Hot deals: New Year bargains

Under $500

Take two nights in Sydney with return airfares from Auckland from $469 a person, twin-share, or two nights in Melbourne with return airfares from Auckland from $499 a person, twin-share.

The Sydney package is available for travel up to this Sunday, and the Melbourne package applies to travel up to January 20 next year.

Airport taxes and various surcharges are not included.

Contact: Holiday Shoppe, freephone 0800 808 480. 

Under $1000

Plan a holiday for early in the new year - seven nights in Samoa from $999 a person, twin-share, and return airfares with Air New Zealand.

This package is available for travel from Auckland between February 1 and March 31 next year. Return airport transfers in Samoa are included.

Book and pay by March 10. The price is based on payment by cash or cheque.

Contact: Itchyfeet Travel, (09) 353 2626

There's a whole lot of aerodynamics and more than one aeroplane involved when you buy a special package to Melbourne for March next year, priced from $999 a person.

Your return airfares, accommodation on a twin-share basis for three nights, and a two-day Ultimate Gold Pass Grandstand Ticket are all part of the package for those keen to attend the Australian International Air Show.

The 2005 show is called "The Shape of Things to Come", and is held from March 15 to 20. This package will get you there for the events held on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20, flying Emirates from either Auckland or Christchurch on Friday, March 18. Departure taxes and other surcharges are not included.

Contact: House of Travel, freephone 0800 838 747.

Under $1970

With a fast-growing reputation as one of the world's greatest party islands, Koh Samui in Thailand attracts thousands of people intent on dancing the nights away on its white-sand beaches.

You can even spend Christmas this year - or see in the New Year - on Koh Samui with a five-night package that also comes with a night in Bangkok and your return airfares.

Available for travel between December 21 and January 10, the package is priced at $1969 a person, twin-share, and leaves from Auckland. Travelling from Wellington will cost each person an extra $110 return, or from Christchurch, an extra $160 return. Airport taxes and various surcharges are additional.

Contact: Flight Centre, freephone 0800 354 448.

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