Five highlights in your travel week | 14 Feb

Tahiti offers plenty of activity for spectators … such as the annual Billabong Pro. Image: Steve Dickinson.

Tahiti offers plenty of activity for spectators … such as the annual Billabong Pro. Image: Steve Dickinson.

While Tahiti is best known for relaxing in luxurious overwater bungalows, the islands are seeing an increasing number of active travellers looking for adventure.

With that in mind, Air Tahiti Nui has revealed a line-up of events this year ranging from the ultimate paddle endurance race to a tropical two-wheel road race like no other.

Each of the events offers the chance for Tahitians to showcase the rich cultural heritage, vibrant traditions and striking natural beauty of their homeland.

Some of the events, such as the Billabong Pro, are famed around the world and others, including the destination’s annual outrigger canoe festival — Hawaiki Nui Va’a — help keep the islands’ culture alive.

Until February 26, return economy airfares with Air Tahiti Nui from Sydney to Papeete are priced from $1179 per person. Travel is valid to October 31.

Visit www.airtahitinui.com.au

Metro Mirage Hotel Newport … facilities of a four-star resort.

Metro Mirage Hotel Newport … facilities of a four-star resort.

Stay a night in the Metro Mirage Hotel Newport, in Sydney’s north, and save up to 15 per cent.

Stay two nights of more and save an additional 5 per cent.

The deal includes 11am check-out and free wifi, and is valid for bookings up to February 28 and stays from March 1 to September 30.

The property dates from the 1950s but it’s certainly well outlived that era and these days boasts facilities that wouldn’t be out of place in a four-star resort — classy restaurant with magic water views and thoroughly modern menu, conference facilities that have them queuing up during the week, extremely comfortable, largish rooms, 24-hour service, Foxtel entertainment, free in-room wi-fi, and the rest.

Visit www.metrohotels.com.au 

Monks in a Bhutan monastery. Image: Liz Light.

Monks in a Bhutan monastery. Image: Liz Light.

World Expeditions has launched a new tour in Bhutan to take advantage of a special friendship deal between Bhutan and Australia to mark 15 years of diplomatic relations.

The deal constitutes waiving the mandatory minimum package rate of US$200 per night per person for this coming June, July and August.

Hence World Expeditions has been able to create a seven-day ‘Western Bhutan Cultural Tour’, priced from $2190 per person, about $1000 less than the normal rate.

Highlights include a hike up to the famous Taktshang ‘Tiger’s Nest’.

Included in the tariff are six breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners, an English-speaking local guide, good-quality accommodation on a twin-share basis throughout, private internal transfers, all airport transfers and sightseeing fees as listed, and Bhutan Government visa and sustainability fees.

Visit www.worldexpeditions.com

The Tjungu Festival … a vibrant celebration of Australian Indigenous culture.

The Tjungu Festival … a vibrant celebration of Australian Indigenous culture.

The Tjungu Festival will return to Ayers Rock Resort for its fifth consecutive year from April 26-29, featuring a vibrant celebration of Australian Indigenous culture including music, dance, film, fashion, food and sport.

This year’s festival will include a special focus on Indigenous art and a performance by Australian country music’s Troy Cassar-Daley.

Tjungu (pronounced tjoo-ngoo) means ‘coming together’ in local Anangu language, and the festival brings together the best of traditional and contemporary Indigenous culture, providing a platform for exciting new performers, designers and producers.

Highlights of the four-day festival include an Indigenous fashion parade featuring top Indigenous model Samantha Harris, and celebrity chef Mark Olive will return to present the ‘Tastes of Tjungu Desert Dining Experience’ under the stars, featuring a contemporary bush-foods-inspired menu.

Ayers Rock Resort is offering a festival room rate of from $240 per night, with a minimum three-night stay. This includes access to the Tjungu Festival (excluding paid events), return Ayers Rock Airport transfers, an Indigenous guest activities program and in-room WiFi, with kids 15 years and under staying free.

Phone 1300 134 044 or visit www.ayersrockresort.com.au

Havannah Vanuatu … romantic and indulgent.

Havannah Vanuatu … romantic and indulgent.

Stroll white sandy beaches and plunge into clear blue water on an indulgent Vanuatu escape.

Priced from $1075 per person twin-share, the package includes four nights in a garden villa at the indulgent Havannah Vanuatu, romantic lunch for two at a secluded beach location, full English a la carte breakfast daily, daily Port Vila shuttle service, sunset cruise each evening and return airport transfers.

The deal is valid for sale until March 31 and for travel from February 13 to March 31.

Havannah Vanuatu is situated on the beach at Samoa Point, not far from the South Pacific World Heritage Site of Chief Roi Mata’s Domain.

Facilities include swimming pool, gourmet restaurant, day spa, tennis courts and a wide range of watersports.

Phone 1300 883 887 or visit www.travelonline.com