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ON THE GO*

with JOHN ROZENTALS

TRAVEL: 30 SEPTEMBER 2014

Sichuan is home to the world’s largest Buddha stature ... 71 metres tall and carved into a cliff face.

Backyard Travel is offering a new five-night tour to the mountainous Chinese province of Sichuan, including a visit to a research centre studying and looking after the country’s iconic pandas.

Travellers will also learn about the region’s past through the impressive relics at the Sanxindui Archaeological Site, be guided around the beautiful Wenshu Buddhist Monastery and taste some of the delicious flavours in Sichuan cooking.

Prices start at $1259 per person twin-share.

Visit www.backyardtravel.com.

Spanking-new Quantum of the Seas ... home for a seven-night Bahamas cruise.

Worldwide Cruise Centre’s 36-day ‘Great Global Getaway’ next March links hotel stays in Honolulu, New York, Rome, Fort Lauderdale and Dubai with two separate voyages: a seven-night Bahamas cruise on the spanking-new Quantum of the Seas, and a voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Rome on board Celebrity Constellation.

Prices start at $6999 per person twin-share ex Sydney ($7149 ex Brisbane; $7339 ex Melbourne; $7229 ex Adelaide; and $7349 ex Perth).

Visit www.worldwidecruisecentres.com.au.

Exploring World War II relics ... accompanied by a plethora of hammerhead sharks.

For 12 months from this October, adventurous divers will have the opportunity to join film crews as they explore the remains of the mighty sea battles that took place in the Pacific and Far East during World War II.

There will also be the chance to take in the natural wonders of underwater locations such as the Java Sea, the Sunda Straits, Truk Lagoon and Bikini Atoll,

Diving will be available from October in various locations including Java Sea (Battle of the Java Sea), Sunda Straits, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Truk Lagoon and Bikini Atol.

Visit johnbsutherland.com.

True North in the magnificent waters off Papua New Guinea.

Peter FitzSimons — popular writer and former Australian rugby player — will be a special guest on board the 36-passenger True North for its 10-night ‘New Adventures in Paradise’ voyage sround Papua New Guinea in December.

Included will be an opportunity to join a helicopter flight to the Kokoda Track Memorial at Isurava.

Prices start at $15,695 per person twin-share ex Cairns, with the itinerary including exploration of jungle-surrounded volcanoes, turquoise reefs and palm-fringed beaches.

Phone North Star Cruises on 08 9192 1829 or visit www.northstarcruises.com.au.

Sea Cloud II ... a romantic journey from Costa Rica to Cuba.

Save $2500 per couple on APT’s 23-day ‘Sailing the Spanish Main’ small-ship cruise and land trip from Costa Rica to Cuba next February.

Pay from $20,245 per person twin-share, including two nights at the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel in San Jose, and the cruise on board the romantic windjammer Sea Cloud II.

Highlights include Bocas del Toro, Panama’s oldest Marine Park; exploring little known Columbian Islands; cruising the coastline of Nicaragua and Honduras; visiting ancient Mayan cities and sites in Belize and Mexico; and exploring the World-Heritage-listed Belize barrier reef, Laughing Bird Caye.

Book by October 31.

Phone 1300 196 420 or visit aptouring.com.au.

The famous Rocky Mountaineer ... spectacular scenery indeed.

If you’re heading to Canada for an Alaskan Inside Package cruise, then you should also consider adding on a journey on the famous Rocky Mountaineer railway.

A popular option is the two-day trip from Vancouver to Banff, which includes Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon, the steep slopes along Thompson River, Kamloops, Craigellachie, Rogers Pass, the Kicking Horse Canyon, the Spiral Tunnels and the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies.

Redleaf-class prices through International Rail start from $1343 per person one way in 2015.

Phone 1300 387 245 or visit www.internationalrail.com.au.

Royal Princess ... an appropriate base for Cruise Express’s 18-day ‘Royal Affair’ itinerary.

Cruise Express’s 18-day ‘Royal Affair’ itinerary next July includes the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the interior of Buckingham Palace, the Royal Yacht Britannia, Stonehenge and a visit to Glasgow, host city for the recent 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The tour is priced $7990 per person twin-share, ex Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth, including three nights accommodation in London and a 12-night circumnavigation of the British Isles aboard the 3600-passenger Royal Princess.

Other destinations include Guernsey, Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Inverness, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Paris.

Phone 1300 764 509 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au.

Mt Nicholas High Country Farm ... the annual merino muster.

Southern Discoveries is offering visitors to New Zealand’s Queenstown the opportunity to experience the annual shearing season at Mt Nicholas High Country Farm.

Once a year 29,000 merino sheep are mustered down from the surrounding hills and mountains for the shearing season, making for a spectacular sight.

Using its new boat, Spirit of Queenstown, Southern Discoveries is conducting twice-daily cruises to the farm until mid-October from St Omer Wharf in Queenstown especially to view the shearing activity.

Visit www.southerndiscoveries.co.nz.

Michelle Thatcher’s You Are What You Eat ... winner of the Kenilworth Art Prize.

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is Arts Central from September 19 to October 26 as the region hosts ‘Kenilworth Celebrates’ and features a range of festivals, open studios and workshops.

The festival starts with an orchestral concert on September 28, followed by four-or-five-day workshops with professional tutors from September 29 to October 3.

On the weekend of October 4-5, the town’s main street celebrates with music, a poet’s breakfast, markets and street entertainment.

Visit www.hinterlandevents.com.au.

Park Regis City Quays ... just a stroll from major Cairns attractions.

Save 30 per cent when you book three nights in a superior room at the Park Regis City Quays in Cairns.

Pay from $105 per night.

Just a stroll from the Esplanade, harbour foreshore, restaurants and the night markets.

Valid for sale and travel from October 1 to November 30.

Phone 07 4042 6400 or visit www.parkregiscityquays.com.au.

Villa Diana Bali ... save up to 70 per cent.

Save up to 70 per cent at 3.5-star Villa Diana Bali on Legian Beach.

Pay from $50 per room per night, including free breakfast.

Features four swimming pools, a poolside bar, air-conditioned rooms. It’s a 15-minute walk to the beach and Seminyak’s boutique-filled shopping strip.

Valid for bookings and stays until December 20.

Phone 1800 687 236‎ or visit www.hotels.com.

*Based on information supplied by the companies concerned or their representatives.