Five highlights in your travel week | 5 Oct

Faraway Bay in the Kimberley … Air Adventure Australia takes pride in visiting destinations at their peak times.
Faraway Bay in the Kimberley … Air Adventure Australia takes pride in visiting destinations at their peak times.

Air Adventure Australia offers 18 fully inclusive private Australian air safaris in its 2018 program portfolio, ranging from three to 14 days in duration and including new itineraries for its ‘Flinders and Gawler Ranges’ and ‘Grand Outback Photography’ tours.

The company prides itself on itineraries that are themed and timed to visit destinations at the optimum time of year.

Hence, the ‘Western Wedge Wildflower Safari’ will depart next September, when the majority of the state’s 12,000-plus wildflower species are in bloom.

This tour also features a two-night stay at Ningaloo Reef’s Sal Salis, with its spacious wilderness tents just metres from fringing coastal coral reef.

Each tour has a maximum of nine guests and a professional tour leader travels with the group for the entire journey.

Local guides — ranging from Aboriginal elders, to fourth-generation farmers, renowned archaeologists and conservation specialists — also share their experiences and knowledge.

Visit www.airadventure.com.au

Cairns Aquarium & Reef Research Centre … displays a number of critically endangered or rarely seen endemic species.

Cairns Aquarium & Reef Research Centre … displays a number of critically endangered or rarely seen endemic species.

A journey that started six years ago with a visit to Far North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef has culminated in the opening of Cairns Aquarium & Reef Research Centre, Australia’s newest public aquarium.

Developed at a cost of $54 million, Cairns Aquarium is thought to be the only attraction of its kind to display a number of critically endangered or rarely seen endemic species, including emerald tree monitors, freshwater sawfish, Jardine River painted turtles, ribboned pipefish and the Oceanarium exhibit’s highlight, a school of scalloped hammerhead sharks.

Over 15,000 aquatic animals, fish, plants, and other organisms are housed within 71 live exhibits in the two-level facility that provides a two-and-a-half-hour journey through 10 habitats.

The facility is situated in the heart of Cairns CBD, with views of the Esplanade and Coral Sea.

Visit www.cairnsaquarium.com.au

Maria Island … a wildlife sanctuary with historic ruins, sweeping bays and dramatic cliffs.

Maria Island … a wildlife sanctuary with historic ruins, sweeping bays and dramatic cliffs.

With daylight rapidly lengthening, especially in higher latitudes, it’s certainly time to consider visiting Maria Island, just 30 minutes off Tasmania’s East Coast.

Access to this wildlife sanctuary with historic ruins, sweeping bays and dramatic cliffs, has been simplified by Encounter Maria Island offering a year-round ferry service with multiple sailings each day.

Take in attractions such as the Painted Cliffs and Fossil Cliffs, or one of the many other walks, and stay the night in the old penitentiary at Darlington.

You can book a bike to use on the island, or the ferry staff will help you lug a kayak over if you want to explore the water.

Visit www.encountermaria.com.au.

Rosella and lychee petit gateaux … part of an exclusive Ayers Rock dining experience.

Rosella and lychee petit gateaux … part of an exclusive Ayers Rock dining experience.

From October 22 to March 24, guests at Ayers Rock Resort will have the opportunity to dine in Mayu Wiru, a new fine-dining experience whose name translates as “beautiful flavour” and which is restricted to a maximum of 16 guests nightly.

The restaurant visit will be combined with a premium Field of Light experience.

The evening begins with champagne and bush-tucker-inspired canapés at a private lookout within the grounds of Sails in the Desert hotel, followed by a three-course Indigenous-inspired menu with matched wines, and transport to a dune top for a nightcap and panoramic views of the stunning Field of Light.

Prices start from $295, which includes return hotel transport, full menu, matched wines and entertainment.

Phone 1300 134 044 or visit www.ayersrockresort.com.au

Travelodge Hotel Sydney Airport … relief for those who prefer a silent morning.

Travelodge Hotel Sydney Airport … relief for those who prefer a silent morning.

Looking for nothing but silence in the morning? The new Travelodge Hotel Sydney Airport, which has just opened at Mascot, may have the answer, with a Sensorwake alarm clock and the promise of a completely silent check-out.

The clock can be programmed to wake guests with nothing but the smell of grilling bacon or brewing coffee, while guests checking out simply refer to a ‘Silent Check-Out’ poster indicating choices such as ‘I need coffee’, ‘I need to settle my bill’, or ‘I missed my flight, can I stay another night?’.

The new 209-room hotel is located on the corner of O’Riordan Street and King Street in Mascot, 500 metres from domestic terminal entrances.

To celebrate the opening, there’s a 25 per cent discount and complimentary buffet breakfast. The offer is valid for bookings and travel to October 8.

Visit www.travelodge.com.au