We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk

News & Advice

Travel Agenda: Australian rail adventures; Martin Randall; dengue danger; The Pop-Up Hotel; The Olympic Journey; Epic Weekends; Taste LA food festival

Where to go and what to know

On the tracks in Oz

Two epic Australian rail adventures offer two-for-one deals if you book by the end of October and travel before April 2013. The Ghan train, which takes three days from Darwin to Adelaide, is A$1,469 (£979) for two passengers. The longer four-day trip on The Indian Pacific, from Perth to Sydney, is AUS$1,510 (£1,007). Both include a "Red Sleeper" cabin (greatsouthernrail.com.au).

Meet and greet

From 16-18 Nov, Martin Randall is hosting "Travellers & Explorers – a symposium of travel writers" in Taunton. Guests include Benedict Allen and William Dalrymple. A two-night B&B stay is £720pp, with two dinners and four talks (martinrandall.co.uk).

Dengue danger

The American Embassy in La Paz warns of a "serious dengue epidemic" in low-lying areas of Bolivia, especially around Santa Cruz (bit.ly/BolDen). Crooks preying on foreigners by pretending to be police has reached new heights in Bolivia. The FO warns of bogus police stations, to fool tourists.

Cool canvas

The Pop-Up Hotel is open at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage. A three-night stay in a luxury tent is £495 per couple until 7 Sept (thepopuphotel.com).

Operatic Olympics

In London this weekend, the Royal Opera House is the sumptuous venue for a fascinating free exhibition, The Olympic Journey, which tells the story of the Games (l2012.cm/NiMY9W).

Good weekend?

Adventure tour operator Epic Tomato has launched Epic Weekends. The three-night, action-packed breaks include trekking in Morocco's High Atlas Mountains and polar adventures in Iceland (epictomato.com).

Epicurean escape in LA

The Taste LA food festival has top chefs such as Thomas Keller offering tastings and demos from 1-3 Sept. Hayes & Jarvis has five nights in Los Angeles with flights on 30 Aug for £899pp.


daily seats available on Emirates from Heathrow to Dubai from 10 December, when all five daily departures will be aboard Airbus A380s.