Weekly Travel News & Views: January 8 Edition

Our Travel Editor STEPHEN SCOURFIELD again scours the world of travel for informative items of interest from home and abroad for your reading pleasure...


With the WA border set to be opened for international travel from February 5, reader Les Lloyd is planning to visit Kibale Forest and Sunbird Hill, Uganda, in March. Les adds that he wants to spend a week in Bangkok on the way to Entebbe. But Les, who is 83 and describes himself as “fit and fully vaccinated” says he’s been having difficulty complying with Thailand’s requirement for COVID-19 insurance. Cover-More has been leading the way in COVID-19 insurance (covermore.com.au and 1300 728 822), but it is also worth visiting comparetravelinsurance.com.au (it has a seniors travel insurance section), or phone 1300 659 411.


From karaoke sets to big boulders, all sorts of items turn up in the world’s airport lost and found departments.

The team at car rental and airport transfer experts stressfreecarrental.com have been compiling a list:

And the team have come up with tips for keeping property safe while travelling. They include:

Keys Keep a spare set at home or with a relative or friend in case you lose them. “Key finder apps are also now popular for travellers.”

Mobility aids “These are some of the most common items to be mislaid, which is also quite surprising when they are so necessary for people who use them.” They include walking frames and canes. The team recommend imprinting a name and address on them.

Clothing accessories Sunglasses and belts go missing all the time. “Using lanyards for sunglasses can keep them safe, while it is a good idea not to remove belts from clothing, as they are less likely to get mislaid.”

Luggage “Smart luggage trackers which you can use on your mobile phone are helping to reduce the amount of luggage that goes missing each year.”

Coats and jackets Attach a business or ID card to an inside pocket. Textile stamps which have permanent ink are also a good idea.

Electronics Laptops and mobiles go missing easily in customer waiting areas, so attach ID to devices and make a note of serial numbers.


Emirates has special “Explore the World in 2022” promotional fares for bookings made by January 11 (emirates.com/au). They are for travel dates throughout 2022 in economy and business class. Customers have guaranteed access to flexible ticket options and COVID-19 medical travel insurance.

There are value-add offers such as a free Emirates Expo Day Pass. Emirates customers visiting and travelling through Dubai anytime during the Expo 2020 mega event will be eligible for a free Emirates Expo Day Pass for every flight ticket booked with the airline.


AirAsia Group has raised $233 million from a rights issue to fuel its comeback. Run by Malaysian businessmen Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun, the budget airline expects a strong rebound across South-East Asia. Mr Fernandes, AirAsia Group chief executive, says the airline is looking forward to pre-COVID passenger numbers on many popular routes early this year.


Between 169,000 and 226,000 years ago, two children in what is now Quesang, Tibet, left a set of handprints and footprints on a boulder. A new study published in the journal Science Bulletin suggests they were placed intentionally, making them the world’s oldest known cave art. Uranium series dating has placed the fossilised prints at this hot spring on the Tibetan Plateau in the mid-Pleistocene period. There are five handprints and five footprints, and they are three to four times older than comparable cave paintings in France, Spain and Indonesia. The Aboriginal rock art on the Burrup Peninsula and Dampier Archipelago has been dated to about 40,000 years JU">old.


There surely aren’t many places in the world where you see a sign in a shop which reads:

“Remove muddy or dirty boots and shoes before entering the shop.”

Southern Cross Pharmacy not only takes a proactive approach to keeping its floors clean, but has this interesting Christmas decoration (pictured).

Aww . . . shucks

In Cowaramup, in the Margaret River region, Howard Park’s signature event, the much-loved Oysters and Riesling, is on this weekend. Expect fresh shucking, live music and Howard Park’s classic Great Southern rieslings.

In its eighth year, it’s a celebration of this lesser-known food pairing and, the folk there say “a true taste of the South West”. It is on today and tomorrow from noon to 4pm at Howard Park Wines Cellar Door in Miamup Road, Cowaramup. 9756 5200 or hpw.com.au


The Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk near Walpole will stay closed all summer. It celebrated its 25 anniversary in September, but engineers have recommended the immediate replacement of 48 steel struts. Opened in 1996, the 600m walk was designed to protect the fragile roots of the tingle trees by suspending visitors 40m above them. The Ancient Empire Walk and visitor centre remain open in Walpole-Nornalup National Park.