Five highlights in your travel week | 7 Feb

Wangi Point Lakeside Holiday Park … a beautiful bush setting on the foreshore.
Wangi Point Lakeside Holiday Park … a beautiful bush setting on the foreshore.

Forecasts estimate significant growth in the Australian caravan market over the next few years, and with caravan parks enjoying such spectacular waterfront locations it’s little wonder that area such as Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle, are gearing up for a bonanza.

Situated between Lake Macquarie and Wangi Point Flora and Fauna Reserve, Wangi Point Lakeside Holiday Park, for instance, enjoys a beautiful bush setting on the foreshore with easy access to a nearby public boat ramp providing the perfect launch point for fishing, canoeing, swimming, windsurfing, kite-boarding, etc.

Accommodation options range from unpowered camp sites to air-conditioned two-bedroom villas with all the mod-cons, including Foxtel.

For general information on the area, phone 1800 802 044 or go to www.visitlakemac.com.au

An iconic Japanese image … looking towards Mt Fuji through cherry blossoms.

An iconic Japanese image … looking towards Mt Fuji through cherry blossoms.

Couples have until this February 28 to save $1000 on a new 18-night Cruise Express circle-Japan cruise-tour timed to coincide with the springtime 2019 spectacle of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms.

The itinerary is designed to immerse Australians in the country’s rich traditions and customs, with guests joining tea ceremonies, donning kimonos, learning to make sushi and watching a sumo-wrestling display.

Three bullet train rides, the neon-lit shopping frenzy of Ginza and iconic Mt Fuji are also featured in the exclusive cruise tour.

In Yokohama, guests board Princess Cruises’ Japanese-built Diamond Princess for an eight-night, round-trip cruise.

Boasting a large sushi bar and the largest Japanese bathhouse at sea, the 2670-passenger ship will call at four Japanese ports, including the cherry blossom gardens of Ishinomaki, the bustling seafood markets of Hakodate in the north, the hot springs of Niigata and the active volcanoes of Kagoshima in the south.

The cruise will also take passengers to the South Korean city of Busan.

Including return flights from Australia, the package is priced from $8490 per person twin-share ex Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, and from $8790 per person twin-share, ex Adelaide and Perth.

Phone 1300 766 537 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au 

Sydney’s Tank Stream Hotel … a dedicated program to help solo travellers.

Sydney’s Tank Stream Hotel … a dedicated program to help solo travellers.

The international St Giles hotel group, which includes the Tank Stream Hotel in Sydney, has launched a dedicated program to help solo travellers — particularly women — experience the best of the destination when travelling on business or leisure.

The program includes a solo-travel microsite, which features content written by local experts to highlight solo-friendly restaurants, bars, entertainment and touring activities. Visit www.stgileshotels.com/solo-travel.

Deals for solo travellers at Sydney’s Tank Stream Hotel include complimentary daily breakfast (minimum four-night stay), $20 dining credit at Le Petit Flot restaurant, 10 per cent saving on laundry, and free internet, mini-bar and in-room movies.

Other services include a pre-arrival solo concierge service, a solo-travel welcome pack and post-stay gift.

Melbourne Zoo … pull up a picnic and enjoy a gourmet hamper with wine under the stars.

Melbourne Zoo … pull up a picnic and enjoy a gourmet hamper with wine under the stars.

Whether you’re visiting Melbourne or one of the ones who consider themselves lucky enough to live in Australia’s ‘cultural capital’, Zoo Twilights should be on the agenda.

Held in the picturesque Melbourne Zoo, audiences can pull up a picnic and enjoy a gourmet hamper with wine under the stars, or try local food-truck vendors and bars while watching local and international artists catering to most music tastes and age groups.

All proceeds from the concerts go back into Zoos Victoria’s ongoing ‘Fighting Extinction’ conservation program.

Until March 10. Visit www.zootwilights.org.au  

For those visiting Melbourne, the Pan Pacific Melbourne, located in the city by the Yarra River, has special ‘Staycation’ packages available until June 30. Save up to 25 per cent on normal rack rate, and receive complimentary breakfast, self-parking and wi-fi. Visit www.panpacific.com 

The arctic fox … can be seen in Manitoba year-round.

The arctic fox … can be seen in Manitoba year-round.

Manitoba’s most famous inhabitants are wild animals … polar bears, bison, beluga whales, Canadian lynx, caribou, arctic foxes and hares, and bald eagles.

Some are around for most of the year, others are more seasonal.

Polar bears, for example, are best viewed from July to November. Just don’t get too close.

In Churchill, they can be safely viewed from tundra vehicles or from a fenced wilderness lodge. You can even walk among them with a guide or see them from on high during a helicopter tour.

Perhaps Manitoba’s most iconic resident celebrity, the bison can be seen year-round and reflects the province’s First Nations’ heritage, still as relevant today as it ever was.

Riding Mountain National Park is an ideal location for an encounter with these famous giants.

Arctic foxes and hares can be seen year-round. There is something infinitely fascinating about snow-white foxes and bunnies frolicking in the chill, blending in with their surroundings, like cotton balls dancing on ice.