Six highlights in your travel week | 27 Aug

Floriade … set to dazzle in Canberra’s Commonwealth Park.
Floriade … set to dazzle in Canberra’s Commonwealth Park.

Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson are set to star alongside the likes of Grug and Where’s Wally when this year’s Floriade flower festival takes over Canberra’s Commonwealth Park from September 15 to October 14 — and takes visitors on a trip down memory lane through the theme of Pop Culture.

Visitors can also tantalise their tastebuds and sample the best produce from Canberra and the surrounding region, keep the kids entertained throughout the school holiday period for free at KidzKlub, or spend Sunday afternoons picnicking at Jazz in the Park.

Retro-inspired flowerbeds will showcase some of the world’s most iconic figures in music, film, literature and social media. People can expect Marilyn Monroe and Ken-Done-inspired creations alongside beds dedicated to Grug, the Rubik’s Cube and what’s sure to be a crowd favourite, Where’s Wally.

NightFest, Floriade’s ticketed after-dark experience, returns for five nights from September 26-30 when Commonwealth Park will come to life with illuminated flowerbeds, a line-up of local and drink food stalls, nightly entertainment and dazzling lighting installations.

Habitat Noosa … home to a large eastern grey kangaroo population.

Habitat Noosa … home to a large eastern grey kangaroo population.

A 42-year-old campground has transformed into Habitat Noosa — a world-class eco-tourism facility located in the Great Sandy National Park, just a five-minute boat ride from the Noosa Everglades and a 25-minute shuttle transfer from Noosa.

The 65-acre site, with 500 metres of riverfront on the Noosa River, provides on-site camping, powered sites, cabins and glamping accommodation, and is home to a large eastern grey kangaroo population.

Other facilities include a kiosk, craft beer bar (with their own micro-brewery on-site), bistro and entertainment area complete with views over the Noosa River.

Habitat Noosa offers exclusive and direct access to the Noosa Everglades.

Rates for unpowered sites start from $15 and powered from $22 per night, while glamping starts from $33 per night for a Wilderness Tent and ranges to $290 per person ($145 twin share) for a Paperbark Tent.

The night sky over Uluru … would make anyone feel insignificant. Image: P Ward.

The night sky over Uluru … would make anyone feel insignificant. Image: P Ward.

Astronomy enthusiasts of all ages can discover the spectacular Australian Outback sky at Ayers Rock Resort’s upcoming Uluru Astronomy Weekend on September 14-16.

The weekend will be hosted by TV personality and meteorologist Nate Byrne, and feature leading astronomy experts.

It will include family activities and demonstrations, an outdoor cinema experience under the stars, astro-photography and discussions on energetic cosmic events, the structure of the Universe, dark matter, Aboriginal astronomy and navigation.

Those attending the Uluru Astronomy Weekend will receive a special rate starting from $315 per room per night, based on a two-night stay. This includes airport transfers, Astronomy Weekend activities and seminars, and an Indigenous activities program.

Two events are available at extra cost — an Astro Trivia Lunch and a Stellar Starlit Dinner.

Phone 1300 134 044 or visit www.ayersrockresort.com.au

Relaxing in Budapest by the city’s famous Blue Chain Bridge.

Relaxing in Budapest by the city’s famous Blue Chain Bridge.

For the cycling aficionados who are in serious withdrawal with the finish of this year’s Tour de France, Europe Holidays is offering two new European cycling tours that mix the heady feeling of the wind in your hair while cycling with the old-world charm of cruising the Danube or Southern Italy on traditional wooden boats.

The Danube itinerary, for instance, involves cycling and cruising through six countries with widely differing cultures, cuisines and landscapes, taking in the vast expanses of the Pannonian plains, the breadbaskets of Croatia and Serbia and the history and charms of historic and thriving cities like Belgrade, Budapest and Vienna.

Cycling ranges from 35-50 kilometres a day, with several days off, building up appetites for the diverse local cuisines and delicacies in each country and optional wine tastings along the way.

The seven-night package is priced from $1102 per person twin-share

Iceland … a coast of remarkable beauty.

Iceland … a coast of remarkable beauty.

Travelmarvel has announced a $1700 saving per person on its 10-day ‘Icelander Explorer – Fire & Ice’ small-ship cruise along the country’s breathtaking coast next year.

Circumnavigate the island nation on the Ocean Diamond, a compact ice-class vessel featuring 109 suites and staterooms and chartered exclusively for Travelmarvel guests.

Highlights include vast glaciers, thunderous waterfalls, lava fields and steaming hot springs as well as up-close encounters on-board zodiacs

Inclusive of airport transfers, port charges, tipping, the vast majority of meals, and beer, wine and soft drink during lunch and dinner, the journey is now available from $6995 per person twin-share.

Phone 1300 205 408 or visit www.travelmarvel.com.au

Lisbon … starting point for a Christmas adventure.

Lisbon … starting point for a Christmas adventure.

Experience Christmas on Viking’s Mid-Atlantic crossing this December for $5595 per person twin-share including flights.

The crossing departs December 16 from Lisbon to Miami on board Viking Sun with the price including accommodation in a veranda stateroom and including flight to Lisbon and return from Miami.

Walk the cobbled streets of Lisbon before sailing to vibrant Miami.

Phone 138 747 or visit www.vikingcruises.com.au