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What's New in Australia

October 16, 2013 By: Joe Pike

Sydney harbor bridge, australiaFrom the arrival of a new hotel brand to new general manager at One&Only Hayman Island, Travel Agent brings you the latest travel news to come out of Australia.

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New Hotel Brand Debuts in Australia

Amalgamated Holding Limited has launched a new concept hotel brand for Australia: Atura Hotels will roll out over the country over the next three years with properties planned in fringe city CBD suburbs and business parks. The first Atura Hotel opened yesterday in Sydney’s South-Western hub of Blacktown next to the new Skyline Drive In and Wet & Wild.

The Atura brand will focus on supporting business guests; complimentary facilities will include Wi-Fi throughout the entire hotel, in-room movies, coffee pods, local phone calls, as well as a business center.

Hotel designer Nic Graham, who has worked on Australia's QT Hotels & Resorts, designed the first Atura Hotel in Blacktown. His vision includes lots of open spaces and glass to bring in natural light.

Day delegate, residential meetings & conferencing, as well as wedding and celebrations will all be a part of the Atura offering as the brand continues to expand. Visit

New General Manager Named For One&Only Hayman Island in Australia

Kerzner International Holdings Limited has appointed Guenter Gebhard as the new general manager for One&Only Hayman Island, ahead of the rebirth of the resort in April 2014.

As general manager, Gebhard will be responsible for the entire operation of Hayman Island, its strategic development, as well as the successful integration into the One&Only portfolio. As the collection’s first resort in Australia, his role will be key in strengthening the brand in the region. 

According to the official website, Hayman will get a multi-million dollar renovation and be re-launched as One&Only Hayman Island, the first property in the country for the ultra-luxe brand. They’re promising “unique guest experiences, enhanced accommodations, new culinary options and signature One&Only service throughout the resort.”

Anticipated enhancements include a renewed pool area with cabanas and day beds, a new beauty salon, fitness center, a renovated Pool Wing, and redecorated Hayman rooms and Hayman suites. The best part of all? One&Only dive experts and marine biologists will lead programs to discover the incredible ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef, home to over 33,000 species.

Gebhard joins One&Only with more than 20 years in the hospitality segment, having joined Kerzner International in 2011 as vice president of food and beverage at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. Visit 

Qantas Vacations Celebrates 'Taste of Australia' With Foodie Tours

Foodies should consider planning a trip Down Under, where Qantas Vacations has created a "Taste of Australia" experience to highlight the country's food and wine offerings.

This, of course, is just one of the itineraries in the Qantas Vacations Best of Luxury collection, which takes visitors on an "epicurean adventure" (we've been there; it really is an adventure) through three distinct food and wine regions of Australia.  

Tourism Australia, the official national tourism body, is engaging in a global campaign to promote Australia’s food and wine experiences.  The strategy behind food and wine is that cuisine is now a relevant factor in deciding where to go on a vacation.   

The highlights include a private wine journey through Victoria’s Yarra Valley, a visit to the Barossa Valley of South Australia to Penfold’s Winery where visitors can create their own wine blend, and a seaplane flight over Sydney with champagne tasting and three-course dinner. 

Qantas Vacations can help customize vacations, and even suggest many spectacular experiences that you may have never heard about.  For food and wine enthusiast, itineraries can be crafted to include cooking classes with award-winning chefs or a tasting menu aboard a private yacht. Visit

Destination New South Wales Offers Travel Packages for Australian Open of Surfing

Destination New South Wales is offering travel agents and their clients special packages for the upcoming Australian Open of Surfing (AOS), which takes place February 8 - 16.

The second annual AOS takes place at Huntington Beach’s sister city, Manly Beach in Sydney, Australia, and will feature competitions between top international pro surfers and skaters, A-list band performances, and a host of summer activities. More intimate than its USOS counterpart, the AOS expects crowds of 175,000 over eight days.

Manly, the host city of the AOS, has a deep history in surfing. Manly Beach was named a National Surfing Reserve in September 2010 with an area that covers roughly 2.5 miles. Manly Beach is the site of the first legal bathing (1902), the first surf club (1903), the first body surfing and surf boat (1907), Duke Kahanamoku’s famous board surfing demonstration (1915), first world surfing championship (1964) and is home to two world surfing champions, Barton Lynch and Layne Beachley.

Destination NSW has partnered with Qantas Vacations to offer a special travel package to the AOS including flights and hotel accommodations, which can be booked at

Air New Zealand and Tourism Australia Partner on Travel Agent Incentives

Last month, Air New Zealand and Tourism Australia have launched a partnership to offer low fares to six of Air New Zealand’s Australia gateways: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Coolangatta (the Gold Coast). The promotional campaign will run through October 27, 2013. 

From the US and Canada, Air New Zealand flies via four gateways - Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and Vancouver to Australia. Air New Zealand provides easy connections from these North American gateways via Auckland.

Air New Zealand is hosting a trade webinar on its service to Australia on Monday, September 30, 2013 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PDT. Agents can register for the webinar here. 
As an additional incentive to travel agents, the airline is giving U.S. and Canadian agents the opportunity to win flights to Australia. To qualify, an individual retail agent must sell seven or more tickets to any Air New Zealand Australian gateway. Seven pairs of tickets will be awarded to the seven agents who sell and register the most qualifying tickets. Terms and conditions apply. Visit

Keep visiting for all the latest Australia news.




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About the Author

Joe Pike
Joe Pike is Travel Agent's senior editor covering the Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda; Hawaii; Central & South America. Previously, Pike was a newspaper reporter for The Asbury Park...

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By Joe Pike | October 16, 2013
From the arrival of a new hotel brand to new general manager at One&Only Hayman Island, Travel Agent brings you the latest travel news to come out of Australia.
Filed under : Australia-New Zealand