Monday, 17 December 2007


YOUR WEEKLY TRAVEL TIPS for Week beginning 17 December 2007

travellers good buys: with david ellis


IT sounds suicidal but we're assured its quite safe: a culinary tour
of Japan to learn many of the tricks of Japanese cuisine, includes
tasting the poisonous fugu puffer-fish. The 13-night tour begins in
Tokyo and visits Takayama for a Sake tasting and discovering the
secrets of miso, hida beef and soba noodles, there's a stay in a
monastery in Koya-san to cook traditional vegetarian cuisine with the
monks, Okonomiyaki cuisine in Hiroshima, and a visit to Kyoto. The
fugu fish will be tried in Osaka where its prepared by licenced chefs
who've survived a long apprenticeship; price starts from $3265pp
including twin-share, transport, tour guide, breakfasts daily,
2-lunches, 7-dinners and cooking classes. Air is extra; available 20
March to 25 October. Phone Escape Travel on 1300 799 783.

STAY 5-nights or more at the Mantra Sand Dunes Resort at secluded
Marcoola on the Sunshine Coast from $180 per night for a 2-bedroom
apartment between now and March 31 (some blockout dates apply.)
Marcoola is within easy reach of Noosa, Mooloolaba, Montville, and
Maleny and has a patrolled beach, play-grounds, picnic areas and good
fishing and surfing. The Resort has a 75m lagoon style pool, heated
spa, gym, BBQ area and tropical gardens; phone 13 15 17 or visit

A MINI-stay in Rome from $472pp includes visits to the Etruscan
tombs, Imperial temples, early Christian churches, Renaissance
palaces, baroque basilicas and the Vatican Museums and Sistine
Chapel. It includes 3-nights in a 3-star hotel with breakfasts daily,
arrival transfer, and the historical building visits. It's on sale to
December 31 from Flight Centre on 131 600.

A RANGE of accommodation in Sydney for those visiting for the 2008 Sydney Festival that runs for three weeks in January, is priced from $160 per night in a Deluxe Queen Room at the Citigate Sebel Sydney, including breakfast. Phone 1800 005 125 or visit

THREE day packages to next year's Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August are priced from $615pp through Tempo Holidays. It includes 2-nights twin-share with full Scottish breakfasts, tickets for the Saturday Evening Tattoo with its fireworks finale, return coach transfers from hotel to Edinburgh Castle, service and VAT. Accommodation is in former manor houses and a country club 20-minutes out of Edinburgh.
Details on 1300 558 987 or

HERVEY Bay, 3-hours north of Brisbane, has something for everyone
from fishing, sailing, kayaking and swimming, to taking to the wine
trails in the South Burnett, Fraser Island, Lady Elliott Island,
historic Maryborough and the Great Barrier Reef. Minimum 7-night
stays at the five, 2-storey Sereno Luxury Beach Villas start from $241
per night. Villas have gourmet kitchens, 2-person spa baths, and
private courtyards 50m from the beach. Details

TRUE: A guest phoned House Keeping at a New York City hotel and asked if he could have an extra twelve pillows sent to his room.

(Missed a holiday idea? We're archived on