Lighthouses and London: travel deals 30 September
|Cape Schanck lightstation, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria|
From lighthouses to London, the chill of Beijing in winter to Tahitian summers, read on for this week's international and domestic travel deals.
VICTORIAThe Mornington Peninsula’s in the midst of a Spring Fling, with 30+ special offers in its vineyards, galleries, accommodation and restaurants until end October. Down the tip of the peninsula, 90 minutes from Melbourne, stands the gleaming white Cape Schanck lightstation, and your bed for the night. Normally $158 a couple, costs from $110 in the self-contained Inspector’s Room, with breakfast and entrance into the museum. 1800 804 009, visitmorningtonpeninsula.org.
There’s nothing like a post-winter pick-me-up than a five-star escape to Noosa, with its superb restaurants, super-cute boutiques and rainforest walks to secluded beaches. Check into the Sheraton Noosa Resort & Spa and save 20 per cent on the room rate, with free breakfast for two adults thrown in as well. Book by October 31, stay until December 22. Costs from $204 for a superior twin room, a night. 1300 888 180, zuji.com.au
|Tasmania's Derwent Valley |
PIC: Tourism Tasmania and Geoff Murray
Small, yet perfectly formed, Tassie is the ideal self-drive destination, with hidden beaches, tiny wineries and oh-so-twee villages made for meandering. The self-drive Touring Afterglow package includes seven nights at one of 12 Innkeepers Apartments across the state, seven days’ car rental with a free $75 petrol voucher (October 8-December 21), entry for two into the Museum of Old and New Art’s Theatre of the World exhibition, a World Heritage cruise for two and a National Park pass, all up, worth $3433 for two people. Travel between October 1 – December 21 and save up to $1235. Costs from $1099 a person. 1300 130 269, tassieafterglow.com.au, innkeeper.com.au.
Golf aficionados know the 18th hole at the championship course at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley has been redesigned, now a 454-meter par-5. Get out there and try it for yourself with a Stay and Play package, which includes two rounds of golf with a cart, deluxe room accommodation and breakfast, saving 30 per cent, or $136, off the regular rate. Available Sundays – Thursdays until December 31, book three days in advance. The hotel also offers free kids’ club. Costs from $280 a night for two adults. 138 388, crowneplazahuntervalley.com.au/stayandplay
|El Questro homestead, Kimberley, NT.|
Stay four nights, pay for three at the five-star El Questro Homestead, a working cattle station in the eastern Kimberley. Don’t worry, you won’t be coughing down cattle dust at The Homestead, a luxurious pad enjoyed by the likes of Our Kylie. The deal includes all meals, most drinks and tours around the station, such as the dramatic Chamberlain Gorge, on stays now until October 30. Costs from $3645 a person. 1800 044 066 travel-associates.com.au.
Bodrum is Turkey’s playground, and with good cause: it’s got the warm waters of the Mediterranean, a 15th-century castle and lots of architectural ruins, sunshine galore and, the clincher, Turkish cuisine. Stay two nights for the price of one at the 81-room Maçakizi. Costs from $145 (E116) a night including breakfast, wi-fi. until October 30. 1300 896 627, mrandmrssmith.com
South Kensington is more London than Hugh Grant, what with Kensington Palace, the Victoria & Albert Museum and two Royal Parks, not to mention the High Street Ken boutiques. The Mercure London Kensington is one of 1400 Accor hotels across the world currently doing a pay three-stay two deal, knocking a third of your hotel bill. Book until October 21 for stays until November 11. Mercure London Kensington costs from $367 for three nights. 1300 656 565, accorhotels.com/staysave.
Hit the African road, from the Kruger to the Kalahari, on a seven-day overland tour. Your chariot is a safari vehicle, your bed a sleeping mat. Spot the big five, hear the roar of Victoria Falls, sink a sundowner on the Chobe River. Book by November 30 for travel until December 26, and save 25 per cent. Costs from $756 a person as well as a local payment of US$250 a person. 1300 320 795
|The Temple of Heaven, Beijing.|
If you don’t mind rugging up, you can snap up a bargain on a 14-day tour of China’s wonders, from the Forbidden City to Xian’s Terracotta Warriors, the water town of Wuzhen, and, of course, the Great Wall of China. Save $1000 a person and get two extra days in the itinerary on six winter departures in February and March 2013, includes air fare from Sydney, visas, four-star hotel accommodation, most meals and three cultural shows. Costs from $2880 a person, twin share. 1300 788328, helenwongstours.com.
Celebs love Tahiti, and with new flight-accommodation packages, we commoners can learn to love it too. Save up to $660 a couple when you book an Over Under Bora Bora deal, which includes return airfares with Air Tahiti Nui from Australia to Tahiti, domestic flights from Papeete to Bora Bora, breakfast, three nights at the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort and four nights in an overwater bungalow at the Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora. Book until March 31, 2013, travel between November 1 – December 20, January 20 – March 31, 2013. Costs from $3250 a person, twin share. From travel agents, 1300 858 305, tahititravel.com.au.
|Marrakech, Morocco. PIC: Belinda Jackson|
The scent of the desert pervades Morocco’s beautiful cities, the shifting sands dictating the style and colours of Meknes, Fez and Marrakech. This tour goes off-track to palm-fringed oases, isolated kasbahs and through the Sahara by camel and 4WD, to bed down for the night in a Berber tent. You’ll also visit the impossibly beautiful seaside village of Chefchaouen and Roman ruins at Volubilis, before finishing in Casablanca, with its tumble-down glory and gritty realism. Souks, alleyways, traditional crafts and stucco villages: the tour’s style is about exploring, rather than flag-waving guides, and you’ll sleep in family-owned riads – traditional buildings facing an internal courtyard – as well as Western and Moroccan style hotels. Departs November 16-30 with a maximum of 14 guests. Costs from $3140 a person, twin share. 1300 783 188, activetravel.com.au.