25 September 2023

Uluru, Morocco and more…

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By John Rozentals.

Kellys Beach Resort … taking practical climate action.

An initiative by one of the Bundaberg region’s leading accommodation houses, Kellys Beach Resort, proves how seriously it take its environmental responsibility.

The eco-certified resort has partnered with Greenfleet, a leading environmental non-profit organisation and one of Australia’s most trusted sources of biodiverse carbon offsets, to take practical climate action.

Kellys Beach Resort Business Director, Loni Hammond said: “Guests who book their stay at Kellys Beach Resort directly have the opportunity to make a donation, which we will match, towards planting a tree in the Barolin Nature Reserve.”

“This Reserve has been planted to shield the local beaches of Bargara and Mon Repos from light pollution, as the beaches are the nesting sights of one of the largest sea turtle populations on the Australian eastern seaboard, including the endangered loggerhead turtle.”

The Barolin Nature Reserve, which was first planted in 2017, has approximately 85,000 native biodiverse trees, and is now the largest reforestation project in the region.

Visit www.kellysbeachresort.com.au.

Truly fantastic … Opera Australia at Uluru.

For the first time ever, Opera Australia will perform an exclusive concert in the spiritual heart of Australia, with the vast Outback plains and Bruce Munro’s Field of Light as the backdrop.

The special gala performance, held under the stars on Saturday November 2, promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience as some of the world’s most renowned opera singers perform in a uniquely Australian setting.

Guests will celebrate Uluru’s manifold wonders with renowned singers Natalie Aroyan, Lorina Gore, Diego Torre and others.

They’ll sing a two-act program of famous arias — including Puccini’s Nessun dorma; the Habanera from Carmen; and the hauntingly beautiful Au fond du temple saint from Bizet’s The Pearlfishers — accompanied by a chamber orchestra and conducted by Tahu Matheson.

As the sun dips below the horizon, the desert’s intense colours will change from luminous orange to deep purple. It’s a splendid sight, with a magical soundtrack to match.

Visit www.opera.org.au.

Queen Victoria Market … famed for its fresh foods, baked goods, and artisanal products.

Thought to be the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, Queen Victoria Market is a Melbourne institution, with origins dating back to the 19th century.

Its well-loved market hall is famed for its fresh foods, baked goods, and artisanal products.

If people are looking for things to do in Melbourne at night for free, a stroll through the Queen Victoria night markets is a great way to begin the evening.

There are obviously plenty of places to stay in Melbourne but certainly worth trying is the ParkRoyal Melbourne Airport.

Being adjacent to the Melbourne Airport has some clear advantages such as hassle-free stopovers, and the city centre is located 20 minutes away.

Visit www.qvm.com.au.

Whale-watching in Hervey Bay … Mantra Hotels has deals for the 2019 season.

You don’t have to splash out a fortune to see the whales at play in Hervey Bay this year, with Mantra Hotels surfacing with a range of great value accommodation deals for this year’s whale-watching season.

Known as the whale-watching capital of Australia, the laid-back seaside destination transforms into a heartland of humpback activity until September as thousands of giant humpback whales take time out from their annual migration in the calm waters of Hervey Bay.

Two of Hervey Bay’s resorts, Mantra Hervey Bay and BreakFree Great Sandy Straits, are offering accommodation deals for holidaymakers looking for a whale of a time.

This year offers include a 20 per cent discount off Hervey Bay Whale Watch & Charters tours when booked through hotel reception.

Stay, for instance, at Mantra Hervey Bay, an absolutely marina-front property situated near cruise departure points, over the whale-watching season from $117 per night (Sunday to Thursday, minimum two-night stay).

Visit www.mantra.com.au.

InterContinental Lyon-Hotel Dieu … open after a four-year restoration of one of the city’s most iconic buildings. Image: Eric Cuvillier.

InterContinental Lyon-Hotel Dieu is open after a four-year restoration of one of the city’s most iconic buildings, the former hospital.

The renovation of the Grand Hôtel-Dieu complex is thought to be the largest private transformation of a historic monument carried out in France to date.

Interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel focused on maintaining the original beauty and architecture of the building whilst offering a contemporary, understated luxury design which is rooted in the history of Lyon and the building itself.

Lyon was once the capital of the European silk industry, playing a central role in the Silk Road trade between east and west.

Rich silk fabrics contrast with the original architectural features of the building, such as stone floors, plastered walls and timber ceilings.

Rates start from $455 per night.

Visit www.intercontinental.com.

Morocco … a land of exotic flavours.

Lyndey Milan OAM, one of Australia’s most experienced food professionals, will host a 12-day small-group culinary tour of Morocco next April in partnership with By Prior Arrangement.

The tour will visit diverse destinations such as Rabat, Meknes, Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains.

Highlights include personal hosting by Lyndey Milan, accommodation in authentic riads and dars, escorted visits to extraordinary cultural and historical sites including Jardin Majorelle, and an excursion to a traditional Berber village in the Atlas Mountains.

Prices start at $8850 per person twin-share, including most meals.

Visit www.bypriorarrangement.com.

South America … Eclipse is offering a range of specials.

Shed the winter blues and plan your South American adventure with Eclipse Travel’s mid-year sale.

Spend $5000 or more per person and earn up to $1000 per person travel credit to be used on accommodation upgrades, transfers, optional activities and excursions.

In addition to bonus travel credit available, current offers include: free international flights to South America with selected packages; free accommodation in Quito with four- or six-night Galapagos Islands cruises; and 10 per cent off a range of tailor-made packages to Chile.

The offer is valid for bookings made by June 30 this year and for travel until December 31 next.

Phone 1300 575 752 or visit www.eclipsetravel.com.au.

Santorini … on Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ list of specials.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is holding a suite sale which includes more than 25 sailings departing this year.

Enjoy as much as 55 per cent off sailings to the turquoise shores, glistening sunset horizons and rugged landscapes of some of the world’s great destinations, including the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Asia, Alaska, and the South Pacific.

All RSSC sailings includes free unlimited shore excursions, free unlimited premium beverages, free dining in specialty restaurants, an in-suite mini-bar replenished daily, free unlimited onboard wi-fi and pre-paid gratuities, with select sailings also including a free one-night pre-cruise hotel stay.

Save 30 per cent, for instance, on a 10-night Mediterranean cruise in October.

Phone 1300 455 200 or visit www.RSSC.com.

Guests with on Coral Expeditions will visit Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomons.

Book by October 1 and save 25 per cent on bookings for two or more cabins on Coral Expeditions’ 11-night ‘Passage to the Solomons’ voyage that month.

Coral Expeditions is also offering free scuba diving on these two departures at selected diving sites.

Led by a qualified dive instructor, guests will be provided with a comprehensive range of dive equipment.

Guests will visit the islands of Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomons, uncovering hidden lagoons to explore vibrant coral gardens at Egum Atoll and Njari Reef and walking along volcanic calderas with the ship’s highly skilled expedition team.

Pricing starts from $9990 per person twin-share.

Phone 1800 079 545 or visit www.coralexpeditions.com.

Descending the Pyrenees … not for the faint-hearted.

Cycling ‘tragics’ will be in heaven when the world’s premier road cycling event, the Tour de France, commences its three-week journey on July 9.

For those polkadot-jersey followers, Stage 14 will feature the most climbed mountain in the Tour’s 106 year history, the legendary Col du Tourmalet — climbed 82 times.

Ideally for Tour de France enthusiasts, UTracks has introduced a new cycling tour which includes the Tourmalet climb.

The challenging, 11-day guided ‘Coast to Coast Pyrenees Cycle’ traverses the Pyrenees, with e-bikes an option enabling cyclists to conquer the climbs without the burn.

This year the Tour will be the celebrating the centenary of the famous yellow jersey and fiftieth anniversary of Belgian Eddy Merckx’ (winner of the most stages) first win. It will also see the Tour start in Brussels for the tenth time.

Brussels is the starting point of UTracks new eight-day self-guided Belgium cycling tour, which is perfect for cyclists preferring flatter terrain along quiet country roads stopping in the renowned cities of Antwerp and Ghent before arriving in quaint Bruges.

Pay from $3990 per person twin-share including accommodation, breakfasts daily, carbon road bike, luggage transfers, support vehicle and experienced bi-lingual guide.

Phone 1300 303 368 or visit www.utracks.com.

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