Friday, June 29, 2012

Working from Auckland - What did we miss?

Sadly my time working in Auckland, NZ came to an end earlier this year. If you followed my blog for the past two years, you would have noticed that we made the most of this to explore the North Island from Auckland as a base.

We managed to see a fair bit - including a number of World Cup Rugby games, Bay of Islands, Waiheke Island, Coromandal, Mount Maunganui, White Island, Rotarua, Waitamo Caves, Taupo and of course Auckland itself. But there's a few places we had on our list that we just didn't get to.

1. Tane Mahuta - the giant Kauri, found in Northland in the Waipoua. Ever since seeing General Sherman in Kings Canyon we have been obsessed with big trees

2. Wellington - this would have been a short flight from Auckland, but the Te Papa museum and the vibrant city itself are a big attraction

3. Napier - although I think we'd prefer to visit this art deco city during the Art Deco Weekend in February each year

4. Taranaki - the place where you can surf and ski in the same day, Mt Taranaki in New Plymouth is just one of those things you have to see

I'm sure there are plenty of other places that we didn't visit, that's the problem with NZ, you can never see everything, but if I'd had six more months, we would have definitely crossed the above off our list.

Friday, June 22, 2012

My current top 5 to go to

I'm fickle. I have so many places on my to go to list, that I the top 5 I want to go to changes regularly. Currently my top 5 travel locations:

1. Istanbul, Turkey
As mentioned in a previous post, I have an obsession with drinking Turkish coffee while overlooking the Blue Mosque.

2. Guam with a side trip to Paulu
Only recently come onto my radar, this is surprisingly close to Australia, with Guam being a 4.5 hour direct flight from Cairns. A recent SMH article cemented it for me.

3. Tokyo, Japan
Who wouldn't be attracted to the bright lights and the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, as well as the thoughts of Ramen and Gyoza.

4. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Located in Tanzania, the Crater has an extensive wildlife population and is therefore popular for safari's.

5. Kimberly Region, Australia
Another previous wish list post, this stunning and diverse part of Australia, and being hard to reach is part of the appeal.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wish List: Overland Track, Tasmania

Another great walking holiday. The overland track is located in Tasmania and is a 6 day, 65 km walk.

There are a number of options for doing this walk, including the DIY variety, but of course I much prefer the option of the Cradle Mountain Huts. This way you enjoy private accommodation, hot showers and cooked meals without having to lug all the basics with you

This company runs the traditional 6 day walk, as well as a shortened 4 day for those who want to be able to do it on a long weekend.

Another perfect way to get out, see something new and get away from it all.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wish List: Ngorongoro Crater

We're looking at Africa for 2013 (we like to plan ahead), and having a hard time narrowing done what exactly to see, but the one place that stays on the list. Ngorongoro Crater is in Tanzania, and located 180 km west of Arusha. There is also a high concentration of animals in the area making it a prime location for Safari.

Which is where the next problem comes into play, where to stay. Places are limited and vary in price and decadence. The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is at the top end of the market, and in DHs opinion over done. I on the other hand get the attraction it might hold for some tourists. It's divided into three camps with 30 suites.

There is the Lemala Ngorongoro, a tented camp probably in the upper mid range. The camp is seasonal and there are 8 luxury canvas tents allowing for a maximum of 20 guests.

Then there is the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge. More like a hotel, with 75 rock built rooms overlooking the crater (this is the key for me).

So it really comes down to what you want to pay, what type of experience you want and how long you might be visiting the area. The only decision you do not have to make is if you will actually go.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wish List: The Freycinet Experience

Even though we've recently done the Inca Trail, my idea of hiking is more along the scale of the Freycinet Experience. You stay in lodges, your meals are cooked and you only carry a day pack. But at the same time you get to see a beautiful part of the world, immerse yourself in nature and take a break from reality.

The Freycinet Experience is a four day guided walk covering the entire length of the Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania’s East Coast, including the iconic Wineglass Bay. Each night you return to the Friendly Beach Lodge and hot showers.

With a number of such walks in Tasmania, it's hard to choose which one to do next.