Five highlights in your travel week | January 27

Floating Images … combining balloon flights over Ipswich with accommodation.

A hot-air ballooning operator, Floating Images, has teamed with the Metro Hotel Ipswich International to combine a city-and-country balloon flight over the Great Dividing Range in Queensland with an overnight stay in the historic city of Ipswich, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner.

The package is priced from $870 for two adults and includes a one-hour balloon flight, one night of accommodation for two at Metro Hotel Ipswich International, dinner for two at Harvest Restaurant & Bar; breakfast for two following the balloon flight and commemorative flight certificate.

The offer is valid until March 17.

Mantra Towers of Chevron … special deals for the Sand Safari Arts Festival.

The sands and streets of Surfers Paradise will be transformed into a golden gallery of the beautiful and bizarre from February 10-26 during the Sand Safari Arts Festival.

Mantra Towers of Chevron, located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, is an ideal base for the event. Stay for a minimum three nights from $185 per night in a two-bedroom apartment.

Interacting with giants … swimming with humpbacks on Ningaloo Reef.

The Ningaloo Reef humpback-whale-interaction tours will again be offered in Exmouth and Coral Bay on Western Australia’s Coral Coast between August and November this year, following preliminary trials last year.

Prices will generally be in the $400 bracket but will vary somewhere between about $325 and $550-plus per adult depending on inclusions.

Live Ningaloo
, for instance, is charging $550 per head but is putting a spotting plane into the air daily and delivering guests directly to the best spot.

Enjoy an indulgent Valentine’s Day at Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise.

Take that special person in your life somewhere really special for Valentine’s Day on February 14 — Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise.

The property is offering an indulgent special that day in its Gold Coast love nest priced at $1279 per couple, including accommodation in a one-bedroom ocean-view apartment, valet car parking, champagne and strawberries on arrival, scattered petals on the bed, an in-room one-hour couples massage, a five-course tasting menu dinner for two with matched wines at the resort’s Seaduction Restaurant + Bar, breakfast for two and a 3pm late check-out.

Treehouse an adults-only back-to-basics romantic escape.

Accommodation can be much more than just a place to rest your head — it can be the highlight of your trip.

NSW offers a range of quirky accommodation that will make lasting memories, such as bedding down in a former double-decker London bus, stretching out in a private treehouse, or snoozing underground.

High up in the canopy in the Blue Mountains is the adults-only Wollemi Wilderness Treehouse.

With wall-to-wall windows, exposed native timber and perched on timber stilts, the Treehouse offers stunning views of Bowen’s Creek Gorge.

It might be a back-to-basics romantic escape but it does includes a spa and wood fire.

John Rozentals is a freelance writer whose passions are travel, food and wine. He lives at Molong in the Central West of NSW, from where he hosts Oz Baby Boomers, a lifestyle-resource for mature Australians, and Molong Online.