Qantas sets Blue Mountain plan

LOS ANGELES -- Qantas Vacations is offering a new five-night tour of the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney through March 31, 2002.

The Blue Mountains last year were listed as a World Heritage Site by World Heritage, a program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The Qantas package includes three nights' accommodations at the ANA Grand Harbour Hotel; one night at the Lilianfels Blue Mountain Lodge and the Peppers Guest House in Hunter Valley; a full-day of sightseeing in Sydney; a Sydney Explorer Pass good on city trains, buses and ferries; a breakfast and visit at the Featherdale Wildlife Park; wine tastings in Hunter Valley, and three additional lunches and two breakfasts.

The land-only price is $1,395 per person, double. The price for a single is $1,599.

Call (800) 641-8772 for reservations or visit the Web site at www.qantasvacations.com.

According to World Heritage, sites like the Blue Mountains are designated World Heritage Sites to protect "natural and cultural properties of outstanding universal value against the threat of damage in a rapidly developing world."

The Blue Mountains site, "does not contain 'mountains' in the conventional sense," according to the organization, "but a deeply incised sandstone plateau rising from less than [1,000 feet to 4,200 feet in elevation] with basaltic outcrops on the higher ridges."

Other World Heritage Sites in Australia include the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park, Tasmanian Wilderness, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves, Wet Tropics of Queensland and Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh/Naracoorte).

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