The Enlighten Festival hits Canberra for 2020

Old Parliament House shines in the glow of fireworks during the Enlighten Festival. Picture: Supplied
Old Parliament House shines in the glow of fireworks during the Enlighten Festival. Picture: Supplied

The countdown is over for the return of Enlighten Festival, presented by Singapore Airlines. Eat, see and explore as Canberra transforms for the annual Enlighten Festival.

Held over 17 days from Friday 28 February, there is a range of events including the Enlighten Illuminations. There will be large-scale light projections on some of the capital's most loved and iconic buildings including the National Portrait Gallery, National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Australian Parliament House, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Questacon and more.

From 7 March, the Canberra skyline will be full of hot air balloons from across the globe. And on 8 March, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra will be performing new interpretations of classics. Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy a bite to eat from the traders as you watch the sun set.

And on 9 March, Canberra turns 107. The day will include a jam-packed program of local musicians, street food and activities for the whole family. Stay on to enjoy the celebrations of the closing night of Enlighten Illuminations and dine at the Canberra Night Noodle Markets.

Tickets still available for Opera Australia at Uluru 2020

Opera Australia is returning to Ayers Rock Resort from 11-13 December 2020 and some tickets are still available.

In addition to the Opera Gala at Uluru concert, guests can choose from four additional performances on the program to create a unique operatic weekend away.

On 11 December, Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro will accompany a three-course dinner by the poolside. And on 12 December, there will be a performance of Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes. This intimate dune-top recital will take in a magical desert sunrise overlooking the spellbinding colours of the 50,000 glass spheres in the Field of Light at Uluru. With performances by four of Opera Australia's finest singers and a string quartet, this event will celebrate some of Brahms' most beautiful love songs.

The Opera Australia event finishes on Sunday and two-night packages start from $725 per person and include accommodation, transfers and a ticket to the Opera Gala.

Cradle Mountain Lodge undergoes refurb

Cradle Mountain Lodge has undergone a smooth refurbishment. Picture: Supplied

Cradle Mountain Lodge has undergone a smooth refurbishment. Picture: Supplied

Nestled in over nine hectares of wilderness in the Central Highland region of Tasmania is Cradle Mountain Lodge.

The iconic hotel is undergoing a $10 million revamp where 86 cabins have been modernised. The signature Pencil Pine Cabins, named after the ancient treetops its original founders discovered on their honeymoon, have new beds and updated in-room amenities.

The King Billy Suites have set the new standard for high-end luxury accommodation on the mountain, re-invigorating the statement double-sided central fireplace and famous outdoor spa baths. The Waldheim Spa has also had a facelift, while the renovated Tavern Bar & Bistro will be reopening at the end of March 2020.

Lonely Planet and Intrepid join forces in carbon-neutral tours

Book publisher Lonely Planet has partnered with Intrepid Travel to offer new carbon-neutral tours, which will be led by local experts and aim to support local businesses and communities.

The new Lonely Planet Experiences include about 200 daytrips and more than 130 multi-day tours in 65 countries. There are food and drink tours, cycling, hiking, festivals and marine adventures. These range from two-hour excursions to 22-day adventures.

Day trips include a walking tour of bohemian Saint-Germain in Paris, a vintage Las Vegas arts trail and a food tour of Tokyo. Longer tours include an 11-day tour of northern India, from Varanasi to Delhi by sleeper train, rickshaw and bus, and an eight-day tour of Italy by train.

Qantas to fly to Orange

From 1 May, QantasLink will fly 11 return flights per week between Orange and Sydney on a mix of Q300 and Q200 aircraft, adding more than 45,000 seats per year to the route.

Travellers to and from Orange will benefit from competitive fares and more flight options, as well as the onward connectivity of Qantas's domestic and international network and partners Emirates and American Airlines.

QantasLink CEO John Gissing says the national carrier is proud to offer more travel choices to the Central West. "Orange is a thriving place with an increasingly diverse economy. There's growing demand for a premium airline to connect business and leisure travellers," says Gissing. "These additional flights will make it easier for Sydney residents and domestic and international tourists to discover one of NSW's most beautiful regions, with its world-class restaurants and wineries."

Fares on the 50-minute flight start at $179 and residents of Orange can join the Qantas Frequent Flyer program for free until 28 February 2020. Orange is Qantas' 13th destination in NSW after Sydney, Albury, Armidale, Ballina/Bryon Bay, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Lord Howe Island, Moree, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.

AAT Kings helps bushfire recovery

One of Australia's largest tour providers, AAT Kings, has put together a curated day tour to the NSW South Coast.

The Bushfire Recovery Giveback Trip: #EmptyEsky to Shoalhaven day tour is designed to support bushfire-affected areas. There are daily journeys departing from Sydney which visit Kangaroo Valley and Nowra ($110 adult/$56 child). And the tour includes a private buffet lunch at Bangalay Dining in Shoalhaven Heads.

Guests are encouraged to bring an empty esky to fill up with local produce they buy at shops along the trip. AAT Kings managing director Matt Cameron-Smith told travelBulletin he was "super proud of how fast we have been able to build and get to market new product that will get much needed tourism dollars directly into the hands of those in real need".