One of Australia’s greatest bushwalks, the Overland Track in the Tasmanian World Heritage wilderness, has reopened to visitors after devastating bushfires forced its temporary closure.

General manager of Tasmanian Expeditions, a specialist walking tour operator, Heidi Smith, said all fires in the state were now under control and that it was completely safe for walkers to return.

“While the recent fires devastated some parts of the state, the regions the Overland Track winds its way through were unaffected,” she said.

Tasmanian Expeditions’ camping-based Overland Track walk departs weekly on Sundays until the end of May.

Phone 1300 666 856 or visit www.tasmanianexpeditions.com.au.


Food lovers will gather under open skies at village bonfires across North-East Victoria as part of the High Country Harvest from May 13-22.

The bonfires will bring together the region’s vibrant food communities to celebrate harvest over fireside appetisers such as chestnut soup, mulled wine, free-range pulled-pork rolls, fire-roasted lamb and new-season toffee apples.

Travellers will also be able to choose from a program of 40 curated events in the region’s village streets, mountains and valleys as local producers harvest the spoils of autumn, while chefs forage for mushrooms and other wild ingredients in nearby forests.

This year’s events range from an ultra-local “100 step” progressive feast in Bright, to a winemaker-led tour of the starry night sky over the Warby Ranges, to a campfire-side high tea among the snow gums beyond Falls Creek. Or join a leisurely bike or horseback ride weaving to High Country feasts including the annual Rutherglen Tweed Ride, or warm the fingers as you learn crumpet making, fly fishing, lamb butchery or creative campfire cooking.

Visit www.highcountryharvest.com.au


The Golden Door health retreat in the Hunter Valley is offering 25 per cent savings on its seven-night ‘Health Enhancement’ and five-night ‘Optimal Wellness’ programs for bookings made before February 26.

Single rates are from $3235 and $2495 respectively, including villa accommodation, nutritious meals, seminars, full use of facilities, selected spa treatments or wellness consultations and a diverse range of fitness, health and relaxation activities. 

Phone 1800 212 011 or visit http://www.goldendoor.com.au/.


Action on Poverty is offering Australian travellers the chance to experience the stunning landscape and culture of the remote Da Bac region of northern Vietnam as part of a community-based tourism project that is helping to lift this isolated community out of poverty.

Those taking part will trek 15-20 kilmetres per day through pristine forests and caves, and swim/kayak in the beautiful ‘inland Halong Bay’. Participants will stay in traditional stilt houses with host families, sample the delicious traditional Muong cuisine and be treated to cultural shows.

Price is $750 per person land content with travel March 20-25, including two nights in Hanoi, four nights in homestays, and all equipment, food and activities on the trek.

Phone (02) 9906 3792 or visit http://www.afap.org/act/vietnam-trek/


Sydney’s Metro Apartments Darling Harbour is offering winter savings of 25 per cent off best-otherwise-available rate for bookings made by February 29 for stays from April 1 to August 31.

Pay from $199 per room per night, with the added bonus of kids staying for free during the April school holidays.

Phone 1800 004 321 or visit www.metrohotels.com.au.


Morocco is undoubtedly one of the most exotic destinations in the world, with dramatic landscapes, busy souks and romantic mudbrick kasbahs,  many of which have been turned into boutique hotels.

Byroads Travel’s 17-day ‘Morrocan Mosaic’ has departures in May and October and includes many recognised highlights plus lesser known sights, with prices starting at $3695 per person twin-share.

Visits are made to Rabat, Fes, Meknes, Chefchaouen, Tetouan and Essaouira – as well as five days exploring the fabled ‘kasbah trail’ on the edge of the Sahara. Among the many offbeat highlights are the little-known town of Nkob, the stunning Draa Valley, fabled Zagora and the desert outpost of M’hamid, known for centuries as the last stop before Timbuctu.

Phone (02) 9357 6800 or visit www.byroads.com.au.


Travel Directors is continuing its solid support for the earthquake-hit Nepalese travel industry with a 25-day ‘Himalayan Express’ itinerary that includes a journey on the unique oxygenated train of the same name to Lhasa in Tibet.

Other highlights include a visit to China’s ancient capital of Xian, a full-day excursion to Everest Base Camp before crossing the Friendship Bridge to Nepal for three nights in Kathmandu, and the even more remote country of Bhutan, often considered the world’s last Shangri-La.

The tour departs Australia October 1 and is priced from $16,550 per person twin-share, including return economy airfares from all Australian capital cities, all ground transportation, accommodation with most meals, fully guided comprehensive sight-seeing, transfers and visas.

Phone 1300 856 661 or visit www.traveldirectors.com.au.


Active Travel is offering a new seven-day tour into the mysterious country of North Korea, where guests can join in local public-holiday celebrations for International Labor Day, ride the underground Pyongyang Metro (the deepest in the world) and visit the Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum, where they will hear history from the North’s perspective.

The seven-day tour will begin on April 29 in Beijing and is priced from $3850 per person twin-share.

Highlights include visits to sites such as the Arch of Triumph, which marks the 1945 liberation from Japan, the Mansudae Grand Monument with its huge statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, and propaganda murals along the way.

Phone 1300 783 188 or visit www.activetravel.com.au.

Magnificent Tasmanian wilderness ... walking the iconic Overland Track.

Enjoying fine seasonal fare at North-East Victoria’s High Country Harvest.

Golden Door health retreat ... offering 25 per cent savings.

Overlooking Hoa Binh Reservoir ... Vietnam’s ‘inland Halong Bay’.

Metro Apartments Darling Harbour ... kids stay free during the April school holidays.

Mystical Morocco ... the Kasbah of Caid Ali in Agdz.

Himalayan splendour ... Potala Palace in Llasa.

Juche Tower in Pyongyang, North Korea.

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