The best deals at home and abroad



There's more to Launceston than the beautiful Cataract Gorge. Dear old Lonnie (as the locals call it) also has a sparkle in its step, thanks to all the delicious sparkling wines sold at the cellar doors on the nearby Tamar trail. Stay three nights in a deluxe room in the Hotel Grand Chancellor Launceston and pay for just two on stays until September 30. Costs from $165 a person, twin share, for three nights. 13 27 57,


It's about time the eastern states (as named by SA) turned our attention to the unsung Fleurieu Peninsula. It's an hour south of Adelaide, but budget a full afternoon if you travel via McLaren Vale's insanely good cellar doors ( Take a bottle back to your boathouse accommodation on the water's edge at the port town of Goolwa, a serene retreat on the Murray River. Each of the three retreats sleeps two people and includes a gourmet brekky basket and a bottle of local wine. Stay three nights, pay for two from June 1-August 31. Costs from $590 for three nights. (08) 8555 0338,


Get the best seat in the house for Sydney's Vivid Festival, May 24-June 10, and save 20 per cent at the five-star Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour. The hotel's guest rooms have some of the best views of the Harbour Bridge, which will be splashed in light during the festival. Stay in a one-bedroom harbour-view suite, which includes its own balcony, and get a three-course dinner for two delivered to your door, with a bottle of Taittinger champagne. The Vivid Stay & Play package costs from $569 a night. (02) 9256 4000,


Experience living like an international talk-show host and do Hayman Island the Ellen DeGeneres way. The ellenTV Escape package includes four nights' accommodation for the price of three, an upgrade to a deluxe room and beachside breakfasts as well as transfers from the airport on the island's glam white launch. There's also a seaplane tour of the Whitsundays and all the windsurfing, catamarans, golfing and island exploratory walks a celebrity could wish for. Valid for stays until December 20, quote code "Ellen". Costs from $1705 a person, twin share. 1800 075 175,



All aboard the Great Australian Aircruise, a 12-day journey by private plane from Sydney to Longreach, then Kakadu, main picture, and up to the Kimberley, returning via Uluru, Broome and Birdsville. Save $750 and they'll also include accommodation the night before at the Sir Stamford, airport transfers and breakfast, a saving of up to $2000 a couple. The tour departs June 18, book and pay by May 31. Costs from $11,595 a person, twin share. 1800 252 053,



Christchurch's hotel scene is getting back on its feet, with the reopening of the Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch on May 1. Get 10 per cent off the best available rate, with free internet and free local calls, until June 1, or stay two nights and get 20 per cent off. Otherwise stay three nights and get 25 per cent off. Costs from $204.30 a night. 1800 088 888,


Malaysia has to be the ultimate shop-and-flop destination: shop at the malls of Kuala Lumpur then recuperate on the beaches of Tioman Island at the Berjaya Tioman Resort. The resort is offering six nights for the price of five, with daily breakfast and flights from Kuala Lumpur. Book by May 31 for stays until June 30 and from September 1 to October 31. Costs from $609 a person, twin share. 1300 939 414,


See two faces of enigmatic Russia when you absorb the hard-cash capitalism of racy Moscow with the genteel art scene of St Petersburg. Save 5 per cent on the six-day Russia Two Cities tour when booked by May 31. Includes accommodation, breakfast and rail transport between the two cities. The tour costs from $1214 a person, twin share. 1800 221 712,


Help mark the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary's ascent of Mount Everest with a 15-day trek in his footsteps to Everest Base Camp. The trek reaches 5000 metres in the Himalayan foothills, starting from the airstrip at Lukla. Price includes 12 nights' accommodation, return local flights from Kathmandu to Lukla, sherpas and an English-speaking guide. Book by June 15 for departures until December 31 and save 10 per cent. Costs from $1395 a person, twin share. 1300 021 123,


Dreaming of a white Christmas? Slip Bing on the record player and book your eight-day Bavaria and the Romantic Road tour, for travel between December 2013 and March 2014. Visit Neuschwanstein castle, pictured, mediaeval towns and see the Oberammergau passion play. Save 10 per cent when booked by May 31. Costs from $2560 a person, twin share, excluding international airfares. 1300 100 410,

Tour watch: China & Tibet

From the Silk Road markets of Kashgar to the Taklimakan Desert, across the Aksai Chin plateau to Mount Everest's North Base Camp in Tibet (did you know there are two base camps?), this 28-day tour takes you far off the beaten track into the wilds of western China and Tibet. The Epic Dreams tour kicks off in Urumqi, in the Xinjiang region, and travels the highest road in the world, the Xinjiang-Tibet Highway. Visit ancient ruins and revered temples. See K2 as it hulks on the horizon and yak herders' camps in the distance. The last stop is Chengdu's panda reserve. The tour departs on August 20 and includes return international airfares with China Southern, tipping and visas. Costs from $7634 a person, twin share. Wendy Wu Tours, 1300 727 998,