Five highlights in your travel week | 3 Jan

The Museum of Australian Democracy has holiday activities suitable for pre-school and primary children.
The Museum of Australian Democracy has holiday activities suitable for pre-school and primary children.

Explore Australia’s award-winning national attractions in Canberra and let your children learn the stories that have shaped the country.

Discover PlayUp’s new exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House that, in the name of democracy, takes play — and the rights of children — seriously indeed.

Listening pods, a fuzzy felt wall and a Kindness café are all part of the space, and during this summer the school holiday program will offer Open Air PlayUP, with activities in the Senate courtyard suitable for pre-school and primary children.

Or take a journey across the Australian desert at the National Museum of Australia’s Aboriginal-led exhibition, Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters, about the epic Seven Sisters Dreaming, or dodge sniper fire or peer through the periscope of a Cold War submarine at the Australian War Memorial’s Discovery Zone.

Captain Cook Cruises … offering a range of Australia Day options on Sydney Harbour.

Captain Cook Cruises … offering a range of Australia Day options on Sydney Harbour.

Captain Cook Cruises has released a range of Australia Day lunch and dinner cruises aboard flagship MV Sydney 2000, guaranteeing passengers the best seats on the harbour to see all the Australia Day action on January 26, throughout the day and night.

By day, see the harbour come alive with Australia Day celebrations from the Ferrython and Tug & Yacht Ballet to the Australia Day Parade and Tall Ships Race.

By night, see Australia Day’s new evening spectacular — Live at the Quay.

It’s a maritime musical-and-dance extravaganza in the middle of Circular Quay, with the water and skies coming alive with Harbour parades, a jet-ski show, an on-water opera performance and a series of dazzling firework displays.

MV Sydney 2000 will be positioned off the Sydney Opera House as part of the Live at the Quay event. The vessel will also join a select number of vessels in the evening’s Working Vessels Parade.

There are three lunch and dinner cruise options onboard the Sydney 2000.

The Sky Deck lunch, for instance, offers a four-course premium menu including house spirits, superior wines, beers and soft drinks, for $229 per adult and $169 per child (4-15yrs).

Phone 02 9206 1111 or visit www.captaincook.com.au

Rebecca Currier at Milton Park … ‘The Devastating Diva’. Image: Nigel Unsworth

Rebecca Currier at Milton Park … ‘The Devastating Diva’. Image: Nigel Unsworth

Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa — a five-star property near Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands — will on February 18 present Summer Soiree to launch year-long series of operatic dinner concerts.

Each of the five all-inclusive event will see a classical quartet play an excerpt from Vivaldi’s iconic masterpiece, The Four Seasons, before guests enjoy a classical music concert, interspersed with fine dining experiences crafted by Milton Park’s hatted chef, Craig Knudsen.

The series opener will be an outdoors event that will see guests trace a red carpet to Milton Park’s pool terrace where sparkling wine and canapes will be served, serenaded by the quartet playing Vivaldi’s Summer.

Guests then move to a natural amphitheatre on the Tulip Lawn, backdropped by the gracious Milton Park mansion, for part one of the opera concert, with a guest appearance by Rebecca Currier, ‘The Devastating Diva’.

Interval will see guests sit down to candle-and-flower-festooned grazing tables of seafood and summer delicacies, with matching wines, on the Cedar Lawn, before the second half of the concert starts.

Including the concert, dinner and beverages, the Summer Soiree is available for $280 per person.

Guests can also stay at the luxurious Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa, with a discounted two-night stay available from $640 per room, including a hot breakfast each day.

Phone 02 4861 8100 or visit www.miltonpark.com.au

Dave Freeman … will be telling the Neil Diamond story on the Murray Princess.

Dave Freeman … will be telling the Neil Diamond story on the Murray Princess.

Entertainer Dave Freeman will return to the PS Murray Princess next August to perform his Neil Diamond Show during the paddlewheeler’s ‘Hot August Night’ cruise on the Murray River.

Also on board for the three-night adventure will be keyboard artist Paul Gill.

The Murray Princess will visit Murray Bridge and Mannum.

At Murray Bridge guests can explore the historic township and take a tour of the historic Round House.

In Mannum join the Captain for a walk along the riverbank to the Mannum Dock Museum.

Instead of exploring Murray Bridge, wildlife lovers can spend a morning visiting Monarto Zoo (additional cost) to see giraffe, eland, zebra, white rhinoceros, cheetah, lions, hyena and wild dogs.

Fares start at $897 per person twin-share.

A new Mannum-to-Adelaide-Airport coach transfer service is now operating post cruise for disembarking passengers.

Outback Tasting Adventures … introducing visitors to an Australian food bowl.

Outback Tasting Adventures … introducing visitors to an Australian food bowl.

A new experience in Queensland’s Tropical North is provided by Outback Tasting Adventures, which tales guests out of Port Douglas through farms on the Atherton Tablelands to sip local coffee, sample handcrafted chocolates and cheese, taste tropical wines and discover Indigenous flavours.

This unique food and wine experience drives visitors through a variety of contrasting landscapes, ranging from lush rainforest, crops and dairyland to stunning ochre savannah plains.

The rich volcanic soil allows farmers to grow many and diverse crops, from bananas, coffee, sugar cane, avocados, mangoes, macadamia nuts and citrus, all of which will be learnt about as the group tastes its way around the food bowl.