A big Winter wrap-up of bargains, deals and bonus offers

    A big Winter wrap-up of bargains, deals and bonus offers
    Edited by Travel Weekly

      Now is the time of year to look to last minute getaways for clients – or even yourself – given the deals, bonus offers and bargains that are around.

      We have had a look around for what’s on offer and here are just a few:

      Lizard Island weekend of champagne and caviar

      Lizard Island weekend of champagne and caviar

      Champagne and sun with Champagne Lallier and Lizard Island

      Lizard Island, the northernmost luxury resort on the Great Barrier Reef, celebrates its partnership with world-renowned Champagne Lallier by hosting a glamorous weekend from 28 to 30 June.

      The champagne, part of the Campari RARE portfolio, is from France’s Aÿ region and will partner with Australia’s premier caviar producer, Yarra Valley Caviar, to offer a series of masterclasses, tastings and long leisurely dining events.

      Guests will be treated to some of the finest vintages from the century-old champagne house, served alongside caviar sourced from a sustainable aquaculture farm in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Offering premium quality, Yarra Valley Caviar stands out as Australia’s only freshwater salmon farm.

      Guests who book in for the weekend can enjoy three special champagne and caviar moments, including:

      • Champagne and caviar masterclass
      • Champagne dinner
      • Casual canapés and champagne

      There is limited accommodation for last-minute bookings.

      Family stays at Alexandra Headlands

      Family stays at Alexandra Headlands.

      Winter visit to the Sunshine Coast

      With its warm sunny days and even warmer waters, there is no such thing as winter on the Sunshine Coast. This tropical climate makes it the ideal time to take a sunny break from the southern chill.

      The Sunshine Coast is anything but hibernating over the winter with an action-packed calendar highlighted by whale and marine activities, Hinterland trekking and enticing festivals including The Curated Plate, which celebrates the Sunshine Coast’s rich produce and culinary scene.

      And crowning the winter attractions will be the relaunch of the Sunshine Coast’s most famed tourism icon, the Big Pineapple, which is reopening with a new café, children’s playground, and slick new train.

      Sunshine Coast operators are offering discounted rates over the winter period, including the school holidays.

      Big Pineapple Sunshine Coast

      Big Pineapple Sunshine Coast

      Sunshine Coast Getaways is offering 30 per cent off weekly stays in selected apartments and holiday homes across the Sunshine Coast till the end of August, including the school holiday period. Bookings need to be made by 30 June, using the discount code WARMFEELS24.

      ULTIQA Shearwater Resort at Caloundra is offering 25 per cent off stays of 5 nights or more until 19 September, with a breakfast and a surprise welcome gift. Bookings need to be made by 31 July 2024 with the promotional code WINTER2024.

      ULTIQA Shearwater Resort_Caloundra view

      ULTIQA Shearwater Resort, Caloundra.

      At The Crocodile Hunter Lodge stay three nights, pay for two between 22 July and 22 August. Guests can enjoy a three-night stay at this luxurious retreat with daily breakfast and unlimited entry to Australia Zoo, all for the price of two nights. As a special bonus, each booking will include a complimentary personally signed Robert Irwin canvas print.

      SunReef is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its pioneering Swim with Whales experience, and to celebrate, marine adventurers can enjoy a 20% discount for early bird swims between 22 June and 22 July when applying the code EARLYSWW24.

      The Crocodile Hunter Lodge_pool

      The Crocodile Hunter Lodge pool

      There is also a wide variety of dining and attraction special offers available via the Visit Sunshine Coast Deals website: https://www.visitsunshinecoast.com/deals

      Discover Newcastle in 48hrs with Crystalbrook Kingsley

      Newcastle is quickly establishing itself as one of Australia’s foodie destinations to watch. It is also gateway to the Hunter Valley, and home to an eclectic mix of artisan shopping, unique galleries, and bars and restaurants that center around the region’s best produce.

      Crystalbrook Kingsley - Entrance projection

      Crystalbrook Kingsley – Entrance projection

      Day one – Arrive and check-in to Crystalbrook Kingsley, Newcastle’s first luxury hotel. While the Newcastle Gallery is currently closed to undergo a multi-million-dollar expansion (re-opening 2025), guests can head to Cooks Hill Galleries and peruse their regular exhibitions featuring a stable of established and emerging Australian artists.

      Just a short walk from Crystalbrook Kingsley, they can discover unassuming speakeasy The Koutetsu, a moody and intimate bar serving a wide range of Australian gins and Japanese whisky. For something more substantial, head to Humbug, a neighbourhood restaurant and wine bar in Hunter Street Mall. Pick from a selection of snacks, pasta and grilled mains, or have the staff make the hard decisions with the restaurants ‘feed me’ menu.

      Crystalbrook Kingsley - Biking through Civic Park

      Crystalbrook Kingsley – Biking through Civic Park

      Day two – Take a leisurely stroll from Crystalbrook Kingsley down picturesque Throsby Creek to artisan community bakery, Uprising. Visit some of Newcastle’s best makers and creators such as Studio Melt, a contemporary jewellery and object gallery. Music aficionados will love Abicus, an independent boutique with a meticulously selected range of vinyls. There is also women’s and men’s clothing from Australian brands including Hemp Clothing, Rollas and Spell. Nearby, Betty Loves Books offers a hand-picked selection of Australian and international fiction.

      Kingsley Wine Selectors Lunch

      Kingsley Wine Selectors Lunch

      For an afternoon tipple, family owned and operated Earp Distilling Co. is a modern distillery in the port-side suburb of Carrington with a range of house-made gin, rum, vodka and liqueurs. Experiences available include guided tastings and blending classes, where guests will select a spirit base before exploring their favourite distillate flavours and creating their own one-of-a-kind concoction to take home. The on-site bar and restaurant features a wide selection of house-made cocktails as well as beers, wines and a menu of share plates.

      Crystalbrook Kingsley - Roundhouse restaurant with views across Newcastle

      Crystalbrook Kingsley – Roundhouse restaurant with views across Newcastle

      Finish the day with an elevated dinner at Roundhouse, Crystalbrook Kingsley’s elegant restaurant. With a distinctly Modern Australian menu showcasing the best of the regions wine and produce with a proudly Novocastrian spirit, the venue offers unobstructed panoramic views over Newcastle and beyond, before a nightcap next door at Romberg’s cocktail bar.

      Day three – Before departing, work off an indulgent buffet breakfast at Crystalbrook Kingsley’s Roundhouse with a walk along The Bathers Way, a six kilometre coastal walk stretching from Merewether Baths to Nobbys Beach. Rich in history, the walk includes Strzelecki Lookout, Nobbys Lighthouse and the Newcastle Memorial Walk.

      Kingsley Lodge

      Kingsley Lodge

      Fleurieu Peninsula winter offers

      Cosy winter getaways across the Fleurieu Peninsula: They offer a stunning range of getaways across Fleurieu Peninsula, perfect for couples, groups or families.

      Fleurieu Peninsula Winter Campaign 2024

      Fleurieu Peninsula Winter Campaign 2024

      Off-the-beaten path winter gems for the family: From behind the scenes of the Clydesdales of the Victor Harbor Horse Tram, kids tasting flights at Kimbolton Wines Cellar Door, Food, wine and art adventures with Bike About & Red Poles, a Southern Fleurieu heritage tour with The Backyard Universe, Chop It Axe Throwing and their unique escape rooms, Canoe the Coorong, to self-guided tour of Willunga & Mclaren Vale with SA Ebikes.

      Chop It Axe Throwing

      Chop It Axe Throwing

      Best deals for winter travel across the Fleurieu Peninsula:

      • Altamira Vineyard Retreat: three nights for the price of two
      • McCracken Resort ($99 resort spa rooms)
      • Woodburn Homestead: $600 two-night stay for two / $2,000 two-night stay for 8
      • Vale 194: three nights for the price of two
      • The Old Chaff Mill Organic Vineyard Retreat: Free Pamper Packages
      • Cabn Bella: 10% off stays and free wine tastings
      McCracken Country Club

      McCracken Country Club

      Unique culinary experiences across the Fleurieu Peninsula

      • August will see a three-day event for the Cellar Treasures on the 9th-11th August and the Fleurieu Food Festival will run all month.
      • Oyster Palooza at the Never Never Distillery Door in McLaren Vale is back for 2024, running for three days from the 2-4th August.
      • “What Harry Would Have” degustation lunch at Wirra Wirra Vineyards
      • Water. Fire. Earth. Hosted by Mitolo. Embrace the winter elements at Mitolo with a special winter menu running from June to September,
      • Peninsula Providore Farm Seasonal Showcase First weekend of every month, or by appointment, Mel Hollick and her team welcome guests to the Peninsula Providore Farm shop for a range of culinary experiences.
      • Winter Cooking Masterclass For Cheese-Lovers with Anita Robin
      • Whisky Kisses: A Distillery Tour & Tasting Package
      • Horse Drawn High Tea with Carriage of Occasionin Strathalbyn
      • Kimbolton Family Tasting Experience in Langhorne Creek
      • Winter Warmer Lunch at Hays St Bar and Kitchen
      Haye Street Bar

      Haye Street Bar

      Top pick events taking place at the Fleurieu Food Festival

      • The Fleurieu Peninsula’s ‘Fleurieu Food Festival’ will be back for its third tantalising instalment in August, bringing together the region’s finest winemakers, cheesemakers, brewers, farmers, and chefs.
      • The festival will feature over 40 events throughout the month of August, including indulgent degustation dinners, immersive tours, vibrant markets, hands-on masterclasses, and more.
      • Guests can experience everything from fine dining in vineyards or olive groves, forest foraging experiences, local farm tours, and interactive cooking demonstrations.
      Fleurieu Food Festival

      Fleurieu Food Festival

      Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia’s 

      Truffle lunch series at Pt. Leo Estate (24 June, 19 July, 11 August, and 25 August):
      Pt. Leo Estate hosts a series of truffle-theme lunches at their two-hatted restaurant, Laura, in conjunction with Red Hill Truffles. It starts with a cooking demonstration by Culinary Director, Josep Espuga, followed by a bespoke four-course menu. The series culminates on 25 August where guests get to meet the owners of Red Hill Truffles and their gorgeous truffle hunting dogs and learn more about this luxury ingredient before sitting down to a specially created seven-course truffle-centric menu. Wine pairings are available.

      Truffle dinner: The First of the Season at Artisans of Barossa (29 June)
      Artisan of Barossa provides an exclusive truffle dinner in partnership with the Barossa Truffle Company. The event celebrates the rich traditions of the region’s culinary heritage in the form of fine local produce and wine craftsmanship. It includes snacks and a three-course menu featuring the earthy, aromatic flavours of freshly harvested truffles with wine pairings.

      Red Hill Truffle weekend at Montalto Estate (20-21 July)
      Montalto Estate partners with Red Hill Truffles for a weekend dedicated to truffles. They offer a set menu or the option to add shaved truffle to dishes served in the Piazza. Guests can book in for an interactive truffle hunt alongside Jenny McAuley and her truffle hunting dogs. It concludes with a five-course truffle lunch.

      Oak Valley truffle menu and chef’s table lunch at Leeuwin Estate (throughout July and 27 July for chef’s table)
      Leeuwin Estate in collaborates with Oak Valley Truffles to offer a month-long, six-course truffle-themed menu at the winery restaurant. The menu features dishes paired with current and museum release wines. On 27 July, Head Chef Dan Gedge will present an intimate chef’s table lunch and talk to guests through five truffle courses.

      Festa Tartufo at Josef Chromy Wines (2 August)
      Festa Tartufo returns with a five-course dinner with Executive Chef Nick Raitt, who reveals the nuances of truffles with dishes matched to Josef Chromy’s elegant wines. The event is the perfect reason to gather a group of friends and plan a trip to Tassie.

      Truffle dinners at Mandoon Estate (9 and 16 August)
      Guests will be taken on a culinary journey with two truffle-inspired dinner events and treated to an array of meticulously crafted dishes under the guidance of Head Chef Tony Power. Dinner is matched with Mandoon Estates wines from both Margaret River and the Swan Valley.

      Canberra in Winter

      Immerse yourself in art
      Explore the world of French Post Impressionist, Paul Gauguin, at the first major exhibition of his work in Australia. It is shown exclusively at the National Gallery of Australia from 27 June until 7 October and features some of his most recognised masterpieces.

      Gauguin's World: Tōna Iho, Tōna Ao

      Gauguin’s World: Tōna Iho, Tōna Ao

      Taste treasured truffles
      Enjoy a paddock to plate experience or join a truffle hunt as you sample the delights of the Canberra region’s truffle growers from mid-June through to August. Canberra’s truffle season festivities include the much-awaited Truffle Festival and the prized Black Perigold truffle is back on the menu across the capital.

      Truffle Festival

      Truffle Festival

      Snowplay at Corin Forest
      Corin Forest is just 45 minutes away from the city centre and has easy beginner’s slopes designed for kids. Guests can build snowmen or have snowball fights before feasting on woodfired pizza and hot chocolate at the indoor cafe.

      Corin Forest snowplay

      Corin Forest snowplay

      Taste food flavoured by fire
      In the heart of the city, enjoy Celebrity Chef Matt Moran’s two adjacent restaurants, Compa and Sando. For a leisurely lunch with a view, head to Nick O’Leary’s restaurant and cellar door, Heywood, with vast views of the Brindabella Ranges outside and a roaring log fire inside.

      Meals at Compa restaurant

      Meals at Compa restaurant

      Sip craft brews and local gins
      Travellers can taste award-winning craft beers at brewpub BentSpoke Brewing Co, or head to The Canberra Distillery famed for its collaborations and unique gin flavours. For those who fancy both, head to the Dairy Road precinct to Capital Brewing Co. and Big River Distilling. They can also join Dave’s Tours to taste all the capital’s best drinks or head on a foodie tour with Eat Canberra Food Tours to explore the city’s culinary delights.

      BentSpoke Brewing Co.

      BentSpoke Brewing Co.


      Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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