Travel

7 reasons to go fishing in New Zealand

World-renowned game fishing, beautiful scenery and the local outdoor culture make New Zealand a must for fishing enthusiasts. And while the country is known for…

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Cape Town: visiting the Mother City

Driving along the coast, cliffs fell in sheer drops just outside my window, the open ocean spreading out below in sparkling blue. On the other…

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A first-timer’s guide to South Africa

  South Africa offers a huge variety of experiences and it can be hard to know what to choose for your first visit. As a…

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Walled villages and Tuscan hills

Finally leaving the city of Florence, we found the rolling, green hills of Tuscany, studded with the famous hill towns. They were all different, yet distinctly Tuscan,…

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Volunteer tourism: Who really benefits?

Image credit: Alex Proimos. Volunteering in a developing country has become an increasingly common option for many travellers who crave more from a holiday than just…

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A Sunday drive to Huia

Sometimes it's nice to remember all the beauty close to home. Huia Point is a bit of a drive, but the scenery is definitely worth…

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Food, walks and grand vistas in the Cinque Terra

An impulsive decision to head to the Cinque Terra was definitely a fortuitous one. Faded, colourful buildings ended abruptly in sheer cliffs dropping down to…

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Animals and peace in the South African bush

"Honey, look! Warthogs!" My husband hurried outside, excited at catching his first glimpse of animals in the wild. I followed him, smiling at the baby warthog's…

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Queenstown and New Zealand’s lake district

The Central Otago region in New Zealand's South Island holds the distinction of being one of the country's most stunning areas. With rolling farmland and wineries…

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Johannesburg: food, glamour and history in South Africa’s largest city

Johannesburg is the city of my heart. I can’t simply write about it like I would write about travelling to any other city: It is…

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Rome: The Eternal City

Rome was a remarkable city, layered with the remnants of so many past ages. It was busy and noisy, full of people, scooters and pollution.…

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Northland beaches

It's being getting colder this week. We've had rain and snow this week while the South Island has had an early dumping of snow. This…

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Northern Italy: From the peaks of the Dolomites to the canals of Venice

The path through Northern Italy took us to the South Tyrol and the impressive Dolomites, through beautiful Trentino countryside and the old city of Trent, past…

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Wellington Harbour in winter

A midwinter break in the capital brought blue skies, sunshine and a frosty chill in the air. Walking along the bay was beautiful with the…

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North Vietnam itinerary

Soon after returning home from South Africa last month, we started talking about the destination of our next trip. Exhausted by the long flight, and an…

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Omaha and Tawharanui Regional Park

A beautiful weekend away last winter. We stayed in Omaha, just north of Auckland, and visited Matakana and Tawharanui Regional Park (one of my favourites).…

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A taste of the desert in Doha

The road in front of us abruptly disappeared into sand dunes. Looking out of the window, we could see it continue a few metres in…

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The treasures of Dubai

Twenty-four hours in Dubai and I hadn't even seen the Burj Khalifa. I had memories of it, of course, from the last time. The silver…

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Sand, sky and sea at Muriwai Beach

Last weekend, I went for a walk along Muriwai Beach. It was one of those beautiful days, where everything is hazy and the world just…

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Today I’m dreaming of… Greece

Today I'm thinking about Greece in general, and Nafplio in particular. For some reason, something about tonight reminds me of sitting outside at a bar…

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Today I’m dreaming of… Florence

It's almost a year since we spent a month in Florence and today I really missed the narrow streets, Renaissance architecture, and the yummy espresso…

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Today I’m dreaming of… Balmaseda, Spain

I looked down at St Matthew's church from my desk today, and I remembered looking down at another cathedral in the beautiful town of Balmaseda…

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Today I’m dreaming of… Auckland

Today, I don't mind being at home in Auckland. It was a nice day, not too humid, with patches of sun. There's a busy, vibrant…

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This week I’m dreaming of… Aitutaki

Aitutaki in the Cook Islands is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Pure white sands and an amazing blue lagoon. This…

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Europe 2013

In 2013, we visited 12 countries in Europe, and a total of 88 cities and towns. All in all, it was an absolutely amazing experience.…

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Istanbul, Nemrut and the holy city

Our foray into central Turkey was shorter than we would have liked, giving us a brief glimpses of Mt Nemrut, Harran and Sarliurfa. While we would…

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Travels through Turkey

As we were getting nearer to the end of our trip, our trip through Turkey was a whirlwind compared to the other countries we had…

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Those famous islands

Having seen only a few of the charms of mainland Greece, we headed back to the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the…

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The wonders of mainland Greece

Mainland Greece was wonderfully diverse. Our first stop was Thessaloniki, a fun, vibrant cities full of restaurants and cafes, shops and friendly people. We found…

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Two Catalan cities

We first realised that we were in Catalonia when we were sitting at our hotel in Lleida, and couldn't read the menu (our Spanish was…

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Northern Spain road trip

Our roadtrip through Northern Spain began and ended in Catalonia, following the general direction of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.  On day one, however, the…

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Mass tourism in Croatia

Tourism in Croatia annoyed me. Really annoyed me. We spent about six weeks in the former Yugoslavia, and most of that time was in Croatia.…

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Beergardens and castles in Bavaria

We only had a week in Germany, staying in Munich with my cousin. Staying with family was different from renting an apartment in the city…

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Two visits to Austria

We actually went to Austria twice: first Vienna, then Salzburg, a couple of months later. Vienna was the big surprise of our trip so far.…

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Relaxing in Budapest

After spending the best part of a month in coastal towns, arriving in a big city like Budapest was a great feeling. I feel very…

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A small taste of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Driving through Bosnia and Herzegovina was simply stunning. We followed the Neretva River from Croatia and it was so incredibly blue, more like ocean than…

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Croatian highlights

As I said in my previous post, Croatia was a very beautiful country and so much of it was memorable. With that in mind, we've…

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Some thoughts on coastal Croatia

The Adriatic coastline is stunning. The water was blue silk, deep and salty. Swimming was wonderfully easy; you could pretty much just bob along, barely…

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Lakes, caves and dragons

  Before arriving in Slovenia, all I knew about the country was that there were lakes there, and that I couldn't pronounce the name of…

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Beautiful Bosnia

I have a lot of catching up to do with my travel blog, and hopefully I'll have a post or two up this week. In the…

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Quick pic from Croatia

I was going to add our Slovenia post this week, but I'm running out of time before our cruise check-in this afternoon. Instead, here's a…

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Bratislava’s strange appeal

When looking to for things to do in Bratislava, we came across this review: "...The central old town is a veneer of tourist friendly ambiance but is…

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Tourism and Development

This is something I want to come back to and talk about in a bit more detail, as it's something which is of interest to…

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Prague: A city from another time

Prague is a city from a fairytale. It has spires and minarets, there's a castle up on the hill and  the cathedral is a black…

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The best of Italy

After spending six weeks in Italy, here’s what we’d recommend if you have some spare time, a bit of extra cash and a sense of…

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A month in Firenze

Florence is a small city - only around 300,000 people. It's a Renaissance city and very pretty; artistic but not bohemian. After the dark ages,…

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Three days in Rome

A sudden decision to head to follow the sun after a wet Spring and head to Liguria drastically cut our time in Rome. We agonized…

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Lost in Venice

Emerging from the station into the bright Venetian sunlight, we found ourselves in a chaotic blend of people, boats and water. There was English everywhere and…

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Along the edges of Trento

Sitting on the train heading north from Verona, I spotted a Greek rotunda tucked into the hillside. That was when I decided to visit Trento,…

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Rainy days in Verona

Rain drummed down on the old bridge, its brickwork shiny with reflected lights. A steady ribbon of colourful umbrellas passed along one side, as tourists…

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Basilisks and culture shock in a South Tyrol village

In Trentino in Northern Italy, there were stories from the distant past telling of a basilisk living in the mountains, the young man that went to…

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A brief glimpse of China

China was a bit of an eye-opener for me, especially as far as climate change is concerned. Seeing the smog in Shanghai and Beijing was…

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The might of Milano

Standing in the piazza in Milan, looking up, the Duomo feels oppressive. Don't get me wrong, it’s an impressive structure… perhaps too impressive. It makes me…

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Everyday beauty

Over the last week or so, it has occurred to me that Auckland is very beautiful. It’s something I don’t think about very often, perhaps…

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A tropical island honeymoon

  We arrived in Rarotonga at midnight, to warm humidity and a man singing to the tourists in the airports. Fragrant leis were put around…

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Escaping to Avalon

A beautiful, relaxing weekend away in Kerikeri, Northland.

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