Deep fabulousness in Vietnam, heli-ski New Zealand or frock up in Melbourne: travel deals May 19, 2013

InterContinental Danang Sun peninsula Resort, Vietnam
Is this the most gorgeous photo ever? It was a toss-up between this fabulous shot of the restaurant at the InterCon Danang, designed by Bill Bensley, or the awesome NZ heli-skiing shot below. Reader: I chewed my nails for you. Enjoy this week's best international and Australian travel deals.

QUEENSLAND
Avoid the queues and head to the Gold Coast's Sea World, main picture, out of the school holidays and save up to 80 per cent on stays at the 4.5-star Broadbeach resort, which includes unlimited entry to Warner Bros Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild Water World. Stay two nights and get a free Dolphin Discovery presentation at Sea World. You'll get 25 per cent off food and drinks, the kids' club and free wi-fi. Valid until July 14. Costs from $79.90 a person, twin share, $20 a child. 133 386, seaworldresort.com.au.

NSW
Sydney Airport just grew up, with its first airport hotel in the international terminal - Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel opened on May 7. The hotel is celebrating with an opening special, free wi-fi and $35 to spend in its Blackwattle Grill and sports bar. The 318-room hotel is one minute's walk from the international terminal and includes 24-hour room service. Costs from $205 a night. (02) 9313 2500, rydges.com/sydneyairport.

TASMANIA
There's a rugged beauty to the Henry Jones Art Hotel, pictured above left, which has had everyone from whalers to jam-makers on its stone floors on Hobart's waterfront. Book a night in a deluxe spa room and get breakfast for two, free wi-fi and $50 towards dinner in Henry's Restaurant, saving a cool $178. Stay before September 30 and quote PT014. Costs from $355. 1800 420 155, puretasmania.com.au.

TOP END
Hawke Dreaming camp
The wet season is over, the roads are dry and the wilderness camps of the Top End are open for business, including the Hawke Dreaming luxury tented lodge. Located near Ubirr in a restricted section of Kakadu National Park, the lodge has just 12 tents, with en suites and decks. Book by June 30 and save 15 per cent off the regular rate. Normally $265 a night, pay $225. Self-drive travellers can save 10 per cent when they stay five nights at any of APT's exclusive luxury network of lodges across the Northern Territory and Western Australia, including the Bungle Bungles and Mitchell Falls. Includes dinner, bed and breakfast. 1800 240 504, kimberleywilderness.com.au.

VICTORIA
Have a Hollywood moment in Melbourne, at the Hollywood Costume exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image as part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces program. The Sofitel Melbourne normally costs about $450 a night, but the Hollywood Costume package includes one night's stay, breakfast and two tickets to the exhibition, which has the costumes of Scarlett O'Hara, Holly Golightly and Jack Sparrow. The hotel's Atrium Bar is shaking up Hollywood-inspired cocktails during the exhibition, until August 18. Costs from $360. (03) 9653 0000, sofitelmelbourne.com.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Set at the start (or the end) of the Great Ocean Road, Mount Gambier is a great base for wine tourism up into Coonawarra, for exploring the wild and empty beaches along the Great Australian Bight or just taking in the classic genteel sight of the town's astonishing Blue Lake. Save up to 20 per cent on two-night stays in a self-contained apartment in the 4.5-star Precinct on Jardine. Valid on stays until August 5. Costs from $800 for two nights in a three-bedroom apartment (sleeps six). travel.com.au.


VIETNAM
One of the world's best new hotels, according to Conde Nast Traveler, is the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, pictured, on the Son Tra Peninsula, halfway between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. To celebrate the opening of the new Harnn Heritage Spa, packages include a three-night stay, breakfast and yoga and 25 per cent off spa treatments, and a one-hour massage. From $930 a night. 13 83 88, danang.intercontinental.com.

SWITZERLAND
Switzerland can be so cliched, and don't we love it? Trafalgar's new eight-day Swiss Delight takes it a step further with a cable car ride to Mount Pilatus, chocolate making and folklore tales at a traditional "stubete". Book by July 10 to save 7.5 per cent. Costs from $1688 a person, twin share. Book a Singapore Airlines flight to Europe from $1999 with a Trafalgar guided tour, and your friend flies from $899. Book flights before July 31. 1300 663 043, trafalgar.com.


THAILAND
Get four free nights in Phuket when you book eight nights at the five-star, award-winning Merlin Beach Resort, close to Patong Beach. Facilities at the resort include a kids' club and pool, day spas and a range of bars and restaurants. The deal includes breakfast, airport transfers, restaurant discounts and a two-hour massage or half-day Phuket tour. From $466 a person, twin share. Valid until October 31. 1300 883 887, travelonline.com.

CHINA
The lobby of the new Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai
Just a few years ago, the glitzy Shanghai district of Pudong was mere rice paddies: now it's home to the newest Mandarin Oriental hotel, which features more than 4000 original artworks. Opening packages include stay two nights and pay just one with free wi-fi, or the Discover Shanghai package, which includes one night's accommodation, free wi-fi and up to $300 in spa or restaurant use. Valid until September 30. From $661. 1800 123 693, mandarinoriental.com.

SOUTH AMERICA
South American adventurer Explora has been combining eco-adventure and luxury for 20 years and celebrates its birthday with a free night on four-night stays in remote lodges in the Chilean Patagonia, Easter Island and the Atacama Desert until October 14. Stay four nights at Atacama, which includes airport transfers, meals and open bar, and daily explorations via horses, vehicles, boats and foot. From $2720 a person, twin share. +56 2 2395 2800, explora.com.



TOURWATCH
So you can’t sing, but you can still ski like a rock star amidst the snowy peaks of New Zealand’s South Island. Southern Lakes Heli Ski’s new all-inclusive, one-week heli-skiing package gives you unlimited heli-ski runs. “As long as your legs can keep going, then so do you,” they promise. And if the weather gods get moody, there are golf pros, bungy jumping and Central Otago wines to drink. Join a group with an Unlimited Package, which guarantees first and last tracks each day, or the Private Package for groups of four or more gets your own chopper and 8,500 square kilometers of heli-ski exclusive terrain to explore. Includes five-star accommodation, meals and guides. From June 30 – September 30. Costs from $7500 (Unlimited) or from $13,499 (Private) per person. +64 3 442 6222, southernlakesheliski.co.nz.    


Source: Belinda Jackson, Sun Herald

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