25 September 2023

Myanmar, Perth and more…

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By John Rozentals.

Fraser Suites Sydney … ‘Summer Fun’ extras comprise buffet breakfast and onsite parking.

Explore Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth this summer with Fraser Hospitality’s ‘Summer Fun’ packages, which are available from December 1 until February 28 across all four of the group’s properties.

The packages include overnight accommodation, free wi-fi and a complimentary bottle of wine on arrival.

Guests then have the option of adding some extra fun by selecting the ‘Summer Fun +’ option which differs for each property and may include add-ons such as sundowner drinks and canapes, onsite parking and late check-out.

At Fraser Suites Sydney, for instance, the basic package is priced from $200 per night, with extras comprising buffet breakfast and onsite parking.

Visit www.frasershospitality.com.

Last stop on Heli North Queensland’s chopper crawl … The Billabong.

Peaks, parks and pubs — that’s the short story of Heli North Queensland’s new five-hour tour that takes guests from Cairns to the Atherton Tableland on a chopper crawl to some of the finest taprooms in the tropics.

Tastings start at The Mountain View Hotel, a classic old Queenslander pub located on the Gillies Highway, followed by a stop at the Peeramon Hotel, on the shores of Lake Barrine and the state’s highest pub, then Mt Uncle Distillery, an award-winning gin distillery in the middle of a banana plantation.

The final watering hole is aptly named The Billabong, which overlooks a lagoon and Eucalypt woodlands in Kuranda.

Between pot stops, sorry pit stops, guests cross lush rainforests, volcanic lakes and the Barron Gorge and Falls.

Tours cost $799 per person (minimum four passengers, maximum five) or $3995 as a solo charter. Tours include 60 minutes of flying time.

Visit http://www.helitoursnq.com.au.

Metro Apartments on Darling Harbour … stay three nights and save up to 25 per cent.

Stay three nights or longer at Metro Apartments on Darling Harbour and pay from $144 per night, a saving of up to 25 per cent.

Stay two nights and save up to 20 per cent.

Receive complimentary wi-fi, and book on the web and get an hour early check-in (at 1pm) and an hour late check-out (at 11am).

The deal is valid for booking up to December 14 and for stays December 1 to January 31.

Visit www.metrohotels.com.au.

The Ord Valley Muster … a great event returns in May next year.

Experience the magic of the Kimberley when the Ord Valley Muster returns to WA’s North-West from May 17 to 26 next year.

The annual 10-day festival will take over Kununurra and surrounds, offering a variety of unique experiences including black-tie dining under starry skies, Aboriginal culture and dance, foodie event FEASTival showcasing the region’s producers, the Gibb River Road Challenge bike ride, a local talent quest, a country rodeo and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow.

The Muster’s pinnacle event, the Kimberley Moon Experience, will be held on May 25 and will be headlined by some of Australia’s biggest artists, with past acts having included Lee Kernaghan, The Cat Empire, Jimmy Barnes and Paul Kelly.

More information, including talent, ticket sale and travel packages, will be released soon.

Visit www.ordvalleymuster.com.au.

The Swan Valley … more within reach for daytrippers than ever.

Visitors to Perth can now experience WA’s oldest wine region using a hop-on/hop-off bus service.

Operated by Adams Charters, the Swan Valley Explorer runs seven days a week, departing from Guildford Train Station — a 20-minute train journey from Perth CBD.

The circle route runs along West Swan Road, Great Northern Highway and Reid Highway, and allows guests to hop on and off at award-winning wineries, distilleries, breweries, cideries, eateries, gourmet food providores and nature-based attractions.

The new service costs $20 for adult tickets, which are available for purchase on-board the bus or online.

Visit www.swanvalley.com.au.

Angsana Cayo Santa Maria … an adults-only Cuban beach resort accessible by a 48-kilometre causeway.

White powdered beaches fringed by swaying palm trees and sparkling turquoise seas welcomed guests at Angsana Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba when it opened in mid-November.

The property’s largely unexplored surrounds constitute an ecological treasure trove so expect a beachfront resort that is sensitive to the local environment and that uses local and natural materials.

Located on a pristine and private island off the northern coast, the adults-only 252-room beach resort is accessible via a 48-kilometre causeway from the Cuban mainland.

Facilities and services include an outdoor pool, gym and wedding venue.

Rates are from about $160 per person per night for double occupancy.

Visit www.angsana.com.

GlobalCARS … offering earlybird deals on rental vehicles in Europe.

GlobalCARS have released a range of 2019 earlybird deals which include savings of up to $1114 for Peugeot’s European self-drive-holiday leases of 21 days or more.

The Sydney-based operator is offering deals which include seven free days for all bookings, plus 50 per cent discounts on pick-up and drop-off fees, with a further three free days for recent repeat customers or an option of 10 per cent off leases of 90 days or more.

The company is also offering Citroen Europass rates from $62 a day for 28 days on 2019 bookings, with Peugeot Europe rates from $73 per day for 28 days. Both are based on bookings and payments made by December 31 this year.

European vehicle leases made through globalCARS include full insurance, with no excess including fuel inversion (incorrect fuel), glass and punctures.

All leases come with unlimited kilometres for vehicles which can be collected from 15 locations in France and 13 in other parts of Europe.

Phone 1300 789 992 or visit www.globalcars.com.au.

SO Sofitel Hua Hin … a new wing with rooms for both business and leisure travellers.

SO Sofitel Hua Hin has unveiled a new wing with state-of-the-art of leisure facilities and rooms for both business and leisure travellers.

Guests staying at the hotel can enjoy a new 16-by-60-metre pool with a Wibit adventure course running down its centre.

Situated on the beachfront in Cha Am, 200 kilometres from Bangkok, the hotel is 30 minutes from Hua Hin,

The new wing also includes the new one-bedroom SO Pool Villas and SO Family Suites complete with bunk beds.

Facilities include a dedicated kid’s pool area and a SO sundae poolside ice-cream bar.

The new SO Studio and SO Lofty Pool Access rooms feature an open concept design complemented with a customized television/wardrobe console which can swivel and be enjoyed from the bathtub or bed.

Visit www.so-sofitel-huahin.com.

A February Huma challenge … scaling Africa’s highest peak.

Huma Charity Challenge has released its top five 2019 fund-raising trips that will make you look and feel good in the New Year.

Since its inception in 2013, Huma Charity Challenge, the fundraising arm of World Expeditions, has raised more than $5 million dollars for charities around the world.

Whether it’s tackling an ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, hiking the Great Wall of China or trekking to Everest Base Camp, Huma Charity Challenge has a range of inspiring adventures and challenges that will help travellers discover their inner philanthropist.

For instance the 11-day ‘Climb Kili for Can Too’ involves the challenge in February to scale Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, and help raise much needed funds for cancer research.

The trek is led by adventurer Heather Hawkins.

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

Monywa … home to several spectacular religious sites.

Backyard Travel has a new short tour highlighting the wonders of Monywa, in Myanmar.

This small town in the Sagaing region is home to several spectacular religious sites, and the two-day ‘ Archeological Quest in Monywa Tour’ gives travellers a close-up look at these little-known historical treasures.

Embarking from Mandalay, 140 kilometres east of Monywa, travellers pass through peaceful rural scenery before arriving at the incredible Thanboddhay Pagoda.

Here, they’ll have time to explore a temple complex with more than half a million Buddha images adorning the walls, ceilings and alcoves.

At Botahtaung Pagoda, they’ll next see the country’s largest reclining Buddha statue, 100 meters in length, before heading into Monywa to observe some artisans at work at Kyaukka Lacquerware Village.

On the second day, the tour takes travellers to Po Win Taung, where 947 caves have been carved out of sandstone cliffs, each richly adorned with Buddhist iconography.

A few hundred metres away lies another awe-inspiring site — the monastery complex of Shwe Ba Taung, whose hand-carved facades have earned it the nickname ‘the Petra of Myanmar’.

Visit www.backyardtravel.com.

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