AFRICAN WILDERNESS ADVENTURES Inspiring Itineraries for Discerning Travellers

 

Hong Kong based boutique travel agency Charlotte Travel launches three new exclusive Africa itineraries exploring this fascinating continent, offering exciting journeys for travellers to discover the African wildlife, its unique culture and extraordinary scenery. From colonial architecture to safaris, iconic red dunes to national parks, Charlotte Travel creates authentic travel experiences and unforgettable journeys for all its clients.A leading, family-run travel company headed by the mother and daughter team of Jackie and Charlotte Harris, Charlotte Travel prides itself on providing exceptional personal service. With a team of experienced Travel Advisors, Charlotte Travel leverages their solid reputation and close relationships in the global travel industry to craft tailor-made experiences that match the specific needs and desires of each traveller.

Botswana Exploration – Great Wilderness Journey

On this journey, travellers will visit the world-famous Victoria Falls and cruise down the Chobe River in search of elephant herds. Guests will also explore one of the most sought after wilderness destinations in the world, the Okavango Delta, which gives entrance to the spectacle of wild Africa such as the heart-stopping excitement of big game viewing, the peacefulness of an untouched delta, and evocative scenes of natural beauty. Beginning at HKD95,500 per person, the 11-day package is inclusive of all internal road transfers, charter flights, laundry service and alcoholic beverages.

Diverse Namibia

This adventure begins with the magnificent soaring red dunes of Sossusvlei followed by a “Dolphin and Seal” Catamaran Cruise from Walvis Bay to explore the ice-blue Atlantic coast. The journey continues to Damaraland, where guests will encounter the world’s largest concentration of black rhinos before moving onto the Ongava Game Reserve of Etosha – the highest density wildlife area in Namibia, for a guided game drive to see the Big Five and rare species such as the black-faced impala, Hartmann’s mountain zebra or the smallest antelope in the world, the Damara dikdik.

Iconic African Safaris – Kenya, Zambia & Zimbabwe

Charlotte Travel has assembled the best selection of safari experiences in this iconic 9-night itinerary, featuring game drives in the Masai Mara great plains of Kenya, where guests can marvel at the Great Wildebeest Migration. The journey then continues to the Mosi-oa-tunya National Park in Zambia for encounters of impala, giraffe, white rhino and buffalo. Complete the adventure with a visit to Zimbabwe’s iconic Hwange

National Park – a diverse habitat for desert and woodland species as well as first-class predators including lion, cheetah, leopard and spotted hyaena.

Partnering with luxury safari lodges and camps throughout the journey, guests can experience excellent services and hospitality at the Little Governors’ Camp, Hemingways Hotel, Toka Leya and Linkwasha Camp. Charlotte Travel also organises VIP packages, ensuring a spectacular once in a lifetime experience of Africa away from the tourist crowds.

All journeys are inclusive of a professional guide, accommodation, road transportation and National Park fees. For reservations, please email info@charlottetravel.com.hk

See the Glamour of Greece, One Island at a Time

With picture-perfect scenery, its warm welcoming climate and rich cultural traditions, it’s little wonder Greece is a favourite island destination.

The country boasts over 6,000 islands and islets scattered across the Aegean and Ionian Seas, over 220 of which are inhabited, spread across eight groupings.

With so many islands to choose from, tour specialist Europe Holidays (www.europeholidays.com.au)recommends starting with two of the most well-loved and well-known islands – Santorini and Mykonos – as the basis for exploring Greek life. Even amidst the hustle and bustle of these two glamorous islands popular with the jet-setting crowd, there are secluded beaches, quiet towns and architectural gems to discover.

Europe Holiday’s Managing Director, Chip Popescu, says Santorini and Mykonos embody the beauty of the Greek islands.

“Santorini is sometimes called the ‘supermodel’, or most beautiful Greek island, while Mykonos is portrayed as the ‘glamour’ island,” says Popescu.

“Greek islands are more than just playgrounds for the rich and famous. The reality is they are both beautiful and full of beautiful people, but there is so much more to these two jewels in the crown.

“Without much effort, it is possible to get away from the throngs, and see the true local traditions come to life. And what better way to see these islands than by the trademark of Greek summer, via the ferries plying its waterways.”

 

Santorini

Resting in the middle of the beautiful Aegean, Santorini covers the vast crater left by one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in history.

Actually a group of islands, Santorini has an intriguing past with the fascinating Minoan site of Akrotiri and the gorgeous traditional hilltop village of Oia just two of its highlights.

Simply beautiful, Santorini will take your breath away with its multi-coloured cliffs soaring over a sea-drowned caldera, as well as colourful and white Cycladic houses lining the cliff tops.

On the main island of Thira, the main town is ‘Fira’. The cultural and commercial hub, Fira is a highly photogenic town, with cobbled streets and a range of retailers, restaurants, cafes and bars.

Santorini’s beaches are iconic, uniquely influenced by the island’s volcanic past. Some of the best include:

  • Red Beach: 12 kilometres southwest of Fira, Red Beach acquired its name due to its black and red pebbles, and hot water. It’s one of Santorini’s most famous beaches.

Southeast of Fira:

  • Kamari Beach: Nestled at the base of the northern side of the impressive mountain, Mesa Vouno, the cosmopolitan Kamari beach has a popular beach promenade along its black sand, and offers a variety of water sports and diving.
  • Perissa and Perivolos: Located on the southern side of Mesa Vouno, collectively the two beaches are the longest on the island, with Perivolos the more upmarket of the two.

Northeast of Fira

  • Koloumbo Beach: one of the most isolated and unspoilt beaches on Santorini, Koloumbo has fine black pebbles and a striking rock overhang at one end. There are no provisions available at the beach, so visitors need to bring everything they need with them from nearby Oia.

MykonosWith a long and colourful history dating back to 5,000 BC, Mykonos casts a spell on visitors from the moment they arrive, with its beautiful white buildings that glow in the sunlight, narrow marbled streets, hidden churches and windmills watching over the city. It’s also renowned for its extraordinary sandy beaches and buzzing nightlife.

A premier destination in its own right, it also serves as a stepping stone to the ancient site of Delos, famous for its antiquities and history.

Mykonos offers something for every kind of travellers. Its lively waterfront is home to fleets of fishing villages, as well as a wide range of water sports, including diving, sailing and windsurfing. It’s also appreciated for its gastronomical delights, stunning scenery, culture and history and partying.

From the main city of Hora as a base, there are a range of beaches, including the party-styled Paradise Beach, the family-friendly beaches of Ornos and Psarou, and the more secluded and serene northern coast beaches such as Ayia, Anna and others.

Fast facts
Peak time to visit is from April – November.

Europe Holidays Greek Island Hopping tour
Europe Holidays offers a 8 day/7 night Greek Ferry tour from Athens – Santorini – Mykonos back to Athens from $995 per person twin share.

https://www.europeholidays.com.au/index.php/island-hopping-cruises/island-hopping/greece/item/115-athens-santorini-mykonos-athens

The package includes 3 nights’ accommodation in Athens, 2 nights’ accommodation in Santorini and 2 nights’ accommodation in Mykonos, 7 breakfasts, transfers, and ferry tickets from Piraeus – Santorini, Santorini – Mykonos and Mykonos – Piraeus.

Gold Coast Is Meeting Hot Spot

A long lunch at Miami Marketta, drinks at Palazzo Versace and a day out at Polo By the Sea – these are some of the Gold Coast gems that will help entice meeting planners to choose the city for industry get-togethers.

A record-breaking 56 decision makers from fields ranging from childcare and fitness, to medical and construction, have descended for the latest This is Gold Coast Business Exchange to tour the city’s unique venues and meet specialist suppliers.

Each year, conferences, exhibitions and trade shows inject more than $565 million annually into the local economy. As an added boost, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will leave a legacy of prestige sites suitable for hosting thousands of delegates from around the world.

“Every part of This is Gold Coast Business Exchange is designed to deliver the Gold Coast wow factor and leave no doubt that we’re the best choice for business events in Australia,” says Anna Case, director of Gold Coast Business Events.

“Seeing first-hand the venues, sampling our cuisine and seeing our specialist suppliers create world-class events leaves meeting planners with the ideas and connections to create an unforgettable event.”

The 2017 This is Gold Coast Business Exchange is Commonwealth Games themed, and will include a performance and speech by Olympic gymnast Brennon Dowrick at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday.

Delegates will meet with representatives from 50 venues, from the city’s new sporting arenas to its top-end hotels, as well as specialist suppliers at the trade show until Saturday 27 May.

This is Gold Coast Business Exchange is expected to generate more than $18 million in leads for future conferences and meetings in the city.

https://www.destinationgoldcoast.com/

Escape to Tahiti Like a Rock Star

Tahiti Tourisme is offering Australian travellers the chance to relax like a rock star or take time out like a talk show host with a series of star-studded holiday packages now on sale.

Proving it’s the world’s pre-eminent island destination, some of the most famous people on the planet have chosen The Islands of Tahiti as their ultimate getaway in recent weeks.

Once owned by Marlon Brando, The Brando – an exclusive eco-resort on Tetiaroa – has been a playground for celebrities on “spring break”, hosting a former president and talk show host on its idyllic shores.

A rock star and Oscar-winning actor have also taken advantage of the privacy of a luxury yacht to sail around the Society Islands, anchoring in the crystal clear lagoon of island paradise Huahine.

Meanwhile one of the music industry’s most iconic couples took time out from their busy schedules to enjoy a babymoon at a Bora Bora resort.

Tahiti Tourisme Director Australia New Zealand Robert Thompson said the Islands of Tahiti had always been popular with celebrities as it offered the chance to truly get away.

 

“The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for their picture-perfect lagoons and palm-fringed beaches but what some visitors enjoy most is the destination’s exclusivity and privacy,” Mr Thompson said.

“Privacy is the ultimate luxury and it comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti, which offer all visitors the freedom and space to truly relax in their own private haven.”

Tahiti Tourisme is inviting holidaymakers to experience the Islands of Tahiti like a VIP with a range of great packages:

  • Indulge in a babymoon like a pop star with a seven-night package including five nights in an overwater bungalow at the Intercontinental Bora Bora Thalasso Resort, return economy flights with Air Tahiti Nui from Australia and transfers throughout including inter-island flights, from $5799* per person twin share.

 

  • Sail around the Society Islands like a movie star onboard the 24-passenger luxury small ship Island Escape, which offers the ultimate comfort as guests explore coves and islands that are inaccessible to larger ships. Prices start from $7199* per person twin share including the seven-night cruise, two nights at Manava Suite Resort Tahiti, return economy flights with Air Tahiti Nui from Australia, transfers throughout and inter-island flights.

 

  • Escape like some of the most famous couples in the world with a five-night package including three nights in a luxurious private beachfront villa at the Brando on Tetiaroa, two nights at Intercontinental Tahiti Resort, return economy flights with Air Tahiti Nui from Australia and transfers throughout including inter-island flights, from $8799* per person twin share. The all-inclusive resort offers all meals, beverages, excursions and a spa treatment.

For more information or to book visit www.tahititravel.com.au

AVANI Quy Nhon Resort & Spa Paves the Way to Rarely Seen Ancient Champa Kingdom Sites

Peppering the hillsides and valleys around the city of Quy Nhon in central Vietnam are venerable relics of the lost Champa civilisation that dominated the country’s centre and south between the 2nd and 15th centuries. Despite the towers’ status of an architectural marvel, the temples’ remoteness means that travellers venturing further afield to explore them are likely to have the spectacular sites all to themselves.

With AVANI Quy Nhon’s new History Buff offer, guests staying at the beachfront resort can take advantage of a full-day Champa tour conducted by a local travel guide. Either perched on the back of a motorbike in true Vietnamese style or in the comfort of an air-conditioned car, travellers get to visit some of the province’s most striking and well-preserved ancient complexes.

The journey through the quaint villages is as exciting as the destination, with guests whizzing past emerald-green rice fields, grazing water buffalos and centuries-old pagodas. After an early start fuelled by a cup of Vietnamese coffee at a local café, the first stop is at the Banh It Towers. Built in the late 11th – early 12th century on top of a hill at a few dozen meters above sea level, a spectacular panorama of winding rivers, scattered country houses, green farms and villages unfolds in all directions.

After a spectacular ride through the postcard-perfect countryside, the travellers will reach the blissfully tourist-free Duong Long Towers. At 24 meters, the central tower is the tallest of all Champa structures in the area. The complex features some impressive carving details and the grounds are strewn with artefacts that can be explored up-close.

Celebrated for its elegant style and built in the 16th century, the Canh Tien Tower features unique sandstone pilasters and roof edges carved with twisted rope pattern. The corners of each of the tower’s four storeys are decorated with a phoenix tail motif giving it, from a distance, an aspect of having intricately decorated fairy wings.

Back in Quy Nhon, floating above a serene park within the city limits, are the Thap Doi (Twin) Towers.  Steep steps climb to temples topped by curved pyramidal roofs – rather than the Champa temples’ usual terraced turrets – opening up to a dome of blue sky. The perfect finale is a visit to the nearby Binh Dinh Museum with its impressive collection of Cham sculptures.

For further information, guests can contact AVANI Quy Nhon by calling +84 56 384 0132 or by visiting the website.

Explore Croatia’s Coastline on Foot and By Sea

Cultural tour specialist Peter Sommer Travels is offering a very special way to explore the stunning coastline of Croatia, with a new eight-day walking and cruising tour.

A first for the company, the Walking and Cruising Southern Dalmatia Tour offers an enticing combination of a coastal cruise on a wooden gulet and escorted walks exploring ancient forts, beautiful towns and magnificent castles in the company of expert guide, archaeologist Dr Helen Tomas.

Departing from Slano near Dubrovnik, guests will cruise through the Elaphite Isles before spending their first two days exploring one of Europe’s most unusual fortifications, the five kilometre medieval Great Wall of Ston and the picturesque island of Mljet, known for its beautiful lakes and Roman palace.

After cruising through the Korčula channel, the tour takes guests to Croatia’s most unusual UNESCO World Heritage site – the Stari Grad Plain, a field system laid out by the ancient Greek settlers of Pharos 24 centuries ago which is still in use today.

Travellers will also visit the wonderful island of Brač for spectacular views of the Dalmatian coast and to hike through a magnificent gorge to the monastery of Blaca,before exploring Split and the stunning fortress of Klis.

During their eight-day experience, guests will enjoy a delicious selection of local produce including fresh seafood, fine wines and superb meat and cheese dishes, served onboard and ashore.

Catering to a small group, the Walking and Cruising Southern Dalmatia Tour departs on September 30, 2017 and is priced from £3395 (approx A$5800) per person twin share, including most meals, all accommodation, all activities and excursions with expert guides, ground transport and airport transfers. The tour can also be coordinated for private groups at other times.

Specialising in small-group expeditions, Peter Sommer Travels offers more than 20 different expert-led tours and gulet cruises among the ancient sites of Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Turkey and the UK.

For full details and bookings contact Peter Sommer Travels on 0011 44 1600 888 220, email info@petersommer.com or visit www.petersommer.com.

THE JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION: TEN REASONS TO WALK JAPAN THIS YEAR

The therapeutic experience of walking a country can reveal its truly off- beat hidden gems, from ancient historical rituals to spectacular, untouched landscapes. Walk Japan, the pioneering operator of walking tours in Japan, provides meticulously planned and expertly led tours that fully immerse visitors in Japanese society, culture and history. Here’s 10 reasons to choose walking as a way to explore the varied wonders of Japan:

1. A food lover’s paradise

Japan is known as one of the top gourmet destinations in the world. The Izu Geo

Trail and Hokkaido Hike will reveal some of the country’s culinary delights at authentic Japanese restaurants, washed down with local sake. The Izu Peninsula showcases some of the freshest seafood available, from spider crab to squid, lobster, sea bream and much more, while

Hokkaido’s famous scallops are world-renowned.

2. Insta-worthy scenery

Japan is the perfect backdrop for social- media worthy imagery, from the snowcapped mountains and pristine forests on the Snow Country Trek, to picturesque old post towns and seasonal Cherry Blossoms on the Nakasendo Way.

3. Digital detox

For those looking to unplug and unwind, Walk Japan’s Kunisaki Retreat will

provide a much needed respite from bustling city life. Nestled in the western end of Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, modern Japan has left this quiet haven of rural life largely untouched. Days will start with calming meditation and yoga sessions, followed by relaxation in onsen thermal hot springs, soba buckwheat

noodle master classes, ikebana flower arranging, chado tea ceremonies and Japanese taiko drumming.

4. Culture vultures

History, culture and literature lead guests through Walk Japan’s unique Basho Tour: Narrow Road to the North, which follows in the footsteps of 17th Century Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho. While traveling along quiet country lanes, forest trails and mountain footpaths, guests will learn of the history and

tough spirit of the people of Japan’s northerly regions.

5. Unique encounters with fascinating people

Walking will enable encounters with a range of enchanting personalities, offering insights into local societies and traditions. Guests of Walk Japan can discover the secret to the Okinawan’s longevity and hear the riveting life stories from local craftsmen and fishermen in the Okinawa

Voyage, while the Kunisaki retreat includes meditation led by the abbot-in- waiting of Fuki-ji.

6. City Secrets

As well as revealing remote rural hideaways, Walk Japan penetrates the back streets of Tokyo and Kyoto on city tours that uncover more about the history and culture of the fascinating cities than any other tour or guide book.

7. Social conscience

Walk Japan is dedicated to leaving a positive impact on all areas that their tours

touch upon. In addition to supporting family-run and local businesses, Walk Japan established a Community Project in Kunisaki to preserve the environment and provide a prosperous future through farming and reforestation initiatives. The project employs local residents and offers Walk Japan

employees and guests the opportunity to partake at the end of each Kunisaki Retreat or Trek.

8. Adventure junkies

For those looking to up the adventure anti, the Yaeyama: Okinawa Voyage goes

beyond walking to include kayaking across rivers, mangroves and the open sea as well as snorkeling the coral reefs. Ishigaki’s aquatic paradise is home to over 300 species of tropical fish and, with luck, guests may catch a glimpse of sea turtles as they make their way from the beaches to the open sea. Those looking for the challenge of higher

altitudes can trek some of Hokkaido’s highest mountains on the Hokkaido Hike, including Mt. Asahidake, Mt. Tokachidake and nearby volcanoes.

9. Led by the best

Walk Japan’s Tour guides are experts in Japanese culture, food and geography.

10. Independence

All guides are proficient in both Japanese and English and have an intimate knowledge of Japan and its people. The ranks of Walk Japan’s Tour Leaders include individuals who have extensive experience across the media, agriculture, commerce, arts, finance, academia and tourism sectors in Japan.

For those looking to travel solo, the Wayfarer self-guided tours of Kumano and

Nakasendo are an incredible way to immerse in the Japanese countryside. Drawing on the wealth of experience and knowledge amassed by Walk Japan, each guest is provided with the essential logistics and route support along with a Route Booklet covering a mix of historical relevance and modern cultural know-how for

entirely independent touring of the roads less travelled in Japan.

Detailed information about all of Walk Japan’s tours can be found on their website (http://www.walkjapan.com/all-tours) and on the Walk Japan Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/walkjapan).

Ultimate Gastronomic Tour through Peru

With Exclusive Behind-the-scenes Access

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For the past few years, Peru has firmly established itself as a culinary destination, with the capital, Lima, at the centre of this movement.

Internationally, Peruvian cuisine became popular in many major cities. LIMA London, the pioneers of London’s Peruvian scene now have two critically acclaimed restaurants in the capital.

LIMA London was founded by Jose-Luis and Gabriel Gonzalez with world-famous Peruvian chef, Virgilio Martinez, the man behind Lima’s famous Central restaurant. Jacada Travel is an award-winning luxury travel company creating bespoke itineraries from their offices in London, Hong Kong and Cape Town for travellers seeking a truly personal travel experience. Together, the two brands have created the ultimate Peru farm-to-table gastronomic tour with special access to leading culinary destination in Lima, Ica and Paracas.

THE ITINERARY

Day 1 (Lima arrival):

–       Arrival from London in the evening and transfer to Hotel


Day 2 (Lima):

–       Visit food market with a culinary expert tour guide, followed by lunch at La Picanteria (meet the Chef or Owner of La Picanteria subject to schedule)

–       Afternoon city tour with tour guide and refreshment stop at the oldest bar in Lima (Cordano)

–       Dinner at Central Restaurant. As the No.1 restaurant in Latin America, will be in for a gastronomic treat unlike any others they have experienced before


DAY 3 (Lima):

–       Early morning visit to Lima Fish Market in Villa Maria del Triunfo

–       Visit Pachacamac (which hosts one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in Peru) followed by a visit to one of Jacada Travel’s favourite orchards and enjoy an organic farm-to-table lunch made by the orchard owners (Full Day Experience with Culinary Expert Marisol)

–       Dinner at Maido Restaurant (One of the World’s top 50 restaurants)


Day 4 (Lima – Ica):

–       Depart Lima in the morning

–       Transfer to Hacienda La Caravedo, home to the oldest distillery in the Americas (est. in 1684) and the Pisco Porton bodega. Master distiller and Porton owner Johnny Schuler will personally unravel the mysteries and complexities that are normally kept locked away behind the walls of the famous distillery

–       A la carte dinner at the Hacienda

 

Day 5 (Ica):

–       Full day emerging into Pisco at the Hacienda Caravedo (including horseback ride to the vineyards and introduction to the Pisco making process)

–       Local farm-to-table 3-course lunch in the vineyards followed by a Pisco tasting session

–       A la carte dinner at the Hacienda


Day 6 (Ica – Paracas – Lima):

–       Breakfast at the hotel followed by transfer to Pisco airport for a flight over the Nazca lines

–       Return to Lima by private transport with a lunch at Cevicheria by the Ocean

–       Afternoon and dinner at leisure


Day 7 (Lima – Departure):

–       Morning at leisure

–       Transfer to Isolina for lunch

–       Visit to Barranco District with a stopover at Tostaduria Bissetti for coffee

–       Evening transport to airport for departure

* Prices for 7 days/6 nights start at USD $5,875 per person excluding international flights

Six Days Inca Adventure Add-On

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The Inca culture is the most significant part of history to Peru if not to South America. The six days Inca Adventure brings guests to three destinations: Cusco, the capital of the Incan Empire; The Sacred Valley, a base of Inca civilization and historically significant to Peru; Machu Picchu, a New Seven Wonder of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Jacada Travel also offers handpicked Jacada Signature properties, renowned for excellence in personalised service and luxury, allowing Jacada guests to enjoy exclusive privileges.

Day 8 – 10 (The Sacred Valley):

Two days touring The Sacred Valley exploring the incredible scenery and experience the rich culture and history of Peru by seeing Ollantaytambo and Maros and Moray.
Hotel: Tambo Del Inka (Deluxe Room)

Day 10 – 11 (Machu Picchu)

Comprehensive tour with a private guide to learn about the history, significance and myths as well as visiting the hidden corners and best sites of the Machu Picchu citadel.

Jacada Signature Property: Sanctuary Lodge (Deluxe Room)
Exclusive Offers: Complimentary Pisco tasting session upon new reservation

Day 11 – 13 (Cusco)

Enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage site with Jacada Travel’s top private guides and wrap up with another amazing culinary journey at Cusco at a restaurant selected by Jacada Travel.

Jacada Signature Property: Hotel Palacio Nazarenas (Junior Suite Room)
Exclusive Offers: Complimentary 30 minute massage and an upgrade to the Z Collection subject to availability at the time of check-in.


* Prices for 6 days/5 nights start at USD $4,700 per person excluding international flights

World’s Best Celebrations

Melbourne foodies are invited to share the excitement of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards at the world’s first public countdown and screening of the prestigious event at Federation Square.

Taking place on Wednesday, 5 April, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards countdown and live screening is free and open to everyone. Bringing together several of the city’s well-known attributes, a picnic-themed Federation Square will play host to an evening of entertainment, featuring comedians from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (29 March – 23 April), live music curated by Music Victoria, and dinner options from some of the city’s best food trucks – all serving up Victorian produce.

Melbourne is only the third international city to host The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, following in the footsteps of London and New York. Brought to Australia by Tourism Australia in partnership with Visit Victoria, the week-long events program includes the main gala industry event, ticketed public events, and touring options around regional Victoria for the invited chefs and international food media.

“The world’s culinary elite will descend on Melbourne this April, and with them, an invaluable opportunity to share our stories through our talented chefs, our world-class restaurants, and our unique regional settings.

“With hundreds of foodie events around town and our free The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards live-streaming event at Federation Square – everyone is invited to join in the celebrations, “said Peter Bingeman, Chief Executive Officer, Visit Victoria.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (31 March – 9 April) has also aligned its dates for 2017 to coincide with this prestigious culinary event and is honouring The World’s 50 Best Restaurants chefs from past and present in a series of chef collaboration dinners and MasterClasses.

“We are thrilled to be in our 25th year and to have the festival coincide with this one-time-only opportunity. Our events continue to get better each year as we continue to attract the elite of the world’s culinary leaders, and with so many home-grown talents and restaurants to showcase – there is something for everyone,” said Natalie O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

To further celebrate this unique culmination of food festivities, Visit Victoria is working with White Night Creative Director, David Atkins, on a week-long program of light projections on Melbourne’s Hamer Hall. The surface of the building will become a canvas celebrating Victoria’s culinary credentials from the city to the country every evening from 31 March – 5 April.

“Melbourne is internationally recognised as Australia’s arts and culture capital. At Arts Centre Melbourne, we pride ourselves on providing visitors with both remarkable cultural and culinary experiences, so it is our pleasure to be a supporter of the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards,” Claire Spencer, Arts Centre Melbourne, Chief Executive Officer.

The Federation Square event will begin with food trucks serving up dinner from 5.30pm. Comedians and musicians begin the entertainment at 7pm and the live streaming of the awards begin from 8.30pm.

More information:

http://www.visitvictoria.com/50bestlivesite

http://www.visitvictoria.com/worlds50bestrestaurants

Macao Ice World

Asia’s largest annual indoor frozen wonderland, Kung Fu Panda Adventure Ice World with the DreamWorks All-Stars, is returning to The Venetian® Macao for a limited time only, with Sands Resorts Macao unveiling new accommodation packages including tickets to the ice sculpture exhibition. The Macao Ice World Package starts at HKD/MOP1,138* and can be booked from now until July 9, 2017.

Perfect for families and visitors of all ages, the Macao Ice World Package offers exciting accommodation choices to suit all budgets at four world-class hotels: The Venetian Macao; The Parisian Macao; Conrad® Macao, Cotai Central; and Holiday Inn® Macao Cotai Central.

The Kung Fu Panda Adventure Ice World with the DreamWorks All-Stars, which will be held at The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Expo between March 16 – July 9, 2017, includes a host of colourful new DreamWorks Animation characters from “Kung Fu Panda”, “Madagascar”, “Shrek”, “How To Train Your Dragon”, “The Croods” and “Trolls”, vibrantly brought to life with dazzling lights and stunning sound effects. New additions including themed games, character meet-and-greets and a movie zone make this year’s Ice World an unmissable experience.

It took around 40 highly skilled craftsmen from Harbin, China, including eight ice carvers, 28 ice builders, lighting designers and power technicians, to create the magnificent ice sculptures, using 2.5 million pounds of ice.

Guests can also dine at 150 award-winning local and international restaurants, indulge in retail therapy at more than 850 duty free stores and enjoy world-class entertainment during their stay at Sands Resorts Macao.

Sands Resorts Macao offers a wide variety of family-friendly offerings including the exciting new Planet J, Macao’s first ever live-action, role playing theme park. With eight exquisitely designed zones and more than 200 game installations across 100,000 square feet, Planet J provides an endless series of magical rescue missions for children of all ages. Challenging on both physical and mental levels, Planet J makes use of special lighting and other advanced theatrical effects to turn the adventure into a thrilling, multi-dimensional experience.

The Macao Ice World Package rates are as follow and include the following exclusive advantages:

The Venetian Macao: Rates start from HKD/MOP 1,698*

The Parisian Macao: Rates start from HKD/MOP 1,498*

Conrad Macao, Cotai Central: Rates start from HKD/MOP 1,898*

Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central: Rates start from HKD/MOP 1,138*

Accommodation for two in a Royale Suite at The Venetian Macao / Deluxe Room at The Parisian Macao / Deluxe Room at Conrad Macao, Cotai Central / Superior Room at Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central
Breakfast or Lunch at designated restaurants
Choice of one-way Cotai Water Jet Cotai Class ferry tickets for two or MOP 200 Shopping and Dining Dollars
Kung Fu Panda Adventure Ice World with the DreamWorks All-Stars tickets for two

Stay two nights and receive:

Breakfast or Lunch at designated restaurants or MOP 400 Dining Credits
Gondola Ride / Eiffel Tower entry / Aqua World entry / Qube or Qube 2 or Qube Kingdom Kid’s Play Zone entry / Planet J entry tickets for two
DreamWorks Plush Toy

Stay three nights and receive:

Complimentary upgrade
Breakfast or lunch at designated restaurants
Gondola Ride / Eiffel Tower entry / Aqua World entry / Qube or Qube 2 entry / Planet J entry tickets for two

Macao Ice World Package can be booked through Sands Resorts Macao website at www.SandsResortsMacao.com/ice-world-package or by calling reservation hotline: +853 2882 8835 (Macao / international call), 4001 208 879 (China toll free), 800 906 320 (Hong Kong toll free) or 000 800 050 8008 (India toll free).