Looking for something different to add to your travel wish list for 2016? Guest contributor SUE PRESTON, Travel Editor of The Senior newspaper, provides five suggestions for new destinations that focus on trains, boats and planes plus a bit of serious walking for good measure…..
All aboard and be one of the first to travel aboard the , Ireland’s first ever luxury touring train. Carrying just 40 guests in lavishly furnished, private en-suite cabins, the train will take you to remote areas visiting exclusive attractions such as ancient castles and famous whisky distilleries for a “wee dram”. There are 16 elegant twin and 4 double cabins, some interconnecting making them ideal for families and friends travelling together, and one is suitable for guests with limited mobility. Food served in the richly upholstered dining cars will be influenced by the regions the train travels through with an emphasis on fresh and flavoursome local produce such as artisan cheeses, smoked fish and smooth Irish whiskies.
See www.abercrombiekent.com.au for bookings.
Putting on the Ritz
London’s famous Ritz Hotel, the luxurious Belmond Royal Scotsman train and the floating Scottish manor, the Hebridean Princess, form part of a new, premium journey through the UK this year. The 17-night ‘A Very Royal Affair’ journey by rail, road and sea will leave Australia in August. You spend two nights at The Ritz Hotel before boarding the Belmond Royal Scotsman train for the journey to Edinburgh. Activities in Scotland include attending the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and visiting the Royal Yacht Britannia, once the Queen’s own yacht. Pack your kilt as from the picturesque port of Oban on Scotland’s west coast, you then embark on a seven-night voyage to the remote islands of the inner and outer Hebrides aboard the floating country house, Hebridean Princess, which boasts just 30 staterooms
For bookings see www.cruiseexpress.com.au.
Best foot forward
IF you have a yen for bush, sea and sky then there is a way to enjoy days in the great outdoors without hardship. Bush walks today can deliver rigor, relaxation and reward in equal measure, along with fine food and wine and a comfortable bed at the end of each day. If you want a walk that will have you running out of puff and superlatives then the Queen Charlotte Track on New Zealand’s South Island is the one for you. The vistas along the Queen Charlotte Track are stunningly beautiful. They need to be to distract your attention from the demands of yet another steep climb! The four-day, 71 km walk along former bridle tracks is popular with walkers from all over the world, has beautiful lodges dotted along the track plus the added bonus of your luggage being transported on ahead by water taxis leaving you with just a day pack to carry. Way to go……
Wilderness Guides Marlborough Sounds offer guided and independent walks, mountain bike and kayaking with a range of accommodation options. www.wildernessguidesnz.com
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the US National Parks Service with tour company Globus offering a monumental 100-day tour among the greatest national parks in America. From Hawaii to Maine, the tour visits 34 different national parks, national monuments and historic sites in a single itinerary. Starting July 7, travellers will cross 24 states and six time zones, linking world famous parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon with other natural wonders like the glaciers of Alaska, the peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the desert formations of Monument Valley. Highlights of the tour include the islands of Hawaii, a seven-night Alaskan cruise, the canyons and desert parks of the south-west, wine regions in California and Washington, New England parks in the north-east and the bright lights of cities like New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco.
The tour, Centennial Celebration: 100 Days of GoParks, starts in Honolulu and ends in Las Vegas.
Go Where no Roads go
Roads are good but they can only take you so far. Sometimes you have to go where no roads go to discover the real beauty of the outback. To reach Berkeley River Lodge, one of the most remote coastal lodges in the world, requires a one hour flight in a light plane from Kununurra in West Australia’s north-west. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of a big country flying low over the magnificent Ord River food bowl before traversing the 3,675 square kilometre Carlton Hill Cattle station where much of Baz Luhrmann’s movie ‘Australia’ was filmed. Sweeping in an arc over 20 villas scattered across massive sand-dunes overlooking the ocean and the river, Berkeley River Lodge is a breathtaking and somewhat surreal sight in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful in its simplicity, this is barefoot luxe at its best complete with dinner under the stars by a dazzling azure infinity pool that stretches to – well – infinity! Despite being an indolent traveller’s dream, most guests choose to be active, filling their days with fishing expeditions, river cruises, hikes to rock pools and remote indigenous rock art sites, helicopter flights, bird-watching cruises and beach picnics.
See more at www.thesenior.com.au
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