25 September 2023

Norway, Canada and more…

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By John Rozentals.

Luke Hemsworth … taking Americans on a tour of the Dundee movie backlot.

It may not quite be a case of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but Tourism Australia is certainly returning to what worked many years ago.

It has just launched the next phase of its $36 million Dundee campaign with a series of videos inviting Americans to book a trip Down Under and visit the ‘set’ of the movie.

Starring Aussie actor Luke Hemsworth, the videos will take US travellers on an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Dundee movie ‘backlot’, showcasing the breadth of spectacular and unique experiences on offer across Australia.

Visit www.australia.com.

Ikara Safari Camp … the joy of camping, plus all mod cons.

Ikara Safari Camp, in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, has joined forces with the Barossa Valley’s Langmeil Winery to launch its first gourmet weekend.

The weekend includes two nights OF glamping-style accommodation, guided tours of the Flinders Ranges and a five-course degustation dinner paired with a generous selection of award-winning wines from Langmeil Winery.

Dates are November 9-11.

The weekend kicks off with a sunset tour led by one of the resort’s local Indigenous Adnyamathanha guides.

Guests travel to a remarkable vantage point to view the vast Flinders Ranges and experience the magic of iconic Wilpena Pound.

As the sun sets, their guide will share the country’s Indigenous stories while guests enjoy canapes and Langmeil sparkling wines.

Rates for the gourmet weekend start at $535 per person twin-share.

Phone 1800 805 802 or visit www.wilpenapound.com.au.

Skye Suites Sydney … offers serviced apartments for short-term and long-term guests.

Skye Suites Sydney, one of the CBD’s first blocks of boutique serviced apartments, has opened its doors.

The 25-storey multi-residential tower, at 300 Kent Street, is claimed to set new benchmarks for combining architectural excellence with luxurious amenities.

Skye Suites Sydney sits within Arc by Crown Group and offers serviced apartments for short-term and long-term guests.

The first phase of Arc sees 73 hotel apartment rooms comprising studio suites and two-bedrooms suites.

Each apartment features Delonghi appliances, Vittoria coffee machines, Kevin Murphy toiletries and haircare products, complimentary wifi, laundry facilities, pre-stocked mini bar and a bespoke bedding-firmness menu.

Reid’s Reserve … helping make Lake Macquarie a pet’s paradise.

When travelling on family holidays it can be rough to leave furry friends behind.

Lake Macquarie, just north of Sydney, is a pet’s paradise, with some 30 dog exercise areas, including designated beaches and sports grounds where dogs can run free, as well as pet-friendly accommodation.

The Speers Point fenced dog-exercise area, for instance, provides a fenced, off-leash area complete with three dog-agility stations, a water fountain, a shaded picnic table, bench chairs and plenty of grass for your visitors, both human and canine, to enjoy.

Just a short stroll around the corner is Sal’s by the Lake where you can grab a coffee and bagel.

Normandy’s Atlantic region … dotted with remnants of the war.

Next year marks 75 years since D-Day, and France’s Normandy and Brittany regions are preparing for a huge influx of travellers from all over the world in advance of the June anniversary.

The 1944 Normandy landings made for the largest seaborne invasion force in history — including some 3000 Australians — and proved to be pivotal in ending World War II.

Butterfield & Robinson’s ‘Normandy & Brittany Biking’ excursion takes travellers in to the heart of Atlantic France, and in advance of the 75th anniversary, they’re revisiting some of the reasons why Normandy is such an incredible region to discover.

The 80-kilometre stretch making up the Normandy coast where pivotal WWII battles occurred has been totally transformed over the years.

The pristine, gorgeous cliff-side beaches and towns are dotted with remnants of the war, including stark reminders such as bomb craters, cement bunkers, and of course the war memorials and national cemeteries.

War museums further inland keep the past ever-present and offer travellers education and a chance to reflect on the sacrifices made almost three generations ago.

Visit www.butterfield.com.

Hong Kong … the starting point for an epic journey.

Visit some of south-east Asia’s most intriguing cities before embarking on an iconic rail journey across Australia’s Outback heartland on Ecruising’s 21-night ‘Hong Kong and the Great Rail Journey’.

This epic itinerary commences in Hong Kong in early 2020 with three nights at the Harbour Grand Kowloon.

Spend a few days exploring one of Asia’s most dynamic and exciting cities, including Victoria Peak, Aberdeen Fishing Villages, the Man Mo Temple and the famed Sheung Wan Dried Food and Herbal Market.

Then board Celebrity Cruises Millennium for a 14-night cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore, taking in Vietnam’s Halong Bay, Hanoi, Hue/Danang and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as Thailand’s Bangkok.

The it’s time for the next phase of the journey with a flight to Perth before boarding the Indian Pacific for a trans-continental rail journey, with highlights including the Avon Valley, and the neatly patterned hamlets of the Adelaide Hills, the vast sweeping plains of the Nullarbor, and the spectacular scenery of the Blue Mountains.

Prices are from just $5999 per person twin-share, including airfares from Sydney to Hong Kong and from Singapore to Perth.

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

Mount Rushmore … a true American icon.

South Dakota’s iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a huge yet intricate sculpture of four Presidents — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln — carved into the mountainside.

There is also a museum called Lincoln Borglum Museum which features two theatres that show a mini-movie about Mount Rushmore.

Above the museum is Grandview Terrace, which offers panoramic views of the sculpture and surrounding forests.

The Mount Rushmore Society and the National Park Service interpretive staff now offer self-guided tours of Mount Rushmore National Memorial which provide visitors with a personal device that works like an iPhone, explaining why and how Mount Rushmore was carved, with pictures and videos.

Visit www.greatamericanwest.com.au.

Scenic Aura in Myanmar.

National Geographic and Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours have teamed to launch National Geographic River Cruises, combining Scenic’s all-inclusive river-cruise experience with National Geographic’s legacy of science, conservation and exploration by offering products along the waterways of Europe and south-east Asia.

Aboard each Scenic river cruise expedition, a National Geographic expert will join guests to share their knowledge and insights, and enrich the experience through fascinating presentations and informal discussions.

A National Geographic photographer, who will offer photography tips on technique and artistry, will also join European river cruising itineraries.

The partnership will offer itineraries through Europe: on the Rhine, Danube, Main and Moselle Rivers; in Holland and Belgium; through France’s Bordeaux region and Portugal’s Douro Valley—as well as on the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar.

Phone 138 128 or visit www.scenic.com.au.

Tombstone Territorial Park … jaw-dropping scenery.

Cruise along the remote Dempster Highway and take in panoramic views of the jaw-dropping Tombstone Territorial Park in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

During a one-hour guided hike along rugged peaks and remarkable permafrost landforms, feel like you’ve truly reached the ends of the earth.

Keep your eyes peeled for the abundant wildlife, including bears and moose, which roam the area.

Round off the incredible day with an aerial tour of Ogilvie Mountains and Tombstone backcountry.

A Klondike Experience guide will share the history of the area and take guests to the best wildlife-spotting locations.

Visit www.klondikeexperience.com.

Viking Sky at Norway’s Geiranger Fjord.

Next August’s 15-day ‘Viking Homelands’ cruise from Bergen to Stockholm on board Viking Sea is now priced from $9995 per person in a veranda stateroom, with a free upgrade to a deluxe veranda stateroom if booked before November 30.

Enjoy overnight stays in Stockholm, St Petersburg and Bergen, explore Tallinn, Gdańsk, Helsinki, Berlin and Copenhagen, and glide through majestic Norwegian fjords in the legendary homelands of the Vikings.

Phone 138 747 or visit vikingcruises.com.au.

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