Sharon Fowler presents a swag of fes­tive gifts for the pas­sion­ate trav­eller

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

WHITE FLIGHT Antarc­tica Flights is of­fer­ing a one-day New Year’s Eve flight for trav­ellers wish­ing to see the first day­light of 2008. The char­tered Qan­tas 747 flight will take in the white con­ti­nent’s ice­bergs, coastal cliffs, glaciers and spec­tac­u­lar moun­tain ranges. Cham­pagne, cater­ing and a jazz band on board add to the once-in-a-life­time ex­cite­ment of this Mid­night Sun flight from Syd­ney and Melbourne. From $899 econ­omy to $5199 first class. 1800 650 738; www.antarc­ti­ GAME FOR ANY­THING Here’s some­thing to aug­ment jig­saws and Scrab­ble at a beach­house hol­i­day: the Back­packer game takes play­ers to a range of des­ti­na­tions and beaches, in­cludes trekking and wildlife spot­ting, and there’s no chance of tummy bugs, batty fel­low trav­ellers or missed air­line con­nec­tions. There are abun­dant sce­nar­ios so no two games are the same: just like travel it­self. $24.95. JUST THE SHOT Travel ac­ces­sories com­pany Ciao Bella Travel of­fers a Sin­gle Shots range of fa­cial and hair prod­ucts in small squeeze-pack con­tain­ers that are per­fect for trav­ellers. The range is de­signed by a herbal­ist and in­cludes al­mond and jo­joba fa­cial cleanser, rose hy­drat­ing fa­cial mois­turiser, orange and banksia sham­poo and lime and hibis­cus con­di­tioner. Its Hair + Face Sin­gle Shot set is pack­aged in a cute re­us­able tin, and con­tains sham­poo, con­di­tioner, cleanser, toner, mois­turiser and a face mask. $25.95, with re­fill shots from $1; www.ciao­bel­la­ LOUNG­ING ABOUT The Mesh Wa­ter Lounger from out­door spe­cial­ist Cole­man’s pool float range fea­tures a com­fort­able mesh cen­tre and drink holder, and comes in a cute hibis­cus pat­tern. It’s made from 12-gauge PVC and fea­tures the Cole­man Air­tight sys­tem, which guar­an­tees leak-free in­fla­tion. There’s also a snap ‘n’ stay fea­ture for at­tach­ing it to other Cole­man wa­ter re­cre­ation pro­duc­tions. $34.95; www.cole­m­anaus­ THE RIGHT NOTE Since 1988, Cor­ban & Blair has been cre­at­ing unique de­signer sta­tionery with a hand­made touch. The Out­back A5 leather jour­nal fea­tures stitch­ing de­tails and a leather tie, and con­tains a 70-page spi­ral bound note­book suit­able for sketch­ing or writ­ing. It’s avail­able in red, brown or black and is re­fill­able. $75 for A5; A4 also avail­able. www.cor­ban­ COM­ING UP ROSES With its roots in Provence, L’Oc­c­i­tane pro­duces a gor­geous range of nat­u­ral body and skin­care prod­ucts and fra­grances made from flow­ers, fruits and spices. Its Eau des 4 Reines (Fra­grance of the four Queens) con­cen­trates the in­tense aro­mas of Grasse, Turk­ish, Bul­gar­ian and Moroc­can roses to cre­ate a sul­try per­fume with fresh notes of man­darin, tea leaves and black­berry. $89.95 a 50ml bot­tle. (02) 8912 3000; www.loc­c­i­ VOUCHER FOR THAT Pep­pers gift vouch­ers can be re­deemed at any of the group’s col­lec­tion of in­dul­gent re­treats, re­sorts, ho­tels and lodges through­out re­gional Aus­tralia and New Zealand. Pep­pers prop­er­ties are lo­cated in rain­forests, stately homes and vine­yards, on trop­i­cal is­lands, pris­tine beaches, golf cour­ses, rus­tic cat­tle sta­tions and perched atop moun­tain ranges. Pep­pers gift vouch­ers can be re­deemed for ac­com­mo­da­tion, din­ing, a round of golf or pam­per­ing spa treat­ments. The vouch­ers are de­liv­ered within three days of or­der­ing as charge cards or can be sent elec­tron­i­cally. From $50. (02) 8062 5000; www.pep­ PRINTS CHARM­ING Sig­na­ture Prints spe­cialises in tex­tiles, wall­pa­per and art prints based on the flam­boy­ant de­signs of Florence Broad­hurst. There is also a range of wal­lets and lug­gage, in­clud­ing lap­top bags, week­enders and carry-on bags in dis­tinc­tive Broad­hurst prints. From $44 to $520. (02) 8338 8400; www.sig­na­ WISH UPON A SPA Fre­man­tle-based So­dashi pro­duces in nat­u­ral skin­care prod­ucts, avail­able in many of the world’s finest spas. Its Body Es­sen­tials kit is ideal for trav­ellers; the silk draw­string bag con­tains en­liven­ing salt ther­apy ex­fo­liant, body treat­ment mois­turiser and mint soother treat­ment for tired, aching feet. Christ­mas spe­cial: $50.40.

(08) 9336 6837;­ LUXE LODG­INGS Sof­i­tel Went­worth Syd­ney, a re­cent fi­nal­ist in The Aus­tralian’s 2007 Travel & Tourism Awards lux­ury ac­com­mo­da­tion cat­e­gory, is of­fer­ing fes­tive sea­son vouch­ers that cover an overnight stay in a su­pe­rior room for two with full buf­fet break­fast and park­ing. Spa treat­ments or din­ner in the re­vamped Gar­den Court restau­rant can be added. Week­end rates from $269 a night. 1800 676 960; www.sof­i­tel­syd­ IN THE BAG STM is an Aus­tralian-owned com­pany spe­cial­is­ing in lug­gage for lap­tops, iPods, cam­eras and other dig­i­tal equip­ment. Its Evo­lu­tion Back­pack fea­tures a con­cealed lap­top sec­tion, re­mov­able iPod pouch, multi-pocket or­gan­iser, phone pouch, com­fort­able har­ness and front elas­tic cra­dle. Akin to a wet­suit for a lap­top, STM’s Glove pro­tects an Ap­ple note­book from bumps, dust and scratches; made from neo­prene with YKK zip­pers, there are three sizes to fit all note­books in the Ap­ple range. Evo­lu­tion, $149.95; Glove, $49.95; (02) 8338 0222; www.stm­ GIVE­AWAY Cour­tesy of STM, we have three sets of one Evo­lu­tion Back­pack and one Glove to give away to read­ers. Write your name and ad­dress on the back of an en­ve­lope and tell us in 25 words or less why you would like to win. Send to: STM Bags Give­away, PO Box 215, East­ern Sub­urbs MC, NSW 2004. TRUNKS FOR TOTS Bri­tish com­pany Trunki has put the fun into trav­el­ling with its award-win­ning ride-on, pul­la­long suit­case. The child’s case is made from durable plas­tic and fea­tures horn-shaped grips, com­fort­able sad­dle, in­te­grated wheels, se­cure and sturdy catches, and sta­bilis­ers to pre­vent overex­cited tots from top­pling off. It also has a tow­ing han­dle, iden­ti­fi­ca­tion tag and shoul­der strap. There are three in the Trunki range: Trixie (pink), Ter­rance (blue) and the re­cently re­leased Towgo ( green; with some ad­di­tional fea­tures). $64.95 (or $69.95 for Towgo); BIRDS OF PAS­SAGE Eas­ily one of the year’s best cof­fee-ta­ble tomes, Women Trav­el­ers: A Cen­tury of Trail­blaz­ing Ad­ven­tures by Chris­tel Mouchard (Flam­mar­ion, $75) cov­ers il­lus­tri­ous vagabonds such as Isabella Bird and Gertrude Bell, but there are lesser­known free spir­its here, too, such as the imp­ish doc­u­men­tary­maker Osa John­son, who jour­neyed far from her na­tive Kansas to film the wilds of Africa. That’s John­son on the cover pos­ing atop a ze­bra, an early 20th cen­tury pin-up girl for sa­fari chic. GET OR­GAN­ISED Lo­cal com­pany Uchi has a range of cute and func­tional travel ac­ces­sories and toi­letries bags that are per­fect for trav­ellers of all ages. Its Chunky Stripe travel wal­let holds pass­port, tick­ets and pa­pers and is made from PVC-coated printed can­vas. Avail­able in a range of pat­terns or plain colours. $33. (02) 9319 3222; TOP TRAVEL TALES The year’s three best jour­ney nar­ra­tives make ideal presents for trav­ellers of all per­sua­sions, from arm­chair to ac­tive. Paprika Par­adise, a fam­ily mem­oir and most en­joy­able travel romp by The Aus­tralian’s James Jef­frey (Ha­chette Aus­tralia, $35) is set in Hun­gary. Chas­ing Bo­hemia by Car­men Michael (Scribe, $32.95) is a fast-paced life-changer that evolves over 12 months in Rio de Janeiro. The Scent Trail by Celia Lyt­tel­ton (Ran­dom House, $49.95) is an in­trigu­ing “ol­fac­tory odyssey” that ex­plores the re­la­tion­ship be­tween fra­grance, me­mory and place. READY, SET, GO Since 1987, Ae­sop has been of­fer­ing al­ter­na­tive skin and well­be­ing prod­ucts de­rived from qual­ity botan­i­cal in­gre­di­ents. Its Dada-in­spired In­tel­li­gent In­ter­fer­ence gift sets con­tain Pars­ley Seed Cleans­ing Masque, Pars­ley Seed Anti-Ox­i­dant Fa­cial Toner, Pars­ley Seed Anti-Ox­i­dant Serum and Pars­ley Seed Anti-Ox­i­dant Eye Serum. The sets also come with a pocket Pen­guin book for emer­gency hol­i­day read­ing. Kits for men and body­care sets also avail­able. $155 (other sets from $49.90);­ LADIES WHO MULCH The latest book from The Aus­tralian’s gar­den­ing ex­pert Holly Kerr-Forsyth is a su­perbly pretty and info-packed pub­li­ca­tion. The Con­stant Gar­dener: A Botan­i­cal Bi­ble (The Miegun­yah Press, $75) holds all the green-thumb se­crets, from per­fect prun­ing to de­sign­ing a potager, deal­ing with root rot and, more ap­peal­ingly, a world­wide guide to roses, from Leap­ing Salmon to the pale yel­low Mer­maid. CASE STUD­IES Syd­ney de­signer Catherine Manuell pro­duces a range of hand­bags, lug­gage, travel ac­ces­sories and scarfs no­table for vi­brant pat­terns and colours. Manuell’s most re­cent range has been cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with cel­e­brated Abo­rig­i­nal artists Amy ( Jir­wul­lurr) John­son, Eve­lyn Pul­tara and Mau­reen (Mur­rarn­gulu) Thompson to evoke the spirit and colour of the Aus­tralian land­scape. From $12 to $420. (03) 9499 9844; www.cather­ine­manuellde­ GIVE­AWAY Cour­tesy of Catherine Manuell we have, as pic­tured, one Air­port Trol­ley Set ($420), con­sist­ing of Per­sonal Shell Case and Wheelie Car­ryOn Bag in Eve­lyn Pul­tara’s Bush Yams fab­ric to give away. Write your name and ad­dress on the back of an en­ve­lope and tell us in 25 words or less why you would like to win this gor­geous set. Send to: Catherine Manuell Give­away, PO Box 215, East­ern Sub­urbs MC, NSW 2004. IT’S IN THE POST In our era of in­stant elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tions, pic­ture post­cards could well be go­ing the way of the dodo. Which makes this beau­ti­ful book even more of a dis­play find. Paul Th­er­oux has penned the fore­word to Ex­otic Post­cards: The Lure of Dis­tant Lands by Alan Beuk­ers (Thames & Hud­son, $75). He writes that “travel pro­vides proof of the ex­otic, which rep­re­sents a kind of hap­pi­ness and hope”. And there are plenty of ex­otic images herein, from veiled women in the Su­dan and “Arab tur­ban lady in Zanz­ibar” to Ma­sai war­riors with lion-mane head-dresses. The vin­tage post­cards are re­pro­duced in sepia tones that add to the book’s ap­peal. ES­CAPE ARTIST Ven­ture into the kitchen to cre­ate your fab­u­lous piece de re­sis­tance and leave all the trim­mings to Phillippa. Phillippa’s Christ­mas prod­ucts in­clude recipes from home (Coun­try Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion, for ex­am­ple) and abroad: from roasted nuts to si­enna cake, ginger­bread an­gels, cran­berry, herb and nut stuff­ing for the goose and brandy sauce for the pud­ding (and that, too), mince pies, short­bread, gra­nola for the morn­ing af­ter and more. From $5.50 to $35. Ham­pers also avail­able. www.phillip­ SWEET RE­WARDS Koko Black, al­ready a star among choco­late lovers in Melbourne and Can­berra, has a de­lec­ta­ble fes­tive range that in­cludes San­tas ($25-$250) and sturdy, stand­ing hand-moulded trees in dark and milk choco­late adorned with white choco­late can­dles ($27.50, $44). The Koko Black choco­late star ($38.50), is filled with 10 Bel­gian choco­lates and pro­ceeds from its sale go to the Starlight Chil­dren’s Foun­da­tion. If you are not able to visit a store, email for ship­ping de­tails. CIN CIN Toast the sea­son and the clas­sic Ital­ian aper­i­tivo Cin­zano ver­mouth, which is cel­e­brat­ing its 250th an­niver­sary. One-litre Cin­zano – Rosso, Bianco or Ex­tra Dry – comes with a birth­day gift of a lim­ited-edi­tion art glass (Collezione Cin­zano) fea­tur­ing art­work spe­cially com­mis­sioned in Italy. $13.99, only at Liquor­land stores na­tion­ally, dur­ing De­cem­ber.

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