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| BNE September/October 2016

Thai road less travelled

Dusit International has opened its newest resort on the edge of

Thailand’s World Heritage-listed Khao Yai National Park, just

two hours drive from central Bangkok. The resort is the latest

addition to Dusit’s next gen D2 collection of high-tech, high design

plug ‘n’ play hotels. Local activities include hiking, rock climbing,

canoeing, biking, even feeding alpacas, and the area’s lesser-known

food and wine trail is also ripe for exploring. Visitors travelling by

car can follow a route from the town of Pak Chong past several

farm stops (for tours and treats from ice cream and cookies to

fresh juices and wines). There are also little man-made European

style towns and villages scattered around the region with cafés,

restaurants and quirky shops in Tuscan-style plazas. Also nearby,

the Thames Valley is a part of Khao Yai as lush as the southern

English countryside. For more on dusitD2 Khao Yai and opening

packages see

Fly direct from Brisbane to Alice Springs

with Qantas and Virgin Australia

Fly direct from Brisbane to Bangkok

with Thai Airways


Tour operators from the Ningaloo region of Western Australia’s

Coral Coast have begun a trial allowing tourists to swim with

humpback whales as they migrate along the coastline between

Coral Bay and the Exmouth Gulf until the end of November.

The number of swimmers is limited to 10 per tour group and only

five are allowed in the water at one time as the whales swim by

or rest on their journey. The Ningaloo Reef is already a popular

destination to swim with whale sharks (March to July) and the

temperate waters are home to 500 species of fish, turtles, manta

rays and dolphins in an area stretching 300km along the coast just

a few hours north of Perth. See



Fly direct from Brisbane to Perth with

Qantas and Virgin Australia


The creators of Vivid Sydney have worked with Indigenous artists to

create Parrtjima, a high-tech light and sound show that will play out

on the 300 million-year-old canvas of Alice Springs Desert Park from

23 September to 2 October. The event takes its name from the word

“parrtma” in the language of the Arrernte people, meaning “light up”

or “lighting up” and includes installations featuring the work of Lenie

Namatjira, granddaughter of acclaimed Arrernte artist Albert Namatjira,

and other local artists, to share stories and the cultural history of the

region. For information see

Bali’s better side

A new resort has just opened on the northwest coast of Bali – as far from Kuta

(in distance and mood) as you can get and still be on the same island. Menjangan

Dynasty Resort Beach Camp and Dive Centre is a ‘glamping’ style experience on

an isolated peninsula with views to Menjangan Island, where diving and snorkelling

is said to be the best in Bali. The resort is on the edge of the National Park and

accommodation is casual luxe. Beach Camp ‘tents’ (


) and just four cliffside villa

‘tents’ are not just inspired by African Safari-style tents, they have been imported

from South Africa, and there is no compromise on facilities, which include flat screen

TVs, telephones, hairdryers and in-tent bathrooms. For anyone looking for a break

from snorkelling and diving, the Atlas Pearl farms, the quiet village of Pemuteran,

trekking, cycling, horse riding, hot springs and secret waterfalls are not far away. Find

out more at

Not your average mountain retreat

Fly direct to Denpasar from Brisbane

with Jetstar and Virgin Australia