Chic digs in Paris, Siem Reap and Melbourne: travel deals April 14, 2013

Geikie Gorge, Western Australia.
A Parisienne apartment, Raffles hotel in Siem Reap, and the Como Melbourne: this week's international and domestic travel deals are all about chic digs.

NSW
Looking for an easy, passport-free school holidays? Take a spin on Katoomba's Scenic Railway (scenicworld.com.au) or watch battle re-enactments at Ironfest in Lithgow, April 20-21 (ironfest.net). The Blue Mountains is also celebrating the first recognised European crossing, with re-enactments of the path of explorers Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth in 1813 (visitbluemountains.com.au). Families of up to four can save $72 on a two-night stay at the Blue Mountains YHA until July 31. Includes breakfast daily and free wi-fi at the art deco property in Katoomba. Costs from $240, two nights. (02) 4782 1416, yha.com.au.

QUEENSLAND

The luxury of holidays is doing what you want: and if you want to stay in and watch movies, then order the Outrigger Twin Towns Resort's Movie Munch Package. The deal includes free popcorn and retro lolly bags, as well as a free room upgrade and daily breakfast. The hotel, at Tweed Heads-Coolangatta, is beside the Twin Towns Services Club, which has just had a $21 million renovation, with a new line-up of entertainment including Pete Murray, Lee Kernaghan and the Blue Oyster Cult (yes, really). Costs from $298, two nights until April 30. (07) 5536 2121, outrigger.com.au.

TASMANIA

Delve into the beauty of the Tarkine wilderness, as seen through the eyes of top nature photographer Steve Parish, who rates a dawn shoot on the Pieman River as one of the highlights of his 50-year career behind the lens. He is hosting a five-day residential workshop at Corinna Wilderness Retreat, an old goldmining town in the Tarkine, for photographers to help them capture that perfect moment. There are night photography walks and post-production workshops, as well as kayaking trips and early-morning river cruises on the hunt for platypus and birds. The tour runs from August 18 to 23. Book by May 31 and save $1500. Costs from $3250 a person. (03) 6446 1170, corinna.com.au.

VICTORIA

Melbourne's Toorak is hot again, with smokin' eateries including misschu, MoVida Bakery and Claremont Tonic all just five minutes apart. Stay three nights in the slicked-up Toorak icon, the Como hotel, pictured top left, and pay for just two nights, as part of Accor's global Stay 3, Pay 2 sale. Book by June 25 for stays until June 30. Costs from $366, three nights. 1300 656 565, accorhotels.com.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Hit the north-western coastline on an 18-day adventure from Darwin to Perth, and save up to $450 a person. Highlights include stays in El Questro, Karijini's National Park in the Pilbara, at Ningaloo Reef and Monkey Mia - expect ghost towns, camel rides, empty deserts and sparkling beaches. Book by April 30 for one of nine departures between May and September. Costs from $6545 a person, twin share. 1300 300 036, travelmarvel.com.au.

NEW ZEALAND

Scenery and food are two of Queenstown's signature experiences. Get both with the Rees Hotel's dinner, bed and breakfast package, on April 27. The hotel is serving a five-course degustation menu with Waiheke vintages by Destiny Bay up against Bordeaux France for $237. Stay a second consecutive night for just $40. Costs from $438.20 a person, two nights, quote "ASHCS". therees.co.nz.

FRANCE

If you've come to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, you won't be disappointed. There it is, as seen from your bedroom window, just 15 minutes' walk across the Seine. You can rent out two bedrooms in this wildly creative mansion or share the B&B and make new friends. Book by May 31 for stays until November 30 and save $50 a night. Costs from $165 a night, two people, including breakfast. petiteparis.com.au.

FIJI

Check in to a week at the Fiji Hideaway Resort & Spa on the Coral Coast and get up to $1000 in bonus extras such as return airport transfers and $F500 ($270) credit for resort food and spa treatments. Includes return flights with Air Pacific, meals, some drinks, and under-12s get to play, stay and eat free. Book by April 30 for travel in May and November, with additional dates available with a surcharge. Costs from $1440 a person, twin share. myholidaycentre.com.au/fiji.

PERU

Walk in cloud forests and witches' markets, from Quito to La Paz. Intrepid My Adventure Store is knocking 15 per cent off its South America trips booked until May 15 for travel until August 31. The 36-day journey includes camping, homestays, Machu Picchu at sunrise and a Mancora beach sunset. Save $526, costs from $2969 a person, twin share. 1300 018 390, myadventurestore.com.

EGYPT

Visit the home of two of the seven wonders of the ancient world (including the Giza pyramids, pictured) at half price. Tempo Holidays' 11-day Wonders of Egypt tour, which visits Cairo and Alexandria and spends four nights cruising the Nile from Luxor to Aswan, is offering two for the price of one on tours departing May 3-17 and July 12-26. Book by April 30; includes internal flights. Costs from $3230 for two people, twin share. 1300 558 987, tempoholidays.com.

TOURWATCH

Journey into Cambodia’s elaborate Khmer culture on a five-night tour, staying three nights at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Siem Reap and two in Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh. Meet eminent Cambodian artists, learn the secrets behind shadow puppetry and classical dance, and get into the kitchen to cook the recipes from the Royal Palace of Cambodia. The tour also reveals charitable projects in Phnom Penh’s Lotus Blanc restaurant and Siem Reap’s Artisans d’Angkor’s Silk Farm. Includes a traditional Khmer spa treatment, helicopter flight over Angkor and sunrise at Angkor Wat. A Journey Through Khmer Culture costs from $3095 a person, five nights, twin share. 0011 800 1723 3537 (toll free), raffles.com.

Source: Belinda Jackson, Sun Herald

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