Arrivals & Departures Weekly Travel News & Views: August 6 Edition

There are many ways to travel around the world, from tours to food to spoken word and music, as Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield discovers this week


Chef Manu Feildel is curating the main course of a culinary evening in Tasmania, using local produce. My Kitchen Rules judge Manu will explain the ingredients for that course and demonstrate the cooking of the dish on stage. The three-course dinner with drinks is a highlight of a six-night tour which also includes visits to the Bridestowe Lavender Estate, distillery, brewery and winery. From $2999 per person for the six nights, I reckon it’s very good value. It includes three nights in Launceston, three in Hobart, lunch at Josef Chromy Winery with matching wines, and tastings at The Old Kempton Distillery. Oh, and flights, transfers and transport on the island. It is in March 2023. The tour has been conceived and put together by Imagine Holidays. Phone 07 3558 9913 (Saturday and Sunday 7am to 3pm, Monday to Friday 7am to 5pm) or


… I’ll just add that Imagine Holidays is very good at with coming up with events, from Jessica Mauboy at Uluru in October 2022, to the Murder Mystery on the Murray Princess in South Australia in January (we have a story coming up soon on that), and country singer Troy Cassar-Daley on the Murray Princess in August 2023. This is an innovative company.


… and I’ll just add that Imagine Holidays is joining us for our next Round the World Dinner, which is on Thursday, October 13, at The University Club of WA. After our gala dinner in Albany, it feels like coming home. We will go around the world in five courses, in cuisine, music and stories. Chef Costa Simatos already has the list of places and experiences, ready to start on the menu. Musician Steve Richter will again compose the music to play live with my stories on the night. For the food, all drinks and the experience of the evening, it is $150, and $120 for Gold members of West Travel Club. and don’t dilly-dally.


We get involved with partners to run Travel Club Tours for two main reasons. The first is to travel with readers — to let a story unfold in real life. The second is to work “inside” the travel industry — being involved in this way gives us great insight into the industry, rather than just joining “media trips”. As you read this, I’m just about on my way to France to lead a Travel Club Tour — a couple of nights in Nice, then joining a Viking ship for my favourite river cruise in Europe, to Arles, Avignon, Tournon and Lyon. Viking has set the benchmark on the cruise scene in handling the past two difficult years.


Notre-Dame Cathedral is on track to reopen in 2024. The 13th century Paris monument caught fire in April 2019, and a huge restoration project has begun to restore it to its previous design.


+ Colleague Will Yeoman and I brought a bit of France to York last Sunday. I spoke and Will played classical guitar. Our thanks to the locals who came, those who drove up to York on a beautiful, sunny day, and especially to those who came from Bunbury. The event was part of York Festival (for which Will is artistic director) and was at Hope Farm Guesthouse. This historic homestead has super rooms, animals and vines, and Mike and Jo Bryant give a warm welcome.

+ There’s lots to see, experience and do at York Festival. Colleague Mogens Johansen and I will be leading PhotoWalks with Phones in York on Saturday September 24. There’s a walk from 10am to noon, and a family walk from 2pm to 4pm.


+ Slovenia has a new Green Wellness Cycling Route. The 680km route is in 16 stages, with an average length of 40km each. More than 500 attractions are marked out along the way.

+ Free The Bears, which has rescued nearly 1000 bears and is working to end bear bile farming in Vietnam, has partnered with World Expeditions to let people visit one of their sanctuaries, the Tat Kuang Bear Rescue Sanctuary in Laos, and Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary. The next tour will be in October and is from $2890 per person for the eight-day trip. That includes a $500 donation to Free the Bears. and 1300 720 000

+ Bhutan is set to reopen its historic and sacred Trans Bhutan Trail for the first time in 60 years. G Adventures has itineraries including the 11-day Camp the Trans Bhutan Trail, with camping and homestays (from $6099 each), and 12-day Highlights of the Trans Bhutan Trail with accommodation in homestays, guest houses and hotels (from $7399).