Travel deals: Indonesia’s Gili islands



Flying to Fiji's Mamanucas with the kids.

Those looking beyond Bali into the rest of Indonesia's archipelago are finding themselves in the Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok, a two-hour fast ferry from Bali. Otherwise, we love Noos-aaah or pootling around Fiji by seaplane. 

If you'd prefer to play winter princess, check out a tour from Helsinki to St Petersburg, WWI battlefields or (dare we say it) Victoria's Philip Island? It's all here, in this week's best international and domestic travel deals.

GO NOW
QUEENSLAND
Get two nights free when you book a seven-night holiday, worth $950, at the absolute beachfront apartments at Seahaven Noosa until July 31. The 4.5-star property includes four heated pools, spa, gym and bbq. From $2375, seven nights. (07) 5447 3422, seahavennoosa.com.au.

RUSSIA
Travel by coach and rail from Helsinki to St Petersburg and Moscow on the nine-day Tsar Route tour and save $225. Includes transport, accommodation in first-class hotels, breakfast and sightseeing. Available  August-September 2014. Costs $1891 a person, twin share. 1300 668 844, eetbtravel.com.

The glamour of the Russian empire
GO SOON
VICTORIA
Take a break on Phillip Island and get $200 of extras including dinner, wine and a three-parks pass that includes the Penguin Parade when you stay two nights in a studio spa room at the Ramada Resort Phillip Island. Costs $484, two nights, until August 31. (03) 5952 8000, ramadaphillipisland.com.au.


The new Karma Reef hotel on Gili Meno, Lombok
INDONESIA
Tiny Gili Meno is one of a trio of hip isles of the coast of Lombok, two hours by boat from Bali. The new boutique resort Karma Reef’s low-season special runs from October 1, 2014 – March 31, 2015 (excludes Christmas). Normally $315 a night, from $170 B&B for two. +62 370 642 340, karmaroyalgroup.com.

GO LATER
NEW SOUTH WALES
Celebrate spring by reconnecting with nature at the eco-accredited Paperbark Camp near Jervis Bay, and save up to $440 throughout September and midweek (Sunday-Thursday) in October. From $500, two nights, with gourmet breakfast, bikes, kayaks and stand-up paddling. 1300 668 167, paperbarkcamp.com.au.
JORDAN
Discover the Roman ruins, Crusader castles and ancient Nabataen civilisation of Petra on an 11-night tour through this beautiful desert country. Book by September 30 and receive all entrance fees to sites free. Departs March 30, 2015. From $4989 a person, twin share. (07) 3372 4833,  gypsiantours.com.au

KIDS
FIFO TO FIJI
Petra, Jordan
Travel is half the adventure, especially when you catch a family fly-in, fly-out package to Fiji’s Castaway Island in the Mamanucas. The five-night offer includes helicopter and sea plane transfers for two adults and two kids from Nadi airport to the island. There’s also plenty of water action, with snorkelling, a dolphin safari, sunset cruise and a ride on a banana boat included. From $5470 for a family of four, available until March 31, 2015. +679 666 1233, castawayfiji.com

TOURWATCH
BATTLEFIELD TOUR
Follow a soldier’s footsteps on a guided tour of Europe’s most poignant battlefields during the centenary years of WWI. The 12-day tour travels from London to Amsterdam via France and Belgium to the D-Day landing beaches of Normandy, the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres’ Menin Gate. Highlights include the new First World War Galleries in the Imperial War Museum in London, and lighter moments are found in a wine tasting in Reims and dinner in a local’s home in Amsterdam. From $3775 a person, twin share. 1300 663 043, trafalgar.com.

This travel deals column by Belinda Jackson is published in Sydney's Sun-Herald newspaper every Sunday.

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