LIT­TLE BLACK BOOK

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

RUS­SELL West­more­land is com­mer­cial di­rec­tor at Australia’s Great South­ern Rail, which op­er­ates The Ghan, The Over­land, The South­ern Spirit and In­dian Pa­cific. More: great­south­ern­rail.com.au. Favourite shop­ping haunt: The Berkelouw Eu­mundi Book­shop & Cafe on Queens­land’s Sun­shine Coast. Stand-out bar ex­pe­ri­ence: Sit­ting in a cafe or en­joy­ing a glass of wine at one of the world’s great ar­chi­tec­tural rail­way sta­tions. I rec­om­mend Grand Cen­tral sta­tion in New York and Gare de Lyon in Paris. Invit­ing culi­nary des­ti­na­tion: Bud­dakan in New York is a DEALS OF THE WEEK Test­ing the water: Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises have a one-night ‘‘sampler’’ cruise aboard Voy­ager of the Seas (Novem­ber 23) or Celebrity Sol­stice (De­cem­ber 9); from $345 a per­son twin-share. Guests board for a Syd­ney Har­bour evening de­par­ture, re­turn­ing the next morn­ing. More: 1800 754 500. stun­ning res­tau­rant with a great bar and Asian food. The high ceil­ings and chan­de­liers com­plete the ex­pe­ri­ence. Best-spent hol­i­day dol­lars: An elec­tronic travel scale wards off feel­ings of dread. Best ac­tion ex­pe­ri­ence: Hire a ca­noe at Kather­ine Gorge in the Camp­ing and canyons: Pere­grine has 10 per cent off all 2012 North Amer­ica tours booked be­fore June 30, in­clud­ing a 10-day Na­tional Parks Walk itin­er­ary through Utah and Ari­zona; from $1673 a per­son for the Navajo-guided camp­ing trail (July and Septem­ber) ex­plor­ing the Grand Canyon. More: pere­grinead­ven­tures.com. North­ern Ter­ri­tory (in sea­son; on The Ghan’s route) and pad­dle through the an­cient sand­stone canyons. Dis­tinc­tive ho­tel: The Desert Cave Inn, Coober Pedy (also along the Ghan’s route), has un­der­ground rooms. Favourite travel site: Homeaway.com for apart­ments in New York. It fea­tures pho­tos, lo­cal fa­cil­i­ties and com­ments. Best rail in­spi­ra­tion: The movie Hugo, set in 1930s Paris, tells the story of a boy liv­ing in a rail­way sta­tion, with some scenes filmed at Gare de Lyon. Top tip for rail travel: Pack light, as if you were trav­el­ling by plane. Trains are com­pact when it comes to stor­age. Is­land es­cape: Capella Lodge has a fly free to Lord Howe Is­land dis­count pack­age. Stay seven nights at the lux­ury lodge and re­ceive one bonus night; from $3900 a per­son twin-share in­clud­ing re­turn flights with Qan­taslink to Lord Howe Is­land, ex Syd­ney or Bris­bane. Valid July 28 to Septem­ber 30. More: lord­howe.com.

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