Western Australia is best known for its wildflowers and its wine. Travel there between August and November for the best floral-scapes. At the same time take in some of its natural wonders including Wave Rock and the Valley of the Giants. Start and finish the seven night coach tour in Perth and pay from $2,380 per person, twin share. Get the facts by visiting www.escapetravel.com.au or telephone 1300 799 783.
SEX IN THE AQUARIUM
There's a spectacular sex-life display of sea anemones at the Sydney Aquarium, a display which may help to save the home of Nemo and his family. Dr Anna Scott of Southern Cross University is recognised by the Aquarium for her research work and the display is now home to 30 of her captive bred sea anemones. Check it out at Darling Harbour.
JOIN HILLARY IN THE ANTARCTIC
Explore the Antarctic. Travel to the Falkland Islands and get ready to experience the natural wonders of another world. Polar explorer Peter Hillary leads intrepid travellers on an 18-night expedition, departing January 22. Prices start from $10,115 per person, twin share. International airfares not included.
WENDY WU WOWEE
A short break in Hong Kong priced from just $1236 per person, twin share is the deal. That includes return economy airfares, four nights accommodation, a half day tour of Hong Kong Island and a two-hour harbour cruise. Return airport transfers are also included. Packages are for sale until August 30 and valid for travel until September 11. More details by visiting www.wendywutours.com.au
ALL THAT'S MISSING IS SANTA CLAUS
Manchuria, Siberia and Mongolia are the highlights of a 19-day tour which includes the spectacular Harbin Ice Lantern Festival. The tour price is from $15,000 from Sydney and that includes return air, twin-share in hotels and traditional tourist camps, all meals, local guides, ground transport, excursions, entries, gratuities and services of a Far Horizons escort. Call 1800 083 141.
ZUJI MEANS BEANS
Baked beans in a Zuji can form part of the promotional campaign for on-line travel company of same name. It's a real attention getter with exclusive deals. These include five nights in London from $2660, staying at a four-star hotel and offering a saving of $800. That's ex-Sydney. Conditions do apply so check it out on www.zuji.com.au
WORLD BEST HOTEL
In the category of best service in a hotel, another gong goes to the Red Carnation group and The Milestone Hotel in London's ritzy Kensington. With 63 deluxe rooms and suites The Milestone is situated opposite Kensington Palace. It has a staff to guest ratio of two to one. Check the website www.milestonehotel.com
After the fire Universal Studios is back in business with its theme park unfolding magic at every turn. Admission prices start at $81 per adult for a one-day pass. For details and reservations telephone 1300 730 023.
SAVE THE TURTLES
Add the plight of Cape York's turtles to the Save the Whales campaign. The deadline is just as critical, with the turtle population dwindling. A three-year turtle rescue program is underway, with tours on offer through until October this year. Excluding airfares to Weipa prices for a two-night package start from $1070 per person twin share. Included are camp activities, meals, accommodation and return transfers from Weipa airport. Contact Travel Associates on 1800 044 066.
CRUISING THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS
Ten-day cruises along the Danube offer limited opportunities on any of the nine trips scheduled between November 23 and December 19, Christmas markets at Prague, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Salzburg, Vienna and Budapest are included. The price starts at $2895 and includes 22 meals, cruising, coach from Prague to Nuremberg and even a gala farewell dinner with gypsy violins. For details visit www.aptouring.com.au
A NOOSA LONG WEEKEND
July 4-13 is a ten-day weekend of arts, culture, food and entertainment in the village town of Noosa. Stay right on Hastings Street at the BreakFree French Quarter in a one bedroom deluxe apartment during the festival period from $173 per room, per night. Telephone 132 007.
MILDURA FOR HONESTY
With the high cost of petrol having a detrimental affect on out of the way holiday destinations, one such centre in Northern Victoria may ask itself why a 'beware of snakes' par has been included in its latest holiday brochure.
At least they're honest. Don't let that par put you off, as if the truth be known the experts claim that there's a snake in most suburban Oz back yards.
A TOP PACKAGE FOR PARIS
A package priced from $845 per person, twin share, is one of the best for those heading to gay Paree. The three-night deal from Escape Travel is on sale until June 30 2008 for travel between July 1 and August 31 2008. Accommodation is at the Du Casino Hotel. Also included is a one-hour cruise on the Seine, a show at Moulin Rouge and a three course dinner at La Fermette Marbeuf. Breakfast daily return transfer from airport and a three-day Paris Visite card. www.escapetravel.com.au
Sailing aboard a Turkish gullet is one experience to cherish. These gracious and elegant motor 'sailers' can cater for groups of six to 12 people. A seven-day adventure, along the Turkish coast, costs from about $12,000 for six people in comfortable cabins with ensuites and that includes captain, crew, chef and all meals. Check it out by visiting www.iconholidays.com.au
* Please note conditions may apply to these packages and prices are subject to change and availability.
DRURY LANE HOME FOR LORD OF RINGS The absolute magic of The Lord of the Rings springs into life at London's Theatre Royal with more than 70 actors, musicians and singers starring in what is a breathtaking journey of enchantment. These shows swiftly sell out so enquire today for more details on an exclusive package including one night's accommodation and a show ticket. Telephone 1300 730 023 or visit www.keithprowse.com.au
BUSH TUCKER AND ALL THAT Katherine is the centre of attention with its flying fox festival scheduled August 20 to September 6. Street parades, arts and crafts, Chinese dragon boat races on Katherine Gorge, music, dance and even indigenous movies. Worthy of a visit should you be travelling that way between the crucial dates. For more information telephone (08) 8972 5500.
SRI LANKAN GARDEN SHOW An escorted garden tour of Sri Lanka departs Oz August 11. The package includes 12 nights accommodation, most meals, all transport in an air-conditioned coach, English speaking guide and entrance fees to tourist sites. Gardens to be visited include those of cinnamon, rose and spice and the big one being the Royal Botanic Gardens home to more than 5,000 species of flora. Priced from $5,719 per person, twin share. Check departure points. As an example the quoted package price is ex Brisbane flying with Singapore Airlines. Prices are subject to change and availability. Conditions apply. Contact Flight Centre Group Travel 1300 737 441.
DISNEYLAND HERE WE COME Disney family-fun air and land deals kick-start holiday packages, with prices ranging from $2225, for sale and travel before March 31 2009. Conditions and some seasonal surcharges may apply.
Packages include return economy class airfare flying Air Pacific, six nights accommodation at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel and Suites in a run-of-house room and a two-day Disneyland resort park-hopper-ticket. Check www.creativeholidays.com
PRINCESS AND THE FAIRIES Victoria's Phillip Island is included in the 13-night Diamond Princess festive cruise between New Zealand and Australia departing Auckland December 22 2009 and visiting the island on January 1, 2010. Get the facts by calling 13 24 88 or visit www.princess.com
HONEYMOON OR HOLIDAYS Tasmania still holds the award for charm when it comes to accessing memorable romantic accommodation options. Try this one for size! Based on a three night stay, Mantra One Sandy Bay throws out the welcome with a price tag of just $130 per room per night, valid to September 19 2008. Air fares not included. For conditions and availability ring 13 15 17 or visit www.mantra.com.au
CZECH THIS OUT On sale, until June 30 2008, is a seven-night party in Prague package for stays between now and October 31 2008. Priced from $442 per person, stay for seven nights in a standard room at a cosy family-run property just eight minutes by metro, with daily buffet breakfasts. Party on in Prague. Airfares not included. Telephone Student Flights on 1300 554 175.
Ski France International claims to offer ski packages in France for prices as competitive, if not better, as those on offer within some Australian resorts. For instance, a Megeve special offer from around AUD $1204 per person, includes B&B accommodation on a double room basis, with a six day Evasion Mont Blanc ski-pass. Check other packages from Chamonix, Meribel, Val d'Isere and Val Thorens. For details email email@example.com
Cruise super liner style
Diamond Princess sails on an unusual itinerary ex Sydney on February 21 2010. Book before August 13 this year, with prices starting from $4249, and journey into Asia via Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Fremantle, Exmouth to Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Sihanoukville and Bangkok. It's a 21-night package including one night at the Banyan Tree Bangkok. Price includes air back to Sydney with air taxes and fuel surcharges additional at the time of booking.
Check it out on www.ecruising.travel
Learn soccer Brazil style
Friendly matches, daily football instruction and practice with former professional players feature in this package. A one-week placement from $890 for one week. Also included is full board accommodation in multi-shared bedrooms, three meals a day, airport transfers from Sao Paulo international airport and use of sporting facilities and excursions. Suitable for football enthusiasts aged 12 to 30 years of age. Get the facts by ringing 134 782.
Flash package in the Hunter
A 'best of the Hunter' package, with mid-week overnight accommodation is on offer at Peppers Convent, arguably one of the best upmarket escapes in the country.
The package, priced at $504 per night includes breakfast for two, pre-dinner drinks and canapés, and a three-course a-la-carte dinner at Roberts Restaurant for two. Stay longer and additional nights are priced at $290 including breakfast and pre-dinner drinks and canapés. For conditions and more details email firstname.lastname@example.org
ETIHAD a name to remember
Rave reports about ETIHAD, the latest airline to service the United Arab Emirates, makes its home-town of Abu Dhabi a temptation. There's a three-day package worthy of attention, providing a stopover en route to or from Europe, priced from $286 per person, twin share. This includes a 'meet and greet', return transfers, two nights accommodation with daily breakfast and a city tour. Package departs Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. For ETIHAD flight costs telephone 1300 558 987.
Conditions and price fluctuations may apply with each of the above packages.