Inspiring Vacations – September/October 2022

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Inspiring Vacations XXXXX/XXXXX SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER2021 2022 Adventure, culture and magnificent sights await in this South American gem SKY HIGH IN PERU TOUR SPOTLIGHT Angkor Wat, Cambodia ISLAND HOPPER Langkawi, Malaysia FIVE OF THE BEST Inspiring stays HOLIDAY AT HOME Cosy pubs in Victoria

TRAVEL WITH THE DESTINATION EXPERTS VALUE-FOR-MONEY HOLIDAY PACKAGES & UNFORGETTABLE TRAVEL EXPERIENCES SAFETY WELLBEING& Inspiring Vacations has been globally recognised and awarded for its handling of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, ensuring all customers can travel safely and confidently. INTRUSTEDTRAVEL All our sta are passionate about travelling — we love what we do and we’re eager to get you out into the world. Trusted in travel since 2017, we are renowned for thoughtfully curated holiday packages, a userfriendly booking process and outstanding customer service. BOOK CONFIDENCEWITH If you change your mind within seven days of booking, you can request a refund or credit of your initial deposit payment thanks to our cooling o period. No questions asked! Rated Great based on 2,300+ reviews BOOK ONLINE bookme@inspiringvacations.comwww.inspiringvacations.comATCALL US ANY TIME ON 1300 88 66 88 0800 475 025 1 888 356 2021 79 8277 1398 DEALSVIEWALLHERE

WELCOME INSPIRINGVACATIONS.COM 1 FROM THE CEO INSPIRING VACATIONS EditorMAGAZINE Vanessa Mulquiney Art Director SIXTWO Creative Contributors Emily Humphrey, Laura Coop, Emma Calley Marketing & Advertising Laura Coop Contact For editorial and advertising enquiries, please email phoneinspiringvacations.commagazine@or1300886688(AU) When you see this symbol on our pages, press play and you’ll be redirected to our beautiful destination videos. Inspiring Vacations Magazine is published bimonthly by Inspiring Vacations (ABN 22 623 610 711), Level 2, 420 St Kilda Rd Melbourne VIC 3004. © 2022. All rights reserved. Articles express the opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of Inspiring Vacations. CONTENTS 200714263630262014110907050301 Welcome to the September/October issue of Inspiring Vacations magazine! I’ve loved hearing from our customers as they return from their long-awaited holidays and having just completed my own family adventure through Spain, it’s been a thrill to once again experience the (somewhat addictive) joys of travel first-hand. So, whether you’d prefer to island-hop through Malaysia, explore the ancient temples of Cambodia, or simply snuggle up at a cosy pub in Victoria, we’ve filled these pages with enough inspiration to keep even the most active travel bug sated. Plus, for all those planning a trip to South America, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to Peru, filled with travel tips and tricks from the experts, including our very own Martin Ruffo who was previously a travel guide in this spectacular country. As always, I love to hear your feedback so please get in touch through magazine@ inspiringvacations.com and remember to tag #inspiringvacations on your social media snaps for the chance to win a $100 e-gift card! Safe travels! Paul Ryan CEO MARINATP/SHUTTERSTOCK.COMPICCHU.MACHUCOVER: WELCOME A note from our CEO WHAT’S ON Sep/Oct events, online & offline IN THE KNOW Travel news from around the world TOUR SPOTLIGHT Angkor Wat, Cambodia FIVE OF THE BEST Inspiring stays around the world CUSTOMER TRAVELS Roshell travels to Sri Lanka ISLAND HOPPER Langkawi, Malaysia COVER STORY All about Peru HOLIDAY AT HOME Cosy country pubs in Victoria Q&A Chelsea Dawson & Vidya Makan from SIX The Musical ARMCHAIR TRAVELLER A visit to Istanbul, Turkey

from the vibrant tropical colours, to ethereal soft hues as yet another spectacular sunset unfolds—a truly inspiring moment!” — Tracy move they did—across the snow, in between trees, down trails, and through bushes pulling us on our own sled. So much fun can be had in this spectacularly beautiful place in Finland. — Liz Norway Vietnam It’s easy to see why Matsumoto Castle is considered a national treasure—it’s truly a sight to behold surrounded by its huge moat. There is a real feeling of peace and serenity about it—a must-see in Japan. — Adrian LIKE. FOLLOW. SHARE. Follow us @inspiringvacations Like us @inspiringvacations Follow us @inspiringvac Follow us @inspiringvacations We love our customers sharing their travel photos and memories with us. Use #InspiringVacations when posting your photos on social media and you could appear on this page and be in the running to win a $100 gift card! RUNNERUP WINNER GET SOCIAL RUNNERUP Japan

No matter where you are in the world, there’s plenty of events—both online and offline—to enjoy Scotland SEP 3, BRAEMAR GATHERING

COOPLAURABYCOMPILED

WHAT’S ON

One of the most celebrationsprominent in Southeast Asia, the Festival of Lights marks the triumph of good over evil acommemoratesandnewbeginning. Egypt OCT 22, ABU SIMBEL SUN FESTIVAL

From kilts and bagpipes to caber tossing, hammer throws and foot races, join the iconically Scottish festivities at this notable annual gathering, famously patronised and attended by Her Majesty the Queen. Australia OCT 21–23, CAPE TO CAPE

Kentucky, USA SEP 16–18, KENTUCKY BOURBON FESTIVAL

Witness the magic behind these famous temples when the (usually dark) central chamber is lit by the sun, an occurrence that only happens twice a year. Thanks to the genius of ancient architects, for a short period of time this perfectly illuminates the three statues of Ra, Amun, and Ramses while keeping the fourth statue, Ptah, in darkness.

Stunning private trails, vineyard visits and brewery finishes — welcome to Australia’s largest mountain bike stage race. Competitors will race the Cape to Cape over four days while spectators enjoy the many offerings of the Margaret River region.

Watch this quaint little town—also known as the ‘Bourbon Capital of the World’—come alive as it hosts the 31st Kentucky Bourbon Festival, home to the World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay. Over 45 of Kentucky’s finest distilleries will offer sample pours among the musical entertainment, food trucks, barrel-making demos and more. India OCT 24, DIWALI

Take a peek at next season’s trends as high fashion descends on New York City for a week of couture, catwalks and cocktails.

INSPIRINGVACATIONS.COM 3 CALENDAR

New York, USA SEP 9–14, NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

ALSO AVAILABLE: 26 DAY EGYPT, JORDAN & ISRAEL CAIRO • ALEXANDRIA • HURGHADA • LUXOR • NILE CRUISE • ASWAN • AMMAN • PETRA • WADI RUM • JERUSALEM • TEL AVIV BOOK ONLINE See and experience it all, from the holy cities of Jerusalem and Nazareth, to treasures of the Pharaohs, the Pyramids of Giza and riding a camel with local Bedouins in the Wadi Rum desert. • Intimate group experience, 16 people max • 20 nights in 4 and 5-star hotels • Cruise the Nile for 3 nights • Overnight desert stay in Wadi Rum • Fully escorted by English-speaking, expert guides TRAVEL FROM JAN 2023 TO NOV 2023 $10,999* 26 days per person twin share from just ADD AIRFARESRETURNFOR$999 AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ & IN STORES PLACES WILL NOT LAST AT THIS INTRODUCTORY PRICE – BOOK NOW 13 DAY DISCOVER EGYPT & JORDAN This was an excellent holiday, very good value for money. It was extremely well organised and everything went to plan. The guides were very friendly and helpful. Hotels were excellent. I have recommended this holiday already to friends and we are now planning our next Inspiring Vacations trip. EGYPT JORDAN LuxorAswan Wadi Rum Amman Petra Cairo 2 3 1DendaraDeadSeaJerashAbydos 1 1 1 3 An essential exploration of this region’s storied past, including Jordan’s Amman Citadel, ancient Roman ruins of Jerash, ancient Petra, floating in the Dead Sea, felucca sailing in Egypt, the temples of Luxor, Valley of the Kings and the Pyramids. • Fully escorted tour, including expert Egyptologist • 10 nights in comfortable, 3 & 4-star accommodation • 1 night sailing on a traditional felucca along the Nile • Overnight desert stay in enchanting Wadi Rum • Dedicated, comfortable transport TRAVEL FROM NOV 2022 TO DEC 2023 FlightCoachBoat 1 No. nights DISCOVER EGYPT & JORDAN 13 DAY JOURNEY THROUGH THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS FASCINATING LAND AMMAN • PETRA • WADI RUM • CAIRO • LUXOR • ASWAN • DENDARA • ABYDOS Scan the QR code to view the full itinerary, inclusions, sightseeing highlights and available departure dates. SCAN HERE FIND OUT MORE ONLINE! BOOK ONLINE bookme@inspiringvacations.comwww.inspiringvacations.comATCALL US ANY TIME ON 1300 88 66 88 0800 475 025 1 888 356 2021 79 8277 1398 *O ers available for a limited time or unless sold out. Check your country store for local pricing and full terms and conditions. $5,499* 13 days per person twin share from just AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR US & IN STORES ADD AIRFARESRETURNFOR $999* PER PERSON

It’s hard to believe that this iconic island nation began as just a one-resort destination offering limited amenities to visiting guests. Now in 2022, the Maldives are celebrating 50 years of flourishing tourism and boast nearly 200 deluxe resorts across 26 atolls. The Maldives Ministry of Tourism has organised a range of events to celebrate this Golden Jubilee year, including an underwater photography competition, divers retreat, gala events, and more.

Golden Jubilee in the Maldives

Adventure and luxury in the Northern Territory

Visitors to California’s Grove of Titans can once again enjoy walking through the stunning forests, towered over by ancient redwoods. Previously closed due to the impact of crowds, this popular area of the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is now open with a new 1,300ft-long boardwalk— the materials for which were hand carried by workers to ensure habitat disruption was kept to a minimum during construction. This low-impact, elevated walkway, along with a realigned access trail and interpretive signage, completes the $4 million project undertaken to protect the fragile ecosystem while still allowing visitors to enjoy the Grove of Titans for years to come.

What to do, see and where to play

VECCHIEPROCURATIEVENICELEAGUE;REDWOODSTHETITANS/SAVEOFGROVERESORT;MALDIVESLODGE/FACEBOOK.COM;RIVERFINNISSPHOTOS:COOP;LAURABY:COMPILED

Italian Renaissance architecture at its finest Stretching along the entire northern length of the Piazza San Marco, the Procuratie Vecchie is perhaps one of the most famous landmarks in Venice, and certainly one of the most photographed! Built during the early 1500s for the Procurators of St Mark, an extensive five-year restoration project has breathed new life into the historic structure. Now open to the public for the first time, visitors can enjoy the interactive exhibition on the third floor, ‘A World of Potential’, set up by The Human Safety Net, or take in the views of the famous campanile from the cafe on the fourth floor.

INSPIRINGVACATIONS.COM 5 TRAVEL NEWS

IN THE KNOW

Take a break from the routine of everyday and reconnect with nature at the Top End’s newest luxury escape; Finniss River Lodge. With room for only 12 guests, every one of the lodge’s six rooms offer expansive views across the floodplain and unforgettable sunsets from a private verandah. This indulgent experience can be as active or relaxing as you wish with fishing charters and helicopter flights to Litchfield National Park on offer as optional activities.

Save the Redwoods

ALSO AVAILABLE: 8 DAY INCREDIBLE VIETNAM HANOI • HALONG BAY • HO CHI MINH CITY BOOK ONLINE $1,499* 8 days per person twin share from just Including internationalreturnairfares A value-packed discovery of Vietnam’s must-see sights and authentic experiences. Tour Ho Chi Minh City, explore Hanoi and marvel at Halong Bay’s beauty. Optional tours include a cruise along the Mekong Delta and a tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels. • Premium accommodation in 4-star hotels • Overnight cruise on UNESCO-listed Halong Bay • Escorted by expert, English-speaking guides • Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 1 dinner • Dedicated, comfortable air-conditioned transport TRAVEL FROM NOV 2022 TO NOV 2023 THESE PRICES WILL NOT LAST – BOOK NOW 12 DAY VIETNAMINCREDIBLE&CAMBODIA Our whole holiday experience was great. We had no problems, we had fabulous guides full of interesting facts and information. Our accommodation was amazing. I highly recommend Inspiring Vacations. 2 3 Ho MinhChiCity 4ReapSiem HanoiVIETNAMCAMBODIA Halong Bay 1 Explore the vibrant capital Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, cruise Halong Bay to admire its famous rock formations and see Cambodia’s spectacular Angkor temples, Siem Reap and Tonle Sap Lake. • Superb 4 and 5-star hotels • Overnight cruise on UNESCO-listed Halong Bay • Breakfast daily, 3 lunches & 1 dinner • Fully escorted by local, English-speaking guides • Comfortable, air-conditioned transportation TRAVEL FROM NOV 2022 TO NOV 2023 FlightCoachCruise 1 No. nights Scan the QR code to view the full itinerary, inclusions, sightseeing highlights and available departure dates. SCAN HERE FIND OUT MORE INCREDIBLEONLINE! VIETNAM & CAMBODIA DELIGHTFUL 12 DAY JOURNEY THROUGH THE REGION’S HIGHLIGHTS HANOI • HALONG BAY • HO CHI MINH CITY • SIEM REAP • ANGKOR WAT • TONLE SAP LAKE BOOK ONLINE inspiringvacations.comATCALL US ANY TIME ON 1300 88 66 88 1 888 356 2021 *O ers available for a limited time or unless sold out. Check your country store for local pricing and full terms and conditions. $2,499* 12 days per person twin share from just AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR US STORE INTERNATIONALRETURNAIRFARESINCLUDED AU STORE PRICE

A visit to the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat

TOUR SPOTLIGHT | ANGKOR WAT WORDS BY LAURA COOP INSPIRINGVACATIONS.COM 7

The pride Cambodiaof

CAMBODIA?INSPIREDTOVISIT Check out our tours here

For visitors to Cambodia, Angkor Wat sits atop their mustsee list and for good reason: a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, it is one of the largest religious monuments ever built and a source of pride for the country, so much so that it is depicted on the national flag. Tourists and film producers alike fall in love with the 12th-century masterpiece after visiting.Found deep within the jungle of the Siem Reap province and covering about 500 acres, Angkor Wat (which is housed within Angkor Archeological Park) is comparable in size to the Forbidden City in Beijing. Considered a prime example of classic Khmer art and architecture, it was built to represent Mount Meru as a spiritual home for the Hindu god, Vishnu. Its distinctive five towers symbolise the five peaks of the mountain, the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world, and the surrounding moat symbolises the ocean. If Angkor Wat seems a familiar sight, it is. Appearing on the silver screen in many blockbuster films such as In the Mood for Love (2000), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), and as far back as the 1936 horror flick, Revolt of the Zombies. While Angkor Wat is as spectacular as you’d imagine, it’s far from the only temple worth a visit within the Park. The nearby jungle-covered temple of Ta Prohm is an incredible sight and was once the home to hundreds of monks. Enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers have since entwined themselves within the stone foundations of this masterful structure, giving the impression of being reclaimed by the powerful forces of nature.

BOOK ONLINE BOOK ONLINE A thrilling journey, from cruising to coastal Norwegian communities with Hurtigruten, exploring cool Nordic cities and embarking on a reindeer sleigh ride in Lapland. • Small group, fully escorted • Quality accommodation, including 1 night in a glass igloo • 6-night cruise with Hurtigruten, including the Lofoten archipelago • All transportation included • Breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 10 dinners DEPARTS SEP 2023 TO MAR 2024 20 DAY FOLLOW THE LIGHTS NORTHBOUND From northern lights to southern fjords, this small group, bucket list journey includes one of the world’s most iconic train rides, plus time to explore Bergen, the fjord capital. • 18 nights in quality 4-star hotels • Overnight Santa Claus Express train from Helsinki to Kemi • Ride the Flåm railway, an incredible journey from fjord to mountain • Scenic fjord cruise on UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord 20 DAY NORWAY WINTER & SOUTHERN FJORDS DEPARTS JAN 2023 TO MAR 2023 THIS IS YOUR CHANCE – DON’T MISS OUT  17 DAY FOLLOW THE LIGHTS – SOUTHBOUND Chase the breathtaking aurora borealis with iconic adventures like the Flåm Railway, the Santa Claus Express across Finnish Lapland, a husky safari and a Hurtigruten voyage along the Norwegian coast. • Small, personal group experience, 24 guests max • Premium accommodation, including 1 night in a glass igloo and at the famous Snowhotel Kirkenes • 5-night signature Hurtigruten Coastal Express cruise • In-depth city tours in Helsinki, Bergen & Oslo TRAVEL FROM OCT 2023 TO MAR 2024 Amazing service from beginning to end. Thank you Inspiring Vacations for making my bucket list dream become an amazing reality.  5 Helsinki Oslo 2 1 2 2 1 Bergen RovaniemiSaariselkäKirkenesBerlevågMehamnStamsundTromsøFinnsnesLofotenIslands ÅlesundTrondheimRørvikBodøNORWAY FINLAND RailCruiseCoach 1 No. nights 20 days per person twin share from $8,999* 20 days per person twin share from $11,499* AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ, US & IN STORES AU STORE PRICE RETURNAIRFARESINTERNATIONALINCLUDED ADD RETURN AIRFARES FOR $999* PER PERSON Scan the QR code to view the full itinerary, inclusions, sightseeing highlights and available departure dates. SCAN HERE FIND OUT MORE FOLLOWONLINE! THE LIGHTS SOUTHBOUND MAGICAL 17 DAY NORTHERN LIGHTS EXPERIENCE ACROSS NORWAY & FINLAND HELSINKI • ROVANIEMI • SAARISELKÄ • KIRKENES • LOFOTEN ISLANDS • ÅLESUND • BERGEN • OSLO BOOK ONLINE bookme@inspiringvacations.comwww.inspiringvacations.comATCALL US ANY TIME ON 1300 88 66 88 0800 475 025 1 888 356 2021 79 8277 1398 *O ers available for a limited time or unless sold out. Check your country store for local pricing and full terms and conditions. $10,499* 17 days per person twin share from just AU STORE PRICE INTERNATIONALRETURNAIRFARESINCLUDED

FIVE OF THE BEST | INSPIRING STAYS

INSPIRING STAYS

3. AYA KAPADOKYA HOTEL, TURKEY

Bed down in these one-of-a-kind hotel experiences

1. GRAND HOTEL NUWARA ELIYA, SRI LANKA

CAMP/FACEBOOK.COMLUXURYAICHAMEMORIESPHOTOS:

Make like Lawrence of Arabia and ride through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wadi Rum for an enchanting desert experience, at a traditional Bedouin camp. And what a setting: wide open spaces and wind-sculpted rock formations that change hue throughout the day to cast a glow over the Arabian desert. Ride a camel, enjoy an evening of warm hospitality with local Bedouins and sleep under the stars in comfort, soaking in the stillness to be found in this stunning, otherworldly landscape.

2. FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS, CANADA

Catch a glimpse of this iconic beauty perched proudly among the mountain peaks and you’ll understand its fond nickname, the Castle in the Rockies. Built in 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway to serve passengers travelling to the region, this grande dame sits in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With 757 rooms and suites, full-service spa, seven restaurants, bowling alley, and the crisp air and mountains as a postcard-perfect backdrop, visitors want for nothing.

This is the ultimate northern lights experience, in the wild heart of Finnish Lapland. Sleep beneath the starry skies in a modern glass-roofed igloo, searching for the elusive aurora borealis from the comfort of your own bed. Each igloo is extremely well-insulated to ensure guests are not bothered by the cold in even the coolest of temperatures. Activities at the resort include more aurora hunting, husky safaris, snowshoeing and cross-country ski lessons. There’s even a reindeer paddock.

5. MEMORIES AICHA LUXURY CAMP, JORDAN

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Cappadocia is famous for its unique landforms; deep valleys, swirling volcanic-rock landscapes, fairy chimneys that change colour with the sunset. It’s also known for its labyrinthine underground cities. Settle into this boutique cave hotel, where the stylish rooms are carved into the rock. It’s the perfect blend of historic appeal and modern comfort.

4. NORTHERN LIGHTS VILLAGE SAARISELKÄ, FINLAND

An enduring icon, in a tranquil town perched on a mountain ridge overlooking lush green countryside in tea country. Oozing colonial charm, the hotel began life in the early 19th century as the stately holiday home of the fifth Governor of Ceylon. It’s since evolved over the centuries to retain a romantic, old-world ambience alongside modern comforts. There are elegant, well-appointed rooms, magnificent gardens and an array of hotel amenities and activities including music therapy, yoga and its renowned traditional afternoon tea.

WORDS BY EMILY HUMPHREY

BOOK ONLINE BOOK ONLINE A thrilling journey, plus three days exploring the remote Falkland Islands archipelago: rolling, green hills, several thousand penguins, families of fur seals and signs of civilisation like friendly pubs. • 3 nights in 4-star Buenos Aires hotels • 14-night Hurtigruten expedition cruise on board MS Roald Amundsen (500 passengers max) in Polar Outside cabin • Breakfast daily, 13 lunches, 14 dinners Tick o even more bucket list experiences with an adventure through Antarctica and the chance to experience glamorous Buenos Aires and both sides of Iguazu Falls. • 5 nights in 4-star accommodation in Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls • 10-night Hurtigruten expedition cruise on board MS Fridtjof Nansen with Zodiac landings, onboard activities and shore excursions • Breakfast daily, 9 lunches, 10 dinners DEPARTS JAN 2023 TO FEB 2024 DEPARTS NOV 2023 TO FEB 2024 18 DAY ANTARCTICA & FALKLANDS EXPEDITION 16 DAY HIGHLIGHTS OF ANTARCTICA EXPEDITION & IGUAZU FALLS INCREDIBLE INTRODUCTORY PRICE – BOOK NOW AND SAVE  14 DAY HIGHLIGHTS OF ANTARCTICA EXPEDITION Fancy yourself an explorer? Discover the dazzling, desolate beauty of Antarctica with the expedition leaders, Hurtigruten. Learn something new about this otherworldly desert, and the extraordinary animals that call it home, on each and every day. • 10-night Hurtigruten cruise on board MS Fridtjof Nansen with world-class expedition team • 3 nights in Buenos Aires • Return charter flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia • Breakfast daily, 9 lunches, 10 dinners TRAVEL FROM JAN 2023 TO MAR 2024 Amazing service from beginning to end. Thank you Inspiring Vacations for making my bucket list dream become an amazing reality. UshuaiaARGENTINAANTARCTICABuenosAires310 FlightCruise 1 No. nights UshuaiaARGENTINAANTARCTICABuenosAires310 Not in position ADD RETURN AIRFARES FOR $999 PER PERSON ADD RETURN AIRFARES FOR $999 PER PERSON Scan the QR code to view the full itinerary, inclusions, sightseeing highlights and available departure dates. SCAN HERE FIND OUT MORE HIGHLIGHTSONLINE! OF ANTARCTICA 14 DAY EXPEDITION ON BOARD STATE-OF-THE-ART SHIP COMFORT, CONVENIENCE & EXPERT GUIDED EXPERIENCES BUENOS AIRES • USHUAIA • ANTARCTICA • DRAKE PASSAGE BOOK ONLINE inspiringvacations.comATCALL US ANY TIME ON 1300 88 66 88 *O ers available for a limited time or unless sold out. Check your country store for local pricing and full terms and conditions. $12,499* 14 days per person twin share from just AU STORE PRICE ADD AIRFARESRETURNFOR $999* PER PERSON 16 days per person twin share from $13,499* AU STORE PRICE 18 days per person twin share from $14,999* AU STORE PRICE

FROM TOP: Blue train ride to Kandy; Yala National Park; Sigiriya Rock; Amari Galle

SRIINSPIREDTOVISITLANKA?

A VISIT TO SRI LANKA

What prompted you to book your tour to Sri Lanka?

What were the highlights of this tour for you? We experienced many special moments on our tour. The scenic train ride through the countryside to Nuwara Eliya was picturesque, the visit to Temple of the Tooth Relic was enlightening, and I particularly enjoyed the cooking demonstration, and of course, eating the ensuing meal. All the accommodation was first rate: the Amari Galle and Sigiriya Jungles were our favourites. The absolute highlight for us would be the wildlife safaris in Yala National Park. We saw an abundance of wildlife including exotic birds, deer, water buffalo, monkeys, elephants, leopards and much more. We were amazed at just how close we were to the animals, and we particularly enjoyed watching the cute baby elephants playing by the water. What do you say to those pondering whether or not to book? We have travelled to many parts of the globe, but nothing quite compares to Sri Lanka for diversity and value for money. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a wildlife enthusiast, or you simply want to enjoy the glorious climate, you won’t be disappointed with your decision to holiday in Sri Lanka. Any advice for future travellers?

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My parents and siblings were born in Sri Lanka. I grew up listening to stories of rolling tea plantations, cheeky monkeys stealing food from the kitchen and, of course, the pristine beaches and dense, green jungles. I always knew that one day I had to experience it for myself. Did your expectations meet reality? We were blown away by just how much this tiny island has to offer. From the friendly people, to the mix of religions, culture and diverse landscape, our tour of Sri Lanka left us longing for more. Any surprises? We headed out on our whale-watching cruise, hoping to see blue whales, dolphins and other marine life but we were surprised when our cruise turned into an animal rescue mission. The captain spotted a large turtle that was entangled in a discarded fishing net. He manoeuvred the boat near the turtle while another crew member dived in and attempted to free it from the nets. It was an impossible task for one person while still in the water so with the help of other crew and passengers, the huge turtle was hauled into the boat. Working with knives they managed to free the turtle and release it back into the sea. It was a heart-warming experience that had everyone clapping with joy and fulfillment.

INSPIRINGVACATIONS.COM 11 RETURNED TRAVELLERS | SRI LANKA

Roshell and Neil reflect on their tour to Sri Lanka

If you can, arrive at least one day earlier. Take time to relax from your journey and then explore Colombo on your own. Enjoy a hair-raising tuk tuk tour through the city, and in the evening visit the Galle Face Hotel. Step back in time and enjoy the very British tradition of Pimms on the lawn and watch the flag lowering ceremony while the sun sets over the Indian Ocean.

ULTIMATE AFRICA THRILLING 19 DAY SMALL GROUP AFRICAN ADVENTURE THROUGH BOTSWANA, SOUTH AFRICA AND ZIMBABWE YOU COULD BE THERE NEXT YEAR – DON’T MISS OUT NationalChobeVictoriaFallsPark ParkNationalHwange ParkNationalKruger Johannesburg OkavangoReserveMoremiMaunGameDelta Nata SOUTHAFRICA BOTSWANA ZIMBABWE 2 2 3 2 2 11 3 2 FlightCoach 1 No. nights 19 DAY ULTIMATE AFRICA WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS TOUR • Small group experience, no more than 12 • 16 nights boutique lodge accommodation and safari camps • 2 nights in 4-star Johannesburg hotels • Professional safari guides throughout Zimbabwe and Botswana • Thrilling game drives through Hwange, Chobe, Moremi, Okavango Delta & South Africa’s Kruger  Call of the wild! Hop between the best Africa has to o er. Prepare to be floored by up-close encounters with the Big Five and startlingly beautiful natural scenery. Check o every imaginable safari experience on this small, intimate group tour of no more than 12 travellers. Start with game drives in renowned Kruger National Park for a frontrow seat to where predator and prey meet. Board dug-out canoes (mokoro) and float through the Okavango Delta before a three-day safari camp stay to explore Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana’s finest. See the elephants at Chobe National Park and the vast wilderness of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, before taking in the thundering power of Victoria Falls. DEPARTS JAN 2023 TO DEC 2023 *O ers available for a limited time or unless sold out. Check your country store for local pricing and full terms and conditions. BOOK ONLINE bookme@inspiringvacations.comwww.inspiringvacations.comATCALL US ANY TIME ON 1300 88 66 88 0800 475 025 1 888 356 2021 79 8277 1398

Amazing service from beginning to end. Thank you Inspiring Vacations for making my bucket list dream become an amazing reality.  Scan the QR code to view the full itinerary, inclusions, sightseeing highlights and available departure dates. SCAN HERE

14 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 LOVING Malaysia’s beautiful islands are unspoilt and just a hop, skip, jump away from Australia Langkawi CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Cenang Beach; Long Tail Macaque Monkey at Klim Karst Geoforest Park; Cenang beach; Pulau Payar Marine Park; Seven Wells Waterfall WORDS BY EMILY HUMPHREY

WHEN TO GO It’s blissful year round and consistently warm. Langkawi’s sub-tropical climate means that temperatures usually hover between 23 and 32 degrees celsius. Rainy season—technically April to October—only brings a couple of hours of rain each day, usually in the afternoon. September is the wettest month. The best time to visit is generally from December to April, with the least amount of rainfall.

MALAYSIA?INSPIREDTOVISIT

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GETTING THERE From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, it’s a one-hour flight into Langkawi. There is also the bus or train—quite long journeys, about seven or eight hours—or take a ferry from Penang, just under three hours. The buzzing city of Kuala Lumpur makes for the ideal stopover and shopping break on the way, but Langkawi does have duty-free status which makes for great shopping (oh, and inexpensive alcohol).

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ISLAND HOPPER | LANGKAWI

herePantai Tengah is a bit more chilled; a quieter beach but still close to the action (a five-minute taxi ride or 15-20 minute walk to Cenang). Tanjung Rhu in the north is peaceful, perfect for families or couples seeking a quieter beach holiday. On the western coastline, Bureau Bay is a pristine stretch of white sand beach, flanked by luxury resorts. The upscale area of Pantai Kok is known for its dense forest, luxury resorts and the Sky Bridge cable car. The port town of Kuah Town, the main urban centre which also serves as a harbour for ferries to the mainland, is popular for shopping.

While you’re on the island, public transport is lacking, which means the best way to get around is by renting a car, using a taxi or scooter, or embarking on a guided tour.

Popular with local and international tourists alike, Langkawi is the island paradise you’ve been dreaming of: postcard-perfect beaches, warm turquoise waters, lush rainforest and secluded coves. Known fondly as the Jewel of Kedah, there are 99 islands in the archipelago, all centered on the main (eponymous) island. Off the northwest coast of Malaysia in the Andaman Sea, Langkawi is easily reached from the mainland.

WHERE TO STAY The beach town of Pantai Cenang in the south is the most popular tourist hotspot (just 20 minutes from the airport), with plenty of restaurants and nightlife. It’s the place to be for a sunset cocktail at one of the many beach bars. Here you’ll find plenty of accommodation options for all budgets and styles, from budget guesthouses to boutique hotels and posh resorts.

16 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

Get a bird’s eye view at Panorama Langkawi. The Sky Cab here is a mustdo, a cable car that glides through lush green forest 650 metres away from land. Be sure to book ahead, as it tends to sell out at busy times. Feeling a bit more game? Take a walk along the Sky Bridge, one of the highest suspended bridges in the world. The views are simply phenomenal. At 125 metres long, this curved bridge hangs between two mountains, at a staggering height of 660 metres above sea level.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS Langkawi isn’t overly developed, and there are plenty of natural wonders to inspire. On the east side of the island, Kilim Karst Geoforest Park is a 100sq-km collection of geo-sites, from mangrove forests to incredible caves and fossils that are millions of years old. Best explored by boat, head out to cruise these emerald waters through the mangrove forests and admire towering limestone rock formations. Look out for spectacular marine life— perhaps an otter or a dolphin. Take a tour to see an eagle feeding session, go through a bat cave and see an area inhabited by swimming monkeys. At Seven Wells Waterfall, on the northwestern tip of the island, hike the short uphill trek to the waterfalls and take a dip in one of the seven individual pools.

World is Malaysia’s biggest aquarium with tropical rainforest, temperate and sub-Antarctic zones. Spot some of Southeast Asia’s most fascinating marine life. Walk through a 15-metre-long tunnel to see enormous sea creatures like sharks and sea turtles, and feed animals like rockhopper penguins and fur seals. At Langkawi Wildlife Park, a oneway fully-covered walkway meanders through the park for up-close interaction with over 150 species of animals. Twitchers will be in heaven here, as it’s home to over 2,500 exotic birds.

THINGS TO DO

Atma Alam Batik Art Village is a fascinating place to learn about the traditional art of batik and the process of producing these intricate pieces. There is a workshop, showroom and art gallery.Underwater

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Sky Bridge; Night market noodles; Grilled fish; Black Tip Shark at Pulau Payar Marine Park; Snorkelling at Pulau Payar Marine Park; Greater Flamingo at Underwater World

ISLAND HOPPER | LANGKAWI

FOOD AND DRINK Malaysia has a well-earned reputation for fabulous food, and Langkawi won’t let you down, with an abundance of fresh seafood and produce. Must-try Malay dishes include ikan bakar (grilled fish), pajeri nenas (pineapple curry) and nasi lemak. Don’t forget about sambal, the spicy chilli sauce. And, of course, satay—or sate—can be found everywhere, from markets to local restaurants and upscale eateries at luxury resorts. There are night markets that move around the island, at a different spot every day of the Althoughweek.a Muslim majority country, locals and visitors alike do not have difficulties accessing alcohol, but international brands tend to be pricey. It’s not a thirst quencher as such (stick to fresh juices, coconut water and local beer at meal times), but cendol is a true local must-try. Usually served in a small bowl, it’s a delicious combination of ice, green rice flour jelly, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup.

UNDER THE SEA A boat trip to one of the smaller islands reveals stunning conditions for snorkelling in calm, sunlit waters. Many of the islands around Langkawi have lots of shallow coral; charter a boat or join a tour to look for rich marine life. Pulau Payar Marine Park is just 30km south of the main island (get there by catamaran or speedboat, about a 45-minute journey). Four uninhabited islands—Payar, Segantang, Kaca and Lembu—make up this marine park sanctuary, the nation’s oldest. It’s home to amazing snorkelling, swimming and diving experiences. Swim through shipwrecks, get up close to exotic marine life including moray eels and you can even feed and swim with baby sharks.

WATERFALL/@UNEXPLOREDFOOTSTEPSWELLSSEVENPHOTO:

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Kyoto Hakone (Mt Fuji) Mt FujiKanazawaTakayamaOsakaHiroshima JAPANTokyo 3 3 1 1 3 2 2 MiyajimaIsland SendaiJAPANSapporoHakodate 2 1 22 Kyoto (MtHakoneFuji) Kanazawa Takayama OsakaHiroshima 3 32 1 2 Kawaguchiko1 Tokyo3 MiyajimaIsland From buzzing Tokyo to ancient Kyoto, experience Japan’s must-see sights and rich, authentic experiences. See Kenrokuen Garden, Mount Fuji, the deer of Nara, Miyajima Island’s iconic floating torii gate Takayama old town and UNESCO sites Shirakawa-gõ Village and White Heron Castle.  • 14 nights in well-located hotels • 1 night in a traditional Ryokan • Enjoy a traditional Kaiseki dinner • Ride the iconic Japanese bullet train from Hiroshima to Osaka • Fully escorted by English-speaking, expert guide A magnificent journey that takes in Japan’s many delights, including icons like feudal relic Himeji Castle and Takayama Old Town. Plus, time to explore the beauty of northern Japan, including Hakodate, Sapporo and a scenic cruise around the forested islands of Matsushima Bay. • 3 & 4-star, centrally-located hotels • 1 night in a traditional Ryokan  • Ride the iconic bullet train • Breakfast daily, Kaiseki dinner • Expert, English-speaking guides • Explore northern Japan with both independent travel and guided tours DISCOVER JAPAN WITH PREMIUM, AUTHENTIC JOURNEYS FerryCoachRail 1 No. nights FerryRailCoach 1 No. nights $99 DEPOSIT OPTION AVAILABLE 7-DAY COOLING OFF PERIOD $99 DEPOSIT OPTION AVAILABLE 7-DAY COOLING OFF PERIOD RETURNAIRFARESINTERNATIONALINCLUDED RETURNAIRFARESINTERNATIONALINCLUDED 17 UNFORGETTABLEDAY JAPAN 23 GRANDDAY JAPAN BOOK ONLINE BOOK ONLINE DEPARTS NOV 2022 TO MAY 2024 DEPARTS MAR 2023 TO MAY 2024 23 days per person twin share from $7,299* AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ, US & IN STORES 17 days per person twin share from $4,999* AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ, US & IN STORES *O ers available for a limited time or unless sold out. Check your country store for local pricing and full terms and conditions. BOOK ONLINE bookme@inspiringvacations.comwww.inspiringvacations.comATCALL US ANY TIME ON 1300 88 66 88 0800 475 025 1 888 356 2021 79 8277 1398

Kyoto Takayama(MtKawaguchikoFuji)ShirakawagoOsakaHiroshima JAPANTokyo 3 1 2 2 1 3 MiyajimaIsland Kyoto Hakone (Mt Fuji) Takayama OsakaHiroshima Tokyo JAPAN 2 1 1 Seoul 3 JeonjuYeosu1 1 Wonju1 Gyeongju1 1 3 2SOUTHKOREAMiyajimaIsland From the bright lights of Seoul and Tokyo to the ancient delights of Kyoto and Gyeongju, expect rich experiences through these two spirited countries. Natural wonders, ultra–modern skyscrapers and beautiful temples await. • 17 nights in central, 3 and 4-star accommodation • Fully escorted by English-speaking, expert guides • Comfortable, dedicated transport • Breakfast daily, 1 lunch • Internal flight from Osaka to Seoul FLIGHT-INCLUSIVE, VALUE-PACKED TOURS WITH THE DESTINATION EXPERTS FerryRailCoach 1 No. nights FlightFerryCoach 1 No. nights $99 DEPOSIT OPTION AVAILABLE 7-DAY COOLING OFF PERIOD $99 DEPOSIT OPTION AVAILABLE 7-DAY COOLING OFF PERIOD RETURNAIRFARESINTERNATIONALINCLUDED RETURNAIRFARESINTERNATIONALINCLUDED DEPARTS MAR 2023 TO APR 2023 DEPARTS MAR 2023 TO NOV 2023 Dreaming of sakura season? We’ll take you there. Japan’s iconic landscapes and sights are even more magical drenched in cherry blossom petals, including Kyoto’s Heian Jingu Shrine and Philosopher’s Path, Tokyo’s Ueno Park and Lake Kawaguchiko with the backdrop of Mount Fuji. • All coach, rail and ferry transport, including the Japanese bullet train • 12 nights in 3 & 4-star accommodation • Breakfast daily, 1 dinner • Fully escorted by expert, English-speaking guide BOOK—NOW ALL PRODUCTSTHESEARE 19 days per person twin share from $5,999* AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ, US & IN STORES 14 days per person twin share from $5,599* AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ, US & IN STORES

20 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 Everything you need to know about Peru Food, sights and ancient attractions await in this magnificent South American nation WORDS BY EMMA CALLEY

Follow in the footsteps of ancient Peruvians Peru’s history is long and storied, with its earliest inhabitants dating back more than 13,000 years. Civilisations from the lesser-known Chavín to the sprawling Incan empire were highly advanced, recognised for developing sophisticated textile, pottery and architectural techniques. Even Quechua—a family of 46 languages native to the Andes and South American highlands—evolved long before the Incas thrived and is still an official language today. Get familiar with Peru’s ancient roots before you travel and prioritise your bucket-list sights—because there are simply too many highlights for one journey. If you’re fascinated by lost citadels, head to the ruins of Pisac or the mighty Machu Picchu, but if you love a mystery, you can’t miss the Nazca Lines: a collection of giant glyphs carved into the ground by the ancient Nazca people. Located in the arid Rio Grande de Nasca river basin—one of the driest places on earth—the various motifs are unrivalled in size, complexity and significance by any other similar work around the world. For the best view, take a scenic flight above the basin.

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MAIN: The ancient ruins of Winay Wayna on the Inca Trail

Indulge your inner foodie

Food is a huge part of life in South and Central America, and Peru is no exception. Despite lacking the international profile of cuisines like Mexican, Peruvian comida (food) is rich and full of surprises, with many dishes influenced by local produce and the country’s multicultural heritage. While western options are abundant in cities like Cusco and Lima, stray from your culinary comfort zone and you’re guaranteed to discover many local delights.

INSPIRINGVACATIONS.COM 21 GLOBETROTTER | PERU

Peru is fast becoming one of South America’s hottest cultureAdventurersdestinations.andvulturesare well catered for, thanks to the country’s astonishing array of attractions and rich Quechua history, while foodies will relish its revered culinary scene. If you’re partial to natural sights, Peru is bursting with Whetherintoyouhikinglandscapespostcard-worthyandmoretrailsthancouldsqueezeonetrip.you’replanning your first trip or gathering inspiration, here, a first timer’s guide to Peru.

Dip your toe in with lomo saltado, Chinese-influenced stir-fry beef packed with Peruvian flavours and aji chillies, before moving on to the national dish ceviche—raw fish cured in citrus. If you’re feeling daring, order the cuy (guinea pig)—a local delicacy served baked or fried. For a fresh fish dish, opt for choros a la chalaca, mussels seasoned with onion, tomato and lemon. For vegetarians and vegans, there’s potato—4,000 varieties to be exact, served every way imaginable. Get to know the four-legged locals Llamas and alpacas are as synonymous with Peru as Machu Picchu. These furry camelids have roamed the Peruvian landscape since the pre-Columbian period, prized for their meat and fur, and used to transport goods across the rugged Andes. They also have two non-domesticated Peruvian cousins—the guanaco and the vicuña—with the former found primarily in Patagonia, and the latter living between 3,200–4,800m altitude and having some of the most coveted wool in the Nowadays,world.llamas and alpacas are known to roam the high Andes and frequent ancient sites like the Inca Trail. Visit any souvenir shop in Cusco or the wider Sacred Valley and you’ll find shelves stocked with all sorts of alpaca wool goods—the perfect souvenir to combat chilly, Andean temperatures and support local artisanry.

In Peru, coca leaves are never far away. Nature’s remedy for altitude sickness has been chewed and brewed for millennia by Andean communities, but nowadays, you’ll only find it in a handful of countries around the world. The leaf has been classed as a Schedule I narcotic with the United Nations since the 1960s but in South America, where its use has cultural and inimplications,historicalit’slegal.ThemomentyoulandAndeanPeru,you’ll find all manner of teas, sweets and assorted coca treats. While it may seem strange to nibble on a leaf or sip a brew made from illicit substances, coca is a proven method of combating altitude sickness and a truly Peruvian experience.

While altitude isn’t to be taken lightly, there are many things you can do to mitigate your risk of illness. Gradual ascent and hydration are pivotal, while prescription medication from your GP can prevent the onset of symptoms altogether. It’s recommended that you visit a travel doctor well in advance of your departure.

As any nature lover will attest, there’s no better way to familiarise yourself with a landscape than to traverse it on foot and Peru is bursting with spectacular sights for those who care to explore. From emerald lakes to snow-capped cordilleras (mountain ranges), the country is blessed with natural delights and thanks to ancient Incan innovation, many of the most remote sites are accessible on foot. The diverse geography of Peru means that no trek is the same. If you’re looking for an alternative to the busy Inca Trail, embark on the spectacular Salkantay Trail, while those seeking picture-perfect mountain scenery and glacial waters should stock up on altitude tablets and tackle the 4,600m Laguna 69 trek in central Peru. So, whether you’re an experienced mountaineer or a hiking newbie, there’s a Peruvian trail to suit every traveller.

22 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 LOVE INSPIRINGCHECKCEVICHE?OUTOURTASTESRECIPEHERE PRESS PLAY

TOP: Inca woman in the street in Peru; MIDDLE: Souvenirs at a Cusco market; BOTTOM: Llama at historic Lost City of Machu Picchu; RIGHT: Two scarlet macaw or Amazonian parrots at Manu National Park

Sample all things coca

Strap on your hiking boots

Be altitude aware Most people consider the climate and conditions prior to visiting Peru, but many overlook the biggest factor of all— altitude. Although the capital Lima sits just above sea level, the country’s average altitude is 1,555m and the city of Cusco is at a staggering 3,399m. This altitude comes with several caveats. Aside from general shortness of breath due to lower oxygen levels, it’s common to develop acute mountain sickness (AMS) with symptoms such as headaches, fatigue or weakness, dizziness and gastrointestinal upset ranging from mild to severe. In extreme cases, people can develop high altitude cerebral edema (HACE)—a potentially lifethreatening condition if untreated.

GLOBETROTTER | PERU

When you’re deep in the world’s largest rainforest, there’s never a dull moment

The Amazon Rainforest is one of the world’s most precious ecosystems. Stretching across eight South American countries and French Guiana, it’s home to 10% of the world’s known biodiversity and 1.4 billion acres of dense forests. This selva tropical (tropical rainforest) is bordered by the Guiana Highlands in the north, the Andes in the west, the Brazilian Highlands in the south and the Atlantic Ocean in the east. Much more than a haven for wildlife, the Amazon is also a major producer of fresh air, taking in massive amounts of carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen—hence the nickname ‘lungs of the earth.'

Among the most well-protected parts of the Amazon are those belonging to Peru. The country’s two largest gateways are Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado—the latter is the perfect jumping-off point into nearby Tambopata National Reserve. Upon landing in Puerto Maldonado, you’ll board a motorised wooden canoe and travel down the Madre de Dios river, towards your lodge. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, both on land and in the air, as sightings are common throughout the region. The río (river) is considered a headwater tributary to the Amazon River and straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia, zigzagging from one country to the other. As well as connecting remote areas to the city of Puerto Maldonado, the river also connects people. The Madre de Dios region is home to a variety of indigenous tribes that have survived subsistently, in spite of colonisation and civil conflicts. The largest are the Ese’Eja people, a traditionally nomadic group of hunter-gatherers that believe they came to earth from a cotton thread in the sky. Their culture is rich and heavily tethered to the Amazon ecosystem; medicines are derived from the forest and administered by master shamans, while a respect for Mother Nature is deeply ingrained into the community. Visiting the region allows people

WORDS BY EMMA CALLEY from across the world to interact with and learn from ancient cultures. In fact, far from negatively imposing on these communities, ecotourism is recognised by the Ese’Eja as helping to spread awareness, and preserve their customs. For most, the highlight of their Amazon adventure is animal-spotting. Cruise through Sandoval Lake to spot giant otters, black caiman, rare birds and howler monkeys. Below the surface, you’ll find piranhas and arapaima—one of the world’s largest freshwater fish. If you’re keen to spot wild macaws, Tambopata National Reserve is home to a huge clay lick, which attracts the vibrant birds with its nutrient-rich clay. Finally, when the sun dips below the canopy and the forest is blanketed in darkness, embark on a nighttime tour to learn about the Amazon’s nocturnal residents.

A visit to the Amazon

What’s the best way to get the most out of a few days in the Galapagos Islands? For decades almost the only way to visit the Galapagos Island was 4 to 10-day cruise ship tours. Nowadays, you can visit most of what the Galapagos Islands have to offer from land based itineraries—which I personally prefer. Some islands of the archipelago are inhabited and offer simple but comfortable infrastructure to visit the different locations. You can get up early and go for a walk along a quiet beach packed with wildlife, sit down at a local cafe and have a meal alongside locals, sleep in a bed that doesn’t rock from side to side and contribute to the local economy whilst seeing and experiencing all that Galapagos has to offer.

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Must-try Peruvian foods? Ceviche, lomo saltado (beef stir fry) and papa a la huancaina (potatoes Huancayo style). Any essential Spanish phrases travellers should have down pat before they visit? Por favor (please) and gracias (thank you)—as ever, kindness goes a long way.

What’s your favourite hidden gem or experience in Peru? I personally love the area of San Blas, in Cusco. The steep streets, amalgamation of Inca and Spanish architecture, lovely views of Cusco central area and it’s dotted with lovely tiny cafes and eateries.

Inspiring Vacations’ Regional Product Manager Martin Ruffo started his career in travel as a tour guide in Peru. Born and raised in Argentina, Martin is passionate and knowledgeable about all things South America so we asked him to share his insights and tips into this glorious destination. What’s your best memory from your time as a guide in Peru? Personally I loved hiking the Inca Trail. No matter how many times I hiked it, I was always mesmerised by the landscape, the comradery between hikers, getting to know local porters and, of course, finishing off at the majestic Machu Picchu.

What makes Peru so special? What makes Peru special is its unique culture. Peru’s culture (particularly outside the main cities) is still highly influenced by the Inca. How can a tour guide make the travel experience richer? By being welcoming and approachable. Most travellers have different interests—whether it be music, food, sport, art, etc. As a tour guide you need to be approachable and quickly understand a traveller's interests to be able to suggest and arrange activities in their free time that suit.

LEFT: Martin in Australia's Red Centre; RIGHT: Martin in Latin America

What’s your number one tip for first-time travellers to Peru? Make sure you pack your walking shoes. The best sites of Peru are better explored by foot and the more you can walk around, the more you will enjoy the destination.

What’s one common misconception travellers tend to have about Peru until they visit? People tend to think that Machu Picchu is at high altitude, when in reality, whilst perched on the top of a steep mountain, it’s located at only 2400 metres above sea level.

Q&A: Martin Ruffo Machu Picchu tends to be a once in a lifetime visit. How can travellers make the most of their time there? It truly is a once of a lifetime experience. My best advice would be to put your camera down and listen carefully to your expert’s guide’s explanations. No matter how much you’ve read and know about Machu Picchu before you visit, nothing beats the experience of listening to expert commentary, on site, whilst watching in real time the different formations and their context with the complex. Machu Picchu is more than a pretty archaeological site, it is an engineering masterpiece! It’s understanding the whys and hows that remain in your memory for years to come. You can alway buy a postcard of images far more interesting than the ones most people can capture with their phones (no offence intended!).

What are the Peruvian people like? It wouldn’t be fair to stereotype. People in larger cities (Lima, Arequipa, Puno) are very much like people in other cities around the world. However, once you step into the interior you will find a population that are generally very kind, friendly, slow-paced and rather shy. Which is why local tour leaders come to shine. They play a vital role in helping travellers understand the local culture.

BOOK ONLINE BOOK ONLINE 11 days per person twin share from $2,499* 17 days per person twin share from $6,499* A true Peruvian adventure! From the Inca treasures of the Sacred Valley to quaint Cusco, historic Lima, awe-inspiring Machu Picchu and a three-day exploration of the lush Amazon jungle. • Small group experience, 20 max • Fully escorted by expert local guides • Quality accommodation, including 2 nights at an Amazon jungle lodge • All internal flights, coach, boat and rail transportation DEPARTS FEB 2023 TO NOV 2023 11 DAY ENCHANTED PERU & AMAZON Pair Peru’s delights with the isolated beauty and dream wildlife of the hard-to-reach Galápagos Islands. Swim and snorkel in Kicker Rock, spot giant tortoises and explore iconic Bartolome Island. • Small group experience, 20 max • Fully escorted by expert local guides • Quality, 3 and 4-star accommodation • 4 night exploration of the stunning Galapagos Islands • All transport, breakfast daily DEPARTS FEB 2023 TO NOV 2023 17 DAY ENCHANTED PERU & GALAPAGOS AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ STORE AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ STORE YOU COULD BE THERE NEXT YEAR – BOOK NOW 19 DAY INSPIRING SOUTH AMERICA Big experiences await: both sides of spectacular Iguazu Falls, the Inca treasure Machu Picchu and spirited Rio de Janeiro. You’ll even explore the Amazon jungle and visit indigenous communities on the islands of Lake Titicaca. • Small, intimate group – no more than 20 people • All internal flights, coach, rail and boat journeys • 16 nights in quality, comfortable accommodation • 2 nights in an eco-friendly, Peruvian Amazon lodge • Fully escorted by expert, English-speaking guides TRAVEL FROM FEB 2023 TO NOV 2023 $5,999* 19 days per person twin share from just Our whole holiday experience was great. We had no problems, we had fabulous guides full of interesting facts and information. Our accommodation was amazing. I highly recommend Inspiring Vacations. BRAZIL ARGENTINA PERU Buenos Aires1 SacredLakeValleyTiticacaIguazu Falls 2 Amazon Jungle2 2 Rio de Janeiro 3 Lima 3 CuscoPuno3 2 PicchuMachuFlightCoachBoatRail 1 No. nights AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ, US & IN STORES BOOK NOW AT THIS LIMITED TIME PRICE BOOK NOW AT THIS LIMITED TIME PRICE ADD AIRFARESRETURNFOR $999* PER PERSON Scan the QR code to view the full itinerary, inclusions, sightseeing highlights and available departure dates. SCAN HERE FIND OUT MORE INSPIRINGONLINE! SOUTH AMERICA 19 DAY BEST-SELLING ADVENTURE THROUGH ARGENTINA, BRAZIL & PERU BUENOS AIRES • RIO DE JANEIRO • LIMA • AMAZON JUNGLE • IGUAZU FALLS • MACHU PICCHU • CUSCO • LAKE TITICACA *O ers available for a limited time or unless sold out. Check your country store for local pricing and full terms and conditions. BOOK ONLINE bookme@inspiringvacations.comwww.inspiringvacations.comATCALL US ANY TIME ON 1300 88 66 88 0800 475 025 1 888 356 2021 79 8277 1398

26 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 There is no better way to fend off the Victorian chill than by sipping on a locally brewed beverage by an open log fire in one of the state’s best country pubs COSIESTVICTORIA’SPUBS

rom rough and rustic heritage boozers to experimental breweries in revamped sheds, there is a regional watering hole for all tastes.

BRIDGE HOTEL, CASTLEMAINE Quirky, comforting, and nestled in the grassy end of town, The Bridge Hotel is a family-friendly haven of quality eats, drinks and live music. Grab a table near the firepit out back or nestle by the indoor fireplace. Ingredients for all the pub classics are sourced direct from local farmers including Yapunyah Chickens, Angel Organics Lamb, Gung Hoe Growers, The Food Garden, Tuki Trout and Windarring Urban Mushrooms. On tap there is a range of local beer, cider and wine to quench any thirst.

FORREST BREWING COMPANY, FORREST Small scale brewing at its best, Forrest Brewing Company has resurrected, renovated and extended the old general store to deliver a brewery, bar and dining hall in one. Committed to craft beer and regional living, guests will be charmed by stories of both. With an intentionally casual vibe, enjoy lager brewed onsite, paired with a meal indoors by the fire, or out the back overlooking the Otways.

RADIO SPRINGS HOTEL, LYONVILLE Comfortable, cosy, eclectic and eccentric, the Radio Springs Hotel and their old-school country hospitality will not disappoint. Each of the five spaces inside has its own crackling fireplace to keep guests toasty from top to toe. Head Chef Yvan Meunier delivers a clever menu full of seasonal and stylish pub fare.

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Steeped in history dating back to 1906, The Mitta Pub (formerly the Laurel Hotel) is one of the North East’s true iconic watering holes. A popular destination for fishermen, nature lovers, campers and caravaners, The Mitta Pub offers cosy open fires, an extensive beverage list, hearty meals and an all-round comforting stop in the wintertime. Having recently undergone an extensive renovation, the pub now offers top-notch facilities without losing any of its historic charm.

MITTA PUB, MITTA MITTA

F

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The Cosmopolitan Hotel; Bridge Hotel; The Cosmopolitan Hotel; Forest Brewing Company; Forest Brewing Company

INSPIRINGVACATIONS.COM 27 HOLIDAY AT HOME | VICTORIA

PEPPERCORN HOTEL, YEA Situated directly opposite the old Yea Railway Station and the Great Victorian Rail Trail you will find Peppercorn Hotel, a beautiful historic hotel older than the railway line itself. The Peppercorn’s Kelly Dining Room harks back to another era with its old English oak tables, comfortable chairs, and a wood fireplace. Located in the heart of cattle country, the quality of their steaks is no surprise. Be sure to try the famous sticky date pudding, a permanent feature on the menu.

VICTORIAVISITOFCOURTESYIMAGES:&COPY

The Wandi Pub is the sole public house servicing Wandiligong and its 250 residents. The pub is always bustling, with visitors travelling from far and wide to experience their award-winning hospitality. Situated conveniently in Victoria’s High Country, local and touring bands perform outside on a Sunday afternoon among the fresh country air, fire pits and fairy lights of the beer garden. As snow begins to fall on the neighbouring peaks, visitors can cosy up inside by the roaring wood fireplace.

28 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 HOLIDAY AT HOME | VICTORIA THE BUNYIP HOTEL, CAVENDISH

THE COSMOPOLITAN HOTEL, TRENTHAM Sitting prominently on the corner of High Street and Cosmo Road, The Cosmopolitan has long held a place in the heart of the Trentham community. Located in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges, the Cosmo’s philosophy is to showcase the region’s exceptional and abundant produce in their menus and contribute to the region’s vibrant and festive atmosphere. The beer garden is beautiful but on colder days, the converted stable with open fire makes a cosy hangout.

FROM TOP: Radio Springs Hotel, hasselback potatoes; The Wandi Pub; Tooborac Hotel and Brewery; The Bunyip Hotel, Roast pumpkin

TOOBORAC HOTEL AND BREWERY, TOOBORAC The Tooborac Hotel was built in 1857 of bluestone, ironstone and granite. It stands proudly on the Northern Highway, 40 minutes south of Bendigo as the oldest National Trust-listed country pub in Victoria—renowned for being family friendly with a warm and inviting atmosphere. Find the comfort of a fireplace in both the main bar and dining room, with the crackle and glow welcome company while enjoying a quiet ale.

An institution since the 1840s, James Campbell and Matt Nettleton are the most recent in a historic line of publicans to take the helm of the Bunyip Hotel. Sourcing their menus from local producers and sticking true to their classic country pub ethos, the Bunyip Hotel has perfected the fireside ritual with delicious comfort food and great beer and wine.

THE WANDI PUB, WANDILIGONG

BOOK ONLINE BOOK ONLINE Explore this spectacular region, from the Bungle Bungle Range to the Napier Range and Lake Argyle. Traverse the Gibb River Road, cruise majestic Geikie Gorge and spend 2 nights in El Questro Wilderness Park. • Small group experience, 20 max • Comfortable hotels and incredible camping experiences in spots like Windjana Gorge and Purnululu National Park • Comfortable, modern 4WD coaches • Fully escorted by expert guide, most meals included DEPARTS MAY 2023 TO SEP 2023 15 DAY COMPLETE KIMBERLEY Experience the legendary Ghan rail journey through the fiery Red Centre and lush Top End. Explore Kakadu, relax in Broome and discover the Kimberley wilderness – you’ll even fly over the Bungle Bungle Range. • 2 nights on board The Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin, all-inclusive • Flights from Darwin to Kununurra to Broome  • 10 nights in 4-star accommodation • Day tours to experience Kakadu, Katherine, Willie Creek & Broome DEPARTS APR 2023 TO SEP 2023 13 DAY THE GHAN, KIMBERLEY & KAKADU DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS INCREDIBLE OFFER – BOOK NOW 12 DAY DELUXETASMANIANROADTRIP Tour the Tasman Peninsula including Port Arthur, cruise Gordon River to Hells Gate, explore Cradle Mountain’s natural wonders, tour a renowned winery, cruise Freycinet’s famed Wineglass Bay and marvel at 19th-century villages Ross and Richmond. • 11 nights in quality, 3 and 4-star accommodation • 10 days medium-size car rental, with unlimited kilometres and zero damage excess • 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches including winery experience TRAVEL FROM NOV 2022 TO DEC 2023 A wonderful trip. All went o without a hitch, everyone was expecting us and were helpful and friendly. Would highly recommend you to others wanting such a wonderful experience. Hobart 3 Strahan 1 Stanley 1 MountainCradle2 Launceston 2 Coles Bay Eaglehawk Neck 2 ArthurPort ChromyJosefWinery Mt Field NPRiverGordonQueenstownBurnie RossRichmond Wineglass Bay Freycinet NP St Helens Scan the QR code to find out more and book your next Inspiring Vacation. Our website is packed with articles, videos and travel inspiration. SCAN HERE THERE’S MORE TO SEE ONLINE! CruiseCar 1 No. nights 2023 EARLY BIRD PRICING LIMITED PLACES REMAINING TASMANIAN DELUXE ROAD TRIP 12 DAY SELF-DRIVE TOUR ORGANISED BY THE TRAVEL EXPERTS HOBART • STRAHAN • CRADLE MOUNTAIN • STANLEY • LAUNCESTON • COLES BAY • FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK BOOK ONLINE bookme@inspiringvacations.comwww.inspiringvacations.comATCALL US ANY TIME ON 1300 88 66 88 0800 475 025 1 888 356 2021 79 8277 1398 *O ers available for a limited time or unless sold out. Check your country store for local pricing and full terms and conditions. $2,799* 12 days per person twin share from just AU STORE PRICE 13 days per person twin share from $7,299* AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ STORE 15 days per person twin share from $5,499* AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR US & IN STORES

CD: It’s so hard to pick my favourite aspect about Katherine Howard because I fall in love with her more every day. If I had to put a spotlight on one thing, I think it would be her strength and confidence.

You’re both Brisbane gals–describe your perfect day in this beautiful city?

30 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 INTERVIEW

Chelsea Dawson (CD): Sisterhood, exhilarating, empowering and energetic. Vidya Makan (VM): Joy, sisterhood, hilarious, reclamation.

CD: I did a lot of research about King Henry VIII and his six wives because I only knew them through being a fan of the show before auditioning. When the reality of these queens being real humans kicked in, I think the drive to be ready for the show also stepped up a notch. I really wanted to make Queen Katherine Howard proud of my retelling of her past.

CD: I’m from south-east Brissy so catching a ferry to Stradbroke Island and spending the day on the beach with fish and chips is a pretty perfect day. I also love starting my day walking along the Wynnum Manly Waterfront with a Groundhog coffee in hand. I would say a stroll in the gorgeous Brissy sun along South Bank. A visit to a market of sorts (if it’s a Wednesday I’d head to the city markets or on the weekend the New Farm or West End markets), and then a picnic in one of our many gorgeous parks (I love New Farm Park). Then a ride on the ferry to see SIX at QPAC of course. Tips for visitors to Brisbane? When you visit Brisbane you must visit GOMA and travel around South Bank and all the gorgeous restaurants and parkland. And when you ever are heading to QPAC to see some theatre, always make a trip of it. Give yourself time to explore, grab gelato and have a stroll along the river. I love heading to Metro Arts to see a cool new work. I also love taking a dance class at MAD Dance House. The hip hop scene in Brisbane is incredible so I love exposing myself to watch that world when I can. My favourite place to hang out would have to be West End; Chu The Phat has got to be one of my favourite restaurants, followed by ice cream at Gelato Messina.

The pop musical phenomenon SIX retells the story of the six wives of Henry VIII, their way. Currently playing in Australia and New Zealand, their next stop is Brisbane Playhouse QPAC from December 30. We chat with Vidya Makan (Katherine Howard) and Chelsea Dawson (Catherine Parr) about their roles, and as Queenslanders, get their insider tips on Brisbane. Can you describe the show in four words?

What is your favourite aspect of your character?

QA&

VM: I absolutely love playing Cathy Parr. She turns the show around and she loves generously and acts courageously. And while I of course I love all of the wives for their own special reasons, I of course have a very strong connection to Cathy Parr! How did you prepare for this role?

DAWSON/CHELSEARASCHELLA;2021–22/CLAUDIOCASTAUSTRALIANSIXPHOTOS:MULQUINEY.VANESSABY:INTERVIEW

MORGAND.2021–22/JAMESCASTAUSTRALIANSIXMORGAN;D.MAKAN/JAMESVIDYAMORGAN;D.JAMES

Chelsea Dawson VidyaMakan SIX Australian cast 2021–22 SIX Australian cast 2021–22: Kala Gare, Chelsea Dawson, Kiana Daniele, Loren Hunter, Vidya Makan, Phoenix Jackson Mendoza WANT TO SEE THE SHOW? Click here for more details

VM: There are so many elements that come with preparing to play Queen Parr. Physically, it took months of training to get my fitness and dance up for the physical demands of the show. In terms of character, I did a lot of research which informs elements of what I play on stage, but essentially there is a lot of me in the character. This can be quite confronting at times, but it is the beauty of SIX. The best preparation is connecting with the other queens—our love for each other is what holds the show together.

BOOK ONLINE BOOK ONLINE Explore ancient medinas in Fes and Marrakech and the ruins of Volubilis, dine with a local family at their farm in Midelt and see Ait Benhaddou’s beautiful, grand ksar. • Fully escorted, small group of no more than 12 travellers • 14 nights in 4-star hotels and boutique riads • 1 night in a luxury desert camp in the Sahara • Choose 2 bonus Inspiring Sights The vibrant sights of three exotic countries, from Spain’s spectacular Alhambra Palace to Morocco’s maze-like medinas and stunning Hassan II Mosque. Barcelona streetscapes, desert landscapes and sunkissed Andalusia await. • 17 nights in 4 and 5-star hotels • Fully escorted by expert guides • Ferry from Europe to Africa • Breakfast daily, 2 dinners • Comfortable, private transport DEPARTS OCT 2022 TO NOV 2023 DEPARTS NOV 2022 TO NOV 2023 16 DAY MAGICAL MOROCCO 18 DAY INSPIRING SPAIN, PORTUGAL & MOROCCO LIMITED PLACES REMAINING AT THIS PRICE – BOOK NOW 14 DAY TASTE OF SPAIN & PORTUGAL Spain enchants at every turn, from cultural capital Madrid to Granada’s magnificent Alhambra and dreamy Andalusia. In Portugal, cruise Porto’s Douro River, explore Lisbon and visit renowned pilgrimage site Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima. • Small group experience, no more than 24 guests • 13 nights in premium, 4-star accommodation • Breakfast daily, 4 dinners including welcome tapas • Fully escorted by expert tour leader TRAVEL FROM ARP 2023 TO OCT 2023 This trip far exceeded any expectations we had. Blown away by the incredible sights we have seen. I cannot praise Inspiring Vacations enough for organising this truly once in a lifetime trip.  Madrid 3 Lisbon 2 1 SevilleRonda Costa del Sol 2 1 2 Granada1 SPAIN FátimaAlcobaçaPorto Cáceres BatalhaCoimbraNazaré SalamancaCórdobaPORTUGAL 1 Coach 1 No. nights LAST 2022 PLACES AVAILABLE – BOOK NOW LAST PLACES REMAINING AT THIS INCREDIBLE PRICE Scan the QR code to find out more and book your next Inspiring Vacation. Our website is packed with articles, videos and travel inspiration. SCAN HERE THERE’S MORE TO SEE TASTEONLINE! OF SPAIN & PORTUGAL VIBRANT 14 DAY FULLY ESCORTED, SMALL GROUP EXPERIENCE MADRID • PORTO • FÁTIMA • LISBON • CÓRDOBA • SEVILLE • COSTA DEL SOL • GRANADA BOOK ONLINE bookme@inspiringvacations.comwww.inspiringvacations.comATCALL US ANY TIME ON 1300 88 66 88 0800 475 025 1 888 356 2021 79 8277 1398 *O ers available for a limited time or unless sold out. Check your country store for local pricing and full terms and conditions. $3,299* 14 days per person twin share from just AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR US & IN STORES 16 days per person twin share from $3,999* AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ STORE 18 days per person twin share from $2,499* AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ, US & IN STORES

32 INSPIRING VACATIONS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 LAST PAGE VACATIONSINSPIRING©2019.TURKEYISTANBUL,PHOTO: LOVE CHECKTURKEY?OUTOURVIDEOSHERE PRESS PLAY WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT TURKEY? PRESS PLAY Istanbul is a magical seal which unites Europe and Asia. Without a doubt, Istanbul is certainly the most beautiful place in the world. Gérard De Nerval French poet TRAVELLERARMCHAIR A visit to Istanbul, Turkey INSPIREDTOVISITTURKEY? Check out our tours here

ALSO AVAILABLE: 19 DAY EGYPT & TURKEY SMALL GROUP TOUR CAIRO • NILE CRUISE • ASWAN • ISTANBUL • GALLIPOLI • CANAKKALE • TROY • KUSADASI • PAMUKKALE • CAPPADOCIA BOOK ONLINE $8,499* 19 days per person twin share from justTwo fascinating destinations! Discover the wonders of the Pharaohs, from the Pyramids to the Valley of the Kings, cruise the Nile and experience the sights and culture of vibrant Turkey. • Small group experience, no more than 20 guests • Fully escorted by expert guides, including an Egyptologist • 8 nights in 4 and 5-star hotels • 3 nights in a memorable cave hotel in Cappadocia • 4-night Nile River cruise TRAVEL FROM FEB 2023 TO NOV 2023 THESE PRICES WON’T LAST – PLACES SELLING FAST 14 DAY TURKEYUNFORGETTABLE&GULETCRUISE A wonderful trip. All went o without a hitch, everyone was expecting us and were helpful and friendly. Would highly recommend you to others wanting such a wonderful experience.  East meets west! Explore Cappadocia’s fairytale landscapes and underground cities, see Istanbul’s grand sights, sail the Turkish Riviera, visit the battlefields of Gallipoli and legendary Troy. • Small group of 16 guests, fully escorted • 7 nights in 3 to 5-star hotels • 2 nights in a spectacular cave hotel in Cappadocia • 3 nights sailing on a traditional Turkish gulet • Breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 3 dinners TRAVEL FROM APR 2023 TO OCT 2023 TURKEYIstanbul3 Cappadocia 2 Ankara 1 Fethiye Kusadasi1 2 CanakkaleGallipoliTroy Pamukkale Ephesus 3 CoachCruise 1 No. nights Scan the QR code to view the full itinerary, inclusions, sightseeing highlights and available departure dates. SCAN HERE FIND OUT MORE UNFORGETTABLEONLINE! TURKEY & GULET CRUISE FULLY ESCORTED, VIBRANT 14 DAY DISCOVERY ISTANBUL • GALLIPOLI • TROY • CANAKKALE • KUSADASI • PAMUKKALE • CAPPADOCIA *O ers available for a limited time or unless sold out. Check your country store for local pricing and full terms and conditions. $3,999* 14 days per person twin share from just AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ STORE INTERNATIONALRETURNAIRFARESINCLUDED Including internationalreturnairfares AU STORE PRICE ALSO AVAILABLE IN OUR NZ, US & IN STORES BOOK ONLINE bookme@inspiringvacations.comwww.inspiringvacations.comATCALL US ANY TIME ON 1300 88 66 88 0800 475 025 1 888 356 2021 79 8277 1398

CALL US ANY TIME ON 1300 88 66 88 0800 475 025 1 888 356 2021 79 8277 1398 OR BOOK ONLINE inspiringvacations.comAT CRUISE CANADA & ALASKA BEST-SELLING NORTH AMERICA TOURS NOW AVAILABLE WITH EARLY BIRD 2023 DEPARTURES

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