World's largest flower show in WA
Western Australia is awash with colour as more than 12,000 species of wildflowers bloom and the state's renowned wildflower season in underway.
The six-month flowering season began in the north in June on the vast Outback plains of the Pilbara, Goldfields and Coral Coast - where vibrant blooms contrast with pindan earth, rugged canyons and turquoise sea. By September, it will move south and reach Perth's botanical gardens, nature reserves and national parks, finishing with a flurry in October and November throughout the forests and coastal heaths of the South-West.
More than 60 per cent of the state's wildflower species are found nowhere else in the world, and it is the world's largest flower show. The WA Wildflower Guide delivers up-to-date information.
Creativity in Central NSW
There's creativity to be unearthed in Central NSW as art takes centre stage at various outdoor locations.
One of Australia's biggest new silo artworks is at Grenfell, Parkes has a new Public Art Trail, Utes in the Paddock has moved to Condobolin, and drivers can see Animals on Bikes along the road to Dubbo Zoo.
At the Parkes Public Art Trail, for instance, discover the prominent art, culture and character of the town along a contemporary CBD art trail which features Elvis The King, Priscilla, The Dish, Sir Henry Parkes and the Cooke Park Mural. The trail extends through the towns of Peak Hill, Bogan Gate and Trundle.
See Australia by sea
In its second season here, Vasco da Gama will make domestic destinations more accessible to Australians when it returns later this year, with the ship's new ports of call including Darwin and Port Arthur, while a visit to Geelong will be a first for the cruise line.
The ship will return to cruising destinations such as Wallaroo on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia and Esperance in the South-West, offering travellers a chance to experience parts of Australia they may not have considered before.
New itineraries will allow guests to immerse themselves in the wildlife and nature of the Kimberley and Northern Territory, delve into the rich colonial histories and breathtaking landscapes of Tasmania, or enjoy a day exploring the relaxed coastal towns of Victoria.
Vasco da Gama will cruise Sydney-to-Adelaide via Melbourne, allowing East Coast guests to take just one flight. Prices start from $535 per person twin-share.
Phone 1300 307 934 or visit cmvaustralia.com.
Make your friends green with envy
Abercrombie & Kent has released a new immersive expeditionary cruise spanning two dramatic islands in the Nordic north and a treasure trove of Viking history.
The all-inclusive cruise is on the exclusively chartered, all-balcony Le Boreal, and passes through vast and spectacular landscapes, including the geologically rich Westman archipelago, the ice-covered Lindenow Fjord and Prince Christian Sound.
Authentic cultural experiences are a highlight on visits to remote Greenlandic communities and traditional villages, where guests learn firsthand about the local people and their cultures. Tracing the steps of Erik the Red, ancient archaeological sites are visited and the faraway city of Nuuk, Greenland's capital, is gateway to a captivating fjord system.
Guests will also explore the high Arctic tundra on foot, seeking out wildflowers and migrating seabirds, enjoying regular Zodiac excursions to glaciers, fjords and fishing villages during the long days of the Midnight Sun.
The 15-day 'Ultimate Iceland & Greenland' cruise is from August 13-27 and is priced from $24,160 per person twin-share.
Customs and crafts of PNG
Australia's newest expedition ship, Coral Adventurer, will take guests on a cultural-immersion voyage this October to destinations in Papua New Guinea, West Papua and the Maluku Islands, just north of Australia.
The all-inclusive 24-night 'Customs and Craftsmen Expedition' package offers solo travellers the ability to join the voyage without a single supplement if booked by August 31.
Visiting far-flung islands and villages, the itinerary aims to help guests interact with local craftsmen and artists. New Guinea tribal art expert, Richard Aldridge, will also join the cruise as an art guide and lecturer. Adventures ashore include a high tea at the Sultan's Palace in Ternate overlooking the islands of the Molucca Sea, and a traditional dinner under the stars at Fort Belgica in Banda, while guests can also help search for giant whale sharks at Cenderawasih Bay in West Papua.
Including flights to and from Sydney and beverages with lunch and dinner onboard, the 24-night package is available from $20,269 per person twin-share. Phone 1300 766 537 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au.
All that glitters
When the 206-room Silveri Hong Kong opens towards the end of this year, it will be the MGallery brand's first property in a major city within Greater China. The name references the silver-mine resources in east Lantau, as well as the shimmer of water that surrounds the island, and silver is used as a design element throughout the hotel.
The hotel is part of Citygate's mixed-use extension complex, and is situated above Tung Chung MTR station, Hong Kong International Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo a five-minute drive away. A number of guestrooms and suites offer outdoor terraces and jacuzzis while a selection of suites are outfitted with more expansive terraces and plunge pools.