Judi's India, wild things and skydiving: travel deals 16 September 2012

Judi Dench does India
Channel Judi Dench in India, throw yourself out of a plane in Torquay or take the kids to where the wild things are.


Sydney’s biggest hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, is celebrating a $20 million refurbishment with its new rooms introductory package. The 682-room behemoth on Sussex St overlooks Darling Harbour, so make sure your rooms have a water view for Friday night fireworks followed by dinner down on the Cockle Bay strip. Save $365 a night, costs from $235 a night on stays in its new premium rooms until December 27.Includes accommodation for two, as well as free wi-fi and breakfast for two, worth $80. (02) 9290 4000, fourpoints.com/sydney.

Being the start of the Bay of Fires lodge walk and the Cradle Mountain huts walk are two reasons to visit Quamby Estate. Two more great reasons may be the ten sweetly restored guest rooms of the historic 1830s Launceston hotel, and the 50 per cent discount tag. And when you learn it’s the sister property to Sir Richard Branson’s Makepeace Island, in Queensland, you know you won’t be slumming it. Expect immaculate golf links, top Tassie produce on the table and world-class local wines in the glass. Normally from $190 for a standard room, costs from $95 a room until September 30. (03) 6392 2135, quambyestate.com.au.

Kids go wild and free on Kangaroo Island, South Aus
Children go wild and free on Kangaroo Island during the school holidays and October long weekend. Up to three kids between 3-14 years travel free on the SeaLink ferry, saving up to $144 when travelling with two paying adults and a vehicle, and the adults get a discount voucher booklet thrown in, with savings at cellar doors, restaurants and attractions on the island. Travel until December 14. Costs from $96 an adult return and $184 for a car return. 131 301, sealink.com.au.

Save $1200 per couple when you book four nights at the Kimberley’s newest resort, the Berkeley River Lodge. The only way there is by float plane from Kununurra, and its eco-villas, fishing tours and river cruises, included in the price, are worth the trip. For travel now until March 31 (the lodge closes for wet season October 16 –January 31, 2013). Costs $5976 a couple or $4488 for solo travellers (saving $1100) for four nights. 1300 851 800, abercrombiekent.com.au.

Skydiving above Torquay ,Victoria.
Get a birds-eye view of Victoria’s magnificent coastline – if your eyes are open – when you leap out of a perfectly good plane at 3050 meters, and save up to $225. Book an ‘Escape to the Skye’ package which includes a night in a studio room at the Peppers The Sands Resort and one or two tandem skydives, and get breakfast, a free upgrade to a view room, a bottle of wine and chocolates, noon checkout and free car parking. Available from Wednesdays to Mondays, until November 30. Costs from $550 a couple, one person jumping or $899 a couple, for two people jumping. (03) 5264 3333, peppers.com.au.

Hot chocolate, hot cheese: two good reasons to love Switzerland. Explore both on its two-for-one deal on its four-day Swiss Pass, for unlimited rail, bus and boat travel through the mountains in all their autumn glory. Book until November 27 for travel between September 1 and November 30. Costs from $246 for two people for four days. From travel agents or raileurope.com.au

Feeding time at Wellington Zoo
Wellington is wooing junior jetsetters with a splash of kids’ activities during September and October. Become a world explorer at Wellington Zoo, while Zealandia takes kids through a wildlife sanctuary after dark. They can explore the planets at Carter Observatory, or go crazy at Capital E National Theatre for Children. Accommodation deals include one night at the Amora Hotel Wellington for two adults and two children, with breakfast, and a family pass to Wellington Zoo, from $199, until January 20, 2013. +64 4 473 3900, wellingtonnz.com.

An hour’s flight from Kuala Lumpur, looking over the South China Sea, the newly scrubbed-up Club Med Cherating Beach offers jungle walks and rock climbing for adults and kids. The resort now includes a new adults-only Zen Space and a baby welcome for littlies up to 23 months. Book until November 18, travel November 1 – April 30 2013. Adults save $345, kids save $137. Costs from $915 for adults, $372 for children (4-11 years), twin share, for five nights. 1800 258 263, clubmed.com.au.

You can spot a toucan on this nine-day journey through Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. There are macaws to be glimpsed, old Spanish towns and Mayan ruins to explore and lolling in the waters of the Caribbean is compulsory. Departs Antigua, Guatemala, on October 29, book by October 24 and save25 per cent. Costs $1365 a person. 1300 018 871, intrepidtravel.com.

Walk the plains of the Kalahari Desert and cruise the Linyanti waterways in this 11-day safari, staying in tented camps and lodges. Book now for travel between November 10 – March 20 (excluding December 20-January 10, 2113) and save $3048 a person.  Kids 6-14 years also get half-price accommodation in a family room. Costs from $8994 a person, includes international flights ex-Sydney, full board, all transport, night game drives and most drinks. 1300 363 302, africanwildlifesafaris.com.au.

Doing India a la 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'
Do a Judi Dench and check into the ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, which is actually a former rural palace an hour from the Rajasthani city of Udaipur.  The hotel, which is now an equestrian hotel, is not quite as dilapidated as in the movie of the same name, assures TravelManagers, which is leading a 12-day private journey through the movie’s colourful film locations. Must-see destinations are ticked off - e Taj Mahal, Delhi’s Udaipur’s Red Fort and Udaipur’s picturesque lake, starting in Delhi before moving to Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar and Udaipur. See elephants wandering the roadsides, run a sea of vivid orange marigolds through your fingers at a flower market and take a horse safari in rural Rajasthan. Costs from $2020 a person, twin share (four-star) and $2127, twin share (five star), excluding international airfares. travelmanagers.com.au.

Source: Belinda Jackson, Sun Herald newspaper

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