Rawnsley Park Station, Flinders Ranges
Ranges Kids can learn about wool classing and shearing on this outback station, which runs 2000 head of Merino and Dohne sheep. Explore the property and neighbouring Flinders Ranges on foot or by mountain bike, four-wheel drive or helicopter. Families can book the 1950s two-bedroom Rawnsley Homestead or luxe Eco Villas with views of Wilpena Pound, while those on a budget can opt for a self-contained unit with a shop, swimming pool and the Woolshed Restaurant nearby.￼
Wooleen Station, Murchison
“The romance of the Australian outback is part of our identity and Wooleen cattle station is all about its conservation,” says host Frances Jones. Kids will love spotting kangaroos, emus and sand goannas and pedalling through the bush on the two mountain-bike trails. A pair of rammed-earth, self-contained two-bedroom guesthouses sit amid the mulga landscape. Families can also set up tents and caravans on the Murchison River.
Brickendon Estate, Longford
“Discovering newly hatched ducks, taking in the perfumes of the old roses, being visited by the descendants of convicts on the trail of their family’s past... our family is so lucky to have called Brickendon home for nearly 200 years,” says owner Louise Archer. Just south of Launceston, the estate’s World Heritage-listed colonial Farm Village – which includes a chapel, blacksmith’s shop and cookhouse – dates back to 1824. Stay in the Farm Cottages or convict-built Historic Cottages.￼
Ratho Farm, Bothwell
You’re in wild trout territory here in Tasmania’s Central Highlands. Even the young or inexperienced can go fly-fishing with a guide in the Clyde River or play a round on the golf course thought to be the Southern Hemisphere’s oldest. Stylish minimalism meets rustic chic in the convict cottages and stables by the river, with camping and homestead rooms available for bigger family gatherings.￼
Stonehurst Cedar Creek Cottages, Wollombi
“Guests can taste the grapes straight from the vine and are welcome to explore the 550 acres of farm, organic vineyards and hillsides,” says Laura Heslop, fifth-generation owner of the eight-hectare Stonehurst Cedar Creek estate in the Hunter Valley. Each self-contained convict-brick, timber-slab or sandstone cottage has a wood fire and spa bath and the rate includes a hamper with breakfast supplies. Half an hour up the road, the interactive Hunter Valley Zoo will delight the kids with keeper talks and the Meerkat Encounter.
Kings Creek Station
Families on the big drive around Australia can discover Kings Canyon, in Watarrka National Park, using this nearby camel and cattle station as their base. Sleep under the stars at the Old Drovers’ Camp or stay in the canvas Safari Cabins with solid floors, share bathrooms and a self-catering kitchen (the rate includes a bushman’s breakfast). At the nightly camp fire, kids can toast damper on a stick. Quad-bike safaris and heli rides are also available.
Mango Hill Farm, Sunshine Coast
The Glass House Mountains are the backdrop to this farm in Peachester, where kitchen gardens and fruit trees offer their harvest to guests and children can interact with the horses, goats, sheep and chooks. Bed down in a 100-year-old Queenslander, a two-bedroom workers’ cottage or a former mango packing shed offering accommodation for six people, a kitchen and a barbecue area.
Myella Farm Stay, Baralaba
Ride a horse, crack a stockwhip or toast a great day at the sunset lookout on this 1052-hectare cattle station, 140 kilometres inland from Rockhampton. Stay in the basic rooms (some with ensuites) or camp out. And be sure to gather in the outdoor dining hut for a homemade meal using fresh farm produce.
The Californian Coast (State Highway 1 ) between Los Angeles and San Francisco is a stunning road to journey on. This iconic coastal route hugs the Pacific Ocean and highlights the marvels of modern engineering, with towering bridges hovering over the rough seas below. The shear contrast between the Redwood forests and mountain ranges also adds to the allure of the region. The Spanish history of the area has influenced most of the quaint coastal towns on your journey. We have hand selected a few wonders of the region below for you to discover.
Often called the American Riviera, Santa Barbara has long been a favourite stop on many Californian coastal journeys. The pleasant mediterranean climate of the region make this a great place to stop and expore. With the Santa Ynez Mountains to the east and the glistening Pacific Ocean to the west, not only does Santa Barbara have natural beauty, the city has many facinating buildings dating back to the Spanish and Mexican periods which add to its charm. Some highlights are a visit to the Old Mission, which is a beautiful and historical destination on its own or visit Stearns wharf - which is California’s oldest working wharf - It is a great place to sample the regions freshest seafood. Tip: We recommend arriving in the morning to beat the crowds.
Famed as a place where adventure meets relaxation, and where the pines meet the sea. This rugged coastal town is a wonderful place to escape. There is no shortage of magical beaches to spot migrating humpback whales if you are travelling between May – October. A visit to Cambria is not complete without touring the National historic Landmark of Hearst Castle, This impressive building shows the extreme wealth of its original owner Media Mogul, William Hearst. With over 56 Bedrooms, 61 Bathrooms, a Movie Theatre, Airport and Roman Bath complex are a few of the highlights here. The reminiscence of the Castle's old Zoo can still be seen with a herd of Zebra that to this day still call the area home. The Cambia region is also home to many wineries, making this a great place to stop at a cellar door and try a drop of famed Californian Vino.
Big Sur State Park
Big Sur is famous for is dramatic mountainous scenery. It has long been praised as one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world. Travelling through on this isolated stretch of road gives you the perfect vantage point to see the wildlife that call this wilderness home. Keep your eyes peeled to see raccoons, skunks and deer and even the occasional black bear. Another highlight is to see the magnificent Redwood /Sequoia Pine forests. A few places worth a stop to take in the rocky coastal charm of the region are McWay Falls and Raggard Point.
The dramatic rocky coastline of Monterey is a nature lovers paradise with it's endless beach trails, and ocean outlook. Monterey is the perfect place to explore. Monterey’s natural allure also serves as an artist’s muse, many gifted artists and writers have flocked to the area since the late 19th Century. Monterey is best known for historic Cannery Row where old sardine-canning factories still stand to this day.
Half Moon Bay
The sleepy town of Half Moon Bay is a home to the world famous surf break ‘Mavericks’. This bay can produce some near perfect monster waves. It is a great place to watch skilled surfers try tame the wild pacific swell. The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is home to Harbor Seals and a fun place to explore tidal rock pools. If your tummy is grumbling, a visit to Barbara’s Fishtrap is famous for having some of the best Fish and Chips in all of California. Or pop into Sam’s Chowder house and try their famous Lobster Roll Sandwich.
The City of San Francisco can be the start or end of your Californian coastal adventure. This City has it all. From the moment you lay eyes on the Golden Gate Bridge to the hustle and bustle of the tourist hub that is Fisherman’s wharf. Why not venture up or down the worlds steepest street. Catch a ferry to the world’s most famous prison, Alcatraz. Or catch an iconic tram around this beautiful harbour city - there truly is no other city in the world quite like San Francisco.
Seeing the distinctive red and black funnels in port may automatically announce a Cunard ships’ presence, but there are some key differences between these Queens, including itineraries, space and fit out.
There are plenty of cruise itineraries where you can disembark and enjoy the town just a short walk from the ship, Alaska has some quaint little villages just a short stroll from most ports but to truly get the most out of the inside passage cruise you really need to get off the beaten track and explore into the Alaskan wilderness for that true Alaskan wildlife experience. Here are some of our favourite shore excursions in Alaska's most popular destinations.
Where there is salmon, there are hungry bears. Or more likely, full bellied bears, often feeding their young during the annual salmon spawning season around July. For bear viewing excursions that won't require a flight, MendenHall glacier in Juneau is a Black Bear hotspot. For Brown bears take a short boat ride from Skagway and visit the small village of Haines which is known for its Brown bears.
Alaska from the air
While cruising Alaskan waters offers some stunning views. Often the best views always come from above. There are few roads in southern Alaska, therefore float planes and helicopters are a popular excursion from your cruise ship. So soar above the towering mountains surrounded by one of the largest rainforests in America. Some other highlights are sightseeing over the Misty fjords monument from Ketchikan. Or from Alaska's capital, Juneau, helicopter up to the majestic laces of the Juneau ice field where carving of the ice often will give you a thrill.
Killer whales in Alaska.Francois Gohier/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images
Have a Whale of a time
Alaska is famous for Whales. The inside passage is one of the best places in the world for seeing both hungry humpbacks and the magnificent orca in their natural playground. Do you know Juneau offers the best destination for while watching and is also the best area to see the elusive orca whales.
Fishing in Alaska
Alaska is the ultimate fishing destination. Commercial fishing is one of the areas major industries. Most ports offer fishing excursions, especially at Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan. The Norwegian village of Peterborough is home to one of the biggest commercial fishing vessels. For the ultimate sporting angler experience why not try an adventure in the Bering sea on a Fisherman's tour. Home to the TV show world's deadliest catch.
Wildlife at eye level
Want to get up close to Harbour seas, Sea lions, Dall's porpoises or even humpback whales at eye level? So many tiny islands, kayaking is big in Alaska. What better place to paddle the glassy water than getting on a shore excursion from Sitka, Skagway or Juneau where you can paddle out to the spectacular Nelinho glacier.
Mushing with the locals
There are very few Alaskan tours more iconic than the stunning helicopter dogsled glacier excursion. Famous from Juneau, your excursion begins with an exhilarating 25 minute flight. Touchdown on the high edges of the gorgeous Juneau ice field, where a crew of excited K9 athletes await. Climb into your custom dog sled and striking out in the snow with these extreme endurance Alaskan dog sledding Huskies. Helicopter dog sled tours are always in demand. Book this one early.
Now is a great time to book Alaska, check out this great FLY FREE Offer CLICK HERE
Traditionally when booking flights the earlybird gets the worm. This is still true, especially if you are wanting to fly in busy holiday periods, such as Christmas and during school holidays etc. As a standard rule of thumb did you know that often the best time to book domestic flights is approximately 3 weeks in advance (Excluding holiday periods).
Another great way to save on flights is checking out their weekly domestic sales. Virgin Australia’s Happy Hour is on every Thursday between 4 – 11pm which has a selection of reduced fares each week offered exclusively during this time. Jetstar also runs a Friday Frenzy from 12 – 8pm every week with their discounted departures.
To get a better deal on international flights booking at least 6 months in advance will help you pay a fairer price. Most airlines allow you to book up to 11-12 months in advance.
As travel habits change, so have the seasons. You can grab a great airfare if you are savvy and know when the airlines release their Sale Fares. Europe Early bird fares are usually released for sale around Sept/Oct for specials for the following year. Canada and the USA are typically on sale around June. Asia and other South Pacific destinations often have sales on throughout the year, if you want to grab a bargain, January always has great New Year sale fares if you are open to any destination that may be on offer.
The best deal is always when you get free flights. Some travel companies offer Free flights when booking one of their exciting land and cruise tours. We have some exclusive Travelmarvel fly free offers available for Europe / Canada /Vietnam and Cambodia. Click through to take advantage of them now. CLICK HERE