The new era of luxury travel

This is sponsored content by Celebrity Cruises

Here's the thing about luxury: it doesn't have to be the bells and whistles you're probably picturing. Luxury doesn't have to be the penthouse suite, the butler service, the fine food and wine (although of course, those things certainly help). Luxury can also be about experience. It can be the knowledge that you're doing something unique, something special, something worthwhile. Luxury can be exclusivity. It can be importance.

For those looking for new luxury, for unique experiences that have meaning and value in a modern world where those things can be so hard to find, this is where you should turn your gaze for your next holiday.

Meet Mother Earth in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Few trees are as magnificent as the Kauri, a New Zealand native that can grow as high as 50 metres, with trunk diameters of more than five metres. These Kauris are truly majestic, and they're also in need of regeneration and protection, which is where Celebrity Cruises' "The Cloak of Earth Mother" experience in the Bay of Islands comes in.

On this excursion, visitors will meet Stella, an "earth mother" and guide, who leads expeditions deep into the forest to see giant Kauri trees and spot avian life flitting through their upper reaches. There's also time to sample tastes of the forest utilised in Maori culture, from macadamia nuts to finger limes to local honey, all while basking in the knowledge that visits here have a positive impact on the forest, helping regeneration and protection efforts.

Explore deep in the forest on The Cloak of Mother Earth excursion.

Explore deep in the forest on The Cloak of Mother Earth excursion. Photo: Supplied.

Harness traditional knowledge on Dirk Hartog Island

Here's a travel experience that will connect you with country and its traditional owners, and give you an insight into a world many of us don't even know exists. Darren "Capes" Capewell is a descendent of the traditional owners of Gutharraguda, otherwise known as Shark Bay in Western Australia. With his company Wula Gura Nyinda, Capes runs tours of his country, sharing knowledge, telling stories, and introducing visitors to the land and sea.

One of Capes' best tours is "Wirruwana Dreaming", an immersive three-day journey to Dirk Hartog Island off the coast of Denham. On this trip you get to experience life as it was once lived here, learning about the island from its traditional owners while hiking, fishing, kayaking, and spending long evenings around the campfire.

Spend the night on the Great Barrier Reef

So many people get to visit the Great Barrier Reef, but how many get to spend the night on one of the world's natural wonders? Celebrity Cruises offers the chance to spend an entire 24-hour period on the Moore Reef Pontoon, located 26 nautical miles off the coast of Cairns.

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The underwater scenery here is stunning, with colourful corals and more than 10,000 fish and marine species to gaze at in wonder. This experience really comes into its own, however, as the sun goes down and the lucky few remain on the pontoon, left alone with the sound of the ocean and the sight of an incredible blanket of stars. Dinner onboard the pontoon is a three-course Australian barbecue, cooked right there on the floating deck under the beautiful night sky.

Explore the underwater scenery at the Great Barrier Reef.

Explore the underwater scenery at the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Supplied.

Forage and feast in Tasmania

Mic Giuliani has always been a forager, ever since his Italian grandfather taught him to harvest his own food from the land. Now, Giuliani is sharing his knowledge with visitors to Tasmania, taking them out on "treasure hunts" to find wild mushrooms, native greens, wild asparagus and more.

A tour with Mic at Sirocco South is a chance to gain an all new understanding of the land around us and its natural bounty, while the sumptuous lunch at the end of the expedition, paired with Tasmanian wines, is the ultimate example of what can be created from these gastronomic discoveries.

Celebrity Cruises specialise in connecting their guests to the world in ways they've never imagined; with the comforts you love - drinks, wi-fi and service charges - Always Included*. Venture off the beaten path to experience local culture, cuisine and adventure up close through immersive Small Group Discoveries, or enlist the help of Celebrity's Destination Insiders to create a personalised tour just for you. With sailings to more than 280 breathtaking destinations around the world, there is so much to discover. Find out more at www.celebritycruises.com/au

*"Always Included" Pricing Packages apply to sailings booked and departing on or after 18 November, 2020, excluding Galapagos cruises, in an Inside through AquaClass stateroom ("Eligible Bookings"). All guests in an Eligible Booking who choose the "Always Included" pricing package will receive a Classic Beverage Package, an unlimited Surf Internet Package and Service Charges. All guests in a stateroom must choose the same pricing package. Visit celebritycruises.com/au or celebritycruises.com/nz for complete details. ©2021 Celebrity Cruises Inc. Ships' registry: Malta and Ecuador.

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