Saturday, July 4, 2009

More than a third off selected sailing holidays

Holidaymakers who are happy to take their holiday at short notice can benefit from an extraordinary deal thanks to Sunsail Yacht Charters.

The world's leading sailing holiday company turns 35 this year and to celebrate, it is giving customers a whopping 35% off selected last-minute bookings from their base in the Whitsundays, north Queensland.

All customers have to do is call Sunsail and ask about the last-minute Birthday offers and they will be offered a selection of boats in the Whitsundays on specific dates over the next few weeks - at a massive 35% discount.

The discount is available on selected dates until the end of the year, which will be released at various intervals over the next few months.

And it is in addition to Sunsail's other 35th Birthday promotion, where customers can get $35 cash back simply by saying 'Happy Birthday Sunsail' when they book!

"We are thrilled to be celebrating 35 years and we want to share our milestone with our customers," said Sunsail's marketing manager Kim Lehmann.

"Booking one of these deals can really pay off for our customers. With more than a third off the charter price - and some really low airfares at the moment - cruising the beautiful Whitsundays this winter has never looked so good.

"And don't forget to wish us Happy Birthday when you book for an additional $35 cash back!"

Sunsail Yacht Charters started in 1974 with sailing flotillas first in Greece and then Turkey (1978). Sailing courses started in 1984, in the UK, and a rapid period of expansion in the late 1980s and early 1990s saw the company reach 390 yachts in the Mediterranean, 100 yachts in the Caribbean,19 yachts in Thailand and 6 international Beach Clubs by 1993.

The Australian and New Zealand operations were established in 1994 followed by the Seychelles (1995), Tonga (1996), Croatia (1998), Malaysia (2001) and Cuba, Tahiti and Corsica (2002).

Today, Sunsail Yacht Charters has 29 bases in 20 different countries, as well as a successful Beach Club in Greece, and offers not just boat charter holidays but sailing flotillas, participation in regattas, corporate and team-building events and five RYA approved sailing schools.

Sunsail Australia's base is located on Hamilton Island in the heart of the Whitsunday Islands cruising ground.

Flights arrive every day from major cities into Hamilton Island Airport and with the Sunsail base just three-minutes away in the air-conditioned courtesy bus, guests can be on their boat and sailing out the marina within a couple of hours, following their safety briefing. Sunsail can even provision the boat for guests, saving yet more time.

Sunsail's fleet of high-specification luxury yachts and catamarans cater for every kind of sailing experience and holiday, and yachts can be hired with or without a skipper.

Guests' comfort is as important as the safety and performance of the yachts, which are built to Sunsail's exacting standards in conjunction with the world's top yacht designers.

For up-to-date information on Sunsail's 35th birthday offer of a 35% discount off selected boats and dates - including the current available timeslots - check the special offers page on the website:

For more information or reservations call 1800 803 988

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Taronga’s “Roar and Snore“ Moves onto Sydney Harbour

Taronga’s Zoo’s new-look overnight accommodation program, “Roar and Snore“, now has a dress circle location amid the Zoo’s wildlife and overlooking spectacular Sydney Harbour in Australia.

The cliff-top location boasts ultra-comfortable safari-style tents, each with a view of the Harbour and Sydney’s majestic city skyline and is a the base for the tours and wildlife encounters with Australia’s famous wildlife from kangaroos and koalas to emus and possums throughout the overnight stay at Taronga.

From arrival in the evening to the next day’s dawn, the views of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are always changing with the city’s lights sparkling at night and the Harbour’s surface criss-crossed with boats.

The Zoo’s General Manager Life Sciences and Environmental Education, Cameron Kerr, said: ‘What started out as a simple camping experience at our Education Centre has now moved centre-stage with accommodation and meals to match the remarkable wildlife experience of staying in the zoo overnight.”

” Besides meeting Australian animals during the visit, there’s lots of free-ranging wildlife living just outside your tents from kookaburras with their laughing, early morning calls to Brushtail and Ringtail Possums, which are often met during the night walks in the Zoo. ”

“The Roar and Snore experience includes rides on the spectacular Sky Safari Cable Car which gives passengers stunning views of the Zoo and the harbour as it sails up from the Zoo’s own Ferry Wharf to the very top of Taronga. Visitors can stay on in the Zoo for the whole of the next day too.”

The new-look “Roar and Snore“ is now a fully-hosted experience based around architecturally designed tents, where a sumptuous roast feast and drinks in the main tent are complimented by up-close animal encounters and the only opportunity to camp overnight with the views of Sydney Harbour and the city on one side and the sounds of lions, birds and Meerkats on the other.

The tents are equipped with fully-dressed double and single beds. All linen is provided and you also have the chance to shower in the new amenities block just steps from your tent, while you enjoy the world famous views from Taronga Zoo.

Mr Kerr said: “I can’t think of another place in Sydney where you can stay overlooking the Harbour and discover the wonders of the Australian and exotic wildlife in our care. You may wake the next morning to the roar of the lions or an elephant trumpeting as you prepare to experience the zoo before the crowds. “

“Breakfast is taken in the main tent with the sprawling view of Sydney’s Harbour just in front of you. While you’re listening to the bird calls, the Harbour is waking up. As the sun strikes the glass of the business district’s tall towers, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, ferries and small boats are cutting across the water below you. Then it’s off to feed a giraffe on your way ‘behind the scenes' to learn about the secrets of this famous and fascinating zoo.“

The tours are all led by trained zoo staff who can answer their guests’ questions about wildlife. The tours introduce people to some very special times in Taronga, not usually seen by the zoo’s daytime visitors. Dusk and early mornings are particularly special and night time offers the chance to see many of the animals including the big cats as they commence their nocturnal activities.

Mr Kerr said: “Our zoos are never still and our staff work everyday of the year. The best thing about choosing a “Roar and Snore, is that you are supporting our work with wildlife. Zoos are now one-stop conservation agencies that care for wildlife, teach visitors about animals’ needs, start field conservation projects, manage breeding programs and conduct scientific research and our “Roar and Snorers” are part of all this.”

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Take a Punt on Christchurch with ZUJI’s Perfect Packages

The guru says: “A great deal means nothing without a great destination.”
Online travel agent ZUJI Australia presents packages for the perfect short break to the Garden City of Christchurch. Pack your bags and choose from a variety of hotels and great deals to one of New Zealand’s most delightful South Island destinations. These rates are too good to last and are only available if booked before 15 July for stays to the end of August.

See attached document for a sample of ZUJI’s Christchurch bloomin’ bargains or visit to design your own perfect package with ZUJI’s TripSaver technology to book flights and hotels together for even more holiday package savings.

Visit to grab your bargain and take a punt on Christchurch.

Validity: book by 15 July 09 for stays until 31 August or until sold out.
* Hotel prices are per room per night and are lead-in prices, subject to availability and blackout dates.

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2 night NZ Indulgence Heliski Package Only $3712

Combine ultimate indulgence with thrilling skiing!

The luxury Otahuna Lodge in New Zealand has released a 2 night indulgence heliski package for just $3712 per person, including all meals, wines and a thrilling day in Canterbury’s Southern Alps – among the best heliskiing in the Southern Hemisphere!

Otahuna Lodge is one of New Zealand’s most impressive luxury venues, built in 1895 and reopened under new owners on 1 May 2007 after a NZ$4 million renovation. The Lodge is just 20 minutes from Christchurch International Airport and a helicopter from the Lodge’s lawn can transport you to the slopes in under an hour, taking in spectacular coastlines, mountain passes, ice-blue rivers and snow-capped peaks.

HELiPRO-Southern Alps will take you on five thrilling runs (average 19,000 feet vertical per day!), then return you to cosy Otahuna Lodge to thaw, with its 14 open fireplaces and nightly five-course degustation après-ski dinners with matching wines and liqueurs.

The peaks of Two Thumb and Cloudy Peak ranges, near Mt Cook, allow access to long runs and fantastic snow quality. The highest peak is more than 2.5km and the longest run an awesome 3.16km. Snowfall averages an impressive 4.8m per season.

This package includes breakfasts, mountain-top lunch and ski guide, après-ski canapés and drinks, five-course dinners with wines and use of the Lodge’s heated pool and Jacuzzi. Equipment hire is not included and conditions apply.

Bookings: Phone Otahuna Lodge +64 3 329 6333. Visit

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Q Station Winter Packages

Q Station is offering some fantastic winter packages with savings of over $200, making it the perfect time to explore the history and the beautiful environment of this iconic site.

In its breathtaking position at North Head in the natural setting of Sydney Harbour National Park, the former Quarantine Station (1830-1984) has been beautifully restored as a unique and culturally significant hotel, with sweeping views of Sydney Harbour.

Q Station offers accommodation as well as a Visitor Centre on Quarantine Wharf; the Boilerhouse Restaurant situated close to the beach; interactive tours and school education programs.

Mystery Breakaway Grab a bargain and book a Mystery Room including accommodation, hot breakfast and valet parking.


Costs from $85 per person, twin share (price based on two people sharing).

At these prices, we can't guarantee your room type so your bathroom may be a few steps away from your room. Subject to availability. Conditions apply.

No Leave, No Life Bonus Offer Pay for 3 nights at Q Station Retreat and get a 4th night FREE. That's a saving of 25%!

Includes overnight accommodation in the room type of your choice as well as Hot Buffet breakfast daily, valet parking and regular free shuttle bus into Manly.

Room rates from $170 pp Winter Sweet Retreat Recharge run down winter bodies in the reviving atmosphere of Q Station with a winter sweet retreat package.

2 nights accommodation
Buffet breakfast in Views Restaurant
A 3 course meal in the Boilerhouse Harbourside Restaurant
"Wharf Wander" guided tour
Wine & Chocolates upon arrival and valet parking

From $200 per person

Group bookings are not accepted for this special offer.

Relax & Retreat Package Overnight accommodation in an ensuite room, breakfast and a three course dinner for two at the Boilerhouse restaurant.

From $310 per room (price based on two people sharing).

Location: Q Station, North Head Scenic Drive, Manly
Enquiries: 02 9466 1500 or email:
Bookings: Essential

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Unusual Far Northern Great Barrier Reef Adventure Expedition Cruise

Uninhabited islands, rarely visited reefs, amazing shipwrecks, wildlife of all kinds and it is here on Queensland’s doorstep. Len Zell, a ‘reefie’ marine biologist, diver, field guide and adventurer of more than 35 years and his mate Paddy McHugh, you know – the one of camel and deserts fame, are heading up from Cairns to Torres Strait from 4-18 February 2010.

This is ‘a trip of a lifetime’ for everyone – all on board Mike Ball’s luxury vessel Spoilsport. Len wants to get back to places, some he hasn’t seen for more than 33 years, and those he wants to revisit to see the changes for his upcoming books and most of all – have fun!

This trip is extremely unusual as it takes in examples of all the reef and island types the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has to offer and gets up to the northernmost tip of the GBR – Bramble Cay – and many other places that no other tour operation goes to. Stunning islands, Aboriginal sites, the wreck of HMS Pandora, where Len has spent 6 months on-site as a diving volunteer with the Queensland Museum, is also on the itinerary so divers can see the remains of the ship that sank here in 1791 with 14 Bounty mutineers on board. We may visit other wrecks like the Quetta near Cape York.

Paddy is excited as Len is going to take him SCUBA diving a few times as it will be a part of the activities on offer. But Paddy has one over Len – he hopes to introduce him to skydiving – this could be Len’s first 5 000 foot dive! Several of Paddy’s skydiving friends hope to come and there will be several opportunities for them to ‘do a dive’ in addition to the almost daily SCUBA opportunities and all the beach and island walking, snorkelling and birdwatching.

Only 24 pax and from AUD$5999p/p

The trip information can be found at

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Unbelievable Package Deals and Great Entertainment at Perisher!

The 2009 winter season is well underway and at Perisher, the Southern Hemisphere's largest and most popular alpine holiday destination, there's plenty of fun, excitement and cool package deals on offer. Here's a snapshot:

The Perisher Valley Hotel 2009 Opening Specials
The Perisher Valley Hotel is the ultimate in on-snow accommodation. Renowned for personal and first class service this intimate 31-room boutique hotel, located right at the base of the lifts, is ideal for that romantic getaway or family holiday.

To help celebrate its opening, Perisher is offering some truly amazing deals. 2, 5 or 7 day Opening Special packages are available starting from just AUD$682.00pp twin share. Packages include:
* Buffet breakfasts
* Gourmet dinners
* 2, 5 or 6 day consecutive Mountain Passes
* Access to sauna and spa facilities
* Welcome drinks on arrival
* Oversnow transport to and from the Perisher Skitube Terminal
* Free skiing on Sunday afternoon when a 5-Day or 6-Day pass is purchased
* Child rates are also available
Contact Perisher Snow Holidays: 1300 655 811 for details. This offer is valid from 21 June through to and including 4 July.

Also available until 4 July inclusive, ROOM ONLY just AUD$150.00 per night twin share.

Jimmy Barnes LIVE at The Station Saturday 4 July!

Watch Jimmy Barnes perform live at The Station on Saturday 4 July for a night guaranteed to get your blood pumping! Don't miss out on watching one of Australia's rock icons live. It is sure to be a spectacular event! Tickets will be available for purchase from The Station, Perisher Ticket Office in Jindabyne, Perisher Guest Services and at the door until sold out.

The Station also has some fantastic Jimmy Barnes accommodation and concert ticket packages available including:

Saturday 4 July only:
AUD$67.00pp - 5 to 6 share
AUD$84.00pp - 3 to 4 share
AUD$105.00pp - 2 share

Package includes one night accommodation at The Station and ticket to watch Jimmy Barnes perform live on Saturday 4 July.

Weekend package 3 to 5 July (Friday and Saturday night only):

AUD$95.00pp - 5 to 6 share
AUD$126.00pp - 3 to 4 share
AUD$168.00pp - 2 share

Package includes two nights accommodation at The Station and tickets to watch Jimmy Barnes perform live on Saturday 4 July.

School Holiday Special at The Station! KIDS STAY FREE
The Station's 'Kids Stay FREE' (only pay for Perisher Mountain Pass/es) package has never before been offered during School Holidays.

This '5-Day Basic Pac' offer is available from Sunday 28 June to Sunday 19 July inclusive and represents a saving of more than AUD$400!

Perisher's 2009 Entertainment line-up!
Perisher is the place to be this winter! A fantastic line-up of acts have been organised that are sure to keep you groovin' to the tunes all season long. Pop these dates in your diaries:

4 July Jimmy Barnes
25 July Ministry of Sound
5 August The Herd
12 August The Beautiful Girls
15 August One Love
19 August Back to the Top
29 August Sno Sho (Dance Party)

There are a host of other activities for all ages each week at The Station including Poker Night, Bingo Night, dance party with DJ ph7 and great acoustic tunes from 'Locky'. For details log onto or call Guest Services on 1300 655 822.

Perisher is the place to be this winter with a stockpile of hip tunes, live entertainment and plenty of fantastic package deals available. Call Perisher Snow Holidays on 1300 655 811 or log onto and make your snow holiday a reality!

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Outback travellers can pack their own virtual guides

The Northern Territory’s outback roads have gone digital with the launch of Do It Yourself Tourguide.

The company has designed audio sightseeing tours available on CDs or MP3 downloads for self-drive travellers, with the first two tours covering iconic Northern Territory drives – the road from Alice Springs to Uluru; and the Red Centre Way, which travels from Alice Springs to Uluru via the West MacDonnell Ranges and Kings Canyon.

A sample of the audio from the DIY Tourguides is available on YouTube at, or at

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You Name Your Price!!!

Paihia Beach Resort & Spa launches most innovative travel special in New Zealand – ‘You Name Your Price’

Bay of Islands, New Zealand (June 2009).
Showcasing style, design and undoubtedly unrivaled innovation, the internationally award winning Paihia Beach Resort & Spa have announced their exclusive and radical new promotion –‘You Name Your Price’. This promotion provides guests with the opportunity to stay at the resort which has undergone last year a multi-million dollar refurbishment and pay only what they feel is fair for accommodation, restaurant and spa treatments.

In order to participate, guests will have to meet the minimum (confidential) threshold for accommodation on making their reservation, however, no threshold has been set on what they may offer for restaurant dining or spa treatments. Literally, pay what they feel the restaurant meal or spa treatments are worth based on the quality of the product! This promotion has a very short validity, book and stay prior to 31 July 2009.

Located in a superb beach position overlooking the Bay of Islands, award-winning Paihia Beach Resort & Spa offers the chance to revitalize body and soul, with breathtaking sea views from the resort as well as the Bay of Islands on the doorstep. Three styles of accommodation are available Poolside and Spa Studios, One Guestroom Suite and Two Guestroom Apartments, all spaciously and stylishly furnished, featuring stunning floor to ceiling panoramic ocean views and private balconies. Paihia Beach Resort & Spa is a finalist for the 3rd consecutive year in the World Travel Awards, was voted one of the top ten spas in Australasia by Conde Nast Traveller UK (2008), winner of the World travel awards for New Zealand’s leading Resort (2008), and finalist in the World Travel Awards (2007).

For more information on this exclusive new promotion – ‘You Name Your Price’ contact Paihia Beach Resort & Spa on 0800 870 111 (free phone within New Zealand) or
+64 9 4020 111. Alternatively visit

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Thredbo to Host Cinema in the Snow

09Thredbo Resort in the NSW Snowy Mountains is set to host a WORLD FIRST with the construction of a one-of-a-kind 3D “Cinema in the Snow” to launch the new Event Cinemas on Friday 3rd July at 6.30 pm.

For one magical evening, Thredbo’s iconic snow slopes will be transformed into the world’s first outdoor 3D cinema.

Around 400 invited guests including celebrities, industry leaders and VIPs will walk the ‘Ice Carpet’ to watch one of this year’s most anticipated films, ICE AGE 3: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS (PG) in a truly unique setting.

This incredible one-off Cinema in the Snow will feature a massive silver screen, state-of-the-art sound and world class digital 3D technology in a magical winter wonderland setting to create a cinema experience like no other.

Event Cinemas is the new premium cinema brand for the AHL group, owners and operators of Greater Union and Birch Carroll and Coyle cinemas. Event Cinemas will offer patrons an unparalleled cinema experience with options on every level including unique screening experiences and brand new food and beverage options.

The Cinema in the Snow will also offer patrons a cinema experience like no other and will feature unique food and beverage options for guests with a purpose built Candy Bar made entirely of ice – one for the kids serving ice creams, popcorn and hot Milo and one for the adults serving schnapps!

A team of experts will take three days and enormous amount of equipment to transform an area of the Friday Flat slope into this unique outdoor cinema. The purpose built projection room is temperature controlled to protect the state-of-the art digital 3D screening technology.

The real stars of the show however are the characters from the movie: Sid, Many and Diego appearing as life-size snow sculptures.

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Alice Springs Camel Cup an Odds On Favourite

Spitting, biting and grunting are part of the daily routine for cameleers, but getting on board and racing these unpredictable beasts is no small feat for riders taking part in the 38th annual Lions Imparja Camel Cup in Alice Springs early next month.

More than 4,500 people will converge on Alice Springs on Saturday 11 July to experience Australia’s most famous camel race.

This year’s Cup will see riders from the Territory and as far afield as Tasmania, tackle the dusty outback course in nine separate races scheduled throughout the day.

The race, which attracts visitors from all over the world, celebrates the uniqueness of the Red Centre and its quirky traditions.

This year's Lions Imparja Camel Cup will see a team of US riders from Pine Gap competing who have been training with Camels Australia especially for the day. Legendary Cameleer “Shorty” Smith will also return to the heart of Australia for another crack at the Cup.

All proceeds from the Camel Cup, which is organised by the Lions Club of Alice Springs, will be put back into the local community.

What: The 38th Annual Lions Imparja Camel Cup

When: Saturday 11 July 2009, 10.30am-5pm

Where: Blatherskite Park, Alice Springs

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