Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various dates through March 2009
To all the now-savvy travelers who’ve been curious about Vegemite sandwiches since Men at Work’s 1980s pop hit “Down Under,” this grouping of Australia packages is for you. The air/lodging combos, starting at just $2,999, showcase cosmopolitan Sydney in New South Wales and tropical Cairns in Queensland — the jumping off point for the Great Barrier Reef. You can also spend a few days in Victoria’s cultural haven, Melbourne, or opt for some time in the rugged, mystical Outback visiting Alice Springs and Ayers Rock in the Northern Territory. The earliest booking deadline is as soon as September 18, but you can travel with all three offers into 2009.
Sydney and Cairns from $2,359
If you’re able to commit by September 18 for travel later in the year, you can land an eight-night city getaway to Australia for $2,359. The offer comes from Virgin Vacations and includes four nights in Sydney, four nights in Cairns, and a flight between the two cities, plus roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco. The above rate is based on travel between December 31, 2008, and January 26, 2009, includes the fee for an Australian visa, and reflects standard-level accommodations. Upgrading to superior-category hotels bumps the price tag to $2,849 and deluxe digs raise it to $3,299. Rather go sooner? From now until December 3 the rate is nominally higher — $2,379. That rate is also available for travel between February 16 and March 16, 2009. Just note all reservations must be booked by the September 18 and with 21 days in advance of travel.
Three-city escorted tour $3,489 and up
Gate1Travel has a 13-day, three-city Australia trip for $3,489. The escorted package to Sydney, Cairns and Melbourne covers airfare to and from Los Angeles, flights between the cities and first-class business-district accommodations for 10 nights. Guided tours of Sydney and Melbourne, a boat excursion to the Great Barrier Reef, airport transfers and 13 meals, including a lunch cruise on the Sydney Harbor are also covered. Visa fees and any additional tours are extra. This particular quote is available through the Web site for travel November 19. For other departure dates at the same price (October 22, November 5 and December 3), call the company. If you’d rather head to the land down under next year, the air/lodging combo is available departing March 11 and 25 from $3,999.
Sydney, the Outback and Great Barrier Reef from $2,999
An iconic four-stop package comes courtesy of Aspire Down Under. This 14-day/12-night adventure takes you to Sydney, the Outback and the Great Barrier Reef all from just $2,999. The price includes roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles, transportation within Australia, three-star accommodation for four nights in both Sydney and Cairns, and two nights each in Alice Springs and Ayers Rock. Opting for four- or five-star lodging bumps the rate to $3,299 and $4,099, respectively. Prices are valid for travel from now until March 31, 2009, just be sure to purchase tickets by February 28, 2009. Add-on fares from other departure cities and optional tours are available.
Prices are per person, based on double occupancy and cover hotel taxes and fuel surcharges. Airport taxes and fees are not included. See other details above.
You “lose” a day crossing the International Date Line.
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