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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

Sri Lanka is one of T&I’s favourite des­ti­na­tions and the good news on the hori­zon is that Sri Lankan Air­lines will be­gin daily di­rect flights be­tween Mel­bourne and Colombo from Oc­to­ber 29. The car­rier, a mem­ber of the Oneworld al­liance and part­ner with Qan­tas, has been ab­sent from Aus­tralian ports for sev­eral decades and its choice of Mel­bourne as a key port re­flects the city’s Sri Lankan pop­u­la­tion, more than 50 per cent of Aus­tralia’s to­tal. The new ser­vice, the only non-stop link be­tween the two coun­tries, takes about 10 hours and will be op­er­ated by an Air­bus air­craft with flatbeds in busi­ness class across a 2-2-2 con­fig­u­ra­tion. Aus­tralian-based ground op­er­a­tors with tours of the coun­try’s key sites, from na­tional parks and UNESCO her­itage-listed sites to tea plan­ta­tions and beaches, in­clude Aber­crom­bie & Kent, Re­mark­able East, By­roads Travel and Wildlife Sa­fari. T&I’s go-to villa op­er­a­tor is Elite Havens, which has a range of beau­ti­ful colo­nial-style beach vil­las (pic­tured) to rent for short stays on the south coast, in­clud­ing within Galle Fort. In Colombo, con­sider Black Cat B&B, at­tached to a cafe in a 1920s house in the chic sub­urb of Cin­na­mon Gar­dens. More: sri­lankan.com; elite­havens.com; black­cat­colombo.com.

SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

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