I have just returned from a truly amazing trip to Australia. During the 3 weeks, my husband and I visited four states – New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia – commonly known as W.A.
We walked over the Sydney Harbour bridge, cruised under it, toured the Opera House and had dinner at the water’s edge directly below this magnificent construction. We were lucky enough to be able to visit the beautiful Blue Mountains and the Three Sisters, as the roads had only just re-opened following the recent bush fires. There are so many quaint towns and villages on the way.
In Melbourne we went to the top of the Eureka Tower which is the highest vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere – the views were amazing and the Eureka Tower is something that appears to be a very well kept secret!
We then took a flight to Cairns in Northern Queensland and of course an absolute must is a trip to the Great Barrier Reef some 60km offshore. The snorkelling was amazing as was the trip in the semi-submersible boat.
The last few days were spent in Perth under cloudless blue skies and temperatures of 30 plus degrees. They are currently undergoing a massive project in the middle of the city that involves re-routing the Swan River to meander through the centre of Perth. They are one year into this ten year project. Watch this space!
A picnic in Kings Park, Perth is a must with beautiful views over the Swan River and the city.
It is incredible to say the least that you can fly for 8 hours and still be in the same country!
If you would like to visit this vast continent – Australia, call me – Joyce Kinniburgh, Your Personal Travel Organiser and I would be delighted to assist in putting together a tailor-made itinerary just for you!
South Africa is one of the world’s top destinations for intrepid travellers to discover everything they’re looking for and more. With over 21 National Parks, eight World Heritage Sites, 3,500 kilometres of pristine coastline, a phenomenal climate and awesome adventures ranging from shark-diving to surfing, historic trails to wine tasting, South Africa is guaranteed to provide you with the unforgettable journey of a lifetime.
In one day alone, you could come face-to-face with some of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, experience a unique wildlife encounter, indulge into the fine foods on offer or simply kick back and enjoy the tranquillity of a country that thrives on the warmth of its people, culture and diversity
You’ve read the books, seen the movies and TV programmes, now encounter the famous Big 5 face-to-face – buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino.
Big 5 safaris in South Africa are a must-do for anyone fascinated by wildlife. Big 5 refers to buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino – the term comes from the animals considered most dangerous to hunt. Now the thrill comes from photographing them in their natural habitat.
If you’re looking for a Big 5 safari experience in South Africa you can go to almost any province in South Africa, but the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces remains an iconic tourism drawcard.
Combine the above with a relaxing beach holiday to follow or……..
Take the plunge!
You will never forget the thrill of a bungee jump in South Africa.
Bungee jump 216 metres from the Bloukrans Bridge on the Garden Route, it’s the world’s highest commercial bridge bungee!
One, two, bungee! Leaping off the Bloukrans Bridge, you plunge 216 metres into the gorge below. As far as adrenalin rushes go, you don’t get much better than a Bloukrans bungee jump, which also happens to be located in one of the most scenic corners of the country.
This attracts adventure-seekers from all over the globe. The bridge is found along the scenic Garden Route and has to count as one of the most spectacular bungee jumps in South Africa, if not the world.
Interested??? I would be happy to organise this for you. 01279 871188
Mars has the highest mountain in the Solar System. It is the mighty Olympus Mons on Mars. It rises up 27 kilometers above the surrounding plains. Olympus Mons is a shield volcano, like Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, and formed gradually over billions of years. Some lava flows on the volcano are so young that planetary scientists think that it might still be active.
And….Mars has the longest, deepest canyon in the Solar System.
One of the most distinct features on the surface of Mars is the Valles Marineris canyon. It stretches 4,000 km along the equator of Mars, and can be as deep as 7 km in places. If you could move the Valles Marineris to Earth, it would stretch right across the United States.
When scientists took infrared thermal images of emperor penguins, they found that the surface of their feathers is actually colder than the frigid air surrounding them. Feathers do not cover the penguin’s eyes, feet, and beak, so those parts of their body measured at higher temperatures. Apparently the penguins use radiative cooling to draw heat from the air around them. The penguins are able to keep their core body temperature at 39 degrees Celsius even in the negative 40 degree Celsius temperatures during nights in the Antarctic.They are insulated by a layer of blubber that helps keep their core temperature at a manageable level. The penguins are also known to huddle together with each other to maintain warmth during the winter. Penguin’s feathers are waterproof, which helps them stay dry and warm in the sub-zero environments where they live. Penguins are known to shed their feathers annually, and grow them back during a two to three week period of time. Most male and female penguins look alike, but during mating season, the females have muddy footprints on their back that are left by the male penguins.
Brazil has been named as the host nation for the 2014 football World Cup. It is the first time the World Cup is being held in South America since Argentina hosted, and won, the 1978 tournament.
Brazil have won the tournament a record five times and hosted the World Cup once before, in 1950, when they lost 2-1 in the final to Uruguay.
Sun-kissed beaches, spectacular natural wonders and samba rhythms…Brazil never fails to charm and delight its visitors.
Experience the pulsating excitement of Rio or the tranquillity of Costa Do Sauipe, the unspoilt beauty of Amazonia or the breathtaking tumbling waters of Iguaçu Falls, futuristic Brasilia or centuries-old Salvador. Whatever your travelling interests, Brazil has a dream holiday for you.
Brazil Holiday Highlights
- The great Amazon River basin covers almost half of Brazil, its waterways meandering through dense rainforest.
- Iguaçu Falls plundering into the river below is a magical sight.
- Taste Brazilian beach life on the sweeping sands of world-renowned Copacabana.
- The vast tropical wetlands of the Pantanal thrive with wildlife.
- Rio de Janeiro is the heartbeat of Brazil. This lively, vibrant, sometimes hectic city and its citizens have a genuine passion for life and music.
- Truly mesmerising panoramic views can be seen from Brazilian icon Christ the Redeemer, which stands 2,300 feet above Rio’s streets, bays and beaches.
- Búzios is a sophisticated beach resort dubbed the ‘St Tropez of Latin America’.
- Brazil’s best known beaches dot the Atlantic coast of Bahia, the musical heart and soul of Brazil.
- Porto de Galinhas is an award-winning beach resort. The nearby natural pools house nature’s own aquarium.
- The charming town of Paraty has hardly changed since its heyday during the 18th Century gold trade.
- Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland, sprawled over 54,000 square miles.
- The unique ecosystem of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park boasts sweeping white sand dunes, rivers, lakes and lagoons.
- Fernando de Noronha’s pristine sandy beaches and clear blue seas are a haven to a host of wildlife including sea turtles and dolphins.
If you would like a trip to the 2014 World Cup or simply a holiday in this amazing city, please call on 01279 871188. I would love to hear from you.
HONG KONG – Luxury hotel group, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, will open its first property in the United Kingdom in the summer of 2013. London’s first elevated luxury hotel will occupy levels 34 to 52 of The Shard – London’s newest iconic landmark. As with every property in the group, it will operate on the simple yet powerful philosophy of Shangri-La’s legendary hospitality.
The hotel’s 202 deluxe guestrooms, averaging more than 42 square metres (452 square feet), will be amongst the largest in London.
A wide array of guestroom features and services will include the “Shangri-La Bed,” made exclusively for the hotel group and featuring patented body-contouring technology; iPod docking station; complimentary high-speed Internet access; designer amenities, individual coffee machines, heated floors and washlet toilets in all bathrooms; butler service in all suites; climate control to complement the building’s integrated sun shielding system, and more.
This new-build five-star property will offer 202 rooms and suites (all with unparalleled views), four signature wining and dining venues, three river-facing event rooms as well as an infinity pool and a 24-hour gym on level 52.
Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Renzo Piano, The Shard is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames between St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. It is the tallest building in Western Europe at 310 metres (1,016 feet) high and a landmark synonymous with London itself.
The Shard 35 restaurant on level 35 will offer a sumptuous array of locally inspired dishes enthused by the fresh produce of the nearby local food markets and crafted with meticulous attention. Featuring London’s best views and open throughout the day and evening, Shard 35 will be the perfect venue for any special occasion.
The adjacent Lounge, featuring uninterrupted panoramic views, is the place to relax, socialise or simply enjoy a cup of tea, high above the hustle and bustle of the city. Apart from the traditional afternoon tea, the Lounge will offer an Asian-inspired Shangri-La tea featuring one of the largest selections of Chinese teas in London.
Be among the first to book an upscale meeting, dinner with family and friends or spend a night or two at this truly unique British landmark.
The endless plains of east Africa are the setting for the world’s greatest wildlife spectacle – the 1.5 million animal ungulate (wildebeest) migration. From the vast Serengeti plains to the champagne colored hills of Kenya’s Masai Mara over 1.4 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle, relentlessly tracked by Africa’s great predators, migrate in a clockwise fashion over 1,800 miles each year in search of rain ripened grass.
There is no real beginning or end to a wildebeest’s journey. Its life is an endless pilgrimage, a constant search for food and water. The only beginning is at the moment of birth. An estimated 400,000 wildebeest calves are born during a six week period early each year – usually between late January and mid-March. Their journey starts and ends in the Serengeti.
Their journey is endless and from July, 2012 herds poured into Nyamalumbwa in the northern Serengeti and there are still plenty of zebras and wildebeest around the Bolagonja area where the grass is high, the ground is wet, and there are some fires in the area.
As November ends the migration is making its way back to the southern Serengeti and early in the year they once again give birth. The circle of life is complete.
The migration is a natural event and the timing varies month by month; year by year. This truly is a sight to behold.
I love travelling, as I am sure everyone will understand since I am involved in the travel industry and have been for many years. Once of my recent holidays was to Jordan in the Middle East, and it was absolutely amazing. Jordan is an ancient civilisation with timeless sites from biblical, Roman and medieval history including the famous red city of Petra, between the Dead Sea and Red Sea. An important crossroads of the Middle East, Jordan is a land steeped in history.
The highlight of the trip was most definitely visiting Petra and the Monastery which stands at the top of a mountain and can only be reached by climbing 800 naturally formed rock steps.
1. You must be aware that the only three options for getting to the top are climbing, riding a Bedouin-led donkey or a combination of the two. The donkey is not a good idea as their hooves can slip on the shiny steps.
2. Get a good night’s sleep beforehand. This is a serious climb and requires adequate rest.
3. You will need at least one bottle of water, whatever the temperature.
4. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to reach the top and 30 or 45 minutes to get back down, and then you may wish to spend time looking around the surrounding area and perhaps have a snack or meal in one of the eating places.
5. Wear comfortable shoes with good tread. The rocks can be slippery, especially coming down.
6. Wear a hat. There is little or no shade along the way.
The exertion is well worth it, as once you reach the top you will be rewarded with stunning views and of course the Monastery which dates back to the 1st century BC. It really is awesome.
I can arrange this for you if you wish!