The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

Tauck has A Week in Puglia eight-day jour­neys from $4990 a per­son twin-share; groups av­er­age 24 par­tic­i­pants; there also is a guided tour of the Sassi cave-dwelling set­tle­ment of Mat­era, a UNESCO World Her­itage Site used as a set­ting for the 2004 film The Pas­sion of the Christ • Dur­ing April, Huka Lodge at Lake Taupo on New Zealand’s North Is­land has an ex­clu­sive pack­age that fea­tures an early-morn­ing he­li­copter flight over the vol­canic cones of the Ruapehu, Ngau­ruhoe and Ton­gariro moun­tains; the deal also in­cludes ac­com­mo­da­tion for two, break­fast, din­ner, cock­tail-hour drinks and canapes • Small Lux­ury Ho­tels of the World is in ex­pan­sion mode with a raft of new mem­bers, in­clud­ing beach­front prop­er­ties Sike­lia in Italy, Kokomo Is­land Fiji, Nax­ian Col­lec­tion in Greece, Ye­maya Lit­tle Corn Is­land Re­sort and Spa in Nicaragua and Le Do­maine Mis­incu in France • Wild Bush Lux­ury is again col­lab­o­rat­ing with chef James Viles of Biota Din­ing on food sa­fari pack­ages; there is a fo­cus on bush in­gre­di­ents at North­ern Ter­ri­tory’s Ba­murru Plains (May 18-21) and Ark­aba in South Aus­tralia’s Flin­ders Ranges (Oc­to­ber 4-8) • Walk Ja­pan has a 10-day tea-themed round-trip from Tokyo that is de­scribed as cov­er­ing mostly gen­tle ter­rain through vil­lages and ter­raced pad­dies; from May 10-20, guided by tea con­nois­seur Tim D’Of­fay, with ac­com­mo­da­tion in a mix of west­ern­style ho­tels and tra­di­tional inns with onsen hot springs • Ride & Seek and Les Plus Beaux Vil­lages de France has a spring cy­cling tour from May 21-28 that cov­ers eight of Provence’s most pic­turesque vil­lages and in­cludes stays at suit­ably charm­ing ho­tels.

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