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Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Vine: Win a trip for 2 to the Fuji Rock Festival

The Vine: Win a trip for 2 to the Fuji Rock Festival: " is your information filter, shining a light on the latest and greatest news, entertainment, music and fashion buried deep inside the World Wide Web.

But TheVine also provides a chance to have your say by starting a profile, blogging or contributing your own work.

And though we’re primed with such original news and community participation – we’re still not too proud to seduce you by offering a trip for two, in conjunction with
STA Travel, to the most original music festival in the world – Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival 2008 (My Bloody Valentine, Underworld, Primal Scream). Includes flights, accommodation, transfers and spending money.

To enter, just sign up to the TheVine newsletter.

Authorised under NSW permit no: LTPS/08/03027, VIC permit no: 08/1361 , ACT permit no: TP 08/01321, SA permit no: T08/1206 Terms and Conditions apply"

Nature is just perfect on the Fraser Coast

Nature is just perfect on the Fraser Coast

Whales aren't the only wildlife smart enough to hang out around on
Queensland's Fraser Coast – there are many others that call this
year-round sanctuary home.

The Great Sandy Strait

This body of water between the mainland and World Heritage-listed
Fraser Island is home to one of the largest concentrations of bird
species in Australia. More than 300 species have been identified and
approximately 30,000 migratory trans-equatorial shorebirds use it as a
roosting area.

The Strait was declared a Ramsar site almost 10 years ago in
recognition of the importance of its wetlands area and is a dedicated
dugong sanctuary and home to many dolphins and turtles. All six marine
species of turtles are found here - the green, hawksbill, flatback,
Pacific Ridley, loggerhead and leatherback.

These are also the waters to which thousands of humpbacks and their
babies come each year for some time before their long swim back to the

Explore the Sandy Straits by houseboat or yacht or enjoy a whale
watching tour during the season from July to November with one of the
many operators. (

Fraser Island

Birds are the most common form of wildlife seen on the island, many of
which are migratory species who use it as a resting place as they fly
from Australia to their breeding grounds in Siberia. Fraser Island's
Bird Week is held every year in May.

In terms of mammals, the dingo is the most prevalent on the island and
these are regarded as the purest strain remaining in eastern
Australia. Bats, flying foxes, possums, sugar gliders, lizards, skinks
and turtles are also found in small numbers.

The local frogs are called 'acid frogs' as they have adapted to
tolerate the acidic conditions of the lakes and swamps.

Access to Fraser Island is by air, barge and passenger ferries.
Escorted tours depart daily from Hervey Bay and Rainbow Beach. A four
wheel drive is essential and can be hired from Hervey Bay, Kingfisher
Bay Resort and Rainbow Beach. A selection of accommodation options are
also available ranging from resort-style to camping.

Hervey Bay

A short drive from the centre of Fraser's Coast commercial hub is
Arkarra Lagoons, a natural paradise with hectares of subtropical
rainforest lagoons and meandering walking trails. Goannas, echidnas,
wallabies, kangaroos, possums and over 140 species of birds all live
happily here and it is a favourite spot for families and nature

The Botanic Gardens at Urangan are another popular bird-watching area.
Around 80 species have been identified in the area and the lagoons are
homes to many types of water birds.

Dolphins of Tin Can Bay

Locals in this little town to the south of Hervey Bay have enjoyed
regular visits from a small number of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins
for around 30 years.

Most mornings between 7am and 10am the dolphins swim into the boat
ramp and allow people to hand feed them. This wonderful experience is
free, but the fish you feed them must be purchased to ensure their
feeding is monitored.

For information on self-drive routes and tours in the Fraser Coast
area visit

Saturday, April 26, 2008 are a popular online accommodation booking site which offers discounted rates for a broad range of hotels around Australia, from the quaint to the extraordinary, suiting everyone's tastes or interests, the everyday or the special occasion. The company actually started in the now managing director's laundry five years ago and has grown to become one of Australia's most popular ways of booking accommodation online. recently celebrated their fifth birthday and to celebrate, in an Australian first, the company has launched all 3000 accommodation properties on the popular online mapping sites, Google Maps and Multimap, to help celebrate the companies fifth birthday.

As you would know, travellers are becoming increasingly savvy at booking online and using online resources. Tools such as Google Maps, and Multimap have become popular ways to search for destinations with visited over four million times per month, alone.

This new online synergy allows those planning their next holiday or business trip to check out the surroundings of their desired destination - shopping malls, restaurants, function or exhibition centres, golf courses - and book directly through by clicking on the icon on the map!

They have also included PayPal on their website, which is just another convenient way for people to get the best deals on their travel and accommodation!

CruiseAgents and Costa in Australian First

Australian on-line cruise wholesaler, CruiseAgents, have reinforced their position at the forefront of technological innovation with the release this week of realtime cabin selection and booking.

Travel agents using the CruiseAgents system can now check availabilities, choose a cabin and book immediately with the client paying in Australian dollars and confirming their Costa cruise on the spot without waiting for frustrating callbacks or holding on the phone.

“There were a lot of late nights getting the two systems to co-operate, “ said Brett Dudley, managing director of CruiseAgents, “but the result is a very exciting innovation and a first for the industry that I’m sure will have other cruise lines looking closely at our process.”

Premier Italian-flagged cruise line, Costa Cruises, entered into a Preferred Sales Agent (PSA) agreement with CruiseAgents in early 2007 with the aim of increasing the growing brand’s presence in Australia as well as offering a booking alternative for both agents and the cruising public.

“Our experience is that cruising clients have a tight relationship with their travel agents, often relying heavily on their advice and industry knowledge. Our new system, I believe, will not only save time and money, but strengthen the bond of trust between agents and clients by providing a vastly enhanced and streamlined service that will really be appreciated by travellers. Clients are bound to be impressed by their agents’ ability to complete their booking so quickly and efficiently,” concluded Dudley.

CruiseAgents invites travel agents to log into the new system at and see for themselves how quick and easy it will be to book their next Costa cruise.

For further information, please contact CruiseAgents on 1300 55 88 64 or e-mail

About CruiseAgents:

Sydney-based CruiseAgents launched in June 2002 and has grown to become Australia's premier online cruise wholesaler and fulfilment specialist. CruiseAgents has been awarded many accolades and continue to lead in cruise travel technology. Cruiseagents is a member of the Travel Compensation Fund.

About Costa Cruises

Costa Cruises is Italy and Europe’s number one cruise vacation line. For the past 60 years its ships have plied the seas of the world, offering the best in Italian style, hospitality and cuisine and providing dream holidays with the utmost in terms of fun and relaxation. In 2007 over 1.1 million Guests chose to go cruising with Costa, a record for the European cruise industry. The Company’s 12 fleet members, each with her own distinctive characteristics and unique style, all fly the Italian flag and sail to 250 destinations in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, South America, the United Arab Emirates, the Far East and the Indian Ocean. 5 more vessels have been commissioned and will enter service by 2012. Costa Cruises has been certified by RINA (Italian Shipping Register) with the BEST4, an integrated system of voluntary certification of corporate compliance with the highest standards governing social accountability (SA 8000, issued in 2001), environment (UNI EN ISO 14001, 1996), safety (OHSAS 18001, 1999) and quality (UNI EN ISO 9001, 2000). All Costa’s ships have been awarded RINA’s voluntary “Green Star” notation based on the highest environmental protection standards. Costa Cruises is also an official partner of the WWF for the protection of the marine ecoregions of the Mediterranean, the Greater Antilles and Brazil.

New Country Lodge

The Priory Country Lodge - BothwellTasmania’s newest fishing lodge is to open in June (2008). After a year of renovations the circa 1847 house has been reborn with just four luxurious bedrooms.

The Priory Country Lodge is in historic of Bothwell, one hour north of Hobart. Bothwell is a gateway to the central highlands and fly fishing country. The Priory is a sister property of Hobart’s acclaimed Islington hotel.

Beyond the bedrooms the Priory has a library, hunt room, dining, reading and movie rooms, a barbecue area and an outdoor infrared sauna. The manager lives off site but is the property’s host and chef.

The Priory offers a refined country experience. It is for travellers who are looking to blend luxury with hunting and fishing. Priory guests will also have ready access to the oldest golf course in Australia, whisky tasting at the exclusive NANT estate, private tours and historical walks.

The Priory costs $550 a night per room. All rooms can be yours for $2000 a night. Breakfast and dinner are included in the tariff.

To arrange a familiarisation visit to The Priory Country Lodge contact Nicholas Parkinson-Bates:
Tel: 0415 431 016 Email:

The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places