Monday, 2 July 2007



Week beginning 2 July 2007

travel tips: with david ellis


SEAFOOD lovers thinking of an Alaska cruise shouldn't look past
Holland America Line's latest temptation: throughout this year's
cruise season, all their ships sailing Alaska will feature a Wild
Alaska Seafood Dinner three times weekly. Menu ideas include starters
of Avocado & Tomato Dungeness Crab Salad, maybe a Smoked Ketchikan
Salmon Chowder, and for mains, delights like Herb-crusted Alaskan
Weathervane Scallops or Ginger-glazed Alaska Black Cod – and to
finish, the company's signature Gold Rush Baked Alaska dusted with
edible gold. Seven-night cruises from Vancouver to Anchorage start
from $1319pp twin-share, plus air, from July to September. Details
from Travel the World on (02) 8296 7072 or

CANBERRA's popular yester-year Hotel Ainslie that's now Olims Canberra
All Seasons, is celebrating 80 years in business with overnight stays
to December 31 from an apt $80pp twin-share, with a bottle of bubbly
on arrival and full breakfasts included. The English deco-style hotel
with all today's mod-cons is set amid landscaped gardens and has a
Thai restaurant, courtyard bistro and beer garden, cocktail bar, and
lounge with cosy fireplaces. It's just four blocks from Canberra's
CBD. Details 1300 65 65 65 or

MUNICH's two-week-long Oktoberfest, an annual celebration of beer,
sausages and sauerkraut, kicks off on September 28 with 3-night
packages from London starting from $339pp including return travel from
there to Munich, twin-share in pre-erected tents at a modern campsite,
full English breakfasts daily and shuttle-bus transfers daily to the
festival. Details from Overseas Working Holidays on 1300 651 639 or

On sale to September 20.

RETREAT to the bush in the secluded deep south of Tasmania with a
drive-and-stay package that includes 3-nights at the self-catering
Huon Bush Retreat cabins and 3-days car hire from just $267pp
twin-share. The Retreat's licenced restaurant features organic meals
with Tasmanian wines and beers available, and guests can take yoga
classes, enjoy a massage, hike the forest or simply lounge by the wood
fire. Available to October 31 but must be booked by October 24;
details including costs of air to Huonville from Flight Centre on 131

WANNABE chefs can learn the secrets of Thai cooking in the homes of
professional Thai chefs as part of a 4-night package that includes
twin-share hotel in Chiang Mai, 3-days of cooking lessons, breakfasts
daily, 3-lunches, and transfers from airport to hotel and hotel to
chef's homes. There're also visits to bazaars, temples and museums;
price starts from $350pp plus air until October 31; phone Student
Flights or visit

TRUE: If you're visiting Griffith in NSW's Riverina wine country and
call into Westend Estate, owner/winemaker Bill Calabria will offer you
a taste of his award-winning product, but won't join you: he's a
rarity in the winemaking world in that he's a teetotaler, who doesn't
even drink his own product because of an allergy to fruit acid.