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Virgin Australia Sunshine Coast Sale

...starts Monday 4 July & runs for only 72HRS. Watch this space for more details ! 

Virgin Australia 72HRS Sunshine Coast Sale

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Banyan Tree Branches Out With 4 Exciting New Properties In Japan

Banyan Tree Branches Out With 4 Exciting New Properties In Japan

Banyan Tree Group has announced its expansion into Japan with the introduction of four locations.  Two have already opened, with the others being rolled-out over the next few years.

Banyan Tree Holdings brands include Banyan Tree, Angsana, Cassia, Dhawa and Laguna. The group is well known throughout Asia for its luxury wellness and sustainable ethos, with beautiful villas and resorts, especially in beachside locations.

Members of Accor Live Limitless can use points to make bookings at select Banyan Tree properties.

Both members and non-members can access luxury perks when booking (non award) stays through our travel agency - Rewarding Travel.

Banyan Tree and Angsana are two of our favourite spa/wellness groups, so this expansion into urban and ski-field locations is particularly exciting!

Watch this space...

Opened on 17 June 2022:

Dhawa Yura Kyoto opened its doors on June 17 near Sanjo Ohashi, a bridge that was once the final station of the ancient Tokaido Road from Tokyo. The road served as a route for long-distance voyagers during the Edo period in Japan. The 138-room hotel’s historic ties are reflected in the interior design and artwork, besides an 8lement Spa. 

As the first opening under the group’s newest concept, Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto is a 25-room hotel that also opened on June 17. It is located in front of Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site built in 1603 during the Tokugawa Shogunate. The new Garrya brand is a concept promising a Zen-like atmosphere along with a focus on well-being and sustainability at a more accessible price point. The first Garrya, the Garrya Huzhou Lucun, opened in Huzhou, China, in 2021, now accomp[anied by the Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto. 

Planned to open 2024:

Located in the Gion and Higashiyama district, Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto will open in spring 2024 as a 52-room luxury, hilltop urban resort. It is touted to be the first and only hotel in Kyoto city to have a Noh stage

Planned to open 2025:

A newly built resort set to open in 2025 in the most popular ski resort destination of Japan, Cassia Hirafu in Niseko will be a stone’s throw from Hirafu ski slope. It will feature 50 rooms and 113 residences that will be available for sale.

Planned to open 2026:

Renowned for its hot spring and views of Mount Fuji, Banyan Tree Ashinoko Hakone is slated to open in 2026, in an area adjacent to Lake Ashino.

Vienna scored top spot and Adelaide – last year’s highest ranked Australian city – dropped to 30.

After enduring 246 days of cumulative stay-at-home orders in 2021 (reportedly the most of any major city around the world), Melbournites may be heartened to learn that the judges at the Economist  recognised Melbourne as Australia’s most livable city in its 2022 Global Liveability Index report.

Melbourne came 10th in the report, tying with Japan’s Osaka, and the top spot was taken out by Austrian capital Vienna.

Last year, Adelaide ranked the third best city to live in in the world, but only 12 months later it’s dropped all the way to 30th place.

Australia’s largest city didn’t get a mention in the report’s summary, but Sydney ranked at 13, only two spots down from last year’s placement.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) assessed more than 170 cities across categories such as stability, health care, culture, environment, education and infrastructure. The EIU commented that Australian cities fell down the rankings due to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions.

“In Australia, some states were slower to lift restrictions than others. As a result, Perth and Adelaide have lost ground since last year,” stated the report. Perth came in at 32 and Brisbane dropped 17 spots to 27th best city to set up home in the world.

So what made the Victorian city rank highest in the country? Melbourne’s education and infrastructure were named as the reason, but it ranked well behind other cities in the top 10 when it came to health care.

Here are the top 10 most livable cities according to the Economist 2022 Global Liveability Index:

Osaka and Melbourne

Air New Zealand set to relaunch 14 international routes

Air New Zealand set to relaunch 14 international routes

Air New Zealand is about to relaunch 14 international routes in 16 days and this will bring its international capacity up to 60% of pre-covid levels.

The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will be back helping to ensure that from July 9, the airline will have three-quarters of its international and domestic routes back up and running with popular destinations like Honolulu, Houston and Tahiti restarting after around 820 days of not operating.

“We are seeing first-hand how keen people are to travel again, particularly across the Tasman. Come July, we will double our services across the Tasman and restart popular direct services like the Sunshine Coast, Hobart and Adelaide. By July 9 we will be back at all nine Australian ports which is an important milestone for us.” Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran said.

Great news for travellers to Australia and its near neighbour.

Turkish Airlines Targets Nonstop Australia Flights

Turkish Airlines Targets Nonstop Australia Flights

Turkish Airlines is considering the launch of non-stop services to Australia using either Airbus A350-1000XWB or Boeing 777X aircraft. Australia is a whitespot in the carrier’s network of more than 300 destinations worldwide. The only other major exception is Greenland.

The airline already operates 777-300ERs, as well as A350-900s. However, Turkish Airlines may go for an additional version, such as the A350-1000XWB for the ultra-long-range services from Istanbul to Sydney and Melbourne.

“Australia is the last continent which Turkish Airlines is not flying to,” Turkish Airlines chairman Ahmet Bolat said at the 2022 IATA annual general meeting in Doha.

For Turkish Airlines, the nonstop flying time from Istanbul (IST) to Sydney (SYD) and Melbourne (MEL) would be approximately 17 hours. Services could start in 2026 or 2027.

In the meantime, until the ultra-long-range capacity is available, the Istanbul-based carrier already has codeshare connections to Australia. The airline is also looking for partnerships in Australia and is talking with nations like Malaysia or Indonesia for fifth freedom rights.

“If we would have that [fifth-freedom], then we could share the markets with the home carriers,” Mr Bolat said. “With the existing fleet we cannot do nonstop flights. We are talking with our codeshare partners, because it is more comfortable to operate Australia with the same aircraft.”

Turkish Airlines has an interesting loyalty program Miles&Smiles, so direct flights to Australia may open up some interesting opportunities with Turkish Airlines and other Star Alliance members.

Using Travel Points

Preparing to maximise your use of travel loyalty points to see the places you most want to visit.

We show you how to extract the greatest value for your travel using both cash and rewards points.  


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Scotland Vacations

Eileen Donan castle

Dreaming of picturesque, pristine countryside, romantic castles steeped in history, or the culture and energy of vibrant cities?
Scotland has all this and much more.
Come see what makes Scotland such a unique and popular destination for so many travellers.
We show you the best that Scotland has to offer, from specific destinations to theme-based tours.



Top Tips For Travellers' Health

Travel can be stressful !  IDeas to keep your travels happy and healthy.

There’s an ever-expanding body of scientific evidence that (whether behind a desk at work or during a long plane trip or train ride), being seated for prolonged periods can be harmful.  We provide tips to boost your health and reduce the harmful impact on your body while travelling.