Luxury travel deals pending in Vanuatu, San Francisco and Australia

Step into luxury guests on the Cape to Cape trail at Injidup Beach. Photo / Provided


Called the “Melbourne Cup of the Outback”, the Birdsville races began as a humble horse race in 1882. More than 100 years later, the event attracts racing enthusiasts and intrepid travelers to the small town of Birdsville, in Outback Queensland.

The event, on September 2-3 this year, provides much-needed financial support to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). There’s even an annual RFDS Birdsville Races Gala, held September 1, that travelers can attend to experience backcountry hospitality, live entertainment, and a charity auction. Tickets for the racing event start at A$44.40 (NZ$49). Tickets for the gala evening cost AUD 180 per person.

Contact: your travel agent for flights and accommodation, or


It’s adults-only at Vanuatu’s Mangoes Resort, where peace and quiet are of the utmost importance, so guests can truly relax and unwind. A seven-night stay booked with return flights from Auckland and transfers within Vanuatu costs from $1,419 pp, sharing. Travel dates and stays are available through December 20 or book your travel between January 5 and April 30 next year.

The Mangoes Resort is ideally located for exploring Port Vila and its surroundings. The hotel restaurant touts its Santo beef dish as “world famous” and its cheesecake as irresistible. Daily breakfasts are included in this package, as is a NZD 100 food and beverage credit with each room, applicable at Mangoes Restaurant. (All travelers to Vanuatu are required to provide negative Covid-19 tests. See link below).
Contact: House of Travel, 0800 713 715 or


A 12-day tour of Ireland’s luxurious country roads will have you resting your head each night in premium accommodation across Ireland. Highlights include approaching the Book of Kells – an ancient Gospel manuscript filled with mythical beasts and Celtic knots. You’ll have a professional lesson in the 3,000-year-old sport of hurling, savor a traditional Irish feast in Killarney, and visit the mystical, verdant Ring of Kerry peninsula and its charming seaside villages.

The phenomenal Giant’s Causeway is also on the route. Priced at $5675 per person, activities and a range of meals are included, as are all daily breakfasts. Airfare from New Zealand is extra. Book before September 30. Choose from selected departure dates between May 1 and May 20 next year.
Contact: Travel Associates, 0800 951 655 or


Hike the trails that stretch from ocean cape to ocean cape in Western Australia, bringing walkers to majestic Karri forests, deserted ocean coves, dramatic cliffs and abundant Australian wildlife.

The six-day Margaret River Cape to Cape Walk is priced at $4239 per person, double occupancy, and includes five nights accommodation at your base, Injidup Spa Retreat, all local food and wine, lunch of four dishes at Vasse Felix and the chef -prepared dinner. Flights from New Zealand are extra. Book before September 30. Travel between May 6 and June 24 next year. For travel between Sept. 2 and Nov. 25, the twin-share price starts at $4,269 per person.

Contact: House of Travel, 0800 713 715 or


Round-trip United Airlines flights to San Francisco in November, with four nights of accommodation, are priced at $2,365 per person, sharing, for travel from Auckland. Travel from Christchurch or Wellington is an additional $20 per person. You will stay at the four-star Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf in a Deluxe Room. The hotel is located near Pier 39, one of the most popular tourist destinations in this port city. Daily breakfasts are included. Book before August 28. Travel between November 4 and November 28.

Contact: Flight Centre, 0800 427 555 or,,