Saturday, July 10, 2010

Vanuatu Iririki Island Resort & Spa Stay/Pay Deal

5 nights at Iririki Island Resort & Spa for only $1,000pp*

Escape to paradise and explore the turquoise waters, solitary atolls and green vegetation of Vanuatu with Adventure World’s special “stay five nights and only pay for four” accommodation deal.

For a limited time, stay five nights in one of Iririki Island Resort & Spa’s stunning Garden View rooms, and only pay for the price of four ($1,000pp*). Full buffet breakfast daily is included.

Located just minutes from Port Vila, Iririki Island Resort & Spa is a stunning 4 star, 69 acre private resort, with lush tropical gardens and a private beach in its surrounds.

*For travel between 01/04/2010 – 23/12/2010 and 07/01/2011 – 31/03/2011. Price includes 5 nights accommodation in a Garden View room, plus buffet breakfast daily. Price is per person, twin share. Airfares not included.

Adventure World on 0800 899 111 or visit

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Midyear Madness Deal

*Acacia Africa Midyear Madness Deal*
SAVE up to 40% on Acacia Overland Tours

Experience the incredible sights, sounds and unique experiences that Africa has to offer with this crazy deal from Acacia Africa, who are waging war on overland tour prices during July.

Book your Acacia Africa overland tour with Adventure World this month and save an amazing 40% off travel in July, 30% off travel in August, 20% off travel in September and October and 10% off overland tours in November and December.

Acacia Africa has hundreds of African tours available, including 18 overland safaris that range from 6 to 58 days.

This promotion runs until 31 July 2010, and normal local payment and conditions still apply.

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*Jewels of the Cyclades - Greek Island Hopping Cruise – 50% off the 2nd passenger*

8 days/ 7 nights, 1st person priced from $2309, 2nd person travels for only $1296
Climb aboard this incredible “buy one get one half price” cruise through the gorgeous sun-kissed Greek Islands.

Not only will you save up to $1296 on this stunning seven night cruise when you buy one and get the second half price, but as an added bonus, you’ll also receive the choice of either two free nights accommodation at a deluxe hotel in Athens, or EURO100 shipboard credit per person.

Departing from the Greek capital of Athens, and sailing in style aboard the recently renovated M/S Galileo, sit back and relax as you are transported to the unique archaeological site of Delos - antiquity's most sacred island, then take a swim in the dazzling azure waters of one of Mykonos most beautiful bays. The journey continues on to Syros and Santorini - famous for its breathtaking scenery, and Kythnos – renowned for its stunning beaches, before heading back to Marina Zea via Cape Sounion, the home of the temple of Poseidon.
Offering a wonderful balance of conventional cruising with private yachting, all 26 twin cabins onboard the M/S Galileo have windows or portholes, ensuring you don’t miss out on any of the sights on this incredible Island hopping cruise.

Price includes: Accommodation on a twin share basis, selected meals, a multilingual cruise escort and port taxes. Exclusive to departures from 16 July, 15 & 29 October 2010.

Adventure World on 0800 899 111 or visit

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Experience family fun in Canada and Alaska

* Cruise West Alaska Deal *
4 nights Alaska cruise from $1665*pp (was from $2089pp)
Cruise cliff-walled fjords and narrow passages, listen for the “white thunder” of massive glaciers calving into nutrient-rich water, and watch for elusive orca as brown bears hunt for shellfish and sea otters and harbour seals play near the shore, on the Cruise West “Glaciers of Prince William Sound” cruise, which is now priced from just $1665pp.
Departing from Anchorage, this four night round trip getaway cruise offers the best of Alaska’s Prince William Sound - an area famed for its breathtaking scenery and wildlife and home to the largest concentration of tidewater glaciers in the world.
Price includes: 4 Nights accommodation onboard Spirit of Columbia. Prices are per person, double occupancy. Single rate is available on request. Service charges for land-based personnel and $253 per person which covers taxes/port charges/fees and onboard services.
*Conditions: Places subject to availability. Offer available for selected dates only.


*Gray Line of Alaska Special *
Save $440* when you book a tour of 6 days or more before 15 September, 2010
For a limited time, save $440 per person when you book a tour for six days or more with Gray Line of Alaska.
Offering a myriad of customised Alaska holidays, journey in style to the destinations that define Alaska for locals and visitors alike. Breathtaking scenery, wildlife, glaciers and mountains are just the beginning.
*Conditions apply. Applies to new bookings only that are booked and deposited between 01 July – 15 September, 2010. Twin share only. For travel from now until 15 September, 2010.


* Canada Rail & Coach Winter Wonderland Special *
8 days/ 7 nights, now priced from only $2189pp* (was $2312pp)
Save $123 per person when you book this hugely popular rail and coach tour to experience the unique wildlife and scenery of the Canadian west.
Prepare to be startled by Canada’s spectacular winter landscapes on a tour where you’ll discover alpine towns like Jasper and Lake Louise, with stopovers at Icefields Parkway and Banff Upper Hot Springs.
The snow capped wonders of the Canadian Rockies await.
* Price includes 6 nights accommodation including taxes, 1 night on board VIA Rail (Sleeper Touring Class), various meals, transportation and selected sightseeing. Tour departs from Vancouver & Calgary. Offer available for selected departures between January & March 2011.


*Canadian Winter Family Fun*
7 nights from just $2,736* per family
Grab the family together and discover Canada’s most family friendly ski resort with 15% off this very special family package to the award-winning ski-in, ski-out village of Sun Peaks.
For just $2,736* per family, stay seven nights at popular Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Lodge & Condominiums, hit the slopes with two six day Sun Peak lift passes and mix and mingle with other families at the Sun Peaks welcome night.
This very special offer is valid from 20 November – 23 December, 2010 and must be booked by 15 November, 2010.
*Price includes 7 nights accommodation at Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Lodge & Condominiums in a Family Suite (sleeps 4), Sun Peaks welcome night (includes complimentary drinks – held every Sunday), and 2 six day Sun Peaks lift passes (children under 12 ski free).


Adventure World on 0800 899 111 or visit

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HOT DEAL – Auckland to Sydney Cruise

Princess Cruises have reduced fares on the Auckland to Sydney leg of the Dawn Princess’ world cruise.

For only $495 per person twin share, passengers can enjoy a taste of cruising on a three night cruise which departs on August 31 2010.

Experience the relaxation of cruising in the adults only oasis “The Sanctuary”, watching movies under the stars on the 92m poolside screen and enjoying sumptuous cuisine in the onboard restaurants and dining areas.

Conveniently departing from Auckland city and finishing just a short flight from home this cruise is a relaxing short break or an exciting start to an Australian holiday.

Bookings can be made at most travel agents or through Princess Cruises: 0800 543 178

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Lufthansa serves wine from Gérard Depardieu

Lufthansa Business-Class passengers on European routes are now enjoying a very special wine appellation from the Loire valley: A Cabernet-d’Anjou 2009 from the Chateau de Tigné estate owned by celebrated French film star Gérard Depardieu.

Gérard Depardieu is a film legend indisputably but acting is not his only passion. Well before his sympathetic incarnation of the overgrown Obelix, popular among younger audiences, he discovered a love and enthusiasm for the fine wines of his native France. A few years ago, Gérard Depardieu acquired a historic chateau in the Loire Valley, which has survived religious wars and revolution in a chequered history. He was enraptured with the vineyard and wine cellars attached to the estate and, from that moment on, became a vintner. Each year, the vineyard crafts the choicest of wines to the delight of wine lovers. But working the poor soil of the region is hard graft before valuable vines can be enticed to grow and be harvested as the grapes mature. Whereas elegant whites are produced from Chenin Blanc, a superior cuvée from red grapes like Gamay, Grolleau, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Cabernet-Franc turns out juicy rosés and strong reds.

The rosé Cabernet-d’Anjou 2009, pressed from the two Cabernet vines, develops a distinctive flavour reminiscent of fine citrus fruits and raspberries. It is noted for its stimulating character and is delightful to the palate. An outstanding summer wine, it is currently being served in Business Class on Lufthansa’s European flights.

No gourmet menu is complete without quality wine to match the exquisite food. But noble and tasteful as a wine may be on the ground, it loses its characteristic notes in a wine lover’s perception at cruising altitude in the aircraft cabin. Low pressure in the aircraft adversely affects the sense of taste and the development of a wine’s bouquet and aroma. Not all wines fly well. So to ensure the fruit of the vine delights passengers in-flight. Lufthansa relies on advice from Sommelier World Champion Markus Del Monego, For “Vinothek Discoveries“ – Lufthansa’s award-winning wine programme, he puts together a selection of exceptional wines every two months. Markus Del Monego travels the world exclusively for Lufthansa in the quest for the finest treasures of the wine-world to recommend and be discovered by First and Business-Class passengers as they settle back in their cabin seats. In the catering sphere, Lufthansa has assumed the role of global ambassador for the best of German wines. These are chosen at blind tastings attended by Markus Del Monego and other recognised wine experts. Each year, Lufthansa offers around 40 vintages hand-picked from more than 30 German vineyards on long-haul routes alone. All told, around 3.5 million litres of wine from top estates are served in all travel classes yearly.

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Speedier arrival clearance likely in NZ

Stuff’s online Businessday service reports that passengers flying in to New Zealand
from Australia will be able to skip the baggage X-ray queue from next year.

The move could eventually see all international passengers bypassing biosecurity X-rays here. Biosecurity officials will instead be able to review Xrays taken at overseas airports before passengers board planes to New Zealand.

MAF is about to go to market for a system that will let it pre-screen X-rays of stowed baggage while pax are en route to NZ. Spokeswoman Kathy Dyer says the system
will be introduced for passengers departing Brisbane Airport in early 2011, with other Australian airports expected to join the scheme subsequently.

It will allow passengers to make a speedier exit from the airport because MAF’s
systems will recognise which bags have been pre-screened, and sniffer dogs and other tools would be used to check hand luggage.

At this stage, the system will be introduced for “low-risk trans-Tasman flights only”, but a number of international airports, including in Singapore, Hong Kong,
Vancouver and Chile, have expressed interest in the initiative.

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Twilight trips for the ultimate Twihards

To celebrate the release of Eclipse, the third instalment in the Twilight film
saga, Adventure World is offering fans of the vampire flick the chance to visit the locations made famous by the films and novels on a Twilight-inspired tour through Oregon and Washington State.

Departing on the full moon, travellers will experience an action packed 12- day TrekAmerica camping tour with the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the world of Twilight.

This tour departs on 24AUG10 and is priced from $1545. Highlights include Forks and La Push Twilight Tour, sightseeing locations used in the Twilight Movie, nocturnal Kayak Tour, Puget Sound Ferry Ride and explore the National Parks and Monuments.

For more info on this tour visit or call 0508 496753.

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Surf’s up (and free) in Fiji

Cdr Frank Bainimarama’s government last week ruled no-one will be able to charge surfers to access surf breaks in Fiji.

The new ruling overrides any existing arrangement and excludes any challenge in court against the cancellation of leases. The Stuff website reports the ruling has upset resort owners but thrilled surfers, who previously had to pay between US$400-$600 a day to stay at the hotels which would then allow them to ride the waves.

Previously, access to world-class waves at the best spots in Fiji, such as Cloudbreak, had been controlled by resorts that paid villages for exclusive access rights. Tavarua Island Resort, which will likely be affected by the ruling, issued a brief statement:

“The Fiji Government has always supported our surfing resort and model and conversely we’ve always supported the government and people of Fiji. If and when the details are released and the decree goes into effect, we will know at that time if it has any impact on our operation.”

Namotu Island Resort, which would also be affected by the ruling, said they had been taken by surprise and its owner is quoted as saying three villages there will be a million dollars a year worse off .

As reported by Travelmemo

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Cathay Pacific to offer inflight broadband

Passengers on Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair can look forward to enjoying broadband connectivity on flights starting 2012.

The Panasonic Avionics connectivity solution will include the eXConnect broadband service that will support Internet access, voice, data and run at speeds of up to 50Mbps; and a eXPhone GSM phone service that will enable passengers to use their mobile phones and allow the airline to restrict certain services when necessary.

A CX-branded free-of-charge entertainment portal will also be developed to include a range of content updated during the flight, access to airline and partner sites, e-commerce, airline-specific advertising and live television with pay-per-view access. This will be accessible on passenger devices and seatback screens.

The service roll out is still subject to regulatory approval.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Aucklanders to see world’s best press photos

The year’s most confronting and compelling press photos from around the globe will be shown in Auckland from August 13th as part of the World Press Photo Exhibition 2010.

This exhibition, which travels the world, showcases the winners of an international photojournalism competition. The show will be brought to the city by the Rotary Club of Auckland.

“The exhibition is unique”, says Don Bendall, President of the Rotary Club of Auckland. “It brings together moving and thought-provoking images taken around the world, by the world’s best photojournalists. We are very pleased to make this outstanding collection of photographs available to Aucklanders”.

This year’s exhibition contains 162 photographs, chosen from more than 100,000 images submitted to the competition by photojournalists, agencies, newspapers and magazines from 128 countries.

The exhibition will be on display at Smith and Caughey Queen St, on Level 6, from 13th August 2010 to 3rd of September 2010.

All proceeds from the entry fee of $5.00 will be donated to charity by the Rotary Club of Auckland.

World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon and TNT.

World Press Photo:
World Press Photo is an independent, nonprofit organization based in Amsterdam, where World Press Photo was founded in 1955. Its main aim is to support and promote internationally the work of professional press photographers. Over the years, World Press Photo has evolved into an independent platform for photojournalism and the free exchange of information.

The Rotary Club of Auckland:
The Rotary Club of Auckland is one of New Zealand’s oldest and largest service clubs. Since 1921 it has established and supported a large number of organisations such as CCS, Outward Bound, the Stroke Foundation and many youth development initiatives. The club also founded the Ellerslie Flower Show, and ran it annually for a number of years.

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A night of “glitz, glam and style”

Peppers Clearwater Resort in Christchurch will be the escape destination for fashionistas looking for a night of glitz, glam and style with the launch of one New Zealand’s leading fashion designer’s summer collection.

On the eve of Saturday 24 July, the 2010 Spring/Summer Ashley Fogel range will be hitting the catwalk for the first time in the sumptuous surrounds of Peppers Clearwater Resort.

Those with a penchant for fashion will also revel in the chance to meet the man behind the label as well as the opportunity to win a $1000 Ashley Fogel wardrobe from Ballantynes. There will be a lavish array of luxury items to be won on the night including three “Weekend Drive-away” experiences in the latest Mercedes, a Ginger Meggs makeover, Bobby Brown products and so much more.

There will be an assortment of delicious canapés and drinks before the Ashley Fogel Spring/Summer collection is unveiled.

Peppers Clearwater Resort has further indulgence in store for guests who choose to make a night of it with the “Cleopatra Indulgence” package. From a beautiful arrival platter to premium accommodation in a stylish modern apartment, Peppers Clearwater will also treat guests to a milk bath to relax and unwind after a night of fashion followed by a buffet breakfast for two the next morning.

Set in one of the South Island’s most picturesque locations, against the crystal blue waters of Lake Kaikainui, Peppers Clearwater Resort makes for the perfect fashion escape.

Receive free entry to the Ashley Fogel fashion show when you stay with Peppers Clearwater on 24 July. “Cleopatra Indulgence” packages start from $195 per night. Bookings can be made on 0800 275 373 or visit PEPPERS.

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Cathay Pacific Airways and Panasonic Avionics Corporation today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the provision of full broadband connectivity on all Cathay Pacific and Dragonair passenger aircraft.

While final terms are still being negotiated, the MOU allows the parties to immediately begin developing the plan to provide connectivity for passengers together with promotional, sponsorship and e-commerce opportunities for Cathay Pacific partner brands.

Cathay Pacific is the first airline in Asia to announce its intention to deploy Panasonic Avionics’ Global Communications Suite broadband connectivity solution. It is also the first airline globally to announce an intention to provide the solution across its full fleet. Services will launch from early 2012, subject to regulatory approval.

The Panasonic Avionics connectivity solution for Cathay Pacific will comprise the eXConnect broadband service, eXPhone GSM phone service, and a CX-branded free-of-charge entertainment portal - accessible through all passenger devices and seatback screens - that will include a range of content updated during the flight, access to airline and partner sites, e-commerce, airline-specific advertising, and live television with a unique pay-per-view capability for special events.

· eXConnect provides two-way broadband connectivity supporting a wide range of passenger and crew applications, including Internet access, voice, data, and the ability to monitor and transmit airline operational data in real time at speeds of up to 50 Mbps to the aircraft.

· eXPhone, offered in collaboration with AeroMobile’s GSM mobile phone technology, allows passengers to use their mobile phones, smart phones and BlackBerryÒ devices onboard to make voice calls, send SMS text messages or utilise data services and stream content wirelessly to their iPodÒ, iPhoneÒ and iPadÒ. eXPhone gives the airline flexibility and full control over the services offered including restricting certain services when appropriate.

Alex McGowan, Head of Product for Cathay Pacific, said: “Connectivity will form an important part of our overall customer proposition. Having that connectivity integrated closely with our video on demand entertainment system is especially valuable as it means that all passengers will be able to use the service. We believe that being connected is now an expected part of everyday life – not just for business purposes but also to stay in touch with family and friends. This system will allow passengers to be as ‘in touch’ as they wish to be while enjoying the great Cathay Pacific and Dragonair service.

Charles Ogilvie, Executive Director of China for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “We are very proud and thrilled to be working with Cathay Pacific. We are committed to serving the needs of the ever-growing markets in China and Asia. With Panasonic Avionics’ Global Communications Services, Cathay Pacific will be the first airline in Asia to offer passengers the most innovative inflight entertainment and communication options onboard commercial aircraft.”

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kids Stay Free at Lindeman Island

July is the perfect month for families needing a getaway where at Club Med Lindeman Island kids stay free with a paying adult until October 31. This incredible deal applies to children up to 17 years old.

This deal even applies during school holidays and there is still availability for the next school holiday period (24 September – 11 October).

Club Med holidays are all inclusive so kids don’t just stay for free at Lindeman; they enjoy unlimited free food, drinks and even ice-cream. A multitude of sporting activities including sailing, kayaking, trapeze and archery are also all included. Adults can enjoy all of this as well as a full open bar.

An activity packed kids club is also part of the package so parents can rest assured that their children are being well looked after while they enjoy walks to secluded white sand beaches or quiet time at the adult only pool.

Club Med Lindeman features an impressive 9 hole golf course and next month they are running “Golf Weeks” a free event for resort guests from 7-21 August. The Golf Weeks program includes free lessons, tournaments, coaching clinics and golfer’s cocktail parties.

Club Med Lindeman Island is located on the North East Coast of Australia near the spectacular Great Barrier Reef. It is the most all inclusive holiday in the Whitsundays winning “Top 3 best Australian Family Holiday Resort” by Holiday with Kids Magazine in 2009.

Adult all inclusive packages for Lindeman Island are available from only $3401 for a 7 night stay; children are just $1033 for their flights and transfers plus free Club Med Holiday.

Bookings for this deal must be made by July 31 and travel completed by October 31.

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Family fun adventures up for auction in support of a deserving school

Luxury resort group Peppers New Zealand is auctioning two ultimate family escapes in support of a deserving Christchurch school.

In partnership with Red Cross, Peppers New Zealand is giving back to their community in a big way, by auctioning off two holiday packages with a total value of $8000 on Trade Me. General Manager of Peppers New Zealand Ken Harris hopes to raise $10,000 for Phillipstown School, a decile one school in Phillipstown, Christchurch.

Out of the four decile one schools in Christchurch, Ken was really impressed by the extent of extra-curricular activities organised by Phillipstown teachers involving the outside community.

“As an organisation we really want to be able to support our community in a meaningful way”, says Ken. “It’s more than just handing over a cheque, we have been working closely alongside Phillipstown School principal Tony Simpson and Red Cross to earmark areas of real need. The funds raised through the Trade Me auction will go towards meeting the student’s pastoral care and learning needs.”

Peppers New Zealand is auctioning off a five night family package to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand worth $5000, and a two night family package to the beautiful Lake Tekapo valued at $3000.

The Lake Tekapo family package includes two nights at Peppers Bluewater Resort. Set against a backdrop of the stunning turquoise-blue waters of Lake Tekapo and the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps – this premier resort is truly breathtaking. Peppers Bluewater Resort will treat the whole family to a hot breakfast each morning as well as dinner in the resort’s Rakinui Restaurant. This ultimate family holiday also includes a Stargazing tour on Mt John Observatory through Earth & Sky Tours, a Family Super Combo pass including skating, snow tubing and hot pools passes for the whole family at Alpine Springs as well as massages for Mum and Dad. Starting 9 July, the auction will run to 18 July.

And, for those keen to visit Queenstown, from 9 to 17 July one lucky family will have the chance to win five nights at the luxurious Peppers Beacon Resort in Queenstown. Return flights, car rental, a winery tour, a family ski package with clothing and equipment hire, Sky Line gondola ride and luge, a ride on a Jet Boat, a cruise on the Earnslaw and a family tour, dinner at one of Queenstown’s premier restaurants and three hours of babysitting for Mum and Dad are all part of this ultimate family escape.

In addition to raising funds, Peppers Clearwater Resort in Christchurch is very keen to engage with students at the school and a number of opportunities have already been organised for the children at Phillipstown School to learn valuable life skills.

Year 8 students have been working alongside Executive Chef Ben Clarke to sample The Lakes Restaurant menu and are helping to create a children’s menu that will be integrated throughout all the South Island Peppers properties.

At the start of the next school term, staff from Peppers Clearwater Resort will be volunteering their time every fortnight to help serve breakfast to the children through the “Breakfast in Schools” programme.

Funds raised through the Trade Me auction will go towards funding a 100 hours of teacher aide time to help boost children’s reading levels, meet student’s health and safety needs, assist families with food packages and purchase resources for the school.

This is an auction not to be missed and it’s all for a very worthy cause. To view the auction packages and to place your bid go to Trade Me and key in ‘Red Cross’ in the search field.

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Twilight Tours at Ziptrek

Zipping through the forest canopy high above Queenstown as the sun sets over snow-capped mountains and crystal clear waters sounds like a scene from a fantastical Hollywood blockbuster.

That magic is now reality at Ziptrek Ecotours, where a Twilight Tour offers the ultimate in a flying fox eco experience from now until mid August.

The exhilarating Queenstown adventure atop the Skyline Gondola on Bob’s Peak is now taking groups of up to eight people on an interpretative guided tour through the forest canopy by torchlight.

As twilight descends, ‘zippers’ enjoy spectacular views across beautiful Lake Wakatipu towards the Remarkables mountain range bathed in the soft pink light of a winter sunset.

Ziptrek Ecotours director Trent Yeo said the Twilight Tours offered something totally unique in Queenstown.

“Suspended in mid-air between awesome tree huts then meandering through the forest at dusk is a pretty special experience, even for those who’ve already enjoyed Ziptrek during the day,” he said.

“Ziptrek is really about harmonious integration with nature and having fun in the natural environment.”

The tour is suitable for families, corporate groups, individuals and anyone who wants to enjoy the forest after a day on the mountains and before dinner.

To make an absolute evening of it, Ziptrek Ecotours has also teamed up with Skyline to offer a special package combining a Twilight Tour and Skyline Gondola Buffet Dinner for just $171 per adult.

“The view looking over Queenstown at night is quite spectacular with the lights of the town twinkling away overlooking the glittering lake. It really is a magical experience that is thoroughly recommended,” said Mr Yeo.

Twilight Tours cost $99 and are available every evening, departing at 5pm at the top of Skyline. Limited spaces are available so bookings are essential. Gondola ticket is not included unless purchasing a Skyline Gondola Buffet Dinner. The cost of the meal add-on for children is $32. Dinner reservations are strictly 6.30 to 7.45pm.

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HOT DEAL – New Lower Fares on Tropical Queensland Cruise

Experience the beauty and warmth of Tropical North Queensland aboard the Dawn Princess on a 12 night journey from only $1,949 per person twin share.

Departing from Sydney on 14 October 2010 this round trip cruise is a convenient and affordable way to experience the stunning Queensland coast.

Passengers will have the opportunity to see the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, lush tropical rainforests and beautiful white sand beaches.

The cruise destinations include Brisbane, Cairns, The Whitsundays and the charming towns of Cooktown, Townsville and Port Douglas.

The Dawn Princess includes features such as “The Sanctuary” – an adults only haven, movies under the stars, four swimming pools and an array of dining options in its eight restaurants.

Bookings can be made at most travel agents or through Princess Cruises: 0800 543 178

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The Tropical North's largest cultural celebration, Friday 20 August to Sunday 5 September.

The season comprises more than 50 free and ticketed events spanning indigenous arts, culture, entertainment, food and a good dose of comedy.

Opening weekend headliners include Cairns Indigenous Art Fair at Tanks Arts Centre and Cairns Regional Gallery, an Opening Parade and Fireworks for 25,000+, a week of laughs from Scared Weird Little Guys, Kransky Sisters and Fiona O’Loughlin. Indonesian contemporary dance group, Nan Jombang, East Timorese musician Ego Lemos, and the Darwin Festival project, The First Astronomers, will bring the world to Cairns. Another highlight announced by Mayor Schier is Taste Paradise, a 10 day celebration of the region's food, wine, and culinary talent; featuring celebrity chefs Ben O’Donohue and Miguel Maestre to put the icing on the Festival cake.

"There is no place in the world like Cairns," remarked Mayor Schier, "And we are working hard to make a Festival that is unlike any other on the planet."

Hailed an unprecedented success in its first year, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair at Tanks Arts Centre and Cairns Regional Gallery returns in 2010 as a key event of Festival’s opening weekend and is joined by multi-cultural celebrations, Tropical Wave Festival and the UMI Arts Big Talk One Fire events at the Esplanade. Both feature an extended program of performances and market stalls culminating in the colourful fanfare of Cairns Festival’s traditional Grand Parade on Saturday 21 August followed by a free open-air concert and spectacular fireworks.

Esplanart 2010, another one of last year’s inaugural successes is back with 10 new commissions by local visual artists. This series of temporary art installations will be situated along the southern part of Cairns Esplanade giving passers-by a wonderful visual impact and fresh enhancement of the beloved landscape. The outdoor art is joined by nearly ten exhibitions and visual art programs at Festival participants, KickArts and Cairns Regional Gallery.

The first weekend of Cairns Festival will also herald the start of a new cultural representation project, Opening Notes TNQ. Driven by Cairns Regional Council and local sponsor Cairns Penny Savings Bank, Opening Notes TNQ will welcome every baby born in the region -- 4,000 each year -- with a musical CD and booklet of north Queensland creative content, given on the day of birth at the place of birth. A partnership with dozens of local musicians, artists, and Queensland Health, this project also indicates a new community engagement ethic for the Festival.

"When I give out the first Opening Notes package to the first child born on August 20, it will contain songs and images made by people from throughout the region," said Mayor Schier, "That small gift will be a welcome from all of us, and an indication of their cultural and creative inheritance."

Music has a strong presence this year with performances by Australia’s much loved brother and sister folk duo, Angus and Julia Stone. Indigenous East Timorese artist, Ego Lemos will perform at the Tanks Art Centre while the world-renowned Australian concert pianist, David Helfgott, whose life inspired the Oscar-winning film Shine, will offer a recital at Cairns Civic Theatre.

The Civic Theatre will also present quality entertainment and family fun in the form of The Carnival of the Animals performed by local classical musicians, Paradise Concerts in partnership with Cairns Concert Orchestra and will feature internationally acclaimed soloists. The classical concert extravaganza will be narrated by Lillian Crombie, actress from epic film Australia.

Cairns Regional Council’s Festival producer Eric Holowacz said planning is well underway to throw Cairns its biggest, most dynamic Festival yet.

“Cairns is an extraordinary community, melding many cultures: from its rich Indigenous heritage to Italian communities to vibrant influences of the Asia Pacific. Our program has been created to resonate with this diversity while appealing to artists and visitors from around Australia and beyond.”

Dance fans can enjoy a wide range of genres from The Nutcracker performed by the Imperial Russian Ballet to Torres Strait Island dance group, Grrilla Step fronted by legendary Australian, DJ Dexter, to Stomp the Nard, the regions’ largest and most energetic dance battle showcasing at the Cairns Esplanade skate park and The Pier parking lot.

Performing arts are strongly represented in Cairns Festival’s program with The Impossible Dream celebrating its launch at the Shangri-La Hotel. The first in a series of three locally produced plays, When the wheels Fall off the World will perform at the Botanic Gardens and a beautiful song cycle by nationally acclaimed Indigenous singer Megan Sarmardin, who focuses on the strengths of family in overcoming extreme odds in Blackbird at JUTE Theatre.

"Festivals are about ideas. They reflect who we are, and offer new frames of reference on the world," said Holowacz. "Cairns Festival is endowed with a wealth of new ideas and new reflections about what life is like here in Tropical North Queensland. Join us as our creative process unfolds."

Cairns Festival is supported and presented by Cairns Regional Council. Now the region's largest annual cultural celebration, this year's festival season will run from 20 August to 5 September at venues all over Cairns. The full program, and information about events and activities, will be available in late July. For more information and a full media kit, visit

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A passport to the school holidays

The engines are fully fired up and are ready for take off this school holidays at Novotel Queenstown Lakeside.

Welcoming families aboard for a truly effortless stay this winter-break are several new additions aimed at keeping the kids occupied while Mum and Dad kick back and relax.

On check-in at Queenstown’s largest hotel, kids will receive an exclusive Novotel passport that contains everything mini jet-setters need or want to know about Queenstown, packed with kid-friendly activities and their very own new-look children’s menu and even a happy hour ‘cocktail’ menu.

A brand new children’s play area has also been installed at the 273-room property complete with an awesome colourful wall mural, junior tables and chairs, fun games, books and puzzles.

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside General Manger Jim Moore said the new introductions are part of the family-focused sub brand at the hotel called ‘Family & Novotel’ which looks to treat children as special guests.

“We’ve made a great effort in putting together these new introductions, and as no other property in Queenstown has a kids play area or passport we think they will prove to be very popular.

“By providing fun and entertainment for children during their stay at Novotel it helps take the weight off parent’s feet and contributes to a more enjoyable holiday atmosphere for the whole family.

“We’ve even got frisbees available at the front desk so kids can play Frisbee golf in the nearby Queenstown Gardens for free, and there are lots of board games they can book out while the family’s here.”

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside also has a great family offer where children (under the age of 16) can stay in a second adjoining hotel room at discounted prices and eat breakfast for free with every family booking at the hotel.

For locals, Elements Café now offers a purpose-built new kids play area and plenty of space for mums with buggies to relax and enjoy coffee and a snack in a pleasant environment. Mums are welcome any day, but are encouraged to join others for COT - ‘Coffee on Tuesdays or Thursdays’ - where mums (or dads) with infants will receive discounted coffee and muffin deals. Everything’s been thought of – the hotel has just installed baby change tables and has a range of items for those with special dietary requirements.

The property boasts an unrivalled in-town location, just steps away from Queenstown’s bars, restaurants and shops, and has an absolute lakefront position.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Go West on a once in a lifetime cruise down the Rhine and Mosel Rivers

Adventure World is inviting Kiwi travellers to embark on what promises to be one of the most magical cruises of a lifetime – Cruise West’s “Chairman’s Cruise” through the mighty Rhine and Mosel Rivers.

Departing from Cologne, Germany on October 12, 2010, and finishing in Basel Switzerland, guests onboard the spectacular 11 night river cruise - which is being hosted by Cruise West chairman Dick West and his wife Leslie - will experience magic around every bend, soaking up the scenery, culture, history and charm on this magnificent journey down two of Europe’s most beautiful and historic rivers.

From strolling through medieval towns with their half-timbered houses and majestic cathedrals, to exploring museums that pay homage to Gutenberg, Karl Marx and Beethoven and touring Luxembourg’s old city centre.

Guests onboard this once-in-a-lifetime river cruise will visit stunning castles, baroque palaces, Alsatian villages, steep terraced vineyards and Roman ruins; will dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant, taste wine at a Alsatian winery and be treated to a piano recital at a 14th century castle.

Sailing in grand style aboard the MS Amadeus Diamond this incredible cruise is priced from NZ$7909 pp, twin share. Cabins are limited.

For more information about this cruise or any other Cruise West product, contact Adventure World on 0800 899 111 or visit

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Australian Humour

These Questions were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a great sense of humour (not to mention a low tolerance threshold for cretins!)
Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia ? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? ( UK ).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.
Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? ( USA )
A:Depends how much you've been drinking.
Q:I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia ? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane , Cairns , Townsville and Hervey Bay ? ( UK )
A: What did your last slave die of?
Q:Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ? ( USA )
A: A-Fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe ..
Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not
..... Oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
Q:Which direction is North in Australia ? ( USA )
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia ? ( UK )
A:Why? Just use your fingers like we do...
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia ? ( UK )
A: You are a British politician, right?
Q:Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? ( Germany )
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers.
Milk is illegal.
________ __________________________________________
Q:Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can Dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from.
All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
Q:I have a question about a famous animal in Australia , but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. ( USA )
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them.
You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.
Q:I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia ? ( USA )
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
Q:Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia ? ( France )
A: Only at Christmas.
Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first

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Wild Food & Wine | Celebrity Chef Retreat 7 & 8 August 2010 - Tony Astle of Antoine's

More information or reservations:
P: ++64 7 333 2066

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Jimi Hendrix exhibition

A new exhibition exploring the London life, music, performances and legacy of Jimi
Hendrix opens on 25AUG at Handel House Museum in central London.

Hendrix in Britain commemorates the 40th anniversary of Hendrix’s death on 18SEP70.
The exhibition features exhibits rarely seen or never before displayed in the UK, plus many images, film clips and music tracing his rise to fame, his songwriting craft, his guitar playing and his lasting impact on music and popular culture.

Visitors will be able to see his handwritten lyrics, his orange velvet jacket and Westerner hat, his scrawled travel directions to the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival
and UK concert memorabilia. In 1968, Hendrix moved into the top floor flat of 23 Brook Street in Mayfair next door to No 25, where composer George Frideric Handel
lived and worked for 36 years. He wrote his most popular music there, including Messiah, and died in the house in 1759. It is now the Handel House Museum. The flat where Hendrix lived is now used as the museum’s administrative offices but to mark the anniversary of his death it will be opened to the public for 12 days in September.

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Fiji increases departure tax

Fiji’s airport departure tax is rising from F$75 to F$100, a 33% hike as part of the revised 2010 budget.

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Segway Safaris at Currumbin

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has launched new Segway experiences and tours, giving visitors the opportunity to try out the unique self-balancing personal transportation devices.

They can start with the 10-minute Eco Fun Experience to learn how to ride the Segways, which have an intuitive steering system which simply goes in whatever direction you lean. Then to take a fully guided tour of the Sanctuary’s vast
bushland and rainforest habitats, visitors can upgrade to the 70-minute, Segway Safari.

The tours can be taken by anyone (over 10 years old and 45kg) in morning, noon or afternoon sessions.

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Noosa’s newest resort offers kookaburra alarms

The 5-star Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort & Spa, Noosa’s first internationally managed resort to be built in 20 years, opens on Thursday three weeks ahead of schedule.

The hilltop resort 500-metres above Hastings Street and nestled beside Noosa National Park says it will offer guests the opportunity to wake up to the infectious laughter of kookaburras or the whip-like calls of lyrebirds rather than the early morning groans of elevator shafts.

Outrigger Little Hastings Street contains a range of 197 suites, villas and penthouses, each boasting large private balconies overlooking national park and rainforest settings or sweeping coastal views to Double Island Point.

Guests will want for nothing at this resort that also contains Stephanies Ocean Spa, plus a restaurant, bar and conferencing facilities for up to 500 delegates cocktail style.

To celebrate the opening of Outrigger Little Hastings Street, the resort is offering an opening special of A$279 per night in a one-bedroom suite for two including breakfasts. There is no minimum night stay and the offer is valid until 22DEC10.*
*Conditions apply and subject to availability at time of booking. Rate excludes 27-30OCT10.

Call +61 7 5449 2277

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Groupama Yacht Race 18-25 September

Pressure is increasing around the greatest lagoon in the world. In less than 100 days about 15 teams will line up at the start of the Groupama Race second edition.

Caledonians, Australians, Tahitians, Reunionese and New Zealanders are expected. They will all endeavour to beat the record: 3 days 23 hours 20 minutes and 50 seconds.

As the count down starts speeding up, here’s a highlight on a team who doesn’t mean to remain supporting actors.


The skipper of the boat will be Jim Maloney. A figurehead of New Zealand sailing, he is acknowledged in the whole world. An excellent helmsman, he was crowned 8 times a champion of the United States on 8 different types of boats (Laser, El Toro, International 14, 505, M24, Olson 25, Express 27, Hawkfarm). He has taken part in numerous oceanic races and twice won the Transpacific Yacht Race between Los Angeles and Honolulu. His three children whom he trains are high level sailors. Alexandra, his youngest one, is a world champion in 420. Andy, youth world champion on Radial Laser (2008) is preparing for the London Olympic Games. As for his eldest, Jimmy, he is one of the best New Zealanders in match racing.

Besides him, 2 other personalities of New Zealand sailing:

Josh Tucker has won national titles in Y88, Ross 930, and Magic 25. He has sailed over 100,000 miles in deep sea ocean racing. He took part in 3 Sydney-Hobart, in 2 Auckland-Noumea, 2 Auckland-Fidji, 1 Rolex Transatlantic between New York and London, 1 Fastnet, 1 Cape Town-Rio. He and his team hold the record for crossing from Hong Kong to Hainan in China. He is familiar with all the oceans on the globe, on all types of boats. Among other things he was officer of the watch on a 90 ft super yacht during a season in Alaska around the Arctic Circle. That experienced man will be able to face any kind of incidents. He lost a mast on an Open 60 after passing Cape Horn.

The third asset of the team who comes to New Caledonia to add his name to the honour board of the race is Brett Eliott. A name equally famous in New Zealand: the nephew of the famous racing boat designer Greg Eliott was a member of Team Emirates New Zealand engaged in the most mythical nautical race in the world, the 32nd America’s Cup in Valencia in 2008. That same year Brett won the reference competition of New Zealand, the National Keelboat.

For this second edition of the Groupama Race, Team New Zealand intend to inscribe their name to the honour board of the Race.

The race around New Caledonia is a race against time. It’s an ocean regatta worthy of a Sydney-Hobart. The specialists anticipated a 5 day long race. But the favorable and “punchy” weather allowed from the first edition in 2008 to register a serious reference time of 3 days, 23 hours, 20 minutes, 50 seconds.

What this year’s sailors from all over the world are in for are 3 to 5 days of competition, of making the right meteorological choices, of being under constant stress.

A record is to be beaten, a victory to be conquered!

• A race in the ocean as well as along the coast.
• Two favorite paces, “fair wind” and “close to the wind”: a true giant Olympic course.
• An exceptional beauty as the race develops along reefs and in a World Heritage lagoon.
• Favorable weather conditions, among them the temperature of the sea water.
• A region where the best sailors in the world are to be found (the proximity of Australia and New Zealand makes the participation of high level teams possible). They will be faced unashamedly by motivated and toughened local sailors.

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Can You Hire A Cruise Ship?

The simple answer is YES YOU CAN!

In fact, the award winning specialist Scottish cruise operators The Majestic Line have experienced an appreciable increase in ‘whole boat charters’ during their current sailing season. Dates for hiring your own cruise ship for 2010 have all been snapped up; bookings for the 2011 season are selling like hot cakes and even the 2012 season charters is starting to fill up.

However, due to a cancellation on 14th August there is a late availability for whole boat charter leaving from Holy Loch. So if you fancy a special birthday of anniversary celebration, or just want a totally different holiday experience with your mates, you can hire your own cruise ship with a 10% saving on normal prices.

Whole boat charters now account for about 25% of the Majestic Line’s business and are generally booked by groups wanting something absolutely unique and exclusive. Special occasions such as major birthdays, anniversaries or even house parties with a difference are often why guests are attracted to Majestic as a party of 11 can literally sail off into the sunset. There is a crew of 4, including a chef on board to ensure everyone’s needs are catered for. Cruises are fully inclusive of sumptuous freshly cooked meals and wine. The Majestic Line was recently re-awarded the coveted Three Rosette Good Food Award by Saga. There is also a fully stocked bar with malt whisky being a speciality. Guests can make up their own itinerary with a huge number of unspoilt and rarely visited places easily accessible by the Majestic boats.

The Majestic Line operates two traditionally built wooden vessels, The Glen Massan and Tarsan. All the six cabins are fully en suite. There is a large indoor deck saloon which is ideal for hosting exclusive lunches or dinners and whilst the boat is under steam watching some of the most stunning scenery that Scotland has to offer. At the stern there is a large sun deck which is ideal for sipping a cold glass of champagne whilst building up an appetite.

Guests are able to hire one of the boats for a 3-night or 6-night cruise starting either from the Holy Loch about an hour from central Glasgow or from Oban on the north west coast of Scotland. Every day is different and there are literally thousands of shore excursions available ranging from visiting a historic castle, a distillery, a deserted beach or a picturesque fishing village. Or simply relax aboard and watch some of the world’s most stunning scenery pass slowly by. Wildlife watching is also extremely popular with nosy dolphins often following the boats. Basking sharks are often seen along with an array of rare birdlife such as sea and golden eagles and even the elusive osprey.

In addition to the special August offer, bookings for next year and 2012 are being held at 2010 rates for a limited period. Marie Thoms, Sales Manager said ‘To hire your very own cruise ship for a special occasion has proved to be spectacularly successful with previous guests having had parties to end all parties. However, I’d strongly advise anyone looking for something completely unique and exclusive to book now as whole boat charters are extremely limited. We will welcome you aboard for the celebration of a lifetime and everyone at Majestic will ensure that this is something that you will never forget’.

As the Matheson family said of their recent trip ‘It was an unforgettable holiday and an utterly amazing way to celebrate a very special occasion. The scenery, the food, the wildlife, the crew, the shore stops and the lovely Glen Tarsan were all superb’.

High praise indeed.

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Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner Celebrates Ten Years

Amtrak and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) are celebrating 10 years of Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner passenger rail service in Southern and Central California which runs from San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo.

The route has experienced steady ridership growth since the inception of the newly branded service, Pacific Surfliner, in June of 2000 (formerly know as the San Diegans), averaging more than 2.5 million passengers a year. And this year also marks the celebration of the 25 millionth passenger to ride this service.

“The Pacific Surfliner route has had a tremendous impact on rail travel in California,” said William Bronte, Chief of Caltrans’ Division of Rail. “If Amtrak California provides a convenient and affordable way to travel, with quality service, people will ride. We expect continued growth and celebrations such as these in the future.”

“Ten years of great service, style and amenities are among the key reasons why millions of riders each year choose passenger rail to travel along the California coastline,” said Emmett H. Fremaux, Amtrak vice president, marketing and product management. “The success of the Pacific Surfliner is a result of Amtrak’s strong partnerships with the state of California, public agencies and the communities along its scenic route.

On Board Experience:
Onboard the Pacific Surfliner passengers can expect good service, style and amenities as they travel the California coast between San Luis Obispo and San Diego. Features include modern bi-level cars with large panoramic windows, comfortable, custom-designed interiors, automatic doors for faster boarding, lower-level sitting available for passengers with special needs and a spacious Cafe car serving a variety of fresh sandwiches, snacks and beverages.

Pacific Business Class:
Upgrading to Pacific Business Class offers features such as electrical outlets for laptop computers and other personal electronic devices, more legroom, complimentary light snacks, beverages and newspapers.

Bike or Surfboard:
Most Pacific Surfliner trains are equipped with bicycle and surfboard racks allowing passengers to bring their bikes onboard, unboxed as carry-on baggage.

Frequent Service:
The Pacific Surfliner offers twelve daily round-trip services between San Diego and Los Angeles, and between Santa Barbara and San Diego.

About Amtrak California
Amtrak California, a partnership between Caltrans and Amtrak, provides a stress-free train service to more than 175 destinations throughout the state of California when combined with motor coach service. Its routes are among the country’s most popular, serving approximately 4.3 million passengers annually. For more information, visit

About Amtrak
As the nation’s intercity passenger rail operator, Amtrak connects America in safer and environmentally-friendlier ways. Last fiscal year (FY 2009), the railroad carried 27.2 million passengers, making it the second-best year in the company’s history. With 21,000 route miles in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces, Amtrak operates more than 300 trains each day, at speeds up to 150 mph, to more than 500 destinations. Amtrak also is the operator of choice for state-supported corridor services in 15 states and for several commuter rail agencies. Visit for schedules, fares and more information.

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Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ launches 'Dream Holiday' competition

Small Luxury Hotels of the World launches a global competition to win a ‘once in a lifetime’ dream holiday. With a choice of over 500 of some of the world’s finest hotels in more than 70 countries, aspirational travellers are invited to put together a customised itinerary for their perfect vacation – whether it is a whirlwind tour of the fashion capitals of New York, Milan and Paris, a leisurely drive through olive groves and vineyards in Italy or island hopping in Malaysia.

Where would your dream holiday take you? Would it be the delights of far-off shores with a shimmering azure sea, or the intoxicating sights, sounds and smells of an exotic, far-flung city such as New York, Beijing or London? Would it be powder-fine, white ski slopes with awe-inspiring alpine views, or driving through picturesque olive groves and vineyards stopping to taste the local delicacies and sip the finest wine?

Holidays are a vital part of our lives and a very personal choice. At Small Luxury Hotels of the World we would like to give you a little more time to think about it. Simply browse through our website and create your own bespoke, fantasy itinerary at, click ‘submit’ and you could be the lucky winner of our dream itinerary competition and have the chance to make your dream holiday come true. When building your own fantasy itinerary, why not take the chance to browse through other dream holidays for inspiration and vote for your favourite? The more votes your itinerary gets, the better chance it has at winning the fantastic grand prize.

As our lucky First Prize winner, you will enjoy your own customised dream itinerary holiday, staying in up to three Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties on a 14-night holiday, with GBP£8000 towards travel expenses included. As our runner-up, you will enjoy a luxury 5-night stay at your choice from over 500 of our stunning worldwide properties. You can also win a luxury 5-night stay from our worldwide portfolio if you upload your favourite original holiday photograph.

So be our guest and take a moment to immerse and indulge yourself, and take a trip through our website to explore, contemplate and plan your next adventure. Will you choose a design hotel in Berlin, or would you prefer a spa retreat in the Maldives? With over 500 options we appreciate it won’t be easy. Feel free to enjoy a little escapism as you write what you would do at each amazing destination.

About Small Luxury Hotels of the World
The Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) brand is an unrivalled portfolio of some of the world’s finest small independent hotels. Comprising over 500 hotels in more than 70 countries, the diversity of the individual hotels, and the experiences that they offer, is exceptional. From cutting-edge design hotels to palatial 17th century mansions, city centre sanctuaries to remote private islands, historic country houses to idyllic resorts, Small Luxury Hotels of the World offers only the very best. Reservations can be made at any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property by calling +65 6232 5060 or via Travel agents need only remember the GDS code LX for LuXury.

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Coffee on The Rocks at Sydney Harbour YHA

Experience the Aroma Festival in The Rocks on Sunday 25 July, celebrating all things caffeine, by staying in the heart of it at Sydney Harbour YHA.

The Rocks has long been a hub of international trade - by 1810 tea and coffee chests were being unloaded from sailing ships into waterfront warehouses. The Aroma Festival brings this alive once more with the smell of beans roasting in the streets. The romance of the era can also be savoured at Sydney Harbour YHA, located above an archaeological dig site where the remains of houses, pubs and shops dating back to the early years of the colony are on display.

Situated at 110 Cumberland St, just 5 minutes walk from Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour YHA has panoramic rooftop-terrace views across the harbour. This purpose built YHA offers double, family and multi-share rooms all with en-suite bathrooms. Some even have stunning Opera House views. Accommodation is priced from just $42 per person in a 6-bed shared room ($37.50 for YHA members).

To avoid the crush getting to and from The Rocks for the festival, Sydney Harbour YHA is offering a special three-night city break for caffeine aficionados, including coffee treats!

Coffee Break at Sydney Harbour YHA

3 nights’ accommodation with full breakfast pack each day
Return transfers from Sydney Airport to Sydney Harbour YHA
One dinner at The Australian Hotel, Cumberland St

$420 per couple, in a double room
$148 per person in a 4-share room

Phone (02) 8272 0900 or book online at Enter the preferred 3 day period in the availability window on the home page and then select the ‘package’ option.

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Theme Parks Announce the National Year Of Fun!

The Gold Coast’s favourite theme parks, Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet’n’Wild Water World have announced the return of Australia’s best theme park deal - the revolutionary VIP pass!

The new VIP pass provides unlimited entry to Sea World, Movie World and Wet’n’Wild until June 30, 2011 for the amazing price of just $99.99. And for a limited time, Queensland residents will be able to purchase a family pack, which gives families 4 passes for the price of 3 at just $299.99!

Village Roadshow Theme Parks Director of Sales, Annette Pearce said, ”From July 1 we’re declaring this year the National Year of Fun! And we want families travelling to the Gold Coast to have the ultimate theme park experience during their holiday. For this reason we have created a great value, one-stop pass to fun and entertainment and are making it available to families Australia-wide. The VIP Pass really is the best deal around because it gives unlimited entry to three theme parks for a whole year, so you can visit over and over again,” she said.

Why not get a VIP pass for the whole family and experience thrill rides, stunt cars, shows, water slides, animals and heaps more all year round!

And Sea World Resort & Water Park is joining the fun revolution, offering a special new VIP theme park package. From $799**, guests can stay 3 nights and receive their 4th night FREE, plus receive 2 adult VIP passes with unlimited entry to all three parks until 30 June 2011.

Make this the National Year of Fun for your family. Visit^.

* Conditions apply. Valid for entry to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild Water World (1 July 2010 – 30 June 2011 inclusive). Admission price does not apply to children under three years of age.
** Accommodation is valid until 20 December 2010. Rates and Packages are subject to availability. Surcharges apply for Qld School Holiday periods, Saturday nights, Gold Coast 600 race week and for room upgrades. For accommodation bookings phone 1800 074 448.
^ $4.95 booking fee applies per transaction through and $5.95 booking fee applies per transaction through 133 FUN.

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Rotorua Wearable Creations n Colour Awards

The Amazing Technicolor Dream Show

Be surprised, bedazzled and bemused. Now in its eighth year, the show has become one of the outstanding events on the Rotorua calendar. A not to be missed fun spectacle of bright lights, brighter colours and brilliant creations accompanied by music and dance.

A charitable wearable arts style fashion show, the Rotorua Wearable Creations n Colour Awards showcase the talent of many people from throughout the Bay of Plenty region. The event celebrates the creativity of communities and helps build the confidence and self-esteem of many young people in particular.

The show is full of fun and festivity, music and dance, and of course, wonderful and sometimes weird, colour creations. Now in its eighth year, it has become one of the events on the Rotorua events calendar. Go to:

Rotorua Wearable Creations n Colour Awards

26th Aug, 2010 - 11am - 1.30pm
Adult NZ$20, Child NZ$5

27th Aug, 2010 - 7pm - 11pm
Adult NZ$30, Child NZ$20

Gala Award Night
28th Aug, 2010 - 7pm - 11pm
Adult NZ$40, Child NZ$25

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Winter festival rated ‘one of the best ever’

The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival 2010 wrapped up today (Sunday July 4) with a huge day at Coronet Peak ski area and oodles of downtown fun for littlies.

And looking back over ten fun-filled, full-on days, festival manager Simon Green declared it “one of the best ever”.

“The weather gods came to the party with tons of snow just before opening and followed that up with perfect clear blue skies and cold, crisp days,” he said. “I’d love to take the credit for that but I probably can’t!”

“What I would like to acknowledge is the sheer hard work and professionalism shown by every single member of the winter festival team and the dozens of volunteers who have freely given their time and without whom we couldn’t possibly make this community event happen.”

Up at Coronet Peak, the Budget-Rent-A-Car Mountain Bikes on Snow encompassed everything that symbolises festival -- a bunch of madcap, crazy mountain bikers with serious attitude and some seriously gnarly tyres slipping, sliding and occasionally gaining control on a specially-constructed downhill course in the snow.

Thrills, spills and a lot of laughs were the order of the day for the record field of riders. A huge spectator crowd saw Niall Renwick take out first place in the Male division while Reon Boe came in second and Jimmy Caling was third. In the Female division, mountain biker Naomi Wilson was in first place, Chrissie Sergeant second and Helen Wathng third. Junior division, Michelle Scannell was first, Dan McCombie second and Jordan Deans third. This year saw a Snow Scoot division where Chris Darby was first, Lewis Dowling second and Jason Buckley third.

Down at the Queenstown Events Centre, it was all excitement, laughter and fun as hundreds of littlies enjoyed their very own festival party at the Cookie Time Teddy Bears Picnic.

An enthusiastic bunch of over 500 mums, dads, nanas, bubs and teddy bears were entertained and enthralled. In a fairytale setting, rugs were set up and BYO picnics were the order of the day.

The big red furry Cookie Muncher was the most popular party ‘host’ in town, in constant demand for cuddles, hugs, ‘high fives’ and photo opportunities.

Youngsters listened enthralled to stories and joined in fun and games before prizes were awarded for the littlie with the most teddy bears (won by Sophie Hutchins of Queenstown with a whopping 9 in total). Prize for the best dressed little person went to the Hutchins girls with Natalie, Sophie and Anna, all dressed as Snow White.

The final wrap party for the ten-day festival was held at Coronet Peak from 4pm where the cools sounds of festival favourites Ddub rocked the deck at the Jim Beam Closing Party as night skiing began for the 2010 winter season.

“It’s been an absolute blast and I’d like to thank all the thousands of people who’ve supported us and taken part in events over the past ten days,” said a tired but elated Simon Green.

“The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest winter party will be back doing it all again from 24 June to 3 July next year.”

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Mayhem on the Mountain

The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival took to the slopes of Coronet Peak today (Saturday July 3) to treat a huge crowd of skiers and snowboarders to an afternoon of ski area fun and crazy antics.

A perennial highlight of the grabaseat Mountain Mayhem, the Suitcase Race saw 20 foolhardy souls hurl themselves down the mountain on a range of cases as they took on the hard and fast course.

Best Dressed winner Will Oswald, dressed as ‘Scuba Steve’ declared it to be “ the best fun I have had in a long time.” Hayley Stevenson was the first female home and Nigel Lloyd won the Male category.

The title for winner of the Dash for Cash was hotly contested as a 30 strong field, made up of locals and visitors skied down the main M1 trail and ran back up the course to claim the coveted $1500.00 prize pool. Marine Prevoteaux from France was first female home, local Mark Spence first in the Masters category and Ben Ruer also from France won the Open section.

Musical Chairs saw 80 entrants, a Winterfest record, with Gabriel Hurford winning the Open section and Lucy Mortimer kept her chair to win the Children’s section.

Back downtown, the Lindauer Jazz Night (Saturday 3 July) saw the Skyline Gondola packed to capacity with a bunch of very happy festival goers dancing the night away.

Jazz and music lovers were treated to the seductive jazzy blues sounds of Vanessa Kelly on arrival, while upstairs featured the legendary LA Mitchell and the brilliant acoustics of Coast. Downstairs the dance floor was packed and pulsing to the beats of dance extraordinaire Sola Rosa and DJ Spikey Tee kept things humming along during the breaks. Eru Dangerspeil capped off a fantastic night’s entertainment.

Sunday (July 4) will see plenty of action at Coronet Peak with the Budget-Rent-A-Car Mountain Bikes on Snow followed by the Jim Beam Closing Concert featuring dDub. The on-mountain ‘wrap’ party also heralds the first night skiing session of the season.

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Downtown Rail Jam under lights a hit with the crowd

The Air New Zealand Holidays Invitational Rail Jam was held in near perfect conditions at Queenstown’s Earnslaw Park tonight (Friday July 2).

Held under lights as part of the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival, the impressive Rail Jam attracted the best of New Zealand’s snowboarders and free skiers.

The 2500-strong crowd was treated to a hair-raising display of flips, jumps, tricks and grabs showcasing the incredible skill and amazing talents of 35 riders and skiers - from local up and comers through to pro riders.

Taking out first place in the Male ski section was Byron Wells, with second place going to Matt Soundy, third place to Hamish McDougal and Dhana Sherpa took fourth spot.

First place in the male snowboard category went to Mahi Mains and second place to Ben Comber. Nick Hyne took out third and Dylan Sutton came home in fourth place.

The Rail Jam finished off an extraordinary week of festival activities from the early bird dawn action of the ‘Tararua Skin to Summit’ through to the hilarity of the Canadian Club Comedy Gala.

This weekend (July 3/4) will see Coronet Peak abuzz with festival energy. Highlights include the grabaseat Mountain Mayhem on Saturday and Budget-Rent-A-Car Mountain Bikes on Snow.

The party officially ‘wraps’ on Sunday with the Jim Beam Closing Concert featuring dDub and the first night ski session of the 2010 winter season.

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