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Taste Tassie at Freycinet National Park Waterside Lodge

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THE DEAL: Stay for two nights from A$599 /room ($569 for Lux Plus members) valued up to A$1,258 a devilish saving of 52%

THE APPEAL: From the home of some of Australia’s best oysters comes a coastal-meets-bush retreat, a pearl amid the rugged and mountainous Tasmanian landscape.

Experience the untouched beauty of Tasmania’s east coast at this superb haven, the only accommodation within Freycinet National Park and offering direct access to Richardson’s Beach and views of the Hazards mountains and Great Oyster Bay.

With daily breakfast taken care of and additional dining credit, you’ll be spoiled for choice of culinary delights.

Savour local seafood at Richardson’s Bistro, indulge in fine-dining as you watch the crashing waves from The Bay Restaurant, or enjoy a pint of local Tasmanian beer or a cocktail at Hazards Bar & Lounge.

For the adventurous, the lodge’s own company, Freycinet Adventures, offers thrilling experiences from sea kayaking to e-biking through the wilderness.

A short stroll will lead you to the famed Wineglass Bay, or wander to the Lodge’s picturesque deck to enjoy a glass of bubbles and fresh Tasmanian oysters as you watch the sunset.

Take a romantic stroll along Honeymoon Bay Walk at the base of the property to witness a glorious sunrise or sunset, or get your heart pumping with a lively hike up to the Wineglass Bay lookout to enjoy sweeping views of the pristine beach and Hazards mountains.

Marie Claire Sustainability Awards: Travel Category Winner

Room Upgrade Bonus: Elevate your stay with an upgrade to a Mountain Terrace King, Premier Cabin, Mountain Terrace Family or Coastal Pavilion to recieve a complimentary stocked minibar including Tasmanian wine, beer, soft drink and local snacks.

To book (and hurry, it’s a time limited offer) with Luxury Escapes CLICK HERE or call on 1300 88 99 00

Currying Favour: Join Gary and Matt in Sri Lanka!

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This is for all you Mildrovers who missed out on previous Matt and Gary food tours and fancy a Sri Lankan odyssey with the two gentlemen of impeccable food taste, if not aways sartorial splendour (I’m looking at you, Matt).

No need to give it the hard sell, suffice to say, it’ll be sold out before you can say Dilmah tea bags so don’t dilly dally, get to the Luxury Escapes link down the bottom and by all means read their tempting copy on the way down.

Aromatic spice gardens, fragrant tea fields and authentic street food – your ticket to a once-in-a-lifetime journey through Sri Lanka is here. Planned, designed and hosted by two of Australia’s most beloved food critics, former MasterChef judges Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan, this tour is an unforgettable way to discover one of the world’s top travel destinations.

Join Matt and Gary on their curated itinerary covering the country’s unmissable foodie spots. Crack into multi-award-winning seafood at Ministry of Crab, set within Colombo’s 400-year-old Dutch Hospital. Sample showstopping cocktails and wood-smoked fare at acclaimed Smoke & Bitters, then celebrate local delicacies at the exclusive Luxury Escapes Market Festival in Galle.

Along the way, unearth ancient jungle ruins and historic fortresses. Learn how to prepare a traditional meal in a local village, then take a scenic train into Nuwara Eliya where the masters pluck delicate Ceylon leaves in the verdant highlands. Find Asian elephants in the wilds of Minneriya National Park, then climb the 1,200 steps of Sigiriya Rock Fortress for a truly humbling sunrise. At every turn, uncover the generosity and warm hospitality the locals are known for, sharing in their passion for flavourful food.

Each stay offers something special, from Galle Face Hotel’s iconic Indian Oceanfront views to the Elizabethan manor-style elegance of The Grand Hotel, high in tea country. Plus, get there in comfort with return international flights on Singapore Airlines – named ‘Best Airline’ by Business Traveller and crowned ‘World’s Best Airline’ by Skytrax in 2023.

Experience Sri Lanka’s finest weather during the island’s best season for a truly magical adventure. With one departure only, places on this tour are exclusive and limited. Lock in your spot now.

To book in the one and only departure date of April 2025 with Luxury Escapes Signature Tours CLICK HERE or get them on the phone asap at 1300 670 243

Serious walk in the footsteps of Hannibal (not that one)

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Sweeping mountain views, remote paths, rural villages, fabulous regional food and drink, finishing with a dip in the sea – if these are all on your wish list for a walking holiday, then you need look no further than On Foot’s Ligurian Hills route in northwest Italy.

This is an area steeped in history – Hannibal passed through with his elephants during the 2nd Punic War on his way to Rome in 218BC, and the land has been fought over many times, well into the 20th century.

The Via del Sale (salt road) which you will follow for much of the time, was trodden for centuries by mule trains taking sacks of salt northwards from Genoa to the Po Valley, and returning with salami, ham, cereals and cheese.

Set out from Montalto Pavese through vineyards and woods in the foothills of the western Apennines, to reach the historic valley town of Varzi. From here you’ll climb above the 1000m mark, hiking along ridges with expansive views and stopping in remote villages. 

This is bucolic Italy, fiercely proud of local traditions and in particular local food and wine (vegan and vegetarian walkers will find good menu choices in most places). Finally you’ll drop down to the sea at the pastel-coloured town of Camogli, for a swim in the ocean and a restorative beer.

This is a route for the seasoned walker, with some long days and substantial ascents and descents. The rewards however are well worth the effort – and there are some shortening options, so do talk to us about your expectations. 

Where to get the best bang for your travel buck

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It doesn’t matter how far you go on your travels, you are always happy if your dollar goes a bit farther.

With more bang for your budget in mind, leading travel app Expedia® recently released its Holiday Value Guide, showcasing popular overseas destinations offering the best value for Aussie winter travel.

And we’re not talking about the cheapest places to visit – just those that offer the best exchange rates combined with good value accommodation and and costs.

The Expedia Holiday Value Guide features international destinations across Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Combining the top international destinations for Australian travellers with average accommodation daily rates under $300, the guide also looks at other considerations including accessibility, experiences and activities.

This is big news for the 35 per cent of Australians who planned to travel internationally this year, with a whopping 81 per cent favouring destinations that offered good value for money and generous exchange rates (69%).

Japan topped the Holiday Value Guide, with its favourable exchange rate, culture, culinary delights, and incredible natural beauty, followed by Indonesia and Thailand.

Most destinations featured on the list also offer wallet-friendly exchange rates for Aussie travellers, but the top 10 also includes destinations with accommodation rates from $105 to $293 per night.

Expedia’s Holiday Value Guide

JapanOsaka priced at $222 offers the best value accommodation, followed by $252 in Kyoto and $293 in Tokyo
IndonesiaLombok with rates at $173 beats its sister island Bali with accommodation prices at $189, which is still extremely competitive
ThailandThe northern city of Chiang Mai priced at $105 offers the best value accommodation, followed by $182 in Phuket and $282 in Koh Samui
VietnamThe capital city of Hanoi with rates at $135 offers the best value destination within, followed by $144 in Saigon and $158 in Da Nang
South KoreaThe capital city of Seoul with rates at $240 offers the best value destination
MalaysiaLangkawi with rates of $123 offers the best value accommodation, followed by $164 in Kuala Lumpur and $187 on Penang
New ZealandAuckland is the best value destination priced at $223
PhilippinesThe capital city of Manila with rates at $151 offers the best value destination, followed by $229 in Boracay Island
TurkeyThe capital city of Istanbul offers the best value with rates at $215
GreeceThe Cyclades islands including destinations like Santorini, Mykonos, and Paros with rates at $255 offer the best value destination

“As we go into the second half of the year, we’re seeing an appetite for international travel, however, Aussies are being savvy with their holiday choices and prioritising value for money and wallet-friendly destinations,” Sarah King, Expedia Travel Expert said.

“Destinations like Japan, Malaysia, and Vietnam offering unique experiences without breaking the budget.

“One tip to make planning a holiday even easier is by bundling the flight and hotel booking on Expedia, which will save time and could knock nearly $250 on average off the trip.”

Eating Saigon 2: A lot more than pho

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Fake food truck, really good banh mi

Continuing my sojourn in Saigon, and having spent the first week (see this report) in a three-star serviced apartment ($70 a night, if you must know) I then treated myself to what was supposed to be my last three nights in the four-star, twice as pricey, Silverland Ben Thanh hotel.

Then, not quite getting my work done, I extended my stay with a few nights in the two-star La Paix hotel, half a block from the Opera House. The changes of scene led to a change of cuisine too, with some unexpected pleasures … and maybe one disappointment.

Breakfast, Silverland Ben Thanh

I tend to avoid hotel breakfasts, recalling the views of the late Anthony Bourdain on breakfast buffets, that you should think what the kitchen has done to the food so it can sit in bain maries for a long time, then think of what the other guest have done since it was put there.

However one of the hotel hosts, Jennifer, insisted I should try theirs.  It was OK, and Vietnamese hotel breakfasts can be good as you often get a mixture of American, French and local food. Then I was presented with the a la carte menu (included in the price) which a had a breakfast tortilla and a vegetarian pho. 

I couldn’t decide between two of my favourite brekkies, so I ordered both. Delicious! However, having already braved the buffet, I was so full I had to go back to the room for a lie down.

By the way, the Silverland (like its big sister hotel, the fabulously quirky Myst Dong Khoi) provides a free afternoon tea from 2pm, featuring cakes and pastries, nibbles and freshly baked waffles while you are serenaded by musicians playing traditional instruments (although not always traditional tunes).

Indian Vegetarian, Gujarat restaurant, Le Loi

Venturing out from the Silverland on my first evening there, I strolled past the Gujarat Indian restaurant on Le Loi, the broad boulevard from Ben Thanh market to the Opera House. Then I turned around and went in.

This was the real deal, on both counts: the restaurant was packed with Indian  families and the menu had not a shred of meat or fish on it. There are a few Indian restaurants in Saigon, hardly surprising when you realise that the sub-continent  provides one of the fastest growing cohorts of tourists to Vietnam.

Thius was better than I expected. A vegetable curry, dahl, roti and a mango lassi hit the spot nicely.

Poached egg on smashed avocado, L’Usine, Le Thanh Ton

I hadn’t realised this was part of a chain until I got home but it turns out there is a much bigger L’Usine in the Saigon Centre mall, and others elsewhere.  I used to pass this one every day the last time I stayed in Saigon (across the road in the Sunny Serviced Apartments) but never went in.

It is very smart and trendy looking and the food is good and the coffee very drinkable. For a taste of home, I had the smashed avo with eggs which came with peas and pomegranate seeds in the smash.

It was okay but the weird thing was a young guy who walked in with his phone on a selfie stick, talking loudly to someone elsewhere, while filming the place. Even stranger, the staff appeared not to notice. Personally, if it had been my café, I would have selfied him back out the door … but maybe that’s just me.

Japanese Fish, Kushi Katsu Ebisu Shoten, Thai Van Lung

There is an area about half a kilometre from Saigon city centre called, variously, Little Tokyo, Little Japan or Japan Town. It is a maze of streets that is a hub for Japanese restaurants, “hostess” bars and happy ending massage parlours (or so I am told).

I ate in one of the restaurants there but they seem to be very specific and authentically Japanese so unless you speak the lingo, you may not know exactly what you are getting until it arrives.

My second outing, I didn’t get as far as Little Tokyo itself but stopped off at Kushi Katsu Ebisu Shoten on the corner of Thai Van Lung and Le Thanh Ton.  The Dot magazine describes it as “like a joyful Japanese fairground has come to town.” 

These places are popular with Japanese tourists as well as locals who want a quick bite and a few beers after work. This one, says the Dot, serves Osaka-style kushikatsu skewers – breaded and deep-fried with a dipping sauce – raw oysters in a ponzu sauce, eel and cucumber in a vinegar sauce, and clams steamed in sake.
The interior is a relaxed jumble of makeshift tables. I had grilled fish, prawn tempura, miso soup, rice and a beer for the princely sum of about $15.  Gotta love this city.

Eggs in Hell, the Running Bean

I was looking for a different vegetarian brekkie and I found this place just a few blocks from my last hotel, the La Paix on Hai Ba Trung ($50 a night for a huge room).  I was expecting a ferociously spicy variation on shakshuka.  It turns out “hell” is food that has been blanded down for British and American palates.

On the other hand, I missed being hit by a hurtling scooter by the width of my lapels, so maybe I was closer to ending up in Hell than I imagined.

Banh Mi 74, 74 Hai Ba Trung

Just up Hai Ba Trung, past the rear end of the Opera House, there’s a restaurant that I’ve been dragged to as both guest and host of tours to Vietnam.  It’s call Hoa Tuc and it’s in a building that used to be an opium refinery. It’s a classy joint – too classy for this trip – but out in the courtyard there’s a food truck serving Bahn Mi and not much else.

On three different days I had at least two made with omelettes and one with deep-fried fish balls.  It looks a bit touristy but local office workers stop in so it must have something going for it. It’s a nice spot just a few steps off the main drag, and the banh mi and iced coffee make it well worth the detour.

Fish and chau dau den, Song Saigon Home Cuisine

In my fruitless search for something to replace the chilli snapper from the Ben Thanh night market, I was always looking for a good fish restaurant. Jennifer from Silverland Ben Thanh said she’d take me to one after work which sounded great.

There were two things I didn’t realise when I said yes.  One, it would require a hair-raising 30-minute ride on the back of her scooter through rush-hour traffic.  And secondly, the restaurant was run by her sister.

That said, this was fantastic.  It’s in a converted mansion at 212 Nguyen Van Hong, District 6 and a lovely quiet location for my last meal in Saigon (for now).

The fish was great (“song” means river in Vietnamese) and Jeniffer insisted on preparing a dessert of black beans and coconut milk over crushed ice called chau dau den in Vietnam, although everywhere from Thailand to Kenya and beyond claims the dish is theirs.

As for getting there, I don’t think Jennifer fully realise what having an 85kg Scot on the back of her scooter would mean until we hit swarming traffic heading for the tunnel under the river. We made it but I took a Grab (the local equivalent of Uber) back to the hotel

Ultra-Chic Peregian Beach Resort Sunshine Coast

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THE DEAL: A time-limited offer of three nights from A$699 /studio with
LuxPlus valued up to A$1,225, a super chic saving of 43%

THE APPEAL: Experience a new era of bespoke beachside luxury in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, just 15 minutes from Noosa, in this collection of boutique studios and apartments.

This is the holiday escape you’ve been dreaming of: refined coastal design meets high-end resort living, where guests have access to two heated pools, one with an exclusive bar, all while staying in supreme luxury.

Escape to a trendy boutique studio with someone special where no stylistic stone has been left unturned – from the rich textures to the streamlined design – or take a family holiday in a high-end two-bedroom apartment complete with a balcony for enjoying the tropical breeze.

With a backdrop of Noosa’s verdant UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve, a short walk from the white sands of Peregian Beach and a 15-minute drive from Noosa’s Hastings Street, this is laidback coastal living at its best.

Every detail is finely curated, from signature bathroom products to specially designed bathrobes and minibars fully stocked with everything you need to create your perfect cocktail.

From the bespoke bar to the to-die-for decor, find comfort, ease and enjoyment hidden around every corner at this exclusive resort.

For bookings with Luxury Escapes CLICK HERE or call 1300 88 99 00 and for more details on their new LuxPlus status (Lux and Plus? A Mildrover slam-dunk, surely?) CLICK HERE

Eating my way through Saigon, dish by dish

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Rivia restaurant

Having recently spent two weeks on a working holiday in Saigon, eating and drinking where I wanted, rather than at the behest of a tour guide, I realised I had accumulated an impressive range of culinary experiences, from the grand to the bland and everything in between.

So here is the first part of my guide to the dishes that made my stay even more memorable than it would otherwise have been. By the way, as a pescatarian (fish-eating vegetarian), finding a variety of food was a little more challenging than if I’d been up for pork, chicken or beef.

The food ranged from real Vietnamese street food to tourist tucker and even Mexican.  Hey, I would eat Vietnamese in Mexico, so it all evens out.

SHAME: Fish tacos at the StreetFood Market

And bear I mind that my heart was broken from the discovery that I would no longer be able to eat chilli snapper at the Ben Thanh night market barbecue as it has gone, never to return.

Everything else threatened to be a poor substitute… but in that, at least, I was wrong. Come with me on a culinary safari while I revisit some of the places you mustn’t miss and others to avoid like the plague.

Oc Oanh Singapore Seafood (Corner of Co Giang and Nguyen Kha Nhu)

First night in Saigon, I decided to get real and chose this corner noodle stall complete with tiny stools and cheap food.  There is a university just up the road so there were plenty of students making a mess of their shared tables as they tucked in to their dinners.

Two disappointments – I couldn’t understand the menu and the waiters couldn’t understand me.  Try asking if their seafood is cooked in meat stock, when the waiter doesn’t get why that would even be an issue and is more likely to say “of course” even if it isn’t.

The aquatic flesh I chose wasn’t any creature I recognised – which is okay – but the noodles were those crinkly dried ones you can buy in any supermarket over here. This was authentic street food, for sure.  It just didn’t feel too real.

Vegetarian Banh Mi (Filthy Vegan on D. Co Bac)

It’s surprisingly hard to get a good vegetarian banh mi.  The traditional version has liver pate and whatever meat you desire, embedded with salad and chilli sauce – and it’s so good it might turn you carnivore. 

But there was a street stall a block away from my first billet, outside the oddly named Filthy Vegan cafe, that made me a banh mi with mushroom pate and omelette.  I went back there at least twice more, lured partly by the iced coffee (ca phe deng da) with condensed milk from the shop across the road.    

Seafood Noodle Soup (Ben Thanh Market)

My flat in the Soho serviced apartments was only a 10-minute walk from Ben Thanh market so it was inevitable that I would head there sooner or later.

With the night market no more, I consoled myself with a seafood noodle soup, complete with prawns and sliced fish cake. It was delicious, as was the iced coffee.  What was in the soup stock?  Don’t ask, don’t tell, but I did see a sign outside another café that said “we now have vegetarian pho” but underneath were the words “our soup is made with beef stock”.

Cha Ca (Vua Cha Ca, D Trang Hung Dao)

Now, this was probably as touristy as I got with food.  I love Cha Ca – grilled fish fillets cooked at the table with fresh greens and rice noodles.  There were a lot of well-dressed young Asians in the restaurant but I guessed they were either Korean or Chinese.

This is a large chain of Cha Ca restaurants that has spread southwards from the dish’s spiritual home in Hanoi.  It was not as authentic as Cha Ca La Vong in the capital, but it was still very, very good.

Fish Tacos (Bandidos, Street Food market)

My quest for chilli snapper took me to the Ben Than street food market which wasn’t where I thought it would be, having moved from near the eponymous cho to a site behind the Presidential Palace.  There is now a giant beer hall called District K where the market used to be.

This would turn out to be my night of shame. Why?  Because my go-to comfort food is Fish Taco and there was a stall in there, surrounded by all these Vietnamese delicacies, selling what I consider to be the food of the gods (albeit Mayan deities).  They were frickin delicious.

Fish fillet spring rolls, (Na Hang Rivia, D. Nguyen Cu Trinh)

Just down the road from Vua Cha Ca, Rivia seafood restaurant turned out to be pretty touristy too.  It seemed this place was designed for large groups – or families, at least, and most of the dishes on the menu were whole fish, fresh from the tank, intended to be shared.

I made do with a seafood croquette and a fillet of something that I had to DIY into spring rolls.  It was delicious and distracting – a combination of good food and crafting.

Green vegetarian curry (Chill Thai, D. Co Giang)

I had noticed Chill Thai across the road from the seafood stall on my first night in Saigon, so I decided to visit on my last night at the Soho apartments before moving on to the four-star Silverland Ben Thanh (my reward for working hard).

I ordered a green vegetable curry and tofu fried rice.  The service was polite and efficient and the food was ok but I left feeling I could have gone somewhere more interesting.

Seafood Banh Xeo (Street food market)

The Silverland Ben Thanh is right next to the market and has stunningly renovated interiors inspired by Gaudi. I was going to spend my last three nights here as a reward for a solid week of work. Once I had checked in, and put in another couple of hours work I was looking for somewhere to refuel.

I generally don’t like eating in hotels and in any case there was a function in the top-floor Smiths restaurant (more on that later).

So it was back to the street food market, this time to eat authentic Vietnamese food.  I went for a seafood Banh Xeo – a kind of crispy pancake that again required DIY skills – so much so that they give you an instruction leaflet.

It was fun and delicious (although not as good as the one I made for myself on my cooking course in Hanoi last year.) So I returned to the hotel but stopped en route  at the Summer Experiment hidden cocktail bar run by Adelaide expat Jay Moir.

I had a couple of drinks and some shots with Jay then weaved my way back to the Silverland.  Next morning, on my way out for my ca phe deng da, Jennifer, the facilities manager asked me if I had dined in the hotel the previous night.

“Ah, no,” I said. “There was a function …’

‘Yes,’ she said. ‘Shame you missed it. It was a party for the Miss World and Miss Universe contestants.’

NEXT WEEK: Fishing in Little Tokyo, very veggie very Indian curry, authentic banh mi from a fake food truck and a terrifying scooter ride under the river.

Tour Turkey with Cappadocia Cave Stay & Gallipoli Visit

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It’s where Asia meets Europe and it’s one of my favourite places, perhaps because I had no expectations when I went. Istanbul is a city I recommend to anyone who isn’t fast enough to shuffle away as i extol its many virtues.

Turkey has been the scene of many a battle, empires, religious changes and is currently the place to go for a hair transplant or tummy tuck.

The more traditional delights await too, Turkish coffee (good luck), apple tea, Turkish delight, a thousand different delicious eggplant recipes, and Raki, the national aniseed flavoured hooch that I developed a deep affection for.

Luxury Escapes has come up with a tour that’ll give you a real flavour of the best on offer, while allowing just enough time to haggle over a carpet.

Where natural phenomena and man-made wonders paint pictures of millennia, delve into the fascinating and complex beauty of Turkiye.

Be captured by Istanbul’s cultural treasures, from the majestic Blue Mosque to the bustling Grand Bazaar, and cruise along the scenic Bosphorus Strait, where Europe and Asia converge.

Then head south to pay homage to the fallen at ANZAC Cove and explore the poignant battlefields of Gallipoli.

Trace the footsteps of legends at Troy and Ephesus and indulge your senses in the surreal landscapes of Pamukkale’s mineral-rich pools, marvelling at the remnants of each of these ancient civilisations.

Then spend three enchanting nights in a cave hotel in Goreme, located among the timeless wonder of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys and ancient underground cities.

You’ll find plenty of unique Turkish dining experiences along the way, including the chance to try regional drops and cheeses during a wine tasting in Canakkale and be captivated by the tradition of a Sufi whirling dervish performance.

With a dedicated English-speaking guide and comfortable transport throughout your journey, there’s really no better way to discover the treasures of Turkiye.

Half-Way on Tour – Day Five – Izmir – Ephesus – Pamukkale

This morning, enjoy a fuelling breakfast at your hotel before departing on a one-hour drive to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Follow your guide through the Greco-Roman ruins of the beautifully preserved Ephesus.

A century’s worth of excavation has uncovered Ephesus’ rich architectural history, including the ruins of the imposing Temple of Artemis.

Stand in awe of the ancient amphitheatre and gymnasium, gaze upon the baths and explore the restored Library of Celsius.

Move to the nearby village of Sirince, a traditional Greek-Ottoman village known for its olive oil and fruity wine production.

Sit down for a delicious lunch, before heading to Pamukkale (approximately three hours), famed for its thermal springs and travertines formed by calcium deposits, creating cascading terraces of white pools, akin to clouds in their appearance.

Pay a visit to a local workshop for leather production, a practice with a centuries-old legacy. Turkiye is one of the largest producers of leather products in the world, and each piece is crafted with great care and tireless labour, using methods passed through generations.

This evening, savour dinner at your hotel and free time to explore its health facilities.

For all the pricing details and bookings through Luxury Escapes CLICK HERE or call 1300 670 243

Adults only escape to CABN X Kangaroo Island

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THE DEAL: A time limited offer of two nights from A$599 /cabin valued up to A$1,250
an eco friendly saving of 52%

THE APPEAL: Surround yourself with nature and disconnect in ultimate luxury with a Kangaroo Island stay that elevates eco-tourism to new heights.

Light-filled, romantic and meticulously curated, each CABN X is carefully positioned with privacy in mind, offering captivating views over the rambling wilderness, and the waters of Antechamber Bay.

With a coffee machine, furnished deck with an outdoor bathtub, indoor gas fireplace, kitchenette and luxe in-cabin sauna – for your exclusive use – it has everything you need to soak up Kangaroo Island’s world-famous serenity.

The hotel is located an approximately 30-minute drive from Penneshaw’s Kangaroo Island Sealink ferry terminal and an approximately 60-minute drive from Kingscote Airport (KGC).

Airport transfers are not included in your package; please plan accordingly.

For prices and bookings with Luxury Escapes CLICK HERE or call 1300 88 99 00

Get on track for Scandinavia Capitals & Fjords Discovery

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Stunning scenery in Balestrand Norway - enjoy with local cider

This gem of a tour took my eye, and not least because there are trains involved.

I’m no spotter and I don’t wander around with an ancient travel book like Michael Portillo, but whenever I watch a bit of Nordic Noir, it’s hard not to be impressed with the train systems in all clean, polite, efficient Scandinavian countries.

What better way to smoothly go up and down and sideways across these snowy, pine-forested, Volvo-loving lands where the people are so happy with their lifestyle? I’m tempted to find out why and Luxury Escapes has come up with an immersive tour to provide the answer.

Of course, there are stunning sights and cities to enjoy along with some excellent foodie moments and local brews and ciders to quaff as you nibble.

Set your sights on the captivating cities and fantastic fjords of the north on a breathtaking tour of Scandinavia.

Wander the colourful streets of Copenhagen and dine on traditional Danish dishes during a three-course dinner at Restaurant Paafuglen in Tivoli Gardens, then fall asleep to gentle motion of the sea as you cross the Kattegat Strait to Oslo.

Get a feel for Norway’s great outdoors as you board a train from charming Geilo to jaw-dropping Flam, where a five-course tasting menu and expertly paired local beers await.

Bergen, Norway

Toast to an effervescent cider-tasting in Balestrand, then glide through glassy fjords to exclusive Cornelius for an unforgettable dinner on a secluded island outside of Bergen.

Discover the spectacular beauty of Stockholm on a guided tour of the city’s cobbled streets and enchanting island neighbourhoods.

In Oslo, uncover incredible maritime history as you learn about Thor Heyerdahl’s fearless 1947 Kon-Tiki voyage. If that means something to you, then you’re exactly in Mildrover’s balsa wood loving demographic.

From scenic journeys through verdant valleys to fantastic food steeped in tradition, Scandinavia’s most magnificent landscapes, flavoursome dishes and cultural gems await on a whirlwind adventure that will leave you speechless.

There are two versions to choose from. The 14 night options ends with three nights in Stockholm.

Known as the Venice of the North, Sweden’s captivating capital is an alluring city of picturesque waterways and idyllic island neighbourhoods.

Discover the city’s most beloved treasures, including the enchanting sights of Gamla Stan old town, from the grand Royal Palace to the medieval Stockholm Cathedral, tracing the scent of traditional baked goods as you wander the cobbled streets across the island.

Once you’ve disembarked a full day of free time in spectacular Stockholm awaits. You’ll have ample time to wander the cobbled streets in search of the perfect kanelbullar (Swedish cinnamon bun) and what self-respecting Aussie could miss a visit to ABBA The Museum.

Tallinn, Estonia

The second version is 18 days and ends in Helsinki, including a ferry across to Tallinn in Estonia for the day, a Baltic state dripping with history… and vodka of course.

To ponder, price and book from Luxury Escapes CLICK HERE or call 1300 670 243

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