Monday, 4 April 2011

Mornington Peninsula - Silversea - Lake Okareka Lodge - Masala Dandenong - Russia


John Crook

A top spot from which to escape

Apart from the fact that most of the disaster zones, in Victoria and Queensland, have returned to normal business, Aussie domestic travel and tourism offer some fantastic holiday options.  In this week's report I'm suggesting a couple of days R & R on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula.  Packages vary in price and inclusions, however, a studio suite package at Best Western Brooklands of Mornington should be considered.    Check this one out !  Included in the tariff  of $200 is complimentary breakfast in your room, a newspaper delivered to your room and a comp bottle of wine awaiting your arrival.    The studio suites of this four star property feature a deluxe king bed, a kitchenette  and a 41" plasma TV.  The property, which is close to beaches and attractions,  is set on three acres of stunning landscaped gardens.  For all the information simply go visit or telephone  (03) 5973 9200.

Luxury ?  Yes please!

Current packages cruising with Silversea offer no less that six ships sailing twenty-six itineraries  in seven regions of the world between November of this year and December 2012.  All of the packages are inclusive of return air from Australia, pre and post cruise accommodation in luxury hotels with prices starting from just $7975 per person twin share.  Packages range from 14 to 33 nights embracing Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and also north and south America, through to the Antarctic. There is  real choice on offer,  each offering luxury and exciting inclusions.   Simple go visit

Mum will remember

To share Mothers' Day this year make a beeline to a website which shows how to spoil Mum and give her memories for years to come.  New Zealand's Lake Okareka Lodge is the destination and it's there that your Mum will be treated right royally.  Packages are available for sale through to April 30 and for travel through 31  August 2011.   What's the deal ?  I am delighted to share this one with you.  Lake Okareka Lodge's recommended package is priced from AUD$3110 (check on currency exchange).  That includes three nights suite accommodation for two persons, champagne breakfasts, pre dinner drinks and canapés, daily five-course dinners, 24 hour butler service, personal chef to create dishes to your liking, return airport/lodge transfers,- and there's more.  I'll race you to make contact at or go visit

Wander through Little India

Several years ago I joined a walking tour group through the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong.  The local council encouraged those with adventurous taste buds to travel to Little India.  Passports, visas nor international airline tickets were required.  Those early food lovers can now join latter-day visits to the well organised Masala Meander in Melbourne's Dandenong.  Included in these foodie experiences, are Indian dishes at an Indian café, a visit to an Indian grocery store, a three-course luncheon at an Indian Restaurant with a glass of wine and a surprise giveaway.  Various dates are available so check these out by visiting     A minimum of four guests make for a tour group, with a $70 price tag per person.  These are genuine 'North Indian style'  experiences which depart Dandenong railway stations at 11.15am for an 11.30am start.  The company also offers  a similar tour through Melbourne's cbd. 

For details use the same web address.  Bookings are essential.

How about Russia ?

There's a discounted nine-day package  cruise between St Petersburg and Moscow with the discounts of $500 per person on selected dates.  This is a great adventure with inclusions such as a farmers' market, a visit to a 17th century church, with its own legends and memories, and tours of both Moscow and St Petersburg.  The cruise includes private tours, five-star accommodation with breakfast included,  and on the six-nights aboard the MS Volga, the price includes daily meals with wine and soft drinks during lunches and dinners.  For more information telephone  1800 221 712.  Go visit Terms and conditions apply.

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages  and prices are subject to change and availability.  The information is provided as a guide only.  Check with your travel agent.

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