Where the sea meets the land

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

ca­suar­i­nas, is as pretty as a pic­ture and neigh­bour­ing Pan­tai Ten­gah, around a tiny head­land, is home to the Fed­eral Vil­las Beach re­sort.

Es­cape Travel ( 1300 799 783 or www. es­cape­travel. com. au) has seven nights at the 3-star re­sort in a run-ofhouse room backed up by one night at the 4.5-star Pan Pa­cific KLIA Air­port Ho­tel for $ 1035 a per­son twin share out of Bris­bane, in­clud­ing Malaysia Air­lines flights. The re­sort has a recre­ation cen­tre with a spa, and two huge swim­ming pools – al­though you won’t need to be us­ing them. This of­fer is on sale un­til De­cem­ber 4 and valid for travel from Fe­bru­ary 1 to March 31 next year.

Mon­key’s the busi­ness

Mon­key Mia, in Western Aus­tralia’s Shark Bay, is one of the few places in the world where you can play with wild dol­phins.

A recog­nised nat­u­ral beauty and World Her­itage land­mark, Mon­key Mia has at­tracted schools of dol­phins to its peace­ful shore al­most ev­ery day for more than 40 years – it’s a rare day in­deed when the friendly mam­mals don’t turn up. But while they’re the main at­trac­tion, the re­mote Mon­key Mia is sur­rounded by kilo­me­tre upon kilo­me­tre of un­spoilt beach. If you can’t find a quiet bit of beach here to claim as your own, you’re sim­ply not try­ing.

When you get sick of the beach there’s plenty to jump into – snorkelling, sail­ing or bush-bash­ing in a 4WD. There’s even a camel ride, if you’re bold enough. The 3.5-star Mon­key Mia Dol­phin Re­sort is right on the beach and just a few steps will take you to the wa­ter’s edge to see if any finned friends want to say hello. Flight Cen­tre ( 1300 939 414 or www. flight­cen­tre. com. au) has four nights in a beach­side dol­phin unit from $ 335 a per­son twin share, valid for travel un­til the end of March next year.

Pack the sun­screen

Of course, you don’t have to go hot­foot­ing huge dis­tances in search of the per­fect beach. Aus­tralia’s a sun-kissed par­adise in its own right, and where bet­ter to hit the beach than the Sun­shine State? Queens­land’s beach cli­mate is ideal for sum­mer and there are kilo­me­tres of beach from which to choose. The Sun­shine Coast is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion and Es­cape Travel ( 1300 799 783 or www. es­cape travel. com. au) has four nights in a bun­ga­low-style apart­ment at the 4.5-star BreakFree South Pa­cific at Noosav­ille for $ 215 a per­son twin­share be­tween Jan­uary 23 and March 31 next year. The trop­i­cal-colo­nial re­sort re­clines against 2ha of lush, land­scaped gar­dens and is just five min­utes’ drive from Hast­ings St, the beat­ing heart of Noosa’s cafe cul­ture. Of course, if that sounds like too much work, the re­sort is also home to the re­lax­ing Noosa Health Spa. It’s just a short trip away from Noosa’s Main Beach and Sun­shine and Pere­gian beaches – ace spots for a bit of surf­ing.

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