Friday, 25 October 2013

Baikal Ice Games - Cotswolds - QM2 - The Ghan - Pitcairn Island - Fiji - more

Shrewsbury’s The Golden Cross Pub
Explore the oldest of British establishments, the pub, along with its famous fare on Back-Roads Touring’s new five-day Old Pubs & Great Grub package.

Prices start from $1848 per person twin-share, with a 5 per cent discount when booked by December 15.

The tour features visits to , which dates back to the 1400s, Loughpool Inn in Ross-on-Wye, the Westonbury Mill & Water Garden in Pembridge, Eastnor Castle, Hereford Cathedral, Goodrich Castle and some of the Cotswolds’ most charming villages.
Baikal Ice Marathon
The small group tour features a maximum of 18 passengers and includes two dinners, three lunches, accommodation, full English breakfast daily, mini-coach transport and entrance fees.

Phone 1300 100 410 or visit

Looking for a challenge with a difference? The 10th annual Baikal Ice Marathon will be held next March as part of the Baikal International Winter Games Festival.

More than 250 competitors are expected to race across the ice surface of Lake Baikal, which is the deepest freshwater lake in the world and holds some 20 per cent of the planet’s fresh water.

Adventure travel company 56th Parallel is offering tours to Baikal for the race, with other highlights including a visit to the cultural hub of Irkutsk and dog-sled and snowmobiling experiences in the Pribaikalsky National Park.

Registrations for the Baikal Ice Marathon close on December 1.

Phone 1300 742 374 or visit


Cruise Express is offering a 31-night fly-stay-and-cruise package next May based on two back-to-back voyages through northern Europe aboard Cunard’s Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2.

Prices start at $8369 per person twin-share, including return air travel to London and four nights accommodation at the five-star Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington.

Guests will visit ports in Scandinavia, Russia, Germany and Belgium and also have the rare chance to see Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and QM2 rendezvouse in Southampton.

Phone 1300 764 509 or

The Ghan
The legendary Ghan will undertake its fourth Anzac Tribute Journey in next April.

The four-day journey will include a dawn service atop Anzac Hill in Alice Springs, a cruise along the Katherine River, an outback dinner under the stars, a visit to the Alice Springs Desert Park and a trip on an original Pichi Richi troop train through the Flinders Ranges.

Gold-class prices start from $3009 (pensioners from $2359).

Phone 1800 023 614 or visit

Intrepid Travel has added a variety of new culinary hotspots to its Food Adventures range of trips for 2014, increasing its emphasis on authentic, local, grassroots experiences and provision of an affordable alternative to traditional high-end gourmet food tours.

Highlights include feasting on a camel burger in Morocco, indulging in an asado (barbecue) with Argentinean gauchos, daring to try the infamous fugu, or puffer fish, in Japan, and picking tea leaves and preparing a fresh cup of tea in the highlands of Sri Lanka.

Macarthur Spring Food Tour

The Macarthur Spring Food Tour will take place on Saturday, October 26, in the historic Macarthur region around Camden, Menangle, The Oaks and Campbelltown, just south of Sydney.

The day-long gourmet, small-coach journey will be hosted by local foodie Nicci Peverill, and costs $99 per person, including transport, morning tea, lunch, tastings and a showbag.

Highlights include Camden’s Deli D’lish café, Camden Produce Market, visits to some of area’s best farms, food producers and wineries, and a grazing lunch created by Pretty Picnics in the grounds of Kelvin House, an 1820 Georgian farmhouse.
Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita

Phone 0431 942 945 or visit

Some of the most rare and valuable maps telling the Australian story will be on display at the National Library of Australia in Canberra from November 7 to March 10.

Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia will bring together more than 100 spectacular maps, atlases, globes and scientific instruments from around the world, telling the story of how European cartographers were imagining an undiscovered land in the southern hemisphere, while Aboriginal people were already here using mapping in very creative ways.

The centrepiece of the exhibition will be one of the rarest maps in the world, the first large-scale map of New Holland, created in 1663 by master cartographer for the Dutch East India Company, Joan Blaeu.


Claymore II

Pitcairn Island — best known as the home of Fletcher Christian and his fellow Bounty mutineers —remains one of the world’s remote and rugged outposts.

About 10 times a year Pitcairn’s supply ship, Claymore II, offers 12 passengers the chance to cruise to the island from Mangareva, in far-flung Eastern French Polynesia.

Prices start from $4970 per person twin-share ex Mangareva, including four nights aboard Claymore II and three nights home stay on Pitcairn.

Phone 8270 4899 or visit


Save up to 40 per cent at Best Western hotels, apartments and resorts.

Book at least two nights in selected properties and get 40 per cent off in Fiji, 30 per cent in New Zealand and 20 per cent in Australia.

Prime locations close to beaches, major shopping centres and other holiday hotspots.
Japan’s Hakuba Valley
Book by November 10.


Take an affordable ski lodge package in Japan’s Hakuba Valley.

Pay from $400 per person for five nights at Elk Lodge, including breakfast.

Get expert help in accessing the valley’s 10 ski areas, and getting to and from Tokyo’s Narita Airport.


Low-cost packages to Phuket.

Pay from $1163 ex Sydney ($1144 ex Melbourne and $1170 ex Brisbane) including return air travel to Thailand with full-service Malaysia Airlines, and five nights at the Bamboo Beach Hotel, just steps from peaceful Kalim Beach.

Free wifi and shuttles to Patong Beach, and a ticket to the spectacular Siam Niramit stage show, which features Thailand’s cultural heritage and includes a buffet dinner.

Book by November 11 for travel from January 16 to June 19.

Vibe Hotel Rushcutters Bay

Enjoy a Getaway Seafood package at Sydney’s Vibe Hotel Rushcutters Bay.

Pay from $269 per night, including a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on arrival, a seafood platter for two in Curve restaurant, full buffet breakfast for two and a midday check out.

Free upgrade to a king view room overlooking Rushcutters Bay Park.

Monday to Saturday until January 31.