Travel deals: 10 June 2012

Land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan

With the AFL season in full swing, Melbourne streets are a sea of two-tone colour combinations. Wear your heart on your sleeve, or around your neck and join the throngs at Etihad Stadium. Every room in the nearby Hilton Melbourne South Wharf has a city view, and the hotel is offering guests 20 percent off when they stay two nights, until December 31. Book seven nights before you stay, rooms start from $188 a night, 1300 445 866,

In Tasmania’s highlands, your stomach will find its heartland at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge. Block your diary out for an afternoon of Signature wine & cheese tasting, a three-course dinner in the Highland restaurant as well as breakfast daily on its two-night Gourmet Escape, staying in a Pencil Pine cabin. Appease guilt by strolling paths through some of Australia’s most spectacular wilderness. Book and travel before August 31. Normally $357, pay $292 a person for two nights, twin share, 1300 987 600,
Cypress Lakes Resort

$$ NSW
If you dream of golf or wine in your sleep, take it the next step at the Hunter Valley’s Cypress Lakes Resort, whose 200 villas overlook an 18-hole championship golf course or vineyards. The villas are self-contained and there are also three pools, gym, kids’ club and golf and tennis clinics. Stay three nights, pay for two on midweek stays Monday-Thursday. Accommodation is a one-bedroom villa and includes buffet breakfast and Peter Morrissey toiletries. Stay before July 30, costs from $398 a villa, 1800 061 818,

Cosy up at the Gold Coast’s most decorated hotel, the lush Palazzo Versace, whose Captain’s Lounge, Aqua Marine package includes one night’s accommodation, breakfast and 2.5 hours whale spotting in the VIP Captain’s Lounge on the $3.5 million custom-designed whale watching vessel, Spirit of Migloo. Snack as you spot humpback whales, dolphins, pelicans and hunting birds. Travel until 1 November, costs $639 for two people, (07) 5509 8000,

Longitude 131, Uluru
$$$$ NT
One of the world’s most iconic views can be found outside your luxury safari tent at Uluru’s Voyages Longitude 131° wilderness camp. Save $468 a person when you book by March 31, travel until June 20 and December 1 – March 31. Package includes all meals, drinks, tours, entrance to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National park and return Ayres Rock Airport transfers. Costs from $2634 a person for three nights, twin share, 1800 044 066

Set off the coast of Port Macquarie, Lord Howe Island is billed as the world’s last paradise, with coral reefs to snorkel, fish to play with and green sea turtles to admire. Capella Lodge’s Fly Free, Stay 7 Pay 6 rolls two deals into one, with free flights from Sydney and a free night when you book a week’s stay on the island, saving $2200 a person. Travel between July 28 – September 30. Costs from $3900 a person, twin share, (02) 9918 4355,


Dresden’s old town is postcard perfect, with an ambience of culture. Camp at the new SwissĂ´tel Dresden Am Schloss and save 20 percent on the best available rate when you stay two nights or more on stays between June 30 and September 2. Ask about their double air miles and get a room upgrade and late check-out. Costs from $112 a night, 1800 12 1043,

Amari Emerald Cove Koh Chang
Set on the Cambodian border, over 70 percent of the Thai island of Koh Chang is lush rainforest, with rushing waterfalls and idyllic beaches. And it sounds even better with a bargain: Amari Emerald Cove Koh Chang is offering six nights for the price of three on stays between June 6-26 and July 11-October 31. Honeymooners also get 4pm check out, fruit, flowers and cake. Costs from $717 a person for six nights, twin share, 1300 939 414,

Say hi to the neighbours, also one of the world’s newest democracies, Timor-Leste. Intrepid’s 15-day tour stays at simple huts on remote beaches, joins in local eco-tourism projects and spots whales while crossing the Wetar Strait to Atauro Island and explore in an outrigger. Save $675 when you book before July 11 for July 15 departures. Costs $2025 a person, land only, 1300 018 871,  

Timor-Leste woman (Intrepid Travel)
See the best of the African east, covering Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda by safari truck with up to 23 new mates, ticking the Big Five off your safari list. Save 30 percent off Gecko’s 22-day Complete East Africa trip when booked before June 30, for travel by December 31. Prices include transport crew, all park fees and camping gear.  Was $4448, now $3580 a person, twin share 1300 854 500,

Celebrate Chic Britannia by doing London in serious style. Your hotel is either the deeply luxurious 45 Park Lane in Mayfair or the The Hempel near Hyde Park. Add on dinner at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, afternoon teas at The Ritz and Brown’s Hotel and passes to the Tate Gallery, V&A Museum and Buckingham Palace’s ‘Diamonds: A royal Jubilee Celebration”. Includes return business-class fares with China Southern Save 5 percent on bookings before June 30 for travel between June 30 – October 7. Costs from $9585.50 a person, for five days, twin share, (02) 9144 6015,

Inner peace is found in the “land of the thunder dragon”, the ancient Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan, which hosts the Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Retreat in January 2013. This 11-day tour explores the remote Thimphu and Punakha valleys, with guided walks and visits to temples and markets around the Paro valley as well as a Lhab Sang Puja, a ritual ceremony and blessing by Buddhist monks. The journey includes six nights at the luxurious Zhiwa Ling Resort where Mindfulness Yoga instructor Sally Flynn will lead the group through meditation and yoga suitable for all comers, from beginners to devotees. The tour departs on January 9, 2013. Costs from $4323 a person twin share (excludes airfares), 1300 367 875,

Source: Sun Herald


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