The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Australian Holidays -

THERE’S a rare chance to climb to the top of Vic­to­ria’s 1848 Cape Ot­way light­house this week­end (and per­haps spot a pass­ing whale into the bar­gain). Th­ese days it’s un­manned, but the doors are be­ing flung open for two days of fun as part of In­ter­na­tional Light­house Week­end.

Mu­sic, food, tours, mar­itime tales, an art ex­hi­bi­tion, chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties and Koori Dream­ing talks are promised, and for­mer keep­ers will talk about their ex­pe­ri­ences. Flute player Howlin Wind per­forms to­day, and singer-song­writer James Butt and Ge­off D’Om­brain, for­mer head of mu­sic at Vic­to­rian Col­lege of the Arts who spe­cialises in mar­itime sto­ries and songs, per­form through­out the week­end. There’s also a mur­dermys­tery din­ner and the re­stored 1859 tele­graph sta­tion will open to tap out mes­sages (in morse code, of course) to vis­i­tors’ fam­i­lies and friends any­where in the world. More: (03) 5237 9240; www.light­sta­tion. com.

Go bush: Sun­day, Septem­ber 9 is the day to step out into the out­doors and join the fifth Great Aus­tralian Bush­walk. Choose from more than 120 guided walks across the coun­try, from Dar­win’s trop­i­cal falls to the Tas­ma­nian wilder­ness. ‘‘ You don’t have to climb Mt Ever­est to dis­cover the ben­e­fits of bush­walk­ing,’’ says moun­taineer Tim Macart­ney-Snape, the event’s am­bas­sador. ‘‘ There are no heavy packs to carry, no ex­pen­sive footwear or cloth­ing re­quired, and it’s the best way to dis­cover our spec­tac­u­lar nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.’’ Each walk, with 15 to 30 peo­ple, will be guided by an ex­pe­ri­enced lo­cal leader and will av­er­age three to four hours. There’s no charge but walk­ers must reg­is­ter in ad­vance. More: www.greataus­tralian­bush­

Brush with art: Vis­i­tors to Queens­land’s Hamil­ton Is­land can un­lock their in­ner Pi­casso this month fol­low­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of classes with res­i­dent artist Greg War­dle. Lessons, for adults and chil­dren, are suited to abil­i­ties. Book­ings are ad­vis­able. More: gallery@hamil­ton­is­; www.hamil­ton­is­

Birth­day de­liv­ery: In a com­pe­ti­tion with a dif­fer­ence, Par­adise Re­sort at Queens­land’s Surfers Par­adise is cel­e­brat­ing its sec­ond birth­day by giv­ing away two-night stays to moth­ers giv­ing birth in Aus­tralia on Oc­to­ber 1. To en­ter, reg­is­ter on the re­sort’s web­site be­fore Novem­ber 29. The give­away is for two adults and two chil­dren aged up to 12. Proof of the baby’s birth is re­quired. More: www.par­adis­ere­

Cruise and rail: Ecruis­ has com­bined an 18-night Syd­ney to Fre­man­tle cruise on the Sun Princess with a night in Perth and a three-night re­turn to Syd­ney on the In­dian Pa­cific rail­way. There is a range of price op­tions for the April pack­age, in­clud­ing pen­sioner con­ces­sions. Sun Princess will depart Syd­ney on April 18 for Bris­bane, Townsville, Mag­netic Is­land, Cairns, Cook­town and Dar­win. From $4299 a per­son ($3899 for pen­sion­ers). More: 1300 369 848; www.ecruis­

Ski-do: Spring ski­ing is look­ing a good bet with re­sorts en­joy­ing their best sea­son for quite a few years. NSW’s Per­isher Blue is hold­ing its spring car­ni­val from Septem­ber 9 to 23 with mu­si­cians per­form­ing at Front Val­ley. There are chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties, art ex­hi­bi­tions, fire­works and more. The re­sort’s five-day spring car­ni­val moun­tain pass is re­duced to $299 (adult), $172 (child) when booked in con­junc­tion with any five-day ac­com­mo­da­tion pack­age. Valid from Septem­ber 9 to the end of the sea­son. More: 1300 655 811; www.per­

Spring fling: NSW neigh­bour Thredbo, cel­e­brat­ing its 50th year, has two-night specials from $356 a per­son twin share at se­lected lodges. The deals, start­ing Septem­ber 2, in­clude lift passes and break­fasts. More: 1300 020 589;

Broome, Broome: Stay five nights but pay for only four at the just-up­graded Cable Beach Re­sort in Broome, West­ern Aus­tralia. From $524 a per­son with buf­fet break­fasts and air­port trans­fers. There’s also a kids stayand-eat-free of­fer. More:­ble­beach­

Game for a dash? Mer­cure Ho­tel Syd­ney Air­port is claim­ing a first with its new on­line game in which trav­ellers who reach the ho­tel from the air­port win a prize. There are more than $7000 worth of prizes, in­clud­ing a pam­per pack­age at the Sof­i­tel Went­worth Syd­ney, stay­ing in a su­pe­rior room, with din­ner and break­fast for two, a bot­tle of wine on ar­rival and af­ter­noon tea, all val­ued at more than $800. There are also in­stant prizes of drink or food vouch­ers or room up­grades. Ev­ery week for eight weeks the fastest player wins a ro­mance ac­com­mo­da­tion pack­age at the Mer­cure. The sec­ond fastest wins a din­ner for two and the third fastest a $100 Ac­cor GiftPlus card. More: www.mer­curesyd­neyair­

Full speed ahead: Queens­land’s Gold Coast Indy prom­ises four days and nights of high-oc­tane V8 Su­per­car en­ter­tain­ment from Oc­to­ber 18-21. Trav­el­world has four-night pack­ages from $428 a per­son, in­clud­ing race pass. More: 131 435; www.trav­el­

Lure of the sun: Stay five nights, pay for four is the of­fer from Creative Hol­i­days and Went­worth Ho­tels and Re­sorts. The deal is avail­able at par­tic­i­pat­ing Went­worth prop­er­ties at the Gold Coast, Sun­shine Coast, Port Douglas, Cairns and the Whit­sun­days. Prices for five nights range from $196 a per­son (Gold Coast) to $460 (Cairns). Avail­able dates vary ac­cord­ing to lo­ca­tion. For sale un­til De­cem­ber 23. More: www.cre­ative­hol­i­ Barry Oliver See our hol­i­day deals, up­dated daily at www.theaus­

Fin­ders keep­ers:

From left, Cape Ot­way light­house is open­ing its doors to the pub­lic; ac­tion at Per­isher Blue; Broome’s Cable Beach

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