Italian trains, Croatian hideaways and Kangaroo Island feasts: travel deals April 21, 2013

Dubrovnik, Croatia
See Italy by train, do Croatia beautifully, in boutique-hotel style or give a goat the eye on Kangaroo Island on an Australian food safari in this week's best Australian and international travel deals.

NSW

Wind down on the banks of the Murray River at Barham, between Echuca and Swan Hill, and take the time for sculpture walks, riverside barbecues, a round of golf or some great fishing. Stay three nights at Barham Golden River's self-contained apartments and save up to $118 on stays until August 31. Three nights from $236. 1800 243 355, goldenriversapartments.com.au.

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Spot crocodiles and wild geese, bathe in waterfalls, admire the rock-art galleries of Ubirr and Nourlangi and breathe in the pure tropical air of the Territory's Top End on a three-day getaway that takes you through Litchfield and Kakadu national parks. Forget slumming it: you will spend one night at the luxury Wildman Wilderness Lodge, pictured above left, on the Mary River wetlands and the next at indigenous-owned Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn. Save up to 10 per cent on Long Rainbow tours departing June 6 and July 7 and 14. Quote code PP406. Costs from $1255 a person, twin share (departs Darwin). 1800 467 747, inspiringjourneys.com.au.

QUEENSLAND

Mantra Noosa, Qld.
If you want to see what $5 million looks like, check in to Mantra French Quarter in Noosa (formerly a BreakFree), on happening Hastings Street. The 68 one- and two-bedroom apartments have all been upgraded with new kitchens and furniture. To celebrate, the opening two-night Relax and Refresh package includes free in-house movies, popcorn and a cheese platter on arrival. Book a one-hour massage at Endota day spa and you'll also get a free 30-minute facial. Book by May 20 for stays until December 24. Costs from $374 for two nights in a one-bedroom apartment, or from $458 for two nights in a two-bedroom unit. 1300 987 604, mantra.com.au.

TASMANIA

Bridestowe Lavender Farm, Tasmania
Skip across the puddle to discover the natural beauty of the Nut at Stanley, Mount Field National Park, Eaglehawk Neck and the Bridestowe Lavender Farm in a 12-day exploration of Tasmania. There are stays in crafty Launceston and the west coast town of Strahan, as well as Freycinet National Park, home to the perfect crescent of Wineglass Bay, consistently ranked in the top 10 of the world's best beaches. Book before July 31 and save up to $500 a couple on the Royal Tasman escorted coach tour on departures between September and May. Costs from $4545 a person, twin share. 1300 229 804, aptouring.com.au.

TRANS-AUSTRALIA

Cross Australia in style, from Sydney to Perth via Adelaide, on a 4348-kilometre journey. Scenes from your window include the Nullarbor Plain, the Blue Mountains and the vineyards of South Australia. Travellers who book gold service class can save 20 per cent off the fare and train excursions, worth up to $484. The package includes all meals and most drinks, and a 50-kilogram luggage allowance. Book by July 31 for travel June 1-October 31. Costs from $1832 for an adult. 1800 014 392, greatsouthernrail.com.au.
Venice, Italy

ITALY

Seeing Italy by train is much cheaper now, with main operator Trenitalia cutting some fares by up to 70 per cent. Save up to $40 on economy fares between Milan and Rome (now $66); $23 off Rome-Florence ($41) and $31 off Rome-Venice ($68). Tickets can be booked up to three months in advance. raileurope.com.au.

NEW ZEALAND

Sweet-toothed Australians already know about the Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival - July 20-26, 2013 - which includes a tour of the Cadbury chocolate factory, chocolate painting, and a jaffa race down the world's steepest street. Apollo Motorhome Holidays is celebrating a decade in NZ with discounts on all campervans, from two to six berths. Save up to $19 a day on a six-berth motorhome, costs from $48 a day. 1800 777 779, apollocamper.co.nz/specials/chocolate-carnival.

CROATIA

Balmy seas and fabulous mediaeval architecture are the hallmarks of Dubrovnik. Enjoy its delights from Villa Dubrovnik, perched on a rocky outcrop. Stay seven nights and pay half price as part of Mr & Mrs Smith's 50 Half Price Hotels promotion. Other hotels on sale include Anantara Seminyak in Bali, from $226 a night, and Hotel Crillon le Brave, Provence, France, from $172 a night. Book until May 14 for stays until July 14. Villa Dubrovnik is usually from $260 a night. 1300 896 627, mrandmrssmith.com/au/luxury-hotels/villa-dubrovnik.
Sheraton Maldives

MALDIVES

Fabulous families holiday in the Maldives: stay eight nights at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort and get two free nights, for families of two adults and two children. The package includes international airfares, breakfast and dinner daily, until December 23. From $12,200. 1300 296 543, byokids.com.au.

HAWAII

Regarded as the nirvana of the shop-and-flop brigade, Hawaii gets an adrenalin hit as World Expeditions gets you up and going with its Hawaii hiking itinerary. The 14-day adventure crosses Kona, Kauai and Maui, walking through cloud forests, tropical swamps and the craters of Haleakala National Park. Save $200 on the May 19 departure. Costs $3090 a person. 1300 720 000, worldexpeditions.com.

TOURWATCH

The greats of South Australian food come together at the country's premier eco-lodge, Southern Ocean Lodge, in the annual Kangaroo Island Food Safari, which runs for six nights from August 24. The island truly is the land of milk and honey. Get your gumboots out as cook-and-chef team Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant lead the safari. Chef Damien Pignolet, of Woollahra's Bistro Moncur fame, joins the safari, which includes cooking demonstrations, winery lunches and drinks at Remarkable Rocks. The six-night package includes accommodation, dining and epicurean excursions, open bar and flights between Adelaide and Kangaroo Island. Costs from $5940 a person, twin share for six nights. (02) 9918 4355, southernoceanlodge.com.au.

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