Dine in the desert, lap up the luxury: travel deals 3 February 2013
|It could only be the Maldives.|
Small and beautiful not only describes the island of Tasmania, but also Hobart’s sleek boutique hotel scene, led by the bellwether The Islington. The last word in chic, the 11-room hotel is offering 20 per cent off dinner, bed and breakfast in its lush Garden View rooms when you stay Wednesday to Sunday. Normally $585 a night, rug up and save $117 a night on stays between April 1 and September 30. The offer includes a three-course a la carte dinner for two. Book by February 28. Costs from $468 a night. 1300 896 627, mrandmrssmith.com.
Now the holiday crowds have gone, you can soak up the beauty of the Great Ocean Road in relative peace. Stay three nights in a cabin at the Big4 Beacon Resort in Queenscliff and they’ll include a Movie Munch popcorn pack, free DVD hire, mountain bikes, two meals for the price of one at Terindah Estate vineyard, half price on a South Bay eco-tours discovery tour and a bottle of chardonnay from local vineyard, Scotchmans Hill. Excludes Saturday nights, the Bellarine Getaway Package is valid until August 31. Costs from $330, three nights. 1800 351 152, beaconresort.com.au.
|The Sebel Resort Noosa, Queensland.|
If you thought Noosa’s locals couldn’t get any more buff and beautiful, wait till the Kellogg’s Nutri-grain Ironman and Ironwoman series comes to town on February 24. Get into the action with a stay at the refurbished Sebel Resort Noosa, on Hastings Street. Stay in a one-bed spa apartment and get 35 per cent off, kids stay free and you’ll also get free internet. Stay two nights or more, and get free bike hire or surfboard hire. Book by February 28 for stays until June 20 (excluding Easter), and quote the suitably vigorous promo code ‘outdoors’. Costs from $259 a night. 131 515, sebelresortnoosa.com.
It’s still summer out in the west, where the turtles are nesting and the manta rays are swimming. Do your bit to keep the turtles happy with a guided tour to spot Green, Loggerhead and Hawksbill turtles (08 9949 1176, exmouthwa.com.au), Stay at the nearby Novotel Ningaloo Reef in Exmouth and get five nights for the price of four on stays until March 28. Costs from $1100 a room, five nights. (08) 9949 0000, novotelningaloo.com.au.
Tick the Northern Territory many icons off your bucket list in one swoop, on the 11-day Territory Explorer, including Uluru, Alice Springs, Kakadu and Katherine Gorge. Highlights also include a Sounds of Silence dinner in the central Australian desert, a slap-up feed at Daly Waters pub and two nights at the Sails in the Desert resort at Uluru. Book by March 31 and your partner gets free flights into Ayers Rock and out of Darwin, tours depart between June and August. Costs from $5665 a person, twin share. 1300 723 642, scenictours.com.
Get into the thick of Bangkok’s gold-obsessed Chinatown with a three-night stay that includes breakfast daily, welcome drinks, free wi-fi and 20 per cent off at the hotel spa. Rooms from the 11th floor up of the three-star Grand China hotel include views of the city and Chao Phraya river. Book by March 31 for stays between April 1 and October 31. Costs from $95 a person, twin share, for three nights. 133 133, flightcentre.com.au.
|The pun-worthy rock formations of Cappadocia, Turkey|
Turkish history resonates with Australians, and the battlefields of World War I are on the itinerary of this seven-day ‘Turkish Delight’ coach tour through a remarkable country. Other highlights include the ancient cities of Troy and Ephesus, the Convent of the Whirling Dervishes in far western Konya and the pun-worthy rock formations of Cappadocia. Save 10 per cent when you book by February 20, excludes tours during the ANZAC period, April 18-25. Costs from $828 a person, includes four-star accommodation and most meals. 1300 362 844, tempoholidays.com.
Beat the rush for flights and book your April holiday before March 1 to save $726 on a seven-night stay at Club Med, Nusa Dua. The offer includes all meals, open bar and snacks, kids’ club, sports activities and daily entertainment. They’ll also include airport transfers and Club Med membership with travel insurance on travel. The deal is valid for travel until April 30. Normally $1913 for adults, costs from $1187 for adults, $692 for children, seven nights. 1300 855 052, clubmed.com.au.
|The Viceroy Maldives.|
You may not have celebrated Maldives National Day on January 25, but the five-star Viceroy Maldives, on Vagaru Island, has marked the occasion with a discount on its 61 luxe beach and waterfront villas. Book by February 17 and save up to $760 a night on stays until March 23. They’ll also include breakfast daily and a free upgrade to the next villa type, if available. (Minimum stay four nights between February 4 – 17). Costs from $910 a villa, a night. viceroyhotelgroup.com.
SPAIN & FRANCE
Paris and Barcelona: does it get any better? It does, when you include the French wine regions of Bordeaux, St-Emilion and Sauternes, then add Seville, Ronda and Granada into the mix. The Splendours of France & Spain tour spends 18 days ambling through these two European superstars, with departures on May 5 and September 29. Book before February 28 and get $200 off the luxury coach tour. Costs from $4435 a person, twin share. 1300 237 886, insightvacations.com.
|South Australia's incomparable Flinders Ranges.|
Capture the vastness of central Australia with a new aerial landscape photography tour, led by the highly experienced photographer Peter Elfes. The six-day tour skims over the beauty of the Flinders Ranges and Lake Eyre in light aircraft, and gets down on the ground with walking and 4WD tours and photography workshops. There’s also an overnight stay in Marree and visit to Andamooka included, with flights by Air Wilpena, which has been running scenic flights in the region since 1959. The groups will have a maximum of 12 guests and tours depart June 4-9 and October 22-27. Costs from $4475 a person, single room, including all flights and tours. (08) 8648 0004, airwilpena.com.au.