Animal antics in Africa and Adelaide: travel deals 25 November 2012


Discover the Way of the Panda in Adelaide, go gorilla-tastic in Africa, or hitch a ride on a camel in Broome in this week's best international and domestic travel deals.

TASMANIA
Stepping into summer, it’s shaping up as peak walking time for Tasmania’s hills and mountains. Yes, you can camp, but it’s so much nicer to fall into a hot tub after a day trekking the highlands. Cradle Mountain Chateau is knocking its rates almost in half until December 20, quote booking code ‘PT004’. Normally from $105 a person, costs from $65 a person. 1800 420 155 www.puretasmania.com.au

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Canberra celebrates its centenary in 2013, with a year-long calendar of events, with indigenous cultural explorations, art exhibitions and sporting face-offs, canberra100.com.au. Stay at the 4½-star Pavilion on Northbourne in a deluxe room  with the big buffet brekky, and save up to $286 a night. Valid for stays until February 2013, quote ‘Canberra Sale Special’. Costs from $140 a night. 1300 88 7979, wotif.com/hotelW6953.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Where else can you ride a camel along the beach but in Broome? Soak up that golden WA sun on Cable Beach and save up to 30 per cent off your room at the 4.5-star Oaks Cable Beach Sanctuary, curled around a lagoon-style swimming pool. Book by November 30 for travel until April 30, 2013. Costs from $139 a night for two in a studio room or stay five and save 40 per cent, from $595 for five nights. 1300 888 180, zuji.com.au.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Let Wang Wang and Funi show you ‘The Way of the Panda.’ Adelaide Zoo’s two pandas are one of the city’s great drawcards for kids and adults, set in eight hectares of botanic gardens. The zoo is a pleasant walk (ok, five minutes in a cab) to BreakFree Adelaide, in Hindley St, which is offering the fourth night free for families who stay three nights in a two-bed apartment until March 27, 2013. On top of that, stay before January 18, 2013, get a two-for-one Gray Line Barossa Valley tour. Costs from $615 for three nights.  132 007, breakfree.com.au.

VICTORIA
The few weeks before Christmas is when bargain hunters slip in a sneaky getaway: take San Remo,  for example. Just over an hour south of Melbourne, the sleepy town is the gateway for Phillip Island, and the place for fish and chips on empty, windswept beaches, visiting tiny cellar doors and shopping the weekend produce markets. Stay two nights, get 10 per cent off, or stay three or more and get 20 per cent off at Silverwater Resort on stays until December 20 quote code ‘Santa12’. Costs from $278 a room, for two nights. 1800 033 403, silverwaterresort.com.au

TRANS-AUSTRALIA
It’s time to break out the iconic Aussie songs, Gangagang’s ‘Sounds of Then (This is Australia)’ and of course Icehouse’s ‘Great Southern Land’ – you come over all patriotic when you’re crossing our country’s Red Centre.  Save up to $611pp on The Ghan, travelling from Adelaide to Darwin or vice versa. Book before December 24 for travel until March 31, 2013. Was $2116, costs from $1505 a person, Gold Service, and was $3210, now $2259 a person, Platinum Service. 13 21 47, greatsouthernrail.com.au.

The Dipan Resort Villa & Spa, Seminyak, Bali
BALI
Seminyak is Bali’s hip and beating heart, with the best boutiques, bars, spas and restaurants on the island. Stay in The Dipan Resort Villa and Spa, a 22-suite hotel in the pinnacle of Seminyak hip, Petitenget, for half the price, but still get breakfast, wi-fi and a welcome massage. Stay four night and get a dinner in the resort restaurant as well. Book now for travel until July 3, 2013. Costs from $130 a night in a hotel room, or $241 a night in a one-bedroom villa. 1300 85 95 65, cantikbalivillas.com.

Flamingoes on Lake Nakuru, Kenya.
KENYA
Kids travel free when they’re with two adults on an eight-day Kenya Highlights package. Each couple can have one child under 12, who stays in the same accommodation and the deal includes all meals and sightseeing. Highlights include meeting the Maasai and the masses of flamingos on Lake Nakuru. Costs from $1895 a person, twin share. 1300 195 873, benchinternational.com.au.

CHILE & ARGENTINA
With a BMW F650 GS between your legs and the panorama of snow-capped volcanos before you, is there any more beautiful place in the world than the Andes? This nine-day tour by road bike starts and ends in Santiago and covers 2100km, travelling south into Patagonia, where you cross the Andes to Argentina and beautiful Bariloche. Compass Expeditions is offering US$800 off for the rider and $400 for co-riders. Tour departs 28 December, 2012. Includes bike hire, fuel and 10 nights’ accommodation. Costs from $3490, $2190 for pillion. 1300 887 327, compassexpeditions.com.

AFRICA
Spend 20 days visiting the gorillas of Africa in some of the continent’s most spectacular scenery, including Masai Mara, Victoria Falls and Tanzania’s Lake Manyara and the Serengeti. There’s mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda, game drives, a boma dining experience beneath the stars. Travel Associates is offering one free return economy flight with South African Airways when two people book together. Book by December 31 for travel on May 31, 2013, includes all internal flights and up to eight game park drives. Costs from $16595 a person, twin share. 1800 044 066, travel-associates.com.au

TOURWATCH: SWEDEN
The low Swedish coastline was surely designed for kayaking, and the new West Coast Sweden: Bohuslän Archipelago journey with Southern Sea Ventures is a girl’s or boy’s own adventure writ large. The itinerary includes beach camping and stays in snug lodges, paddling through thousands of granite islands while observed by seals and seagulls. You’ll be led by Swedish seakayaker Ulrika Larsson, who started her paddling career in the Stockholm archipelago and has paddled the Swedish coastline solo. The 10-day trip includes eight days’ kayaking, and has a moderate grading, so some paddling experience is necessary, and it helps if you’ve seen the inside of a tent before. Departs August 25, 2013 from Gothenburg, in southern Sweden, and includes all kayaking equipment. Costs from $2250 a person. (02) 8901 3287, southernseaventures.com


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