Monday, 23 July 2007


YOUR WEEKLY TRAVEL COLUMN "travellers good buys"


Week beginning 23 July 2007

travel tips: with david ellis


STAY seven nights but pay only for five at Samoa's laid-back Coconuts Resort and Spa through Adventure World on select dates until March 31 2008, if booked by October 31. The Resort has a private white-sand beach, pool with swim-up bar, indoor/outdoor dining, and entertainment including firewalking. Seven nights in a Garden Suite, return air and airport/resort transfers starts from $1641pp twin-share ex-Sydney, $1716 Melbourne, $1717 ex-Brisbane and from $2141pp ex-Cairns. Details 1300 302 591 or check-out

TAKE advantage of the best start in years to the ski season in the NSW Snowy Mountains, with a self-contained apartment stay at the Novotel Lake Crackenback Resort that includes hot buffet breakfast, a 2-course dinner per person, sporting and fitness facilities, and 2-day ski, clothing hire and mountain pass. Prices start from $506 per room per night; details 1800 020 524 or

FOUR nights at China's annual International Beer Festival is priced from $262pp twin-share at the Gloria Plaza Hotel in Beijing if booked through Student Flights. The 16-days of celebrations are based on the famous Tsing-Tao brewery in the coastal town of Qingdao, and run from August 14; air fares are extra. Full details of inclusions on 1800 069 063 or

MELBOURNE will get an extra Cathay Pacific daily flight to Hong Kong from October 1, giving it three flights a day and bringing the airline's total each week from Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Cairns to Hong Kong to sixty-four. Full details of schedules including connections to Asia, throughout China, to London, Europe, the USA and Canada from travel agents.

ROMANTICS taking a Blue Lagoon 'Gold Club' cruise in the Mamanuca or Yasawa Islands can now treat themselves to a candle-lit dinner on a private screened-off section of the decks of boutique cruise-boats Mystique Princess and Fiji Princess during their 4- and 7-day sailings. Dinner includes appetiser, entrée, main course, dessert, port, cheese platter and a bottle of wine, and costs from FJ$150 per couple (about AU$111) on top of the $1399pp twin-share cost of a 4-day sailing and from $1949pp for 7-days; air is extra. These private candle-lit dinners are available only once per cruise on 4-day sailings and 3-times on 7-day cruises, and have to be booked on arrival at the company's departure lounge in Lautoka; details ++ (679) 666 1622 or email

TRUE: English couple Eric and Doris King-Turner of Hampshire have booked themselves on the British liner Saga Rose next January to New Zealand as part of plans to start a new life on the other side of the world. Probably nothing unusual about that – except that Eric is 102 and Doris 87.