GREAT AUS­TRALIAN ES­CAPES

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

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

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