The City of Greater Dandenong promotes ethnic culture and a plethora of cuisines. To date, this city within the Melbourne framework has a thriving Indian community, a large slice of Afghanistan, and in neighbouring Springvale it's Asian all the way. Each precinct is alive and well, inviting you to save on international airfares, yet get the full flavour-packed experience. Try this one for size. It's Vietnam on a Plate. Tailor made touring to discover hidden secrets whilst sampling the sights and delights of Asia. Tours start at Nan Yang supermarket, 313 Springvale Road. All food is included and the cost of $66 per person. To get the facts telephone (03) 9689 1186, or 0411 578 641.
Three days cruising the Amazon
Check this one out. An itinerary which includes Buenos Aires, the ruins of the Lost City of the Incas, Rio and the spectacular Iguassu Falls and a coastal rail ride to Tigre. There's heaps more, making this one of the 'must do' adventures. It is all part of a 24-day escorted South American tour. Priced from $27, 250 per person, twin-share, return air and taxes from Sydney have been included. To get the details of what is included, check out www.farhorizons.com.au or telephone 1800 083 141.
Henry Lawson alive and well
Head towards the Darling River and visit the Back O'Bourke for an insight into the life of one of the nation's greatest writers, and along the way check out some of our better known bushrangers. The exhibition centre has recently been redeveloped and can now be regarded as a world class facility, providing a journey into the past. A discounted price of $28 (adults) includes admission to the centre and also a cruise aboard the Jandra paddleboat. Check the package details by ringing (02) 6872 1321.
If gardening is of interest, you will not find better than the speciality tour offered by the good folk on Norfolk Island. It's all to do with a green thumb seminar which runs from September 23 to 30. There is a special package for Aussies who may be interested in the seminar and tour. Costs are from $1049 per person (ex Brisbane) and $1132 per person (ex Sydney). That includes return air fares, taxes, seven nights accommodation, seven days car hire and a discount shopping card. Please note the Norfolk Island departure tax is additional. Also, the seminar is extra at $599 per person, and that includes an edible garden tour.
Smashing good time in Spain
The world's biggest tomato fight attracts thousands. August 26 is the date and the package is valid until sold out. There is one departure only and that's scheduled for August 25 2009. The package sells for $419 per person multi share, with two nights accommodation in Valencia, daily breakfast, an orientation tour, return coach transfers to La Tomatina, a guided pub crawl in Valencia and there's an accompanying tour guide. Call Student Flights on 1300 554 175.
The man from Mukinupin
Three decades ago Dorothy Hewitt wrote a classic Australian musical comedy and it's been brought back to life with performances at the Melbourne Theatre Company's Sumner Theatre. Max Gillies, Amanda Muggleton star in this gem. Visiting Melbourne June 11 to July 19? Then include a night at the theatre. Bookings essential. Telephone (03) 8688 0888 or visit www.mtc.com.au
Freebies in Austria
Before firming up the bookings for your next European trip, check out what Austria offers on the free list. Here are just a few. Many parks and gardens offer free admissions, as do quite a few churches with free concerts. Christmas markets, which start around November, are free. The Vienna music film festival is another. Be sure to obtain discounted cards which offer value-packed extras. These are available in the major cities of Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Graz.
Check this one out
There's a new cruise experience on offer for holidaymakers in Cambodia and Vietnam. Pandaw Cruises sets sail on seven-night adventures. Your chance to tour an amazing part of the world. For the facts on Pandaw River Cruises telephone 1800 225 656 or visit www.cruising.com.au