Monday, 1 June 2009

Is the world going mad ?

Travel briefs for w/c June 1st 2009. 

John Crook 

Is the world going mad ?

Melbourne, Gold Coast and Perth residents looking at travelling to Asia or beyond could do no better than to consider the offer from    A suitcase of budget fares for immediate travel to Malaysia and more than 65 destinations across Asia, the UK and other options. For instance ex Perth fly to KL from $99 one way, or from the Gold Coast and Melbourne it's from $199 one way. Fly on to the Asian destination of your choice and pay from as little as $15.  To the UK from KL pay from $227 one way. Buy now, fly now fares include taxes and charges, but conditions apply and subject to availability or change.   Visit 

The Gold Coast's swinging

A great musical weekend is scheduled July 24-26 when musical talents will be up front.  Jazz, music theatre, rock to country make up the relaxing experience at Ruffles Lodge & Spa on Mt Tamborine.  Two-night packages for two people start from $1230 which includes a grazing dinner on Friday night, gourmet breakfast on Saturday morning, then a five-course degustation dinner with fine wines.  Sunday morning it's a leisurely brunch. Get the facts by calling (07) 5546 7411 or visit  

Human powered cycling

There's a half-day cyclo excursion available to guests on the 3-day Mekong Memoirs and the 8-day Mekong expedition tours.   Known in some parts of Asia as rickshaws or pedicabs, this is a unique way of exploring Pnom Penh.  These are not the drive-yourself style variety, as there is a trained driver with basic English available to do the leg work.   It is a part of touring aboard the 32-stateroom Pandaw Mekong river cruises.  Get full details and costs of the tours by calling (02) 8080 5622 or visit 
Tasmanian fly fishing

Most capital and major regional cities are participating in the world's largest fishing film festival, during June and July.  The festival will be followed by the annual two-day Tasmanian trout expo in August.  To get details of fly fishing in Tassie and screening details of the film, visit http://fishingtasmania/net/live/  


Worthy of a mention is the work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and here's a chance to get up close and personal. Join a group of like minded Aussies and tour Broken Hill and the RFDS, aboard a Qantas Dash 8, Q400 series aircraft.  The tour includes a visit to the museum, a coach tour of the Hill, then lunch at the beautifully restored boutique Astra Hotel and there's plenty more.  A great way to support the RFDS. The one day tour is priced at $795. For more information contact Flight Centre (02) 9242 9000, or email  

Outer islands are in

If ever offered the choice of accessing the outer islands of Vanuatu,- grab it with both hands. For instance here's the chance to do just that.   A luxury ten cabin vessel will operate between now and October, with two five-day itineraries from which to choose.   Take a look at Ratua Private Island which has just opened and is known as 'primitive luxury'.  Espiritu Santo is the destination, with options to explore other islands and cultures.  Prices and conditions available by visiting  

Seventeen nights to paradise

Cruise Sydney to Perth and along the way call in to Port Moresby, Darwin are Queensland coastal gems, and at the same time experience one of the world's grandest liners.  Rhapsody of the seas is the 4-star super liner which is virtually a city-at-sea, with formal or café stye dining, eight lounges and bars, a casino, a theatre with nightly Broadway shows.    Even those who are into fitness, fear not, because on board you also have a gym, spa and fitness centre, jogging and walking tracks, an outdoor pool and six whirlpools, a solarium and an indoor pool,- even a rock-climbing wall.  Depart Sydney October 17 and the fares from $2599 per person, twin share, also include return air from Perth on board dining, entertainment, gratuities, port charges and government taxes.

There's a surcharge for air taxes and fuel applicable at the time of booking.  Telephone 1300 369 848 or check with 


Visual : Rhapsody of the Seas