||ON THE GO*
with JOHN ROZENTALS
TRAVEL: 02 MARCH 2017
There are many advantages to taking an off-peak summer holiday. Prices are lower, destinations that are packed over Christmas are less crowded, and it’s easier to book a hotel room or a table at a restaurant.
One of the most popular spots for a short break is the NSW South Coast.
Spend a relaxing weekend in a convict-built cottage, the old servants quarters or restored stables at the historic Coolangatta Estate at Shoalhaven Heads.
Dine at a table on the grass outside at on-site restaurant Firegrill and taste wines grown on the estate.
Take a drive to swim at one of the gorgeous beaches nearby, before heading to the famous Kiama Blowhole to see water spray up to 25 metres into the air.
Another day, drive to the quaint town of Berry and stroll the boutiques and antique stores
Popular Australian photographer Ken Duncan will lead the 13-day small-group, ‘Discover China through the Lens’, tour this October, with the focus on the country’s most scenic regions.
The Helen Wong’s Tours itinerary is priced from $11,500 per person, twin-share, including return Cathay Pacific flights, domestic China airfares, accommodation with daily breakfasts and other meals, and visas for Australian passport.
The schedule includes: Hangzhou, for a cruise on scenic West Lake; Tunxi and its fascinating architecture along Ancient Street; Huangshan, famous for its “four ultimate beauties” of the Yellow Mountain; Chongqing, a bustling mountain city on the banks of the Yangtze; Huanglong and its valley shadowed by snow-capped peaks; Jiuzhaigou and its UNESCO World-Heritage-listed alpine valley, peaks, waterfalls and colourful lakes; and Chengdu, home of the giant pandas.
Phone 1300 788 328 or visit www.helenwongstours.com.
Book any 11-night Lau and Kadavu Discovery cruise, seven-night Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands cruise, seven-night Four-Cultures Discovery cruise or seven-night Colonial Discovery cruise with Captain Cook Cruises Fiji and receive three nights free.
The offer is valid for bookings made before 31 March this year and for travel up to 31 March next year, and represents savings of up to $1495 per person.
All of the cruises are on board the newly refurbished 130-passenger Reef Endeavour, which is able to visit destinations inaccessible to larger vessels.
As well as being immersed in Fijian culture, there is plenty of time for relaxing on white sandy beaches, swimming in crystal clear waters, snorkelling or diving in spectacular blue lagoons, or witnessing the thriving marine life on Fiji’s coral reefs.
With the three-nights-free offer, prices for the seven-night Yasawa Islands and Discovery cruises, for instance, start from $1995 per person twin-share instead of $3140, including all meals and excursions.
The Netherlands, the geysers, glaciers and waterfalls of Iceland, the fjords of Norway and the castles of Scotland are combined in ‘Voyage of the Kings’, a new 19-night Cruise Express tour this August.
The itinerary is centred on a two-week cruise from The Netherlands to Scotland, Iceland and Norway aboard Holland America’s new 2650-passenger Koningsdam.
There is also a two-night stay in the Netherlands at the baroque-style Engelenburg Castle, a five-star Relaix & Chateaux property surrounded by manicured gardens.
In Edinburgh, the itinerary includes the regal Holyrood Palace the Queen’s official Scottish residence and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Calls are made at three ports in Iceland the quirky capital of Reykjavik and the towns of Isafjordur and Akureyri with included tours taking in the tiny country’s mighty volcanoes and glaciers, thundering waterfalls, exploding geysers, boiling mud pits and 40-degree, geothermal pools.
The tour is priced from $9990 per person twin-share.
Phone 1300 764 509 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au.
Fashion royalty Iris Apfel will join a line-up of fashion icons on board Queen Mary 2 for Cunard’s second annual Transatlantic Fashion Week from August 31 to September 7.
At 95, Iris is a jet-setting celebrity known for her individual style and joyful flair. Featured in cutting-edge style campaigns for brands such as Swarovski, Iris has become renowned for her signature look of bold round glasses, oversized bangles and necklaces, and rich, flamboyant, colourful garments.
Transatlantic Fashion Week 2017 will also feature designer Julien Macdonald OBE, fashion historian Colin McDowell MBE, and consultant to the international fashion industry Gail Sackloff OBE as well as top models.
Fares on Queen Mary 2’s Transatlantic Fashion Week voyage departing Southampton on August 31 start from $1949 per person twin-share.
Phone 132 441 or visit www.cunard.com.
Sanctuary Retreats reckons that there’s no better way to broaden your family’s horizons than with an African safari, and many of the company’s properties offer dedicated children’s programs.
Sanctuary Olonana, for instance, is idyllically set on a private expanse of Kenya’s Mara River and is kitted out with kids of all ages in mind.
From nature walks identifying animal prints, to bush treasure hunts, the award-winning tented camp is also a wonderful place to open up eyes to new cultures.
Young guests get to visit a nearby Maasai village where they’ll learn how to make a bow and arrow, herd cattle and even build huts before joining the local children for some traditional singing and dancing.
New accommodation group Eventhouse Hotels has revitalised and transformed Rydges Cronulla into its first property, Eventhouse Cronulla.
The emphasis has been on creating a cool, coastal setting with a definite beachside chic.
Eventhouse Cronulla includes 84 rooms and suites with private balconies and ocean views.
Features include Dream Beds, complimentary wifi, coffee pod machines in each room and bathroom amenities by Sanctum Australia.
The new restaurant and bar, Red Radish, offers a relaxed experience, starting with simple, fresh local ingredients.
Eventhouse Hobart will open mid-2017.
Complimentary sparkling wine and a free, deluxe welcome pack are being offered as part of a three-night Easter package at Paperbark Camp on the NSW South Coast Australia’s original ‘glamping’ resort.
The Easter deal includes three nights accommodation from April 14 to checkout on April 17, dinner each night in the luxe eco camp’s elevated Gunyah Restaurant amongst the treetops, a full breakfast each day and use of the camp’s canoes, paddleboards and bikes.
Each booking will also receive on arrival a free bottle of sparkling wine and a pack including products such as house-roasted nuts, an outdoor citronella candle, organic raw bath soak, organic body oil and an eco-friendly ceramic cup, all packaged in a cotton drawstring bag that can be used as a backpack or laundry bag.
The three-night package is available from $1845 per couple in an Original Safari Tent, $2220 for a Deluxe Safari Tent and $2520 in a King Deluxe Safari Tent.
Phone 1300 668 167 or visit www.paperbarkcamp.com.au.
Travel Associates is offering range of Aussie escapes this Easter.
Explore tropical North Queensland, for example, paying from $645 per person twin-share, including four nights at the five-star Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa and five days of car hire.
The offer is valid for sale until February 27 and for travel from April 13-18.
Phone 1800 044 066 or http://www.travel-associates.com.au.
SeaLink has just opened Vivonne Bay Holiday House, a newly renovated property on Kangaroo Island.
To celebrate the launch, SeaLink is offering three nights for the price of two until 31 March.
Vivonne Bay Holiday House is a private, fully self-contained three-bedroom home, sleeping up to six people and with children under two years staying free of charge.
The house features a large enclosed yard with a BBQ, a fully appointed kitchen, washer and dryer, reverse-cycle air conditioning, bluetooth audio system, VAST TV and DVD player.
Vivonne Bay Beach was once voted as the best beach in Australia and is only a 15-minute walk along marked trails and through beautiful bushland from the house.
Vivonne Bay Holiday House is priced at $150 per night (minimum two nights), twin-share, in the low season, and $180 per night, twin share, in the high season. Additional guests will be charged $25 per person per night with the house accommodating up to six people.