Saturday, May 9, 2009

LiveWork&Play in Australia

Australia is a big attraction for New Zealanders who wish to come over to live, work and play.

If you are a Kiwi considering moving to Australia then LiveWork&Play in Australia will help you get the most out of your time. This travel guide is a source of tips, secrets and insider knowledge all packed into a compact guide of a mere 304 pages. It covers everything from Australian etiquette and culture, to opening a bank account and where and how to find accommodation and work in Australia.

This second edition of Live Work&Play in Australia is completely revised and updated and packed with all the relevant information for working and travelling your way around the country. It includes four invaluable parts:

Part I – Essential Stuff -- provides extensive useful and essential information to get your Australian life off the ground.

Part II -- Living -- covers everything you need to know about short and long-term accommodation.

Part III -- Working -- includes an extensive A-Z listing of work opportunities including employment contact details to help you land jobs.

Part IV – Playing -- covers the travel options for travelling Australia plus provides information on what to see.

All four parts include hundreds of contact details including telephone numbers, website and email addresses – all the information you need for a successful and enjoyable life in Australia, all in one handy guide.

The guide is available in all good bookstores and is distributed by Woodslane Pty Ltd. It is also available at the publisher’s website

Pages: 304. Price: NZ $36.99
ISBN-13: 9780980532401
ISBN-10: 098053240X


The iconic Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa has introduced a “Majestic Golf Experience” that offers an exhilarating golfing extravaganza fit for a king over The Duke’s Course and two outstanding links courses set in the Kingdom of Fife - and all at a pauper’s price of just £600.

“Majestic Golf” combines 18 holes over the Hotel’s very own championship course and heathland masterpiece, The Duke’s, the recently-opened Castle Course and the imperial Kingsbarns alongside luxury accommodation in the heart of the home of golf.

The Duke’s, designed by five-time Open champion Peter Thomson, has benefited from the sweeping renovations carried out by Pete Dye protégé, Tim Liddy, in 2006 and is now on many golfers must-play list following the inclusion of the course in Golf World’s Top 100 Golf Courses in the UK at the close of 2008. Gone are the pot bunkers and in are the rough-edged, spacious bunkers reminiscent of the romantic bygone years of heathland golf whilst the views over St Andrews and the Highlands beyond remain as spectacular as ever.

The Castle Course, the seventh course in the St Andrew Links and the first to be built in St Andrews for close to 100 years, was designed by David McLay Kidd who created Bandon Dunes on the West Coast of America. Since its opening in June 2008, the Course has met with great acclaim with its wide fairways and expansive greens compensating for the exposed nature of the cliff-top location.

Meanwhile Kingsbarns, just south of St Andrews on the East coast, offers breathtaking panoramas as the course hugs the rugged coastline of the North Sea. Designed by American architect Kyle Philips and opened in mid-2000, Kingsbarns’ association with the game of golf dates back to 1793 when a golf course was first built there on the sandy soils of East Fife.

Whilst enjoying this regal golfing trail, the Old Course Hotel, located on the 17th fairway of the world’s most famous golf links, offers numerous facilities to complete this five-star golfing package: gastronomic dining in the Road Hole Fine Dining Restaurant overlooking the infamous Road Hole of the Old Course, relaxing treatments in the world-class Kohler Waters Spa and the chance to visit the historic town of St Andrews, famous for its university, as well as the cafés, antique shops and galleries that line the cobbled and ancient streets.

The Majestic Golf Experience includes:

Two nights’ luxury accommodation in an Eden parkland facing bedroom including a hearty, Scottish breakfast
A round of golf on The Duke’s
A round of golf on Kingsbarns
A round of golf of the Castle Course

The Majestic Golf Experience, which starts at £600 per person and is on offer until December 2009, comes with the option of upgrading to a Suite or Old Course-facing room at the point of booking.

For bookings and further details please call the reservations team on +44 (0) 1334 474371 or email quoting MAJGLF or visit

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A sexy new Brazilian flies into New Zealand!

Pacific Blue takes Embraer E-jet on regional tour.

One of Virgin Blue Group’s newest aircraft, a 104-seat Pacific Blue branded Embraer 190 E-Jet, will touch down around New Zealand this week as part of a tour to road test the aircraft in New Zealand, familiarise Pacific Blue staff with the jet and gauge feedback on suitability for potential operations.

Pacific Blue has been operating its 180-seat Boeing 737-800 jets on the main trunk domestic routes in New Zealand for nearly 18 months and said there remained “other tempting opportunities to introduce further competition”.

The airline’s General Manager Commercial, Adrian Hamilton-Manns, said the popular Embraer E-Jets, which have flown successfully on Virgin Blue domestic routes in Australia for two years, could be an ideal fit for international regional routes or New Zealand domestic operations.

“We’re committed to developing our New Zealand presence and this week’s E-Jet tour of the country will enable Pacific Blue to gain valuable feedback from airports as well as the tourism and business communities,“
Mr Hamilton-Manns said.

“Pacific Blue is proud that our entry to the New Zealand domestic market has at last brought real competition and driven down the cost of New Zealand domestic travel from prohibitive fare levels in years gone by. The market has changed substantially as our domestic competitor airlines have been forced to drop prices and change business models with Jetstar entering and Qantas exiting.

“However there’s still no doubt that regional domestic fares remain uncompetitive – there’s only one player in the market – so we wouldn’t rule anything out,” he added.

“The E-Jet tour is a chance for the local aviation and tourism industry to see this very popular passenger jet up close. Later we’ll be discussing possibilities and opportunities with airports, business and tourism communities.

“The E-Jet is a super aircraft, which has proven extremely popular with air travellers in many parts of the world. Right now we are enthusiastic about its operational suitability, but as always, new routes and services must in the long run be commercially feasible and sustainable, so we are also doing our homework in that regard,” he said.

The twin-engined Embraer 190 E-Jet offers a spacious two-two configuration with leather seats. The aircraft is capable of flying to all domestic and international airports in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific currently offered on Pacific Blue’s network.

The jet arrived in Christchurch late yesterday from Pago Pago and will be on display at Wellington Airport at around 2pm this afternoon before flying to Auckland. Tomorrow it will be visiting Hamilton and Palmerston North airports and on Friday it will touch down at Dunedin and Invercargill airports.

Emirates launches daily Dubai-Sydney-Auckland service

Emirates are now operating a daily A380 service from Dubai to Sydney and onto Auckland, the airline said last Friday.

The Dubai-Sydney-Auckland A380 service was first introduced by Emirates in February this year and was only a thrice-weekly service.

The carrier said the move to a daily service was a demonstration of its commitment to the Australian market, with increased capacity and offering more opportunities for Australian travellers to fly in an A380 aircraft.

“Emirates made a commitment to increased services to the Australian community some years ago and while we have promised big things for this market we have also delivered, even in the present economic times” said Stephen Pearse, Emirates’ Vice President Australia.

Pearse added that the airline remained committed to providing a third daily service for Sydney from 1 December this year.

Bangkok and Toronto will be included in the Emirates A380 route network from 1 June 2009, all flights to be serviced from Emirates’ central hub in Dubai.

A thousand Thailand rooms for USD$28 online

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels are offering 1,000 room nights from 1,000THB (USD28*) for two of its hotels in Thailand as a part of its May Madness holiday package.

The 5-star Grand Millennium Sukhumvit Bangkok and Millennium Resort Patong Phuket will launch the packages online at from now until 15 June 2009.

Special rates are valid for a maximum two-night stay and include a complimentary 30-minute massage. Additional room nights are also discounted.

“If anyone can find a better online deal for our Hotel than this, we’ll match the price and give them a complimentary stay” said John Gerrard, Grand Millennium Sukhumvit GM.

Grand Millennium Sukhumvit guests also have complimentary access to the hotel’s putting and chipping greens.

Millennium & Copthorne are rolling out other deals online including early-bird deals of up to 20 per cent off best available deals if booking 30-days in advance with the Group’s hotels across Asia.

Aircalin release special fares to New Caledonia

Aircalin have launched a sale on its New Caledonia return fares, on sale now until 23 May 2009 and for travel from 11 June to 6 December 2009.

Fares are $509 return ex Auckland, $669 return ex Wellington and Christchurch and are inclusive of taxes.

Return fares are valid for stays of 3 nights or 7 nights.

For terms and conditions contact Aircalin reservations for assistance on 09-308 3363.

Tahiti – Go on, you deserve it

Sofitel Tahiti Maeva Beach Resort Tahiti in association with Our Pacific are offering a tropical escape that is just too good to ignore. An exclusive 4 night package, staying in a Classic Mountain View Room at the Sofitel Tahiti Maeva Beach Resort, all Papeete coach transfers, return airfares from Auckland to Papeete for only $1499pp share twin/double.

Bonus includes: one FREE night, daily American breakfast for two.

Valid for travel to 01 Dec 09
For more information and packages go to or phone 0800 287 283

Holland America Line Reserves Top Seating for Performance of Edinburgh's Famed Military Tattoo

Holland America Line announced that it has reserved some of the best seats on the floodlit Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle to provide booked guests a bird's-eye view to one of the most celebrated events in the world: The Edinburgh Military Tattoo. With more than 1,000 performers, featuring Tongan musicians, an all-male Canadian choir, the Indian Navy and entertainers of the Royal Academy of Music and Drama, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo will celebrate its 60th anniversary while also paying a 250th birthday anniversary tribute to Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns. The Edinburgh Military program, which takes place on Aug. 13 while the ms Eurodam overnights in Edinburgh, Scotland, will be available on the 16-day, Northern Isles Adventure, departing Aug. 11 from Copenhagen, Denmark.

"Holland America Line's commitment to providing our guests with unique and memorable shore excursions is demonstrated once again with this one-of-a-kind shore opportunity," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "And guests will be able to experience this incredible event from the vantage point of the best reserved seating available."

Northern Isles Adventure

Guests who book the 16-day Northern Isles Adventure will board Eurodam in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Aug. 11. Besides an overnight in Edinburgh, the vessel will visit Invergordon, Scotland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Ilivileq, Greenland; St. John's Newfoundland; St.-Pierre & Miquelon; and Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Signature-class ship will spend five leisurely days at sea and a
day of scenic cruising in Prince Christian Sound and Cape Farewell before ending its journey in New York on Aug. 27. Booked guests can reserve their seats for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo--and other excursions for the Northern Isles Adventure sailing--by visiting

Etihad reveal jaw-dropping first class suites

Each of Etihad Airways new first class cabin suites have a sliding door, personal wardrobe, mini bar and 23” wide-screen LCD television, the airline revealed at this week’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM)

Costing the carrier US $70 million (Dh 257 million), the revamp of the first class cabin is impressive to say the least and comprises of 12 individual suites each with its own extra-large seat that extends to a fully-flat bed.

Moreover, the seat has a built-in massager, lumbar support, adjustable headrest and power sockets for electronic devices whilst the interiors are upholstered with leather.

There is also a changing room with a full length mirror and an extra large wood finished table for meals to be served on. It can even be lowered to provide dining space for up to four people.

“A downturn is exactly the time when an airline needs to demonstrate its commitment to the very highest standards of service excellence” said chief executive James Hogan.

“The economic turbulence that the aviation industry is currently experiencing will give way to calmer times, and when it does our investment and product innovation will ensure that we have not simply remained competitive, but that we are the market leader”

“With this in mind, we feel the time is right for us to raise the bar and we believe that our new first class cabin, together with the enhancements we have already made to our first class service, re-establishes our position as market leader in terms of luxury air travel.”

The first Etihad aircraft with the new first class cabin will be a new Airbus A340-600 which is scheduled to enter service at the end of August this year.
Total refurbishment of all first class cabins in the Etihad fleet is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

Rhys Darby at the Queenstown Winter Festival

Yes it’s official! One of the most sought after live acts in New Zealand will be joining an already stellar line up at the American Express Great Comedy debate on Monday June 29.

Funny man Rhys Darby will be bringing his truly unique style of comedy and askew observations to the debating table. He will join Dai Henwood, Te Radar, Oliver Driver, Paul Ego, MC Jeremy Corbett and local funny lady Emma Lange as they tackle the very sensitive issue - ‘Should there be more Women on Top’ at one of Festivals favourite events.

Rhys, best known for his role as Murray Hewitt in the cult comedy Flight of the Conchords, has starred alongside Jim Carrey in the US number one hit movie Yes Man, is currently featuring on the big screen in the Boat that Rocked, is a cult figure on the international comedy circuit, but has managed to squeeze the Winter Festival into his busy schedule.

Festival Director Sally Feinerman said: “The Comedy Debate is always a highlight of the Festival and this year is definitely going to be one of those stand out nights. With such a dynamic and eclectic line-up of high calibre performers you can expect a night of non-stop laughs.”

Always a hit and always hilarious, tickets for the Comedy Debate cost $69 you can purchase them online at or by phoning 0800FESTIVAL

Winter Starts Here! From 26 June to 5 July the 2009 American Express Queenstown Winter Festival celebrates 35 years of winter fun and festivities with ten days of totally outrageous and uniquely Queenstown events. Become a Friend of Festival to be first with the latest news and hot updates.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Private Wine Tasting Experiences Exclusive To Guests Of The Louise In The Barossa, South Australia

The Louise (, the Barossa's premier vineyard retreat in South Australia (, is offering guests a range of exclusive private wine and wine tasting experiences.

"Signature Barossa Experiences" sees nine of the region's top boutique winemakers opening their doors exclusively to overnight guests at The Louise, providing an unparalleled opportunity to meet the families and artisan individuals responsible for making some of Australia's most prestigious wines whose distribution is limited to small volumes.

Each tasting provides a different insight - organic and biodynamic wines, alternate varietals, barrel tasting, specific and inspired food pairing, rustic heritage and old vine.

Among the nine winemakers are John and Jan Angas of Hutton Vale, a historic property set in 2,000 acres of picturesque rolling countryside. Hutton Vale also produces wool from merino sheep, white Suffolk cross lambs for meat, cereal cropping and the Farm Follies range of chutneys and pickles. The Angas family, who has been farming the land since 1842, places great emphasis on quality and long-term environmental sustainability.

Guests can choose from two experiences; the two-hour "Personal Tasting and Tour of Hutton Vale" which includes a walk through the walled gardens, wine tasting, homemade chutney tasting as well as other seasonal specialities, or "At the Table with John and Jan", a hosted lunch with wines included.

Other boutique wineries opening their doors include Kalleske, Massena, Milhinch, Radford, Small Fry, Spinifex, Tscharke and Whistler Wines. Options include complimentary private wine tastings with the winemaker with a further range of tasting options including tapas, light or long lunches priced from A$65 to A$250 per person.

Watch And Meet The Australian Ballet At Qualia, Hamilton Island, Australia

Following last year's success, The Australian Ballet will this year again stage an outdoor performance at qualia (, the luxury Australian resort located on the northernmost point of Hamilton Island in Queensland, Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th October 2009.

Not only this, but over and above watching a marvellous outdoor performance, over the course of two days qualia guests will have unparalleled opportunities to meet and mingle with the dancers and their Artistic Director as follows:

- a question and answer session with the Company on opening night
- watch a dance class
- take part in a Pilates/yoga work out with the dancers on the last morning
- mingle with the dancers following the performance

Over the course of this "Pas de Deux in Paradise" weekend, The Australian Ballet will stage a new performance of pas de deuxs from classic ballets such as Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and El Tango.

Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet David McAllister said the company was thrilled to be returning to qualia. "We can't wait to perform a glittering show featuring some of the ballet's most loved pas de deuxs under a star-studded sky."

On the culinary front, Saturday will see an elegant champagne brunch hosted by Perrier-Jouet followed that evening by a post performance moonlight dinner by the pool at Pebble Beach matched with a selection of boutique wines.

Other qualia activities include swimming, Spa qualia and a private gourmet beach picnic on a neighbouring island, not to mention the additional opportunity to enjoy a round of golf at the Peter Thomson designed 18-hole Hamilton Island Golf Course on adjacent Dent Island which is due to open July 2009.

The "Pas de Deux in Paradise" package is priced AUD$4200 for a Windward and AUD$3400 for a Leeward Pavilion (based on twin share). This price includes:

- two-nights accommodation at qualia
- attendance at The Australian Ballet performance
- all food and non-alcoholic beverages consumed at qualia's Long Pavilion and Pebble Beach restaurants and at selected Hamilton Island restaurants
- all non-alcoholic beverages from the in-Pavilion bar
- use of a two-seater electric golf buggy
- return Hamilton Island airport/marina transfers
- use of non-motorised watercraft

Hayman announces Stay another Day

Hayman, Australia's celebrated private island destination in the Great Barrier Reef, has announced the creation of a new 4-night Stay Another Day offer, inviting guests to confirm a 3-night stay and receive a 4th complimentary night.

The Stay Another Day offer, which is valid from 1 May until 31 July 2009, is priced from AUD$1785 for 2 people and includes:

- 4 nights twin share accommodation in a beautifully appointed room
- Return luxury launch transfers from Great Barrier Reef Airport to Hayman
- Daily buffet breakfast in Azure, facing the sparkling Coral Sea
- A dining certificate valued at $100 per room per stay
- Use of watercraft for catamaran sailing, windsurfing and paddleskiing
- Use of fitness facilities, including gymnasium, sauna and jacuzzi
- Use of Activities Centre, tennis and squash courts, croquet lawn, beachside golf putting green, golf driving range, billiards room and island walking tracks

For families, a second room of equal value for 2 children up to the age of 12 years is available at 50% off the Stay Another Day offer.

For bookings and further information contact Hayman Reservations on
T (61-7) 4940 1838 Toll Free (in Australia) 1800 075 175 F (61-7) 4940 1858

Monday, May 4, 2009

Angsana Velavaru Launches Inocean Villas- The First Floating Resort In The Maldives

ngsana Velavaru, located on the pristine South Nilandhe Atoll, is set to unveil new standards in resort living with the launch of its InOcean Villas in July 2009 - the first standalone collection of water villas in the Maldives not connected to an island. Perched in the middle of the Indian Ocean one kilometre away from the island of Velavaru, and boasting its own dedicated Italian restaurant, the InOcean Villas will be the first and only “floating resort” in the Maldives offering visitors a unique castaway experience.

Tropical Locations ( /0845 277 3310) is offering 7 nights from £2245 per person in an InOcean villa including breakfast and return flights from Emirates from Gatwick or Heathrow via Dubai and seaplane transfers. The offer is valid stays between 01-15 July and 11 Aug – 15 Oct

The villas
Ranging in size from 175 to 290 square metres, each of the spacious 20 InOcean Villas, 11 Premier InOcean Villas and three Sanctuary InOcean Villas will offer guests a sense of unparalleled seclusion. Upon entry, guests will be greeted by a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean through the sliding glass doors along the living, sleeping and bath areas. Reminiscent of stylish city lofts and accented with contemporary coral designs, each two-storey villa comes with a spacious outdoor deck, an infinity pool of at least 21 square metres, and a hammock suspended over the water.

Emphasis is placed on the generous use of outdoor space, without compromising the sense of privacy, and the Premier and Sanctuary InOcean Villas also feature an extended deck into the ocean, complete with a cosy pavilion for relaxation or yoga practice. The villas are ideal for both couples and families with children over 12 years of age.
Guests will be able to indulge in luxurious, Asian-inspired massages deftly delivered by the resort’s skilled Angsana Spa therapists in the comfort of
their own villa. In the evening, guests can choose to savour a hearty Maldivian curry in their villa, or walk to Azzurro, the gourmet Italian restaurant and bar offering an extensive international wine selection
showcased in floor-to-ceiling wine racks.

What’s more, the extensive facilities of Angsana Velavaru resort are accessible within a five-minute boat ride. These facilities include:
• Eclectic dining options at Funa and Kaani restaurants, and exotic cocktails at Kuredhi Bar
• Castaway picnic experience on the deserted Maaga island. Maaga island is located 20 minutes away from the resort and is an idyllic location for a picnic with its pristine sand beach and untamed lush vegetation
• Cookery lessons on traditional Maldivian curries and ‘shorts’ (bite-sized snacks)
• Angsana Spa treatments in an outdoor spa pavilion or air-conditioned treatment room
• Kids Club – open from 10am to 8pm
• A dedicated Marine Lab which organises hands-on eco activities such as coral planting, reef cleaning, and marine biology classes
• Water sports including diving, guided snorkeling safaris and wakeboarding
• A selection of local crafts and spa amenities at Angsana Gallery

For reservations and enquiries, please contact Angsana Velavaru on our Toll Free number 00800 300 200 00.or email One-stop reservations at the best rates can be made online at

Hot deals from Queensland

The “What Winter in Townsville” deal from Jupiters Townsville includes a night’s accommodation in a Superior Room, breakfast for two in AQUA restaurant, two movie tickets, two welcome drink vouchers and two $5 Match ‘n’ Play vouchers for $199 per night. Valid May 1-June 30, 2009.; 1800 079 210.

Stay at the Australian Tourism Award winner for Best Backpackers Accommodation, Bungalow Bay Koala Village, Magnetic Island from $127 per person twin share. The Koala Express package includes two nights double/twin bungalow accommodation, return ferry transfers to Magnetic Island, return Island bus, two-hour guided tour to the Koala Sanctuary and two souvenir koala photos.

Bundaberg & Whitsundays
Stay at the Grand Mercure Apartments Bargara Bundaberg and Azure Sea at Airlie Beach for seven nights or more and receive a 30 per cent discount off the best rate of the day. Stays of three or four nights enjoy a 10 per cent discount and five or six night stays receive a 20 per cent discount. The ‘Stay Longer Pay Less’ offer is valid until 30 December, 2009., 1300 656565.

Tropical North Queensland
Book a two night stay at Voyages Silky Oaks Lodge & Healing Waters Spa before June 30, 2009 for travel until December 20, 2009 and pay only $298 per person twin share including breakfast - a saving of 50 per cent.; 1300 134 044.

Sunshine Coast
Stay seven nights at Seacove Resort, Coolum and pay for five, stay three nights and upgrade to a one-bedroom self-contained apartment and pay only $90 per night or stay three nights in a studio apartment and pay $20 for third night. Valid to 30 June and subject to availability and allocation.

All Saturday night guests at the Hyatt Regency Coolum can take an extra late check out at 6pm on Sunday until June 22. Rates start from just $240 per night for two adults in a King Room, including daily continental breakfast, entry to The Spa and fitness facility and daytime shuttle service to Noosa Heads. A family of four can stay in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom President Villa from just $400 per night and enjoy the same benefits.; 1800 COOLUM (266 586).

Gold Coast
Two adults and up to two children stay at Paradise Resort Gold Coast from $150 per room per night and receive free Zone 4 Kids sessions daily for 0-12 years. Stay for three nights and kids 3-12 years get free entry to their choice of Sea World, Wet n Wild or Warner Bros. Movie World. Valid until 30 June, 2009.; 1800 074 111.

Catch the Cuban Dance Spectacular, Lady Salsa at Conrad Jupiters until 20 June. Prices for show and accommodation start at $199 per room Sunday to Friday and $299 for Saturdays. Show season ends 20 June, 2009. Prices based on twin share.; 1800 074 344.
For more value holiday deals visit

Pure Tasmania Releases Mid Year Offers

28 Apr 09
Tasmania’s largest, most dynamic tourism brand, Pure Tasmania, has released a range of affordable mid year rates and packages.

Pure Tasmania encompasses the very best Australia’s island state has to offer - in the iconic destinations of Strahan, Freycinet, Cradle Mountain and Hobart. Promising a world of unique Tasmanian experiences, Pure Tasmania combines first class accommodation, fine food and wine, and unforgettable signature experiences.

Pure Tasmania’s Director of Tourism, Bernard Dwyer said,
“Tasmania is currently bucking the national trend of a softening domestic travel climate, with the state recording strong visitation growth for the last two reported quarters. And, it is pleasing that Pure Tasmania’s year to date revenue growth has reflected the visitor increases revealed in the latest Tasmanian Visitor Survey.”
“However, we know there is a perennial downturn in holiday visitation to Tasmania in the middle of the year, so we have responded with a series of offers which we’re confident will help continue to drive strong demand.”

Under the campaign ‘get a whole lot more for a whole lot less’, Pure Tasmania is offering nightly rates from just $100 per room at Strahan Village, $126 at Cradle Mountain Chateau, and $225 at the multi-award winning Henry Jones Art Hotel. At Freycinet Lodge, a special package including accommodation, dinner and breakfast is on offer for only $147 per person per night.
All prices are valid for travel from now until 30 September 2009, subject to availability, with some conditions.

In addition to first class accommodation, Pure Tasmania brings you highly engaging signature experiences. In Strahan, cruise the Gordon River aboard the Lady Jane Franklin II, board the West Coast Wilderness Railway, partake in a memorable Gordon River Paddle, or immerse yourself in an intimate Piners and Miners Hi-Rail experience. At Cradle Mountain Chateau, visit the award winning Wilderness Gallery or indulge at Calm Day Spa. And on Tasmania’s stunning east coast, Wineglass to Wine Glass, complete with a gourmet seafood lunch, is Freycinet’s must-do signature experience.

Many of these experiences are included in special holiday packages, which are also on offer at Pure Tasmania’s website,

Pure Tasmania’s website provides real-time booking capabilities for everything from mid year accommodation offers to day trip experiences and dining options.

Alternatively, Pure Tasmania’s properties and experiences may be booked via their Customer Contact Centre by calling 1800 420 091.

Huge Effort Boosts Scenic Circle Hotel Group’s Environmental Compliance

Things are a lot more environmentally friendly in the 16 hotels in the Scenic Circle Hotel group these days.

In fact in the last eight months a massive team effort has seen the group’s compliance with environmental policies increase from a meagre 37 percent in September of last year to an impressive 70 percent currently.

Graeme Horsley, chairperson of the group’s environmental committee, says the effort was spurred on partly by the introduction of an environmental measurement in the Qualmark rating system. Qualmark is the official grading and endorsement system for New Zealand tourism operators and recently has included Enviro Bronze, Silver and Gold ratings relating to the level of environmentally compliant practices.

“As a group we have committed to a short term goal of attaining Enviro-Silver ratings for our hotels with the long term goal of a group gold rating,” says Graeme.

To assist in the goal the committee produced a set of minimum standards for the hotels and various documentation and tools to help them achieve those standards.

“We have just surveyed the hotels again and have been delighted to find that staff from every part of the hotel’s operation have got right behind the effort and helped us achieve a group wide 70 percent compliance.” Efforts have ranged from everything from recycling of plastic, paper, glass and aluminium through to energy saving in the form of low wattage light bulbs and seasonally adjusted lighting and heating to purchasing from suppliers with sustainable environmental policies of their own and support for conservation projects.

“While the process has certainly focused us on things we weren’t doing it has also revealed quite a lot of initiatives that we were already undertaking without giving them any real recognition,” says Graeme.

In today’s market, he says it is vital that the hotel industry plays its part in adopting environmentally friendly practices.

“New Zealand, particularly in the hotel industry, has been lagging a bit behind the rest of the world but with increasing expectations from guests and New Zealand’s marketing stance as a clean, green nation it is absolutely vital that we get on board quickly.

“Aside from that we believe that we all have a social responsibility to protect the environment and at Scenic Circle Hotels we certainly see ourselves as a responsible hotel group.” Scenic Circle Hotels’ Dunedin City Hotel has recently been awarded an Enviro-Silver rating and others are expected to follow as they come up for Qualmark assessment. Meanwhile the newest hotel in the group, the five star Te Waionui Forest Retreat in Franz Josef has been built incorporating environmentally sustainable practices from the outset of its design right through every phase of its soon to be completed construction.


Air Pacific’s economy passengers travelling on routes between New Zealand and the carrier’s Pacific Island destinations will have their baggage allowance raised by three kilos to 23kg for tickets from May 1.

This follows a recent increase in the airline’s carry-on entitlement from five kilos to seven kilos per passenger.

The airline’s general manager Australia Victor Sharan said that the increase forms part of Air Pacific’s overall efforts to improve value for customers.

He added, “In an extremely competitive global environment, value and service continue to be key pillars in Air Pacific’s business model”.

Voyages offers free meal holidays!

Where: Brampton Island, Heron Island and Dunk Island – Queensland
Cost: 660NZD* per person for four nights on Brampton Island
741NZD* per person for four nights on Dunk Island
852NZD* per person for four nights on Heron Island
Inclusions: Accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner

When: May 1st to September 30th 2009
Bookings: From New Zealand: 0800 700 715 (toll free) or

Voyages is offering great value for money for families and budget-conscious holidaymakers with the launch of its Free Meal packages starting May 1st.

For a limited time only, guests staying for four nights or more on Brampton Island, Dunk Island or Heron Island can have their breakfast, lunch and dinner included for FREE! And at Dunk and Heron Islands, kids still stay and eat for FREE!

The Free Meal packages take the hidden costs out of island holidays and give families and budget-conscious travellers a great reason to head to some of Australia’s best island resorts – even during the school holidays.

Save from $87 per person per day on each of the three islands and enjoy a carefree holiday, allowing you to treat yourselves to more activities!

A 4-night stay on Brampton Island costs from 660NZD* per person and includes full buffet breakfast, buffet lunch and buffet or 3-course dinner daily, plus many island activities, meaning you can spend more on a Jet Ski Safari!
On Dunk Island a 4-night package costs from 741NZD* per person and includes full buffet breakfast, buffet or 2-course lunch and buffet or 3-course dinner daily. Also included are many non-motorised water sports and islands activities, plus children stay and eat for FREE!
On Heron Island a 4-night package costs from 852NZD* per person, and includes full buffet breakfast, buffet lunch and buffet or 3-course table d'hote dinner daily, many island activities and children stay and eat for FREE! On Heron Island treat yourselves to more snorkelling and diving - now that autumn is here the waters are clearer on the Great Barrier Reef and visibility is at its best.
*Conditions apply.

New Zealand’s Ultimate Charity Auction

“Give it Up to Live it Up” is New Zealand Luxury’s answer to the recession, offering NZ$33,000 worth of upscale travel from just $1.

The 10 day auction on ebay is expected to go live this week and has already received substantial interest worldwide from would be buyers.

The lucky couple that will pay the winning bid will be able to “Live it Up” in luxury in New Zealand for a month from just $1.

Some 19 leading luxury tourism operators have offered their services to the auction, exceeding NZ$1500, making the total package worth over NZ$33,000.

The package includes 4 weeks of luxury accommodation, a private jet flight and experiences accessed exclusively via helicopter. It also includes a cruise aboard a private yacht, and chauffeur drives throughout New Zealand.

Money raised will be donated to The Untouched World clothing company, which is based on a sustainable approach to business via a range of social, cultural and environmental methods. The funds raised will be used to help one of the company’s trusts surrounding youth issues, environmental issues or other projects based in NZ.

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Celebrity Chef set for Encore Performance at Queenstown Winter Festival

One of New Zealand’s most celebrated chefs is set to wow once more this July at the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival.

‘Millbrook and Brown’ will be an afternoon of gastronomic delights featuring a live demonstration from Wellington based chef Al Brown, who together with Steve Logan owns the acclaimed Logan Brown Restaurant.

After the resounding success of last years ‘Millbrook and Brown’ event Al is back by popular demand Wednesday July 1, for an encore performance at Millbrook Resort’s award-winning The Clubhouse Restaurant and is a must for food lovers.

With his unique and personable style his demonstrations are an absolute delight and a Festival highlight. Guests will be treated to an afternoon filled with charming banter, top kitchen secrets and a four-course tasting menu superbly matched with Gibbston Valley wines.

Sourcing local produce where possible, Al who is passionate about wild game and seasonal produce will present a menu that includes seared hare fillet with wild mushrooms and Pinot Noir syrup as well as a slow cooked Merino shoulder served with cous cous, and harissa.

He will also be indulging guests with one of his all-time favourite seafood dishes straight from the pages of his hotly anticipated seafood cook book due out this October.

Al’s unique, entertaining and personable style has won him success and a huge following, particularly in his role on TVNZ’s Hunger for the Wild programme.

“It’s a pleasure to be invited back to Millbrook and Festival 09” says Al, “I had a brilliant time last year and the thought of doing it all again with another bunch of enthusiastic foodies sounds perfect. So if a leisurely afternoon, by the fire at Millbrook, consuming some terrific food washed down with some exceptional wines appeals to your senses – then come and join me for a few laughs and an afternoon of decadence.”

Tickets for this extraordinary event are $119 and can be purchased online at, OR by phoning 0800 FESTIVAL.