JW Marriott to launch its first Australian resort in Queensland

Dive to see beautiful underwater sculptures, crafted by Jason deCaires Taylor, while learning about the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef. Picture: Supplied
Dive to see beautiful underwater sculptures, crafted by Jason deCaires Taylor, while learning about the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef. Picture: Supplied

Under the sea

From August 1, MOUA (the Museum of Underwater Art) in Townsville will officially launch tours to the Coral Greenhouse installation at John Brewer Reef.

Here, visitors can dive to see the beautiful underwater sculptures, crafted by Jason deCaires Taylor, while learning about the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef.

It is the only underwater museum in the Southern Hemisphere and is an innovative blend of art, science and culture. A number of tour operators offer trips to John Brewer Reef including SeaLink Queensland, Pro Dive Magnetic Island and Yongala Dive.

The road to recovery

Kangaroo Island, one of the hardest hit regions in the South Australian bushfires, is launching new tours to help local tourism.

Local company Kangaroo Island Odysseys is offering a Road to Recovery overnight package. You'll visit bushfire-affected areas in Flinders Chase National Park, including Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, and see the fascinating regeneration of the island's flora and fauna. The tour also stops at Seal Bay Conservation Park.

Coach and SeaLink transfers from Adelaide and one night at Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge are also included in the introductory price of $624 per person.

JW Marriott opens on Gold Coast

Luxury hotel brand JW Marriott will open its first Australian resort in December 2020.

The JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa will have 223 rooms and suites, designed in line with the mood of coastal Queensland. The revamp of the former Surfers Paradise Marriott will give the ocean- or hinterland-view guest rooms a new look which draws inspiration from the local landscape.

There will be six food and beverage venues: two restaurants; a lobby lounge and bar; pool bar; a Japanese whisky bar; as well as the signature JW Marketplace cafe and provedore. The resort's teppanyaki restaurant, Misono, will also include an intimate izakaya, tearoom and sushi bar.

In the resort's pool area, there's also a saltwater lagoon with over 300 tropical fish. The JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa will open in December 2020.

Viking launches world cruise

Viking Cruises has unveiled a new world cruise, a 136-day itinerary visiting 27 countries and 56 ports in 2021-22. The local highlights include two new Australian destinations, Phillip Island in Victoria and Eden in NSW.

The journey on the 930-passenger Viking Star will depart Fort Lauderdale in Florida on 24 December 2021 and explore Central America and North America before heading to Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, concluding in London. Guests can choose a slightly shorter 119-day itinerary departing Los Angeles on 10 January 2022.

Details of Viking's World Cruise for 2021-22 were revealed after the line was forced to cancel its 161-day World Cruise for 2020-21 because of coronavirus travel restrictions.

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