Itinerary: Discover the Natural Wonders of Namibia

Abercrombie and Kent | Namibia Unearthed Tour

In partnership with

Venture into a vast landscape of shimmering salt pans, red dunes, glittering oceans and haunting coastlines on this 14-day wildlife tour hosted by Abercrombie & Kent. Namibia is home to the Big Five and the Marine Big Five, and some of the continent’s finest game reserves. With specialist guiding throughout, you’ll get an intimate understanding of the country’s ecology and wildlife and its ancient cultures while staying in luxury accommodation.

Day 1

Windhoek

Start this adventure with a warm welcome to the Namibian capital by A&K, then transfer to your cool and contemporary boutique hotel located in the heart of the city. The Olive Exclusive – the first ultra-luxurious sanctuary of its kind in the Namibian capital – is cool, contemporary and stylish but with a warm heart and authentic African soul. Tonight, join your fellow travellers for a special welcome dinner.

Day 2

Windhoek – Sossusvlei

A private aircraft delivers you south to the majestic Sossusvlei dunes where your luxe accommodation at Kulala Desert Lodge awaits. With easy access to the dunes and a private entrance to Namib Naukluft Park, the secluded lodge occupies prime position with magnificent views of the famous red dunes, the mountainous scenery and the vast open plains. Tonight you have the option to head out into the desert in search of the fascinating flora and fauna that the area has to offer.

Day 3

Sossusvlei

Today is an adventure into the world famous Sossusvlei dunes which are situated in the largest conservation area in Africa, the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Before lunch you’ll visit the Sesriem Canyon. This fascinating three kilometre long geographical formation is the result of water carving its way into the earth over millennia. Then this afternoon you may choose to head out on a nature drive on the lodge reserve, or simply relax and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of your surrounds.

Day 4

Sossusvlei – Swakopmund

Today you will wing your way by private aircraft north to Swakopmund via the scenic route (weather dependent) with bird’s-eye views of Sossusvlei and the dune sea that stretches all the way to the coast. Then veer north along the coastline over abandoned mining camps, shipwrecks, Sandwich Harbour, salt pans and Walvis Bay lagoon before landing. On arrival you are met and transferred to your luxurious seaside digs. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore this small, coastal resort nestled between the desert and the sea.

Day 5

Swakopmund

This morning will be spent on the water with a relaxing catamaran cruise. Sail past oyster farms to Pelican Point with its landmark lighthouse and 60,000 resident Cape fur seals. Accompanying our catamaran as we ride the waves you will see a variety of seabird as well. Then enjoy freshly shucked oysters with sparkling wine and snacks to complete our outing. The afternoon can be spent at leisure in your luxury accommodations.

Day 6

Swakopmund – Damaraland

Today you will head north and inland to the wonderful and diverse Damaraland where you will arrive at the luxury tented Mowani Mountain Camp. This will be the jumping off point for the following day’s adventures.

Take off into this remarkable region by 4WD travelling the ephemeral river valleys to explore and search for game. Your guides will share their intimate knowledge and respect for the land that they have built up over a lifetime. Then you will have an extraordinary viewing this afternoon at World Heritage listed Twyfelfontein. There you will see the impressive rock art galleries depict an extraordinary diversity of wild animals – rhino, elephant, giraffe, oryx, ostrich, flamingo, zebra and many more.

Your first stop on the journey today is to a remote Himba settlement in Kaokoland. The Himba are one of the last of Namibia’s traditional people with proud customs and traditions. At the southern boundary of Etosha National Park, you will venture into the privately owned Ongava Game Reserve and arrive at your lodge on the top of a hill in the Ondundozonanandana range. From this magnificent vantage point, beautiful views overlook a waterhole well-frequented by game and the plains beyond.

You will have an extraordinary day of game viewing today in Etosha where the arid landscape makes the spotting of wildlife effortless. Waterholes in this desert terrain attract a range of animals in good numbers from lion, leopard, elephant and rhino to giraffe, wildebeest, cheetah and much much more. This evening you can soak up one of Namibia’s finest sunsets as you gaze over the beautiful scarceness of the Etosha salt pans, embellished only with wild animals and hundreds of camel thorn trees.

Today is a day to relax and soak up the idyllic and tranquil bush surroundings. You can also head out again on safari into the Etosha National Park. The Reserve covers an area of over 34,000 hectares and incorporates ecological substrata such as savannah, bushveld, omuramba and dry pan. This part of Namibia has been identified as one of the key bird watching sites in Southern Africa. To finish the day you will go on a sunset drive with your guides where they will reveal many more of the intricacies of the bush.

The journey heads south today to Okonjima, where we will arrive at your luxury lodge. Your lodge is also home to The AfriCat Foundation, a non-profit organisation, committed to long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores, especially cheetah and leopard. You will gain an intimate insight to the valuable work being done by AfriCat during our stay. Then this afternoon you will head out on a leopard tracking mission. These beautiful predators are frequently seen here on the 20,000 hectare reserve, although sightings are never guaranteed. The day finishes with a visit to the hide to view wildlife by night such as porcupine, honey-badgers and caracal, or you can attend a night drive into the reserve.

Today a fascinating cultural encounter awaits you on the Bushman Trail. You will head out on foot into the reserve and learn about the art of making traditional artefacts and how the San bushmen adapt and survive in an unforgiving wilderness environment. Alternatively, you may join a radio-tracking mission on foot in search of rehabilitated spotted hyenas. During the afternoon, we visit AfriCat’s Carnivore Care and Information Centre. The organisation provides a home, food and care for over 36 rescued animals before they can be released back into the wild. You will see firsthand how this inspirational programme assists in research and conservation through education and positive relations with the local farming community.

After a morning of relaxation and leisure you will return to Windhoek. To end the night you will have a chance to relive memories of our trip at a farewell dinner.

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

  • Breakfast

Discover the Natural Wonders of Namibia

Travel Dates 2019

  • 22 May – 04 June
  • 14 October – 27 October

Prices

  • 22 May – 04 June: AU$14,995 per person
    • Single Supplement: AU$1,545
  • 14 October – 27 October: AU$15,995 per person
    • Single Supplement: AU$1,795

For more information and to enquire about this reader offer please visit: www.abercrombiekent.com.au

Itinerary: A Safari Adventure Through Kenya

Kenya

In partnership with

Abercrombie & Kent Logo

Abercombie and Kent has just released this nine-day safari adventure through Kenya’s beautiful and wildlife-rich terrain. This modern-day adventure channels all the glamour of the bygone era with private camps set up exclusively for your group. You will gain an enriched understanding of the areas you travel through from your professional safari guide, while staying in luxurious accommodations.

Day 1

Nairobi

You will be welcomed to the birthplace of safari where your adventure begins. Arrive at your luxury boutique hotel in the serene Nairobi suburb of Karen late in the day with the evening at leisure to settle in.

Day 2

Nairobi – Ol Pejeta Conservancy

This safari begins in earnest today as you journey north across the Equator towards Nanyuki and westwards to the 90,000 acre Ol Pejeta Conservancy where the classic Hemingway-style camp awaits. Your camp has an exclusive site on a private concession with every home comfort accounted for. Each tent is fully furnished with comfortable beds, warm blankets and fresh linen and an en suite bathroom with flush toilet and hot shower. Obliging camp staff are there on hand 24/7 for each and every request. After an alfresco lunch, there’s time for a siesta before you head out on an evening game drive in search of predators on the hunt and prey on high alert. On return to camp you will toast the safari adventure ahead over a candlelit dinner.

  • Stay at A&K Ol Pejeta Private Tented Camp (Safari Tent)
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 3

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

With the snowy peaks of Mt. Kenya as a backdrop, you are in East Africa’s largest black rhino sanctuary, home to three of the world’s last remaining northern white rhino, and a sanctuary for 113 of the critically endangered black rhino. On twice daily game drives, your naturalist guides will share their expert knowledge as you seek close encounters with the rhino as well as elephant, wild dog, lion, hyena, buffalo, cheetah and all the plains herbivores. Between game drives there is time to relax in camp, take a guided walk or experience the inspiring conservation activities going on at the conservancy including lion tracking or a visit to the anti-poaching dog unit.

  • Stay at A&K Ol Pejeta Private Tented Camp (Safari Tent)
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 4

Ol Pejeta Conservancy – Lake Elmentaita

You will farewell camp this morning and head into the mighty Rift Valley to Lake Elmentaita, a soda lake rich in birdlife. Then you will arrive to the tented camp situated in Soysambu Conservancy which was established in 1905 by Lord Delamere. Enjoy beautiful views of the lake from camp and the animals which graze its shores – zebra, gazelle, eland and families of warthog. There is then time to relax after lunch before a late afternoon game drive.

Day 5

Lake Elmenteita

Today you will visit another of the Great Rift Valley lakes – Lake Nakuru and the national park which surrounds it. This shallow, alkaline lake has earned its fame as the home of the greatest bird spectacle in the world – flocks of often more than a million pink flamingos seasonally feeding off the abundant algae which thrives in its shallow warm waters. Beside its magnificent bird life, Lake Nakuru National Park is also a rhino sanctuary and one of the best places in the country to see both black and white rhino. The park is also home to lion, leopard, buffalo and other plains and forest game who have made it their permanent and protected habitat.

Day 6

Lake Elmenteita – Masai Mara National Reserve

A flight delivers you this morning into the mighty Masai Mara National Reserve where you are welcomed by staff from our next camp and taken on a game drive en route to camp. The Masai Mara’s 1,500 square kilometres of sprawling biscuit-colored savannah plays host to the most spectacular array of wildlife and huge numbers of birds. Together with the adjoining Serengeti National Park to the south, the area makes up the most diverse ecosystem on the continent. Every year the Masai Mara witnesses the most incredible wildlife phenomenon on the planet – the wildebeest migration. On our September departure, you may be lucky enough to witness the mass of plains game moving north from the Serengeti in search of fresh pasture returning south. Late this afternoon you will head out on a game drive in search of the herds.

  • Stay at A&K Masai Mara Private Tented Camp (Safari Tent)
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

The next two days are spent in the world famous Masai Mara with morning and afternoon game viewing activities. You may like to consider an early morning hot air balloon flight (additional charge) one morning which allows you to float gently over the plains, giving a bird’s eye view of the game below as the sun creeps slowly over the horizon. After the balloon lands breakfast will be served and, of course, you can enjoy a glass or two of bubbly to toast your flight.

  • Stay at A&K Masai Mara Private Tented Camp (Safari Tent)
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included

After a final breakfast in camp you will transfer to the airstrip for the return flight to Nairobi. Here you are met and transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for onward flight arrangements.

  • Breakfast

A Safari Adventure Through Kenya

Travel Dates 2018

  • Jun 30, 2019 – Jul 8, 2019
  • Sep 15, 2019 – Sep 23, 2019

Price

  • AU$13,995pp

For more information and to enquire about this reader offer please visit: https://www.abercrombiekent.com.au/journeys/kenya-under-canvas

Itinerary: A Gourmet Tour Through Tassie

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet, Tasmania
Wineglass Bay, Freycinet, Tasmania

In partnership with

Inspiring Journeys logo

Inspiring Journeys has just released this seven-day tour of Tasmania, featuring the best of this beautiful Aussie island known for its spectacular beaches and thriving gastronomic scene. Discover Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Bruny Island, the Bay of Fires and spectacular Wineglass and Coles Bays on this unique gourmet getaway

Day 1

Launceston

On arrival at Launceston Airport you’ll be transferred by private car to your hotel, where you’ll have the opportunity to relax and freshen up before meeting your Journey Director for drinks and canapés at a Welcome Reception.

Day 2 & 3

The Wukalina Walk

This is a two-night Aboriginal-owned and operated guided walk through the magnificent natural landscape of the Bay of Fires and Mt. William areas, the cultural homeland of the palawa people. The walk is a genuine cultural experience that will deepen your understanding of palawa (a Tasmanian Aboriginal ‘clan’) culture and community history as well as immerse you in the natural, rugged beauty of wukalina and larapuna.

Spend one night in absolute comfort in bespoke palawa-inspired (domed) huts, and one night in the meticulously renovated Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage at larapuna/Bay of Fires. You’ll be accompanied by palawa guides in the footsteps of their traditional people on the cultural homelands of wukalina and larapuna (8kms per day at an easy to moderate pace). Hear palawa creation stories and participate in cultural practices that have been passed down through hundreds of generations.

  • Bespoke accommodation
  • Full buffet breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner with wine

Day 4

Bay of Fires – Freycinet

After breakfast, board your vehicle and follow the coast to Coles Bay and Freycinet National Park. The natural beauty of this region, which comprises a peninsula defined by Schouten Island and a granite mountain range known as The Hazards, is breathtaking. Trails lead up to a lookout for panoramic views over Wineglass Bay, and you’ll also see the secluded coves of Coles, Honeymoon and Sleepy Bays. Views from Cape Tourville Lighthouse stretch over the clear blue waters of the Tasman Sea. After two nights on the trail, check in early to your secluded waterfront accommodation to unwind and rest before enjoying a sumptuous dinner together.

Day 5

Freycinet – Hobart

After a leisurely start this morning, continue to Hobart to the renowned Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) for an all inclusive ‘Art Meets Wine’ experience. Perched on the banks of the River Derwent, MONA is Australia’s largest privately owned gallery and museum. Showcasing the diverse collection of its Tasmanian owner David Walsh, the museum exhibits everything from ancient Egyptian funerary objects and modernist masterpieces to a machine that mimics the human digestive system. Begin your MONA experience by exploring the maze of subterranean galleries, then make your way to the on-site Source restaurant for a lunch of seasonal local produce and wine from the adjacent Moorilla Estate winery. A behind-the-scenes tour of the vineyard, the second-oldest in Tasmania, follows. You’ll be treated to a tasting of ten different Moorilla wines before taking the MONA ROMA ferry to Hobart’s Constitution Dock, where the legendary Sydney to Hobart yacht race concludes each year. From there it’s just a short walk to your accommodation, the 5-star MACq 01 Hotel. The evening is free for you to explore the historic, yet trendy CBD.

  • Stay at MACq 01 Hotel
  • Full buffet breakfast
  • Local dining experience

Day 6

Bruny Island

Enjoy an unforgettable, award-winning cruise experience along Bruny Island’s rugged coastline. Take the ferry across the quiet d’Entrecasteaux Channel to the island, where a morning tea of freshly-baked muffins will be served at a beachside café in Adventure Bay before your cruise departs. Then board your vessel to skirt some of Australia’s highest sea-cliffs, enter deep sea-caves and join in the search for seals, dolphins, sea-birds and even migratory whales. Return to the coast for lunch, and arrive back at your Hobart hotel by sunset, with time to relax before a celebration dinner at the Old Wharf Restaurant to toast your journey.

Day 7

Farewell

Bid farewell to your newfound friends as your inspiring Tasmanian journey concludes. After breakfast, a private vehicle will transfer you to Hobart Airport for your onward flight.

  • Full buffet breakfast

Tasmania's Footsteps & Trails Tour

Travel Dates 2019/2020

  • 21 – 27 September 2019
  • 19 – 25 October 2019
  • 16 – 22 November 2019
  • 14 – 20 December 2019
  • 25 – 31 January 2020
  • 15 – 21 February 2020
  • 7 – 13 March 2020

Prices

  • Adult twin share: From AU$4990 pp
  • Single: From AU$5950 pp
  • Child: From AU4990 pp

For more information and to enquire about this tour visit aatkings.com/tours/tasmanias-footsteps-and-trails/ or call 1300 228 546.

Itinerary: The Ultimate Northern Territory Adventure

Inspiring Journeys Ultimate Territory Adventure | Uluru
Inspiring Journeys Ultimate Territory Adventure | Uluru

In partnership with

Inspiring Journeys logo

As one of Inspiring Journeys’ brand new Australian tours, the Ultimate Territory Adventure in Style takes you on an outback journey through the Northern Territory. Experience Kakadu’s ancient gorges and meet the descendants of Aboriginal people who have lived there for 65,000 years on this fascinating 10-day itinerary

Day 1

Darwin – Mary River

Your epic Top End adventure begins in the tropical northern city of Darwin. Join your Travel Director and board your luxury 4WD vehicle, before experiencing stunning Litchfield National Park before embarking on a cross-country journey along the rugged Marrakai Track (seasonally accessible) to the Mary River Wetlands. Tonight, stay in private, permanent safari tents. Note as this Inspiring Journey departs early morning, accommodation will need to be pre-booked for the previous night at Mantra on the Esplanade.

Day 2

Mary River – Kakadu

Wake up with the wildlife and head to Corroboree Billabong, where you’ll take a cruise in the company of a local guide to explore its floodplains and spot the creatures that find sanctuary in its lotus-covered waters. Next, journey into the tropical depths of iconic Kakadu National Park, enjoying a sunset walk at the rock-art galleries of Ubirr. Perched atop Nadab Lookout, watch the sun set over the lush Kakadu floodplains.

  • Stay at Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel, Jabiru
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner with wine

Day 3

Kakadu – Katherine Gorge

Enjoy a leisurely start to your day, or take to the skies on an early-morning flight over Kakadu and Arnhem Land (own expense) before venturing to Nourlangie to admire the ancient Dreamtime art of the Bininj and Mungguy people. Continue cross-country to Gunlom Falls, where a hike to the summit is rewarded with a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear plunge pool. Lunch in the shade of rustling gum-trees before driving on to tonight’s five-star eco-lodge accommodation.

  • Stay at Cicada Lodge, Nitmiluk National Park, Katherine
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner with wine

Day 4

Katherine

Meet didgeridoo expert Manuel Pamkal this morning and share in his passion for the rich traditional culture into which he was born. Learn about life in the bush and experience firsthand the fine art of rarrk (cross-hatch) painting. Later, join a Highlight Dinner cruise and learn about the history and culture of the local Jawoyn people.

  • Stay at Cicada Lodge, Nitmiluk National Park, Katherine
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Highlight dinner

Day 5

Katherine – Darwin

A leisurely start to the day could see you relaxing at the lodge or setting off on a comfortable walk. Later, emerge from the wilderness to journey north along the Stuart Highway on your return to Darwin, stopping to cool off in the cascading waters of Edith Falls and visit the poignant Adelaide River War Cemetery. Tonight, enjoy an evening at leaisure in Darwin.

Day 6

Darwin – Alice Springs

Today you’ll fly to Alice Springs and meet your new Travel Director and group of fellow travellers before visiting the historic Overland Telegraph Station and School of the Air, a crucial service for children living in remote communities. This afternoon, meet a local Indigenous guide for a walk into Simpsons Gap, a stunning gorge carved out of the towering West MacDonnell Ranges. Dine under the Milky Way tonight, enjoying a delicious three-course meal

Day 7

West MacDonnell Ranges

Take a walk this morning through the ancient, dramatic Angkerle (Standley Chasm), a striking red sandstone formation contrasting with the carpet of lush green ferns and gum trees on the valley floor. There’ll be time to swim in the spectacular Ellery Creek Big Hole before visiting the Royal Flying Doctor Service to see how this facility provides vital medical assistance to Outback inhabitants.

Day 8

Alice Springs – Kings Canyon

Travelling off-road this morning, visit the little-known but fascinating Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve before enjoying a relaxed walk along the shady creek-bed of towering Kings Canyon. Another unique wilderness dining experience under a canopy of stars awaits you this evening. You’ll enjoy sparkling wine and canapés followed by a sophisticated fourcourse dinner prepared from fresh produce and ingredients unique to the Australian Outback.

Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch, highlight dinner

es on the valley floor. There’ll be time to swim in the spectacular Ellery Creek Big Hole before visiting the Royal Flying Doctor Service to see how this facility provides vital medical assistance to Outback inhabitants.

Day 9

Kings Canyon – Uluru

The 6km ‘Rim Walk’ around spectacular Kings Canyon today takes in highlights such as the domed Lost City, Cotterill’s Lookout and the verdant Garden of Eden. Travel on to Curtin Springs, home of the Severin family since 1956, and enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch while learning about the logistics of running a million-acre cattle property. This afternoon you’ll enter Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, experiencing the magnificence of the thirty-six red sandstone domes that form Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), and joining your Travel Director for a guided walk through the immense Walpa Gorge. Witness the spectacular changing colours as the sun sets over Uluru, then join your fellow travellers for a Farewell Dinner at Ilkari Restaurant.

 

Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch, farewell dinner

Day 10

Farewell

Experience a majestic sunrise this morning over Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Uluru (Ayers Rock) from the fantastic Kata Tjuta dune viewing area. From here it’s off to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre for breakfast and an insight into the history of the local Anangu people. Take a walk around the base of Uluru, hearing timeless stories, viewing spectacular rock art, and visiting the culturally-significant Mutitjulu Waterhole. In the late morning, when your Inspiring Journey comes to an end, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

  • Breakfast

Inspiring Journeys' The Ultimate Adventure in Style Tour

Travel Dates 2019

  • 2 – 11 June
  • 16 – 25 June
  • 30 June – 9 July
  • 14 – 23 July
  • 28 – 6 August
  • 11 – 20 August
  • 25 August – 3 September
  • 8 – 17 September
  • 22 September – 1 October

Prices

  • Adult twin Share: From AU$5995 pp
  • Single: From AU$7665 pp
  • Child: From AU$5995 pp

For more information and to enquire about this tour visit aatkings.com/tours/the-ultimate-territory-adventure-in-style/ or call 1300 228 546.

Itinerary: The Best of the West

Perth City Skyline on the Swan River, Western Australia
Perth City Skyline on the Swan River, Western Australia

In partnership with

Inspiring Journeys logo

Wine tasting in the vineyards of world-renowned Margaret River, seeing the squeaky white sand of Bunker Bay  and coming face-to-face with adorable quokkas on Rottnest Island – these are just a handful of things to expect on this brand new seven-day Inspiring Journeys tour of  beautiful Western Australia

Day 1

Perth

On arrival in the thriving Western Australian capital, take some time to relax or explore independently. You may like to take a stroll to the nearby Swan Bells, a set of 18 bells arrayed in a stunning modernist 82½ metre-high copper and glass campanile. Enjoy canapés and local wines as you get to know your Journey Director and travelling companions at a Welcome Reception this evening at your hotel.

Day 2

Perth

After a leisurely breakfast visit Elizabeth Quay, where the city meets the Swan River, and Yagan Square, one of the city’s most popular community, meeting and celebration places. Then explore beautiful Kings Park, the jewel in the city’s crown. The afternoon is free for you to explore the city further at your own pace. Tonight you’ll dine in Perth’s premier historical, cultural and dining precinct, the State Buildings.

Day 3

Margaret River

En route to the world-renowned Margaret River wine region today, you’ll discover the white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters of Penguin Island in the heart of the ruggedly spectacular Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. Cruise Shoalwater Bay’s wildlife sanctuary to see dolphins, penguins, sea lions and a myriad of sea-birds, then journey south to historic Busselton Jetty. Enjoy a walk on the beautifully-restored 150-year-old construction, or ride the small train to the end, 1.8 kilometres from the shore. Check in to your 5-star accommodation set on the turquoise waters of Bunker Bay, and dine at the Other Side of the Moon restaurant, named after one of the popular local surf breaks.

Day 4

Margaret River

A ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony begins your Indigenous experience at Cape Naturaliste, where a local guide will escort you on a short walk in the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse precinct. See the land through the eyes of an Indigenous custodian, and experience an artefact interpretation and didgeridoo demonstration. Then drive along peaceful vineyard-lined roads to a Margaret River winery and take a guided walk through the vines. A Local Dining Experience follows at a degustation lunch with matching wines. In the afternoon you’ll explore more of the region, and have the opportunity to spend time in the quaint town of Margaret River.

Day 5

Margaret River – Rottnest Island

Leaving the rolling wine country behind you, journey up the beautiful southwest coastline towards Fremantle. Board your ferry for the short crossing to magnificent Rottnest Island. The island was separated from the mainland around 7,000 years ago when sea-levels rose, and human artefacts dating back at least 30,000 years have been found there. The sandy beaches, abundant marine life and friendly wildlife on Rottnest will delight you. The endearing quokka, a small kangaroo-like mammal, is native to the island, where all plants and animals are protected by law. Settle in to your eco glamping tent, and watch the sun set this evening from a nearby dune.

Day 6

Rottnest Island – Fremantle

Wake up to the serenity of this natural paradise and enjoy a leisurely start to the day. Later this morning, take a guided coach tour of some of Rottnest’s most spectacular locations, and learn about the island’s diverse flora, fauna and history. This afternoon, cruise back to seaside Fremantle and, after taking some time to relax at your hotel, meet your fellow travellers for a Celebration Dinner.

Day 7

Farewell

Join a local expert guide this morning for a walking tour of historic Fremantle, known for its maritime past and Victorian architecture. Gain unique insights into the past, present and future of the port city, and enjoy its wealth of well-preserved and restored architectural buildings, many of which were convict-built during the colonial era. Your Inspiring Journey comes to an end later this morning when you’re transferred by private car to Perth Airport for your onward flight.

  • Full buffet breakfast

A Journey to the West

Travel Dates 2019

  • 21 – 27 September 2019
  • 19 – 25 October 2019
  • 16 – 22 November 2019
  • 14– 20 December 2019
  • 8 – 14 February 2020
  • 7 – 13 March 2020

Prices

  • Adult twin Share: AU$3825 pp
  • Single: From AU$4835 pp
  • Child: From AU3825 pp

For more information and to enquire about this tour visit aatkings.com/tours/a-journey-to-the-west/ or call 1300 228 546.

Itinerary: Queensland’s Unchartered Coast

Snapper Rocks on Queensland's Gold Coast in Australia
Snapper Rocks on Queensland's Gold Coast in Australia

In partnership with

Inspiring Journeys logo

From walks in the Aussie bush to the rugged beauty of the world’s largest sand island, you’ll discover some of Australia’s most loved landscapes on this brand new, eight-day southern Queensland Unchartered Coast itinerary by Inspiring Journeys

Day 1

Brisbane

On arrival in Brisbane, you’ll be transferred by private car to your hotel in Brisbane’s South Bank. Meet your Journey Director for a Welcome Reception with drinks and canapés before a stroll to the waterfront restaurant, Stokehouse Q. Take in the river and city views as you dine with your travelling companions.

Day 2

Brisbane – Rainbow Beach

After breakfast, you’ll join a local expert on a unique walking tour of Brisbane that will offer you a rare opportunity to learn about Brisbane’s Aboriginal history and its culturally rich street art. Try some Indigenous flavours at morning tea before departing Brisbane for your road trip through the Queensland countryside with time along the way to stop in charming hinterland villages including Montville. You’ll arrive late afternoon in the tiny, idyllic town of Rainbow Beach at the base of the Inskip Peninsula, known for its colourful sandcliffs.

  • Stay at Rainbow Ocean Palms Resort
  • Full buffet breakfast
  • Dinner with wine

Day 3

Rainbow Beach – Noosa

Take the ferry to famous Fraser Island and join a 4WD tour of the world’s largest sand island. Walk through towering rainforest at Central Station and swim in the exceptionally pure, vivid blue waters of Lake McKenzie, or stroll on the pristine white silica sand that surrounds the perched lake. Continue your journey to the iconic beachside destination of Noosa. This evening will be free for you to dine at leisure in Hastings Street.

Day 4

Noosa –Grandchester

A wildlife extravaganza awaits you today at Australia Zoo, made famous by the late Steve Irwin, the ‘Crocodile Hunter’. Witness the renowned Crocoseum Wildlife Warrior show and enjoy lunch before meeting staff at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for a private tour of this leading-edge treatment facility. Continue your journey to Spicers Hidden Vale, an historic Australian homestead set on 12,000 acres. This evening, a dinner created from local produce is served at the onsite restaurant.

Day 5

Grandchester

After a leisurely breakfast, visit Summer Land Camel Farm, the largest commercial-scale camel dairy operation outside of the Middle East. You’ll have the opportunity to create your own camel-milk skincare product in the onsite laboratory before lunch at the farm. During the afternoon you’re free to do as much or as little as you please. Spicers Hidden Vale offers an abundance of activities including self-guided nature walks and mountain-biking. However, you may consider an optional experience 4WD discovery tour or you can take to the skies on a helicopter excursion. Or simply relax by the pool while taking in the sights and sounds of the Lockyer Valley. This evening, join a local Indigenous storyteller under the stars for an unforgettable dining experience.

Day 6

Grandchester – Byron Bay

Your first destination today is Mount Tamborine, known as the ‘Green behind the Gold’. Discover stunning waterfalls and local art, or take an optional experience on the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk 30 metres above the valley. If you prefer, you can visit a local winery for a leisurely wine-tasting. This afternoon, cross the border from Queensland into New South Wales and visit Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens, where you’ll discover giant crystals, lush sub-tropical gardens and beautiful spaces for contemplation and meditation. This evening is free for you to relax and unwind at your resort.

Day 7

Byron Bay – Gold Coast

Byron Bay is famous for its beachy, boho vibe and is Australia’s easternmost point. This morning there’s time to explore the town at your own pace. You may like to book an optional experience sunrise balloon flight for spectacular views over the lush Green Cauldron region. Before leaving Byron Bay, head to the famous Cape Byron Lighthouse, a stunning vantage point offering panoramic ocean views and the opportunity for spotting whales (June to November). Your destination beckons as you approach the glitz and glamour of Australia’s Gold Coast. Enjoy a pre-dinner drink on a private boat as you cruise along the canals before a sumptuous Celebration Dinner with your Journey Director and newfound friends.

Day 8

Farewell

Your journey concludes this morning after breakfast with your transfer to Coolangatta or Brisbane Airport for your onward flight.

  • Full buffet breakfast

The Unchartered Coast

Travel Dates 2019/2020

  • 8 September – 15 September 2019
  • 6 October – 13 October 2019
  • 15 December – 22 December 2019
  • 12 January – 19 January 2020
  • 9 February  – 16 February 2020
  • 15 March – 22 March 2020

Prices

  • Adult twin share: AU$5475 pp
  • Single: From AU$7295 pp
  • Child: From AU$5475 pp

For more information or to book this tour  visit aatkings.com/tours/the-uncharted-coast/ or call 1300 228 546

Inspiring Journeys Releases Four New Australian Tours

Byron Bay, Australia

The luxury small group travel operator now offers 13 hand-crafted itineraries across Australia and New Zealand

Inspiring Journeys has released its 2019/2020 brochure featuring 13 itineraries including four new journeys across Australia, so guests can experience more of one of the world’s most naturally diverse continents.

“By expanding our Australian offering, we can now provide guests with our most extensive boutique luxury travel collection to date,” said Hans Belle, Managing Director of AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys. “We are privileged to share the unsurpassed beauty of Australia and New Zealand with travellers looking for a more specialised boutique travel experience or a first-timer that wants to experience these unique and vibrant countries in style.”

The 2019/2020 tours range from five to 22 days and groups consist of no more than 20 likeminded travellers (and no children under the age of 12). The four new Australian trips include:

The Ultimate Territory Adventure in Style

The dramatic landscapes of the Red Centre take centre stage in  this tour where guests explore Kakadu’s ancient gorges, spectacular wetlands and wildlife before flying to the awe-inspiring Red Centre and experiencing iconic Uluru and the mystical domes of Kata Tjuta across 10 days.

 

Tasmania’s Footsteps and Trails

On this new seven-day trip, guests will get to discover Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), the spectacular Bruny Island, glorious Wineglass Bay and take part in an aboriginal guided walk around the magnificent natural landscape of the Bay of Fires and Mt. William areas, which will provide them with in-depth cultural insight.

 

The Uncharted Coast

For those seeking a more relaxing escape, there’s the new eight-day itinerary on Southern Queensland’s coast, staying at the luxurious Spicers Hidden Vale before travelling to the internationally renowned coastal towns of Byron Bay and Noosa.

 

A Journey to the West

Across the other side of the continent, guests can experience the best of the West with a new seven-day tour. From the award-winning vineyards of surfing mecca Margaret River to the endearing native quokkas on Rottnest Island and the laid-back, historic cities of Perth and Fremantle – guests will have no shortage of activities to choose from in Western Australia.

 

New Zealand

Across the Tasman, the collection of Inspiring Journeys through New Zealand takes travellers through dramatic snow-capped mountains, volcanic fields, crystal-clear Fiordlands and pristine lakes. Guests can explore the Land of the Long White Cloud on four dynamic trips, including the 12-day The Southern Drift tour, which will see guests venture into parts of the South Island less travelled from the spectacular vistas of Mt. Cook through to Milford Sound.

The Endless Shores will reveal some of New Zealand’s most mesmerising natural wonders, from the luminous glow of Waitomo to the fantasy-land of the Shire on an 11-day exploration from Wellington through to Auckland.

 

For more information, visit aatkings.com/inspiringjourneys/ call 1300 669 175.

Seven Ways for Non-Skiers to Enjoy Winter in Switzerland

Christmas market in front of the Benedictine monastery in Einsiedeln, Canton Schwyz, Switzerland
Christmas market in front of the Benedictine monastery in Einsiedeln, Canton Schwyz, Switzerland

In partnership with

Switzerland. Get Natural.

Don’t let an aversion to skiing get in the way of a trip to Switzerland in the winter time – this country has as much to offer on the ground as it does on the slopes

Planning a trip to Switzerland but don’t ski? Switzerland might be a haven for winter sports, but it’s also got plenty of soft adventure to offer, too. From those famed Christmas Markets we summer-Christmas-spending Australians can only dream of to toboggan riding that will thrill you as much as it does the kids (admit it), here are seven reasons to visit Switzerland in the winter time – athletic ability not required.

 

Go to the Christmas Markets

C’mon, we know you’ve always harboured a secret longing for a white Christmas, hasn’t every southern hemisphere dweller? From Zurich (home to Europe’s largest indoor Christmas market), to Basel (where fairy-tale dollars are used as legal tender in the markets), and Montreux (the gateway to Santa Claus’ Swiss abode atop Rochers-de-Naye), these snow-covered markets never fail to impress both young and old. The intoxicating holiday cheer and fairy-tale like setting along with live entertainment, traditional food, art and craft, beverages and  of course, snow, create an incredible Christmas experience you won’t forget.

 

Stay in an Igloo (Yes, Really)

Who says luxury equals five star? For a stay worth its weight in snow, visitors can experience life in an igloo – either by building it themselves or checking in to one that’s already built. The Swiss igloo experience usually comes with a range of activities including cheese fondue and gluhwein nights, snowshoe hiking and even spa time under the stars, so luxury travellers seeking something a little different will be in their element while out in the Swiss elements.

 

Experience Dog Sledding

Dog sledding is a surprisingly relaxing activity that will see you sliding across the snow with no balancing skills required. Just take in the spectacular alpine scenery and enjoy this quintesentially alpine activity with man’s best friend. In Appenzell (east of Zurich), snow lovers can even earn to handle the team of sled dogs themselves and tour at their preferred pace – new career, perhaps?

Take a Toboggan Ride

For a bit (or a lot) more speed, thrill-seekers can learn to handcraft their very own “Rolls Royce” toboggan before rocketing down the slopes like they would in a go-cart race. One place where toboggans take over in winter is Col de la Croix, which connects Les Diablerets and Villars in the Vaud region. With its snow-covered paths, cyclists and motorists are forced to take a winter break and make way for the real fun to begin.

 

Attend an Elite Sporting Event

For the well-heeled traveller, skip the slopes and instead mingle with the sporting elite at the Snow PoloWhite Turf (horseracing) and Cricket on Ice. Happening every January and February respectively on the frozen lake in the winter resort of St Moritz, these are the events popular among polite society and come with a string of rich, royal and famous personalities. Established in 1985, the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz is the only high goal polo tournament played on snow; while White Turf has a history dating back to 1907 and Cricket on Ice heads into its 32nd year in 2019.

 

Take in the Scenery on a Panoramic Rail Journey

Journeying through the unmistakable Swiss scenery by train is an absolute must, and while the lush verdant meadows and fairytale-like villages are some definite highlights, so is the equally captivating snow-capped landscape. The Glacier Express (from Zermatt to St Moritz) and Bernina Express (from Chur to Tirano) and the GoldenPass Line (from Interlaken to Montreux) are three panoramic rail journeys that take their passengers through some of the country’s most spectacular snowscapes. You can read more about travelling Switzerland by train here.

 

Cosy Into a Traditional Alpine Chalet

No Swiss winter experience is complete without experiencing the comfort, cosiness and surrounds of a traditional Swiss alpine chalet. With a whole host of cosy winter hideaways on offer, these alpine chalets are equal parts romantic and spectacular, so take your better half and settle in for an authentic Swiss winter stay that is utterly unique.

 

www.myswitzerland.com/winter

12 Luxury Travel Experiences Not to Miss This Year

Great Plains Botswana Experience
Great Plains Botswana Experience

2018’s Chad Clark Certified 25 list of the world’s best luxury travel experiences has just been announced, and being the discerning travellers that you are, we’ve gone ahead and picked our favourites for you. From stays in Canadian log castles to your very own, private airport lounge, here’s what you should be looking at when researching your next holiday.

The days of spending your holidays visiting tourist traps sights, ticking off every historical church and enduring death by museum are over, because we know, you know, and everyone who loves to travel knows that the modern traveller is hungry for experiential travel. That means getaways coloured by unique, one-off experiences and immersive, local adventures you’ll want to share with your friends and family. Well, American travel advisor Chad Clark is making this new attitude to travel official, having last year introduced a system of “certifying” unique travel experiences and releasing an annual Top 25 list.

On announcing the Top 25 for 2018 earlier this week Clark told Forbes: “You have Michelin for restaurants and Forbes Travel Guide for hotels and spa ratings, and golf magazines for Top 100 course lists, but there is nothing like that for experiences and that’s what everyone is looking for today.” And some of the top luxury hotels around the world agree with him, with the likes of Aman and Oberoi already displaying ‘Chad Clark Travel Ventures Certified™ Experiences’ certificates alongside their Michelin stars and 5-Star and Diamond plaques.

Two Aussie experiences made this year’s list, including Southern Ocean Lodge’s Kangas and Canapés signature sunset drinks in the wild experience, and luxury travel agent The Tailor’s Northern Territory Arnhemland Cultural Safari. A jet boat training session and pop-up picnic in New Zealand also made the cut, along with LT favourite, Canada’s Fogo Island Inn.

But enough talk, let’s find out what we should all be doing on holiday over the next 12 months, shall we? Here are our top twelve picks from Chad Clark’s Top 25:

Holistic Immersion in the Birthplace of Yoga

Ananda, Himalayas, India

Guests can experience luxury and ultimate wellbeing all at once with a customised wellness program based on the traditional sciences of Ayurveda and yoga. Set amid the Himalayan foothills, Ananda is perched on a 100-acre Maharaja’s palatial estate within the birthplace of yoga for a yoga retreat quite unlike any other.

The Ultimate Himalayan Village-to-Village Walk

Banyan Tours/Shakti Lodge, India

Spend your days trekking in a remote and beautiful region of the Himalayas known for its gentle people, lush surroundings and sweeping views of the Panchachuli Himalayan Range. This private guided village-to-village walk will see you staying at three beautifully renovated village houses along the way.

The Chilko Experience in a Canadian Log Castle

British Columbia, Canada

Who doesn’t want to stay in a castle? Well with the Chilko Experience in British Columbia you can stay in multiple log castles by night and take in the glacial-fed waters, rushing rivers, bears, salmon and soaring eagles on this world-class adventure by day.

The VIP Palio Experience

Florencetown, Siena, Italy

Take in the view of the world-famous horse race held in honour of the Virgin Mary from the comfort of your own private apartment, while dining on Italian delicacies prepared by your personal chef and sipping fine wines. With each of the historic city’s seventeen districts represented by a horse and jockey, this twice-per-year race has taken place almost every year in Siena’s civic hub, Piazza del Campo, since 1644.

A Journey to a Mayan Wonder’s Past

Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico

Get whisked off in a CESSNA 206 single-engine plane to discover the hidden wonders of the Yucatan Peninsula with an insider trip to Chichen Itzá and Cenotes, and the colonial city of Mérida. Get a private guided tour of the ancient Mayan ruins, take a dip in a freshwater cenote or a carriage ride down Merida’s charming Paseo Montejo, before indulging in lunch prepared by a Grand Velas Masterchef.

Explore Remote Botswana by Foot and Canoe

Great Plains Conservation, Botswana

Spend four days exploring remote northern remote Botswana by foot and canoe on the ultimate safari ­– the Selinda Adventure Trail, where adventure meets luxury. After immersing yourself in nature and disconnecting from the world, fly into the heart of the Okavango Delta for three nights at Duba Plains Camp, where you’ll retreat from a pop-up tent to a 1000-square-foot suite in one of the richest wildlife areas in Botswana.

New York City Luxury by Land and Sea

The Mark Hotel – New York City, USA

Stay in the largest penthouse on the continent (12,000 sq. ft) before boarding The Mark Sailboat, a 70-ft historic 100-year old sailing yacht for some of the best land and sea views of Central Park, The New York Skyline and Lady Liberty. Throw in some private dining experiences featuring famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and you have the ultimate New York luxury experience.

Italian Gourmet Food and Wine Journey

Palazzo Seneca – Norcia, Italy

Listen up, foodies. This food and wine journey gives you the opportunity to embark on a gourmet trail in Norcia, beginning with a truffle hunt followed by a Michelin starred cooking class using the ‘black gold’ you just uncovered. Continue this authentic culinary experience by venturing into the National Park of Sibillini Mountains, and then discover the ancient art of norcineria (Italian cured meats) and olive oil making before witnessing the daily rituals of local Benedictine monks.

Sky-High Service at The Private Suite LAX

The Private Suite Los Angeles, USA

A you the type of traveller that only turns left when you board an airplane? Then The Private Suite at LAX will be right up your alley. The first-of-its-kind in the U.S., The Private Suite is an entirely new type of airline lounge, delivering unprecedented privacy, comfort, and service within a gated, private terminal. Offering VIP travellers generously appointed individual luxury lounges, direct-to-aircraft transportation, and dedicated TSA and Customs & Immigration screening, it’s the new (and for the lucky few, only) way for high flyers to travel.

Navigate Antarctica on a Russian Icebreaker

Quark Expeditions – Antarctica

Take a journey to the bottom of the world, cruising past masses of dense ice and thick, tabular icebergs aboard the legendary Russian icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov. This Antarctic adventure is truly one for those with an explorer spirit, so if meeting Emperor penguins is on your bucket list, this Quark Expeditions’ voyage will bring a smile to your dial.

Breakfast in the Shadows of Mount Everest

Remote Lands – Nepal

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and with this experience it will certainly become your most memorable. Take a helicopter ride from Kathmandu to nearly 19,000 feet for a quick visit to Everest Base Camp before descending to 14,000 feet for a champagne breakfast in Kongde in the shadow of Mt. Everest, all the while surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Himalayas.

Paraglide to your Hotel Arrival

Six Senses Zighy Bay – Oman

This is one for the adrenaline junkies – Arriving at Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman by paragliding off a mountain. Soar above the craggy peaks of the Hajar mountains and land next to the azure waters of the Gulf of Oman, all the while taking in astonishing birds-eye views of the bay.

 

 

See the full Chad Clark Certified 25 here.