New Tourism Experience Sweeping the World

AUSSIES HAVE the chance to sample a new form of experiential travel that is gaining popularity worldwide.

Agritourism connects guests to local produce and the people that work on the land, giving them a much needed financial boost.

Peter Casonato of Donnelly River Cruises has teamed up with Annette Porter of Travel with Me to create three ‘Hidden Gems’ experiential journeys in the Southern Forests region, often regarded as the food bowl of Western Australia.

“I love the region, it’s agriculture, natural beauty, history and the multi-cultural influences that have developed the area to what it is today,” said Peter.

“Nothing gives me more pleasure that to be given the opportunity to showcase these aspects and people to a greater audience.”

The first in the series, ‘Truffles & Hidden Gems of the Southern Forests’, started during the lockdown of 2021. Three small groups (maximum of 12 guests per departure) experienced conversations with farmers, on their farms, about their lives and their produce.

This departure is themed around the Black Périgord truffle, so guests learn about this highly sought-after ‘Black Gold’ and experience a variety of tastings along with a truffle hunt with the dogs.

“These small group tours take guests to visit farms, meet real farmers and learn about the sustainable production of quality produce, visit the best wineries where they dine with winemakers, and indulge their taste buds with food prepared by award-winning local chefs,” said Annette.

The demand from those first groups saw the creation of the second in the series, ‘Spring Gems of the Southern Forests’, and the third in the trilogy, ‘Gems, Flavours & Gems of the Southern Forests’.

All the tours operate Monday to Friday and are fully inclusive of accommodation, meals, touring and experiences with complimentary transfers from Mandurah railway station.

Go in Search of the Mountain Ghost

TRAVELLERS CAN experience one of the last true wildernesses and a place where few venture on a new and improved tour with Inverted Atlas.

The 17-day ‘In Search of the Mountain Ghost’ adventure departs from Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia on September 27.

The itinerary includes a five-day safari in remote western Mongolia in search of the world’s most elusive big cat, the Snow Leopard.

Guests will also enjoy a two-day visit to the country’s famed golden eagle festival which features traditional eagle hunting, musical performances, horse games and handicrafts.

There’s also a visit to Hustai National Park to seek out Przewalski’s horse, a triumph of modern conservation.

“Mongolia is one of the most remote countries on the planet and provides a unique opportunity to view rare and endangered wildlife in its natural habitat, as well as a unique insight into, and to participate in a living nomadic culture,” said Kristina Wilson, co-founder of Inverted Atlas.

“Travellers are increasingly looking to understand how they can both sustain and assist with conservation efforts and the importance of conservation has featured heavily in respected documentaries in the past three years.

“These factors have led to a high demand for this kind of trip – an experience centred on complete immersion in a nomadic culture which is at one with nature rather than separate from it, appreciating endangered animals in the wild, and learning about conservation and sustainable practices.”

‘In Search of the Mountain Ghost’ is priced from $8,895 per person twin share. International flights are not included.

Expansion Puts more Countries Within Reach

WALES, FINLAND, Albania and Malta. These are just some of the countries Aussies can now explore in the off-season.

Globus has added six new tours to its Escapes by Globus portfolio, departing from late 2023 onwards.

Catering to the popularity of these tours, which take place between November and March, the new additions will provide travellers more space and time at the world’s most iconic sites.

“Off-season travel is the hottest trend in touring,” said Gai Tyrrell, Managing Director Australasia, Globus family of brands.

“When the heat is off and crowds are halved, Escapes by Globus travellers can wind and bend their way through Europe’s narrow streets and alleys with the locals – only locals.”

Escapes by Globus tours are priced from $145 per day and include Globus’ signature excursions, recommendations from local guides and the support of a Tour Director.

The six new tours include:

  • Finland Escape (six days, from $1,739 per person for 2023 departures)
  • Welsh Escape with London (seven days, from $1,739pp for 2023 departures)
  • From Prague to Munich Escape (eight days, from $2,179pp for 2023 departures)
  • Turkish Escape (eight days, from $1,449pp for 2023 departures)
  • Croatia & Albania Escape (nine days, from $2,179pp for 2023 departures)
  • Sicilian Escape with Malta (10 days, from $2,979pp for 2023 departures).

The company launched its new travel style in 2017 with just a handful of off-season holidays but has since expanded its offerings to include nearly 40 Escapes.

It has become the fastest-growing product in the tour operator’s travel portfolio.

“We are delighted to expand our Escapes by Globus portfolio to give Aussies greater access to Europe’s iconic sights and bucket-list itineraries with a lower price tag,” added Tyrrell.

“Demand for Europe has never been higher, and we look forward to welcoming travellers on our special off-season adventures, particularly on our exciting new tours and destinations.”

Competition Q1: In which Australian states does Tour de Vines run cycling tours?

Get in Early for Big Savings Up North

EARLY BIRD SAVINGS of up to $3,000 per couple are available on a 2024 luxury holiday to Canada and Alaska.

APT has just released its tours to the region for next year, showcase the best in rail and land touring and ocean cruising.

The 22-day ‘Rockies Odyssey and Alaska Cruise’ continues to be one of APT’s best-selling holidays and is priced from $13,295 per person twin share.

After a stay in Vancouver, guests enjoy the scenery from glass-dome windows in GoldLeaf Service as the Rocky Mountaineer winds through the Canadian Rockies to Banff National Park, where a stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and a visit to Athabasca Glacier await.

The seven-night round trip Alaskan cruise in a guaranteed Verandah Stateroom with Holland America Line takes guests through the Inside Passage with stops at Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.

The ice formations and wildlife of Glacier Bay National Park are sure to be a highlight before the journey back to Vancouver.

Also available is the 15-day ‘Rockies Icons and Alaska Cruise’ tour which is priced from $9,995 per person twin share.

The trip begins with a transfer from Calgary airport to Banff for two nights at the Fairmont Banff Springs in a Mountain View Room. The Alaskan cruise follows, providing endless opportunities to view the region’s diverse wildlife and unique land and seascapes.