Friday, 22 February 2008



YOUR WEEKLY TRAVEL TIPS for week beginning 25 February '08

travellers good buys with david ellis


THE brand-new Mercure Hotel Centro Port Macquarie north of Sydney has
teamed with Virgin Blue to celebrate the airline's first-ever services
to the town, with a 3-night package including return air starting from
$500pp twin-share from Sydney and $680pp from Melbourne or Brisbane on
select dates to June 26. The 72-room Mercure is in the centre of town
with many rooms having ocean or Hastings River views, and there's a
pool, gym, restaurant and bar. Port Macquarie last year attracted over
600,000 visitors, with the local area having eight beaches, a
cosmopolitan dining scene, and excellent national parks; details from
Blue Holidays on 13 15 16 or agents.

WHY you'd want to we don't know, but you can part with $565 and risk
your life to Run With the Bulls in Pamplona in Spain. A 5-day package
starting on July 5 in San Sebastian includes twin-share accommodation,
breakfasts daily, transfers, services of a guide and entry tickets to
the first two Runnings of the Bulls, the Champagne Opening Ceremony,
welcome drinks on arrival, a final night party and a souvenir T-shirt
for survivors. Air travel is additional; details Student Flights 1300
554 175 or

SYDNEY Aquarium has launched a Shark Explorer glass-bottom boat ride
for those who want to get up-close and almost personal with ten sharks
in their 1.65 million litre Great Barrier Reef exhibit. The 10-minute
ride also includes the opportunity to feed the hundreds of colourful
reef fish in what is claimed to be the largest Great Barrier Reef
exhibit in the world. The Shark Explorer costs $10 for adults and $5
for children 15yrs and under;

A FOUR day Yangtze River Cruise includes the amazing Qutang Gorge and
a chance to see the extraordinary Three Gorges Dam site that will
drown thirteen cities to create the world's largest water reservoir.
The Victoria Empress Riverboat will also sail past centuries-old
villages along the Qutang River with ample time to take-in the
spectacular scenery and village life. There's an English-speaking
guide, cabins with private facilities and most meals; price starts
from $779pp twin-share. Details from Qantas Holidays 13 14 15; air is

REVITALISE the body at the 5-star The Byron Bay Resort and Spa that
offers hot stone massages, organic cuisine, body wraps, serenity
facials and other treatments. The Resort is set amid nearly 20ha of
lush rainforest on the NSW north coast; accommodation starts from
$260pp twin-share, with airfares extra. Details on 1800 002 333 or

TRUE: A travel agent in Italy has told how a client booking a holiday
to Australia said he only wanted to go to where the female population
was less than the male population.

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