Luxe sleep­overs in camps and lodges

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION AUSTRALIA - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

A WIN­TER’S TALE: For the first time since its 1999 open­ing, Paper­bark Camp at Jervis Bay on the NSW south coast will open dur­ing win­ter this year with 50 per cent off a Taste of Jervis din­ner, bed and break­fast pack­age Thurs­day to Sun­day nights from June 13 to July 17 and Au­gust 12 to Septem­ber 4. Set in bush­land a few hours south of Syd­ney, Paper­bark Camp fea­tures el­e­vated sa­fari-style tents with hard­wood floor­ing, dou­ble can­vas roofs, out­door deck seat­ing and in­doorout­door en­suites. More: pa­per­bark­camp.com.au.

KATHER­INE CALL­ING: The 18-room Ci­cada Lodge at Kather­ine in the NT’s Nit­miluk Na­tional Park has just re­opened af­ter a sea­sonal re­fur­bish­ment and has dis­count trop­i­cal sum­mer rates valid to the end of March. Rooms start at $495 twin-share, a sav­ing of $200, and the rate in­cludes ar­rival drinks, break­fast, Wi-Fi, and evening canapes and re­fresh­ments. More: ci­cadalodge.com.au.

BAR­GAIN BREAKS: Metro Ho­tels has a slew of spe­cials for Easter and school hol­i­days, in­clud­ing at Metro Apart­ments on Mel­bourne’s Bank Place where onebed­room self-con­tained units start at $183 a night, in­clud­ing noon check­out, a bot­tle of wine and Wi-Fi. Valid March 25-April 10. Sim­i­lar deals are on of­fer at Metro prop­er­ties in Syd­ney and Ip­swich, Queens­land. More: metro­ho­tels.com.au/pro­mo­tions.

ON THE BRIS­BANE BEAT: The open­ing of the newly built Oaks Wool­loongabba marks the 10th prop­erty in Bris­bane for the ex­pand­ing Oaks Ho­tels & Re­sorts port­fo­lio; the 80-room apart­ment-style ho­tel, with rooftop lap and spa pools, fea­tures con­fig­u­ra­tions of one or two bed­rooms, kitchen and laun­dry fa­cil­i­ties, and pri­vate bal­conies plus ex­tras such as study nooks and Fox­tel chan­nels. The lo­ca­tion is 5km from the CBD and about 20 min­utes from the air­port. More: oak­sho­tel­sre­sorts.com.

FEAST AND FOR­AGE: South­ern Ocean Lodge, on South Aus­tralia’s Kan­ga­roo Is­land, is again hold­ing a seven-night KI Food Sa­fari and this year’s star at­trac­tions are Mag­gie Beer (pic­tured) and re­gional pro­duce cham­pion James Viles of Biota Din­ing in the NSW south­ern high­lands who’ll join the lodge’s ex­ec­u­tive chef Jack In­gram to lead guests on feast­ing and for­ag­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. From Au­gust 20-27; $7700 a per­son twin-share, in­clud­ing re­turn air­fares from Ade­laide, trans­fers, ac­com­mo­da­tion, win­ing, din­ing and ex­cur­sions. More: bail­lielodges.com.au.

SEE THE LIGHTS: En­lighten 2016, in­clud­ing the likes of ar­chi­tec­tural pro­jec­tions and night noo­dle mar­kets, is in full swing in Can­berra from this week­end to March 12; there are Au­tumn Lan­tern il­lu­mi­nated dance per­for­mances on March 11 in the fore­court of Par­lia­ment House and the en­ter­tain­ment group Red Top Cre­ations (think: stilt-walk­ing and street cir­cus) will put on a Glim­mer show in the Par­lia­men­tary Tri­an­gle on March 11 and 12. Most En­lighten hap­pen­ings are free of charge but tick­eted events are part of the mix. More: en­ligh­t­en­can­berra.com.au.

THERE BE T-REX: Di­nosaurs are the theme of the third an­nual Vi­sion Splen­did Out­back Film Fes­ti­val at the dino fos­sil site of Win­ton, Queens­land. The “great­est di­nosaur and mon­ster movies of all time” form the draw­card for the pop­u­lar event, from June 24 to July 2, which fea­tures work­shops, celebrity guests, live mu­sic and screen­ings at venues that in­clude a her­itage open- air cinema. Qan­tas flies from Bris­bane to Lon­greach, from where it’s a two-hour drive to Win­ton. More: vi­sion­splen­did­film­fest.com.

WHALE OF A TALE: Whale sharks have been early to Western Aus­tralia’s Nin­ga­loo Reef this year; the first sight­ings were re­ported in late Jan­uary, well ahead of the ex­pected mid-March ar­rivals. Lo­cal op­er­a­tor Nin­ga­loo Blue Dive has been run­ning thrice-weekly swim tours and whale sharks have also been spot­ted off Co­ral Bay, 150km south of Ex­mouth. More: vis­it­ninga­loo.com.au.

Paper­bark Camp at Jervis Bay on the NSW south coast

Ci­cada Lodge in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory

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