Six highlights in your travel week | 20 Aug

In a word, spectacular … Tasmania’s Three Capes Track.
In a word, spectacular … Tasmania’s Three Capes Track.

Walking tour operator Life’s An Adventure is offering a free night’s pre-tour accommodation in Hobart on select departures for bookings made by August 31.

Pre-tour accommodation is the RACV Hobart Apartment Hotel, which offers modern, comfortable rooms with king or twin beds. Clients will be collected from here for the start of tours.

Life’s An Adventure’s Three Capes Track walk is pack-free so clients will simply need a day pack for water, lunch and a jacket.

Accommodation on the walk features two nights in deluxe spa chalets at Stewarts Bay Lodge, located near Port Arthur Historic Site, and including a la carte meals and local wines.

The Three Capes Track is Tasmania’s fastest growing hiking destination. Highlights include the peninsula’s spectacular sea cliffs and pretty eucalypt forests. Clients walk to Cape Raoul and Cape Hauy and see Cape Pillar from the air on a helicopter or from the sea on a cruise.

Circa 1936 … adding some historic class to the Murray’s accommodation scene.

Circa 1936 … adding some historic class to the Murray’s accommodation scene.

This column doesn’t normally mention awards but felt compelled to in this case simply because there are too many classy historic digs along the Murray.

Corowa’s boutique hotel and spa Circa 1936 has just taken out the gold award in the Riverina Murray Region Luxury Hotels category of Destination NSW Tourism Awards.

The award was announced as part of a gala event held in Deniliquin — home of the annual Ute Muster — with some 130 local tourism operators turning out to celebrate the region’s achievements.

Lovingly refurbished from a former bank — and bank manager’s house — and built in art-deco style in 1936, the three-suite hotel is a landmark in Corowa’s main street, leading to the Murray River.

Owners Kevin and Ririn Yaxley purchased the building in 2013, and set about restoring the property’s stylish architectural features while converting it to a luxury hotel and spa with the most contemporary comforts.

The Yaxley family has had more good news this week with the green light given to the development of a sister property in the nearby city of Albury.

The Circa collection also includes the popular spa Circa 1928 in Wagga.

Phone (02) 6033 5371 or visit

The Mercure Crocodile Hotel … turning 30 this year.

The Mercure Crocodile Hotel … turning 30 this year.

Situated in the heart of Australia’s largest national park sits one of the world’s most identifiable hotels, the Mercure Crocodile Hotel which this year is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The Indigenously-owned four-star Northern Territory hotel is shaped like a saltwater crocodile and is one of the region’s most famous inhabitants.

It’s located in the township of Jabiru, and is a great base from which to explore the World-Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.

The opening of the ‘Croc’, as it is affectionately known, in 1988 followed the worldwide success of the cult movie classic, Crocodile Dundee, which was filmed in Kakadu.

The Raja Ampat region of Indonesia … 612 islands to sail among.

The Raja Ampat region of Indonesia … 612 islands to sail among.

Over-tourism and responsible travel are the two big factors influencing World Expeditions’ new active Asian program, with the expanded and enhanced range designed to get travellers away from the tourist hot spots and to deliver a positive environmental impact.

The just-released program includes new self-guided pilgrimage hikes and e-biking itineraries in Japan, new cycle itineraries in remote China, new adventures to lesser known destinations in Vietnam, Indonesia and Laos, and two new national park experiences in Mongolia.

Japan’s ancient pilgrimage routes feature in the program, with new self-guided hikes on Japan’s World-Heritage-listed Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes and the Nakasendo Way, all of which are designed for more independent travellers seeking the flexibility to walk at their own pace, yet wanting accommodation organised and luggage transferred.

Two new adventure cruises are on offer — one amidst the 612 islands that make up the stunning Raja Ampat region of Indonesia aboard a purpose-built trimaran, and the other a journey down a remote stretch of the Mekong River between Chang Rai and Laos’ cultural capital, Luang Prabang.

Phone 1300 720 000 or visit

PIC: seadream.jpg — SeaDream I at Portofino, Italy … one of the most popular of its tiny ports of call in the Mediterranean.

The 112-passenger SeaDream I will undertake a nine-day Mediterranean voyage next May, spending three days on the French Riviera, including being there for the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix.

It will sail from Rome’s port of Civitavecchia, visiting ports in Sardinia and Corsica and on the Italian and French Rivieras.

A yet-to-be-priced package covering will cover transfers and entry for those interested in the Grand Prix.

Fares for the cruise start at about $8580 per person twin-share, including SeaDream’s award-winning cuisine, drinks with meals and from the bars, power and sail water-sports, use of the onboard golf simulator and fitness centre, port charges and taxes, and crew gratuities.


Silver Cloud in London … a Combination Cruises option.

Silver Cloud in London … a Combination Cruises option.

Silversea Cruises has announced its new Combination Cruises, which join two or more select voyages into the one experience, allowing guests to spend extended time unlocking deeper travel experiences.

Encompassing nine different regions, Silversea has chosen a limited number of balanced voyages, allowing guests to enjoy a lengthened stay, and discover each region in depth.

Fares for a 14-night sailing in the Mediterranean lead in from $7600 per person twin-share on Silver Shadow.

Classic combinations include Northern Europe and the British Isles, with seven voyages ranging from 17 to 35 days, and fares starting from $11,000 for a 17-day voyage on Silver Spirit.

Phone 1300 306 872 or visit