SEW THRILLED BY THRONES

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - TRAVEL NEWS - SU­SAN BUGG

As the Games of Thrones’ sev­enth sea­son hit screens last week, North­ern Ire­land – lo­ca­tion dou­ble for the king­dom of Wes­teros – has un­veiled an am­bi­tious project cel­e­brat­ing the block­buster TV se­ries.

A 77m Bayeux-style ta­pes­try de­pict­ing lo­ca­tions from Win­ter­fell to the Iron Is­lands and de­tail­ing in­fa­mous scenes from the se­ries is now on show at the Ul­ster Mu­seum in Belfast. The ta­pes­try is made from North­ern Ir­ish linen and as Sea­son 7 un­folds, new sec­tions will be re­vealed each week. Fans can watch the ta­pes­try take shape via an app at Ire­land.com. The web­site also has tips on how to plan a be­hind-the-scenes visit to Game of Thrones lo­ca­tions in North­ern Ire­land. IRE­LAND.COM/GAMEOFTHRONES

SCOOT SALE

Seek­ers of cheap air­fares will need to have their book­ing fin­gers at the ready on Tues­day as bud­get car­rier Scoot re­leases sale fares to South-East Asia, China, In­dia and Greece. One-way fares start from $99 for a PerthSin­ga­pore flight (bags and food not in­cluded), with Syd­ney and Mel­bourne pas­sen­gers up for $139 one way to the air­line’s Sin­ga­pore hub. Pas­sen­gers can travel un­til March 24, 2018, with some black­out pe­ri­ods.

The sale marks the merger this week of long-haul Tig­erair (Sin­ga­pore) un­der the Scoot brand. SCOOT.COM

TANZANIA TOPS FOR SAFARIS

Hailed as a “wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher’s dream come true” by one guide­book writer, Tanzania has been voted Africa’s best coun­try to go on sa­fari in a sur­vey of 2500 sa­fari tourists and a panel of African ex­perts.

Tanzania ranked top over­all as a sa­fari des­ti­na­tion over Zam­bia, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Uganda and Zim­babwe in the sur­vey by Dutch-based sa­fari com­par­i­son-and-sales site Sa­fari Book­ings. They used re­views by trav­ellers and a panel of guide­book au­thors as ba­sis for the re­search.

Tanzania, known for Serengeti Na­tional Park, Ngoron­goro Crater and Africa’s high­est moun­tain Mt Kil­i­man­jaro in the coun­try’s north, was also named best des­ti­na­tion for wildlife. Not only does it have the Big Five species but also more un­usual sights such as the flamin­goes of soda ash Lake Man­yara in the south.

The re­mote, rocky land­scape of Namibia made it most pop­u­lar for scenery while Zam­bia was voted No.1 for best bush vibe.

It is the sec­ond time the sa­fari site has con­ducted the sur­vey, with Tanzania also win­ning in 2013.

IN­DIGE­NOUS IDEAS

NSW has over­taken Queens­land as the most pop­u­lar Aus­tralian state where in­ter­na­tional trav­ellers ex­pe­ri­ence Abo­rig­i­nal tourism.

Ac­cord­ing to Des­ti­na­tion NSW, the sec­tor grew by 62 per cent in visi­tor-par­tic­i­pa­tion in the year ended March 2017.

Ad­ven­tur­ous vis­i­tors have dis­cov­ered Abo­rig­i­nal-owned and op­er­ated busi­nesses such as Sand Dune Ad­ven­tures near Port Stephens, which started in 2008 with eight quad bikes and now has more than 100 bikes. “Our tours have grown from as lit­tle as two to three times per week to seven days per week and a min­i­mum of five tours be­ing of­fered per day,” op­er­a­tor An­drew Smith says. “More and more in­ter­na­tional trav­ellers are book­ing our tours to learn about the lo­cal Abo­rig­i­nal culture and sig­nif­i­cance of the Sand Dunes.”

New op­er­a­tors in­clude Wa­jaana Yaam Gum­bayn­g­girr Ad­ven­ture Tours, a so­cial en­ter­prise that of­fers stand-up pad­dle­board tours in Coffs Har­bour’s Soli­tary Is­lands Ma­rine Park.

How­ever, ad­ven­ture aside, see­ing art, craft and cul­tural dis­plays were the most pop­u­lar Abo­rig­i­nal tourism ex­pe­ri­ences.

PIC­TURE: SUPPLIED

The ta­pes­tries will be on dis­play in the Ul­ster Mu­seum in Belfast, North­ern Ire­land.

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