Takeoff travel news: August 31



AIRLINE
Greater Goode
The movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution has just been boosted into the skies as Qantas adopts the RECOGNISE logo on its new QantasLink Dash 8 Q400 aircraft. Qantas Ambassador and Australian of the Year Adam Goodes says he is thrilled by the new livery and urges Australians to sign up to the movement at recognise.org.au. “It’s  so  important  that  every  one  of  us  plays  our  part  in  campaigning  for  this  referendum  and  securing  a resounding YES vote,” he says. Qantas is adding a RECOGNISE logo to all its 31 Q400 aircraft flying within Australia and to PNG.

SHOP
Global Glamazons
Buy the world on a ‘glamcation,’ a luxe jaunt for ladies who shop. The girls-only trips are tailored for women over 30 and include preening beauty sessions, insider info on the best fashion boutiques and red-carpet entrances into A-list events fashion and sporting events, from the races in Hong Kong to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and Broadway shows. The tours are also timed to hit the sales, including New York’s Black Friday sales and private shopping events at Hong Kong’s Lane Crawford. Led by self-confessed bagaholic, perfume tragic and organisational queen Justine Weller, the very first glamcation, Tropics Shopaholics Honolulu, gets underway in September 7-15, $4299, followed by Fully Loaded Hong Kong (October 5-12, $3995) and Glam Apple New York (November 22-30, $4499). Excludes airfares. Phone 0414 753 767, see glamaramagetaways.com.

KIDS
Apple of your eye
Plan a three-day active family getaway in Tassie in two of the island’s iconic destinations, Cradle Mountain and Freycinet Peninsula. Tasmanian Expeditions’ two new family trips are run in the school holidays, both departing from Launceston. The Freycinet adventure includes three days’ easy coastal walking around the officially beautiful Wineglass Bay, whereas the more challenging Cradle Mountain journey sees you touch highs and lows, up to the mountain’s summit and underground in Mole Creek Karst National Park. Accommodation is in multi-share cabins, with savings for bigger families and includes professional walking guides, park permits, packed lunches and hot dinners for hungry hikers. Costs $1095 for adults, $895 for kids under 16. Phone 1300 666 856, see tasmanianexpeditions.com.au.

GEAR
Carry on
Oh, the places you’ll go, with these travel accessories from Kikki-k. Its new ‘Adventure Awaits’ range includes leather passport holders, cosmetics bags and onboard bags that manage cables, paperwork and tablets, all neatly packed away. Printed with the cheeky line, ‘I’m ok, carry on’ the sturdy clear plastic ziplock bags – ideal for carry-on liquids – might even get a smile out of the Customs crew. The pink and navy range has just hit the shelves. Canvas luggage tag, $12.95. Canvas onboard bag, $34.95. Plastic pouches (2 pack), $9.95. Call (03) 9645 6346, see kikki-k.com.

TECH
Destination known
Squint no more for directions, Navman’s newest GPS is easy on the eye, with a seven-inch screen and free lifetime map updates. The new EZY GPS is Bluetooth handsfree, lists blackspots and landmarks including service stations and has logbook capabilities, helpful for tax calculations. It also lets you search by keyword, rather than requiring an exact address and is pre-loaded with Australian and New Zealand maps. European maps can be bought outright or rented for 30 days from $25. The EZY270LMT GPS costs $279. Phone 1300 628 626, see navman.com.au.

FOOD
Indian giver
Follow celebrated chef Christine Manfield through central and west India for a cultural and epicurian feast: admire Rajisthan’s Kumbhalgarh fort and the ruined city of Mandu in Madhya Pradesh, eat street food in Ahmedabad or taste a menu specially designed by Christine and and the chefs of Mumbai’s top restaurants. The 15-day luxury journey includes leopard spotting in Jawai and shopping textiles made by women in charitable trusts. Manfield has had a love affair with India for more than 20 years and this is her eighth tour of India with Epicurious Travel. There are 10 places on the tour, which runs February 2-17, 2015. Costs US$15,980 ($17,200) a person.  Phone (03) 9486 5409, see epicurioustravel.com.au.

TRACEY SPICER KIDS
Blobbing in Fiji
Blobbing out just got a whole lot more active with the arrival of the Water Blob, a new rocket-shaped  floater on Fiji’s Sigatoka River. Slip on a life jacket and blast into the river, bouncing off the giant Blob. It’s the brainchild of Australian Jay Whyte, owner of the Sigatoka River jet boat and village safari, who says the Blob is a way to fly and play in the Fijian way. A three-hour Blob session costs F$59 a person (over 10 years). See waterblobfiji.com.


Edited by Belinda Jackson, Takeoff is published in the Sun-Herald's Traveller section every Sunday.

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