Six highlights in your travel week | 10 Aug

The National Anzac Centre … helping cement Albany’s reputation as a commemoration centre.
The National Anzac Centre … helping cement Albany’s reputation as a commemoration centre.

A second-passenger-half-price deal is available on a short-break cruise along the Western Australian coast designed to honour the Anzac troops who sailed to the battlefields of Europe during World War I.

The five-night cruise, aboard Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ Astor, will sail round-trip from Perth on January 6 next year bound for Esperance and Albany on the southern coast of WA.

The former whaling town of Albany was the last sight of Australia for 41,000 troops who sailed in convoys of ships to the trenches of Europe during the Great War from 2014-18.

Today it is cemented as one of Australia’s principal commemoration centres of the Anzac legend with an award-winning National Anzac Centre, numerous monuments of remembrance and a new ‘Field of Light – Avenue of Honour’ outdoor light installation open from October to Anzac Day next year.

The installation features 16,000 lights shining in the colours of local wildlfowers.

The cruise features lectures by war historian and author, Neville Browning OAM, who has penned more than a dozen books on Australia’s military history, and also war storyteller and author, Jon Doust, who will recount tales of his own family’s involvement in the Great War.

Fares are available from $1029 per person twin-share, with the fare for a second person half-price at $514.

Phone 1300 766 537 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au

Tasmania’s Truffle Lodge … a quintessentially Australian bush-glamping experience.

Tasmania’s Truffle Lodge … a quintessentially Australian bush-glamping experience.

Idyllically located right on the Derwent River and just 40 kilometres from Hobart, Tasmania’s Truffle Lodge offers a quintessentially Australian bush-glamping experience.

The new luxury eco lodge will open for its second season on September 1, with extended accommodation and communal facilities, a freshly restored beach and an expanded range of on- and off-site experiences and activities.

Additions include a private bush bath, a large shelter for outdoor activities and functions and a line-up of activities for those that are not seduced by the go-slow magic.

The truffiere which had been abandoned and covered in wild blackberry vines is now being nurtured back to life.

Each tent at Truffle Lodge is double walled and triple roofed for maximum comfort and features a handmade wooden bath, rain shower, extra-large deep double beds, a coffee machine, tea-making facilities and a bar fridge.

Rates are from $795 per night per person twin-share, including continental breakfast, self-help lunch, three-course dinner and all activities.

‘thar she blows’ … the excitement of spotting a passing whale.

‘thar she blows’ … the excitement of spotting a passing whale.

Captain Cook Cruises and Sea Life Sydney Aquarium are offering the ultimate day out for kids and adult marine lovers, with a Sea Life Sydney Aquarium and whale-watching cruise combo, operating daily until October 31 and offering savings of up to $40 per person.

The package starts with a morning visit to one of Sydney’s leading family tourist attractions, Sea Life, in Darling Harbour.

Walk underwater through over 100 metres of glass viewing tunnels and see Australia’s marine life like never before, coming within inches of huge sharks, rays and turtles and watch three different penguin species slip, slide and swim around playfully.

Before embarking on a Captain Cook cruise to see whales in the wild, guests will have the opportunity to learn more about whale migration at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium’s on-site activity hub.

In only 15 minutes the fantastic open-water cruise takes passengers from Circular Quay, past the Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison and the beautiful eastern suburbs, before passing through the Harbour headlands and out to the open ocean.

Here the excitement begins as humpbacks are spotted visiting Sydney’s coastline as part of their annual migration.

Captain Cook Cruises offers every passenger a whale guarantee. If a whale is not spotted, passengers can cruise again for free.

The combo is priced at $99 per adult and $69 per child (4-15 years).

Phone 02 9206 1111 or visit www.captaincook.com.au 

Jimmy Barnes … doing small, intimate gigs for guests staying at the same resort.

Jimmy Barnes … doing small, intimate gigs for guests staying at the same resort.

A once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience in one of the most beautiful, and once unaffordable, destinations in the world — the Maldives — has been made totally exceptional by sharing that experience with Aussie musicians staying at the same resort and performing exclusive and intimate gigs at night.

Going to the Maldives is much cheaper than it used to be due to the decreasing price of flights and the entry of more affordably priced hotel chains. Now the Maldives is a popular destination for couples, families, groups of friends and singles as well as honeymooners.

Buy your adventure through The Perfect Wave and enjoy sunshine, white-sand beaches, water as blue as you’ve ever seen, surfing, diving, snorkelling and a fully equipped kids’ club with waterpark during the day … then relax in bean bags on the beach or dance on the sand to Aussie music legends.

Events being sold now are Jimmy Barnes with his family band, including Diesel and Mahalia Barnes, in September this year, and Powderfinger’s Bernard Fanning next April.

Paro Taktsang temple … in Bhutan, one of the world’s last great Himalayan kingdoms.

Paro Taktsang temple … in Bhutan, one of the world’s last great Himalayan kingdoms.

Open the throttle on some of the world’s most spectacular roads on the back of a classic Royal Enfield motorbike with a 15 per cent discount on a range of Extreme Bike Tours’ rides in Sri Lanka, Rajasthan and Bhutan.

The discount applies to bookings made before August 31, and includes licensed riders and pillion passengers.

The 15-day Bhutan tour, for instance, takes riders on an adventure through the wide-open valleys and snow-capped peaks of one of the world’s last great Himalayan kingdoms.

Located on the ancient Silk Road, the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan is filled with ancient monasteries and long-standing forts scattered across the striking landscape once shut-off from the world.

The tour departs from Delhi next April 13 and is priced from about $7975 for riders and about $6540 for pillions.

Each tour includes fuel, meals, accommodation and transfers.

Scenic’s Mekong … a range of earlybird options includes fly-free.

Scenic’s Mekong … a range of earlybird options includes fly-free.

Scenic’s new 2019/2020 South East Asia program features an extended portfolio of cruising through Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar on board the all-balcony Scenic Aura and Scenic Spirit.

These 68- and 44-guest vessels have a staff-guest ratio close to 1:1 and are claimed to be the most luxurious vessels sailing the Mekong and Irrawaddy.

Scenic’s signature Enrich experiences also provide a point of difference, offering exclusive opportunities and special moments not available to the ordinary traveller, such as the Angkor Temple Gala Dinner in Siem Reap. 

Scenic offers a range of earlybird options available until October 31, including a fly-free deal when booking any Mekong journey of 13 days or longer, or any Myanmar journey of 14 days or longer.

Scenic’s 13-day ‘Treasures of the Mekong’ journey from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap is from $7495 per person twin-share.

Phone 138 128 or visit www.scenic.com.au