GREAT AUSTRALIAN ESCAPES
SOUTH Australia’s Kangaroo Island is wooing visitors with four-night self-drive packages that range from $286 to $430 a person, depending on accommodation. The price, which includes ferry transfers, is based on three nights with a fourth night free. It also comes with discounts and free extras at many of the island’s attractions. Car hire is also available (from $66 for four days). Deal available to September 7. More: 131 302; www.sealink.com.au. Join the club: Club Med on Queensland’s Lindeman Island is offering couples a winter escape with a special that includes air fares, transfers, taxes, meals, all-day snacking and bar, seven nights’ accommodation and nightly entertainment. The deal is available through Escape Travel from $1751 a person ex Sydney and ex Melbourne, $1621 ex Brisbane, $1721 ex Adelaide and $2077 ex Perth. Various sports and activities are on offer, including Club Med’s trapeze and nine-hole golf course. On sale for travel to June 30, or July 16 to September 29 or October 15 to November 30. More: 1300 799 783; www.escapetravel.com.au. All that jazz: Merimbula will be buzzing next weekend when the annual jazz festival takes over the NSW south coast town. Coast Resort has come to the party with threenight accommodation packages in two and three-bedroom apartments, priced from $395. More: (02) 6495 4930; www.coastresort.com.au. City packaged: NSW Holidays is offering three nights at the Medina Grand Sydney in the central business district from $309 a person twin-share valid to the end of January (excludes new year). Book four nights in a one or two-bedroom apartment and the fifth night is free. More: 1300 737 222; www.nswholidays.com.au. Ready to swoop: Australia and New Zealand touring specialist AAT Kings has early eagle discounts on its just released 2007-08 program for bookings made by the end of September. Savings of up to $500 a couple are on offer. More: 1300 556 100; www.aatkings.com. River ahoy: NSW’s Hawkesbury River Escapes is giving a free hamper of goodies worth $200 with weekend stays until August 31 (excluding the June long weekend). Accommodation ranges from $590 to $840 for a weekend for two, including a hamper that contains two breakfasts, one lunch and one dinner. More: 0401 30 8888; www.HawkesburyRiver.com. Free air: Fly free to and from Melbourne and Sydney ($149 ex Brisbane, $199 ex Adelaide, $299 ex Perth) to join Australian Pacific Touring’s nine-day Western Wilderness escorted tour of Tasmania from September to May. The trip, which starts in Hobart and ends in Launceston, is $2995 a person with 15 meals, entrance fees, cruises and accommodation. Must be booked by the end of August. More: 1800 335 003; www.aptouring.com.au. For families: Queensland’s Hamilton Island has a family escape package for stays of three or four nights (valid to March 31). It’s priced from $1860 (based on two adults and two children under 14 for three nights). Includes accommodation, breakfasts, halfday cruise, use of non-motorised watersports equipment, airport transfers and kids’ stay and eat free program (conditions apply). Flights extra. More: 137 333; www.hamiltonisland.com.au. Petrol perk: The Mercure Hotel Geelong has come up with a package to ease the pain of high petrol prices for those wishing to explore Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. The package, priced from $145 a room a night, includes refurbished accommodation with Corio Bay views, parking and $25 fuel voucher. Valid to the end of August. More: (03) 5223 6200; www.mercuregeelong.com.au. Holiday deals updated daily at www.theaustralian.com.au/travel.
Seal of approval: Kangaroo Island