25 September 2023

Broome, New Zealand and more…

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By John Rozentals.

Broome’s Cable Beach … an iconic Australian location. Image: Lauren Bath.

While the colder weather starts to bear down on much of Australia, holiday makers should seriously consider an escape into Broome time, as the locals of the north-western pearling town describe it.

Broome, with daily temperatures currently hovering between 25 and 30 degrees, is the natural starting point for exploring the spectacular Kimberley region, but there’s plenty to do in the town itself.

Iconic Cable Beach, with its 22 kilometres of soft white sand, stunning Indian Ocean sunsets and famous camel rides, draws its name from the long undersea telegraph cable that was laid in 1889, connecting north-west Australia to Indonesia and opening up communication to the world.

And then there’s cuisine. Broome’s multicultural heritage — Aboriginal, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian and European — along with its coastal location have influenced the variety of cuisines on offer throughout the town.

Taste the many flavours of Broome at the Courthouse Markets on a Saturday or Sunday morning, try pearl meat at a pearl farm, take a culinary journey through Japan at Cable Beach Club’s Zensai, enjoy local seafood at The Wharf, and head to Matso’s Brewery for some serious tasting.

Visit www.visitbroome.com.au.

Creative Lake … a sculpture trail along the foreshore of Lake Macquarie.

Lake Macquarie residents and visitors can enjoy a new addition to the region’s burgeoning arts scene, Creative Lake, a public art and sculpture trail along the beautiful foreshore of Lake Macquarie.

The innovative curated collection is of seven sculptures and murals by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists.

The collection adorns the foreshore from Belmont to Toronto.

Visit www.lakemac.com.au.

Mitchell Falls … part of the grandeur of the Kimberley Coast.

Aurora Expeditions has launched a new Kimberley Coast cruise deal for 2019, with a second person flying free.

The deal is available on all 2019 departure dates for the 11-day Broome-to-Darwin and Darwin-to-Broome voyages booked before July 31 this year, regardless of whether travellers are accompanied by a partner, a family member or a friend, and offers savings of up to $1400 per couple.

The cruise journeys through the maze of nearly 3000 islands along the coast, landing daily to explore the area’s natural beauty and attractions, including sprawling landscapes, beautiful gorges and lush waterfalls.

Phone 1800 637 688 or visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au.

Captain Cook Cruises WA … providing a new way to get to Perth’s Optus Stadium.

Captain Cook Cruises WA is providing sports and entertainment fans with what it reckons is the first-ever Swan River transport option to Optus Stadium from Perth’s CBD, Fremantle and the Swan Valley.

The company has been granted exclusive access to the new state-of-the-art Burswood Jetty, situated only meters from the stadium entrance.

Services will provide a 15-minute licensed return cruise from Barrack St Jetty and accommodate a combined capacity of 720 passengers.

The stadium stop will also be incorporated into Captain Cook Cruises’ existing day cruises, such as Swan Valley Gourmet Wine Cruise.

For further information visit: www.captaincookcruises.com.au.

A celebration of all things Mary Poppins … Maryborough Town Crier Ken Ashford with a statue of one of the town’s most famous daughters.

The author and illustrator of the Ruby Red Shoes series of books, Kate Knapp, will bring her own brand of magic to the Mary Poppins Festival in Maryborough from June 29 to July 8.

During the festival, Kate will be exhibiting her work and doing readings.

The historic Queensland town of Maryborough was the birthplace of PL Travers, the author who created Mary Poppins.

There’ll be plenty to do for festival goers, despite an unforeseen delay in renovating the Story Bank, the former bank building where Travers was born.

Activities will include a creative writing workshop hosted by visiting author of the Extreme Adventure series Justin D’Ath, a Kids’ Party Confidential with comedian and author Sean Murphy, and the festival’s major event, A Day in the Park, on July 7.

That will include the grand parade, nanny race and chimney-sweep challenge.

Visit www.marypoppinsfestival.com.au.

Vietnam’s Bai Tu Long Bay … cut from the same cloth as adjoining Halong Bay.

Backyard Travel has launched a new tour of Vietnam’s Bai Tu Long Bay, adjacent to Halong Bay and featuring similar breathtaking seascapes of towering limestone karsts rising up out of azure waters, with travellers exploring the bay under the sails of a traditional junk boat.

The two-night cruise is priced from about $715 per person twin-share ex Hanoi and begins with a glimpse of rural life on the overland trip to Halong Bay.

From there, an elegant wooden junk boat takes guests between soaring cliffs to nearby Bai Tu Long Bay, and for the next two days the cruise weaves between islands, with activities including swimming, relaxing on the deck, exploring island caves, visiting local villages and practising morning tai chi.

Visit www.backyardtravel.com.

Huka Lodge … the epitome of class in New Zealand’s Taupo district.

Combining two world-class experiences into one 13-night package, Ecruising is offering guests the chance of a two-night stay at New Zealand’s Huka Lodge, followed by a nine-night cruise from Auckland to Sydney on board Cunard’s elegant Queen Elizabeth.

Departing Sydney on 24 February next year, the package is priced from $7539 per person twin-share for a Princess Grill suite, a saving of more than 50 per cent.

Those who book by June 30vwill receive up to about $1200 on-board spending money per suite.

The package includes a one-way economy-class flight from Sydney to Taupo, as well two nights of pre-cruise accommodation at The Hilton Hotel Auckland.

While at Huka Lodge, guests will enjoy a two-night stay in a Junior Lodge Suite with access to lodge’s many facilities, pre-dinner drinks and canapés, daily breakfast and a gourmet five-course dinner, transfers and a tour of the stunning Waitomo Caves en route to Auckland.

Ports visited on the cruise include the Bay of Islands and Port Arthur.

Phone 1300 369 848 or visit www.ecruising.travel.

Tanzania’s Mt Kilimanjaro … the highest mountain in Africa.

World Expeditions has expanded its Africa and Middle East portfolio, adding 16 new itineraries, including alternative routes on Mt Kilimanjaro as well as treks in Uganda, Morocco and Ethiopia.

World Expeditions has a long history in evolving the concepts of African adventures for its discerning and active travellers, having pioneered the first commercial treks of Mount Kilimanjaro’s remote Northern Circuit and Shira Routes, while keeping the choices diverse with the Lemosho, Machame and the Rongai routes also on offer.

Interest in mountain trekking has expanded, from just Kilimanjaro, to include Mount Kenya, new trekking routes in Uganda’s Mountains of the Moon (the Rwenzoris), Morocco’s High Atlas and the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia.

New trips include ‘Festivals of Ethiopia’, which takes in two of the country’s most important and fascinating festivals, the Genna and Timket Festivals.

Phone 1300 720 000 or visit www.worldexpeditions.com.

Wake up to the Arctic mountains … glamping in Lavvus on the Lofoten Islands.

Off the Map Travel has launched a new Arctic midnight-sun glamping experience, with guests staying in a Lavvu — an indigenous Sami tepee — next to white sandy beaches and clear turquoise seas.

The new experience also includes the chance to fish for your dinner and learn traditional Scandinavian wilderness cooking in the Lofoten Islands, on the banks of one of Norway’s most picturesque fjords and framed by the Arctic peaks beyond.

As the Lofoten Islands are at 68° North, above the Arctic Circle, the camp also allows guests to experience the long Arctic summer days – and even the 24 hours of uninterrupted Midnight Sun in June and July.

For those wanting to give a little back to the island, guests staying at the camp can also join a beach clean-up, including a presentation about major impacts of plastic in our oceans.

A two-night glamping experience is priced from about $2670 per person based twin-share, including a wildlife cruise, a visit to goat farm, Lofotr Viking Museum visit, kayaking experience and a fjords hike.

Visit www.offthemap.travel.

The Hokkaido Powder Belt … perfect for powder hounds.

Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido is just a 90-minute flight from Tokyo, yet provides a mecca for snow-sports enthusiasts, ranging from beginners to advanced skiers and snowboarders, and is perfect for powder hounds.

The Hokkaido Powder Belt consists of seven different mountains and world-class ski resorts in central Hokkaido.

Hoshino Resorts’ Tomamu, for instance, is a ski-in ski-out resort which owns a private ski area with 29 trails.

Other ski areas easily accessed from Hoshino Resorts include Kamui Ski Links, Asahidake, Kurodake, Mount Racey, Furano Ski Resort and Sahoro Resort.

Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa provides another option to explore other ski mountains, such as Kamui Ski Links, Asahidake and Kurodake.

The Hokkaido snow season starts from December 1 and runs till until April 1.

Visit www.snowtomamu.jp.

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