Check out the latest edition of our new quarterly magazine, Terra Travelers!
• UNESCO Sites in the United States of America
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, is an agency of the United Nations with the avowed mission of building 'peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Cultures. It is always fascinating to visit a site with so great a historical and cultural significance, and if, like me, you have always wanted the opportunity to explore more of the world given over to history, I thought you might enjoy just a few of the most significant UNESCO sites in the United States.…
- Voyager Guides
Thursday June 04, 2020
You want to do some hiking while on your dream trip to Australia, but you don't have time for long treks. Here are some suggestions on short day hikes that may be of interest:
New Zealand is home to some of the most memorable scenic train journeys in the world. These are just three of them. Be it a long or short journey, each is meant to amaze the visitor....
The TranzAlpine scenic train journeys between Christchurch and Greymouth. From the comfort of the carriages, see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. The train then climbs into the majestic Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass National Park. It then descends through lush beech rainforest to the West Coast town of Greymouth. This town is a great base for visits to Punakaiki (pancake rocks) and the always popular glaciers. Enjoy all this in the comfort of carriages featuring hugh panoramic windows. There is also an onboard cafe with a range of delicious Kiwi flavors, and GPS triggered at-seat audio commentary.
Before humans arrived, New Zealand was a world of birds and plants. Here you will find some of the world's most unique birdlife. Unique wildlife encounters and natural spectacles are two of New Zealand's biggest attractions.
Within the space of one day, you can experience ancient forests, volcanic landscapes, mountain vistas and stunning coastlines all while spotting New Zealand wildlife found nowhere else on earth.
Otorohanga Kiwi House and Native Bird Park
If you want to see Kiwi up close, then a visit to Otorohanga Kiwi House is the place to go. The not-for-profit wildlife and conservation center has been breeding Kiwi since 1971. The birds are on display all day in the special nocturnal houses. It also breeds rare and endangered native New Zealand Wildlife.
The family-friendly park offers Kiwi viewing of two of New Zealand's species - Great Spotted Kiwi and Brown Kiwi. The park also has ponds, wetland areas and walk-through aviaries including a giant dome aviary.
Long or short hikes in New Zealand are the best way to see beautiful landscapes and explore vast wilderness areas. So put on your walking boots, grab a snack and water and set out. New Zealand is packed with short hikes suitable for all levels of fitness. Explore native forest trails and ancient glaciers with hikes of just 30 minutes up to 3 hours. New Zealand short walks cover everything from a slightly more challenging mountain climb to casual beach strolls.
Rotorua Lakeside Trail
Starting in the middle of Rotorua from beside the Polynesian pools, this hiking trail will take you along the lake’s edge towards the Wakarewarew Forest Park. Along the way, you will pass through the native scrub, across boardwalks in steamy thermal areas and takes you southeast along small beaches. There is informative signage provided so visitors can understand some of the finer details of the natural wonders surrounding you. The walk is about 1 1/2 hours roundtrip. There are several accommodations close to the lake and many people choose rooms with the lake view so they can enjoy the beauty of the area even when inside.
While there are a number of Australia luxury accommodations, here are just a few of the resorts located outside the busy cities. Each is unique in its' own right and the accommodations, staff, meals and activities leave lasting memories.
Southern Ocean Lodge
Located on Kangaroo Island, it is Australia's first true luxury lodge offering a unique and exclusive travel experiences. Situated atop a secluded cliff on a rugged stretch of coast, the lodge commands peerless views of the wild Southern Ocean and pristine Kangaroo Island wilderness. Sensitive, intimate and sophisticated, Southern Ocean Lodge is a sanctuary of refined comfort and luxe.
Activities outside the lodge include marine based, an ealy morning walk among the seals at Seal Bay and wildlife based, done by a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Dining at Southern Ocean Lodge is both a delight for the senses and a gastronomic journey of Kangaroo Island. The resort incorporates the ‘produce to plate’ approach a real passion for the Executive Chef. In addition, an excellent range of diverse Kangaroo Island and South Australian wines and beers has been hand selected to comprise the beverage menu.
The Maori are the indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand, a Polynesian people, most closely related to eastern Polynesians. The Maori arrived in New Zealand, which was then known as "The Land of the Long White Cloud", around AD950 by canoe. Because the area was warmer, they mostly settled in the Northern parts of New Zealand.
Because the Maori culture is an integral part of Kiwi life, a visit to any of these will add a dynamic and unique experience. Below are three Maori experiences.
Situated in Rotorua, Te Pula is an iconic destination for visitors. It is home to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and the world famous Pohutu geyser. Many of the guides have direct links to Rotorua's earliest hosts and share stories and insight into this unique corner of the world.
Along with access to the world famous Polutu geyser, visitors have an opportunity to see Maori cultural performances, live kiwi, boiling mud pools, native bush and the National Schools of Wood Carving and Weaving. There is also the opportunity to watch food cooked to perfection in the steam of the geyser.
Visiting the mysterious lanes and byways of Melbourne bring to life the history of an area mostly dating back to the Victorian era when the narrow streets were used by horses and carts. Some even date back to the Gold Rush era slums.
When booking any of my clients to Melbourne, Australia, I always suggest Echidna Walkabout as an unusual way to travel with wild kangaroos and do some Koala spotting. When any of my clients who have booked this tour return, I always call to see how things turned out. In every case I seem to get the same response…..”We loved this tour and when the day was over and we were saying good bye, we felt just like family."
Janine and Roger, owners of Echidna Walkabout Tours, have a great love for nature and the animals they encounter, and this is manifested in the guided tours they provide their customers. Not only do they love the Koalas, but they also study their habitat and are able to identify them by facial features.
Now, I always thought a Koala was a Koala, but that’s not the case. How much fun is it on the tour to have one of the guides introduce you to Babe, the 2 year old Koala baby of Sunshine?
Since my first trip to Australia in 1998, I have returned to the South Pacific over 30 times. On each visit I meet with hoteliers, tour companies, car companies, cruise companies and other suppliers in the region. With this knowledge, I am able to answer your questions and assist you in planning the memorable vacation of your dreams.