Whitianga Top Tourist Attractions – A Must See and Do Guide to Whitianga, NZ

Whitianga

The palm-lined Esplanade is the hub of this busy town featuring cafes, restaurants, and bars all overlooking the Whitianga marina and harbor. Sit back and luxuriate in the selection of culinary delights while contemplating which from the endless activities you’ll do next.

The amazing marina views from Salt Restaurant & Bar will be more than matched through the fabulous food and first-class service. This is a well-known lunchtime spot to dine alfresco about the expansive deck sampling the fresh seafood and local farm cuisine.

The Fireplace restaurant is an additional popular dining place featuring gourmet food wood-fired pizzas and open fires in a very spacious, rustic setting oozing with ” old world ” charm. Good your meals are well worth the wait along with peak times; it is possible to wait a long time for the table but locals and visitors alike all say it’s worth the cost for your great food, great location and great times.

The Fireplace is extremely near to Whitianga Wharf where you can catch the Whitianga Ferry and take the short trip across the harbor to Ferry Landing. From here, whatever of the many safe and accessible swimming beaches including Front Beach, Flaxmill Bay, Lonely Bay, and Cooks Beach.

Hiking and Trekking Walks

Located between Flaxmill Bay and Cooks Beach are Shakespeare Cliff, an amazing scenic reserve and immense edifice of rock clad in natural bush. A walk to the top rewards sightseers with breathtaking views from the ocean, bay and nearby Lonely Bay and Cooks Beach. You can walk on to Lonely Bay, a picturesque beach common as a venue for weddings or carry on to Cooks Beach.

Local Beaches

Cooks Beach is 3 km of the crescent-shaped golden sand beach looking out to Centre Island, a trendy place for diving and fishing. …

Absolutely Magical: The Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, Mexico

The day of the dead in Oaxaca, Mexico is the 1st and 2nd of November but for me it starts with the first cool breeze that descends from the northern mountains and brings to me feelings of inexplicable joy. I truly have no idea where these feelings come from. I have asked myself this question for years now and I have given up trying to find out. Magic, happiness and mystery fill the skies and the very air I breathe at this time of the year. It’s time to take a trip.

Riding out from Oaxaca City, where I live, to Tlacolula, where my extended family lives, becomes a crossing into another world at this time of year. I observe through half-closed eyes as the early morning sun rises over the mist covered mountains bathing the valley in diffused golden light. As I look to my sides I catch a glimpse of the marigolds in the open fields… the only time of year that you can see them. I open the window of my taxi and let the cool air invade my very being as I close my eyes and smell the Earth. The crispness, the freshness and a penetrating feeling of well-being make me think I am still in my bed dreaming. I want to jump out of the moving car and run up the mountains that are just a short distance from my outstretched arms. Overwhelmed by feelings, I sit back in my seat… just to be.

Sooner than I know it the 30 minute trip comes to it’s end and I ease out of the car onto the sidewalk, pay my 15 pesos and head into the heart of Tlacolula. The HEART of Tlacolula has a whole new and very real meaning this time of year because, …

Travel Experiences You Can Learn

Relaxation and entertainment have different forms for different people. While some go to movies or parties, others go for plays and music shows. However, there are some for whom relaxation holds a completely different meaning. Such people prefer to be in solitude or spend some quality time travelling with their family or friends. Travelling can be great experience as it can provide you with relaxation, entertainment and some valuable life experiences simultaneously. Travelling helps you mature as a person. It makes responsible men out of boys and helps you learn about the world. No wonder travelers always have a trove of great travel stories to tell.

Travelling can be a great fun. Visiting different well-known destinations and unknown places can be an enriching and educating experience. Many people have grown up reading and listening to exciting and adventurous travel stories. A lot has been written about destinations like the Rohtas Fort, Peer Sohawa, Murree and Lahore City in Pakistan; as well as other touring spots in Jamaica and Indonesia. However, there is a vast difference between reading about a place in a travel guide and actually having a first-hand experience of the place. These destinations offer a unique experience on their own. Anybody visiting these places has their own travel story to narrate. Such tales make for good nostalgic readings. It doesn’t just reflect on the historical background of these places, but also gives me an insight into the unrecorded history of the place, the people and the era. Many authors have made careers out of travel writings and have earned a massive fan following over the years.

Then, there are the new and interesting people you meet when you visit a tourist destination. These locals always have many different travel stories to tell. Most people, who are regular travelers …

Japanese Travel Proverbs – 3 Proverbs

Words of wisdom from people of past eras can nourish the soul and guide us on our way. One way to absorb this type of collective wisdom is through the reading of proverbs. Proverbs are ancient or old-time sayings that speak wisdom to us, often on many different levels at once.

If you have an interest in all-things-Japan, in travel, or in both, you may enjoy learning some Japanese travel proverbs. A good proverb yields insights not only about the subject of the proverb itself, but also about both the speaker (the creator of the proverb) and the listener/reader.

Here are 3 Japanese travel proverbs for you to ponder, learn from and enjoy:

1. The Philosophical:

Here is one attributed to the famous Japanese poet, Basho:

“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.” ~ Matsuo Basho

The meaning of this one is pretty clear. In the literal sense, it could be taken to mean that there are many ways to the same destination. In a more philosophical sense, it speaks to the idea of not just imitating the appearance or specific steps of another person’s journey, but rather to let their journey inspire your own unique path.

2. The Romantic:

Here is a Japanese travel proverb that has a romantic undertone:

“Who travels for love finds a thousand miles not longer than one.” ~ Traditional Proverb

From a literal perspective, this proverb tells us that a love of the journey may be just as important as arriving. More figuratively, it tells us that anything that we set out to do with love and passion will be an infinitely easier task than something that lacks such passion.

3. On Being A Fish Out Of Water:

This one talks about human folly …

High Adventure At Three Camel Lodge

Who would have imagined that Mongolia would feature one of the world’s best eco-adventure lodges? Indeed, this is the case at Three Camel Lodge, where comfort and eco-tourism come together in one of the world’s top ten adventure lodges.

Set on the edge of the Gobi Desert in the Gobi Gurvansaickhan National Park, Three Camel Lodge is the ideal starting point for adventuring Mongolia’s diverse terrain. Nestled in the foothills of the Gobi-Attai Mountains, this 50 acre wilderness outpost serves as a perfect base for desert exploration. The vast and fascinating landscape of the Gobi Desert, with its red rock cliffs, lush valleys and towering sand dunes is best negotiated by foot, on horseback, camelback and kayak with superb expedition options on offer.

Desert wildlife – hares, hedgehogs and numerous species of birds traverse the camp’s grounds. Ancient petroglyphs depicting antelopes, sheep, ibex and wolves are a short walk away. Camel treks through sand dunes and forests to explore the Gobi’s diverse ecosystems are one among many adventures affording the opportunity to view local wildlife. Horseback riding through the vast desert plains of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, where brown bears and numerous birds roam under an infinite blue sky, will lead to the legendary Gunjin Buddhist Temple.

Multi-activity expeditions include kayaking on Lake Hovsgol, then continuing along ancient tea trade routes on a double-humped back camel. Four-wheel drives, horse treks and mountain biking to remote canyons, mountain springs and verdant valleys are part and parcel of the myriad adventures on offer, while overnight tented expeditions are ideal for experiencing the Gobi’s unique wilderness. Closer to camp, the brilliant red rocks of the Flaming Cliffs hold the mysteries of ancient dinosaur fossils to be excavated. And for those wanting a taste of the Gobi, hands-on cooking classes are offered.

Built with …

Family Adventure Travel Costa Rica – Top Five Destinations in the Caribbean for Adventure

Family Adventure Travel Costa Rica  – For adrenaline junkies, there are several destinations in the Caribbean that will be “must visit” destinations. Adventures range from zip lining through the rainforest canopy to caving through miles of underground tunnels and caverns to rock climbing on vertical rock faces surrounded by jungle. And if that’s not enough to keep you going, what about some of the most challenging hiking and mountain biking, white water rafting and river kayaking, and scuba diving in wrecks, through undersea caves, down vertical coral faces and amidst volcanic ruins and landscapes?

Costa Rica. A country that is covered almost entirely in rainforest with many zip line adventures, challenging caving with qualified guides and hiking on rugged mountains through virgin rainforest.

Dominica. A very mountainous rugged country comprised of several volcanoes, one of the highest fresh water lakes in the world, a boiling lake and hiking with qualified guides that will challenge even the fittest and most accomplished of hikers. Explore Morne Diablotins (4747 ft) on a multi-day hike not for the feint of heart. Scuba dive on volcanic landscapes in the Scotts Head Marine Park.

Jamaica. A well known and popular destination for beaches, but the island is also home to white water rafting expeditions, caving, hiking and mountain biking that will satisfy the cravings of even the most avid adventure tourist. Explore the mountains of Cockpit Country, mountain bike in the Blue Mountains, caving trips to the Deeside Roaring River Cave at certain times of the year only if you pass the physical requirements and restrictions, or explore the more accessible Peterkin Cave.

Guyana. An oft forgotten country when it comes to adventure, but Guyana is home to some of the largest and wildest rivers in the world. Multi and single day hiking and wildlife watching …

Outdoor Adventure Travel Usa- South Dakota

When traveling in South Dakota you will find wide open spaces. Adventure can still be found when traveling through the badlands and you will come out safe and sound unlike the old days. There are many beautiful rock formations both above and underground. You can stand on the ground of Custer’s last stand and have an understanding of the history of our country.

There is a reason all the bikers visit Spearhead each year you will find the drive wide open and beautiful. The scenic highway through Spearhead Canyon is one that is not to be missed when visiting South Dakota winding along the byway you will see wildlife, scenic vistas and develop a love of the land.

Big Stone Island is a wilderness area in the Big Stone Lake Area you can only get to the island by boat or canoe. You will find a hundred acres island that has been visited for centuries. You will be able to wander the shores of the island and it will take you to a simpler time.

If you looking for a less traveled area to explore and spend a little down time you will want to visit Custer State Park. This park is just outside of the Black Hills so if you have always wanted to see Mount Rushmore it is just a quick trip.

Custer State Park offers the Needles Highway for viewing the geography and Wildlife Loop Road for viewing buffalo, antelope, mountain goat and other wildlife found in the area. You can hike the area on many of the hiking trails and take in the clean air beautiful terrain and recharge your batteries.

While you are seeking an adventure above ground there are geological wonders below ground as well. South Dakota has two underground caves that are worth …

All Travel is Adventure

All travel is adventure but when your purpose for traveling is the adventure awaiting you at your destination, it becomes Adventure Travel.

Maybe it’s your “bucket list”. Maybe it’s boredom. Maybe you just need the adrenalin rush. Whatever the reason, adventure travel has expanded far beyond the confines of the tired old safari vacation of bygone days. Now there are a plethora of things to do on your vacation, none of which include relaxing!

Let me give you some examples. Mountain climbing, white-water rafting, sky-diving, bungee jumping, zip-line tours, hiking Machu Picchu, hot-air ballooning, dog sledding and sub-orbital space flights just to mention a few.

Yes, I said space travel! Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is in the lead with sub-orbital flights already being tested. There are other players. SapceX and Bigelow Aerospace are two well-known companies working on commercial space flight and there are others with projects in various stages of development.

So, did all this begin with timeless African Safari, or are the roots deeper still? Frankly, there hasn’t been much written on the topic. I am going to resist the temptation of saying it all started with Alexander the Great’s trip to Siwa, Egypt in 331BC to consult the Oracle of Amun. That’s too easy!

Let’s focus on the term in its modern context. Many attribute the early stirrings of adventure travel to Grand Circle Travel, when in 1958, they offered travel services geared to older Americans with an interest in discovering local peoples and cultures first hand. Not terribly adventuresome on the surface, but it was a case of traveling for the adventure waiting at your destination. Remember our definition!

Richard Bangs, the Yahoo adventure guru, probably has the best grasp of the adventure travel concept as defined here. I am in no way affiliated with him …

Quest Travel Adventures – When you go on vacation, are you the type of traveler that does all the touristy things, or do you like to get into the local flavor of things? I am a total tourist. I have never understood travelers who say that they do not want to do the touristy things when they go on vacation. I mean really, it was the touristy things that attracted you to the vacation spot in the first place, wasn’t it? The touristy things are there, because people who’ve gone on vacation have found that they enjoy them. As far as hanging out in “local” spots, do you think that the locals don’t hang out in the “tourist” spots?

So, when I go on vacation, I like to do the touristy things. My husband and I went to Ireland last year, and one of the things at the top of my list was kissing the Blarney Stone. I did not really know what was involved, but I knew that I wanted to do it. I had not really ever heard of how it was done, I just knew it was one of those “touristy” things that I wanted to do.

So we grabbed a car, and headed across Ireland. That in itself was an experience, but I’ll leave that for another article. Back to the Blarney Stone. The Blarney Stone, as I’m sure most of you know, is in Blarney Castle. If I really thought about it, I guess I would have thought that it was like the Blarney Stone on the side of Fitzgerald’s in Reno. You know, just a big stone in the side of the building that you walked up to and kissed. But that is not how it’s done in Ireland.

The Blarney Stone in Ireland …

This week my daughter came to me and announced that, it was time to start planning for a spring break vacation. I thought really. Already? She apparently needs a break from the rigors of school. Then it occurred to me that I too need a break from the rigors of work and a little R and R is just the ticket to rejuvenate the both of us. I asked her had she thought of a few destinations that might be interesting and to my dismay; she produced a list of places she’d like to go. I have to tell you I was impressed that a 15 year old would take such initiative and put together a well thought out and researched list of destinations. I guess she really is learning something in school!

We are a family of RVers and campers. We enjoy adventure travel and the great outdoors and to that end, most of the destinations on her list fell into the camping arena. Whether we rent a vacation home or RV, we like the homey feel of having our own things along with us. Not to mention if we left my daughters four legged BFF behind she’d have a fit! While my daughters list was extensive, I choose a few places that I thought would be a great deal of fun and thought I would share them with you.

Kissimmee and Orlando, FL

While we live in Miami Florida, we have never been to this part of the state. Like most children, my daughter was excited about going to Walt Disney World, Epcot Center and Universal Studios. After a little research of my own, I discovered that this part of Florida has some of the best RV parks in the country, all within a couple of miles from …