Gangnam style and buffalo stations: travel deals 4 November 2012


Bamurru Plains, Northern Territory, Australia
Let's talk Victoria's (shopping) secrets, Gangnam Style in Seoul and, for a complete wildcard, buffalo stations in the Territory, in this week's best Australian and international travel deals. 

VICTORIA
Melbourne’s shopping scene goes into overdrive during the Spring Racing Carnival, throughout November. Stay in the thick of it all, in a studio deluxe suite at the new Fraser Place Melbourne aparthotel, near Carlton Gardens. They’ll add in internet and continental breakfast for two on stays before December 30, and the hotel is on the free city tramline, so you don’t even have to buy public transport tickets. Costs from $160 a night. 1800 372 7377, frasershospitality.com 

The main lodge at Pethers Rainforest Retreat, Qld
QUEENSLAND
Tambourine Mountain, an hour south of Brisbane, is lush rainforest on the appropriately named Scenic Rim, best viewed from the Rainforest Skywalk. The adults-only Pethers Rainforest Retreat is celebrating a decade in the business with a midweek romantic getaway. Stay two nights in a luxury treehouse, get a cheese platter and bottle of wine on arrival, daily continental breakfast basket and late check-out. And romance at a discount is always sweeter: save $250 on stays Sunday – Thursday until February 28, 2013, quote code ‘celebration’. Costs $450 for two people, for two nights.  (07) 5545 4577, pethers.com.au.


NEW SOUTH WALES
Sydney is a playground for kids big and small. Stay in a superior room at the 4.5-star Grace Hotel, on the corner of King & York Sts, and they’ll include entry passes to either the Sydney SEA LIFE Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo or Madame Tussauds. Normally $400 room only, until December 20, costs from $230 for two adults and one child. (02) 9272 6602, gracehotel.com.au.


TASMANIA
The quiet beauty of Corinna, Tasmania
The Tarkine Wilderness, in Tassie’s far north-west, encircles the last traces of the ancient forests of Gondwana. Spend three nights in a queen bed eco cottage in nearby Corinna and get all meals including a Tasmanian cheese and wine platter and three-course dinners, a day cruise on the Pieman River, guided and self- guided walks and kayaking on a Wilderness Discovery Eco Experience Holiday. You’ll also get a coffee table book, ‘The Tarkine’ and you get to take all your rubbish home with you, too! Save 30 per cent on stays until April 31, 2013. Costs from $1355 a couple, (03) 6446 1170, corinna.com.au.

NORTHERN TERRITORY
Stay in a buffalo station in one of Australia’s great wild places, the Mary River floodplains, west of Kakadu National Park. The safari-style Bamurru Plains is named for the wild geese who nest here each year, and taking a fly boat over the waters in the early morning is a heart-lifting experience (and they even stop to make you coffee). Stay two nights with a fully-inclusive deal that sets you up in a safari bungalow, supplies all meals, open bar and daily guided activities including 4WD safaris. The deal includes return flights from Darwin, saving $980 a couple, until November 30. Costs from $3720 a couple, two nights. 1300 790 561, wildbushluxury.com.

GERMANY
Train across Germany this winter, with free stops at 13 historic towns and cities where great events helped shape world history.  Save 20 per cent on German Rail passes when booked by November 30 for travel November 15 – December 31, 2012. Passes also get you 10 per cent off at select hostels and hotels in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Normally $264, costs from $211 for a five-day second class pass. raileurope.com.au.

Gangnam style, Korea
KOREA
If you’re completely clueless as to what Gangnam Style is, check in to the Novotel Seoul Ambassador, in the Gangnam district. The deal includes accommodation and breakfast for two, a half-day local tour, a 20 per cent discount at the nearby Art Performance Centre and shopping discount vouchers so you can hit COEX, the largest underground shopping mall in Asia. They’ll also throw in a great cup of coffee: don’t get it? Listen to the song. Costs from $260 a night until January 31, 2013. (+82) 2/567 1101, novotel.com/korea_gangnam.

NEW ZEALAND
Walkers and cyclist are sure to flock to Queenstown for its latest attraction for the active, the new 100km-Queenstown Trail. Soften the blow of all that hardship with three nights’ stay at the plush Hotel St Moritz MGallery, with a three-for-two offer. Its picture windows, overlooking Lake Wakatipu to The Remarkables mountain range, will keep you connected with the great outdoors. Costs from $408 a room, three nights, including breakfast until March 31, 2013. (+64) 3 442 4990, mgallery.com.
Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA
Visit old British hill stations, admire Dutch architecture and savour the craziness of Colombo on this 13-day tour of Sri Lanka. There’s also beach time to be had and spices to savour. Save 15 per cent when booked by November 23 for departures until March 31, 2013, quote promo code 1274. Normally $1640, costs $1394. 1300 854 444, geckosadventures.com.

SOUTH AFRICA
Spas and safaris – they’re a natural mix when you’re a Travelling Diva. The tour includes private wine tastings, an insiders’ tour to secret boutiques and local designers in Cape Town and three days on safari staying at Kwandwe private game reserve. Book by November 16, get an additional night in Cape Town and a personal tour of a diamond supplier (and tax free diamond shopping!) Tour departs May 12-25, 2013. Costs from $6999 a person, twin share. 0408 721 569, travellingdivas.com.au.

TOURWATCH
You could be one of 100 million people watching the 2013 SuperBowl on TV, or you could live the dream and watch it live, in New Orleans’ Superdome, on February 3, 2013. Choose from the silver, gold or platinum packages, each one getting you closer to the action on the Loge level, between the 20 and 50-yard lines, which Mr Aristotle co-founder Paul Kent says is the best viewpoint for some of the biggest action of the 2013 Super Bowl. “It’s a case of first in, best dressed,” warns Kent. Costs from US3835 (silver), US6825 (gold) or US11,050 (platinum) a person. 0423 538 593, mraristotle.com.

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