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Megastore OCTOBER 2018 - ISSUE 3




SEASON New tours from

AAT Kings, Trafalgar & Inspiring Journeys The best FOOD STREETS in PARIS

Play the world’s







Welcome aboard! This month we have a huge variety of holiday options and great travel stories to fully satisfy your wanderlust.

Europe with some wonderful stories to whet your appetite for travel to the Northern Hemisphere.

It’s Choose Cruise month so look out for our super packages and make sure to read the tips from one of our cruise experts. With 2019 travel brochures also being released this month, we focus on

In our own backyard, look out for new tours from some local favourites and we’ve packed our golf clubs for a journey around the world’s best courses. Happy holiday hunting!






1 Malta & the



Hawaiian Highlights


Phuket and Penang

Fly, Stay & Cruise package.

Fly, Stay & Cruise package.

Fly, Stay & Cruise package.

INCLUDES: • Return economy class flights

INCLUDES: • Bonus: Your choice of free

INCLUDES: • Return economy class flights

• 1 night accomm in Valletta • 14 night Italy and Greece cruise

from Sydney to Valletta

• • • • •

onboard Oceana Includes all entertainment and meals onboard (specialty restaurants excluded) 1 night accomm in St Julians 6 day Easy Pace Malta with Insight Vacations Stylish accommodation, some meals, luxury coach & more Private transfers throughout Port charges, fees onboard your cruise and airline taxes.

22-DAYS from $6,075pp*



• • • •

shore excursion credit or specialty dining package Return economy class flights from Sydney to Honolulu 7 night Hawaiian Island cruise onboard Pride of America Includes all entertainment and meals onboard (specialty restaurants excluded) 3 nights accommodation 2 day Go Oahu card which includes entry into over 30 attractions Port charges and airline taxes.

10-DAYS from $4,899pp*


• • • • •

from Sydney to Phuket, returning from Penang Private car transfer from Airport to Hotel 5 nights accommodation at the Charm Resort Phuket including breakfast or similar Private car transfer from Hotel to Port 7 night Thailand & Malaysia cruise onboard Panorama II from Phuket to Penang Includes select meals & activities + more Port charges & airline taxes.

12-DAYS from $5,689pp*












Latest news, updates, tips & more

Here’s what to expect on board

Find out what you need to know

Charming towns of the UK



















AAT Kings unveils more itineraries

The world’s best golf courses

The benefits of travelling with experts

Finding your way around a water wonderland

Visit Passau in Germany

Inspiring Journeys offers four more tours

Tips for entertaining children

The best food streets of Paris revealed

You won’t want to miss this Spanish gem

p20 p32

40 FIJI’S ISLANDS A snapshot guide to a favorite playground 42


Pack the car and discover Australia

w: travelmegastore.com.au | e: info@travelmegastore.com.au p: 1300 859 861 | fb: @travelmegastore CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: Kevin Sharp EXECUTIVE MANAGER MARKETING: Suzy Raymer SENIOR MANAGER PACKAGING: Rochelle Clark PRODUCT PACKAGING ASSISTANT: Amanda Stewart MAGAZINE PRODUCED BY: Well Travelled welltravelled.network PUBLISHER: Brent Rees EDITOR: Jason Dutton-Smith jdutton-smith@welltravelled.com.au DESIGNER: Tommy Wainwright All listed fares correct at the time of publication and subject to availability.






Trafalgar launches Australia & NZ tours For the first time in the company’s 72-year history, Trafalgar will be launching a series of new tours in Australia and New Zealand in 2019. Antarctica will also launch meaning the company will operate on all seven continents. Trafalgar’s Chief Executive, Gavin Tollman, said that although Australia and New Zealand itineraries have been available to international travellers for some time, 2019 will be the first time they’re available to local holidaymakers. There will be 12 itineraries across Australia and New Zealand ranging from five to fifteen days with a 10% ‘Earlybird’ saving when booked and paid in full by January 31, 2019 (or 45-days or more from departure).

Spotlight on the UK One of the great long haul destinations for Aussie travellers, the UK is full of fascinating and diverse experiences to enjoy. In this edition we check out what London has to offer for kids and some of the delightful villages to explore as well as great deals and packages.




Cunard ships add even more ports Luxury cruise line Cunard has unveiled its 2020 program with a host of new itineraries and maiden ports of call. Queen Mary 2 is adding a further 19 Trans-Atlantic crossings to her regular schedule, with six back-toback crossing options between the popular ports of New York City and England’s Southampton. Queen Victoria will make seven new maiden ports of call throughout Europe in 2020, with two new itineraries dedicated to the spectacular Northern Lights. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth will add five maiden ports in Asia to her schedule, including several roundtrip voyages from Tokyo, plus Grand Voyages covering the North Pacific, East Asia and Australia.

Online 24/7 or call us

1300 859 861

DID YOU KNOW? The iconic name ‘Big Ben’ in London’s Palace of Westminster doesn’t refer to the clock. It’s actually the nickname for the bell located in the clock tower.

Quick travel snacks ... • Complementing the popular Collette America’s Music Cities

tour, that southern charm and hospitality is on show again with Collette’s latest ‘Bluegrass Country and the Smoky Mountains’ itinerary. The nine-day adventure takes travellers through the heart of Appalachia to experience the best of what Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina has to offer.

• Insight Vacations’ Europe and Britain 2019 collection features

96 journeys, including three new trips to Scandinavia, Malta and Greece. There is also a commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the World War II Normandy D-Day landings included with several France itineraries.

• Qantas is eyeing off it’s next potential non-stop 787 Dreamliner flight between Perth and Europe, with Paris and Frankfurt the current front-runners. Perth to Johannesburg is also under review to re-commence possibly in 2019.

Coming up You won’t want to miss the next edition of Travel Megastore Magazine in December as we bring you a bumper cruise edition. We’ll also showcase new tours coming online in 2019 and as usual, feature plenty of exclusive deals.




THE ULTIMATE IN SMALL SHIP LUXURY CRUISING Enjoy the Finest Cuisine at Sea aboard our intimate and luxurious ships as you explore the Baltic, Mediterranean and Northern Europe with Oceania Cruises. With more than 60 sailings to choose from, the possibilities are endless. From a wide array of shore excursion options to unique culinary experiences through our Culinary Discovery Tours, you can truly explore the best that Europe has to offer.

THE OCEANIA CRUISES DIFFERENCE • Oceania Cruises is consistently the foodies’ choice when it comes to the comparative quality of epicurean offerings at sea.

• Our world class culinary experiences combined with our focus on destination intensive itineraries have attracted a loyal following among discerning cruisers.

• Our extremely high staff-to-guest ratio means you get unrivalled service at sea.

• Our NEXT program is elevating our luxury ships to a new level ensuring our fleet remains at the forefront of small ship luxury cruising.

• Our cruises are in high demand. Book early to secure the stateroom of your choice.









hether it’s the relaxed intimacy of a river cruise or the staggering entertainment options of a modern megaliner, if you’ve never cruised before, you are in for a treat. But be warned, it’s addictive. Once you’ve done one, you’ll come back for more. The numbers speak for themselves. Per capita, Aussies are the most avid cruisers in the world with 1 in 18 of us taking to the high seas every year. These days, a cruise holiday is as much about the ship as it is about the alluring ports-of-call. After all, it’s where you’ll spend most of your time so the cruise lines go all out to impress. From the food and wine to the activities, entertainment and on board amenities, modern ships have become ‘destinations’ in their own right. Here’s a snapshot of what to expect when you make your maiden voyage.



Food, glorious food! It’s no surprise that for many, on board dining is the star attraction of any cruise. You will have plenty of options to choose from - formal eateries to casual cafes, buffets to upmarket “specialty” restaurants that carry a cover charge. Food is a very big deal at sea.

Shore excursions at each port are obviously the big ticket item on a cruise as you explore each new destination on your voyage. Most cruise lines have free and optional paid journeys that offer just that little bit more.

Depending on the cruise line you’re with, you may pay a little extra for the flexibility to dine at times that suit you. And of course, there’s always room service a phone call away!

NIGHTLIFE & ENTERTAINMENT After dinner, ships comes alive. Depending on the size of the vessel, you can expect a considerable choice of entertainment options from flashy Broadway-style productions to music, magic, comedy and dancing shows. On the quieter side, duck into an intimate bar where you’ll likely find smoothe jazz or a lounge singer. Then there’s often casinos and cinemas to tempt you as well.

For “at sea” days when you’re travelling between ports with no scheduled disembarkation stops, you will never fill time on a modern cruise ship. With everything from wave pools for surfing to ice rinks, rock climbing walls to giant water slides, amusement park-like rides to shopping malls, ships have become virtual floating cities. There’s also the standards like trivia competitions, bingo, games rooms, numerous swimming pools, day spas and social events all on offer to keep you occupied every moment.

CHOOSE A CRUISE www.travelmegastore.com.au



World Leader of

Luxury Expeditions



Discover The Kimberley’s Ancient Landscapes on a Modern Small Ship Expedition The Kimberley, one of the world’s last great wilderness frontiers, is best experienced on a luxury small expedition ship. With PONANT explore one of the oldest of regions aboard the newest of ships, Le Lapérouse, the youngest and most environmentally sustainable vessel in the Kimberley. In a Zodiac®, accompanied by an experienced Expedition Team, navigate through the dense mangroves of the Hunter River, home to saltwater crocodiles, venture beneath the towering King George waterfalls, marvel at extraordinary tidal movements at Montgomery Reef, and see ancient Aboriginal Gwion Gwion rock art galleries at Jar Island. You may even get the chance to witness migrating humpback whales on your journey. Choose our optional excursions and experience a helicopter flight over the majestic Mitchell Falls, a scenic flight in a vintage Grumman Mallard over the picturesque North Kimberley Coast or the Buccaneer Archipelago. Thrill seekers can also take a fast boat ride through the Horizontal Falls! Back onboard your luxurious floating base camp, enjoy PONANT’s signature French luxury and ambiance, cool off in the pool, and with an Open Bar, relax with a champagne admiring the stunning sunsets, before enjoying fine cuisine on deck or in the dining room

*Ponant Bonus discount subject to change based on availability. Demand is very high, so be quick to book to avoid disappointment. Ponant Bonus fare per person, in Australian Dollars based on a double occupancy, including port taxes and transfer (Ship to Broome town/airport), yield managed, correct at time of writing – 24/09/2018. Refer to au.ponant.com for T&Cs. Photographs © PONANT Nick Rains, Mick Fogg, Jean-Philippe Nuel, Philip Plisson. ABN: 35 166 676 517.


Book now to save up to 30%* on 2020 Kimberley Luxury Expeditions. Don't forget to ask us about our 30th Celebration Offers too. Availability won’t last! DARWIN – BROOME or BROOME - DARWIN: 11 departures from May to August 2020. 10 nights in a Deluxe Stateroom from $10,360 pp* for the 28th May 2020 departure. For bookings and enquiries, please call: 1300 657 948





JENNILEEVance-Smith When you’re as passionate about cruising as Jennilee is, selling amazing cruise packages often doesn’t feel like work at all


ehind all the fabulous cruise packages we dream about is a dedicated team of sales professionals. Here, travel consultant Jennilee shares her expertise.

ABOVE: Jennilee in Antarctica one of her favourite destinations to cruise for the wildlife and adventures the ice continent offers.

WHY DO YOU THINK CRUISING CONTINUES TO BOOM IN POPULARITY? Cruising is popular because you can experience multiple ports on the one holiday and only unpack once. You also skip the hassle of airports, and when you consider the cost of your meals, hotel and entertainment are all included, cruising also provides great value.

WHAT DO YOU MOST LOVE ABOUT CRUISING? Besides the value and entertainment mentioned above, there really is nothing like cruising into a port and watching the sunset or sunrise from your balcony cabin. It’s the type of view you would never get from a hotel room.

WHAT LOCATIONS AND VOYAGE DURATION WOULD YOU RECOMMEND FOR FIRSTTIME CRUISERS? The South Pacific is great for first time cruisers as it’s close to home, as well as the shorter 3-4 night voyages that can give you a taste for it.




Yes! Cruising is perfect for a multi-generation holiday with the grandparents, kids and grandkids. From the more intimate small-ship river cruising in Europe and Asia, to big-ship cruising with kid’s clubs and world-class entertainment, there are endless options for everyone.

HOW FAR AHEAD SHOULD YOU BOOK A CRUISE? The first cruises to book out are popular holiday periods such as New Year’s Eve, or during special events like the Melbourne Cup or the football Grand Final cruises, and Christmas and school holidays. Always book early for those times, but look for great sale fares outside of these periods also if you’re hunting for a bargain.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN YOU’RE BOOKING? There are lots of things to consider such as what type of cabin and cruise are you after. Are you looking for a family cruise with connecting cabins, or perhaps a relaxing and romantic couples cruise on a European river? Choosing the correct cabin type and cruise line can make or break your holiday.

ARE BALCONIES WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY? Yes definitely! Sitting on your own private balcony reading a book, enjoying room service or watching the scenery go by is just sublime and absolutely worth the upgrade.




Want to BOOK A CRUISE? Call an expert now on

07 5514 3333 www.travelmegastore.com.au

















































For bookings and enquiries, please call 1300 859 861











By Nicole Leigh West


uaint, quirky and surrounded by nature, charming UK towns evoke memories of childhood stories, like Enid Blyton’s, The Famous Five. Explore seaside caves with the ghosts of smugglers, hang out with locals at traditional pubs, hike along hilltop trails and find antique treasures at sleepy markets. Most of all, get ready to have your socks charmed off.

POLPERRO, CORNWALL Winding, traffic-free streets, pretty

cottages and a sparkling bay add to Polperro’s timeless, fishing village appeal. Once a smuggling hotspot in the 18th century, the town now brims with handcrafted goods and fresh seafood restaurants. Swim in the tidal sea pool, explore nearby beaches, visit art galleries and thoroughly embrace the relaxed pace of life.

BAKEWELL, DERBYSHIRE Bakewell is a small market town, with a whole lot going on. It’s located on the River Wye, in the heart of the Peak District. The Bakewell Show is just one of many attractions in the town’s yearly

calendar, but you’ll enjoy gardens, museums, pubs, cafes, quirky shops and arts and crafts, no matter when you visit.

WEYMOUTH, DORSET Ice-creams, fish and chips and adventure-activities make Weymouth a top spot for traditional, seaside holidays. Life’s all about getting out and about in the fresh air here, with cycling, horseback riding, boating and walking. Combine fun activities with golden sand, a deckchair and clear waves lapping at the shore and you’ll be planning your next trip, before you’ve even left.




Online 24/7 or call us

1300 175 756

CLOCKWISE: Tobermory, Inner Hebrides; Alnwick, England; Tenby, Wales.

RYE, EAST SUSSEX When a town is populated with artists, musicians and celebrities, chances are you’ll find inspiration there too. Ancient buildings, cobbled streets and secret passages attract tourists and film crews alike, with backdrops like dramatic Bodiam Castle. Perched on a hill, the town’s medieval streets are dotted with shops, galleries and restaurants, among beautifully preserved buildings. You don’t have to miss out on the



sea either, with the golden sands of Camber close by.

CRAIL, SCOTLAND Cobbled streets wind down to a quaint harbour surrounded by historic fishing cottages, in pretty Crail. Situated in East Neuk of Fife, time slows down as you eat ice-cream and watch fishing boats rock on the water. Explore the heritage centre, local shops, tearooms and galleries. Most of all, just sit with the vibe of peace

and serenity.

ALNWICK, NORTHUMBERLAND Defined by its fairytale castle familiar to Harry Potter fans as the location for Hogwarts, Alnwick was recently voted one of Britain’s best places to live. This bustling medieval market town also boasts one of the world’s tallest tree houses and one of the UK’s largest bookshops.

FRAMLINGHAM, SUFFOLK Nestled in the Suffolk countryside,

OCTOBER 2018 Framlingham is a perfect slice of country living. Market Hill sits at the heart of town, boasting stores overflowing with goods for treasure hunters. History-lovers descend on the 12-century castle, surrounded by lush parkland and estates.

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON This gorgeous town on the banks of the River Avon was the birthplace of the Bard, Shakespeare. This 800 year old settlement still has many of the dwellings intact the great playwright would have known. You can visit Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall and if you’re lucky enough, see the Royal Shakespeare Company perform at the Swan Theatre.

TOBERMORY, INNER HEBRIDES With its postcard-perfect port decorated with colourful houses, the capital of Mull oozes charm. Walking, boating, fishing, golfing and whale watching are just a few of the attractions, but among the most popular. Culture abounds, with the Mull Museum, the Marine Visitor Centre, art galleries and live music.

TENBY, WALES Overlooking the Pembrokeshire coast, Tenby is a seaside resort with cobbled streets, preserved old town

ABOVE: Crail, Scotland BELOW: Stratford-upon-Avon, England

walls, restaurants, shops, cafes and pubs. Stroll along the coastal path for panoramic views, cruise to nearby Caldey Island and discover wildlife in the surrounding areas. The UK’s most charming small towns quickly enchant and ensure you return for fish and chips, relaxation and picturesque history, time and again.

IRELAND & BRITAIN ESCAPE 2019 9 -DAYS from $1,269 pp Discover the best of both worlds on your Ireland and Britain fully escorted holiday for an escape from the highseason crowds, without the high-season prices. Your guided tour of Ireland and Britain begins in the legendary Irish capital city of Dublin, and also visits Belfast, Cairnryan, Edinburgh, Alnwick, York, Stratford-upon-Avon, and concluding in cosmopolitan London. INCLUDES:

• 9-day fully escorted air-

conditioned motorcoach tour

• Free Wi-Fi onboard and in most hotels

• Daily full breakfast, 2x

three-course dinners with wine, all accommodation & transport with driver & professional guide.



Various departure dates available between January & April 2019. Ask us about extending your stay with a UK add-on package.

FIND OUT MORE www.travelmegastore.com.au







he vastness and diversity of Australia can make travelplanning a daunting task. Where on earth do you start?

There’s no doubt the easiest way to explore the majesty of the world’s largest island - and knowing you’ll get to see the best it has to offer - is to travel with a company that’s been doing it for more than a century. Kings, a name synonymous with guided holidays in this country, has just released its 2019/2020 brochure with more than 40 itineraries to choose from. These fully-guided tours not only showcase the nation’s icons but the deep local experience of the Travel Directors escorting each holiday means you’ll get to see, touch and taste things you might otherwise miss travelling independently. We’ve selected three contrasting holidays that demonstrate the variety and the richness on offer with AAT Kings. And if you book any of the 40 itineraries available by January 31, 2019, you’ll save 10%.*

Outback Adventure - 15 Days Everyone should visit the stirring and powerful Red Centre of Australia at least once in their lives. This spectacular adventure adds even more excitement as you start your journey in the food and wine capital of Australia and then travel through the vast interior toward the tropics finishing in the Top End at Darwin. Your journey of the senses begins when you join a food expert who



escorts you on a fascinating tour of Adelaide’s fabulous Central Market that was established in 1869.

And of course, right here in famous wine country, this holiday includes tastings in the Clare Valley as you make your way through the Flinders Ranges to legendary outback destinations like Wilpena Pound, Coober Pedy and ultimately into the Northern Territory for a bucket list moment enjoying a glass of bubbly watching the sunset over Uluru.

on experiences you’ll enjoy as you continue north also include swimming at Mataranka Thermal Springs, having a beer at the historic Daly Waters pub, cruising the stunning outback waterways of Katherine Gorge, discovering ancient rock art, seeing wildlife at Yellow Water Billabong, touring beautiful Litchfield National Park and a dinner cruise on Darwin Harbour.

Western Wonderland - 16 Days On the western edge of the continent, you’ll discover a unique playground you’ll never forget.

BOOK BEFORE From your escorted city tour JANUARY 31, of cosmopolitan Perth, Western Wonderland includes a rich variety of experiences from trendy Fremantle 2019, AND and its famous market to the YOU’LL SAVE culinary highlights of Margaret River, interacting with Dolphins at Monkey Mia and visiting the incredible Wave 10%* ON A Rock. FEATUREYou’ll also explore Australia’s tallest lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin PACKED GUIDED mainland and marvel at the Pinnacles. More natural highlights include walking HOLIDAY! above the tree canopy at the Valley Your Travel Director will lead you through the stunning domes of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and you’ll learn about Indigenous culture throughout your time in the red heart that also includes a visit to awe-inspiring Kings Canyon and the Devils Marbles. One of the most enlightening experiences of the trip is a Be My Guest dinner with the Falzon family at their Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre - widely considered the benchmark of sustainability, ecotourism and education. The endless variety of hands-

of the Giants in Denmark, discovering the oldest life forms on earth at World Heritage-Listed Shark Bay, strolling gorgeous Shell Beach and make sure to have your camera ready for the jaw-dropping gorge country of remote Kalbarri National Park.

Perfect Tasmania - 12 Days From coast-to-coast, in all directions, the Apple Isle packs in plenty to see in a short time. Your fabulous 12 days in Tasmania will have you engaging with the island State’s unique wildlife and its world famous natural beauty, sampling

OCTOBER 2018 CLOCKWISE: Be moved by stunning Kata Tjuta on the Outback Adventure holiday; Walk through Kings Canyon; Tour Bridestowe Lavender Estate in Tasmania; Discover the Pinnacles in Western Australia. Images courtesy: AAT Kings, Getty Images and Shutterstock

artisan food and wine and touring dreamy lavender fields. Of the many highlights to look forward to, strolling the shores of Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain, enjoying lunch cruising the Gordon River, visiting Port Arthur, Hobart and Launceston and enjoying a cruise on Wineglass Bay will stay with you forever. For more information or to book call 1300 859 861 or visit aatkings.com/ Australia *Terms and conditons apply








COURSES By Andrew Marshall


uy your airline ticket and pack your golf clubs. Here’s a fantasy golf vacation to play 10 of the most spectacular courses around the globe. BARBADOS - SANDY LANE At the exclusive Sandy Lane resort on Barbados is a Caribbean golf classic known as The Green Monkey. Created and sculpted from a former working limestone quarry, course designer Tom Fazio slowly builds drama through the first eight parkland-style holes, then startles golfers with a rapid descent into an abandoned quarry where 27-metre high coral walls dwarf the fairways.



The signature hole is the photogenic 206-metre par-3 16th, where players hit down into the old quarry to a green edged by a massive bunker featuring a grass island carved in the shape of a Bajan green monkey. www.sandylane.com

BULGARIA - THRACIAN CLIFFS “You will not find a golf course like this anywhere else on the planet,” says course designer Gary Player about his stunning layout framed by rugged coastal cliffs and the vast blue of the Black Sea. The 302-metre par-4 7th sums up what Thracian Cliffs is all about. The men’s regular tee is a small

island in the Black Sea and a carry of nearly 170-metres is required to reach the fairway. The best approach is to aim at the bunker on the left hand side of the fairway, but be careful, short or slightly to the right and you are in the water. Once safely on the fairway, a precise short iron second is required to the elevated green. www.thraciancliffs.com

CHINA - STONEFOREST There may be no more spectacular a setting for a golf course anywhere in the world than Stoneforest International Country Club set among 200 million-year-old karst


MAIN: The stunning Cape Kidnappers at Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

rocks of all shapes and sizes that have visitors reaching for their camera as often as a club. With three 18-hole layouts, one reserved for members only, Stoneforest has more than taken full advantage of its location. Some holes playing among the rocks are simply dazzling. Others, sweeping up or downhill, are as enticing in their visual appeal as they are enjoyable to play. The A course, rising to a high plateau, is arguably the most dramatic, while the back nine of the B course isn’t far behind. Situated at 6,000 feet above sea level, Stoneforest is in a region rapidly emerging as China’s golf

capital, with 15 courses in play and as many again under development. www.stoneforestgolf.com

IRELAND - OLD HEAD Built on a 220-acre diamond of land in County Cork and jutting out over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean, Old Head Golf Links is another of the planet’s must-plays.

set tight to the ocean. www.oldhead.com


With the ever-changing sea breezes, and over 7,200 yards in length from the tips, the course provides a stern test for players of all levels.

“To me the key with Cape Kidnappers is that it’s just different from everywhere else,” says American architect Tom Doak, who has skilfully linked together eighteen amazing holes on a triangular headland that juts eight kilometres into the Pacific from the North Island wine-region community of Napier.

Nine of the holes play along the cliff tops, and all eighteen holes provide breathtaking ocean views.

Cape Kidnappers fabled fingers of fairway dodge menacing ravines and skirt the Cape’s signature white cliffs

The pick of the short holes is Coosgorm, a terrific 186-yard par-3







which rise some 500 feet from the shores of Hawke’s Bay. “I’ve always thought that ‘Pebble Beach on steroids’ is a good description of Cape Kidnappers,” says head professional Jonathan McCord. www.robertsonlodges.com/thelodges/cape-kidnappers

SPAIN - ANFI TAURO Designed by Robert Von Hagge, Gran Canaria’s impeccably maintained desert-style PGA championship course located among rocky canyons and gorges, waterfalls and glistening lakes offers a perfect contrast to the surrounding volcanic mountains. CLOCKWISE: Wolf Creek, USA; Green Monkey at Sandy Lane, Barbados; Stoneforest, China; and Thracian Cliffs, Bulgaria. Images courtesy: Andrew Marshall, Kaia Means, Wolf Creek, Sandy Lane, Cape Kidnappers.

Anfi Tauro is one of those rare courses that generate a genuine sense of awe from one hole to the next for an unforgettable round. The course is a dream for golf photography and even the most inexperienced snapper can’t fail to capture a good image here. One of the most photogenic holes is the classic 209-metre, par-3 6th framed on either side with swaying palms and a pyramid-shaped rock. www.anfi.com

SCOTLAND - TRUMP TURNBERRY This iconic links that regularly ranks in the world’s top 20 courses, came to international prominence with the infamous ‘Duel in the Sun’ between Tom Watson (champion) and Jack Nicklaus over four sweltering days of the British Open during July 1977. Since then, Greg Norman (1986), Nick Price (1994) and most recently Stewart Cink (2009) have made up the quartet of golfers to lift the Claret Jug at Turnberry. The 452-yard 9th, called Bruce’s Castle is one of Turnberry’s trademark holes. Adjacent to the famous lighthouse and the remains of Robert the Bruce’s Castle, it’s a daunting par-4




especially from the championship tee which is perched on a rocky premonitory on the edge of the sea. www.turnberry.co.uk

SWEDEN - BRO HOF SLOTT From the moment you drive through the gates of Bro Hof Slott (about a 40-minute drive from Stockholm) and glimpse the white hilltop castle, manicured fairways and glistening Lake Mälaren, you know you are at a special course. “Everything is big at Bro Hof. The holes are longer, the greens are bigger, the course has more water and the bunkers are larger and well placed,” says Robert Trent Jones Jr who designed this superb lakeside layout with state-of-the-art facilities. Only open for play since 2007, Bro Hof Slott’s Stadium Course is now a world top 100 golf course and hosted the Nordea Masters European Tour event . www.brohofslott.se

THAILAND - BLACK MOUNTAIN Black Mountain Golf Club at Hua Hin is one of those courses that grabs your attention the moment you enter the property. On the left before the main entrance is an exquisite 9-hole par-3 course,

set in a valley with water on every hole and then you arrive at the clubhouse which sits on a ridge looking towards the black rock mountains which give its name. A wonderful range of uphill and downhill holes and just enough water to make you think are among the many reasons Black Mountain has been named Thailand’s best course. It has hosted several Asian Tour events as well as the bi-annual Royal Trophy between Asia and Europe. www.blackmountainhuahin.com

USA - WOLF CREEK Located 77-miles north of Las Vegas at Mesquite, this is 18 holes of

fantasy golf at its ultimate best. Opened in 2000, this visually captivating design immediately drew rave reviews and is now firmly established as one of the top public courses in the United States. Carved beautifully out of the surrounding desert, Wolf Creek looks like strips of green velvet have been laid out on a Mars-like landscape. After the tee shot at the 579-yard par-5 opening hole its a rollercoaster golfing adventure among sculpted hills, canyons and ravines with several elevation changes, 98 bunkers and forced carries over streams and ravines. www.golfwolfcreek.com

GOLFMEGASTORE Ever wondered what it would be like to play golf at a variety of courses and save on green fees every time you play? My241 Golf gives members access to more than 200 participating courses, including private clubs and championship courses, with instant savings up to 50% on green fees. With more than 400 discount golf offers, including more than 200 special 2FOR1 deals, members can play and save wherever they live or travel to play golf throughout Australia. Want to try? Well now you can with this special offer from Golf Megastore in partnership with My241 Golf giving you 3-months FREE membership to see for yourself how great the My241 Golf program is. Visit www.golfmegastore.com.au to join or for more information. www.travelmegastore.com.au




way to travel






he joy and personal fulfilment you get from travel is often not about ticking off the big-ticket experiences but revelling in the smaller ones - the chance encounters, the gems you discover by accident, the smells and the sounds along the way. These are the things that linger in your memory as you reflect on your journey long after you’ve returned home. It’s a fact one of the world’s leading travel companies has come to recognise after 72 years shaping lifelong memories for more than five million travellers. Trafalgar heralds these serendipitous events as ‘pinch me’ moments and they are spot on. Europe in particular with its glorious contrasts of cultures and moods offers boundless pinch me moments … if you know where to look. And that’s the real benefit of a guided holiday with Trafalgar. Sure you’ll get to see the Eiffel Tower and The Colosseum and learn some things when you do but it’s what happens before and after you explore those icons that you’ll likely remember most. That gorgeous little hidden cafe with the mouth-watering crepes that

your Travel Director knew about, the handpicked hotel room that had such a famous story to tell, the VIP admission to see the Vatican Museums as you stride past the long queues, the new friends you make as you travel and likely stay connected to for life - Trafalgar sums it all up as Good Times, Good People, Good Everything. And it’s all so effortless. Once you have enjoyed a guided holiday like this, you’ll never bother again with scrambling your own itinerary together and hoping for the best when you arrive. With Trafalgar, all the organisation is done, the best accommodation curated and schedules optimised meaning all you have to do is let Europe and Britain unfold in front of you aided by the insider knowledge of your Travel Director. Connecting with locals is an integral part of a Trafalgar holiday and they take it one significant step further with Be My Guest experiences that quite literally have you seated at the dining table of a local family. And Stays with Stories are a delightful enhancement to your holiday. More than just a bed to rest for the night, Trafalgar has hand-selected special hotels that boast a historical or community connection that will provide you with plenty of engaging travel tales to share after you return home.

Then there’s the Dive into Culture hands-on experiences that can range from a whisky distillery tour and tasting in Glasgow, indulging yourself with churros in a chocolateria in Madrid to a perfume museum in Paris … Trafalgar’s extensive experience in hand-crafting guided holidays will leave you pinching yourself time and time again. To save 10%* on your 2019 holiday with Trafalgar, call us now on 1300 859 861. *Terms and conditions apply

TOURSPOTLIGHT Grand European Summer 2019 Wander through 17th-century Bruges, the reflective waterways of Amsterdam and medieval Rhineland as you get under the skin of Europe and discover unexpected Trafalgar Highlights.


- 21 days; from $6565 per person - Book early to save 10%*

FIND OUT MORE www.travelmegastore.com.au





he watery wonderland of Venice isn’t your typical city when it comes to getting around. Forget about buses, trains and cabs, Venice transport revolves around the 177 canals that meander between its Gothic buildings and historic public squares. Here’s some essential tips.

RIDE A VAPORETTO Although you can walk around most of Venice, some parts are accessible only – or certainly more quickly – via one of the water buses called ‘vaporettos’. Vaporettos are Venice’s main mode of transportation and perfect for crossing the wider canals or when your legs have had enough. Affordable and reliable, vaporettos offer wonderfully scenic rides to major points of interest including the Rialto and Fondamente Nove. A single ride is €7.50 so if you’re staying for a few days, it might be worth investing in an unlimited vaporetto pass. Stroll around: Salizada San Moisè, a street lined with luxury boutiques near Piazza San Marco.



TRAVERSE THE GRAND CANAL IN A TRAGHETTI Walking or taking a vaporetto around the Grand Canal is ideal for sightseeing but if you’re in a hurry to get from one place to another, a traghetto is your best bet. Popular among locals, traghetti are gondola-styled vessels that run from about 9am to 6pm each day. There are multiple launching points around the Grand Canal, including from Campo San Marcuola and the Rialto. A traghetto ride costs €2 and is a great way to embrace the Venetian culture. Don’t miss: The Rialto Market which has market stalls selling local food and regional specialties overlooking the Grand Canal.

SPLURGE ON A GONDOLA Yes it’s a cliche, but it’s one so good you just have to give it a go! Despite their romantic appeal, gondolas aren’t only for honeymooners. The traditional flatbottomed boats offer a practical solution to gaining access to the narrowest canals, revealing parts of Venice other forms of water transport can’t reach. This alone is worth the €80 it typically



ABOVE: You could go all the way and hire a gondola or take the much cheaper ‘water bus’ (right) known locally as a Vaporetto.

costs for a 40-minute ride. And upgrading to a singing gondolier is what we call a worthwhile travel splurge. Don’t miss: Snapping a photo on the Ponte di Rialto, built in 1588.

CAPTAIN YOUR OWN BOAT This is definitely one for the more adventurous and courageous travellers. Piloting a boat around Venice is akin to driving a car through a museum of priceless artefacts. Fortunately, hired boats aren’t allowed in the most trafficked areas such as the Grand Canal and historic city centre waterways. Skilled captains do have the freedom to traverse the sprawling Venetian Lagoon reaching islands other travellers might never see. Drop-in: Campo Santo Marina for traditional Venetian restaurants.


cases of flooding known as ‘acqua alta’. Caused by the combination of high tides and low atmospheric pressure, the flooding affects most areas tourists tend to congregate. Don’t miss: A drink at one of the alfresco bars in the leafy Campo Santa Margherita.

GET ‘LOST’ Yes, when all is said and done, Venice is a fabulous place to get lost in if your navigation goes haywire. It’s actually a dream destination for walking. It’s flat, has many charming alleyways to chance upon and its streets are well signposted. Every corner reveals yet another inspiring piece of architecture or fascinating attraction to steal your attention – or distract it. It’s also one of the safest cities in the world.

A big part of Venice’s charm is also becoming a major concern as the rising water levels threaten to one day consume the city.

Be sure to pack or download a local map and be mindful of prominent landmarks. St Mark’s Square is generally considered the central meeting point in this incredible place.

It’s a while away yet but already, Venice occasionally experiences extreme

Orient yourself to that and you should be right!

DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF ITALY WITH PEREGRINE 10-DAYS from $5,755pp From the canals of Venice to the historic streets of Rome, Italy is constantly familiar and endlessly surprising. Catch the top-tier sights – Venice’s bridges, Pisa’s Leaning Tower and Rome’s Colosseum – and combine them with the humble delights of the fine food of Tuscany, natural vistas and unearthed cultural treasures.

ENQUIRE NOW: 1300 859 861 FIND OUT MORE www.travelmegastore.com.au











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1300 859 861

Germany’s L


ocated on the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz Rivers on the border of Germany and Austria, beautiful Passau is predictably known as ‘The Three Rivers City’. The earliest evidence of human settlement here dates back to

Neolithic times.

A city of the Roman Empire for over 400 years, Passau’s ancient cobblestone streets, gorgeous architecture and welcoming atmosphere will cast a spell on you. In the heart of the Old Town is the city’s tallest building, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which houses the world’s largest organ with its 17,774 pipes that are still in

operation today. After a devastating fire wiped out the town in 1662, Passau was rebuilt in the classic Baroque style evident today. A popular start or end for river cruises, avid cyclists can also pedal the 300-kilometres to Vienna along scenic riverside bike trails. Journey into the heart of Europe with Scenic over 13 days from Budapest to Vienna.





It’s time to TRAVEL


f you’re looking for an upmarket travel experience where everything is organised for you then it’s time to treat yourself with Inspiring Journeys.

capital, you’ll pass through charming hinterland villages en-route to Rainbow Beach and then beautiful Fraser Island for a 4WD expedition. To really unwind, it’s onward to Grandchester and the gorgeous 12,000 acre Spicers Hidden Vale property with is magnificent grounds and acclaimed restaurant, Homage.

This is boutique travel at its best. Known for its unique style of luxury travel made easy, Inspiring Journeys has four new hand-crafted adventures that enhance its reputation even further. Like all its guided holidays for discerning travellers, the new additions for 2019 and beyond will ensure guests enjoy genuine local interactions, a deep connection with nature and culture and travel in groups of no more more than 20. And of course, everything is organised for you. This is the kind of travel you really participate in rather than passively



take in sights along the way. Check out the four newcomers added to an already spectacular list of artfully curated itineraries.

The Uncharted Coast - 8 Days Beginning with a sumptuous dinner overlooking the Brisbane River, this magnificent sojourn through southern Queensland will rejuvenate you with its palette of indulgences. Heading north from the Queensland

With plenty of included treats, opportunities for exploring at your leisure and optional extensions like helicopter and balloon flights, you really are spoilt for choice. Your next overnight stay sees you pass through the pristine Tamborine Mountains on your way to the playground that is Byron Bay and ultimately, the glorious Gold Coast.

A Journey to the West - 7 Days Vibrant Perth is your starting point on this discovery of the west that allows you plenty of time to go exploring on your own aided by the expert tips of your Journey Director.

OCTOBER 2018 With four more luxury itineraries to choose from, you’re seriously spoilt for choice...

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Unparalleled outback views from Gunlom Falls in Kakadu National Park; Explore the Red Centre in all its glory; Cape Naturaliste in Western Australia. Images courtesy: Inspiring Journeys & Getty Images After taking in Elizabeth Quay, Kings Park, the Swan River, Yagan Square and more, your guided holiday heads south to show off the very best of renowned Margaret River. On the way, enjoy a cruise of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park and Penguin Island where you can expect to see dolphins, sea lions, countless seabirds and of course the island’s namesake, penguins. In Busselton, ride the small train along the southern hemisphere’s longest timber jetty before checking into your five-star accommodation. When you arrive in Margaret River, you’re in for a gastronomic treat of degustation meals and tastings of those world famous wines. By the time you start to head north again, prepare for one of the tour highlights with a fabulous overnight glamping stay on beautiful Rottnest Island where you can get up close with the adorable resident Quokkas. This amazing journey culminates in historic Fremantle. From the spectacular wetlands and Dreamtime stories of Kakadu to the sheer cliffs of Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, to the fabled red heart of Alice Springs and iconic Uluru, the

10-day Ultimate Territory Adventure in Style is a handcrafted holiday experience you’ll never forget. Engage with the local Anangu people, discover ancient rock art sites, sample genuine bush tucker, walk Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm and Walpa Gorge and more. For an altogether different type of engagement with the many moods and landscapes Australia, Tasmania’s Footsteps and Trails offers a kaleidoscope of experiences over seven days. Starting in Launceston followed by a guided walk through the Bay of Fires and Mount William on the cultural homelands of the palawa people, you will continue this stunning journey on to Freycinet and the famous Wineglass and Coles Bays. In Hobart, visit and dine at the renowned Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and enjoy a trip to stirring Bruny Island before farewelling the Apple Isle in Hobart after a magical week. Book now and save up to 10% on all Inspiring Journeys*. Call 1300 859 861 or visit inspiringjourneys.com. *Terms and conditions apply.

THE UNCHARTED COAST 8 -DAYS from $5,475pp* The very best of Australian coastal playgrounds are presented to you in this incredible, sumptuous journey through South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Relax, rejuvenate and indulge in this tropical paradise. HIGHLIGHTS:

• Enjoy a slower pace at Spicers Hidden Vale

• A 4WD tour of worldfamous Fraser Island

• Dine on the Brisbane River • Play on the Gold Coast • Soak up the beach vibe of Byron Bay


1300 859 861 www.travelmegastore.com.au



KIDDING around in


ondon for kids can seem more like a fairy-tale book then the global economic powerhouse it is; stories of queens, princes, castles and pageantry are the attractions here. London has long been a family destination, filled with myriad attractions, sites, museums and shows including the much-loved pantomimes.

Here’s the great city through the eyes of a child.

HARRY POTTER TOURS The city really comes alive for kids when they can experience the magical world of Harry Potter firsthand. There’s plenty of tours on offer that can guide you around famous spots where the movies were filmed or go straight to the source on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour.


If you want to get out amongst it on foot - with a guided walking tour or under your own steam - visit the most famous landmark of them all, Tower Bridge where Harry flew along www.travelmegastore.com.au

the Thames in The Order of the Phoenix and stroll Piccadilly Circus where Harry, Ron and Hermione run for it during the Deathly Hallows Part 1. The Reptile House at London Zoo is where a python spoke to Harry for the first time, at St Pancras Station he boards the Hogwarts Express and Westminster Tube Station was one of Harry’s most popular haunts in The Order of the Phoenix. More info: wbstudiotour.co.uk/

GO WILD Need to run off that jetlag? Let the kids loose at Go Ape, Battersea Park, in Central London for a few hours of fun climbing rope ladders, zip-lining, walking treetops and much more. Watch as they navigate obstacles, go canopy exploring and race to the end all while harnessed above ground. Children just need to be over six years of age and over one-metre tall to participate and parents can watch from the various observation towers. More info: goape.co.uk

OCTOBER 2018 Where: Battersea Park, on the south bank of the River Thames opposite Chelsea. Open: Open every weekend and daily during the UK school holidays.

FREE MUSEUMS FOR KIDS With many offering free entry and over 300 museums and galleries to choose from, you don’t have to search far or wide for a child-friendly option. The Natural History Museum is free to enter. Here you can marvel at a life-size skeleton of a Blue whale, get up close and personal with a T-Rex dinosaur, get hands-on in the science lab and try out the earthquake machine to experience a simulated ground tremor. More info: nhm.ac.uk

LEFT: London’s famous Tower Bridge. ABOVE: The Natural History Museum.

Where: Cromwell Road, London Tube stop: South Kensington train The Science Museum is one of the most visited science and technology museums in all of Europe. With over 15,000 objects on display and interactive galleries, an entire day could easily be spent here. Be sure to see the Apollo 10 command capsule, before entering the 3D and 4D simulators where you can experience the sensation of blasting off into space. This is one the adults will love too. More info: sciencemuseum.org.uk

ABOVE: The red deer of Richmond Park.

Where: Exhibition Road, London

Where: Bartholomew Lane, London

Tube stop: South Kensington train

Tube stop: Liverpool Street

Bank of England Museum traces the story of money back to 1694.


But this museum will yield a few surprises you wouldn’t expect to see. View gold bars, coins and notes once used for trading centuries ago. Check out the display of pikes and muskets that were used to defend the bank, Roman pottery and mosaics that were unearthed during the bank’s reconstruction in the 1930s and discover what George Washington has to do with the Bank of England, plus other documents relating to famous customers. More info: www.bankofengland. co.uk/education/Pages/museum/ visiting/default.aspx

For a wildlife encounter, head to Richmond Park (near Wimbledon) where 650 wild red and fallow deer roam the grasslands and many bird species, butterflies, beetles and over 250 types of fungi can be found. Take the kids to The Regent’s Park, which houses the largest outdoor sports area in central London. Spanning 395 acres, it’s also home to the Open Air Theatre, London Zoo, Primrose Hill and the country’s largest waterfowl collection. From Outer Circle, head down Chester Road to enter through the Jubilee Gates, a grand iron and gilded

semi-circular entryway that was installed to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V and the official opening of Queen Mary’s Gardens in 1935. The best time to see the 12,000 plus roses in bloom is the first two weeks of June. One of the eight Royal parks of London, Kensington Gardens is spread across 97-hectares with an impressive number of attractions. Stroll through the 150-year old Italian Gardens and follow the trail to the Peter Pan Statue put in place in honour of J.M. Barrie’s fabled tale. Of course the most notable and magnificent attraction on the property is Kensington Palace itself, a royal residence dating back to the 17th-century. www.travelmegastore.com.au 33










By Brent Rees


f there’s a way you can possibly do it, try and live in Paris as a local just once in your life.

If you can manage it, ideally, try to stay for a few weeks. That’s long enough to really get into the swing of this fabulous, fabulous city. I’ve been lucky enough to do it and managed to book accommodatin above a boulangerie, right in the thick of the action. It was a great start to my adventure. One of my enduring memories of this short but unforgettable sojourn in the City of Light was discovering the food streets of Paris and how they are an intrinsic part of life for locals. A daily visit to the nearest fromagerie is just one of the gastronomic treats waiting for you as a ‘local’ in Paris. Located in the 7th arrondissement as I was, strolling along Rue Cler was a daily ritual. It sounds dreamy now but dropping by a handful of shops and street carts to procure the elements of a gourmet picnic and then meander across the street to Champ de Mars to sit on the lawns while the mighty Eiffel Tower held centre stage, was, well, just my routine.

The Champ de Mars surrounding the Eiffel Tower is a favourite picnic spot. There are many ‘food streets’ in Paris, but here three of my favorites; Rue Cler (7th Arrondissement), Rue Mouffetard (5th Arrondissement) and Rue Montorgueil (2nd Arrondissement). Street markets per se pop up everywhere around the city on different days of the week but streets permanently dedicated to top notch seafood, cheeses, wines, produce and the like are something altogether more special. The cobblestones of Rue Cler only add to the magic as you peruse the stalls and windows or occupy a kerbside cafe seat to take it all in. If you plan on visiting, the closest Metro stop to here is Ecole Militaire. Of the many sensual treats you’ll discover, you must drop by Davoli - La Maison du Jambon. Funnily enough, it’s an Italian-owned delicatessen but something of a Parisian institution selling signature homemade dishes and fresh cuts that have to be tasted to be believed. The same could be said for Creperie Ulysee en Gaule. If crepes are your guilty pleasure, be prepared to feel CONTINUED P36





very, very guilty. And very few cheese shops in France would have the audacity to call themselves singularly, Fromagerie. But Fromagerie does just that. An amazing selection of France’s finest dairy products lies within. And be sure you try the Epoisse. Another tip, if you plan to visit Rue Cler on a Monday, perhaps think again as there may be quite a number of stores closed, but Sundays are generally fine before mid-afternoon. That goes for most food streets in Paris. Over in the 5th, Rue Mouffetard is very much a local’s street - a slowly descending narrow thoroughfare where the air is filled with the smells of hundreds of competing delicacies. The closest Metro stops to here are Cardinal-Lemoine and CensierDaubenton. It can be busy - even busier at night - but well worth a visit to immerse yourself in the way everyday Parisians go about their business and the ritual of discovering fresh



food, hand-selected. The district surrounding Rue Mouffetard is what you might call ‘arty’ so it’s easy to while away many hours exploring the eclectic world around you. A personal favorite here is another fromagerie, The House of Androuet, at number 134. In the heart of the city, Rue Montorgueil is among the more trendy food locales with bistros and cafes sitting alongside a wonderful array of boulangeries, patisseries and providores. It is also one of the oldest market districts. It follows

therefore you will find some of the oldest established food outlets in Paris and Patisserie Stohrer is one of them dating back to the 1730s. It’s expensive but your tastebuds won’t complain if you indulge just a wee bit. This area is notable for its seafood so make sure to sample what all the fuss is about by dropping in to Rocher de Cancale to sample the oysters for lunch. The locals have been doing it for 150 years!




1 Carnival Spirit

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Cruise on select Azamara Club Cruises and receive a double cabin upgrade from Club Interior to Club Verandah. Available on select 2019 and 2020 sailings worldwide.

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eville is one of those rare cities – Florence is another – where you can expect a casual stroll to yield one delight after another. Much of Seville’s old city is pedestrianised and perfect for just wandering around on foot, finding architectural treasures around every corner. Street lamps are hung on the walls of the houses; large, ornate and giving out a soft, flattering light. The houses themselves look decidedly closed from the outside, shuttered and barred, the often massive studded doors firmly shut. If one should be open though, you glimpse a secret world - a marble courtyard open to the sky filled with greenery and usually a splashing fountain. All of this owes much to Seville’s Moorish heritage. Even the cathedral was once a mosque, its tower a minaret later topped with bells and crosses. Its keyhole windows, though, are still unmistakably arabesque because for seven centuries, Islam ruled in southern Spain. If their houses are closed, Sevillanos are the opposite. Even in early March, everyone is out on their evening walk, stopping to chat, take a fino (super-dry sherry) and a small tapa in one bar, before continuing to late night shopping and eventually, much later, dinner. In Seville, life is lived outdoors and at this time of year it is magical with the air infused with the smell of orange



blossom from Seville’s 30,000 orange trees. In the gardens of Seville’s royal palace, the Alcazar, that scent blends with jasmine, a suitably sensual mix for this palace of delights. Spanish royalty has historically preferred to hold its big events – such as weddings – here rather than the massive Gothic cathedral, a stone’s throw away. In all its glorious beauty, it’s filled with fountains, shady courtyards and gardens, while the tiles, the delicate plasterwork, elegant double columns and horseshoe arches represent some of the finest Islamic art you will ever see. For centuries, Seville was the winter capital of Spain, evidenced in its many smaller palaces in the old town for the nobility. Many are now hotels, albeit on a smaller scale than the Alcazar, around similar marble courtyards with fountains and greenery, a necessary cooling system in the savage Andalusian summer – a house with a courtyard is 12 degrees cooler than one without. Back on the city streets and it’s a different world - noisy, filled with shouts and laughter and music. Seville’s a musical place – it has featured in some 138 operas (you’ll see plenty of references to Carmen, Figaro and Don Giovanni) – but the local music is, of course, flamenco. At the Flamenco Dance Museum, the

stage floor is pitted with the marks of the dancers’ shoes – percussive instruments in themselves – and the audience crowds round the tiny stage just big enough for one singer, one guitarist and two dancers. None was in the first flush of youth but they were powerful, passionate performers and you can see the chemistry. Granada’s Alhambra was built very soon after the Alcazar in Seville but it feels much more of a fortress than a palace. Strategically situated high above the town, it was the last Moorish kingdom to fall to the reconquistadoresin 1492. The caliphs who built it must have known their days were numbered but inside the fortified walls they still contrived to build an Islamic paradise on earth – green gardens, cooling fountains, delicate craftsmanship of glass, tiles, wood and plaster. The plasterwork in particular is remarkable, resembling finely wrought stalactites falling from the ceilings. This effect was intentional and meant to imitate the stalactites of the prophet’s cave, underlining the piety of the Alhambra’s rulers. In spite of Napoleon’s attempts to blow it up and its decades as a squat for, as my guide described them, “gypsies and vagabonds”, it is still one of the planet’s most iconic buildings, a masterpiece of Islamic art in the heart of Europe. At night it is lit from below and the


limestone walls glow, with the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada turning pink in the sunset behind them. Cordoba, the last of my Moorish cities, is not visited so much as Seville or Granada but it should be. It has some of the most beautiful courtyards, or patios here, in Andalusia, that have their own festival and competition in May. The streets and squares are lovely, bars and restaurants spill out on into the open air, there are fascinating museums (flamenco, bullfighting) and magnificent Roman remains. At its heart is the mezquitaor mosque that has an integrity that even the cathedral rudely inserted in its centre couldn’t destroy. Its rhythm of slender columns with their double horseshoe arches reaches in every direction, repeating symmetry as far as the eye can see. Marble and stone, reds and creams are the principal materials but there were, too, ivory and jasper, porphyry, gold, silver and brass. It is architecture as music and even the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, regretted the additions. When he visited the completed cathedral installed in the centre of the mosque, he lamented, “They have taken something unique in all the world and destroyed it to build something you can find in any city.”  But, we will let you decide for yourself.

HIGHLIGHTS OF SPAIN - 9 DAYS FROM $2494pp True to its name, this escorted journey showcases the best that Spain has to offer: the Alhambra, the modernist architecture of Barcelona, Madrid’s Prado Museum, the Andalucian capital of Seville and Cordoba’s Mezquita, to name but a few ...


Granada: Join a local expert at the Alhambra Palace, the ultimate in Moorish architecture, an arabesque fantasy in stone, complemented by the glorious Generalife gardens. Madrid: Witness the world’s finest collection of Spanish paintings as you tour the Prado Museum with an art historian. QUOTE PACKAGE CODE:


FIND OUT MORE www.travelmegastore.com.au



Fiji’s GUIDE to





OCTOBER 2018 Images courtesy Tourism Fiji, Aaron March and Mark Snyder.


hink of Fiji and you’re naturally drawn to sun, sand, culture and lazy days on the beach with swaying palm trees and perhaps a cocktail in hand. It’s enough to put anyone in a holiday state of mind. In the Fijian archipelago, there are over the 330 dreamy islands, of which around 106 are inhabited. Here’s a beginner’s guide to Fiji’s more popular islands.

VITI LEVU Viti Levu is the largest of Fijian islands, and at over 10,000 squarekilometres, it’s one of the largest in the South Pacific. You’ll find the main airport here, Nadi International, and also the capital Suva, about 200 kilometres away.

YASAWA ISLANDS The Yasawas lay north-west of Viti Levu and their remoteness is part of the appeal. There are a handful of upscale resorts but plenty of affordable accommodation to escape somewhere quiet. And you won’t find banks or shopping malls here either, instead, plenty of outdoor adventures like hiking, snorkelling and diving. GETTING THERE – Sea plane and helicopter transfers can be arranged with your resort. Ferry or catamaran connections take about 3.5-hours and depart daily from Denarau Island Marina.

DENARAU ISLAND This island complex is on the island of Viti Levu, joined by a small causeway and where you’ll find all the big hotel brands like Sheraton, Hilton, Westin, Sofitel and more. It’s the perfect place for families with over-sized pools, nannies, kid’s clubs, multiple bars, restaurants and so much more. Sea transfers to the Yasawa Islands or the Mamanucas Islands depart from the marina also. GETTING THERE – shuttles, local buses and taxis are available from Nadi airport and the city.

KADAVU With very few roads and only one small town, Kadavu is where you’ll get back to nature. It’s also home to the stunning Great Astrolabe Reef where you can explore a vibrant underwater world. Back on land, it’s all about the lush tropical rainforests, bird watching and relaxing. GETTING THERE – Flights to Kadavu are available on Fiji Airways from Nadi and Suva. Many resorts offer connecting boat transfers from Suva or land transport from the airport. There’s also a ferry that departs daily from Suva.

MAMANUCA ISLANDS Made up of 20 islands, the Mamanucas are a mix of large scale resorts and more intimate and boutique style hotels. The islands may have a familiar look

about them as several movies and TV shows have used them as a backdrop including Tom Hanks’ Castaway and the reality TV smash, Survivor. GETTING THERE – Helicopter or sea plane transfers are the fastest and most streamlined method of travel. South Sea Cruises provides three daily boat departures from Denarau Island Marina.

LOMAIVITI GROUP The island nation’s first capital of Lavuka, now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, was here in the Lomaiviti group of islands. Parts could be described as rustic, but a stay here is a fascinating look into Fiji’s colonial past. You will also find a selection of private and exclusive resorts. GETTING THERE – Private flights are available from Nadi and Suva. Fiji Airways offers scheduled flights to the island of Koro from Suva. There are also regular ferry services from Suva.


• Return flights and transfers • 7-nights on Taveuni Island • All meals daily (B,L,D)


1300 859 861 FIND OUT MORE www.travelmegastore.com.au


OCTOBER 2018 CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Judbarra National Park; Great Ocean Road; Nullarbor Highway; Flinders Highway. All images by Andrew Marshall.


Hit the ROAD in





Road Journeys

OCTOBER 2018 By Andrew Marshall


ith the cruise control activated and a feel-good beat on your vehicle’s music system, hit the open road and experience the freedom and space of Australia.

lives in WWI. Carved from precipitous cliffs and sodden rainforests, it was an amazing undertaking and was finally completed in 1932.


Tens of thousands of years of erosion by the powerful forces of the Southern Ocean on the soft limestone cliffs have gone into creating the spectacular natural sculptures along this coastline. Sites such as the Blowhole, the Arch, London Bridge, the famous Twelve Apostles and over 100 shipwrecks are guaranteed to inspire the weariest of motorists.

This is the big one. The longest, straightest, flattest road journey in Australia is often thought of as one of the continent’s most ‘boring’ stretches.


But this so-called no man’s land of featureless monotony deserves closer examination. Formed from the world’s largest single slab of limestone, this is a land of remarkable surprises both above and below the surface. There’s the longest, straightest stretch of highway in the world (90km) between Balladonia and Caiguna, blowholes around Caiguna where you’ll feel the air rush up from deep below, the remote Eyre Bird Observatory at Cocklebiddy and at Eucla where the highway draws near to the Great Australian Bight, the remains of the old town can be seen submerged in the sand dunes. The name Nullarbor stems from the Latin ‘nulla’ and ‘arbor’ meaning no trees. Not surprising. Heading east from Norseman on the Eyre Highway, it’s difficult to tell where the plains actually begin. That said, the first surprise is that there are so many trees. Mallee eucalypt and acacia woodlands march on either side of the highway. Shortly after crossing the SA border, there are several tracks leading to lookouts providing spectacular views of the world’s longest sea cliffs. Here, the Nullarbor comes to an abrupt halt plunging over 100 metres to the ocean below. Near Ceduna the landscape takes a decidedly rural and hilly turn and there is a sense of completion. The ‘all time’ crossing is made and the experience is one to remember.

COASTAL MAGIC - GREAT OCEAN ROAD (VICTORIA) One of the world’s most inspiring coastal journeys Australia’s Great Ocean Road offers all the brooding drama and windswept magnificence of Victoria’s ‘Shipwreck Coast’ and the lush dripping rainforest and towering eucalypts of the Great Otway National Park. Officially, the road runs 247kms from Torquay through to Warnambool. Although it can be driven in 1 to 2 days, there is so much to see and experience that it is better suited to a journey of 5 to 6 days, staying in the many B&Bs or campgrounds along the way. Construction of the iconic road began in August 1918 to commemorate the Australian soldiers who lost their

The section of Queensland’s Flinders Highway that runs between Hughenden and Mt Isa is known locally as ‘Dinosaur Highway’ - a bitumen journey into outback terrain that traverses 100-million years of history. Today, the red earth around Hughenden is famous for its rich fossil finds such as the Muttaburrasaurus, a 14-metre tall reptilian giant. Shortly after Hughenden off a side road, a gorge of immense proportions dissects the landscape. This is the Porcupine Gorge, also known as ‘Australia’s Little Grand Canyon’, and it’s well worth the diversion off the Flinders Highway. The multi-coloured layers of the sandstone walls mark the immense passage of 280 million years. For the majority of its length, the Flinders Highway cuts through sweeping plains of Mitchell Grass but approaching Cloncurry where it joins the Barkly Highway, the endless horizon is broken by rocky outcrops and spinifex-cloaked hills that rise up from the plains. Arriving in Mt Isa you’ve hit the ‘big smoke’. This mining town has progressed to be the world’s largest single-mine producer of lead, silver, copper and zinc.

A TASTE OF THE OLD TERRITORY - VICTORIA HIGHWAY (NORTHERN TERRITORY) Travellers motoring between Kununurra in Western Australia and Katherine in the Northern Territory shouldn’t miss this great experience in their hurry to cover kilometres. The Victoria Highway is rich in attractions and offers a taste of the old ‘Territory’ - as wild as it is west. The mighty Victoria River, 800km long and 40km wide at the mouth, weaves through a unique terrain. The spectacular roadside scenery of flanking escarpments continues on to the small township of Timber Creek, with the addition of the characteristic boab tree. In Timber Creek, a real life wild west town if ever there was one, characterful Wayside provides accommodation, a van park, supplies and meals. Judbarra National Park (formerly Gregory National Park) borders the Victoria Highway around Victoria River Crossing, offering a bounty of wonderful camping spots and fabulous walks. www.travelmegastore.com.au


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Profile for Travel Megastore Magazine

Travel Megastore Magazine | October 2018  

The ultimate resource for passionate travellers with great stories, deals, tips and more!

Travel Megastore Magazine | October 2018  

The ultimate resource for passionate travellers with great stories, deals, tips and more!