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with the Australian wine industry since its very earliest beginnings. From here visitors can take wine-tasting tours and hot air balloon flights over the vineyards or sit quietly and admire the views from the attractive verandah. Park Hyatt Sydney has added a

new spa that offers beauty and body treatments, plus a selection of spa rituals. The facility has the exclusive Sydney rights to offer guests NATURA BISSÉ, an innovative technology in skincare treatment.

Where To Book It FLIGHT CENTRE – 0800 587 0058 The operator has a seven-night package to Melbourne during the Food and Wine Festival priced from £1,499pp. The package includes return flights from Heathrow, transfers and seven nights’ accommodation at the five-star Art Series Blackman Hotel (Quote MELLONPAC11).

QANTAS HOLIDAYS – 020 8222 9124

Drawing on the magical appeal a round- the-world-trip can still conjure up, the World Explorer trip offers Singapore, Australia (Cairns, Port Douglas, Ayers Rock and Sydney), New Zealand (Auckland and Rotorua), Fiji and Los Angeles from £4,669pp for travel from April 16 to June 20.

“Stopover options on the way to Australia have increased for 2012”

EMIRATES TOURS – 020 7590 1450 Offers a 12-day private tour of Australia’s most iconic sites. The Sydney Rock & Reef Private Tour is priced from £2,789pp if booked by March 15. The tour includes four nights in Sydney, two in Uluru and four in Palm Cove, with economy flights from Emirates.

TAILOR MADE TRAVEL – 0800 988 5887 A series of six exclusive tours take in the Great Barrier Reef and beyond. The lead- in package is priced from £1735pp for six days, travelling out of Cairns to explore the Atherton Tablelands, Kewarra Beach and Cape Tribulation, with time sailing to the reef, taking a hot air balloon flight and visiting the Daintree rainforest


A Sydney with Adelaide two-city combination is priced from £1659pp including London-Sydney flights but returning Adelaide to London with Malaysia Airlines; accommodation; overnight rail journey on the Indian

Getting There

Qantas axes its Hong Kong and Bangkok services out of London this month to operate them as a codeshare. Paul Yankson, GM Qantas, UK says: "We believe there is a parity of product between Qantas and BA which should make it easier for agents to sell; both airlines have four classes for instance. We want London to be our A380

station too. Currently, we have

Pacific and a two-day Essential Kangaroo Island Tour.

BRIDGE & WICKERS – 020 7483 6555 From April travellers will be able to take an aerial safari around the Kimberley region of Western Australia where the government has set up the Ibis Aerial Highway, a collection of over 20 airstrips located at cattle stations, in lush national parks and in remote communities, so visitors can explore more easily. APT has a five-day air safari of this Kimberley region priced from £4,245pp including travel in a light aircraft and custom-built 4WD vehicles, and four nights’ accommodation in exclusive wilderness camps and lodges. The price excludes international flights and is being sold through Bridge & Wickers.

four flights in and out of London per day and half are on A380s, going to Singapore. We have also introduced the A380 on the Hong Kong-Sydney route." Other airlines are expanding their options. From October Emirates will add a twentieth Airbus A380 to its fleet and will extend its Melbourne departures to operate three daily flights from Dubai, one non-stop, one via Singapore and the other via Kuala Lumpur. Royal Brunei Airlines is also

increasing services to Melbourne and will be offering daily flights from March 25. The same-time daily services will improve connections and journey options for passengers travelling between Melbourne and London, Dubai, Manila, Bangkok, Sabah, and Sarawak. Korean Air will add three Boeing 777

flights a week between Gatwick and Seoul from April 29. These are in addition to its daily Heathrow service. Onward connections to Australia will broaden the possibilities for those looking for alternative stopover destinations. SilkAir, the wholly-owned subsidary

of Singapore Airlines, has added its first route to Australia with a four-times- weekly service Singapore to Darwin. Virgin Australia will complement this

new international service by offering a new daily domestic service between Sydney and Darwin, which will begin from April 2. To coincide with the launch, Virgin Australia has announced it will also open a lounge facility at Darwin Airport. Virgin Australia has also launched a

new Business Class service on domestic flights to Hamilton Island, Queensland, which are expected to enhance the island’s status as a regular host to high- profile celebrities and events. •


There’s nothing like knowing Australia as well as the locals.

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Your Aussie Specialist qualification allows you to access a number of exclusive benefits including:

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