Arrivals & Departures Weekly Travel News & Views 6 May 2023

Bali by the beach, Melbourne with the kids, skiing in Thredbo and a world of choice in cruising, Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield takes a look at another week in travel


Bali is back. Natalie Smith, spokesperson for 1Cover Travel Insurance, says travel to Bali has passed even pre-pandemic levels. Jetstar has reported a 10 per cent increase in Bali flights compared with pre-COVID levels, and Bali is online travel agency Webjet’s leading destination for Australians in early 2023.

But Natalie adds some visitors’ behaviour has prompted a backlash from Balinese authorities: “There has been a noted increase in troublesome tourists. Whether they’re disobeying road rules, drinking excessively, or disrespecting local laws and customs, these travellers are testing the limits of Balinese hospitality.”

Ravindra Singh Shekhawat, general manager of Intrepid Travel Indonesia, says: “Locals are getting increasingly fed up with the antisocial behaviours exhibited by a few unruly tourists. Police have responded to this unruly behaviour by increasing their routine checks on the ground, such as driver’s licence checks and drink and driving checks.”


The team at offers these tips to avoid offending locals in Bali:

Respect local customs and traditions. Bali is imbued with Hinduism and has conservative values. When appropriate, dress modestly, particularly when visiting temples and other religious sites. Avoid touching or sitting on offerings or statues, and do not point your feet towards sacred objects or people.

Be mindful of your behaviour. Bali has some of the world’s strictest drug laws and visitors are not exempt from its zero-tolerance approach.

Dispose of your rubbish properly. Waste management is a key issue and tourism has been a contributor. Dispose of rubbish appropriately, and recycle.

Use appropriate language. Don’t swear or use offensive language to locals.

Haggle with grace. Avoid being too forceful, and use compassion when negotiating.


The Stones Hotel is well positioned in Legian, Bali — right there by the beach, with restaurants, bars and cafes, and Beachwalk Shopping Mall and Poppies Lane on its doorstep. And My Bali holidays has a seven-night package there from $1449 per person. (They reckon it actually should be $2449.) It includes return flights, with 20kg of checked luggage and transfers, a deluxe room, daily buffet breakfast, the choice of an Ubud daytrip or Jimbaran beach sunset dinner, dinner at Jackson Lily’s for two, set dinner or lunch for two at The Stones Hotel, a 60-minute massage for two, replenished minibar daily and other benefits. Phone 1300 332 254 to book for selected travel dates between now and December 23.


Around the world…

Uganda’s president has approved one of the world’s strictest anti-LGBTQIA+ laws. It has been condemned by the international community.

Shanghai has just had its hottest May day in 100 years. The temperature reached 36.7C in China’s largest city.

Venice’s Grand Canal may have turned fluorescent green because of fluorescein, a non-toxic substance used for testing wastewater network leaks.


In last week’s Sunday Travel, we had a nice picture of bluebells in England in spring. Reader Sheila Barter says her sister in Wales has just sent an email this week, showing her among a carpet of bluebells. Sheila adds: “I too have many of them in my garden here in Woodvale, which will be blooming again in spring.”


Melbourne’s Docklands entertainment precinct is putting on school holiday Skate, Park and Play activities — and has teamed with the new Nesuto Docklands Apartment Hotel, which has premium apartments from $150 per night between June 24 and July 9, for the school holidays. To book the offer, which has a 3pm late check-out, email or phone 03 9124 0500.

Docklands activities include the immersive art gallery ArtVo, O’Brien Icehouse ice skating and hockey centre, Chaos Lab for children, Chipmunks Playland and Cafe, Glow Golf, Potion Putt Mini Golf and Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq with bowling, arcade games, Zero Latency virtual reality experiences and dodgems.


Thredbo is white, and there’s still a week to go until its ski season opens on June 10. The NSW resort had 15cm of snow in one night — not just on the mountain tops and runs, but all the way down to the village. Added to that, cold temperatures have created ideal conditions for snowmaking.


With the recent launch of its “discovery yacht” Scenic Eclipse II, Scenic has revealed its 2024-25 Worldwide Discoveries Collection, with new destinations and cruise combinations. Its expedition cruises visit more than 350 ports in 49 countries. Scenic Eclipse II will sail east Antarctica, New Zealand, Australia, the South Pacific, Japan, Borneo and Indonesia.


The Qantas Group is setting up a $400 million climate fund. It will fund sustainability projects and technologies, as the airline grinds towards emissions reduction targets.


Emirates has signed actor Penelope Cruz as its new brand ambassador. She’s been pictured lounging around in business and first class and standing at the bar in an A380.

She says she has privately travelled with the airline many times “on some of the most special trips” of her life, and visited Dubai many times.


Until June 11, travellers buying an economy or premium economy return flight with Emirates get a complimentary one-night stay at Novotel World Trade Centre, Dubai.

Those buying an Emirates business class or first class return ticket get a complimentary two-night stay at 25hours Hotel Dubai One Central.

The offer is for travel until August 31, for bookings made on, or via the Emirates call centre or ticket offices, or participating travel agents.


A reader who is flying to Singapore’s Changi Airport and on to Guangzhou in China is a bit concerned about the connection — as they arrive at Changi at 6.35am and depart at 8.20am — but it’s plenty of time. When you arrive in Singapore and get off the plane, just look for the big boards which show the gate for the next flight. And with that time window, I think it will already be up. Changi’s easy to navigate — but when you arrive, you go down a big walkway and there’s an information desk at the end, and they will help, too. I’d just head straight to that gate, and wait nearby. The quickest international connection I’ve ever had scheduled at Changi was 20 minutes on the way to India, and it worked.


It’s a mark of a true professional to be able to write with authority not only for travellers, as our aviation writer Emma Kelly does for you (and me), but for specialists. A clear indication of her knowledge and how she earns respect within the aviation industry has been revealed — as Emma, has been shortlisted for three awards at this year’s Aerospace Media Awards, on June 18 in Paris. Trust me — to be shortlisted in one category in these top international awards is brilliant. To be shortlisted for three is amazing.

Emma writes not just for us, but for industry magazines, including the hardcore RotorHub International. (You really have to know your stuff for that.) Her nomination stories include one on helicopter safety and another on aerial firefighting. One is for the highly prestigious Bill Gunston technology writer of the year award. Our best wishes to Emma — we’re very fortunate to have her writing as part of our extended team.