25 September 2023

Rottnest Island, Tahiti and more…

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By John Rozentals.

The Sebel Melbourne Malvern … 17 floors with 86 apartments.

Accor has scheduled late November for the opening of a new-build apartment-style hotel in Melbourne’s Malvern.

The 17-floor Sebel Melbourne Malvern will comprise 46 one-bedroom suites, 36 two-bedroom suites and four three-bedroom suites, all complete with full kitchen and laundry facilities.

The property will feature an executive lounge, fitness centre, jacuzzi, and an outdoor recreation terrace complete with BBQ facilities.

Located eight kilometres south-east of Melbourne’s CBD, Malvern offers quaint cafes, delis and boutiques, plus plenty of leafy streets, regal buildings and spacious parks such as Central Park and Malvern Urban Forest, plus a train station and easy access to three tram routes.

The Sebel Melbourne Malvern is located at 803 Dandenong Road, Malvern.

Visit www.accorhotels.com.

Peppers Beach Club & Spa … in the charming village of Palm Cove.

Mantra Hotels has launched a range of ‘Tropical Escape’ accommodation deals in North Queensland propeties.

Stay, for instance, from $199 per night in a resort-spa room (two-night minimum stay) at Peppers Beach Club & Spa in the charming village of Palm Cove between Cairns and Port Douglas.

The rate includes full breakfast, up to 500MB wi-fi, movies, 10 per cent off food at Lime & Pepper, and a complimentary 30 minutes when you book any 60-minute treatment or longer at the onsite Exclusive Spa.

The deal is valid for sale and travel until June 28.

Phone 1300 987 603 or visit www.mantrahotels.com.

Discovery Rottnest Island … features 83 fully furnished tents.

The first new accommodation on Western Australia’s Rottnest Island in more than 30 years — Discovery Rottnest Island — is taking bookings for stays from March 1 next year.

The new eco-resort features 83 fully furnished tents and is nestled behind the dunes of Pinky Beach and Bathurst Lighthouse.

The property features three levels of accommodation, connected via boardwalks to the resort pool and restaurant.

Pinky’s Beach Club is at the heart of the property and will be serving locally inspired dishes and cocktails to resort guests and other visitors to the island.

Accommodation prices will start at $119 per night in low season for a standard tent.

All tents include ensuites, beds, furnishings, and a private deck.

Visit www.discoveryholidayparks.com.au.

Silversea’s Blues Brother Soul Sister … capturing the funky vibe of the 1960s and 1970s.

Silversea Cruises will raise the curtain on six new theatrical performances over coming months.

Featuring vivacious costumes, evocative set designs, and elaborate visual effects, the performances include: the new signature production, Grande Amore, an opera-themed show recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Argento, an art deco-inspired production dedicated to the swing era; and Blues Brother Soul Sister, a musical experience that captures the funky vibe of the 1960s and 1970s.

Visit www.silversea.com.

An itinerary for keen cyclists … travelling steadily past Lake Ohau.

Adventure South NZ, which runs the six-day ‘Alps to Ocean’ cycle trail, has created a new seven-day itinerary for people wanting to cycle the entire trail from end to end.

The new ‘Alps to Ocean End to End’ has been designed for active travellers looking for something more challenging.

The itinerary commences with a first night spent in a comfortable lodge at Aoraki/Mt Cook Village with time to explore the many walking and cycling trails of this alpine playground.

The real adventure starts the following morning with a short scenic heli-flight across the Tasman River before cycling along iconic Lake Pukaki.

Other highlights include: staying in premium backcountry accommodation with uninterrupted views of Lake Pukaki; cycling along the edges of Lakes Ohau, Benmore and Aviemore; and soaking in the hot tubs at Lake Ohau Lodge

The average daily cycling distance is about 65 kilometres, which means participants need to be comfortable riding on gravel surfaces for six-eight hours each day.

Prices are from about $2680 per person twin-share. Itineraries include comfortable accommodation, a support vehicle, experienced guides and most meals.

Phone 1800 107 060 or visit www.adventuresouth.co.nz.

Part of Crooked Compass’s ‘Raw Namibia’ journey … encountering a herd of giraffe.

Cooking with villagers, searching for berries and honey with tribe members, bonding with baby baboons, and wildlife telemetry tracking, are some of the experiences featured next year in Crooked Compass’s signature African tours.

The boutique tour operator specialises in authentic cultural travel — such as the 11-night ‘Raw Namibia’ adventure — with conservation and sustainability at its core, while keeping comfort in mind with predominately ‘luxury lodge’ accommodation.

The tour is for anyone with a sense of adventure and a moderate level of fitness — nature lovers, conservationists, animal lovers, aspiring and professional photographers — and includes visiting the vast, remote Khaudom National Park to witness elephants, giraffes, antelopes, lions and spotted hyenas.

Prices are from $7877 per person twin-share.

Visit www.crooked-compass.com.

Getting up close and personal with a Cape Horne penguin colony.

World Expeditions has launched a new adventure cruise through the remote, southernmost fjords of South America, via the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn, amongst the glaciers and snow-capped, jagged peaks for which the region is famous.

On-board the comfortable, spacious, medium-capacity (maximum 210 passengers) Stella Australis or Ventus Australis, the cruise offers opportunities to see vast colonies of penguins and other seabirds, as well as southern elephant seals and other sub-polar wildlife.

The four-night ‘Cape Horne and Patagonian Fjords’ cruise operates between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia, or as an eight-night round trip.

Prices are from $3090 per person twin-share for the four-night option, including fine-dining meals onboard, free bar with selected beverages, professional expedition guide and support staff, shore excursions and onboard entertainment.

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

Tarangire National Park … plenty of ‘Big Five’ encounters.

Arguably northern Tanzania’s most interesting park, yet one of its least visited, Tarangire National Park is renowned for its diverse habitat and vast herds of elephant and zebra.

Located in a remote and secluded corner of Tarangire National Park in the heart of Maasai country, the recently refurbished Sanctuary Swala Camp is set amongst ancient baobabs and giant acacia trees, close by the Tarangire River overlooking a busy waterhole.

Game-spotting drives will reward guests with plenty of ‘Big Five’ encounters.

Prices start from about $700 per person per night twin-share, with significant discounts for stays of four nights of more in any of Sanctuary’s African camps.

Visit www.sanctuaryretreats.com.

Munich … Bavaria’s biggest city stars in Viking’s new Danbe cruise/tour.

Viking has a new 12-day Danube River cruise/tour, ‘Oberammergau with Salzburg’, departing from Munich and disembarking in Budapest.

Guests will explore the historic German state of Bavaria’ including a night in its biggest city Munich, known for its beautiful architecture, cultural scene and annual Oktoberfest beer celebration, and two nights in Austria’s stunning Salzburg — the birthplace of Mozart and the filming location for The Sound of Music.

In Germany’s charming town of Oberammergau, guests will enjoy a powerful performance of Passionsspiele, The Passion Play — an opportunity that only comes along once a decade.

Prices are from $6995 per person twin-share, with guests saving $1000 per couple and flying to Europe for $995 per person if they book before November 30.

Phone 138 747 or visit vikingcruises.com.au.

Majestic Whales Encounters … broadening its experiences to include Tahiti.

Majestic Whales Encounters has its first-ever whale-swim adventures to Tahiti next year, with new seven-night getaways at a beachside resort, all meals, Polynesian cultural experiences and five days spent searching for and swimming with humpback whales.

The adventures in Tahiti will see guests sail by ferry from Papeete to the beautiful island of Moorea, with its striking mountain peaks, translucent lagoon, coral reefs, lush valleys and white-sand beaches. Guests will check in to the beautiful resort of Manava where they will stay in luxury bungalows for seven nights, each with their own private garden, terrace and plunge pool, as well as free wi-fi and air conditioning.

The resort boasts two bars, infinity pool, on-site spa and a restaurant — where guests will enjoy a buffet breakfast and a two-course dinner each day, and one night will experience a cultural dance and traditional Polynesian feast.

Five full days will be spent on a privately chartered boat built specifically for swimming with humpback whales, led by a skipper and a whale-swim guide.

The package costs from $6999 per person, twin-share. Flights from Australia are extra.

Phone 0405 594 253 or visit www.majesticwhaleencounters.com.au.

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