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Monday, July 30, 2018

Eichardt's Private Hotel new luxury cruiser Pacific Jemm



Those looking for the best in luxury land and lake will now be spoilt for choice as Eichardt’s Private Hotel announces its acquisition of the region’s first premium nautical offering, the Pacific Jemm.

The 24-metre Falcon 80 S is a welcome addition to the Eichardt’s Private Hotel offering (including the country’s most exclusive accommodation The Penthouse), and will command upwards of NZD$12,500 for stays that allow adventurous travellers to see a truly unique side to Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu.

In true Eichardt’s style, the Pacific Jemm oozes old-world charm with smart teak finishes and plush in-built furnishings.

Complete with all the modern amenity one expects of the hotel experience, the lavish vessel includes four luxury suites and has at its beck and call two crew alongside Eichardt’s’ famous chef who will prepare custom menus with an emphasis on locally-sourced fare.

The acquisition is a coup for the Imperium Collection, owned by Christchurch-born businessman Andrew Cox, which has a strong-hold on the luxury boutique market of Queenstown with its two hotels, lakeside apartments, private residence and restaurants The Grille, No5 Church Lane and the revered Eichardt’s Bar.

“We are thrilled to be able to extend our luxury experiences in Queenstown onto the water. The Pacific Jemm is currently undergoing a significant upgrade to bring it to the standard that our guests expect, and will offer signature experiences akin to the standard set by The Penthouse,” says Cox.

Three expansive terraces provide the perfect vantage point to explore hidden coves, mountain vistas or insta-worthy backdrops looking back to the famous Queenstown bay.

Options for cruising include scenic daytrips to Glenorchy and a helicopter over to the West Coast for crayfish before anchoring up to cook the catch. For the truly adventurous, guests can super-charge the experience with their pick of an Aston Martin, Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, Audi R8 or Porsche 911 to race to Glenorchy before again being helicoptered over the Southern Alps, gathering West Coast delicacies and devouring the freshest Kiwi seafood aboard a cruise back to Queenstown.

Custom fireworks displays over gourmet dinners that light up The Remarkables, Cecil Peak and Walter Peak mountain ranges will set the scene for intimate wedding or milestone celebrations.

“As a luxury brand we are constantly looking for new ways to deliver incredible experiences and memories for our guests.

“The Pacific Jemm will continue this tradition, ushering in a new way of luxury travel for guests seeking to discover what makes New Zealand truly world-class,” says Cox.

With overnight stays starting from $12,500 per night for up to ten people, a stay on the Pacific Jemm is designed for ultra-high net worth individuals and families looking for a different perspective. Alternatively, day trips and private functions can accommodate up to 45 guests and will be custom built for each experience.





For further information visit www.pacificjemm.com

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Guests flock to Wilpena Pound while birds flock to Lake Eyre in flood.



A rare seasonal phenomenon is predicted for the South Australian outback in the coming months with Lake Eyre (officially known as Kati Thanda) set to flow with the waters from heavy monsoonal rainfall in Queensland and the Northern Territory, bringing with it flocks of unique birdlife.

Travellers can tick Lake Eyre off their list while the water levels continue to rise and enjoy a 2-night accommodation and scenic flight package with Air Wilpena from $1,165* per person per night in the stunning Ikara Safari Camp ‘glamping’ tents; or from $1,095* per person per night in a Resort Room. The package includes full buffet breakfast daily and a 4-hour scenic flight over spectacular Lake Eyre with Air Wilpena which departs from Wilpena Pound Resort’s dedicated airstrip.

Current estimates predict the lake is due for a bumper flow in 2018, providing a ‘bird’s eye’ view of an iconic Australian outback landscape from the scenic flights. When flooded, Lake Eyre supports major breeding events of the Banded stilt and Australian pelican, as well as over 1% of the world populations of Red-necked avocets, Sharp-tailed sandpipers, Red-necked stints, Silver gulls and Caspian terns.

Birds are drawn to a filled lake from southern coastal regions of Australia, and from as far afield as Papua New Guinea. During the 1989–1990 flood it was estimated that 200,000 pelicans, 80% of Australia's total population, came to feed and roost at Lake Eyre.



Wilpena Pound Resort is a haven of warm outback hospitality in the Ikara - Flinders Ranges National Park, 430km north of Adelaide. The resort blends beautifully into the landscape and provides a comfortable accommodation base from which to explore the Flinders Ranges. 


Book by 31 July 2018, valid for stays until 31 March 2019*. For bookings and further information visit www.wilpenapound.com.au, or phone 1800 805 802, or email reservations@wilpenapound.com.au

For information on scenic flights over Lake Eyre with Air Wilpena visit www.wilpenapound.com.au/do/flights-eyre


FIVE FAST FACTS ABOUT LAKE EYRE

It contains the lowest natural point in Australia, at approximately 15m (49 ft) below sea level (AHD), and, on the rare occasions that it fills, is the largest lake in Australia covering 9,500 km2

It has its own yacht club! Regattas for the Lake Eyre Yacht Club are few and far between however – the most recent being 2010

When the lake is full, a notable phenomenon is that the flat surface then reflects the sky in a way that leaves both the horizon and water surface virtually impossible to see. The commodore of the Lake Eyre Yacht Club has stated that sailing during this time has the appearance of sailing in the sky.

It turns pink: As the lake dries up and the water evaporates, its salinity increases and it often appears to turn 'pink'. This is caused by a pigment found within an algae species that lives in the lake.

The lake was named in honour of Edward John Eyre, who was the first European to see it, in 1840. The lake's official name was changed in December 2012 to combine the name "Lake Eyre" with the indigenous name, Kati Thanda. The native title over the lake and surrounding region is held by the Arabana people.

*Conditions apply. Valid for stays until 31/03/2019. A 2-night minimum stay applies. Consecutive night stays only. Block out dates may apply. Rates subject to change

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Taste Norfolk Island Food Festival 2018




The Taste Norfolk Island Food Festival is back from 26 – 30 November 2018 and once again will be showcasing magnificent locally grown, fresh, organic produce presented by a talented line-up of Chefs.

Norfolk Island is a food lover's destination boasting 20 plus eating out places presenting the freshest of fish, succulent beef and pork, a selection of in-season fruit and vegetables picked daily and boutique products including artisan cheese and honey, and many more paddock to plate experiences.

Thanksgiving Day activities are also being held over from the week prior's official day so it can be celebrated during this popular annual Festival. Norfolk Island remains one of the few places outside the US to mark this special day, which dates back to when American whalers were living on the island.

Oxley Travel has announced a 7-night Taste Norfolk Island package priced from:

$2079 per person twin share ex-Sydney (23 – 30 Nov, 25 Nov – 2 Dec or 26 Nov – 3 Dec)
$2039 per person twin share ex-Brisbane (24 Nov – 1 Dec)

Package inclusions are:
  • Return flights with Air New Zealand
  • Return island airport transfers
  • 7 nights' accommodation at Poinciana Cottages
  • 7 days' car hire including insurance
  • Half day island tour
  • Refreshments at Norfolk Island Airport on departure
  • Mon 26 Nov – Welcome Cocktail Party: 4.30pm – 7.30pm
  • Tue 27 Nov– Taste Norfolk's Bounty Festival Night: 5.30pm – 11.30pm
  • Wed 28 Nov – Thanksgiving Day Luncheon: 12.30pm
  • Thu 29 Nov – Celebration Dinner: 5.30pm
  • Taste Norfolk Island Gift Pack
2 x complimentary Festival options (Slick & Sons Sausage Making, The Forager Sour Dough Workshop, Culinary Journey, Blue Kingfisher, The Barn or Death By Chocolate
(Additional options can be purchased at $95 per person per tour)

For bookings, contact Oxley Travel on Toll Free 1800 671 546 or holidays@oxleytravel.com.au  or www.oxleytravel.com.au

Norfolk Island is long-regarded as a wonderful place to holiday with family and friends or escape with a loved one. In addition to fabulous culinary experiences, countless activities include swimming, fishing, snorkelling, kayaking, surfing, cycling and bushwalking. There are glass bottom boat tours and ocean trips to Phillip Island, and attractions including Fletcher's Mutiny Cyclorama. A further attraction of historical significance is the World Heritage listed Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area, the oldest of the eleven Australian penal colonies.

www.norfolkisland.com.au

Lake Macquarie new Creative LAKE outdoor art exhibition


Lake Macquarie residents and visitors alike can now enjoy the newest addition to the region's burgeoning art scene, Creative LAKE, an eagerly anticipated public art and sculpture experience situated along the beautiful foreshore of Lake Macquarie.

Creative LAKE unvieled several unique artworks this July including a bronze sky pig, a young monk, a dingy, a granite hibiscus and 3D graffiti murals. Each of the artworks can be discovered in popular locations along the Warners Bay, Eleebana, Toronto and Belmont foreshores.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Ancient and modern history enriches travel to Korea #visitkorea



Korea has over 5,500 years of both ancient and modern history which visitors can see in the varying architecture, and encounter in unique experiences. With four distinct seasons, magnificent landscapes, and more, there is an abundance of adventures that will suit each and every one.

There are officially twelve UNESCO cultural heritage sites and one natural heritage site that can be explored. Ancient palaces that have stood over six centuries reside next to tall skyscrapers, and tombs of past kings lay in 18 locations. Escape from the modern world by participating in a temple stay. One can meditate alongside monks at 'Woljeongsa' Temple and lose themselves in the scents and smells of the natural forest at 'Bulguksa' Temple. If a lover of the arts there are numerous theatres in Korea that perform traditional dances, and performances from the age of kings.

Korean cuisine comprises itself of seasonal ingredients, traditional fermented foods and the ideal of healthy eating. Visitors to Korea can enjoy Michelin starred restaurants such as 'Seokparang' where guests can indulge in royal cuisine of the Joseon dynasty or 'Kwon Sook Soo' with modern interpretations of Korean food cooked with rare ingredients from all over the country. There are also Michelin star restaurants that serve Halal foods and for vegetarian's temple foods that are full of health benefits.

Wellness tourism has grown in popularity amongst many tourists and Korea does not disappoint with leading medical, and beauty facilities as well as spiritual retreats. For example, deep in the mountains of Gangwon-Do Province exists the 'Healience Seonmaeul' where guests can relax and learn more about the essentials for a healthy life, all whilst surrounded completely by nature. If wanting to stay in the city and indulge on top herbal, high-quality beauty products one can visit the 'Sulhwasoo' Flagship Store with state-of-the-art spa facilities and holistic therapies.

There are two types of unique and high-quality accommodation that guests can stay in when they visit. For something more historically and culturally inspired but does not sacrifice modern comforts there are beautiful 'hanoks' or traditional Korean houses. These homes are only found in Korea and can be centuries years old with beautifully crafted, restored wooden architecture. They also offer cultural programs, meals and other entertainment to those who stay there.

Several five-star hotels and resorts are sprinkled around the country where guests can surround themselves with beautiful décor, breathtaking views and stunning artworks.

A country of tradition, culture, modernity, and more, Korea is a destination that inspires the imagination and offers unforgettable experiences to all those who enter its gates.  

Website: www.visitkorea.org.au
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SeeKorea
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ktosydney

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Car rental or car leasing? What's best for your Europe self-drive holiday?


As holidaymakers plan to drive Europe this northern summer the most-commonly asked question is "What is best, Car Leasing or Car Rental?"

Car Leasing is available through manufacturers such as France's Peugeot and worth considering by non-European Union residents who are over 18 years of age, plan to stay in Europe no longer than 6 months, and would like a car for over 17 days (with leasing becoming most cost-effective after around 30 days.)

Car Rental is provided through companies such as Europcar, Avis, Hertz and Enterprise, with rentals available from as little as one day.

"The main driver of the purchase decision is price," says Chris Hamill, CEO of DriveAway Holidays, Australia's largest self-drive holiday business. "Car Leasing gives a brand new vehicle direct from the factory for collection at a large number of centres within France, and various other European cities as well – with low delivery fees at these other cities." Mr Hamill says. "The all-inclusive price has no hidden extras and includes insurance with no excess in the event of accident or theft, no extra fees for airport collection or return, no additional-drivers' surcharges, no additional taxes, and there is no limit to the number of kilometres you can drive.

"The only extra costs are fuel and tolls, and being brand new you receive the precise model you want with diesel models guaranteed if requested and being cheaper to run. The Lease vehicle can also be driven throughout all of Western Europe, and much of Eastern Europe as well at no extra charge"

"Car Rental on the other hand allows a lot more flexibility with a wider spread of collection and return locations throughout Europe, and cars can be rented for just one day or more," says Mr Hamill.  "Generally rental cars are 6-8 months old, a large variety of models and makes are available, and rentals can be arranged very quickly.

"However with Car Rental an insurance excess applies in the event of an accident, there are charges for additional drivers, and restrictions do apply to driving into Eastern European countries.

"There is no right or wrong" says Chris Hamill.  "The majority of our clients rent, as they tend to need the car for 10-12 days only. But as every holidaymaker has different requirements we recommend talking to travel agents or a self-drive specialist to discuss your best option."

DriveAway Holidays can also be contacted direct on 1300 723 972 or www.driveaway.com.au

Monday, July 9, 2018

Discover safari luxury in the Barossa


Getaways to Australia's most famous wine region are about to reach a new level of eco-luxe, with the launch of luxury glamping tents at Discovery Parks – Barossa.
Exterior of a new luxury Safari Tent at Discovery Parks – Barossa

Nestled within a private area of the park, the 12 eco-friendly safari tents are majestically set amongst native gums, with vineyard views as far as the eye can see.

With the tents sharing a private swimming pool with heated spa, and a premium BBQ and lounge area, they are the ultimate place to unwind and embrace lavish comfort, while being close to nature.

Each tent has been meticulously designed to be environmentally sustainable and features a private 3m deck, ensuite bathroom, kitchenette, and spacious bedroom configured with either a king-sized bed or two twins.

Bookings are now open ahead of the official launch in August, with the Safari Tents priced at $250 per tent, per night.

Being less than an hour and a half from Adelaide, Discovery Parks - Barossa is the closest glamping experience to the city; perfect for romantic weekends away and special events like birthday celebrations and hen's weekends.

Discovery Parks Chief Commercial Officer Darren Peisley said the Barossa glamping experience has been modelled on the success of Discovery's Byron Bay safari tents.

"Two years ago, we launched a glamping experience in Byron Bay. The experience quickly elevated the park to one of the hottest properties in the area, attracting visitors who are after unique luxury experiences while still being in touch with nature," said Darren.

"Increasingly, people are seeking holiday experiences that are more genuine than can be found from the confines of a hotel room. They are embracing ways to enjoy the environment sustainably - and there is no better part of the world to enjoy nature than in one of the world's best wine regions, with cellar doors at your doorstep!"

"We will soon be launching a similar experience on Rottnest Island in Western Australia, and look forward to welcoming guests from across Australia and the world to our safari tent experiences", said Darren.

The safari tents are an award-winning design by EcoStructures Australia and are made from the highest-grade canvas available. They are wind tolerant up to Category 5 cyclones and 100% waterproof, with superior features that are complemented by a modern eco-friendly design.

For more information on Discovery Parks, please visit: www.discoveryholidayparks.com.au

NYC Restaurant Week Reservations Open #VisitUSA #NYCRestaurantWeek



  • NYC & Company's Signature Dining Program Returns
  • July 23–August 17 Across All Five Boroughs
  • New USD$26 Two-Course Prix-Fixe Lunch Designed to boost Daytime Dining
NYC & Company, the City's official destination marketing organisation, today announced details for NYC Restaurant Week summer 2018, now in its 26th year, and opened reservations for booking on NYCgo.com. Also announced was a new prix-fixe lunch offer with a two-course (appetizer and entrée) menu priced at USD$26. Waiving the mandatory third dessert course from the previous lunch offer, diners will now save time, and demand for restaurant daytime dining is expected to rise. Full program details are:
  • Dine over 23 days between July 23 through August 17, 2018*
  • Enjoy the option of more than 380 participating restaurants
  • Receive two-course prix-fixe lunches for USD$26 and three-course prix-fixe dinners (with dessert) for USD$42**
  • Explore restaurants among 42 distinct neighbourhoods, across all five boroughs
  • Discover 33 individual cuisines
View a full list of participants, browse menus and book tables now at www.NYCgo.com/restaurantweek.

*Saturdays excluded; Sundays optional
**Beverages, gratuities and taxes not included; Prices in USD


"There is no better way to celebrate the diversity of New York City's unmatched culinary scene—the true dining capital of the world—than by experiencing a great meal (or two) among restaurants of 33 distinct cuisines participating in NYC Restaurant Week this summer," said Fred Dixon. "We look forward to welcoming visitors, meetings delegates, and residents to enjoy new dining experiences in neighborhoods across all five boroughs this season."

The summer 2018 season features 24 new restaurant participants: Baar Baar, Barano, Boucherie Park Avenue South, Cleo, DaDong, Empellón, Fish Cheeks, Gloria, Greenwich Steakhouse, Harvey, La Sirena, Lugo Cucina Italiana, Mifune New York, Naoki Takahashi, Nix, Quality Eats – Nomad, Royal 35 Steakhouse, Scampi NYC, Talde, The Musket Room, The Sea Fire Grill, The Whitby Bar & Restaurant, Trattoria Italienne, and Tudor City Steakhouse.

Diners seeking inspiration for where to dine this summer can turn to NYCgo.com for curated restaurant collections themed to unique dining experiences. Included among the eight collections, all available now, are: "NYC Classics," "Squad Goals" (group dining), "Swipe Right" (date-friendly establishments), and ideal for summer, "BYO SPF" (alfresco dining), among others. Over the course of NYC Restaurant Week, continue to browse NYCgo.com for additional editorial content set to debut over the first three weeks of the program, including neighborhood itineraries for dining near Grand Central, NoHo and SoHo.

American Express is proud once again to sponsor NYC Restaurant Week this summer. In 2017, over 9,700 more restaurant locations in the New York area started accepting American Express® Cards. So now, more places than ever welcome your Card.

Additional brand partners include booking partner OpenTable and culinary arts organization James Beard Foundation.

Diners can follow @nycgo and @nycrestaurantweek on Instagram and @nycgo on Facebook and Twitter for NYC Restaurant Week content. Furthermore, an Instagram photo contest will award four weekly winners (one each week of the program) with USD$300 in gift cards from participating restaurants by using the program hashtag #NYCRestaurantWeek.

Lastly, New Yorkers and visitors looking for additional value this summer and fall can seek out two additional NYC & Company signature programs. NYC Broadway WeekSM returns September 3—16 (tickets on sale August 15), and NYC Off-Broadway WeekSM returns September 24—October 7 (tickets on sale September 10), both offering 2-for-1 tickets to some of the best live shows in New York City. Visit nycgo.com/broadway-week and nycgo.com/off-broadway-week for more.

To view a full list of participants, make reservations, browse menus and more, visit www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek.

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