UNIQUE Gourmet Cruises and Tours 2016

Travelrite International invites you to join them on one of their unique European Food & Wine Tours in 2016. Enjoy rich experiences in history, food, wine and lifestyle. Dine in Michelin Starred Restaurants. See fresh produce and fascinating gourmet producers. Learn the tricks in making real gelato!

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Gourmet Eastern Mediterranean Cruise with Lyndey Milan

SEPTEMBER 16 TO OCTOBER 5, 2016

Lyndey Milan OAM, Australian home-cook hero and a familiar face on television and in print, will lead this unique Gourmet Tour, giving cooking demonstrations and introducing us to some of the Mediterranean’s most interesting markets, specialty food shops and restaurants. The “Gourmet Mediterranean” cruise includes sightseeing tours in the ports of call

Your host Lyndey Milan

Lyndey Milan, Australian home-cook hero, combines a thirst for life and a sense of fun with a love of good food and sparkling shiraz. A familiar face on television and in print, she has been instrumental in changing the way Australians think and feel about food and wine during thirty years.

“Hospitality of the table” is her catchphrase, evidenced in her numerous television appearances, best-selling books and at countless culinary events over the years, as she maintains her position at the forefront of Australian cuisine. She has hosted seven television series, including Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece and is a regular guest on morning television. During her years on Fresh on the Nine Network, she hosted visiting chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay.

She travels regularly and has an extensive knowledge of Mediterranean food and wine. Lyndey is the host of Fresh with Lyndey Milan on the Lunchtime Lowdown on radio 2UE on Thursdays 2 – 3pm. Her friendly personality make her the ideal person to lead the Gourmet Eastern Mediterranean Cruise. She is looking forward to meeting you.

Tour Highlights:

  • Explore the meandering laneways and bridges of magical Venice
  • 700-year-old Rialto market of Venice
  • The famous resort town of Taormina, spectacularly located on a 200 metre-high rocky outcrop, with views to Mt Etna
  • Taste the local limoncello and see how it is produced in Sorrento. Learn the tricks in making real gelato.
  • Visit one of the best vineyards outside of Orvieto for wine tasting and an included celebration lunch.
  • Cooking demonstrations by Lyndey Milan
  • Villa Carlotta, known for its beautiful setting and spectacular gardens
  • Take a boat to Isola Bella, the most spectacular of the Borromean Islands.
  • Visit local food producers around the Italian Lakes

VIEW TOUR DETAILS

Gabriel Gate Tour De France

Gabriel Gate Gourmet Tour De France

SEPTEMBER 3 TO 22, 2016

The Gabriel Gate Gourmet Tour will visit some the most interesting areas for gourmet food and wine in France visiting Paris, Loire Valley, Burgundy, French Alps and Provence. Included are special meals at fabulous French restaurants specially selected by Gabriel Gate. The tour is run at a relaxing pace with three and four night stays. We do not try and do too much each day so that you can savour and really enjoy these regions of France. We do not have early starts to the day so you are not rushed. There is also plenty of free time so you can explore or just relax!

Your host Gabriel Gaté

Gabriel Gaté is probably the most popular French chef in Australia. Gabriel was born in the Loire Valley of France. After working at some of the finest restaurants in his homeland, he came to Australia in 1977 with his Melbourne-born wife, Angie. Gabriel is the author of 23 cookbooks, including French Cuisine for Australians, and is the popular presenter of cookery programmes on television and radio.In the mid nineties Gabriel and his family spent almost a year and a half in Aix-en-Provence. This tour will be the ninth in which Gabriel has led an Australian group to France, including the successful Tour de France in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 which everyone enjoyed immensely.

Tour Highlights:

  • Continental breakfasts daily, five lunches, five dinners and one picnic selected by Gabriel Gaté
  • Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, drive along the Champs-Élysées, the Seine, visit Notre Dame and other major sights of Paris
  • Dine at La Grande Cascade
  • Shop at great Parisian markets
  • Château de Chenonceau, spanning the River Cher, which reflects its unique beauty
  • Château du Clos Lucé – residence of Leonardo da Vinci between 1516 and 1519
  • Sample some fine Burgundy wines
  • Annecy, a picturesque town on the shores of a spectacular lake on the edge of the French Alpine region.
  • An alfresco lunch at the home of one of Gabriel’s friend’s restaurants
  • Visit one of the most beautiful villages of Provence and have lunch in a stunning local restaurant.

VIEW TOUR DETAILS

Mary Valle Tour

Gourmet Tour of Greece with Mary Valle

SEPTEMBER 14 TO OCTOBER 3, 2016

The fully escorted Gourmet Tour of Greece will be a wonderful food and wine experience. Tour members can meet the locals and experience each region’s history, food, wine and lifestyle. Mary is an engaging and knowledgeable tour leader who will ensure you get the most out of this holiday. Visiting Athens, Chania, Santorini, Mykonos and Ikaria. Includes visiting the Blue Zone island of Ikaria, which has one of the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world! We hope that you can join us!

Your host Mary Valle

Born to Greek parents, Mary grew up surrounded by tradition and great food. Mary’s love of travel, rich Greek heritage and great skill in the kitchen have seen this Melbourne-based cook become one of Australia’s most respected authorities on Mediterranean cuisine. Mary often spends time in her family’s home in Greece and nearby Mediterranean countries, where she learns new techniques and recipes to introduce to her kitchen.She teaches Mediterraneanstyle cooking in Melbourne, sharing her passion and love for food with others. She is the author of the best-selling cookery books, My Greek Kitchen, My Mediterranean Kitchen and Everyday Mediterranean, and contributes to magazines regularly. In addition to this, Mary runs culinary tours around Greece. She lives with her family in Melbourne.

Tour Highlights:

  • Continental breakfasts daily, five lunches, one picnic and four dinners selected by Mary Valle
  • Sightseeing tour of Athens and see many of the world-famous sites
  • Travel to the majestic site of the Acropolis
  • Dine at a seaside restaurant and enjoy the outstanding views of the Aegean Sea
  • Explore the beautiful Venetian harbour
  • A traditional Cretan dinner with live music
  • Ferry trip to Santorini and sample some delicious, simple, fresh local delicacies
  • Enjoy a seafood lunch at a local tavern in Ammoudi Bay
  • Ikaria – A Blue Zone region of the world, with one of the globe’s highest concentration of centenarians
  • A cooking class at the cooking school in Ikaria
  • Enjoy a cheese-making class
  • Meet an Ikarian bee-keeper to understand the background of honey-making

VIEW TOUR DETAILS

Peter Simic Wine Tour

The Best of Italy Food and Wine Tour with Peter Simic

SEPTEMBER 17 TO OCTOBER 4, 2016

The 2016 Best of Italy Wine & Food Tour will be a fantastic opportunity to travel with Peter Simic and visit some of his favourite vineyards in Italy. The tour will visit the most interesting areas for gourmet food and wine in Italy. Outstanding locations – visits to Rome, Tuscany (Siena & Florence), Emilia-Romagna (Bologna & Parma), Piedmont (Alba) and Milan, plus Cinque Terre (Portofino).

Your host Peter Simic

Peter Simic, your tour guide, is an ideal host for this trip. With a background in publishing and wine education over 30 years his wine knowledge is vast. In addition to being the founding editor/ publisher of Winestate Magazine, Peter was formerly the founding publisher of Wine & Spirit (US), Manager of the SA Wine Information Bureau, and wine educator with SA Regency College. He is also a regular wine commentator in newspapers and on radio and television.

Tour Highlights:

  • Return economy-class air travel from east coast Australian capitals to Rome and return from Milan. Please call for other departure cities. Passengers will be able to extend their stay in Europe at no extra airfare.
  • Accommodation in four-star hotels with private facilities. Hotel taxes and service charges.
  • A full continental breakfast daily and four special celebration lunches or dinners with outstanding food and wine.
  • Entry, tasting fees and special services at vineyards in each of the regions visited. Sightseeing and general entry fees as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Tour leadership by Peter Simic, editor/publisher of Winestate magazine.

VIEW TOUR DETAILS

South America Cultural Tour 2016

It is with pleasure that we introduce this tour to our numerous previous travellers and those who have yet to experience the unique and exciting world of cultural touring designed to blend an informative, cultural education with fascinating travel. Come and join us in this cauldron of intoxicating rhythms that cast mystical spells over all who have the goodfortune to visit.

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Highlights include:

  • Taking the cog-train to the spectacular Christ the Redeemer statue and cable car to Sugar Loaf Mountain
  • Exploring the unbelievably mysterious and powerful Machu Picchu ruins
  • Riding the funicular to the spectacular Cerro San Cristobal
  • Experiencing the famous Uros Floating Island Tour and have a delicious lunch on Taquile Island
  • Touring the Sacred Valley and Peruvian temples and villages
  • Visiting the Iguazu Bird Park and be photographed with the famously tame Toucans
  • Taking an optional helicopter ride over the breathtaking Iguazu Falls on the Extension Tour
  • Visiting a Peruvian family in their home and chat about their lifestyle and culture
  • Attending a talk on South America and chat about aspects of your tour with a resident expert
  • Continuing on with your own travels when the tour finishes in Rio de Janeiro, if you wish

Cultural Tour Toucans

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Your host for this fabulous Tour is Peter Rowe

Peter is a practising artist having had four solo exhibitions and over 35 group exhibitions. He has been managing a diversity of international tours over two decades and has toured in excess of 55 countries. Peter has formal TAFE teacher training qualifications and over three decades of experience in Art Departments as a lecturer and manager. He completed both graduate and post graduate studies at the Victorian College of the Arts. He has a passion for international travel, the arts and exploring new cultures with groups in a relaxed, friendly and informative manner.

Optional Iguazu & Rio Extension Tour

Join us for a wonderful Tour of the spectacular Iguana Falls and Rio from 28th November – 4th December 2015. This tour follows immediately after the completion of the South America Cultural Tour.

Cultural Tour Iguazu Falls

For more details visit our website or contact us on 1800 033 436

http://www.travelrite.com.au/south_america16.shtml

 

Unique European Food & Wine Tours in 2015

Travelrite International invites you to join them on one of their unique European Food & Wine Tours in 2015.

GOURMET MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE
Hosted by Lyndey Milan

September 7 to 26, 2015

Join Australian home-cook hero, TV presenter & author Lyndey Milan on an incredible journey through the unique culinary and visual delights of the Mediterranean. From the bustling food markets of Rome to limoncello & gelato tasting in Sorrento to a private cooking demonstration in an historic Tuscan castle, this Mediterranean sojourn is a degustation feast for the senses. Dine at authentic local restaurants, sample the wine at spectacular vineyards, shop in local specialty shops and colourful delicatessens and consolidate your newly-awakened palette with cooking demonstrations at sea during your luxury Mediterranean cruise. This package includes return international economy air travel to Rome, 10-night cruise aboard Celebrity Reflection, 3 nights in Rome, 4 nights in Tuscany and sightseeing tours of Rome, Taormina, Ephesus, Santorini, Rhodes, Athens, the Amalfi Coast and Tuscany.

For more details, click HERE or call Travelrite International on 1800 630 343. 
     

 

GOURMET TOUR DE FRANCE
Hosted by Gabriel Gaté
September 7 to 25, 2015

Popular French chef, author and presenter, Gabrielle Gaté, invites you to join him on a gourmet tour of France. From the street markets of Paris to the Champagne houses of Reims, Gabrielle will lead you on a unique 19-day round trip of his homeland, with unforgettable visits to Paris, Champagne, Alsace, Lyon and the French Riviera. Highlights include a cooking class in Lyon, a visit to Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, Gabriel’s favourite covered market in France, lunch in a beautiful local restaurant in the Provençal countryside and the breathtaking vistas of the French Riviera. This package includes return economy flights to France, accommodation in carefully selected centrally located hotels in Paris, Reims, Colmar, Lyon and Nice, daily breakfast, four lunches, one gourmet picnic & five dinners in restaurants specially selected by Gabriel.

For more details, click HERE or call Travelrite International on 1800 630 343.

 

2015 WINE TOUR OF FRANCE
Hosted by Peter Simic

September 12 to 29, 2015

Enjoy two and a half wonderful weeks with Peter Simic, Editor & Publisher of Winestate magazine, exploring the best of the French wine regions. Visit vineyards rarely open to the public, sample special vintages and meet the people responsible for the skillful production of these beautiful wines. It will be a unique opportunity to meet the personalities behind the wines, expand your knowledge of the industry and soak in the spectacular French countryside. This package includes return international economy air travel to Paris, flight from Bordeaux to Paris, accommodation in four and five-star hotels with breakfast and visits to Champagne, Burgundy, Dijon, Lyon, the Rhone Valley, Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux.

For more details, click HERE or call Travelrite International on 1800 630 343. 

 

Unforgettable Travel Experiences On The World’s Greatest Railway Journeys in 2015!

THE SILK ROAD RAIL JOUNEY 2015
Hosted by Sandra and Neville Walliss
September 23 – October 14, 2015

A once-in-a-lifetime travel experience from Beijing to Moscow through China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Russia, visiting Xian, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, Almaty, Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Merv, Ashgabat, Khiva and Volgograd.

Undisputedly one of the world’s great railway journeys, the Silk Road tour takes us from Beijing to Moscow, travelling along one of the most important trading routes of ancient civilization. We will be following in the footsteps of legendary figures, Alexander the Great and Marco Polo. For centuries merchants and adventurers journeyed to and from China through some of the most testing landscapes in the world, to trade silk, spices and perfumes. These ancient highways stretched more than 6000kms and collectively, they became known as “The Silk Road.”

For more details, click HERE or call Travelrite International on 1800 630 343. 

 

TEHRAN TO BUDAPEST DANUBE EXPRESS
Hosted by Barry Jones AC
September 14 to October 4, 2015

An amazing trip by private train from the ancient land of Persia to the shores of the Bosphorus, arriving finally by the banks of the Danube. This unique trip takes in destinations rarely experienced by Western visitors on a completely enthralling journey. In Iran, see the capital Tehran, the historical city of Isfahan and the ancient city of Persepolis, before we travel through Turkey to Istanbul and then through Bulgaria and Romania to Hungary and Budapest. Visiting World Heritage Sites and Dubai; Tehran, Mahan, Kerman, Shiraz, Persepolis, Isfahan, Zanjan in Iran; Lake Van, Akdamar Island, Van, Cappadocia, Istanbul in Turkey; Kazanlak and Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria; Brason and Sighisoara, Romania; Kecskemet and Budapest, Hungary.  A journey of a lifetime!

For more details, click HERE or call Travelrite International on 1800 630 343.

 

THE TRANS-SIBERIAN RAIL JOURNEY
Vladivostok to Moscow and St Petersburg
September 3 to September 24, 2015

Indisputably one of the world’s greatest railway journeys, the Trans-Siberian Railway runs from Moscow, over the Urals, across the magnificent Russian Steppes and alongside the shores of the world’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Baikal. It passes through eight time zones, and travels almost 10,000 km; one third of the way around the world. Our Trans- Siberian Express tour is a leisurely journey, making sure you get plenty of time to take in and enjoy this voyage of a lifetime. Visiting Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Ulaanbaatar, Ulan Ude, Lake Baikal, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Moscow & St Petersburg in Russia. Travelling on the Trans-Siberian is the only way to truly take in the vastness and grandeur of the world’s largest country.

For more details, click HERE or call Travelrite International on 1800 630 343. 

 

2015 Garden Tours to Europe and Australia

Eight Exciting Tours to consider

Gard2014 Helen Young Garden Tour of Italy and France
May 25 to June 14, 2015

10th year anniversary visiting some of Helen’s favourite gardens. 17 exciting days exploring the gardens and delights of the Italian Lakes, Venice and Paris. Plus a cruise on the Seine River.

This wonderful tour begins with four nights on Lake Como. We will visit beautiful Bellagio, Villa Melzi, magnificent Isola Bella, Villa Carlotta and Villa Balbeinello. We then travel to Venice for a guided tour with members of the Venice Garden Club. We will see some of Venice’s secret gardens as well as the gardens of the exclusive Hotel Cipriani. Our tour continues in Paris with highlights including Chateau de Bagatelle and Versailles. We then board our luxurious river ship for a seven night cruise along the Seine. We will visit Jardin Plume, Les Jardins de Castillon, and another highlight Claude Monets house and garden in Giverney.

An optional pre tour to London for the Chelsea Flower Show and great gardens of the south of England is also available.

Gard52015 Garden Tour with Millie Ross to Italy, France and England

Including the Chelsea Flower Show
May 4 to May 24, 2015

Visiting London for the Chelsea Flower Show, Tuscany, Florence, the Italian Lakes and Nice.

We begin on the Amalfi Coast in Sorrento. We will see spectacular gardens Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone in Ravello. We also travel to the island of Ischia to visit the famous garden La Mortella. During our three nights in Rome we visit Villa d’Este, and Villa Adriana. We continue on to Sienna in Tuscany to see Villa Lante and Villa Cetinale before four nights in the French Riviera and Nice. Our highlight here will be Villa Ephrussi de Rothchild. We finish with three nights in cosmopolitan London and the Chelsea Flower Show.

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2015 Italian Food & Garden Tour with Julie Ray & Phil Dudman

May 22, 2015 to June 07, 2015

Visiting Tuscany, Florence, Bologna and the Italian Lakes.
Highlights include 3 nights in the picturesque Tuscan village of Bagno Vignoni, lunch at the world-renowned Osteria Francescana in Modena, a visit to the enchanting Villa del Balbianello overlooking Lake Como & the glorious food markets of Bologna, the food capital of Italy. Join the optional pre tour to the Chelsea Flower Show.

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2015 Sue McDougall Garden cruise to Italy, France and Spain on board Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam
16 June to 6 July, 2015

Visiting Como, the Italian Lakes, Venice, Naples, Rome & Livorno, Italy: Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Greece; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain. Highlights include Villa Carlotta, Villa Balbienello and Isola Bella in Como, la Mortella on the island of Ischia, Villa lante and Villa Massei in Tuscany and Villa Ephrussi de Rothchild on the French Riviera.

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2015 Deryn Thorpe Garden Tour to France and England including the Chelsea Flower Show
5 May to 24 May 201
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We begin with four nights in Paris visiting the exceptional gardens of Monet’s house and garden at Giverny, Chateau de Bagatelle and Chateau de Versailles. We then continue on to the beautiful Loire Valley. A highlight here will be the Festival des Jardins de Chaumont sur Loire with thirty show gardens for us to see. Our journey through the best gardens of France then visits the spectacular Dordogne region and the gorgeous city of Avignon in Provence. We conclude with three nights in London for the Chelsea Flower Show.

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2015 Jane Edmanson Britain and Ireland Garden Cruise on board Royal Princess
July 2 to 23, 201
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Visiting London, Canterbury and Liverpool, England; Monets Garden, France; Edinburgh, Invergordon and Glasgow, Scotland; Cork and Dublin, Eire; Belfast, Northern Ireland; St Peter Port, Guernsey.

The Jane Edmanson garden tour on the Royal Princess will be a wonderful opportunity to cruise around the British Isles and Ireland. It will be managed by an experienced tour manager and include sightseeing tours at each port of call and visits to delightful gardens. Also included are special activities for members of the group.

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2015 Deryn Thorpe Garden Tour to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show and Ballarat
March 21 to 28, 2014

An exciting eight day tour to Ballarat and Melbourne, for the 2015 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. We visit Paul Bangay’s spectacular garden, Stonefields, the Australian garden at Cranbourne, Heronswood Garden, Cloudehill in the Dandenongs and much more!

Basile2015 Gardens History & Landscapes Tour with Michael and Judith Basile

From Nice to Paris – On and off the beaten track.

May 5 to 24, 2015

A romantic journey through glorious gardens, beautiful villages, and historic sites with tour leaders who know and love this very special region of France. We visit Nice and the beautiful French Riviera, travel to Forcalquier by train, and visit the historic Provincial town of Avignon. We have a night in Carcasson before concluding the tour with five nights in cosmopolitan Paris. It will be a wonderful in depth tour of France.

Visit our website for full details: www.travelrite.com.au      Gard1   dt_garden14

European and Australian Garden Tours 2014

Travelrite International have launched their 2014 Garden Tours to Europe and Australia

There are Seven Exciting Tours to consider including visits to the Chelsea Flower Show:

2014 Helen Young Garden Tour to France and England
May 4 to May 25, 2014

Visiting the French Riviera, Provence, the Dordogne, Bordeaux and London for the Chelsea Flower Show.
This wonderful tour takes in the best gardens of the French Riviera and Provence, the spectacular sights of Carcassonne, Albi, the gorgeous town, where Toulouse Lautrec was born and Scarlet a wonderful Medieval town in the Dordogne region and the historic city of Bordeaux, the centre of the famous wine region. Highlights will be the superb Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Chateau Val Joanis, Jardin de la Noria and Les Jardins de l’Imaginaire. We conclude with a delightful four nights in London and a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show.

2014 Garden Tour with Angus Stewart to England, France and Spain
May 20 to June 9, 2014

Visiting London for the Chelsea Flower Show, Canterbury, Paris for Jardine Jardin, Amboise, Clermont-Ferrand, Avignon & Barcelona.
We begin with three nights in cosmopolitan London before travelling to Kent and Canterbury, the Garden of England, where we will visit Sissinghurst. We then visit Paris, the Loire Valley and Avignon.  Highlights will be Claude Monet’s house and garden at Giverney, the Chateau’s of the Loire and the Festival des jardins de Chaumont. We finish with three nights in spectacular Barcelona.

2014 Garden Tour with Tony Fawcett to England, Switzerland & Italy
May 17 to June 7, 2014

Visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, London for the Chelsea Flower Show, Venice, Ascona on Lake Maggiore, Siena and Rome
20 exciting days exploring the fine gardens of England, Switzerland and Italy including London for the Chelsea Flower Show.  Highlights include Hidcote and  Kiftsgate Court in the Cotswolds, the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Villa Carlotta, Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore, Villa Gamberaia and Villa Cetinale in Tuscany.


2014 Sue McDougall Garden cruise of the Baltic and St Petersburg aboard Celebrity Constellation
5 July to 24 July, 2014
Visiting Amsterdam, Netherlands; Warnemunde, Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; St Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark

2014 Deryn Thorpe Garden Tour to England, Italy and France including the Chelsea Flower Show
20 May to 9 June 2014

Visiting London for the Chelsea Flower Show,staying in the gorgeous village Bagno Vignoni, where we have typical Tuscan meals every night, Florence, the Italian Lakes & Nice.


2014 Jane Edmanson Autumn Delights Garden Tour to the NSW Southern Highlands, Bundanon and Canberra
May 4 to 9, 2014

A delightful six day tour to Bowral, Nowra and Canberra.  With a four day extension tour of Canberra – May 9 to 12, 2014


2014 Deryn Thorpe Garden Tour to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show and Ballarat
March 22 to 29, 2014

A exciting eight day tour to Ballarat and Melbourne, for the 2014 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. We visit Paul Bangay’s spectacular garden, Stonefields, the Australian garden at Cranbourne, Heronswood Garden and Cloudhill in the Dandenongs.

For more details visit www.travelrite.com.au

Travelrite Garden Tour at Chelsea Flower Show

Neville and Sandra Walliss (Directors of Travelrite) were traveling with a garden tour in France and Italy with a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show. We were very interested in hearing the results of the judging of the Show Gardens entered at the Chelsea Flower Show on Tuesday 21 May 2013. Flemings Nurseries from Victoria, Australia had a garden designed by Phillip Johnson as their 8th entry in 9 years. They were hopeful that this year they might get Best in Show. There were many people who thought that a non Australian garden could never win in England, where they were expecting a different type of garden.

We listened with bated breath as the results were announced and it was Best in Show for the Flemings Garden. All our group clapped and shouted. We visited the Show on Thursday morning 23 May 2013 and went first to the Flemings site, where we were allowed on the site by Leanne long time employee of Flemings. The team there were very excited at their win. The design featured a billabong and a waterfall in an urban setting with a studio structure integrating into the design.

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The water is recycled and naturally cleaned. There are native plants used though out the design. There are lush ferns, kangaroo paws, bogle brushes and bottle trees.

We continued our visit looking at the other superb show gardens. We then visited the pavilion where we were able to see wonderful examples of many different plants. The best and straightest blue delphiniums, the most wonderful and sweetest smelling bunches of roses and gorgeous displays of gladioli. When we returned to our hotel later in the day we had experienced a highlight of gardening. The only time a non English garden had won Best in Show at the Chelsea Flower Show.

If you are interested in a Garden tour to the Chelsea Flowe Show please visit our website for upcoming tours.

P&O Releases 2014 Itineraries – Cruise from all mainland state capitals

P&O Cruises is thrilled to present our 2014/15 Program Release. Among a few exciting firsts, this release spans from October 2014 to September 2015 so you have more time to plan your next holiday with Cruise Offers, Australia’s low price cruise website.

More Australian home ports than any other cruise line
For the first time ever, we’re offering round trip itineraries from all mainland state capitals. Cruise from Adelaide, Fremantle, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, as well as Auckland for our New Zealand passengers.

Introducing P&O Asia Itineraries
Sailing from Fremantle, these new 12 and 14-night itineraries visit Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam, with maiden calls to Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City.

Cruise with P&O during the Australian Open
We’re bringing Australia to the Australian Open with two brand new 4 and 5-night itineraries to coincide with the quarter and semi-final matches for singles and doubles.
Plus three Australia Day Cruises to Sydney Harbour in 2015 with front row seats to all the action on Sydney Harbour.

Visit www.cruiseoffers.com.au for all of your latest cruise deals and itineraries

Marvellous Megaships

From rock-climbing walls, surf simulators and Lawn Clubs, to Poolside cinemas, Day Spas and world-class restaurants, these floating giants will blow you away.

Queen Mary 2

Three times bigger than Titanic, Queen Mary 2 is a modern reinterpretation of the golden age luxury line. Renowned for her transatlantic crossing, QM2 seamlessly combines impeccable service, luxurious accommodation and exquisite dining with modern innovations. Her elegance, grandeur and sophistication captures the excitement of a classic sea voyage whilst her 14 spacious decks delight guests with an array of unsurpassed amenities including the Canyon Ranch Spa Club and the only Planetarium at sea.

Oasis of the Seas

Experience the ship that revolutionised cruising. Its ground breaking design introduced seven distinct neighbourhoods built for ultimate enjoyment. Hop on a classic carousel on the Boardwalk, then watch acrobats splash down in the AquaTheater, the first amphitheatre at sea. Let imaginations soar in the Youth Zone – the largest kids’ area at sea – or at the Pool & Sports Zone, where you’ll find FlowRider surf simulators and zip line views. Unwind with a stroll in Central Park – a meandering garden lined with shops and fine restaurants – or melt away stress at Vitality Spa. Jazz up your evening with a Broadway hit, or hit the Royal Promenade for memorable moments with DreamWorks Experience characters.

Voyager of the Seas

Conquer the rock-climbing wall or find your adventure on the basketball court, ice-skating rink or mini-golf course. If it’s zen you seek, achieve it poolside or at the relaxing Vitality Spa. Liven up your nights on the Royal Promenade, with parades, dancing and duty-free shopping deals. And bring along some friends – with spacious public areas, enhanced staterooms and a spectacular three-storey dining room, this ship has room for your whole crew.

Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice is one of the more decorated ships at sea, full of ‘firsts’ – like the first Lawn Club at sea. The first Hot Glass Show. The first cruise line to have 5 women redesign and redecorate the staterooms. A passion for outstanding cuisine has also taken the specialty restaurants, the food and the overall dining experience to a whole new level in the cruising world. Celebrity Solstice also has the AquaSpa by Elemis where you can pamper yourself with spa treatments.

Radiance of the Seas

Combining sleek swiftness, panoramic vistas and an array of new dining options, the newly renovated Radiance of the Seas provides a dazzling cruise experience. With acres of glass enclosing the nine-storey central atrium, lifts facing the sea and floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, you’ll never be at a loss for an incredible view. Plus, they’ve just added eight new dining experiences, ranging from casual eats at the Boardwalk Doghouse, to family style Italian fare at Giovanni’s Table, to the sizzling skewers of the Samba Grill Brazilian Steakhouse. Other new features include a Royal Babies & Tots Nursery, VIP guest lounges, and an outdoor, poolside cinema screen showing firstrun films day and night.

For itineraries and prices please call on 1800 616 434 or visit www.cruiseoffers.com.au

Quilts, Fabrics, Food – Quilters on Tour in Europe

Winter? Schminter!! In August 2012, twenty one quilters, and one husband, took off for Europe and a tour full of history, fabric, textiles, shopping, sunshine, food, great company and maybe just a little shopping!

The tour starts in Paris, straight off the plane , for a city tour of this gorgeous place in brilliant sunshine. The wrought iron balconies and worked doors are superb, and provide inspiration for numerous craft designs. The Eiffel Tour is bathed in sunshine, with crowds milling around the base to ascend to the top. With lunch at the Louvre, it is a wonderful way to start the tour. We are staying in the Opera district, which gives us easy access to terrific shopping areas and the metro to anywhere else in the city.

This tour is full of highlights, and our first occurs the next day. We board our coach to head out to the Musee de Toile de Jouy. Situated in a 19th century chateau, it has displays of vintage printing techniques from the Oberkamp factory in Jouy-en-Josas, as well as historic, finished examples of the florals and toiles in garments, furnishing & quilts. The history contained in the building is counteracted by a display of modern quilts and textile art by the group Patchwork France. Far from the romantic figures on the vintage textiles, this exhibition has pieces made from plastic, wool felt, lace, embroidery and is enjoyed for it’s diversity. Before we leave there is a rush to buy the limited fabrics available at the museum, first in, first served!

To top off what has already been a brilliant day, we head to the markets in the city of Versailles for tasty baguettes, before we head to the Chateau de Versailles. As it is summer, the crowds are plentiful. But as a group we get to bypass them and enter this stunning palace very quickly. Each year an art exhibition is displayed within the buildings and grounds and this year it is artworks by Joana Vasconcelos. An oversized patchwork textile piece hangs from the ceiling as we enter. A huge pair of stilettos is made from shiny saucepans and a funky, iron lace teapot sit amid the summer flowers in the gardens. From the opulence of the 18th century castle and gardens, to the fascination of the modern art, it is a memorable visit, and we are sad to leave.

Paris has so many highlights, and the next day we head out to Sacre Couer to visit the basilica and the shopping area of Mont Matre. It is another beautiful day as we photograph the city from this fabulous vantage point. Then the girls head down for a fabric fix in the shops below and we already start to worry about those luggage allowances! The afternoon we spend at the Musee de Arts Decoratif. It has displays of all types of decoration including jewellery, advertisements, period rooms, trompe loi , Babar and the designs of Louis Vitton and Marc Jacobs. Wow! We have not even left Paris yet and we have seen so much!

Our 1st patchwork shop is on the itinerary next day. Ines Boutique de Patchwork has expanded since we first visited, but still as friendly as ever. Everyone finds something they can’t live without, before heading over to the little bar on the corner for a little liquid fortification. The evening sees many of us cruising the Seine River, enjoying the twinkling lights of Paris at night, while eating a tasty meal ( and maybe a dessert, or two!).

Alas, we must leave Paris, and the next day we fly to the south of France, landing in the historic city of Avignon. Often referred to as the “City of Popes” because of the presence of popes and antipopes from 1309 to 1423, the Palais de Popes is still standing , as is the rampart wall around the acient city centre. We explore this place on foot, while eating excellent gelatti in the summer heat. The following day we head out in our coach to two very different markets. The first is a small trash & treasure style market in a carpark, with tables covered in a wide variety of fascinating goods. We fossic through the items, discovering many treasures that come home with us. It is with reluctance that we board the coach again, but at least we are off to another market, this time on the village of Uzes. It is very different and very crowded as it is held in the narrow, winding streets of this old village. The stalls sell an abundance of local, fresh food, Provencal napery, clothing, hats, etc. We sniff out 2 stores that sell patchwork and other craft goods. Lunch choices abound, the food in the south of France is mouthwatering. Again, we are sad to leave the picturesque village of Uzes, but we must head back to the hotel. On the way we stop and see the magnificent arched roman aqua duct, The Pont du Gard.

The french are very civilised and the  next day is Sunday and most business are closed. We have organised for a famous Provencal fabric shop to open especially for the group. What a treasure trove! Not your traditional shop, it had dress fabric, patchwork fabric, upholstery, ribbons, T-towels, tassels and trims, ready made items. I do not think that Gregoire, the owner, knew what hit him when we started to shop. Lucky for us he had shipping , and the boxes that were sent home saved the extra weight in our luggage.

From Avignon we head to Nice, stopping at Aix-en-Provence along the way. Is every village in the south of France so picturesque! We wander the beautiful streets, heading to another fabric shop in the heart of the village. It is located on a square , with markets in the centre and numerous shops and restaurants. We have to shop fast, as this little village closes for 2 hours in the middle of the day. We are so used to 24/7 shopping in Australia that the shop closures in France can be a little disconcerting. Later in the day we explore the French Riveria from our hotel in Nice.

What can I say, but next day, another gorgeous village in Provence, Grasse. We have chosen it as a destination to visit a little museum , the Museum of Costume and Jewellery. Size is no indication of quality, as it has a fabulous selection of vintage, Provencal clothing. They are displayed under glass cylinders, allowing you to see all sides of these fascinating pieces: the fabrics, the closures, the trims , the stitching. Next door is a perfume factory where we learn the intricacies of  making the sweet smelling liquids. Lunch is on the run , while trying to shop and photograph Grasse, before we head to Monaco for the afternoon. A walking tour gives us an idea of this pretty place, with many of the older builings painted in  soft , gelatti colours. A visit to the church where Princess Grace was married and is also buried is included. Dinner that night is a farewell to France and held in a restaurant on the famous Prommenade de Anglais, on the French Riveria, Nice. Do we really have to leave?

England is our destination the next day, Birmingham to be exact. Our tour manager Lyn, has researched and found out that Jamie Oliver has a restaurant nearby. Twenty of us go out together to explore the culinary delights of this famous chef. Alas, he is not in the night we visit, but the food is incredibly fresh and tasty. The following day is the first day of Birmingham Festival of Quilts. The quilt show has a multitude of interantional quilt displays, with a wide variety of stands and demonstrations. Many famous quilters are in attendance, including Pauline Burbidge and Kaffe Fasset , who is busy signing books. Muscles are being tested, just how much can we carry? To break up the shopfest, we take the group back in time , to the 1760’s, and visit the magnificent Kedleston Hall. This neo-classical mansion and surrounding landscaped park can be seen in the movie “The Duchess”, starring Keira Knightley. It is an insight into how monied people lived in earlier times.

Our last stop in England is York. Another walled city, this is a very interesting place to stay. Our walking tour explores the history, the Minster, the Shambles and lands at the York Castle Museum. Free time allows for each of us to further investigate the city, and the shops, of York. The following day we visit the Quilt Museum and Gallery in St Anthony’s Hall. On exhibit is “Celebrating Diversity” by the European Quilt Association, and a collection of miniature quilts in “Small is Beautiful”.Our Farewell dinner that night is held in an olde pub. Amongst the laughter is much sadness, as this is our last meal together. Tomorrow some of us head home, while others stay in Europe , traveling on to other exciting destinations. Another fantastic Travelrite tour has, unfortunatley, come to an end.

In 2013 Travelrite have a new and exciting program of tours. The first, in August , will visit Long Beach Quilt Festival, Seattle, cruise the Inside Passage to Alaska and finish in San Fransisco. We will also be travelling to the USA in October 2013 for the Houston Quilt Festival.

For a further information check www.travelrite.com.au.