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More people will be able to enjoy the Sunshine Coast’s coastline thanks to the roll-out of accessible matting and beach wheelchairs at three popular Sunshine Coast beaches.

Accessible matting, which makes it easier for people with disabilities, parents with prams and seniors to navigate to the firm sand, is now being provided at Kings, Coolum and Mooloolaba beaches.

Beach wheelchairs will also be available at all three locations.

The matting and wheelchairs will be available during patrolled hours on weekends from September through until May and will be managed by volunteer lifeguards.

Visit visitsunshinecoast.com.

 Metro Apartments on Bank Place: save up to 15 per cent.

Visiting Melbourne for a sporting event, concert or show? With a Game Day Hot Deal from Metro Apartments on Bank Place from $140 per night for a one-bedroom apartment, saving up to 15 per cent.

Plus guests will also receive a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival, early check-in at 1pm, a noon late check out, a 25 per cent discount voucher for meals at the nearby Mitre Tavern, and complimentary wifi.

Visit www.metrohotels.com.au.

 Elvis and Marilyn hit Parkes: the street parade has become an important feature of the annual festival.

More than 27,000 fans are expected to swamp Parkes from January 8-12 for the NSW Central West town’s twenty-eighth annual Elvis festival which will run along the theme of the 1966 Elvis film Frankie and Johnny.

This was a classic Elvis hit where The King played a Mississippi riverboat performer with a weakness for gambling.

The program will feature concerts, Elvis tribute competitions, kid’s workshops, markets and plenty else, so lace up those blue suede shoes and get ready for some hip-swiveling fun for the biggest tribute to The King in the Southern Hemisphere.

Returning favourites include the street parade, a renewal-of-vows ceremony, the Miss Priscilla dinner, free Cooke Park mainstage entertainment and the Elvis gospel service.

Californian Elvis Tribute Artist Dean Z will perform each day of the festival with the impressive TIC Band, and Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, the preliminary round of the international Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, returns in 2020, with leading Elvis tribute artists from Australia and abroad battling it out at Parkes Leagues Club.

And the best way to arrive in style for the festival are the Elvis Express and Blue Suede Express regional train services. You can also fly on the Regional Express Hound Dog Express where you can enjoy drinks and Elvis-style entertainment in the Rex Lounge at Sydney Airport.

Visit www.parkeselvisfestival.com.au.

 Olive Farm Wines: boosting its cellar-door experience.

Olive Farm Wines, located in the Swan Valley, just out of Perth, has introduced a self-service ‘adults-only’ vending machine to its cellar-door experience.

The four Enomatic Wine dispensing machines allow visitors to try 32 different varieties of Olive Farm wine.

The display tank uses argon gas, which preserves the quality of the wine once the bottle has been opened.

Visitors are able to taste a set number of wines from the system by inserting a pre-paid card, allowing the machine to dispense a measured tasting serve.

Save 10 per cent on outback accommodation: and enjoy sights like the sculptures outside Broken Hill.

Explore the big horizons and character-filled towns of outback NSW before the end of spring and save 10 per cent on accommodation when staying at two or more properties owned by Out of the Ordinary Outback.

The offer is valid for stays until November 30 at seven properties – the brand-new Broken Hill Outback Resort as well as that city’s Argent Motel and Tourist Lodge, the Copper City Motel/Hotel in Cobar, Warrawong on the Darling at Wilcannia, the Ivanhoe Hotel Motel, and the famous White Cliffs Underground Motel, thought to be Australia’s largest underground accommodation.

Including the 10 per cent discount, nightly rates start from just $89 at Copper City Motel/Hotel, $108 at the Argent Motel in Broken Hill, $122 in the billabong-side cabins at Warrawong on the Darling at Wilcannia, $140 for a subterranean room in the iconic White Cliffs Underground Motel and $149 in a deluxe-king-spa apartment overlooking the desert at the new Broken Hill Outback Resort which opened last year.

Phone 1300 688 225 or visit www.outoftheordinaryoutback.com.au.

 Sanctuary Retreats is giving back: new graduates from the Bwindi Nursing School.

Hand in hand with the growth of tourism has come an unprecedented level of interest in responsible travel and a rise in philanthropic programs, with travellers increasingly seeking to give back to the communities they visit.

Sanctuary Retreats has been committed to conservation and responsible tourism since opening its first camp in the Masai Mara in 1999.

One program of which the company is particularly proud, is its work with the Bwindi Nursing School and Community Hospital, located on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.

The hospital boasts 112 beds and provides a healthcare outreach program to some 100,000 locals in the surrounding area, treating a wide range of conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, dental treatments, HIV and malaria.

With the support of Sanctuary Retreats and Sanctuary Retreats Gorilla Forest Camp guests, the lack of trained nurses and a highly transient workforce are both problems that have been tackled head-on.

The School currently has 402 students, 305 of whom are women.

Visit www.sanctuaryretreats.com.

Enjoy Eurail’s Golden Autumn/Winter promotion: and receive a 10 per cent discount on global passes.

Rail savings across Europe are now available through Australian-owned International Rail, which has just released tickets under Eurail’s Golden Autumn/Winter promotion, including a 10 per cent discount on global passes when booked by October 10.

The offer applies to all Global Flexi and Consecutive Passes in both first- and second-class for adult, youth and Saver categories.

The Eurail Global Flexi Pass (also known as Eurorail) allows five or seven days travel over a one month period or 10 or 15 days of travel to use over a two-month period for travel through 31 countries in Europe, including France, Italy and Germany.

Save up to $180 per couple on a pass that incorporates 10 days travel over a two-month period and now is priced from $803 per person.

Rail travel must be completed by December 15 this year.

Phone 1300 387 245 or visit www.internationalrail.com.au.


 Hugging the shore: the village of Manarola on the Italian Cinque Terre.

Buying through STA Travel, customers get up to 30 per cent off European summer trips with Contiki.

Picture this, for instance: An escape to Mykonos and Santorini, with endless blue-and-white buildings, ancient sights, azure waters, vibrant nights and lazy sun-soaked days.

From $1715 (down from $2385) per person travellers could be spending nine of those dreamy days working their way through Greece, starting with historical vibes and city life in Athens before hitting the idyllic islands.

Those looking to linger a little longer than just nine days, could pick up a 12-day pure Italian travel immersion from $1922 (down from $2403) per person covering Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice and beyond.

Explore Rome’s historical highlights, travel through the streets of Michelangelo’s Florence, enjoy some antipasto and chianti in a sixteenth-century Tuscan winery and drop by the cove-studded Isle of Capri.

Phone 134 782 or visit www.statravel.com.au.

 Proud and upstanding: a resident of the sub-Antarctic islands.

More than 1.5 million penguins, 3.5 million seabirds, 80,000 elephant seals and the world’s remotest tree can be found on the isolated and rarely visited, sub-Antarctic islands of Australia and New Zealand.

To help Australians discover the wild and untouched beauty of these lost islands, Cruise Express is offering a special, two-week expedition in southern waters in 2021 aboard Ponant’s latest luxury expedition yacht, Le Bellot

The remote outposts of Macquarie Island, Campbell Island, The Snares, Bounty Islands, Antipodes Islands and the Auckland Islands are among the world’s best preserved and protected environments, with natural features and wildlife seen nowhere else on Earth.

The 14-night voyage, on board the 180-passenger Le Bellot, is priced from $13,490 per person, twin-share, including selected onboard beverages, unlimited wifi, Zodiac excursions, a free Ponant parka and free polar-boot rental. Return flights between Australia and New Zealand are extra.

Phone 1300 766 537 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au.

 Warbirds over Wanaka: a feast of aviation action.

The romance of aviation is brought to life by famous Warbirds joining forces with classic aircraft and modern jets to showcase a feast of aviation action on New Zealand’s South Island next April.

Grand Pacific Tours offers a range of itineraries to this famous event, with a choice including the eight-day ‘South Island Escape’, the 13-day ‘South Island Getaway’, the sold-out 11-day ‘Ultimate Warbirds over Wanaka Tour’ and the 15-day ‘Warbirds over Wanaka Tour’.

All options include a three-day Gold Pass to ‘Warbirds over Wanaka’, giving guests the best seats at the air show in a grandstand situated directly in front of the runway, with all seats elevated for unobstructed viewing of the entire show.

Travellers will have exclusive access into the marquee where closed-circuit TV will be available. Celebrity pilots will also be mingling, and travellers will have the opportunity to walk down the aircraft flight line.

Also included is a souvenir pack containing a gold cap and badge, collector’s program, voucher for entry to the Warbirds & Wheels Museum, and a complimentary drink voucher.

Prices start from $4084 per person twin share.

Phone 1800 622 768 or visit www.gptnz.com.