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Friday, January 19, 2018

Trek Larapinta to honour memory of Katrina Dawson


The Katrina Dawson Foundation & Huma Charity Challenge have launched a guided walk along the Larapinta Trail in Central Australia to raise awareness of and funds for the foundation established in honour of the late Katrina Dawson.

The Katrina Dawson Foundation was established in December 2014 by Katrina's family and former Governor General of Australia, The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO, to honour Katrina's memory, after she was tragically taken from her family, friends and the community in Sydney's Lindt Cafe Siege.

"The Katrina Dawson Foundation Challenge, Larapinta with Edwina Parsons" will take place from 8-12 May 2018.

Participants who sign up for the five-day challenge in Central Australia have two challenges ahead of them: to raise a minimum $1000 for The Katrina Dawson Foundation and to complete the Larapinta Trail Challenge.

The trip costs $1835 per person (departing from Alice Springs) plus a $200 non-refundable registration fee.

Challenge highlights include:

•             Raising funds for The Katrina Dawson Foundation
•             Staying in exclusive semi-permanent campsites with comfortable safari style sleeping tents, hot showers and delicious meals
•             Spend three days walking along the most spectacular sections of the Larapinta Trail with experienced outdoor educator and adventurer Edwina Parsons

Katrina's brother and Foundation Board Director, Sandy Dawson believes the charity challenge is a wonderful way to combine an exhilarating adventure with raising funds the Foundation.

"By signing up for the Larapinta Challenge and supporting The Katrina Dawson Foundation, participants will help us to give young Australian women the opportunity to contribute to our community in the same way that Katrina did, and would have continued to do so," Mr Dawson said.

Katrina loved a challenge and being active, and she would have loved this trek.

"I am so delighted that our long-time family friend, Edwina Parsons, will lead this trek along the iconic Larapinta Trail, which is considered on of the top 10 walks in the world.

"The expansive, rugged and mesmerising West MacDonnell ranges dominate this spectacular trail and the majesty of this landscape and provides an ideal setting to honour the memory of Katrina," Mr Dawson said.

Trekking at the start of the season in April and May can be one of the best times to experience the Larapinta Trail. Trekking conditions in autumn are pleasant, with temperatures averaging between 12-27C.

Coming out of the wet season, the West MacDonnell Ranges transforms for a short period into a vibrant green landscape, with bursts of colour from early season flowers like the Mulla Mulla and Senna bush. With new growth across the region, mornings are particularly beautiful as the sun glistens through the trees in the early hours of the day.

For more information and to register: www.humacharitychallenge.com or phone 1300 720 000.

Direct link for more information and to register: http://bit.ly/KatrinaDawson


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It's trash season in Bali again.




As if there wasn't enough trash clogging the beaches of Bali and Indonesia without the regular monsoon plastic deluge.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Botanica Blooms with New Destinations In 2018/2019



Australia's Botanica World Discoveries Tours celebrate the release of its new 2018/19 brochure, which showcases more than 40 garden-themed cruises and tours across six continents, with a host of special airfare deals and savings.

A range of discounted business class airfares, flight credits, and companion fly free offers are available to guests who book selected tours or cruises early. There are also some incredible savings to be made by combining two or more Botanica tours.

New for 2018/19, Botanica will delve deep into the tropical gardens of Sri Lanka, as well as returning to the botanical paradises of South America and South Africa. An extended program in Europe will include a grand train journey on the Golden Eagle Danube Express from Budapest to Venice, and an exclusively chartered river cruise along the Rhine and Moselle rivers will explore castle gardens in this fairy-tale landscape.

As always, the world's most famous flower and garden shows play a starring role in Botanica, with trips designed around visits to London's RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, BBC Gardener's World Live in Birmingham and Dublin in Bloom. Closer to home, Botanica guests can visit the Singapore Garden Festival, the Melbourne Flower & Garden Show, Queensland Garden Expo, Floriade in Canberra, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers and in New Zealand, the Taranaki Garden Spectacular.

Botanica's boutique cruises and tours are designed to interest gardeners and non-gardeners alike. Travelling with a small-sized group of like-minded people, Botanica holidays are enriched with handpicked cultural experiences that incorporate themes such as history, art and music, as well as general sightseeing.

Accompanied by a knowledgeable Botanical Guide, guests will visit some of the world's most celebrated gardens such as Sissinghurst in England, the Butchart Gardens in Canada, Villandry in France, as well as exclusive private gardens.

Well-known international gardener and TV presenter, Monty Don, is a regular guest-lecturer, as is Rosemary Alexander, the founder of the English Gardening School and regular judge at the Chelsea Flower Show.  The team of Botanical Guides includes well-respected gardening historian, Dr Toby Musgrave, and popular Australian celebrity gardener, Simon Rickard.

It's no wonder that more than 70 per cent of Botanic guests are repeat travellers and proud members of the Botanica Club. Once you travel with Botanica you automatically become a member of the club (which also has reciprocal rights with APT and Travelmarvel clubs), and will receive benefits, discounts and offers on your next Botanica adventure.

For further information and to order your free copy of the 2018/19 brochure, please contact Botanica on 1300 305 202, visit www.botanica.travel or see your local travel agent. -Ends-

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Illuminating London’s West End This January

What's On in London's West End during Lumiere London

18th – 21st January 2018



The spotlight is set to shine on London's West End as the iconic location takes on a new light as part of the UKs largest light festival Lumiere London, produced by Artichoke and supported by Mayor of London.

Over four free nights from 18th-21st January, the UKs most visited destination, which boasts some of the world's best hotels, restaurants, bars, theatres, art galleries and shopping experiences – will take centre stage at this spectacular light festival.

More than 16 UK and international artists will transform some of the most iconic and celebrated landmarks, streets and location across London's West including Carnaby, Chinatown London, Leicester Square, Mayfair, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street St James's, Seven Dials, Covent Garden and St James's Market, into a vast outdoor exhibition space, offering audiences new and surprising perspectives on the world famous streets and iconic landmarks.

As well as getting the opportunity to witness some of the area's most historic landmarks in a dazzling new light, visitors and Londoners will be able to sample a host of other incredible activities taking place in the area throughout January – so why not make a weekend of it this January and enjoy the unlimited opportunities for discovery across London's West End.

http://www.visitlondon.com/lumiere

Follow the conversation @londonwestend #westendlumiere #lumiere_LDN #picadilly #carnaby #chinatownlondon #mayfair #Regentstreet #Stjamess

 

Scoot flies to Berlin

#flyscoot .

The German capital is Scoot's second destination in Europe and its third long-haul destination, after Athens and Honolulu

Special launch promotion

Scoot, Asia/Pacific's Best Low Cost Airline[1] for four consecutive years and the low-cost arm of Singapore Airlines (SIA), has launched ticket sales to its highly anticipated third long-haul destination of Berlin, Germany!

The non-stop Singapore-Berlin flights are scheduled to commence on 20th June 2018 and promotional FLY fares from Australia start at a tiny $379 (ex Perth) one way, including taxes. (Bags and food extra) or $1199 in ScootBiz one way (including taxes).



Ex Melbourne and Sydney, get to Berlin for $439 FLY fare (Bags and food extra), or $1299 ScootBiz, fares from Gold Coast are $429 FLY (Bags and food extra) or $1299 for ScootBiz – (all inclusive, taxes, 30 kg checked baggage, 15 kg carry-on baggage, meals and a drink, ScootTV, plus a wide leather reclining seat and in seat power.)

These fares are subject to availability and will go on sale from 1000 Perth (12 noon Gold Coast and 1300 Sydney & Melbourne) on Weds January 10, till 2359 31st January 2018 (Perth) and 0159 1st February (Gold Coast) and 0259 1st February (Sydney and Melbourne.)

Fares on sale are for travel from 20 June to 26 October 2018.

For an additional $30 off selected FLYBAG and FLYBAGEAT fares, key in the promo code 'GOBERLIN'.

Berlin will be the SIA Group's fourth destination in Germany, after Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich, which are operated by SIA. The four-times-weekly Singapore-Berlin return flights will be operated with widebody, twin-aisle Boeing 787 Dreamliners, subject to regulatory approval.

"The new Scoot route to Berlin is fantastic news for Germany. It opens up many new opportunities for Australian visitors and, with additional flights, travellers can easily explore the capital Berlin and nearby cities such as Dresden, Leipzig and Hamburg. Berlin is a happening city packed with exciting events, concerts, exhibition and shows all year round. Germany's focus for 2018 is "Culinary Germany" which aims to introduce travellers to the country's gourmet highlights such as the popular Currywurst in Berlin or the many Michelin starred restaurants in the capital," according to Stefanie Eberhard, Director of the German National Tourist Office in Sydney.




Get a taste of Germany in 2018 with Scoot

The 787 Dreamliner is spacious and boasts state of the art innovations that provide a more comfortable travel experience, such as improved humidity and cabin pressurization, large dimmable windows, 20% less noise and ample overhead compartment space. Scoot's 787 Dreamliners also offer several amenities and services suited to long-haul travel, such as inflight Wi-Fi, in-seat power and inflight ScooTV entertainment streamed to guests' own devices. Guests can choose from a full-leather ScootBiz seat with 38" pitch, 30kg checked-in baggage, and meals and drinks included, or enjoy a peaceful journey in the ScootinSilence economy class quiet zone with seat pitches ranging from 31" up to 35".

Mr Lee Lik Hsin, Scoot's Chief Executive Officer, said, "Scoot's low-cost long-haul business model has finally taken off in the last six months with our flights to Athens and Honolulu. Both have lived up to our expectations and our guests tell us that the 787 Dreamliner has been key to convincing them to travel long-haul on low-cost. With Berlin, we continue on our mission to bring more choices for great value long-haul, low-cost travel to more travellers so they can escape the ordinary!"

Scoot's current route network comprises 63 destinations across 17 countries, with flights to Kuantan commencing in February 2018. Scoot operates a fleet of 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 24 Airbus A320 family aircraft, with four more Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 39 Airbus A320neo aircraft on order.


Singapore takes the cake as Australia's top booked destination in 2017


  • VIC and SA revealed London as their most popular international holiday.
  • Residents from NSW, QLD and TAS favoured neighbouring country New Zealand with Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown all featuring amongst their states’ ten most booked destination.
  • In domestic travel, Queenslanders preferred the comfort of their own backyards, with eight out of the top ten domestic travel choices kept within the state.
  • South Australians prefer the company of their neighbouring states when it comes to domestic travel.
Booking.com, global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has today revealed Australia's top booked destinations both domestically and internationally in 2017.

Based on international bookings from Australian travellers, Asian locations feature in six of the top ten top booked destinations, with Singapore holding the number one spot as many flock to the city for its renowned culture and shopping while it also remains a leading gateway to Europe. Victoria and South Australia are the only states where their most popular international destination of choice falls outside Asia-Pacific with London being each state's most popular top booked destination. England's capital also ranks as the second most popular international destination for Aussies overall.

Bali remains a popular choice for Aussie holidaymakers, picking up two spots in the international top ten list, proving particularly popular with Western Australians and Northern Territory residents.

Meanwhile, New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmanian travellers are particularly in favour of visiting their Antipodean neighbours in New Zealand with Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown all featuring amongst their states' ten most popular choices for international travel.

For domestic travel, Queenslanders prefer to explore their own backyards more than any other state, with eight out of their top ten domestic travel choices, kept within the state as travellers seek to explore gems close to home. At the other end of the spectrum, South Australians are deserting their state more than any other, with only two South Australian locations ranking in the top ten most booked domestic destinations by the state's travellers.

Luke Wilson, Booking.com Area Manager for Australia said: "2017 was another big year for travel for Australians both in and outside the country. Asia's diverse tourism options represent increasingly attractive propositions for international travellers while London remains the top European destination for many, which may continue in 2018, especially with the first direct flight routes from Perth slated to start later this year.

"Aussies are also exploring more of what is on their doorstep and the rise of holiday rental properties has made it easier and more convenient for them to enjoy a weekend staycation or short road trips away. Recent research has also revealed Brisbane as an emerging travel destination in 2018, so we look forward to seeing the impact this has in bookings this year."

Top 10 Most Booked Domestic Destinations in Australia

1.        Sydney, New South Wales
2.        Melbourne, Victoria
3.        Brisbane, Queensland
4.        Gold Coast, Queensland
5.        Perth, Western Australia
6.        Adelaide, South Australia
7.        Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
8.        Cairns, Queensland
9.        Hobart, Tasmania
10.      Newcastle, New South Wales

Top 10 Most Booked International Destinations in Australia

1.        Singapore, Singapore
2.        London, United Kingdom
3.        Auckland, New Zealand
4.        Tokyo, Japan
5.        Bangkok, Thailand
6.        Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
7.        Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
8.        Rome, Italy
9.        Hong Kong, Hong Kong
10.      Paris, France


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The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places