FROM the revamp of a Bali hotel to a TV chef on Lord Howe Island and big cat conservation tour, here’s our weekly wrap-up of what’s new in travel.
TELEVISION chef Peter Kuruvita is hosting a cooking masterclass at Lord Howe Island, off the east coast of NSW, in July. The star of the SBS series My Sri Lanka will showcase recipes from his book with two-hour cooking classes each afternoon at Pinetrees Lodge from July 8-11. Packages start at $1065 a person twin share, excluding flights. Children under 10 years stay and eat for free.
Ph (02) 9262 6585 or see pinetrees.com.au
Families fare well
BALI’S Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort has unveiled a $US10 million refurbishment. It includes 10 new family rooms with bunk beds for children and an updated day spa with 24 treatment rooms, separate steam and sauna areas, a yoga room, gym, tennis courts and squash courts. The 103ha cliff-top resort includes 19 temples and a Greg Norman-designed golf course. Rooms start from $A134 a night.
Ph 1800 049 610 or see panpacific.com/Bali/Overview
A NEW gourmet touring experience has launched on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. MP Experience offers tours for groups of up to eight people and includes private tutored tastings with a winemaker and the chance to go behind the scenes at a strawberry farm and indulge in hand-crafted artisan chocolates.
Marriott to Pullman
SYDNEY’S Marriott Hotel has been re-branded as Pullman Sydney Hyde Park and will undergo a $7 million refurbishment. The move comes after hotel group Accor bought Mirvac hotels in Australia and New Zealand, adding 43 hotels to its portfolio. Sebel Newcastle Beach will also be rebranded to Novotel Newcastle Beach in June. Most of Mirvac’s hotels will remain under their existing brands, Quay West Suites & Resorts, Sea Temple, Sebel Hotels, Resorts & Residences and Citigate Hotels.
QT Hotels & Resorts has opened a new designer resort at Port Douglas. The QT Port Douglas is the second of the brand’s resorts to open in the Sunshine State following the launch of QT Gold Coast late last year. The 150-room resort has a large lagoon-style pool with sun lounges and swim-up bars.
Ph 4099 8900 or see qtportdouglas.com.au
First-class bus ride
GREYHOUND Australia has introduced a luxurious and environmentally friendly new coach that will operate between Sydney and Canberra. The service aims to take on the airlines with an express city centre to city centre offering, avoiding check-in queues and flight delays. The Platinum coach service includes unlimited free wi-fi, on-board power plugs and USB connection, reclining leather seats and extra legroom. Fares are $36 one way.
The company plans to roll out the Platinum coaches across other short travel sectors including Melbourne to Geelong, Sydney to Newcastle and Brisbane to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.
Ph 1800 801 294 or see greyhound.com.au
Pearl farming revealed
VISITORS to Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, on the Dampier Peninsula north of Broome, will be able to go behind the scenes to see how pearls are harvested for the first time over the next two months. The trip includes two days in Broome and two nights at the farm, where guests will enjoy a sunset sailing experience and be guided through the intricacies of creating the world’s only organic gemstone. The four-night package is priced from $2094 a person, twin share, including Broome airport transfers, 4WD car hire and accommodation.
Ph 1300 245 565 or see broomekimberley.com.au
Chase the big cats
BEN Britton, the face of Nat Geo Wild Australia, is leading a Big Cat Conservation safari to Africa in August. The trip, which is being run in conjunction with World Expeditions, visits Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana, where guests will join Andrei Snyman of the Northern Tuli Predator Project and assist in the tracking, darting and collaring of an African big cat. The 10-day trip departs Sydney on August 26 and costs $9490 a person, including flights.
Ph 1300 720 000 or see worldexpeditions.com