Monday, 19 October 2009

Take to the seas with True North


John Crook 

Into elephants ?

The people of north eastern Thailand are currently fostering a n approach to humans and elephants living side by side.  Ozzie adventurers can take up two week placements  at an elephant foundation in Surin, working at preserving the national symbol of Thailand. Economic pressures have been working against majestic elephants which have been, over the years, exploited.  Priced from $1745 for a two-week volunteer placement the package consists of on-site accommodation in a shared room, all meals, pickup from Bangkok airport on arrival date, in-country orientation, a help desk and a 24-hour emergency support.  Flights are additional. With monthly departures through to December 2009, I would suggest interested parties call 134 782 to check on availabilities, conditions and to make a booking. 

Cooking up a touch of the east

Singapore is the leader in regards to the number and varieties of cooking classes currently available.  Try these for size.  Raffles Culinary Academy, running almost daily with recreational and introductory classes. To book, visit  Violet Oon's Kitchen is another worthy of consideration.  Violet is a leading authority on Asian cuisine and her classes are legendary.  Check her out by visiting

Cookery Magic is another.  Classes take place in the comfort of a local Singapore home including the cuisines of Malay, Indian and vegetarian. Visit  

Take to the seas with True North

In July and August of 2010 here's the ticket for Australian adventure cruising.  Two such cruises to the Kimberley region are scheduled for True North, exiting Broome and destination the Hunter River. The vessel carries just 36 guests with a crew of 20.   Prices start from $7799 per person twin share and that includes all gourmet onboard dining, use of six expedition boats for onshore excursions, light aircraft transfer from the Hunter River to Kununurra.  Air fares are additional.  To get the story click onto  By the way there's a helicopter carried onboard and available for optional-cost sightseeing flights. 

Japan for skiing

A selection of ski packages  staying at one of Japan's most popular ski resorts features some of the best skiing around. The Rusutsu ski resort is located in Hokkaido and accommodation package is from $1180 per person for land only.  If you wish to include flights and taxes into the package, you should contact 1300 361 322 or visit   The package includes seven nights accommodation with daily breakfast, a free seven-days lift pass and return airport transfers. 

Billy cart derby

This brings back heaps of memories and those of us who once had a love affair with a billy cart, can do it all again, this time at Falls Creek.  The date for the event is January 9, so prepare now. The billy cart fraternity is not the only crowd pleaser. Mid January (16-17) there's a celebration of local food and wine, with a dash of music.  Just the place to be for tastings of  award winning cool climate reds and whites.   The Summer Kids Club (December 27 and January 30) will be another hit for families.  A terrific program of activities has been scheduled. For more information on Falls Creek, go visit 

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages  and prices are subject to change and availability.  This information is provided as a guide only.  Check with your travel agency.   Block out periods may apply.    Need a holiday ?  We're archived on