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The Bargain Corner

Australia Discounts

November 23, 1986|JACK ADLER

Bonus cards and hotel passes are two of the measures tour operators are using to entice travelers to Australia and New Zealand.

Costa Mesa-based World Adventures is offering a Bonus Card with discounts on hotels, rental cars, sightseeing, bus lines and air travel within the two countries if you buy a round-trip ticket on Qantas from them.

The air tickets have to be purchased through a travel agent, with the tour operator then issuing a Bonus Card showing your passport number and the Qantas ticket number. The card's validity will expire on the day you're scheduled to return to the United States. The program is good until Dec. 31, 1987.

With the Bonus Card, you get a list of suppliers in various destinations that will provide discounts on their services. None of the services can be booked prior to arrival in Australia or New Zealand.

To illustrate, within Sydney, you can get hotel discounts from 15% to 25%, 30% off Ansett Airlines' flights, and 20% off Thrifty Rent A Car. In Melbourne, you can get 20% off Victorian Farm Holidays, 20% off City Sights Tour and 15% off Melbourne Limited Steam Train.

In Auckland, New Zealand, hotel discounts range from 20% to 25%, and you can get 20% off a harbor cruise and 30% off Mount Cook Airlines. At Christchurch, the same range of hotel discounts applies, with 20% off Thrifty Rent A Car and 25% off Mount Cook Coachlines.

Until Dec. 31, 1986, World Touring of Bellevue, Wash., is offering a Hotel Pass for Australia and New Zealand if you buy from World Touring a round-trip coach APEX ticket on United Airlines. Starting Jan. 1, 1987, you can get the pass if you buy the same tickets aboard United, Air New Zealand, Qantas or Continental.

The pass, good at more than 400 hotels and motor inns in the two countries, provides for rooms at $15 (this rate will go up to $20 next year) per person on a double-occupancy basis for a maximum of 10 nights. If you're traveling alone, you would have to pay a single supplement charge. You can book your first night in the United States and then make reservations as you travel, or you can pre-book all your accommodations.

Two people traveling together can also get a three-day free Avis car rental with unlimited mileage until the end of 1986. Check about drop-off charges if you want to return the car to a different station from where you rented it.

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