlooking the water and a free ‘Health in a Bag’ organic hand-milled cake mix.
 Port Macquarie Day Spa is offering $197.50 per person for the Romance Escape Package for two people - includes full body exfoliation, hydro-therapy spa bath, half hour renewal massage and one hour facial per person
 PortJet has 2 adult tickets for the price of 1, or just $55, to go whale-watching
 Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park is offering 10% with every child entering

“Visitors to Port in Winter will enjoy warm sunny days, beautiful crowd-free beaches and lots to see and do.” said Tourism Manager, Linda Hall.

For a full list of the deals and more information contact the Greater Port Macquarie Visitor Information Centre on 1300 303 155 or go online at

The ‘Unseasonably Good Deals’ are part of Port Macquarie’s new $120k winter tourism campaign running from June to September 2010. For the first time in years a new television commercial promoting the Port Macquarie brand will go to air in Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle, North Coast and New England from early June through to September, to coincide with the ’Unseasonably Good Deals’ retail tactical campaign. The winter campaign will also be supported by print and online advertising. With a new-look destination website, a dedicated campaign microsite – - and 10,000 copies of the Unseasonably Good Deals flier being distributed nationally, the tourism industry is bracing itself for a great response.

Harvest Pilgrimages Adds New Departures As the Canonasation Tours Are Selling Out

Harvest Pilgrimages, official tour operator for the canonisation celebrations of Mary MacKillop, has reported an “overwhelming” response to the Canonisation Pilgrimage Tours. Harvest has released a total of 24 group tour departures around the event including Rome only and other destination in Italy, France, Scotland and the Holy Land and already 7 of the tours have sold out.

“Bookings have been incredible and to support the demand we have now added a new departure for the Saints of Italy Tour as well as one new departure for the Holy Land Tour,” Harvest Pilgrimages managing director Philip Ryall said. “We expect over 2000 will be travelling with Harvest Pilgrimages and over 5000 Australians in Rome for the Canonisation” said Ryall.

All inclusive packages start from the 4 night/ 6 day ‘Rome Express’, priced from $3190 and the 6 night/ 8 day ‘Rome Pilgrimage’ from $3590, which are the official canonisation packages, through to a 15 day ‘Scottish Heartland’ tour tracing Mary’s heritage priced from $5990 and a 17 day ‘The Holy Land’ tour priced from $6350. All packages include airfares, accommodation, dinners, breakfasts and expert guides plus more.

For bookings and more information contact 1300 GO ROME (1300 467 663) or see

Harvest Pilgrimages is the official Tour Operator for the Mary MacKillop Canonisation on 17th October 2010 at St Peter's Square in Rome appointed by the Sisters of St Joseph, Sydney Archdiocese and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Harvest Pilgrimages celebrates twenty first year of serving group pilgrimage tours and worldwide Church encounters.

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